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Plato

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St. I. p. 624ΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΥ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΑ

ΑΘΗΝΑΙΟΣ ΞΕΝΟΣ, ΚΛΕΙΝΙΑΣ ΚΡΗΣ, ΜΕΓΙΛΛΟΣ ΛΑΚΕΔΑΙΜΟΝΙΟΣ

Α

ΑΘ. Θεὸς ἤ τις ἀνθρώπων ὑμῖν, ὦ ξένοι, εἴληφε τὴν αἰτίαν τῆς τῶν νόμων διαθέσεως;

ΚΛ. Θεός, ὧ ξένε, θεός, ὥς γε τὸ δικαιότατον εἰπεῖν· παρὰ μὲν ἡμῖν Ζεύς, παρὰ δὲ Λακεδαιμονίοις, ὅθεν ὅδ᾿ ἐστίν, οἶμαι φάναι τούτους Ἀπόλλωνα. ἦ γάρ;

ΜΕ. Ναί.

ΑΘ. Μῶν οὖν καθ᾿ Ὅμηρον λέγεις, ὡς τοῦ BΜίνω φοιτῶντος πρὸς τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς ἑκάστοτε συνουσίαν δι᾿ ἐνάτου ἔτους καὶ κατὰ τὰς παρ᾿ ἐκείνου φήμας ταῖς πόλεσιν ὑμῖν θέντος τοὺς νόμους;

ΚΛ. Λέγεται γὰρ οὕτω παρ᾿ ἡμῖν καὶ δὴ καὶ τὸν ἀδελφόν γε αὐτοῦ Ῥαδάμανθυν, ἀκούετε γὰρ τὸ ὄνομα, δικαιότατον γεγονέναι. τοῦτον οὖν 625φαῖμεν ἂν ἡμεῖς γε οἱ Κρῆτες ἐκ τοῦ τότε διανέμειν τὰ περὶ τὰς δίκας ὀρθῶς τοῦτον τὸν ἔπαινον αὐτὸν εἰληφέναι.

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Plato

Laws

[or on Legislation, political] Characters

An Athenian Stranger, Clinias of Crete, Megillus of Lacedaemon

Book I

ath.

To whom do you ascribe the authorship of your legal arrangements, Strangers? To a god or to some man?

clin.

To a god, Stranger, most rightfully to a god. We Cretans call Zeus our lawgiver; while in Lacedaemon, where our friend here has his home, I believe they claim Apollo as theirs. Is not that so, Megillus?

meg.

Yes.

ath.

Do you then, like Homer,1 say that Minos used to go every ninth year to hold converse with his father Zeus, and that he was guided by his divine oracles in laying down the laws for your cities?

clin.

So our people say. And they say also that his brother Rhadamanthys,—no doubt you have heard the name,—was exceedingly just. And certainly we Cretans would maintain that he won this title owing to his righteous administration of justice in those days.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plato_philosopher-laws.1926