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BIBLIOTECA DELL’OFFICINA DI STUDI MEDIEVALI

16.2
Religion in the History
of European Culture
Proceedings of the 9th EASR Annual Conference
and IAHR Special Conference, 14-17 September 2009, Messina (Italy)

edited by
Giulia Sfameni Gasparro - Augusto Cosentino - Mariangela Monaca

2013
Il volume è pubblicato con il contributo dell’Università degli Studi di Messina.

Religion in the History of European Culture : Proceedings of the 9th EASR Annual
Conference and IAHR special Conference, 14-17 September 2009, Messina (Italy) /
edited by Giulia Sfameni Gasparro, Augusto Cosentino, Mariangela Monaca. – Palermo :
Officina di Studi Medievali, 2013.
ISBN 978-88-6485-050-4 (Intera opera)
(Biblioteca dell’Officina di Studi Medievali ; 16.2)
1. Religione – Europa – Atti di Convegno – Messina - 2009
I. Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia
II. Cosentino, Augusto
III. Monaca, Mariangela
291.1 CDD-21
ISBN 978-88-6485-073-3 (vol. 2)

Cip: Biblioteca dell’Officina di Studi Medievali

I saggi qui pubblicati sono stati sottoposti a “Peer Review” / The essays published here have been “Peer Reviewed”

Collana diretta da:


Armando Bisanti, Olivier Boulnois, José Martinez Gasquez, Alessandro Musco, Luca Parisoli, Salva-
dor Rus Rufino, Christian Trottmann, Pere Villalba i Varneda.

Copyright © 2013 by Officina di Studi Medievali


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Ogni diritto di copyright di questa edizione e di adattamento, totale o parziale, con qualsiasi mezzo è
riservato per tutti i Paesi del mondo. È vietata la riproduzione, anche parziale, compresa la fotocopia,
anche ad uso interno o didattico, non autorizzata dall’editore.

Prima edizione, Palermo, aprile 2013


Stampa: FOTOGRAF – Palermo
Grafica editoriale: Alberto Musco
Editing redazionale: Giuliana Musotto
Index

Giulia Sfameni Gasparro


Easr Conference. Introduction ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... XVII

Gherardo Gnoli (Presidente SIRS)


Saluto ai Congressisti... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . XXXI

Lista autori... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .XXXIII

Session 1
“Religious Europe” in the Mediterranean context: between Asia
and Africa. Contacts and influences / “Europa religiosa” nel con-
testo mediterraneo: tra Asia e Africa. Contatti e influenze... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 1

A1) Antiquity / Antichità... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 1

Pia De Simone
Le opere straordinarie e la divinità: il rapporto tra ta; daimovnia e la
qeiovteς nel paganesimo e cristianesimo antico alla luce del Contra Celsum... . .. . .. . 3

Carlo Donà
La cerva cornuta... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . ..23

Giorgio Ferri
The Bond between Rome and Its Gods.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 39

Mariangela Monaca
Ugo Bianchi ed il metodo storico-comparativo: note di religione
greca e romana ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .61

Rita Rescigno
Note preliminari allo studio degli dèi domestici: Penates e Lares... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . ..81

Sergio Ribichini
Religione fenicia e Storia delle religioni: una lunga stagione di studi .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 97
VIII Index

Pietro Mander
Hekate’s roots in the Sumerian-Babylonian Pantheon According to
the Chaldean Oracles ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 115

Carlo Santaniello
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 133

Emilio Suárez de la Torre


La religión en el espacio de la cultura griega: la multifuncionalidad de Apolo... . 147

Chiara Terranova
La religione come elemento unificante nei rapporti tra popoli e cul-
ture: alcune osservazioni su tre aspetti del mito e del culto anfiareo... . .. . .. . .. . .. . 159

Ina Wunn & Davina Grojnowski


The Religion of Ancient Malta – an Evolutionary Approach... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 173

A2) Late Antiquity / Età tardo-antica... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 185

Vincenzo Aiello
Conflitti religiosi nell’Africa vandala nelle pagine della Historia
persecutionis Africanae provinciae ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 187

Concetta Aloe Spada


Conversione e miracoli nella letteratura cristiana apocrifa... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 201

Rosalba Arcuri
Vescovi e barbari dinanzi alla crisi dell’impero: Orienzio e la Gallia
del V secolo... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 211

Maria Antonietta Barbàra


Prospero di Aquitania e la sua conoscenza della lingua greca... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 231

Rossana Barcellona
Ebrei e cristiani così vicini così lontani. Alcuni aspetti della norma-
tiva antigiudaica occidentale nella tardo-antichità... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 241

Elena Caliri
Gregorio Magno e l’Africa... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 257
Index IX

Augusto Cosentino
Le origini dello gnosticismo: a quarant’anni dal Congresso di Messina (1966). 267

Lietta De Salvo
Teoderico e la “tolleranza” religiosa.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 283

David W. Kim
Thomasine Community and Its Textualization in Late Antiquity.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 293

Claudia Neri
Ai primordi dell’Europa: il movimento monastico. Alcune conside-
razioni generali su modelli e funzioni... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 311

Teresa Sardella
Ebrei e cristiani tra somiglianze e dissimiglianze: cibo e sesso nelle
prime decretali ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 319

Giovanni Tosetti
Il valore teologico della bellezza poetica: la proposta di Gregorio
Nazianzeno fra innovazione e tradizione... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 341

Marco Toti
Alcune osservazioni sul lessico e la prassi ascetica in ambito cristia-
no-orientale e stoico... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 357

B) Middle Ages / Medioevo... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 369

Giuseppe Allegro
Fede, rivelazione, teologia in Pietro Abelardo... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 371

Luciano Catalioto
Monachesimo greco e Chiesa latina nella Sicilia normanna: labora-
torio culturale e sperimentazione politica .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 383

Vincenzo M. Corseri
Nicola Cusano e Guillaume Dufay, ovvero l’armonia come dottrina.
Note per una comparazione tra pensiero religioso e musica nella pri-
ma metà del XV secolo .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 397
X Index

Fabio Cusimano
Il monachesimo benedettino come fattore unificante per l’Europa
altomedievale ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 407

Paola D’Aiello
Una riflessione sulle Wªridªt wa Ṭaqdīsªt di SohravardÌ, tra neopla-
tonismo e zoroastrismo .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 417

Salvatore D’Agostino
L’Expositio super Apocalypsi di Arnau de Vilanova ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 425

Nuccio D’Anna
I monaci Culdei d’Irlanda .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 439

Carla Del Zotto


Dalla religione all’identità nazionale: i popoli del Nord ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 453

Saverio Guida
Il punto su trovatori e catarismo... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 469

Britt Istoft
Medieval Catharism as a Mediterranean Phenomenon?... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 481

Pekka Tolonen
False prophets and corrupt Clergy. Drawing the Boundary of Sacred
in the Early Thirteenth Century Southern France .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 493

C) Modern Ages / Età moderna ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 503

Carmelina Gugliuzzo
Popular Forms of Religious Association in Malta during Modern Age... . .. . .. . .. . 505

Pietro Ioly Zorattini


Conversioni di «infedeli» a Venezia tra la fine della Repubblica ari-
stocratica e l’inizio della Restaurazione... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 519

Raffaele Manduca
Due centri una periferia. Strutture ecclesiastiche e dinamiche istitu-
zionali nella Sicilia spagnola ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 533
Index XI

Maria Luisa Tobar


Il teatro come addottrinamento religioso: il caso della Madonna del-
la Lettera di Añorbe y Corregel ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 543

D) Contemporary Age / Età contemporanea ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 557

Xicoténcatl Martínez-Ruiz
Entering the Heart (hṛdayam): Soteriology, sacred texts, and beco-
ming a temple of bliss in Abhinavagupta’s Mālinī-vārttika ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 559

Fabio Mora
Protestantesimo europeo e protestantesimo americano ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 571

Olga Breskaya
Christian Tradition and Contemporary Practice in Eastern Ortho-
doxy: How Human Values talk about Religion.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 583

Daniela Dumbravă
Theology and History of Religions in the Middle East.
A Brief Account: Fr. André Scrima, spiritual and peace mediator in
Libanon (1970-1980) ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 597

VOLUME 2

Session 2
The History of the “History of Religions” / La storia della “Storia
delle Religioni”.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 611

A) A European “invention”? / Una “invenzione” europea?... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 611


B) Reflections on the religious phenomenon and theories of culture /
Riflessioni sul fenomeno religioso e teorie della cultura... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 611

Leo Lestingi
Secolarizzazione e deprivatizzazione della religione: il contributo di
Peter L. Berger ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 613

Tiina Mahlamäki
The Reception of Emanuel Swedenborg in Finnish Newspapers in
the 19th Century .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 621
XII Index

C) Methodologies and theories on the origin and nature of religion:


the contribution of European culture and the current scientific de-
bate / Metodi e teorie sull’origine e sulla natura della religione: il
contributo della cultura europea e l’odierno dibattito scientifico... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 631

Liviu Damian
The Cognitive and the Existential Dimension of Theology and Hi-
storiography and its Societal Implications in the Post-modern Epi-
stemological Dilemma ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 633

Rosella Faraone
Religione e filosofia nel pensiero di Giovanni Gentile .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 645

Giusi Furnari Luvarà


Filosofia e religione nel pensiero di Benedetto Croce: una linea di lettura ... ... ... 661

Anita Stasulane
The Creating of Rituals: the Ritualized Behaviour of Theosophists ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . 673

Session 3
Meetings and conflicts between peoples and cultures: the role of re-
ligions in the European scenario. From Antiquity to the present day
/ Incontri e scontri tra popoli e culture: il ruolo delle religioni nello
scenario europeo. Dall’antichità ai nostri giorni.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 687

Edgar da Silva Gomes - Elton de Oliveira Nunes


Storia delle religioni in Brasile: Un panorama dell’influenza politi-
co-culturale europea... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 689

Ney de Souza
L’influsso della religione europea nella cultura brasiliana. Dalla reli-
gione magica alla religione critica ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 697

Salvatore Drago
Protestantesimo liberale e cattolicesimo conservatore? Il ruolo del-
le religioni per la formazione del pensiero economico nell’Europa
in età moderna... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 709
Index XIII

Sarah Ljubibratic
Jewish Slaves in the Mediterranean Sea in the context of the Roman
Inquisition in Malta (XVI-XVIIIth Centuries) .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 725

Andrei Oişteanu
Christians versus Jews in Central-Eastern Europe. Stereotypes and
accusations: from deicide to ritual infanticide ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 735

Barbara Sturnega
La missione profetica di San Francesco per il mondo musulmano: la
vita e le opere dell’islamologo italiano Padre Giulio Basetti Sani... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 751

Session 4
Europe: centre for the “diffusion” of religious traditions and pole
of “attraction”. From Antiquity to the present day / Europa: centro
per la “diffusione” delle tradizioni religiose e polo di “attrazione”.
Dall’antichità ai nostri giorni... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 761

Andrea Borella
Il Destino Americano di una Religione Europea: gli Amish.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 763

Giovanna Costanzo
Le radici cristiane dell’Europa in Paul Ricoeur... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 775

Shemsi Krasniqi
Ancient Beliefs in Modern Times – The Case of Kosovo ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 783

Lucrezia Lorenzini
Antigiudaismo religioso e antigiudaismo politico-sociale tra
silenzio e memoria futuri ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 793

Cesare Magazzù
Paolo VI e l’Europa... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 805

Lucrezia Piraino
Rahel Varnaghen: il paradosso dell’identità ebraica nei salotti
illuministici berlinesi ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 817
XIV Index

