Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
THEOPHILUS: Chapter V.—Philosophers Inculcate Cannibalism.
Chapter V.—Philosophers Inculcate Cannibalism.
Since, then, you have read much, what is your opinion of the precepts of Zeno, and Diogenes, and Cleanthes, which their books contain, inculcating the eating of human flesh: that fathers be cooked and eaten by their own children; and that if any one refuse or reject a part of this infamous food, he himself be devoured who will riot eat? An utterance even more godless than these is found,—that, namely, of Diogenes, who teaches children to bring their own parents in sacrifice, and devour them. And does not the historian Herodotus narrate that Cambyses, 641 when he had slaughtered the children of Harpagus, cooked them also, and set them as a meal before their father? And, still further, he narrates that among the Indians the parents are eaten by their own children. Oh! the godless teaching of those who recorded, yea, rather, inculcated such things! Oh! their wickedness and godlessness! Oh! the conception of those who thus accurately philosophized, and profess philosophy! For they who taught these doctrines have filled the world with iniquity.
It was not Cambyses, but Astyages, who did this; see Herod. i. 119.
Next: Chapter VI.—Other Opinions of the Philosophers.
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