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[26] My own teachers used to prepare us for conjectural cases by a form of exercise which was at once useful and attractive: they made us discuss and develop questions such as “Why in Sparta is Venus represented as wearing armour?”1 or “Why is Cupid believed to be a winged boy armed with arrows and a torch?” and the like. In these exercises our aim was to discover the intention implied, a question which frequently occurs in controversial declamations. Such themes may perhaps be regarded as a kind of chria or moral essay.

1 The reason according to Lactantius (Inst. Div. i. 20) was the bravery of the Spartan women in one of the Messenian wars.

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