by Jan Assman
from Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism


The dynamics of counter-traditional religions can only be understood properly if seen against the background of that level of intercultural translatability at which the different civilizations and polytheisms of the Ancient World had arrived during the second millennium B.C.E. The conviction that God or the gods are international was a characteristic of the polytheistic religions of the ancient Near East. We must not think of polytheism as something primitive and tribal. The polytheistic religions of the ancient Near East and Ancient Egypt represent highly developed cultural achievements that are inseparably linked to the political organization of the early state and are not to be found in tribal societies. Tribal religions are characterized by their scarcely humanized and only weakly articulated and differentiated concept of the divine, which is worshipped in the form of ancestral spirits, and which is adored without any ritual worship in the form of a very remote high god, or deus otiosus. By contrast, in the context of “high-cultural” polytheisms the deities are clearly differentiated and personalized by name, shape, and function. The great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe. The gods are given a semantic dimension, by means of mythical narratives and theocosmological speculations. It is this semantic dimension that makes the names translatable. Tribal religions are ethnocentric. The powers that are worshipped by one tribe are different from the powers worshipped by another tribe. In contrast, the highly differentiated members of polytheistic pantheons lend themselves easily to crosscultural translation or “interpretation.” Well-known cases are the interpretatio Latina of Greek divinities and the interpretatio Graeca of Egyptian ones. Translation functions because the names have not only a reference, but also a meaning. The meaning of a deity is his or her specific character as it is unfolded in myths, hymns, rites, and so on. This character makes a deity comparable to other deities with similar traits. The similarity of gods makes their names mutually translatable. But in historical reality, this correlation has to be reversed. The practice of translating the names of the gods created a concept of similarity and produced the idea or conviction that gods are international.

The tradition of translating or interpreting foreign divine The tradition of translating or interpreting foreign divine names goes back to the Mesopotamian Listenwissenschaft of the third millennium B.C.E. In the context of these innumerable glossaries equating Sumerian and Akkadian words, there also appear lists of gods giving the divine names in two or even three languages, such as Emesal (women’s language, used as a literary dialect), Sumerian, and Akkadian.58 The most interesting of these sources is the explanatory list Anu sa Ameli which contains three columns, the first giving the Sumerian names, the second the Akkadian names, and the third the functional definition of the deity.59 This explanatory list gives what may be called the “meaning” of divine names, making explicit the principle which underlies the equation or translation of divine names. As long as this search for theological equations and equivalents was confined to the two languages, Sumerian and Akkadian, one could argue that it remained within the frame of a common religious culture. The translation here operates translingually, but not transcuiturally. But in the Kassite period of the late Bronze Age, the lists are extended to include languages spoken by foreign peoples. There is an “explanatory list of gods” that gives divine names in Amorite, Hurritic, Elamite, and Kassite in addition to Sumerian and Akkadian.6o

In these cases, there can be no doubt that the practice of translating divine names was applied to very different cultures and religions. The conviction that these foreign peoples worshipped the same gods is far from trivial and self-evident. Quite the contrary, this insight must be reckoned among the major cultural achievements of the Ancient World. The powerful influence of this insight can be seen in the field of international law and in the practice of forming treaties with other states and peoples. This, too, seems a specialty of Mesopotamian culture. Treaties had to be sealed by solemn oaths and the gods that were invoked in these oaths had to be recognized by both parties. The list of these gods conventionally closes the treaty. They necessarily had to be equivalent as to their function and in particular as to their rank. Intercultural theology became a concern of international law.

It seems probable to me that the interest in translations and equations for gods of different religions arose out of the Akkadian assimilation of the Sumerian pantheon and developed in the context of foreign policy. I do not assume that something like a conviction of living in a common world and worshiping common gods went before and formed the fundamentals of this political practice. Rather, I see it the other way round: the growing political and commercial interconnectedness of the Ancient World and the practice of cross-cultural translation of everything including divine names gradually led to the concept of a common religion. The argument runs as follows: Peoples, Cultures, and political systems may be different. But as long as they have a religion and worship some definite and identifiable gods, they are comparable and contactable because these gods must necessarily be the same as those worshipped by other nations but under different names. The names, iconographies, and rites-in short, the culturesdiffer, but the gods are the same. This concept of religion as the common background of cultural diversity and the principle of cultural translatability eventually led to the late Hellenistic mentality for which the names of the gods mattered little in view of the overwhelming natural evidence of their existence, and it was this mentality of Late Antiquity that the Deism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries returned to.

