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Who is that God?Athenian
May we, then, do a little more story-telling, if we are to answer this question suitably?Clinias
Should we not do so?Athenian
We should. Long ages before even those cities existed [713b] whose formation we have described above, there existed in the time of Cronos, it is said, a most prosperous government and settlement, on which the best of the States now existing is modelled.1Clinias
Evidently it is most important to hear about it.Athenian
I, for one, think so; and that is why I have introduced the mention of it.Megillus
You were perfectly right to do so; and, since your story [713c] is pertinent, you will be quite right in going on with it to the end.Athenian
I must do as you say. Well, then, tradition tells us how blissful was the life of men in that age, furnished with everything in abundance, and of spontaneous growth. And the cause thereof is said to have been this: Cronos was aware of the fact that no human being (as we have explained2) is capable of having irresponsible control of all human affairs without becoming filled with pride and injustice; so, pondering this fact, he then appointed as kings [713d] and rulers for our cities, not men, but beings of a race that was nobler and more divine, namely, daemons. He acted just as we now do in the case of sheep and herds of tame animals: we do not set oxen as rulers over oxen, or goats over goats, but we, who are of a nobler race, ourselves rule over them. In like manner the God, in his love for humanity, set over us at that time the nobler race of daemons who, with much comfort to themselves and much to us, took charge of us and furnished peace [713e] and modesty and orderliness and justice without stint, and thus made the tribes of men free from feud and happy. And even today this tale has a truth to tell, namely, that wherever a State has a mortal, and no god, for ruler, there the people have no rest from ills and toils; and it deems that we ought by every means to imitate the life of the age of Cronos, as tradition paints it, and order both
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