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καὶ ὕστερον . καί is ‘and’ (Jowett), not ‘also’ (Campbell). ᾗ δυνατά. Stallbaum (with q and a few late MSS) reads εἰ δυνατά, which is more accurate, no doubt. But in saying ‘how it is possible’ instead of ‘whether it is possible’ Socrates hints that he will be able to prove the possibility of his scheme. We have here in fact a sort of prophecy of 473 B ff. Schneider (Addit. p. 39) cites a close parallel from Tim. 27 C ᾗ γέγονεν ἢ καὶ ἀγενές ἐστιν. ὅτι πάντων κτλ. Cf. Ar. Eccl. 583 καὶ μὴν ὅτι μὲν χρηστὰ διδάξω πιστεύω. See App. I. 458B - 461E The mutual association of male and female guardians will naturally lead them to form conjugal ties. But no irregular unions will be permitted. We too shall have our ‘holy wedlocks,’ but by ‘holy’ we shall mean ‘profitable’ or ‘beneficial.’ Now the most beneficial unions among lower animals are those by which the best offspring is produced from parents in the prime of life. If the same is true of the human race, how skilful must our rulers be! They must unite the best couples as frequently, the worst as rarely as possible; and only the children of the best couples shall be reared. No one except the archons is to know how this result is attained. Bridegrooms and brides will be brought together at certain marriage festivals, accompanied with sacrifice and song; and the number of marriages will be settled on each occasion by the rulers, so as to keep the population as far as possible the same. The rulers will effect their object by using lots with which they have already tampered. They will also reward excellence in fighting and otherwise by more liberal intercourse with women. The children who are to be reared will be taken to an establishment of nurses, where the mothers, and other women, will come to suckle them, but every precaution will be taken to prevent the mothers from recognising their offspring. Woman is in her prime from twenty to forty, man from twenty-five to fifty-five, and it is only during these periods that we shall permit them to bear and beget children for the State. Violations of this rule will be severely condemned. After the prescribed age has been passed, we shall remove the restrictions on sexual intercourse, observing only such regulations as are necessary to prevent incest; but, if possible, these unofficial unions shall be barren, and, in any case, their offspring must not be reared. Socrates lays down some further regulations about new meanings to be attached to names of family relationships, and adds that ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ may marry, with the sanction of the lot and the Pythian priestess's approval.
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