Re: The Devil
Posted: 20 Aug 2010, 12:09
Over 500 years of history in 78 cards
I had not heard before of Hercules being called "truculent and destructive." That sounds rather devilish. The translator cites two other classical texts in reference to the passage I quoted: Cicero, De Natura Deorum, I.15 (40), II.28 (71); and Diogenes Laertius, VII.147. Both are on-line in English, and neither says anything about Hercules. Another translation of the Plutarch passage (http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Isis.html) has "impulsive and separative." Would they have used such terms of Hercules in 1460s Florence? I have always thought the contrary, that they considered him a noble hero. But then why would there be a devil behind him? On the other hand, he is a solar hero, and it is in the nature of the sun to be hot, i.e. impulsive or truculent, and scorching, i.e. destructive. There is also Apollo, who was not all sweetness and light. He skinned Marsyas alive, just for losing a musical competition ro him in which the judges were the Muses, all beholden to Apollo himself.The fact is that all this is somewhat like the doctrines promulgated by the Stoics about the gods; for they say that the creative and fostering spirit is Dionysus, the truculent and destructive is Heracles, the receptive is Ammon, that which pervades the Earth and its products is Demeter and the Daughter, and that which pervades the Sea is Poseidon.