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Fate

Concerning The “Fate” Of The Ancients From The Latin Justus Lipsius.[1]

Fate (says Apuleius), according to Plato, is that, whereby the purposes and designs of God are accomplished. Hence the Platonics considered providence under a threefold distinction: (1) The providentia prima, or that which gave birth to all effects, and is defined, by them, to be the intention or will of the supreme God. (2) The providentia secunda, or actual agency of the secondary or inferior beings, who were supposed to pervade the heavens, and from thence, by their influence, to regulate and dispose of all sublunary things, and especially to prevent the extinction of any one species below. (3) The providentia tertia, supposed to be exerted by the genii, whose office it was to exercise a particular care over mankind: to guard our persons and direct our actions.

But the stoical view of providence, or fate, was abundantly more simple, and required no such nicety of distinction. These philosophers did, at once, derive all the chain of causes and effects from…

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