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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. , U n i v e r s i t y o f 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  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f C l a s s i c s )  We a c c e p t t h i s  t h e s i s as conforming  to the r e q u i r e d  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1978  O)  Keith N. Harris, 1978  In presenting this thesis in partial  fulfilment of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h 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.  Department of  .  Classics  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  ABSTRACT  The  primary purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s i s t o p r o v i d e  De Ave Phbenice of C a e c i l i u s F i r m i a n u s L a c t a n t i u s a l l recent  first  Lactantius  that takes i n t o  consideration  s c h o l a r s h i p on t h e development o f t h e "myth" o f t h e Phoenix. The  t h e s i s c o n s i s t s of four The  a commentary on t h e  chapters.  chapter contains  together  a  b i o g r a p h y and summary o f the works o f  w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e poem's a u t h o r s h i p .  c h a p t e r c o n s i s t s of a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e g e n e s i s l i s t i n g examples i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r ,  The second  o f t h e myth o f t h e phoenix,  t o A.D. 300, o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e  p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e phoenix t h a t may have been sources f o r L a c t a n t i u s . Chapter Three c o n s i s t s of a t e x t and t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e poem. Chapter Four, theTmajorupbEtion o f t h e t h e s i s , i s devoted t o a commentary, which 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  i m p l i c a t i o n s i n t h e poem, r a t h e r  than on t e x t u a l and l e x i c a l m a t t e r s . A genera-1 c o n c l u s i o n character The  concentrates  concerning  the  and date o f the poem i s added.  t e x t s o f t h e more important s o u r c e s used i n Chapter Two a r e appended  to t h e main body o f t h e t h e s i s and a r e f o l l o w e d  i  by a b i b l i o g r a p h y .  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  Ill  BIBLIOGRAPHY  121  ii;  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  I would l i k e  to express my g r a t i t u d e  many hours devoted to h e l p i n g  me w r i t e  to thank t h e members of the Department E.A.  t o Mr. A.A. B a r r e t t  t h i s t h e s i s . I would a l s o  like  o f C l a s s i c s , i n p a r t i c u l a r Mrs.  Bongie and Mr. G.N. Sandy. In a d d i t i o n ,  thanks-are a l s o due t o t h e  s t a f f of t h e Department  of I n t e r - L i b r a r y Loan, whose i n d u s t r y  behalf  ought not pass without mention.  and c h e e r f u l n e s s  f o r the  on my  INTRODUCTORY NOTE  C e r t a i n d i f f i c u l t i e s were encountered d u r i n g  t h e w r i t i n g o f Chapter  Three. S i n c e I have no command o f e i t h e r Hebrew o r S y r i a c ,  translations  of two works have been used, namely o f the M i d r a s h Rabah and t h e S y r i a c D i d a s c a l i a . A l s o , no c r i t i c a l t e x t of t h e Apocolypse o f Baruch was a v a i l a b l e t o me, and, a c c o r d i n g l y ,  t h a t o f J.Hubaux and M. L e r o y , Le Myth  du P h e n i x , ( L i e g e 1939) has been r e p r i n t e d . The t e x t o f Clement used i s t h a t o f Migne, which s i m i l a r l y l a c k s an apparatus On  t h e whole, the t e x t o f t h e De Ave Phoenice f o l l o w e d  of R i e s e , i n c l u d e d has  criticus.  been p a i d  i n the Anthologia L a t i n a , ( L e i p z i g  has been t h a t  1906). C l o s e  attention  t o Brandt-Laubmann's v e r y u s e f u l e d i t i o n o f 1893, which  c o n t a i n s t h e t e x t and, i n a d d i t i o n , a l l a n c i e n t  testimonia  and fragments,  as w e l l as an index verborum e t rerum. Amongst t h e secondary s o u r c e s , e x t e n s i v e use has been made o f R. Van Den Broek's The Myth o f t h e P h o e n i x , ( L e i d e n 1972), which w i l l h e n c e f o r t h be r e f e r r e d t o as "Broek".  1  simply  CHAPTER  ONE  LACTANTIUS: LIFE AND  The  De Ave  Phoenice i s g e n e r a l l y a s c r i b e d  L a c t a n t i u s , a r a t h e r shadowy f i g u r e . with i t s intermittent persecution and  WORKS  to C a e c i l i u s F i r m i a n u s  Both the p e r i o d  of C h r i s t i a n s and  i n which he  political  unrest,  the v e r y n a t u r e of the l i t e r a t u r e of the C h r i s t i a n A p o l o g i s t  to g i v e  a very  Our 80, who  primary source of i n f o r m a t i o n  says:  " F i r m i a n u s , who  of A r n o b i u s . he was  incomplete b i o g r a p h i c a l  was  lived,  conspire  portrait. i s S t . Jerome, De V i r i s  a l s o known as L a c t a n t i u s , was  Illustribus a pupil  Under the p r i n c i p a t e of D i o c l e t i a n (sub D i o c l e t i a n o  principe)  summoned, along w i t h the grammarian F l a v i u s , whose books i n v e r s e  about medicine are s t i l l e x t a n t , of the f a c t  that i t was  students and  he  as a young man  turned  and  taught r h e t o r i c a t Nicomedia. Because  a Greek-speaking s t a t e there was to w r i t i n g .  i n A f r i c a , and  We  a paucity  of  have h i s Symposium, which he wrote  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,  I n s t i t u t i o n s Against one  of l e t t e r s  c r a f t s m a n s h i p of God he was  books addressed to A s c l e p i a s , one  f o u r books of l e t t e r s " to Probus, two  to h i s own  Divine  the Pagans as w e l l as an Epitome of the same work i n  volume u n t i t l e d , two  persecution,  seven books of the  p u p i l Demetrianus and or r a t h e r  to Severus, two  books  to the same one book about  the F a s h i o n i n g  t u t o r of C o n s t a n t i n e ' s son C r i s p u s  book about  of Man.  i n Gaul who  In extreme o l d was  the age  afterwards k i l l e d  by h i s f a t h e r . " Some s c h o l a r s have assumed from the above t h a t L a c t a n t i u s was Africa."'"  They have been unable to prove t h i s c o n c l u s i v e l y . 2  An  born i n  inscription  3 published  i n 1883 mentions the death o f a c e r t a i n "Seius C l e b o n i a  also  known as L a c t a n t i u s " . . . S e i u s Cleboriianus q u i e t L a c t a n t i u s V an v i c s i t 2 a n i s XXXV ( s i c ) .  The cognomen L a c t a n t i u s , u n a t t e s t e d  elsewhere, may  w e l l be that o f the same f a m i l y which produced t h i s u n f o r t u n a t e and  the r h e t o r i c i a n who concerns u s .  Clebonia:  The i n s c r i p t i o n was found a t C i r t a  some 170 kms. from the s i t e o f S i c c a i n e a s t e r n Numidia,where A r n o b i u s taught,a if  n o t unreasonable d i s t a n c e f o r a b r i g h t young student  indeed  he was born i n the same a r e a as the aforementioned  We must a c c e p t  to be sent, Clebonia.  Jerome's word f o r the n o t i o n t h a t he was a student o f  Arnobius o f S i c c a , f o r a t no p l a c e does L a c t a n t i u s mention e i t h e r A r n o b i u s or S i c c a .  I t does however seem l i k e l y  t h a t , i n the t r a v e l o g u e ,  mentioned  by Jerome b u t u n f o r t u n a t e l y no l o n g e r e x t a n t , L a c t a n t i u s made some mention of the p l a c e from which he was d e p a r t i n g . informs  Augustine,  De Doct. C h r i s t . 2 . ,  us i n a d d i t i o n t h a t L a c t a n t i u s was educated i n A f r i c a .  d e t e c t the i n f l u e n c e o f other A f r i c a n A p o l o g i s t s : T e r t u l l i a n , 3 F e l i x , and e s p e c i a l l y  We can Minucius  Cyprian.  H i s date o f b i r t h a l s o p r e s e n t s a problem.  We know from Jerome  Chron.ad a.Abr. 2333 that L a c t a n t i u s , " i n extreme o l d age", was t u t o r to C r i s p u s , C o n s t a n t i n e ' s We a l s o know t h a t these  son, and L i c i n i u s , the son o f L i c i n i u s  Augustus".  two were made Caesars i n the year 317 a l o n g  with 4  the o t h e r son o f C o n s t a n t i n e , 321  who bore the same name as h i s f a t h e r .  In  the f a t h e r nominated these same two sons as c o n s u l s . . I t i s s a f e to  assume t h a t C r i s p u s ' e d u c a t i o n was over by 321 a t the l a t e s t and L a c t a n t i u s " i n extreme o l d age" must have a c c o r d i n g l y been b o r n between 230 and 250. We know n o t h i n g  about the date o f h i s death except f o r a r e f e r e n c e i n the  4 Chronicon of L u c i u s Dexter, a c o m p l e t e l y u n r e l i a b l e s o u r c e , to death ( i n a b j e c t p o v e r t y ) a t N i c a e a i n 317.  J u l i e h e r , however, c a l l s ,  t h i s c h r o n i c l e " d i e grosse F a l s c h u n g e i n e s consequently we Despite can, He  Lactantius'  spanischen J e s u i t e n vor  cannot take t h i s evidence s e r i o u s l y .  the l a c k of b i o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n  nevertheless,  t e l l s us, D i v .  about L a c t a n t i u s ,  deduce c e r t a i n t h i n g s about him I n s t . 5.2,  De Mort. P e r s .  13,  from h i s e x t a n t  that he was  pursued the p r o f e s s i o n of a r h e t o r i c i a n f o r a long  we  works.  teaching  o r a t o r y i n Nicomedia a t the time of the d e s t r u c t i o n of the temple He had  1620";^  there.  time but  had  some r e s e r v a t i o n s about i t .  I t i s s a f e to assume that- L a c t a n t i u s was  an o r d a i n e d  c o n s e q u e n t l y compelled to make h i s l i v e l i h o o d  priest.  He was  i n the e s t a b l i s h e d s c h o o l system which was  s t r u c t u r e d i n a way  to the g l o r i f y i n g of the i d e a l s o f a pagan e d u c a t i o n f o r the c h r i s t i a n s d i d not develop t h e i r own  A cursory  not a c h r i s t i a n  one,  i n Graeco-  time.  glance at h i s w r i t i n g s informs us  w e l l - e d u c a t e d man,  conducive  system of e d u c a t i o n  Roman times? a t l e a s t not u n t i l C o n s t a n t i n e ' s  not  both i n pagan l i t e r a t u r e and  t h a t he was  an  extremely  in Christian literature,  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 C i c e r o "  and  Jerome's p r a i s e  (Ep.70.5) as " v i r omnium sub  tempore e l o q u e r i t i s s i m u s " . 9  H i s knowledge of Greek l i t e r a t u r e was b a l a n c e d by  s i g n i f i c a n t l y shallow,  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  E p i s t . A d Hier.70.5 to complain i n a l e t t e r l e t t e r s stretched and  t h a t any  to h i m s e l f places.  a characteristic  to Jerome t h a t most of  to a thousand l i n e s of v e r s e ,  t h a t chanced to be  r a r e l y touching  Lactantius'  on  doctrine,  s h o r t were of more i n t e r e s t to s c h o l a r s  because they p e r t a i n e d  to metre and.the g e o g r a p h i c a l  Monceaux suggests t h a t L a c t a n t i u s  had  also studied  than  l o c a t i o n of  the Law,  although  Lactantius public  informs us, D i v .  Inst.3.13, t h a t he never i n f a c t engaged i n  speaking. Lactantius  e s t a b l i s h e d such a r e p u t a t i o n f o r h i m s e l f  o f r h e t o r i c , p r o b a b l y i n S i c c a , t h a t , c i r c a 290, to De Mort Pers.7.8-11, to Nicomedia to h e l p another Rome t h e r e .  he was  i n Diocletian's plan  G a l e r i u s , or by G a l e r i u s a c t i n g under D i o c l e t i a n ' s o r d e r s ,  of the De was  tenuous.  of s t u d e n t s .  ( i n summis  D i o c l e t i a n had  i n h i s e d i c t o f 301  riecessariis)  De Maximis P r e t i i s ,  d e n a r i i per p u p i l per month, r h e t o r s  was  waging a war  on the l i t t e r a t i  and  Most s c h o l a r s agree t h a t i t was  was  i n 305,  to t h i s p e r i o d , t h a t  p r o b a b l y through a  250}  at this  Galerius  time t h a t L a c t a n t i u s  turned  then by  Galerius a f t e r  have met  Lactantius.  De Mort Pers.35.1, 48.1,  the  Constantine  s i n c e he  i n York i n J u l y of  the f i f t h book of the D i v i n e  not  i s on  306.  years are v e r y vague  c e r t a i n l y must have l e f t Nicomedia f o r he was  i n B i t h y n i a as  Also,  as a v i r t u a l hostage; h i s p l a c e of detainment  L a c t a n t i u s ' whereabouts f o r the next few  v i d i ego  rhetoricians  i n a d d i t i o n to t h i s ,  Nicomedia s h o r t l y a f t e r G a l e r i u s ' a c c e s s i o n  c i t y when he p u b l i s h e d  dearth  schools.  hand to be p r o c l a i m e d emperor by h i s troops  u n c e r t a i n . He  he  7.70-71: grammarians c o u l d draw o n l y  almost c e r t a i n l y Nicomedia where he may  must have l e f t  by  l e a r n from the opening chapter  very  kept, f i r s t by D i o c l e t i a n and  a b d i c a t i o n of Dio  to make  Lactantius'  hand to composing h i s magnum opus, the D i v i n e I n s t i t u t e s .  C o n s t a n t i n e was  according  started  f i x e d the wages of grammarians and  200  his  We  O p i f i c i o D e i , which i s g e n e r a l l y a s s i g n e d  in dire straits  teacher  summoned,  In Nicomedia, when the p e r s e c u t i o n was  p o s i t i o n must have become r a t h e r  as a  and  i n that  I n s t i t u t e s f o r he  says...  though the l a t t e r were a v e r y d i s t a n t p l a c e . ^ he  g i v e s a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of when and  Later,  where  6 i n Nicomedia the e d i c t s of G a l e r i u s and M i l a n were p u b l i s h e d i n 311 313 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 Between 305  and  311 h i s whereabouts are unknown.  assume t h a t he was  and  i n Nicomedia.  I t i s tempting  i n Gaul w i t h C o n s t a n t i n e e n j o y i n g the  to  religious  freedom accorded by C o n s t a n t i n e i n 307, b u t u n f o r t u n a t e l y t h e r e i s no evidence  for this.  d u r i n g the d i f f i c u l t  L a c t a n t i u s may  simply have been a d o p t i n g a low  profile  times of p e r s e c u t i o n .  He seems to have r e t u r n e d to Nicomedia f o r a..few y e a r s b e f o r e going to Gaul to become the L a t i n teacher of C r i s p u s .  The  l a t t e r had been made  12 Caesar  i n March of 317  and was  a f a t h e r by 322.  His education,  must have taken p l a c e a t some time a n t e r i o r to 320,  then,  the year t h a t C o n s t a n t i n e  appointed a s e p a r a t e p r a e t o r i a n p r e f e c t as an a d v i s o r to C r i s p u s on 13 duty on the Rhine. t h i s date f o r we  I t i s probable that L a c t a n t i u s died s h o r t l y  hear n o t h i n g f u r t h e r about  The e x t a n t L a c t a n t i a n corpus  resembles  active  after  him. the l i s t  g i v e n by Jerome except  t h a t none of h i s l e t t e r s have s u r v i v e d , the Symposium i s l o s t , as i s the t r a v e l o g u e and of  the Grammaticus.  A manuscript  an otherwise unknown work e n t i t l e d De Motibus A n i m i , which attempts 14  e x p l a i n the a f f e c t i o n s of the s o u l . of  i n M i l a n c o n t a i n s fragments  the v e r y poem which concerns  to  Jerome u n f o r t u n a t e l y makes no mention  us, the De Ave  Phoenice,  an o m i s s i o n which  has caused many s c h o l a r s to doubt i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y i n the L a c t a n t i a n corpus. S i m i l a r l y , however, Jerome f a i l s  to mention the De Motibus Animi, which  o m i s s i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t he d i d not have the complete works of L a c t a n t i u s . The q u e s t i o n a r i s e s as to whether L a c t a n t i u s was was to  converted a t some time i n h i s c a r e e r . the view t h a t he was  born a pagan and  born a C h r i s t i a n or  Most modern t h e o l o g i a n s s u b s c r i b e 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  to be, a t b e s t , ambiguous.  seems  Rose s t a t e s t h a t he may have been a pagan.  There i s doubt, n o t that the a u t h o r of the D i v i n e I n s t i t u t e s was a C h r i s t i a n b u t r a t h e r about the p r e c i s e nature The  of h i s C h r i s t i a n f a i t h .  C o u n c i l o f N i c a e a had y e t to be h e l d and n o t o n l y was the I m p e r i a l  government m y s t i f i e d about the new r e l i g i o n b u t 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 to the c h a g r i n o f S t . A u g u s t i n e ,  the p h y s i c a l sun w i t h  C i v . Dei.19.23.  L a c t a n t i u s , however, was a good C h r i s t i a n a c c o r d i n g E p i s t . 60, and i s compared by him to T e r t u l l i a n , C y p r i a n , M i n u c i u s F e l i x , V i c t o r i n u s and A r n o b i u s . whether he was a good Roman. the S y b i l l i n e O r a c l e s day  C h r i s t , much  to Jerome, Hilarius,  I t i s l e s s easy to d e c i d e  His absolute  f a i t h i n the s c r i p t u r e s and  f o r c e s him to b e l i e v e (Div.Inst.7.15.11) t h a t one  the Roman hegemony w i l l be broken and r u l e w i l l r e t u r n to the E a s t . . .  Romanum nomen....horret animus d i c e r e . . . . t o l l e t u r e t e r r a e t imperium i n Asia revertetur.  H i s o v e r a l l view o f the empire i s , a t l e a s t a t t h i s  i n h i s c a r e e r , v e r y h o s t i l e . . q u a e sunt enim p a t r i a e commoda n i s i  stage  alterius  c i v i t a t i s a u t g e n t i s incommbda, i d e s t f i n e s propagare a l i i s v i b l e n t e r e r e p t o s , augere imperium, v e c t i g a l i a f a c e r e maiora? that k i l l i n g  openly  i s wrong, even under the g u i s e o f b r i n g i n g a charge a g a i n s t  someone which may i n c u r the death p e n a l t y . . licebit,  He s t a t e s q u i t e  . . i t a neque m i l i t a r e i u s t o  c u i u s m i l i t i a e s t i p s a i u s t i t i a , neque vero  c r i m i n e c a p i t a l i , q u i a n i h i l d i s t a t utrumrie quoniam o c c i s i o i p s a p r o h i b e t u r .  accusare  quemquam  f e r r o an verbo p o t i u s o c c i d a s ,  He must, however, have r e v i s e d h i s  p o s i t i o n on t h i s , f o r i n the De Mort. Pers.20, whose a u t h o r s h i p  has a l s o  8 been q u e s t i o n e d ,  the p r e s e n c e of C h r i s t i a n s i n G a l e r i u s ' army draws not  a s i n g l e note of s u r p r i s e or even rebuke. passed on Constantine  when he  accept L a c t a n t i a n authorship  difficulty  judgement i s  sentences Maximian to death. f o r t h i s we must a l s o a c c e p t  were a l i t t l e more f l e x i b l e now P i c h o n had  S i m i l a r l y no  C l e a r l y i f we that h i s b e l i e f s  that i m p e r i a l r u l e favoured  in attributing  the a u t h o r s h i p  the C h r i s t i a n s .  of the Phoenix  to a C h r i s t i a n L a c t a n t i u s ; " ^ the abundance o f e s s e n t i a l l y pagan symbols led  him  to b e l i e v e that i t must have been w r i t t e n b e f o r e  a Christian. man  and  have a l r e a d y seen that L a c t a n t i u s was  t h e r e seems no  comfortably converted his  We  with  The  a very  versatile  r e a s o n to p r e v e n t us from assuming t h a t he worked  t h i s m a t e r i a l too, at any  or not.  L a c t a n t i u s became  stage of h i s c a r e e r , whether  poem does f a l l more h a p p i l y i n t o the l a t e r p a r t of  c a r e e r , however, f o r reasons t h a t w i l l be e x p l o r e d more f u l l y  later.  In c o n c l u s i o n , a b r i e f summary w i l l be g i v e n of the arguments  and  18 counterpoints  against Lactantian authorship.  Baehrens, Ribbeck, B i r t and  others  I t has been argued  t h a t f i r s t l y no a n c i e n t a u t h o r mentions  the phoenix poem amongst h i s works, secondly  t h a t the a l l u s i o n s to pagan  mythology i n d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f the poem m i l i t a t e a g a i n s t authorship  and,  conciled with  i t s Christian  t h i r d l y , t h a t the elements o f sun worship cannot be  the b e l i e f s of a C h r i s t i a n A p o l o g i s t .  f o u r t h p o s s i b i l i t y , or r a t h e r h y p o t h e s i s , Lactantian authorship  r e c o n c i l e d completely  with  to the l o s t  that the o l d e s t mention of  travelogue  the poem as we  re-  Baehrens o f f e r s a  of a phoenix poem i n Gregory of Tours De  12 i s i n f a c t a r e f e r e n c e  are i n t e n d e d  by  Cursu  Stellarum  poem because they cannot  be  have i t . A l l the above statements  to weaken the argument f o r L a c t a n t i a n  There are f o u r main arguments t h a t support  authorship.  the  traditional  authorship,  9 examples  o f which a r e c i t e d i n the commentary.  F i r s t l y , o f the three  major m a n u s c r i p t s , P a r i s i n u s 13048 (P) (by f a r the b e s t ) , V e r o n e n s i s 163  (V) and L e i d e n s i s V o s s i a n u s ( L ) , both (P) and  by name.  (V) mention  Lactantius  T h i s i n i t s e l f does not prove L a c t a n t i a n a u t h o r s h i p s i n c e both  these m a n u s c r i p t s may w e l l date a f t e r the grammatical work De  Dubiis  Nominibus, which c o u l d have been the source f o r the m a n u s c r i p t  tradition.  T h i s t e x t on the gender o f nouns i s used as the second argument f o r the s t a t u s quo on a u t h o r s h i p .  I t i s i n a n i n t h - c e n t u r y hand but may  I t c i t e s I s i d o r e of S e v i l l e and thus i s p r o b a b l y not e a r l i e r  be  older.  than 600.  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g from our p o i n t o f view, f o r i t c i t e s nouns used by L a c t a n t i u s and t h e i r gender no fewer than e i g h t times and quotes much 19 o f the l i n e s from the phoenix poem where the words o c c u r . T h i r d l y , as was mentioned b e f o r e , Gregory of Tours i s f a m i l i a r w i t h a work on the phoenix by L a c t a n t i u s .  The d i f f e r e n c e s between the two  accounts a r e u s u a l l y e x p l a i n e d on the ground that Gregory i s q u o t i n g from a d e f e c t i v e memory. The l a s t , and i n many ways the most c o n v i n c i n g , argument f o r a t t r i buting  the poem to L a c t a n t i u s i s the f a c t  t i e s between the acknowledged  that there are s t r i k i n g  similari-  works of the church f a t h e r and the De  Ave  Phoenice, n o t o n l y i n i d e a s but a l s o grammatical usages, fondness f o r the same f i g u r e s o f speech, and a d m i r a t i o n f o r the same wide s e l e c t i o n of classical writers. There i s n o t h i n g i n the poem which we might c o n s i d e r  inconsistent  w i t h the e r u d i t i o n o f a r h e t o r i c i a n and an a p o l o g i s t ; indeed i f one criticizes  the poem, i t i s on the v e r y grounds o f over-usage o f o t h e r s ' i d e a s  and a s u p e r f l u i t y of p a n e g y r i c a l 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 o f many of the poets of the e a r l y f o u r t h c e n t u r y .  Notes to Chapter One  1  i  P. Monceaux, H i s t o i r e Lltt£raire de l ' A f r i q u e C h r g t i e n n e  U  (Paris  1905) v o l . 3 pages 287-297 and A.H.M. Jones, J.R. M a r t i n d a l e , J . M o r r i s , The Prosopography o f the L a t e r Roman Empire (Cambridge 1971) v o l . 3 page 338. 2  CIL 8.7241 & 17667.  3  Monceaux,  4  Cambridge A n c i e n t H i s t o r y  loc. cit. (Cambridge 1939) v o l . 12 page 694.  5  RE 5. 1.297.  6  T. H a a r h o f f , 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  ( P a r i s 1948)  422. 8  P i c de l a M i r a n d o l e , Opera Omnia ( L e i d e n 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 o f L a c t a n t i u s , S t u d i a P a t r i s t i c a 63 (1957) 663.  10  Monceaux,  op. c i t ,  289.  De Mort. P e r s .  7,8-11.  11  Stevenson, op. c i t . , 664.  12  A.H.M. Jones, op. c i t . page 233.  13  E.G. W i l s o n , S t u d i e s i n the L i v e s o f the Sons o f C o n s t a n t i n e ( d i s s . U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1977) page 14.  14  S. Brandt & G. Laubman, Q. F i r m i a n i L a c t a n t i opera Omnia ( L e i p z i g 1899) v o l . 2 page 157.  15  Stevenson, op. c i t .  page 661.  Christian Literature  E . J . Goodspeed, A H i s t o r y o f E a r l y  (Chicago 1942) p. 284.  16  H.J. Rose, A Handbook  17  R. P i c h o n , Lactance  of L a t i n L i t e r a t u r e  ( P a r i s 1901) page 465.  (New York 1960) page 481.  M.C.  Fitzpatrick,  Lactanti  De Ave Phoenice ( D i s s .  Philadelphia  1933^pages 31-37, d i s c u s s e d t h i s more f u l l y . Grammatici L a t i n i , Ed. H. K e i l ( H i l d e s h e i m 567-594.  1961) v o l . 5 pages  CHAPTER  TWO  PRE-LACTANTIAN ACCOUNTS 1  The p r e c i s e o r i g i n s o f a l l myths a r e , by the n a t u r e o f myth, cloaked i n o b s c u r i t y .  That of the phoenix i s no e x c e p t i o n .  e a r l i e s t u n d i s p u t e d a l l u s i o n to the phoenix i n c l a s s i c a l is  The  literature  i n the De D e f e c t u Oraculorum 11 o f P l u t a r c h , where Hesiod i s r e p o r t e d  to have s a i d  "the cawing crow l i v e s  f o r n i n e g e n e r a t i o n s o f men  i n t h e i r prime; the deer o u t l i v e s f o u r crows, phoenix o u t l i v e s n i n e crows, but we  of a n y t h i n g from 972,  are  the crow t h r e e s t a g s , the  the f a i r - h a i r e d daughters o f A e g i s -  b e a r i n g Zeus, the nymphs, o u t l i v e ten phoenixes. c o n s i d e r to be a g e n e r a t i o n o f man,  who  we  find  "Depending  on what we  t h a t the phoenix has a l i f e s p a n  29,169 or 1,049,760 y e a r s from t h i s  calculation;^"  I t i s , h o w e v e r , important to note t h a t a l r e a d y by Hesiod's time the phoenix had a r e p u t a t i o n f o r l o n g e v i t y . T h i s may  not i n f a c t be the f i r s t mention o f the phoenix i n a n c i e n t  Greece, f o r on t a b l e t s i n s c r i b e d w i t h L i n e a r B we w i t h the p l u r a l form p o - n i - k i - p i from which U n f o r t u n a t e l y , we  f i n d the words po-ni-ke  the word cboiVi^  l a t e r developed.  cannot be a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n whether the word s h o u l d be 2  t r a n s l a t e d as phoenix, g r i f f i n o r palm t r e e . i n l a i d w i t h i v o r y d e p i c t i n g a man, first  The t e x t d e s c r i b e s  footstools  a h o r s e , an octopus and a p o - n i - k e , the  three of which are l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s and the f o u r t h o f which may  well  have been the m y t h o l o g i c a l b i r d . The account w i t h which most o f us a r e f a m i l i a r i s o f c o u r s e that of Herodotus, who "another b i r d seen i t ,  p r o b a b l y depends on Hecatae us. We ;  i s sacred; i t i s c a l l e d  but o n l y p i c t u r e s o f i t ,  are t o l d a t 2.73  the phoenix.  that  I myself have never  f o r the b i r d comes b u t seldom i n t o  once i n f i v e hundred y e a r s , as the people of H e l i o p o l i s say. t h a t the phoenix comes when i t s f a t h e12r d i e s .  Egypt,  I t i s said  I f the p i c t u r e t r u l y shows  his  s i z e and appearance  h i s plumage i s p a r t l y golden but m o s t l y r e d .  He i s most l i k e an e a g l e i n shape and b i g n e s s .  The E g y p t i a n s t e l l a  t a l e o f t h i s b i r d ' s d e v i c e s which I do not b e l i e v e .  He  say, from A r a b i a b r i n g i n g h i s f a t h e r to the Sun's temple  comes, they enclosed i n  myrrh, and t h e r e b u r i e s him. H i s manner of .'.'bringing i s t h i s :  first  he moulds an egg o f myrrh as heavy as he can c a r r y , and when he proved i t s weight by l i f t i n g  has  i t he h o l l o w s out the egg and puts h i s  f a t h e r i n i t , c o v e r i n g over w i t h more myrrh the h o l l o w i n which the body lies;  so the egg, b e i n g w i t h i t s f a t h e r i n i t o f the same weight  b e f o r e , the phoenix, a f t e r e n c l o s i n g him, of  c a r r i e s him  to the  the Sun i n Egypt. Such i s the t a l e of what i s done by t h i s We  can see from these two authors t h a t we  of the remarkable  that  the  knew o f the e x t r a o r d i n a r y  and s i m i l a r l y makes no  g e n e s i s o f the b i r d .  document f u r t h e r accounts of the b i r d  s o u r c e s , something  ,  H e s i o d , on the o t h e r hand, g i v e s a f i g u r e f o r i t s  l i f e s p a n n o t remotely connected w i t h Herodotus  B e f o r e we  says  years  of i t s death, a l t h o u g h some would argue  presence o f the f a t h e r i m p l i e s t h a t Herodotus  mention  bird."  Herodotus  t h a t the b i r d o n l y comes to Egypt once i n every f i v e hundred  b i r t h of the phoenix.  temple  a l r e a d y have d i f f e r e n t  v e r s i o n s o f the myth as f a r back as the f i f t h c e n t u r y .  but he makes no mention  as  i n the  classical  s h o u l d be s a i d about what i n the b u s i n e s s world i s  known as "the G e n e r a l Systems Theory" o f m y t h o l o g i c a l b i r d s .  Egypt  has  i t s benu, which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d s h o r t l y , I n d i a i t s garuda, P e r s i a 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  l e s s s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a l t h o u g h , as y e t , no-one has attempted compare these i n d e t a i l .  to  N e v e r t h e l e s s , s c h o l a r s have t r i e d v e r y hard to  14 e s t a b l i s h a f i r m l i n k between the benu o f Egypt and Hecataeus/HerodotusBroek  the phoenix o f  (page 26) more c a u t i o u s l y attempts  demonstrate t h a t the c l a s s i c a l myth o f the phoenix i s r e l a t e d of the E g y p t i a n benu.but does not develop d i r e c t l y (Plate 1 - 2 )  p o i n t s out  t h a t by Roman-Egyptian times  from.it.  the Greek phoenix;  to t h a t He  also  the.two legends  become l a r g e l y f u s e d , the benu, or more p r o p e r l y , the bnw, f o r c e n t u r i e s as a heron, has,by now,  to  had  represented  taken on .the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f  i t i s seated on a pyre and bears no., d i r e c t resem--  b l a n c e to any known l i v i n g b i r d .  The  d i v e r g e n t r e a d i n g s o f the v a r i o u s  t e x t s , a t p r e s e n t , i n h i b i t a c o n c l u s i v e d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s argument; many o f the r e a d i n g s  t h a t Sbordone r e l i e d upon.have s i n c e been q u e s t i o n e d  on a fundamental b a s i s . was  familiar  Broek concludes  to many o f the c l a s s i c a l authors  the b a s i s o f the widespread but  " s u n - b i r d " myth found  of the  the r e s u l t of c o n s i d e r a b l e reworking  i n v a r i o u s c u l t u r e s o f the Near, M i d d l e and  E a s t . F o r our immediate purpose,  however, w h i c h . i s  established i n pre-Christian  g i v e n of the works o f the f i v e remaining to have w r i t t e n i n d e p e n d e n t l y Antiphanes,  seems to have developed  o r i e n t a l c o n c e p t i o n o f the b i r d  the " c l a s s i c a l myth" was  the myth was  t h a t the myth o f the phoenix t h a t  to d i s c o v e r how  on  sun, of  this  Far much o f  times, a b r i e f , s y n o p s i s w i l l C l a s s i c a l authors who  on the s u b j e c t o f . t h e phoenix.  be  are known Firstly  the f o u r t h - c e n t u r y comic poet, a c c o r d i n g to a fragment o f h i s  H a l f - B r o t h e r s p r e s e r v e d i n Athenaeus, Deip.14.655b, c l a i m s t h a t t h e r e a r e phoenixes we  i n H e l i o p o l i s , a v e r y s t r a n g e statement  f i n d more than one  ^ H i s t . Nat.  phoenix l i v i n g a t any  1 2 . 8 . 5 ) d o e s imply  c e n t u r y the H e l l e n i s t i c Jew  one  since  where e l s e  g i v e n moment a l t h o u g h  t h a t t h e r e i s more than one.  In the  do Pliny  second  E z e c h i a l the Dramatist"*gives a h i g h l y d e t a i l e d  d e s c r i p t i o n o f a b i r d which so c l o s e l y of  the phoenix  f o l l o w s the l a t e r d e s c r i p t i o n s  t h a t a l l concede t h a t the phoenix  i s intended.  The  b i r d ' s e x t e r n a l appearance i s d e s c r i b e d , i t s b e a u t i f u l song and the fact  t h a t i t has the b e a r i n g o f the King of the B i r d s .  great f e r t i l i t y  A l s o an o a s i s o f  i s mentioned c l o s e l y i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h  The remaining  phoenix.  t h r e e r e f e r e n c e s d u r i n g the p r e - G h r i s t i a n e r a a l l  date from around the b e g i n n i n g o f the f i r s t  c e n t u r y B.C.  I n the A r s  Grammatics 4.6 of C h a r i s i u s i s p r e s e r v e d a fragment o f the poem P t e r y g i o n P h o e n i c i s by the poet L a e v i u s who had e d i t e d a c o l l e c t i o n o f p o e t r y Erotopaegnia  i n the form o f Technopaegnia o r "shaped" p o e t r y  Simias o f Rhodes a t the b e g i n n i n g o f the H e l l e n i s t i c p e r i o d ) . of  the l i n e s c r e a t e s the o u t l i n e o f i t s s u b j e c t .  to  peruse  wings.  (pioneered by The l e n g t h  The r e a d e r was supposed  the poem as though he were r e a d i n g an i n s c r i p t i o n on E r o s '  The' phoenix  communicates through w r i t i n g on the u n d e r s i d e o f i t s  wings, a d e v i c e t h a t w i l l be encountered Baruch.  called  a g a i n i n the Apocolypse  o f Pseudo-  The fragment o f L a e v i u s runs as f o l l o w s : -  (0) Venus, amoris a l t r i x , genetrix c u p i d i t a t i s , m i h i quae diem serenum h i l a r u l a praepandere c r e s t i , opseculae tuae ac m i n i s t r a e ; The  i n s c r i p t i o n on the wings o f the phoenix  reads "0 Venus, who n o u r i s h e s  l o v e and rouses d e s i r e , you j o y f u l l y make the c l e a r day s t r e t c h out f o r me your f o l l o w e r (?) and your maid s e r v a n t . noted here: f i r s t l y ,  t h a t the phoenix  " S e v e r a l t h i n g s should be  i s d e s c r i b e d as f e m i n i n e , a c h a r a c -  t e r i s t i c f o l l o w e d o n l y by Ovid,Pomponius Mela, and L a c t a n t i u s ; s e c o n d l y , t h a t 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,  thirdly,  t h a t t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t h a t o f s e r v a n t and  master.  T h i s fragment has caused much d i s c u s s i o n ,  but general  agreement has been reached on the view that the phoenix in  represents,  t h i s case, a t r a d i t i o n v e r y d i f f e r e n t from that o f Herodotus,more  c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h , e i t h e r the eagle as an e s c o r t o f the sun god, or the o r i e n t a l c o n c e p t i o n day.  T h i s p o i n t i s d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r i n the commentary. The  B.C.  o f a huge b i r d which e s c o r t e d the sun each  second o f the r e f e r e n c e s  to the phoenix i n the f i r s t  century  i s i n the Pyrrhonea o f the s c e p t i c Aenesidemus, c i t e d by Diogenes  L a e r t i u s 9.79.  Aenesidemus mentions the phoenix, t o g e t h e r w i t h  fire  animals and maggots, as examples o f animals t h a t reproduce themselves asexually.  I t seems probable  remarkable genesis  t h a t Aeneidemus knew o f the s t o r y o f the  o f the b i r d s i n c e i t i s mentioned i n between two other  animals that e x h i b i t strange a s e x u a l  characteristics.  T h i s i s probably  our e a r l i e s t r e f e r e n c e t o the r e b i r t h o f the phoenix. The  l a s t v e r s i o n from the f i r s t  century  B.C. i s t h a t o f the Roman  s e n a t o r M a n i l i u s , w r i t i n g around 97 B.C. a c c o r d i n g 10.5  who p r e s e r v e s  the a c c o u n t .  to P l i n y H i s t . Nat.  T h i s Manilius described  f u l l y amongst the e a r l y w r i t e r s : . "the b i r d h a v i n g  the phoenix most  l i v e d 540 y e a r s . . . d i e s  on a f r a g r a n t n e s t . . . a f t e r which a s m a l l worm emerges from i t s bones and develops i n t o a new phoenix, which the b r i n g s the remains o f the o l d one to  the c i t y o f the sun near P a n c h a i a . "  the phoenix w i t h B.C.  M a n i l i u s equates the l i f e s p a n o f  the Great Year, which was supposed to have begun i n 312  about noon o f the day on which the sun entered  the f i r s t  day o f s p r i n g a c c o r d i n g  the s i g n o f the Ram,  to the J u l i a n Calendar.^  The i d e a o f  the phoenix and c h i l i a s m i s taken up by L a c t a n t i u s and w i l l be d i s c u s s e d later.  Broek p o i n t s out, v e r y r e a s o n a b l y , t h a t , although we f i n d no e x p l i c i t mention, a t t h i s  time, o f e i t h e r  b e i n g i g n i t e d by the sun on i t s death, the myth, we ought n o t to conclude the f i r s t  the b i r d decomposing o r  the two p r i n c i p a l v e r s i o n s o f  t h a t these were n o t known b e f o r e  c e n t u r y A.D., simply because no e x t a n t l i t e r a t u r e ,  p e r i o d , c o n t a i n s such r e f e r e n c e s . p r e v i o u s l y mentioned authors  from t h i s  N e v e r t h e l e s s we can see from the  t h a t the main threads o f the myth had  been e s t a b l i s h e d i n p r e - C h r i s t i a n times, a f a c t  t h a t must be born i n  mind when we come to c o n s i d e r t h e poem o f L a c t a n t i u s , who, w h i l e s t a y i n g w i t h i n the g e n e r a l bounds o f the e s t a b l i s h e d myth,  still  produced one o f the f u l l e s t v e r i o n s o f the t a l e i n a n t i q u i t y . During  the f i r s t  century A.D. r e f e r e n c e s 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 i d e a f o r i t s own purposes,  p a r t l y because, a f t e r Egypt became an I m p e r i a l  p r o v i n c e , there was much more c u l t u r a l i n t e r p l a y - b e t w e e n  Rome and Egypt  where the phoenix myth had f l o u r i s h e d i n the form o f the myth o f the benu and p a r t l y because Rome became s u b j e c t to a wave o f new i d e a s from the many peoples  a r r i v i n g i n the mother  city.  In o r d e r to make the m a t e r i a l more manageable the accounts arranged  i n t o 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 m i s l e a d i n g b u t n e v e r l e s s n e c e s s a r y . the probable'inter-dependence  and,  lastly,  These d i v i s i o n s  o f a l l these s o u r c e s .  the S c i e n t i f i c and Documentary a c c o u n t s , accounts  have been  secondly,  They a r e ,  belie, firstly,  the P o e t i c and F a b l e d  the T h e o l o g i c a l and M y s t i c a l Accounts.  I - S c i e n t i f i c and Documentary Accounts S i n c e P l i n y has a l r e a d y been mentioned as the p r e s e r v e r o f the  18 r e c o r d s of the s e n a t o r M a n i l i u s , i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e to document P l i n y ' s own  views. Of a l l the a n c i e n t sources, he a l o n e  any  r e s e r v a t i o n s about whether the b i r d r e a l l y e x i s t s even though he  i n c l u d e s i t i n h i s c a t a l o g u e o f r e a l b i r d s , next than amongst the imaginary Tacitus  (Ann.  embellished  6.27)  and m y t h i c a l b i r d s .  w h i l e conceding  ( H i s t . Nat.  10.3)  to the o s t r i c h , Even the  analytical and  by myths, n e v e r t h e l e s s s t a t e s c a t e g o r i c a l l y t h a t t h e r e was Pliny, also  some of these t a l e s and blames Herodotus f o r them ( H i s t . Nat.  Nat.  rather  t h a t the d e t a i l s a r e d i s p u t e d  q u e s t i o n about whether the b i r d d i d appear i n Egypt.  although  voices  o t h e r s have r e l a t e d  29.29) mocks those who  recounts  12.85)  the same s t o r i e s . In a d d i t i o n P l i n y c o n s i d e r one  no  of the most important  (Hist. medicines  to be one made from the ashes and n e s t of the phoenix, not however on  the  ground t h a t the b i r d does not e x i s t but r a t h e r t h a t i t i s a j o k e to p o i n t out remedies which o n l y r e t u r n every  thousand y e a r s !  The  f i g u r e of a  thousand y e a r s 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 years g i v e n by M a n i l i u s . o f the phoenix. reflected  540  Even i n a n t i q u i t y no-one knew the p r e c i s e age  The a s s o c i a t i o n of the phoenix and medicine may  i n the M a t e r i a Medica 3.24  under C l a u d i u s and Nero and  recorded  o f D i o s c u r i d e s Pedanius who t h a t the magicians c a l l  a l s o be wrote  the habrotonon  /  which i s p r o b a b l y . t o be phoenix".  That the phoenix was  t r a n s l a t e d as "sinews o f  of g r e a t i n t e r e s t to magicians we  from the P a p y r i Graecae Magicae (ed. K. P r e i s e n d a n z • and  know  [ L e i p z i g 1931]  from S. E i t r e m , P a p y r i Osloensis,. ( p s l o 1925)- 1.9..  the  2.73)  In b o t h o f which  there i s mention o f the phoenix. Tacitus  (Ann.  6.28)  r e p o r t s that " i n the c o n s u l a t e of Paulus  and L u c i u s V i t e l l i u s - A.D.34 ( P l i n y and  C a s s i u s Dio g i v e A.D.  36),  Fabius after  a l o n g p e r i o d of time, the b i r d known as the phoenix v i s i t e d Egypt, supplied for  the l e a r n e d  of t h a t c o u n t r y and  long d i s q u i s i t i o n s on the m i r a c l e .  which they c o i n c i d e , together yet not  I propose to s t a t e the p o i n t s  too absurd f o r n o t i c e . That the c r e a t u r e  plumage i s agreed by those who  t h e r e are some who and  i t s head and  have d e p i c t e d  the t r a d i t i o n v a r i e s . The  hundred; but  material  w i t h the l a r g e r number t h a t a r e  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from other b i r d s by  years,  of Greece w i t h the  t h a t i t was  i s sacred  dubious,  to the Sun  i t s form: as to i t s term  i n the r e i g n s f i r s t  Plolemy  ( t h i r d of the Macedonian d y n a s t y ) ,  at i n t e r v a l s  of S e s o s i s , then of  t h a t the t h r e e  earlier  phoenixes f l e w to the c i t y c a l l e d H e l i o p o l i s w i t h a g r e a t  escort  common b i r d s amazed at the n o v e l t y  while  of i t s appearance. But  a n t i q u i t y i s obscure,. between Ptolemy and than 250  y e a r s : whence the b e l i e f has  spurious  phoenix, not  s o i l of A r a b i a ,  none of the p r a c t i c e s a f f i r m e d by a n c i e n t  t r a d i t i o n . For,  of y e a r s i s complete and i n i t s own  procreating  force  whose f i r s t  c a r e on r e a c h i n g m a t u r i t y  and  a following  so the  c o u n t r y , and  sheds on i t a  the c o u r s e b e f o r e  him,  him  to the a l t a r of the Sun,  one,  i s to bury h i s s i r e . Nor  a f t e r r a i s i n g a weight of myrrh  t e s t i n g i t by a l o n g f l i g h t , as soon as he he l i f t s and  tale  death i s drawing n e a r ,  (vim geriitalem). from which s p r i n g s a young  and  of  T i b e r i u s t h e r e were l e s s  been h e l d t h a t t h i s was  o r i g i n a t i n g on the  t a s k performed at random, but,  and  the v a r i e g a t i o n of i t s  assert that i t s v i s i t s f a l l  years,  i t builds for i t s e l f a nest,  on  g e n e r a l l y r e c e i v e d number i s f i v e  of 1461  i s t o l d , when i t s sum  and  i s that and  i s a match f o r h i s burden  up h i s f a t h e r ' s c o r p s e , conveys  c o n s i g n s him  to the  flames."  From the above account, i t i s c l e a r t h a t T a c i t u s , f o r the  genesis  20  of the b i r d , used v e r y d i f f e r e n t  s o u r c e s from those used by  Herodotus,  Pomponius Mela, o r even P l i n y the E l d e r . There were o t h e r t r a d i t i o n s ..about the age of the phoenix  a t i t s d e a t h : Chaeremon, the t e a c h e r o f Nero, as  g r e p o r t e d by T z e t z e s , i n h i s work H i e r o g l y p h i c a f r g . 3 gave 7,006 y e a r s . Only i n T a c i t u s do we  f i n d mention o f the t r i a l  flight,  though i n  H e r o d o t u s j the b i r d does t e s t out the b a l l of myrrh b e f o r e f l y i n g w i t h i t . Pompomius Mela,  i n h i s Chronographia  3.83  may  be drawing  on the same  l o s t work o f 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 o f A r a b i a : " C o n c e r n i n g b i r d s , the phoenix ought  particularly  t o be mentioned, a b i r d of which t h e r e i s o n l y one;she i s not c o n c e i v e d by i n t e r c o u r s e or by pregnancy but when she has l i v e d y e a r s she t a k e s up her p o s i t i o n on a pyre bestrewn  f o r f i v e hundred  with various spices  and d i e s ( s o l v i t u r ) t a k i n g form from the p u t r i f i c a t i o n o f her body, then c o n c e i v e s h e r s e l f and  she  from h e r s e l f becomes born a g a i n . When she  has grown a b i t , she c a r r i e s o f f the bones of her former are e n c l o s e d i n myrrh, t o Egypt.  s e l f , which  In the toxan of the Sun, h a v i n g p l a c e d  them on the b u r n i n g pyres of the a l t a t ,  she d e d i c a t e s the remains  in  t h i s c e l e b r a t e d f u n e r a l " . Mela c l e a r l y f o l l o w s the Herodotean v e r s i o n , a l t h o u g h he does seem t o be f a m i l i a r w i t h a t l e a s t some o f the  sources  mentioned by P l i n y . He does f o r example mention Panchaia  but not  i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the phoenix,  as M a n i l i u s had  3.81,  done.  In the l a t e second c e n t u r y , the whole f i e l d of "phoenix becomes more s y s t e m a t i c , f i r s t l y w i t h C e l s u s whose account  study" i s preserved  ainnOr-lgenlsuGontra 6elsumc4g.-98yandtsecbndlycwdithothefihcl'usion^of phoenix  by A e l i a n i n h i s De Natura Animalium 6.58.  the  Both C e l s u s , w r i t i n g i n  the l a t e 170's, and A e l i a n , a s h o r t w h i l e a f t e r t h a t , 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  r e p r e s e n t e d by Herodotus.  of  the f i r s t  comprehensive  to  have used  the phoenix as an example o f something  Celsus was the author  p h i l o s o p h i c a l a t t a c k on C h r i s t i a n i t y and seems that r e c r e a t e d i t s e l f ;  and i n t h i s way he proves t h a t God d i d not c r e a t e e v e r y t h i n g . Celsus, s t i l l  a r g u i n g f o r the p i e t y o f the i r r a t i o n a l c r e a t i o n , quotes the  i n s t a n c e o f the A r a b i a n b i r d , to  "But f u r t h e r ,  the phoenix, which a f t e r many y e a r s  repairs  Egypt, and bears t h i t h e r i t s p a r e n t , when dead and b u r i e d , i n a b a l l of  myrrh, and d e p o s i t s i t s body i n the temple  o f the Sun."  A e l i a n a l s o seems t o . r e f l e c t a t r a d i t i o n o f d i s p u t e about whether the phoenix of  f u r n i s h e s p r o o f o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f God o r the n o n - e x i s t e n c e  God, when he s t a t e s s p e c i f i c a l l y  "The  t h a t i t knows what i t knows by i n s t i n c t .  phoenix knows how to reckon f i v e hundred  y e a r s w i t h o u t the a i d o f  A r i t h m e t i c , f o r i t i s a p u p i l o f a l l - w i s e Nature, so t h a t i t has no need of  f i n g e r s o r a n y t h i n g e l s e to a i d i n the u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f numbers.  The  purpose o f t h i s knowledge and the need f o r i t a r e m a t t e r s o f common r e p o r t . But h a r d l y a s o u l amongst the E g y p t i a n s knows when the f i v e - h u n d r e d year p e r i o d i s completed; order.  But i n f a c t  o n l y a v e r y few know and they b e l o n g to the p r i e s t l y the p r i e s t s have d i f f i c u l t y  i n a g r e e i n g on these  p o i n t s , and b a n t e r one another and m a i n t a i n t h a t i t i s n o t now b u t a t some date l a t e r  than when i t was due t h a t the d i v i n e b i r d w i l l  arrive.  Meantime w h i l e they a r e v a i n l y s q u a b b l i n g , the b i r d m i r a c u l o u s l y guesses the p e r i o d by s i g n s and appears. and c o n f e s s t h a t they devote  And the p r i e s t s a r e o b l i g e d to g i v e way  t h e i r time  'to p u t t i n g the sun to r e s t w i t h  t h e i r t a l k ' ; b u t they do not know as much as the b i r d . But, by the Gods, i s i t n o t wise the b i r d  to know where Egypt i s s i t u a t e d , where i s H e l i o p o l i s w h i t h e r  i s d e s t i n e d to come, and where i t must bury i t s f a t h e r and i n what  22 kind of c o f f i n ? " l a t e r , was  L a c t a n t i u s j l i n e 34 j  some hundred y e a r s (?)  to view the phoenix i n much the same way when he was  explaining  the d u t i e s o f the phoenix towards Phoebus, Hoc N a t u r a parens munus habere dedit. A c h i l l e s T a t i u s ought b e s t be c o n s i d e r e d i n the P o e t i c arid F a b l e d 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 the Herodotean v e r s i o n t h a t f o r the sake o f completeness here.  I n h i s n o v e l L e u c i p p e and C l i t o p h o n 3.24-25, now  on  i t i s included known to date  from the second c e n t u r y , A c h i l l e s T a t i u s t e l l s o f an army d e t a i n e d near H e l i o p o l i s because  i t s s a c r e d b i r d had a r r i v e d " b e a r i n g w i t h him the  s e p u l c h r e o f h i s f a t h e r , and they had t h e r e f o r e been compelled to d e l a y t h e i r march f o r that space of time ( f i v e days) I,  'which i s so g r e a t l y honoured?  carries?'  'The b i r d  i s called  'what b i r d  i s that,'  And what i s t h i s s e p u l c h r e t h a t  the phoenix;' was  the answer,  said he  'he comes  from E t h i o p i a , and i s o f 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 o f c o l o u r .  H i s wings are a m i x t u r e o f gold and  scarlet;  he i s proud to acknowledge the Sun as h i s l o r d , and h i s head i s w i t n e s s of h i s a l l e g i a n c e , which i s crowned w i t h a m a g n i f i c e n t h a l o — h a l o i s the symbol o f the Sun.  a circular  I t i s o f a deep magenta c o l o u r , l i k e  of the r o s e , o f g r e a t beauty, w i t h s p r e a d i n g r a y s where the f e a t h e r s  that spring.  The E t h i o p i a n s enjoy h i s p r e s e n c e d u r i n g h i s l i f e - t i m e , t h e E g y p t i a n s a t h i s death; when he d i e s - and he i s s u b j e c t to death a f t e r a l o n g p e r i o d o f years —  h i s son makes a s e p u l c h r e f o r him and c a r r i e s him to the N i l e .  He d i g s out w i t h h i s beak a b a l l o f myrrh of the sweetest savour and h o l l o w s i t out i n the m i d d l e s u f f i c i e n t l y to take the body o f a b i r d ; t h a t he has dug out i s employed  as a c o f f i n f o r the c o r p s e .  the h o l l o w He puts the  bird  i n and  f i t s i t i n t o the r e c e p t a c l e ,  the c a v i t y w i t h c l a y , f l i e s of h i s labours.  An  attends a migrating  and  then, a f t e r s e a l i n g  to the N i l e , c a r r y i n g w i t h him  e s c o r t of o t h e r b i r d s accompanies him k i n g , and  he never f a i l s  spot and  assures himself  c a r r y i n g w i t h him t h a t he  his  a book from the sacred  The  b i r d knows t h a t he may  e x h i b i t s the  corpse and  an E t h i o p i a n r i g h t of We  the  doubted,  Afterwards  of the Sun  on  take the dead  but  a t h i s death he becomes an  Egyptian  burial.'" dismiss  i s w r i t i n g f i c t i o n and  A c h i l l e s Tatius  t o t a l l y on  consequently should be  C l e a r l y he has  the e a r l i e r w r i t e r s .  He  c r i p t i o n g i v e n by P l i n y  retained  ( H i s t . Nat.  10.3) The  and  Clement and  he  completely  t r a d i t i o n s known to  c l o s e l y the p h y s i c a l desthe  t a l e of the b a l l  e s c o r t of b i r d s , too, was  'before i n both E z e c h i a l the D r a m a t i s t and p r i e s t s i s mentioned by  the ground t h a t  regarded as  elements of the  seems to echo f a i r l y  myrrh s t r o n g l y suggests Herodotus.  [by  to  and  I t i s thus t r u e that d u r i n g h i s l i f e the phoenix i s  by r i g h t of n u r t u r e ,  need not  unreliable.  Egyptian  d e l i v e r s , as i t were, a f u n e r a l p a n e g y r i c  departed f a t h e r ; then the a t t e n d a n t - p r i e s t s bury him.  an  shrine,  be  d i s p l a y s every p a r t , even the p r i v a t e , of h i s body.  b i r d and  by  Then he perches upon a  i s the genuine b i r d from h i s l i k e n e s s  p i c t u r e which he p o s s e s s e s .  he  as a bodyguard  awaits the coming o f the a t t e n d a n t s o f the God;  p r i e s t goes out,  and  the r e s u l t  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 b i r d ' s l a s t d e s t i n a t i o n . high  up  of encountered  T a c i t u s ; i n a d d i t i o n the welcome  Aelian.  The  r o l e of the phoenix  as  f u n e r a l p a n e g y r i c i s t appears f i r s t here as does the b e l i e f i n the  Ethiopian  origin.  other  The  d i s p l a y i n g of the b i r d ' s p r i v a t e p a r t s appears i n no  v e r s i o n of the myth.  A c h i l l e s T a t i u s d i d 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 " v e r s i o n o f the s t o r y s i n c e he was w r i t i n g  f i c t i o n , but, n e v e r t h e l e s s , so.  g e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , he seems to have done  Perhaps t h e phoenix s t o r y was i n s e r t e d i n t o h i s n o v e l  to add b o t h  c o l o u r and a u t h e n t i c i t y . Some time d u r i n g  the second century,  I n d i a became a s s o c i a t e d  with  the phoenix; b o t h by L u c i a n , who i s d i s c u s s e d w i t h t h e P o e t i c and F a b l e d Accounts s i n c e he c l e a r l y does n o t t r e a t the s u b j e c t as a s e r i o u s one, and  9 by A r i s t i d e s A e l i u s  (Orat.45) who d e s c r i b e s  the frequency o f a good  o r a t o r b e i n g b o r n as about as o f t e n as t h e " I n d i a n b i r d i s b o r n a t t h e Egyptian  c y c l e s o f the Sun". The i d e a o f the appearance o f t h e phoenix  and  i t s coincidence  had  connected t h e b i r d w i t h t h e "Great Y e a r " . . I n d i a was a l s o v i s i t e d by  Apollonius  w i t h c e r t a i n c y c l e s was not , new, o f course, f o r P l i n y  o f Tyana who, a c c o r d i n g  to P h i l o s t r a t u s 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 w i t h the I n d i a n s :  'and t h e  phoenix,' he s a i d ' i s t h e b i r d which v i s i t s Egypt every f i v e hundred but  the r e s t o f t h a t time i t f l i e s around i n I n d i a ; and i t . i s  years,  unique i n  t h a t i t i s an.emanation o f the s u n l i g h t and s h i n e s w i t h g o l d , i n s i z e and appearance l i k e an e a g l e ;  a n d . i t s i t s upon the n e s t which i s made by i t a t  the s p r i n g s o f the N i l e out o f s p i c e s . t h a t i t comes to Egypt, i s t e s t i f i e d  The s t o r y . o f the E g y p t i a n s about i t , ,  to. by the Indians also.,, b u t the l a t t e r  add  t h i s touch to the s t o r y , t h a t the phoenix which i s b e i n g  its  nest  sings  f u n e r a l songs f o r i t s e l f . '  consumed i n  I t can be seen that except f o r  the mention o f I n d i a , the above account d i f f e r s l i t t l e  from the account  g i v e n by A c h i l l e s T a t i u s who may depend u l t i m a t e l y upon Herodotus. P h i l o s t a t u s ' account i s more l i k e a c a r e l e s s summary o f the e s t a b l i s h e d tradition.  Are we j u s t i f i e d  source f o r the I n d i a n . v e r s i o n ?  i n considering Apollonius  as a p o s s i b l e  C e r t a i n l y both L u c i a n 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  this i s just  which A p o l l o n i u s would be l i k e l y the a u t h o r i t y of the  the s o r t o f exaggerated  to propagate i n o r d e r to emphasize  Indians.  There i s , however, a more sobefc v e r s i o n which connects phoenix w i t h I n d i a .  nonsense  the  D i o n y s i u s of P h i l a d e l p h i a (?) i n h i s De Aucupio,  1.32  an e a r l y t h i r d - c e n t u r y (?) manual on c a t c n i n g b i r d s , r e c o r d s the f o l l o w i n g t a l e : . " I have heard 0  t h a t there i s a b i r d amongst the Indians which  has  no p a r e n t s nor does i t p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s ; i t s name i s the phoenix.  F o r the most p a r t , so they say, i t l i v e s w i t h o u t  f e a r because  no-one can do i t any harm e i t h e r w i t h bows, s t o n e s , l i m e - t w i g s o r w i t h nets.  I t s death  i s also a beginning  f o r i t , f o r when i t grows o l d and  knows t h a t i t i s more s l u g g i s h i n f l i g h t and having  gathered  i t s e y e s i g h t i s dimmer,  together some twigs on the top of a l o f t y r o c k , i t makes  a s o r t o f pyre o f death which i s a t the same time a n e s t of l i f e , after  the phoenix s e t t l e s down on the middle  heat of the rays o f the Sun. born,  When i t has  to assume t h a t he had never heard  they  say, the b i r d  comes  sun.  a l t h o u g h i t seems d i f f i c u l t  of the H e l i o p o l i s s t o r y o r the  Panchaia  He d e f i n i t e l y echoes the same t r a d i t i o n as t h a t mentioned by  P l i n y H i s t . Nat. r o c k s and  So,  the  young phoenix i s  a f a t h e r or mother, s o l e l y from a r a y o f the  D i o n y s i u s makes no mention of Egypt at a l l ,  version.  i s s e t on f i r e by  d i e d , another  displaying i t s ancestors' d i s p o s i t i o n .  i n t o e x i s t e n c e without  of i t ,  which,  42.85 where the phoenix i s d e s c r i b e d n e s t i n g on  t r e e s and having  inaccessible  i t s n e s t a s s a i l e d by l e a d - l o a d e a arrows.  Parts  of D i o n y s i u s ' v e r s i o n are v e r y d i f f e r e n t , however, and he does r e c o r d h i t h e r t o unknown a s p e c t s o f the b i r d . a g i n g b i r d and how  The  charming d e s c r i p t i o n of  i t knows of i t s impending death  i s known i n no  the earlier  26 variant.  S i m i l a r l y unknown i s the i g n i t i o n o f the b i r d by the r a y o f  the  Although Broek, 203, would have t h i s occur e a r l i e r i n  sun.  P h i l o s t r a t u s , s u f f i c e i t to say t h a t the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the t e x t i s very subjective at this One  point.  f u r t h e r important documentary  account needs to be  mentioned,  t h a t o f Artemidorus D a l d i a n u s , the "Jung" of the a n c i e n t w o r l d . l a t e second-century w r i t e r who or  "A c e r t a i n man  t h a t he was  had a dream about the phoenix, On.  thought t h a t he was  s a i d that the man  who  p a i n t i n g a phoenix b i r d .  had the dream, f e l l  f o r c e d to l i f t  bury him h i m s e l f .  4.47:  An E g y p t i a n  i n t o such d i r e s t r a i t s . o f p o v e r t y  up h i s dead f a t h e r upon h i s own  s h o u l d e r s and  For the phoenix a l s o b u r i e s i t s dead f a t h e r ,  dream a c t u a l l y took p l a c e i n t h a t way,  related  whether  I don't know; t h a t was  how  he  the t a l e and i t i s l i k e x y to have turned out a c c o r d i n g to. t h i s  d e t a i l o f the s t o r y . not  Onirocritica  The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Dreams, perhaps i n the l a t e second c e n t u r y ,  comments upon a c e r t a i n man who  the  wrote a remarkable book e n t i t l e d  This  But t h e r e a r e some who  say t h a t the phoenix  does  i n f a c t bury i t s f a t h e r and f u r t h e r m o r e n e i t h e r i t s f a t h e r nor any o f  i t s a n c e s t o r s s u r v i v e i t , but whenever the a p p o i n t e d day comes, i t j o u r n e y s to  Egypt,  whence nobody knows, and makes f o r i t s e l f a pyre from c a s i a and  myrrh and d i e s on i t . say,  Sometime a f t e r the pyre has been f i r e d , so they  a worm i s generated from the ashes, which changes  shape, grows b i g g e r ,  becomes a g a i n a phoenix and f l i e s away from Egypt to wherever phoenix came from. the  the p r e v i o u s  So t h a t i f someone s h o u l d say t h a t the man who  had  dream i s b e r e f t o f p a r e n t s , a c c o r d i n g to t h i s v e r s i o n of the t a l e ,  w i l l not be wrong."  he  27 Artemidorus the myth. origins  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  Firstly  t h a t people had become so confused about  the b i r d ' s  t h a t they were prepared simply to i g n o r e the problem.  Secondly  he d e s c r i b e d two v e r s i o n s o f the myth t h a t he i m p l i e s a r e i r r e c o n c i l a b l e . Broek,  f o l l o w i n g Hubert and L e r o y , agrees w i t h A r t e m i d o r u s .  . i s more a c c u r a t e to say that Artemidorus the accounts o f T a c i t u s ,  demonstrates  Perhaps i t  h i s ignorance of  Pomponius Mela, A e l i a n , A c h i l l e s T a t i u s  p o s s i b l y Clement o f Rome, a l l o f whom attempted  and  to r e c o n c i l e , more or  ,,less, these two v e r s i o n s o f the s t o r y , r a t h e r than to s t a t e t h a t  he  r e c o r d e d the a r c h e t y p e s o f the myth.  More d e t a i l e d d a t i n g o f these  sources might h e l p us know more about  the interdependence o f the a f o r e -  mentioned  accounts.  In a d d i t i o n , i t i s v e r y . i n t e r e s t i n g  to note t h a t the myth was  well  enough known by an o r d i n a r y p a i n t e r to be the s u b j e c t o f h i s dreams, and t h a t the account of Hecataeus accords w e l l with that  r e p o r t e d by Herodotus  i n the f i f t h  century  o f t h i s unnamed E g y p t i a n of the second c e n t u r y  A.D.  B r i e f mention needs be made of o n l y t h r e e o t h e r documentary a c c o u n t s . The  t h i r d c e n t u r y 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 B y z a n t i n e S y n c e l l u s , g i v e s us a d d i t i o n a l ages f o r the phoenix o f  654  or 650 y e a r s . S o i i n u s , w r i t i n g e a r l y i n the t h i r d c e n t u r y , recorded, i n h i s C o l l e c t a n e a •Rerum Memorabilium, 33.11-15 a g e o g r a p h i c a l summary o f the w o r l d , a l o n g 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 A r a b i a , which i s almost a complete  p l a g i a r i s m from the account o f M a n i l i u s r e c o r d e d by. P l i n y the E l d e r .  Finally,  the eloquent Bishop o f A l e x a n d r i a .(248 A.D.-265 A.D.),  D i o n y s i u s , student o f O r i g e n , s t r a n g e l y i g n o r e d by L a c t a n t i u s whose i n t e r e s t s  28 i n Greek P h i l o s o p h y l a r g e l y c o i n c i d e d w i t h h i s , makes mention of both the phoenix frg.  and  the palm t r e e as l o n g - l i v e d , i n h i s work De  3 ( p r e s e r v e d i n the Praep.  Evang. of Eusebius) but o f f e r s  s u g g e s t i o n s on t h e i r p o s s i b l e common etymology i n Greek. b e l i e v e s i n the e x i s t e n c e of the phoenix,  which a r e c l e a r l y not  II  -  He  no  clearly  f o r he g i v e s examples o f  l o n g - l i v e d b i r d s such as e a g l e s , ravens and phoenixes, of  Natura  the f i r s t  fictional.  P o e t i c and F a b l e d  Because of i t s remarkable  Accounts the  phoenix  f a s c i n a t e d b o t h poets and prose w r i t e r s w i t h a p r o c l i v i t y  f o r the  exotic.  regenerative a b i l i t y ,  I t h e l d more i n t e r e s t , however, f o r the L a t i n than the Greek  poets, f o r amongst the l a t t e r , o n l y E z e c h i a l the D r a m a t i s t the phoenix worthy o f more than two Jewish i n t e r e s t .  who  thought  those on a t o p i c of p u r e l y  t h a t L a e v i u s used an A l e x a n d r i a n  none:'Is'rextaht.  are faced w i t h a s i m i l a r problem when we  i s the f i r s t person e x p l i c i t l y  the b i r d  l i n e s and  I t i s , however, l i k e l y  model f o r h i s poem, a l t h o u g h We  two  come to c o n s i d e r O v i d ,  to mention the remarkable  though he makes no mention o f f i r e or decomposition.  use an A l e x a n d r i a n source f o r t h i s ?  g e n e s i s of Did  Nobody would deny t h a t Ovid  he  was  i m a g i n a t i v e enough to c r e a t e the i d e a h i m s e l f , but the problem remains i n s o l u b l e . There remains no doubt, however, t h a t L a c t a n t i u s used f a i r l y e x t e n s i v e l y , f o r i n the works of both, c l o s e l y connected  the b i r d  Ovid  i s feminine  and  w i t h t r e e s and even the language i s echoed a t times,  as i s p o i n t e d out i n the commentary. Compare Met.  392-407: "There i s one  living  t h i n g , a b i r d , which  29 reproduces  and r e g e n e r a t e s i t s e l f , w i t h o u t any o u t s i d e a i d .  Assyrians c a l l  i t the phoenix.  I t l i v e s , n o t on c o r n o r g r a s s e s ,  but on the gum o f i n c e n s e and the sap o f balsam. five centuries of l i f e ,  When i t has  completed  i t straightaway b u i l d s a nest f o r i t s e l f ,  working w i t h u n s u l l i e d beak and claw, swaying palm.  The  i n the topmost branches o f some  Then, when i t has l a i d a f o u n d a t i o n o f c a s i a , and smooth  s p i k e s o f h a r d , c h i p s o f cinnamon bark and y e l l o w myrrh, i t p l a c e s on top, and ends i t s l i f e  amid the perfumes.  phoenix  the  of  i s born anew from  years.  weight,  fether's  Then, they say, a  When the n e s t l i n g i s o l d enough and s t r o n g enough to c a r r y the  i tlifts  i t reaches  the heavy n e s t from  the high.branches  and, l i k e a d u t i f u l  Ovid resembles  temple."  M a n i l i u s s o l e l y i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the n e s t ;  the o n l y other e a r l i e r w r i t e r w i t h whom he has a n y t h i n g i n  common i s Herodotus,  who, o f c o u r s e , makes no mention a t a l l o f the  r e - b i r t h o f the phoenix  b u t g i v e s a p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n o f the b i r d ,  a s u b j e c t c o m p l e t e l y i g n o r e d by O v i d .  E z e c h i a l too mentions palm  o n l y j u s t b e f o r e he mentions t h e phoenix. Ovid h i m s e l f b e l i e v e d i n the phoenix, in  yielding a i r ,  the c i t y o f the Sun, where i t l a y s . i t s burden b e f o r e the  s a c r e d doors, w i t h i n Hyperion's  otherwise  little  body, f a t e d to l i v e a l i k e number  son, c a r r i e s i t s f a t h e r ' s tomb, i t s own c r a d l e , through-the till  itself  trees  I t remains a moot p o i n t whether  f o r , a l t h o u g h he p r o f e s s e s no c y n i c i s m  the a b o v e - c i t e d passage, n e v e r t h e l e s s e a r l i e r i n h i s c a r e e r he had l o c a t e d  the phoenix,  Am.. 6.49-54, i n E l y s i u m b u t conceded t h a t there was some doubt  about t h i s s i qua f i d e s dubi-is_. A f t e r Ovid, no poet devotes much a t t e n t i o n to the phoenix r e a c h the De Ave Phoenice  of  Lactantius.  Lucan, Bellum  u n t i l we  C i v i l e 6.680,  30 mentions  the ashes o f phoenix i n a c a t a l o g u e o f magic  ingredients  used by the w i t c h E r i c t h o to r e v i v e a corpse so t h a t Pompey might know h i s d e s t i n y .  