Hippolytus - Refutation of All Heresies - Book I
Translated by the Rev. J. H. Macmahon, M.a.
Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and
first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional
introductionary material and notes provided for the American
edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.
The following are the contents of the first book of The Refutation of all
We propose to furnish an account of the tenets of natural philosophers, and
who these are, as well as the tenets of moral philosophers, and who these
are; and thirdly, the tenets of logicians, and who these logicians are.
Among natural philosophers  may be enumerated Thales, Pythagoras,
Empedocles, Heraclitus, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Archelaus,
Parmenides, Leucippus, Democritus, Xenophanes, Ecphantus, Hippo.
Among moral philosophers are Socrates, pupil of Archelaus the physicist,
(and) Plato the pupil of Socrates. This (speculator) combined three systems
Among logicians is Aristotle, pupil of Plato. He systematized the art of
dialectics. Among the Stoic (logicians) were Chrysippus (and) Zeno.
Epicurus, however, advanced an opinion almost contrary to all philosophers.
Pyrrho was an Academic;  this (speculator) taught the
incomprehensibility of everything. The Brahmins among the Indians, and the
Druids among the Celts, and Hesiod (devoted themselves to philosophic
The Proemium. Motives for Undertaking the Refutation; Exposure of the
Ancient Mysteries; Plan of the Work; Completeness of the Refutation; Value
of the Treatise to Future Ages.
We must not overlook  any figment devised by those denominated
philosophers among the Greeks. For even their incoherent tenets must be
received as worthy of credit, on account of the excessive madness of the
heretics; who, from the observance of silence, and from concealing their own
ineffable mysteries, have by many been supposed worshippers of God.  We
have likewise, on a former occasion,  expounded the doctrines of these
briefly, not illustrating them with any degree of minuteness, but refuting
them in coarse digest; not having considered it requisite to bring to light
their secret  doctrines, in order that, when we have explained their
tenets by enigmas, they, becoming ashamed, lest also, by our divulging their
mysteries, we should convict them of atheism, might be induced to desist in
some degree from their unreasonable opinion and their profane attempt. 
But since I perceive that they have not been abashed by our forbearance, and
have made no account of how God is long-suffering, though blasphemed by
them, in order that either from shame they may repent, or should they
persevere, be justly condemned, I am forced to proceed in my intention of
exposing those secret mysteries of theirs, which, to the initiated, with a
vast amount of plausibility they deliver who are not accustomed first to
disclose (to any one), till, by keeping such in suspense during a period (of
necessary preparation), and by rendering him blasphemous towards the true
God they have acquired complete ascendancy over him, and perceive him
eagerly panting after the promised disclosure. And then, when they have
tested him to be enslaved by sin, they initiate him, putting him in
possession of the perfection of wicked things. Previously, however, they
bind him with an oath neither to divulge (the mysteries), nor to hold
communication with any person whatsoever, unless he first undergo similar
subjection, though, when the doctrine has been simply delivered (to any
one), there was no longer any need of an oath. For he who was content to
submit to the necessary purgation,  and so receive the perfect mysteries
of these men, by the very act itself, as well as in reference to his own
conscience, will feel himself sufficiently under an obligation not to
divulge to others; for if he once disclose wickedness of this description to
any man, he would neither be reckoned among men, nor be deemed worthy to
behold the light, since not even irrational animals  would attempt
such an enormity, as we shall explain when we come to treat of such topics.
Since, however, reason compels us to plunge  into the very depth of
narrative, we conceive we should not be silent, but, expounding the tenets
of the several schools with minuteness, we shall evince reserve in nothing.
Now it seems expedient, even at the expense of a more protracted
investigation, not to shrink from labour; for we shall leave behind us no
trifling auxiliary to human life against the recurrence of error, when all
are made to behold, in an obvious light, the clandestine rites of these men,
and the secret orgies which, retaining under their management, they deliver
to the initiated only. But none will refute these, save the Holy Spirit
bequeathed unto the Church, which the Apostles, having in the first instance
received, have transmitted to those who have rightly believed. But we, as
being their successors, and as participators in this grace, high-priesthood,
and office of teaching,  as well as being reputed guardians of the
Church, must not be found deficient in vigilance,  or disposed to
suppress correct doctrine.  Not even, however, labouring with every
energy of body and soul, do we tire in our attempt adequately to render our
Divine Benefactor a fitting return; and yet withal we do not so requite Him
in a becoming manner, except we are not remiss in discharging the trust
committed to us, but careful to complete the measure of our particular
opportunity, and to impart to all without grudging whatever the Holy Ghost
supplies, not only bringing to light,  by means of our refutation,
matters foreign (to our subject), but also whatsoever things the truth has
received by the grace of the Father,  and ministered to men. These
also, illustrating by argument and creating testimony  by letters, we
shall unabashed proclaim.
In order, then, as we have already stated, that we may prove them atheists,
both in opinion and their mode (of treating a question) and in fact, and (in
order to show) whence it is that their attempted theories have accrued unto
them, and that they have endeavoured to establish their tenets, taking
nothing from the holy Scriptures nor is it from preserving the succession of
any saint that they have hurried headlong into these opinions; but that
their doctrines have derived their origin  from the wisdom of the
Greeks, from the conclusions of those who have formed systems of philosophy,
and from would-be mysteries, and the vagaries of astrologers, it seems,
then, advisable, in the first instance, by explaining the opinions advanced
by the philosophers of the Greeks, to satisfy our readers that such are of
greater antiquity than these (heresies), and more deserving of reverence in
reference to their views respecting the divinity; in the next place, to
compare each heresy with the system of each speculator, so as to show that
the earliest champion of the heresy availing himself  of these
attempted theories, has turned them to advantage by appropriating their
principles, and, impelled from these into worse, has constructed his own
doctrine. The undertaking admittedly is full of labour, and (is one)
requiring extended research. We shall not, however, be wanting in exertion;
for afterwards it will be a source of joy, just like an athlete obtaining
with much toil the crown, or a merchant after a huge swell of sea compassing
gain, or a husbandman after sweat of brow enjoying the fruits, or a prophet
after reproaches and insults seeing his predictions turning out true. In the
commencement, therefore, we shall declare who first, among the Greeks,
pointed out (the principles of) natural philosophy. For from these
especially have they furtively taken their views who have first pro-pounded
these heresies,  as we shall subsequently prove when we come to
compare them one with another. Assigning to each of those who take the lead
among philosophers their own peculiar tenets, we shall publicly exhibit
these heresiarchs as naked and unseemly.
Chapter I. Thales; His Physics and Theology; Founder of Greek Astronomy.
It is said that Thales of Miletus, one of the seven  wise men, first
attempted to frame a system of natural philosophy. This person said that
some such thing as water is the generative principle of the universe, and
its end; for that out of this, solidified and again dissolved, all things
consist, and that all things are supported on it; from which also arise both
earthquakes and changes of the winds and atmospheric movements,  and
that all things are both produced  and are in a state of flux
corresponding with the nature of the primary author of generation; and that
the Deity  is that which has neither beginning nor end. This person,
having been occupied with an hypothesis and investigation concerning the
stars, became the earliest author to the Greeks of this kind of learning.
And he, looking towards heaven, alleging that he was carefully examining
supernal objects, fell into a well; and a certain maid, by name Thratta,
remarked of him derisively, that while intent on beholding things in heaven,
he did not know  , what was at his feet. And he lived about the time
Chapter II. Pythagoras; His Cosmogony; Rules of His Sect; Discoverer of
Physiognomy; His Philosophy of Numbers; His System of the Transmigration of
Souls; Zaratas on Demons; Why Pythagoras Forbade the Eating of Beans; The
Mode of Living Adopted by His Disciples.
But there was also, not far from these times, another philosophy which
Pythagoras originated (who some say was a native of Samos), which they have
denominated Italian, because that Pythagoras, flying from Polycrates the
king of Samos, took up his residence in a city of Italy, and there passed
the entire of his remaining years. And they who received in succession his
doctrine, did not much differ from the same opinion. And this person,
instituting an investigation concerning natural phenomena,  combined
together astronomy, and geometry, and music.  And so he proclaimed
that the Deity is a monad; and carefully acquainting himself with the nature
of number, he affirmed that the world sings, and that its system corresponds
with harmony, and he first resolved the motion of the seven stars into
rhythm and melody. And being astonished at the management of the entire
fabric, he required that at first his disciples should keep silence, as if
persons coming into the world initiated in (the secrets of) the universe;
next, when it seemed that they were sufficiently conversant with his mode of
teaching his doctrine, and could forcibly philosophize concerning the stars
and nature, then, considering them pure, he enjoins them to speak. This man
distributed his pupils in two orders, and called the one esoteric, but the
other exoteric. And to the former he confided more advanced doctrines, and
to the latter a more moderate amount of instruction.
And he also touched on magic as they say and himself  discovered an
art of physiogony,  laying down as a basis certain numbers and
measures, saying that they comprised the principle of arithmetical
philosophy by composition after this manner. The first number became an
originating principle, which is one, indefinable, incomprehensible, having
in itself all numbers that, according to plurality, can go on ad infinitum.
But the primary monad became a principle of numbers, according to
substance.  which is a male monad, begetting after the manner of a
parent all the rest of the numbers. Secondly, the duad is a female number,
and the same also is by arithmeticians termed even. Thirdly, the triad is a
male number. This also has been classified by arithmeticians under the
denomination uneven. And in addition to all these is the tetrad, a female
number; and the same also is called even, because it is female. Therefore
all the numbers that have been derived from the genus are four; but number
is the indefinite genus, from which was constituted, according to them, the
perfect  number, viz., the decade. For one, two, three, four, become
ten, if its proper denomination be preserved essentially for each of the
numbers. Pythagoras affirmed this to be a sacred quaternion, source of
everlasting nature,  having, as it were, roots in itself; and that
from this number all the numbers receive their originating principle. For
eleven, and twelve, and the rest, partake of the origin of existence 
from ten. Of this decade, the perfect number, there are termed four
divisions, namely, number, monad,  square, (and) cube. And the
connections and blendings of these are performed, according to nature, for
the generation of growth completing the productive number. For when the
square itself is multiplied  into itself, a biquadratic is the result.
But when the square is multiplied into the cube, the result is the product
of a square and cube; and when the cube is multiplied into the cube, the
product of two cubes is the result. So that all the numbers from which the
production of existing (numbers) arises, are seven, namely, number, monad,
square, cube, biquadratic, quadratic-cube, cubo-cube.
This philosopher likewise said that the soul is immortal, and that it
subsists in successive bodies. Wherefore he asserted that before the Trojan
era he was Aethalides,  and during the Trojan epoch Euphorbus, and
subsequent to this Hermotimus of Samos, and after him Pyrrhus of Delos;
fifth, Pythagoras. And Diodorus the Eretrian,  and Aristoxenus 
the musician, assert that Pythagoras came to Zaratas  the Chaldean,
and that he explained to him that there are two original causes of things,
father and mother, and that father is light, but mother darkness; and that
of the light the parts are hot, dry, not heavy, light, swift; but of
darkness, cold, moist, weighty, slow; and that out of all these, from female
and male, the world consists. But the world, he says, is a musical
harmony;  wherefore, also, that the sun performs a circuit in
accordance with harmony. And as regards the things that are produced from
earth and the cosmical system, they maintain that Zaratas  makes the
following statements: that there are two demons, the one celestial and the
other terrestrial; and that the terrestrial sends up a production from
earth, and that this is water; and that the celestial is a fire, partaking
of the nature of air, hot and cold.  And he therefore affirms that
none of these destroys or sullies the soul, for these constitute the
substance of all things. And he is reported to have ordered his followers
not to eat beans, because that Zaratas said that, at the origin and
concretion of all things, when the earth was still undergoing its process of
solidification,  and that of putrefaction had set in, the bean was
produced.  And of this he mentions the following indication, that if
any one, after having chewed a bean without the husk, places it opposite the
sun for a certain period, for this immediately will aid in the result, it
yields the smell of human seed. And he mentions also another clearer
instance to be this: if, when the bean is blossoming, we take the bean and
its flower, and deposit them in a jar, smear this over, and bury it in the
ground, and after a few days uncover it, we shall see it wearing the
appearance, first of a woman's pudendum, and after this, when closely
examined, of the head of a child growing in along with it. This person,
being burned along with his disciples in Croton, a town of Italy, perished.
And this was a habit with him, whenever one repaired to him with a view of
becoming his follower, (the candidate disciple was compelled) to sell his
possessions, and lodge the money sealed with Pythagoras, and he continued in
silence to undergo instruction, sometimes for three, but sometimes for five
years. And again, on being released, he was permitted to associate with the
rest, and remained as a disciple, and took his meals along with them; if
otherwise, however, he received back his property, and was rejected. These
persons, then, were styled Esoteric Pythagoreans, whereas the rest,
Among his followers, however, who escaped the conflagration were Lysis and
Archippus, and the servant of Pythagoras, Zamolxis,  who also is said
to have taught the Celtic Druids to cultivate the philosophy of Pythagoras.
And they assert that Pythagoras learned from the Egyptians his system of
numbers and measures; and I being struck by the plausible, fanciful, and not
easily revealed wisdom of the priests, he himself likewise, in imitation of
them, enjoined silence, and made his disciples lead a solitary life in
underground chapels. 
Chapter III. Empedocles; His Twofold Cause; Tenet of Transmigration.
But Empedocles, born after these, advanced likewise many statements
respecting the nature of demons, to the effect that, being very numerous,
they pass their time in managing earthly concerns. This person affirmed the
originating principle of the universe to be discord and friendship, and that
the intelligible fire of the monad is the Deity, and that all things consist
of fire, and will be resolved into fire; with which opinion the Stoics
likewise almost agree, expecting a conflagration. But most of all does he
concur with the tenet of transition of souls from body to body, expressing
"For surely both youth and maid I was,
And shrub, and bird,  and fish, from ocean stray d." 
This (philosopher) maintained the transmutation of all souls into any
description of animal. For Pythagoras, the instructor of these (sages),
 asserted that himself had been Euphorbus, who sewed in the expedition
against Ilium, alleging that he recognised his shield.The foregoing are the
tenets of Empedocles.
Chapter IV. Heraclitus; His Universal Dogmatism; His Theory of Flux; Other
But Heraclitus, a natural philosopher of Ephesus, surrendered himself to
universal grief, condemning the ignorance of the entire of life, and of all
men; nay, commiserating the (very) existence of mortals, for he asserted
that he himself knew everything, whereas the rest of mankind nothing. 
But he also advanced statements almost in concert with Empedocles, saying
that the originating principle of all things is discord and friendship, and
that the Deity is a fire endued with intelligence, and that all things are
borne one upon another, and never are at a standstill; and just as
Empedocles, he affirmed that the entire locality about us is full of evil
things, and that these evil things reach as far as the moon, being extended
from the quarter situated around the earth, and that they do not advance
further, inasmuch as the entire space above the moon is more pure. So also
it seemed to Heraclitus.
After these arose also other natural philosophers, whose opinions we have
not deemed it necessary to declare, (inasmuch as) they present no diversity
to those already specified. Since, however, upon the whole, a not
inconsiderable school has sprung (from thence), and many natural
philosophers subsequently have arisen from them, each advancing different
accounts of the nature of the universe, it seems also to us advisable, that,
explaining the philosophy that has come down by succession from Pythagoras,
we should recur to the opinions entertained by those living after the time
of Thales, and that, furnishing a narrative of these, we should approach the
consideration of the ethical and logical philosophy which Socrates and
Aristotle originated, the former ethical, and the latter logical. 
Chapter V. Anaximander; His Theory of the Infinite; His Astronomic Opinions;
Anaximander, then, was the hearer of Thales. Anaximander was son of
Praxiadas, and a native of Miletus. This man said that the originating
principle of existing things is a certain constitution of the Infinite, out
of which the heavens are generated, and the worlds therein; and that this
principle is eternal and undecaying, and comprising all the worlds. And he
speaks of time as something of limited generation, and subsistence, and
destruction. This person declared the Infinite to be an originating
principle and element of existing things, being the first to employ such a
denomination of the originating principle. But, moreover, he asserted that
there is an eternal motion, by the agency of which it happens that the
heavens  are generated; but that the earth is poised aloft, upheld by
nothing, continuing (so) on account of its equal distance from all (the
heavenly bodies); and that the figure of it is curved, circular, 
similar to a column of stone.  And one of the surfaces we tread upon,
but the other is opposite.  And that the stars are a circle of fire,
separated from the fire which is in the vicinity of the world, and
encompassed by air. And that certain atmospheric exhalations arise in places
where the stars shine; wherefore, also, when these exhalations are
obstructed, that eclipses take place. And that the moon sometimes appears
full and sometimes waning, according to the obstruction or opening of its
(orbital) paths. But that the circle of the sun is twenty-seven times 
larger than the moon, and that the sun is situated in the highest (quarter
of the firmament); whereas the orbs of the fixed stars in the lowest. And
that animals are produced (in moisture  ) by evaporation from the sun.
