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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 2.162


nanAnother, and in my opinion the strongest, proof that the providence of the Gods takes care of us is divination, which both of you, perhaps, will attack; you, Cotta, because Carneades took pleasure in inveighing against the Stoics; and you, Velleius, because there is nothing Epicurus ridicules so much as the prediction of events. Yet the truth of divination appears in many places, on many occasions, often in private, but particularly in public concerns. We receive many intimations from the foresight and presages of augurs and auspices; from oracles, prophecies, dreams, and prodigies; and it often happens that by these means events have proved happy to men, and imminent dangers have been avoided. This knowledge, therefore — call it either a kind of transport, or an art, or a natural faculty — is certainly found only in men, and is a gift from the immortal Gods. If these proofs, when taken separately, should make no impression upon your mind, yet, when collected together, they must certainly affect you. Besides, the Gods not only provide for mankind universally, but for particular men. You may bring this universality to gradually a smaller number, and again you may reduce that smaller number to individuals.


nanNor 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.


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16 results
1. 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.
2. Cicero, Academica, 2.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, On Divination, 1.8-1.9, 1.117, 2.3, 2.14, 2.33, 2.50, 2.124, 2.126, 2.130 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.8. Quibus de rebus et alias saepe et paulo accuratius nuper, cum essem cum Q. fratre in Tusculano, disputatum est. Nam cum ambulandi causa in Lyceum venissemus (id enim superiori gymnasio nomen est), Perlegi, ille inquit, tuum paulo ante tertium de natura deorum, in quo disputatio Cottae quamquam labefactavit sententiam meam, non funditus tamen sustulit. Optime vero, inquam; etenim ipse Cotta sic disputat, ut Stoicorum magis argumenta confutet quam hominum deleat religionem. Tum Quintus: Dicitur quidem istuc, inquit, a Cotta, et vero saepius, credo, ne communia iura migrare videatur; sed studio contra Stoicos disserendi deos mihi videtur funditus tollere. 1.9. Eius rationi non sane desidero quid respondeam; satis enim defensa religio est in secundo libro a Lucilio, cuius disputatio tibi ipsi, ut in extremo tertio scribis, ad veritatem est visa propensior. Sed, quod praetermissum est in illis libris (credo, quia commodius arbitratus es separatim id quaeri deque eo disseri), id est de divinatione, quae est earum rerum, quae fortuitae putantur, praedictio atque praesensio, id, si placet, videamus quam habeat vim et quale sit. Ego enim sic existimo, si sint ea genera dividi vera, de quibus accepimus quaeque colimus, esse deos, vicissimque, si di sint, esse qui divinent. 1.117. Quo modo autem aut vates aut somniantes ea videant, quae nusquam etiam tunc sint, magna quaestio est. Sed explorata si sint ea, quae ante quaeri debeant, sint haec, quae quaerimus, faciliora. Continet enim totam hanc quaestionem ea ratio, quae est de natura deorum, quae a te secundo libro est explicata dilucide. Quam si obtinemus, stabit illud, quod hunc locum continet, de quo agimus, esse deos, et eorum providentia mundum administrari, eosdemque consulere rebus humanis, nec solum universis, verum etiam singulis. Haec si tenemus, quae mihi quidem non videntur posse convelli, profecto hominibus a dis futura significari necesse est. 2.3. Quibus rebus editis tres libri perfecti sunt de natura deorum, in quibus omnis eius loci quaestio continetur. Quae ut plane esset cumulateque perfecta, de divinatione ingressi sumus his libris scribere; quibus, ut est in animo, de fato si adiunxerimus, erit abunde satis factum toti huic quaestioni. Atque his libris adnumerandi sunt sex de re publica, quos tum scripsimus, cum gubernacula rei publicae tenebamus. Magnus locus philosophiaeque proprius a Platone, Aristotele, Theophrasto totaque Peripateticorum familia tractatus uberrime. Nam quid ego de Consolatione dicam? quae mihi quidem ipsi sane aliquantum medetur, ceteris item multum illam profuturam puto. Interiectus est etiam nuper liber is, quem ad nostrum Atticum de senectute misimus; in primisque, quoniam philosophia vir bonus efficitur et fortis, Cato noster in horum librorum numero ponendus est. 2.14. Atqui ne illa quidem divitis esse dicebas, ventos aut imbres inpendentes quibusdam praesentire signis (in quo nostra quaedam Aratea memoriter a te pronuntiata sunt), etsi haec ipsa fortuita sunt; plerumque enim, non semper eveniunt. Quae est igitur aut ubi versatur fortuitarum rerum praesensio, quam divinationem vocas? Quae enim praesentiri aut arte aut ratione aut usu aut coniectura possunt, ea non divinis tribuenda putas, sed peritis. Ita relinquitur, ut ea fortuita divinari possint, quae nulla nec arte nec sapientia provideri possunt; ut, si quis M. Marcellum illum, qui ter consul fuit, multis annis ante dixisset naufragio esse periturum, divinasset profecto; nulla enim arte alia id nec sapientia scire potuisset. Talium ergo rerum, quae in fortuna positae sunt, praesensio divinatio est. 2.33. Haec observari certe non potuerunt, ut supra docui. Sunt igitur artis inventa, non vetustatis, si est ars ulla rerum incognitarum; cum rerum autem natura quam cognationem habent? quae ut uno consensu iuncta sit et continens, quod video placuisse physicis, eisque maxume, qui omne, quod esset, unum esse dixerunt, quid habere mundus potest cum thesauri inventione coniunctum? Si enim extis pecuniae mihi amplificatio ostenditur idque fit natura, primum exta sunt coniuncta mundo, deinde meum lucrum natura rerum continetur. Nonne pudet physicos haec dicere? Ut enim iam sit aliqua in natura rerum contagio, quam esse concedo (multa enim Stoici colligunt; nam et musculorum iecuscula bruma dicuntur augeri, et puleium aridum florescere brumali ipso die, et inflatas rumpi vesiculas, et semina malorum, quae in iis mediis inclusa sint, in contrarias partis se vertere, iam nervos in fidibus aliis pulsis resonare alios, ostreisque et conchyliis omnibus contingere, ut cum luna pariter crescant pariterque decrescant, arboresque ut hiemali tempore cum luna simul senescente, quia tum exsiccatae sint, tempestive caedi putentur. 2.50. conceptio contra naturam fortasse, sed partus prope necessarius. Sed quid plura? ortum videamus haruspicinae; sic facillume, quid habeat auctoritatis, iudicabimus. Tages quidam dicitur in agro Tarquiniensi, cum terra araretur et sulcus altius esset impressus, extitisse repente et eum adfatus esse, qui arabat. Is autem Tages, ut in libris est Etruscorum, puerili specie dicitur visus, sed senili fuisse prudentia. Eius adspectu cum obstipuisset bubulcus clamoremque maiorem cum admiratione edidisset, concursum esse factum, totamque brevi tempore in eum locum Etruriam convenisse; tum illum plura locutum multis audientibus, qui omnia verba eius exceperint litterisque mandarint; omnem autem orationem fuisse eam, qua haruspicinae disciplina contineretur; eam postea crevisse rebus novis cognoscendis et ad eadem illa principia referendis. Haec accepimus ab ipsis, haec scripta conservant, hunc fontem habent disciplinae. 2.124. Sed haec quoque in promptu fuerint; nunc interiora videamus. Aut enim divina vis quaedam consulens nobis somniorum significationes facit, aut coniectores ex quadam convenientia et coniunctione naturae, quam vocant sumpa/qeian, quid cuique rei conveniat ex somniis, et quid quamque rem sequatur, intellegunt, aut eorum neutrum est, sed quaedam observatio constans atque diuturna est, cum quid visum secundum quietem sit, quid evenire et quid sequi soleat. Primum igitur intellegendum est nullam vim esse divinam effectricem somniorum. Atque illud quidem perspicuum est, nulla visa somniorum proficisci a numine deorum; nostra enim causa di id facerent, ut providere futura possemus. 2.126. Illud etiam requiro, cur, si deus ista visa nobis providendi causa dat, non vigilantibus potius det quam dormientibus. Sive enim externus et adventicius pulsus animos dormientium commovet, sive per se ipsi animi moventur, sive quae causa alia est, cur secundum quietem aliquid videre, audire, agere videamur, eadem causa vigilantibus esse poterat; idque si nostra causa di secundum quietem facerent, vigilantibus idem facerent, praesertim cum Chrysippus Academicos refellens permulto clariora et certiora esse dicat, quae vigilantibus videantur, quam quae somniantibus. Fuit igitur divina beneficentia dignius, cum consulerent nobis, clariora visa dare vigilanti quam obscuriora per somnum. Quod quoniam non fit, somnia divina putanda non sunt. 2.130. Chrysippus quidem divinationem definit his verbis: vim cognoscentem et videntem et explicantem signa, quae a dis hominibus portendantur; officium autem esse eius praenoscere, dei erga homines mente qua sint quidque significent, quem ad modumque ea procurentur atque expientur. Idemque somniorum coniectionem definit hoc modo: esse vim cernentem et explatem, quae a dis hominibus significentur in somnis. Quid ergo? ad haec mediocri opus est prudentia an et ingenio praestanti et eruditione perfecta? Talem autem cognovimus neminem. 1.8. This subject has been discussed by me frequently on other occasions, but with somewhat more than ordinary care when my brother Quintus and I were together recently at my Tusculan villa. For the sake of a stroll we had gone to the Lyceum which is the name of my upper gymnasium, when Quintus remarked:I have just finished a careful reading of the third book of your treatise, On the Nature of the Gods, containing Cottas discussion, which, though it has shaken my views of religion, has not overthrown them entirely.Very good, said I; for Cottas argument is intended rather to refute the arguments of the Stoics than to destroy mans faith in religion.Quintus then replied: Cotta says the very same thing, and says it repeatedly, in order, as I think, not to appear to violate the commonly accepted canons of belief; yet it seems to me that, in his zeal to confute the Stoics, he utterly demolishes the gods. 1.8. It often happens, too, that the soul is violently stirred by the sight of some object, or by the deep tone of a voice, or by singing. Frequently anxiety or fear will have that effect, as it did in the case of Hesione, whoDid rave like one by Bacchic rites made madAnd mid the tombs her Teucer called aloud.[37] And poetic inspiration also proves that there is a divine power within the human soul. Democritus says that no one can be a great poet without being in a state of frenzy, and Plato says the same thing. Let Plato call it frenzy if he will, provided he praises it as it was praised in his Phaedrus. And what about your own speeches in law suits. Can the delivery of you lawyers be impassioned, weighty, and fluent unless your soul is deeply stirred? Upon my word, many a time have I seen in you such passion of look and gesture that I thought some power was rendering you unconscious of what you did; and, if I may cite a less striking example, I have seen the same in your friend Aesopus. 1.9. However, I am really at no loss for a reply to his reasoning; for in the second book Lucilius has made an adequate defence of religion and his argument, as you yourself state at the end of the third book, seemed to you nearer to the truth than Cottas. But there is a question which you passed over in those books because, no doubt, you thought it more expedient to inquire into it in a separate discussion: I refer to divination, which is the foreseeing and foretelling of events considered as happening by chance. Now let us see, if you will, what efficacy it has and what its nature is. My own opinion is that, if the kinds of divination which we have inherited from our forefathers and now practise are trustworthy, then there are gods and, conversely, if there are gods then there are men who have the power of divination. [6] 1.9. Nor is the practice of divination disregarded even among uncivilized tribes, if indeed there are Druids in Gaul — and there are, for I knew one of them myself, Divitiacus, the Aeduan, your guest and eulogist. He claimed to have that knowledge of nature which the Greeks call physiologia, and he used to make predictions, sometimes by means of augury and sometimes by means of conjecture. Among the Persians the augurs and diviners are the magi, who assemble regularly in a sacred place for practice and consultation, just as formerly you augurs used to do on the Nones. 1.117. Now there is a great problem as to how prophets and dreamers can see things, which, at the time, have no actual existence anywhere. But that question would be solved quite readily if we were to investigate certain other questions which demand consideration first. For the theory in regard to the nature of the gods, so clearly developed in the second book of your work on that subject, includes this whole question. If we maintain that theory we shall establish the very point which I am trying to make: namely, that there are gods; that they rule the universe by their foresight; and that they direct the affairs of men — not merely of men in the mass, but of each individual. If we succeed in holding that position — and for my part I think it impregnable — then surely it must follow that the gods give to men signs of coming events. [52] 2.3. After publishing the works mentioned I finished three volumes On the Nature of the Gods, which contain a discussion of every question under that head. With a view of simplifying and extending the latter treatise I started to write the present volume On Divination, to which I plan to add a work on Fate; when that is done every phase of this particular branch of philosophy will be sufficiently discussed. To this list of works must be added the six volumes which I wrote while holding the helm of state, entitled On the Republic — a weighty subject, appropriate for philosophic discussion, and one which has been most elaborately treated by Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and the entire peripatetic school. What need is there to say anything of my treatise On Consolation? For it is the source of very great comfort to me and will, I think, be of much help to others. I have also recently thrown in that book On Old Age, which I sent my friend Atticus; and, since it is by philosophy that a man is made virtuous and strong, my Cato is especially worthy of a place among the foregoing books. 2.3. Nevertheless Democritus jests rather prettily for a natural philosopher — and there is no more arrogant class — when he says:No one regards the things before his feet,But views with care the regions of the sky.And yet Democritus gives his approval to divination by means of entrails only to the extent of believing that their condition and colour indicate whether hay and other crops will be abundant or the reverse, and he even thinks that the entrails give signs of future health or sickness. O happy mortal! He never failed to have his joke — that is absolutely certain. But was he so amused with petty trifles as to fail to see that his theory would be plausible only on the assumption that the entrails of all cattle changed to the same colour and condition at the same time? But if at the same instant the liver of one ox is smooth and full and that of another is rough and shrunken, what inference can be drawn from the condition and colour of the entrails? 2.14. And you went on to say that even the foreknowledge of impending storms and rains by means of certain signs was not divination, and, in that connexion, you quoted a number of verses from my translation of Aratus. Yet such coincidences happen by chance, for though they happen frequently they do not happen always. What, then, is this thing you call divination — this foreknowledge of things that happen by chance — and where is it employed? You think that whatever can be foreknown by means of science, reason, experience, or conjecture is to be referred, not to diviners, but to experts. It follows, therefore, that divination of things that happen by chance is possible only of things which cannot be foreseen by means of skill or wisdom. Hence, if someone had declared many years in advance that the famous Marcus Marcellus, who was consul three times, would perish in a shipwreck, this, by your definition, undoubtedly would have been a case of divination, since that calamity could not have been foreseen by means of any other skill or by wisdom. That is why you say that divination is the foreknowledge of such things as depend upon chance. [6] 2.14. When the soul itself is weakened and relaxed many such sights and sounds, you may be sure, are seen and heard in all manner of confusion and diversity. Then especially do the remts of our waking thoughts and deeds move and stir within the soul. For example, in the time of my banishment Marius was often in my mind as I recalled with what great fortitude and courage he had borne his own heavy misfortunes, and this I think is the reason why I dreamed about him.[68] As for your dream, it occurred while you were thinking and worrying about me and then you had the vision of me as I suddenly arose from the river. For in the souls of us both were traces of our waking thoughts, but with some added features, of course: as, for example, my dreaming of Mariuss monument and your dreaming that the horse on which I rode sank with me and then reappeared. 2.33. Such signs, as I have shown before, certainly could not come within your classification of the kinds of divination dependent on observation. Therefore they are not the result of immemorial usage, but they are the inventions of art — if there can be any art in the occult. But what relationship have they with the laws of nature? Assuming that all the works of nature are firmly bound together in a harmonious whole (which, I observe, is the view of the natural philosophers and especially of those men who maintain that the universe is a unit), what connexion can there be between the universe and the finding of a treasure? For instance, if the entrails foretell an increase in my fortune and they do so in accordance with some law of nature, then, in the first place, there is some relationship between them and the universe, and in the second place, my ficial gain is regulated by the laws of nature. Are not the natural philosophers ashamed to utter such nonsense? And yet a certain contact between the different parts of nature may be admitted and I concede it. The Stoics have collected much evidence to prove it. They claim, for example, that the livers of mice become larger in winter; that the dry pennyroyal blooms the very day of the winter solstice, and that its seed-pods become inflated and burst and the seeds enclosed thither are sent in various directions; that at times when certain strings of the lyre are struck others sound; that it is the habit of oysters and of all shell-fish to grow with the growth of the moon and to become smaller as it wanes; and that trees are considered easiest to cut down in winter and in the dark of the moon, because they are then free from sap. 2.124. But, though the conclusion just stated is obvious, let us now look deeper into the question. Surely you must assume, either that there is a Divine Power which, in planning for our good, gives us information by means of dreams; or that, because of some natural connexion and association — the Greeks call it συμπάθεια — interpreters of dreams know what sort of a dream is required to fit any situation and what sort of a result will follow any dream; or that neither of these suppositions is true, but that the usual result or consequence of every dream is known by a consistent system of rules based on long-continued observation. In the first place, then, it must be understood that there is no divine power which creates dreams. And indeed it is perfectly clear that none of the visions seen in dreams have their origin in the will of the gods; for the gods, for our sakes, would so interpose that we might be able to foresee the future. 2.126. I also ask, if God gives us these visions as forewarnings, why does he not give them to us when we are awake rather than when we are asleep? For, whether our souls in sleep are impelled by some external and foreign force; or whether they are self-moved; or whether there is some other cause why, during sleep, we imagine ourselves seeing or hearing, or doing certain things — whatever the cause, it would apply just as well when we are awake. If the gods did send us warnings in our sleep and for our good they would do the same for us when we are awake, especially since, as Chrysippus says in replying to the Academicians, appearances seen when we are awake are much more distinct and trustworthy than those seen in dreams. It would, therefore, have been more in keeping with the beneficence of gods, in consulting for our good, to send us clear visions in our waking moments rather than unintelligible ones in our dreams. But since that is not the case, dreams ought not to be held divine.
4. Cicero, On Fate, 34, 9, 31 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.2, 1.23, 2.3-2.22, 2.29, 2.45-2.49, 2.51, 2.54, 2.56-2.79, 2.81-2.161, 2.163-2.168, 3.15, 3.17, 3.42-3.45, 3.51-3.61, 3.65, 3.89, 3.92, 3.95 (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. 1.23. Or 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; 2.3. Even if I had any clear view, I should still prefer to hear you speak in your turn, now that I have said so much myself." "Well," replied Balbus, "I will yield to your wish; and I shall be as brief as I can, for indeed when the errors of Epicurus have been refuted, my argument is robbed of all occasion for prolixity. To take a general view, the topic of the immortal gods which you raise is divided by our school into four parts: first they prove that the gods exist; next they explain their nature; then they show that the world is governed by them; and lastly that they care for the fortunes of mankind. In our present discourse however let us take the first two of these heads; the third and fourth, being questions of greater magnitude, had better I think be put off to another time." "No, no," cried Cotta, "we are at leisure now, and moreover the subjects which we are discussing might fitly claim precedence even of matters of business. 2.4. The first point," resumed Lucilius, "seems not even to require arguing. For when we gaze upward to the sky and contemplate the heavenly bodies, what can be so obvious and so manifest as that there must exist some power possessing transcendent intelligence by whom these things are ruled? Were it not so, how comes it that the words of Ennius carry conviction to all readers — Behold this dazzling vault of heaven, which all mankind as Jove invoke, ay, and not only as Jove but as sovereign of the world, ruling all things with his nod, and as Ennius likewise says — father of gods and men, a deity omnipresent and omnipotent? If a man doubts this, I really cannot see why he should not also be capable of doubting the existence of the sun; 2.5. how is the latter fact more evident than the former? Nothing but the presence in our minds of a firmly grasped concept of the deity could account for the stability and permanence of our belief in him, a belief which is only strengthened by the passage of the ages and grows more deeply rooted with each successive generation of mankind. In every other case we see that fictitious and unfounded opinions have dwindled away with lapse of time. Who believes that the Hippocentaur or the Chimaera ever existed? Where can you find an old wife senseless enough to be afraid of the monsters of the lower world that were once believed in? The years obliterate the inventions of the imagination, but confirm the judgements of nature. "Hence both in our own nation and among all others reverence for the gods and respect for religion grow continually stronger and more profound. 2.6. Nor is this unaccountable or accidental; it is the result, firstly, of the fact that the gods often manifest their power in bodily presence. For instance in the Latin War, at the critical battle of Lake Regillus between the dictator Aulus Postumius and Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, Castor and Pollux were seen fighting on horseback in our ranks. And in more modern history likewise these sons of Tyndareus brought the news of the defeat of Perses. What happened was that Publius Vatinius, the grandfather of our young contemporary, was returning to Rome by night from Reate, of which he was governor, when he was informed by two young warriors on white horses that King Perses had that very day been taken prisoner. When Vatinius carried the news to the Senate, at first he was flung into gaol on the charge of spreading an unfounded report on a matter of national concern; but afterwards a dispatch arrived from Paulus, and the date was found to tally, so the Senate bestowed upon Vatinius both a grant of land and exemption from military service. It is also recorded in history that when the Locrians won their great victory over the people of Crotona at the important battle of the River Sagra, news of the engagement was reported at the Olympic Games on the very same day. often has the sound of the voices of the Fauns, often has the apparition of a divine form compelled anyone that is not either feeble-minded or impious to admit the real presence of the gods. 2.7. Again, prophecies and premonitions of future events cannot but be taken as proofs that the future may appear or be foretold as a warning or portended or predicted to mankind — hence the very words 'apparition,' 'warning,' 'portent,' 'prodigy.' Even if we think that the stories of Mopsus, Tiresias, Amphiaraus, Calchas and Helenus are mere baseless fictions of romance (though their powers of divination would not even have been incorporated in the legends had they been entirely repugt to fact), shall not even the instances from our own native history teach us to acknowledge the divine power? shall we be unmoved by the story of the recklessness of Publius Claudius in the first Punic War? Claudius merely in jest mocked at the gods: when the chickens on being released from their cage refused to feed, he ordered them to be thrown into the water, so that as they would not eat they might drink; but the joke cost the jester himself many tears and the Roman people a great disaster, for the fleet was severely defeated. Moreover did not his colleague Junius during the same war lose his fleet in a storm after failing to comply with the auspices? In consequence of these disasters Claudius was tried and condemned for high treason and Junius committed suicide. 2.8. Caelius writes that Gaius Flaminius after ignoring the claims of religion fell at the battle of Trasimene, when a serious blow was inflicted on the state. The fate of these men may serve to indicate that our empire was won by those commanders who obeyed the dictates of religion. Moreover if we care to compare our national characteristics with those of foreign peoples, we shall find that, while in all other respects we are only the equals or even the inferiors of others, yet in the sense of religion, that is, in reverence for the gods, we are far superior. 2.9. Or are we to make light of the famous augural staff of Attus Navius, wherewith he marked out the vineyard into sections for the purpose of discovering the pig? I would agree that we might do so, had not King Hostilius fought great and glorious wars under the guidance of Attus's augury. But owing to the carelessness of our nobility the augural lore has been forgotten, and the reality of the auspices has fallen into contempt, only the outward show being retained; and in consequence highly important departments of public administration, and in particular the conduct of wars upon which the safety of the state depends, are carried on without any auspices at all; no taking of omens when crossing rivers, none when lights flash from the points of the javelins, none when men are called to arms (owing to which wills made on active service have gone out of existence, since our generals only enter on their military command when they have laid down their augural powers). 2.10. But among our ancestors religion was so powerful that some commanders actually offered themselves as victims to the immortal gods on behalf of the state, veiling their heads and formally vowing themselves to death. I could quote numerous passages from the Sibylline prophecies and from the oracles of soothsayers in confirmation of facts that no one really ought to question. Why, in the consulship of Publius Scipio and Gaius Figulus both our Roman augural lore and that of the Etruscan soothsayers were confirmed by the evidence of actual fact. Tiberius Gracchus, then consul for the second time, was holding the election of his successors. The first returning officer in the very act of reporting the persons named as elected suddenly fell dead. Gracchus nevertheless proceeded with the election. Perceiving that the scruples of the public had been aroused by the occurrence, he referred the matter to the Senate. The Senate voted that it be referred 'to the customary officials.' Soothsayers were sent for, and pronounced that the returning officer for the elections had not been in order. 2.11. Thereupon Gracchus, so my father used to tell me, burst into a rage. 'How now?' he cried, 'was I not in order? I put the names to the vote as consul, as augur, and with auspices taken. Who are you, Tuscan barbarians, to know the Roman constitution, and to be able to lay down the law as to our elections?' And accordingly he then sent them about their business. Afterwards however he sent a dispatch from his province to the College of Augurs to say that while reading the sacred books it had come to his mind that there had been an irregularity when he took Scipio's park as the site for his augural tent, for he had subsequently entered the city bounds to hold a meeting of the Senate and when crossing the bounds again on his return had forgotten to take the auspices; and that therefore the consuls had not been duly elected. The College of Augurs referred the matter to the senate; the Senate decided that the consuls must resign; they did so. What more striking instances can we demand? A man of the greatest wisdom and I may say unrivalled distinction of character preferred to make public confession of an offence that he might have concealed rather than that the stain of impiety should cling to the commonwealth; the consuls preferred to retire on the spot from the highest office of the state rather than hold it for one moment of time in violation of religion. 2.12. The augur's office is one of high dignity; surely the soothsayer's art also is divinely inspired. Is not one who considers these and countless similar facts compelled to admit that the gods exist? If there be persons who interpret the will of certain beings, it follows that those beings must themselves exist; but there are persons who interpret the will of the gods; therefore we must admit that the gods exist. But perhaps it may be argued that not all prophecies come true. Nor do all sick persons get well, but that does not prove that there is no art of medicine. Signs of future events are manifested by the gods; men may have mistaken these signs, but the fault lay with man's powers of inference, not with the divine nature. "Hence the main issue is agreed among all men of all nations, inasmuch as all have engraved in their minds an innate belief that the gods exist. 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. 2.20. When one expounds these doctrines in a fuller and more flowing style, as I propose to do, it is easier for them to evade the captious objections of the Academy; but when they are reduced to brief syllogistic form, as was the practice of Zeno, they lie more open to criticism. A running river can almost or quite entirely escape pollution, whereas an enclosed pool is easily sullied; similarly a flowing stream of eloquence sweeps aside the censures of the critic, but a closely reasoned argument defends itself with difficult. The thoughts that we expound at length Zeno used to compress into this form: 2.21. 'That which has the faculty of reason is superior to that which has not the faculty of reason; but nothing is superior to the world; therefore the world has the faculty of reason.' A similar argument can be used to prove that the world is wise, and happy, and eternal; for things possessed of each of these attributes are superior to things devoid of them, and nothing is superior to the world. From this it will follow that the world is god. Zeno also argued thus: 2.22. 'Nothing devoid of sensation can have a part of itself that is sentient; but the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world has parts that are sentient; therefore the world is not devoid of sensation.' He also proceeds to press the argument more closely: 'Nothing,' he says, 'that is iimate and irrational can give birth to an animate and rational being; but the world gives birth to animate and rational beings; therefore the world is animate and rational.' Furthermore he proved his argument by means of one of his favourite comparisons, as follows: 'If flutes playing musical tunes grew on an olive-tree, surely you would not question that the olive-tree possessed some knowledge of the art of flute-playing; or if plane-trees bore well-tuned lutes, doubtless you would likewise infer that the plane-trees possessed the art of music; why then should we not judge the world to be animate and endowed with wisdom, when it produces animate and wise offspring? 2.29. There is therefore an element that holds the whole world together and preserves it, and this an element possessed of sensation and reason; since every natural object that is not a homogeneous and simple substance but a complex and composite one must contain within it some ruling principle, for example in man the intelligence, in the lower animals something resembling intelligence that is the source of appetition. With trees and plants the ruling principle is believed to be located in the roots. I use the term 'ruling principle' as the equivalent of the Greek hēgemonikon, meaning that part of anything which must and ought to have supremacy in a thing of that sort. Thus it follows that the element which contains the ruling principle of the whole of nature must also be the most excellent of all things and the most deserving of authority and sovereignty over all things. 2.45. It remains for us to consider the qualities of the divine nature; and on this subject nothing is more difficult than to divert the eye of the mind from following the practice of bodily sight. This difficulty has caused both uneducated people generally and those philosophers who resemble the uneducated to be unable to conceive of the immortal gods without setting before themselves the form of men: a shallow mode of thought which Cotta has exposed and which therefore calls for no discussion from me. But assuming that we have a definite and preconceived idea of a deity as, first, a living being, and secondly, a being unsurpassed in excellence by anything else in the whole of nature, I can see nothing that satisfies this preconception or idea of ours more fully than, first, the judgement that this world, which must necessarily be the most excellent of all things, is itself a living being and a god. 2.46. Let Epicurus jest at this notion as he will — and he is a person who jokes with difficulty, and has but the slightest smack of his native Attic wit, — let him protest his inability to conceive of god as a round and rotating body. Nevertheless he will never dislodge me from one belief which even he himself accepts: he holds that gods exist, on the ground that there must necessarily be some mode of being of outstanding and supreme excellence; now clearly nothing can be more excellent than the world. Nor can it be doubted that a living being endowed with sensation, reason and intelligence must excel a being devoid of those attributes; 2.47. hence it follows that the world is a living being and possesses sensation, intelligence and reason; and this argument leads to the conclusion that the world is god. "But these points will appear more readily a little later merely from a consideration of the creatures that the world produces. In the meantime, pray, Velleius, do not parade your school's utter ignorance of science. You say that you think a cone, a cylinder and a pyramid more beautiful than a sphere. Why, even in matters of taste you Epicureans have a criterion of your own! However, assuming that the figures which you mention are more beautiful to the eye — though for my part I don't think them so, for what can be more beautiful than the figure that encircles and encloses in itself all other figures, and that can possess no roughness or point of collision on its defence, no indentation of the concavity, no protuberance or depression? There are two forms that excel all others, among solid bodies the globe (for so we may translate the Greek sphaera), and among plane figures the round or circle, the Greek kyklos; well then, these two forms alone possess the property of absolute uniformity in all their parts and of having every point on the circumference equidistant from the centre; and nothing can be more compact than that. 2.48. Still, if you Epicureans cannot see this, as you have never meddled with that learned dust, could you not have grasped even so much of natural philosophy as to understand that the uniform motion and regular disposition of the heavenly bodies could not have been maintained with any other shape? Hence nothing could be more unscientific than your favourite assertion, that it is not certain that our world itself is round, since it may possibly have some other form, and there are countless numbers of worlds, all of different shapes. 2.49. Had but Epicurus learnt that twice two are four he certainly would not talk like that; but while making his palate the test of the chief good, he forgets to lift up his eyes to what Ennius calls 'the palate of the sky.' "For there are two kinds of heavenly bodies, some that travel from east to west in unchanging paths, without ever making the slightest deviation in their course, while the others perform two unbroken revolutions in the same paths and courses. Now both of these facts indicate at once the rotatory motion of the firmament, which is only possible with a spherical shape, and the circular revolutions of the heavenly bodies. "Take first of all the sun, which is the chief of the celestial bodies. Its motion is such that it first fills the countries of the earth with a flood of light, and then leaves them in darkness now on one side and now on the other; for night is caused merely by the shadow of the earth, which intercepts the light of the sun. Its daily and nightly paths have the same regularity. Also the sun by at one time slightly approaching and at another time slightly receding causes a moderate variation of temperature. For the passage of about ¼ diurnal revolutions of the sun completes the circuit of a year; and by bending its course now towards the north and now towards the south the sun causes summers and winters and the two seasons of which one follows the waning of winter and the other that of summer. Thus from the changes of the four seasons are derived the origins and causes of all those creatures which come into existence on land and in the sea. 2.51. Most marvellous are the motions of the five stars, falsely called planets or wandering stars — for a thing cannot be said to wander if it preserves for all eternity fixed and regular motions, forward, backward and in other directions. And this regularity is all the more marvellous in the case of the stars we speak of, because at one time they are hidden and at another they are uncovered again; now they approach, now retire; now precede, now follow; now move faster, now slower, now do not move at all but remain for a time stationary. On the diverse moons of the planets the mathematicians have based what they call the Great Year, which is completed when the sun, moon and five planets having all finished their courses have returned to the same positions relative to one another. 2.54. This regularity therefore in the stars, this exact punctuality throughout all eternity notwithstanding the great variety of their courses, is to me incomprehensible without rational intelligence and purpose. And if we observe these attributes in the planets, we cannot fail to enrol even them among the number of the gods. "Moreover the so‑called fixed stars also indicate the same intelligence and wisdom. Their revolutions recur daily with exact regularity. It is not the case that they are carried along by the aether or that their courses are fixed in the firmament, as most people ignorant of natural philosophy aver; for the aether is not of such a nature as to hold the stars and cause them to revolve by its own force, since being rare and translucent and of uniform diffused heat, the aether does not appear to be well adapted to contain the stars. 2.56. In the heavens therefore there is nothing of chance or hazard, no error, no frustration, but absolute order, accuracy, calculation and regularity. whatever lacks these qualities, whatever is false and spurious and full of error, belongs to the region between the earth and the moon (the last of the heavenly bodies), and to the surface of the earth. Anyone therefore who thinks that the marvellous order and incredible regularity of the heavenly bodies, which is the sole source of preservation and safety for all things, is not rational, himself cannot be deemed a rational thing. 2.57. I therefore believe that I shall not be wrong if in discussing this subject I take my first principle from the prince of seekers after truth, Zeno himself. Now Zeno gives this definition of nature: 'nature (he says) is a craftsmanlike fire, proceeding methodically to the work of generation.' For he holds that the special function of an art or craft is to create and generate, and that what in the processes of our arts is done by the hand is done with far more skilful craftsmanship by nature, that is, as I said, by that 'craftsmanlike' fire which is the teacher of the other arts. And on this theory, while each department of nature is 'craftsmanlike,' in the sense of having a method or path marked out for it to follow 2.58. the nature of the world itself, which encloses and contains all things in its embrace, is styled by Zeno not merely 'craftsmanlike' but actually 'a craftsman,' whose foresight plans out the work to serve its use and purpose in every detail. And as the other natural substances are generated, reared and sustained each by its own seeds, so the world-nature experiences all those motions of the will, those impulses of conation and desire, that the Greeks call hormae, and follows these up with the appropriate actions in the same way as do we ourselves, who experience emotions and sensations. Such being the nature of the world-mind, it can therefore correctly be designated as prudence or providence (for in Greek it is termed pronoia); and this providence is chiefly directed and concentrated upon three objects, namely to secure for the world, first, the structure best fitted for survival; next, absolute completeness; but chiefly, consummate beauty and embellishment of every kind. 2.59. We have discussed the world as a whole, and we have also discussed the heavenly bodies; so that there now stands fairly well revealed to our view a vast company of gods who are neither idle nor yet perform their activities with irksome and laborious toil. For they have no framework of veins and sinews and bones; nor do they consume such kinds of food and drink as to make them contract too sharp or too sluggish a condition of the humours; nor are their bodies such as to make them fear falls or blows or apprehend disease from exhaustion of their members — dangers which led Epicurus to invent his unsubstantial, do‑nothing gods. 2.60. On the contrary, they are endowed with supreme beauty of form, they are situated in the purest region of the sky, and they so control their motions and courses as to seem to be conspiring together to preserve and to protect the universe. "Many other divinities however have with good reason been recognized and named both by the wisest men of Greece and by our ancestors from the great benefits that they bestow. For it was thought that whatever confers great utility on the human race must be due to the operation of divine benevolence towards men. Thus sometimes a thing sprung from a god was called by the name of the god himself; as when we speak of corn as Ceres, of wine as Liber, so that Terence writes: when Ceres and when Liber fail, Venus is cold. 2.61. In other cases some exceptionally potent force is itself designated by a title of convey, for example Faith and Mind; we see the shrines on the Capitol lately dedicated to them both by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, and Faith had previously been deified by Aulus Atilius Calatinus. You see the temple of Virtue, restored as the temple of Honour by Marcus Marcellus, but founded many years before by Quintus Maximus in the time of the Ligurian war. Again, there are the temples of Wealth, Safety, Concord, Liberty and Victory, all of which things, being so powerful as necessarily to imply divine goverce, were themselves designated as gods. In the same class the names of Desire, Pleasure and Venus Lubentina have been deified — things vicious and unnatural (although Velleius thinks otherwise), yet the urge of these vices often overpowers natural instinct. 2.62. Those gods therefore who were the authors of various benefits owned their deification to the value of the benefits which they bestowed, and indeed the names that I just now enumerated express the various powers of the gods that bear them. "Human experience moreover and general custom have made it a practice to confer the deification of renown and gratitude upon of distinguished benefactors. This is the origin of Hercules, of Castor and Pollux, of Aesculapius, and also of Liber (I mean Liber the son of Semele, not the Liber whom our ancestors solemnly and devoutly consecrated with Ceres and Libera, the import of which joint consecration may be gathered from the mysteries; but Liber and Libera were so named as Ceres' offspring, that being the meaning of our Latin word liberi — a use which has survived in the case of Libera but not of Liber) — and this is also the origin of Romulus, who is believed to be the same as Quirinus. And these benefactors were duly deemed divine, as being both supremely good and immortal, because their souls survived and enjoyed eternal life. 2.63. Another theory also, and that a scientific one, has been the source of a number of deities, who clad in human form have furnished the poets legends and have filled man's life with superstitions of all sorts. This subject was handled by Zeno and was later explained more fully by Cleanthes and Chrysippus. For example, an ancient belief prevailed throughout Greece that Caelus was mutilated by his son Saturn, and Saturn himself thrown into bondage by his son Jove: 2.64. now these immoral fables enshrined a decidedly clever scientific theory. Their meaning was that the highest element of celestial ether or fire, which by itself generates all things, is devoid of that bodily part which requires union with another for the work of procreation. By Saturn again they denoted that being who maintains the course and revolution of seasons and periods of time, et deity actually so designated in Greek, for Saturn's Greek name is Kronos, which is the same as chronos, a space of time. The Latin designation 'Saturn' on the other hand is due to the fact that he is 'saturated' or 'satiated with years' (anni); the fable is that he was in the habit of devouring his sons — meaning that Time devours the ages and gorges himself insatiably with the years that are past. Saturn was bound by Jove in order that Time's courses might not be unlimited, and that Jove might fetter him by the bonds of the stars. But Jupiter himself — the name means 'the helping father,' whom with a change of inflexion we style Jove, from iuvare 'to help'; the poets call him 'father of gods and men,' and our ancestors entitled him 'best and greatest,' putting the title 'best,' that is most beneficent, before that of 'greatest,' because universal beneficence is greater, or at least more lovable, than the possession of great wealth — 2.65. it is he then who is addressed by Ennius in the following terms, as I said before: Behold this dazzling vault of heaven, which all mankind as Jove invoke — more explicitly than in another passage of the same poet: Now by whatever pow'r it be that sheds This light of day, I'll lay my curse upon him! It is he also whom our augurs mean by their formula 'should Jove lighten and thunder,' meaning 'should the sky lighten and thunder.' Euripides among many fine passages has this brief invocation: Thou seest the boundless aether's spreading vault, Whose soft embrace encompasseth the earth: This deem though god of gods, the supreme Jove. 2.66. The air, lying between the sea and sky, is according to the Stoic theory deified under the name belonging to Juno, sister and wife of Jove, because it resembles and is closely connected with the aether; they made it female and assigned it to Juno because of its extreme softness. (The name of Juno however I believe to be derived from iuvare 'to help'). There remained water and earth, to complete the fabled partition of the three kingdoms. Accordingly the second kingdom, the entire realm of the sea, was assigned to Neptune, Jove's brother as they hold; his name is derived from nare 'to swim,' with a slight alteration of the earlier letters and with the suffix seen in Portunus (the harbour god), derived from portus 'a harbour.' The entire bulk and substance of the earth was dedicated to father Dis (that is, Dives, 'the rich,' and so in Greek Plouton), because all things fall back into the earth and also arise from the earth. He is said to have married Proserpina (really a Greek name, for she is the same as the goddess called Persephone in Greek) — they think that she represents the seed of corn, and fable that she was hidden away, and sought for by her mother. 2.67. The mother is Ceres, a corruption of 'Geres,' from gero, because she bears the crops; the same accidental change of the first letter is also seen in her Greek name Dēmētēr, a corruption of gē mētēr ('mother earth'). Mavors again is from magna vertere, 'the overturner of the great,' while Minerva is either 'she who minishes' or 'she who is minatory.' Also, as the beginning and the end are the most important parts of all affairs, they held that Janus is the leader in a sacrifice, the name being derived from ire ('to go'), hence the names jani for archways and januae for the front doors of secular buildings. Again, the name Vesta comes from the Greeks, for she is the goddess whom they call Hestia. Her power extends over altars and hearths, and therefore all prayers and all sacrifices end with this goddess, because she is the guardian of the innermost things. 2.68. Closely related to this function are the Penates or household gods, a name derived either from penus, which means a store of human food of any kind, or from the fact that they reside penitus, in the recesses of the house, owing to which they are also called penetrales by the poets. The name Apollo again is Greek; they say that he is the sun, and Diana they identify with the moon; the word sol being from solus, either because the sun 'alone' of all the heavenly bodies is of that magnitude, or because when the sun rises all the stars are dimmed and it 'alone' is visible; while the name Luna is derived from lucere 'to shine'; for it is the same word as Lucina, and therefore in our country Juno Lucina is invoked in childbirth, as is Diana in her manifestation as Lucifera (the light-bringer) among the Greeks. She is also called Diana Omnivaga (wide-wandering), not from her hunting, but because she is counted one of the seven planets or 'wanderers' (vagari). 2.69. She was called Diana because she made a sort of day in the night-time. She is invoked to assist at birth of children, because the period of gestation is either occasionally seven, or more usually nine, lunar revolutions, and these are called menses (months), because they cover measured (mensa) spaces. Timaeus in his history with his usual aptness adds to his account of the burning of the temple of Diana of Ephesus on the night on which Alexander was born the remark that this need cause no surprise, since Diana was away from home, wishing to be present when Olympias was brought to bed. Venus was so named by our countrymen as the goddess who 'comes' (venire) to all things; her name is not derived from the word venustas (beauty) but rather venustas from it. 2.70. Do you see therefore how from a true and valuable philosophy of nature has been evolved this imaginary and fanciful pantheon? The perversion has been a fruitful source of false beliefs, crazy errors and superstitions hardly above the level of old wives' tales. We know what the gods look like and how old they are, their dress and their equipment, and also their genealogies, marriages and relationships, and all about them is distorted into the likeness of human frailty. They are actually represented as liable to passions and emotions — we hear of their being in love, sorrowful, angry; according to the myths they even engage in wars and battles, and that not only when as in Homer two armies and contending and the gods take sides and intervene on their behalf, but they actually fought wars of their own, for instance with the Titans and with the Giants. These stories and these beliefs are utterly foolish; they are stuffed with nonsense and absurdity of all sorts. 2.71. But though repudiating these myths with contempt, we shall nevertheless be able to understand the personality and the nature of the divinities pervading the substance of the several elements, Ceres permeating earth, Neptune the sea, and so on; and it is our duty to revere and worship these gods under the names which custom has bestowed upon them. But the best and also the purest, holiest and most pious way of worshipping the gods si ever to venerate them with purity, sincerity and innocence both of thought and of speech. For religion has been distinguished from superstition not only by philosophers but by our ancestors. 2.72. Persons who spent whole days in prayer and sacrifice to ensure that their children should outlive them were termed 'superstitious' (from superstes, a survivor), and the word later acquired a wider application. Those on the other hand who carefully reviewed and so to speak retraced all the lore of ritual were called 'religious' from relegere (to retrace or re‑read), like 'elegant' from eligere (to select), 'diligent' from diligere (to care for), 'intelligent' fromintellegere (to understand); for all these words contain the same sense of 'picking out' (legere) that is present in 'religious.' Hence 'superstitious' and 'religious' came to be terms of censure and approval respectively. I think that I have said enough to prove the existence of the gods and their nature. 2.73. Next I have to show that the world is governed by divine providence. This is of course a vast topic; the doctrine is hotly contested by your school, Cotta, and it is they no doubt that are my chief adversaries here. As for you and your friends, Velleius, you scarcely understand the vocabulary of the subject; for you only read your own writings, and are so enamoured of them that you pass judgement against all the other schools without giving them a hearing. For instance, you yourself told us yesterday that the Stoics present Pronoia or providence in the guise of an old hag of a fortune-teller; this was due to your mistaken notion that they imagine providence as a kind of special deity who rules and governs the universe. But as a matter of fact 'providence' is an elliptical expression; 2.74. when one says 'the Athenian state is ruled by the council,' the words 'of the Areopagus' are omitted: so when we speak of the world as governed by providence, you must understand the words 'of the gods' zzz conceive that the full and complete statement would be 'the world is governed by the providence of the gods.' So do not you and your friends waste your wit on making fun of us, — your tribe is none too well off for that commodity. Indeed if your school would take my advice you would give up all attempts at humour; it sits ill upon you, for it is not your forte and you can't bring it off. This does not, it is true, apply to you in particular, — you have the polished manners of your family and the urbanity of a Roman; but it does apply to all the rest of you, and especially to the parent of the system, an uncultivated, illiterate person, who tilts at everybody and is entirely devoid of penetration, authority or charm. 2.75. I therefore declare that the world and all its parts were set in order at the beginning and have been governed for all time by converse providence: a thesis which our school usually divides into three sections. The first is based on the argument proving that the gods exist; if this be granted, it must be admitted that the world is governed by their wisdom. The second proves that all things are under the sway of sentient nature, and that by it the universe is carried on in the most beautiful manner; and this proved, it follows that the universe was generated from living first causes. The third topic is the argument from the wonder that we feel at the marvel of creation, celestial and terrestrial. 2.76. In the first place therefore one must either deny the existence of the gods, which in a manner is done by Democritus when he represents them as 'apparitions' and by Epicurus with his 'images'; or anybody who admits that the gods exist must allow them activity, and activity of the most distinguished sort; now nothing can be more distinguished than the government of the world; therefore the world is governed by the wisdom of the gods. If this is not so, there must clearly be something better and more powerful than god, be it what it may, whether iimate nature or necessity speeding on with mighty force to create the supremely beautiful objects that we see; 2.77. in that case the nature of the gods is not superior to all else in power, inasmuch as it is subject to a necessity or nature that rules the sky, sea and land. But as a matter of fact nothing exists that is superior to god; it follows therefore that the world is ruled by him; therefore god is not obedient or subject to any form of nature, and therefore he himself rules all nature. In fact if we concede divine intelligence, we concede also divine providence, and providence exercised in things of the highest moment. Are then the gods ignorant what things are of the highest moment and how these are to be directed and upheld, or do they lack the strength to undertake and to perform duties so vast? But ignorance is foreign the time of divine nature, and weakness, with a consequent incapacity to perform one's office, in no way suits with the divine majesty. This proves our thesis that the world is governed by divine providence. 2.78. And yet from the fact of the gods' existence (assuming that they exist, as they certainly do) it necessarily follows that they are animate beings, and not only animate but possessed of reason and united together in a sort of social community or fellowship, ruling the one world as a united commonwealth or state. 2.79. It follows that they possess the same faculty of reason as the human race, and that both have the same apprehension of truth and the same law enjoining what is right and rejecting what is wrong. Hence we see that wisdom and intelligence also have been derived by men from the gods; and this explains why it was the practice of our ancestors to deify Mind, Faith, virtue and Concord, and to set up temples to them at the public charge, and how can we consistently deny that they exist with the gods, when we worship their majestic and holy images? And if mankind possesses intelligence, faith, virtue and concord, whence can these things have flowed down upon the earth if not from the powers above? Also since we possess wisdom, reason and prudence, the gods must needs possess them too in greater perfection, and not possess them merely but also exercise them upon matters of the greatest magnitude and value; 2.81. Next I have to show that all things are under the sway of nature and are carried on by her in the most excellent manner. But first I must briefly explain the meaning of the term 'nature' itself, to make our doctrine more easily intelligible. Some persons define nature as a non‑rational force that causes necessary motions in material bodies; others as a rational and ordered force, proceeding by method and plainly displaying the means that she takes to produce each result and the end at which she aims, and possessed of a skill that no handiwork of artist or craftsman can rival or reproduce. For a seed, they point out, has such potency that, tiny though it is in size, nevertheless if it falls into some substance that conceives and enfolds it, and obtains suitable material to foster its nurture and growth, it fashions and produces the various creatures after their kinds, some designed merely to absorb nourishment through their roots, and others capable of motion, sensation, appetition and reproduction of their species. 2.82. Some thinkers again denote by the term 'nature' the whole of existence — for example Epicurus, who divides the nature of all existing things into atoms, void, and the attributes of these. When we on the other hand speak of nature as the sustaining and governing principle of the world, we do not mean that the world is like a clod of earth or lump of stone or something else of that sort, which possesses only the natural principle of cohesion, but like a tree or an animal, displaying no haphazard structure, to be order and a certain semblance of design. 2.83. But if the plants fixed and rooted in the rather owe their life and vigour to nature's art, surely the earth herself must be sustained by the same power, inasmuch as when impregnated with seeds she brings forth from her womb all things in profusion, nourishes their roots in her bosom and causes them to grow, and herself in turn is nourished by the upper and outer elements. Her exhalations moreover give nourishment to the air, the ether and all the heavenly bodies. Thus if earth is upheld and invigorated by nature, the same principle must hold good of the rest of the world, for plants are rooted in the earth, animals are sustained by breathing air, and the air itself is our partner in seeing, hearing and uttering sounds, since none of these actions can be performed without its aid; nay, it even moves as we move, for wherever we go or move our limbs, it seems as it were to give place and retire before us. 2.84. And those things which travel towards the centre of the earth which is its lowest point, those which move from the centre upwards, and those which rotate in circles round the centre, constitute the one continuous nature of the world. Again the continuum of the world's nature is constituted by the cyclic transmutations of the four kinds of matter. For earth turns into water, water into air, air into aether, and then the process is reversed, and aether becomes air, air water, and water earth, the lowest of the four. Thus the parts of the world are held in union by the constant passage up and down, thenceforth, of these four elements of which all things are composed. 2.85. And this world-structure must either be everlasting in this same form in which we see it or at all events extremely durable, and destined to endure for an almost immeasurably protracted period of time. Whichever alternative be true, the inference follows that the world is governed by nature. For consider the navigation of a fleet, the marshalling of an army, or (to return to instances from the processes of nature) the budding of a vien or of a tree, or even the shape and structure of the limbs of an animal — when do these ever evidence such a degree of skill in nature as the world itself? Either therefore there is nothing that is ruled by a sentient nature, or we must admit that the world is so ruled. 2.86. Indeed, how is it possible that the universe, which contains within itself all the other natures and their seeds, should not itself be governed by nature? Thus if anyone declared that a man's teeth and the hair on his body are a natural growth but that the man himself to whom they belong is not a natural organism, he would fail to see that things which produce something from within them must have more perfect natures than the things which are produced from them. But the sower and planter and begetter, so to speak, of all the things that nature governs, their trainer and nourisher, is the world; the world gives nutriment and sustece to all its limbs as it were, or parts. But if the parts of the world are governed by nature, the world itself must needs be governed by nature. Now the government of the world contains nothing that could possibly be censured; given the existing elements, the best that could be produced from them has been produced. 2.87. Let someone therefore prove that it could have been better. But no one will ever prove this, and anyone who essays to improve some detail will either make it worse or will be demanding an improvement impossible in the nature of things. "But if the structure of the world in all its parts is such that it could not have been better whether in point of utility or beauty, let us consider js is the result of chance, or whether on the contrary the parts of the world are in such a condition that they could not possibly have cohered together if they were not controlled by intelligence and by divine providence. If then that produces of nature are better than those of art, and if art produces nothing without reason, nature too cannot be deemed to be without reason. When you see a statue or a painting, you recognize the exercise of art; when you observe from a distance the course of a ship, you do not hesitate to assume that its motion is guided by reason and by art; when you look at a sun‑dial or a water-clock, you infer that it tells the time by art and not by chance; how then can it be consistent to suppose that the world, which includes both the works of art in question, the craftsmen who made them, and everything else besides, can be devoid of purpose and of reason? 2.88. Suppose a traveller to carry into Scythia or Britain the orrery recently constructed by our friend Posidonius, which at each revolution reproduces the same motions of the sun, the moon and the five planets that take place in the heavens every twenty-four hundred, would any single native doubt that this orrery was the work of a rational being? This thinkers however raise doubts about the world itself from which all things arise and have their being, and debate whether it is the produce of chance or necessity of some sort, or of divine reason and intelligence; they think more highly of the achievement of Archimedes in making a model of the revolutions of the firmament than of that of nature in creating them, although the perfection of the original shows a craftsmanship many times as great as does the counterfeit. 2.89. Just as the shield in Accius who had never seen a ship before, on descrying in the distance from his mountain‑top the strange vessel of the Argonauts, built by the gods, in his first amazement and alarm cries out: so huge a bulk Glides from the deep with the roar of a whistling wind: Waves roll before, and eddies surge and swirl; Hurtling headlong, it snort and sprays the foam. Now might one deem a bursting storm-cloud rolled, Now that a rock flew skyward, flung aloft By wind and storm, or whirling waterspout Rose from the clash of wave with warring wave; Save 'twere land-havoc wrought by ocean-flood, Or Triton's trident, heaving up the roots of cavernous vaults beneath the billowy sea, Hurled from the depth heaven-high a massy crag. At first he wonders what the unknown creature that he beholds may be. Then when he sees the warriors and hears the singing of the sailors, he goes on: the sportive dolphins swift Forge snorting through the foam — and so on and so on — Brings to my ears and hearing such a tune As old Silvanus piped. 2.90. Well then, even as the shepherd at the first sight thinks he sees some lifeless and iimate object, but afterwards is led by clearer indications to begin to suspect the true nature of the thing about which he had previously been uncertain, so it would have been the proper course for the philosophers, if it so happened that the first sight of the world perplexed them, afterwards when they had seen its definite and regular motions, and all its phenomena controlled by fixed system and unchanging uniformity, to infer the presence not merely of an inhabitant of this celestial and divine abode, but also of a ruler and governor, the architect as it were of this mighty and monumental structure. "But as it is they appear to me to have no suspicion even of the marvels of the celestial and terrestrial creation. 2.91. For in the first place the earth, which is situated in the centre of the world, is surrounded on all sides by this living and respirable substance named the air. 'Air' is a Greek word, but yet it has by this time been accepted in use by our race, and in fact passes current as Latin. The air in turn is embraced by the immeasurable aether, which consists of the most elevated portions of fire. The term 'aether' also we may borrow, and employ it like 'air' as a Latin word, though Pacuvius provides his readers with a translation: What I speak of, we call heaven, but the Greeks it 'aether' call — just as though the man who says this were not a Greek! 'Well, he is talking Latin,' you may say. Just so, if we won't suppose we are hearing him talk Greek; in another passage Pacuvius tells us: A Grecian born: my speech discloses that. 2.92. But let us return to more important matters. From aether then arise the innumerable fires of the heavenly bodies, chief of which is the sun, who illumines all things with most brilliant light, and is many times greater and vaster than the whole earth; and after him the other stars of unmeasured magnitudes. And these vast and numerous fires not merely do no harm to the earth and to terrestrial things, but are actually beneficial, though with the qualification that were their positions altered, the earth would inevitably be burnt up by such enormous volumes of heat when uncontrolled and untempered. 2.93. At this point must I not marvel that there should be anyone who can persuade himself that there are certain solid and indivisible particles of matter borne along by the force of gravity, and that the fortuitous collision of those particles produces this elaborate and beautiful world? I cannot understand why he who considers it possible for this to have occurred should not all think that, if a counts number of copies of the one-and‑twenty letters of alphabet, made of gold or what you will, were thrown together into some receptacle and then shaken out on the ground, it would be possible that they should produce the Annals of Ennius, all ready for the reader. I doubt whether chance could possibly succeed in producing even a single verse! 2.94. Yet according to the assertion of your friends, that out of particles of matter not endowed with heat, nor with any 'quality' (the Greek term poiotes), nor with sense, but colliding together at haphazard and by chance, the world has emerged complete, or rather a countless number of worlds are some of them being born and some perishing at every moment of time — yet if the clash of atoms can create a world, why can it not produce a colonnade, a temple, a house, a city, which are less and indeed much less difficult things to make? The fact is, they indulge in such random babbling about the world that for my part I cannot think that they have ever looked up at this marvellously beautiful sky — which is my next topic. 2.95. So Aristotle says brilliantly: 'If there were beings who had always lived beneath the earth, in comfortable, well‑lit dwellings, decorated with statues and pictures and furnished with all the luxuries enjoyed by persons thought to be supremely happy, and who though they had never come forth above the ground had learnt by report and by hearsay of the existence of certain deities or divine powers; and then if at some time the jaws of the earth were opened and they were able to escape from their hidden abode and to come forth into the regions which we inhabit; when they suddenly had sight of the earth and the seas and the sky, and came to know of the vast clouds and mighty winds, and beheld the sun, and realized not only its size and beauty but also its Ptolemaic in causing the day by shedding light over all the sky, and, after night had darkened the earth, they then saw the whole sky spangled and adorned with stars, and the changing phases of the moon's light, now waxing and now waning, and the risings and settings of all these heavenly bodies and their courses fixed and changeless throughout all eternity, — when they saw these things, surely they would think that the gods exist and that these mighty marvels are their handiwork.' 2.96. Thus far Aristotle; let us for our part imagine a darkness as dense as that which is said to have once covered the neighbouring districts on the occasion of an eruption of the volcano Etna, so that for two days no man could recognize his fellow, and when on the third day the sun shone upon them, they felt as if they had come to life again: well, suppose that after darkness had prevailed from the beginning of time, it similarly happened to ourselves suddenly to behold the light of day, what should we think of the splendour of the heavens? But daily recurrence and habit familiarize our indicates with the sight, and we feel no surprise or curiosity as to the reasons for things that we see always; just as if it were the novelty and not rather the importance of phenomena that ought to arouse us to inquire into their causes. 2.97. Who would not deny the name of human being to a man who, on seeing the regular motions of the heaven and the fixed order of the stars and the accurate interconnexion and interrelation of all things, can deny that these things possess any rational design, and can maintain that phenomena, the wisdom of whose ordering transcends the capacity of our wisdom to understand it, take place by chance? When we see something moved by machinery, like an orrery or clock or many other such things, we do not doubt that these contrivances are the work of reason; when therefore we behold the whole compass of the heaven moving with revolutions of marvellous velocity and executing with perfect regularity the annual changes of the seasons with absolute safety and security for all things, how can we doubt that all this is effected not merely by reason, but by a reason that is transcendent and divine? 2.98. For we may now put aside elaborate argument and gaze as it were with our eyes upon the beauty of the creations of divine providence, as we declare them to be. And first let us behold the whole earth, situated in the centre of the world, a solid spherical mass gathered into a globe by the natural gravitation of all its parts, clothed with flowers and grass and trees and corn,º forms of vegetation all of them incredibly numerous and inexhaustibly varied and diverse. Add to these cool fountains ever flowing, transparent streams and rivers, their banks clad in brightest verdure, deep vaulted caverns, craggy rocks, sheer mountain heights and plains of immeasurable extent; add also the hidden veins of gold and silver, and marble in unlimited quantity. 2.99. Think of all the various species of animals, both tame and wild! think of the flights and songs of birds! of the pastures filled with cattle, and the teeming life of the woodlands! Then why need I speak of the race of men? who are as it were the appointed tillers of the soil, and who suffer it not to become a savage haunt of monstrous beasts of prey nor a barren waste of thickets and brambles, and whose industry diversifies and adorns the lands and islands and coasts with houses and cities. Could we but behold these things with our eyes as we can picture them in our minds, no one taking in the whole earth at one view could doubt the divine reason. 2.100. Then how great is the beauty of the sea! how glorious the aspect of its vast expanse! him many and how diverse its islands! how lovely the scenery of its coasts and shores! how numerous and how different the species of marine animals, some dwelling in the depths, some floating and swimming on the surface, some clinging in their own shells to the rocks! And the sea itself, yearning for the earth, sports against her shores in such a fashion that the two elements appear to be fused into one. 2.101. Next the air bordering on the sea undergoes the alternates of day and night, and now rises upward melt down rarefied, now is condensed and compressed into clouds and gathering mixture enriches the earth with rain, now flows forth in currents thenceforth and produces winds. Likewise it causes the yearly variations of cold and heat, and it also both supports the flight of birds and inhaled by breathing nourishes and sustains the animal race. There remains the element that is most distant and highest removed from our abodes, the all‑engirdling, all‑confining circuit of the sky, also named the aether, the farthest coast and frontier of the world, wherein those fiery shapes most marvellously trace out their ordered courses. 2.102. of these the sun, which many times surpasses the earth in magnitude, revolves about her, and by his rising and setting causes day and night, and now approaching, then again retiring, twice each year makes returns in opposite directions from his farthest point, and in the period of those returns at one time causes the face of the earth as it were to contract with a gloomy frown, and at another restores her to gladness til she seems to smile in sympathy with the sky. 2.103. Again the moon, which is, as the mathematicians prove, more than half the size of the earth, roams in the same courses as the sun, but at one time converging with the sun and at another diverging from it, both bestows upon the light that it has borrowed from the sun and itself undergoes divers changes of its light, and also at one time is in conjunction and hides the sun, darken ut light of its rays, at another itself comes into the shadow of the earth, being opposite to the sun, and owing to the interpose and interference of the earth is suddenly extinguished. And the so‑called wandering stars (planets) travel in the same courses round the earth, and rise and set in the same way, with motions now accelerated, now retarded, and sometimes even ceasing altogether. 2.104. Nothing can be more marvellous or more beautiful than this spectacle. Next comes the vast multitude of the fixed stars, grouped in constellations so clearly defined that they have received names derived from their resemblance to familiar objects." Here he looked at me and said, "I will make use of the poems of Aratus, as translated by yourself when quite a young man, which because of their Latin dress give me such pleasure that I retain many of them in memory. Well then, as we continually see with our own eyes, without any change or variation Swiftly the other heavenly bodies glide, All day and night travelling with the sky 2.105. and no one who loves to contemplate the uniformity of nature can ever be tired of gazing at them. The furthest tip of either axle‑end Is called the pole. Round the poel circle the two Bears, which never set; One of these twain the Greeks call Cynosure, The other Helicē is named; and the latter's extremely bright stars, visible to us all night long, Our countrymen the Seven Triones call; 2.106. and the little Cynosure consists of an equal number of stars similarly grouped, and revolves round the same pole: Phoenician sailors place in this their trust To guide their course by night; albeit the other Shines out before and with more radiant stars At earliest night-fall far and wide is seen, Yet small though this one is, the mariner On this relies, since it revolves upon An inner circle and a shorter path. Also the further to enhance the beauty of those constellations, Between them, like a river flowing swift, The fierce-eyed Serpent winds; in sinuous coils Over and under twines his snaky frame. 2.107. His whole appearance is very remarkable, but the most striking part of him is the shape of his head and the brilliance of his eyes: No single hindering star his head adorns, His brows are by a double radiance marked, And from his cruel eyes two lights flash out, The while his chin gleams with one flashing star; His graceful neck is bent, his head reclined, As if at gaze upon the Great Bear's tail. 2.108. And while the rest of the Serpent's body is visible all night long, This head a moment sinks beneath the sea, Where meet its setting and its rise in one. Next to its head however The weary figure of a man in sorrow Revolts, which the Greeks Engónasin call, as travelling "on his knees." Here is the Crown, of radiance supreme. This is in the rear of the Serpent, while at its head is the Serpent-holder 2.109. By Greeks called Ophiúchus, famous name! Firm between both his hands he "holds the Snake," Himself in bondage by its body held, For serpent round the waist engirdles men, Yet treads he firm and presses all his weight, Trampling upon the Scorpion's eyes and breast. After the Septentriones comes The Bear-ward, commonly Boötes called, Because he drives the Bear yoked to a pole. 2.110. And then the following lines: for with this Boötes beneath his bosom fixed appears A glittering star, Arcturus, famous name, and below his feet moves The Virgin bright, holding her ear of corn Resplendent. And the constellations are so accurately spaced out that their vast and ordered array clearly displays the skill of a divine creator: By the Bear's head you will descry the Twins, Beneath its belly the Crab, and in its claws The Lion's bulk emits a twinkling ray. The Charioteer Hidden beneath the Twins' left flank will glide; Him Helicē confronts with aspect fierce; At his left shoulder the bright She‑goat stands. [And then the following:] A constellation vast and brilliant she, Whereas the Kids emit a scanty light Upon mankind. Beneath her feet Crouches the hornéd Bull, a mighty frame. 2.111. His head is bespangled with a multitude of stars: The Greeks were wont to call them Hyades, from their bringing rain, the Greek for which is hyein, while our nation stupidly names them the Sucking-pigs, as though the name Hyades were derived from the word for 'pig' and not from 'rain.' Behind the Lesser Septentrio follows Cepheus, with open hands outstretched; For close behind the Bear, the Cynosure, He wheels. Before him comes Cassiepia with her darkling stars, And next to her roams a bright shape, the sad Andromeda, shunning her mother's sight. The belly of the Horse touches her head, Proudly he tosses high his glittering mane; One common star holds their twin shapes conjoint And constellations linked indissolubly. Close by them stands the Ram with wreathéd horns: and next to him The Fishes gliding, one some space in front And nearer to the North Wind's shuddering breath. 2.112. At the feet of Andromeda Perseus is outlined, Assailed by all the zenith's northern blasts; and by him at his left knee placed on every side The tiny Pleiads dim you will descry. And, slightly sloping, next the Lyre is seen, Next the winged Bird 'neath heaven's wide canopy. Close to the Horse's head is the right hand Aquarius, and then his whole figure. Next in the mighty zone comes capricorn, Half-brute, half‑man; his mighty bosom breathes An icy chill; and when the Titans sun Arrayeth him with never-ceasing light, He turns his car to climb the wintry sky. 2.113. Here we behold How there appears the Scorpion rising high, His mighty tail trailing the bended Bow; Near which on soaring pinions wheels the Bird And near to this the burning Eagle flies. Then the Dolphin, And then Orion slopes his stooping frame. 2.114. Following him The glowing Dog‑star radiantly shines. After this follows the Hare, What never resteth weary from her race; At the Dog's tail meandering Argo glides. Her the Ram covers, and the scaly Fishes, And her bright breast touches the River's banks. Its long winding current you will observe, And in the zenith you will see the Chains That bind the Fishes, hanging at their tails. . . . Then you'll descry, near the bright Scorpion's sting, The Altar, fanned by Auster's gentle breath. And by it the Centaur Proceeds, in haste to join the Horse's parts Unto the Claws; extending his right hand, That grasps the mighty beast, he marches on And grimly strides towards the Altar bright. Here Hydra rises from the nether realms, her body widely outstretched; And in her midmost coil the Wine-bowl gleams, While pressing at her tail the feathered Crow Pecks with his beak; and here, hard by the Twins, The Hound's Forerunner, in Greek named Prokyon. 2.115. Can any sane person believe that all this array of stars and this vast celestial adornment could have been created out of atoms rushing thenceforth fortuitously and at random? or could any other being devoid of intelligence and reason have created them? Not merely did their creation postulate intelligence, but it is impossible to understand their nature without intelligence of a high order. "but not only are these things marvellous, but nothing is more remarkable than the stability and coherence of the world, which is such that it is impossible even to imagine anything better adapted to endure. For all its parts in every direction gravitate with a uniform pressure towards the centre. Moreover busy conjoined maintain their union most permanently when they have some bond encompassing them to bind them together; and this function is fulfilled by that rational and intelligent substance which pervades the whole world as the efficient cause of all things and which draws and collects the outermost particles towards the centre. 2.116. Hence if the world is round and therefore all its parts are held together by and with each other in universal equilibrium, the same must be the case with the earth, so that all its parts must converge towards the centre (which in a sphere is the lowest point) without anything to break the continuity and so threaten its Bast complex of gravitational forces and masses with dissolution. And on the same principle the sea, although above the earth, nevertheless seeks the earth's centre and so is massed into a sphere uniform on all sides, and never floods its bounds and overflows. 2.117. Its neighbour the air travels upward it is true in virtue of its lightness, but at the same time spreads horizontally in all directions; and thus while contiguous and conjoined with the sea it has a natural tendency to rise to the sky, and by receiving an admixture of the sky's tenuity and heat furnishes to living creatures the breath of life and health. The air is enfolded by the highest part of the sky, termed the ethereal part; this both retains its own tenuous warmth uncongealed by any admixture and unites with the outer surface of the air. In the aether the stars revolve in their courses; these maintain their spherical form by their own install gravitation, and also sustain their motions by virtue of their very shape and conformation; for they are round, and this is the shape, as I believe I remarked before, that is least capable of receiving injury. 2.118. But the stars are of a fiery substance, and for this reason they are nourished by the vapours of the earth, the sea and the waters, which are raised up by the sun out of the fields which it warms and out of the waters; and when nourished and renewed by these vapours the stars and the whole aether shed them back again, and then once more draw them up from the same source, with the loss of none of their matter, or only of an extremely small part which is consumed by the fire of the stars and the flame of the aether. As a consequence of this, so our school believe, though it used to be said that Panaetius questioned the doctrine, there will ultimately occur a conflagration of the whole while, because when the moisture has been used up neither can the earth be nourished nor will the air continue to flow, being unable to rise upward after it has drunk up all the water; thus nothing will remain but fire, by which, as a living being and a god, once again a new world may be created and the ordered universe be restored as before. 2.119. I would not have you think that I with too long upon astronomy, and particularly upon the system of the stars called planets; these with the most diverse movements work in such mutual harmony that the uppermost, that of Saturn, has a cooling influence, the middle planet, that of Mars, imparts heat, the one between them, that of Jove, gives light and a moderate warmth, while two beneath Mars obey the sun, and the sun itself fills all the world with light, and also illuminates the moon, which is the source of conception and birth and of growth and maturity. If any man is not impressed by this co‑ordination of things and this harmonious combination of nature to secure the preservation of the world, I know for certain that he has never given any consideration to these matters. 2.120. To come now from things celestial to things terrestrial, which is there among these latter which does not clearly display the rational design of an intelligent being? In the first place, with the vegetation that springs from the earth, the stocks both give stability to the parts which they sustain and draw from the ground the sap to nourish the parts upheld by the roots; and the trunks are covered with bark or rind, the better to protect them against cold and heat. Again the vines cling to their props with their tendrils as with hands, and thus raise themselves erect like animals. Nay more, it is said that if planted near cabbages they shun them like pestle and noxious things, and will not touch them at any point. 2.121. Again what a variety tio animals, and what capacity they possess of persisting true to their various kinds! Some of them are protected by hides, others are clothed with fleeces, others bristle with spines; some we see covered with feathers, some with scales, some armed with horns, some equipped with wings to escape their foes. Nature, however, has provided with bounteous plenty for each species of animal that food which is suited to it. I might show in detail what provision has been made in the forms of the animals for appropriating and assimilating this food, how skilful and exact is the disposition of the various parts, how marvellous the structure of the limbs. For all the organs, at least those contained within the body, are so formed and so placed that none of them is superfluous or not necessary for the preservation of life. 2.122. But nature has also bestowed upon the beasts both sensation and desire, the one to arouse in them the impulse to appropriate their natural foods, the other to enable them to distinguish things harmful from things wholesome. Again, some animals approach their food by walking, some by crawling, some by flying, some by swimming; and some seize their nutriment with their gaping mouth and with the teeth themselves, others snatch it in the grasp of their claws, others with their curved beaks, some suck, others graze, some swallow it whole, others chew it. Also some are of such lately stature that they easily reach their food upon the ground with their jaws; 2.123. whereas the taller species, such as geese, swans, cranes and camels, are aided by the length of their necks; the elephant is even provided with a hand, because his body is so large that it was difficult for him to reach his food. Those beasts on the other hand whose mode of sustece was to feed on animals of another species received from nature the gift either of strength or swiftness. Upon certain creatures there was bestowed even a sort of craft or cunning: for instance, one species of the spider tribe weaves a kind of net, in order to dispatch anything that is caught in it; another in order to . . . steadily corps watch, and, snatching anything that falls into it, devours it. The mussel, or pina as it is called in Greek, is a large bivalve which enters into a sort of Penelope with the tiny shrimp to procure food, and so, when little fishes swim into the gaping shell, the shrimp draws the attention of the mussel and the mussel shuts up its shells with a snap; thus two very dissimilar creatures obtain their food in common. 