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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 1.23

nanOr were these beauties designed for the sake of men, as your school usually maintains? For the sake of wise men? If so, all this vast effort of construction took place on account of a handful of people. For the sake of fools then? But in the first place there was no reason for god to do a service to the wicked and secondly, what good did he do? inasmuch as all fools are beyond question extremely miserable, precisely because they are fools (for what can be mentioned more miserable than folly?), and in the second place because there are so many troubles in life that, though wise men can assuage them by balancing against them life's advantages, fools can neither avoid their approach nor endure their presence. Those on the other hand who said that the world is itself endowed with life and with wisdom, failed entirely to discern what shape the nature of an intelligent living being could conceivably possess. I will touch on this a little later;

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1. Plato, Laws, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

875a. the most savage of beasts. The reason thereof is this,—that no man’s nature is naturally able both to perceive what is of benefit to the civic life of men and, perceiving it, to be alike able and willing to practice what is best. For, in the first place, it is difficult to perceive that a true civic art necessarily cares for the public, not the private, interest,—for the public interest bind States together, whereas the private interest rends them asunder,—and to perceive also that it benefits both public and private interests alike when the public interest, rather than the private, is well enacted.
2. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

41b. yet to will to dissolve that which is fairly joined together and in good case were the deed of a wicked one. Wherefore ye also, seeing that ye were generated, are not wholly immortal or indissoluble, yet in no wise shall ye be dissolved nor incur the doom of death, seeing that in my will ye possess a bond greater and more sovereign than the bonds wherewith, at your birth, ye were bound together. Now, therefore, what I manifest and declare unto you do ye learn. Three mortal kinds still remain ungenerated; but if these come not into being the Heaven will be imperfect; for it will not contain within itself the whole sum of the hinds of living creatures, yet contain them it must if
3. Xenophon, Memoirs, 1.4.11-1.4.14, 4.3, 4.3.8-4.3.12 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.4.11. I assure you, that if I believed that the gods pay any heed to man, I would not neglect them. Then do you think them unheeding? In the first place, man is the only living creature that they have caused to stand upright; and the upright position gives him a wider range of vision in front and a better view of things above, and exposes him less to injury. Secondly, to grovelling creatures they have given feet that afford only the power of moving, whereas they have endowed man with hands, which are the instruments to which we chiefly owe our greater happiness. 1.4.12. Again, though all creatures have a tongue, the tongue of man alone has been formed by them to be capable of contact with different parts of the mouth, so as to enable us to articulate the voice and express all our wants to one another. Once more, for all other creatures they have prescribed a fixed season of sexual indulgence; in our case the only time limit they have set is old age. 1.4.13. Nor was the deity content to care for man’s body. What is of yet higher moment, he has implanted in him the noblest type of soul. For in the first place what other creature’s soul has apprehended the existence of gods who set in order the universe, greatest and fairest of things? And what race of living things other than man worships gods? And what soul is more apt than man’s to make provision against hunger and thirst, cold and heat, to relieve sickness and promote health, to acquire knowledge by toil, and to remember accurately all that is heard, seen, or learned? 1.4.14. For is it not obvious to you that, in comparison with the other animals, men live like gods, by nature peerless both in body and in soul? For with a man’s reason and the body of an ox we could not carry out our wishes, and the possession of hands without reason is of little worth. Do you, then, having received the two most precious gifts, yet think that the gods take no care of you? What are they to do, to make you believe that they are heedful of you? 4.3.8. Think again how the sun, when past the winter solstice, approaches, ripening some things and withering others, whose time is over; and having accomplished this, approaches no nearer, but turns away, careful not to harm us by excess of heat; and when once again in his retreat he reaches the point where it is clear to ourselves, that if he goes further away, we shall be frozen with the cold, back he turns once more and draws near and revolves in that region of the heavens where he can best serve us. Yes, verily, these things do seem to be done for the sake of mankind. 4.3.9. And again, since it is evident that we could not endure the heat or the cold if it came suddenly, Cyropaedia VI. ii. 29. the sun’s approach and retreat are so gradual that we arrive at the one or the other extreme imperceptibly. For myself, exclaimed Euthydemus, I begin to doubt whether after all the gods are occupied in any other work than the service of man. The one difficulty I feel is that the lower animals also enjoy these blessings. 4.3.10. Yes, replied Socrates, and is it not evident that they too receive life and food for the sake of man? For what creature reaps so many benefits as man from goats and sheep and horses and oxen and asses and the other animals? He owes more to them, in my opinion, than to the fruits of the earth. At the least they are not less valuable to him for food and commerce; in fact a large portion of mankind does not use the products of the earth for food, but lives on the milk and cheese and flesh they get from live stock. Moreover, all men tame and domesticate the useful kinds of animals, and make them their fellow-workers in war and many other undertakings. There too I agree with you, seeing that animals far stronger than man become so entirely subject to him that he puts them to any use he chooses. 4.3.11. Think again of the multitude of things beautiful and useful and their infinite variety, and how the gods have endowed man with senses adapted for the perception of every kind, so that there is nothing good that we cannot enjoy; and again, how they have implanted in us the faculty of reasoning, whereby we are able to reason about the objects of our perceptions and to commit them to memory, and so come to know what advantage every kind can yield, and devise many means of enjoying the good and driving away the bad; 4.3.12. and think of the power of expression, which enables us to impart to one another all good things by teaching and to take our share of them, to enact laws and to administer states. Truly, Socrates, it does appear that the gods devote much care to man. Yet again, in so far as we are powerless of ourselves to foresee what is expedient for the future, Cyropaedia I. vi. 46. the gods lend us their aid, revealing the issues by divination to inquirers, and teaching them how to obtain the best results. With you, Socrates, they seem to deal even more friendly than with other men, if it is true that, even unasked, they warn you by signs what to do and what not to do.
4. Cicero, Academica, 2.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Cicero, On Divination, 2.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.120. Utrum igitur censemus dormientium animos per sene ipsos in somniando moveri an, ut Democritus censet, externa et adventicia visione pulsari? Sive enim sic est sive illo modo, videri possunt permulta somniantibus falsa pro veris. Nam et navigantibus moveri videntur ea, quae stant, et quodam obtutu oculorum duo pro uno lucernae lumina. Quid dicam, insanis, quid ebriis quam multa falsa videantur? Quodsi eius modi visis credendum non est, cur somniis credatur, nescio. Nam tam licet de his erroribus, si velis, quam de somniis disputare, ut ea, quae stant, si moveri videantur, terrae motum significare dicas aut repentinam aliquam fugam, gemino autem lucernae lumine declarari dissensionem ac seditionem moveri . Iam ex insanorum aut ebriorum visis innumerabilia coniectura trahi possunt
6. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 1.47-1.54, 3.75 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.47. Eademque ratione ne temperantiam quidem propter se expetendam esse dicemus, sed quia pacem animis afferat et eos quasi concordia quadam placet ac leniat. temperantia est enim, quae in rebus aut expetendis aut fugiendis ut rationem sequamur monet. nec enim satis est iudicare quid faciendum non faciendumve sit, sed stare etiam oportet in eo, quod sit iudicatum. plerique autem, quod tenere atque servare id, quod ipsi statuerunt, non possunt, victi et debilitati obiecta specie voluptatis tradunt se libidinibus constringendos nec quid eventurum proventurum R sit provident ob eamque causam propter voluptatem et parvam et non non om. A 1 RN 1 necessariam et quae vel aliter pararetur et qua etiam carere possent sine dolore tum in morbos gravis, tum in damna, tum in dedecora incurrunt, saepe etiam legum iudiciorumque poenis obligantur. 1.48. Qui autem ita frui volunt voluptatibus, ut nulli propter eas consequantur dolores, et qui suum iudicium retinent, ne voluptate victi faciant id, quod sentiant non esse faciendum, ii ii A 1 V in BE hi A 2 hii RN voluptatem maximam adipiscuntur praetermittenda voluptate. idem etiam dolorem saepe perpetiuntur, ne, si id non faciant, incidant in maiorem. ex quo intellegitur nec intemperantiam propter se esse fugiendam temperantiamque expetendam, non quia voluptates fugiat, sed quia maiores consequatur. 1.49. Eadem fortitudinis ratio reperietur. nam neque laborum perfunctio neque perpessio dolorum per se ipsa allicit nec patientia nec assiduitas assiduitates ANV nec vigiliae nec ea ea om. BE ipsa, quae laudatur, industria, ne fortitudo quidem, sed ista sequimur, ut sine cura metuque vivamus animumque et corpus, quantum efficere possimus, possimus AEN possumus molestia liberemus. ut enim mortis metu omnis quietae vitae status perturbatur, et ut succumbere doloribus eosque humili animo inbecilloque ferre miserum est, ob eamque debilitatem animi multi parentes, parentis R multi amicos, non nulli patriam, plerique autem se ipsos penitus perdiderunt, sic robustus animus et excelsus omni est liber cura et angore, cum et mortem contemnit, qua qui qui quia A 1 BE affecti sunt in eadem causa sunt, qua ante quam nati, et ad dolores ita paratus est, ut meminerit maximos morte finiri, parvos multa habere intervalla requietis, mediocrium nos esse dominos, ut, si tolerabiles sint, feramus, si minus, animo aequo e vita, cum ea non placeat, tamquam e theatro exeamus. quibus rebus intellegitur nec timiditatem ignaviamque vituperari nec fortitudinem patientiamque laudari suo nomine, sed illas reici, quia dolorem pariant, has optari, quia voluptatem. 1.50. Iustitia restat, ut de omni virtute sit dictum. sed similia fere dici possunt. ut enim sapientiam, temperantiam, fortitudinem copulatas esse docui cum voluptate, ut ab ea nullo modo nec divelli nec distrahi possint, sic de iustitia iudicandum est, quae non modo numquam nocet cuiquam, sed contra semper afficit afficit ( cf. Tusc. 3,11 qui contra affecti sint) Se. aliquid ( in N ante aliquid ab alt. m. superscr. est alit) cum vi sua vi sua V, N (vi ab alt. m. in ras. scr. ); in sua BER sua vi A atque natura, quod tranquillat tranquillat Se. tranquillet animos, tum spe nihil earum rerum defuturum, quas natura non non om. RNV depravata desiderat. desiderat R 1 V desideret Et add. Lamb. quem ad modum temeritas et libido et ignavia semper animum excruciant et semper sollicitant turbulentaeque sunt, sic inprobitas si add. Mdv. cuius in mente consedit, hoc ipso, quod adest, turbulenta est est: si Grut. et si ABE turbulenta non potest fieri Et si RN turbulenta non potest fieri Si V ; si vero molita quippiam est, quamvis occulte fecerit, numquam tamen id confidet fore semper occultum. plerumque improborum facta primo suspicio insequitur, dein deinde NV sermo atque fama, tum accusator, tum iudex; index A multi etiam, ut te consule, ipsi se indicaverunt. indicaverunt A 2 RN indicaverat A 1 iudicaverunt BEV 1.51. quodsi qui satis sibi contra hominum sibi contra hominum ibi contra hominum V hominum sibi contra R conscientiam conscientiam t n scientiam R cumscientiam A 1 saepti esse et et om. E muniti et muniti om. R videntur, deorum tamen horrent easque ipsas sollicitudines, quibus eorum animi noctesque diesque noctes diesque R diesque noctesque B exeduntur, a diis inmortalibus supplicii causa importari inport. N putant. quae autem tanta ex improbis factis ad minuendas vitae molestias accessio potest fieri, quanta ad augendas, cum conscientia factorum, tum poena legum odioque civium? et tamen in quibusdam neque pecuniae modus est neque honoris neque imperii nec libidinum nec epularum nec reliquarum cupiditatum, quas nulla praeda umquam improbe parta minuit, minuit imminit BE sed add. dett. (sed auget potius atque inflammat) potius inflammat, ut coe+rcendi magis quam dedocendi esse videantur. 1.52. Invitat igitur vera ratio bene sanos ad iustitiam, aequitatem, fidem, neque homini infanti aut inpotenti iniuste facta conducunt, qui nec facile efficere possit, quod conetur, nec optinere, si effecerit, et opes vel fortunae fortuna E vel ingenii ingenii edd. ingenia liberalitati magis conveniunt, qua qui utuntur, utantur ARNV benivolentiam sibi conciliant et, quod aptissimum est ad quiete vivendum, caritatem, praesertim cum omnino nulla sit causa peccandi. 1.53. quae enim cupiditates a natura proficiscuntur, facile explentur sine ulla iniuria, iniuria ulla BE quae autem ies sunt, iis parendum non est. nihil enim desiderabile concupiscunt, plusque in ipsa iniuria detrimenti est quam in iis rebus emolumenti, quae pariuntur iniuria. Itaque ne iustitiam quidem recte quis dixerit per se ipsam optabilem, sed quia iucunditatis vel plurimum afferat. nam diligi et carum esse iucundum est propterea, quia tutiorem vitam et voluptatem pleniorem pleniorem voluptatem BE efficit. itaque non ob ea solum incommoda, quae eveniunt eveniunt et veniunt ARN inprobis, fugiendam inprobitatem putamus, sed multo etiam magis, quod, cuius in animo versatur, numquam sinit eum respirare, numquam adquiescere. 1.54. Quodsi ne ipsarum quidem virtutum laus, in qua maxime ceterorum philosophorum exultat oratio, reperire exitum potest, nisi derigatur ad voluptatem, voluptas autem est sola, quae nos vocet ad se et alliciat suapte natura, non potest esse dubium, quin id sit summum atque extremum bonorum omnium, beateque vivere nihil aliud sit nisi cum voluptate vivere. 3.75. quam gravis vero, quam magnifica, quam constans conficitur persona sapientis! qui, cum ratio docuerit, quod honestum esset, id esse solum bonum, semper sit necesse est beatus vereque omnia ista nomina possideat, quae irrideri ab inperitis solent. rectius enim appellabitur rex quam Tarquinius, qui nec se nec suos regere potuit, rectius magister populi—is enim est dictator dictator est BE —quam Sulla, qui trium pestiferorum vitiorum, luxuriae, avaritiae, crudelitatis, magister fuit, rectius dives quam Crassus, qui nisi eguisset, numquam Euphraten nulla belli causa transire voluisset. recte eius omnia dicentur, qui scit uti solus omnibus, recte etiam pulcher appellabitur— animi enim liniamenta sunt pulchriora quam corporis quam corporis NV quam corporibus ABE corporibus ( om. quam) R —, recte solus liber nec dominationi cuiusquam parens nec oboediens cupiditati, recte invictus, cuius etiamsi corpus constringatur, animo tamen vincula inici nulla possint, nec expectet ullum tempus aetatis, uti tum uti tum Se. ut tum (ut in ras., sequente ras. 2 vel 3 litt. ) N virtutum ABE ututū R ubi tum V denique iudicetur beatusne fuerit, cum extremum vitae diem morte confecerit, quod ille unus e septem sapientibus non sapienter Croesum monuit; 3.75.  "Then, how dignified, how lofty, how consistent is the character of the Wise Man as they depict it! Since reason has proved that moral worth is the sole good, it follows that he must always be happy, and that all those titles which the ignorant are so fond of deriding do in very truth belong to him. For he will have a better claim to the title of King than Tarquin, who could not rule either himself or his subjects; a better right to the name of 'Master of the People' (for that is what a dictator is) than Sulla, who was a master of three pestilential vices, licentiousness, avarice and cruelty; a better right to be called rich than Crassus, who had he lacked nothing could never have been induced to cross the Euphrates with no pretext for war. Rightly will he be said to own all things, who alone knows how to use all things; rightly also will he be styled beautiful, for the features of the soul are fairer than those of the body; rightly the one and only free man, as subject to no man's authority, and slave of no appetite; rightly unconquerable, for though his body be thrown into fetters, no bondage can enchain his soul.
7. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.2, 1.18-1.22, 1.24-1.63, 1.65, 1.69, 1.71-1.74, 1.76-1.88, 1.92-1.97, 1.100-1.101, 1.104-1.105, 1.107, 1.109, 1.111-1.112, 1.114, 1.116-1.121, 1.123, 2.13-2.19, 2.148, 2.154-2.167, 3.26, 3.68 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. As regards the present subject, for example, most thinkers have affirmed that the gods exist, and this is the most probable view and the one to which we are all led by nature's guidance; but Protagoras declared himself uncertain, and Diagoras of Melos and Theodorus of Cyrene held that there are no gods at all. Moreover, the upholders of the divine existence differ and disagree so widely, that it would be a troublesome task to recount their opinions. Many views are put forward about the outward form of the gods, their dwelling-places and abodes, and mode of life, and these topics are debated with the widest variety of opinion among philosophers; but as to the question upon which the whole issue of the dispute principally turns, whether the gods are entirely idle and inactive, taking no part at all in the direction and government of the world, or whether on the contrary all things both were created and ordered by them in the beginning and are controlled and kept in motion by them throughout eternity, here there is the greatest disagreement of all. And until this issue is decided, mankind must continue to labour under the profoundest uncertainty, and to be in ignorance about matters of the highest moment. 1.18. Hereupon Velleius began, in the confident manner (I need not say) that is customary with Epicureans, afraid of nothing so much as lest he should appear to have doubts about anything. One would have supposed he had just come down from the assembly of the gods in the intermundane spaces of Epicurus! "I am not going to expound to you doctrines that are mere baseless figments of the imagination, such as the artisan deity and world-builder of Plato's Timaeus, or that old hag of a fortune-teller, the Pronoia (which we may render 'Providence') of the Stoics; nor yet a world endowed with a mind and senses of its own, a spherical, rotatory god of burning fire; these are the marvels and monstrosities of philosophers who do not reason but dream. 1.19. What power of mental vision enabled your master Plato to descry the vast and elaborate architectural process which, as he makes out, the deity adopted in building the structure of the universe? What method of engineering was employed? What tools and levers and derricks? What agents carried out so vast an undertaking? And how were air, fire, water and earth enabled to obey and execute the will of the architect? How did the five regular solids, which are the basis of all other forms of matter, come into existence so nicely adapted to make impressions on our minds and produce sensations? It would be a lengthy task to advert upon every detail of a system that is such as to seem the result of idle theorizing rather than of real research; 1.20. but the prize example is that the thinker who represented the world not merely as having had an origin but even as almost made by hand, also declared that it will exist for ever. Can you suppose that a man can have even dipped into natural philosophy if he imagines that anything that has come into being can be eternal? What composite whole is not capable of dissolution? What thing is there that has a beginning but not an end? While as for your Stoic Providence, Lucilius, if it is the same thing as Plato's creator, I repeat my previous questions, what were its agents and instruments, and how was the entire undertaking planned out and carried though? If on the contrary it is something different, I ask why it made the world mortal, and not everlasting as did Plato's divine creator? 1.21. Moreover I would put to both of you the question, why did these deities suddenly awake into activity as world-builders after countless ages of slumber? for though the world did not exist, it does not follow that ages did not exist — meaning by ages, not periods made up of a number of days and nights in annual courses, for ages in this sense I admit could not have been produced without the circular motion of the firmament; but from the infinite past there has existed an eternity not measured by limited divisions of time, but of a nature intelligible in terms of extension; since it is inconceivable that there was ever a time when time did not exist. 1.22. Well then, Balbus, what I ask is, why did your Providence remain idle all through that extent of time of which you speak? Was it in order to avoid fatigue? But god cannot know fatigue; and also there was no fatigue in question, since all the elements, sky, fire, earth and sea, were obedient to the divine will. Also, why should god take a fancy to decorate the firmament with figures and illuminations, like an aedile? If it was to embellish his own abode, then it seems that he had previously between dwelling for an infinite time in a dark and gloomy hovel! And are we to suppose that thenceforward the varied beauties which we see adorning earth and sky have afforded him pleasure? How can a god take pleasure in things of this sort? And if he did, he could not have dispensed with it so long. 1.24. for the present I will confine myself to expressing my surprise at their stupidity in holding that a being who is immortal and also blessed is of a spherical shape, merely on the ground that Plato pronounces a sphere to be the most beautiful of all figures. For my own part, on the score of appearance I prefer either a cylinder or a cube or a cone or a pyramid. Then, what mode of existence is assigned to their spherical deity? Why, he is in a state of rotation, spinning round with a velocity that surpasses all powers of conception. But what room there can be in such an existence for steadfastness of mind and for happiness, I cannot see. Also, why should a condition that is painful in the human body, if even the smallest part of it is affected, be supposed to be painless in the deity? Now clearly the earth, being a part of the world, is also a part of god. Yet we see that vast portions of the earth's surface are uninhabitable deserts, being either scorched by the sun's proximity, or frost-bound and covered with snow owing to its extreme remoteness. But if the world is god, these, being parts of the world, must be regarded as limbs of god, undergoing the extremes of heat and cold respectively. 1.25. So much, Lucilius, for the doctrines of your school. To show what the older systems are like, I will trace their history from the remotest of your predecessors. Thales of Miletus, who was the first person to investigate these matters, said that water was the first principle of things, but that god was the mind that moulded all things out of water — supposing that gods can exist without sensation; and why did he make mind an adjunct of water, if mind can exist by itself, devoid of body? The view of Anaximander is that the gods are not everlasting but are born and perish at long intervals of time, and that they are worlds, countless in number. But how we conceive of god save as living for ever? 1.26. Next, Anaximenes held that air is god, and that it has a beginning in time, and is immeasurable and infinite in extent, and is always in motion; just as if formless air could be god, especially seeing that it is proper to god to possess not merely some shape but the most beautiful shape; or as if anything that has had a beginning must not necessarily be mortal. Then there is Anaxagoras, the successor of Anaximenes; he was the first thinker to hold that the orderly disposition of the universe is designed and perfected by the rational power of an infinite mind. But in saying this he failed to see that there can be no such thing as sentient and continuous activity in that which is infinite, and that sensation in general can only occur when the subject itself becomes sentient by the impact of a sensation. Further, if he intended his infinite mind to be a definite living creature, it must have some inner principle of life to justify the name. But mind is itself the innermost principle. Mind therefore will have an outer integument of body. 1.27. But this Anaxagoras will not allow; yet mind naked and simple, without any material adjunct to serve as an organ of sensation, seems to elude the capacity of our understanding. Alcmaeon of Croton, who attributed divinity to the sun, moon and other heavenly bodies, and also to the soul, did not perceive that he was bestowing immortality on things that are mortal. As for Pythagoras, who believed that the entire substance of the universe is penetrated and pervaded by a soul of which our souls are fragments, he failed to notice that this severance of the souls of men from the world-soul means the dismemberment and rending asunder of god; and that when their souls are unhappy, as happens to most men, then a portion of god is unhappy; which is impossible. 1.28. Again, if the soul of man is divine, why is it not omniscient? Moreover, if the Pythagorean god is pure soul, how is he implanted in, or diffused throughout, the world? Next, Xenophanes endowed the universe with mind, and held that, as being infinite, it was god. His view of mind is as open to objection as that of the rest; but on the subject of infinity he incurs still severer criticism, for the infinite can have no sensation and no contact with anything outside. As for Parmenides, he invents a purely fanciful something resembling a crown — stephanè is his name for it —, an unbroken ring of glowing lights, encircling the sky, which he entitles god; but no one can imagine this to possess divine form, or sensation. He also has many other portentous notions; he deifies war, strife, lust and the like, things which can be destroyed by disease or sleep or forgetfulness or lapse of time; and he also deifies the stars, but this has been criticized in another philosopher and need not be dealt with now in the case of Parmenides. 1.29. Empedocles again among many other blunders comes to grief most disgracefully in his theology. He assigns divinity to the four substances which in his system are the constituent elements of the universe, although manifestly these substances both come into and pass out of existence, and are entirely devoid of sensation. Protagoras also, who declares he has no clear views whatever about the gods, whether they exist or do not exist, or what they are like, seems to have no notion at all of the divine nature. Then in what a maze of error is Democritus involved, who at one moment ranks as gods his roving 'images,' at another the substance that emits and radiates these images, and at another again the scientific intelligence of man! At the same time his denial of immutability and therefore of eternity, to everything whatsoever surely involves a repudiation of deity so absolute as to leave no conception of a divine be remaining! Diogenes of Apollonia makes air a god; but how can air have sensation, or divinity in any shape? 1.30. The inconsistencies of Plato are a long story. In the Timaeus he says that it is impossible to name the father of this universe; and in the Laws he deprecates all inquiry into the nature of the deity. Again, he holds that god is entirely incorporeal (in Greek, asomatos); but divine incorporeity is inconceivable, for an incorporeal deity would necessarily be incapable of sensation, and also of practical wisdom, and of pleasure, all of which are attributes essential to our conception of deity. Yet both in the Timaeus and the Laws he says that the world, the sky, the stars, the earth and our souls are gods, in addition to those in whom we have been taught to believe; but it is obvious that these propositions are both inherently false and mutually destructive. 1.31. Xenophon also commits almost the same errors, though in fewer words; for in his memoir of the sayings of Socrates he represents Socrates as arguing that it is wrong to inquire about the form of god, but also as saying that both the sun and the soul are god, and as speaking at one moment of a single god and at another of several: utterances that involve almost the same mistakes as do those which we quoted from Plato. 1.32. Antisthenes also, in his book entitled The Natural Philosopher, says that while there are many gods of popular belief, there is one god in nature, so depriving divinity of all meaning or substance. Very similarly Speusippus, following his uncle Plato, and speaking of a certain force that governs all things and is endowed with life, does his best to root out the notion of deity from our minds altogether. 1.33. And Aristotle in the Third Book of his Philosophy has a great many confused notions, not disagreeing with the doctrines of his master Plato; at one moment he assigns divinity exclusively to the intellect, at another he says that the world is itself a god, then again he puts some other being over the world, and assigns to this being the rôle of regulating and sustaining the world-motion by means of a sort of inverse rotation; then he says that the celestial heat is god — not realizing that the heavens are a part of that world which elsewhere he himself has entitled god. But how could the divine consciousness which he assigns to the heavens persist in a state of such rapid motion? Where moreover are all the gods of accepted belief, if we count the heavens also as a god? Again, in maintaining that god is incorporeal, he robs him entirely of sensation, and also of wisdom. Moreover, how is motion possible for an incorporeal being, and how, if he is always in motion, can he enjoy tranquillity and bliss? 1.34. Nor was his fellow-pupil Xenocrates any wiser on this subject. His volumes On the Nature of the Gods give no intelligible account of the divine form; for he states that there are eight gods: five inhabiting the planets, and in a state of motion; one consisting of all the fixed stars, which are to be regarded as separate members constituting a single deity; seventh he adds the sun, and eighth the moon. But what sensation of bliss these things can enjoy it is impossible to conceive. Another member of the school of Plato, Heracleides of Pontus, filled volume after volume with childish fictions; at one moment he deems the world divine, at another the intellect; he also assigns divinity to the planets, and holds that the deity is devoid of sensation and mutable of form; and again in the same volume he reckons earth and sky as gods. 1.35. Theophrastus also is intolerably inconsistent; at one moment he assigns divine pre‑eminence to mind, at another to the heavens, and then again to the constellations and stars in the heavens. Nor is his pupil, Strato, surnamed the Natural Philosopher, worthy of attention; in his view the sole repository of divine power is nature, which contains in itself the causes of birth, growth and decay, but is entirely devoid of sensation and of form. 1.36. Lastly, Balbus, I come to your Stoic school. Zeno's view is that the law of nature is divine, and that its function is to command what is right and to forbid the opposite. How he makes out this law to be alive passes our comprehension; yet we undoubtedly expect god to be a living being. In another passage however Zeno declares that the aether is god — if there is any meaning in a god without sensation, a form of deity that never presents itself to us when we offer up our prayers and supplications and make our vows. And in other books again he holds the view that a 'reason' which pervades all nature is possessed of divine power. He likewise attributes the same powers to the stars, or at another time to the years, the months and the seasons. Again, in his interpretation of Hesiod's Theogony (or Origin of the Gods) he does away with the customary and received ideas of the gods altogether, for he does not reckon either Jupiter, Juno or Vesta as gods, or any being that bears a personal name, but teaches that these names have been assigned allegorically to dumb and lifeless things. 1.37. Zeno's pupil Aristo holds equally mistaken views. He thinks that the form of the deity cannot be comprehended, and he denies the gods sensation, and in fact is uncertain whether god is a living being at all. Cleanthes, who attended Zeno's lectures at the same time as the last-named, at one moment says that the world itself is god, at another gives this name to the mind and soul of the universe, and at another decides that the most unquestionable deity is that remote all‑surrounding fiery atmosphere called the aether, which encircles and embraces the universe on its outer side at an exceedingly lofty altitude; while in the books that he wrote to combat hedonism he babbles like one demented, now imagining gods of some definite shape and form, now assigning full divinity to the stars, now pronouncing that nothing is more divine than reason. The result is that the god whom we apprehend by our intelligence, and desire to make to correspond with a mental concept as a seal tallies with its impression, has utterly and entirely vanished. 