Aristotle was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy", his writings cover many subjects – including physics, zoology, logic, aesthetics, theatre, rhetoric, linguistics, economics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry; as a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Little is known about his life. Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Northern Greece, his father, died when Aristotle was a child, he was brought up by a guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato's Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven.
Shortly after Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and, at the request of Philip II of Macedon, tutored Alexander the Great beginning in 343 BC. He established a library in the Lyceum which helped him to produce many of his hundreds of books on papyrus scrolls. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues for publication, only around a third of his original output has survived, none of it intended for publication; the fact that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato contributed to his former views of Platonism, following Plato's death, Aristotle developed an increased interest in natural sciences and adopted the position of immanent realism. Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations found in his biology, such as on the hectocotyl arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century.
His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotle's influence on logic continued well into the 19th century He influenced Islamic thought during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. Aristotle was revered among medieval Muslim scholars as "The First Teacher" and among medieval Christians like Thomas Aquinas as "The Philosopher", his ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics, such as in the thinking of Alasdair MacIntyre and Philippa Foot. In general, the details of Aristotle's life are not well-established; the biographies written in ancient times are speculative and historians only agree on a few salient points. Aristotle, whose name means "the best purpose" in Ancient Greek, was born in 384 BC in Stagira, about 55 km east of modern-day Thessaloniki.
His father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon. Both of Aristotle's parents died when he was about thirteen, Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. Although little information about Aristotle's childhood has survived, he spent some time within the Macedonian palace, making his first connections with the Macedonian monarchy. At the age of seventeen or eighteen, Aristotle moved to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy, he remained there for nearly twenty years before leaving Athens in 348/47 BC. The traditional story about his departure records that he was disappointed with the Academy's direction after control passed to Plato's nephew Speusippus, although it is possible that he feared the anti-Macedonian sentiments in Athens at that time and left before Plato died. Aristotle accompanied Xenocrates to the court of his friend Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. After the death of Hermias, Aristotle travelled with his pupil Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island and its sheltered lagoon.
While in Lesbos, Aristotle married Hermias's adoptive daughter or niece. She bore him a daughter, whom they named Pythias. In 343 BC, Aristotle was invited by Philip II of Macedon to become the tutor to his son Alexander. Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal academy of Macedon. During Aristotle's time in the Macedonian court, he gave lessons not only to Alexander, but to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest and Aristotle's own attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. In one famous example, he counsels Alexander to be "a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants". By 335 BC, Aristotle had returned to Athens. Aristotle conducted courses at the school for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died and Aristotle became involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus.
According to the Suda, he had an erômenos, Palaephatus of Abydus. This period in Athens, between 335 and 323 BC, is when Aristotle is believed to have composed many of his works, he wrote many dialogues. Those works that have survived are in treatise form and were not
Interpretatio graeca is a discourse in which ancient Greek religious concepts and practices and myths are used to interpret or attempt to understand the mythology and religion of other cultures. It is thus a comparative methodology that looks for shared characteristics; the phrase may describe Greek efforts to explain others' beliefs and myths, as when Herodotus describes Egyptian religion in terms of perceived Greek analogues, or when Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch document Roman cults and practices under the names of equivalent Greek deities. Interpretatio graeca may describe non-Greeks' interpretation of their own belief systems by comparison or assimilation with Greek models, as when Romans adapt Greek myths and iconography under the names of their own gods. Interpretatio romana is comparative discourse in reference to ancient Roman religion and myth, as in the formation of a distinctive Gallo-Roman religion. Both the Romans and the Gauls reinterpreted Gallic religious traditions in relation to Roman models Imperial cult.
