ADDITION 28

from: The Roman Economy, Studies in Ancient Economic and Administrative History, A.H.M. Jones, Edited by P.A. Brunt, Rowman and Littlefield, 1974. [See: #10, 237].

"The greatest change which the Empire underwent in the early fourth century was, of course, the conversion of Constantine [see 1267] and the consequent rise of Christianity [Christianism] to be the dominant and eventually the sole religion of the Roman world. The change was gradual, and still not quite complete in the sixth century. John of Ephesus [c. 507 - 586] found many thousands of rustic pagans to baptize in Asia, Lydia, and Caria, lands where the propagation of Christianity had begun in apostolic days, and in the highest classes of society at Constantinople itself purges held under Justinian [Justinian I, Emperor 527 - 565 (483 - 565)] and Tiberius Constantine [Tiberius II Constantinus, Emperor 578 - 582 (d. 582)] revealed a substantial number of crypto-pagans, especially among intellectuals. The city of Carrhae in Mesopotamia was still predominantly pagan when it passed under Arab rule, and in the coastal mountains of Syria the sect of Nusairi to this day preserve a faith which is basically neoplatonic.30

By and large, however, the Greek East was conquered by a religion which was in origin and essence oriental. Christianity, it is true, assimilated many Greek elements in the course of its early history. From the first it ["Christianity"] adopted the Greek language [my guess: proto-Christians spoke Greek] [see #5, 157-158; etc. (Greek influence)]: its Old Testament was the Septuagint [keep in mind: there were versions (how many?) of the Septuagint (the Septuagint was written in Greek)], and its own holy books [which books? Apparently, in part, books later included in the New Testament] were initially written in Greek. In the development of the theology it made use of the concepts of Greek philosophy. But it was based on Jewish monotheism and the teaching of a Jewish Messiah." [108-109].

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from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1997.

"Cosmas Indicopleustes (...[2 Greek words], i.e. 'Cosmas, the Indian navigator'; mid-6th cent.), geographer. He was a merchant of Alexandria who may have become a monk. His 'Christian Topography' (...[2 Greek words]), in 12 books c. 547, attacks the Ptolemaic system in favour of various fantastic astronomical doctrines intended to harmonize with a literal understanding of the Bible. The chief value of the book lies in its geographical information (esp. on Sri Lanka) and its witness to the spread of the Christian Church at his time. In exegesis Cosmas follows Theodore of Mopsuestia; he was probably a Nestorian." [421].



from: The Christian Topography of Cosmas ["mid-6th cent."], an Egyptian Monk. Translated from the Greek, and Edited, with Notes and Introduction by J. W. McCrindle [1825 - 1913], Hakluyt Society: 1st ser., no. 98, Burt Franklin, Publisher, no date ("reprint of the 1897 edition"). ["398" pages]. [The "Appendix" includes drawings by Cosmas Indicopleustes, and, "Explanation of the Plates"].

[this reference, thanks to Robert J. Schadewald, "Onslow Free Thought Society--Newsletter--", March 2000 ("As late as 548 A.D., the Egyptian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes was vigorously defending the flat earth in his book Christian Topography.") (neilniss@onslowonline.net)].



"Editor's Preface.


The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes is one of the prodigies of literature. The boldness and perverse ingenuity with which its author, from a long array of irrelevant scripture texts, seeks to construct an impossible theory of the universe can scarcely fail to astonish everyone who reads it. It made its appearance at that period in the world's history, when Christendom, fast losing the light of Greek learning and culture, was soon to be shrouded in the long night of mediaeval ignorance and barbarism. The work reflects with singular distinctness this prominent characteristic of the age which produced it; for while Cosmas, on the one hand, held the principles of the Christian faith combined with others pervading the theology then current which led to the darkening of all true knowledge, he had, on the other hand, a somewhat considerable, if inexact, acquaintance with the philosophical and scientific speculations of the Greeks. He [Cosmas Indicopleustes] may thus not inaptly be compared to a two-headed Janus, with one face turned to the light of departing day, and the other to the shadows of the coming night." ["ix"].

"Cosmas tells us, in the outset of his work, that he has inserted notes (...[Greek word]) for the clearer exposition of the text (...[2 Greek words]). These notes he seems to have placed, not in the margin, but in the body of the work, after the text to which they refer. In our translation they appear in a similar position, but printed in a type somewhat smaller than that of the text." [xi].

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"Introduction.


Sources of the Text.


The Christian Topography of Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, or the Indian Navigator, has been preserved in two copies: one a parchment MS. [Manuscript] of the tenth century belonging to the Laurentian library in Florence, and containing the whole work except only the last leaf; the other, a very fine uncial MS. of the eighth or ninth century, belonging to the Vatican library, and containing sketches drawn by Cosmas himself, but wanting entirely the twelfth book, which is the last. There is, besides, in the Imperial library in Vienna, a Cosmas MS., but this contains only a few leaves of the Topography." ["i"].

"The Title of the Work."


"As Cosmas all through the work keeps harping, with the most provoking reiteration, on his doctrine that the universe consists of only two places, namely, the earth which is below the firmament, and heaven, which is above it, the term Topography designates the treatise properly enough; though on turning to peruse it for the first time, we should from its title expect its contents to be very different from what they are found to be." [iii].

"Notice of the Work by Photius, Patriarch of

Constantinople


Montfaucon [Bernard de Montfaucon 1655 - 1741] does not seem to have been aware that a brief notice of the Topography is to be found in the Bibliotheka of Photius [c. 810 - c. 895], the Patriarch of Constantinople, who was elected to that dignity in A.D. 858. Photius states that the work had for its title...[2 Greek words], and was an exposition extending to the eighth book. He does not give the author's name, but states that he flourished in the reign of the Roman Emperor Justinus [Justinus I, Emperor of the East, 518 - 527; Justinus II, Emperor of the East, 565 - 578], and dedicated his work to a certain Pamphilus. He condemns it as being below mediocrity in style, and faulty in its syntax; and at the same time calls in question the author's veracity, saying that he makes up stories so incredible that he may fairly be regarded as a writer of fables rather than of facts." [iii].

'Opinions of the Learned regarding the "Topography."


The condemnatory verdict of Photius upon the work of Cosmas has not been endorsed by modern opinion [?]. The style of the Topography has no doubt the shortcomings which the Patriarch pointed out; but Cosmas, it is proper to remember, expressly disclaims all pretensions to the learning of the schools. He pleads that from his early years he had been so engrossed in business, and had been besides so much abroad, that he had found no spare time for studying rules of grammar and the art of

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 composition; he could, therefore, only write in a homely style, without attempting any flights of rhetoric. Rhetoric, moreover would, he thought, be out of place in his books, since "he wrote for Christians, who had more need of correct notions than of fine phrases." The style has, notwithstanding, some redeeming points. Cosmas, in spite of his loose grammar, seldom fails to make his meaning clear, or to put forward his arguments with sufficient point and force. Some passages, besides, which give us an insight into the depth and fervour of his faith, rise to an eloquence which suggests the belief that, had he cultivated the art, he might have shone in pulpit oratory.'

[xi-xii].


'Bibliographical Notices.

The Topography was republished at Venice in 1776 in Gallandi's Bibliotheca veterum Patrum, and its most valuable sections were printed, along with a French translation, at Paris in 1855, in Charton's Voyageurs Anciens et Modernes. Its contents were made use of by Robertson in his Disquisition on Ancient India, and by Gibbon in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The latter, referring to the absurd theory of the world held by Cosmas, remarks that "the nonsense of the Monk was, nevertheless, mingled with the practical knowledge of the traveller".' [xiii].

["He [Edward Gibbon] devoured travel literature. His appetite was never sated, and this passion lasted a lifetime.46" (Gibbon and His Roman Empire, David P. Jordan, c1971 [see 1252], 52)].

"The System of the World According to

Cosmas."

"The Pagan theory which Cosmas especially detested, and made most frequently the subject of his scornful and violent invective, was that which maintained that the heavens were spherical and in constant revolution. He heaps text upon text to confute the advocates of this most pestilent doctrine, which, if admitted, would, he contended, abolish the future state and make the resurrection of Christ of no account.

But while Cosmas regarded as impious the doctrine that the heavens revolve, he admitted the revolution of the celestial luminaries, which, he held, were propelled in their courses by the angels, who do not live in heaven but are restricted to the a๋rial spaces below the firmament, until the resurrection.

All these and other views no less absurd, though interesting, Cosmas states and re-states with the most wearisome pertinacity, and holding them to be most vital verities, sanctioned alike by common sense and the paramount authority of divine Scripture, denounces again and again those REPROBATE CHRISTIANS who, instead of accepting them, prefer, through their perverse folly or downright wickedness, to adopt the miserable Pagan belief that earth and heaven are spherical, and that there are Antipodes [see (Augustine): #25, 553; Addition 20, 1068] on whom the rain must fall up." [xix-xx].

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"The Place of Cosmas in History."


'Mr. Beazley [Sir Raymond Beazley 1868 - 1955, in The Dawn of Modern Geography] concludes his long notice of the great Christian Cosmographer in these terms: "He felt himself to be the apostle of full supernatural theory in science. He knew that his work was unique. And such it has always been recognised--by some with rapture, by others with consternation, by most with derision. At least it is a monument of infinite, because quite unconscious, humour. 'For neither before him was any like unto him, neither shall be after.'"' [xxvi-xxvii] [End of Introduction].

"Book I of Cosmas, A Monk.1

[footnote 1, pertains to "Ptolemaic System of Astronomy" ("epicycles", etc.)]


Against those who, while wishing to profess Christianity, think

and imagine like the pagans that the heaven is spherical.

