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Chapter LXVIII.

Celsus, however, says that it is only “the course of mortal things which, according to the appointed cycles, must always be the same in the past, present, and future;” whereas the majority of the Stoics maintain that this is the case not only with the course of mortal, but also with that of immortal things, and of those whom they regard as gods.  For after the conflagration of the world,39713971    τοῦ παντός. which has taken place countless times in the past, and will happen countless times in the future, there has been, and will be, the same arrangement of all things from the beginning to the end.  The Stoics, indeed, in endeavouring to parry, I don’t know how, the objections raised to their views, allege that as cycle after cycle returns, all men will be altogether unchanged39723972    ἀπαραλλάκτους. from those who lived in former cycles; so that Socrates will not live again, but one altogether like to Socrates, who will marry a wife exactly like Xanthippe, and will be accused by men exactly like Anytus and Melitus.  I do not understand, however, how the world is to be always the same, and one individual not different from another, and yet the things in it not the same, though exactly alike.  But the main argument in answer to the statements of Celsus 528and of the Stoics will be more appropriately investigated elsewhere, since on the present occasion it is not consistent with the purpose we have in view to expatiate on these points.


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