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The "De Ave Phoenice" of Lactantius : a commentary and introduction Harris, Keith N. 1978

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THE DE AVE PHOENICE OF LACTANTIUS: A COMMENTARY AND INTRODUCTION by KEITH N. HARRIS B.A. , University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Cla s s i c s ) We accept this thesis as conforming THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1978 O ) Keith N. Harris, 1978 to the required standard In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Brit ish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Classics Department of . The University of Brit ish Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT The primary purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to provide a commentary on the De Ave Phbenice of C a e c i l i u s Firmianus Lactantius that takes into consideration a l l recent scholarship on the development of the "myth" of the Phoenix. The thesis consists of four chapters. The f i r s t chapter contains a biography and summary of the works of Lactantius together with a discussion of the poem's authorship. The second chapter consists of a discussion of the genesis of the myth of the phoenix, l i s t i n g examples i n chronological order, to A.D. 300, of the l i t e r a t u r e pertaining to the phoenix that may have been sources f o r Lactantius. Chapter Three consists of a text and t r a n s l a t i o n of the poem. Chapter Four, theTmajorupbEtion of the t h e s i s , i s devoted to a commentary, which concentrates on h i s t o r i c a l , p o l i t i c a l and a r t i s t i c implications i n the poem, rather than on textual and l e x i c a l matters. A genera-1 conclusion concerning the character and date of the poem i s added. The texts of the more important sources used i n Chapter Two are appended to the main body of the thesis and are followed by a bibliography. i TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i i i INTRODUCTORY NOTE 1 CHAPTER ONE LACTANTIUS: LIFE AND WORKS 2 CHAPTER TWO PRE-LACEANTIAN ACCOUNTS 12 CHAPTER THREE TEXT AND TRANSLATION 45 CHAPTER FOUR COMMENTARY 54 APPENDIX I l l BIBLIOGRAPHY 121 i i ; ACKNOWLEDGMENT I would l i k e to express my gratitude to Mr. A.A. Barrett for the many hours devoted to helping me write t h i s t h e s i s . I would also l i k e to thank the members of the Department of C l a s s i c s , i n p a r t i c u l a r Mrs. E.A. Bongie and Mr. G.N. Sandy. In addition, thanks-are also due to the s t a f f of the Department of Inter-Library Loan, whose industry on my behalf and cheerfulness ought not pass without mention. INTRODUCTORY NOTE Certain d i f f i c u l t i e s were encountered during the w r i t i n g of Chapter Three. Since I have no command of eit h e r Hebrew or Syriac, t r a n s l a t i o n s of two works have been used, namely of the Midrash Rabah and the Syriac D i d a s c a l i a . Also, no c r i t i c a l text of the Apocolypse of Baruch was av a i l a b l e to me, and, accordingly, that of J.Hubaux and M. Leroy, Le Myth  du Phenix,(Liege 1939) has been reprinted. The text of Clement used i s that of Migne, which s i m i l a r l y lacks an apparatus c r i t i c u s . On the whole, the text of the De Ave Phoenice followed has been that of Riese, included i n the Anthologia L a t i n a , ( L e i p z i g 1906). Close attention has been paid to Brandt-Laubmann's very u s e f u l e d i t i o n of 1893, which contains the text and, i n addition, a l l ancient testimonia and fragments, as well as an index verborum et rerum. Amongst the secondary sources, extensive use has been made of R. Van Den Broek's The Myth of the Phoenix,(Leiden 1972), which w i l l henceforth simply be referred to as "Broek". 1 CHAPTER ONE LACTANTIUS: LIFE AND WORKS The De Ave Phoenice i s generally ascribed to C a e c i l i u s Firmianus Lactantius, a rather shadowy f i g u r e . Both the period i n which he l i v e d , with i t s intermittent persecution of Christians and p o l i t i c a l unrest, and the very nature of the l i t e r a t u r e of the C h r i s t i a n Apologist conspire to give a very incomplete biographical p o r t r a i t . Our primary source of information i s St. Jerome, De V i r i s I l l u s t r i b u s 80, who says: "Firmianus, who was also known as Lactantius, was a p u p i l of Arnobius. Under the principate of D i o c l e t i a n (sub Diocletiano principe) he was summoned, along with the grammarian Fl a v i u s , whose books i n verse about medicine are s t i l l extant, and taught r h e t o r i c at Nicomedia. Because of the f a c t that i t was a Greek-speaking state there was a paucity of students and he turned to w r i t i n g . We have his Symposium, which he wrote as a young man i n A f r i c a , and a travelogue, composed i n hexameters, of h i s journey from A f r i c a to Nicomedia, another book e n t i t l e d Grammaticus, a magnificent work c a l l e d the Anger of God, seven books of the Divine  I n s t i t u t i o n s Against the Pagans as well as an Epitome of the same work i n one volume u n t i t l e d , two books addressed to Asclepias, one book about persecution, four books of le t t e r s " to Probus, two to Severus, two books of l e t t e r s to h i s own p u p i l Demetrianus and to the same one book about the craftsmanship of God or rather the Fashioning of Man. In extreme old age he was tutor of Constantine's son Crispus i n Gaul who was afterwards k i l l e d by h i s father." Some scholars have assumed from the above that Lactantius was born i n Africa."'" They have been unable to prove this conclusively. An i n s c r i p t i o n 2 3 published i n 1883 mentions the death of a c e r t a i n "Seius Clebonia also known as Lactantius"...Seius Cleboriianus qui et Lactantius V an v i c s i t 2 anis XXXV ( s i c ) . The cognomen Lactantius, unattested elsewhere, may well be that of the same family which produced t h i s unfortunate Clebonia: and the r h e t o r i c i a n who concerns us. The i n s c r i p t i o n was found at C i r t a some 170 kms. from the s i t e of Sicca i n eastern Numidia,where Arnobius taught,a not unreasonable distance for a brig h t young student to be sent, i f indeed he was born i n the same area as the aforementioned Clebonia. We must accept Jerome's word f or the notion that he was a student of Arnobius of Sicca, f o r at no place does Lactantius mention ei t h e r Arnobius or Sicca. I t does however seem l i k e l y that, i n the travelogue, mentioned by Jerome but unfortunately no longer extant, Lactantius made some mention of the place from which he was departing. Augustine, De Doct. Christ.2., informs us i n addition that Lactantius was educated i n A f r i c a . We can detect the influence of other A f r i c a n Apologists: T e r t u l l i a n , Minucius 3 F e l i x , and e s p e c i a l l y Cyprian. His date of b i r t h also presents a problem. We know from Jerome Chron.ad a.Abr. 2333 that Lactantius, " i n extreme old age", was tutor to Crispus, Constantine's son, and L i c i n i u s , the son of L i c i n i u s Augustus". We also know that these two were made Caesars i n the year 317 along with 4 the other son of Constantine, who bore the same name as h i s father. In 321 the father nominated these same two sons as consuls.. I t i s safe to assume that Crispus' education was over by 321 at the l a t e s t and Lactantius " i n extreme old age" must have accordingly been born between 230 and 250. We know nothing about the date of h i s death except f o r a reference i n the 4 Chronicon of Lucius Dexter, a completely u n r e l i a b l e source, to Lactantius' death ( i n abject poverty) at Nicaea i n 317. J u l i e h e r , however, c a l l s , t h i s chronicle "die grosse Falschung eines spanischen Jesuiten vor 1620";^ consequently we cannot take t h i s evidence s e r i o u s l y . Despite the lack of biographical information about Lactantius, we can, nevertheless, deduce c e r t a i n things about him from his extant works. He t e l l s us, Div. Inst. 5.2, De Mort. Pers. 13, that he was teaching oratory i n Nicomedia at the time of the destruction of the temple there. He had pursued the profession of a r h e t o r i c i a n for a long time but had some reservations about i t . I t i s safe to assume that- Lactantius was not an ordained p r i e s t . He was consequently compelled to make h i s l i v e l i h o o d i n the established school system which was structured i n a way conducive to the g l o r i f y i n g of the ideals of a pagan education not a c h r i s t i a n one, for the c h r i s t i a n s did not develop t h e i r own system of education i n Graeco-Roman times? at l e a s t not u n t i l Constantine's time. A cursory glance at h i s writings informs us that he was an extremely well-educated man, both i n pagan l i t e r a t u r e and i n C h r i s t i a n l i t e r a t u r e , who f u l l y warranted h i s l a t e r a p p e l l a t i o n of the "the C h r i s t i a n Cicero" and Jerome's praise (Ep.70.5) as " v i r omnium sub tempore eloqueritissimus". 9 His knowledge of Greek l i t e r a t u r e was s i g n i f i c a n t l y shallow, a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c balanced by the enormous volume of h i s l e t t e r s , which caused a c e r t a i n Damasus Epist.Ad Hier.70.5 to complain i n a l e t t e r to Jerome that most of Lactantius' l e t t e r s stretched to a thousand l i n e s of verse, r a r e l y touching on doctrine, and that any that chanced to be short were of more i n t e r e s t to scholars than to himself because they pertained to metre and.the geographical l o c a t i o n of places. Monceaux suggests that Lactantius had also studied the Law, although Lactantius informs us, Div. Inst.3.13, that he never i n f a c t engaged i n public speaking. Lactantius established such a reputation for himself as a teacher of r h e t o r i c , probably i n Sicca, that, c i r c a 290, he was summoned, according to De Mort Pers.7.8-11, to Nicomedia to help i n D i o c l e t i a n ' s plan to make another Rome there. In Nicomedia, when the persecution was started by Galerius, or by Galerius acting under Di o c l e t i a n ' s orders, Lactantius' p o s i t i o n must have become rather tenuous. We learn from the opening chapter of the De O p i f i c i o Dei, which i s generally assigned to this period, that he was i n d i r e s t r a i t s (in summis riecessariis) very probably through a dearth of students. D i o c l e t i a n had f i x e d the wages of grammarians and r h e t o r i c i a n s i n h i s e d i c t of 301 De Maximis P r e t i i s , 7.70-71: grammarians could draw only 200 d e n a r i i per p u p i l per month, rhetors 250} i n a d d i t i o n to t h i s , Galerius was waging a war on the l i t t e r a t i and schools. Most scholars agree that i t was at t h i s time that Lactantius turned h i s hand to composing h i s magnum opus, the Divine I n s t i t u t e s . Also, Constantine was kept, f i r s t by D i o c l e t i a n and then by Galerius a f t e r the abdication of Dio i n 305, as a v i r t u a l hostage; his place of detainment was almost c e r t a i n l y Nicomedia where he may have met Lactantius. Constantine must have l e f t Nicomedia shortly a f t e r Galerius' accession since he i s on hand to be proclaimed emperor by h i s troops i n York i n July of 306. Lactantius' whereabouts for the next few years are very vague and uncertain. He c e r t a i n l y must have l e f t Nicomedia for he was not i n that c i t y when he published the f i f t h book of the Divine I n s t i t u t e s for he says... v i d i ego i n Bithynia as though the l a t t e r were a very d i s t a n t p l a c e . ^ Later, De Mort Pers.35.1, 48.1, he gives a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of when and where 6 i n Nicomedia the edicts of Galerius and Milan were published i n 311 and 313 r e s p e c t i v e l y which seems to i n d i c a t e h i s presence i n Nicomedia. Between 305 and 311 h i s whereabouts are unknown. I t i s tempting to assume that he was i n Gaul with Constantine enjoying the r e l i g i o u s freedom accorded by Constantine i n 307, but unfortunately there i s no evidence for t h i s . Lactantius may simply have been adopting a low p r o f i l e during the d i f f i c u l t times of persecution. He seems to have returned to Nicomedia for a..few years before going to Gaul to become the L a t i n teacher of Crispus. The l a t t e r had been made 12 Caesar i n March of 317 and was a father by 322. His education, then, must have taken place at some time a n t e r i o r to 320, the year that Constantine appointed a separate praetorian prefect as an advisor to Crispus on a c t i v e 13 duty on the Rhine. I t i s probable that Lactantius died s h o r t l y a f t e r this date for we hear nothing further about him. The extant Lactantian corpus resembles the l i s t given by Jerome except that none of his l e t t e r s have survived, the Symposium i s l o s t , as i s the travelogue and the Grammaticus. A manuscript i n Milan contains fragments of an otherwise unknown work e n t i t l e d De Motibus Animi, which attempts to 14 explain the a f f e c t i o n s of the soul. Jerome unfortunately makes no mention of the very poem which concerns us, the De Ave Phoenice, an omission which has caused many scholars to doubt i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y i n the Lactantian corpus. S i m i l a r l y , however, Jerome f a i l s to mention the De Motibus Animi, which omission indicates that he did not have the complete works of Lactantius. The question a r i s e s as to whether Lactantius was born a C h r i s t i a n or was converted at some time i n h i s career. Most modern theologians subscribe to the view that he was born a pagan and turned to C h r i s t i a n i t y l a t e r i n l i f e , 7 perhaps i n Nicomedia.''""' On i n v e s t i g a t i o n , however, the evidence seems to be, at best, ambiguous. Rose states that he may have been a pagan. There i s doubt, not that the author of the Divine I n s t i t u t e s was a Ch r i s t i a n but rather about the precise nature of his C h r i s t i a n f a i t h . The Council of Nicaea had yet to be held and not only was the Imperial government mystified about the new r e l i g i o n but so were the C h r i s t i a n s themselves, many of whom i d e n t i f i e d the physical sun with C h r i s t , much to the chagrin of St. Augustine, Civ. Dei.19.23. Lactantius, however, was a good C h r i s t i a n according to Jerome, E p i s t . 60, and i s compared by him to T e r t u l l i a n , Cyprian, H i l a r i u s , Minucius F e l i x , V i c t o r i n u s and Arnobius. I t i s l e s s easy to decide whether he was a good Roman. His absolute f a i t h i n the scr i p t u r e s and the S y b i l l i n e Oracles forces him to believe (Div.Inst.7.15.11) that one day the Roman hegemony w i l l be broken and r u l e w i l l return to the East... Romanum nomen....horret animus d i c e r e . . . . t o l l e t u r e terra et imperium i n  Asia revertetur. His o v e r a l l view of the empire i s , at l e a s t at t h i s stage i n h i s career, very hostile..quae sunt enim patriae commoda n i s i a l t e r i u s  c i v i t a t i s aut gentis incommbda, i d est fines propagare a l i i s v i b l e n t e r  ereptos, augere imperium, v e c t i g a l i a facere maiora? He states quite openly that k i l l i n g i s wrong, even under the guise of bringing a charge against someone which may incur the death penalty.. . . i t a neque m i l i t a r e iusto  l i c e b i t , cuius m i l i t i a est ipsa i u s t i t i a , neque vero accusare quemquam  crimine c a p i t a l i , quia n i h i l d i s t a t utrumrie ferro an verbo potius occidas, quoniam o c c i s i o ipsa prohibetur. He must, however, have revised h i s po s i t i o n on t h i s , for i n the De Mort. Pers.20, whose authorship has also 8 been questioned, the presence of C h r i s t i a n s i n Galerius' army draws not a s i n g l e note of surprise or even rebuke. S i m i l a r l y no judgement i s passed on Constantine when he sentences Maximian to death. C l e a r l y i f we accept Lactantian authorship for t h i s we must also accept that h i s b e l i e f s were a l i t t l e more f l e x i b l e now that imperial rule favoured the C h r i s t i a n s . Pichon had d i f f i c u l t y i n a t t r i b u t i n g the authorship of the Phoenix to a C h r i s t i a n Lactantius;"^ the abundance of e s s e n t i a l l y pagan symbols led him to believe that i t must have been written before Lactantius became a C h r i s t i a n . We have already seen that Lactantius was a very v e r s a t i l e man and there seems no reason to prevent us from assuming that he worked comfortably with this material too, at any stage of h i s career, whether converted or not. The poem does f a l l more happily into the l a t e r part of h i s career, however, f o r reasons that w i l l be explored more f u l l y l a t e r . In conclusion, a b r i e f summary w i l l be given of the arguments and 18 counterpoints against Lactantian authorship. I t has been argued by Baehrens, Ribbeck, B i r t and others that f i r s t l y no ancient author mentions the phoenix poem amongst his works, secondly that the a l l u s i o n s to pagan mythology i n d i f f e r e n t parts of the poem m i l i t a t e against i t s C h r i s t i a n authorship and, t h i r d l y , that the elements of sun worship cannot be r e -conciled with the b e l i e f s of a C h r i s t i a n Apologist. Baehrens o f f e r s a fourth p o s s i b i l i t y , or rather hypothesis, that the oldest mention of Lactantian authorship of a phoenix poem i n Gregory of Tours De Cursu Stellarum 12 i s i n f a c t a reference to the l o s t travelogue poem because they cannot be reconciled completely with the poem as we have i t . A l l the above statements are intended to weaken the argument f o r Lactantian authorship. There are four main arguments that support the t r a d i t i o n a l authorship, 9 examples of which are c i t e d i n the commentary. F i r s t l y , of the three major manuscripts, Parisinus 13048 (P) (by f a r the best), Veronensis 163 (V) and Leidensis Vossianus (L), both (P) and (V) mention Lactantius by name. This i n i t s e l f does not prove Lactantian authorship since both these manuscripts may w e l l date a f t e r the grammatical work De Dubiis Nominibus, which could have been the source for the manuscript t r a d i t i o n . This text on the gender of nouns i s used as the second argument for the status quo on authorship. I t i s i n a ninth-century hand but may be older. I t c i t e s Isidore of S e v i l l e and thus i s probably not e a r l i e r than 600. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g from our point of view, for i t c i t e s nouns used by Lactantius and t h e i r gender no fewer than eight times and quotes much 19 of the l i n e s from the phoenix poem where the words occur. Third l y , as was mentioned before, Gregory of Tours i s f a m i l i a r with a work on the phoenix by Lactantius. The differences between the two accounts are usually explained on the ground that Gregory i s quoting from a defective memory. The l a s t , and i n many ways the most convincing, argument for a t t r i -buting the poem to Lactantius i s the f a c t that there are s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i -t i e s between the acknowledged works of the church father and the De Ave  Phoenice, not only i n ideas but also grammatical usages, fondness for the same figures of speech, and admiration for the same wide s e l e c t i o n of c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s . There i s nothing i n the poem which we might consider inconsistent with the e r u d i t i o n of a r h e t o r i c i a n and an apologist; indeed i f one c r i t i c i z e s the poem, i t i s on the very grounds of over-usage of others' ideas and a s u p e r f l u i t y of panegyrical r e p e t i t i o n , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of many of the poets of the early fourth century. Notes to Chapter One i U 1 P. Monceaux, H i s t o i r e Lltt£raire de l'Afrique Chrgtienne (Paris 1905) v o l . 3 pages 287-297 and A.H.M. Jones, J.R. Martindale, J. Morris, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (Cambridge 1971) v o l . 3 page 338. 2 CIL 8.7241 & 17667. 3 Monceaux, l o c . c i t . 4 Cambridge Ancient History (Cambridge 1939) v o l . 12 page 694. 5 RE 5. 1.297. 6 T. Haarhoff, The Schools of Gaul (Oxford 1920) 167. 7 H.-I. Marrou, H i s t o i r e de 1'Education dans l ' A n t i q u i t g (Paris 1948) 422. 8 Pic de l a Mirandole, Opera Omnia (Leiden 1573) 21. 9 J. Stevenson, The L i f e and L i t e r a r y A c t i v i t y of Lactantius, Studia P a t r i s t i c a 63 (1957) 663. 10 Monceaux, op. c i t , 289. De Mort. Pers. 7,8-11. 11 Stevenson, op. c i t . , 664. 12 A.H.M. Jones, op. c i t . page 233. 13 E.G. Wilson, Studies i n the Lives of the Sons of Constantine (diss. U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1977) page 14. 14 S. Brandt & G. Laubman, Q. Firmiani L a c t a n t i opera Omnia (Leipzig 1899) v o l . 2 page 157. 15 Stevenson, op. c i t . page 661. E.J. Goodspeed, A History of Early  C h r i s t i a n L i t e r a t u r e (Chicago 1942) p. 284. 16 H.J. Rose, A Handbook of L a t i n L i t e r a t u r e (New York 1960) page 481. 17 R. Pichon, Lactance (Paris 1901) page 465. M.C. F i t z p a t r i c k , L a c t a n t i De Ave Phoenice (Diss. Philadelphia 1933^pages 31-37, discussed this more f u l l y . Grammatici L a t i n i , Ed. H. K e i l (Hildesheim 1961) v o l . 5 pages 567-594. CHAPTER TWO PRE-LACTANTIAN1 ACCOUNTS The precise o r i g i n s of a l l myths are, by the nature of myth, cloaked i n obscurity. That of the phoenix i s no exception. The e a r l i e s t undisputed a l l u s i o n to the phoenix i n c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e i s i n the De Defectu Oraculorum 11 of Plutarch, where Hesiod i s reported to have said "the cawing crow l i v e s for nine generations of men who are i n t h e i r prime; the deer o u t l i v e s four crows, the crow three stags, the phoenix o u t l i v e s nine crows, but we the f a i r - h a i r e d daughters of Aegis-bearing Zeus, the nymphs, o u t l i v e ten phoenixes. "Depending on what we consider to be a generation of man, we f i n d that the phoenix has a l i f e s p a n of anything from 972, 29,169 or 1,049,760 years from this calculation;^" I t is,however, important to note that already by Hesiod's time the phoenix had a reputation f or longevity. This may not i n fa c t be the f i r s t mention of the phoenix i n ancient Greece, for on tablets inscribed with Linear B we f i n d the words po-ni-ke with the p l u r a l form p o - n i - k i - p i from which the word cboiVi^ l a t e r developed. Unfortunately, we cannot be absolutely c e r t a i n whether the word should be 2 translated as phoenix, g r i f f i n or palm tree. The text describes footstools i n l a i d with ivory depicting a man, a horse, an octopus and a po-ni-ke, the f i r s t three of which are l i v i n g creatures and the fourth of which may w e l l have been the mythological b i r d . The account with which most of us are f a m i l i a r i s of course that of Herodotus, who probably depends on Hecatae;us. We are t o l d at 2.73 that "another b i r d i s sacred; i t i s c a l l e d the phoenix. I myself have never seen i t , but only pictures of i t , f o r the b i r d comes but seldom into Egypt, once i n f i v e hundred years, as the people of H e l i o p o l i s say. I t i s said that the phoenix comes when i t s father dies. I f the picture t r u l y shows 12 h i s s i z e and appearance h i s plumage i s p a r t l y golden but mostly red. He i s most l i k e an eagle i n shape and bigness. The Egyptians t e l l a t a l e of t h i s bird's devices which I do not b e l i e v e . He comes, they say, from Arabia bringing h i s father to the Sun's temple enclosed i n myrrh, and there buries him. His manner of .'.'bringing i s t h i s : f i r s t he moulds an egg of myrrh as heavy as he can carry, and when he has proved i t s weight by l i f t i n g i t he hollows out the egg and puts h i s father i n i t , covering over with more myrrh the hollow i n which the body l i e s ; so the egg, being with i t s father i n i t of the same weight as before, the phoenix, a f t e r enclosing him, c a r r i e s him to the temple of the Sun i n Egypt. Such i s the t a l e of what i s done by t h i s b i r d . " We can see from these two authors that we already have d i f f e r e n t versions of the myth as far back as the f i f t h century. Herodotus says that the b i r d only comes to Egypt once i n every f i v e hundred years , but he makes no mention of i t s death, although some would argue that the presence of the father implies that Herodotus knew of the extraordinary b i r t h of the phoenix. Hesiod, on the other hand, gives a fi g u r e f o r i t s l i f e s p a n not remotely connected with Herodotus and s i m i l a r l y makes no mention of the remarkable genesis of the b i r d . Before we document further accounts of the b i r d i n the c l a s s i c a l sources, something should be said about what i n the business world i s known as "the General Systems Theory" of mythological b i r d s . Egypt has i t s benu, which w i l l be discussed s h o r t l y , India i t s garuda, Persia i t s 3 simurgh, China i t s feng-huang, and so on. A l l of these e x h i b i t more or les s s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s although, as yet, no-one has attempted to compare these i n d e t a i l . Nevertheless, scholars have t r i e d very hard to 14 e s t a b l i s h a firm l i n k between the benu of Egypt and the phoenix of H e c a t a e u s / H e r o d o t u s B r o e k (page 26) more cautiously attempts to demonstrate that the c l a s s i c a l myth of the phoenix i s related to that of the Egyptian benu.but does not develop d i r e c t l y from.it. He also points out (Plate 1 - 2 ) that by Roman-Egyptian times the.two legends had become l a r g e l y fused, the benu, or more properly, the bnw, represented f o r centuries as a heron, has,by now, taken on .the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Greek phoenix; i t i s seated on a pyre and bears no., d i r e c t resem--blance to any known l i v i n g b i r d . The divergent readings of the various texts, at present, i n h i b i t a conclusive discussion of t h i s argument; many of the readings that Sbordone r e l i e d upon.have since been questioned on a fundamental basis. Broek concludes that the myth of the phoenix that was f a m i l i a r to many of the c l a s s i c a l authors seems to have developed on the basis of the widespread o r i e n t a l conception of the b i r d of the sun, but the " c l a s s i c a l myth" was the r e s u l t of considerable reworking of t h i s "sun-bird" myth found i n various cultures of the Near, Middle and Far East. For our immediate purpose, however, which.is to discover how much of the myth was established i n pre-Christian times, a brief, synopsis w i l l be given of the works of the f i v e remaining C l a s s i c a l authors who are known to have written independently on the subject of.the phoenix. F i r s t l y Antiphanes, the fourth-century comic poet, according to a fragment of h i s Half-Brothers preserved i n Athenaeus, Deip.14.655b, claims that there are phoenixes i n H e l i o p o l i s , a very strange statement since where else do we f i n d more than one phoenix l i v i n g at any one given moment although P l i n y ^Hist. Nat. 1 2 . 8 . 5 )does imply that there i s more than one. In the second century the H e l l e n i s t i c Jew Ezechial the Dramatist"*gives a highly d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of a b i r d which so c l o s e l y follows the l a t e r descriptions of the phoenix that a l l concede that the phoenix i s intended. The b i r d ' s external appearance i s described, i t s b e a u t i f u l song and the fact that i t has the bearing of the King of the Birds. Also an oasis of great f e r t i l i t y i s mentioned c l o s e l y i n connection with phoenix. The remaining three references during the pre-Ghristian era a l l date from around the beginning of the f i r s t century B.C. In the Ars  Grammatics 4.6 of Charisius i s preserved a fragment of the poem Pterygion  Phoenicis by the poet Laevius who had edited a c o l l e c t i o n of poetry c a l l e d Erotopaegnia i n the form of Technopaegnia or "shaped" poetry (pioneered by Simias of Rhodes at the beginning of the H e l l e n i s t i c period) . The length of the l i n e s creates the outline of i t s subject. The reader was supposed to peruse the poem as though he were reading an i n s c r i p t i o n on Eros' wings. The' phoenix communicates through w r i t i n g on the underside of i t s wings, a device that w i l l be encountered again i n the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch. The fragment of Laevius runs as follows:-(0) Venus, amoris a l t r i x , genetrix c u p i d i t a t i s , mihi quae diem serenum h i l a r u l a praepandere c r e s t i , opseculae tuae ac ministrae; The i n s c r i p t i o n on the wings of the phoenix reads "0 Venus, who nourishes love and rouses desire, you j o y f u l l y make the cl e a r day st r e t c h out for me your follower (?) and your maid servant. "Several things should be noted here: f i r s t l y , that the phoenix i s described as feminine, a charac-t e r i s t i c followed only by Ovid,Pomponius Mela, and Lactantius; secondly, that there i s c l e a r l y a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the b i r d and a g;od or gioddess;.and, t h i r d l y , that t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s that of servant and master. This fragment has caused much discussion, but general agreement has been reached on the view that the phoenix represents, i n t h i s case, a t r a d i t i o n very d i f f e r e n t from that of Herodotus,more c l o s e l y associated with, e i t h e r the eagle as an escort of the sun god, or the o r i e n t a l conception of a huge b i r d which escorted the sun each day. This point i s discussed further i n the commentary. The second of the references to the phoenix i n the f i r s t century B.C. i s i n the Pyrrhonea of the sceptic Aenesidemus, c i t e d by Diogenes Laertius 9.79. Aenesidemus mentions the phoenix, together with f i r e animals and maggots, as examples of animals that reproduce themselves asexually. I t seems probable that Aeneidemus knew of the story of the remarkable genesis of the b i r d since i t i s mentioned i n between two other animals that e x h i b i t strange asexual c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . This i s probably our e a r l i e s t reference to the r e b i r t h of the phoenix. The l a s t version from the f i r s t century B.C. i s that of the Roman senator Manilius, w r i t i n g around 97 B.C. according to P l i n y H i s t . Nat. 10.5 who preserves the account. T h i s Manilius described the phoenix most f u l l y amongst the early w r i t e r s : . "the b i r d having l i v e d 540 years...dies on a fragrant nest...after which a small worm emerges from i t s bones and develops into a new phoenix, which the brings the remains of the old one to the c i t y of the sun near Panchaia." Manilius equates the l i f e s p a n of the phoenix with the Great Year, which was supposed to have begun i n 312 B.C. about noon of the day on which the sun entered the sign of the Ram, the f i r s t day of spring according to the J u l i a n Calendar.