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Xenophanes

Hexameters

 

 

11. Both Homer and Hesiod have attributed to the gods all things that are shameful and a reproach among mankind: theft, adultery and mutual deception.

12. They have narrated every possible wicked story of the gods: theft, adultery, and mutual deception.

14. But mortals believe the gods to be created by birth, and to have their own (mortals') raiment, voice and body.

15. But if oxen (and horses) and lions had hands or could draw with hands and create works of art like those made by men, horses would draw pictures of gods like horses, and oxen gods like oxen, and they would make the bodies (of their gods) in accordance with the form that each species itself possesses.

16. Ethiopians have gods with snub noses and black hair, Thracians have gods with gray eyes and red hair.

18. Truly the gods have not revealed to mortals all things from the beginning; but mortals by long seeking discover what is better.*



From: Drew A. Hyland, The Origins of Philosophy: From Myth to Meaning (New York; G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1973), p. 92.

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