Esta es una de las preguntas más habituales en el postparto. Muchas mamás que tienen lactancias prolongadas sin reglas nos preguntan que si se pueden quedar embarazadas, así que nos hemos animado a escribir este artículo para daros un poco de información al respecto. Sabemos que hay muchas dudas y que, parece, que hay un halo de tabú alrededor del postparto, pero son dudas naturales y muy lógicas.
Durante el embarazo, la mujer deja de ovular por completo. Esto se debe a la enorme elevación de los niveles de dos hormonas: los estrógenos y la progesterona. Al producirse el parto, este efecto inhibidor sobre los ovarios cesa, con lo que comenzarían de nuevo los ciclos menstruales. A este periodo de vuelta a la “normalidad” se le conoce como puerperio y dura en torno a unas 6 semanas. Casi todas las mujeres que no dan pecho suelen iniciar el ciclo menstrual a los 4 meses del parto. Incluso pueden llegar a ovular a partir de la tercera semana después del parto, por lo que de no desear exponerse a un nuevo embarazo, requerirían emplear anticoncepción a partir de la segunda/tercera semana de puerperio.
La lactancia materna es un método de anticoncepción “natural” que protege a la mujer de un nuevo embarazo mientras se recupera del anterior. En estas mujeres la menstruación se inicia mucho más tarde, se puede incluso retrasar un año. Ello es debido a que la succión continua del bebé sobre el pezón bloquea la actividad hormonal sobre el hipotálamo y éste inhibe la actividad hormonal ovárica.
En definitiva, a mayor frecuencia de amamantamiento, mayor eficacia anticonceptiva. Estudios han comprobado que la duración de la amenorrea (ausencia de regla) y la falta de ovulación es más prolongada mientras mayor sea el periodo de lactancia, la frecuencia de las tomas, el tiempo en cada toma y menor la cantidad de alimentación complementaria que reciba el bebé. En las madres con lactancia materna exclusiva no suele producirse la primera ovulación hasta las 27-38 semanas postparto. Incluso las primeras menstruaciones tras el parto pueden ser ciclos anovulatorios. Algunas mujeres que lactan no ovulan de manera regular por lo que las probabilidades de embarazo es menor.
A este método anticonceptivo basado en la lactancia se llama método MELA y tiene una efectividad del 98% siempre que el bebé esté alimentado de manera exclusiva con leche materna a demanda y que no pasen pausas superiores a 6 horas entre toma y toma tanto de día como de noche.
La decisión sobre qué método anticonceptivo deberá emplear en una madre lactante debe siempre adaptarse al estilo de vida y circunstancias personales, así como consultarse con el ginecólogo para que asesore acerca del más adecuado.
Muchas de vosotras nos preguntáis cómo buscar un nuevo embarazo cuando aún se está amamantando. Así que hoy, coincidiendo con el Día Mundial de la Fertilidad, vamos a hablar de este tema.
Durante la lactancia vivimos una amenorrea, lo que quiere decir que durante cierto tiempo no vamos a tener la menstruación ni a ovular. Al quedarnos embarazadas, la producción de leche baja en picado y el cuerpo intenta evitar la gestación antes del primer año de vida del bebé. El periodo de amenorrea durante la lactancia es muy variable. Algunas mujeres ven su primera menstruación antes de los 3 meses de vida del bebé, aunque estén con lactancia materna exclusiva. Pero para la mayoría los primeros ciclos no llegan hasta que no se iniciea la alimentación complementaria de la xcriatura. Y también hay algunas mujeres para las que la amenorrea se alarga durante bastantes meses, incluso algún año, mientras están amamantando.
Entonces, ¿es posible quedarse embarazada mientras no se tenga la menstruación?
Sí, es posible. Parece que si el bebé está con lactancia materna exclusiva, tiene menos de 6 meses y aún no ha aparecido ningún sangrado, las posibilidades de quedarse embarazadas son muy pequeñas. Pero una vez se incorporan otros alimentos, las posibilidades van creciendo, ya que se puede ovular antes del primer manchado y, por lo tanto, quedarse embarazada sin haber tenido la menstruación antes.
Y una vez llega la menstruación, ¿la fertilidad está del todo instaurada?
A veces se necesitan varios ciclos para que la fertilidad se instaure por completo, sobre todo si el bebé tiene menos de 6 meses. Es posible que los primeros ciclos sean un poco irregulares. Una vez se ha regularizado, se considera que la fertilidad ya está establecida.
¿Qué puedo hacer para que la menstruación regrese?
Esta es una pregunta recurrente cuando se está intrentando buscar un nuevo embarazo mientras se amamanta y la regla todavía no ha vuelto. Una primera opción es no hacer nada, mantener relaciones sexuales y ver si suena la flauta y se consigue un embarazo de nuevo. A veces, esto ocurre sin que tan siquiera tengas un primer sangrado, como hemos explicado anteriormente.
