After Life in Roman Paganism by Franz Valery Marie Cumont

By Franz Valery Marie Cumont

1922. Lectures brought at Yale college at the Silliman beginning. the writer was once invited to lecture at New Haven in the course of the month of March 1921 on an issue with regards to non secular historical past. He selected the tips present in Roman paganism in regards to the lot of the soul after demise. Lectures incorporated are: old creation; after lifestyles within the tomb; the nether global; celestial immortality; profitable of immortality; premature dying; trip to the past; sufferings of hell and metempsychosis; felicity of the blessed.

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HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION 27 to a gulf into which he falls. A metrical epitaph, Pisaurum (Pesaro), hints covertly at the ideas of the school. This commemorates a child who, in spite of his youth, had learnt the dogmas of Pythagoras and read "the pious verses of Homer" as well as the philosophers, and had studied in Euclid 76 the sacred science of numbers. His soul, runs the inscription, Tartarus of stars the forward through deep gloomy "goes towards the waters of Acheron, a sentence which can be under stood only on the supposition that Tartarus and Acheron had for the author a figurative meaning and lay in the depths not of the vicious found man at earth but of the sky.

The mocking verses of an epigram of Callimachus, a man of learning as well as a poet, 50 below? Deep is well known. "Charidas, what is there down lies. And All the of darkness. But what journeys upwards? Pluto? A fable. " Catullus was to say as much, less lightly, with a deeper feeling. "Suns can set and rise again, when our brief light is extinguished, must sleep for an but we, my Oriental religions, p. 180; 276, n. 51 p. 176. 48 See 49 See Lecture III, pp. , 15, 3 : ft Xapi Sa r( TO.

We never find in them a promise to the unfor of con tunate, weighed down by misadventure and infirmities, solation or compensation in the Beyond. The systematic astrology of the Greeks limits its horizon to this world, although traces of the belief in Hades subsist in its vocabulary and its predictions and although this same astral divination inspired in the mys teries certain eschatological theories, as we shall see later. 49 The rationalistic and scientific period of Hellenic thought which began, as we have said, with Aristotle, filled the Hel lenistic period and continued until the century of Augustus.

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