“If you have a dream, you have a responsibility to yourself and to us to make it come true. That’s the most important thing in your life. Don’t let anything stand in its way.”
“the cross, from time immemorial, was universally symbolic of the intersection between earth and heaven, matter and spirit, the one and the many, human and divine.”
“the Hall of Offerings. Isaac motioned to a wall relief covered in hieroglyphic writing. "Let me show you something I discovered recently," Isaac said. "This hieroglyphic register is a song to Augustus, King of Egypt, heralding him as 'Lord of the Dance,' meaning 'Lord of Life.' I will translate: "The King of Egypt "Pharaoh comes to dance "He comes to sing "See how he dances "See how he sings… "I remember Isaac looked at me to gauge my reaction. In truth I was spellbound. He went on to say, 'The song of Augustus eventually spread to Medieval England where a carol, called "Lord of the Dance," was sung at Christmas and is sung to this day.”
“It's not the Virgin Mary," Emily said, "though it is a virgin mother. It's actually Bona Dea, the Roman goddess of fertility, healing, virginity — and of women in general. Her foot on the snake indicates her power over the phallus. She, in turn, was modeled after Isis holding Horus with the serpent of wisdom at her feet. Later Augustus allowed this antique goddess to be identified with the cult of his mother Maia, who was said to have lain with a serpent in the temple to be impregnated with the son of Apollo — and bore Augustus Caesar." She explained that the image of Bona Dea was found on many early Republican coins.”
“It's the Greek letters chi and rho, found together on Constantine's military standard, the labarum." "I've seen the Chi-Rho above the main altar of nearly every Catholic church I've visited since I was a kid. But it represents the first two letters of 'Christ' — xristos in Greek." "You're right," Emily agreed. "But Xristos is an ancient word, meaning 'the anointed' or 'awaited' one; and it actually derives from Chronos, the god of Time. It goes back at least as far as Homer, who was said to have lived during the eighth century B.C.”
“It almost looks like a halo of spikes," he said. "The sun crown isn't just a Christian symbol," Emily said. "In many cultures as far back as ancient Egyptian, and including Roman and Christian, crown of thorns and halo both derive from the tradition that identifies every newly-crowned king with the sun. The halo nimbus represents the rays of the rising sun. It's a sign that its wearer plays the life-giving role of the sun in his subjects' existence. The Greek sun god Apollo was driving his chariot across the heavens wearing the sun crown when Rome was just a huddle of huts.”
“It looked like a loaf of bread crossed at an angle with a fish. "Loaves and fishes? Like the miracle Jesus performed?" Ryan tried to understand. "Symbols of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture," Emily responded, "and Neptune, god of the sea — to signify that the most august emperor was the source of all sustenance, of life itself." "Couldn't the church fathers have come up with one thing that was truly original?" Emily laughed. "One thing I've learned: there's nothing original under the sun god. Really, someone should set the record straight about the early church fathers' plagiarism.”
“There’s no such thing in this world as absolute certainty. So accept that and go forward acting toward the best outcome no matter what.”
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given, And the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His Name shall be called: Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6”
“So, Augustus was Lord of Life? That means whenever that carol is sung, people are actually singing praises to Augustus!”
“The astronomical conjunction I was referring to earlier was the sign in the heavens that led the three wise men from the east." He let his words sink in, waiting for her brain to put it together. "But how could the wise men be following their 'star' so many years before the birth of Christ?" Isaac chuckled. "The answer concerns Augustus' intention to restart history," he said enigmatically. "You've got some catching up to do, my friend. But that's a story for another day. I didn't mean to distract you from your work.”
“Augustus actually had his poets and scribes rewrite his mythic biography to fit his own agenda that included changing calendar years in order to substantiate his divinity." His face crinkled into a smile. "I'm not completely certain what my findings add up to yet. I can tell you I've found convincing evidence that there's a fundamental identification between Octavius Caesar Augustus and Christianity as we call it today. I've studied comparative religions all my life, but only recently come to the conclusion that the Emperor Augustus was a comparatist extraordinaire, albeit a thoroughly pragmatic one. He was a master of turning the common themes in the religions of the cultures he conquered to the service of his empire, and of his personal reputation. He based his own spiritual practices on the moral principles he encountered in all religions,”
“Both pre-Christian and Christian," she answered. "Romans hid here during threatened invasions, especially during the Civil Wars." "So you're saying that early Christians took over the imagery they found in these Roman burial chambers and adopted it as their own? The way the Roman Empire took over the Republic's images? And before that the way the early Romans copied from the Egyptians and the Greeks?" "I'll make a comparatist out of you yet," Emily said.”
