Tools

when words are taken, ideas are apt to come with them. It is not without significance that the word “mysteries” was afterwards used to describe the Christian sacraments, and above all the rite of Holy Communion. Moreover, both Christianity and the mystery religions were aiming at the same end: both promised “salvation” to their adherents. Christianity had a far truer idea than the Mysteries of what salvation meant, and this is one reason why it survived while the Mysteries died. But since both had to deal with the same human hopes and fears, the same problems of sin, purification, death and immortality, it would be surprising if the one owed nothing at all to the other. A comparison of the Synoptic Gospels with the developed theology of the fourth and fifth centuries will make it plain that, while Christianity had from the first its own distinctive character, which it never lost, it did not refuse the help of any elements in current thought and practice by means of which its message could be presented in a clearer or more acceptable form.

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Index of Proper Names

References in italics are to be found in the notes or the Appendix. References marked with an asterisk (*) are commented on in the notes

  • Abdera, 149, 292
  • Academia, a spot close to Athens, where Plato and his followers taught, 97
  • Acragas, 49, 55, 145
  • Acrisius, a hero of Larisa, 99
  • Actium, promontory of, 87
  • Admetus, 75
  • Adonis, 49, 71
  • Aeacus, 71
  • Aeolic dialect, 65
  • Aether, 57
  • Aethlius, 103
  • Aethusa, 67
  • Agamemnon, 81
  • Agra, a suburb of Athens, where the Lesser Mysteries were celebrated, 71, 382*
  • Alastors, avenging deities, 53
  • Alcibiades, 29, 123
  • Alcmaeon, of Croton (about 500 b.c.), an early Greek physician and philosopher, 149
  • Alcman, lyric poet of Sparta, 7th century b.c., 65
  • Alcmene, 67, 85
  • Alcyone, 65
  • Alcyone, wife of Ceyx, 123
  • Alexander the Great, 123, 125, 211, 387
  • Alexandria, 109, 121, 358–9
  • Alexarchus, 123
  • Alope, 65
  • Amazons, 121
  • Amnion, Egyptian god, equated with Zeus, 59, 123
  • Amphiaraus, 29
  • Amphilochus, 29
  • Amphion, 3*
  • Amphitrite, 65, 105
  • Amyetus, 221*
  • Amymone, 65
  • Anaxagoras, Greek philosopher, 500–428 b.c., 149, 152*, 293*
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