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Headword: Ἡραί̈σκος
Adler number: eta,450
Translated headword: Heraiskos, Heraiscus
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
By nature Heraiskos had a more godlike appearance, but the one who was more knowledgeable in the wisdom of the Egyptians, [was] Asklepiades, because the latter had been spending so much time studying Egyptian [wisdom], but the former had been traveling; but each one nevertheless fell far short of the other in natural ability or in understanding.[1]
Heraiskos actually had a natural talent for distinguishing between religious statues that were animated and those that were not. For as soon as he looked at one his heart was struck by a sensation of the divine and he gave a start in his body and his soul, as though seized by the god. If he was not moved in such a fashion then the statue was soulless and had no share of divine inspiration. In this way he distinguished the secret statue of Aion which the Alexandrians worshipped as being possessed by the god, who was both Osiris and Adonis at the same time according to some mystical union. There was also something in Heraiskos' nature that rejected defilements of nature. For instance, if he heard any unclean woman speaking, no matter where or how, he immediately got a headache, and this was taken as a sign that she was menstruating. Thus while he lived there was always something godlike about him; and at his death, when Asklepiades was preparing to give the customary things to the priests, especially the garment of Osiris on his body, at once secret symbols shone with light on all parts of the fabric, and around them were seen kinds of appearances appropriate to a god, showing clearly with what great gods he had been a dinner-guest. Even his birth had something mystical about it: he is said to have issued from his mother holding the shushing finger up to his lips, just as the Egyptians tell the story about Oros and before Oros about Helios. As a result, since the finger was fused to his lips, he needed surgery, and he went through life with a scar on his lip, a clear sign for everyone to see of his marvelous birth.
Hence his life also reached such a point that his soul always resided in hidden sanctuaries[2] as he practiced not only his native rites in Egypt but also those of other nations, wherever there was something left of these.[3]
And Heraiskos became a Bakkhos, as a dream designated him.[4]
But Asklepiades devoting himself more to the Egyptian books was more precisely acquainted with their native theology, having investigated its origins and middle, and simply busying himself with the ignorance of the furthest limits, as it is possible to know clearly from the hymns which he composed to the gods of the Egyptians, and from the treatise which he undertook to write encompassing the harmony of all theologies. And he wrote a book encompassing lore of the primeval Egyptians not less than thirty thousand years but even a little more.[5]
Heraiskos was not only good and gentle, but he was inclined to anger at wickedness and manfully resisted the schemes of men, without ever transgressing the measure of justice. For Ammonios and Erythrios[6] the Egyptian contended with each other in Byzantium, and each always continued to thrust the other into the most extreme dangers.[7]
See [sc. further] concerning Heraiskos under Gesios.[8]
Greek Original:
Ἡραί̈σκος: ὅτι τὴν μὲν φύσιν θεοειδέστερος ἦν Ἡραί̈σκος, ὁ δὲ τὴν Αἰγυπτίων σοφίαν δαημονέστερος, ὁ Ἀσκληπιάδης, ἅτε τοσοῦτον χρόνον οὗτος μὲν τῇ Αἰγυπτίων προσδιατρίβων, ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἀποδημῶν: ὁ δ' ἕτερος ὅμως τῆς τοῦ ἑτέρου κατὰ πολὺ ἐλείπετο φύσεως ἢ ἐπιστήμης. ὁ μὲν δὴ Ἡραί̈σκος αὐτοφυὴς ἐγένετο διαγνώμων τῶν τε ζώντων καὶ τῶν μὴ ζώντων ἱερῶν ἀγαλμάτων. εὐθὺς γὰρ ἐμβλέπων ἐτιτρώσκετο τὴν καρδίαν ὑπὸ τοῦ θειασμοῦ καὶ ἀνεπήδα τό τε σῶμα καὶ τὴν ψυχήν, ὥσπερ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κατάσχετος. εἰ δὲ μὴ κινοῖτο τοιοῦτον, ἄψυχον ἦν ἐκεῖνο τὸ ἄγαλμα καὶ ἄμοιρον θείας ἐπιπνοίας. οὕτω διέγνω τὸ ἄρρητον ἄγαλμα τοῦ Αἰῶνος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κατεχόμενον, ὃν Ἀλεξανδρεῖς ἐτίμησαν, Ὄσιριν ὄντα καὶ Ἄδωνιν ὁμοῦ κατὰ μυστικὴν ὡς ἀληθῶς φάναι θεοκρασίαν. ἐνῆν