Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Exclusive Epiphanies

Hans Dieter Benz, ed. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 7 (= Papyri Graecae Magicae I.186 ff. Preisendanz, tr. E.N. O'Neil):
In this fashion, then, the god will be seen by you alone, nor will anyone ever hear the sound of his speaking, just you yourself alone.
Gods seem to have the power to manifest themselves exclusively to whomever they wish. See Homer, Odyssey 16.159-163 (tr. A.T. Murray, rev. George E. Dimock):
And she [Athena] stood over against the door of the hut, showing herself to Odysseus, but Telemachus did not see her before him, or notice her; for it is not at all the case that the gods appear in manifest presence to all. But Odysseus saw her, and the dogs, and they did not bark, but with whining slunk in fear to the farther part of the farmstead.
Cf. Acts 26.14, where for "I heard a voice speaking unto me," the Western Text reads "For I myself alone heard a voice speaking unto me."

Related posts: Epiphanies; More on Epiphanies.

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