Chapter XXII.—Lying Fables.
“But those who will not subdue base lusts belie the gods, that, by representing the gods as first doing the things which they do, they may be set free from blame. For if those who are called gods committed adulteries for the sake of begetting children, and not through lasciviousness, why did they also debauch males? But it is said they complimented their mistresses by making them stars. Therefore before this were there no stars, until such time as, by reason of wantonness, the heaven was adorned with stars by adulterers? And how is it that the children of those who have been made stars are punished in Hades,—Atlas loaded, Tantalus tortured with thirst, Sisyphus pushing a stone, Tityus thrust through the bowels, Ixion continually rolled round a wheel? How is it that these divine lovers made stars of the women whom they defiled, but gave no such grace to these?