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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2300
Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 2.94-2.168


nanThen 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.


nanNext above the sea is the air, diversified by day and night: when rarefied, it possesses the higher region; when condensed, it turns into clouds, and with the waters which it gathers enriches the earth by the rain. Its agitation produces the winds. It causes heat and cold according to the different seasons. It sustains birds in their flight; and, being inhaled, nourishes and preserves all animated beings. Add to these, which alone remaineth to be mentioned, the firmament of heaven, a region the farthest from our abodes, which surrounds and contains all things. It is likewise called ether, or sky, the extreme bounds and limits of the universe, in which the stars perform their appointed courses in a most wonderful manner; among which, the sun, whose magnitude far surpasses the earth, makes his revolution round it, and by his rising and setting causes day and night; sometimes coming near towards the earth, and sometimes going from it, he every year makes two contrary reversions from the extreme point of its course. In his retreat the earth seems locked up in sadness; in his return it appears exhilarated with the heavens. The moon, which, as mathematicians demonstrate, is bigger than half the earth, makes her revolutions through the same spaces as the sun; but at one time approaching, and at another receding from, the sun, she diffuses the light which she has borrowed from him over the whole earth, and has herself also many various changes in her appearance. When she is found under the sun, and opposite to it, the brightness of her rays is lost; but when the earth directly interposes between the moon and sun, the moon is totally eclipsed. The other wandering stars have their courses round the earth in the same spaces, and rise and set in the same manner; their motions are sometimes quick, sometimes slow, and often they stand still.


nanNext 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.


nanOf 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.


nanAgain 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.


nanThere is nothing more wonderful, nothing more beautiful. There is a vast number of fixed stars, distinguished by the names of certain figures, to which we find they have some resemblance. I will here, says Balbus, looking at me, make use of the verses which, when you were young, you translated from Aratus, and which, because they are in Latin, gave me so much delight that I have many of them still in my memory. As then, we daily see, without any change or variation, — the rest Swiftly pursue the course to which they're bound; And with the heavens the days and nights go round; the contemplation of which, to a mind desirous of observing the constancy of nature, is inexhaustible. The extreme top of either point is call'd The pole. About this the two Ἄρκτοι are turned, which never set; Of these, the Greeks one Cynosura call, The other Helice. The brightest stars, indeed, of Helice are discernible all night, Which are by us Septentriones call'd. Cynosura moves about the same pole, with a like number of stars, and ranged in the same order: This the Phoenicians choose to make their guide When on the ocean in the night they ride. Adorned with stars of more refulgent light, The other shines, and first appears at night. Though this is small, sailors its use have found; More inward is its course, and short its round.


nanNothing 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


nanand 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;


nanand 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.


nanHis 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.


nanThe aspect of those stars is the more admirable, because, The Dragon grim between them bends his way, As through the winding banks the currents stray, And up and down in sinuous bending rolls. His whole form is excellent; but the shape of his head and the ardor of his eyes are most remarkable. Various the stars which deck his glittering head; His temples are with double glory spread; From his fierce eyes two fervid lights afar Flash, and his chin shines with one radiant star; Bow'd is his head; and his round neck he bends, And to the tail of Helice extends. The rest of the Dragon's body we see at every hour in the night. Here suddenly the head a little hides Itself, where all its parts, which are in sight, And those unseen in the same place unite. Near to this head Is placed the figure of a man that moves Weary and sad, which the Greeks Engonasis do call, because he's borne About with bended knee. Near him is placed The crown with a refulgent lustre graced. This indeed is at his back; but Anguitenens (the Snake-holder) is near his head: The Greeks him Ophiuchus call, renown'd The name. He strongly grasps the serpent round With both his hands; himself the serpent folds Beneath his breast, and round his middle holds; Yet gravely he, bright shining in the skies, Moves on, and treads on Nepa's breast and eyes. The Septentriones are followed by — Arctophylax, that's said to be the same Which we Bootes call, who has the name, Because he drives the Greater Bear along Yoked to a wain.


nanAnd 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


nanBy 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.


nanBesides, in Bootes, A star of glittering rays about his waist, Arcturus called, a name renown'd, is placed. Beneath which is The Virgin of illustrious form, whose hand Holds a bright spike. And truly these signs are so regularly disposed that a divine wisdom evidently appears in them: Beneath the Bear's head have the Twins their seat, Under his chest the Crab, beneath his feet The mighty Lion darts a trembling flame. The Charioteer On the left side of Gemini we see, And at his head behold fierce Helice; On his left shoulder the bright Goat appears. But to proceed — This is indeed a great and glorious star, On th' other side the Kids, inferior far, Yield but a slender light to mortal eyes. Under his feet The horned bull, with sturdy limbs, is placed: his head is spangled with a number of stars; These by the Greeks are called the Hyades, from raining; for ὕειν is to rain: therefore they are injudiciously called Suculae by our people, as if they had their name from ὗς, a sow, and not from ὕω. Behind the Lesser Bear, Cepheus follows with extended hands, For close behind the Lesser Bear he comes. Before him goes Cassiopea with a faintish light; But near her moves (fair and illustrious sight!) Andromeda, who, with an eager pace, Seems to avoid her parent's mournful face. With glittering mane the Horse now seems to tread, So near he comes, on her refulgent head; With a fair star, that close to him appears, A double form and but one light he wears; By which he seems ambitious in the sky An everlasting knot of stars to tie. Near him the Ram, with wreathed horns, is placed; by whom The Fishes are; of which one seems to haste Somewhat before the other, to the blast Of the north wind exposed.


nanAnd 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.


nanHis 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.


