Divine Institutes, Book I (Of the False Worship of the Gods) And because it was impossible that the divine method of procedure should become known to man. – Lactantius – Divinarum Institutionum [Omnes Libri Collecti] . up in writing the divine Institutions, in which we shall not speak about rain-droppings. These criticisms apart, the new Liverpool translation of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes is an important achievement. The introduction provides a.

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First, from this very circumstance he is not now a god, inasmuch as he has ceased to be. For why did he receive an oracle lactantuis another, and not from himself? He was a pupil dovine Arnobius who taught at Sicca Veneriaan important city in Numidia. None of the fathers thus far had been more verbose on the subject of the millennial kingdom than Lactantius or more particular in describing the times and divibe preceding and following.

The poets transfer many things after this manner, not for the sake of speaking falsely against the objects of their worship, but that they may by variously colored figures add beauty and grace to their poems. Being placed in heaven, why did he not see the things which were taking place on earth?

CHURCH FATHERS: The Divine Institutes (Lactantius)

How can this be proved? I forbear to mention the virgins whom he dishonoured.

As a Latin rhetor in a Greek city, he subsequently lived in poverty according to Saint Jerome and eked instituts a living by writing until Constantine I became his patron.

Another brought us into being, another formed us; but God of His own power made Himself. Isis lost her son; Ceres her daughter; Latona, expelled and driven about over the earth, with difficulty found a small island where she might divne forth.

Why this banishment, either to so great a distance, or to a womanor into solitude? Therefore these were not produced for use; but use was produced from them. If the offspring of Cadmus, or Amphitryon, or Tyndarus, was worthy of being extolled by fame to the heaven, the same honour ought undoubtedly to be appropriated to her.

In which, if this Jupiter is represented, the very stones will confess that he is a man. Then Glauca dies while yet young.

Lactantius – The Divine Institutes

The conferring of benefits gave the name of gods to Ceres and Liber. This page was last edited on 22 Juneat What did Mercury, a thief and spendthrift, leave to contribute to his fame, except the memory of his frauds? From which it appears that he was a king on earth; and this he declares more plainly in another place: For if there is no providence, how is it that the world was made with such order and arrangement?


If the nature of all things is the same, how is it that they compose various objects? Therefore she is truly a virginfor she sends forth no seed, nor receives it, and loves the attendants of virginity. I proceed to release the minds of men from the ties of superstitionsas Lucretius says; and he indeed was unable to effect this, because he brought forward nothing true.

What more, therefore, is expected from us? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ovid also, in the beginning of his remarkable work, without any disguising of the name, admits that the universe was arranged by Godwhom he calls the Framer of the world, the Artificer of all things.

Therefore they who appear to themselves to be wise because they understand that there cannot be a living and earthly body in heaven, reject the whole story of Ganymede as false, and perceive that the occurrence took place on earth, inasmuch as the matter and the lust itself is earthly. They ought therefore to he hooked, that they may be linked together one with another.

Retrieved March 1, — via University Library of Naples. Then in that struggle they say that Vulcan shed his seed upon the earth, from which source Erichthonius was born: I have already stated that I prefer to put off the discussion of this subject, and to reserve it for the last part of my work, that I may refute this persuasion of Epicurus, whether it was that of Democritus or Dicaearchus, both by arguments and divine testimonies.

But he either carried him off by a legion, which has an eagle for its standard; or the ship on board of which he was placed had its tutelary deity in the shape of an eagle, just as it had the effigy of a bull when he seized Europa and conveyed her across the sea.

Then, after these things, they say that an oracle was given to Saturn, bidding him to take heed lest his son should expel him from the kingdom; that he, for the sake of weakening the oracle and avoiding the danger, laid an ambush for Jupiter to kill him; that Jupiter, having learned the plot, claimed the kingdom for himself afresh, and banished Saturn; and that he, when he had been tossed over all lands, followed by armed men whom Jupiter had sent to seize or put him to death, scarcely found a place of concealment in Italy.

Again, I cannot but blame his want of foresight. Does any one imagine him to be a god, who was driven into banishment, who fled, who lay hid? Having therefore undertaken the office of explaining the truthI did not think it so necessary to take my commencement from that inquiry which naturally seems the first, whether there is a providence which consults for all things, or all things were either made or are governed by chance; which sentiment was introduced by Democritus, and confirmed by Epicurus.

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Has she, too, any claim to religious worship, on whose part more adulteries are recorded than births? Retrieved 26 February They, therefore, who entertain the opinion that the poets have invented fables about the gods, and yet believe in the existence of female deities, and worship them, are unconsciously brought back to that which they had denied — that they have sexual intercourse, and bring forth.

But if the worshippers of the gods think that they worship those beings whom we call the ministers of the Supreme Godthere is no reason why they should envy us who say that there is one Godand deny that there are many.

The Divine Institutes

And this indeed I will do; and with the approbation of the gods, I will place you the best and most learned of all women in their assembly, and will consecrate you to the estimation of all men. There was evidently a reason why she undertook so great a labour for a youth so faithful, who had refused compliance with the love of his stepmother. laxtantius

Those things, therefore, which they spoke concerning them as gods were feigned, and not those which they spoke concerning them as men; and this will be manifest from an instance which we will bring forward.

This Being, when He was laying the first foundations of the most beautiful fabric, and was commencing this work, than which nature has known nothing greater or better, that all things might serve their own rulers, although He had spread Himself out through the whole body, yet He produced gods as ministers of His kingdom.

The accounts of the poets, therefore, are truebut veiled with an outward covering and show. For many, pertinaciously adhering to vain superstitionsharden themselves against the manifest truthnot so much deserving well of their religionswhich they wrongly maintain, as they deserve ill of themselves; who, when they have a straight path, seek devious windings; who leave the level ground that they may glide over a precipice; who leave the light, that, blind and enfeebled, they may lie in darkness.

The Odes of Solomon.

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