^ The idea of the phoenix and chiliasm i s taken up by Lactantius and w i l l be discussed l a t e r . Broek points out, very reasonably,that, although we f i n d no e x p l i c i t mention, at th i s time, of either the b i r d decomposing or being i g n i t e d by the sun on i t s death, the two p r i n c i p a l versions of the myth, we ought not to conclude that these were not known before the f i r s t century A.D., simply because no extant l i t e r a t u r e , from t h i s period, contains such references. Nevertheless we can see from the previously mentioned authors that the main threads of the myth had been established i n pre-Christian times, a fac t that must be born i n mind when we come to consider the poem of Lactantius, who, while staying within the general bounds of the established myth, s t i l l produced one of the f u l l e s t verions of the t a l e i n an t i q u i t y . During the f i r s t century A.D. references to the phoenix become much more numerous, p a r t l y because the f l e d g l i n g church adopted the idea for i t s own purposes, p a r t l y because, a f t e r Egypt became an Imperial province, there was much more c u l t u r a l interplay-between Rome and Egypt where the phoenix myth had flo u r i s h e d i n the form of the myth of the benu and p a r t l y because Rome became subject to a wave of new ideas from the many peoples a r r i v i n g i n the mother c i t y . In order to make the material more manageable the accounts have been arranged into three a r t i f i c i a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , sometimes a r b i t r a r y , sometimes misleading but neverless necessary. These d i v i s i o n s b e l i e , the probable'inter-dependence of a l l these sources. They are, f i r s t l y , the S c i e n t i f i c and Documentary accounts, secondly, the Poetic and Fabled accounts and, l a s t l y , the Theological and Mystical Accounts. I - S c i e n t i f i c and Documentary Accounts Since P l i n y has already been mentioned as the preserver of the 18 records of the senator Manilius, i t i s appropriate to document Pl i n y ' s own views. Of a l l the ancient sources, he alone (Hist. Nat. 10.3) voices any reservations about whether the b i r d r e a l l y e x i s t s even though he includes i t i n his catalogue of r e a l b i r d s , next to the o s t r i c h , rather than amongst the imaginary and mythical b i r d s . Even the a n a l y t i c a l Tacitus (Ann. 6.27) while conceding that the d e t a i l s are disputed and embellished by myths, nevertheless states c a t e g o r i c a l l y that there was no question about whether the b i r d did appear i n Egypt. P l i n y , also recounts some of these tales and blames Herodotus for them (Hist. Nat. 12.85) although others have rel a t e d the same s t o r i e s . In addition P l i n y (Hist. Nat. 29.29) mocks those who consider one of the most important medicines to be one made from the ashes and nest of the phoenix, not however on the ground that the b i r d does not e x i s t but rather that i t i s a joke to point out remedies which only return every thousand years! The f i g u r e of a thousand years c i t e d here i s of course d i f f e r e n t from the f i g u r e of 540 years given by Manilius. Even i n a n t i q u i t y no-one knew the precise age of the phoenix. The a s s o c i a t i o n of the phoenix and medicine may also be r e f l e c t e d i n the Materia Medica 3.24 of Dioscurides Pedanius who wrote under Claudius and Nero and recorded that the magicians c a l l the habrotonon phoenix". That the phoenix was of great i n t e r e s t to magicians we know from the Papyri Graecae Magicae (ed. K. Preisendanz [Leipzig 1931] 2.73) • and from S. Eitrem, Papyri Osloensis,. (pslo 1925)- 1.9.. In both of which there i s mention of the phoenix. Tacitus (Ann. 6.28) reports that " i n the consulate of Paulus Fabius and Lucius V i t e l l i u s - A.D.34 (Pliny and Cassius Dio give A.D. 36), a f t e r / which i s probably.to be translated as "sinews of the a long period of time, the b i r d known as the phoenix v i s i t e d Egypt, and supplied the learned of that country and of Greece with the material for long d i s q u i s i t i o n s on the miracle. I propose to state the points on which they coincide, together with the larger number that are dubious, yet not too absurd for n o t i c e . That the creature i s sacred to the Sun and distinguished from other b i r d s by i t s head and the v a r i e g a t i o n of i t s plumage i s agreed by those who have depicted i t s form: as to i t s term years, the t r a d i t i o n v a r i e s . The generally received number i s f i v e hundred; but there are some who assert that i t s v i s i t s f a l l at i n t e r v a l s of 1461 years, and that i t was i n the reigns f i r s t of Sesosis, then of Plolemy ( t h i r d of the Macedonian dynasty), that the three e a r l i e r phoenixes flew to the c i t y c a l l e d H e l i o p o l i s with a great escort of common bir d s amazed at the novelty of i t s appearance. But while a n t i q u i t y i s obscure,. between Ptolemy and T i b e r i u s there were l e s s than 250 years: whence the b e l i e f has been held that t h i s was a spurious phoenix, not o r i g i n a t i n g on the s o i l of Arabia, and following none of the p r a c t i c e s affirmed by ancient t r a d i t i o n . For, so the t a l e i s t o l d , when i t s sum of years i s complete and death i s drawing near, i t b u i lds for i t s e l f a nest, i n i t s own country, and sheds on i t a procreating force (vim geriitalem). from which springs a young one, whose f i r s t care on reaching maturity i s to bury h i s s i r e . Nor i s that task performed at random, but, a f t e r r a i s i n g a weight of myrrh and t e s t i n g i t by a long f l i g h t , as soon as he i s a match for h i s burden and the course before him, he l i f t s up h i s father's corpse, conveys him to the a l t a r of the Sun, and consigns him to the flames." From the above account, i t i s c l e a r that Tacitus, for the genesis 20 of the b i r d , used very d i f f e r e n t sources from those used by Herodotus, Pomponius Mela, or even P l i n y the Elder. There were other t r a d i t i o n s ..about the age of the phoenix at i t s death: Chaeremon, the teacher of Nero, as g reported by Tzetzes, i n h i s work Hieroglyphica frg.3 gave 7,006 years. Only i n Tacitus do we f i n d mention of the t r i a l f l i g h t , though i n Herodotusj the b i r d does test out the b a l l of myrrh before f l y i n g with i t . Pompomius Mela, i n h i s Chronographia 3.83 may be drawing on the same l o s t work of Herodotus suggested by P l i n y when Pomponius says i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of Arabia:"Concerning b i r d s , the phoenix ought p a r t i c u l a r l y to be mentioned, a b i r d of which there i s only one;she i s not conceived by intercourse or by pregnancy but when she has l i v e d f o r f i v e hundred years she takes up her p o s i t i o n on a pyre bestrewn with various spices and dies ( s o l v i t u r ) taking form from the p u t r i f i c a t i o n of her body, she then conceives he r s e l f and from h e r s e l f becomes born again. When she has grown a b i t , she c a r r i e s off the bones of her former s e l f , which are enclosed i n myrrh, to Egypt. In the toxan of the Sun, having placed them on the burning pyres of the a l t a t , she dedicates the remains i n t h i s celebrated f u n e r a l " . Mela c l e a r l y follows the Herodotean version, although he does seem to be f a m i l i a r with at l e a s t some of the sources mentioned by P l i n y . He does for example mention Panchaia 3.81, but not i n connection with the phoenix, as Manilius had done. In the l a t e second century, the whole f i e l d of "phoenix study" becomes more systematic, f i r s t l y with Celsus whose account i s preserved ainnOr-lgenlsuGontra 6elsumc4g.-98yandtsecbndlycwdithothefihcl'usion^of the phoenix by A e l i a n i n h i s De Natura Animalium 6.58. Both Celsus, w r i t i n g i n the l a t e 170's, and Aelian, a short while a f t e r that, draw on a t r a d i t i o n s i m i l a r to the one f i r s t represented by Herodotus. Celsus was the author of the f i r s t comprehensive ph i l o s o p h i c a l attack on C h r i s t i a n i t y and seems to have used the phoenix as an example of something that recreated i t s e l f ; and i n t h i s way he proves that God did not create everything. "But further, Celsus, s t i l l arguing for the piety of the i r r a t i o n a l creation, quotes the instance of the Arabian b i r d , the phoenix, which a f t e r many years repairs to Egypt, and bears thither i t s parent, when dead and buried, i n a b a l l of myrrh, and deposits i t s body i n the temple of the Sun." Aeli a n also seems t o . r e f l e c t a t r a d i t i o n of dispute about whether the phoenix furnishes proof of the existence of God or the non-existence of God, when he states s p e c i f i c a l l y that i t knows what i t knows by i n s t i n c t . "The phoenix knows how to reckon f i v e hundred years without the aid of Arithmetic, f o r i t i s a p u p i l of a l l - w i s e Nature, so that i t has no need of fingers or anything else to aid i n the understanding of numbers. The purpose of this knowledge and the need f o r i t are matters of common report. But hardly a soul amongst the Egyptians knows when the five-hundred year period i s completed; only a very few know and they belong to the p r i e s t l y order. But i n fac t the p r i e s t s have d i f f i c u l t y i n agreeing on these points, and banter one another and maintain that i t i s not now but at some date l a t e r than when i t was due that the divine b i r d w i l l a r r i v e . Meantime while they are v a i n l y squabbling, the b i r d miraculously guesses the period by signs and appears. And the p r i e s t s are obliged to give way and confess that they devote t h e i r time 'to putting the sun to r e s t with t h e i r t a l k ' ; but they do not know as much as the b i r d . But, by the Gods, i s i t not wise to know where Egypt i s situated, where i s H e l i o p o l i s whither the b i r d i s destined to come, and where i t must bury i t s father and i n what 22 kind of c o f f i n ? " L a c t a n t i u s j l i n e 34 j some hundred years (?) l a t e r , was to view the phoenix i n much the same way when he was explaining the duties of the phoenix towards Phoebus, Hoc Natura parens munus habere  dedit. A c h i l l e s Tatius ought best be considered i n the Poetic arid Fabled  Accounts but h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s so d e t a i l e d and seemingly dependent on the Herodotean ve r s i o n that f or the sake of completeness i t i s included here. In h i s novel Leucippe and Clitophon 3.24-25, now known to date from the second century, A c h i l l e s Tatius t e l l s of an army detained near H e l i o p o l i s because i t s sacred b i r d had arr i v e d "bearing with him the sepulchre of h i s father, and they had therefore been compelled to delay t h e i r march for that space of time ( f i v e days) 'what b i r d i s that,' said I, 'which i s so greatly honoured? And what i s t h i s sepulchre that he c a r r i e s ? ' 'The b i r d i s c a l l e d the phoenix;' was the answer, 'he comes from Ethiopia, and i s of about a peacock's s i z e , but the peacock i s i n f e r i o r to him i n beauty of colour. His wings are a mixture of gold and s c a r l e t ; he i s proud to acknowledge the Sun as h i s l o r d , and h i s head i s witness of h i s a l l e g i a n c e , which i s crowned with a magnificent halo — a c i r c u l a r halo i s the symbol of the Sun. I t i s of a deep magenta colour, l i k e that of the rose, of great beauty, with spreading rays where the feathers spring. The Ethiopians enjoy h i s presence during h i s l i f e - t i m e , t h e Egyptians at h i s death; when he dies - and he i s subject to death a f t e r a long period of years — h i s son makes a sepulchre f o r him and c a r r i e s him to the N i l e . He digs out with h i s beak a b a l l of myrrh of the sweetest savour and hollows i t out i n the middle s u f f i c i e n t l y to take the body of a b i r d ; the hollow that he has dug out i s employed as a c o f f i n f o r the corpse. He puts the b i r d i n and f i t s i t into the receptacle, and then, a f t e r sealing up the cavity with clay, f l i e s to the N i l e , carrying with him the r e s u l t of h i s labours. An escort of other birds accompanies him as a bodyguard attends a migrating king, and he never f a i l s to make s t r a i g h t f o r H e l i o p o l i s , the dead bird's l a s t destination. Then he perches upon a high spot and awaits the coming of the attendants of the God; an Egyptian p r i e s t goes out, carrying with him a book from the sacred shrine, and assures himself that he i s the genuine b i r d from his likeness to the picture which he possesses. The bird knows that he may be doubted, and displays every part, even the p r i v a t e , of h i s body. Afterwards he exhibits the corpse and d e l i v e r s , as i t were, a funeral panegyric on his departed father; then the attendant-priests of the Sun take the dead b i r d and bury him. I t i s thus true that during h i s l i f e the phoenix i s an Ethiopian by r i g h t of nurture, but at h i s death he becomes an Egyptian by r i g h t of b u r i a l . ' " We need not dismiss A c h i l l e s Tatius t o t a l l y on the ground that he i s w r i t i n g f i c t i o n and consequently should be regarded as completely u n r e l i a b l e . C l e a r l y he has retained elements of the t r a d i t i o n s known to the e a r l i e r w r i t e r s . He seems to echo f a i r l y c l o s e l y the p h y s i c a l des-c r i p t i o n given by P l i n y (Hist. Nat. 10.3) and the t a l e of the b a l l of myrrh strongly suggests Herodotus. The escort of b i r d s , too, was encountered 'before i n both Ez e c h i a l the Dramatist and Tacitus; i n a d d i t i o n the welcome [by p r i e s t s i s mentioned by Clement and A e l i a n . The r o l e of the phoenix as funeral panegyricist appears f i r s t here as does the b e l i e f i n the Ethiopian o r i g i n . The d i s p l a y i n g of the bird's private parts appears i n no other version of the myth. A c h i l l e s Tatius did not need to have r e s t r i c t e d 24 himself to any " o f f i c i a l " version of the story since he was w r i t i n g f i c t i o n , but, nevertheless, generally speaking, he seems to have done so. Perhaps the phoenix story was inserted into h i s novel to add both colour and auth e n t i c i t y . Some time during the second century, India became associated with the phoenix; both by Lucian, who i s discussed with the Poetic and Fabled Accounts since he c l e a r l y does not treat the subject as a serious one, and 9 by A r i s t i d e s Aelius (Orat.45) who describes the frequency of a good orator being born as about as often as the "Indian b i r d i s born at the Egyptian cycles of the Sun". The idea of the appearance of the phoenix and i t s coincidence with c e r t a i n cycles was not , new, of course, f o r P l i n y had connected the b i r d with the "Great Year". . India was also v i s i t e d by Apollonius of Tyana who, according to Philostratus i n h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l V i t a A p o l l o r i i i , 3.49,discussed the phoenix with the Indians: 'and the phoenix,' he said ' i s the b i r d which v i s i t s Egypt every f i v e hundred years, but the re s t of that time i t f l i e s around i n India; and i t . i s unique i n that i t i s an.emanation of the sunlight and shines with gold, i n s i z e and appearance l i k e an eagle; and.it s i t s upon the nest which i s made by i t at the springs of the Ni l e out of spices. The story.of the Egyptians about it,, that i t comes to Egypt, i s t e s t i f i e d to. by the Indians also.,, but the l a t t e r add t h i s touch to the story, that the phoenix which i s being consumed i n i t s nest sings funeral songs for i t s e l f . ' I t can be seen that except f o r the mention of India, the above account d i f f e r s l i t t l e from the account given by A c h i l l e s Tatius who may depend ultimately upon Herodotus. Ph i l o s t a t u s ' account i s more l i k e a careless summary of the established t r a d i t i o n . Are we j u s t i f i e d i n considering Apollonius as a possible source f o r the Indian.version? C e r t a i n l y both Lucian and A r i s t i d e s imply 25 an e a r l i e r t r a d i t i o n and t h i s i s j u s t the sort of exaggerated nonsense which Apollonius would be l i k e l y to propagate i n order to emphasize the authority of the Indians. There i s , however, a more sobefc version which connects the phoenix with India. Dionysius of Philadelphia (?) i n h i s De Aucupio, 1.32 an early third-century (?) manual on catcning b i r d s , records the following t a l e : 0. " I have heard that there i s a b i r d amongst the Indians which has no parents nor does i t p a r t i c i p a t e i n sexual r e l a t i o n s ; i t s name i s the phoenix. For the most part, so they say, i t l i v e s without fear because no-one can do i t any harm either with bows, stones, lime-twigs or with nets. Its death i s also a beginning for i t , for when i t grows old and knows that i t i s more sluggish i n f l i g h t and i t s eyesight i s dimmer, having gathered together some twigs on the top of a l o f t y rock, i t makes a sort of pyre of death which i s at the same time a nest of l i f e , which, a f t e r the phoenix s e t t l e s down on the middle of i t , i s set on f i r e by the heat of the rays of the Sun. When i t has died, another young phoenix i s born, displaying i t s ancestors' d i s p o s i t i o n . So, they say, the b i r d comes into existence without a father or mother, s o l e l y from a ray of the sun. Dionysius makes no mention of Egypt at a l l , although i t seems d i f f i c u l t to assume that he had never heard of the H e l i o p o l i s story or the Panchaia version. He d e f i n i t e l y echoes the same t r a d i t i o n as that mentioned by P l i n y H i s t . Nat. 42.85 where the phoenix i s described nesting on i n a c c e s s i b l e rocks and trees and having i t s nest a s s a i l e d by lead-loadea arrows. Parts of Dionysius' version are very d i f f e r e n t , however, and he does record hitherto unknown aspects of the b i r d . The charming des c r i p t i o n of the aging b i r d and how i t knows of i t s impending death i s known i n no e a r l i e r 26 variant. S i m i l a r l y unknown i s the i g n i t i o n of the b i r d by the ray of the sun. Although Broek, 203, would have this occur e a r l i e r i n P h i l o s t r a t u s , s u f f i c e i t to say that the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the text i s very subjective at this point. One further important documentary account needs to be mentioned, that of Artemidorus Daldianus, the "Jung" of the ancient world. This l a t e second-century writer who wrote a remarkable book e n t i t l e d O n i r o c r i t i c a or The Interpretation of Dreams, perhaps i n the l a t e second century, comments upon a c e r t a i n man who had a dream about the phoenix, On. 4.47: "A c e r t a i n man thought that he was painting a phoenix b i r d . An Egyptian said that the man who had the dream, f e l l into such d i r e s t r a i t s . o f poverty that he was forced to l i f t up h i s dead father upon his own shoulders and bury him himself. For the phoenix also buries i t s dead father, whether the dream a c t u a l l y took place i n that way, I don't know; that was how he related the tale and i t i s li k e x y to have turned out according to. t h i s d e t a i l of the story. But there are some who say that the phoenix does not i n fact bury i t s father and furthermore neither i t s father nor any of i t s ancestors survive i t , but whenever the appointed day comes, i t journeys to Egypt, whence nobody knows, and makes for i t s e l f a pyre from c a s i a and myrrh and dies on i t . Sometime a f t e r the pyre has been f i r e d , so they say, a worm i s generated from the ashes, which changes shape, grows bigger, becomes again a phoenix and f l i e s away from Egypt to wherever the previous phoenix came from. So that i f someone should say that the man who had the dream i s bereft of parents, according to this version of the t a l e , he w i l l not be wrong." 27 Artemidorus i l l u s t r a t e s a number of i n t e r e s t i n g developments i n the myth. F i r s t l y that people had become so confused about the b i r d ' s o r i g i n s that they were prepared simply to ignore the problem. Secondly he described two versions of the myth that he implies are i r r e c o n c i l a b l e . Broek, following Hubert and Leroy, agrees with Artemidorus. Perhaps i t . i s more accurate to say that Artemidorus demonstrates h i s ignorance of the accounts of Tacitus, Pomponius Mela, Aelian, A c h i l l e s Tatius and possibly Clement of Rome, a l l of whom attempted to r e c o n c i l e , more or ,,less, these two versions of the story, rather than to state that he recorded the archetypes of the myth. More d e t a i l e d dating of these sources might help us know more about the interdependence of the afore-mentioned accounts. In addition, i t i s v e r y . i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the myth was w e l l enough known by an ordinary painter to be the subject of h i s dreams, and that the account of Hecataeus reported by Herodotus i n the f i f t h century accords w e l l with that of t h i s unnamed Egyptian of the second century A.D. B r i e f mention needs be made of only three other documentary accounts. The t h i r d century h i s t o r i a n Dexippus ( f r g . I I ) , c i t e d i n the Chrondgraphia ,of the Byzantine Syncellus,gives us a d d i t i o n a l ages f o r the phoenix of 654 or 650 years. Soiinus, w r i t i n g early i n the t h i r d century, recorded, i n h i s Collectanea  •Rerum Memorabilium, 33.11-15 a geographical summary of the world, a long d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix and i t s o r i g i n s i n Arabia, which i s almost a complete plagiarism from the account of Manilius recorded by. P l i n y the Elder. F i n a l l y , the eloquent Bishop of Alexandria .(248 A.D.-265 A.D.), Dionysius, student of Origen, strangely ignored by Lactantius whose i n t e r e s t s 28 i n Greek Philosophy l a r g e l y coincided with h i s , makes mention of both the phoenix and the palm tree as l o n g - l i v e d , i n h i s work De Natura f r g . 3 (preserved i n the Praep. Evang. of Eusebius) but o f f e r s no suggestions on t h e i r possible common etymology i n Greek. He c l e a r l y believes i n the existence of the phoenix, for he gives examples of long-lived birds such as eagles, ravens and phoenixes, the f i r s t two of which are c l e a r l y not f i c t i o n a l . II - Poetic and Fabled Accounts Because of i t s remarkable regenerative a b i l i t y , the phoenix fascinated both poets and prose writers with a p r o c l i v i t y for the exotic. I t held more i n t e r e s t , however, for the L a t i n than the Greek poets, for amongst the l a t t e r , only Ezechial the Dramatist thought the phoenix worthy of more than two l i n e s and those on a topic of purely Jewish i n t e r e s t . I t i s , however, l i k e l y that Laevius used an Alexandrian model for h i s poem, although none:'Is'rextaht. We are faced with a s i m i l a r problem when we come to consider Ovid, who i s the f i r s t person e x p l i c i t l y to mention the remarkable genesis of the b i r d though he makes no mention of f i r e or decomposition. Did he use an Alexandrian source for this? Nobody would deny that Ovid was imaginative enough to create the idea himself, but the problem remains insolu b l e . There remains no doubt, however, that Lactantius used Ovid f a i r l y extensively, for i n the works of both, the b i r d i s feminine and c l o s e l y connected with trees and even the language i s echoed at times, as i s pointed out i n the commentary. Compare Met. 392-407: "There i s one l i v i n g thing, a b i r d , which 29 reproduces and regenerates i t s e l f , without any outside a i d . The Assyrians c a l l i t the phoenix. I t l i v e s , not on corn or grasses, but on the gum of incense and the sap of balsam. When i t has completed f i v e centuries of l i f e , i t straightaway b u i l d s a nest for i t s e l f , working with u n s u l l i e d beak and claw, i n the topmost branches of some swaying palm. Then, when i t has l a i d a foundation of c a s i a , and smooth spikes of hard, chips of cinnamon bark and yellow myrrh, i t places i t s e l f on top, and ends i t s l i f e amid the perfumes. Then, they say, a l i t t l e phoenix i s born anew from the fether's body, fated to l i v e a l i k e number of years. When the n e s t l i n g i s old enough and strong enough to carry the weight, i t l i f t s the heavy nest from the high.branches and, l i k e a d u t i f u l son, c a r r i e s i t s father's tomb, i t s own cradle, through-the y i e l d i n g a i r , t i l l i t reaches the c i t y of the Sun, where i t l a y s . i t s burden before the sacred doors, within Hyperion's temple." Ovid resembles Manilius s o l e l y i n the construction of the nest; otherwise the only other e a r l i e r w r i t e r with whom he has anything i n common i s Herodotus, who, of course, makes no mention at a l l of the r e - b i r t h of the phoenix but gives a phys i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the b i r d , a subject completely ignored by Ovid. Ezechial too mentions palm trees only j u s t before he mentions the phoenix. I t remains a moot point whether Ovid himself believed i n the phoenix, f o r , although he professes no cynicism i n the above-cited passage, nevertheless e a r l i e r i n h i s career he had located the phoenix, Am.. 6.49-54, i n Elysium but conceded that there was some doubt about t h i s s i qua fides dubi-is_. A f t e r Ovid, no poet devotes much attention to the phoenix u n t i l we reach the De Ave Phoenice of Lactantius. Lucan, Bellum C i v i l e 6.680, 30 mentions the ashes of phoenix i n a catalogue of magic ingredients used by the witch Erictho to revive a corpse so that Pompey might know h i s destiny. The phoenix i s described at the same time as Eoa p o s i t i phoenicis i n ara "the b i r d which lays i t s body on the Eastern A l t a r " . Unfortunately Lucan gives us i n s u f f i c i e n t information to enable us to i d e n t i f y h i s source; however, hi s uncle, Seneca (Ep.42.1), uses the well established t a l e of the phoenix as a metaphor to describe the frequency of the appearance of the t r u l y good man. Statius mentions the phoenix three times, but i n a d i f f e r e n t sense; for him (Silv.2.4.33-37) the b i r d epitomizes something f e l i x , "blessed", because i t i s free from the weary languor of old age. When Statius implies that the phoenix i s the guardian of cinnamon (Silv.2.6.87), he surely echoes the t r a d i t i o n recorded by P l i n y (Hist. Nat.42.85). Elsewhere Statius demonstrates , h i s f a m i l i a r i t y with the story about the burning (Silv.3.2.114). He simply uses whatever of the many aspects of the b i r d i s p o e t i c a l l y convenient without r e s t r i c t i n g himself to one version of the t a l e . M a r t i a l uses the phoenix as a metaphor for something extremely rare (Epigrammata 5.37.13) which i s associated with r i c h perfumes! (6.55.1-2), and i n addition he shows