Saturday, September 12, 2015


Two Types of Gods

Isocrates 5.117 (tr. George Norlin):
Nay, in the case of the gods also we invoke as the "Heavenly Ones" those who bless us with good things, while to those who are agents of calamities and punishments we apply more hateful epithets; in honour of the former, both private persons and states erect temples and altars, whereas we honour the latter neither in our prayers nor in our sacrifices, but practise rites to drive away their evil presence.

ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν θεῶν τοὺς μὲν τῶν ἀγαθῶν αἰτίους ἡμῖν ὄντας Ὀλυμπίους προσαγορευομένους, τοὺς δ᾿ ἐπὶ ταῖς συμφοραῖς καὶ ταῖς τιμωρίαις τεταγμένους δυσχερεστέρας τὰς ἐπωνυμίας ἔχοντας, καὶ τῶν μὲν καὶ τοὺς ἰδιώτας καὶ τὰς πόλεις καὶ νεὼς καὶ βωμοὺς ἱδρυμένους, τοὺς δ᾿ οὔτ᾿ ἐν ταῖς εὐχαῖς οὔτ᾿ ἐν ταῖς θυσίαις τιμωμένους, ἀλλ᾿ ἀποπομπὰς αὐτῶν ἡμᾶς ποιουμένους.

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