Dream Is Destiny

Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis
So what? Does not Epigenes, in his book On the Poetry of Orpheus, in exhibiting the peculiarities found in Orpheus, say that by “the curved rods” (κερκίσι) is meant “ploughs”; and by the warp (στήμοσι), the furrows; and the woof (μίτος) is a figurative expression for the seed; and that “tears of Zeus” signify a storm; and that the “parts” (μοῖραι) are, again, the phases of the moon, the thirtieth day, and the fifteenth, and the new moon, and that Orpheus accordingly calls them “white-robed,” as being parts of the light? Again, that the Spring is called “flowery” (ἄνθιον) from its nature; and Night “still” (ἀργίς) on account of rest; and the Moon “Gorgonian,” on account of the face in it; and that the time in which it is necessary to sow is called “Aphrodite” by the theologian? In the same way, too, the Pythagoreans spoke figuratively, allegorizing the “dogs of Persephone” as the planets, the “tears of Cronus” as the sea.

Hippolytus of Rome, On Christ and Antichrist 4
For whereas the Word of God was without flesh, he took upon Himself the holy flesh by the holy Virgin, and prepared a robe which He wove for Himself, like a bridegroom, in the sufferings of the cross, in order that by uniting His own power with our mortal body and by mixing the incorruptible with the corruptible, and the strong with the weak, He might save perishing man. The web-beam (ἱστόν), therefore, is the passion of the Lord upon the cross, and the warp (στήμων) on it is the power of the Holy Spirit, and the woof (κρόκη) is the holy flesh woven by the Spirit, and the thread (μίτος) is the grace which by the love of Christ binds and unites the two in one, and the rods (κερκίς) are the Word; and the workers are the patriarchs and prophets who weave the fair, long, perfect tunic (χιτῶν) for Christ; and the Word passing through these, like the rods, completes through them the will of His Father.

2 thoughts on “Dream Is Destiny

  1. I was not familiar with that passage from Clement, and thus had not heard the “dogs of Persephone” as the planets before…and the idea of the Moon as “Gorgonian” due to the face in it is also interesting, because (you can probably guess this!) Tatian the Assyrian, I believe, said that some polytheists thought the face in the Moon was Antinous…and it seems in at least one context, Antinous’ face is syncretized with Medusa’s face on a lorica of Hadrian…!?!


Comments are closed.