And that man was, originally, similar to a different animal, that is, a
fish. And that winds are caused by the separation of very rarified
exhalations of the atmosphere, and by their motion after they have been
condensed. And that rain arises from earth's giving back (the vapours which
it receives) from the (clouds  ) under the sun. And that there are
flashes of lightning when the wind coming down severs the clouds. This
person was born in the third year of the XLII. Olympiad. 
Chapter VI. Anaximenes; His System of "An Infinite Air; "His Views of
Astronomy and Natural Phenomena.
But Anaximenes, who himself was also a native of Miletus, and son of
Eurystratus, affirmed that the originating principle is infinite air, out of
which are generated things existing, those which have existed, and those
that will be, as well as gods and divine (entities), and that the rest arise
from the offspring of this. But that there is such a species of air, when it
is most even, which is imperceptible to vision, but capable of being
manifested by cold and heat, and moisture and motion, and that it is
continually in motion; for that whatsoever things undergo alteration, do not
change if there is not motion. For that it presents a different appearance
according as it is condensed and attenuated, for when it is dissolved into
what is more attenuated that fire is produced, and that when it is
moderately condensed again into air that a cloud is formed from the air by
virtue of the contraction;  but when condensed still more, water,
(and) that when the condensation is carried still further, earth is formed;
and when condensed to the very highest degree, stones. Wherefore, that the
dominant principles of generation are contraries, namely, heat and cold. And
that the expanded earth is wafted along upon the air, and in like manner
both sun and moon and the rest of the stars; for all things being of the
nature of fire, are wafted about through the expanse of space, upon the air.
And that the stars are produced from earth by reason of the mist which
arises from this earth; and when this is attenuated, that fire is produced,
and that the stars consist of the fire which is being borne aloft. But also
that there are terrestrial natures in the region of the stars carried on
along with them. And he says that the stars do not move under the earth, as
some have supposed, but around the earth,  just as a cap is turned
round our head; and that the sun is hid, not by being under the earth, but
because covered by the higher portions of the earth, and on account of the
greater distance that he is from us. But that the stars do not emit heat on
account of the length of distance; and that the winds are produced when the
condensed air, becoming rarified, is borne on; and that when collected and
thickened still further, clouds are generated, and thus a change made into
water. And that hail is produced when the water borne down from the clouds
becomes congealed; and that snow is generated when these very clouds, being
more moist, acquire congelation; and that lightning is caused when the
clouds are parted by force of the winds; for when these are sundered there
is produced a brilliant and fiery flash. And that a rainbow is produced by
reason of the rays of the sun failing on the collected air. And that an
earthquake takes place when the earth is altered into a larger (bulk) by
heat and cold. These indeed, then, were the opinions of Anaximenes. This
(philosopher) flourished about the first year of the LVIII. Olympiad. 
Chapter VII. Anaxagoras; His Theory of Mind; Recognises an Efficient Cause;
His Cosmogony and Astronomy.
After this (thinker) comes Anaxagoras,  son of Hegesibulus,  a
native of Clazomenae. This person affirmed the originating principle of the
universe to be mind and matter; mind being the efficient cause, whereas
matter that which was being formed. For all things coming into existence
simultaneously, mind supervening introduced order. And material principles,
he says, are infinite; even the smaller of these are infinite.  And
that all things partake of motion by being moved by mind, and that similar
bodies coalesce. And that celestial bodies were arranged by orbicular
motion. That, therefore, what was thick and moist, and dark and cold, and
all things heavy, came together into the centre, from the solidification of
which earth derived support; but that the things opposite to these namely,
heat and brilliancy, and dryness and lightness hurried impetuously into the
farther portion of the atmosphere. And that the earth is in figure plane;
and that it continues suspended aloft, by reason of its magnitude, and by
reason of there being no vacuum, and by reason of the air, which was most
powerful, bearing along the wafted earth. But that among moist substances on
earth, was the sea, and the waters in it; and when these evaporated (from
the sun), or had settled under, that the ocean was formed in this manner, as
well as from the rivers that from time to time flow into it. And that the
rivers also derive support from the rains and from the actual waters in the
earth; for that this is hollow, and contains water in its caverns. And that
the Nile is inundated in summer, by reason of the waters carried down into
it from the snows in northern (latitudes).  And that the sun and moon
and all the stars are fiery stones, that were rolled round by the rotation
of the atmosphere. And that beneath the stars are sun and moon, and certain
invisible bodies that are carried along with us; and that we have no
perception of the heat of the stars, both on account of their being so far
away, and on account of their distance from the earth; and further, they are
not to the same degree hot as the sun, on account of their occupying a
colder situation. And that the moon, being lower than the sun, is nearer us.
And that the sun surpasses the Peloponnesus in size. And that the moon has
not light of its own, but from the sun. But that the revolution of the stars
takes place under the earth. And that the moon is eclipsed when the earth is
interposed, and occasionally also those (stars) that are underneath the
moon. And that the sun (is eclipsed) when, at the beginning of the month,
the moon is interposed. And that the solstices are caused by both sun and
moon being repulsed by the air. And that the moon is often turned, by its
not being able to make head against the cold. This person was the first to
frame definitions regarding eclipses and illuminations. And he affirmed that
the moon is earthy, and has in it plains and ravines. And that the milky way
is a reflection of the light of the stars which do not derive their radiance
from the sun;  and that the stars, coursing (the firmament) as
shooting sparks, arise out of the motion of the pole. And that winds are
caused when the atmosphere is rarified by the sun, and by those burning orbs
that advance under the pole, and are borne from (it). And that thunder and
lightning are caused by heat falling on the clouds. And that earthquakes are
produced by the air above falling on that under the earth; for when this is
moved, that the earth also, being wafted by it, is shaken. And that animals
originally came into existence  in moisture, and after this one from
another; and that males are procreated when the seed secreted from the right
parts adhered to the right parts of the womb, and that females are born when
the contrary took place. This philosopher flourished in the first year of
the LXXXVIII. Olympiad,  at which time they say that Plato also was
born. They maintain that Anaxagoras was likewise prescient.
Chapter VIII. Archelaus; System Akin to that of Anaxagoras; His Origin of
the Earth and of Animals; Other Systems.
Archelaus was by birth an Athenian, and son of Apollodorus.  This
person, similarly with Anaxagoras, asserted the mixture of matter, and
enunciated his first principles in the same manner. This philosopher,
however, held that there is inherent immediately in mind a certain mixture;
and that the originating principle of motion is the mutual separation of
heat and cold, and that the heat is moved, and that the cold remains at
rest. And that the water, being dissolved, flows towards the centre, where
the scorched air and earth are produced, of which the one is borne upwards
and the other remains beneath. And that the earth is at rest, and that on
this account it came into existence; and that it lies in the centre, being
no part, so to speak, of the universe, delivered from the conflagration; and
that from this, first in a state of ignition, is the nature of the stars, of
which indeed the largest is the sun, and next to this the moon; and of the
rest some less, but some greater. And he says that the heaven was inclined
at an angle, and so that the sun diffused light over the earth, and made the
atmosphere transparent, and the ground dry; for that at first it was a sea,
inasmuch as it is lofty at the horizon and hollow in the middle. And he
adduces, as an indication of the hollowness, that the sun does not rise and
set to all at the same time, which ought to happen if the earth was even.
And with regard to animals, he affirms that the earth, being originally fire
in its lower part, where the heat and cold were intermingled, both the rest
of animals made their appearance, numerous and dissimilar,  all having
the same food, being nourished from mud; and their existence was of short
duration, but afterwards also generation from one another arose unto them;
and men were separated from the rest (of the animal creation), and they
appointed rulers, and laws, and arts, and cities, and the rest. And he
asserts that mind is innate in all animals alike; for that each, according
to the difference of their physical constitution, employed (mind), at one
time slower, at another faster. 
Natural philosophy, then, continued from Thales until Archelaus. Socrates
was the hearer of this (latter philosopher). There are, however, also very
many others, introducing various opinions respecting both the divinity and
the nature of the universe; and if we were disposed to adduce all the
opinions of these, it would be necessary to compose a vast quantity of
books. But, reminding the reader of those whom we especially ought who are
deserving of mention from their fame, and from being, so to speak, the
leaders to those who have subsequently framed systems of philosophy, and
from their supplying them with a starting-point towards such
undertakings let us hasten on our investigations towards what remains for
Chapter IX. Parmenides; His Theory of "Unity; "His Eschatology.
For Parmenides  likewise supposes the universe to be one, both eternal
and unbegotten, and of a spherical form. And neither did he escape the
opinion of the great body (of speculators), affirming fire and earth to be
the originating principles of the universe the earth as matter, but the fire
as cause, even an efficient one. He asserted that the world would be
destroyed, but in what way he does not mention.  The same
(philosopher), however, affirmed the universe to be eternal, and not
generated, and of spherical form and homogeneous, but not having a figure in
itself, and immoveable and limited.