that he i s aware of the c h i l i a s t i c t r a d i t i o n s associated with the phoenix by both P l i n y and Tacitus i n order to f l a t t e r Domitian.Martial . (5.7.1-4) i s probably r e f e r r i n g to the extensive b u i l d i n g programmes ca r r i e d out by that emperor i n Rome i n the following passage, "As when the f i r e renews the Assyrian nest, whenever one b i r d has l i v e d i t s ten cycles (decern saecula) , so has new Rome shed her bygone age and put on he r s e l f the visage of her Governor." Lucian also uses the phoenix as a metaphor, (Herm.53, De Morte Per. 31 27, Nav.44), but only f or something of extreme age. Perhaps uncharacteris-t i c a l l y , he declines the opportunity of lampooning the mythical b i r d but simply says (Nav.44) that the b i r d i s o^exTos , that i s , i t has never been seen by anyone. The poets on the whole are more c y n i c a l than the prose w r i t e r s , and not u n t i l Lactantius.. do we have an amount of space devoted to the b i r d i n verse equal to that of the prose w r i t e r s . To conclude the Poetic and Fabled Accounts something ought to be said about Heliodorus, whose dates (unfortunately) are notoriously con-j e c t u r a l ; they range from the t h i r d to the f i f t h century.. He, l i k e Lucian, used the phoenix as a metaphor for something extremely rare,6,3.3,and showed his e r u d i t i o n by de c l i n i n g to commit himself to the whereabouts of the o r i g i n s of the phoenix, but simply offered both Egypt and India as a l t e r n a t i v e s . It i s important to note that nowhere among the preceding accounts have we discovered the phoenix being used a l l e g o r i c a l l y , indeed nowhere do we f i n d the phoenix used i n t h i s way except i n the De Ave Phoenice. An allegory e n t a i l s the conscious disguise of a l i t e r a r y idea; i n a l l our sources, i n p a r t i c u l a r the c h r i s t i a n ones, we are t o l d p r e c i s e l y what the b i r d symbolises. I l l - Theological and Mystical Accounts The idea of the phoenix held a f a s c i n a t i o n for a wide assortment of c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s ; i t i s not otherwise f o r the t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t e r s . As ea r l y as the turn of the f i r s t century A.D., we f i n d Clement of Rome confidently c i t i n g the immortality of the phoenix as an example of the 32 magnitude of the promise that the creator o f f e r s to those who choose the path of "righteousness". Whether Clement, (Ep.ad Cor. 79-83), discovered t h i s comparison himself, we do not know. I t was a b r i l l i a n t comparison, which was to furnish t h e o l o g i c a l writers of the next 1600 years with copious material to work with, i n fa c t a masterstroke of pamphleteering • "Let us look at a remarkable phenomen which appears i n the East, namely i n the lands near Arabia. I t i s the b i r d which i s c a l l e d the phoenix. I t i s begotten si n g l y and l i v e s for f i v e hundred years and when i t approaches the release of death i t makes for i t s e l f a nest from frankincense and myrrh and other aromatic plants to which i t makes i t s way when i t s time has been completed and i t dies. When the f l e s h has become putrid a c e r t a i n worm appears which nourishes i t s e l f from the humours of the dead animal and grows wings. Then, on becoming i t s proper s e l f , i t takes hold of the nest where l i e the remains of i t s progenitor and c a r r i e s them o f f . I t wings i t s way from Arabia as f a r as Egypt to the c i t y of H e l i o p o l i s . It f l i e s over during the day, with a l l watching, and places the bones on the a l t a r of Helios. So i t departs. The p r i e s t s discover that i t i s the f i v e hundredth year since i t l a s t came. Do we not consider i t marvellous i f the maker of the world accomplishes the re s u r r e c t i o n of those who piously serve him t r u s t i n g i n the soundness of t h e i r f a i t h where even through a b i r d he shows us the magnitude of the promise i n store for us?" There, are a number of things which should be pointed out with reference to t n i s l e t t e r . F i r s t l y , i t i s the e a r l i e s t extant C h r i s t i a n reference to the phoenix. Clement assumes that"the phoenix i s a r e a l bird and describes i t s remarkable regenerative properties, which demonstrate the powers of God. At the same time he hints that there i s some connection 33 between the continuity of the phoenix and the l i f e ©fj the C h r i s t i a n soul He states openly that the b i r d dies and another i s born, however, and points out the differences between the old and the new b i r d s . The account of the b i r d i t s e l f has both f a m i l i a r and unfamiliar aspects. The cycle of f i v e hundred years i s of course known from as far back as Hecataeus, as i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p with spices; indeed the account i s very reminiscent of that of Pomponius Mela, but rather more d e t a i l e d . The story of the worm we have previously encountered only i n Manilius, whose account i n a l l other respects i s quite d i f f e r e n t . Clement also says that everyone watches the b i r d on i t s incoming f l i g h t , something not mentioned by any previous w r i t e r , although Herodotus does inform us that i t i s the people of H e l i o p o l i s who report the t a l e . F i n a l l y i t should be observed that Clement establishes a convention for the treatment of the myth which i s followed i n nearly a l l the extant C h r i s t i a n accounts, i n p a r t i c u l a r that of Lactantius, namely that the t a l e i s f i r s t of a l l recounted, with absolutely no C h r i s t i a n embellishments added to the story proper, then a message, transparently C h r i s t i a n i n nature, i s added as i f there were some danger of the myth contradicting the b i b l i c a l story of God, creator of l i f e . I t i s so i n the Didascalia,.De Ave Phoiriice, Commodianus' Carmen Apolbgeticunu • T e r t u l l i a n ' s De Res.Carnis>Origen's 'Cont Celsum, (the Constitutiones Apostolorum i s not included i n this l i s t since ' i t dates almost c e r t a i n l y a f t e r Lactantius; i t i s i n any ease an ' exact t r a n s l a t i o n of the Syriac D i d a s c a l i a mentioned above). Before proceeding to document a l l the occurrences of the phoenix i n early C h r i s t i a n l i t e r a t u r e , something should be said about two documents that demonstrate that the phoenix continued to exer cise f a s c i n a t i o n for 34 Jewish scholars many centuries a f t e r Ezechial the Dramatist. Although neither the Greek Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch (second century A.D.?) or the Midrash Rabbah (t h i r d A.D.) antedate Clement of Rome, nevertheless they are thought to represent a much e a r l i e r t r a d i t i o n associated with a Near-Eastern Sun God. They are included here because c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of thei r respective phoenixes, of which Lactantius seems to have been aware, are found i n no other extant sources. The Apocolypse of Pseud-Baruch 6-8 i s a document of divine r e v e l a t i o n that i l l u s t r a t e s yet further the use of the phoenix myth; "And (the angel) took me and led me to the place where the Sun begins h i s journey and showed me a quadriga a l l aflame on which was seated a Man wearing a crown of f i r e . The chariot was set i n motion by f o r t y angels. But look: There i s a b i r d running i n front of the chariot as b i g as nine mountains: I said to the angel, 'What i s th i s b i r d ? ' He said to me 'It i s the guardian of the inhabited earth.' I r e p l i e d , ' t e l l me, Master, how i t i s the guardian of the earth.' He answered, 'He runs .alongside of the sun and by using his wings he receives the f i e r y rays. Should he not intercept them, the race of man would not able to l i v e , nor any other l i v i n g thing, the b i r d was thus bidden by God.' . I t unfolded i t s wings and I saw under the r i g h t wing some gigantic w r i t i n g as b i g as two hundred times four thousand fathoms. These l e t t e r s were i n gold and the angel said to me. 'Read these l e t t e r s . ' I read them and here i s what they said, 'Neither the earth nor heaven begot me, these wings of f i r e d i d , ' I sa i d , 'Master, what i s th i s b i r d and what i s i t s name?' The angel r e p l i e d , 'It i s known by the name of the phoenix.' 'What does i t eat?' He r e p l i e d , 'The manna of heaven and the dew of the earth.' I said , 'Does i t produce excrement?' He said , 'It produces a worm and the excrement of the worm becomes cinnamon which kings and heads of state use...but stay and you w i l l 35 see the wonder of God. ' In the middle of this discussion something happened l i k e the sound of thunder and the place upon which we stood = shook. I asked the angel, 'What was that noise?' He r e p l i e d , 'Just then the angels were opening the three hundred and s i x t y f i v e doors of heaven and the l i g h t separated i t s e l f from the gloom.' A voice was heard saying 'Giver of Light, give l i g h t to the world.' Having heard the noise of b i r d I said, 'Master, what i s t h i s noise?' He r e p l i e d , 'This i s the c a l l to rouse up a l l the cocks on earth. [It i s j u s t as though there are two languages, i n t h i s way the cock gives a sign to those on earth with i t s song.] For the sun i s got ready by the angels, and the cock speaks out.' And I sai d , 'And where does the Sun busy himself from the moment when the cock crows?' The angel r e p l i e d to me, 'Listen Baruch, a l l the things that I have showed to you are i n the f i r s t and second heaven, i n the t h i r d the b i r d passes through and gives l i g h t to the world. But wait and you w i l l see the wonder of God.' And while I was t a l k i n g to him, I saw the b i r d , i t appeared i n front of me, l i t t l e by l i t t l e i t grew larger and i t showed i t s e l f . Behind i t the Sun shone and there were accompanying angels and i t wore on i t s head a crown whose sight we could not endure to look at and behold, j u s t as the Sun grew i n i n t e n s i t y , so the phoenix extended i t s wings. But I, looking at such a great wonder, was brought low by a great fear, I f l e d and hid myself i n the wings of the angel and he said to me, 'Don't be a f r a i d but wait and you w i l l see them to to r e s t . ' He took me to where they come to r e s t and when the i r hour to go to re s t came, I again saw the b i r d face to face and the angels as they came and ra i s e d h i s crown from h i s head. But the b i r d stood cowed and put down i t s wings and seeing these things I asked the angel, 'Why do they 36 remove the crown from the head of the Sun and for what reason i s the b i r d so cowed?' The angel r e p l i e d , 'Whenever the Sun's crown has been on busy a l l day, four angels pick i t up and take i t up to heaven and renew i t because i t has become d u l l as well as the rays which f a l l to earth. Moreover i t i s renewed each day i n the same way.' And I, Baruch, said, 'Master, f o r what reason do h i s rays become dulled on the earth?' The angel r e p l i e d to me, 'Beholding the transgressions and the i n j u s t i c e s of men, that i s to say the shamelessness, adultery, t h e f t , rape, i d o l a t r y , drinking, murder, quarrels, jealousy, slandering, murmurings, calumnies, prophesies and other such things disagreeable to God. For these reasons the rays become tarnished and are renewed.' 'As for the b i r d , what i s the cause of i t being cowed i n such a fashion?' 'It i s cowed because of the f i r e and the burning heat. If the b i r d ' s wings did not form a screen for the rays of the Sun, the breath of every l i v i n g being would not survive. " This account at f i r s t seems to bear no resemblance to those previously encountered. But on closer examination, c e r t a i n f a m i l i a r elements can be detected. F i r s t l y we have already encountered the phoenix as a companion or servant to a God i n the Pterygion Phoenicis of Laevius, and i n A c h i l l e s Tatius, secondly the idea of the worm being produced by the b i r d i s found not only i n Clement but also i n Manilius. S i m i l a r l y the crown on i t s head f a i n t l y echoes A c h i l l e s Tatius and the connection of the phoenix with cinnamon i s almost as old as our records of the b i r d . But i t i s so d i f f e r e n t from our e a r l i e r s t o r i e s that Broek, p.268, f e e l s i t i s " v i r t u a l l y c e r t a i n that the author of the Greek Apocolypse of Baruch made use of an o r i e n t a l t r a d i t i o n , also known to the Jews, concerning a huge b i r d capable of covering the sky with i t s wings and thus robbing the Sun of i t s worst i n t e n s i t y . " 37 Broek adds that the o r i g i n of th i s conception must be sought mainly i n Persia, since, f o r example, the idea of the 365 gates of heaven i s t y p i c a l l y Persian. I t appears then that this work evolved outside the t r a d i t i o n documented so f a r ; nevertheless i t may i t s e l f be a source f o r Lactantius since the desc r i p t i o n of the phoenix feeding on the manna of heaven and the dew of the earth i s very reminiscent of De Ave Phbenice 111-112, Ambrosios l i b a t c a e l e s t i nectare rores, s t e l l i f e r o tenues qui  cecidere polo, although there i s no proof that Lactantius ever read the work. B r i e f mention should be made of the Midrash Rabfaah since i t i s quite clear that the hSl (usually translated from the Hebrew as phoenix) b i r d mentioned i n the Midrash. was known i n the second and t h i r d centuries A.D."^ This work was a monumental commentary on Genesis and at 3.6 the commentary reads: "The school of R. Jannai maintained that the b i r d l i v e s a thousand years, at the end of which a f i r e issues from i t s nest and burns i t up; yet as much as an egg i s l e f t , and i t grows new limbs and l i v e s . R. Judan b.R. Simeon sai d : I t l i v e s a thousand years at the end of which i t s body i s consumed and i t s wings drop o f f ; yet as much as 'i an egg i s l e f t , and then i t grows new limbs." Jannai can be dated to ca.225A.D., Judan V l e s s c e r t a i n l y to 320. or 240 A.D. This passage i l l u s t r a t e s how the Jewish scholars knew the two p r i n c i p a l versions of the story as t o l d by the c l a s s i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s . Jannai represents the version of the "decomposing body known from Manilius and PompSniuS a n ( j Clement, Judan echoes that of the burning of the body f a m i l i a r from Dionysius of Philadelphia, Artemidorus, Statius and M a r t i a l . From the above i t i s cl e a r that i t was the c l a s s i c a l sources that 38 influenced the Jewish story of the hoi rather than v i c e versa since the only unknown portion of the Midrash Rabbah j u s t mentioned, i s the information that the b i r d ' s wings f a l l o f f , a minor d e t a i l . We must consider the Apocolypse of Baruch as an enigma and outside the general development of the myth of the phoenix. Too much importance has been attached to the feeding on dew; desert birds are known to drink i n this way and we ought not to draw too many conclusions from the i n c l u s i o n or 11 exclusion of t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n any one version of the myth. Another C h r i s t i a n work, unquestionably dependent on the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n , unfortunately cannot be dated very accurately. The Greek 12 Physiologus, now thought to date to the second century, i s extant i n an almost bewildering number of manuscripts whose mutual dependence on a 13 no longer e x i s t i n g f i r s t redaction has been established. Hubert and Leroy, rather misleadingly, p r i n t only one text which resembles none i n the f i v e groups of the e a r l i e s t manuscripts G,M, as ('Oy)r, WO, Al f f FA^y-A t r a n s l a t i o n of the c o l l a t e d text of the l a s t group i s provided here. ''Our Lord Jesus C h r i s t s a i d , 'I have the power to put aside my s p i r i t and to take i t up again,' and the Jews were indignant at t h i s . There e x i s t s a b i r d c a l l e d the phoenix i n India. Every f i v e hundred years i t f l i e s to the woods of Lebanon and loads i t s wings with aromatics. I t gives a sign to the p r i e s t of H e l i o p o l i s i n the new month of Nisan or Adar, that i s to say Phamenoth or Pharmouthi. As soon as he has been s i g n a l l e d he comes and the b i r d loaded down with aromatics goes up to the a l t a r on which i t places i t s burden and i s consumed by the flames. On the following day, the p r i e s t on inspecting the a l t a r , discovers a wor m i n the ashes, on the second day i t grows wings and i s recognizable as a young b i r d , on the t h i r d day i t has become what i t was to begin with. I t salutes the p r i e s t , 39 f l i e s up i n the a i r and heads o f f to i t s own home. Explanation: If the b i r d has t h i s a b i l i t y to die and be reborn, how i s i t that stupid men are indignant at the word of our Lord Jesus C h r i s t when he says that he has the power to put aside my s p i r i t and to take i t up again? For the phoenix i s the image of our Saviour. The Mss. W and 0 have an a d d i t i o n a l passage,[The phoenix] f l i e s to Helio p o l i s across Egypt, i t comes into being self-generated, not i n deserted places, so that the event escapes notice, but rather i n f u l l view i n the c i t y so that a l l d i s t r u s t be d i s p e l l e d . Next i t makes for i t s e l f a nest of frankincense myrrh and other aromatics and having placed i t s e l f on t h i s i t i s burned up, dies and becomes p u t r i d . Then, from out of the burnt ashes of the f l e s h , emerges a worm which takes on i t s e a r l i e r form. But should you not believe t h i s , i n j u s t such a way the of f s p r i n g of bees are born, taking shape from maggots, and from the yolks ,of eggs you have seen wings and bones and sinews forming. Then, growing wings, the aforesaid worm f i n a l l y becomes j u s t as i t was before, a b i r d f l i e s up ju s t the same as the one that died, giving the cl e a r e s t proof of resurrection from t h i s death. Indeed the phoenix i s a marvel but i t i s dumb. Does a dumb animal which does not know the maker of a l l things gain r e s u r r e c t i o n from the dead but we who praise God and watch over h i s commands not gain i t ? Assuredly there i s such a thing as resurr e c t i o n of the dead." The f i r s t text i s a clear attempt to a l l y both the Egyptian and Indian s t o r i e s about the phoenix, as well as to combine the d i f f e r e n t versions about i t s death, namely the burning and the p u t r i f i c a t i o n . I t 40 may have provided some ideas for Lactantius Dut unfortunately no proof can be offered that i t antedates the De Ave Phoenice. The Physiologus states quite b l a t a n t l y that C h r i s t i a n symbolism., i s implied by the phoenix, the b i r d C h r i s t . When we come to consider Lactantius' poem we w i l l see that no such symbolism i s possible. The physiologus has elements,:too numerous to elucidate i n d e t a i l , i n common with many of the previous accounts and i s best summed up as a combination of Herodotus, A c h i l l e s Tatius, A e l i a n and Clement of Rome. The d i v e r s i t y , d i s p a r i t y and great number of the Mss. of the Physiologus t e l l us of i t s widespread popularity i n a n t i q u i t y and i t should be noticed that nowhere does the au t h e n t i c i t y of the phoenix come into question; such 14 a discussion had to wait u n t i l the seventeenth century. In a sense the nomenclature, "myth of the phoenix", used by both Hubert and Leroy and Broek i s misleading, for no author i n the ancient corpus ( i f we exclude the author of Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch from o u r discussion since t h i s i s r e a l l y outside our t r a d i t i o n ) i s prepared to declare brazenly that the b i r d does not e x i s t . The above-named scholars c a l l t h i s material "The Myth  of the Phoenix" because they themselves do not believe i n the existence of the b i r d . But for the ancients themselves the phoenix was a b i o l o g i c a l phenomenon. A f i n a l major r e l i g i o u s source w i l l be considered i n d e t a i l . The  Di d a s c a l i a , 40.19-34 a work written early i n the t h i r d century f o r a community of C h r i s t i a n converts by someone probably of Jewish descent, was o r i g i n a l l y written i n Greek, fragments of which survive, but the oldest and most complete version i s preserved i n S y r i a c . ^ • "For also through a mute animal, that i s , through the phoenix, a unique b i r d , God gives an open manifestation of the r e s u r r e c t i o n , for i f the b i r d had a twin or there were even more of them, those many would simply seem to be unimportant to men,"but i t i s noticed when i t approaches for the very reason that i t i s alone. After f i v e hundred years i t comes to that place known as the A l t a r of the Sun bringing with i t cinnamon and prays facing east. I t i s set on f i r e by i t s e l f , burns and becomes ashes. However a worm appears from the ashes which increases i n s i z e , takes shape and becomes once more a fully-formed phoenix. Then i t goes back hastening whence i t came." The above account looks deceptively f a m i l i a r , and on f i r s t glance we are tempted to dismiss i t as a casual copy of a version of the Physiologus (or c l o s e l y related to a parent of that text). There i s , however, an important addition, at l e a s t we are led to believe there i s an addition i n the L a t i n t r a n s l a t i o n of the Syriac, namely that the b i r d . . . o r a t contra orientem..."it prays facing the East". This i s the e a r l i e s t example ot the phoenix performing such a r i t u a l , an idea which was explored l a t e r by Lactantius i n the De Ave Phoenice l i n e 41. Mention should also be made of T e r t u l l i a n (165 A.D.-220) De Res. Mort.13 who, l i k e Clement of Rome, used the phoenix as an example to support the ce r t a i n t y of r e s u r r e c t i o n . In addition, there i s a t a n t a l i s i n g reference to the phoenix i n the Oracula S i b y l l i n a 8.139, a curious work compiled by a l l and sundry a f t e r the loss of the o r i g i n a l S i b y l l i n e Books. Book 8 i s generally thought to have been wr i t t e n about 180 A.D. and we know that Lactantius read the relevant passage because he c i t e s l i n e s from the surrounding verses, Div. Inst. 7.15. Lactantius seems to have believed i m p l i c i t l y i n the Oracula S i b y l l a and this passage may have had a deep 42 influence on him, f o r , although the text i s very corrupt, i t i s neverthe-less possible to be f a i r l y c e r t a i n that the meaning i s that the appearance of the phoenix w i l l herald the destruction of the Gentiles, the Hebrews and the Roman Empire, which w i l l be the end of time. Lactantius informs us of the c h i l i a s t i c nature of r e - b i r t h of the phoenix i n l i n e 61, and i t may w e l l be that the germ of the idea came from t h i s passage i n the S i b y l l i n e Oracles. F i n a l l y , something should be said about the phoenix and the a f t e r -l i f e . We have j u s t surveyed several examples of how the C h r i s t i a n thinkers exploited the idea of the phoenix for t h e i r own theosophical purposes and th i s has led us to think that the phoenix was interpreted i n such a fashion only by them. This i s not the case, however, for we f i n d the phoenix representing the l i f e a f t e r death on the epitaph, c l e a r l y n o t C h r i s t i a n , of a c e r t a i n C. Domitius Primus CIL 14.914, found i n 1783 by the Via Ostia, Foenix me serbat i n ara qui mecum properat se reparare s i b i . I t i s of course possible that t h i s idea was a borrowing from the C h r i s t i a n s ; one cannot be sure u n t i l the i n s c r i p t i o n i s dated s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . A l l the major sources for the phoenix myth that are antecedent to 'Lactantius have been documented and dated wherever that i s possible. Sources which are h e s i t a t i n g l y dated or which are of an unknown date such as the s c h o l i a (see Broek page 478) and the Hieroglyphica of Horapollo, have been l e f t out and not used f o r the basis of any argument. I t has become quite apparent by now that Lactantius' poem i s a very creative one, even though h i s treatment of language at times seldom r i s e s above that of a p l a g i a r i s t . 43 Notes to Cahpter Two 1 Broek, op. c i t . page 85. 2 L. R. Palmer and J . Chadwiek, Proceedings of the Cambridge  Colloquium on Mycenaean Studies (Cambridge 1966) 230. 3 J. C. Ferguson, The Mythology of A l l Races (Boston 1928) v o l . 8 page 99. 4. See p a r t i c u l a r l y J. Hubaux et M. Leroy Le Mythe du Phenix (Liege 1939) 14-20, R. T. Rundle-Clark, The Origins of the Phoenix Parts 1 & 2, Birmingham Uni v e r s i t y H i s t o r i c a l Society 2 (1949-50) 1-30 & 105-140. 5. Preserved i n the work of Alexander Polyhistor ( c i t e d by Eusebius i n h i s Praeparatio Evangelica 9.29.16). 6. See Broek pages 268-272 f o r a f u l l discussion of t h i s topic. 7. See Broek page 103. 8. See Broek page 72 for a l l the d i f f e r e n t f i g u r e s . 9. Unfortunately only one of these references could be checked since K e i l ' s e d i t i o n was unavailable to me. A l l the other secondary sources considered the other references unimportant. 10. For a more de t a i l e d discussion and bibliography of the Jewish sources see M.F. McDonald, "Phoenix Redivivus" Phoenix 14 (1960) 187-206. 11. J. Swift, The Sahara (Amsterdam) 1975 110. 12. See B. E. Perry's review of Sbordone's e d i t i o n of the Physiologus i n the AJP 58 (1937) 388. 13. D. Kaimakis, Per Physiologus nach der Ersten Redaktion (Meisenheim am Glan 1974) 4a. 44 14. See Broek page 4 for a h i s t o r y of the scholarship on t h i s problem. 15 J. Quasten, Patrology (Utrecht 1953) Vol. 2 pages 147-51. CHAPTER THREE TEXT AND TRANSLATION 45 46-TEXT Est locus i n primo f e l i x oriente remotus, Qua patet aeterni maxima porta p o l i , Nec tamen aestivos hiemisve propinquus ad ortus, Sed qua Sol verno fundit ab axe diem. I l l i c p l a n i t i e s tractus d i f f u n d i t apertos, 5 Nec tumulus c r e s c i t nec c a v a w a l l i s M a t ; Sed nostros montes, quorum iuga c e l s a putantur, Per b i s sex ulnas imminet i l l e locus. Hie S o l i s nemus est et consitus arbore multa lucus, perpetuae frondis honore virens. 10 Cum Phaethonteis f l a g r a s s e t ab ignibus axis, I l l e locus flammis i n v i o l a t u s erat, . . Et cum diluvium mersisset f l u c t i b u s orbem, ,.' Deucalioneas exsuperavit aquas. Non hue exsangues Morbi, non aegra Senectus, 15 Nec Mors crudelis nec Metus asper aaest; Nec Scelus infandum nec opum vesana cupido Cernitur aut ardens caedis amore Furor; Luctus acerbus abest et Egestas obsita pannis Et Gurae insomnes et v i o l e n t a Fames. 20 Non i b i tempestas nec v i s f u r i t h o r r i d a v e n t i Nec gelido terram rore pruina t e g i t , N u l l a super campos tendit sua v e l l e r a nubes, Nec c a d i t ex a l t o turbidus umor aquae. Sed fons i n medio ( e s t ) , quem vivum nomine dicunt, 25 Perspicuus, l e n i s , dulcibus uber aquis, Qui semel erumpens per singula tempora mensum Duodecies undis i n r i g a t omne nemus. Hie genus arboreum procero s t i p i t e surgens Non lapsura solo m i t i a poma g e r i t . 30 Hoc nemus, hos lucos avis i n c o l i t unica Phoenix: Unica sed v i v i t morte r e f e c t a sua. Paret et obsequitur Phoebo memoranda s a t e l l e s : Hoc natura parens munus habere dedit. Lutea cum primum surgens Aurora rubescit, 35 Cum primum rosea sidera luce fugat, Ter quater i l i a pias inmergit corpus i n undas, Ter quater e viv© gurgite l i b a t aquam. T o l l i t u r ac summo co n s i d i t i n arboris altae V e r t i c e , quae totum d e s p i c i t una nemus, 40 Et conversa novos Phoebi nascentis ad ortus Expectat radios et iubar exoriens. Atque ubi Sol p e p u l i t f u l g e n t i s limina portae Et primi emicuit luminis aura l e v i s , I n c i p i t i l i a s a c r i modulamina fundere cantus : 45 Et mira lucem voce ciere novam, Ouam nec aedoniae voces nec t i b i a p o s s i t Musica Cirrhaeis adsimulare modis, Sed neque o l o r moriens i m i t a r i posse putetur Nec Cylleneae f i l a canora l y r a e . 50 Postquam Phoebus equos i n aperta e f f u d i t Olympi Atque orbem totum p r o t u l i t usque means, 47 I l i a ter alarum r e p e t i t o verbere plaudit Ignliierum caput t e r venerata s i l e t . Atque eadem celeres etiam discrimat horas 55 Innarrabilibus nocte dieque son&s, Antistes l u c i nemorumque verenda sacerdos EEfc'i's'ola."arcariisLconscia,Phoebe, t u i s . Quae postquam vit a e iam m i l l e peregit annos Ac s i redderint tempora longa gravem, 60 Ut reparet lapsum s p a t i i s vergentibus aevum, Adsuetum nemoris dulce cubile f u g i t . Cumque renascendi studio l o c a sancta r e l i q u i t , Tunc p e t i t hunc orbem, Mors ubi regna tenet. D i r i g i t i n Syriam celeresll'ongaevavwoiLatus 65 Phoenices nomen cui dedit i p s a vetus, Secretosque p e t i t deserta per avia lucos, Sicubi per saltus s i l v a rempta l a t e t . Turn l e g i t aerioOsublimen v e r t i c e palmam, Quae Graium phoenix ex ave nomen habet, 70 In quam n u l l a nocens animans prorepere p o s s i t , Lubricus aut serpens aut avis u l l a rapax. Turn ventos c l a u d i t pendentibus Aeolus a n t r i s , Ne v i o l e n t f l a b r i s aera purpureum N^u concreta noto nubes per inania c a e l i 75 S Suhmo ve a t r r.adi> o s s s o l i s e e t obb s i t aavi. Construit inde s i b i seu nidum sive sepulchrum; Nam p e r i t , ut v i v a t : se tamen i p s a creat. C o l l i g i t hinc sucos et odores d i v i t e s i l v a , Quos l e g i t Assyrius, quos opulentus Araps, 80 Quos aut Pygmaeae gentes aut India c a r p i t Aut m o l l i generat t e r r a Sabaea sinu. Cinnamon h i e auramque procul s p i r a n t i s amomi Cemgerit et mixto balsama cum f o l i o : N on e cas i' aa a#t t±s-me c soJLen fcjbs vvimen =aeanthi 85 Nec t u r i s lacrimae guttaque pinguis abest. His addit teneras nardi pubentis a r i s t a s Et soc i a t myrrae vim, panacea, tuam. Protinus i n s t r u c t o corpus mufeabile nido V i t a l i q u e toro membra v i e t a l o c a t . 90 Ore dehinc sucos membris circumque supraque I l n i c i t , exequiis inmoritura s u i s . Tunc i n t e r varios animam commendat odores, Depos-iti t a n t i nec timet i l i a fidem. Interea corpus g e n i t a l i morte peremptum 95 Aestuat, et flammam p a r t u r i t ipse calor, Aetherioque procul de lumine c o n c i p i t ignem: Fla g r a t , et ambus turn s o l v i t u r i n cineres. Quos velut i n massam, generans i n morte, coactos Conflat, et effectum seminis i n s t a r habet. 100 Hinc animal primum sine membris f e r t u r o r i r i , Sed f e r t u r vermi lacteus esse color. C r e s c i t , et emenso sopitur tempore certo, Seque ovi t e r e t i s c o l l i g i t i n speciem. __Ac velut agrestes, cum f i l o ad saxa tenentur, 107 48 Mutari tineae papilione solent, 108 Inde reformatur qu a i l s f u l t ante f l g u r a 105 Et phoenix ruptis p u l l u l a t exuviis. 106 Non i l l i cibus est nostro concessus i n orbe, 109 Nec, cuiquam inplumen pascere cura subest. 110 Ambrosios l i b a t c a e l e s t i nectare rores, S t e l l i f e r o tenues qui cecidere polo. Hos l e g i t , h i s a l i t u r mediis i n odoribus ales, Donee maturam proferat effigiem. Ast ubi primaeva coepit f l o r e r e iuventa, 115 Evolat, ad patrias iam r e d i t u r a domus. Ante tamen, proprio quidquid de corpore r e s t a t , Ossaque v e l cineres exuvj.asq.ue • suas Unguine balsameo myrraque et ture Sabaeo Condit et i n formam conglobat ore pio. 120 Cjuam pedibus gestans contendit S o l i s ad ortus Inque ara residens ponit i n aede sacra. Mirandam sese praestat praebetque verendam: Tantus avi decor est, tantus abundat honor. Primo qui color est mails sub sidere Cancri, 125 Cortice quae croceo Punica grana tegunt; Qualis inest f o l i i s , quae f e r t agreste papaver, Cum pandit vestes F l o r a rubente solo: Hoc humeri pectusque decens velamine f u l g e t ; Hoc caput, hoc cervix summaque terga n i t e n t . 130 Caudaque p o r r i g i t u r fulvo d i s t i n c t a metallo, In cuius maculis purpura mixta rubet. Alarum pennas i n s i g n i t desuper I r i s , Pingere ceu nubem desuper aura s o l e t . A l b i c a t i n s i g n i s mixto v i r i d a n t e zmaragdo 135 Et puro cornu gemmea cuspis h i a t . Ingentes o c u l i : credas geminos hyacinthos, Quorum de medio l u c i d a flamma micat. Aptata est noto c a p i t i r a d i a t a corona, Phoebei .referens v e r t i c i s a l t a decus. 140 Crura tegunt squamae fulvo d i s t i n c t a metallo; Ast ungues roseo t i n g u i t honore color. E f f i g i e s i n t e r pavonis mixta figuram Cern&tur et pictam Phasidis i n t e r avem. Magnitiem t e r r i s Arabum quae gigiiiitur' ales 145 Vix aequare potest, seu f e r a seu s i t av i s . Non tamen est tarda ut volucres, quae corpore magno Incessus pigros per grave pondus habent, Sed l e v i s ac velox, r e g a l i plena decore: T a l i s i n aspectu se tenet usque hominum. 150 Hue venit Aegyptus t a n t i ad miracula visus Et raram volucrem turba s a l u t a t ovans. Protinus exculpunt sacrato i n marmore formaim:. Et t i t u l o signant remque diemque novo. Contrahit i n coetum sese genus omne volantum, 155 Nec praedae memor est u l l a nec u l l a metus. Alituum s t i p a t a choro volat i l i a per altum Turbaque prosequitur munere l a e t a pio. 49 Sed postquam p u r i perventi ad aetheris auras, Mox r e d i t : i l i a suis conditur inde l o c i s . 160 0 fortunatae s o r t i s felixque volucrum, Cui de se nasci p r a e s t i t i t ipse Deusvj Femina seu (sexu seu) masculus est seu neutrum: F e l i x , quae Veneris foedera n u l l a c o l i t ! Mors i l l i Venus est, sola est i n morte voluptas: 161 Ut pos s i t n a s c i , appetit ante mori. Ipsa s i b i proles, suus est pater et suus heres, Nutrix ipsa s u i , semper alumna s i b i . Ipsa quidem, sed non (eadem e s t ) , eademque nec i p s a est, Aeternam vitam mortis adepta bono. 170 50 TRANSLATION There i s a blessed place, sequestered i n the East, where the massive door of the Eternal Heavens l i e s open; i t l i e s not near the summer or winter r i s i n g s , but there, where Sol spreads out the day from h i s axis i n the spring. There, a p l a i n scatters i t s wide t r a c t s . No hump or hollow there. This place, by twice six e l l s , looms over our mountains whose yokes are thought l o f t y . Here i s the grove of the Sun, a sacred copse planted with many a tree, green with the glory of never f a i l i n g f o l i a g e . When the sky had blazed with the f i r e s of Phaethon, t h i s place was safe from the flames, j u s t as i t overcame Deucalion's flood when the deluge submerged the world. Pale I l l n e s s , harsh Old Age, c r u e l Death and troubling Fear are not here, nor unspeakable Crime, mad Lust for money, Anger or Rage, burning i n s a t i a t e for slaughter. Where i s b i t t e r G r i e f , Need, clothed i n rags, sleepless Cares and impetuous Hunger?. No tempest there or savage b l a s t of wind. Nor does hoar-frost cloak the ground with c h i l l i n g dew. Above the p l a i n s , no cloud o f f e r s i t s f l e e c e s , nor f a l l s from high the turbulent drop of water.Rather, i n the open, there i s a spring which they c a l l " l i v i n g " , mild and c l e a r with abundant sweet waters, which, at i n d i v i d u a l times of the months, burst out and i r r i g a t e the whole grove .""Here, r i s i n g with l o f t y trunk, there i s a type of tree which bears f r u i t that w i l l not f a l l to the ground when r i p e . This copse, t h i s sacred grove, a unique b i r d inhabits; she i s without p a r a l l e l but l i v e s reborn from her own death. A remarkable companion for Phoebus, to whom she submits and obeys. Nature the procreator assigned her t h i s g i f t . When r i s i n g saffron Dawn f i r s t blushes and chases the stars away with her rosy l i g h t , then, t h r i c e , four times she bathes her>body i n the sacred waters; t h r i c e , four times she drinks water from the l i v i n g stream. She f l i e s o f f and a l i g h t s on the very top of a high tree that looks down upon the whole of the grove, then she turns to the new r i s i n g s of the nascent Phoebus and awaits the rays and the forthcoming glare. When the Sun has forced the threshold of the gleaming door and a f a i n t aura of f i r s t l i g h t has sprung f o r t h , she begins to pour out the s t r a i n s of a sacred song and to invoke the new l i g h t with a remarkable c a l l , which neither the song of 51 nightingales or the musical f l u t e could v i e i n Cirrhaean srains; but neither could the dying swan be considered a r i v a l or even the melodious s t r i n g s of the Cyllenaean l y r e . A f t e r Phoebus has driven h i s horses out on the c l e a r spaces of Olympus and has shown h i s complete orb advancing a l l the while, then, she, with thrice-repeated lashings of her~wings, applauds with thrice-repeated ador-at i o n the f i r e - b e a r i n g head, and then f a l l s s i l e n t . Even the swift hours she marks o f f with indescribable sounds, she, the overseer of the grove, reverend p r i e s t e s s of the f o r e s t , sole confident of your secrets, Phoebus. Afte r she has passed a thousand years of l i f e and the long years have made her sluggish, so that she can renew her generation, now fading through the passage of time, she f l e e s the d e l i g h t f u l home of the grove. When she has l e f t the sacred place i n her eagerness for r e b i r t h , she then seeks t h i s world where death has i t s kingdoms. The aged b i r d wings a stra i g h t to Syr i a , whose ancient name Phoenicia she gave, and seeks out through the pathless desert, sequestered groves, where l i e s a copse hidden away amongst the thic k e t s . then, high up, she chooses the a i r y top of a palm, which has the the Greek name "phoenix", named from the b i r d , into which no harmful creature can creep, neither s l i p p e r y serpent or rapacious b i r d . Then Aeolus checks the winds i n overhanging caves, l e s t they v i o l a t e the bright-coloured a i r with t h e i r b l a s t s and, l e s t a c l o u d , b u i l t up by the south wind through the empty sky, should should drive off the rays of the Sun and hinder the b i r d . Then she builds for he r s e l f a nest, or, i f you w i l l , a tomb, f or she dies i n order to l i v e . But she hers e l f creates h e r s e l f . Here, from the sumptuous woods, she c o l l e c t s j u i c e s and perfumes that the Assyrian picks, that the wealthy Arab, or the t r i b e s of Pygmies, or India plucks, or the Sabaean land grows i n i t s soft bosom. Here she p i l e s up cinnamon, the fragrance of far-smelling amomum and balsam with mixed le a f '(?). Nor does she omit the osier of supple c a s i a or of fragrant acanthus nor the tears of incense and i t s r i c h drop; to these she adds the tender ears of growing nard and to the myrrh she a l l i e s your strength, panacea. Forthwith she puts her mutable body i n the f i n i s h e d nest and lays to rest on the v i t a l couch her shrunken limbs. Then, with her mouth, she throws the j u i c e s around and on top of her limbs, about to die at her own funeral. Then, midst the various scents, she commends her l i f e , nor does she doubt her 52 confidence i n such a great pledge. Meanwhile her body, consumed by t h i s l i f e - g i v i n g death, grows hot, and : the heat generates a flame and catches f i r e f a r o f f from the aethereal l i g h t . It blazes and i s completely reduced to ashes,+ and which by bringing f o r t h from death i t causes the ashes to be made into a sort of mass,+ and the ef f e c t has the appearance of a seed. Aft e r t h i s , i t i s reported that f i r s t a body without limbs appears; but the colour of the worm i s reputed to be milky white. It grows, but when a ce r t a i n fixed time has elapsed, i t sleeps and gathers i t s e l f into the appearance of a rounded egg. And, j u s t as chry s a l i d s i n the country, susp-ended to rocks by a thread, are wont to be changed to a b u t t e r f l y , i t s shape then -takes the form i t had before and a phoenix bursts f o r t h once the cocoon i s broken. In our world, no food i s allowed to the phoenix, nor does anyone have the task of feeding the wingless creature. She sips the dews, ambrosial with heaven's nectars that tumble l i g h t from the s t a r r y sky. These she gathers, and i s nourished by them, amidst the sweet scents, u n t i l she at t a i n s a mature appearance. But when her f i r s t youth has f l o u r i s h e d , she f l i e s o f f to return to her ancestral.home. F i r s t of a l l , however, whatever remains of her own body, bones, ashes or her own cocoon, she covers with ointments of balsam, myrrh and frankincense s o l u t i o n and rounds i t into shape with her d u t i f u l beak. Bearing t h i s to the the C i t y of the Sun and a l i g h t s on the a l t a r and places i t i n the holy sanctuary. She exhibits and shows her s e l f to be marvelled at and worshipped, so great i s the bird's beauty, so great the honour that attends her. F i r s t , the colour that pomegranates have under the sign of the Crab when they cover t h e i r seeds with a saffron coloured r i n d , the sort of colour wild poppies have when F l o r a spreads her gowns with the reddening Sun, with t h i s her shoulders and chest gleam becomingly, with t h i s her head, neck and upper back also gleam. She spreads a t a i l adorned with deep golden metal i n which mixed f l e c k s of purple glow. I r i s marks out her wing feathers from above, j u s t as bright sunlight paints a cloud . from above. Her beak gleams astonishingly white mingled with zmaragdonic green; pure horn i t gapes be-gemmed. Her eyes are huge, you would think them twin hyacinths, 53 from the midst of which glares bright flame. A r a d i a t i n g crown has been f i t t e d to her famous head, t a l l , echoing the honour of the crown of Phoebus. Scales cover her legs, pocked with deep golden metal. Her claws are ti n t e d with decorous pink. Her appearance i s midway between that of the peacock and that of the painted b i r d of Phasis. Scarce can the b i r d born i n the lands of the Arabs, whether beast or b i r d , equal i t s magnitude. Yet she i s not sluggish, as are large birds which have an indolent gait'/ because of t h e i r great weight, but i s nimble and swift and f u l l of queenly beauty; such then i s her appearance at a l l times i n the eyes of men. Egypt comes to the wonders of such a magnificent sight, and an exultant crowd greets the extraordinary b i r d . Immediately they carve i t s o u t l i n e on holy marble and mark the event and the day with a new i n s c r i p t i o n . Every type of winged creature gathers together i n a crowd, nor does any b i r d stay mindful of prey or fear, thronged by a chorus of bi r d s she f l i e s through the a i r ahd a host follows, r e j o i c i n g i n t h i s d u t i f u l s e r v i c e , but, a f t e r she has reached the a i r s of the pure aether, the host turns back. Then the phoenix i s hidden i n her own domain. Oh b i r d of happy l o t ! Blessed of the winged creatures, to whom God himself has presented the boon of self^generation! Whether the b i r d i s male, female or neuter, happy i s i s the b i r d that c u l t i v a t e s no t i e s with Venus. Death i s her Venus. Her sole pleasure i s i n death. She seeks to die before-hand so that she can be born again. She i s her own o f f s p r i n g , father and h e i r , her own nurse and f o s t e r - c h i l d . She i s hers e l f i n f a c t , but i s not the same, and neither i s the same h e r s e l f , f o r she has obtained eternal l i f e by the boon of death. CHAPTER FOUR COMMENTARY 1 Est locus i n prlmo f e l i x oriente remotus; the subject of the f i r s t t h i r t y l i n e s of the poem, the "locus amoenus", i s described by two epithets, namely f e l i x and remotus, both of which conspire to create the exotic atmosphere of the poem. 1 Est locus: a common c l a s s i c a l usage; Ovid for example s t a r t s eight l i n e s with the same two words (Met.2.195; 8.788; 14.48.9; 15.332; F a s t i 2.491; 4.337; Ars Am.15.53; Ep.Pont.3.2.5). 1 Inprimo oriente: according to L a c t a n t i u s ' cosmogony, "the creator f i r s t of a l l divided the world into two halves, the East and the West. The former was reckoned to be that of the God, since he himself i s the fountain of l i g h t , the i l l u m i n a t o r of things and makes us r i s e to eternal l i f e . . . j u s t as the l i g h t belongs to the East, i n l i g h t rests the reason of l i f e , so the shadows (tenebras) belong to the West, but death and destruction are contained i n the shadows" (Div.Inst.2.9.5). I t appears from the above that Lactantius meant more by i n primo oriente than "as far east as the world spans". 1 F e l i x : means more than j u s t "blessed"; i t seems to have retained some of i t s primary meaning of " f e r t i l e " , as w i l l be hinted at i n l i n e 10 and made clear i n l i n e s 29-30. 2 Maxima porta p o l i : t h i s l i n e i s found elsewhere i n Lactantius - Div. Inst.1.8.11 - where i t i s quoted verbatim, from Ennius. see also Verg. Georg.3.261f mi s o l i c a e l i maxima porta patet. Seneca Ep.108.34 c i t e s a grammarian who f l a t l y asserts that ."Vergil s t o l e the l i n e from Ennius, who i n turn took i t from Homer Ii.5.749, 8.393, where the hours are represented as warders of the gates. 54 55 3 Nec tamen aestlvos hiemisve propinquus ad ortus: Lactantius now t e l l s us the l a t i t u d e of the "locus". I t i s not situated near either of the Tropics. The more prosaic term for the Tropic of Capricorn i s c i r c u l u s hiemalis according to Hyginus Poetica Astronomica 26.3. 3 Aestivos ortus: for the same phrase see Propertius 1.1.27: ; sed Canis  aestivos ortus v i t a r e . The hiemis ortus or winter b i r t h of the Sun was celebrated by the adherents of Mithra according to F.Cumont, The Mysteries  of Mithra (New York, 1956) 167; i t i s possible however that Lactantius i s making i t quite c l e a r that he i s not associated with t h i s c u l t , since the spring i s the only time of the year that i s mentioned i n connection with the phoenix; compare Manilius, and the Physiologos. 4 Sed qua Sol verno fundit ab axe diem: the locus i s i n f a c t situated near the equator tsee E. J . Bic.kerman, Chronology of the Ancient World, (London 1968) 53. 4 Sol: Riese does not i n f a c t c a p i t a l i z e here although he does at l i n e 9. Wight Duff, Minor L a t i n Poets, LCL, (London and Cambridge 1961), and F i t z p a t r i c k (see note to l i n e 12) both give S o l . The f i r s t twelve l i n e s of the poem are devoted to developing a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the Sun and the grove and there seems to be no v a l i d reason why the personified sun should not be introduced here. From the time of Elagab&lus onwards, sun worship became incr e a s i n g l y prevalent at Rome. In 274/5 Aurelian had established an o f f i c i a l c u l t of the Sun at Rome, including a temple and even a college of senators who were p o n t i f i c e s dei S o l i s . As Jupiter Optimus Maximus became l e s s and less important to the c i t i z e n s of the empire, a substitute was needed and Sol Dominus Imperii Romani temporarily s a t i s f i e d that need. Later on, under Constantine, a f t e r the demise of 56 Maxentius, whose patron deity had been Hercules, the c u l t of the Sun was revived and the new emperor c a l l e d himself "companion of the unconquered sun". Compare l i n e 58 where the phoenix i s described as "sole confident" of Apollo's secrets (Apollo and the sun had long been i d e n t i f i e d with each other). The c l a s s i c a l poets, when t a l k i n g of the Sun and Apollo, had the double-edged task of making the language both believable and at the same time mythologically cogent. I f i n f a c t Lactantius did write t h i s poem when he was a C h r i s t i a n , he had the a d d i t i o n a l task of not appearing to be a pagan. 2&4 Qua...qua: note the anaphora, a f a i r l y common device i n t h i s poem and elsewhere i n Lactantius' works. Compare l i n e s 3&6, 11&13, 16&17 and passim. 4 Verno....ab axe: " a x i s " bears the double sense of " c h a r i o t " and "axis". Verno w i l l be reinforced by virens i n l i n e 10 to convey the idea of perpetual spring. 6 Nec tumulus c r e s c i t nec cava v a l l i s h i a t : the abrupt transfer of image exactly coincides with the caesura of the pentameter. The poet i n f a c t throughout the poem scrupulously observes the conventions of the elegaic couplet. 7 Sed nostros montes: the tone r a p i d l y changes here with the word sed. We are reminded by the poet that a l l t h i s i s not only f a r from the world of mortals but also very d i f f e r e n t . How d i f f e r e n t , he w i l l explain i n l i n e s 10-30. By nostros montes he means a l l those mountains that are known to man. 7 Quorum iuga celsa putantur: Lactantius builds up to a great emphasis: "whose tops are thought l o f t y " . 57 8 Per b i s sex uinas imminet i l l e locus: the place overtops these mountains by a distance of twice s i x e l l s (a distance v a r i o u s l y des-cribed as an elbow, an arm's length or the t o t a l length of the clasped arms), a remarkably precise and small distance for a mountain to be dwarfed by a plateau. Was i t for t h i s reason that i t escaped Phaethon's flood? 8 Bis sex: quite a common expression i n V e r g i l (four times i n the Aeneid alone) and i n Ovid (six times i n the Metamorphoses and once each i n the F a s t i , the E p i s t l e s and the Med. Fac.). A s p e c i a l number, whose si g n i f i c a n c e i s greater than i t s usefulness as a spondaic opening; compare the number of Olympians, the sons of Nereus, the labours of Hercules", the signs of the Zodiac and the number of the Apostles. 8 Imminet: this i s the reading of two of the best manuscripts, Parisinus 13048 and Veronensis 163. Leidensis Vossianus Q.33 gives eminet. Another possible instance, before the fourth century, of immineo used as a t r a n s i t i v e verb i s i n T e r t u l l i a n ' s Adversus Gnosticos Scorpiace 8. Migne,(PL 2.137), however, emends the offending accusative to a dative and thinks i t unworthy of mention. Immineo, with the meaning of "threaten", r e g u l a r l y takes e i t h e r the dative case or a preposition, plus the accusative; compare Livy 30.28.9 and Cie. Ph.5.20. There does not seem to be a strong enough argument to emend the readings of the best mss. i f we allow poetic l i c e n c e to Lactantius. The meaning i s quite c l e a r i n t h i s case. 9 Nemus S o l i s : groves were often reserved for various d e i t i e s , compare Verg.Aen.7.759: .Angitiae nemus and C i c . Art.15.4.5: Dianae nemus where Caesar had a v i l l a . Amongst the panegyrical writers who f l o u r i s h e d during the reign of Constantine epithets about springs of Apollo were t h i n l y disguised compliments to Constantine; compare for example Porph. Opt. Carm. 26.6 and Pan.Lat.7.22.1. 58 9 Nemus: Lactantius uses nemus, Lucus, which plays on locus, and s i l v a interchangably throughout the poem. The grove adds an i n t e r e s t i n g new feature to the story of the phoenix b i r d . Only Claudian mentions the grove and he i s almost c e r t a i n l y drawing on Lactantius. Ovid i n fac t s p e c i f i c a l l y mentions that Phaethon w i l l f i n d no groves up there. 10 Lucus, perpetuae frondis honore v i r e n s : once again the exclusiveness of the place i s emphasized, f e l i x and verno are echoed with v i r e n s , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "Golden Age" of Hesiod, V e r g i l and Ovid, when agr i c u l t u r e was unnecessary and man simply picked his food from the nearest bush; compare Ovid Met.1.102. Lactantius talks elsewhere of the Golden Age. [see L. J. Swift, Lactantius and the Golden Age, AJP, 89 (1968) 144-156 for a more de t a i l e d discussion of t h i s . ] 11 Cum Phaethonteis f l a g r a s s e t ab ignibus a x i s : Phaethon, son of the sea-nymph Clymen, daughter of Tethys and Helios/Apollo, had begged hi s mother for confirmation of h i s i l l u s t r i o u s ancestry. She swore that h i s father was the Sun and advised him to go and v i s i t the Sun to obtain confirmation of this from him. The boy did as he was bidden and was duly recognized by h i s father who offered him one boon. The boy immediately asked to be allowed to drive h i s father's chariot for one day. The father, having given h i s oath, r e l u c t a n t l y agreed and the inexperienced youth charged o f f i n the chariot of the Sun and got so completely out of control that Zeus had to shoot him down with a thunderbolt l e s t even the heavens become a blazing inferno. Lactantius seems to be suggesting that because the "grove" belongs to the Sun i t i s not scorched i n the inferno, but i n no other version of the myth do we hear of any l o c a l e that i s i n v i o l a t e at the time of Phaethon's f i r e . 59 11 Axis: t h i s must mean a sphere which revolves on an ax i s , f o r i t was the sky that caught f i r e f i r s t when Phaethon l o s t control of his chariot. 12-30 Many scholars have the thought with M. C. F i t z p a t r i c k , o p . c i t . page 62, that t h i s passage upon close thought adds force to the slowly increasing evidence f o r the Ch r i s t i a n character of the poem; so P. Monceaux, H i s t o i r e L i t t e r a i r e de  L'Afrique Chretienne (Paris 1905) vol.3 page 506. Others, however, have been equally convinced that i t was permeated with the S t o i c a l ' s p i r i t , as for example C. Pascal, Sul Carme "De Ave Phoenice" a t t r i b i i t i t o a Lattarizio (Napoli 1904). Yet others have concluded that the influence was Neo-Pla t o n i c , as for example C. Landi, IlCarme "De Ave Phoenice" e i l suoautore (Padova, 1914). A l l of the above views b e l i t t l e the poet's imagination and imply a c e r t a i n s i m p l i c i t y of concept which has hampered a f u l l discussion of the poem i n the f u l l l i g h t of the p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l climate of the day. The intermittent yet serious persecutions of Decius and Valerian and even Domitian i n Feb. 23rd. 303.had serious and d i v i s i v e e f f e c t s on a l l concerned. Rome seemed to be able,to accommodate any number of o r i e n t a l r e l i g i o n s , except for S h r i s t i a n i t y , at l e a s t u n t i l Constantine's time. However, one must not forget that there were long periods of t o l e r a t i o n although these were of varying l e g a l i t y . For example Constantine's father Constarife-us declined to persecute even though directed to do so. We only have to consider Constantine 1s r e l i g i o u s views to r e a l i z e the magnitude, of syncretism (not a l l scholars agree on the degree see H. M. D. Parker, A History of the Roman World from A.D. 138-337. [Northampton 1963] 303 for a further discussion). During the t h i r d century the Roman world was slowly moving towards a monotheistic way of thinking and Lactantius was not aloof 60 from t h i s trend. We know how he s t r i v e s to accommodate the c l a s s i c a l poets into h i s cosmology as portrayed i n the Divine I n s t i t u t i o n s . The poem becomes: cl e a r e r i f we consider Lactantius as a s y n c r e t i c . I f the poem was published for a C h r i s t i a n audience there would have been no need to dis guise:'.its C h r i s t i a n nature unless the author were a f r a i d of some form of censorship, but he t e l l s us s p e c i f i c a l l y that the cause of h i s admitted t a c i t u r n i t y was not human but divi n e : quia nos defendere hanc (sapientiam) publice atque adserere non solemus, deo iubente.•Div.Inst.7.27. As we have shown, Lactantius' connections;* *with Constantine are well documented as i s Constantine's syncretism as Sol Invictus (see A. A l f o l d i , The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome [Oxford 1948]; so we can imagine that i f the poem were published during the time of Lactantius' ass o c i a t i o n with the imperial family, the poem would c e r t a i n l y not con-tradict' and might very well be expected to r e f l e c t the views of Constantine. The phoenix poem was c l e a r l y written for a wider audience than the Divine Institutes and thus for that reason was a more restrained work. 13 Et cum diluvium mersisset f l u c t i b u s orbem: Deucalioneas exsuperavit aquas: We can surmise that this "locus" escaped the flood because of the f a c t that i t was situated higher geographi-c a l l y than the highest mountains of "our world" but the poet t e l l s us nothing d e f i n i t e about t h i s . I t i s probable that Lactantius has not only Ovid's version i n mind here, but also the older Greek versions which allow c e r t a i n havens to be l e f t dry. The Parian Marble, l i n e s 4-7, t e l l s us that Deucalion sought refuge with the King of Athens, Craneus, implying that Athens survived the flood, a notion that i s surely n a t i o n a l i s t i c gloss. It i s clear,however,that t h i s part of the myth was not too r i g i d to be changed. According to Apollodorus i t was Parnassus that received the 61 shipwrecked Deucalion, although i n t h i s version he was not the sole survivor. Lactantius had an almost morbid i n t e r e s t i n the f l o o d . He was convinced that, when the race of men had become corrupt, then they would be punished by a great flood:. Deus autem postea v i d e r e t orbem terrae m a l i t i a et sceleribus obpletum, s t a t u i t humanum genus diluvium perdere.... Lactantius i s extremely c a r e f u l to explain why the above account (Div.Inst.2.13) d i f f e r s from those of the poets. They were not a c t u a l l y wrong; they merely got the name of the creator wrong "because they had never come into d i r e c t contact with him" (Div.Inst.2.10). E a r l i e r versions of the flood had either completely ignored the question of why a flood took place (compare Hesiod, A r i s t o t l e or Justin) or were l i k e Apollodorus, who was p a r t l y followed by Ovid, i n blaming Lycaon p r i m a r i l y but also mentioning that Zeus wanted to destroy the Bronze Age of man. According to G. Grote, Greece (New York 1899) 98, the chronologers, such as Tatian who was followed by Clemens and Eusebius, assigned the same time to both the flood and the conflagration. This may help us to explain why the two events are juxtaposed i n the poem of Lactantius. Compare l i n e 13 to Div.Inst.2.13. 