1. Tertullian, Apol. 15.1-3

 

Cetera lasciviae ingenia etiam voluptatibus vestris per deorum dedecus operantur. Dispicite Lentulorum et Hostiliorum venustates, utrum mimos an deos vestros in iocis et strophis rideatis: “moechum Anubin” et “masculum Lunam” et “Dianam flagellatam” et “Iovis mortui testamentum recitatum” et “tres Hercules famelicos irrisos”. 2Sed et histrionum litterae omnem foeditatem eorum designant. Luget Sol filium de caelo iactatum laetantibus vobis, et Cybele pastorem suspirat fastidiosum non erubescentibus vobis, et sustinetis Iovis elogia cantari, et Iunonem Venerem Minervam a pastore iudicari. 3Ipsum quod imago dei vestri ignominiosum caput et famosum vestit, quod corpus impurum et ad istam artem effeminatione productum Minervam aliquam vel Herculem repraesentat, nonne violatur maiestas et divinitas constupratur laudantibus vobis?


The rest of your ingenious amusements, too, minister to your pleasures through the dishonour of the gods. Examine the choice farces of your Lentuli and Hostilii, and see whether in the jokes and tricks it is the actors or your gods that you laugh at:—’the adulterer Anubis;’ ‘the male Luna;’ ‘the scourged Diana;’ the recital of ‘the will of the deceased Jupiter;’ and ‘the three starved Hercules’ held up to derision. 2Moreover, the literature of the stage depicts all their foulness. The Sun mourns for his son cast out of heaven, and you are delighted: Cybele sighs for her scornful shepherd, and you blush not for shame. You allow the criminal record of Jupiter to be sung; and Juno, Venus, and Minerva to be judged by a shepherd. 3Why, actually the mask of your god clothes an ignominious and infamous head: a body impure and rendered fit for the part by emasculation represents a Minerva or a Hercules! Is not their majesty outraged and their divinity prostituted, whilst you applaud?

(trans. T. H. Bindley 1890)