Download After Life in Roman Paganism: Lectures Delivered at Yale by Franz Valery Marie Cumont PDF

By Franz Valery Marie Cumont

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Even while he accused himself of unreasonable weakness, he ordered that not a tomb but a chapel (fanum), consecrating her apotheosis, should be raised to this young woman. The letters he wrote at this time to Atticus, from the shores of the Pomptine Marshes, in the soli­ tude of Astura, apprise us of his most intimate feelings. He gave vent to his sorrow in writing a Consolatio, and in its preserved fragments we see him strangely impressed by the Pythagorean doctrines: he speaks of the soul, exempt from all matter, as celestial and divine and therefore eternal, of the soul's life here below as a penalty inflicted on it because it is born to expiate anterior crimes (sceleram luendorum causa).

65. 4i Cf. Lecture TTT, p. 98. tzArcK Bpigr. Mitt, aus OesterreicJi, VI, 1882, p. 60; cf, Epictetus, I e. ' * 16 A F T E R L I F E I N ROMAN PAGANISM earth. " dS These verses express the same great thought in various forms: death is disappearance into the depths of divine nature. It is not for the preservation of an ephemeral personality that we must hope. ' U6 The fiery breath of our intelligence is gathered, as are the matter and the humours of our organism, into the inexhaustible reser­ voir which produced them, as one day the earth and the heavens will he gathered thither also.

I l l , p. 103. Q8 See Leeture II, p. 81. «o See, for all this, Lecture III, p. ; cf, VIII, p. 195. 70 See Leeture VIII, p. 212. 7i See Lecture I, p. 72 But especially the souls of the crimi­ nal and the impious were thus condemned to wander, restless and in pain, through the lower air, which they filled with their multitude. It was these demoniac spirits who returned as dismal phantoms to frighten the living, who were evoked by wizards and who revealed the future in oracles. Demonology accounted for all the aberrations of magic and divination.

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