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16. For suppose that it had occurred to us, 481moved either by suitable influence or violent fear of you,41584158 Lit., “by the violence of your terror.” The preceding words are read in the ms. ideo motos—“so moved by authority,” and were emended idonea, as in the text, by Gelenius. to worship Minerva, for example, with the rights you deem sacred, and the usual ceremony: if, when we prepare sacrifices, and approach to make the offerings appointed for her on the flaming altars, all the Minervas shall fly thither, and striving for the right to that name, each demand that the offerings prepared be given to herself; what drawn-out animal shall we place among them, or to whom shall we direct the sacred offices which are our duty?41594159 Lit., “to what parts shall we transfer the duties of pious service.” For the first one of whom we spoke will perhaps say: “The name Minerva is mine, mine41604160 The ms. reads cum numen; Rigaltius, followed by Oehler emending, as above, meum; the first four edd., with Oberthür, tum—“then the deity is mine;” while the rest read cum numine—“with the deity.” the divine majesty, who bore Apollo and Diana, and by the fruit of my womb enriched heaven with deities, and multiplied the number of the gods.” “Nay, Minerva,” the fifth will say, “are you speaking,41614161 So LB., Orelli, and Oehler, reading tu tinnisfor the ms. tutunis. who, being a wife, and so often a mother, have lost the sanctity of spotless purity? Do you not see that in all temples41624162 Capitoliis. In the Capitol were three shrines,—to Jove, Juno, and Minerva; and Roman colonies followed the mother-state’s example. Hence the present general application of the term, which is found elsewhere in ecclesiastical Latin. the images of Minervas are those of virgins, and that all artists refrain from giving to them the figures of matrons?41634163 Lit., “Nor are the forms of married persons given to these by all artists;” nec read in all edd. for the ms. et—“and of married,” etc., which is opposed to the context. Cease, therefore, to appropriate to yourself a name not rightfully41644164 Lit., “not of your own right.” yours. For that I am Minerva, begotten of father Pallas, the whole band of poets bear witness, who call me Pallas, the surname being derived from my father.” The second will cry on hearing this: “What say you? Do you, then, bear the name of Minerva, an impudent parricide, and one defiled by the pollution of lewd lust, who, decking yourself with rouge and a harlot’s arts, roused upon yourself even your father’s passions, full of maddening desires? Go further, then, seek for yourself another name; for this belongs to me, whom the Nile, greatest of rivers, begot from among his flowing waters, and brought to a maiden’s estate from the condensing of moisture.41654165 Concretione roris—a strange phrase. Cf. Her., iv. 180: “They say that Minerva is the daughter of Poseidon and the Tritonian lake.” But if you inquire into the credibility of the matter, I too will bring as witnesses the Egyptians, in whose language I am called Neith, as Plato’s Timæus41664166 St. p. 21. The ms. reads quorum Nili lingua latonis; the two Roman edd. merely insert p., Plat.; Gelenius and Canterus adding dicor—“in whose language I am called the Nile’s,” Nili being changed into Neith by Elmenhorst and later edd. attests.” What, then, do we suppose will be the result? Will she indeed cease to say that she is Minerva, who is named Coryphasia, either to mark her mother, or because she sprung forth from the top of Jove’s head, bearing a shield, and girt with the terror of arms? Or are we to suppose that she who is third will quietly surrender the name? and not argue41674167 Lit., “take account of herself.” and resist the assumption of the first two with such words as these: “Do you thus dare to assume the honour of my name, O Sais,41684168 So Ursinus suggested in the margin for the ms. si verum. sprung from the mud and eddies of a stream, and formed in miry places? Or do you usurp41694169 The third Minerva now addresses the fourth. another’s rank, who falsely say that you were born a goddess from the head of Jupiter, and persuade very silly men that you are reason? Does he conceive and bring forth children from his head? That the arms you bear might be forged and formed, was there even in the hollow of his head a smith’s workshop? were there anvils, hammers, furnaces, bellows, coals, and pincers? Or if, as you maintain, it is true that you are reason, cease to claim for yourself the name which is mine; for reason, of which you speak, is not a certain form of deity, but the understanding of difficult questions.” If, then, as we have said, five Minervas should meet us when we essay to sacrifice,41704170 Lit., “approaching the duties of religion.” and contending as to whose this name is, each demand that either fumigations of incense be offered to her, or sacrificial wines poured out from golden cups; by what arbiter, by what judge, shall we dispose of so great a dispute? or what examiner will there be, what umpire of so great boldness as to attempt, with such personages, either to give a just decision, or to declare their causes not founded on right? Will he not rather go home, and, keeping himself apart from such matters, think it safer to have nothing to do with them, lest he should either make enemies of the rest, by giving to one what belongs to all, or be charged with folly for yielding41714171 According to the ms. sic—“for so (i.e., as you do) yielding,” etc. to all what should be the property of one?
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