Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

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Secret Alias
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Tue May 26, 2020 10:02 am

It might well be both. Philo (or Philo's Alexandrian tradition) mixes Judaic, Stoic and Platonic elements.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Tue May 26, 2020 10:11 am

It does not have to be a use of the word πείθου.
I think it does. Matthew was the original gospel (according to contemporary understanding). Irenaeus places it first. Ammonius in Alexandria places it first. Previous studies have understood Clement's argument in QDS as having Matthew lurking in the background. As I have already noted there were no commentaries on Mark until the Byzantine period. Everyone ignored Mark for whatever reason. Origen's big commentary was developed from Matthew. Mark is mentioned but as if it was a modification of Matthew. I am sure that Origen was conditioned by Ammonius in this respect. But that's why I subscribed to Platova's reading of QDS - because it was expected.

That's why I think that Clement would have to bring attention to the variant in Mark by emphasizing πείθου in his exegesis. Maybe I am wrong. Could be. But look at Irenaeus's dealing with a similar Marcionite variant. You'd expect the drawing attention to Mark's wording. But it is possible I am wrong.

I just think that the less we see Clement draw attention to πείθου the less likely he is thinking of Matthew or preferring Mark to Matthew.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Ken Olson
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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Wed May 27, 2020 5:13 pm

Jumping back a bit in the thread, Secret Alias wrote:
And agape was taken to mean an orgiastic love feast outside of to Theodore. And Clement himself defends the Agape from these charges elsewhere in his writings.
It's in the Instructor 2.1.

Also Epiphanius as Lawlor notes isn't always using Irenaeus but often times cites directly from Hegesippus [Panarion 27] where among other things the Carpocratians are understood to engage in homosexual orgies:

So the idea that the users of Secret Mark were homosexuals and engaged in homosexual orgies might be as old as Hegesippus.
I'll review the texts from Clement, Instructor 2.1 and Stromateis 10, as well as Hegesippus Panarion 27 to see what kind of evidence they provide for the Carpocratians practicing homosexuality at their Agape (love feast).

Clement, The Instructor
There is no limit to epicurism among men. For it has driven them to sweetmeats, and honey-cakes, and sugar-plums; inventing a multitude of desserts, hunting after all manner of dishes. A man like this seems to me to be all jaw, and nothing else. Desire not, says the Scripture, rich men's dainties; Proverbs 23:3 for they belong to a false and base life. They partake of luxurious dishes, which a little after go to the dunghill. But we who seek the heavenly bread must rule the belly, which is beneath heaven, and much more the things which are agreeable to it, which God shall destroy, 1 Corinthians 6:13 says the apostle, justly execrating gluttonous desires. For meats are for the belly, 1 Corinthians 6:13 for on them depends this truly carnal and destructive life; whence some, speaking with unbridled tongue, dare to apply the name agape, to pitiful suppers, redolent of savour and sauces. Dishonouring the good and saving work of the Word, the consecrated agape, with pots and pouring of sauce; and by drink and delicacies and smoke desecrating that name, they are deceived in their idea, having expected that the promise of God might be bought with suppers. Gatherings for the sake of mirth, and such entertainments as are called by ourselves, we name rightly suppers, dinners, and banquets, after the example of the Lord. But such entertainments the Lord has not called agapæ. He says accordingly somewhere, When you are called to a wedding, recline not on the highest couch; but when you are called, fall into the lowest place; Luke 14:8, 10 and elsewhere, When you make a dinner or a supper; and again, But when you make an entertainment, call the poor, Luke 14:12-13 for whose sake chiefly a supper ought to be made. And further, A certain man made a great supper, and called many. Luke 14:16 (Clement, Instructor 2.1)
This text is about the Agape, but contains no explicit reference to sexual practices or to Carpocratians. It is taken from the first chapter of the second book of The Instructor which deals with the sin of gluttony and Clement appears to be talking about Christians in general celebrating the Agape wrong. The case for its dealing with sexual practices is twofold: it contains the word carnal and quotes 1 Cor. 6.13. The word carnal or bodily can apply to gluttony just as well as lust, so there is not need there to go beyond the gluttony under discussion in the passage to explain its use. The same is true of the quotation of 1 Cor. 6.13. If the reference to 1 Corinthians 6.13 is a metaleptic reference, meaning it meant to evoke the context of the quotation beyond what is actually quoted, there is some discussion of sexual issues in 1 Cor. 6.13 and 1 Cor. 6. But is it a metaleptic reference? Its use can again be explained quite well as the part actually quoted fits in the context of what is under discussion in the passage, the sin of gluttony. Also, we can see that the other Scriptural passages quoted in the passage Provers 23 and Luke 14, appear to have been chosen because they discuss food and dinners, which gives us some insight into what reasons Clement might have chosen 1 Cor 6 as well. I would conclude that this passage is probably not discussing sexual practices or Carpocratians.

This is about overindulgence in food, not sexual immorality or Carpocratians

Clement, Stromateis
10(1) These are the doctrines of our noble Carpocratians.
They say that these people and some other zealots for the same
vicious practices gather for dinner (1 could never call their congregation
a Christian love-feast), men and women together,
and after they have stuffed themselves ("The Cyprian goddess
is there when you are full," they say), they knock over the
lamps, put out the light that would expose their fornicating
"righteousness," and couple as they will with any woman they
fancy. So in this love-feast they practice commonality. Then
by daylight they demand any woman they want in obedience-
it would be wrong to say to the Law of God-to the law of Carpocrates.
I guess that is the sort of legislation Carpocrates must
have established for the copulation of dogs, pigs, and goats.
This passage is explicitly about the Agape (the Love Feast), Carpocratians, and sexual practices.

Clement has two sources for his knowledge of the Carpocratians. The first is Epiphanes book On Righteousness, of which he has a copy and from which he quotes in the section preceding that quote above. His other source is what “they say,” and it is to that source that he attributes the description of the Carpocratian Agape or Love Feast.

Clement's description of the Carpocratian Agape bears a striking resemblance to the description of the Christian Agape given by the pagan critic of Christianity Q. Caecilius Natalis in Minucius Felix's dialogue Octavius written at roughly the same time as Clement's Stromateis (end of the second century or beginning of the third):
Their form of feasting is notorious ; it is in everyone's mouth, as testified by our friend Cirta. On the day appointed they gather at a banquet with all their children, sisters, and mothers, people of either sex and every age. There, after full feasting, when the blood is heated and drink has inflamed the passions of incestuous lust, a dog which has been tied to a lamp is tempted by a morsel thrown beyond the range of his tether to bound forward with a rush. The tale-telling light is upset and extinguished, and in the shameless dark lustful embraces are indiscriminately exchanged ; and all alike, if not in act, yet by complicity, are involved in incest, as anything that occurs by the act of individuals results from the common intention. [Ocatavius 9, Loeb]
Note especially that in both texts the indiscriminate orgy begins when the lamp is knocked over (the Octavius is more explicit about how) and the ensuing darkness covers the subsequent orgy. In both cases, the source appears to be “word on the street.” Has Caecilius confused a story circulating about the specific customs of the Carpocratians with the practices of Christians in general? This seems unlikely. Octavius responds to Caecilius charges against the Christians, not by saying it applies only to the Carpocratians, but rather:
The tall story of incestuous banqueting is a lying concoction of demons leagued against us to throw the mud of infamous aspersions upon our boasted purity, that before looking into the truth popular opinion might be turned against us by shocking and horrible imputations. In this way your own Fronto did not produce evidence as on affidavit, but spattered abuse like an agitator. [Octavius 31]
It seems more likely that Clement has taken the word on the street and attributed it to the Carpocratians. Even if Clement is not himself responsible for attaching it to the Carpocratians, we have good reason to believe the story is an urban legend and that Clement is not giving reliable information about the Carpocratian Agape. It can be stablished from what Clement says about Epiphanes' On Righteousness that the Carpocratians held unorthodox views on marriage. It is likely that their reputation among the church fathers as sexual deviants grew out of that.

