Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Walking on Water: Dio Chrysostom

C.J. Canton and Ben C. Smith each independently supplied yet another classical parallel to the Biblical miracle of walking on water, Dio Chrysostom's Third Discourse on Kingship 30-31 (tr. J.W. Cohoon), where Hippias the Elean is speaking:
O Socrates, he says, this you know altogether well, that of humans under the sun that man is mightiest and has power not at all less than the gods themselves for whom it is possible to do seemingly impossible things as if they were possible, if he wishes, that the sea be walked upon [πεζεύεσθαι μὲν τὴν θάλατταν], that the mountains be sailed, and that rivers be drained, drunk by men. Or have you not heard that Xerxes the king of the Persians made a sea of the land, cutting through the greatest of mountains and separating Athos from the continent, and that he led his infantry through the sea and rode upon a chariot, just like Homer says Poseidon does? And perchance likewise the dolphins and monsters from below swam under the raft when that man drove along.
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