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28. I confess that I have long been hesitating, looking on every side, shuffling, doubling Tellene perplexities;44614461    This allusion is somewhat obscure. Heraldus regards tricas Tellenas as akin in sense to t. Atellanas, i.e., “comic trifles;” in which case the sense would be, that Arnobius had been heaping up any trifles which would keep him back from the disagreeable subject. Ausonius Popma (quoted by Orelli) explains the phrase with reference to the capture of Tellenæ by Ancus Martius as meaning “something hard to get through.” while I am ashamed to mention those Alimontian44624462    The ms. reads alimoniæ, corrected from Clem. Alex. by Salmasius, Alimontia, i.e., celebrated at Halimus in Attica. mysteries in which Greece erects phalli in honour of father Bacchus, and the whole district is covered with images of men’s fascina. The meaning of this is obscure perhaps, and it is asked why it is done. Whoever is ignorant of this, let him learn, and, wondering at what is so important, ever keep it with reverent care in a pure heart.44634463    Lit., “in pure senses.” [Ironically said.] While Liber, born at Nysa,44644464    Cicero (de Nat. Deor., iii. 23) speaks of five Dionysi, the father of the fifth being Nisus. Arnobius had this passage before him in writing the fourth book (cf. c. 15, and n. 2), so that he may here mean to speak of Liber similarly. and son of Semele, was still among men, the story goes, he wished to become acquainted with the shades below, and to inquire into what went on in Tartarus; but this wish was hindered by some difficulties, because, from ignorance of the route, he did not know by what way to go and proceed. One Prosumnus starts up, a base lover of the god, and a fellow too prone to wicked lusts, who promises to point out the gate of Dis, and the approaches to Acheron, if the god will gratify him, and suffer uxorias voluptates ex se carpi. The god, without reluctance, swears to put himself44654465    Lit., “that he will be.” in his power and at his disposal, but only immediately on his return from the lower regions, having obtained his wish and desire.44664466    So the ms., acc. to Hild., reading expe-titionis; acc. to Crusius, the ms. gives -ditionis—“(having accomplished) his expedition.” Prosumnus politely tells him the way, and sets him on the very threshold of the lower regions. In the meantime, while Liber is inspecting44674467    Lit., “is surveying with all careful examination.” and examining carefully Styx, Cerberus, the Furies, and all other things, the informer passed from the number of the living, and was buried according to the manner of men. Evius44684468    ms. cuius. [Retailed from Clement, vol. ii. p. 180. As to the arguments the Fathers were compelled to use with heathen, see note 5, same volume, p. 206.] comes up from the lower regions, and learns that his guide is dead. But that he might fulfil his promise, and free himself from the obligation of his oath, he goes to the place of the funeral, and501—“ficorum ex arbore ramum validissimum præsecans dolat, runcinat, levigat et humani speciem fabricatur in penis, figit super aggerem tumuli, et posticâ ex parte nudatus accedit, subsidit, insidit. Lascivia deinde surientis assumptâ, huc atque illuc clunes torquet et meditatur ab ligno pati quod jamdudum in veritate promiserat.”

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