Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary 2019 year

Lucian (approx. 120 - approx. 180)

Ikaromanipp, go Flight (Ikaromanippus) - Philosophical satire

Menippus tells Friend about his extraordinary journey, striking the interlocutor with accurate data about the distance from Earth to the Moon, to the Sun and, finally, to the very sky, the dwellings of the Olympians. It turns out that Menipp only returned to Earth today; he was visiting Zeus.
The friend doubts: was it that Menipup overcame Daedalus, transformed into a hawk or a stick ?! He ironically says, "How about the greatest brave man, you were not afraid to fall into the sea and give him the name of Menippeisky in his own name, as his son, Ikarian?"
Menippus long been interested in everything regarding the nature of the universe: the origin of thunder and lightning, snow and hail, the change of seasons, the diversity of moon forms, and many others. At first he turned to long-bearded and pale philosophers. But each of them only challenged the opinions of others, arguing the opposite, and demanded that only him be believed. Having borrowed from Menippus a considerable amount of money for science, they rolled him rain in the rain of the roots, goals, atoms, emptiness, matter, ideas, and other things. Stooping only on the ground, often being weak and even short-sighted, they boastedly reasoned about the exact size of the Sun, the stars and the peculiarities of the over-the-top space. How many stages are from Megar to Athens, they do not know. But the distance between the luminaries is supposedly known to them, they measure the thickness of the air and the depth of the ocean, the circumference of the Earth, and much more. Speaking about things that are far from clear.
Menippa is outraged by the contradictory nature of the judgments of the philosophers, their "complete dissimilarity" on the question of the world: some argue that it is not created and will never perish, others recognize the Creator, but can not explain where it came from. There is no agreement among these scholars regarding the limb and the infinity of being, some believe that there is a large number of worlds, and others - that this world is unique. Finally, one of them, far from a peace-loving man, considers the dismay of the father of all world order. Also, some people believe that there are many gods, and others - that God is united. And others generally deny the existence of the gods, throwing the world at the mercy of fate, depriving his lord and leader.
In the end, having lost patience from this confusion of judgments, Menipp decides to find out everything by himself, rising to heaven. Catching a large eagle and hawk, he cuts off them on the wing, and, taking into account the tragic experience of Daedalus with unstable wax, the straps firmly tied the wings to the shoulders. After trial flights from the acropolis, the braveman flew a considerable part of Hellas and reached Taiga. With this famous mountain, Menipp flies to Olympus and, having got there the lightest food, rises to heaven. Having broken through the clouds, he flew to the moon and sat down on it to rest and, like Zeus, watched all the lands known to him from Hellas to India.
The land seemed to Menippus very small - less than the moon. And, looking just attentively, he distinguished Colossus of Rhodes and tower on Foros. Taking advantage of the advice of the unknown Empedocles, who came to the Moon from the Moon, he remembered that one wing had an eagle! But nobody from living beings does not see an eagle better than that! At the same moment, Menipp began to distinguish even individual individuals (his vision was so surprisingly aggravated). Some floated along the sea, the other fought, the others treating the land, the fourth tried;
I saw women, animals and, in general, all that "feed on fertile soil."
I saw Menippe and the way people continually sin. Deaths, murders, executions, robberies took place in the palaces of Libyan, Thracian, Scythian, and other kings. "And the life of private individuals seemed even ridiculous. Here I saw Germodor the Epicurean, who brought a false oath because of thousands of drachmas; stoic Agathocl, who accused one of his students of not paying money; the speaker of Clinia, stealing the bowl from the temple of Asclepius ... "In a word, in a diverse life the peasants mixed and ridiculous, and tragic, both good and bad. Menippus was most laughed at those who argue about the boundaries of their possessions, since from above all of Hellas seemed to him "the size of a finger in four". From this height men seemed to Manippus to resemble ants - after all, the ants, apparently, have their builders, soldiers, musicians and philosophers. Moreover, according to legend, for example, the warlike Mirmidonyans Zeus created it from ants.
Looking at all this and laughing with all my heart, Menipp flew even higher. On parting, Moon was asked to stand up for her before Zeus. The terrestrial philosopher-bells spread all kinds of fables to the moon, and it is to her, to confess, to be tired. The moon will no longer be able to remain in these places, unless he destroys the philosopher's powder and does not shut his mouth to these bastards. Let Zeus destroy Stoy, hit the Academy with thunder and stop the peripatetic infinite rabble.
Having climbed to the extreme sky, Menipp was met by Hermes, who immediately reported to Zeus about the arrival of the earthly guest. The king of the gods received him graciously and listened patiently. And then he went to that part of heaven, where the prayers and petitions of people were best heard.
On the way, Zeus asked Menippus about earthly affairs: now, now wheat in Hellas, are there heavy rains, if at least somebody of the genus Phidias lives, and whether the robbers have been arrested in Dodon. Finally the question was followed; "And what do people think about me?" "About you, lord, their opinion is the most pious. People consider you to be the king of the gods."
Zeus, however, doubts: there have been times when people worshiped him both as the supreme god, and as a prophet, and as a healer. And when Apollo founded the Prophecy in Delphah, Asclepius in Pergamum, a therapeutic clinic, in Bendia the temple appeared in Thrace, and in Artemis in Ephesus, people rushed to new gods; Zeus now only sacrifices in Olympia every five years. And Menipp does not dare to object to him ...
Sewing on the throne where he usually listened to prayers, Zeus began to take turns removing covers from openings resembling wells. From there, the human requests were made: "O Zeus, let me attain to the royal power!", "O Zeus, let the onions and garlic grow!", "O gods, my father will die as soon as possible!", "O Zeus, let me I will be crowned at the Olympic Games!"...
The sailors asked for a passing wind, farmers - about the rain, and the sokhnovaly - about the sunny weather. Zeus listened to all and acted at his own discretion.
Then he removed the lid from another well and began to listen to the vowers, and then he began to make predictions and oracles. After all, he gave instructions to the winds and the weather: "Today let it rain in Scythia, in Libya let thunder thunder, and let snow go in Hellas. You, Borea, blow in Lydia, and you, Noth, remain calm."
After this Menipp was invited to the feast of the gods, where he lay beside Pan and the Caribbean - the gods, so to speak, second-rate. Demetra handed them bread, Dionysus wine, and Poseidon - fish. According to the observations of Menippus, the higher gods themselves treated only nectar and amvrosius. The greatest joy was delivered to them by the child, rising from the victims.
During the dinner, Apollo played kifar, Silen danced the Cordack, and the muses sang from Hemisod's Theogony and one of the winning ones from Pindar.
The next morning, Zeus commanded all the gods to come to the meeting. The reason is coming to Menippa sky. Earlier, Zeus watched with disapproval the activity of some philosophical schools (Stoics, academics, epicureans, peripatetics, and others): "Covering the glorious name of Virtue, the foreheads, long-bearded, they walk around the world, concealing their disgusting lifestyle with a decent appearance."
These philosophers, corrupting youth, contribute to the decline of morals. Not caring about the benefits of the state and private individuals, they condemn the behavior of others, most respecting those who loudly criticize and cursing everyone. In contempt of industrious craftsmen and farmers, they will never help the poor or the sick. "But they all surpass their sober epicureans. Worshiping us, gods, without any shame, they reach the point that they dare to assert that the gods do not care about human affairs at all ..."
All the gods are indignant and ask to immediately punish the harlot-philosophers. Zeus agrees. But forced to postpone the execution of the verdict: the next four months are sacred - a divine world is declared. But already next year, all philosophers will be mercilessly exterminated by Zeus lightning. As for Menippa, even though they met him favorably here, it was decided to take away the wings from him, "... that he would no longer be present to us, and let Hermes drop him to Earth today."
So the meeting of the gods ended. Menipp returned to Earth and hurried to Keramik to tell the latest news about the philosophers walking there.