blackpheonix wrote:Lol hey why don’t you tell that tonSaint Augusta of Hippo since he wrote about her specifically in rebuttles. It seems for all your long scholarly dissertation you can’t google Christian response to Hekate. But then again Christian mythology tends to have a blind eye to anything that doesn’t sit well with it. ..
Though just for argument (debate) sake i'd present a theory on how Porphyry is using Hecate in his Philosophy from Oracles (De Philosophia ex Oraculis Haurienda) and the exact Oracle from Hecate. Unfortunately we do not know exactly when it was written as it is debated if it was written at the beginning of his life or later part of his life. Either way his life time was c 234 A.D. to c 305 A.D. for reference.
First and for most though Porphyry is calling upon antiquity to give his writing authority and legitimacy. He speaks of judges or right minded people being responsible for putting people (Christ) to death as revealed by Apollo. Yet Apollo gives the idea of legitimacy to his idea of justice being the god of justice and one called upon in antiquity for justice and vengence. In that capacity he is calling back to Hellene lore and influence.
Yet he also uses Apollo as a figure to step back to Jewish history as a god of justice. Only in this instance through a fragment referencing the idea of God the Generator and how the deities themselves are afraid of the Father whom the holy Hebrews honor.
Apollo is both the voice of Porphyry's though and opinon but also the voice of antiquity. He is the long arm of historical justice, reason and legitimacy passed down through the ages. The connection that bridges the past to the present and touches upon the cultural and social mindset. What one might say is an appeal to the deeper historical deep history of the people and their roots.
However, great pain is taken to separate Christ (Jesus) from Christianity as a whole through the referenced fragments. Unfortunately all that can be done is speculate that this line of though continues through out the Oracles of Hecate. This separation of the man from the insitution will continue through Hecate's oracle revelation.
Yet Hecate by design is not an oracle goddess. So the inclusion of Apollo gives Hecate legitimacy as an oracle. It gives an impression of Delphi and perhaps even the Sybil of Rome itself. Perhaps even in the readers mind the suggestion that Apollo has bestowed that gift upon her.
In each instance Hecate basically acknowledges Christ (Jesus) as a most pious man. That his soul will be dowered with immortality after death. All aspect pertaining to Christ as an individual while separating the man from the religion and attempting to worship him. That even in worshipping him its created an error or evil gift.
So Hecate here is sort of following two strains of perspective. On one hand she is following the Platonic / Chaldean ideal of the individual and the body is always exposed to torments but the soul of the pious abide in heaven.
Yet there is also a second thread here. That is the thread that was ongoing in the very ranks of early Christianity at the time Porphyry wrote this. That is the ongoing issue of "Was Jesus man or was Jesus divine?" The very oracles given by Hecate do more to address this issue of Jesus' divinity than any other issue. A question that was in many was splitting the early church and would not be resolved until the First Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
By his rebuttal we probably can assume that Augustine fell into the Christ was Divine camp and Porphyry probably fell into the he was simply a man camp.
One could claim that Apollo and Hecate are used more for letigimacy and continuation to connect to historical memory than to be used as actual god and goddess. Hecate speaks more to current issues within the church and its dividing factors both within the author's mindset and beliefs than in Hecate's influence as a Chaldean / Platonic influence. Her presence from what little we have is more of a benefit to cultural and historical memory than anything else.
I grant that these conclusions are very suspect given the actual Oracle is lost and all that remains are a few reference lines. Lines that we have no preceding or following lines to put them into perspective to gauge what the author might have been trying to imply.
But I am willing to debate the conclusions