“The ashes of Augustus," she said. "Monsignor Isaac was searching for the golden urn in which the emperor's ashes were placed before it was buried in the Mausoleum of Augustus. Livia, his wife, had presided over the burning of the emperor's body for three days and two nights in the presence of members of the senate. It was even rumored that Livia paid the senator Numerius Atticus to say that he had seen the spirit of Augustus ascending into heaven." "Like Jesus' Ascension?" Ryan became introspective. "Exactly. In ancient times, ascension symbolized that a deceased ruler was of divine origin. Livia wanted Augustus' divinity to be remembered for posterity.”
“believed he'd discovered sort of a forgotten link between Jesus and Augustus. Some truth that had been known to Constantine, but had been lost to the general public before — and since.”
“How could it be that Theophilus, one of the earliest Christian apologists, wrote nearly 30,000 words about Christianity without once mentioning Jesus Christ? How come the name "Jesus Christ," in fact, doesn't appear in any Greek or Latin author until after the Council of Nicaea? Why was it that the only near-contemporary account that mentioned Christ, a suspiciously precise paragraph known as the Testimonium Flavianum, in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, had been proved to be a patent insertion into that historical narrative? How could Jesus have been born in 1 A.D. when the Gospels say he was born before Herod the Great died — and King Herod's death could be pinpointed to 4 B.C.? Even Philip Cardinal Vasta, now known to the world as Pope Pius XIII, had lamented that the greatest obstacle for spreading the Catholic faith today was that the historical existence of Jesus could no longer be made credible.”
“Jesus was the son of God, after all," Ryan said, remembering how odd it was to think that English confused Christ's solar virtues, as the bringer of light to dispel the darkness, with his divine filial status. Son = sun. "God and Son of God, the mysteries of the Trinity." "It certainly is a mystery," she replied, "one of the ancient mysteries. One powerful enough to reach out and touch the two of us — and bring us together in this bizarre quest. The progenitor, the generated, and the energy flowing between them. Remember the words — divus filius divi-inscribed on my aureus?”
“the grand Cross of Lothair, an ornate tenth-century golden cross richly encrusted with jewels and still being used to lead sacred processions like the one he had attended. But the strange thing was that a magnificent cameo of the Emperor Augustus with a crown and holding the royal Roman eagle scepter, reportedly carved during the time of Christ, graced the center of this holy cross. When he asked his Jesuit superior about the riddle of a Roman emperor honored in this way, the response had shocked and confused him. "The cameo of Augustus on the cross was without doubt meant to indicate that the emperor was the earthly representative of the almighty power of God.”
“Isaac was seeking was the coin that I discovered two weeks ago. He was convinced historical references to it would be proved accurate by an archaeologist getting lucky someday, and—" "—And that archaeologist turned out to be you," Ryan interjected. "I have reason to believe that Monsignor Isaac thought his research was of vital importance for the origins of Christianity, and as a result there were some dangerous implications for the institutional Church and its headquarters at the Vatican." Ryan's tone was somber.”
“Divus filius divi" — "god and son of god" — embossed across from the name "Jasius Augustus." Emily continued, "In 42 B.C., Augustus had broken ground in Rome for the Templum Divi Iuli — the temple of the divine Julius, after he'd lobbied the Senate to declare his adopted father, Julius Caesar, a god. That made him, of course, effectively the son of a god — the title that was, in fact, the new Emperor Augustus' exact objective. But he tired of being called son of god and preferred Jasius — Jesus — who Virgil referred to as 'Father Jasius, from whom our race descended' and was usually depicted as a wise man with a beard." Ryan's eyes grew large. "Just like the depictions of Jesus.”
