A scholion on Lucian about Mithras, and a translation of Theodoret

Here’s a couple of stray thoughts, relating to previous posts.

Firstly, I can confirm that there is a translation into English of Theodoret’s Fabularum Haereticorum Compendium in the 1990 these by Glenn Melvin Cope, An analysis of the heresiological method of Theodoret of Cyrus in the “Haereticarum fabularum compendium”.  I got hold of a copy today, and all five books are translated.

Secondly … Andrew Eastbourne very kindly translated a scholion on Lucian, which related to Mithras.  I extracted it from Cumont’s Textes et Monumentes and asked him to do the honours.  Here’s what he says:

Cumont cites two scholia on Lucian which discuss Mithra(s), from the edition of Jacobitz.  For a more recent edition, see Rabe, Scholia in Lucianum (1906).[1]

Scholion on Lucian, Zeus Rants / Jupiter tragoedus 8 [cf. Rabe, p. 60]:

This Bendis…[2]  Bendis is a Thracian goddess, and Anubis is an Egyptian [god], whom the theologoi[3] call “dog-faced.”  Mithras is Persian, and Men is Phrygian.  This Mithras is the same as Hephaestus, but others say [he is the same as] Helios.  So then, because the barbarians would take pride[4] in wealth, they naturally also outfitted their own gods most expensively.  And Attis is revered by the Phrygians…

 Scholion on Lucian, The Parliament of the Gods / Deorum concilium 9 [cf. Rabe, p. 212] 

Mithrês [Mithras]…  Mithras is the sun [Helios], among the Persians.[5]

——-
[1] I have noted points where Rabe’s edition differs in substance from the text printed by Cumont.  Rabe’s edition is available online at http://www.archive.org/details/scholiainlucianu00rabe
[2] Lucian’s text here mentions Bendis, Anubis, Attis, Mithrês [Mithras], and Mên.
[3] The Greek term normally refers to poets who wrote about the gods, like Hesiod or Orpheus.  Note that this is an emendation; the mss. read logoi (“words / discourses / accounts”), which Rabe adopts in his edition.
[4] Gk. ekômôn; lit., “wore their hair long / let their hair grow long.”
[5] Rabe’s text:  “Mithras is the same as Helios, among the Persians.”

 I will add this material to my collection of Mithras literary references.

The gallos-priests of Attis

The full text of Lucian De Dea Syria is online here. cc. 50-51 discuss the galli.

50. On certain days a multitude flocks into the temple, and the Galli in great numbers, sacred as they are, perform the ceremonies of the men and gash their arms and turn their backs to be lashed. Many bystanders play on the pipes the while many beat drums; others sing divine and sacred songs. All this performance takes place outside the temple, and those engaged in the ceremony enter not into the temple.

51. During these days they are made Galli. As the Galli sing and celebrate their orgies, frenzy falls on many of them and many who had come as mere spectators afterwards are found to have committed the great act. I will narrate what they do. Any young man who has resolved on this action, strips off his clothes, and with a loud shout bursts into the midst of the crowd, and picks up a sword from a number of swords which I suppose have been kept ready for many years for this purpose. He takes it and castrates himself and then runs wild through the city, bearing in his hands what he has cut off. He casts it into any house at will, and from this house he receives women’s raiment and ornaments. Thus they act during their ceremonies of castration.

52. The Galli, when dead, are not buried like other men, but when a Gallus dies his companions carry him out into the suburbs, and laying him out on the bier on which they had carried him they cover him with stones, and after this return home. They wait then for seven days, after which they enter the temple. Should they enter before this they would be guilty of blasphemy.

There is a question whether this rite relates to Cybele and Attis, depending on whether we identify the Syrian goddess with Cybele.