Si esto no pasa, otra opción es intentar con un destete. No tiene porque ser un destete tota. Si aún no tienes ganas de dejar completamente la lactancia, una posibilidad es hacer un destete parcial nocturno. Es una opción interesante si se busca un embarazo, ya que entre las 12 de la noche y las 5-6 de la mañana se produce un pico de prolactina, lo que reduce la posibilidad de que se vuelva a menstruar. Por tanto, si se eliminan esas tomas nocturnas, y por ende ese pico de prolactina, es más fácil que regrese la menstruación. Habitualmente cuando esto se produce, la menstruación reaparece en 6-8 semanas.
¿Y si no funciona?
Si en ese periodo no has visto ningún sangrado, es posible que necesites hacer un destete más ámplio. Cada persona es un mundo y la lactancia afecta de forma diferente a unas mujeres que a otras. Algunas requieren del cese completo de la lactancia para activar de nuevo su ciclo, aunque no es algo demasiado frecuente.
Tengo que someterme a reproducción asistida y sigo amamantando, ¿tengo que destetar?
En el caso de necesitar someterse a un proceso de reproducción asistida, la lactancia puede quedar en entredicho por según qué profesionales. En realidad, dependerá de si necesitamos o no ciclos naturales.
Si necesitamos realizar una inseminación artificial, necesitaremos que el ciclo empiece de nuevo. Si esto se consigue espaciando las tomas, ya obtendremos las ovulaciones que necesitamos.
Si el tratamiento es una FIV, muchas veces no es necesario que haya ovulación y el útero se suele preparar con hormonas que se administran de forma intramuscular, vaginal u oral. Con lo que no es necesario tampoco que los ciclos estén bien establecidos.
No hay estudios que verifiquen que cuando una mujer está amamantando a un bebé de más de 3-4 meses, o que no está en lactancia materna exclusiva, la tasa de éxito de los tratamientos de fertilidad sea diferente que sin lactancia.
La gran mayoría de tratamientos de fertilidad son totalmente compatibles con la lactancia. El efecto que pueden tener es una bajada en la producción de leche, cosa que pasará de todas formas si se consigue un embarazo.
Os recomendamos siempre que verifiquéis a través de www.e-lactancia.org la compatibilidad de los medicamentos a tomar con la lactancia. Os dejamos alguna muestra que se referencia allí:
Leuprorelina: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
Clomifeno: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
HMG: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
HGC: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
Progesterona: riesgo muy bajo para la lactancia
Estrógenos: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
FSH: riesgo bajo para la lactancia
Collection «Meroe». Issue. 3. M., 1985. S. 243-252.
See also Cyril of Alexandria’s attitude to Hermeticism.
An unknown master of the 15th century, who painted the Siena Cathedral, depicted Hermes Trismegistus and Moses side by side 2 . How did a Greek-Egyptian god or sage, to whom numerous works of a completely non-Christian nature were attributed, beside such a revered Jewish scribe in Christianity? Of course, this became possible as a result of changes in the historical and cultural-ideological nature that took place by the 15th century. in Italy. But not only for this reason.
In Christian literature, since the patristic era, two views on Hermes Trismegistus can be traced: one is extremely hostile, the other is rather sympathetic. In order to win the sharp ideological struggle against paganism, Christianity needed to take from its opponent everything that was most useful for itself, to Christianize and thereby neutralize many ideas of the Greco-Roman and partly of the ancient Eastern world, which initially had nothing to do with Christianity. Such examples (Aristotle, Neoplatonism) are well known. Hermeticism did not pose any particular danger to Christianity. At the same time, he did not possess such a conceptual and logical apparatus as, say, Neoplatonism, to greatly interest Christian theologians. Nevertheless, he did not escape the fate of many religious and philosophical movements of the first centuries of our era: he was Christianized, and his mythical founder was revered by Christian authors of subsequent centuries, along with the Sibyl, who was honored with a mention in the famous Catholic hymn of the 13th century. next to King David 3 . At the same time, and this should be emphasized, another tradition has always existed: to consider Hermes Trismegistus an evil demon, the inspirer of pagan superstitions, alchemy, astrology, black magic, etc.
In this article we will consider the views on Hermeticism of two Christian authors — Lactantius (c.250 — c.325) and Augustine (354-430). This choice is not accidental. The rest of the representatives of Latin patristics ignored Hermeticism or limited themselves to only minor mentions. And Lactantius and Augustine often quoted Hermetic treatises and repeatedly mentioned Hermes Trismegistus.
Lactantius spent his youth in Roman Africa, studied under Arnobius and became a rhetorician. Diocletian invited him to Nicomedia to teach Latin rhetoric. When the persecution of Christians began in 303, he had to stop teaching, but he was not seriously persecuted. Later, during the reign of Constantine, Lactantius was in Trier the mentor of Constantine’s eldest son, Crispus. His following works have been preserved: «On the Creativity of God» («De opificio Dei»), in which he argues with Epicurus and Lucretius; «On the Wrath of God» («De ira Dei»), containing a controversy with the Stoics and Epicurus; «Divine institutions» («Institutiones divinae») — a great apologetic work; «On the death of the persecutors» («De mortibus persecutorum»), in which it is proved that all the persecutors of Christianity were punished. Distinguished by his great erudition in Latin and Greek literature, he quoted pagan authors a lot and willingly. As a Christian apologist, Lactantius condemned the pagans, argued with them, often vilified them, but he often drew evidence of the truth of the Christian religion from the same pagan authors when, in his opinion, their views were close to Christianity.
The main work of Lactantius, The Divine Ordinances, is addressed to the pagan reader, and Lactantius apparently believed (and rightly believed) that he could be convinced by references to Plato or Cicero rather than references to the Bible. In addition, Lactation accepted Christianity already in adulthood, and pagan education could not but affect his works. Three questions arise:
1) how Lactantius Hermes Trismegistus and Hermetic treatises evaluated;
2) what was the purpose and character of the quotations from the Hermetic writings and
3) whether there was, and if so, how did the influence of Hermeticism on the works of Lactantius manifest itself.
Lactantius writes that in ancient times there were five Mercurys and the fifth, having arrived in Egypt, gave the Egyptians laws and taught them writing.
«The Egyptians called him Thoyth, from where they got the name of the first month of the year, i.e. September; he also founded the city, which the Greeks now call Hermopolis . .. Although he was / only / a man, he lived in the deepest antiquity (Fuit … antiquissimus) and in every kind of learning, he was so tempted that the knowledge of many things and arts earned him the nickname Trismegistus.In addition, he wrote many books related to the knowledge of divine things, in which he affirmed the greatness of the almighty and one God, calling him by the same names as we do — god and father…» 4 .
«After all, Trismegistus, who comprehended, I don’t know how, almost the whole truth, repeatedly described the power and greatness of the word» 5 .
«As for me, I have no doubt that Trismegistus somehow comprehended the truth, because he said a lot about the god-son, contained in the divine sacraments» 6 .
«The same is confirmed by Hermes, whom Cicero names among the gods of the Egyptians … (he) was much older than not only Plato, but also Pythagoras and the seven wise men» 7 .
The following conclusions can be drawn from these texts:
1. Lactantius, no doubt, did not consider Hermes a god. Yes, this is not surprising: otherwise, he
2. Lactantius did not attribute Hermes to demons or any other supernatural beings. This should
3. Lactantius took a euhemeristic position in relation to Hermes, i.e. considered him a man deified for his wisdom and for his merits: «He gave
4. Lactantius recognized the greatest antiquity of Hermes
5. Lactantius had no doubt that the Hermetic writings were indeed written by Hermes
Before proceeding to the consideration of quotations from Lactantius’ Hermetic writings, we note that in this case we are not interested in the issues of textual criticism, which are considered by R. Reitsenstein, W. Scott, A.S. Ferguson, A.D. Knock and A.Zh. Festugière 8 . Lactantius, apparently, was familiar with the treatises «Asclepius», «On the Universal Mind», «Definitions of Asclepius to King Ammon», «On Thinking and Feeling», «On the Invisible God — is the Most Visible», etc.
He knew, of course, and works unknown to us. For the most part, Lactantius quotes Hermes Trismegistus in Greek. In some cases he is accurate, in other cases he explicitly quotes from memory, which was very characteristic of him in general. The main goal of Lactantius is to convince his pagan readers of the truth of the Christian revelation with references to Hermes Trismegistus. His following words are characteristic: «Now I will not call prophets as witnesses… but rather those who will inevitably be believed even by those who reject the truth» 9 .
This is followed by a quotation from Hermes. As has already been shown, Lactantius rightly believed that the pagans could be more likely to be convinced by references to Hermes Trismegistus or the Sibyl than to the biblical prophets. Therefore, he treated Trismegistus tendentiously and took from him only statements of a monotheistic nature that did not contradict Christianity. Here are the most revealing quotes:
«God has no name, because he is one… And since God is one, his own name is God» 10 .
«One guard — piety. Neither demons nor fate have power over pious people. After all, God delivers the pious from all evil…» 11 .
«The only service to God is not to do evil» 12 . etc.
Often Lactantius distorted the thoughts of the authors of Hermetic treatises. As a rule, this is not a conscious falsification, but a misunderstanding. So, Lactantius does not feel the difference between the Christian trinity and the Hermetic triad (First Nous, Nus-demiurge, Logos). At the same time, Lactantius occasionally has critical reviews about Hermes Trismegistus; in such cases he quotes incompatible with Christianity and criticizes them. So, he writes that Hermes recognized the androgynous nature of God, but he himself does not agree with him.
One of the most interesting parts of the Asclepius is the so-called Apocalypse (ch. 24-26).
