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The Investigations of Timaeus

Now the first point one would be inclined to raise is, as
Criticism of the above statement of Timaeus.
to what Locrians he visited and questioned on these subjects. If it had been the case that the Locrians in Greece all lived in one city, as those in Italy do, this question would perhaps have been unnecessary, and everything would have been plain. But as there are two clans of Locrians, we may ask, Which of the two did he visit? What cities of the one or the other? In whose hands did he find the treaty? Yet we all know, I suppose, that this is a speciality of Timaeus's, and that it is in this that he has surpassed all other historians, and rests his chief claim to credit,—I mean his parade of accuracy in studying chronology and ancient monuments, and his care in that department of research. Therefore we may well wonder how he came to omit telling us the name of the city in which he found the treaty, the place in which it was inscribed, or the magistrates who showed him the inscription, and with whom he conversed: to prevent all cavil, and, by defining the place and city, to enable those who doubted to ascertain the truth. By omitting these details he shows that he was conscious of having told a deliberate falsehood. For that Timaeus, if he really had obtained such proofs, would not have let them slip, but would have fastened upon them with both hands, as the saying is, is proved by the following considerations. Would a writer who tried to establish his credit on that of Echecrates,—he mentioning him by name as the person with whom he had conversed, and from whom he had obtained his facts about the Italian Locri,—taking the trouble to add, by way of showing that he had been told them by no ordinary person, that this man's father had formerly been entrusted with an embassy by Dionysius,—would such a writer have remained silent about it if he had really got hold of a public record or an ancient tablet?

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