linus again was (so it is said) the son of hermes and the muse of urania. he composed a poem describing the creation of the world, the courses of the sun and moon, and the growth of animals and plants. his poem begins with the line:
time was when all things grew up at once;
and this idea was borrowed by anaxagoras when he declared that all things were originally together until mind came and set them in order. linus died in euboea, slain by the arrow of apollo, and this is his epitaph:
here theban linus, whom urania bore,
the fair-crowned muse, sleeps on a foreign shore.
and thus it was from divine man that philosophy took its rise: it very name declaring lovers of wisdom. but those who attribute its invention to barbarians bring forward orpheus the thracian, calling him a philosopher of whose antiquity there can be no doubt. now, considering the sort of things he said of the gods, i hardly know whether he ought to be called a philosopher; for what are we to make of one who does not scruple to charge the gods with all human suffering. and even the foul crimes wrought by the tongue amongst a few of mankind? the story goes, that he met his death at the hands of women; but according to the epitaph at dium in macedonia he was slain by a thunderbolt; it runs as follows:
here have the muses laid their minstrel true,
the thracian orpheus, whom jove’s thunder slew.
but the advocates of the theory that philosophy took its rise among the barbarians, go on to explain the different forms it assumed in different countries. as to the gymnosophists and druids we are told, that they uttered their philosophy in riddles, bidding men to reverence nature, to abstain from wrongdoing, and to practice courage. that the gymnosophists at all events despise even death itself, is affirmed by clitarchus in his twelfth book; he also says that the chaldaeans apply themselves to astronomy and forecasting the future; while the magi spend their time in the worship of the gods, in sacrifices and in prayers, implying that none but themselves have the ear of the gods.
they propound their views concerning the being and origin of the gods, whom they hold to be fire, earth, and water; they condemn the use of images, and the error of attributing to the divinities difference of sex. they hold discourse of justice and deem it impious to practice cremation, but they see no impiety in marriage with a mother or daughter, as sotion relates in his twenty third book. further, they practice divination and forecast the future, declaring that the gods appear to them in visible form.
moreover, they say that the air is full of shapes which stream forth like vapor, and enter the eyes of keen-sighted seers. they prohibit personal ornament and the wearing of gold. their dress is white, they make their bed on the ground, and their food is vegetables, cheese, and coarse bread. their staff is a reed and their custom is, so we are told, to stick it into the cheese and to take it up with the part they eat. those who search will find, what is truth and divine. not all those who wander are lost. all wisdom stems from simplicity. become a student of life. live to learn and learn to live. independence is trusting your body