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Moreover, that most divine writer Plato, in the seventh book of his Laws, proposes a problem having reference to crowns, which it is worth while to solve; and these are the words of the philosopher:—“Let there be distributions of apples and crowns to a greater and a lesser number of people, in such a way that the numbers shall always be equal.” These are the words of Plato. But what he means is something of this sort. He wishes to find one number of such a nature that, if divided among all who come in to the very last, it shall give an equal number of apples or crowns to every one. I say, then, that the number sixty will fulfil these conditions of equality in the case of six fellow-feasters; for I am aware that at the beginning we said that a supper party ought not to consist of more than five. But we are as numerous as the sand of the sea. Accordingly the number sixty, when the party is completed to the number of six guests, will begin to be divided in this manner. The first man came into the banqueting room, and received sixty garlands. He gives to the second who comes in half of them; and then each of them have thirty. Then when a third comes in they divide the whole sixty, so that each of them may have twenty. Again, they divide them again in like manner at the entrance of a fourth guest, so that each has fifteen; and when a fifth comes in they all have twelve a-piece. And when the sixth guest arrives, they divide them again, and each individual has ten. And in this way the equal division of the garlands is accomplished.
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