Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XX.—These Gods Were Really Wicked Magicians.

“Then those who chose to make dishonourable allegories of divine things—as, for instance, that Metis was devoured by Zeus—have fallen into a dilemma, because they did not see that they who in these stories about the gods indirectly taught physics, denied the very existence of the gods, revolving all kinds of gods into mere allegorical representations of the various substances of the universe.  And so it is more likely that the gods these persons celebrate were some sort of wicked magicians, who were in reality wicked men, but by magic assumed different shapes, committed adulteries, and took away life, and thus to the men of old who did not understand magic seemed to be gods by the things they did; and the bodies and tombs of these men are to be seen in many towns.

Next: Chapter XXI