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Other Natural Religions
^ About that, meaning of Fasti:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'Of the cumbersome system of Kalends [first day of the month], Ides [15th day of March, May, July, October; 13th day of other months], and Nones [ninth day before the Ides (7th day of March, May, July, October; 5th day of other months)], and related reckoning, Wislicenus remarks that it is fortunate nothing has survived in modern usage except the word "calendar" which comes from the Latin <b>kalendae</b>. As for what is now meant by "calendar," that was designated by the Romans as <b>Fasti</b> (from Greek...[2 Greek words] "to say") meaning, first, a day on which it is allowed to speak; hence a day on which judgment may be pronounced, i.e., a court day; and, <b>finally, an enumeration of all the days of the year with their festivals</b>, etc., specially including the Fasti consulares, or lists of the magistrates according to their years of service.'[75]. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I think Ovid used the word Fasti in the meaning for the term given in that bold segment.
(This site is called "Encyclopedia Mythica" and hence talks about Natural Traditions as myths. "Mythos" was used by the Greeks for "fictions, lies", so one knows what to expect, including the absence of title-case for others' Gods.)
The Japanese Shinto sun goddess, ruler of the Plain of Heaven, whose name means 'shining heaven' or 'she who shines in the heavens'. She is the central figure in the Shinto pantheon and the Japanese Imperial family claims descent from her 1. She is the eldest daughter of Izanagi. She was so bright and radiant that her parents sent her up the Celestial Ladder to heaven, where she has ruled ever since.

When her brother, the storm-god Susanowa, ravaged the earth she retreated to a cave because he was so noisy. She closed the cave with a large boulder. Her disappearance deprived the world of light and life. Demons ruled the earth. The other gods used everything in their power to lure her out, but to no avail. Finally it was Uzume who succeeded. The laughter of the gods when they watched her comical and obscene dances aroused Amaterasu's curiosity. When she emerged from her cave a streak of light escaped (a streak nowadays people call dawn). The goddess then saw her own brilliant reflection in a mirror which Uzume had hung in a nearby tree. When she drew closer for a better look, the gods grabbed her and pulled her out of the cave. She returned to the sky, and brought light back into the world.

Later, she created rice fields, called inada, where she cultivated rice. She also invented the art of weaving with the loom and taught the people how to cultivate wheat and silkworms.

Amaterasu's main sanctuary is Ise-Jingue situated on Ise, on the island of Honshu. This temple is pulled down every twenty years and then rebuild in its original form. <b>In the inner sanctum she is represented by a mirror (her body). She is also called Omikami ("illustrious goddess") and Tensho Daijan (in Sino-Japanese pronunciation).</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Looks to be a better page on her:
Amaterasu Omikami, Great Goddess Shining in Heaven
Contains paintings of her, an image of her temple as well as a link to a photo of the main sanctum (from the outside)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Among the most highly revered of all the Shinto Kami is Amaterasu Omikami, the Great Sun Goddess.</b> Amaterasu Omikami is virtually the supreme deity in Japanese mythology as well as the ancestor goddess of the imperial family.
In approximately the fourth century C.E., during the Emperor Suinin's reign, the cult of Amaterasu came to Isé and an especially sacred shrine was dedicated in the goddess's honor (Kitagawa 33, note). Following a longstanding Shinto tradition, the Inner Shrine at Isé has been rebuilt every twenty years since the 690s. This is because the Shinto religion emphasizes purity and cleanliness. When each new shrine is built, the previous one is retained alongside it as the alternate site. The view at right looks down on both sites of the sanctuary of the Inner Shrine. Here the alternate site is in the foreground, while the main site -- identical in plan -- is in the background. In the center is the main sanctuary, to the left of which stand the treasure houses. The whole area is surrounded by four concentric wooden fences, delineating the sacred precinct. Visitors worship outside the southern gate (to the right, not shown). Only priests and members of the imperial family are permitted to enter the innermost sanctum. Within the shrine are located the sacred mirror and the heavenly arrows. It is customary for a Shinto believer to make a pilgrimage to the shrine at least once in a lifetime. However, if this is not possible one may have a friend or relative bring back a memento from the shrine for the believer to worship at home.
<span style='color:purple'>(Must make it a point to visit it and offer my respects to Omikami <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> )

Worship of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, has survived for thousands of years in the heart of Japan. She is a power to respect and revere, and will probably remain so for centuries to come.</span><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Interesting page, must investigate the site.
<b>Shimbutsudo: A Web Page for the Study of Japanese Religions</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The "Funeral Oration upon the Emperor Julian" by Libanius elaborates on the subject of Julian's chastity:"This was the pleasure our emperor reaped from the length of the nights, whilst others were following the business of Venus. But he was so far from inquiring where there was a fair daughter, or wife, that had he not once been tied by Juno with the bond of marriage, he would have ended his days knowing nothing of sexual intercourse but by name. But as it was he regretted his wife, yet did not touch another woman, either before or after her; being by his constitution enabled to be continent, and his constant occupation in the art of soothsaying concurring to require this restraint. ... Being exhorted by his relations to marry, that he might get children for heirs to his power, "It was out of fear of this very thing," replied he, "that I have neglected to do so, lest they, succeeding by hereditary right, should turn out bad and ruin the state, experiencing the same fate with Phaethon." Thus did he regard his own want of children as a lighter calamity than the chance of mischief to the provinces."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->About the "as it was he (Julian) regretted his wife" bit:
As one knows from history, Julian was stuck with a christian wife (one 'Helena') that his cousin Constantius II The Christian Psychopath dumped on him in order to keep him loyal. Should have said No Thanks and found himself a traditional Greco-Roman wife. But then, the faithful christian Constantius had a very christian habit of killing people - particularly family - willy-nilly, including Julian's own father I think.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Constantine's son: Constantius II</b>
Christian Roman Emperor 337 - 361 CE:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->    ...had both of his uncles and seven cousins murdered to rise to power. Only two other cousins, twelve year old Gallus, and seven year old Julian, who was to become the last pagan emperor, survived this butchery in the first Christian dynasty. [DA401]
    [DA] Abermals krähte der Hahn, by Karlheinz Deschner.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Link, from Christian Heritage http://www.geocities.com/iconoclastes.geo/shame.html<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Seems like saying No to Constantius' compulsory offer of Helena would have been suicide-by-murder for Julian.