Here is its summary:
«Egypt is the temple of the whole world (mundi totius. .. templum). In its sacred land (terra sanctissima) divine harmony is embodied. Despite this, the death of Egypt is near. It will lose its divine character. This will lead to the fall of true piety. The country will be filled with foreigners, the worship of the gods will be forbidden by cruel laws, Egypt will be filled with tombs and the dead, the Nile will overflow its banks, as it will overflow with blood, a new law will begin to rule: cruelty, arbitrariness and madness will reign. the power of demons. The death of Egypt, according to the author, is tantamount to the death of the world. The earth will lose stability, the stars will disappear from heaven, the air will become poisonous. And at the moment when all these troubles reach an extreme degree, God will intervene. He will destroy evil, exterminate its carriers flood, fire, disease, and the world will be transformed, as if born again. Naes enim mundi genitura — such is the fate of the world «, — writes an unknown author.
Now let’s see how Lactantius thinks about the end of the world. At the same time, we will not dwell on the influence of the Apocalypse of John and the Sibyl, but will focus on the parallels with Asclepius. Lactantius begins by reminding readers of the Egyptian plagues described in the biblical book of Exodus. Egypt was then punished for persecuting the people of God. And now, since the people of God (i.e. Christians) are being persecuted in all countries, the whole world will be punished. Lactantius compared the punishments that befell Egypt with the punishments that befall humanity. On the eve of the end of the world there will be a general decline in piety and good morals. Laws will be broken, violence will prevail. All peoples and states will fight each other. Here the work of Lactantius almost textually coincides with the Asclepius. Next, Lactantius comes with an unexpected phrase:
«Egypt will be the first to suffer punishment because of her foolish superstitions (stultarum superstitionum), and she will be filled with blood like water. »
Why Egypt will die first? No special «Egyptophobia» is noticed in Lactantius. Condemning paganism, he nowhere singles out Egypt as a country especially distinguished by superstition. He does not single out Egypt anywhere and in any way. The only explanation that can be given in this case is that Lactantius follows Asclepius. In the «Apocalypse of Asclepius» «Egyptocentrism» is not surprising, because above all the fate of Egypt — the sacred land — worries its author, no doubt an Egyptian by birth. In Lactantius, this looks artificial and is not due to the logic of the narrative. A reminiscence from the «Asclepius» is the mention of the blood that will fill Egypt, «like water.» Hermes Trismegistus refers to the Nile in the Apocalypse of Asclepius:
«You will overflow the banks filled with hot blood» 14 .
It is possible that Lactantius mentioned the biblical «executions of the Egyptians» not without the influence of «Asclepius». It seems that the very comparison of these «executions» with the end of the world is somewhat artificial. Apparently, Lactantius wanted to introduce Egypt into his narrative in one way or another. But this is already a hypothesis that cannot be proven.
After the fall of Egypt, Lactantius continues, the Roman Empire will also fall. There is no need to retell in detail exactly how Lactantius describes this, especially since it is repeated: the decline of piety, the violation of laws, confusion, etc. Let us point out only the parallels with Asclepius.
«… the earth will cease to be solid … the sea will be navigable, the sky will refuse to serve as a breeding ground for the luminaries, the luminaries will turn around in the sky, every voice will be silent in forced silence, the fruits of the earth will deteriorate, and the earth will cease to be fertile, the air itself will become heavier in dull real estate» 15 .
«The air will become poisoned, it will become spoiled and destructive. .. the earth will not give fruits to people…»
and below: «Many stars will fall, so that the dark skies will be deprived of any light… The sea will become unnavigable» 16 .
In addition, the sequence of events coincides with the author of Asclepius and Lactantius: first, a decline in morals, a decline in worship of God, then unrest, rebellions, which will lead to the death of the country identified with the cultural ecumene (in one case it is Egypt, in the other — the Roman Empire ), and, finally, catastrophes of a cosmic nature. Only the mention of Egypt by Lactantius violates this scheme.
In the further exposition, Lactantius no longer relies on Asclepius, so we will not expound it either. Again, our authors have a similarity in the story of the final act of the eschatological drama. In both cases, it ends with divine intervention. Lactantius in this matter relies, of course, not on Asclepius, but on the Christian dogma of the second coming, but, in an effort to convince his readers, he quotes from the Sibylline books and from the same Asclepius:
«When all this happens, Asclepius, then the Lord and Father himself, God the Primal Ruler and Demiurge of the One God (as in the text — N. Sh.), having considered the morals and voluntary acts, by his own will, which is God’s mercy, resisting the vices and general corruption, will destroy malice either by a flood, or by fire, or pestilence at the same time in various places; he will return to the world its former appearance, so that it again becomes an object of wonder and reverence» 17 .
The strength of the influence of the treatise «Asclepius» on the eschatological views of Lactantius is evidenced by the fact that he refers to it even in the epitome of his work. In general, in this summary, the textual coincidences with Asclepius are especially striking.
Summing up the question of the influence of Hermetic writings on the works of Lactantius, it should be noted:
1. Lactantius did not perceive Hermeticism as some kind of religious or philosophical system, and the influence of Hermetic theology, cosmology and anthropology on the writings of Lactantius is not traced. In all these matters, he argues as an orthodox (for his era) Christian.
2. Lactantius believed in the prophetic gift of Hermes Trismegistus and in the authenticity of the Hermetic writings. He perceived from them that which did not contradict Christianity, i.e. anything that was monotheistic. At the same time, he took individual provisions out of context, thereby depriving them of the meaning that they had in the Hermetic texts, and thus rendering them harmless from the standpoint of a Christian theologian.
3. The influence of Hermetic eschatology on the works of Lactantius was very strong. And this is no coincidence: eschatology was at that time, and even later, the least dogmatized part of Christian theology, and extraneous influences could be found here more freely.
Let us now turn to the most prominent representative of Latin patristics — Augustine.
Of the Hermetic writings, he mentions the Asclepius. Augustine devotes four chapters of the eighth book of his main work «On the City of God» (ch.23-26) to a controversy with some of the provisions of this work.
Augustine’s interest was attracted by discussions about statues and the Apocalypse of Asclepius. In a discussion about statues, the author of Asclepius expounds the following teaching through the mouth of Hermes Trismegistus:
the supreme god «is the creator of the heavenly gods, and man is the creator of those gods who live in temples, content with the proximity of people …».
Asclepius asks Trismegistus: is he talking about statues?
Hermes replies: «Yes, Asclepius, about statues… About statues animated and full of feeling and reason, performing such great and varied deeds, about statues with foresight, announcing the future to people in lots, prophecies, dreams and other means, sending illnesses to people and pointing out ways to heal them, inspiring them, depending on their merits, sadness or joy … « 18 .
Further, Hermes Trismegistus expresses the following, rather contradictory thoughts about the origin of the veneration of the images of the gods. He explains this custom by saying that people did not have a correct idea of \u200b\u200bthe divine nature, but he considers the statues of the gods worthy of worship, since a certain supernatural power is inherent in them.
«Our ancestors … found a means to create gods, having found it, they added to it the corresponding force, borrowed from the nature of the world: since they could not create souls, they called up the souls of demons or angels and instilled them in statues by means of sacred and divine mysteries, as a result of which idols received the power to do good and evil» 19 .
Augustine sharply criticizes this doctrine from Christian positions, ridiculing Trismegistus for his words about the need to worship gods made by human hands. He points to the contradiction of the author of the treatise, who admits that the veneration of idols arose due to a misconception about the deity, and at the same time justifies the cult of these idols. Augustine partly agrees with Asclepius in recognizing the dual nature of the statues of deities. On the one hand, they, in his opinion, are a piece of wood or stone and worshiping them is ridiculous, but, on the other hand, demons live in idols, therefore, worshiping them is also impious. Augustine characterizes Hermes in the harshest terms, calling him a possessed demonic spirit. It was demonic suggestion that Augustine explained the gift of foresight, which he partly recognized for Hermes, considering him a contemporary of Moses:
«By the time of the birth of Moses lived that Atlas, the great astrologer, brother of Prometheus and maternal grandfather of the elder Mercury, whose grandson was Mercury Trismegistus» 20 .
Augustine’s response to the «Apocalypse of Asclepius» is curious, which shows how differently two Christian writers, Lactantius and Augustine, perceived the same text. For Lactantius, this is a prophecy about the end of the world, for Augustine, who lived after the triumph of Christianity, it is a prediction of the death of paganism. But here it is necessary to make a small digression. We do not know whether the texts of Asclepius known to Lactantius and Augustine were quite adequate. Recall that Lactantius quotes a Greek original that has not come down to us, and Augustine quotes a Latin translation attributed to Apuleius, but actually referring to the 4th century. It is possible that the translator, working after the victory of Christianity, added to the text a number of allusions to laws condemning pagan piety and making it a crime:
«Piety will not only be contemptible, but, even worse, imaginary laws, under the threat of established punishment, will prohibit piety, piety and worship of the gods» 21 .
Another passage could be perceived by the Christian reader as a criticism of the cult of martyrs 22 .
The question of whether these places are interpolation has not been finally resolved. But we are now interested in how Augustine perceived the Apocalypse of Asclepius, and he considered it a prophecy about the fall of the old faith, expressed, however, from positions hostile to Christianity.
«The sorrow of the demons speaks through his lips, grieving at the thought of the punishment that awaits them» 23 , writes Augustine
Trismegistus, according to Augustine, had the gift of foresight, but so much the worse for him, since he, «foretelling this (that is, the death of paganism), speaks as a friend of these demonic mockery» 24 .
«This vanity, this deceit, these malicious and sacrilegious things, Hermes the Egyptian mourned, knowing that the time would come when they would be no more, but he mourned as shamelessly as he imprudently knew» 25 .
The phrase «So this most sacred country, the abode of sanctuaries and temples, will overflow with tombs and the dead» Augustine took as an allusion to the Christian veneration of martyrs. Augustine returned to the pagans the accusation of honoring the dead. He deftly uses the euhemeristic tendencies contained in the Asclepius treatise, and claims that all the gods of Egypt are people who once died, therefore it is the pagans who are guilty of «corpse veneration».
