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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7574
Lucretius Carus, On The Nature Of Things, 5.195-5.508


Quod si iam rerum ignorem primordia quae sintBut knew I never what The seeds primordial were, yet would I dare This to affirm, even from deep judgments based Upon the ways and conduct of the skies- This to maintain by many a fact besides- That in no wise the nature of all things For us was fashioned by a power divine- So great the faults it stands encumbered with. First, mark all regions which are overarched By the prodigious reaches of the sky: One yawning part thereof the mountain-chains And forests of the beasts do have and hold; And cliffs, and desert fens, and wastes of sea (Which sunder afar the beaches of the lands) Possess it merely; and, again, thereof Well-nigh two-thirds intolerable heat And a perpetual fall of frost doth rob From mortal kind. And what is left to till, Even that the force of nature would o'errun With brambles, did not human force oppose,- Long wont for livelihood to groan and sweat Over the two-pronged mattock and to cleave The soil in twain by pressing on the plough. . . . . . . Unless, by the ploughshare turning the fruitful clods And kneading the mould, we quicken into birth, [The crops] spontaneously could not come up Into the free bright air. Even then sometimes, When things acquired by the sternest toil Are now in leaf, are now in blossom all, Either the skiey sun with baneful heats Parches, or sudden rains or chilling rime Destroys, or flaws of winds with furious whirl Torment and twist. Beside these matters, why Doth nature feed and foster on land and sea The dreadful breed of savage beasts, the foes Of the human clan? Why do the seasons bring Distempers with them? Wherefore stalks at large Death, so untimely? Then, again, the babe, Like to the castaway of the raging surf, Lies naked on the ground, speechless, in want Of every help for life, when nature first Hath poured him forth upon the shores of light With birth-pangs from within the mother's womb, And with a plaintive wail he fills the place,- As well befitting one for whom remains In life a journey through so many ills. But all the flocks and herds and all wild beasts Come forth and grow, nor need the little rattles, Nor must be treated to the humouring nurse's Dear, broken chatter; nor seek they divers clothes To suit the changing skies; nor need, in fine, Nor arms, nor lofty ramparts, wherewithal Their own to guard- because the earth herself And nature, artificer of the world, bring forth Aboundingly all things for all. THE WORLD IS NOT ETERNAL And first, Since body of earth and water, air's light breath, And fiery exhalations (of which four This sum of things is seen to be compact) So all have birth and perishable frame, Thus the whole nature of the world itself Must be conceived as perishable too. For, verily, those things of which we see The parts and members to have birth in time And perishable shapes, those same we mark To be invariably born in time And born to die. And therefore when I see The mightiest members and the parts of this Our world consumed and begot again, 'Tis mine to know that also sky above And earth beneath began of old in time And shall in time go under to disaster. And lest in these affairs thou deemest me To have seized upon this point by sleight to serve My own caprice- because I have assumed That earth and fire are mortal things indeed, And have not doubted water and the air Both perish too and have affirmed the same To be again begotten and wax big- Mark well the argument: in first place, lo, Some certain parts of earth, grievously parched By unremitting suns, and trampled on By a vast throng of feet, exhale abroad A powdery haze and flying clouds of dust, Which the stout winds disperse in the whole air. A part, moreover, of her sod and soil Is summoned to inundation by the rains; And rivers graze and gouge the banks away. Besides, whatever takes a part its own In fostering and increasing [aught]... . . . . . . Is rendered back; and since, beyond a doubt, Earth, the all-mother, is beheld to be Likewise the common sepulchre of things, Therefore thou seest her minished of her plenty, And then again augmented with new growth.
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Quod super est, umore novo mare flumina fontesAnd for the rest, that sea, and streams, and springs Forever with new waters overflow, And that perennially the fluids well, Needeth no words- the mighty flux itself Of multitudinous waters round about Declareth this. But whatso water first Streams up is ever straightway carried off, And thus it comes to pass that all in all There is no overflow; in part because The burly winds (that over-sweep amain) And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves) Do minish the level seas; in part because The water is diffused underground Through all the lands. The brine is filtered off, And then the liquid stuff seeps back again And all regathers at the river-heads, Whence in fresh-water currents on it flows Over the lands, adown the channels which Were cleft erstwhile and erstwhile bore along The liquid-footed floods.
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Aera Aëra nunc igitur dicam, qui corpore totoNow, then, of air I'll speak, which hour by hour in all its body Is changed innumerably. For whatso'er Streams up in dust or vapour off of things, The same is all and always borne along Into the mighty ocean of the air; And did not air in turn restore to things Bodies, and thus recruit them as they stream, All things by this time had resolved been And changed into air. Therefore it never Ceases to be engendered off of things And to return to things, since verily In constant flux do all things stream.
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Largus item liquidi fons luminis, aetherius solLikewise, The abounding well-spring of the liquid light, The ethereal sun, doth flood the heaven o'er With constant flux of radiance ever new, And with fresh light supplies the place of light, Upon the instant. For whatever effulgence Hath first streamed off, no matter where it falls, Is lost unto the sun. And this 'tis thine To know from these examples: soon as clouds Have first begun to under-pass the sun, And, as it were, to rend the rays of light In twain, at once the lower part of them Is lost entire, and earth is overcast Where'er the thunderheads are rolled along- So know thou mayst that things forever need A fresh replenishment of gleam and glow, And each effulgence, foremost flashed forth, Perisheth one by one. Nor otherwise Can things be seen in sunlight, lest alway The fountain-head of light supply new light. Indeed your earthly beacons of the night, The hanging lampions and the torches, bright With darting gleams and dense with livid soot, Do hurry in like manner to supply With ministering heat new light amain; Are all alive to quiver with their fires,- Are so alive, that thus the light ne'er leaves The spots it shines on, as if rent in twain: So speedily is its destruction veiled By the swift birth of flame from all the fires. Thus, then, we must suppose that sun and moon And stars dart forth their light from under-births Ever and ever new, and whatso flames First rise do perish always one by one- Lest, haply, thou shouldst think they each endure Inviolable.