Chapter X. Leucippus; His Atomic Theory.
But Leucippus,  an associate of Zeno, did not maintain the same
opinion, but affirms things to be infinite, and always in motion, and that
generation and change exist continuously. And he affirms plenitude and
vacuum to be elements. And he asserts that worlds are produced when many
bodies are congregated and flow together from the surrounding space to a
common point, so that by mutual contact they made substances of the same
figure and similar in form come into connection; and when thus
intertwined,  there are transmutations into other bodies, and that
created things wax and wane through necessity. But what the nature of
necessity is, (Parmenides) did not define.
Chapter XI. Democritus; His Duality of Principles; His Cosmogony.
And Democritus  was an acquaintance of Leucippus. Democritus, son of
Damasippus, a native of Abdera,  conferring with many gymnosophists
among the Indians, and with priests in Egypt, and with astrologers and magi
in Babylon, (propounded his system). Now he makes statements similarly with
Leucippus concerning elements, viz. plenitude and vacuum, denominating
plenitude entity, and vacuum nonentity; and this he asserted, since existing
things are continually moved in the vacuum. And he maintained worlds to be
infinite, and varying in bulk; and that in some there is neither sun nor
moon, while in others that they are larger than with us, and with others
more numerous. And that intervals between worlds are unequal; and that in
one quarter of space (worlds) are more numerous, and in another less so; and
that some of them increase in bulk, but that others attain their full size,
while others dwindle away and that in one quarter they are coming into
existence, whilst in another they are failing; and that they are destroyed
by clashing one with another. And that some worlds are destitute of animals
and plants, and every species of moisture. And that the earth of our world
was created before that of the stars, and that the moon is underneath; next
(to it) the sun; then the fixed stars. And that (neither) the planets nor
these (fixed stars) possess an equal elevation. And that the world
flourishes, until no longer it can receive anything from without. This
(philosopher) turned all things into ridicule, as if all the concerns of
humanity were deserving of laughter.
Chapter XII. Xenophanes; His Scepticism; His Notions of God and Nature;
Believes in a Flood.
But Xenophanes, a native of Colophon,  was son of Orthomenes. This man
survived to the time of Cyrus.  This (philosopher) first asserted that
there is no possibility of comprehending anything, expressing himself
"For if for the most part of perfection man may speak,
Yet he knows it not himself, and in all attains surmise."
And he affirms that nothing is generated or perishes, or is moved; and that
the universe, being one, is beyond change. But he says that the deity is
eternal, and one and altogether homogeneous and limited, and of a spherical
form, and endued with perception in all parts. And that the sun exists
during each day from a conglomeration of small sparks, and that the earth is
infinite, and is surrounded neither by an atmosphere nor by the heaven. And
that there are infinite suns and moons, and that all things spring from
earth. This man affirmed that the sea is salt, on account of the many
mixtures that flow into it. Metrodorus, however, from the fact of its being
filtered through earth, asserts that it is on account of this that it is
made salt. And Xenophanes is of opinion that there had been a mixture of the
earth with the sea, and that in process of time it was disengaged from the
moisture, alleging that he could produce such proofs as the following: that
in the midst of earth, and in mountains, shells are discovered; and also in
Syracuse he affirms was found in the quarries the print of a fish and of
seals, and in Paros an image of a laurel  in the bottom of a stone,
and in Melita  parts of all sorts of marine animals. And he says that
these were generated when all things originally were embedded in mud, and
that an impression of them was dried in the mud, but that all men had
perished  when the earth, being precipitated into the sea, was
converted into mud; then, again, that it originated generation, and that
this overthrow occurred to all worlds.
Chapter XIII. Ecphantus; His Scepticism; Tenet of Infinity.
One Ecphantus, a native of Syracuse, affirmed that it is not possible to
attain a true knowledge of things. He defines, however, as he thinks,
primary bodies to be indivisible,  and that there are three
variations of these, viz., bulk, figure, capacity, from which are generated
the objects of sense. But that there is a determinable multitude of these,
and that this is infinite.  And that bodies are moved neither by
weight nor by impact, but by divine power, which he calls mind and soul; and
that of this the world is a representation; wherefore also it has been made
in the form of a sphere by divine power.  And that the earth in the
middle of the cosmical system is moved round its own centre towards the
Chapter XIV. Hippo; His Duality of Principles; His Psychology.
Hippo, a native of Rhegium, asserted as originating principles, coldness,
for instance water, and heat, for instance fire. And that fire, when
produced by water, subdued the power of its generator, and formed the world.
And the soul, he said, is  sometimes brain, but sometimes water; for
that also the seed is that which appears to us to arise out of moisture,
from which, he says, the soul is produced.
So far, then, we think we have sufficiently adduced (the opinions of) these;
wherefore, inasmuch as we have adequately gone in review through the tenets
of physical speculators, it seems to remain that we now turn to Socrates and
Plato, who gave especial preference to moral philosophy.
Chapter XV. Socrates; His Philosophy Reproduced by Plato.
Socrates, then, was a hearer of Archelaus, the natural philosopher; and he,
reverencing the rule, "Know thyself," and having assembled a large school,
had Plato (there), who was far superior to all his pupils. (Socrates)
himself left no writings  after him. Plato, however, taking notes
 of all his (lectures on) wisdom, established a school, combining
together natural, ethical, (and) logical (philosophy). But the points Plato
determined are these following.
Chapter XVI. Plato; Threefold Classification of Principles; His Idea of God;
Different Opinions Regarding His Theology and Psychology; His Eschatology
and System of Metempsychosis; His Ethical Doctrines; Notions on the
Plato (lays down) that there are three originating principles of the
universe, (namely) God, and matter, and exemplar; God as the Maker and
Regulator of this universe, and the Being who exercises providence over it;
but matter, as that which underlies all (phenomena), which (matter) he
styles both receptive and a nurse, out of the arrangement of which proceeded
the four elements of which the world consists; (I mean) fire, air, earth,
water, from which all the rest of what are denominated concrete substances,
as well as animals and plants, have been formed. And that the exemplar,
which he likewise calls ideas, is the intelligence of the Deity, to which,
as to an image in the soul, the Deity attending, fabricated all things. God,
he says, is both incorporeal and shapeless, and comprehensible by wise men
solely; whereas matter is body potentially, but with potentiality not as yet
passing into action, for being itself without form and without quality, by
assuming forms and qualities, it became body. That matter, therefore, is an
originating principle, and coeval with the Deity, and that in this respect
the world is uncreated. For (Plato) affirms that (the world) was made out of
it. And that (the attribute of) imperishableness necessarily belongs to
(literally "follows") that which is uncreated. So far forth, however, as
body is supposed to be compounded out of both many qualities and ideas, so
far forth it is both created and perishable. But some of the followers of
Plato mingled both of these, employing some such example as the following:
That as a waggon can always continue undestroyed, though undergoing partial
repairs from time to time, so that even the parts each in turn perish, yet
itself remains always complete; so after this manner the world also,
although in parts it perishes, yet the things that are removed, being
repaired, and equivalents for them being introduced, it remains eternal.
Some maintain that Plato asserts the Deity to be one, ingenerable and
incorruptible, as he says in The Laws:  "God, therefore, as the
ancient account has it, possesses both the beginning, and end, and middle of
all things." Thus he shows God to be one, on account of His having pervaded
all things. Others, however, maintain that Plato affirms the existence of
many gods indefinitely, when he uses these words: "God of gods, of whom I am
both the Creator and Father."  But others say that he speaks of a
definite number of deities in the following passage: "Therefore the mighty
Jupiter, wheeling his swift chariot in heaven; "and when he enumerates the
offspring of the children of heaven and earth. But others assert that
(Plato) constituted the gods as generable; and on account of their having
been produced, that altogether they were subject to the necessity of
corruption, but that on account of the will of God they are immortal,
(maintaining this) in the passage already quoted, where, to the words, "God
of gods, of whom I am Creator and Father," he adds, "indissoluble through
the fiat of My will; "so that if (God) were disposed that these should be
dissolved, they would easily be dissolved.
And he admits natures (such as those) of demons, and says that some of them
are good, but others worthless. And some affirm that he states the soul to
be uncreated and immortal, when he uses the following words, "Every soul is
immortal, for that which is always moved is immortal; "and when he
demonstrates that the soul is self-moved, and capable of originating motion.
Others, however, (say that Plato asserted that the soul was) created, but
rendered imperishable through the will of God. But some (will have it that
he considered the soul) a composite (essence), and generable and
corruptible; for even he supposes that there is a receptacle for it, 
and that it possesses a luminous body, but that everything generated
involves a necessity of corruption.  Those, however, who assert the
immortality of the soul are especially strengthened in their opinion by
those passages  (in Plato's writings), where he says, that both there
are judgments after death, and tribunals of justice in Hades, and that the
virtuous (souls) receive a good reward, while the wicked (ones) suitable
punishment. Some notwithstanding assert, that he also acknowledges a
transition of souls from one body to another, and that different souls,
those that were marked out for such a purpose, pass into different bodies,
 according to the desert of each, and that after  certain
definite periods they are sent up into this world to furnish once more a
proof of their choice. Others, however, (do not admit this to be his
doctrine, but will have it that Plato affirms that the souls) obtain a place
according to the desert of each; and they employ as a testimony the saying
of his, that some good men are with Jove, and that others are ranging abroad
(through heaven) with other gods; whereas that others are involved in
eternal punishments, as many as during this life have committed wicked and
And people affirm that Plato says, that some things are without a mean, that
others have a mean, that others are a mean. (For example, that) waking and
sleep, and such like, are conditions without an intermediate state; but that
there are things that had means, for instance virtue and vice; and there are
means (between extremes), for instance grey between white and black, or some
other colour. And they say, that he affirms that the things pertaining to
the soul are absolutely alone good, but that the things pertaining to the
body, and those external (to it), are not any longer absolutely good, but
reputed blessings. And that frequently he names these means also, for that
it is possible to use them both well and ill. Some virtues, therefore, he
says, are extremes in regard of intrinsic worth, but in regard of their
essential nature means, for nothing is more estimable than virtue. But
whatever excels or falls short of these terminates in vice. For instance, he
says that there are four virtues prudence, temperance, justice,
fortitude and that on each of these is attendant two vices, according to
excess and defect: for example, on prudence, recklessness according to
defect, and knavery according to excess; and on temperance, licentiousness
according to defect, stupidity according to excess; and on justice,
foregoing a claim according to defect, unduly pressing it according to
excess; and on fortitude, cowardice according to defect, foolhardiness
according to excess. And that these virtues, when inherent in a man, render
him perfect, and afford him happiness. And happiness, he says, is
assimilation to the Deity, as far as this is possible; and that assimilation
to God takes place when any one combines holiness and justice with prudence.
For this he supposes the end of supreme wisdom and virtue. And he affirms
that the virtues follow one another in turn,  and are uniform, and
are never antagonistic to each other; whereas that vices are multiform, and
sometimes follow one the other, and sometimes are antagonistic to each
other. He asserts that fate exists; not, to be sure, that all things are
produced according to fate, but that there is even something in our power,
as in the passages where he says, "The fault is his who chooses, God is
blameless; "and "the following law  of Adrasteia."  And thus
some (contend for his upholding) a system of fate, whereas others one of
free-will. He asserts, however, that sins are involuntary. For into what is
most glorious of the things in our power, which is the soul, no one would
(deliberately) admit what is vicious, that is, transgression, but that from
ignorance and an erroneous conception of virtue, supposing that they were
achieving something honourable, they pass into vice. And his doctrine on
this point is most clear in The Republic,  where he says, "But,
again, you presume to assert that vice is disgraceful and abhorred of God;
how then, I may ask, would one choose such an evil thing? He, you reply,
(would do so) who is worsted by pleasures.  Therefore this also is
involuntary, if to gain a victory be voluntary; so that, in every point of
view, the committing an act of turpitude, reason proves  to be
involuntary." Some one, however, in opposition to this (Plato), advances the
contrary statement, "Why then are men punished if they sin involuntary? "But
he replies, that he himself also, as soon as possible, may be emancipated
from vice, and undergo punishment. For that the undergoing punishment is not
an evil, but a good thing, if it is likely to prove a purification of evils;
and that the rest of mankind, hearing of it, may not transgress, but guard
against such an error. (Plato, however, maintains) that the nature of evil
is neither created by the Deity, nor possesses subsistence of itself, but
that it derives existence from contrariety to what is good, and from
attendance upon it, either by excess and defect, as we have previously
affirmed concerning the virtues. Plato unquestionably then, as we have
already stated, collecting together the three departments of universal
philosophy, in this manner formed his speculative system.
Chapter XVII. Aristotle; Duality of Principles; His Categories; His
Psychology; His Ethical Doctrines; Origin of the Epithet "Peripatetic."
Aristotle, who was a pupil of this (Plato), reduced philosophy into an art,
and was distinguished rather for his proficiency in logical science,
supposing as the elements of all things substance and accident; that there
is one substance underlying all things, but nine accidents, namely,
quantity, quality, relation, where, when, possession, posture, action,
passion; and that substance is of some such description as God, man, and
each of the beings that can fall under a similar denomination. But in regard
of accidents, quality is seen in, for instance, white, black; and quantity,
for instance two cubits, three cubits; and relation, for instance father,
son; and where, for instance at Athens, Megara; and when, for instance
during the tenth Olympiad; and possession, for instance to have acquired;
and action, for instance to write, and in general to evince any practical
powers; and posture, for instance to lie down; and passion, for instance to
be struck. He also supposes that some things have means, but that others are
without means, as we have declared concerning Plato likewise. And in most
points he is in agreement with Plato, except the opinion concerning soul.
For Plato affirms it to be immortal, but Aristotle that it involves
permanence; and after these things, that this also vanishes in the fifth
body,  which he supposes, along with the other four
(elements), viz., fire, and earth, and water, and air, to be a something
more subtle (than these), of the nature of spirit. Plato therefore says,
that the only really good things are those pertaining to the soul, and that
they are sufficient for happiness; whereas Aristotle introduces a threefold
classification of good things, and asserts that the wise man is not perfect,
unless there are present to him both the good things of the body and those
extrinsic to it.  The former are beauty, strength, vigour of the
senses, soundness; while the things extrinsic (to the body) are wealth,
nobility, glory, power, peace, friendship.  And the inner qualities
of the soul he classifies, as it was the opinion of Plato, under prudence,
temperance, justice, fortitude. This (philosopher) also affirms that evils
arise according to an opposition of the things that are good, and that they
exist beneath the quarter around the moon, but reach no farther beyond the
moon; and that the soul of the entire world is immortal, and that the world
itself is eternal, but that (the soul) in an individual, as we have before
stated, vanishes (in the fifth body). This (speculator), then holding
discussions in the Lyceum, drew up from time to time his system of
philosophy; but Zeno (held his school) in the porch called Poecilé. And the
followers of Zeno obtained their name from the place that is, from
Stoa (i.e., a porch), being styled Stoics; whereas Aristotle's followers
(were denominated) from their mode of employing themselves while teaching.
For since they were accustomed walking about in the Lyceum to pursue their
investigations, on this account they were called Peripatetics. These indeed,
then, were the doctrines of Aristotle.
Chapter XVIII. The Stoics; Their Superiority in Logic; Fatalists; Their
Doctrine of Conflagrations.
The Stoics themselves also imparted growth to philosophy, in respect of a
greater development of the art of syllogism, and included almost everything
under definitions, both Chrysippus and Zeno being coincident in opinion on
this point. And they likewise supposed God to be the one originating
principle of all things, being a body of the utmost refinement, and that His
providential care pervaded everything; and these speculators were positive
about the existence of fate everywhere, employing some such example as the
following: that just as a dog, supposing him attached to a car, if indeed he
is disposed to follow, both is drawn,  or follows voluntarily,
making an exercise also of free power, in combination with necessity, that
is, fate; but if he may not be disposed to follow, he will altogether be
coerced to do so. And the same, of course, holds good in the case of men.
For though not willing to follow, they will altogether be compelled to enter
upon what has been decreed for them. (The Stoics), however, assert that the
soul abides after death,  but that it is a body, and that such is
formed from the refrigeration of the surrounding atmosphere; wherefore,
also, that it was called psyche (i.e., soul). And they acknowledge likewise,
that there is a transition of souls from one body to another, that is, for
those souls for whom this migration has been destined. And they accept the
doctrine, that there will be a conflagration, a purification of this world,
some say the entire of it, but others a portion, and that (the world) itself
is undergoing partial destruction; and this all but corruption, and the
generation from it of another world, they term purgation. And they assume
the existence of all bodies, and that body does not pass through body,
 but that a refraction  takes place, and that all things
involve plenitude, and that there is no vacuum. The foregoing are the
opinions of the Stoics also.
Chapter XIX. Epicurus; Adopt's the Democritic Atomism; Denial of Divine
Providence; The Principle of His Ethical System.