Session 5
Religion: Art and Archeology / Religione: Arte e Archeologia ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 825

Giancarlo Germanà Bozza


Le aree sacre presso i porti nelle città della Sicilia orientale... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 827

Lorenzo Guzzardi - Filippa Marchese - Simona Sirugo


Palazzolo Acreide (SR) – Chiesa Madre di San Nicolò. La
ricerca archeologica nella Chiesa di San Nicolò; nuovi dati
sulla tradizione religiosa... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 839

Valeria Kosiakova
Reconsidering St. Basil’s Cathedral Architecture: Between
Asia and Europe... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 849

Panel 9
From One Side to the Other of the Mediterranean Sea in Late Antiq-
uity: Religious Traditions in Comparison / Da una sponda all’altra
del Mediterraneo nella Tarda Antichità: tradizioni religiose a confronto... . .. . .. . 855

Ennio Sanzi - Carla Sfameni


Introduzione ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 857

Angela Maria Mazzanti


Il lovgoı nell’uomo. Questioni antropologiche nelle opere
sulla creazione di Filone di Alessandria... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 861

Ilaria Ramelli
Bardaisan as a Christian Philosopher: A Reassessment of His Christology .. . .. . .. 873

Maria Vittoria Cerutti


‘Le vie’ o ‘la via’? Tra identità nazionali e prospettive univer-
salistiche nel paganesimo tardoantico... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 889

Luther H. Martin
The Mithraic Diaspora and the Continuity of Cult Identity,
from Second to Fourth Century AD... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 911
Index XV

Panayotis Pachis
The Use of Felicitas and Aeternitas in the Coins of the Roman
Empire: The Case of Isis/Sarapis Cult ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 923

Carla Sfameni
Immagini e identità religiose tra pagani e cristiani nella Tarda
Antichità: la documentazione di domus e ville .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 941

Anna Multari
La componente magica nei papiri magico-medicali copti ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 963

Ennio Sanzi
Spigolature storico-religiose su testimonianze in lingua copta
relative agli dèi egiziani ed alla magia... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 971

Panel 10
Mysteries, Dionysism, Orphism: analogies, tangencies and differences
/ Misteri, Dionisismo, Orfismo: tra analogie, tangenze e differenze ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . 983

Concetta Giuffré Scibona


Introduzione ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 985

Alberto Bernabé
Novità sul Papiro di Derveni.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. 999

Paola Corrente
Paralleli di Dioniso con le divinità del Vicino Oriente .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 1011

Richard Gordon
On Typologies and History: “Orphic Themes” in Mithraism ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .1023

Ana I. Jiménez San Cristóbal


Novità nelle laminette orfiche... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . ..1049

Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui


Cristianizzazioni critiche e moderne dell’orfismo: l’omofobia sacramentale ... .1063

Francesco Massa
I rapporti tra Dioniso e il Cristianesimo nella storiografia reli-
giosa europea (XIX – XX sec.).. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 1073
XVI Index

Panel 15
History of religions as comparative history: West, the Other and the
origin of the religious fact / Storia delle religioni come storia com-
parata: il mondo occidentale, l’altro e l’origine del fatto religioso.. . .. . .. . .. . .. . 1095

Marcello Massenzio – Paolo Scarpi


Introduzione ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .1097

Chiara Cremonesi
Religioni e conflitti: la comparazione oggi tra strategie retoriche e
prospettiva storico-religiosa... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .1099

Marcello Massenzio - Andrea Alessandri


La verità del mito: materiali per un confronto tra Raffaele Pettazzoni
e Ernesto De Martino ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . ..1109

Rachela Permenter
The Persistence of the White Man’s Indian and the Ungraspable
Religious Fact... . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . ..1117

Paolo Scarpi
Dalla Storia delle religioni alle Scienze delle religioni: dal metodo al
contenitore�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������1133

Paolo Taviani
‘Celtic’ religion in the studies of Raffaele Pettazzoni and Angelo
Brelich: a problem of definition.��������������������������������������������������������������������������1145
Carlo Santaniello

An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115

As a preliminary statement, the author is ready to acknowledge that he is no orientalist; and, of course,
he is persuaded that, although there is evidence that Enuma Elish was known to Eudemus, a famous
disciple of Aristotle’s, this can be no justification for supposing that the story of the downgrading of
one or more daimones in Empedocles B115 Diels-Kranz, ensuing to a mysterious crime and a perjury,
should even indirectly derive from the Akkadian myth of the making of man out of the killing of a god.
In fact, not only there is no proof or clue that Empedocles knew Enuma Elish in any form a century
or more before Eudemus, but, even if it were shown that he did, the myth included in the Babylonian
poem is different from the story of the fall of the daimones narrated by the great man from Akragas. It
might be added that comparison with the story told in another, older Akkadian poem, Atrahasis, is also
possible up a certain degree. So – one might ask – what is the use of comparing Empedocles’ tale in
B115 with Enuma Elish?

1. Introduction: Two Kinds of Comparisons

As a preliminary statement, the author is ready to acknowledge that he is not


orientalist; and, of course, he is persuaded that, although there is evidence that the
Enuma Elish1 epic was known to Eudemus, a famous disciple of Aristotle2, this could
be no justification at all for supposing that the story of the downgrading of one or
more daimones in Emp. fr. 115, ensuing to a mysterious crime and a perjury, should
even indirectly derive from the Akkadian myth of the making of man out of the kil-
ling of a god3. In fact, not only is there no proof or clue that Empedocles knew Enu-
ma Elish in any form more than a century before Eudemus, but the myth included
in the Babylonian work is different from the story of the daimon’s fall narrated by