1.38. Persaeus, another pupil of Zeno, says that men have deified those persons who have made some discovery of special utility for civilization, and that useful and health-giving things have themselves been called by divine names; he did not even say that they were discoveries of the gods, but speaks of them as actually divine. But what could be more ridiculous than to award divine honours to things mean and ugly, or to give the rank of gods to men now dead and gone, whose worship could only take the form of lamentation? 1.39. Chrysippus, who is deemed to be the most skilful interpreter of the Stoic dreams, musters an enormous mob of unknown gods — so utterly unknown that even imagination cannot guess at their form and nature, although our mind appears capable of visualizing anything; for he says that divine power resides in reason, and in the soul and mind of the universe; he calls the world itself a god, and also the all‑pervading world-soul, and again the guiding principle of that soul, which operates in the intellect and reason, and the common and all‑embracing nature of things; beside this, the fire that I previously termed aether; and also the power of Fate, and the Necessity that governs future events; and also all fluid and soluble substances, such as water, earth, air, the sun, moon and stars, and the all‑embracing unity of things; and even those human beings who have attained immortality. 1.40. He also argues that the god whom men call Jupiter is the aether, and that Neptune is the air which permeates the sea, and the goddess called Ceres the earth; and he deals in the same way with the whole series of the names of the other gods. He also identifies Jupiter with the mighty Law, everlasting and eternal, which is our guide of life and instructress in duty, and which he entitles Necessity or Fate, and the Everlasting Truth of future events; none of which conceptions is of such a nature as to be deemed to possess divinity. 1.41. This is what is contained in his Nature of the Gods, Book I. In Book II he aims at reconciling the myths of Orpheus, Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer with his own theology as enunciated in Book I, and so makes out that even the earliest poets of antiquity, who had no notion of these doctrines, were really Stoics. In this he is followed by Diogenes of Babylon, who in his book entitled Minerva rationalizes the myth of the birth of the virgin goddess from Jove by explaining it as an allegory of the processes of nature. 1.42. I have given a rough account of what are more like the dreams of madmen than the considered opinions of philosophers. For they are little less absurd than the outpourings of the poets, harmful as these have been owing to the mere charm of their style. The poets have represented the gods as inflamed by anger and maddened by lust, and have displayed to our gaze their wars and battles, their fights and wounds, their hatreds, enmities and quarrels, their births and deaths, their complaints and lamentations, the utter and unbridled licence of their passions, their adulteries and imprisonments, their unions with human beings and the birth of mortal progeny from an immortal parent. 1.43. With the errors of the poets may be classed the monstrous doctrines of the magi and the insane mythology of Egypt, and also the popular beliefs, which are a mere mass of inconsistencies sprung from ignorance. "Anyone pondering on the baseless and irrational character of these doctrines ought to regard Epicurus with reverence, and to rank him as one of the very gods about whom we are inquiring. For he alone perceived, first, that the gods exist, because nature herself has imprinted a conception of them on the minds of all mankind. For what nation or what tribe is there but possesses untaught some 'preconception' of the gods? Such notions Epicurus designates by the word prolepsis, that is, a sort of preconceived mental picture of a thing, without which nothing can be understood or investigated or discussed. The force and value of this argument we learn in that work of genius, Epicurus's Rule or Standard of Judgement. 1.44. You see therefore that the foundation (for such it is) of our inquiry has been well and truly laid. For the belief in the gods has not been established by authority, custom or law, but rests on the uimous and abiding consensus of mankind; their existence is therefore a necessary inference, since we possess an instinctive or rather an innate concept of them; but a belief which all men by nature share must necessarily be true; therefore it must be admitted that the gods exist. And since this truth is almost universally accepted not only among philosophers but also among the unlearned, we must admit it as also being an accepted truth that we possess a 'preconception,' as I called it above, or 'prior notion,' of the gods. (For we are bound to employ novel terms to denote novel ideas, just as Epicurus himself employed the word prolepsis in a sense in which no one had ever used it before.) 1.45. We have then a preconception of such a nature that we believe the gods to be blessed and immortal. For nature, which bestowed upon us an idea of the gods themselves, also engraved on our minds the belief that they are eternal and blessed. If this is so, the famous maxim of Epicurus truthfully enunciates that 'that which is blessed and eternal can neither know trouble itself nor cause trouble to another, and accordingly cannot feel either anger or favour, since all such things belong only to the weak.' "If we sought to attain nothing else beside piety in worshipping the gods and freedom from superstition, what has been said had sufficed; since the exalted nature of the gods, being both eternal and supremely blessed, would receive man's pious worship (for what is highest commands the reverence that is its due); and furthermore all fear of the divine power or divine anger would have been banished (since it is understood that anger and favour alike are excluded from the nature of a being at once blessed and immortal, and that these being eliminated we are menaced by no fears in regard to the powers above). But the mind strives to strengthen this belief by trying to discover the form of god, the mode of his activity, and the operation of his intelligence. 1.46. For the divine form we have the hints of nature supplemented by the teachings of reason. From nature all men of all races derive the notion of gods as having human shape and none other; for in what other shape do they ever appear to anyone, awake or asleep? But not to make primary concepts the sole test of all things, reason itself delivers the same pronouncement. 1.47. For it seems appropriate that the being who is the most exalted, whether by reason of his happiness or his eternity, should also be the most beautiful; but what disposition of the limbs, what cast of features, what shape or outline can be more beautiful than the human form? You Stoics at least, Lucilius, (for my friend Cotta says one thing at one time and another at another) are wont to portray the skill of the divine creator by enlarging on the beauty as well as the utility of design displayed in all parts of the human figure. 1.48. But if the human figure surpasses the form of all other living beings, and god is a living being, god must possess the shape which is the most beautiful of all; and since it is agreed that the gods are supremely happy, and no one can be happy without virtue, and virtue cannot exist without reason, and reason is only found in the human shape, it follows that the gods possess the form of man. 1.49. Yet their form is not corporeal, but only resembles bodily substance; it does not contain blood, but the semblance of blood. "These discoveries of Epicurus are so acute in themselves and so subtly expressed that not everyone would be capable of appreciating them. Still I may rely on your intelligence, and make my exposition briefer than the subject demands. Epicurus then, as he not merely discerns abstruse and recondite things with his mind's eye, but handles them as tangible realities, teaches that the substance and nature of the gods is such that, in the first place, it is perceived not by the senses but by the mind, and not materially or individually, like the solid objects which Epicurus in virtue of their substantiality entitles steremnia; but by our perceiving images owing to their similarity and succession, because an endless train of precisely similar images arises from the innumerable atoms and streams towards the gods, our minds with the keenest feelings of pleasure fixes its gaze on these images, and so attains an understanding of the nature of a being both blessed and eternal. 1.50. Moreover there is the supremely potent principle of infinity, which claims the closest and most careful study; we must understand that it has the following property, that in the sum of things everything has its exact match and counterpart. This property is termed by Epicurus isonomia, or the principle of uniform distribution. From this principle it follows that if the whole number of mortals be so many, there must exist no less a number of immortals, and if the causes of destruction are beyond count, the causes of conservation also are bound to be infinite. "You Stoics are also fond of asking us, Balbus, what is the mode of life of the gods and how they pass their days. 1.51. The answer is, their life is the happiest conceivable, and the one most bountifully furnished with all good things. God is entirely inactive and free from all ties of occupation; he toils not neither does he labour, but he takes delight in his own wisdom and virtue, and knows with absolute certainty that he will always enjoy pleasures at once consummate and everlasting. 1.52. This is the god whom we should call happy in the proper sense of the term; your Stoic god seems to us to be grievously overworked. If the world itself is god, what can be less restful than to revolve at incredible speed round the axis of the heavens without a single moment of respite? but repose is an essential condition of happiness. If on the other hand some god resides within the world as its governor and pilot, maintaining the courses of the stars, the changes of the seasons and all the ordered process of creation, and keeping a watch on land and sea to guard the interests and lives of men, why, what a bondage of irksome and laborious business is his! 1.53. We for our part deem happiness to consist in tranquillity of mind and entire exemption from all duties. For he who taught us all the rest has also taught us that the world was made by nature, without needing an artificer to construct it, and that the act of creation, which according to you cannot be performed without divine skill, is so easy, that nature will create, is creating and has created worlds without number. You on the contrary cannot see how nature can achieve all this without the aid of some intelligence, and so, like the tragic poets, being unable to bring the plot of your drama to a dénouement, you have recourse to a god; 1.54. whose intervention you assuredly would not require if you would but contemplate the measureless and boundless extent of space that stretches in every direction, into which when the mind projects and propels itself, it journeys onward far and wide without ever sighting any margin or ultimate point where it can stop. Well then, in this immensity of length and breadth and height there flits an infinite quantity of atoms innumerable, which though separated by void yet cohere together, and taking hold each of another form unions wherefrom are created those shapes and forms of things which you think cannot be created without the aid of bellows and anvils, and so have saddled us with an eternal master, whom day and night we are to fear; for who would not fear a prying busybody of a god, who foresees and thinks of and notices all things, and deems that everything is his concern? 1.55. An outcome of this theology was first of all your doctrine of Necessity or Fate, heimarmenē, as you termed it, the theory that every event is the result of an eternal truth and an unbroken sequence of causation. But what value can be assigned to a philosophy which thinks that everything happens by fate? it is a belief for old women, and ignorant old women at that. And next follows your doctrine of mantikē, or Divination, which would so steep us in superstition, if we consented to listen to you, that we should be the devotees of soothsayers, augurs, oracle-mongers, seers and interpreters of dreams. 1.56. But Epicurus has set us free from superstitious terrors and delivered us out of captivity, so that we have no fear of beings who, we know, create no trouble for themselves and seek to cause none to others, while we worship with pious reverence the transcendent majesty of nature. "But I fear that enthusiasm for my subject has made me prolix. It was difficult however to leave so vast and splendid a theme unfinished, although really it was not my business to be a speaker so much as a listener. 1.57. Then Cotta took up the discussion. "Well, Velleius," he rejoined, with his usual suavity, "unless you had stated a case, you certainly would have had no chance of hearing anything from me. I always find it much easier to think of arguments to prove a thing false than to prove it true. This often happens to me, and did so just now while I was listening to you. Ask me what I think that the divine nature is like, and very probably I shall make no reply; but inquire whether I believe that it resembles the description of it which you have just given, and I shall say that nothing seems to me less likely. But before proceeding to examine your arguments, I will give my opinion of yourself. 1.58. I fancy I have often heard that friend of yours [Lucius Crassus] declare that of all the Roman adherents of Epicureanism he placed you unquestionably first, and that few of those from Greece could be ranked beside you; but knowing his extraordinary esteem for you, I imagined that he was speaking with the partiality of a friend. I myself however, though reluctant to praise you to your face, must nevertheless pronounce that your exposition of an obscure and difficult theme has been most illuminating, and not only exhaustive in its treatment of the subject, but also graced with a charm of style not uncommon in your school. 1.59. When at Athens, I frequently attended the discourses of Zeno, whom our friend Philo used to call the leader of the Epicurean choir; in fact it was Philo who suggested that I should go to him — no doubt in order that I might be better able to judge how completely the Epicurean doctrine may be refuted when I had heard an exposition of it from the head of the school. Now Zeno, unlike most Epicureans, had a style as clear, cogent and elegant as your own. But what often occurred to me in his case happened just now while I was listening to you: I felt annoyed that talents so considerable should have chanced to select (if you will forgive my saying it) so trivial, not to say so stupid, a set of doctrines. 1.60. Not that I propose at the moment to contribute something better of my own. As I said just now, in almost all subjects, but especially in natural philosophy, I am more ready to say what is not true than what is. Inquire of me as to the being and nature of god, and I shall follow the example of Simonides, who having the same question put to him by the great Hiero, requested a day's grace for consideration; next day, when Hiero repeated the question, he asked for two days, and so went on several times multiplying the number of days by two; and when Hiero in surprise asked why he did so, he replied, 'Because the longer I deliberate the more obscure the matter seems to me.' But Simonides is recorded to have been not only a charming poet but also a man of learning and wisdom in other fields, and I suppose that so many acute and subtle ideas came into his mind that he could not decide which of them was truest, and therefore despaired of truth altogether. 1.61. But as for your master Epicurus (for I prefer to join issue with him rather than with yourself), which of his utterances is, I do not say worthy of philosophy, but compatible with ordinary common sense? "In an inquiry as to the nature of the gods, the first question that we ask is, do the gods exist or do they not? 