Epicurus, however, advanced an opinion almost contrary to all. He supposed,
as originating principles of all things, atoms and vacuity.  He
considered vacuity as the place that would contain the things that will
exist, and atoms the matter out of which all things could be formed; and
that from the concourse of atoms both the Deity derived existence, and all
the elements, and all things inherent in them, as well as animals and other
(creatures); so that nothing was generated or existed, unless it be from
atoms. And he affirmed that these atoms were composed of extremely small
particles, in which there could not exist either a point or a sign, or any
division; wherefore also he called them atoms. Acknowledging the Deity to be
eternal and incorruptible, he says that God has providential care for
nothing, and that there is no such thing at all as providence or fate, but
that all things are made by chance. For that the Deity reposed in the
intermundane spaces, (as they) are thus styled by him; for outside the world
he determined that there is a certain habitation of God, denominated "the
intermundane spaces," and that the Deity surrendered Himself to pleasure,
and took His ease in the midst of supreme happiness; and that neither has He
any concerns of business, nor does He devote His attention to them. 
As a consequence on these opinions, he also propounded his theory concerning
wise men, asserting that the end of wisdom is pleasure. Different persons,
however, received the term "pleasure" in different acceptations; for some
(among the Gentiles  understood) the passions, but others the
satisfaction resulting from virtue. And he concluded that the souls of men
are dissolved along with their bodies, just as also they were produced along
with them, for that they are blood, and that when this has gone forth or
been altered, the entire man perishes; and in keeping with this tenet,
(Epicurus maintained) that there are neither trials in Hades, nor tribunals
of justice; so that whatsoever any one may commit in this life, that,
provided he may escape detection, he is altogether beyond any liability of
trial (for it in a future state). In this way, then, Epicurus also formed
Chapter XX. The Academics; Difference of Opinion Among Them.
And another opinion of the philosophers was called that of the Academics,
 on account of those holding their discussions in the Academy, of whom
the founder Pyrrho, from whom they were called Pyrrhonean philosophers,
first introduced the notion of the incomprehensibility of all things, so as
to (be ready to) attempt an argument on either side of a question, but not
to assert anything for certain; for that there is nothing of things
intelligible or sensible true, but that they appear to men to be so; and
that all substance is in a state of flux and change, and never continues in
the same (condition). Some followers, then, of the Academics say that one
ought not to declare an opinion on the principle of anything, but simply
making the attempt to give it up; whereas others subjoined the formulary
"not rather"  (this than that), saying that the fire is not rather
fire than anything else. But they did not declare what this is, but what
sort it is. 
Chapter XXI. The Brachmans; Their Mode of Life; Ideas of Deity; Different
Sorts Of; Their Ethical Notions.
But there is also with the Indians a sect composed of those philosophizing
among the Brachmans. They spend a contented existence, abstain both from
living creatures and all cooked food, being satisfied with fruits; and not
gathering these from the trees, but carrying off those that have fallen to
the earth. They subsist upon them, drinking the water of the river
Tazabena.  But they pass their life naked, affirming that the body
has been constituted a covering to the soul by the Deity. These affirm that
God is light, not such as one sees, nor such as the sun and fire; but to
them the Deity is discourse, not that which finds expression in articulate
sounds, but that of the knowledge through which the secret mysteries of
nature  are perceived by the wise. And this light which they say is
discourse, their god, they assert that the Brachmans only know on account of
their alone rejecting all vanity of opinion which is the soul's ultimate
covering.  These despise death, and always in their own peculiar
language  call God by the name which we have mentioned previously,
and they send up hymns (to him). But neither are there women among them, nor
do they beget children. But they who aim at a life similar to these, after
they have crossed over to the country on the opposite side of the river,
continue to reside there, returning no more; and these also are called
Brachmans. But they do not pass their life similarly, for there are also in
the place women, of whom those that dwell there are born, and in turn beget
children. And this discourse which  they name God they assert to be
corporeal, and enveloped in a body outside himself, just as if one were
wearing a sheep's skin, but that on divesting himself of body that he would
appear clear to the eye. But the Brachmans say that there is a conflict in
the body that surrounds them, (and they consider that the body is for them
full of conflicts);  in opposition to which, as if marshalled for
battle against enemies, they contend, as we have already explained. And they
say that all men are captive to their own congenital struggles, viz.,
sensuality and inchastity, gluttony, anger, joy, sorrow, concupiscence, and
such like. And he who has reared a trophy over these, alone goes to God;
wherefore the Brachmans deify Dandamis, to whom Alexander the Macedonian
paid a visit, as one who had proved victorious in the bodily conflict. But
they bear down on Calanus as having profanely withdrawn from their
philosophy. But the Brachmans, putting off the body, like fishes jumping out
of water into the pure air, behold the sun.
Chapter XXII. The Druids; Progenitors of Their System.
And the Celtic Druids investigated to the very highest point the Pythagorean
philosophy, after Zamolxis,  by birth a Thracian,  a servant
of Pythagoras, became to them the originator of this discipline. Now after
the death of Pythagoras, Zamolxis, repairing thither, became to them the
originator of this philosophy. The Celts esteem these as prophets and seers,
on account of their foretelling to them certain (events), from calculations
and numbers by the Pythagorean art; on the methods of which very art also we
shall not keep silence, since also from these some have presumed to
introduce heresies; but the Druids resort to magical rites likewise.
Chapter XXIII. Hesiod; The Nine Muses; The Hesiodic Cosmogony; The Ancient
Speculators, Materialists; Derivative Character of the Heresies from Heathen
But Hesiod the poet asserts himself also that he thus heard from the Muses
concerning nature, and that the Muses are the daughters of Jupiter. For when
for nine nights and days together, Jupiter, through excess of passion, had
uninterruptedly lain with Mnemosyne, that Mnemosyne conceived in one womb
those nine Muses, becoming pregnant with one during each night. Having then
summoned the nine Muses from Pieria, that is, Olympus, he exhorted them to
"How first both gods and earth were made, 
And rivers, and boundless deep, and ocean's surge,
And glittering stars, and spacious heaven above;
How they grasped the crown and shared the glory,
And how at first they held the many-valed Olympus.
These (truths), ye Muses, tell me of, saith he,
From first, and next which of them first arose.
Chaos, no doubt, the very first, arose; but next
Wide-stretching Earth, ever the throne secure of all
Immortals, who hold the peaks of white Olympus;
And breezy Tartarus in wide earth's recess;
And Love, who is most beauteous of the gods immortal,
Chasing care away from all the gods and men,
Quells in breasts the mind and counsel sage.
But Erebus from Chaos and gloomy Night arose;
And, in turn, from Night both Air and Day were born;
But primal Earth, equal to self in sooth begot
The stormy sky to veil it round on every side,
Ever to be for happy gods a throne secure.
And forth she brought the towering hills, the pleasant haunts
Of nymphs who dwell throughout the woody heights.
And also barren Sea begat the surge-tossed
Flood, apart from luscious Love; but next
Embracing Heaven, she Ocean bred with eddies deep,
And Caeus, and Crius, and Hyperian, and Iapetus,
And Thia, and Rhea, and Themis, and Mnemosyne,
And gold-crowned Phoebe, and comely Tethys.
But after these was born last  the wiley Cronus,
Fiercest of sons; but he abhorred his blooming sire,
And in turn the Cyclops bred, who owned a savage breast."
And all the rest of the giants from Cronus, Hesiod enumerates, and somewhere
afterwards that Jupiter was born of Rhea. All these, then, made the
foregoing statements in their doctrine regarding both the nature and
generation of the universe. But all, sinking below what is divine, busied
themselves concerning the substance of existing things,  being
astonished at the magnitude of creation, and supposing that it constituted
the Deity, each speculator selecting in preference a different portion of
the world; failing, however, to discern the God and maker of these.
The opinions, therefore, of those who have attempted to frame systems of
philosophy among the Greeks, I consider that we have sufficiently explained;
and from these the heretics, taking occasion, have endeavoured to establish
the tenets that will be after a short time declared. It seems, however,
expedient, that first explaining the mystical rites and whatever imaginary
doctrines some have laboriously framed concerning the stars, or magnitudes,
to declare these; for heretics likewise, taking occasion from them, are
considered by the multitude to utter prodigies. Next in order we shall
elucidate the feeble opinions advanced by these.
Books II. And III. Are Awanting.
