Chapter XXVII.—Doctrine of “Climates” Untenable.
“Moreover, we ought to remember the things which have been mentioned, that in the one country of India there are both persons who feed on human flesh, and persons who abstain even from the flesh of sheep, and birds, and all living creatures; and that the Magusæi marry their mothers and daughters not only in Persia, but that in every nation where they dwell they keep up their incestuous customs. 847 Then, besides, we have mentioned also innumerable nations, which are wholly ignorant of the studies of literature, and also some wise men have changed the laws themselves in several places; and some laws have been voluntarily abandoned, on account of the impossibility of observing them, or on account of their baseness. Assuredly we can easily ascertain how many rulers have changed the laws and customs of nations which they have conquered, and subjected them to their own laws. This is manifestly done by the Romans, who have brought under the Roman law and the civil decrees almost the whole world, and all nations who formerly lived under various laws and customs of their own. It follows, therefore, that the stars of the nations which have been conquered by the Romans have lost their climates and their portions.
The text reads: “the incestuous customs of their evils, or of their evil persons.” Hilgenfeld (Bardesanes, p. 113) notices that it should be, “of their ancestors.”