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[43] As a case in point, one might cite the poetry of Hesiod and Theognis and Phocylides;1 for these, they say, have proved the best counsellors for human conduct; but in spite of what they say, people prefer to occupy themselves with each other's follies rather than with the admonitions of these teachers.

1 Theognis and Phocylides (middle of sixth century) were the leading gnomic poets. Theognis was used in the schools, and we have over a thousand of his verses. Phocylides survives in but a few fragments. Hesiod is classed with them because in his epic The Works and Days are scattered many maxims.

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