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When therefore you hear the tales which the Egyptians relate about the Gods, such as their wanderings, discerptions, and such like disasters that befell them, you are still to remember that none of these things have been really so acted and done as they are told. For they do not call the dog Hermes properly, but only attribute the warding, vigilancy, and philosophic acuteness of that animal, which by knowing or not knowing distinguishes between its friend and its foe (as Plato speaks), to the most knowing and ingenious of the Gods. Nor do they believe that the sun springs up a little boy from the top of the lotus, but [p. 74] they thus set forth his rising to insinuate the kindling of his rays by means of humids. Besides, that most savage and horrible king of the Persians named Ochus, who, when he had massacred abundance of people, afterwards slaughtered the Apis, and feasted upon him, both himself and his retinue, they called the Sword; and they call him so to this very day in their table of kings, hereby not denoting properly his person, but resembling by this instrument of murder the severity and mischievousness of his disposition. When therefore you thus hear the stories of the Gods from such as interpret them with consistency to piety and philosophy, and observe and practise those rites that are by law established, and are persuaded in your mind that you cannot possibly either offer or perform a more agreeable thing to the Gods than the entertaining of a right notion of them, you will then avoid superstition as a no less evil than atheism itself.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
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