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11. And you dare to charge us with offending the gods, although, on examination, it is found that the ground of offence is most clearly in yourselves, and that it is not occasioned by the 467insult which you think39603960    So Orelli, reading nec in contumelia quam opinamini stare for the ms. et, which is retained by all other edd.; Oehler, however, inserts alia before quam—“and that it is found in an insult other than you think.” we offer them. For if the gods are, as you say, moved by anger, and burn with rage in their minds, why should we not suppose that they take it amiss, even in the highest degree, that you attribute to them sexes, as dogs and swine have been created, and that, since this is your belief, they are so represented, and openly exposed in a disgraceful manner? This, then, being the case, you are the cause of all troubles—you lead the gods, you rouse them to harass the earth with every ill, and every day to devise all kinds of fresh misfortunes, that so they may avenge themselves, being irritated at suffering so many wrongs and insults from you. By your insults and affronts, I say, partly in the vile stories, partly in the shameful beliefs which your theologians, your poets, you yourselves too, celebrate in disgraceful ceremonies, you will find that the affairs of men have been ruined, and that the gods have thrown away the helm, if indeed it is by their care that the fortunes of men are guided and arranged. For with us, indeed, they have no reason to be angry, whom they see and perceive neither to mock, as it is said, nor worship them, and to think,39613961    So later edd., omitting quam, which is read in the ms., both Roman edd., Hild., and Oehler, “to think much more…than you believe.” to believe much more worthily than you with regard to the dignity of their name.

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