Divine Institutes, Book I (Of the False Worship of the Gods) And because it was impossible that the divine method of procedure should become known to man. – Lactantius – Divinarum Institutionum [Omnes Libri Collecti] . up in writing the divine Institutions, in which we shall not speak about rain-droppings. These criticisms apart, the new Liverpool translation of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes is an important achievement. The introduction provides a.

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Whether he who committed these crimes can be called Greatest is a matter of question, undoubtedly he is not the Best; to which name corrupters, adulterers, and incestuous persons have no claim; unless it happens that we men are mistaken in terming those who do such things wicked lsctantius abandoned, and in judging them most deserving of every kind of punishment. For that expression is too insignificant to denote the magnitude of the benefit derived from a father.

Divine Institutes, Book I (Of the False Worship of the Gods)

And the poets relate that they live and die alternately: If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. But separate people privately honoured the founders of their nation or city with the highest veneration, whether they were men distinguished for braveryor women admirable for chastity ; as the Egyptians honoured Isis, the Moors Juba, the Macedonians Cabirus, the Carthaginians Uranus, the Latins Faunus, the Sabines Sancus, the Romans Quirinus.

There was evidently a reason why she undertook so great a labour for a youth so faithful, who had refused compliance with the love of his stepmother. In return for which action God will grant to you happinessvirtueand length of days, that even when old you may govern the state with the same justice with which you began in youth, and may hand down to your children the guardianship of the Roman name, as you yourself received it from your father.

Retrieved March 1, — via University Library of Naples. But he shrinks from admitting this, while he dreads the unknown truth. Therefore let us suffer no day, in short, no moment of time, to pass away from us without pleasure; lest, since we ourselves are doomed to perish, the life which we have already spent should itself also perish.


It was not without humour that a certain poet wrote of the triumph of Cupid: For it is impossible that the two sexes can have been instituted except for the sake of generation.

Or how was Jupiter born from Time? He also swears most solemnly by the Stygian institites Retrieved 26 February But this, perchance, may be the fault of the Greeks, who always esteemed most trifling things as of the greatest consequence.

Who, then, is so senseless as to imagine that he reigns in heaven who ought not even to have reigned on earth? Because, he says, they have neither any color, nor warmth, nor smell; they are also without flavor and moisture; and they are so minute, that they cannot be cut and divided.

Lactantius – The Divine Institutes

How much more unsuitable is it to Godwho is our true Father, by whom we exist, and whose we are altogether, by whom we are divlne, endued with life, and enlightened, who bestows upon us life, gives us safety, and supplies us with various kinds of food! And having persuaded himself of this, he undertook also to defend it, and thus he entangled himself in inextricable errors. Yet that practice in fictitious suits has been of great advantage to us, so that we are now able to plead the cause of truth with greater copiousness and ability of speaking; for although the truth may be defended without eloquence, as it often has been defended by many, yet it needs to be explained, and in a measure discussed, with distinctness and elegance of speech, in order that it may flow with greater power into the minds of menbeing both provided with institutea own force, and adorned with the brilliancy of speech.

Why should I mention that this highest power and divine energy is altogether incapable of division? He was a pupil of Arnobius who taught at Sicca Veneriaan important city in Numidia. Is it so magnificent if he overcame a lion and a boar; if he shot down birds with arrows; if he cleansed a royal stable; if he conquered a virago, and deprived her of her belt; if he slew savage horses together with their master? It is also equally the part of the foolish man to do good; because, as he is not excited with anger, so he is not influenced by favor.


For that is wont to be judged endurable. Why should I not think so? The prophetswho were very many, proclaim and declare the one God ; for, being filled with the inspiration of the one Godthey predicted things to come, with agreeing and harmonious voice. Afterwards Saturn married Ops. Therefore there are not gods. For 4th century author, see Lactantius Placidus. Nor do you esteem Vesta to be anything else than a living flame; and you see no bodies produced from flame.

Therefore let men withdraw themselves from errors ; and laying aside corrupt superstitionslet them acknowledge instigutes Father and Lord, whose excellence cannot be estimated, nor His greatness insfitutes, nor His beginning comprehended.

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The Divine Institutes

From this it comes to pass, that he alone ought to be judged a brave man who is temperate, moderate, and just. Now, since the sacred history differs in some degree from those things which we have related, let us open those things which are contained in the true writings, that we may not, in accusing superstitionsappear to follow and approve of the follies of the poets.

Ops also brings forth Neptune without the knowledge divinf Saturn, and secretly hides him. These are the things which are feared, not because they bring death, but because they bring great pain. For there is no power so great, as the orator says, which cannot be weakened and broken by iron and strength.