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[795a] This is shown by the Scythian custom not only of using the left hand to draw the bow and the right to fit the arrow to it, but also of using both hands alike for both actions. And there are countless other instances of a similar kind, in connection with driving horses and other occupations, which teach us that those who treat the left hand as weaker than the right are confuted by nature. But this, as we have said, matters little in the case of fiddle-bows of horn [795b] and similar implements; but when it is a case of using iron instruments of war—bows, darts and the like—it matters a great deal, and most of all when weapon is to be used against weapon at close quarters. There is a vast difference here between the taught and the untaught, the trained and the untrained warrior. For just as the athlete who is thoroughly practiced in the pancratium or in boxing or wrestling is capable of fighting on his left side, and does not move that side as if it were numb [795c] or lame, whenever he is compelled to bring it into action through his opponent shifting to the other side,—in precisely the same way, I take it, in regard to the use of weapons of war and everything else, it ought to be considered the correct thing that the man who possesses two sets of limbs, fit both for offensive and defensive action, should, so far as possible, suffer neither of these to go unpracticed or untaught. Indeed, if a man were gifted by nature with the frame of a Geryon or a Briareus, with his hundred hands he ought to be able to throw a hundred darts. So all these matters must be the care of [795d] the male and female officers, the women overseeing the games and the feeding of the children, and the men their lessons, to the intent that all the boys and girls may be sound of hand and foot, and may in no wise, if possible, get their natures warped by their habits. The lessons may, for practical convenience, be divided under two heads—the gymnastical, which concern the body, and the musical, which aim at goodness of soul. Of gymnastic there are two kinds, dancing [795e] and wrestling. Of dancing there is one branch in which the style of the Muse is imitated, preserving both freedom and nobility, and another which aims at physical soundness, agility and beauty by securing for the various parts and members of the body the proper degree of flexibility and extension and bestowing also the rhythmical motion which belongs to each, and which accompanies

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