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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

39 There are some, besides, who assert that those who from being men became godsà

There are some, besides, who assert that those who from being men became gods, are denoted by this name, -- as Hercules, Romulus, Æsculapius, Liber, Æneas. These are all, as is clear, different opinions; and it cannot be, in the nature of things, that those who differ in opinion can be regarded as teachers of one truth. For if Piso's opinion is true, Ælius and Granius say what is false; if what they say is certain, Varro, with all his skill, is mistaken, who substitutes things most frivolous and vain for those which really exist. If they are named Novensiles because their number is nine, Cornificius is shown to stumble, who, giving them might and power not their own, makes them the divine overseers of renovation. But if Cornificius is right in his belief, Cincius is found to be not wise, who connects with the power of the dii Novensiles the gods of conquered cities. But if they are those whom Cincius asserts them to be, Manilius will be found to speak falsely, who comprehends those who wield another's thunder under this name. But if that which Manilius holds is true and certain, they are utterly mistaken who suppose that those raised to divine honours, and deified mortals, are thus named because of the novelty of their rank. But if the Novensiles are those who have deserved to be raised to the stars after passing through the life of men, there are no dii Novensiles at all. For as slaves, soldiers, masters, are not names of persons comprehended under them, but of officers, ranks, and duties, so, when we say that Novensiles is the name of gods who by their virtues have become gods from being men, it is clear and evident that no individual persons are marked out particularly, but that newness itself is named by the title Novensiles.
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