Laws eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 837 pages of information about Laws.
the victory of a laborious spirit.  Thus, only the best kind of hunting is allowed at all—­that of quadrupeds, which is carried on with horses and dogs and men’s own persons, and they get the victory over the animals by running them down and striking them and hurling at them, those who have a care of godlike manhood taking them with their own hands.  The praise and blame which is assigned to all these things has now been declared; and let the law be as follows:  Let no one hinder these who verily are sacred hunters from following the chase wherever and whithersoever they will; but the hunter by night, who trusts to his nets and gins, shall not be allowed to hunt anywhere.  The fowler in the mountains and waste places shall be permitted, but on cultivated ground and on consecrated wilds he shall not be permitted; and any one who meets him may stop him.  As to the hunter in waters, he may hunt anywhere except in harbours or sacred streams or marshes or pools, provided only that he do not pollute the water with poisonous juices.  And now we may say that all our enactments about education are complete.

Cleinias:  Very good.


Athenian:  Next, with the help of the Delphian oracle, we have to institute festivals and make laws about them, and to determine what sacrifices will be for the good of the city, and to what Gods they shall be offered; but when they shall be offered, and how often, may be partly regulated by us.

Cleinias:  The number—­yes.

Athenian:  Then we will first determine the number; and let the whole number be 365—­one for every day—­so that one magistrate at least will sacrifice daily to some God or demi-god on behalf of the city, and the citizens, and their possessions.  And the interpreters, and priests, and priestesses, and prophets shall meet, and, in company with the guardians of the law, ordain those things which the legislator of necessity omits; and I may remark that they are the very persons who ought to take note of what is omitted.  The law will say that there are twelve feasts dedicated to the twelve Gods, after whom the several tribes are named; and that to each of them they shall sacrifice every month, and appoint choruses, and musical and gymnastic contests, assigning them so as to suit the Gods and seasons of the year.  And they shall have festivals for women, distinguishing those which ought to be separated from the men’s festivals, and those which ought not.  Further, they shall not confuse the infernal deities and their rites with the Gods who are termed heavenly and their rites, but shall separate them, giving to Pluto his own in the twelfth month, which is sacred to him, according to the law.  To such a deity warlike men should entertain no aversion, but they should honour him as being always the best friend of man.  For the connexion of soul and body is no way better than the dissolution of them, as

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Laws from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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