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Chapter XXI.

Observe also the superficiality and manifest falsity of such a statement of Celsus, when he asserts “that he who was partaker of a man’s table would not conspire against him; and if he would not conspire against a man, much less would he plot against a God after banqueting with him.”  For who does not know that many persons, after partaking of the salt on the table,32773277    ἁλῶν καὶ τραπέζης. have entered into a conspiracy against their entertainers?  The whole of Greek and Barbarian history is full of such instances.  And the Iambic poet of Paros,32783278    Archilochus. when upbraiding Lycambes with having violated covenants confirmed by the salt of the table, says to him:—

“But thou hast broken a mighty oath—that, viz., by the salt of the table.”

And they who are interested in historical learning, and who give themselves wholly to it, to the neglect of other branches of knowledge more necessary for the conduct of life,32793279    Guietus would expunge these words as “inept.” can quote numerous instances, showing that they who shared in the hospitality of others entered into conspiracies against them.

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