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Book VI.


1. Having shown briefly how impious and infamous are the opinions which you have formed about your gods, we have now to45594559    Lit., “it remains that we.” speak of their temples, their images also, and sacrifices, and of the other things which are45604560    Lit., “series which is,” etc. united and closely related to them. For you are here in the habit of fastening upon us a very serious charge of impiety because we do not rear temples for the ceremonies of worship, do not set up statues and images45614561    Singular. [But costly churches were built about this time.] of any god, do not build altars,45624562    Non altaria, non aras, i.e., neither to the superior nor inferior deities. Cf. Virgil, Ecl., v. 66. do not offer the blood of creatures slain in sacrifices, incense,45634563    [It is not with any aversion to incense that I note its absence, so frequently attested, from primitive rites of the Church.] nor sacrificial meal, and finally, do not bring wine flowing in libations from sacred bowls; which, indeed, we neglect to build and do, not as though we cherish impious and wicked dispositions, or have conceived any madly desperate feeling of contempt for the gods, but because we think and believe that they45644564    The earlier edd. prefix d to the ms. eos—“that the gods,” etc.—if only they are true gods, and are called by this exalted name45654565    Lit., “endowed with the eminence of this name.”—either scorn such honours, if they give way to scorn, or endure them with anger, if they are roused by feelings of rage.

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