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[522d] “Certainly, then,” said I, “Palamedes1 in the play is always making Agamemnon appear a most ridiculous2 general. Have you not noticed that he affirms that by the invention of number he marshalled the troops in the army at Troy in ranks and companies and enumerated the ships and everything else as if before that they had not been counted, and Agamemnon apparently did not know how many feet he had if he couldn't count? And yet what sort of a General do you think he would be in that case?” “A very queer one in my opinion,” he said, “if that was true.”

1 Palamedes, like Prometheus, is a “culture hero,” who personifies in Greek tragedy the inventions and discoveries that produced civilization. Cf. the speech of Prometheus in Aesch.Prom. 459 ff. and Harvard Studies, xii. p. 208, n. 2.

2 Quoted by later writers in praise of mathematics. Cf. Theo Smyrn. p. 7 ed. Gelder. For the necessity of mathematics Cf. Laws 818 C.

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