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Book IV.

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1. We would ask you, and you above all, O Romans, lords and princes of the world, whether you think that Piety, Concord, Safety, Honour, Virtue, Happiness, and other such names, to which we see you rear40794079    Lit., “see altars built.” altars and splendid temples, have divine power, and live in heaven?40804080    Lit., “in the regions of heaven.” or, as is usual, have you classed them with the deities merely for form’s sake, because we desire and wish these blessings to fall to our lot? For if, while you think them empty names without any substance, you yet deify them with divine honours,40814081    The ms. reads tam (corrected by the first four edd. tamen) in regionibus—“in the divine seats;” corrected, religionibus, as above, by Ursinus. you will have to consider whether that is a childish frolic, or tends to bring your deities into contempt,40824082    Lit., “to the deluding of your deities.” when you make equal, and add to their number vain and feigned names. But if you have loaded them with temples and couches, holding with more assurance that these, too, are deities, we pray you to teach us in our ignorance, by what course, in what way, Victory, Peace, Equity, and the others mentioned among the gods, can be understood to be gods, to belong to the assembly of the immortals?


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