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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Pseudo-Clementine Literature.: Chapter XVII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVII.—Gentile Cosmogony.

And I immediately rejoined:  “Seeing that when you were disputing at Tripolis, as I said, you discoursed much concerning the gods of the Gentiles profitably and convincingly, I desire to set forth in your presence the ridiculous legends concerning their origin, both that you may not be unacquainted with the falsehood of this vain superstition, and that the hearers who are present may know the disgraceful character of their error.  The wise men, then, who are among the Gentiles, say that first of all things was chaos; 862 that this, through a long time solidifying its outer parts, made bounds to itself and a sort of foundation, being gathered, as it were, into the manner and form of a huge egg, within which, in the course of a long time, as within the shell of the egg, there was cherished and vivified a certain animal; and that afterwards, that huge globe being broken, there came forth a certain kind of man of double sex, which they call masculo-feminine.  This they called Phanetas, from appearing, because when it appeared, they say, then also light shone forth.  And from this, they say that there were produced substance, prudence, motion, and coition, and from these the heavens and the earth were made.  From the heaven they say that six males were produced, whom they call Titans; and in like manner, from the earth six females, whom they called Titanides.  And these are the names of the males who sprang from the heaven:  Oceanus, Cœus, Crios, Hyperion, Iapetus, Chronos, who amongst us is called Saturn.  In like manner, the names of the females who sprang from the earth are these:  Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Tethys, Hebe. 863



[With this cosmogony (chaps. 17–19, 30–34) compare the discourse of Appion, Homily 3–10.—R.]


[Comp. chap. 31 and Homily VI. 2.—R.]

Next: Chapter XVIII

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