Ancient Political Theory Final

  1. Compare and contrast Plato’s ideal republic to Aristotle’s description of the “best” constitution. What are the primary characteristics of each political system, and how does each relate to Plato’s (transcendent) and Aristotle’s (immanent) differing theories of form? And, lastly, choose one thinker in the Christian era (either St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas) to highlight in connection to Plato and Aristotle. That is, how does St. Augustine’s or Thomas Aquinas’s theorization of human nature and politics compare to, or differ from, Plato’s and Aristotle’s respective theorizations? Be sure to cite specific passages from the assigned readings to substantiate your argument, and answer each part of the question.
  2.  How does St. Aquinas’s view of human nature and reason (which can be discerned from his discussion of the different kinds of law) compare to, or differ from Aristotle’s? And, why does St. Aquinas say that law is distinct from reason?








    + T. E. PAGE, C.H., urr.D. /

    E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, utt.d.










    BOOKS I—







    First printed 1930

    Revised and Reprinted 1937


    Printed in Great Britain





    Introduction ^,jj

    The Text …… xlv The Translation


    Book I.

    Book II.

    Book III.

    Book IV.

    Book V.











    Analyses of the Republic abound.” The object of this sketch is not to follow all the windings of its ideas, but to indicate sufficiently their literary frame- work and setting. Socrates speaks in the first person, as in the Charmides and the Lysis. He relates to Critias, Timaeus, Hermocrates, and an unnamed fourth person, as we learn from the introduction of the Timaeus, a conversation which took place ” yester- day ” at the Peiraeus. The narrative falls on the day of the Lesser Panathenaea, and its scene, like that of the Timaeus, Proclus affirms to be the city or the Acropolis, a more suitable place, he thinks, for the quieter theme and the fit audience but few than the noisy seaport, apt symbol of Socrates’ contention with the sophists.* The Timaeus, composed some time later than the

    Republic, is by an afterthought represented as its

    * Jowett, Dialogues of Plato, vol. iii. pp. xvi-clvii ; Grote’a P/a<o, vol. iv. pp. 1-94: Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, iii. pp. 54-105 ; William Boyd, An Introduction to the Republic of Plato, London, 1904, pp. 196 flF. ; Richard Lewis Nettleship, Lectures on the Republic o/ P/a<o, Ix)ndon, 1904; Ueberwe^- Praechter, Geschichte der PhiJosophie, Altertum, pp. 231-234 and 269-279 ; Wilamowitz, Platan^ i. pp. 393-449 ; etc.

    » Cf. Proclus, In Rem P. vol. i. p. 17. 3 KrolL Of. also Laws, 705 A.

    VOL. I b Vii




    sequel. And the Republic, Timaeus, and unfinished Critias constitute the first of the ” trilogies ” in

    which Aristophanes of Byzantium arranged the Platonic dialogues.” The Timaeus accordingly opens with a brief recapitulation of the main political and social features of the Republic. But nothing can be inferred from the variations of this slight summary.*’ The dramatic date of the dialogue is plausibly

    assigned by Boeckh ‘^ to the year 411 or 410.’* Proof is impossible because Plato admits anachronisms in

    his dramas.*

    Socrates tells how he went down to the Peiraeus to attend the new festival of the Thracian Artemis, Bendis/ and, turning homewards, was detained by

    ” Cf. Diogenes Laertius, iii. 61, and Zeller, Philosophie der Griechen*, vol. ii. pt. i. pp. 494 f., n. 2.

    ” Proclus tries to show that the points selected for em- phasis are those which prefigure the constitution and govern- ment of the universe by the Creator (In Tim. 17 e-f). His reasoning is differently presented but hardly more fantastic than that of modern critics who endeavour to determine by this means the original design or order of publication of the parts of the Rep^iblic. Cf. further Taylor, Plato, p. 264, n. 2.

    ” Kleine Schriften, iv. pp. 437 ff., especially 448. ** A. E. Taylor, Plato, p. 263, n. 1, argues that this is the

    worst of all possible dates. ‘ Cf. Jowett and Campbell, vol. iii. pp. 2-3 ; Zeller,

    vol. ii. pt. i. p. 489. Arguments are based on the circum- stances of the family of Lysias, the presumable age of Socrates, Glaucon, Adeimantus and Thrasymachus, and the extreme old age of Sophocles.

    f The religion of Bendis may have been known at Athens as early as Cratinus’s Thraitfai {4’iS B.C.), Kock, Fragmenfa, i. 34. Mommsen, Fe.ste der Stadt Athen, p. 490, cites inscriptions to prove its establishment in Attica as early as 429-428 B.C. But he thinks Plato’s ” inasmuch as this was the first celebration ” may refer to special ceremonies first instituted circa 411 b.c.




    a group of friends who took him to the house of Polemarchus, brother of the orator Lysias.” A goodly company was assembled there, Lysias and a younger brother Euthydemus—yea, and Thrasymachus of Chalcedon,* Charmantides of the deme Paiania,” Cleitophon,’* and conspicuous among them the venerable Cephalus, cro^\•ned from a recent sacrifice and a prefiguring t\”pe of the happy old age of the just man.* A conversation springs up which Socrates guides to an inquiry into the definition and nature y of justice (330 d, 331 c, 332 b) and to the conclusion that the conventional Greek formula, ” Help your friends and harm your enemies,” cannot be right (335 E-336 a), since it is not the function (epyov, 335 d) of the good man to do evil to any. The sophist

    ” See Lysias in any classical dictionary. He returned to Athens from Thurii circa 413 b.c. Polemarchus was the older brother. He was a student of philosophy {Phaedr. 257 b). Whether he lived with Cephalus or Cephalus with him cannot be inferred with certainty. Lysias perhaps had a separate house at the Peiraeus (c/. Phaedr. 227 b). The family owned three houses in 404 B.C. (Lysias, Or. 12. lS),andBlass{Attische Beredsamkeit, i. p. 347) infers from Lysias, 12. 16 that Polem- archus resided at Athens. Lysias takes no part in the conversation. He was no philosopher {^Phaedr. 257 b).

    * A noted sophist and rhetorician. Cf. Phaedr. 266 c, Zeller*, i. pp. 1321 ff. ; Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit^, i. pp. 244-258; Sidgwick, Jc-Mrn. o/ PA//. (English), v. pp. 78-79, who denies that Thrasymachus was, properly speaking, a sophist ; Diels, Fragmented, ii. pp. 276-282.

    ‘ Blass, op. cit. ii. p. 19. ‘* Apparently a partisan of Thrasymachus. His name is

    given to a short, probably spurious, dialogue, of which the main thought is that Socrates, though excellent in exhorta- tion or protreptic, is totally lacking in a positive and coherent philosophy. Grote and others have conjectured it to be a discarded introduction to the Republic.

    • Cf. 329 D, 331 A with 613 b-c




    Thrasymachus, intervening brutally (336 b), affirms the immoralist thesis that j ustice is only the advantage of the (politically) stronger, and with humorous dramatic touches of character-portrayal is finally

    silenced (350 c-d), much as Callicles is refuted in the Gorgias. The conclusion, in the manner of the minor dialogues, is that Socrates knows nothing (354 c). For since he does not know what justice is, he cannot a fortiori determine the larger question raised by Thrasymachus ‘s later contention (352 d), whether the just life or the unjust life is the happier.

    Either the first half or the whole of this book detached would be a plausible companion to such dialogues as the Charmides and Laches, which deal in similar manner with two other cardinal virtues, temperance and bravery. It is an easy but idle and unverifiable conjecture that it was in Plato’s original intention composed as a separate work, perhaps a discarded sketch for the Gorgias, and only by an afterthought became an introduction for the Republic.’* It is now an excellent introduction and not, in view of the extent of the Republic, dis- proportionate in length. That is all we know or can know. The second book opens with what Mill describes

    as a ” monument of the essential fairness of Plato’s mind ” ^—a powerful restatement of the theory of Thrasymachus by the brothers of Plato, Glaucon and Adeimantus. They are not content with the dialectic that reduced Thrasymachus to silence (358 b). They demand a demonstration which will convince the youth hesitating at the cross-roads of virtue and

    ” Cf. infra, p. xxv, note 6. ‘ Cf. Dissertations and Discussions, vol. iv. p. 311.




    vice (365 a-b) ” that it is really and intrinsically better to be than to seem just.**

    It is Plato’s method always to restate a satirized and controverted doctrine in its most plausible form before proceeding to a definitive refutation. ‘^ As he himself says in the Phaedrus (272 c), ” it is right to give the wolf too a hearincr.”

    It is also characteristic of Plato that he prefers to put the strongest statement of the sophistic, im- moralist, Machiavellian, Hobbesian, Nietzschean political ethics in the mouths of speakers who are themselves on the side of the angels. ** There is this historical justification of the procedure, that there

    exists not a shred of evidence that any contemporary or predecessor of Plato could state any of their theories which he assailed as well, as fully, as coherently, as systematically, as he has done it for them.

    In response to the challenge of Glaucon and Adeimantus, Socrates proposes to study the nature of justice and injustice wTit large in the larger organism of the state, and to test the conceptions so won by their application to the individual also (368 E, 369 a). Plato, though he freely employs

    • Cf. my Unity of Plato’s Thought, p. 25, n. 164. ” Cf. 362 A with 367 e. « Cf. my Unity of Plato’s Thought, p. 8 : … the

    elaborate refutations which Plato thinks fit to give of the crudest form of hostile theories sometimes produce an impression of unfairness upon modern critics. They forget two things : First, that he always goes on to restate the theory and refute its fair meaning ; second, that in the case of many doctrines combated by Plato there is no evidence that they were ever formulated with the proper logical qualifications except by himself.”

    ” Cf. 368 A-B.




    metaphor, symbolism, and myth, never bases his argument on them.” The figurative language here, as elsewhere, serves as a transition to, a framework for, an illustration of, the argument. Man is a social and political animal, and nothing but abstract dialectics can come of the attempt to isolate his psychology and ethics from the political and social environment that shapes them.*” The question whether the main subject of the Republic is justice or the state is, as Proclus already in effect said, a

    logomachy.” The construction of an ideal state was a necessary part of Plato’s design, and actually occupies the larger part of the Republic. But it is, as he repeatedly tells us, logically subordinated to the proof that the just is the happy life.”*

    It is idle to object that it is not true and cannot be proved that righteousness is verifiably happiness. The question still interests humanity, and Plato’s discussion of it, whether it does or does not amount to a demonstration, still remains the most instructive and suggestive treatment of the theme in all literature. There is little profit also in scrutinizing too curiously

    the unity or lack of unity of design in the Republic, the

    ” Cf. my review of Barker, ” Greek Political Theory,” in the Philosophical Review, vol. xxix., 1920, p. 86 : ” To say (on p. 119) that ‘ by considering the temper of the watchdog Plato arrives at the principle,’ etc., is to make no allowance for Plato’s literary art and his humour. Plato never really deduces his conclusions from the figurative analogies which he uses to illustrate them.”

    * Cf., e.g.. Rep. 544 d-e, and infra, p. xxvi. ‘ Cf. the long discussion of Stallbaum in his Introduction

    to the Republic, pp. vii-lxv. For Proclus cf. On Rep. p. 349 (ed. of Kroll, p. 5 and p. 11).

