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VI.—Of the Same Jupiter’s Thunderbolt.

Ye say, O fools, Jupiter thunders.  It is he that hurls thunderbolts; and if it was childishness that thought thus, why for two hundred years have ye been babies?18431843    [An index of time.  He writes, therefore, in the third century.]  And will ye still be so always?  Infancy is passed into maturity, old age does not enjoy trifles, the age of boyhood has departed; let the mind of youth in like manner depart.  Your thoughts ought to belong to the character of men.  Thou art then a fool, to believe that it is Jupiter that thunders.  He, born on the earth, is nourished with goats’ milk.  Therefore if Saturn had devoured him, who was it in those times that sent rain when he was dead?  Especially, if a god may be thought to be born of a mortal father, Saturn grew old on the earth, and on the earth he died.  There was none that predicted his previous birth.  Or if he thunders, the law would have been given by him.  The stories that the poets feign seduce you.  He, however, reigned in Crete, and there died.  He who to you is the Almighty became Alcmena’s lover; he himself would in like manner be in love with living men now if he were alive.  Ye pray to unclean gods, and ye call them heavenly who are born of mortal seed from those giants.  Ye hear and ye read that he was born in the earth:  whence was it that that corrupter so well deserved to ascend into heaven?  And the Cyclopes are said to have forged him a thunderbolt; for though he was immortal, he received arms from mortals.  Ye have conveyed to heaven by your authority one guilty of so many crimes, and, moreover, a parricide of his own relations.


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