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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



2300
Cicero, On The Nature Of The Gods, 3.92-3.93


nanBut could not the Deity have assisted and preserved those eminent cities? Undoubtedly he could; for, according to your doctrine, his power is infinite, and without the least labor; and as nothing but the will is necessary to the motion of our bodies, so the divine will of the Gods, with the like ease, can create, move, and change all things. This you hold, not from a mere phantom of superstition, but on natural and settled principles of reason; for matter, you say, of which all things are composed and consist, is susceptible of all forms and changes, and there is nothing which cannot be, or cease to be, in an instant; and that Divine Providence has the command and disposal of this universal matter, and consequently can, in any part of the universe, do whatever she pleases: from whence I conclude that this Providence either knows not the extent of her power, or neglects human affairs, or cannot judge what is best for us. Providence, you say, does not extend her care to particular men; there is no wonder in that, since she does not extend it to cities, or even to nations, or people. If, therefore, she neglects whole nations, is it not very probable that she neglects all mankind? But how can you assert that the Gods do not enter into all the little circumstances of life, and yet hold that they distribute dreams among men? Since you believe in dreams, it is your part to solve this difficulty. Besides, you say we ought to call upon the Gods. Those who call upon the Gods are individuals. Divine Providence, therefore, regards individuals, which consequently proves that they are more at leisure than you imagine. Let us suppose the Divine Providence to be greatly busied; that it causes the revolutions of the heavens, supports the earth, and rules the seas; why does it suffer so many Gods to be unemployed? Why is not the superintendence of human affairs given to some of those idle Deities which you say are innumerable? This is the purport of what I had to say concerning "the Nature of the Gods;" not with a design to destroy their existence, but merely to show what an obscure point it is, and with what difficulties an explanation of it is attended.


nanBut at all events a god could have come to the aid of those great and splendid cities and have preserved them — for you yourselves are fond of saying that there is nothing that a god cannot accomplish, and that without any toil; as man's limbs are effortlessly moved merely by his mind and will, so, as you say, the god's power can mould and move and alter all things. Nor do you say this as some superstitious fable or old wives' tale, but you give a scientific and systematic account of it: you allege that matter, which constitutes and contains all things, is in its entirety flexible and subject to change, so that there is nothing that cannot be moulded and transmuted out of it however suddenly, but the moulder and manipulator of this universal substance is divine providence, and therefore providence, whithersoever it moves, is able to perform whatever it will. Accordingly either providence does not know its own powers, or it does not regard human affairs, or it lacks power of judgement to discern what is the best.


nan'It does not care for individuals.' This is no wonder; no more does it care for cities. Not for temple? Not for tribes or nations either. And if it shall appear that it despises even nations, what wonder is it that it has scorned the entire human race? But how can you both maintain that the gods do not pay attention to everything and also believe that dreams are distributed and doled out to men by the immortal gods? I argue this with you because the belief in the truth of dreams is a tenet of your school. And do you also say that it is proper for men to take vows upon themselves? Well, but vows are made by individuals; therefore the divine mind gives a hearing even to the concerns of individuals; do you see therefore that it is not so engrossed in business as you thought? Grant that it is distracted between moving the heavens and watching the earth and controlling the seas: why does it suffer so many gods to be idle and keep holiday? why does it not appoint some of leisured gods whose countless numbers you expounded, Balbus, to superintend human affairs? "This more or less is what I have to say about the nature of the gods; it is not my design to disprove it, but to bring you to understand how obscure it is and how difficult to explain.


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

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

2. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

30b. none that is irrational will be fairer, comparing wholes with wholes, than the rational; and further, that reason cannot possibly belong to any apart from Soul. So because of this reflection He constructed reason within soul and soul within body as He fashioned the All, that so the work He was executing might be of its nature most fair and most good. Thus, then, in accordance with the likely account, we must declare that this Cosmos has verily come into existence as a Living Creature endowed with soul and reason owing to the providence of God.
3. Aristotle, On The Universe, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Theophrastus, Characters, 16 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

5. Cicero, On Divination, 1.7, 1.60-1.62, 1.64-1.66, 1.70, 1.72, 1.117, 2.14, 2.19, 2.33, 2.36, 2.50, 2.124-2.126, 2.130 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.7. Sed haec quidem laus Academiae praestantissumi philosophi iudicio et testimonio conprobata est. Etenim nobismet ipsis quaerentibus, quid sit de divinatione iudicandum, quod a Carneade multa acute et copiose contra Stoicos disputata sint, verentibusque, ne temere vel falsae rei vel non satis cognitae adsentiamur, faciendum videtur, ut diligenter etiam atque etiam argumenta cum argumentis comparemus, ut fecimus in iis tribus libris, quos de natura deorum scripsimus. Nam cum omnibus in rebus temeritas in adsentiendo errorque turpis est, tum in eo loco maxime, in quo iudicandum est, quantum auspiciis rebusque divinis religionique tribuamus; est enim periculum, ne aut neglectis iis impia fraude aut susceptis anili superstitione obligemur. 1.60. At multa falsa. Immo obscura fortasse nobis. Sed sint falsa quaedam; contra vera quid dicimus? Quae quidem multo plura evenirent, si ad quietem integri iremus. Nunc onusti cibo et vino perturbata et confusa cernimus. Vide, quid Socrates in Platonis Politia loquatur. Dicit enim: “Cum dormientibus ea pars animi, quae mentis et rationis sit particeps, sopita langueat, illa autem, in qua feritas quaedam sit atque agrestis inmanitas, cum sit inmoderato obstupefacta potu atque pastu, exsultare eam in somno inmoderateque iactari. Itaque huic omnia visa obiciuntur a mente ac ratione vacua, ut aut cum matre corpus miscere videatur aut cum quovis alio vel homine vel deo, saepe belua, atque etiam trucidare aliquem et impie cruentari multaque facere inpure atque taetre cum temeritate et inpudentia. 