Monday, May 27, 2024

A Christian View Against the Deification of Antinous: Tatian, Against the Greeks 10

NOTE: Tatian's argument here is not against Antinous being Hadrian's lover, but only that his worship was idolatry against God.

Habent illi fatum suum: ego stellas erraticas adorare nolo. Quid est quod de crine Berenices traditur? Aut ubi stellae illius erant, antequam ipsa moreretur? Quomodo item Antinous speciosus adolescens in Luna collatus est? Aut quis eum eo levavit? Aliquis scilicet Deos irridens, hunc etiam in caelum ascendisse fingendo, sicut Reges olim quosdam mercede nimiurum conductus & pejerans, homines qui id crederent invenit, & Homericam Theologiam imitatus, honore muneribusque affectus est. Cur estis in Deum sacrilegi? Cur eiusdem opus ignominiose tractatis? Tu mactas ovem & eandem adoras. Taurus in caelo est, tu simile ei animal obtruncas.

Ἐχέτωσαν οὗτοι τὴν εἱμαρμένην· τοὺς πλανήτας προσκυνεῖν οὐ βούλομαι. Τίς ἐστιν ὁ Βερενίκης πλόκαμος; Ποῦ δὲ οἱ ἀστέρες αὐτῆς πρὶν τὴν προειρημένηνἀποθανεῖν; Πῶς δὲ ὁ τεθνεὼς Ἀντίνοος μειράκιον ἐν τῇ σελήνῃ ὡραῖον καθίδρυται; Τίς ὁ ἀναβιβάσας αὐτόν, εἰ μή τις καὶ τοῦτον, ὡς τοὺς βασιλέας μισθοῦ δι ἐπιορκίας τις, τοὺς θεοὺς καταγελῶν, εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεληλυθέναι φήσας πεπίστευται, κατὰ τὸ ὅμοιον θεολογήσας τιμῆς καὶ δωρεᾶς ἠξίωται; Τί μοι τὸν θεον σεσυλήκατε; Τί δὲ αὐτοῦ τὴν ποίησιν ἀτιμάζετε; Θύεις πρόβατον, τὸ δ αὐτὸ προσκυνεῖς· ταῦρός ἐστιν ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ τὴν εἰκόνα σφάττεις αὐτοῦ. 

--Tatian, Oratio Contra Graecos 10, (1700) ed. Wilhelmus Worth

Others have their own choice: but I refuse to worship constellations. What is it they say about the Lock of Berenice? Or, rather, where were those stars, before Berenice died? How did the marvelous youth Antinous wind up on the moon? Who brought him there? Unless, instead, it was someone who scoffs at the gods, who lied under the prospect of financial reward and said Antinous ascended to heaven, just like they made kings into gods in ancient times? Why are you being so wicked against God? Why do you slander His works? You kill a sheep, but worship another [in the sky]. There’s a bull in the sky, but you kill another one like him [in sacrifice].

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