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The Divine Institutes - Lactantius

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Introductory Notice


preface.--of what great value the knowledge of the truth is and always has

Chap. i.-- of religion and wisdom.

Chap. II.--That there is a providence in the affairs of men.

Chap. III.--Whether the universe is governed by the power of one god or of many.

Chap. IV.--That the one god was foretold even by the prophets.

Chap. V.--Of the testimonies of poets and philosophers.

Chap. VI.--Of divine testimonies, and of the sibyls and their predictions.

chap. VII.--Concerning the testimonies of apollo and the gods.

Chap. viii.--that god is without a body, nor does he need difference of sex for procreation.

Chap. IX.--Of hercules and his life and death.

Chap. X.--Of the life and actions of Æsculapius, apollo, neptune, mars, castor and pollux, mercury and bacchus.

Chap. xi.--of the origin, life, reign, name and death of jupiter, and of saturn and uranus.

Chap. xii.--that the stoics transfer the figments of the poets to a philosophical system.

Chap. xiii.--how vain and trifling are the interpretations of the stoics respecting the gods, and in them concerning the origin of jupiter, concerning saturn and Ops.

Chap. xiv.--what the sacred history of euhemerus and ennius teaches concerning the gods.

Chap. xv.--how they who were men obtained the name of gods.

Chap. xvi.-- by what argument it is proved that those who are distinguished by a difference of sex cannot be gods.

Chap. xvii.--concerning the same opinion of the stoics, and concerning the hardships and disgraceful conduct of the gods.

Chap. xviii.--on the consecration of gods, on account of the benefits which they conferred upon men.

Chap. xix.--that it is impossible for any one to worship the true god together with false deities.

Chap. xx.--of the gods peculiar to the Romans, and their sacred rites.

Chap. xxi.--of certain deities peculiar to barbarians, and their sacred rites; and in like manner concerning the romans.

Chap. xxii.--who was the author of the vanities before described in italy among the romans, and who among other nations.

Chap. xxiii.--of the ages of vain superstitions, and the times at which they commenced.

Chap. i.--that forgetfulness of reason makes men ignorant of the true god,

Chap. ii.--what was the first cause of making images; of the true likeness of god, and the true worship of him.

Chap. iii.--that cicero and other men of learning erred in not turning away the people from error.

Chap. iv.--of images, and the ornaments of temples, and the contempt in which they are held even by the heathens themselves.

Chap. v.--that god only, the creator of all things, is to be worshipped, and not the elements or heavenly bodies; and the opinion of the stoics is refuted, who think that the stars and planets are gods.

Chap. vI.--that neither the whole universe nor the elements are god, nor are they possessed of life.

Chap. vii.--of god, and the religious rites of the foolish; of avarice, and the authority of ancestors.

Chap. viii.--of the use of reason in religion; and of dreams, auguries, oracles, and similar portents.

Chap. ix.--of the devil, the world, god, providence, man, and his wisdom.

Chap. X.--Of the World, and Its Parts, the Elements and Seasons.

Chap. XI.--Of Living Creatures, of Man; Prometheus, Deucalion, the ParcÆ.

Chap. XII.--That Animals Were Not Produced Spontaneously, But by a Divine Arrangement, of Which God Would Have Given Us the Knowledge, If It Were Advantageous for Us to Know It.

Chap. XIII.--Why Man is of Two Sexes; What is His First Death, and What the Second and of the Fault and Punishment of Our First Parents.

Chap. XIV.--Of Noah the Inventor of Wine, Who First Had Knowledge of the Stars, and of the Origin of False Religions.

Chap. XV.--Of the Corruption of Angels, and the Two Kinds of Demons.

Chap. XVI.--That Demons Have No Power Over Those Who are Established in the Faith.

Chap. XVII.--That Astrology, Soothsaying, and Similar Arts are the Invention of Demons.

Chap. XVIII.--Of the Patience and Vengeance of God, the Worship of Demons, and False Religions.

Chap. XIX.--Of the Worship of Images and Earthly Objects.

Chap. XX.--Of Philosophy and the Truth.

Chap. I.--A Comparison of the Truth with Eloquence: Why the Philosophers Did

Chap. II.--Of Philosophy, and How Vain Was Its Occupation in Setting Forth the Truth.

Chap. III.--Of What Subjects Philosophy Consists, and Who Was the Chief Founder of the Academic Sect.

Chap. IV.--That Knowledge is Taken Away by Socrates, and Conjecture by Zeno.

Chap. V.--That the Knowledge of Many Things is Necessary.

Chap. VI.--Of Wisdom, and the Academics, and Natural Philosophy.

