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“It is here, then,” I said, “in music, as it seems, that our guardians must build their guard-house1 and post of watch.” “It is certain,” he said, “that this is the kind of lawlessness2 that easily insinuates3 itself unobserved.” “Yes,” said I, “because it is supposed to be only a form of play4 and to work no harm.” “Nor does it work any,” he said, “except that by gradual infiltration it softly overflows5 upon the characters and pursuits of men and from these issues forth grown greater to attack their business dealings, and from these relations

1 The etymological force of the word makes the metaphor less harsh than the English translation “guard-house.” Cf. Laws 962 C, where Bury renders “safeguard.” Cf. Pindar's ἀκόνας λιγυρᾶς, the sharpening thing, that is, the whetstone, Ol. vi. 82.

2 παρανομία besides its moral meaning (537 E) suggests lawless innovation in music, from association with the musical sense of νόμος. Cf. Chicago Studies in Class. Phil. i. p. 22 n. 4.

3 So Aristotle Politics 1307 b 33.

4 Cf. the warning aagainst innovation in children's games, Laws 797 A-B. But music is παιδεία as well as παιδιά. Cf. Aristotle's three uses of music, for play, education, and the entertainment of leisure (Politics 1339 a 16).

5 Cf. Demosthenes xix. 228. The image is that of a stream overflowing and spreading. Cf. Euripides fr. 499 N. and Cicero's use of “serpit,”Cat. iv. 3, and passim.

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