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[270d] and the survivors have many experiences wonderful and strange, the greatest of which, a consequence of the reversal of everything at the time when the world begins to turn in the direction opposed to that of its present revolution, is this.1

Younger Socrates
What is that experience?

Stranger
First the age of all animals, whatever it was at the moment, stood still, and every mortal creature stopped growing older in appearance


1 The tale of Atreus introduces the fanciful theory of the reversal of the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and this, especially in an age when the stars were believed to exercise a direct influence upon mankind and other creatures, naturally brings with it the reversal of all processes of growth. This leads to a new birth of mankind, and the Stranger then briefly describes the age of innocence, the fall of man and the barbarism that follows, and the partial restoration of man through divine interposition and the gift of the various arts of civilization. Plato does not offer this as a real explanation of the existing condition of the world, but it serves, like the myths introduced in other dialogues to present, in connection with accepted mythology, a theory which may account for some of the facts of life.

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