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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
what people and what city should fulfil this, and that people was the Roman nation, and that city was glorious Rome.  And since the Inn also wherein the Heavenly King must enter must of necessity be most cleanly and most pure, there was ordained a most Holy Race, from which, after many excellent or just ancestors, there should be born a Woman more perfect than all others, who should be the abode of the Son of God.  And this race was the Race of David, from which was born the glory and honour of the Human Race, that is to say, Mary.  And therefore it is written in Isaiah:  “A virgin shall be born of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  And Jesse was the father of the aforesaid David.  And it happened at one period of time that when David was born, Rome was born, that is to say, AEneas then came from Troy to Italy, which was the origin of the most noble Roman City, even as the written word bears witness.  Evident enough, therefore, is the Divine election of the Roman Empire by the birth of the Holy City, which was contemporaneous with the root of the race from which Mary sprang.

And incidentally it is to be mentioned that, since this Heaven began to revolve, it never was in a better disposition than when He descended from on high, He who had made it and who is its Ruler, even as again by virtue of their arts the Mathematicians may be able to discover.  The World never was nor ever will be so perfectly prepared as then, when it was governed by the voice of one man alone, Prince and Commander of the Roman people, even as Luke the Evangelist bears witness.  And therefore there was Universal Peace, which never was again nor ever will be, for the Ship of the Human Family rightly by a sweet pathway was hastening to its rightful haven.  Oh, ineffable and incomprehensible Wisdom of God, which in Heaven above didst prepare, so long beforehand, for Thy advent into Syria and here in Italy at the same time!  And oh, most foolish and vile beasts who pasture in the guise of men—­you who presume to speak against our Faith, and profess to know, as ye spin and dig, what God has ordained with so much forethought—­curses be on you and your presumption, and on him who believes in you!

And, as has been said above, at the end of the preceding chapter, the Roman People had from God not only an especial birth, but an especial success; for, briefly, from Romulus, who was the first father of Rome, even to its most perfect era, that is, to the time of its predicted Emperor, its success was achieved not only by human, but by Divine means.  For if we consider the Seven Kings who first governed it—­Romulus, Numa, Tullus, Ancus Martius, Servius Tullius, and the Tarquins, who were, as it were, the nurses and tutors of its Childhood—­we shall be able to find, by the written word of Roman History, especially by Titus Livius, those to have been of different natures, according to the opportunity of the advancing tract of time.  If we consider, then, its Adolescence,

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