previous next
Question 10. Wherefore do men in divine service cover their heads; but if they meet any honorable personages [p. 210] when they have their cloaks on their heads, they are uncovered?

Solution. The latter part of the question seems to augment the difficulty of the former. If now the story told of Aeneas be true, that whilst Diomedes was passing by he offered a sacrifice with his head covered, it is rational and consequent that, while we cover our heads before our enemies, when we meet our friends and good men we should be uncovered. This behavior before the Gods therefore is not their peculiar right, but accidental, continuing to be observed since that example of Aeneas.

If there is any thing further to be said, consider whether we ought not to enquire only after the reason why men in divine service are covered, the other being the consequence of it. For they that are uncovered before men of greater power do not thereby ascribe honor unto them, but rather remove envy from them, that they might not seem to demand or to endure the same kind of reverence which the Gods have, or to rejoice that they are served in the same manner as they. But they worship the Gods in this manner, either showing their unworthiness in all humility by the covering of the head, or rather fearing that some unlucky and ominous voice should come to them from abroad whilst they are praying; therefore they pluck up their cloaks about their ears. That they strictly observed these things is manifest in this, that when they went to consult the oracle, they made a great din all about by the tinkling of brass kettles. Or is it as Castor saith, that the Roman usages were conformable to the Pythagoric notion that the daemon within us stands in need of the Gods without us, and we make supplication to them with a covered head, intimating the body's hiding and absconding of the soul?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: