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[497b] “None whatever,” I said; “but the very ground of my complaint is that no polity1 of today is worthy of the philosophic nature. This is just the cause of its perversion and alteration; as a foreign seed sown in an alien soil is wont to be overcome and die out2 into the native growth,3 so this kind does not preserve its own quality but falls away and degenerates into an alien type. But if ever

1 κατάστασις=constitution in both senses. Cf. 414 A, 425 C, 464 A, 493 A, 426 C, 547 B. So also in the Laws. The word is rare elsewhere in Plato.

2 For ἐξίτηλον Cf. Critias 121 A.

3 This need not be a botanical error. in any case the meaning is plain. Cf. Tim. 57 B with my emendation.

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