'It is difficult to deny their existence.' No doubt it would be if the question were to be asked in a public assembly, but in private conversation and in a company like the present it is perfectly easy. This being so, I, who am a high priest, and who hold it to be a duty most solemnly to maintain the rights and doctrines of the established religion, should be glad to be convinced of this fundamental tenet of the divine existence, not as an article of faith merely but as an ascertained fact. For many disturbing reflections occur to my mind, which sometimes make me think that there are no gods at all. 1.62. But mark how generously I deal with you. I will not attack those tenets which are shared by your school with all other philosophers — for example the one in question, since almost all men, and I myself no less than any other, believe that the gods exist, and this accordingly I do not challenge. At the same time I doubt the adequacy of the argument which you adduce to prove it. You said that a sufficient reason for our admitting that the gods exist was the fact that all the nations and races of mankind believe it. But argument is both inconclusive and untrue. In the first place, how do you know what foreign races believe? For my part I think that there are many nations so uncivilized and barbarous as to have no notion of any gods at all. 1.63. Again, did not Diagoras, called the Atheist, and later Theodorus openly deny the divine existence? Since as for Protagoras of Abdera, the greatest sophist of that age, to whom you just now alluded, for beginning a book with the words 'About the gods I am unable to affirm either how they exist or how they do not exist,' he was sentenced by a decree of the Athenian assembly to be banished from the city and from the country, and to have his books burnt in the market-place: an example that I can well believe has discouraged many people since from professing atheism, since the mere expression of doubt did not succeed in escaping punishment. What are we to say about the men guilty of sacrilege or impiety or perjury? Suppose that ever Lucius Tubulus, Lupus or Carbo, or some son of Neptune, as Lucilius has it, had believed in the gods, would he have been such a perjurer and scoundrel? 1.65. I grant the existence of the gods: do you then teach me their origin, their dwelling-place, their bodily and spiritual nature, their mode of life; for these are the things which I want to know. In regard to all of them you make great play with the lawless domination of the atoms; from these you construct and create everything that comes upon the ground, as he says. Now in the first place, there are no such things as atoms. For there is nothing . . . incorporeal, but all space is filled with material bodies; hence there can be no such thing as void, and no such thing as an indivisible body. 1.69. This is a very common practice with your school. You advance a paradox, and then, when you want to escape censure, you adduce in support of it some absolute impossibility; so that you would have done better to abandon the point in dispute rather than to offer so shameless a defence. For instance, Epicurus saw that if the atoms travelled downwards by their own weight, we should have no freedom of the will, since the motion of the atoms would be determined by necessity. He therefore invented a device to escape from determinism (the point had apparently escaped the notice of Democritus): he said that the atom while travelling vertically downward by the force of gravity makes a very slight swerve to the side. 1.71. He does the same as regards the nature of the gods. In his desire to avoid the assumption of a dense cluster of atoms, which would involve the possibility of destruction and dissipation, he says that the gods have not a body but a semblance of body, and not blood but a semblance of blood. It is thought surprising that an augur can see an augur without smiling; but it is more surprising that you Epicureans keep a grave face when by yourselves. 'It is not body but a semblance of body.' I could understand what this supposition meant if it related to waxen images or figures of earthenware, but what 'a semblance of body' or 'a semblance of blood' may mean in the case of god, I cannot understand; nor can you either, Velleius, only you won't admit it. 1.72. The fact is that you people merely repeat by rote the idle vapourings that Epicurus uttered when half asleep; for, as we read in his writings, he boasted that he had never had a teacher. This I for my part could well believe, even if he did not proclaim it, just as I believe the owner of an ill‑built house when he boasts that he did not employ an architect! He shows not the faintest trace of the Academy or the Lyceum, or even of the ordinary schoolboy studies. He might have heard Xenocrates — by heaven, what a master! — and some people think that he did, but he himself denies it, and he ought to know! He states that he heard a certain Pamphilus, a pupil of Plato, at Samos (where he resided in his youth with his father and brother — his father Neocles had gone there to take up land, but failing to make a living out of his farm, I believe kept a school). 1.73. However Epicurus pours endless scorn on this Platonist, so afraid is he of appearing ever to have learnt anything from a teacher. He stands convicted in the case of Nausiphanes, a follower of Democritus, whom he does not deny he heard lecture, but whom nevertheless he assails with every sort of abuse. Yet if he had not heard from him these doctrines of Democritus, what had he heard? for what is there in Epicurus's natural philosophy that does not come from Democritus? Since even if he introduced some alterations, for instance the swerve of the atoms, of which I spoke just now, yet most of his system is the same, the atoms, the void, the images, the infinity of space, and the countless number of worlds, their births and their destructions, in fact almost everything that is comprised in natural science. 1.74. As to your formula 'a semblance of body' and 'a semblance of blood,' what meaning do you attach to it? That you have a better knowledge of the matter than I have I freely admit, and what is more, am quite content that this should be so; but once it is expressed in words, why should one of us be able to understand it and not the other? Well then, I do understand what body is and what blood is, but what 'a semblance of body' and 'a semblance of blood' are I don't understand in the very least. You are not trying to hide the truth from me, as Pythagoras used to hide it from strangers, nor yet are you speaking obscurely on purpose like Heraclitus, but (to speak candidly between ourselves) you don't understand it yourself any more than I do. 1.76. On this topic you are at no loss for arguments designed to prove that the gods have the form of men: first because our minds possess a preconceived notion of such a character that, when a man thinks of god, it is the human form that presents itself to him; secondly, because inasmuch as the divine nature surpasses all other things, the divine form also must needs be the most beautiful, and no form is more beautiful than that of man. The third reason you advance is that no other shape is capable of being the abode of intelligence. 1.77. Well then, take these arguments one by one and consider what they amount to; for in my view they based on an arbitrary and quite inadmissible assumption on your part. First of all, was there ever any student so blind as not to see that human shape has been thus assigned to the gods either by the deliberate contrivance of philosophers, the better to enable them to turn the hearts of the ignorant from vicious practices to the observance of religion, or by superstition, to supply images for men to worship in the belief that in so doing they had direct access to the divine presence? These notions moreover have been fostered by poets, painters and artificers, who found it difficult to represent living and active deities in the likeness of any other shape than that of man. Perhaps also man's belief in his own superior beauty, to which you referred, may have contributed to the result. But surely you as a natural philosopher are aware what an insinuating go‑between and pander of her own charms nature is! Do you suppose that there is a single creature on land or in the sea which does not prefer an animal of its own specie to any other? If this were not so, why should not a bull desire to couple with a mare, or a horse with a cow? Do you imagine that an eagle or lion or dolphin thinks any shape more beautiful than its own? Is it then surprising if nature has likewise taught man to think his own species the most beautiful . . . that this was a reason why we should think the gods resemble man? 1.78. Suppose animals possessed reason, do you not think that they would each assign pre‑eminence to their own species? For my part I protest (if I am to say what I think) that although I am not lacking in self-esteem yet I don't presume to call myself more beautiful than the famous bull on which Europa rode; for the question is not here of our intellectual and oratorical powers but of our outward form and aspect. Indeed if we choose to make imaginary combinations of shapes, would you not like to resemble the merman Triton who is depicted riding upon swimming monsters attached to his man's body? I am on ticklish ground here, for natural instinct is so strong that every man wishes to be like a man and nothing else. 1.79. Yes, and every ant like an ant! Still, the question is, like what man? How small a percentage of handsome people there are! When I was at Athens, there was scarcely one to be found in each platoon of the training-corps — I see why you smile, but the fact is all the same. Another point: we, who with the sanction of the philosophers of old are fond of the society of young men, often find even their defects agreeable. Alcaeus 'admires a mole upon his favourite's wrist'; of course a mole is a blemish, but Alcaeus thought it a beauty. Quintus Catulus, the father of our colleague and friend to‑day, was warmly attached to your fellow-townsman Roscius, and actually wrote the following verses in his honour: By chance abroad at dawn, I stood to pray To the uprising deity of day; When lo! upon my left — propitious sight — Suddenly Roscius dawned in radiance bright. Forgive me, heavenly pow'rs, if I declare, Meseem'd the mortal than the god more fair. To Catulus, Roscius was fairer than a god. As a matter of fact he had, as he has to‑day, a pronounced squint; but no matter — in the eyes of Catulus this in itself gave him piquancy and charm. 1.80. I return to the gods. Can we imagine any gods, I do not say as cross-eyed as Roscius, but with a slight cast? Can we picture any of them with a mole, a snub nose, protruding ears, prominent brows and too large a head — defects not unknown among us men —, or are they entirely free from personal blemishes? Suppose we grant you that, are we also to say that they are all exactly alike? If not, there will be degrees of beauty among them, and therefore a god can fall short of supreme beauty. If on the other hand they are all alike, then the Academic school must have a large following in heaven, since if there is no difference between one god and another, among the gods knowledge and perception must be impossible. 1.81. Furthermore, Velleius, what if your assumption, that when we think of god the only form that presents itself to us is that of a man, be entirely untrue? will you nevertheless continue to maintain your absurdities? Very likely we Romans do imagine god as you say, because from our childhood Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Vulcan and Apollo have been known to us with the aspect with which painters and sculptors have chosen to represent them, and not with that aspect only, but having that equipment, age and dress. But they are not so known to the Egyptians or Syrians, or any almost of the uncivilized races. Among these you will find a belief in certain animals more firmly established than is reverence for the holiest sanctuaries and images of the gods with us. 1.82. For we have often seen temples robbed and images of gods carried off from the holiest shrines by our fellow-countrymen, but no one ever even heard of an Egyptian laying profane hands on a crocodile or ibis or cat. What therefore do you infer? that the Egyptians do not believe their sacred bull Apis to be a god? Precisely as much as you believe the Saviour Juno of your native place to be a goddess. You never see her even in your dreams unless equipped with goat-skin, spear, buckler and slippers turned up at the toe. Yet that is not the aspect of the Argive Juno, nor of the Roman. It follows that Juno has one form for the Argives, another for the people of Lanuvium, and another for us. And indeed our Jupiter of the Capitol is not the same as the Africans' Juppiter Ammon. 1.83. Should not the physical philosopher therefore, that is, the explorer and tracker-out of nature, be ashamed to go to minds besotted with habit for evidence of truth? On your principle it will be legitimate to assert that Jupiter always wears a beard and Apollo never, and that Minerva has grey eyes and Neptune blue. Yes, and at Athens there is a much-praised statue of Vulcan made by Alcamenes, a standing figure, draped, which displays a slight lameness, though not enough to be unsightly. We shall therefore deem god to be lame, since tradition represents Vulcan so. Tell me now, do we also make out the gods to have the same names as those by which they are known to us? 1.84. But in the first place the gods have as many names as mankind has languages. You are Velleius wherever you travel, but Vulcan has a different name in Italy, in Africa and in Spain. Again, the total number of names even in our pontifical books is not great, but there are gods innumerable. Are they without names? You Epicureans at all events are forced to say so, since what is the point of more names when they are all exactly alike? How delightful it would be, Velleius, if when you did not know a thing you would admit your ignorance, instead of uttering this drivel, which must make even your own gorge rise with disgust? Do you really believe that god resembles me, or yourself? of course you do not. "What then? Am I to say that the sun is a god, or the moon, or the sky? If so, we must also say that it is happy; but what forms of enjoyment constitute its happiness? and wise; but how can wisdom reside in a senseless bulk like that? These are arguments employed by your own school. 1.85. Well then, if the gods do not possess the appearance of men, as I have proved, nor some such form as that of the heavenly bodies, as you are convinced, why do you hesitate to deny their existence? You do not dare to. Well, that is no doubt wise — although in this matter it is not the public that you fear, but the gods themselves: I personally am acquainted with Epicureans who worship every paltry image, albeit I am aware that according to some people's view Epicurus really abolished the gods, but nominally retained them in order not to offend the people of Athens. Thus the first of his selected aphorisms or maxims, which you call the Kyriai Doxai, runs, I believe, thus: That which is blessed and immortal neither experiences trouble nor causes it to anyone. Now there are people who think that the wording of this maxim was intentional, though really it was due to the author's inability to express himself clearly; their suspicion does an injustice to the most guileless of mankind. 1.86. It is in fact doubtful whether he means that there is a blessed and immortal being, or that, if there is, that being is such as he describes. They fail to notice that although his language is ambiguous here, yet in many other places both he and Metrodorus speak as plainly as you yourself did just now. Epicurus however does actually think that the gods exist, nor have I ever met anybody more afraid than he was of those things which he says are not terrible at all, I mean death and the gods. Terrors that do not very seriously alarm ordinary people, according to Epicurus haunt the minds of all mortal men: so many thousands commit brigandage, for which the penalty is death, and other men rob temples whenever they have the chance; I suppose the former are haunted by the fear of death and the latter by the terrors of religion! 1.87. But as you have not the courage (for I will now address myself to Epicurus in person) to deny that the gods exist, what should hinder you from reckoning as divine the sun, or the world, or some form of ever-living intelligence? 