The Ancient Mysteries

"A very balanced selection of sources for the study of the ancient so-called mystery religions, starting with Eleusis and ending with mysteries in Judaism and Christianity. . . . No other modern sourcebook exists in this field."—Kurt Rudolph

The Ancient Mysteries
A Sourcebook of Sacred Texts

Edited by Marvin W. Meyer

1999 | 280 pages | Paper $19.95
History | Religion | Classics
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Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. The Greek Mysteries of the Grain Mother and Daughter, and Related Mysteries
Homeric Hymn to Demeter
Herodotus, History, Book 8 (selection)
Aristophanes, The Frogs (selection)
Plutarch of Chaeronea, Progress in Virtue (selection)
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, Book 5 (selection)
Herodotus, History, Book 2 (selection)
Lucian of Samosata, Alexander the False Prophet (selection)

3. The Andanian Mysteries of Messenia
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 4 (selection)
Rule of the Andanian Mysteries

4. The Greek Mysteries of Dionysos
Euripides, The Bacchae (selections)
Livy, History of Rome, Book 39 (selection)
Achilles Tatius, The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon, Book 2 (selection)
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 6 (selection)
Rule of the Iobacchoi
Plato, Republic, Book 2 (selection)
Orphic Lamella from Thessaly
Orphic Hymns

5. The Anatolian Mysteries of the Great Mother and Her Lover, and the Syrian Goddess
Arnobius of Sicca, The Case Against the Pagans, Book 5 (selections)
Livy, History of Rome, Book 29 (selection)
Catullus, Poem 63
Prudentius, On the Martyrs' Crowns (selection)
Lucian of Samosata (?), The Syrian Goddess (selections)
Apuleius of Madauros, The Golden Ass, Book 8 (selection)
Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of All Heresies (selections)

6. The Egyptian Mysteries of Isis and Osiris
Plutarch of Chaeronea, On Isis and Osiris (selections)
Isis Aretalogy from Cyme
Isis Love Spell from the Great Magical Papyrus of Paris (selection)
Apuleius of Madauros, The Golden Ass, Book
Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book 18(selection)

7. The Roman Mysteries of Mithras
Lucian of Samosata, Menippus (selection)
Plutarch of Chaeronea, Life of Pompey (selection)
Mithraic Inscriptions of Santa Prisca
Firmicus Maternus, The Error of the Pagan Religions (selections)
Origen, Against Celsus (selection)
Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (selection)
The Mithras Liturgy

8. The Mysteries within Judaism and Christianity
Plutarch of Chaeronea, Table-Talk, Book 4 (selection)
Philo of Alexandria, On the Contemplative Life (selection)
Clement of Alexandria, "To Theodore"
Gospel of Philip (selections)
Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks (selections)