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[112a] what it is now. For as it is now, the action of a single night of extraordinary rain has crumbled it away and made it bare of soil, when earthquakes occurred simultaneously with the third of the disastrous floods which preceded the destructive deluge in the time of Deucalion.1 But in its former extent, at an earlier period, it went down towards the Eridanus and the Ilissus, and embraced within it the Pnyx; and had the Lycabettus as its boundary over against the Pnyx2; and it was all rich in soil and, save for a small space, level on the top. [112b] And its outer parts, under its slopes, were inhabited by the craftsmen and by such of the husbandmen as had their farms close by; but on the topmost part only the military class by itself had its dwellings round about the temple of Athene and Hephaestus, surrounding themselves with a single ring-fence, which formed, as it were, the enclosure of a single dwelling. On the northward side of it they had established their public dwellings and winter mess-rooms, and all the arrangements in the way of buildings which were required for the community life [112c] of themselves and the priests; but all was devoid of gold or silver, of which they made no use anywhere3; on the contrary, they aimed at the mean between luxurious display and meanness, and built themselves tasteful houses, wherein they and their children's children grew old and handed them on in succession unaltered to others like themselves. As for the southward parts, when they vacated their gardens and gymnasia and mess-rooms as was natural in summer, they used them for these purposes. And near the place of the present Acropolis [112d] there was one spring— which was choked up by the earthquakes so that but small tricklings of it are now left round about; but to the men of that time it afforded a plentiful stream for them all, being well tempered both for winter and summer. In this fashion, then, they dwelt, acting as guardians of their own citizens and as leaders, by their own consent, of the rest of the Greeks and they watched carefully that their own numbers, of both men and women, who were neither too young nor too old to fight, should remain for all time as nearly as possible the same, namely, about 20,000. [112e] So it was that these men, being themselves of the character described and always justly administering in some such fashion both their own land and Hellas, were famous throughout all Europe and Asia both for their bodily beauty and for the perfection of their moral excellence, and were of all men then living the most renowned. And now, if we have not lost recollection of what we heard when we were still children,4 we will frankly impart to you all, as friends, our story of the men who warred against our Athenians, what their state was and how it originally came about.


1 Cf. Tim. 22 A, 23 A, B.

2 The Eridanus ran on the N., the Ilissus on the S. side of Athens. The Pnyx was a hill W. of the Acropolis; the Lycabettus a larger hill to the N.E. of the city.

3 Cf. Rep. 416 D ff.; Laws, 801 B.

4 Cf. Tim. 21 A ff.

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