2.124. In this case we are curious to know whether their association is due to a sort of mutual compact, or whether it was brought about by nature herself and goes back to the moment of their birth. Our wonder is also considerably excited by those aquatic animals which are born on land — crocodiles, for instance, and water-tortoises and certain snakes, which are born on dry land but as soon as they can first crawl make for the water. Again we often place ducks' eggs beneath hens, and the chicks that spring from the eggs are at first fed and mothered by the hens that hatched and reared them, but later on they leave their foster-mothers, and run away when they put up them, as soon as they have had the opportunity of seeing the water, their natural home. So powerful an instinct of self-preservation has nature implanted in living creatures. I have even read in a book that there is a bird called the spoonbill, which porticus its food by flying after those birds which dive in the sea, and upon their coming to the surface with a fish that they have caught, pressing their heads down with its beak until they drop their prey, which it pounces on for itself. It is also recorded of this bird that it is in the habit of gorging itself with shell-fish, which it digests by means of the heat of its stomach and then brings up again, and so picks out from them the parts that are good to eat. 2.125. Sea‑frogs again are said to be in the habit of covering themselves with sand and creeping along at the water's edge, and then when fishes approach them thinking they are something to eat, these are killed and devoured by the frogs. The kite and the crow live in a state of natural war as it were with one another, and therefore each destroys the other's eggs wherever it finds them. Another fact (observed by Aristotle, from whom most of these cases are cited) cannot but awaken our supper, namely that cranes when crossing the seas on the way to warmer climates fly in a triangular formation. With the apex of the triangle they force aside the air in front of them, and then gradually on either side by means of their wings acting as oars the birds' on which flight is sustained, with the base of the triangle formed by the cranes gets the assistance of the wind when it is so to speak astern. The birds rest their necks and heads on the backs of those flying in front of them; and the leader, being himself unable to do this as he has no one to lean on, flies to the rear that he himself also may have a rest, while one of those already rested takes his place, and so they keep turns throughout the journey. 2.126. I could adduce a number of similar instances, but you see the general idea. Another even better known classes of story illustrates the precautions taken by animals for their security, the watch they keep while feeding, their skill in hiding in their lairs. Other remarkable facts are that dogs cure themselves by vomiting and ibises in Egypt by purging — modes of treatment only recently, that is, a few generations ago, discovered by the talent of the medical profession. It has been reported that panthers, which in foreign countries are caught by means of poisoned meat, have a remedy which they employ to save themselves from dying; and that wild goats in Crete, when pierced with poisoned arrows, seek a herb called dittany, and on their swallowing this the arrows, it is said, drop out of their busy. 2.127. Does, shortly before giving birth to their young, thoroughly purge themselves with a herb called hartwort. Again we observe how various species defend themselves against violence and danger with their own weapons, bulls with their horns, boars with their tusks, lions with their bite; some species protect themselves by flight, some by hiding, the cuttle-fish by emitting an inky fluid, the sting‑ray by causing cramp, and also a number of creatures drive away their pursuers by their insufferably disgusting odour. "In order to secure the everlasting duration of the world-order, divine providence has made most careful provision to ensure the perpetuation of the families of animals and of trees and all the vegetable species. The latter all contain within them seed possessing the proprietor of multiplying the species; this seed is enclosed in the innermost part of the fruits that grow from each plant; and the same seeds supply mankind with an abundance of food, besides replenishing the earth with a fresh stock of plants of the same kind. 2.128. Why should I speak of the amount of rational design displayed in animals to secure the perpetual preservation of their kind? To begin with some are male and some female, a device of nature to perpetuate the species. Then parts of their busy are most skilfully contrived to serve the purposes of procreation and of conception, and both male and female possess marvellous desires for copulation. And when the seed has settled in its place, it draws almost all the nutriment to itself and hedged within it fashions a living creature; when this has been dropped from the womb and has emerged, in the mammalian species almost all the nourishment received by the mother turns to milk, and the young just born, untaught and by nature's guidance, seek for the teats and satisfy their cravings with their bounty. And to show to us that none of these things merely happens by chance and that all are the work of nature's providence and skill, species that produce large litters of offspring, such as swine and dogs, have bestowed upon them a large number of teats, while those animals which bear only a few young have only a few teats. 2.129. Why should I describe the affection shown by animals in rearing and protecting the offspring to which they have given birth, up to the point when they are able to defend themselves? although fishes, it is said, abandon their eggs when they have laid them, since these easily float and hatch out in the water. Turtles and crocodiles are said to lay their eggs on land and bury them and then go away, leaving their young to hatch and rear themselves. Hens and other birds find a quiet place in which to lay, and build themselves nests to sit on, covering these with the softest possible bedding in order to preserve the eggs most easily; and when they have hatched out their chicks they protect them by cherishing them with their wings so that they may not be injured by cold, and by shading them against the heat of the sun. When the young birds are able to use their sprouting wings, their mothers escort them in their flights, but are released from any further tendance upon them. 2.130. Moreover the skill and industry of man also contribute to the preservation and security of certain animals and plants. For there are many species of both which could not survive without man's care. "Also a plentiful variety of conveniences is found in different regions for the productive cultivation of the soil by man. Egypt is watered by the Nile, which corps the land completely flooded all the summer and afterwards retires leaving the soil soft and covered with mud, in readiness for sowing. Mesopotamia is fertilized by the Euphrates, which as it were imports into it new fields every year. The Indus, the largest river in the world, not only manures and softens the soil but actually sows it with seed, for it is said to bring down with it a great quantity of seeds resembling corn. 2.131. And I could produce a number of other remarkable examples in a variety of places, and instance a variety of lands each prolific in a different kind of produce. But how great is the benevolence of nature, in giving birth to such an abundance and variety of delicious articles of food, and that not at one season only of the year, so that we have continually the delights of both novelty and plenty! How seasonable moreover and how some not for the human race alone but also for the animal and the various vegetable species is her gift of the Etesian winds! their breath moderates the excessive heat of summer, entirely also guide our ships across the sea upon a swift and steady course. Many instances must be passed over [and yet many are given]. 2.132. For it is impossible to recount the conveniences afforded by rivers, the ebb and flow . . . of the tides of the sea, the mountains clothed with forests, the salt-beds lying far inland from the sea‑coast, the copious stores of health-giving medicines that the earth contains, and all the countless arts necessary for livelihood and for life. Again the alternation of day and night contributes to the preservation of living creatures by affording one time for activity and another for repose. Thus every line of reasoning goes to prove that all things in this world of ours are marvellously governed by divine intelligence and wisdom for the safety and preservation of all. 2.133. Here somebody will ask, for whose sake was all this vast system contrived? For the sake of the trees and plants, for these, though without sensation, have their sustece from nature? But this at any rate is absurd. Then for the sake of the animals? It is no more likely that the gods took all this trouble for the sake of dumb, irrational creatures/ For whose sake then shall one pronounce the world to have been created? Doubtless for the sake of those living beings which have the use of reason; these are the gods and mankind, who assuredly surpass all other things in excellence, since the most excellent of all things is reason. Thus we are led to believe that the world and all the things that it contains were made for the sake of gods and men. "And that man has been cared for by divine providence will be more readily understood if we survey the whole structure of man and all the conformation and perfection of human nature. 2.134. There are three things requisite for the maintece of animal life, food, drink and breath; and for the reception of all of these the mouth is most consummately adapted, receiving as it does an abundant supply of breath through the nostrils which communicate with it. The structure of the teeth within the mouth serves to chew the food, and it is divided up and softened by them. The front teeth are sharp, and bite our viands into pieces; the back teeth, called molars, masticate them, the process of mastication apparently being assisted also by the tongue. 2.135. Next to the tongue comes the gullet, which is attached to its roots, and into which in the first place pass that substances that have been received in the mouth. The gullet is adjacent to the tonsils on either side of it, and reaches as far as the back or innermost part of the palate. The action and movements of the tongue drive and thrust the food down into the gullet, which receives it and drives it further down, the parts of the gullet below the food that is being swallowed dilating and the parts above it contracting. 2.136. The windpipe, or trachea as it is termed by physicians, has an orifice attached to the roots of the tongue a little above the point where the tongue is joined to the gullet; it reaches to the lungs, and receives the air inhaled by breathing, and also exhales it and passes it out from the lungs; it is covered by a sort of lid, provided for the purpose of preventing a morsel of food from accidentally falling into it and impeding the breath. Below the gullet lies the stomach, which is constructed as the receptacle of food and drink, whereas breath is inhaled by the lungs and heart. The stomach performs a number of remarkable operations; its structure consists principally of muscular fibres, and it is manifold and twisted; it compresses and contains the dry or moist nutriment that it receives, enabling it to be assimilated and digested; at one moment is astricted and at another relaxed, thus pressing and mixing together all that is passed into it, so that by means of the abundant heat which it possesses, and by its crushing the food, and also by the op of the breath, everything is digested and worked up so as to be easily distributed throughout the rest of the body. The lungs on the contrary are soft and of a loose and spongy consistency, well adapted to absorb the breath; which they inhale and exhale by alternately contracting and expanding, to provide frequent draughts of that aerial nutriment which is the chief support of animal life. 2.137. The alimentary juice secreted from the rest of the food by the stomach flows from the bowels to the liver through certain ducts or channels reaching to the liver, to which they are attached, and connecting up what are called the doorways of the liver with the middle intestine. From the liver different channels pass in different directions, and through these falls the food passed down from the liver. From this food is secreted bile, and the liquids excreted by the kidneys; the residue turns into blood be flows to the aforesaid doorways of the liver, to which all its channels lead. Flowing through these doorways the food at this very point pours into the so‑called vena cava or hollow vein, and through this, being now completely worked up and digested, flows to the heart, and from the heart is distributed all over the body through a rather large number of veins that reach to every part of the frame. 2.138. It would not be difficult to indicate the way in which the residue of the food is excreted by the alternate astriction and relaxation of the bowels; however this topic must be passed over lest my discourse should be somewhat offensive. Rather let me unfold the following instance of the incredible skilfulness of nature's handiwork. The air drawn into the lungs by breathing is warmed in the first instance by the breath itself and then by contact with the lungs; part of it is returned by the act of respiration, and part is received by a certain part of the heart called the cardiac ventricle, adjacent to which is a second similar vessel into which the blood flows from the liver three the vena cava mentioned above; and in this manner from these organs both the blood is diffused through the veins and the breath through the arteries all over the body. Both of these sets of vessels are very numerous and are closely interwoven with the tissues of the entire body; they testify to an extraordinary degree of skilful and divine craftsmanship. 2.139. Why need I speak about the bones, which are the framework of the body? their marvellous cartilages are nicely adapted to secure stability, and fitted to end off the joints and to allow of movement and bodily activity of every sort. Add thereto the nerves or sinews which hold the joints together and whose ramifications pervade the entire body; like the veins and arteries these lead from the heart as their starting-point and pass to all parts of the body. 2.140. Many further illustrations could be given of this wise and careful providence of nature, to illustrate the lavishness and splendour of the gifts bestowed by the gods on men. First, she has raised them from the ground to stand tall and upright, so that they might be able to behold the sky and so gain a knowledge of the gods. For men are sprung from the earth not as its inhabitants and denizens, but to be as it were the spectators of things supernal and heavenly, in the contemplation whereof no other species of animal participates. Next, the senses, posted in the citadel of the head as the reporters and messengers of the outer world, both in structure and position are marvellously adapted to their necessary services. The eyes as the watchmen have the highest station, to give them the widest outlook for the performance of their function. 2.141. The ears also, having the duty of perceiving sound, the nature of which is to rise, are rightly placed in the upper part of the body. The nostrils likewise are rightly placed high inasmuch as all smells travel upwards, but also, because they have much to do with discriminating food and drink, they have with good reason been brought into the neighbourhood of the mouth. Taste, which has the function of distinguishing the flavors of our various viands, is situated in that part of the face where nature has made an aperture for the passage of food and drink. The sense of touch is evenly diffused over all the body, to enable us to perceive all sorts of contacts and even the minutest impacts of both cold and heat. And just as architects relegate the drains of houses to the rear, away from the eyes and nose of the masters, since otherwise they would inevitably be somewhat offensive, so nature has banished the corresponding organs of the body far away from the neighbourhood of the senses. 2.142. Again what artificer but nature, who is unsurpassed in her cunning, could have attained such skilfulness in the construction of the senses? First, she has clothed and walled the eyes with membranes of the finest texture, which she has made on the one hand transparent so that we may be able to see through them, and on the other hand firm of substance, to serve as the outer cover of the eye. The eyes she has made mobile and smoothly turning, so as both to avoid any threatened injury and to direct their gaze easily in any direction they desire. The actually organ of vision, called the pupil or 'little doll,' is so small as easily to avoid objects that might injure it; and the lids, which are the covers of the eyes, are very soft to the touch so as not to hurt the pupil, and very neatly constructed as to be able both to shut the eyes in order that nothing may impinge upon them and to open them; and nature has provided that this process can be repeated again and again with extreme rapidity. 2.143. The eyelids are furnished with a palisade of hairs, whereby to ward off any impinging object while the eyes are open, and so that while they are closed in sleep, when we do not need the eyes for seeing, they may be as it were tucked up for repose. Moreover the eyes are in advantageously retired position, and shielded on all sides by surrounding prominences; for first the parts above them are covered by the eyebrows which prevent sweat from flowing down from the scalp and forehead; then the cheeks, which are placed beneath them and which slightly project, protect them from below; and the hose is so placed as to seem to be a wall separating the eyes from one another. 2.144. The organ of hearing on the other hand is always open, since we require this sense even when asleep, and when it receives a sound, we are aroused even from sleep. The auditory passage is winding, to prevent anything from being able to enter, as it might if the passage were clear and straight; it has further been provided that even the tiniest insect that may attempt to intrude may be caught in the sticky wax of the ears. On the outside project the organs which we call ears, which are constructed both to cover and protect the sense-organ and to prevent the sounds that reach them from sliding past and being lost before they strike the sense. The apertures of the ears are hard and gristly, and much convoluted, because things with these qualities reflect and amplify sound; this is why tortoise-shell or horn gives resoce to a lyre, and always why winding passages and enclosures have an echo which is louder than the original sound. 2.145. Similarly the nostrils, which to serve the purposes required of them have to be always open, have narrower apertures, to prevent the entrance of anything that may harm them; and they are always moist, which is useful to guard them against dust and many other things. The sense of taste is admirably shielded, being enclosed in the mouth in a manner well suited for the performance of its function and for its protection against harm. "And all the senses of man far excel those of the lower animals. In the first place our eyes have a finer perception of many things in the arts which appeal to the sense of sight, painting, modelling and sculpture, and also in bodily movements and gestures; since the eyes judge beauty and arrangement and so to speak propriety of colour and shape; and also other more important matters, for they also recognize virtues and vices, the angry and the friendly, the joyful and the sad, the brave man and the coward, the bold and the craven. 2.146. The ears are likewise marvellously skilful organs of discrimination; they judge differences of tone, of pitch and of key in the music of the voice and of wind and stringed instruments, and many different qualities of voice, sonorous and dull, smooth and rough, bass and treble, flexible and hard, distinctions discriminated by the human ear alone. Likewise the nostrils, the taste and in some measure the touch have highly sensitive faculties of discrimination. And the arts invented to appeal to and indulge these senses are even more numerous than I could wish. The developments of perfumery and of the meretricious adornment of the person are obvious examples. 2.147. Coming now to the actual mind and intellect of man, his reason, wisdom and foresight, one who cannot see that these owe their perfection to divine providence must in my view himself be devoid of these very faculties. While discussing this topic I could wish, Cotta, that I had the gift of your eloquence. How could not you describe first our powers of understanding, and then our faculty of conjoining premisses and consequences in a single act of apprehension, the faculty I mean that enables us to judge what conclusion follows from any given propositions and to put the inference in syllogistic form, and also to delimit particular terms in a succinct definition; whence we arrive at an understanding of the potency and the nature of knowledge, which is the most excellent part even of the divine nature. Again, how remarkable are the faculties which you Academics invalidate and abolish, our sensory and intellectual perception and comprehension of external objects; 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. 2.149. Now careful consideration will show that the mechanism of speech displays a skill on nature's part that surpasses belief. In the first place there is an artery passing from the lugns to the back of the mouth, which is the channel by which the voice, originating from the mind, is caught and uttered. Next, the tongue is placed in the mouth and confined by the teeth; it modulates and defines the inarticulate flow of the voice and renders its sounds district and clear by striking the teeth and other parts of the mouth. Accordingly my school is fond of comparing the tongue to the quill of a lyre, the teeth to the strings, and the nostrils to the horns which echo the notes of the strings when the instrument is played. 2.150. Then what clever servants for a great variety of arts are the hands which nature has bestowed on man! The flexibility of the joints enables the fingers to close and open with equal ease, and to perform every motion without difficulty. Thus by the manipulation of the fingers the hand is enabled to paint, to model, to carve, and to draw forth the notes of the lyre and of the flute. And beside these arts of recreation there are those of utility, I mean agriculture and building, the weaving and stitching of garments, and the various modes of working bronze and iron; hence we realize that it was by applying the hand of the artificer to the discoveries of thought and observations of the senses that all our conveniences were attained, and we were enabled to have shelter, clothing and protection, and possessed cities, fortifications, houses and temples. 2.151. Moreover men's industry, that is to say the work of their hands, porticus us also our food in variety and abundance. It is the hand that gathers the divers products of the fields, whether to be consumed immediately or to be stored in repositories for the days to come; and our diet also includes flesh, fish and fowl, obtained partly by the chase and partly by breeding. We also tame the four-footed animals to carry us on their backs, their swiftness and strength bestowing strength and swiftness upon ourselves. We cause certain beasts to bear our burdens or to carry a yoke, we divert to our service the marvellously acute senses of elephants and the keen scent of hounds; we collect from the caves of the earth the iron which we need for tilling the land, we discover the deeply hidden veins of copper, silver and gold which serve us both for use and for adornment; we cut up a multitude of trees both wild and cultivated for timber which we employ partly by setting fire to it to warm our busy and cook our food, partly for building so as to shelter ourselves with houses and banish heat and cold. 2.152. Timber moreover is of great value for constructing ships, whose voyages supply an abundance of sustece of all sorts from all parts of the earth; and we alone have the power of controlling the most violent of nature's offspring, the sea and the winds, thanks to the science of navigation, and we use and enjoy many products of the sea. Likewise the entire command of the commodities produced on land is vested in mankind. We enjoy the fruits of the plains and of the mountains, the rivers and the lakes are ours, we sow corn, we plant trees, we fertilize the soil by irrigation, we confine the rivers and straighten or divert their courses. In fine, by means of our hands we essay to create as it were a second world within the world of nature. 2.153. Then moreover hasn't man's reason penetrated even to the sky? We alone of living creatures know the risings and settings and the courses of the stars, the human race has set limits to the day, the month and the year, and has learnt the eclipses of the sun and moon and foretold for all future time their occurrence, their extent and their dates. And contemplating the heavenly bodies the mind arrives at a knowledge of the gods, from which arises piety, with its comrades justice and the rest of the virtues, the sources of a life of happiness that vies with and resembles the divine existence and leaves us inferior to the celestial beings in nothing else save immortality, which is immaterial for happiness. I think that my exposition of these matters has been sufficient to prove how widely man's nature surpasses all other living creatures; and this should make it clear that neither such a conformation and arrangement of the members nor such power of mind and intellect can possibly have been created by chance. 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. 2.163. 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. 2.168. These are more or less the things that occurred to me which I thought proper to be said upon the subject of the nature of the gods. And for your part, Cotta, would you but listen to me, you would plead the same cause, and reflect that you are a leading citizen and a pontife, and you would take advantage of the liberty enjoyed by your school of arguing both pro and contra to choose to espouse my side, and preferably to devote to this purpose those powers of eloquence which your rhetorical exercises have bestowed upon you and which the Academy has fostered. For the habit of arguing in support of atheism, whether it be done from conviction or in pretence, is a wicked and impious practice. 3.15. 'Well, but physicians also are often wrong' — this was your argument. But what resemblance is there between medicine, whose rational basis I can see, and divination, the source of which I cannot understand? Again, you think that the gods were actually propitiated by the sacrifice of the Decii. But how can the gods have been so unjust that their wrath against the Roman people could only be appeased by the death of heroes like the Decii? No, the sacrifice of the Decii was a device of generalship, or stratēgēma as it is termed in Greek, though a device for generals who were ready to give their lives in their country's service; their notion was that if a commander rode full gallop against the foe his troops would follow him, and so it proved. As for the utterances of a Faun, I never heard one, but if you say you have, I will take your word for it, although what on earth a Faun may be I do not know. As yet therefore, Balbus, so far as it depends on you I do not understand the divine existence; I believe in it, but the Stoics do not in the least explain it. 3.17. but the question is not, are there any people who think that the gods exist, — the question is, do the gods exist or do they not? As for the remaining reasons adduced by Cleanthes, the one derived from the abundance of the commodities bestowed upon us, and the other from the ordered sequence of the seasons and the regularity of the heavens, we will treat of these when we come to discuss divine providence, about which you, Balbus, said a great deal; 3.42. Nevertheless I should like to know what particular Hercules it is that we worship; for we are told of several by the students of esoteric and recondite writings, the most ancient being the son of Jupiter, that is of the most ancient Jupiter likewise, for we find several Jupiters also in the early writings of the Greeks. That Jupiter then and Lysithoë were the parents of the Hercules who is recorded to have had a tussle with Apollo about a tripod! We hear of another in Egypt, a son of the Nile, who is said to have compiled the sacred books of Phrygia. A third comes from the Digiti of Mount Ida, who offer sacrifices at his tomb. A fourth is the son of Jupiter and Asteria, the sister of Latona; he is chiefly worshipped at Tyre, and is said to have been the father of the nymph Carthago. There is a fifth in India, named Belus. The sixth is our friend the son of Alcmena, whose male progenitor was Jupiter, that is Jupiter number three, since, as I will now explain, tradition tells us of several Jupiters also. 3.43. For as my discourse has led me to this topic, I will show that I have learnt more about the proper way of worshipping the gods, according to pontifical law and the customs of our ancestors, from the poor little pots bequeathed to us by Numa, which Laelius discusses in that dear little golden speech of his, than from the theories of the Stoics. For if I adopt your doctrines, tell me what answer I am to make to one who questions me thus: 'If gods exist, are the nymphs also goddesses? if the nymphs are, the Pans and Satyrs also are gods; but they are not gods; therefore the nymphs also are not. Yet they possess temples viewed and dedicated to them by the nation; are the other gods also therefore who have hadded temples dedicated to them not gods either? Come tell me further: you reckon Jupiter and Neptune gods, therefore their brother orcus is also a god; and the fabled streams of the lower world, Acheron, Cocytus and Pyriphlegethon, and also Charon and also Cerberus are to be deemed gods. 3.44. No, you say, we must draw the line at that; well then, orcus is not a god either; what are you to say about his brothers then?' These arguments were advanced by Carneades, not with the object of establishing atheism (for what could less befit a philosopher?) but in order to prove the Stoic theology worthless; accordingly he used to pursue his inquiry thus: 'Well now,' he would say, 'if these brothers are included among the gods, can we deny the divinity of their father Saturation, who is held in the highest reverence by the common people in the west? And if he is a god, we must also admit that his father Caelus is a god. And if so, the parents of Caelus, the Aether and the Day, must be held to be gods, and their brothers and sisters, whom the ancient genealogists name Love, Guile, Dear, Toil, Envy, Fate, Old Age, Death, Darkness, Misery, Lamentation, Favour, Fraud, Obstinacy, the Parcae, the Daughters of Hesperus, the Dreams: all of these are fabled to be the children of erebus and Night.' Either therefore you must accept these monstrosities or you must discard the first claimants also. 3.45. Again, if you call Apollo, Vulcan, Mercury and the rest gods, will you have doubts about Hercules, Aesculapius, Liber, Castor and Pollux? But these are worshipped just as much as those, and indeed in some places very much more than they. Are we then to deem these gods, the sons of mortal mothers? Well then, will not Aristaeus, the reputed discoverer of the olive, who was the son of Apollo, Theseus the son of Neptune, and all the other sons of gods, also be reckoned as gods? What about the sons of goddesses? I think they have an even better claim; for just as by the civil law one whose mother is a freewoman is a Freeman, so by the law of nature one whose mother is a goddess must be a god. And in the island of Astypalaea Achilles is most devoutly worshipped by the inhabitants on these grounds; but if Achilles is a god, so are Orpheus and Rhesus, whose mother was a Muse, unless perhaps a marriage at the bottom of the sea counts higher than a marriage on dry land! If these are not gods, because they are nowhere worshipped, how can the others be gods? 3.51. As for your deriving religion from the sky and stars, do you not see what a long way this takes you? You say that the sun and moon are deities, and the Greeks identify the former with Apollo and the latter with Diana. But if the Moon is a goddess, then Lucifer also and the rest of the planets will have to be counted gods; and if so, then the fixed stars as well. But why should not the glorious Rainbow be included among the gods? it is beautiful enough, and its marvellous loveliness has given rise the time of legend that Iris is the daughter of Thaumas. And if the rainbow is a divinity, what will you do about the clouds? The rainbow itself is caused by some colroation of the clouds; and also a cloud is fabled to have given birth to the Centaurs. But if you enroll the clouds among the gods, you will undoubtedly have to enroll the seasons, which have been deified in the national ritual of Rome. If so, then rain and tempest, storm and whirlwind must be deemed divine. At any rate it has been the custom of our generals when embarking on a sea‑voyage to sacrifice a victim to the waves. 3.52. Again, if the name of Ceres is derived from her bearing fruit, as you said, the earth itself is a goddess (and so she is believed to be, for she is the same as the deity Tellus). But if the earth is divine, so also is the sea, which you identified with Neptune; and therefore the rivers and springs too. This is borne out by the facts that Maso dedicated a Temple of Fons out of his Corsican spoils, and that the Augur's litany includes as we may see the names of Tiberinus, Spino, almo, Nodinus, and other rivers in the neighbourhood of Rome. Either therefore this process will go on indefinitely, or we shall admit none of these; nts unlimited claim of superstition will not be accepted; therefore none of these is to be accepted. 3.53. Accordingly, Balbus, we also ought to refute the theory that these gods, who are deified human beings, and who are the objects of our most devout and universal veneration, exist not in reality but in imagination . . . In the first place, the so‑called theologians enumerate three Jupiters, of whom the first and second were born, they say, in Arcadia, the father of one being Aether, who is also fabled to be the progenitor of Proserpine and Liber, and of the other Caelus, and this one is said to have begotten Minerva, the fabled patroness and originator of warfare; the third is the Cretan Jove, son of Saturn; his tomb is shown in that island. The Dioscuri also have a number of titles in Greece. The first set, called Anaces at Athens, the sons of the very ancient King Jupiter and Proserpine, are Tritopatreus, Eubuleus and Dionysus. The second set, the sons of the third Jove and Leda, are Castor and Pollux. The third are named by some people Alco, Melampus and Tmolus, and are the sons of Atreus the son of Pelops. 3.54. Again, the first set of Muses are four, the daughters of the second Jupiter, Thelxinoë, Aoede, Arche and Melete; the second set are the offspring of the third Jupiter and Mnemosyne, nine in number; the third set are the daughters of Pierus and Antiope, and are usually called by the poets the Pierides or Pierian Maidens; they are the same in number and have the same names as the next preceding set. The sun's name Sol you derive from his being sole of his kind, but the theologians produce a number even of Suns! One is the son of Jove and grandson of Aether; another is the son of Hyperion; the third of Vulcan the son of Nile — this is the one who the Egyptians say is lord of the city named Heliopolis; the fourth is the one to whom Acanthe is said to have given birth at Rhodes in the heroic age, the father of Ialysus, Camirus, Lindus and Rhodus; the fifth is the one said to have begotten Aeetes and Circe at Colchi. 