So, Augustine considered Hermes Trismegistus a man, a contemporary of Moses, who had the gift of foresight, which made it possible for him to predict the death of paganism and the victory of Christianity. This gift was instilled in Hermes by demons. The writings of Hermes Trismegistus are deeply hostile to Christianity.
Thus, Lactantius and Augustine took opposite positions in relation to Hermeticism. Lactantius treated Trismegistus and the works attributed to him as positively as is generally possible for a Christian author. Augustine, on the other hand, was extremely hostile. What explains this difference? Both Lactantius and Augustine were orthodox Christians for their time. But the boundaries of orthodoxy at the beginning of the 5th century. (in the era of Augustine) were narrower than at the beginning of the 4th century. (lifetime of lactation). For a hundred years, dividing the activities of these two Christian theologians, Christianity turned from a persecuted religion into a dominant religion, the ecumenical councils in Nicaea and Constantinople determined what was orthodoxy and what was heresy. Freedom of theology was limited.
One of the main tasks of Lactantius and other Christian authors of his time was to convince pagan readers of the truth of the Christian religion. Therefore, he emphasizes the similarity between the new faith and the best that, in his opinion, the pagan world gave. Augustine’s goal is to stigmatize paganism in order to avert his Christian brethren from its «filth». No compromise with the defeated religion was possible for him. He could use the ideas of Neoplatonism, since the latter, despite its pagan character, was a philosophical system, and not a religious cult, but Hermeticism, which was a religious pagan movement, albeit with monotheistic tendencies, could meet only a negative reaction from him. In addition, Roman Africa, the site of Augustine’s activity, was one of the centers of Hermeticism, and it is possible that the Bishop of Hippo had to contend with the direct followers of Hermes Trismegistus.
These two traditions of the relationship to Hermes Trismegistus, which originated in Lactantius and Augustine, continued to exist in the Middle Ages, until the short but bright period of the revival of Hermeticism in the Renaissance.
Returning to what was said at the beginning of the article, it should be noted that it is not so much the ideas of Hermeticism that are subjected to neutralization and Christianization, but the very image of Hermes Trismegistus, which greatly excited the minds. This is the difference between Hermeticism and the fate that befell Neoplatonism or Aristotelianism in the Middle Ages.0014 26 .
1. The works of Lactantius are quoted from: Lucii Caecilii
2. See: Histoire des religions. T.N. P., 1972 (Encyclopédie de la Pléiade), p. 430.
3. H. Kusch. Einführung in das lateinische Mittelalter. Bd I. V., 1957, p. 634.
4. Lactant. Inst. civ. I, 6.
5. Lactant. Inst. div. IV, 9.
6. Lactant. Inst. div. IV, 27.
7. Lactant. De ira dei XI.
8. See: R. Reitzenstein. «Poimandres». Lpz., 1904; Hermetica. Ed. W. Scott and A.S. Ferguson. Vol. 1-4. Ox., 1924; Hermès Trismegiste (Corpus Hermeticum). Ed. A.D. Nocket, A.J. Festugiere. Vol. 1-4. P., 1945-1954.
9. Lactant. Inst. div. VII, 13.
10. Lactant. Inst. div. I, 6.
11. Lactant. Inst. div. II, 16.
12. Lactant. Inst. div. VI, 25.
13. See: Nag Hammadi codices V, 2-5 and VI with Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 1 and 4. Ed. D. M. Parrott, Leiden, 1979, pp. 400-451.
14. Ascl., 24.
15. Ascl., 25.
16. Lactant. Inst. div. VII, 16.
17. Ascl., 26.
18. Ascl., 23-24.
19. Ascl., 24.
20. Civ. dei XVIII, 39.
21. Ascl., 24.
22. Ascl., 24.
23 Augustin. Civ. dei VIII, 26.
24. Augustin. Civ. dei VIII, 23.
25. Augustin. Civ. dei VIII, 23.
26. To study the relationship between early Christianity and Hermeticism, it is also necessary to consider the attitude towards Hermeticism of the Eastern Church Fathers, primarily Clement of Alexandria and Cyril of Alexandria. But this is a topic for further research.
Poem «Phoenix Bird»
The country of Kokanj and Schlaraffia
Medieval legends of Europe
De ave Phoenice
A small poem (epilli) «The Phoenix Bird» was written by an unknown author, probably in the 4th century. Unusually popular in the Middle Ages, it has come down to us in several manuscript copies, the oldest of which dates back to the 8th century. In most manuscripts, it is attributed to the Christian preacher Lactantius (III-IV centuries), the author of the Divine Instructions, but his authorship is doubtful. Already E. Behrens, who placed this epillium in the third volume of his «Little Latin Poets», noted that the poem as a whole is alien to the Christian worldview. And although elements of Christian ideas appear in the final distichs of the poem, its pagan essence is manifested primarily in the fact that the Phoenix is a bird initiated into the mysteries of Phoebus, the pagan god of the sun, whose cult was especially widespread in the last centuries of the existence of the Roman Empire (compare «Praise Sun» by an unknown author). Testimony of Gregory of Tours (540-594 years), confirming the authorship of Lactantius, Berens refers to another, not preserved poem on the same plot, because in a number of places the presentation of Gregory of Tours does not agree with the poem «The Phoenix Bird» that has come down to us. The poem is written in elegiac distich.
