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the advice from Delphi or Dodona or Ammon, or that of ancient sayings, whatever form they take—whether derived from visions or from some reported inspiration from heaven. By this advice they instituted sacrifices combined with rites, either of native origin or imported from Tuscany or Cyprus or elsewhere; and by means of such sayings they sanctified oracles and statues and altars and temples, and marked off for each of them sacred glebes. Nothing of all thes
we shall entrust it to the god himself to ensure his own good pleasure, by committing their appointment to the divine chance of the lot; but each person who gains the lot we shall test, first, as to whether he is sound and true-born, and secondly, as to whether he comes from houses that are as pure as possible, being himself clean from murder and all such offences against religion, and of parents that have lived by the same rule. They ought to bring from Delphi laws about all matters of religion, and appoint interpretersi.e. official exponents of sacred law; cp. Plat. Laws 775a, Plat. Laws 828b. thereof, and make use of those laws.
Each priestly office should last for one year and no longer; and the person who is to officiate in sacred matters efficiently according to the laws of religion should be not less than sixty years old: and the same rules shall hold good also for priestesses. For the interpreters the tribes shall vote four at a time, by three votings, for four men, one from each tribe;The 12 tribes are divided into 3 groups of 4 each: each group appoints 3, making 9 in all: the other 3 required to make up the full number (12) are selected by the Oracle from the 9 candidates next on the list. and when the three men for whom most votes are cast have been tested, they shall send the other nine to Delphi for the oracle to select one from each triad;
thus chosen shall be sent to Delphi; and that man whom the oracle names shall be established as the allotment-holder in the house of those departed,—be it with happier fortune!CliniasVery good.AthenianMoreover, a third general law shall be laid down, dealing with the judges to be employed and the manner of the trials, in cases where one man prosecutes another on a charge of treason; and concerning the offspring, likewise, whether they are to remain in their country or be expelled, this one la
to the market-stewards; and if it occur in the country outside, he shall declare it to the rural stewards and their officers. And when such declarations are made, the State shall send to Delphi; Cp. Plat. Laws 759c., Plat. Laws 772d. and whatever the god pronounces concerning the goods and him that moved them, that the State shall execute, acting as agent on behalf of the oracles of the god. And if the informer be a free man, he shall win a reputation for virtue, but for vice if he fail to inform; and if he be a slave, as a reward for informing it will be right that he should be set free, by the State offering his price to his master, whereas he shall be punished by death if he fail to give information.
and the rest in like manner; and round about the bier the boys, being in front, shall sing their national anthem, and behind them the girls shall follow singing, and all the women who have passed the age of child-bearing; and next shall follow the priests and priestesses as to a tomb that is sanctified—yea, though they be debarred from approaching all other tombs,—if so be that the voice of the Pythian The priestess of Apollo at Delphi; cp. Plat. Rep. 461e. approves that thus it shall be. Their tomb shall be constructed under ground, in the form of an oblong vault of spongy stone, as long-lasting as possible, and fitted with couches of st