Sallust: On the Gods and the Worlds V

V.

Concerning the first Cause.

After this, it is requisite that we should know the first cause,

Dot (36443009084)

and the orders of gods posterior to the first,

Jacopo Zucchi - The Assembly of the Gods

together with the nature of the world,

Firestorm of Star Birth in Galaxy Centaurus A

of intellect,

Heinrich Kuhn - Girl with mirror cph.3c35714

soul,

Butterfly-Plain Tiger3

and essence;

Buenos Aires - Classic tango dance ballroom - 6334

likewise that we should speculate providence, fate, and fortune,

Piedmontese tarot deck - Solesio - 1865 - Trump - 10 - Wheel of Fortune

virtue and vice,

The Pantheon, representing the fabulous histories of the heathen gods, and most illustrious heroes; in a plain, and familiar method, by way of dialogue (1803) (14777707585)

and the good and evil forms of republics produced from these;

Jacques-Louis David - The Death of Socrates - Google Art Project

and lastly, that we should consider from whence evil crept into the world.

The Apostle Paul (detail) - Google Art Project

And though each of these requires many and very extended discourses,

The Debate Of Socrates And Aspasia

yet there is no reason why we may not discuss these subjects with brevity, lest mankind should be totally destitute of the knowledge they contain.

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It is necessary, then, that the first cause should be one;

Big bang

for the monad presides over all multitude, excelling all things in power and goodness, and on this account it is necessary that all things should participate of its nature;

Standard Model of Elementary Particles

for nothing can hinder its energies through power, and it will not separate itself from any thing on account of the goodness which it possesses.

Fusion in the Sun

But if the first cause were soul, all things would be animated; if intellect, all things would be intellectual; if essence, all things would participate of essence; which last some perceiving to subsist in all things, have taken occasion to denominate him essence.

Circle shaped rocks of Modawara Mountain, Wadi El-Rayyan, Fayoum, Egypt

If then things had nothing besides being, and did not also possess goodness, this assertion would be true; but if beings subsist through goodness, and participate of the good, it is necessary that the first cause should be super-essential, and the good:

friedmann equation

but the truth of this is most eminently evinced in souls endued with virtue,

Bronnikov gimnpifagoreizev

and through good neglecting the care of their being, when they expose themselves to the most imminent dangers for their country or friends,

MANNapoli 124545 plato's academy mosaic

or in the cause of virtue.

Athens Plato Academy Archaeological Site 5

But after this ineffable power the orders of the gods succeed.

Libation Victory Louvre Ma484

(Click on images to be taken to the Wikimedia Commons site for them.)

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