    “* Cf. 352 D, 367 E, 369 a, 427 d, 445 a-b, 576 c, and especially 472 b with 588 b and 612 b.




    scale and proportion of the various topics introduced, the justification and relevance of what may seem to some modern readers disproportionate digressions. The rigid, undeviating logic which Poe postulates for the short story or poem has no application to the large-scale masterpieces of literature as we actually find them. And it is the height of naivete for philo- logical critics who have never themselves composed any work of literary art to schoolmaster such creations by their own a priori canons of the logic and architec- tonic unity of composition. Such speculations have made wild work of Homeric criticism. They have been appUed to Demosthenes On the Crotvn and Virgil’s Aeneid. Their employment either in criti- cism of the Republic or in support of unverifiable

    hj^otheses about the order of composition of its

    different books is sufficiently disposed of by the common sense of the passages which I have quoted below.” For the reader who intelligently follows the

    ” Cf. my review of Diesendruck’s ” Struktur and Cha- rakter des Platonischen Phaidros,” Class. Phil. vol. xxiii., 1928, pp. 79 f. : ” In the Introduction to the Republic, Jowett writes, ‘ Nor need anji;hing be excluded from the plan of a great work to which the mind is naturally led by the association of ideas and which does not interfere with the general purpose.’ Goethe in conversation with Eckermann said on May 6, 1827, ‘ Da kommen sie und fragen, welche Idee ich in meinem Faust zu verkorpern gesucht. Als ob ich das selber wiisste und aussprechen konnte.’ Or with more special application to the Phaedrus I may quote Bourguet’s review of Raeder, ‘ Cet eniiemble, on pensera sans doute que M. Raeder a eu tort de le juger mal construit. Au lieu d’une imperfection d’assemblage, c’est le plan raeme que le sujet indiquait. Et peut-etre est-il permis d’ajouter qu’on arrive ainsi a une autre id^e de la com- position, plus large et plus profonde, que celle qui est d’ordinaire acceptee, trop asservie a des canons d’ecole.’




    main argument of the Republic, minor disproportions and irrelevancies disappear in the total impression of

    the unity and designed convergence of all its parts in

    a predetermined conclusion. If it pleases Plato to

    dwell a little longer than interests the modern reader on the expurgation of Homer (379 d-394)i the regula- tion of warfare between Greek states (469-471 c), the postulates of elementary logic (438-439), the pro-

    gramme of the higher education (521 fF.) and its psychological presuppositions (522-524), and the

    justification of the banishment of the poets (595-608 c),

    criticism has only to note and accept the fact. Socrates constructs the indispensable minimum

    (369 i>-e) of a state or city from the necessities of

    human Hfe, food, shelter, clothing, the inability of the isolated individual to provide for these needs and the principle of the division of labour.” Plato is aware

    that the historic origin of society is to be looked for

    in the family and the clan. But he reserves this

    aspect of the subject for the Larvs.^ The hypothetical, simple primitive state, which Glaucon stigmatizes as

    a city of pigs (372 d), is developed into a normal

    modern society or city by the demand for customary luxuries, and by Herbert Spencer’s principle of ” tie multiplication of effects,” one thing leading

    to another (373-374). The luxurious and inflamed city (372 e) is then purged and purified by the reform of ordinary Greek education,” in which the expurgation of Homer and Homeric mythology holds a place that may weary the modern reader but is not

    ” Cf. 369 B-372 c and my paper on ” The Idea of Justice in Plato’s Republic,'” The Ethical Record, January 1890.

    * 677 ff., 680 A-B ff. ” Cf. my paper, ” Some Ideals of Education in Plato’s

    Republic,” The Educational Bi-Monthly, February 1908.




    disproportionate to the importance of the matter for Plato’s generation and for the Christian Fathers who quote it almost entire. Luxury- makes war unavoid- able (373 e). The principle of division of labour (374- b-e) is applied to the military class, who receive a special education, and who, to secure the disin- terested use of their power,” are subjected to a Spartan disciphne and not permitted to touch gold or to own property (416-417).

    In such a state the four cardinal \irtues, the defini- tions of which were vainly sought in the minor dia- logues, are easily seen to be realizations on a higher plane of the principle of the di\ision of labour.^ It is further pro\-isionally assumed that the four cardinal \’irtues constitute and in some sort define goodness.*” The wisdom of such a state resides predominantlv in the rulers (428) : its bravery- in the soldiers (429), who acquire from their education a fixed and settled right opinion as to what things are reallv to be feared. Its sobriety, moderation, and temperance {sophrosyne) are the willingness of all classes to accept this di\ision of function (431 e). Its justice is the fulfilment of its own function by ever\’ class (433). A pro\isional psychology (435 c-d) discovers in the human soul faculties corresponding to tfie three social classes (435 e ff.).”* And the social and poHtical definitions of these \-irtues are then seen to

    » Cf. my article, ” Plato and His Lessons for To-day,” in the Independent, vol. Ix., 1906, pp. -253-256.

    * Cf. 433, 443 c and Unity of Plato’s Thought, pp. 15-16, • Cf. i-27 E with 449 a, and Gorgias, 507 c. •* There is no real evidence that this is derived from a

    Pythagorean doctrine of the three lives. There is a con- siderable recent literature that affirms it. It is enoush here to refer to Mr. A. E. Taylor’s Plato, p. 281, and Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy’, p. 296, n. 2.





    fit the individual. Sobriety and temperance are the acceptance by every faculty of this higher division of labour (441-442). Justice is the performance by every faculty of its proper task (433 a-b with 441 n). These definitions will stand the test of vulgar instances.

    The man whose own soul is inherently just in this ideal sense of the word will also be just in the ordinary relations of life. He will not pick and steal and cheat and break his promises (442 e-443 a). Justice in man and state is health. It is as absurd to maintain that the unjust man can be happier than the just as it would be to argue that the unhealthy man is happier than the healthy (445 a).” Our problem is apparently solved.

    It has been argued that this conclusion marks the end of a first edition of the Republic to which there are vague references in antiquity. There can be no proof for such an hypothesis.” Plato’s plan from the first presumably contemplated an ideal state governed

    by philosophers (347 d), and there is distinct reference in the first four books to the necessity of securing

    the perpetuity of the reformed state by the superior intelligence of its rulers.*^

    ” Cf. my paper on ” The Idea of Good in Plato’s Republic,” University of Chicago Studies in Classical Philology, vol. i.

    p. 194 : ” Utilitarian ethics differs from the evolutionist, says Leslie Stephen … in that ‘ the one lays down as a criterion the happiness, the other the health of the society.

    . . .’ Mr. Stephen adds, ‘ the two are not really divergent,’

    and this is the thesis which Plato strains every nerve to prove throughout the Republic and Laws.”

    * Cf. infra, p. xxv, note b. ‘ Cf. 412 A with 429 a, 497 c-d, 502 d. Cf. also the

    •* longer way,” 435 d with 504 b-c, and further. The Unity of Plato’s Thought, note 650, and the article ” Plato’s Laws and the Unity of Plato’s Thought,” Classical Philology, October 1914,




    The transition at the beginning of the fifth book is quite in Plato’s manner and recalls the transition in the Phaedo (84< c) to a renewal of the discussion of im- mortality. Here Glaucon and Adeimantus, as there Simmias and Cebes, are conversing in low tones and are challenged by Socrates to speak their mind openly (449 b). They desire a fuller explanation and justifi- cation of the paradox, too hghtly let fall by Socrates, that the guardians will have all things in common, including wives and children (449 c, cf. 424 a). Soc- rates, after some demur, undertakes to expound this topic and in general the pre-conditions of the realiza- tion of the ideal state under the continued metaphor of three waves of paradox. They are (1) the exercise of the same functions by men and Avomen (457 a, 453 to 457) ; (2) the community of wives (457 c) ; (3) (which is the condition of the realization of all these ideals) the postulate that either philosophers must become kings or kings philosophers. The discussion of these topics and the digressions

    which they suggest give to this transitional book an appearance of confusion which attention to the clue of the three waves of paradox and the distinction between the desirabiUty and the possibility of the Utopia contemplated will remove.” The last few pages of the book deprecate prevailing prejudice against the philosophers and prepare the way for the theory and description of the higher education in Books VI and VH by distinguishing from the many pretenders the true philosophers who are those who are lovers of ideas, capable of appreciating them, and able to reason in abstractions.^ Whatever the meta-

    « Cf. 452 E, 457 c, 457 d-e, 458 a-b, 461 e, 466 d, 471 c, 472 D, 473 c-D. » Cf. 474 b, 475 d-e. 477-4S0. 479 a-b.




    physical implications of this passage ” its practical

    significance for the higher education and the main argument of the Republic is that stated here. The sixth book continues this topic with an enum-

    eration of the qualities of the perfect student, the

    natural endowments that are the prerequisites of the higher education (4-85 ff.) and the reasons why so few (496 a) of those thus fortunately endowed are saved (-tQ* a) for philosophy from the corrupting influences of the crowd and the crowd-compelling sophists.”

    In an ideal state these sports of nature (as Huxley styles them) will be systematically selected (499 b ff.), tested through all the stages of ordinary education

    and finally conducted by the longer way (504 b with 435 d) of the higher education in the abstract sciences

    and mathematics and dialectics to the apprehension of the idea of good, which will be their guide in the con- duct of the state. This simple thought is expressed in

    a series of symbols—the sun (506 e ff.), the divided line (509 d), the cave (514 ff.)—which has obscured its plain meaning for the majority of readers.” For the purposes of the Republic and apart from disputable metaphysical implications it means simply that ethics and politics ought to be something more than mere empiricism. Their principles and practice must be consistently related to a ‘^learly conceived final

    standard and ideal of human welfare and good. To conceive such a standard and apply it systematically

    » Cf. The Unity of Plato’s Thought, pp. 55-56. ” Cf. 490 E, 492 ff. ‘ Cf. my paper on ” The Idea of Good,” The Unity

    of Plato’s Thovffht, pp. 16 ff. and 74, and my article ‘* Summum Bonum ” in Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics,




    to the complications of institutions, law, and educa- tion is possible only for first-class minds who have undergone a severe discipline in abstract thought,

    supplemented by a long experience in affairs (-tS-i a,

    539 e). But it is even more impossible that the multitude should be critics than that they should be philosophers (49^ a). And so this which is Plato’s plain meaning has been lost in the literature of mystic and fanciful interpretation of the imagery

    in which he clothes it. From these heights the seventh book descends to

    a sober account of the higher education in the

    mathematical sciences and dialectic (521 c ff.). The passage is an interesting document for Plato’s con- ception of education and perhaps for the practice in

    his Academy. It also is the chief text for the con- troverted question of Plato’s attitude towards science

    and the place of Platonism in the history of science,

    but it need not further detain us here.” This book, in a sense, completes the description of the ideal


    The eighth book, one of the most brilliant pieces of writing in Plato, is a rapid survey of the diver-

    gence, the progressive degeneracy from the ideal state in the four types to which Plato thinks the

    tiresome infinity of the forms of government that minute research enunr ‘grates among Greeks and barbarians may be conveniently reduced (54’+ c-d). These are the timocracy, whose principle is honour

    (545 c ff.), the oUgarchy, which regards wealth

    (550 c ff., 551c), the democracy, whose slogan is

    • Cf. my paper, ” Platonism and the History of Science,” American Philosophical Society’s Proceedings, vol. Ixvi., 1927, pp. 171 ff.




    liberty, or ” doing as one likes ” (557 B-E),the tyranny, enslaved to appetite. In this review history, satire, political philosophy, and the special literary motives of the Republic are blended in a mixture hopelessly disconcerting to all literal-minded critics from Aristotle down.