'I have never seen a mind endowed with reason and with purpose,' he replies, 'that was embodied in any but a human form.' Well, but have you ever seen anything like the sun or the moon or the five planets? The sun, limiting his motion by the two extreme points of one orbit, completes his courses yearly. The moon, lit by the sun's rays, achieves this solar path in the space of a month. The five planets, holding the same orbit, but some nearer to and others farther from the earth, from the same starting-points complete the same distances in different periods of time. 1.88. Now, Epicurus, have you ever seen anything like this? Well, then, let us deny the existence of the sun, moon and planets, inasmuch as nothing can exist save that which we have touched or seen. And what of god himself? You have never seen him, have you? Why then do you believe in his existence? On this principle we must sweep aside everything unusual of which history or science informs us. The next thing would be for inland races to refuse to believe in the existence of the sea. How can such narrowness of mind be possible? It follows that, if you had been born in Seriphus and had never left the island, where you had been used to seeing nothing larger than hares and foxes, when lions and panthers were described to you, you would refuse to believe in their existence; and if somebody told you about an elephant, you would actually think that he was making fun of you! 1.92. Did you think they were all out of their minds because they pronounced that god can exist without hands or feet? Does not even a consideration of the adaptation of man's limbs to their functions convince you that the gods do not require human limbs? What need is there for feet without walking, or for hands if nothing has to be grasped, or for the rest of the list of the various parts of the body, in which nothing is useless, nothing without a reason, nothing superfluous, so that no art can imitate the cunning of nature's handiwork? It seems then that god will have a tongue, and will not speak; teeth, a palate, a throat, for no use; the organs that nature has attached to the body for the purpose of procreation — these god will possess, but to no purpose; and not only the external but also the internal organs, the heart, lungs, liver and the rest, which if they are not useful are assuredly not beautiful — since your school holds that god possesses bodily parts because of their beauty. 1.93. Was it dreams like these that not only encouraged Epicurus and Metrodorus and Hermarchus to contradict Pythagoras, Plato and Empedocles, but actually emboldened a loose woman like Leontium to write a book refuting Theophrastus? Her style no doubt is the neatest of Attic, but all the same! — such was the licence that prevailed in the Garden of Epicurus. And yet you are touchy yourselves, indeed Zeno actually used to invoke the law. I need not mention Albucius. As for Phaedrus, though he was the most refined and courteous of old gentlemen, he used to lose his temper if I spoke too harshly; although Epicurus attacked Aristotle in the most insulting manner, abused Socrates' pupil Phaedo quite outrageously, devoted whole volumes to an onslaught on Timocrates, the brother of his own associate Metrodorus, for differing from him on some point or other of philosophy, showed no gratitude toward Democritus himself, whose system he adopted, and treated so badly his own master Nausiphanes, from whom he had learnt a considerable amount. As for Zeno, he aimed the shafts of his abuse not only at his contemporaries, Apollodorus, Silus and the rest, but Socrates himself, the father of philosophy, he declared to have been the Attic equivalent of our Roman buffoons; and he always alluded to Chrysippus in the feminine gender. 1.94. You yourself just now, when reeling off the list of philosophers like the censor calling the roll of the Senate, said that all those eminent men were fools, idiots and madmen. But if none of these discerned the truth about the divine nature, it is to be feared that the divine nature is entirely non‑existent. "For as for your school's account of the matter, it is the merest fairy-story, hardly worthy of old wives at work by lamplight. You don't perceive what a number of things you are let in for, if we consent to admit that men and gods have the same form. You will have to assign to god exactly the same physical exercises and care of the person as are proper to men: he will walk, run, recline, bend, sit, hold things in the hand, and lastly even converse and make speeches. 1.95. As for your saying that the gods are male and female, well, you must see what the consequence of that will be. For my part, I am at a loss to imagine how your great founder arrived at such notions. All the same you never cease vociferating that we must on no account relinquish the divine happiness and immortality. But what prevents god from being happy without having two legs? and why cannot your 'beatitude' or 'beatity,' whichever form we are to use — and either is certainly a hard mouthful, but words have to be softened by use — but whatever it is, why can it not apply to the sun yonder, or to this world of ours, or to some eternal intelligence devoid of bodily shape and members? 1.96. Your only answer is: 'I have never seen a happy sun or world.' Well, but have you ever seen any other world but this one? No, you will reply. Then why did you venture to assert the existence of, not thousands and thousands, but a countless number of worlds? 'That is what reason teaches.' Then will not reason teach you that when we seek to find a being who shall be supremely excellent, and happy and eternal as well — and nothing else constitutes divinity —, even as that being will surpass us in immortality, so also will it surpass us in mental excellence, and even as in mental excellence, so also in bodily. Why then, if we are inferior to god in all else, are we his equals in form? for man came nearer to the divine image in virtue than in outward aspect. 1.97. [Can you mention anything so childish (to press the same point still further) as to deny the existence of the various species of huge animals that grow in the Red Sea or in India? Yet not even the most diligent investigators could possibly collect information about all the vast multitude of creatures that exist on land and in the sea, the marshes and the rivers: the existence of which we are to deny, because we have never seen them!] "Then take your favourite argument from resemblance: how utterly pointless it really is! Why, does not a dog resemble a wolf? — and, to quote Ennius, How like us is that ugly brute, the ape! — but the two differ in habits. The elephant is the wisest of beasts, but the most ungainly in shape. 1.100. Then you censured those who argued from the splendour and the beauty of creation, and who, observing the world itself, and the parts of the world, the sky and earth and sea, and the sun, moon and stars that adorn them, and discovering the laws of the seasons and their periodic successions, conjectured that there must exist some supreme and transcendent being who had created these things, and who imparted motion to them and guided and governed them. Though this guess may be wide of the mark, I can see what they are after; but as for you, what mighty masterpiece pray do you adduce as apparently the creation of divine intelligence, leading you to conjecture that gods exist? 'We have an idea of god implanted in our minds,' you say. Yes, and an idea of Jupiter with a beard, and Minerva in a helmet; but do you therefore believe that those deities are really like that? 1.101. The unlearned multitude are surely wiser here — they assign to god not only a man's limbs, but the use of those limbs. For they give him bow, arrows, spear, shield, trident, thunderbolt; and if they cannot see what actions the gods perform, yet they cannot conceive of god as entirely inactive. Even the Egyptians, whom we laugh at, deified animals solely on the score of some utility which they derived from them; for instance, the ibis, being a tall bird with stiff legs and a long horny beak, destroys a great quantity of snakes: it protects Egypt from plague, by killing and eating the flying serpents that are brought from the Libyan desert by the south-west wind, and so preventing them from harming the natives by their bite while alive and their stench when dead. I might describe the utility of the ichneumon, the crocodile and the cat, but I do not wish to be tedious. I will make my point thus: these animals are at all events deified by the barbarians for the benefits which they confer, but your gods not only do no service you can point to, but they don't do anything at all. 1.104. About your deity therefore I want to know, first, where he dwells; secondly, what motive he has for moving in space, that is, if he ever does so move; thirdly, it being a special characteristic of animate beings to desire some end that is appropriate their nature, what is the thing that god desires; fourthly, upon what subject does he employ his mental activity and reason; and lastly, how is he happy, and how eternal? For whichever of these questions you raise, you touch a tender spot. An argument based on such insecure premisses can come to no valid conclusion. 1.105. Your assertion was that the form of god is perceived by thought and not by the senses, that it has no solidity nor numerical persistence, and that our perception of it is such that it is seen owing to similarity and succession, a never-ceasing stream of similar forms arriving continually from the infinite number of atoms, and that thus it results that our mind, when its attention is fixed on these forms, conceives the divine nature to be happy and eternal. Now in the name of the very gods about whom we are talking, what can possibly be the meaning of this? If the gods only appeal to the faculty of thought, and have no solidity or definite outline, what difference does it make whether we think of a god or of a hippocentaur? Such mental pictures are called by all other philosophers mere empty imaginations, but you say they are the arrival and entrance into our minds of certain images. 1.107. Suppose that there are such images constantly impinging on our minds: but that is only the presentation of a certain form — surely not also of a reason for supposing that this form is happy and eternal? "But what is the nature of these images of yours, and whence do they arise? This extravagance, it is true, is borrowed from Democritus; but he has been widely criticized, nor can you find a satisfactory explanation, and the whole affair is a lame and impotent business. For how can be more improbable than that images of Homer, Archilochus, Romulus, Numa, Pythagoras and Plato should impinge on me at all — much less that they should do so in the actual shape that those men really bore? How then do these images arise? and of whom are they the images? Aristotle tells us that the poet Orpheus never existed, and the Pythagoreans say that the Orphic poem which we possess was the work of a certain Cecrops; yet Orpheus, that is, according to you, the image of him, often comes into my mind. 1.109. And how extravagantly! There is a constant passage or stream of visual presentations which collectively produce a single visual impression. I should be ashamed to say that I do not understand the doctrine, if you who maintain it understood it yourselves! How can you prove that the stream of images is continuous, or if it is, how are the images eternal? You say that there is an innumerable supply of atoms. Are you going to argue then that everything is eternal, for the same reason? You take refuge in the principle of 'equilibrium' (for so with your consent we will translate isonomia), and you say that because there is mortal substance there must also be immortal substance. On that showing, because there are mortal men, there are also some that are immortal, and because there are men born on land, there are men born in the water. 'And because there are forces of destruction, there are also forces of preservation.' Suppose there were, they would only preserve things that already exist; but I am not aware that your gods do exist. 1.111. In what then does his life consist? 'In a constant succession of things good,' you reply, 'without any admixture of evils.' Things good — what things? Pleasures, I suppose — that is, of course, pleasures of the body, for your school recognizes no pleasures of the mind that do not arise from and come back to the body. I don't suppose that you, Velleius, are like the rest of the Epicureans, who are ashamed of certain utterances of Epicurus, in which he protests that he cannot conceive any good that is unconnected with the pleasures of the voluptuary and the sensualist, pleasures which in fact he proceeds without a blush to enumerate by name. 1.112. Well then, what viands and beverages, what harmonies of music and flowers of various hue, what delights of touch and smell will you assign to the gods, so as to keep them steeped in pleasure? The poets array banquets of nectar and ambrosia, with Hebe or Ganymede in attendance as cup‑bearer; but what will you do, Epicurean? I don't see either where your god is to procure these delights or how he is to enjoy them. It appears then that mankind is more bountifully equipped for happiness than is the deity, since man can experience a wider range of pleasures. 1.114. 'But they are free from pain.' Does that satisfy the ideal of perfect bliss, overflowing with good things? 'God is engaged (they say) in ceaseless contemplation of his own happiness, for he has no other object for his thoughts.' I beg of you to realize in your imagination a vivid picture of a deity solely occupied for all eternity in reflecting 'What a good time I am having! How happy I am!' And yet I can't see how this happy god of yours is not to fear destruction, since he is subjected without a moment's respite to the buffeting and jostling of a horde of atoms that eternally assail him, while from his own person a ceaseless stream of images is given off. Your god is therefore neither happy nor eternal. 1.116. 'But deity possesses an excellence and pre‑eminence which must of its own nature attract the worship of the wise.' Now how can there be any excellence in a being so engrossed in the delights of his own pleasure that he always has been, is, and will continue to be entirely idle and inactive? Furthermore how can you owe piety to a person who has bestowed nothing upon you? or how can you owe anything at all to one who has done you no service? Piety is justice towards the gods; but how can any claims of justice exist between us and them, if god and man have nothing in common? Holiness is the science of divine worship; but I fail to see why the gods should be worshipped if we neither have received nor hope to receive benefit from them. 1.117. On the other hand what reason is there for adoring the gods on the ground of our admiration for the divine nature, if we cannot see that that nature possesses any special excellence? "As for freedom from superstition, which is the favourite boast of your school, that is easy to attain when you have deprived the gods of all power; unless perchance you think that it was possible for Diagoras or Theodorus to be superstitious, who denied the existence of the gods altogether. For my part, I don't see how it was possible even for Protagoras, who was not certain either that the gods exist or that they do not. For the doctrines of all these thinkers abolish not only superstition, which implies a groundless fear of the gods, but also religion, which consists in piously worshipping them. 1.118. Take again those who have asserted that the entire notion of the immortal gods is a fiction invented by wise men in the interest of the state, to the end that those whom reason was powerless to control might be led in the path of duty by religion; surely this view was absolutely and entirely destructive of religion. Or Prodicus of Ceos,',WIDTH,)" onmouseout="nd();"º who said that the gods were personifications of things beneficial to the life of man — pray what religion was left by his theory? 1.119. Or those who teach that brave or famous or powerful men have been deified after death, and that it is these who are the real objects of the worship, prayers and adoration which we are accustomed to offer — are not they entirely devoid of all sense of religion? This theory was chiefly developed by Euhemerus, who was translated and imitated especially by our poet Ennius. Yet Euhemerus describes the death and burial of certain gods; are we then to think of him as upholding religion, or rather as utterly and entirely destroying it? I say nothing of the holy and awe‑inspiring sanctuary of Eleusis, Where tribes from earth's remotest confines seek Initiation, and I pass over Samothrace and those occult mysteries Which throngs of worshippers at dead of night In forest coverts deep do celebrate at Lemnos, since such mysteries when interpreted and rationalized prove to have more to do with natural science than with theology. 