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And shall we say that the lesser or the greater is the first to come

or to have come into existence?

The lesser.

Then the least is the first? And that is the one?


Then the one of all things that have number is the first to come

into being; but all other things have also number, being plural and

not singular.

They have.

And since it came into being first it must be supposed to have

come into being prior to the others, and the others later; and the

things which came into being later, are younger than that which

preceded them? And so the other things will be younger than the one,

and the one older than other things?


What would you say of another question? Can the one have come into

being contrary to its own nature, or is that impossible?


And yet, surely, the one was shown to have parts; and if parts, then

a beginning, middle and end?


And a beginning, both of the one itself and of all other things,

comes into being first of all; and after the beginning, the others

follow, until you reach the end?


And all these others we shall affirm to be parts of the whole and of

the one, which, as soon as the end is reached, has become whole and


Yes; that is what we shall say.

But the end comes last, and the one is of such a nature as to come

into being with the last; and, since the one cannot come into being

except in accordance with its own nature, its nature will require that

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