I am very encouraged by my recent efforts to find some of my important references from my 1980 Marylhurst College PLE program writings on the ancient peoples that worshiped the Trinitarian Godhead of Heru-Ausu-Atum / Heli-Os-Atomos / Eli-Yahu-Adon / Hari-Vasu-Atman, the Heliopolitan and Memphite Trikaya of the earliest Per-Ausu, Polieus / Pur-Usha Asyla Federations.
These Afro-Heleno-Semitic Biblical Peoples were always anti-racist mix tribe peoples, which has confused all those historians that have assumed that the Vedic Age term ‘arya’ was a racial term meaning ‘white’, as in the much later Tantric Buddhist name of Arya Tara or White Tara.
This morning while looking for a useful free internet source for my old references from the ancient Greek Historian, Herodotus, I again tried the website that I found yesterday, for the free use of the Loeb Classical Library, which I read and compared to the Penguin Classical Library, when I first began my studies back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
To construct a regionally inclusive history of the worship of the Heliopolitan Trinity of the Asyla Federations, I had to minimally familiarize myself with the entire Afro-Heleno-Semitic (Biblical) mega-tradition of their Trinity / Triple KA, Tri-kaya of Heliopolis and Memphis of Lower Egypt, Thebes and Amarna of Upper Egypt and Meroe, and of the Biblical Levant.
My sources for these comparative studies were interdisciplinary, and included the rich treasury of written materials of all kinds available in the ancient languages of the region.
Beginning to recover my old references from Herodotus, here is one that I used in my many papers regarding the classical asceticism of the Heliopolitan Asyla Federation Ascetics, the Biblical Tzaddiks and Eastern Sadhakas / Sadhus.
My opinion, that the extent of Egypt is such as my argument shows, is attested by the answer which (my judgment being already formed) I heard to have been given concerning Egypt by the oracle of Ammon. The men of the cities of Marea and Apis, in the part of Egypt bordering on Libya, thinking themselves to be not Egyptians but Libyans, and misliking the observance of the religious law which forbade them to eat cows’ flesh, sent to Ammon saying that they had no part or lot with Egypt; for they dwelt (said they) outside the Delta and did not consent to the ways of its people, and they wished to be suffered to eat of all foods. But the god forbade them: all the land, he said, watered by the Nile in its course was Egypt, and all who dwelt lower than the city Elephantine and drank of that river’s water were Egyptians. Such was the oracle given to them.HERODOTUS 18
My multiple theses regarding the related doctrines and practices that were common in the Heliopolitan Asyla Federations were all based upon my studies in the most ancient primary sources that I could access at the time. Since gaining access to the internet, my ability to prove my theses with all kinds of interdisciplinary evidence has improved many fold!
This otherwise good article [below in brackets] is completely remise in covering the TYCHE-FORTUNE-MONETA (Money) LAKSHMI (Lady Luck / LUCRETIA) related portraits or symbols on the other side of the allied PER-AUSU / PURUSHA / POLIEUS ‘POLIS’ coins. It also neglects to mention that such coins were originally the medium of legal exchange between the allied Heliopolitan Asyla League or Federation City-States.
Thus, even to the time of JESUS CHRIST, we have the stories of JESUS driving the money-changers out of the temple, and his admonition to…
Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s,
and unto God, what is God’s
No non-allied Polis coinage was a legal medium of exchange among Heliopolitan Polieus League members, because the cities that worshiped ‘false gods’ or ‘goddesses’ performed Tamasic human sacrifices to them, practices cannibalism, forbidden forms of chattel slavery and other ‘5 Ms’ Vamacara and a-dharmic pseudo-Polieus Tamasic rituals and customs.
Originally, like the earliest Egyptian Heliopolitan Nome Alliances, all of the original Rhodes and Minoan related Heliopolitan Asyla Federation members swore allegiance to their religious ‘League of Devotees’ treaties in the name of their ‘Universal’ Godhead and SHAKTI / TYCHE.
These earliest Heliopolitan Asyla Federation treaties imposed specific religious and political standards and responsibilities on their POLIEUS member city-states. These laws included which members could mint coins and use these as a legal medium of exchange in trade and temple offerings among the Federation members.
It was forbidden for allied devotees of God to trade with anti-God non-devotees, to marry or to make military alliances with non-devotees. The coinage of ‘false gods or goddesses’ was considered to be tainted with the grotesquely evil doctrines and practices, like human sacrifice, of such Tamasic societies. Thus LAXMI in the form of gold, silver or other metals, had to be ‘rescued’ and purified by fire / melted down, before it could be used for trade or offered at any temple within a Heliopolitan Asyla Federation city.
The Greek TYCHE, Roman FORTUNA MONETA (Money), was the ‘Lady Luck’ / Fortune or LUKSHMI / LAXMI of every POLIEUS / PER-AUSU / PURUSHA city-state.
She was sacred to Her POLIEUS / PURUSHA and could not be allowed to be captured and offered to false gods. Also, she could not be exchanged with the ‘filthy lucre’ of false gods. Thus there were laws against the business of the money changers who made a career out changing the illegal unofferable filthy lucre for offerable coinage at federation temples. This why JESUS overturned the tables of the money changers, and drove them out of the temple precinct.
Whose picture was on that coin? JESUS asked to point-out that it was not an offerable-to-God coin!
Originally Asyla Federation coins had a picture or symbol of a recognized form of POLIEUS / PER-AUSU / PURUSHA and TYCHE-FORTUNA or LAXMI on them.
Later with the rise of polytheism and Rajarshic false king worship, the images of mundane kings and queens identified their coinage and eventually not only the cities of their minting, but the regnal year of their minting.
Emperor Vespasian tests
the power of the ‘God’ Serapis.
