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How then must we manage ourselves at these tetrical, morose, and mournful sacrifices, if we are neither to omit what the laws prescribe us, nor yet to confound and distract our thoughts about the Gods with vain and uncouth surmises? There are among the Greeks also many things done that are like to those which the Egyptians do at their solemnities, and much about the same time too. For at the Thesmophoria at Athens the women fast sitting upon the bare ground. The Boeotians also remove the shrines of Achaea (or Ceres), terming that day the afflictive holiday, because Ceres was then in great affliction for her daughter's descent into hell. Now upon this month, about the rising of the Pleiades, is the sowing time; and the Egyptians call it Athyr, the Athenians Pyanepsion; and the Boeotians Damatrios (or the month of Ceres). Moreover Theopompus relates, that those that live towards the sun-setting (or the Hesperii) believe the winter to be Saturn, the summer Venus, and the spring time Proserpine; and that they call them by those names, and maintain all to be produced by Saturn and Venus. But the Phrygians, being of opinion that the Deity sleeps in the winter and wakes in the summer, do, in the manner of ecstatics, in the winter time sing lullabies in honor of his [p. 127] sleeping, and in the summer time certain rousing carols in honor of his waking. In like manner the Paphlagonians say, he is bound and imprisoned in the winter, and walks abroad again in the spring and is at liberty.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
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