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52. Come, then, let some Magian Zoroaster33443344    This passage has furnished occasion for much discussion as to text and interpretation. In the text Orelli’s punctuation has been followed, who regards Arnobius as mentioning four Zoroasters—the Assyrian or Chaldean, the Bactrian (cf. c. 5 of this book), the Armenian, and finally the Pamphylian, or Pamphilos, who, according to Clem. Alex. (Strom. [vol. ii. p. 469]), is referred to in Plato’s Republic, book x., under the name Er; Meursius and Salmasius, however, regarding the whole as one sentence, consider that only three persons are so referred to, the first being either Libyan or Bactrian, and the others as with Orelli. To seek to determine which view is most plausible even, would be a fruitless task, as will be evident on considering what is said in the index under Zoroaster. [Jowett’s Plato, ii. 121.] arrive from a remote part of the globe, crossing over the fiery zone,33453345    So Orelli, reading veniat qu-is su-per igneam zonam. LB. reads for the second and third words, quæ-so per—“let there come, I pray you, through,” etc., from the ms. quæ super; while Heraldus would change the last three words into Azonaces, the name of the supposed teacher of Zoroaster. By the “fiery zone” Salmasius would understand Libya; but the legends should be borne in mind which spoke of Zoroaster as having shown himself to a wondering multitude from a hill blazing with fire, that he might teach them new ceremonies of worship, or as being otherwise distinguished in connection with fire. [Plato, Rep., p. 446, Jowett’s trans.] if we believe Hermippus as an authority. Let these join him too—that Bactrian, whose deeds Ctesias sets forth in the first book of his History; the Armenian, grandson of Hosthanes;33463346    So Stewechius, Orelli, and others, for the ms. Zostriani—“grandson of Zostrianus,” retained in the 1st ed. and LB. and Pamphilus, the intimate friend of Cyrus; Apollonius, Damigero, and Dardanus; Velus, Julianus, and Bæbulus; and if there be any other one who is supposed to have especial powers and reputation in such magic arts. Let them grant to one of the people to adapt the mouths of the dumb for the purposes of speech, to unseal the ears of the deaf, to give the natural powers of the eye to those born without sight, and to restore feeling and life to bodies long cold in death. Or if that is too difficult, and if they cannot impart to others the power to do such acts, let themselves perform them, and with their own rites. Whatever noxious herbs the earth brings forth from its bosom, whatever powers those muttered words and accompanying spells contain—these let them add, we envy them not; those let them collect, we forbid them not. We wish to make trial and to discover whether they can effect, with the aid of their gods, what has often been accomplished by unlearned Christians with a word only.


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