XXIV.15 How civil laws sometimes correct false religions

Respect for things ancient, sim­pli­city, or super­sti­tion, have some­ti­mes esta­bli­shed mys­te­ries or cere­mo­nies which could shock modesty, and exam­ples of this have not been rare in the world. Aristotle says that in this case the law allows fathers to go to the tem­ple to cele­brate these mys­te­ries for their wives and for their chil­dren.1 What an admi­ra­ble civil law, which pre­ser­ves the ethos against reli­gion !

Augustus for­bade the youth of both sexes to attend any noc­tur­nal cere­mony unless they were accom­pa­nied by an older rela­tive2 ; and when he revi­ved the Lupercalian fes­ti­vi­ties,3 he did not allow the young men to run naked.

Politics, book VII, ch. xvii.

Suetonius, in Augustus, ch. xxxi.