“has it that Josephus himself had come into possession of an Augustan aureus when he was summoned to Caesarea by the Judean authorities to amend his historical work-in-progress, The Antiquities of the Jews. When Harel, my graduate student, found the coin on the wine krater, my imagination didn't have to stretch far to conclude it was most likely the very aureus that had belonged to Josephus." Between the two inscriptions she drew a rough sketch of the emperor's head. "Although it was shadowed with age," she said, "I could clearly make out that the head of Augustus was wearing a crown — with twelve spikes." Ryan was puzzled. "Like the rays of the sun?" Emily's grin showed her approval. "Precisely like the rayed crown worn by Apollo the sun god — and reminiscent of the solar disc, reflecting the zodiac, worn by Horus as the re-born sun on the ceiling of the Hathor Temple where I met Monsignor Isaac.”
“Meaning the same as 'The Redeemer' or 'Messiah'?" "Exactly." She smiled. "Christ wasn't Jesus' last name; it was his epithet, signifying his sacred status." "Jesus the Christ." "The labarum Chi-Rho can be found in depictions of Apollo on vases, friezes, and statuary hundreds of years before Augustus. Plato referred to it in the Timaeus." "You're going to say it's just another example of Augustus confiscating a symbol and applying it to himself.”
“a myth is the matrix that is transformed from culture to culture, but basically remains essentially the same.”
“Josephus was considered the main source for the history of Judea and, as a tireless historian, boldly proclaimed he would leave out nothing of consequence to Jewish history in his chronicles. He had served as governor of Galilee, and at the beginning of the Jewish war with Rome, 66 A.D., was a general of the Roman forces in Galilee. A few decades earlier, according to the Gospels, Jesus attracted great crowds to Judea. But Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews did not record the savior story we read in the Christian gospels. He did cover many major and minor details of the period, even reporting a number of deeds and decrees of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect that, according to the gospels, allowed the Sanhedrin to condemn Jesus to death.”
“Emperor Marcus Aurelius: We should not say I am an Athenian or I am a Roman but I am a citizen of the Universe...For there is only one universe, one God, one truth. —Lucius Annaeus Seneca”
“he failed to report Herod's alleged wholesale slaughter of male infants at the rumor of a "royal birth" that might upset his reign. He did not mention the very public spectacle of a slow, agonizing death of a famous condemned miracle worker and healer. Though he did find that Josephus referred to no less than twenty individuals by the name of Yeshua — the letter "J" not in existence until the fourteenth century — Ryan's investigation could turn up not even a single legitimate detail of the physical life of Christ in Josephus's entire opus.”
“the historian's one alleged mention of Jesus of Nazareth — a little over one hundred notorious words in all — that was considered by Josephus scholars as a later insertion by an unscrupulous Christian scribe. Some historians believed that Josephus himself must have inserted the passage upon threat of his book being banned, or that it was inserted by later forgers. Ryan didn't know what to believe about the famous Testimonium Flavianum:”
“Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
“Facilis descensus Averno," he quoted from Virgil's Aeneid. Ryan found himself answering, by rote, The gates of hell are open night and day; Smooth the descent, and easy is the way: But to return, and view the cheerful skies, In this the task and mighty labor lies.”
“the cave at Cumae — "the poppy fields north of Naples" — identified by Virgil as the domicile of the Sibyl, the pagan oracle who had predicted a host of momentous events in the history of Rome including the birth of the Son of the Great God, the long-awaited Messiah. Aeneas, in Virgil's epic, had convinced the Sibyl to lead him through her cave straight into the underworld; just as Dante, writing his Divine Comedy thirteen hundred years later, would enlist Virgil as his guide to the same region — that was the easy part. The hard part was finding the way back.”
“Niko? I have decided to christen this little pool Le Cagot's Soul."
"Yes. Because it is clear and pure and lucid."
"And treacherous and dangerous?"
"You know, Niko, I begin to suspect that you are a man of prose. It is a blemish on you."
"No one's perfect."
"Speak for yourself.”
“Your quick ‘no’ is because I refused to say ‘yes’ to sex. They say men think with their dicks. I hope you do not run Easton with your—”
“I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
“I remember a day in class when he leaned forward, in his characteristic pose - the pose of a man about to impart a secret and croaked, "If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud! "This comical piece of advice struck me as sound at the time, and I still respect it. Why compound ignorance with inaudibility? Why run and hide?”
“I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.