THE DEITY whose theology was most strongly informed by this universalist concept was Isis-not in her traditional Egyptian form, but in the form she assumed in Greco-Egyptian syncretism. The eleventh and last book of the Metamorphoses by Apuleius of Madaurus, written in the time of Marcus Aurelius, not only gives expression to this cosmotheistic conviction in a very explicit and articulated form, but in a way also transcends it. The book opens with a beautiful and highly significant scene. Lucius, a young man who has been transformed into an ass after carelessly dabbling in magic, awakens at the shore of the Mediterranean as the full moon rises from the sea. Books 1 through 10 had told of his trials and misfortunes, and Apuleius’ Latin text seems to closely follow his Greek original. But with the eleventh book the tone changes from the colorful and sometimes burlesque style of a picaresque novel into what A. D. Nock characterized as “the high-water mark of the piety which grew out of the mystery religions.”61 A new chapter is opened and a new hope rises with the moon, which Lucius addresses as follows:

o Queen of Heaven-whether thou art Ceres, the primal and
bountiful mother of crops …; or whether thou art heavenly Venus
who … art worshiped in the shrine of Paphos; or the sister
of Phoebus who … art now adored in the temples of Ephesus; or
whether as Proserpine . . . thou art propitiated with differing
rites-whoever thou art …, by whatever name (nomine) or ceremony
(ritu) or face (facie) thou art rightly called, help me now in
the depth of my trouble.62

Lucius addresses a nameless power which he feels is immanent in and revealed by the moon with four names: Ceres (Demeter), Venus (Aphrodite), Diana (Artemis), and Proserpina (Persephone). This is the tradition of invoking a deity with the “names of the nations” which I will consider soon. The specific names, rites, and .shapes are far less important than the manifest cosmic power. The goddess answers him in a dream, presenting herself in a similar way. She, too, ends her self-presentation with a catalogue of names:

Lo, I am with you, Lucius, moved by your prayers, I who am the
mother of the universe, the mistress of all the elements, the first
offspring of time, the highest of deities, the queen of the dead,
foremost of heavenly beings, the single form that fuses all gods
and goddesses; I who order by my will the starry heights of
heaven, the health giving breezes of the sea, and the awful silences
of those in the underworld: my single godhead is adored by the
whole world in varied forms, in differing rites and with many
diverse names.
Thus the Phrygians … call me Pessinuntia ; the Athenians
… call me Cecropeian Minerva; the Cyprians call me Paphian
Venus, the . . . Cretans Dictynna, the . . . Sicilians Ortygian
Proserpine; to the Eleusinians I am Ceres …, to others Juno, to
others Bellona and Hecate and Rhamnusia. But the Ethiopians …
together with the Africans and the Egyptians who excel by having
the original doctrine honor me with my distinctive rites and give
me my true name of Queen Isis.

The goddess also correlates names and nations. The name is important, but only for a specific group who adores the goddess in a specific form and through specific rites. Besides all these ethnic names, however, she also has a “true name” (verum nomen), which remained in use only among (verum nomen), which remained in use only among the nations with the most ancient and authentic tradition: the Egyptians and their southern neighbors.

Apuleius is a borderline case. On the one hand, he shares the view about the conventionality of divine names and the natural evidence of the divine essence. On the other hand, there is this concept of verum nomen, which clearly transcends the frame of natural evidence and belongs to the frame of revelation. The names which the deity is given by the various nations are not revealed, but constitute the culturally specific answer to general nature. But the verum nomen is exclusively revealed to the Egyptians and the Ethiopians. We are dealing with mystery as a transitional stage between nature and revelation.63 Revelation is the opposite of nature. A revealed name cannot be translated. But there is no opposition, let alone counter-religious antagonism between the Egyptian worship of Isis based on the “true name” and the worship of the various nations based on their conventional names for the same goddess. The concept of the “true name” does not turn the other nations into “pagans,” but only makes believers of a lower level of initiation. All worship the same deity and it is this natural identity transcending all cultural differences that counts.

THE TRADITION of invoking Isis by the names by which the various nations address her (a tradition which I will refer to, for brevity’s sake, as “the names of the nations”) was widespread in Greco-Roman Isis religion. There are several Isis-texts from Egypt that address the goddess in this way. The earliest is a hymn which Isidorus of Narmuthis had engraved on pillars in the temple of Thermuthis at Medinet Madi (first century B.C.E).64

All mortals who live on the boundless earth,
Thracians, Greeks and Barbarians,
Express your fair name, a name greatly honored among all,
[But] each speaks in his own language, in his own land.
The Syrians call you: Astarte, Artemis, Nanaia,
The Lycian tribes call you: Leto, the lady.
The Thracians also name you as Mother of the gods,
And the Greeks [call you] Hera of the Great Throne,
Hestia the goodly, Rhea and Demeter.
But the Egyptians call you Thiouis65 [because they know] that
you, being one, are all other goddesses invoked by the races
of men.66

Another text is provided by a papyrus from Oxyrhynchos. It contains a long hymn to Isis starting with a very long though badly fragmented list of names and places.67 There we read:

… at Aphroditopolis […], one in the house of Hephaestus […]
chmuenis; who at […]ophis art called Bubastis, […]; at Letopolis
Magna […] one; at Aphroditopolis in the Prosopite nome fleetcommanding,
many-shaped Aphrodite; at the Delta giver of favors
. . . at Nithine in the Gynaecopolite nome, Aphrodite; at
Paphremis, Isis, queen, Hestia, mistress of every country;… in’
the Saite nome, Victorious Athena …; in Sais, Hera, queen, full
grown; in Iseum, Isis; in Sebennytos, intelligence, ruler, Hera,
holy; in Hermupolis, Aphrodite, queen, holy; … in Apis, Sophia;
in Leuke Akte, Aphrodite, Mouchis, Eseremphis; at Cynopolis in
the Busirite nome, Praxidike; at Busiris, Good Fortune [Tukbe
]; … at Tanis, gracious in form, Hera […] etc.

After a long list correlating Egyptian towns with names of Isis, the text continues by naming places outside Egypt such as Arabia, where she is the “great goddess”; in Lycia, “Leto”; at Myra, “sage, freedom”; at Cnidus, “dispeller of attack, discoverer”; at Cyrene, “Isis”; on Crete, “Dictynnis”; at Chalcedon, “Themis”; in Rome, “warlike”; in the Cyclades, “of threefold nature”; on Patmos, “young […]”; at Paphos, “hallowed, divine, gentle”; on Chios, “marching”; at Salamis “observer”; on Cyprus, “all-bounteous”; and so forth, including foreign names: at Bamyce, “Atargatis”; among the Indians, “Maia”; at Sidon, “Astarte.” The list closes with a striking formula: “the beautiful essence of all the gods” (tbeon bapdnton to kalon zoon).

BUT THE MOTIF of “the names of the nations” and the relativization of all cultural and national differences as mere surface phenomena to be set off against the background of a common universal religion is not exclusively related to Isis. It is typical of the idea of a “Supreme Being” (the Greek expression is Hypsistos, “the Highest One”).

It consists in the belief in a supreme being comprising in its essence not only the myriads ofknown and unknown deities, but above all those three or four gods who, in the context of different religions, play the role of the highest god (usually Zeus, Sarapis, Helios, and lao = YHWH). This super deity is addressed by appellations like Hypsistos (“supreme”),68 and by the widespread “One-God” predication Hefs Theos. 69 Oracles typically proclaim particular gods to be identical with other gods. The oracles concerning Sarapis are well known:

One Zeus, one Hades, one Helios is Sarapis.70
One Zeus, one Hades, one Helios, one Dionysos,
One god in all gods.71


“Where lao, the God of the Jews, is elevated to the rank of the One-and-Supreme Being, he has to give up his transcendent otherworldliness in order to become an immanent cosmic entity. In one of these oracles he is proclaimed the god of time (Olam-Aion) appearing as Hades in winter, Zeus in springtime, Helios in summer, and Abros lao in autumn.72 In these oracles and predications, there becomes manifest a quest for the sole and supreme divine principle beyond the innumerable multitude of specific deities. This quest is typical of the “ecumenic age” and seems to correspond to efforts to achieve political unification.73 The belief in the “Supreme Being” (Hypsistos) has a distinctly cosmopolitan character. Typical of this conception is the combination of names from different languages and religions.