1.61. At qui salubri et moderato cultu atque victu quieti se tradiderit ea parte animi, quae mentis et consilii est, agitata et erecta saturataque bonarum cogitationum epulis, eaque parte animi, quae voluptate alitur, nec inopia enecta nec satietate affluenti (quorum utrumque praestringere aciem mentis solet, sive deest naturae quippiam sive abundat atque affluit), illa etiam tertia parte animi, in qua irarum existit ardor, sedata atque restincta, tum eveniet duabus animi temerariis partibus compressis, ut illa tertia pars rationis et mentis eluceat et se vegetam ad somniandum acremque praebeat, tum ei visa quietis occurrent tranquilla atque veracia.” Haec verba ipsa Platonis expressi. 1.62. Epicurum igitur audiemus potius? Namque Carneades concertationis studio modo hoc, modo illud ait; ille, quod sentit; sentit autem nihil umquam elegans, nihil decorum. Hunc ergo antepones Platoni et Socrati? qui ut rationem non redderent, auctoritate tamen hos minutos philosophos vincerent. Iubet igitur Plato sic ad somnum proficisci corporibus adfectis, ut nihil sit, quod errorem animis perturbationemque adferat. Ex quo etiam Pythagoriis interdictum putatur, ne faba vescerentur, quod habet inflationem magnam is cibus tranquillitati mentis quaerenti vera contrariam. 1.64. Divinare autem morientes illo etiam exemplo confirmat Posidonius, quod adfert, Rhodium quendam morientem sex aequales nominasse et dixisse, qui primus eorum, qui secundus, qui deinde deinceps moriturus esset. Sed tribus modis censet deorum adpulsu homines somniare, uno, quod provideat animus ipse per sese, quippe qui deorum cognatione teneatur, altero, quod plenus ae+r sit inmortalium animorum, in quibus tamquam insignitae notae veritatis appareant, tertio, quod ipsi di cum dormientibus conloquantur. Idque, ut modo dixi, facilius evenit adpropinquante morte, ut animi futura augurentur. 1.65. Ex quo et illud est Callani, de quo ante dixi, et Homerici Hectoris, qui moriens propinquam Achilli mortem denuntiat. Neque enim illud verbum temere consuetudo adprobavisset, si ea res nulla esset omnino: Praésagibat ánimus frustra me íre, cum exirém domo. Sagire enim sentire acute est; ex quo sagae anus, quia multa scire volunt, et sagaces dicti canes. Is igitur, qui ante sagit, quam oblata res est, dicitur praesagire, id est futura ante sentire. 1.66. Inest igitur in animis praesagitio extrinsecus iniecta atque inclusa divinitus. Ea si exarsit acrius, furor appellatur, cum a corpore animus abstractus divino instinctu concitatur. H. Séd quid oculis rábere visa es dérepente ardéntibus? U/bi paulo ante sápiens illa vírginalis modéstia? C. Máter, optumárum multo múlier melior múlierum, Míssa sum supérstitiosis háriolatiónibus; Námque Apollo fátis fandis démentem invitám ciet. Vírgines vereór aequalis, pátris mei meum factúm pudet, O/ptumi viri/; mea mater, túi me miseret, méi piget. O/ptumam progéniem Priamo péperisti extra me; hóc dolet. Mén obesse, illós prodesse, me óbstare, illos óbsequi? O poe+ma tenerum et moratum atque molle! Sed hoc minus ad rem; 1.70. Exposui quam brevissime potui somnii et furoris oracla, quae carere arte dixeram. Quorum amborum generum una ratio est, qua Cratippus noster uti solet, animos hominum quadam ex parte extrinsecus esse tractos et haustos (ex quo intellegitur esse extra divinum animum, humanus unde ducatur), humani autem animi eam partem, quae sensum, quae motum, quae adpetitum habeat, non esse ab actione corporis seiugatam; quae autem pars animi rationis atque intellegentiae sit particeps, eam tum maxume vigere, cum plurimum absit a corpore. 1.72. in quo haruspices, augures coniectoresque numerantur. Haec inprobantur a Peripateticis, a Stoicis defenduntur. Quorum alia sunt posita in monumentis et disciplina, quod Etruscorum declarant et haruspicini et fulgurales et rituales libri, vestri etiam augurales, alia autem subito ex tempore coniectura explicantur, ut apud Homerum Calchas, qui ex passerum numero belli Troiani annos auguratus est, et ut in Sullae scriptum historia videmus, quod te inspectante factum est, ut, cum ille in agro Nolano inmolaret ante praetorium, ab infima ara subito anguis emergeret, cum quidem C. Postumius haruspex oraret illum, ut in expeditionem exercitum educeret; id cum Sulla fecisset, tum ante oppidum Nolam florentissuma Samnitium castra cepit. 1.117. Quo modo autem aut vates aut somniantes ea videant, quae nusquam etiam tunc sint, magna quaestio est. Sed explorata si sint ea, quae ante quaeri debeant, sint haec, quae quaerimus, faciliora. Continet enim totam hanc quaestionem ea ratio, quae est de natura deorum, quae a te secundo libro est explicata dilucide. Quam si obtinemus, stabit illud, quod hunc locum continet, de quo agimus, esse deos, et eorum providentia mundum administrari, eosdemque consulere rebus humanis, nec solum universis, verum etiam singulis. Haec si tenemus, quae mihi quidem non videntur posse convelli, profecto hominibus a dis futura significari necesse est. 2.14. Atqui ne illa quidem divitis esse dicebas, ventos aut imbres inpendentes quibusdam praesentire signis (in quo nostra quaedam Aratea memoriter a te pronuntiata sunt), etsi haec ipsa fortuita sunt; plerumque enim, non semper eveniunt. Quae est igitur aut ubi versatur fortuitarum rerum praesensio, quam divinationem vocas? Quae enim praesentiri aut arte aut ratione aut usu aut coniectura possunt, ea non divinis tribuenda putas, sed peritis. Ita relinquitur, ut ea fortuita divinari possint, quae nulla nec arte nec sapientia provideri possunt; ut, si quis M. Marcellum illum, qui ter consul fuit, multis annis ante dixisset naufragio esse periturum, divinasset profecto; nulla enim arte alia id nec sapientia scire potuisset. Talium ergo rerum, quae in fortuna positae sunt, praesensio divinatio est. 2.19. Aut si negas esse fortunam et omnia, quae fiunt quaeque futura sunt, ex omni aeternitate definita dicis esse fataliter, muta definitionem divinationis, quam dicebas praesensionem esse rerum fortuitarum. Si enim nihil fieri potest, nihil accidere, nihil evenire, nisi quod ab omni aeternitate certum fuerit esse futurum rato tempore, quae potest esse fortuna? qua sublata qui locus est divinationi? quae a te fortuitarum rerum est dicta praesensio. Quamquam dicebas omnia, quae fierent futurave essent, fato contineri. Anile sane et plenum superstitionis fati nomen ipsum; sed tamen apud Stoicos de isto fato multa dicuntur; de quo alias; nunc quod necesse est. 2.33. Haec observari certe non potuerunt, ut supra docui. Sunt igitur artis inventa, non vetustatis, si est ars ulla rerum incognitarum; cum rerum autem natura quam cognationem habent? quae ut uno consensu iuncta sit et continens, quod video placuisse physicis, eisque maxume, qui omne, quod esset, unum esse dixerunt, quid habere mundus potest cum thesauri inventione coniunctum? Si enim extis pecuniae mihi amplificatio ostenditur idque fit natura, primum exta sunt coniuncta mundo, deinde meum lucrum natura rerum continetur. Nonne pudet physicos haec dicere? Ut enim iam sit aliqua in natura rerum contagio, quam esse concedo (multa enim Stoici colligunt; nam et musculorum iecuscula bruma dicuntur augeri, et puleium aridum florescere brumali ipso die, et inflatas rumpi vesiculas, et semina malorum, quae in iis mediis inclusa sint, in contrarias partis se vertere, iam nervos in fidibus aliis pulsis resonare alios, ostreisque et conchyliis omnibus contingere, ut cum luna pariter crescant pariterque decrescant, arboresque ut hiemali tempore cum luna simul senescente, quia tum exsiccatae sint, tempestive caedi putentur. 