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Denique non lapides quoque vinci cernis ab aevoAgain, perceivest not How stones are also conquered by Time?- Not how the lofty towers ruin down, And boulders crumble?- Not how shrines of gods And idols crack outworn?- Nor how indeed The holy Influence hath yet no power There to postpone the Terminals of Fate, Or headway make 'gainst Nature's fixed decrees? Again, behold we not the monuments Of heroes, now in ruins, asking us, In their turn likewise, if we don't believe They also age with eld? Behold we not The rended basalt ruining amain Down from the lofty mountains, powerless To dure and dree the mighty forces there Of finite time?- for they would never fall Rended asudden, if from infinite Past They had prevailed against all engin'ries Of the assaulting aeons, with no crash.
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Denique iam tuere hoc, circum supraque quod omneAgain, now look at This, which round, above, Contains the whole earth in its one embrace: If from itself it procreates all things- As some men tell- and takes them to itself When once destroyed, entirely must it be Of mortal birth and body; for whate'er From out itself giveth to other things Increase and food, the same perforce must be Minished, and then recruited when it takes Things back into itself.
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Praeterea si nulla fuit genitalis origoBesides all this, If there had been no origin-in-birth Of lands and sky, and they had ever been The everlasting, why, ere Theban war And obsequies of Troy, have other bards Not also chanted other high affairs? Whither have sunk so oft so many deeds Of heroes? Why do those deeds live no more, Ingrafted in eternal monuments Of glory? Verily, I guess, because The Sum is new, and of a recent date The nature of our universe, and had Not long ago its own exordium. Wherefore, even now some arts are being still Refined, still increased: now unto ships Is being added many a new device; And but the other day musician-folk Gave birth to melic sounds of organing; And, then, this nature, this account of things Hath been discovered latterly, and I Myself have been discovered only now, As first among the first, able to turn The same into ancestral Roman speech. Yet if, percase, thou deemest that ere this Existed all things even the same, but that Perished the cycles of the human race In fiery exhalations, or cities fell By some tremendous quaking of the world, Or rivers in fury, after constant rains, Had plunged forth across the lands of earth And whelmed the towns- then, all the more must thou Confess, defeated by the argument, That there shall be annihilation too Of lands and sky. For at a time when things Were being taxed by maladies so great, And so great perils, if some cause more fell Had then assailed them, far and wide they would Have gone to disaster and supreme collapse. And by no other reasoning are we Seen to be mortal, save that all of us Sicken in turn with those same maladies With which have sickened in the past those men Whom nature hath removed from life.
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Praeterea quae cumque manent aeterna necessustAgain, Whatever abides eternal must indeed Either repel all strokes, because 'tis made Of solid body, and permit no entrance Of aught with power to sunder from within The parts compact- as are those seeds of stuff Whose nature we've exhibited before; Or else be able to endure through time For this: because they are from blows exempt, As is the void, the which abides untouched, Unsmit by any stroke; or else because There is no room around, whereto things can, As 'twere, depart in dissolution all,- Even as the sum of sums eternal is, Without or place beyond whereto things may Asunder fly, or bodies which can smite, And thus dissolve them by the blows of might. But not of solid body, as I've shown, Exists the nature of the world, because In things is intermingled there a void; Nor is the world yet as the void, nor are, Moreover, bodies lacking which, percase, Rising from out the infinite, can fell With fury-whirlwinds all this sum of things, Or bring upon them other cataclysm Of peril strange; and yonder, too, abides The infinite space and the profound abyss- Whereinto, lo, the ramparts of the world Can yet be shivered. Or some other power Can pound upon them till they perish all. Thus is the door of doom, O nowise barred Against the sky, against the sun and earth And deep-sea waters, but wide open stands And gloats upon them, monstrous and agape. Wherefore, again, 'tis needful to confess That these same things are born in time; for things Which are of mortal body could indeed Never from infinite past until to-day Have spurned the multitudinous assaults Of the immeasurable aeons old.
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Denique tantopere inter se cum maxima mundiAgain, since battle so fiercely one with other The four most mighty members the world, Aroused in an all unholy war, Seest not that there may be for them an end Of the long strife?- Or when the skiey sun And all the heat have won dominion o'er The sucked-up waters all?- And this they try Still to accomplish, though as yet they fail,- For so aboundingly the streams supply New store of waters that 'tis rather they Who menace the world with inundations vast From forth the unplumbed chasms of the sea. But vain- since winds (that over-sweep amain) And skiey sun (that with his rays dissolves) Do minish the level seas and trust their power To dry up all, before the waters can Arrive at the end of their endeavouring. Breathing such vasty warfare, they contend In balanced strife the one with other still Concerning mighty issues,- though indeed The fire was once the more victorious, And once- as goes the tale- the water won A kingdom in the fields. For fire o'ermastered And licked up many things and burnt away, What time the impetuous horses of the Sun Snatched Phaethon headlong from his skiey road Down the whole ether and over all the lands. But the omnipotent Father in keen wrath Then with the sudden smite of thunderbolt Did hurl the mighty-minded hero off Those horses to the earth. And Sol, his