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Dogma: Straton, the Second Scholarque

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MessagePosté le: Sam Juil 27, 2013 6:07 pm    Sujet du message: Dogma: Straton, the Second Scholarque Répondre en citant

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Saint Straton of Lampsacus, second scholarque

The Birth of a scrawny child

Straton, son of Arcélias, was born at Lampsacus around -330, a small town in Asia Minor near the Bosphorus Strait, located between the cities of Cyzicus and Abydos, southwest of Byzantium. The youngest child of his parents, he was born premature, was scrawny and skinny and his parents doubted that he would survive even three days.

The Custom at the time was to place newborn children on a hill not far from the city during the first three days after the birth. If they survived that, they were deemed strong enough. To their surprise, Straton survived this ordeal and showed, despite his scrawny appearance, to be very resilient.

He spent his childhood at his mother's skirts and at the teachings of his tutors. The young man quickly developed a knack for science. He had powers of observation and analysis rather unusual and was interested at first in the matter of physics. Even still, his extreme emancipation caused him to be a sickly child plagued with ailments with more regularity then the passing of the seasons. This left him often bedridden or confined to his apartments, where he would study the many books provided by his teachers. Thus, at the age of thirteen, having spent most of his childhood studying, he was sent on the advice of his teachers, to the School of Aristotle to become a philosopher and theologian.

The discovery of the Aristotelian theology

So far, the young Straton had never really questioned the existence of God. Of course, he knew that in some corners of Greece, it was believed that only one God existed and he created everything. Among those who believed this was Theophrastus, the rector of the Lyceum. Straton found that this made sense and could not be contradicted. The scrawny kid, as we called him then, literally fell in love with the theologian and strove to understand better all the questions that dealt with the Most High. He spent a large part of his teens studying the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus his master, the rest of his time he devoted to the study of physics, a science for which he had developed a special affection.

And so it was that he spent his life between the scriptorium, the libraries where he was devoted to his studies, and also to the baths to treat his recurrent infections. The doctors of the time tore their hair out in frustration at how a man so thin could eat three large meals a day and not grow. The doctors finally pronounced he only had a few years to live and would not exceed the age of twenty five years. Despite these dire predictions, Straton continued to deepen his knowledge. He was so bright that Theophrastus became very interested in him, taking him under his wing and explaining the proponents of the Aristotelian theology.

In -305, the College had already become a center of theology, creating and developing many followers of science and the knowledge of God, and Straton was considered the best known school student since Theophrastus himself. Despite his youth, Straton quickly became known as the physicist because of its excellence in the field. He developed the idea of ​​the creation of the world, the work of Nature through the strength and the will of the Most High, and theories on motion and movement.

According to him, the evolution of the world and its complexity came from the permanent interplay of the elements and the existence of God. He managed to reconcile theology and physics, using the foundations of the birth of the world, the divine essence, and its practical observation and theoretical findings. And he studied the movements and interactions between the elements, publishing numerous reference books on the subject. At the age of 30, the Alexandria court asked Theophrastus to send a disciple of the Lyceum to help raise the future King. The Rector found in Straton a man well skilled for this task and appointed him as the exposure to the Egyptian culture would allow him to extend the faith in the true God. Thus, the young theologian left his master for the splendor of the court of Egypt.

The Alexandrian adventure

On his arrival in Alexandria, Egypt, Straton immediately could see that the existence of only one God was not yet an entrenched belief. The Egyptian priests practiced paganism and believed in a divine pantheon composed of multiple deities. Straton did not trust these priests, and did not openly talk of the existence of only one God, preferring to keep this quiet initially. He was entrusted with the teaching Ptolemy II, the son of Ptolemy I and the brother of princess Arsinoe II.

Straton found Ptolemy II to be a young child of nine years old, who was curious and more awake than the average child , and he instilled in him the values ​​he learned in the Lyceum, covering studies in philosophy, physics, and of course, theology. He explained to the young Ptolemy how God created everything and asked him not to disclose the contents of his lectures on this subject for he was wary of the pagan priests.

He lectured on how Aristotle was the prophet of the true God, and how Theophrastus continued the teachings of Aristotle and thus the divine message. Very quickly, however, the Egyptian priests came to Straton to warn him of the temptations to teach what they described as fundamental errors. Straton, however, preferred to avoid direct confrontation, and, although he defended his point of view, said he would be content to teach his young student of philosophy and science only, leaving the theological aside. Ptolemy, however, was more than receptive to his theological teachings, and he seemed particularly interested in Aristotle and his work on virtue and friendship.

Ptolemy was an intelligent man, destined to become a pharaoh, and as only the pagan priests could endorse the status of Pharaoh, he chose not to disclose his beliefs in the one God and the teachings of Aristotle until he had ascended to the throne of Egypt. Thus both Staton and Ptolemy decided to keep the lessons secret.

For eight years, Straton therefore taught in secret what the prophet had unveiled to mankind, he illuded the polytheistic priests of the city, but gained the utmost respect from Ptolemy who favored him and gave him 80 talents of gold to thank him for his lessons. With the precepts of Straton, Ptolemy opened up to the culture of Greece, he also became the first Pharaoh to bring the two kingdoms together through treaties of peace and economic and cultural exchanges.

The philosopher Straton did not improve his health and it always fluctuated much, sometimes even to the brink of death, but only his fervor kept him alive, with the certainty of not having finished his mission on Earth. Straton was recalled to Athens as Theophrastus had died and bequeathed him the Lyceum, designating him as scolarque.

A new era of theology

Upon accession to the position of scolarque, Straton reformed the Lyceum. He found it necessary to modify the conditions for access and preferred to focus around the teachings of theology. Thus, studying the teachings of Aristotle and the message of the Most High became the mainstay of the school in Axos. While Theophrastus had already strongly focused the school in that direction, Straton ratified a new constitution that defined the study of theology as the foundation of all other sciences. If he was not as good a speaker as his predecessor, he was none the less excellent in this area and his long discourse on the nature of the soul, satisfied his students. Strato endeavored to understand the fate of the human soul and what became of it. Before his disciples, he explained:

Straton -
"The soul and the mind are two different things The Most High provided each of us a soul which when we perish, will join His kingdom. But soul and mind are closely interrelated as one.. inspires another. Without thought, no feelings can be perceived, thus, the soul is the symbol of our faith and gives us the ability to feel. We know what is right and what is wrong, and we decide knowingly to conduct ourselves virtuously or not. This is why our soul affects our thinking and vice versa, our thoughts affect the future of our soul. "

Straton's life was marked with the seal of God on a summer day when he was entering his fortieth year. Peacefully resting in the leafy garden of the Lyceum, he fell into a nap leaning against an old tree. During his sleep, a dream swept over him in which he lives wandering the green meadows of the solar paradise, at the side of the Archangels, Aristotle and the Most High himself. From there, he seemed to see the land and the men fussing like ants trying to survive in a hostile world. In his mystical dream, he conversed with God, who told him that disseminating the teachings of the prophet would be his salvation.

This is when several his disciples came across him and thought him dead, so pale was his skin and faint of breath. They were more than surprised to see him surrounded by a thin, bright halo and imagined that Straton had definitely left the earthly realm. For many it would be no surprise because he was always so weak and emaciated. But with amazement, while one of disciples approached him, the Scolarque opened his eyes and his skin regained its colour. On his face, could be seen only serenity and calmness. When he stood up, all discovered on the tree on which he had been leaning, the imprint from his body. After that day, Straton was more loved and respected by all, for they were convinced that he had a direct link with the Prophet and God.

During his reign, he was the architect and champion of the belief in the one God. His virtue and availability allowed him to be close to Athens and to the leaders of the time, he obtained the aura of a spiritual guide. If a conflict arose between two Greek cities, Straton was consulted and his views served as the decision. He was wise and his words brought certainty and right where there had been unreasonableness or uncertainties. All listened and no one doubted his faith in the one God.

The scolarque wrote dozens of books, setting out the teachings of Aristotle, and the clarifying and explaining of certain points. These texts made it possible for the belief in one God in the Greek Territory to be become more deeply rooted, and his past friendship with Ptolemy assured the emerging Aristotelian religion recognition to Egypt.

Straton also extended the links that Theophrastus had established with Antiochus of Syria, and when the latter came to the throne and asked that the school sends its best theologians, the rector accepted. He chose from among his best disciples and sent them as God had commissioned him to evangelize the distant lands of the Middle East and Asia.

Straton was well known for allowing the expansion of the faith in the One God for the direction he gave to the Lyceum. He had many disciples, and three of them received his full attention: Hippocrates, Epicrates and Lycon. But of the three, only Lycon won his esteem for his eloquence and almost perfect understanding of theology. He encouraged him to perfect his art during the twenty years during which he was scolarque. It had been Lycon who had come across him and thought him dead, and Straton finally appointed Lycon as his sole successor at the head of the Lyceum.

End of life who became a legend

The older he got, the more it was said that he defied the laws of medicine and that he owed his life to God. His body was so thin and so frail that he was leaving his apartment only to give courses to his disciples. At the age of Sixty-two years, Straton was so thin and he had a cadaverous and deathly pallor about him. The doctors were sent to relieve the pain that invaded his body and failed to understand how such a scrawny and sickly man could have lived so long. Thus, throughout Greece, the rumor was born and that Straton was supported by the Most High who gave him longer life to continue the mission he entrusted to him. In the early winter, undermined further by the cold and continued frailty of his body with pain and a cough so bad it was almost impossible to imagine, Straton died. All through this, Straton said he had no pain. He thus became a legend and this is what Diogenes said about it:

Diogenes -
"There was a man born in Lampsacus with a thin scrawny, sickly body, who take my word for it, who always fought against the disease who died without any knowledge of the pain that ran through his body."

Thus, the legend has it that Straton lived without ever noticing his pain and died without knowledge of the pain.

Of Straton, the whole of Greece will maintain he was a righteous man, strong, worthy of the highest esteem, and excellent in all types of studies, especially in the study and teaching of Aristotle's theology.

Translated from the Greek by Bishop Bender.B.Rodriguez.Rodriguez, and into English by Cardinal Teagan in July 1461

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