Jan Assmann considers the polytheistic approach to internationalizing gods as a form of "intercultural translation": The great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe.... The meaning of a deity is his or her specific character as it unfolded in myths, rites, so on; this character makes a deity comparable to other deities with similar traits. The similarity of gods makes their names mutually translatable. … The practice of translating the names of the gods created a concept of similarity and produced the idea or conviction that the gods are international. Pliny the Elder expressed the "translatability" of deities as "different names to different peoples"; this capacity made possible the religious syncretism of the Hellenistic era and the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Herodotus was one of the earliest authors to engage in this form of interpretation. In his observations regarding the Egyptians, he establishes Greco-Egyptian equivalents that endured into the Hellenistic era, including Amon/Zeus, Osiris/Dionysus, Ptah/Hephaestus.
In his observations regarding the Scythians, he equates their queen of the gods, Tabiti, to Hestia and Api to Zeus and Gaia and Argimpasa to Aphrodite Urania, whilst claiming that the Scythians worshipped equivalents to Herakles and Ares, but which he doesn't name. Some pairs of Greek and Roman gods, such as Zeus and Jupiter, are thought to derive from a common Indo-European archetype, thus exhibit shared functions by nature. Others required more expansive theological and poetic efforts: though both Ares and Mars are war gods, Ares was a minor figure in Greek religious practice and deprecated by the poets, while Mars was a father of the Roman people and a central figure of archaic Roman religion; some deities dating to Rome's oldest religious stratum, such as Janus and Terminus, had no Greek equivalent. Other Greek divine figures, most notably Apollo, were adopted directly into Roman culture, but underwent a distinctly Roman development, as when Augustus made Apollo one of his patron deities.
In the early period, Etruscan culture played an intermediary role in transmitting Greek myth and religion to the Romans, as evidenced in the linguistic transformation of Greek Heracles to Etruscan Hercle to Roman Hercules. The phrase interpretatio romana was first used by the Imperial-era historian Tacitus in the Germania. Tacitus reports that in a sacred grove of the Nahanarvali, "a priest adorned as a woman presides, but they commemorate gods who in Roman terms are Castor and Pollux." Elsewhere, he identifies the principal god of the Germans as Mercury referring to Wotan. Some information about the deities of the ancient Gauls, who left no written literature other than inscriptions, is preserved by Greco-Roman sources under the names of Greek and Latin equivalents. A large number of Gaulish theonyms or cult titles are preserved, for instance, in association with Mars; as with some Greek and Roman divine counterparts, the perceived similarities between a Gallic and a Roman or Greek deity may reflect a common Indo-European origin.
Lugus was identified with Nodens with Mars as healer and protector, Sulis with Minerva. In some cases, however, a Gallic deity is given an interpretatio romana by means of more than one god, varying among literary texts or inscriptions. Since the religions of the Greco-Roman world were not dogmatic, polytheism lent itself to multiplicity, the concept of "deity" was expansive, permitting multiple and contradictory functions within a single divinity, overlapping powers and functions among the diverse figures of each pantheon; these tendencies extended to cross-cultural identifications. In the Eastern empire, the Anatolian storm god with his double-headed axe became Jupiter Dolichenus, a favorite cult figure among soldiers. Roman scholars such as Varro interpreted the monotheistic god of the Jews into Roman terms as Caelus or Jupiter Optimus Maximus; some Greco-Roman authors seem to have understood the Jewish invocation of Yahweh Sabaoth as Sabazius. Interpretatio germanica is the practice by the Germanic peoples of identifying Roman gods with the names of Germanic deities.
According to Rudolf Simek, this occurred around the 1st century AD, when both cultures came into closer contact. Some evidence for interpretatio germanica exists in the Germanic translations of the Roman names for the days of the week: Sunday, the day of Sunnǭ, the sun, was earlier the day of Sol Invictus, th
The soul, in many religious and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, feeling, memory, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls. For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal. Other religions hold that all living things from the smallest bacterium to the largest of mammals are the souls themselves and have their physical representative in the world; the actual self is the soul, while the body is only a mechanism to experience the karma of that life. Thus if we see a tiger there is a self-conscious identity residing in it, a physical representative in the world; some teach that non-biological entities possess souls. This belief is called animism. Greek philosophers, such as Socrates and Aristotle, understood that the soul must have a logical faculty, the exercise of, the most divine of human actions.