nanPerseus is described as placed at the feet of Andromeda: And him the sharp blasts of the north wind beat. Near his left knee, but dim their light, their seat The small Pleiades maintain. We find, Not far from them, the Lyre but slightly join'd. Next is the winged Bird, that seems to fly Beneath the spacious covering of the sky. Near the head of the Horse lies the right hand of Aquarius, then all Aquarius himself. Then Capricorn, with half the form of beast, Breathes chill and piercing colds from his strong breast, And in a spacious circle takes his round; When him, while in the winter solstice bound, The sun has visited with constant light, He turns his course, and shorter makes the night. Not far from hence is seen The Scorpion rising lofty from below; By him the Archer, with his bended bow; Near him the Bird, with gaudy feathers spread; And the fierce Eagle hovers o'er his head. Next comes the Dolphin; Then bright Orion, who obliquely moves; he is followed by The fervent Dog, bright with refulgent stars: next the Hare follows Unwearied in his course. At the Dog's tail Argo moves on, and moving seems to sail; O'er her the Ram and Fishes have their place; The illustrious vessel touches, in her pace, The river's banks; which you may see winding and extending itself to a great length. The Fetters at the Fishes' tails are hung. By Nepa's head behold the Altar stand, Which by the breath of southern winds is fann'd; near which the Centaur Hastens his mingled parts to join beneath The Serpent, there extending his right hand, To where you see the monstrous Scorpion stand, Which he at the bright Altar fiercely slays. Here on her lower parts see Hydra raise Herself; whose bulk is very far extended. Amid the winding of her body's placed The shining Goblet; and the glossy Crow Plunges his beak into her parts below. Antecanis beneath the Twins is seen, Call'd Procyon by the Greeks.


nanAt 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.


nanHere 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.


nanFollowing 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.


nanCan any one in his senses imagine that this disposition of the stars, and this heaven so beautifully adorned, could ever have been formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms? Or what other nature, being destitute of intellect and reason, could possibly have produced these effects, which not only required reason to bring them about, but the very character of which could not be understood and appreciated without the most strenuous exertions of well-directed reason? But our admiration is not limited to the objects here described. What is most wonderful is that the world is so durable, and so perfectly made for lasting that it is not to be impaired by time; for all its parts tend equally to the centre, and are bound together by a sort of chain, which surrounds the elements. This chain is nature, which being diffused through the universe, and performing all things with judgment and reason, attracts the extremities to the centre. If, then, the world is round, and if on that account all its parts, being of equal dimensions and relative proportions, mutually support and are supported by one another, it must follow that as all the parts incline to the centre (for that is the lowest place of a globe) there is nothing whatever which can put a stop to that propensity in the case of such great weights. For the same reason, though the sea is higher than the earth, yet because it has the like tendency, it is collected everywhere, equally concentres, and never overflows, and is never wasted. The air, which is contiguous, ascends by its lightness, but diffuses itself through the whole; therefore it is by nature joined and united to the sea, and at the same time borne by the same power towards the heaven, by the thinness and heat of which it is so tempered as to be made proper to supply life and wholesome air for the support of animated beings. This is encompassed by the highest region of the heavens, which is called the sky, which is joined to the extremity of the air, but retains its own heat pure and unmixed.


nanCan 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.


nanThe stars have their revolutions in the sky, and are continued by the tendency of all parts towards the centre. Their duration is perpetuated by their form and figure, for they are round; which form, as I think has been before observed, is the least liable to injury; and as they are composed of fire, they are fed by the vapors which are exhaled by the sun from the earth, the sea, and other waters; but when these vapors have nourished and refreshed the stars, and the whole sky, they are sent back to be exhaled again; so that very little is lost or consumed by the fire of the stars and the flame of the sky. Hence we Stoics conclude — which Panaetius is said to have doubted of — that the whole world at last would be consumed by a general conflagration, when, all moisture being exhausted, neither the earth could have any nourishment, nor the air return again, since water, of which it is formed, would then be all consumed; so that only fire would subsist; and from this fire, which is an animating power and a Deity, a new world would arise and be re-established in the same beauty. I should be sorry to appear to you to dwell too long upon this subject of the stars, and more especially upon that of the planets, whose motions, though different, make a very just agreement. Saturn, the highest, chills; Mars, placed in the middle, burns; while Jupiter, interposing, moderates their excess, both of light and heat. The two planets beneath Mars obey the sun. The sun himself fills the whole universe with his own genial light; and the moon, illuminated by him, influences conception, birth, and maturity. And who is there who is not moved by this union of things, and by this concurrence of nature agreeing together, as it were, for the safety of the world? And yet I feel sure that none of these reflections have ever been made by these men.


nanHence 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.


nanIts 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.


nanBut 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.


nanI 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.


nanLet us proceed from celestial to terrestrial things. What is there in them which does not prove the principle of an intelligent nature? First, as to vegetables; they have roots to sustain their stems, and to draw from the earth a nourishing moisture to support the vital principle which those roots contain. They are clothed with a rind or bark, to secure them more thoroughly from heat and cold. The vines we see take hold on props with their tendrils, as if with hands, and raise themselves as if they were animated; it is even said that they shun cabbages and coleworts, as noxious and pestilential to them, and, if planted by them, will not touch any part. But what a vast variety is there of animals! and how wonderfully is every kind adapted to preserve itself! Some are covered with hides, some clothed with fleeces, and some guarded with bristles; some are sheltered with feathers, some with scales; some are armed with horns, and some are furnished with wings to escape from danger. Nature hath also liberally and plentifully provided for all animals their proper food. I could expatiate on the judicious and curious formation and disposition of their bodies for the reception and digestion of it, for all their interior parts are so framed and disposed that there is nothing superfluous, nothing that is not necessary for the preservation of life. Besides, nature has also given these beasts appetite and sense; in order that by the one they may be excited to procure sufficient sustenance, and by the other they may distinguish what is noxious from what is salutary. Some animals seek their food walking, some creeping, some flying, and some swimming; some take it with their mouth and teeth; some seize it with their claws, and some with their beaks; some suck, some graze, some bolt it whole, and some chew it. Some are so low that they can with ease take such food as is to be found on the ground; but the taller, as geese, swans, cranes, and camels, are assisted by a length of neck. To the elephant is given a hand, without which, from his unwieldiness of body, he would scarce have any means of attaining food.


