previous next
[772a] and at these they should both view and be viewed, in a reasonable way and on occasions that offer a suitable pretext, with bodies unclad, save so far as sober modesty prescribes. Of all such matters the officers of the choirs shall be the supervisors and controllers, and also, in conjunction with the Law-wardens, the lawgivers of all that we leave unprescribed.1 It is, as we said, necessary that in regard to all matters involving a host of petty details the law-giver should leave omissions, [772b] and that rules and amendments should be made from year to year by those who have constant experience of them from year to year and are taught by practice, until it be decided that a satisfactory code has been made out to regulate all such proceedings. A fair and sufficient period to assign for such experimental work would be ten years, both for sacrifices and for dances in all their several details; each body of officials, acting in conjunction with the original lawgiver, [772c] if he be still alive, or by themselves, if he be dead, shall report to the Law-wardens whatever is omitted in their own department, and shall make it good, until each detail seems to have reached its proper completion: this done, they shall decree them as fixed rules, and employ them as well as the rest of the laws originally decreed by the law-giver. In these they must never make any change voluntarily; but if it should ever be thought that a necessity for change [772d] has arisen, all the people must be consulted, as well as all the officials, and they must seek advice from all the divine oracles; and if there is a general consent by all, then they may make a change, but under no other conditions at any time; and the objector to change shall always prevail according to law. When any man of twenty-five2 years of age, viewing and being viewed by others, believes that he has found in any quarter a mate to his liking and suitable for the joint procreation of children, he shall marry, in every case before he is thirty-five; [772e] but first let him hearken to the direction as to how he should seek what is proper and fitting, for, as Clinias maintains, one ought to introduce each law by a prelude suitable thereto.3

A very proper reminder, Stranger,—and you have chosen, in my opinion, a most opportune point in your discourse for making it.

You are right. So let us say to the son of noble sires:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: