T h e G o d d e s s
A t h e n a
i n P l a t o ' s
S t a t e s m a n
And so we have arrived at the real
end of this discourse; for although there might be much to tell of the
lower animals, and of the condition out of which they changed and of the
causes of the change, about men there is not much, and that little is more
to the purpose.
Deprived of the care of God, who
had possessed and tended them, they were left helpless and defenceless,
and were torn in pieces by the beasts, who were naturally fierce and had
now grown wild.
[274c] And in the first ages they
were still without skill or resource; the food which once grew spontaneously
had failed them, and they did not yet know how to provide for themselves,
because they-had never felt the pressure of necessity.
For all these reasons they were in
great straits; and that is the reason why the gifts of the Gods that are
told of in the old traditions were given us with the needful information
and instruction, -- fire by Prometheus, the arts by Hephaestus and the
Goddess who is his fellow-artisan, Athena,
seeds and plants by other deities.
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©1999 Roy George