Critias by Plato

Plato Critias

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Critias by Plato.
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[Critias] [2] PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Critias, Hermocrates, Timaeus, Socrates.
[Critias] [7] the being who always was of old, and has now been by me revealed, to grant
[Critias] [10] pray that he will impose upon me a just retribution, and the just
[Critias] [12] to speak truly in future concerning the generation of the gods, I pray him
[Critias] [13] to give me knowledge, which of all medicines is the most perfect and best.
[Critias] [14] And now having offered my prayer I deliver up the argument to Critias, who
[Critias] [17] CRITIAS: And I, Timaeus, accept the trust, and as you at first said that
[Critias] [19] might be shown to you, I too ask the same or greater forbearance for what I
[Critias] [25] the gods to men is far easier than to speak well of men to men: for the
[Critias] [28] are concerning the gods. But I should like to make my meaning clearer, if
[Critias] [30] and representation. For if we consider the likenesses which painters make
[Critias] [31] of bodies divine and heavenly, and the different degrees of gratification
[Critias] [32] with which the eye of the spectator receives them, we shall see that we are
[Critias] [33] satisfied with the artist who is able in any degree to imitate the earth
[Critias] [34] and its mountains, and the rivers, and the woods, and the universe, and the
[Critias] [36] about such matters, we do not examine or analyze the painting; all that is
[Critias] [38] forth. But when a person endeavours to paint the human form we are quick
[Critias] [41] observe the same thing to happen in discourse; we are satisfied with a
[Critias] [44] Wherefore if at the moment of speaking I cannot suitably express my
[Critias] [46] of human things is the reverse of easy. This is what I want to suggest to
[Critias] [47] you, and at the same time to beg, Socrates, that I may have not less, but
[Critias] [52] grant the same by anticipation to Hermocrates, as well as to you and
[Critias] [54] he will make the same request which you have made. In order, then, that he
[Critias] [55] may provide himself with a fresh beginning, and not be compelled to say the
[Critias] [56] same things over again, let him understand that the indulgence is already
[Critias] [58] to you the judgment of the theatre. They are of opinion that the last
[Critias] [62] HERMOCRATES: The warning, Socrates, which you have addressed to him, I
[Critias] [64] yet raised a trophy; and therefore you must go and attack the argument like
[Critias] [65] a man. First invoke Apollo and the Muses, and then let us hear you sound
[Critias] [66] the praises and show forth the virtues of your ancient citizens.
[Critias] [69] in front of you, have not lost heart as yet; the gravity of the situation
[Critias] [71] encouragements. But besides the gods and goddesses whom you have
[Critias] [72] mentioned, I would specially invoke Mnemosyne; for all the important part
[Critias] [74] recite enough of what was said by the priests and brought hither by Solon,
[Critias] [75] I doubt not that I shall satisfy the requirements of this theatre. And
[Critias] [78] Let me begin by observing first of all, that nine thousand was the sum of
[Critias] [79] years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken place
[Critias] [80] between those who dwelt outside the pillars of Heracles and all who dwelt
[Critias] [81] within them; this war I am going to describe. Of the combatants on the one
[Critias] [82] side, the city of Athens was reported to have been the leader and to have
[Critias] [83] fought out the war; the combatants on the other side were commanded by the
[Critias] [86] impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the
[Critias] [87] ocean. The progress of the history will unfold the various nations of
[Critias] [89] successively appear on the scene; but I must describe first of all the
[Critias] [90] Athenians of that day, and their enemies who fought with them, and then the
[Critias] [91] respective powers and governments of the two kingdoms. Let us give the
[Critias] [94] In the days of old, the gods had the whole earth distributed among them by
[Critias] [96] suppose that the gods did not know what was proper for each of them to
[Critias] [103] pilots from the stern of the vessel, which is an easy way of guiding
[Critias] [104] animals, holding our souls by the rudder of persuasion according to their
[Critias] [107] Hephaestus and Athene, who were brother and sister, and sprang from the
[Critias] [108] same father, having a common nature, and being united also in the love of
[Critias] [111] children of the soil, and put into their minds the order of government;
[Critias] [113] the destruction of those who received the tradition, and the lapse of ages.