13 Diluvium: not a very common word. I t was used only twice by V i r g i l and once by Ovid. Lactantius uses i t a t o t a l of f i v e times. It grew i n s i g n i f i c a n c e of course for the C h r i s t i a n w r i t e r who assumed that the flood was the same one as Noah experienced, as Lactantius does i n the Div.Inst.2.10. There were many t r a d i t i o n s about the fl o o d ; perhaps the 62 most non-committal was that of A r i s t o t l e who said^Met.I.325a-b^ "whenever there i s an excess of r a i n s . This does not always happen i n the same region of the earth: for instance, the so-called flood of Deucalion took place l a r g e l y i n the H e l l e n i c lands and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n old H ellas, that i s , the country round Dodona and the Achelous, a r i v e r which has frequently changed i t s course". There are of course other versions of the flood such as the one on the Parian Marble, mentioned i n the note to l i n e 12. 15-24: The next ten l i n e s , almost to a word, occur elsewhere i n the corpus of ancient l i t e r a t u r e . The themes of Elysium and the C h r i s t i a n paradise occur so often with almost i d e n t i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that we ought not to categorize them as either c l a s s i c a l or C h r i s t i a n , as F i t z p a t r i c k does, unless i t i s possible to d i s t i n g u i s h between the two. This p a r t i c u l a r passage echoes descriptions of Hades, Olympus, Elysium or the C h r i s t i a n paradise. Elsewhere Lactantius gives us h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the C h r i s t i a n paradise: Post haec deus hominem qua exposui ratione generatum posuit i n Paradiso i d est i n horto fecundissimo et amoenissimo: quem i n partibus o r i e n t i s omni genere l i g n i arborumque consevit, ut ex earum v a r i i s fructibus a l e r e t u r expersque omnium laborum deo p a t r i summa devotione s e r v i r e t (Div.Inst.2.12). " a f t e r these things, God having made man i n the manner i n which I have pointed out, placed him i n paradise, that i s i n the most f r u i t f u l and pleasant garden, which he planted i n the regions of the East with every kind of wood and tree, that he might be nourished by t h e i r various f r u i t s ; and, being free from a l l labours, he might devote himself e n t i r e l y to the service of God h i s father.": We must notjhowever 4jump to conclusions about t h i s kind of language. Such tirades were the stock-in-trade of the panegyricists of Constantine (compare that of Nazarius Pan.Lat.10.31 given i n March of 321), and Lactantius was of course a r h e t o r i c i a n f i r s t of a l l . 63 15-20: As F i t z p a t r l c k says, o p . c i t . page 63, l i n e s 15-20 are reminiscent of V e r g i l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the forecourt of Or us Aen.6.274-281 (compare also Stat.Theb.7.47-55; Sil.14.579-587 ; Cic.Nat.Deor.317.44). This passage with i t s enumeration of the troublesome things that are not found i n the home of the phoenix r e c a l l s the s c r i p t u r a l paradise, from which a l l that troubles or worries are banished (Gen. 2; Ap_oc_.21.l-4).. Somewhat the same idea of the phoenix's home i s expressed i n Claudian's poem, Ph.9-10. Even e a r l i e r , i n the days of Ovid, Am. 2.6.54, the phoenix was thought of as l i v i n g i n Elysium, the ancient counterpart of paradise. It i s a pleasing fancy to imagine that i t i s from t h i s passage i n Ovid that Lactantius conceived the idea of a grove i n the sun where the phoenix was to l i v e . 15 Exsangues morbi: compare Ovid Met.15.627: , .pallidaque exsangui squalebant  corpora morbo. 16 Mors c r u d e l i s : compare V e r g i l Aen.10.386: dum f u r i t , incautum  crudelj morte s o d a l i s . 17 Opum vesana cupido: Lactanius seams , p a r t i c u l a r l y contemptuous of those who covet money; elsewhere he says: "there are then three a f f e c t i o n s which drive men headlong to a l l crimes: anger, desire and.lust. On which account the poets have said that there are three f u r i e s which harass the minds of men: anger longs for revenge, l u s t f o r pleasures and desire (cupiditas) for riches (ops)". (Div.Inst.6.19). In the De Mort. Pers.6. Aiirelian i s described by the same adjective; he i s vesanus et praeceps "mad and reckless". 18 Hue meat: the best emendation .of aut metus, which i s given oy the mss. and which would be harsh i f repeated so soon a f t e r l i n e 16. 19 Egestas obsita pannis: compare Ter.Eun.236...pannis annisque obsitum. 64 20 Curae Insomnes: compare Lucan De B e l l . C i v . 2. 239'. insomni. . cura. 20 V i o l e n t a fames: i t i s the hunger that causes the violence. Lactantius uses the adjective violentus i n a very s i m i l a r sense i n the De.Op.Dei where, he describes the conluctor et adversarius noster, namely tne d e v i l , as being saepe violentus he i s both v i o l e n t and the cause of violence. 21-24: The d e s c r i p t i o n of the locus f e l i x i s continued but with a greater emphasis placed on the geographical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Compare the next four l i n e s to Horn. Od.4.566-7, a d e s c r i p t i o n of Elysium, to Od.6.43-5 a d e s c r i p t i o n of ulympus; also Lucretius De Re.Nat.3.13-23;5.215-17. 25 Sed fons i n medio est, quem vivum nomine dicunt: t h i s l i n e has caused many scholars to i n t e r p r e t the poem i n a C h r i s t i a n context or else to consider i t as an exposition of some phi l o s o p h i c a l doctrine. Broek, pages 324-326, points out that the various elements of Lactantius' d e s c r i p t i o n of the abode of the phoenix can be shown to have c l a s s i c a l p a r a l l e l s ; however, he concludes that the d e s c r i p t i o n of the home of the mythological b i r d cannot be explained as a whole from the c l a s s i c a l models but only from the Judaeo-Christian conceptions concerning Paradise. It i s true that the phrase V^ttfc^tO^<- (Didache 7.1) was used i n conjunction with the baptismal service but i t i s also true that the phrase v i v i s  fontibus Ovid J/.2.250 i s known i n a p r e - C h r i s t i a n sense (Book One of the F a s t i was c e r t a i n l y revised towards the end of the poet's l i f e f o r we f i n d references to both the death of Augustus and the assumption of T i b e r i u s ; the rest of the work seems, however, to have been written considerably e a r l i e r and was dedicated to Augustus himself). The key to a f u l l under-standing of t h i s l i n e probably l i e s i n the word dicunt upon which no-one 65 has seen f i t to comment. Who are the subjects of the verb? And why are they suddenly mentioned so pointedly? We may c r i t i c i z e Lactantius for h i s plagiarism and his common places but nowhere can we accuse him of redundancy. Dicunt was surely put there for some reason. I t i s possible that dicunt nomine i s almost a formula? Compare Verg. Aen.6.441; Georg.3.280. Nevertheless F i t z p a t r i c k overinterprets the L a t i n when she translates vivum (fontem) as "fountain of l i f e " . There seem to be two serious p o s s i b i l i t i e s . F i r s t l y that Lactantius had some e a r l i e r , but now l o s t t r a d i t i o n about the "lucus" and here shows his debt to these e a r l i e r w r i t e r s . No proof however can be offered to support t h i s hypothesis and indeed i t seems improbable i n the l i g h t of the l a t e r writers who seemed to have only Lactantius i n mind when the home of the phoenix i s described. Lactantius may of course simply have added dicunt to make his account more be l i e v a b l e , even though the subjects of dicunt were imaginary or unstated. There e x i s t s however a second p o s s i b i l i t y . F i r s t l y we know that Apollo was t r a d i t i o n a l l y associated with the Muses. Secondly, i n the Carmina of Porphyrius Optatianus who also had associations with Constantine, and was a near contemporary of Lactantius, we f i n d overwhelming evidence that the Muses and Mt. Helicon were c l o s e l y associated with the c u l t of Apollo, or rather the Sol/Apollo/Phoebus f i g u r e , who i s a t h i n l y disguised Constantine. I f we allow t h i s , then a very convenient explanation comes to mind for the spring and the s p e c i a l use made of i t by the phoenix. The b i r d i s simply being i n s p i r e d by the sacred spring of Apollo which enables i t , l i k e the Muses, to sing b e a u t i f u l l y ( l i n e s 45-50). The poem i t s e l f i s replete with r h e t o r i c a l language reminiscent of the panegyricists of Constantine and 66 the phoenix can be viewed almost as a f l a t t e r e r of Apollo at whose spring i t drinks to r e t a i n i t s voice. The words pius, f e l i x and veneratus were epithets very frequently associated with the emperor worship of the early fourth century. I t i s curious that Constantine, a f t e r h i s f i n a l c o n s o l i -dation of power (Eusebius V i t a Const.3.54.2)removed a l l the statues of the Muses from Helicon and had them set up i n the imperial palace i n Constantinople, apparently to destroy i d o l a t r y . But i f Constantine's contempt for paganism had been as Eusebius suggests, the former c e r t a i n l y would not have brought those statues into h i s own palace. 26 Uber: the idea of the f e r t i l i t y of the place i s continued. 27-28: Although the "lucus" experiences perpetual spring, nevertheless i t must s t i l l function on solar time, for the phoenix does have i t s timetable to reappear. We assume that the spring i r r i g a t e s the grove at a c e r t a i n time each month twelve times a year, but the L a t i n i s not absolutely c l e a r . We must take semel c l o s e l y with mensum and supply per singulos menses or something s i m i l a r to balance out duodecies. 28 Duodecies: synezesis of the f i r s t two vowels makes the word q u a d r i s y l l -able. Only one other sure example, CIL 24,747, i s known of duodecies being used i n t h i s way(on a third-century tombstone uncovered near Carthage). Once again we are reminded of the magic number twelve which occurs again i n another form i n l i n e s 37-38. This number i s very common i n the c l o s i n g chapters of the Apocolypse .21.12,14,16,21;22.2. Compare also Sibyl.Orac. 8.247". , respergens sanctos duodeno forite. 29 Surgens: the p a r t i c i p l e reinforces the e a r l i e r p a r t i c i p i a l .description of the grove as virens ( l i n e 10) and erumpens ( l i n e 27). 30 Non lapsura solo m i t i a poma g e r i t : a l l aspects of the f l o r a are depicted as moving or somehow burgeoning, except for the f r u i t which simply stays on 67 the trees; there i s a f t e r a l l no-one to eat i t ; f o r a s t r i k i n g l y s i m i l a r d e s c r i p t i o n of a f e r t i l e land compare Curtius' account of Ba c t r i a (7.4.26): Bactrianae terrae multiplex et v a r i a natura est. A l i b i multa arbor et v i t i s largos mitesque fructus a l i t , solum pingue c r e b r i fontes r i g a n t . The land of the B a c t r i a n i i s of manifold and varied nature. In one part many trees and vines produce p l e n t i f u l and mellow f r u i t s , frequent brooks i r r i g a t e the r i c h s o i l . It i s possible that Lactantius i s thinking of t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of B a c t r i a . Strabo also notes (Geog.2.1.16) i t s prodigious f e r t i l i t y . According to J u s t i n 1.1.9 the King of B a c t r i a i n ancient times was none other than Zoroaster, about whom Dio Chrysostom (36.41) r e l a t e s the following t a l e : "Because of a passion for wisdom, he (Zoroaster) deserted h i s fellows and dwelt by himself on a c e r t a i n mountain; and they say that thereupon the mountain caught f i r e , a great flame descended from the sky above, and that i t burned unceasingly. So then the King and the most distinguished of h i s Persians drew near f o r the purposes of praying to the God; and Zoroaster came f o r t h from the f i r e unscathed." We do however have no proof that Lactantius ever read either J u s t i n or Dio Chrysostom or even Curtius; these s i m i l a r i t i e s may j u s t be coincidence. 31 Hoc nemus, hos lucos avis i n c o l i t unica Phoenix: f i n a l l y the subject of the poem i s introduced. For the b i r d l i v i n g i n a grove i n Elysium see Ovid: Colle sub E l y s i o nigra nemus i l i c e frondet, udaque perpetuo gramine t e r r a v i r e t . s i qua fides d u b i i s , volucrum locus i l l e piarum d i c i t u r , obscenae quo prohibentur aves; i l l i c innocui l a t e pascuntur olores et vivax phoenix, unica semper a v i s . 68 "At the foot of a h i l l i n Elysium is. a l e a f y grove of dark ilex,and the moist earth i s green with never fading grass. I f we may have f a i t h i n doubtful things, that place, we are t o l d , i s of the winged pious kind, and from i t impure fowl are kept away. There f a r and wide feed the harmless swans and the l o n g - l i v e d phoenix, b i r d ever alone of i t s kind." (Ov.Am.2.6.49-54). It i s informative that Ovid c a l l s the b i r d pius which c l e a r l y has no C h r i s t i a n intent but compliments the b i r d on i t s p i e t y to i t s "father". 31 Avis...unica: the same d e s c r i p t i o n of the b i r d as i n the passage c i t e d above. Ovid was the second writ e r to give the b i r d a feminine gender. Laevius was the f i r s t i f we understand hi s text properly and Pomponius Mela was the only other one before Lactantius to treat the b i r d as female. Lactantius was greatly influenced by Ovid whom he quotes at least forty-two times elsewhere i n his work. Ovid elsewhere attaches the epithet unica avis to Caeneus Met. 12.531 a f t e r he had been metamorphosed into a b i r d . 32 Unica sed v i v i t morte r e f e c t a sua: the idea of the phoenix recreating i t s e l f from i t s own death was hardly new but was known as f a r back as the f i r s t century B.C. by the Roman senator Manilius, as has been pointed out i n chapter two. 33 Paret et obsequitur Phoebo memoranda s a t e l l e s : the phoenix i s f i r s t mentioned as an attendant of a deity i n the fragment of Laevius, which, however, bears l i t t l e resemblance to the passage that we are now considering. It seems at f i r s t d i f f i c u l t to accept that Lactantius borrowed t h i s idea from the Apocolypse of ?seudo-Baruch a work which, we have agreed, i s outside the t r a d i t i o n of the phoenix as we have come to know i t . Never-theless t h i s i s the only example antecedent to Lactantius that we possess of the phoenix acting out the r o l e of attendant to the sun. 69 Interpretations based on myth tend to be very vague, but i f we turn to more h i s t o r i c a l matters and consider the p o s s i b i l i t y of the phoenix "as a symbol of the imperial renewal ideology of the Constantinian age", as G. B. Ladner, The Idea of Reform (Cambridge Mass., 1959) 140, does, then a d i f f e r e n t picture emerges. This i s not a s u r p r i s i n g comparison since Eusebius himself i^Vita Const .4. 72j says "we cannot compare him (Constantine) with that b i r d of Egypt, the only one, as they say, which dies s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g , i n the midst of aromatic perfumes, and r i s i n g from i t s own ashes with new l i f e , soars a l o f t i n the same form which i t had before." I t i s tempting to think that Eusebius took t h i s account from Lactantius, but the report i s couched i n such general terms that i t could have come from any number of the versions l i s t e d i n chapter two. Nevertheless i t does seem from the above passage of Eusebius that someone had compared Constantine to the phoenix, for i t does seem on the part of Eusebius a most unusual suggestion for people not to compare Constantine to the phoenix. S u f f i c e i t to say for the moment that the phoenix at t h i s time had p o l i t i c a l overtones. Curiously, Eusebius i n the V i t a Const. makes no mention of Crispus, Constantine's son by an early connection with Minervina, c i r c a 290 ,nor of Lactantius, Crispus' tutor (see H. A. Drake, In Praise of Constantine [Berkeley, 1976] 48, for a discussion of t h i s ) , whose work De Mort. Pers. covered much the same material as Eusebius' E c c l e s i a s t i c a l History i n the chapters dealing with Constantine's r i s e to power. The two accounts, however, d i f f e r on such important points as the v i s i o n of the cross i n the sky before the walls of Rome and the second plot purported to have been hatched by Maximinian before h i s death. This may be explained by the fa c t 70 that Crispus' name became unmentionable a f t e r h i s death at h i s father's hands i n 326. Perhaps Lactantius suffered the same fate'simply by association with Crispus, for i t i s quite remarkable that he i s mentioned by absolutely no author i n the f i r s t three quarters of fourth century. However we do kn8w that Constantine was compared to Apollo; for instance i n the panegyric composed i n 311 Pan.Lat.5.14.4 Apollo i s described as i l l e quasi maiestatis tuae comes et socius. Compare also the very frequent legend of the contemporary coins Sol Invictus Comes (Tresors Mon£taires de  l a Gaule Romaine, G. Fabre et M. Mainjonet, [Paris, 19D8] 206-222). The coins also describe him as princeps iuventis and memoria f e l i x . From the forementioned panegyricist i t i s quite c l e a r that h i s only object i s i f l a t t e r y at the expense of a l l that i s t r u t h f u l . Lactantius, on the other hand, says e x p l i c i t l y i n h i s dedication to the emperor at the end of the Divine I n s t i t u t i o n s 7.27..nemo d i v i t i i s , nemo fascibus, nemo etiam  regia potestate confidat: " l e t no-one t r u s t i n r i c h e s , i n badges of o f f i c e , or even i n r o y a l power". I f Lactantius did i n fact write t h i s dedication, and there are some that doubt that he did i n fact write i t , i t shows him to be f a r more sparing i n h i s praise than the aforementioned panegyricist or the unbridled sycophant Porphyrius Optatianus. Almost a l l the above-mentioned epithets of f l a t t e r y attached to Constantine were also attached to Crispus. So i n Line 33 the phoenix i s the s a t e l l e s that obeys Apollo and we must bear i n mind the p o s s i b i l i t y that the b i r d may be an a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e for a member of the imperial family or at l e a s t for someone p o l i t i c a l l y important. We have further evidence of the s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p that existed between Constantine and the phoenix. On a medallion struck i n I t a l y towards the end of Constantine's l i f e , the emperor i s seen handing over the globe to one of h i s sons (?) and upon the globe i s perched a bird", unmistakably a phoenix, for i t i s replete with a seven-rayed nimbus (see A. A l f o l d i , On the Foundation of Constantinople JRS 37[1947] 15). Broek, page 434, dates t h i s medallion to 326 and J . Maurice, Numismatique  Constantinienne (Paris 1908) Vol. 1, page 104 even goes as f a r as to suggest that the smaller of the two figures i s Crispus who was put to death i n 326. I t can be seen from the above that i t would be of great i n t e r e s t to date the poem, for t h i s would give us some clue to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the symbolism of the phoenix, i f indeed any e x i s t s . 33 Memoranda: Baehrens wished to emend t h i s to veneranda even though he was going against the Mss. t r a d i t i o n ; i t i s , nevertheless, quite appealing. Note also the legend on a coin commemorating the death of Constantine where the Emperor i s pictured on a chariot being beckoned upwards by the hand of (one assumes) God. I t reads VN.MR i . e . Veneranda  Memoria.(H. Mattingly, Roman Coins [London, 1927] 249). 33 S a t e l l e s : one argument against the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Emperor Constantine with the phoenix i s the usage of the word s a t e l l e s elsewhere i n the Lactantian corpus. In three out of four examples (Div.Inst.2.13, Ep.Div.Inst.22, De Mort.Pers.16) i t i s used i n very close association with the a e v i l and i n the only other example of i t s use (Div.Inst.5.11), a s a t e l l e s i s c l e a r l y an agent of persecution. Lactantius would not have been l i k e l y to have s l i g h t e d an emperor whom he genuinely admired, however, may not have intended the word to carry such connotations. 34 Natura parens: we need not follow F i t z p a t r i c k and deduce a C h r i s t i a n meaning here. Even i f Lactantius says (Div.Inst.2.8) that a l l things 72 derive t h e i r existence from God, he also says (Div.Inst.2.8) that Seneca, the most i n t e l l i g e n t of the Stoics, saw that nature was nothing else but God, and Seneca was c e r t a i n l y not a C h r i s t i a n : 35 Aurora rubescit: for the same expression see Verg.Aen.3.521 and Ovid Met.3.600. 36 Cum primum rosea sidera luce fugat: see Horace Carmina 3.21.24 for a s i m i l a r expression. 37 Ter quater: as worded i t i s a unique phrase i n L a t i n . The two words always occur with a coordinating conjunction such as aut, et or que; compare Verg. Aen.12.155, Georg.2.J99 or Hor.Carm.1.31.13. Translate as "three times four times". The coupling of these two numerical adverbs goes back as f a r as Homer Od.5.306, t h r i c e blessed those Danaans, aye, four times blessed. 37 Pias....undas • no p a r a l l e l usage i s evident i n L a t i n although the transference of an epithet from one noun to another i s of course very common. It i s the phoenix not the waters that i s pius, because of the fa c t that a l l the due funeral r i t e s are observed upon the death of i t s "father". Many ancient r e l i g i o n s posited that t h e i r adherents would be p u r i f i e d by immersing themselves i n water, as i n the c u l t of Mithra, F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra (1956) 157 and i n the c u l t of I s i s , R. E. Witt, I s i s i n the Graeco-Roman World (London, 1971) 160. 38 Ter quater: note the anaphora. 38 Vivo: the fons vivus of l i n e 25 i s echoed. 38 L i b a t : Once again the phoenix i s given human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The t r a n s l a t i o n however i s d i f f i c u l t , I prefer "sipped" with Duff and F i t z -p a t r i c k ; the l i m i t e d eating habits of the phoenix are discussed l a t e r on. 39 T o l l i t u r ac summo co n s i d i t i n arboris a l t a e : the phoenix was frequently portrayed i n the v i s u a l arts perched on the top of a palm. The homonymity of the b i r d and the palm tree could well be the reason for t h i s . Ovid probably r e f l e c t e d t h i s play on words i n Met.15.898 where he describes how the phoenix customarily nests i n the topmost branches of some swaying palm. In some versions of the Romance of Alexander by Pseudo-Callisthenes, the a l l conquering general encounters the phoenix at the ends of the earth perched on a tree that has neither f r u i t nor f o l i a g e . Since, however, none of the versions that mention the phoenix can be dated e a r l i e r than the fourth century they do not concern us here. The Egyptian benu was also frequently portrayed perched on the top of a tree (Broek plate 1.2) which can be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d as a willow, however, not a palm tree. It was not u n t i l the l a t e r epublic and early empire that the myths of the phoenix and the benu can be seen from contemporary paintings to have drawn extensively from each other. T o l l i t u r : the passive appears i n a middle sense here, to suggest "raises i t s e l f up", as i n l i n e s 98 s o l v i t u r ; 105 reformatur; 113 a l i t u r ; 131 p o r r i g i t u r . 40 Conversa Phoebi ^ad Ortus: Not only did the East hold s p e c i a l signify i c a n c e f o r the early Christians (they b u i l t a l l t h e i r churches facing i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n as had been the p r a c t i c e of temple-builders i n c l a s s i c a l Greece) but also for the z o r o a s t r i a n s (for whom t h i s was the d i r e c t i o n of the b i r t h p l a c e of th e i r founder) and for the worshippers of Mithra and f o r other r e l i g i o n s strongly associated with the worship of the Sun. According to Lactantius Div.Inst.6,3, the East was the d i r e c t i o n of "the Good", the 74 west that of "the Wicked". Broek, (.page 276), f e e l s sure that Lactantius ret a i n s some elements of the Ori e n t a l myth about the cosmic cock known from Armenian, Hindu, C l a s s i c a l and l a t e r Byzantine sources. 41 Lubar exoriens: compare Verg.Aen.4.130 iubare exorto where the phrase has the same meaning "dawn". 43 Sol: Apollo, Sol and Phoebus are used synonymously i n the poem, but, by convention, each must have a d i f f e r e n t l i t e r a r y treatment. The transfer from Phoebus, a complex God of many facets, to Sol (the Romans did not use the app e l l a t i o n H e l i o s ) , the mere boatswain of the solar chariot, i s accomplished smoothly. 43 Fulgentis limina portae: the examples of descriptions of the doors of the Sun.are too numerous to mention. Ovid (Met.2.4-19) gives a p a r t i c u l a r l y f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n . 44 Et primi emicuit luminis aura l e v i s : F i t z p a t r i c k c r i t i c i z e s t h i s l i n e on the ground that the metaphor i s badly mixed i n l i n e s 43 and 44. There n o metaphor i n l i n e 44, however, and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see the purpose behind her statement. The metaphor has f i n i s h e d at l i n e 43 which i s followed by the neutral meteorological l i n e 44; thus the change of subject from Sol to the phoenix i s accomplished smoothly. 44 Luminis: Limina of the preceding l i n e i s neatly echoed. 45 I n c i p i t i l i a s a c r i modulamina fundere cantus: a G a l l i c panegyricist {Pan.Lat.7.2l)reminds us a l i t t l e of t h i s passage when he li k e n s Constantine to Apollo:, v i d i s t i (Apollinem) teque i n i l l i u s specie recbgnovisti, c u i tot i u s mundi regna deberi vatum carmina d i v i n a cecirteruntt "you have seen (Apollo) and you saw yourself i n h i s appearance to whom the poems of the poets have sung that the kingdoms of the world are owed". But i t was Ezechial 75 the Dramatist Ex.264 who was the f i r s t to mention the sweet tones of the phoenix. The phoenix has, he says, "the most b e a u t i f u l of voices". 45 Modulamina: a rare word i n the c l a s s i c a l period. In the early imperial period, only Aulus G e l l i u s uses i t . The only recorded use of modulamina i n poetry before Lactantius' time i s i n the Anthologia L a t i n a 88.6 where a poem of Florus, who f l o u r i s h e d around the time of Hadrian, i s c i t e d . In the same work, an undated poem, e n t i t l e d De Cantibus Avium 733.8-9, also has the word i n the singular...merulae d u l c i modulamine cantus  z i n z i l a t . Compare also the usage i n Anthologia Latina 762.5-6 i n reference to the nightingale, a b i r d normally considered quite matchless i n song. However modulamina also occurs i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t context. In the manuscripts of Porphyrius Optatianus, a near contemporary of Lactantius, and, has been mentioned before, a panegyricist of Constantine, the word occurs once i n the Carmina 27.4 and once also i n a l e t t e r written by Constantine, E p i s t u l a Constantini 4, to Porphyrius allowing him back from e x i l e and means "poem" rather than "song/poem". 45-50: These l i n e s bear some remarkable s i m i l a r i t i e s to the De S i r e n i s of Euphorbius ( ? ) : -Sirenes varios cantus, Acheloia proles, Et s o l i t a e miros ore c i e r e modos (Illarum voces, i l l a r u m Musa movebat Omnia quae thymele carmina d u l c i s habet: Quod tuba, quod l i t u i , quod cornua rauca queruntur, Quodque foraminibus t i b i a m i l l e sonat, Quod leves calami, quod suavis cantat aedon, Quod l y r a , quod cytharae, quod moribundus olor) Inlectos nautas d u l c i modulamine vocum Mergebant avidae f l u c t i b u s I o n i i s . Anth.Lat.637.1-10 76 47 Aedoniae: the adjective i s found only here and in the work known as the Laus Pisonis (of unknown authorship but generally assigned to the f i r s t century A.D.) a rare word used very e f f e c t i v e l y here i f Heinsius' conjecture from inconsistent manuscript readings be correct. 48 C i r r h a e i s : Cirrha was a very ancient town in Phocis devoted to Apollo. The adjective means "pertaining to Apollo." 49 Olor moriens: the swan was sacred to Apollo according to Plato, Phaedo 84e, and Cicero, Tusc.Disp. 1.30.73,. I t had the reputation of sending f o r t h the most b e a u t i f u l song on i t s deathbed, a t a l e which was disbelieved by P l i n y Hist.Nat.10.63, wrongly, for the whooping swan does i n fact give out a p a r t i c u l a r l y memorable song during i t s l a s t minutes. Swans, Cicero continues, were given the boon of prophecy from Apollo, and thus have a foretaste of the blessing that death brings. The singing of the phoenix i s thus compared favourably to that of the two most famous song-birds; indeed i t seems to be able to outdo Apollo himself! 