In such christian murderous madness, Constantius II takes after his faithfully christian father Santa Sociopath Constantine. And grandmother Santa Lady Macbeth Helena too. Repeat of Joseph McCabe:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is clear from the historians that Helena, his Christian mother, stung him into committing the murder; and it is highly probable that Fausta had justly accused his son [Crispus] and so incurred the fierce anger of Helena.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Of course, not all of Constantine's murders required his christian mother's encouragement, as he had shown himself quite capable of coming up with the intention of killing a number of people all by himself.
Yes, Constantius killed Julian's father as well as his brother.
<!--QuoteBegin-Shambhu+Mar 3 2009, 09:19 AM-->QUOTE(Shambhu @ Mar 3 2009, 09:19 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Cant find the natural religions thread..

I heard on NPR today that Mexicans, out of fear of the drug violence that has gripped Mexico, have started worship (renewed worship) of Santa Muerte, the Goddess of Death. They ask her for protection, She is worshipped as a skeleton, decked with ornaments and feathers. Catholicristochurch, of course, thinks this is "satanic". Mexicans dont care. One of the worshippers was heard on radio saying something in spanish which was translated by the radio voive over as "there  is no God as powerful as you".

Also, it seems, shrines to Santa M are financed by drug lords.

Some worshippers said they wanted to return to their roots. This worship, NPR said, is Aztec or Urubi (sp) brought over by African slaves.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Mar 3 2009, 10:18 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Mar 3 2009, 10:18 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Shambhu+Mar 3 2009, 09:19 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Shambhu @ Mar 3 2009, 09:19 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mexicans dont care.
Could they be, dare i say it, "indifferent". I wouldn't be surprised if this violence is the birth pangs of Aztlan. Even British Empire started as bunch of drug runners.
Thanks Husky.. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
It looks like they have converted a Christian Mary idol into Santa Muerte!!!

<img src='http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p13/evasophia/YoungmanSantaMuerte.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
1. Great stuff:
About none other than the wondrous Pallas <b>Athena</b> herself

(The encyclopaedia has links on the left hand side and at the bottom that cover other things besides.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Goddess Athena</b>

Daughter of Zeus, and only by him, the Goddess Athena was not generated by any woman. She leaped from the head of Zeus, already adult, dressed with her armor.
  But the mother is not completely missing from the miraculous birth of Pallas Athena. According to Hesiod's account of the weddings of Zeus, the King of the Gods chose Metis as his first wife. She was of all beings "the most knowing" (as the word metis is interpreted), or "of many counsels" as translated in the sense of the Homeric epithet polymetis.
  As she was about to give birth to the Goddess Athena, Zeus deceived his pregnant wife with cunning words and assimilated her into his own body. Mother Earth and Father Sky had advised him to do this so as to prevent any of his descendants from robbing him of his kingly rank. For it was destined that the most brilliant children were to be born to the Goddess Metis: first, the daughter Athena, and later a son, the future King of Gods and men.
  In the most ancient account, the Iliad, Athena is the Goddess of ferocious and implacable fight, but, wherever she can be found, she only is a warrior to defend the State and the native land against the enemies coming from outside.
  She is, above all, the Goddess of the City, the protectress of civilized life, of artesian activities, and of agriculture. She also invented the horse-bit, which, for the first time, tamed horses, allowing men to use them.
  She is the favorite daughter of Zeus; and that's why he let her use his insignia: the terrible shield, the aegis and his devastating weapon, the ray.
  The most used expression to describe her is "the bright eyed". She is the first of the three virgin Goddesses, also known as Maiden, Parthenos, and from this name was taken the name to the most important Temple dedicated to her, the Parthenon.
  In poetry she is the incarnation of Wisdom, Reason and Purity.
  Athens is her city; the <b>olive tree</b>, created by her, is her tree; the owl, is the birth (bird?) consecrated to her.  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

2. <b>Sallustius,</b> Julian's good friend and an <b>equally great person in his own right</b> (Yes, he is the one who wrote on Vigrahas). Hero.

<b>About him and his works</b>

His writing: <b>O N T H E G O D S A N D T H E W O R L D</b>

Google book PDF for download Sallustius <i>On The Gods And The World</i>, as well as others' writings too (Proclus, Demophilus).

Again, at:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>SALLUSTIUS: ON THE GODS AND THE WORLD</b>

Translation by Gilbert Murray in Five Stages of Greek Religion

I. What the disciple should be; and concerning Common Conceptions

Those who wish to hear about the Gods should have been well guided from childhood, and not habituated to foolish beliefs. They should also be in disposition good and sensible, that they may properly attend to the teaching.

They ought also to know the common conceptions. Common conceptions are those to which all men agree as soon as they are asked; for instance, that all god [here and elsewhere, = godhood, divine nature] is good, free from passion, free from change. For whatever suffers change does so for the worse or the better; if for the worse, it is made bad; if for the better, it must have been bad at first.

II. That god is unchanging, unbegotten, eternal, incorporeal, and not in space.

Let the disciple be thus. Let the teachings be of the following sort. The essences of the Gods never came into existence (for that which always is never comes into existence; and that exists for ever which possesses primary force and by nature suffers nothing): neither do they consist of bodies; for even in bodies the powers are incorporeal. Neither are they contained by space; for that is a property of bodies. Neither are they separate from the first cause nor from one another, just as thoughts are not separate from mind nor acts of knowledge from the soul.

III. Concerning myths; that they are divine, and why.

We may well inquire, then, why the ancients forsook these doctrines and made use of myths. There is this first benefit from myths, that we have to search and do not have our minds idle.

That the myths are divine can be seen from those who have used them. Myths have been used by inspired poets, by the best of philosophers, by those who established the mysteries, and by the Gods themselves in oracles. But why the myths are divine it is the duty of philosophy to inquire. Since all existing things rejoice in that which is like them and reject that which is unlike, the stories about the Gods ought to be like the Gods, so that they may both be worthy of the divine essence and make the Gods well disposed to those who speak of them: which could only be done by means of myths.

Now the myths represent the Gods themselves and the goodness of the Gods - subject always to the distinction of the speakable and the unspeakable, the revealed and the unrevealed, that which is clear and that which is hidden: since, just as the Gods have made the goods of sense common to all, but those of intellect only to the wise, so the myths state the existence of Gods to all, but who and what they are only to those who can understand.

They also represent the activities of the Gods. For one may call the world a myth, in which bodies and things are visible, but souls and minds hidden. Besides, to wish to teach the whole truth about the Gods to all produces contempt in the foolish, because they cannot understand, and lack of zeal in the good, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the contempt of the foolish, and compels the good to practice philosophy.

But why have they put in the myths stories of adultery, robbery, father-binding, and all the other absurdity? Is not that perhaps a thing worthy of admiration, done so that by means of the visible absurdity the soul may immediately feel that the words are veils and believe the truth to be a mystery?

IV. That the species of myth are five, with examples of each.

Of myths some are theological, some physical, some psychic, and again some material, and some mixed from these last two. The theological are those myths which use no bodily form but contemplate the very essence of the Gods: e.g., Kronos swallowing his children. Since god is intellectual, and all intellect returns into itself, this myth expresses in allegory the essence of god.

Myths may be regarded physically when they express the activities of the Gods in the world: e.g., people before now have regarded Kronos as time, and calling the divisions of time his sons say that the sons are swallowed by the father.

The psychic way is to regard the activities of the soul itself; the soul's acts of thought, though they pass on to other objects, nevertheless remain inside their begetters.

The material and last is that which the Egyptians have mostly used, owing to their ignorance, believing material objects actually to be Gods, and so calling them: e.g., they call the earth Isis, moisture Osiris, heat Typhon, or again, water Kronos, the fruits of the earth Adonis, and wine Dionysus.

To say that these objects are sacred to the Gods, like various herbs and stones and animals, is possible to sensible men, but to say that they are Gods is the notion of madmen - except, perhaps, in the sense in which both the orb of the sun and the ray which comes from the orb are colloquially called 'the sun'.

The mixed kind of myth may be seen in many instances: for example they say that in a banquet of the Gods Discord threw down a golden apple; the Goddesses contended for it, and were sent by Zeus to Paris to be judged. Paris saw Aphrodite to be beautiful and gave her the apple. Here the banquet signifies the hypercosmic powers of the Gods; that is why they are all together. The golden apple is the world, which being formed out of opposites, is naturally said to be 'thrown by Discord'. The different Gods bestow different gifts upon the world, and are thus said to 'contend for the apple'. And the soul which lives according to sense - for that is what Paris is - not seeing the other powers in the world but only beauty, declares that the apple belongs to Aphrodite.

Theological myths suit philosophers, physical and psychic suit poets, mixed suit religious initiations, since every initiation aims at uniting us with the world and the Gods.

To take another myth, they say that the Mother of the Gods seeing Attis lying by the river Gallus fell in love with him, took him, crowned him with her cap of stars, and thereafter kept him with her. He fell in love with a nymph and left the Mother to live with her. For this the Mother of the Gods made Attis go mad and cut off his genital organs and leave them with the nymph, and then return and dwell with her.

Now the Mother of the Gods is the principle that generates life; that is why she is called Mother. Attis is the creator of all things which are born and die; that is why he is said to have been found by the river Gallus. For Gallus signifies the Galaxy, or Milky Way, the point at which body subject to passion begins. Now as the primary gods make perfect the secondary, the Mother loves Attis and gives him celestial powers. That is what the cap means. Attis loves a nymph: the nymphs preside over generation, since all that is generated is fluid. But since the process of generation must be stopped somewhere, and not allowed to generate something worse than the worst, the creator who makes these things casts away his generative powers into the creation and is joined to the Gods again. Now these things never happened, but always are. And mind sees all things at once, but reason (or speech) expresses some first and others after. Thus, as the myth is in accord with the cosmos, we for that reason keep a festival imitating the cosmos, for how could we attain higher order?

And at first we ourselves, having fallen from heaven and living with the nymph, are in despondency, and abstain from corn and all rich and unclean food, for both are hostile to the soul. Then comes the cutting of the tree and the fast, as though we also were cutting off the further process of generation. After that the feeding on milk, as though we were being born again; after which come rejoicings and garlands and, as it were, a return up to the Gods.

The season of the ritual is evidence to the truth of these explanations. The rites are performed about the Vernal equinox, when the fruits of the earth are ceasing to be produced, and day is becoming longer than night, which applies well to spirits rising higher. (At least, the other equinox is in mythology the time of the rape of Kore, which is the descent of the souls.)

May these explanations of the myths find favour in the eyes of the Gods themselves and the souls of those who wrote the myths.

V. On the First Cause

Next in order comes knowledge of the first cause and the subsequent orders of the Gods, then the nature of the world, the essence of intellect and of soul, then providence, fate, and fortune, then to see virtue and formed from them, and from what possible source evil came into the world.

Each of these subjects needs many long discussions; but there is perhaps no harm in stating them briefly, so that a disciple may not be completely ignorant about them.

It is proper to the first cause to be one - for unity precedes multitude - and to surpass all things in power and goodness. Consequently all things must partake of it. For owing to its power nothing else can hinder it, and owing to its goodness it will not hold itself apart.

If the first cause were soul, all things would possess soul. If it were mind, all things would possess mind. If it were being, all things would partake of being. And seeing this quality in all things, some men have thought that it was being. Now if things simply were, without being good, this argument would be true, but if things that are _are_ because of their goodness, and partake in the good, the first thing must needs be both beyond-being and good. It is strong evidence of this that noble souls despise being for the sake of the good, when they face death for their country or friends or for the sake of virtue. - After this inexpressible country or friends or for the sake of virtue. - After this inexpressible power come the orders of the Gods.

VI. On Gods Cosmic and Hypercosmic.

Of the Gods some are of the world, cosmic, and some above the world, hypercosmic. By the cosmic I mean those who make the cosmos. Of the hypercosmic Gods some create essence, some mind, and some soul. Thus they have three orders; all of which may be found in treatises on the subject.

Of the cosmic Gods some make the world be, others animate it, others harmonize it, consisting as it does of different elements; the fourth class keep it when harmonized.

These are four actions, each of which has a beginning, middle, and end, consequently there must be twelve Gods governing the world.

Those who make the world are Zeus, Poseidon, and Hephaistos; those who animate it are Demeter, Hera, and Artemis; those who harmonize it are Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hermes; those who watch over it are Hestia, Athena, and Ares.

One can see secret suggestions of this in their images. Apollo tunes a lyre; Athena is armed; Aphrodite is naked (because harmony creates beauty, and beauty in things seen is not covered).

While these twelve in the primary sense possess the world, we should consider that the other Gods are contained in these. Dionysus in Zeus, for instance, Asklepios in Apollo, the Charites in Aphrodite.

We can also discern their various spheres: to Hestia belongs the earth, to Poseidon water, to Hera air, to Hephaistos fire. And the six superior spheres to the Gods to whom they are usually attributed. For Apollo and Artemis are to be taken for the Sun and Moon, the sphere of Kronos should be attributed to Demeter, the ether to Athena, while the heaven is common to all. Thus the orders, powers, and spheres of the twelve Gods have been explained and celebrated in hymns.

VII. On the Nature of the World and its Eternity.

The cosmos itself must of necessity be indestructible and uncreated. Indestructible because, suppose it destroyed: the only possibility is to make one better than this or worse or the same or a chaos. If worse, the power which out of the better makes the worse must be bad. If better, the maker who did not make the better at first must be imperfect in power. If the same, there will be no use in making it; if a chaos... it is impious even to hear such a thing suggested. These reasons would suffice to show that the world is also uncreated: for if not destroyed, neither is it created. Everything that is created is subject to destruction. And further, since the cosmos exists by the goodness of god, if follows that god must always be good and the world exist. Just as light coexists with the sun and with fire, and shadow coexists with a body.

Of the bodies in the cosmos, some imitate mind and move in orbits; some imitate soul and move in a straight line, fire and air upward, earth and water downward. Of those that move in orbits the fixed sphere goes from the east, the seven [planets] from the west (This is so for various causes, especially lest the creation should be imperfect owing to the rapid circuit of the spheres.)

The movement being different, the nature of the bodies must also be different; hence the celestial body does not burn or freeze what it touches, or do anything else that pertains to the four elements.

And since the Cosmos is a sphere - the zodiac proves that - and in every sphere 'down' means 'toward the center', for the center is furthest distant from every point, and heavy things fall 'down' and fall to the earth .

All these things are made by the Gods, ordered by mind, moved by soul. About the Gods we have spoken already.

VIII. On Mind and Soul, and that the latter is immortal.

There is a certain force, less primary than being but more primary than the soul, which draws its existence from being and completes the soul as the sun completes the eyes. Of souls some are rational and immortal, some irrational and mortal. The former are derived from the first Gods, the latter from the secondary.

First, we must consider what soul is. It is, then, that by which the animate differs from the inanimate. The difference lies in motion, sensation, imagination, intelligence. Soul therefore, when irrational, is the life of sense and imagination; when rational, it is the life which controls sense and imagination and uses reason. The irrational soul depends on the affections of the body; it feels desire and anger irrationally. The rational soul both, with the help of reason, despises the body, and, fighting against the irrational soul, produces either virtue or vice, according as it is victorious or defeated.

It must be immortal, both because it knows the Gods (and nothing mortal knows what is immortal), it looks down upon human affairs as though it stood outside them, and like an unbodied thing, it is affected in the opposite way to the body. For while the body is young and fine, the soul blunders, but as the body grows old it attains its highest power. Again, every good soul uses mind; but no body can produce mind: for how should that which is without mind produce mind? Again, while the soul uses the body as an instrument, it is not in it; just as the engineer is not in his engines (although many engines move without being touched by any one). And if the soul is often made to err by the body, that is not surprising. For the arts cannot perform their work when their instruments are spoilt.

IX. On Providence, Fate, and Fortune.

This is enough to show the Providence of the Gods. For whence comes the ordering of the world, if there is no ordering power? And whence comes the fact that all things are for a purpose: e.g. irrational soul that there may be sensation, and rational that the earth may be set in order?

But one can deduce the same result from the evidences of providence in nature: e.g., the eyes have been made transparent with a view to seeing; the nostrils are above the mouth to distinguish bad-smelling foods; the front teeth are sharp to cut food, the back teeth broad to grind it. And we find every part of every object arranged on a similar principle. It is impossible that there should be so much providence in the last details, and none in the first principles. Then the arts of prophecy and of healing, which are part of the cosmos, come of the good providence of the Gods.

All this care for the world, we must believe, is taken by the Gods without any act of will or labor. As bodies which possess some power produce their effects by merely existing: e.g. the sun gives light and heat by merely existing; so, and far more so, the providence of the Gods acts without effort to itself and for the good of the objects of its forethought. This solves the problems of the Epicureans, who argue that what is divine neither has trouble itself nor gives trouble to others.

The incorporeal providence of the Gods, both for bodies and for souls, is of this sort; but that which is of bodies and in bodies is different from this, and is called fate, Heimarmene, because the chain of causes (Heirmos) is more visible in the case of bodies; and it is for dealing with this fate that the science of Mathematic [=Astrology] has been discovered.

