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The following are the most important provisions in the Cretan institutions as stated by Ephorus. In Crete all those who are selected out of the "Troop" of boys at the same time are forced to marry at the same time, although they do not take the girls whom they have married to their own homes immediately, but as soon as the girls are qualified to manage the affairs of the house. A girl's dower, if she has brothers, is half of the brother's portion. The children must learn, not only their letters, but also the songs prescribed in the laws and certain forms of music. Now those who are still younger are taken to the public messes, the "Andreia"; and they sit together on the ground as they eat their food, clad in shabby garments, the same both winter and summer, and they also wait on the men as well as on themselves. And those who eat together at the same mess join battle both with one another and with those from different messes. A boy director presides over each mess. But the older boys are taken to the "Troops"; and the most conspicuous and influential of the boys assemble the "Troops," each collecting as many boys as he possibly can; the leader of each "Troop" is generally the father of the assembler, and he has authority to lead them forth to hunt and to run races, and to punish anyone who is disobedient; and they are fed at public expense; and on certain appointed days "Troop" contends with "Troop," marching rhythmically into battle, to the tune of flute and lyre, as is their custom in actual war; and they actually bear marks of1 the blows received, some inflicted by the hand, others by iron2 weapons.

1 Others translate ἐκφέρουσι in the sense of delivering blows.

2 Possibly an error for "wooden."

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load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
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