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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2015 7:48 pm 
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How to put this simply.
The pre-Roman Bains de l'Arène were therapeutic yes...but the siting of the temple was related to something else entirely.
The temple was situated exactly over the conjoining of the two major fault lines in the valley...just like we see at Delphi.
I have pinpointed the temple to the nth ° , what more can i say.
The cardo maximus and the decumanus follow the faultlines exactly...they meet in only one spot...nothing to do with health (or safety).

imho of course.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2015 9:30 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
How to put this simply.
The pre-Roman Bains de l'Arène were therapeutic yes...but the siting of the temple was related to something else entirely.
The temple was situated exactly over the conjoining of the two major fault lines in the valley...just like we see at Delphi.
I have pinpointed the temple to the nth ° , what more can i say.
The cardo maximus and the decumanus follow the faultlines exactly...they meet in only one spot...nothing to do with health (or safety).

imho of course.


Okay, thanks, but what I'm specifically curious about is if you think it had an initiatory purpose as we are perhaps seeing at Baia, vs. just a place of worship - IOW was it laid out that way? Did it have features akin to that?

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 6:09 am 
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Yes - a large body of underground water....saline and sweet.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 5:27 pm 
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Google Earth updated the area of Baia a few months ago. There is also a feature now in Google Earth where, in areas where they have enough data from various angles, they can compute a 3D elevation and approximate a reasonably convincing view from any angle you care to view at. In my opinion it works very well, considering what it has to do, create 3D out of 2D.

So below is such a picture and on it are marked the main tunnel features. You are looking over the ridge of quite a steep hill, with the level of the 'Styx' almost back down to sea level the other side of the hill, starting under a white downmarket apartment block.

The current road around to the back of the hill is called the 'Sella di Baia', the saddle of Baia. This modern road cuts through the Serino Aqueduct, traces of which can be seen either side of the road if you know where to look, which you now do as I have marked it. The aqueduct fed much of the Roman bath site you can see here, after it was built. Springs and low level water tunnels also supplied fresh water. The aqueduct ends at the Piscina Mirabilis, a huge water tank that fed the Roman military fleet housed in Lake Misenum.

The large dome in the left foreground is the oldest and largest complete dome surviving from antiquity. It is built of the waterproof 'Pozzolana' cement invented in this region. The dome is the prototype for the Pantheon dome in Rome. Here it is a Roman bath with amazing sonic properties. In itself a reason to ever visit the site. Many other interesting mosaics and buildings are here too. And an upside down fig tree hanging from the roof of the building next to the dome.

A Roman sculpture shop was found here, with moulds of copies of a number of famous Greek sculptures, clearly to supply the rich and famous of Roman Baia. Moulds have been identified to some 24 known Greek sculptures. Some of these are on show in Baia Castle, nearby.

Image


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 6:54 pm 
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Whoop wrote:
Google Earth updated the area of Baia a few months ago. There is also a feature now in Google Earth where, in areas where they have enough data from various angles, they can compute a 3D elevation and approximate a reasonably convincing view from any angle you care to view at. In my opinion it works very well, considering what it has to do, create 3D out of 2D.

So below is such a picture and on it are marked the main tunnel features. You are looking over the ridge of quite a steep hill, with the level of the 'Styx' almost back down to sea level the other side of the hill, starting under a white downmarket apartment block.

The current road around to the back of the hill is called the 'Sella di Baia', the saddle of Baia. This modern road cuts through the Serino Aqueduct, traces of which can be seen either side of the road if you know where to look, which you now do as I have marked it. The aqueduct fed much of the Roman bath site you can see here, after it was built. Springs and low level water tunnels also supplied fresh water. The aqueduct ends at the Piscina Mirabilis, a huge water tank that fed the Roman military fleet housed in Lake Misenum.

The large dome in the left foreground is the oldest and largest complete dome surviving from antiquity. It is built of the waterproof 'Pozzolana' cement invented in this region. The dome is the prototype for the Pantheon dome in Rome. Here it is a Roman bath with amazing sonic properties. In itself a reason to ever visit the site. Many other interesting mosaics and buildings are here too. And an upside down fig tree hanging from the roof of the building next to the dome.

A Roman sculpture shop was found here, with moulds of copies of a number of famous Greek sculptures, clearly to supply the rich and famous of Roman Baia. Moulds have been identified to some 24 known Greek sculptures. Some of these are on show in Baia Castle, nearby.

