Early Church Fathers
37 The allusion is to the proverb that "old age is second childhood."
38 An allusion to Ps. cxv. 5: "They have mouths, but they speak not."
39 Quae tam non habent qui accipiunt, quam qui illa donarunt. The senseless images can make no use of the treasures.
40 Justin relates that Graecia Magna, a part of Italy, was subdued by Dionysius. Cicero says that he sailed to Peloponnesus, and entered the temple of the Olympian Jupiter. [De Nat. Deor., iii. 34.]
41 Sigilla. The word is also used to denote seals, or signets.
42 Equuleus: an instrument of torture resembling a horse, on which slaves were stretched and tortured.
43 Nihil esse [= are nothing.]
44 The allusion is to the efforts made by the partisans of Verres to prevent Cicero from obtaining the necessary evidence for the condemnation of Verres. But all these efforts were unavailing: the evidence was overwhelming, and before the trial was over Verres went into exile.
45 Ps. cxlviii. 6: "He hath established them for ever and ever."
46 Ovid, Metam., lib. i. [79. Jussit et extendi campos, etc.].
47 Ovid, Metam., lib. i. [79. Jussit et extendi campos, etc.].
48 [De Nat. Deor., ii. cap. 21.]
49 Exorbitare, "to wander from their orbits."
50 Deserviunt, "they are devoted to."
51 Spatium; a word borrowed frown the chariot-course, and applied with great beauty to the motions of the stars.
52 Archimedes was the greatest of ancient mathematicians, and possessed in an eminent degree inventive genius. He constructed various engines of war, and greatly assisted in the defence of Syracuse when it was besieged by the Romans. His most celebrated work, however, was the construction of a sphere, or "orrery," representing the movements of the heavenly bodies. To this Lactantius refers.
53 Dum vertitur.
54 Illa vera. [Newton showed his orrery to Halley the atheist, who was charmed with the contrivance, and asked the name of the maker. "Nobody," was the ad hominem retort.]
57 Is subservient to.
58 Lactantius speaks after the manner of Cicero, and uses the word proposition to express that which logicians call the major proposition, as containing the major term: the word assumption expresses that which is called the minor proposition, as containing the minor term.
59 Thus Cicero, De Finibus, iii., says: "But they think that the universe is governed by the power of the gods, and that it is, as it were, a city and state common to men and gods, and that every one of us is a part of that universe."
60 If the world was created out of nothing, as Christians are taught to believe, it was not born; for birth (ge/nesij) takes place when matter assumes another substantial form.-Betuleius.
61 The stars.
62 Membra, "limbs," "parts."
63 Sola, "alone." Another reading is solius, "of the only God."
66 Ut oculis hauriant.
67 Nihil aliud est.
68 Cicero, De Nat. Deor., iii. 2.
70 [See Clement, vol. ii. cap. 10, p. 197, this series.]
71 Ad verba.
72 Twenty-second chapter.
73 Relationship by marriage. The allusion is to the well-known story, that all the neighbouring towns refused to intermarry with the Romans.
74 Pro virili portione. The phrase properly denotes the share that falls to a person in the division of an inheritance, hence equality.
75 It cannot be forestalled or preoccupied.
76 Majores. There is a play upon the words for ancestors and descendants in Latin which our translation does not reproduce. The word translated ancestors may also mean "men who are greater or superior:" the word translated descendants may mean "men who are less or inferior."
77 Exemplum, "an example for imitation."
78 Until he had consulted auguries.
79 Elevans, "disparaging," or "diminishing from."
80 Paulus Aemilius, who subdued Macedonia.
81 Muliebre. Others read Fortunae muliebris.
82 The name is said to be derived from monendo, "giving warning," or "admonition."
83 The youth of military age.
84 The circumstance is related by Livy, book ix. c. 29.
85 Prodidit, "betrayed."
86 Lacinian, so called from the promontory Lacinia, near Croton.
87 The island of Cos lies off the coast of Caria; it had a celebrated temple of Aesculapius.
88 The Circensian games were instituted by Romulus, according to the legend, when he wished to attract the Sabine population to Rome for the purpose of obtaining wives for his people. They were afterwards celebrated with great enthusiasm.
89 Furca, an instrument of punishment to which the slave was bound and scourged.
90 The tricks of a juggler.
91 Most prudent.
92 Chap. vi., infra.
94 The Son of God, afterwards spoken of.
95 By perseverance. There seems to be a contrast between the Son, who remained stedfast, and the evil spirits who fell.
96 dia/boloj, "slanderer or accuser." The Greek and Latin words employed by Lactantius have the same meaning.
98 Book iv. ch. vi., etc. [Deus, igitur, machinator constitutorque rerum, etc.]
99 Lying under; answering to the Greek expression u9pokeime/nh u#lh, subject matter.
100 Not now found in the treatise which bears this title.
101 Capable of proof.
102 Materia; perhaps from "mater," mother stuff-matter out of which anything is composed.
103 The moulder. The ancients made statues of wax or clay, as well as of wood, ivory, and marble.
105 Alluding to the well-known practice of the Academics, viz., of arguing on both sides of a question.