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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Anaximenes and Zenon had the same belief


The

fields of Olympia were represented by a vast arena consecrated to the sun. In the middle there was a temple of this god, crowned with his image. The limits of the course of the sun, the Orient and the Occident, were traced, and marked by limits placed at the extremities of the circus. The races took place from the east to the west seven times, because of the seven planets. The sun, the moon, Jupiter and Venus, had each one a chariot. The Aurigae or drivers, wore garments representing the colors of the elements. The chariot of the sun was drawn by four steeds, and that of the moon by two. The Zodiac was represented in the circus by twelve gates; and also the revolution of the major and minor Ursas. The sea, or Neptune, the earth, or Ceres, and the other elements, were personified in actors who contended for the prize.

The phases of the moon were also celebrated, and particularly the neomeny or new-moon; for temples images and mysteries had been dedicated to the god Month, or Mensis. All the ceremonial of the procession of Isis, described in Apuleo, refers to nature and its parts. The sacred hymns of the ancients had the same object, if we may judge of them by those of Orpheus. Chun, one of the most ancient emperors of China, ordered many hymns to be composed to honor the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. All the prayers contained in the books Zends had the same objects. The poetical chants of ancient authors, who have transmitted to us the theogonies

of Orpheus, of Linus, of Hesiod, etc., relate to nature and its agents. Hesiod thus addresses the Muses: "Sing the gods immortal, sons of the earth and of the starry sky; gods born from the bosom of night, and nursed by the Ocean; the bright stars, the immense vault of the firmament, and the gods sprung from them; the sea, the rivers, etc."

The songs of Iopas, in the banquet offered by Dido to the Trojans, contain the lessons of the learned Atlas about the course of the sun and of the moon; about the origin of men, of animals, etc. In the Pastorals of Virgil, the old Silene sings the chaos and the organization of the world. Orpheus does the same in the Argonautics of Apollonius. The cosmogony of Sanchoniaton, or of the Phoenicians, conceals under the veil of allegories the great secrets of nature which were taught to those initiated. The philosophers who succeeded to the poets called all the parts of the universe divine. In the opinion of Pythagoras the celestial bodies were immortal and divine. The sun, the moon, and all the stars superabundantly contained heat, or principle of life. He placed the substance of the deity in the ethereal fire, of which the sun, he said, was the main focus.

Parmenides imagined a halo around the world, and called it the substance of the deity; the stars partook of the nature thereof. Alimeon of Crotona taught that the sun, the moon, and the stars were the gods. Antisthenes acknowledged but one deity, nature. Plato attributed divinity to the world, to the sky, to the stars, and to the earth. Xenocrates and Heraclides admitted eight great gods, the seven planets and the heaven of the fixed stars. Theophrastes called the stars and the celestial signs first causes. Zenon said that the ether, the stars, time and its parts were gods. Cleanthes admitted the dogma of the divinity of the universe, and more especially of the ethereal fire that envelops the spheres, and penetrates them. Diogene, the Babylonian, related the whole mythology to nature. Chrysippus held that the world was God. He placed the divine substance in the ethereal fire, in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, in one word, in nature and its principal parts. Anaximandre, Anaximenes and Zenon had the same belief.


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