Dio Chrysostom 32.41

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מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים ד / מקורות ראשוניים ועתיקים D


What, then, do you suppose those people say when they have returned to their homes at the ends of the earth? Do they not say: "We have seen a city that in most respects is admirable and a spectacle that surpasses all human spectacles, with regard both to beauty and sanctuaries and multitude of inhabitants and abundance of all that man requires," going on to describe to their fellow citizens as accurately as possible all the things that I myself named a short while ago — all about the Nile, the land, and the sea, and in particular the epiphany of the god;[1] "and yet," they will add, "it is a city that is mad over music and horse-races and in these matters behaves in a manner entirely unworthy of itself. For the Alexandrians are moderate enough when they offer sacrifice or stroll by themselves or engage in their other pursuits; but when they enter the theatre or the stadium, just as if drugs that would madden them lay buried there,[2] they lose all consciousness of their former state and are not ashamed to say or do anything that occurs to them.


  1. It would seem that Serapis, like Asclepius, with whom he was sometimes identified, showed himself in dreams to those who consulted his shrine (§ 12). Such epiphanies were not infrequent in other cults.
  2. As we might say, 'the atmosphere was charged with a malign influence.' Rouse suggests that Dio may have had in mind the practice of burying charms.

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