The Discourse to the Greeks

 Chapter I.—Justin justifies his departure from Greek customs.

 Chapter II.—The Greek theogony exposed.

 Chapter III.—Follies of the Greek mythology.

 Chapter IV.—Shameless practices of the Greeks.

 Chapter V.—Closing appeal.

Chapter II.—The Greek theogony exposed.

But since, next to Homer, Hesiod wrote his Works and Days, who will believe his drivelling theogony? For they say that Chronos, the son of Ouranos,5    Or, Saturn son of Heaven. in the beginning slew his father, and possessed himself of his rule; and that, being seized with a panic lest he should himself suffer in the same way, he preferred devouring his children; but that, by the craft of the Curetes, Jupiter was conveyed away and kept in secret, and afterwards bound his father with chains, and divided the empire; Jupiter receiving, as the story goes, the air, and Neptune the deep, and Pluto the portion of Hades. But Pluto ravished Proserpine; and Ceres sought her child wandering through the deserts. And this myth was celebrated in the Eleusinian fire.6    In the mysteries of Eleusis, the return of Proserpine from the lower world was celebrated. Again, Neptune ravished Melanippe when she was drawing water, besides abusing a host of Nereids not a few, whose names, were we to recount them, would cost us a multitude of words. And as for Jupiter, he was a various adulterer, with Antiope as a satyr, with Danaë as gold, and with Europa as a bull; with Leda, moreover, he assumed wings. For the love of Semele proved both his unchastity and the jealousy of Semele. And they say that he carried off the Phrygian Ganymede to be his cup-bearer. These, then, are the exploits of the sons of Saturn. And your illustrious son of Latona [Apollo], who professed soothsaying, convicted himself of lying. He pursued Daphne, but did not gain possession of her; and to Hyacinthus,7    Apollo accidentally killed Hyacinthus by striking him on the head with a quoit. who loved him, he did not foretell his death. And I say nothing of the masculine character of Minerva, nor of the feminine nature of Bacchus, nor of the fornicating disposition of Venus. Read to Jupiter, ye Greeks, the law against parricides, and the penalty of adultery, and the ignominy of pæderasty. Teach Minerva and Diana the works of women, and Bacchus the works of men. What seemliness is there in a woman’s girding herself with armour, or in a man’s decorating himself with cymbals, and garlands, and female attire, and accompanied by a herd of bacchanalian women?

Ἀλλ' ἐπεὶ Ἡσίοδος μεθ' Ὅμηρον Ἔργα τε καὶ Ἡμέρας συνέγραψε, τίς αὐτοῦ τῇ λήρῳ Θεογονίᾳ συνθήσεται; Φησὶ γὰρ Κρόνον, τὸν Οὐρανοῦ παῖδα, τῆς ἀρχῆς καθελεῖν τὸν πατέρα καὶ τῶν σκήπτρων λαβέσθαι, καὶ διευλαβηθέντα τὸ ὅμοιον παθεῖν τεκνοφαγεῖν ἑλέσθαι, τῇ δὲ τῶν Κουρήτων ἐπινοίᾳ τὸν Δία κλαπέντα καὶ λαθόντα δεσμοῖς καθεῖρξαι τὸν πατέρα, καὶ διανείμασθαι, ὡς λόγος, Δία μὲν τὸν αἰθέρα, Ποσειδῶνα δὲ τὸν βυθόν, καὶ Πλουτέα τὴν καθ' ᾅδου μοῖραν λαχεῖν. Ἀλλ' ὁ μὲν Πλουτεὺς τὴν Κόρην ἥρπασε: καὶ ἡ Δήμητρα, ἀλωμένη κατὰ τὰς ἐρήμους, τὸ τέκνον ἐζήτει. Καὶ τοῦτον τὸν μῦθον εἰς ὕψος ἤγαγε τὸ ἐν Ἐλευσῖνι πῦρ. Πάλιν ὁ Ποσειδῶν Μελανίππην μὲν ᾔσχυνεν ὑδρευομένην, ὄχλῳ δὲ Νηρηΐδων οὐκ ὀλίγων κατεχρήσατο, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐὰν διηγώμεθα, πολὺ πλῆθος λόγων κατατρίψομεν. Ὁ μὲν οὖν Ζεὺς μοιχὸς πολλαχῇ: ἐπ' Ἀντιόπῃ μὲν ὡς σάτυρος, καὶ ἐπὶ Δανάῃ χρυσὸς καὶ ἐπ' Εὐρώπῃ ταῦρος ἦν, ἐπτεροῦτο δὲ παρὰ Λήδᾳ. Ὁ γὰρ Σεμέλης ἔρως καὶ αὐτοῦ τὴν ἀκρασίαν ἤλεγξε καὶ τῆς Ἥρας τὸν ζῆλον. Τὸν γὰρ Φρύγα Γανυμήδην, φασίν, εἰς τὸ οἰνοχοεῖν ἀνήρπασε. Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν οἱ Κρονίδαι ἐποίησαν. Ὁ γὰρ μεγαλώνυμος ὑμῶν ὁ Λητοΐδης, ὁ μαντικὴν ἐπαγγειλάμενος, ἑαυτὸν ἤλεγξεν ὅτι ψεύδεται. Δάφνην ἐδίωξεν, ἣν οὐ κατέλαβε: καὶ τῷ ἐρωμένῳ αὐτοῦ Ὑακίνθῳ δισκεύων τι τὸν αὐτοῦ θάνατον οὐκ ἐμαντεύσατο. Ἀθηνᾶς γὰρ τὸ ἀνδρικὸν σιγῶ καὶ Διονύσου τὸ θηλυκὸν καὶ Ἀφροδίτης τὸ πορνικόν. Ἀνάγνωτε τῷ Διΐ, ἄνδρες Ἕλληνες, τὸν κατὰ πατρολῳῶν νόμον καὶ τὸ μοιχείας πρόστιμον καὶ τὴν παιδεραστίας αἰσχρότητα. Διδάξατε Ἀθηνᾶν καὶ Ἄρτεμιν τὰ τῶν γυναικῶν ἔργα καὶ Διόνυσον τὰ ἀνδρῶν. Τί σεμνὸν ἐπιδείκνυται γυνὴ ὅπλοις κεκοσμημένη, ἀνὴρ δὲ κυμβάλοις καὶ στέμμασι καὶ ἐσθῆτι γυναικείᾳ καλλωπιζόμενος καὶ ὀργιῶν σὺν ἀγέλῃ γυναικῶν;