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[25] 10. "To the last point the Stoics make the rejoinder that 'every evil which is going to befall us is made lighter by means of religious rites.' But if nothing happens except in accordance with Fate, no evil can be made lighter by means of religious rites. Homer shows his appreciation of this fact when he represents Jupiter as complaining because he could not snatch his son Sarpedon from death1 when Fate forbade. The same thought is expressed in the following verses translated from a Greek poet2 : [p. 399]
That which has been decreed by Fate to be
Almighty Jove himself cannot prevent.
The whole idea of Fate in every detail is justly, as I think, the subject of derision even in Atellan farces,3 but in a discussion as serious as ours joking is out of place. So then let us sum up our argument: If it is impossible to foresee things that happen by chance because they are uncertain, there is no such thing as divination; if, on the contrary, they can be foreseen because they are preordained by Fate, still there is no such thing as divination, which, by your definition, deals with 'things that happen by chance.'

1 Il. xvi. 433.

2 It is not known from whom this line is taken. The same thought is often found. Cf. Aesch. Prom. 527; Herod. i. 91; Plato, De leg. v. 10.

3 The Fabulae Atellanae originated in Atella, a town between Capua and Naples. They are often called Osci Ludi. Cf. Livy vii.3 , x. 208; Cic. Adfam. ix. 16. 7.

4 Cf.i. 6. 12; i. 18.34.

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