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Sallustius

Sallustius or Sallust was a 4th-century writer, a friend of the Roman Emperor Julian. He wrote the treatise On the Gods and the Cosmos, a kind of catechism of 4th-century Hellenic paganism.

Sallustius' work owes much to that of Iamblichus of Chalcis, who synthesized Platonism with Pythagoreanism and theurgy, and also to Julian's own philosophical writings. The treatise is quite concise, and generally free of the lengthy metaphysical theorizing of the more detailed Neoplatonic texts. Its aim is in part "to parry the usual onslaughts of Christian polemic" in the face of Christianity's growing preeminence, and "me[e]t theology with theology".Sallustius' exact identity is a matter of some uncertainty. By some he is identified as Flavius Sallustius who was praetorian prefect of Gaul from 361 until 363 and Julian's colleague as consul in 363, by others with Saturninius Secundus Salutius a native of Gaul who was praetorian prefect of the Orient in 361. Wikipedia

Idézetek Sallustius

„Now these things never happened, but always are.“

—  Sallustius

And mind sees all things at once, but reason (or speech) expresses some first and others after. Thus, as the myth is in accord with the cosmos, we for that reason keep a festival imitating the cosmos, for how could we attain higher order?
IV. That the species of myth are five, with examples of each.
A number of sources paraphrase the first sentence (referring to the myth of Attis) as "Myths are things which never happened, but always are." (see for example the introduction to Carl Sagan's The Dragons of Eden).
On the Gods and the Cosmos

„It is not only spirits who punish the evil, the soul brings itself to judgment“

—  Sallustius

XIX. Why sinners are not punished at once.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: It is not only spirits who punish the evil, the soul brings itself to judgment: and also it is not right for those who endure for ever to attain everything in a short time: and also, there is need of human virtue. If punishment followed instantly upon sin, men would act justly from fear and have no virtue.

„Everything that is destroyed is either destroyed by itself or by something else.“

—  Sallustius

XVII. That the World is by nature Eternal.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Everything that is destroyed is either destroyed by itself or by something else. If the world is destroyed by itself, fire must needs burn of itself and water dry itself. If by something else, it must be either by a body or by something incorporeal. By something incorporeal is impossible; for incorporeal things preserve bodies — nature, for instance, and soul — and nothing is destroyed by a cause whose nature is to preserve it. If it is destroyed by some body, it must be either by those which exist or by others. … But if the world is to be destroyed by other bodies than these it is impossible to say where such bodies are or whence they are to arise.

„The divine itself is without needs, and the worship is paid for our own benefit. The providence of the Gods reaches everywhere and needs only some congruity for its reception.“

—  Sallustius

XV. Why we give worship to the Gods when they need nothing.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: The divine itself is without needs, and the worship is paid for our own benefit. The providence of the Gods reaches everywhere and needs only some congruity for its reception. All congruity comes about by representation and likeness; for which reason the temples are made in representation of heaven, the altar of earth, the images of life (that is why they are made like living things), the prayers of the element of though, the mystic letters of the unspeakable celestial forces, the herbs and stones of matter, and the sacrificial animals of the irrational life in us.
From all these things the Gods gain nothing; what gain could there be to God? It is we who gain some communion with them.

„After this inexpressible power come the orders of the Gods.“

—  Sallustius

V. On the First Cause
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Next in order comes knowledge of the first cause and the subsequent orders of the Gods, then the nature of the world, the essence of intellect and of soul, then providence, fate, and fortune, then to see virtue and formed from them, and from what possible source evil came into the world.
Each of these subjects needs many long discussions; but there is perhaps no harm in stating them briefly, so that a disciple may not be completely ignorant about them.
It is proper to the first cause to be one — for unity precedes multitude — and to surpass all things in power and goodness. Consequently all things must partake of it. For owing to its power nothing else can hinder it, and owing to its goodness it will not hold itself apart.
If the first cause were soul, all things would possess soul. If it were mind, all things would possess mind. If it were being, all things would partake of being. And seeing this quality in all things, some men have thought that it was being. Now if things simply were, without being good, this argument would be true, but if things that are are because of their goodness, and partake in the good, the first thing must needs be both beyond-being and good. It is strong evidence of this that noble souls despise being for the sake of the good, when they face death for their country or friends or for the sake of virtue. — After this inexpressible power come the orders of the Gods.