Chap. VII.--Of Moral Philosophy, and the Chief Good.

Chap. VIII.--Of the Chief Good, and the Pleasures of the Soul and Body, and of Virtue.

Chap. IX.--Of the Chief Good, and the Worship of the True God, and a Refutation of Anaxagoras.

Chap. X.--It is the Peculiar Property of Man to Know and Worship God.

Chap. XI.--Of Religion, Wisdom, and the Chief Good.

Chap. XII.--Of the Twofold Conflict of Body and Soul; And of Desiring Virtue on Account of Eternal Life.

Chap. XIII.--Of the Immortality of the Soul, and of Wisdom, Philosophy, and Eloquence.

Chap. XIV.--That Lucretius and Others Have Erred, and Cicero Himself, in Fixing the Origin of Wisdom.

Chap. XV.--The Error of Seneca in Philosophy, and How the Speech of Philosophers is at Variance with Their Life.

Chap. XVI.--That the Philosophers Who Give Good Instructions Live Badly, by the Testimony of Cicero; Therefore We Should Not So Much Devote Ourselves to the Study of Philosophy as to Wisdom.

Chap. XVII.--He Passes from Philosophy to the Philosophers, Beginning with Epicurus; And How He Regarded Leucippus and Democritus as Authors of Error.

Chap. XVIII.--The Pythagoreans and Stoics, While They Hold the Immortality of the Soul, Foolishly Persuade a Voluntary Death.

Chap. XIX.--Cicero and Others of the Wisest Men Teach the Immortality of the Soul, But in an Unbelieving Manner; And that a Good or an Evil Death Must Be Weighed from the Previous Life.

Chap. XX.--Socrates Had More Knowledge in Philosophy Than Other Men, Although in Many Things He Acted Foolishly.

Chap. XXI.--Of the System of Plato, Which Would Lead to the Overthrow of States.

Chap. XXII.--Of the Precepts of Plato, and Censures of the Same.

Chap. XXIII.--Of the Errors of Certain Philosophers, and of the Sun and Moon.

Chap. XXIV.--Of the Antipodes, the Heaven, and the Stars.

Chap. XXV.--Of Learning Philosophy, and What Great Qualifications are Necessary for Its Pursuit.

Chap. XXVI.--It is Divine Instruction Only Which Bestows Wisdom; And of What Efficacy the Law of God is.

Chap. XXVII.--How Little the Precepts of Philosophers Contribute to True Wisdom, Which You Will Find in Religion Only.

Chap. XXVIII.--Of True Religion and of Nature. Whether Fortune is a Goddess, and of Philosophy.

Chap. XXIX.--Of Fortune Again, and Virtue.

Chap. XXX.--The Conclusion of the Things Before Spoken; And by What Means We Must Pass from the Vanity of the Philosophers to True Wisdom, and the Knowledge of the True God, in Which Alone are Virtue and Happiness.

Chap. I.--Of the Former Religion of Men, and How Error Was Spread Over Every

Chap. II.--Where Wisdom is to Be Found; Why Pythagoras and Plato Did Not Approach the Jews.

Chap. III.--Wisdom and Religion Cannot Be Separated: the Lord of Nature Must Necessarily Be the Father of Every One.

Chapter IV.--Of Wisdom Likewise, and Religion, and of the Right of Father and Lord.

Chap. V.--The Oracles of the Prophets Must Be Looked Into; And of Their Times, and the Times of the Judges and Kings.

Chap. VI.--Almighty God Begat His Son; And the Testimonies of the Sibyls and of Trismegistus Concerning Him.

Chap. VII.--Of the Name of Son, and Whence He is Called Jesus and Christ.

Chap. VIII.--Of the Birth of Jesus in the Spirit and in the Flesh: of Spirits and the Testimonies of Prophets.

Chap. IX.--Of the Word of God.

Chap. X.--Of the Advent of Jesus; Of the Fortunes of the Jews, and Their Government, Until the Passion of the Lord.

Chap. XI.--Of the Cause of the Incarnation of Christ.

Chap. XII.--Of the Birth of Jesus from the Virgin; Of His Life, Death, and Resurrection, and the Testimonies of the Prophets Respecting These Things.

Chap. XIII.--Of Jesus, God and Man; And the Testimonies of the Prophets Concerning Him.

Chap. XIV.--Of the Priesthood of Jesus Foretold by the Prophets.

Chap. XV.--Of the Life and Miracles of Jesus, and Testimonies Concerning Them.

Chap. XVI.--Of the Passion of Jesus Christ; That It Was Foretold.

Chap. XVII.--Of the Superstitions of the Jews, and Their Hatred Against Jesus.

Chap. XVIII.--Of the Lord's Passion, and that It Was Foretold.

Chap. XIX.--Of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus; And the Predictions of These Events.

Chap. XX.--Of the Departure of Jesus into Galilee After His Resurrection; And of the Two Testaments, the Old and the New.

Chap. XXI.--Of the Ascension of Jesus, and the Foretelling of It; And of the Preaching and Actions of the Disciples.

Chap. XXII.--Arguments of Unbelievers Against the Incarnation of Jesus.

Chap. XXIII.--Of Giving Precepts, and Acting.

Chap. XXIV.--The Overthrowing of the Arguments Above Urged by Way of Objection.

Chap. XXV.--Of the Advent of Jesus in the Flesh and Spirit, that He Might Be Mediator Between God and Man.

Chap. XXVI.--Of the Cross, and Other Tortures of Jesus, and of the Figure of the Lamb Under the Law.

Chap. XXVII.--Of the Wonders Effected by the Power of the Cross, and of Demons.

Chap. XXVIII.--Of Hope and True Religion, and of Superstition.

Chap. XXIX.--Of the Christian Religion, and of the Union of Jesus with the Father.

Chap. XXX.--Of Avoiding Heresies and Superstitions, and What is the Only True Catholic Church.

Chap. I.--Of the Non-Condemnation of Accused Persons Without a Hearing of

Chap. II.--To What an Extent the Christian Truth Has Been Assailed by Rash Men.

Chap. III.--Of the Truth of the Christian Doctrine, and the Vanity of Its Adversaries; And that Christ Was Not a Magician.

Chap. IV.--Why This Work Was Published, and Again of Tertullian and Cyprian.

Chap. V.--There Was True Justice Under Saturnus, But It Was Banished by Jupiter.

Chap. VI.--After the Banishment of Justice, Lust, Unjust Laws, Daring, Avarice, Ambition, Pride, Impiety, and Other Vices Reigned.

Chap. VII.--Of the Coming of Jesus, and Its Fruit; And of the Virtues and Vices of that Age.

Chap. VIII.--Of Justice Known to All, But Not Embraced; Of the True Temple of God, and of His Worship, that All Vices May Be Subdued.

Chap. IX.--Of the Crimes of the Wicked, and the Torture Inflicted on the Christians.

Chap. X.--Of False Piety, and of False and True Religion.

Chap XI.--Of the Cruelty of the Heathens Against the Christians.

Chap. XII.--Of True Virtue; And of the Estimation of a Good or Bad Citizen.

Chapter XIII.--Of the Increase and the Punishment of the Christians.

Chap. XIV.--Of the Fortitude of the Christians.

Chap. XV.--Of Folly, Wisdom, Piety, Equity, and Justice.

Chap. XVI.--Of the Duties of the Just Man, and the Equity of Christians.

Chap. XVII.--Of the Equity, Wisdom, and Foolishness of Christians.

Chap. XVIII.--Of Justice, Wisdom, and Folly.

Chap. XIX.--Of Virtue and the Tortures of Christians, and of the Right of a Father and Master.

Chap. XX.--Of the Vanity and Crimes, Impious Superstitions, and of the Tortures of the Christians.

Chap. XXI.--Of the Worship of Other Gods and the True God, and of the Animals Which the Egyptians Worshipped.

Chap. XXII.--Of the Rage of the Demons Against Christians, and the Error of Unbelievers.

Chap. XXIII.--Of the Justice and Patience of the Christians.

Chap. XXIV.--Of the Divine Vengeance Inflicted on the Torturers of the Christians.

Chap. I.--Of the Worship of the True God, and of Innocency, and of the

Chap. II.--Of the Worship of False Gods and the True God.

Chap. III.--Of the Ways, and of Vices and Virtues; And of the Rewards of Heaven and the Punishments of Hell.

Chap. IV.--Of the Ways of Life, of Pleasures, Also of the Hardships of Christians.

Chap. V.--Of False and True Virtue; And of Knowledge.

Chap. VI.--Of the Chief Good and Virtue, and or Knowledge and Righteousness.

Chap. VII.--Of the Way of Error and of Truth: that It is Single, Narrow, and Steep, and Has God for Its Guide.

Chap. VIII.--Of the Errors of Philosophers, and the Variableness of Law.

Chap. IX.--Of the Law and Precept of God; Of Mercy, and the Error of the Philosophers.

Chap. X.--Of Religion Towards God, and Mercy Towards Men; And of the Beginning of the World.

Chap. XI.--Of the Persons Upon Whom a Benefit is to Be Conferred.