[Critias] [115] who dwelt in the mountains; and they were ignorant of the art of writing,
[Critias] [116] and had heard only the names of the chiefs of the land, but very little
[Critias] [117] about their actions. The names they were willing enough to give to their
[Critias] [118] children; but the virtues and the laws of their predecessors, they knew
[Critias] [120] lacked for many generations the necessaries of life, they directed their
[Critias] [121] attention to the supply of their wants, and of them they conversed, to the
[Critias] [123] the enquiry into antiquity are first introduced into cities when they begin
[Critias] [124] to have leisure (Cp. Arist. Metaphys.), and when they see that the
[Critias] [126] is the reason why the names of the ancients have been preserved to us and
[Critias] [127] not their actions. This I infer because Solon said that the priests in
[Critias] [128] their narrative of that war mentioned most of the names which are recorded
[Critias] [129] prior to the time of Theseus, such as Cecrops, and Erechtheus, and
[Critias] [130] Erichthonius, and Erysichthon, and the names of the women in like manner.
[Critias] [131] Moreover, since military pursuits were then common to men and women, the
[Critias] [132] men of those days in accordance with the custom of the time set up a figure
[Critias] [133] and image of the goddess in full armour, to be a testimony that all animals
[Critias] [135] practise in common the virtue which belongs to them without distinction of
[Critias] [138] Now the country was inhabited in those days by various classes of
[Critias] [140] also a warrior class originally set apart by divine men. The latter dwelt
[Critias] [143] they had as common property; nor did they claim to receive of the other
[Critias] [145] the pursuits which we yesterday described as those of our imaginary
[Critias] [146] guardians. Concerning the country the Egyptian priests said what is not
[Critias] [147] only probable but manifestly true, that the boundaries were in those days
[Critias] [148] fixed by the Isthmus, and that in the direction of the continent they
[Critias] [149] extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron and Parnes; the boundary line
[Critias] [150] came down in the direction of the sea, having the district of Oropus on the
[Critias] [151] right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left. The land was
[Critias] [152] the best in the world, and was therefore able in those days to support a
[Critias] [153] vast army, raised from the surrounding people. Even the remnant of Attica
[Critias] [154] which now exists may compare with any region in the world for the variety
[Critias] [155] and excellence of its fruits and the suitableness of its pastures to every
[Critias] [156] sort of animal, which proves what I am saying; but in those days the
[Critias] [159] the land that then was? The whole country is only a long promontory
[Critias] [160] extending far into the sea away from the rest of the continent, while the
[Critias] [161] surrounding basin of the sea is everywhere deep in the neighbourhood of the
[Critias] [162] shore. Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years,
[Critias] [163] for that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which
[Critias] [165] has never been any considerable accumulation of the soil coming down from
[Critias] [166] the mountains, as in other places, but the earth has fallen away all round
[Critias] [167] and sunk out of sight. The consequence is, that in comparison of what then
[Critias] [168] was, there are remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be
[Critias] [169] called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of
[Critias] [170] the soil having fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left.
[Critias] [171] But in the primitive state of the country, its mountains were high hills
[Critias] [172] covered with soil, and the plains, as they are termed by us, of Phelleus
[Critias] [173] were full of rich earth, and there was abundance of wood in the mountains.
[Critias] [174] Of this last the traces still remain, for although some of the mountains
[Critias] [177] size sufficient to cover the largest houses; and there were many other high
[Critias] [179] Moreover, the land reaped the benefit of the annual rainfall, not as now
[Critias] [180] losing the water which flows off the bare earth into the sea, but, having
[Critias] [182] treasuring it up in the close clay soil, it let off into the hollows the
[Critias] [183] streams which it absorbed from the heights, providing everywhere abundant
[Critias] [185] in places where fountains once existed; and this proves the truth of what I
[Critias] [188] Such was the natural state of the country, which was cultivated, as we may
[Critias] [190] were lovers of honour, and of a noble nature, and had a soil the best in
[Critias] [191] the world, and abundance of water, and in the heaven above an excellently
[Critias] [192] attempered climate. Now the city in those days was arranged on this wise.