The phoenix i s d e s c r i b e d a t the same time as  Eoa p o s i t i p h o e n i c i s i n a r a "the b i r d which l a y s i t s body on the Eastern A l t a r " .  U n f o r t u n a t e l y Lucan g i v e s us i n s u f f i c i e n t  information  t o enable us to i d e n t i f y h i s s o u r c e ; however, h i s u n c l e , Seneca  (Ep.42.1),  uses the w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d t a l e o f the phoenix as a metaphor t o d e s c r i b e the f r e q u e n c y o f t h e appearance of t h e t r u l y good man.  S t a t i u s mentions  the phoenix three times, b u t i n a d i f f e r e n t sense; f o r him (Silv.2.4.33-37) the b i r d e p i t o m i z e s something f e l i x , the weary languor o f o l d age.  " b l e s s e d " , because i t i s f r e e from  When S t a t i u s i m p l i e s t h a t the phoenix i s  the g u a r d i a n of cinnamon ( S i l v . 2 . 6 . 8 7 ) , he s u r e l y echoes the t r a d i t i o n r e c o r d e d by P l i n y  ( H i s t . Nat.42.85).  Elsewhere S t a t i u s demonstrates  , h i s f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h t h e s t o r y about the b u r n i n g ( S i l v . 3 . 2 . 1 1 4 ) . simply uses whatever  o f the many a s p e c t s o f the b i r d  convenient w i t h o u t r e s t r i c t i n g h i m s e l f  He  i s poetically  to one v e r s i o n o f the t a l e .  M a r t i a l uses the phoenix as a metaphor f o r something extremely r a r e (Epigrammata  5.37.13) which i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h r i c h perfumes! (6.55.1-2),  and i n a d d i t i o n he shows t h a t he i s aware o f the c h i l i a s t i c  traditions  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the phoenix by b o t h P l i n y and T a c i t u s i n o r d e r to f l a t t e r Domitian.Martial .  (5.7.1-4) i s p r o b a b l y r e f e r r i n g  to the e x t e n s i v e  b u i l d i n g programmes c a r r i e d out by t h a t emperor i n Rome i n the f o l l o w i n g passage, "As when the f i r e renews t h e A s s y r i a n n e s t , whenever one b i r d has lived  i t s ten cycles  and put on h e r s e l f  (decern s a e c u l a ) , so has new Rome shed h e r bygone age  the v i s a g e o f h e r Governor."  L u c i a n a l s o uses the phoenix as a metaphor, (Herm.53, De Morte P e r .  31 27, N a v . 4 4 ) , but o n l y f o r something o f extreme age. tically,  he d e c l i n e s the o p p o r t u n i t y o f lampooning  simply says (Nav.44) t h a t the b i r d i s  o^exTos  Perhaps  uncharacteris-  the m y t h i c a l b i r d but  , 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 v e r s e e q u a l to t h a t of the prose w r i t e r s . To conclude the P o e t i c and F a b l e d Accounts something ought to be s a i d about H e l i o d o r u s , whose dates ( u n f o r t u n a t e l y ) a r e n o t o r i o u s l y j e c t u r a l ; they range from the t h i r d to the f i f t h  con-  century.. He, l i k e  Lucian,  used the phoenix as a metaphor f o r something extremely rare,6,3.3,and showed h i s e r u d i t i o n by d e c l i n i n g of  to commit h i m s e l f to the  whereabouts  the o r i g i n s o f the phoenix, b u t simply o f f e r e d b o t h Egypt and I n d i a as  alternatives. It  i s important to note t h a t nowhere among the p r e c e d i n g accounts  have we d i s c o v e r e d do we  find  the phoenix b e i n g used a l l e g o r i c a l l y ,  the phoenix used i n t h i s way  indeed nowhere  except i n the De Ave  Phoenice.  An a l l e g o r y e n t a i l s the c o n s c i o u s d i s g u i s e of a l i t e r a r y i d e a ; 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  a r e t o l d p r e c i s e l y what the  b i r d symbolises.  Ill  - T h e o l o g i c a l and M y s t i c a l  Accounts  The i d e a of the phoenix h e l d a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r a wide assortment o f c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s ; i t i s not o t h e r w i s e f o r the t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t e r s . e a r l y as the t u r n of the f i r s t confidently c i t i n g  c e n t u r y A.D.,  we  f i n d Clement  As  o f Rome  the i m m o r t a l i t y o f the phoenix as an example o f the  32 magnitude  of the promise t h a t the c r e a t o r o f f e r s to those who  path o f " r i g h t e o u s n e s s " .  Whether Clement,  t h i s comparison h i m s e l f , we do n o t know. which was  choose the  (Ep.ad Cor. 79-83), I t was  a brilliant  discovered  comparison,  to f u r n i s h t h e o l o g i c a l w r i t e r s o f the next 1600 y e a r s w i t h  copious m a t e r i a l to work w i t h , i n f a c t a m a s t e r s t r o k e of pamphleteering • " L e t us l o o k a t a remarkable phenomen which appears i n the E a s t , namely i n the l a n d s near A r a b i a .  I t i s the b i r d which i s c a l l e d  the phoenix. I t  i s b e g o t t e n s i n g l y and l i v e s f o r f i v e hundred y e a r s and when i t approaches the r e l e a s e of death i t makes f o r i t s e l f a n e s t from f r a n k i n c e n s e and myrrh and o t h e r aromatic p l a n t s to which i t makes i t s way when i t s time has been completed and i t d i e s . When the f l e s h has become p u t r i d a c e r t a i n worm appears which n o u r i s h e s i t s e l f  from the humours of the dead animal  and grows wings.  i t s proper s e l f , i t takes h o l d of the  Then, on becoming  n e s t where l i e the remains o f i t s p r o g e n i t o r and c a r r i e s them o f f . I t wings i t s way  from A r a b i a as f a r as Egypt to the c i t y o f H e l i o p o l i s .  It  f l i e s over d u r i n g the day, w i t h a l l watching, and p l a c e s the bones on the a l t a r o f H e l i o s . So i t d e p a r t s .  The p r i e s t s d i s c o v e r t h a t i t i s the f i v e  hundredth year s i n c e i t l a s t came.  Do we not c o n s i d e r i t m a r v e l l o u s i f  the maker o f the world accomplishes the r e s u r r e c t i o n of those who  piously  s e r v e 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  o f the promise i n s t o r e f o r u s ? "  There, a r e a number of t h i n g s which s h o u l d be p o i n t e d out w i t h r e f e r e n c e 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 e x t a n t C h r i s t i a n  r e f e r e n c e to the phoenix. Clement assumes t h a t " t h e phoenix i s a r e a l and d e s c r i b e s i t s remarkable r e g e n e r a t i v e p r o p e r t i e s , which the powers o f God.  bird  demonstrate  At the same time he h i n t s t h a t t h e r e i s some c o n n e c t i o n  33 between the c o n t i n u i t y o f the phoenix and He  s t a t e s openly t h a t the b i r d d i e s and  p o i n t s out  another i s born, however,  the d i f f e r e n c e s between the o l d and  account of the b i r d The  the l i f e ©fj the C h r i s t i a n s o u l  i t s e l f has  the new  both f a m i l i a r and  birds.  unfamiliar  and  The  aspects.  c y c l e of f i v e hundred y e a r s i s of course known from as f a r back as  Hecataeus, as i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h s p i c e s ; indeed the account i s very reminiscent The  of t h a t of Pomponius Mela, but r a t h e r more d e t a i l e d .  s t o r y of the worm we  have p r e v i o u s l y encountered o n l y i n M a n i l i u s ,  whose account i n a l l other r e s p e c t s  i s quite d i f f e r e n t .  says t h a t everyone watches the b i r d  on i t s incoming f l i g h t ,  not mentioned by any  previous  something  w r i t e r , a l t h o u g h Herodotus does i n f o r m  that i t i s the p e o p l e of H e l i o p o l i s who should  Clement a l s o  r e p o r t the t a l e .  Finally i t  be observed t h a t Clement e s t a b l i s h e s a c o n v e n t i o n f o r the  of the myth which i s f o l l o w e d  i n n e a r l y a l l the e x t a n t  i n p a r t i c u l a r t h a t of L a c t a n t i u s , namely t h a t the r e c o u n t e d , w i t h a b s o l u t e l y no  C h r i s t i a n accounts,  tale i s f i r s t  c r e a t o r of l i f e .  I t i s so i n the D i d a s c a l i a , . D e  Commodianus' Carmen Apolbgeticunu • Celsum,  story  s t o r y of  Ave P h o i r i i c e ,  T e r t u l l i a n ' s De Res.Carnis>Origen's 'Cont  (the C o n s t i t u t i o n e s Apostolorum i s not  ' i t dates almost c e r t a i n l y a f t e r L a c t a n t i u s ; t r a n s l a t i o n of the  of a l l  C h r i s t i a n i n n a t u r e , i s added as i f  there were some danger of the myth c o n t r a d i c t i n g the b i b l i c a l God,  treatment  C h r i s t i a n embellishments added to the  p r o p e r , then a message, t r a n s p a r e n t l y  us  included  i t i s i n any  in this l i s t ease  an  since  ' exact  S y r i a c D i d a s c a l i a mentioned above).  B e f o r e p r o c e e d i n g to document a l l the o c c u r r e n c e s of the phoenix i n e a r l y C h r i s t i a n l i t e r a t u r e , something should t h a t demonstrate t h a t the phoenix continued  be  s a i d about two  documents  to exer cise f a s c i n a t i o n f o r  34 Jewish s c h o l a r s many c e n t u r i e s a f t e r E z e c h i a l the D r a m a t i s t . n e i t h e r the Greek Apocolypse  Although  o f Pseudo-Baruch (second c e n t u r y A.D.?)  o r the Midrash Rabbah ( t h i r d A.D.) antedate Clement o f Rome, n e v e r t h e l e s s they a r e thought Near-Eastern  to r e p r e s e n t a much e a r l i e r  Sun God.  t r a d i t i o n associated with a  They a r e i n c l u d e d here because c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f  t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e phoenixes,  o f which L a c t a n t i u s seems to have been aware,  are found i n no o t h e r e x t a n t s o u r c e s .  The Apocolypse  o f Pseud-Baruch 6-8  i s a document o f d i v i n e r e v e l a t i o n t h a t i l l u s t r a t e s y e t f u r t h e r the use o f the phoenix myth; "And (the angel) took me and l e d me to the p l a c e where the Sun begins h i s journey and showed me a quadriga a l l aflame was seated a Man wearing by f o r t y a n g e l s .  a crown of f i r e .  The c h a r i o t was s e t i n motion  But l o o k : There i s a b i r d running i n f r o n t o f the c h a r i o t  as b i g as n i n e mountains: I s a i d to me  to the a n g e l , 'What i s t h i s b i r d ? ' He s a i d  ' I t i s the g u a r d i a n o f the i n h a b i t e d e a r t h . '  Master,  on which  how i t i s the g u a r d i a n o f the e a r t h . '  I replied,  'tell  me,  He answered, 'He runs  .alongside of the sun and by u s i n g h i s wings he r e c e i v e s the f i e r y r a y s . Should he n o t i n t e r c e p t them, the r a c e o f man would n o t a b l e to l i v e , nor any o t h e r l i v i n g  t h i n g , the b i r d was thus bidden by God.' . I t u n f o l d e d i t s  wings and I saw under the r i g h t wing some g i g a n t i c w r i t i n g as b i g as two hundred times f o u r thousand angel said  to me.  fathoms.  These l e t t e r s were i n g o l d and the  'Read these l e t t e r s . '  I read them and here i s what they  said,  'Neither the e a r t h n o r heaven begot me, these wings o f f i r e d i d , '  said,  'Master, what i s t h i s b i r d and what i s i t s name?'  ' I t i s known by the name o f the phoenix.'  'What does i t e a t ? '  'The manna o f heaven and the dew o f the e a r t h . ' excrement?'  He s a i d ,  The a n g e l  I said,  I  replied,  He r e p l i e d ,  'Does i t produce  ' I t produces a worm and the excrement o f the worm  becomes cinnamon which k i n g s and heads o f s t a t e use...but  s t a y and you w i l l  35 see the wonder of God.  '  In the middle o f t h i s d i s c u s s i o n  something  happened l i k e the sound of thunder and the p l a c e upon which we stood = shook.  I asked the a n g e l , 'What was  t h a t n o i s e ? ' He r e p l i e d ,  'Just  then the a n g e l s were opening the t h r e e hundred and s i x t y f i v e doors of heaven and  the l i g h t s e p a r a t e d i t s e l f from the gloom.'  heard s a y i n g  'Giver of L i g h t , g i v e l i g h t to the w o r l d . '  the n o i s e of b i r d I s a i d , 'This i s the c a l l  'Master, what i s t h i s n o i s e ? '  to rouse up a l l the cocks on e a r t h .  though t h e r e are two languages, i n t h i s way those on e a r t h w i t h i t s song.] and  the cock speaks o u t . '  And  A voice  was  Having heard He  replied,  [ I t i s j u s t as  the cock g i v e s a s i g n to  For the sun i s got ready by the a n g e l s , I said,  'And where does the Sun busy  h i m s e l f from the moment when the cock crows?'  The a n g e l r e p l i e d  to  ' L i s t e n Baruch, a l l the t h i n g s t h a t I have showed to you a r e i n the and second heaven, to  the w o r l d .  I was  talking  by l i t t l e  But w a i t and you w i l l see the wonder of God.' to him, I saw  i t grew l a r g e r  the b i r d , i t appeared  and i t showed i t s e l f .  c o u l d not endure  intensity,  i n front  And w h i l e  of me,  little  Behind i t the Sun shone  a n g e l s and i t wore on i t s head a crown whose  to l o o k a t and b e h o l d , j u s t as the Sun grew i n  so the phoenix extended i t s wings.  g r e a t wonder, was  first  i n the t h i r d the b i r d passes through and g i v e s l i g h t  and t h e r e were accompanying s i g h t we  me,  brought low by a g r e a t f e a r ,  wings o f the a n g e l and he s a i d  to me,  But I , l o o k i n g a t such a I f l e d and h i d myself i n the  'Don't be a f r a i d but w a i t 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 t h e i r hour  r e s t came, I a g a i n saw  to go to  the b i r d f a c e to f a c e and the a n g e l s as they came  and r a i s e d h i s crown from h i s head. But the b i r d s t o o d cowed and put down i t s wings and s e e i n g these t h i n g s I asked the a n g e l , 'Why  do they  36 remove the crown from bird  so cowed?'  the head of the Sun and f o r what reason i s the  The a n g e l r e p l i e d ,  been on busy a l l day,  'Whenever the Sun's crown has  f o u r angels p i c k i t up and  take i t up  to heaven  and renew i t because i t has become d u l l as w e l l as the r a y s which  fall  to e a r t h .  I,  Baruch,  Moreover i t i s renewed each day i n the same way.'  said,  earth?'  And  'Master, f o r what reason do h i s r a y s become d u l l e d on the  The a n g e l r e p l i e d  i n j u s t i c e s o f men,  to me,  'Beholding the t r a n s g r e s s i o n s and  that i s to say the shamelessness,  the  adultery, theft,  rape, i d o l a t r y , d r i n k i n g , murder, q u a r r e l s , j e a l o u s y , s l a n d e r i n g , murmurings, calumnies, p r o p h e s i e s and o t h e r such t h i n g s d i s a g r e e a b l e to God. reasons the r a y s become t a r n i s h e d and a r e renewed.'  For  these  'As f o r the b i r d , what  i s the cause o f i t b e i n g cowed i n such a f a s h i o n ? ' ' I t i s cowed because of the f i r e and  the b u r n i n g h e a t .  f o r the r a y s of the Sun,  the b r e a t h of every l i v i n g b e i n g would not s u r v i v e . "  T h i s account a t f i r s t encountered. detected.  I f the b i r d ' s wings d i d n o t form a s c r e e n  seems to bear no resemblance  to those p r e v i o u s l y  But on c l o s e r examination, c e r t a i n f a m i l i a r elements  F i r s t l y we  or s e r v a n t to a God  have a l r e a d y encountered  the phoenix as a companion  i n the P t e r y g i o n P h o e n i c i s of L a e v i u s , and  T a t i u s , s e c o n d l y the i d e a o f the worm b e i n g produced not o n l y i n Clement but a l s o i n M a n i l i u s . f a i n t l y echoes A c h i l l e s T a t i u s and  stories  in Achilles  by the b i r d  i s found  S i m i l a r l y the crown on i t s head  the c o n n e c t i o n of the phoenix  cinnamon i s almost as o l d as our r e c o r d s o f the b i r d . from our e a r l i e r  with  But i t i s so  t h a t Broek, p.268, f e e l s i t i s " v i r t u a l l y  that the author o f the Greek Apocolypse  of Baruch made use o f an  t r a d i t i o n , a l s o known to the Jews, c o n c e r n i n g a huge b i r d the sky w i t h i t s wings and  can be  different certain  oriental  capable of c o v e r i n g  thus r o b b i n g the Sun of i t s worst  intensity."  37 Broek adds t h a t the o r i g i n o f t h i s c o n c e p t i o n must be sought m a i n l y i n P e r s i a , s i n c e , f o r example, the i d e a o f the 365 gates o f heaven i s typically Persian.  I t appears then t h a t t h i s work evolved o u t s i d e the  t r a d i t i o n documented so f a r ; n e v e r t h e l e s s i t may i t s e l f  be a source f o r  L a c t a n t i u s s i n c e the d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix f e e d i n g on the manna o f heaven and the dew o f the e a r t h i s v e r y r e m i n i s c e n t of De Ave Phbenice 111-112, Ambrosios l i b a t c a e l e s t i n e c t a r e r o r e s , s t e l l i f e r o cecidere polo,  although  tenues q u i  t h e r e i s no p r o o f t h a t L a c t a n t i u s ever read  the work. B r i e f mention should be made o f the Midrash  Rabfaah s i n c e i t i s  q u i t e c l e a r t h a t the h S l ( u s u a l l y t r a n s l a t e d 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 c e n t u r i e s A.D."^  T h i s work was a monumental commentary on Genesis  commentary reads: "The s c h o o l of R. J a n n a i maintained a thousand y e a r s , a t the end o f which a f i r e burns i t up; y e t as much as an egg i s l e f t , and l i v e s .  and a t 3.6 t h e  t h a t the b i r d  lives  i s s u e s from i t s n e s t and and i t grows new limbs  R. Judan b.R. Simeon s a i d : I t l i v e s a thousand y e a r s a t t h e  end o f which i t s body i s consumed and i t s wings drop o f f ; y e t as much as 'i  an egg i s l e f t ,  and then i t grows new l i m b s . "  ca.225A.D., Judan V l e s s c e r t a i n l y i l l u s t r a t e s how the Jewish  J a n n a i can be dated to  to 320. o r 240 A.D.  T h i s passage  s c h o l a r s knew the two p r i n c i p a l v e r s i o n s o f  the s t o r y 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 .  J a n n a i r e p r e s e n t s the  v e r s i o n o f the "decomposing body known from M a n i l i u s and PompSniuS  a  Clement, Judan echoes t h a t o f the b u r n i n g o f the body f a m i l i a r D i o n y s i u s o f P h i l a d e l p h i a , Artemidorus,  n  (  j  from  S t a t i u s and M a r t i a l .  From the above i t i s c l e a r t h a t i t was the c l a s s i c a l sources  that  38 i n f l u e n c e d the Jewish s t o r y of the h o i r a t h e r than v i c e v e r s a  since  the o n l y unknown p o r t i o n of the M i d r a s h Rabbah j u s t mentioned, i s the i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t the b i r d ' s wings f a l l o f f , a minor d e t a i l . consider  the Apocolypse of Baruch as an enigma and  development of the myth of the phoenix. attached way  to the f e e d i n g on dew;  and we  ought not  We  must  o u t s i d e the  general  Too much importance has  been  d e s e r t b i r d s are known to d r i n k i n t h i s  to draw too many c o n c l u s i o n s from the i n c l u s i o n or 11  e x c l u s i o n of t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n any  one v e r s i o n of the myth.  Another C h r i s t i a n work, u n q u e s t i o n a b l y  dependent on the  classical  t r a d i t i o n , u n f o r t u n a t e l y cannot be dated v e r y a c c u r a t e l y . The Greek 12 P h y s i o l o g u s , now thought to date to the second c e n t u r y , i s extant i n an almost b e w i l d e r i n g number of m a n u s c r i p t s whose mutual dependence on a 13 no l o n g e r e x i s t i n g f i r s t r e d a c t i o n has been e s t a b l i s h e d . Leroy,  r a t h e r m i s l e a d i n g l y , p r i n t o n l y one  Lord  bird  called  loads  Every  i s consumed by  t h i r d day  i t grows wings and  to  There e x i s t s a i t flies  to  I t gives a sign  month of N i s a n or Adar, t h a t i s to  goes up  to the a l t a r on which i t  the flames.  p r i e s t on i n s p e c t i n g the a l t a r , d i s c o v e r s a w o r second day  and  ''Our  As soon as he has been s i g n a l l e d he comes  down w i t h aromatics  p l a c e s i t s burden and  spirit  f i v e hundred y e a r s  i t s wings w i t h a r o m a t i c s .  the p r i e s t of H e l i o p o l i s i n the new  the b i r d loaded  AlffFA^y-  t e x t of the l a s t group i s p r o v i d e d h e r e .  the phoenix i n I n d i a .  say Phamenoth or Pharmouthi. and  ('Oy)r, WO,  the Jews were i n d i g n a n t a t t h i s .  the woods of Lebanon and to  as  Jesus C h r i s t s a i d , 'I have the power to put a s i d e my  take i t up a g a i n , ' and  and  t e x t which resembles none i n  the f i v e groups of the e a r l i e s t m a n u s c r i p t s G,M, A t r a n s l a t i o n of the c o l l a t e d  Hubert  On  the f o l l o w i n g day,  i n the ashes, on  the  i s r e c o g n i z a b l e as a young b i r d , on  the  i t has become what i t was  m  to b e g i n w i t h . I t s a l u t e s the  the  priest,  39 f l i e s up i n the a i r and heads o f f t o 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 d i e and be r e b o r n , how i s i t  that s t u p i d men a r e i n d i g n a n t a t the word o f our L o r d Jesus C h r i s t when he says t h a t he has the power t o put a s i d e my s p i r i t and to take i t up again?  F o r the phoenix i s the image o f our S a v i o u r .  The Mss. W and 0 have an a d d i t i o n a l passage,[The phoenix]  flies  to H e l i o p o l i s a c r o s s Egypt, i t comes i n t o b e i n g s e l f - g e n e r a t e d , n o t i n d e s e r t e d p l a c e s , so t h a t the event escapes n o t i c e , b u t r a t h e r i n f u l l view i n the c i t y so t h a t 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 f o r  itself  a n e s t o f f r a n k i n c e n s e myrrh and o t h e r a r o m a t i c s and h a v i n g p l a c e d  itself  on t h i s i t i s burned up, d i e s and becomes p u t r i d .  out  Then,  from  o f the b u r n t ashes o f 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 n o t b e l i e v e t h i s , i n j u s t such a way the o f f s p r i n g o f bees a r e b o r n , t a k i n g shape from maggots, and from the y o l k s ,of  eggs you have seen wings and bones and sinews f o r m i n g .  Then,  growing  wings, the a f o r e s a i d worm f i n a l l y becomes j u s t as i t was b e f o r e , a b i r d f l i e s up j u s t the same as the one t h a t d i e d , g i v i n g the c l e a r e s t p r o o f of  r e s u r r e c t i o n from t h i s death. Indeed the phoenix i s a marvel b u t i t i s dumb.  Does a dumb a n i m a l  which does n o t know the maker o f a l l t h i n g s g a i n r e s u r r e c t i o n from the dead b u t we who p r a i s e God and watch over h i s commands n o t g a i n i t ? A s s u r e d l y there i s such a t h i n g as r e s u r r e c t i o n o f the dead." The f i r s t  t e x t i s a c l e a r attempt to a l l y b o t h the E g y p t i a n and  I n d i a n s t o r i e s about the phoenix, as w e l l as to combine the d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s about i t s death, namely the burning and the p u t r i f i c a t i o n .  It  40 may have p r o v i d e d some i d e a s f o r L a c t a n t i u s Dut u n f o r t u n a t e l y no p r o o f can be o f f e r e d t h a t i t antedates the De Ave Phoenice.  The P h y s i o l o g u s  s t a t e s q u i t e b l a t a n t l y t h a t C h r i s t i a n symbolism., i s i m p l i e d by t h e phoenix, the b i r d  Christ.  When we come to c o n s i d e r L a c t a n t i u s ' poem we  see t h a t no such symbolism  will  i s possible.  The p h y s i o l o g u s has elements,:too numerous to e l u c i d a t e i n d e t a i l , i n common w i t h many o f the p r e v i o u s accounts and i s best summed up as a combination o f Herodotus, A c h i l l e s T a t i u s , A e l i a n and Clement  o f Rome.  The d i v e r s i t y , d i s p a r i t y and g r e a t number o f the Mss. o f the P h y s i o l o g u s t e l l us o f i t s widespread p o p u l a r i t y i n a n t i q u i t y and i t s h o u l d be n o t i c e d t h a t nowhere does the a u t h e n t i c i t y o f the phoenix come i n t o q u e s t i o n ; such 14 a d i s c u s s i o n had to w a i t u n t i l the seventeenth c e n t u r y .  I n a sense the  nomenclature, "myth o f the phoenix", used by both Hubert and Leroy and Broek i s m i s l e a d i n g , f o r no author i n the a n c i e n t corpus ( i f we e x c l u d e the author o f Apocolypse o f Pseudo-Baruch  from o  u r  discussion since  this  i s r e a l l y o u t s i d e our t r a d i t i o n ) i s prepared to d e c l a r e b r a z e n l y t h a t the b i r d does not e x i s t . of the Phoenix" of the b i r d .  The above-named s c h o l a r s c a l l t h i s m a t e r i a l "The Myth  because  they themselves do not b e l i e v e i n the e x i s t e n c e  But f o r the a n c i e n t s 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 c o n s i d e r e d i n d e t a i l . D i d a s c a l i a , 40.19-34 a work w r i t t e n e a r l y i n the t h i r d  The  century f o r a  community o f C h r i s t i a n c o n v e r t s by someone p r o b a b l y o f Jewish d e s c e n t , was o r i g i n a l l y w r i t t e n i n Greek, fragments o f which s u r v i v e , b u t the o l d e s t and most complete v e r s i o n i s p r e s e r v e d i n S y r i a c . ^ •  "For a l s o through a mute a n i m a l , t h a t i s , through the phoenix, a unique  b i r d , God b i r d had simply for  g i v e s an open m a n i f e s t a t i o n  of the r e s u r r e c t i o n , f o r i f the  a twin o r there were even more of them, those many would  seem to be unimportant to men,"but i t i s n o t i c e d when i t approaches  the v e r y r e a s o n t h a t i t i s a l o n e .  A f t e r f i v e hundred y e a r s i t comes  to t h a t p l a c e known as the A l t a r of the Sun prays f a c i n g e a s t .  I t i s s e t on f i r e by  b r i n g i n g w i t h i t cinnamon  i t s e l f , burns and becomes ashes.  However a worm appears from the ashes which i n c r e a s e s and  becomes once more a f u l l y - f o r m e d  and  phoenix.  in size,  takes shape  Then i t goes back  hastening  whence i t came." The we (or  are  above account l o o k s d e c e p t i v e l y  tempted to d i s m i s s  f a m i l i a r , and  on f i r s t g l a n c e  i t as a c a s u a l copy of a v e r s i o n of the P h y s i o l o g u s  c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to a parent of t h a t t e x t ) . There i s , however, an important a d d i t i o n , a t l e a s t we  b e l i e v e there i s an a d d i t i o n i n the L a t i n t r a n s l a t i o n of the namely t h a t the b i r d . . . o r a t c o n t r a o r i e n t e m . . . " i t  are l e d to Syriac,  prays f a c i n g the  East".  T h i s i s the e a r l i e s t example ot the phoenix p e r f o r m i n g such a r i t u a l , i d e a which was  explored  Mention should who,  l a t e r by L a c t a n t i u s  i n the De Ave  a l s o be made of T e r t u l l i a n  (165  Phoenice l i n e  A.D.-220) De  Res.  l i k e Clement of Rome, used the phoenix as an example to support  c e r t a i n t y of r e s u r r e c t i o n .  In a d d i t i o n , there i s a t a n t a l i s i n g  to the phoenix i n the O r a c u l a by a l l and  Lactantius  the r e l e v a n t passage because he  surrounding verses,  Div.  i m p l i c i t l y i n the O r a c u l a  Mort.13 the  S i b y l l i n a 8.139, a c u r i o u s work compiled  thought to have been w r i t t e n about 180  read  41.  reference  sundry a f t e r the l o s s of the o r i g i n a l S i b y l l i n e Books.  i s generally  an  I n s t . 7.15. S i b y l l a and  Lactantius  A.D.  and  we  c i t e s l i n e s from  Book 8  know t h a t the  seems to have b e l i e v e d  t h i s passage may  have had  a deep  42 i n f l u e n c e on him, f o r , a l t h o u g h the t e x t i s v e r y c o r r u p t ,  i t i s neverthe-  l e s s p o s s i b l e to be f a i r l y c e r t a i n t h a t the meaning i s t h a t the of the phoenix w i l l h e r a l d  appearance  the d e s t r u c t i o n of the G e n t i l e s , the Hebrews  and the Roman Empire, which w i l l be the end of time.  Lactantius  informs  us o f the c h i l i a s t i c n a t u r e 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 t h a t the germ o f the i d e a came from t h i s passage i n the Sibylline  Oracles.  F i n a l l y , something s h o u l d be s a i d about the phoenix and the a f t e r life.  We  exploited  have j u s t surveyed s e v e r a l examples of how the i d e a of the phoenix f o r t h e i r own  t h i s has l e d us to t h i n k t h a t the phoenix was o n l y by them. representing  the C h r i s t i a n t h i n k e r s  theosophical  purposes  i n t e r p r e t e d i n such a  T h i s i s not the case, however, f o r we the l i f e a f t e r death on the e p i t a p h ,  find  clearly  and  fashion  the phoenix notChristian,  of a c e r t a i n C. Domitius Primus CIL 14.914, found i n 1783 by the V i a O s t i a , F o e n i x me  serbat  i n a r a q u i mecum p r o p e r a t se r e p a r a r e s i b i .  course p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s i d e a was cannot be sure u n t i l All  I t i s of  a borrowing from the C h r i s t i a n s ; one  the i n s c r i p t i o n i s dated  satisfactorily.  the major sources f o r the phoenix myth t h a t a r e antecedent to  ' L a c t a n t i u s have been documented and dated wherever  that i s p o s s i b l e .  Sources which a r e h e s i t a t i n g l y dated or which a r e o f an unknown date such as the s c h o l i a (see Broek page 478) and the H i e r o g l y p h i c a  of Horapollo,  have been l e f t out and n o t used f o r the b a s i s o f any argument. become q u i t e apparent by now  I t has  t h a t L a c t a n t i u s ' poem i s a v e r y c r e a t i v e one,  even though h i s treatment o f language a t times seldom r i s e s above t h a t of a plagiarist.  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 S t u d i e s  3  J . C. Ferguson,  (Cambridge 1966)  230.  The Mythology of A l l Races (Boston 1928)  vol. 8  page 99. 4.  See p a r t i c u l a r l y J . Hubaux e t M. 1939)  Leroy Le Mythe du Phenix  14-20, R. T. R u n d l e - C l a r k , The O r i g i n s o f the Phoenix  1 & 2, Birmingham U n i v e r s i t y H i s t o r i c a l 1-30 5.  (Liege Parts  S o c i e t y 2 (1949-50)  & 105-140.  P r e s e r v e d i n the work o f Alexander  Polyhistor  ( c i t e d by  Eusebius  i n h i s P r a e p a r a t i o E v a n g e l i c a 9.29.16). 6.  See Broek pages 268-272 f o r a f u l l d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s  7.  See Broek page  8.  See Broek page 72 f o r a l l the d i f f e r e n t  9.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y o n l y one o f these r e f e r e n c e s c o u l d be  103.  s i n c e K e i l ' s e d i t i o n was secondary 10.  topic.  figures.  u n a v a i l a b l e to me.  checked  A l l the o t h e r  sources c o n s i d e r e d the o t h e r r e f e r e n c e s  unimportant.  For a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n and b i b l i o g r a p h y o f the  Jewish  sources see M.F.  14  McDonald, "Phoenix  R e d i v i v u s " Phoenix  (1960)  187-206. 11.  J . S w i f t , The Sahara  12.  See B. E. P e r r y ' s review of Sbordone's e d i t i o n of the P h y s i o l o g u s i n the AJP  13.  58  (1937)  (Amsterdam) 1975  110.  388.  D. Kaimakis, Per P h y s i o l o g u s nach der E r s t e n Redaktion am G l a n 1974)  4a.  (Meisenheim  44  14.  See Broek page 4 f o r a h i s t o r y of the s c h o l a r s h i p on t h i s problem.  15  J . Quasten, P a t r o l o g y  ( U t r e c h t 1953) V o l . 2 pages 147-51.  CHAPTER THREE  TEXT AND TRANSLATION  45  46TEXT  Est l o c u s i n primo f e l i x o r i e n t e remotus, Qua p a t e t a e t e r n i maxima p o r t a p o l i , Nec tamen a e s t i v o s h i e m i s v e propinquus ad o r t u s , Sed qua S o l verno f u n d i t 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, N e c tumulus c r e s c i t nec c a v a w a l l i s Mat; Sed n o s t r o s montes, quorum i u g a c e l s a p u t a n t u r , Per b i s sex ulnas imminet i l l e l o c u s . H i e S o l i s nemus e s t e t c o n s i t u s arbore multa l u c u s , perpetuae f r o n d i s honore v i r e n s . Cum P h a e t h o n t e i s f l a g r a s s e t ab i g n i b u s a x i s , I l l e l o c u s flammis i n v i o l a t u s e r a t , Et cum d i l u v i u m m e r s i s s e t f l u c t i b u s orbem, Deucalioneas e x s u p e r a v i t aquas. Non hue exsangues M o r b i , non aegra Senectus, Nec Mors c r u d e l i s nec Metus asper aaest; Nec S c e l u s infandum nec opum vesana cupido C e r n i t u r aut ardens c a e d i s amore F u r o r ; Luctus acerbus abest e t Egestas o b s i t a p a n n i s Et Gurae insomnes e t v i o l e n t a Fames. 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 g e l i d o terram r o r e p r u i n a t e g i t , N u l l a super campos t e n d i t sua v e l l e r a nubes, Nec c a d i t ex a l t o t u r b i d u s umor aquae. Sed fons i n medio ( e s t ) , quem vivum nomine d i c u n t , P e r s p i c u u s , l e n i s , d u l c i b u s uber a q u i s , Qui semel erumpens p e r s i n g u l a tempora mensum Duodecies undis i n r i g a t omne nemus. H i e genus arboreum p r o c e r o s t i p i t e surgens Non l a p s u r a s o l o m i t i a poma g e r i t . Hoc nemus, hos l u c o s a v i s i n c o l i t u n i c a Phoenix: U n i c a sed v i v i t morte r e f e c t a sua. P a r e t e t o b s e q u i t u r Phoebo memoranda s a t e l l e s : Hoc n a t u r a parens munus habere d e d i t . L u t e a cum primum surgens A u r o r a r u b e s c i t , Cum primum r o s e a s i d e r a l u c e f u g a t , Ter q u a t e r i l i a p i a s i n m e r g i t corpus i n undas, Ter quater e viv© g u r g i t e l i b a t aquam. T o l l i t u r ac summo c o n s i d i t i n a r b o r i s a l t a e V e r t i c e , quae totum d e s p i c i t una nemus, E t conversa novos Phoebi n a s c e n t i s ad o r t u s Expectat radios et i u b a r exoriens. Atque u b i S o l p e p u l i t f u l g e n t i s l i m i n a portae Et p r i m i e m i c u i t l u m i n i s 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 Et m i r a lucem voce c i e r e novam, Ouam nec aedoniae voces nec t i b i a p o s s i t Musica C i r r h a e i s adsimulare modis, Sed neque o l o r moriens i m i t a r i posse p u t e t u r Nec C y l l e n e a e f i l a canora l y r a e . Postquam Phoebus equos i n a p e r t a e f f u d i t Olympi Atque orbem totum p r o t u l i t usque means,  5  10 .. ,.' 15  20  25  30  35  40  :  45  50  47 I l i a t e r alarum r e p e t i t o v e r b e r e p l a u d i t Ignliierum caput t e r v e n e r a t a s i l e t . Atque eadem c e l e r e s e t i a m d i s c r i m a t horas I n n a r r a b i l i b u s nocte dieque son&s, A n t i s t e s l u c i nemorumque verenda sacerdos EEfc'i's'ola."arcariisLconscia,Phoebe, t u i s . Quae postquam v i t a e iam m i l l e p e r e g i t annos Ac s i r e d d e r i n t tempora l o n g a gravem, Ut r e p a r e t lapsum s p a t i i s v e r g e n t i b u s aevum, Adsuetum nemoris d u l c e c u b i l e f u g i t . Cumque r e n a s c e n d i s t u d i o l o c a s a n c t a r e l i q u i t , Tunc p e t i t hunc orbem, Mors u b i regna t e n e t . D i r i g i t i n Syriam celeresll'ongaevavwoiLatus Phoenices nomen c u i d e d i t i p s a v e t u s , Secretosque p e t i t d e s e r t a p e r a v i a l u c o s , S i c u b i p e r s a l t u s 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, In quam n u l l a nocens animans p r o r e p e r e p o s s i t , L u b r i c u s aut serpens aut a v i s 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 a e r a purpureum N^u c o n c r e t a noto nubes per i n a n i a c a e l i S Suhmo ve a t r r.adi> o s s s o l i s e e t obb s i t a a v i . C o n s t r u i t i n d e s i b i seu nidum s i v e sepulchrum; Nam p e r i t , ut v i v a t : se tamen i p s a c r e a t . C o l l i g i t h i n c sucos et odores d i v i t e s i l v a , Quos l e g i t A s s y r i u s , quos opulentus Araps, Quos aut Pygmaeae gentes aut I n d i a c a r p i t Aut m o l l i generat t e r r a Sabaea s i n u . Cinnamon h i e auramque p r o c u l s p i r a n t i s amomi Cemgerit e t mixto balsama cum f o l i o : N on e cas i' aa a#t t±s-me c soJLenfcjbsvvimen =aeanthi Nec t u r i s l a c r i m a e guttaque p i n g u i s a b e s t . H i s a d d i t teneras n a r d i p u b e n t i s a r i s t a s E t s o c i a t myrrae vim, panacea, tuam. P r o t i n u s i n s t r u c t o corpus mufeabile n i d o V i t a l i q u e t o r o membra v i e t a l o c a t . Ore dehinc sucos membris circumque supraque I l n i c i t , exequiis inmoritura suis. Tunc i n t e r v a r i o s animam commendat odores, Depos-iti t a n t i nec t i m e t i l i a fidem. I n t e r e a corpus g e n i t a l i morte peremptum A e s t u a t , e t flammam p a r t u r i t i p s e c a l o r , A e t h e r i o q u e p r o c u l de lumine c o n c i p i t ignem: F l a g r a t , e t ambus turn s o l v i t u r i n c i n e r e s . Quos v e l u t i n massam, generans i n morte, coactos C o n f l a t , e t e f f e c t u m s e m i n i s i n s t a r habet. H i n c animal primum s i n e membris f e r t u r o r i r i , Sed f e r t u r vermi l a c t e u s esse c o l o r . C r e s c i t , e t emenso s o p i t u r tempore c e r t o , Seque o v i t e r e t i s c o l l i g i t i n speciem. __Ac v e l u t a g r e s t e s , cum f i l o ad saxa t e n e n t u r ,  55  60  65  70  75  80  85  90  95  100  107  48 Mutari tineae papilione solent, 108 Inde r e f o r m a t u r q u a i l s f u l t ante f l g u r a 105 E t phoenix r u p t i s p u l l u l a t e x u v i i s . 106 Non i l l i c i b u s e s t n o s t r o concessus i n orbe, 109 Nec, cuiquam inplumen pascere c u r a subest. 110 Ambrosios l i b a t c a e l e s t i n e c t a r e r o r e s , S t e l l i f e r o tenues q u i c e c i d e r e p o l o . Hos l e g i t , h i s a l i t u r m e d i i s i n odoribus a l e s , Donee maturam p r o f e r a t e f f i g i e m . A s t u b i primaeva c o e p i t f l o r e r e i u v e n t a , 115 E v o l a t , ad p a t r i a s iam r e d i t u r a domus. Ante tamen, p r o p r i o q u i d q u i d de corpore r e s t a t , Ossaque v e l c i n e r e s exuvj.asq.ue • suas Unguine balsameo myrraque e t t u r e Sabaeo C o n d i t e t i n formam conglobat ore p i o . 120 Cjuam pedibus gestans c o n t e n d i t S o l i s ad o r t u s Inque a r a r e s i d e n s p o n i t i n aede s a c r a . Mirandam sese p r a e s t a t praebetque verendam: Tantus a v i decor e s t , tantus abundat honor. Primo q u i c o l o r e s t m a i l s sub s i d e r e C a n c r i , 125 C o r t i c e quae croceo P u n i c a grana t e g u n t ; Q u a l i s i n e s t f o l i i s , quae f e r t a g r e s t e papaver, Cum p a n d i t v e s t e s F l o r a rubente s o l o : Hoc humeri pectusque decens velamine f u l g e t ; Hoc caput, hoc c e r v i x summaque t e r g a n i t e n t . 130 Caudaque p o r r i g i t u r f u l v o d i s t i n c t a m e t a l l o , In c u i u s m a c u l i s p u r p u r a m i x t a r u b e t . Alarum pennas i n s i g n i t desuper I r i s , P i n g e r e 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 E t puro cornu gemmea c u s p i s h i a t . Ingentes o c u l i : credas geminos h y a c i n t h o s , Quorum de medio l u c i d a flamma m i c a t . A p t a t a e s t 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 C r u r a tegunt squamae f u l v o d i s t i n c t a metallo; A s t ungues r o s e o t i n g u i t honore c o l o r . E f f i g i e s i n t e r pavonis m i x t a f i g u r a m Cern&tur et p i c t a m P h a s i d i s i n t e r avem. Magnitiem t e r r i s Arabum quae g i g i i i i t u r ' a l e s 145 V i x aequare p o t e s t , seu f e r a seu s i t a v i s . Non tamen e s t t a r d a ut v o l u c r e s , quae corpore magno Incessus p i g r o s per grave pondus habent, Sed l e v i s ac v e l o x , r e g a l i p l e n a decore: T a l i s i n a s p e c t u se t e n e t usque hominum. 150 Hue v e n i t Aegyptus t a n t i ad m i r a c u l a v i s u s E t raram volucrem t u r b a s a l u t a t ovans. P r o t i n u s e x c u l p u n t s a c r a t o i n marmore formaim:. E t t i t u l o s i g n a n t remque diemque novo. C o n t r a h i t i n coetum sese genus omne volantum, 155 Nec praedae memor e s t u l l a nec u l l a metus. A l i t u u m s t i p a t a choro v o l a t i l i a p e r altum Turbaque p r o s e q u i t u r munere l a e t a p i o .  49 Sed postquam p u r i p e r v e n t i ad a e t h e r i s auras, Mox r e d i t : i l i a s u i s c o n d i t u r inde l o c i s . 160 0 f o r t u n a t a e s o r t i s f e l i x q u e volucrum, Cui de se n a s c i p r a e s t i t i t i p s e Deusvj Femina seu (sexu seu) masculus e s t seu neutrum: F e l i x , quae V e n e r i s f o e d e r a n u l l a c o l i t ! Mors i l l i Venus e s t , s o l a e s t i n morte v o l u p t a s : 161 Ut p o s s i t n a s c i , a p p e t i t ante mori. Ipsa s i b i p r o l e s , suus e s t p a t e r e t suus h e r e s , N u t r i x i p s a s u i , semper alumna s i b i . I p s a quidem, sed non (eadem e s t ) , eademque nec i p s a e s t , Aeternam v i t a m m o r t i s adepta bono. 170  50 TRANSLATION There i s a b l e s s e d p l a c e , s e q u e s t e r e d i n the E a s t , where the massive door of the E t e r n a l Heavens l i e s open; i t l i e s not near the summer o r w i n t e r r i s i n g s , but t h e r e , where S o l spreads out the day from h i s a x i s i n the s p r i n g . There, a p l a i n s c a t t e r s i t s wide t r a c t s . No hump or h o l l o w t h e r e . T h i s p l a c e , by twice s i x e l l s , a r e thought  looms over our mountains whose yokes  lofty.  Here i s the grove of the Sun, a s a c r e d copse p l a n t e d w i t h many a t r e e , green w i t h the g l o r y of never f a i l i n g w i t h the f i r e s of Phaethon,  f o l i a g e . When the sky had b l a z e d  t h i s p l a c e was  s a f e from the f l a m e s , j u s t  as  i t overcame D e u c a l i o n ' s f l o o d when the deluge submerged the w o r l d . P a l e I l l n e s s , h a r s h Old Age, unspeakable Crime, mad  c r u e l Death and t r o u b l i n g Fear a r e not h e r e , nor L u s t f o r money, Anger or Rage, b u r n i n g  insatiate  f o r s l a u g h t e r . Where i s b i t t e r G r i e f , Need, c l o t h e d i n r a g s , s l e e p l e s s Cares and impetuous  Hunger?. No tempest  t h e r e o r savage b l a s t of wind.  Nor does h o a r - f r o s t c l o a k the ground w i t h c h i l l i n g dew.  Above the p l a i n s ,  no c l o u d o f f e r s i t s f l e e c e s , nor f a l l s from h i g h the t u r b u l e n t drop of water.Rather,  i n the open, t h e r e i s a s p r i n g which they c a l l  "living",  m i l d and c l e a r w i t h abundant sweet waters, which, at i n d i v i d u a l times of the months, b u r s t out and i r r i g a t e the whole grove .""Here, r i s i n g w i t h l o f t y t r u n k , t h e r e i s a type o f t r e e which b e a r s f r u i t  t h a t w i l l not  fall  to the ground when r i p e . T h i s copse, t h i s s a c r e d grove, a unique b i r d p a r a l l e l but l i v e s r e b o r n from her own  i n h a b i t s ; she i s w i t h o u t  death. A remarkable companion f o r  Phoebus, to whom she submits and obeys. Nature the p r o c r e a t o r a s s i g n e d her this  gift.  When r i s i n g  s a f f r o n Dawn f i r s t  b l u s h e s and chases the s t a r s away w i t h  her r o s y l i g h t , then, t h r i c e , f o u r times she bathes her>body i n the s a c r e d waters; t h r i c e , f o u r times she d r i n k s 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 v e r y top o f a h i g h t r e e t h a t l o o k s down upon the whole of the grove, then she t u r n s t o the new  r i s i n g s of the nascent  Phoebus and a w a i t s the r a y s and the f o r t h c o m i n g g l a r e . When the Sun  has  f o r c e d the t h r e s h o l d o f the gleaming door and a f a i n t aura of f i r s t  light  has sprung f o r t h , she b e g i n s t o pour out the s t r a i n s of a s a c r e d song to invoke the new  and  l i g h t w i t h a remarkable c a l l , which n e i t h e r the song o f  51 n i g h t i n g a l e s or t h e m u s i c a l f l u t e c o u l d v i e i n C i r r h a e a n s r a i n s ; but n e i t h e r c o u l d the d y i n g swan be c o n s i d e r e d a r i v a l o r even the melodious s t r i n g s o f the C y l l e n a e a n  lyre.  A f t e r Phoebus has d r i v e n h i s h o r s e s out on the c l e a r spaces and has shown h i s complete orb advancing  of Olympus  a l l t h e w h i l e , then, she, w i t h  t h r i c e - r e p e a t e d l a s h i n g s o f her~wings, applauds w i t h t h r i c e - r e p e a t e d adora t 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 s w i f t  hours  she marks o f f w i t h i n d e s c r i b a b l e sounds, she, t h e o v e r s e e r o f t h e grove, reverend  p r i e s t e s s of t h e f o r e s t , s o l e c o n f i d e n t o f your s e c r e t s , Phoebus.  A f t e r she has passed  a thousand y e a r s o f l i f e  and t h e l o n g y e a r s have  made h e r s l u g g i s h , so t h a t she can renew h e r g e n e r a t i o n , now f a d i n g the passage o f time, has  through  she f l e e s the d e l i g h t f u l home of the grove. When she  l e f t t h e s a c r e d p l a c e i n h e r eagerness f o r 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 s t r a i g h t t o S y r i a , whose a n c i e n t name P h o e n i c i a she gave, and seeks out through d e s e r t , sequestered  groves, where l i e s a copse hidden  the pathless  away amongst the  thickets. then, h i g h up, she chooses the a i r y top o f a palm, which has the the Greek name "phoenix", named from t h e b i r d , i n t o which no harmful  creature  can c r e e p , n e i t h e r s l i p p e r y serpent o r r a p a c i o u s b i r d . Then A e o l u s the winds i n overhanging  caves, l e s t  checks  they v i o l a t e t h e b r i g h t - c o l o u r e d a i r  w i t h 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 d r i v e o f f t h e r a y s o f t h e Sun and h i n d e r the b i r d . Then she b u i l d s f o r h e r s e l f a n e s t , o r , i f you w i l l , i n order to l i v e .  a tomb, f o r she d i e s  But she h e r s e l f c r e a t e s h e r s e l f .  Here, from t h e sumptuous woods, she c o l l e c t s j u i c e s and perfumes t h a t t h e A s s y r i a n p i c k s , t h a t the wealthy Arab, or t h e t r i b e s o f Pygmies, or I n d i a p l u c k s , o r t h e Sabaean l a n d grows i n i t s s o f t bosom. Here she p i l e s up cinnamon, the f r a g r a n c e o f f a r - s m e l l i n g amomum and balsam w i t h mixed l e a f '(?). Nor  does she omit t h e o s i e r o f supple c a s i a or o f f r a g r a n t acanthus n o r the  t e a r s of i n c e n s e and i t s r i c h drop;  t o these she adds t h e tender ears of  growing nard and t o t h e myrrh she a l l i e s  your s t r e n g t h , panacea.  F o r t h w i t h she puts h e r mutable body i n the f i n i s h e d n e s t and l a y s t o r e s t on t h e v i t a l  couch h e r shrunken l i m b s . Then, w i t h h e r mouth, she throws t h e  j u i c e s around and on top o f h e r l i m b s , about t o d i e a t h e r own f u n e r a l . Then, midst  the v a r i o u s s c e n t s , she commends h e r l i f e ,  n o r does she doubt her  52 c o n f i d e n c e i n such a g r e a t p l e d g e . Meanwhile her body, consumed by t h i s l i f e - g i v i n g d e a t h , grows h o t , and the heat g e n e r a t e s a flame and c a t c h e s f i r e f a r o f f from t h e a e t h e r e a l It b l a z e s and i s c o m p l e t e l y reduced t o ashes,+ and which by b r i n g i n g  light.  forth  from death i t causes the ashes t o be made i n t o a s o r t o f mass,+ and the e f f e c t has the appearance After this,  o f a seed.  i t i s reported that f i r s t  a body without l i m b s appears; but  the c o l o u r of the worm i s r e p u t e d t o be m i l k y w h i t e . I t grows, but when a certain fixed appearance  time has e l a p s e d , i t s l e e p s and g a t h e r s i t s e l f  o f a rounded  into the  egg. And, j u s t as c h r y s a l i d s i n the c o u n t r y , susp-  ended t o r o c k s by a t h r e a d , a r e wont t o be changed t o a b u t t e r f l y , i t s shape then -takes t h e form i t had b e f o r e and a phoenix b u r s t s f o r t h once t h e cocoon i s broken. In our w o r l d , no food i s a l l o w e d to t h e phoenix, n o r does anyone have the t a s k of f e e d i n g the w i n g l e s s c r e a t u r e . She s i p s the dews, a m b r o s i a l w i t h heaven's n e c t a r s t h a t tumble  light  from the s t a r r y sky. These she  g a t h e r s , and i s n o u r i s h e d by them, amidst the sweet s c e n t s , u n t i l she a t t a i n s a mature  appearance.  But when h e r 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 t o r e t u r n t o h e r  ancestral.home. F i r s t o f a l l , bones,  however, whatever  remains o f h e r own body,  ashes o r h e r own cocoon, she c o v e r s w i t h ointments o f balsam, myrrh  and f r a n k i n c e n s e s o l u t i o n and rounds i t i n t o shape w i t h h e r d u t i f u l beak. B e a r i n g t h i s t o t h e t h e C i t y o f t h e Sun and a l i g h t s on t h e a l t a r and p l a c e s it  i n t h e h o l y s a n c t u a r y . She e x h i b i t s and shows h e r s e l f t o be m a r v e l l e d  at and worshipped,  so g r e a t i s the b i r d ' s beauty, so g r e a t t h e honour t h a t  attends her. First,  t h e c o l o u r t h a t pomegranates have under  the s i g n o f t h e Crab when  they cover t h e i r seeds w i t h a s a f f r o n c o l o u r e d r i n d , t h e s o r t o f c o l o u r wild poppies  have when F l o r a spreads h e r gowns w i t h t h e r e d d e n i n g Sun, w i t h  t h i s her s h o u l d e r s and c h e s t gleam becomingly, w i t h t h i s h e r head, neck and upper back a l s o gleam. She spreads a t a i l adorned w i t h deep golden m e t a l i n which mixed f l e c k s o f p u r p l e glow. I r i s marks out h e r wing f e a t h e r s above, j u s t as b r i g h t  sunlight paints a cloud  gleams a s t o n i s h i n g l y w h i t e m i n g l e d w i t h zmaragdonic  :  from  . from above. Her beak green; pure horn i t  gapes be-gemmed. Her eyes a r e huge, you would t h i n k them twin h y a c i n t h s ,  53 from the midst o f which g l a r e s b r i g h t flame. A r a d i a t i n g crown has been fitted  t o her famous head, t a l l ,  echoing t h e honour of the crown o f Phoebus.  S c a l e s cover her l e g s , pocked w i t h deep golden m e t a l . Her claws a r e t i n t e d w i t h decorous p i n k . Her appearance  i s midway between t h a t o f t h e peacock  and t h a t o f the p a i n t e d b i r d o f P h a s i s . Scarce can t h e b i r d born i n t h e l a n d s of the Arabs, whether b e a s t or b i r d , e q u a l i t s magnitude. Yet she i s not s l u g g i s h , as a r e l a r g e b i r d s which have an i n d o l e n t gait'/ because and f u l l  o f t h e i r g r e a t weight, but i s nimble and s w i f t  o f queenly beauty;  such then i s her appearance  a t a l l times i n t h e  eyes of men. Egypt comes t o the wonders of such a m a g n i f i c e n t s i g h t , and an e x u l t a n t crowd g r e e t s t h e e x t r a o r d i n a r y b i r d . Immediately  they c a r v e i t s o u t l i n e on  h o l y marble and mark the event and t h e day w i t h a new i n s c r i p t i o n . E v e r y type o f winged c r e a t u r e g a t h e r s t o g e t h e r i n a crowd, nor does any b i r d  stay  m i n d f u l o f prey o r f e a r , thronged by a chorus o f b i r d s she f l i e s through t h e air  ahd a host f o l l o w s , 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 , b u t , a f t e r she  has reached the a i r s o f t h e pure a e t h e r , the host t u r n s back. Then t h e phoenix i s hidden i n her own domain. Oh b i r d of happy l o t ! B l e s s e d o f t h e winged c r e a t u r e s , t o whom God h i m s e l f has p r e s e n t e d t h e boon o f s e l f ^ g e n e r a t i o n ! Whether t h e b i r d female o r n e u t e r , happy i s i s the b i r d Death  i s male,  t h a t c u l t i v a t e s no t i e s w i t h Venus.  i s her Venus. Her s o l e p l e a s u r e i s i n death. She seeks t o d i e b e f o r e -  hand so t h a t she can be born a g a i n . She i s h e r own o f f s p r i n g , f a t h e r and h e i r , her own nurse and f o s t e r - c h i l d . She i s h e r s e l f i n f a c t , but i s not t h e same, and n e i t h e r i s the same h e r s e l f , f o r she has o b t a i n e d e t e r n a l l i f e by the  boon o f death.  CHAPTER FOUR COMMENTARY  1 E s t l o c u s i n prlmo f e l i x o r i e n t e remotus; the s u b j e c t of the t h i r t y l i n e s of the poem, the " l o c u s amoenus", i s d e s c r i b e d by e p i t h e t s , namely f e l i x and  first two  remotus, both of which c o n s p i r e to c r e a t e  the e x o t i c atmosphere of the poem. 1 E s t l o c u s : a common c l a s s i c a l usage; Ovid f o r example s t a r t s e i g h t 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 o r i e n t e : a c c o r d i n g f i r s t of a l l d i v i d e d the world The  former was  reckoned to be  f o u n t a i n of l i g h t , life... of l i f e ,  to L a c t a n t i u s ' cosmogony, "the i n t o two  h a l v e s , the E a s t and  t h a t of the God,  the West.  s i n c e he h i m s e l f i s the  the i l l u m i n a t o r of t h i n g s and makes us r i s e  to e t e r n a l  j u s t as the l i g h t b e l o n g s to the E a s t , i n l i g h t r e s t s the so the shadows (tenebras)  d e s t r u c t i o n are contained  belong  to the West, but death  i n the shadows" ( D i v . I n s t . 2 . 9 . 5 ) .  from the above t h a t L a c t a n t i u s meant more by far  creator  e a s t as  the world  reason and  I t appears  i n primo o r i e n t e than  "as  spans".  1 F e l i x : means more than j u s t  " b l e s s e d " ; i t seems to have r e t a i n e d some  of i t s primary meaning of " f e r t i l e " , as w i l l be h i n t e d a t i n l i n e 10 made c l e a r i n l i n e s  and  29-30.  2 Maxima p o r t a p o l i :  t h i s l i n e i s found elsewhere i n L a c t a n t i u s - D i v .  Inst.1.8.11 - where i t i s quoted verbatim, from Ennius. see a l s o V e r g . Georg.3.261f  mi  a grammarian who who  s o l i c a e l i maxima p o r t a p a t e t .  f l a t l y a s s e r t s t h a t ."Vergil s t o l e the l i n e from  i n t u r n took i t from Homer I i . 5 . 7 4 9 ,  represented  Seneca Ep.108.34 c i t e s  as warders of the  gates. 54  8.393, where the hours  Ennius, are  55  3 Nec tamen a e s t l v o s hiemisve propinquus ad o r t u s : L a c t a n t i u s now us  the l a t i t u d e of t h e " l o c u s " .  Tropics. hiemalis  The more p r o s a i c according  3 Aestivos  I t i s n o t s i t u a t e d near e i t h e r o f t h e  term f o r the T r o p i c o f C a p r i c o r n  i scirculus  to Hyginus P o e t i c a Astronomica 26.3.  o r t u s : f o r the same phrase see P r o p e r t i u s  aestivos ortus v i t a r e .  The h i e m i s o r t u s  c e l e b r a t e d by the adherents o f M i t h r a of M i t h r a  tells  1.1.27: ; sed Canis  or w i n t e r b i r t h o f the Sun was  according  to F.Cumont, The M y s t e r i e s  (New York, 1956) 167; i t i s p o s s i b l e however t h a t L a c t a n t i u s i s  making i t q u i t e c l e a r t h a t he i s n o t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s c u l t , s i n c e the s p r i n g i s the only  time of the y e a r t h a t i s mentioned i n c o n n e c t i o n  with  the phoenix; compare M a n i l i u s , and the P h y s i o l o g o s . 4 Sed qua S o l verno f u n d i t ab axe diem: the l o c u s i s i n f a c t s i t u a t e d near the equator tsee E. J . Bic.kerman, Chronology o f t h e A n c i e n t (London 1968)  World,  53.  4 S o l : R i e s e does n o t i n f a c t c a p i t a l i z e here a l t h o u g h he does a t l i n e 9.  Wight D u f f , Minor L a t i n P o e t s , LCL, (London and Cambridge 1961), and  Fitzpatrick  (see note to l i n e 12) b o t h g i v e S o l .  of the poem a r e devoted to d e v e l o p i n g the  The f i r s t  twelve l i n e s  a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between  Sun and the grove and there seems to be no v a l i d r e a s o n why the  p e r s o n i f i e d sun should  not be i n t r o d u c e d  h e r e . From t h e time o f Elagab&lus  onwards, sun worship became i n c r e a s i n g l y p r e v a l e n t A u r e l i a n had e s t a b l i s h e d an o f f i c i a l temple and even a c o l l e g e of s e n a t o r s  a t Rome.  In 274/5  c u l t o f the Sun a t Rome, i n c l u d i n g a who were p o n t i f i c e s d e i S o l i s . As  J u p i t e r Optimus Maximus became l e s s and l e s s important to the c i t i z e n s o f the empire, a s u b s t i t u t e was needed and S o l Dominus I m p e r i i Romani satisfied  that need.  L a t e r on, under C o n s t a n t i n e ,  temporarily  a f t e r the demise o f  56  Maxentius, whose patron r e v i v e d and sun".  the new  d e i t y had  been H e r c u l e s ,  emperor c a l l e d h i m s e l f  the c u l t of the  secrets  ( A p o l l o and  was  "companion of the unconquered  Compare l i n e 58 where the phoenix i s d e s c r i b e d  of Apollo's  Sun  the sun had  as  "sole  confident"  long been i d e n t i f i e d  with  each o t h e r ) . The  c l a s s i c a l p o e t s , when t a l k i n g o f the  Sun  and  A p o l l o , had  edged task of making the language both b e l i e v a b l e and mythologically he was  cogent.  I f i n fact Lactantius  a C h r i s t i a n , he had  the  double-  a t the same time  did write  t h i s poem when  the a d d i t i o n a l task of not a p p e a r i n g to be  a  pagan. 2&4 and  Qua...qua: note the anaphora, a f a i r l y common d e v i c e elsewhere i n L a c t a n t i u s ' works.  Compare l i n e s 3&6,  i n t h i s poem  11&13, 16&17  and  passim. 4 Verno....ab axe: "axis".  Verno w i l l be  of p e r p e t u a l 6 Nec  " a x i s " bears the double sense of " c h a r i o t " and r e i n f o r c e d by v i r e n s i n l i n e 10  to convey the  spring.  tumulus c r e s c i t nec  cava v a l l i s h i a t :  the abrupt t r a n s f e r of  image e x a c t l y c o i n c i d e s w i t h the c a e s u r a of the pentameter. in fact  throughout the poem s c r u p u l o u s l y  the e l e g a i c  poet  observes the c o n v e n t i o n s of  montes: the tone r a p i d l y changes here w i t h the word  are reminded by  of m o r t a l s but l i n e s 10-30. known to  The  couplet.  7 Sed n o s t r o s We  idea  sed.  the poet t h a t a l l t h i s i s not o n l y f a r from the world  also very d i f f e r e n t . By n o s t r o s  How  d i f f e r e n t , he w i l l e x p l a i n i n  montes he means a l l those mountains t h a t  are  man.  7 Quorum i u g a c e l s a p u t a n t u r : L a c t a n t i u s b u i l d s up "whose tops are  thought  lofty".  to a g r e a t  emphasis:  57  8 Per b i s sex u i n a s  imminet i l l e  l o c u s : the p l a c e overtops  mountains by a d i s t a n c e of twice s i x e l l s  these  (a d i s t a n c e v a r i o u s l y des-  c r i b e d as an elbow, an arm's l e n g t h or the t o t a l l e n g t h of the arms), a remarkably p r e c i s e and dwarfed by a p l a t e a u .  Was  clasped  s m a l l d i s t a n c e f o r a mountain to  i t f o r t h i s reason  be  t h a t i t escaped Phaethon's  flood? 8 B i s sex: Aeneid  q u i t e a common e x p r e s s i o n  a l o n e ) and  the F a s t i ,  i n Ovid  ( f o u r times i n the  ( s i x times i n the Metamorphoses and  the E p i s t l e s and  s i g n i f i c a n c e i s greater  in Vergil  the Med.  Fac.).  once each i n  A s p e c i a l number, whose  than i t s u s e f u l n e s s as a spondaic  opening;  compare the number of Olympians, the sons of Nereus, the l a b o u r s Hercules",  the s i g n s o f the Zodiac  8 Imminet: 13048 and  the number of the  t h i s i s the r e a d i n g of two  Veronensis  163.  the f o u r t h c e n t u r y ,  i s i n T e r t u l l i a n ' s Adversus G n o s t i c o s  Immineo, w i t h  Parisinus  g i v e s eminet.  of immineo used as a  Scorpiace  Another transitive  8. Migne,(PL 2.137),  however, emends the o f f e n d i n g a c c u s a t i v e to a d a t i v e and of mention.  Apostles.  of the b e s t m a n u s c r i p t s ,  L e i d e n s i s V o s s i a n u s Q.33  possible instance, before verb  and  of  t h i n k s i t unworthy  the meaning of " t h r e a t e n " , r e g u l a r l y takes e i t h e r  the d a t i v e case or a p r e p o s i t i o n , p l u s the a c c u s a t i v e ; compare L i v y 30.28.9 and  C i e . Ph.5.20.  emend the r e a d i n g s  There does not seem to be a s t r o n g enough argument to of the b e s t mss.  The meaning i s q u i t e c l e a r i n t h i s  i f we  Caesar had  a villa.  C i c . Art.15.4.5:  and  Pan.Lat.7.22.1.  compare  Dianae nemus where f l o u r i s h e d during  e p i t h e t s about s p r i n g s of A p o l l o were  d i s g u i s e d compliments to C o n s t a n t i n e ; 26.6  for various d e i t i e s ,  Amongst the p a n e g y r i c a l w r i t e r s who  the r e i g n of C o n s t a n t i n e  Lactantius.  case.  9 Nemus S o l i s : groves were o f t e n r e s e r v e d Verg.Aen.7.759: . A n g i t i a e nemus and  a l l o w p o e t i c l i c e n c e to  thinly  compare f o r example Porph. Opt.  Carm.  58  9 Nemus:  L a c t a n t i u s uses nemus, Lucus, which p l a y s on l o c u s ,  s i l v a i n t e r c h a n g a b l y throughout the poem. new  The grove adds an  f e a t u r e to the s t o r y o f the phoenix b i r d .  t h a t Phaethon w i l l  interesting  Only C l a u d i a n mentions  the grove and he i s almost c e r t a i n l y drawing on L a c t a n t i u s . f a c t s p e c i f i c a l l y mentions  and  Ovid i n  f i n d no groves up t h e r e .  10 Lucus, perpetuae f r o n d i s honore v i r e n s : once a g a i n the e x c l u s i v e n e s s of the p l a c e i s emphasized,  f e l i x and verno a r e echoed w i t h 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" o f H e s i o d , V e r g i l and O v i d , when a g r i c u l t u r e was  unnecessary and man  simply p i c k e d h i s food from the  n e a r e s t bush; compare Ovid Met.1.102. L a c t a n t i u s t a l k s elsewhere o f the Golden Age.  [see L. J . S w i f t , L a c t a n t i u s and  144-156 f o r a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n o f 11 Cum  the Golden Age, AJP, 89  (1968)  this.]  P h a e t h o n t e i s f l a g r a s s e t ab i g n i b u s a x i s : Phaethon,  son o f the  sea-nymph Clymen, daughter o f Tethys and H e l i o s / A p o l l o , had begged h i s mother f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n of h i s i l l u s t r i o u s a n c e s t r y . f a t h e r was  the Sun and a d v i s e d him to go and v i s i t  c o n f i r m a t i o n of t h i s from him.  asked  the Sun to o b t a i n  The boy d i d as he was  d u l y r e c o g n i z e d by h i s f a t h e r who  She swore t h a t h i s  b i d d e n and  o f f e r e d him one boon.  The boy  to be a l l o w e d to d r i v e h i s f a t h e r ' s c h a r i o t f o r one day.  was immediately The  father,  h a v i n g g i v e n h i s oath, r e l u c t a n t l y agreed and the i n e x p e r i e n c e d youth charged o f f i n the c h a r i o t of the Sun and got so c o m p l e t e l y out o f c o n t r o l t h a t Zeus had  to shoot him down w i t h a t h u n d e r b o l t l e s t even  blazing  the heavens become a  inferno.  L a c t a n t i u s seems to be s u g g e s t i n g t h a t because  the "grove" belongs to the  Sun i t i s n o t s c o r c h e d i n the i n f e r n o , but i n no o t h e r v e r s i o n of the myth do we hear o f any l o c a l e t h a t i s i n v i o l a t e a t the time o f Phaethon's  fire.  59 11 A x i s : t h i s must mean a sphere which r e v o l v e s  on an a x i s , f o r i t was  the sky t h a t caught f i r e f i r s t when Phaethon l o s t c o n t r o l o f h i s c h a r i o t . 12-30  Many s c h o l a r s have the  thought w i t h M. C. F i t z p a t r i c k , o p . c i t . page 62, t h a t t h i s passage upon c l o s e thought adds f o r c e to the s l o w l y C h r i s t i a n character L'Afrique  i n c r e a s i n g evidence f o r the  o f the poem; so P. Monceaux, H i s t o i r e L i t t e r a i r e de  C h r e t i e n n e ( P a r i s 1905) v o l . 3  page 506.  Others, however, have  been e q u a l l y c o n v i n c e d t h a t i t was permeated w i t h the S t o i c a l ' s p i r i t , as for  example C. P a s c a l , S u l Carme "De Ave P h o e n i c e " a t t r i b i i t i t o a L a t t a r i z i o  ( N a p o l i 1904).  Y e t o t h e r s have concluded t h a t the i n f l u e n c e was Neo-  P l a t o n i c , as f o r example C. L a n d i , (Padova, 1914).  IlCarme "De Ave P h o e n i c e" e i l suoautore  A l l o f the above views b e l i t t l e  the poet's i m a g i n a t i o n and  imply a c e r t a i n s i m p l i c i t y o f concept which has hampered a f u l l of the poem i n the f u l l c l i m a t e o f the day.  l i g h t o f 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  The i n t e r m i t t e n t y e t s e r i o u s p e r s e c u t i o n s  and V a l e r i a n and even Domitian i n Feb. 23rd.  discussion  o f Decius  303.had s e r i o u s 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 a b l e , t o accommodate any number o f o r i e n t a l r e l i g i o n s , except f o r S h r i s t i a n i t y , a t l e a s t u n t i l time.  Constantine's  However, one must n o t f o r g e t t h a t there were l o n g p e r i o d s  a l t h o u g h these were of v a r y i n g  legality.  F o r example C o n s t a n t i n e ' s  Constarife-us d e c l i n e d to p e r s e c u t e even though d i r e c t e d to do s o . have to c o n s i d e r of s y n c r e t i s m  of t o l e r a t i o n  We  father only  C o n s t a n t i n e s r e l i g i o u s views to r e a l i z e the magnitude, 1  (not a l l s c h o l a r s agree on the degree  see H. M. D. P a r k e r ,  A H i s t o r y o f the Roman World from A.D. 138-337. [Northampton 1963] 303 f o r a further discussion).  During the t h i r d century  moving towards a m o n o t h e i s t i c  the Roman world was  slowly  way o f t h i n k i n g and L a c t a n t i u s was n o t a l o o f  60  from t h i s  trend.  We  know how  he s t r i v e s to accommodate the  classical  poets i n t o h i s cosmology as p o r t r a y e d i n the D i v i n e I n s t i t u t i o n s . poem becomes: c l e a r e r i f we poem was  c o n s i d e r L a c t a n t i u s as a s y n c r e t i c .  p u b l i s h e d f o r a C h r i s t i a n audience  The  I f the  there would have been no need  to d i s guise:'.its C h r i s t i a n n a t u r e u n l e s s the author were a f r a i d of some form of c e n s o r s h i p , but he t e l l s us s p e c i f i c a l l y admitted  t a c i t u r n i t y was  not human but d i v i n e :  (sapientiam) p u b l i c e atque a d s e r e r e non As we  t h a t the cause of h i s q u i a nos defendere  solemus, deo  hanc  iubente.•Div.Inst.7.27.  have shown, L a c t a n t i u s ' connections;* *with C o n s t a n t i n e are w e l l  documented as i s C o n s t a n t i n e ' s s y n c r e t i s m as S o l I n v i c t u s (see A.  