Eunapius Lives of the Philosophers 475-476:

[Loeb Classical Library , pp. 437-439.]
Now when [Julian's] studies with them were prospering, he heard that there was a higher wisdom in Greek, possessed by the hierophant of the Goddesses, and hastened to him with all speed. The name of him who was at that time hierophant it is not lawful for me to tell, for he initiated the author of this narrative. By birth he was descended from the Eumolpidai. It was he who, in the presence of the author of this book, foretold the overthrow of the temples and the ruin of the whole of Greece, and he clearly testified that after his death there would be a hierophant who would have no right to touch the hierophant's throne, because he had been consecrated to the service of other gods and had sworn oaths of the uttermost sanctity that he would not preside over temples other than theirs. Nevertheless, he foretold that this man would so preside, though he was not even an Athenian. To such prophetic power did he attain that he prophesied that in his own lifetime the sacred temples would be razed to the ground and laid waste, and that that other man would live to see their ruin and would be despised for his overweening ambition; and that the worship of the Two Goddesses would come to an end before his own death, and that, deprived of his honor, his life would no longer be that of a hierophant, and that he would not reach old age.

Thus indeed it came to pass. For no sooner was the citizen of Thespiae made hierophant, he who was a pater in the ritual of Mithras, then without delay many inexplicable disasters came on in a flood. Some of these have been described in the more detailed narrative of my History, others, if it be permitted by the Divine, I shall relate. It was the time when Alaric with his barbarians invaded Greece by the Pass of Thermopylae [A. D. 395], as easily as though he were traversing an open stadium or a plain suitable for cavalry. For this gateway of Greece was thrown open to him by the impiety of the men clad in black himatia, who entered Greece unhindered along with him, and by the fact that the laws and restrictions of the hierophantic ordinances had been rescinded. But all this happened in later days, and my narrative digressed because I mentioned the prophecy.

At the time I now speak of, Julian had no sooner become intimate with that most holy of hierophants and greedily absorbed his wisdom, than he was forcibly removed by Constantius [Emperor, 337-361] to be his consort in the Empire and elevated to the rank of Caesar [November 6, 355], while Maximus remained in Asia (Aedesius had now passed away), and progressed by leaps and bounds in every kind of wisdom . . . .

Lucian of Samosata Lexiphanes 9-10:

(9) . . . But hearing the governor was giving a warm reception, I took my shiniest clothes, fresh from the tailor, and my unmatched shoes, and showed myself out.

(10) 'The first I met were a torch-bearer, a hierophant, and others of the initiated, hailing Dinias before the judge, and protesting that he had called them by their names, though he well knew that, from the time of their sanctification, they were nameless, and no more to be named but by hallowed names; so then he appealed to me.' 'Dinias?' I put in; 'Who is Dinias?' 'Oh, he's a dance-for-your-supper carry-your-luggage rattle- your-patter gaming-house sort of man; eschews the barber, and takes care of his poor chest and toes.' 'Well,' said I, 'paid he the penalty in some wise, or showed a clean pair of heels?' 'Our delicate goer is now fast bound. The governor, regardless of his retiring disposition, slipped him on a pair of bracelets and a necklace, and brought him acquainted with stocks and boot. The poor worm quaked for fear, and could not contain himself, and offered money, if so he might save his soul alive.
© 11/16/2003


May 25, 2009 11:48 AM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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