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Chapter XLVII.—Opinions of the Heretics Borrowed from Aratus.

Aratus says that there are in the sky revolving, that is, gyrating stars, because from east to west, and west to east, they journey perpetually, (and) in an orbicular figure. And he says that there revolves towards292292    Ibid., v. 45, 46. “The Bears” themselves, like some stream of a river, an enormous and prodigious monster, (the) Serpent; and that this is what the devil says in the book of Job to the Deity, when (Satan) uses these words: “I have traversed earth under heaven, and have gone around (it),”293293    This refers to Job i. 7, but is at once recognised as not a correct quotation. that is, that I have been turned around, and thereby have been able to survey the worlds. For they suppose that towards the North Pole is situated the Dragon, the Serpent, from the highest pole looking upon all (the objects), and gazing on all the works of creation, in order that nothing of the things that are being made may escape his notice. For though all the stars in the firmament set, the pole of this (luminary) alone never sets, but, careering high above the horizon, surveys and beholds all things, and none of the works of creation, he says, can escape his notice.

“Where chiefly

Settings mingle and risings one with other.”294294    Arat., Phænom., v. 61.

(Here Aratus) says that the head of this (constellation) is placed. For towards the west and 43east of the two hemispheres is situated the head of the Dragon, in order, he says, that nothing may escape his notice throughout the same quarter, either of objects in the west or those in the east, but that the Beast may know all things at the same time. And near the head itself of the Dragon is the appearance of a man, conspicuous by means of the stars, which Aratus styles a wearied image, and like one oppressed with labour, and he is denominated “Engonasis.” Aratus295295    Arat., Phænom., v. 63 et seq. then affirms that he does not know what this toil is, and what this prodigy is that revolves in heaven.  The heretics, however, wishing by means of this account of the stars to establish their own doctrines, (and) with more than ordinary earnestness devoting their attention to these (astronomic systems), assert that Engonasis is Adam, according to the commandment of God as Moses declared, guarding the head of the Dragon, and the Dragon (guarding) his heel. For so Aratus expresses himself:—

“The right-foot’s track of the Dragon fierce possessing.”296296    Arat., Phænom., v. 70.


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