The hallmark of this cosmopolitan religiosity is the tradition of invoking the Supreme Being by the “names of the nations.” A consecration text in Papyrus Leiden I, 384, addresses the Supreme God lao (= YHWH)-Sabaoth-Abrasax in the following words:

I invoke you as do the Egyptians: “Phno eai Iabok,”
As do the Jews: Adonaie Sabaoth,
As do the Greeks: king, ruling as monarch over all,
As do the high priests: hidden one, invisible one, who looks
upon all,
As do the Parthians: OYERTO almighty.74

A magical invocation starts as follows:

I invoke thee who encompasses the universe,
in every voice and in every dialect (pare phone kai pase

Hippolytus, in his report on the sermon of the Naassenians (a Gnostic sect), includes the liturgical chant from the cult of Attis invoking Attis by the names of the gods of the various peoples which forms the “text” of the sermon:

Whether the offspring of Kronos or the blessed son ofJove or
of the great Rhea,
hail to thee, Attis, sad message of Rhea.
The Assyrians call thee thrice desired Adonis,
all Egypt calls thee Osiris,
Greek wisdom the heavenly horn of the moon,
the Samothracians “dignified Adamna,”
the Haemonians Korybas,
the Phrygians now Papas, then Tot or God,
or “Without-Fear,” goat-herd, mown ear,
or man, born by the almond with many fruits, flute-player.76

Of particular interest in the context of this study is an epigram by Ausonius, because it was to play a major role in the discourse about Moses the Egyptian.77 It is epigram 48, entitled “Mixobarbaron Liberi Patris Signo Marmoreo in Villa Nostra Omnium Deorum Argumenta Habenti.”78 I give the text according to the edition and translation by Hugh G. Evelyn White79:

Ogygiadae80 me Bacchum vocant,
Osiris Aegypti putant,
Mysi Phanacen nominant,
Dionyson Indi existimant,
Romana sacra Liberum,
Arabica gens Adoneum,
Lucaniacus Pantheum.

The sons of Ogyges call me Bacchus,
Egyptians think me Osiris,
Mysians name me Phanaces,
Indians regard me as Dionysus,
Roman rites make me Liber,
The Arab race thinks me Adoneus,
Lucaniacus81 the Universal God.

This tradition of invoking the ~ighest god by the names of the various nations expresses a general conviction in Late Antiquity about the universality of religious truth and the relativity of religious institutions and denominations. Mozart’s masonic Cantata K. 619 and Goethe’s monologue “Wer darfihn nennen” bespeak the same conviction in very similar terms.

The conception of the conventionality and therefore the translatability of the divine names was based on natural evidence, that is, on reference to experiences that were accessible to all humankind. Seneca refers to visible evidence in precisely this sense: “This All, which you see, which encompasses divine and human, is One, and we are but members of a great body.”82 According ·to Servius, the Stoics taught that there is only one god whose names merely differ according to actions and offices.83 Varro, who knew about the Jews from Poseidonios, was unwilling to see any difference between Jove and Yahweh nihil interesse censens quo nomine nuncupetur, dum eadem res intelligatur (“because he was of the opinion that it mattered little by which name he was called as long as the same thing was meant”).84 Porphyry, a Neoplatonic philosopher of the’ third century C.E. held the opinion that the names of the gods were purely conventional.85, In a pamphlet against the Christians called Alethes Logos, Celsus argued that “it makes no difference whether one calls god ‘Supreme’ [Hypsistos] or Zeus or Adonai or Sabaoth or Ammon such as the Egyptians do or Papaios as the Scythians.”86 The name does not matter when it is evident what or who is meant.

In his treatise on Isis and Osiris, Plutarch succinctly conveys this general conviction by stating that behind the differing divine names are always common cosmic phenomena: the sun, the moon, the heavens, the earth, the sea. Just as all people live in the same world, they adore the same gods who are the lords of this world: “nor do we regard the gods as different among different nations nor as barbarian and Greek and as southern and northern. But just as the sun, moon, heaven, earth and sea are common to all, though they are given various names by the varying nations, so it is with the one reason [logos] which orders these things and the one providence which has charge of them, and the assistant powers which are assigned to everything: they are given different honors and modes of address among different nations according to custom, and they use hallowed symbols.”87 The divine names are translatable because there is always a referent serving as a tertium comparationis. This referent is the concept of a functionally divided and divinely animated or inspirited universe in which humankind finds and maintains its place by recognizing and adoring the operative powers, by giving them names and iconographies, temples and ceremonies.

