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Yet, surely, neither of these is of the greatest service when it lacks weapons.Clinias
So at our contests the herald (as is now the practice) shall summon first the short-distance runner: he shall enter fully armed; and for an unarmed competitor we shall offer no prize. First, then, there shall enter the man who, with his arms, is to run the furlong,—second, the runner of the quarter-mile,— [833b] third, the half-miler,—fourth, the runner of the three-quarters,—and fifth, that runner whom we shall despatch first, fully armed, to run a distance of four miles to a temple of Ares and back; he shall be in heavier armor, and be called a hoplite, and he shall run over a smooth course, while his antagonist1 shall be dressed in the full equipment of an archer, and shall run a course of twelve miles over hills and varied country to a temple of Apollo and Artemis. And having thus set up the contests, [833c] we shall await the return of these runners, and to the winner of each race we shall award the prize.Clinias
Let us plan these contests in three divisions—one for children, one for youths, and one for men. We shall ordain that the course for the youths' races shall be two-thirds of the full course, and that for children one-half, when they compete either as archers or as hoplites. In the case of females, we shall ordain races of a furlong, a quarter-mile, a half-mile, and a three-quarters [833d] for girls under the age of puberty, who shall be stripped, and shall race on the course itself; and girls over thirteen shall continue to take part until married,2 up to the age of twenty at most, or at least eighteen; but these, when they come forward and compete in these races, must be clad in decent apparel. Let such, then, be the rules concerning races for men and women. As to trials of strength, instead of wrestling and the other “strong-man” events now in vogue, we shall ordain fencing in armor, [833e] both in solo-contests and in team-competitions of anything from two to ten a side. As regards the hits which a winner is to make or avoid, and how many points he must score,—just as now in the case of wrestling, those who deal with this art have fixed by law the points of good wrestling and bad, so likewise we must summon the experts in fencing under arms, and bid them help us to draw up laws by which to decide the proper winner in such fights,
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