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Chapter XX.—Doings of Jupiter.

“But enough of the old wife’s fables and genealogy of the Gentiles; for it were endless if I should set forth all the generations of those whom they call gods, and their wicked doings.  But by way of example, omitting the rest, I shall detail the wicked deeds of him only whom they hold to be the greatest and the chief, and whom they call Jupiter.864864    [Comp. Homily V. 12–15 for a parallel to chaps. 20–23.—R.]  For they say that he possesses heaven, as being superior to the rest; and he, as soon as he grew up, married his own sister, whom they call Juno, in which truly he at once becomes like a beast.  Juno bears Vulcan; but, as they relate, Jupiter was not his father.  However, by Jupiter himself she became mother of Medea; and Jupiter having received a response that one who should be born of her should be more powerful than himself, and should expel him from his kingdom, took her and devoured her.  Again Jupiter produced Minerva from his brain, and Bacchus from his thigh.  After this, when he had fallen in love with Thetis, they say 198that Prometheus informed him that, if he lay with her, he who should be born of her should be more powerful than his father; and for fear of this, he gave her in marriage to one Peleus.  Subsequently he had intercourse with Persephone, who was his own daughter by Ceres and by her he begot Dionysius,865865    Dionysius appears here and subsequently in the text for Dionysus the Greek god corresponding to the Latin Bacchus.  Some of the other names are more or less corrupt forms. who was torn in pieces by the Titans.  But calling to mind, it is said, that perhaps his own father Saturn might beget another son, who might be more powerful than himself, and might expel him from the kingdom, he went to war with his father, along with his brothers the Titans; and having beaten them, he at last threw his father into prison, and cut off his genitals, and threw them into the sea.  But the blood which flowed from the wound, being mixed with the waves, and turned into foam by the constant churning, produced her whom they call Aphrodite, and whom with us they call Venus.  From his intercourse with her who was thus his own sister, they say that this same Jupiter begot Cypris, who, they say, was the mother of Cupid.


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