Home > Library > The Classics > Thomas Taylor > Two Orations Of The Emperor Julian > Introduction


p. 5


Emperor Julian, the author of the two following Orations, is well known in the character of a Sovereign and an Apostate which he once sustained, but very few are acquainted with him in the characters of a Theologist and Philosopher, which he displays through the whole of his works, in a manner by no means contemptible or weak. It is true, indeed, that his philosophical and theological attainments are not to be compared with those of Pythagoras, Plato, and Proclus, who appear to have arrived at the summit of human piety and wisdom, or with those of many of the Platonists prior and posterior to Proclus; but, at the same time, they were certainly far superior to those which many celebrated antients possessed, or which even fell to the share of such a man as the biographer Plutarch.

Indeed it is impossible that a man burthened

p. 6

with the weight of a corrupt empire, such as that of Rome, or that the governor of any community except a republic, like that of Plato, should be able to philosophize in the most exquisite degree, and leave monuments behind him of perfect erudition and science. Julian, however, appears to have possessed as much of the philosophical genius as could possibly be the portion of an Emperor of Rome, and was doubtless as much superior to any other Emperor, either prior or posterior to him, as the philosophy and theology which he zealously professed transcend all others in dignity and worth. Hence, in the ensuing orations, he has happily blended the majestic diction of a Roman Emperor with the gravity of sentiment peculiar to a Platonic philosopher, and with that scientific and manly piety which is so conspicuous in the writings of antient theologists. His language is, indeed, highly magnificent, and in every respect becoming the exalted rank which he sustained, and the great importance of the subjects of his discourse: in short, the grandeur of his soul is so visible in his composition, that we may safely credit what he asserted of himself, that he was formerly Alexander the Great. And if we consider the actions

p. 7

of Alexander and Julian, we shall easily be induced to believe, that it was one and the same person who, in different periods, induced the Indians, Bactrians, and inhabitants of Caucasus, to worship the Grecian deities: took down the contemptible ensign of his predecessor, and raised in its stead the majestic Roman eagles; and every where endeavoured to restore a religion which is coeval with the universe, by banishing gigantically-daring, and barbaric belief.

The first of these orations, which celebrates that glorious divinity, the Sun, is not only valuable for the piety and eloquence displayed in its composition, but for its containing much important information from a treatise of Jamblichus on the gods, which is unfortunately lost. The name of Jamblichus must, indeed, be dear to every genuine lover of Platonism, and any work replete with his doctrines may certainly, with justice, lay claim to immortality. However, as the theology of Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato, does not appear to have been unfolded in the most consummate perfection, even by Jamblichus himself, this great talk being reserved for the incomparable Proclus, we shall find in such books of Proclus as are fortunately

p. 8

preserved, a more accurate account in some particulars of the essence and powers of the Sun. This account I shall lay before the reader, (after I have premised a few particulars concerning the existence and nature of the gods), that he may see in what the Emperor's discourse is defective, and in what it is agreeable to the truth.

That after the first cause, then, who, from the transcendent excellence of his nature, was justly considered by all the, pious antients as superessential and ineffable, there should be a divine multitude, or, in other words, gods subordinate indeed to the first, but at the same time exquisitely allied to him, is a doctrine so congenial with the unperverted conceptions of the soul, that it can only be rejected during the most degraded generations of mankind: for if there be no such thing as a vacuum either in incorporeal or corporeal natures, and if in every well-ordered progression the similar precedes the dissimilar, and this, so as to cause the whole series to be united in the most perfect degree, it is necessary that the first progeny of the first god should be no other than gods. 1

p. 9

Indeed, those who are skilled in the most scientific dialectic of Plato, know that a unity or monad is every where the leader of a kindred multitude; and that, in consequence of this, there is one first nature and many natures, one first soul and many souls, one first intellect and many intellects, and one first god and a kindred multitude of gods.

