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[738a] what number and what kind of number will be most useful for all States. Let us choose that which contains the most numerous and most consecutive sub-divisions. Number as a whole comprises every division for all purposes; whereas the number 5,040, for purposes of war, and in peace for all purposes connected with contributions and distributions, will admit of division [738b] into no more than 59 sections, these being consecutive from one up to ten.1 These facts about numbers must be grasped firmly and with deliberate attention by those who are appointed by law to grasp them: they are exactly as we have stated them, and the reason for stating them when founding a State is this:—in respect of gods, and shrines, and the temples which have to be set up for the various gods in the State, and the gods and daemons they are to be named after, no man of sense,—whether he be framing a new State or reforming an old one that has been corrupted,—will attempt to alter [738c] 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 these [738d] should the lawgiver alter in the slightest degree; to each section he should assign a god or daemon, or at the least a hero; and in the distribution of the land he should assign first to these divinities choice domains with all that pertains to them, so that, when assemblies of each of the sections take place at the appointed times, they may provide an ample supply of things requisite, and the people may fraternize with one another at the sacrifices and gain knowledge and intimacy, [738e] since nothing is of more benefit to the State than this mutual acquaintance; for where men conceal their ways one from another in darkness rather than light, there no man will ever rightly gain either his due honor or office, or the justice that is befitting. Wherefore every man in every State must above all things endeavor to show himself always true and sincere towards everyone, and no humbug, and also to allow himself to be imposed upon by no such person.

1 The number 5,040 is here chosen because, for a number of moderate size, it has the greatest possible number of divisors (59) , including all the digits from 1 to 10.

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