Image



Thanks, Whoop. Very helpful graphics, makes it easy to understand.

I still feel there should have been tanks in the RLB area as well. And unless they were inside the mountain, it should be possible to track them by looking, starting in the places that makes most sense.

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 6:59 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
How to put this simply.
The pre-Roman Bains de l'Arène were therapeutic yes...but the siting of the temple was related to something else entirely.
The temple was situated exactly over the conjoining of the two major fault lines in the valley...just like we see at Delphi.
I have pinpointed the temple to the nth ° , what more can i say.
The cardo maximus and the decumanus follow the faultlines exactly...they meet in only one spot...nothing to do with health (or safety).

imho of course.



Very intersting about the fault lines.

Still today, these lines seem to decide most of the angles of RLB?

Sheila, I try to read back but cannot find it. I think you once posted a link where one could spot the fault lines?

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 7:04 pm 
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I did indeed, but this thread is about the potential Oracle of the dead @ Baiae not the one @ Rennes les Bains.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 7:48 pm 
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I know, sorry, got carried away :oops:
Happens easily, when the material here is so fantastic.

It's nice to compare.
However - and correct me if I am wrong - the landscape of Baiae must have looked a lot different in ancient days, considering a lot has sunken into the sea today?

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 8:18 pm 
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However - and correct me if I am wrong - the landscape of Baiae must have looked a lot different in ancient days, considering a lot has sunken into the sea today?


Oh yes..beyond all recognition.

http://www.oracleofthedead.com/the-site-at-baia/


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2015 8:27 pm 
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Baiae was once a fashionable resort now submerged beneath the waves..while Rennes les Bains is the opposite, she is a tourist resort left high & dry by the receding waters.


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2015 5:35 am 
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Barbarian Storm wrote:
However - and correct me if I am wrong - the landscape of Baiae must have looked a lot different in ancient days, considering a lot has sunken into the sea today?

The picture below shows the coastline roughly as it would have been in Roman times, at the present three fathom line, and as it is today. Lake Lucrinus has all but disappeared, largely because Monte Nuovo appeared suddenly over two days in the mid-1500s.

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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2015 5:37 am 
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Sheila wrote:
I did indeed, but this thread is about the potential Oracle of the dead @ Baiae not the one @ Rennes les Bains.

Where is the thread about the Rennes les Bains site Sheila?


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2015 6:04 am 
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i don't start threads these days, any information i post is scattered across the forum.
The Barbarian might know.


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2015 2:37 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
i don't start threads these days, any information i post is scattered across the forum.
The Barbarian might know.


Yes, Sheila, a Barbarian does indeed know.

Whoop - how about taking a look at the "Behind the walls"-thread in the Rennes-le-Château-section?

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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2015 5:08 pm 
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Barbarian Storm wrote:
Whoop - how about taking a look at the "Behind the walls"-thread in the Rennes-le-Château-section?

I have looked, but don't have anything valid to contribute as I am ill-informed about the area.


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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2015 6:09 pm 
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research into Libitina would not go amiss.


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PostPosted: 01 May 2015 8:29 am 
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Sheila wrote:
research into Libitina would not go amiss.

Isn't she Etruscan?

We don't have to look very far from Baia, just a few kilometers to Cuma, to find a burial site reserved for initiates, with gold leaves in their mouths.

"...Small, thin gold lamellae dating from the late fifth century BC to one in the third AD have been discovered in various parts of what used to be the Greek world in tombs. Rectangular or in the shape of ivy or myrtle leaves, sometimes folded into the form of a cylinder, these diminutive tablets were placed in the mouths or hands of dead initiates before burial. The texts inscribed on the leaves give instructions on what path the soul should take in the afterlife, or on what the soul should say to Persephone, goddess of the dead, when confronting her in the Underworld as a suppliant. The emphasis is on purity and/or privilege; the deceased is identified as someone pure enough to belong to the community of the gods; he, very often she (many of these leaves have been found in the tombs of women), has credentials which enable her to drink from 'Memory's Lake' where, presumably, she will achieve total recall of her previous incarnations. Eventually, after a number of re-incarnations, she will join other initiates on their journey to Elysium...