sire, Meeting him as he fell, caught up in hand The ever-blazing lampion of the world, And drave together the pell-mell horses there And yoked them all a-tremble, and amain, Steering them over along their own old road, Restored the cosmos,- as forsooth we hear From songs of ancient poets of the Greeks- A tale too far away from truth, meseems. For fire can win when from the infinite Has risen a larger throng of particles Of fiery stuff; and then its powers succumb, Somehow subdued again, or else at last It shrivels in torrid atmospheres the world. And whilom water too began to win- As goes the story- when it overwhelmed The lives of men with billows; and thereafter, When all that force of water-stuff which forth From out the infinite had risen up Did now retire, as somehow turned aside, The rain-storms stopped, and streams their fury checked. FORMATION OF THE WORLD AND ASTRONOMICAL QUESTIONS But in what modes that conflux of first-stuff Did found the multitudinous universe Of earth, and sky, and the unfathomed deeps Of ocean, and courses of the sun and moon, I'll now in order tell. For of a truth Neither by counsel did the primal germs 'Stablish themselves, as by keen act of mind, Each in its proper place; nor did they make, Forsooth, a compact how each germ should move; But, lo, because primordials of things, Many in many modes, astir by blows From immemorial aeons, in motion too By their own weights, have evermore been wont To be so borne along and in all modes To meet together and to try all sorts Which, by combining one with other, they Are powerful to create: because of this It comes to pass that those primordials, Diffused far and wide through mighty aeons, The while they unions try, and motions too, Of every kind, meet at the last amain, And so become oft the commencements fit Of mighty things- earth, sea, and sky, and race Of living creatures.
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Hic neque tum solis rota cerni lumine largoIn that long-ago The wheel of the sun could nowhere be discerned Flying far up with its abounding blaze, Nor constellations of the mighty world, Nor ocean, nor heaven, nor even earth nor air. Nor aught of things like unto things of ours Could then be seen- but only some strange storm And a prodigious hurly-burly mass Compounded of all kinds of primal germs, Whose battling discords in disorder kept Interstices, and paths, coherencies, And weights, and blows, encounterings, and motions, Because, by reason of their forms unlike And varied shapes, they could not all thuswise Remain conjoined nor harmoniously Have interplay of movements. But from there Portions began to fly asunder, and like With like to join, and to block out a world, And to divide its members and dispose Its mightier parts- that is, to set secure The lofty heavens from the lands, and cause The sea to spread with waters separate, And fires of ether separate and pure Likewise to congregate apart.
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Quippe etenim primum terrai corpora quaequeFor, lo, First came together the earthy particles (As being heavy and intertangled) there In the mid-region, and all began to take The lowest abodes; and ever the more they got One with another intertangled, the more They pressed from out their mass those particles Which were to form the sea, the stars, the sun, And moon, and ramparts of the mighty world- For these consist of seeds more smooth and round And of much smaller elements than earth. And thus it was that ether, fraught with fire, First broke away from out the earthen parts, Through the innumerable pores of earth, And raised itself aloft, and with itself Bore lightly off the many starry fires; And not far otherwise we often see . . . . . . And the still lakes and the perennial streams Exhale a mist, and even as earth herself Is seen at times to smoke, when first at dawn The light of the sun, the many-rayed, begins To redden into gold, over the grass Begemmed with dew. When all of these are brought Together overhead, the clouds on high With now concreted body weave a cover Beneath the heavens. And thuswise ether too, Light and diffusive, with concreted body On all sides spread, on all sides bent itself Into a dome, and, far and wide diffused On unto every region on all sides, Thus hedged all else within its greedy clasp. Hard upon ether came the origins Of sun and moon, whose globes revolve in air Midway between the earth and mightiest ether,- For neither took them, since they weighed too little To sink and settle, but too much to glide Along the upmost shores; and yet they are In such a wise midway between the twain As ever to whirl their living bodies round, And ever to dure as parts of the wide Whole; In the same fashion as certain members may In us remain at rest, whilst others move. When, then, these substances had been withdrawn, Amain the earth, where now extend the vast Cerulean zones of all the level seas, Caved in, and down along the hollows poured The whirlpools of her brine; and day by day The more the tides of ether and rays of sun On every side constrained into one mass The earth by lashing it again, again, Upon its outer edges (so that then, Being thus beat upon, 'twas all condensed About its proper centre), ever the more The salty sweat, from out its body squeezed, Augmented ocean and the fields of foam By seeping through its frame, and all the more Those many particles of heat and air Escaping, began to fly aloft, and form, By condensation there afar from earth, The high refulgent circuits of the heavens. The plains began to sink, and windy slopes Of the high mountains to increase; for rocks Could not subside, nor all the parts of ground Settle alike to one same level there.
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Sic igitur terrae concreto corpore pondusThus, then, the massy weight of earth stood firm With now concreted body, when (as 'twere) All of the slime of the world, heavy and gross, Had run together and settled at the bottom, Like lees or bilge. Then ocean, then the air, Then ether herself, the fraught-with-fire, were all Left with their liquid bodies pure and free, And each more lighter than the next below; And ether, most light and liquid of the three, Floats on above the long aerial winds, Nor with the brawling of the winds of air Mingles its liquid body. It doth leave All there- those under-realms below her heights- There to be overset in whirlwinds wild,- Doth leave all there to brawl in wayward gusts, Whilst, gliding with a fixed impulse still, Itself it bears its fires along. For, lo, That ether can flow thus steadily on, on, With one unaltered urge, the Pontus proves- That sea which floweth forth with fixed tides, Keeping one onward tenor as it glides.
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

25 results
1. Hesiod, Works And Days, 101, 298-301, 42, 50-52, 94-100 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

100. Which brought the Death-Gods. Now in misery
2. Homer, Iliad, 4.275-4.279, 16.765-16.770 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

4.275. /these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; 4.276. /these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; 4.277. /these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; 4.278. /these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; 4.279. /these were arming them for battle, and a cloud of footmen followed with them. Even as when from some place of outlook a goatherd seeth a cloud coming over the face of the deep before the blast of the West Wind, and to him being afar off it seemeth blacker than pitch as it passeth over the face of the deep, and it bringeth a mighty whirlwind; and he shuddereth at sight of it, and driveth his flock beneath a cave; 16.765. /And as the East Wind and the South strive with one another in shaking a deep wood in the glades of a mountain,—a wood of beech and ash and smooth-barked cornel, and these dash one against the other their long boughs with a wondrous din, and there is a crashing of broken branches; 16.766. /And as the East Wind and the South strive with one another in shaking a deep wood in the glades of a mountain,—a wood of beech and ash and smooth-barked cornel, and these dash one against the other their long boughs with a wondrous din, and there is a crashing of broken branches; 16.767. /And as the East Wind and the South strive with one another in shaking a deep wood in the glades of a mountain,—a wood of beech and ash and smooth-barked cornel, and these dash one against the other their long boughs with a wondrous din, and there is a crashing of broken branches; 16.768. /And as the East Wind and the South strive with one another in shaking a deep wood in the glades of a mountain,—a wood of beech and ash and smooth-barked cornel, and these dash one against the other their long boughs with a wondrous din, and there is a crashing of broken branches; 16.769. /And as the East Wind and the South strive with one another in shaking a deep wood in the glades of a mountain,—a wood of beech and ash and smooth-barked cornel, and these dash one against the other their long boughs with a wondrous din, and there is a crashing of broken branches; 16.770. /even so the Trojans and Achaeans leapt one upon another and made havoc, nor would either side take thought of ruinous flight. And round about Cebriones many sharp spears were fixed, and many winged arrows that leapt from the bow-string, and many great stones smote against shields, as men fought around him.
3. Homer, Odyssey, 5.291-5.296, 9.109 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

4. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

5. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

6. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

7. Plato, Protagoras, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

320d. And when to these also came their destined time to be created, the gods moulded their forms within the earth, of a mixture made of earth and fire and all substances that are compounded with fire and earth. When they were about to bring these creatures to light, they charged Prometheus and Epimetheus to deal to each the equipment of his proper faculty. Epimetheus besought Prometheus that he might do the dealing himself; And when I have dealt, he said, you shall examine.
8. Xenophon, Memoirs, 1.4.11-1.4.14, 4.3, 4.3.8-4.3.12 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.4.11. I assure you, that if I believed that the gods pay any heed to man, I would not neglect them. Then do you think them unheeding? In the first place, man is the only living creature that they have caused to stand upright; and the upright position gives him a wider range of vision in front and a better view of things above, and exposes him less to injury. Secondly, to grovelling creatures they have given feet that afford only the power of moving, whereas they have endowed man with hands, which are the instruments to which we chiefly owe our greater happiness. 1.4.12. Again, though all creatures have a tongue, the tongue of man alone has been formed by them to be capable of contact with different parts of the mouth, so as to enable us to articulate the voice and express all our wants to one another. Once more, for all other creatures they have prescribed a fixed season of sexual indulgence; in our case the only time limit they have set is old age. 1.4.13. Nor was the deity content to care for man’s body. What is of yet higher moment, he has implanted in him the noblest type of soul. For in the first place what other creature’s soul has apprehended the existence of gods who set in order the universe, greatest and fairest of things? And what race of living things other than man worships gods? And what soul is more apt than man’s to make provision against hunger and thirst, cold and heat, to relieve sickness and promote health, to acquire knowledge by toil, and to remember accurately all that is heard, seen, or learned? 1.4.14. For is it not obvious to you that, in comparison with the other animals, men live like gods, by nature peerless both in body and in soul? For with a man’s reason and the body of an ox we could not carry out our wishes, and the possession of hands without reason is of little worth. Do you, then, having received the two most precious gifts, yet think that the gods take no care of you? What are they to do, to make you believe that they are heedful of you? 4.3.8. Think again how the sun, when past the winter solstice, approaches, ripening some things and withering others, whose time is over; and having accomplished this, approaches no nearer, but turns away, careful not to harm us by excess of heat; and when once again in his retreat he reaches the point where it is clear to ourselves, that if he goes further away, we shall be frozen with the cold, back he turns once more and draws near and revolves in that region of the heavens where he can best serve us. Yes, verily, these things do seem to be done for the sake of mankind. 4.3.9. And again, since it is evident that we could not endure the heat or the cold if it came suddenly, Cyropaedia VI. ii. 29. the sun’s approach and retreat are so gradual that we arrive at the one or the other extreme imperceptibly. For myself, exclaimed Euthydemus, I begin to doubt whether after all the gods are occupied in any other work than the service of man. The one difficulty I feel is that the lower animals also enjoy these blessings. 4.3.10. Yes, replied Socrates, and is it not evident that they too receive life and food for the sake of man? For what creature reaps so many benefits as man from goats and sheep and horses and oxen and asses and the other animals? He owes more to them, in my opinion, than to the fruits of the earth. At the least they are not less valuable to him for food and commerce; in fact a large portion of mankind does not use the products of the earth for food, but lives on the milk and cheese and flesh they get from live stock. Moreover, all men tame and domesticate the useful kinds of animals, and make them their fellow-workers in war and many other undertakings. There too I agree with you, seeing that animals far stronger than man become so entirely subject to him that he puts them to any use he chooses. 4.3.11. Think again of the multitude of things beautiful and useful and their infinite variety, and how the gods have endowed man with senses adapted for the perception of every kind, so that there is nothing good that we cannot enjoy; and again, how they have implanted in us the faculty of reasoning, whereby we are able to reason about the objects of our perceptions and to commit them to memory, and so come to know what advantage every kind can yield, and devise many means of enjoying the good and driving away the bad; 4.3.12. and think of the power of expression, which enables us to impart to one another all good things by teaching and to take our share of them, to enact laws and to administer states. Truly, Socrates, it does appear that the gods devote much care to man. Yet again, in so far as we are powerless of ourselves to foresee what is expedient for the future, Cyropaedia I. vi. 46. the gods lend us their aid, revealing the issues by divination to inquirers, and teaching them how to obtain the best results. With you, Socrates, they seem to deal even more friendly than with other men, if it is true that, even unasked, they warn you by signs what to do and what not to do.
9. Aratus Solensis, Phaenomena, 11-12, 265-266, 408-419, 423-435, 45-46, 462-469, 47, 470-479, 48, 480-544, 732, 741-743, 768-772, 10 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

10. αὐτὸς γὰρ τά γε σήματʼ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐστήριξεν
10. Cicero, Academica, 2.120 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

11. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.2, 1.23, 2.154-2.167 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. As regards the present subject, for example, most thinkers have affirmed that the gods exist, and this is the most probable view and the one to which we are all led by nature's guidance; but Protagoras declared himself uncertain, and Diagoras of Melos and Theodorus of Cyrene held that there are no gods at all. Moreover, the upholders of the divine existence differ and disagree so widely, that it would be a troublesome task to recount their opinions. Many views are put forward about the outward form of the gods, their dwelling-places and abodes, and mode of life, and these topics are debated with the widest variety of opinion among philosophers; but as to the question upon which the whole issue of the dispute principally turns, whether the gods are entirely idle and inactive, taking no part at all in the direction and government of the world, or whether on the contrary all things both were created and ordered by them in the beginning and are controlled and kept in motion by them throughout eternity, here there is the greatest disagreement of all. And until this issue is decided, mankind must continue to labour under the profoundest uncertainty, and to be in ignorance about matters of the highest moment. 1.23. Or were these beauties designed for the sake of men, as your school usually maintains? For the sake of wise men? If so, all this vast effort of construction took place on account of a handful of people. For the sake of fools then? But in the first place there was no reason for god to do a service to the wicked and secondly, what good did he do? inasmuch as all fools are beyond question extremely miserable, precisely because they are fools (for what can be mentioned more miserable than folly?), and in the second place because there are so many troubles in life that, though wise men can assuage them by balancing against them life's advantages, fools can neither avoid their approach nor endure their presence. Those on the other hand who said that the world is itself endowed with life and with wisdom, failed entirely to discern what shape the nature of an intelligent living being could conceivably possess. I will touch on this a little later; 2.154. 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.
12. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 1.10-1.20, 1.44-1.49, 1.62-1.111, 1.116-1.118, 1.123, 1.150, 1.250-1.264, 1.271-1.276, 1.400-1.417, 2.168, 2.172, 2.176, 2.180-2.181, 2.581-2.660, 2.662, 2.680, 2.688-2.699, 2.991-2.998, 2.1090-2.1104, 2.1150-2.1174, 3.23-3.24, 3.199, 3.226-3.227, 3.233-3.234, 3.296, 3.324, 4.12-4.39, 5.76-5.90, 5.110-5.194, 5.196-5.415, 5.772-5.1457, 6.1-6.7, 6.26-6.27, 6.33-6.34, 6.36-6.38, 6.42-6.422 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

