in defence of astrotheology

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neilgodfrey
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:24 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote: The Geocentric Sun Myth was deeply embedded in the psyche of the ancients. To avoid presentism we need to throw the Copernican_Revolution away and go back to the way the ancients viewed their Sun. Their view of the "Earth System" was centred on the Earth (not the "Solar system"). This may have been treated as a "Great Mystery".


Julian is late. We all know that. But as I see it mistakes can easily be made when stepping back into antiquity because we often carry our 21st century education (about modern myths like the Big Bang and the Higgs Boson etc) with us. We must discard our own hypotheses no matter how learned they may be to understand the ancients. I look therefore upon Julian as a stepping stone back to the earlier centuries. Julian summarises how people thought back then ....
The longer my question fails to attract evidence that Greeks and Romans of the Hellenistic and Roman eras (up to the fourth century) had any myth of a dying and rising sun in their mythologies then the more I suspect none exists.

The long neo-Platonic quotation from Julian even leads me to think that there was no such solar myth beyond this period and into the fourth century, too. There is nothing in that quotation to suggest a dying and rising sun myth; rather, everything about it testifies to the indomitable life force of the sun at all times.

My memory of the details of the rise of Sol Invictus from the later imperial period on is rusty but from what I recall the idea of such a sun "dying" or being overcome by any enemy for a time was counter to the whole idea of sun worship in that era.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:29 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
GakuseiDon wrote: :thumbup: That's why there is no need for astrotheology -- it doesn't fill a gap that needs explaining.
I disagee here: I think astrotheology has been a phenomenon, and that is worthy of discussion
I'm not saying don't discuss it, I'm saying that as far as it's been discussed, it doesn't explain anything that has already been explained.

Does "The sun is “anointed” when its rays dip into the sea" explain anything in the historical record that needs explaining?

Does "The sun “changes water into wine” by creating rain, ripening the grape on the vine and fermenting the grape juice" explain anything in the historical record that needs explaining? What about "The sun “walks on water,” referring to its reflection"?

Or "The sun is “betrayed” by the constellation of the Scorpion, the backbiter, the time of the year when the solar hero loses his strength"?

Or "The sun is “crucified” between the two thieves of Sagittarius and Capricorn"?

If Robert Tulip and Mimi really want to discuss it, then they need to explain where astrotheology is needed as an explanation for the above elements. Otherwise they are simply assertions, and falls afoul of Hitchen's razor.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

neilgodfrey
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:31 pm

Robert Tulip wrote:
neilgodfrey wrote:MrMacSon,

Are any of these dying and resurrecting gods solar gods in the Greek and Roman mythologies? I don't think so.

The myths that I recall have the sun god riding his chariot through Ocean on the underside of the world and returning again, or similar -- not dying and returning from death to life.
The Dying and Rising God. Because crops die in winter and return in spring, Dionysus was seen as a symbol of death and resurrection. In another story about his birth, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of crops and vegetation. Hera was jealous of the child and convinced the Titans to destroy him. Although Dionysus was disguised as a baby goat, the Titans found him, caught him, and tore him to pieces. They ate all of his body except his heart, which was rescued by Athena *. She gave the heart to Zeus, who gave it to Semele to eat. Semele later gave birth to Dionysus again. The story represents the earth (Demeter) and sky (Zeus) giving birth to the crops (Dionysus), which die each winter and are reborn again in the spring.

Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Cr-Dr/D ... z3UP397fvk
I don't know how I can be any clearer with my question. Each time I have asked for dying and rising solar deities from Greek and Roman mythology and each time I have been getting responses about all sorts of NON-solar deities (or solar deities who are not said to die and resurrect from death again). Why is this happening?

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GakuseiDon
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:33 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:G'Don, take away your "knowledge" of the heliocentric model and try and formulate a set of beliefs from the geocentric model and tell me what you come up with apart from "astrotheological" beliefs.

Thanks. I'm serious :)
I think astrological beliefs and the cosmic allegories of the Platonists covers everything. What does astrotheology explain that can't be explained by those things? Can you give me an example where astrotheology is a better explanation? And how do you see the assertions I've given above that are apparently 'astrotheological' in nature?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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MrMacSon
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:52 pm

GakuseiDon wrote: I think astrological beliefs and the cosmic allegories of the Platonists covers everything.
the Platonists? middle Platonists? or the NeoPlatonists? or both? best to specify time periods?

neilgodfrey
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:24 pm

In defence of D.M. Murdock's discussion in Christ in Egypt about crucified Egyptian gods I think she does an interesting job of detailing the evidence for the various deities, especially with respect to Osiris, including the function of the djied cross or pillar, and early Christian interpretations of these -- pages 336 to 352.

I think this is interesting background information that should rightly be factored into any historical and literary analyses that considers the origins of the Gospel of John's miracle of the raising of Lazarus, Secret Mark and the stories of Alexandrian provenance.

But then on pages 353 to 356 it seems Murdock crashes head on into a brick wall by trying to overstate her case.

Or am I missing something that she has explained elsewhere to justify her argument?

We come to the heading "Divine Man" Crucified in Space. Referring to Massey's discussion of the phrase "crucifixion in space" Murdock writes:
The crucifixion in space usually refers to that of Plato's "second God, who impressed himself on the universe in the form of the cross,"2 constituting the Greek philosopher's "world-soul" on an X, which, as we have seen, represents the sun crossing the ecliptic.. (p. 353)
I expected to see here the footnote directing me to Plato and his discussion of this "second God". But instead she takes us to Lundy, Bradshaw, Roberts, and Philo. That leaves me wondering where Plato speaks of "a second god" who made himself in the "form of a cross" at the ecliptic. My memory tells me that Plato did speak of the ecliptic being like a cross but no more. Have I forgotten crucial details? Murdock does not help me here.

