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your fathers, when they were laying down laws to regulate the habits of men and those acts that inevitably flow from human nature, forbade slaves to do those things which they thought ought to be done by free men. “A slave,” says the law, “shall not take exercise or anoint himself in the wrestling-schools.” It did not go on to add, “But the free man shall anoint himself and take exercise;” for when, seeing the good that comes from gymnastics, the lawgivers forbade slaves to take part, they thought that in prohibiting them they were by the same words inviting the free.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1760
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