13. Ovid, Tristia, 1.2.19-1.2.26 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

14. Vergil, Aeneis, 1.81-1.123 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.81. allays their fury and their rage confines. 1.82. Did he not so, our ocean, earth, and sky 1.83. were whirled before them through the vast ie. 1.84. But over-ruling Jove, of this in fear 1.85. hid them in dungeon dark: then o'er them piled 1.86. huge mountains, and ordained a lawful king 1.87. to hold them in firm sway, or know what time 1.88. with Jove's consent, to loose them o'er the world. 1.90. “Thou in whose hands the Father of all gods 1.91. and Sovereign of mankind confides the power 1.92. to calm the waters or with winds upturn 1.93. great Aeolus! a race with me at war 1.94. now sails the Tuscan main towards Italy 1.95. bringing their Ilium and its vanquished powers. 1.96. Uprouse thy gales. Strike that proud navy down! 1.97. Hurl far and wide, and strew the waves with dead! 1.98. Twice seven nymphs are mine, of rarest mould; 1.99. of whom Deiopea, the most fair 1.100. I give thee in true wedlock for thine own 1.101. to mate thy noble worth; she at thy side 1.102. hall pass long, happy years, and fruitful bring 1.104. Then Aeolus: “'T is thy sole task, O Queen 1.105. to weigh thy wish and will. My fealty 1.106. thy high behest obeys. This humble throne 1.107. is of thy gift. Thy smiles for me obtain 1.108. authority from Jove. Thy grace concedes 1.109. my station at your bright Olympian board 1.111. Replying thus, he smote with spear reversed 1.112. the hollow mountain's wall; then rush the winds 1.113. through that wide breach in long, embattled line 1.114. and sweep tumultuous from land to land: 1.115. with brooding pinions o'er the waters spread 1.116. east wind and south, and boisterous Afric gale 1.117. upturn the sea; vast billows shoreward roll; 1.118. the shout of mariners, the creak of cordage 1.119. follow the shock; low-hanging clouds conceal 1.120. from Trojan eyes all sight of heaven and day; 1.121. night o'er the ocean broods; from sky to sky 1.122. the thunders roll, the ceaseless lightnings glare; 1.123. and all things mean swift death for mortal man.
15. Vergil, Georgics, 1.176-1.186, 1.191, 1.197-1.203, 1.233-1.249, 1.257, 1.316-1.334, 1.351-1.355, 1.394, 1.415-1.423, 1.425-1.426, 1.432, 1.439, 2.532-2.540 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.176. And hem with hounds the mighty forest-glades. 1.177. Soon one with hand-net scourges the broad stream 1.178. Probing its depths, one drags his dripping toil 1.179. Along the main; then iron's unbending might 1.180. And shrieking saw-blade,—for the men of old 1.181. With wedges wont to cleave the splintering log;— 1.182. Then divers arts arose; toil conquered all 1.183. Remorseless toil, and poverty's shrewd push 1.184. In times of hardship. Ceres was the first 1.185. Set mortals on with tools to turn the sod 1.186. When now the awful groves 'gan fail to bear 1.191. An idler in the fields; the crops die down; 1.197. Prune with thy hook the dark field's matted shade 1.198. Pray down the showers, all vainly thou shalt eye 1.199. Alack! thy neighbour's heaped-up harvest-mow 1.200. And in the greenwood from a shaken oak 1.201. Seek solace for thine hunger. 1.202. Now to tell 1.203. The sturdy rustics' weapons, what they are 1.233. Or burrow for their bed the purblind moles 1.234. Or toad is found in hollows, and all the swarm 1.235. of earth's unsightly creatures; or a huge 1.236. Corn-heap the weevil plunders, and the ant 1.237. Fearful of coming age and penury. 1.238. Mark too, what time the walnut in the wood 1.239. With ample bloom shall clothe her, and bow down 1.240. Her odorous branches, if the fruit prevail 1.241. Like store of grain will follow, and there shall come 1.242. A mighty winnowing-time with mighty heat; 1.243. But if the shade with wealth of leaves abound 1.244. Vainly your threshing-floor will bruise the stalk 1.245. Rich but in chaff. Many myself have seen 1.246. Steep, as they sow, their pulse-seeds, drenching them 1.247. With nitre and black oil-lees, that the fruit 1.248. Might swell within the treacherous pods, and they 1.249. Make speed to boil at howso small a fire. 1.257. His arms to slacken, lo! with headlong force 1.316. And when the first breath of his panting steed 1.317. On us the Orient flings, that hour with them 1.318. Red Vesper 'gins to trim his 'lated fires. 1.319. Hence under doubtful skies forebode we can 1.320. The coming tempests, hence both harvest-day 1.321. And seed-time, when to smite the treacherous main 1.322. With driving oars, when launch the fair-rigged fleet 1.323. Or in ripe hour to fell the forest-pine. 1.324. Hence, too, not idly do we watch the stars— 1.325. Their rising and their setting-and the year 1.326. Four varying seasons to one law conformed. 1.327. If chilly showers e'er shut the farmer's door 1.328. Much that had soon with sunshine cried for haste 1.329. He may forestall; the ploughman batters keen 1.330. His blunted share's hard tooth, scoops from a tree 1.331. His troughs, or on the cattle stamps a brand 1.332. Or numbers on the corn-heaps; some make sharp 1.333. The stakes and two-pronged forks, and willow-band 1.334. Amerian for the bending vine prepare. 1.351. Coeus, Iapetus, and Typhoeus fell 1.352. And those sworn brethren banded to break down 1.353. The gates of heaven; thrice, sooth to say, they strove 1.354. Ossa on placeName key= 1.355. Aye, and on Ossa to up-roll amain 1.394. When Spring the rain-bringer comes rushing down 1.415. Wields with red hand the levin; through all her bulk 1.416. Earth at the hurly quakes; the beasts are fled 1.417. And mortal hearts of every kindred sunk 1.418. In cowering terror; he with flaming brand 1.419. Athos , or Rhodope, or Ceraunian crag 1.420. Precipitates: then doubly raves the South 1.421. With shower on blinding shower, and woods and coast 1.422. Wail fitfully beneath the mighty blast. 1.423. This fearing, mark the months and Signs of heaven 1.425. And through what heavenly cycles wandereth 1.426. The glowing orb Cyllenian. Before all 1.432. Then sleep is sweet, and dark the shadows fall 1.439. Attend it, and with shouts bid Ceres come 2.532. Apples, moreover, soon as first they feel 2.533. Their stems wax lusty, and have found their strength 2.534. To heaven climb swiftly, self-impelled, nor crave 2.535. Our succour. All the grove meanwhile no le 2.536. With fruit is swelling, and the wild haunts of bird 2.537. Blush with their blood-red berries. Cytisu 2.538. Is good to browse on, the tall forest yield 2.539. Pine-torches, and the nightly fires are fed 2.540. And shoot forth radiance. And shall men be loath
16. Diogenes of Oenoanda, Fragments, 20 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

