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Philo : GENESIS

from Philo's Commentary on the Hexaemeron, * 7-25, translated by Ch. D. Yonge.
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(17) But that world which consists of ideas, it were impious in any degree to attempt to describe or even to imagine: but how it was created, we shall know if we take for our guide a certain image of the things which exist among us. When any city is founded through the exceeding ambition of some king or leader who lays claim to absolute authority, and is at the same time a man of brilliant imagination, eager to display his good fortune, then it happens at times that some man coming up who, from his education, is skilful in architecture, and he, seeing the advantageous character and beauty of the situation, first of all sketches out in his own mind nearly all the parts of the city which is about to be completed--the temples, the gymnasia, the prytanea, and markets, the harbour, the docks, the streets, the arrangement of the walls, the situations of the dwelling houses, and of the public and other buildings. (18) Then, having received in his own mind, as on a waxen tablet, the form of each building, he carries in his heart the image of a city, perceptible as yet only by the intellect, the images of which he stirs up in memory which is innate in him, and, still further, engraving them in his mind like a good workman, keeping his eyes fixed on his model, he begins to raise the city of stones and wood, making the corporeal substances to resemble each of the incorporeal ideas. (19) Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God, who, having determined to found a mighty state, first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses, using the first one as a model. (20) As therefore the city, when previously shadowed out in the mind of the man of architectural skill had no external place, but was stamped solely in the mind of the workman, so in the same manner neither can the world which existed in ideas have had any other local position except the divine reason which made them; for what other place could there be for his powers which should be able to receive and contain, I do not say all, but even any single one of them whatever, in its simple form? (21) And the power and faculty which could be capable of creating the world, has for its origin that good which is founded on truth; for if any one were desirous to investigate the cause on account of which this universe was created, I think that he would come to no erroneous conclusion if he were to say as one of the ancients did say: "That the Father and Creator was good; on which account he did not grudge the substance a share of his own excellent nature, since it had nothing good of itself, but was able to become everything." (22) For the substance was of itself destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character, and full of all disorder and confusion; and it received a change and transformation to what is opposite to this condition, and most excellent, being invested with order, quality, animation, resemblance, identity, arrangement, harmony, and everything which belongs to the more excellent idea.

Τὸν δ’ ἐκ τῶν ἰδεῶν συνεστῶτα κόσμον ἐν τόπῳ τινὶ λέγειν ἢ ὑπονοεῖν οὐ θεμιτόν· ᾗ δὲ συνέστηκεν, εἰσόμεθα παρακολουθήσαντες εἰκόνι τινὶ τῶν παρ’ ἡμῖν. ἐπειδὰν πόλις κτίζηται κατὰ πολλὴν φιλοτιμίαν βασιλέως ἤ τινος ἡγεμόνος αὐτοκρατοῦς ἐξουσίας μεταποιουμένου καὶ ἅμα τὸ φρόνημα λαμπροῦ τὴν εὐτυχίαν συνεπικοσμοῦντος, παρελθὼν ἔστιν ὅτε τις τῶν ἀπὸ παιδείας ἀνὴρ ἀρχιτεκτονικὸς καὶ τὴν εὐκρασίαν καὶ εὐκαιρίαν τοῦ τόπου θεασάμενος διαγράφει πρῶτον ἐν ἑαυτῷ τὰ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποτελεῖσθαι πόλεως μέρη σχεδὸν ἅπαντα, ἱερὰ γυμνάσια πρυτανεῖα ἀγορὰς λιμένας νεωσοίκους στενωπούς, τειχῶν κατασκευάς, ἱδρύσεις οἰκιῶν καὶ δημοσίων ἄλλων οἰκοδομημάτων· εἶθ’ ὥσπερ ἐν κηρῷ τῇ ἑαυτοῦ ψυχῇ τοὺς ἑκάστων δεξάμενος τύπους ἀγαλματοφορεῖ νοητὴν πόλιν, ἧς ἀνακινήσας τὰ εἴδωλα μνήμῃ τῇ συμφύτῳ καὶ τοὺς χαρακτῆρας ἔτι μᾶλλον ἐνσφραγισάμενος, οἷα δημιουργὸς ἀγαθός, ἀποβλέπων εἰς τὸ παράδειγμα τὴν ἐκ λίθων καὶ ξύλων ἄρχεται κατασκευάζειν, ἑκάστῃ τῶν ἀσωμάτων ἰδεῶν τὰς σωματικὰς ἐξομοιῶν οὐσίας. τὰ παραπλήσια δὴ καὶ περὶ θεοῦ δοξαστέον, ὡς ἄρα τὴν μεγαλόπολιν κτίζειν διανοηθεὶς ἐνενόησε πρότερον τοὺς τύπους αὐτῆς, ἐξ ὧν κόσμον νοητὸν συστησάμενος ἀπετέλει καὶ τὸν αἰσθητὸν παραδείγματι χρώμενος ἐκείνῳ. καθάπερ οὖν ἡ ἐν τῷ ἀρχιτεκτονικῷ προδιατυπωθεῖσα πόλις χώραν ἐκτὸς οὐκ εἶχεν, ἀλλ’ ἐνεσφράγιστο τῇ τοῦ τεχνίτου ψυχῇ, τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον οὐδ’ ὁ ἐκ τῶν ἰδεῶν κόσμος ἄλλον ἂν ἔχοι τόπον ἢ τὸν θεῖον λόγον τὸν ταῦτα διακοσμήσαντα· ἐπεὶ τίς ἂν εἴη τῶν δυνάμεων αὐτοῦ τόπος ἕτερος, ὃς γένοιτ’ ἂν ἱκανὸς οὐ λέγω πάσας ἀλλὰ μίαν ἄκρατον ἡντινοῦν δέξασθαί τε καὶ χωρῆσαι; δύναμις δὲ καὶ ἡ κοσμοποιητικὴ πηγὴν ἔχουσα τὸ πρὸς ἀλήθειαν ἀγαθόν. εἰ γάρ τις ἐθελήσειε τὴν αἰτίαν ἧς ἕνεκα τόδε τὸ πᾶν ἐδημιουργεῖτο διερευνᾶσθαι, δοκεῖ μοι μὴ διαμαρτεῖν σκοποῦ φάμενος, ὅπερ καὶ τῶν ἀρχαίων εἶπέ τις, ἀγαθὸν εἶναι τὸν πατέρα καὶ ποιητήν· οὗ χάριν τῆς ἀρίστης αὑτοῦ φύσεως οὐκ ἐφθόνησεν οὐσίᾳ μηδὲν ἐξ αὑτῆς ἐχούσῃ καλόν, δυναμένῃ δὲ πάντα γίνεσθαι. ἦν μὲν γὰρ ἐξ αὑτῆς ἄτακτος ἄποιος ἄψυχος ἀνόμοιος, ἑτεροιότητος ἀναρμοστίας ἀσυμφωνίας μεστή· τροπὴν δὲ καὶ μεταβολὴν ἐδέχετο τὴν εἰς τἀναντία καὶ τὰ βέλτιστα, τάξιν ποιότητα ἐμψυχίαν ὁμοιότητα ταυτότητα, τὸ εὐάρμοστον, τὸ σύμφωνον, πᾶν ὅσον τῆς κρείττονος ἰδέας.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/philo-genesis.asp?pg=3