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μάλιστα μέν. See on 415 D. μηδὲν καινὸν κτλ. We want no novelty, but something with which the Greeks are already familiar, for our city is a Greek city (V 470 E). Φοινικικόν τι: because the story of the Σπαρτοί was Phoenician, Cadmus the Phoenician having sown the dragon's teeth from which they sprang (Apollod. III 4. 1). Cf. Laws 663 E. Steinhart (Einleit. p. 177) and Susemihl (Gen. Entw. II p. 144) find in Φοινικικόν a further hint that the institution of caste was something foreign and non-Hellenic: but the words cannot be thus interpreted. The Egyptian system of caste (see Hdt. II 164 ff.) differed from Plato's in essential points, and there is no real evidence to shew that he was influenced by it in any way: nor is ‘Phoenician’ (‘Sidonian’ in Laws l.c.) equivalent to ‘Egyptian.’ Cf. Hermann Gesch. u. Syst. p. 55 and notes Ψεῦσμα Φοινικικόν afterwards became a proverb, perhaps owing to this passage. πολλαχοῦ γεγονός means simply ‘which has happened in many places.’ γεγονός and γενόμενον in themselves refer to the actual occurrences, which ὥς φασιν—πεπείκασιν reduces again to legend and matter of faith. πολλαχοῦ is plentifully illustrated in Preller Gr. Myth. pp. 79 ff. Presently οὐδ᾽ οἶδα εἰ γενόμενον ἄν (for which Herwerden neatly but needlessly suggests οὐδ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἂν εἰ γενόμενον) hints that the age of miracles is past.
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