But as this highest god, from the transcendent simplicity of his nature, was profoundly called by the Platonic philosophers "the one", hence all the gods, considered according to the characteristics or summits of their natures, will be "unities"; but they will differ from the first cause in this, that he is alone superessential without any addition, and is perfectly exempt from all habitude or alliance to any other nature, whereas each of the other gods is participated by something inferior to itself, viz. either by being, life, intellect, soul, or body, from which participations all the divine orders are produced, and through which they become subordinate to the highest god.

In addition, therefore, to what I have said concerning the first cause, and the gods, his

p. 10

immediate progeny, in my Introduction to Plato's Parmenides, the following observations, extracted from the 6th book of Proclus, on that most theological dialogue, will, I doubt not, be highly acceptable to the truly liberal reader. "The one", then, is the principle of all things, since to be united is to every thing good, and the greatest of goods; but that which is every way separated from unity is evil, and the greatest of evils; since it becomes the cause of dissimilitude, privation of sympathy, division, and a departure from a subsistence according to nature. The first cause, therefore, as supplying all things with the greatest good, unites all things, and is, on this account, called "the one". And hence the gods, from their surpassing similitude to the first god, will be unities proceeding from this one principle, and yet ineffably absorbed in his nature. Thus, for instance, (that we may illustrate this doctrine by an example) we perceive many causes of light, some of which are celestial and others sublunary; for light proceeds to our terrestrial abode from material fire, from the moon, and from the other stars, and this, so as to be different according to the difference of its cause. But if we explore the one monad of all mundane light,

p. 11

from which other lucid natures and sources of light derive their subsistence, we shall find that it is no other, than the apparent orb of the Sun; for this orbicular body proceeds, as it is said, from. an occult and supermundane order, and disseminates in all mundane natures a light commensurate with each."

"Shall we say then that this apparent body is the principle of light? But this is endued with interval, and is divisible, and light proceeds from the different parts which it contains. But we are at present investigating the one principle of light: shall we say, therefore, that the ruling soul of this body generates mundane light? This indeed produces light, but not primarily, for it is itself multitude; and light contains a representation of a simple and uniform subsistence. May not intellect therefore, which is the cause of soul, be the fountain of this light! Intellect, indeed, is more united than soul, but is not that which is properly and primarily the principle of light. It remains, therefore, that the one of this intellect, its summit, and, as it were, flower, must be the first principle of mundane light. For this is properly the sun which reigns over the visible place, and, according

p. 12

to Plato in the Republic, is the offspring of "the good"; since every unity proceeds from thence, and every deity is the progeny of the unity of unities, and the fountain of the gods. And as "the good" is the principle of light to intelligibles, in like manner the unity of the solar order is the principle of light to all visible natures, and is analogous to the good, in which it is occultly established, and from which it never departs."

"But this unity having an order prior to the solar intellect, there is also in intellect, so far as intellect, a unity participated from this unity, which is emitted into it like a seed, and through which intellect is united with the unity or deity of the sun. This, too, is the case with the soul of the sun; for this, through "the one" which she contains, is elevated through "the one" of intellect as a medium, to the deity of the sun. And we must understand the same with respect to the body of the sun, that there is in this a CERTAIN resounding echo, as it were, of the primary solar "one": for it is necessary that the solar body should participate of things superior to itself; of soul, according to the life which is disseminated in it; of intellect, according to its form; and of unity, according to its one, since soul

p. 18

participates both of intellect and this one, and participations are different from the things which are participated. You may say, therefore, that the proximate cause of the solar light is this "unity" of the solar orb."

"In like manner, if we should investigate the root, as it were, of all bodies, from which celestial and sublunary bodies, wholes and parts, blossom into existence, we may not improperly say that this is "Nature", which is the principle of motion and rest to all bodies, and which is established in them, whether they are in motion or at rest. But I mean by "Nature", the one life of the world, which, being subordinate to intellect and soul, participates through these of generation. And this, indeed, is more a principle than many and partial natures, but is not that which is properly the principle of bodies; for this contains a multitude of powers, and through such as are different, governs different parts of the universe: but we are now investigating the one and common principle of all bodies, and not many and distributed principles. If, therefore, we wish to discover this one principle, we must raise ourselves to that which is most united in Nature to its flower, and that

p. 14

through which it is a deity, by which it is suspended from its proper fountain, connects, unites, and causes the universe to have a sympathetic consent with itself. This "one", therefore, is the principle of all generation) and is that which reigns over the many powers of Nature, over partial natures, and universally over every thing subject to the dominion of Nature."

Thus far Proclus, from which admirable passage it is easy to infer that principles are every where unities, and that the highest principles are no other than gods or superessential blossoms, involved in unproceeding union with the first god, and absorbed in ineffable light. But the same incomparable man farther observes, "All these unities are in each other, and are profoundly united with each other, and their union is far greater than the communion and sameness which subsist in beings; for in these there is, indeed, a mutual mixture of forms, similitude and friendship, and a participation of each other; but the union of the gods, as being a union of unities, is much more uniform, ineffable, and transcendent: for here "all are in all" which does not take place in forms or ideas; 1 and their

p. 15

unmingled purity, and the characteristic of each, in a manner far surpassing the diversity in ideas, preserves their natures unconfused, and distinguishes their peculiar powers. Hence some of them are more universal, and others more particular; some of them are characterized according to abiding, others according to progression, and others according to conversion; some again are generative, others reductive, and others demiurgic; and universally there are different characteristics of different gods, viz. the connective, perfective, demiurgic assimilative, and such others as are celebrated posterior to these: so that all are in all, and yet each is, at the same time, separate and distinct."

"Indeed, we obtain this knowledge of their union and characteristics from the natures by which they are participated; for, with respect to the apparent gods, we say, that there is one soul of the sun and another of the earth directing our attention to the apparent bodies of these divinities, which possess much variety in their essence, powers, and dignity among wholes. As, therefore, we apprehend the difference of incorporeal essences from sensible inspection, in like manner from the variety of incorporeal essences we are enabled

p. 16

to know something of the unmingled distinction of the first and superessential unities, and of the characteristics of each; for each unity has a multitude suspended from its nature, which is either intelligible 1 alone, or, at the same time, intelligible and intellectual, or intellectual alone; and this last is either participated or not participated, and this again is either supermundane or mundane: and thus far does the progression of the unities extend." And, shortly after, he adds, "As trees by their extremities are rooted in the earth, and through this are earthly in every part, in the same manner divine natures are rooted by their summits in "the one", and each is a "unity" and "one", through its unconfused union with "the one itself"."

If the reader, therefore, unites these beautiful passages with what I have delivered concerning the gods, in my Introduction to the Parmenides, and has, at the same time, a genius adapted to such speculations, he will find that the observation of Jamblichus is no less admirable than true, "that a knowledge of the Gods is virtue, wisdom, and consummate felicity, and assimilates us to the Gods

p. 17

" He will find that the theology of Plato is the progeny of the most consummate science and wisdom, and that it is as much superior to all other theological systems which oppose it, as reality to fiction, or intellect to irrational opinion.

Having premised thus much, I shall now present the reader with an account of the nature of the Sun, extracted from Proclus on Plato's Theology, from his Commentaries on the Timus, and from his Scholia on the Cratylus, in which he will find the most arcane and perfect information concerning this mighty divinity which can perhaps at present be obtained. 1