nanTo 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.


nanAgain 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.


nanBut 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;


nanBut to those beasts which live by preying on others, nature has given either strength or swiftness. On some animals she has even bestowed artifice and cunning; as on spiders, some of which weave a sort of net to entrap and destroy whatever falls into it, others sit on the watch unobserved to fall on their prey and devour it. The naker — by the Greeks called Pinna — has a kind of confederacy with the prawn for procuring food. It has two large shells open, into which when the little fishes swim, the naker, having notice given by the bite of the prawn, closes them immediately. Thus, these little animals, though of different kinds, seek their food in common; in which it is matter of wonder whether they associate by any agreement, or are naturally joined together from their beginning. There is some cause to admire also the provision of nature in the case of those aquatic animals which are generated on land, such as crocodiles, river-tortoises, and a certain kind of serpents, which seek the water as soon as they are able to drag themselves along. We frequently put duck-eggs under hens, by which, as by their true mothers, the ducklings are at first hatched and nourished; but when they see the water, they forsake them and run to it, as to their natural abode: so strong is the impression of nature in animals for their own preservation. I have read that there is a bird called Platalea (the shoveller), that lives by watching those fowls which dive into the sea for their prey, and when they return with it, he squeezes their heads with his beak till they drop it, and then seizes on it himself. It is said likewise that he is in the habit of filling his stomach with shell-fish, and when they are digested by the heat which exists in the stomach, they cast them up, and then pick out what is proper nourishment.


nanwhereas 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 sustenance 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.


nanIn 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.


nanThe sea-frogs, they say, are wont to cover themselves with sand, and moving near the water, the fishes strike at them, as at a bait, and are themselves taken and devoured by the frogs. Between the kite and the crow there is a kind of natural war, and wherever the one finds the eggs of the other, he breaks them. But who is there who can avoid being struck with wonder at that which has been noticed by Aristotle, who has enriched us with so many valuable remarks? When the cranes pass the sea in search of warmer climes, they fly in the form of a triangle. By the first angle they repel the resisting air; on each side, their wings serve as oars to facilitate their flight; and the basis of their triangle is assisted by the wind in their stern. Those which are behind rest their necks and heads on those which precede; and as the leader has not the same relief, because he has none to lean upon, he at length flies behind that he may also rest, while one of those which have been eased succeeds him, and through the whole flight each regularly takes his turn.


nanSea‑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.


nanI could produce many instances of this kind; but these may suffice. Let us now proceed to things more familiar to us. The care of beasts for their own preservation, their circumspection while feeding, and their manner of taking rest in their lairs, are generally known, but still they are greatly to be admired. Dogs cure themselves by a vomit, the Egyptian ibis by a purge; from whence physicians have lately — I mean but few ages since — greatly improved their art. It is reported that panthers, which in barbarous countries are taken with poisoned flesh, have a certain remedy that preserves them from dying; and that in Crete, the wild goats, when they are wounded with poisoned arrows, seek for an herb called dittany, which, when they have tasted, the arrows (they say) drop from their bodies. It is said also that deer, before they fawn, purge themselves with a little herb called hartswort. Beasts, when they receive any hurt, or fear it, have recourse to their natural arms: the bull to his horns, the boar to his tusks, and the lion to his teeth. Some take to flight, others hide themselves; the cuttle-fish vomits blood; the cramp-fish benumbs; and there are many animals that, by their intolerable stink, oblige their pursuers to retire. But that the beauty of the world might be eternal, great care has been taken by the providence of the Gods to perpetuate the different kinds of animals, and vegetables, and trees, and all those things which sink deep into the earth, and are contained in it by their roots and trunks; in order to which every individual has within itself such fertile seed that many are generated from one; and in vegetables this seed is enclosed in the heart of their fruit, but in such abundance that men may plentifully feed on it, and the earth be always replanted.


nanI 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.


nanDoes, 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.


nanWith regard to animals, do we not see how aptly they are formed for the propagation of their species? Nature for this end created some males and some females. Their parts are perfectly framed for generation, and they have a wonderful propensity to copulation. When the seed has fallen on the matrix, it draws almost all the nourishment to itself, by which the foetus is formed; but as soon as it is discharged from thence, if it is an animal that is nourished by milk, almost all the food of the mother turns into milk, and the animal, without any direction but by the pure instinct of nature, immediately hunts for the teat, and is there fed with plenty. What makes it evidently appear that there is nothing in this fortuitous, but the work of a wise and foreseeing nature, is, that those females which bring forth many young, as sows and bitches, have many teats, and those which bear a small number have but few.


nanWhy 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.


nanWhat tenderness do beasts show in preserving and raising up their young till they are able to defend themselves! They say, indeed, that fish, when they have spawned, leave their eggs; but the water easily supports them, and produces the young fry in abundance. It is said, likewise, that tortoises and crocodiles, when they have laid their eggs on the land, only cover them with earth, and then leave them, so that their young are hatched and brought up without assistance; but fowls and other birds seek for quiet places to lay in, where they build their nests in the softest manner, for the surest preservation of their eggs; which, when they have hatched, they defend from the cold by the warmth of their wings, or screen them from the sultry heat of the sun. When their young begin to be able to use their wings, they attend and instruct them; and then their cares are at an end. Human art and industry are indeed necessary towards the preservation and improvement of certain animals and vegetables; for there are several of both kinds which would perish without that assistance. There are likewise innumerable facilities (being different in different places) supplied to man to aid him in his civilization, and in procuring abundantly what he requires. The Nile waters Egypt, and after having overflowed and covered it the whole summer, it retires, and leaves the fields softened and manured for the reception of seed. The Euphrates fertilizes Mesopotamia, into which, as we may say, it carries yearly new fields. The Indus, which is the largest of all rivers, not only improves and cultivates the ground, but sows it also; for it is said to carry with it a great quantity of grain. I could mention many other countries remarkable for something singular, and many fields, which are, in their own natures, exceedingly fertile.


