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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

67 Therefore, when you urge against us that we turn away from the religion of pastà

Therefore, when you urge against us that we turn away from the religion of past ages, it is fitting that you should examine why it is done, not what is done, and not set before you what we have left, but observe especially what we have followed. For if it is a fault or crime to change an opinion, and pass from ancient customs to new conditions and desires, this accusation holds against you too, who have so often changed your habits and mode of life, who have gone over to other customs and ceremonies, so that you are condemned by past ages as well as we. Do you indeed have the people distributed into five classes, as your ancestors once had? Do you ever elect magistrates by vote of the people? Do you know what military, urban, and common comitia are? Do you watch the sky, or put an end to public business because evil omens are announced? When you are preparing for war, do you hang out a flag from the citadel, or practise the forms of the Fetiales, solemnly demanding the return of what has been carried off? or, when encountering the dangers of war, do you begin to hope also, because of favourable omens from the points of the spears? In entering on office, do you still observe the laws fixing the proper times? with regard to gifts and presents to advocates, do you observe the Cincian and the sumptuary laws in restricting your expenses? Do you maintain fires, ever burning, in gloomy sanctuaries? Do you consecrate tables by putting on them salt-cellars and images of the gods? When you marry, do you spread the couch with a toga, and invoke the genii of husbands? do you arrange the hair of brides with the hasta cælibaris? do you bear the maidens' garments to the temple of Fortuna Virginalis? Do your matrons work in the halls of your houses, showing their industry openly do they refrain from drinking wine? are their friends and relations allowed to kiss them, in order to show that they are sober and temperate?
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