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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

10 And whence, finally, do you know whether all these images which you form and putà

And whence, finally, do you know whether all these images which you form and put in the place of the immortal gods reproduce and bear a resemblance to the gods? For it may happen that in heaven one has a beard who by you is represented with smooth cheeks; that another is rather advanced in years to whom you give the appearance of a youth; that here he is fair, with blue eyes, who really has grey ones; that he has distended nostrils whom you make and form with a high nose. For it is not right to call or name that an image which does not derive from the face of the original features like it; which can be recognised to be clear and certain from things which are manifest. For while all we men see that the sun is perfectly round by our eyesight, which cannot be doubted, you have given to him the features of a man, and of mortal bodies. The moon is always in motion, and in its restoration every month puts on thirty faces: with you, as leaders and designers, that is represented as a woman, and has one countenance, which passes through a thousand different states, changing each day. We understand that all the winds are only a flow of air driven and impelled in mundane ways: in your hands they take the forms of men filling with breath twisted trumpets by blasts from out their breasts. Among the representations of your gods we see that there is the very stern face of a lion smeared with pure vermilion, and that it is named Frugifer. If all these images are likenesses of the gods above, there must then be said to dwell in heaven also a god such as the image which has been made to represent his form and appearance; and, of course, as here that figure of yours, so there the deity himself is a mere mask and face, without the rest of the body, growling with fiercely gaping jaws, terrible, red as blood, holding an apple fast with his teeth, and at times, as dogs do when wearied, putting his tongue out of his gaping mouth. But if, indeed, this is not the case, as we all think that it is not, what, pray, is the meaning of so great audacity to fashion to yourself whatever form you please, and to say that it is an image of a god whom you cannot prove to exist at all?
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