„It is impious to suppose that the divine is affected for good or ill by human things. The Gods are always good and always do good and never harm, being always in the same state and like themselves. The truth simply is that, when we are good, we are joined to the Gods by our likeness to live according to virtue we cling to the Gods, and when we become evil we make the Gods our enemies — not because they are angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the Gods from shining upon us, and put us in communion with spirits of punishment.“

—  Sallustius

XIV. In what sense, though the Gods never change, they are said to be made angry and appeased.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: If any one thinks the doctrine of the unchangeableness of the Gods is reasonable and true, and then wonders how it is that they rejoice in the good and reject the bad, are angry with sinners and become propitious when appeased, the answer is as follows: God does not rejoice — for that which rejoices also grieves; nor is he angered — for to be angered is a passion; nor is he appeased by gifts — if he were, he would be conquered by pleasure.
It is impious to suppose that the divine is affected for good or ill by human things. The Gods are always good and always do good and never harm, being always in the same state and like themselves. The truth simply is that, when we are good, we are joined to the Gods by our likeness to live according to virtue we cling to the Gods, and when we become evil we make the Gods our enemies — not because they are angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the Gods from shining upon us, and put us in communion with spirits of punishment. And if by prayers and sacrifices we find forgiveness of sins, we do not appease or change the Gods, but by what we do and by our turning toward the divine we heal our own badness and so enjoy again the goodness of the Gods. To say that God turns away from the evil is like saying that the sun hides himself from the blind.

„The cosmos itself must of necessity be indestructible and uncreated.“

—  Sallustius

VII. On the Nature of the World and its Eternity.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: The cosmos itself must of necessity be indestructible and uncreated. Indestructible because, suppose it destroyed: the only possibility is to make one better than this or worse or the same or a chaos. If worse, the power which out of the better makes the worse must be bad. If better, the maker who did not make the better at first must be imperfect in power. If the same, there will be no use in making it; if a chaos... it is impious even to hear such a thing suggested. These reasons would suffice to show that the world is also uncreated: for if not destroyed, neither is it created. Everything that is created is subject to destruction.

„Everything made is made either by art or by a physical process or according to some power.“

—  Sallustius

XIII. How things eternal are said to be made.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Everything made is made either by art or by a physical process or according to some power. Now in art or nature the maker must needs be prior to the made: but the maker, according to power, constitutes the made absolutely together with itself, since its power is inseparable from it; as the sun makes light, fire makes heat, snow makes cold.
Now if the Gods make the world by art, they do not make it be, they make it be such as it is. For all art makes the form of the object. What therefore makes it to be?

„If punishment followed instantly upon sin, men would act justly from fear and have no virtue.“

—  Sallustius

XIX. Why sinners are not punished at once.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: It is not only spirits who punish the evil, the soul brings itself to judgment: and also it is not right for those who endure for ever to attain everything in a short time: and also, there is need of human virtue. If punishment followed instantly upon sin, men would act justly from fear and have no virtue.

„All this care for the world, we must believe, is taken by the Gods without any act of will or labor.“

—  Sallustius

IX. On Providence, Fate, and Fortune.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: All this care for the world, we must believe, is taken by the Gods without any act of will or labor. As bodies which possess some power produce their effects by merely existing: e. g. the sun gives light and heat by merely existing; so, and far more so, the providence of the Gods acts without effort to itself and for the good of the objects of its forethought. This solves the problems of the Epicureans, who argue that what is divine neither has trouble itself nor gives trouble to others.

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„Just as it happens that the Sun, which is good for all, may be injurious to persons with ophthalmia or fever.“

—  Sallustius

IX. On Providence, Fate, and Fortune.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: To believe that human things, especially their material constitution, are ordered not only by celestial beings but by the celestial bodies is a reasonable and true belief. Reason shows that health and sickness, good fortune and bad fortune, arise according to our deserts from that source. But to attribute men's acts of injustice and lust to fate, is to make ourselves good and the Gods bad. Unless by chance a man meant by such a statement that in general all things are for the good of the world and for those who are in a natural state, but that bad education or weakness of nature changes the goods of Fate for the worse. Just as it happens that the Sun, which is good for all, may be injurious to persons with ophthalmia or fever.