1.120. For my own part I believe that even that very eminent man Democritus, the fountain-head from which Epicurus derived the streams that watered his little garden, has no fixed opinion about the nature of the gods. At one moment he holds the view that the universe includes images endowed with divinity; at another he says that there exist in this same universe the elements from which the mind is compounded, and that these are gods; at another, that they are animate images, which are wont to exercise a beneficent or harmful influence over us; and again that they are certain vast images of such a size as to envelop and enfold the entire world. All these fancies are more worthy of Democritus's native city than of himself; 1.121. for who could form a mental picture of such images? who could adore them and deem them worthy of worship or reverence? "Epicurus however, in abolishing divine beneficence and divine benevolence, uprooted and exterminated all religion from the human heart. For while asserting the supreme goodness and excellence of the divine nature, he yet denies to god the attribute of benevolence — that is to say, he does away with that which is the most essential element of supreme goodness and excellence. For what can be better or more excellent than kindness and beneficence? Make out god to be devoid of either, and you make him devoid of all love, affection or esteem for any other being, human or divine. It follows not merely that the gods do not care for mankind, but that they have no care for one another. How much more truth there is in the Stoics, whom you censure! They hold that all wise men are friends, even when strangers to each other, since nothing is more lovable than virtue, and he that attains to it will have our esteem in whatever country he dwells. 1.123. Epicurus is making fun of us, though he is not so much a humorist as a loose and careless writer. For how can holiness exist if the gods pay no heed to man's affairs? Yet what is the meaning of an animate being that pays no heed to anything? "It is doubtless therefore truer to say, as the good friend of us all, Posidonius, argued in the fifth book of his On the Nature of the Gods, that Epicurus does not really believe in the gods at all, and that he said what he did about the immortal gods only for the sake of deprecating popular odium. Indeed he could not have been so senseless as really to imagine god to be like a feeble human being, but resembling him only in outline and surface, not in solid substance, and possessing all man's limbs but entirely incapable of using them, an emaciated and transparent being, showing no kindness or beneficence to anybody, caring for nothing and doing nothing at all. In the first place, a being of this nature is an absolute impossibility, and Epicurus was aware of this, and so actually abolishes the gods, although professedly retaining them. 2.13. As to their nature there are various opinions, but their existence nobody denies. Indeed our master Cleanthes gave four reasons to account for the formation in men's minds of their ideas of the gods. He put first the argument of which I spoke just now, the one arising from our foreknowledge of future events; second, the one drawn from the magnitude of the benefits which we derive from our temperate climate, from the earth's fertility, and from a vast abundance of other blessings; 2.14. third, the awe inspired by lightning, storms, rain, snow, hail, floods, pestilences, earthquakes and occasionally subterranean rumblings, showers of stones and raindrops the colour of blood, also landslips and chasms suddenly opening in the ground, also unnatural monstrosities human and animal, and also the appearance of meteoric lights and what are called by the Greeks 'comets,' and in our language 'long-haired stars,' such as recently during the Octavian War appeared as harbingers of dire disasters, and the doubling of the sun, which my father told me had happened in the consulship of Tuditanus and Aquilius, the year in which the light was quenched of Publius Africanus, that second sun of Rome: all of which alarming portents have suggested to mankind the idea of the existence of some celestial and divine power. 2.15. And the fourth and most potent cause of the belief he said was the uniform motion and revolution of the heavens, and the varied groupings and ordered beauty of the sun, moon and stars, the very sight of which was in itself enough to prove that these things are not the mere effect of chance. When a man goes into a house, a wrestling-school or a public assembly and observes in all that goes on arrangement, regularity and system, he cannot possibly suppose that these things come about without a cause: he realizes that there is someone who presides and controls. Far more therefore with the vast movements and phases of the heavenly bodies, and these ordered processes of a multitude of enormous masses of matter, which throughout the countless ages of the infinite past have never in the smallest degree played false, is he compelled to infer that these mighty world-motions are regulated by some Mind. 2.16. Extremely acute of intellect as is Chrysippus, nevertheless his utterance here might well appear to have been learnt from the very lips of Nature, and not discovered by himself. 'If (he says) there be something in the world that man's mind and human reason, strength and power are incapable of producing, that which produces it must necessarily be superior to man; now the heavenly bodies and all those things that display a never-ending regularity cannot be created by man; therefore that which creates them is superior to man; yet what better name is there for this than "god"? Indeed, if gods do not exist, what can there be in the universe superior to man? for he alone possesses reason, which is the most excellent thing that can exist; but for any human being in existence to think that there is nothing in the whole world superior to himself would be an insane piece of arrogance; therefore there is something superior to man; therefore God does exist.' 2.17. Again, if you see a spacious and beautiful house, you could not be induced to believe, even though you could not see its master, that it was built by mice and weasels; if then you were to imagine that this elaborate universe, with all the variety and beauty of the heavenly bodies and the vast quantity and extent of sea and land, were your abode and not that of the gods, would you not be thought absolutely insane? Again, do we not understand that everything in a higher position is of greater value, and that the lowest thing, and is enveloped by a layer of the densest kind of air? Hence for the same reason what we observe to be the case with certain districts and cities, I mean that their inhabitants are duller-witted than the average owing to the more compressed quality of the atmosphere, has also befallen the human race as a whole owing to its being located on the earth, that is, in the densest region of the world. 2.18. Yet even man's intelligence must lead us to infer the existence of a mind in the universe, and that a mind of surpassing ability, and in fact divine. Otherwise, whence did man 'pick up' (as Socrates says in Xenophon) the intelligence that he possesses? If anyone asks the question, whence do we get the moisture and the heat diffused throughout the body, and the actual earthy substance of the flesh, and lastly the breath of life within us, it is manifest that we have derived the one from earth, the other from water, and the other from the air which we inhale in breathing. But where did we find, whence did we abstract, that other part of us which surpasses all of these, I mean our reason, or, if you like to employ several terms to denote it, our intelligence, deliberation, thought, wisdom? Is the world to contain each of the other elements but not this one, the most precious of them all? Yet beyond question nothing exists among all things that is superior to the world, nothing that is more excellent or more beautiful; and not merely does nothing superior to it exist, but nothing superior can even be conceived. And if there be nothing superior to reason and wisdom, these faculties must necessarily be possessed by that being which we admit to be superior to all others. 2.19. Again, consider the sympathetic agreement, interconnexion and affinity of things: whom will this not compel to approve the truth of what I say? Would it be possible for the earth at one definite time to be gay with flowers and then in turn all bare and stark, or for the spontaneous transformation of so many things about us to signal the approach and the retirement of the sun at the summer and the winter solstices, or for the tides to flow and ebb in the seas and straits with the rising and setting of the moon, or for the different courses of the stars to be maintained by the one revolution of the entire sky? These processes and this musical harmony of all the parts of the world assuredly would not go on were they not maintained in unison by a single divine and all‑pervading spirit. 2.148. it is by collating and comparing our precepts that we also create the arts that serve either practical necessities or the purpose of amusement. Then take the gift of speech, the queen of arts as you are fond of calling it — what a glorious, what a divine faculty it is! In the first place it enables us both to learn things we do not know and to teach things we do know to others; secondly it is our instrument for exhortation and persuasion, for consoling the afflicted and assuaging the fears of the terrified, for curbing passion and quenching appetite and anger; it is this that has united us in the bonds of justice, law and civil order, this that has sped us from savagery and barbarism. 2.154. It remains for me to show, in coming finally to a conclusion, that all the things in this world which men employ have been created and provided for the sake of men. "In the first place the world itself was created for the sake of gods and men, and the things that it contains were provided and contrived for the enjoyment of men. For the world is as it were the common dwelling-place of gods and men, or the city that belongs to both; for they alone have the use of reason and live by justice and by law. As therefore Athens and Sparta must be deemed to have been founded for the sake of the Athenians and the Spartans, and all the things contained in those cities are rightly said to belong to those peoples, so whatever things are contained in all the world must be deemed to belong to the gods and to men. 2.155. Again the revolutions of the sun and moon no other heavenly bodies, although also contributing to the maintece of the structure of the world, nevertheless also afford a spectacle for man to behold; for there is no sight of which it is more impossible to grow weary, none more beautiful nor displaying a more surpassing wisdom and skill; for by measuring the courses of the stars we know when the seasons will come round, and when their variations and changes will occur; and if these things are known to men alone, they must be judged to have been created for the sake of men. 2.156. Then the earth, teeming with grain and vegetables of various kinds, which she pours forth in lavish abundance — does she appear to give birth to this produce for the sake of the wild beasts or for the sake of men? What shall I say of the vines and olives, whose bounteous and delightful fruits do not concern the lower animals at all? In fact the beasts of the field are entirely ignorant of the arts of sowing and cultivating, and of reaping and gathering the fruits of the earth in due season and storing them in garners; all these products are both enjoyed and tended by men. 2.157. Just as therefore we are bound to say that lyres and flutes were made for the sake of those who can use them, so it must be agreed that the things of which I have spoken have been provided for those only who make use of them, and even if some portion of them is filched or plundered by some of the lower animals, we shall not admit that they were created for the sake of these animals also. Men do not store up corn for the sake of mice and ants but for their wives and children and households; so the animals share these fruits of the earth only by stealth as I have said, whereas the masters enjoy them openly and freely. 2.158. It must therefore be admitted that all this abundance was provided for the sake of men, unless perchance the bounteous plenty and variety of our orchard fruit and the delightfulness not only of its flavour but also of its scent and appearance lead us to doubt whether nature intended this gift for man alone! So far is it from being true that the furs of the earth were provided for the sake of animals as well as men, that the animals themselves, as we may see, were created for the benefit of men. What other use have sheep save that their fleeces are dressed and woven into clothing for men? and in fact they could not have been reared nor sustained nor have produced anything of value without man's care and tendance. Then think of the dog, with its trusty watchfulness, its fawning affection for its master and hatred of strangers, its incredible keenness of scent in following a trail and its eagerness in hunting — what do these qualities imply except that they were created to serve the conveniences of men? 2.159. Why should I speak of oxen? the very shape of their backs makes it clear that they were not destined to carry burdens, whereas their necks were born for the yoke and their broad powerful shoulders for drawing the plough. And as it was by their means that the earth was brought under tillage by breaking up its clods, no violence was ever used towards them, so the poets say, by the men of that Golden Age; But then the iron race sprang into being, And first did dare to forge the deadly sword, And taste the ox its hand had tamed to bondage. So valuable was deemed the service that man received from oxen that to eat their flesh was held a crime. "It would be a long story to tell of the services rendered by mules and asses, which were undoubtedly created for the use of men. 2.160. As for the pig, it can only furnish food; indeed Chrysippus actually says that its soul was given it to serve as salt and keep it from putrefaction; and because this animal was fitted for the food of man, nature made it the most prolific of all her offspring. Why should I speak of the teeming swarms of delicious fish? or of birds, which afford us so much pleasure that our Stoic Providence appears to have been at times a disciple of Epicurus? and they could not even be caught save by man's intelligence and cunning; — although some birds, birds of flight and birds of utterance as our augurs call them, we believe to have been created for the purpose of giving omens. 2.161. The great beasts of the forest again we take by hunting, both for food and in order to exercise ourselves in the mimic warfare of the chase, and also, as in the case of elephants, to train and discipline them for our employment, and to procure from their busy a variety of medicines for diseases and wounds, as also we do from certain roots and herbs whose values we have learnt by long-continued use and trial. Let the mind's eye survey the whole earth and all the seas, and you will behold now fruitful plains of measureless extent and mountains thickly clad with forests and pastures filled with flocks, now vessels sailing with marvellous swiftness across the sea. 2.162. Nor only on the surface of the earth, but also in its darkest recesses there lurks an abundance of commodities which were created for men's use and which men alone discover. "The next subject is one which each of you perhaps will seize upon for censure, Cotta because Carneades used to enjoy tilting at the Stoics, Velleius because nothing provokes the ridicule of Epicurus so much as the art of prophecy; but in my view it affords the very strongest proof that man's welfare is studied by divine providence. I refer of course to Divination, which we see practised in many regions and upon various matters and occasions both private and more especially public. 2.163. Many observations are made by those who inspect the victims at sacrifices, many events are foreseen by augurs or revealed in oracles and prophecies, dreams and portents, a knowledge of which has often led to the acquisition of many things gratifying men's wishes and requirements, and also to the avoidance of many dangers. This power or art or instinct therefore has clearly been bestowed by the immortal gods on man, and on no other creature, for the ascertainment of future events. "And if perchance these arguments separately fail to convince you, nevertheless in combination their collective weight will be bound to do so. 2.164. Nor is the care and providence of the immortal gods bestowed only upon the human race in its entirety, but it is also wont to be extended to individuals. We may narrow down the entirety of the human race and bring it gradually down to smaller and smaller groups, and finally to single individuals. For if we believe, for the reasons that we have spoken of before, that the gods care for all human beings everywhere in every coast and region of the lands remote from this continent in which we dwell, then they care also for the men who inhabit with us these lands between the sunrise and the sunset. 