Translated by J. Schultz
There is a happiest land; he lies far in the East,
Where the gates are wide open in the eternal sky;
He is far from the limits, where summer and cold reign,
A sparkling day pours from the spring sky.
There, on a wide plain, paths without obstacles are open,
A hill does not rise and a ravine does not gape,
But above the mountains, whose ridge we call impregnable steep,
Up twelve cubits to the sky that edge is elevated.
of the Sun here lies a grove, in which the trees intertwine into a thicket,
10 The thick-leaved forest is dressed in an evergreen attire.
Even when the firmament blazed from the fires of Phaethon ,
This place was not touched by the fire at all.
In the days of Deucalion  the whole world was flooded with floods,
But over the vastness of the waters it prevailed.
You will not find pale ailments there and miserable old age,
There is no merciless death, fear that oppresses us.
There is no terrible lawlessness and insane passion for wealth,
There is no anger and rage, bursting with the thirst for murder.
There are no cruel sorrows, no need dressed in rags,
20 There are no sleepless worries, there is no fierce hunger.
There are no storms, no fierce menacing wind,
There winter does not cover the ground with icy dew.
There are no clouds that swirl, floating over the fields,
Violent jets of water from the sky do not fall there.
There is one spring there, which is called «living»:
Quiet, transparent, flowing, rich in sweet water;
Spilling only once for a short time, twelve
For months, it always feeds the grove with its moisture.
The trunks of tall and slender trees grow there,
30 Delicate fruits ripen, but do not fall from the branches.
In these forests, in this grove, only one bird lives,
Phoenix, who by his death regains his life.
Meekly behind Phoebus is this marvelous companion of God:
This grace is bestowed upon her by nature itself.
The golden Aurora begins to turn red a little, rising,
Aiming to drive out the constellations from the sky with a pink light,
The Phoenix plunges twelve times into the sacred waves
The Body and drinks the same number of times from the stream of the spring.
After that, he sits down, taking off, on the top of a mighty tree,
40 Which, towering with his head, looks at the grove from above.
And turning to where Phoebus is reborn again,
Phoenix in the glow of dawn awaits its bright rays.
As soon as the Sun opens the gates of the flaming gates,
And, illuminating the sky, the first rays will flare up,
The bird of the chants of the saints begins to pour out consonances,
The resurrected light is met with its wondrous voice.
Neither the nightingale’s trills, nor the music of the Kirrean flute ,
Glorious melodies, you cannot compare it with a song.
The swan’s song before death — and that will not be compared with it,
50 Lyra of Killensky melody does not dare to imitate her .
After, when he rushes his horses to the top of Olympus
Phoebus and the whole world to the brim will illuminate with his light,
The bird greets Phoebus three times with wing beats
And falls silent, honoring the fiery Phoebus crown.
But she marks the fleeting hours of movement
Sounds at night and day — we are not given to comprehend them.
Phoebus keeps your grove and, like a priestess, inspires awe
Bird and only she knows your mysteries.
After she turns her millennium
60 And the string of years becomes a burden to her,
In order to return the elusive years at sunset,
She leaves her sweet bed in the grove.
And, striving for rebirth, leaves the sacred grove,
Directs flight into the world, where death reigns supreme.
A decrepit bird quickly rushes its way to Syria —
She called this country Phenicia of old.
Flies over the impassability of the deserts, over the silence of the forests,
Where thick thickets are visible in steep gorges.
She chooses a palm tree with its top raised to the sky,
70 The Greeks call her «Phoenix», just like a bird.
A bird of prey or a worm cannot touch this palm tree,
And a slender snake will not dare to twist around its trunk.
The winds then close the Aeolus in the heavenly chambers,
So that the breath of their purple does not hurt the heavens,
So that the clouds do not thicken from them in the expanses of heaven
And do not block the rays of the sun to the bird to harm.
The bird builds its own nest, or perhaps builds a tomb:
It will die in order to live, by death it will revive itself.
Juices and resins in the nest she wears, which Assyrian
80 Looking diligently for himself or a wealthy Arab.
They are valued by the tribe of pygmies  and the inhabitants of far-off India,
They are born by the land in the fat Sabaean  country.
Here kinnamon and amom , pouring out a wonderful smell,
There, with a fragrant leaf , a fragrant balm is mixed,
Delicate cinnamon flowers, fragrant branches of acanthus
And a tear of incense glistens like a thick drop;
The bird adds to them the tops of flowering nard ,
And, Panacea , your myrrh, magical power.
After having made a nest, lowering it into a life-giving womb,
90 Your decrepit body is waiting for a change of fate.
She takes incense in her beak and sprinkles herself with it,
As if performing her own funeral rite.
So, falling asleep in aromas, she says goodbye to life
And dies — but she has no fear at the same time.
Death brings birth to her, and the body embraced by death,
The heat takes in itself and ignites suddenly:
And from the luminary of heaven, perceiving the ethereal flame,
Phoenix burns to ashes, incinerated in the fire;
But this ash from moisture seems to clump into a clot
100 And, like seeds, it hides strength in itself.
In it, they say, first arises a larva without members.
It looks like a worm, the color of white milk.
After the chrysalis, it takes on the appearance: on a thread to the rocks
They often mold — they will become a butterfly in due time.
The ashes also thicken, then gradually harden,
Finds its own shape, similar to a round egg,
Then it takes on the outlines of the former birds
And, breaking through the shell, the Phoenix comes out into the light.
In the world, we do not have the usual food for a chick,
110 There is no one who would warm and feed him in childhood.
The heavenly nectar is its food and dew ambrosia:
Clean, they fell from the sky, the abodes of the stars.
The chick collects the dew, imbibes the aromas,
The time will soon come to become an adult bird.
As soon as her youthful beauty begins to bloom,
She is immediately ready to fly, striving for her native home.
Before, however, everything that was preserved from her body,
— Skin or ashes or bone — will collect these remains;
Thick balsam ointment, viscous incense and myrrh
120 It sticks around, rolling it with its sacred beak.
Carrying this ball in its paws, it rushes to the city of the Sun;
Her appearance is a wonder for the eyes and inspires respectful awe:
The bird has so much beauty, so much grandeur in it.
Its color is unusual: under the scorching constellation Cancer
Punia pomegranate covers such a grain;
The color of the leaves of the wild poppy is the same, when it
Parts its cover with a new crimson flower.
Her chest and shoulders shine with the same color,
Her neck, back, and head burn with the same color.
130 She spreads her tail, sparkling with yellow metals,
In spots, a bright crimson glows on it with a flame.
The feathers on the wings are iridescent: like the color of Iris 
Clouds are full of clouds in the sky, illuminating them with themselves.
The greenery of the emerald merged with her miraculous whiteness,
The gem-colored beak is open in its horn shine.
You will say — her eyes are two huge hyacinths
And in the depths of them, burning, a clear flame trembles.
A radiant crown is curved on her golden head,
140 Phoebus himself crowned her with this honorary crown.
Her thighs are scaly, shimmering with gold metal,
But on her claws, roses are the most beautiful color.
In the guise of a Phoenix, the guise of a peacock is merged, and the image of
of the Thasian bird  — they paint it with such colors.
None of the animals of the Arabian land
can be compared with it in size — there are no such birds or animals there.
But the Phoenix is not slow, like birds with a huge body:
Their weight oppresses — therefore their step is lazy and heavy;
The Phoenix bird is fast and light and royally beautiful,
150 And it appears before people, wondrous shining beauty.
To see this miracle, the whole of Egypt comes running:
The crowd honors a rare bird with applause.
In marble, her image is immediately sculpted sacred
And a memorable day is marked on it with an inscription.
All generations of birds flock to this place,
The predator has forgotten its prey, no one knows fear.
The choir is flooded with birds, she soars in the sky,
The crowd follows her reverently.
But it will only reach the heavenly streams of ether in flight,
160 How it disappears from the eyes, flying to the native home.
A bird of an enviable fate and a happy death, you will be born
By the will of God you are — and from yourself.
You are a female or a male or something else — you are happy, Phoenix,
Happy — you may not know the heavy shackles of Venus!
Death is one delight and the only delight in death.
To be born again, you long for your death:
You are your child and your own father and your own successor,
You are your breadwinner and your eternal pupil.
Always the same, but not the same, the same and yet different,
Good is your death, in it is your eternal life.
 Kyllene lyre — by the name of Kyllene, a mountain in Arcadia, dedicated to the day of the father’s sun chariot, he could not hold his horses and almost burned the earth. Zeus struck Phaethon with lightning. The myth of Phaeton is described by Ovid in the Metamorphoses.
 We are talking about a global flood sent to people by Zeus. Deucalion is the son of Prometheus who escaped the flood with his wife Pyrrha.
 Cyrrhean flute — named Cyrrhae, the harbor of Delphi in the Gulf of Cris (Phocis).
 Kyllene Lyra — after the name of Kyllene, a mountain in Arcadia, dedicated to Mercury born there.
 The Pygmies are a mythical dwarf tribe that lived, according to the ancients, in the extreme South.
 Sabaean country (Saba) — the poetic name of «happy Arabia», considered one of the richest and most fertile countries.
 Kinnamon is a cinnamon tree or its bark. Amom is an aromatic plant from which a valuable balm was prepared.
 Liszt is an Indian Malabatr, a type of cinnamon (?).
 Tops of the people — we are talking about the Eastern people (Spica), an aromatic plant used in medicine and perfumery.
 Panacea—literally: «all-healing.