Alfoldi,  The  can  Conversion o f C o n s t a n t i n e and Pagan Rome [Oxford 1948]; so we  imagine  t h a t i f the poem were p u b l i s h e d d u r i n g the time o f L a c t a n t i u s '  a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the i m p e r i a l f a m i l y , the poem would c e r t a i n l y not t r a d i c t ' and might v e r y w e l l be expected The phoenix Institutes 13 E t cum  poem was and  cally  the views of C o n s t a n t i n e .  c l e a r l y w r i t t e n f o r a wider audience  thus f o r t h a t reason was  than the D i v i n e  a more r e s t r a i n e d work.  d i l u v i u m m e r s i s s e t f l u c t i b u s orbem:  Deucalioneas escaped  to r e f l e c t  con-  e x s u p e r a v i t aquas: We  the f l o o d because of the f a c t  can surmise t h a t i t was  that t h i s  situated higher  than the h i g h e s t mountains of "our w o r l d " but the poet  n o t h i n g d e f i n i t e about t h i s .  "locus" geographi-  tells  us  I t i s p r o b a b l e t h a t L a c t a n t i u s has not o n l y  Ovid's v e r s i o n i n mind h e r e , but a l s o the o l d e r Greek v e r s i o n s which a l l o w c e r t a i n havens to be l e f t d r y . D e u c a l i o n sought  The P a r i a n Marble,  l i n e s 4-7,  t e l l s us t h a t  r e f u g e w i t h the King of Athens, Craneus, i m p l y i n g t h a t  Athens s u r v i v e d the f l o o d , a n o t i o n t h a t i s s u r e l y n a t i o n a l i s t i c  gloss.  It i s clear,however,that  to be  changed.  According  t h i s p a r t of the myth was  to A p o l l o d o r u s i t was  Parnassus  not too r i g i d  t h a t r e c e i v e d the  61  shipwrecked  D e u c a l i o n , a l t h o u g h i n t h i s v e r s i o n he was  not the s o l e  survivor. L a c t a n t i u s had an almost morbid  interest  convinced t h a t , when the r a c e o f men  i n the f l o o d .  He  was  had become c o r r u p t , then they  would be punished by a g r e a t f l o o d : .  Deus autem p o s t e a v i d e r e t orbem t e r r a e m a l i t i a e t s c e l e r i b u s obpletum, s t a t u i t humanum genus d i l u v i u m perdere.... L a c t a n t i u s i s extremely  c a r e f u l to e x p l a i n why  d i f f e r s from those of the p o e t s .  the above account  (Div.Inst.2.13)  They were not a c t u a l l y wrong; they  got the name of t h e c r e a t o r wrong "because they had never come i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h him"  (Div.Inst.2.10).  E a r l i e r v e r s i o n s of the f l o o d  e i t h e r c o m p l e t e l y i g n o r e d the q u e s t i o n o f why  had  was  partly  f o l l o w e d by O v i d , i n blaming Lycaon p r i m a r i l y but a l s o m e n t i o n i n g  Greece (New  York  1899)  of man.  direct  a f l o o d took p l a c e (compare  Hesiod, A r i s t o t l e or J u s t i n ) or were l i k e A p o l l o d o r u s , who  Zeus wanted to d e s t r o y the Bronze Age  A c c o r d i n g to G.  that  Grote,  98, the c h r o n o l o g e r s , such as T a t i a n who  was  f o l l o w e d by Clemens and E u s e b i u s , a s s i g n e d the same time to b o t h  the  f l o o d and the c o n f l a g r a t i o n .  T h i s may  merely  h e l p us to e x p l a i n why  events a r e j u x t a p o s e d i n the poem of L a c t a n t i u s .  the  two  Compare l i n e 13 to  Div.Inst.2.13. 13 D i l u v i u m : not a v e r y common word. and once by O v i d .  I t was  used o n l y twice by  L a c t a n t i u s uses i t a t o t a l of f i v e times.  i n s i g n i f i c a n c e o f course f o r the C h r i s t i a n w r i t e r who f l o o d was  Virgil  I t grew  assumed t h a t  the  the same one as Noah e x p e r i e n c e d , as L a c t a n t i u s does i n the  Div.Inst.2.10.  There were many t r a d i t i o n s about  the f l o o d ; perhaps  the  62  most non-committal was  t h a t of A r i s t o t l e who  "whenever t h e r e i s an excess of r a i n s .  said^Met.I.325a-b^  T h i s does not always happen  i n the same r e g i o n of the e a r t h : f o r i n s t a n c e , the s o - c a l l e d f l o o d of D e u c a l i o n  took p l a c e l a r g e l y i n the H e l l e n i c lands and  i n o l d H e l l a s , t h a t i s , the country r i v e r which has  round Dodona and  f r e q u e n t l y changed i t s course".  other v e r s i o n s of the f l o o d such as the one mentioned i n the note to l i n e 15-24: The  p a r a d i s e occur ought not  the A c h e l o u s , a  There a r e of  course  on the P a r i a n Marble,  12.  next ten l i n e s , almost to a word, occur  corpus o f a n c i e n t l i t e r a t u r e .  particularly  The  elsewhere i n the  themes of E l y s i u m and  the C h r i s t i a n  so o f t e n w i t h 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 t h a t  to c a t e g o r i z e them as e i t h e r c l a s s i c a l or C h r i s t i a n ,  F i t z p a t r i c k does, u n l e s s  as  i t i s p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h between the  T h i s p a r t i c u l a r passage echoes d e s c r i p t i o n s of Hades, Olympus, or the C h r i s t i a n p a r a d i s e .  we  two.  Elysium  Elsewhere L a c t a n t i u s g i v e s 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 p a r a d i s e : Post haec deus hominem qua exposui r a t i o n e generatum p o s u i t i n P a r a d i s o i d e s t i n h o r t o f e c u n d i s s i m o e t amoenissimo: quem i n p a r t i b u s o r i e n t i s omni genere l i g n i arborumque c o n s e v i t , ut ex earum v a r i i s f r u c t i b u s 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 ( D i v . I n s t . 2 . 1 2 ) . " a f t e r these t h i n g s , God having made man i n the manner i n which I have p o i n t e d out, p l a c e d him i n p a r a d i s e , that i s i n the most f r u i t f u l and p l e a s a n t garden, which he p l a n t e d i n the r e g i o n s of the E a s t w i t h every k i n d of wood and t r e e , t h a t he might be n o u r i s h e d by t h e i r v a r i o u s f r u i t s ; and, b e i n g f r e e from a l l l a b o u r s , he might devote h i m s e l f e n t i r e l y to the s e r v i c e of God h i s f a t h e r . " : We  must notjhowever jump to c o n c l u s i o n s about t h i s k i n d of language. Such 4  t i r a d e s were the s t o c k - i n - t r a d e of the p a n e g y r i c i s t s of (compare t h a t of N a z a r i u s L a c t a n t i u s was  of course  Constantine  Pan.Lat.10.31 g i v e n i n March of 321), a rhetorician first  of a l l .  and  63  15-20: As F i t z p a t r l c k s a y s , o p . c i t . page 63, l i n e s 15-20 a r e r e m i n i s c e n t of V e r g i l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the f o r e c o u r t o f Or us Aen.6.274-281 a l s o Stat.Theb.7.47-55;  Sil.14.579-587 ; Cic.Nat.Deor.317.44).  (compare This  passage w i t h i t s enumeration o f t h e troublesome t h i n g s t h a t a r e not found i n the home o f the phoenix r e c a l l s the s c r i p t u r a l p a r a d i s e , from which a l l t h a t t r o u b l e s or w o r r i e s a r e banished (Gen. 2; Ap_oc_.21.l-4).. Somewhat the same i d e a o f the phoenix's home i s expressed i n C l a u d i a n ' s poem, Ph.9-10. was  Even e a r l i e r , i n t h e days o f O v i d , Am. 2.6.54, the phoenix  thought o f as l i v i n g i n E l y s i u m , t h e a n c i e n t c o u n t e r p a r t o f p a r a d i s e .  I t i s a p l e a s i n g fancy t o imagine t h a t i t i s from t h i s passage i n Ovid t h a t L a c t a n t i u s c o n c e i v e d the i d e a o f a grove i n the sun where the phoenix was  to l i v e .  15 Exsangues morbi: compare Ovid Met.15.627: , . p a l l i d a q u e exsangui squalebant c o r p o r a morbo. 16 Mors c r u d e l i s : compare V e r g i l Aen.10.386: c r u d e l j morte  dum f u r i t ,  incautum  sodalis.  17 Opum vesana c u p i d o : L a c t a n i u s seams , p a r t i c u l a r l y contemptuous o f those who covet money; elsewhere he s a y s : " t h e r e a r e then t h r e e a f f e c t i o n s which d r i v e men headlong to a l l c r i m e s : anger, d e s i r e a n d . l u s t .  On which  account the poets have s a i d t h a t t h e r e a r e t h r e e f u r i e s which h a r a s s the minds of men: anger l o n g s f o r revenge, l u s t f o r p l e a s u r e s and d e s i r e (cupiditas) for riches  (ops)".  (Div.Inst.6.19).  In t h e De Mort. P e r s . 6 .  A i i r e l i a n i s d e s c r i b e d by the same a d j e c t i v e ; he i s vesanus e t praeceps "mad  and r e c k l e s s " .  18 Hue meat: t h e b e s t emendation .of aut metus, which i s g i v e n oy the mss. and which would be harsh i f r e p e a t e d so soon a f t e r l i n e 16. 19 E g e s t a s o b s i t a p a n n i s : compare Ter.Eun.236...pannis  annisque obsitum.  64  20 Curae Insomnes: compare Lucan De B e l l . C i v . 2. 239'.  insomni. . c u r a .  20 V i o l e n t a fames: i t i s the hunger t h a t causes the v i o l e n c e . L a c t a n t i u s uses the a d j e c t i v e v i o l e n t u s i n a v e r y  s i m i l a r sense i n the  De.Op.Dei where, he d e s c r i b e s the c o n l u c t o r e t a d v e r s a r i u s n o s t e r , namely tne d e v i l , as b e i n g  saepe v i o l e n t u s 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 l o c u s f e l i x  emphasis p l a c e d on the g e o g r a p h i c a l  i s continued  characteristics.  but w i t h a g r e a t e r  Compare the next  f o u r l i n e s to Horn. Od.4.566-7, a d e s c r i p t i o n of E l y s i u m , d e s c r i p t i o n of ulympus; a l s o L u c r e t i u s De 25 Sed  to Od.6.43-5 a  Re.Nat.3.13-23;5.215-17.  fons i n medio e s t , quem vivum nomine d i c u n t :  this line  has  caused many s c h o l a r s 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 to  consider  i t as an e x p o s i t i o n of some p h i l o s o p h i c a l d o c t r i n e .  pages 324-326, p o i n t s out  or e l s e Broek,  t h a t the v a r i o u s elements of L a c t a n t i u s '  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  m y t h o l o g i c a l b i r d cannot be but is  t h a t the d e s c r i p t i o n of the home of  e x p l a i n e d as a whole from the c l a s s i c a l models  o n l y from the J u d a e o - C h r i s t i a n t r u e t h a t the phrase  with  the b a p t i s m a l  conceptions  V^ttfc^tO^<-  s e r v i c e but  concerning  (Didache 7.1)  was  Paradise.  i t i s a l s o t r u e t h a t the phrase v i v i s  c e r t a i n l y r e v i s e d towards the end  r e f e r e n c e s to both the death of Augustus and  of the poet's l i f e  dedicated  to Augustus h i m s e l f ) .  s t a n d i n g of t h i s l i n e p r o b a b l y  lies  of  the  f o r we  find  the assumption of T i b e r i u s ;  the r e s t of the work seems, however, to have been w r i t t e n e a r l i e r and was  It  used i n c o n j u n c t i o n  f o n t i b u s 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 F a s t i was  the  The  key  considerably to a f u l l  under-  i n the word d i c u n t upon which no-one  65  has  seen f i t to comment.  Who  are the s u b j e c t s  are they suddenly mentioned so p o i n t e d l y ?  We  f o r h i s p l a g i a r i s m and  h i s common p l a c e s but  of redundancy.  was  Dicunt  s u r e l y put  of the verb? may  And  criticize  why  Lactantius  nowhere can we  accuse  t h e r e f o r some r e a s o n .  him  It i s  p o s s i b l e t h a t d i c u n t nomine i s almost a formula? Compare Verg. Aen.6.441; Georg.3.280.  N e v e r t h e l e s s F i t z p a t r i c k o v e r i n t e r p r e t s the L a t i n when  t r a n s l a t e s vivum (fontem) as " f o u n t a i n of  life".  There seem to be  two  serious p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  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 " l u c u s " and  debt to these e a r l i e r w r i t e r s . t h i s h y p o t h e s i s and w r i t e r s who  No  proof  Firstly  that Lactantius  however can be  seemed to have o n l y L a c t a n t i u s L a c t a n t i u s may  o f f e r e d to support  t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Muses.  P o r p h y r i u s O p t a t i a n u s who  a l s o had  Muses and Mt.  s p r i n g and being  F i r s t l y we  know t h a t  Apollo  Secondly, i n the Carmina of and  was  f i n d overwhelming evidence t h a t  the  H e l i c o n were c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the c u l t of A p o l l o ,  r a t h e r the Sol/Apollo/Phoebus f i g u r e , who allow  of d i c u n t were  a s s o c i a t i o n s with Constantine,  a near contemporary of L a c t a n t i u s , we  I f we  to  unstated.  There e x i s t s however a second p o s s i b i l i t y . was  the  have added d i c u n t  make h i s account more b e l i e v a b l e , even though the s u b j e c t s imaginary or  later  i n mind when the home of  of course simply  had  here shows h i s  indeed i t seems improbable i n the l i g h t of the  phoenix i s d e s c r i b e d .  she  t h i s , then a v e r y  convenient e x p l a n a t i o n  the s p e c i a l use made of i t by  i n s p i r e d by  the s a c r e d  i s a thinly disguised  the phoenix.  Constantine.  comes to mind f o r The  bird  is  r h e t o r i c a l language r e m i n i s c e n t  poem i t s e l f  the  simply  s p r i n g of A p o l l o which enables i t , l i k e  Muses, to s i n g b e a u t i f u l l y ( l i n e s 45-50). The  or  the  i s replete with  of the p a n e g y r i c i s t s of C o n s t a n t i n e  and  66 the phoenix  can be viewed almost  i t drinks to r e t a i n i t s voice.  as a f l a t t e r e r of A p o l l o a t whose s p r i n g The words p i u s , f e l i x and v e n e r a t u s were  e p i t h e t s v e r y f r e q u e n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the emperor worship f o u r t h century.  of the  I t i s curious that Constantine, a f t e r h i s f i n a l  early  consoli-  d a t i o n of power (Eusebius V i t a Const.3.54.2)removed a l l the s t a t u e s of the Muses from H e l i c o n and had  them s e t up i n the i m p e r i a l p a l a c e i n  C o n s t a n t i n o p l e , a p p a r e n t l y to d e s t r o y i d o l a t r y . contempt f o r paganism had been as Eusebius would not have brought  must s t i l l to  We  certainly  palace.  of the p l a c e i s c o n t i n u e d .  the " l u c u s " e x p e r i e n c e s p e r p e t u a l s p r i n g , n e v e r t h e l e s s i t  f u n c t i o n on s o l a r time, f o r the phoenix  reappear.  i f Constantine's  s u g g e s t s , the former  those s t a t u e s i n t o h i s own  26 Uber: the i d e a of the f e r t i l i t y 27-28: Although  But  does have i t s t i m e t a b l e  assume t h a t the s p r i n g i r r i g a t e s the grove a t a c e r t a i n  time each month twelve times a y e a r , but the L a t i n i s not a b s o l u t e l y clear.  We  must take semel c l o s e l y w i t h mensum and  menses or something s i m i l a r to b a l a n c e out 28 Duodecies: able. used  s y n e z e s i s of the f i r s t  supply per s i n g u l o s  duodecies.  two vowels makes the word  quadrisyll-  Only one o t h e r sure example, CIL 24,747, i s known of duodecies i n t h i s way(on a t h i r d - c e n t u r y tombstone uncovered  a g a i n we  near  being  Carthage).  Once  a r e reminded of the magic number twelve which o c c u r s a g a i n i n  another form i n l i n e s 37-38.  T h i s number i s v e r y common i n the  c h a p t e r s of the Apocolypse .21.12,14,16,21;22.2. 8.247". , respergens  closing  Compare a l s o S i b y l . O r a c .  s a n c t o s duodeno forite.  29 Surgens: the p a r t i c i p l e r e i n f o r c e s the e a r l i e r p a r t i c i p i a l . d e s c r i p t i o n of  the grove as v i r e n s ( l i n e 10) and erumpens ( l i n e  30 Non  27).  l a p s u r a s o l o m i t i a poma g e r i t : a l l a s p e c t s of the f l o r a a r e d e p i c t e d  as moving or somehow burgeoning,  except  f o r the f r u i t which simply s t a y s on  67  the t r e e s ; t h e r e i s a f t e r a l l no-one t o 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 o f a f e r t i l e l a n d compare C u r t i u s ' account o f Bactria  (7.4.26):  B a c t r i a n a e t e r r a e m u l t i p l e x e t v a r i a n a t u r a e s t . A l i b i multa arbor e t v i t i s l a r g o s mitesque f r u c t u s a l i t , solum pingue c r e b r i f o n t e s r i g a n t . The l a n d o f the B a c t r i a n i i s o f m a n i f o l d and v a r i e d n a t u r e . In one p a r t many t r e e s and v i n e s produce p l e n t i f u l and mellow f r u i t s , f r e q u e n t brooks i r r i g a t e the r i c h s o i l . It i s p o s s i b l e that L a c t a n t i u s i s t h i n k i n g 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 a l s o notes According  (Geog.2.1.16) i t s p r o d i g i o u s  fertility.  t o J u s t i n 1.1.9 the King o f B a c t r i a i n a n c i e n t times was none  o t h e r than Z o r o a s t e r , about whom D i o Chrysostom (36.41) r e l a t e s the following tale:  "Because o f a p a s s i o n f o r wisdom, he ( Z o r o a s t e r )  deserted  h i s f e l l o w s and dwelt by h i m s e l f on a c e r t a i n mountain; and they  say t h a t  thereupon the mountain caught f i r e , a g r e a t  flame descended from t h e  sky above, and t h a t i t burned u n c e a s i n g l y .  So then t h e K i n g and the  most d i s t i n g u i s h e d o f h i s P e r s i a n s drew near f o r the purposes o f p r a y i n g to the God; and Z o r o a s t e r came f o r t h from the f i r e u n s c a t h e d . "  We do  however have no p r o o f t h a t L a c t a n t i u s ever read e i t h e r J u s t i n or Dio Chrysostom o r even C u r t i u s ; these s i m i l a r i t i e s may j u s t be c o i n c i d e n c e . 31 Hoc nemus, hos l u c o s a v i s i n c o l i t u n i c a Phoenix: f i n a l l y of the poem i s i n t r o d u c e d .  the s u b j e c t  F o r t h e b i r d l i v i n g i n a grove i n E l y s i u m see  Ovid: C o l l e sub E l y s i o n i g r a nemus i l i c e  frondet,  udaque perpetuo gramine t e r r a v i r e t . s i qua f i d e s d u b i i s , volucrum l o c u s i l l e d i c i t u r , obscenae quo p r o h i b e n t u r aves; i l l i c i n n o c u i l a t e pascuntur o l o r e s et v i v a x phoenix, u n i c a semper a v i s .  piarum  68 "At the f o o t of a h i l l i n E l y s i u m i s . a l e a f y grove of dark i l e x , a n d the moist e a r t h i s green w i t h never fading grass. I f we may have f a i t h i n d o u b t f u l t h i n g s , t h a t p l a c e , we a r e t o l d , i s of the winged p i o u s k i n d , and from it 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 k i n d . " (Ov.Am.2.6.49-54). It  i s i n f o r m a t i v e t h a t Ovid c a l l s the b i r d p i u s which c l e a r l y has  C h r i s t i a n i n t e n t but  no  compliments the b i r d on i t s p i e t y to i t s " f a t h e r " .  31 A v i s . . . u n i c a : 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 gender.  L a e v i u s was  Pomponius Mela was b i r d as female.  the second w r i t e r to g i v e the b i r d a the f i r s t  understand h i s t e x t p r o p e r l y  the o n l y o t h e r one b e f o r e L a c t a n t i u s to t r e a t  L a c t a n t i u s was  quotes at l e a s t f o r t y - t w o attaches  i f we  feminine and the  g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d by Ovid whom he  times elsewhere i n h i s work.  the e p i t h e t u n i c a a v i s to Caeneus Met.  Ovid  elsewhere  12.531 a f t e r he had  been  metamorphosed i n t o a b i r d . 32 U n i c a sed v i v i t morte r e f e c t a sua: the i d e a of the phoenix r e c r e a t i n g itself first  from i t s own c e n t u r y B.C.  i n chapter  death was  h a r d l y new  but was  known as f a r back as  the  by the Roman senator M a n i l i u s , as has been p o i n t e d  out  two.  33 P a r e t e t o b s e q u i t u r  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 d e i t y i n the fragment of L a e v i u s , which,  however, b e a r s l i t t l e resemblance to the passage t h a t we I t seems at f i r s t  difficult  to accept  a r e now  considering.  t h a t L a c t a n t i u s borrowed t h i s  from the Apocolypse of ?seudo-Baruch a work which, we o u t s i d e the t r a d i t i o n of the phoenix as we  have agreed, i s  have come to know i t . Never-  t h e l e s s t h i s i s the o n l y example antecedent to L a c t a n t i u s t h a t we of the phoenix a c t i n g out  idea  the r o l e of attendant  to the  sun.  possess  69  I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s based  on myth tend to be v e r y vague, but i f we  to more h i s t o r i c a l matters  and  c o n s i d e r the p o s s i b i l i t y of the  "as a symbol of the i m p e r i a l renewal as G. B. Ladner,  The  T h i s i s not a s u r p r i s i n g  s i n c e Eusebius h i m s e l f i^Vita Const .4. 72j says "we ( C o n s t a n t i n e ) w i t h t h a t b i r d of Egypt, dies s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g , from i t s own had b e f o r e . "  cannot  the o n l y one,  140,  life,  I t i s tempting  soars a l o f t  age",  does,  comparison  compare him  as they say, which  i n the midst of aromatic perfumes, and  ashes w i t h new  phoenix  i d e o l o g y of the C o n s t a n t i n i a n  Idea of Reform (Cambridge Mass., 1959)  then a d i f f e r e n t p i c t u r e emerges.  turn  rising  i n the same form which i t  t o t h i n k t h a t Eusebius  took t h i s  account  from L a c t a n t i u s , but the r e p o r t i s couched i n such g e n e r a l terms t h a t it  c o u l d have come from any number o f the v e r s i o n s l i s t e d  two.  i n chapter  N e v e r t h e l e s s i t does seem from the above passage of Eusebius  someone had  compared C o n s t a n t i n e to the phoenix,  the p a r t of Eusebius  a most unusual  C o n s t a n t i n e to the phoenix. phoenix  f o r i t does seem on  s u g g e s t i o n f o r p e o p l e not to compare  S u f f i c e i t to say f o r the moment t h a t the  a t t h i s time had p o l i t i c a l  C u r i o u s l y , Eusebius  that  overtones.  i n the V i t a Const. makes no mention of C r i s p u s ,  C o n s t a n t i n e ' s son by an e a r l y c o n n e c t i o n w i t h M i n e r v i n a , c i r c a 290 ,nor of Lactantius, Crispus' tutor [ B e r k e l e y , 1976]  48,  (see H. A. Drake, In P r a i s e of  Constantine  f o r a d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s ) , whose work De Mort. P e r s .  covered much the same m a t e r i a l as E u s e b i u s ' E c c l e s i a s t i c a l H i s t o r y i n the c h a p t e r s d e a l i n g w i t h C o n s t a n t i n e ' s r i s e to power. however, d i f f e r on such important sky b e f o r e the w a l l s of Rome and  The  two  accounts,  p o i n t s as the v i s i o n of the c r o s s i n the the second  hatched by Maximinian b e f o r e h i s death.  p l o t p u r p o r t e d to have been  T h i s may  be e x p l a i n e d by the  fact  70  t h a t C r i s p u s ' name became unmentionable a f t e r h i s death at h i s hands i n 326.  Perhaps L a c t a n t i u s  association with Crispus, by a b s o l u t e l y no However we in  ille  s u f f e r e d the same f a t e ' s i m p l y  f o r i t i s q u i t e remarkable t h a t he  author i n the f i r s t  three quarters  do kn8w t h a t C o n s t a n t i n e was  the p a n e g y r i c composed i n 311 quasi maiestatis  father's  Pan.Lat.5.14.4 A p o l l o  tuae comes et s o c i u s .  i s mentioned  of f o u r t h  compared to A p o l l o ;  by  century. for  instance  i s described  Compare a l s o the v e r y  as frequent  legend of the contemporary c o i n s S o l I n v i c t u s Comes ( T r e s o r s Mon£taires l a Gaule Romaine, G. Fabre et M. c o i n s a l s o d e s c r i b e him  Mainjonet,  as p r i n c e p s  [ P a r i s , 19D8]  206-222).  i u v e n t i s and memoria f e l i x .  de  The  From  the  forementioned p a n e g y r i c i s t i t i s q u i t e c l e a r t h a t h i s o n l y o b j e c t i s i  f l a t t e r y at the expense of a l l t h a t i s t r u t h f u l . other hand, says e x p l i c i t l y  confidat:  or even i n r o y a l power". and be  end  nemo f a s c i b u s , nemo etiam  " l e t no-one t r u s t i n r i c h e s , i n badges of If Lactantius  did i n fact write  this  office,  dedication,  t h e r e are some t h a t doubt t h a t he d i d i n f a c t w r i t e i t , i t shows him f a r more s p a r i n g  the u n b r i d l e d  i n h i s p r a i s e than the aforementioned p a n e g y r i c i s t  sycophant P o r p h y r i u s O p t a t i a n u s .  mentioned e p i t h e t s of f l a t t e r y a t t a c h e d to  the  i n h i s d e d i c a t i o n to the emperor a t the  of the D i v i n e I n s t i t u t i o n s 7.27..nemo d i v i t i i s , regia potestate  L a c t a n t i u s , on  Almost a l l the  to  or  above-  to C o n s t a n t i n e were a l s o  attached  Crispus.  So i n L i n e 33 the phoenix i s the s a t e l l e s t h a t obeys A p o l l o bear i n mind the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the b i r d may  and we  must  be an a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e f o r  a member of the i m p e r i a l f a m i l y or a t l e a s t f o r someone p o l i t i c a l l y important.  We  have f u r t h e r evidence of the s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t  e x i s t e d between C o n s t a n t i n e and  the phoenix.  On a m e d a l l i o n  struck i n  I t a l y towards the end o f C o n s t a n t i n e ' s l i f e ,  the emperor i s seen  handing  over t h e globe to one o f h i s sons (?) and upon the globe i s perched a bird", unmistakably  a phoenix,  f o r i t i s r e p l e t e w i t h a seven-rayed  (see A. A l f o l d i ,  On t h e Foundation  Broek, page 434,  dates t h i s m e d a l l i o n to 326 and J . Maurice,  Constantinienne suggest  of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e JRS 37[1947] 1 5 ) . Numismatique  V o l . 1, page 104 even goes as f a r as t o  t h a t t h e s m a l l e r o f t h e two f i g u r e s i s C r i s p u s who was put t o  death i n 326. interest  ( P a r i s 1908)  nimbus  I t can be seen from the above t h a t i t would be of g r e a t  t o date the poem, f o r t h i s would g i v e us some c l u e t o t h e  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e symbolism o f t h e 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 a g a i n s t the Mss. appealing.  t r a d i t i o n ; i t i s , nevertheless, quite  Note a l s o t h e legend on a c o i n commemorating t h e death o f  C o n s t a n t i n e where t h e Emperor  i s p i c t u r e d on a c h a r i o t b e i n g beckoned  upwards by the hand o f (one assumes) God. Memoria.(H. M a t t i n g l y , Roman Coins 33 S a t e l l e s :  [London, 1927] 249).  one argument a g a i n s t t h e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e Emperor  C o n s t a n t i n e w i t h t h e phoenix i n the L a c t a n t i a n corpus. Ep.Div.Inst.22,  I t reads VN.MR i . e . Veneranda  i s the usage o f the word s a t e l l e s  In t h r e e out of f o u r examples  De Mort.Pers.16) i t i s used  elsewhere  (Div.Inst.2.13,  i n very close a s s o c i a t i o n with  the a e v i l and i n t h e o n l y o t h e r example o f i t s use ( D i v . I n s t . 5 . 1 1 ) , a s a t e l l e s i s c l e a r l y an agent been l i k e l y may  of p e r s e c u t i o n .  L a c t a n t i u s would not have  t o have s l i g h t e d an emperor whom he g e n u i n e l y admired, however,  n o t have intended the word to c a r r y such  connotations.  34 Natura parens: we need not f o l l o w 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 L a c t a n t i u s says  (Div.Inst.2.8) t h a t a l l t h i n g s  72  d e r i v e t h e i r e x i s t e n c e from God, Seneca, the most i n t e l l i g e n t n o t h i n g e l s e but God, 35 A u r o r a  rubescit:  and  he a l s o says  (Div.Inst.2.8)  of the S t o i c s , saw  Seneca was  that nature  that was  c e r t a i n l y not a C h r i s t i a n :  f o r the same e x p r e s s i o n see Verg.Aen.3.521 and  Ovid Met.3.600. 36 Cum  primum r o s e a s i d e r a l u c e f u g a t : see Horace Carmina 3.21.24 f o r  a similar  expression.  37 Ter q u a t e r : as worded i t i s a unique phrase i n L a t i n .  The  two  always occur w i t h a c o o r d i n a t i n g c o n j u n c t i o n such as aut, et or compare Verg. Aen.12.155, Georg.2.J99 or Hor.Carm.1.31.13. as " t h r e e times  f o u r times".  The  c o u p l i n g of these  two  que;  Translate  numerical  adverbs  goes back as f a r as Homer Od.5.306, t h r i c e b l e s s e d those Danaans, f o u r times  aye,  blessed.  37 Pias....undas • no p a r a l l e l usage i s e v i d e n t i n L a t i n although t r a n s f e r e n c e of an e p i t h e t from one noun to another common.  I t i s the phoenix not  f a c t t h a t a l l the due "father". p u r i f i e d by  words  i s of course  very  the waters t h a t i s p i u s , because of  f u n e r a l r i t e s are observed  the  the  upon the death of i t s  Many a n c i e n t r e l i g i o n s p o s i t e d t h a t t h e i r adherents would  be  immersing themselves i n water, as i n the c u l t of M i t h r a ,  F.  Cumont, The M y s t e r i e s  of M i t h r a  (1956) 157  W i t t , I s i s i n the Graeco-Roman World  and  i n the c u l t of I s i s , R.  (London, 1971)  E.  160.  38 Ter quater: note the anaphora. 38 V i v o : the fons v i v u s of l i n e 25 i s echoed. 38 L i b a t :  Once a g a i n the phoenix i s g i v e n human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  t r a n s l a t i o n however i s d i f f i c u l t ,  I p r e f e r " s i p p e d " w i t h Duff and  The Fitz-  p a t r i c k ; the l i m i t e d e a t i n g h a b i t s of the phoenix a r e d i s c u s s e d l a t e r  on.  39 T o l l i t u r ac summo c o n s i d i t i n a r b o r i s a l t a e : the phoenix was f r e q u e n t l y portrayed  i n the v i s u a l a r t s perched  on t h e top o f a palm.  The homonymity of the b i r d and t h e palm t r e e c o u l d w e l l be t h e reason for this.  Ovid probably  r e f l e c t e d t h i s p l a y on words i n Met.15.898  where he d e s c r i b e s how t h e phoenix c u s t o m a r i l y n e s t s i n t h e topmost branches of some swaying palm. In some v e r s i o n s o f t h e Romance o f Alexander by P s e u d o - C a l l i s t h e n e s , the a l l conquering e a r t h perched  g e n e r a l encounters  the phoenix a t t h e ends of t h e  on a t r e e t h a t has n e i t h e r f r u i t n o r f o l i a g e .  Since,  however, none o f the v e r s i o n s t h a t mention t h e phoenix can be dated e a r l i e r than t h e f o u r t h c e n t u r y  they do not concern us here.  benu was a l s o f r e q u e n t l y p o r t r a y e d perched  The E g y p t i a n  on t h e top of a t r e e (Broek  p l a t e 1.2) which can be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d as a w i l l o w , however, not a palm t r e e .  I t was not u n t i l t h e l a t e r e p u b l i c and e a r l y empire t h a t  the myths of t h e phoenix and the benu can be seen from contemporary p a i n t i n g s to have drawn e x t e n s i v e l y from each o t h e r . Tollitur:  t h e p a s s i v e appears i n a middle sense here,  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 r e f o r m a t u r ;  to suggest  "raises  113 a l i t u r ; 131  porrigitur. 40 Conversa Phoebi ^ad O r t u s : Not o n l y d i d t h e East h o l d s p e c i a l  signify  i c a n c e f o r t h e e a r l y C h r i s t i a n s (they b u i l t a l l t h e i r churches f a c i n g i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n as had been t h e p r a c t i c e o f t e m p l e - b u i l d e r s  i n classical  Greece) but a l s o f o r the z o r o a s t r i a n s ( f o r whom t h i s was t h e d i r e c t i o n o f the b i r t h p l a c e o f t h e i r founder) and f o r the worshippers o f M i t h r a and f o r other r e l i g i o n s s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the worship o f t h e Sun. A c c o r d i n g to L a c t a n t i u s D i v . I n s t . 6 , 3 ,  the E a s t was t h e d i r e c t i o n o f " t h e Good", t h e  74  west t h a t of "the Wicked".  Broek,  (.page 276), f e e l s sure t h a t L a c t a n t i u s  r e t a i n s some elements  o f the O r i 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 B y z a n t i n e s o u r c e s .  41 Lubar e x o r i e n s : compare Verg.Aen.4.130 i u b a r e e x o r t o where the phrase has the same meaning "dawn". 43 S o l : A p o l l o , S o l and Phoebus a r e used synonymously i n the poem, b u t , by c o n v e n t i o n , each must have a d i f f e r e n t l i t e r a r y  treatment.  The t r a n s f e r  from Phoebus, a complex God o f many f a c e t s , t o S o l ( t h e Romans d i d not use the a p p e l l a t i o n H e l i o s ) , the mere boatswain of the s o l a r c h a r i o t , i s accomplished  smoothly.  43 F u l g e n t i s l i m i n a p o r t a e : the examples o f d e s c r i p t i o n s of the doors o f the Sun.are too numerous to mention. full  Ovid (Met.2.4-19) g i v e s a p a r t i c u l a r l y  description.  44 E t p r i m i e m i c u i t l u m i n i s a u r a 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 l i n e on the ground There  n  o  t h a t the metaphor i s b a d l y mixed i n l i n e s 43 and 44.  metaphor i n l i n e 44, however, and i t i s d i f f i c u l t  purpose behind h e r statement. is  t o see the  The metaphor has f i n i s h e d a t l i n e 43 which  f o l l o w e d by the n e u t r a l m e t e o r o l o g i c a l l i n e 44; thus the change o f s u b j e c t  from S o l t o the phoenix i s accomplished  smoothly.  44 L u m i n i s : L i m i n a o f the p r e c e d i n g l i n e i s n e a t l y 45 I n c i p i t  ilia  echoed.  