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[984e] next below these, the divine spirits,1 and air-born race, holding the third and middle situation, cause of interpretation, which we must surely honor with prayers for the sake of an auspicious journey across.2 We must say of either of these two creatures—that which is of ether and, next to it, of air—that it is not entirely plain to sight: when it is near by, it is not made manifest to us;

1 The daemons or divine spirits had their existence and activity“betwixt mortal and immortal,”and they served as interpreters and conveyors of men's prayers and offerings to the gods, and of the god's behests and requitals to men(Plato, Sympos. 202 D). Good mortals might become daemons after death(Eurip.Alc. 1003; Plato, Cratyl. 398 B; Lucian, De morte Peregr. 36), and such as they were charged with the guidance and care of mankind(Plato, Laws 713 D; Plutarch, De genio Socr. 588 C).

2 The“journey across”seems to refer to one part of the“conveying”that daemons performed—conducting the souls of deceased human beings from earth to the abode of the gods.

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