nanWhy 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.


nanMoreover 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.


nanBut how bountiful is nature that has provided for us such an abundance of various and delicious food; and this varying with the different seasons, so that we may be constantly pleased with change, and satisfied with abundance! How seasonable and useful to man, to beasts, and even to vegetables, are the Etesian winds she has bestowed, which moderate intemperate heat, and render navigation more sure and speedy! Many things must be omitted on a subject so copious — and still a great deal must be said — for it is impossible to relate the great utility of rivers, the flux and reflux of the sea, the mountains clothed with grass and trees, the salt-pits remote from the sea-coasts, the earth replete with salutary medicines, or, in short, the innumerable designs of nature necessary for sustenance and the enjoyment of life. We must not forget the vicissitudes of day and night, ordained for the health of animated beings, giving them a time to labor and a time to rest. Thus, if we every way examine the universe, it is apparent, from the greatest reason, that the whole is admirably governed by a divine providence for the safety and preservation of all beings. If it should be asked for whose sake this mighty fabric was raised, shall we say for trees and other vegetables, which, though destitute of sense, are supported by nature? That would be absurd. Is it for beasts? Nothing can be less probable than that the Gods should have taken such pains for beings void of speech and understanding. For whom, then, will any one presume to say that the world was made? Undoubtedly for reasonable beings; these are the Gods and men, who are certainly the most perfect of all beings, as nothing is equal to reason. It is therefore credible that the universe, and all things in it, were made for the Gods and for men. But we may yet more easily comprehend that the Gods have taken great care of the interests and welfare of men, if we examine thoroughly into the structure of the body, and the form and perfection of human nature.


nanAnd 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].


nanFor 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.


nanHere 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 sustenance 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.


nanThere are three things absolutely necessary for the support of life — to eat, to drink, and to breathe. For these operations the mouth is most aptly framed, which, by the assistance of the nostrils, draws in the more air. The teeth are there placed to divide and grind the food. The fore-teeth, being sharp and opposite to each other, cut it asunder, and the hind-teeth (called the grinders) chew it, in which office the tongue seems to assist. At the root of the tongue is the gullet, which receives whatever is swallowed: it touches the tonsils on each side, and terminates at the interior extremity of the palate. When, by the motions of the tongue, the food is forced into this passage, it descends, and those parts of the gullet which are below it are dilated, and those above are contracted. There is another passage, called by physicians the rough artery, which reaches to the lungs, for the entrance and return of the air we breathe; and as its orifice is joined to the roots of the tongue a little above the part to which the gullet is annexed, it is furnished with a sort of coverlid, lest, by the accidental falling of any food into it, the respiration should be stopped. As the stomach, which is beneath the gullet, receives the meat and drink, so the lungs and the heart draw in the air from without. The stomach is wonderfully composed, consisting almost wholly of nerves; it abounds with membranes and fibres, and detains what it receives, whether solid or liquid, till it is altered and digested. It sometimes contracts, sometimes dilates. It blends and mixes the food together, so that it is easily concocted and digested by its force of heat, and by the animal spirits is distributed into the other parts of the body.


nanThere are three things requisite for the maintenance 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.


nanNext 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.


nanAs to the lungs, they are of a soft and spongy substance, which renders them the most commodious for respiration; they alternately dilate and contract to receive and return the air, that what is the chief animal sustenance may be always fresh. The juice, by which we are nourished, being separated from the rest of the food, passes the stomach and intestines to the liver, through open and direct passages, which lead from the mesentery to the gates of the liver (for so they call those vessels at the entrance of it). There are other passages from thence, through which the food has its course when it has passed the liver. When the bile, and those humors which proceed from the kidneys, are separated from the food, the remaining part turns to blood, and flows to those vessels at the entrance of the liver to which all the passages adjoin. The chyle, being conveyed from this place through them into the vessel called the hollow vein, is mixed together, and, being already digested and distilled, passes into the heart; and from the heart it is communicated through a great number of veins to every part of the body. It is not difficult to describe how the gross remains are detruded by the motion of the intestines, which contract and dilate; but that must be declined, as too indelicate for discourse. Let us rather explain that other wonder of nature, the air, which is drawn into the lungs, receives heat both by that already in and by the coagitation of the lungs; one part is turned back by respiration, and the other is received into a place called the ventricle of the heart. There is another ventricle like it annexed to the heart, into which the blood flows from the liver through the hollow vein. Thus by one ventricle the blood is diffused to the extremities through the veins, and by the other the breath is communicated through the arteries; and there are such numbers of both dispersed through the whole body that they manifest a divine art. Why need I speak of the bones, those supports of the body, whose joints are so wonderfully contrived for stability, and to render the limbs complete with regard to motion and to every action of the body? Or need I mention the nerves, by which the limbs are governed — their many interweavings, and their proceeding from the heart, from whence, like the veins and arteries, they have their origin, and are distributed through the whole corporeal frame?


nanThe 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.


nanThe 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.


nanIt 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.


nanWhy 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.


nanTo this skill of nature, and this care of providence, so diligent and so ingenious, many reflections may be added, which show what valuable things the Deity has bestowed on man. He has made us of a stature tall and upright, in order that we might behold the heavens, and so arrive at the knowledge of the Gods; for men are not simply to dwell here as inhabitants of the earth, but to be, as it were, spectators of the heavens and the stars, which is a privilege not granted to any other kind of animated beings. The senses, which are the interpreters and messengers of things, are placed in the head, as in a tower, and wonderfully situated for their proper uses; for the eyes, being in the highest part, have the office of sentinels, in discovering to us objects; and the ears are conveniently placed in a high part of the person, being appointed to receive sound, which naturally ascends. The nostrils have the like situation, because all scent likewise ascends; and they have, with great reason, a near vicinity to the mouth, because they assist us in judging of meat and drink. The taste, which is to distinguish the quality of what we take; is in that part of the mouth where nature has laid open a passage for what we eat and drink. But the touch is equally diffused through the whole body, that we may not receive any blows, or the too rigid attacks of cold and heat, without feeling them. And as in building the architect averts from the eyes and nose of the master those things which must necessarily be offensive, so has nature removed far from our senses what is of the same kind in the human body.


nanMany 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.


nanThe 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.


nanWhat artificer but nature, whose direction is incomparable, could have exhibited so much ingenuity in the formation of the senses? In the first place, she has covered and invested the eyes with the finest membranes, which she hath made transparent, that we may see through them, and firm in their texture, to preserve the eyes. She has made them slippery and movable, that they might avoid what would offend them, and easily direct the sight wherever they will. The actual organ of sight, which is called the pupil, is so small that it can easily shun whatever might be hurtful to it. The eyelids, which are their coverings, are soft and smooth, that they may not injure the eyes; and are made to shut at the apprehension of any accident, or to open at pleasure; and these movements nature has ordained to be made in an instant: they are fortified with a sort of palisade of hairs, to keep off what may be noxious to them when open, and to be a fence to their repose when sleep closes them, and allows them to rest as if they were wrapped up in a case. Besides, they are commodiously hidden and defended by eminences on every side; for on the upper part the eyebrows turn aside the perspiration which falls from the head and forehead; the cheeks beneath rise a little, so as to protect them on the lower side; and the nose is placed between them as a wall of separation. The hearing is always open, for that is a sense of which we are in need even while we are sleeping; and the moment that any sound is admitted by it we are awakened even from sleep. It has a winding passage, lest anything should slip into it, as it might if it were straight and simple. Nature also hath taken the same precaution in making there a viscous humor, that if any little creatures should endeavor to creep in, they might stick in it as in bird-lime. The ears (by which we mean the outward part) are made prominent, to cover and preserve the hearing, lest the sound should be dissipated and escape before the sense is affected. Their entrances are hard and horny, and their form winding, because bodies of this kind better return and increase the sound. This appears in the harp, lute, or horn; and from all tortuous and enclosed places sounds are returned stronger.


nanAgain 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.


nanThe 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.


nanThe 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 resonance to a lyre, and always why winding passages and enclosures have an echo which is louder than the original sound.


nanThe nostrils, in like manner, are ever open, because we have a continual use for them; and their entrances also are rather narrow, lest anything noxious should enter them; and they have always a humidity necessary for the repelling dust and many other extraneous bodies. The taste, having the mouth for an enclosure, is admirably situated, both in regard to the use we make of it and to its security. Besides, every human sense is much more exquisite than those of brutes; for our eyes, in those arts which come under their judgment, distinguish with great nicety; as in painting, sculpture, engraving, and in the gesture and motion of bodies. They understand the beauty, proportion, and, as I may so term it, the becomingness of colors and figures; they distinguish things of greater importance, even virtues and vices; they know whether a man is angry or calm, cheerful or sad, courageous or cowardly, bold or timorous. The judgment of the ears is not less admirably and scientifically contrived with regard to vocal and instrumental music. They distinguish the variety of sounds, the measure, the stops, the different sorts of voices, the treble and the base, the soft and the harsh, the sharp and the flat, of which human ears only are capable to judge. There is likewise great judgment in the smell, the taste, and the touch; to indulge and gratify which senses more arts have been invented than I could wish: it is apparent to what excess we have arrived in the composition of our perfumes, the preparation of our food, and the enjoyment of corporeal pleasures.


nanSimilarly 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.


nanThe 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.


nanAgain, he who does not perceive the soul and mind of man, his reason, prudence, and discernment, to be the work of a divine providence, seems himself to be destitute of those faculties. While I am on this subject, Cotta, I wish I had your eloquence: how would you illustrate so fine a subject! You would show the great extent of the understanding; how we collect our ideas, and join those which follow to those which precede; establish principles, draw consequences, define things separately, and comprehend them with accuracy; from whence you demonstrate how great is the power of intelligence and knowledge, which is such that even God himself has no qualities more admirable. How valuable (though you Academics despise and even deny that we have it) is our knowledge of exterior objects, from the perception of the senses joined to the application of the mind; by which we see in what relation one thing stands to another, and by the aid of which we have invented those arts which are necessary for the support and pleasure of life. How charming is eloquence! How divine that mistress of the universe, as you call it! It teaches us what we were ignorant of, and makes us capable of teaching what we have learned. By this we exhort others; by this we persuade them; by this we comfort the afflicted; by this we deliver the affrighted from their fear; by this we moderate excessive joy; by this we assuage the passions of lust and anger. This it is which bound men by the chains of right and law, formed the bonds of civil society, and made us quit a wild and savage life. And it will appear incredible, unless you carefully observe the facts, how complete the work of nature is in giving us the use of speech; for, first of all, there is an artery from the lungs to the bottom of the mouth, through which the voice, having its original principle in the mind, is transmitted. Then the tongue is placed in the mouth, bounded by the teeth. It softens and modulates the voice, which would otherwise be confusedly uttered; and, by pushing it to the teeth and other parts of the mouth, makes the sound distinct and articulate. We Stoics, therefore, compare the tongue to the bow of an instrument, the teeth to the strings, and the nostrils to the sounding-board.


nanComing 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;


nanit 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.


nanNow 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.


nanBut how commodious are the hands which nature has given to man, and how beautifully do they minister to many arts! For, such is the flexibility of the joints, that our fingers are closed and opened without any difficulty. With their help, the hand is formed for painting, carving, and engraving; for playing on stringed instruments, and on the pipe. These are matters of pleasure. There are also works of necessity, such as tilling the ground, building houses, making cloth and habits, and working in brass and iron. It is the business of the mind to invent, the senses to perceive, and the hands to execute; so that if we have buildings, if we are clothed, if we live in safety, if we have cities, walls, habitations, and temples, it is to the hands we owe them. By our labor, that is, by our hands, variety and plenty of food are provided; for, without culture, many fruits, which serve either for present or future consumption, would not be produced; besides, we feed on flesh, fish, and fowl, catching some, and bringing up others. We subdue four-footed beasts for our carriage, whose speed and strength supply our slowness and inability. On some we put burdens, on others yokes. We convert the sagacity of the elephant and the quick scent of the dog to our own advantage. Out of the caverns of the earth we dig iron, a thing entirely necessary for the cultivation of the ground. We discover the hidden veins of copper, silver, and gold, advantageous for our use and beautiful as ornaments. We cut down trees, and use every kind of wild and cultivated timber, not only to make fire to warm us and dress our meat, but also for building, that we may have houses to defend us from the heat and cold. With timber likewise we build ships, which bring us from all parts every commodity of life. We are the only animals who, from our knowledge of navigation, can manage what nature has made the most violent — the sea and the winds. Thus we obtain from the ocean great numbers of profitable things. We are the absolute masters of what the earth produces. We enjoy the mountains and the plains. The rivers and the lakes are ours. We sow the seed, and plant the trees. We fertilize the earth by overflowing it. We stop, direct, and turn the rivers: in short, by our hands we endeavor, by our various operations in this world, to make, as it were, another nature.


nanThen 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.


nanMoreover 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.


nanTimber moreover is of great value for constructing ships, whose voyages supply an abundance of sustenance 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.


nanBut what shall I say of human reason? Has it not even entered the heavens? Man alone of all animals has observed the courses of the stars, their risings and settings. By man the day, the month, the year, is determined. He foresees the eclipses of the sun and moon, and foretells them to futurity, marking their greatness, duration, and precise time. From the contemplation of these things the mind extracts the knowledge of the Gods — a knowledge which produces piety, with which is connected justice, and all the other virtues; from which arises a life of felicity, inferior to that of the Gods in no single particular, except in immortality, which is not absolutely necessary to happy living. In explaining these things, I think that I have sufficiently demonstrated the superiority of man to other animated beings; from whence we should infer that neither the form and position of his limbs nor that strength of mind and understanding could possibly be the effect of chance.


nanThen 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.


nanI am now to prove, by way of conclusion, that every thing in this world of use to us was made designedly for us. First of all, the universe was made for the Gods and men, and all things therein were prepared and provided for our service. For the world is the common habitation or city of the Gods and men; for they are the only reasonable beings: they alone live by justice and law. As, therefore, it must be presumed the cities of Athens and Lacedemon were built for the Athenians and Lacedemonians, and as everything there is said to belong to those people, so everything in the universe may with propriety be said to belong to the Gods and men, and to them alone. In the next place, though the revolutions of the sun, moon, and all the stars are necessary for the cohesion of the universe, yet may they be considered also as objects designed for the view and contemplation of man. There is no sight less apt to satiate the eye, none more beautiful, or more worthy to employ our reason and penetration. By measuring their courses we find the different seasons, their durations and vicissitudes, which, if they are known to men alone, we must believe were made only for their sake. Does the earth bring forth fruit and grain in such excessive abundance and variety for men or for brutes? The plentiful and exhilarating fruit of the vine and the olive-tree are entirely useless to beasts. They know not the time for sowing, tilling, or for reaping in season and gathering in the fruits of the earth, or for laying up and preserving their stores. Man alone has the care and advantage of these things.


nanIt 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.


nanAgain the revolutions of the sun and moon no other heavenly bodies, although also contributing to the maintenance 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.


nanThen 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.


nanJust 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.


nanThus, as the lute and the pipe were made for those, and those only, who are capable of playing on them, so it must be allowed that the produce of the earth was designed for those only who make use of them; and though some beasts may rob us of a small part, it does not follow that the earth produced it also for them. Men do not store up corn for mice and ants, but for their wives, their children, and their families. Beasts, therefore, as I said before, possess it by stealth, but their masters openly and freely. It is for us, therefore, that nature hath provided this abundance. Can there be any doubt that this plenty and variety of fruit, which delight not only the taste, but the smell and sight, was by nature intended for men only? Beasts are so far from being partakers of this design, that we see that even they themselves were made for man; for of what utility would sheep be, unless for their wool, which, when dressed and woven, serves us for clothing? For they are not capable of anything, not even of procuring their own food, without the care and assistance of man. The fidelity of the dog, his affectionate fawning on his master, his aversion to strangers, his sagacity in finding game, and his vivacity in pursuit of it, what do these qualities denote but that he was created for our use? Why need I mention oxen? We perceive that their backs were not formed for carrying burdens, but their necks were naturally made for the yoke, and their strong broad shoulders to draw the plough. In the Golden Age, which poets speak of, they were so greatly beneficial to the husbandman in tilling the fallow ground that no violence was ever offered them, and it was even thought a crime to eat them: The Iron Age began the fatal trade Of blood, and hammer'd the destructive blade; Then men began to make the ox to bleed, And on the tamed and docile beast to feed.


nanIt 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?


nanWhy 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.


nanIt would take a long time to relate the advantages which we receive from mules and asses, which undoubtedly were designed for our use. What is the swine good for but to eat? whose life, Chrysippus says, was given it but as salt to keep it from putrefying; and as it is proper food for man, nature hath made no animal more fruitful. What a multitude of birds and fishes are taken by the art and contrivance of man only, and which are so delicious to our taste that one would be tempted sometimes to believe that this Providence which watches over us was an Epicurean! Though we think there are some birds — the alites and oscines, as our augurs call them — which were made merely to foretell events. The large savage beasts we take by hunting, partly for food, partly to exercise ourselves in imitation of martial discipline, and to use those we can tame and instruct, as elephants, or to extract remedies for our diseases and wounds, as we do from certain roots and herbs, the virtues of which are known by long use and experience. Represent to yourself the whole earth and seas as if before your eyes. You will see the vast and fertile plains, the thick, shady mountains, the immense pasturage for cattle, and ships sailing over the deep with incredible celerity; nor are our discoveries only on the face of the earth, but in its secret recesses there are many useful things, which being made for man, by man alone are discovered.


nanAs 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.


nanThe 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.


