The entirety of the religio of the Roman people is divided into rites and auspices, to which is added a third thing, namely whatever warnings the interpreters of the Sibylline books or haruspices issue for the sake of foreknowledge on the basis of portents and omens. I hold that none of these religiones should ever be neglected, and I have persuaded myself that Romulus and Numa laid the foundations of our state by establishing the auspices and rites, respectively, and that our state could never have become so great without the greatest appeasement of the immortal gods.
Thus that which is the most awful of evils, death, is nothing to us, since when we exist there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist.
Homer and Hesiod have attributed to the gods everything that is a shame and reproach among men, stealing and committing adultery and deceiving each other.
But mortals consider that the gods are born, and that they have clothes and speech and bodies like their own. The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black, the Thracians that theirs have light blue eyes and red hair.
But if cattle and horses or lions had hands, or were able to draw with their hands and do the works that men can do, horses would draw the forms of the gods like horses, and cattle like cattle, and they would make their bodies such as they each had themselves.