The Instructions Of Commodianus by Commodianus
XVI.--Of the Gods and Goddesses.
Ye say that they are gods who are plainly cruel, and ye say that genesis assigns the fates to you. Now, then, say to whom first of all sacred rites are paid. Between the ways on either side immature death is straying. If the fates give the generations, why do you pray to the god? Thou art vainly deceived who art seeking to beseech the manes, and thou namest them to be lords over thee who are fabricated. Or, moreover, I know not what women you pray to as goddesses -- Bellona and Nemesis the goddesses, together with the celestial Fury, the Virgins and Venus, for whom your wives are weak in the loins. Besides, there are in the lanes other demons which are not as yet numbered, and are worn on the neck, so that they themselves cannot give to themselves an account. Plagues ought rather to be exported to the ends of the earth.