Murdock then writes:
Another Platonic concept is the crucified "divine man"3 or "just man," found in Plato's Republic ...
Again I look up the footnote and am disappointed once again to find not a reference to where Plato speaks of the divine man but instead to an interpretation by Massey. My recollection was that Plato spoke of a just man but I don't recall him ever equating this just man with a divine man. My memory might well be faulty but again Murdock does not help me establish her idea.

Then on page 355 Murdock continues with:
Further elucidating upon the divine man, Albert Parsons remarks:
Plato spoke of a crucified divine man floating in space...."
Again no reference to Plato, only to Parsons. And when I look up Parsons more generally I see he appears to be more interested in spiritualism and such ideas than sound history.

DM Murdock was doing quite well, I thought, with cross symbolism in Egyptian culture but then left me with no way of verifying her claims that the Egyptians and Plato had the concept of a divine man in a cross formation in space. The closest evidence she seems to provide for the idea is in the Acts of John where Jesus is told to look towards the true cross of light in the sky. But that reads to me like a vision, not a pointer to the ecliptic.

This is just one instance of what I take to be Murdock's approach. Had she limited her discussion to what she had hard evidence for (and there are many illustrations making the point along with quotations of Church fathers etc) that are very suggestive then I think her work would have been all the stronger.

I think her attempts to go beyond the evidence and confuse interpretations with facts (explained by her evangelical interest as expressed in the front and end pages -- just like many religious scholars themselves do in their books) does her work serious damage. If an editor could see to major cuts throughout the book I think it could be a much stronger contribution to the Christ Myth debate.

Clive
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by Clive » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:57 am

Even from a geocentric model people understood cycles. So would they assume the stars died each morning and resurrected each night. They had seen ships disappear over the horizon and return. Isn't it about 3 that children know someone leaving a room has not disappeared? Some people might have written stuff like Plato and Julian but would their ideas actually have had any effect on the local fisherman? They might have had ideas and fantasies about Suns resurrecting but also knew from experience that spring follows winter, tides etc
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

Clive
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by Clive » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:03 am

Wouldn't a more promising subject be that the theorisers, writers, theology makers and their ilk are the dangerous mad ones? Maybe the common people know a lot more than is realised! This distinction between the allegedly edumacated and the hoi polio is about class, wealth, power and control!
"We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"

Stephan Huller
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by Stephan Huller » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:51 pm

That leaves me wondering where Plato speaks of "a second god" who made himself in the "form of a cross" at the ecliptic. My memory tells me that Plato did speak of the ecliptic being like a cross but no more. Have I forgotten crucial details? Murdock does not help me here.
Plato only says the universe is chi-like. Again this 'scholar' has confounded Justin's re-interpretation of the crucifixion in light of Plato as Plato.

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Leucius Charinus
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Re: in defence of astrotheology

Post by Leucius Charinus » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:22 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote: The Geocentric Sun Myth was deeply embedded in the psyche of the ancients. To avoid presentism we need to throw the Copernican_Revolution away and go back to the way the ancients viewed their Sun. Their view of the "Earth System" was centred on the Earth (not the "Solar system"). This may have been treated as a "Great Mystery".
The longer my question fails to attract evidence that Greeks and Romans of the Hellenistic and Roman eras (up to the fourth century) had any myth of a dying and rising sun in their mythologies then the more I suspect none exists.
What does the evidence say about how did the Greeks and Romans viewed the setting and rising sun?

Or where did the sun go at night? What does the evidence say?

Father Sky, Mother Earth .... [wiki]Uranus_(mythology)#Genealogy_of_the_Olympians_in_Greek_mythology[/wiki]
  • Uranus (/ˈjʊərənəs/ or /jʊˈreɪnəs/; Ancient Greek Οὐρανός, Ouranos [oːranós] meaning "sky" or "heaven") was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His equivalent in Roman mythology was Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father.[3]

    Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times,[4] and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery.

    Elemental Earth, Sky and Styx might be joined, however, in a solemn invocation in Homeric epic.
The long neo-Platonic quotation from Julian even leads me to think that there was no such solar myth beyond this period and into the fourth century, too. There is nothing in that quotation to suggest a dying and rising sun myth; rather, everything about it testifies to the indomitable life force of the sun at all times.
The sun rules the day. But at night the sun has fled the sky, and the moon, stars and planets shine. Where did it go? Does anyone know? The Styx reference from Homer sounds like the Underworld. Did the Underworld exist in Greek and Roman cosmology? I think it did.
My memory of the details of the rise of Sol Invictus from the later imperial period on is rusty but from what I recall the idea of such a sun "dying" or being overcome by any enemy for a time was counter to the whole idea of sun worship in that era.
The sun is overcome by night, night is overcome by the sun. Chicken and egg. These people were geocentric thinkers.

So where did the sun go at night according to the Greeks and Romans?

IDK, but my first "guess" would be to the "Underworld", only to rise again from it.

But you're right neilgodfrey to continue to seek literary evidence in support of any myth of a dying and rising sun.

Does anyone have any literary references as to what these [geocentric] people believed the sun did between evening and morning?





LC
A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius]

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