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Among many excellent plans contrived by Lycurgus for encouraging willing obedience to the laws among the citizens, I think one of the most excellent was this: before delivering his laws to the people he paid a visit to Delphi,1 accompanied by the most important citizens, and inquired of the god whether it was desirable and better for Sparta that she should obey the laws that he himself had framed. Only when the god answered that it was better in every way did he deliver them, after enacting that to refuse obedience to laws given by the Pythian god was not only unlawful, but wicked.

1 Herodotus 1.65.

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