« Prev Chapter XV. Next »

15. Lo, if some one were to place before you copper in the lump, and not formed46844684    Lit., “thrown together.” into any works of art, masses of unwrought silver, and gold not fashioned into shape, wood, stones, and bones, with all the other materials of which statues and images of deities usually consist,—nay, more, if some one were to place before you the faces of battered gods, images melted down46854685    Rigaltius suggested confracta—“shattered,” for ms. -flata. and broken, and were also to bid you slay victims to the bits and fragments, and give sacred and divine honours to masses without form,—we ask you to say to us, whether you would do this, or refuse to obey. Perhaps you will say, why? Because there is no man so stupidly blind that he will class among the gods silver, 513copper, gold, gypsum, ivory, potter’s clay, and say that these very things have, and possess in themselves, divine power. What reason is there, then, that all these bodies should want the power of deity and the rank of celestials if they remain untouched and unwrought, but should forthwith become gods, and be classed and numbered among the inhabitants of heaven if they receive the forms of men, ears, noses, cheeks, lips, eyes, and eyebrows? Does the fashioning add any newness to these bodies, so that from this addition you are compelled46864686    So the edd. reading cog- for the ms. cogit-amini. to believe that something divine and majestic has been united to them? Does it change copper into gold, or compel worthless earthenware to become silver? Does it cause things which but a little before were without feeling, to live and breathe?46874687    Lit., “be moved with agitation of breathing.” If they had any natural properties previously,46884688    Lit., “outside,” i.e., before being in bodily forms. all these they retain46894689    So Ursinus and LB., reading retin-e-ntfor the ms. -ea-, which can hardly be correct. There may possibly be an ellipsis of si before this clause, so that the sentence would run: “If they had any natural properties, (if) they retain all these, what stupidity,” etc. when built up in the bodily forms of statues. What stupidity it is—for I refuse to call it blindness—to suppose that the natures of things are changed by the kind of form into which they are forced, and that that receives divinity from the appearance given to it, which in its original body has been inert, and unreasoning, and unmoved by feeling!46904690    Lit., “deprived of moveableness of feeling.”


« Prev Chapter XV. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |