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And Pontianus said that Zeno the Cittiæan thought that Love was the God of Friendship and Liberty, and also that he was the great author of concord among men; but that he had no other office. On which account, he says in his Polity, that Love is a God, being one who cooperates in securing the safety of the city. And the philosophers, also, who preceded him considered Love a venerable Deity, removed from everything discreditable: and this is plain from their having set up holy statues in his honour in their Gymnasia, along with those of Mercury and Hercules—the one of whom is the patron of eloquence, and the other of valour. And when these are united, friendship and unanimity are engendered; by means of which the most perfect liberty is secured to those who excel in these practices. But the Athenians were so far from thinking that Love presided over the gratification of the mere sensual appetites, that, though the Academy was manifestly consecrated to Minerva, they yet erected in that place also a statue of Love, and sacrificed to it. The Thespians also celebrate Erotidia, or festivals of Love, just as the Athenians do Athenæa, or festivals of Minerva, and as the Eleans celebrate the Olympian festivals, and the Rhodians the Halæan. And in the public sacrifices, everywhere almost, Love is honoured. And the Lacedæmonians offer sacrifices to Love before they go to battle, thinking that safety and victory depend on the friendship of those who stand side by side in the battle array. And the Cretans, in their line of battle, adorn the handsomest of their citizens, and employ them to offer sacrifices to Love on behalf of the state, as Sosicrates relates. And the regiment among the Thebans which is called the Sacred Band, is wholly composed of mutual lovers, indicating the majesty of the God, as [p. 899] these men prefer a glorious death to a shameful and dis- creditable life. But the Samians (as Erxias says, in his History of Colophon), having consecrated a gymnasium to Love, called the festival which was instituted in his honour the Eleutheria, or Feast of Liberty; and it was owing to this God, too, that the Athenians obtained their freedom. And the Pisistratidæ, after their banishment, were the first people who ever endeavoured to throw discredit on the events which took place through his influence.
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