but welcome all such as are able to do so, and, adopting them wholeheartedly, rule your lives by them. All other practices, which tend towards 'goods' (so-called) , other than these, you must bid farewell to.” For a beginning of the laws which are to follow, we must commence with things sacred. First, we must consider anew1
the number 5,040, and the number of convenient subdivisions which we found it to contain
both as a whole and when divided up into tribes: the tribal number is, as we said, a twelfth part of the whole number, being in its nature precisely 20 X 21. Our whole number has twelve subdivisions, and the tribal number also has twelve; and each such portion must be regarded as a sacred gift of God, conformed to the months and to the revolution of the universe. Wherefore also every State is guided by native instinct to hold them sacred, although some men possibly have made their divisions more correctly than others, or have consecrated them
more happily. We, in any case, affirm now that we are perfectly correct in first selecting the number 5,040, which admits of division by all the numbers from 1 to 12, excepting only 11—and this omission is very easily remedied, since the mere subtraction of two hearths from the total restores an integral number as quotient:2
that this is really true we could show, at our leisure, by a fairly short explanation. For the present, then, we shall trust to the oracular statement just delivered,
and we shall employ these subdivisions, and give to each portion the name of a God, or of a child of Gods, and bestow on it altars and all that belongs thereto; and at these we shall appoint two assemblies every month for sacrifice—of which twelve (yearly) shall be for the whole tribal division, and twelve for its urban section only; the object of these shall be, first, to offer thanksgiving to the gods and their attendants, and secondly, to promote fellowship amongst ourselves and the mutual acquaintance we spoke of, and association of every sort.
For, in view of the fellowship and intercourse of marriage, it is necessary to eliminate ignorance, both on the part of the husband concerning the woman he marries and the family she comes from, and on the part of the father concerning the man to whom he gives his daughter; for it is all-important in such matters to avoid, if possible, any mistake. To achieve this serious purpose, sportive dances should be arranged for boys and girls;