Early Church Fathers
79 aigioxoj; "scutum habens."
80 Ancile, the sacred shield, carried by the Salii, or priests of Mars, in the processions at the festival of that deity.
81 Non Furius, sed plane furiosus.
83 Terricolas. Another reading is terriculas, bugbears.
84 Pergula. The word properly means a projection attached to a house. Apelles is said to have placed his pictures in such an adjunct, and to have concealed himself behind them, that he might hear the comments of persons passing by.
85 Cithaeron, from "cithara," a lyre.
86 Didymus. A celebrated Alexandrian grammarian, a follower of the school of Aristarchus. He is distinguished from other grammarians who bore the name of Didymus, by the surname Chalcenteros, which he is said to have received from his unwearied diligence in study. Among his productions, which are all lost, was one on the Homeric poems. He also wrote a commentary on Pindar, to which allusion is made in the text. See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography.
87 Cf. Virg., Aeneid, v. [verse 718].
88 Theophilus was bishop of Antioch in the latter part of the second century. He was originally a heathen, and was converted to Christianity, as he tells us, by the reading of the Scriptures. [See vol. ii. pp. 87 and 120, this series.]
89 De Temporibus. Among the extant works of Theophilus there is not any with this title, but his work to Autolycus contains an apology for Christianity in three books. It is to this that Lactantius here refers.
90 Abnepos, son of a great-grandchild.
91 Pronepotes, great-grandsons.
1 [See Tertullian, vol. iii. p. 176, this series.]
2 Nomen. Another reading is numen, deity.
3 It was a custom among the heathen nations to crown the images of the gods with garlands of flowers.
4 The allusion is to the upright attitude of man, as compared with other created beings. The argument is often used by Lactantius.
5 This sentence is omitted in some editions.
6 Ovid, Metamorphosis [book i. 85.
Os homini sublime dedit: coelumque tueri
Jussit, et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus].
7 The allusion is to the supposed derivation of the word a!nqrwpoj, from a0na\, tre/pw, w!y, to turn the face upwards.
8 The word temples is not here applied to the buildings which the faithful set apart for the worship of God, but to the places used by the heathens for their rites and sacrifices. [For three centuries templa was the word among Christians for the idolatrous places.] That buildings were set apart by Christians from the earliest ages for their religious assemblies, is gathered from the express testimony of Tertullian, Cyprian, and other early writers. They were called ecclesiae; churches, not temples. [For kuriako\n, dominicum, basilica, etc., see Bingham, book viii. cap i. sec. 2.]
9 The heathens thought that the souls of the unburied dead wandered about on the earth, until their remains were committed to the tomb.
10 The words simulacrum, "an image," and similitudo, "a likeness" or "resemblance," are connected together through the common root similis, "like."
11 Materia is especially used in the sense of wood or timber.
12 Stipem jaciunt, "they throw a coin." The word properly means a "coin," money bearing a stamped impression; hence stipendium "soldiers' pay."
13 Fucus, "colouring juice;" hence anything not genuine, but artificial. Others read succum, "juice."
14 Persius, Satire 2d, 6. Lactantius uses the testimony of heathen writers against the heathen.
15 Or wallow-"voluto."
16 Ludicra, "diversions." The word is applied to stage-plays.
17 Adjudicavit, adjudged, made over. Cf. Hor., Ep., 1. 18: "Et, si quid abest, Italis adjudicat armis."
18 Fill up and complete the outline which he has conceived.
19 Lactantius charges Cicero with want of courage, in being unwilling to declare the truth to the Romans, lest he should incur the peril of death. The fortitude with which Socrates underwent death, when condemned by the Athenians, is related by Xenophon and Plato.
20 Lactantius here follows Plato, who placed the essence of man in the intellectual soul. The body, however, as well as the soul, is of the essence of man; but Lactantius seems to limit the name of man to the higher and more worthy part. [Rhetorically, not dogmatically.]
21 Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, vi. 5. ["Premunt ad terram."]
22 Lucretius, v. 1197.
23 Odor quidam sapientiae.
24 Rom. i. 22; "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."
25 The apostle teaches the same, Rom. i. 19-21.
26 Divini sacramenti. 1 Cor. ii. 7: "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery."
27 1 Cor ii. 14: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him;, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
28 [2 Pet. iii. 16. Even among believers such perils exist.]
29 [De Natura Deorum, lib. i. [cap. 32. Quam falsa convincere].
30 Horat., 1 Serm. 8. 1.
31 The wood of the fig-tree is proverbially used to denote that which is worthless and contemptible.
32 The Georgics, which are much more elaborately finished than the other works of Virgil.
33 Priapus was especially worshipped at Lampsacus on the Hellespont; hence he is styled Hellespontiacus.
34 Compositum jus, fasque animi. Compositum jus is explained as "the written and ordained laws of men;" fas, "divine and sacred law." Others read animo, "human and divine law settled in the mind."
35 Persius, Sat., ii. 73.
36 Pupae, dolls or images worn by girls, as bulloe were by boys. On arriving at maturity, they dedicated these images to Venus. See Jahn's note on the passage from Persius.