    In the first two types Plato is evidently thinking of the better (544 c) and the worse aspects (548 a) of Sparta. In his portrayal of the democratic state he lets himself go in satire of fourth-century Athens (557 B ff.), intoxicated with too heady draughts of liberty (562 d) and dying of the triumph of the liberal party. His picture of the tyrant is in part a powerful restatement of Greek commonplace (5G5 a-576) and in part a preparation for the return to the main argument of the Republic (577 ff.) by direct applica- tion of the analogy between the individual and the state with which he began.

    In the ninth book all the lines converge on the original problem. After adding the final touches to the picture of the terrors and inner discords (576-580) of the tyrant’s soul, Plato finally decides the issue

    between the just and the unjust life by three argu- ments. The just life is proved the happier (1) by the analogy with the contrasted happiness of the royal (ideal) and the unhappiness of the tyrannized state (577 c ff.), (2) by reason of an argument which Plato never repeats but which John Stuart Mill seriously accepts (582-583) : The man who lives mainly for the higher spiritual satisfactions has necessarily had experience of the pleasures of sense and ambition also. He only can compare and judge. The devotees of sense and ambition know little or nothing of the higher happiness of the intellect and the soul.




    (S) The third and perhaps the most weighty proof is the principle on which the Platonic philosophy or

    science of ethics rests, the fact that the pleasures of

    sense are essentially negative, not to say worthless,

    because thev are preconditioned by equivalent wants which are pains.” This principle is clearly suggested

    in the Gorgias, Meno, Phaedrns, and Phaedo, and is elaborately explained in the psychology of the

    Philehus. It is in fact the basis of the Platonic ethics,

    which the majority of critics persist in deducing from their notion of Plato’s metaphysics. These three arguments, however, are not the last word. For final

    conviction Plato falls back on the old analogy of health and disease, with which the fourth book provisionally concluded the argument, and which as we there saw is all that the scientific ethics of Leslie Stephen can urge in the last resort.* The immoral soul is diseased and cannot enjoy true happiness. This thought is expressed in the image of the many-headed beast (588 c ff.) and confirmed in a final passage of moral eloquence which forms a climax and the apparent conclusion of the whole


    The tenth book may be regarded either as an appendix and after-piece or as the second and higher climax prepared bv an intervening level tract separat- ing it from the eloquent conclusion of the ninth book. The discussion in the first half of the book of the deeper psychological justification of the banishment of imitative poets is interesting in itself. It is

    something that Plato had to say and that could be

    » C/. 583 B ff. and Unity of Plato’s Thought, pp. 23 f. and 26 f., and ‘* The Idea of Good in Plato’s Republic,” pp. 192 ff.

    * Cf. supra, p. xvi, note a.




    said here with the least interruption of the general

    design. But its chief service is that it rests the emotions between two culminating points and so allows each its full force. Whether by accident or design, this method of composition is found in the Iliad, where the games of the twenty-third book relieve the emotional tension of the death of Hector

    in the twenty-second and prepare us for the final climax of the ransom of his body and his burial in the twenty-fourth. It is also found in the oration

    On the Crofim, which has two almost equally eloquent perorations separated by a tame level tract. In Plato’s case there is no improbability in the assump-

    tion of conscious design. The intrinsic preferability of justice has been proved and eloquently summed up. The impression of that moral eloquence would have been weakened if Plato had immediately pro- ceeded to the myth that sets forth the rewards that await the just man in the life to come. And the mvth itself is much more effective after an interval of sober argument and discussion. Then that natural human desire for variation and relief of monotony for which the modulations of Plato’s art everywhere

    provide makes us welcome the tale of Er the son of Arminius (614 b), the ” angel ” from over there

    (614 d). And we listen entranced to the myth that was saved and will save us if we believe it—believe that the soul is immortal, capable of infinite issues

    of good and evil, of weal or woe. So shall we hold ever to the upward way and follow righteousness and sobriety with clear-eyed reason that we may be dear to ourselves and to God, both in the time of

    our sojourn and trial here below and also when, like

    victors in the games, we receive the final crown and




    prize, that thus both here and in aU the millennial pilgrim’s progress of the soul of which we fable we shall fare well (621 c-d).

    This smnmary presents only the bare frame- work of the ideas of the Republic. But we may fittingly add here a partial list of the many brilhant passages of description, character – painting, satire, imagery, and moral eloquence dispersed through the work.

    They include the dramatic introduction (327-331) with the picture of the old age of the just man, prefiguring the conclusion of the whole work ; the angry intervention of Thrasymachus (336 b ff.) ; the altercation between Thras\-machus and Cleitophon (340) ; Thrasymachus perspiring under Socrates’ questions because it was a hot dav (350 d) ; the magnificent restatement of the case for injustice by Glaucon and Adeimantus (357-367) ; the Words- worthian idea of the influence of a beautiful environ- ment on the young soul (4-01) ; the satiric description of the valetudinarian and malade imaginaire (406- 407) ; the eloquent forecast of the fate of a society in which the guardians exploit their charges and the watchdogs become grey wolves (416-417) ; the satire on the lazy workman’s or sociahst paradise (420 d-e) ; the completion of the dream and the first of three noble statements of what Emerson calls the sove- reignty of ethics, the moral ideal, the anticipated Stoic principle that nothing really matters but the good vriW (443-444 ; cf. 591 E, 618 c) ; the soul that contemplates all time and all existence (486 a) ; the allegory of the disorderly ship and the riotous crew (488-489) ; the power of popular assembUes to




    corrupt the youthful soul and all souls that have not

    a footing somewhere in eternity (492) ; the great beast that symbolizes the public (493 a-b)—not to be confused, as often happens, with the composite

    beast that is an allegory of the mixed nature of man ; the little bald tinker who marries his master’s daughter, an allegory of the unworthy wooers of

    divine philosophy (495 e) ; the true philosophers

    whose contemplation of the heavens and of eternal

    things leaves them no leisure for petty bickerings and jealousies (500 c-d) ; the sun as symbol of the

    idea of good (507-509) ; the divided line illustrating

    the faculties of mind and the distinction between the sciences and pure philosophy or dialectics (510-

    511) ; the prisoners in the fire-lit cave, an allegory

    of the unphilosophic, unreleased mind (514-518) ; the entire eighth book, which Macaulay so greatly admired ; and especially its satire on democracy

    doing as it likes, the inspiration of Matthew Arnold (562-563) ; Plato’s evening prayer, as it has been

    called, anticipating all that is true and significant in the Freudian psychology (571); the description of

    the tortured tyrant’s soul, applied by Tacitus to the Roman emperors (578-579) ; the comparison of the shadows we are and the shadows we pursue with the Greeks and Trojans who fought for a phantom Helen (586 B-c) ; the likening of the human soul to a many-headed beast (588 c) ; the city of which the pattern is laid up in heaven (592 a-b) ; the spell of Homer (607 c-d) ; the crowning myth of immortality (614-621).

    The Republic is the central and most comprehensive work of Plato’s maturity. It may have been com-




    posed between the years 380 and 370 b.c. in the fifth or sixth decade of Plato’s life.” The tradition that the earlier books were published

    earlier can neither be proved nor disproved.** The invention of printing has given to the idea of

    ” publication ” a precision of meaning which it could not bear in the Athens of the fourth century b.c. Long before its formal completion the plan and the main ideas of Plato’s masterpiece were doubtless familiar, not only to the students of the Academy but to the rival school of Isocrates and the literary gossips of Athens.

    Unlike the presumably earlier Charmides, Laches, Lysis, Euthyphro, Meno, Protagoras, Gorgias, Euthy- demus, the Republic is a positive, not to say a dog- matic, exposition of Plato’s thought, and not, except in the introductory first book, an idealizing dra-

    • Cf. Unity of Plato’s Thought, p. 78, n. 606 ; Zeller, Plato*, p. 551, discusses the evidence and anticipates without accepting Taylor’s argument {Plato, p. 20) that the quotation of the sentence about philosophers being kings {Rep. 473 c-D, 499 b c) by the author of the seventh Epistle proves that the Republic was already written in the year 388/7.

    * Cf. Aulus Gellius, Nodes Atticae, xiv. 3. 3 and other passages cited by Henri Alline, Histoire dii texte de Platon, p. 14, and Hirmer, ” Entstehung und Komp. d. Plat. Rep.,” Jahrbiicher fiir Phil., Suppl., N.F., vol. xxiii. p. 654


    Wilamowitz, i. pp. 209 ff. on the ” Thrasymachus ” ; Hans Raeder, Platons philosophische Entwicklung, pp. 187 ff.


    Ueberweg-Praechter {Altertum), p. 217. Cf. Ivo Bruns, Das literarische Portrdt der Griechen, etc., p. 322 : ” Vor allem aber bestimmt mich der Gesammtscharakter des ersten Buches, welches zu keinem anderen Zwecke ge- schrieben sein kann, als demjenigen, den es in dem jetzigen Zusammenhange erfiillt, namlich, als Einleitung in ein grosseres Ganzes zu dienen. Es kann nie dazu bestimmt gewesen sein, eine Sonderexistenz zu fuhren, wie etwa der (Jharmidea,”




    matization of Socrates’ talks with Athenian youths

    and sophists. Aristotle cites the Republic as the Politeia,’^ and

    this was the name given to it by Plato. In 527 c it is playfully called the Kallipolis. The secondary title y] Trept ^iKaiov is not found in the best manu- scripts, and, as the peculiar use of t] indicates, was probably added later.

    But, as already said, we cannot infer from this that the ethical interest is subordinated to the political.”

    The two are inseparable. The distinction between ethics and politics tends to vanish in early as in recent

    philosophy. Even Aristotle, who first perhaps wrote separate treatises on ethics and politics, combines

    them as 7) Trept to. dvdpwTTLva </)iAoa”o</)ta. He speaks of ethics as a kind of politics. And though he regards the family and the individual as historically preceding

    the state, in the order of nature and the idea the state

    is prior. The modern sociologist who insists that the psychological andmoral life ofthe individual apart from

    the social organism is an unreal abstraction is merely

    returning to the standpoint of the Greek who could not conceive man as a moral being outside of the polis.’^ In the consciously figurative language of Plato,<* the

    I idea of justice is reflected both in the individual and

    1! the state, the latter merely exhibits it on a larger

    r scale. Or, to put it more simply, the true and only

    aim of the political art is to make the citizens happier by making them better.* And though good men

    ” Politics, 1264, b 24. The plural also occurs, ibid. 1293 b 1.

    * Cf. supra, p. xii, note c. ‘ Cf. supra, p. xii, ^ 368 D-369 A. It is uncritical to press the metaphysical

    suggestions of this passage. « Euthydemus 291 c ff., Gorgias 621 d, Euthyphro 2 d.




    arise sporadically,” and are preserved by the grace of God in corrupt states,* the only hope for mankind is in a state governed by philosophical wisdom (473 d), and the ideal man can attain to his full stature and live a complete life only in the ideal city/ The larger part of the Republic is in fact occupied

    with the ideal state, with problems of education and social control, but, as already said, we are repeatedly reminded (supra, p. xii) that all these discussions are in Plato’s intention subordinated to the main ethical proof that the just life is happier than the unjust. Ethics takes precedence in that the final appeal is to the individual will and the individual thirst for happi- ness. Plato is to that extent an indi%idualist and a utilitarian. Politics is primary in so far as man’s moral life cannot exist outside of the state.

