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Xenophanes
(Full name: Xenophanes of Colophon)
Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, poet and religious critic
(570-480 BC)



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But mortals suppose that gods are born,
wear their own clothes and have a voice and body.
-- Fragment 14

Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black;
Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired.
-- Fragment 16

But if horses or oxen or lions had hands
or could draw with their hands and accomplish such works as men,
horses would draw the figures of the gods as similar to horses, and the
oxen as similar to oxen,
and they would make the bodies
of the sort which each of them had.
-- Fragment 15

Alterative translation of Fragment 15:
If cattle and horses, or lions, had hands, or were able to draw with their feet and produce the works which men do, horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make the gods' bodies the same shape as their own.

…and of course the clear and certain truth no man has seen nor will there be anyone who knows about the gods and what I say about all things. For even if, in the best case, one happened to speak just of what has been brought to pass, still he himself would not know. But opinion is allotted to all.
-- Fragment 34

Alterative translation of Fragment 34:
No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even known they had done so.


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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