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I. (1) I have in my former treatises set forth the lives of Moses and the other wise men down to his time, whom the sacred scriptures point out as the founders and leaders of our nation, and as its unwritten laws; I will now, as seems pointed out by the natural order of my subject, proceed to describe accurately the character of those laws which are recorded in writing, not omitting any allegorical meaning which may perchance be concealed beneath the plain language, from that natural love of more recondite and laborious knowledge which is accustomed to seek for what is obscure before, and in preference to, what is evident. (2) And to those who raise the question why the lawgiver gave his laws not in cities but in the deep desert, we must say, in the first place, that the generality of cities are full of unspeakable evils, and of acts of audacious impiety towards the Deity, and of injustice on the part of the citizens to one another; (3) for there is nothing which is wholly free from alloy, what is spurious getting the better of what is genuine, and what is plausible of what is true; which things in their nature are false, but which suggest plausible imaginations to the engendering of deceit in cities; (4) from whence also that most designing of all things, namely pride, is implanted, which some persons admire and worship, dignifying and making much of vain opinions, with golden crowns and purple robes, and numbers of servants and chariots, on which those men who are looked upon as fortunate and happy are borne aloft, sometimes harnessing mules or horses to their chariots, and sometimes even men, who bear their burdens on their necks, through the excess of the insolence of their masters, weighed down in soul even before they faint in body.