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Question 2. Why do they light at nuptials five torches, neither more nor less, which they call waxen tapers?

Solution. Whether it be (as Varro saith) that the Praetors use three, but more are permitted to the Aediles, and married persons do light the fire at the Aediles' torches? Or is it that, having use of many numbers, the odd number was reckoned better and perfecter upon other accounts, and therefore more adapted to matrimony? For the even number admits of division, and the equal parts of opposition and repugnancy, whenas the odd cannot be [p. 205] divided, but being divided into parts leaves always an inequality. The number five is most matrimonial of odd numbers, for three is the first odd and two is the first even, of which five is compounded, as of male and female.

Or rather, because light is a sign of generation, and it is natural to a woman, for the most part, to bring forth so far as five successively, and therefore they use five torches? Or is it because they suppose that married persons have occasion for five Gods, Nuptial Jupiter, Nuptial Juno, Venus, Suada, and above all the rest Diana, whom women invocate in their travail and child-bed sickness?

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
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