1
On Enuma Elish see below and note 16.
2
Eudemus fr. 150, p. 70, 20-26 (ed. Wehrli). Tauqev and ∆Apaswvn clearly recall Tiamat and
Apsu. The knowledge of Enuma Elish by Eudemus is accepted by Burkert 1999a, 16-17, and Casadio
1999; whereas Talon 2001, 273 is not sure that Eudemus was Damascius’ source.
3
However, Enuma Elish has been more than once compared with Greek epic: Philippson 1936,
3-6 makes a very quick comparison between Enuma Elish and Hesiod’s Theogony concerning the fight
among divine generations; and Burkert 1999a, 14 ff. refers to some remarkable affinities between Greek
epic and Near Eastern works such as Enuma Elish and Atrahasis. On Atrahasis see below and note 22.
134 Carlo Santaniello

the philosopher from Akragas: apart from the uncertainty as to whether the tale told
by Empedocles should be considered “a traditional tale” (as sounds the definition of
myth worked out by G. S. Kirk and accepted by W. Burkert4), the main discrepancies
are that in the Near-Eastern myth blood is cut off from a guilty god, who is regarded
as a rebel, whereas in Empedocles the guilt lies with the blood-spilling god; and that
in Enuma Elish there is no metempsychosis and wandering from the lowest condi-
tion (a stone) to the highest (man, before becoming a god again) as in Empedocles,
but the god Qingu is killed (or, better said, executed) once and for all, in order that
man may be made out of the god’s blood. It might be added that comparison with the
story told in another, older, Akkadian composition, Atrahasis, is also possible up to
a certain degree.
So, what is the use of comparing Empedocles’ tale in fr. 115 with Enuma
Elish? One might very well feel puzzled and dissatisfied, if one admits of making
comparisons only between two areas where the same belief or ritual is to be percei-
ved owing to the influence of an area on the other. But, in my opinion, also compari-
sons showing that the same belief is shared in two different areas and epochs without
any mutual influence – for instance, the idea that blood-spilling may start the world,
or life in the world – may be interesting, and teach us something on either or both
such cultures5. In the last section of the present paper I will point to all the reasons
making a comparison appear interesting to me in the particular case I am taking into
consideration here.

2. Empedocles fr. 115 Bollack: gods who spill blood, commit perjury, and are
downgraded

It is worthwhile to begin my discussion by recalling the text of fr. 115 accor-


ding to one of its most recent editors, J. Bollack6:

4
Kirk 1970, 13-41, and 1974, 38; Burkert 1979, 1-34, and 1999b, 87.
5
It has been recently underlined by Sørensen 2005, 467 that «even if attempting to understand re-
ligious phenomena in their localised cultural and historical context is a laudable endeavour, this cannot be
the sole purpose of the scientific study of religion. We need to address the universal questions raised above
[i. e. universality of religion and recurrence of religious phenomena]...». As to the idea that blood-spilling
may start the world, or life in the world, cf. Vernant 1979, 17: «... les mythes grecs de souveraineté... po-
sent des problèmes généraux sur les rapports du pouvoir et de l’ordre, à instituer, à conserver – du pouvoir
et du désordre, comme si pour fonder l’ordre il était nécessaire de le dépasser, de s’intégrer la puissance de
ce qui lui est antérieur, du primordial et du chaotique»; and Briquel 1990, 175: «... l’apparition d’un ordre
au sein d’un univers qui vivait en marge de tout ordre, de la civilisation dans un monde jusque là sauvage,
ne se fait pas sans violence, sans un certain mal». See also note 38 below.
6
Bollack 2003, 60 ff. I offer my own English translation here as elsewhere in this paper, as far
as Greek sources are concerned:
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 135

e[sti ti ∆Anavgkhς crῆma, qeῶn yhvfisma palaiovn,


ajivdion, platevessi katesfrhgivsmenon o{rkoiς:
eu\tev tiς ajmplakivh/si fovnw/ fivla guῖa mihvnh/,
o}ς kai; ã ... Ã ejpivorkon aJmarthvsaς ejpomovssh/,
daivmoneς oi{ te makraivwnoς lelavcasi bivoio, 5
trivς min murivaς w|raς ajpo; makavrwn ajlavlhsqai,
fuomevnouς pantoῖa dia; crovnon ei[dea qnhtῶn
ajrgalevaς biovtoio metallavssonta keleuvqouς.
aijqevrion me;n gavr sfe mevnoς povntonde diwvkei,
povntoς d∆ ejς cqono;ς ou\daς ajpevptuse, gaῖa d∆ ejς aujga;ς 10
hjelivou faevqontoς: oJ d∆aijqevroς e[mbale divnaiς:
a[lloς d∆ejx a[llou devcetai, stugevousi de; pavnteς.
th;n kai; ejgw; nῦn ei\mi, fuga;ς qeovqen kai; ajlhvthς,
neivkei mainomevnw/ pivsunoς.

It is hardly necessary to mention that this beautiful fragment is one of the most
widely discussed passages in Greek literature and philosophy, as to the text, the po-
sition in Empedocles’ works, and the meaning of each line and of the whole concer-
ning fundamental questions like the nature of the daimon, the relationship between
it and the elements, and the compatibility of Empedocles’ physics with daimonology
and metempsychosis. The obvious interpretation is that a daimon is describing its