Therefore, to believe that human things, especially their material constitution, are ordered not only by celestial beings but by the celestial bodies is a reasonable and true belief. Reason shows that health and sickness, good fortune and bad fortune, arise according to our deserts from that source. But to attribute men's acts of injustice and lust to fate, is to make ourselves good and the Gods bad. Unless by chance a man meant by such a statement that in general all things are for the good of the world and for those who are in a natural state, but that bad education or weakness of nature changes the goods of Fate for the worse. Just as it happens that the Sun, which is good for all, may be injurious to persons with ophthalmia or fever. Else why do the Massagetae eat their fathers, the Hebrews practice circumcision, and the Persians preserve rules of rank? Why do astrologers, while calling Saturn and Mars 'malignant' proceed to make them good, attributing to them philosophy and royalty, generalships and treasures? And if they are going to talk of triangles and squares, it is absurd that Gods should change their natures according to their position in space, while human virtue remains the same everywhere. Also the fact that the stars predict high or low rank for the father of the person whose horoscope is taken, teaches that they do not always make things happen but sometimes only indicate things. For how could things which preceded the birth depend upon the birth?

Further, as there is providence and fate concerned with nations and cities, and also concerned with each individual, so there is also fortune, which should next be treated. That power of the Gods which orders for the good things which are not uniform, and which happen contrary to expectation, is commonly called Fortune, and it is for this reason that the Goddess is especially worshipped in public by cities; for every city consists of elements which are not uniform. Fortune has power beneath the moon, since above the moon no single thing can happen by fortune.

If fortune makes a wicked man prosperous and a good man poor, there is no need to wonder. For the wicked regard wealth as everything, the good as nothing. And the good fortune of the bad cannot take away their badness, while virtue alone will be enough for the good.

X. Concerning Virtue and Vice.

The doctrine of virtue and vice depends on that of the soul. When the irrational soul enters into the body and immediately produces fight and desire, the rational soul, put in authority over all these, makes the soul tripartite, composed of reason, fight, and desire. Virtue in the region of reason is wisdom, in the region of fight is courage, in the region of desire is temperance; the virtue of the whole soul is righteousness. It is for reason to judge what is right, for fight in obedience to reason to despise things that appear terrible, for desire to pursue not the apparently desirable, but, that which is with reason desirable. When these things are so, we have a righteous life; for righteousness in matters of property is but a small part of virtue. And thus we shall find all four virtues in properly trained men, but among the untrained one may be brave and unjust, another temperate and stupid, another prudent and unprincipled. Indeed, these qualities should not be called virtues when they are devoid of reason and imperfect and found in irrational beings. Vice should be regarded as consisting of the opposite elements. In reason it is folly, in fight, cowardice, in desire, intemperance, in the whole soul, unrighteousness.

The virtues are produced by the right social organization and by good rearing and education, the vices by the opposite.

XI. Concerning right and wrong Social Organization.

Constitutions also depend on the tripartite nature of the soul. The rulers are analogous to reason, the soldiers to fight, the common folk to desires.

Where all things are done according to reason and the best man in the nation rules, it is a kingdom; where more than one rule according to reason and fight, it is an aristocracy; where the government is according to desire and offices depend on money, that constitution is called a timocracy. The contraries are: to kingdom, tyranny, for kingdom does all things with the guidance of reason and tyranny nothing; to aristocracy, oligarchy, when not the best people but a few of the worst are rulers; to timocracy, democracy, when not the rich but the common folk possess the whole power.

XII. The origin of evil things; and that there is no positive evil.

The Gods being good and making all things, how do evils exist in the world? Or perhaps it is better first to state the fact that, the Gods being good and making all things, there is no positive evil, it only comes by absence of good; just as darkness itself does not exist, but only comes about by absence of light.

If evil exists it must exist either in Gods or minds or souls or bodies. It does not exist in any God, for all god is good. If anyone speaks of a 'bad mind' he means a mind without mind. If of a bad soul, he will make the soul inferior to body, for no body in itself is evil. If he says that evil is made up of soul and body together, it is absurd that separately they should not be evil, but joined should create evil.

Suppose it is said that there are evil spirits: - if they have their power from the Gods, they cannot be evil; if from elsewhere, the Gods do not make all things. If they do not make all things, then either they wish to or cannot, or they can and do not wish; neither of which is consistent with the idea of god. We may see, therefore, from these arguments, that there is no positive evil in the world.

It is in the activities of men that the evils appear, and that not of all men nor always. And as to these, if men sinned for the sake of evil, nature itself would be evil. But if the adulterer thinks his adultery bad but his pleasure good, and the murderer thinks the murder bad but the money he gets by it good, and the man who does evil to an enemy thinks that to do evil is bad but to punish his enemy good, and if the soul commits all its sins in that way, then the evils are done for the sake of goodness. (In the same way, because in a given place light does not exist, there comes darkness, which has no positive existence.) The soul sins therefore because, while aiming at good, it makes mistakes about the good, because it is not primary essence. And we see many things done by the Gods to prevent it from making mistakes and to heal it when it has made them. Arts and sciences, curses and prayers, sacrifices and initiations, laws and constitutions, judgments and punishments, all came into existence for the sake of preventing souls from sinning; and when they are gone forth from the body, Gods and spirits of purification cleanse them of their sins.

XIII. How things eternal are said to be made.

Concerning the Gods and the world and human things this account will suffice for those who are not able to go through the whole course of philosophy but yet have not souls beyond help.

It remains to explain how these objects were never made and are never separated one from another, since we ourselves have said above that the secondary substances were 'made' by the first.

Everything made is made either by art or by a physical process or according to some power. Now in art or nature the maker must needs be prior to the made: but the maker, according to power, constitutes the made absolutely together with itself, since its power is inseparable from it; as the sun makes light, fire makes heat, snow makes cold.

Now if the Gods make the world by art, they do not make it be, they make it be such as it is. For all art makes the form of the object. What therefore makes it to be?

If by a physical process, how in that case can the maker help giving pat of himself to the made? As the Gods are incorporeal, the world ought to be incorporeal too. If it were argued that the Gods were bodies, then where would the power of incorporeal things come from? And if we were to admit it, it would follow that when the world decays, its maker must be decaying too, if he is a maker by physical process.

If the Gods make the world neither by art nor by physical process, it only remains that they make it by power. Everything so made subsists together with that which possesses the power. Neither can things so made be destroyed, except the power of the maker be taken away: so that those who believe in the destruction of the world, either deny the existence of the Gods, or, while admitting it, deny God's power.

Therefore he who makes all things by his own power makes all things subsist together with himself. And since his power is the greatest power he must needs be the maker not only of men and animals, but of Gods, men, and spirits. And the further removed the first God is from our nature, the more powers there must be between us and him. For all things that are very far apart have many intermediate points between them.

XIV. In what sense, though the Gods never change, they are said to be made angry and appeased.

If any one thinks the doctrine of the unchangeableness of the Gods is reasonable and true, and then wonders how it is that they rejoice in the good and reject the bad, are angry with sinners and become propitious when appeased, the answer is as follows: god does not rejoice - for that which rejoices also grieves; nor is he angered - for to be angered is a passion; nor is he appeased by gifts - if he were, he would be conquered by pleasure.

It is impious to suppose that the divine is affected for good or ill by human things. The Gods are always good and always do good and never harm, being always in the same state and like themselves. The truth simply is that, when we are good, we are joined to the Gods by our likeness to live according to virtue we cling to the Gods, and when we become evil we make the Gods our enemies - not because they are angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the Gods from shining upon us, and put us in communion with spirits of punishment. And if by prayers and sacrifices we find forgiveness of sins, we do not appease or change the Gods, but by what we do and by our turning toward the divine we heal our own badness and so enjoy again the goodness of the Gods. To say that god turns away from the evil is like saying that the sun hides himself from the blind.

XV. Why we give worship to the Gods when they need nothing.

This solves the question about sacrifices and other rites performed to the Gods. The divine itself is without needs, and the worship is paid for our own benefit. The providence of the Gods reaches everywhere and needs only some congruity for its reception. All congruity comes about by representation and likeness; for which reason the temples are made in representation of heaven, the altar of earth, the images of life (that is why they are made like living things), the prayers of the element of though, the mystic letters of the unspeakable celestial forces, the herbs and stones of matter, and the sacrificial animals of the irrational life in us.

From all these things the Gods gain nothing; what gain could there be to God? It is we who gain some communion with them. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Part II of Sallustius' On the Gods and the World</b>

XVI. Concerning sacrifices and other worships, that we benefit man by them, but not the Gods.

I think it well to add some remarks about sacrifices. In the first place, since we have received everything from the Gods, and it is right to pay the giver some tithe of his gifts, we pay such a tithe of possessions in votive offering, of bodies in gifts of (hair and) adornment, and of life in sacrifices. Then secondly, prayers without sacrifices are only words, with sacrifices they are live words; the word gives meaning to the life, while the life animates the word. Thirdly, the happiness of every object is its own perfection; and perfection for each is communion with its own cause. For this reason we pray for communion with the Gods. Since, therefore, the first life is the life of the Gods, but human life is also life of a kind, and human life wishes for communion with divine life, a mean term is needed. For things very far apart cannot have communion without a mean term, and the mean term must be like the things joined; therefore the mean term between life and life must be life. That is why men sacrifice animals; only the rich do so now, but in old days everybody did, and that not indiscriminately, but giving the suitable offerings to each god together with a great deal of other worship. Enough of this subject.

XVII. That the World is by nature Eternal.

We have shown above that the Gods will not destroy the world. It remains to show that its nature is indestructible.

Everything that is destroyed is either destroyed by itself or by something else. If the world is destroyed by itself, fire must needs burn of itself and water dry itself. If by something else, it must be either by a body or by something incorporeal. By something incorporeal is impossible; for incorporeal things preserve bodies - nature, for instance, and soul - and nothing is destroyed by a cause whose nature is to preserve it. If it is destroyed by some body, it must be either by those which exist or by others.

If by those which exist: then either those moving in a straight line must be destroyed by those that revolve, or vice versa. But those that revolve have no destructive nature; else, why do we never see anything destroyed from that cause? Nor yet can those which are moving straight touch the others; else, why have they never been able to do so yet?

But neither can those moving straight be destroyed by one another: for the destruction of one is the creation of another; and that is not to be destroyed but to change.

But if the world is to be destroyed by other bodies than these it is impossible to say where such bodies are or whence they are to arise.

Again, everything destroyed is destroyed either in form or matter. (Form is the shape of a thing, matter is the body.) Now if the form is destroyed and the matter remains, we see other things come into being. If matter is destroyed, how is it that the supply has not failed in all these years?

If when matter is destroyed other matter takes its place, the new matter must come either from something that is or from something that is not. If from that-which-is, as long as that-which-is always remains, matter always remains. But if that-which-is is destroyed, such a theory means that not the world only but everything in the universe is destroyed.

If again matter comes from that-which-is-not: in the first place, it is impossible for anything to come from that which is not; but suppose it to happen, and that matter did arise from that which is not; then, as long as there are things which are not, matter will exist. For I presume there can never be an end of things which are not.

If they say that matter formless: in the first place, why does this happen to the world as a whole when it does not happen to any part? Secondly, by this hypothesis they do not destroy the being of bodies but only their beauty.

Further, everything destroyed is either resolved into the elements from which it came, or else vanishes into not-being. If things are resolved into the elements from which they came, then there will be others: else how did they come into being at all? If that-which-is is to depart into not-being, what prevents that happening to god himself? (Which is absurd.) Or if god's power prevents that, it is not a mark of power to be able to save nothing but oneself. And it is equally impossible for that-which-is to come out of nothing and to depart into nothing.

Again, if the world is destroyed, it must needs either be destroyed according to nature or against nature. Against nature is impossible, for that which is against nature is not stronger than nature. If according to nature, there must be another nature which changes the nature of the world: which does not appear.

Again, anything that is naturally destructible we can ourselves destroy. But no one has ever destroyed or altered the round body of the world. And the elements, though they can be changed, cannot be destroyed. Again, everything destructible is changed by time and grows old. But the world through all these years has remained utterly unchanged.

Having said so much for the help of those who feel the need of very strong demonstration, I pray the world himself to be gracious to me.

