XIII. (93) But the madness and frenzy to which he gave way were so preposterous, and so utterly insane, that he went even beyond the demigods, and mounted up to and invaded the veneration and worship paid to those who are looked upon as greater than they, as the supreme deities of the world, Mercury, and Apollo, and Mars. (94) And first of all he dressed himself up with the caduceus, and sandals, and mantle of Mercury, exhibiting a regularity in his disorder, a consistency in his confusion, and a ratiocination in his insanity. (95) Afterwards, when he thought fit to do so, he laid aside these ornaments, and metamorphosed and transformed himself into Apollo, crowning his head with garlands, in the form of rays, and holding a bow and arrows in his left hand, and holding forth graces in his right, as if it became him to proffer blessings to all men from his ready store, and to display the best arrangement possible on his right hand, but to contract the punishments which he had it in his power to inflict, and to allot to them a more confined space on his left. (96) And immediately there were established choruses, who had been carefully trained, singing paeans to him, the same who had, a little while before, called him Bacchus, and Evius, and Lyaeus, and sang Bacchic hymns in his honour when he assumed the disguise of Bacchus. (97) Very often, also, he would clothe himself with a breastplate, and march forth sword in hand, with a helmet on his head and a shield on his left arm, calling himself Mars, and on each side of him there marched with him the attendants of this new and unknown Mars, a troop of murderers and executioners who had already performed him all kinds of wicked services when he was raging and thirsting for human blood; (98) and then when men saw this they were amazed and terrified at the marvellous sight, and they wondered how a man who did exactly the contrary to what was done by those beings to whom he claimed to be equal in honour, did not choose to imitate their virtues, but assumed the outward character of each with the most abominable conduct. And yet all those ornaments and decorations which belonged to them were attached to his statues and images, which indicated by symbols the benefits which the beings who are thus honoured confer upon the race of mankind. (99) Mercury, for instance, requires wings attached to his ankles. Why so? Is it not because it behoves him to be the interpreter and declarer of the will of the gods (from which employment, in fact, he derives his Greek name of Hermes{6}{i.e. from hermeµneuoµ, “to interpret.”}), announcing good news to mankind (for not only no god but no sensible man ever will become the messenger of evil), and therefore it is necessary for him to be exceedingly swift-footed, and all but winged, from the unhesitating rapidity with which he requires the proceed. Since it is right that beneficial news should be announced with great promptness, just as bad news ought to be brought slowly, unless indeed any one should prefer saying that such ought to be entirely suppressed in silence. (100) Again, he takes with him his caduceus or herald’s wand, as a token of reconciliation and peace, for wars receive their respites and terminations by means of heralds, who restore peace; and wars which have no heralds to terminate them cause endless calamities to both parties, both to those who invade their neighbours and to those who are endeavouring to repel the invasion. (101) But for what purpose did Gaius assume the winged sandals of Mercury? Was it because he wished to spread with power, and rapidity, and loudness that miserable and ill-omened intelligence which ought rather to be buried in silence altogether, conveying his voice everywhere with unceasing celerity? And yet what need had he of such rapid motion? for even while standing still he poured forth unspeakable evils upon evils as if from an unceasing fountain, showering them down upon every portion of the habitable world. (102) And of what use was the herald’s wand to him, who never either said or did anything bearing upon peace, but who rather filled every house and every city within Greece and in the countries of the barbarians with civil wars? Let him, therefore, imposter that he is, lay aside the name of Mercury, since by assuming it he is only profaning an appellation which does not belong to him.