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I want also to recommend Homer to you. In your fathers' eyes he was a poet of such worth that they passed a law that every four years at the Panathenaea he alone of all the poets should have his works recited1; and thus they showed the Greeks their admiration for the noblest deeds. They were right to do so. Laws are too brief to give instruction: they merely state the things that must be done; but poets, depicting life itself, select the noblest actions and so through argument and demonstration convert men's hearts.

1 The law that Homer should be recited at the festival of the Great Panathenaea, held in the third year of each Olympiad, may fairly safely be assigned to the time of the Pisistratids (c. 560 to 510 B.C.). It is not mentioned in connection with Pisistratus himself, though he is credited by a number of ancient authorities with the establishment of a definite text of Homer (cf. Cicero,de Orat. 3.34), but according to Plat. Hipparch. 228b, his son Hipparchus did provide for recitations at the festival.

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