2.165. But if they care for these who inhabit that sort of vast island which we call the round earth, they also care for those who occupy continue divisions of that island, Europe, Asia and Africa. Therefore they also cherish the divisions of those divisions, for instance Rome, Athens, Sparta and Rhodes; and they cherish the individual citizens of those cities regarded separately from the whole body collectively, for example, Curius, Fabricius and Coruncanius in the war with Pyrrhus, Calatinus, Duellius, Metellus and Lutatius in the First Punic War, and Maximus, Marcellus and Africanus in the Second, and at a later date Paulus, Gracchus and Cato, or in our fathers' time Scipio and Laelius; and many remarkable men besides both our own country and Greece have given birth to, none of whom would conceivably have been what he was save by god's aid. 2.166. It was this reason which drove the poets, and especially Homer, to attach to their chief heroes, Ulysses, Diomede, Agamemnon or Achilles, certain gods as the companions of their perils and adventures; moreover the gods have often appeared to men in person, as in the cases which I have mentioned above, so testifying that they care both for communities and for individuals. And the same is proved by the portents of future occurrences that are vouchsafed to men sometimes when they are asleep and sometimes when they are awake. Moreover we receive a number of warnings by means of signs and of the entrails of victims, and by many other things that long-continued usage has noted in such a manner as to create the art of divination. 2.167. Therefore no great man ever existed who did not enjoy some portion of divine inspiration. Nor yet is this argument to be deprived by pointing to cases where a man's cornfields or vineyards have been damaged by a storm, or an accident has robbed him of some commodity of value, and inferring that the victim of one of these misfortunes is the object of god's hatred or neglect. The gods attend to great matters; they neglect small ones. Now great men always prosper in all their affairs, assuming that the teachers of our school and Socrates, the prince of philosophy, have satisfactorily discoursed upon the bounteous abundance of wealth that virtue bestows. 3.26. no definition is given of the meaning of 'superior' and 'more excellent,' or of the distinction between nature and reason. Chrysippus furthermore declares that, if there be no gods, the natural universe contains nothing superior to man; but for any man to think that there is nothing superior to man he deems to be the height of arrogance. Let us grant that it is a mark of arrogance to value oneself more highly than the world; but not merely is it not a mark of arrogance, rather is it a mark of wisdom, to realize that one is a conscious and rational being, and that Orion and Canicula are not. Again, he says 'If we saw a handsome mansion, we should infer that it was built for its masters and not for mice; so therefore we must deem the world to be the mansion of the gods.' Assuredly I should so deem it if I thought it had been built like a house, and not constructed by nature, as I shall show that it was. 3.68. Medea was criminal, but also she was perfectly rational. Again, does not the hero plotting the direful banquet for his brother turn the design this way and that in his thoughts? More must I moil and bigger bale must brew, Whereby to quell and crush his cruel heart. Nor must we pass over Thyestes himself, who Was not content to tempt my wife to sin — an offence of which Atreus speaks correctly and with perfect truth — the which I deem the height of peril In matters of high state, if royal mothers Shall be debauched, the royal blood corrupted, The lineage mixed. But how craftily this very crime is plotted by his brother, employing adultery as a means to gain the throne: Thereto withal (says Atreus) the heavenly sire did send me A warning portent, to confirm my reign — A lamb, conspicuous among the flock With fleece of gold, Thyestes once did dare To steal from out my palace, and in this deed My consort did suborn as his accomplice.
8. Cicero, On Duties, 1.47-1.54, 1.148, 3.16 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.47. De benivolentia autem, quam quisque habeat erga nos, primum illud est in officio, ut ei plurimum tribuamus, a quo plurimum diligamur, sed benivolentiam non adulescentulorum more ardore quodam amoris, sed stabilitate potius et constantia iudicemus. Sin erunt merita, ut non ineunda, sed referenda sit gratia, maior quaedam cura adhibenda est; nullum enim officium referenda gratia magis necessarium est. 1.48. Quodsi ea, quae utenda acceperis, maiore mensura, si modo possis, iubet reddere Hesiodus, quidnam beneficio provocati facere debemus? an imitari agros fertiles, qui multo plus efferunt quam acceperunt? Etenim si in eos, quos speramus nobis profuturos, non dubitamus officia conferre, quales in eos esse debemus, qui iam profuerunt? Nam cum duo genera liberalitatis sint, unum dandi beneficii, alterum reddendi, demus necne, in nostra potestate est, non reddere viro bono non licet, modo id facere possit sine iniuria. 1.49. Acceptorum autem beneficiorum sunt dilectus habendi, nec dubium, quin maximo cuique plurimum debeatur. In quo tamen in primis, quo quisque animo, studio, benivolentia fecerit, ponderandum est. Multi enim faciunt multa temeritate quadam sine iudicio vel morbo in omnes vel repentino quodam quasi vento impetu animi incitati; quae beneficia aeque magna non sunt habenda atque ea, quae iudicio, considerate constanterque delata sunt. Sed in collocando beneficio et in referenda gratia, si cetera paria sunt, hoc maxime officii est, ut quisque maxime opis indigeat, ita ei potissimum opitulari; quod contra fit a plerisque; a quo enim plurimum sperant, etiamsi ille iis non eget, tamen ei potissimum inserviunt. 1.50. Optime autem societas hominum coniunctioque servabitur, si, ut quisque erit coniunctissimus, ita in eum benignitatis plurimum conferetur. Sed, quae naturae principia sint communitatis et societatis humanae, repetendum videtur altius; est enim primum, quod cernitur in universi generis humani societate. Eius autem vinculum est ratio et oratio, quae docendo, discendo, communicando, disceptando, iudicando conciliat inter se homines coniungitque naturali quadam societate; neque ulla re longius absumus a natura ferarum, in quibus inesse fortitudinem saepe dicimus, ut in equis, in leonibus, iustitiam, aequitatem, bonitatem non dicimus; sunt enim rationis et orationis expertes. 1.51. Ac latissime quidem patens hominibus inter ipsos, omnibus inter omnes societas haec est; in qua omnium rerum, quas ad communem hominum usum natura genuit, est servanda communitas, ut, quae discripta sunt legibus et iure civili, haec ita teneantur, ut sit constitutum legibus ipsis, cetera sic observentur, ut in Graecorum proverbio est, amicorum esse communia omnia. Omnium autem communia hominum videntur ea, quae sunt generis eius, quod ab Ennio positum in una re transferri in permultas potest: Homó, qui erranti cómiter monstrát viam, Quasi lúmen de suo lúmine accendát, facit. Nihiló minus ipsi lúcet, cum illi accénderit. Una ex re satis praecipit, ut, quicquid sine detrimento commodari possit, id tribuatur vel ignoto; 1.52. ex quo sunt illa communia: non prohibere aqua profluente, pati ab igne ignem capere, si qui velit, consilium fidele deliberanti dare, quae sunt iis utilia, qui accipiunt, danti non molesta. Quare et his utendum est et semper aliquid ad communem utilitatem afferendum. Sed quoniam copiae parvae singulorum sunt, eorum autem, qui his egeant, infinita est multitudo, vulgaris liberalitas referenda est ad illum Ennii finem: Nihilo minus ipsi lucet, ut facultas sit, qua in nostros simus liberales. 1.53. Gradus autem plures sunt societatis hominum. Ut enim ab illa infinita discedatur, propior est eiusdem gentis, nationis, linguae, qua maxime homines coniunguntur; interius etiam est eiusdem esse civitatis; multa enim sunt civibus inter se communia, forum, fana, porticus, viae, leges, iura: iudicia, suffragia, consuetudines praeterea et familiaritates multisque cum multis res rationesque contractae. Artior vero colligatio est societatis propinquorum; ab illa enim immensa societate humani generis in exiguum angustumque concluditur. 1.54. Nam cum sit hoc natura commune animantium, ut habeant libidinem procreandi, prima societas in ipso coniugio est, proxima in liberis, deinde una domus, communia omnia; id autem est principium urbis et quasi seminarium rei publicae. Sequuntur fratrum coniunctiones, post consobrinorum sobrinorumque, qui cum una domo iam capi non possint, in alias domos tamquam in colonias exeunt. Sequuntur conubia et affinitates, ex quibus etiam plures propinqui; quae propagatio et suboles origo est rerum publicarum. Sanguinis autem coniunctio et benivolentia devincit homines et caritate; 1.148. Quae vero more agentur institutisque civilibus, de iis nihil est praecipiendum; illa enim ipsa praecepta sunt, nec quemquam hoc errore duci oportet, ut, si quid Socrates aut Aristippus contra rnorem consuetudinemque civilem fecerint locutive sint, idem sibi arbitretur licere; magnis illi et divinis bonis hane licentiam assequebantur. Cynicorum vero ratio tota est eicienda; est enim inimica verecundiae, sine qua nihil rectum esse potest, nihil honestum. 3.16. Itaque iis omnes, in quibus est virtutis indoles, commoventur. Nec vero, cum duo Decii aut duo Scipiones fortes viri commemorantur, aut cum Fabricius aut Aristides iustus nominatur, aut ab illis fortitudinis aut ab hoc iustitiae tamquam a sapiente petitur exemplum; nemo enim horum sic sapiens, ut sapientem volumus intellegi, nec ii, qui sapientes habiti et nominati, M. Cato et C. Laelius, sapientes fuerunt, ne illi quidem septem, sed ex mediorum officiorum frequentia similitudinem quandam gerebant speciemque sapientium. 1.47.  But as to the affection which anyone may have for us, it is the first demand of duty that we do most for him who loves us most; but we should measure affection, not like youngsters, by the ardour of its passion, but rather by its strength and constancy. But if there shall be obligations already incurred, so that kindness is not to begin with us, but to be requited, still greater diligence, it seems, is called for; for no duty is more imperative that that of proving one's gratitude. 1.48.  But if, as Hesiod bids, one is to repay with interest, if possible, what one has borrowed in time of need, what, pray, ought we to do when challenged by an unsought kindness? Shall we not imitate the fruitful fields, which return more than they receive? For if we do not hesitate to confer favours upon those who we hope will be of help to us, how ought we to deal with those who have already helped us? For generosity is of two kinds: doing a kindness and requiting one. Whether we do the kindness or not is optional; but to fail to requite one is not allowable to a good man, provided he can make the requital without violating the rights of others. 1.49.  Furthermore, we must make some discrimination between favours received; for, as a matter of course the greater the favour, the greater is the obligation. But in deciding this we must above all give due weight to the spirit, the devotion, the affection that prompted the favour. For many people often do favours impulsively for everybody without discrimination, prompted by a morbid sort of benevolence or by a sudden impulse of the heart, shifting the wind. Such acts of generosity are not to be so highly esteemed as those which are performed with judgment, deliberation, and mature consideration. But in bestowing a kindness, as well as in making a requital, the first rule of duty requires us — other things being equal — to lend assistance preferably to people in proportion to their individual need. Most people adopt the contrary course: they put themselves most eagerly at the service of the one from whom they hope to receive the greatest favours even though he has no need of their help. 1.50.  The interests of society, however, and its common bonds will be best conserved, if kindness be shown to each individual in proportion to the closeness of his relationship. But it seems we must trace back to their ultimate sources the principles of fellowship and society that Nature has established among men. The first principle is that which is found in the connection subsisting between all the members of the human race; and that bond of connection is reason and speech, which by the processes of teaching and learning, of communicating, discussing, and reasoning associate men together and unite them in a sort of natural fraternity. In no other particular are we farther removed from the nature of beasts; for we admit that they may have courage (horses and lions, for example); but we do not admit that they have justice, equity, and goodness; for they are not endowed with reason or speech. 1.51.  This, then, is the most comprehensive bond that unites together men as men and all to all; and under it the common right to all things that Nature has produced for the common use of man is to be maintained, with the understanding that, while everything assigned as private property by the statutes and by civil law shall be so held as prescribed by those same laws, everything else shall be regarded in the light indicated by the Greek proverb: "Amongst friends all things in common." Furthermore, we find the common property of all men in things of the sort defined by Ennius; and, though restricted by him to one instance, the principle may be applied very generally: "Who kindly sets a wand'rer on his way Does e'en as if he lit another's lamp by his: No less shines his, when he his friend's hath lit." In this example he effectively teaches us all to bestow even upon a stranger what it costs us nothing to give. 1.52.  On this principle we have the following maxims:"Deny no one the water that flows by;" "Let anyone who will take fire from our fire;" "Honest counsel give to one who is in doubt;" for such acts are useful to the recipient and cause the giver no loss. We should, therefore, adopt these principles and always be contributing something to the common weal. But since the resources of individuals are limited and the number of the needy is infinite, this spirit of universal liberality must be regulated according to that test of Ennius — "No less shines his" — in order that we may continue to have the means for being generous to our friends. 1.53.  Then, too, there are a great many degrees of closeness or remoteness in human society. To proceed beyond the universal bond of our common humanity, there is the closer one of belonging to the same people, tribe, and tongue, by which men are very closely bound together; it is a still closer relation to be citizens of the same city-state; for fellow-citizens have much in common — forum, temples colonnades, streets, statutes, laws, courts, rights of suffrage, to say nothing of social and friendly circles and diverse business relations with many. But a still closer social union exists between kindred. Starting with that infinite bond of union of the human race in general, the conception is now confined to a small and narrow circle. 1.54.  For since the reproductive instinct is by Nature's gift the common possession of all living creatures, the first bond of union is that between husband and wife; the next, that between parents and children; then we find one home, with everything in common. And this is the foundation of civil government, the nursery, as it were, of the state. Then follow the bonds between brothers and sisters, and next those of first and then of second cousins; and when they can no longer be sheltered under one roof, they go out into other homes, as into colonies. Then follow between these in turn, marriages and connections by marriage, and from these again a new stock of relations; and from this propagation and after-growth states have their beginnings. The bonds of common blood hold men fast through good-will and affection; 1.148.  But no rules need to be given about what is done in accordance with the established customs and conventions of a community; for these are in themselves rules; and no one ought to make the mistake of supposing that, because Socrates or Aristippus did or said something contrary to the manners and established customs of their city, he has a right to do the same; it was only by reason of their great and superhuman virtues that those famous men acquired this special privilege. But the Cynics' whole system of philosophy must be rejected, for it is inimical to moral sensibility, and without moral sensibility nothing can be upright, nothing morally good. 3.16.  Accordingly, such duties appeal to all men who have a natural disposition to virtue. And when the two Decii or the two Scipios are mentioned as "brave men" or Fabricius is called "the just," it is not at all that the former are quoted as perfect models of courage or the latter as a perfect model of justice, as if we had in one of them the ideal "wise man." For no one of them was wise in the sense in which we wish to have "wise" understood; neither were Marcus Cato and Gaius Laelius wise, though they were so considered and were surnamed "the wise." Not even the famous Seven were "wise." But because of their constant observance of "mean" duties they bore a certain semblance and likeness to wise men.