«It is an oracle of Necessity, an ancient decree of the gods,


eternal and sealed by wide-ranging oaths,
that, whenever one, by fault, taints his limbs with blood,
committing perjury in addition to such fault,
– it’s demons who are granted a long-lasting life –
these rove away from the blessed for thrice ten thousand seasons,
in the course of time being born as all forms of mortal beings,
exchanging the painful paths of life.
The force of aether drives them into the sea;
the sea spits them out onto the earth; and the earth to the rays
of the shining sun; and this throws them into the whirls of aether:
one receives them from another, but they all hate them.
This way I too am now about to go, an exile from the gods, and a vagrant,
trusting in mad Strife».
I cannot dwell on the passage from the singular to the plural at ll. 3-8 of the Greek text here. I
have dealt with many aspects of this fragment elsewhere: see Santaniello 2009 and 2010. Here I bound
myself to mention that the reading e[sti ti ∆Anavgkhς crῆma, ktl. – preserved by Plutarch and de-
fended by Wilamowitz 1935, 483, but refuted by DK (who write e[stin ∆Anavgkhς crῆma, ktl.) – was
rightly taken up by Bollack 1969, III, 1, 151 and 2003, 60, and is accepted by Gain 2007, 125; Picot
2007, 42 (but this author goes back to the DK reading in 2008, 9); Rashed 2008, 31. Gemelli II, 2009,
288 follows DK on this issue. On the text of fr. 115 see also below note 8. A quick analysis of the myth
of the fall of the daimon (and of the soul in Plato) can be found in Nicolai 1981.
136 Carlo Santaniello

fated journey through time, nature and multifarious subsequent incarnations. Whe-
ther such daimon be the one who is incarnated in Empedocles at the time when the
story is narrated or not, this should not trouble me now – though I feel inclined to
answer this question in the affirmative. I’d rather concentrate on the first part of the
fragment, whose text is partially corrupt.
I shall offer the explanation which I regard as the most likely – and which I
also believe to be the one expressly or tacitly accepted by most Empedocles scholars.
Before life appeared in the world, the gods lived in a community subjected to a law
fixed by the oracle of necessity and enacted by an ancient (that is, timeless) decree
of the gods themselves; such law provides that, in case any god should spill the blo-
od of any of his brethren and add perjury to such violent crime (perhaps, by falsely
swearing not to have committed that violence)7, such god, downgraded to the status
of a daimon, should undergo a thirty-thousand-season long period of punishment in-
carnating itself in (that is, giving life to) an almost unending series of “mortal things”
(qnhtav in Empedocles’ words), ranging from stone to man, and then to man of the
most outstanding condition (cp. frs. 117; 125; 126; 127; 128; 137.1; 146; 147 from
Bollack’s Purifications).

3. Fovnw/ or fovbw/?

The analysis of the beginning of Emp. fr. 115 requires dealing with a textual
question on which I should like to dwell a little. M. R. Wright, in her edition of the
Acragantine philosopher published in 1981, and, more recently, a number of scholars
(J. N. Bremmer, R. Gagné, J.-C. Picot, G. Campbell, M. Rashed) have proposed on
various grounds to read fovbw/ instead of fovnw/ at fr. 115.3. In my opinion, none of
such grounds is persuasive8. Mistaking n for b was an apparently rather common

7
A very different interpretation of perjury in Empedocles is now proposed by Picot 2008, 30 ff.
8
Wright 1981, 272-273 apparently thinks that a god makes a mistake from fear (fovbw/), the-
reby metaphorically (?) polluting himself. In his turn, Bremmer 2002, 14, and 141 nn33-34 tries to
defend the reading fovbw/, by maintaining that fovnw/ «does not fit with Empedocles’ system» – which is
obviously absurd, if one takes into account frs. 121 (where Fovnoς is the first of the Kῆreς), 136.1 (ouj
pauvsesqe fovnoio dushcevoς, “will you not give up ill-sounding murder?”) and 137 (against bloody
sacrifice), and Plutarch’s De esu carnium. Gagné 2006 aptly acknowledges the arguments in favour
of the reading fovnw/, but he alleges that even a feeling like fear can be a means of contamination, as
shown by tragedy and the mysterical practices. Anyway, neither this scholar nor the other supporters
of fovbw/ explain what the daimon should be afraid of; what relationship there might be between conta-
mination caused by fear and perjury (that is, what the daimon should swear falsely about in this case);
and how supposed contamination by fear could start such complex processes as life and history. Picot
2007 (cf. 2008, 9) maintains that fovbw/ should be accepted in the sense of “flight caused by fear”, and
offers interesting references to Aeschylus, but – as already said – it is not clear what the daimon should
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 137

error among copyists9. But, even leaving this apart, the obvious correction of the rea-
ding transmitted min into mihvnh/ at the same line suggests a meaningful link between
“contamination” (referred to by the verb mihvnh/) and “blood-spilling” (fovnw/)10. Be-
side textual considerations, two other reasons at least advise me to prefer Stephanus’
conjecture fovnw/ to the reading fovbw/.
The first one is that the blood-spilling by the daimon described in fr. 115 is,
so to speak, echoed by an analogous crime committed by men (not by daimones
this time) – and not before life was started on earth, but obviously after such begin-
ning. We know this circumstance from the tale told by Porphyry in a passage which
has preserved Emp. fr. 128 for us, and from Plutarch’s De esu carnium; both these
sources concern the change from a vegetarian to a meat-based diet, which occurred
in the remotest times of mankind11. So, I believe that P. Kingsley is right in maintai-