Epiphanius, Panarion
4,5 Again, I am afraid to say what sort of actions, or I might uncover a trench like a hidden sewer, and some might think that I am causing the blast of foul odor. Still, since I am constrained by the truth to disclose what goes on among the deluded, I am going to make myself speak—with some delicacy and yet without overstepping the bounds of the truth. (6) *The plain fact is that these people perform every unspeakable, unlawful thing*, which is not right even to say, and every kind of *homosexual union* and carnal intercourse with women, with every member of the body— (7) and that they *perform magic, sorcery and idolatry* and say that this is the discharge of their obligations in the body, so that they will not be charged any more or required to do anything else, and for this reason the soul will not be turned back after its departure and go on to another incarnation and transmigration. [Epiphanius, Panarion 27.4.5-7, Frank Williams translation]
Epiphanius (c. 310 or 320 – 403), is writing in the fourth century. It is unlikely there were any Carpocratians still around then, and, though he refers to their writings, it's not clear he's ever read any of them. He appears to be dependent on the works of earlier heresiologists within the orthodox church, especially Irenaeus description of the Carpocratians (Against Heresies 1.25), and his own imagination. H.J. Lawlor has suggested that Epiphanius used Hegesippus as well as Irenaeus (Eusebiana, 74-77), but we know little of what Hegesippus may have said about the Carpocratians beyond the mentions in lists of heretics quoted in Eusebius (HE 4.22). The quotation given above is three lines from the fourth section of eight from chapter 27 of the Panarion. In the course of the eight sections of the chapter he devotes to the Carpocratians, Epihanius accuses them of quite a bit, only some of which can be traced to second century sources. Epihanius goes on at greater length than the known second century sources do, which suggests that the tale of their crimes grew in the telling. Unless there is an earlier source documenting Carpocratian homosexual unions, it would probably be better not to accept that on Epiphanius' testimony.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Wed May 27, 2020 6:31 pm

What are we to make of this passage from the concluding chapter of Clement's Exhortation to the Hellenes:
O truly sacred mysteries! O pure light! In the blaze of the torches I have a vision from heaven and of God. I become holy by initiation. The Lord reveals the mysteries ; He marks the worshipper with his seal, gives light to guide his way, and commends him, when he has believed, to the Father's care, where he is guarded for ages to come. These are the revels of the mysteries! ...

O ye who of old were images, but do not at all resemble your model, I desire to conform you to the archetype, that you may become even as I am. I will anoint you with the ointment of faith, whereby you cast away corruption ; and I will display unveiled [γυμνὸν] the figure of righteousness, whereby you ascend to God. Come unto me. [Exhortation to the Hellenes 12; Butterworth's Loeb translation].
It looks like Clement is describing Christian baptism in the language of the mystery cults.

Best,

Ken

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Wed May 27, 2020 7:03 pm

It is unlikely there were any Carpocratians still around then, and, though he refers to their writings
https://archive.org/details/eusebianaessays00lawluoft
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Wed May 27, 2020 7:59 pm

Lawlor makes the case that Epiphanius had Hegesippus in front of him and cites from it throughout the Panarion. It might mean that things that go beyond what Irenaeus says about the Carpocratians is found by Epiphanius in Hegesippus. Also orgies and homosexual insinuation is found in Against the Valentinians. Might have been more common than we think. I think it also appears in Apology too with the way Christians call each other "brother" is grounds for suspicion.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by robert j » Thu May 28, 2020 9:53 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:31 pm
What are we to make of this passage from the concluding chapter of Clement's Exhortation to the Hellenes:
O truly sacred mysteries! O pure light! In the blaze of the torches I have a vision from heaven and of God. I become holy by initiation. The Lord reveals the mysteries ; He marks the worshipper with his seal, gives light to guide his way, and commends him, when he has believed, to the Father's care, where he is guarded for ages to come. These are the revels of the mysteries! ... [Exhortation to the Hellenes 12; Butterworth's Loeb translation].
It looks like Clement is describing Christian baptism in the language of the mystery cults.
I think characterizing this passage as referring to the Christian ritual of baptism is way too narrow.

