Classical Quarterly 20 (2):230-236 (1970)

In 191O Wilamowitz suggested that the account of the election of the first Magnesian officials is a conflation of two originally separate sets of proposals. After long neglect his arguments have been resurrected, with one major modification and in more detail, by Morrow. I intend to argue that both commentators are fundamentally mistaken, and that, properly interpreted, the passage yields limited but valuable information about Plato's plans for coping with the problems of founding a state from scratch. These plans are not simply of theoretical interest: as D. A. Russell has remarked, the Laws is our best guide to the policies and practices of the constitutional advisers sent out by the Academy.
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