56 Diagoras of Melos and Theodorus of Cyrene, called the Atheists. The former flourished about B.C. 430, the latter about B.C. 310. See Cic., Nat. Deor., i. 2. [Note the universal faith, cap. 34, infra]
62 So restored by Salmasius for Dioscuri, and understood by him as meaning Dea Syria, i.e. Venus, because it is said that a large egg having been found by the fish in the Euphrates, was pushed up by them to the dry land, when a dove came down, and sat upon it until the goddess came forth. Such was the form of the legend according to Nigidius; but Eratosthenes spoke of both Venus and Cupid as being produced in this manner. The Syrian deities were therefore Venus, Cupid, and perhaps Adonis. It should be remembered, however, that the Syrians paid reverence to pigeons and fish as gods. (Xen., Anab., i. 4, 9), and that these may therefore be meant.
65 Orelli would refer these words to God; he thinks that with those immediately following they may be understood of God's spiritual nature,-an idea which he therefore supposes Arnobius to assert had never been grasped by the heathen.
66 So Gelenius, followed by Orelli and others, for the corrupt reading of the ms., idem ne quis; but possibly both this and the preceding clause have crept into the text from the margin, as in construction they differ from the rest of the sentence, both that which precedes, and that which follows.
67 The phrase animalibus causis is regarded by commentators as equal to animatis causis, and refers to the doctrine of the Stoics, that in the sun, moon, stars, etc., there was an intelligent nature, or a certain impulse of mind, which directed their movements.
69 Some have suggested a different construction of these words-memoriam nullam nostri sensus et recordationis habituri, thus-"have no memory of ourselves and senses of recollection;" but that adopted above is simpler, and does not force the words as this seems to do.
71 It was a common practice with the Romans to hang the spoils of an enemy on a tree, which was thus consecrated to some deity. Hence such trees were sacred, and remained unhurt even to old age. Some have supposed that the epithet "old" is applied from the fact that the heathen used to offer to their gods objects no longer of use to themselves; thus it was only old trees, past bearing fruit, which were generally selected to hang the spoila upon.
74 So all the later edd.; but in the ms., 1st and 2d Roman edd., and in those of Gelenius and Canterus, this clause reads, cruciatoris perpetitur saevitatem-"but suffers the cruelty of his persecutor."
75 The words post paenas in the text are regarded as spurious by Orelli, who supposes them to have crept in from the preceding sentence: but they may be defended as sufficiently expressing the agonies which Hercules suffered through the fatal shirt of Nessus.
80 The phrase potentiarum interiorum is not easily understood. Orelli is of opinion that it means those powers which in the Bible are called the "powers of heaven," the "army of heaven," i.e., the angels. The Jews and the early Fathers of the Church divided the heaven into circles or zones, each inhabited by its peculiar powers or intelligent natures, differing in dignity and in might. The central place was assigned to God Himself, and to Christ, who sat on His right hand, and who is called by the Fathers of the Church the "Angel of the Church," and the "Angel of the New Covenant." Next in order came "Thrones," "Archangels," "Cherubim and Seraphim," and most remote from God's throne the "Chorus of Angels," the tutelar genii of men. The system of zones and powers seems to have been derived from the Chaldeans, who made a similar division of the heavens. According to this idea, Arnobius speaks of Christ as nearest to the Father, and God of the "inner powers," who enjoyed God's immediate presence. Reference is perhaps made to some recondite doctrine of the Gnostics. It may mean, however, the more subtile powers of nature, as affecting both the souls of men and the physical universe.
81 So Orelli with most edd., following Ursinus, for the ms. suo ge-ne-ri-s sub limine, which might, however, he retained, as if the sense were that these ordinances were coeval with man's origin, and translated, "tribes saw at the beginning of their race."
83 Arnobius uses nomina, "names," with special significance, because the Magi in their incantations used barbarous and fearful names of angels and of powers, by whose influence they thought strange and unusual things were brought to pass.
84 All these different effects the magicians of old attempted to produce: to break family ties by bringing plagues into houses, or by poisons; open doors and unbind chains by charms (Orig, contra Cels., ii.); affect horses in the race-of which Hieronymus in his Life of Hilarion gives an example; and use philters and love potions to kindle excessive and unlawful desires.
88 So the ms. according to Oehler, and seemingly Heraldus; but according to Orelli, the ms. reads immoderati (instead of-os) cohibebant fluores, which Meursius received as equivalent to "the excessive flow stayed itself."
103 "They, too,...those labouring under the inflictions of these:" so LB., with the warm approval of Orelli (who, however, with previous edd., retains the ms. reading in his text) and others, reading sub eorum t-ortantes (for ms. p-) et illi se casibus; Heraldus having suggested rotantes. This simple and elegant emendation makes it unnecessary to notice the harsh and forced readings of earlier edd.
104 So understood by Orelli, who reads quo Dius est, adopting the explanation of Dialis given by Festus. The ms., however, according to Crusius, reads, Dialem, quod ejus est, flaminem isto jure donavit; in which case, from the position of the quod, the meaning might be, "which term is his," or possibly, "because he (i.e. the priest) is his," only that in the latter case a pronoun would be expected: the commentators generally refer it to the succeeding jure, with this "right" which is his. Canterus reads, quod majus est, i.e., than the Pontifex Maximus. [Compare vol. iv. p. 74, note 7.]
106 This passage has furnished occasion for much discussion as to text and interpretation. In the text Orelli's punctuation has been followed, who regards Arnobius as mentioning four Zoroasters-the Assyrian or Chaldean, the Bactrian (cf. c. 5 of this book), the Armenian, and finally the Pamphylian, or Pamphilos, who, according to Clem. Alex. (Strom. [vol. ii. p. 469]), is referred to in Plato's Republic, book x., under the name Er; Meursius and Salmasius, however, regarding the whole as one sentence, consider that only three persons are so referred to, the first being either Libyan or Bactrian, and the others as with Orelli. To seek to determine which view is most plausible even, would be a fruitless task, as will be evident on considering what is said in the index under Zoroaster. [Jowett's Plato, ii. 121.]
107 So Orelli, reading veniat qu-is su-per igneam zonam. LB. reads for the second and third words, quae-so per- "let there come, I pray you, through," etc., from the ms. quae super; while Heraldus would change the last three words into Azonaces, the name of the supposed teacher of Zoroaster. By the "fiery zone" Salmasius would understand Libya; but the legends should be borne in mind which spoke of Zoroaster as having shown himself to a wondering multitude from a hill blazing with fire, that he might teach them new ceremonies of worship, or as being otherwise distinguished in connection with fire. [Plato, Rep., p. 446, Jowett's trans.]
111 So emended by Salmasius, followed by most later edd. In the earlier edd. the reading is et merito exutus a corpore (Salm. reading at instead of a, and inserting a period after mer.)-"and when rightly freed from the body," etc.
112 It may be instructive to notice how the simpler narrative of the Gospels is amplified. Matthew (xxvii. 51) says that the earth trembled, and Luke (xxiii. 45) that the sun was darkened; but they go no further. [ See p. 301, note 4, supra]
116 According to Rigaltius the ms. reads ista promiserunt in immensum-"have put forth (i.e. exaggerated) these things to an immense degree falsely, small matters and trivial affairs have magnified," etc.; while by a later hand has been superscribed over in immensum, in ink of a different colour, extulere-"have extolled."
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