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Pages of laws (books 1 - 6)



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laws (books 1 - 6)   


madnesses in others; for which reason he gave men wine. Such
traditions concerning the Gods I leave to those who think that they
may be safely uttered; I only know that no animal at birth is mature
or perfect in intelligence; and in the intermediate period, in which
he has not yet acquired his own proper sense, he rages and roars
without rhyme or reason; and when he has once got on his legs he jumps
about without rhyme or reason; and this, as you will remember, has
been already said by us to be the origin of music and gymnastic.
Cle. To be sure, I remember.
Ath. And did we not say that the sense of harmony and rhythm
sprang from this beginning among men, and that Apollo and the Muses
and Dionysus were the Gods whom we had to thank for them?
Cle. Certainly.
Ath. The other story implied that wine was given man out of revenge,
and in order to make him mad; but our present doctrine, on the
contrary, is, that wine was given him as a balm, and in order to
implant modesty in the soul, and health and strength in the body.
Cle. That, Stranger, is precisely what was said.
Ath. Then half the subject may now be considered to have been
discussed; shall we proceed to the consideration of the other half?
Cle. What is the other half, and how do you divide the subject?
Ath. The whole choral art is also in our view the whole of
education; and of this art, rhythms and harmonies form the part
which has to do with the voice.
Cle. Yes.
Ath. The movement of the body has rhythm in common with the movement
of the voice, but gesture is peculiar to it, whereas song is simply
the movement of the voice.
Cle. Most true.
Ath. And the sound of the voice which reaches and educates the soul,
we have ventured to term music.
Cle. We were right.
Ath. And the movement of the body, when regarded as an amusement, we
termed dancing; but when extended and pursued with a view to the
excellence of the body, this scientific training may be called
gymnastic.
Cle. Exactly.
Ath. Music, which was one half of the choral art, may be said to
have been completely discussed. Shall we proceed to the other half
or not? What would you like?
Cle. My good friend, when you are talking with a Cretan and
Lacedaemonian, and we have discussed music and not gymnastic, what
answer are either of us likely to make to such an enquiry?
Ath. An answer is contained in your question; and I understand and
accept what you say not only as an answer, but also as a command to
proceed with gymnastic.
Cle. You quite understand me; do as you say.
Ath. I will; and there will not be any difficulty in speaking
intelligibly to you about a subject with which both of you are far
more familiar than with music.
Cle. There will not.
Ath. Is not the origin of gymnastics, too, to be sought in the
tendency to rapid motion which exists in all animals; man, as we
were saying, having attained the sense of rhythm, created and invented
dancing; and melody arousing and awakening rhythm, both united
formed the choral art?
Cle. Very true.
Ath. And one part of this subject has been already discussed by
us, and there still remains another to be discussed?
Cle. Exactly.
Ath. I have first a final word to add to my discourse about drink,
if you will allow me to do so.
Cle. What more have you to say?
Ath. I should say that if a city seriously means to adopt the

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