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Shrine of the Unknown God

Post  AgathonZante on Fri May 01, 2015 8:05 pm

Does history show that the Greeks had a Shrine to the Unknown God, or is it just a Christian myth or metaphor?
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Re: Shrine of the Unknown God

Post  Erodius on Fri May 01, 2015 10:13 pm

AgathonZante wrote:Does history show that the Greeks had a Shrine to the Unknown God, or is it just a Christian myth or metaphor?

It is not a Christian invention – however, the apostle Paul's interpretation of the Unknown God is a bit off. Altars dedicated to the Unknown God would not be unusual. However, they were not dedicated to the 'Unknown God' in the sense of an as-yet-unknown deity, but rather to make sure that no potential local deity went overlooked – i.e. to avoid accidentally ignoring some unnamed local divinity, or unintentionally upsetting some local spirit and risking retribution – considering that things like crop failures or floods or droughts or plagues caused by offended daemones were a very real concern for many people.

"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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