Among our accusers there is an ignorant rabble, incited by the authority of the learned to cast greater odium upon us. These simple souls imagine that the abnormal calamities that have occurred in our own day were entirely unknown in the past. This foolish opinion is encouraged even by those who know it to be false, but who pretend ignorance in order to give an air of truth to their grumblings. Hence, I have gone to the books in which their own historians have recorded, for men’s information, the thins that happened in the past, and from these I have proved two important facts: first, that the actual events were far different from what these people imagine; second, that the false gods which pagans then worshiped in the open, and now worship under cover, were unclean spirits, malignant and lying demons. The truth of this is clear from the fact that these demons go so far as to take delight in their own villanies, to the extent of wanting them exhibited, either as facts or as fictions, in the festivals celebrated in their honor. I have also pointed out that, as long as these villanies are exhibited for imitation under divine sanction, so to speak, it is impossible to restrain weak humans from actually reproducing in their own lives the abominable acts committed by the gods.
St. Augustine. (1958) The City of God. (G. G. Walsh, D. B. Zema, etc. Trans.). New York: Doubleday. (Original work published a long time ago). *
*I haven’t cited a document in about five years, cut me some slack. And I couldn’t get the reverse indent to work. Yes, it’s bothering me.