17. Lucan, Pharsalia, 5.597-5.677 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

18. Seneca The Younger, Agamemnon, 466-497, 465 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

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

20. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 10.77, 10.139 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10.77. For troubles and anxieties and feelings of anger and partiality do not accord with bliss, but always imply weakness and fear and dependence upon one's neighbours. Nor, again, must we hold that things which are no more than globular masses of fire, being at the same time endowed with bliss, assume these motions at will. Nay, in every term we use we must hold fast to all the majesty which attaches to such notions as bliss and immortality, lest the terms should generate opinions inconsistent with this majesty. Otherwise such inconsistency will of itself suffice to produce the worst disturbance in our minds. Hence, where we find phenomena invariably recurring, the invariableness of the recurrence must be ascribed to the original interception and conglomeration of atoms whereby the world was formed. 10.139. [A blessed and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness [Elsewhere he says that the gods are discernible by reason alone, some being numerically distinct, while others result uniformly from the continuous influx of similar images directed to the same spot and in human form.]Death is nothing to us; for the body, when it has been resolved into its elements, has no feeling, and that which has no feeling is nothing to us.The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.
21. Lactantius, De Ira Dei, 13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

22. Origen, Against Celsus, 4.74-4.75, 4.78-4.79 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.74. He next, in many words, blames us for asserting that God made all things for the sake of man. Because from the history of animals, and from the sagacity manifested by them, he would show that all things came into existence not more for the sake of man than of the irrational animals. And here he seems to me to speak in a similar manner to those who, through dislike of their enemies, accuse them of the same things for which their own friends are commended. For as, in the instance referred to, hatred blinds these persons from seeing that they are accusing their very dearest friends by the means through which they think they are slandering their enemies; so in the same way, Celsus also, becoming confused in his argument, does not see that he is bringing a charge against the philosophers of the Porch, who, not amiss, place man in the foremost rank, and rational nature in general before irrational animals, and who maintain that Providence created all things mainly on account of rational nature. Rational beings, then, as being the principal ones, occupy the place, as it were, of children in the womb, while irrational and soulless beings hold that of the envelope which is created along with the child. I think, too, that as in cities the superintendents of the goods and market discharge their duties for the sake of no other than human beings, while dogs and other irrational animals have the benefit of the superabundance; so Providence provides in a special manner for rational creatures; while this also follows, that irrational creatures likewise enjoy the benefit of what is done for the sake of man. And as he is in error who alleges that the superintendents of the markets make provision in no greater degree for men than for dogs, because dogs also get their share of the goods; so in a far greater degree are Celsus and they who think with him guilty of impiety towards the God who makes provision for rational beings, in asserting that His arrangements are made in no greater degree for the sustece of human beings than for that of plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns. 4.75. For, in the first place, he is of opinion that thunders, and lightnings, and rains are not the works of God,- thus showing more clearly at last his Epicurean leanings; and in the second place, that even if one were to grant that these were the works of God, they are brought into existence not more for the support of us who are human beings, than for that of plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns,- maintaining, like a true Epicurean, that these things are the product of chance, and not the work of Providence. For if these things are of no more use to us than to plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns, it is evident either that they do not proceed from Providence at all, or from a providence which does not provide for us in a greater degree than for trees, and herbs, and thorns. Now, either of these suppositions is impious in itself, and it would be foolish to refute such statements by answering any one who brought against us the charge of impiety; for it is manifest to every one, from what has been said, who is the person guilty of impiety. In the next place, he adds: Although you may say that these things, viz., plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns, grow for the use of men, why will you maintain that they grow for the use of men rather than for that of the most savage of irrational animals? Let Celsus then say distinctly that the great diversity among the products of the earth is not the work of Providence, but that a certain fortuitous concurrence of atoms gave birth to qualities so diverse, and that it was owing to chance that so many kinds of plants, and trees, and herbs resemble one another, and that no disposing reason gave existence to them, and that they do not derive their origin from an understanding that is beyond all admiration. We Christians, however, who are devoted to the worship of the only God, who created these things, feel grateful for them to Him who made them, because not only for us, but also (on our account) for the animals which are subject to us, He has prepared such a home, seeing He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man, that He may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that makes glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengthens man's heart. But that He should have provided food even for the most savage animals is not matter of surprise, for these very animals are said by some who have philosophized (upon the subject) to have been created for the purpose of affording exercise to the rational creature. And one of our own wise men says somewhere: Do not say, What is this? Or Wherefore is that? For all things have been made for their uses. And do not say, What is this? Or Wherefore is that? For everything shall be sought out in its season. 4.78. He next proceeds further to object against himself what is said on behalf of man, viz., that the irrational animals were created on his account, saying: If one were to call us the lords of the animal creation because we hunt the other animals and live upon their flesh, we would say, Why were not we rather created on their account, since they hunt and devour us? Nay, we require nets and weapons, and the assistance of many persons, along with dogs, when engaged in the chase; while they are immediately and spontaneously provided by nature with weapons which easily bring us under their power. And here we may observe, that the gift of understanding has been bestowed upon us as a mighty aid, far superior to any weapon which wild beasts may seem to possess. We, indeed, who are far weaker in bodily strength than the beasts, and shorter in stature than some of them, yet by means of our understanding obtain the mastery, and capture the huge elephants. We subdue by our gentle treatment those animals whose nature it is to be tamed, while with those whose nature is different, or which do not appear likely to be of use to us when tamed, we take such precautionary measures, that when we desire it, we keep such wild beasts shut up; and when we need the flesh of their bodies for food, we slaughter them, as we do those beasts which are not of a savage nature. The Creator, then, has constituted all things the servants of the rational being and of his natural understanding. For some purposes we require dogs, say as guardians of our sheep-folds, or of our cattle-yards, or goat-pastures, or of our dwellings; and for other purposes we need oxen, as for agriculture; and for others, again, we make use of those which bear the yoke, or beasts of burden. And so it may be said that the race of lions, and bears, and leopards, and wild boars, and such like, has been given to us in order to call into exercise the elements of the manly character that exists within us. 4.79. In the next place, in answer to the human race, who perceive their own superiority, which far exceeds that of the irrational animals, he says: With respect to your assertion, that God gave you the power to capture wild beasts, and to make your own use of them, we would say that, in all probability, before cities were built, and arts invented, and societies such as now exist were formed, and weapons and nets employed, men were generally caught and devoured by wild beasts, while wild beasts were very seldom captured by men. Now, in reference to this, observe that although men catch wild beasts, and wild beasts make prey of men, there is a great difference between the case of such as by means of their understanding obtain the mastery over those whose superiority consists in their savage and cruel nature, and that of those who do not make use of their understanding to secure their safety from injury by wild beasts. But when Celsus says, before cities were built, and arts invented, and societies such as now exist were formed, he appears to have forgotten what he had before said, that the world was uncreated and incorruptible, and that it was only the things on earth which underwent deluges and conflagrations, and that all these things did not happen at the same time. Now let it be granted that these admissions on his part are entirely in harmony with our views, though not at all with him and his statements made above; yet what does it all avail to prove that in the beginning men were mostly captured and devoured by wild beasts, while wild beasts were never caught by men? For, since the world was created in conformity with the will of Providence, and God presided over the universe of things, it was necessary that the elements of the human race should at the commencement of its existence be placed under some protection of the higher powers, so that there might be formed from the beginning a union of the divine nature with that of men. And the poet of Ascra, perceiving this, sings:- For common then were banquets, and common were seats, Alike to immortal gods and mortal men.
23. Porphyry, Letter To Marcella, 24 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

