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[452a] we must also teach them the same things.” “Yes.” “Now music together with gymnastic was the training we gave the men.” “Yes.” “Then we must assign these two arts to the women also and the offices of war and employ them in the same way.” “It would seem likely from what you say,” he replied. “Perhaps, then,” said I, “the contrast with present custom1 would make much in our proposals look ridiculous if our words2 are to be realized in fact.” “Yes, indeed,” he said. “What then,” said I, “is the funniest thing you note in them? Is it not obviously the women exercising unclad in the palestra

1 Reformers always denounce this source of wit while conservative satirists maintain that ridicule is a test of truth. Cf. e.g. Renan, Avenir de la Science, p. 439 “Le premier pas dans la carrière philosophique est de se cuirasser contre le ridicule,” and Lucian, Piscator 14 “No harm can be done by a joke; that on the contrary, whatever is beautiful shines brighter . . . like gold cleansed,” Harmon in Loeb translation, iii. 22. There was a literature for and against custom (sometimes called συνήθεια) of which there are echoes in Cicero's use of consuetudo, Acad. ii. 75, De off. i. 148, De nat. deor. i. 83.

2 λέγεται: cf. on 389 D.

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