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 Some, he says, alleged that many of the institutions supposed to be Cretan were of Lacedæmonian origin; but the truth is, they were invented by the former, but perfected by the Spartans. The Cretans, when their cities, and particularly Cnossus, were ravaged, neglected military affairs, but some usages were more observed by the Lyttii and Gortynii, and some other small cities, than by the Cnossians. Those persons, who maintain the priority of the Laconian institutions, adduce as evidence of this those of the Lyttii, because as colonists they would retain the customs of the parent state. Otherwise, it would be absurd for those, who lived under a better form of constitution and government, to be imitators of a worse. But this is not correct. For we ought not to form conjectures respecting the ancient from the present state of things, for each has undergone contrary changes. The Cretans were formerly powerful at sea, so that it was a proverbial saying addressed to those who pretended to be ignorant of what they knew, ‘a Cretan, and not know the sea;’ but at present they have abandoned nautical affairs. Nor did it follow necessarily that, because there were some cities in Crete colonized by Spartans, they should continue to observe Spartan usages, since many of the cities of colonists do not preserve the customs of the mother country; and there are many cities in Crete, the inhabitants of which are not colonists, and yet have the same usages as those that have received colonies.
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