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Soul consists of seven parts (1)

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04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

Virgin of Light
4th century CE
Byzantine Empire
Christian-Syriac philosophers and scholars

Ephrem Syrus, Discourses to Hypatius, 2. Against Mani, Marcion, and Bardesanes: And now Bardesanes, the teacher of Mani, is found to speak craftily, when he said that of seven parts the soul was mixed and set up, though he is refuted as well. The many parts which the soul gathers and collects (enable) to it many mixtures of the seven parts without any regulation. And because it does not receive in equal weight from all these foods, the parts of all the mixtures, it may happen that the scale of one of the mixtures may preponderate and overwhelm the rest of its companions; and this abundance of one is the cause of the disturbance of all the mixtures. And from the body which lies outside one can learn about the soul which is inside, that one of its mixtures which preponderate in abundance of one of these foods, the injury reaches the whole system.

Ephrem Syrus, Discourses to Hypatius, 3. Against the False Teachings: Because Mani was unable to find another way out, he entered, though unwillingly, by the door which Bardesanes opened. For because they saw that this body is well put together, and that its seven senses are arranged in order, and that there is in the heart an instrument (manâ, also means “clothing”) for the impulses of the soul, and that there is in the tongue a harp of speech, they were ashamed to speak blasphemy against it (= the body) in plain terms, and they had recourse to cunning, and divided it into two parts. But they suppose that its nature is from evil, and its workmanship from the Archons, and the cause of its arrangement is from wisdom, (saying:) “And she (= Wisdom) showed an image of her own beauty to the Archons, and to the Governors, and she deceived them thereby so that when they were stirred up they effected (something) according to what they saw. Each of them gave from his treasure whatever he had; and for that reason their treasures should be emptied of what they had snatched away.”

Ephrem Syrus, Discourses to Hypatius, 2. Against Mani, Marcion, and Bardesanes: Can it have been that Virgin of the Light about whom they say that she manifested her beauty to the Archons, so that they were ravished to run after her? … if that Virgin of Light appeared to him (= Evil One) and repulsed him with her purity, her folly is seen in this. And in what respect was the beauty or pleasantness or fragrance of the Virgin of Light different from that of that Luminous Earth? So that if there is a question of Passion, behold, as a harlot, she embraces the fornicator.

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Ephrem Syrus, Discourses to Hypatius, 2. Against Mani, Marcion, and Bardesanes
Ephrem Syrus, Discourses to Hypatius, 3. Against the False Teachings


Mitchell 1912, xxxii, xc, lxi-lxiiMitchell, C. W. S. Ephraim's Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion, and Bardaisan. Vol. 1: The Discourses Addressed to Hypatius. Works Issued by the Text and Translation Society 7. London: Williams and Norgate 1912.

Amar Annus

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