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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 491  
Subject: New light on rise of monotheism in the west Date: 6/3/2006 9:45 AM
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060601/ap_on_sc/greece_ancient_scroll_1;_ylt=Aqcx9BBaXMrVat4lMeBWzptFeQoB;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

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The scroll, originally several yards of papyrus rolled around two wooden runners, was found half burnt in 1962. It dates to around 340 B.C., during the reign of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.

"It is the oldest surviving book, if you can use that word for a scroll, in western tradition," Veleni said. "This was a unique find, of exceptional importance."

Greek philosophy expert Apostolos Pierris said the text may be a century older.

"It was probably written by somebody from the circle of the philosopher Anaxagoras, in the second half of the 5th century B.C.," he said.

Anaxagoras, who lived in ancient Athens, is thought to have been the teacher of Socrates and was accused by his contemporaries of atheism.

...

The scroll contains a philosophical treatise on a lost poem describing the birth of the gods and other beliefs focusing on Orpheus, the mythical musician who visited the underworld to reclaim his dead love and enjoyed a strong cult following in the ancient world.

The Orpheus cult raised the notion of a single creator god — as opposed to the multitude of deities the ancient Greeks believed in — and influenced later monotheistic faiths.

"In a way, it was a precursor of Christianity," Pierris said. "Orphism believed that man's salvation depended on his knowledge of the truth."
...


T.
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