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7. But why should I say that men seek from him subtleties of expression and splendour of diction, when I know that there are many who avoid and flee from his books on this subject, and will not hear his opinions read,39413941    Lit., “are unwilling to admit into their ear the reading of opinions,” etc. overthrowing their prejudices; and when I hear others muttering angrily, and saying that the senate should decree the destruction39423942    Both Christians and heathen, it is probable, were concerned in the mutilation of de Nat. Deorum. of these writings by which the Christian religion is maintained, and the weight of antiquity overborne? But, indeed, if you are convinced that anything you say regarding your gods is beyond doubt, point out Cicero’s error, refute, rebut his rash and impious words,39433943    So Gelenius, reading dicta for the ms. dictitare. The last verb is comprobate, read reprobate—“condemn,” by all edd. except Hild. and Oehler. and show that they are so. For when you would carry off writings, and suppress a book given forth to the public, you are not 466defending the gods, but dreading the evidence of the truth.


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