50 Cylleneae Lyrae: Cyllene was a high mountain on the north-east corner of Arcadia on which Mercury was born (Verg.Aen.8.138-9). The syncretism of Apollo and Helios, which had started as early as the f i f t h century B.C. (Eur.Fragment 781) i s well established by now. The l i t e r a r y references have become so stylized. 1, that i t passes almost without notice that the phoenix seems to be g u i l t y of hubris for having dared to sing better than Apollo. The o r i g i n a l cause for the syncretism of Apollo and Helios i s however more complex, even i f at j u s t glance the only s k i l l that they seem to have i n common i s f a c i l i t y with the bow. 4«&50: The harmony of concepts i s n i c e l y balanced i n these two l i n e s . Notice also the completely spondaic hemiepes i n l i n e 50 which contrasts 77 sharply with the d a c t y l i c second part of the l i n e . The f i l a canora or "melodious s t r i n g s " seem almost to • " . dart off the page, as though v i b r a t i n g . 51 Atque orbem totum p r o t u l i t usque means; either "and i n ever onward course brought forward h i s f u l l round orb" (compare Sil.5.56...iamque, orbe renato d i l u e r a t nebulas Titan: "soon the Sun, with di s c renewed, d i s p e l l e d the vapours") or "and has revealed the whole c i r c l e (of the world) moving a l l the time". The former seems preferable. 52 I l i a ter alarum repetito verbere pla u d i t : there may be echoes here of C h r i s t i a n l i t u r g y , for the number three had w e l l known mystic s i g n i -ficance, i n connection with baptism for example. Three times was the number of times for the immersion of the convert i n the holy waters. In the r e l i g i o n of Mithra,too, the p r i e s t was required to pray three times a day facing towards the Sun, accompanied by music and long chants (F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra [New York 1956] 166-7). The flapping of the wings i s reminiscent of a cock which was f i r s t mentioned i n c l a s s i c a l L i t e r a t u r e by Cratinus, the f i f t h century comic playwright (according to Athenaeus 9.374d), who says that the Persian cock crowed each hour i n a loud voice. Broek, page 284, i n reference to the problem of t e r , notes an i n s c r i p t i o n associated with the double phoenix on the tomb of the v a l e r i i under the Vatican, apparently concerning the song of the phoenix. The i n s c r i p t i o n , published by M. Guarducci, C r i s t o e San Pietro i n un documento preconstantiniano d e l l a Necropoli Vaticana (Rome 1953) 38-40, but not v e r i f i e d elsewhere, purports to address the phoenix with the words "thou., singest t h r i c e i n the early morning". The sarcophagus has been dated by Guarducci (31&70) to c i r c a 300 A.D. Broek 78 f e e l s that there i s a p o s s i b i l i t y of Lactantian influence here, which would enable one to date the poem to some time before 300 A.D. Un-fortunately t h i s argument does not hold because i t i s equally conceivable that Lactantius was himself influenced by the sarcophagus to write the poem at some undetermined l a t e r date or, perhaps more l i k e l y , there was a common source for both or even that both independently a r r i v e d at the same ideas: there i s no evidence to support any one of the above hypotheses. 54 Igniferum caput ter venerata s i l e t : once again F i t z p a t r i c k assumes that there are C h r i s t i a n connotations but the contemporary usage of the word venerata w i l l not bear t h i s out (see note on l i n e 33). Venerata i s a stock word of the panegyricists used f o r anything associated with the emperor worship. 54 Igniferum: nowhere else do we come across a d e s c r i p t i o n of Phoebus' head i n these terms, although h i s chariot i s accorded the same epithet by Ovid Met.2.59. The coinage of the period informs us that Sol Invictus was of ten portrayed with what J . Maurice, Op.Cit. passim, c a l l s a "couronne radiee". In fact on one coin i t i s only the crown that enables us to t e l l Phoebus and Constantine apart, since both are portrayed with the same features (Maurice vol.1, page 100). It i s t h i s same radi a t a corona that the phoenix i s wearing at l i n e 139 i n honour to Phoebus. 55&56 Atque eadem celeres etiam discrimat horas Innarrabilibus nocte dieque sonis: no explanation can be offered for these two mysterious l i n e s . The phoenix resembles a cock which crows twenty four hours of the day. Perhaps the sleeplessness of the phoenix i s ju s t another way of describing the b i r d as "larger than l i f e " . 57 Antistes l u c i nemorumque verenda sacerdos: the importance of the phoenix 79 i s further emphasized and more human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are assigned to i t . In the contemporary language of Porphyrius Optatianus Ep.Porph.4 V e r g i l i s described as antistes Romanae Musae Mantuanus. 58 Et sola arcanis conscia, Phoebe, t u i s : the "secrets" of Apollo may have been the g i f t s of prophecy which, although not shared with Hermes, however are shared with the phoenix. 59 M i l l e annos: Lactantius here follows the less common version of the legend. A thousand years i s the l i f e s p a n of the b i r d only according to M a r t i a l Ep_.5.7.2 and P l i n y H i s t . Nat. 29.1.9 (Pliny Hist.Nat. 10.2.1 also gives 540 years as the bird's lifespan) amongst the writers who antedate Lactantius. The most common fi g u r e i s that of 500 years, the best known examples of which are Herodotus Kist.2.73, Ovid Met.15.402, Tag, Ann. 6.28, Seneca Ep_.42.1, Clement Ep. ad Cor. 1.25 and Pomponius Mela 3.83 and Ael. De Nat.An.6.58 (for a more de t a i l e d discussion of the l i f e s p a n ' o f the phoenix and i t s connection with the Great Year, see Broek pages 65-75). The l a t e r writers Claudian Phoen. 27 and.Ausonius Epi s t . 29 give the same age for the phoenix as Lactantius, namely 1000 years. 60 Gravem: Sta t i u s , Silv.2.4.35-37, mentions the phoenix and the weariness of old age i n the same context i n a poem dedicated to the memory Melior's dead parrot. I t i s not c l e a r however whether the weariness applies to the parrot or the phoenix. I t i s possible that Lactantius knew of the t r a d i t i o n about the phoenix "becoming sluggish i n the a i r and dimmer i n eyesight" f i r s t documented by Dionysius as we have seen i n chapter two. 61 Ut reparet aevum: we f i n a l l y come to f a m i l i a r d e t a i l s about the renewal of the phoenix. Note that Lactantius implies that the b i r d i s renewing i t s e l f and thus i s the same b i r d (to be) born again. Clement 80 had treated the myth d i f f e r e n t l y ; for him another phoenix was born j u s t l i k e i t s "parent". Knowing that i t i s the same b i r d helps us to understand l i n e s 167-8. 63 Loca sancta: F i t z p a t r i c k f e e l s that the myth i s given a subtle turn i n the d i r e c t i o n of the mystical, which becomes stronger towards the end of the poem. Be that as i t may, these places are sancta because they belong to Apollo. 64 Orbem: t h i s r e g u l a r l y means "the world" i n the poetry of the period; compare Porphyrius Optatianus Carm.passim. 65 In Syriam: Lactantius i s the f i r s t w r i t e r to state that the phoenix makes i t s nest i n Syria although i t seems l i k e l y that there was l i t t l e d i s t i n c t i o n made, i n the context of the phoenix, between Assyria, Phoenicia and Syria, homes of the phoenix i n other accounts.Ovid.Met.15.393 had already suggested that the Assyrians named the miraculous b i r d "the Phoenix", an idea that M a r t i a l Ep_. 5.7.1-2 seems to echo. Lactantius c l e a r l y uses " S y r i a " and "Phoenicia" to represent the same geographical area (compare l i n e s 65&66). Indeed the whole story of the bird's long f l i g h t p a r t i c u l a r l y to Syria occurs only i n Lactantius, perhaps under the influence of the obvious homonomy of the Greek words for "phoenix", palm tree and Phoenicia. (The Physiologus does however mention Lebanon i n a somewhat s i m i l a r context). When we come to consider the possible symbolism of the poem, a comparison of the De Ave Phoenice with any version of the Physiologus, where the b i r d i s quite c l e a r l y the symbol for C h r i s t and the r e s u r r e c t i o n , reveals that Lactantius intended no such symbolism. For example, i n l i n e 167, the b i r d i s described as " i t s own h e i r and father", surely a statement that i s close to blasphemy i n conventional C h r i s t i a n doctrine i f Christ were intended 81 by the phoenix. In the C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the phoenix myth we are always t o l d s p e c i f i c a l l y whether symbolism i s intended. Though the symbolism of the Physiologus and the De Ave Phoenice i s quite d i f f e r e n t , i t i s possible that Lactantius knew of the former since the b i r d i s described as f l y i n g from India to H e l i o p o l i s v i a Lebanon where i t c o l l e c t s spices for i t s own funeral pyre. An account remarkably s i m i l a r to our poet's. 66 Phoinices nomen c u i dedit ipsa vetus: though the texts d i f f e r greatly at t h i s point,nevertheless the sense of t h e l i n e seems to be that i t was the phoenix i t s e l f that gave the name to Phoenicia rather than v i c e versa. Lactantius inverts the inferences of the etymologists/poets who imply or state that the phoenix e i t h e r received i t s name from the country or from the palm tree. He states that the phoenix gave i t s name not only to the country but also ( l i n e 69) to the palm tree. This i s a f i t t i n g compliment to be used i n a poem which i s a panegyric to the phoenix. 66 Vetus: a clever choice of word. It can be taken either with nomen, the most l i k e l y suggestion, or with ipsa, to echo longaeva of the previous l i n e . 67 Per avia: f o r the same phrase see Porphyrius Optatianus Carm.10.4. The t e r r e s t i a l home of the phoenix can be seen to be a microcosm of the c e l e s t i a l one. 69 Turn l e g i t aerio sublimen v e r t i c e palmam: compare Ovid's account: Una est, quae reparet, seque ipsa reseminet, ales; A s s y r i i Phoenica vocant: non fruge, nec herbis, Sed t u r i s l a c r i m i s , et succo v i v i t amomi. Haec ubi quinque suae complevit saecula v i t a e , I l i c e t i n ramis, tremulae cacumine palmae, Unguibus, et pando nidum s i b i c onstruit ore. "There i s one l i v i n g thing, a b i r d which reproduces and regenerates i t s e l f , without any outside help. The Assyrians c a l l i t the phoenix. It l i v e s , not on corn or grasses, but on the gum of incense and the sap of balsam. When i t has completed f i v e centuries of l i f e i t straightaway builds a nest for i t s e l f , working with u n s u l l i e d beak 82 and claw, i n the topmost branches of some swaying palm. Met.15.392-396 Pl i n y , Hist.Nat.12.85, t e l l s us about the phoenix nesting i n the palm tree, a t a l e apparently known to Herodotus (according to Pliny) and about the a c q u i s i t i o n of cinnamon and c a s i a . He t e l l s us that they are obtained from bird's nests i n the region where Father Liber was brought up. The nests are knocked down from i n a c c e s s i b l e rocks and trees by the weight of the f l e s h brought there by the b i r d s themselves, or by means of arrows loaded with lead. There is,however, no evidence that Lactantius read either Herodotus, P l i n y or even Solinus, P l i n y ' s p l a g i a r i s t , and so care must be exercised i f we are to assume that these are the sources for Lactantius. P l i n y , l o c . c i t . , does say that the story has been related by a n t i q u i t y , f i r s t of a l l by Herodotus. It seems reasonable to assume that we have l o s t the precise source used by Lactantius. 70 Quae Graium phoenix ex ave nomen habet: Lactanius contradicts P l i n y , Hist.Nat. 13.4.9 where the l a t t e r states that the b i r d i s named from the tree. P l i n y also contradicts himself when he gives the age of the b i r d as 540 years (some of the manuscripts give 560 and even 660 years!); elsewhere he mentions 1000 years i n connection with the phoenix cycle. Many learned t r e a t i s e s have been written on the connections between the phoenix b i r d and the palm tree, some discussing the homonomy of the b i r d and the palm tree (in Coptic and Syriac too). Lactantius shows us that he i s f u l l y aware of t h i s discussion and o f f e r s his rather s t a r t l i n g version of i t , namely that everything with a name relat e d to the word "phoenix" drew i t s name from the remarkable b i r d , 83 rather than v i c e versa. 71-76 Broek, page 183, considers that t h i s passage c l e a r l y betrays the influence of Judaeo-Christian paradise images. We ought not to consider however that such descriptions were reserved for r e l i g i o u s and not secular subjects. Compare, for example, the d e s c r i p t i o n of B r i t a i n which was the " f i r s t to see Constantine" i n the anonymous panegyric (Pan.Lat.7.7)written at the end of July 310 to the emperor. B r i t a i n i s a country "where there i s no excessive harshness i n climate ...nor noxious serpents, there are groves without wild animals". The whole d e s c r i p t i o n i s reminiscent of the nesting ground of the phoenix. Indeed the unknown author goes on to echo Lactantius' conclusions that those places which are situated nearer to the Sun are more sacred and hence more l i k e l y to furnish an emperor! This same passage of the panegyricist seems also to be echoed i n the De Mort. Pers.29.7. 73-76: i d e a l meteorological conditions are necessary for the r e - b i r t h of the phoenix. Absence of wind ensures the absence of cloud which would prevent the sun's rays, which are seen somehow to be necessary for the i g n i t i o n of the b i r d ( l i n e 97), from reaching the dying phoenix. The image of Aeolus shutting up the winds i n a cave i s of course a f a m i l i a r one from both Ovid Met. 1.102 and from Verg.Aen.1.52-57. 74 Purpureum: a d i f f i c u l t word to t r a n s l a t e . F i t z p a t r i c k gives "bright or radiant", Duff "bright-gleaming" and M. F. McDonald, Lactantius the Minor Works (Washington 1965) 216, i n turn gives "bright". I t i s possible that Statius Ach.1.161 thinks that the word i s cognate with the Greek word " f i r e - b e a r i n g " rather than with F r i s k , Griechisches Etymologisches Wdrterbuch (Heidelberg 1973) v o l . 2 f o r he used purpureum to describe a flame. Von Hjalmar 84 page 582,does not support t h i s etymology. Ovid, Met. 3.184, may support i t however when he uses purpureum to describe the dawn, whose usual epithet i s of course rosy. Lactantius i s perhaps ingeniously incorporating that part of the phoenix legend that properly belongs to the Jewish b i r d , with the more f a m i l i a r version known through Herodotus. Wehave seen i n the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch how close was the r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h i s phoenix to the actual rays of the sun, and t h i s story may be f a i n t l y echoed. 77-79: There are almost as many versions of the phoenix's preparations for death as there are for i t s renewal. In some of the e a r l i e r versions, as i n Lactantius ( l i n e 60), the b i r d i s forewarned of i t s impending death by a sign such as i t s increasing sluggishnessjin others, such as Aelian, the b i r d knows by some miracle of nature. The d e t a i l s of the death have fascinated scholars*, Hubert and Leroy, pages 68-97, argue that there i s a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the phoenix and cinnamon because i t i s the phoenix that brings cinnamon to the world of.men. This r o l e i s , however, assigned to another mysterious b i r d c a l l e d the cinnamolgus (Broek c i t e s Solinus 33.15 for evidence of t h i s ) . The d e t a i l s of Lactantius' i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the funeral can be understood well i n terms already suggested. Namely, the poem i s a panegyric and the phoenix i s given every good human a t t r i b u t e but none of the bad ones. The phoenix prepares f o r i t s death i n exactly the same way as a pious son ought to take care of h i s deceased parent. The irony i s that the b i r d i s , i n e f f e c t , doing a l l these things for i t s e l f . 77 Seu nidum sive sepulchrum: The ancients were p a r t i c u l a r l y fascinated 85 by the fac t that the b i r d b u i l t both a nest and a tomb. Here Lactantius gives us the f u l l e s t version of the preparations for death. Clement of more often means pen or enclosure, often with r e l i g i o u s connotations. Statius uses the word a l t a r i a f o r the same idea, while P l i n y uses the word nidum alone. 78 Nam p e r i t , ut v i v a t , se tamen ipsa creat: neither Broek nor F i t z p a t r i c k comment on t h i s l i n e . The powerful hemiepes nam p e r i t , ut v i v a t seems to those tr a n s l a t o r s who prefer a C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the poem to be an echo of Clement of Rome, who inte r p r e t s the death of the phoenix as something that shows to man the magnitude of the promise i n store for him i f God accomplishes such things (for a b i r d ) . Lactantius, though, quickly adds se tamen ipsa creat; the concessive force of tamen i s completely missed by F i t z p a t r i c k who translates this clause as "yet by her own e f f o r t s she begets h e r s e l f " . The force of tamen i s "however" or even "but" which thus keeps the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the phoenix on the secular l e v e l , or at lea s t not wholly on the c e l e s t i a l one. This l i n e i s echoed i n a curious poem i n the Anthologia Latina 389.34, c a l l e d the In Laudem S o l i s where the phoenix i s the subject of the l i n e nascitur ut pereat, p e r i t ut nascatur ab i g n i . Unfortunately the poem has not yet been dated conclusively, though according to F. Vollmer RE vol.5.2 page 1640 i t i s post-Dracontian, that i s to say, l a t e r than the end of the f i f t h century. The subject matter of the poem, a panegyric to the Sun, f i t s i n more n a t u r a l l y to our period when such imagery, widespread because of the syncretism of the age, was frequently met i n both a r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l context. Rome which i s usually translated as "nest" but . 86 We may also detect the influence of Ovid, Met.15.397, where the phoenix i s una est, quae reparet, segue ipsa reseminet, ales. 79-82: Lactantius shows himself as the great synthesizer of the myth. Writers before him had connected the phoenix with many parts of the world. A c h i l l e s Tatius 3.25.3 mentions Ethiopia as the home of the phoenix; i n the second century Lucian De Morte Pere.27 and Navigium 44 connects the b i r d with India, as do the s l i g h t l y l a t e r versions of Philostratus V i t a Apoll.3.49, Idem.Epist.8, Greek Physiologus 7, Dionysius De Aucup.1.32, A r i s t i d e s Aelius 180.3 (Dindorf :), Heliodorus 6.3.3 (Ethiopia too). The connections with Assyria and Phoenicia have already been mentioned ( l i n e 65) and there remains only the well-known story about the bird's o r i g i n s i n Arabia, f i r s t reported by Herodotus 2.73, a l o c a t i o n followed l a t e r by P l i n y Hist.Nat.10. 3.1, Clement 25, Ep.ad Cor. Tacitus Ann.6.28, Tert. De Res. 13, Origen COntra Celsum 4.98, Solinus C o l l . Rer. Mem. 33.11. Lactantius hints at a l l these places without committing himself to any of them as a home for the phoenix, which nests but does not l i v e i n Phoenicia ( l i n e s 65-66). This combines to give a very exotic image of the b i r d . A l l the aforementioned places were, of course, famous f o r th>eir spices i n the ancient world. Lactantius i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y s i l e n t on d e t a i l s of the exact l o c a t i o n of the area over which the phoenix searches out the sucos et  odores. He implies, but does not say e x p l i c i t l y , that i t v i s i t s A s s y r i a , Arabia, India and the land of the Pygmies. 83-88: Lactantius gives us a more comprehensive l i s t of spices from which the b i r d makes i t s pyre, than any other ancient source. Cinnamon i s almost always mentioned i n connection with the phoenix. The whole scene i s very 87 reminiscent of a Roman funeral. Compare Stat.Silv.5.1.210-214 where the poet describes the funeral pyre of P r i s c i l l a the wife of Abascantus, one of Domitian's s e c r e t a r i e s : -...omne i l l i c stipatum examine longo ver Arabum Cilicumque f l u i t foresque Sabaei Indorumque arsura seges praereptaque templis tura P a l e s t i n i s , simul Hebraique liquores Coryciaeque comae Cinyreaque germina. "...there heaped together i n long array i s a l l the l i q u i d wealth of Arabian and C i l i c i a n springs, Sabaean blooms and Indian produce destined for the flames, and incense, s p o i l of Pa l e s t i n i a n shrines, Hebrew essences wit h a l and Corycean petals and Cinyrean buds." 86 Turis Lacrimae: compare Ovid Met. 15.399, t u r i s l a c r i m i s , where the nest of the phoenix i s also described. 88 Et sociat myrrae vim, panacea, tuam: the text i s garbled at t h i s point, but a l l editors follow the emendations of Riese, except for Duff, Minor L a t i n Poets (Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y ) , who does not seem to have used Brandt's text, but suggest tuae for tuam without explanation. The better manuscripts give tue, t u r i s and ture and suggest the idea of incense, which i s mentioned two l i n e s e a r l i e r . Duff also suggest Panachaea for panacea since t h i s i s l a n d was famous for i t s spices. The usual form for t h i s adjective i s Panchaius and, consequently, Duff's emendation has no precedent although i t i s closer to the readings of the manuscripts panachee-ea. Riese's readings are retained here. 90 V i t a l i q u e toro: according to Petronius Satyr. 42 the lectus v i t a l i s was the bed that one was l a i d out upon while s t i l l a l i v e and remained upon af t e r death. 91 Ore: Lactantius i s probably here echoing Ovid (Me 1.15.396) who described 88 the phoenix b u i l d i n g i t s next, et pando nidum s i b i c onstruit ore, ( i t makes for i t s e l f a nest with curved ' beak). The idea of the b i r d making a nest, though not mentioned by Herodotus i n the works a t t r i b u t e d to him, may have been known to him because P l i n y says that the t a l e was well known i n an t i q u i t y . 92 Suis: Riese f e e l s that there i s a hiatus i n the text here. The argu-ment i s put forward that, because Gregory of Tours, De Cursu Stellarum 12, gives a d i f f e r e n t order of events from Lactantius and embellishes the t a l e a l i t t l e , even though the former claims to be f a m i l i a r with a work by Lactantius on the phoenix b i r d , for t h i s reason d e t a i l s must be supplied to make the De Ave Phoenice accord with Gregory's version. This argument has been dismissed recently by Broek, page 185, on the ground that Gregory was simply working from a f a u l t y memory. 93 Animam commendat: F i t z p a t r i c k contents that t h i s l i n e o f f e r s testimony for the c h r i s t i a n authorship of the poem. Granted that the phrase can have r e l i g i o u s connotations, neverthless the expression can also be interpreted i n accordance with good c l a s s i c a l usage. Commendo c e r t a i n l y does have the sense of "put i n t r u s t " i n i t s early usage and i t makes good sense to be. able to use the verb to mean "entrust to", because the phoenix i s confident that i t s anima, i t s l i f e , i s redeemable, as we are t o l d i n the following l i n e . 95-98: Lactantius c l e v e r l y avoids the controversy about whether the phoenix i s set on f i r e by the rays of the Sun or sets i t s e l f on f i r e ; i t must however be granted that the use of procul i n l i n e 97 i s suggestive of the former. 94 Depositi t a n t i f i d e m : i n - c l a s s i c a l usage for such as i n Cic. Off. 1.10.31, the phrase i s a l e g a l term that which i s put i n another's charge for safe-keeping u n t i l demanded back. Here of course i t r e f e r s to the l i f e or, more p r e c i s e l y , the anima of the phoenix. 89 95 G e n i t a l i morte: the sense of g e n i t a l i s here i s very t y p i c a l of Lucretius (compare De Rer.Nat. 2.62 and 5.851), an author with whom Lactantius was p a r t i c u l a r l y f a m i l i a r ; t r a n s l a t e as "generative". In a rather d i f f e r e n t version of the myth, found i n A c h i l l e s Tatius, Leuc. et C l i t . 3.25.7, the b i r d , doubting that the p r i e s t of H e l i o p o l i s w i l l recognize i t , displays i t s g e n i t a l s . A c h i l l e s Tatius, whose f l o r u i t i s now known from papyri to be i n the second century, may have been misled by some f a l s e etymology with reference to the death of the phoenix, or, more l i k e l y , he was dealing with a separate t r a d i t i o n concerning the phoenix, a t r a d i t i o n that was outside the mainstream of the c l a s s i c a l one. 95-97: Lactantius gives us a unique version of the myth, namely that the b i r d dies of natural causes and catches f i r e from the decomposition of i t s body, perhaps a s s i s t e d by a ray of sun aetherio de lumine. In at least one version, the Syriac D i d a s c a l i a 40.29-30, the phoenix takes f i r e spontaneously, burns, and becomes ash a f t e r having prayed. This work could have been used by Lactantius though i t i s uncertain whether he knew i t . It may be that Lactantius was forced to make two paradises to incorporate as many versions of the myth as possible. The only other writer antecedent to Lactantius who mentions both the death of the phoenix and a subsequent f i r e , i n that order, i s the l a t e second-century Artemidorus, who, Broek f e e l s , intended the two events to coincide. But we have no evidence that Lactantius ever read Artemidorus whose Stoic works on Causality and Dreams were not, one imagines, l i k e l y reading material f or ei t h e r a C h r i s t i a n apologist or a r h e t o r i c i a n . 98 F l a g r a t . . . s o l v i t u r : even i n death the phoenix's body i s s t i l l the subject of these verbs; ambusturn i s best taken as an adjective agreeing with 90 corpus. It i s not u n t i l l i n e 101 that a new subject, animal, i s evident. Even i n death the b i r d has presence. The text of l i n e 99 i s quite corrupt. Duff emends d i f f e r e n t l y from Riese, p r e f e r r i n g , with Baehrens,...cineres  umore to generans i n morte. F i t z p a t r i c k ' s text at t h i s point...quos velut  i n massam, generans i n morte, coactos...is completely untenable: she has no antecedent for quos since she has emended cineres to cinerem i n the preceding l i n e . Duff sidesteps the problem; he p u l l s out corpus from l i n e 95 and, having made i t the subject of f l a g r a t and s o l v i t u r , changes the subject back to "she" again, even though there i s no word i n the text that indicates any change of subject i n l i n e s 99 and 100. On balance Riese's reading requires least compromise and i s retained i n my text f or that reason. 100 Seminis: In the best known t a l e of the phoenix (Herodotus 2.73), the b i r d i s described as carrying the remains of i t s father i n an "egg" of myrrh to the temple of the Sun i n Egypt. I t i s possible that Lactantius borrowed t h i s idea from the t r a d i t i o n that emanated from Herodotus through Celsus, A c h i l l e s Tatius and Pomponius Mela, and reworked i t for h i s own purposes. 101-102. The concept of a worm being generated from the ashes of the phoenix back as f a r as Manilius, recorded by P l i n y Hist.Nat. 10.2.3 "from i t s bones and marrow i s born f i r s t a sort of maggot, and t h i s grows onto a chicken". Clement of Rome says that when the f l e s h has become put r i d a c e r t a i n worm appears. The Syriac D i d a s c a l i a simply says that a worm i s generated from the ashes and becomes. According to M. F. McDonald, Phoenix  Redivivus Phoenix 14(1960) 22 and passim, the Midrash Rabban says that the phoenix l i v e s for a thousand years, at the end of which i t s body i s consumed and i t s wings drop, o f f ; as mucK-fas egg i s l e f t , and i t then grows new 91 limbs. (See chapter 2 for the versions of the worm in the Greek Physiologus, Artemidorus and the Apocolypse of Pseudb-Baruch.) 102 Vermi: as has just been pointed out, Manilius is the earliest source for this idea. There is however another possible explanation for the worm. Aelian, De Nat.Anim.14.13, when describing the banquets of the Indxan kings, notes that the favourite dishes of one of the kings i s worm of the date palms". It needs l i t t l e imagination to see how the idea of a worm.of the phoenix might have been generated by some one with an imperfect knowledge of the Greek of this passage. 104 Segue ovi teretis c o l l i g i t in speciem: compare Lact. De Op. Dei for a very similar idea of generation, in principio ciim Deus fingeret  animalia, noluit ea in rotundam fbrmae speciem conglobare atque colligere. For Lactantius, the sphere was the perfect shape (op.cit.8.4.2). 