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30. I confess that, in reflecting on such monstrous stories in my own mind, I have long been accustomed to wonder that you dare to speak of those as atheists,44744474    Lit., “to speak of any one as atheist…of those who,” etc. impious, sacrilegious, who either deny that there are any gods at all, or doubt their existence, or assert that they were men, and have been numbered among the gods for the sake of some power and good desert; since, if a true examination be made, it is fitting that none should be called by such names, more than yourselves, who, under the pretence of showing them reverence, heap up in so doing44754475    So the ms. and edd., reading in eo, for which we should perhaps read in eos—“heap upon them.” more abuse and accusation, than if you had conceived the idea of doing this openly with avowed abuse. He who doubts the existence of the gods, or denies it altogether, although he may seem to adopt monstrous opinions from the audacity of his conjectures, yet refuses to credit what is obscure without insulting any one; and he who asserts that they were mortals, although he brings them down from the exalted place of inhabitants of heaven, yet heaps upon them other44764476    Subsicivis laudibus. honours, since he supposes that they have been raised to the rank of the gods44774477    Lit., “to the reward (meritum) of divinity.” for their services, and from admiration of their virtues


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