"That was our view and I believe it right."



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“It is not for nothing,220” he said, “that you were so bashful about coming out with your lie.”

“It was quite natural that I should be,” [415a] I said; “but all the same hear the rest of the story. While all of you in the city are brothers, we will say in our tale, yet God in fashioning those of you who are fitted to hold rule mingled gold in their generation,221 for which reason they are the most precious—but in the helpers silver, and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen. And as you are all akin, though for the most part you will breed after your kinds,222 [415b] it may sometimes happen that a golden father would beget a silver son and that a golden offspring would come from a silver sire and that the rest would in like manner be born of one another. So that the first and chief injunction that the god lays upon the rulers is that of nothing else223 are they to be such careful guardians and so intently observant as of the intermixture of these metals in the souls of their offspring, and if sons are born to them with an infusion of brass or iron [415c] they shall by no means give way to pity in their treatment of them, but shall assign to each the status due to his nature and thrust them out224 among the artisans or the farmers. And again, if from these there is born a son with unexpected gold or silver in his composition they shall honor such and bid them go up higher, some to the office of guardian, some to the assistanceship, alleging that there is an oracle225 that the state shall then be overthrown when the man of iron or brass is its guardian. Do you see any way of getting them to believe this tale?” [415d] “No, not these themselves,” he said, “but I do, their sons and successors and the rest of mankind who come after.226”

“Well,” said I, “even that would have a good effect making them more inclined to care for the state and one another. For I think I apprehend your meaning. XXII. And this shall fall out as tradition227 guides.”
“But let us arm these sons of earth and conduct them under the leadership of their rulers. And when they have arrived they must look out for the fairest site in the city for their encampment,228 [415e] a position from which they could best hold down rebellion against the laws from within and repel aggression from without as of a wolf against the fold. And after they have encamped and sacrificed to the proper gods229 they must make their lairs, must they not?”

“Yes,” he said. “And these must be of a character keep out the cold in winter and be sufficient in summer?”

“Of course. For I presume you are speaking of their houses.”

“Yes,” said I, “the houses of soldiers230 not of money-makers.” [416a] “What distinction do you intend by that?” he said. “I will try to tell you,” I said. “It is surely the most monstrous and shameful thing in the world for shepherds to breed the dogs who are to help them with their flocks in such wise and of such a nature that from indiscipline or hunger or some other evil condition the dogs themselves shall attack the sheep and injure them and be likened to wolves231 instead of dogs.”

“A terrible thing, indeed,” he said. [416b] “Must we not then guard by every means in our power against our helpers treating the citizens in any such way and, because they are the stronger, converting themselves from benign assistants into savage masters?”

“We must,” he said. “And would they not have been provided with the chief safeguard if their education has really been a good one?”

“But it surely has,” he said. “That,” said I, “dear Glaucon, we may not properly affirm,232 but what we were just now saying we may, [416c] that they must have the right education, whatever it is, if they are to have what will do most to make them gentle to one another and to their charges.”

“That is right,” he said. “In addition, moreover, to such an education a thoughtful man would affirm that their houses and the possessions provided for them ought to be such as not to interfere with the best performance of their own work as guardians and not to incite them to wrong the other citizens.” [416d] “He will rightly affirm that.”

“Consider then,” said I, “whether, if that is to be their character, their habitations and ways of life must not be something after this fashion. In the first place, none must possess any private property233 save the indispensable. Secondly, none must have any habitation or treasure-house which is not open for all to enter at will. Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes of war234 sober and brave, [416e] they must receive as an agreed235 stipend236 from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship, so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack.237 And resorting to a common mess238 like soldiers on campaign they will live together. Gold and silver, we will tell them, they have of the divine quality from the gods always in their souls, and they have no need of the metal of men nor does holiness suffer them to mingle and contaminate that heavenly possession with the acquisition of mortal gold, since many impious deeds have been done about [417a] the coin of the multitude, while that which dwells within them is unsullied. But for these only of all the dwellers in the city it is not lawful to handle gold and silver and to touch them nor yet to come under the same roof239 with them, nor to hang them as ornaments on their limbs nor to drink from silver and gold. So living they would save themselves and save their city.240 But whenever they shall acquire for themselves land of their own and houses and coin, they will be house-holders and farmers instead of guardians, and will be transformed [417b] from the helpers of their fellow citizens to their enemies and masters,241 and so in hating and being hated,242 plotting and being plotted against they will pass their days fearing far more and rather243 the townsmen within than the foemen without—and then even then laying the course244 of near shipwreck for themselves and the state. For all these reasons,” said I, “let us declare that such must be the provision for our guardians in lodging and other respects and so legislate. Shall we not?”

