Hippolytus of Rome
Roman Christian theologian (c. 170 – c. 235)
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Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235) was a 3rd-century theologian.
in Readings in World Christian History (2013), pp. 17-22
- Inquiry shall likewise be made about the professions and trades of those who are brought to be admitted to the faith. If a man is a pander, he must desist or be rejected.
- If a man is an actor or pantomimist, he must be rejected.
- A gladiator or a trainer of gladiators, or a huntsman, or anyone connected with these shows ... must desist or be rejected.
- A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded, and to refuse to take an oath; if he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected.
- If a catechumen or a believer seeks to become a soldier, they must be rejected, for they have despised God.
- Among natural philosophers may be enumerated Thales, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Archelaus, Parmcnides, 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 of philosophy. 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 incomprehen sibility of everything. The Brahmins among the Indians, and the Druids among the Celts, and Hesiod [devoted them selves to philosophic pursuits].
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 26
- 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 minute ness, 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.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 28
- 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 num bers. 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.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 32
- 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 non entity; and this he asserted, since existing things are con tinually 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.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 45
- I think that there has been clearly expounded the mind of arithmeticians, who, by means of numbers and of names, suppose that they interpret life. Now I perceive that these, enjoying leisure, and being trained in calculation, have been desirous that, through the art delivered to them from childhood, they, acquiring celebrity, should be styled prophets.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 P. 86
- Type of those born under Virgo. Those born in Virgo are of the following description: fair appearance, eyes not large, fascinating, dark, compact eyebrows, cheerful, swimmers; they are, however, slight in frame, beautiful in aspect, with hair prettily adjusted, large forehead, prominent nose. The same by nature are docile, moderate, intelligent, sportive, rational, slow to speak, form ing many plans; in regard of a favour, importunate; gladly observing everything; and well-disposed pupils, they master whatever they learn; moderate, scorners, victims of unnatural lusts, companionable, of a noble soul, despisers, careless in practical matters, attending to instruction, more honourable in what concerns others than what relates to themselves; as regards friendship, useful.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 P. 90
- For the [sorcerer] affirms that it is impossible for mortal nature to behold divine things, for that to hold converse [with these mysteries] is sufficient. Making, however, the attendant lie down [upon the couch], head foremost, and placing by each side two of those little tablets, upon which had been inscribed in, forsooth, Hebrew characters, as it were names of demons, he says that [a demon] will deposit the rest in their ears.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 P. 95
- The cauldron, however, full of water, is placed in the middle on the ground; and the reflection of the cyanus falling upon it, presents the appearance of heaven. But the floor also has a certain concealed aperture, on which the cauldron is laid, having been [previously] supplied with a bottom of crystal, while itself is composed of stone. Underneath, however, unnoticed [by the spectators], is a compartment, into which the accomplices assembling, appear invested with the figures of such gods and demons as the magician wishes to exhibit. Now the dupe, beholding these, becomes astonished at the knavery of the magician, and subsequently believes all things that are likely to be stated by him. But [the sorcerer] produces a burning demon, by tracing on the wall whatever figure he wishes, and then covertly smearing it with a drug mixed according to this manner, — viz. of Laconian and Zacynthian asphalt, — while next, as if under the influence in probably before the words, " These contrivances, however, I hesitated to narrate".
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 103
- But the Persians, supposing that they had penetrated more within the confines of the truth, asserted that the Deity is luminous, a light contained in air. The Babylonians, however, affirmed that the Deity is dark, which very opinion also appears the consequence of the other; for day follows night, and night day. Do not the Egyptians, however, who suppose themselves more ancient than all, speak of the power of the Deity? [This power they estimate by] calculating these intervals of the parts [of the zodiac and, as if] by a most divine inspiration, they asserted that the Deity is an indivisible monad, both itself generating itself, and that out of this were formed all things.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 109-110
- Now earth," say the Greeks, " gave forth a man, [earth] first bearing a goodly gift, wishing to become mother not of plants devoid of sense, nor beasts without reason, but of a gentle and highly favoured creature." … The Chaldeans, however, say that this Adam is the man whom alone earth brought forth. And that he lay inanimate, unmoved, [and] still as a statue ; being an image of him who is above, who is celebrated as the man Adam, having been begotten by many powers, concerning whom individually is an enlarged discussion.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 129-130
- For Aries is a male zodiacal sign, but Taurus female; and the rest [are denominated] according to the same analogy, some male, but others female.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 157
- And when all things were created as has been described by Moses — both heaven and earth, and the things therein — the twelve angels of the Mother were divided into four principles, and each fourth part of them is called a river — Phison, and Gehon, and Tigris, and Euphrates, as, he says, Moses states. These twelve angels being mutually connected, go about into four parts, and manage the world, holding from Edem a sort of viceregal authority over the world. But they do not always continue in the same places, but move around as if in a circular dance, changing place after place, and at set times and intervals retiring to the localities subject to themselves. And when Phison holds sway over places, famine, distress, and affliction prevail in that part of the earth, for the battalion of these angels is niggardly.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 187
- Simon then, after inventing these [tenets], not only by evil devices interpreted the writings of Moses in whatever way he wished, but even the [works] of the poets. For also he fastens an allegorical meaning on [the story of] the wooden horse and Helen with the torch, and on very many other [accounts], which he transfers to what relates to himself and to Intelligence, and [thus] furnishes a fictitious explanation of them. He said, however, that this [Helen] was the lost sheep. And she, always abiding among women, confounded the powers in the world by reason of her surpassing beauty.
- Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 6: Hippolytus, Bishop Of Rome, Volume 1 p. 210