[Critias] [193] In the first place the Acropolis was not as now. For the fact is that a
[Critias] [194] single night of excessive rain washed away the earth and laid bare the
[Critias] [195] rock; at the same time there were earthquakes, and then occurred the
[Critias] [196] extraordinary inundation, which was the third before the great destruction
[Critias] [197] of Deucalion. But in primitive times the hill of the Acropolis extended to
[Critias] [198] the Eridanus and Ilissus, and included the Pnyx on one side, and the
[Critias] [199] Lycabettus as a boundary on the opposite side to the Pnyx, and was all well
[Critias] [200] covered with soil, and level at the top, except in one or two places.
[Critias] [201] Outside the Acropolis and under the sides of the hill there dwelt artisans,
[Critias] [202] and such of the husbandmen as were tilling the ground near; the warrior
[Critias] [203] class dwelt by themselves around the temples of Athene and Hephaestus at
[Critias] [204] the summit, which moreover they had enclosed with a single fence like the
[Critias] [205] garden of a single house. On the north side they had dwellings in common
[Critias] [206] and had erected halls for dining in winter, and had all the buildings which
[Critias] [212] the same. But in summer-time they left their gardens and gymnasia and
[Critias] [213] dining halls, and then the southern side of the hill was made use of by
[Critias] [214] them for the same purpose. Where the Acropolis now is there was a
[Critias] [215] fountain, which was choked by the earthquake, and has left only the few
[Critias] [216] small streams which still exist in the vicinity, but in those days the
[Critias] [218] temperature in summer and in winter. This is how they dwelt, being the
[Critias] [219] guardians of their own citizens and the leaders of the Hellenes, who were
[Critias] [220] their willing followers. And they took care to preserve the same number of
[Critias] [223] the ancient Athenians, and after this manner they righteously administered
[Critias] [224] their own land and the rest of Hellas; they were renowned all over Europe
[Critias] [225] and Asia for the beauty of their persons and for the many virtues of their
[Critias] [226] souls, and of all men who lived in those days they were the most
[Critias] [228] child, I will impart to you the character and origin of their adversaries.
[Critias] [232] Yet, before proceeding further in the narrative, I ought to warn you, that
[Critias] [234] to foreigners. I will tell you the reason of this: Solon, who was
[Critias] [235] intending to use the tale for his poem, enquired into the meaning of the
[Critias] [236] names, and found that the early Egyptians in writing them down had
[Critias] [237] translated them into their own language, and he recovered the meaning of
[Critias] [238] the several names and when copying them out again translated them into our
[Critias] [239] language. My great-grandfather, Dropides, had the original writing, which
[Critias] [242] must not be surprised, for I have told how they came to be introduced. The
[Critias] [245] I have before remarked in speaking of the allotments of the gods, that they
[Critias] [246] distributed the whole earth into portions differing in extent, and made for
[Critias] [248] his lot the island of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and
[Critias] [249] settled them in a part of the island, which I will describe. Looking
[Critias] [250] towards the sea, but in the centre of the whole island, there was a plain
[Critias] [251] which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile.
[Critias] [252] Near the plain again, and also in the centre of the island at a distance of
[Critias] [254] this mountain there dwelt one of the earth-born primeval men of that
[Critias] [256] had an only daughter who was called Cleito. The maiden had already reached
[Critias] [258] and had intercourse with her, and breaking the ground, inclosed the hill in
[Critias] [262] equidistant every way from the centre, so that no man could get to the
[Critias] [264] found no difficulty in making special arrangements for the centre island,
[Critias] [265] bringing up two springs of water from beneath the earth, one of warm water
[Critias] [266] and the other of cold, and making every variety of food to spring up
[Critias] [267] abundantly from the soil. He also begat and brought up five pairs of twin
[Critias] [268] male children; and dividing the island of Atlantis into ten portions, he
[Critias] [269] gave to the first-born of the eldest pair his mother's dwelling and the
[Critias] [270] surrounding allotment, which was the largest and best, and made him king
[Critias] [271] over the rest; the others he made princes, and gave them rule over many
[Critias] [272] men, and a large territory. And he named them all; the eldest, who was the
[Critias] [273] first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean
[Critias] [275] obtained as his lot the extremity of the island towards the pillars of
[Critias] [276] Heracles, facing the country which is now called the region of Gades in
[Critias] [277] that part of the world, he gave the name which in the Hellenic language is
[Critias] [278] Eumelus, in the language of the country which is named after him, Gadeirus.
