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4. But we do not purpose delaying further on this part of the subject, lest we seem desirous to stir up most violent strife, and engage in agitating contests.

Let there be, as you affirm, that crowd of deities, let there be numberless families of gods; we assent, agree, and do not examine too closely, nor in any part of the subject do we assail the doubtful and uncertain positions you hold. This, however, we demand, and ask you to tell us, whence you have discovered, or how you have learned, whether there are these gods,39273927    According to Orelli’s punctuation, “whether there are these gods in heaven whom,” etc. whom you believe to be in heaven and serve, or some others unknown by reputation and name? For it may be that beings exist whom you do not believe to do so; and that those of whose existence you feel assured, are found nowhere in the universe. For you have at no time been borne aloft to the stars of heaven, at no time 465have seen the face and countenance of each; and then established here the worship of the same gods, whom you remembered to be there, as having been known and seen by you. But this, too, we again would learn from you, whether they have received these names by which you call them, or assumed them themselves on the days of purification.39283928    So LB. and later edd., from a conj. of Meursius, reading diebus lustricis for the ms. ludibriis; read by some, and understood by others, as ludicris, i.e., festal days. If these are divine and celestial names, who reported them to you? But if, on the other hand, these names have been applied to them by you, how could you give names to those whom you never saw, and whose character or circumstances you in no wise39293929    The ms. followed by Hild. and Oehler, reads nequein ulla cognatione—“in no relationship,” for which the other edd. give cognitione, as above. knew?


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