Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
In the development of religion and philosophy no new element appeared during this epoch. The Romano-Greek state-religion and the Stoic state-philosophy inseparably combined with it were for every government--oligarchy, democracy or monarchy--not merely a convenient instrument, but quite indispensable for the very reason that it was just as impossible to construct the state wholly without religious elements as to discover any new state-religion fitted to take the place of the old. So the besom of revolution swept doubtless at times very roughly through the cobwebs of the augural bird-lore;(1) nevertheless the rotten machine creaking at every joint survived the earthquake which swallowed up the republic itself, and preserved its insipidity and its arrogance without diminution for transference to the new monarchy.
1. Cf. V. VIII. Clodius
As a matter of course, it fell more and more into disfavour with all those who preserved their freedom of judgment. Towards the state-religion indeed public opinion maintained an attitude essentially indifferent; it was on all sides recognized as an institution of political convenience, and no one specially troubled himself about it with the exception of political and antiquarian literati. But towards its philosophical sister there gradually sprang up among the unprejudiced public that hostility, which the empty and yet perfidious hypocrisy of set phrases never fails in the long run to awaken.
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