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phaedo   


earth. And in this fair region everything that grows-trees, and

flowers, and fruits-is in a like degree fairer than any here; and

there are hills, and stones in them in a like degree smoother, and

more transparent, and fairer in color than our highly valued

emeralds and sardonyxes and jaspers, and other gems, which are but

minute fragments of them: for there all the stones are like our

precious stones, and fairer still. The reason of this is that they are

pure, and not, like our precious stones, infected or corroded by the

corrupt briny elements which coagulate among us, and which breed

foulness and disease both in earth and stones, as well as in animals

and plants. They are the jewels of the upper earth, which also

shines with gold and silver and the like, and they are visible to

sight and large and abundant and found in every region of the earth,

and blessed is he who sees them. And upon the earth are animals and

men, some in a middle region, others dwelling about the air as we

dwell about the sea; others in islands which the air flows round, near

the continent: and in a word, the air is used by them as the water and

the sea are by us, and the ether is to them what the air is to us.

Moreover, the temperament of their seasons is such that they have no

disease, and live much longer than we do, and have sight and hearing

and smell, and all the other senses, in far greater perfection, in the

same degree that air is purer than water or the ether than air. Also

they have temples and sacred places in which the gods really dwell,

and they hear their voices and receive their answers, and are

conscious of them and hold converse with them, and they see the sun,

moon, and stars as they really are, and their other blessedness is

of a piece with this.

Such is the nature of the whole earth, and of the things which are

around the earth; and there are divers regions in the hollows on the

face of the globe everywhere, some of them deeper and also wider

than that which we inhabit, others deeper and with a narrower

opening than ours, and some are shallower and wider; all have numerous

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