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The Gospel of St. Mark

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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The Gospel of St. Mark

On-line since: 28th October, 2008



Giotto di Bondone (c. 1266–1337), Florentine painter and architect, noted especially for his frescoes on the life of St. Francis.

Dante Alighieri, 1265–1321, Italian poet, author of the Divine Comedy.


David, second king of Israel, ruled about the beginning of the first millennium B.C. Many of the most beautiful Psalms were attributed to him, and it was their influence of which Rudolf Steiner was evidently thinking in this passage.

Homer, Greek poet who lived probably in the 8th century B.C., author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749–1832. German poet, author of Faust.


Schopenhauer, Artur, 1788–1860. German philosopher, author of The World as Will and Idea.

Hartmann, Eduard von, 1842–1906 German philosopher, author of The Philosophy of the Unconscious.


Ram Mohan Roy, 1772–1836, founder of the Brahmo Samaj.

Tagore, Rabindranath, 1861–1941. Indian poet and philosopher, winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, 1913.

One of these followers — reference is to Keshab Chandra Sen, 1834–1884.


Empedocles of Agragas, c. 495–435 B.C., Greek philosopher.


The two books of the Maccabees are to be found in the Apocrypha, but not in the King James Version of the Bible. The heroic deeds of Judas Maccabaeus are recorded in Book 1, and the story of the martyrdom of the sons of the widow in Book 2.


Raphael. Raffaello Santi, 1483–1520, Italian painter, famous especially for his Madonnas and for his paintings in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, especially The School of Athens and the Disputä.


... proof to which I already alluded in Munich. In a lecture of August 31, 1912, not translated, entitled, “Theosophy and the Spiritual Life of the Present.”


Hermann Grimm, 1828–1901. The books on Raphael written by him appeared under the title Das Leben Raphael (The Life of Raphael) 1872, 1885 and 1896. Raphael als Weltmacht (Raphael as World Power) appears in his posthumously published Fragments, Vol. II.


Socrates, Athenian philosopher, 470–399 B.C. Our information about him comes mainly from the works of Plato and Xenophon, the more sympathetic and much better known picture being drawn from Plato. Socrates is not known ever to have written a word, his instruction having been all given orally, in the form of dialogues.

Plato's picture of Socrates is contained mostly in his Protagoras, Meno, Symposium, Gorgias, and the three dialogues recounting the death of Socrates: The Apology, the Crito, and the Phaedo. Plato, 427–347 B.C.

Aristotle, 384–322 B.C. A pupil of Plato, he never knew Socrates personally, but credits him with many philosophical innovations, especially the use of logic and dialectic.


Gautama Buddha, c. 563–483 B.C. His dialogue with his pupil Sona is recorded in Vinayapitaka I, page 182 in the edition of H. Oldenberg (in German).


Krishna is usually regarded as a mythical figure, and a member of the Hindu pantheon, one of the earthly avatars, or incarnations of the god Vishnu. He appeared as the charioteer in the Hindu poem the Bhagavad Gita, in which he is endowed with divine attributes. Rudolf Steiner does not date his incarnation exactly, but gives it as occurring in the third post-Atlantean cultural epoch, which lasted from approximately 3000 B.C. to 747 B.C.


Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, 1762–1814. German idealist philosopher.

Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph, 1775–1854. German idealist philosopher.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770–1831. Extremely influential German philosopher, professor at Berlin for many years. His Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline referred to by Steiner appeared in 1817.


Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, originally written in 1904 and published in the magazine Luzifer-Gnosis, has appeared in many editions in English, including the latest which appeared from Anthroposophic Press in 1984.


Sinnet, A. P., 1840–1921. His Esoteric Buddhism was published in London in 1883, and a German translation appeared the following year.


Rudolf Steiner gave his cycle on the Matthew Gospel in Bern in September, 1910. The last edition of this cycle in English was published in London by Rudolf Steiner Press in 1965. The question about the handing over of the power of the keys was discussed in Lectures 11 and 12.


The lecture given by Michael Bauer was entitled “How did Hegel see the great Turning-Point in Time?” Among Hegel's more important works was his Philosophy of History.


Pherecydes of Syros, 6th century B.C. Only fragments of his cosmogony have been preserved. For this reason and the “unphilosophical” nature of these fragments his name does not even appear in most histories of philosophy.


Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes (c. 636–546 B.C.; c. 611–547 B.C.; 6th century B.C.) were all from Miletus in Asia Minor and are regarded as the first true philosophers, Thales being, as Aristotle called him, the Father of Philosophy.

Heraclitus of Ephesus, c. 535–c. 475 B.C. Rudolf Steiner who discusses him at length in Christianity as Mystical Fact calls him an initiate priest as well as a philosopher.

Nietzsche, Friedrich, 1844–1900. German philosopher, author of The Birth of Tragedy, and Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Parmenides of Elea, born about 514 B.C., who held that true change was impossible and all apparent change was illusory.

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, c. 500–428 B.C. Philosopher who is credited with founding the study of philosophy in Athens.


Moses was discussed by Steiner in two of the earlier Gospel cycles, The Gospel of Luke (1909) and The Gospel of Matthew (1910). An important lecture was devoted to him on March 9, 1911. This appeared in Turning Points in Spiritual History (London, 1934).


Benjamin Smith (1850–1912). His book Ecce Deus, which appeared in German in 1912 bore the subtitle, “The Early Christian Doctrine of the Purely-Divine Jesus.”


The cycle From Jesus to Christ was given in Karlsruhe in October, 1911. The lectures especially concerned with the phantom are six, seven and eight.


Christianity as Mystical Fact consists of a series of lectures given in Berlin in 1902 and revised by Steiner for publication in the same year and again in 1910. The chapter entitled “Egyptian Mystery Wisdom” contains the statement about the Transfiguration to which he refers here. Available in English in three different translations.