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38.49534953    35 in Orelli. If the immortal gods cannot be angry, says my opponent, and their nature is not agitated or troubled by any passions, what do the histories, the annals mean, in which we find it written49544954    Lit., “in the writings of which we read.” that the gods, moved by some annoyances, occasioned pestilences, sterility,49554955    Pl. failure of crops, and other dangers, to states and nations; and that they again, being appeased and satisfied by means of49564956    Lit., “by satisfaction of.” sacrifices, laid aside their burning anger, and changed the state of the atmosphere and times into a happier one? What is the meaning of the earth’s roarings, the earthquakes, which we have been told occurred because the games had been celebrated carelessly, and their nature and circumstances had not been attended to, and yet, on their being celebrated afresh, and repeated with assiduous care, the terrors of the gods were stilled, and they were recalled to care and friendship for men? How often, after that—in obedience to the commands of the seers and the responses of the diviners—sacrifice has been offered, and certain gods have been summoned from nations dwelling beyond the sea, and shrines erected to them, and certain images and statues set on loftier pillars, have fears of impending dangers been diverted, and the most troublesome enemies beaten, and the republic extended both by repeated joyous victories, and by gaining possession of several provinces! Now, certainly this would not happen if the gods despised sacrifices, games, and other acts of worship, and did not consider themselves honoured by expiratory offerings. If, then, all the rage and indignation of the deities are cooled when these things are offered, and if those things become favourable which seemed fraught with terrors, it is clear that all these things are not done without the gods wishing them, and that it is vain, and shows utter ignorance, to blame us for giving them.


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