The Dissemination In The West

TE have seen the Pan-Baby lonist mist, * which obscured the historical horizon, vanish before the breath of criticism. It is not the fact that thousands of years before our era the Chaldeans constructed a learned and profound cosmology, which established its authority over all surrounding peoples. But their share in the intellectual and religious development of antiquity remains none the less most considerable. They are the creators of chronology and astronomy. They contrived to enlarge their...

6

Zeno himself was born at Kition in the island of Cyprus. Among his successors Chrysippus and others belonged to Tarsus in Cilicia. Diogenes of Babylon, Posi-donius of Apamea, Antipater of Tyre to mention only the leading representatives of these doctrines were all Syrians. In a certain sense it may be said that Stoicism was a Semitic philosophy. Given the fact that it was always the first care of this school to reconcile itself with established cults, it is a priori...

Eschatology

TN the previous lecture we showed how, to the * astronomer theologians, contemplation of the sky had become the source of a mystic union with the divine stars. The sublime joys of ecstasy, which brings man into communion with the sidereal gods, give him but a foretaste of the bliss which is in store for him when after death his soul, ascending to the celestial spheres, shall penetrate all their mysteries. The transient exaltation, which illumines his intelligence here below, is a dim...

Ioi

Give it the pre-eminence over all the other senses, for the eyes are to them the intermediaries between the sidereal gods and human reason. Struck by the light from on high, the power of sight devotes itself to following the motions of these radiant bodies, which move above us. It ascertains that the course of the sun, which occasions the changes of the seasons, the phases of the moon, the rising and the setting of the fixed stars, even the march of the planets which appear to be wandering...

4

It would appear that Plato in his old age received a Chaldean guest, who was able to instruct him in the discoveries made by his compatriots. It seems to me to be beyond doubt that the influence of oriental star-worship upon the Epinomis was much more extensive than has hitherto been admitted. It is not from the Pythagoreans that the author borrows, but, as he himself says, from the Syrians. We find set forth or indicated in this brief dialogue the fundamental doctrines,...