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Book VII: Chapter XII 


As the citizens in general are to eat at public tables in certain companies, and it is necessary that the walls should have bulwarks and towers in proper places and at proper distances, it is evident that it will be very necessary to have some of these in the towers; let the buildings for this purpose be made the ornaments of the walls. As to temples for public worship, and the hall for the public tables of the chief magistrates, they ought to be built in proper places, and contiguous to each other, except those temples which the law or the oracle orders to be separate from all other buildings; and let these be in such a conspicuous eminence, that they may have every advantage of situation, and in the neighbourhood of that part of the city which is best fortified. Adjoining to this place there ought to be a large square, like that which they call in Thessaly The Square of Freedom, in which nothing is permitted to be bought or sold; into which no mechanic nor husbandman, nor any such person, should be permitted to enter, unless commanded by the magistrates. It will also be an ornament to this place if the gymnastic exercises of the elders are performed in it. It is also proper, that for performing these exercises the citizens should be divided into distinct classes, according to their ages, and that the young persons should have proper officers to be with them, and that the seniors should be with the magistrates; for having them before their eyes would greatly inspire true modesty and ingenuous fear. There ought to be another square

[1331b] separate from this for buying and selling, which should be so situated as to be commodious for the reception of goods both by sea and land. As the citizens may be divided into magistrates and priests, it is proper that the public tables of the priests should be in buildings near the temples. Those of the magistrates who preside over contracts, indictments, and such-like, and also over the markets, and the public streets near the square, or some public way, I mean the square where things are bought and sold; for I intended the other for those who are at leisure, and this for necessary business. The same order which I have directed here should be observed also in the country; for there also their magistrates such as the surveyors of the woods and overseers of the grounds, must necessarily have their common tables and their towers, for the purpose of protection against an enemy. There ought also to be temples erected at proper places, both to the gods and the heroes; but it is unnecessary to dwell longer and most minutely on these particulars--for it is by no means difficult to plan these things, it is rather so to carry them into execution; for the theory is the child of our wishes, but the practical part must depend upon fortune; for which reason we shall decline saying anything farther upon these subjects.

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