polytheist extractions

Dittenberger, Sylloge3, 985

“Good Fortune! They were written for the health and common welfare and the noblest thought, the commandments given to Dionysius [by Zeus], granting access in sleep to his own house both to free men and women, and to household slaves. For here are the altars of Zeus Eumenes, Hestia who is seated beside him, and the other Savior Gods: Eudaimonia, Plutus, Arete, Hygiaea, Tyche Agathe, Agathos Daimon, Mneme, Charities, Nike.

“To him Zeus gave commandments: To observe the purifications and cleansing rites, and offer the sacrifices in accordance with ancestral rites and as now practiced. Those who enter this house [i.e. temple], both men and women, both bond and free, are to take oath before all the gods that, conscious of no guile toward man or woman, they will not [administer] an evil drug to men, nor will they learn or practice wicked charms, nor [give] any philter, or any abortive or contraceptive drug, nor [commit] robbery or murder, either carrying it out themselves or advising another or acting as witness [for his defence], nor overlook complacently those who rob [or withold – i.e. offerings] in this house; and if anyone shall do any of these things or advise them, they will not consent or pass over it in silence, but will bring it out into the open and see that [the crime] is punished.

“A man [is not to take] another woman in addition to his own wife, either a free woman or a slave who has a husband, nor is he to corrupt either a child [boy] or a virgin, nor is he to counsel another [to do so]; but if he should witness anyone [doing this], he must not hide it or keep silent about it. Woman and man [alike], whoever does any of the things above written, let them not enter this house. For the gods who dwell here are mighty and watch over these things and will not hold back [punishment] from those who transgress [their] commandments. A free woman is to be pure and is not to know bed or intercourse with any other man except her own [husband]. If she does know it, she shall not be pure [as before], but is defiled and full of corruption within her family [i.e. she has corrupted the family line] and is unworthy to worship this god for whom these rites were established, or to offer sacrifices, or to …. [about twelve lines are missing] to stumble upon or to see the mysteries observed. If anyone does any of these things with which the commandments here copied have to do, terrible curses from the gods will come upon those who disregard them. For god does not by any means will that these things should come to pass, nor does he desire it, but to obey [i.e. God wills that men should obey the commandments, and not be punished for disobedience.]

“To those who obey, the gods will be gracious and will always be giving them everything good, such as the gods are wont to give to men whom they love. But if any transgress, they will hate such persons and will lay upon them great penalties.

“These commandments were placed here by Agdistis, the most holy Guardian and Mistress of this house, that she might show her good will [or intensions] to men and women, bond and free, so that they might follow the [rules] written here and take part in the sacrifices which [are offered] month by month and year by year, even those, both mmen and women, who believe within themselves [i.e. are faithful to] this writing in which the commandments of god are written, so that those who follow the commandments may become known openly, and also those who do not.

“O Zeus the Savior, graciously and favorably accept this account and …. [about eighteen lines are missing] provide a good requital, health, safety, peace, security by land and sea …. [about twenty-one lines are missing] likewise.” – Dittenberger, Sylloge3, 985

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