Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Have Decided to Edit My Second Article on the Throne of St. Mark Online [Part Three]


When considering the influence of the Jewish concept of sabbatical years and the Jubilee in Christianity there is a surprising difference between the Alexandrian and Roman schools of thought on this matter.  We will develop that shortly but it is worth dispelling some inherited presuppositions about Alexandria and its Christian sages.  While it is usually assumed that Alexandria represents the home of 'allegorical' interpretations of scripture while the rest of the world was strictly literal this is certainly not the case with regards to the Jewish concept of the Jubilee year.

The Roman tradition for instance, typified by Irenaeus does its best to argue that Christians should interpret any reference to such 'Jewish' concepts in an entirely 'spiritually' way as we shall see.  The Alexandrian school beginning with Clement and continuing through to his successor Origen, by contrast, emphasize the original understanding that a Jubilee is literally a cycle of seven sabbatical years plus one which has deep significance to the understanding of the founding of Christianity.

An example from Origen - whose writings survive in greater number than any other Alexandrian writer - might be a useful starting point for this discussion.  We see in his Homilies on Ezekiel a struggle to maintain the original Jewish understanding in a Christian environment which - officially at least - said there was no room for the observances of sabbaths.  Origen nevertheless maintains that: despite the restrictions of the greater Church, he still understands the world to be governed by 'sabbatical cycles':

For when the earth is offended and again enjoys itself on its Sabbaths, it is not entirely offended, nor does it entirely exult. For in some manner, it is instructed with its inhabitants, and it learned to celebrate the Sabbaths, whether in shadow or in truth, according to the condition of its nature. This is why, by a more mysterious interpretation, the Sabbath is practiced after seven years of holy earth, until it pleases God to dwell in it; but if they become sinners on it, the land no longer bears the Sabbath every seven years, but seventy. We have the word about seventy years certified in the sacred literature, both in Jeremiah and in Daniel [cf. Lev 25:4; Jer 25:11; Dan 9:2] (Hom. Ezek. 4.4)

In other words, Origen is remarkably putting forward that despite the official position of the Church on the abandonment of the veneration of sabbaths, the world is nevertheless still 'mysteriously' governed by cycles of seven.

Similarly in his Homily on Numbers Origen makes explicit reference to the concept of the Jubilee saying that:

we have often and abundantly shown in many passages of the scriptures that the number fifty contains the mystery of forgiveness and pardon. For there is both the fiftieth year which is called Jubilee by the Hebrews, in which there is remission both of property and slavery and debt, (Lev 25.10) and there is the tradition in the law that the fiftieth day after Passover is a feast day.(cf. Lev. 23:15) Moreover, in the Gospel, when the lord was teaching the parable of forgiveness and pardon, he introduces some debtors, “one who owed fifty denarii and the other five hundred." (cf Luke 7:41) Now the numbers fifty and five hundred are related; for ten times fifty makes five hundred. Moreover, in another respect that number is made sacred; for if the perfection of the number one is added to the seventh seven, it makes five hundred. (Hom. Num. 2.3)

This is not the only place in Origen's writings where he says that Jesus knew and used the concept of Jubilee.  In one sense, we might make the case that it would be difficult for a Jew living in the first century of the common era NOT to be aware of this concept.  Yet as we shall see shortly, Origen goes beyond merely referencing the Jubilee as some sort of 'historical curiosity' in Judaism.  He clearly presents his belief that Jesus came to announce nothing short of the transformation of the world in a specific Jubilee year.

I would argue that there are many references in Origen's writings which make clear that the Jubilee was at the heart of the Alexandrian interpretation of the gospel.  Indeed I think moreover that these references point to Origen having received a pre-existent understanding of the Alexandrian Church being established in 'year one' or a Jubilee year.  For the moment however it will suffice for us to look at one more reference in the writings of Origen - the Second Homily on Genesis - which is universally regarded by scholarship as a rare example of Origen borrowing from the writings of his predecessor Clement.  This remarkable reference occurs as part of a discussion of God's command to Noah to construct the ark through which humanity would be saved viz. "And thus you shall make the ark: the length of the ark three hundred cubits and the breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, you shall assemble and make the ark, and you shall finish it on top to a cubit." (Gen 6:13 LXX)