XVIII. Why there are rejections of god, and that god is not injured.

Nor need the fact that rejections of god have taken place in certain parts of the earth and will often take place hereafter, disturb the mind of the wise: both because these things do not affect the Gods, just as we saw that worship did not benefit them; and because the soul, being of middle essence, cannot be always right; and because the whole world cannot enjoy the providence of the Gods equally, but some parts may partake of it eternally, some at certain times, some in the primal manner, some in the secondary. Just as the head enjoys all the senses, but the rest of the body only one.

For this reason, it seems, those who ordained festivals ordained also forbidden days, in which some temples lay idle, some were shut, some had their adornments removed, in expiation of the weakness of our nature.

It is not unlikely, too, that the rejection of god is a kind of punishment: we may well believe that those who knew the Gods and neglected them in one life may in another life be deprived of the knowledge of them altogether. Also those who have worshipped their own kings as gods have deserved as their punishment to lose all knowledge of god.

XIX. Why sinners are not punished at once.

There is no need to be surprised if neither these sins nor yet others bring immediate punishment upon sinners. For it is not only spirits who punish the evil, the soul brings itself to judgment: and also it is not right for those who endure for ever to attain everything in a short time: and also, there is need of human virtue. If punishment followed instantly upon sin, men would act justly from fear and have no virtue.

Souls are punished when they have gone forth from the body, some wandering among us, some going to hot or cold places of the earth, some harassed by spirits. Under all circumstances they suffer with the irrational part of their nature, with which they also sinned. For its sake there subsists that shadowy body which is seen about graves, especially the graves of evil livers.

XX. On Transmigration of Souls, and how Souls are said to migrate into brute beasts.

If the transmigration of a soul takes place into a rational being, it simply becomes the soul of that body. But if the soul migrates into a brute beast, it follows the body outside, as a guardian spirit follows a man. For there could never be a rational soul in an irrational being.

The transmigration of souls can be proved from the congenital afflictions of persons. For why are some born blind, others paralytic, others with some sickness in the soul itself? Again, it is the natural duty of souls to do their work in the body; are we to suppose that when once they leave the body they spend all eternity in idleness? Again, if the souls did not again enter into bodies, they must either be infinite in number or god must constantly be making new ones. But there is nothing infinite in the world; for in a finite whole there cannot be an infinite part. Neither can others be made; for everything in which something new goes on being created, must be imperfect. And the world, being made by a perfect author, ought naturally to be perfect.

XXI. That the Good are happy, both living and dead.

Souls that have lived in virtue are in general happy, and when separated from the irrational part of their nature, and made clean from all matter, have communion with the gods and join them in the governing of the whole world. Yet even if none of this happiness fell to their lot, virtue itself, and the joy and glory of virtue, and the life that is subject to no grief and no master are enough to make happy those who have set themselves to live according to virtue and have achieved it.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Julian the Apostate (Volume 1) - Negri, Gaetano, 1838-1902


Julian the Apostate (Volume 2) - Negri, Gaetano, 1838-1902


Julian the Apostate - Merezhkovsky, Dmitry Sergeyevich, 1865-1941


The works of the Emperor Julian (Volume 2) - Julian, Emperor of Rome, 331-363


The Arguments of the Emporor Julian Against the Christians: Translated from the Greek Fragments ... (1873)


Julian the Emperor: Containing Gregory Nazianzen's Two Invectives and Libanius' Monody with ... (1888)


Julian, Philosopher and Emperor, and the Last Struggle of Paganism Against Christianity (1895)


Arguments of Celsus, Porphyry and the emperor Julian against the Christians; also extracts from ... (1830)


Select works of the Emperor Julian, and some pieces of the sophist Libanius (Volume 1)


Select works of the Emperor Julian, and some pieces of the sophist Libanius (Volume 2)


Works. With an English translation by Wilmer Cave Wright (Volume 1) - Julian, Emperor of Rome, 331-363


Works. With an English translation by Wilmer Cave Wright (Volume 2) - Julian, Emperor of Rome, 331-363


Works. With an English translation by Wilmer Cave Wright (Volume 3) - Julian, Emperor of Rome, 331-363

The ones in large font contain translations of all his works & are from the Loeb classics library.
The future of India will be like the present of maya?

Well, almost 7,000,000 of Maya are brought in almost forced churches to pray to some god that they do not understand.

In the winter of 1996 left for Guatemala, at the invitation of the future president, Arzu Irigoyen, along with my Tudor Pantaru, the then ambassador of Moldova to the UN. I was invited to participate in the ceremony transmission presidential office for the day January 14. In fact much wanted to see the Maya "to her home, so I suit on the plane .. and we arrived in the capital of Guatemala. I left New York on a cold winter weather to find a sun and a pleasant temperature of "hot spring".

If we thought that the so called Hispanic invade today, the United States are true inhabitants of Central America and South, I was wrong. 85% of the population of Guatemala I found it made descendants of the ancient Maya civilization, some small individuals, with Mongoloid faces, very sweet and seems to lack of interest for the day tomorrow, with an inertia about the future.

I saw gathered in a small room in the Palace of the capital of Guatemala, when the president is changing their country, a white, blond-red hair onuldat semana not at all with them, with the locals. Well, Maya, were brought there to clap, and without knowing why. When we went outside we were provided a Mercedes with a Hispanic driver, a bodyguard than my height comes up to shoulder, dressed in a gray suit, strampt in botit and shoulders, and with a gun, huge high on the belt. Beside them was a young translator, 23 years old, Hispanic, clean and educated.

Stransesera on the street is a lot of people Maya on with curiosity at what's happening in the palace. Were kept at some distance from soldiers armed with bludgeon long and 2 meters with a diameter of at least 10 cm, with snap that once in a while, over the back, the most brave, that avintasera too much in front. I came to believe that a group of 3-4% and 10-15% white Hispanic and could beat the game in this plight of the poor survivors of Maya! They continue to speak their own language . Well, almost 7,000,000 of Maya are brought in almost forced churches to pray to some god that they do not understand and promise you heaven after death, if, as now I am still alive, and be good listeners, will be hardworking and careless in wealth.

