eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: feasts

Saint Augustine, Sermon 6.73-76

“I condemn the din of silly and shameful songs, the disgraceful junketing and dances that characterize this false feast day. Are you, who are supposedly Christians, going to join in the celebrations of good luck presents like a Pagan, going to play at dice and get yourself drunk? To do so is to associate with demons, for demons take pleasure in idle songs, in the trifling spectacle, in the manifold indecencies of the theaters, in the mad frenzies of the chariot races. Everything having to do with the Kalends of January is thoroughly Pagan and not fit for a decent Christian.” – Saint Augustine, Sermon 6.73-76

The Council of Turin 23

“Returning to their own houses after mass, they return to the errors of the Pagans; having received the body of the lord they accept food sacrificed to demons. We urge pastors as well as priests to take care that on holy authority they drive out of the church those whom they notice persisting in this folly or doing things contrary to the teachings of the church at heaven knows what rocks, trees or springs, the chosen places of Pagans, and that they do not allow those who keep Pagan customs to participate in the sacrament of the altar.” – The Council of Turin 23

Maximus of Turin, Sermon 63.1

“How can you who have accepted the holy eucharist then celebrate a banquet of superstition during the Kalends of January? Befuddling the mind with wine, distending the belly with food, twisting the limbs in dances and engaging in depraved acts so that you are forced to forget what are the things that belong to god and instead pay dues to an idol – this is not what Christians do, but rather Pagans!” – Maximus of Turin, Sermon 63.1

Maximus of Turin, Sermon 98.1

“What sensible person who understands the sacraments of the lord’s birth does not condemn the Saturnalia nor reject the lechery of the Kalends? For there are many who still carry on with the superstitious old customs of the foolishness of the Kalends. They celebrate this day as the highest feast. Where they look thus for happiness they find, rather, sorrow. They wallow in wine and sicken themselves on feasting so that he who is chaste and moderate all year gets drunk and pollutes himself; and if he does not do so, he thinks that he has been deprives of the feast.” – Maximus of Turin, Sermon 98.1

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 193.1-3

“I rebuke the demented customs of those who for the sake of foolish gaiety observe the Kalends of January or the folly of other superstitions which men think give them license to get drunk and indulge in obscene chanting and games. Worse still is the indecent flaunting of men in women’s clothing and make-up grotesque enough to make the demons themselves blanch. They sing bawdy songs in praise of vice, sung with shameless gusto and accompanied by disjointed gestures and mumming in the likeness of she-goats and stags. The inventor of evil makes his entry through these in order to master souls ensnared by the appearance of play. I call upon the sober and upright members of this congregation to reprimand your neighbors and subordinates, to forbid them to use indecent language or sing those bawdy songs, and especially to deny alms to those who by sacrilegious custom are carried away by insanity rather than playfulness. And unless you want to share in their guilt I tell you: do not allow a little stag or a little yearling or monstrosities of any other sort to appear before your houses, but rather chastise and punish them and, if you can, even tie them up tightly. Admonish your household not to follow the sacrilegious customs of the unhappy Pagans.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 193.1-3