s a c r i modulamina fundere c a n t u s : a G a l l i c  {Pan.Lat.7.2l)reminds to  this  Apollo:, v i d i s t i  panegyricist  us a l i t t l e o f t h i s passage when he l i k e n s C o n s t a n t i n e (Apollinem) teque i n i l l i u s  specie recbgnovisti, c u i  t o t i u s mundi regna d e b e r i vatum carmina d i v i n a cecirteruntt ( A p o l l o ) and you saw y o u r s e l f i n h i s appearance  "you have seen  to whom the poems o f the  poets have sung t h a t the kingdoms o f the world a r e owed". But i t was E z e c h i a l  75  the D r a m a t i s t Ex.264 who of the phoenix.  was  The phoenix  the f i r s t  t o mention the sweet  tones  has, he s a y s , "the most b e a u t i f u l of  voices". 45 Modulamina:  a r a r e word i n the c l a s s i c a l p e r i o d .  i m p e r i a l p e r i o d , o n l y Aulus G e l l i u s uses i t .  In the e a r l y  The o n l y r e c o r d e d use of  modulamina i n p o e t r y b e f o r e L a c t a n t i u s ' time i s i n the A n t h o l o g i a L a t i n a 88.6  where a poem of F l o r u s , who  is cited.  f l o u r i s h e d around the time of H a d r i a n ,  In the same work, an undated poem, e n t i t l e d De Cantibus Avium  733.8-9, a l s o has the word i n the s i n g u l a r . . . m e r u l a e d u l c i modulamine zinzilat.  Compare a l s o the usage i n A n t h o l o g i a L a t i n a 762.5-6 i n r e f e r e n c e  to the n i g h t i n g a l e , a b i r d n o r m a l l y c o n s i d e r e d q u i t e matchless  i n song.  However modulamina a l s o o c c u r s i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t . the manuscripts and,  cantus  In  of P o r p h y r i u s O p t a t i a n u s , a near contemporary of L a c t a n t i u s ,  has been mentioned b e f o r e , a p a n e g y r i c i s t of C o n s t a n t i n e , the word  occurs once i n the Carmina 27.4  and once a l s o i n a l e t t e r w r i t t e n by  C o n s t a n t i n e , E p i s t u l a C o n s t a n t i n i 4, to P o r p h y r i u s a l l o w i n g him back  from  e x i l e and means "poem" r a t h e r 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 t o the De  of Euphorbius ( ? ) : S i r e n e s v a r i o s cantus, A c h e l o i a p r o l e s , Et s o l i t a e miros ore c i e r e modos ( I l l a r u m 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 r a u c a queruntur, Quodque f o r a m i n i b u s t i b i a m i l l e sonat, Quod l e v e s c a l a m i , quod s u a v i s c a n t a t aedon, Quod l y r a , quod c y t h a r a e , quod moribundus o l o r ) I n l e c t o s nautas d u l c i modulamine vocum Mergebant a v i d a e f l u c t i b u s I o n i i s . Anth.Lat.637.1-10  Sirenis  76  47 Aedoniae: the a d j e c t i v e i s found  only here and  i n the work known as  the Laus P i s o n i s (of unknown a u t h o r s h i p but g e n e r a l l y a s s i g n e d first  century A.D.)  the  a r a r e word used v e r y e f f e c t i v e l y here i f H e i n s i u s '  c o n j e c t u r e from i n c o n s i s t e n t manuscript 48 C i r r h a e i s : C i r r h a was The  to  r e a d i n g s be c o r r e c t .  a v e r y a n c i e n t town i n P h o c i s devoted to A p o l l o .  a d j e c t i v e means " p e r t a i n i n g to A p o l l o . "  49 O l o r moriens: the swan was Phaedo 84e, sending  and  s a c r e d to A p o l l o a c c o r d i n g to P l a t o ,  C i c e r o , Tusc.Disp.  1.30.73,.  I t had  the r e p u t a t i o n of  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  d i s b e l i e v e d by P l i n y Hist.Nat.10.63, wrongly, f o r the whooping swan does in  f a c t g i v e out a p a r t i c u l a r l y memorable song d u r i n g i t s l a s t  minutes.  Swans, C i c e r o c o n t i n u e s , were g i v e n the boon of prophecy from A p o l l o , and of  thus have a f o r e t a s t e of the b l e s s i n g t h a t death b r i n g s .  singing  the phoenix i s thus compared f a v o u r a b l y to t h a t of the two most famous  song-birds;  indeed  i t seems to be a b l e to outdo A p o l l o h i m s e l f !  50 C y l l e n e a e L y r a e : of  The  C y l l e n e was  A r c a d i a on which Mercury was  The  a h i g h mountain on the n o r t h - e a s t born  (Verg.Aen.8.138-9).  s y n c r e t i s m of A p o l l o and H e l i o s , which had  f i f t h century B.C.  corner  (Eur.Fragment 781)  s t a r t e d as e a r l y as  i s w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d by now.  l i t e r a r y r e f e r e n c e s have become so s t y l i z e d . , 1  the  The  t h a t i t passes almost  without  n o t i c e that the phoenix seems to be g u i l t y of h u b r i s f o r having dared s i n g b e t t e r than A p o l l o .  The  o r i g i n a l cause f o r the s y n c r e t i s m of A p o l l o  and H e l i o s i s however more complex, even i f at j u s t glance t h a t they seem to have i n common i s f a c i l i t y w i t h 4«&50: The harmony of concepts N o t i c e a l s o the completely  to  i s n i c e l y balanced  spondaic  the  the o n l y  skill  bow.  i n these  two  lines.  hemiepes i n l i n e 50 which c o n t r a s t s  77  s h a r p l y w i t h the d a c t y l i c second p a r t of the l i n e . "melodious s t r i n g s " seem almost to  The f i l a canora or  • " . d a r t o f f the page, as  though  vibrating. 51 Atque orbem totum p r o t u l i t usque means; e i t h e r "and i n ever onward course brought forward h i s f u l l round o r b " (compare Sil.5.56...iamque, orbe r e n a t o d i l u e r a t nebulas T i t a n :  "soon the Sun, w i t h d i s c renewed,  d i s p e l l e d the vapours") o r "and has r e v e a l e d the whole c i r c l e world) moving a l l the time". 52 I l i a of  The former seems p r e f e r a b l e .  t e r alarum r e p e t i t o v e r b e r e p l a u d i t :  t h e r e may  number of times f o r the immersion  the Sun, accompanied  9.374d), who  In  by music and l o n g chants (F.  wings i s r e m i n i s c e n t of a cock which was  Athenaeus  the  r e q u i r e d to pray t h r e e times  Cumont, The M y s t e r i e s of M i t h r a [New York 1956]  L i t e r a t u r e by C r a t i n u s , the f i f t h  Three times was  of the c o n v e r t i n the h o l y waters.  r e l i g i o n of M i t h r a , t o o , the p r i e s t was  a day f a c i n g towards  the  be echoes here  C h r i s t i a n l i t u r g y , f o r the number t h r e e had w e l l known m y s t i c s i g n i -  f i c a n c e , i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h b a p t i s m f o r example.  the  (of the  166-7).  The f l a p p i n g o f  f i r s t mentioned  in classical  c e n t u r y comic p l a y w r i g h t ( a c c o r d i n g to  says t h a t the P e r s i a n cock crowed  each hour i n a  loud v o i c e . Broek, page 284, i n r e f e r e n c e t o the problem of t e r , notes an  inscription  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the double phoenix on the tomb of the v a l e r i i under the V a t i c a n , a p p a r e n t l y c o n c e r n i n g the song of the phoenix. p u b l i s h e d by M.  inscription,  G u a r d u c c i , C r i s t o e San P i e t r o i n un documento p r e c o n s t a n t i n i a n o  d e l l a N e c r o p o l i V a t i c a n a (Rome 1953) to  The  38-40, but not v e r i f i e d  elsewhere, p u r p o r t s  address the phoenix w i t h the words "thou., s i n g e s t t h r i c e i n the e a r l y  The sarcophagus has been dated by G u a r d u c c i (31&70) to c i r c a 300 A.D.  morning".  Broek  78  f e e l s t h a t t h e r e i s a p o s s i b i l i t y o f L a c t a n t i a n i n f l u e n c e h e r e , which would enable one t o date the poem t o some time b e f o r e 300 A.D. f o r t u n a t e l y t h i s argument does not h o l d because  i t i s equally conceivable  t h a t L a c t a n t i u s was h i m s e l f i n f l u e n c e d by t h e sarcophagus poem a t some undetermined  Un-  t o w r i t e the  l a t e r date o r , perhaps more l i k e l y ,  t h e r e was  a common source f o r both or even t h a t both i n d e p e n d e n t l y a r r i v e d a t the same i d e a s : t h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e t o support any one o f the above hypotheses. 54 I g n i f e r u m caput t e r v e n e r a t a s i l e t : once a g a i n F i t z p a t r i c k assumes t h a t t h e r e a r e C h r i s t i a n c o n n o t a t i o n s but t h e contemporary  usage o f the word  v e n e r a t a w i l l not bear t h i s out (see note on l i n e 3 3 ) . V e n e r a t a i s a s t o c k word o f the p a n e g y r i c i s t s used f o r a n y t h i n g a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e emperor worship. 54 I g n i f e r u m : nowhere e l s e do we come a c r o s s a d e s c r i p t i o n of Phoebus' head in  these terms, a l t h o u g h h i s c h a r i o t  Met.2.59.  i s accorded t h e same e p i t h e t by Ovid  The coinage of the p e r i o d informs us that S o l I n v i c t u s was of t e n  p o r t r a y e d w i t h what J . Maurice, Op.Cit. passim, c a l l s a "couronne r a d i e e " . In  f a c t on one c o i n i t i s o n l y the crown t h a t enables us t o t e l l  Phoebus and  C o n s t a n t i n e a p a r t , s i n c e both a r e p o r t r a y e d w i t h the same f e a t u r e s (Maurice v o l . 1 , page 100). at  I t i s t h i s same r a d i a t a corona t h a t the phoenix  i s wearing  l i n e 139 i n honour t o Phoebus.  55&56 Atque eadem c e l e r e s etiam d i s c r i m a t  horas  I n n a r r a b i l i b u s n o c t e dieque s o n i s : no e x p l a n a t i o n can be o f f e r e d f o r these two m y s t e r i o u s l i n e s . f o u r hours  of the day.  The phoenix resembles  Perhaps  a cock which crows  twenty  the s l e e p l e s s n e s s o f the phoenix i s j u s t  another way o f d e s c r i b i n g the b i r d as " l a r g e r than 57 A n t i s t e s l u c i nemorumque verenda  life".  s a c e r d o s : the importance  o f t h e phoenix  79  i s f u r t h e r emphasized and  more human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are a s s i g n e d  to i t .  In the contemporary language of P o r p h y r i u s O p t a t i a n u s Ep.Porph.4 V e r g i l i s described 58  as a n t i s t e s Romanae Musae Mantuanus.  Et s o l a a r c a n i s c o n s c i a , Phoebe, t u i s :  the " s e c r e t s " of A p o l l o  have been the g i f t s of prophecy which, a l t h o u g h not  may  shared w i t h Hermes,  however are shared w i t h the phoenix. 59 M i l l e annos: L a c t a n t i u s here f o l l o w s legend.  the l e s s common v e r s i o n of  A thousand y e a r s i s the l i f e s p a n of the b i r d o n l y a c c o r d i n g  M a r t i a l Ep_.5.7.2 and g i v e s 540  P l i n y H i s t . Nat. 29.1.9 ( P l i n y H i s t . N a t .  The  most common f i g u r e i s t h a t of 500  examples of which are Herodotus K i s t . 2 . 7 3 , Seneca Ep_.42.1, Clement Ep.  ad Cor.  1.25  years,  antedate  the b e s t  Ovid Met.15.402, Tag,  and  Pomponius Mela 3.83  i t s connection  l a t e r w r i t e r s Claudian  same age  and  Phoen. 27 and.Ausonius E p i s t . 29 g i v e  i n the same context I t i s not  i n a poem d e d i c a t e d  61 Ut r e p a r e t  I t i s p o s s i b l e that Lactantius  documented by D i o n y s i u s aevum:  renewal of the phoenix. renewing i t s e l f  and  the  the weariness  to the memory M e l i o r ' s  knew of  t r a d i t i o n about the phoenix "becoming s l u g g i s h i n the a i r and first  the  c l e a r however whether the w e a r i n e s s a p p l i e s  the p a r r o t or the phoenix.  eyesight"  Ael.  years.  60 Gravem: S t a t i u s , S i l v . 2 . 4 . 3 5 - 3 7 , mentions the phoenix and  dead p a r r o t .  we  6.28,  w i t h the Great Year, see Broek pages 65-75).  f o r the phoenix as L a c t a n t i u s , namely 1000  of o l d age  known  Ann.  De Nat.An.6.58 ( f o r a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n of the l i f e s p a n ' o f phoenix and  to  10.2.1 a l s o  y e a r s as the b i r d ' s l i f e s p a n ) amongst the w r i t e r s who  Lactantius.  The  the  as we  thus i s the same b i r d  the  dimmer i n  have seen i n chapter  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 Note that L a c t a n t i u s  to  two.  the  i m p l i e s t h a t the b i r d i s  (to be)  born a g a i n .  Clement  80  had just  t r e a t e d the myth d i f f e r e n t l y ; f o r him l i k e i t s "parent".  another phoenix was  born  Knowing t h a t i t i s the same b i r d h e l p s us  to  understand l i n e s 167-8. 63 Loca s a n c t a :  F i t z p a t r i c k f e e l s t h a t the myth i s g i v e n a s u b t l e  i n the d i r e c t i o n of the m y s t i c a l , which becomes s t r o n g e r of the poem.  Be  that as i t may,  these p l a c e s  turn  towards the  end  are s a n c t a because they b e l o n g  to A p o l l o . 64 Orbem: t h i s r e g u l a r l y means "the w o r l d " i n the poetry  of the  period;  compare P o r p h y r i u s Optatianus Carm.passim. 65  In Syriam: L a c t a n t i u s  makes i t s nest  i s the f i r s t w r i t e r to s t a t e t h a t the  i n S y r i a a l t h o u g h i t seems l i k e l y  d i s t i n c t i o n made, i n the context and  t h a t t h e r e was  suggested t h a t the A s s y r i a n s  accounts.Ovid.Met.15.393  named the m i r a c u l o u s b i r d  Phoenix", an i d e a t h a t M a r t i a l Ep_. 5.7.1-2 seems to echo. c l e a r l y uses " S y r i a " and area  little  of the phoenix, between A s s y r i a ,  S y r i a , homes of the phoenix i n other  already  phoenix  "Phoenicia"  to r e p r e s e n t  the same  Lactantius geographical  Phoenicia.  (The  long  i n L a c t a n t i u s , perhaps under  the i n f l u e n c e of the obvious homonomy of the Greek t r e e and  had  "the  (compare l i n e s 65&66). Indeed the whole s t o r y of the b i r d ' s  f l i g h t p a r t i c u l a r l y to S y r i a o c c u r s o n l y  Phoenicia  words f o r "phoenix", palm  P h y s i o l o g u s does however mention Lebanon i n a  somewhat s i m i l a r c o n t e x t ) . When we  come to c o n s i d e r  of the De Ave  the p o s s i b l e symbolism of the poem, a comparison  Phoenice w i t h any  v e r s i o n of the P h y s i o l o g u s ,  i s q u i t e c l e a r l y the symbol f o r C h r i s t and Lactantius  intended  i s described  no  such symbolism.  as " i t s own  h e i r and  c l o s e to blasphemy i n c o n v e n t i o n a l  where the  the r e s u r r e c t i o n , r e v e a l s  For example, i n l i n e 167,  the  bird that bird  f a t h e r " , s u r e l y a statement t h a t i s C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e i f C h r i s t 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 i n t e n d e d . Though the symbolism of the P h y s i o l o g u s and  the De Ave  Phoenice  d i f f e r e n t , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t L a c t a n t i u s knew of the former bird  s i n c e the  i s d e s c r i b e d as f l y i n g from I n d i a t o 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 s p i c e s f o r i t s own our  i s quite  f u n e r a l pyre.  An account  remarkably  s i m i l a r to  poet's.  66 P h o i n i c e s nomen c u i d e d i t i p s a v e t u s : though the t e x t s d i f f e r  greatly  at t h i s p o i n t , n e v e r t h e l e s s the sense of t h e l i n e seems to be t h a t i t was the phoenix  itself  t h a t gave the name t o P h o e n i c i a r a t h e r than v i c e v e r s a .  L a c t a n t i u s i n v e r t s the i n f e r e n c e s of the e t y m o l o g i s t s / p o e t s who s t a t e t h a t the phoenix the palm t r e e . c o u n t r y but a l s o to be used  He  imply or  e i t h e r r e c e i v e d i t s name from the c o u n t r y or  s t a t e s t h a t the phoenix  ( l i n e 69)  gave i t s name not o n l y t o the  t o the palm t r e e .  This i s a f i t t i n g  i n a poem which i s a p a n e g y r i c to the  66 Vetus: a c l e v e r c h o i c e of word.  t e r r e s t i a l home of the phoenix  compliment  phoenix.  I t can be taken e i t h e r w i t h nomen, the  most l i k e l y s u g g e s t i o n , or w i t h i p s a , to echo longaeva 67 Per a v i a : f o r the same phrase  from  of the p r e v i o u s  line.  see P o r p h y r i u s O p t a t i a n u s Carm.10.4. The  can be seen to be a microcosm of the  celestial  one. 69 Turn l e g i t a e r i o sublimen v e r t i c e palmam: compare Ovid's  account:  Una e s t , quae r e p a r e t , seque i p s a reseminet, a l e s ; A s s y r i i Phoenica vocant: non f r u g e , nec h e r b i s , Sed t u r i s l a c r i m i s , e t succo v i v i t amomi. Haec u b i quinque suae c o m p l e v i t s a e c u l a 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 o n s t r u i t o r e . "There i s one l i v i n g t h i n g , a b i r d which reproduces and r e g e n e r a t e s i t s e l f , w i t h o u t any o u t s i d e h e l p . The A s s y r i a n s c a l l i t the phoenix. I t l i v e s , not on c o r n or g r a s s e s , but on the gum of i n c e n s e and the sap of balsam. When i t has completed f i v e c e n t u r i e s of l i f e i t s t r a i g h t a w a y b u i l d s a n e s t f o r i t s e l f , working w i t h 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  P l i n y , Hist.Nat.12.85, t e l l s us about the phoenix n e s t i n g palm t r e e , a t a l e a p p a r e n t l y P l i n y ) and us  L i b e r was  brought up.  rocks  t r e e s by  and  known to Herodotus ( a c c o r d i n g  about the a c q u i s i t i o n of cinnamon and  that they are obtained  from b i r d ' s n e s t s  The  in  nests  casia.  the  to  He  tells  i n the r e g i o n where  Father  are knocked down from i n a c c e s s i b l e  the weight of the f l e s h brought t h e r e by  the b i r d s  themselves, or by means of arrows loaded w i t h l e a d . There is,however, no evidence that L a c t a n t i u s  read  S o l i n u s , P l i n y ' s p l a g i a r i s t , and to assume t h a t these are does say  exercised  the sources f o r L a c t a n t i u s .  I t seems r e a s o n a b l e to assume t h a t we  p r e c i s e source used by  i f we  Pliny,  P l i n y , Hist.Nat.  loc.cit., of a l l  have l o s t  the  nomen habet: L a c t a n i u s  contradicts  13.4.9 where the l a t t e r s t a t e s t h a t the b i r d i s  named from the t r e e .  P l i n y a l s o c o n t r a d i c t s h i m s e l f when he  of the b i r d as 540  even 660  are  Lactantius.  70 Quae Graium phoenix ex ave  and  so care must be  t h a t the s t o r y has been r e l a t e d by a n t i q u i t y , f i r s t  by Herodotus.  the age  e i t h e r Herodotus, P l i n y or even  years!);  years  gives  (some of the m a n u s c r i p t s g i v e  elsewhere he mentions 1000  years i n  560  connection  w i t h the phoenix c y c l e . Many l e a r n e d  t r e a t i s e s have been w r i t t e n on the c o n n e c t i o n s between  the phoenix b i r d and the b i r d and shows us  the palm t r e e , some d i s c u s s i n g the homonomy of  the palm t r e e  t h a t he  ( i n C o p t i c and  Syriac too).  i s f u l l y aware of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n and  r a t h e r s t a r t l i n g v e r s i o n of i t , namely t h a t e v e r y t h i n g  Lactantius offers his w i t h a name  r e l a t e d to the word "phoenix" drew i t s name from the remarkable b i r d ,  83  r a t h e r than v i c e v e r s a . 71-76  Broek, page 183,  c o n s i d e r s t h a t t h i s passage c l e a r l y  the i n f l u e n c e of J u d a e o - C h r i s t i a n p a r a d i s e images.  We  betrays  ought not  to  c o n s i d e r however t h a t such d e s c r i p t i o n s were r e s e r v e d f o r r e l i g i o u s and not  secular subjects.  B r i t a i n which was panegyric  Compare, f o r example, the  the " f i r s t  to see C o n s t a n t i n e "  (Pan.Lat.7.7)written  B r i t a i n i s a country  at the end  "where t h e r e i s no  d e s c r i p t i o n of  i n the anonymous  of J u l y 310  to the emperor.  e x c e s s i v e harshness i n c l i m a t e  ...nor noxious s e r p e n t s , t h e r e a r e groves without  w i l d animals".  The  whole d e s c r i p t i o n i s r e m i n i s c e n t of the n e s t i n g ground of the phoenix. Indeed the unknown author  goes on to echo L a c t a n t i u s ' c o n c l u s i o n s  t h a t those p l a c e s which a r e s i t u a t e d nearer sacred and hence more l i k e l y  to the Sun  to f u r n i s h an emperor!  a r e more  T h i s same passage  of the p a n e g y r i c i s t seems a l s o to be echoed i n the De Mort. Pers.29.7. 73-76: i d e a l m e t e o r o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n s a r e n e c e s s a r y of the phoenix. would prevent  The  the sun's r a y s , which a r e seen somehow to be ( l i n e 97), from r e a c h i n g the  image of Aeolus s h u t t i n g up  course a f a m i l i a r one  from both Ovid Met.  " b r i g h t or r a d i a n t " , Duff  necessary dying  the winds i n a cave i s of 1.102  74 Purpureum: a d i f f i c u l t word to t r a n s l a t e . "bright-gleaming"  L a c t a n t i u s the Minor Works (Washington 1965) "bright".  re-birth  Absence of wind ensures the absence of c l o u d which  f o r the i g n i t i o n of the b i r d phoenix.  f o r the  and  from Verg.Aen.1.52-57.  F i t z p a t r i c k gives  and M. 216,  F. McDonald, i n turn gives  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t S t a t i u s Ach.1.161 t h i n k s t h a t  the  word i s cognate w i t h the Greek word " f i r e - b e a r i n g " r a t h e r than f o r he used purpureum to d e s c r i b e a flame. F r i s k , G r i e c h i s c h e s Etymologisches  Von  Wdrterbuch ( H e i d e l b e r g 1973)  with Hjalmar vol. 2  84  page 582,does not support t h i s etymology.  O v i d , Met. 3.184, may support  i t however when he uses purpureum t o d e s c r i b e the dawn, whose u s u a l e p i t h e t i s of course rosy. L a c t a n t i u s i s perhaps i n g e n i o u s l y i n c o r p o r a t i n g t h a t p a r t o f the phoenix legend t h a t p r o p e r l y belongs t o the Jewish b i r d , w i t h the more f a m i l i a r v e r s i o n known through Herodotus. Apocolypse o f Pseudo-Baruch  Wehave seen i n t h e  how c l o s e was the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h i s  phoenix t o t h e a c t u a l r a y s o f the sun, and t h i s s t o r y may be f a i n t l y echoed. 77-79: There a r e almost as many v e r s i o n s o f the phoenix's p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r death as t h e r e a r e f o r i t s renewal. as i n L a c t a n t i u s  ( l i n e 60), the b i r d  I n some o f t h e e a r l i e r  versions,  i s forewarned o f i t s impending  death  by a s i g n such as i t s i n c r e a s i n g s l u g g i s h n e s s j i n o t h e r s , such as A e l i a n , the b i r d knows by some m i r a c l e of n a t u r e . f a s c i n a t e d scholars*,  The d e t a i l s o f t h e death have  Hubert and Leroy, pages 68-97, argue that t h e r e 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 t h a t b r i n g s cinnamon to the w o r l d of.men. T h i s r o l e i s , however, a s s i g n e d t o another m y s t e r i o u s b i r d c a l l e d (Broek c i t e s S o l i n u s 33.15 f o r evidence of t h i s ) . i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e f u n e r a l can be understood suggested.  the cinnamolgus The d e t a i l s of L a c t a n t i u s '  well  i n terms  already  Namely, the poem i s a p a n e g y r i c and the phoenix i s g i v e n every  good human a t t r i b u t e but none of the bad ones.  The phoenix p r e p a r e s f o r  i t s death i n e x a c t l y the same way as a pious son ought t o take c a r e o f h i s deceased p a r e n t .  The i r o n y i s t h a t the b i r d i s , i n e f f e c t , d o i n g a l l these  things f o r i t s e l f . 77 Seu nidum s i v e sepulchrum: The a n c i e n t s were p a r t i c u l a r l y  fascinated  85  by  t h e f a c t t h a t the b i r d b u i l t both a nest  and a tomb.  g i v e s us t h e f u l l e s t v e r s i o n o f t h e p r e p a r a t i o n s Rome  Here  f o r death.  Lactantius Clement o f  which i s u s u a l l y t r a n s l a t e d as " n e s t " but  more o f t e n means pen o r e n c l o s u r e ,  often with r e l i g i o u s  connotations.  S t a t i u s uses t h e word a l t a r i a f o r the same i d e a , w h i l e P l i n y uses the word nidum  alone.  78 Nam p e r i t , u t v i v a t , se tamen i p s a c r e a t : comment on t h i s l i n e .  n e i t h e r Broek nor F i t z p a t r i c k  The p o w e r f u l hemiepes nam p e r i t , ut v i v a t seems t o  those t r a n s l a t o r s who p r e f e r a C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e poem t o be an echo of Clement o f Rome, who i n t e r p r e t s t h e death of the phoenix as something that shows t o man the him  magnitude o f t h e promise i n s t o r e f o r  i f God accomplishes such t h i n g s  (for a b i r d ) .  q u i c k l y adds se tamen i p s a c r e a t ; t h e c o n c e s s i v e  Lactantius,  though,  f o r c e o f tamen i s c o m p l e t e l y  missed by F i t z p a t r i c k who t r a n s l a t e s t h i s c l a u s e as " y e t by h e r own e f f o r t s she begets h e r s e l f " .  The f o r c e o f tamen i s "however" or even "but"  which  thus keeps t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the phoenix on t h e s e c u l a r l e v e l , or a t l e a s t not w h o l l y on the c e l e s t i a l one. T h i s l i n e i s echoed i n a c u r i o u s poem i n t h e A n t h o l o g i a called  the In Laudem S o l i s where the phoenix i s t h e s u b j e c t  n a s c i t u r ut p e r e a t , has  p e r i t u t n a s c a t u r ab i g n i . U n f o r t u n a t e l y  n o t y e t been dated c o n c l u s i v e l y , though a c c o r d i n g  v o l . 5 . 2 page 1640 i t i s p o s t - D r a c o n t i a n , of t h e f i f t h Sun,  fits  century.  of the l i n e t h e poem  t o F. V o l l m e r RE  t h a t i s t o say,  l a t e r than t h e end  The s u b j e c t matter o f t h e poem, a p a n e g y r i c t o t h e  i n more n a t u r a l l y t o our p e r i o d when such imagery, widespread  because o f t h e s y n c r e t i s m and  L a t i n a 389.34,  political  context.  o f t h e age, was f r e q u e n t l y met i n b o t h a r e l i g i o u s  . 86  We may a l s o d e t e c t t h e i n f l u e n c e o f O v i d , Met.15.397, where t h e phoenix i s una e s t , quae r e p a r e t , segue i p s a reseminet, 79-82: L a c t a n t i u s shows h i m s e l f as t h e great  ales.  s y n t h e s i z e r o f t h e myth.  W r i t e r s b e f o r e him had connected t h e phoenix w i t h many p a r t s of t h e world.  A c h i l l e s T a t i u s 3.25.3 mentions E t h i o p i a as the home o f t h e  phoenix; i n t h e second century connects t h e b i r d w i t h  I n d i a , as do t h e s l i g h t l y l a t e r v e r s i o n s o f  P h i l o s t r a t u s V i t a Apoll.3.49, Dionysius 6.3.3  L u c i a n De Morte Pere.27 and Navigium 44  Idem.Epist.8, Greek P h y s i o l o g u s  De Aucup.1.32, A r i s t i d e s A e l i u s 180.3 (Dindorf : ) ,  (Ethiopia too).  a l r e a d y been mentioned  The c o n n e c t i o n s  4.98,  have  ( l i n e 65) and t h e r e remains o n l y the well-known r e p o r t e d by Herodotus  a l o c a t i o n f o l l o w e d l a t e r by P l i n y H i s t . N a t . 1 0 .  Ep.ad Cor.  Heliodorus  w i t h A s s y r i a and P h o e n i c i a  s t o r y about t h e b i r d ' s o r i g i n s i n A r a b i a , f i r s t 2.73,  7,  3.1, Clement 25,  T a c i t u s Ann.6.28, T e r t . De Res. 13, Origen  COntra Celsum  S o l i n u s C o l l . Rer. Mem. 33.11.  L a c t a n t i u s h i n t s a t a l l these p l a c e s without  committing h i m s e l f  t o any  of them as a home f o r t h e phoenix, which n e s t s but does n o t l i v e i n P h o e n i c i a ( l i n e s 65-66).  T h i s combines t o g i v e a v e r y e x o t i c image o f t h e b i r d . A l l  the aforementioned p l a c e s were, o f course, ancient world.  famous f o r th>eir s p i c e s i n the  L a c t a n t i u s 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 o f t h e exact  l o c a t i o n o f t h e a r e a over which t h e phoenix searches odores.  He i m p l i e s , but does not say e x p l i c i t l y ,  out t h e sucos et  that i t v i s i t s A s s y r i a ,  A r a b i a , I n d i a and t h e l a n d o f the Pygmies. 83-88: L a c t a n t i u s g i v e s us a more comprehensive l i s t the b i r d makes i t s p y r e ,  o f s p i c e s from which  than any o t h e r a n c i e n t source.  always mentioned i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h  the phoenix.  Cinnamon i s almost  The whole scene i s v e r y  87  r e m i n i s c e n t o f a Roman f u n e r a l .  Compare Stat.Silv.5.1.210-214 where  the poet d e s c r i b e s t h e f u n e r a l pyre of P r i s c i l l a one o f Domitian's  the w i f e o f Abascantus,  secretaries:-  ...omne i l l i c s t i p a t u m examine longo v e r Arabum Cilicumque f l u i t f o r e s q u e Sabaei Indorumque a r s u r a seges praereptaque t e m p l i s t u r a P a l e s t i n i s , s i m u l Hebraique l i q u o r e s Coryciaeque comae Cinyreaque germina. " . . . t h e r e heaped t o g e t h e r i n l o n g a r r a y i s a l l t h e l i q u i d w e a l t h of A r a b i a n and C i l i c i a n s p r i n g s , Sabaean blooms and I n d i a n produce d e s t i n e d f o r t h e flames, and i n c e n s e , s p o i l o f P a l e s t i n i a n s h r i n e s , Hebrew essences w i t h a l and Corycean p e t a l s and C i n y r e a n buds."  86 T u r i s Lacrimae:  compare Ovid Met. 15.399, t u r i s l a c r i m i s , where t h e  nest o f t h e phoenix i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d . 88 E t s o c i a t myrrae vim, panacea,  tuam:  the t e x t i s g a r b l e d a t t h i s  p o i n t , but a l l e d i t o r s f o l l o w t h e emendations of R i e s e , except f o r D u f f , 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 t e x t , but suggest tuae f o r tuam without e x p l a n a t i o n .  The b e t t e r  manuscripts g i v e tue, t u r i s and t u r e and suggest the i d e a o f i n c e n s e , which i s mentioned  two l i n e s e a r l i e r .  Duff a l s o suggest Panachaea f o r  panacea s i n c e t h i s i s l a n d was famous f o r i t s s p i c e s . t h i s a d j e c t i v e i s Panchaius  The u s u a l form f o r  and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , D u f f ' s emendation has no  precedent a l t h o u g h i t i s c l o s e r t o t h e r e a d i n g s of the m a n u s c r i p t s panachee-ea. Riese's readings are retained  here.  90 V i t a l i q u e t o r o : a c c o r d i n g t o P e t r o n i u s S a t y r . 42 t h e l e c t u s was  the bed t h a t one was l a i d out upon w h i l e s t i l l  after  vitalis  a l i v e and remained  upon  death.  91 Ore: L a c t a n t i u s i s p r o b a b l y here echoing Ovid (Me 1.15.396) who d e s c r i b e d  88  the  phoenix b u i l d i n g i t s n e x t , et pando nidum s i b i  makes f o r i t s e l f a nest w i t h curved ' beak).  The i d e a of the b i r d  making a n e s t , though not mentioned by Herodotus to him, may  c o n s t r u i t ore, ( i t  i n the works a t t r i b u t e d  have been known t o him because P l i n y says t h a t the t a l e  was  w e l l known i n a n t i q u i t y . 92 S u i s : R i e s e f e e l s t h a t t h e r e i s a h i a t u s i n the t e x t h e r e .  The argu-  ment i s put forward t h a t , because Gregory of Tours, De Cursu S t e l l a r u m  12,  g i v e s a d i f f e r e n t o r d e r of events from L a c t a n t i u s and e m b e l l i s h e s the t a l e a little,  even though the former c l a i m s t o be f a m i l i a r w i t h a work by  L a c t a n t i u s on the phoenix b i r d , f o r t h i s reason d e t a i l s must be to make the De Ave Phoenice a c c o r d w i t h Gregory's v e r s i o n .  T h i s argument  has been d i s m i s s e d r e c e n t l y by Broek, page 185, on the ground was  that  Gregory  s i m p l y working from a f a u l t y memory.  93 Animam commendat: for  supplied  F i t z p a t r i c k c o n t e n t s t h a t t h i s l i n e o f f e r s testimony  the c h r i s t i a n a u t h o r s h i p of the poem.  Granted t h a t the phrase can have  r e l i g i o u s c o n n o t a t i o n s , n e v e r t h l e s s the e x p r e s s i o n can a l s o be i n accordance w i t h good c l a s s i c a l usage.  interpreted  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 e a r l y usage and i t makes good sense to be. able to its  use the verb to mean " e n t r u s t t o " , because the phoenix i s c o n f i d e n t anima, i t s l i f e ,  i s redeemable,  as we  a r e t o l d i n the f o l l o w i n g  that  line.  95-98: L a c t a n t i u s c l e v e r l y a v o i d s the c o n t r o v e r s y about whether the phoenix i s s e t on f i r e by the r a y s of the Sun or s e t s i t s e l f  on f i r e ; i t must however  be granted that the use of p r o c u l i n l i n e 97 i s s u g g e s t i v e of the former. 94 D e p o s i t i t a n t i f i d e m : i the  n  - c l a s s i c a l usage f o r such as i n C i c . O f f . 1.10.31,  phrase i s a l e g a l term t h a t which i s put i n a n o t h e r ' s charge f o r s a f e -  keeping u n t i l demanded back.  Here o f c o u r s e i t r e f e r s to the l i f e  p r e c i s e l y , the anima of the phoenix.  o r , more  89  95 G e n i t a l i morte: Lucretius  the sense of g e n i t a l i s here i s v e r y t y p i c a l of  (compare De Rer.Nat.  L a c t a n t i u s was  2.62  and 5.851), an author w i t h whom  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 " g e n e r a t i v e " . In  a r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n of the myth, found i n A c h i l l e s T a t i u s ,  Leuc.  et C l i t .  will  3.25.7, the b i r d , d o u b t i n g t h a t the p r i e s t of H e l i o p o l i s  recognize i t , now  displays i t s genitals.  