With Regard, Indeed, to Your Bringing Forward to us Other Bands of Unknown Gods...
With regard, indeed, to your bringing forward to us other bands of unknown [4089] gods, we cannot determine whether you do that seriously, and from a belief in its certainty; or, merely playing with empty fictions, abandon yourselves to an unbridled imagination. The goddess Luperca, you tell us on the authority of Varro, was named because the fierce wolf spared the exposed children. Was that goddess, then, disclosed, not by her own power, but by the course of events? and was it only after the wild beast restrained its cruel teeth, that she both began to be herself and was marked by [4090] her name? or if she was already a goddess long before the birth of Romulus and his brother, show us what was her name and title. Præstana was named, according to you, because, in throwing the javelin, Quirinus excelled all in strength; [4091] and the goddess Panda, or Pantica, was named because Titus Tatius was allowed to open up and make passable a road, that he might take the Capitoline. Before these events, then, had the deities never existed? and if Romulus had not held the first place in casting the javelin, and if the Sabine king had been unable to take the Tarpeian rock, would there be no Pantica, no Præstana? And if you say that they [4092] existed before that which gave rise to their name, a question which has been discussed in a preceding section, [4093] tell us also what they were called.


[4089] The ms. and both Roman edd. read signatorum--"sealed;" the others, except Hild., ignotorum, as above.

[4090] Lit., "drew the meaning of her name."

[4091] Lit., "excelled the might of all."

[4092] ms., "that these, too," i.e., as well as Luperca.

[4093] No such discussion occurs in the preceding part of the work, but the subject is brought forward in the end of chap. 8, p. 478, infra.

2 for we but
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