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[460a] suitable to the marriages that then take place. But the number of the marriages we will leave to the discretion of the rulers, that they may keep the number of the citizens as nearly as may be the same,1 taking into account wars and diseases and all such considerations, and that, so far as possible, our city may not grow too great or too small.” “Right,” he said. “Certain ingenious lots, then, I suppose, must be devised so that the inferior man at each conjugation may blame chance and not the rulers.” “Yes, indeed,” he said.

1 Plato apparently forgets that this legislation applies only to the guardians. The statement that ancient civilization was free from the shadow of Malthusianism requires qualification by this and many other passages. Cf. 372 C and Laws 740 D-E. The ancients in fact took it for granted.

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