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“But we must not admit,” says Polybius of Megalopolis, "that music, as Ephorus asserts, was introduced among men for the purposes of fraud and trickery. Nor must we think that the ancient Cretans and Lacedæmonians used flutes and songs at random to excite their military ardour, instead of trumpets. Nor are we to imagine that the earliest Arcadians had no reason whatever for doing so, when they introduced music into every department of their management of the republic; so that, though the nation in every other respect was most austere in its manner of life, they nevertheless com- [p. 999] pelled music to be the constant companion, not only of their boys, but even of their youths up to thirty years of age. For the Arcadians are the only people among whom the boys are trained from infancy to sing hymns and pæans to regular airs, in which indeed every city celebrates their national heroes and gods with such songs, in obedience to ancient custom. "But after this, learning the airs of Timotheus and Philoxenus, they every year, at the festival of Bacchus, dance in their theatres to the music of flute-players; the boys dancing in the choruses of boys, and the youths in those of men. And throughout the whole duration of their lives they are addicted to music at their common entertainments; not so much, however, employing musicians as singing in turn: and to admit themselves ignorant of any other accomplishment is not at all reckoned discreditable to them; but to refuse to sing is accounted a most disgraceful thing. And they, practising marches so as to march in order to the sound of the flute, and studying their dances also, exhibit every year in the theatres, under public regulations and at the public expense. These, then, are the customs which they have derived from the ancients, not for the sake of luxury and superfluity, but from a consideration of the austerity which each individual practised in his private life, and of the severity of their characters, which they contract from the cold and gloomy nature of the climate which prevails in the greater part of their country. And it is the nature of all men to be in some degree influenced by the climate, so as to get some resemblance to it themselves; and it is owing to this that we find different races of men, varying in character and figure and complexion, in proportion as they are more or less distant from one another. “In addition to this, they instituted public banquets and public sacrifices, in which the men and women join; and also dances of the maidens and boys together; endevouring to mollify and civilize the harshness of their nature character by the influence of education and habit. And as the people of Cynætha neglected this system (although they occupy by far the most inclement district of Arcadia, both as respects the soil and the climate), they, never meeting one another except for the purpose of giving offence and quarrelling, became at last so utterly savage, that the very greatest [p. 1000] impieties prevailed among them alone of all the people of Arcadia; and at the time when they made the great massacre, whatever Arcadian cities their emissaries came to in their passage, the citizens of all the other cities at once ordered them to depart by public proclamation; and the Mantineans even made a public purification of their city after their departure, leading victims all round their entire district.”
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