Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (Studies in the by Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui

By Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui

Many fresh discoveries have proven the significance of Orphism for historical Greek faith, philosophy and literature. Its nature and position are nonetheless, although, one of the so much debated difficulties of Classical scholarship. A cornerstone of the query is its dating to Christianity, which sleek authors have too frequently mentioned from apologetic views or projections of the Christian version into its intended precedent. in addition to, sleek methods are strongly in response to historical ones, on account that Orpheus and the poems and mysteries attributed to him have been basic within the non secular controversies of past due Antiquity. either Pagan and Christian authors frequently current Orphism as a precedent, substitute or imitation of Chistianity.This loose and thorough research of the traditional resources sheds gentle on those arguable questions. The presence of the Orphic culture in Imperial Age, documented through literary and epigraphical facts, is faced with the informations transmitted by means of Christian apologists on Orphic poems and cults. The manifold Christian remedies of Pagan resources, and their specific price to appreciate Greek faith, are illuminated by means of this particular case, which exemplifies the complicated stumble upon among Classical tradition and Jewish-Christian culture.

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On the other hand, the restriction of sources to testimonies authorized by the name of Orpheus, along with other, clearly connected phenomena such as the tablets, may ignore some evidence that could be intimately related to them, and perhaps it may include some other pieces that are only superficially linked to the general phenomenon. But the portrait of the process of theorization and intellectual unification of the mysteries will be trustworthy in its general lines. As a process of speculation arising from the experience of the mysteries, Orphism is at the same time something more and something less than this experience: Aristotle said (fr.

Bernabé 2004, 97–101). In this case over-scepticism constructs from a preconceived idea an image of messy disorder without proofs and against the evidence. 24 I. Introduction exercise caution in supposing that all Orphic poetry followed the apparently tidy structure of this late compilation. The connection between cosmogony and eschatology is a desideratum of modern scholarship, reluctant to conceive of a religious doctrine that is not systematic. Yet such connection is far from assured. A wide array of theogonies and eschatological claims circulated under the name of Orpheus, and not all were compelled to follow the same arrangement.

Dionysus, as offspring of the incestuous union of Zeus and his daughter Persephone, is directly linked to the contents of the Orphic theogonic traditions; on the other hand, at least in some versions, mortals sprang from the ashes of the Titans when they were thunderstruck by Zeus, which has fundamental anthropological implications intimately connected with eschatology. If the life of the soul in the body is expiation for the primordial fault of the cosmic ancestors of mankind, only after death can this atonement come to an end.

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