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15. We might long ago have urged you to ponder this, were it not foolish to ask proofs of such things, as well as to say43724372    So the ms., according to Crusius, the edd. inserting s, di-s-cere—“to learn.” them. But this story is false, and is wholly untrue. It is no matter to us, indeed, because of whom you maintain that the gods have been driven from the earth, whether it is consistent and rests on a sure foundation,43734373    Lit., “on firmness of faith.” or is, on the contrary, framed and devised in utter falsehood. For to us it is enough—who have proposed this day to make it plain—that those deities whom you bring for ward, if they are anywhere on earth, and glow with the fires of anger, are not more excited to furious hatred by us than by you; and that that story, has been classed as an event and committed to writing by you, and is willingly read over by you every day, and handed down in order for the edifying of later times. Now, if this story is indeed true, we see that there is no reason in it why the celestial gods should be asserted to be angry with us, since we have neither declared things so much to their disgrace, nor committed them to writing at all, nor brought them publicly to light43744374    Lit., “sent to public testifying.” by the celebration of sacred rites; but if, as you think, it is untrue, and made up of delusive falsehoods, no man can doubt that you are the cause of offence, who have either allowed certain persons to write such stories, or have suffered them, when written, to abide in the memory of ages.


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