Tuesday, November 06, 2012



Strabo 15.1.60 (tr. Horace Leonard Jones):
As for the Garmanes, he [Megasthenes, Indica fragment 41 Schwanbeck] says that the most honourable of them are named Hylobii and that they live in forests, subsisting on leaves and wild fruits, clothed with the bark of trees, and abstaining from wine and the delights of love; and that they communicate with the kings, who through messengers inquire about the causes of things and through the Hylobii worship and supplicate the Divinity.

τοὺς δὲ Γαρμᾶνας τοὺς μὲν ἐντιμοτάτους ὑλοβίους φησὶν ὀνομάζεσθαι, ζῶντας ἐν ταῖς ὕλαις ἀπὸ φύλλων καὶ καρπῶν ἀγρίων, ἐσθῆτος φλοιῶν δενδρείων, ἀφροδισίων χωρὶς καὶ οἴνου· τοῖς δὲ βασιλεῦσι συνεῖναι, δι᾽ ἀγγέλων πυνθανομένοις περὶ τῶν αἰτίων καὶ δι᾽ ἐκείνων θεραπεύουσι καὶ λιτανεύουσι τὸ θεῖον.
Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 1.15.72 (tr. William Wilson):
Thus philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians; and the Druids among the Gauls; and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians; and the philosophers of the Celts; and the Magi of the Persians, who foretold the Saviour's birth, and came into the land of Judaea guided by a star. The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanae, and others Brahmins. And those of the Sarmanae who are called Hylobii neither inhabit cities, nor have roofs over them, but are clothed in the bark of trees, feed on nuts, and drink water in their hands. Like those called Encratites in the present day, they know not marriage nor begetting of children.

Φιλοσοφία τοίνυν πολυωφελές τι χρῆμα πάλαι μὲν ἤκμασε παρὰ βαρβάροις κατὰ τὰ ἔθνη διαλάμψασα, ὕστερον δὲ καὶ εἰς Ἕλληνας κατῆλθεν. Προέστησαν δ´ αὐτῆς Αἰγυπτίων τε οἱ προφῆται καὶ Ἀσσυρίων οἱ Χαλδαῖοι καὶ Γαλατῶν οἱ Δρυΐδαι καὶ Σαμαναῖοι Βάκτρων καὶ Κελτῶν οἱ φιλοσοφήσαντες καὶ Περσῶν οἱ Μάγοι (οἳ μαγείᾳ καὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος προεμήνυσαν τὴν γένεσιν, ἀστέρος αὐτοῖς καθηγουμένου εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν ἀφικνούμενοι γῆν) Ἰνδῶν τε οἱ γυμνοσοφισταί, ἄλλοι γε φιλόσοφοι βάρβαροι. Διττὸν δὲ τούτων τὸ γένος, οἳ μὲν Σαρμᾶναι αὐτῶν, οἳ δὲ Βραχμᾶναι καλούμενοι. Καὶ τῶν Σαρμανῶν οἱ ὑλόβιοι προσαγορευόμενοι οὔτε πόλεις οἰκοῦσιν οὔτε στέγας ἔχουσιν, δένδρων δὲ ἀμφιέννυνται φλοιοῖς καὶ ἀκρόδρυα σιτοῦνται καὶ ὕδωρ ταῖς χερσὶ πίνουσιν, οὐ γάμον, οὐ παιδοποιίαν ἴσασιν, ὥσπερ οἱ νῦν Ἐγκρατηταὶ καλούμενοι.

ὑλόβιοι Richardus Montacutius (Richard Montagu): ἀλλόβιοι codd.
Law Code of Manu 6.1-6 (tr. Patrick Olivelle):
1 After living this way in the householder's order according to rule, a twice-born bath-graduate should duly live in the forest, controlling himself and mastering his organs, 2 When a householder sees his skin wrinkled, his hair turned grey, and his children's children, he should take to the wilderness. 3 Giving up village food and all his belongings, he should go to the forest, entrusting his wife to his sons or accompanied by her. 4 Taking with him his sacrificial fires and the implements required for his domestic fire rituals, he should depart from the village to the wilderness and live there with his organs controlled. 5 Using various kinds of ritually clean sage's food (3.257n.), or vegetables, roots, and fruits, he should continue to offer the same great sacrifices (3.68-70) according to rule. 6 He should wear a garment of skin or tree bark; bathe in the morning and evening; always wear matted hair; and keep his beard, body hair, and nails uncut.
John A. Grimes, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, new and rev. ed. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), p. 337, s.v. Vānaprastha:
forest dweller (from pra-sthā = "go forth" + vana = "wood")

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