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38. Either, then, they must all have been written and put forward allegorically, and the whole should be pointed out to us; or nothing has been so written, since what is supposed to be allegorical does not seem as if it were part of the narrative.45204520    i.e., if historical, the whole must be so, as bits of allegory would not fit in. These are all written allegorically, you say. This seems by no means certain. Do you ask for what reason, for what cause? Because, I answer, all that has taken place and has been set down distinctly in any book cannot be turned into an allegory, for neither can that be undone which has been done, nor can the character of an event change into one which is utterly different. Can the Trojan war be turned into the condemnation of Socrates? or the battle of Cannæ become the cruel proscription of Sulla? A proscription may indeed, as Tullius says45214521    Cicero, pro Rosc. Am., c. 32. in jest, be spoken of as a battle, and be called that of Cannæ; but what has already taken place, cannot be at the same time a battle and a proscription; for neither, as I have said, can that which has taken place be anything else than what has taken place; nor can that pass over into a substance foreign to it which has been fixed down firmly in its own nature and peculiar condition.


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