9. Cicero, Republic, 3.7 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.7. fuisse sapientiam, tamen hoc in ratione utriusque generis interfuit, quod illi verbis et artibus aluerunt naturae principia, hi autem institutis et legibus. Pluris vero haec tulit una civitas, si minus sapientis, quoniam id nomen illi tam restricte tenent, at certe summa laude dignos, quoniam sapientium praecepta et inventa coluerunt. Atque etiam, quot et sunt laudandae civitates et fuerunt, quoniam id est in rerum natura longe maximi consilii, constituere eam rem publicam, quae possit esse diuturna, si singulos numeremus in singulas, quanta iam reperiatur virorum excellentium multitudo! Quodsi aut Italiae Latium aut eiusdem Sabinam aut Volscam gentem, si Samnium, si Etruriam, si magnam illam Graeciam conlustrare animo voluerimus, si deinde Assyrios, si Persas, si Poenos, si haec
10. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 2.180-2.181, 3.296, 5.195-5.234 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Eternity of The World, 15-17, 14 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

14. But some persons interpret Plato's words sophistically, and think that he affirms that the world was created, not inasmuch as it has had a beginning of creation, but inasmuch as if it had been created it could not possibly have existed in any other manner than that in which it actually does exist as has been described, or else because it is in its creation and change that the parts are seen.
12. Diogenes of Oenoanda, Fragments, 20 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

13. Plutarch, On The Birth of The Spirit In Timaeus, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14. Plutarch, On Common Conceptions Against The Stoics, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15. Seneca The Younger, On Anger, 2.27.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 14 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

17. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 9.149, 9.165-9.166, 9.178-9.179, 9.181 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

18. Sextus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, 2.38-2.42 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

19. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.32, 7.116-7.118, 7.121, 7.123, 7.125 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.32. Hence he had been well trained even before he left his native place. And thus it came about that on his arrival at Athens he attached himself to Crates. And it seems, he adds, that, when the rest were at a loss how to express their views, Zeno framed a definition of the end. They say that he was in the habit of swearing by capers just as Socrates used to swear by the dog. Some there are, and among them Cassius the Sceptic and his disciples, who accuse Zeno at length. Their first count is that in the beginning of his Republic he pronounced the ordinary education useless: the next is that he applies to all men who are not virtuous the opprobrious epithets of foemen, enemies, slaves, and aliens to one another, parents to children, brothers to brothers, friends to friends. 7.116. Also they say that there are three emotional states which are good, namely, joy, caution, and wishing. Joy, the counterpart of pleasure, is rational elation; caution, the counterpart of fear, rational avoidance; for though the wise man will never feel fear, he will yet use caution. And they make wishing the counterpart of desire (or craving), inasmuch as it is rational appetency. And accordingly, as under the primary passions are classed certain others subordinate to them, so too is it with the primary eupathies or good emotional states. Thus under wishing they bring well-wishing or benevolence, friendliness, respect, affection; under caution, reverence and modesty; under joy, delight, mirth, cheerfulness. 7.117. Now they say that the wise man is passionless, because he is not prone to fall into such infirmity. But they add that in another sense the term apathy is applied to the bad man, when, that is, it means that he is callous and relentless. Further, the wise man is said to be free from vanity; for he is indifferent to good or evil report. However, he is not alone in this, there being another who is also free from vanity, he who is ranged among the rash, and that is the bad man. Again, they tell us that all good men are austere or harsh, because they neither have dealings with pleasure themselves nor tolerate those who have. The term harsh is applied, however, to others as well, and in much the same sense as a wine is said to be harsh when it is employed medicinally and not for drinking at all. 7.118. Again, the good are genuinely in earnest and vigilant for their own improvement, using a manner of life which banishes evil out of sight and makes what good there is in things appear. At the same time they are free from pretence; for they have stripped off all pretence or make-up whether in voice or in look. Free too are they from all business cares, declining to do anything which conflicts with duty. They will take wine, but not get drunk. Nay more, they will not be liable to madness either; not but what there will at times occur to the good man strange impressions due to melancholy or delirium, ideas not determined by the principle of what is choiceworthy but contrary to nature. Nor indeed will the wise man ever feel grief; seeing that grief is irrational contraction of the soul, as Apollodorus says in his Ethics. 7.121. But Heraclides of Tarsus, who was the disciple of Antipater of Tarsus, and Athenodorus both assert that sins are not equal.Again, the Stoics say that the wise man will take part in politics, if nothing hinders him – so, for instance, Chrysippus in the first book of his work On Various Types of Life – since thus he will restrain vice and promote virtue. Also (they maintain) he will marry, as Zeno says in his Republic, and beget children. Moreover, they say that the wise man will never form mere opinions, that is to say, he will never give assent to anything that is false; that he will also play the Cynic, Cynicism being a short cut to virtue, as Apollodorus calls it in his Ethics; that he will even turn cannibal under stress of circumstances. They declare that he alone is free and bad men are slaves, freedom being power of independent action, whereas slavery is privation of the same; 7.123. Furthermore, the wise are infallible, not being liable to error. They are also without offence; for they do no hurt to others or to themselves. At the same time they are not pitiful and make no allowance for anyone; they never relax the penalties fixed by the laws, since indulgence and pity and even equitable consideration are marks of a weak mind, which affects kindness in place of chastizing. Nor do they deem punishments too severe. Again, they say that the wise man never wonders at any of the things which appear extraordinary, such as Charon's mephitic caverns, ebbings of the tide, hot springs or fiery eruptions. Nor yet, they go on to say, will the wise man live in solitude; for he is naturally made for society and action. 7.125. Furthermore, the wise man does all things well, just as we say that Ismenias plays all airs on the flute well. Also everything belongs to the wise. For the law, they say, has conferred upon them a perfect right to all things. It is true that certain things are said to belong to the bad, just as what has been dishonestly acquired may be said, in one sense, to belong to the state, in another sense to those who are enjoying it.They hold that the virtues involve one another, and that the possessor of one is the possessor of all, inasmuch as they have common principles, as Chrysippus says in the first book of his work On Virtues, Apollodorus in his Physics according to the Early School, and Hecato in the third book of his treatise On Virtues.
20. Lactantius, De Ira Dei, 13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

21. Proclus, In Platonis Timaeum Commentarii, 2.302 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

22. Proclus, In Platonis Timaeum Commentarii, 2.302 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

23. Stoic School, Stoicor. Veter. Fragm., 3.229

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
academy, early Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
academy Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
accomodation/ sunoikeiosis Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 193
anaxagoras Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
animals, danger of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
animals, survival/extinction of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
anthropocentrism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
anthropomorphism Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
antiochus of ascalon Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
aristotle, cosmology of Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
aristotle Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108; Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
autonomy Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
balbus Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241
besnier, b. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241
calcidius on platos, sceptical perspective on Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
carneades Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
chrysippus Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241; Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
cicero, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
cicero, marcus tullius, and creation of cosmos Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cicero, marcus tullius, and timaeus translation Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cicero, marcus tullius, de natura deorum Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cicero, marcus tullius, philosophical treatises of Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cicero, on academic sceptics Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
cicero, on law and society Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
cicero, on wise man Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23
cicero Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100, 193; Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
concepts Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
cosmic city Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
cosmos, cicero on Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cosmos, compared to a house Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
cosmos, divine Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
crantor Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
creation, cicero on Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
cynics Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
cyrenaics Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
dialogues Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
dio chrysostom (of prusa) Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
diogenes laertius Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
diogenes of babylon Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
doxography Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 193
empedocles Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
epicureanism Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
epicureans Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
epicurus, on nature and the self Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
epicurus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100, 193; Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
eudorus Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
exegesis Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
freedom Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
god Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
gods, existence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
gods, providence Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
gods, scepticism about Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
greek gods, knowledge of god Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
hegel, g.w.f. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
honourableness Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
infancy/children Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
infinity Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
italy Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
law Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
law of nature, and wise man Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
law of nature, transcended written law Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
lévy, c. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241
medea Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
nature Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
phaedrus, timaeus Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 96
philo of alexandria Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
philo of larissa Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
philodemus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 193; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
physical elements Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
plague Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
plato, timaeus, creation account in Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
plato Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241; Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117; Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23
platonism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
pleasure Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
plutarch Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
polemo Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
property-ownership Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 100
reason Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
robin, l. Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241
scepticism Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
self-ownership Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
sensation Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 96
sextus empiricus Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
slavery, slaves Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
socrates Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
sophists, sophistry Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
soul' Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 96
stoicism, stoics, theology of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
stoicism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
stoics/stoicism, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
stoics/stoicism, and the sage Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
system Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
teleology Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
theology Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
torquatus, lucius manlius Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
universe, created vs. uncreated Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
velleius, gaius Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
velleius Del Lucchese, Monstrosity and Philosophy: Radical Otherness in Greek and Latin Culture (2019) 241; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
velleius (epicurean) Hoenig, Plato's Timaeus and the Latin Tradition (2018) 88
virtue Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
virtues Jażdżewska and Doroszewski,Plutarch and his Contemporaries: Sharing the Roman Empire (2024) 79
wise man, and law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
wise man, and stoics Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 23, 26
women Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346
written law, vis a vis law of nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 26
xenocrates Erler et al., Authority and Authoritative Texts in the Platonist Tradition (2021) 108
xenophanes Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 117
zeno of citium, politics of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 346