Wine is Used Along with Incense; and of This...
Wine is used along with incense; and of this, in like manner, we ask an explanation why it is poured upon it when burning. For if a reason is not [4903] shown for doing this, and its cause is not [4904] set forth, this action of yours must not now be attributed to a ridiculous error, but, to speak more plainly, to madness, foolishness, blindness. For, as has been already said pretty frequently, everything which is done should have its cause manifest, and not involved in any dark obscurity. If, therefore, you have confidence in what is done, disclose, point out why that liquor is offered; that is, why wine is poured on the altars. For do the bodies of the deities feel parching thirst, and is it necessary that their dryness be tempered by some moisture? Are they accustomed, as men are, to combine eating and drinking? In like manner, also, after the solid [4905] food of cakes and pottages, and victims slain in honour of them, do they drench themselves, and make themselves merry with very frequent cups of wine, that their food may be more easily softened, and thoroughly digested? Give, I beg, to the immortal gods to drink; bring forth goblets, bowls, [4906] ladles, and cups; and as they stuff themselves with bulls, and luxurious feasts, and rich food, -- lest some piece of flesh hastily [4907] gulped down should stick in passing through the stomach, run up, hasten, give pure wine to Jupiter, the most excellent, the supreme, lest he be choked. He desires to break wind, and is unable; and unless that hindrance passes away and is dissolved, there is very great danger that his breathing will be stopped and [4908] interrupted, and heaven be left desolate without its rulers.


[4903] So LB. and Oehler, reading ni-si. (ms. si), and other edd. inserting non, the negative being absolutely necessary to the sense, and supplied in the next clause.

[4904] Lit., "nor will it have its cause."

[4905] Although this is clearly the meaning, Stewechius explained solidos by referring to the ancient belief that such offerings should be wholly consumed, and no fragment left.

[4906] Briæ, drinking-cups, but of their peculiar shape or purpose we know nothing.

[4907] Lit., "badly."

[4908] Lit., "being strangled, may be."

28 will any one say
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