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Instruct thee, and the rest will Heaven supply;
For to the will of Heaven thou owest birth
And all thy nurture, I would fain believe.
”Hom. Od. 3.26It behoves our nurslings also to be of this same mind, and to believe that what we have said is sufficient, and that the heavenly powers will suggest to them all else that concerns sacrifice and the dance,— [804b] in honor of what gods and at what seasons respectively they are to play and win their favor, and thus mold their lives according to the shape of their nature, inasmuch as they are puppets1 for the most part, yet share occasionally in truth.Megillus
You have a very mean opinion, Stranger, of the human race.Athenian
Marvel not, Megillus, but forgive me. For when I spoke thus, I had my mind set on God, and was feeling the emotion to which I gave utterance. Let us grant, however, if you wish, [804c] that the human race is not a mean thing, but worthy of serious attention. To pursue our subject,—we have described2 buildings for public gymnasia as well as schools in three divisions within the city, and also in three divisions round about the City training-grounds and race-courses for horses, arranged for archery and other long-distance shooting, and for the teaching and practicing of the youth: if, however, our previous description of these was inadequate, let them now be described and legally regulated. In all these establishments there should reside teachers [804d] attracted by pay from abroad for each several subject, to instruct the pupils in all matters relating to war and to music; and no father shall either send his son as a pupil or keep him away from the training-school at his own sweet will, but every “man jack” of them all (as the saying goes) must, so far as possible, be compelled to be educated, inasmuch as they are children of the State even more than children of their parents. For females, too, my law will lay down the same regulations as for men, and training of an identical kind. [804e] I will unhesitatingly affirm that neither riding nor gymnastics, which are proper for men, are improper for women. I believe the old tales I have heard, and I know now of my own observation, that there are practically countless myriads of women called Sauromatides, in the district of Pontus, upon whom equally with men is imposed the duty of handling bows and other weapons,
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