Chapter XXIII.—Why a God?
“He also committed adultery with Europa, the wife of his own uncle Oceanus, and with her p. 199 sister Eurynome, and punished their father; and he committed adultery with Plute, the daughter of his own son Atlas, and condemned Tantalus, whom she bore to him. Of Larisse, the daughter of Orchomenus, he begot Tityon, whom also he consigned to punishment. He carried off Dia, the wife of his own son Ixion, and subjected him to perpetual punishment; and almost all the sons who sprang from his adulteries he put to violent deaths; and indeed the sepulchres of almost all of them are well known. Yea, the sepulchre of this parricide himself, who destroyed his uncles and defiled their wives, who committed whoredom with his sisters, this magician of many transformations, is shown among the Cretans, who, although they know and acknowledge his horrid and incestuous deeds, and tell them to all, yet are not ashamed to confess him to be a god. Whence it seems to me to be wonderful, yea, exceeding wonderful, how he who exceeds all men in wickedness and crimes, has received that holy and good name which is above every name, being called the father of gods and men; unless perhaps he who rejoices in the evils of men has persuaded unhappy souls to confer honour above all others upon him whom he saw to excel all others in crimes, in order that he might allure all to the imitation of his evil deeds.