The fontal sun, then, subsists in Jupiter, the perfect artificer of the world, who produced the hypostasis of, the sun from his own essence. Through the solar fountain contained in his essence, the Demiurgus generates solar powers in the principles of the universe, and a triad of solar gods, through which all things are unfolded into light, and are perfected and replenished with intellectual

p. 18

goods; through the first of these solar monads participating unpolluted light and intelligible harmony; but from the other two, efficacious power, vigour, and demiurgic perfection. The sun subsists in the most beautiful proportion to "the good": for as the splendour proceeding from "the good" is the light of intelligible natures; so that proceeding from Apollo is the light of the intellectual world; and that which emanates from the apparent sun is the light of the sensible world. And both the sun and Apollo are analogous to the good; but sensible light and intellectual truth are analogous to superessential light. But though Apollo and the sun subsist in wonderful union with each other, yet they likewise inherit a proper distinction and diversity of nature. Hence, by poets inspired by Phbus, the different generative causes of the two are celebrated, and the fountains are distinguished from which their hypostasis is derived. At the same time they are described as closely united with each other, and are celebrated with each other's mutual appellations: for the sun vehemently rejoices to be celebrated as Apollo; and Apollo, when he is invoked as the sun, benignantly imparts the splendid light of truth. It is the illustrious

p. 19

property of Apollo to collect multitude into one, to comprehend number in one, and from one to produce many natures; to convolve in himself, through intellectual simplicity, all the variety of secondary natures; and, through one hyparxis, to collect into one multiform essences and powers. This god, through a simplicity exempt from multitude, imparts to secondary natures "prophetic truth"; for that which is simple is the same with. that which is true: but through his liberated essence he imparts "a purifying, unpolluted, and preserving power": and "his emission of arrows" is the symbol of his destroying every thing inordinate, wandering, and immoderate in the world. But his revolution is the symbol of the harmonic motion of the universe, collecting all things into union and consent. And these four powers of the god may be accommodated to the three solar monads, which he contains. The first monad 1, therefore, of this god is enunciative of truth, and of the intellectual light which subsists occultly in the gods. But the second 2 is destructive of every thing wandering and confused:

p. 20

but the third 1 causes all things to subsist in symmetry and familiarity with each other, through harmonic reasons. And the unpolluted and most pure cause, which he comprehends in himself, obtains the principality, illuminating all things with perfection and power, according to nature, and banishing every thing contrary to these.

Hence, of the solar triad, the first monad unfolds intellectual light, enunciates it to all secondary natures, fills all things with universal truth, and converts them to the intellect of the gods; which employment is ascribed to the prophetic power of Apollo, who produces into light the truth contained ill divine natures, and perfects that which is unknown in the secondary orders of things. But the second and third monads are the causes of efficacious vigour, demiurgic effection in the universe, and perfect energy, according to which these monads adorn every sensible nature, and exterminate every thing indefinite and inordinate in the world.

And one monad is analogous to musical fabrication, and to the harmonic providence of natures which are moved. But the second

p. 21

is analogous to that which is destructive of all confusion, and of that perturbation which is contrary to form, and the orderly disposition of the universe. But the third monad, which supplies all things with an abundant communion of beauty, and extends true beautitude to all things, bounds the solar principles, and guards its triple progression. In a similar manner, likewise, it illuminates progressions with a perfect and intellectual measure of a blessed life, by those purifying and ponian powers of the king Apollo, which obtain an analogous principality in the sun.--The sun is allotted a supermundane 1 order

p. 22

in the world, an unbegotten supremacy among generated forms, and an intellectual dignity among sensible natures. Hence he

p. 23

has a twofold progression, one in conjunction with the other mundane gods, but the other exempt from them, supernatural and unknown. For the Demiurgus, according to Plato in the Timus, enkindled in the solar sphere a light unlike the splendour of the other planets, producing it from his own essence, extending to mundane natures, as it were from certain secret recesses, a symbol of intellectual essences, and exhibiting to the universe the arcane nature of the supermundane gods. Hence, when the sun first arose, he astonished the mundane gods, all of whom were desirous of dancing round him, and of being replenished with his light. The sun, too, governs the twofold co-ordinations of the world, which co-ordinations are denominated hands, by those who are skilled in divine concerns, because they are effective, motive, and demiurgic of the universe. But they are considered as twofold; one the right hand, but the other the left.

