{    Cnytr   }

{Thursday, December 14, 2006  }


This came from an "oh, cool" moment of being sidetracked as I write an overdue, end-of-semester paper. More attention ought to be paid -- which I may or may not do later -- but I could not let this reference go entirely without mention.

It is well-known that the phoenix -- a mythical bird that rises from the ashes of its own funeral pyre -- has been a Christian symbol for many ages. However it is explicitly mentioned by Pope Clement I of Rome (d. circa 98 AD) in his first epistle to the Corinthians:

Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phœnix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the deed bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.

An interesting note. Deserves more attention than I can give it at the moment.
posted by Lauren, 2:28 PM | link | 1 comments