[109a] which prevents those who are sailing out from here to the ocean beyond from proceeding further.1 Now as regards the numerous barbaric tribes and all the Hellenic nations that then existed, the sequel of our story, when it is, as it were, unrolled, will disclose what happened in each locality; but the facts about the Athenians of that age and the enemies with whom they fought we must necessarily describe first, at the outset,—the military power, that is to say, of each and their forms of government. And of these two we must give the priority in our account to the state of Athens. [109b] Once upon a time the gods were taking over by lot the whole earth according to its regions,—not according to the results of strife2: for it would not be reasonable to suppose that the gods were ignorant of their own several rights, nor yet that they attempted to obtain for themselves by means of strife a possession to which others, as they knew, had a better claim. So by just allotments they received each one his own, and they settled their countries; and when they had thus settled them, they reared us up, even as herdsmen [109c] rear their flocks, to be their cattle and nurslings; only it was not our bodies that they constrained by bodily force, like shepherds guiding their flocks with stroke of staff, but they directed from the stern where the living creature is easiest to turn about, laying hold on the soul by persuasion, as by a rudder, according to their own disposition; and thus they drove and steered all the mortal kind. Now in other regions others of the gods had their allotments and ordered the affairs, but inasmuch as Hephaestus and Athena were of a like nature, being born of the same father, and agreeing, moreover, in their love of wisdom and of craftsmanship, they both took for their joint portion this land of ours as being naturally congenial and adapted for virtue [109d] and for wisdom, and therein they planted as native to the soil men of virtue and ordained to their mind the mode of government. And of these citizens the names are preserved, but their works have vanished owing to the repeated destruction of their successors and the length of the intervening periods. For, as was said before,3 the stock that survived on each occasion was a remnant of unlettered mountaineers which had heard the names only of the rulers, and but little besides of their works. So though they gladly passed on these names [109e] to their descendants, concerning the mighty deeds and the laws of their predecessors they had no knowledge, save for some invariably obscure reports; and since, moreover, they and their children for many generations were themselves in want of the necessaries of life, their attention was given to their own needs
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