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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


two portions and distribute them among slaves and freemen, he having
power to determine the quantity and quality. And what remains he shall
distribute by measure and numb among the animals who have to be
sustained from the earth, taking the whole number of them.
In the second place, our citizens should have separate houses duly
ordered, and this will be the order proper for men like them. There
shall be twelve hamlets, one in the middle of each twelfth portion,
and in each hamlet they shall first set apart a market-place, and
the temples of the Gods, and of their attendant demigods; and if there
be any local deities of the Magnetes, or holy seats of other ancient
deities, whose memory has been preserved, to these let them pay
their ancient honours. But Hestia, and Zeus, and Athene will have
temples everywhere together with the God who presides in each of the
twelve districts. And the first erection of houses shall be around
these temples, where the ground is highest, in order to provide the
safest and most defensible place of retreat for the guards. All the
rest of the country they shall settle in the following manner:-They
shall make thirteen divisions of the craftsmen; one of them they shall
establish in the city, and this, again, they shall subdivide into
twelve lesser divisions, among the twelve districts of the city, and
the remainder shall be distributed in the country round about; and
in each village they shall settle various classes of craftsmen, with a
view to the convenience of the husbandmen. And the chief officers of
the wardens of the country shall superintend all these matters, and
see how many of them, and which class of them, each place requires;
and fix them where they are likely to be least troublesome, and most
useful to the husbandman. And the wardens of the city shall see to
similar matters in the city.
Now the wardens of the agora ought to see to the details of the
agora. Their first care, after the temples which are in the agora have
been seen to, should be to prevent any one from doing any in
dealings between man and man; in the second; place, as being
inspectors of temperance and violence, they should chastise him who
requires chastisement. Touching articles of gale, they should first
see whether the articles which the citizens are under regulations to
sell to strangers are sold to them, as the law ordains. And let the
law be as follows:-on the first day of the month, the persons in
charge, whoever they are, whether strangers or slaves, who have the
charge on behalf of the citizens, shall produce to the strangers the
portion which falls to them, in the first place, a twelfth portion
of the corn;-the stranger shall purchase corn for the whole month, and
other cereals, on the first market day; and on the tenth day of the
month the one party shall sell, and the other buy, liquids
sufficient to last during the whole month; and on the twenty-third day
there shall be a sale of animals by those who are willing to sell to
the people who want to buy, and of implements and other things which
husbandmen sell (such as skins and all kinds of clothing, either woven
or made of felt and other goods of the same sort), and which strangers
are compelled to buy and purchase of others. As to the retail trade in
these things, whether of barley or wheat set apart for meal and flour,
or any other kind of food, no one shall sell them to citizens or their
slaves, nor shall any one buy of a citizen; but let the stranger
sell them in the market of strangers, to artisans and their slaves,
making an exchange of wine and food, which is commonly called retail
trade. And butchers shall offer for sale parts of dismembered
animals to the strangers, and artisans, and their servants. Let any
stranger who likes buy fuel from day to day wholesale, from those
who have the care of it in the country, and let him sell to the
strangers as much he pleases and when he pleases. As to other goods
and implements which are likely to be wanted, they shall sell them
in common market, at any place which the guardians of the law and
the wardens of the market and city, choosing according to their
judgment, shall determine; at such places they shall exchange money
for goods, and goods for money, neither party giving credit to the

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