polytheist extractions

Aelian, On Animals 7.44

“Elephants do obeisance to the rising sun by lifting their trunks like hands to face its beams, and that, you see, is why they are beloved of Helios. Let Ptolemy Philopator be a trustworthy witness to the fact. With the aid of the god he overcame Antiochos, and in sacrificing for his victory and to propitiate the Sun he not only offered sacrifices on a magnificent scale but even went so far as to offer four of the very largest elephants as victims, paying homage, as he supposed, to the god by this very sacrifice. But a vision in his sleep troubled him: the god seemed to threaten him for this unusual and strange offering. And he in his fear caused four elephants to be made of bronze and offered them to the god in place of those he had slaughtered, hoping to placate him and ensure his favor. Elephants for their part worship the gods, whereas mankind is in doubt whether in fact there are gods, and if there are, whether they take thought for us.” – Aelian, On Animals 7.44

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