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7. But neither do I demand that this should be said, or that I should be told what causes the gods have for their anger against men, that having taken offence they must be soothed. I do ask, however, Did they ever ordain any laws for mortals? and was it ever settled by them what it was fitting for them to do, or what it was not? what they should pursue, what avoid; or even by what means they wished themselves to be worshipped, so that they might pursue with the vengeance of their wrath what was done otherwise than they had commanded, and might be disposed, if treated contemptuously, to avenge themselves on the presumptuous and transgressors? As I think, nothing was ever either settled or ordained by them, since neither have they been seen, nor has it been possible for it to be discerned very clearly whether there are any.48004800    It is perhaps possible so to translate the ms. neque si sunt ulli apertissima potuit cognitione dignosci, retained by Orelli, Hild., and Oehler, in which case si sunt ulli must be taken as the subject of the clause. The other edd., from regard to the construction, read visi—“nor, if they have been seen, has it been possible.” What justice is there, then, in the gods of heaven being angry for any reason with those to whom they have neither deigned at any time to show that they existed, nor given nor imposed any laws which they wished to be honoured by them and perfectly observed?48014801    Lit., “kept with inviolable observance.”


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