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Zosimos of Panopolis - The Letter Omega - 08

Identifier

015915

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

NOTES - Howard M Jackson

Bitos - Bitos is almost certainly identical with a Bitus twice mentioned by the late Syrian Neo-Platonist Iamblichus in his On the Mysteries of the Egyptians. In the first passage, Iamblichus remarks about their uranology that, the Egyptians do not simply theorize, but "recommend that you make the ascent, by means of the sacred hieratic theurgy, through the higher and more universal regions that lie beyond Fate, to God the Creator, and have neither anything to do with matter nor any concern for anything else, except only observance of the appropriate moment"

"Hermes" Iamblichus goes on, "expounded this very way; the prophet Bitus found it inscribed in hieroglyphic characters in shrines round about Sais in Egypt, and translated it, for king Ammon. He handed on the name of God that extends through all the world. And there exists" he adds, “many other compositions on this subject."

The Hermetic tracts from which Zosimos cites as well as the Corpus Hermeticum, are examples of just such other compositions. In the second passage, inthe context of discussion of the same "way'—liberation from Fate by ascension and union with the supracosmic God--Iamblichus adds (10.7): "What is Good-in-itself they (the Egyptians) hold to be, on the divine Ievel, the God who exists beyond conception, and on the human level, union with Him, which is what Bitus says, translating from the Hermetic books."

Bitos or Bitus, if he existed, would have been, like Manetho or Chairemon, a Hellenized Egyptian priest and interpreter of native Egyptian traditions to the Greeks.

A description of the experience

Zosimos of Panopolis - The Letter Omega [translated by Howard M Jackson]

Furthermore, look also at the tablet that Bitos wrote, and Plato the thrice-great and Hermes the infinitely great, that in the original hieratic language the first man, the interpreter of all that exists and the giver of names to all corporeal beings, is designated Thouthos.

The Chaldeans, the Parthians, the Medes and the Hebrews call him Adam, which means "virgin earth” and "blood-red earth" and “fiery-red earth”, and "fleshly earth."

These interpretations are to be found in the libraries of the Ptolemies; they laid it away in each sanctuary, above all in the Sarapeion, at the time when he appealed to Asenas the high priest of Jerusalem to send Hermes, who translated the whole of the Hebrew into Greek and Egyptian.

The source of the experience

Zosimos of Panopolis

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Earth
Names

Symbols

Adam
Blood
Earth

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References