3.55. There are also several Vulcans; the first, the son of the Sky, was reputed the father by Minerva of the Apollo said by the ancient historians to be the tutelary deity of Athens; the second, the son of Nile, is named by the Egyptians Phthas, and is deemed the guardian of Egypt; the third is the son of the third Jupiter and of Juno, and is fabled to have been taskmaster of a smithy at Lemnos; the fourth is the son of Memalius, and lord of the islands near Sicily which used to be named the Isles of Vulcan. 3.56. One Mercury has the Sky for father and the Day for mother; he is represented in a state of sexual excitation traditionally said to be due to passion inspired by the sight of Proserpine. Another is the son of Valens and Phoronis; this is the subterranean Mercury identified with Trophonius. The third, the son of the third Jove and of Maia, the legends make the father of Pan by Penelope. The fourth has Nile for father; the Egyptians deem it sinful to pronounce his name. The fifth, worshipped by the people of Pheneus, is said to have killed argus and consequently to have fled in exile to Egypt, where he gave the Egyptians their laws and letters. His Egyptian name is Theuth, which is also the name in the Egyptian calendar for the first month of year. 3.57. of the various Aesculapii the first is the son of Apollo, and is worshipped by the Arcadians; he is reputed to have invented the probe and to have been the first surgeon to employ splints. The second is the brother of the second Mercury; he is said to have been struck by lightning and buried at Cynosura. The third is the son of Arsippus and Arsinoë, and is said to have first invented the use of purges and the extraction of teeth; his tomb and grove are shown in Arcadia, not far from the river Lusius. The most ancient of the Apollos is the one whom I stated just before to be the son of Vulcan and the guardian of Athens. The second is the son of Corybas, and was born in Crete; tradition says that he fought with Jupiter himself for the possession of that island. The third is the son of the third Jupiter and of Latona, and is reputed to have come to Delphi from the Hyperboreans. The fourth belongs to Arcadia, and is called by the Arcadians Nomios, as being their traditional lawgiver. 3.58. Likewise there are several Dianas. The first, daughter of Jupiter and Proserpine, is said to have given birth to the winged Cupid. The second is more celebrated; tradition makes her the daughter of the third Jupiter and of Latona. The father of the third is recorded to have been Upis, and her mother Glauce; the Greeks often call her by her father's name of Upis. We have a number of Dionysi. The first is the son of Jupiter and Proserpine; the second of Nile — he is the fabled slayer of Nysa. The father of the third is Cabirus; it is stated that he was king over Asia, and the Sabazia were instituted in his honour. The fourth is the son of Jupiter and Luna; the Orphic rites are believed to be celebrated in his honour. The fifth is the son of Nisus and Thyone, and is believed to have established the Trieterid festival. 3.59. The first Venus is the daughter of the Sky and the Day; I have seen her temple at Elis. The second was engendered from the sea‑foam, and as we are told became the mother by Mercury of the second Cupid. The third is the daughter of Jupiter and Dione, who wedded Vulcan, but who is said to have been the mother of Anteros by Mars. The fourth was conceived of Syria and Cyprus, and is called Astarte; it is recorded that she married Adonis. The first Minerva is the one whom we mentioned above as the mother of Apollo. The second sprang from the Nile, and is worshipped by the Egyptians of Sais. The third is she whom we mentioned above as begotten by Jupiter. The fourth is the daughter of Jupiter and Coryphe the daughter of Oceanus, and is called Koria by the Arcadians, who say that she was the inventor of the four-horse chariot. The fifth is Pallas, who is said to have slain her father when he attempted to violate her maidenhood; she is represented with wings attached to her ankles. 3.60. The first Cupid is said to be the son of Mercury and the first Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, and the third, who is the same as Anteros, of Mars and the third Venus. "These and other similar fables have been culled from the ancient traditions of Greece; you are aware that we ought to combat them, so that religion may not be undermined. Your school however not merely do not refute them, but actually confirm them by interpreting their respective meanings. But let us now return to the point from which we digressed to this topic. 3.61. . . . Do you then think that any more subtle argument is needed to refute these notions? Intelligence, faith, hope, virtue, honour, victory, safety, concord and the other things of this nature obviously abstractions, not personal deities. For they are either properties inherent in ourselves, for instance intelligence, hope, faith, virtue, concord, or objects of our desire, for instance honour, safety, victory. I see that they have value, and I am also aware that statues are dedicated to them; but why they should be held to possess divinity is a thing that I cannot understand without further enlightenment. Fortune has a very strong claim to be counted in this list, and nobody will dissociate fortune from inconstancy and haphazard action, which are certainly unworthy of a deity. 3.65. Now let us consider the next topics — first whether the world is ruled by divine providence, and then whether the gods have regard for the affairs of mankind. For these are the two that I have left of the heads into which you divided the subject; and if you gentlemen approve, I feel that they require a somewhat detailed discussion." "For my part," said Velleius, "I approve entirely, for I anticipate something more important still to come, and I also strongly agree with what has been said already." 'I do not want to interrupt you with questions," added Balbus, "we will take another time for that: I warrant I will bring you to agree. But . . . . . . . . Nay, 'twill not be; a struggle is in store, What, should I fawn on him and speak him fair, Save for my purpose — 3.89. 'But sometimes good men come to good ends.' Yes, and we seize upon these cases and impute them with no reason to the immortal gods. Diagoras, named the Atheist, once came to Samothrace, and a certain friend said to him, 'You who think that the gods disregard men's affairs, do you not remark all the votive pictures that prove how many persons have escaped the violence of the storm, and come safe to port, by dint of vows to the gods?' 'That is so,' replied Diagoras; 'it is because there are nowhere any pictures of those who have been shipwrecked and drowned at sea.' On another voyage he encountered a storm which threw the crew of the vessel into a panic, and in their terror they told him that they had brought it on themselves by having taken him on board their ship. He pointed out to them a never of other vessels making heavy weather on the same course, and inquired whether they supposed that those ships also had a Diagoras on board. The fact really is that your character and past life make no difference whatever as regards your fortune good or bad. 3.92. But at all events a god could have come to the aid of those great and splendid cities and have preserved them — for you yourselves are fond of saying that there is nothing that a god cannot accomplish, and that without any toil; as man's limbs are effortlessly moved merely by his mind and will, so, as you say, the god's power can mould and move and alter all things. Nor do you say this as some superstitious fable or old wives' tale, but you give a scientific and systematic account of it: you allege that matter, which constitutes and contains all things, is in its entirety flexible and subject to change, so that there is nothing that cannot be moulded and transmuted out of it however suddenly, but the moulder and manipulator of this universal substance is divine providence, and therefore providence, whithersoever it moves, is able to perform whatever it will. Accordingly either providence does not know its own powers, or it does not regard human affairs, or it lacks power of judgement to discern what is the best. 3.95. I on my side," replied Cotta, "only desire to be refuted. My purpose was rather to discuss the doctrines I have expounded than to pronounce judgement upon them, and I am confident that you can easily defeat me." "Oh, no doubt," interposed Velleius; "why, he thinks that even our dreams are sent to us by Jupiter — though dreams themselves are not so unsubstantial as a Stoic disquisition on the nature of the gods." Here the conversation ended, and we parted, Velleius thinking Cotta's discourse to be the truer, while I felt that that of Balbus approximated more nearly to a semblance of the truth.
6. Cicero, Republic, 4.10.11 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

7. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 5.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5.120. quorum controversiam solebat tamquam honorarius arbiter iudicare Carneades. nam cum, quaecumque nam quaecumque ..mque cum V ( initium non dispicitur ) bona Peripateticis, eadem Stoicis commoda viderentur neque tamen Peripatetici plus tribuerent divitiis bonae valetudini ceteris rebus generis eiusdem quam Stoici, cum ea re, non verbis ponderarentur, causam esse dissidendi dissidendi s desiderandi X negabat. quare hunc locum ceterarum disciplinarum philosophi quem ad modum optinere possint, ipsi viderint; mihi tamen gratum est, quod de sapientium sapientiam G 1 ( corr. 1 ) V perpetua pertua R 1 bene bene bona V vivendi facultate dignum quiddam quiddam s V b quidam X philosophorum voce profitentur.
8. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 2.180-2.181, 3.296, 5.195-5.234 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

9. Diogenes of Oenoanda, Fragments, 20 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

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

11. Plutarch, On Stoic Self-Contradictions, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

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

13. Lactantius, De Ira Dei, 13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

14. Nag Hammadi, The Gospel of Truth, 17.19, 17.29 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

15. Plotinus, Enneads, 2.9 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

16. Augustine, De Beata Vita, 4.31 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
academicism Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
aeons Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
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
antiochus of ascalon Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
aratus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
attus navius Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 188
augury Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113; Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 188
aurelius cotta, c (cos. Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
balbus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
carneades Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
cause, series of causes/ series causarum Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
chance Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
chrysippus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
cicero, speeches cited by augustine O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
cicero Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113; O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
cosmology, cosmogony Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
cosmos, compared to a clock Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
cosmos, compared to a house Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
cosmos, divine Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
cotta c. aurelius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
demiurge Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
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) 119
diuinatione) Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
divination Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
epicureanism Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
fabia the vestal Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
fate/ heimarmene' "256.0_113.0@god's governance" Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
fate Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 188
god's governance" '256.0_113.0@gods Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
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) 119
good Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106, 113
greek gods, and harms Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
harmony Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
haruspicy Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 188
heavenly bodies, stars Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
heavenly bodies Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
hirtius, aulus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
honor Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
image Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
immortality Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
individuals Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
infancy/children Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
italy Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
justice Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106; O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
learned reader principle Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 126
lots, divination by Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 188
lucilius balbus, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
lucilius balbus q. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
marcus (character of de diuinatione) Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
material humans/powers Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
matter (material substance/existence) Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
middle platonism Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
minerva Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 111
moral improvement Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 106
myths Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 111
nature Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105, 106
panaetius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
pantheism Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
philo Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
philodemus Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
plague Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
platonism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
plutarch Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
pneuma (pneumatic substance) Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
polemo Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
posidonius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105, 113
principatum / ἡγεμονικόν Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
principle / principium / archē / ἀρχή Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
prodigy Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
prolepsis Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
prouidentia Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105, 106, 113; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
providence / πρόνοια Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
prudentia Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
psychê (psychic substance) Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
ratio Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
reason Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
religion Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 111
res publica, definition of O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
romulus Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
sallust O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
scepticism, pyrrhonean Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
scepticism Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
schofield, m. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
sextus empiricus Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
sleep Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
socrates Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
soul' Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 126
spirit, pneuma Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
stoicism, stoics, logic of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
stoicism, stoics, theology of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
stoicism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156; Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237; Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
teleology Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105, 106; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
theatre, polemic against O'Daly, Augustine's City of God: A Reader's Guide (2nd edn) (2020) 272
theology Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105, 113; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119; Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
tullius cicero, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
tullius cicero, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 36
velleius Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
velleius c. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
virtue Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
virtues Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 113
wise man Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119
zeno of citium Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 119