At his defense trial, Socrates summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence. The current consensus of modern science is that there is no evidence to support the existence of the soul when traditionally defined as the spiritual breath of the body. In metaphysics, the concept of "Soul" may be equated with that of "Mind" in order to refer to the consciousness and intellect of the individual; the Modern English word "soul", derived from Old English sáwol, sáwel, was first attested in the 8th century poem Beowulf v. 2820 and in the Vespasian Psalter 77.50. It is cognate with other German and Baltic terms for the same idea, including Gothic saiwala, Old High German sêula, sêla, Old Saxon sêola, Old Low Franconian sêla, sîla, Old Norse sála and Lithuanian siela. Deeper etymology of the Germanic word is unclear; the original concept behind the Germanic root is thought to mean “coming from or belonging to the sea ”, because of the Germanic and pre-Celtic belief in souls emerging from and returning to sacred lakes, Old Saxon sêola compared to Old Saxon sêo.
The Koine Greek Septuagint uses ψυχή to translate Hebrew נפש, meaning "life, vital breath", refers to a mortal, physical life, but in English it is variously translated as "soul, life, person, mind, living being, emotion, passion". Vulgate – Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem. Authorized King James Version – "And God created great whales, every living creature that moveth."The Koine Greek word ψυχή, "life, consciousness", is derived from a verb meaning "to cool, to blow", hence refers to the breath, as opposed to σῶμα, meaning "body". Psychē occurs juxtaposed to σῶμα, as seen in Matthew 10:28: Greek – καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι· φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ. Vulgate – et nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus animam autem non possunt occidere sed potius eum timete qui potest et animam et corpus perdere in gehennam. Authorized King James Version – "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him, able to destroy both soul and body in hell."Paul the Apostle used ψυχή and πνεῦμα to distinguish between the Jewish notions of נפש and רוח ruah.
In the ancient Egyptian religion, an individual was believed to be made up of various elements, some physical and some spiritual. Similar ideas are found in ancient Babylonian religion. Kuttamuwa, an 8th-century BCE royal official from Sam'al, ordered an inscribed stele erected upon his death; the inscription requested that his mourners commemorate his life and his afterlife with feasts "for my soul, in this stele". It is one of the earliest references to a soul as a separate entity from the body; the 800-pound basalt stele is 2 ft wide. It was uncovered in the third season of excavations by the Neubauer Expedition of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois; the Bahá'í Faith affirms that "the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, whose mystery no mind, however acute, can hope to unravel". Bahá'u'lláh stated that the soul not only continues to live after the physical death of the human body, but is, in fact, immortal. Heaven can be seen as the soul's state of nearness to God.
Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually. Bahá'u'lláh taught that individuals have no existence prior to their life here on earth and the soul's evolution is always towards God and away from the material world. Buddhism teaches that all things are in a constant
Karl Rahner was a German Jesuit priest and theologian who, alongside Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar, is considered one of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century. He was the brother of Hugo Rahner a Jesuit scholar. Rahner was born in Freiburg, at the time a part of the Grand Duchy of Baden, a state of the German Empire. Before the Second Vatican Council, Rahner had worked alongside Congar, de Lubac, Marie-Dominique Chenu, theologians associated with an emerging school of thought called the Nouvelle Théologie, elements of, condemned in the encyclical Humani generis of Pope Pius XII. Subsequently, the Second Vatican Council was much influenced by his theology and his understanding of Catholic faith. Karl Rahner's parents and Luise Rahner, had seven children, of whom Karl was the fourth, his father was a professor in a local college and his mother had a profound religious personality, which influenced the home atmosphere. Karl attended primary and secondary school in Freiburg, entering the Society of Jesus upon graduation.
