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Come now, what is this State going to be, shall we suppose I am not asking for its present name or the name it will have to go by in the future; for this might be derived from the conditions of its settlement, or from some locality, or a river or spring or some local deity might bestow its sacred title [704b] on the new State. The point of my question about it is rather this,—is it to be an inland State, or situated on the sea-coast?

The State which I mentioned just now, Stranger, lies about eighty stades, roughly speaking, from the sea.

Well, has it harbors on the sea-board side, or is it quite without harbors?

It has excellent harbors on that side, Stranger, none better. [704c]

Dear me! how unfortunate!1 But what of the surrounding country? Is it productive in all respects, or deficient in some products?

There is practically nothing that it is deficient in.

Will there be any State bordering close on it?

None at all, and that is the reason for settling it. Owing to emigration from this district long ago, the country has lain desolate for ever so long.

How about plains, mountains and forests? What extent of each of these does it contain? [704d]

As a whole, it resembles in character the rest of Crete.

You would call it hilly rather than level?


Then it would not be incurably unfit for the acquisition of virtue. For if the State was to be on the sea-coast, and to have fine harbors, and to be deficient in many products, instead of productive of everything,—in that case it would need a mighty savior and divine lawgivers, if, with such a character, it was to avoid having a variety of luxurious and depraved habits.2 As things are, however, there is consolation in the fact of that eighty stades. Still, it lies unduly near the sea, and the more so because, as you say, its harbors are good; that, however, we must make the best of.

1 This remark is explained by what is said below, Plat. Laws 705a.

2 Cp. Aristot. Pol. 7.6.

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