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11. You laugh because in ancient times the Persians worshipped rivers, as is told in the writings which hand down these things to memory; the Arabians an unshapen stone;46424642    It is worthy of notice that although in this passage, as often elsewhere, Arnobius adheres pretty closely to the argument proposed by Clemens Alexandrinus, he even in such passages sometimes differs from it, and not at random. Thus Clement speaks merely of a “stone,” and Arnobius of an “unshaped stone.” The former expression harmonizes with the words of Maximus Tyrius (Serm., xxxviii. p. 225, Steph.), “The Arabians worship I know not whom, but the image which I saw was a square stone;” while Suidas (Küster’s ed., s.v. θεὺς ῎Αρης) agrees with Arnobius in calling it a “stone, black, square, unfashioned” (ἀτύπωτος). This is the more noteworthy, as at times Arnobius would almost seem to be following Clement blindly. [See Clement, cap. iv. vol. ii. p. 184, this series.] the Scythian nations a sabre; the Thespians a branch instead of Cinxia;46434643    So Arnobius renders Clement’s Cithæronian Hera. the Icarians46444644    So corrected in the notes of Canterus from Clem. for the ms. reading Carios, retained by the first four edd. and Elmenh. In Icaria there was a temple of Diana called Ταυροπόλιον. an unhewn log instead of Diana; the people of Pessinus a flint instead of the mother of the gods; the Romans a spear instead of Mars, as the muses of Varro point out; and, before they were acquainted with the statuary’s art, the Samians a plank46454645    The ms. and first four edd. read p-uteum—“a well,” corrected plut., as above, by Gifanius, and in the notes of Canterus. in511stead of Juno, as Aëthlius46464646    The ms. reads ethedius, corrected in the notes of Canterus. relates: and you do not laugh when, instead of the immortal gods, you make supplication to little images of men and human forms—nay, you even suppose that these very little images are gods, and besides these you do not believe that anything has divine power. What say you, O ye—! Do the gods of heaven have ears, then, and temples, an occiput, spine, loins, sides, hams, buttocks, houghs,46474647    So all edd., except both Roman edd., which retain the ms. reading in the singular, suffraginem. ankles, and the rest of the other members with which we have been formed, which were also mentioned in the first part of this book46484648    i. e., iii. 13. p. 467. a little more fully, and cited with greater copiousness of language? Would that it were possible46494649    Lit., “it was allowed.” to look into the sentiments and very recesses of your mind, in which you revolve various and enter into the most obscure considerations: we should find that you yourselves even feel as we do, and have no other opinions as to the form of the deities. But what can we do with obstinate prejudices? what with those who are menacing us with swords, and devising new punishments against us? In your rage46504650    So Meursius suggested amentes for the ms. reading animantis for which Heraldus proposed argumentis—“by arguments.” you maintain a bad cause, and that although you are perfectly aware of it; and that which you have once done without reason, you defend lest you should seem to have ever been in ignorance; and you think it better not to be conquered, than to yield and bow to acknowledged truth.


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