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Laws

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By: (424-348 BC)

Νόμοι (Laws) is Plato's final dialogue written after his attempt to advise the tyrant Dionysius II of Syracuse. The dialogue takes place between: an Athenian Stranger (Socrates? A god in human form?); the quiet Lacedaemonian Megillus; and the Cretan Cleinias. The Stranger asks whether humans live to be more effective at waging war or if there is something more important a legislator should seek to achieve. During their pilgrimage Cleinias discloses his role in the establishment of a new colony and the three discuss what would make the colony perfect including: location; a fixed population size; entitlement to land; the four economic classes; the restriction of retailers; a static system of music; the fair treatment of foreigners; defined punishments; and proper religious observance.


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