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Headword: Ἱερατικὴ
Adler number: iota,159
Translated headword: priest-craft, religion
Vetting Status: high
[Priest-craft] and philosophy do not originate from the same sources. But philosophy coming down from the one cause of all things to the foundation of [material] beings, through the middle of all kinds [of things], both the divine and those which along with the gods are more powerful and appear, as they say, on the third step [...].[1] For nothing is one among those things which have been declared universally by the philosophers on both sides, so that the harmonization would be easy for one who wishes to reconcile the [philosophy] of the Greeks with the Egyptians.[2] But [it is said that] priest-craft, which is the service of the gods, originates from somewhere among the causes within the cosmos, and concerns itself with these matters, of souls concerning immortality, because the same things are also stated in Egyptian philosophy; both of their innumerable diverse allotments in Hades separated according to virtue and wickedness, and of the innumerable changes in life, as they dwell at different times in different bodies and kinds of animals and plants. The Egyptians were the first to state these [beliefs] in their philosophy; for the Pythagoreans brought each of these from the Egyptians to the Greeks.[3]
Greek Original:
Ἱερατικὴ καὶ φιλοσοφία οὐκ ἀπὸ τῶν αὐτῶν ἄρχονται ἀρχῶν. ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν φιλοσοφία ἀπὸ τῆς μιᾶς τῶν πάντων αἰτίας εἰς τὴν ὑποστάθμην τῶν ὄντων καθήκουσα, διὰ μέσων τῶν ὅλων γενῶν, θείων τε καὶ τῶν μετὰ θεοὺς κρειττόνων καὶ ἐν τρίτῳ, φασί, βήματι φαινομένων. ἓν γὰρ οὐδέν ἐστι τῶν καθόλου προειρημένων τοῖς ἑκατέρωθι φιλοσόφοις, ὥστε καὶ ῥᾳδίαν εἶναι τὴν ἐφαρμογὴν τῷ βουλομένῳ προσαρμόττειν τοῖς Αἰγυπτίοις τὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων. τὴν δὲ ἱερατικήν, ἥ ἐστι θεῶν θεραπεία, ἐντεῦθέν ποθεν ἀπὸ τῶν περικοσμίων αἰτιῶν ἄρχεσθαι καὶ περὶ ταῦτα πραγματεύεσθαι, ψυχῶν περὶ ἀθανασίας, ὅτι κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ Αἰγυπτίοις φιλοσοφεῖται: τῶν τε ἐν ᾅδου μυρίων λήξεων παντοίων πρὸς ἀρετὴν καὶ κακίαν ἀφωρισμένων, ἔτι τῶν περὶ τὸν βίον μυρίων μεταβολῶν, ὡς ἄλλοτε ἐν ἄλλοις σώμασιν ἢ γένεσιν ζῴων καὶ φυτῶν διατριβουσῶν. Αἰγύπτιοι δὲ ταῦτά εἰσιν οἱ πρῶτοι φιλοσοφοῦντες: ἀπὸ γὰρ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων ἕκαστα τούτων οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι ἐξήνεγκαν εἰς τοὺς Ἕλληνας.
Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 3 Zintzen (232 Asmus).
[1] A Neoplatonic reference to the emanations of being from the One down to the level of matter. The sentence seems incomplete.
[2] Greek and Egyptian philosophy evidently cannot be reconciled.
[3] Greek religion has borrowed some beliefs from Egypt, including the idea of metempsychosis.
Keywords: aetiology; botany; chronology; definition; ethics; geography; philosophy; religion; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 27 May 2006@23:55:31.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented primary note; added another keyword) on 28 May 2006@06:22:37.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 28 May 2006@17:45:38.
David Whitehead (more keywords; csmetics) on 9 January 2013@06:06:42.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 26 April 2016@04:42:43.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 2 January 2019@21:56:47.


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