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[701a] instead of silent, as though they knew the difference between good and bad music, and in place of an aristocracy in music there sprang up a kind of base theatrocracy.1 For if in music, and music only, there had arisen a democracy of free men, such a result would not have been so very alarming; but as it was, the universal conceit of universal wisdom and the contempt for law originated in the music, and on the heels of these came liberty. For, thinking themselves knowing, men became fearless; and audacity begat effrontery. For to be fearless

1 i.e., “rule of the audience”; as we might say, the pit and gallery sat in judgment. Cp. Aristot. Pol. 8.6.

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