Chap. XII.--Of the Kinds of Beneficence, and Works of Mercy.

Chap. XIII.--Of Repentance, of Mercy, and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Chap. XIV.--Of the Affections, and the Opinion of the Stoics Respecting Them; And of Virtue, the Vices, and Mercy.

Chap. XV.--Of the Affections, and the Opinion of the Peripatetics Respecting Them.

Chap. XVI.--Of the Affections, and the Refutation of the Opinion of the Peripatetics Concerning Them; What is the Proper Use of the Affections, and What is a Bad Use of Them.

Chap. XVII.--Of the Affections and Their Use; Of Patience, and the Chief Good of Christians.

Chap. XVIII.--Of Some Commands of God, and of Patience.

Chap. XIX.--Of the Affections and Their Use; And of the Three Furies.

Chap. XX.--Of the Senses, and Their Pleasures in the Brutes and in Man; And of Pleasures of the Eyes, and Spectacles.

Chap. XXI.--Of the Pleasures of the Ears, and of Sacred Literature.

Chap. XXII.--Of the Pleasures of Taste and Smell.

Chap. XXIII. --De Tactus Voluptate Et Libidine, Atque de Matrimonio Et Continentiâ.

Chap. XXIV.--Of Repentance, of Pardon, and the Commands of God.

Chap. XXV.--Of Sacrifice, and of an Offering Worthy of God, and of the Form of Praising God.

Chap. I.--Of the World, and Those Who are About to Believe, and Those Who

Chap. II.--Of the Error of the Philosophers, and of the Divine Wisdom, and of the Golden Age.

Chap. III.--Of Nature, and of the World; And a Censure of the Stoics and Epicureans.

Chap. IV.--That All Things Were Created for Some Use, Even Those Things Which Appear Evil; On What Account Man Enjoys Reason in So Frail a Body.

Chap. V.--Of the Creation of Man, and of the Arrangement of the World, and of the Chief Good.

Chap. VI.--Why the World and Man Were Created. How Unprofitable is the Worship of False Gods.

Chap. VII.--Of the Variety of Philosophers, and Their Truth.

Chap. VIII.--Of the Immortality of the Soul.

Chap. IX.--Of the Immortality of the Soul, and of Virtue.

Chap. X.--Of Vices and Virtues, and of Life and Death.

Chap. XI.--Of the Last Times, and of the Soul and Body.

Chap. XII.--Of the Soul and the Body, and of Their Union and Separation and Return.

Chap. XIII.--Of the Soul, and the Testimonies Concerning Its Eternity.

Chap. XIV.--Of the First and Last Times of the World.

Chap. XV.--Of the Devastation of the World and Change of the Empires.

CHAP. XVI.--OF THE DEVASTATION of the World, and Its Prophetic Omens.

Chap. XVII.--Of the False Prophet, and the Hardships of the Righteous, and His Destruction.

Chap. XVIII.--Of the Fortunes of the World at the Last Time, and of the Things Foretold by the Soothsayers.

Chap. XIX.--Of the Advent of Christ to Judgment, and of the Overcoming of the False Prophet.

Chap. XX.--Of the Judgment of Christ, of Christians, and of the Soul.

Chap. XXI.--Of the Torments and Punishments of Souls.

Chap. XXII.--Of the Error of the Poets, and the Return of the Soul from the Lower Regions.

Chap. XXIII.--Of the Resurrection of the Soul, and the Proofs of This Fact.

Chap. XXIV.--Of the Renewed World.

Chap. XXV.--Of the Last Times, and of the City of Rome.

Chap. XXVI.--Of the Loosing of the Devil, and of the Second and Greatest Judgment.

Chap. XXVII.--An Encouragement and Confirmation of the Pious.

The Preface.--The Plan and Purport of the Whole Epitome, And of the

Chap. I.--Of the Divine Providence.

Chap. II.--That There is But One God, and that There Cannot Be More.

Chap. III.--The Testimonies of the Poets Concerning the One God.

Chap. IV.--The Testimonies of the Philosophers to the Unity of God.

Chap. V.--That the Prophetic Women--That Is, the Sibyls--Declare that There is But One God.

Chap. VI.--Since God is Eternal and Immortal, He Does Not Stand in Need of Sex and Succession.

Chap. VII.--Of the Wicked Life and Death of Hercules.

Chap. VIII.--Of Æsculapius, Apollo, Mars, Castor and Pollux, and of Mercurius and Bacchus.

Chap. IX.--Of the Disgraceful Deeds of the Gods.

Chap. X.--Of Jupiter, and His Licentious Life.

Chap. XI.--The Various Emblems Under Which the Poets Veiled the Turpitude of Jupiter.

Chap. XII.--The Poets Do Not Invent All Those Things Which Relate to the Gods.

Chap. XIII.--The Actions of Jupiter are Related from the Historian Euhemerus.

Chap. XIV.--The Actions of Saturnus and Uranus Taken from the Historians.

Chap. XX.--Of the Gods Peculiar to the Romans.

Chap. XXI.--Of the Sacred Rites of the Roman Gods.

Chap. XXII.--Of the Sacred Rites Introduced by Faunus and Numa.

Chap. XXIII.--Of the Gods and Sacred Rites of the Barbarians.

Chap. XXIV.--Of the Origin of Sacred Rites and Superstitions.

Chap. XXV.--Of the Golden Age, of Images, and Prometheus, Who First Fashioned Man.

Chap. XXVI.--Of the Worship of the Elements and Stars.

Chap. XXVII.--Of the Creation, Sin, and Punishment of Man; And of Angels, Both Good and Bad.

Chap. XXVIII.--Of the Demons, and Their Evil Practices.

Chap. XXIX.--Of the Patience and Providence of God.

Chap. XXX.--Of False Wisdom.

Chap. XXXI.--Of Knowledge and Supposition.

Chap. XXXII.--Of the Sects of Philosophers, and Their Disagreement.

Chap. XXXIII.--What is the Chief Good to Be Sought in Life.

Chap. XXXIV.--That Men are Born to Justice.

Chap. XXXV.--That Immortality is the Chief Good.

Chap. XXXVI.--Of the Philosophers,--Namely, Epicurus and Pythagoras.

Chap. XXXVII.--Of Socrates and His Contradiction.

Chap. XXXVIII.--Of Plato, Whose Doctrine Approaches More Nearly to the Truth.

Chap. XXXIX.--Of Various Philosophers, and of the Antipodes.

Chap. XL.--Of the Foolishness of the Philosophers.

Chap. XLI.--Of True Religion and Wisdom.

Chap. XLII.--Of Religious Wisdom: the Name of Christ Known to None, Except Himself and His Father.

Chap. XLIII.--Of the Name of Jesus Christ, and His Twofold Nativity.

Chap. XLIV.--The Twofold Nativity of Christ is Proved from the Prophets.

Chap. XLV.--The Power and Works of Christ are Proved from the Scriptures.

Chap. XLVI.--It is Proved from the Prophets that the Passion and Death of Christ Had Been Foretold.

Chap. XLVII.--Of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Sending of the Apostles, and the Ascension of the Saviour into Heaven.

Chap. XLVIII.--Of the Disinheriting of the Jews, and the Adoption of the Gentiles.

Chap. XLIX.--That God is One Only.

Chap. L.--Why God Assumed a Mortal Body, and Suffered Death.

Chap. LI.--Of the Death of Christ on the Cross.

Chap. LII.--The Hope of the Salvation of Men Consists in the Knowledge of the True God, and of the Hatred of the Heathens Against the Christians.

Chap. LIII.--The Reasons of the Hatred Against the Christians are Examined and Refuted.

Chap. LIV.--Of the Freedom of Religion in the Worship of God.

Chap. LV.--The Heathens Charge Justice with Impiety in Following God.

Chap. LVI.--Of Justice, Which is the Worship of the True God.

Chap. LVII.--Of Wisdom and Foolishness.

Chap. LVIII.--Of the True Worship of God, and Sacrifice.

Chap. LIX.--Of the Ways of Life, and the First Times of the World.

Chap. LX.--Of the Duties of Justice.

Chap. LXI.--Of the Passions.

Chap. LXII.--Of Restraining the Pleasures of the Senses.

Chap. LXIII.--That Shows are Most Powerful to Corrupt the Minds.

Chap. LXIV.--The Passions are to Be Subdued, and We Must Abstain from Forbidden Things.

Chap. LXV.--Precepts About Those Things Which are Commanded, and of Pity.

Chap. LXVI.--Of Faith in Religion, and of Fortitude.

Chap. LXVII.--Of Repentance, the Immortality of the Soul, and of Providence.

Chap. LXVIII.--Of the World, Man, and the Providence of God.

Chap. LXIX.--That the World Was Made on Account of Man, and Man on Account of God.

Chap. LXX.--The Immortality of the Soul is Confirmed.

Chap. LXXI.--Of the Last Times.

Chap. LXXII.--Of Christ Descending from Heaven to the General Judgment, and of the Millenarian Reign.

Chap. LXXIII.--The Hope of Safety is in the Religion and Worship of God.


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