“By all means,” said Glaucon.


1 We may, if we choose, see here a reference to the virtue of piety, which some critics fancifully suppose was eliminated by the Euthyphro. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, note 58.
2 For the idea that death is no evil Cf. Apology, in fine, Laws 727 D, 828 D, and 881 A, where, however, the fear of hell is approved as a deterrent.
3 Cf. 377 B.
4 Spoken by Achilles when Odysseus sought to console him for his death. Lucian, Dialog. Mort . 18, develops the idea. Proclus comments on it for a page.
5 δείσας μὴ precedes.
6 The exclamation and inference (ῥά) of Achilles when the shade of Patroclus eludes his embrace in the dream. The text is endlessly quoted by writers on religious origins and dream and ghost theories of the origin of the belief in the soul.
7 Said of the prophet Teiresias. The preceding line is, “Unto him even in death was it granted by Persephoneia.” The line is quoted also in Meno 100 A.
8 Said of the death of Patroclus, and Hector, Hom. Il. 22.382; imitated in the last line of the Aeneid“Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras.” Cf. Bacchyl. v. 153-4:πύματον δὲ πνέων δάκρυσα τλάμων ἀγλαὰν ἥβαν προλείπων.
9 Said of the souls of the suitors slain by Odysseus.
10 Cf. Theaetetus 177 Cοὐκ ἀηδέστερα ἀκούειν.
11 Milton's words, which I have borrowed, are the best expression of Plato's thought.
12 φρίττειν and φρίκη are often used of the thrill or terror of tragedy. Cf. Sophocles Electra 1402, Oedipus Rex. 1306, Aeschylus Prometheus Bound 540.
13 Some say, to frighten the wicked, but more probably for their aesthetic effect. Cf. 390 Aεἰ δέ τινα ἄλλην ἡδονὴν παρέχεται, Laws 886 C.
14 θερμότεροι contains a playful suggestion of the fever following the chill; Cf. Phaedrus 251 A. With μαλακώτεροι the image passes into that of softened metal; cf. 411 B, Laws 666 B-C, 671 B.
15 That only the good can be truly friends was a favorite doctrine of the ancient moralists. Cf. Lysis 214 C, Xenophon Memorabilia ii. 6. 9, 20.
16 Cf. Phaedo 117 C “I wept for myself, for surely not for him.”
17 αὐτάρκης is the equivalent of ἱκανὸς αὑτῷ in Lysis 215 A. For the idea Cf. Menexenus 247 E. Self-sufficiency is the mark of a good man, of God, of the universe (Timaeus 33 D), of happiness in Aristotle, and of the Stoic sage.
18 Cf. the anecdotes of Pericles and Xenophon and the comment of Pater on Marcus Aurelius in Marius the Epicurean. Plato qualifies the Stoic extreme in 603 E. The Platonic ideal is μετριοπάθεια, the Stoic ἀπάθεια,
19 Cf. Plat. Rep. 398e.
20 The descripition of Achilles mourning for Patroclus, Hom. Il. 24.10-12. Cf. Juv. 3.279-280: “Noctem patitur lugentis amicum/ Pelidae, cubat in faciem mox deinde supinus.”
21 Our text of Homer reads δινεύεσκ᾽ ἀλύων παρὰ θίν᾽ ἀλός, οὐδέ μιν ἠώς. Plato's text may be intentional burlesque or it may be corrupt.
22 When he heard of Patroclus's death.
23 Hom. Il. 22.414-415.
24 Thetis.
25 Cf. 377 E.
26 Zeus of Hector.
27 Cf. Virgil's imitation, Aeneid 10.465 ff., Cicero, De Div. ii. ch. 10.
28 I have imitated the suggestion of rhythm in the original which with its Ionic dative is perhaps a latent quotation from tragedy. Cf. Chairemon,οὐδεὶς ἐπὶ σμικροῖσι λυπεῖται σοφός, N fr. 37.
29 The ancients generally thought violent laughter undignified. Cf. Isocrates Demon. 15, Plato Laws 732 C, 935 B, Epictetus Encheirid. xxxiii. 4, Dio Chrys.Or. 33. 703 R. Diogenes Laertius iii. 26, reports that Plato never laughed excessively in his youth. Aristotle's great-souled man would presumably have eschewed laughter (Eth. iv. 8, Rhet. 1389 b 10), as Lord Chesterfield advises his son to do.
30 In 563 E Plato generalizes this psychological principle.
31 It is a commonplace that the primitive sense of humor of the Homeric gods laughs at the personal deformity of Hephaestus, but they really laugh at his officiousness and the contrast he presents to Hebe. Cf. my note in Class. Phil. xxii. (1927) pp. 222-223.
32 Cf. on 334 D.
33 Cf. 382 D.
34 Cf. 334 B, 459 D. A cynic might compare Cleon's plea in Aristophanes Knights 1226ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἔκλεπτον ἐπ᾽ ἀγαθῷ γε τῇ πόλει. Cf. Xenophon Memorabilia ii. 6. 37, Bolingbroke, Letters to Pope, p. 172.
35 The word is chosen to fit both the ship and the state. Cf. 422 E, 442 B; and Alcaeus apud Aristophanes Wasps 1235, Euripides Phoen. 888, Aeschines iii. 158, Epictetus iii. 7. 20.
36 That is, probably, if our Utopia is realized. Cf. 452 Aεἰ πράξεται ᾗ λέγεται. Cf. the imitation in Epistles 357 Aεἴπερ ἔργα ἐπὶ νο̂ͅ ἐγίγνετο.
37 For the mass of men, as distinguished from the higher philosophical virtue. Often misunderstood. For the meanings of σωγροσύνη cf. my review of Jowett's Plato, A.J.P. vol. xiii. (1892) p. 361. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 15 and n. 77.
38 In Gorgias 491 D-E, Callicles does not understand what Socrates means by a similar expression.
39 Diomede to Sthenelos.
40 In our Homer this is Hom. Il. 3.8 and σιγῇ κτλ. 4.431. See Howes in Harvard Studies, vi. pp. 153-237.
41 Achilles to the commander-in-chief, Agamemon. Several lines of insult follow.
42 Cf. Philebus 42 C.
43 Cf. Gorgias 482 C.
44 Odysseus. For παραπλεῖαι the Homeric text has παρὰ δὲ πλήθωσι. Plato's treatment of the quotation is hardly fair to Homer. Aristotle, Politics 1338 a 28, cites it more fairly to illustrate the use of music for entertainment (διαγωγή). The passage, however, was liable to abuse. See the use made of it by Lucian, Parasite 10.
45 Hom. Od. 12.342.
46 Hom. Il. 14.294-341.
47 Odyssey viii. 266 ff.
48 May include on Platonic principles the temptations of pleasure. Cf. Laws 191 D-E.
49 Quoted also in Phaedo 94 D-E.
50 Suidas s.v.δῶρα says that some attributed the line to Hesiod. Cf. Euripides Medea 964, Ovid, Ars Am. iii. 653, Otto, Sprichw. d. Rom. 233.
51 See his speech, Iliad ix. 515 ff.
52 Cf. Iliad xix. 278 ff. But Achilles in Homer is indifferent to the gifts.
53 Iliad xxiv. 502, 555, 594. But in 560 he does not explicitly mention the ransom.
54 Cf. 368 B.
55 Professor Wilamowitz uses ὀλοώτατε to prove that Apollo was a god of destruction. But Menelaus says the same of Zeus in Iliad iii. 365. Cf. Class. Phil. vol. iv. (1909) p. 329.
56 Scamander. Iliad 21.130-132.
57 Cf. Proclus, p. 146 Kroll. Plato exaggerates to make his case. The locks were vowed to Spercheius on the condition of Achilles' return. In their context the words are innocent enough.
58 Iliad xxiv. 14 ff.
59 Iliad xxiii. 175-176.
60 Proverbially. Cf. Pindar Nem. iv. 56, v. 26, Aristophanes Clouds 1063, and my note on Horace iii. 7. 17.
61 Zeus, Aeacus, Peleus. For the education of Achilles by Cheiron Cf. Iliad xi. 832, Pindar Nem. iii., Euripides, I. A. 926-927, Plato, Hippias Minor 371 D.
62 Theseus was assisted by Perithous in the rape of Helen and joined Perithous in the attempt to abduct Persephone. Theseus was the theme of epics and of lost plays by Sophocles and Euripides.
63 Plato was probably thinking of this passage when he wrote the last paragraph of the Critias.
64 Cf. my note in Class. Phil. vol. xii. (1910) p. 308.