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.


nanMany 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.


nanNor 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.


nanFor if the reasons which I have given prove to all of us that the Gods take care of all men, in every country, in every part of the world separate from our continent, they take care of those who dwell on the same land with us, from east to west; and if they regard those who inhabit this kind of great island, which we call the globe of the earth, they have the like regard for those who possess the parts of this island — Europe, Asia, and Africa; and therefore they favor the parts of these parts, as Rome, Athens, Sparta, and Rhodes; and particular men of these cities, separate from the whole; as Curius, Fabricius, Coruncanius, in the war with Pyrrhus; in the first Punic war, Calatinus, Duillius, Metellus, Lutatius; in the second, Maximus, Marcellus, Africanus; after these, Paullus, Gracchus, Cato; and in our fathers' times, Scipio, Laelius. Rome also and Greece have produced many illustrious men, who we cannot believe were so without the assistance of the Deity; which is the reason that the poets, Homer in particular, joined their chief heroes — Ulysses, Agamemnon, Diomedes, Achilles — to certain Deities, as companions in their adventures and dangers. Besides, the frequent appearances of the Gods, as I have before mentioned, demonstrate their regard for cities and particular men. This is also apparent indeed from the foreknowledge of events, which we receive either sleeping or waking. We are likewise forewarned of many things by the entrails of victims, by presages, and many other means, which have been long observed with such exactness as to produce an art of divination. There never, therefore, was a great man without divine inspiration. If a storm should damage the corn or vineyard of a person, or any accident should deprive him of some conveniences of life, we should not judge from thence that the Deity hates or neglects him. The Gods take care of great things, and disregard the small. But to truly great men all things ever happen prosperously; as has been sufficiently asserted and proved by us Stoics, as well as by Socrates, the prince of philosophers, in his discourses on the infinite advantages arising from virtue.


nanBut 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.


nanIt 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.


nanTherefore 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.


nanThis is almost the whole that hath occurred to my mind on the nature of the Gods, and what I thought proper to advance. Do you, Cotta, if I may advise, defend the same cause. Remember that in Rome you keep the first rank; remember that you are Pontifex; and as your school is at liberty to argue on which side you please, do you rather take mine, and reason on it with that eloquence which you acquired by your rhetorical exercises, and which the Academy improved; for it is a pernicious and impious custom to argue against the Gods, whether it be done seriously, or only in pretence and out of sport.


nanThese 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.


nanYet 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.


nanSo 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.'


nanThus far Aristotle. Let us imagine, also, as great darkness as was formerly occasioned by the irruption of the fires of Mount Aetna, which are said to have obscured the adjacent countries for two days to such a degree that no man could recognize his fellow; but on the third, when the sun appeared, they seemed to be risen from the dead. Now, if we should be suddenly brought from a state of eternal darkness to see the light, how beautiful would the heavens seem! But our minds have become used to it from the daily practice and habituation of our eyes, nor do we take the trouble to search into the principles of what is always in view; as if the novelty, rather than the importance, of things ought to excite us to investigate their causes. Is he worthy to be called a man who attributes to chance, not to an intelligent cause, the constant motion of the heavens, the regular courses of the stars, the agreeable proportion and connection of all things, conducted with so much reason that our intellect itself is unable to estimate it rightly? When we see machines move artificially, as a sphere, a clock, or the like, do we doubt whether they are the productions of reason? And when we behold the heavens moving with a prodigious celerity, and causing an annual succession of the different seasons of the year, which vivify and preserve all things, can we doubt that this world is directed, I will not say only by reason, but by reason most excellent and divine? For without troubling ourselves with too refined a subtlety of discussion, we may use our eyes to contemplate the beauty of those things which we assert have been arranged by divine providence.


nanThus 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.


nanWho 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?


nanFirst, let us examine the earth, whose situation is in the middle of the universe, solid, round, and conglobular by its natural tendency; clothed with flowers, herbs, trees, and fruits; the whole in multitudes incredible, and with a variety suitable to every taste: let us consider the ever-cool and running springs, the clear waters of the rivers, the verdure of their banks, the hollow depths of caves, the cragginess of rocks, the heights of impending mountains, and the boundless extent of plains, the hidden veins of gold and silver, and the infinite quarries of marble. What and how various are the kinds of animals, tame or wild? The flights and notes of birds? How do the beasts live in the fields and in the forests? What shall I say of men, who, being appointed, as we may say, to cultivate the earth, do not suffer its fertility to be choked with weeds, nor the ferocity of beasts to make it desolate; who, by the houses and cities which they build, adorn the fields, the isles, and the shores? If we could view these objects with the naked eye, as we can by the contemplation of the mind, nobody, at such a sight, would doubt there was a divine intelligence. But how beautiful is the sea! How pleasant to see the extent of it! What a multitude and variety of islands! How delightful are the coasts! What numbers and what diversity of inhabitants does it contain; some within the bosom of it, some floating on the surface, and others by their shells cleaving to the rocks! While the sea itself, approaching to the land, sports so closely to its shores that those two elements appear to be but one.


nanFor 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.


nanThink 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.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 20, 15 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

15. δῆσαι βίᾳ φάραγγι πρὸς δυσχειμέρῳ. 15. to bind with force a kindred god upon this rocky cleft assailed by cruel winter. Yet, come what may, I am constrained to summon courage to this deed; for it is perilous to disregard the commandments of the Father. Lofty-minded son of Themis who counsels straight, against my will, no less than yours, I must rivet you with brazen bonds
2. Cicero, On Laws, 3.3 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 2.4-2.19, 2.29, 2.45-2.49, 2.51, 2.54, 2.56-2.79, 2.81-2.99, 2.101-2.168, 3.28, 3.42-3.45, 3.51-3.61, 3.95 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

