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[13] 4. For I do not agree with those who have recently begun to argue that soul and body perish at the same time, and that all things are destroyed by death. I give greater weight to the old-time view, whether it be that of our forefathers, who paid such reverential rites to the dead, which they surely would not have done if they had believed those rites were a matter of indifference to the [p. 123] dead; or, whether it be the view of those1 who lived in this land and by their principles and precepts brought culture to Great Greece,2 which now, I admit, is wholly destroyed, but was then flourishing; or, whether it be the view of him who was adjudged by the oracle of Apollo to be the wisest of men, who, though he would argue on most subjects now on one side and now on the other, yet always consistently maintained that human souls were of God; that upon their departure from the body a return to heaven lay open to them, and that in proportion as each soul was virtuous and just would the return be easy and direct.

1 i.e. the Pythagoreans who had a school of philosophy at Crotona in the fifth century B.C.

2 i.e. lower Italy.

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