[Critias] [279] Of the second pair of twins he called one Ampheres, and the other Evaemon.
[Critias] [280] To the elder of the third pair of twins he gave the name Mneseus, and
[Critias] [281] Autochthon to the one who followed him. Of the fourth pair of twins he
[Critias] [282] called the elder Elasippus, and the younger Mestor. And of the fifth pair
[Critias] [283] he gave to the elder the name of Azaes, and to the younger that of
[Critias] [284] Diaprepes. All these and their descendants for many generations were the
[Critias] [285] inhabitants and rulers of divers islands in the open sea; and also, as has
[Critias] [286] been already said, they held sway in our direction over the country within
[Critias] [287] the pillars as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia. Now Atlas had a numerous and
[Critias] [288] honourable family, and they retained the kingdom, the eldest son handing it
[Critias] [292] needed, both in the city and country. For because of the greatness of
[Critias] [294] the island itself provided most of what was required by them for the uses
[Critias] [295] of life. In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be
[Critias] [297] was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth
[Critias] [298] in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than
[Critias] [301] a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for
[Critias] [304] there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all.
[Critias] [305] Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or
[Critias] [307] thrived in that land; also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the
[Critias] [309] food--we call them all by the common name of pulse, and the fruits having a
[Critias] [311] chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement, and are
[Critias] [312] fruits which spoil with keeping, and the pleasant kinds of dessert, with
[Critias] [314] these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought
[Critias] [315] forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance. With such blessings the
[Critias] [317] temples and palaces and harbours and docks. And they arranged the whole
[Critias] [318] country in the following manner:--
[Critias] [320] First of all they bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the
[Critias] [321] ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace. And at the
[Critias] [322] very beginning they built the palace in the habitation of the god and of
[Critias] [324] generations, every king surpassing the one who went before him to the
[Critias] [325] utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for
[Critias] [326] size and for beauty. And beginning from the sea they bored a canal of
[Critias] [328] in length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a
[Critias] [329] passage from the sea up to this, which became a harbour, and leaving an
[Critias] [330] opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress.
[Critias] [331] Moreover, they divided at the bridges the zones of land which parted the
[Critias] [333] into another, and they covered over the channels so as to leave a way
[Critias] [334] underneath for the ships; for the banks were raised considerably above the
[Critias] [335] water. Now the largest of the zones into which a passage was cut from the
[Critias] [336] sea was three stadia in breadth, and the zone of land which came next of
[Critias] [337] equal breadth; but the next two zones, the one of water, the other of land,
[Critias] [338] were two stadia, and the one which surrounded the central island was a
[Critias] [339] stadium only in width. The island in which the palace was situated had a
[Critias] [340] diameter of five stadia. All this including the zones and the bridge,
[Critias] [341] which was the sixth part of a stadium in width, they surrounded by a stone
[Critias] [342] wall on every side, placing towers and gates on the bridges where the sea
[Critias] [343] passed in. The stone which was used in the work they quarried from
[Critias] [344] underneath the centre island, and from underneath the zones, on the outer
[Critias] [345] as well as the inner side. One kind was white, another black, and a third
[Critias] [346] red, and as they quarried, they at the same time hollowed out double docks,
[Critias] [347] having roofs formed out of the native rock. Some of their buildings were
[Critias] [348] simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the
[Critias] [349] colour to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight. The
[Critias] [350] entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they
[Critias] [351] covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they
[Critias] [352] coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with
[Critias] [353] the red light of orichalcum. The palaces in the interior of the citadel
[Critias] [354] were constructed on this wise:--In the centre was a holy temple dedicated
[Critias] [356] an enclosure of gold; this was the spot where the family of the ten princes
[Critias] [357] first saw the light, and thither the people annually brought the fruits of
[Critias] [358] the earth in their season from all the ten portions, to be an offering to
[Critias] [359] each of the ten. Here was Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in
[Critias] [361] a strange barbaric appearance. All the outside of the temple, with the
[Critias] [362] exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles
[Critias] [363] with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, curiously
[Critias] [364] wrought everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; and all the other
[Critias] [365] parts, the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum. In
[Critias] [366] the temple they placed statues of gold: there was the god himself standing
[Critias] [367] in a chariot--the charioteer of six winged horses--and of such a size that
[Critias] [368] he touched the roof of the building with his head; around him there were a
[Critias] [369] hundred Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number
[Critias] [370] of them by the men of those days. There were also in the interior of the
[Critias] [372] around the temple on the outside were placed statues of gold of all the
[Critias] [373] descendants of the ten kings and of their wives, and there were many other
[Critias] [374] great offerings of kings and of private persons, coming both from the city
[Critias] [375] itself and from the foreign cities over which they held sway. There was an
[Critias] [377] and the palaces, in like manner, answered to the greatness of the kingdom
[Critias] [378] and the glory of the temple.