Affected by the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola during the initial phase of his formation, he concentrated the next phase of his formation on Catholic scholastic philosophy and the modern German philosophers: he seems to have been interested in Immanuel Kant and two contemporary Thomists, the Belgian Jesuit Joseph Maréchal and the French Jesuit Pierre Rousselot, who were to influence Rahner's understanding of Thomas Aquinas in his writings. As a part of his Jesuit training, Rahner taught Latin to novices at Feldkirch began his theological studies at the Jesuit theologate in Valkenburg aan de Geul in 1929; this allowed him to develop a thorough understanding of patristic theology developing interests in spiritual theology and the history of piety. Rahner was ordained a priest on 26 July 1932, made his final year of tertianship, the study and taking of Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, at St. Andrä in Austria's Lavanttal Valley; because Rahner's superiors wished him to teach philosophy at Pullach, he returned home to Freiburg in 1934 to study for a doctorate in philosophy, delving more into the philosophy of Kant and Maréchal, attended seminars by Martin Heidegger.
His philosophy dissertation Geist in Welt, an interpretation of Aquinas's epistemology influenced by the transcendental Thomism of Maréchal and the existentialism of Heidegger, was rejected by his mentor Martin Honecker for its bias toward Heidegger's philosophy and not sufficiently expressing the Catholic neo-scholastic tradition. In 1936 Rahner was sent to Innsbruck to continue his theological studies and there he completed his habilitationsschrift. Soon after he was appointed a Privatdozent in the faculty of theology of the University of Innsbruck, in July 1937. In 1939 the Nazis took over the University and Rahner, while staying in Austria, was invited to Vienna to work in the Pastoral Institute, where he both taught and became active in pastoral work until 1949, he returned to the theology faculty at Innsbruck and taught on a variety of topics which became the essays published in Schriften zur Theologie: the collection is not a systematic presentation of Rahner's views, rather a diverse series of essays on theological matters characterised by his probing, questioning search for truth.
In early 1962, with no prior warning, Rahner's superiors in the Society of Jesus told him that he was under Rome's pre-censorship, which meant that he could not publish or lecture without advance permission. The objections of the Roman authorities focused on Rahner's views on the Eucharist and Mariology, however the practical import of the pre-censorship decision was voided in November 1962 when, without any objection, John XXIII appointed Rahner a peritus to the Second Vatican Council: Rahner had complete access to the council and numerous opportunities to share his thought with the participants. Rahner's influence at Vatican II was thus widespread, he was subsequently chosen as one of seven theologians who would develop Lumen gentium, the dogmatic explication of the doctrine of the Church; the council's receptiveness towards other religious traditions may be linked to Rahner's notions of the renovation of the church, God's universal salvific revelation, his desire to support and encourage the ecumenical movement.
During the council, Rahner accepted the Chair for Christianity and the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Munich and taught there from 1964 to 1967. Subsequently he was appointed to a chair in dogmatic theology at the Catholic theological faculty of the University of Münster, where he stayed until his retirement in 1971. Rahner moved to Munich and in 1981 to Innsbruck, where he remained for the next 3 years as an active writer and lecturer continuing his active pastoral ministry, he published several volumes of collected essays for the Schriften zur Theologie, expanded the Kleines theologisches Wörterbuch, co-authored other texts such as Unity of the Churches: An Actual Possibility with Heinrich Fries, in 1976 he completed the long-promised systematic work, Foundations of Christian Faith. Rahner fell ill from exhaustion and died on 30 March 1984 at the age of 80, after a birthday celebration that honoured his scholarship, he was buried at the Jesuit Church of the Holy Trinity in Innsbruck.
