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On Images   


Grow wings, wherewith throughout all space he flies.
Earth the all-mother, with her lofty hills,
His sacred belly forms; the swelling flood
Of hoarse resounding Ocean girds his waist.
His feet the deeply rooted ground upholds,
And dismal Tartarus, and earth's utmost bounds.
All things he hides, then from his heart again
In godlike action brings to gladsome light.
Zeus, therefore, is the whole world, animal of animals, and god of
gods; but Zeus, that is, inasmuch as he is the mind from which he
brings forth all things, and by his thoughts creates them. When the
theologians had explained the nature of god in this manner, to make
an image such as their description indicated was neither possible,
nor, if any one thought of it, could he show the look of life, and
intelligence, and forethought by the figure of a sphere.
But they have made the representation of Zeus in human form, because
mind was that according to which he wrought, and by generative laws
brought all things to completion; and he is seated, as indicating
the steadfastness of his power: and his upper parts are bare, because
he is manifested in the intellectual and the heavenly parts of the
world; but his feet are clothed, because he is invisible in the things
that lie hidden below. And he holds his sceptre in his left hand,
because most close to that side of the body dwells the heart, the
most commanding and intelligent organ: for the creative mind is the
sovereign of the world. And in his right hand he holds forth either
an eagle, because he is master of the gods who traverse the air, as
the eagle is master of the birds that fly aloft - or a victory, because
he is himself victorious over all things.
Fragment 4
They have made Hera the wife of Zeus, because they called the ethereal
and aerial power Hera. For the ether is a very subtle air.
Fragment 5
And the power of the whole air is Hera, called by a name derived from
the air: but the symbol of the sublunar air which is affected by light
and darkness is Leto; for she is oblivion caused by the insensibility
in sleep, and because souls begotten below the moon are accompanied
by forgetfulness of the Divine; and on this account she is also the
mother of Apollo and Artemis, who are the sources of light for the
night.
Fragment 6
The ruling principle of the power of earth is called Hestia, of whom
a statue representing her as a virgin is usually set up on the hearth;
but inasmuch as the power is productive, they symbolize her by the
form of a woman with prominent breasts. The name Rhea they gave to
the power of rocky and mountainous land, and Demeter to that of level
and productive land. Demeter in other respects is the same as Rhea,
but differs in the fact that she gives birth to Kore by Zeus, that
is, she produces the shoot from the seeds of plants. And on this account
her statue is crowned with ears of corn, and poppies are set round
her as a symbol of productiveness.
Fragment 7
But since there was in the seeds cast into the earth a certain power,
which the sun in passing round to the lower hemisphere drags down
at the time of the winter solstice, Kore is the seminal power, and
Pluto the sun passing under the earth, and traversing the unseen world
at the time of the winter solstice; and he is said to carry off Kore,
who, while hidden beneath the earth, is lamented by her mother Demeter.
The power which produces hard-shelled fruits, and the fruits of plants
in general, is named Dionysus. But observe the images of these also.
For Kore bears symbols of the production of the plants which grow
above the earth in the crops: and Dionysus has horns in common with
Kore, and is of female form, indicating the union of male and female
forces in the generation of the hard shelled fruits.
But Pluto, the ravisher of Kore, has a helmet as a symbol of the unseen

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