As many as ardently desire true knowledge and are lovers of the true light, and earnestly endeavour to become fellow-citizens of the saints in the age to come, who regard the Old and New Testament as in reality divine scripture, who are obedient to Moses and the Christ, who follow out to the end the principles they have adopted, who acknowledge that the world was produced by God out of mere nothing, and who believe that there is a resurrection of men and a judgment, and that the righteous shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; all these carefully examine the divine scriptures all throughout, to see whether in Moses, who wrote the account of the Creation, and in the other Prophets, they contain descriptions of the places and figures of the whole creation, among which is indicated also the position of the Kingdom of Heaven, which the Lord Christ promises God will give to righteous men. And when they find the Old and New Testaments to be in mutual harmony, they abide therein firmly grounded and immovable, in nothing confounded by their adversaries. But THOSE on the other hand WHO PRANK THEMSELVES OUT IN THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD, and are self-confident that by scholastic reasonings they can comprehend its figure and position, SCOFF AT ALL DIVINE SCRIPTURE AS A MASS OF FABLES, STIGMATISING MOSES AND THE PROPHETS, THE LORD CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES AS IDLE [FICTIONAL] BABBLERS,1 are given over to vain delusions; while with supercilious airs, as if they far surpassed in wisdom the rest of mankind, they attribute to the heavens a spherical figure and a circular motion, and by geometrical methods and calculations applied to the heavenly bodies, as well as by the abuse of words and by worldly craft, endeavour to grasp the position and figure of the world by means of the solar and lunar eclipses, leading others into error while they are in error themselves in maintaining that such phenomena could not present themselves if the figure was other than spherical...." ["7"-9].

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from: Dictionary of all Scriptures and Myths, G.A. Gaskell, 1960 (1923).

["An ambitious work indeed! Endeavours to explicate the symbolism underlying all religions. Perhaps its greatest lasting value is the rich abundance of quotations from a wide-ranging selection of religious writings. Chthonios Books" [Internet]].



'"Unless we learn to understand this metaphorical or hieroglyphic language of the ancient world, we shall look upon the Upanishads and on most of the Sacred Books of the East as mere childish twaddle [are they?]."
Max Mueller [commonly, Muller (1823 - 1900)]'. ["prologue"].




"Flesh of Jesus as Bread from Heaven"

'"The symbol was as much a metaphor in the historical ages of Egyptian history as are the metaphors of our own language. When the Egyptian spoke of 'eating' his god, he meant no more than we do when we speak of 'absorbing' a subject."--Sayce [A.H. Sayce 1845 - 1933], Rel. of Anc. Egypt. and Babyl., p. 244.' [282].

"Gospels"

'"The Gospel narrative, while related,--in Scripture fashion,--as of an actual particular person, and in terms derived from the physical plane,--is a mystical history only, of any person, and implies the spiritual possibilities of all persons. And hence, while using terms implying or derived from actual times, places, persons and events [like most Fiction], it does not really refer to these or make pretense to historical precision."--Ibid., p. 230.' ["Kingsford [Anna (Bonus) Kingsford [1846 - 1888], M.D.] and Maitland [Edward Maitland 1824 - 1897], The Perfect Way"]. [327].

'Sun:--

The great and universal symbol of the Higher Self,--God manifest,--the central source of Light and Life within the soul.

"There is no visible thing in all the world more worthy to serve as a type of God than the Sun, which illuminates with visible light itself first, and then all the celestial and elemental bodies."--Dante Alighieri [1265 - 1321], The Banquet, III. 12.' [730].

[Note: the quotation (not presented) that follows the preceding 3 lines, is credited to the Emperor Julian. The first portion (prior to 4 ellipses) appears principally concocted, the remaining portion appears to be a "loose" translation].

'"Later Manicheans taught expressly that MANI, BUDDAS, ZOROASTER, CHRIST, AND THE SUN, ARE THE SAME."--Neander [Johann August Wilhelm Neander 1789 - 1850], Church History, Vol. II. p. 198.' [731].

 

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'Appendix


Psycho-Analysis and the Scriptures


Myths and Scriptures bear a close resemblance to dreams, as comparison between them will show.

"Some dreams are very short; others are peculiarly rich in content, enact entire romances and seem to last a very long time. There are dreams as distinct as actual experiences, so distinct that for some time after waking we do not realise that they were dreams at all; others, which are ineffably faint, shadowy and blurred: in one and the same dream, even, there may be some parts of extraordinary vividness alternating with others so indistinct as to be almost wholly elusive. Again, dreams may be quite consistent or at any rate coherent, or even witty or fantastically beautiful; others again are confused, apparently imbecile, absurd or mad."

S. Freud [1856 - 1939], Lectures on Psycho-analysis, p. 73.

"Some Scriptures are very short, others are peculiarly rich in content, enact entire romances (Esther) and seem to last a very long time (Pentateuch). There are Scriptures as distinct as actual experiences, and therefore are mistaken for history (Gospels); others which are faint, shadowy and blurred (Psalms). In one and the same Scripture there may be some parts of extraordinary vividness alternating with others so indistinct as to be almost wholly elusive (Isaiah). Again, Scriptures may be quite consistent or at any rate coherent (Kings), or even witty or fantastically beautiful (Job); others again are confused, apparently imbecile, absurd or mad (Daniel, Revelation)."

Compared by present writer [G.A.

Gaskell 1844? - ] with Freud's statement....'

[844] [last page of book].

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