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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter III.—Appion Proceeds to Interpret the Myths.

“There was once a time when nothing existed but chaos and a confused mixture of orderless elements, which were as yet simply heaped together. 1059   This nature testifies, and great men have been of opinion that it was so.  Of these great men I shall bring forward to you him who excelled them all in wisdom, Homer, where he says, with a reference to the original confused mass, ‘But may you all become water and earth;’ 1060 implying that from these all things had their origin, and that all things return to their first state, which is chaos, when the watery and earthy substances are separated.  And Hesiod in the Theogony says, ‘Assuredly chaos was the very first to come into being.’ 1061   Now, by ‘come into being,’ he evidently means that chaos came into being, as having a beginning, and did not always exist, without beginning.  And Orpheus likens chaos to an egg, in which was the confused mixture of the primordial elements.  This chaos, which Orpheus calls an egg, is taken for granted by Hesiod, having a beginning, produced from infinite matter, and originated in the following way.



[With this discourse and its cosmogony compare the discourse of Clement and his brothers in Recognitions, x. 17–19, 30–34.—R.]


Iliad, vii. 99.


L. 116.

Next: Chapter IV