And lastly, the sun being supermundane, emits the fountains of light; for among supermundane natures there is a solar world and total light; and this light is a monad prior to the empyrean, therial, and material

p. 24

worlds 1. And thus much for an account of the sun, from Proclus, "On the Timus and Theology of Plato": the following is from his Scholia on the Cratylus.

In the first place, then, Proclus informs us, that there is a great correspondence between the Coric series, or the order belonging to Proserpine, and the Apolloniacal; for the former is the unity of the middle triad of Rulers, (meaning of the supermundane gods) and emits from herself vivific powers; but the latter converts the solar principles to one union: and the solar principles are allotted a subsistence immediately after the vivific. Hence (says he) according to Orpheus, when Ceres delivered up the government to Proserpine, she thus admonished her:

Αυταρ Απολλωνος θαλερον λεχος εισαναβασα,

Τεξεται αγλαα τεκνα πυριφλεγεθοντα προσωποι

For thus the god fam'd offspring shall beget,

Refulgent with the beams of glowing fire.

p. 25

But how could this be the case, unless there was a considerable degree of communion between these divinities.

But it is requisite to know thus much concerning Apollo, that, according to the first and most natural conception, his name signifies the cause of union, and that power which collects multitude into one; and this mode of speculation concerning his name harmonizes with all the orders of the god. After this, he observes, in answer to the question why Socrates, in the Cratylus, begins from the "medicinal" power of the gods, proceeds through his "prophetic" and "arrow-darting" powers, and lastly ends in his harmonic power, that all the energies of this divinity subsist in all the orders of beings, but that different energies appear to have more or less dominion in different orders: thus, for instance, the "medicinal" power of Apollo is most apparent in the sublunary region, for

There slaughter, rage, and countless Ills beside,

Disease, decay, and rottenness reside. 1

And as these are moved in an inordinate

p. 26

manner, they require to be restored from a condition contrary, into one agreeable to nature, and from incommensuration and manifold division, into symmetry and union.

But the "prophetic" energy of the god is most apparent in the heavens; for there his enunciative power shines forth, unfolding intelligible goods to celestial natures, and on this account he revolves together with the sun, with whom he participates the same intellect in common; since the sun also illuminates whatever heaven contains, and extends a unifying power to all its parts. But his "arrow-darting" energy mostly prevails among "the liberated" 1 gods; for there ruling over "the wholes" 2 which the universe contains, he excites their motions by his rays, which are always assimilated to arrows, extirpates every thing inordinate, and fills all things with demiurgic gifts. And though he has a separate and exempt subsistence, he reaches all things by his energies.

Again, his harmonic power is more predominant

p. 27

in the "ruling supermundane" order; for it is this divinity who harmonizing the universe, establishes about himself according to one union the choir of the Muses, and produces by this means, as a certain Theurgist says, "the harmony of exulting light"." Apollo, therefore, as we have shewn, is "harmonic", and this is likewise the case with the other Apollos 1 which are contained in the earth, and the other spheres; but this power appears in some places more and in others less. These powers too, subsist in the god himself in an united manner, and exempt from other natures, but in those attendants of the gods who are superior to us, divisibly and according to participation; for there is a great multitude of "medicinal, prophetic, harmonic, and arrow-darting" angels, dmons, and heroes, suspended from Apollo, who distribute

p. 28

in a partial manner the uniform powers of the god.

But it is necessary to consider each of these powers according to one definite characteristic; as, for instance, his "harmonic" power, according to its binding together separated multitude; his "prophetic" power, according to the enunciative; his "arrow-darting" power, according to its being subvertive of an inordinate nature; and his medicinal power, according to its perfective energy. We should likewise speculate these characteristics differently in gods, angels, dmons, heroes, men, animals, and plants; for the powers of the gods extend from on high to the last of things, and at the same time appear in an accommodated manner in each; and the Telestic or mystic art endeavours through sympathy to conjoin these ultimate participants with the gods. But in all these orders we must carefully observe, that this god is the cause of union to multiplied natures: for his "medicinal" power, which takes away the "multiform" nature of disease, imparts "uniform" health; since health is symmetry, and a subsistence according to nature, but that which is contrary to nature is multifarious. Thus too, his "prophetic" power,

p. 29

which unfolds the simplicity of truth, takes away the variety of that which is false; but his "arrow-darting" power, which exterminates every thing furious and wild, but prepares that which is orderly and gentle to exercise dominion, vindicates to itself unity, and exterminates a disordered nature tending to multitude: and his "musical" power, through rythm and harmony, places a bond, friendship and union in "wholes", and subdues the contraries of these.