    There are hints of the notion of an ideal state before Plato.”* And the literary motif of Utopia has a long history.* But it was the success of the Republic and Larvs that made the portrayal of the best state the chief problem, not to say the sole theme, of Greek political science. In Plato this was due to an idealistic temper and a conviction of the irremediable corrup- tion of Greek social and political life. The place

    « Rep. 520 B, Protag. 320 a, Meno 92 d-e, Laws 642 c, 951 B.

    * Meno 99 e. Rep. 493 a. • Cf. Rfp. 497 A ; Spencer, Ethics, vol. i. p. 280. ‘ Cf. Newman, Politics of Aristotle, vol. i. pp. 85 S, ‘ Of the immense literature of the subject it is enough to

    refer to Alfred Dorens’ ” Wiinschraume und Wiinschzeiten ”

    in Vortrage der Bibliothek Warburg, 1924-1925, Berlin, 1927 ; Fr. Kleinwachter. Die Staats Romane, Vienna, 1891 ; Edgar Salin, Platon und die griechische Utopie, Leipzig, 1921. An incomplete list collected from these essays includes more than fifty examples.





    assigned to the ideal state in Aristotle’s Politics is

    sometimes deplored by the admirers of the matter- of-fact and inductive methods of the first and fifth books. And in our own day the value of this motif for the serious science of society is still debated by sociologists.

    The eternal fascination of the literary motif is in- disputable, and we may enjoy without cavil the form which the artist Plato preferred for the exposition of his thought, while careful to distinguish the thoughts

    themselves from their sometimes fantastic embodi- ment. But we must first note one or two of the funda- mental differences between the presuppositions of Plato’s speculations and our own. (1) Plato’s state is a Greek city, not a Persian empire, a European nation, or a conglomerate America. To Greek feeling com- plete and rational life was impossible for the in- habitant of a village or the subject of a satrap. It

    was attainable only through the varied social and political activities of the Greek polis, equipped with agora, gymnasium, assembly, theatre, and temple- crowned acropolis. It resulted from the action and interaction upon themselves and the world of in- telligent and equal freemen conscious of kinship and not too nuinerous for self-knowledge or too few for self-defence. From this point of view Babylon, Alexandria, Rome, London, and New York would not be cities but chaotic aggregations of men. And in the absence of steam, telegraphy, and representative government the empires of Darius, Alexander, and Augustus would not be states but loose associations of cities, tribes, and provinces. Much of Plato’s sociology is therefore inapplicable to modern con- ditions. But though we recognize, we must not





    exaggerate the difference. The Stoic and Christian city of God, the world citizenship into which the

    subjects of Rome were progressively adopted, the mediaeval papacy and empire, the twentieth-century

    democratic nation are the expressions of larger and

    perhaps more generous ideals. But in respect of the achievement of a complete life for all their members,

    they still remain failures or experiments. The city- state, on the other hand, has once and again at Athens

    and Florence so nearly solved its lesser problem as to

    make the ideal city appear not altogether a dream. And, accordingly, modern idealists are returning to the conception of smaller cantonal communities, inter-

    connected, it is true, by all the agencies of modern science and industrialism, but in their social tissue and

    structure not altogether incomparable to the small

    city-state which Plato contemplated as the only

    practical vehicle of the higher life.

    (2) The developments of science and industry have

    made the idea of progress an essential part of every modern Utopia. The subjugation of nature by man predicted in Bacon’s New Atlantis has come more and more to dominate all modern dreams of social reform.

    It is this which is to lay the spectre of Malthusianism.

    It is this which is to give us the four-hour day and \n\\

    furnish the workman’s dwelling with all the labour-

    saving conveniences of electricity, supply his table

    with all the delicacies of all the seasons, entertain his

    cultivated leisure with automatic reproductions of all

    the arts, and place flying machines and automobiles

    at his disposal when he would take the air. This is not the place to estimate the part of illusion

    in these fancies. It is enough to observe that in

    dwelling too complacently upon them modern utop-




    ians are apt to forget the moral and spiritual pre- conditions of any fundamental betterment of human life. Whereas Plato, conceiving the external con- dition of man’s existence to be essentially fixed, has

    more to tell us of the discipline of character and the elevation of intelligence. In Xavier Demaistre’s

    Voyage autour de ma ckambre, Plato, revisiting the glimpses of the moon, is made to say, ” In spite of your glorious gains in physical science, my opinion of human nature is unchanged—but I presume that your progress in psychology, history, and the scientific control of human nature, has by this time made possible that ideal Republic which in the conditions of

    my own age I regarded as an impracticable dream.” Demaistre was sorely embarrassed for a reply. Have we one ready ?

    Living in a milder climate and before the birth of

    the modern industrial proletariat, Plato is less haunted than we by the problem of pauperism.*’ And his austerity of temper would have left him indifferent, if not hostile, to the ideal of universal luxury and ease.

    It was not the life he appointed for his guardians, and

    the demand of the workers for it he has satirized in advance (420 d-e). If we add to the two points here considered some shades of ethical and religious feel- ing, associated with Christianity, we shall have nearly exhausted the list of fundamental differences between Plato’s political and social thought and our own.

    The Republic, if we look beneath the vesture of paradox to the body of its substantive thought, might

    ” Cf.y however, Pohlmann, Oeschichte der sozialen Frage und des Sozialismus in der antiken Welt, who, however, in the opinion ofsome of his critics, exaggerates the industrialism and industrial problems of Athens.




    seem a book of yesterday or to-morrow. The concep- tion of society as an organism, %\-ith the dependence of laws and institutions upon national temperament, and customs, the omnipotence of public opinion, the division of labour and the reasons for it, the necessity of specialization, the formation of a trained standing

    army, the Hmitation of the right of private property,

    the industrial and political equality of women, the reform of the letter of the creeds in order to save the

    spirit, the proscription of unwholesome art and litera- ture, the reorganization of education, eugenics, the

    kindergarten method, the distinction between higher and secondary education, the endowment of research, the application of the higher mathematics to astron- omy and physics—all this and much more may be read in it by him who runs. A critical interpretation would first remove some

    obstacles to a true appreciation interposed by cap- tious cavils or over-ingenious scholarship, and then proceed to study Plato’s ideas (1) as embedded in the artistic structure of the Republic, (2) as the outgrowth of Plato’s thought and experience as a whole, and of the suggestions that came to him from his predeces- sors and contemporaries. The Republic is, in Huxley’s words, a ” noble, philosophical romance “—it is a dis- cussion of ethics, poUtics, sociology, religion and edu- cation cast in the form of a Utopia or an Emile. The criticism of Plato’s serious meanings is one thing. The observation of the wav in which thev are coloured and heightened by the exigencies of this special literary form is another. Plato himself has told us that the Republic is a fairy-tale or fable about justice. And he has warned us that ever}’ such finished composition must contain a large measure of what in contrast to




    the severity of pure dialectic he calls jest or play.” Within the work itself the artistic illusion had to be preserved. But even there Plato makes it plain that his chief purpose is to embody certain ideas in an ideal, not to formulate a working constitution or body of legislation for an actual state. An ideal retains its value even though it may never be precisely realized in experience. It is a pattern laid up in heaven for those who can see and understand. Plato will not even assert that the education which he prescribes is the best. He is certain only that the best education, whatever it may be, is a pre-condition of the ideal state (416 B-c). Somewhere in the infinite past or future—it may be in the barbarian world beyond our ken—the true city may be visioned whenever and wherever political power and philosophic wisdom are wedded and not as now divorced. He affirms no more.

    It is a waste of ink to refute the paradoxes or harp upon the omissions of the Republic in disregard of these considerations. The paradoxes are softened and explained, the omissions supplied in the Politicus and the Laws, which express fundamentally identical ethical and political convictions from a slightly different point of view and a perhaps somewhat sobered mood.” To assume that differences which are easily explained by the moulding of the ideas in their literary framework are caused by revolutions in Plato’s beliefs is to violate all canons of sound criti- cism and all the established presumptions of the unity of Plato’s thought.

    The right way to read the Republic is fairly indicated

    ” Phaedr. 278 e. * Cf. my paper, ” Plato’s Laics and the Unity of Plato’s

    Thought,” Class. Phil. vol. ix., 1914, pp. 345-369.




    by casual utterances of such critics as Renan, Pater, Emerson, and Emile Faguet. The captious attitude of mind is illustrated by the set criticism of Aristotle, the Christian Fathers, Zeller, De Quincey, Landor, Spencer, and too large a proportion of professional philologists and commentators. ” As the poet too,” says Emerson, ” he (Plato) is only contemplative. He did not, like Pythagoras, break himself with an insti- tution. All his painting in the Republic must be esteemed mythical with the intent to bring out, sometimes in violent colours, his thought.”

    This disposes at once of all criticism, hostile or friendly, aesthetic or philological, that scrutinizes the

    Republic as if it were a bill at its second reading in Parliament, or a draft of a constitution presented to

    an American state convention. The greater the in- genuity and industry applied to such interpretations the further we are led astray. Even in the Lans Plato warns us that we are not yet, but are only becoming, legislators.

    In the Republic it suits Plato’s design to build up the state from indi\idual units and their economic needs. But his critics, from Aristotle to Sir Henry Maine, derive their conception of the patriarchal theory of

    society from his exposition of it in the Lans. He embodies his criticism of existing Greek institu-

    tions in a scheme for the training of his soldiers, supple- mented by the higher education of the guardians. But we cannot infer, as hasty critics have done, from 421 A that he would not educate the masses at all. The banishment of Homer is a vivid expression of Plato’s demand that theology be purified and art moralized. But Milton wisely declined to treat it as a serious argument against the liberty of unlicensed




    printing in England. And nothing can be more pre- posterous than the statement still current in books of supposed authority that the severity of dialectics had suppressed in Plato the capacity for emotion and the appreciation of beauty. The abolition of private property among the ruling classes is partly the ex- pression of a religious, a Pythagorean, not to say a Christian, ideal, which Plato reluctantly renounces in the Laws.’^ But it is mainly a desperate attempt to square the circle of politics and justify the rule of the intelligent few by an enforced disinterestedness and the annihilation of all possible ” sinister interests.” ^

    All criticism that ignores this vital point is worthless.”

    The same may be said of the community of wives, which is further, as Schopenhauer remarks, merely a drastic expression of the thought that the breeding of men ought to be as carefully managed as that of animals. It is abandoned in the Laws. The detailed refutations of Aristotle are beside the mark, and the denunciations of the Christian Fathers and De Quincey and Landor are sufficiently met by Lucian’s remark that those who find in the Republic an apology for licentiousness little apprehend in what sense the divine philosopher meant his doctrine of communistic marriage.

    It is the height of naivete to demonstrate by the statistics of a Parisian creche that the children of the

    guardians would die in infancy, or to inquire too curiously into the risks they would run in accompany- ing their parents on horseback to war (A’&Q f, 467 f).

    « Rep. 416, 462-463, 465 b, Timaeus 18 b, Laws 739 b-d. * Cf. supra, p. XV and infra, p. xlii. ‘ Even Newman, for example, seems to accept the Aristo-

    telian objection that such a military caste will tyrannize. See Newman’s Politics of Aristotle, vol. i. pp. 326 f.




    The comparison of the individual to the state is a suggestive analogy for sociology and at the same time a literary motif that is vi’orth precisely what the

    writer’s tact and skill can make of it. Plato’s use of the idea is most effective. By subtle artifices of style the cumulative effect of which can be felt only in the

    original, the reader is brought to conceive of the social

    organism as one monster man or leviathan, whose sensuous appetites are the unruly mechanic mob,

    whose disciplined emotions are the trained force that

    checks rebelhon within and guards against invasion

    from without, and whose reason is the philosophic

    statesmanship that directs each and all for the good

    of the whole. And conversely the individual man is pictured as a biological colony ofpassions and appetites

    which ” swarm like worms ^nthin our living clay “—


    curious compound of beast and man which can attain real unity and personality only by the conscious domination of the monarchical reason. The origina- tion of this idea apparently belongs to Plato. But he

    can hardly be held responsible for the abuse of it by modern sociologists, or for Herbert Spencer’s pon- derous demonstration that with the aid of Huxley

    and Carpenter he can discover analogies between the

    body politic and the physiological body in comparison

    with which those of Plato are mere child’s-play. It is unnecessary to multiply illustrations of such

    matter-of-fact and misconceived criticism. Enough has been said perhaps to prepare the way for the broad literary common-sense appreciation of the

    Republic, which an intelligent reader, even of a trans-

    lation, will arrive at for himself if he reads without

    prejudice and without checking at every Uttle

    apparent oddity in the reasoning or the expression.




    The proper historical background for such a broad understanding of Plato’s political and social philosophy is Thucydides’ account of the thirty years’ Pelo- ponnesian war, which Hobbes translated in order to exhibit to England and Europe the evils of un- bridled democracy. Thucydides’ history is the ultimate source of all the hard-headed cynical politi- cal philosophy of Realpolitik and the Superman, from Machiavelli, Guicciardini, and Hobbes to Nietzsche and Bernardi. And in recent years the speeches which he attributes to the Athenian ambassadors proposing to violate the neutrality of Melos have been repeatedly rediscovered and quoted. They are merely the most drastic expression of a philosophy of life and politics which pervades the entire history and which I studied many years ago in a paper on the ” Implicit Ethics and Psychology of Thucy- dides,” ” some of the ideas of which are reproduced apparently by accident in Mr. Cornford’s Thucydides Mythistoricus. The moral disintegration of a pro- longed world war is the predestined medium for the culture of this poisonous germ. And the Pelo- ponnesian war was a world war for the smaller international system of the Greek states. It was for Greece that suicide which our civil war may prove to have been for the old American New England and Virginia, and which we pray the World War may not prove to have been for Europe. The analogy, which we need not verify in detail, is startling, though the scale in Greece was infinitely smaller. In both cases we see an inner ring or focus of intense higher civilization encompassed by a vast

    ” Transactions of Amer. Philol. Assoc, vol. xxiv. pp. 66 fF. The Dial, Chicago, 1907, xliii. p. 202.




    outer semi-civib’zed or barbarian world of coloniza- tion, places in the sun, trade monopolies, and spheres of influence. In both the inner ring is subdivided into jealous states whose unstable equihbrium depends on the maintenance of the balance of power between two great systems, one commercial, demo- cratic, and naval, the other authoritative, dis- ciplined, militar}-. The speeches of Pericles and King Archidamus in Thucydides analyse, contrast, and develop the conflicting ideals and weigh sea power against land power, as the speeches of rival prime ministers have done in our day. I merely suggest the parallel. What coacerns us here is that to understand Plato we must compare, I do not say identify, him with Renan vTiting about la reforme intellectuelk et morale of France after the annee terrible, or, absit omen, an EngUsh philosopher of 1950 speculating on the decline and fall of the British Empire, or an American philosopher of 1980 meditating on the failure of American democracy. The background of the comparatively optimistic Socrates was the triumphant progressive imperialistic democracy of the age of Pericles, and the choric odes of the poets and prophets of the imaginative reason, Aeschylus and Sophocles. The background of Plato, the experience that ground to devihsh colours all his dreams and permanently darkened his vision of life, was the world war that made ship^^Teck of the Periclean ideal and lowered the level of Hellenic civilization in preparation for its final overthrow. The philosophy which he strove to overcome in himself and others was the philosophy of the political speeches in Thucydides and of those bitter disillusionized later plays of Euripides, His




    middle age fell and his Republic was conceived in an Athens stagnating under the hateful oppression of the Sp&rtan Junker dominating Greece in alliance with the unspeakable Persian. The environment of his old age and its masterpiece, the Laws, was the soft, relaxed, sensuous, cynical, pococurante,

    ^n de siecle Athens of the New Comedy, drifting helplessly to the catastrophe of Chaeronea—the Athens which Isocrates expected to save by treaties of peace with all mankind and shutting up the wine- shops, and which Demosthenes vainly admonished to build up its fleet and drill its armies against the Macedonian peril. When Plato is characterized as an unpatriotic, undemocratic, conservative reaction- ary, false to the splendid Periclean tradition, we must remember that Pericles’ funeral oration had become for all but the fourth of July orators of Plato’s generation as intolerable and ironic a mockery as Lowell’s Commemoration Ode and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address will seem to America if democracy fails to unify us into a real people. His philosophy was ” reactionary ” in the sense that it was his own inevitable psychological and moral reaction against the sophistical ethics ” of the Superman on one side and on the other against the cult of inefficiency and indiscipline which he had come to regard as wholly inseparable from unlimited democracy. This reactionary aspect of Plato’s political and social philosophy has been vividly depicted, though perhaps with some strained allusions to the democracy of contemporary France, in Faguet’s five chapters on the hatreds of Plato.

    ” Cf. my paper on the ” Interpretation of the Timaeus” A.J.P. vol. ix. pp. 395 ff.




    The equivocal labels radical and conservative mean little in their application to minds of the calibre of a Plato or even of a Burke. What really matters is the kind of conservative, the kind of radical that

    you are. As Mill says, there is a distinction ignored in all political classification, and more important than any political classification, the difference between superior and inferior minds. As a thinker for all time, Plato in logical grasp

    and coherency of consecutive and subtle thought, stands apart from and above a Renan, a Burke, an Arnold, or a Ruskin. But as a man, his mood, in- e\itably determined by his historical environment, was that of Matthew Arnold in the ‘sixties, en- deavouring to prick with satire the hide of the

    British Philistine, or of Ruskin in the ‘seventies embittered by the horrors of the Franco-Prussian War and seeking consolation in the political economy of the future. We may denominate him a conserv^a- tive and a reactionary, in view of this personal mood and temper, and his despair of the democracy of

    fin de Steele Athens. But his Utopian Republic advocated not only higher education and votes, but offices for women, and a eugenic legislation that would stagger Oklahoma. And so if you turn to Professor Murray’s delightful Euripides and his Age, you \\ill read that Euripides is the child of a strong and splendid tradition and is, together with Plato, the first of all rebels against it. Suppose Professor Murray had ^vTitten, Bernard Shaw is the child of a strong and splendid tradition and, together with Matthew Arnold, the first of all rebels against it. I think we should demur, and feel that something was wrong. We should decline to bracket Arnold

    VOL. 1 d xxxix




    and Shaw as rebels to English tradition, despite the fact that both endeavoured to stir up the British Philistine with satire and wit. As a matter of fact, Plato detested Euripides and all his works, and generally alludes to him with Aristophanic irony.

    If we pass by the terrible arraignment in the Gorgias of the democracy that was guilty of the judicial murder of Socrates, the pohtical philosophy of the minor dialogues is mainly a Socratic canvassing of definitions, and an apparently vain but illuminating quest for the supreme art of Hfe, the art that will make us happy, the political or royal art, which guides and controls all else, including music, Hterature, and edu- cation. This conception is represented in the Republic by the poetic allegory of the Idea of Good and the description of the higher education of the true states- man which alone lends it real content. The matter is quite simple, and has been confused . only by the refusal to accept Plato’s own plain statements about it and the persistent tendency to translate Plato’s good poetry into bad metaphysics.” The metaphysics of the Idea of Good will be treated

    in the introduction to the second volume. Here it is enough to quote Mr. Chesterton, who, whether by accident or design, in a lively passage of his Heretics, expresses the essential meaning of the doctrine in the political, ethical, and educational philosophy of the Republic quite sufficiently for practical purposes.

    Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good. We are fond of talking about ‘ hberty ‘; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing

    ” Cf. my article ” Summum Bonum ” in Hastings’ Encyclo- pedia of Religion and Ethics. xl




    what is good. We are fond of talking about * pro- gress ‘ ; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about ‘ education ‘ ; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. The modern man says, ‘ Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty.’ That is, logically rendered, ‘ Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it.’ He says, ‘ Away with your old moral formulae ; I am for progress.’ This, logically stated, means, ‘ Let us not settle what is good ; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it.’ He says, ‘ Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education.’ This, clearly expressed, means, ‘ We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children.’ ” So far Mr. Chesterton.

    Plato’s Idea of Good, then, means that the educa- tion of his philosophic statesmen must lift them to a region of thought which transcends the intellectual

    confusion in which these dodges and evasions alike of the ward boss and the gushing settlement-worker dwell. He does not tell us in a quotable formula what the good is, because it remains an inexhaust- ible ideal. But he portrays with entire lucidity his own imaginative conception of Greek social good in his Republic and Laivs. The doctrine of the Idea of Good is simply the

    postulate that social well-being must be organized not by rule-of-thumb, hand-to-mouth opportunist politi- cians, but by highly trained statesmen systematically keeping in view large and consciously apprehended ends. The only way to compass this, Plato affirms, is first to prepare and test your rulers by the severest education physical and mental, theoretical and





    practical that the world has yet seen, and secondly to insure their freedom from what Bentham calls ” sinister interests ” by taking away from them their safe-deposit vaults and their investments in corporation stock and requiring them to live on a moderate salary and a reasonable pension.

    This, or so much of it as may be translated into modern terms, is the essence of Plato’s social and political philosophy.

    But Plato’s Republic, whatever its contributions to political theory or its suggestiveness to the practical

    politician or social reformer, is not a treatise on

    political science or a text-book of civics. It is the

    City of God in which Plato’s soul sought refuge from the abasement of Athenian politics which he felt himself impotent to reform. The philosopher, he says (496 d) with unmistakable reference to Socrates

    (^Apology 31 e) and apology for himself, knows that no politician is honest nor is there any champion ofjustice at whose side he may fight and be saved. He resem- bles a man fallen among wild beasts. He is unwilling to share and impotent singly to oppose their rapine. He is like one who in a driving storm of dust and sleet stands aside under shelter of a wall and seeing others filled full with all iniquity, must be content to live his own life, keep his soul unspotted from the world, and depart at last with peace and good will andgracious hopes. This is something. But how much more could he accomplish for himself and others, Plato wistfully

    adds, in a society in harmony with his true nature. And so he plays (it is his own word) with the construc- tion of such a state. But when the dream is finished, his epilogue is : We have built a city in words, since it exists nowhere on earth, though there may be a





    pattern of it laid up in heaven. But whether it exists or not, the true philosopher will concern himself with

    the politics of this city only, of this city only will he constitute himself a citizen. As Emerson puts it, he was born to other politics. The witty and cynical Lucian mocks at this city in the clouds where Socrates lives all alone by himself, governed by his own laws. And I have no time to answer him now, even by enum- eration of the great spirits who have taken refuge in the Platonic City of God. It was there that St. Augustine found consolation and hope in the crash and downfall of the Roman Empire. And fifteen hundred years later an unwonted glow suffuses the arid style of Kant when he speaks of the man who is conscious of an inward call to constitute himself by his conduct in this world the citizen of a better. But to those political and social philosophers who

    disdain a fugitive and cloistered virtue and ask for some more helpful practical lesson than this, Plato’s Republic offers two main suggestions. The first is the way of St. Francis : the acceptance

    of the simple life, which by a startling coincidence Glaucon, in reply to Socrates, and the Pope, in remon- strance with St. Francis, designate as a city of pigs.**

    But if we insist on a sophisticated civilization, a fevered city as Plato styles it, we shall find no remedy for the ills to which human nature is heir so long as our guiding principle is the equality of unequals (558 c) and the liberty of every one to do as he pleases. The only way of political and social salvation for such a state is self-sacrificing discipline, specialized efficiency, and government administered by men whom we have

    ” Matthew Paris apud Sabatier, Life of St. Francis, p. 97 ” vade frater et quaere porous («jc),” etc.





    educated for the function and whom we compel to be unselfish.

    We shall not wrong them by this suppression of their lower selves. For they will find in it their highest happiness and so apprehend the full meaning of old Hesiod’s saying that the half is more than the whole.” All this, though often confounded with the gospel of the strong man, is in Plato’s intentions its diametrical opposite. Plato’s strong man is not, and is not permitted to be, strong for himself. And find- ing his own happiness in duty fulfilled he will procure through just and wise government as much happiness as government and education can bestow upon men. Plato never loses faith in the leadership of the right leaders nor in the government ofscholars and idealists, provided always that the scholarship is really the highest and severest that the age can furnish, the idealism tempered by long apprenticeship to practical administration, and the mortal nature which cannot endure the temptations of irresponsible power held in check by self-denying ordinances of enforced disinterestedness.

    Such scholars in politics and such idealists, and they only, can do for us what the practical politician and the opportunist who never even in dreams have seen the things that are more excellent, can never achieve. Think you (Rep. 500) that such a man, if called to the conduct of human affairs and given the opportunity not merely to mould his own soul but to realize and embody his vision in the institutions and characters of men, will be a contemptible artizan of sobriety and righteousness and all social and human virtue ? Will he not like an artist glance frequently back and forth

    « Cf. Rep. 419, 420 b, c, 466 b-c.





    from his model, the city in the clouds, home of the absolute good, the true and the beautiful, to the mortal copy which he fashions so far as may be in its image ? And so mixing and mingling the pigments on his palette he \\i\\ reproduce the true measure and hkeness of man which even old Homer hints is or ought to be the likeness of God.

    The Text

    Convention requires that something should be said about the text. How little need be said appears from the fact that the translation was originally made from two or three texts taken at random. The text of this edition was for convenience set up from the Teubner text, and the adjustments in either case have presented no difficulty. I have tried to indicate all really significant divergences and my reasons. That is all that the student of Plato’s philosophy or literary art needs.

    The tradition of the text ofthe Republicis excellent.” The chief manuscripts have been repeatedly collated, and the Republic has been printed in many critical editions that record variations significant and in- significant. The text criticism of Plato to-day is a game that is played for its own sake, and not for any important results for the text itself or the interpretation. The validity of a new text to-day depends far more on acquaintance with Platonic Greek and Platonic thought than on any rigour of the text-critical and palaeographic game. Nothing whatever results from the hundred and six pages of

    ” Cf. the work of Alline referred to supra, p. xxv, note b.





    ” Textkritik ” in the Appendix to Professor Wila- mowitz’s Platon. Adam repeatedly changed his mind about the readings of his preliminary text edition when he came to write his commentary, and with a candour rare in the irritabile genus of text

    critics withdrew an emendation which I showed to be superfluous by a reference to the Sophist. The Jowett and Campbell edition devotes about

    a hundred pages of costly print to what are for the most part unessential and uncertain variations. As I said in reviewing it (A.J.P. xvi. pp. 229 ff-) • ” There is

    something disheartening in the exiguity of the out-

    come of all this toil, and one is tempted to repeat Professor Jowett’s heretical dictum, that ‘ such

    inquiries have certainly been carried far enough and

    need no longer detain us from more important subjects.’ There is really not much to be done with the text of Plato. The game must be played strictly according to the rules, but when it is played out we feel that it was hardly worth the midnight oil. The text of this edition must have cost Professor Campbell

    a considerable portion of the leisure hours of two or

    three years. Yet, as he himself says at the close of

    his interesting, if discursive, essay : ‘ Were the corruptions and interpolations of the text of the

    Republic as numerous as recent scholars have imagined,

    the difference of meaning involved would be still

    infinitesimal. Some feature of an image might be obscured, or some idiomatic phrase enfeebled, but Plato’s philosophy would remain uninjured.’

    ” Of the twelve passages which Professor Campbell regards as still open to suspicion (vol. ii. p. 115),

    only two affect the sense even slightly. 387 c

    cfiptTTeLv 8r) TTotet ws oierat, for which our editors read





    ws oTov T£ (which they refer to q, and the correction of Par. A by q, not to Par. A, as hitherto), rejecting Hermann’s more vigorous ocr’ erv; and not venturing to insert in the text L. C.’s suggestion, Jjs e’rea.

    In ix. 581 E, rvy? rjSovrj’i ov irdvv TToppw, there is no real difficulty if we accept, with nearly all editors, Graser’s rl olwfiida and place interrogation points after fiavOdvovTa and -oppo). Professor Jowett would retain Trotw/xe^a and take the words t/)s t)8ovrj^ ov Trdi’v TToppd} as ironical ; I do not care to try to convert anyone whose perceptions of Greek style do not tell him that this is impossible. Professor Campbell’s suggestion, -rj<; dX.y]6u-T}s, of which he

    thinks i’]8ov?)^ a substituted gloss, does not aflfect the

    meaning and supplies a plausible remedy for the seemingly objectionable repetition of i)8oini^. But it is, I think, unnecessary. The Platonic philosopher thinks that sensual pleasures are no pleasures. Cf. Philebus 44 C uxTTe Kal airrb tovto avrrj’; to eTraywyov

    yoriTev[xa ov^ rjSovrfv eivai. The difficulties in 388 E, 359 c, 567 E, 590 d, 603 c, 615 c are too trifling for

    further debate. 439 e Trore uKovo-as ti TricrTei’to rorrw is

    certainly awkward. L. C.’s suggestion, ov ttkttci’w TovToj, with changed reference of tovtw, equally so. 533 E o av /JLOVOV dr^Aoi :rpo9 rrjv e^iv cra(f>rjy€ia o Aeyet

    ev xjyvxy is impossible, and the ingenuity is wasted that is spent upon it in the commentary to this result : ‘ An expression which may indicate with a clearness proportioned to the mental condition that

    of which it speaks as existing in the mind.’ All we want is the thought of Charmides 163 d 6>}Aoi’ Se fxovov ecf> 6 Ti ai’ (fi€p7]<i Tovvo/xa on ai’ keyij^, and that is given by the only tolerable text yet proposed, that of Hermann : d\k’ o av /xovov 8i]\ol irpos rqv e^w





    <ra<ji7]veiav a Aeyet iv i^i’XS {apKecrii}, which is ignored by our editors and which is indeed too remote from the Mss. to be susceptible of proof. In 562 b the unwarranted virepTrXovros, which B. J. defends more suo, mav be emended by deleting vTrep or by L. C.’s plausible suggestion, irov ttAovtos. In 568 d L. C.’s suggestion, TrwAoi/jtei’wv, is as easy a way as any of securing the required meaning which grammar forbids us to extract from oLTroSo/xeviov.

    ” Of the 29 passages in which the present text relies on conjectures by various hands, none affects the sense except possibly the obvious Traialv for iraa-iv

    (494 B and 431 c), Schneider’s palmary koi irifxa fiaXuTTa for koI €ti [idXurTa, 554 B, Graser’s ri olo)fj.(6a, 581 D, Vermehren’s -x^aipMv kuI ^v<T^epaiv()}i’, which restores concinnity in 401 e, and L. C.’s 8ia To{! bis, 440 c, for 6ia to, an emendation which was pencilled on the margin of my Teubner text some years ago. The others restore a paragogic 1/ or a dropped dv or an iota subscript, or smooth out an anacoluthon. Professor Campbell himself suggests some fifteen emendations in addition to the one admitted to the text (vol. ii. p. 1 23) ; three or four of these have already been considered. Of the others the most important are the (in the context) cacophonous u^tws, 496 a, for a^iov which is better omitted altogether, with Hermann ; eyyv<s n t€lv(du Twv Tou a-MpuTos fov €ivaL, 518 D, which is clever and would commend itself but for a lingering doubt whether the phrase had not a half-humorous sug- gestion in Plato’s usage ; and 7} ovk (sic q) . . . dkXoLav T€ [Stallb. for roi] </)7yo-ets, 500 A. It is unnecessary to follow Professor Campbell in his recension of the superfluous emendations of Cobet,





    Madvig and others not admitted into the text. The man who prints an emendation that is not required but is merely possible Greek in the context is a thief of our time and should be suppressed by a conspiracy of silence. I could wish, however, that

    our editors had followed Hermann in admitting Nagelsbach’s en dSwafiia, supported by a quotation from lamblichus, for err dSvya/jLia in 532 b-c. ctt’ dSivaixia j3\e-eLi’ ‘ to look powerlessly,’ i.e. ‘ to be without the power to see,’ as our editors construe, after Schneider, makes large demands on our faith in the flexibihty of Greek idiom, and Stallbaum’s ‘ bei dem Unvermogen zu sehen ‘ is not much better. Moreover, the Irt adds a touch that is needed; cf. 516 a -pCJrov fxlv, etc. For the rest, all this matter, with much besides, is conscientiously repeated in the commentary, though exhaustiveness is after all not attained, and many useful readings recorded in Stallbaum or Hermann are ignored. I have noted the following points, which might (^\”ithout much profit) be indefinitely added to. In 332 E no notice is taken of the plausible -poivoXejitlv approved by Ast and Stephanus, In 365 b kav p-q kuI Sokm, which has sufficient ms. authority, is better than iav Kal firj 8oKh). The thought is : ‘ I shall profit nothing from being just (even) if I seem the opposite.’ What our editors mean by saying that e’av Kal fir} 8oKU) is more idiomatic I cannot guess. In 365 d, Kttt (oL’8′ Jowett and Campbell) I’jfuv ixeXqrtov row kavddveiv, I think the consensus of the mss. could be defended, despite the necessity for a negative that nearly all editors have felt here. The argument of the entire passage would run : There exist (1) political clubs cTTi TO Aav^aveiv, and (2) teachers of persuasion





    who will enable us to evade punishment if detected. But, you will say, we cannot (1) elude or (2) constrain the gods. The answer is (transferring the question to the higher sphere), as for gods, perhaps (1) they do not exist or are careless of mankind, or (2) can be persuaded or bought off by prayers and cere- monies. Accordingly, we must either (1) try to escape detection, as on the previous supposition, before the gods were introduced into the argument, or (2) invoke priests and hierophants as in the former case teachers of the art of persuasion. The logic of Kal rjfiLv jXiXrjTkov to{5 Aav^avfii’ is loose, but it is quite as good as that of et fi-q elcriv as an answer to Beovs ovT€ Aai’^avftv Svvarov, and it is not absolutely neces- sary to read ov8\ ovkow ri or d/iekrjTeov. The koi of Kal rjfi.ii’ indicates an illogical but perfectly natural antithesis between ‘ us ‘ on the present supposition and the members of the political clubs above. In 378 D our editors follow Baiter in punctuating after ypaiKTi. The antithesis thus secured between TraiSia €v6v^ and 7rpecrf3vT€poi<i ytyi’o/xevots (an yei’o/xei’oi? ?) favours this. The awkwardness of the four times repeated ambiguous Kal, and the difficulty of the dative with AoyoTroteiv and the emphasis thus lost of the triplet Kal yepovcrt Kal ypavcrl Kal —pea-fSvTepots

    yiyofxivoL^ are against it. 397 a, L. G, accepts Madvig’s (Schneider’s ?) /^t/xTjcreTat for St7/y?^creTat, adversante B. J., but Stv/yvycrerai seems to be favoured by the balance of the sentence : Travra re fj.aXXov Str^yvycreTat Kal . , . olijcreTai wcrre Travra eTTi^^cipvycret

    fiLfxilcrdai. 442 C cro<f>ov 8e ye cKfiVoj tw a-p-iKpi^ jjLepei

    Tw 6 ^px^ t’ iv avTW Kal ravra TrapqyyeXXev ^x^^ av KOKet.vo, etc. Our editors seem to feel no difficulty in the tw o, etc., nor do they note the omission of





    Tw by Par, K and Mon. A simple remedy would be to omit the tw before 5 and insert it after Trapn]y- ycAAer, reading rcj €X^”‘- ^^ “^^1 A”^’ ^^ reading oxttc

    ev (for ov) fj.€

    irapafivOei, our editors, here as elsewhere,

    over-estimate the possibihties of Socratic irony.

    500 A. In arguing against the repetition of aAAotav in

    a different sense, 499 k-500 a, our editors should not

    have ignored the reading of M, aAA’ o’lar (recorded, it is true, in the footnotes to the text), which, with

    the pointing and interrogation marks of Hermann, yields a much more \ivacious and idiomatic text than that adopted here. Moreover, aAAa u—oKpive’ia-tiai fits the defiant ovk av SoKel above much better if taken in the sense ‘ contradict us ‘ than in the sense ‘ change their reply.’ In 521 c Hermann’s oicra €-avo8o9 (after lamblichus) is the only readable idio-

    matic text here. Only desperate ingenuity can con- strue the others. In 606 c the text or footnotes

    should indicate Hermann’s 8r] (for Si), which the commentary’ rightly prefers.” These observations are not intended as a renewal

    of Jowett’s attack on text criticism or an illiberal

    disparagement of an indispensable technique. They merely explain why it was not thought necessarv’ to waste the limited space of this edition by reprinting information which would interest a half dozen speciaUsts at the most and which they know where to find in more detail than could possibly be given here.

    The Republic has been endlessly edited, commented, summarized, and paraphrased (cf. stipra, p. vii). The chief editions are enumerated in Ueberweg-Praechter, Die Philosophie des Altertums, 12th ed., Berlin (1926),

    pp. 190 ff. Schneidewin’s edition is curt, critical, and





    sagacious. Stallbaum’s Latin commentary is still useful for idioms and parallel passages. The two most helpful editions are English. The great three- volume work of Jowett and Campbell was critically reviewed by me in A.J.P. vol. xvi. pp. 223 ff., and from another point of view in the New York Nation, vol. Ixi. (1895) pp. 82-84. Adam’s painstaking and faithful commentary does not supersede, but in- dispensably supplements, Jowett and Campbell’s. Apelt’s German translation is, with a few exceptions, substantially correct, and the appended notes supply most of the information which the ordinary reader needs.

    The history of the Platonic text is most amply set forth in the excellent and readable book of AUine (Histoire du texte de Plaion, par Henri AUine, Paris,

    1915). Other general discussions of the text and its history are : H. Usener, Unser Platontext {Kleine Schriften, vol. ii. pp. 104-162) ; M. Schanz, Studien zur Geschichte des platonischen Textes, Wiirzburg, 1874


    Wohlrab, ” Die Platon-Handschriften und ihre gegen- seitigen Beziehungen,” Jahrhucherfiir klassische Philo- logie, Suppl. 15 (1887), pp. 641-728. Cf. further

    Ueberweg-Praechter, vol. i., appendix pp. 67 fF. The manuscripts of Plato are enumerated end described by Jowett and Campbell, vol. ii. pp. 67-131, Essay II. ” On the Text of this Edition of Plato’s Republic ” ; less fully by Adam, who did not live to write a pro- posed introductory volume supplementing his com- mentary (The Republic of Plato, vol. i. pp. xiii-xvi) ; and, sufficiently for the ordinary student, by Maurice i Croiset in the Bude Plato, vol. i. pp. 14-18. I, The best manuscript is thought to be Parisinus

    graecus 1807 (ninth century), generally designated!

    Hi ‘




    have lost my voice.” But as it is, at the very moment when he began to be exasperated by the course of the argument I glanced at him first, so that I became capable of answering him and said ^\ith a slight tremor : ” Thrasyniachus, don’t be harsh ^ with

    us. If I and my friend have made mistakes in the consideration of the question, rest assured that it is

    unwillingly that we err. For you surely must not suppose that while ” if our quest were for gold <* we would never willingly truckle to one another and make concessions in the search and so spoil our chances of finding it, yet that when we are searching for justice, a thing more precious than much fine gold, we should then be so foolish as to give way to one another and not rather do our serious best to have it discovered. You surely must not suppose that, my friend. But you see it is our lack of ability that is at fault. It is pity then that we should far more reasonably receive from clever fellows like you than severity.”

    XI. And he on hearing this gave a great guffaw and laughed sardonically and said, ” Ye gods ! here we have the well-known irony * of Socrates, and I knew it and predicted that when it came to rephing you would refuse and dissemble and do anything rather than answer any question that anyone asked you.” ” That’s because you are wise, ThrasjTnachus, and so you knew very well that if you asked a man how- many are twelve, and in putting the question warned him : don’t you be telling me, fellow, that twelve

    589 E, 600 c-D, Crito 46 d, Zatrs 6 17 c, 931 c, Protag. 325 b-c, Phaedo 68 a, Thompson on Meno 91 e.

    “* 6/. Ilci aJeit: fr. 22 Diets, and Ruskin, /Tf’n^’s TreasunVa “The physical type of wisdom, gold,” Psalms xix. 10.

    ‘ Cf. Syinp. 21 6 E, and Gomperz, Greek Thinkers iii. p. 277.





    fx,r]8 OTL rpls rirrapa /xtjS’ ort e^a/ct? 8uo /xt^S’

    OTi TerpaKtg rpta* co? ouk aTToSe^o/xat ctou, ecti TOiavra (f)Xvapfjs’ SrjXov, olfxai, aol ^v otl ovSels aTTOKpivolro tw ovtio TTwdavofidvco. oAA’ el aoi €L7T€v a> Qpaavfxaxe, ttws Xiyeis; fir] anoKpLvojixai

    0)v TTpoeiTTes ixrjSev; TTorepov, cS dav[xdaL€, /inyS

    ei TOVTcov Tt rvyxo.vei 6v, aXX erepov etVco rt, rov ^ aAiqdovs; rj TTwg Xeyetg; ri du avTO) etTre? rrpos Tavra; Etev, €(f)r]- co? h-q op,oiov tovto eKeivoi.

    Ovoev ye KcoXvei, rjv 8′ iyw- el 8′ ovv /cat firj ecTTLv op.oLov, (f>aiveTai 8e to) epcoTr^Oivri tolovtov,

    rjTTov TL avTov oiet aTTOKpiveiadai to <f)aiv6pevov

    eavTO), edv re r]p,€LS aTrayopevcopLev idv re ^t^;

    AAAo Tt ow, e^Ty, /cat au ooto; Troti^crets; cSv eyw aTrecTTov, toutcov Tt dwoKpLvel; Ovk du davpdcraiiJii, rjv 8′ eyttj, et /xot CT/cei/ra/xeVoj outco 8ofetev’. Tt

    ^’ ovv, €(f)rj, du iyd) 8ei^6L) irepau diroKpiaiv irapd

    TTaaas ravrag Trepl SLKaioauvqs ^eXrioj tovtcdv;

    Tt actors’ TTadeiv; Tt dXXo, -^v 8′ iyd), r] orrep

    TTpoa-qKei Trdax^iv ro) p,ri etSoTt; TrpoarJKeL 8e

    TTOV piadeiv TTapd rov et8oTOS” /cat eyco oyv’ tovto

    a^idj nadelv. ‘HSu? yap et, €(f>r]’ dXXd rrpos tw p-adelv Kal diroTLOov dpyvpiov. Ovkovv iveiSav jLtoi yev7]Tai, eiTTov. ‘AAA’ eoTiv,

    €(f)-q 6 FXavKcov

    ” In “American,” “nerve.” vSocrates’ statement that the TraOeiv ” due him ” is /xaOelf (gratis) aflFects Thrasy- machus as the dicasts were affected by the proposal in the Apology that his punishment should be^to dine at the City Hall. The pun on the legal formula cculd he rep–>telj rendered : ” In addition to the recoverij of your wits, you must pay a fine.” Plato constantly harps on the taking





    is twice six or three times four or six times two or four times three, for I won’t accept any such

    drivel as that from you as an answer—it was obvious I fancy to you that no one could give an answer to a question framed in that fashion. Suppose he had said to you, ‘ Thras}’machus, what do you mean ? Am I not to give any of the prohibited answers, not even, do you mean to say, if the thing really is one of these, but must I say something different from the truth, or what do you mean ? ‘ What would have been your answer to him ? ” ” Humph ! ”

    said he, ” how very like the two cases are ! ” ” There is nothing to prevent,” said I ; ” yet even granted that they are not alike, yet if it appears to the person asked the question that they are alike, do you suppose that he will any the less answer what appears to him, whether we forbid him or whether we don’t ? ” ” Is that, then.” said he, ” what you are going to do ? Are you going to give one of the forbidden answers ? ” “I shouldn’t be surprised,” I said, ” if on reflection that would be my \iew.” ” What then,” he said, ” if I show you another answer about justice differing from all these, a better one—what penalty do you think you deserve ? ” ” Why, what else,” said I, ” than that which it befits anyone who is ignorant to suffer ? It befits him, I presume, to learn from the one who does know. That then is what I propose that I should suffer.” ” I like your simplicity,” ” said h ” but in addition to ‘ learning ‘ you must pay a ^ of money.” ” Well, I will when I have got it,” 1 id. ” It is there,” said Glaucon : ” if money is all t.iat

    of pay by the Sophists, but Thrasymachus is trying to jest,-too.





    aAA’ ev€Ka apyvplov, o) Qpaav^iax^, Aeye* TrdvTes

    yap rjfxelg HcoKpdrei etaotaojuev. Ilavu ye, oi/xat,

    E ‘^ 8′ OS, Ivo. Scu/cpaTTj? TO elcodos htavpa^-qrat, avTOS fiev jxr] d.TTOKpivrjTai, aXXov S arroKpLVO-

    jxevov XafjL^dvrj Xoyov Kal iXeyxjj- Hois’ yo.p dv,

    k^rjv eyo), c5 jSe’^TtCTxe, ns drroKpivaiTO Trpcbrov [lev fir] el8d)S p,rj8e (f)d(JKcov etSeVat, eiretra, et Tt

    Krai oterat nepl rovrcov, dTreiprjpievov avrcb elr],

    OTTCxis fJiTjSev ipel (Lv rjyelTai, V’n dvhpos ov (f)avXov;

    338 aAAa ae Si] fxaXXov et/co? Xeyeiv av yap S17 (f)f]g etSeVai /cat ^x^i^v eiTTelv. fir] ovv aAAcus’ ttoUi, dXX

    ifioL T€ ;\;api^ou aTTOKpivojjLevos Kal jir] (f>6ovr]ar]s

    Kal TXavKcova rovBe SiSd^at Kal rovs dXXovs.

    XII. Wlttovtos Be ]iov ravra 6 re VXavKiav Kal

    ol dXXoL iheovro avrov firj aAAai? TroLelv Kat,

    Qpaavfiaxos (f)avep6s jiev r]V emdvfidjv emelv, iv

    evhoKLpL-qaeiev , ‘qyovfievos ^x^tv d-noKpiaLV iray-

    KoXrfV’ TrpoaeTToieiTO 8e ^iXoveiKeiv vpos to efie

    etvai Tov aTTOKpivofievov. TeXevTOiv he ^uj^ep^coprjae,

    B Kaireira AvTr] h-q, e(f)r], r] HwKpdTOVs cro(f>ia, avTOV (lev [ir] edeXeiv hihdoKeiv, Trapd he tcov dXXcov

    TTepuovTa fiavddveLV Kal tovtojv [xrjhe X^P^^ ano-

    StSdvcu. “0x4 ]i€V, “qv S’ eyco, fiavddvoj Trapd tcjv

    aXXoiv, dXrjdfj eiTre?, c5 Qpaovfiax^’ otl he ov fie

    4’V^ X^P”^ e/CTiVetv, tjjevhei. e/crtVcu yap bar]v

    hvvafiai’ hvvafxaL he eTraivelv fiovov XP’^P-^’^^ V^P ovK ex(JO’ (hs 8e TrpoOvfiojg tovto hpco, eav tls p-oi

    hoKj) ev Xeyeiv, ev elaei, avriKa hr] fidXa, eTreihdv

    C aTTOKpLvrj’ otfiai ydp ae ev epelv. “Akovc hrj, rj

    “”Grudging.” Cf. Laches 200 b. ” Of. Crof^J. 291 i^. « Socrates’ poverty {Apol. 38 a-b) was denied by some later

    writers who disliked to have him classed with the Cynics.





    -tiinds in the way, Thrasymachus, go on with your speech. We will all contribute for Socrates.” ” Oh yes, of course,” said he, ” so that Socrates may contrive, as he always does, to evade answering himself but may cross-examine the other man and refute his repHes.” ” Why, how,” I said, ” my dear fellow, could anybodS’ answer if m the first place he did not know and did not even profess to know, and secondly even if he had some notion of the matter, he had been told by a man of weight that he mustn’t give any of his suppositions as an answer ? Nay, it is more reasonable that you should be the speaker. For you do affirm that you know and are able to tell. Don’t be obstinate, but do me the favour to reply and don’t be charj- “^ of your wisdom, and instruct Glaucon here and the rest of us.”

    XII. When I had spoken thus Glaucon and the others urged him not to be obstinate. It was quite plain that Thrasymachus was eager to speak in order that he might do himself credit, since he believed that he had a most excellent answer to our question. But he demurred and pretended to make a point of my being the respondent. Finally he gave way and then said, ” Here you have the \visdom of Socrates, to refuse himself to teach, but go about and learn from others and not even pay thanks* therefor.” ” That I learn from others,” I said, ” you said truly, Thrasymachus. But in saving that I do not pay thanks you are mistaken. I pay as much as I am able. And I am able only to bestow praise. For money I lack.<^ But that I praise right wilhngly those who appear to speak well you will well know forthwith as soon as you have given your answer. For 1 think that you will speak well.” ” Hearken





    S’ OS. <f>rjyi\ yap iy<h etvai to BiKaiov ovk dXXo ti T] TO TOV KpeiTTOVOS ^VIJLcf)€pOV , OlXXo. tL OVK eTTatvels; dXX* ovk IdeXiqcjeis. ‘Eav [xddoj ye TTpcbrov, k(f)’qv, ti Xiyets’ vvv yap ovttco otSa. to Tou KpeiTTOVOS (f>lis ^vpicfiepov St/caiov etvaL. Kal

    TOVTo, c5 Spaavixaxe, tl ttot€ Xeyeis ; oi) yap ttov TO ye Toiovhe (j>ris’ el YlovXvhdpias rjfxcov KpeiTTCov

    o TTayKpaTiaaTTjs Kai avTco ^Vfjicfyepei to. jSoeta Kpea

    D npos TO CT6u/xa, tovto to gltlov elvai Kal rjfjuv tols rJTTOGLV eKeivov ^vpL(^epov a/xa /cat hiKaiov. BSe- Xvpos yap et, e(f>rj, c5 HcoKpaTes, Kal TavTif] vtto- XapL^dvets , § dv KaKovpyrjaais pudXiOTa tov Aoyor. OvhapLiLs, c5 dpioTe, ^v 8′ eyoj’ dXXd aa^ioTepov etTTe, Tt Aeyeis. H/tT ovk olgu , e<pT7, oti, tcov TToXeoiv at p,ev TvpavvovvTai, at Se 8r)p.oKpaTOvvTai,

    at Se dpLOTOKpaTOVVTai; Yicos ydp ov ; Ovkovv

    ‘ For this dogmatic formulation of a definition c/. Theaetet. 151 e.

    * To idealists law is the perfection of reason, or vov diavofxri. Laws 714a; “her seat is the bosom of God” (Hooker). To the political positivist there is no justice outside of positive law, and ” law is the command of a political superior to a political inferior.” “Whatsoever any state decrees and establishes is just for the state while it is in force,” Theaetet. 177 d. The formula “justice is the advantage of the superior” means, as explained in Laws 714, that the ruling class legislates in its own interest, that is, to keep itself in power. This interpretation is here drawn out of Thrasymachus by Socrates’ affected misapprehen- sions (c/. further Pascal, Pensees iv. 4, “lacommodite du souverain.” Leibniz approves Thrasymachus’s definition: “justum potentiori utile . . . nam Deus ceteris potentior ! “).

    ” The unwholesomeness of this diet for the ordinary man proves nothing for Plato’s alleged vegetarianism. The Athenians ate but little meat.





    and hear then,” said he. ” I affirm that the just is nothing else than ” the advantage of the stronger.”*

    Well, why don’t you applaud ? Nay, you’ll do any- thing but that.” ” Pro\ided only I first understand

    vour meaning,” said I ; ” for I don’t yet apprehend it. The advantage of the stronger is what you affirm the just to be. But what in the world do you mean by this ? I presume you don’t intend to affirm this, that if Polydamas the pancratiast is stronger than we are and the flesh of beeves ‘ is advantageous for him, for his body, this \iand is also for us who are weaker than he both advantageous and just.” ” You are a buffoon,”* Socrates, and take my statement ‘ in the most detrimental sense.” ” Not at all, my dear fellow,” said I ; ” I only want you to make your meaning plainer.”^ ” Don’t you know then,” said he, ” that some cities are governed by t}Tants, in others democracy rules, in others aristocracy ? ”

    ” Assuredly.” ” And is not this the thing that is

    * The Greek is stronger—a beastly cad. A common term of abuse in the orators. Cf. Aristoph. Frogs 465, Theophrast. Char. xvii. (Jebb).

    • Cf. 392 c, 394 B, 424 c, Meno 78 c, Euthydem. 295 c, Gorg. 451 a 5t«ata;s iiroXaft^avfn, ” you take my meaning fairly.” For complaints of unfair argument cf. 340 d. Charm. 166 c, Meno 80 a, Theaetet. 167 e, Oorg. 461 b-c, 482 e.

    ‘ This is the point. Thrasymachus is represented as challenging assent before explaining his meaning, and Socrates forces him to be more explicit by jocosely putting a perverse interpretation on his words. Similarly in Gorg. 451 E, 453 B, 489 d, 490 c, Lav:s 714 c. To the misunder- standing of such dramatic passages is due the impression of hasty readers that Plato is a sophist.

    ‘ These three forms of government are mentioned by Pindar, Pyth. ii. 86, Aeschin. In Ctes. 6. See 445 d, Whib- ley, Or«ek Oligarehu*, and Unity of Plato’s Thought, p. 62.





    TOVTO Kparet iv eKoiarr) TrdAet, to dpxov; Udvv ye.

    E TiOerat, 8e ye rovs vofiovs iKaarr) rj apxr) Trpos to avrfj ^vfji(f)€pov, hrjpiOKparia p,€v hripiOKpariKovs


    Tvpavvls Se TvpavvLKovs, Kal at aAAat ovro) ‘ 6ep,€vai

    8e d’7T€(f)rjvav rovro hiKaiov toIs dp^opiivois elvai,

    TO a^iai ^vfx^epov, /cat rov tovtov cK^aivovTa

    KoXdl,ovaLV cos TTapavojjiovvTa t€ /cat aSLKOvvra,

    tout’ ovv icrriv, c3 ^eXriare, o Xeyco iv ctTraaats

    339 Tat? TToAeat ravrov etvat Si’/catov, to rrjs KaQeaT-q-

    Kvias dpx’fjs ^vp,(f)€pov avrr] 8e ttov Kparel, cSotc

    ^vpi^aivei t<x> opdws Xoyil^ofxivcp Ttavraxov elvai

    TO avTO SiKatov, to tov KpeiTTOvos ^vpL^ipov.

    Nw, Tfv 8′ eyc6, ifiadov o Ae’yets” ei 8e dXrjdes rj yLTj, TreLpdaofjiai, fiadetv. to ^vficfiepov p,kv ovv, ol

    Qpacrufxax^, Kal av aTre/cptVco 8t/catov eti^af kultoi

    ejxoiye aTT-qyopeves ottcos {mt] tovto dTTOKpLvotfxrjV

    B TTpoaeaTi 8e 817 avTodi to tov KpeiTTovos- S/xt- Kpd ye tacos, e(f)7], TTpoad-qKr], Ovttio hrjXov ovh*

    el jjieydXr]- aAA’ oTt jxev tovto OKerrTeov el dXrjdrj

    Xeyeis, SrjXov. eTretSr) yap ^vfxcf}epov ye Tt etvai

    ” Kparei with emphasis to suggest Kpeirrtjjv. Of. Menex.

    238 D, Xen. Mem. i. 2. 43. Platonic dialectic proceeds by minute steps and linked synonyms. Cf. 333 a, 339 a. 342 c, 346 A, 353 E, 354 a-b, 369 c, 370 a-b, 379 b, 380-381, 394 b,

    400 c, 402 D, 412 D, 433-434, 486, 585 c, Meno 77 a. Lysis 215 B, where L. & S. miss the point.

    ” On this view justice is simply to voixlixov (Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 12; cf. Gorg. 504 d). This is the doctrine of the “Old Oligarch,” [Xen.] R^p. Ath. 2. Against this conception of

    class domination as political justice, Plato (Laws 713 ff.) and

    Aristotle {Pol. iii. 7) protest. Cf. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy.





    strong and has the mastery ” in each—the ruling party?” “Certainly.” ” And each form of govern- ment enacts the laws with a \iew tqits own advantage, a democracy democratic laws and tyTanny autocratic and the others likewise, and by so legislating they

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