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‘That, Boëthus,’ said Sarapion, ‘is more reasonable and harmonious. For we must not show hostility towards the god, nor do away with his providence and divine powers together with his prophetic gifts ; but we must seek for explanations of such matters as seem to stand in the way, and not relinquish the reverent faith of our fathers.’

‘What you say, my esteemed Sarapion,’ said I, “is quite right. We have not been surrendering hope for philosophy either, as if it had been completely done away with and destroyed, just because formerly the philosophers used to publish their doctrines and discourses in the form of poems, as Orpheus, Hesiod, Parmenides, Xenophanes, Empedocles, and Thales. Later they ceased to do this, and now all have ceased using metrical form, all except you. At your hands the poetic art returns to philosophy from its banishment, and sounds a clear and noble challenge to the young.

‘Nor did Aristarchus, Timocharis, Aristyllus, and Hipparchus, and their followers make astronomy less [p. 307] notable by writing in prose, although in earlier days Eudoxus, Hesiod, and Thales wrote in verse, if indeed Thales, in all truth, composed the Astronomy which is attributed to him. Pindar also confesses that he is puzzled by the neglect of a mode of music and is astonished that . . .1 The fact is that there is nothing dreadful nor abnormal in seeking the causes of such changes ; but to do away with these arts and faculties themselves because something about them has been disturbed or changed is not right.’

1 Unfortunately the cause of Pindar's astonishment has been omitted by the copyist, who left a blank here.

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