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41. And yet, O ye who laugh because we worship one who died an ignominious death, do not ye too, by consecrating shrines to him, honour father Liber, who was torn limb from limb by the Titans? Have you not, after his punishment and his death by lightning, named Æsculapius, the discoverer of medicines, as the guardian and protector of health, of strength, and of safety? Do you not invoke the great Hercules himself by offerings, by victims, and by kindled frankincense, whom you yourselves allege to have been burned alive after his punishment,33133313    The words post pœnas in the text are regarded as spurious by Orelli, who supposes them to have crept in from the preceding sentence: but they may be defended as sufficiently expressing the agonies which Hercules suffered through the fatal shirt of Nessus. and to have been consumed on the fatal pyres? Do you not, with the unanimous approbation of the Gauls, invoke as a propitious33143314    The words deum propitium are indeed found in the ms., but according to Rigaltius are not in the same handwriting as the rest of the work. and as a holy god, in the temples of the Great Mother,33153315    Cybele whose worship was conjoined with that of Atys. that Phrygian Atys33163316    So Orelli, but the ms. Attis. who was mangled and deprived of his virility? Father Romulus himself, who was torn in pieces by the hands of a hundred senators, do you not call Quirinus Martius, and do you not honour him with priests and with gorgeous couches,33173317    This refers to the practice of placing the images of the gods on pillows at feasts. In the temples there were pulvinaria, or couches, specially for the purpose. and do you not worship him in most spacious temples; and in addition to all this, do you not affirm that he has ascended into heaven? Either, therefore, you too are to be laughed at, who regard as gods men slain by the most cruel tortures; or if there is a sure ground for your thinking that you should do so, allow us too to feel assured for what causes and on what grounds we do this.


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