2.36. deorum enim numini parere omnia. Haec iam, mihi crede, ne aniculae quidem existimant. An censes, eundem vitulum si alius delegerit, sine capite iecur inventurum; si alius, cum capite? Haec decessio capitis aut accessio subitone fieri potest, ut se exta ad immolatoris fortunam accommodent? non perspicitis aleam quandam esse in hostiis deligendis, praesertim cum res ipsa doceat? Cum enim tristissuma exta sine capite fuerunt, quibus nihil videtur esse dirius, proxuma hostia litatur saepe pulcherrime. Ubi igitur illae minae superiorum extorum? aut quae tam subito facta est deorum tanta placatio? Sed adfers in tauri opimi extis immolante Caesare cor non fuisse; id quia non potuerit accidere, ut sine corde victuma illa viveret, iudicandum esse tum interisse cor, cum immolaretur. 2.50. conceptio contra naturam fortasse, sed partus prope necessarius. Sed quid plura? ortum videamus haruspicinae; sic facillume, quid habeat auctoritatis, iudicabimus. Tages quidam dicitur in agro Tarquiniensi, cum terra araretur et sulcus altius esset impressus, extitisse repente et eum adfatus esse, qui arabat. Is autem Tages, ut in libris est Etruscorum, puerili specie dicitur visus, sed senili fuisse prudentia. Eius adspectu cum obstipuisset bubulcus clamoremque maiorem cum admiratione edidisset, concursum esse factum, totamque brevi tempore in eum locum Etruriam convenisse; tum illum plura locutum multis audientibus, qui omnia verba eius exceperint litterisque mandarint; omnem autem orationem fuisse eam, qua haruspicinae disciplina contineretur; eam postea crevisse rebus novis cognoscendis et ad eadem illa principia referendis. Haec accepimus ab ipsis, haec scripta conservant, hunc fontem habent disciplinae. 2.124. Sed haec quoque in promptu fuerint; nunc interiora videamus. Aut enim divina vis quaedam consulens nobis somniorum significationes facit, aut coniectores ex quadam convenientia et coniunctione naturae, quam vocant sumpa/qeian, quid cuique rei conveniat ex somniis, et quid quamque rem sequatur, intellegunt, aut eorum neutrum est, sed quaedam observatio constans atque diuturna est, cum quid visum secundum quietem sit, quid evenire et quid sequi soleat. Primum igitur intellegendum est nullam vim esse divinam effectricem somniorum. Atque illud quidem perspicuum est, nulla visa somniorum proficisci a numine deorum; nostra enim causa di id facerent, ut providere futura possemus. 2.125. Quotus igitur est quisque, qui somniis pareat, qui intellegat, qui meminerit? quam multi vero, qui contemt eamque superstitionem inbecilli animi atque anilis putent! Quid est igitur, cur his hominibus consulens deus somniis moneat eos, qui illa non modo cura, sed ne memoria quidem digna ducant? Nec enim ignorare deus potest, qua mente quisque sit, nec frustra ac sine causa quid facere dignum deo est, quod abhorret etiam ab hominis constantia. Ita, si pleraque somnia aut ignorantur aut negleguntur, aut nescit hoc deus aut frustra somniorum significatione utitur; et horum neutrum in deum cadit; nihil igitur a deo somniis significari fatendum est. 2.126. Illud etiam requiro, cur, si deus ista visa nobis providendi causa dat, non vigilantibus potius det quam dormientibus. Sive enim externus et adventicius pulsus animos dormientium commovet, sive per se ipsi animi moventur, sive quae causa alia est, cur secundum quietem aliquid videre, audire, agere videamur, eadem causa vigilantibus esse poterat; idque si nostra causa di secundum quietem facerent, vigilantibus idem facerent, praesertim cum Chrysippus Academicos refellens permulto clariora et certiora esse dicat, quae vigilantibus videantur, quam quae somniantibus. Fuit igitur divina beneficentia dignius, cum consulerent nobis, clariora visa dare vigilanti quam obscuriora per somnum. Quod quoniam non fit, somnia divina putanda non sunt. 2.130. Chrysippus quidem divinationem definit his verbis: vim cognoscentem et videntem et explicantem signa, quae a dis hominibus portendantur; officium autem esse eius praenoscere, dei erga homines mente qua sint quidque significent, quem ad modumque ea procurentur atque expientur. Idemque somniorum coniectionem definit hoc modo: esse vim cernentem et explatem, quae a dis hominibus significentur in somnis. Quid ergo? ad haec mediocri opus est prudentia an et ingenio praestanti et eruditione perfecta? Talem autem cognovimus neminem. 1.7. At any rate, this praiseworthy tendency of the Academy to doubt has been approved by the solemn judgement of a most eminent philosopher. [4] Accordingly, since I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination because of the many pointed and exhaustive arguments urged by Carneades against the Stoic view, and since I am afraid of giving a too hasty assent to a proposition which may turn out either false or insufficiently established, I have determined carefully and persistently to compare argument with argument just as I did in my three books On the Nature of the Gods. For a hasty acceptance of an erroneous opinion is discreditable in any case, and especially so in an inquiry as to how much weight should be given to auspices, to sacred rites, and to religious observances; for we run the risk of committing a crime against the gods if we disregard them, or of becoming involved in old womens superstition if we approve them. [5] 1.7. As briefly as I could, I have discussed divination by means of dreams and frenzy, which, as I said, are devoid of art. Both depend on the same reasoning, which is that habitually employed by our friend Cratippus: The human soul is in some degree derived and drawn from a source exterior to itself. Hence we understand that outside the human soul there is a divine soul from which the human soul is sprung. Moreover, that portion of the human soul which is endowed with sensation, motion, and carnal desire is inseparable from bodily influence; while that portion which thinks and reasons is most vigorous when it is most distant from the body. 1.61. But, on the other hand, when the man, whose habits of living and of eating are wholesome and temperate, surrenders himself to sleep, having the thinking and reasoning portion of his soul eager and erect, and satisfied by a feast of noble thoughts, and having that portion which feeds on carnal pleasures neither utterly exhausted by abstinence nor cloyed by over-indulgence — for, as a rule, the edge of thought is dulled whether nature is starved or overfed — and, when such a man, in addition, has that third portion of the soul, in which the fire of anger burns, quieted and subdued — thus having the two irrational portions under complete control — then will the thinking and reasoning portion of his soul shine forth and show itself keen and strong for dreaming and then will his dreams be peaceful and worthy of trust. I have reproduced Platos very words. [30] 1.62. Then shall we listen to Epicurus rather than to Plato? As for Carneades, in his ardour for controversy he asserts this and now that. But, you retort, Epicurus says what he thinks. But he thinks nothing that is ever well reasoned, or worthy of a philosopher. Will you, then, put this man before Plato or Socrates, who though they gave no reason, would yet prevail over these petty philosophers by the mere weight of their name? Now Platos advice to us is to set out for the land of dreams with bodies so prepared that no error or confusion may assail the soul. For this reason, it is thought, the Pythagoreans were forbidden to indulge in beans; for that food produces great flatulence and induces a condition at war with a soul in search for truth. 