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35. But is it only poets whom you have thought proper42554255    Lit., “have willed.” to allow to invent unseemly tales about the gods, and to turn them shamefully into sport? What do your pantomimists, the actors, that crowd of mimics and adulterers?42564256    Lit., “full-grown race,” exoleti, a word frequently used, as here, sensu obscæno. Do they42574257    i.e., the actors, etc. not abuse your gods to make to themselves 488gain, and do not the others42584258    i.e., the crowd of adulterers, as Orelli suggests. find enticing pleasures in42594259    Lit., “draw enticements of pleasures from.” the wrongs and insults offered to the gods? At the public games, too, the colleges of all the priests and magistrates take their places, the chief Pontiffs, and the chief priests of the curiæ; the Quindecemviri take their places, crowned with wreaths of laurel, and the flamines diales with their mitres; the augurs take their places, who disclose the divine mind and will; and the chaste maidens also, who cherish and guard the ever-burning fire; the whole people and the senate take their places; the fathers who have done service as consuls, princes next to the gods, and most worthy of reverence; and, shameful to say, Venus, the mother of the race of Mars, and parent of the imperial people, is represented by gestures as in love,42604260    Or, “Venus, the mother…and loving parent,” etc. and is delineated with shameless mimicry as raving like a Bacchanal, with all the passions of a vile harlot.42614261    Lit., “of meretricious vileness.” The Great Mother, too, adorned with her sacred fillets, is represented by dancing; and that Pessinuntic Dindymene42624262    i.e., Cybele, to whom Mount Dindymus in Mysia was sacred, whose rites, however, were celebrated at Pessinus also, a very ancient city of Galatia. is, to the dishonour of her age, represented as with shameful desire using passionate gestures in the embrace of a herdsman; and also in the Trachiniæ of Sophocles,42634263    ms. Sofocles, corrected in LB. Sophocles. Cf. Trach. 1022 sqq. that son of Jupiter, Hercules, entangled in the toils of a death-fraught garment, is exhibited uttering piteous cries, overcome by his violent suffering, and at last wasting away and being consumed, as his intestines soften and are dissolved.42644264    Lit., “towards (in) the last of the wasting consumed by the softening of his bowels flowing apart.” But in these tales even the Supreme Ruler of the heavens Himself is brought forward, without any reverence for His name and majesty, as acting the part of an adulterer, and changing His countenance for purposes of seduction, in order that He might by guile rob of their chastity matrons, who were the wives of others, and putting on the appearance of their husbands, by assuming the form of another.

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