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 192.24

“During the Kalends of January wretched men, and worse yet, even some who are baptized, don false appearances, monstrous disguises, in which I know not whether they are primarily laughingstocks or rather objects of sorrow. What sensible person indeed could believe that he would find sane people who deliberately transform themselves into the state of wild beasts while playing the stag. Some are clothed in the hide of beasts, others don animal headdresses, rejoicing and exulting if thus they have changed themselves into the likeness of beasts so as not to appear to be men. Now truly, what is this! How vile! That those who are born men dress in women’s clothing and, by the vilest of perversion, sap their manly strength to resemble girls, not blushing to clothe their soldier’s muscles in women’s gowns: they flaunt their bearded faces, and they aim to look just like women. There are those who observe omens during the Kalends of January by refusing to give fire from their house or any other goods to anyone, no matter who asks; yet they accept diabolical gifts from others and give them to others themselves. That night, moreover, some rustics arrange little tables with the many things necessary for eating; they intend that the tables remain arranged like this throughout the night, for they believe that the Kalends of January can do this for them, that throughout the entire year they will continue to hold their feasts amid plenty. I command your household to get rid of these and other practices like them, which would take too long to describe, which are thought by ignorant people to be trifling sins, or none at all; and command your household to observe the Kalends as they do the Kalends of other months. And therefore the saintly fathers of ancient days, considering how most of mankind spent those days in gluttony and lechery, going mad with drunkenness and sacrilegious dancing, ordained throughout the whole world that all the churches should proclaim a public fast, so that wretched men might know that the evil that they brought upon themselves was so great that all the churches are obliged to fast for their sins. In fact, let no one doubt that anyone who shows any kindness to foolish men who lewdly indulging in amusements during those Kalends is himself a sharer of their sins.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 192.24

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

“There are those who from naivety or ignorance or surely – which is more believable – from greed, neither feared nor blushed to eat of sacrifices or of sacrilegious food prepared in the Pagan fashion. True Christians, however, ought to avoid the devilish banquets held in the vicinity of a shrine or springs or of particular trees. And even if you keep yourself away from the diabolical feast, that is not enough, for there are some who eat the food that others prepare and bring home from the shrines, which is completely unacceptable.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

St. Columban, Penitential 24.104-5

“But if any layman ate or drank in the vicinity of shrines out of ignorance, let him promise immediately never to do so again, and let him repent for forty days on bread and water; if, however, he did it for contempt after a priest preached to him that this was sacrilege, and he communed afterwards at the table of demons, and if he did it or repeated it only because of the vice of gluttony, let him repent for three quadragesimae on bread and water; if, in fact, he did this as a cult of demons or in honor of idols, let him do penance for three years.” – St. Columban, Penitential 24.104-5

The Edict of King Childebert, 1.2-3

“Because it is necessary that our authority be used to correct the common people who do not observe the priests’ teaching as they should, we order that this charter be sent out generally into every locality, commanding that those persons who were warned about their land and other places where statues were put up or man-made idols dedicated to a demon, and who did not immediately cast them down, or who forbade the priests from destroying them, should be arrested and brought into our presence for trial … A report has reached us that many sacrileges occur among the population whereby god is injured and the people sink down into death through sin: night watches spent in drunkenness, obscenity and song even on the holy days of Easter, the Nativity and other feasts, with dancing women promenading through the villages. In no way do we permit the performance of any of these deeds which injure god. We command that whoever dares to perpetuate these sacrileges after having been warned by the priest and our edict shall receive an hundred lashes – unless he be a freedman or of higher status.” The Edict of King Childebert, 1.2-3

Pope Zacharias, Epistle 80

“You must rebaptize those who have been christened by sacrilegious priests, I mean those who while professing Christ also immolate oxen and goats to the gods of the Pagans, eat the flesh and hold sacrifices to the dead.” – Pope Zacharias, Epistle 80

Louis the Pious, Concilia 2.2.669-70

“There is no doubt that, as many have observed, minds are being infected with certain kinds of trickery and diabolical illusions by means of love potions, foods and amulets, so that, unaware of their own shame, they are considered by many to have succumbed to madness. There are those who claim that they can disturb the air with their spells, bring on hail, foretell the future, take away produce and milk and give it to other people. They are reputed to do countless such things. Whoever, man or women, who is known to be of this sort is to be punished particularly severely for it has been written of such people under title 23 of the Councils of Ancyra: Whoever seeks divinations and follows the customs of the Pagans or introduces such men into his house to find something by witchcraft or to carry out a purification or to avert some omen, he shall fall under the rule of five years’ penance.” – Louis the Pious, Concilia 2.2.669-70

