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18. The greatness of the subject, and our duty to those on their defence also,43814381    Lit., “and the duty of defence itself.” demand that we should in like manner hunt up the other forms of baseness, whether those which the histories of antiquity record, or those contained in the sacred mysteries named initia,43824382    i.e., secret rites, to which only the initiated were admitted. and not divulged43834383    Lit., “which you deliver”—traditis; so Elmenh., LB., and later edd., for the unintelligible ms. tradidisse, retained in both Roman edd. openly to all, but to the silence of a few; but your innumerable sacred rites, and the loathsomeness of them all,43844384    Lit., “deformity affixed to all.” will not allow us to go through them all bodily: nay, more, to tell the truth, we turn aside ourselves from some purposely and intentionally, lest, in striving to unfold all things, we should be defiled by contamination in the very exposition. Let us pass by Fauna43854385    ms. fetam f. Cf. i. 36, n. 2, p. 422, supra. Fatua, therefore, who is called Bona Dea, whom Sextus Clodius, in his sixth book in Greek on the gods, declares to have been scourged to death with rods of myrtle, because she drank a whole jar of wine without her husband’s knowledge; and this is a proof, that when women show her divine honour a jar of wine is placed there, but covered from sight, and that it is not lawful to bring in twigs of myrtle, as Butas43864386    So Heraldus, from Plutarch, Rom., 21, where Butas is said to have written on this subject (αἰτίαι) in elegiacs, for the ms. Putas. mentions in his Causalia. But let us pass by with similar neglect43874387    Lit., “in like manner and with dissimulation.” the dii conserentes, whom Flaccus and others relate to have buried themselves, changed in humani penis similitudinem in the cinders under a pot of exta.43884388    i.e., heart, lungs, and liver, probably of a sacrifice. And when Tanaquil, skilled in the arts of Etruria,43894389    i.e., “divination, augury,” etc. disturbed these, the gods erected themselves, and became rigid. She then commanded a captive woman from Corniculum to learn and understand what was the meaning of this: Ocrisia, a woman of the greatest wisdom divos inseruisse genitali, explicuisse motus certos. Then the holy and burning deities poured forth the power of Lucilius,43904390    Vis Lucilii, i.e., semen. [He retails Pliny xxxvi. 27.] and thus Servius king of Rome was born.


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