But Perhaps, as You Say, the Goddesses Took the Greatest Pleasure in These Lewd And...
But perhaps, as you say, the goddesses took the greatest pleasure in these lewd and lustful insults, and did not think that an action requiring vengeance to be taken, which soothed their minds, and which they knew was suggested to human desires by themselves. But if the goddesses, the Venuses, being endowed with rather calm dispositions, considered that favour should be shown to the misfortunes of the blinded youths; when the greedy flames so often consumed the Capitol, and had destroyed the Capitoline Jupiter himself with his wife and his daughter, [4737] where was the Thunderer at that time to avert that calamitous fire, and preserve from destruction his property, and himself, and all his family? Where was the queenly Juno when a violent fire destroyed her famous shrine, and her priestess [4738] Chrysis in Argos? Where the Egyptian Serapis, when by a similar disaster his temple fell, burned to ashes, with all the mysteries, and Isis? Where Liber Eleutherius, when his temple fell at Athens? Where Diana, when hers fell at Ephesus? Where Jupiter of Dodona, when his fell at Dodona? Where, finally, the prophetic Apollo, when by pirates and sea robbers he was both plundered and set on fire, [4739] so that out of so many pounds of gold, which ages without number had heaped up, he did not have one scruple even to show to the swallows which built under his eaves, [4740] as Varro says in his Saturæ Menippeæ? [4741] It would be an endless task to write down what shrines have been destroyed throughout the whole world by earth quakes and tempests -- what have been set on fire by enemies, and by kings and tyrants -- what have been stript bare by the overseers and priests themselves, even though they have turned suspicion away from them [4742] -- finally, what have been robbed by thieves and Canacheni, [4743] opening them up, though barred by unknown means; [4744] which, indeed, would remain safe and exposed to no mischances, if the gods were present to defend them, or had any care for their temples, as is said. But now because they are empty, and protected by no indwellers, Fortune has power over them, and they are exposed to all accidents just as much as are all other things which have not life. [4745]


[4737] Cf. p. 315, n. 2, supra.

[4738] So Clemens narrates; but Thucydides (iv. 133) says that "straightway Chrysis flees by night for refuge to Phlious, fearing the Argives;" while Pausanius (ii. 59) says that she fled to Tegea, taking refuge there at the altar of Minerva Alea.

[4739] From Varro's being mentioned, Oehler thinks that Arnobius must refer to various marauding expeditions against the temples of Apollo on the coasts and islands of the Ægean, made at the time of the piratical war. Clemens, however, speaks distinctly of the destruction of the temple at Delphi, and it is therefore probable that this is referred to, if not solely, at least along with those which Varro mentions. Clement, vol. ii.[p. 187.

[4740] Lit., "his visitors," hospitis.

[4741] Varro Menippeus, an emendation of Carrio, adopted in LB. and Orelli for the ms. se thenipeus.

[4742] Lit., "suspicion being averted."

[4743] It has been generally supposed that reference is thus made to some kind of thieves, which is probable enough, as Arnobius (end of next chapter) classes all these plunderers as "tyrants, kings, robbers, and nocturnal thieves;" but it is impossible to say precisely what is meant. Heraldus would read Saraceni--"Saracens."

[4744] Lit., "with obscurity of means." The phrase may refer either to the defence or to the assault of temples by means of magic arts.

[4745] Lit., "interior motion."

22 but you will perhaps
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