A c h i l l e s T a t i u s , whose f l o r u i t i s  known from p a p y r i to be i n the second c e n t u r y , may  by some f a l s e etymology more l i k e l y , he was  have been m i s l e d  w i t h r e f e r e n c e to the death of the phoenix,  or,  d e a l i n g w i t h a s e p a r a t e t r a d i t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the  phoenix, a t r a d i t i o n that was  o u t s i d e the mainstream of the c l a s s i c a l  one.  95-97: L a c t a n t i u s g i v e s us a unique v e r s i o n of the myth, namely t h a t  the  b i r d d i e s o f n a t u r a l causes and c a t c h e s f i r e from the d e c o m p o s i t i o n of i t s body, perhaps a s s i s t e d by a r a y of sun a e t h e r i o de lumine.  In a t  l e a s t one v e r s i o n , the S y r i a c D i d a s c a l i a 40.29-30, the phoenix takes spontaneously, burns, and becomes ash a f t e r having prayed. have been used by L a c t a n t i u s though I t may  be t h a t L a c t a n t i u s was  fire, feels,  T h i s work c o u l d  i t i s u n c e r t a i n whether he knew i t .  f o r c e d to make two p a r a d i s e s to i n c o r p o r a t e  as many v e r s i o n s of the myth as p o s s i b l e . to L a c t a n t i u s who  The o n l y o t h e r w r i t e r  mentions both the death of the phoenix and a  events to c o i n c i d e .  antecedent  subsequent  i n t h a t o r d e r , i s the l a t e second-century Artemidorus, who, i n t e n d e d the two  fire  Broek  But we have no evidence t h a t  L a c t a n t i u s ever read Artemidorus whose S t o i c works on C a u s a l i t y and Dreams were n o t , one imagines, l i k e l y r e a d i n g m a t e r i a l f o r e i t h e r a C h r i s t i a n a p o l o g i s t 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  s u b j e c t o f these v e r b s ; ambusturn i s b e s t taken as an a d j e c t i v e a g r e e i n g w i t h  90  corpus.  I t i s not u n t i l l i n e 101 t h a t a new  Even i n death the b i r d has presence.  subject, animal, i s evident.  The t e x t of l i n e 99 i s q u i t e c o r r u p t .  Duff emends d i f f e r e n t l y from R i e s e , p r e f e r r i n g , w i t h B a e h r e n s , . . . c i n e r e s umore to generans  i n morte. F i t z p a t r i c k ' s t e x t a t t h i s p o i n t . . . q u o s v e l u t  i n massam, generans  i n morte,  c o a c t o s . . . i s c o m p l e t e l y u n t e n a b l e : she has  no antecedent f o r quos s i n c e she has emended c i n e r e s to cinerem i n the preceding l i n e .  D u f f s i d e s t e p s the problem; he p u l l s out corpus from  95 and, h a v i n g made i t the s u b j e c t o f f l a g r a t and s o l v i t u r , changes  line  the  s u b j e c t back t o "she" a g a i n , even though t h e r e i s no word i n the t e x t that i n d i c a t e s any change of s u b j e c t i n l i n e s 99 and 100.  On b a l a n c e  R i e s e ' s r e a d i n g r e q u i r e s l e a s t compromise and i s r e t a i n e d i n my  text f o r  t h a t reason. 100 S e m i n i s : bird to  In the b e s t known t a l e of the phoenix  (Herodotus 2.73),  the  i s d e s c r i b e d as c a r r y i n g the remains of i t s f a t h e r i n an "egg" of myrrh  the temple of the Sun i n Egypt. I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t L a c t a n t i u s  t h i s i d e a from the t r a d i t i o n t h a t emanated from Herodotus A c h i l l e s T a t i u s and Pomponius Mela, and reworked 101-102.  borrowed  through C e l s u s ,  i t f o r h i s own  purposes.  The concept of a worm b e i n g generated from the ashes o f the  phoenix back as f a r as M a n i l i u s , r e c o r d e d by P l i n y H i s t . N a t . 10.2.3 "from i t s bones and marrow i s born f i r s t a chicken".  Clement  a s o r t of maggot, and t h i s grows onto  of Rome says t h a t when the f l e s h has become p u t r i d  c e r t a i n worm appears.  The S y r i a c D i d a s c a l i a simply says t h a t a worm i s  generated from the ashes and becomes.  A c c o r d i n g to M. F. McDonald, Phoenix  R e d i v i v u s Phoenix 14(1960) 22 and passim, the M i d r a s h Rabban says t h a t phoenix l i v e s f o r a thousand y e a r s , a t the end o f which and i t s wings drop, o f f ;  a  as mucK-fas  egg  is left,  the  i t s body i s consumed  and i t then grows  new  91  limbs.  (See chapter 2 for the versions of the worm i n the Greek  Physiologus, Artemidorus and the Apocolypse of Pseudb-Baruch.) 102 Vermi: for  as has just been pointed out, Manilius i s the e a r l i e s t source  this idea.  worm.  There i s however another possible explanation for the  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". I t 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 t e r e t i s c o l l i g i t i n speciem: for  compare Lact. De Op. Dei  a very s i m i l a r idea of generation, i n p r i n c i p i o ciim Deus fingeret  animalia, n o l u i t ea i n rotundam fbrmae speciem conglobare atque c o l l i g e r e . For Lactantius, the sphere was the perfect shape (op.cit.8.4.2). 105-106: Lactantius i s quite c l e a r l y echoing Ovid nere:Quaeque solent canis frondes intexere f i l l s , Agrestes tineae, res observata colonis, F e r a l i 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, i n country places, change into b u t t e r f l i e s , 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 i s mentioned only twenty l i n e s a f t e r the above c i t a t i o n . t  word for b u t t e r f l y i s (j^U^{^J  In Greek, i t should be noted the  the same word as for "soul", a  homonymity that cannot oe ignored i n tne l i g h t of C h r i s t i a n understanding of the phoenix as voiced by, say, Clement of nome.  In this case however  92  it  xs Ovid r a t h e r than L a c t a n t i u s who  meaning of 107  Non  suggesting  Q u a l i s f u i t ante f i g u r a :  the l i n e s 107,  Fitzpatrick. 109  be  the double  "butterfly".  Inde r e f o r m a t u r  rearranges  may  illi  Riese's  108,  105,  106,  Riese, following  which i s a l s o f o l l o w e d  t e x t i s r e t a i n e d here  Leyser, by  too.  c i b u s e s t n o s t r o concessus i n orbe:  T h i s l i n e has  been  i n t e r p r e t e d by Broek, pages 349-356 as showing t h a t L a c t a n t i u s 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, s i n c e  i d e a of the food of the gods coming down l i k e dew q u i t e unknown i n the c l a s s i c a l w o r l d . f o o d " s i n c e two  l i n e s l a t e r we  say " s o l i d s and  ( i n the r e a l world) i s  Cibus should be t r a n s l a t e d as  "solid  f i n d the phoenix f e e d i n g on a m b r o s i a l  L a t i n , l i k e E n g l i s h , says "food and should  the  liquids";  d r i n k " when s t r i c t l y  speaking  dew.  one  compare Tac. Ann.13.16, c i b u s potusque.  Again we must not assume t h a t , even i f C h r i s t i a n imagery i s used, t h e r e f o r e the poem should be i n t e r p r e t e d i n a w h o l l y of L a c t a n t i u s ' e r u d i t i o n i n b o t h r e l i g i o u s and be l i k e l y draw on both, s u b c o n s c i o u s l y Broek's argument t h a t we sources  A  man  s e c u l a r l i t e r a t u r e would consciously.  Although  a r e d e a l i n g here w i t h Jewish and C h r i s t i a n  i s persuasive, nevertheless  h i m s e l f was  i f not  C h r i s t i a n sense.  f e d w i t h n e c t a r and  i t should be remembered t h a t A p o l l o  ambrosia by Themis (Hymn to A p o l l o  324).  confident of A p o l l o , n e s t s  i n a d d i t i o n , the phoenix, the companion and  sole  i n a palm t r e e , the same t r e e t h a t L e t o was  c l i n g i n g to when she gave b i r t h  to A p o l l o on D e l o s , a c c o r d i n g 111-113: The  unfledged  to the Hymn to A p o l l o  116.  phoenix i s here d e s c r i b e d f e e d i n g on dew  f a l l s from the skies/heaven. book of the second c e n t u r y ,  which  In the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch, a Jewish the phoenix i s d e s c r i b e d f e e d i n g on "the manna  93  of heaven and the dew o f t h e e a r t h " . But  there a r e other  ideas about t h e food o f t h e phoenix antecedent  even t o t h i s work, f o r though M a n i l i u s thought f i t t o say t h a t no man has  y e t seen the phoenix e a t ( P l i n y Hist.Nat.10.4) n e v e r t h e l e s s  d e s c r i b e d t h e b i r d as l i v i n g on a r o m a t i c s ,  "not from f r u i t s o r herbs  does i t l i v e , but from drops o f f r a n k i n c e n s e (Met.15.393-394).  Ovid  and j u i c e o f amomum"  L a c t a n t i u s ' v e r s i o n seems c l o s e s t t o t h a t o f Baruch  though i n almost a l l other r e s p e c t s t h e t a l e s a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t . Perhaps the two were t h i n k i n g o f a common but now l o s t source. was  p o i n t e d out i n chapter  dew  from p l a n t s , so the source  I n a d d i t i o n , as  2, d e s e r t b i r d s were known t o f e e d on t h e f o r t h i s may be no f u r t h e r than L a c t a n t i u s '  observation of b i r d s . 116 E v o l a t , ad p a t r i a s iam r e d i t u r a domos: the f a m i l i a r v e r s i o n o f t h e s t o r y .  L a c t a n t i u s now r e t u r n s t o  Even Artemidorus, On.4.47, and A e l i a n ,  De Nat.Anim.6.58, who make no mention o f t h e g e n e s i s concur on the f l i g h t  t o Egypt.  I t i s probable  depends on Herodotus f o r t h e f l i g h t  o f t h e new phoenix,  t h a t j u s t as L a c t a n t i u s  t o Egypt, even though t h e l a t t e r makes  no mention of t h e death o f the o l d b i r d , so do Ovid, C e l s u s , T a t i u s , Pomponius Mela, Clement o f Rome, Greek P h y s i o l o g u s ,  The D i d a s c a l i a , p o s s i b l y t h e  T a c i t u s and P h i l o s t r a t u s , t o mention o n l y t h e b e t t e r  documented r e p o r t s o f t h e phoenix.  P l i n y , r e p o r t i n g M a n i l i u s , states that  the b i r d c a r r i e s t h e remains o f i t s predecessor near P a n c h a i a . account.  Achilles  to the temple o f the Sun  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  P a n c h a i a i s e a s t o f A r a b i a and thus t h e b i r d i s seen i n these  v e r s i o n s t o be f l y i n g i n t h e v e r y o p p o s i t e d i r e c t i o n t o H e l i o p o l i s , or a t l e a s t the Egyptian H e l i o p o l i s .  T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n w i l l h e l p us t o understand  94  l i n e 121, sun  where L a c t a n t i u s s t a t e s t h a t the b i r d  (ad o r t u s s o l i s ) and  d i d not  have been t r y i n g to combine the two  c o n s i d e r the l o g i c a l i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s of having  f l y east to Egypt, f o r he t e l l s us at l i n e 151 a r r i v e there.  rising  s i t s down on the a l t a r to p l a c e i t s s a c r e d  burden t h e r e . L a c t a n t i u s may but  f l i e s o f f to the  the  t h a t the b i r d  versions,  bird  does  A l l the m a n u s c r i p t s concur on the r e a d i n g of o r t u s ,  though Duff and McDonald emend o r t u s to urbem on analogy w i t h mentioned a u t h o r s , who  the above-  e i t h e r name H e l i o p o l i s e x p l i c i t l y or s t r o n g l y  suggest i t . The  t r a d i t i o n of the phoenix and  This mythological  island  Panchaia demands f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n .  i s f i r s t mentioned by  h i s t o r i a n Euhemerus of Messene, a c c o r d i n g (Diodorus  i s probably  to L a c t a n t i u s ero  c i t i n g him  (Div.Inst.1.2.33),  s t a t e s was  the Greek m y t h o g r a p h i c a l  to Diodorus S i c u l u s  i n t h i s passage). and  to Ennius, who  6.1  Euhemerus was  known  wrote a poem which  a t r a n s l a t i o n of the Sacra H i s t o r i a .  Ennius h i m s e l f  was  much quoted by L a c t a n t i u s  had  t h r e e p o s s i b l e avenues of approach to the work of Euhemerus, through  Ennius,  L a c t a n t i u s thus  Diodorus S i c u l u s (with whom L a c t a n t i u s i s f a m i l i a r  passim]) and extant,  (some seventeen t i m e s ) .  Cic-  finally  [Div.Inst.  through Euhemerus' Sacra H i s t o r i a , a work no  from which L a c t a n t i u s seems to quote ( D i v . I n s t . 1 . 5 3 . 8 ) .  Euhemerus was  M a n i l i u s ' source  not a l s o have been h i s source  than M a n i l i u s ' .  The  if  f o r the e x i s t e n c e of Panchaia, c o u l d  he  f o r the t a l e about the phoenix b i r d ?  Nowhere can t h i s be proved c o n c l u s i v e l y , but n e v e r t h e l e s s c r e d e n t i a l s f o r being  longer  Euhemerus'  an out-and-out l i a r were f a r b e t t e r e s t a b l i s h e d former may  phoenix w i t h Panchaia and  i t may  w e l l have been the f i r s t  to connect  the  be Euhemerus' v e r s i o n t h a t L a c t a n t i u s  95  i s a t t e m p t i n g to r e c o n c i l e w i t h ad Elsewhere i n the De Ave  Phoenice t k e r e seem to be  Euhemerus/Diodorus account. s p r i n g i s describe^'  The much d i s c u s s e d  as a fons v i v u s may  w i t h the " s p r i n g of the Sun" sun"  ortus.  (op.cit.5.43.2),  echoes of  the  l i n e 25 where  the  w e l l have some  connection  (Diodorus 17.50.4) or the "water of  l o c a t e d i n the  idyllic  the  groves of the i s l a n d  of  Panchaia. To r e d r e s s be  the b a l a n c e , i t can be argued t h a t L a c t a n t i u s would  l i k e l y to make a m i s t a k e of such magnitude, s i n c e he was  had  hardly  a man  a r e p u t a t i o n f o r a s c h o l a r l y a t t i t u d e to the l o c a t i o n of  who  places  (a c e r t a i n Damasus complains i n a l e t t e r to Jerome E p i s t . 3 5 . 1 t h a t L a c t a n t i u s ' lengthy philosophy simply  discourses  on metre, the l o c a t i o n of p l a c e s  were more s u i t e d to s c h o l a r s  have been an  than to h i m s e l f ! ) .  It  and may  oversight.  117-122: Most of the v e r s i o n s or the C i t y of the Sun the phoenix e n c l o s i n g  t h a t i n c l u d e the f l i g h t  to H e l i o p o l i s  a l s o make mention of the s t o r y i n Herodotus of i t s f a t h e r " i n myrrh or some type of e x o t i c  spice.  I t i s so i n Artemidorus, P l i n y , A e l i a n , Pomponius Mela, Clement of Rome, A c h i l l e s T a t i u s , O v i d , Celsus and  Tacitus.  Some such as the D i d a s c a l i a .  the Greek P h y s i o l o g u s .merely mention the s p i c e s which the b i r d  with i t . Heliodorus  and  P h i l o s t r a t u s simply  w i t h no d e s c r i p t i o n of any In no o t h e r we  and  s t o r y are we  mention the f l i g h t  brings  to Egypt  burden. t r e a t e d to as r i c h a s e l e c t i o n of s p i c e s  as  find i n Lactantius.  120  Conglobat: a f a v o u r i t e word of L a c t a n t i u s .  than e l e v e n  occasions.  He uses i t on no  Compare p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s use  i n the De  Op.  fewer Dei  10  96  where animals  a r e d e s c r i b e d as g a t h e r i n g t h e i r food t o g e t h e r i n t o a  b a l l w i t h t h e i r t o n g u e s . . . ( l i n g u a ) c i b o s . . . . c o n g l o b a t o s v i sua d e p r i m i t . More o f t e n he uses t h e word i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h some p r o c e s s o f atomic c r e a t i o n , when a t t a c k i n g e i t h e r L u c r e t i u s o r E p i c u r u s .  The r a r e noun  c o n g l o b a t i o a l s o occurs t w i c e i n the other works of L a c t a n t i u s . 120  Ore p i o : once a g a i n t h e e p i t h e t i s t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e o b j e c t  described.  I t i s , o f course, the b i r d , n o t t h e beak, t h a t i s p i o u s ,  because i t takes c a r e o f the remains o f i t s f a t h e r i n proper f a s h i o n . 122:  L a c t a n t i u s , the m y t h o l o g i c a l s y n c r e t i c , reaches  myth t h a t concerned  the p o i n t i n the  i t s e l f s o l e l y w i t h the decomposition  o f the b i r d ,  where t h e remains of the o l d e r b i r d a r e t o be burned on t h e a l t a r a t Heliopolis.  He senses, however, the clumsiness of h a v i n g the b u r n i n g  take p l a c e a second  time, and simply s t a t e s t h a t the remains a r e dumped  on the a l t a r . 123-124: Mirandam sese p r a e s t a t praebetque  verendam:  t a n t u s a v i decor e s t , t a n t u s abundat honor: T h i s i s t h e s o r t o f language i n which the r h e t o r i c i a n s e x c e l l e d ; i t was o f t e n a p p l i e d t o emperors " f o r the p a n e g y r i c remained t h e o n l y r e a l e x e r c i s e of the r h 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 P o e t r y ( O x f o r d 1927) 5. Broek, page 193, a f t e r h a v i n g r e f l e c t e d on t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix  i n A c h i l l e s T a t i u s ! • " (a chorus  a bodyguard a t t e n d s a k i n g ) suggests be found  that there are s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l s to  i n the p a n e g y r i c s on the assumption  ought not t o d i s c a r d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  of b i r d s f o l l o w s him, as  o f power by a new r u l e r .  t h a t a s i m i l a r use i s b e i n g made  of the same imagery i n the De Ave Phoenice. The  t r a d i t i o n t h a t the a r r i v a l o f t h e phoenix  portended-•  some g r e a t  event was not new, but can be t r a c e d back as f a r as E z e c h i a l the  We  97  D r a m a t i s t 265-269, who s t a t e d t h a t the phoenix  (he does not a c t u a l l y  name t h e phoenix but a l l agree t h a t the phoenix i s meant) was the k i n g of t h e b i r d s because  they a l l f o l l o w e d i t w i t h r e v e r e n t i a l awe.  The  "phoenix" was encountered, a c c o r d i n g t o E z e c h i a l , d u r i n g the exodus from Egypt, a v e r y p o r t e n t o u s event f o r the Jews. a l t h o u g h the phoenix f u r n i s h e s i t s e l f  Likewise i n A c h i l l e s  Tatius,  f o r i n s p e c t i o n t o the p r i e s t o f  H e l i o p o l i s , the b i r d knows t h a t i t w i l l be doubted and shows even i t s p r i v a t e p a r t s t o prove, one supposes, T h i s i s no i n s u l t  t h a t i t has no g e n e r a t i v e organs.  t o t h e phoenix though; on the c o n t r a r y , the p r i e s t has  a book f o r i d e n t i f y i n g the phoenix and he produces  the book on t h i s  o c c a s i o n l e s t a mistake be made a t t h e p o r t e n t o u s event.  x h i s i s one o f  the few d e t a i l s o f t h e l e g e n d t h a t L a c t a n t i u s does not i n c o r p o r a t e . bird  His  i s c o m p l e t e l y c o n f i d e n t of b e i n g r e c o g n i s e d immediately; i t s decor  "beauty" and honor  "esteem" a r e so g r e a t .  We have no evidence t h a t  L a c t a n t i u s was f a m i l i a r w i t h t h i s o t h e r f e a t u r e o f t h e legend anyway. 125-149: The next t w e n t y - f i v e l i n e s a r e devoted t o a p h y s i c a l  description  of the phoenix; the language  i s v e r y r i c h and sumptuous and would w e l l  b e f i t a k i n g or an emperor.  However  t o l i n e 129 the t e x t i s extremely  corrupt. 126 P u n i c a grana: t h i s f r u i t f o r t h e metaphor.  s u r e l y must have been chosen  intentionally  The a d j e c t i v e punicus o r puniceus or even  phoenicus,  used p a r t i c u l a r l y t o d e s c r i b e a c o l o u r , has s i m i l a r i t i e s w i t h t h a t o t h e r m y s t e r i o u s c o l o u r purpureum, which i n t u r n has c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h t h e Phoenicians.  L a c t a n t i u s may be h i n t i n g t h a t the pomegranate a l s o g e t s i t s  name from t h e phoenix because bird.  i t s c o l o u r resembles  t h a t of the f a b l e d  Elsewhere, he, D i v . I n s t . 4 . 1 8 . 7 , uses the same a d j e c t i v e punicus  98  to d e s c r i b e the c o l o u r of the c l o a k t h a t was he was 128  mockingly dressed  thrown around C h r i s t when  up as the " k i n g of the Jews".  F l o r a : elsewhere L a c t a n t i u s , D i v . I n s t . 1 . 7 3 . 6 , s u b s c r i b e s to  theory  that F l o r a was  originally  a p r o s t i t u t e who  much w e a l t h t h a t , upon her death, the senate,  had  obtained  embarrassed at  the  so  her  shady p a s t , l e g i t i m i z e d her bequest to the people of Rome f o r p u b l i c games by p r e t e n d i n g and  t h a t she was  the Goddess who  named her b i r t h d a y the f e s t i v a l of the  p r e s i d e d over  flowers,  Floralia.  128-130 R u b e n t e . . . f u l g e t . . . n i t e n t . . . p i n g e r e . . . m i c a t :  these v i v i d  colour/  l i g h t words, f r e q u e n t l y used by both Ovid and V e r g i l , combine to c r e a t e a dazzling picture. 133  I r i s : L a c t a n t i u s may  have had  i n mind the passage:-  . . . I r i s c r o c e i s per caelum r o s c i d a p i n n i s m i l l e trahens v a r i o s adverso s o l e c o l o r e s , d e v o l a t . . . I r i s , the b r i n g e r of m o i s t u r e , f l e w o f f on her s a f f r o n wings drawing her thousand v a r i e d c o l o u r s a g a i n s t the sun- through the heavens. Aen.4.700-701 139-140 A p t a t a  e s t noto c a p i t i r a d i a t a corona,  Phoebei r e f e r e n s v e r t i c i s made ( l i n e 58) a nimbus and empaxor, and, Here we  about the f r e q u e n t  a l r e a d y been  use on the c o i n s of the p e r i o d of b o t h  a r a d i a t i n g crown to emphasize the i m p e r i a l power of b e f o r e 325,  to s t r e s s h i s c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n s  see the phoenix performing  however, any  a l t a decus: mention has  with Sol Invictus.  a somewhat s i m i l a r f u n c t i o n .  comparisons a r e made between the c u l t  the  of emperor and  Before, 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 i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n .  99  In the H i e r o g l y p h i c a 1.10, H o r a p o l l o , who may to  be e a r l i e r ,  a work on E g y p t i a n r e l i g i o n w r i t t e n by  i s o f t e n dated as l a t e as the f i f t h the phoenix l i v e s  but  flies  to Egypt o n l y  have i t s f a t h e r b u r i e d by the p r i e s t s a t H e l i o p o l i s .  I t does not,  however, wear a crown; but "rayed";  i n E t h i o p i a and  c e n t u r y A.D.  the dung b e e t l e jLs_ d e s c r i b e d as  i t a l s o has s p e c i a l c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h H e l i o p o l i s where t h e r e i s  a s t a t u e of the Sun God. dung which i t drags  The  scarab b e e t l e l a y s i t s eggs i n a b a l l of  along behind  itself  and,  i n a n t i q u i t y , was  much  r e v e r e d by the a n c i e n t E g y p t i a n s , f e a t u r e s t h a t remind us somewhat of  the account  of the phoenix as r e c o r d e d by Herodotus.  t o o , were a l s o c l o s e l y connected symbols of the Sun.  animals,  w i t h the sun or were c o n s i d e r e d  as  (Compare the m a g i c a l papyrus Pap.Graec.Mag.2.105114  where the phoenix, the c r o c o d i l e and to  Other  the winged s e r p e n t a r e c l e a r l y  each o t h e r , a l t h o u g h none i s d e s c r i b e d as crowned).  r e f e r e n c e i n the c l a s s i c a l corpus  The  first  related  literary  to the phoenix h a v i n g a crown or some  d e c o r a t i o n on i t s head i s i n A c h i l l e s T a t i u s 3.25.3; the p r e c i s e meaning of  the t e x t has been d i s p u t e d but some s o r t of d e c o r a t i o n seems to be  i n f e r r e d . A d e p i c t i o n of a b i r d which bears a s t r i k i n g the above d e s c r i p t i o n i s found second c e n t u r y A.D. Cairo  from Saqqara, now  or  housed i n the E g y p t i a n museum i n  r e p r e s e n t e d w i t h a simple d i s c above i t s head  The benu was  often  (compare the Book of the  "spokes", which seem to be i m p l i e d i n A c h i l l e s T a t i u s '  d e s c r i p t i o n of the phoenix.  On c o i n s from the second c e n t u r y onward  phoenix i s o f t e n p o r t r a y e d , u s u a l l y w i t h a seven-rayed accompanied  to  on a l i t u r g i c a l garment of the f i r s t  (J.E.No.59117) a c c o r d i n g to Broek, p l a t e 3.  Dead 83) but without  similarity  nimbus, and  the  sometimes  A e t e r n i t a s or  100  Fel.  Temp.Reparatio.  R e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the phoenix  i s found on the  aureus of H a d r i a n A.D.112-122, on A l e x a n d r i a n c o i n s of Antoninus P i u s A.D.  138-143 as w e l l as on h i s d e n a r i i , s e s t e r t i i and bronze m e d a l l i o n s  between 141 and 160. of  Marcus A u r e l i u s , T r e b o n i u s G a l l u s , Aemelianus  course C o n s t a n t i n e the Great use i t too.  and  From the above i t can be  s a i d w i t h some c e r t a i n t y t h a t the d e c o r a t i o n of the head of the phoenix w i t h some s o r t of sun d i s c develops from the iconography i n h e r i t e d the E g y p t i a n benu i n the f i r s t  c e n t u r y o f the  empire.  The o r i g i n of the nimbus i s , however, l e s s easy to e s t a b l i s h . p o e t r y of P u b l i l i u s O p t a t i a n u s P o r p h y r i u s , who m e r c i l e s s l y u n t i l he won  from  In the  f l a t t e r e d Constantine  h i s r e c a l l from e x i l e i n 326(?), we  find  C r i s p u s l i k e n e d t o the sun, lumine muriceo venerandus  dux e r i t ut S o l  (."he w i l l be a l e a d e r t o be venerated w i t h h i s spoked  light").  the nimbus i s the mark by which  Similarly  the phoenix i s notus, " r e c o g n i z e d " ,  instantly. L a c t a n t i u s i s the f i r s t  to d e s c r i b e the r a d i a t a corona i n p r e c i s e l y  those  terms, although a c a r e l e s s r e a d i n g of the Apocolypse of Pseudo-Baruch would l e a v e one w i t h the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t i t was wearing  the crown r a t h e r than the Sun.  the phoenix t h a t  was  P l i n y d e s c r i b e s the head o f the  phoenix as plumeo a p i c e honestante "with a f e a t h e r e d c r e s t a d o r n i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n which was SolinusVversion  of-.f--  p l a g i a r i z e d by S o l i n u s , 33.12, t o c a p i t e honorat-p.  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 t h a t the crown i s meant, but t h e r e i s no doubt t u f t e d f e a t h e r s are i n t e n d e d , f o r i n every other way words.  [it]",  t h a t o n l y the  Solinus copies P l i n y ' s  I t might be argued t h a t L a c t a n t i u s o n l y intended the words r a d i a t a  corona to be taken i n the sense of the "crown of f e a t h e r s " , which  was  101  known t o be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the phoenix, i s overwhelmingly own  but the n o n - l i t e r a r y  i n favour of the phoenix,  evidence  at t h i s date, having i t s  crown.  It  should a l s o be born i n mind t h a t t h i s crown was  g o l d i n c o l o u r u n t i l the f i f t h mosaics of the t h i r d and  not p o r t r a y e d as  c e n t u r y . On a l l the f r e s c o e s and  f o u r t h c e n t u r y , b o t h c l a s s i c a l and  Christian,  the nimbus i s g i v e n a g r e y i s h - b l u e or g r e e n i s h - b l u e c o l o u r [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  ( S t r a s s b u r g 1905) 141  119-122J.  Squamae: no o t h e r v e r s i o n of the phoenix myth d e s c r i b e s the b i r d  i n such terms, indeed t h i s e p i t h e t i s a p p l i e d nowhere e l s e 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 P l a u t u s Men.917, c o n s i d e r e d  by a l l the commentators t o be an example of something b l a t a n t l y  absurd.  The d o c t o r i s s a y i n g to the f a t h e r of Menaechmus t h a t h i s son i s b e g i n n i n g to  show the f i r s t  Quin t u me luteum?  s i g n s of i n s a n i t y .  Menaechmus r e t o r t s i n d i g n a n t l y ,  i n t e r r o g a s , purpureum panem an puniceum soleam ego  Soleamne esse a v i s aquamosas p i s c i s pennatos?  e n q u i r e whether the bread s a f f r o n yellow? feathers?")  We  though elsewhere  "Why  esse  an  don't  you  I g e n e r a l l y eat i s b l o o d r e d , r o s e - r e d or  Whether I g e n e r a l l y eat b i r d s w i t h s c a l e s , f i s h cannot be sure t h a t LactaritLus a c t u a l l y read these  with lines,  he shows t h a t he i s f a m i l i a r enough w i t h the C u r c u l i o , M i l e s  G l o r i o s u s and Trinummus to quote from them. e p i t h e t r e i n f o r c e s the strangeness  and  Nonetheless  this  unique  a w e - i n s p i r i n g appearance of the  phoenix. L a t e r t r a d i t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d the phoenix or  d i r e c t l y w i t h e i t h e r a serpent  a c r o c o d i l e , both of which a r e d e s c r i b e d as " s c a l y " i n a n c i e n t  l i t e r a t u r e , but  t h e r e seems to no c o n n e c t i o n of t h a t n a t u r e intended  here.  102  142 A s t ungues roseo t i n g u i t honore c o l o r : E z e c h i a l the D r a m a t i s t , Exodus 259, d e s c r i b e s the phoenix as  S£  ^AlXTo^oS having  red  legs."  143-144: The a n c i e n t s were o f t e n a t a l o s s when a metaphor had t o be found t o d e s c r i b e the phoenix.  Noone b e f o r e L a c t a n t i u s had used  t h i s comparison w i t h b o t h t h e peacock and t h e pheasant, a j u s t i f i a b l e comparison s i n c e t h e peacock had been r e c o g n i z e d as a sun b i r d M i d d l e and F a r E a s t s i n c e a n c i e n t t i m e s .  i n the  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 it  i s c l e a r t h a t t h e dominant  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the peacock i s i t s  beauty and i t s c o l o u r s , t h a t o f the phoenix i t s r a r i t y . compares i t s head t o t h a t of a cock.  Ezechial  Hubert and L e r o y , pages 300-337,  p o i n t out many s i m i l a r i t i e s i n appearance between the phoenix and two other b i r d s known to t h e c l a s s i c a l w o r l d , namely the c a t r e u s and t h e orion. 145-146: The aves Araburn i s t h e o s t r i c h , which was common i n the d e s e r t s of N o r t n A f r i c a and A r a b i a .  There i s doubt about i t s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n as  an a v i s or a f e r a , a b i r d o r a b e a s t , s i n c e i t does not f l y .  The use o f  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. a r e however unanimous i n g i v i n g the same r e a d i n g .  L a c t a n t i u s ' phoenix i s  l a r g e r than a l l o t h e r s i n a n c i e n t l i t e r a t u r e except f o r t h a t o f PseudoBaruch which i s as l a r g e as n i n e mountains! all  Herodotus, P l i n y and S o l i n u s  say t h a t t h e phoenix i s as l a r g e as an e a g l e , E z e c h i a l t h a t i t i s  twice that s i z e . peacock.  A c h i l l e s T a t i u s c l a i m s t h a t i t i s o n l y the s i z e o f a  L a c t a n t i u s ' account, a l t h o u g h much more d e t a i l e d , resembles i n  s e v e r a l r e s p e c t s t h a t of E z e c h i a l , who i s the o n l y o t h e r poet t o mention  103  the  s i z e of the b i r d as w e l l as i t s g a i t and i t s p i n k l e g s or claws.  Both  L a c t a n t i u s and E z e c h i a l d e s c r i b e the wings of the phoenix as m u l t i c o l o u r e d and emphasize the redness of the eyes, though the l a s t c h a r a c t e ristic  i s one f r e q u e n t l y observed by the a n c i e n t s i n the case o f b i r d s .  L a c t a n t i u s may contemporary, the  have known the Exodus of E z e c h i a l ; E u s e b i u s , L a c t a n t i u s * n e a r c e r t a i n l y d i d , because  i t i s o n l y tnrough Eusebius t h a t  fragments have been p r e s e r v e d .  147-149: The phoenix, though massive,  i s nevertheless light-footed  s w i f t , u n l i k e o t h e r b u l k y heavy b i r d s .  Compare E z e c h i a l 268-269  and  who  d e s c r i b e s the phoenix l e a d i n g o t h e r b i r d s "proud as a b u l l w i t h r a p i d light  step".  Elsewhere, De Op. D e i 5.8,  L a c t a n t i u s shows t h a t he  was  i n t e r e s t e d by the speed of animals i n r e s p e c t to t h e i r weight, quae tamen non f e c i t these  s o l i d a , ne i n gradiendo p i g r i t i a et g r a v i t a s r e t a r d a r e t  [ p a r t s ] he d i d not make s o l i d l e s t  weight  (and  i n w a l k i n g s l u g g i s h n e s s and  should r e t a r d ) .  149 R e g a l i d e c o r e : the i d e a of the phoenix as r o y a l t y i s q u i t e openly s t a t e d , and the b i r d of  i s g i v e n a l l the t r a p p i n g s of power such as a t r a i n  f o l l o w e r s , both human and winged, a c c l a m a t i o n s of sycophants,  official  even  portraits!  151 Aegyptus:  L a c t a n t i u s does not mention H e l i o p o l i s by name.  i n r u i n s even by Strabo's time and was C o n s t a n t i n e , who  I t was  plundered f o r i t s o b e l i s k s by  had the l a r g e s t one moved t o A l e x a n d r i a .  The massive  100  f o o t h i g h column of Red Porphyry t h a t he had s e t up at C o n s t a n t i n o p l e i s a l s o s a i d to have come from h e r e .  L a c t a n t i u s c o u l d not have a huge  a p p l a u d i n g crowd i n a d e s e r t e d c i t y , so he c a r e f u l l y omits any mention  of H e l i o p o l i s .  specific  104  152  E t raram volucrem t u r b a  s a l u t a t ovans: o n l y L a c t a n t i u s  the astonishment of both the g e n e r a l  p u b l i c and the chorus of b i r d s .  T a c i t u s concedes t h a t the d e t a i l s a r e d i s p u t e d but  nevertheless  and e m b e l l i s h e d  i t i s unquestioned t h a t the b i r d  Egypt. P l i n y takes a more c y n i c a l s t a n c e ; existence  by myths,  sometimes appears i n  he v o i c e s  suspicions  on t h e  of the b i r d because, unum i n t o t o orbe nec visum magno opere,  (most of a l l , not one has ever been seen i n the whole  world).  