In the first place should be mentioned the treatise Contra Celsum, in which the expositions of Gnosticism by both Origen and Celsus are of interest (see especially v.
Keim, Celsus (1873); Aube, Hist.
Not only do the many intimate y y references to Egyptian history and customs support this position, but it is clear that the Jews of Celsus are not Western or Roman Jews, but belong to the Orient, and especially to that circle of Judaism which had received and assimilated the idea of the Logos.
The basis of medicine through the middle ages had been literary and dogmatic, and it was literary and dogmatic still; but the medical literature now brought to light - including as it did the more important works of Hippocrates and Galen, many of them hitherto unknown, and in addition the forgotten element of Latin medicine, especially the work of Celsus - was in itself far superior to the second-hand compilations and incorrect versions which had formerly been accepted as standards.
The connexion of the Seven with the planets is also clearly established by the expositions of Celsus and Origen (Contra Celsum, vi.
It is of course easy to see that Celsus had no apprehension of the spiritual needs even of his own day which it was the Christian purpose to satisfy, that he could not grasp anything of the new life enjoyed by the poor in spirit, and that he underrated the significance of the Church, regarding it simply as one of a number of warring sections (mostly Gnostic), and so seeing only a mark of weakness.
It faded away in the great Church, and probably Celsus was describing Montanist circles (though Origen assumed that they were ordinary believers) when he wrote 3 of the many Christians of no repute who at the least provocation, whether within or without their temples, threw themselves about like inspired persons; while others did the same in cities or among armies in order to collect alms, roaming about cities or camps.
The work of Celsus is thus for us only second in importance to the Hippocratic writings and the works of Galen; but it is valuable rather as a part of the history of medicine than as the subject of that history.
The Latin medical writers were necessarily unknown to the Arabs; and this was partly the cause that even in Europe Galenic medicine assumed such a preponderance, the methodic school and Celsus being forgotten or neglected.
What makes Origen's answer so instructive is that it shows how close an affinity existed between Celsus and himself in their fundamental philosophical and theological presuppositions.