Obrazy na stronie

the heroes a, who were all human spirits. The design of his treatise on the Epileply b. is to Thew, that this disorder was neither more divine, nor sacred than other disorders ; in opposition to priests, magicians, and impostors, who referred it more immediately to the gods, and undertook to cure it by expiations and charms. And we are certain, that amongst the Latins, the spirits that actuated the Cerriti and Larvati (who most exactly answered to the demoniacs of the New Testament) were no other than deified human ghosts d.

fields, and sprang from Faunus, the father of Latinus. Concerning the Cerriti and Larvati, see below, note (a).

Vide p. 303. Oper. ed. Foefii, Genev. 1657. This passage will be cited below, ch. ii. feét. 3

N° 3.

I flepu Inens voor.

Vide Hippocrat. Oper. p. 301, 302, 303, 307, 310.

The Cerriti and Larvati. The Cerriti derived their names from Ceres, the daughter of Saturn. In Cereris facris furore corripiebantur.

Such As to the Larvati, lar aut lars est Hetrusca vox. It signifies a prince, or a lord; which last word is supposed to be derived from lar. See Ainsworth and Littleton on this word. It was applied not only to their domestic, but also to their celestial gods, the dii majorum gentium, who were all natives of this lower world ; and answers to the word dwoje war Quos Græci Swipovas, noftri, opinor, Lares. Cicer. in Timão 3. That the demons of the Greeks were deified men and women, we have fewn ellewhere. Arnobius, says, Varro--nunc antiquorum sententias fequens larvas esse dicit lares, quasi quofdam genios & functorum animas mortuorum. Adv. Gentes, lib. iii. p. 124. A laribus larvæ. Larvæ gentibus erant mortuorum animæ, quas aliter umbras vocabant. Vide Littleton.

Such were the sentiments of the Heathens concerning possessing demons in

Et ficut à Baccho Bacchantem dicimus, fic a Ce- ' rere Cerritum. Calepini Dictionar.

The ghosts of the deceased were distinguished by different names, according to their different dispositions and functions. The larvæ were confidered as mischievous spirits. What Apuleius fays on this subject, in his book, De Deo Socratis, is as follows : Secundo signatu species monum animus humanus, exutus & liber ftipendiis vitæ, corpore fuo abjuratis. Hunc vetere Latina


cvery age; and particularly in that iti which the Gospel was first published. Strabo, who flourished in the time of

linguâ reperio Lemurem * di&titatum. Ex his ergo Lemuribus, qui, posteriorum suorum curam fortitus, pacato & quieto numine domum possidet, Lar dicitur familiaris. Qui verò, propter adversa vitæ merita, nullis bonis fedibus incertâ vagatione, ceu quodam exilio, punitur, inane terriculamentum bonis hominibus, cæterùm noxium malis, id genus plerique Larvas perhibent. Cùm vero incertum eft, quæ cuique eorum fortitio evenerit, utrùm Lar sit, an Larva; nomine Manem deum nuncupant 7.-Larvatus is derived from Lars, or rather from Larva, and is generally explained by larvâ indutus, vel dæmone poísessus. A larvis furiofi insanique vocantur larvati. I agree with a learned writer, (Crito, v. i. p. 238) that



* Mox etiam Lemures animas dixerè filentum.

Ovid. Fait. 1: 5. + St. Austin (De Civ. Dei, lib. ix. c. 11.) gives the following account of the sentiments of the Platonists on this subject, of such of them especially as he supposed best understood Plato. Dicit quidem & animas hominum dæmones esse, & ex hominibus fieri Lares, fi meriti boni funt ; Lemures (eu Larva, . li mali. Manes autem deos dici, cùm incertuin est, bonorun eos, seu malorum effe meritorum.-Larvas quippe dicit esse noxios dæmones ex hominibus factos. Sed hinc alia quæstio est. Inde autem perhibet appellari Græcè beatos küdtironas, quòd boni fint animi, hoc est, boni dæmones, animos quoque hominum dæmones elle confirmans.


Augustus, calls the goddess Feronią (who was born in Italy) a demon: and says, that those who were possesed by this demon' walked barefoot over burning çoals, Philoftratus, in his life of Apollonius Tyanæus, who was cotemporary with Christ, relates, that a demon who possessed a young man, confessed himself to be the ghost of a person hain in battle!.

II. Let us proceed to inquire what were the sentiments of the Jews, con cerning those, demons which were thought to possess mankind. The whole

the larvati are demoniacs'; but the larvæ with which they were possessed, were human ghosts. Consequently such also demons were

Φερωνία πόλις έσιν ομώνυμG- επιχωρία τινι δαίμονι.---οι κατεχόμενοι υπο της δαίμονα» ταύτης, Strabo, lib. v. p. 346.

* Εξηγόρευσεν ο δαίμων έαυλου,-και δητα έλεγεν şivan mir eidwaev odvopos, os woréuw wotè amebavev. Dæmon quifnam effet confeffus est-nempe aiebat se umbram hominis esse in bello olim interfecti. Vit, Apollonii Tyan. lib. iii. c. 38. p. 128.


history of this people furnishes a melancholy proof of their great proneness to adopt the principles and practices of their superstitious and idolatrous neighbours. In the time of our Saviour, the Greek learning (originally built on the philosophy of the East) . was greatly studied and admired by the Jews, and had infected even the lowest ranks of men. It is natural therefore to suppose, that those amongst them, who, like their Heathen neighbours, believed in real pofsessions, would ascribe these effects to the same spirits as they did. . What is so highly probable in theory, will, perhaps, upon inquiry, appear to be true in fact.. . "

In proof of this point, I would first of all produce a passage from the evangelical history, which is generally urged to establish the contrary doctrine. Irefer to the language of the Pharisees, when they made the following objection


« PoprzedniaDalej »