Burchard of Worms, Decretum 19.5.94

“Did you eat any part of an idolothyte, that is, of the offerings made in some places at the graves of the dead, or near springs, trees, or stones, or at crossroads, or did you carry stones to a cairn, or crown crucifixes at crossroads with wreaths? If you did so or consented to any of these, you should do penance for thirty days on bread and water.” – Burchard of Worms, Decretum 19.5.94

Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

“Whoever goes to the ancient altars, temples, groves of trees, stones or to any other place, or offers animals or some other thing there, or holds a feast in such a place, shall be liable to punishment.” – Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

“All those who make vows to springs, trees or groves, or who bring offerings there according to the custom of the Pagans and consume feasts in honor of demons shall be punished.” – Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

Rabanus Maurus, Homily 44

“A Pagan will drink until he vomits and once he gets himself completely drunk, jumps up like a madman in a frenzy to dance diabolically, leaping about and singing filthy, amorous and lewd verses.” – Rabanus Maurus, Homily 44

Pirmin of Reichenau, Dicta Pirmini 28.188-90

“Flee dancing, vaulting, and indecent and bawdy songs as you would the devil’s arrows; do not dare to perform them either by the church nor in your houses, nor in the roads nor in any other place, for they are remnants of Pagan custom. Avoid as well jokes, diabolical games and the gestures or words of mimes and prostitutes and generally any other sort of merrymaking.” – Pirmin of Reichenau, Dicta Pirmini 28.188-90

Acts of the Council of Rome 35

“There are certain people, chiefly women, who are happy to attend holy days and the feasts of saints, not for the right reasons but rather to dance, sing indecent verses, participate in round dances and generally to behave like Pagans so that even if they come to church with minor sins, they leave with major ones.” – Acts of the Council of Rome 35

Life of Saint Eligius 20

“No matter how often you talk, Christian, you will never be able to uproot our customs, but we will continue always and forever to carry on our feasts as we have hitherto. No man will ever be able to entirely destroy the ancient customs that are so dear to us.” – Life of Saint Eligius 20

Prolegomena to Theokritos, Bucolicorum Graecorum 2.5

“Concerning the Thalusia: At one time there were troubles at Syracuse which it was deemed were caused by Artemis. So the farmers brought gifts and sang a joyful hymn to the goddess and later on this became a customary event. As the rustics sang they would carry loaves of bread with figures of wild beasts on them, purses full of every type of seed, and a goat-skin with wine; they poured out libations for all those they met, wore a garland and deer antlers, and carried a shepherd’s rabbit-prod in their hands. The winner of the competition receives the bread of the defeated. They also sing other songs of a playful, funny nature, first saying in reverent tones, Receive good fortune, receive good health, which we bring from the goddess, by which she gave her command.” – Prolegomena to Theokritos, Bucolicorum Graecorum 2.5

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 8.1160a

“Some kinds of associations seem to be formed for the purpose of enjoyment, such as thiasoi devoted to religious revels and eranoi devoted to feasting; these exist for the sake of sacrifices and fellowship: they hold their sacrifices and meetings, portioning out honors to the gods and providing themselves with pleasurable refreshment. In ancient times, for instance, sacrifices and meetings were held as a kind of first-fruits following the gathering of the crops, since they had the most leisure at those seasons.” – Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics 8.1160a

LSCG 77

“The man who purchases the priesthood shall exercise it for life, provided he continues to live in the city. He is to be exempt from all taxes and receive for himself the first portions from the one who makes a sacrifice, of entrails, shanks, knees, tongue, two double portions of meat, Hermes-cakes, the offerings of which anyone makes burnt-sacrifices. And in addition, an appropriate share of the banquet. If the city holds a banquet, he is to receive 1/12 gold stater. If outsiders sacrifice, he receives the same share as in the case of a Chian, but the sacrificer adds in addition …” – LSCG 77