During his years
Conceptions of God
Conceptions of God in monotheist and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction: as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being, or as the deification of an esoteric, mystical or philosophical entity or category. The first recordings that survive of monotheistic conceptions of God, borne out of henotheism and monism, are from the Hellenistic period. Of the many objects and entities that religions and other belief systems across the ages have labeled as divine, the one criterion they share is their acknowledgment as divine by a group or groups of human beings. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle discusses meaning of "being as being". Aristotle holds that "being" refers to the Unmoved Movers, assigned one of these to each movement in the heavens; each Unmoved Mover continuously contemplates its own contemplation, everything that fits the second meaning of "being" by having its source of motion in itself, moves because the knowledge of its Mover causes it to emulate this Mover.
Aristotle's definition of God attributes perfection to this being, as a perfect being can only contemplate upon perfection and not on imperfection, otherwise perfection would not be one of his attributes. God, according to Aristotle, is in a state of "stasis" untouched by imperfection; the "unmoved mover" is unlike the conception of God that one sees in most religions. It has been likened to a person, playing dominos and pushes one of them over, so that every other domino in the set is pushed over as well, without the being having to do anything about it. Although, in the 18th century, the French educator Allan Kardec brought a similar conception of God during his work of codifying Spiritism, this differs to the interpretation of God in most religions, where he is seen to be involved in his creation. "The All" is the Hermetic version of God. It has been called "The One", "The Great One", "The Creator", "The Supreme Mind", "The Supreme Good", "The Father" and "The Universal Mother"; the All is seen by some to be a panentheistic conception of God, subsuming everything, or can be experienced.
One Hermetic maxim states that "While All is in THE ALL, it is true that THE ALL is in All." The All can be seen to be hermaphroditic, possessing both masculine and feminine qualities in equal parttext. These qualities are, however, of mental gender. According to The Kybalion, The All is more complicated than being the sum total of the universe. Rather than The All being the physical universe, it is said that everything in the universe is within the mind of The All, since The All can be looked at as Mind itself; the All's mind is thought to be infinitely more powerful and vast than humans can achieve, capable of keeping track of every particle in the Universe. The Kybalion states that nothing can be outside of The All or The All would not be The All; the All may be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Supreme Being, Mind, Nature and so forth." In the Hermetic Tradition and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external.
The All is an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality. Another way would to be to say. Freemasonry includes concepts of God as an external entity, esoteric masonic teachings identify God as the individual himself: the perceiver. We are all as such we create our own reality. Although others believe God to be abstract. Meaning he is not seen in reality, but understood through deep contemplation, he is all around us every day, just hiding in the beauty of our Earth. The Abrahamic God in this sense is the conception of God that remains a common attribute of all three traditions. God is conceived of as eternal, omniscient and as the creator of the universe. God is further held to have the properties of holiness, justice and omnipresence. Proponents of Abrahamic faiths believe that God is transcendent, meaning that he is outside space and outside time and therefore not subject to anything within his creation, but at the same time a personal God, listening to prayer and reacting to the actions of his creatures.
In Judaism, God has been conceived in a variety of ways. Traditionally, Judaism holds that YHWH, the God of Abraham and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. According to the rationalist stream of Judaism articulated by Maimonides, which came to dominate much of official traditional Jewish thought, God is understood as the absolute one and incomparable being, the ultimate cause of all existence. Traditional interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is personal yet transcendent, while some modern interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is a force or ideal. Jewish monotheism is a continuation of earlier Hebrew henotheism, the exclusive worship of the God of Israel as prescribed in the Torah and practiced at the Temple of Jerusalem. Strict monotheism emerges in Rabbinical Judaism. Pron
Pandeism is a theological doctrine first delineated in the 18th century which combines aspects of pantheism with aspects of deism. It holds that the creator deity became the universe and ceased to exist as a separate and conscious entity. Pandeism is proposed to explain, as it relates to deism, why God would create a universe and appear to abandon it, as to pantheism, the origin and purpose of the universe; the word pandeism is a hybrid blend of the root words pantheism and deism, combining Ancient Greek: πᾶν, translit. Pan, lit.'all' with Latin: deus which means "god". It was first coined in the present meaning in 1859 by Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal. Pandeism falls within the traditional hierarchy of monistic and nontheistic philosophies addressing the nature of God, it is one of several subsets of deism: Over time there have been other schools of thought formed under the umbrella of deism including Christian deism, belief in deistic principles coupled with the moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, Pandeism, a belief that God became the entire universe and no longer exists as a separate being.