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. 2.29. 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. 2.101. 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. 2.162. Nor only on the surface of the earth, but also in its darkest recesses there lurks an abundance of commodities which were created for men's use and which men alone discover. "The next subject is one which each of you perhaps will seize upon for censure, Cotta because Carneades used to enjoy tilting at the Stoics, Velleius because nothing provokes the ridicule of Epicurus so much as the art of prophecy; but in my view it affords the very strongest proof that man's welfare is studied by divine providence. I refer of course to Divination, which we see practised in many regions and upon various matters and occasions both private and more especially public. 2.163. Many observations are made by those who inspect the victims at sacrifices, many events are foreseen by augurs or revealed in oracles and prophecies, dreams and portents, a knowledge of which has often led to the acquisition of many things gratifying men's wishes and requirements, and also to the avoidance of many dangers. This power or art or instinct therefore has clearly been bestowed by the immortal gods on man, and on no other creature, for the ascertainment of future events. "And if perchance these arguments separately fail to convince you, nevertheless in combination their collective weight will be bound to do so. 2.164. Nor is the care and providence of the immortal gods bestowed only upon the human race in its entirety, but it is also wont to be extended to individuals. We may narrow down the entirety of the human race and bring it gradually down to smaller and smaller groups, and finally to single individuals. For if we believe, for the reasons that we have spoken of before, that the gods care for all human beings everywhere in every coast and region of the lands remote from this continent in which we dwell, then they care also for the men who inhabit with us these lands between the sunrise and the sunset. 2.165. But if they care for these who inhabit that sort of vast island which we call the round earth, they also care for those who occupy continue divisions of that island, Europe, Asia and Africa. Therefore they also cherish the divisions of those divisions, for instance Rome, Athens, Sparta and Rhodes; and they cherish the individual citizens of those cities regarded separately from the whole body collectively, for example, Curius, Fabricius and Coruncanius in the war with Pyrrhus, Calatinus, Duellius, Metellus and Lutatius in the First Punic War, and Maximus, Marcellus and Africanus in the Second, and at a later date Paulus, Gracchus and Cato, or in our fathers' time Scipio and Laelius; and many remarkable men besides both our own country and Greece have given birth to, none of whom would conceivably have been what he was save by god's aid. 2.166. It was this reason which drove the poets, and especially Homer, to attach to their chief heroes, Ulysses, Diomede, Agamemnon or Achilles, certain gods as the companions of their perils and adventures; moreover the gods have often appeared to men in person, as in the cases which I have mentioned above, so testifying that they care both for communities and for individuals. And the same is proved by the portents of future occurrences that are vouchsafed to men sometimes when they are asleep and sometimes when they are awake. Moreover we receive a number of warnings by means of signs and of the entrails of victims, and by many other things that long-continued usage has noted in such a manner as to create the art of divination. 2.167. Therefore no great man ever existed who did not enjoy some portion of divine inspiration. Nor yet is this argument to be deprived by pointing to cases where a man's cornfields or vineyards have been damaged by a storm, or an accident has robbed him of some commodity of value, and inferring that the victim of one of these misfortunes is the object of god's hatred or neglect. The gods attend to great matters; they neglect small ones. Now great men always prosper in all their affairs, assuming that the teachers of our school and Socrates, the prince of philosophy, have satisfactorily discoursed upon the bounteous abundance of wealth that virtue bestows. 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. 3.28. And so I fully agreed with the part of your discourse that dealt with nature's punctual regularity, and what you termed its concordant interconnexion and correlation; but I could not accept your assertion that this could not have come about were it not held together by a single divine breath. On the contrary, the system's coherence and persistence is due to nature's forces and not to drive power; she does possess that 'concord' (the Greek term is sympatheia) of which you spoke, but the greater this is as a spontaneous growth, the less possible is it to suppose that it was created by divine reason. 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. 3.95. 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.
4. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 6.639-6.702 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 5.6.7, 5.6.13, 5.6.28 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 5.6.7, 5.6.13, 5.6.28 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

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

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



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aeons Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
aeschylus, agamemnon, prometheus, bound Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
alps Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
anthropomorphism Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
antiochus of ascalon Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
apennines Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
aratus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
aristotle Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
atrium Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
balbus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
border, boundary, legal definition of Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
campania Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
caucasus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
cicero Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285; Williams, The Cosmic Viewpoint: A Study of Seneca's 'Natural Questions' (2012) 21
city Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
communication Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
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, 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
cult images of the gods Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
cultural-environmental process Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
demiurge Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
empedocles Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 341
god's governance" '256.0_105.0@individuals Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
gray, thomas Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
hannibal Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
harmony Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
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
island Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
landscape Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104, 105
life Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
locus amoenus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
lucilius balbus q. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
lucretius Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
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
moon Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
mount olympus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
mountains, as beautiful Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104, 105
myths Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 111
naples Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
nature, importance in roman culture Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
nature Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105; Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
nicolson, marjorie hope Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 341
nymphaeum Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
otium Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
panaetius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
paths, symbolic significance of Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 341
peristyle Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
philo Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
picturesque, the Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
pliny the younger Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
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
pompeii Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
port, harbour Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
posidonius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
prayer Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
principatum / ἡγεμονικόν Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
principle / principium / archē / ἀρχή Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
prometheus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
property Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
providence / πρόνοια Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
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
religion Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 111
river, riverine Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
rivers Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104, 105
rocks/stones Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
roman empire Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
rome, hills Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
rural landscape, shaped by human work Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
sacrifices Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
shelley, prometheus unbound Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
similes Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
sleep Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
stars Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
stoicism, religion Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
stoicism Linjamaa, The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5): A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics (2019) 237
storms Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
sublime, the Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
sun Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
symbolism and significance (of the sea) Ferrándiz, Shipwrecks, Legal Landscapes and Mediterranean Paradigms: Gone Under Sea (2022) 109
teleology Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105
temple buildings Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
theology Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 105; Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
theophrastus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 341; Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
tragedy Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105
velleius c. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 36
viewing Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104, 105
villa, quintus hortensius hortalus Weissenrieder, Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies, and Performances (2016) 285
villas Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 104
wonder' Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 138
zeus Konig, The Folds of Olympus: Mountains in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture (2022) 105