The Truth about HELL / HADES / TARTARUS


Marcus Tullius Cicero (107BC – 43BC ; Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist) said :

“So in the very beginning we must persuade our citizens that the gods are the lords and rulers of all things, and that what is done, is done by their will and authority; that they are likewise great benefactors of man, observing the character of every individual, what he does, of what wrong he is guilty, and with what intentions and with what piety he fulfills his religious duties.” (Cicero, Laws 2)

“What old woman is so stupid now as to tremble at those tales of hell, which were once so firmly believed in?”
– Cicero

The Historian Polybius (200BC – 118BC) said :

“It is a course which perhaps would not have been necessary had it been possible to form a state composed of wise men, but as every multitude is fickle, full of lawless desires, unreasoned passion, and violent anger, the multitude must be held in check by invisible terrors and suchlike pageantry. For this reason I think, not that the ancients acted rashly and at haphazard in introducing among the people notions concerning the gods and beliefs in the terrors of hell, but that the moderns are most rash and foolish in banishing such beliefs.”

Seneca The Younger (4 BC – 65AD ; Adviser to Nero Caesar) says:

“Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, etc., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors.”

Petronius Arbiter (27 – 66AD ; Roman Courtier Adviser to Nero Caesar) said :

“It is fear that first brought gods into the world.”

Roman Philosopher Lucretius (99BC – 55BC ; Roman Philosopher Poet) said this :

“There is no murky pit of hell awaiting anyone … Mind cannot arise alone without body, or apart from sinews and blood … You must admit, therefore, that when then body has perished, there is an end also of the spirit diffused through it. It is surely crazy to couple a mortal object with an eternal…”

Epicurus (Greek Philosopher ; 341BC – 270BC) said :

“…men, believing in myths, will always fear something terrible, everlasting punishment as certain or probable, and are even frightened of the insensibility of death, as if we should be conscious of it; and finally by the fact that, as a result, men base all these fears not on mature opinions, but on irrational fancies, so that they are more disturbed by fear of the unknown than by facing facts. Peace of mind lies in being delivered from all these fears.”

Eusebius (Constantine’s Christian HIstorian ; 263-339AD) said :

“How far it may be proper to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who require to be deceived.”

Strabo (64BC-24AD ; Historian, Geographer) paraphrasing his work entitled, ‘Geographica’ Book I, Chapter II, Verse VIII below

“…the States and Lawgivers sanctioned myths as a tool to teach the young all the way up to maturity. The marvelous and portentous elements excite the senses and allow the multitudes to learn much easier.

When they’re young, we use myths as bait, but when they get older, we teach them the facts. But every illiterate and uneducated man is still a child, and like a child, he still loves these tales found in myth and is persuaded by them.

Not only the pleasing aspects of myth, but also the fear-inspiring elements deter them from wrong-doing. They learn of divine punishments, terrors, and threats, but these were employed to scare the simple-minded.

For the thunderbolt, aegis, trident, torches [of the Furies], snakes, [dragons], thyrsus-lances, arms of the gods, are myths [fables], and so is the entire ancient theology. But now philosophy has come to the front, but it is only for the few, while myths are needed for the majority of society.”

Strabo “Geographica” Book I, Chapter II, Verse VIII in its entirety below :

“In the first place, I remark that the poets were not alone in sanctioning myths, for long before the poets the states and the lawgivers had sanctioned them as a useful expedient, since they had an insight into the natural affections of the reasoning animal; for man is eager to learn, and his fondness for tales is a prelude to this quality. It is fondness for tales, then, that induces children to give their attention to narratives and more and more to take part in them. The reason for this is that myth is a new language to them — a language that tells them, not of things as they are, but of a different set of things.

And what is new is pleasing, and so is what one did not know before; and it is just this that makes men eager to learn. But if you add thereto the marvellous and the portentous, you thereby increase the pleasure, and pleasure acts as a charm to incite to learning. At the beginning we must needs make use of such bait for children, but as the child advances in years we must guide him to the knowledge of facts, when once his intelligence has become strong and no longer needs to be coaxed.

Now every illiterate and uneducated man is, in a sense, a child, and, like a child, he is fond of stories; and for that matter, so is the half-educated man, for his reasoning faculty has not been fully developed, and, besides, the mental habits of his childhood persist in him. Now since the portentous is not only pleasing, but fear-inspiring as well, we can employ both kinds of myth for children, and for grown-up people too. In the case of children we employ the pleasing myths to spur them on, and the fear-inspiring myths to deter them; for instance, Lamia is a myth, and so are the Gorgon, and Ephialtes, and Mormolyce.

Most of those who live in the cities are incited to emulation by the myths that are pleasing, when they hear the poets narrate mythical deeds of heroism, such as the Labours of Heracles or Theseus, or hear of honours bestowed by gods, or, indeed, when they see paintings or primitive images or works of sculpture which suggest any similar happy issue of fortune in mythology; but they are deterred from evil courses when, either through descriptions or through typical representations of objects unseen, they learn of divine punishments, terrors, and threats — or even when they merely believe that men have met with such experiences. For in dealing with a crowd of women, at least, or with any promiscuous mob, a philosopher cannot influence them by reason or exhort them to reverence, piety and faith; nay, there is need of religious fear also, and this cannot be aroused without myths and marvels. For thunderbolt, aegis, trident, torches, snakes, thyrsus-lances, — arms of the gods — are myths, and so is the entire ancient theology.

But the founders of states gave their sanction to these things as bugbears wherewith to scare the simple-minded.Now since this is the nature of mythology, and since it has come to have its place in the social and civil scheme of life as well as in the history of actual facts, the ancients clung to their system of education for children and applied it up to the age of maturity; and by means of poetry they believed that they could satisfactorily discipline every period of life. But now, after a long time, the writing of history and the present-day philosophy have come to the front. Philosophy, however, is for the few, whereas poetry is more useful to the people at large and can draw full houses — and this is exceptionally true of the poetry of Homer. And the early historians and physicists were also writers of myths.”

Aristotle (Greek Philosopher and Scientist ; 384-322 BC) said this :

“It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state.”
– Neander’s Church Hist., I, pg. 7

Timaeus Locrus (Greek Philosopher 420BC – 380 BC) said :

“For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes.”

Plato (Greek Philosopher ; 423 BC – 348 BC), in his commentary on Timaeus

He fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that “Plato and the Brahmins of India invented

fables concerning the future judgments of hell” (Hades).

Chrysippus (Greek Philosopher ; 279 BC – 206 BC)

He blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments. Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime. But then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.

Dionysius Halicarnassus (60BC – 7BC ; Greek Historian) treats the whole matter as useful, but not true. Antiq. Rom., B. ii

Dionysios of Halicarnnasus, Roman Antiquities, Book II, Chapter 10 “For both patrons and clients alike it was impious and unlawful to accuse each other in law-suits or to bear witness or to give their votes against each other or to be found in the number of each other’s enemies; and whoever was convicted of doing any of these things was guilty of treason by virtue of the law sanctioned by Romulus, and might lawfully be put to death by any man who so wished as a victim devoted to the Jupiter of the infernal regions. For it was customary among the Romans, whenever they wished to put people to death without incurring any penalty, to devote their persons to some god or other, and particularly to the gods of the lower world; and this was the course what Romulus then adopted.”

Chapter 18

“It is not only these institutions of Romulus that I admire, but also those which I am going to relate. He understood that the good government of cities was due to certain causes which all statesmen prate of but few succeed in making effective: first, the favour of the gods, the enjoyment of which gives success to men’s every enterprise; next, moderation and justice, as a result of which the citizens, being less disposed to injure one another, are more harmonious, and make honour, rather than the most shameful pleasures, the measure of their happiness; and, lastly, bravery in war, which renders the other virtues also useful to their possessors. And he thought that none of these advantages is the effect of chance, but recognized that good laws and the emulation of worthy pursuits render a State pious, temperate, devoted to justice, and brave in war. He took great care, therefore, to encourage these, beginning with the worship of the gods and genii. He established temples, sacred precincts and altars, arranged for the setting up of statues, determined the representations and symbols of the gods, and declared their powers, the beneficent gifts which they have made to mankind, the particular festivals that should be celebrated in honour of each god or genius, the sacrifices with which they delight to be honoured by men, as well as the holidays, festal assemblies, days of rest, and everything alike of that nature, in all of which he followed the best customs in use among the Greeks. 3 But he rejected all the traditional myths concerning the gods that contain blasphemies or calumnies against them, looking upon these as wicked, useless and indecent, and unworthy, not only of the gods, but even of good men; and he accustomed people both to think and to speak the best of the gods and to attribute to them no conduct unworthy of their blessed nature.”

Chapter 20

“Let no one imagine, however, that I am not sensible that some of the Greek myths are useful to mankind, part of them explaining, as they do, the works of Nature by allegories, others being designed as a consolation for human misfortunes, some freeing the mind of its agitations and terrors and clearing away unsound opinions, and others invented for some other useful purpose. 2 But, though I am as well acquainted as anyone with these matters, nevertheless my attitude toward the myths is one of caution, and I am more inclined to accept the theology of the Romans, when I consider that the advantages from the Greek myths are slight and cannot be of profit to many, but only to those who have examined the end for which they are designed; and this philosophic attitude is shared by few. The great multitude, unacquainted with philosophy, are prone to take these stories about the gods in the worse sense and to fall into one of two errors: they either despise the gods as buffeted by many misfortunes, or else refrain from none of the most shameful and lawless deeds when they see them attributed to the gods.”

Publius Papinius Statius (45 – 96 AD ; Roman Poet) said :

“It is for the good of the State, that men should be deluded by religion.”

Marcus Terentius Varro (116BC – 27BC ; Roman Historian and Philosopher) said :

“…concerning the generations of the gods, that the people have inclined to the poets rather than to the natural philosophers; and that therefore their forefathers,–that is, the ancient Romans,–believed both in the sex and the generations of the gods, and settled their marriages; which certainly seems to have been done for no other cause except that it was the business of such men as were prudent and wise to deceive the people in matters of religion, and in that very thing not only to worship, but also to imitate the demons, whose greatest lust is to deceive. For just as the demons cannot possess any but those whom they have deceived with guile, so also men in princely office, not indeed being just, but like demons, have persuaded the people in the name of religion to receive as true those things which they themselves knew to be false; in this way, as it were, binding them up more firmly in civil society, so that they might in like manner possess them as subjects.”
B. iv 32

Xenophanes (Philosopher ; 5th Century BC) said :

“The Ethiopians say their gods are snub-nosed and black. The Thracians say that their gods have red hair and light blue eyes.”

Sextus Empiricus (160AD – 210AD) calls them

“poetic fables of hell.”

Diodorus Siculus (Greek Historian ; 90BC – 30BC) said this :

“The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous.”

Livy (59BC – 17AD ; Roman Historian)

speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as “a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace.”
Hist. I 19.

Montesquieu (1689AD – 1755AD ; French Lawyer and Philosopher) states that

“Romulus, Tatius and Numa enslaved the gods to politics, and made religion for the state.”

Edward Plumptre (1821AD – 1891AD ; English Scholar) adds that

“It has been, and is, the creed of the great poets whom we accept as the spokesmen of a nation’s thoughts.”

H.L. Mencken (American journalist 1880-1956AD) said this :

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Reuven Brenner (born 1947AD ; Romanian Economist) said this :

“Historians and economists {subsidized by governments} are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.”

Edward Gibbon (18th Century AD ; The History of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire) said :

“The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.”

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