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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

to a multitude of deities, of which the principal were represented by the sun, the moon, and the planets;[1] but amongst their philosophers there were many who acknowledged but one chief deity, the creator and director of the universe.[2] The head seat of the Arabian worship was situated amongst the northern mountains, in the same place where the faithful still direct their pilgrimage.[3] Their ideas of a cosmogony, or creation, and many of their philosophical tenets resembled those of Chaldæa, Egypt, and Syria, and of the older Greeks.[4] They believed in the immortality of the soul, its separation from the body after death, its future state of reward and punishment,[5] and many held the Pythagorean and Indian doctrine of its transmigration.[5] Mental liberty and

  1. Θυουσιν ἡλιῳ, και σεληνῃ, και δαιμοσι επιχωριοις. Philostorgius.
  2. "Warner, ap. Spanheim, Introduct. ad Hist. Nov. Test. Sæc. vii.
  3. "Warner, ib. Ecchelensis, Hist. Orient, p. 147. The temple at Mecca is distinctly referred to by Diod. Sic., and it was probably the temple of the sun mentioned by Theophrastus, (Hist. Plant.) in the following passage. Και εφασαν ακουειν, ὁτι συναγεται πανταχοθεν ἡ σμυρνα και ἡ λιβανωτος εις το ἱερον το του ἡλιου. Τουτον δ' ειναι μεν των Σαβαιων ἁγιωτατον δε πολυ των περι τον τοπον.
  4. Ecchelensis, p. 150. Resurrectionem mortuorum et judicium ultimum plurimos professos fuisse, quare ad defuncti alicujus sepulchrum camelum alligabat absque cibo et potu, ut scilicet in resurrectione equites resurgerent, camelum equitaturi Arabum more. Warner, ib.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ecchelensis, ib. Hottinger, Archæolog. Orient, p. 10. Pococke, p. 135.