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The Seven Books Of Arnobius Against The Heathen by Arnobius

25 For what grandeur -- if you look at the truth without any prejudice -- isà

For what grandeur -- if you look at the truth without any prejudice -- is there in these images of which they speak, that the men of old should have had reason to hope and think that, by beholding them, the vices of men could be subdued, and their morals and wicked ways brought under restraint? The reaping-hook, for example, which was assigned to Saturn, was it to inspire mortals with fear, that they should be willing to live peacefully, and to abandon their malicious inclinations? Janus, with double face, or that spiked key by which he has been distinguished; Jupiter, cloaked and bearded, and holding in his right hand a piece of wood shaped like a thunderbolt; the cestus of Juno, or the maiden lurking under a soldier's helmet; the mother of the gods, with her timbrel; the Muses, with their pipes and psalteries; Mercury, the winged slayer of Argus; Æsculapius, with his staff; Ceres, with huge breasts, or the drinking cup swinging in Liber's right hand; Mulciber, with his workman s dress; or Fortune, with her horn full of apples, figs, or autumnal fruits; Diana, with half-covered thighs, or Venus naked, exciting to lustful desire; Anubis, with his dog's face; or Priapus, of less importance than his own genitals: were these expected to make men afraid?
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