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Homer

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:04 pm

Last night, I was amazed to discover for the first time that the poet Homer was deified, as depicted on a 2nd Century BCE marble relief. Does anyone know anything else about this?
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Re: Homer

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:36 pm

AgathonZante wrote:Last night, I was amazed to discover for the first time that the poet Homer was deified, as depicted on a 2nd Century BCE marble relief. Does anyone know anything else about this?

Most 'celebrities' were deified, whether officially (by the state) or just by popular acclaim. Most emperors and monarchs had temples to their souls after their deaths from the Hellenistic era onward, and all the famous poets of early Antiquity (Homer, Hesiod, Orpheus, Linus, Musaeus etc) were worshipped, because these early poets were considered divinely-inspired.

Plato had a temple to himself in Rome, for instance.

Worshipping the souls of deceased people, especially notable ones, was not anything that was at all strange in Classical Antiquity, as odd as it can seem to modern sensibilities.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Homer

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:58 pm

It doesn't seem odd to me at all. The more Divine help I can get, the better Smile
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Re: Homer

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:40 pm

AgathonZante wrote:It doesn't seem odd to me at all. The more Divine help I can get, the better Smile

I personally believe people are capable of becoming gods, if their souls can evolve far enough to be deemed worthy of godhood by the Gods. So this isn't strange to me at all x3

I often pray to Plato, Pythagoras and Orpheus <.< hehe that tends to throw a lot of my friends through a loop.

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Re: Homer

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:49 pm

I think it's a wonderful thing to have Deified people in our religion that we can pray to, and I also believe humans can become Gods. I mean, the poets we are speaking of were completely mortal and received deification.
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Re: Homer

Post  Erodius on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:44 pm

Icarus wrote:
I often pray to Plato, Pythagoras and Orpheus <.< hehe that tends to throw a lot of my friends through a loop.

According to his biography, the Roman emperor Alexander Severus himself kept a shrine to Orpheus, Jesus, Abraham, Moses, the Gods, his ancestors, and Alexander the Great, and even wanted to reconcile the Christians with everyone else by building a Graeco-Roman style 'Temple of Jesus' in Rome, to which both the Christians and the Roman hierarchs objected. (As a side note, to the horror of some [especially iconoclastic Protestant] Christians, there are a variety of temples in India wherein statues of Jesus (and, occasionally, even some local Sufi Muslim sheikhs) are worshipped just as, and alongside, the other Gods.

I keep a shrine for several of the sages/saints of Orphism likewise — Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, Apollonius of Tyana, even Jesus. I also say prayers to Pherecydes, Iamblichus and Proclus, and sometimes Heraclitus, Synesius, and Vergil.

I think it's a wonderful thing to have Deified people in our religion that we can pray to

That was the mentality in later Antiquity too. Although the Gods continued to be worshipped and have temples, in private religion, devotion to various philosopher saints and prophets (of which, at the time, there were probably hundreds of movements and churches spreading through the empire) was almost more common. Why? Possibly because they come to be seen as more directly accessible to the devotee. This survives in the Catholic Christian practice of praying to the saints and asking for their intercession.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Homer

Post  AgathonZante on Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:39 am

I know there were many Greek mortals Deified after death, such as Homer, Hesiod and Orpheus. Is there anything that lists all of the Greeks who were Deified, or at least some of them?
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Re: Homer

Post  Erodius on Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:58 am

Simply put, no, there is not. The list would be enormous and certainly would have included individuals whose names and identities have been lost to history.

Suffice it to say that most memorable figures from myth, all the poets, and nearly all Roman emperors and Hellenistic monarchs were treated as deities.

However, it should also be remembered that many of these cults would have been localized, and their worship would not have been 'popular', relatively speaking.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Homer

Post  AgathonZante on Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:03 pm

I was thinking about writing some prayers to people like Homer, Hesiod and Orpheus so I wanted to know of a few more so I could make a set of well known Deified Greeks.
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Re: Homer

Post  Erodius on Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm

AgathonZante wrote:I was thinking about writing some prayers to people like Homer, Hesiod and Orpheus so I wanted to know of a few more so I could make a set of well known Deified Greeks.

A variety have been mentioned already on this thread. As I mentioned though, a theoretical 'complete list' would be impossibly long, and impossible to compile anyhow. The Graeco-Roman world was dotted with hundreds and hundreds of cities, all of which had their shrines, altars and temples, and most of which likely also had their own local/regional saints and holy figures, some of whom might not even have been worshipped outside of their own small regions.

Understand that every person's soul is considered to be a daemon/genius — whether or not and by whom they were worshipped depended on who they were and what they did. Famous religious leaders and sages, and influential political leaders had widespread worship, while the genii of average people received worship only from their living relatives and descendants. One thing, related to this, which seems to have been seen as somewhat controversial in Antiquity was that Orphic congregations would supposedly erect altars and conduct formal worship and prayer to the souls of deceased members of their own congregation (the reason why this would have seemed odd has to do with what I've mentioned: that it was not typical custom to worship 'average people' who were not your own family members).

Certainly, the most popular 'saints' varied with the times and circumstances (especially political). But the Classical heroes (Heracles, Achilles, Theseus, Iason etc.) always had popular cults, as did the divine poets (Orpheus, Linus, Musaeus, Homer, Hesiod, Vergil etc.), influential leaders like Caesar Augustus, Alexander and the Ptolemies, and a wide variety of itinerant preachers from all over the empire, like the Christ-like Orpheo-Pythagorean prophet and reformer Apollonius of Tyana, whose devotees grew to include even the Roman imperial family themselves.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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