Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Heroic Dead in Agrippa?

I was hunting for the section of Agrippa's Three Books where he says that sometimes a spirit called by a name shows up, and sometimes another spirit (bearing the same name) also arrives. R.O. had shared it with me, like, forever ago and I wanted to add a blog entry to cement where in Agrippa the section was, as well as make sure I understood what he was talking about.

So I kept scrolling through his Third Book, looking for it. And then I found this:
After the Quires of the blessed spirits, the Animastical order is the next, which the Hebrew Theologians call Issim, that is, strong and mighty men; the Magicians of the Gentiles, call Heroes and Demi-gods, or [half] gods half men: whom Fulgentius, an Author not to be contemned, supposeth were so called, either because that for the meanness of their desert they are not judged worthy of Heaven, nor yet are accounted Terresterial for the reverence of Grace; of this kind in old time were Priapus, Hippo, Vertumnus; or because they being eminent in this life for divine vertues, and benefits for mankinde, after this mortal man put off, are translated into the quire of the blessed gods; alwayes providing for mortal men the same vertues and benefits which they long since had in this life: or because they were procreated from the secret seed of the superiors, whom they think were begotten by the mixture of Gods or Angels with men, & therefore obtaining a certain middle nature, so as they are neither Angels nor men: which opinion Lactantius also followeth; and there are even at this time those who have commerce and conjugall mixture with spirits; and all now believe that Merline, a British Prophet, was the son of a Spirit, and born of a virgin: and also they imagined, that Plato the Prince of wisdome was born of a virgin, impregnated by a phantasme of Apollo. And it is delivered in Histories, that certain women of the Gothes (which they call Alrumnæ) eminent both for beauty and ingenuity, long since at Filimire, or (as others say) at Idanthresie, going forth out of the tents of the King of the Gothes, wandred in the desarts [deserts] of Scythia in Asia beyond the Marshes of Meotis, and there being Impregnated by Fanni and Satyres, brought forth the first Hunni; more over Psellus is the Author, that Spirits sometimes cast forth seed, from the which certain little creatures arise: Therefore these Heroes have no less power in disposing and ruling these inferior things, than the Gods and angels, and have both their offices and their dignities distributed to them: and therefore to them no otherwise than to the Gods themselves were Temples, Images, Altars, Sacrifices, Vows, and other mysteries of religion dedicated. And their names invocated had divine and magical vertues for the accomplishing of some miracles: which thing Eusebius declareth that many tried by the invocation of the name of Apollonius of Tyana; and more of this kinde we read of, both in the Poets, and also in the Historians and Philosophers, concerning Hercules, Atlas, Aesculapius and the other Heroes of the Gentiles; but these are the follies of the Gentiles; but as concerning our holy Heroes we beleve that they excel in divine power, and that the soul of the Meschihæ doth rule over them (as the Theologians of the Jews also testify) that is Jesus Christ, who by divers of his Saints, as it were by members fitted for this purpose, doth administer and distribute divers gifts of his grace in these inferior parts, and every one of the Saints do enjoy a particular gift of working. Whence they being implored by us with divers prayers and supplications according to the manifold distribution of graces, every one doth most freely bestow their gifts, benefits, and graces on us much more readily, truly, & also more abundantly than the Angelical powers by how much they are nigher to us, and more allyed to our natures, as they who in times past were beth men, and suffered humane affections and infirmities; and their names, degrees and offices are more known to us; Therefore out of the number of these almost Infinite, there are twelve chief, viz. the twelve Apostles of Christ, who (as the evangelical truth saith) sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, who in the Revelations are distributed upon twelve foundations, at the twelve gates of the heavenly City, who rule the twelve Signs, and are sealed in the twelve pretious [precious] Stones, and the whole world is distributed to them; but their true names are these; the first éôëä ïéòîù Symehon Hacephi, this is Peter. The second éñòìà Alousi, whom we call Andrew. The third äá÷òé Jahacobah, this is James the greater. The fourth ùåôéìåô Polipos, whom we call Philip. The fift äéëøá Barachiah, this is Bartholomew. The sixt äðäåé Johanah, whom we name Iohn [John]. The seventh is éðîú Thamni, whom we call Thomas. The eighth is called ïåãî Medon, for whom we say Matthew. The ninth is á÷òé Jahacob, this is James the less. The tenth is àôéèë Catepha, that is Thadeus. The eleventh íàîù Samam, who is Simon the Canaanite. The twelfth äéúúî Matattiah, who is called Matthias. After these are the seventy two disciples of Christ, who also themselves do rule so many Quinaries of Heaven, & Tribes, People, Nations and Tongues. After whom is an Innumerable multitude of Saints, who also themselves have received divers Offices, Places, Nations and People into their protection and patronage, whose most apparent miracles at the faithfull prayers of those that Invocate them, we plainly see and confess.”

Fair enough, Agrippa. Fair enough. I'll continue my hunt through your works later.

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