From the Loeb Classical Library: Tacitus Histories Book 4 End 81, 82, 83, 84
81 During the months while Vespasian was waiting at Alexandria for the regular season of the summer winds and a settled sea, many marvels continued to mark the favour of heaven and a certain partiality of the gods toward him. One of the common people of Alexandria, well known for his loss of sight, threw himself before Vespasian’s knees, praying him with groans to cure his blindness, being so directed by the god Serapis, whom this most superstitious of nations worships before all others; and he besought the emperor to deign to moisten his cheeks and eyes with his spittle. Another, whose hand was useless, prompted by the same god, begged Caesar to step and trample on it. Vespasian at first ridiculed these appeals and treated them with scorn; then, when the men persisted, he began at one moment to fear the discredit of failure, at another to be inspired with hopes of success by the appeals of the suppliants and the flattery of his courtiers: finally, he directed the physicians to give their opinion as to whether such blindness and infirmity could be overcome by human aid. Their reply treated the two cases differently: they said that in the first the power of sight had not been completely eaten away and it would return if the obstacles were removed; in the other, the joints had slipped and become displaced, but they could be restored if a healing pressure were applied to them. Such perhaps was the wish of the gods, and it might be that the emperor had been chosen for this divine service; in any case, if a cure were obtained, the glory would be Caesar’s, but in the event of failure, ridicule would fall only on the poor suppliants. So Vespasian, believing that his good fortune was capable of anything and that nothing was any longer incredible, with a smiling countenance, and amid intense excitement on the part of the bystanders, did as he was asked to do. The hand was instantly restored to use, and the day again shone for the blind man. Both facts are told by eye-witnesses even now when falsehood brings no reward.
82 These events gave Vespasian a deeper desire to visit the sanctuary of the god to consult him with regard to his imperial fortune: he ordered all to be excluded from the temple. Then after he had entered the temple and was absorbed in contemplation of the god, he saw behind him one of the leading men of Egypt, named Basilides, who he knew was detained by sickness in a place many days’ journey distant from Alexandria. He asked the priests whether Basilides had entered the temple on that day; he questioned the passers-by whether he had been seen in the city; finally, he sent some cavalry and found that at that moment he had been eighty miles away: then he concluded that this was a supernatural vision and drew a prophecy from the name Basilides.
Vespasian visits the temple of Serapis and has a vision of BASILIDES and “drew a prophecy from the name Basilides.” BASIL-IDES, like the stater (coin) of BAZODEO / VASUDEVA in Indo-Greek India, plus the Greek suffix -Ides or Das, meant ‘Son or Servant-of’ just as the suffix -Das (or feminine -Dasi) means in India. In Egypt, the Deity Name WASU in Thebes and AUSU (AUSAR is OSIRIS) in Heliopolis was cognate with Sanskrit VASU-DEVA (BASU / Greek BAZO) and the Jews’ YAHU (See TOVA-YAHU as VASU-DEVA).
Thus BASIL-IDES meant ‘Son or Servant-of’ BASILEOS-BASILEOS, VASUDEVA of the VASUDEVAS, i.e. the King of Kings / God.
83 The origin of this god has not yet been generally treated by our authors: the Egyptian priests tell the following story, that when King Ptolemy, the first of the Macedonians to put the power of Egypt on a firm foundation, was giving the new city of Alexandria walls, temples, and religious rites, there appeared to him in his sleep a vision of a young man of extraordinary beauty and of more than human stature, who warned him to send his most faithful friends to Pontus and bring his statue hither; the vision said that this act would be a happy thing for the kingdom and that the city that received the god would be great and famous: after these words the youth seemed to be carried to heaven in a blaze of fire. Ptolemy, moved by this miraculous omen, disclosed this nocturnal vision to the Egyptian priests, whose business it is to interpret such things. When they proved to know little of Pontus and foreign countries, he questioned Timotheus, an Athenian of the clan of the Eumolpidae, whom he had called from Eleusis to preside over the sacred rites, and asked him what this religion was and what the divinity meant. Timotheus learned by questioning men who had travelled to Pontus that there was a city there called Sinope, and that not far from it there was a temple of Jupiter Dis, long famous among the natives: for there sits beside the god a female figure which most call Proserpina. But Ptolemy, although prone to superstitious fears after the nature of kings, when he once more felt secure, being more eager for pleasures than religious rites, began gradually to neglect the matter and to turn his attention to other things, until the same vision, now more terrible and insistent, threatened ruin upon the king himself and his kingdom unless his orders were carried out. Then Ptolemy directed that ambassadors and gifts should be despatched to King Scydrothemis — he ruled over the people of Sinope at that time — and when the embassy was about to sail he instructed them to visit Pythian Apollo. The ambassadors found the sea favourable; and the answer of the oracle was not uncertain: Apollo bade them go on and bring back the image of his father, but leave that of his sister.
Egyptian priests tell the story of how KOUROS BALADEVA appeared to King Ptolemy in a dream and instructed him to have his Murti brought from Sinope to Alexandria.
84 When the ambassadors reached Sinope, they delivered the gifts, requests, and messages of their king to Scydrothemis. He was all uncertainty, now fearing the god and again being terrified by the threats and opposition of his people; often he was tempted by the gifts and promises of the ambassadors. In the meantime three years passed during which Ptolemy did not lessen his zeal or his appeals; he increased the dignity of his ambassadors, the number of his ships, and the quantity of gold offered. Then a terrifying vision appeared to Scydrothemis, warning him not to hinder longer the purposes of the god: as he still hesitated, various disasters, diseases, and the evident anger of the gods, growing heavier from day to day, beset the king. He called an assembly of his people and made known to them the god’s orders, the visions that had appeared to him and to Ptolemy, and the misfortunes that were multiplying upon them: the people opposed their king; they were jealous of Egypt, afraid for themselves, and so gathered about the temple of the god. At this point the tale becomes stranger, for tradition says that the god himself, voluntarily embarking on the fleet that was lying on the shore, miraculously crossed the wide stretch of sea and reached Alexandria in two days. A temple, befitting the size of the city, was erected in the quarter called Rhacotis; there had previously been on that spot an ancient shrine dedicated to Serapis and Isis. Such is the most popular account of the origin and arrival of the god. Yet I am not unaware that there are some who maintain that the god was brought from Seleucia in Syria in the reign of Ptolemy III; still others claim that the same Ptolemy introduced the god, but that the place from which he came was Memphis, once a famous city and the bulwark of ancient Egypt. Many regard the god himself as identical with Aesculapius, because he cures the sick; some as Osiris, the oldest god among these peoples; still more identify him with Jupiter as the supreme lord of all things; the majority, however, arguing from the attributes of the god that are seen on his statue or from their own conjectures, hold him to be Father Dis.
