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Chapter II.—The Gods are Despised When They are Made; But Become Valuable When Bought.

And in truth it does seem to me absurd that statuaries and carvers, or painters, or moulders, should both design and paint, and carve, and mould, and prepare gods, who, when they are produced by the artificers, are reckoned of no value; but as soon as they are purchased549549    The words “by some and placed in” are omitted in some editions, but occur in the best mss. by some and placed in some so-called temple, or in some house, not only do those who bought them sacrifice to them, but also those who made and sold them come with much devotion, and apparatus of sacrifice, and libations, to worship them; and they reckon them gods, not seeing that they are just such as when they were made by themselves, whether stone, or brass, or wood, or colour, or some other material. And this is your case, too, when you read the histories and genealogies of the so-called gods. For when you read of their births, you think of them as men, but afterwards you call them gods, and worship them, not reflecting nor understanding that, when born, they are exactly such beings as ye read of before.


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