For the history of the root words and deism, see the overview of deism section, history of pantheism section. The earliest use of the term pandeism appears to have been 1787, with another use related in 1838, a first appearance in a dictionary in 1849, an 1859 usage of "pandeism" in contrast to both pantheism and deism by Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal. Physicist and philosopher Max Bernhard Weinstein in his 1910 work Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis, presented the broadest and most far-reaching examination of pandeism written up to that point. Weinstein noted the distinction between pantheism and pandeism, stating "even if only by a letter, we fundamentally differ Pandeism from Pantheism." But it has been noted that some pantheists have identified themselves as pandeists as well, to underscore that "they share with the deists the idea that God is not a personal God who desires to be worshipped". Noting that Victorian scholar George Levine has suggested that secularism can bring the "fullness" which "religion has always promised", other authors have since observed: For others, this "fullness" is present in more religious-oriented pantheistic or pandeistic belief systems with, in the latter case, the inclusion of God as the unfolding expression of a complex universe with an identifiable beginning but no teleological direction present.
This is classed within a general tendency of postmodernity to be "a stunning amalgamation" of the views of William James and Max Weber, representing "the movement away from self-denial toward a denial of the supernatural", which "promises to fundamentally alter future geographies of mind and being by shifting the locus of causality from an exalted Godhead to the domain of Nature". "Renegade priest" Paul Kramer described Pandeism as a creed "remarkably like a synthesis of the belief systems of Lord Shaftsbury, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Benedict Spinoza, Auguste Compte, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin."It has been suggested that "many religions may classify themselves as pantheistic" but "fit more under the description of panentheistic or pandeistic." The earliest seeds of pandeism coincide with notions of monotheism, which can be traced back to the Atenism of Akhenaten, the Babylonian-era Marduk. Weinstein in particular identified the idea of primary matter derived from an original spirit as found by the ancient Egyptians to be a form of pandeism.
Weinstein found varieties of pandeism in the religious views held in China, India in the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, among various Greek and Roman philosophers. 6th century BC philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon has been considered a pandeistic thinker. Weinstein wrote that Xenophanes spoke as a pandeist in stating that there was one god which "abideth in the selfsame place, moving not at all" and yet "sees all over, thinks all over, hears all over, he found that ideas of pandeism were reflected in the ideas of Heraclitus, of the Stoics. Weinstein wrote that pandeism was expressed by the students of the'Platonic Pythagoreans' and the'Pythagorean Platonists.' and among them identified 3rd century BC philosopher Chrysippus, who affirmed that "the universe itself is God and the universal outpouring of its soul," as a pandeist as well. Religious studies professor, F. E. Peters, found that "hat appeared... at the center of the Pythagorean tradition in philosophy, is another view of psyche that seems to owe little or nothing to the pan-vitalism or pan-deism, the legacy of the Milesians.
Amongst the Milesians, English historian of philosophy Andrew Gregory notes in particular that "some construction using pan-, whether it be pantheism, pandeism or pankubernism describes Anaximander reasonably well", though he does go on to question whether Anaximander's view of the distinction between apeiron and cosmos makes these labels technically relevant at all. Gottfried Große in his 1787 interpretation of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, describes Pliny, a first-century figure, as "if not a Spinozist perhaps a Pandeist." Weinstein examines the philosophy of 9th century theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena, who proposed that "God has created the world out of his own being", identifies this as a form of pandeism, noting in particular that Eriugena's vision of God
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious