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Chapter LIX.

For it would, indeed, be absurd that certain stones and buildings should be regarded as more sacred or more profane than others, according as they were constructed for the honour of God, or for the reception of dishonourable and accursed persons;39453945    σωμάτων. while bodies should not differ from bodies, according as they are inhabited by rational or irrational beings, and according as these rational beings are the most virtuous or most worthless of mankind.  Such a principle of distinction, indeed, has led some to deify the bodies of distinguished men,39463946    τῶν διαφερότων. as having received a virtuous soul, and to reject and treat with dishonour those of very wicked individuals.  I do not maintain that such a principle has been always soundly exercised, but that it had its origin in a correct idea.  Would a wise man, indeed, after the death of Anytus and Socrates, think of burying the bodies of both with like honours?  And would he raise the same mound or tomb to the memory of both?  These instances we have adduced because of the language of Celsus, that “none of these is the work of God” (where the words “of these” refer to the body of a man or to the snakes which come out of the body and to that of an ox, or of the bees which come from the body of an ox; and to that of a horse or of an ass, and to the wasps which come from a horse, and the beetles which proceed from an ass); for which reason we have been obliged to return to the consideration of his statement, that “the soul is the work of God, but that the nature of body is different.”


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