 The four of the MSS. of the first book extant prior to the recent
discovery of seven out of the remaining nine books of The Refutation, concur
in ascribing it to Origen. These inscriptions run thus: 1. "Refutation by
Orison of all Heresies;" 2. "Of Origen's Philosophumena... these are the
contents;" 3. "Being estimable (Dissertations) by Origen, a man of the
greatest wisdom." The recently discovered MS. itself in the margin has the
words, "Origen, and Origen's opinion." The title, as agreed upon by modern
commentators, is: 1. "Book I. of Origen's Refutation of all Heresies" (Wolf
and Gronovius); 2. "A Refutation of all Heresies; " 3. "Origen s
Philosophumena, or the Refutation of all Heresies." The last is Stiller's in
his Oxford edition, 1851. The title might have been, "Philosophumena, and
the Refutation (therefrom) of all Heresies." There were obviously two
divisions of the work: (1) A resume of the tenets of the philosophers (books
i., ii., iii., iv.), preparatory to (2) the refutation of heresies, on the
ground of their derivative character from Greek and Egyptian speculation.
Bunsen would denominate the work "St. Hippolytus (Bishop and Martyr)
Refutation of all Heresies; what remains of the ten books."
 Most of what follows in book i. is a compilation from ancient sources.
The ablest resume followed by Cicero in the De Nat. Deor., of the tenets of
the ancient philosophers, is to be found in Aristotle's Metaphysics. The
English reader is referred to the Metaphysics, book i. pp. 13-46 (Bohn s
Classical Library), also to the translator's analysis prefixed to this work,
pp, 17-25 See also Diogenes Lives of the Philosophers, and Tenneman s
Manual of Philosophy (translated in Bohn's Library); Plutarch, De Placitis
Philosophorum; Lewes Biographical History of (Ancient) Philolophy; and Rev.
Dr. F. D. Maurice's History of (Ancient) Metaphysical and Moral Philosophy.
The same subject is discussed in Ritter's History of Philosophy (translated
 This word is variously given thus: Academian, Academeian, Academaic,
Academe, Cademian, and Cadimian. The two last would seem to indicate the
character rather than the philosophy of Pyrrho. To favour this view, the
text should be altered into kai adēmos, i.e., apodēmos = from home, not
 Some hiatus at the beginning of this sentence is apparent.
 An elaborate defence of this position forms the subject of Cudworth s
great work, The True Intellectual System of the Universe.
 This statement has been urged against Origen's authorship, in favour of
Epiphinius, who wrote an extended treatise on the Heresies, with an
 That is, their esoteric mysteries, intended only for a favoured few, as
contrasted with the exoteric. designed for more general diffusion.
 One ms. has "the profane opinion and unreasonable attempt."
 "To learn" (Roeper).
 "And those that are irrational animals do not attempt," (or)
"because irrational," etc. The last is Sancroft's reading; that in the text,
 "Ascend up to" (Roeper).
 This passage is quoted by those who impugn the authorship of Origen
on the ground of his never having been a bishop of the Church. It is not,
however, quite certain that the words refer to the episcopal office
 The common reading is in the future, but the present tense is
adopted by Richter in his Critical Observations, p. 77.
 It might be, "any opinion that may be subservient to the subject
taken in hand." This is Cruice's rendering in his Latin version. A different
reading is, "we must not be silent as regards reasons that hold good," or,
"as regards rational distinctions," or, "refrain from utterances through the
instrument of reasoning." The last is Roeper s.
 Another reading is, "bringing into a collection."
 Or, "the Spirit."
 Or, "indicating a witness; " or, "having adduced testimony,"
 Or, "a starting-point."
 Or:, "devoting his attention to; " or, "having lighted upon."
 The chief writers on the early heresies are: Irenaeus, of the second
century; Hippolytus, his pupil, of the third; Philastrius, Epiphanius, and
St. Augustine, of the fourth century. The learncd need scarcely be reminded
of the comprehensive digest furnished by Ittigius in the preface to his
dissertation on the heresies of the apostolic and post-apostolic ages. A
book more within the reach of the general reader is Dr. Burton's Inquiry
into the Heresies of the Apostolic Age.
 [These were: Periander of Corinth, B.C. 585; Pittacus of Mitylene,
B.C. 570; Thales of Miletus, B.C. 548: Solon of Athens, B.C.540; Chilo of
Sparta, B.C. 597; Bias of Priene; Cleobulus of Lindus, B.C. 564 ]
 Or, "motions of the stars" (Roeper).
 Or, "carried along" (Roeper).
 Or," that which is divine." See Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom., v. pp.
461, 463 (Heinisus and Sylburgius ed.). Thales, on being asked, "What is
God?!" "That," replied he, "which has neither beginning nor end."
 Or, "see."
 Or, "nature."
 "And arithmetic" (added by Roeper).
 Or, "and he first."
 Or, "physiognomy."
 Or, "in conformity with his hypothesis."
 Or, "the third."
 Or, "an everlasting nature;" or, "having the roots of an everlasting
nature in itself," the words "as it were" being omitted in some MSS.
 Or, "production."
 1t should be probably, "monad, number." The monad was with
Pythagoras, and in imitation of him with Leibnitz, the highest
generalization of number, and a conception in abstraction, commensurate with
what we call essence, whether of matter or spirit.
 Kobisthē in text must be rendered" multiplied." The formulary is
self-evident: (a2)2 = a4, (a2)3 = a6, (a3)3 = a9.
 Or Thallis, Aethalides, a son of Hermes, was herald of the
Argonauts, and said never to have forgotten anything. In this way his soul
remembered its successive migrations into the bodies of Euphorbus,
Hermotimus, Pyrrhus, and Pythagoras. (See Diogenes Lives, book viii. chap.
i. sec. 4.)
 No name occurs more frequently in the annals of Greek literature
than that of Diodorus. One, however, wiih the title "of Eretria," as far is
the translator knows, is mentioned only by Hippolytus; so that this is
likely another Diodorus to be added to the long list already cxisting. It
may be that Dioclorus Eretriensis is the same as Diodorus Crotnniates, a
Pythagorean philospher. See Fabricius Biblioth. Grac., lib ii. cap. iii.,
lib. iii. cap. xxxi.; also Meursius Annotations, p. 20, on Chalcidius
Commentary on Plato's Timaeus. The article in Smith's Dictionary is a
transcript of these.
 Aristoxenus is mentioned by Cicero in his Tusculan Questions, book
i. chap. i. xviii, as having broached a theory in psychology, which may have
suggested, in modern times, to David Hartley his hypothesis of sensation
being the result of nerval vibrations. Cicero says of Aristoxenus, "that he
was so charmed with his own harmonies, that he sought to transfer them into
investigations concerning our corporeal and spiritual nature."
 Zaratas is another form of the name Zoroaster.
 Or, "is a nature according to musical harmony" (preceding note); or,
"The cosmica system is a nature and a musical harmony."
 Zaras, or Zoroaster, is employed as a sort of generic denomination
for philosopher by the Orieintals, who, whatever portions of Asia they
inhabit, mostly ascribe their speculative systems try a Zoroaster. No less
than six individuals bearing this name are spoken of. Arnobius ( Contr.
Gentes., i. 52) mentions four (1) a Chaldean, (2) Bactrian, (3) Pamphylian,
(4) Armenian. Pliny mentions a fifth as a native of Proconnesus ( Nat.
Hist.., xxx. 1), while Apaleius ( Florida, ii. 15) a sixth Zoroaster, a
native of Babylon, and contemporar with Pythagoras, the one evidently
alluded to by Hippolytus. (See translator's Treatise on Metaphisics, chap.
 Or, "that it was hot and cold," or "hot of moist."
 Or it might be rendered, "a process of arrangement." The Abbe Cruice
(in his edition of Hippolytus, Paris, 1860) suggests a different reading,
which would make the words translate thus, "when the earth was an undigested
and solid mass."
 [See book vi. cap. xxii., infra, and note. But Clement gives another
explanation. See vol. ii. p. 385, this series.]
 Or, "Zametus."
 Or, "leading them down into cells, made them," etc.; or, "made his
disciples observe silence," etc.
 Or, "and beast," more in keeping with the sense of the name; or "a
lamb" has been suggested in the Gottingen edition of Hippolytus.
 Or, "traveller into the sea;" or, "mute ones from the sea;" or,
"from the sea a glittering fish."
 Or, "being the instructor of this (philosopher)."
 Proclus, in his commentary on Plato's Timaeus, uses almost the same
words: "but Heraclitus, in asserting his own universal knowledge, makes out
all the rest of mankind ignorant."
 Or, "and among these, Socrates a moral philosopher, and Aristotle a
logician, originated systems."
 Or, "men."
 Or, "moist."
 Or, "congealed snow."
 That is, Antipodes. Diogenes Laertius was of the opinion that Plato
first indicated by name the Antipodes.
 Or, "727 times," is an improbable reading.
 "In moisture" is properly added, as Plutarch, in his De Placitis, v.
xix., remarks that "Anthimander affirms that prinmiary animials were
produced in moisture."
 This word seems requisite to the sense of the passage.
 B.C. 610. On Olympiads, see Jarvis, Introd., p. 21.]
 Or, "revolutionary motion."
 Plutarch, in his De Placitis Philosophorum, attributes both opinions
to Anaximenes, viz., that the sun was moved both under and around the earth.
 [ B.C. 556.]
 Aristotle considers that Anaxaporas was the first to broach the
existence of efficient causes in nature. He states, however, that Hermotimus
received the credit of so doing at an earlier date.
 Or, Hegesephontus.
 Simplicius, in his Commentary on Aristotle's Physics, where (book i.
c. 2) Anaxagoras is spoken of, says that the latter maintained that "all
things existed simultaneously infinite things, and plurality, and
diminutiveness, for even what was diminutive was infinite." (See
Aristotle s,Metaphysics, iii. 4, Macmahon's translation, p. 93.) This
explains Hippolytus remark, while it suggests an emendation of the text.
 Or, "in the Antipodes; " or, "from the snow in Aethiopia."
 Or, "overpowered by the sun," that is, whose light was lost in the
superior brilliancy of the sun.
 Or, "were generated."
 [Died B.C. 428 or 429.]
 [ B.C. 440.]
 Or, "both many of the rest of the animal kingdom, and man
himself." (See Diogenes Laertius Lives, ii. 17.)
 There is some confusion in the text here, but the rendering given
above, though conjectural, is highly probable. One proposed emendation would
make the passage run thus: "for that each body employed mind, sometimes
slower, sometimes faster."
 [ B.C. 500]
 The next sentence is regarded by some as not genuine.
 [ B.C. 37O.]
 Or, "when again mutually connected, that different entities were
generated." (See Diogenes Laertius Lives, ix. 30-32.)
 [Died in his hundred and ninth year, B.C. 361.]
 Or, "Audera."
 [Born 556 B.C.]
 [Incredible. Cyrus the younger, fell at Cunaxa B.C. 401. Cyrus the
elder was a contemporary of Xenophanes.]
 Or, "anchovy."
 Or," Melitus."
 The textual reading is in the present, but obviously requires a
 Some confusion has crept into the text. The first clause of the
second sentence belongs probably to the first. The sense would then run
thus: "Ecphantus affirmed the impossibility of dogmatic truth, for that
every one was permitted to frame definitions as he thought proper."
 Or, "that there is, according to this, a multitude of defined
existences, and that such is infinite."
 Or, "a single power."
 [So far anticipating modern science.]
 Or, "holds."
 Or, "writing." Still Socrates may be called the father of the Greek
philosophy. "From the age of Aristotle and Plato, the rise of the several
Greek sects may be estimated as so many successful or abortive efforts to
carry out the principles enunciated by Socrates." Translator's Treatise on
Metaphysics, chap. iii. p. 45.
 This word signifies to take impressions from anything, which
justifies the translation, historically correct, given above. Its literal
import is "wipe clean," and in this sense Hippolytus may intend to assert
that Plato wholly appropriated the philosophy of Socrates. (See Diogenes
Laertius, xi. 61, where the same word occurs.)
 De Legibus, iv, 7 (p. 109, vol. viii. ed. Bekker).
 Timeus, c xvi. (p. 277, voL vii. ed. Bekker). The passage runs thus
in the original: "Gods of gods, of whom I am Creator and Father of works,
which having been formed by Me, are indissoluble, through, at all events, My
 The word is literally a cup or bowl, and, being employed by Plato
in an allegorical sense, is evidently intended to signify the anima mundi
(soul of the world), which constituted a sort of depository for all
spiritual existences in the world.
 Or, "that, there exists a necessity for the corruption of
 Or, "are confirmed by that (philosopher Plato), because he
asserts," etc.; or, "those who assert the soul's immortality are especially
confirmed in their opinion, as many as affirm the existence of a future
state of retribution."
 Or, "that he changes different souls," etc.
 Or, "during."
 Diogenes Laertius, in describing the system of the Stoics, employs
the same word in the case of their view of virtue.
 This is supplied from the original; the passage occurs in the
Phaedrus, c. lx. (p. 86;, vol. i. ed. Bekker).
 The word Adrasteia was a name for Nemesis, and means here
 The passage occurs in Clilophon (p. 244, vol. vi ed Bekker).
 The text, as given by Miller, is scarcely capable of any meaning.
The translation is therefore conjectural, in accordance with alterations
proposed by Schneidewin.
 0r, "declares."
 Or, "the fifth body, in which it is supposed to be, along with the
other four (elements); " or,"the fifth body, which is supposed to be
(composed) of the other four."
 Hippolytus expresses himself in the words of Stobaeus, who says (
Eclog., ii. 274): "And among reputed external blessings are nobility,
wealth, glory, peace, freedom, friendship."
 Or, "glory, the confirmed power of friends."
 One of the MSS. elucidated the simile in the text thus; "But if he
is not disposed, there is absolutely a necessity for his being drawn along.
And in like manner men, if they do not follow fate, seem to be free agents,
though the reason of (their being) fate holds assuredly valid. If, however,
they do not wish to follow, they will absolutely be coerced to enter upon
what has been fore-ordained."
 Or, "is immortal." Diogenes Laertius (book vii) notices, in his
section on Zino, as part of the Stoic doctrine, "that the soul abides after
death, but that it is perishable."
 Or, "through what is incorporeal;" that is, through what is void
or empty space.
 Or, "resurrection; " or, "resistance;" that is, a resisting
 The atomic theory is, as already mentioned by Hippolytus, of more
ancient date than Epicurus age, being First broached by Leucippus and
Democritus. This fact, however, has, as Cudworth argues, been frequently
overlooked by those who trace the doctrine to no older a source than the
founder of the Epicurean philosophy.
 Or, "that neither has He business to do, nor does He attend to
any. As a consequence of which fact," etc.
 "Among the Gentiles" seems a mistake. One reading proposed is,
"some (intended) our sensuous passions; " or, "some understood the
passions." The words "among the Gentiles," the French commentator, the Abbe
Cruice, is of opinion, were added by Christian hands, in order to draw a
contrast between the virtuous Christian and the vicious pagan.
 See Diogenes Laertius Lives, x. 63 (Bohn's Library); Plutarch, De
Placitis Philosophorum, iv. 3.
 Diogenes Laertius, Lives, ix. 75; Sextus Empiricus, Hypotyp., i.
 This is what the Academics called "the phenomenon" (Sextus
Empiricus, Pyrrh. Hyp., i. i9-22).
 This is a mistake in the manuscript for Ganges, according to
 Or, "knowledge." (See Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom., i., xv.,
lxxii.; Eusebius, Prapaerat. Evang., ix. 6.)
 Athenaeus ( Deipn., book ix ) ascribes this opinion to Plato, who,
he tells us, "asserted that the soul was so constituted, that it should
reject its last covering, that of vanity."
 Or, "they name light their god; " or, "they celebrate in their own
peculiar language God, whom they name," etc.
 The text here would seem rather confused. The above translation
agrees with Cruice's and Schneidewin's Latin version. I have doubts about
its correctness, however, and would render it thus: "...enveloped in a body
extrinsic to the divine essence, just as if one wore a sheepskin covering;
but that his body, on being divested of this (covering), would appear
visible to the naked eye." Or, "This discourse whom they name God they
affirm to be incorporeal, but enveloped in a body outside himself (or his
own body) (just as if one carried a covering of sheepskin to have it seen);
but having stripped off the body in which he is enveloped, that he no longer
appears visible to the naked eye." (Roeper.) I am not very confident that
this exactly conveys the meaning of Roeper's somewhat obscure Greek
 The parenthetical words Roeper considers introduced into the text
from a marginal note.
 Or "Zamalxis," or "Zametris" (see Menagius on Diogenes Laetrius,
 Or, "of Thracian origin." The words are omitted in two MSS.
 There are several verbal differences from the original in
Hippolytus version. These may be seen on comparing it with Hesiod's own
text. The particular place which Hesiod occupies in the history of
philosophy is pointed out by Aristotle in his Metaphysics. The Stagyrite
detects in the Hesiodic cosmogony, in the principle of "love," the dawn of a
recognition of the necessity of an efficient cause to account for the
phenomena of nature. It was Aristotle himself, however, who built up the
science of causation; and in this respect humanity owes that extraordinary
man a deep debt of gratitude.
 Or "youngest," or "most vigorous." This is Hesiod's word, which
signifies literally," fittest for bearing arms" (for service, as we say).
 "The majority of those who first formed systems of philosophy,
consider those that subsist in a form of matter, to be alone the principle
of all things." Aristotle's Metaphisics, book i. c. iii. p. 13 (Bohn's ed.).
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