Beside me and was ambassador to Ukraine, which seems to guess my thoughts, my answer was: "What you see here is not only in Central America but also in the South. Well, the Indians, survivors of the Aztec, Maya inkasi times are majority - 80% - but only that. They have no rights. Hispanicii and whites - yes.

I went to the lake city of Tikal and Antigua, I looking for real people, but they do not live in town.

Antigua is located at an altitude of 1.530 meters, with a small population, about how a village in Romania: 28.000 inhabitants (if I umflt me the least), being situated near three volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango . Fuego-fire, was easier to recognize it because ... smoke. Antigua is a place where you can meet old Spanish buildings, the new house in Transylvania, with walls and fences like fortresses. Antigua does not represent the Maya but what distrugatorii conquistadori, destruction of local civilization.
^ on that:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->“Complete assimilation is possible only with the sacrifice of Indian Cultures via <b>Darwinist capitalism</b>”
-Mario Vargas, 1990, <b>Christian Right wing </b>Presidential candidate and novelist in Peru.

“Indians are colonial creation. They are only Indian because pre capitalist exploitation denied them the boons of European culture. The very survival of Indians is proof of their defeat. The heroic task of <b>socialism or communism</b> is ‘de- indigenization’.”
-Martinez Pelaez, <b>Leftist Guatemalan Historian</b>, on Indians-1992.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->It's all the same meme. Christoclass mindvirus.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Seneca: "We recognize Zeus as the ruler and guardian of the universe, as the PSYCHE (soul) and the PNEUMA (breath) of the KOSMOS, principally responsible for its creation and to whom all names are fitting. If you wish to refer to Him as MOIRA, you are not wrong. It is He, from whom everything depends, the cause of causes. If you wish to call Him PRONOIA (Providence) you are equally correct. It is He whose SOPHIA (Wisdom) provides for our world. If you desire to call Him PHYSIS (Nature), again you are not mistaken. It is He from whom everything was born and from whose breath we have Life. If you want to call Him Universe, again you are not wrong, as He is all that you see around you, He who exists within everything of the mundane, He who defends Himself and all which is within Him."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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Deleted upon request.
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Deleted upon request.
BV, I created this thread with the purpose of giving some idea of the existence of other traditional religions (some Indians today don't know about other religions and so think Hindus are an island), preferably through the way traditional people of various times have viewed their religion and those who continue to view it that way. As one can read for instance in the Seneca quote in #52 above. Or Julian's own words, say in his Contra Galilaeos - a translation of this was to be found at an Aus site I think. It is their religion as per their own words which documents Natural Traditions as they are. Or (outside of this site) one can look at the vigrahas of the Shinto Gods made by traditional Shintos or those of Daoist Gods made by traditional Daoists - it is their religion, as described by their own hands (and rituals). Or it would be more helpful for people to speak to the traditional (Ch/Tw) Daoists and (Jp) Shintos if such a chance ever presents itself.

This was not meant to be a thread on how modern ideas/theories/discoveries/... view traditional religion. Especially that of other people who are not here - and many who are dead and therefore cannot be here - to speak for themselves. Their non-representation (or silence due to other causes) does not negate their existence or invalidate the knowledge they had of what is after all *their* religion, and not ours. Ideally - no actually, it should be *their* views that document their religion. We learn of other religions from those who practised and lived it (from those whose life it was) - well, from what they were willing to reveal of it.

I only really care about 2 threads in this entire forum (that's not to say other threads don't interest me; it's different). This is one - the primary one. And it is on a matter I consider important to 'heathens' (actually: to people following the traditional religions where Gods are central; in particular the Hindu religion) even if I never posted half the material I think could belong here. It is the *idea* of this thread, that it exists at all on this forum.

I should have been more energetic and posted interesting stuff here, but I wished to use my finds for other purposes (for private interests; but duplication is out of the question). May not have been a very regular poster at IF of late, but even were I to stop coming that wouldn't change the topic of this thread.

And it was certainly never intended to become a thread on the totally different matters of IE/PIE and neopaganism. (If such interests you, there are many forums out there on the web that are specifically about the topics of IE-ism, PIE reconstructionism, even Vedic reconstructionism. And neopaganism. Many sources out there for such material that you can repost from, but not into this thread please.)

Please do make another thread and move all of your material on IE/PIE and on neopaganism there.

Hmmm. I don't understand how #53 was posted only to be succeeded by the subsequent posts - in this same thread (breath). Clearly the material in #53 does not belong on this forum (even though this is the thread it otherwise conceptually belonged).
In the very first post of this thred one of the reasons you listed for starting this thread was to better understand the true traditions of other peoples. There was nothing said about using only their own words from ancient times which at any rate is hard these days as much of their literature has been destroyed by the Xtian cult. There are no Seneca's & Julians today to speak for themselves as there are Shintoists and Taoists which means that the only *contemporary* spokespersons left are the modern day neopagans or surviving and culturally related "heathens" known as Hindus.

In fact you had earlier posted a link to the derafsh-kaviyani site which is a modern monotheist influenced interpretation of Zoroastrianism as HH pointed out, no different than any neopagan site trying to rediscover some of their heritage.

If you had clarified the specifics earlier the above posts wouldn't have been made but now that you have I will remove the posts.

There is much that doesn't belong on this forum if one were to strictly stick to the title of the forum name "india-forum" including this thread.
[quote name='Husky' date='29 April 2010 - 06:14 PM' timestamp='1272544560' post='106121']

And it was certainly never intended to become a thread on the totally different matters of IE/PIE and neopaganism. (If such interests you, there are many forums out there on the web that are specifically about the topics of IE-ism, PIE reconstructionism, even Vedic reconstructionism. And neopaganism. Many sources out there for such material that you can repost from, but not into this thread please.)

Please do make another thread and move all of your material on IE/PIE and on neopaganism there.


So what do you say? I shouldn't post here about our attempt to reestablish the zalmoxian religion? Im sick to hear christians saying that christianity is our national traditional religion.The pre-christian religion of zalmoxianism hopefully will destroy,in time, the christian pretensions about their national-traditionalism .

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