The end of the priests’ story and the various ancient ideas on the origin and identity of the Serapis of Alexandria, whose tradition was melded with that of KRISHNA-BALADEVA during the Indo-Greek era of close religio-political relations between Alexandria-Indus, Taxila-Gandhara and Vrndavan-Mathura.
This excerpt from Ovid’s Metamorphoses book 15 is extremely important for many reasons, which I do not have time to explain right now. So I am just going to post it anyway, so that it can be compared to the story from Tacitus that I recently posted regarding how the murti of SERAPIS from Sinope came to Alexandria, Egypt.
Greek ASCELEPIOS (Roman AESCULAPIUS) travels in His giant ANANTA SESHA NAGA form from Epidaurus to Rome and saves the city from the plague.
Important connections confirm that ‘PLA (APOLLO / GOPALA) DELPHI calls ASCLEPIOS IASAS (JESUS) His “Son”.
Aesculapius, the god, saves Rome from plague
You Muses, goddesses present to poets, reveal, now (since you know, and spacious time cannot betray you) where Aesculapius, son of Coronis, came from, to be joined to the gods of Romulus’s city, that the deep Tiber flows around.
Once, plague tainted the air of Latium, and people’s bodies were ravaged by disease, pallid and bloodless. When they saw that their efforts were useless, and medical skill was useless, wearied with funeral rites, they sought help from the heavens, and travelled to Delphi, set at the centre of the earth, to the oracle of Phoebus, and prayed that he would aid them, in their misery, by a health-giving prophecy, and end their great city’s evil. The ground, the laurel-tree, and the quiver he holds himself, trembled together, and the tripod responded with these words, from the innermost sanctuary, troubling their fearful minds: ‘You should have looked in a nearer place, Romans, for what you seek here: even now, look for it from that nearer place: your help is not from Apollo, to lessen your pain, but Apollo’s son. Go, with good omens, and fetch my child.’
When the senate, in its wisdom, heard the god’s command, it made enquiries as to the city where Phoebus’s son lived, and sent an embassy to sail to the coast of Epidaurus. As soon as the curved ship touched shore, the embassy went to the council of Greek elders, and begged them to give up the god, who, by his presence, might prevent the death of the Ausonian race: so the oracle truly commanded. They disagreed, and were of various minds: some thought that help could not be refused: the majority recommended the god should be kept, and their own wealth not released, or surrendered.
While they wavered, as dusk dispelled the lingering light, and darkness covered the countries of the earth with shadow, then, in your dreams, Aesculapius, god of healing, seemed to stand before your bed, Roman, just as he is seen in his temple, holding a rustic staff in his left hand, and stroking his long beard with his right, and with a calm voice, speaking these words: ‘Have no fear! I will come, and I will leave a statue of myself behind. Take a good look at this snake, that winds, in knots, round my staff, and keep it in your sight continually, until you know it! I will change into this, but greater in size, seeming as great as a celestial body should be when it changes.’ The god vanished with the voice, at once: and sleep, with the voice, and the god: and as sleep fled, kind day dawned.
When morning had put the bright stars to flight, the leaders, still unsure what to do, gathered at the temple complex of that god whom the Romans sought, and begged him to show them by some divine token where he himself wanted to live. They had hardly ceased speaking, when the golden god, in the likeness of a serpent with a tall crest, gave out a hiss as a harbinger of his presence, and by his coming, rocked the statue, the doors, the marble pavement, and the gilded roof. Then he stopped, in the middle of the temple, raising himself breast-high, and gazed round, with eyes flashing fire.
The terrified crowd trembled, but the priest, his sacred locks tied with a white band, knew the divine one, and cried: ‘The god, behold, it is the god! Restrain your minds and tongues, whoever is here! Let the sight of you, O most beautiful one, work for us, and help the people worshipping at your shrine!’ Whoever was there, worshipped the god, as they were told, and all re-echoed the priest’s words, and the Romans gave dutiful support, with mind and voice.
The god nodded, and shook his crest, confirming his favour, by hissing three times in succession, with his flickering tongue. Then he glided down the gleaming steps, and turning his head backwards, gazed at the ancient altars he was abandoning, and saluted his accustomed house, and the temple where he had lived. From there the vast serpent slid over the flower-strewn ground, flexing his body, and made his way through the city centre to the harbour, protected by its curved embankment. He halted there, and, appearing to dismiss the dutiful throng, with a calm expression, settled his body down in the Ausonian ship. It felt the divine burden, and the keel sank under the god’s weight. The Romans were joyful, and, sacrificing a bull on the shore, they loosed the twisted cables of their wreath-crowned ship. A gentle breeze drove the vessel: the god arching skyward, rested his neck heavily on the curving sternpost, and gazed at the dark blue waters.
With gentle breezes he reached Italy, over the Ionian Sea, on the sixth morning. He passed the shores of Lacinium, famous for Juno’s temple, and Scylaceum; he left Iapygia, and avoided the rocks of Amphrisia to larboard, the cliffs of Cocinthia to starboard; he coasted by Romethium, by Caulon and Narycia: he passed the narrow strait of Sicilian Pelorus, and the home of King Aeolus, and the mines of Temese, and headed for Leucosia and the rose-gardens of gentle Paestum.
From there he skirted Capri, and Minerva’s promontory, and Surrentum’s hills well-stocked with vines, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Parthenope, born for idleness, and headed for the temple of the Cumean Sibyl. By Baiae’s hot pools; and Liternum’s lentisk trees; and the River Volturnus, dragging quantities of sand along in its floodwaters; and Sinuessa, frequented by white doves; and unhealthy Minturnae; and Caïeta, named after her whom Aeneas her foster-son buried; and the home of Antiphates; and marsh-surrounded Trachas; and Circe’s land; and Antium’s firm shore.
When the sailors steered their ship, under sail, to the place (since the sea was now rough) the god unwound his coils, and gliding along, fold after fold, in giant curves, entered his father Apollo’s temple, bordering the yellow strand. When the sea was calm, the Epidaurian left the paternal altars, and having enjoyed the hospitality of his divine father, furrowed the sandy shore as he dragged his rasping scales along, and climbing the rudder, rested his head on the ship’s high sternpost, until he came to Castrum, the sacred city of Lavinium, and the Tiber’s mouths.