1.64. Moreover, proof of the power of dying men to prophesy is also given by Posidonius in his well-known account of a certain Rhodian, who, when on his death-bed, named six men of equal age and foretold which of them would die first, which second, and so on. Now Posidonius holds the view that there are three ways in which men dream as the result of divine impulse: first, the soul is clairvoyant of itself because of its kinship with the gods; second, the air is full of immortal souls, already clearly stamped, as it were, with the marks of truth; and third, the gods in person converse with men when they are asleep. And, as I said just now, it is when death is at hand that men most readily discern signs of the future. 1.65. This is illustrated by the story which I related about Callanus and by Homers account of Hector, who, as he was dying, prophesied the early death of Achilles.[31] It is clear that, in our ordinary speech, we should not have made such frequent use of the word praesagire, meaning to sense in advance, or to presage, if the power of presaging had been wholly non-existent. An illustration of its use is seen in the following well-known line from Plautus:My soul presaged as I left home that my leaving was in vain.Now sagire means to have a keen perception. Accordingly certain old women are called sagae, because they are assumed to know a great deal, and dogs are said to be sagacious. And so one who has knowledge of a thing before it happens is said to presage, that is, to perceive the future in advance. 1.66. Therefore the human soul has an inherent power of presaging or of foreknowing infused into it from without, and made a part of it by the will of God. If that power is abnormally developed, it is called frenzy or inspiration, which occurs when the soul withdraws itself from the body and is violently stimulated by a divine impulse, as in the following instance, where Hecuba says to Cassandra:But why those flaming eyes, that sudden rage?And whither fled that sober modesty,Till now so maidenly and yet so wise?and Cassandra answers:O mother, noblest of thy noble sex!I have been sent to utter prophecies:Against my will Apollo drives me madTo revelation make of future ills.O virgins! comrades of my youthful hours,My mission shames my father, best of men.O mother dear! great loathing for myselfAnd grief for thee I feel. For thou hast borneTo Priam goodly issue — saving me,Tis sad that unto thee the rest bring weal,I woe; that they obey, but I oppose.What a tender and pathetic poem, and how suitable to her character! though it is not altogether relevant, I admit. 1.72. But those methods of divination which are dependent on conjecture, or on deductions from events previously observed and recorded, are, as I have said before, not natural, but artificial, and include the inspection of entrails, augury, and the interpretation of dreams. These are disapproved of by the Peripatetics and defended by the Stoics. Some are based upon records and usage, as is evident from the Etruscan books on divination by means of inspection of entrails and by means of thunder and lightning, and as is also evident from the books of your augural college; while others are dependent on conjecture made suddenly and on the spur of the moment. An instance of the latter kind is that of Calchas in Homer, prophesying the number of years of the Trojan War from the number of sparrows. We find another illustration of conjectural divination in the history of Sulla in an occurrence which you witnessed. While he was offering sacrifices in front of his head-quarters in the Nolan district a snake suddenly came out from beneath the altar. The soothsayer, Gaius Postumius, begged Sulla to proceed with his march at once. Sulla did so and captured the strongly fortified camp of the Samnites which lay in front of the town of Nola. 1.117. Now there is a great problem as to how prophets and dreamers can see things, which, at the time, have no actual existence anywhere. But that question would be solved quite readily if we were to investigate certain other questions which demand consideration first. For the theory in regard to the nature of the gods, so clearly developed in the second book of your work on that subject, includes this whole question. If we maintain that theory we shall establish the very point which I am trying to make: namely, that there are gods; that they rule the universe by their foresight; and that they direct the affairs of men — not merely of men in the mass, but of each individual. If we succeed in holding that position — and for my part I think it impregnable — then surely it must follow that the gods give to men signs of coming events. [52] 2.14. And you went on to say that even the foreknowledge of impending storms and rains by means of certain signs was not divination, and, in that connexion, you quoted a number of verses from my translation of Aratus. Yet such coincidences happen by chance, for though they happen frequently they do not happen always. What, then, is this thing you call divination — this foreknowledge of things that happen by chance — and where is it employed? You think that whatever can be foreknown by means of science, reason, experience, or conjecture is to be referred, not to diviners, but to experts. It follows, therefore, that divination of things that happen by chance is possible only of things which cannot be foreseen by means of skill or wisdom. Hence, if someone had declared many years in advance that the famous Marcus Marcellus, who was consul three times, would perish in a shipwreck, this, by your definition, undoubtedly would have been a case of divination, since that calamity could not have been foreseen by means of any other skill or by wisdom. That is why you say that divination is the foreknowledge of such things as depend upon chance. [6] 2.14. When the soul itself is weakened and relaxed many such sights and sounds, you may be sure, are seen and heard in all manner of confusion and diversity. Then especially do the remts of our waking thoughts and deeds move and stir within the soul. For example, in the time of my banishment Marius was often in my mind as I recalled with what great fortitude and courage he had borne his own heavy misfortunes, and this I think is the reason why I dreamed about him.