Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10313
Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 9.49
NaN


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

7 results
1. Cicero, Academica, 2.66 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, 1.2, 1.61-1.62, 3.5-3.6, 3.44 (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. 1.61. But as for your master Epicurus (for I prefer to join issue with him rather than with yourself), which of his utterances is, I do not say worthy of philosophy, but compatible with ordinary common sense? "In an inquiry as to the nature of the gods, the first question that we ask is, do the gods exist or do they not? 'It is difficult to deny their existence.' No doubt it would be if the question were to be asked in a public assembly, but in private conversation and in a company like the present it is perfectly easy. This being so, I, who am a high priest, and who hold it to be a duty most solemnly to maintain the rights and doctrines of the established religion, should be glad to be convinced of this fundamental tenet of the divine existence, not as an article of faith merely but as an ascertained fact. For many disturbing reflections occur to my mind, which sometimes make me think that there are no gods at all. 1.62. But mark how generously I deal with you. I will not attack those tenets which are shared by your school with all other philosophers — for example the one in question, since almost all men, and I myself no less than any other, believe that the gods exist, and this accordingly I do not challenge. At the same time I doubt the adequacy of the argument which you adduce to prove it. You said that a sufficient reason for our admitting that the gods exist was the fact that all the nations and races of mankind believe it. But argument is both inconclusive and untrue. In the first place, how do you know what foreign races believe? For my part I think that there are many nations so uncivilized and barbarous as to have no notion of any gods at all. 3.5. Very well," rejoined Cotta, "let us then proceed as the argument itself may lead us. But before we come to the subject, let me say a few words about myself. I am considerably influenced by your authority, Balbus, and by the plea that you put forward at the conclusion of your discourse, when you exhorted me to remember that I am both a Cotta and a pontife. This no doubt meant that I ought to uphold the beliefs about the immortal gods which have come down to us from our ancestors, and the rites and ceremonies and duties of religion. For my part I always shall uphold them and always have done so, and no eloquence of anybody, learned or unlearned, shall ever dislodge me from the belief as to the worship of the immortal gods which I have inherited from our forefathers. But on any question of el I am guided by the high pontifes, Titus Coruncanius, Publius Scipio and Publius Scaevola, not by Zeno or Cleanthes or Chrysippus; and I have Gaius Laelius, who was both an augur and a philosopher, to whose discourse upon religion, in his famous oration, I would rather listen than to any leader of the Stoics. The religion of the Roman people comprises ritual, auspices, and the third additional division consisting of all such prophetic warnings as the interpreters of the Sybil or the soothsayers have derived from portents and prodigies. While, I have always thought that none of these departments of religion was to be despised, and I have held the conviction that Romulus by his auspices and Numa by his establishment of our ritual laid the foundations of our state, which assuredly could never have been as great as it is had not the fullest measure of divine favour been obtained for it. 3.6. There, Balbus, is the opinion of a Cotta and a pontife; now oblige me by letting me know yours. You are a philosopher, and I ought to receive from you a proof of your religion, whereas I must believe the word of our ancestors even without proof." "What proof then do you require of me, Cotta?" replied Balbus. "You divided your discourse under four heads," said Cotta; "first you designed to prove the existence of the gods; secondly, to describe their nature; thirdly, to show that the world is governed by them; and lastly, that they care for the welfare of men. These, if I remember rightly, were the headings that you laid down." "You are quite right," said Balbus; "but now tell me what it is that you want to know. 3.44. No, you say, we must draw the line at that; well then, orcus is not a god either; what are you to say about his brothers then?' These arguments were advanced by Carneades, not with the object of establishing atheism (for what could less befit a philosopher?) but in order to prove the Stoic theology worthless; accordingly he used to pursue his inquiry thus: 'Well now,' he would say, 'if these brothers are included among the gods, can we deny the divinity of their father Saturation, who is held in the highest reverence by the common people in the west? And if he is a god, we must also admit that his father Caelus is a god. And if so, the parents of Caelus, the Aether and the Day, must be held to be gods, and their brothers and sisters, whom the ancient genealogists name Love, Guile, Dear, Toil, Envy, Fate, Old Age, Death, Darkness, Misery, Lamentation, Favour, Fraud, Obstinacy, the Parcae, the Daughters of Hesperus, the Dreams: all of these are fabled to be the children of erebus and Night.' Either therefore you must accept these monstrosities or you must discard the first claimants also.
3. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 6.68-6.79 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Plutarch, Agesilaus, 3.2-3.8 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5. Plutarch, Placita Philosophorum (874D-911C), 1.6-1.7 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 9.137-9.181, 9.189-9.190 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 2.117 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.117. When Crates asked him whether the gods take delight in prayers and adorations, he is said to have replied, Don't put such a question in the street, simpleton, but when we are alone! It is said that Bion, when he was asked the same question whether there are gods, replied:Will you not scatter the crowd from me, O much-enduring elder?In character Stilpo was simple and unaffected, and he could readily adapt himself to the plain man. For instance, when Crates the Cynic did not answer the question put to him and only insulted the questioner, I knew, said Stilpo, that you would utter anything rather than what you ought.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aetius Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 281
animal life Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
aristophanes Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
aristotle Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 281
belief (doxa) Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
carneades Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
diogenes of babylon Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
doxography Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 281
epicurus and epicureanism Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
euripides Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
gods, existence Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 281
gods, scepticism about Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
incorporeal Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
parker, r. Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
prayer Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
problem of evil, the Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 167
religion, greek, and philosophy, evidence of social backlash Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
religion, greek, and philosophy, philosophical criticisms and appropriations Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
religion, greek, and philosophy Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
religion, greek, tolerance and flexibility of' Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
scepticism, academic Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
scepticism, pyrrhonean Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
sextus empiricus Frede and Laks, Traditions of Theology: Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath (2001) 281; Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
skepticism, and religion Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 167
skepticism, pyrrhonist Wynne, Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (2019) 167
socrates, his trial Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
stoicism, stoics, theology of Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
stoicism Tor, Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology (2017) 46
theology Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
virtue Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116
walbank, f.w. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy (2006) 116