In the realm of this general religious conviction which I call cosmotheism (a term use by F. H. Jacobi, to whom I will return later), there was no room for religious antagonism. That is why the antagonistic power of counter-religions such as Judaism and Christianity was so much resented by pagan intellectuals. The opposition between cosmotheism and monotheism, or between nature and revelation, was never resolved, but merely suppressed in the victorious development of the church. Its return during the Renaissance and its controversial history in the formation of European modernity forms the subtext of the discourse on Moses the Egyptian with which the following chapters will be concerned.

…and the story continues.

58. Benno Landsberger, R. Hallock, ThorkildJacobsen, and Adam Falkenstein,
Materialien zum Sumerischen Lexikon (1v1SL) IV: Introduction. Part I: Emesal Vocabulary
(Rome: Pontificate Institute Press, 1956), 4-10.
59. Robert L. Litke, “A Reconstruction of the Assyro-Babylonian God Lists
An: Anum, Anu sa Ameli,” diss., Yale University, 1958. lowe this reference and
much pertinent information to the kindness of Karlheinz Deller of Heidelberg, to
whom I express my sincere gratitude. I would also like to thank my research
assistant in Santa Monica, Louise A. Hitchcock, who contributed much information
concerning Mesopotamia.
60. British Museum, tablet K 2100 =British Museum. Department ofEgyptian
and Assyrian Antiquities, Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian tablets, &c., in the British
Museum, vol. 25 (London: British Museum, 1909), 18.
61. Nock, Conversion, 138.
62. John Gwyn Griffiths, Apuleius of Madauros: The Isis-Book (1v1etamorphoses,
Book XI), Etudes Preliminaires des Religions Orientales 39 (Leiden: Brill, 1975),
70f., 114ff.
63. The fact that Apuleius reckons with two instead of only one chosen people,
namely, the Ethiopians and Egyptians, finds an easy explanation in the fact that the
most important temple of Isis was situated on the island of Philae on the border
between Egypt and Lower Nubia (= Ethiopia).
64. In the ancient cult place of the Egyptian goddess of the harvest, Renenutet
or (Th)Ermutis, King Ptolemy Soter II built a temple to Isis-Thermutis.
65. Thiouis = e.g., t3 wet Copt. TIOYI, “the one”; see A. Vogliano, Primo
rapporto degli scavi condotti dalla missione archeologica d’ Egitto della R. universita di
Milano nella zona di MadinetMadi (Milan, 1936),27-51, esp. p. 34. Cf. the Hebrew
cechad as a divine name and see Cyrus H. Gordon, “His Name Is ‘One,'” Journal of
Near Eastern Studies 29 (1970): 198ff.
66. Vera F. Vanderlip, The Four Greek Hymns of Isidorus and the Cult of Isis,
American Studies in Papyrology 12 (Toronto: A. M. Hakkert, 1972), 18f.; Etienne
Bernand, Inscriptions mitriques de l’Egypte grico-romaine (Paris: Belles Lettres, 1969),
no. 175, 632ff.; Maria Totti, Ausgewiihlte Texte der Isis-Serapis-Religion, Subsidia
Epigrapha 12 (Hildesheim and New York: G. alms, 1985), 76-82; Fran<;oise
Dunand, “Le syncretisme isiaque ala fin de l’epoque hellenistique,” in Les syncritismes
dans les religions grecque et romaine, Colloque de Strasbourg, Bibliotheque des
Centres d’Etudes Superieures specialises, ed. F. Dunand and P. Leveque (Paris:
Presses Universitaires de France, 1973),79-93. On Isidorus see HanJ. W. Drijvers,
Vox Theologica 32 (1962): 139-150.
67. B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. 11 (London,
1915), 196-202, no. 1380; see B. A. van Groningen, “De papyro Oxyrhynchita
1380,” diss., University of Groningen, 1921; Nock, Conversion, 150ff.
68. On Hypsistos see Martin Nilsson, Harvard Theological Review 56 (1963):
101-120. For Hypsistos as a designation of the god of the Jews, translating Hebrew
El Elyon, see Elias Bickerman, The Jews in the Greek Age (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard UP, 1988), 263f.; Martin Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus, 3rd ed.
(Tubingen: Mohr, 1988), 545f.; Carsten Colpe, “Hypsistos,” in Der Kleine Pauly,
vol. 2 (Munich, 1979), 1292f.
69. Erik Peterson, Hefs Theos: Epigraphische, formgeschichtliche und religionsgeschichtliche