105-106: Lactantius is quite clearly echoing Ovid nere:-Quaeque solent canis frondes intexere f i l l s , Agrestes tineae, res observata colonis, Ferali mutant cum papilione figuram. The farmers know f u l l well that the «,orms wnich spin a cocoon of white threads on the leaves, in country places, change into butterflies, the symbol of death. Met.15.372-374 The whole passage from which tne above has been excerpted concerns the reproduction of birds and insects, and the phoenix is mentioned only twenty lines tafter the above citation. In Greek, i t should be noted the word for butterfly i s (j^U^{^J the same word as for "soul", a homonymity that cannot oe ignored in tne light of Christian understanding of the phoenix as voiced by, say, Clement of nome. In this case however 92 i t xs Ovid rather than Lactantius who may be suggesting the double meaning of " b u t t e r f l y " . 107 Inde reformatur Qualis f u i t ante f i g u r a : Riese, following Leyser, rearranges the l i n e s 107, 108, 105, 106, which i s also followed by F i t z p a t r i c k . Riese's text i s retained here too. 109 Non i l l i cibus est nostro concessus i n orbe: This l i n e has been interpreted by Broek, pages 349-356 as showing that Lactantius assumes the Jewish and C h r i s t i a n conception! • of dew as a d i v i n e boon, since the idea of the food of the gods coming down l i k e dew (in the r e a l world) i s quite unknown i n the c l a s s i c a l world. Cibus should be translated as " s o l i d food" since two l i n e s l a t e r we f i n d the phoenix feeding on ambrosial dew. L a t i n , l i k e English, says "food and drink" when s t r i c t l y speaking one should say " s o l i d s and l i q u i d s " ; compare Tac. Ann.13.16, cibus potusque. Again we must not assume that, even i f C h r i s t i a n imagery i s used, there-fore the poem should be interpreted i n a wholly C h r i s t i a n sense. A man of Lactantius' e r u d i t i o n i n both r e l i g i o u s and secular l i t e r a t u r e would be l i k e l y draw on both, subconsciously i f not consciously. Although Broek's argument that we are dealing here with Jewish and C h r i s t i a n sources i s persuasive, nevertheless i t should be remembered that Apollo himself was fed with nectar and ambrosia by Themis (Hymn to Apollo 324). i n addition, the phoenix, the companion and sole confident of Apollo, nests i n a palm tree, the same tree that Leto was c l i n g i n g to when she gave b i r t h to Apollo on Delos, according to the Hymn to Apollo 116. 111-113: The unfledged phoenix i s here described feeding on dew which f a l l s from the skies/heaven. In the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch, a Jewish book of the second century, the phoenix i s described feeding on "the manna 93 of heaven and the dew of the earth". But there are other ideas about the food of the phoenix antecedent even to t h i s work, for though Manilius thought f i t to say that no man has yet seen the phoenix eat (Pliny Hist.Nat.10.4) nevertheless Ovid described the b i r d as l i v i n g on aromatics, "not from f r u i t s or herbs does i t l i v e , but from drops of frankincense and j u i c e of amomum" (Met.15.393-394). Lactantius' version seems closest to that of Baruch though i n almost a l l other respects the t a l e s are very d i f f e r e n t . Perhaps the two were thinking of a common but now l o s t source. In addition, as was pointed out i n chapter 2, desert b i r d s were known to feed on the dew from plants, so the source for t h i s may be no further than Lactantius' observation of b i r d s . 116 Evolat, ad patrias iam r e d i t u r a domos: Lactantius now returns to the f a m i l i a r version of the story. Even Artemidorus, On.4.47, and Aelian, De Nat.Anim.6.58, who make no mention of the genesis of the new phoenix, concur on the f l i g h t to Egypt. I t i s probable that j u s t as Lactantius depends on Herodotus for the f l i g h t to Egypt, even though the l a t t e r makes no mention of the death of the old b i r d , so do Ovid, Celsus, A c h i l l e s Tatius, Pomponius Mela, Clement of Rome, The Did a s c a l i a , possibly the Greek Physiologus, Tacitus and P h i l o s t r a t u s , to mention only the better documented reports of the phoenix. P l i n y , reporting M a n i l i u s , states that the b i r d c a r r i e s the remains of i t s predecessor to the temple of the Sun near Panchaia. Solinus, the p l a g i a r i s t of P l i n y , follows a s i m i l a r account. Panchaia i s east of Arabia and thus the b i r d i s seen i n these versions to be f l y i n g i n the very opposite d i r e c t i o n to H e l i o p o l i s , or at lea s t the Egyptian H e l i o p o l i s . This information w i l l help us to understand 94 l i n e 121, where Lactantius states that the b i r d f l i e s o f f to the r i s i n g sun (ad ortus s o l i s ) and s i t s down on the a l t a r to place i t s sacred burden there. Lactantius may have been t r y i n g to combine the two versions, but did not consider the l o g i c a l inconsistencies of having the b i r d f l y east to Egypt, for he t e l l s us at l i n e 151 that the b i r d does a r r i v e there. A l l the manuscripts concur on the reading of ortus, though Duff and McDonald emend ortus to urbem on analogy with the above-mentioned authors, who either name H e l i o p o l i s e x p l i c i t l y or strongly suggest i t . The t r a d i t i o n of the phoenix and Panchaia demands further consideration. This mythological i s l a n d i s f i r s t mentioned by the Greek mythographical h i s t o r i a n Euhemerus of Messene, according to Diodorus Siculus 6.1 (Diodorus i s probably c i t i n g him i n t h i s passage). Euhemerus was known to Lactantius (Div.Inst.1.2.33), and to Ennius, who wrote a poem which C i c -ero states was a t r a n s l a t i o n of the Sacra H i s t o r i a . Ennius himself was much quoted by Lactantius (some seventeen times). Lactantius thus had three possible avenues of approach to the work of Euhemerus, through Ennius, Diodorus Siculus (with whom Lactantius i s f a m i l i a r [Div.Inst. passim]) and f i n a l l y through Euhemerus' Sacra H i s t o r i a , a work no longer extant, from which Lactantius seems to quote (Div.Inst.1.53.8). i f Euhemerus was Manilius' source for the existence of Panchaia, could he not also have been his source for the t a l e about the phoenix bird? Nowhere can t h i s be proved conclusively, but nevertheless Euhemerus' credentials for being an out-and-out l i a r were far better established than Manilius'. The former may well have been the f i r s t to connect the phoenix with Panchaia and i t may be Euhemerus' version that Lactantius 95 i s attempting to r e c o n c i l e with ad ortus. Elsewhere i n the De Ave Phoenice tkere seem to be echoes of the Euhemerus/Diodorus account. The much discussed l i n e 25 where the spring i s describe^' as a fons vivus may w e l l have some connection with the "spring of the Sun" (Diodorus 17.50.4) or the "water of the sun" (op.cit.5.43.2), located i n the i d y l l i c groves of the i s l a n d of Panchaia. To redress the balance, i t can be argued that Lactantius would hardly be l i k e l y to make a mistake of such magnitude, since he was a man who had a reputation for a scholarly a t t i t u d e to the l o c a t i o n of places (a c e r t a i n Damasus complains i n a l e t t e r to Jerome Epist.35.1 that Lactantius' lengthy discourses on metre, the l o c a t i o n of places and philosophy were more suited to scholars than to himself!). I t may simply have been an oversight. 117-122: Most of the versions that include the f l i g h t to H e l i o p o l i s or the C i t y of the Sun also make mention of the story i n Herodotus of the phoenix enclosing i t s father" i n myrrh or some type of exotic spice. It i s so i n Artemidorus, P l i n y , Aelian, Pomponius Mela, Clement of Rome, A c h i l l e s Tatius, Ovid, Celsus and Tacitus. Some such as the Didascalia. and the Greek Physiologus .merely mention the spices which the b i r d brings with i t . Heliodorus and P h i l o s t r a t u s simply mention the f l i g h t to Egypt with no d e s c r i p t i o n of any burden. In no other story are we treated to as r i c h a s e l e c t i o n of spices as we f i n d i n Lactantius. 120 Conglobat: a favourite word of Lactantius. He uses i t on no fewer than eleven occasions. Compare p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s use i n the De Op. Dei 10 96 where animals are described as gathering t h e i r food together into a b a l l with t h e i r tongues...(lingua) cibos....conglobatos v i sua deprimit. More often he uses the word i n connection with some process of atomic creation, when attacking e i t h e r Lucretius or Epicurus. The rare noun conglobatio also occurs twice i n the other works of Lactantius. 120 Ore pio: once again the epithet i s transferred to the object described. It i s , of course, the b i r d , not the beak, that i s pious, because i t takes care of the remains of i t s father i n proper fashion. 122: Lactantius, the mythological s y n c r e t i c , reaches the point i n the myth that concerned i t s e l f s o l e l y with the decomposition of the b i r d , where the remains of the older b i r d are to be burned on the a l t a r at H e l i o p o l i s . He senses, however, the clumsiness of having the burning take place a second time, and simply states that the remains are dumped on the a l t a r . 123-124: Mirandam sese praestat praebetque verendam: tantus a v i decor est, tantus abundat honor: This i s the sort of language i n which the rh e t o r i c i a n s excelled; i t was often applied to emperors " f o r the panegyric remained the only r e a l exercise of the rh e t o r i c i a n ' s a r t " , F. J. E. Raby, C h r i s t i a n - L a t i n Poetry (Oxford 1927) 5. Broek, page 193, a f t e r having r e f l e c t e d on the d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix i n A c h i l l e s Tatius! • " (a chorus of birds follows him, as a bodyguard attends a king) suggests that there are s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l s to be found i n the panegyrics on the assumption of power by a new r u l e r . We ought not to discard the p o s s i b i l i t y that a s i m i l a r use i s being made of the same imagery i n the De Ave Phoenice. The t r a d i t i o n that the a r r i v a l of the phoenix portended-• some great event was not new, but can be traced back as f a r as Ezechial the 97 Dramatist 265-269, who stated that the phoenix (he does not a c t u a l l y name the phoenix but a l l agree that the phoenix i s meant) was the king of the birds because they a l l followed i t with r e v e r e n t i a l awe. The "phoenix" was encountered, according to Ezec h i a l , during the exodus from Egypt, a very portentous event f o r the Jews. Likewise i n A c h i l l e s Tatius, although the phoenix furnishes i t s e l f f o r inspection to the p r i e s t of H e l i o p o l i s , the b i r d knows that i t w i l l be doubted and shows even i t s private parts to prove, one supposes, that i t has no generative organs. This i s no i n s u l t to the phoenix though; on the contrary, the p r i e s t has a book for i d e n t i f y i n g the phoenix and he produces the book on t h i s occasion l e s t a mistake be made at the portentous event. xhis i s one of the few d e t a i l s of the legend that Lactantius does not incorporate. His b i r d i s completely confident of being recognised immediately; i t s decor "beauty" and honor "esteem" are so great. We have no evidence that Lactantius was f a m i l i a r with t h i s other feature of the legend anyway. 125-149: The next twenty-five l i n e s are devoted to a physical d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix; the language i s very r i c h and sumptuous and would w e l l b e f i t a king or an emperor. However to l i n e 129 the text i s extremely corrupt. 126 Punica grana: t h i s f r u i t surely must have been chosen i n t e n t i o n a l l y for the metaphor. The adjective punicus or puniceus or even phoenicus, used p a r t i c u l a r l y to describe a colour, has s i m i l a r i t i e s with that other mysterious colour purpureum, which i n turn has connections with the Phoenicians. Lactantius may be hi n t i n g that the pomegranate also gets i t s name from the phoenix because i t s colour resembles that of the fabled b i r d . Elsewhere, he, Div.Inst.4.18.7, uses the same adjective punicus 98 to describe the colour of the cloak that was thrown around Chr i s t when he was mockingly dressed up as the "king of the Jews". 128 F l o r a : elsewhere Lactantius, Div.Inst.1.73.6, subscribes to the theory that F l o r a was o r i g i n a l l y a p r o s t i t u t e who had obtained so much wealth that, upon her death, the senate, embarrassed at her shady past, l e g i t i m i z e d her bequest to the people of Rome for public games by pretending that she was the Goddess who presided over flowers, and named her birthday the f e s t i v a l of the F l o r a l i a . 128-130 Rubente...fulget...nitent...pingere...micat: these v i v i d colour/ l i g h t words, frequently used by both Ovid and V e r g i l , combine to create a dazzling p i c t u r e . 133 I r i s : Lactantius may have had i n mind the passage:-. . . I r i s croceis per caelum roscida pinnis m i l l e trahens varios adverso sole colores, devolat . . . I r i s , the bringer of moisture, flew o f f on her saffron wings drawing her thousand varied colours against the sun- through the heavens. Aen.4.700-701 139-140 Aptata est noto c a p i t i radiata corona, Phoebei referens v e r t i c i s a l t a decus: mention has already been made ( l i n e 58) about the frequent use on the coins of the period of both a nimbus and a r a d i a t i n g crown to emphasize the imperial power of the empaxor, and, before 325, to stress h i s close connections with Sol Invictus. Here we see the phoenix performing a somewhat s i m i l a r function. Before, however, any comparisons are made between the c u l t of emperor and the treatment of the phoenix i n the poem, the h i s t o r y of the "crowning" of animals should be taken into consideration. 99 In the Hieroglyphica 1.10, a work on Egyptian r e l i g i o n written by Horapollo, who i s often dated as l a t e as the f i f t h century A.D. but may be e a r l i e r , the phoenix l i v e s i n Ethiopia and f l i e s to Egypt only to have i t s father buried by the p r i e s t s at H e l i o p o l i s . It does not, however, wear a crown; but the dung beetle jLs_ described as "rayed"; i t also has s p e c i a l connections with H e l i o p o l i s where there i s a statue of the Sun God. The scarab beetle lays i t s eggs i n a b a l l of dung which i t drags along behind i t s e l f and, i n a n t i q u i t y , was much revered by the ancient Egyptians, features that remind us somewhat of the account of the phoenix as recorded by Herodotus. Other animals, too, were also c l o s e l y connected with the sun or were considered as symbols of the Sun. (Compare the magical papyrus Pap.Graec.Mag.2.105114 where the phoenix, the c r o c o d i l e and the winged serpent are c l e a r l y r e l a t e d to each other, although none i s described as crowned). The f i r s t l i t e r a r y reference i n the c l a s s i c a l corpus to the phoenix having a crown or some decoration on i t s head i s i n A c h i l l e s Tatius 3.25.3; the precise meaning of the text has been disputed but some sort of decoration seems to be i n f e r r e d . A depiction of a b i r d which bears a s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y to the above d e s c r i p t i o n i s found on a l i t u r g i c a l garment of the f i r s t or second century A.D. from Saqqara, now housed i n the Egyptian museum i n Cairo (J.E.No.59117) according to Broek, plate 3. The benu was often represented with a simple d i s c above i t s head (compare the Book of the  Dead 83) but without "spokes", which seem to be implied i n A c h i l l e s Tatius' d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix. On coins from the second century onward the phoenix i s often portrayed, usually with a seven-rayed nimbus, and sometimes accompanied Aeternitas or 100 F e l . Temp.Reparatio. Representation of the phoenix i s found on the aureus of Hadrian A.D.112-122, on Alexandrian coins of Antoninus Pius A.D. 138-143 as well as on h i s d e n a r i i , s e s t e r t i i and bronze medallions between 141 and 160. Marcus Aurelius, Trebonius Gallus, Aemelianus and of course Constantine the Great use i t too. From the above i t can be said with some ce r t a i n t y that the decoration of the head of the phoenix with some sort of sun di s c develops from the iconography i n h e r i t e d from the Egyptian benu i n the f i r s t century of the empire. The o r i g i n of the nimbus i s , however, les s easy to e s t a b l i s h . In the poetry of P u b l i l i u s Optatianus Porphyrius, who f l a t t e r e d Constantine me r c i l e s s l y u n t i l he won h i s r e c a l l from e x i l e i n 326(?), we f i n d Crispus likened to the sun, lumine muriceo venerandus dux e r i t ut Sol (."he w i l l be a leader to be venerated with h i s spoked l i g h t " ) . S i m i l a r l y the nimbus i s the mark by which the phoenix i s notus, "recognized", i n s t a n t l y . Lactantius i s the f i r s t to describe the ra d i a t a corona i n p r e c i s e l y those terms, although a careless reading of the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch would leave one with the impression that i t was the phoenix that was wearing the crown rather than the Sun. P l i n y describes the head of the phoenix as plumeo apice honestante "with a feathered crest adorning [ i t ] " , a d e s c r i p t i o n which was p l a g i a r i z e d by Solinus, 33.12, to capite honorat-p. SolinusVversion of - . f - - P l i n y i s s u f f i c i e n t l y ambiguous to convince F i t z -p a t r i c k that the crown i s meant, but there i s no doubt that only the tufted feathers are intended, for i n every other way Solinus copies P l i n y ' s words. I t might be argued that Lactantius only intended the words rad i a t a corona to be taken i n the sense of the "crown of feathers", which was 101 known to be associated with the phoenix, but the n o n - l i t e r a r y evidence i s overwhelmingly i n favour of the phoenix, at t h i s date, having i t s own crown. It should also be born i n mind that t h i s crown was not portrayed as gold i n colour u n t i l the f i f t h century. On a l l the frescoes and mosaics of the t h i r d and fourth century, both c l a s s i c a l and Ch r i s t i a n , the nimbus i s given a greyish-blue or greenish-blue colour [see A. Krucke, Der Nimbus und verwante A t t r i b u t e i n der f r u h c h r i s t l i c h e n Kunst (Strassburg 1905) 119-122J. 141 Squamae: no other version of the phoenix myth describes the b i r d i n such terms, indeed t h i s epithet i s applied nowhere else i n c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e to a b i r d , except i n a passage i n Plautus Men.917, considered by a l l the commentators to be an example of something b l a t a n t l y absurd. The doctor i s saying to the father of Menaechmus that h i s son i s beginning to show the f i r s t signs of i n s a n i t y . Menaechmus r e t o r t s indignantly, Quin tu me interrogas, purpureum panem an puniceum soleam ego esse an  luteum? Soleamne esse avis aquamosas p i s c i s pennatos? "Why don't you enquire whether the bread I generally eat i s blood red, rose-red or saffron yellow? Whether I generally eat b i r d s with scales, f i s h with feathers?") We cannot be sure that LactaritLus a c t u a l l y read these l i n e s , though elsewhere he shows that he i s f a m i l i a r enough with the Curculio, Miles  Gloriosus and Trinummus to quote from them. Nonetheless t h i s unique epithet reinforces the strangeness and awe-inspiring appearance of the phoenix. Later t r a d i t i o n s associated the phoenix d i r e c t l y with e i t h e r a serpent or a c r o c o d i l e , both of which are described as "sc a l y " i n ancient l i t e r a t u r e , but there seems to no connection of that nature intended here. 102 142 Ast ungues roseo t i n g u i t honore color : Ezechial the Dramatist, Exodus 259, describes the phoenix as S£ ^AlXTo^oS having red l e g s . " 143-144: The ancients were often at a loss when a metaphor had to be found to describe the phoenix. Noone before Lactantius had used t h i s comparison with both the peacock and the pheasant, a j u s t i f i a b l e comparison since the peacock had been recognized as a sun b i r d i n the Middle and Far East since ancient times. M a r t i a l Epigr.5.37 mentions the peacock and the phoenix i n the same sentence, though i n t h i s case i t i s clear that the dominant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the peacock i s i t s beauty and i t s colours, that of the phoenix i t s r a r i t y . E z e c h i a l compares i t s head to that of a cock. Hubert and Leroy, pages 300-337, point out many s i m i l a r i t i e s i n appearance between the phoenix and two other birds known to the c l a s s i c a l world, namely the catreus and the orion. 145-146: The aves Araburn i s the o s t r i c h , which was common i n the deserts of Nortn A f r i c a and Arabia. There i s doubt about i t s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n as an avis or a f e r a , a b i r d or a beast, since i t does not f l y . The use of the word magnitiem has no p a r a l l e l i n L a t i n l i t e r a t u r e ; t h e mss. are however unanimous i n giving the same reading. Lactantius' phoenix i s larger than a l l others i n ancient l i t e r a t u r e except f o r that of Pseudo-Baruch which i s as large as nine mountains! Herodotus, P l i n y and Solinus a l l say that the phoenix i s as large as an eagle, Ezechial that i t i s twice that s i z e . A c h i l l e s Tatius claims that i t i s only the s i z e of a peacock. Lactantius' account, although much more d e t a i l e d , resembles i n several respects that of Ez e c h i a l , who i s the only other poet to mention 103 the s i z e of the b i r d as well as i t s gait and i t s pink legs or claws. Both Lactantius and Ezechial describe the wings of the phoenix as m u l t i -coloured and emphasize the redness of the eyes, though the l a s t characte-r i s t i c i s one frequently observed by the ancients i n the case of b i r d s . Lactantius may have known the Exodus of E z e c h i a l ; Eusebius, Lactantius*near contemporary, c e r t a i n l y d id, because i t i s only tnrough Eusebius that the fragments have been preserved. 147-149: The phoenix, though massive, i s nevertheless l i g h t - f o o t e d and swift, unlike other bulky heavy b i r d s . Compare Eze c h i a l 268-269 who describes the phoenix leading other birds "proud as a b u l l with rapid l i g h t step". Elsewhere, De Op. Dei 5.8, Lactantius shows that he was interested by the speed of animals i n respect to t h e i r weight, quae tamen  non f e c i t s o l i d a , ne i n gradiendo p i g r i t i a et gravitas retardaret (and these [parts] he did not make s o l i d l e s t i n walking sluggishness and weight should re t a r d ) . 149 Regali decore: the idea of the phoenix as ro y a l t y i s quite openly stated, and the b i r d i s given a l l the trappings of power such as a t r a i n of followers, both human and winged, acclamations of sycophants, even o f f i c i a l p o r t r a i t s ! 151 Aegyptus: Lactantius does not mention H e l i o p o l i s by name. It was i n ruins even by Strabo's time and was plundered f o r i t s obelisks by Constantine, who had the largest one moved to Alexandria. The massive 100 foot high column of Red Porphyry that he had set up at Constantinople i s also said to have come from here. Lactantius could not have a huge applauding crowd i n a deserted c i t y , so he c a r e f u l l y omits any s p e c i f i c mention of H e l i o p o l i s . 104 152 Et raram volucrem turba salutat ovans: only Lactantius mentions the astonishment of both the general public and the chorus of b i r d s . Tacitus concedes that the d e t a i l s are disputed and embellished by myths, but nevertheless i t i s unquestioned that the b i r d sometimes appears i n Egypt. P l i n y takes a more c y n i c a l stance; he voices suspicions on the existence of the b i r d because, unum i n toto orbe nec visum magno opere, (most of a l l , not one has ever been seen i n the whole world). Herodotus, too, although he has never seen the phoenix, nevertheless reports that he has seen pictures of i t and claims that the people of H e l i o p o l i s report i t s v i s i t s . Herodotus makes no comment on whether he believes that there i s such a b i r d , only that he does not believe the t a l e of the f l i g h t with the b a l l of myrrh from Arabia. Clement too, t e l l s us that the bi r d ' s incoming f l i g h t , performed i n daylight, i s "observed by a l l " . 159 Sed postquam p u r i pervenit ad aetheria auras: Lactantius adds another new element to the story when he suggests that the b i r d a t t a i n s the auras aetheris, a s p e c i a l region of the atmosphere which only the phoenix (and Apollo?) can reach.It i s possible that Lactantius c u l l e d the image from that of the eagle i n V e r g i l : -namque volans rubra fulvus Iovis ales i n aethra l i t o r e a s agitabant aves turbamque sonantem agminis a l i g e r i "the tawny b i r d of Jove f l y i n g i n the reddening aether was dist u r b i n g the shore birds and the winged cackling throng" Verg. Aen.12.247-249 160 I l i a suis conditur inde l o c i s : The phoenix now returns to the f e l i x  locus f a r away i n the East, and the poem i s dramatically complete at t h i s point. 105 161-170: The remaining ten l i n e s have the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an appended passage. As F i t z p a t r i c k points out, the panegyric on v i r g i n i t y begins here and t h i s passage i s strong evidence for the • h r i s t i a n character of the poem. This i s however pure conjecture. There i s no p o s i t i v e proof to suggest that the poem i s C h r i s t i a n anywhere before l i n e 161 and even the l a s t ten l i n e s are i n accord with l a t e c l a s s i c a l usage. For example P. Optatianus Porphyrius, Carm. 7.25 uses the word deus i n a manner which i s completely c l a s s i c a l or at best ambiguous. Indeed Optatianus' work i n general leads us to the conclusion that h i s C h r i s t i a n i t y was one of convenience, assumed for the benefit of h i s panegyrics rather than a deeply seated f a i t h . Indeed, Bede suggests that the Carmina ought not to be read on the ground that they are pagan. Thus the word deus ought not convince us immediately that we are dealing with a C h r i s t i a n work. S i m i l a r l y the phrase aeternam vitam i n l i n e 170 i s normally associated with C h r i s t i a n ideas of the a f t e r - l i f e , but we have firm evidence that the phoenix symbolised exactly the same to c h r i s t i a n s as to nonr-Christians (see CIL 14.914, apparently undated). It was of course the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of immortality that caught the imagination of those writers who mention the phoenix casually, such as Lucian, Herm. 53, A r i s t i d e s , Orat.45.107 and Seneca E p i s t . Mor. 52.1. Of a l l the l i n e s the one that i s most l i k e l y to convince us of the C h r i s t i a n nature of the poem i s l i n e 164 where the b i r d i s admired because i t does not indulge i n sexual intercourse. But i t can be pointed out that v i r g i n i t y was long admired by the Romans (consider the bees i n Verg.Georg.4). 163 Veneris foedera n u l l a c o l i t : The poet i s quick to point out that the phoenix has no connection with the pagan goddess of love who, according to Eusebius, V i t a Vonst.3.58.1 (a work the a u t h e n t i c i t y of which has 106 been much contested recently) was the patroness of a temple i n the Syrian H e l i o p o l i s (Baalbek) where men l e t t h e i r daughters commit shameless acts of f o r n i c a t i o n ; the temple, he claims, was closed down by Constantine. Libanius, Orat.30.6, to the contrary, claims that Constantine l e f t ^ the > c u l t s unmolested. There i s no doubt, however, that the temples were stripped of much precious m a t e r i a l , probably i n the early t h i r t i e s . C l e a r l y t h i s H e l i o p o l i s was f a r better known than the Egyptian one, now i n ruins and being plundered for i t s statues and obelisks, and i t i s possible that Lactantius wants to avoid a l l reference to the name and thus only mentions Egypt i n l i n e 151, In addition to the geographical confusion of the c i t i e s of H e l i o p o l i s there may also have been another version of the t a l e which connected the phoenix with Venus, such a connection appears to be implied i n the fragment of Laevius who had a reputation for the e r o t i c and was mentioned i n chapter two. In no other occurrence of the idea of the phoenix i n C l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e do we f i n d the Venus and the phoenix connected, except i n these two instances. It i s more l i k e l y that there was some confusion about the c i t i e s of H e l i o p o l i s . Eusebius was i n fac t wrong about the cu l t of Aphrodite, f o r archaeological evidence t e l l s us about the temples of Bacchus and Zeus but nothing about one dedicated to the Greek Venus. 107 CONCLUSION During the course of t h i s t h e s i s , c e r t a i n problems have been r a i s e d , such as the date of the poem, i t s symbolism and i t s o v e r a l l purpose. In a sense, a l l these questions are dependent upon another, and, i f we can solve one, then we have made the f i r s t step towards answering the others. For example, i t i s informative to determine the purpose of the poem, but, one suspects, the purpose that one assigns to the poem w i l l be, to a great extent , influenced by our s o l u t i o n to the chronological problems of the poem. Conversely, i f a wrong conclusion i s reached of one of the problems mentioned above, i t may well be that other solutions tenta'gively-offered willlconsequently be i n v a l i d . We should f i r s t of a l l summarize what can be said with some degree of c e r t a i n t y . F i r s t l e t us consider the date of the poem. As has been mentioned e a r l i e r , the s p i r i t of the De Ave Phoenice does not accord with Constantine's o f f i c i a l " C h r i s t i a n " stance, taken i n A.D. 325, towards those who likened him to Apollo or even towards those who were adherents of the old r e l i g i o n . A person as close to Constantine as Lactantius appears to have been would not have jeopardized h i s p o s i t i o n unnecessarily. The poem was almost c e r t a i n l y written before A.D. 325; on t h i s a l l agree. Some scholars, Brandt for example, are reluctant to consider that a C h r i s t i a n Lactantius could have written the De_ Ave Phoenice because the poem i s so f u l l of c l a s s i c a l imagery, and such scholars are forced to assign the poem to Lactantius' pre-conversion period, i n the 270's and 280's. The problems associated with the "pre-conversion" have already been discussed;in Chapter. Two; moreover, both the known associations of Constantine with Apollo and the phoenix and the language of the poem i t s e l f (there are some s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s between Lactantius and P. Porphyrius Optatianus, who i s known 108 to have written i n the early 320's) conspire to place the poem somewhat l a t e r , perhaps even 311, when the phoenix became p a r i c u l a r l y prominent on the coins of the period. The problem of whether or not Lactantius was a C h r i s t i a n when he write the poem need not worry us at a l l , since the apparent ambiguity of the poem admirably s u i t s a period r e p l e t e with t h e o l o g i c a l uncertainty and syncretism. That the poem has some p o l i t i c a l content seems l i k e l y from l i n e s 61, 123-4, 139-40, 149 and 154-5 where the language i s very reminiscent, not only of Porphyrius, but also of the other panegyricists of Crista.*. . ..ne This n a t u r a l l y leads to the second and t h i r d problems, those of the poem's intentions. Does the use of high r h e t o r i c a l language force us to consider the poem i n a p o l i t i c a l context? If i t were about a swan or a nightingale, we.would perhaps answer i n the negative. However, so renowned was the phoenix as the herald of a new era and as a symbol of the immortality of the soul, that we cannot ignore the coincidence of the change that was taking place i n the Roman Empire at. t h i s time, namely the o f f i c i a l recognition of C h r i s t i a n i t y as the state r e l i g i o n . Are we j u s t i f i e d i n extending t h i s enquiry to i t s l i m i t s to ask the question,"Is the phoenix an a l l e g o r y for a person or an idea?" For the phoenix does ..resemble an emperor i n respect to the tumultuous reception i t receives i n Egypt. Certain formulae can be proposed, such as the p o s s i b i l i t y that the phoenix equals the renascent C h r i s t i a n Roman Empire or Constantine, or perhaps even Crispus, L a c t a n t i u s * b r i l l i a n t young student, the bastard of Constantine, who put Crispus to death i n h i s prime. This, however, i s nothing more thaft conjecture. S u f f i c e i t to say that i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how someone as close to Constantine as Lactantius was (consider the d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of Constantine i n the De Mort. Pers.)could write about Apollo/Phoebus/Spl without intendin 109 to s i g n i f y Constantine. In t h i s way i t can be seen that any question posed about the o v e r a l l purpose of the poem i s s t i l l b o r n unless a commitment i s made about i t s symbolism, which i n turn i s dependent upon the date of the poem. Ihere remadiiss the problem about the l a s t ten l i n e s of the De_ Ave  Phoenice. If we consider these ten l i n e s tohhave been appended a f t e r the main body of the poem was written, then we rob the poem of most of i t s r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e , f o r , despite remarks at the end of the commentary about the possible non-Christian nature of these l i n e s , i t i s admittedly d i f f i c u l t to see them i n a purely c l a s s i c a l l i g h t . Nevertheless, suspicions remain about l i n e s 161-170. Lines 163 and 169 require considerable additions f or them to scan and they are very d i f f e r e n t i n na nature from the r e s t of the poem, more sui t a b l e to a word gymnast,such as Optatianus, than to Lactantius ( l i n e 169 seems to be a clumsy re-working of Tert. De Res. Carnis 13). Whether or not these l i n e s were added at some l a t e r date, by Lactantius or some other, need have no bearing on what has j u s t been said about the poem's date. In a d d i t i o n , to consider the poem s o l e l y i n terms of C h r i s t i a n i t y and Classicism i s somewhat misleading, there are elements of the poem which remind us immediately of sun worship and r e l a t e d c u l t s such as that of Mithra. There are reminders of sun worship, such as the crown worn i n honour of Phoebus, the " t i t l e s " of the phoenix and the open reverence towards the sun (see l i n e s 41-42). The myth of the phoenix i s an e s p e c i a l l y i n t r i g u i n g one, f o r , while b e l i e f i n the old gods waned at Rome, b e l i e f i n the phoenix grew stronger, to judge from the very large number of authors who mention the b i r d a f t e r the second century. Men i n the ancient world dreamed 110 of m o r t a l i t y , no l e s s than those of today, and pondered with wonder, and, perhaps with no small amount of envy over the phoenix which had no fear of death. APPENDIX 111 PRE-CHRISTIAN ACCOUNTS: 112 Heslod (fragment 304)-iwea roi yeveac XaKepv^a Kopwvrj avSpwv rjf^LovTCxiv e.Xacp'oc Se re rerpaKopajvoc Tpeic S' eXdcfjovc 6 icopat; yrfpacKcrai- avrap 6 <f>oivt.£ evve'a rove KOpciKac Sc'/ca 8' TJJJLCIC TOVC <f>oivu<ac vvpuf>ai e.vrrXoKap.01, Kovpai Aide alyio^oio. Herodotus 2. 73-73 " E O T I h i (cat u W o i o p v a i p o s , rui owoua ( f > o l v i £ . e y u > p i v p i v ova O.OOV e i p . i \ oaov y p a i p i } ' /cat y a p h i ] K a i t m a v i o t 5 i ~ i < j > o i r a < r < f ) i 8»' i r i m v , iy 'HA10—oAirai K e y o v c r i , irevTa-2 xotriwi: (poiTav h i r o T e (paal e i r e d v o i airoduvii 6 i r a r i j p . i u T i h e , e i r i j ypa<f>fj i r a p o p o i o s , r o c r o a h e t a i r o w o - h e - ra p i v avTov \pvuoKopa TUSV i t T e p H v , ra h e e p v O p d . i i ra 3 ^aAicrra aierw n e p L T j y ^ c n v ouotoVaroy xai T O p e y a O o s . TOVTOV 10 8 ; Af/otir i p r i y a v a a Q a i T < x h e , - i p o l f x i v o v v t a r a K e y o v r e * , e £ ' A p a f t i r j i o p p . i i p . t v o p i s TO i p v v r o d ' I lAiov K o p i £ e i v TOV — a r t p a e v c r p v p v r j e p T t X a a a o v T a K a i O a i r r t i v e v r o d 'IlAi'ou • 4 ru> l p u > - K o p i ^ e i v h e ovrar irpu>TOV TI}S a p v p v t j s w b v ^rAuo-c r i w o a o v [re] b v v a r o s e a r i e p e p e i v , p e r a b e i r e i p a t r Q a i a v r b 15 (popeovTa, e ~ e a v h i a v o n t t p r j O i j , o v r i o h i ) K o i X i j v a n a ro < i b v Toi' -aripa i s a v r b i v r i O e v a i , a p v p v i ] h i aAA?j i p v K d i T o - ( i i ' TOVTO xar' o rt T O U d o v i n K o i k i i v a s e v e O ) ) K e TOV n a r t p a , e y K e i p t r o v h i TOV - a T p o s y i v e a O a i TUVTO fidpos, e p - x X u a - a v r a h i K o p i £ e i v p t v e — ' Aiyi>—rov i i TOV 'ilAi'ou T O tpo'r. r a v r a 1 0 p i v TOVTOV TOV o p v i v X e y o v a t T t o i e e i v . P l i n y H i s t . Nat. 10.3-6-enarrabiies I'erunt aves et ante nnmes nohileni Arabiae phoenirem, hand sc io an labulose, unum in Into orbe nec visum nia^no opci-<;. aquilae narralnr nia^nitudino, auri rnl{.'ore c i r c a rolla, cetcni purjiiireus, caenilcam ruseis cau-5 dam pinnis dislingin'i i l i lms. rristis fiw/res ca|nil(|iit: plumeo apice lioncstanie. pi'imns atipn: dili^ciil issiiiK.' lo^alnnim 4 di; eo pmdidit M a / f i l i u s , senator illc inaxiinis noliili.s duc-trinis doctnre nu l l " : neminem extitisse qui viderit vesren-teni, sacrum in Arahia Suli esse, vivere annis I'XL. sene-10 scentem casiae turisque snrculis cmistrucre nidum, rcqilerc odorihus et supci'emori, ex ossihus delude et medullis eius nasci prinui ceu vcrmiculi im, iude lieri j 111 [111111, pr inci -pioque iusta lunera ])i'inri reddere et tnlum del'erre nidum |ii'npe I'anchaiam in Solis uidiem et in ara ilii deponere. cum 5 15 Indus alitis vita matrui ennversionem anni fieri prodit idem M a n i l i u s iterumqne si^nilicaliiuies lenipestatuni et side-rum easdem revei l i , hue autem circa meridiem incipere quo die si^'num arielis sol intnivei'il , et luisse eius conver-sicmis aiiuuni prodente se I', l.icinio Cn. ('.oniclitt cos. ('.(.'.XV. 30 C o r n e l ins Y a l e r i a n u s plioenicem devidavisse in Aeyyp-lum tradit Q. I'lautio Sex. l'apinio cos. allatus est et in urlieni Claudii princqiis censura anno ui l i is iK.t'.C. el in eoniitio [iropositus, ipiod a c l i s testatum est, sed quern lalsum esse nemo duliitaret. Ezechial the Dramatist 245-269-245 ttrriv yxp, 7Toy xx) vv Twyx'*vsl$ opuv, cxeT. rdSev Te Qiyyo; e$eXx[A\pk viy xxr eiiQpovyv /ryfis'iov u; trruXos irvpig. ivrxliDx Xei^iv evpoixev xxrdirxiov vypxg re XtfixUxs • Sayy/Avj? X"P0<; 0*8"! > 250 iryiyx; x Q v a T u v Ixiex' ex /tixt; nhpxt; • areXtx* 3' epu/mx TTOWX Qoivixuv iriXn lyxxpxx , iexxxi; STTTX , xx) x x r x p p u T O i X^cy xi3vxe Spe,u/J-x7iv x°PT^^fi'XTX-Elrx UTTO@X$ irep) rod Cpxvivro^ Ipviou S/£?fp%fr«/ • "Erepbv 3f vpo; rciiV elSoftev %£ov f-svov 255 S x u ^ x T r b v , olov ouieiru upxxe riq. 2iir\suv yxp rb /tiijxas xerou cf^fSJv, icrepolai iroixlkottnv yjVe XP®f*aa'1' . arytloi; ftev a v r o v i t o p t y u p o v v i(pxlvero, exeXy Ve jxiXrixpurx, xx) xxr' xix^vx 200 xpcxairivots (ixWoltsw eurpnti^ero. xxpx Ve xorrolq ijftepoif 7rape/t(pepe;, xx) (t>i\hy ptlv Tjj xopif Trpo<ri(3\eire xuxXcp, xo'pii 3* XQXXOS ut iQxivero. tpuvyv 3« ir&vruv eJxev ("xirpeTtearxrtiv. 205 fixviktvs 3« irxvruv Spveav etyxivero u{ voijrar 7 r x v r x y a p rx nrviv iftov oxiatev xurou ieiXiuvr' lirfoavro, avrbs ii %p6u9ev rxupot yxupouptevog i(Zxive xpxiirvov fiijftx (3xtrrd.%uv iro$o'$. -SCIENTIFIC AND DOCUMENTABY ACCOUNTS: Tacitus Ann.6.28-28. P A U L O F A E I O L. V I T E L L I O eonsulibus post longum l a.p.i saeculorum ambitum avis phoenix in Aegvptum venit praebuitque niateriem doctissimis indigenaruin ct Grae-coruin multa super eo iiiiraculo disserendi. do quibus congruunt et plura ambigua, sed cognitu non absurda promere Libet. sacrum Soli id animal, et ore ac distinctu pinnarum a ceteris avibus diversum consentiunt qui for- 5 mam eius effin(x>ere; de numero annorum varia tra-i duntur. maxime vulgatum quingentorum spatium; sunt qui adseverent mille quadringentos sexaginta unum in-terici, prioresque alites Sesosidc primum, post Amaside dominantibus, dein Ptolemaeo, qui ex Macedonibus ter- ID tius regnavit, in civitatem, cui Heliopolis nomen, advo-lavisse, multo ceterarum volucrum coruitatu novam fa-4 ciem mirantium. sed antiquitas quidem obscura : inter Ptoleniaeum ac Tiberium minus ducenti quinquaginta anni fuerunt. undo nonnullifalsum hunc phoenicemneque 15 Arabum e terris credidere, nihilque usurpavisse ex his, 5 quae vetus memoria firmavit. confecto quippe annorum numero, ubi mors propinquet, suis in terris strucre nidum eique vim genitalem adfundere, ex qua fetum oriri: et primam adulto curam sepeliendi patris, neque id temere, 20 sed sublato murrae pondere temptatoque per longum iter, ubi par oneri, par meatui sit, subire patrium corpus 6 inque Solis aram perferre atque adolere. haec incerta et fabrlosis aucta: ceterum aspici aliquando in Aegypto earn volucrem non ambigitur. as Pomponius Mela, De Chorographia 83-84-83 de volucnbus praecipue reterenda rhoemx, semper uuica; non enim coitu concipitur partuve geueratur, sed ubi quingentorum annorum aevo perpetua duravit, super exaggeratam variis odoribus struem sibi ipsa »o 84 incubat solviturque, dein putrescentium membrorum tabe concrescens ipsa se concipit atque ex se rursus renascitur. cum adolevit, ossa pristini corporis inclusa murra Aegyptum exportat, et in urbe quam Solis ad-pellant flagrantibus arae bustis inferens memorando " funere consecrat. ipsum promunturium quo id mare cluditur Aceraunis saltibus inyium est. Aelian, De Natura Animallum 6.58-58. " A v e v B e X o y L o r i K r j s ol <f>oLviKes o~vp,f$aXeZv e r w v - n e v r a K o a l i u v t u a a i v dpiB^xov, f i a O r j r a l < f > v a e w s r r j s oo(f)WTa.Tr)s o v r e s , Kal B i o . r a v r d r o t p.rjBk 4 B a K T v X w v B e B e r ) p . e v o i r/ aXXov TWOS e s eTna-r^fi-qv a p i O p . r ] T u < f j s . V T T e p orov B e l o a m rovro K a l e l B e v a t d v d y K r j a v r o v s , Brjp,wBr]S e c r r l v 6 X o y o s . r o v he r w v TT€IT(XKO(JLWV e r i o v x p o v o v T r X r j p o v ^ e v o v X a a a i v A i y v T r r i a i v r j T i f i) o v B e l s , oXiyoi B e KOfiiBi) Kal ovroi r w v t e p e c o v . ovroi 5 8' o v v 8 n p o s dXXijXovs V T r e p r o v r c u v o v p a B l c o s crvp.p-qvai e^ ou-a i v , a X X a OL f i e v epeo\eXov<JL o ( f > d s avrovs e p i ^ o v r e s (Ls 7 o v v v v dAA' e s v a r e p o v oSe 6 B e Z o s o p v L s a<f>i£erai r) ws exprjv T]Keiv 6 B e a X A c u s eKelvcov epi^ovrcov a.voorjp.aLveraL B a i f - i o v i c o s TOV Kaipov K a l rrdpeorLv. ol B e , dveiv d v d y K T j avrovs K a l OjXoXoyeZv on r o v p.ev r f X i o v ev rats X e a ^ a i s K a r a -B v e i v dyovcrt a^oXr^v, OVK l o a m Se oaa o p v i d e s . eKeZva B e , to rrpos r d i v O e w v , od o ~ o < f > d , etSeVai rrou juev A l y v r r r o s e o r L , TTOV B e K a l 'HXLOV n o X i s , e v d a a v r a > TreTTpcorai T J K e L v , K a l o r r o v r r o r e r o v r r a r e p a K a r a d e o d a t x p r ) K a l e v dr/Kais r i a l . ; Dionysius, De Aucupio 1.32-32. 'Axiqxoa te, (he nagd xolg 'Ivdotc ogvig sir] yovicav dxeg xal fii^ewQ %a)Qic vcpiaxd/^evog, <polvi£ Svopia, xal (iiovv cpaaiv inl nXciaxov xal fiexd ndar)g dyofllag avxdv, wg ovxe X6£OLC, ovxe Xtftoig, ovxe xaXd/wig fj ndyaig TWV dvdgwv xi xax' uvxod nouiv neigojfiivcov. 6 de i)dvaxog avxci) xt)v dQxi)v notet xrjg fwjyf rfv ydg noxe yrjgdoag t> T t Q o t xdg nx^aeig iuvxov idot, vooDtaxegov i] xdg avydg TWV d/i/idrtuv i\aaaov/.tevaz, tip' vyrjXij-; nixgag xdgtpr] avXXiiag nvgdv xiva xf\g xeXevxijg fj xaXidv awxidrjai xfjg Ccor/c, f\v, iv fiiocu xadt]jiivov xov (poivixog, ^  xu>v rfXiaxcov dxxtvcav xaxacpXiyei fiegfidxrjg- ovxco de diacp&a-10 ghxog avxov viog ix xrjg xi<pgag atidig Ixsgog ytyvexaiiW yolvtf xul xotg naxgwoig ideal xgfjxai, tuoxe vnd xfjg •flXia.xi]g jj,6vt)g aiyrjg, naxgdg xe xal firjxgog %<i>g[g, xov dgviv yiyveadai xovxov. A c h i l l e s Tatius, Clitophon and Leuclppe 3.2A.3-3.25.7-y a p ftapftdpow; TOU? K a T a r p e ^ o v T a < ; i r e T r a v c r O a i , p e X X o v o - r j < ; S e TJKCIV TJJ? S v v d p e c o s , r b v o p v i v a i > T o i < ; e T r i S r j p f j c r a i TOV l e p o v , < j > e p o v r a TOV T r a r p o * ; TTJV r a < p i j v d v d y K r \ v S e e l v a i 1 r r j v e ^ o S o v e i r i o " ) ( e l . v r o a o v r w v r j p e p c o v . 25. " Kai TX? O O p i / i ? OUTO?, O O T l t , " e ( j > r j i , , " T o o - a v r r j s r i p r } < ; tj^iroTai; i r o l a v S e K a i K o p . i £ e i Ta<f>7)v:" " Q o L v i l ; p . e v o o p v i q o v o p a , TO S e y e v o < ; K W i o ^ , p e y e 8 o < ; K a T a TIIWV T!J Xpoto Taw? e v 2 i c d X X e i S e v r e p o s . K S K e p a a j a i p . t v r a t n e p d • ^ p v c r i p K a i i r o p c p v p a - a v ^ e i S e TOV " W X i o v S e a - r r o T T j v K a i i ) K e t p a X r ) p . a p r v p e i , e o - T e < p a i ' w < r e y a p a i n r j v KVKXO<; e v c p v i j f r j X i o v S e e c r T L v 6 TOV 3 KUKXOV o - T £ ( p a v o < ; e i K c o v . K v d v e o s e c r r t v , p6Soi<; e p . c p e p r ) < ; , e v e i S r ) < ; TTJV d e a v , a K T i a i K o p a , K a i e l a i v a x j r a i v r e p o i t v d v a r o X a l . p x p i ^ o v T a i S e a v T O U Al#l07T£? p S V TTJV %0}t]V, A l y V T T T l O l S e T T j V i T e X e v T > ' j V e i r e i S d v y a p d i r o & d v r j ( a v v ^ p o v w S e TOVTO T r d a j ^ e i p a K p i i t ) , 6 7rat? a i n b v e n l TOV K e i X o v ( p e p e i , o - y e S i d o - a s a i n i p K a i TTJV T a c p i j v . a p v p v r i s y a p fiwXov rr}? e v a y S e o - T a T T ) 1 ? , o a o v i K a v b v 7 r p b < ; o p v t & o s T a < p > ] v , o p v T T e i r e T i p c n o p a T i K a i K o i X a i v e i K a T a p e c r o v , K a i TO o p v y p i a 5 0I}K7) y i v e r a t Tr7> v e K p S ) . e v O e l s S e K a i e v a p p - o o - a s TOV o p v i v T/7 a o p u ) , K a i K X e i a a s 1 TO " ^ d a p / i y r i t v c p y a s p a T i , e n l TOV N e l X o v OUT&J? i i r r a T a i TO e p y o v < p e p c o v . eneTai S e a i / T f p X ° P 0 < : a X X a t v a p v i O u i v S i o - r r e p Sopv<fi6piov K a i e o i K e v 6 o p v i s d r r o S r p i . o v v T i j3a<nXei, K a i TIJV TTOXIV OV i r X a v a T a i 6 T!/V 'HXIOW o p v i d o s a C r r ] peToiKia v e K p o v . e m r ) -K e v o v v £TTI p e T e i o p o v OKOTTWV Kai e K S e ^ e r a i T O W T T p o T T o X o v ; TOV d e o v . e p x e r a t S r j Tt? t e p e i x ; K i y v T T T i o s , j 3 t / 3 X i o v USVTCOV < f > e p a ) v , K a i S o K i p d -1 fet TOV o p v i v e x T»J? y p a c p i j s . o S e o l S e v d i T H T T C V -p e v o < ; K a i r a a T t o p p r \ T a ( p a i v e t TOV o - w p a T O < ; K a i r b v v e K p b v e i r i S e i K W T a i K a i e a T i v e n n d < p i o s (70</)tcrT>;?. l e p e a s v S e T r a l S e s ' H X i o v TOV o p v i v TOV v e K p b v i r a p a X a ^ o V T e t O d - m o v a i . fwf p - e v o w A W i o ^ £<JTI r f j T p o ( p f j , a i r o O a v o o v S e A l y u i r T i o f y l v e T a i TTJ r a ( j ) f j . " P h l l o s t r a t u s , V i t a A p o l l o n l i 3.49-xal T O V cpoCvwa 20 Se xov OQVIV zov dice nsvcaxoGinv ixav ig Alyvnxov 135 Tjxovra Ttirsad-ca (iev iv rfj 'IvSixij tov %QOVOV TOTJ -TQV, tlvcti St tva ixSiS6p,evov tc5v uxxCvav xal %Qv<S<p Xc<p,novtu, p,iye%-og attov x a l dSoq, ig xafodv ts so i%dvuv TTJV i v . rov apw'/xaroff noiovpivrjv avxa ngog rats TOV NstAov Tfqyatg. ci SE Alyvnxioi TCEQI ttvxov itSovGiv, oig ig Alyvitxov wiosxui, xal 'lvSol |i»|tt-p:aQxv()OvGt, naoaadovxtg xa .loya TO xov cpoivixu xov iv x\i xaXid xyxoiuvov -jt(>07Csp,nx>jQiovg vp,vovg avxa liSuv. T O U T ! Se x a l xovg xvxvovg <pao"l Sqdv of aowolxeoov CCUXOJV dxovovxeg. T H E O L O G I C A L A N D M Y S T I C A L A C C O U N T S 117 Clement of Rome, E p i s t . ad Corlrithos 79-83-( vI6a))yev T O Tcapd6o£;ov anyeCov T O (yL)vo*yevov ev xoZa a v c a o A c x o t a ( T O ) T C O C O - , T O U T E ' C ' T L - V T O L D tie pi TTIV 'Apa$udv. "Opveov yap E O T L V o upoaovoyd^etao cpoCvb?. T O U T O yovoyevEO UTcdpxov £fl &T.r\ TcsvTaxo'aua, yev6\iev6v T E n6n upoa omdAuauv T O U ctitoSaveuv ctUTO, anxbv C O T T W TCOUEC E X XLgdvou x a l ayu"pvna, xai. TOJV X O L T I W V apajyaxoav, eCa 6\> itAripwSe'vToa T O O xp6v'ov e t a e p x e T a u , x a l T E X E U T ^ . Snitoy^vna 6E Tfju aapxda, axioXn? T L O -yevvaTau, oa ex rr\a Cxydfioa T O O TeTeXeuxrixo'Toa Cwou avaTpetpo'yevoa, TtTEpocpusu. Etna yevvctZoa yev6]izvoq> a t p e i , T O V anxov exeCvov S T I O U Ta oaxa T O O u p o y E v o ' T o a E O T L V , not TaOTa ftaaTdCwv, 6LavEi5£u aito" Trio 'ApaftLxrja x ^ P A A T ^ A Aiyvurov, E L O Triv XsyoyE'vriv ' H X ^ O T C O X L V . Kca, o\)Tcoa E L ' O TouTiuaw acpopyp. v0u ovv LepeZa ETCtoxE 'TCTOVTCXL Tota avaypacpaa Taiv X P ^ V ( J J V J not EUp^'axouabv auTov TcevTaxoaLoaToO .e*TOua TtETtXnpwys'vou EXnXudE'vai,. M^ya nat dauyaaTOV ouv voyu'CoyEV E U V O I L , E L . 6 Snyuoupyoa TUJV airdvTwv avadraaov nobrfoETau TWV oauwa a u T o o SouXsuaavTiov ev T t ET co t^rfaEU TcuaT^ax? ctya^na, STCOU xat 6u'6pV£ou S E L X U O L V nyCv T O yEyaXeCov Tfja ETtayyeXuaa auxou; The Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch-•P- 8 8 Kal Aa/Jt6v /ze rjyayev fie orrov 6 rjXios eKtropevtrat ' Kal eBetfci fioi dpfia rerpaeXaarov o r]v vrrorrvpov, Kal irrl rov apfia-Toy avOpaiiros Kadrffievos <f>opa>v ari^avov irvpos ' ( xal iji/ y eXawofievov ro dpfia im* dyyeXwv reaaapaKovra . Kal IBov opveov •nepiTpixov efirrpooBev rov r)Xtov toy oprj ewea " K a l elrrov rov ay-yeXov ' Ti eartv ro opveov rovro \ K a l Xeyei fioi ' Tovro iortv 6 <f>vXa£ rijs olKovuevrjs. K a l elnov ' Kvpte, nuts iortv <j>vXa£ rrjs olKovfievrjs ', SiSa^w fie. Kal e l r r e v ( l o t 6 ayyeXos ' Tovro TO opveov Traparpexei rat T)XIU> Kal ras mepvyas «<^ arrAaiv Several ray nvpi-p.6p<f>ovs aKrlvas avrov. el fir) y d p ravras eSe^ero, OVK dv rwv dvOpomutv yevos iod>£ero, ovre erepov n ^utov " aXAa npooera^ev 6 deds rovro TO opveov. K a l •qrrXwoe ray nrepvyas avrov, Kal eT&ov els TO 8e£iov rrrepov avrov ypdfifiara rrafifieyedr], toy dAtovoy TOTTOV €^wv fierpov <Lael p.o8lu)v rerpaKioXIXIOJV ' Kal Jjoav ypdfi-fiara xpuaa ' Kal elrrev fiot 6 ayyeXos ' 'Avdyvwdt ravra . K a l dveyvaiv ' K a l eXeyov ovrats ' Ovre yfj fie riKrei ovre oipavos, aAXd| P- 89 TIKTOVOI f i e nrepvyes irvpos . xal etnov ' Kvpie, rl tart, TO opveov rovro, K a l TI TO ovofia avrov ; Kal e l r r e v fioi 6 ayyeXos <Pom| ^ caAeiTat TO ovofia avrov . < Kal elrrov 4 > Kal TI eodiet ', K a l elrrev fioi ' To fidvva rov ovpavou Kalrr)v opooov rr)s yfjs . K a l elrrov * 'AfoSevei TO opveov ; K a l e l r r e v f i o i ' 'Afohtvei OKW-XrjKa, K a l TO TOV aKioXrjKos d<j>6Sevfia ytverac K i v d f i u t f i o v , wnep xpiovrai paotXels Kal dpxovres • f i e l v o v Be, K a l oipei Bo£av Oeov . KO.1 ev TU> dfiiXelv avrov eyevero [fipovrrj] dis iJx0J ^porrijy, Kal eaaXevdrj 6 rdrros ev <L lardfieda ' Kal r^purrqaa rov ayytXov ' Kvpte fiov, rl iortv ij fiajvr) avrr) ; K a i ehriv fioi 6 ayyeXos ' "Apn dvoiyovoiv 0 1 dyyeXoi r a s rpiaKoaias e ' f r jKovTa nevre nvXas TOV o v p a v o v , Kai S i a x a t p i f e T a i T O ij>u>s a n d TOV OKOTOVS . Kai r}X0tv < f > i o \ - r ) X e ' y o v a a ' 0wTo8ora, o d s TUI Koayna TO <f>€yyos . x a l d x o v -ffrt? TOV KTVTTOV TOV Opi'eOV elnOV ' K v p l f , T t (OTIV 6 KTUWOJ OOTOJ \ Kai e l n e v • TOVTO icrri TO e^vnvitflv rovs e n l yfjj d A e K T o p a s ' aij y d p TO. B l o T o p a OUTOJ? Kai 6 d X e i < r o j p p.rjvvei r o i s ev ru) Kooptu K a r a , TTJV i & i a v XaXidv . 6 rJAios yap eroiij.d££Tai OTTO T t o v a y y e X w V K a i ( f > o j v e l 6 d X e K T w p . K a i elnov i y u i ' K a i TTOV dnooxoXeirai 6 ryAio? d<f>' o f i 6 d A e K -Tcjp <f>u>vei ; Kai elnev p o i 6 dyyeXos ' "AKOVOOV, B a p o v x ' n d v r a o a a I8et£d a o i ev TO npojrw Kai Sevrepu> ovpavut eortv ' Kai iv TU> rpiru) o v p a v a i o i e p x e T a t ° rJAio? K a i 81S01 ra) Koopto TO <j>eyyos • d X X d eKoegai, Kai otf/et Sd£av Beov . Kai ev ru> opuXelv p.e avru>, o p i o TO opveov, Kai dve^dvt] epnpooBev, Kai npds piKpdv piKpov r)v£ave, Kai dvenXrjpovro " Kai omoBev TOVTOV TOV T J A I O V itjaarpdn-r o v r a Kai roiis dyyeXovs pier' a v r o v <f>e'povras Kai ar£<f>avav e n l TTJV Ke<f>aXr)v a v r o v , o v r r ) v deav OVK i)SvvrjBripev dvro<f>daXp.r]oai Kai ISeiv ' /cat d p a Tip Xdpdiai TOV rjAiov e^ eretve K a i d 4>otvtf r a s avTov nrepvyas ' e y o j Se tSojv TTJV Toiadrr/v 86£av eraneivuiB-qv tj>6fiu> p.eydXu> , Kai ££e<j>vyov Kai v n e K p v j S i j v ev r a i s nrepv£i TOV d y y e ' X o v . Kai elnev | P- 9 ° ^ O T Q dyyeAoy ' M r ) < f > o f S o v , B a p o v x , dAAd eVSe^ai, Kai i i t ( j e i K a i TTJV hvaiv avru>v. K a i Xafiojv p.e rjyayev p e i n l o v o p . d s ' Kai orav r)XBtv 6 Kaipds TOV Svoai, 6pa> ndXiv epinpooBev TOV opveov epxdpevov ' Kai dp.a TUI eXBeiv a v r o v , o p i o rovs dyye'Aouy, Kai jjpav TOV < r r i < f > a v o v a n d rrjs Kopv<f>rjs a v r o v ' TO Se opveov earr] Teraneiviop-evov Kai o-vareX-Xov T<iy m e p v y a s a v r o v . K a i r a v r a ihutv iyd) elnov ' Kvpte, S i d rt f f p a v TOV aTe<f>avov dno TTJS Ke<f>aXijs TOV T / A W U , /cat hid T t ecrrt T O opveov T O O O U T O V TeTa7retva>p.eVov ; »cat elnev p.oi 6 i y y e X o s ' '0 o-Te'^ avor TOV T)XIOV, oTav TTJV r)pepav StaSpdfti?. Xafifidvovoiv r i a -aape? ayyeAot T O D T O V Kai dva^tepovaiv els TOV ovpavov K a i dvaKai-vt'^ ouCTiv avrov, Sti T O pepioXvvdai avrov K a i r a s d x r i v a s avrov e n l rrjs yrjs ' Kai AoiTrdv Kad' eKao-r-qv • f j p . e p c . v ovrios dvafaivt^ e-T O I . K a i elnov iydt B a p o v x ' Kvpie, Kai old r i pioXvvovrai a l 6\KTI-ves a v r o v enl rrjs yrjs ', K a i elnev p o i 6 dyyeXos ' &eu>pa>v r a s dvopias K a i ra? dSiKi'as rdv dvBpuinatv, r|youv nopvelas, f i o i \ e i a s , K X o r r d s , dpnayds, eiowXoXarpeias, pedas, <t>dvovs, epeis, JTJAT), Kara-AaAiar, y o y y v a p o v s , tpiBvpiopovs, p a v r e i a s , K a i r a T O U T C U V o /xota , d r i v a OVK e'crri rw B e d ) dpeard ' Sia T a u T a /xoAuveTai K a t Sid T O W T O d v a K a t i - i ^ e T a i . crept Se T O O opveov, T O nuts iranetvuidr)' ewet Sid T O Kare'xeiv T a ? T O U rjXiov aKTivas, 8id T O W nvpos K a i T T J J oXorjpipov Kavoecos, [dW] Si' aurtov T a 7 r e i v o v V a i • e i p.r) y a p a t r o u r o v m e p v -y t s , diy npoeinopiev, nepieoKenov r a s T O O rJAioo a K T i v a s , OVK d v iowBrj n a o a nvor). 119 The Syriac D i d a s c a l i a , trans. jLnito L a t i n by;R.H.Connolly (Oxford 1929)-N a m et per m u t u m animal , i d est per foenicem, quod u n i c u m est, manifest[a]e nobis de resur-rectione ostensionem deus fecit; n a m si esset par aut m u l t i , i p s i m u l t i velut fan-tasma v ider i poterant hominibus, nunc autom videtur, cum ingrediatur, quia solum est. Post quingentos enim annos ingreditur i n A e g y p t u m a d eum locum, qui vocatur Solis A r a , portans cinnamo-raum et orat contra orientem ct succen- ' d i tur a so ipso ct conburitur et fit cinis; de cinere autem fit vermis, et hie vermis cres-cens deformatur et fit i t e r u m foenix perfectus, et tunc redit denuo et per-git ibidem, unde et venit . S i ergo et deus per m u t u m animal i t a [in] exemplum resurrectionis nobis ostendit, multo m a ->r gis nos credentes resurrectioni et repro-missioni dei, etiamsi m a r t y r i u m nobis su-pervenerit, quasi qui ta lem digni sumus adsequi gloriam, ut coronam portemus incorruptam i n v i t a aetcrna, The Greek Physiologus , Mss. A,I ,E ,A,TT,y-AIIlEAqir 7. nept (poCviKoc itexeivoO. '0 Kopioc f)uQv ' I T I O O O C Xpiox&c SXeyev "e£ouoCav exw Getvai xt)v 4>ux^ v \iov, xat t^ouaCav ?xw ndXiv Xapetv aixfjv," xat ot lov-6aToi ^)TavdxTT)oav tnl xoixy. " E O T I V H E X E I V O V E V x$ tv6ix;5 X<*>P<J <po~vi,5 X E Y 6 J I E V O V xat xaxa nEvxax6ot.a ixi) Zpxexai etc xa £<5Xa T O U A^pdvou Hat youot x&c 6<3O Ttxepuyac auxoO dpwjidxiov xat arinaCvEi x$ Jepe" xifc 'HXiovTtdXewc E V x$ uTivt Ttf vty Nfiov T) 'A6ape~, xouxfiaxi 4auxvw-&t 4ap^ou*C" 6 6e iEpe6c arinav*etc etafipxexat Etc tf)v 'HXiotinoXtv YeYouwo>i6voc xwv apu\xd~ T U J V , Kat AvapoCvEi E L C xdv (koji&v xat auxij) xb itOp avdrcxEi xat eau-T6V X O C E L . uat xfl ETtatipiov EpEuvuv 6 lEpedc xov (3WH6V EvpCaxEi axiio-Xrjxa E V cmooijr xat x\5 6£ux£pg f)u£pg nxEpo<puET uat EvpCoxexai vEooaic J I E T E L V 6 V nat x$ xpCxy fiufpq EupCoxexai y£v6uevov ioc T O np(iJTiv nat ac^tdCETa^ x&v iepta Kat avCitxaxai xat undyEi E I C X & V itaXai&v aiiroO T6T C O V . 'EpunveCa. Et o5v T6 T I E T E I V & V xoOxo E^ovaCav E * X E I £avx& anoxxEivai xat Cwoyovifaai,, TtOc o l avdrixoi. av^ptunot ayavaxxoUaiv xoO xupCou fip.wv 'inaoO XpioToD EtTtdvToj* e£ouaCav ?xw $e~vai T ^ V <|/uxfiv J I O U xat E^ouaCav £xw tdXiv Xape~v aux^v; *0 y ip cpoTviC Ttp6cxoTtov xoD ouxfipoc T)U(3V Xaupdvet.' xat yap ex xOv oupavQv eX*£iv T & C 6<3o flxepuyac euu>6Cac ueorac fiveyxev, xouxe-O T I V evapexuiv oupavCwv Xdyuv, iva xat tiueTc 6^ ., etix^v exxECvaJuev xac x^tpac xal avaxeu^aiuev euuSCav TtVeu(iaxt.x^ v 6ia itoXixeiCSv aya-*C3v. KaXOc o<5v i fcuaioXdyoc HXe^ev nept xoO ipoCviHoc. A d d i t i o n a l passage found only_ i n Mss. W & 120 xaxd T T ] V alyuuxCaiv x ^ p a v , uovoyevec urafpxov, o u x ev epfiuoic x6-u o i c , 1 0 "va p?i ayvOTi*? T6 yivdpEvov dXX* ev ipavep? n6Xei n a p a -Yev6uevov, "va ' < | < r i X c c < p i a - & § to ajuorovuevov' 1 1 CTyx&v o5v eauxQS itoi-fioav ex X t p d v o u x a t auupvnc 1 2 x a t X C H T C Q V i p u i i d t c o v , e t c xoOxov etaeX6dv x e X e u x ? nOpTtoXoOuevov x a t a l r r c e x a i . . elxa ex x f i c xau-&eCaric aapx&c Tfic xetppac axiSXt)!; YCvexai, x a t dvauopfpoOxai e t c xo dpxai-ov el6oc. xoOxo 6e ufi Aitior^apc* ' K a t yap x a t xQv ueXiaatov xb. yev-vfiuaxa O U T U ) yevvEvxai, ex xQv O M U X ^ M U V dvaubpcpoOueva, x a t e£ &5v U Y p o x d x w v e-Sedou opvewv T t x e p d x a t ica2 x a t veOpa 1 3 e£epx<5neva. eTxa T i x e p o q m t f a a c 6 itpoeipnuevoc 0KI3XT)5 x a t xeXeioc woTtep f}v upci-TIV cpaveCc, dvCTtxaxai xouoOxoc oZog exeXetfTripe, aacpeaxdxriv avdaxa-O L V Sift TO<3TUJV X O V vexpCv 1 4 em6eixv<3uevoc. 8auuacrr&v uev opveov A <poLvi£, dXX' aXoyov. elxa x(JS uev d-X6y(j) Cuty x a t u.?) yuviSoxovxi xov 7ioiT)Tr)v xGSv aitdvTidv vexptov dvdaxa-O L C 6e6(j5pT)Tcc11 T I U X V 6e x o ~ c 6o5oXoyoOaiv -fteiv xat xa TtpoaTdyuaTa auxoO xnpoOcav oi 6C6oxai avdoraoac; i f o r i xoCvuv dXr,*ijc vexpflv dvdaraai.c. 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY  Ancient Sources A c h i l l e s Tatius. 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