A number of ancient texts ascribe to the well-known sophist Prodicus a theory concerning the rise of religion according to which early men came to regard and worship as gods all kinds of things useful to life. Modern scholars often claim that Prodicus also envisaged a second stage during which inventors of useful things came to be considered divine. The evidence adduced is a passage from Philodemus’ On Piety, which is then, more or less explicitly, considered superior to the other testimonies. The Sto…
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