Unlike Clement and his predecessors, who developed a detailed mystical discussion of all three numbers referenced in Genesis (i.e. 30, 50 and 100) Origen, while briefly referencing the details of this earlier discussion concentrates his efforts on the significance of the number fifty which he says not only "has been consecrated as the number of forgiveness and remission" but adds moreover that:

according to the law there was a remission in the fiftieth year, that is, so that if someone had sold off his property, he might receive it back; if a free man had come into slavery, he might regain his freedom; a debtor might receive remission; an exile might return to his fatherland. Therefore Christ, the spiritual Noah, in his ark in which he frees the human race from destruction, that is, in his Church, has established in its breadth the number fifty, the number of forgiveness. For if he had not given forgiveness of sins to those who believe, the breadth of the Church would not have been spread around the world. (Hom. Gen 2.5)

It would be wrong for readers to get so completely distracted by Origen's likening of Jesus to Noah that they assume that Origen isn't also passing on to a reflection that the contemporary Alexandrian Church had developed out of a traditional Jewish interest in the Jubilee.

As such it is very important to pay special attention to the greater context of this statement.  Origen is developing a mystical interpretation of the dimension of the length and width of the ark.  Before this reference to the significance of the number fifty (which represented the 'width' of the ark) he references also the mystical significance of the number one hundred (which is related to the length of the ark):

three hundred is three one hundreds. Now the number one hundred is shown to be full and perfect in everything and to contain the mystery of the whole rational creation, as we read in the Gospels where it says that "a certain man having a hundred sheep, when he lost one of them, left the ninety-nine in the mountains and descended to seek that one which he had lost and when it was found he carried it back on his shoulders and placed it with those ninety-nine which had not been lost." This hundred, therefore, is the number of the whole rational creation, since it does not subsist from itself but has descended from the Trinity and has received the length of its life, that is the grace of immortality, from the Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit. (ibid)

The reader should pay special attention to Origen's discussion because he is clearly and unmistakably recycling older 'gnostic' teachings and recasting them in a way that 'fits' with contemporary orthodoxy. As we shall demonstrate shortly Origen not only is wholly appropriating his predecessor Clement's symbolic interpretation of the ark but ultimately reaching back to ideas associated with heretical teachers condemned by Irenaeus of Rome.

Despite the superficial addition of the reference to the orthodox concept of 'the Trinity'in his analysis it is not at all difficult to see that Origen has merely borrowed the interpretation of the parable associated with the gnostic followers of Mark (Μάρκος) in Irenaeus.[1]  We should pay special attention to the conclusion of his exegesis of the original passage in Luke and Matthew by noting that Jesus came to restore the one "fallen by ignorance from the one hundred."(ibid)  This is a clear paraphrasing of a gnostic interpretation refuted in Against All Heresies as Irenaeus notes that the followers of Mark promote associating the number one hundred with 'knowledge' and ninety nine with deficiency - "wherefore also they, by means of their "knowledge," avoid the place of ninety-nine, that is, the ὑστέρημα." (Irenaeus AH i.16.2)

To this end, it should be seen as entirely misleading to think of Origen as a relentless inventor of allegories.  Much closer to the truth is the fact that he often merely rework traditional Alexandrian interpretations in a way  that would keep up with ever tightening standards of orthodoxy originating in Rome. One might even regard his patron Ambrose, a former Valentinian and possible 'Marcosian,' as having the clever Origen on his payroll for the specific purpose of assimilating traditional Alexandrian exegeses of scripture with normative belief outside of the limits of the domain of the See of St. Mark.

In the passage from the Second Homily on Genesis just cited, Origen has clearly taken as his starting point what is written in Clement's Stromata Book Six Chapter 11 but he has went out of his way to stay away from passage in the original that have resemble things said in Irenaeus's report on the Marcosians.[2]  So when we compare what appears now in Origen with what appeared originally in Clement we see that Clement begins with a mystical discussion of the appearance of the number 318 (written out as τιὴ) from Gen. 14:14 which ultimately derives from the Epistle of Barnabas.[3]  Clement immediately switches to what we will demonstrate is a Marcosian tradition condemned by Irenaeus:

Now the number 300 is, 3 by 100. Ten is allowed to be the perfect number [emphasis mine]. And 8 is the first cube, which is equality in all the dimensions -- length, breadth; depth ... s
uch, then, is the style of the example in arithmetic. And let the testimony of geometry be the tabernacle that was constructed, and the ark that was fashioned, -- constructed in most regular proportions, and through divine ideas, by the gift of understanding, which leads us from things of sense to intellectual objects, or rather from these to holy things, and to the holy of holies. For the squares of wood indicate that the square form, producing fight angles, pervades all, and points out security. And the length of the structure was three hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty, and the height thirty; and above, the ark ends in a cubit, narrowing to a cubit from the broad base like a pyramid, the symbol of those who are purified and tested by fire. And this geometrical proportion has a place, for the transport of those holy abodes, whose differences are indicated by the differences of the numbers set down below.  And the numbers introduced are sixfold, as three hundred is six times fifty; and tenfold, as three hundred is ten times thirty; and containing one and two-thirds (epidimoiroi), for fifty is one and two-thirds of thirty.  Now there are some who say that three hundred cubits are the symbol of the Lord's sign; and fifty, of hope and of the remission given at Pentecost; and thirty, or as in some, twelve, they say points out the preaching [of the Gospel]; because the Lord preached in His thirtieth year; and the apostles were twelve.(ibid)

Not only does Clement echo Origen's interest in the fifty as the number associated with the Jubilee and the one hundred as the embodiment of perfection,[4] the whole discussion ultimately derives its origins from Philo's Question and Answers on Genesis II.5.[5]

The point now is that the numbers thirty, fifty and one hundred can be demonstrated to have the same symbolic meaning from before the advent of Alexandrian Christianity.  The ideas were actually taken over from the first century Jewish community and passed on in the name of 'Mark.'  This becomes obvious when we see Irenaeus condemn as heretical at the end of the second century almost every idea in the last passage we just cited from Clement.  For instance Irenaeus condemns 'gnostics' who develop mystical theories about Jesus's name using Greek letters (AH ii.24.2), who reject "those sacred names which do not reach a numerical value of one hundred, but only contain the numbers summed by the left hand, are corruptible and material," (AH ii.24.6) who "strenuously endeavour to demonstrate the Thirty by the ark of Noah, the height of which was thirty cubits ... [and that] the length of the holy tabernacle was thirty cubits and if they meet with any other like numbers (in the writings of Moses), they still apply these to their Thirty" (AH i.18.4), who "say that to indicate [the Thirty]  the Lord came to be baptized at the age of thirty years" (AH ii.10.2), who "affirm that [Jesus] suffered in the twelfth month, so that He continued to preach for one year after His baptism; and they endeavour to establish this point out of the prophet (for it is written, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of retribution"), being truly blind, inasmuch as they affirm they have found out the mysteries of Bythus, yet not understanding that which is called by Isaiah the acceptable year of the Lord," (AH ii.22) and who "maintain that the twelve apostles were a type only of that group of twelve." (AH ii.21.1)  I would argue that one of the reasons Origen avoid specifically referencing the mystical significance of the ark having a height of 'thirty' is because to do so would make explicit his connection with heresy as defined by Irenaeus.

It is utterly incredible that one paragraph in Clement's Stromata Book Six yields no less than six gnostic 'warning signs' identified in the writings of Irenaeus.  But we can do much better than loosely identifying Clement and Origen as perpetuating 'Valentinian' or 'gnostic' teaching.  It was specifically Marcosian - it was 'of Mark' - as Schaff and others are ready to admit.  They point to the crown jewel in these arguments, a side by side comparison of another passage from this same section in Clement's Stromata Book Six Chapter Eleven which effectively makes it impossible to see Clement as anything other than a crypto-Marcosian.

Irenaeus in discussing the beliefs of the aforementioned followers of Mark notes that they have a very 'mathematical' interpretation of the Transfiguraton narrative:

He asserts that the fruit of this arrangement and analogy has been manifested in the likeness of an image, namely, Him who, after six days, ascended into the mountain along with three others, and then became one of six (the sixth), in which character He descended and was contained in the Hebdomad, since He was the illustrious Ogdoad, and contained in Himself the entire number of the element ... [a]nd for this reason did Moses declare that man was formed on the sixth day; and then, again, according to arrangement, it was on the sixth day, which is the preparation, that the last man appeared, for the regeneration of the first, Of this arrangement, both the beginning and the end were formed at that sixth hour, at which He was nailed to the tree. For that perfect being Nous, knowing that the number six had the power both of formation and regeneration, declared to the children of light, that regeneration which has been wrought out by Him who appeared as the Episemon (i.e. the six) in regard to that number.[AH i.14.1]