„Those who wish to hear about the Gods should have been well guided from childhood, and not habituated to foolish beliefs.“

—  Sallustius

I. What the disciple should be; and concerning Common Conceptions, as translated by Gilbert Murray
Variant translation:
It is requisite that those who are willing to hear concerning the gods should have been well informed from their childhood, and not nourished with foolish opinions. It is likewise necessary that they should be naturally prudent and good, that they may receive, and properly understand, the discourses which they hear. The knowledge likewise of common conceptions is necessary; but common conceptions are such things as all men, when interrogated, acknowledge to be indubitably certain; such as, that every god is good, without passivity, and free from all mutation; for every thing which is changed, is either changed into something better or into something worse: and if into something worse, it will become depraved, but if into something better, it must have been evil in the beginning.
I. What the Requisites are which an Auditor concerning the Gods ought to possess: and of common Conceptions, as translated by Thomas Taylor
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Those who wish to hear about the Gods should have been well guided from childhood, and not habituated to foolish beliefs. They should also be in disposition good and sensible, that they may properly attend to the teaching.
They ought also to know the common conceptions. Common conceptions are those to which all men agree as soon as they are asked; for instance, that all god [here and elsewhere, = godhood, divine nature] is good, free from passion, free from change. For whatever suffers change does so for the worse or the better; if for the worse, it is made bad; if for the better, it must have been bad at first.

„To say that God turns away from the evil is like saying that the sun hides himself from the blind.“

—  Sallustius

XIV. In what sense, though the Gods never change, they are said to be made angry and appeased.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: If any one thinks the doctrine of the unchangeableness of the Gods is reasonable and true, and then wonders how it is that they rejoice in the good and reject the bad, are angry with sinners and become propitious when appeased, the answer is as follows: God does not rejoice — for that which rejoices also grieves; nor is he angered — for to be angered is a passion; nor is he appeased by gifts — if he were, he would be conquered by pleasure.
It is impious to suppose that the divine is affected for good or ill by human things. The Gods are always good and always do good and never harm, being always in the same state and like themselves. The truth simply is that, when we are good, we are joined to the Gods by our likeness to live according to virtue we cling to the Gods, and when we become evil we make the Gods our enemies — not because they are angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the Gods from shining upon us, and put us in communion with spirits of punishment. And if by prayers and sacrifices we find forgiveness of sins, we do not appease or change the Gods, but by what we do and by our turning toward the divine we heal our own badness and so enjoy again the goodness of the Gods. To say that God turns away from the evil is like saying that the sun hides himself from the blind.

„Those who believe in the destruction of the world, either deny the existence of the Gods, or, while admitting it, deny God's power.
Therefore he who makes all things by his own power makes all things subsist together with himself.“

—  Sallustius

XIII. How things eternal are said to be made.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Those who believe in the destruction of the world, either deny the existence of the Gods, or, while admitting it, deny God's power.
Therefore he who makes all things by his own power makes all things subsist together with himself. And since his power is the greatest power he must needs be the maker not only of men and animals, but of Gods, men, and spirits. And the further removed the first God is from our nature, the more powers there must be between us and him. For all things that are very far apart have many intermediate points between them.

„It is proper to the first cause to be one — for unity precedes multitude — and to surpass all things in power and goodness. Consequently all things must partake of it. For owing to its power nothing else can hinder it, and owing to its goodness it will not hold itself apart.“

—  Sallustius

V. On the First Cause
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Next in order comes knowledge of the first cause and the subsequent orders of the Gods, then the nature of the world, the essence of intellect and of soul, then providence, fate, and fortune, then to see virtue and formed from them, and from what possible source evil came into the world.
Each of these subjects needs many long discussions; but there is perhaps no harm in stating them briefly, so that a disciple may not be completely ignorant about them.
It is proper to the first cause to be one — for unity precedes multitude — and to surpass all things in power and goodness. Consequently all things must partake of it. For owing to its power nothing else can hinder it, and owing to its goodness it will not hold itself apart.
If the first cause were soul, all things would possess soul. If it were mind, all things would possess mind. If it were being, all things would partake of being. And seeing this quality in all things, some men have thought that it was being. Now if things simply were, without being good, this argument would be true, but if things that are are because of their goodness, and partake in the good, the first thing must needs be both beyond-being and good. It is strong evidence of this that noble souls despise being for the sake of the good, when they face death for their country or friends or for the sake of virtue. — After this inexpressible power come the orders of the Gods.

„It is for reason to judge what is right, for fight in obedience to reason to despise things that appear terrible, for desire to pursue not the apparently desirable, but, that which is with reason desirable. When these things are so, we have a righteous life; for righteousness in matters of property is but a small part of virtue.“

—  Sallustius

X. Concerning Virtue and Vice.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: The doctrine of virtue and vice depends on that of the soul. When the irrational soul enters into the body and immediately produces fight and desire, the rational soul, put in authority over all these, makes the soul tripartite, composed of reason, fight, and desire. Virtue in the region of reason is wisdom, in the region of fight is courage, in the region of desire is temperance; the virtue of the whole soul is righteousness. It is for reason to judge what is right, for fight in obedience to reason to despise things that appear terrible, for desire to pursue not the apparently desirable, but, that which is with reason desirable. When these things are so, we have a righteous life; for righteousness in matters of property is but a small part of virtue. And thus we shall find all four virtues in properly trained men, but among the untrained one may be brave and unjust, another temperate and stupid, another prudent and unprincipled. Indeed, these qualities should not be called virtues when they are devoid of reason and imperfect and found in irrational beings. Vice should be regarded as consisting of the opposite elements. In reason it is folly, in fight, cowardice, in desire, intemperance, in the whole soul, unrighteousness.
The virtues are produced by the right social organization and by good rearing and education, the vices by the opposite.

„There is a certain force, less primary than being but more primary than the soul, which draws its existence from being and completes the soul as the sun completes the eyes.“

—  Sallustius

VIII. On Mind and Soul, and that the latter is immortal.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: There is a certain force, less primary than being but more primary than the soul, which draws its existence from being and completes the soul as the sun completes the eyes. Of souls some are rational and immortal, some irrational and mortal. The former are derived from the first Gods, the latter from the secondary.

„Each of these subjects needs many long discussions“

—  Sallustius

V. On the First Cause
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Next in order comes knowledge of the first cause and the subsequent orders of the Gods, then the nature of the world, the essence of intellect and of soul, then providence, fate, and fortune, then to see virtue and formed from them, and from what possible source evil came into the world.
Each of these subjects needs many long discussions; but there is perhaps no harm in stating them briefly, so that a disciple may not be completely ignorant about them.
It is proper to the first cause to be one — for unity precedes multitude — and to surpass all things in power and goodness. Consequently all things must partake of it. For owing to its power nothing else can hinder it, and owing to its goodness it will not hold itself apart.
If the first cause were soul, all things would possess soul. If it were mind, all things would possess mind. If it were being, all things would partake of being. And seeing this quality in all things, some men have thought that it was being. Now if things simply were, without being good, this argument would be true, but if things that are are because of their goodness, and partake in the good, the first thing must needs be both beyond-being and good. It is strong evidence of this that noble souls despise being for the sake of the good, when they face death for their country or friends or for the sake of virtue. — After this inexpressible power come the orders of the Gods.

„One may call the world a myth, in which bodies and things are visible, but souls and minds hidden.“

—  Sallustius

III. Concerning myths; that they are divine, and why.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: One may call the world a myth, in which bodies and things are visible, but souls and minds hidden. Besides, to wish to teach the whole truth about the Gods to all produces contempt in the foolish, because they cannot understand, and lack of zeal in the good, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the contempt of the foolish, and compels the good to practice philosophy.

„Souls that have lived in virtue are in general happy, and when separated from the irrational part of their nature, and made clean from all matter, have communion with the gods and join them in the governing of the whole world.“

—  Sallustius

XXI. That the Good are happy, both living and dead.
On the Gods and the Cosmos
Kontextus: Souls that have lived in virtue are in general happy, and when separated from the irrational part of their nature, and made clean from all matter, have communion with the gods and join them in the governing of the whole world. Yet even if none of this happiness fell to their lot, virtue itself, and the joy and glory of virtue, and the life that is subject to no grief and no master are enough to make happy those who have set themselves to live according to virtue and have achieved it.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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