All the people, men and women alike, had come thronging from every side, in a crowd, to meet him, along with those who serve your flames, Trojan Vesta, and they hailed the god with joyful cries. As the swift ship sailed up-stream, incense burned with a crackling sound on a series of altars on either bank, and the fumes perfumed the air, and the slaughtered victims bled heat on the sacrificial knives.
Now it entered Rome, the capital of the world. The snake stood erect, and resting his neck on the mast’s summit, turned, and looked for places fit for him to live. The river splits here into two branches, flowing round what is named the Island, stretching its two arms out equally on both sides, with the land between. There the serpent-child of Phoebus landed, and, resuming his divine form, made an end to grief, and came as a health-giver to the city.
Elsewhere it is described that upon arrival ASCLEPIOS in the form of ANANTADEVA chose the location for His temple by leaving His ship at an island in the middle of the river and climbing to the top of a giant palm tree! Palms were the symbol of BAL DIOS, the Jewish nations of Israel and Judah and the great palm cities of Jerusalem, Jericho and Palmyra.
Temple of Asclepius, Rome
This is the best single source for the Greek ASCLEPIOS / Roman AESCULAPIUS references, however it does not include the vast number of still extant references to those of SERAPIS or IMHOTEP in Egypt or elsewhere, ESHMUN in the Levant, or BALADEVA as ANANTA CHARAKA, or AMITAYUS (infinite eternal life) in Pure Land Buddhism:
IASAS ‘healer’ was a by-name of ASCLEPIOS,
which was the Greek cognate of the Hebrew name YAHU-SHUA (JESUS)!
The English name “Joshua” is a rendering of the Hebrew language Yehoshua, interpreted in Christian theology as “Yahweh is salvation”. This requires a different vocalization of the second name component, reading it as related to Hoshea—the name used in the Torah before Moses added the divine name.[ The modern linguistic analysis of the name, however, is “Yahweh is lordly”.
“Jesus” is the English derivative of the Greek transliteration of “Yehoshua” via Latin. In the Septuagint, all instances of the word “Yehoshua” are rendered as “Ἰησοῦς” (Iēsoūs), the closest Greek pronunciation of the Aramaic: ישוע Yeshua. Thus, in modern Greek, Joshua is called “Jesus son of Naue” (τοῦ Ναυή) to differentiate him from Jesus. This is also true in some Slavic languages following the Eastern Orthodox tradition (e.g. “Иисус Навин”, Iisús Navín, in Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian, but not Czech).
ASCLEPIOS as IASAS, meaning ‘healer’, is linguistically related to both ‘JOSHUA’ and ‘JASON’.
Due to the universal religious problem of the divisive ‘party spirit’ of schism, the fact that before the advent of JESUS CHRIST, ASCLEPIOS was called IASAS / YAHU-SHUA ‘JESUS’, has been generally suppressed and lost.
However this fact is the reason that Christianity spread so rapidly in the first century after the advent of JESUS CHRIST! Just as the Jews had a prophecy of the Universal Savior as the ‘Great Physician’, so did the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Phoenicians and pretty much every other people!
This is why when the Apostles’ missionary activity reached the centers of ASCLEPIOS IASAS worship, like Epidaurus or Alexandria, Egypt, the IASAS devotees there became ‘Christians’. Among the IASAS devotees, JESUS was immediately accepted as their prophetic Messiah / Incarnation of IASAS ASCLEPIOS!
The Apostle Thomas, who reached India, apparently did not know of BALADEVA as ASCLEPIOS / ANANTA CHARAKA, so the connection was not made there.
Earlier, Alexander the Great, who was a devotee of SERAPIS, the Egyptian form of ASCLEPIOS IASAS, apparently did know of ANANTA CHARAKA the Great Physician, because his Greek philosophers and physicians studied in the three major centers of KRISHNA-BALARAMA worship and medical science, in the cities of Taxila, Alexandria Indus and Mathura.
What is the point of my posting this story?
It is proof from an ancient primary source that the Greek and Roman devotees of ASCLEPIOS (AESCULAPIUS, IASAS / YAHU-SHUA / JESUS, SERAPIS in Egypt, ESHMUN in the Levant) knew that the serpent on His staff was His alter-form. This is extremely important because in the East, the “Hidden Incarnation” of Lord BALADEVA as the world (cosmos) saving ‘Great Physician’ was known as ANANTA CHARAKA, because Lord BALADEVA’s ANANTA SESHA NAGA form was an alter-form of Charaka’s!!!
How ancient was this medicine / healing related form of Lord BALADEVA / BAL DIOS (ZEUS BELOS etc.) as the world-saving Great Physician?
From the earliest, ANANTA DEVA was associated with the Ayur Veda and the healing arts in the east, and in Egypt He was associated with the medical school of Imhotep. His serpent staff figures prominently in the Biblical stories about Moses’s miraculous serpent-staff devouring the serpent staff’s of the false Pharoah’s false priests! Later during the Exodus, the Lord order His snake-bitten believers to worship His form as NAHUSTAN, in the form of a brazen ‘serpent on a staff’, for their miraculous recovery from being bitten by vipers.
Much later still, that same serpent on His staff was identified with JESUS CHRIST Himself on His cross, in the Catholic Christian ‘New Testament’ of the Bible.
Subsequently, when many Afro-Egyptian Catholic traditions ended up in Ireland, because of the Alexandrine Rite Catholic monks from the Egyptian desert fleeing the Muslim invasion of Egypt, the serpent form of NAHUSTAN was depicted on the back side of Irish crosses with JESUS on the front side, in reference to the fulfillment of the prophecy that the serpent staff savior of the Jewish ‘Old Testament’ prefigured the world-saving ‘Great Physician’ Messiah, JESUS (IASAS ASCLEPIOS) who was to come.
Baal ancient deity; Temple_of_Bel; Belenus; Bel (mythology)
This ancient description of the classical Afro-Helleno-Semetic (Biblical) tradition of flesh abstinence in Classical Greek Asceticism, is from Ovid’s narration of the great sermon by the Greek HELIOS-worshiping mathematician, Pythagoras (and his disciples), who founded a famous school of philosophy and mathematics in Krotona, Italy.
The Heliopolitan-Heraclean (Roman Herculean) school of Pythagoras at Krotona (in what is now Italy), was so important that I am herein including this entire section of Ovid’s Metamorphoses 15 for the benefit of background information.
Myscelus: the founding of Crotona
Meanwhile the Romans looked for a leader, to bear the weight of such responsibility, and follow so great a king: Fame, the true harbinger, determined on the illustrious Numa for the throne. Not content with knowing the rituals of the Sabine people, with his capable mind he conceived a wider project, and delved into the nature of things. His love of these enquiries led him to leave his native Cures, and visit the city of Crotona, to which Hercules was friendly. When Numa asked who was the founder of this Greek city on Italian soil, one of the older inhabitants, not ignorant of the past, replied: ‘They say that Hercules, Jupiter’s son, back from the sea with the rich herds of Spain, happily came to the shore of Lacinium, and while his cattle strayed through the tender grass, he entered the house of the great Croton, a not inhospitable roof, and refreshed himself with rest, after his long labours, and, in leaving, said: ‘At a future time, there will be a city here, of your descendants.’
And the promise proved true, since there was one Myscelus, the son of Alemon of Argos, dearest to the gods of all his generation. Hercules, the club-bearer, leaning over him, spoke to him as he lay in a deep sleep: ‘Rise now, leave your native country: go, find the pebble-filled waves of Aesar!’ and he threatened him with many and fearful things if he did not obey. Then the god and sleep vanished together. Alemon’s son rose, and, in silence, thought over the vision, fresh in his mind. He struggled in himself for a long time over the decision: the god ordered him to go: the law prohibited his going. Death was the penalty for the man who wished to change his nationality.
Bright Sol had hidden his shining face in Ocean’s stream, and Night had lifted her starriest face: the same god seemed to appear to him, to admonish him in the same way, and warn of worse and greater punishment if he did not obey. He was afraid, and prepared, at once, to transfer the sanctuary of his ancestors to a new place. There was talk in the city, and he was brought to trial, for showing contempt for the law. When the case against him had been presented, and it was evident the charge was proven, without needing witnesses, the wretched defendant, lifting his face and hands to heaven, cried: ‘O you, whose twelve labours gave you the right to heaven, help me, I beg you! Since you are the reason for my crime.’
The ancient custom was to vote using black and white pebbles: the black to condemn: the white to absolve from punishment. Now, also, the harsh verdict was determined in this way, and every pebble dropped into the pitiless urn was black: but when the urn was tipped over and the pebbles poured out for the count, their colour had changed from black to white, and, acquitted through the divine power of Hercules, Alemon’s son was freed.
He first gave thanks to that son of Amphitryon, his patron, and with favouring winds set sail on the Ionian Sea. He sailed by Neretum, of the Sallentines, Sybaris, and the Spartan colony of Tarentum, the bay of Siris, Crimisa, and the Iapygian fields. He had barely passed the lands that overlook those seas, when he came, by destiny, to the mouth of the river Aesar, and near it the tumulus beneath which the earth covered the sacred bones of Croton. He founded the city of Crotona there, in the land commanded by the god, and derived the name of the city from him, whom the tumulus held. Such were the established beginnings, according to reliable tradition, of that place, and the cause of the city’s being sited on Italian soil.
Vegetarianism; Metempsychosis; The Eternal Flux; The Four Ages of Man; The Elements; Geological changes;
Physical changes; Autogenesis; The Phoenix; Transfers of Power; The Sanctity of Life
There was a man here, Pythagoras, a Samian by birth, who had fled Samos and its rulers, and, hating their tyranny, was living in voluntary exile. Though the gods were far away, he visited their region of the sky, in his mind, and what nature denied to human vision he enjoyed with his inner eye. When he had considered every subject, through concentrated thought, he communicated it widely in public, teaching the silent crowds, who listened in wonder to his words, concerning the origin of the vast universe, and of the causes of things; and what the physical world is; what the gods are; where the snows arise; what the origin of lightning is; whether Jupiter, or the storm-winds, thunder from colliding clouds; what shakes the earth; by what laws the stars move; and whatever else is hidden; and he was the first to denounce the serving of animal flesh at table; the first voice, wise but not believed in, to say, for example, in words like these :
‘Human beings, stop desecrating your bodies with impious foodstuffs. There are crops; there are apples weighing down the branches; and ripening grapes on the vines; there are flavoursome herbs; and those that can be rendered mild and gentle over the flames; and you do not lack flowing milk; or honey fragrant from the flowering thyme. The earth, prodigal of its wealth, supplies you with gentle sustenance, and offers you food without killing or shedding blood.
‘Flesh satisfies the wild beast’s hunger, though not all of them, since horses, sheep and cattle live on grasses, but those that are wild and savage: Armenian tigers, raging lions, and wolves and bears, enjoy food wet with blood. Oh, how wrong it is for flesh to be made from flesh; for a greedy body to fatten, by swallowing another body; for one creature to live by the death of another creature! So amongst such riches, that earth, the greatest of mothers, yields, you are not happy unless you tear, with cruel teeth, at pitiful wounds, recalling Cyclops’s practice, and you cannot satisfy your voracious appetite, and your restless hunger, unless you destroy other life!
‘But that former age, that we call golden, was happy with the fruit from the trees, and the herbs the earth produced, and did not defile its lips with blood. Then birds winged their way through the air in safety, and hares wandered, unafraid, among the fields, and its own gullibility did not hook the fish: all was free from trickery, and fearless of any guile, and filled with peace. But once someone, whoever he was, the author of something unfitting, envied the lion’s prey, and stuffed his greedy belly with fleshy food, he paved the way for crime. It may be that, from the first, weapons were warm and bloodstained from the killing of wild beasts, but that would have been enough: I admit that creatures that seek our destruction may be killed without it being a sin, but while they may be killed, they still should not be eaten.
‘From that, the wickedness spread further, and it is thought that the pig was first considered to merit slaughter because it rooted up the seeds with its broad snout, and destroyed all hope of harvest. The goat was led to death, at the avenging altar, for browsing the vines of Bacchus. These two suffered for their crimes! What did you sheep do, tranquil flocks, born to serve man, who bring us sweet milk in full udders, who give us your wool to make soft clothing, who give us more by your life than you grant us by dying? What have the oxen done, without guile or deceit, harmless, simple, born to endure labour?
