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Pages of laws (books 1 - 6)



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laws (books 1 - 6)   


citizen who misbehaves in this way, they shall have the power
themselves of inflicting a fine upon him to the amount of a hundred
drachmae, or with the consent of the wardens of the city up to
double that amount. And let the wardens of the city have a similar
power of imposing punishments and fines in their own department; and
let them impose fines by their own department; and let them impose
fines by their own authority, up to a mina, or up to two minae with
the consent of the wardens of the agora.
In the next place, it will be proper to appoint directors of music
and gymnastic, two kinds of each-of the one kind the business will
be education, of the other, the superintendence of contests. In
speaking of education, the law means to speak of those who have the
care of order and instruction in gymnasia and schools, and of the
going to school, and of school buildings for boys and girls; and in
speaking of contests, the law refers to the judges of gymnastics and
of music; these again are divided into two classes, the one having
to do with music, the other with gymnastics; and the same who judge of
the gymnastic contests of men, shall judge of horses; but in music
there shall be one set of judges of solo singing, and of imitation-I
mean of rhapsodists, players on the harp, the flute and the like,
and another who shall judge of choral song. First of all, we must
choose directors for the choruses of boys, and men, and maidens,
whom they shall follow in the amusement of the dance, and for our
other musical arrangements; -one director will be enough for the
choruses, and he should be not less than forty years of age. One
director will also be enough to introduce the solo singers, and to
give judgment on the competitors, and he ought not to be less than
thirty years of age. The director and manager of the choruses shall be
elected after the following manner:-Let any persons who commonly
take an interest in such matters go to the meeting, and be fined if
they do not go (the guardians of the law shall judge of their
fault), but those who have no interest shall not be compelled. The
elector shall propose as director some one who understands music,
and he in the scrutiny may be challenged on the one part by those
who say he has no skill, and defended on the other hand by those who
say that he has. Ten are to be elected by vote, and he of the ten
who is chosen by lot shall undergo a scrutiny, and lead the choruses
for a year according to law. And in like manner the competitor who
wins the lot shall be leader of the solo and concert music for that
year; and he who is thus elected shall deliver the award to the
judges. In the next place, we have to choose judges in the contests of
horses and of men; these shall be selected from the third and also
from the second class of citizens, and three first classes shall be
compelled to go to the election, but the lowest may stay away with
impunity; and let there be three elected by lot out of the twenty
who have been chosen previously, and they must also have the vote
and approval of the examiners. But if any one is rejected in the
scrutiny at any ballot or decision, others shall be chosen in the same
manner, and undergo a similar scrutiny.
There remains the minister of the education of youth, male and
female; he too will rule according to law; one such minister will be
sufficient, and he must be fifty years old, and have children lawfully
begotten, both boys and girls by preference, at any rate, one or the
other. He who is elected, and he who is the elector, should consider
that of all the great offices of state, this is the greatest; for
the first shoot of any plant, if it makes a good start towards the
attainment of its natural excellence, has the greatest effect on its
maturity; and this is not only true of plants, but of animals wild and
tame, and also of men. Man, as we say, is a tame or civilized
animal; nevertheless, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate
nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most
civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill educated he is the
most savage of earthly creatures. Wherefore the legislator ought not
to allow the education of children to become a secondary or accidental

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