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It seems fairly certain, Nicarchus, that the lapse of time will bring about much obscurity and complete uncertainty regarding actual events, if at the present time, in the case of events so fresh and recent, false accounts that have been concocted obtain credence. For, in the first place, the dinner was not a dinner of the Seven alone, as you and your friends have been told, but of more than twice that number, including myself ; for I was on intimate terms with Periander by virtue of my profession,1 and I was also the host of Thales, for he stayed at my house by command of Periander. In the second place, your informant, whoever he was, did not report the conversation correctly; apparently he was not one of those at the dinner. However, since there is nothing that demands my attention just now, and old age is too untrustworthy to warrant postponing the narration, I will begin at the beginning, and tell you, without any omissions, the story which you all seem eager to hear.

1 He was apparently a seer versed in ritual purification; see infra, 149 D.

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