65 Or possibly “determine this at present.” The prohibition which it would beg the question to place here is made explicit in Laws 660 E. Cf. Laws 899 D, and 364 B.
66 λόγων here practically means the matter, and λέξεως, which became a technical term for diction, the manner, as Socrates explains when Adeimantus fails to understand.
67 Cf. Aristotle Poetics 1449 b 27.
68 All art is essentially imitation for Plato and Aristotle. But imitation means for them not only the portrayal or description of visible and tangible things, but more especially the expression of a mood or feeling, hence the (to a modern) paradox that music is the most imitative of the arts. But Plato here complicates the matter further by sometimes using imitation in the narrower sense of dramatic dialogue as opposed to narration. An attentive reader will easily observe these distinctions. Aristotle's Poetics makes much use of the ideas and the terminology of the following pages.
69 Socratic urbanity professes that the speaker, not the hearer, is at fault. Cf. Protagoras 340 E, Philebus 23 D.
70 Plato and Aristotle often contrast the universal and the particular as whole and part. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 52. Though a good style is concrete, it is a mark of linguistic helplessness not to be able to state an idea in general terms. Cf. Locke, Human Understanding, ii. 10. 27: “This man is hindered in his discourse for want of words to communicate his complex ideas, which he is therefore forced to make known by an enumeration of the simple ones that compose them.”
71 In the narrower sense.
72 Cf. Hazlitt, Antony and Cleopatra: “Shakespeare does not stand reasoning on what his characters would do or say, but at once becomes them and speaks and acts for them.”
73 From here to 394 B, Plato gives a prose paraphrase of Iliad i. 12-42. Roger Ascham in his Schoolmaster quotes it as a perfect example of the best form of exercise for learning a language.
74 The dithyramb was technically a poem in honor of Bacchus. For its more or less conjectural history cf. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy, and Comedy. Here, however, it is used broadly to designate the type of elaborate Greek lyric which like the odes of Pindar and Bacchylides narrates a myth or legend with little if any dialogue.
75 Again in the special limited sense.
76 This seems to imply that Plato already had in mind the extension of the discussion in the tenth book to the whole question of the moral effect of poetry and art.
77 Cf. Theaetetus 172 D. But it is very naive to suppose that the sequence of Plato's argument is not carefully planned in his own mind. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 5.
78 At the close of the SymposiumSocrates constrains Agathon and Aristophanes to admit that one who has the science (τέχνη) of writing tragedy will also be able to write comedy. There is for Plato no contradiction, since poetry is for him not a science or art, but an inspiration.
79 The rhapsode Ion is a Homeric specialist who cannot interpret other poets. Cf. Ion 533 C.
80 Cf. Classical Review, vol. xiv. (1900), pp. 201 ff.
81 Cf. Laws 846 E, Montaigne, “Nostre suffisance est detaillee a menues pieces,” Pope, Essay on Criticism, 60: “One science only will one genius fit,/ So vast is art, so narrow human wit.”
82 Cf. the fine passage in Laws 817 Bἡμεῖς ἐσμεν τραγωδίας αὐτοὶ ποιηταί, [Pindar]apudPlut. 807 Cδημιουργὸς εὐνομίας καὶ δίκης.
83 Cf. 386 A.
84 i.e., δημιουργοῖς ἐλευθερίας
85 Cf. 606 B, Laws 656 B, 669 B-C, and Burke, Sublime and Beautiful iv. 4, anticipating James, Psychology ii. pp. 449, 451, and anticipated by Shakespeare's (Cor. III. ii. 123) “By my body's action teach my mind/ A most inherent baseness.”
86 Cf. my paper on Φύσις, Μελέτη, Ἐπιστήμη, T.A.P.A. vol. xl. (1910) pp. 185 ff.
87 Cf. Laws 816 D-E.
88 For this rejection of violent realism Cf. Laws 669 C-D. Plato describes exactly what Verhaeren's admirers approve: “often in his rhythm can be heard the beat of hammers, the hard, edged, regular whizzing of wheels, the whirring of looms, the hissing of locomotives; often the wild, restless tumult of the streets, the humming and rumbling of dense masses of people.” (Stefan Zweig). So another modern critic celebrates “the cry of a baby in a Strauss symphony, the sneers and snarls of his critics in his Helden Leben, the contortions of the Dragon in Wagner's Siegfried .”
89 Chaucer drew from a misapplication of Timaeus 29 B or Boethius the opposite moral: “Who shall telle a tale after a man,/ He most reherse, as neighe as ever he can,/ Everich word, if it be in his charge,/ All speke he never so rudely and so large;/ . . . Eke Plato sayeth, who so can him rede,/ The words most ben cosin to the dede./”
90 Plato, like Howells and some other modern novelists, would have thought somewhat gross comedy less harmful than the tragedy or romance that insidiously instils false ideals.
91 The respondent plays on the double meaning of οὐδὲν λέγεις and replies, “Yes indeed you do say something, namely the type and pattern,” etc.
92 Cf. Gorgias 487 B, Euthydemus 305 B, Protagoras 323 B.
93 Besides its suggestion of change and reaction the word is technical in music for the transition from one harmony to another.
94 The reverse of the Periclean ideal. Cf. Thucydides ii. 41.
95 The famous banishment of Homer, regarded as the prototype of the tragedian. Cf. 568 A-C, 595 B, 605 C, 607 D, Laws 656 C, 817 B
96 Greek idiom achieves an effect impossible to English here, by the shift from the co-ordination of ποιήματα with αὐτός to the treatmnt of it as the object of ἐπιδείξασθαι and the possible double use of the latter as middle with αὐτός and transitive with ποιήματα. Cf. for a less striking example 427 D, Phaedrus 250 B-C.
97 Cf. from a different point of view Arnold's The Austerity of Poetry.
98 Cf. 379 A ff.
99 He laughs at his own mild joke, which Professor Wilamowitz (Platon ii. p. 192) does not understand. Cf. Laws 859 E, Hippias Major 293 Aἢ οὐχ εἷς τῶν ἁπάντων καὶ Ἡρακλῆς ἦν; and in a recent novel, “'I am afraid everybody does not include me,' she smiled.”
100 The complete song includes words, rhythms, and “harmony,” that is, a pitch system of high and low notes. Harmony is also used technically of the peculiar Greek system of scales or modes. Cf. Monro, Modes of Ancient Greek Music.
101 The poets at first composed their own music to fit the words. When, with the further development of music, there arose the practice of distorting the words, as in a mere libretto, it provoked a storm of protest from conservatives in aesthetics and morals.
102 The modes of Greek music are known to the English reader only from Milton's allusions, his “Lap me in soft Lydian airs” and, P.L. i. 549 f., his “Anon they move/ in perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood/ Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rasied/ To highth of noblest temper heroes old.” The adaptation of particualr modes, harmonies, or scales to the expression of particular feelings is something that we are obliged to accept on faith. Plato's statements here were challenged by some later critics, but the majority believed that there was a connection between modes of music and modes of feeling, as Ruskin and many others have in our day. The hard-headed Epicureans and sceptics denied it, as well as the moral significance of music generally.
103 Cf. 387 E.
104 Plato, like a lawyer or popular essayist, affects ignorance of the technical details; or perhaps rather he wishes to disengage his main principle from the specialists' controversy about particular modes of music and their names.
105 ἐκείνην may mean, but does not say, Dorian, which the Laches(188 D) pronounces the only true Greek harmony. This long anacoluthic sentence sums up the whole matter with impressive repetition and explicit enumeration of all types of conduct in peace and war, and implied reference to Plato's doctrine of the two fundamental temperaments, the swift and the slow, the energetic and the mild. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, nn. 59, 70, 481.
106 Cf. Laws 814 E.
107 Metaphorically. The “many-toned instrumentation of the flutes,” as Pindar calls it, Ol. vii. 12, can vie with the most complex and many-stringed lyre of musical innovation.
108 Cf. 404 D, the only other occurrence of the word in Plato.
109 Cf. my note on Timaeus 47 C, in A.J.P. vol. x. p. 61.
110 Ancient critics noted this sentence as an adaptation of sound to sense. Cf. Demetr.Περὶ ἑρμ185. The sigmas and iotas may be fancied to suggest the whistling notes of the syrinx. So Lucretius v. 1385 “tibia quas fundit digitis pulsata canentum.” Cf. on Catullus 61. 13 “voce carmina tinnula.”
111 The so-called Rhadamanthine oath to avoid taking the names of the gods in vain. Cf. 592 A, Apology 21 E, Blaydes on Aristophanes Wasps 83.
112 Cf. 372 E. Dummler, Proleg. p. 62, strangely affirms that this is an express retraction of the ἀληθινὴ πόλις. This is to misapprehend Plato's method. He starts with the indispensable minimum of a simple society, develops it by Herbert Spencer's multiplication of effects into an ordinary Greek city, then reforms it by a reform of education and finally transforms it into his ideal state by the rule of the philosopher kings. Cf. Introduction p. xiv.
113 Practically the feet.
114 According to the ancient musicians these are the equal as e.g. in dactyls (), spondees () and anapests (), where the foot divides into two equal quantities; the 3/2 ratio, as in the so-called cretic (); the 2/1 as in the iamb () and trochee (). Cf. Aristid. Quint. i. pp. 34-35.
115 Possibly the four notes of the tetrachord, but there is no agreement among experts. Cf. Monro, Modes of Ancient Greek Music.
116 Modern psychologists are still debating the question.
117 The Platonic Socrates frequently refers to Damon as his musical expert. Cf. Laches 200 B, 424 C, Alc. I. 118 C.
118 There is a hint of satire in this disclaimer of expert knowledge. Cf. 399 A. There is no agreement among modern experts with regard to the precise form of the so-called enoplios. Cf. my review of Herkenrath's “Der Enoplios,”Class. Phil. vol. iii. p. 360, Goodell, Chapters on Greek Metric, pp. 185 and 189, Blaydes on Aristophanes Nubes 651.
119 Possibly foot, possibly rhythm.δάκτυλον seems to mean the foot, while ἡρῷος is the measure based on dactyls but admitting spondees.
120 ἄνω καὶ κάτω is an untranslatable gibe meaning literally and technically the upper and lower half of the foot, the arsis and thesis, but idiomatically meaning topsy-turvy. There is a similar play on the idiom in Philebus 43 A and 43 B.

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