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13. Or, if you refuse to believe this on account of its novelty,41454145    Lit., “novelty of the thing.” how can you know whether there is not some one, who comes in place of all whom you invoke, and substituting himself in all parts 480of the world,41464146    Lit., “of places and divisions,” i.e., places separated from each other. shows to you what appear to be41474147    Lit., “affords to you the appearance of.” many gods and powers? Who is that one? some one will ask. We may perhaps, being instructed by truthful authors, be able to say; but, lest you should be unwilling to believe us, let my opponent ask the Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Chaldeans, Armenians, and all the others who have seen and become acquainted with these things in the more recondite arts. Then, indeed, you will learn who is the one God, or who the very many under Him are, who pretend to be gods, and make sport of men’s ignorance.

Even now we are ashamed to come to the point at which not only boys, young and pert, but grave men also, cannot restrain their laughter, and men who have been hardened into a strict and stern humour.41484148    Lit., “a severity of stern manner”—moris for the ms. mares. For while we have all heard it inculcated and taught by our teachers, that in declining the names of the gods there was no plural number, because the gods were individuals, and the ownership of each name could not be common to a great many;41494149    Orelli here introduces the sentence, “For it cannot be,” etc., with which this book is concluded in the ms. Cf. ch. 37, n. 4, infra. you in forgetfulness, and putting away the memory of your early lessons, both give to several gods the same names, and, although you are elsewhere more moderate as to their number, have multiplied them, again, by community of names; which subject, indeed, men of keen discernment and acute intellect have before now treated both in Latin and Greek.41504150    There can be no doubt that Arnobius here refers to Clemens Alexandrinus (Λόγος Προτρεπτικὸς πρὸς ῾Ελλῆνας), and Cicero (de Nat. Deor.), from whom he borrows most freely in the following chapters, quoting them at times very closely. We shall not indicate particular references without some special reason, as it must be understood these references would be required with every statement. [Compare Clement, vol. ii. pp. 305–13, and Tertullian, vol. iii. p. 34.] And that might have lessened our labour,41514151    Lit., “given to us an abridging,” i.e., an opportunity of abridging. if it were not that at the same time we see that some know nothing of these books; and, also, that the discussion which we have begun, compels us to bring forward something on these subjects, although it has been already laid hold of, and related by those writers.


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