‘He is truly thankless, and not worthy of the gift of corn, who could, in a moment, remove the weight of the curved plough, and kill his labourer, striking that work-worn neck with his axe, that has helped turn the hard earth as many times as the earth yielded harvest. It is not enough to have committed such wickedness: they involve the gods in crime, and believe that the gods above delight in the slaughter of suffering oxen! A victim of outstanding beauty, and without blemish (since to be pleasing is harmful), distinguished by sacrificial ribbons and gold, is positioned in front of the altar, and listens, unknowingly, to the prayers, and sees the corn it has laboured to produce, scattered between its horns, and, struck down, stains with blood those knives that it has already caught sight of, perhaps, reflected in the clear water.
‘Immediately they inspect the lungs, ripped from the still-living chest, and from them find out the will of the gods. On this (so great is man’s hunger for forbidden food) you feed, O human race! Do not, I beg you, and concentrate your minds on my admonitions! When you place the flesh of slaughtered cattle in your mouths, know and feel, that you are devouring your fellow-creature.
‘Now, since a god moves my lips, I will follow, with due rite, the god who moves those lips, and reveal my beloved Delphi and the heavens themselves, and unlock the oracles of that sublime mind. I will speak of mighty matters, not fathomed by earlier greatness, things long hidden. I delight in journeying among the distant stars: I delight in leaving earth and its dull spaces, to ride the clouds; to stand on the shoulders of mighty Atlas, looking down from far off on men, wandering here and there, devoid of knowledge, anxious, fearing death; to read the book of fate, and to give them this encouragement!
‘O species, stunned by your terror of chill death, why fear the Styx, why fear the ghosts and empty names, the stuff of poets, the spectres of a phantom world? Do not imagine you can suffer any evil, whether your bodies are consumed by the flames of the funeral pyre, or by wasting age! Souls are free from death, and always, when they have left their previous being, they live in new dwelling-places, and inhabit what received them. I myself (for I remember) was Euphorbus, son of Panthoüs, at the time of the Trojan War, in whose chest was pinned the heavy spear of the lesser Atrides, Menelaüs. I recognised the shield I used to carry on my left arm, recently, in the temple of Juno at Argos, city of Abas!
‘Everything changes, nothing dies: the spirit wanders, arriving here or there, and occupying whatever body it pleases, passing from a wild beast into a human being, from our body into a beast, but is never destroyed. As pliable wax, stamped with new designs, is no longer what it was; does not keep the same form; but is still one and the same; I teach that the soul is always the same, but migrates into different forms. So, I say as a seer, cease to make kindred spirits homeless, by wicked slaughter: do not let blood be nourished by blood!
The Eternal Flux
‘Since I have embarked on the wide ocean, and given full sails to the wind, I say there is nothing in the whole universe that persists. Everything flows, and is formed as a fleeting image. Time itself, also, glides, in its continual motion, no differently than a river. For neither the river, nor the swift hour can stop: but as wave impels wave, and as the prior wave is chased by the coming wave, and chases the one before, so time flees equally, and, equally, follows, and is always new. For what was before is left behind: and what was not comes to be: and each moment is renewed.
‘You see the nights’ traverses tend towards day, and brilliant light follow the dark of night. The sky has a different colour when all weary things are at rest, at midnight, than when bright Lucifer appears on his white charger, and alters again when Aurora, herald of the dawn, stains the world she bequeaths to Phoebus. The shield of the god himself is red, when it rises from beneath the earth, and still red, when it is hidden below the earth, again: but is white at the zenith, because there the atmosphere is purer, and it escapes far from the contagion of earth. And Diana, the moon, can never have the same or similar form, and is always less today than tomorrow if her orb is waxing, greater if it is waning.
The Four Ages of Man
‘Do you not see that the year displays four aspects, passing through them, in a semblance of our life? For spring, in its new life, is tender and sap-filled, and like a child: then the shoots are fresh and growing, delicate, without substance, quickening the farmer’s hopes. Then everything blossoms, the kindly land is a riot of brightly coloured flowers, but the leaves are still not strong. From spring, the year, grown stronger, moves to summer, and becomes a powerful man: no season is sturdier, or more expansive, than this, or shines more richly. Autumn comes, when the ardour of youth has gone, ripe and mellow, between youth and age, a scattering of grey on its forehead. Then trembling winter, with faltering steps, its hair despoiled, or, what it has, turned white.
‘And our bodies themselves are always, restlessly, changing: we shall not be, tomorrow, what we were, or what we are. There was a time when we were hidden in our first mother’s womb, only the seed and promise of a human being: nature applied her skilful hands, and, unwilling for our bodies to be buried, cramped in our mother’s swollen belly, expelled us from our home, into the empty air. Born into the light, the infant lay there, powerless: but soon it scrambled on all fours like a wild creature, then, gradually, helped by a supporting harness, it stood, uncertainly, on shaky legs. From that point, it grew strong and swift, and passed through its span of youth.
‘When the middle years are also done, life takes the downward path of declining age. Milon, the athlete, grown old, cries when he looks at those weak and flabby arms, that were once, like those of Hercules, a solid mass of muscle. Helen, the daughter of Tyndareus, also weeps, when she sees an old woman’s wrinkles in the glass, and asks why she has been twice ravaged. Devouring Time, and you, jealous Age, consume everything, and slowly gnawing at them, with your teeth, little by little, consign all things to eternal death!
‘Even the things we call elements do not persist. Apply your concentration, and I will teach the changes, they pass through. The everlasting universe contains four generative states of matter. Of these, two, earth and water, are heavy, and sink lower, under their own weight. The other two lack heaviness, and, if not held down, they seek height: that is air, and fire, purer than air. Though they are distinct in space, nevertheless they are all derived from one another, and resolve into one another. Earth, melting, is dilated to clear water: the moisture, rarified, changes to wind and air: then air, losing further weight, in the highest regions shines out as fire, the most rarified of all. Then they return, in reverse, revealing the same series of changes. Since fire, condenses, turns into denser air, and this to water, and water, contracted, solidifies as earth.
‘Nothing keeps its own form, and Nature, the renewer of things, refreshes one shape from another. Believe me, nothing dies in the universe as a whole, but it varies and changes its aspect, and what we call ‘being born’ is a beginning to be, of something other, than what was before, and ‘dying’ is, likewise, ending a former state. Though, ‘that’ perhaps is transferred here, and ‘this’, there, the total sum is constant.
‘For my part, I would have thought that nothing lasts for long with the same appearance. So the ages changed from gold to iron, and so the fortunes of places have altered. I have seen myself what was once firm land, become the sea: I have seen earth made from the waters: and seashells lie far away from the ocean, and an ancient anchor has been found on a mountaintop. The down rush of waters has made what was once a plain into a valley, and hills, by the deluge have been washed to the sea. Marshy land has drained to parched sand, and what was once thirsty ground filled with a marshy pool.
‘Here, Nature generates fresh springs, and there seals them up, and rivers, released by deep earthquakes, burst out or dry up, and sink. So when the Lycus is swallowed by a chasm in the earth, it emerges far off, reborn, from a different source. So, engulfed, flowing as a hidden stream, the mighty Erasinus emerges again, in the fields of Argos. And they say that Mysus, ashamed of its origin and its former banks, now flows elsewhere, as Caicus. Amenanus flows sometimes churning Sicilian sands, at other times dried up, its fountains blocked. Anigrus, once drinkable, now flows with water you would not wish to touch, since, unless we deny all credence to the poets, the bi-formed centaurs washed their wounds there, dealt by the bow of club-bearing Hercules. Is the Hypanis, born in the Scythian mountains, not ruined by bitter saltwater, that once was sweet?
‘Antissa, and Pharos, and Phoenician Tyre, were surrounded by sea: of which not one, now, is an island. The former settlers of Leucas lived on a peninsula: now the waves encircle it. Zancle also is said to have been joined to Italy, till the waves washed away the boundary, and the deep sea pushed back the land. If you look for Helice and Buris, cities of Achaia, you will find them under the waters, and sailors are accustomed, even now, to point out the submerged towns with their sunken walls.
‘There is a mound near Troezen, where Pittheus ruled, steep and treeless, that once was the flattest open space on the plain, and now is a mound. For (strange to relate) the wild strength of the winds, imprisoned in dark caves, longing for somewhere to breathe, and struggling in vain to enjoy the freer expanses of sky, since there was no gap at all in their prison, as an exit for their breath, extended and swelled the ground, just as a man inflates a bladder, or a goatskin taken from a twin-horned goat. The swelling remained there, and has the look of a high hill, solidified by long centuries.
‘Though many instances, I have heard and known of, come to mind, I shall relate only a few more. Does not water, also, offer and receive new forms? Your stream, horned Ammon, is chill at mid-day, and warm in the morning and evening, and they tell of the Athamanians setting fire to wood, by pouring your waters over it, when the moon wanes to her smallest crescent.
‘The Cicones have a river, whose waters when drunk turn the vital organs to stone, and that change things to marble when touched. The Crathis, and the Sybaris, here, near our own country, make hair like amber or gold: and what is more amazing, there are streams that have power to change not merely the body but the mind as well. Who has not heard of the disgusting waves of Salmacis, and the Aethiopian lakes? Whoever wets his throat with these, is either maddened, or falls into a strange, deep sleep.
‘Whoever slakes his thirst at Clitor’s fountain, shuns wine, and only enjoys pure water, whether it is due to a power in the water that counteracts hot wine, or whether, as the natives claim, Melampus, Amythaon’s son, when he had saved the demented daughters of Proetus from madness, by herbs and incantations, threw the remnants, of what had purged their minds, into its springs, and the antipathy to wine was left behind in its waters. The flow of the River Lyncestius has the opposite effect, so that whoever drinks even moderately of it, stumbles about, as if they had drunk pure wine. There is a place in Arcadia, the ancients called Pheneus, mistrusted for its dual-natured waters: beware of them at night, drunk at night they are harmful: in the day they can be drunk without harm. So, rivers and lakes can harbour some power or other.
‘There was a time when Ortygia floated on the waves, now it is fixed, and the Argo’s crew feared the Symphlegades’ collisions, and the spray of their crashing waves, islands that now stand there motionless, and resist the winds.
‘And Aetna that glows, with its sulphurous furnaces, was not always on fire, and will not always be on fire. For if the earth is a creature, that lives, and, in many places, has vents that breathe out flame, she can alter her air passages, and as frequently as she shifts, she can close these caverns and open others. Or, if swift winds are confined in the deep caves, and strike rock against rock, or against material containing the seeds of fire, and Aetna catches alight from the friction, the caves will be left cold when the wind dies. Or, if it is bituminous substances that take fire, and yellow sulphur, burning with little smoke, then, when the ground no longer provides rich fuel, or nourishment for the flames, and their strength fails after long centuries, earth herself will lack the support of devouring nature, and will not withstand that famine, and forsaken, will forsake her fires.
‘There is a tale of men in Hyperborean Pallene, who are used to clothing their bodies in soft plumage, by plunging nine times in Minerva’s pool: for my part, I can scarcely believe it: also the women of Scythia are said to practise the same arts, sprinkling their bodies with magic liquids.
‘However if trust is only placed in proven things, do you not see that whenever corpses putrefy, due to time or melting heat, they generate tiny creatures? Bury the carcases of sacrificed bulls (it is a known experiment) in the ditch where you have thrown them, and flower-sipping bees, will be born, here and there, from the putrid entrails. After the custom of their parent bodies, they frequent the fields, are devoted to work, and labour in hope of harvest.
‘A war-horse dug into the earth is the source of hornets: If you remove the hollow claws of land-crabs, and put the rest under the soil, a scorpion, with its curved and threatening tail, will emerge from the parts interred: and the caterpillars that are accustomed to weave their white cocoons, on uncultivated leaves (a thing observed by farmers) change to a butterfly’s form, symbol of the soul.
‘Mud contains the generative seeds of green frogs, and generates them without legs, soon giving them legs for swimming, and, at the same time, with hind legs longer than their forelegs, so that they are fit to take long leaps. The cub that a she-bear has just produced is not a cub but a scarcely living lump of flesh: the mother gives it a body, by licking it, and shapes it into a form like that she has herself. Do you not see how the larvae of the honey-carrying bees, protected by the hexagonal waxen cells, are born as limbless bodies, and later acquire legs, and later still wings?
