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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.

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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."
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T.
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That link didn't work; but I do appreciate the out-take.

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."


The only problem is, of course, that "Christianity' is not a monotheistic religion. In fact, by definition, Christians are worshippers of the Christ-cult figure; which is not even the king of the gods, just the son (and the bastard son, no less).

The only true monotheistic religion among the large-scale ones I can think of is Judaism. (I don't include Islam, for the simple reason that many muslims treat Mohammed almost as if he is a god. Witness the extreme reaction against the Danish cartoons; a much more severe reaction than Christians do equivalent when one of their god-figures, Jesus, is the subject of same).

jp
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brilliant
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