In fourth century Athens philosophy had to reckon with a strong educational authority: poetry. In the Laws Plato sketches the constitution of the imaginary ideal colony of Magnesia. Magnesia is a city founded on virtue and its citizens are educated to follow virtue in all instances of public and private life. Citizens are urged to abide by the laws, but, more importantly, they are persuaded to spontaneously conform to the laws and believe in their correctness. The preludes to the laws are composed specifically to serve this purpose: educate citizens to a virtuous life. This dissertation examines the poetic references and the poetic diction used in the preludes, and attempts to show how Plato incorporates poetry in his writing in order to offer a valid alternative to the moral teaching of the poets.