24. No god is responsible for a man's evils, for he has chosen his lot himself. The prayer which is accompanied by base actions is impure, and |45 therefore not acceptable to God; but that which is accompanied by noble actions is pure, and at the same time acceptable. There are four first principles that must be upheld concerning God—faith, truth, love, hope. We must have faith that our only salvation is in turning to God. And having faith, we must strive with all our might to know the truth about God. And when we know this, we must love Him we do know. And when we love Him we must nourish our souls on good hopes for our life, for it is by their good hopes good men are superior to bad ones. Let then these four principles be firmly held.
24. Epicurus, Letter To Menoeceus, 124, 123

25. Epicurus, Letter To Herodotus, 76



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
academy Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48, 69
aetiology of labor Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 81, 116
agriculture Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32
analogy Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 88
anger Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
animals, and cognition/affective response Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 207
animals, danger of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156, 160
animals, distinctions between Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32
animals, origin and growth of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102, 160
animals, survival/extinction of Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156, 207
anthropocentrism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102, 156
antiochus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48
aratus Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 83, 116
atoms, and mortality Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 207
beginnings (of poetry books) Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40
celsus, against the superiority of humans over animals Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
celsus, on god Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
celsus, on providence (πρόνοια) Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
celsus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
chance Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
cicero Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
cosmology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70, 102
cosmos/universe Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
creation Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 160
creationism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
death Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40, 160, 207
des places, e. Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
design/purpose Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 88, 102
diogenes laertius Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70, 156
diogenes of oenoanda Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
earth Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 160, 207
epicureanism, theology of Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
epicurus, on divine kindness Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
epicurus/epicureans/epicureanism, and celsus Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
epicurus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 69; Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 82
eratosthenes Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 82
fear Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
fire Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40
gods, celsus on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
gods, divine control (lack of) Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 88, 102
gods, in the georgics Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 81, 82, 83, 116
gods, providence Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 88, 156
gods Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 70
golden age Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 81, 116
good Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48
grantor Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48
hecate Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
hesiod Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 116
homer Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68
imagery, military Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68
infancy/children Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156, 160, 207
instinct Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 207
intertextuality Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 81, 82, 83, 116; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40
italy Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
jupiter Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 83, 116
labor Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 116
law, natural/physical Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
law Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
le bonniec Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
lucretius, agriculture in Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 81, 82, 83
lucretius, culture-history in Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 116
magna mater Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32
materialism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
matter, divisibility Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 69
matter Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 69
meteorology, thunder Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40, 88
meteorology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70, 88
myth, in the georgics Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 116
optimism Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79
pandora Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40
paradox Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
peripatetics/peripatos Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48
personifications Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 160
pessimism Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79
philodemus Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
piety Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32
plague Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40, 156
plants Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
plato Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48, 69
platonism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
polemo Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
politics Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
prayer Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79
predestination (προόρισις), celsus on Brouwer and Vimercati, Fate, Providence and Free Will: Philosophy and Religion in Dialogue in the Early Imperial Age (2020) 279
primitivism Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 116
principles/ archai Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48, 69
proclus Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
prometheus Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 40
providentialism Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 81, 82, 83, 116
remythologization Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 116
sacrifice Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 207
saturn Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 81
scepticism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
shakespeare, william Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 207
similes Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 81
socrates Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
spontaneity Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 160
stoicism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
storms Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68
teleology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32, 40, 156
theophrastus Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
varro Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 48
velleius, epicurean philosopher' Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
velleius Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 156
virgil, and aratus Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 83, 116
virgil, and hesiod Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 116
virgil, reception of lucretius Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 79, 81, 82, 83, 116
weather signs Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 116
xenocrates Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 69; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 102
xenophanes Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
zeus Gale, Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000) 68, 83; Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 32