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23. I should wish, therefore, to see Jupiter, the father of the gods, who ever controls the world and men,44124412    This clearly refers to the Æneid, x. 18. adorned with the horns of an ox, shaking his hairy ears, with his feet contracted into hoofs, chewing green grass, and having behind him44134413    Lit., “on the rear part.” a tail, hams,44144414    Suffragines. and ankles smeared over with soft excrement,44154415    So the margin of Ursinus, Elmenh. L.B., Oberth., Orelli, and Oehler, reading molli fimo for the ms. molissimo. and bedaubed with the filth cast forth. I should wish, I say,—for it must be said over and over again,—to see him who turns the stars in their courses, and who terrifies and overthrows nations pale with fear, pursuing the flocks of wethers, inspicientem testiculos aretinos, snatching these away with that severe44164416    Lit., “censorial.” and divine hand with which he was wont to launch the gleaming lightnings and to hurl in his rage the thunderbolt.44174417    Lit., “rage with thunders.” Then, indeed, I should like to see him ransacking their inmost parts with glowing knife;44184418    So Gelenius, followed by Stewechius and Orelli, reading smilia for the corrupt and unintelligible ms. nullas. and all witnesses being removed, tearing away the membranes circumjectas prolibus, and bringing them to his mother, still hot with rage, as a kind of fillet44194419    Infulæ, besides being worn by the priest, adorned the victim, and were borne by the suppliant. Perhaps a combination of the two last ideas is meant to be suggested here. to draw forth her pity, with downcast countenance, pale, wounded,44204420    i.e., seemingly so. pretending to be in agony; and to make this believed, defiled with the blood of the ram, and covering his pretended wound with bands of wool and linen. Is it possible that this can be heard and read in this world,44214421    Lit., “under this axis of the world.” and that those who discuss these things wish themselves to be thought pious, holy, and defenders of religion? Is there any greater sacrilege than this, or can any mind44224422    So the ms., followed by Hild. and Oehler; the other edd. reading gens for mens. be found so imbued with impious ideas as to believe such stories, or receive them, or hand them down in the most secret mysteries of the sacred rites? If that Jupiter of whom you speak, whoever he is, really44234423    Lit., “felt himself to be.” existed, or was affected by any sense of wrong, would it not be fitting that,44244424    Lit., “would the thing not be worthy that angry and roused.” roused to anger, he should remove the earth from under our feet, extinguish the light of the sun and moon; nay more, that he should throw all things into one mass, as of old?44254425    i.e., reduce to chaos, in which one thing would not be distinguished from another, but all be mixed up confusedly.

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