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[382d] to avert the evil—as a medicine? And also in the fables of which we were just now speaking owing to our ignorance of the truth about antiquity, we liken the false to the true as far as we may and so make it edifying.1” “We most certainly do,” he said. “Tell me, then, on which of these grounds falsehood would be serviceable to God. Would he because of his ignorance of antiquity make false likenesses of it?” “An absurd supposition, that,” he said. “Then there is no lying poet in God.” “I think not.”

1 Cf. Phaedrus 245 Aμυρία τῶν παλαιῶν ἔργα κοσμοῦσα τοὺς ἐπιγιγνομένους παιδεύει, Isocrates xii. 149 and Livy's Preface. For χρήσιμον Cf. Politicus 274 E. We must not infer that Plato is trying to sophisticate away the moral virtue of truth-telling.

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