— Julian (emperor) Roman Emperor, philosopher and writer 331 - 363
Upon The Mother Of The Gods (c. 362-363), Context: !-- Who is so thick-headed as not to understand that through Hermes and Aphrodite are invoked all things in all places that contain the cause of the universality and various forms of generation, which is the proper subject of my argument? Is not this the Attis, who at first is called insane, and then sane, in consequence of his castration? Insane because he chose for himself the realm of Matter, and superintends the work of generation; but sane because he hath modelled this refuse into Beauty, and hath wrought therein so great a transformation, that no skill or craft of man can imitate the same. But what shall be the conclusion of my theme? Verily a Hymn of praise unto the goddess. --> O Mother of gods and men, assister and colleague of mighty Jove! O source of the Intelligible Powers! Thou that keepest thy course in unison with the simple essences of things intelligible; thou that hast received out of all the universal Cause, and impartest it to the Intelligible world! Goddess, giver of life, Mother, Providence, and Maker of our souls! Thou that lovest the mighty Bacchus; who didst preserve Attis when he was cast forth, and didst recall him to thyself after he had sunk down into the cave of the earth; thou that art the beginning of all Good unto the Intelligible Powers, and that fillest the world with all the objects of Sense, and grantest all good things, in all places, unto mankind! Grant unto all men happiness, of which the sum and substance is the knowledge of the gods; and to the Roman people universally, first and foremost to wash away from themselves the stain of atheism, and in addition to this, grant them propitious Fortune, that shall assist them in governing the empire for many thousands of years to come! To myself grant for the fruit of my devotion to thee — Truth in belief concerning the gods, the attainment of perfection in religious rites, and in all the undertakings which we attempt as regards warlike or military measures, valour coupled with good luck, and the termination of my life to be without pain, and happy in the good hope of a departure for your abodes!