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[41a] and of Cronos and Rhea were born Zeus and Hera and all those who are, as we know, called their brethren; and of these again, other descendants.

Now when all the gods, both those who revolve manifestly1 and those who manifest themselves so far as they choose, had come to birth, He that generated this All addressed them thus:

“Gods of gods,2 those works whereof I am framer and father are indissoluble save by my will. For though all that is bound may be dissolved, [41b] yet to will to dissolve that which is fairly joined together and in good case were the deed of a wicked one. Wherefore ye also, seeing that ye were generated, are not wholly immortal or indissoluble, yet in no wise shall ye be dissolved nor incur the doom of death, seeing that in my will ye possess a bond greater and more sovereign than the bonds wherewith, at your birth, ye were bound together. Now, therefore, what I manifest and declare unto you do ye learn. Three mortal kinds3 still remain ungenerated; but if these come not into being the Heaven will be imperfect; for it will not contain within itself the whole sum of the hinds of living creatures, yet contain them it must if [41c] it is to be fully perfect. But if by my doing these creatures came into existence and partook of life, they would be made equal unto gods; in order, therefore, that they may be mortal and that this World-all may be truly All, do ye turn yourselves, as Nature directs, to the work of fashioning these living creatures, imitating the power showed by me in my generating of you. Now so much of them as it is proper to designate 'immortal,' the part we call divine which rules supreme in those who are fain to follow justice always and yourselves, that part I will deliver unto you when I have sown it and given it origin. [41d] For the rest, do ye weave together the mortal with the immortal, and thereby fashion and generate living creatures, and give them food that they may grow, and when they waste away receive them to yourselves again.”

Thus He spake, and once more into the former bowl, wherein He had blended and mixed the Soul of the Universe, He poured the residue of the previous material, mixing it in somewhat the same manner, yet no longer with a uniform and invariable purity, but second and third in degree of purity. And when He had compounded the whole He divided it into souls equal in number to the stars, and each several soul He assigned to one star, [41e] and setting them each as it were in a chariot4 He showed them the nature of the Universe, and declared unto them the laws of destiny,—namely, how that the first birth should be one and the same ordained for all, in order that none might be slighted by Him; and how it was needful that they, when sown each into his own proper organ of time,5 should grow into the most god-fearing of living creatures;

1 i.e.the Stars; the others are the deities of popular belief (such as Homer depicts).

2 An intensive form of expression, like the Biblical “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

3 Viz. the inhabitants of air, of water, and of earth.

4 Cf. Laws899 A.


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