Untersuchungen, Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und
Neuen Testaments NF 24 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926); Otto
Weinreich, Neue Urkunden zur Sarapis-Religion (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1928).
70. Martin Nilsson, Grundriss der Griechischen Religionsgeschichte, 2nd ed. (Munich:
C. H. Beck, 1974) vol. II, 573f.
71. Ps.]ust. Cohortatio ad Graecos, 15 =Orphicorum Fragmenta, 239. Macrobius,
Saturnalia, 1.18.17, quotes the first verse.
72. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.18, 20; see Peterson, Hefs Theos, 243f.; Hengel,
Judentum, 476f. See also the inscription Hefs Zeus Sirapis lao (CIL, 2, suppl. 5665 =
F. Dunand, “Les syncretismes dans la religion de l’Egypte greco-romaine,” Les
syncritismes dans les religions de l’antiquiti, ed. F. Dunand and P. Leveque, Etudes
Preliminaires des Religions Orientales 46 (Leiden: Brill, 1975), 170.
73. E. Peterson, Monotheismus als politisches Problem (Leipzig: Hegner, 1935); id.,
Theologische Traktate (Munich: Kosel, 1951), 45-147; Alfred Schindler, ed., Monotheismus
als politisches Problem: Erik Peterson und die Kritik der politischen Theologie, Studien
zur evangelischen Ethik 14 (Gutersloh: Giitersloher Verlagshaus, 1978). See
also Arnaldo Momigliano, “The Disadvantages of Monotheism for a Universal
State,” in On Pagans, Jews, and Christians (Middletown, Conn: Weselyan UP, 1987),
142-158. See also Dunand, “Les syncretismes,” 152-185, 173ff., on the political dimension
of syncretism. For Late Antiquity see Garth Fowden, Empire to Commonwealth:
Consequences ofMonotheism in Late Antiquity (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993).
74. See Reinhold Merkelbach and Maria Totti, Abrasax: Ausgewiihlte Papyri
religiiisen und magischen Inhalts 1: Gebete, Abhandlungen der rheinisch-westfalischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften, Sonderreihe Papyrologica Colonensia, ‘Vol. 17.1
(Opladen: Westfalischer Verlag, 1990), 166f. See also Peterson, Hefs Theos, 254, for
more parallels.
75. K. Preisendanz et. aI., ed., Papyri Graeca Magicae: Die Griechischen Zauberpapyri,
2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1973), vol. 2, 109, 119.
76. Hippolytus, Refutatio Omnium Haeresium, 5.9,7-11, quoted from W. Foerster,
Die Gnosis, vol. 1: Zeugnisse der Kirchenviiter (Zurich: Artemis, 1969), 358f.
77. Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Die Hebriiischen Mysterien oder die iilteste religiose
Freymaurerey (Leipzig: Goschen, 1788),35; Warburton, Divine Legation, vol. 2, 524.
78. “An Outlandish Medley to a Marble Statue of Liber Pater in My Country
House, Having the Attributes of All Gods.”
79. See H. G. E. “White, ed. and trans., Ausonius, 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard UP, 1985), 186f.
80. According to “White, this refers to the Thebans, the sons of Ogyges, the
mythical founder of the city.
81. This refers to Ausonius’ estate.
82. “Omne hoc quod vides, quo divina atque humana conclusa sunt, unum est:
membra sumus corporis magni.” Seneca, Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, ed. and
trans. Manfred Rosenbach, in Seneca: Philosophische Schriften, vol. 4, (Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1995),492-495.
83. Eduard Norden, Agnostos Theos (Leipzig: Teubner, 1912),61.
84. Augustine De ConsensuEvangelist. 1.22.30 and 23.31 PL, 34, 1005f. = Varro,
fro 1, 58b; see Hengel, Judentum und Hellenismus, 472.
85. Letter to Anebo, quoted by Iamblichus, De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum, 7.5, ed. and
trans. Edouard Des Places, 2nd ed. (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1989) 193.
86. Origen Contra Celsum, 1.24,5.41 (45); see Hengel, Judentum, 476.
87. Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, chap. 67, pp. 377ff., trans. Griffiths, in Plutarch’s
“De Iside and Osiride,” 223f.


2 thoughts on ““Counter-Religion and Religious Translatability in the Ancient World” by Jan Assman

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