have been afraid of. Campbell 2008, 2-4 accepts the reading fovbw/ (as results from his translation of fr.
115) without providing any explanation, although he thinks that the crime referred to in fr. 115 «was of
slaughter and meat-eating». Lastly, some scholars – like Zuntz 1971, 253; Picot 2007, and others – find
it absurd to imagine gods inflicting wounds or committing murder or anthropofagy; but Apollo was
exiled on this earth like the Empedoclean daimon (A., Suppl. 214), because he had killed Python – ac-
cording to Plu., De def. orac., c. 15 – or the Cyclopes, after Zeus had killed Asclepius – according to E.,
Alc., 1 ff. It is remarkable that part of Emp., fr. 115.13 (fuga;ς qeovqen kai; ajlhvthς) evidently echoes
the line from the Supplices already mentioned (fugavd∆ajp∆oujranouς qevon, “a god exiled from the sky”):
see Gemelli II, 2009, 429. To this myth I should like to add the famous story of Uranus evirated by
Cronus (Hes., Th. 159 ff. with West 1966, 211 ff., who, among other things, refers to the castration of
Anu by Kumarbi in Hittite myth); the one about Pelops devoured at the table of the gods (cf. Pi., O.
1, 47 ff.; the sources which relate this tradition more explicitly are indicated by Ferrari 1998, 77 n32);
and the other one concerning Diomedes’ wounding of Aphrodite at the instigation of Athena (Hom., Il.
V,131 f.; 330 ff.), or that about Pallas’ wounding of Ares (ibid. 846 ff.); even heroes like Heracles can
wound gods such as Hera and Hades (ibid. 392 ff.); and a man, Teuthis, can inflict an injury on Athena
(Paus. VIII, 28, 46). Besides, I do not think that, from the point of view of myth, it makes any difference
where the scene of such crime lies (i.e. whether in this world or elsewhere).
9
On such confusion cf., for instance, Picot 2007, 45-46. Also Gagné 2006, 85 n6, another scho-
lar who supports the reading fovbw/, admits that «le passage du nu au beta et vice-versa dans la tradition
manuscrite est bien-sûr aisé d’un point de vue paléographique».
10
On the frequent association of fovnoς and miaivnw see D’Alfonso 2008, 15-16 and n47. The
reading fovnw/, accepted by most scholars, is approved of also by Gemelli II, 2009, 427, even though,
according to her, the daimon incurs in self-contamination in a completely different way: not by spilling
blood but by being incarnated.
11
Porph., De abst. II, 22 (I omit fr. 128): ...tῆς gᾶr oi\mai filivaς kai; tῆς peri; to; suggene;ς
afisqevsewς pavnta katecouvshς, oujqei;ς oujqe;n ejfovneuen oijkeῖa ei\nai nomivzwn ta; loipa; tῶn zwv/
wn. ejpei; de; “Arhς kai; Kudoimo;ς kai; pᾶsa mavch kai; polevmwn ajrch; katevscen, tovte prῶton
oujqei;ς oujqeno;ς o{lwς ejfeivdeto tῶn oijkeivwn («...as friendship and the feeling that each being is re-
lated to each other – I believe – dominated everything, nobody killed anything, as everyone regarded all
other animals as one’s own kindred. But, when Ares and Uproar and every kind of fight and opportunity
of war set in, then for the first time nobody spared none of his fellow creatures»). – Plu., De es. carn. I,
993E-F, p. 134 Inglese: tiv qaumastovn, eij zwv/wn ejcrhsavmeqa sarxi; para; fuvsin o{t ∆ilu;ς ejsqiveto
138 Carlo Santaniello

ning that we should recognize two distinct primordial guilts in Empedocles12.


The second reason for accepting the conjecture fovnw/ and the violent crime in
fr. 115 is that not only is the relationship between violent crime and perjury attested in
Empedocles, but also in many traditional tales both Greek and non-Greek. An exam-
ple of this relationship has been pointed to by H. Jacobson; this scholar called atten-
tion to the similarity between the Empedoclean guilty daimon and the biblical first
murderer Cain, who is a liar too13. Again, a mythical character like Ixion was the first
man to commit murder, by spilling the blood of a close relation of his, and he acted
through deception; then he wooed Hera, the wife of Zeus himself, who had opened his
house to him: violent crime and breach of faith are strongly connected with each other
also in this instance14. And this combination of a violent crime and deception occurs
also in the mythos narrated by Plutarch in his De sera numinis vindicta15.
So, what is remarkable in Emp. fr. 115 for my analysis is essentially the fact
that life originates from an act of blood-spilling.

4. The Enuma Elish tale: man created out of a delinquent god’s blood

Now I shall turn to Mesopotamia, and, more precisely, to an Akkadian work


currently referred to as The Epic of creation or Enuma Elish (which are the first two
words of this text: “When above...”). It is not easy to date the hymnic-epic dialect
in which it is written; the tablets which have preserved this composition date back

kai; Jfloio;ς ejbrwvqh xuvlou∆, kai; a[grwstin euJreῖn blastavnousan h] flewv tina rJivzan eujtuce;ς h\n…
(«What wonder, if we ate the flesh of animals against nature in times when mud was eaten and the bark
of wood devoured, and it was lucky to find some sprouting quitch-grass or the root of a rush?»). Some
pages onwards (I, 996 B-C), Plutarch speaks of murders, meat-eating, and cannibalism – a passage
which has been recalled by Picot 2007, 54 in order to emphasize – instead – the difference between the
world of the primitive man and the situation in the community of the gods (or Blessed ones).
12
Kingsley 2003, 365-366. Of course, this does not imply acceptance on my part of the two-
world theory with which Kingsley connects this statement and which I have refuted elsewhere. On the
distinction between «péché originel», committed by mankind at the beginning of its existence, and
«péché antécédent», previously committed by creatures superior to man, see Bianchi 1966.
13
Jacobson 2002.
14
According to Pi., P. 2.30 ff., Ixion is punished for two crimes: ... o{ti É ejmfuvlion ai|ma
prwvtistoς oujk a[ter É tevcnaς ejpevmeixe qnatoῖς, o{ti te megalokeuqevessin e[n pote qalavmoiς
É Dio;ς a[koitin ejpeirᾶto («... because he was the first to stain mortals – and not without malice – with
the blood of their fellow creatures; and because once he tempted Zeus’ wife in the great bed-chamber»).
Later, Hor., Ars 124 underlined this character’s disloyalty (perfidus Ixion).
15
At 566F Thespesius’ father is punished as guilty of poisoning some guests to death, in order to
lay his hands on their riches; he had since escaped detection till his death. On punishment of parricides
see Ar., Ra. 274 ff. and cf. Burkert 2009, 145-146 concerning both the Mesopotamian and the Greek
Beyond.
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 139

