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Death and resurrection of Adonis (1)

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03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

4th century CE
Roman Empire
Christian-Roman philosophers and scholars

Jerome, Commentary on Ezechiel 3.8.14, PL 25.82-83:
What we have rendered as Adonis, the Hebrew and Syrian languages denote as Tammuz. According to a pagan tale, Venus’ lover, a very beautiful youth, is killed in the month of June. After this, he is said to have risen, and the month of June is named after him. There is an annual celebration of his feast, in which women bewail him as dead, and then he is praised in song when he returns to life. Subsequently, it is shown what the leaders and “elders of the house of Israel” did in the temple, in “the darkness” and in “the chambers”. The sins of the “women” are also described: they “complain” about the loss of intercourse with their lovers, and they rejoice if they can regain it. The same pagans interpret, in a subtle manner, the poets’ narratives of a similar kind, narratives about shameful things: they understand the sequence of wailing and joy as referring to the death and resurrection of Adonis. They take his death to be shown by the seeds that die in the earth, and his resurrection by the crops in which the dead seeds are reborn.

Source (list of abbreviations)
Jerome, Commentary on Ezechiel 3.8.14, PL 25.82-83


Mettinger 2001, 130Mettinger, T. Riddle of Resurrection. "Dying and Rising Gods" in the Ancient Near East. Coniectanea Biblica Old Testament Series 50. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International 2001.

Amar Annus

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