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similarly, at Athens, when Mantias the orator was litigating with his son, the mother declared the truth;1 and again, at Thebes, when Ismenias and Stilbon were disputing about a child, Dodonis2 declared that Ismenias was its father, Thettaliscus being accordingly recognized as the son of Ismenias. There is another instance in the “law” of Theodectes: “If we do not entrust our own horses to those who have neglected the horses of others, or our ships to those who have upset the ships of others; then, if this is so in all cases, we must not entrust our own safety to those who have failed to preserve the safety of others.” Similarly, in order to prove that men of talent are everywhere honored, Alcidamas said: “The Parians honored Archilochus, in spite of his evil-speaking; the Chians Homer, although he had rendered no public services;3 the Mytilenaeans Sappho, although she was a woman; the Lacedaemonians, by no means a people fond of learning, elected Chilon one of their senators; the Italiotes honored Pythagoras, and the Lampsacenes buried Anaxagoras, although he was a foreigner, and still hold him in honor. . .4 The Athenians were happy as long as they lived under the laws of Solon, and the Lacedaemonians under those of Lycurgus; and at Thebes, as soon as those who had the conduct of affairs became philosophers,5
the city flourished.”
1 Mantias had one legitimate son Mantitheus and two illegitimate by a certain Plangon. Mantias at first refused to acknowledge the latter as his sons, until the mother declared they were.
4 Something has fallen out, what follows being intended to prove that the best rulers for a state are the philosophers.
5 Epaminondas and Pelopidas. One would rather expect, “as soon as philosophers had the conduct of affairs.”
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