‘Who would believe, if he did not know, that Juno’s bird, the peacock, that bears eyes, like stars, on its tail; and Jupiter’s eagle, carrying his lightning-bolt; and Cytherea’s doves; all the bird species; are born from the inside of an egg? There are those who believe that when the spine decomposes, interred in the tomb, human marrow forms a snake.
‘Yet these creatures receive their start in life from others: there is one, a bird, which renews itself, and reproduces from itself. The Assyrians call it the phoenix. It does not live on seeds and herbs, but on drops of incense, and the sap of the cardamom plant. When it has lived for five centuries, it then builds a nest for itself in the topmost branches of a swaying palm tree, using only its beak and talons. As soon as it has lined it with cassia bark, and smooth spikes of nard, cinnamon fragments and yellow myrrh, it settles on top, and ends its life among the perfumes.
‘They say that, from the father’s body, a young phoenix is reborn, destined to live the same number of years. When age has given it strength, and it can carry burdens, it lightens the branches of the tall palm of the heavy nest, and piously carries its own cradle, that was its father’s tomb, and, reaching the city of Hyperion, the sun-god, through the clear air, lays it down in front of the sacred doors of Hyperion’s temple.
‘If there is anything to marvel at, however, in these novelties, we might marvel at how the hyena changes function, and a moment ago a female, taken from behind by a male, is now a male. Also that animal, the chameleon, fed by wind and air, instantly adopts the colour of whatever it touches.
‘Vanquished India gave lynxes to Bacchus of the clustered vines, and, they say that, whatever their bladder emits, changes to stone, and solidifies on contact with air. So coral, also, hardens the first time air touches it: it was a soft plant under the waves.
Transfers of Power
‘The day will end, and Phoebus will bathe his weary horses in the deep, before my words can do justice to all that has been translated into new forms. So we see times change, and these nations acquiring power and those declining. So Troy, that was so great in men and riches, and for ten years of war could give so freely of her blood, is humbled, and only reveals ancient ruins now, and, for wealth, ancestral tombs. Sparta was famous, great Mycenae flourished, and Cecrops’s citadel of Athens, and Amphion’s Thebes. Sparta is worthless land, proud Mycenae is fallen, and what is the Thebes of Oedipus but a name, what is left of the Athens of Pandion, but a name?
‘Even now, there is a rumour that Rome, of the Dardanians, is rising, by Tiber’s waters, born in the Apennines, and laying, beneath its mass, the foundation of great things. So, growing, it changes form, and one day will be the capital of a whole world! So, it is said, the seers predict, and the oracles that tell our fate. As I remember also, when the Trojan State was falling, Helenus, son of Priam, said to a weeping Aeneas, who was unsure of his future: “Son of the goddess, if you take careful heed, of what my mind prophesies, Troy will not wholly perish while you live! Fire and sword will give way before you: you will go, as one man, catching up, and bearing away Pergama, till you find a foreign land, kinder to you and Troy, than your fatherland. I see, even now, a city, destined for Phrygian descendants, than which none is greater, or shall be, or has been, in past ages.
‘Other leaders will make her powerful, through the long centuries, but one, born of the blood of Iülus, will make her mistress of the world. When earth has benefited from him, the celestial regions will enjoy him, and heaven will be his goal.”
‘These things, I remember well, Helenus prophesied for Aeneas, as Aeneas carried the ancestral gods, and I am glad that the walls, of his descendants, are rising, and that the Greeks conquered to a Trojan’s gain.
The Sanctity of Life
‘Now (lest I stray too far off course, my horses forgetting to aim towards their goal), the heavens, and whatever is under them, change their form, and the earth, and whatever is within it. We, as well, who are a part of the universe, because we are not merely flesh, but in truth, winged spirits, and can enter into the family of wild creatures, and be imprisoned in the minds of animals.
‘We should allow those beings to live in safety, and honour, that the spirits of our parents, or brothers, or those joined to us by some other bond, certainly human, might have inhabited: and not fill our bellies as if at a Thyestean feast! What evil they contrive, how impiously they prepare to shed human blood itself, who rip at a calf’s throat with the knife, and listen unmoved to its bleating, or can kill a kid to eat, that cries like a child, or feed on a bird, that they themselves have fed! How far does that fall short of actual murder? Where does the way lead on from there?
‘Let the ox plough, or owe his death to old age: let the sheep yield wool, to protect against the chill north wind: let the she-goats give you full udders for milking! Have done with nets and traps, snares and the arts of deception! Do not trick the birds with limed twigs, or imprison the deer, scaring them with feathered ropes, or hide barbed hooks in treacherous bait. Kill them, if they harm you, but even then let killing be enough. Let your mouth be free of their blood, enjoy milder food!’
This book of Ovid about the classical ascetic teachings of Pythagoras and the founding legend of Krotona, was one of the many Greek, Latin, Egyptian and Bible-related primary sources that I used in my numerous letters and lectures about the various forms of abstinence that were commonly practiced among the ‘religious’ or vowed / diksha initiated devotees of the ancient Heliopolitan Asyla Federations of the 4 great riverine civilizations of the ancient East and West of the Eastern Hemisphere.
Those Asyla Federation devotees who were tending-towards the Sattvic ‘Mode of Goodness’ generally adopted some form of classical asceticism, which usually included abstinence from flesh, or at least human and cow flesh eating, illicit sex, intoxication and gaming / gambling.
From their extant primary sources I carefully documented these common ascetical practices in the Heliopolitan Asyla Federations in my many papers and lectures in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. In the 1990s a 90+ page essay of mine was edited down to a single chapter in the Orbis (Catholic Missionary Society) publication college textbook titled “Embracing Earth, Catholic Approaches to Ecology”. In that chapter I just briefly summarized the Judeo-Catholic history of such classical asceticism and how it was related to the Eastern Sadhakas / Sadhus and the Jewish Tzadiks, like King Melchi-Zedok of Salem / Jeru-Salem / Hiero-Solym. The Nazirites of the Jewish and Christian Bible were well known to be ascetics that were classically flesh and ‘old wine’ (alcohol) abstinent.