δὲ τοῦ Ἡραί̈σκου τῇ φύσει καί τι τοὺς μολυσμοὺς τῆς φύσεως ἀναινόμενον. εἰ γοῦν αἴσθοιτο φθεγγομένης ὅπως δὴ καὶ ὅθεν γυναικὸς ἀκαθάρτου τινός, ἤλγει παραχρῆμα τὴν κεφαλήν: καὶ τοῦτο σημεῖον ἐποιεῖτο τῆς ἀφεδρείας. οὕτω μὲν ζῶντι συνῆν ἀεί τι θεοειδές: ἀποθανόντι δέ, ἐπειδὴ τὰ νομιζόμενα τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν ὁ Ἀσκληπιάδης ἀποδιδόναι παρεσκευάζετο τά τε ἄλλα καὶ τὰς Ὀσίριδος ἐπὶ τῷ σώματι περιβολάς, αὐτίκα φωτὶ κατελάμπετο πανταχῇ τῶν σινδόνων ἀπόρρητα διαγράμματα, καὶ περὶ αὐτὰ καθεωρᾶτο φασμάτων εἴδη θεοπρεπῆ ἐπιδεικνύντων τὴν ψυχὴν ἐναργῶς, ποίοις ἄρα θεοῖς γεγόνει συνέστιος. ἦν δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ πρώτη γένεσις τῷ ὄντι μυστική. λέγεται γὰρ κατελθεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μητρὸς ἐπὶ τοῖς χείλεσιν ἔχων τὸν κατασιγάζοντα δάκτυλον, οἷον Αἰγύπτιοι μυθολογοῦσι γενέσθαι τὸν Ὦρον καὶ πρὸ τοῦ Ὤρου τὸν Ἥλιον. τοιγαροῦν ἐπεί οἱ συνεπεφύκει τοῖς χείλεσιν ὁ δάκτυλος, ἐδεήθη τομῆς, καὶ διέμεινεν ἀεὶ τὸ χεῖλος ὑποτετμημένον ἰδεῖν ἅπασι φανερὸν τὸ σημεῖον τῆς ἀπορρήτου γενέσεως. ὅθεν αὐτῷ καὶ ὁ βίος ἐς τοῦτο προῆλθεν, ἐν ἀδύτοις ἑκάστοτε καὶ τελεστήριον ἐνδιαιτᾶσθαι τὴν ψυχήν, οὔτι κατ' Αἴγυπτον μόνην κινοῦντι τὰς πατρίους τελετάς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς ἀλλοδαπῆς, εἴπου τι κατελέλειπτο τῶν τοιούτων. καὶ ἐγεγόνει ὁ Ἡραί̈σκος Βάκχος, ὡς ὄνειρος αὐτὸν κατεμήνυσεν. ὁ δὲ Ἀσκληπιάδης ἐπιπλεῖον ἐν τοῖς Αἰγυπτίοις βιβλίοις ἀνατραφεὶς ἀκριβέστερος ἦν ἀμφὶ θεολογίαν τὴν πάτριον, ἀρχάς τε αὐτῆς καὶ μέσα διεσκεμμένος καὶ τὴν ἀπειρίαν ἀτεχνῶς τῶν ἐσχάτων περάτων πολυπραγμονήσας, ὡς ἔξεστιν εἰδέναι σαφῶς ἀπό τε τῶν ὕμνων, ὧν συγγέγραφεν εἰς τοὺς Αἰγυπτίων θεούς, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς πραγματείας, ἣν ὥρμησε γράφειν, περιέχουσαν τῶν θεολογιῶν ἁπασῶν τὴν συμφωνίαν. καὶ συγγραφὴν δὲ ἔγραψεν Αἰγυπτίων ὠγυγίων πράγματα περιέχουσαν οὐκ ἐλαττόνων ἐτῶν ἢ τριῶν μυριάδων, ἀλλὰ πλειόνων ὀλίγῳ. ὁ δὲ Ἡραί̈σκος οὐ μόνον ἀγαθὸς ἦν καὶ ἤπιος, ἀλλ' εἶχέ τι καὶ πρὸς τὴν πονηρίαν θυμούμενος καὶ πρὸς τὰς ἐπιβουλὰς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀνδριζόμενος, οὐδαμοῦ δὲ παρεκβαίνων τὸ μέτρον τῆς δικαιοσύνης. ὅ τε γὰρ Ἀμμώνιος καὶ Ἐρύθριος ὁ Αἰγύπτιος διεμάχοντο πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἐν Βυζαντίῳ, καὶ διετέλει προωθῶν ἀεὶ ὁ ἕτερος τὸν ἕτερον εἰς τοὺς ἐσχάτους κινδύνους. ζήτει περὶ Ἡραί̈σκου ἐν τῷ Γέσιος.
Notes:
See also eta 451.
[1] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 161 Zintzen, 92 Asmus, 72A Athanassiadi. (Asklepiades fell short in natural ability; Heraiskos in precise knowledge.)
[2] Translating Portus' conjecture τελεστηρίοις (dative plural). The Suda reads τελεστήριον (accusative singular), which does not fit. Bernhardy suggested a lacuna.
[3] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.174 Zintzen, 107 Asmus, 72B and 76E Athanassiadi; cf. Photius, Bibliotheca 343a21-b1. For part of this see already alpha 4573.
[4] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 172 Zintzen, 105 Asmus, 76A Athanassiadi; cf. alpha 420.
[5] More of Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.161 Zintzen, 92 Asmus, 72D Athanassiadi; cf. delta 522.
[6] epsilon 3100?
[7] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.173 Zintzen, 177 Asmus, 76C and 78E Athanassiadi.
[8] gamma 207.
Keywords: art history; biography; chronology; clothing; dreams; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; medicine; mythology; philosophy; religion; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 30 November 2006@01:17:00.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 30 November 2006@03:04:45.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 30 November 2006@03:07:33.
Catharine Roth (small typo) on 30 November 2006@11:29:08.
Catharine Roth (augmented notes) on 7 December 2006@01:35:41.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 7 May 2008@14:40:15.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; more keywords; tweaking) on 18 December 2012@08:32:50.
David Whitehead (typo) on 23 April 2016@08:05:10.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 3 July 2016@01:11:57.
Catharine Roth (another tweak) on 11 September 2018@01:44:30.

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