« Prev Chapter XXV. Next »

25. What say you, O men, who assign to yourselves too much of an excellence not your own? Is this the learned soul which you describe, immortal, perfect, divine, holding the fourth place under God the Lord of the universe, and under the kindred spirits,35683568    Founded on Plato’s words (Phædrus, st. p. 247), τῷ δ᾽ (i.e., Zeus) ἕπεται στρατιὰ θεῶν τε καὶ δαιμόνων, the doctrine became prevalent that under the supreme God were lesser gods made by Him, beneath whom again were dæmons, while men stood next. To this Orelli supposes that Arnobius here refers. and proceeding from the fountains of life?35693569    The vessels in which according to Plato (Timæus, st. p. 41), the Supreme Being mixed the vital essence of all being. Cf. c. 52. This is that precious being man, endowed35703570    Lit., “and endowed.” with the loftiest powers of reason, who is said to be a microcosm, and to be made and formed after the fashion of the whole universe, superior, as has been seen, to no brute, more senseless than stock or stone; for he is unacquainted with men, and always lives, loiters idly in the still deserts although he were rich,35713571    The text and meaning are both rather doubtful, and the edd. vary exceedingly. The reading of Orelli, demoretur iners, valeat in ære quamvis, has been translated as most akin to the ms., with which, according to Oehler, it agrees, although Orelli himself gives the ms. reading as ær-io. lived years without number, and never escaped from the bonds of the body. But when he goes to school, you say, and is instructed by the teaching of masters, he is made wise, learned, and lays aside the ignorance which till now clung to him. And an ass, and an ox as well, if com444pelled by constant practice, learn to plough and grind; a horse, to submit to the yoke, and obey the reins in running;35723572    Lit., “acknowledge turnings in the course.” a camel, to kneel down when being either loaded or unloaded; a dove, when set free, to fly back to its master’s house; a dog, on finding game, to check and repress its barking; a parrot, too, to articulate words; and a crow to utter names.


« Prev Chapter XXV. Next »





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |