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[67] "And you have even collected the portent-stories connected with Flaminius:1 'His horse,' you say, 'stumbled and fell with him.' That is very strange, isn't it? And, 'The standard of the first company could not be pulled up.' Perhaps the standard bearer had planted it stoutly and pulled it up timidly. What is astonishing in the fact that the horse of Dionysius2 came up out of the river, or that it had bees in its mane? And yet, because Dionysius began to reign a short time later—which was a mere coincidence—the event referred to is considered a portent! 'The arms sounded,' you say, 'in the temple of Hercules in Sparta; the folding-doors of the same god at Thebes, though securely barred, opened of their own accord, and the shields hanging upon the walls of that temple fell to the ground.'3 Now since none of these things could have happened without some exterior force, why should we say that they were brought about by divine agency rather than by chance?

1 Cf. i. 35. 77.

2 Cf. i. 33. 73.

3 Cf. i. 34. 74.

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
load focus Latin (C. F. W. Müller, 1915)
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