[68] As for your dream, it occurred while you were thinking and worrying about me and then you had the vision of me as I suddenly arose from the river. For in the souls of us both were traces of our waking thoughts, but with some added features, of course: as, for example, my dreaming of Mariuss monument and your dreaming that the horse on which I rode sank with me and then reappeared. 2.19. But if you deny the existence of chance and assert that the course of everything present or future has been inevitably determined from all eternity, then you must change your definition of divination, which you said was the foreknowledge of things that happen by chance. For if nothing can happen, nothing befall, nothing come to pass, except what has been determined from all eternity as bound to happen at a fixed time, how can there be such a thing as chance? And if there is no such thing as chance, what room is there for that divination, which you termed a foreknowledge of things that happen by chance? And you were inconsistent enough, too, to say that everything that is or will be is controlled by Fate! Why, the very word Fate is full of superstition and old womens credulity, and yet the Stoics have much to say of this Fate of yours. A discussion on Fate is reserved for another occasion; at present I shall speak of it only in so far as it is necessary. [8] 2.33. Such signs, as I have shown before, certainly could not come within your classification of the kinds of divination dependent on observation. Therefore they are not the result of immemorial usage, but they are the inventions of art — if there can be any art in the occult. But what relationship have they with the laws of nature? Assuming that all the works of nature are firmly bound together in a harmonious whole (which, I observe, is the view of the natural philosophers and especially of those men who maintain that the universe is a unit), what connexion can there be between the universe and the finding of a treasure? For instance, if the entrails foretell an increase in my fortune and they do so in accordance with some law of nature, then, in the first place, there is some relationship between them and the universe, and in the second place, my ficial gain is regulated by the laws of nature. Are not the natural philosophers ashamed to utter such nonsense? And yet a certain contact between the different parts of nature may be admitted and I concede it. The Stoics have collected much evidence to prove it. They claim, for example, that the livers of mice become larger in winter; that the dry pennyroyal blooms the very day of the winter solstice, and that its seed-pods become inflated and burst and the seeds enclosed thither are sent in various directions; that at times when certain strings of the lyre are struck others sound; that it is the habit of oysters and of all shell-fish to grow with the growth of the moon and to become smaller as it wanes; and that trees are considered easiest to cut down in winter and in the dark of the moon, because they are then free from sap. 2.36. Upon my word, no old woman is credulous enough now to believe such stuff! Do you believe that the same bullock, if chosen by one man, will have a liver without a head, and if chosen by another will have a liver with a head? And is it possible that this sudden going or coming of the livers head occurs so that the entrails may adapt themselves to the situation of the person who offers the sacrifice? Do you Stoics fail to see in choosing the victim it is almost like a throw of the dice, especially as facts prove it? For when the entrails of the first victim have been without a head, which is the most fatal of all signs, it often happens that the sacrifice of the next victim is altogether favourable. Pray what became of the warnings of the first set of entrails? And how was the favour of the gods so completely and so suddenly gained?[16] But, you say, Once, when Caesar was offering a sacrifice, there was no heart in the entrails of the sacrificial bull; and, and, since it would have been impossible for the victim to live without a heart, the heart must have disappeared at the moment of immolation. 2.124. But, though the conclusion just stated is obvious, let us now look deeper into the question. Surely you must assume, either that there is a Divine Power which, in planning for our good, gives us information by means of dreams; or that, because of some natural connexion and association — the Greeks call it συμπάθεια — interpreters of dreams know what sort of a dream is required to fit any situation and what sort of a result will follow any dream; or that neither of these suppositions is true, but that the usual result or consequence of every dream is known by a consistent system of rules based on long-continued observation. In the first place, then, it must be understood that there is no divine power which creates dreams. And indeed it is perfectly clear that none of the visions seen in dreams have their origin in the will of the gods; for the gods, for our sakes, would so interpose that we might be able to foresee the future. 2.125. But how often, pray, do you find anyone who pays any attention to dreams or who understands or remembers them? On the other hand, how many treat them with disdain, and regard a belief in them as the superstition of a weak and effeminate mind! Moreover, why does God, in planning for the good of the human race, convey his warnings by means of dreams which men consider unworthy not only of worrying about, but even of remembering? For it is impossible that God does not know how people generally regard dreams; and to do anything needlessly and without a cause is unworthy of a god and is inconsistent even with the habits of right-thinking men. And hence, if most dreams are unnoticed and disregarded, either God is ignorant of that fact, or he does a vain thing in conveying information by means of dreams; but neither supposition accords with the nature of a god, therefore, it must be admitted that God conveys no information by means of dreams. [61] 2.126. I also ask, if God gives us these visions as forewarnings, why does he not give them to us when we are awake rather than when we are asleep? For, whether our souls in sleep are impelled by some external and foreign force; or whether they are self-moved; or whether there is some other cause why, during sleep, we imagine ourselves seeing or hearing, or doing certain things — whatever the cause, it would apply just as well when we are awake. If the gods did send us warnings in our sleep and for our good they would do the same for us when we are awake, especially since, as Chrysippus says in replying to the Academicians, appearances seen when we are awake are much more distinct and trustworthy than those seen in dreams. It would, therefore, have been more in keeping with the beneficence of gods, in consulting for our good, to send us clear visions in our waking moments rather than unintelligible ones in our dreams. But since that is not the case, dreams ought not to be held divine.
6. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.10, 1.55, 1.94, 2.5, 2.70, 2.72-2.75, 2.77, 2.87, 2.97-2.98, 2.162, 3.17, 3.68, 3.86-3.90, 3.93 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.10. Those however who seek to learn my personal opinion on the various questions show an unreasonable degree of curiosity. In discussion it is not so much weight of authority as force of argument that should be demanded. Indeed the authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn; they cease to employ their own judgement, and take what they perceive to be the verdict of their chosen master as settling the question. In fact I am not disposed to approve the practice traditionally ascribed to the Pythagoreans, who, when questioned as to the grounds of any assertion that they advanced in debate, are said to have been accustomed to reply 'He himself said so,' 'he himself' being Pythagoras. So potent was an opinion already decided, making authority prevail unsupported by reason. 1.55. An outcome of this theology was first of all your doctrine of Necessity or Fate, heimarmenē, as you termed it, the theory that every event is the result of an eternal truth and an unbroken sequence of causation. But what value can be assigned to a philosophy which thinks that everything happens by fate? it is a belief for old women, and ignorant old women at that. And next follows your doctrine of mantikē, or Divination, which would so steep us in superstition, if we consented to listen to you, that we should be the devotees of soothsayers, augurs, oracle-mongers, seers and interpreters of dreams. 1.94. You yourself just now, when reeling off the list of philosophers like the censor calling the roll of the Senate, said that all those eminent men were fools, idiots and madmen. But if none of these discerned the truth about the divine nature, it is to be feared that the divine nature is entirely non‑existent. "For as for your school's account of the matter, it is the merest fairy-story, hardly worthy of old wives at work by lamplight. You don't perceive what a number of things you are let in for, if we consent to admit that men and gods have the same form. You will have to assign to god exactly the same physical exercises and care of the person as are proper to men: he will walk, run, recline, bend, sit, hold things in the hand, and lastly even converse and make speeches. 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. 2.70. 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. 2.72. 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. 2.77. 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. 2.87. 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? 2.97. 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. 2.162. 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. 3.17. but the question is not, are there any people who think that the gods exist, — the question is, do the gods exist or do they not? As for the remaining reasons adduced by Cleanthes, the one derived from the abundance of the commodities bestowed upon us, and the other from the ordered sequence of the seasons and the regularity of the heavens, we will treat of these when we come to discuss divine providence, about which you, Balbus, said a great deal; 3.68. Medea was criminal, but also she was perfectly rational. Again, does not the hero plotting the direful banquet for his brother turn the design this way and that in his thoughts? More must I moil and bigger bale must brew, Whereby to quell and crush his cruel heart. Nor must we pass over Thyestes himself, who Was not content to tempt my wife to sin — an offence of which Atreus speaks correctly and with perfect truth — the which I deem the height of peril In matters of high state, if royal mothers Shall be debauched, the royal blood corrupted, The lineage mixed. But how craftily this very crime is plotted by his brother, employing adultery as a means to gain the throne: Thereto withal (says Atreus) the heavenly sire did send me A warning portent, to confirm my reign — A lamb, conspicuous among the flock With fleece of gold, Thyestes once did dare To steal from out my palace, and in this deed My consort did suborn as his accomplice. 3.86. 'But,' it may be objected, 'the gods disregard smaller matters, and do not pay attention to the petty farms and paltry vines of individuals, and any trifling damage done by blight or hail cannot have been a matter for the notice of Jupiter; even kings do not attend to all the petty affairs in their kingdoms': this is how you argue. As if forsooth it was Publius Rutilius's estate at Formiae about which I complained a little time ago, and not his loss of all security! But this is the way with all mortals: their external goods, their vineyards, cornº-fields and olive-yards, with their abundant harvests and fruits, and in short all the comfort and prosperity of their lives, they think of as coming to them from the gods; but virtue no one ever imputed to a god's bounty. 3.87. And doubtless with good reason; for our virtue is a just ground for others' praise and a right reason for our own pride, and this would not be so if the gift of virtue came to us from a god and not from ourselves. On the other hand when we achieve some honour or some accession to our estate, or obtain any other of the goods or avoid any of the evils of fortune, it is then that we render thanks to the gods, and do not think that our credit has been enhanced. Did anyone ever render thanks to the gods because he was a good man? No, but because he was rich, honoured, secure. The reason why men give to Jupiter the titles of Best and Greatest is not that they the hand that he makes us just, temperate or wise, but safe, secure, wealthy and opulent. 3.88. Nor did anyone ever vow to pay a tithe to Hercules if he became a wise man! It is true there is a story that Pythagoras used to sacrifice an ox to the Muses when he had made a new discovery in geometry! but I don't believe it, since Pythagoras refused even to sacrifice a victim to Apollo of Delos, for fear of sprinkling the altar with blood. However, to return to my point, it is the considered belief of all mankind that they must pray to god for fortune but obtain wisdom for themselves. Let us dedicate temples as we will to Intellect, Virtue and Faith, yet we perceive that these things are within ourselves; hope, safety, wealth, victory are blessings which we must seek from the gods. Accordingly the prosperity and good fortune of the wicked, as Diogenes used to say, disprove the might and power of the gods entirely. 3.89. 'But sometimes good men come to good ends.' Yes, and we seize upon these cases and impute them with no reason to the immortal gods. Diagoras, named the Atheist, once came to Samothrace, and a certain friend said to him, 'You who think that the gods disregard men's affairs, do you not remark all the votive pictures that prove how many persons have escaped the violence of the storm, and come safe to port, by dint of vows to the gods?' 'That is so,' replied Diagoras; 'it is because there are nowhere any pictures of those who have been shipwrecked and drowned at sea.' On another voyage he encountered a storm which threw the crew of the vessel into a panic, and in their terror they told him that they had brought it on themselves by having taken him on board their ship. He pointed out to them a never of other vessels making heavy weather on the same course, and inquired whether they supposed that those ships also had a Diagoras on board. The fact really is that your character and past life make no difference whatever as regards your fortune good or bad. 3.90. 'The gods do not take notice of everything, any more than do human rulers,' says our friend. Where is the parallel? If human rulers knowingly overlook a fault they are greatly to blame; but as for god, he cannot even offer the excuse of ignorance. And how remarkably you champion his cause, when you declare that the divine power is such that even if a person has escaped punishment by dying, the punishment is visited on his children and grandchildren and their descendants! What a remarkable instance of the divine justice! Would any state tolerate a lawgiver who should enact that a son or grandson was to be sentenced for the transgression of a father or grandfather? Where shall the Tantalids' vendetta end? What penalty for Myrtilus' murder Shall ever glut the appetite of vengeance? 3.93. 'It does not care for individuals.' This is no wonder; no more does it care for cities. Not for temple? Not for tribes or nations either. And if it shall appear that it despises even nations, what wonder is it that it has scorned the entire human race? But how can you both maintain that the gods do not pay attention to everything and also believe that dreams are distributed and doled out to men by the immortal gods? I argue this with you because the belief in the truth of dreams is a tenet of your school. And do you also say that it is proper for men to take vows upon themselves? Well, but vows are made by individuals; therefore the divine mind gives a hearing even to the concerns of individuals; do you see therefore that it is not so engrossed in business as you thought? Grant that it is distracted between moving the heavens and watching the earth and controlling the seas: why does it suffer so many gods to be idle and keep holiday? why does it not appoint some of leisured gods whose countless numbers you expounded, Balbus, to superintend human affairs? "This more or less is what I have to say about the nature of the gods; it is not my design to disprove it, but to bring you to understand how obscure it is and how difficult to explain.
7. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 4.12 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4.12. laetitia autem et libido in bonorum opinione versantur, cum libido ad id, quod videtur bonum, inlecta inlecta s iniecta X et sqq. cf. Barlaami eth. sec. Stoicos 2, 11 qui hinc haud pauca adsumpsit. inflammata rapiatur, laetitia ut adepta iam aliquid concupitum ecferatur et gestiat. natura natura s V rec naturae X (-re K) enim omnes ea, Stoic. fr. 3, 438 quae bona videntur, secuntur fugiuntque contraria; quam ob rem simul obiecta species est speciei est H speci est KR ( add. c ) speciest GV cuiuspiam, quod bonum videatur, ad id adipiscendum impellit ipsa natura. id cum constanter prudenterque fit, eius modi adpetitionem Stoici bou/lhsin BO gL AHClN KR bo gL HC in G bo ga HCin V appellant, nos appellemus appellemus We. appellamus X (apell G) cf. v. 26, fin. 3, 20 voluntatem, eam eam iam V illi putant in solo esse sapiente; quam sic definiunt: voluntas est, quae quid cum ratione desiderat. quae autem ratione adversante adversante Po. ( cf. p.368, 6; 326, 3; St. fr. 3, 462 a)peiqw=s tw=| lo/gw| w)qou/menon e)pi\ plei=on adversa X (d del. H 1 ) a ratione aversa Or. incitata est vehementius, ea libido est vel cupiditas effrenata, quae in omnibus stultis invenitur.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 139, 146, 171, 36, 68, 138 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

138. The third consideration is one which admits of no comparison with those which have been already mentioned, namely, this: the Creator was good both in other respects, and also in knowledge, so that every one of the parts of the body had separately the numbers which were suited to it, and was also accurately completed in the admirable adaptation to the share in the universe of which it was to partake. And after he had endowed it with fair proportions, he clothed it with beauty of flesh, and embellished it with an exquisite complexion, wishing, as far as was possible, that man should appear the most beautiful of beings. XLVIII.
9. Maximus of Tyre, Dialexeis, 2.10, 11.11-11.12, 13.3-13.4 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.138 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.138. Again, they give the name of cosmos to the orderly arrangement of the heavenly bodies in itself as such; and (3) in the third place to that whole of which these two are parts. Again, the cosmos is defined as the individual being qualifying the whole of substance, or, in the words of Posidonius in his elementary treatise on Celestial Phenomena, a system made up of heaven and earth and the natures in them, or, again, as a system constituted by gods and men and all things created for their sake. By heaven is meant the extreme circumference or ring in which the deity has his seat.The world, in their view, is ordered by reason and providence: so says Chrysippus in the fifth book of his treatise On Providence and Posidonius in his work On the Gods, book iii. – inasmuch as reason pervades every part of it, just as does the soul in us. Only there is a difference of degree; in some parts there is more of it, in others less.
11. Augustine, The City of God, 6.9 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

6.9. And as to those very offices of the gods, so meanly and so minutely portioned out, so that they say that they ought to be supplicated, each one according to his special function - about which we have spoken much already, though not all that is to be said concerning it - are they not more consistent with mimic buffoonery than divine majesty? If any one should use two nurses for his infant, one of whom should give nothing but food, the other nothing but drink, as these make use of two goddesses for this purpose, Educa and Potina, he should certainly seem to be foolish, and to do in his house a thing worthy of a mimic. They would have Liber to have been named from liberation, because through him males at the time of copulation are liberated by the emission of the seed. They also say that Libera (the same in their opinion as Venus) exercises the same function in the case of women, because they say that they also emit seed; and they also say that on this account the same part of the male and of the female is placed in the temple, that of the male to Liber, and that of the female to Libera. To these things they add the women assigned to Liber, and the wine for exciting lust. Thus the Bacchanalia are celebrated with the utmost insanity, with respect to which Varro himself confesses that such things would not be done by the Bacchanals except their minds were highly excited. These things, however, afterwards displeased a saner senate, and it ordered them to be discontinued. Here, at length, they perhaps perceived how much power unclean spirits, when held to be gods, exercise over the minds of men. These things, certainly, were not to be done in the theatres; for there they play, not rave, although to have gods who are delighted with such plays is very like raving. But what kind of distinction is this which he makes between the religious and the superstitious man, saying that the gods are feared by the superstitious man, but are reverenced as parents by the religious man, not feared as enemies; and that they are all so good that they will more readily spare those who are impious than hurt one who is innocent? And yet he tells us that three gods are assigned as guardians to a woman after she has been delivered, lest the god Silvanus come in and molest her; and that in order to signify the presence of these protectors, three men go round the house during the night, and first strike the threshold with a hatchet, next with a pestle, and the third time sweep it with a brush, in order that these symbols of agriculture having been exhibited, the god Silvanus might be hindered from entering, because neither are trees cut down or pruned without a hatchet, neither is grain ground without a pestle, nor grain heaped up without a besom. Now from these three things three gods have been named: Intercidona, from the cut made by the hatchet; Pilumnus, from the pestle; Diverra, from the besom;- by which guardian gods the woman who has been delivered is preserved against the power of the god Silvanus. Thus the guardianship of kindly-disposed gods would not avail against the malice of a mischievous god, unless they were three to one, and fought against him, as it were, with the opposing emblems of cultivation, who, being an inhabitant of the woods, is rough, horrible, and uncultivated. Is this the innocence of the gods? Is this their concord? Are these the health-giving deities of the cities, more ridiculous than the things which are laughed at in the theatres? When a male and a female are united, the god Jugatinus presides. Well, let this be borne with. But the married woman must be brought home: the god Domiducus also is invoked. That she may be in the house, the god Domitius is introduced. That she may remain with her husband, the goddess Manturn is used. What more is required? Let human modesty be spared. Let the lust of flesh and blood go on with the rest, the secret of shame being respected. Why is the bed-chamber filled with a crowd of deities, when even the groomsmen have departed? And, moreover, it is so filled, not that in consideration of their presence more regard may be paid to chastity, but that by their help the woman, naturally of the weaker sex, and trembling with the novelty of her situation, may the more readily yield her virginity. For there are the goddess Virginiensis, and the god-father Subigus, and the goddess-mother Prema, and the goddess Pertunda, and Venus, and Priapus. What is this? If it was absolutely necessary that a man, laboring at this work, should be helped by the gods, might not some one god or goddess have been sufficient? Was Venus not sufficient alone, who is even said to be named from this, that without her power a woman does not cease to be a virgin? If there is any shame in men, which is not in the deities, is it not the case that, when the married couple believe that so many gods of either sex are present, and busy at this work, they are so much affected with shame, that the man is less moved, and the woman more reluctant? And certainly, if the goddess Virginiensis is present to loose the virgin's zone, if the god Subigus is present that the virgin may be got under the man, if the goddess Prema is present that, having been got under him, she may be kept down, and may not move herself, what has the goddess Pertunda to do there? Let her blush; let her go forth. Let the husband himself do something. It is disgraceful that any one but himself should do that from which she gets her name. But perhaps she is tolerated because she is said to be a goddess, and not a god. For if she were believed to be a male, and were called Pertundus, the husband would demand more help against him for the chastity of his wife than the newly-delivered woman against Silvanus. But why am I saying this, when Priapus, too, is there, a male to excess, upon whose immense and most unsightly member the newly-married bride is commanded to sit, according to the most honorable and most religious custom of matrons? Let them go on, and let them attempt with all the subtlety they can to distinguish the civil theology from the fabulous, the cities from the theatres, the temples from the stages, the sacred things of the priests from the songs of the poets, as honorable things from base things, truthful things from fallacious, grave from light, serious from ludicrous, desirable things from things to be rejected, we understand what they do. They are aware that that theatrical and fabulous theology hangs by the civil, and is reflected back upon it from the songs of the poets as from a mirror; and thus, that theology having been exposed to view which they do not dare to condemn, they more freely assail and censure that picture of it, in order that those who perceive what they mean may detest this very face itself of which that is the picture - which, however, the gods themselves, as though seeing themselves in the same mirror, love so much, that it is better seen in both of them who and what they are. Whence, also, they have compelled their worshippers, with terrible commands, to dedicate to them the uncleanness of the fabulous theology, to put them among their solemnities, and reckon them among divine things; and thus they have both shown themselves more manifestly to be most impure spirits, and have made that rejected and reprobated theatrical theology a member and a part of this, as it were, chosen and approved theology of the city, so that, though the whole is disgraceful and false, and contains in it fictitious gods, one part of it is in the literature of the priests, the other in the songs of the poets. Whether it may have other parts is another question. At present, I think, I have sufficiently shown, on account of the division of Varro, that the theology of the city and that of the theatre belong to one civil theology. Wherefore, because they are both equally disgraceful, absurd, shameful, false, far be it from religious men to hope for eternal life from either the one or the other. In fine, even Varro himself, in his account and enumeration of the gods, starts from the moment of a man's conception. He commences the series of those gods who take charge of man with Janus, carries it on to the death of the man decrepit with age, and terminates it with the goddess N nia, who is sung at the funerals of the aged. After that, he begins to give an account of the other gods, whose province is not man himself, but man's belongings, as food, clothing, and all that is necessary for this life; and, in the case of all these, he explains what is the special office of each, and for what each ought to be supplicated. But with all this scrupulous and comprehensive diligence, he has neither proved the existence, nor so much as mentioned the name, of any god from whom eternal life is to be sought - the one object for which we are Christians. Who, then, is so stupid as not to perceive that this man, by setting forth and opening up so diligently the civil theology, and by exhibiting its likeness to that fabulous, shameful, and disgraceful theology, and also by teaching that that fabulous sort is also a part of this other, was laboring to obtain a place in the minds of men for none but that natural theology, which he says pertains to philosophers, with such subtlety that he censures the fabulous, and, not daring openly to censure the civil, shows its censurable character by simply exhibiting it; and thus, both being reprobated by the judgment of men of right understanding, the natural alone remains to be chosen? But concerning this in its own place, by the help of the true God, we have to discuss more diligently.
12. Stoic School, Stoicor. Veter. Fragm., 2.634, 2.912-2.917, 2.921, 2.937, 2.1107



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
antiochus of ascalon Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75; Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
aristotle, pseudo- Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
athens Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
augury Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
aurelius cotta, c (cos. Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
balbus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
chrysippus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75; Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
cicero Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
contract, conditional self-curse of oath Fletcher, Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama (2012) 186
cosmos, cycle Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
cosmos, order Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
cosmos or cosmology Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
cotta c. aurelius Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
diuinatione) Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
divination Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
explanation Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
fate / fatum / εἱμαρμένη Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
gender, and age Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
god or supreme father (demiurge) Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
gods, philo of alexandria on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
gods Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
harmony ( harmonia ) Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
involuntary Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
judaism Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
law Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
lucilius balbus, quintus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
lucilius balbus q. Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
marcus (character of de diuinatione) Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
matter (ὕλη), philo of alexandria on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
maximus of tyre Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
music Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
ousia Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
peripateticism Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 219
perjury Fletcher, Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama (2012) 186
philo of alexandria, and hellenistic judaism Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
philo of alexandria, and stoicism Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
philo of alexandria, on god Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
philo of alexandria, on matter (ὕλη) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
philo of alexandria, on providence (πρόνοια) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
philo of alexandria Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
plato Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 219
platonism Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
platonists/platonism/plato, on providence (πρόνοια) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
plautus, titus maccius Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 219
posidonius Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
posidonius of apamea' Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 219
predestination (προόρισις), in stoicism Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
predestination (προόρισις), philo on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
predestination (προόρισις), platonists on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
principle / principium / archē / ἀρχή Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
prouidentia Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
providence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
providence / πρόνοια Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
prudentia Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
ratio Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
reason/ logos Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 114
romulus Rosa and Santangelo, Cicero and Roman Religion: Eight Studies (2020) 113
rule Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
soul, the, platonic model of Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
soul, the, stoic model of Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
stoicism Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
stoics/stoicism, on god/zeus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
stoics/stoicism, on providence (πρόνοια, providentia) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
stoics/stoicism, philo and Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75
stoics Seaford, Wilkins, Wright, Selfhood and the Soul: Essays on Ancient Thought and Literature in Honour of Christopher Gill (2017) 128
superstition Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
tullius cicero, marcus Mowat, Engendering the Future: Divination and the Construction of Gender in the Late Roman Republic (2021) 51
will / voluntas / βούλησις Maso, CIcero's Philosophy (2022) 125
zeus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 75