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Nor ought we to think it strange that the Egyptians should affect such poor and slender comparisons, when we find the Grecians themselves, both in their pictures and statues, make use of many such resemblances of the Gods as these are. For example, there was in Crete an image of Jupiter having no ears, for he that is commander and chief over all should hear no one. Phidias also set a serpent by the image of Minerva, and a tortoise by that of Venus at Elis, to show that maids needed a guard upon them, and that silence and keeping at home became married women. In like manner the trident of Neptune is a symbol of the third region of the world, which the sea possesses, situated below that of the heaven and air. For which reason they also gave their names to Amphitrite and the Tritons. The Pythagoreans also honored numbers and geometric figures with the names of Gods. For they called an equilateral triangle Minerva Coryphagenes (or crown-born) and Tritogeneia, because it is equally divided by perpendiculars drawn from the three angles. They likewise called the unit Apollo; the number two, contention and also audaciousness; and the number three, justice; for, wronging and being wronged being two extremes caused by deficiency and excess, justice came by equality in the middle. But that which is called the sacred quaternion, being the [p. 134] number thirty-six, was (according to common fame) the greatest oath among them, and was called by them the world, because it is made up of the first four even numbers and the first four odd numbers summed up together.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
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