The exact same teaching is found a little later in that same passage in Clement which seemed to be connected by Irenaeus to the teachings of often unnamed gnostics:

Thus the Lord, who ascended the mountain, the fourth, becomes the sixth, and is illuminated all round with spiritual light, by laying bare the power proceeding from Him, as far as those selected to see were able to behold it, by the Seventh, the Voice, proclaimed to be the Son of God; in order that they, persuaded respecting Him, might have rest; while He by His birth, which was indicated by the sixth conspicuously marked, becoming the eighth, might appear to be God in a body of flesh, by displaying His power, being numbered indeed as a man, but being concealed as to who He was. For six is reckoned in the order of numbers, but the succession of the letters acknowledges the character which is not written. In this case, in the numbers themselves, each unit is preserved in its order up to seven and eight. But in the number of the characters, Zeta becomes six and Eta seven. [Strom.6.14]

There can be doubt whatsoever that at least part of Clement's teaching is a recasting of the very same teaching of 'Mark' the Egyptian (Sulpicius Severus Sacred History II.44; Jerome Ep. 75, 3). Origen in turn is a further 'watering down' or adjustment of this original doctrine to confirm with contemporary tastes outside of Egypt.

However before we return to see how the Marcosians, Clement and Origen continued to perpetuate a Jewish understanding of the Jubilee against Roman attempts to allegorize the original formula to the point it was no longer recognizable, let us note one more surprising fact that often gets over looked.  The followers of Mark were necessarily older than Clement.  When Irenaeus who was writing either at the same time as Clement or slightly earlier can recount stories from Asia Minor and various other regions beyond his own locale we must assume that the tradition of Marcus went back as far as the middle of the second century.  Yet when we take a second look at their core teaching about the destruction of the sixth letter (the Episemon) it is absolutely clear that this teaching was known and apparently condemned by Philo as early as the first half of the first century.

For just as Clement declares that Jesus's crucifixion in the sixth hour makes explicit that the sixth element or letter, the generative power behind all creation, has now been destroyed.  To this end all the letters which appear after it are understood to be 'diminished' by the value of one:

the sixth conspicuously marked, becoming the eighth, might appear to be God in a body of flesh, by displaying His power, being numbered indeed as a man, but being concealed as to who He was. For six is reckoned in the order of numbers, but the succession of the letters acknowledges the character which is not written. In this case, in the numbers themselves, each unit is preserved in its order up to seven and eight. But in the number of the characters, Zeta becomes six and Eta seven. (ibid)

This very same teaching is reported in Hippolytus's preservation of Irenaeus's original report as follows:

that the letter Eta along with the remarkable one constitutes all ogdoad, as it is situated in the eighth place from Alpha. Then, again, computing the number of these elements without the remarkable (letter), and adding them together up to Eta, they exhibit the number thirty. For any one beginning from the Alpha to the Eta will, after subtracting the remarkable (letter i.e. episemon) ... they subtract twelve, and reckon it at eleven. And in like manner, (they subtract) ten and make it nine. [Hippolytus AH 6:42]

Philo by contrast alludes to the exact example and words of Clement and connects it to a group of contemporary scaremongers who terrorized the superstitious population of Alexandria, using it to prove that the world was coming to an end:

some of those persons who have (in the past) fancied that the world is everlasting, inventing a variety of new arguments, employ also such a system of reasoning as this to establish their point: they affirm that there are four principal manners in which corruption is brought about, addition, taking away, transposition, and alteration; accordingly, the number two is by the addition of the unit corrupted so as to become the number three, and no longer remains the number two; and the number four by the taking away of the unit is corrupted so as to become the number three; again, by transposition the letter Zeta becomes the letter Eta ... But of the manner of corruption thus mentioned there is not one which is in the least degree whatever applicable to the world, since otherwise what could we say? Could we affirm that anything is added to the world so as to cause its destruction? But there is nothing whatever outside of the world which is not a portion of it as the whole, for everything is surrounded, and contained, and mastered by it. Again, can we say that anything is taken from the world so as to have that effect? In the first place that which would be taken away would again be a world of smaller dimensions than the existing one, and in the second place it is impossible that any body could be separated from the composite fabric of the whole world so as to be completely dispersed. Again, are we to say that the constituent parts of the world are transposed? But at all events they remain in their original positions without any change of place, for never at any time shall the whole earth be raised up above the water, nor the water above the air, nor the air above the fire. But those things which are by nature heavy, namely the earth and the water, will have the middle place, the earth supporting everything like a solid foundation, and the water being above it; and the air and the fire, which are by nature light, will have the higher position, but not equally, for the air is the vehicle of the fire; and that which is carried by anything is of necessity above that which carries it. Once more: we must not imagine that the world is destroyed by alteration, for the change of any elements is equipollent, and that which is equipollent is the cause of unvarying steadiness, and of untroubled durability, inasmuch as it neither seeks any advantage itself, and is not subject to the inroads of other things which seek advantages at its expense; so that this retribution and compensation of these powers is equalized by the rules of proportion, being the produce of health and endless preservation, by all which considerations the world is demonstrated to be eternal. [On the Eternity of the World XXII:113]

My point right now is not to attempt to prove that Philo was aware of the followers of Mark, but rather only to leave open the possibility that the contemporary Alexandrian teaching regarding the Jubilee need not necessarily be as old as our earliest surviving reference. There is a tradition which says that St. Mark established a catechetical school which blended Greek sciences and mathematics with the study of the Jewish scriptures. It is important to note that the fact that this claim cannot be proved, the idea that Clement and Origen were part of a pre-existent Markan tradition rooted in the first century Alexandrian Jewish community is at least confirmed by geography if not by logical inference.[6]

[2] Schaff for instance notes that "Irenaeus gives an account of Marcus and the Marcosians in 1.13 - 21 (of his Against All Heresies and) ... Hippolytus and Epiphanius (Haer 34) copy their accounts from Irenaeus, and probably had no direct knowledge of the works of Marcus or of his sect. Clement of Alexandria, however, knew and used his writings." Other studies have went into greater detail of Clement's borrowing from the sect associated with Mark and specifically identify Stromata Book Six as replete with references to doctrines identified by Irenaeus as belonging to the Marcosians..
[3] cf. Barnabas 9:7-8
[4] Clement's most explicit reference to Origen's identification of the one hundred as the number of perfection occurs a little later where, when establishes three divisions of humanity according to the three different numbers (30, 60 and 100).  Clement then says that "these chosen abodes, which are three, are indicated by the numbers in the Gospel -- the thirty, the sixty, the hundred. And the perfect inheritance (i.e. the one hundred) belongs to those who attain to "a perfect man," [made] according to the image of the Lord." (Strom 6.14)
[5] Cf. Questions and Answers on Genesis II.5 "Why did God give the measures of the ark in the following manner; the length to be of three hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof to be fifty cubits, and the height to be thirty cubits: and above it was to be raised to a point in one cubit, being brought together gradually like an obelisk? (#Ge 6:15). It was necessary that so vast a work should be constructed in conformity with literal directions, in order that so many animals, some of them of vast size, should be received into it, as individuals of each class were introduced with the food necessary for them; but if the matter is considered properly with reference to its symbolical meaning, then, for the comprehension of the formation of our body, we shall require to make use not of the quantity of cubits, but of the certain principles and proportions which are observed in them. But the proportions which are contained in them are of sixfold, and double, and other portions are added. For three hundred is six times as many as fifty, and ten times as many as thirty; and again fifty is by two thirds a larger number than thirty. Such then are also the proportions of the body; for if any one should choose to investigate the matter and inquire into it carefully in all its points, he will find that man is made in an exact proportion of measurement, neither being too long or too little; and if a string be let down from his head to his feet, he will find that to reach that distance it requires a string six times as long as the width of his chest, and ten times as long as the depth of his ribs and their breadth as a second part of depth added thereto. Such is the certain proportion, received in accordance with nature, of the human body formed on exact measurement of the most excellently made men, who are incorrect neither in the way of excess nor of defect. But again, it was with great wisdom and propriety that God ordained the summit to be completed in one cubit; for the upper part of the ark imitates the unity of the body; the head being forsooth as the citadel of the king, having for its inhabitant the chief of all, the intellect. But those parts which are below the head are divided into separate portions, as for instance into the hands, and in an especial degree into the lower parts, since the thighs, and legs, and feet are all kept distinct from one another, therefore whoever should wish to understand these matters, on the principle which I have pointed out, will easily comprehend the analogy of the cubits as I have related it. But above all things he must not be ignorant that each of these different numbers of cubits has separately a certain necessary proportion and principle, beginning with the first, those in the length of the ark. Therefore in its length it is composed of three hundred units, placed next to one another in continuation, according to the augmentation of units, from these twenty-four numbers, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twentyone, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four. But the twenty-fourth number is above all others a natural number, being distributed among the hours of day and night, and also among the characters of language, {2}{he is referring to the Greek alphabet, which consists of twenty-four letters.