[Critias] [380] In the next place, they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot
[Critias] [382] use by reason of the pleasantness and excellence of their waters. They
[Critias] [384] cisterns, some open to the heaven, others roofed over, to be used in winter
[Critias] [385] as warm baths; there were the kings' baths, and the baths of private
[Critias] [388] as was suitable. Of the water which ran off they carried some to the grove
[Critias] [390] beauty, owing to the excellence of the soil, while the remainder was
[Critias] [391] conveyed by aqueducts along the bridges to the outer circles; and there
[Critias] [393] of exercise, some for men, and others for horses in both of the two islands
[Critias] [394] formed by the zones; and in the centre of the larger of the two there was
[Critias] [396] extend all round the island, for horses to race in. Also there were guard-
[Critias] [397] houses at intervals for the guards, the more trusted of whom were appointed
[Critias] [398] to keep watch in the lesser zone, which was nearer the Acropolis; while the
[Critias] [399] most trusted of all had houses given them within the citadel, near the
[Critias] [400] persons of the kings. The docks were full of triremes and naval stores,
[Critias] [401] and all things were quite ready for use. Enough of the plan of the royal
[Critias] [404] Leaving the palace and passing out across the three harbours, you came to a
[Critias] [405] wall which began at the sea and went all round: this was everywhere
[Critias] [406] distant fifty stadia from the largest zone or harbour, and enclosed the
[Critias] [407] whole, the ends meeting at the mouth of the channel which led to the sea.
[Critias] [408] The entire area was densely crowded with habitations; and the canal and the
[Critias] [409] largest of the harbours were full of vessels and merchants coming from all
[Critias] [413] I have described the city and the environs of the ancient palace nearly in
[Critias] [414] the words of Solon, and now I must endeavour to represent to you the nature
[Critias] [415] and arrangement of the rest of the land. The whole country was said by him
[Critias] [416] to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country
[Critias] [417] immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself
[Critias] [418] surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and
[Critias] [420] stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia. This part
[Critias] [421] of the island looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north.
[Critias] [422] The surrounding mountains were celebrated for their number and size and
[Critias] [428] I will now describe the plain, as it was fashioned by nature and by the
[Critias] [429] labours of many generations of kings through long ages. It was for the
[Critias] [430] most part rectangular and oblong, and where falling out of the straight
[Critias] [431] line followed the circular ditch. The depth, and width, and length of this
[Critias] [432] ditch were incredible, and gave the impression that a work of such extent,
[Critias] [434] Nevertheless I must say what I was told. It was excavated to the depth of
[Critias] [436] round the whole of the plain, and was ten thousand stadia in length. It
[Critias] [437] received the streams which came down from the mountains, and winding round
[Critias] [438] the plain and meeting at the city, was there let off into the sea. Further
[Critias] [440] it through the plain, and again let off into the ditch leading to the sea:
[Critias] [442] brought down the wood from the mountains to the city, and conveyed the
[Critias] [443] fruits of the earth in ships, cutting transverse passages from one canal
[Critias] [444] into another, and to the city. Twice in the year they gathered the fruits
[Critias] [445] of the earth--in winter having the benefit of the rains of heaven, and in
[Critias] [446] summer the water which the land supplied by introducing streams from the
[Critias] [449] As to the population, each of the lots in the plain had to find a leader
[Critias] [450] for the men who were fit for military service, and the size of a lot was a
[Critias] [451] square of ten stadia each way, and the total number of all the lots was
[Critias] [452] sixty thousand. And of the inhabitants of the mountains and of the rest of
[Critias] [453] the country there was also a vast multitude, which was distributed among
[Critias] [454] the lots and had leaders assigned to them according to their districts and
[Critias] [455] villages. The leader was required to furnish for the war the sixth portion
[Critias] [459] shield, and having a charioteer who stood behind the man-at-arms to guide
[Critias] [460] the two horses; also, he was bound to furnish two heavy-armed soldiers, two
[Critias] [462] light-armed, and four sailors to make up the complement of twelve hundred