Sig3 1004

“Gods! From the onset of winter until the spring plowing season the priest of Amphiaros is to go into the sanctuary with no greater interval than three days between visits, and he is to be in residence there not less than ten days in each month. He is to require the neokoros to care for the sanctuary in accordance with the law and also for those who visit the sanctuary. If anyone commits a crime in the sanctuary, whether a stranger or a member of the deme, the priest has authority to fine him up to the maximum of five drachmas, and he is to require security from the person so fined. Should he pay the fine, he is to deposit it in the treasury in the presence of the priest. If anyone suffers some private injury in the sanctuary, whether a stranger or a member of the deme, the priest is to give judgement up to a maximum of three drachmas; as for larger sums, the judgments provided in the laws for each victim are to be in effect here also. Any summons arising from an offense in the sanctuary must be issued on the same day. If the defendant does not make restitution, a trial is to be held on the next day. When a person comes to be healed by the god, he is to donate a first-fruit offering of at least nine obols of silver, and deposit it in the treasury in the presence of the neokoros. When he is present, the priest is to say the prayers over the sacrifices and place the victim on the altar; when he is not present the person making the sacrifices is to do this. During the public sacrifice each person to say the prayers for himself, but the priest is to say them over the public sacrifices and he is to receive the skin of all the victims sacrificed within the sanctuary. Each person may offer whatever sacrifices he wishes. No portions of meat are to be carried out of the precinct. Sacrificers are to donate the shoulder-portion of each victim to the priest except during a festival; at that time he is to receive the shoulder portion only from the public victims … Rules for incubation: the neokoros is to record the name and city of the incubator when he deposits his money, and to display it on a bulletin board for anyone to read. In the sleeping-hall men and women are to sleep separately, the men to the east of the altar, the women to the west …” – Sig3 1004

SIG3 1097

“Gods! The orgeones rent the sanctuary of Ergetes to Diognetos, son of Arkesilos from the deme Melite, for ten years, at the rate of 200 drachmas each year; he is to manage the sanctuary and the buildings constructed in it as a sanctuary; Diognetos shall whitewash the walls which need it, and shall construct and arrange whatever else he wants. At the expiration of the ten year period, he shall take away with him the woodwork, the roof-tiles and the doors and posts; but he shall remove none of the other furnishings. He shall tend the trees growing in the sanctuary; if any dies, he shall replace it and hand on the same number. Diognetos shall pay the rent money to the treasurer of the oregeones in office each year, one half of which is due on the first day of Elaphobolion. When the orgeones sacrifice to the hero in Boedromion, Diognetos is to have open the structure where the shrine is, as well as the shed, the kitchen, and the couches and tables for two dining rooms. Should Diognetos fail to pay the rent on time or meet any of the other requirements of the lease, the lease is to be void and he is deprived of all the property and contributions to the sanctuary’s upkeep that he has made, and the orgeones may rent to whomever they wish thereafter. Diognetos is to inscribe this lease on the stone which stands in the sanctuary. The term of the lease begins in the year when Koroibos is arkhon.” – SIG3 1097

O Cairo 25234

“Year 7, third month of winter, day 29. The Great Festival of King Amenophis, l.p.h., the Lord of the Village was being held. The work gang rejoiced before him for four solid days of drinking together with their children and their wives. There were sixty inside the village and sixty outside.” – O Cairo 25234

Hesiod, Works and Days 724-745

“Never pour a libation of sparkling wine to Zeus after dawn with unwashen hands, nor to others of the deathless gods; else they do not hear your prayers but spit them back. Do not stand upright facing the sun when you make water, but remember to do this when he has set towards his rising. And do not make water as you go, whether on the road or off the road, and do not uncover yourself: the nights belong to the blessed gods. A scrupulous man who has a wise heart sits down or goes to the wall of an enclosed court. Do not expose yourself befouled by the fireside in your house, but avoid this. Do not beget children when you are come back from ill-omened burial, but after a festival of the gods. Never cross the sweet-flowing water of ever-rolling rivers afoot until you have prayed, gazing into the soft flood, and washed your hands in the clear, lovely water. Whoever crosses a river with hands unwashed of wickedness, the gods are angry with him and bring trouble upon him afterwards. At a cheerful festival of the gods do not cut the withered from the quick upon that which has five branches with bright steel [i.e. do not cut your fingernails]. Never put the ladle upon the mixing-bowl at a wine party, for malignant ill-luck is attached to that.” – Hesiod, Works and Days 724-745

Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 11

“The mother of Galerius, a woman exceedingly superstitious, was a votary of the gods of the mountains. Being of such a character she made sacrifices almost every day, and she feasted her servants on the meat offered to idols.” – Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 11

Register of the Church of Carthage 58; 60-61

“There remain still other requirements to be sought from the most pious emperors: that they should command the remaining idols throughout all Africa to be utterly extirpated, for in a number of coastal areas and in various rural estates the wickedness of such error flourishes. Thus the emperors should direct both the idols themselves to be destroyed and their temples which have been set up in these rural and remote areas. Further we request that those religious gatherings which occur contrary to decrees, namely those brought together by Pagan error and which both Pagans and Christians attend together – a horrible thought that Christians under Christian emperors might attend these secret celebrations! – that it is only right for the emperors to order them prohibited and banned from cities and estates by imposing a penalty. This is particularly necessary since the Pagans show no compunction about celebrating these sorts of rites on the birthdays of the most blessed martyrs in some cities and out in the sacred spots in the countryside. On those days, indeed – shameful to declare! – the dancing of the most wicked folk goes on in town squares and open spaces, and the respect due to the marital state and the modesty of countless women assembled in piety for the most sacred day is assaulted by lascivious insults, while access to holy worship itself is almost barred. We also request this: that theatrical shows and those of the games be removed from the Lord’s day and other most celebrated Christian days, especially because on the Eighth Day of holy Easter the people gather more at the Circus than at the church. The day of their worship will have to be moved – if indeed they do foregather – nor should any Christian be obliged to attend such shows, especially because in putting them on, contrary to god’s commands as they are, no pressure or persecution should be applied by anyone, but rather (as ought to be the case) a man should stand on his free will, divinely granted him.” – Register of the Church of Carthage 58; 60-61

Mastaba of Hesi

“As concerns any person entering this tomb, having eaten something abominable to the spirits and having slept with a woman, I shall have him judged before the tribunal of the dead before the great god.” – Mastaba of Hesi

P.Anastasi 4.56

“I hear that you are neglecting your writing and spending all your time dancing, going from tavern to tavern, always reeking of beer … If only you realized that alcohol is a thing full of evil spirits … You sit in front of the wench, sprinkled with perfume; your garland hangs around your neck and you drum on your paunch; you reel and fall on your belly and are filthied with dirt.” – P.Anastasi 4.56

Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56

“The temples of idols found in the land should not be destroyed, though it is proper to do so with the idols that are contained in them. Let blessed water be prepared, and sprinkled in these temples, and altars constructed and relics deposited since these are well-built temples and it is only proper that they be transferred from the worship of idols to that of the true god. And when the people see that the temples are not destroyed they may put error away from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true god, may have recourse to the places that, over long centuries, their people have become familiar with. And since they are wont to kill many oxen in sacrifice to demons, they should have also some solemnity of this kind in a changed form, so that on the day of dedication, or on the anniversaries of the holy martyrs whose relics are deposited there, they may make for themselves tents of the branches of trees around these temples that have been changed into churches, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasts. Nor let them any longer sacrifice animals to the devil, but slay animals to the praise of god for their own eating, and return thanks to the giver of all for their fullness, so that while some joys are reserved to them outwardly, they may more easily incline their minds towards the inner joys. For it is undoubtedly impossible to cut away everything at once from hard hearts, since one who strives to ascend to the highest place must needs rise by steps or paces, and not by leaps.” – Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56