And all these powers, indeed, subsist primarily in an exempt manner and uniformly in the demiurgus 1 of wholes, but secondarily and separately in Apollo. Hence Apollo is not the same with the demiurgic intellect; for this comprehends these powers totally and paternally, but Apollo, with subjection, imitating his father; since all the energies and powers of secondary gods, are comprehended in the Demiurgus according to cause. And the Demiurgus fabricates and adorns the universe according to all these powers, and in a collected manner; but the other deities which

p. 30

proceed from him, co-operate with their father according to different powers.

Thus far the truly admirable Proclus, who certainly merited the appellation of "Coryphus" which is given him by Damascius, in the most eminent degree; for he was beyond all doubt the man who, in the language of Ammonius Hermeas 1, possessed the ability of interpreting the doctrines of the ancients, and a scientific judgment of the nature of things, in the greatest perfection possible to man. For my own part, indeed, the whole of time would not be sufficient to pay him thanks adequate to the benefits which I have received from his incomparable works; and I shall consider the employment (if permitted me) of translating and illustrating the whole of his philosophical works in English, as forming a very principal part of the felicity of my life. I only add farther concerning this Oration to the Sun, that it is addressed to one) Sallust, who was a governor of some Roman province, who appears to have been greatly esteemed by the Emperor, and who of course was a professor of the genuine religion of mankind.

p. 31

With respect to the Oration to the Mother of the Gods, it is necessary to observe, that this divinity first subsists at the summit of that order of gods which is called by the Chaldean theologists νοητος και νεορο that she is there no other than the celebrated goddess "Night"; and that she produces from thence, in the "intellectual" order, "Rhea, Ceres, Tethys" and "Juno", each of whom, from subsisting according to the same characteristic, is the mother of all the divinities respectively subordinate to each. So that this vivific series, or luminous chain, commences from the occult goddess Night, and extends to the utmost extremities of animated being. Indeed, the various orders of the gods are in reality no other than the golden chain of Homer 1, the topmost link of which is suspended, from the ineffable principle of all things, and whose series is terminated only

p. 32

by the dark, fluctuating, and rebounding receptacle of matter.

I shall only observe farther at present, that the Emperor's explanation of the mystic fable, respecting Attis and the Mother of the Gods is agreeable to that of the philosopher Sallust, in his treatise "On the Gods and the World", as may be seen in Chap. IV. of my translation of that invaluable work. I shall therefore conclude this Introduction with a hymn to "Apollo" and the "Sun", considered as in a certain respect one and the same divinity, and in which the reader will find an epitome of a great part, of the arcane information concerning this mighty deity which has been already delivered.


See this most important subject more largely discussed in my Introduction to the Parmenides.

For in these all are in each, but not all in all.

For an account of the "Intelligible Gods", see my Introduction to the Parmenides.

The first part of this account is already published, and forms a part of one of the notes to my translation of the Cratylus: but the latter part from Proclus on the Cratylus was never before this made public.

\"i.e." Mercury.



That the Platonic reader may be demonstratively convinced that the Sun ranks in the "supermundane" order of gods, let him attend to the following observations, which belong to the greatest arcana of the ancient theology. Every order of gods commences from a "monad", or proximately exempt producing cause: for it is necessary, that every divine cause should be to its progeny what the first cause is to all the divine orders; since it can no otherwise produce in the best manner, than by imitating that which is best. But the first cause in an "imparticipable" one, or, in other words, is not consubsistent with his progeny; and hence every divine order must have a presubsisting and primary principle of its progression, which, from its similitude to the first cause, is very properly called a "monad". The immediate progeny, too, of every divine monad, must be exquisitely allied to the monad Its cause, since the similar, In every well-ordered progression, must always subsist prior to the dissimilar. This being premised, the reader, "who knows scientifically" the p. 22 number of the divine orders, may easily collect, that as "the ineffable one", who is superior to an intelligible essence, is the "monad" of first intelligibles, which he illuminates with superessential light; so "Phanes", or "intelligible intellect", which is the extremity of the intelligible order, is the "monad of intellectuals", whom he illuminates with intelligible light. In like manner "Jupiter", who is the boundary of the gods, "properly called intellectual", is the "king" or "monad" of the "supermundane gods", whom he illuminates with intellectual light; and consequently the "Sun" must subsist at the extremity of the supermundane order, must be the "monad" of the "mundane gods", and must illuminate sensible natures with "supermundane light": for otherwise the mundane gods would not be suspended from a monad analogous to the other divine orders. And lastly, "Bacchus", or the "mundane intellect", is the "monad" of the "Titans", or the "ultimate artificers of things", whom he Illuminates with "light of a mundane" characteristic. Hence, Bacchus is the cause of the mundane properties of light, viz. of those properties which are inseparable from a corporeal nature, and which are found to subsist in visible light: for light, as I have elsewhere shewn from Proclus, is an immaterial body.

I only add, that the reader who "profoundly" understands this theory, may consider himself as possessing the key which easily opens the treasury of the highest Wisdom: but let not any one who has not "legitimately" studied the philosophy of Plato, deceive himself by supposing that this theory may be understood by barely reading over the above observations; for it is certainly ridiculous in the extreme to imagine that a theory like the preceding, which respects the most sublime objects of speculation, which is the result of the most consummate science, and which depends on a variety of previous disciplines, can be apprehended as soon as mentioned: the man that can entertain an opinion so stupid and arrogant, is not only "ignorant" in matters of the highest importance, but is even "ignorant of his ignorance"!

have already shewn in my notes on the Cratylus, that the celebrated seven worlds of the Chaldans are to be distributed as follows: One empyrean; three therial, situated above the inerratic sphere; and three material, consisting of the inerratic sphere, the seven planets, and the sublunary region. As the Emperor, therefore, In this Hymn informs us that, according to the Assyrians, the sun moves in the middle of these seven worlds, he must consequently revolve in the last of the therial worlds.

These lines from Empedocles are as follow in the original:

Ενθα κοτος τε φονος τε, και αλλων εθνεα κηρων,

Αυχμησαι τε νοσοι, και σηψιες, εργα τε ρευστα.

For an account of this and the following order of gods, viz. the "supermundane", see my Introduction to the Parmenides, and notes on the Cratylus.

See my Introduction to the Timus for an account of these wholes.

In my Introduction to the Timus, I have shewn that, according to the ancient Theology, every sphere in the universe is surrounded with a multitude of gods in splendid orbicular bodies analogus to the number of the fixed stars; that these gods are subordinate to the gods of the spheres as being their Satellites; that they are characterized by the properties of the several spheres; and that they are distributed from all the various orders of the gods: so that, for instance, about the sphere of the sun, there is a solar Jupiter, Neptune, Vulcan, etc., and so of the rest.

\"i.e." In Jupiter.

In Aristot, de Interpretatione.

31:1 A
reader unskilled in the ancient theology will doubtless imagine from this, that as Homer's chain commences from Jupiter, hence Jupiter is no other than the first cause: to such it is necessary to observe, that Homer's chain, of which Jupiter is the monad or topmost link, is only a part of the whole chain, which commences from the first cause, as there are various orders of gods superior to Jupiter, the demiurgus of the world.
polyglot bible american bible society| polyglot bible american bible society
Home > Library > The Classics > Thomas Taylor > Two Orations Of The Emperor Julian > Introduction