[Critias] [463] ships. Such was the military order of the royal city--the order of the
[Critias] [467] As to offices and honours, the following was the arrangement from the
[Critias] [468] first. Each of the ten kings in his own division and in his own city had
[Critias] [469] the absolute control of the citizens, and, in most cases, of the laws,
[Critias] [470] punishing and slaying whomsoever he would. Now the order of precedence
[Critias] [471] among them and their mutual relations were regulated by the commands of
[Critias] [472] Poseidon which the law had handed down. These were inscribed by the first
[Critias] [473] kings on a pillar of orichalcum, which was situated in the middle of the
[Critias] [474] island, at the temple of Poseidon, whither the kings were gathered together
[Critias] [476] the odd and to the even number. And when they were gathered together they
[Critias] [480] bulls who had the range of the temple of Poseidon; and the ten kings, being
[Critias] [481] left alone in the temple, after they had offered prayers to the god that
[Critias] [482] they might capture the victim which was acceptable to him, hunted the
[Critias] [483] bulls, without weapons, but with staves and nooses; and the bull which they
[Critias] [484] caught they led up to the pillar and cut its throat over the top of it so
[Critias] [485] that the blood fell upon the sacred inscription. Now on the pillar,
[Critias] [486] besides the laws, there was inscribed an oath invoking mighty curses on the
[Critias] [487] disobedient. When therefore, after slaying the bull in the accustomed
[Critias] [489] clot of blood for each of them; the rest of the victim they put in the
[Critias] [490] fire, after having purified the column all round. Then they drew from the
[Critias] [491] bowl in golden cups, and pouring a libation on the fire, they swore that
[Critias] [492] they would judge according to the laws on the pillar, and would punish him
[Critias] [493] who in any point had already transgressed them, and that for the future
[Critias] [494] they would not, if they could help, offend against the writing on the
[Critias] [496] them, to act otherwise than according to the laws of their father Poseidon.
[Critias] [497] This was the prayer which each of them offered up for himself and for his
[Critias] [498] descendants, at the same time drinking and dedicating the cup out of which
[Critias] [499] he drank in the temple of the god; and after they had supped and satisfied
[Critias] [500] their needs, when darkness came on, and the fire about the sacrifice was
[Critias] [501] cool, all of them put on most beautiful azure robes, and, sitting on the
[Critias] [502] ground, at night, over the embers of the sacrifices by which they had
[Critias] [503] sworn, and extinguishing all the fire about the temple, they received and
[Critias] [509] There were many special laws affecting the several kings inscribed about
[Critias] [510] the temples, but the most important was the following: They were not to
[Critias] [511] take up arms against one another, and they were all to come to the rescue
[Critias] [512] if any one in any of their cities attempted to overthrow the royal house;
[Critias] [514] matters, giving the supremacy to the descendants of Atlas. And the king
[Critias] [515] was not to have the power of life and death over any of his kinsmen unless
[Critias] [516] he had the assent of the majority of the ten.
[Critias] [518] Such was the vast power which the god settled in the lost island of
[Critias] [519] Atlantis; and this he afterwards directed against our land for the
[Critias] [521] the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and
[Critias] [522] well-affectioned towards the god, whose seed they were; for they possessed
[Critias] [523] true and in every way great spirits, uniting gentleness with wisdom in the
[Critias] [526] life, and thinking lightly of the possession of gold and other property,
[Critias] [532] the continuance in them of a divine nature, the qualities which we have
[Critias] [533] described grew and increased among them; but when the divine portion began
[Critias] [534] to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal
[Critias] [535] admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then, being unable
[Critias] [537] grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their precious
[Critias] [538] gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appeared
[Critias] [539] glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and
[Critias] [540] unrighteous power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and
[Critias] [543] be chastened and improve, collected all the gods into their most holy
[Critias] [544] habitation, which, being placed in the centre of the world, beholds all
[Critias] [548] * The rest of the Dialogue of Critias has been lost.