The Political Works. Vol. 1
[Cic. Rep. 1.16. Translated by Francis Barham. Edmund Spettigue. 1841. (2 Vols.) pp. 160--161]
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Tubero: — Did he succeed in conveying his philosophic doctrine to the rude soldiery? Did he venture to say as much to men so uninstructed, and so fierce?
Scipio: —He did, and with great credit too; for his opinion was no result of insolent ostentation, nor was his declaration unbecoming the dignity of so learned a man, indeed, he achieved a very noble action in thus freeing his countrymen from the terrors of an idle superstition. They relate in a similar way, that in the great war, in which the Athenians and Lacedæmonians contended with such violent resentment, the famous Pericles, the first man of his country, in credit, eloquence, and political genius, observing the Athenians overwhelmed with an excessive alarm, during an eclipse of the sun, which cast a universal shadow, told them what he had learned in the school of Anaxagoras, that these phenomena necessarily happened at precise and regular periods when the body of the moon was interposed between the sun and the earth, and that if they happened not before every new moon, it was because they could only happen when the new moons fell at certain specific periods. Having evinced this truth by his reasonings, he freed the people from their alarms. At that period, indeed, the doctrine was new and unfamiliar, respecting the eclipse of the sun by the interposition of the moon. They say that Thales of Miletus, was the first to discover it.