} and literal speech; and it is also compounded of three cubes, being complete, full, and compacted in equality. For the number three constantly exhibits, as belonging to itself, the first equality of all, having a beginning, and a middle, and an end, all of which are equal to one another; and eight is the first cube, because it again has declared its first equality with the rest. But the number twenty-four has likewise a great number of other virtues, since it is the substance of the number three hundred, as has been already pointed out; this then is its first virtue; and it has another, since it is compounded of twelve quadrangular figures, joined to one another by a continuous unity; and besides of two long figures, and twelve double figures, being forsooth compounded of twos separately increased by two and two. Therefore the angular numbers which make up together the twelve quadrangular figures are these; one, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty-one, and twenty-three; but the quadrangular figure combines the following numbers, one, four, nine, sixteen, twenty-five, thirty-six, forty-nine, sixty-four, eighty-one, a hundred, a hundred and twenty-one, and a hundred and twenty-four. But those angular numbers which compose the other long figures are these; one, four, six, eight, ten twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty, twenty-two, twenty-four, being twelve in all; and after these come the compound numbers, two, six, twelve, twenty, thirty, forty-two, fifty-six, seventytwo, ninety, a hundred and ten, a hundred and thirty-two, and a hundred and fifty-six; being also twelve. And if you put together the twelve quadrangular figures, you will find a hundred and forty-four, and if you add the other twelve long figures, you will find a hundred and fifty-six; and from the combination of the two you will get the number three hundred, and the concord of full, and complete, and perfect nature rising up to the equal and infinite harmony; for a complete and perfect nature is the maker of equality, according to the nature of a triangle; but the equal and the infinite are the factors of inequality, according to the composition of the other long figure. But the universe consists of a combination of equality and inequality, on which account the Creator himself, even amid the destruction of all earthly things, placed a sort of fixed pattern of stability in the ark. This then is enough to say about the number three hundred. We must now proceed to speak of the fifty cubits, on the following principle; for in the first place it is composed of the right angle of the quadrangular figures; for a right angle is compounded of three, four, and five; and the square of these is nine, sixteen, and twenty-five, the sum total of which when added together is fifty; in the second place, the perfect number fifty is composed of these four triangles linked together, one, three, six, ten; and again of these four equal quadrangles also united together, one, four, nine, sixteen; therefore these triangles when collected together make twenty; and the quadrangles make thirty; and twenty and thirty added together make fifty. But if the triangle and the quadrangle are added together, they make a heptangular figure: so that it is contained by its virtue in the number of fifty, that divine and holy number; to which the prophet had regard when he proclaimed the jubilee festival; and the whole of the jubilee year is free and a deliverer. The third theorem is three triangles beginning with the unit, connected together in a continuous series, and three cubes beginning also with the unit, and connected together in a similar manner, which together make fifty; the examples of the first are one, four, and nine, which make fourteen; the examples of the second are, one, eight, and twentyseven, which together make thirty-six; and the sum total of the two when added together is fifty. Again, thirty is in an especial manner a natural number, for as in the series of units the number three is, so is the number thirty in the series of decimals; and that makes up the cycle of the moon, being the collection of separate months in full delineation; secondly, it is composed of four numbers, which are united in the continual series of these quadrangular figures, one, four, nine, and sixteen, which together make up thirty; on which account it was not without some foundation and sufficient reason that Heraclitus called that number "generation," when he said: a man in thirty years from the time of his birth can become a grandfather, inasmuch as he arrives at the age of puberty in his fourteenth year, at which age he is capable of becoming a father; and at the end of the year his offspring arrives at the birth, and again in fifteen years more begets another offspring like himself; and out of these names of grandfathers, fathers, and sons, as also out of the names of grandmothers, mothers, and daughters, a generation complete in its offspring is produced.

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