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31. A certain neutral character, then, and undecided and doubtful nature of the soul, has made room for philosophy, and found out a reason for its being sought after: while, that is, that fellow36113611    i.e., the abandoned and dissolute immortal spoken of in last chapter. is full of dread because of evil deeds of which he is guilty; another conceives great hopes if he shall do no evil, and pass his life in obedience to36123612    Lit., “with.” duty and justice. Thence it is that among learned men, and men endowed with excellent abilities, there is strife as to the nature of the soul, and some say that it is subject to death, and cannot take upon itself the divine substance; while others maintain that it is immortal, and cannot sink under the power of death.36133613    Lit., “degenerate into mortal nature.” But this is brought about by the law ofthe soul’s neutral character:36143614    Arnobius seems in this chapter to refer to the doctrine of the Stoics, that the soul must be material, because, unless body and soul were of one substance, there could be no common feeling or mutual affection (so Cleanthes in Nemes. de Nat. Hom., ii. p. 33); and to that held by some of them, that only the souls of the wise remained after death, and these only till the conflagration (Stob., Ecl. Phys., p. 372) which awaits the world, and ends the Stoic great year or cycle. Others, however, held that the souls of the wise became dæmons and demigods (Diog., Lært., vii. 157 and 151). because, on the one hand, arguments present themselves to the one party by which it is found that the soul36153615    Lit., “they”—eas. is capable of suffering, and perishable; and, on the other hand, are not wanting to their opponents, by which it is shown that the soul is divine and immortal.


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