The City of God, Volume I

conveyed from heaven itself a sufficient sanction for the perpetration of shameful wickedness. The Greeks, therefore, seeing the character of the gods they served, thought that the poets should certainly not refrain from showing up human vices on the stage, either because they desired to be like their gods in this, or because they were afraid that, if they required for themselves a more unblemished reputation than they asserted for the gods, they might provoke them to anger.

11. That the Greeks admitted players to offices of state, on the ground that men who pleased the gods should not be contemptuously treated by their fellows.

It was a part of this same reasonableness of the Greeks which induced them to bestow upon the actors of these same plays no inconsiderable civic honours. In the above-mentioned book of the De Republica, it is mentioned that �schines, a very eloquent Athenian, who had been a tragic actor in his youth, became a

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