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1Better, therefore, is the judgement of those who hold that the stories about Typhon, Osiris, and Isis, are records of experiences of neither gods nor men, but of demigods, whom Plato2 and Pythagoras3 [p. 61] and Xenocrates4 and Chrysippus,5 following the lead of early writers on sacred subjects, allege to have been stronger than men and, in their might, greatly surpassing our nature, yet not possessing the divine quality unmixed and uncontaminated, but with a share also in the nature of the soul and in the perceptive faculties of the body, and with a susceptibility to pleasure and pain and to whatsoever other experience is incident to these mutations, and is the source of much disquiet in some and of less in others. For in demigods, as in men, there are divers degrees of virtue and of vice. The exploits of the Giants and Titans celebrated among the Greeks, the lawless deeds of a Cronus,6 the stubborn resistance of Python against Apollo, the flights of Dionysus,7 and the wanderings of Demeter, do not fall at all short of the exploits of Osiris and Typhon and other exploits which anyone may hear freely repeated in traditional story. So, too, all the things which are kept always away from the ears and eyes of the multitude by being concealed behind mystic rites and ceremonies have a similar explanation.

1 In connexion with chapters 25 and 26 one may well compare 418 d - 419 a and 421 c-e, infra, and Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. iv. 21 - v. 5.

2 Cf. 361 c, infra.

3 Cf. Diogenes Laertius, viii. 32.

4 Cf. Stobaeus, Eclogae, i. 2. 29.

5 Cf. Moralia, 277 a, 419 a, and 1051 c-d; and von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ii. 1103 (p. 320).

6 The vengeance which he wreaked on his father Uranus.

7 Homer, Il. vi. 135 ff. If φθόροι is read (‘destructions wrought by Dionysus’) there would be also a reference to the death of Pentheus as portrayed in the Bacchae of Euripides. Cf. also Moralia, 996 c.

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