As a NT text, the letter 2 Peter is widely recognized as among the latest to have been written --- perhaps even roughly contemporaneous with Clement of Alexandria. I have argued previously on this forum that the letter 2 Peter is a product of a proto-orthodox, early “catholic” author.

The following table is not intended to present the two passages as parallels in terms of one having been derived from, or dependent upon, the other. But rather the comparison is intended to demonstrate similar conceptualizations of the Christian faith in terms of the pagan Mysteries of the times.

In 2 Peter, the author casts the transfiguration in terms of a Mystery religion ritual. And Clement casts the Christian faith in terms of the Mysteries. These authors, at least in these passages, are conceptual compadres ---

2 Peter 1:16-19Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Hellenes,12
… having been eyewitnesses (ἐπόπται)*** of His majesty. For having received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice such as follows was brought to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And we heard this voice having been brought from heaven, being with Him in the holy mountain.

And we have the more certain prophetic word, to which you do well taking heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until this day shall have dawned and the morning star (phósphoros, φωσφόρος, light- bringing) shall have arisen in your hearts,

O truly sacred mysteries! O pure light! In the blaze of the torches I have a vision from heaven and of God. I become holy by initiation. The Lord reveals the mysteries ; He marks the worshipper with his seal, gives light to guide his way, and commends him, when he has believed, to the Father's care, where he is guarded for ages to come. These are the revels of the mysteries! ...

*** The Greek term epoptai (ἐπόπται) is typically translated in bibles as "eyewitnesses". But in an historical context, the word was used primarily as a technical term in the non-Christian Eleusinian Mysteries, widespread in the eastern Mediterranean at the time. The term was used to designate advanced initiates who had attained esoteric knowledge.

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Ken Olson » Thu May 28, 2020 11:07 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:59 pm
Lawlor makes the case that Epiphanius had Hegesippus in front of him and cites from it throughout the Panarion. It might mean that things that go beyond what Irenaeus says about the Carpocratians is found by Epiphanius in Hegesippus.
I acknowledged in my earlier post that Lawlor had suggested that Epiphanius may have had Hegesippus in addition to Irenaeus as a source for his information on the Carpocratians, but pointed out that we have no way of knowing whether the specific claim about Carpocratian homosexuality came from Hegesippus. Now that I look at it, though, it appears that Lawlor's case may be based primarily on a translation error. The cornerstone of his argument concerns the woman Marcellina. Lawlor, following Lightfoot, renders the beginning of the passage:
A certain Marcellina who had been led into error by them (the Carpocratians) paid us a visit some time ago.
Lawlor reasons that the use of the first person suggests that Epiphanius is not using Irenaeus, but Irenaeus's source, which was someone living in Rome at the time of Anicetus, bishop of Rome, and this can only have been Hegesippus. Lawlor hypothesizes that Epiphanius retained the first person from the original, while Irenaeus modified it. (Lawlor, Eusebiana, 74).

However, Frank Williams' more recent translation of the same passage renders it:
I heard at some time of a Marcellina who was deceived by them (Epiphanius Panarion 27.6.1).
The Greek is:
Ἦλθεν δὲ εἰς ἡμᾶς ἤδη πως Μαρκελλίνα τις ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἀπατηθεῖσα
I think the difference is due to Lawlor/Lightfoot taking Ἦλθεν to mean "she came", meaning Marcellina, while Williams takes it to mean "it came" meaning a tradition about Marcellina. Williams translation is preferable as it does not multiply hypotheses about an original source using the first person which Epiphanius, for some reason, chose to take over without modification.
Also orgies and homosexual insinuation is found in Against the Valentinians. Might have been more common than we think. I think it also appears in Apology too with the way Christians call each other "brother" is grounds for suspicion.
Could you give exact citations for Against the Valentinians and the Apology so we can see what you're talking about?