mainly to the first millennium BC, but indirect evidence shows that part at least of
the work might have been composed already in the second millennium16.
The text transmitted to us is mainly aimed at celebrating the greatness and
power of the god Marduk – an aim connected with the recitation which was apparen-
tly made of this composition at the New Year Festival17. Enuma Elish describes the
passage from the older divine world, dominated by brutal and ruthless figures such
as Apsu, god of the sweet water, and Tiamat, goddess of the salty water, to an orderly
world governed by the powerful but caring Marduk. Apsu’s evil plan to destroy the
youngest generation of gods guilty of disturbing his rest is stopped by Ea, god of
subterranean waters, who kills Apsu. Then Ea and his wife Damkina procreate Mar-
duk. Most gods side with Tiamat, who chooses Qingu as chief of her army, whereas
Marduk obtains command of the younger gods’ troops on the initiative of Anshar
(a nephew of Apsu and Tiamat’s) and Ea. Marduk takes Qingu prisoner; then he
overcomes Tiamat, and cuts her to pieces, making parts of the universe out of her – a
process which resembles the cutting up of the Vedic primeval divine man Purusha18.
The creation of man is introduced in the sixth tablet19: of course, the process
of reduction of the universe to order would not be complete, if the birth of mankind
were not narrated, and no explanation offered for the severe conditions of human
life. Marduk thinks up a way of preventing hostilities among the gods20. He creates
man in order to free the gods from labour; in fact, Ea, evidently acting in agreement
with Marduk, makes man out of the blood of the god Qingu, who is regarded as re-
sponsible for the war among the gods:
They [that is, the Igigi gods obeying to Marduk] bound him, holding him befo-
re Ea, / they inflicted the penalty on him and severed his blood-vessels. / From

16
The most recent English translation of Enuma Elish is the one by Lambert 2007, 15-59, which
is followed in the present paper. Another English translation is offered by Dalley 19912, 233-274 (the
text is very briefly adnotated on pp. 274-277; a quick review of the main questions is prefixed on pp.
228-232). Still useful the ample collection of texts offered by Pritchard 1969. A French translation is to
be found in Talon 2005, 79-108. This is no place to list works concerning research on eastern roots of
Greek culture; an introduction on Near-Eastern influences on Greek myth is offered by Penglase 1994,
to which a rich bibliography is appended. Other contributions will be quoted in the notes below.
17
On the god Marduk see the rich compendium by Lambert 1984; on the ritual recitation of the
Enuma Elish Lambert-Millard 1969, 7, and Talon 2001, 269.
18
On Purusha see below note 38.
19
VI, ll. 1 ff. Lambert: from now on I shall refer to the text of Enuma Elish by the Roman num-
ber of the tablet and the Arabic number of the line of the translation by Lambert 2007, 15-59.
20
This may be the sense of the rather sybilline expression to be read at VI, ll. 9-10 Lambert:
(Marduk is speaking) «I will skilfully alter the organization of the gods: / though they are honoured as
one, they shall be divided into two». In other words, the fact that the newly-created human race will
sustain the hard toil previously endured by the class of the lesser gods will enable upper and lesser gods
not to wage war against one another, though the distinction between the two different classes will be
preserved.
140 Carlo Santaniello

his blood he (Ea) created mankind, / on whom he imposed the service of the
gods and set the gods free21.

5. The creation of man according Atrahasis

The Old-Babylonian version extant of Atrahasis dates back to around 1700


BC. Atrahasis means “extra-wise”. It is the story of the man who managed to save
himself from the Flood– a sort of Akkadian Noah, who had a forerunner in Sumerian
Ziusudra, whose name means “He found life”22.
First of all, the creation of man is described at the beginning of Atrahasis233.
The lower gods, exasperated with the hard work imposed on them, have rebelled
against the upper gods. The wise god Enki – ancient name of Ea, who plays an im-
portant role in Enuma Elish too – creates man with the help of the midwife goddess
Mami/Nintu, in order that man may shoulder the labour hereto sustained by the lo-
wer gods. The creation of man requires that one god be slaughtered: the one selected
is Geshtu-e, “a god who had intelligence”24, but no special reason for the choice is
given – it is not even sure that Geshtu-e is one of the rebel gods. Man is fashioned out
of the god’s flesh and blood with the addition of clay. More precisely, a “ghost” will
result out of the god’s flesh, “so as not to forget (the slain god)”25 – which means that
man resembles the slain god’s appearance; whereas human intelligence is apparently
produced out of the god’s blood26.

6. Necessity and destiny

I have dedicated just a few moments to the Atrahasis story of the creation of
man, where the killing-of-a-god motif is mixed with the origin of man from clay,
that is from the earth – a theme that has so many correspondences both in Oriental

21
VI, ll. 31-34 Lambert.
22
This information is taken from Dalley 19912, 1-8; a much more detailed introduction to this
text can be found in Lambert-Millard 1969, 1ff. On the creation of man in Atrahasis see also Moran
1970; Pettinato 1971, esp. 45-46; Seux 1987, esp. 56 ff.; Lambert 1991; Abusch 1998. – I shall refer to
Atrahasis by tablet and column, followed by the number of the page of Dalley’s translation.
23
I, col. 4, pp. 13-16 Dalley.
24
I, col. IV, p. 15 Dalley (36 n11).
25
I, col. IV, p. 16 Dalley.
26
This is the interpretation offered by Abusch 1998, 371: «The blood is the dynamic quality of
intelligence, and the flesh is the form of the body that is imposed on the clay».
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 141

cultures and in the classical world27.


But now it is time to go back to Enuma Elish. The war waged by two diffe-
rent groups of gods against one another in such epic is also, or mainly, a war for
the conquest of the so-called Tablet of destiny. This is never described in Enuma
Elish, but nevertheless it is rather easy to understand its purport by taking the sundry
occurrences of such expression (or of similar expressions) into account.When the
different parts of the world had not received their names yet, i. e. when they had
not distinguished themselves from each other yet, “no destinies were decreed”28. A
long time after such differentiation had taken place, Tiamat proclaimed Qingu chief
of her army engaged in war against the younger gods, and she entrusted the Tablet
of destiny to him29; obviously, possession of the Tablet of destiny ensures absolute
power: “Your order may not be changed; let the utterance of your mouth be firm”,
says Tiamat to Qingu30. On his part, as soon as Marduk captures Qingu, he wrests the
Tablet of destiny from him31. A god like Anshar may request that destiny be fixed in
favour of a god like Marduk, and, as a matter of fact, destiny is fixed by a council of
gods32. The substance of such power is anticipated to Marduk by the council of the
gods when he is about to go and fight against Tiamat: “We have given you kingship
over the sum of the whole universe”33.
The are two more points of interest for those who work on Empedocles. First,
the final consecration of Marduk’s power is granted by the council of the gods throu-
gh a collective oath sworn on water and oil34: this recalls the gods’ oath on the water
of Styx in Hesiod, a scene partially resumed in Emp. fr. 115.
The second point concerns the role of necessity. When Marduk cuts Tiamat to
pieces, he makes a part of the universe from each piece of her huge body. We learn
that at last, “he twisted her tail, tied it and wove it into the Durmah(u)” – the Dur-
mahu is the great cosmic bond which secures the heavens in place35. Confirmation
about the cosmic bond is provided by two of the fifty epithets bestowed on Marduk:

27
Just think, for instance, of the biblical tale of the creation of Adam, or the “birth” of the first
men from the earth in Empedocles and other presocratic authors, etc.
28
Enuma Elish I, l. 8 Lambert.
29
I, l. 157 Lambert.
30
II, l. 44 Lambert.
31
IV, ll. 119-122 Lambert.
32
III, ll. 1-10 and 129-138 Lambert.
33
IV, l. 14 Lambert.
34
«The great gods assembled, / They exalted the destiny of Marduk and did obeisance. / They
invoked a curse on themselves / And took an oath with water and oil, and put their hands to their throats.
/ They granted him the right to exercise kingship over the gods, / They confirmed him as lord of the gods
of heaven and netherworld» (Enuma Elish VI, ll. 95-100 Lambert). The act of touching one’s throat «is
attested as accompanying treaty oaths in the Old Babylonian period»: Dalley 19912, 276 n40.
35
Enuma Elish V, l. 59 Lambert. On the Durmahu see Horowitz 1998, 120, 125, 265.
142 Carlo Santaniello

he is “Gilima, who made the bond of the gods firm, who created stability, / A snare
that orverwhelmed them, who yet extended favours”, and he is “Lugaldurmah, king
of the bond of gods, lord of Durmahu”36. Now, it is remarkable that the “ample
oaths” mentioned by Empedocles seal up the decree of the gods, thus establishing
the destiny of guilty daimones – I have explained the significance of the oaths acting
as seals of necessity in Emp. fr. 115 elsewhere37.

7. The creation of man and the god/man relationship in Empedocles and in


Akkadian myth

I have already (§1) pointed to some differences between the story in Enuma
Elish and the daimon’s fall in Empedocles. It is time to answer the question which I
posed at the beginning: what is the use of making a comparison between two worlds so
different from each other as the Akkadian epos and Empedocles’ philosophical poetry?
First of all (as historians of religion know very well, but some Empedocles
scholars omit to consider), the spilling of divine blood is a way to start life witnessed
in myth also elsewhere38. It is good to stress this point, as the emendation of fovbw/
into fovnw/ in Emp. fr. 115.3 (dating back to Stephanus’ happy insight in the xvi cen-
tury, and indirectly supported by other fragments and witnesses) has been recently
put to question more than once.
Secondly, scholars are obviously right in comparing the punishment of the
delinquent god in Empedocles to the punishment of the perjured god in Hesiod’s
Theogony, but this leaves the spilling of blood in Empedocles with no safe corre-
spondence, as Hesiod just mentions e[riς kai; neῖkoς, “quarrel and strife”39, and we
cannot be sure that such hostility led up to violence. Enuma Elish, instead, provides
a story which deals with violence.

36
Enuma Elish VII, ll. 80-81 and 95 Lambert.
37
Santaniello 2010, 37-43.
38
This has been shown very clearly by Burkert 1999b, 100, who refers to the cosmic man Pu-
rusha and to the giant Ymir; see the case of Tiamat herself, which I have referred to a few lines above.
Also the myth of Dionysus, who was cut to pieces and eaten by the Titans, explains the origin of man
from such primordial fovnoς and wjmofagiva as man is the offspring of the Titans stricken by Zeus’
lightning. Very ample and interesting perspectives on this subject and other aspects touched upon by
the present paper (like the comparison between the dismembering of Tiamat and that of Purusha) are
offered by Grottanelli 1980, 1981, and 1988, 28-31.
39
Th. 782 ff.: Oppote e[riς kai; neῖkoς ejn ajqanavtoisin o[rhtai, É kai; rJ∆ o{stiς yeuvdhtai
∆Oluvmpia dwvmat∆ejcovntwn, É Zeu;ς dev te «Irin e[pemye qeῶn mevgan o{rkon ejneῖkai É thlovqen
ejn crusevh/ procovw/ poluwvnumon u{dwr ktl. («Whenever quarrel and strife arise among the immortals,
and anyone of those who inhabit the Olympus tells a lie, Zeus sends Iris to fetch the great oath of the
gods from a long distance, the famous water, in a golden bowl etc.»).
An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 143

Thirdly, and perhaps most important, the god’s crime has no connection wha-
tever with the origin of human life in Hesiod, whereas the start of life is the result
of the crimes committed (blood-spilling and perjury) according to Empedocles, and,
respectively, of the killing of the god Qingu according to Enuma Elish. And, howe-
ver different from each other the Akkadian myth and the story told in Emp. fr. 115
are as to inspiration and aims, both of them insist on the common origin of gods and
men, while explaining why evil is rooted so deep in human nature.

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