Herodotus, t o o , a l t h o u g h he has never seen the phoenix, r e p o r t s t h a t he has seen p i c t u r e s of i t and c l a i m s H e l i o p o l i s report  nevertheless  that the people of  i t s v i s i t s . Herodotus makes no comment on whether  he b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e r e tale  mentions  i s such a b i r d , o n l y  of the f l i g h t w i t h the b a l l  Clement t o o , t e l l s us t h a t  t h a t he does not b e l i e v e t h e  o f myrrh from  Arabia.  the b i r d ' s incoming f l i g h t , performed i n  d a y l i g h t , i s "observed by a l l " . 159  Sed postquam p u r i p e r v e n i t  ad a e t h e r i a a u r a s : L a c t a n t i u s adds another  new element to t h e s t o r y when he suggests t h a t t h e b i r d a t t a i n s the auras a e t h e r i s , a s p e c i a l r e g i o n of the atmosphere which o n l y t h e phoenix (and Apollo?)  can r e a c h . I t  t h a t of the eagle  i s p o s s i b l e that L a c t a n t i u s  c u l l e d the image from  in Vergil:-  namque v o l a n s r u b r a f u l v u s I o v i s a l e s i n a e t h r a l i t o r e a s a g i t a b a n t aves turbamque sonantem agminis  aligeri  "the tawny b i r d of Jove f l y i n g i n the reddening a e t h e r was d i s t u r b i n g t h e shore b i r d s and the winged c a c k l i n g t h r o n g " V e r g . Aen.12.247-249 160  Ilia  suis conditur  inde  l o c i s : The phoenix now r e t u r n s  t o the f e l i x  l o c u s f a r away i n the E a s t , and the poem i s d r a m a t i c a l l y complete a t t h i s point.  105  161-170: The remaining passage. here and  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  As F i t z p a t r i c k p o i n t s out, the p a n e g y r i c on v i r g i n i t y  begins  t h i s passage i s s t r o n g evidence f o r the • h r i s t i a n c h a r a c t e r  of the poem.  T h i s i s however pure c o n j e c t u r e .  proof t o suggest  There i s no  positive  t h a t the poem i s C h r i s t i a n anywhere b e f o r e l i n e 161  even the l a s t t e n l i n e s a r e i n a c c o r d w i t h l a t e c l a s s i c a l usage. example P. O p t a t i a n u s P o r p h y r i u s , Carm. 7.25  and  For  uses the word deus i n a  manner which i s completely c l a s s i c a l or at b e s t ambiguous.  Indeed  O p t a t i a n u s ' work i n g e n e r a l l e a d s us to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t h i s C h r i s t i a n i t y was  one of convenience,  assumed f o r the b e n e f i t of h i s  p a n e g y r i c s r a t h e r than a deeply seated f a i t h .  Indeed, Bede  suggests  t h a t the Carmina ought not to be read on the ground t h a t they a r e pagan. Thus the word deus ought not convince us immediately w i t h a C h r i s t i a n work.  t h a t we  are d e a l i n g  S i m i l a r l y the phrase aeternam v i t a m i n l i n e  170  i s n o r m a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h C h r i s t i a n i d e a s of the a f t e r - l i f e , but we f i r m evidence t h a t the phoenix  symbolised  e x a c t l y the same to c h r i s t i a n s  as t o nonr-Christians (see CIL 14.914, a p p a r e n t l y I t was  undated).  of course the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i m m o r t a l i t y t h a t caught  i m a g i n a t i o n of those w r i t e r s who  mention the phoenix  the  c a s u a l l y , such  L u c i a n , Herm. 53, A r i s t i d e s , Orat.45.107 and Seneca E p i s t . Mor. Of a l l the l i n e s the one  have  as  52.1.  t h a t i s most l i k e l y t o convince us of the  C h r i s t i a n n a t u r e of the poem i s l i n e 164 where the b i r d i s admired because i t does not i n d u l g e i n s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e . v i r g i n i t y was  l o n g admired by the Romans ( c o n s i d e r the bees i n Verg.Georg.4).  163 V e n e r i s f o e d e r a n u l l a c o l i t : The poet phoenix  But i t can be p o i n t e d out t h a t  i s q u i c k to p o i n t out t h a t the  has no c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the pagan goddess of l o v e who,  according  to E u s e b i u s , 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 c o n t e s t e d r e c e n t l y ) was the patroness Syrian Heliopolis  o f a temple i n the  (Baalbek) where men l e t t h e i r daughters  commit  shameless a c t s of f o r n i c a t i o n ; the temple, he c l a i m s , was c l o s e d down by C o n s t a n t i n e . L i b a n i u s , Orat.30.6, t o the c o n t r a r y , c l a i m s t h a t C o n s t a n t i n e l e f t ^ t h e > c u l t s unmolested.  There i s no doubt, however,  t h a t t h e temples were s t r i p p e d o f much p r e c i o u s m a t e r i a l , p r o b a b l y  i n the  e a r l y 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 b e t t e r known than the E g y p t i a n one, now i n r u i n s and b e i n g plundered  f o r i t s s t a t u e s and  o b e l i s k s , and i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t L a c t a n t i u s wants t o a v o i d a l l r e f e r e n c e to the name and thus o n l y mentions Egypt i n l i n e 151, In a d d i t i o n t o the g e o g r a p h i c a l c o n f u s i o n o f the c i t i e s o f H e l i o p o l i s may a l s o have been another v e r s i o n of the t a l e which connected  there  the phoenix  w i t h Venus, such a c o n n e c t i o n appears t o be i m p l i e d i n the fragment o f L a e v i u s who had a r e p u t a t i o n f o r the e r o t i c and was mentioned i n chapter two.  In no o t h e r o c c u r r e n c e  o f t h e i d e a o f t h e 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, these two i n s t a n c e s .  except i n  I t i s more l i k e l y t h a t t h e r e was some c o n f u s i o n  about the c i t i e s o f H e l i o p o l i s .  Eusebius was i n f a c t wrong about the  c u l t o f A p h r o d i t e , f o r a r c h a e o l o g i c a l evidence  t e l l s us about t h e temples  of Bacchus and Zeus but n o t h i n g about one d e d i c a t e d t o t h e 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 o f t h e poem, i t s symbolism and i t s o v e r a l l purpose. I n a sense, a l l these q u e s t i o n s  a r e dependent upon another, and, i f we can  s o l v e one, then we have made t h e f i r s t  step towards answering t h e o t h e r s .  For example, i t i s i n f o r m a t i v e t o determine t h e purpose o f t h e poem, b u t , one  s u s p e c t s , t h e purpose t h a t one a s s i g n s t o t h e poem w i l l be, t o a g r e a t  extent  , i n f l u e n c e d by our s o l u t i o n t o t h e c h r o n o l o g i c a l problems o f t h e  poem. C o n v e r s e l y ,  i f a wrong c o n c l u s i o n i s reached of one o f t h e problems  mentioned above, i t may w e l l be t h a t o t h e r w i l l l c o n s e q u e n t l y be i n v a l i d . We should be  said with First  him  first  o f a l l summarize what can  some degree o f c e r t a i n t y .  l e t us c o n s i d e r t h e date o f t h e poem. As has been mentioned  e a r l i e r , the s p i r i t official  solutions tenta'gively-offered  of t h e De Ave Phoenice does n o t a c c o r d w i t h  " C h r i s t i a n " stance,  Constantine's  taken i n A.D. 325, towards those who l i k e n e d  t o A p o l l o o r even towards those who were a d h e r e n t s o f t h e o l d r e l i g i o n .  A person as c l o s e t o C o n s t a n t i n e  as L a c t a n t i u s appears t o have been would  not have j e o p a r d i z e d h i s p o s i t i o n u n n e c e s s a r i l y . The poem was almost c e r t a i n l y w r i t t e n b e f o r e A.D. 325; on t h i s a l l agree. Some s c h o l a r s , Brandt f o r example, a r e r e l u c t a n t t o c o n s i d e r t h a t a C h r i s t i a n L a c t a n t i u s c o u l d have w r i t t e n the De_ Ave Phoenice because t h e poem i s so f u l l o f c l a s s i c a l imagery, and such s c h o l a r s a r e f o r c e d t o a s s i g n t h e poem t o L a c t a n t i u s ' pre-conversion  p e r i o d , i n the 270's and 280's. The problems a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h the " p r e - c o n v e r s i o n "  have a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d ; i n Chapter. Two;  moreover, b o t h t h e known a s s o c i a t i o n s o f C o n s t a n t i n e w i t h A p o l l o and t h e phoenix and t h e language o f the poem i t s e l f  ( t h e r e a r e some s t r i k i n g  s i m i l a r i t i e s between L a c t a n t i u s and P. P o r p h y r i u s  Optatianus,  who i s known  108  to have w r i t t e n i n the e a r l y 320's) c o n s p i r e to p l a c e 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 c o i n s of the p e r i o d . The  problem of whether or not L a c t a n t i u s  a C h r i s t i a n when he w r i t e the poem need not worry us a t a l l , apparent ambiguity of the poem admirably t h e o l o g i c a l u n c e r t a i n t y and content  the  s u i t s a period r e p l e t e with  s y n c r e t i s m . That the poem has  seems l i k e l y from l i n e s 61,  since  was  123-4, 139-40, 149  some p o l i t i c a l  and  the language i s v e r y r e m i n i s c e n t , not o n l y of P o r p h y r i u s ,  154-5  where  but a l s o of  the o t h e r p a n e g y r i c i s t s of Crista.*. . ..ne T h i s n a t u r a l l y l e a d s to the second and  t h i r d problems, those  of  the  poem's i n t e n t i o n s . Does the use of h i g h r h e t o r i c a l language f o r c e us c o n s i d e r the poem i n a p o l i t i c a l context?  to  I f i t were about a swan or a  n i g h t i n g a l e , we.would perhaps answer i n the n e g a t i v e . However, so renowned was  the phoenix as the h e r a l d of a new  the i m m o r t a l i t y  of the s o u l , t h a t we  the change t h a t was  e r a and  as a symbol of  cannot i g n o r e the c o i n c i d e n c e  t a k i n g p l a c e i n the Roman Empire at. t h i s  of  time,  namely the o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n of C h r i s t i a n i t y as the s t a t e r e l i g i o n . Are we  justified  question,"Is  i n extending  t h i s enquiry  to i t s l i m i t s to ask  the  the phoenix an a l l e g o r y f o r a person or an i d e a ? " F o r  the  phoenix does ..resemble an emperor i n r e s p e c t to the tumultuous r e c e p t i o n i t r e c e i v e s i n Egypt. C e r t a i n formulae can be proposed, such as p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the phoenix equals or Constantine, student,  the renascent  C h r i s t i a n Roman Empire  or perhaps even C r i s p u s , L a c t a n t i u s * b r i l l i a n t  the b a s t a r d of C o n s t a n t i n e ,  who  the  young  put C r i s p u s to death i n h i s  prime. T h i s , however, i s n o t h i n g more thaft c o n j e c t u r e . S u f f i c e i t to say t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t as L a c t a n t i u s was  to see how  someone as c l o s e to  Constantine  ( c o n s i d e r the d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of C o n s t a n t i n e  the De Mort. P e r s . ) c o u l d w r i t e about A p o l l o / P h o e b u s / S p l without  in  intendin  109 to  s i g n i f y C o n s t a n t i n e . In t h i s way  i t can be seen t h a t 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 u n l e s s a commitment i s made about i t s symbolism, which i n t u r n i s dependent the  upon  d a t e of the poem. I h e r e remadiiss the problem about the l a s t t e n l i n e s o f the De_ Ave  P h o e n i c e . I f we  c o n s i d e r these t e n l i n e s tohhave been appended  main body of the poem was w r i t t e n , then we religious  significance,  after  the  rob the poem o f most of i t s  f o r , d e s p i t e remarks a t the end of the commentary  about the p o s s i b l e n o n - C h r i s t i a n n a t u r e of t h e s e l i n e s , i t i s a d m i t t e d l y difficult  t o see them i n a p u r e l y c l a s s i c a l l i g h t . N e v e r t h e l e s s ,  s u s p i c i o n s remain about l i n e s  161-170. L i n e s 163 and 169  require  c o n s i d e r a b l e a d d i t i o n s f o r them to scan and they a r e v e r y d i f f e r e n t n a t u r e from the r e s t o f the poem, more s u i t a b l e t o a word as O p t a t i a n u s , than to L a c t a n t i u s  i n na  gymnast,such  ( l i n e 169 seems t o be a clumsy  re-working o f T e r t . De Res. C a r n i s 13). Whether or not t h e s e l i n e s were added a t some l a t e r date, by L a c t a n t i u s or some o t h e r , need have no b e a r i n g on what has j u s t been s a i d about the poem's d a t e . In a d d i t i o n , t o c o n s i d e r 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 C l a s s i c i s m i s somewhat m i s l e a d i n g , t h e r e a r e elements of the poem which remind us immediately o f sun worship and r e l a t e d  cults  such as  t h a t of M i t h r a . There a r e reminders of sun w o r s h i p , such as the crown worn i n honour o f Phoebus, the " t i t l e s " o f t h e phoenix and t h e open r e v e r e n c e towards the sun (see l i n e s  41-42).  The myth o f the phoenix i s an e s p e c i a l l y  intriguing  one, f o r , w h i l e  b e l i e f i n t h e o l d gods waned a t Rome, b e l i e f i n t h e phoenix grew s t r o n g e r , t o judge from the v e r y l a r g e number of a u t h o r s who the  bird after  the second c e n t u r y . Men  mention  i n t h e a n c i e n t w o r l d dreamed  110  of m o r t a l i t y , no l e s s than those o f today, and pondered  w i t h wonder, and,  perhaps w i t h no s m a l l amount o f envy over t h e phoenix which had no f e a r of  death.  APPENDIX  111  112 PRE-CHRISTIAN ACCOUNTS: Heslod  iwea  (fragment 304)-  roi  yeveac XaKepv^a Kopwvrj  avSpwv rjf^LovTCxiv e.Xacp'oc Se re  Tpeic S'  eXdcfjovc  rerpaKopajvoc  6 icopat; yrfpacKcrai- avrap 6 <f>oivt.£ Sc'/ca 8' TJJJLCIC TOVC <f>oivu<ac  evve'a rove KOpciKac  vvpuf>ai e.vrrXoKap.01, Kovpai Aide  alyio^oio.  Herodotus 2. 73-  73  "EOTI p i v  2  p i v  h i  (cat  u W o i  ova O.OOV  8»'  i ~ i < j > o i r a  <r<f)i  xotriwi:  (poiTav  i u T i  h e ,  e ir i j  i r i m v ,  e £  ' A p a f t i r j i  — a r t p a  • 4 ru> c r i w  lpu>-  K o p i ^ e i v  o a o v  [re]  Toi' -aripa  i  TOVTO xar' o e y K e i p t r o v h i  K o p i £ e i v  p i v  Q a i  h i  h e  T<xhe, - i p o l i  TO  e a r i  i p v v  t a i  f x i v r o d  v v t a r a  'IlAiov  o v r i o  a p v p v i ]  i n K o i k i i v a s  a p v p v t j s  y i v e a O a i TUVTO  e — ' Aiyi>—rov X e y o v a t  P l i n y H i s t . Nat.  i i  'IlAi'ou  w b v  TOV 'ilAi'ou  fidpos, TO  ^rAuoa v r b  h i ) K o i X i j v a n a ro  aAA?j  ra  TOV  K o p i £ e i v  b e i r e i p a t r Q a i  h i  i  K e y o v r e * ,  e v r o d  e v e O ) ) K e  ra i  TOVTOV 10  TO p e y a O o s . o  p e r a  i r a r i j p .  r o w o - h e -  h e e p v O p d .  K a i O a i r r t i v  e p e p e i v ,  i v r i O e v a i ,  TOU d o v  airoduvii 6  ra  ovrar irpu>TOV TI}S  TOV - a T p o s  p t v  s  h i a v o n t t p r j O i j ,  TOVTOV TOV o p v i v  o i  r o c r o a h e  i t T e p H v ,  e p T t X a a a o v T a  s a v r b rt  e i r e d v  ouotoVaroy xai  y ^ c n v  b v v a r o s  (popeovTa, e ~ e a v  (paal  TUSV  o p p . i i p . t v o p  e v c r p v p v r j  y p a i p i } '  i r a p o p o i o s ,  ypa<f>fj  3 ^aAicrra aierw n e p L T j 8; Af/otiri p r i y a v a a  i p o s ,  oaov  h i r o T e  avTov \pvuoKopa  p i v  rui owoua ( f > o l v i £ . e y u > /cat y a p h i ] K a i t m a v i o t 5 i y 'HA10—oAirai K e y o v c r i , irevTa-  o p v a  e i p.i\  15  <ibv  i p v K d i T o - ( i i ' TOV  n a r t p a ,  e p - x X u a - a v r a  tpo'r.  r a v r a  1 0  T t o i e e i v .  10.3-6-  enarrabiies I'erunt aves et ante nnmes nohileni Arabiae phoenirem, hand scio a n 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 cau5 dam pinnis dislingin'iililms. rristis fiw/res ca|nil(|iit: plumeo apice lioncstanie. pi'imns atipn: dili^ciilissiiiK.' lo^alnnim 4 di; eo pmdidit M a / f i l i u s , senator illc inaxiinis noliili.s ductrinis doctnre n u l l " : neminem extitisse qui viderit vesrenteni, sacrum in Arahia Suli esse, vivere a n n i s I'XL. sene10 scentem casiae turisque snrculis cmistrucre nidum, rcqilerc odorihus et supci'emori, ex ossihus delude et medullis eius nasci prinui ceu vcrmiculiim, iude lieri j 111 [111111, principioque 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 siderum easdem r e v e i l i , hue autem circa meridiem incipere quo die si^'num arielis sol intnivei'il, et luisse eius conversicmis aiiuuni prodente se I', l.icinio Cn. ('.oniclitt cos. ('.(.'.XV. 30 C o r n e l i n s Y a l e r i a n u s plioenicem devidavisse in Aeyyplum tradit Q. I'lautio Sex. l'apinio cos. allatus est et in urlieni Claudii princqiis censura anno uiliis iK.t'.C. e l in eoniitio [iropositus, ipiod a c l i s testatum est, sed quern lalsum esse nemo duliitaret.  Ezechial  245  the D r a m a t i s t  e$eXx[A\pk viy  xxr  u; trruXos irvpig.  eiiQpovyv /ryfis'iov Xei^iv  evpoixev xxrdirxiov  re XtfixUxs • Sayy/Avj? X"P  iryiyx;  Ixiex'  x Q v a T u v  areXtx*  3' epu/mx  lyxxpxx  , iexxxi;  X^cy  xi3vxe  TTOWX STTTX ,  Qoivixuv xx)  2iir\suv  T  i XTX  -  S/£?fp%fr«/ •  elSoftev %£ov f-svov  olov ouieiru  yxp  iriXn  x x r x p p u T O i  x°P ^^f '  Spe,u/J-x7iv  3f vpo; rciiV  Sxu^xTrbv,  0*8"! >  0<;  ex /tixt; nhpxt; •  UTTO@X$ irep) rod Cpxvivro^ Ipviou  "Erepbv 255  opuv,  vsl  cxeT. rdSev Te Qiyyo;  vypxg  Elrx  7Toy xx) vv Twyx'* $  ttrriv yxp,  ivrxliDx  250  245-269-  upxxe riq.  rb /tiijxas xerou  cf^fSJv,  icrepolai iroixlkottnv yjVe XP®f* ' ' aa 1  . arytloi; ftev  200  a v r o v  xx) xxr'  xpcxairivots (ixWoltsw  eurpnti^ero.  xxpx Ve xorrolq xx)  ijftepoif  xix^  vx  7rape/t(pepe;,  (t>i\hy ptlv Tjj xopif Trpo<ri(3\eire  xuxXcp, xo'pii 3* XQXXOS ut tpuvyv 3« ir&vruv 205  i(pxlvero,  i t o p t y u p o v v  exeXy Ve jxiXrixpurx,  fixviktvs u{ oxiatev avrbs  3« irxvruv voijrar xurou ii  Spveav etyxivero  7 r x v r x  y  a  ieiXiuvr'  fiijftx  p  rx  nrviv  iftov  lirfoavro,  %p6u9ev rxupot  i(Zxive xpxiirvov  iQxivero.  eJxev ("xirpeTtearxrtiv.  yxupouptevog  (3xtrrd.%uv iro$o'$.  -SCIENTIFIC AND  DOCUMENTABY ACCOUNTS:  T a c i t u s 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 Graecoruin 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 trai duntur. maxime vulgatum quingentorum spatium; sunt qui adseverent mille quadringentos sexaginta unum interici, prioresque alites Sesosidc primum, post Amaside dominantibus, dein Ptolemaeo, qui ex Macedonibus ter- ID tius regnavit, in civitatem, cui Heliopolis nomen, advolavisse, multo ceterarum volucrum coruitatu novam fa4 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 adpellant flagrantibus arae bustis inferens memorando " funere consecrat. ipsum promunturium quo id mare cluditur Aceraunis saltibus inyium est.  A e l i a n , De Natura Animallum 6.58-  58.  " A v e v  e r w v  B e  r r j s  oo(f)WTa.Tr)s  B a K T v X w v  r o v  he  X a a a i v  r w v  V T T e p  V T r e p f i e v  o  OL  vv v v  o~vp,f$aXeZv  < f > v a e w s  Kal B i o . r a v r d r o t p.rjBk r/ aXXov TWOS e s eTna-r^fi-qv orov B e l o a m rovro K a l 4  a v r o v s ,  A i y v T r r i a i v rj  a i v , 7  f i a O r j r a l  Brjp,wBr]S  TT€IT(XKO(JLWV e r i o v  ovroi dXXijXovs a X X a  dpiB^xov,  o v r e s ,  d v d y K r j  Kal  (Ls  t u a a i v  B e B e r ) p . e v o i  a p i O p . r ] T u < f j s . e l B e v a t  ol <f>oLviKes  X o y L o r i K r j s  - n e v r a K o a l i u v  r w v  i) o  Tif  v B e l s ,  ovroi  5  t e p e c o v . r o v r c u v  o v  e  X o y o s .  8  oSe  e^ou-  crvp.p-qvai  avrovs  o(f>ds  s v a r e p o v  6  T r X r j p o v ^ e v o v  oXiyoi B e KOfiiBi) 8' o v v n p o s  p a B l c o s  epeo\eXov<JL  dAA'  e c r r l v  x p o v o v  6  B e Z o s  e p i ^ o v r e 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  K a r a d e o d a t  x p r )  T J K e L v ,  K a l  K a l  v dr/Kais  e  o r r o v  r r o r e  r o v  -  r r a r e p a  r i a l . ;  D i o n y s i u s , De Aucupio 1.32-  32. 'Axiqxoate,(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 T W V dvdgwv xi xax' uvxod nouiv neigojfiivcov. 6 de i)dvaxog avxci) xt)v dQxi)v notet xrjg fwjyfrfvydg noxe yrjgdoag t> T t Q o t xdg nx^aeig iuvxov idot, vooDtaxegov i] xdg avydg T W V 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 xaxacpXiyeifiegfidxrjg-ovxco de diacp&a10 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 T a t i u s , C l i t o p h o n and Leuclppe 3.2A.3-3.25.7y a p  ftapftdpow; S  e TJKCIV T J J ? S v v d p e c o s ,  e T r i S r j p f j c r a i r a < p i j v  TOV l e p o v ,  d v d y K r \ v  r o a o v r w v 25. "  " Kai  Ta<f>7)v:" K W i o ^ , 2 i c d X X e i  y a p  p . e v  p e y e 8 o < ;  K a T a  a i n r j v  KUKXOV  KVKXO<;  eveiSr)<;  Al#l07T£?  T e X e v T > ' j V  K a i  Tr7>  y a s p a T i ,  TO e p y o v  < p e p c o v .  a p v i O u i v  S i o - r r e p  T!/V 'HXIOW v  n  r b v  v e K p b v  (70</)tcrT>;?. v e K p b v A W i o ^ y l v e T a i  p e T e i o p o v  j 3 t / 3 X i o v  r  e  x T»J?  £<JTI  e  T  i  p  TO o p v y p i a e v a p p - o o - a s " ^ d a p / i  TO  e a i / T f p  X ° P  e o i K e v  i i r r a T a i 0  <  a X X a t v  :  6  o p v i s  v e K p o v .  OKOTTWV Kai e p x e r a t  y p a c p i j s .  K a i  S eT r a l S e s  r f j T p o ( p f j ,  o S  ( p a i v e t  e i r i S e i K W T a i  i r a p a X a ^ o V T e t  TTJ  o a o v r  OUT&J?  K a i  e  T a c p i j v .  ? ,  S e K a i  e m r ) -  e K S e ^ e r a i  S r j Tt?  USVTCOV < f > e p a ) v ,  aa T t o p p r \ T a  l e p e a s v  K a i  1  S  TOV  e n l  1  e  e T T j V  ^ p o v w  TTJV  peToiKia  a C r r ]  T T p o T T o X o v ; TOV d e o v .  K a i  K a i  K a i TIJV TTOXIV OV i r X a v a T a i  TOW  fet TOV o p v i v  S  S  o p v T T e i  e v O e l s  eneTai  o p v i d o s  K a i  l TOV N e l X o v  j3a<nXei,  v £TTI  ( a v v  K X e i a a s  Sopv<fi6piov  6 TOV  K o p a ,  a i n b v  p e c r o v ,  K a i  o  p e v o < ;  a i n i p  v  p6Soi<;  A l y V T T T l O l  T a < p > ] v ,  K e v  K i y v T T T i o s , 1  e  ee c r T L v  p x p i ^ o v T a i S  7rat?  v e K p S ) .  e  t n e p d " W X i o v  e c r r t v ,  rr}? e v a y S e o - T a T T )  a o p u ) ,  T/7  d r r o S r p i . o v v T i  6  6  a  e o - T e < p a i ' w < r e  S  d i r o & d v r j  K o i X a i v e i K a T a  o p v i v  y r i t v c p  y a p  fiwXov  r  a K T i a i  TTJV %0}t]V,  o p v t & o s  5 0I}K7) y i v e r a t TOV  d e a v ,  e y e v o < ;  e TOV  d v a r o X a l .  o - y e S i d o - a s  7rpb<;  c n o p a T i  r j X i o v  p S V  y a p  S  K v d v e o s  TTJV  K o p . i £ e i  TO S  p . a p r v p e i ,  p a K p i i t ) ,  ( p e p e i ,  a p v p v r i s  a v ^ e i  e(j>rji,,  e K a i  p . t v  e v c p v i j f  e i r e i S d v  T r d a j ^ e i  i K a v b v  eirio")(el.v  Xpoto Taw?  T!J  e i K c o v .  v r e p o i t v  S  o v o p a ,  TIIWV  i ) K e t p a X r )  a x j r a i  K e i X o v  ai>Toi<;  O O T l t , "  i r o l a v  K S K e p a a j a i  o - T £ ( p a v o < ;  TOVTO  e ^ o S o v  OUTO?,  o o p v i q  i r o p c p v p a K a i  ep.cpepr)<;,  i  Opi/i?  S e v r e p o s .  a v T O U  o p v i v  TOV T r a r p o * ; TTJV  r r j v  1  tj^iroTai;  " Q o L v i l ;  K a i  e l a i v  e e l v a i  TX? O r i p r } < ;  S e a - r r o T T j v  3  S  < j > e p o v r a  i r e T r a v c r O a i ,  r b v  r j p e p c o v .  T o o - a v r r j s  • ^ p v c r i p  K a T a r p e ^ o v T a < ;  TOU?  p e X X o v o - r j < ;  K a i  eo l S e v  t e p e i x ; S o K i p d -  d i T H T T C V -  TOV o - w p a T O < ; e a T i v  ' H X i o v  O d - m o v a i . a i r o O a v o o v  TOV o p v i v fwf S  K a i  e n n d < p i o s TOV  p-ev o  w  e A l y u i r T i o f  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 TOV cpoCvwa Se xov OQVIV zov dice nsvcaxoGinv ixav ig Alyvnxov 135 Tjxovra Ttirsad-ca (iev iv rfj 'IvSixij tov %QOVOV T O T J 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»|ttp: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.  20  117 THEOLOGICAL  v  TOUTO  ACCOUNTS  Clement o f Rome, E p i s t . ad C o r l r i t h o s 7 9 - 8 3 T O Tcapd6o£;ov a n y e C o v T O ( y L ) v o * y e v o v e v xoZa a v c a o A c x o t a  ( I6a))yev TOUTE'C'TL-V  A N D MYSTICAL  TOLD  tie pi  'Apa$udv. "Opveov  TTIV  y o v o y e v E O UTcdpxov £fl &T.r\ TcsvTaxo'aua,  ctitoSaveuv ctUTO, anxbv  COTTW  TCOUEC  apajyaxoav, eCa 6\> itAripwSe'vToa  TOO  EX  yap  EOTLV  o upoaovoyd^etao  yev6\iev6v  cpoCvb?.  n 6 n upoa omdAuauv  TE  XLgdvou x a l ayu"pvna, x a i .  xp6v'ov e t a e p x e T a u ,  (TO)TCOCO-,  TOJV  x a l TEXEUT^.  TOU  XOLTIWV  Snitoy^vna  6E Tfju a a p x d a , axioXn? T L O -yevvaTau, oa ex rr\a C x y d f i o a T O O TeTeXeuxrixo'Toa Cwou avaTpetpo'yevoa, TtTEpocpusu. exeCvov  Ta oaxa  STIOU  Trio 'ApaftLxrja  x^P  A  A  TouTiuaw acpopyp.  EL'O  TOO  upoyEvo'Toa  EOTLV,  >  atpei,  TOV  ^  anxov  not TaOTa ftaaTdCwv, 6LavEi5£u aito"  Aiyvurov, E L O Triv XsyoyE'vriv ' H X ^ O T C O X L V . 0 u ovv LepeZa E T C t o x E ' T C T O V T C X L Tota avaypacpaa Taiv T  v  Etna yevvctZoa yev6]izvoq  A  Kca, XP^  V  o\)Tcoa (  J  J  V  J  not EUp^'axouabv auTov TcevTaxoaLoaToO .e*TOua TtETtXnpwys'vou EXnXudE'vai,. M^ya  nat  dauyaaTOV ouv voyu'CoyEV  avadraaov nobrfoETau STCOU  x a t 6u'6pV£ou  TWV  oauwa  SELXUOLV  a u T o o  nyCv  TO  EUVOIL,  6 Snyuoupyoa  EL.  SouXsuaavTiov ev  TUJV  TtETcot^rfaEU  yEyaXeCov Tfja ETtayyeXuaa  airdvTwv TcuaT^ax? ctya^na,  auxou;  The A p o c o l y p s e o f P s e u d o - B a r u c h •P- Kal Aa/Jt6v /ze rjyayev fie orrov 6 rjXios eKtropevtrat ' Kal eBetfci fioi dpfia rerpaeXaarov o r]v vrrorrvpov, Kal irrl rov apfiaToy avOpaiiros Kadrffievos <f>opa>v ari^avov irvpos ' ( xal iji/ y eXawofievov ro dpfia im* dyyeXwv reaaapaKovra . Kal IBov opveov •nepiTpix efirrpooBev rov r)Xtov toy oprj ewea " K a l elrrov rov ayyeXov ' 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 nvpip.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 ypdfifiara 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- 9 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 > 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 OKWXrjKa, 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 0J Oeov . KO.1 ev TU> dfiiXelv avrov eyevero [fipovrrj] dis iJx ^ p o r r i j y , 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 8 8  ov  8  4  0  dvoiyovoiv o v p a v o v , <f>io\-r) ffrt?  1 dyyeXoi  Kai  X e ' y o v a a  '  Kai e l n e v •  TOVTO  TO. B l o T o p a  K a r a ,  TTJV  ;  o a a  I8et£d  TU> rpiru) d X X d  r)v£ave,  a  .  d  p  a  ' ,  Kai  K a i  T<iy f f p a v  Kai  r}X0tv  .  x  a  l  d x o v -  dAeKTopas ev  r o i s  aij  '  ru)  Kooptu  OTTO T t o v  a y y e X w V  Tip  TOV  Se tSojv  iit(jei  K a i TTJV p  rjyayev ndXiv  a v r o v ,  o p i o  a v r o v  m e p v y a s  .  dno  K a i  e  n  l  dvro<f>daXp.r]oai Kai  d 4>otvtf  ras  eraneivuiB-qv  dyyeAoy '  M r )  <f>ofSov,  rais  orav  r)XBtv  TOV  nrepv£i  B a p o v x ,  avru>v.  dyye'Aouy,  a v r o v  itjaarpdn-  86£av  '  Kai  TOV opveov  opveov  •  piKpov  ar£<f>avav  ev  e i n lo v o p . d s  rovs  Kai  v n e K p v j S i j v  hvaiv  epinpooBev  ' TO Se  TOV aTe<f>avov  <f>e'povras  iv  avru>,  piKpdv  npds  TTJV Toiadrr/v  Q  T  Kai  p.e  opuXelv  rjAiov e^eretve  Kai O  ru>  '  n d v r a  TO <j>eyyos  OVK i)SvvrjBripev  deav  ££e<j>vyov  eortv  Koopto  dAeK-  '  TOVTOV TOV T J A I O V  a v r o v  | P- 9 ° ^  Kai  ev Kai  omoBev  Xdpdiai  e y o j  . Kai  o f i 6  d<f>'  B a p o v x  ovpavut  81S01 ra)  epnpooBev,  v r r ) v  ryAio?  Sevrepu> Kai  t  pier'  o  6pa>  Kopv<f>rjs  Xov  yfjj  l  "AKOVOOV,  '  ° rJAio? Sd£av Beov  a  dve^dvt]  Kai  p.e  Xafiojv  Svoai,  TUI eXBeiv rrjs  T  " Kai  elnev  dAAd eVSe^ai, TOV  n  p.rjvvei  6  dyyeXos  npojrw e  otf/et  a v r o v ,  p.eydXu>  d y y e ' X o v  6  dyyeXovs  nrepvyas  tj>6fiu>  TO  o i e p x  Kai  ' /cat  avTov  rt  i ev  roiis  ISeiv  e  rovs d X e i < r o j p  6  TOV  Kai  KTUWOJ OOTOJ \  6  rJAios yap eroiij.d££Tai  p o i  dvenXrjpovro  Kai  TO <f>€yyos T t (OTIV  ' K v p l f ,  nvXas .  nevre  d TOV OKOTOVS  K a i TTOV dnooxoXeirai  Kai  TTJV Ke<f>aXr)v Kai  o  opveov, Kai  r o v r a  Kai  n  s TUI Koayna  elnOV  . 6  elnev  o v p a v a i  TO  d  e'frjKovTa a  TO e^vnvitflv  icrri  '  Kai  eKoegai,  o p i o  o  XaXidv  i y u i  <f>u>vei  T O ij>u>s  d X e K T w p .  6  elnov  Tcjp  s rpiaKoaias  Opi'eOV  OUTOJ?  i & i a v  (f>ojvel  K a i  a  0wTo8ora,  TOV KTVTTOV TOV  y d p  K a i  r  SiaxatpifeTai  epxdpevov  jjpav  Kai  TOV  r a v r a  ihutv  TTJS Ke<f>aXijs  iyd)  a  Kai  elnov  TOV T / A W U ,  Kaipds dp.a  Kai  < r r i < f > a v o v  Teraneiviop-evov  earr]  6 '  ' /cat  n  d  o-vareXS  Kvpte, Tt  hid  i  d  ecrrt  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 dvaKaivt'^ouCTiv avrov, Sti T O pepioXvvdai avrov Kai r a s d x r i v a s avrov e n l rrjs yrjs ' Kai A o i T r d v Kad' eKao-r-qv •fjp.epc.v ovrios dvafaivt^e-  TO  TOI.  K a i elnov  ves  a v r o v  iydt enl  B a p o v x  rrjs  yrjs  ra? dSiKi'as  dvopias  K a i  K X o r r d s ,  dpnayds,  AaAiar,  y o y y v a p o v s ,  Kai  ' Kvpie, Kai  rdv  p  elnev  dvBpuinatv,  eiowXoXarpeias,  pedas,  tpiBvpiopovs,  old o  i6  r i pioXvvovrai  r|youv  nopvelas,  <t>dvovs, epeis,  p a v r e i a s ,  a l  '  dyyeXos  Kai r a  &eu>pa>v  6\KTIr a s  f i o i \ e i a s ,  JTJAT), KaraTOUTCUV  o/xota,  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)' e w e t Sid T O Kare'xeiv T a ? T O U rjXiov aKTivas, 8id T O W nvpos K a i TTJJ 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 yts, d i y npoeinopiev, nepieoKenov r a s T O O rJAioo a K T i v a s , OVK d v driva  iowBrj  OVK  e'crri  ',  n a o a  rw  nvor).  B e d )  dpeard  '  119 (Oxford  The S y r i a c D i d a s c a l i a , t r a n s . jLnito L a t i n by;R.H.Connolly  N a m et per m u t u m a n i m a l , i d est per foenicem, q u o d u n i c u m est, manifest[a]e nobis de resurrectione ostensionem deus fecit; n a m si esset p a r aut m u l t i , i p s i m u l t i v e l u t f a n tasma v i d e r i poterant h o m i n i b u s , nunc autom videtur, c u m ingrediatur, quia solum est. P o s t quingentos enim annos ingreditur i n A e g y p t u m a d e u m l o c u m , qui vocatur Solis A r a , portans cinnamoraum et orat contra orientem ct succend i t u r a so ipso ct conburitur et fit cinis; de cinere autem fit vermis, et hie vermis crescens deformatur et fit i t e r u m foenix perfectus, et tunc redit denuo et pergit ibidem, unde et venit. S i ergo et deus per m u t u m a n i m a l i t a [in] e x e m p l u m resurrectionis nobis ostendit, m u l t o m a >r gis nos credentes resurrectioni et repromissioni dei, etiamsi m a r t y r i u m nobis supervenerit, quasi qui t a l e m digni sumus adsequi gloriam, u t coronam portemus i n c o r r u p t a m i n v i t a aetcrna,  '  The Greek P h y s i o l o g u s , Mss. A,I ,E ,A,TT,y7.  AIIlEAqir  nept (poCviKoc itexeivoO.  '0 Kopioc f)uQv  Xpiox&c SXeyev  'ITIOOOC  "e£ouoCav exw  Getvai  xt)v 4>ux^v \iov, xat t^ouaCav ?xw ndXiv Xapetv aixfjv," xat ot lov6aToi ^)TavdxTT)oav tnl xoixy. " E O T I V  nEvxax6ot.a  HEXEIVOV  x$ tv6ix;5 X<*>P<J <po~vi,5  EV  ixi) Zpxexai etc  xa £<5Xa  T O U  XEY6JIEVOV  xat xaxa  A^pdvou Hat youot x&c  6<3O  Ttxepuyac auxoO dpwjidxiov xat arinaCvEi x$ Jepe" xifc 'HXiovTtdXewc x$ uTivt Ttf vty  Nfiov T) 'A6ape~, xouxfiaxi  4auxvw-&t 4ap^ou*C"  EV  6 6e  i E p e 6 c arinav*etc etafipxexat Etc tf)v 'HXiotinoXtv Y Youwo>i6voc xwv e  Kat AvapoCvEi  TUJV,  T6V  XOCEL.  Xrjxa E V vEooaic  ELC  xdv (koji&v xat auxij)  uat xfl ETtatipiov EpEuvuv  6  xb  apu\xd~  itOp avdrcxEi xat eau-  lEpedc xov  (3WH6V  EvpCaxEi axiio-  cmooijr xat x\5 6£ux£pg f)u£pg nxEpo<puET uat EvpCoxexai JIETELV6V  nat x$  np(iJTiv nat ac^tdCETa^ x&v itaXai&v aiiroO  xpCxy fiufpq EupCoxexai y£v6uevov iepta Kat avCitxaxai xat undyEi E I C  ioc  TO  X&V  T6TCOV.  'EpunveCa. Et o5v  T6  TIETEIV&V  xoOxo E^ovaCav  E*XEI  £avx& a n o x x E i v a i  xat  Cwoyovifaai,, TtOc o l avdrixoi. av^ptunot ayavaxxoUaiv xoO xupCou fip.wv 'inaoO XpioToD EtTtdvToj*  e£ouaCav ?xw $e~vai  T ^ V  <|/uxfiv  JIOU  xat  E^ouaCav £xw tdXiv Xape~v aux^v; *0 y i p cpoTviC Ttp6cxoTtov xoD ouxfipoc  T)U(3V  Xaupdvet.' xat yap ex  xOv oupavQv eX*£iv T & C 6<3o flxepuyac euu>6Cac ueorac fiveyxev, xouxeOTIV  evapexuiv oupavCwv Xdyuv, iva xat tiueTc 6^.  ,  etix^v exxECvaJuev  xac x^tpac xal avaxeu^aiuev euuSCav TtVeu(iaxt.x^v 6ia itoXixeiCSv *C3v. KaXOc o<5v i fcuaioXdyoc HXe^ev nept xoO ipoCviHoc.  aya-  1929)-  120 A d d i t i o n a l passage  xaxd u o i c ,  found only_ i n Mss.  alyuuxCaiv  TT]V  Yev6uevov, fioav ex etaeX6dv  T6  "va'<|<riXcc<pia-&§  X t p d v o u  xat  x e X e u x ?  uovoyevec urafpxov,  x^pav,  "va p?i ayvOTi*?  1 0  W &  yivdpEvov  dXX* ev ipavep? n6Xei  t o ajuorovuevov'  auupvnc  1 2  nOpTtoXoOuevov  xat xat  ev epfiuoic  oux  XCHTCQV  ipuiidtcov,  T  OUTU)  e-Sedou opvewv  UYpoxdxwv  eTxa  yevvEvxai, ex xQv  Tixepoqmtfaac  Ttxepd  Sift  TO<3TUJV  XOV  vexpCv  1 4  xau-&eCaric  e t c xo dpxai-  dvaubpcpoOueva,  xat  e£ &5v  ica2  xat  veOpa  0KI3XT)5  xat  xeXeioc woTtep f}v upci-  xat  TIV cpaveCc, dvCTtxaxai xouoOxoc oZog OLV  xfic  yap x a t xQv ueXiaatov xb. yev-  OMUX^MUV  6 itpoeipnuevoc  xoOxov  etc  elxa ex  aapx&c fic xetppac axiSXt)!; YCvexai, x a t dvauopfpoOxai vfiuaxa  n a p a -  CTyx&v o5v eauxQS itoi-  11  alrrcexai..  ov el6oc. xoOxo 6e ufi Aitior^apc* ' K a t  x6-  1 3  e£epx<5neva.  exeXetfTripe, aacpeaxdxriv avdaxa-  em6eixv<3uevoc.  8auuacrr&v uev opveov A <poLvi£, dXX' aXoyov. elxa x(JS uev dX6y(j) OLC  Cuty  xat  u.?) yuviSoxovxi xov  6e6(j5pT)Tcc1  1  TIUXV  6e  xo~c  7ioiT)Tr)v  xGSv aitdvTidv vexptov dvdaxa-  6o5oXoyoOaiv -fteiv xat xa TtpoaTdyuaTa  auxoO xnpoOcav o i 6C6oxai avdoraoac; i f o r i xoCvuv dXr,*ijc vexpflv dvdaraai.c.  121 BIBLIOGRAPHY A n c i e n t Sources  Achilles Tatius.  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