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[40] Therefore if we are wise we shall not imitate their tales, nor while passing laws for the punishment of libels against each other, shall we disregard loose-tongued vilification of the gods; on the contrary, we shall be on our guard and consider equally guilty of impiety those who recite and those who believe such lies1

1 The poet Xenophanes, and later Plato, had strongly protested against the attribution of immoralities to the gods.

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