Best,

Ken

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 28, 2020 11:45 am

we have no way of knowing whether the specific claim about Carpocratian homosexuality came from Hegesippus.
We don't. Agreed. But as anyone who has ever considered an invitation to participate in an orgy, homosexuality will necessarily be present in a gathering of male and female bodies and indiscriminate love-making. It's unavoidable. To participate in an orgy is to accept that you will be party to same sex sexuality. Like driving on the wrong side of the highway and being surprised you got into an accident.

Lawlor's arguments go beyond the one sentence. There is a second passage and then there is the shared bishops list of Jerusalem with Eusebius. I am very confident he had Hegesippus in front of him.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: Tinker Tailor Soldier Forger

Post by Secret Alias » Thu May 28, 2020 11:57 am

The passage in Against the Valentinians which caught my eye with 'Secret Mark' sounding references:
we will be happy to be counted with our god [the Demiurge] from whom we received our soul-like origin. Nothing is admitted into the palace of the Pleroma except the spirit-like swarm of Valentinus. These men then, men destined to enter the Pleroma, are unclothed first; to be unclothed means to put aside the souls with which they are only apparently endowed. They return to the Demiurge these souls which they received from him. They become spirits entirely metaphysical, immune to restraint or detection; in this fashion they are received invisibly into the Pleroma-- secretly, if this is the way it is! What then? They are handed out to the angels who accompany Saviour. As sons, do you suppose? No. As valets perhaps? Not even this. As ghosts? I wish even this were the case! What, then, if you are not ashamed to say? As wives! For marriages they will play "Rape the Sabines" among themselves. This is the reward for being "spirit-like"; this is the prize for believing.

These are proper little stories; for example, you, Marcus, or you, Gaius, at present bearded in this body and in this soul a stern husband (severus maritus), father, grandfather, or great-grandfather-- certainly masculine enough--then, in this harem of a Pleroma, by some angel you might be (in nyphone Pleromatis ab angelo). . . ; by my silence I have already said it (i.e. having sex Holmes translation adds "you may perhaps in the bridal-chamber of the Pleroma" to fill in the blanks). Anyway perhaps you might give birth to some new aeon (et forsitan parias aliquem novissimum Aeonem). In place of the usual torch and veil I imagine that famous mysterious fire will blaze out to solemnize the ceremony, and will devastate the entire universe, then be reduced to nothing, after it has incinerated everything. That will be the end of their myth. But I am certainly the rash one for betraying, even in jest, such a great mystery. I should be afraid that Achamoth (i.e. Sophia), who wanted to be unrecognized even by her own son, may rage; that Theletus may become angry; that Fortunata may be irritated. But why worry? I am the Demiurge's man. It will be my fate to return after death to a place where there is no giving in marriage, where we are to be further clothed rather than unclothed (II Cor. 5); where even if I were unclothed of my sex, I would be classified as an angel, neither male nor female. No one will do anything to me since he will not find me as male then.
I see this as a parody of the mysteries of Mark first (and later Gaius of Rome) where men strip themselves naked and seek - as with Secret Mark - to take on a divine soul. These men are ritually prepared for marriage with an angel who is presumably male also. The maleness of the initiates is emphasized throughout. Gaius's masculinity is also emphasized. There seems to be a harem also so another orgy potentially. The angels who surround Jesus enthroned in heaven are always envisioned to be male I have to think. I've never heard of a scheme where these angels are female. I think the fact that 'Mark' is mentioned in relation to these sexualized mysteries is not accidental either.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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