...Bacchic rites were associated with Orphic rites by Herodotus (2.81) who went on to say that such rites were really Egyptian and Pythagorean. A close connection between Orphism and Bacchic initiation can be illustrated quite graphically by the bone tablets (5th c. BC) found at Olbia, formerly a Greek colony in the Crimea. Some of these tablets carry brief inscriptions, e.g. 'Life. Death. Life. Truth. Dio(nysos). Orphics', and are thought to be tokens of membership in an Orphic cult. Whatever the case, Pythagorean, Orphic, or Bacchic (and the Eleusinian Mysteries associated with Demeter and Persephone should not be left out of account), we are dealing with a mystery cult or cults in which only initiates were believed to achieve redemption and rebirth after death... " Ritual Performance and the Gold Leaves by Ted Jenner.

"There are all kinds of problems about these [gold] leaves and here it might seem that I am complicating even further a subject already fraught with complications, but I feel it is necessary to ask if there is any evidence of ritual performance in the texts themselves. The subject is actually a promising field of research for it is quite possible that both the A- and B-texts [two groups of leaves, A- and B- place a different emphasis on the initiate's credentials: in the so-called 'A-texts' the soul confronts Persephone and the stress is on ritual purity; in the 'B-texts', the stress is on divine lineage] reflect verse dialogues between soul and guardians spoken at initiation ceremonies or at the funerals of members of the cult concerned. We can even speculate where such dialogues might have taken place: at sanctuaries of chthonic gods such as the precinct of Persephone and Demeter at Akragas (modern Agrigento) in Sicily. This complex contains a labyrinthine enclosure where initiands might have experienced (endured?) a journey to Hades' kingdom and the mysteries of death and rebirth. The so-called 'Great Antrum' at Baiae in the Bay of Naples (dated at c. 500 BC) is a striking example of this kind of enclosure. A long passage, over 170 m. in length and oriented east-west, leads to an inner chamber and water tank pointing to the midsummer sunset. Here, at this chamber, initiands might have been presented to an imaginary Persephone, Eukles (Hades) and Eubouleus (Dionysos), declaring, as in the Atexts from Thurii, their purity and consanguinity with the gods, thereupon to be rewarded with a promise of immortality from some hierophantic voice 'offstage' impersonating Persephone. I should mention in this context that not far from Baiae lies Cumae where, in a necropolis apparently reserved for Dionysiac or Orphic initiates, an inscription (c. 450 BC) was found bearing the rubric, 'None but Bakkhoi may be buried here'." M.L. West, The Orphic Poems. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988

In the above red passage, the water tank West refers to is the man-made water channel we nickname 'The Styx'. The inner chamber is the bricked up 'Sanctuary'.

The bit about the water channel facing midsummer sunset implies that from an as yet unknown exit a view to the horizon would show such a sunset. I take this to be a conjectural fancy of Dr Paget, who wrote this in his book 'In the Footsteps of Orpheus'. It was repeated in Hardie's paper to the British School at Rome, from whence West has copied it. The point about Great Antrum facing the sunrise emerging obliquely behind Vesuvius at the equinoxes is far more extraordinary and was missed by Paget. I claim this this discovery jointly through consulting archaeoastronomer Tony Ropper.

Plutarch (fr.178) describes an experience of the Underworld in terms of an initiation, for initiations were often staged as journeys to the world of the dead.


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PostPosted: 08 May 2015 1:36 am 
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Whoop - would you happen to know the location of any nearby burial places? Where do the dead people of Baiae rest?

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PostPosted: 18 May 2015 7:04 am 
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Barbarian Storm wrote:
Whoop - would you happen to know the location of any nearby burial places? Where do the dead people of Baiae rest?

In Greek times there is a well-known necropolis at Kyme - modern day Cuma. Also an area there specifically reserved for initiates of the mysteries.

In Roman times there are various burial sites. There is a street of upper class tombs between Baia and Pozzuoli. On the edges of Lake Misenum where the Roman fleet was located, there are numerous more modest tombs cut into the rock around the edge of the lake. They have inscriptions of the sailors who are buried and sometimes even the name of the ship they served on. I was shown a number of these holes in the wall, but they are not accessible to the public.

Most Roman burial sites I would presume to be under the sea, as that is where the vast majority of the Roman buildings now lie.

Where are the dead buried today? In the local catholic cemeteries I suppose.


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PostPosted: 18 May 2015 9:22 am 
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Whoop wrote:
....... Also an area there specifically reserved for initiates of the mysteries. .......


Would these be the Greater or Lesser mysteries?

And does anyone have any idea of the difference between the two?

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PostPosted: 19 May 2015 12:54 am 
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Whoop wrote:
Barbarian Storm wrote:
Whoop - would you happen to know the location of any nearby burial places? Where do the dead people of Baiae rest?

In Greek times there is a well-known necropolis at Kyme - modern day Cuma. Also an area there specifically reserved for initiates of the mysteries.

In Roman times there are various burial sites. There is a street of upper class tombs between Baia and Pozzuoli. On the edges of Lake Misenum where the Roman fleet was located, there are numerous more modest tombs cut into the rock around the edge of the lake. They have inscriptions of the sailors who are buried and sometimes even the name of the ship they served on. I was shown a number of these holes in the wall, but they are not accessible to the public.

Most Roman burial sites I would presume to be under the sea, as that is where the vast majority of the Roman buildings now lie.

Where are the dead buried today? In the local catholic cemeteries I suppose.


Thank you, Whoop. That is some excellent information.

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PostPosted: 19 May 2015 11:32 am 
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RenaissanceMan wrote:
Whoop wrote:
....... Also an area there specifically reserved for initiates of the mysteries. .......


Would these be the Greater or Lesser mysteries?

And does anyone have any idea of the difference between the two?

I think one was the preparation for the other.

In Italy various regional adaptations seem to have been in operation.

Are we looking here at Baia at Orphism? Associated with the mythical Orpheus who descended into Hades and returned and the people who revered Persephone? Orpheus was said to have invented the Mysteries of Dionysus. Orphic poetry goes back to 6th century BC, which fits in well enough with the Greek occupation of Campania. There are similarities between the Orphic Mysteries and the Eleusinian Mysteries and both promised advantages after death. In other words man has a soul that survives death - in contrast to mainstream Greek belief.

Robert Graves came to the firm belief that we are looking here at an initiatory revelatory system using psychedelic mushrooms, specifically amanita muscaria, fly agaric, the red spotted mushroom of fairytales. It is well known among widely spread cultures that amanita muscaria gains exceptional concentration and potency if the urine from a previous ingestion is collected and drunk (how did people first find this out?!). This may account for the statement that 'Dionysus was born out of the thigh of Zeus.'

Robert Graves looked at the Greek words for ambrosia and nectar, the 'food of the gods' and discovered the following:

The food of the gods

What is 'ambrosia', the food of the gods, the drink that confers immortality? The grammarians of ancient Greek define ambrosia as a thick porridge of honey, water, fruit, olive-oil, fruit and pearl-barley.

So lets take the recipe and write it down in tabular form:

MELI
UDOR
KARPOS
ELAIOS
TUROS
ALPHITA

Now the recipe for nectar specifically:

MELI
UDOR
KARPOS

Finally the recipe for 'kukeon' ('mixture'), the draught that the Goddess Demeter accepted in the palace of King Celeus, by which she broke her fast and which was thereafter imbibed in her honor by the initiates of the Greater Mysteries, 'Kukeon' is mint-water mixed with pounded barley:

MINTHAION
UDOR
KUKOMENON
ALPHITOS

Now lets examine the three sets of the initial letters:

MUKETA, MUK, MUKA - MUSHROOM. No way to misinterpret this - the letters spell out 'mushroom'.
MUKA, an earlier form of MUKES, answers the question, 'What substance grants the mystic vision?'
MUKETA, the accusative form, answers the question, 'What do the gods eat?'

Ambrosia, the food of the gods, that which confers immortality refers to mushrooms, (specifically - hallucinatory mushrooms).

The Mysteries

Consider the following - the word for 'mystery' in ancient Greek is 'musterion'. The Mysteries were held in Autumn which is the mushroom season, and the word for this Autumn ceremony is likewise 'musterion', and the word begins with 'mu' which means 'mushroom'.

In Spring, which is the flower season, there was another ceremony which was called 'anthesterion'. Since this word begins with 'anthos' which means flower, doesn't it follow that the 'mu' at the beginning of 'musterion' would refer to mushroom?

'Mukes' is mushroom and 'muos' is fly (as in the insect), and the syllable 'mu' as in musterion could come from either one or the other. This may explain why amanita muscaria is known as fly agaric.

Conspiracy of silence

Not a single mushroom figures in the works of Hesiod, Homer or the Greek dramatists; no admission that it even exists. Could it be a conspiracy of silence - quite natural if mushrooms were the hallucinatory agents used by the mystagogues of the Eleusinian Mysteries - a secret that nobody blabbed in the course of all those early centuries; and we must believe that there was a secret, for otherwise we are left believing that the recipe that made the adepts of the Mysteries gasp in wonder was a soft drink of mint-flavoured barley water.

Dionysus's source of intoxication has always been politely attributed by Greek scholars to wine. Ambrosia is identified in the Oxford English Dictionary with Asclepias (milk weed); and by various Encyclopaedias with almost every sort of plant except mushrooms.

It has also been proposed that a substance that may also have been used in the Eleusinian Mysteries was ergot, derived from claviceps purpurea, a fungus that grows on rye crops having an effect similar to LSD.

The term entheogen is a better and less loaded word to use for a drug which induces visions of god, rather than the inapt hallucinogen or psychedelic, which have all kinds of unhelpful modern cultural connotations.


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PostPosted: 19 May 2015 9:54 pm 
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RenaissanceMan wrote:
Whoop wrote:
....... Also an area there specifically reserved for initiates of the mysteries. .......


Would these be the Greater or Lesser mysteries?

And does anyone have any idea of the difference between the two?


http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mys ... stsch2.htm

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PostPosted: 20 May 2015 8:09 am 
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Caelum wrote:
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mysterys/mystsch2.htm


Relevant here might be this quotation from the above document:

In the Greater Mysteries, the passage into the underworld ceases to be a mere ritual of the Lesser Mysteries in which the candidate participates. He must now approach "the confines of death" with full knowledge, and in the garment of soul-consciousness pass beyond the veil of visible nature into the arena of worlds invisible:

It is one of the fundamental teachings of occultism that nothing can be truly known which is not experienced, lived through. . . . different stages or degrees of initiation are really a kind of forcing-process, for certain chosen spirits, certain chosen souls, who have proved themselves worthy: . . . These different stages or degrees of initiation are marked by preparatory purifications, first. Then came the "death," a mystic death. The body and lower principles, so to say, are paralyzed, and the soul is temporarily freed. And, to a certain extent, the freed inner man is guided and directed and helped by the initiators while it passes into other spheres and to other planes and learns the nature of these by becoming them, which is the only way by which knowledge thereof roots itself into the soul, into the ego: by becoming the thing. — Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, pp. 258-9

This mystic death constitutes the fourth initiation, which consists not only in one's ability to receive spiritual light, but likewise in one's power to face with equanimity and awakened morality the darkness of evil. To become a thing is actually to unite one's cognizing intelligence with the essence of that being or thing; in other words, to take on the nature of such entity for the time being. Hence, to weld one's consciousness with beings in spheres lower than the human is greatly to test the stamina of the individual: will the malefic fumes of the lower spheres stifle the delicate petals of the budding adept? Will the sensuous delights of the lower hells have any attraction for the neophyte stern in his resolve? Conversely, to assume the nature of beings in spheres higher than the human calls for an equally tempered constitution: will the brilliance and splendor of truth undimmed blind the soul? Will vision of reality shatter the awakening eye of wisdom?

My take is that the tunnels at Baia may have been built to fulfil an expectation that had been established since Homer's time that there was an entrance to the underworld in this region - many local places have names from the Odyssey saga. The three-headed cerberus on the local high value silver coinage also suggests a strong local link with the underworld.

Yet the tunnels don't appear to me to be constructed as a mere tourist attraction, the labour expended in digging them, in a confined and dusty space, complete with underground river, seems an effort way beyond that. The strong local connections with Orphism and initiatory cults suggest that these tunnels were used to provide the set and setting to induce such death/rebirth experiences as described above. The later Roman extension at the entrance further suggests to me that there was a continuation or revival in Roman times, which may have been covert as it would have been after the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus of 186 BC prohibiting the Bacchanalia throughout all Italy, except in certain special cases which must be approved specifically by the Senate. Perhaps Baia was an exemption, situated as it is perhaps in part of Julius Caesar's grounds? Vergil was an initiate of some kind and perhaps in the Aeneid he speaks from some personal knowledge or hearsay, although I understand the story is set back in ancient times of the Greeks.

That there was a Sybil, a Prophetess, presiding over an Oracle of the Dead in this region, who claimed to be able to put one in touch with dead loved ones may be down to Homer's Odyssey and subsequent stories and legend, but as the Sybil of Cuma presiding over the future-predicting Oracle at Cuma surely did exist, with written accounts of her predictions, it may not be too fanciful to suggest a Sybil presided over the Oracle of the Dead.

The Campanian poet Naevius (c. 270 – c. 201 BC) mentions the Cimmerian Sibyl in his books of the Punic War and Piso also in his annals. A person whose name was Carmentis.


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PostPosted: 20 May 2015 6:06 pm 
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Paraphrased from THE CULTS OF CAMPANIA BY ROY MERLE PETERSON, 1919, American Academy in Rome.

The worship of Dionysus was carried on especially in the mysteries. In these ceremonies Ceres seems to have had little part according to the evidence of vase paintings, yet she probably had a larger share in the mysteries of this coast, whence the Romans derived their worship of Ceres, Liber and Libera, than on the other side of the peninsula, where Dionysus was supreme.

Dionysus himself was regarded as the Liberator and viewed as a god of the dead. His popularity is proved by the frequency with which he appears in vase paintings from the factories of Campania and the adjoining districts. He is a common subject not only upon the vases coming from Posidonia but also upon those from Saticula (S. Agatha de' Goti), where a notable factory was located in the fifth and fourth centuries. Although the vases are based on Attic models, they would have been lacking in point, if they did not allude to popular legends and religious rites. In this case the comprehensive character of the cult, the many phases of life with which the god was associated, and his significance in the mysteries as a chthonic deity (literally chthonic means "subterranean" and concerns the deities or spirits of the underworld in Greek religion) are all circumstances that made the subject appropriate.

Likewise the myths connected with Dionysus, especially those in which Ariadne appears, were adopted more often than any other theme for Campanian wall-paintings.

The mystical element pervading the cult of Dionysus was paralleled in the Orphic mysteries, which had attained a full development in lower Italy in the sixth century. These doctrines unquestionably influenced Campania to a considerable extent, though no certain evidence for their presence in any particular city remains. We may be sure that the wandering Orphic teachers censured by Plato did not neglect this rich and prosperous territory, but went about here as elsewhere expounding to interested throngs their hopes for a future life. Related to the Orphic doctrines and liable to be confused with them were the teachings of Pythagoras emanating from Croton, the amount of whose influence in Campania we are not in a position to estimate. The one fact that is gleaned from the various mysteries - Bacchic, Orphic, and Pythagorean - is that the life beyond the grave occupied a large place in the thought of southern Italy; the end was the same whether there prevailed a belief in the transmigration of souls or in the existence of a blessed Elysium.

...evident is the Campanian origin for the worship of Apollo at Rome; in this case the god did not arrive in the guise of an Italian divinity but was introduced directly from Cumae as a god of healing probably as a result of the influence of the so-called Sybilline oracles, which tradition ascribes to that city. These according to legend reached Rome at the end of the period of the Kings or at the beginning of the Republic.

A circumstance indicating the belief of the Romans themselves that their god came from Cumae was the performance of expiatory rites in the Apollo temple of that city on the occasion of prodigies, and there can be little doubt that their attitude here was correct.

As a result of Sibylline influence, the cult of Demeter, Cora and Dionysus is said to have reached Rome in the year 493 B. C. This form of worship in which Ceres, representing Demeter, had the leading place was adopted as an official cult by the state, but although the divinities were designated by Latin names formerly borne by old Italian deities, they were considered as foreign gods and their rites were Greek.

----

My comment:

Parallels between the cult of Ceres, Liber and Libera and the rituals later adopted by Christianity have been remarked upon by a number of scholars and it cannot be denied that the establishment of the Christian church was orchestrated in Italy and had little to do with Judea and the surrounding countries where the biblical events took place. Orpheus of the underworld depicted in at least four of the Christian catacombs in Rome is thus not so much of surprise. There was an evolution and continuation of tradition, with an equation of personalities and abilities, as had always gone on in Italian cults.


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