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Title: Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates, 3rd ed. Volume IV (of 4)
Author: Grote, George, 1794-1871
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_The right of Translation is reserved._




Declared theme of the Republic--Expansion and multiplication of
the topics connected with it   1

Personages of the dialogue   2

Views of Kephalus about old age   _ib._

Definition of Justice by Simonides--It consists in rendering to
every man what is owing to him   _ib._

Objections to it by Sokrates--There are cases in which it is not
right to restore what is owing, or to tell the truth   3

Explanation by Polemarchus--Farther interrogations by
Sokrates--Justice renders what is proper and suitable: but how?
in what cases, proper? Under what circumstances is Justice useful?   4

The just man, being good for keeping property guarded, must also
be good for stealing property--Analogies cited   5

Justice consists in doing good to friends, evil to enemies--But
how, if a man mistakes who his friends are, and makes friends of
bad men?   6

Justice consists in doing good to your friend, if really a good
man: hurt to your enemy, with the like proviso. Sokrates affirms
that the just man will do no hurt to any one. Definition of
Simonides rejected   _ib._

Thrasymachus takes up the dialogue--Repulsive portrait drawn of
him   7

Violence of Thrasymachus--Subdued manner of Sokrates--Conditions
of useful colloquy   _ib._

Definition given by Thrasymachus--Justice is that which is
advantageous to the more powerful. Comments by Sokrates. What if
the powerful man mistakes his own advantage?   8

Correction by Thrasymachus--if the Ruler mistakes, he is _pro
tanto_ no Ruler--The Ruler, _quâ_ Ruler--_quâ_
Craftsman--is infallible   9

Reply by Sokrates--The Ruler, _quâ_ infallible Craftsman,
studies the interest of those whom he governs, and not his own
interest   _ib._

Thrasymachus denies this--Justice is the good of another. The just
many are worse off than the unjust One, and are forced to submit
to his superior strength   10

Position laid for the subsequent debate and exposition   11

Arguments of Sokrates--Injustice is a source of weakness--Every
multitude must observe justice among themselves, in order to avoid
perpetual quarrels. The same about any single individual: if he is
unjust, he will be at war with himself, and perpetually weak

Farther argument of Sokrates--The just man is happy, the unjust
man miserable--Thrasymachus is confuted and silenced. Sokrates
complains that he does not yet know what Justice is   _ib._

Glaukon intimates that he is not satisfied with the proof, though
he agrees in the opinion expressed by Sokrates. Tripartite
distribution of Good--To which of the three heads does Justice
belong?   12

Glaukon undertakes to set forth the case against Sokrates, though
professing not to agree with it     _ib._

Pleading of Glaukon. Justice is in the nature of a compromise for
all--a medium between what is best and what is worst   13

Comparison of the happiness of the just man derived from his
justice alone, when others are unjust to him with that of the
unjust man under parallel circumstances   14

Pleading of Adeimantus on the same side. He cites advice given by
fathers to their sons, recommending just behaviour by reason of
its consequences   15

Nobody recommends Justice _per se_, but only by reason of its
consequences   16

Adeimantus calls upon Sokrates to recommend and enforce Justice on
its own grounds, and to explain how Justice in itself benefits the
mind of the just man   17

Relation of Glaukon and Adeimantus to Thrasymachus   18

Statement of the question as it stands after the speeches of
Glaukon and Adeimantus. What Sokrates undertakes to prove

Position to be proved by Sokrates--Justice makes the just man
happy _per se_, whatever be its results   20

Argument of Sokrates to show what Justice is--Assumed analogy
between the city and the individual   _ib._

Fundamental principle, to which communities of mankind owe their
origin--Reciprocity of want and service between individuals--No
individual can suffice to himself   _ib._

Moderate equipment of a sound and healthy city--Few wants   22

Enlargement of the city--Multiplied wants and services. First
origin of war and strife with neighbours--It arises out of these
multiplied wants   _ib._

Separate class of soldiers or Guardians. One man cannot do well
more than one business. Character required in the
Guardians--Mildness at home with pugnacity against enemies   23

Peculiar education necessary, musical as well as gymnastical   23

Musical education, by fictions as well as by truth. Fictions
addressed to the young: the religious legends now circulating are
often pernicious: censorship necessary   24

Orthodox type to be laid down: all poets are required to conform
their legends to it. The Gods are causes of nothing but good:
therefore they are causes of few things. Great preponderance of
actual evil   _ib._

The Guardians must not fear death. No terrible descriptions of
Hades must be presented to them: no intense sorrow, nor violent
nor sensual passion, must be recounted either of Gods or Heroes

Type for all narratives respecting men   26

Style of narratives. The poet must not practise variety of
imitation: he must not speak in the name of bad characters

Rhythm and Melody regulated. None but simple and grave music
allowed: only the Dorian and Phrygian moods, with the lyre and
harp   _ib._

Effect of musical training of the mind--makes youth love the
Beautiful and hate the Ugly   27

Training of the body--simple and sober. No refined medical art
allowed. Wounds or temporary ailments treated; but sickly frames
cannot be kept alive   28

Value of Gymnastic in imparting courage to the mind--Gymnastic and
Music necessary to correct each other   29

Out of the Guardians a few of the very best must be chosen as
Elders or Rulers--highly educated and severely tested   _ib._

Fundamental creed required to be planted in the minds of all the
citizens respecting their breed and relationship   30

How is such a fiction to be accredited in the first instance?
Difficulty extreme, of first beginning; but if once accredited, it
will easily transmit itself by tradition   31

Guardians to reside in barracks and mess together; to have no
private property or home; to be maintained by contribution from
the people   32

If the Guardians fail in these precautions, and acquire
private interests, the city will be ruined   32

Complete unity of the city, every man performing his own special
function   33

The maintenance of the city depends upon that of the habits,
character, and education of the Guardians   34

Religious legislation--Consult the Delphian Apollo   _ib._

The city is now constituted as a good city--that is, wise,
courageous, temperate, just. Where is its Justice?   _ib._

First, where is the wisdom of the city? It resides in the few
elder Rulers   _ib._

Where is the Courage? In the body of Guardians or Soldiers   35

Where is the Temperance? It resides in all and each, Rulers,
Guardians, and People. Superiors rule and Inferiors obey

Where is the Justice? In all and each of them also. It consists in
each performing his own special function, and not meddling with
the function of the others   36

Injustice arises when any one part of the city interferes with the
functions of the other part, or undertakes double functions   37

Analogy of the city to the individual--Each man is tripartite,
having in his mind Reason, Energy, Appetite. These three elements
are distinct, and often conflicting   _ib._

Reason, Energy, Appetite, in the individual--analogous to Rulers,
Guardians, Craftsmen in the city. Reason is to rule Appetite.
Energy assists Reason in ruling it   39

A man is just when these different parts of his mind exercise
their appropriate functions without hindrance   _ib._

Justice and Injustice in the mind--what health and disease are in
the body   40

Original question now resumed--Does Justice make a man happy, and
Injustice make him miserable, apart from all consequences?
Answer--Yes   _ib._

Glaukon requires farther explanation about the condition of the
Guardians, in regard to sexual and family ties   41

Men and women will live together and perform the duties of
Guardians alike--They will receive the same gymnastic and musical
training   41

Nature does not prescribe any distribution of functions between
men and women. Women are inferior to men in every thing. The best
women are equal to second-best men 42

Community of life and relations between the male and female
Guardians. Temporary marriages arranged by contrivance of the
Elders. No separate families   _ib._

Regulations about age, for procreation--Children brought up under
public authority   44

Perfect communion of sentiment and interest among the
Guardians--Causes of pleasure and pain the same to all, like parts
of the same organism   _ib._

Harmony--absence of conflicting interest--assured scale of equal
comfort--consequent happiness--among the Guardians   45

In case of war both sexes will go together to battle--Rewards to
distinguished warriors   46

War against Hellenic enemies to be carried on mildly--Hellens are
all by nature kinsmen   47

Question--How is the scheme practicable? It is difficult, yet
practicable on one condition--That philosophy and political power
should come into the same hands   _ib._

Characteristic marks of the philosopher--He contemplates and knows
Entia or unchangeable Forms, as distinguished from fluctuating
particulars or Fientia   48

Ens alone can be known--Non-Ens is unknowable. That which is
midway between Ens and Non-Ens (particulars) is matter only of
opinion. Ordinary men attain nothing beyond opinion   49

Particulars fluctuate: they are sometimes just or beautiful,
sometimes unjust or ugly. Forms or Entia alone remain constant

The many cannot discern or admit the reality of Forms--Their minds
are always fluctuating among particulars   51

The philosopher will be ardent for all varieties of knowledge--His
excellent moral attributes--He will be trained to capacity for
active life   _ib._

Adeimantus does not dispute the conclusion, but remarks that it is
at variance with actual facts--Existing philosophers are either
worthless pretenders, or when they are good, useless   52

Sokrates admits the fact to be so--His simile of the able
steersman on shipboard, among a disobedient crew   53

The uselessness of the true philosopher is the fault of the
citizen, who will not invoke his guidance   54

The great qualities required to form a philosopher, become sources
of perversion, under a misguiding public opinion   _ib._

Mistake of supposing that such perversion arises from the
Sophists. Irresistible effect of the public opinion generally, in
tempting or forcing a dissenter into orthodoxy   55

The Sophists and other private teachers accept the prevalent
orthodoxy, and conform their teaching to it   56

The people generally hate philosophy--A youth who aspires to it
will be hated by the people, and persecuted even by his own
relatives   57

The really great minds are thus driven away from the path of
philosophy--which is left to empty pretenders   58

Rare cases in which a highly qualified philosopher remains--Being
at variance with public opinion, he can achieve nothing, and is
lucky if he can obtain safety by silence   _ib._

The philosopher must have a community suitable to him, and worthy
of him   59

It must be such a community as Sokrates has been describing--But
means must be taken to keep up a perpetual succession of
philosophers as Rulers   60

Proper manner of teaching philosophy--Not to begin at a very early
age   _ib._

If the multitude could once see a real, perfect, philosopher, they
could not fail to love him: but this never happens   61

Course of training in the Platonic city, for imparting philosophy
to the Rulers. They must be taught to ascend to the Idea of Good.
But what is Good?   _ib._

Ancient disputes upon this point, though every one yearns after
Good. Some say Intelligence; some say Pleasure. Neither is
satisfactory   62

Adeimantus asks what Sokrates says. Sokrates says that he can not
answer: but he compares it by a metaphor to the Sun   63

The Idea of Good rules the ideal or intelligible world, as the Sun
rules the sensible or visible world   64

To the intelligible world there are applicable two distinct modes
of procedure--the Geometrical--the Dialectic. Geometrical
procedure assumes diagrams   65

Dialectic procedure assumes nothing. It departs from the highest
Form, and steps gradually down to the lowest, without meddling
with any thing except Forms   66

Two distinct grades of Cognition--Direct or
Superior--Nous--Indirect or Inferior--Dianoia    _ib._

Two distinct grades of Opinion also in the Sensible World--Faith
or Belief--Conjecture   67

Distinction between the philosopher and the unphilosophical
public, illustrated by the simile of the Cave, and the captives
imprisoned therein   _ib._

Daylight of philosophy contrasted with the firelight and shadows
of the Cave   69

Purpose of a philosophical training, to turn a man round from
facing the bad light of the Cave to face the daylight of
philosophy, and to see the eternal Forms   _ib._

Those who have emerged from the Cave into full daylight amidst
eternal Forms, must be forced to come down again and undertake
active duties--Their reluctance to do this   70

Studies serving as introduction to philosophy--Arithmetic, its
awakening power--shock to the mind by felt contradiction

Perplexity arising from the One and Many, stimulates the mind to
an intellectual effort for clearing it up   72

Geometry conducts the mind to wards Universal Ens   _ib._

Astronomy--how useful--not useful as now taught--must be studied
by ideal figures, not by observation   73

Acoustics, in like manner--The student will be thus conducted
to the highest of all studies--Dialectic: and to the region of
pure intelligible Forms   74

Question by Glaukon--What is the Dialectic Power? Sokrates
declares that he cannot answer with certainty, and that Glaukon
could not follow him if he did   75

He answers partially--It is the consummation of all the sciences,
raising the student to the contemplation of pure Forms, and
especially to that of the highest Form--_Good_   _ib._

The Synoptic view peculiar to the Dialectician   76

Scale and duration of various studies for the Guardians, from
youth upwards   _ib._

All these studies, and this education, are common to females as
well as males   77

First formation of the Platonic city--how brought about:
difficult, but not impossible   78

The city thus formed will last long, but not for ever. After a
certain time, it will begin to degenerate. Stages of its
degeneracy   _ib._

1. Timocracy and the timocratical individual. 2 Oligarchy, and the
oligarchical individual   79

3. Democracy, and the democratical individual   80

4. Passage from democracy to despotism. Character of the despotic
city  81

Despotic individual corresponding to that city   82

The city has thus passed by four stages, from best to worse.
Question--How are Happiness and Misery apportioned among them?

Misery of the despotised city   83

Supreme Misery of the despotising individual   _ib._

Conclusion--The Model city and the individual corresponding to it,
are the happiest of all--That which is farthest removed from it,
is the most miserable of all   84

The Just Man is happy in and through his Justice, however he may
be treated by others. The Unjust Man, miserable   84

Other arguments proving the same conclusion--Pleasures of
Intelligence are the best of all pleasures   _ib._

They are the only pleasures completely true and pure. Comparison
of pleasure and pain with neutrality. Prevalent illusions   86

Most men know nothing of true and pure pleasure. Simile of the
Kosmos--Absolute height and depth   87

Nourishment of the mind partakes more of real essence than
nourishment of the body--Replenishment of the mind imparts fuller
pleasure than replenishment of the body   88

Comparative worthlessness of the pleasures of Appetite and
Ambition, when measured against those of Intelligence   89

The Just Man will be happy from his justice--He will look only to
the good order of his own mind--He will stand aloof from public
affairs, in cities as now constituted   90

Tenth Book--Censure of the poets is renewed--Mischiefs of
imitation generally, as deceptive--Imitation from imitation   91

Censure of Homer--He is falsely extolled as educator of the
Hellenic world. He and other poets only deceive their hearers   92

The poet chiefly appeals to emotions--Mischiefs of such eloquent
appeals, as disturbing the rational government of the mind

Ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry--Plato fights for
philosophy, though his feelings are strongly enlisted for poetry

Immortality of the soul affirmed and sustained by argument--Total
number of souls always the same   _ib._

Recapitulation--The Just Man will be happy, both from his justice
and from its consequences, both here and hereafter   94



Summary of the preceding chapter   95

Title of the Republic, of ancient date, but only a partial
indication of its contents   96

Parallelism between the Commonwealth and the Individual   96

Each of them a whole, composed of parts distinct in function and
unequal in merit   97

End proposed by Plato. Happiness of the Commonwealth. Happiness
of the individual. Conditions of happiness   98

Peculiar view of Justice taken by Plato   99

Pleadings of Glaukon and Adeimantus _ib._

The arguments which they enforce were not invented by the
Sophists, but were the received views anterior to Plato   100

Argument of Sokrates to refute them. Sentiments in which it
originates. Panegyric on Justice   101

Different senses of justice--wider and narrower sense   102

Plato's sense of the word Justice or Virtue--self-regarding   104

He represents the motives to it, as arising from the internal
happiness of the just agents   105

His theory departs more widely from the truth than that which he
opposes. Argument of Adeimantus discussed   106

A Reciprocity of rights and duties between men in social
life--different feelings towards one and towards the other   109

Plato's own theory, respecting the genesis of society, is based on
reciprocity   111

Antithesis and correlation of obligation and right. Necessity of
keeping the two ideas together, as the basis of any theory
respecting society   112

Characteristic feature of the Platonic
Commonwealth--specialization of services to that function for
which each man is fit--will not apply to one individual separately   114

Plato has not made good his refutation--the thesis which he
impugns is true   116

Statement of the real issue between him and his opponents   117

He himself misrepresents this issue--he describes his opponents as
enemies of justice   _ib._

Farther arguments of Plato in support of his thesis. Comparison of
three different characters of men   118

His arguments do not go to the point which he professes to aim at

Exaggerated parallelism between the Commonwealth and the
individual man   121

Second Argument of Plato to prove the happiness of the just
man--He now recalls his previous concession, and assumes that the just
man will receive just treatment and esteem from others

Dependence of the happiness of the individual on the society in
which he is placed   123

Inconsistency of affirming general positions respecting the
happiness of the just man, in all societies without distinction

Qualified sense in which only this can be done   125

Question--Whether the just man is orthodox or dissenter in his
society?--important in discussing whether he is happy   126

Comparison of the position of Sokrates at Athens, with that of his
accusers   _ib._

Imperfect ethical basis on which Plato has conducted the
discussion in the Republic   127

Plato in Republic is preacher, inculcating useful beliefs--not
philosopher, establishing scientific theory. State of Just and
Unjust Man in the Platonic Commonwealth   129

Comparative happiness of the two in actual communities. Plato is
dissatisfied with it--This is his motive for recasting society on
his own principles   130

Confusion between the preacher and the philosopher in the Platonic
Republic   131

Remarks on the contrast between ethical theory and ethical
precepts   _ib._



Double purpose of the Platonic Republic--ethical and political

Plato recognises the generating principle of human
society--reciprocity of need and service. Particular direction
which he gives to this principle   133

The four cardinal virtues are assumed as constituting the whole of
Good or Virtue, where each of these virtues resides   134

First mention of these, as an exhaustive classification, in
ethical theory. Plato effaces the distinction between Temperance
and Justice   135

All the four are here assumed as certain and determinate, though
in former dialogues they appear indeterminate and full of unsolved
difficulties   137

Difficulties left unsolved, but overleaped by Plato   138

Ethical and political theory combined by Plato, treated apart by
Aristotle   _ib._

Platonic Commonwealth--only an outline--partially filled up   139

Absolute rule of a few philosophers--Careful and peculiar training
of the Guardians   _ib._

Comparison of Plato with Xenophon--Cyropædia--OEconomicus   141

Both of them combine polity with education--temporal with
spiritual   142

Differences between them--Character of Cyrus   _ib._

Xenophontic genius for command--Practical training--Sokratic
principles applied in Persian training   144

Plato does not build upon an individual hero. Platonic training
compared with Xenophontic   146

Platonic type of character compared with Xenophontic, is like the
Athenian compared with the Spartan   147

Professional soldiers are the proper modern standard of comparison
with the regulations of Plato and Xenophon   148

Music and Gymnastic--multifarious and varied effects of music

Great influence of the poets and their works on education

Plato's idea of the purpose which poetry and music _ought_ to
serve in education   151

He declares war against most of the traditional and consecrated
poetry, as mischievous   _ib._

Strict limits imposed by Plato on poets   153

His view of the purposes of fiction--little distinction between
fiction and truth. His censures upon Homer and the tragedians

Type of character prescribed by Plato, to which all poets must
conform, in tales about Gods and Heroes 155

Position of Plato as an innovator on the received faith and
traditions. Fictions indispensable to the Platonic Commonwealth

Difficulty of procuring first admission for fictions. Ease with
which they perpetuate themselves after having been once admitted

Views entertained by Kritias and others, that the religious
doctrines generally believed had originated with law-givers, for
useful purposes   159

Main points of dissent between Plato and his countrymen, in
respect to religious doctrine   161

Theology of Plato compared with that of Epikurus--Neither of them
satisfied the exigencies of a believing religious mind of that day

Plato conceives the Gods according to the exigencies of his own
mind--complete discord with those of the popular mind   163

Repugnance of ordinary Athenians in regard to the criticism of
Sokrates on the religious legends   165

Aristophanes connects the idea of immorality with the freethinkers
and their wicked misinterpretations   _ib._

Heresies ascribed to Sokrates by his own friends--Unpopularity of
his name from this circumstance   168

Restrictions imposed by Plato upon musical modes and reciters

All these restrictions intended for the emotional training of the
Guardians   169

Regulations for the life of the Guardians, especially the
prohibition of separate property and family   _ib._

Purpose of Plato in these regulations   _ib._

Common life, education, drill, collective life, and duties, for
Guardians of both sexes. Views of Plato respecting the female
character and aptitudes   171

His arguments against the ordinary doctrine   172

Opponents appealed to nature as an authority against Plato. He
invokes Nature on his own side against them   173

Collective family relations and denominations among the
Guardians   174

Restrictions upon sexual intercourse--Purposes of such
restrictions   175

Regulations about marriages and family   176

Procreative powers of individual Guardians required to be held at
the disposal of the rulers, for purity of breed   177

Purpose to create an intimate and equal sympathy among all the
Guardians, but to prevent exclusive sympathy of particular members

Platonic scheme--partial communism   179

Soldiership as a separate profession has acquired greater
development in modern times   180

Spartan institutions--great impression which they produced upon
speculative Greek minds   181

Plans of these speculative minds compared with Spartan--Different
types of character contemplated   182

Plato carries abstraction farther than Xenophon or Aristotle   183

Anxiety shown by Plato for the good treatment of the Demos,
greater than that shown by Xenophon and Aristotle   _ib._

In Aristotle's theory, the Demos are not considered as members of
the Commonwealth, but as adjuncts   184

Objection urged by Aristotle against the Platonic Republic, that
it will be two cities. Spiritual pride of the Guardians, contempt
for the Demos   _ib._

Plato's scheme fails, mainly because he provides no training for
the Demos   186

Principle of Aristotle--That every citizen belongs to the city,
not to himself--applied by Plato to women   187

Aristotle declares the Platonic Commonwealth impossible--In what
sense this is true   189

The real impossibility of the Platonic Commonwealth, arises from
the fact that discordant sentiments are already established   191

Plato has strong feelings of right and wrong about sexual
intercourse, but referring to different objects   192

Different sentiment which would grow up in the Platonic
Commonwealth respecting the sexual relations   193

What Nature prescribes in regard to the relations of the two
sexes--Direct contradiction between Plato and Aristotle   194

Opinion of Plato respecting the capacities of women, and the
training proper for women, are maintained in the Leges, as well as
in the Republic. Ancient legends harmonising with this opinion

In a Commonwealth like the Platonic, the influence of Aphroditê
would probably have been reduced to a minimum   197

Other purposes of Plato--limitation of number of Guardians--common
to Aristotle also   198

Law of population expounded by Malthus--Three distinct checks to
population--alternative open between preventive and positive

Plato and Aristotle saw the same law as Malthus, but arranged the
facts under a different point of view   202

Regulations of Plato and Aristotle as to number of births and
newborn children   _ib._

Such regulations disapproved and forbidden by modern sentiment.
Variability of ethical sentiment as to objects approved or
disapproved   203

Plato and Aristotle required subordination of impulse to reason
and duty--they applied this to the procreative impulse, as to
others   204

Training of the few select philosophers to act as chiefs   205

Comprehensive curriculum for aspirants to philosophy--consummation
by means of Dialectic   206

Valuable remarks on the effects of these preparatory studies   207

Differences between the Republic and other dialogues--no mention
of reminiscence nor of the Elenchus   _ib._

Different view taken by Plato in the Republic about Dialectic--and
different place assigned to it   208

Contradiction with the spirit of other dialogues Parmenidês,
&c.   209

Contradiction with the character and declarations of Sokrates

The remarks here made upon the effect of Dialectic upon youth
coincide with the accusation of Melêtus against Sokrates

Contrast between the real Sokrates, as a dissenter at Athens, and
the Platonic Sokrates, framer and dictator of the Platonic
Republic   _ib._

Idea of Good--The Chiefs alone know what it is--If they did not
they would be unfit for their functions   212

What is the Good? Plato does not know; but he requires the Chiefs
to know it. Without this the Republic would be a failure   213



Persons and scheme of the Timæus and Kritias   215

The Timæus is the earliest ancient physical theory, which we
possess in the words of its author   216

Position and character of the Pythagorean Timæus   _ib._

Poetical imagination displayed by Plato. He pretends to nothing
more than probability. Contrast with Sokrates, Isokrates, Xenophon

Fundamental distinction between Ens and Fientia   219

Postulates of Plato. The Demiurgus--The Eternal Ideas--Chaotic
Materia or Fundamentum. The Kosmos is a living being and a God

The Demiurgus not a Creator--The Kosmos arises from his operating
upon the random movements of Necessity. He cannot controul
necessity--he only persuades   _ib._

Meaning of Necessity in Plato   221

Process of demiurgic construction--The total Kosmos comes
logically first, constructed on the model of the [Greek:
Au)tozô=on]   223

Body of the Kosmos, perfectly spherical--its rotations   225

Soul of the Kosmos--its component ingredients--stretched from
centre to circumference   _ib._

Regular or measured Time--began with the Kosmos   227

Divine tenants of the Kosmos. Primary and Visible Gods--Stars and
Heavenly Bodies   229

Secondary and generated Gods--Plato's dictum respecting them. His
acquiescence in tradition   230

Remarks on Plato's Canon of Belief   231

Address and order of the Demiurgus to the generated Gods   233

Preparations for the construction of man. Conjunction of three
souls and one body   _ib._

Proceedings of the generated Gods--they fabricate the cranium, as
miniature of the Kosmos, with the rational soul rotating within it

The cranium is mounted on a tall body--six varieties of
motion--organs of sense. Vision--Light   236

Principal advantages of sight and hearing. Observations of the
rotation of the Kosmos   237

The Kosmos is product of joint action of Reason and Necessity. The
four visible and tangible elements are not primitive   238

Forms or Ideas and Materia Prima--Forms of the Elements--Place, or
Receptivity   _ib._

Primordial Chaos--Effect of intervention by the Demiurgus   240

Geometrical theory of the elements--fundamental triangles--regular
solids   _ib._

Varieties of each element   242

Construction of man imposed by the Demiurgus upon the secondary
Gods. Triple Soul. Distribution thereof in the body   243

Functions of the heart and lungs. Thoracic soul   245

Abdominal Soul--difficulty of controuling it--functions of the
liver   _ib._

The liver is made the seat of the prophetic agency. Function of
the spleen   246

Length of the intestinal canal, in order that food might not be
frequently needed   247

Bone--Flesh--Marrow   _ib._

Nails--Mouth--Teeth. Plants produced for nutrition of man   248

General view of Diseases and their Causes   249

Diseases of mind--wickedness is a disease--no man is voluntarily
wicked   _ib._

Badness of mind arises from body   250

Preservative and healing agencies against disease--well-regulated
exercise, of mind and body proportionally   250

Treatment proper for mind alone, apart from body--supremacy of the
rational soul must be cultivated   251

We must study and understand the rotations of the Kosmos--this is
the way to amend the rotations of the rational soul   252

Construction of women, birds, quadrupeds, fishes, &c., all
from the degradation of primitive man   _ib._

Large range of topics introduced in the Timæus   254

The Demiurgus of the Platonic Timæus--how conceived by other
philosophers of the same century   _ib._

Adopted and welcomed by the Alexandrine Jews, as a parallel to the
Mosaic Genesis   256

Physiology of the Platonic Timæus--subordinate to Plato's views of
ethical teleology. Triple soul--each soul at once material and
mental 257

Triplicity of the soul--espoused afterwards by Galen   258

Admiration of Galen for Plato--his agreement with Plato, and his
dissension from Plato--his improved physiology   259

Physiology and Pathology of Plato--compared with that of Aristotle
and the Hippokratic treatises   260

Contrast between the admiration of Plato for the constructors of
the Kosmos, and the defective results which he describes   262

Degeneration of the real tenants of Earth from their primitive
type   263

Close of the Timæus. Plato turns away from the shameful results,
and reverts to the glorification of the primitive types   264

Kritias: a fragment   265

Prooemium to Timæus. Intended Tetralogy for the Republic. The
Kritias was third piece in that Tetralogy   _ib._

Subject of the Kritias. Solon and the Egyptian priests. Citizens
of Platonic Republic are identified with ancient Athenians   266

Plato professes that what he is about to recount is matter of
history, recorded by Egyptian priests   268

Description of the vast island of Atlantis and its powerful kings

Corruption and wickedness of the Atlantid people   269

Conjectures as to what the Platonic Kritias would have been--an
ethical epic in prose   _ib._

Plato represents the epic Kritias as matter of recorded history



Leges, the longest of Plato's works--Persons of the dialogue   272

Abandonment of Plato's philosophical projects prior to the Leges

Untoward circumstances of Plato's later life--His altered tone in
regard to philosophy   _ib._

General comparison of Leges with Plato's earlier works   275

Scene of the Leges, not in Athens, but in Krete. Persons Kretan
and Spartan, comparatively illiterate   277

Gymnastic training, military drill, and public mess, in Krete and
Sparta   279

Difference between Leges and Republic, illustrated by reference to
the Politikus   280

Large proportion of preliminary discussions and didactic
exhortation in the Leges   281

Scope of the discussion laid down by the Athenian speaker--The
Spartan institutions are framed only for war--This is narrow and
erroneous   282

Principles on which the institutions of a state ought to be
defended--You must show that its ethical purpose and working is
good   284

Religious and ethical character postulated by Plato for a
community   _ib._

Endurance of pain enforced as a part of the public discipline at
Sparta   285

Why are not the citizens tested in like manner, in regard to
resistance against the seductions of pleasure?   _ib._

Drunkenness forbidden at Sparta, and blamed by the Spartan
converser. The Athenian proceeds to inquire how far such
unqualified prohibition is justifiable   286

Description of Sokrates in the Symposion--his self-command under
abundant potations   287

Sokrates--an ideal of self-command, both as to pain and as to
pleasure   288

Trials for testing the self-controul of the citizen, under the
influence of wine. Dionysiac banquets, under a sober president

The gifts of Dionysus may, by precautions, be rendered
useful--Desultory manner of Plato   _ib._

Theory of ethical and æsthetical education--Training of the
emotions of youth through the influence of the Muses, Apollo, and
Dionysus. Choric practice and ceremonies   290

Music and dancing--imitation of the voice and movements of brave
and virtuous men. Youth must be taught to take delight in this

Bad musical exhibitions and poetry forbidden by the lawgiver.
Songs and dances must be consecrated by public authority. Prizes
at the musical festivals to be awarded by select judges   292

The Spartan and Kretan agree with the Athenian, that poets must be
kept under a strict censorship. But they do not agree as to what
the poets are required to conform to   _ib._

Ethical creed laid down by the Athenian--Poets required to conform
to it   294

The Spartan and Kretan do not agree with him   296

Chorus of Elders are required to set an example in keeping up the
purity of the music prescribed   297

The Elders require the stimulus of wine, in order to go through
the choric duties with spirit   _ib._

Peculiar views of Plato about intoxication   298

General ethical doctrine held by Plato in Leges   299

Pleasure--Good--Happiness--What is the relation between them?

Comparison of the doctrine laid down in Leges   300

Doctrine in Leges about Pleasure and Good--approximates more
nearly to the Protagoras than to Gorgias and Philêbus   301

Comparison of Leges with Republic and Gorgias   302

Plato here mistrusts the goodness of his own proof. He falls back
upon useful fiction   303

Deliberate ethical fiction employed as means of governing   304

Importance of music and chorus as an engine of teaching for Plato.
Views of Xenophon and Aristotle compared   305

Historical retrospect as to the growth of cities--Frequent
destruction of established communities, with only a small remnant
left   307

Historical or legendary retrospect--The Trojan war--The return of
the Herakleids   308

Difficulties of government--Conflicts about command--Seven
distinct titles to command exist among mankind, all equally
natural, and liable to conflict   309

Imprudence of founding government upon any one of these titles
separately--Governments of Argos and Messênê ruined by the
single principle--Sparta avoided it   310

Plato casts Hellenic legend into accordance with his own political
theories   311

Persia and Athens compared--Excess of despotism. Excess of liberty

Cyrus and Darius--Bad training of sons of kings   _ib._

Changes for the worse in government of Athens, after the Persian
invasion of Greece   313

This change began in music, and the poets introduced new modes of
composition--they appealed to the sentiment of the people, and
corrupted them   314

Danger of changes in the national music--declared by Damon, the
musical teacher   315

Plato's aversion to the tragic and comic poetry at Athens   316

This aversion peculiar to himself, not shared either by
oligarchical politicians, or by other philosophers   317

Doctrines of Plato in this prefatory matter   318

Compared with those of the Republic and of the Xenophontic
Cyropædia   319

Constructive scheme--Plato's new point of view   320

New Colony to be founded in Krete--its general conditions

The Athenian declares that he will not merely promulgate
peremptory laws, but will recommend them to the citizens by
prologues or hortatory discourses   321

General character of these prologues--didactic or rhetorical
homilies   322

Great value set by Plato himself upon these prologues. They are to
serve as type for all poets. No one is allowed to contradict
them   323

Contrast of Leges with Gorgias and Phædrus   324

Regulations for the new colony--About religious worship, the
oracles of Delphi and Dodona are to be consulted   325

Perpetuity of number of citizens, and of lots of land, one to
each, inalienable and indivisible   326

Plato reasserts his adherence to the principle of the Republic,
though the repugnance of others hinders him from realising it

Regulations about land, successions, marriages, &c. The number
of citizens must not be allowed to increase   328

Position of the city and akropolis--Distribution of the territory
and citizens into twelve equal sections or tribes   329

Movable property--Inequality therein reluctantly allowed, as far
as four to one, but no farther   330

Census of the citizens--four classes, with graduated scale of
property. No citizen to possess gold or silver. No loans or
interest. No debts enforced by law   331

Board of thirty-seven Nomophylakes--general supervisors of the
laws and their execution--how elected 332

Military commanders--General council of 360--complicated mode of
election   _ib._

Character of the electoral scheme--Plato's views about wealth--he
caters partly for the oligarchical sentiment, partly for the
democratical   333

Meetings of council--other magistrates--Agoranomi--Astynomi,
&c.   335

Defence of the territory--rural police--Agronomi, &c.

Comparison with the Lacedæmonian Kryptia   336

Priests--Exêgêtæ--Property belonging to temples   337

Superintendence of Music and Gymnastic. Educational function

Grave duties of the Minister of Education--precautions in electing
him   338

Judicial duties   339

Private Causes--how tried   _ib._

Public Causes must be tried directly by the citizens--strong
feeling among Greeks about this   340

Plato's way of meeting this feeling--intermediate inquiry and
report by a special Commissioner   340

What laws the magistrates are to enforce--Many details must be
left to the Nomophylakes   341

Marriage-Laws--Rich husbands to choose poor wives--No
dowries--costly marriage festivals are forbidden   342

Laws about slavery. Slaves to be well fed, and never treated with
cruelty or insolence. The master must not converse with them

Circular form for the city--Temples in the centre--No walls round
it   344

Mode of life prescribed to new-married couples They are to take
the best care about good procreation for the city   _ib._

Board of superintending matrons   345

Age fixed for marriage. During the first ten years the couple are
under obligation to procreate for the city--Restrictions during
these ten years   _ib._

How infants are to be brought up--Nurses--Perpetual regulated
movements useful for toning down violent emotions   346

Choric and orchestic movements, their effect in discharging strong
emotions   347

Training of boys and girls   348

Musical and literary teaching for youth--Poetry, songs, music,
dances, must all be fixed by authority, and never
changed--Mischief done by poets aiming to please   349

Boys and girls to learn letters and the lyre, from ten to thirteen
years of age. Masters will teach the laws and homilies of the
lawgiver, and licensed extracts from the poets   350

The teaching is to be simple, and common to both sexes   351

Rudiments of arithmetic and geometry to be taught   352

Astronomy must be taught, in order that the citizens may not
assert libellous falsehoods respecting the heavenly bodies   354

Hunting--how far permitted or advised   355

Large general sense which Plato gives to the word hunting   356

Number of religious sacrifices to be determined by lawgiver   357

Military muster of the whole citizen population once in each
month--men, women, and children   358

Gymnastic training must have reference to war, not to
athletic prizes   358

Regulation of sexual intercourse. Syssitia or public mess   359

Regulations about landed property--Boundaries--Limited power of
fining by magistrates   360

Regulations about artisans--Distribution of the annual landed
produce   361

Admission of resident Metics--conditions attached   362

Offences and penal judicature--Procedure of the Dikasts

Sacrilege, the gravest of all crimes. High Treason   363

Theft punished by _poena dupli_. General exhortation
founded by Plato upon this enactment   364

All unjust men are unjust involuntarily.--No such thing as
voluntary injustice. Injustice depends upon the temper of the
agent--Distinction between damage and injury   365

Damage may be voluntary or involuntary--Injustice is shown often
by conferring corrupt profit upon another--Purpose of punishment,
to heal the distemper of the criminal   _ib._

Three distinct causes of misguided proceedings. 1. Painful
stimulus. 2. Pleasurable stimulus. 3. Ignorance   366

The unjust man is under the influence either of the first or
second of these causes, without controul of Reason. If he acts
under controul of Reason, though the Reason be bad, he is not
unjust   367

Reasoning of Plato to save his doctrine--That no man commits
injustice voluntarily   _ib._

Peculiar definition of injustice. A man may do great voluntary
hurt to others, and yet not be unjust, provided he does it under
the influence of Reason, and not of Appetite   368

Plato's purpose in the Laws is to prevent or remedy not only
injustice but misconduct   369

Varieties of homicide--modes of dealing with them penally   370

Homicide involuntary--Homicide under provocation   _ib._

Homicide voluntary   371

Homicide between kinsmen 372

Homicide justifiable--in what cases   _ib._

Infliction of wounds   _ib._

Infliction of blows   373

Plato has borrowed much from Attic procedure, especially in regard
to Homicide--Peculiar view of Homicide at Athens, as to procedure

Impiety or outrage offered to divine things or places   375

All impiety arises from one or other of three heresies. 1. No
belief in the Gods. 2. Belief that the Gods interfere very little.
3. Belief that they may be appeased by prayer and sacrifice   376

Punishment for these three heretical beliefs, with or without
overt act   _ib._

Heretic, whose conduct has been virtuous and faultless, to be
imprisoned for five years, perhaps more   _ib._

Heretic with bad conduct--punishment to be inflicted   377

No private worship or religious rites allowed. Every citizen must
worship at the public temples   _ib._

Uncertain and mischievous action of the religious sentiment upon
individuals, if not controuled by public authority   378

Intolerant spirit of Plato's legislation respecting uniformity of
belief   379

The persons denounced by Plato as heretics, and punished as such,
would have included a majority of the Grecian world   381

Proëm or prefatory discourse of Plato, for these severe laws
against heretics   383

The third variety of heresy is declared to be the worst--the
belief in Gods persuadable by prayer and sacrifice   384

Heretics censured by Plato--Sokrates censured before the Athenian
Dikasts   385

Kosmological and Kosmogonical theory announced in Leges   386

Soul--older, more powerful in the universe than Body. Different
souls are at work in the universe--the good soul and the bad soul

Plato's argument is unsatisfactory and inconsistent   388

Reverence of Plato for uniform circular rotation   389

Argument of Plato to confute the second class of heretics

Contrary doctrine of Plato in Republic   390

Argument of Plato to refute the third class of heretics   391

General belief in Greece about the efficacy of prayer and
sacrifice to appease the Gods   392

Incongruities of Plato's own doctrine   393

Both Herodotus and Sokrates dissented from Plato's doctrine   394

Great opposition which Plato's doctrine would have encountered in
Greece   395

Local infallibility was claimed as a rule in each community,
though rarely enforced with severity: Plato both claims it more
emphatically, and enforces it more rigorously   396

Farther civil and political regulations for the Magnetic
community. No evidence that Plato had studied the working of
different institutions in practice   397

Modes of acquiring property--legitimate and illegitimate

Plato's general regulations leave little room for disputes about
ownership   398

Plato's principles of legislation, not consistent--comparison of
them with the Attic law about Eranoi   399

Regulations about slaves, and about freedmen   400

Provisions in case a slave is sold, having a distemper upon him

Retailers. Strict regulations about them. No citizen can be a
retailer   _ib._

Frauds committed by sellers--severe punishments on them   402

Comparison with the lighter punishment inflicted by Attic law

Regulations about Orphans and Guardians: also about Testamentary
powers   404

Plato's general coincidence with Attic law and its sentiment   406

Tutelage of Orphans--Disagreement of Married Couples--Divorce

Neglect of Parents   407

Poison--Magic--Incantations--Severe punishment   _ib._

Punishment is inflicted with a view to future prevention or
amendment   408

Penalty for abusive words--for libellous comedy. Mendicity
forbidden   409

Regulations about witnesses on judicial trials   _ib._

Censure of forensic eloquence, and the teachers of it. Penalties
against contentious litigation   410

Many of Plato's laws are discharges of ethical antipathy. The
antipathy of Melêtus against Sokrates was of the same character

Penalty for abuse of public trust--wrongful appropriation of
public money--evasion of military service   412

Oaths. Dikasts, Judges, Electors, are to be sworn: but no parties
to a suit, or interested witnesses, can be sworn   413

Regulations about admission of strangers, and foreign travel of
citizens   414

Suretyship--Length of prescription for ownership, &c.   415

Judicial trial--three stages. 1. Arbitrators.
2. Tribe-Dikasteries. 3. Select Dikastery   _ib._

Funerals--proceedings prescribed--expense limited   _ib._

Conservative organ to keep up the original scheme of the lawgiver.
Nocturnal Council for this purpose--how constituted   _ib._

This Council must keep steadily in view the one great end of the
city--Mistakes made by existing cities about the right end   417

The one end of the city is the virtue of its citizens--that
property which is common to the four varieties of Virtue--Reason,
Courage, Temperance, Justice   _ib._

The Nocturnal** Council must comprehend this unity of Virtue,
explain it to others, and watch that it be carried out in detail

They must also adopt, explain, and enforce upon the citizens, an
orthodox religious creed. Fundamental dogmas of such creed   419

Leges close, without describing the education proper for the
Nocturnal Counsellors. _Epinomis_ supplying this defect   420

The Athenian declares his plan of education--Arithmetic, Geometry,
Astronomy   _ib._

Theological view of Astronomy--Divine Kosmos--Soul more ancient
and more sovereign than Body   421

Improving effects of the study of Astronomy in this spirit   422

Study of arithmetic and geometry: varieties of proportion   423

When the general forms of things have thus been learnt, particular
individuals in nature must be brought under them   _ib._

Question as to education of the Nocturnal Council is answered in
the Epinomis   424

Problem which the Nocturnal Council are required to solve,
What is the common property of Prudence, Courage, Temperance,
Justice, by reason of which each is called Virtue?   425

The only common property is that all of them are essential to the
maintenance of society, and tend to promote human security and
happiness   _ib._

Tendency of the four opposite qualities to lessen human happiness

A certain measure of all the four virtues is required. In judging
of particular acts instigated by each, there is always a tacit
reference to the hurt or benefit in the special case   _ib._

Plato places these four virtues in the highest scale of Expetenda
or Bona, on the ground that all the other Bona are sure to flow
from them   428

In thus directing the attention of the Council to the common
property of the four virtues, Plato enforces upon them the
necessity of looking to the security and happiness of their
community as the paramount end   429

But he enjoins also other objectionable ends   _ib._

Intolerance of Plato--Comparison of the Platonic community with
Athens   _ib._




The Republic is the longest of all the Platonic dialogues, except
the dialogue De Legibus. It consists of ten books, each of them as
long as any one of the dialogues which we have passed in review.
Partly from its length--partly from its lofty pretensions as the
great constructive work of Plato--I shall give little more than an
abstract of it in the present chapter, and shall reserve remark
and comment for the succeeding.

[Side-note: Declared theme of the Republic--Expansion and
multiplication of the topics connected with it.]

The professed subject is--What is Justice? Is the just man happy
in or by reason of his justice? whatever consequences may befall
him? Is the unjust man unhappy by reason of his injustice? But the
ground actually travelled over by Sokrates, from whose mouth the
exposition proceeds, is far more extensive than could have been
anticipated from this announced problem. An immense variety of
topics, belonging to man and society, is adverted to more or less
fully. A theory of psychology or phrenology generally, is laid
down and advocated: likewise a theory of the Intellect,
distributed into its two branches: 1. Science, with the Platonic
Forms or Ideas as Realities corresponding to it; 2. Opinion, with
the fluctuating semi-realities or pseudo-realities, which form its
object. A sovereign rule, exercised by philosophy, is asserted as
indispensable to human happiness. The fundamental conditions of a
good society, as Plato conceived it, are set forth at considerable
length, and contrasted with the social corruptions of various
existing forms of government. The outline of a perfect education,
intellectual and emotional, is drawn up and prescribed for the
ruling class: with many accompanying remarks on the objectionable
tendencies of the popular and consecrated poems. The
post-existence, as well as the pre-existence of the soul, is affirmed
in the concluding books. As the result of the whole, Plato
emphatically proclaims his conviction, that the just man is happy
in and through his justice, quite apart from all consideration of
consequences--yet that the consequences also will be such as to
add to his happiness, both during life as well as after death: and
the unjust man unhappy in and through his injustice.[1]

[Footnote 1: Plat. Repub. i. pp. 328 A, 350 D, 354 A.]

[Side-note: Personages of the dialogue.]

The dramatic introduction of the dialogue (which is described as
held during the summer, immediately after the festival of the
Bendideia in Peiræus), with the picture of the aged Kephalus and
his views upon old age, is among the richest and most spirited in
the Platonic works: but the discussion does not properly begin
until Kephalus retires, leaving it to be carried on by Sokrates
with Polemarchus, Glaukon, Adeimantus, and Thrasymachus.

[Side-note: Views of Kephalus about old age.]

"Old age has its advantages to reasonable men (says Kephalus). If
I have lost the pleasures of youth, I have at the same time lost
the violent desires which then overmastered me. I now enjoy
tranquillity and peace. Without doubt, this is in part owing to my
wealth. But the best that wealth does for me is, that it enables
me to make compensation for deceptions and injustice, practised on
other men in my younger days--and to fulfil all vows made to the
Gods. An old man who is too poor to render such atonement for past
falsehood and injustice, becomes uneasy in his mind as death
approaches; he begins to fear that the stories about Hades, which
he has heard and ridiculed in his youth, may perhaps prove

[Footnote 2: Plato, Repub. i. pp. 330-331.

Compare the language of Cato, more rhetorical and exaggerated than
that of Kephalus, in Cic. De Senect. c. 13-14.]

[Side-note: Definition of Justice by Simonides--It consists
in rendering to every man what is owing to him.]

"Is that your explanation of justice (asks Sokrates): that it
consists in telling truth, and rendering to every one what you
have had from him?" The old man Kephalus here withdraws;
Polemarchus and the others prosecute the discussion. "The poet
Simonides (says Polemarchus) gives an explanation like to that
which you have stated--when he affirms, That just dealing consists
in rendering to every man what is owing to him."

[Side-note: Objections to it by Sokrates--There are cases in
which it is not right to restore what is owing, or to tell the

"I do not know what Simonides means," replies Sokrates. "He cannot
mean that it is always right to tell the truth, or always right to
give back a deposit. If my friend, having deposited arms with me,
afterwards goes mad, and in that state demands them back, it would
not be right in me either to restore the arms, or to tell the
truth, to a man in that condition. Therefore to say that justice
consists in speaking truth and in giving back what we have
received, cannot be a good definition."[3]

[Footnote 3: Plato, Repub. i. p. 331 C-D.

The historical Sokrates argues in the same manner (in the
Memorabilia of Xenophon. See his conversation with Euthydemus, iv.
2; and Cicero, De Offic. iii. 25, 94-95).]

Polemarchus here gives a peculiar meaning to the phrase of
Simonides: a man owes good to his friends--evil to his enemies:
and he ought to pay back both. Upon this Sokrates comments.[4]

[Footnote 4: Sokrates here remarks that the precepts--Speak truth;
Restore what has been confided to you--ought not to be considered
as universally binding. Sometimes justice, or those higher grounds
upon which the rules of justice are founded, prescribe that we
should disobey the precepts. Sokrates takes this for granted, as a
matter which no one will dispute; and it is evident that what
Plato had here in his mind was, the obvious consideration that to
tell the truth or restore a weapon deposited, to one who had gone
mad, would do no good to any one, and might do immense mischief:
thus showing that general utility is both the foundation and the
limiting principle of all precepts respecting just and unjust.
That this is present to the mind of Plato appears evident from his
assuming the position as a matter of course; it is moreover
Sokratic, as we see by the Memorabilia of Xenophon.

But Plato, in another passage of the Republic, clothes this
Sokratic doctrine in a language and hypothesis of his own. He sets
up Forms or Ideas, _per se_. The Just,--The Unjust,--The
Honourable,--The Base, &c. He distinguishes each of these from
the many separate manifestations in which it is specialised. The
Form, though one reality in itself, appears manifold when embodied
and disguised in these diversified accompaniments. It remains One
and Unchanged, the object of Science and universal infallible
truth; but each of its separate manifestations is peculiar to
itself, appears differently to different minds, and admits of no
higher certainty than fallible opinion. Though the Form of Justice
always remains the same, yet its subordinate embodiments ever
fluctuate; there is no given act nor assemblage of acts which is
always just. Every just act (see Republic, v. pp. 476 A-479 A) is
liable under certain circumstances to become unjust; or to be
invaded and overclouded by the Form of Injustice. The genuine
philosopher will detect the Form of Justice wherever it is to be
found, in the midst of accompaniments however discrepant and
confused, over all which he will ascend to the region of universal
truth and reality. The unphilosophical mind cannot accomplish this
ascent, nor detect the pure Form, nor even recognise its real
existence: but sees nothing beyond the multiplicity of diverse
particular cases in which it is or appears to be embodied.
Respecting these particular cases there is no constant or
universal truth, no full science. They cannot be thrown into
classes to which the superior Form constantly and unconditionally
adheres. They are midway between reality and non-reality: they are
matters of opinion more or less reasonable, but not of certain
science or unconditional affirmation. Among mankind generally, who
see nothing of true and absolute Form, the received rules and
dogmas respecting the Just, the Beautiful, &c., are of this
intermediate and ambiguous kind: they can neither be affirmed
universally, nor denied universally; they are partly true, partly
false, determinable only by opinion in each separate case. Plato,
Repub. v. p. 479 C-D: [Greek: ou)/t' ei)=nai ou)/te mê\ ei)=nai
ou)de\n au)tô=n dunato\n pagi/ôs noê=sai, ou)/te a)mpho/tera
ou)/te ou)de/teron . . . Ta\ tô=n pollô=n polla\ no/mima, kalou=
te pe/ri kai\ tô=n a)/llôn, metaxu/ pou kulindei=tai tou= te mê\
o)/ntos kai\ tou= o)/ntos ei)likrinô=s.]

Of the distinction here drawn in general terms by Plato, between
the pure unchangeable Form, and the subordinate classes of
particulars in which that Form is or appears to be embodied, the
reasoning above cited respecting truth-telling and giving back a
deposit is an example.]

[Side-note: Explanation by Polemarchus--Farther
interrogations by Sokrates--Justice renders what is proper and
suitable: but how? in what cases, proper? Under what circumstances
is Justice useful?]

_S._--Simonides meant to say (you tell me) that Justice
consists in rendering benefits to your friends, evil to your
enemies: that is, in rendering to each what is proper and
suitable. But we must ask him farther--Proper and suitable--how?
in what cases? to whom? The medical art is that which renders what
is proper and suitable, of nourishment and medicaments for the
health of the body: the art of cookery is that which renders what
is proper and suitable, of savoury ingredients for the
satisfaction of the palate. In like manner, the cases must be
specified in which justice renders what is proper and suitable--to
whom, how, or what?[5] _P._--Justice consists in doing good
to friends, evil to enemies. _S._--Who is it that is most
efficient in benefiting his friends and injuring his enemies, as
to health or disease? _P._--It is the physician. _S._--Who,
in reference to the dangers in navigation by sea? _P._--The
steersman. _S._--In what matters is it that the just man
shows his special efficiency, to benefit friends and hurt
enemies?[6] _P._--In war: as a combatant for the one and
against the other. _S._--To men who are not sick, the
physician is of no use nor the steersman, to men on dry land:
Do you mean in like manner, that the just man is useless to those
who are not at war? _P._--No: I do not mean that. Justice is
useful in peace also. _S._--So also is husbandry, for raising
food--shoemaking, for providing shoes. Tell me for what want or
acquisition justice is useful during peace? _P._--It is
useful for the common dealings and joint transactions between man
and man. _S._--When we are engaged in playing at draughts,
the good player is our useful co-operator: when in laying bricks
and stones, the skilful mason: much more than the just man. Can
you specify in what particular transactions the just man has any
superior usefulness as a co-operator? _P._--In affairs of
money, I think. _S._--Surely not in the employment of money.
When you want to buy a horse, you must take for your assistant,
not the just man, but one who knows horses: so also, if you are
purchasing a ship. What are those modes of jointly employing
money, in which the just man is more useful than others?
_P._--He is useful when you wish to have your money safely
kept. _S._--That is, when your money is not to be employed,
but to lie idle: so that when your money is useless, then is the
time when justice is useful for it. _P._--So it seems.
_S._--In regard to other things also, a sickle, a shield, a
lyre when you want to use them, the pruner, the hoplite, the
musician, must be invoked as co-operators: justice is useful only
when you are to keep them unused. In a word, justice is useless
for the use of any thing, and useful merely for things not in use.
Upon this showing, it is at least a matter of no great worth.[7]

[Footnote 5: Plato, Republic, i. p. 332 D. [Greek: ê( ou)=n dê\
ti/si ti/ a)podidou=sa te/chnê dikaiosu/nê a)\n kaloi=to?]]

[Footnote 6: Plato, Republic, i. p. 332 E. [Greek: o( di/kaios e)n
ti/ni pra/xei kai\ pro\s ti/ e)/rgon dunatô/tatos phi/lous
ô)phelei=n kai\ e)chthrou\s bla/ptein?]]

[Footnote 7: Plat. Repub. i. pp. 332-333. 333 E: [Greek: Ou)k a)\n
ou)=n pa/nu ge/ ti spoudai=on ei)/ê ê( dikaiosu/nê, ei) pro\s ta\
a)/chrêsta chrê/simon o)\n tugcha/nei?]]

[Side-note: The just man, being good for keeping property
guarded, must also be good for stealing property--Analogies

But let us pursue the investigation (continues Sokrates). In
boxing or in battle, is not he who is best in striking, best also
in defending himself? In regard to disease, is not he who can best
guard himself against it, the most formidable for imparting it to
others? Is not the general who watches best over his own camp,
also the most effective in surprising and over-reaching the enemy?
In a word, whenever a man is effective as a guard of any thing, is
he not also effective as a thief of it? _P._--Such seems the
course of the discussion. _S._--Well then, the just man turns
out to be a sort of thief, like the Homeric Autolykus.
According to the explanation of Simonides, justice is a mode of
thieving, for the profit of friends and damage of enemies.[8]
_P._--It cannot be so. I am in utter confusion. Yet I think
still that justice is profitable to friends, and hurtful to

[Footnote 8: Plat. Repub. i. p. 334 B. [Greek: e)/oiken ou)=n ê(
dikaiosu/nê . . . kleptikê/ tis ri)=nai, e)p' ô)phelei/a| me/ntoi
tô=n phi/lôn, kai\ e)pi\ bla/bê| tô=n e)chthrô=n.]]

[Side-note: Justice consists in doing good to friends, evil
to enemies--But how, if a man mistakes who his friends are, and
makes friends of bad men?]

_S._--Whom do you call friends: those whom a man believes to
be good,--or those who really are good, whether he believes them
to be so or not: and the like, in reference to enemies?
_P._--I mean those whom he believes to be good. It is natural that
he should love _them_ and that he should hate those whom he
believes to be evil. _S._--But is not a man often mistaken in
this belief? _P._--Yes: often. _S._--In so far as a man
is mistaken, the good men are his enemies, and the evil men his
friends. Justice, therefore, on your showing, consists in doing
good to the evil men, and evil to the good men. _P._--So it
appears. _S._--Now good men are just, and do no wrong to any
one. It is therefore just, on your explanation, to hurt those who
do no wrong. _P._--Impossible! that is a monstrous doctrine.
_S._--You mean, then, that it is just to hurt unjust men, and
to benefit just men? _P._--Yes; that is something better.
_S._--It will often happen, therefore, when a man misjudges
about others, that justice will consist in hurting his friends,
since they are in his estimation the evil men: and in benefiting
his enemies, since they are in his estimation the good men. Now
this is the direct contrary of what Simonides defined to be

[Footnote 9: Plato, Republic, i. p. 334 D.]

[Side-note: Justice consists in doing good to your friend, if
really a good man: hurt to your enemy, with the like proviso.
Sokrates affirms that the just man will do no hurt to any one.
Definition of Simonides rejected.]

"We have misconceived the meaning of Simonides (replies
Polemarchus). He must have meant that justice consists in
benefiting your friend, assuming him to be a good man: and in
hurting your enemy, assuming him to be an evil man." Sokrates
proceeds to impugn the definition in this new sense. He shows that
justice does not admit of our hurting any man, either evil or
good. By hurting the evil man, we only make him more evil than he
was before. To do this belongs not to justice, but to
injustice.[10] The definition of justice--That it consists in
rendering benefit to friends and hurt to enemies--is not suitable
to a wise man like Simonides, but to some rich potentate like
Periander or Xerxes, who thinks his own power irresistible.[11]

[Footnote 10: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 335-336.]

[Footnote 11: Here is a characteristic specimen of searching
cross-examination in the Platonic or Sokratic style: citing
multiplied analogies, and requiring the generalities of a
definition to be clothed with particulars, that its sufficiency
may be proved in each of many successive as well as different

[Side-note: Thrasymachus takes up the dialogue--Repulsive
portrait drawn of him.]

At this turn of the dialogue, when the definition given by
Simonides has just been refuted, Thrasymachus breaks in, and takes
up the conversation with Sokrates. He is depicted as angry,
self-confident to excess, and coarse in his manners even to the length
of insult. The portrait given of him is memorable for its dramatic
vivacity, and is calculated to present in an odious point of view
the doctrines which he advances: like the personal deformities
which Homer heaps upon Thersites in the Iliad.[12] But how far it
is a copy of the real man, we have no evidence to inform us.

[Footnote 12: Homer, Iliad B 216. Respecting Thrasymachus the
reader should compare Spengel--[Greek: Sunagôgê\ Technô=n]--pp.
94-98: which abates the odium inspired by this picture in the

[Side-note: Violence of Thrasymachus--Subdued manner of
Sokrates--Conditions of useful colloquy.]

In the contrast between Sokrates and Thrasymachus, Plato gives
valuable hints as to the conditions of instructive colloquy. "What
nonsense is all this!" (exclaims Thrasymachus). "Do not content
yourself with asking questions, Sokrates, which you know is much
easier than answering: but tell us yourself what Justice is: give
us a plain answer: do not tell us that it is what is right--or
profitable--or for our interest--or gainful--or advantageous: for
I will not listen to any trash like this." "Be not so harsh with
us, Thrasymachus" (replies Sokrates, in a subdued tone). "If we
have taken the wrong course of inquiry, it is against our own
will. You ought to feel pity for us rather than anger." "I
thought" (rejoined Thrasymachus, with a scornful laugh) "that you
would have recourse to your usual pretence of ignorance, and would
decline answering." _S._--How can I possibly answer, when you
prescribe beforehand what I am to say or not to say? If you ask
men--How much is twelve? and at the same time say--Don't tell
me that it is twice six, or three times four, or four times
three--how can any man answer your question? _T._--As if the two
cases were similar! _S._--Why not similar? But even though
they be not similar, yet if the respondent thinks them so, how can
he help answering according as the matter appears to him, whether
we forbid him or not? _T._--Is that what you intend to do?
Are you going to give me one of those answers which I forbade?
_S._--Very likely I may, if on consideration it appears to me
the proper answer.[13] _T._--What will you say if I show you
another answer better than all of them? What penalty will you then
impose upon yourself? _S._--What penalty?--why, that which
properly falls upon the ignorant. It is their proper fate to learn
from men wiser than themselves: that is the penalty which I am
prepared for.[14]

[Footnote 13: Plato, Repub. i. p. 337 C. [Greek: Ei) d' ou)=n
_kai\ mê\ e)/stin o(/moion, phai/netai de\ tô=| e)rôtêthe/nti
toiou=ton, ê(=tto/n ti au)to\n oi)/ei a)pokrinei=sthai to\
phaino/menon e(autô=|_, e)a/n te ê(mei=s a)pagoreu/ômen, e)a/n
te mê/? A)/llo ti ou)=n, e)/phê, kai\ su\ ou(/tô poiê/seis? ô(=n
e)gô\ a)pei=pon, tou/tôn ti a)pokrinei=? Ou)k a)\n thauma/saimi,
ê)=n d' e)gô/, _ei)/ moi skepsame/nô| ou(/tô_ do/xeien.]

This passage deserves notice, inasmuch as Plato here affirms, in
very plain language, the Protagorean doctrine, which we have seen
him trying to refute in the Theætêtus and Kratylus,--"Homo
Mensura,--Every man is a measure to himself. That is true or false
to every man which appears to him so."

Most of Plato's dialogues indeed imply this truth; for no man
makes more constant appeal to the internal assent or dissent of
the individual interlocutor. But it is seldom that he declares it
in such express terms.]

[Footnote 14: Plato, Republic, i. p. 337 D.]

[Side-note: Definition given by Thrasymachus--Justice is
that which is advantageous to the more powerful. Comments by
Sokrates. What if the powerful man mistakes his own advantage?]

After a few more words, in the same offensive and insolent tone
ascribed to him from the beginning, Thrasymachus produces his
definition of Justice:--"Justice is that which is advantageous to
the more powerful". Some comments from Sokrates bring out a fuller
explanation, whereby the definition stands amended:--"Justice is
that which is advantageous to the constituted authority, or to
that which holds power, in each different community: monarchy,
oligarchy, or democracy, as the case may be. Each of these
authorities makes laws and ordinances for its own interest:
declares what is just and unjust: and punishes all citizens who
infringe its commands. Justice consists in obeying these commands.
In this sense, justice is everywhere that which is for the
interest or advantage of the more powerful."[15] "I too believe"
(says Sokrates) "that justice is something advantageous, in a
certain sense. But whether you are right in adding these words--'to
the more powerful'--is a point for investigation.[16] Assuming
that the authorities in each state make ordinances for their own
advantage, you will admit that they sometimes mistake, and enact
ordinances tending to their own disadvantage. In so far as they do
this, justice is not that which is advantageous, but that which is
disadvantageous, to the more powerful.[17] Your definition
therefore will not hold."

[Footnote 15: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 338-339.]

[Footnote 16: Plato, Republic, i. p. 339 B. [Greek: e)peidê\ ga\r
xumphe/ron ge/ ti ei)=nai kai\ e)gô\ o(mologô= to\ di/kaion, su\
de\ prosti/thês kai\ au)to\ phê\s ei)=nai _to\ tou=
krei/ttonos_, e)gô\ de\ a)gnoô=, skepte/on dê/.]]

[Footnote 17: Plato, Republic, i. p. 339 E.]

[Side-note: Correction by Thrasymachus--if the Ruler
mistakes, he is _pro tanto_ no Ruler--The Ruler, _quâ_
Ruler--_quâ_ Craftsman--is infallible.]

Thrasymachus might have replied to this objection by saying, that
he meant what the superior power conceived to be for its own
advantage, and enacted accordingly, whether such conception was
correct or erroneous. This interpretation, though indicated by a
remark put into the mouth of Kleitophon, is not farther
pursued.[18] But in the reply really ascribed to Thrasymachus, he
is made to retract what he had just before admitted--that the
superior authority sometimes commits mistakes. In so far as a
superior or a ruler makes mistakes (Thrasymachus says), he is not
a superior. We say, indeed, speaking loosely, that the ruler falls
into error, just as we say that the physician or the steersman
falls into error. The physician does not err _quâ_ physician,
nor the steersman _quâ_ steersman. No craftsman errs
_quâ_ craftsman. If he errs, it is not from his craft, but
from want of knowledge: that is, from want of craft.[19] What the
ruler, as such, declares to be best for himself, and therefore
enacts, is always really best for himself: this is justice for the
persons under his rule.

[Footnote 18: Plato, Republic, i. p. 340 B.]

[Footnote 19: Plato, Republic, i. p. 340 E. [Greek: e)pilipou/sês
ga\r e)pistê/mês o( a(marta/nôn a(marta/nei, e)n ô(=| ou)/k e)sti
dêmiourgo/s; ô(/ste dêmiourgo\s ê)\ sopho\s ê)\ a)/rchôn ou)dei\s
a(marta/nei to/te o(/tan a)/rchôn ê)=|.]]

[Side-note: Reply by Sokrates--The Ruler, _quâ_
infallible Craftsman, studies the interest of those whom he
governs, and not his own interest.]

To this subtle distinction, Sokrates replies by saying (in
substance), "If you take the craftsman in this strict meaning, as
representing the abstraction Craft, it is not true that his
proceedings are directed towards his own interest or advantage.
What he studies is, the advantage of his subjects or clients,
not his own. The physician, as such, has it in view to cure his
patients: the steersman, to bring his passengers safely to
harbour: the ruler, so far forth as craftsman, makes laws for the
benefit of his subjects, and not for his own. If obedience to
these laws constitutes justice, therefore, it is not true that
justice consists in what is advantageous to the superior or
governing power. It would rather consist in what is advantageous
to the governed."[20]

[Footnote 20: Plato, Republic, i. p. 342.]

[Side-note: Thrasymachus denies this--Justice is the good of
another. The just many are worse off than the unjust One, and are
forced to submit to his superior strength.]

Thrasymachus is now represented as renouncing the abstraction
above noted,[21] and reverting to the actualities of life. "Such
talk is childish!" (he exclaims, with the coarseness imputed to
him in this dialogue). "Shepherds and herdsmen tend and fatten
their flocks and herds, not for the benefit of the sheep and oxen,
but for the profit of themselves and the proprietors. So too the
genuine ruler in a city: he regards his subjects as so many sheep,
looking only to the amount of profit which he can draw from
them.[22] Justice is, in real truth, the good of another; it is
the profit of him who is more powerful and rules--the loss of
those who are weaker and must obey. It is the unjust man who rules
over the multitude of just and well-meaning men. They serve him
because he is the stronger: they build up his happiness at the
cost of their own. Everywhere, both in private dealing and in
public function, the just man is worse off than the unjust. I mean
by the unjust, one who has the power to commit wrongful seizure on
a large scale. You may see this if you look at the greatest
injustice of all--the case of the despot, who makes himself happy
while the juster men over whom he rules are miserable. One who is
detected in the commission of petty crimes is punished, and gets a
bad name: but if a man has force enough to commit crime on the
grand scale, to enslave the persons of the citizens, and to
appropriate their goods--instead of being called by a bad name, he
is envied and regarded as happy, not only by the citizens
themselves, but by all who hear him named. Those who blame
injustice, do so from the fear of suffering it, not from the fear
of doing it. Thus then injustice, in its successful efficiency, is
strong, free, and over-ruling, as compared with justice. Injustice
is profitable to a man's self: justice (as I said before) is what
is profitable to some other man stronger than he."[23]

[Footnote 21: Plato, Republic, p. 345 B-C.]

[Footnote 22: Plato, Republic, p. 343 B.

A similar comparison is put into the mouth of Sokrates himself by
Plato in the Theætêtus, p. 174 D.]

[Footnote 23: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 343-344.]

[Side-note: Position laid for the subsequent debate and

Thrasymachus is described as laying down this position in very
peremptory language, and as anxious to depart immediately after
it, if he had not been detained by the other persons present. His
position forms the pivot of the subsequent conversation. The two
opinions included in it--(That justice consists in obedience
yielded by the weak to the orders of the strong, for the advantage
of the strong--That injustice, if successful, is profitable and
confers happiness: justice the contrary)--are disputed, both of
them, by Sokrates as well as by Glaukon.[24]

[Footnote 24: Plato, Repub. i. pp. 345 A-348 A.]

[Side-note: Arguments of Sokrates--Injustice is a source of
weakness--Every multitude must observe justice among themselves,
in order to avoid perpetual quarrels. The same about any single
individual: if he is unjust, he will be at war with himself, and
perpetually weak.]

Sokrates is represented as confuting and humiliating Thrasymachus
by various arguments, of which the two first at least are more
subtle than cogent.[25] He next proceeds to argue that injustice,
far from being a source of strength, is a source of weakness--That
any community of men, among whom injustice prevails, must be in
continual dispute; and therefore incapable of combined action
against others--That a camp of mercenary soldiers or robbers, who
plunder every one else, must at least observe justice among
themselves--That if they have force, this is because they are
unjust only by halves: that if they were thoroughly unjust, they
would also be thoroughly impotent--That the like is true also of
an individual separately taken, who, so far as he is unjust, is in
a perpetual state of hatred and conflict with himself, as well as
with just men and with the Gods: and would thus be divested of all
power to accomplish any purpose.[26]

[Footnote 25: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 346-350.]

[Footnote 26: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 351-352 D.]

[Side-note: Farther argument of Sokrates--The just man is
happy, the unjust man miserable--Thrasymachus is confuted and
silenced. Sokrates complains that he does not yet know what
Justice is.]

Having thus shown that justice is stronger than injustice,
Sokrates next offers an argument to prove that it is happier or
confers more happiness than injustice. The conclusion of this
argument is--That the just man is happy, and the unjust
miserable.[27] Thrasymachus is confuted, and retires humiliated
from the debate. Yet Sokrates himself is represented as
dissatisfied with the result. "At the close of our debate" (he
says) "I find that I know nothing about the matter. For as I do
not know what justice is, I can hardly expect to know whether it
is a virtue or not; nor whether the man who possesses it is happy
or not happy."[28]

[Footnote 27: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 353-354 A.]

[Footnote 28: Plato, Republic, i. fin. p. 354 C. [Greek: ô(/ste
moi ge/gonen e)k tou= dialo/gou mêde\n ei)de/nai; o(po/te ga\r to\
di/kaion mê\ oi)=da o(\ e)sti, scholê=| ei)/somai ei)/te a)retê/
tis ou)=sa tugcha/nei ei)/te kai\ ou)/, kai\ po/teron o( e)/chôn
au)to\ ou)k eu)dai/môn e)sti\n ê)\ eu)dai/môn.]]

[Side-note: Glaukon intimates that he is not satisfied with
the proof, though he agrees in the opinion expressed by Sokrates.
Tripartite distribution of Good--To which of the three heads does
Justice belong?]

Here Glaukon enters the lists, intimating that he too is
dissatisfied with the proof given by Sokrates, that justice is
every way better than injustice: though he adopts the conclusion,
and desires much to hear it fully demonstrated. "You know" (he
says), "Sokrates, that there are three varieties of Good--1. Good,
_per se_, and for its own sake (apart from any regard to
ulterior consequences): such as enjoyment and the innocuous
pleasures. 2. Good both in itself, and by reason of its ulterior
consequences: such as full health, perfect vision, intelligence,
&c. 3. Good, not in itself, but altogether by reason of its
consequences: such as gymnastic training, medical treatment,
professional business, &c. Now in which of these branches do
you rank Justice?" _S._--I rank it in the noblest--that is--in
the second branch: which is good both in itself, and by reason
of its consequences. _G._--Most persons put it in the third
branch: as being in itself difficult and laborious, but deserving
to be cultivated in consequence of the reward and good name which
attaches to the man who is reputed just.[29] _S._--I know
that this is the view taken by Thrasymachus and many others: but
it is not mine. _G._--Neither is it mine.

[Footnote 29: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 357.]

[Side-note: Glaukon undertakes to set forth the case against
Sokrates, though professing not to agree with it.]

Yet still I think that you have not made out your case against
Thrasymachus, and that he has given up the game too readily. I
will therefore re-state his argument, not at all adopting his
opinion as my own, but simply in order to provoke a full
refutation of it from you, such as I have never yet heard from any
one. First, I shall show what his partisans say as to the nature
and origin of justice. Next, I shall show that all who practise
justice, practise it unwillingly; not as good _per se_, but
as a necessity. Lastly, I shall prove that such conduct on their
part is reasonable. If these points can be made out, it will
follow that the life of the unjust man is much better than that of
the just.[30]

[Footnote 30: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 358.]

[Side-note: Pleading of Glaukon. Justice is in the nature of
a compromise for all--a medium between what is best and what is

The case, as set forth first by Glaukon, next by Adeimantus,
making themselves advocates of Thrasymachus--is as follows. "To do
injustice, is by nature good: to suffer injustice is by nature
evil: but the last is greater as an evil, than the first as a
good: so that when men have tasted of both, they find it
advantageous to agree with each other, that none shall either do
or suffer injustice. These agreements are embodied in laws; and
what is prescribed by the law is called lawful and just. Here you
have the generation and essence of justice, which is intermediate
between what is best and what is worst: that is, between the power
of committing injustice with impunity, and the liability to suffer
injustice without protection or redress. Men acquiesce in such
compromise, not as in itself good, but because they are too weak
to commit injustice safely. For if any man were strong enough to
do so, and had the dispositions of a man, he would not make such a
compromise with any one: it would be madness in him to do so.[31]

[Footnote 31: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 358-359.]

"That men are just, only because they are too weak to be unjust,
will appear if we imagine any of them, either the just or the
unjust, armed with full power and impunity, such as would be
conferred by the ring of Gyges, which rendered the wearer
invisible at pleasure. If the just man could become thus
privileged, he would act in the same manner as the unjust: his
temper would never be adamantine enough to resist the temptations
which naturally prompt every man to unlimited satisfaction of
his desires. Such temptations are now counteracted by the force of
law and opinion; but if these sanctions were nullified, every man,
just or unjust, would seize every thing that he desired, without
regard to others. When he is just, he is so not willingly, but by
compulsion. He chooses that course not as being the best for him
absolutely, but as the best which his circumstances will permit.

[Side-note: Comparison of the happiness of the just man
derived from his justice alone, when others are unjust to him with
that of the unjust man under parallel circumstances.]

"To determine which of the two is happiest, the just man or the
unjust, let us assume each to be perfect in his part, and then
compare them. The unjust man must be assumed to have at his
command all means of force and fraud, so as to procure for himself
the maximum of success; _i.e._, the reputation of being a
just man, along with all the profitable enormities of injustice.
Against him we will set the just man, perfect in his own
simplicity and righteousness; a man who cares only for being just
in reality, and not for seeming to be so. We shall suppose him,
though really just, to be accounted by every one else thoroughly
unjust. It is only thus that we can test the true value of his
justice: for if he be esteemed just by others, he will be honoured
and recompensed, so that we cannot be sure that his justice is not
dictated by regard to these adventitious consequences. He must be
assumed as just through life, yet accounted by every one else
unjust, and treated accordingly: while the unjust man, with whom
we compare him, is considered and esteemed by others as if he were
perfectly just. Which of the two will have the happiest life?
Unquestionably the unjust man. He will have all the advantages
derived from his unscrupulous use of means, together with all that
extrinsic favour and support which proceeds from good estimation
on the part of others: he will acquire superior wealth, which will
enable him both to purchase partisans, and to offer costly
sacrifices ensuring to him the patronage of the Gods. The just
man, on the contrary, will not only be destitute of all these
advantages, but will be exposed to a life of extreme suffering and
torture. He will learn by painful experience that his happiness
depends, not upon being really just, but upon being accounted just
by others."[32]

[Footnote 32: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 361-362.]

[Side-note: Pleading of Adeimantus on the same side. He
cites advice given by fathers to their sons, recommending just
behaviour by reason of its consequences.]

Here Glaukon concludes. Adeimantus now steps in as second counsel
on the same side, to the following effect:[33] "Much yet remains
to be added to the argument. To make it clearer, we must advert to
the topics insisted on by those who oppose Glaukon--those who
panegyrise justice and denounce injustice. A father, who exhorts
his sons to be just, says nothing about the intrinsic advantages
of justice _per se_: he dwells upon the beneficial
consequences which will accrue to them from being just. Through
such reputation they will obtain from men favours, honours,
commands, prosperous alliances--from the Gods, recompenses yet
more varied and abundant. If, on the contrary, they commit
injustice, they will be disgraced and ill-treated among men,
severely punished by the Gods. Such are the arguments whereby a
father recommends justice, and dissuades injustice, he talks about
opinions and after consequences only, he says nothing about
justice or injustice in themselves. Such are the allegations even
of those who wish to praise and enforce justice. But there are
others, and many among them, who hold an opposite language,
proclaiming unreservedly that temperance and justice are difficult
to practise--injustice and intemperance easy and agreeable, though
law and opinion brand them as disgraceful. These men affirm that
the unjust life is for the most part more profitable than the
just. They are full of panegyrics towards the wealthy and
powerful, however unprincipled; despising the poor and weak, whom
nevertheless they admit to be better men.[34] They even say that
the Gods themselves entail misery upon many good men, and confer
prosperity on the wicked. Then there come the prophets and
jugglers, who profess to instruct rich men, out of many books,
composed by Orpheus and Musæus, how they may by appropriate
presents and sacrifices atone for all their crimes and die

[Footnote 33: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 362-367.]

[Footnote 34: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 364 A-B.]

[Footnote 35: Plato, Republic, p. 364 C-E.]

"When we find that the case is thus stated respecting justice,
both by its panegyrists and by its enemies--that the former extol
it only from the reputation which it procures, and that the
latter promise to the unjust man, if clever and energetic, a
higher recompense than any such reputation can obtain for
him--what effect can we expect to be produced on the minds of young
men of ability, station, and ambition? What course of life are they
likely to choose? Surely they will thus reason: A just life is
admitted to be burdensome--and it will serve no purpose, unless I
acquire, besides, the reputation of justice in the esteem of
others. Now the unjust man, who can establish such reputation,
enjoys the perfection of existence. My happiness turns not upon
the reality, but upon the seeming: upon my reputation with
others.[36] Such reputation then it must be my aim to acquire. I
must combine the real profit of injustice with the outside show
and reputation of justice. Such combination is difficult: but all
considerable enterprises are difficult: I must confederate with
partisans to carry my point by force or fraud. If I succeed, I
attain the greatest prize to which man can aspire. I may be told
that the Gods will punish me; but the same poets, who declare the
existence of the Gods, assure me also that they are placable by
prayer and sacrifice: and the poets are as good authority on the
one point as on the other.[37] Such" (continues Adeimantus) "will
be the natural reasoning of a powerful, energetic, aspiring, man.
How can we expect that such a man should prefer justice, when the
rewards of injustice on its largest scale are within his
reach?[38] Unless he be averse to injustice, from some divine
peculiarity of disposition--or unless he has been taught to
abstain from it by the acquisition of knowledge,--he will treat
the current encomiums on justice as ridiculous. No man is just by
his own impulse. Weak men or old men censure injustice, because
they have not force enough to commit it with success: which is
proved by the fact than any one of them who acquires power,
immediately becomes unjust as far as his power reaches.

[Footnote 36: Plat. Rep. ii. pp. 365 E, 366 A.]

[Footnote 37: Plat. Rep. ii. p. 365 B-D.]

[Footnote 38: Plat. Rep. ii. p. 366 B-D.]

[Side-note: Nobody recommends Justice _per se_, but
only by reason of its consequences.]

"The case as I set it forth" (pursues Adeimantus) "admits of no
answer on the ground commonly taken by those who extol justice and
blame injustice, from the earliest poets down to the present
day.[39] What they praise is not justice _per se_, but
the reputation which the just man obtains, and the consequences
flowing from it. What they blame is not injustice _per se_,
but its results. They never commend, nor even mention, justice as
it exists in and moulds the internal mind and character of the
just man; even though he be unknown, misconceived and detested, by
Gods as well as by men. Nor do they ever talk of the internal and
intrinsic effects of injustice upon the mind of the unjust man,
but merely of his ulterior prospects. They never attempt to show
that injustice itself, in the mind of the unjust man, is the
gravest intrinsic evil: and justice in the mind of the just man,
the highest intrinsic good: apart from consequences on either
side. If you had all held this language from the beginning, and
had impressed upon us such persuasion from our childhood, there
would have been no necessity for our keeping watch upon each other
to prevent injustice. Every man would have been the best watch
upon himself, through fear lest by becoming unjust he might take
into his own bosom the gravest evil.[40]

[Footnote 39: Plat. Rep. ii. p. 366 D-E. [Greek: pa/ntôn u(mô=n,
o(/soi e)paine/tai phate\ dikaiosu/nês ei)=nai, a)po\ tô=n e)x
a)rchê=s ê(rô/ôn a)rxa/menoi, o(/sôn lo/goi leleimme/noi, me/chri
tô=n nu=n a)nthrô/pôn, ou)dei\s pô/pote e)/psexen a)diki/an ou)d'
e)pê/|nese dikaiosu/nên a)/llôs ê)\ do/xas te kai\ tima\s kai\
dôrea\s ta\s a)p' au)tô=n duna/mei e)n tê=| tou= e)/chontos
psuchê=| e)no\n kai\ lantha/non theou/s te kai\ a)nthrô/pous,
ou)dei\s pô/pote ou)/t' e)n poiê/sei ou)/t' e)n i)di/ois lo/gois
e)pexê=lthen i(kanô=s tô=| lo/gô|], &c. Compare p. 362 E.

Whoever reads this, will see that Plato does not intend (as most
of his commentators assert) that the arguments which Sokrates
combats in the Republic were the invention of Protagoras,
Prodikus, and other Sophists of the Platonic century.]

[Footnote 40: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367 A. [Greek: ei) ga\r
ou)/tôs e)le/geto e)x a)rchê=s u(po\ pa/ntôn u(mô=n, kai\ e)k
ne/ôn ê(ma=s e)pei/thete, ou)k a)n a)llê/lous e)phula/ttomen mê\
a)dikei=n, a)ll' au)to\s au(tou= ê)=n e(/kastos phu/lax, dediô\s
mê\ a)dikô=n tô=| megi/stô| kakô=| xu/noikos ê)=|.]]

[Side-note: Adeimantus calls upon Sokrates to recommend and
enforce Justice on its own grounds, and to explain how Justice in
itself benefits the mind of the just man.]

"Here therefore is a deficiency in the argument on behalf of
justice, which I call upon you,[41] Sokrates, who have employed
all your life in these meditations, to supply. You have declared
justice to be good indeed for its consequences, but still more of
a good from its own intrinsic nature. Explain how it is good, and
how injustice is evil, in its own intrinsic nature: what effect
each produces on the mind, so as to deserve such an appellation.
Omit all notice of consequences accruing to the just or unjust
man, from the opinion, favourable or otherwise, entertained
towards him by others. You must even go farther: you must suppose
that both of them are misconceived, and that the just man is
disgraced and punished as if he were unjust--the unjust man
honoured and rewarded as if he were just. This is the only way of
testing the real intrinsic value of justice and injustice,
considered in their effects upon the mind. If you expatiate on the
consequences--if you regard justice as in itself indifferent, but
valuable on account of the profitable reputation which it
procures, and injustice as in itself profitable, but dangerous to
the unjust man from the hostile sentiment and damage which it
brings upon him--the real drift of your exhortation will be, to
make us aspire to be unjust in reality, but to aim at maintaining
a reputation of justice along with it. In that line of argument
you will concede substantially the opinion of Thrasymachus--That
justice is another man's good, the advantage of the more powerful:
and injustice the good or profit of the agent, but detrimental to
the weaker."[42]

[Footnote 41: Plat. Rep. ii. p. 367 E. [Greek: dio/ti pa/nta to\n
bi/on ou)de\n a)/llo skopô=n dielê/luthas ê)\ tou=to] (_you_,

[Footnote 42: Plat. Republic, ii. p. 367 C-D.]

[Side-note: Relation of Glaukon and Adeimantus to

With the invocation here addressed to Sokrates, Adeimantus
concludes his discourse. Like Glaukon, he disclaims participation
in the sentiments which the speech embodies. Both of them,
professing to be dissatisfied with the previous refutation of
Thrasymachus by Sokrates, call for a deeper exposition of the
subject. Both of them then enunciate a doctrine, resembling
partially, though not entirely, that of Thrasymachus--but without
his offensive manner, and with superior force of argument. They
propose it as a difficult problem, which none but Sokrates can
adequately solve. He accepts the challenge, though with apparent
diffidence: and we now enter upon his solution, which occupies the
remaining eight books and a half of the Republic. All these last
books are in fact expository, though in the broken form of
dialogue. The other speakers advance scarce any opinions for
Sokrates to confute, but simply intervene with expressions of
assent, or doubt, or demand for farther information.

[Side-note: Statement of the question as it stands after the
speeches of Glaukon and Adeimantus. What Sokrates undertakes to

I here repeat the precise state of the question, which is very apt
to be lost amidst the mæanderings of a Platonic dialogue.

First, What is Justice? Sokrates had declared at the close of
the first book, that he did not know what Justice was; and that
therefore he could not possibly decide, whether it was a virtue or
not:--nor whether the possessor of it was happy or not.

Secondly, To which of the three classes of good things does
Justice belong? To the second class--_i. e._ things good
_per se_, and good also in their consequences? Or to the
third class--_i. e._ things not good _per se_, but good
only in their consequences? Sokrates replies (in the beginning of
the second book) that it belongs to the second class.

Evidently, these two questions cannot stand together. In answering
the second, Sokrates presupposes a certain determination of the
first; inconsistent with that unqualified ignorance, of which he
had just made profession. Sokrates now professes to know, not
merely that Justice is a good, but to what class of good things it
belongs. The first question has thus been tacitly dropped without
express solution, and has given place to the second. Yet Sokrates,
in providing his answer to the second, includes implicitly an
answer to the first, so far as to assume that Justice is a good
thing, and proceeds to show in what way it is good.

Some say that Justice is good (_i.e._ that it ensures, or at
least contributes to, the happiness of the agent), but not _per
se_: only in its ulterior consequences. Taken _per se_, it
imposes privation, loss, self-denial; diminishing instead of
augmenting the agent's happiness. But taken along with its
results, this preliminary advance is more than adequately repaid;
since without it the agent would not obtain from others that
reciprocity of justice, forbearance, and good treatment without
which his life would be intolerable.

If this last opinion be granted, Glaukon argues that Justice would
indeed be good for weak and middling agents, but not for men of
power and energy, who had a good chance of extorting the benefit
without paying the antecedent price. And Thrasymachus, carrying
this view still farther, assumes that there are in every society
men of power who despotise over the rest; and maintains that
Justice consists, for the society generally, in obeying the orders
of these despots. It is all gain to the strong, all loss to the
weak. These latter profit by it in no other way than by saving
themselves from farther punishment or ill usage on the part of the

[Side-note: Position to be proved by Sokrates--Justice makes
the just man happy _per se_, whatever be its results.]

Sokrates undertakes to maintain the opposite--That Justice is a
good _per se_, ensuring the happiness of the agent by its
direct and intrinsic effects on the mind: whatever its ulterior
consequences may be. He maintains indeed that these ulterior
consequences are also good: but that they do not constitute the
paramount benefit, or the main recommendation of Justice: that the
good of Justice _per se_ is much greater. In this point of
view, Justice is not less valuable and necessary to the strong
than to the weak. He proceeds to show, what Justice is, and how it
is beneficial _per se_ to the agent, apart from consequences:
also, what Injustice is, and how it is injurious to the agent
_per se_, apart from consequences.[43]

[Footnote 43: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 368 seq.]

[Side-note: Argument of Sokrates to show what Justice
is--Assumed analogy between the city and the individual.]

He begins by affirming the analogy between an entire city or
community, and each individual man or agent. There is justice (he
says) in the entire city--and justice in each individual man. In
the city, the characteristics of Justice are stamped in larger
letters or magnified, so as to be more easily legible. We will
therefore first read them in the city, and then apply the lesson
to explain what appears in smaller type in the individual man.[44]
We will trace the steps by which a city is generated, in order
that we may see how justice and injustice spring up in it.

[Footnote 44: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 368-369.]

It is in this way that Plato first conducts us to the formation of
a political community. A parallel is assumed between the entire
city and each individual man: the city is a man on a great
scale--the man is a city on a small scale. Justice belongs both to
one and to the other. The city is described and analysed, not merely
as a problem for its own sake, but in order that the relation
between its constituent parts may throw light on the analogous
constituent parts, which are assumed to exist in each individual

[Footnote 45: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 369 A. [Greek: tê\n tou=
mei/zonos o(moio/têta e)n tê=| tou= e)la/ttonos i)de/a|

[Side-note: Fundamental principle, to which communities of
mankind owe their origin--Reciprocity of want and service between
individuals--No individual can suffice to himself.]

The fundamental principle (Sokrates affirms) to which cities
or communities owe their origin, is, existence of wants and
necessities in all men. No single man is sufficient for himself:
every one is in want of many things, and is therefore compelled to
seek communion or partnership with neighbours and auxiliaries.
Reciprocal dealings begin: each man gives to others, and receives
from others, under the persuasion that it is better for him to do
so.[46] Common needs, helplessness of individuals apart,
reciprocity of service when they are brought together--are the
generating causes of this nascent association. The simplest
association, comprising the mere necessaries of life, will consist
only of four or five men: the husbandman, builder, weaver,
shoemaker, &c. It is soon found advantageous to all, that each
of these should confine himself to his own proper business: that
the husbandman should not attempt to build his own house or make
his own shoes, but should produce corn enough for all, and
exchange his surplus for that of the rest in their respective
departments. Each man has his own distinct aptitudes and
dispositions; so that he executes both more work and better work,
by employing himself exclusively in the avocation for which he is
suited. The division of labour thus becomes established, as
reciprocally advantageous to all. This principle soon extends
itself: new wants arise: the number of different employments is
multiplied. Smiths, carpenters, and other artisans, find a place:
also shepherds and herdsmen, to provide oxen for the farmer, wool
and hides for the weaver and the shoemaker. Presently a farther
sub-division of labour is introduced for carrying on exchange and
distribution: markets are established: money is coined: foreign
merchants will import and export commodities: dealers, men of weak
body, and fit for sedentary work, will establish themselves to
purchase wholesale the produce brought by the husbandman, and to
sell it again by retail in quantities suitable for distribution.
Lastly, the complement of the city will be made up by a section of
labouring men who do jobs for hire: men of great bodily strength,
though not adding much to the intelligence of the community.[47]

[Footnote 46: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 369.]

[Footnote 47: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 371.

It is remarkable that in this first outline of the city Plato
recognises only free labour, not slave labour.]

[Side-note: Moderate equipment of a sound and healthy
city--Few wants.]

Such is the full equipment of the sound and healthy city, confined
to what is simple and necessary. Those who compose it will have
sufficient provision of wheat and barley, for loaves and cakes--of
wine to drink--of clothing and shoes--of houses for shelter, and
of myrtle and yew twigs for beds. They will enjoy their cheerful
social festivals, with wine, garlands, and hymns to the Gods. They
will take care not to beget children in numbers greater than their
means, knowing that the consequence thereof must be poverty or
war.[48] They will have, as condiment, salt and cheese, olives,
figs, and chestnuts, peas, beans, and onions. They will pass their
lives in peace, and will die in a healthy old age, bequeathing a
similar lot to their children. Justice and injustice, which we are
seeking for, will be founded on a certain mode of mutual want and
dealing with each other.[49]

[Footnote 48: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 372 B-C. [Greek: ou)ch
u(pe\r tê\n ou)si/an poiou/menoi tou\s pai=das, eu)labou/menoi
peni/an ê)\ po/lemon.]]

[Footnote 49: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 372 A. [Greek: e)n au)tô=n
tou/tôn chrei/a| tini\ tê=| pro\s a)llê/lous.]]

You feed your citizens, Sokrates (observes Glaukon), as if you
were feeding pigs. You must at least supply them with as many
sweets and condiments as are common at Athens: and with beds and
tables besides.

[Side-note: Enlargement of the city--Multiplied wants and
services. First origin of war and strife with neighbours--It
arises out of these multiplied wants.]

I understand you (replies Sokrates): you are not satisfied with a
city of genuine simplicity: you want a city luxurious and
inflated. Well then--we will suppose it enlarged until it
comprehends all the varieties of elegant and costly enjoyment:
gold, silver, and ivory: musicians and painters in their various
branches: physicians: and all the crowd of attendants required for
a society thus enlarged. Such extension of consumption will carry
with it a numerous population, who cannot be maintained from the
lands belonging to the city. We shall be obliged to make war upon
our neighbours and seize some of their lands. They too will do the
same by us, if they have acquired luxurious habits. Here we see
the first genesis of war, with all its consequent evils: springing
from the acquisition of wealth, beyond the limit of necessity.[50]
Having war upon our hands, we need soldiers, and a
considerable camp of them. Now war is essentially a separate craft
and function, requiring to be carried on by persons devoted to it,
who have nothing else to do. We laid down from the beginning, that
every citizen ought to confine himself exclusively to that
business for which he was naturally fit; and that no one could be
allowed to engage in two distinct occupations. This rule is above
all things essential for the business of war. The soldier must
perform the duties of a soldier, and undertake no others.[51]

[Footnote 50: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 373.]

[Footnote 51: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 374.]

[Side-note: Separate class of soldiers or Guardians. One man
cannot do well more than one business. Character required in the
Guardians--Mildness at home with pugnacity against enemies.]

The functions of these soldiers are more important than those of
any one else. Upon them the security of the whole community
depends. They are the Guardians of the city: or rather, those few
seniors among them, who are selected from superior merit and
experience, and from a more perfect education to exercise command,
are the proper Guardians: while the remaining soldiers are their
Auxiliaries.[52] These Guardians, or Guardians and their
Auxiliaries, must be first chosen with the greatest care, to
ensure that they have appropriate natural dispositions: next,
their training and education must be continued as well as
systematic. Appropriate natural dispositions are difficult to
find: for we require the coincidence of qualities which are rarely
found together. The Auxiliaries must be mild and gentle towards
their fellow citizens, passionate and fierce towards enemies. They
must be like generous dogs, full of kindness towards those whom
they know, angrily disposed towards those whom they do not

[Footnote 52: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 414 B.]

[Footnote 53: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 376.]

[Side-note: Peculiar education necessary, musical as well as

Assuming children of these dispositions to be found, we must
provide for them the best training and education. The training
must be twofold: musical, addressed to the mind: gymnastical,
addressed to the body--pursuant to the distribution dating from
ancient times.[54] Music includes all training by means of words
or sounds: speech and song, recital and repetition, reading
and writing, &c.

[Footnote 54: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 376 E. [Greek: Ti/s ou)=n ê(
paidei/a? ê)\ chalepo\n eu(rei=n belti/ô tê=s u(po\ tou= pollou=
chro/nou eu(rême/nês e)/sti de/ pou ê( me\n e)pi\ sô/masi
gumnastikê/, ê( d' e)pi\ psuchê=| mousikê/.]

This appeal of Plato to antiquity and established custom deserves

[Side-note: Musical education, by fictions as well as by
truth. Fictions addressed to the young: the religious legends now
circulating are often pernicious: censorship necessary.]

The earliest training of every child begins from the stories or
fables which he hears recounted: most of which are false, though
some among them are true. We must train the child partly by means
of falsehood, partly by means of truth: and we must begin first
with the falsehood. The tenor of these fictions, which the child
first hears, has a powerful effect in determining his future
temper and character. But such fictions as are now currently
repeated, will tend to corrupt his mind, and to form in him
sentiments and opinions adverse to those which we wish him to
entertain in after life. We must not allow the invention and
circulation of stories at the pleasure of the authors: we must
establish a censorship over all authors; licensing only such of
their productions as we approve, and excluding all the rest,
together with most of those now in circulation.[55] The fables
told by Homer, Hesiod, and other poets, respecting the Gods and
Heroes, are in very many cases pernicious, and ought to be
suppressed. They are not true; and even were they true, ought not
to be mentioned before children. Stories about battles between the
Gods and the Giants, or quarrels among the Gods themselves, are
mischievous, whether intended as allegories or not: for young
hearers cannot discriminate the allegorical from the literal.[56]

[Footnote 55: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 377 C. [Greek: ô(=n de\ nu=n
le/gousi tou\s pollou\s e)kblête/on.]

Compare the animadversions in Sextus Empiricus about the
mischievous doctrines to be found in the poets, adv. Mathematicos,
i. s. 276-293.]

[Footnote 56: Plato, Republ. p. 378 D.]

[Side-note: Orthodox type to be laid down: all poets are
required to conform their legends to it. The Gods are causes of
nothing but good: therefore they are causes of few things. Great
preponderance of actual evil.]

I am no poet (continues the Platonic Sokrates), nor can I pretend
to compose legends myself: but I shall lay down a type of
theological orthodoxy, to which all the divine legends in our city
must conform. Every poet must proclaim that the Gods are good, and
therefore cannot be the cause of anything except good. No poet can
be allowed to describe the Gods (according to what we now read in
Homer and elsewhere) as dispensing both good and evil to mankind.
The Gods must be announced as causes of all the good which
exists, but other causes must be found for all the evil: the Gods
therefore are causes of comparatively few things, since bad things
are far more abundant among us than good.[57] No poetical tale can
be tolerated which represents the Gods as assuming the forms of
different persons, and going about to deceive men into false
beliefs.[58] Falsehood is odious both to Gods and to men: though
there are some cases in which it is necessary as a precaution
against harm, towards enemies, or even towards friends during
seasons of folly or derangement.[59] But none of these exceptional
circumstances can apply to the Gods.

[Footnote 57: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 379 C. [Greek: Ou)d' a)/ra o(
theo/s, e)peidê\ a)gatho/s, pa/ntôn a)\n ei)/ê ai)/tios, ô(s oi(
polloi\ le/gousin, a)ll' o)li/gôn me\n toi=s a)nthrô/pois
ai)/tios, pollô=n de\ a)nai/tios; polu\ ga\r e)la/ttô ta)gatha\
tô=n kakô=n ê(mi=n. Kai\ tô=n me\n a)gathô=n ou)de/na a)/llon
ai)tiate/on, tô=n de\ kakô=n a)/ll' a)/tta dei= zêtei=n ta\
ai)/tia, a)ll' ou) to\n theo/n.]]

[Footnote 58: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 380-381.

Dacier blames Plato for this as an error, saying, that God may
appear, and has appeared to men, under the form of an Angel or of
some man whom he has created after his own image (Traduction de
Platon, tom. i. p. 172).]

[Footnote 59: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 382 C.]

[Side-note: The Guardians must not fear death. No terrible
descriptions of Hades must be presented to them: no intense
sorrow, nor violent nor sensual passion, must be recounted either
of Gods or Heroes.]

It is indispensable to inspire these youthful minds with courage,
and to make them fear death as little as possible. But the
terrific descriptions, given by the poets, of Hades and the
underworld, are above all things likely to aggravate the fear of
death. Such descriptions must therefore be interdicted, as neither
true nor useful. Even if poetically striking, they
are all the more pernicious to be listened to by youths
whom we wish to train up as spirited free-men, fearing enslavement
more than death.[60] We must also prohibit the representations of
intense grief and distress, imputed by Homer to Heroes or Gods, to
Achilles, Priam, or Zeus, for the death of friends and relatives.
A perfectly reasonable man will account death no great evil,
either for himself or for his friend: he will be, in a peculiar
degree, sufficient to himself for his own happiness, and will
therefore endure with comparative equanimity the loss of friends,
relatives, or fortune.[61] We must teach youth to be ashamed of
indulging in immoderate grief or in violent laughter.[62] We must
teach them also veracity and temperance, striking out all
those passages in Homer which represent the Gods or Heroes as
incontinent, sensual, furiously vindictive, reckless of
obligation, or money-loving.[63] The poets must either not recount
such proceedings at all, or must not ascribe them to Gods and

[Footnote 60: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 386-387.]

[Footnote 61: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 387 D-E.]

[Footnote 62: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 388 B-E.]

[Footnote 63: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 390-391.]

[Side-note: Type for all narratives respecting men.]

We have thus prescribed the model to which all poets must
accommodate their narratives respecting Gods and Heroes. We ought
now to set out a similar model for their narratives respecting
men. But this is impossible, until our present investigation is
brought to a close: because one of the worst misrepresentations
which the poets give of human affairs, is, when they say that
there are many men unjust, yet happy--just, yet still
miserable:--that successful injustice is profitable, and that justice
is a benefit to other persons, but a loss to the agent. We affirm
that this is a misrepresentation; but we cannot assume it as such at
present, since the present enquiry is intended to prove that it is

[Footnote 64: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 392 C.]

[Side-note: Style of narratives. The poet must not practise
variety of imitation: he must not speak in the name of bad

From the substance of these stories we pass to the style and
manner. The poet will recount either in his own person, by simple
narrative: or he will assume the characters and speak in the names
of others, thus making his composition imitative. He will imitate
every diversity of character, good and bad, wise and foolish. This
however cannot be tolerated in our city. We can permit no
imitation except that of the reasonable and virtuous man. Every
man in our city exercises one simple function: we have no
double-faced or many-faced citizens. We shall respectfully dismiss
the poet who captivates us by variety of characters, and shall be
satisfied with the dry recital of simple stories useful in their
tendency, expressing the feeling of the reasonable man and no

[Footnote 65: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 396-398.]

[Side-note: Rhythm and Melody regulated. None but simple and
grave music allowed: only the Dorian and Phrygian moods, with the
lyre and harp.]

We must farther regulate the style of the Odes and Songs,
consistent with what has been already laid down. Having prescribed
what the sense of the words must be, we must now give directions
about melody and rhythm. We shall permit nothing but simple music,
calculated less to please the ear, than to inspire grave,
dignified, and resolute sentiment. We shall not allow either the
wailing Lydian, or the soft and convivial Ionic mood: but only the
Phrygian and Dorian moods. Nor shall we tolerate either the fife,
or complicated stringed instruments: nothing except the lyre and
harp, with the panspipe for rural abodes.[66] The rhythm or
measure must also be simple, suitable to the movements of a calm
and moderate man. Both good rhythm, graceful and elegant speaking,
and excellence of sense, flow from good and virtuous dispositions,
tending to inspire the same dispositions in others:[67] just as
bad rhythm, ungraceful and indecorous demeanour, defective
proportion, &c., are companions of bad speech and bad
dispositions. Contrasts of this kind pervade not only speech and
song, but also every branch of visible art: painting,
architecture, weaving, embroidery, pottery, and even the natural
bodies of animals and plants. In all of them we distinguish grace
and beauty, the accompaniments of a good and sober
disposition--from ungracefulness and deformity, visible signs of
the contrary disposition. Now our youthful Guardians, if they are
ever to become qualified for their functions, must be trained to
recognise and copy such grace and beauty.[68] For this purpose our
poets, painters, architects, and artisans, must be prohibited from
embodying in their works any ungraceful or unseemly type. None
will be tolerated as artists, except such as can detect and embody
the type of the beautiful. Our youth will thus insensibly contract
exclusive familiarity, both through the eye and through the ear,
with beauty in its various manifestations: so that their minds
will be brought into harmonious preparation for the subsequent
influence of beautiful discourse.[69]

[Footnote 66: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 398-399.]

[Footnote 67: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 400 A.]

[Footnote 68: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 400-401.]

[Footnote 69: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 401 C-D.]

[Side-note: Effect of musical training of the mind--makes
youth love the Beautiful and hate the Ugly.]

This indeed (continues Sokrates) is the principal benefit arising
from musical tuition, that the internal mind of a youth becomes
imbued with rhythm and harmony. Hence he learns to commend and be
delighted with the beautiful, and to hate and blame what is ugly;
before he is able to render any reason for his sentiments: so that
when mature age arrives, his sentiments are found in unison
with what reason enjoins, and already predisposed to welcome
it.[70] He becomes qualified to recognise the Forms of Temperance,
Courage, Liberality, Magnanimity, and their embodiments in
particular persons. To a man brought up in such sentiments, no
spectacle can be so lovely as that of youths combining beauty of
mental disposition with beauty of exterior form. He may indeed
tolerate some defects in the body, but none in the mind.[71] His
love, being genuine and growing out of musical and regulated
contemplations, will attach itself to what is tempered and
beautiful; not to the intense pleasures of sense, which are
inconsistent with all temperance. Such will be the attachments
subsisting in our city, and such is the final purpose of musical
training--To generate love of the Beautiful.[72]

[Footnote 70: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 402 A.]

[Footnote 71: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 402 D-E.]

[Footnote 72: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 403 C. [Greek: dei= de/ pou
teleuta=|n ta\ mousika\ ei)s ta\ tou= kalou= e)rôtika/.]]

[Side-note: Training of the body--simple and sober. No
refined medical art allowed. Wounds or temporary ailments treated;
but sickly frames cannot be kept alive.]

We next proceed to gymnastic training, which must be simple, for
the body--just as our musical training was simple for the mind. We
cannot admit luxuries and refinements either in the one or in the
other. Our gymnastics must impart health and strength to the body,
as our music imparts sobriety to the mind.[73] We shall require
few courts of justice and few physicians. Where many of either are
needed, this is a proof that ill-regulated minds and
diseased bodies abound. It would be a disgrace to our Guardians if
they could not agree on what is right and proper among themselves,
without appealing to the decision of others. Physicians too are
only needed for wounds or other temporary and special diseases. We
cannot admit those refinements of the medical art, and that
elaborate nomenclature and classification of diseases, which the
clever sons of Æsculapius have invented, in times more recent than
Æsculapius himself.[74] He knew, but despised, such artifices;
which, having been devised chiefly by Herodikus, serve only to
keep alive sickly and suffering men--who are disqualified for all
active duty through the necessity of perpetual attention to
health,--and whose lives are worthless both to themselves and to
the city. In our city, every man has his distinct and special
function, which he is required to discharge. If he be disqualified
by some temporary ailment, the medical art will be well employed
in relieving and restoring him to activity: but he has no leisure
to pass his life as a patient under cure, and if he be permanently
unfit to fill his place in the established cycle of duties, his
life ought not to be prolonged by art, since it is useless to
himself and useless to the city also.[75] Our medical treatment
for evils of the body, and our judicial treatment for evils of the
mind, must be governed by analogous principles. Where body and
mind are sound at bottom, we must do our best to heal temporary
derangements: but if a man has a body radically unsound, he must
be suffered to die--and if he has a mind unsound and incurable, he
must be put to death by ourselves.[76]

[Footnote 73: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 404 B.]

[Footnote 74: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 405 D. [Greek: phu/sas te
kai\ kata/r)r(ous nosê/masin o)no/mata ti/thesthai a)nagka/zein
tou\s kompsou\s A)sklêpia/das, ou)k ai)schro\n dokei=? Kai\ ma/l',
e)/phê, ô(s a)lêthô=s kaina\ tau=ta kai\ a)/topa nosêma/tôn
o)no/mata. Oi(=a, ô(s oi)=mai, ou)k ê)=n e)p' A)sklêpiou=.] Also
406 C.]

[Footnote 75: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 406 C. [Greek: ou)deni\
scholê\ dia\ bi/ou ka/mnein i)atreuome/nô|.] 406 D: [Greek: ou)
scholê\ ka/mnein ou)de\ lusitelei= ou(/tô zê=n, nosê/mati to\n
nou=n prose/chonta, tê=s de\ prokeime/nês e)rgasi/as a)melou=nta.]
407 D-E: [Greek: a)lla\ to\n mê\ duna/menon e)n tê=|
kathestêkui/a| perio/dô| zê\n, mê\ oi)/esthai dei=n therapeu/ein,
ô(s ou)/te au(tô=| ou)/te po/lei lusitelê=.] P. 408 A.]

[Footnote 76: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 409-410.]

[Side-note: Value of Gymnastic in imparting courage to the
mind--Gymnastic and Music necessary to correct each other.]

Gymnastic training does some good in strengthening the body, but
it is still more serviceable in imparting force and courage to the
mind. As regards the mind, gymnastic and music form the
indispensable supplement one to the other. Gymnastic by itself
makes a man's nature too savage and violent: he acquires no relish
for knowledge, comes to hate discourse, and disdains verbal
persuasion.[77] On the other hand, music by itself makes him soft,
cowardly, and sensitive, unfit for danger or hardship. The
judicious combination of the two is the only way to form a
well-balanced mind and character.[78]

[Footnote 77: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 411 D. [Greek: Misolo/gos
dê\ o( toiou=tos gi/gnetai kai\ a)/mousos, kai\ peithoi= me\n dia\
lo/gôn ou)de\n e)/ti chrê=tai], &c.]

[Footnote 78: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 410-411.]

[Side-note: Out of the Guardians a few of the very best must
be chosen as Elders or Rulers--highly educated and severely

Such must be the training, from childhood upwards, of these
Guardians and Auxiliaries of our city. We must now select from
among these men themselves, a few to be Governors or chief
Guardians; the rest serving as auxiliaries. The oldest and best of
them must be chosen for this purpose, those who possess in the
greatest perfection the qualities requisite for Guardians.
They must be intelligent, capable, and solicitous for the welfare
of the city. Now a man is solicitous for the welfare of that which
he loves. He loves those whose interests he believes to be the
same as his own; those whose well-being he believes to coincide
with his own well-being[79]--the contrary, with the contrary. The
Guardians chosen for Chiefs must be those who are most thoroughly
penetrated with such sympathy; who have preserved most tenaciously
throughout all their lives the resolution to do every thing which
they think best for the city, and nothing which they do not think
to be best for it. They must be watched and tested in temptations
pleasurable as well as painful, to see whether they depart from
this resolution. The elders who have best stood such trial, must
be named Governors.[80] These few will be the chief Guardians or
Rulers: the remaining Guardians will be their auxiliaries or
soldiers, acting under their orders.

[Footnote 79: Plato, Republ. iii. p. 412 C. [Greek: Ou)kou=n
phroni/mous te ei)s tou=to dei= u(pa/rchein kai\ dunatou\s kai\
e)/ti kêdemo/nas tê=s po/leôs? E)/sti tau=ta. Kê/doito de/ g' a)/n
tis ma/lista tou/tou o(\ tugcha/noi philô=n. A)na/gkê. Kai\ mê\n
tou=to/ g' a)\n ma/lista philoi=, ô(=| xumphe/rein ê(goi=to ta\
au)ta\ kai\ e(autô=| kai\ o(/tan ma/lista e)kei/nou me\n eu)=
pra/ttontos oi)/oito xumbai/nein kai\ e(autô=| ei)= pra/ttein, mê\
de/, tou)nanti/on.]]

[Footnote 80: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 413-414.

Refer to De Leg. (I. p. 633-636-637) about resisting pleasure as
well as pain.]

[Side-note: Fundamental creed required to be planted in the
minds of all the citizens respecting their breed and

Here then our city will take its start; the body of Guardians
marching in arms under the orders of their Chiefs, and encamping
in a convenient acropolis, from whence they may best be able to
keep order in the interior and to repel foreign attack.[81] But it
is indispensable that both they and the remaining citizens should
be made to believe a certain tale,--which yet is altogether
fictitious and of our own invention. They must be told that they
are all earthborn, sprung from the very soil which they inhabit:
all therefore brethren, from the same mother Earth: the
auxiliaries or soldiers, born with their arms and equipments. But
there was this difference (we shall tell them) between the
different brethren. Those fit for Chiefs or Rulers, were born with
a certain mixture of gold in their constitution: those fit for
soldiers or Guardians simply, with a like mixture of silver: the
remainder, with brass or iron. In most individual cases, each
of these classes will beget an offspring like themselves. But
exceptions will sometimes happen, in which the golden man will
have a child of silver, or brass,--or the brazen or iron man, a
child of nobler metal than his own. Now it is of the last
importance that the Rulers should keep watch to preserve the
purity of these breeds. If any one of their own children should
turn out to be of brass or iron, they must place him out among the
husbandmen or artisans: if any of the brazen or iron men should
chance to produce a child of gold, they must receive him among
themselves, since he belongs to them by his natural constitution.
Upon the maintenance of these distinct breeds, each in its
appropriate function, depends the entire fate of the city: for an
oracle has declared that it will perish, if ever iron or brazen
men shall become its Guardians.[82]

[Footnote 81: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 415 D.]

[Footnote 82: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 414-415.]

[Side-note: How is such a fiction to be accredited in the
first instance? Difficulty extreme, of first beginning; but if
once accredited, it will easily transmit itself by tradition.]

It is indispensable (continues Sokrates) that this fiction should
be circulated and accredited, as the fundamental, consecrated,
unquestioned, creed of the whole city, from which the feeling of
harmony and brotherhood among the citizens springs. But how can we
implant such unanimous and unshaken belief, in a story altogether
untrue? Similar fables have often obtained implicit credence in
past times: but no such case has happened of late, and I question
whether it could happen now.[83] The postulate seems extravagant:
do _you_ see by what means it could be realised?--I see no
means (replies Glaukon) by which the fiction could be first passed
off and accredited, among these men themselves: but if it were
once firmly implanted, in any one generation, I do not doubt that
their children and descendants would inherit and perpetuate
it.[84] We must be satisfied with thus much (replies Sokrates):
assuming the thing to be done, and leaving the process of
implanting it to spontaneous and oracular inspiration.[85] I
now proceed with the description of the city.

[Footnote 83: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 414 B. [Greek: Ti/s a)\n
ou)=n ê(mi=n mêchanê\ ge/noito tô=n pseudô=n tô=n e)n de/onti
gignome/nôn, ô(=n dê\ nu=n e)le/gomen, gennai=o/n ti e(\n
pseudome/nous pei=sai ma/lista me\n kai\ au)tou\s tou\s
a)/rchontas, ei) de\ mê/, tê\n a)/llên po/lin? . . . Mêde\n
kaino/n, a)lla\ Phoinikiko/n ti, pro/teron me\n ê)/dê pollachou=
gegono/s, ô(/s phasin oi( poiêtai\ kai\ pepei/kasin, e)ph' ê(mô=n
de\ ou) gegono\s ou)d' oi)=da ei) geno/menon a)/n, pei=sai de\
suchnê=s peithou=s.]]

[Footnote 84: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 415 C-D [Greek: Tou=ton
ou)=n to\n mu=thon o(/pôs a)\n peisthei=en, e)/cheis tina\
mêchanê/n? Ou)damô=s, e)/phê, o(/pôs g' a)\n au)toi\ ou(=toi;
o(/pôs me/nt' a)\n oi( tou/tôn ui(ei=s kai\ oi( e)/peita, oi(/ t'
a)/lloi a)/nthrôpoi oi( u(/steron.]]

[Footnote 85: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 415 D. [Greek: Kai\ tou=to
me\n dê\ e(/xei o(/pê| a)\n au)to\ ê( phê/mê a)ga/gê|.]

[Side-note: Guardians to reside in barracks and mess
together; to have no private property or home; to be maintained by
contribution from the people.]

The Rulers and their auxiliaries the body of Guardians must be
lodged in residences, sufficient for shelter and comfort, yet
suitable for military men, and not for tradesmen. Every
arrangement must be made for rendering them faithful guardians of
the remaining citizens. It would be awful indeed, if they were to
employ their superior strength in oppressing instead of protecting
the flock entrusted to them. To ensure their gentleness and
fidelity, the most essential guarantee is to be found in the good
musical and gymnastic training which they will have received. But
this alone will not suffice. All the conditions of their lives
must be so determined, that they shall have the least possible
motive for committing injustice towards the other citizens. None
of them must have any separate property of his own, unless in
special case of proved necessity: nor any house or store cupboard
from which others are excluded. They must receive, from the
contributions of the remaining citizens, sufficient subsistence
for the health and comfort of military men, but nothing beyond.
They must live together in their camp or barrack, and dine
together at a public mess-table. They must not be allowed either
to possess gold and silver, or to drink in cups of those metals,
or to wear them as appendages to clothing, or even to have them
under the same roof. They must be told, that these metals, though
not forbidden to the other citizens, are forbidden to them,
because they have permanently inherent in their mental
constitution the divine gold and silver, which would be corrupted
by intermixture with human.[86]

[Footnote 86: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 416-417.]

[Side-note: If the Guardians fail in these precautions, and
acquire private interests, the city will be ruined.]

If these precautions be maintained, the Guardians may be secure
themselves, and may uphold in security the entire city. But if the
precautions be relinquished--if the Guardians or Soldiers acquire
separate property in lands, houses, and money--they will then
become householders and husbandmen instead of Guardians or
Soldiers: hostile masters, instead of allies and protectors to
their fellow-citizens. They will hate their fellow-citizens, and
be hated by them in return: they will conspire against them, and
will be themselves conspired against. In this manner they will
pass their lives, dreading their enemies within far more than
their enemies without. They, and the whole city along with them,
will be perpetually on the brink of destruction.[87]

[Footnote 87: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 417 A-B.]

[Side-note: Complete unity of the city, every man performing
his own special function.]

But surely (remarks Adeimantus), according to this picture, your
Guardians or Soldiers, though masters of all the city, will be
worse off than any of the other citizens. They will be deprived of
those means of happiness which the others are allowed to enjoy.
Perhaps they will (replies Sokrates): yet I should not be
surprised if they were to be the happiest of all. Be that as it
may, however, my purpose is, not to make _them_ especially
happy, but to make the whole city happy. The Guardians can enjoy
only such happiness as consists with the due performance of their
functions as Guardians. Every man in our city must perform his
appropriate function, and must be content with such happiness as
his disposition will admit, subject to this condition.[88] In
regard to all the citizens without exception, it must be the duty
of the Guardians to keep out both riches and poverty, both of
which spoil the character of every one. No one must be rich, and
no one must be poor.[89] In case of war, the constant discipline
of our soldiers will be of more avail than money, in making them
efficient combatants against other cities.[90] Moreover, other
cities are divided against themselves: each is many cities, and
not one: poor and rich are at variance with each other, and
various fractions of each of these classes against other
fractions. Our city alone, constituted as I propose, will be
really and truly One. It will thus be the greatest of all cities,
even though it have only one thousand fighting men. It may be
permitted to increase, so long as it will preserve its complete
unity, but no farther.[91] Farthermore, each of our citizens is
one and not many: confined to that special function for which he
is qualified by his nature.

[Footnote 88: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 420-421.]

[Footnote 89: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 421 E.]

[Footnote 90: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 422 B.]

[Footnote 91: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 423 A.]

[Side-note: The maintenance of the city depends upon
that of the habits, character, and education of the Guardians.]

It will devolve upon our Guardians to keep up this form of
communion unimpaired; and they will have no difficulty in doing
so, as long as they maintain their own education and training
unimpaired. No change must be allowed either in the musical or
gymnastic training: especially not in the former, where changes
are apt to creep in, with pernicious effect.[92] Upon this
education depends the character and competence of the Guardians.
They will provide legislation in detail, which will be good, if
their general character is good--bad, on the contrary supposition.
If their character and the constitution of the city be defective
at the bottom, it is useless for us to prescribe regulations of
detail, as we would do for sick men. The laws in detail cannot be
good, while the general constitution of the city is bad. Those
teachers are mistaken who exhort us to correct the former, but to
leave the latter untouched.[93]

[Footnote 92: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 424 A.]

[Footnote 93: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 425-426.]

[Side-note: Religious legislation--Consult the Delphian

In regard to religious legislation--the raising of temples,
arrangement of sacrifices, &c.--we must consult Apollo at
Delphi, and obey what he directs. We know nothing ourselves about
these matters, nor is there any other authority equally

[Footnote 94: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 427 B. [Greek: ta\ ga\r dê\
toiau=ta ou)/t' e)pista/metha ê(mei=s], &c.]

[Side-note: The city is now constituted as a good city--that
is, wise, courageous, temperate, just. Where is its Justice?]

Our city is now constituted and peopled (continues Sokrates). We
mast examine it, and see where we can find Justice and
Injustice--reverting to our original problem, which was, to know what
each of them was, and which of the two conferred happiness. Now assuming
our city to be rightly constituted, it will be perfectly good:
that is, it will be wise, courageous, temperate, and just. These
four constituents cover the whole: accordingly, if we can discover
and set out Wisdom, Courage, and Temperance--that which remains
afterwards will be Justice.[95]

[Footnote 95: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 427-428.]

[Side-note: First, where is the wisdom of the city? It
resides in the few elder Rulers.]

First, we can easily see where Wisdom resides. The city includes
in itself a great variety of cognitions, corresponding to all the
different functions in which its citizens are employed. But it is
not called _wise_, from its knowledge of husbandry, or of
brazier's and carpenter's craft: since these are specialties which
cover only a small fraction of its total proceedings. It is called
_wise_, or well-advised, from that variety of intelligence or
cognition which directs it as a whole, in its entire affairs: that
is, the intelligence possessed by the chief Guardians or Rulers.
Now the number of persons possessing this variety of intelligence
is smaller than the number of those who possess any other variety.
The wisdom of the entire city resides in this very small presiding
fraction, and in them alone.[96]

[Footnote 96: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 428-429.]

[Side-note: Where is the Courage? In the body of Guardians
or Soldiers.]

Next, we can also discern without difficulty in what fraction of
the city Courage resides. The city is called courageous from the
valour of those Guardians or Soldiers upon whom its defence rests.
These men will have learnt, in the course of their training, what
are really legitimate objects of fear, and what are not legitimate
objects of fear. To such convictions they will resolutely adhere,
through the force of mind implanted by their training, in defiance
of all disturbing impulses. It is these right convictions,
respecting the legitimate objects of fear, which I (says Sokrates)
call true political courage, when they are designedly inculcated
and worked in by regular educational authority: when they spring
up without any rational foundation, as in animals or slaves, I do
not call them Courage. The Courage of the entire city thus resides
in its Guardians or Soldiers.[97]

[Footnote 97: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 429-430.]

[Side-note: Where is the Temperance? It resides in all and
each, Rulers, Guardians, and People. Superiors rule and Inferiors

Thirdly, wherein resides the Temperance of the city? Temperance
implies a due relation, proportion, or accord, between different
elements. The temperate man is called superior to himself: but
this expression, on first hearing, seems unmeaning, since the man
must also be inferior to himself. But the expression acquires a
definite meaning, when we recognise it as implying that there are
in the same man's mind better and worse elements: and that when
the better rules over the worse, he is called superior to himself,
or temperate--when the worse rules over the better, he is called
inferior to himself, or intemperate. Our city will be temperate,
because the better part of it, though smaller in number, rules
over the worse and inferior part, numerically greater. The
pleasures, pains, and desires of our few Rulers, which are
moderate and reasonable, are preponderant: controuling those of
the Many, which are miscellaneous, irregular, and violent. And
this command is exercised with the perfect consent and good-will
of the subordinates. The Many are not less willing to obey than
the Few to command. There is perfect unanimity between them as to
the point--Who ought to command, and who ought to obey? It is this
unanimity which constitutes the temperance of the city: which thus
resides, not in any one section of the city, like Courage and
Wisdom, but in all sections alike: each recognising and
discharging its legitimate function.[98]

[Footnote 98: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 431-432.]

[Side-note: Where is the Justice? In all and each of them
also. It consists in each performing his own special function, and
not meddling with the function of the others.]

There remains only Justice for us to discover. Wherein does the
Justice of the city reside? Not far off. Its justice consists in
that which we pointed out at first as the fundamental
characteristic of the city, when we required each citizen to
discharge one function, and one alone--that for which he was best
fitted by nature. That each citizen shall do his own work, and not
meddle with others in their work--that each shall enjoy his own
property, as well as do his own work--this is true Justice.[99] It
is the fundamental condition without which neither temperance, nor
courage, nor wisdom could exist; and it fills up the good
remaining after we have allowed for the effects of the preceding
three.[100] All the four are alike indispensable to make up the
entire Good of the city: Justice, or each person (man, woman,
freeman, slave, craftsman, guardian) doing his or her own
work--Temperance, or unanimity as to command and obedience between
Chiefs, Guardians, and the remaining citizens--Courage, or the
adherence of the Guardians to right reason, respecting what is
terrible and not terrible--Wisdom, or the tutelary superintendence
of the Chiefs, who protect each person in the enjoyment of his
own property.[101]

[Footnote 99: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 432-433. 433 A: [Greek:
Kai\ mê\n o(/ti ge to\ ta\ au(tou= pra/ttein kai\ mê\
polupragmonei=n dikaiosu/nê e)sti/, kai\ tou=to a)/llôn te pollô=n
a)kêko/amen, kai\ au)toi\ polla/kis ei)rê/kamen.]

433 E. [Greek: ê( tou= oi)kei/ou te kai\ e(autou= e(/xis te kai\
pra=xis dikaiosu/nê a)\n o(mologoi=to.]]

[Footnote 100: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 433 B. [Greek: dokei= moi
to\ u(po/loipon e)n tê=| po/lei ô(=n e)ske/mmetha, sôphrosu/nês
kai\ a)ndrei/as kai\ phronê/seôs, tou=to ei)=nai o(\ pa=sin
e)kei/nois tê\n du/namin pa/reschen ô(/ste e)ggene/sthai, kai\
e)ggenome/nois ge sôtêri/an pare/chein, e(/ôs per a)\n e)nê=|.]]

[Footnote 101: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 433 D.]

[Side-note: Injustice arises when any one part of the city
interferes with the functions of the other part, or undertakes
double functions.]

As justice consists in each person doing his own work, and not
meddling with that of another--so injustice occurs, when a person
undertakes the work of another instead of his own, or in addition
to his own. The mischief is not great, when such interference
takes place only in the subordinate functions: when, for example,
the carpenter pretends to do the work of the shoemaker, or _vice
versâ_; or when either of them undertake both. But the mischief
becomes grave and deplorable, when a man from the subordinate
functions meddles with the higher--when a craftsman, availing
himself of some collateral support, wealth or party or strength,
thrusts himself into the functions of a soldier or auxiliary--or
when the Guardian, by similar artifice, usurps the functions of a
Chief--or when any one person combines these several functions all
at once in himself. Herein consists the true injustice, ruinous to
the city: when the line of demarcation is confounded between these
three classes--men of business, Guardians, Chiefs. That each of
these classes should do its own work, is Justice: that either of
them should meddle with the work of the rest, and especially that
the subordinate should meddle with the business of the superior,
is Injustice, with ruin following in its train.[102] It is from
these opposite characteristics that the titles Just or Unjust will
be rightfully bestowed upon our city.

[Footnote 102: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 434 B-C. [Greek: ê( triô=n
a)/ra o)/ntôn genô=n polupragmosu/nê kai\ metabolê\ ei)s a)/llêla,
megi/stê te bla/bê tê=| po/lei kai\ o)rtho/tat' a)\n
prosagoreu/oito ma/lista kakourgi/a . . . Kakourgi/an de\ tê\n
megi/stên tê=s e(autou= po/leôs ou)k a)diki/an phê/seis ei)=nai? . . .

chrêmatistikou=, e)pikourikou=, phulakikou=, ge/nous
oi)keiopragi/a, . . . dikaiosu/nê t' a)\n ei)/ê, kai\ tê\n po/lin
dikai/an pa/rechoi.]]

[Side-note: Analogy of the city to the individual--Each man
is tripartite, having in his mind Reason, Energy, Appetite. These
three elements are distinct, and often conflicting.]

We must now apply, as we undertook to do, the analogy of the city
to the individual. The just man, so far forth as justice is
concerned, cannot differ from the just city. He must therefore
have in his own individual mind three distinct parts, elements, or
classes, corresponding to the three classes above distinguished in
the city. But is it the fact that there are in each man three such
mental constituents--three different classes, sorts, or varieties,
of mind?

To settle this point as it ought to be settled, would require
a stricter investigation than our present dialogue will permit:
but we may contribute something towards it.[103] It is manifest
that there exist different individuals in whom reason, energy
(courage or passion), and appetite, are separately and unequally
developed: thus in the Thracians there is a predominance of energy
or courage--in the Phoenicians of appetite--in the Athenians, of
intellect or reason. The question is, whether we employ one and
the same mind for all the three--reason, energy, and appetite; or
whether we do not employ a different mind or portion of mind, when
we exercise reason--another, when we are under the influence of
energy--and a third, when we follow appetite.[104]

[Footnote 103: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 435 C.

Schleiermacher (in the Introduction to his translation of the
Republic, p. 71) considers that this passage of the Republic is
intended to note as a desideratum the exposition in the Timæus;
wherein the constituent elements of mind or soul are more fully
laid down, and its connection with the fundamental elements of the

[Footnote 104: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 436 A.]

To determine this question, we must consider that the same thing
cannot at the same time do or suffer opposites, in the same
respect and with reference to the same thing. The same thing or
person cannot at the same time, and in the same respect, both
stand still and move. This may be laid down as an universal truth:
but since some may not admit it to be so, we will at any rate
assume it as an hypothesis.[105] Now in reference to the mind, we
experience at the same time various movements or affections
contrary to each other: assent and dissent--desire and aversion--the
attracting any thing to ourselves, and the repelling it from
ourselves: each of these is different from and contrary to the
other. As a specimen of desires, we will take thirst. When a man
is in this condition, his mind desires nothing else but to drink;
and strains entirely towards that object. If there be any thing
which drags back his mind when in this condition, it must be
something different from that which pulls him forward and attracts
him to drink. That which attracts him, and that which repels him,
cannot be the same: just as when the archer at the same time pulls
his bow towards him and pushes it away from him, it is one of his
hands that pulls and another that pushes.[106] Now it often
happens that a man athirst refuses to drink: there is something
within him that prompts him to drink, and something still more
powerful that forbids him. These two cannot be the same: one of
them is different from the other: that which prompts is appetite,
that which forbids is reason. The rational element of the mind is
in like manner something different or distinguishable from all the
appetites, which tend towards repletion and pleasure.

[Footnote 105: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 437 A.]

[Footnote 106: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 439 A-B.]

[Side-note: Reason, Energy, Appetite, in the individual--analogous
to Rulers, Guardians, Craftsmen in the city. Reason is
to rule Appetite. Energy assists Reason in ruling it.]

Here then we have two distinct species, forms, or kinds, existing
in the mind.[107] Besides these two, however, there is a third,
distinct from both: Energy, Passion, Courage, which neither
belongs to Appetite nor to individual Reason. Each of these three
acts apart from, and sometimes in contrariety to, each of the
others.[108] There are thus three distinct elements or varieties
of mind in the individual--Reason, Energy, Appetite: corresponding
to the three constituent portions of the city--The Chiefs or
Rulers--The Guardians or Soldiers--The Craftsmen, or the remaining
Community.[109] The Wisdom of the city resides in its Elders: that
of the individual in his Reason. The Courage of the city resides
in its Guardians or Soldiers: that of the individual in his
Energy. But in the city as well as in the individual, it is the
right and privilege of the rational element to exercise command,
because it alone looks to the welfare and advantage of the whole
compound:[110] it is the duty of the two other elements--the
energetic and the appetitive--to obey. It is moreover the special
function of the Guardians in the city to second the Chiefs in
enforcing obedience upon the Craftsmen: so also in the individual,
it is the special function of Energy or Courage to second Reason
in controuling Appetite.

[Footnote 107: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 439 E. [Greek: Tau=ta me\n
toi/nun du/o ê(mi=n ô(ri/sthô ei)/dê e)n psuchê=| e)no/nta],

[Footnote 108: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 440-441.]

[Footnote 109: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 441 C. [Greek: ta\ au)ta\
me\n e)n po/lei, ta\ au)ta\ d' e)n e(no\s e(ka/stou tê=| psuchê=|
ge/nê e)nei=nai, kai\ i)/sa to\n a)rithmo/n.] 443 D: [Greek: ta\
e)n tê=| psuchê=| ge/nê], &c.]

[Footnote 110: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 441 E, 442 C. [Greek:
tô=| me\n logistikô=| a)/rchein prosê/kei, sophô=| o)/nti kai\
e)/chonti tê\n u(pe\r a(pa/sês tê=s psuchê=s promê/theian . . . .
Sopho\n de/ ge (e(/na e(/kaston kalou=men) e)kei/nô| tô=| smikrô=|
me/rei, tô=| o(\ ê)=rche/ t' e)n au)tô=| kai\ tau=ta parê/ggellen,
e)/chon au)= ka)kei=no e)pistê/mên e)n au(tô=| tê\n tou=
xumphe/rontos e(ka/stô| te kai\ o(/lô| tô=| koinô=| sphô=n au)tô=n
triô=n o)/ntôn.]]

[Side-note: A man is just when these different parts of his
mind exercise their appropriate functions without hindrance.]

These special functions of the separate parts being laid down,
Justice as well as Temperance will appear analogous in the
individual and in the city. Both Justice and Temperance reside in
all the parts equally: not in one of them exclusively, as Wisdom
and Courage reside. Justice and Temperance belong to the
subordinate as well as to the dominant parts. Justice exists when
each of the parts performs its own function, without encroaching
on the function of the others: Temperance exists when all the
parts are of one opinion as to the title of the higher or rational
element to exercise command.[111]

[Footnote 111: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 442 C, 443 B.]

A man as well as a city is just, when each of his three sorts or
varieties of mind confines itself to its own legitimate function:
when Reason reigns over and controuls the other two, and when
Energy seconds Reason in controuling Appetite. Such a man will not
commit fraud, theft, treachery, perjury, or any like
proceedings.[112] On the contrary, injustice exists when the parts
are in conflict with each other: when either of them encroaches on
the function of the other: or when those parts which ought to be
subordinate rise in insurrection against that which ought to be

[Footnote 112: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 442-443.]

[Side-note: Justice and Injustice in the mind--what health
and disease are in the body.]

Justice is in the mind what health is in the body, when the parts
are so arranged as to controul and be controuled pursuant to the
dictates of nature. Injustice is in the mind what disease is in
the body, when the parts are so arranged as to controul and be
controuled contrary to the dictates of nature. Virtue is thus the
health, beauty, good condition of the mind: Vice is the disease,
ugliness, weakness, of the mind.[113]

[Footnote 113: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 444 B-C.]

[Side-note: Original question now resumed--Does Justice make
a man happy, and Injustice make him miserable, apart from all
consequences? Answer--Yes.]

Having thus ascertained the nature of justice and injustice, we
are now in a condition (continues Sokrates) to reply to the
question proposed for investigation--Is it profitable to a man to
be just and to do justice _per se_, even though he be not
known as just either by Gods or men, and may thus be debarred from
the consequences which would ensue if he were known? Or is it
profitable to him to be unjust, if he can contrive to escape
detection and punishment? We are enabled to answer the first
question in the affirmative, and the second question in the
negative. As health is the greatest good, and sickness the
greatest evil, of body: so Justice is the greatest good, and
injustice the greatest evil, of mind. No measure of luxury,
wealth, or power, could render life tolerable, if we lost our
bodily health: no amount of prosperity could make life tolerable,
without mental health or justice. As bodily health is good _per
se_, and sickness evil _per se_, even apart from its
consequences: so justice also is good in itself, and injustice
evil in itself, apart from its consequences.[114]

[Footnote 114: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 445 A.]

[Side-note: Glaukon requires farther explanation about the
condition of the Guardians, in regard to sexual and family ties.]

Sokrates now assumes the special question of the dialogue to be
answered, and the picture of the just or perfect city, as well as
of the just or perfect individual, to be completed. He is next
proceeding to set forth the contrasts to this picture--that is,
the varieties of injustice, or the various modes of depravation
and corruption--when he is arrested by Polemarchus and Adeimantus:
who call upon him to explain more at large the position of the
body of Guardians or Soldiers in the city, in regard to women,
children, and the family.[115]

[Footnote 115: Plato, Republic, v. p. 449 C.]

[Side-note: Men and women will live together and perform the
duties of Guardians alike--They will receive the same gymnastic
and musical training.]

In reply, Sokrates announces his intention to make such provision
as will exclude separate family ties, as well as separate
property, among these Guardians. The Guardians will consist both
of men and women. The women will receive the same training, both
musical and gymnastical, as the men.[116] They will take part both
in the bodily exercises of the palæstra, in the military drill,
and in the combats of war. Those who deride these naked exercises
as preposterous for the female sex, should be reminded (Sokrates
says) that not long ago it was considered unseemly among the
Greeks (as it still is among many of the _barbari_) for men
to expose their naked bodies in the palæstra: but such repugnance
has been overpowered by the marked usefulness of the practice: the
Kretans first setting the example, next the Lacedæmonians;
lastly all other Greeks doing the same.[117] We maintain the
principle which we laid down in the beginning, that one person
should perform only one duty--that for which he is best qualified.
But there is no one function, or class of functions, for which
women as such are peculiarly qualified, or peculiarly
disqualified. Between women generally, and men generally, in
reference to the discharge of duties, there is no other
difference, except that men are superior to women in every
thing:[118] the best women will be on a level only with the
second-best men, but they will be superior to all men lower than
the second best. But among women, as among men, there are great
individual differences: one woman is fit for one duty, another for
another: and in our city, each must be employed for the duty
suitable to her individual disposition. Those who are best
qualified by nature for the office of Guardians, must be allotted
to that office: they must discharge it along with the men, and
must be trained for it by the same education as the men, musical
and gymnastical.

[Footnote 116: Plato, Republic, v. p. 452 A.]

[Footnote 117: Plato, Republic, v. p. 452 D.]

[Footnote 118: Plato, Republic, v. p. 455 C-D.]

[Side-note: Nature does not prescribe any distribution of
functions between men and women. Women are inferior to men in
every thing. The best women are equal to second-best men.]

If an objector accuses us of proposing arrangements contrary to
nature, we not only deny the force of the objection, but we retort
the charge. We affirm that the arrangements now existing in
society, which restrict all women to a limited number of domestic
and family functions, are contrary to nature--and that ours are
founded upon the genuine and real dictates of nature.[119] The
only difference admissible between men and women, in the joint
discharge of the functions of Guardians, is, that the easier
portion of such functions must in general be assigned to women,
and the more difficult to men, in consequence of the inferiority
of the feminine nature.[120]

[Footnote 119: Plato, Republic, v. p. 456 C. [Greek: kata\ phu/sin
e)ti/themen to\n no/mon; a)lla\ ta\ nu=n para\ tau=ta gigno/mena
para\ phu/sin ma=llon, ô(s e)/oike, gi/gnetai.]]

[Footnote 120: Plato, Republic, v. p. 457 B.]

[Side-note: Community of life and relations between the male
and female Guardians. Temporary marriages arranged by contrivance
of the Elders. No separate families.]

These intermingled male and female Guardians, in the discharge of
their joint functions, will live together in common barracks and
at common mess-tables. There must be no separate houses or
separate family-relations between them. All are wives or
husbands of all: no youth must know his own father, no mature man
must know his own son: all the mature men and women are fathers or
mothers of all the younger: all of the same age are brothers and
sisters.[121] We do not intend, however, that the copulation
between them shall take place in a promiscuous and arbitrary
manner: we shall establish laws to regulate the intermarriages and
breeding.[122] We must copy the example of those who regulate the
copulation of horses, dogs, and other animals: we must bring
together those who will give existence to the best offspring.[123]
We must couple, as often as we can, the men who are best, with the
women who are best, both in mind and body; and the men who are
least good, with the women who are least good. We must bring up
the offspring of the former couples--we must refuse to bring up
the offspring of the latter.[124] And such results must be
accomplished by underhand arrangements of the Elder Chiefs; so as
to be unknown to every one else, in order to prevent discontent
and quarrel among the body of the Guardians. These Elders will
celebrate periodical festivals, in which they will bring together
the fitting brides and bridegrooms, under solemn hymns and
sacrifices. They must regulate the number of marriages in such
manner as to keep the total list of Guardians as much as possible
without increase as well as without diminution.[125] The Elders
must make an artful use of the lot, so that these couplings shall
appear to every one else the effect of chance. Distinguished
warriors must be rewarded with a larger licence of copulation with
different women, which will produce the farther advantage of
having as many children as possible born from their
procreation.[126] All the children as soon as born must be
consigned to the Chiefs or Elders, male and female, who will
conceal in some convenient manner those who are born either from
the worst couples or with any bodily imperfection: while they
place the offspring of the best couples in special outbuildings
under the charge of nurses. Those mothers who are full of milk
will be brought here to give suck, but every precaution will be
taken that none of them shall know her own child: wet-nurses will
also be provided in addition, to ensure a full supply: but all the
care of the children will devolve on the public nurses, not on the

[Footnote 121: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 457-458.]

[Footnote 122: Plato, Republic, v. p. 458 E.]

[Footnote 123: Plato, Republic, v. p. 459 A.]

[Footnote 124: Plato, Republic, v. p. 459 D-E. [Greek: dei= me\n
e)k tô=n ô(mologême/nôn tou\s a)ri/stous tai=s a)ri/stais
suggi/gnesthai ô(s pleista/kis, tou\s de\ phaulota/tous tai=s
phaulota/tais tou)nanti/on, kai\ tô=n me\n ta\ e)/kgona tre/phein,
tô=n de\ mê/, ei) me/llei to\ poi/mnion o(/, ti a)kro/taton
ei)=nai; kai\ tau=ta pa/nta gigno/mena lantha/nein plê\n au)tou\s
tou\s a)/rchontas, ei) au)= ê( a)ge/lê tô=n phula/kôn o(/, ti
ma/lista a)stasi/astos e)/stai.]]

[Footnote 125: Plato, Republic, v. p. 460 A.]

[Footnote 126: Plato, Republic, v. p. 460 B.]

[Footnote 127: Plato, Republic, v. p. 460 C-D.]

[Side-note: Regulations about age, for procreation--Children
brought up under public authority.]

The age for such intermarriages, destined to be procreative for
the benefit of the city, must be from thirty to fifty-five, for
men--from twenty to forty, for women. No man or woman, above or
below these limits of age, will be allowed to meddle with the
function of intermarriage and procreation for the public; which
function must always be conducted under superintendence of the
authorities, with proper sacrifice and prayers to the Gods. Nor
will any man, even within the licensed age, be allowed to approach
any woman except by assignment from the authorities. If any
infringement of this law should occur, the offspring arising from
it will be pronounced spurious and outcast.[128] But when the
above limits of age are passed, both men and women may have
intercourse with whomsoever they please, except fathers with
daughters or sons with mothers: under condition, however, that no
offspring shall be born from such intercourse, or that if any
offspring be born, it shall be exposed.[129]

[Footnote 128: Plato, Republic, v. p. 461 A-B.]

[Footnote 129: Plato, Republic, v. p. 461 C.]

How is the father to know his own daughter (it is asked), or the
son his own mother? They cannot know (replies Sokrates): but each
couple will consider every child born in the seventh month or
tenth month after their marriage, as their child, and will address
him or her by the appellation of son or daughter. The fathers and
mothers will be fathers and mothers of all the children born at
that time: the sons and daughters will be in filial relation to
all the couples brought together at the given antecedent

[Footnote 130: Plato, Republic, v. p. 461 D.]

[Side-note: Perfect communion of sentiment and interest
among the Guardians--Causes of pleasure and pain the same to all,
like parts of the same organism.]

The main purpose of such regulations, in respect to family as in
respect to property, is to establish the fullest communion between
all the Guardians, male and female--and to eliminate as much
as possible the feeling of separate interest in any fraction of
them. The greatest evil to any city is, that which pulls it to
pieces and makes it many instead of one: the greatest good to it
is that which binds it together and makes it one. Now what is most
efficacious in binding it together, is, community of the causes of
pleasure and pain: when each individual feels pleasure from the
same causes and on the same occasions as all the rest, and pain in
like manner. On the other hand, when the causes of pleasure and
pain are distinct, this tends to dissolution; and becomes fatal if
the opposition is marked, so that some individuals are much
delighted, and others much distressed, under the same
circumstances. That city is the best arranged, wherein all the
citizens pronounce the words _Mine_ and _Not Mine_, with
reference to the same things: when they coalesce into an unity
like the organism of a single individual. To him a blow in the
finger is a blow to the whole man: so also in the city, pleasure
or pain to any one citizen ought to communicate itself by sympathy
as pleasure and pain to all.[131]

[Footnote 131: Plato, Republic, v. p. 462 D.]

[Side-note: Harmony--absence of conflicting interest--assured
scale of equal comfort--consequent happiness--among the

Now the Guardians under our regulations will present as much as
possible this community of _Mine_ and _Not Mine_, as
well as of pleasures and pains--and this exclusion of the separate
individual _Mine_ and _Not Mine_, as well as of separate
pleasures and pains. No individual among them will have either
separate property or separate family relationship: each will have
both one and the other in common with the rest.[132] No one will
have property of his own to be increased, nor a family of his own
to be benefited, apart from the rest: all will be as much as
possible common recipients of pleasure and pain.[133] All the
ordinary causes of dispute and litigation will thus be excluded.
If two Guardians of the same age happen to quarrel, they must
fight it out: this will discharge their wrath and prevent worse
consequences--while at the same time it will encourage attention
to gymnastic excellence.[134] But no younger Guardian will
raise his hand against an older Guardian, whom he is taught to
reverence as his father, and whom every one else would protect if
attacked. If the Guardians maintain harmony among themselves, they
will easily ensure it among the remaining inhabitants. Assured of
sufficient but modest comforts, the Guardians will be relieved
from all struggles for the maintenance of a family, from the arts
of trade, and from subservience to the rich.[135] They will escape
all these troubles, and will live a life happier than the envied
Olympic victor: for they will gain the victory in an enterprise
more illustrious than he undertakes, and they will receive from
their fellow-citizens fuller maintenance and higher privilege than
what is awarded to him, as well as honours after death.[136] Their
lives are not to be put in comparison with those of the farmer or
the shoemaker. They must not indeed aspire to any happiness
incompatible with their condition and duty as Guardians. But that
condition will itself involve the highest happiness. And if any
silly ambition prompts them to depart from it, they will assuredly
change for the worse.[137]

[Footnote 132: Plato, Republic, v. p. 464 B.]

[Footnote 133: Plato, Republic, v. p. 464 D. [Greek: pa/ntas ei)s
to\ dunato\n o(mopathei=s lu/pês te kai\ ê(donê=s ei)=nai.]]

[Footnote 134: Plato, Republic, v. p. 464 E.]

[Footnote 135: Plato, Republic, v. p. 465 C. [Greek: tô=n kakô=n . . .
ô(=n a)pêllagme/noi a)\n ei)=en, kolakei/as te plousi/ôn
pe/nêtes a)pori/as te kai\ a)lgêdo/nas], &c.]

[Footnote 136: Plato, Republic, v. p. 465 D. [Greek: Pa/ntôn te
dê\ tou/tôn a)palla/xontai, zê/sousi/ te tou= makaristou= bi/ou,
o(\n oi( O)lumpioni=kai zô=si, makariô/teron.]]

[Footnote 137: Plato, Republic, v. p. 466 A-C.]

[Side-note: In case of war both sexes will go together to
battle--Rewards to distinguished warriors.]

Such is the communion of sexes which must be kept up for the
duties of Guardians, and for the exigencies of military defence.
As in other races of animals, males and females must go out to
fight, and each will inspire the other with bravery. The children
must be taken out on horseback to see the encounters from a
distance, so that they may be kept clear of danger, yet may
nevertheless be gradually accustomed to the sight of it.[138] If
any one runs away from the field, he must be degraded from the
rank of Guardian to that of husbandman or craftsman. If any man
suffers himself to be taken prisoner, he is no loss: the enemy may
do what they choose with him. When any one distinguishes himself
in battle, he shall be received on his return by garlands and by
an affectionate welcome from the youth.[139] Should he be slain
in battle, he shall be recognised as having become a Dæmon or
Demigod (according to the Hesiodic doctrine), and his sepulchre
shall be honoured by appropriate solemnities.[140]

[Footnote 138: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 466-467.]

[Footnote 139: Plato, Republic, v. p. 468 B.]

[Footnote 140: Plato, Republic, v. p. 469 B.]

[Side-note: War against Hellenic enemies to be carried on
mildly--Hellens are all by nature kinsmen.]

In carrying on war, our Guardians will observe a marked difference
in their manner of treating Hellenic enemies and barbaric enemies.
They will never enslave any Hellenic city, nor hold any Hellenic
person in slavery. They will never even strip the body of an
Hellenic enemy, except so far as to take his arms. They will never
pile up in their temples the arms, nor burn the houses and lands,
of Hellenic enemies. They will always keep in mind the members of
the Hellenic race as naturally kindred with each other, and bound
to aid each other in mutual defence, against Barbaric aliens who
are the natural enemies of all of them.[141] They will not think
themselves authorised to carry on war as Hellens now do against
each other, except when their enemies are Barbaric.

[Footnote 141: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 470-471.]

Enough of this, Sokrates, replies Glaukon. I admit that your city
will have all the excellencies and advantages of which you boast.
But you have yet to show me that it is practicable, and how.[142]

[Footnote 142: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 471-472.]

[Side-note: Question--How is the scheme practicable? It is
difficult, yet practicable on one condition--That philosophy and
political power should come into the same hands.]

The task which you impose (says Sokrates) is one of great
difficulty: even if you grant me, what must be granted, that every
reality must fall short of its ideal type.[143] One condition, and
one only, is essential to render it practicable: a condition which
you may ridicule as preposterous, but which, though not probable,
is certainly supposable. Either philosophers must acquire the
ruling power, or else the present rulers of mankind must
themselves become genuine philosophers. In one or other of these
two ways philosophy and political power must come into the into
the same hands. Unless such condition be fulfilled, our city can
never be made a reality, nor can there ever be any respite of
suffering to the human race.[144]

[Footnote 143: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 472-473.]

[Footnote 144: Plato, Republic, v. p. 473 D.]

The supremacy which you claim for philosophers (replies
Glaukon), will be listened to with repugnance and scorn. But
at least you must show who the philosophers are, on whose behalf
you invoke such supremacy. You must show that it belongs to them
by nature both to pursue philosophy, and to rule in the various
cities: and that by nature also, other men ought to obey them as
well as to abstain from philosophy.[145]

[Footnote 145: Plato, Republic, v. p. 474 A-B.]

[Side-note: Characteristic marks of the philosopher--He
contemplates and knows Entia or unchangeable Forms, as
distinguished from fluctuating particulars or Fientia.]

The first requisite for a philosopher (replies Sokrates) is, that
he shall love and pursue eagerly every sort of knowledge or
wisdom, without shrinking from labour for such purpose. But it is
not sufficient that he should be eager about hearing tragedies or
learning the minor arts. Other men, accomplished and curious, are
fond of hearing beautiful sounds and discourses, or of seeing
beautiful forms and colours. But the philosopher alone can see or
distinguish truth.[146] It is only he who can distinguish the
genuine Form or Idea, in which truth consists, from the particular
embodiments in which it occurs. These Forms or Ideas exist,
eternal and unchangeable. Since Pulchrum is the opposite of Turpe,
they must be two, and each of them must be One: the same about
Just and Unjust, Good and Evil; each of these is a distinct Form
or Idea, existing as One and Unchangeable by itself, but
exhibiting itself in appearance as manifold, diverse, and
frequently changing, through communion with different objects and
events, and through communion of each Form with others.[147] Now
the accomplished, but unphilosophical, man cannot see or recognise
this Form in itself. He can see only the different particular
cases and complications in which it appears embodied.[148] None
but the philosopher can contemplate each Form by itself, and
discriminate it from the various particulars in conjunction with
which it appears. Such philosophers are few in number, but they
are the only persons who can be said truly to live. Ordinary and
even accomplished men--who recognise beautiful things, but
cannot recognise Beauty in itself, nor even follow an instructor
who points it out to them--pass their lives in a sort of dream or
reverie: for the dreamer, whether asleep or awake, is one who
believes what is similar to another thing to be not merely
similar, but to be the actual thing itself.[149] The philosopher
alone, who embraces in his mind the one and unchangeable Form or
Idea, along with, yet distinguished from, its particular
embodiments, possesses knowledge or science. The unphilosophical
man, whose mind embraces nothing higher than variable particulars,
does not know--but only opines, or has opinions.[150]

[Footnote 146: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 474-475. [Greek: tou\s tê=s
a)lêthei/as philothea/monas] (p. 475 E).]

[Footnote 147: Plato, Republic, v. p. 476 A. [Greek: E)peidê/
e)stin e)nanti/on kalo\n ai)schrô=|, du/o au)tô\ ei)=nai . . .
Ou)kou=n e)peidê\ du/o, kai\ e(\n e)ka/teron? . . . Kai\ peri\
dikai/ou kai\ a)di/kou kai\ a)gathou= kai\ kakou= kai\ pa/ntôn
tô=n ei)dô=n pe/ri, o( au)to\s lo/gos, au)to\ me\n e(\n e(/kaston
ei)=nai, tê=| de\ tô=n pra/xeôn kai\ sôma/tôn kai\ a)llê/lôn
koinôni/a| pantachou= phantazo/mena polla\ phai/nesthai

[Footnote 148: Plato, Republic, v. p. 476 B.]

[Footnote 149: Plato, Republic, v. p. 476 B.]

[Footnote 150: Plato, Republic, v. p. 476 D. [Greek: Ou)kou=n
tou/tou me\n tê\n dia/noian ô(s gignô/skontos _gnô/mên_ a)\n
o)rthô=s phai=men ei)=nai, tou= de\ _do/xan_, ô(s

[Side-note: Ens alone can be known--Non-Ens is unknowable.
That which is midway between Ens and Non-Ens (particulars) is
matter only of opinion. Ordinary men attain nothing beyond

This latter, the unphilosophical man, will not admit what we say.
Accordingly, we must prove it to him. You cannot know without
knowing Something: that is, Some Ens: for Non-Ens cannot be known.
That which is completely and absolutely Ens, is completely and
absolutely cognizable: that which is Non-Ens and nowhere, is in
every way uncognizable. If then there be anything which is at once
Ens and Non-Ens, it will lie midway between these two: it will be
something neither absolutely and completely cognizable, nor
absolutely and completely uncognizable: it belongs to something
between ignorance and science. Now science or knowledge is one
thing, its object is, complete Ens. Opinion is another thing, its
object also is different. Knowing and Opining belong, like Sight
and Hearing, to the class of Entia called Powers or Faculties,
which we and others possess, and by means of which--that is, by
means of one or other of them--we accomplish everything that we do
accomplish. Now no one of these powers or faculties has either
colour or figure, whereby it may be recognised or distinguished
from others. Each is known and distinguished, not by what it is in
itself, but by what it accomplishes, and by the object to which it
has special relation. That which has the same object and
accomplishes the same result, I call the same power or faculty:
that which has a different object, and accomplishes a different
result, I call a different power or faculty. Now Knowing,
Cognition, Science, is one of our faculties or powers, and the
strongest of all: Opining is another, and a different one. A
marked distinction between the two is, that Knowing or Cognition
is infallible--Opining is fallible. Since Cognition is one power
or faculty, and Opining another--the object of one must be
different from the object of the other. But the object of
Cognition is, the Complete Ens: the object of Opining must
therefore be, not the Complete Ens, but something different from
it. What then is the object of Opining? It is not Complete Ens,
but it is still Something. It is not Non-Ens, or Nothing; for
Non-Ens or Nothing is not thinkable or opinable: you cannot think
or opine, and yet think or opine nothing. Whoever opines or thinks,
must opine or think something. Ens is the object of Cognition,
Non-Ens is the object of non-Cognition or Ignorance: Opination or
Opinion is midway between Cognition and Ignorance, darker than the
former, but clearer than the latter. The object of opination is
therefore something midway between Ens and Non-Ens.

[Side-note: Particulars fluctuate: they are sometimes just
or beautiful, sometimes unjust or ugly. Forms or Entia alone
remain constant.]

But what is this Something, midway between Ens and Particulars
Non-Ens, and partaking of both--which is the object of Opination?
To make out this, we must revert to the case of the
unphilosophical man. We have described him, as not believing in
the existence of the Form or Idea of Beauty, or Justice _per
se_; not enduring to hear it spoken of as a real Ens and Unum;
not knowing anything except of the many diverse particulars,
beautiful and just. We must remind him that every one of these
particular beautiful things will appear repulsive also: every one
of these just and holy particulars, will appear unjust and unholy
also. He cannot refuse to admit that each of them will appear
under certain circumstances beautiful and ugly, just and unjust,
holy and unholy. In like manner, every particular double will
appear also a half: every light thing will appear heavy: every
little thing great. Of each among these many particulars, if you
can truly predicate any one quality about it, you may with equal
truth predicate the opposite quality also. Each of them both is,
and is not, the substratum of all these different and opposite
qualities. You cannot pronounce them to be either one or the
other, with fixity and permanence: they are at once both and

[Side-note: The many cannot discern or admit the reality of
Forms--Their minds are always fluctuating among particulars.]

Here then we find the appropriate object of Opination: that which
is neither Ens nor Non-Ens, but something between both.
Particulars are the object of Opination, as distinguished from
universal Entities, Forms, or Ideas, which are the object of
Cognition. The many, who disbelieve or ignore the existence of
these Forms, and whose minds dwell exclusively among
particulars--cannot know, but only opine. Their usages and creeds,
as to beautiful, just, honourable, float between positive Ens and
Non-Ens. It is these intermediate fluctuations which are caught up by
their opining faculty, intermediate as it is between Cognition and
Ignorance. It is these also, the objects of Opination, which they
love and delight in: they neither recognise nor love the objects
of Cognition or Knowledge. They are lovers of opinion and its
objects, not lovers of Knowledge. The philosopher alone recognises
and loves Knowledge and the objects of Knowledge. His mind dwells,
not amidst the fluctuating, diverse, and numerous particulars, but
in contemplation of the One, Universal, permanent, unchangeable,
Form or Idea.

[Side-note: The philosopher will be ardent for all varieties
of knowledge--His excellent moral attributes--He will be trained
to capacity for active life.]

Here is the characteristic difference (continues Sokrates) which
you required me to point out, between the philosopher and the
unphilosophical man, however accomplished. The philosopher sees,
knows, and contemplates, the One, Real, unchangeable, Form or
Idea: the unphilosophical man knows nothing of this Form _per
se_, and sees only its multifarious manifestations, each
perpetually variable and different from all the rest. The
philosopher, having present to his mind this type--and
approximating to it, as far as may be, the real institutions and
practices--will be the person most competent to rule our city:
especially as his education will give him farthermore--besides
such familiarity with the Form or Type--as large a measure of
experience, and as much virtue, as can fall to the lot of the
unphilosophical man.[151] The nature and disposition of the
true philosopher, if improved by education, will include all the
virtue and competence of the practical man. The philosopher is
bent on learning everything which can make him familiar with
Universal Forms and Essences in their pure state, not floating
amidst the confusion of generated and destroyed realities: and
with Forms and Essences little as well as great, mean as well as
sublime.[152] Devoted to knowledge and truth--hating falsehood--he
has little room in his mind for the ordinary desires: he is
temperate, indifferent to money, free from all meanness or
shabbiness. A man like him, whose contemplations stretch over all
time and all essence, thinks human life a small affair, and has no
fear of death. He will be just, mild in his demeanour, quick in
apprehension, retentive in memory, elegant in his tastes and
movements. All these excellences will be united in the
philosophers to whom we confide the rule of our city.[153]

[Footnote 151: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 484.]

[Footnote 152: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 485 A.]

[Footnote 153: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 485-486.]

[Side-note: Adeimantus does not dispute the conclusion, but
remarks that it is at variance with actual facts--Existing
philosophers are either worthless pretenders, or when they are
good, useless.]

It is impossible, Sokrates (remarks Adeimantus), to answer in the
negative to your questions. Nevertheless we who hear and answer,
are not convinced of the truth of your conclusion. Unskilled as we
are in the interrogatory process, we feel ourselves led astray
little by little at each successive question; until at length,
through the accumulated effect of such small deviations, we are
driven up into a corner without the power of moving, like a bad
player at draughts defeated by one superior to himself.[154] Here
in this particular case your conclusion has been reached by steps
to which we cannot refuse assent. Yet if we look at the facts, we
see something quite the reverse as to the actual position of
philosophers. Those who study philosophy, not simply as a branch
of juvenile education but as a continued occupation throughout
life, are in most cases strange creatures, not to say thoroughly
unprincipled: while the few of them who are most reasonable,
derive nothing from this pursuit which you so much extol, except
that they become useless in their respective cities.[155]

[Footnote 154: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 487 B. [Greek: Pro\s me\n
tau=ta soi ou)dei\s a)\n oi(=o/s t' ei)/ê a)nteipei=n; a)lla\ ga\r
toio/nde ti pa/schousin oi( a)kou/ontes e(ka/stote a)\ nu=n
le/geis; ê(gou=ntai di' a)peiri/an tou= e)rôta=|n te kai\
a)pokri/nesthai u(po\ tou= lo/gou par' e(/kaston to\ e)rô/têma
smikro\n parago/menoi, a)throisthe/ntôn tô=n smikrô=n e)pi\
teleutê=s tô=n lo/gôn, me/ga to\ spha/lma kai\ e)nanti/on toi=s
prô/tois a)naphai/nesthai], &c.

This is an interesting remark on the effect produced upon many
hearers by the Sokratic and Platonic dialogues,--puzzling,
silencing, and ultimately stimulating the mind, but not satisfying
or convincing, rather raising suspicions as to the trustworthiness
of the process, which suspicions have to be turned over and
scrutinised by subsequent meditation.]

[Footnote 155: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 487 D.]

[Side-note: Sokrates admits the fact to be so--His simile of
the able steersman on shipboard, among a disobedient crew.]

Yes (replies Sokrates), your picture is a correct one. The
position of true and reasonable philosophers, in their respective
cities, is difficult and uncomfortable. Conceive a ship on her
voyage, under the management of a steersman distinguished for
force of body as well as for skill in his craft, but not clever in
dealing with, or acting upon other men. Conceive the seamen all
quarrelling with each other to get possession of the rudder; each
man thinking himself qualified to steer, though he has never
learnt it--nor had any master in it--nor even believes it to be
teachable, but is ready to massacre all who affirm that it is
teachable.[156] Imagine, besides, these seamen importuning the
qualified steersman to commit the rudder to them, each being ready
to expel or kill any others whom he may prefer to them: and at
last proceeding to stupify with wine or drugs the qualified
steersman, and then to navigate the vessel themselves according to
their own views; feasting plentifully on the stores. These men
know nothing of what constitutes true and able steersmanship. They
extol, as a perfect steersman, that leader who is most
efficacious, either by persuasion or force, in seizing the rudder
for them to manage: they despise as useless any one who does not
possess this talent. They never reflect that the genuine steersman
has enough to do in surmounting the dangers of his own especial
art, and in watching the stars and the winds: and that if he is to
acquire technical skill and practice adequate to such a purpose,
he cannot at the same time possess skill and practice in keeping
his hold of the rudder whether the crew are pleased with him or
not. Such being the condition of the ship and the crew, you see
plainly that they will despise and set aside the true steersman as
an useless proser and star-gazer.[157]

[Footnote 156: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 488.]

[Footnote 157: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 488 D-E.]

[Side-note: The uselessness of the true philosopher is
the fault of the citizen, who will not invoke his guidance.]

Now the crew of this ship represent the citizens and leaders of
our actual cities: the steersman represents the true philosopher.
He is, and must be, useless in the ship: but his uselessness is
the fault of the crew and not his own. It is not for the true
steersman to entreat permission from the seamen, that they will
allow him to command; nor for the wise man to solicit employment
at the doors of the rich. It is for the sick man, whether he be
poor or rich, to ask for the aid of the physician; and for every
one who needs to be commanded, to invoke the authority of the
person qualified to command. No man really qualified will submit
to ask command as a favour.[158]

[Footnote 158: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 489 B. [Greek: tê=s me/ntoi
a)chrêsti/as tou\s mê\ chrôme/nous ke/leue ai)tia=sthai, a)lla\
mê\ tou\s e)pieikei=s. Ou) ga\r e)/chei phu/sin kubernê/tên
nautô=n dei=sthai a)/rchesthai u(ph' au(tou=], &c.]

Thus, Adeimantus (continues Sokrates), I have dealt with the first
part of your remark, that the true philosopher is an useless man
in cities as now constituted: I have shown you this is not his
fault--that it could not be otherwise,--and that a man even of the
highest aptitude, cannot enjoy reputation among those whose turn
of mind is altogether at variance with his own.[159]

[Footnote 159: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 489 D. [Greek: e)/k te
toi/nun tou/tôn kai\ e)n tou/tois ou) r(a/|dion eu)dokimei=n to\
be/ltiston e)pitê/deuma u(po\ tô=n ta)nanti/a e)pitêdeuo/ntôn.]]

I shall now deal with your second observation--That while even the
best philosophers are useless, the majority of those who cultivate
philosophy are worthless men, who bring upon her merited
discredit. I admit that this also is correct; but I shall prove
that philosophy is not to be blamed for it.[160]

[Footnote 160: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 489 E. [Greek: o(/ti ou)de\
tou/tou philosophi/a ai)ti/a, peirathô=men dei=xai.]]

[Side-note: The great qualities required to form a
philosopher, become sources of perversion, under a misguiding
public opinion.]

You will remember the great combination of excellent dispositions,
intellectual as well as moral, which I laid down as indispensable
to form the fundamental character of the true philosopher. Such a
combination is always rare. Even under the best circumstances
philosophers must be very few. But these few stand exposed, in our
existing cities, to such powerful causes of corruption, that they
are prevented from reaching maturity, except by some happy
accident. First, each one of those very qualities, which, when
combined, constitute the true philosopher,--serves as a cause
of corruption, if it exists by itself and apart from the rest.
Next, what are called good things, or external advantages, act in
the same manner--such as beauty, strength, wealth, powerful
connections, &c. Again, the stronger a man's natural aptitudes
and the greater his external advantages,--the better will he
become under favourable circumstances, the worse will he become,
if circumstances are unfavourable. Heinous iniquity always springs
from a powerful nature perverted by bad training: not from a
feeble nature, which will produce no great effects either for good
or evil. Thus the eminent predispositions,--which, if properly
improved, would raise a man to the highest rank in virtue,--will,
if planted in an unfavourable soil, produce a master-mind in deeds
of iniquity, unless counteracted by some providential

[Side-note: Mistake of supposing that such perversion arises
from the Sophists. Irresistible effect of the public opinion
generally, in tempting or forcing a dissenter into orthodoxy.]

The multitude treat these latter as men corrupted by the Sophists.
But this is a mistake. Neither Sophists nor other private
individuals produce mischief worth mentioning. It is the multitude
themselves, utterers of these complaints, who are the most active
Sophists and teachers: it is they who educate and mould every
individual, man and woman, young and old, into such a character as
they please.[161] When they are assembled in the public assembly
or the dikastery, in the theatre or the camp--when they praise
some things and blame others, with vociferation and vehemence
echoed from the rocks around--how irresistible will be the
impression produced upon the mind of a youth who hears them! No
private training which he may have previously received can hold
out against it. All will be washed away by this impetuous current
of multitudinous praise or blame, which carries him along with it.
He will declare honourable or base the same things as they declare
to be so: he will adopt the character, and follow the pursuits,
which they enjoin. Moreover, if he resists such persuasive
influence, these multitudinous teachers and Sophists have
stronger pressure in store for him.[162] They punish the
disobedient with disgrace, fine, and even death. What other
Sophist, or what private exhortation, can contend successfully
against teachers such as these? Surely none. The attempt to do so
is insane. There neither is, nor has been, nor will be, any
individual human disposition educated to virtue in opposition to
the training of the multitude:[163] I say _human_, as
distinguished from _divine_, of which I make exception: for
in the existing state of society, any individual who is preserved
from these ascendant influences to acquire philosophical
excellence, owes his preservation to the divine favour.

[Footnote 161: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 492 A. [Greek: ê)\ kai\ su\
ê(gei=, ô(/sper oi( polloi/, diaphtheirome/nous tina\s ei)=nai
u(po\ sophistô=n ne/ous, diaphthei/rontas de/ tinas sophista\s
i)diôtikou/s, o(/, ti kai\ a)/xion lo/gon, a)ll' ou)k au)tou\s
tou\s tau=ta le/gontas megi/stous me\n ei)=nai sophista/s?
paideu/ein de\ teleô/tata kai\ a)perga/zesthai oi(/ous bou/lontai
ei)=nai kai\ ne/ous kai\ presbute/rous kai\ a)/ndras kai\

[Footnote 162: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 492 C-D. [Greek: Kai\
phê/sein te ta\ au)ta\ tou/tois kala\ kai\ ai)schra\ ei)=nai, kai\
e)pitêdeu/sein a(/per a)\n ou(=toi, kai\ e)/sesthai toiou=ton . . .
Kai\ mê\n ou(/pô tê\n megi/stên a)na/gkên ei)rê/kamen. Poi/an?
E(\n e)/rgô| prostithe/asi, lo/gô| mê\ pei/thontes, ou(=toi oi(
paideutai/ te kai\ sophistai/. Ê)\ ou)k oi)=stha o(/ti to\n mê\
peitho/menon a)timi/ais te kai\ chrê/masi kai\ thana/tois
kola/zousin? Kai\ ma/la, e)/phê, spho/dra.]]

[Footnote 163: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 492 D.]

[Side-note: The Sophists and other private teachers accept
the prevalent orthodoxy, and conform their teaching to it.]

Moreover, though the multitude complain of these professional
teachers as rivals, and decry them as Sophists--yet we must
recollect that such teachers inculcate only the opinions received
among the multitude themselves, and extol these same opinions as
wisdom.[164] The teachers know nothing of what is really
honourable and base,--good and evil,--just and unjust. They
distribute all these names only with reference to the opinions of
the multitude:--pronouncing those things which please the
multitude to be good, and those which displease to be
evil,--without furnishing any other rational account. They call
things necessary by the name of just and honourable; not knowing
the material difference between what is good and what is necessary,
nor being able to point out that difference to others. Thus
preposterous are the teachers, who count it wisdom to suit the
taste and feelings of the multitude, whether in painting or in
music or in social affairs. For whoever lives among them, publicly
exhibiting either poetry or other performances private or
official, thus making the multitude his masters beyond the strict
limits of necessity--the consequence is infallible, that he must
adapt his works to that which they praise. But whether the works
which he executes are really good and honourable, he will be
unable to render any tolerable account.[165]

[Footnote 164: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 493 A. [Greek: e(/kaston
tô=n mistharnou/ntôn i)diôtô=n, ou(\s dê\ ou(=toi sophista\s
kalou=si kai\ a)ntite/chnous ê(gou=ntai, mê\ a)/lla paideu/ein ê)\
tau=ta ta\ tô=n pollô=n do/gmata, a(\ doxa/zousin o(/tan
a)throisthô=si, kai\ sophi/an tau/tên kalei=n.]]

[Footnote 165: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 493 C-D.]

[Side-note: The people generally hate philosophy--A youth
who aspires to it will be hated by the people, and persecuted even
by his own relatives.]

It is therefore the multitude, or the general voice of society--not
the Sophists or private teachers, mere echoes of that general
voice--which works upon and moulds individuals. Now the multitude
cannot tolerate or believe in the existence of those Universals or
Forms which the philosopher contemplates. They know only the many
particulars, not the One Universal. Incapable of becoming
philosophers themselves, they look upon the philosopher with
hatred: and this sentiment is adopted by all those so-called
philosophers who seek to please them.[166] Under these
circumstances, what chance is there that those eminent
predispositions, which we pointed out as the foundation of the
future philosopher, can ever be matured to their proper result? A
youth of such promise, especially if his body be on a par with his
mind, will be at once foremost among all his fellows. His
relatives and fellow-citizens, eager to make use of him for their
own purposes, and anxious to appropriate to themselves his growing
force, will besiege him betimes with solicitations and
flatteries.[167] Under these influences, if we assume him to be
rich, well born, and in a powerful city, he will naturally become
intoxicated with unlimited hopes and ambition; fancying himself
competent to manage the affairs of all governments, and giving
himself the empty airs of a lofty potentate.[168] If there be any
one to give him a quiet hint that he has not yet acquired
intelligence, nor can acquire it without labour--he will turn a
deaf ear. But suppose that such advice should by chance prevail,
in one out of many cases, so that the youth alters his tendencies
and devotes himself to philosophy--what will be the conduct of
those who see, that they will thereby be deprived of his
usefulness and party-service, towards their own views? They will
leave no means untried to prevent him from following the
advice, and even to ruin the adviser, by private conspiracy and
judicial prosecution.[169] It is impossible that the young man can
really turn to philosophy, against obstructions thus powerful. You
see that those very excellences and advantages, which form the
initial point of the growing philosopher, become means and
temptations for corrupting him. The best natures, rare as they
always are, become thus not only ruined, but turned into
instruments of evil. For the same men (as I have already said)
who, under favourable training, would have done the greatest good,
become perpetrators of the greatest evil, if they are badly
placed. Small men will do nothing important, either in the one way
or the other.[170]

[Footnote 166: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 494 A. [Greek: philo/sophon
me\n a)/ra plê=thos a)du/naton ei)=nai . . . Kai\ tou\s
philsophou=ntas a)/ra a)na/gkê pse/gesthai u(p' au)tô=n . . . kai\
u(po\ tou/tôn dê\ tô=n i)diôtô=n, o(/soi prosomilou=ntes o)/chlô|
a)re/skein au)tô=| e)pithumou=sin.]]

[Footnote 167: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 494 B.]

[Footnote 168: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 494 C. [Greek:
plêrôthê/sesthai a)mêcha/nou e)lpi/dos, ê(gou/menon kai\ ta\ tô=n
E(llê/nôn kai\ ta\ tô=n barba/rôn i(kano\n ei)=nai pra/ttein.]]

[Footnote 169: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 494 D-E. [Greek: e)a\n d'
ou)=n, dia\ to\ eu)= pephuke/nai kai\ to\ xuggene\s tô=n lo/gôn,
ei)=s ai)stha/nêtai/ te/ pê| kai\ ka/mptêtai kai\ e(/lkêtai pro\s
philosophi/an, ti/ oi)o/metha dra/sein e)kei/nous tou\s
ê(goume/nous a)pollu/nai au)tou= tê\n chrei/an te kai\
e(tairei/an? ou) pa=n me\n e)/rgon, pa=n d' e)/pos, le/gonta/s te
kai\ pra/ttontas kai\ peri\ au)to/n, o(/pôs a)\n mê\ peisthê=|,
kai\ peri\ to\n pei/thonta, o(/pôs a)\n mê\ oi(=o/s t' ê)=|, kai\
i)di/a| e)pibouleu/ontas kai\ dêmosi/a| ei)s a)gô=nas

[Footnote 170: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 495 A-B.]

[Side-note: The really great minds are thus driven away from
the path of philosophy--which is left to empty pretenders.]

It is thus that the path of philosophy is deserted by those who
ought to have trodden it, and who pervert their exalted powers to
unworthy objects. That path--being left vacant, yet still full of
imposing titles and pretensions, and carrying a show of superior
dignity as compared with the vulgar professions--becomes invaded
by interlopers of inferior worth and ability, who quit their own
small craft, and set up as philosophers.[171] Such men, poorly
endowed by nature, and debased by habits of trade, exhibit
themselves, in their self-assumed exaltation as philosophers, like
a slave recently manumitted, who has put on new clothes and
married his master's daughter.[172] Having intruded themselves
into a career for which they are unfit, they cannot produce any
grand or genuine philosophical thoughts, or any thing better than
mere neat sophisms, pleasing to the ear.[173] Through them arises
the discredit which is now attached to philosophers.

[Footnote 171: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 495 C-D. [Greek:
kathorô=ntes ga\r a)/lloi a)nthrôpi/skoi kenê\n tê\n chô/ran
tau/tên gignome/nên, kalô=n de\ o)noma/tôn kai\ proschêma/tôn
mestê/n, ô(/sper oi( e)k tô=n ei)rgmô=n ei)s ta\ i(era\
a)podidra/skontes, a)/smenoi kai\ ou(=toi e)k tô=n technô=n
e)kpêdô=sin ei)s tê\n philosophi/an.]]

[Footnote 172: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 495 E.]

[Footnote 173: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 496 A.]

[Side-note: Rare cases in which a highly qualified
philosopher remains--Being at variance with public opinion, he can
achieve nothing, and is lucky if he can obtain safety by silence.]

Amidst such general degradation of philosophy, some few and
rare cases are left, in which the pre-eminent natures qualified
for philosophy remain by some favourable accident uncorrupted. One
of these is Theagês, who would have been long ago drawn away from
philosophy to active politics, had he not been disqualified by bad
health. The restraining Dæmon, peculiar to myself (says Sokrates),
is another case.[174] Such an exceptional man, having once tasted
the sweetness and happiness of philosophy, embraces it as an
exclusive profession. He sees that the mass of society are
wrongheaded--that scarce any one takes wholesome views on social
matters--that he can find no partisans to aid him in upholding
justice[175]--that while he will not take part in injustice, he is
too weak to contend single-handed against the violence of all, and
would only become a victim to it without doing any good either to
the city or to his friends--like a man who has fallen among wild
beasts. On these grounds he stands aloof in his own separate
pursuit, like one sheltering himself under a wall against a
hurricane of wind and dust. Witnessing the injustice committed by
all around, he is content if he can keep himself clear and pure
from it during his life here, so as to die with satisfaction and
good hopes.

[Footnote 174: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 496 D.]

[Footnote 175: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 496 C-D. [Greek: kai\
tou/tôn dê\ tô=n o)li/gôn oi( geuo/menoi kai\ geusa/menoi ô(s
ê(du\ kai\ maka/rion to\ ktê=ma, kai\ tô=n pollô=n au)= i(kanô=s
i)do/ntes tê\n mani/an, kai\ o(/ti ou)dei\s ou)de\n u(gie\s, ô(s
e)/pos ei)pei=n, peri\ ta\ tô=n po/leôn pra/ttei, ou)d' e)/sti
xu/mmachos meth' o(/tou tis i)ô\n e)pi\ tê\n tô=n dikai/ôn
boê/theian sô/zoit' a)/n, a)ll' ô(/sper ei)s thêri/a a)/nthrôpos
e)mpesô/n, ou)/te xunadikei=n e)the/lôn ou)/te i(kano\s ô)\n ei(=s
pa=sin a)gri/ois a)nte/chein, pri/n ti tê\n po/lin ê)\ phi/lous
o)nêsai proapolo/menos a)nôphelê\s au(tô=| te kai\ toi=s a)/llois
a)\n ge/noito--tau=ta pa/nta logismô=| labô=n, ê(suchi/an e)/chôn
kai\ ta\ au)tou= pra/ttôn . . . o(rô=n tou\s a)/llous
katapimplame/nous a)nomi/as, a)gapa=| ei)/ pê au)to\s katharo\s
a)diki/as], &c.]

He will perform no small achievement (remarks Adeimantus) if he
keeps clear to the end.[176]

[Footnote 176: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 497 A.]

[Side-note: The philosopher must have a community suitable
to him, and worthy of him.]

True (replies Sokrates)--yet nevertheless he can perform no great
achievement, unless he meets with a community suited to him.
Amidst such a community he will himself rise to greatness, and
will preserve the public happiness as well as his own. But there
exists no such community anywhere, at the present moment. Not one
of those now existing is worthy of a philosophical
disposition:[177] which accordingly becomes perverted, and
degenerates into a different type adapted to its actual abode,
like exotic seed transported to a foreign soil. But if this
philosophical disposition were planted in a worthy community, so
as to be able to assert its own superior excellence, it would then
prove itself truly divine, leaving other dispositions and pursuits
behind as merely human.

[Footnote 177: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 497 B-C.]

[Side-note: It must be such a community as Sokrates has been
describing--But means must be taken to keep up a perpetual
succession of philosophers as Rulers.]

You mean by a worthy community (observes Adeimantus), such an one
as that of which you have been drawing the outline?--I do (replies
Sokrates): with this addition, already hinted but not explained,
that there must always be maintained in it a perpetual supervising
authority representing the scheme and purpose of the primitive
lawgiver. This authority must consist of philosophers: and the
question now arises--difficult but indispensable--how such
philosophers are to be trained up and made efficient for the good
of the city.

[Side-note: Proper manner of teaching philosophy--Not to
begin at a very early age.]

The plan now pursued for imparting philosophy is bad. Some do not
learn it at all: and even to those who learn it best, the most
difficult part (that which relates to debate and discourse) is
taught when they are youths just emerging from boyhood, in the
intervals of practical business and money-getting.[178] After that
period, in their mature age, they abandon it altogether; they will
scarcely so much as go to hear an occasional lecture on the
subject, without any effort of their own: accordingly it has all
died out within them, when they become mature in years. This
manner of teaching philosophy ought to be reversed. In childhood
and youth, instruction of an easy character and suitable to that
age ought to be imparted; while the greatest care is taken to
improve and strengthen the body during its period of growth, as a
minister and instrument to philosophy. As age proceeds, and the
mind advances to perfection, the mental exercises ought to become
more difficult and absorbing. Lastly, when the age of bodily
effort passes away, philosophy ought to become the main and
principal pursuit.[179]

[Footnote 178: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 498 A. [Greek: Nu=n me\n
oi( kai\ a(pto/menoi meira/kia o)/nta a)/rti e)k paidô=n to\
metaxu\ oi)konomi/as kai\ chrêmatismou= plêsia/santes au)tou= tô=|
chalepôta/tô| a)palla/ttontai, oi( philosophô/tatoi poiou/menoi;
le/gô de\ chalepô/taton to\ peri\ tou\s lo/gous; e)n de\ tô=|
e)/peita, e)a\n kai\ a)/llôn tou=to pratto/ntôn parakalou/menoi
e)the/lôsin a)kroatai\ gi/gnesthai, mega/la ê(gou=ntai, pa/rergon
oi)o/menoi au)to\ dei=n pra/ttein.]]

[Footnote 179: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 498 C.]

[Side-note: If the multitude could once see a real, perfect,
philosopher, they could not fail to love him: but this never

Most people will hear all this (continues Sokrates) with mingled
incredulity and repugnance. We cannot wonder that they do so: for
they have had no experience of one or a few virtuously trained men
ruling in a city suitably prepared.[180] Such combination of
philosophical rulers within a community adapted to them, we must
assume to be realised.[181] Though difficult, it is noway
impracticable: and even the multitude will become reconciled to
it, if you explain to them mildly what sort of persons we mean by
philosophers. We do not mean such persons as the multitude now
call by that name; interlopers in the pursuit, violent in dispute
and quarrel with each other, and perpetually talking personal
scandal.[182] The multitude cannot hate a philosophical temper
such as we depict, when they once come to know it--a man who,
indifferent to all party disputes, dwells in contemplation of the
Universal Forms, and tries to mould himself and others into
harmony with them.[183] Such a philosopher will not pretend to
make regulations, either for a city or for an individual, until he
has purified it thoroughly. He will then make regulations framed
upon the type of the Eternal Forms--Justice, Temperance,
Beauty--adapting them as well as he can to human exigencies.[184]
The multitude, when they know what is really meant, will become
perfectly reconciled to it. One single prince, if he rises so as
to become a philosopher, and has a consenting community, will
suffice to introduce the system which we have been describing. So
fortunate an accident can undoubtedly occur but seldom; yet it is
not impossible, and one day or other it will really occur.[185]

[Footnote 180: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 498 E.]

[Footnote 181: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 499 B-C.]

[Footnote 182: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 499-500.]

[Footnote 183: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 500 C-D.]

[Footnote 184: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 501 A.]

[Footnote 185: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 502.]

[Side-note: Course of training in the Platonic city, for
imparting philosophy to the Rulers. They must be taught to ascend
to the Idea of Good. But what is Good?]

I must now (continues Sokrates) explain more in detail the studies
and training through which these preservers Rulers of our city,
the complete philosophers, must be created. The most perfect among
the Guardians, after having been tested by years of exercises
and temptations of various kinds, will occupy that distinguished
place. Very few will be found uniting those distinct and almost
incompatible excellences which qualify them for the post. They
must give proof of self-command against pleasures as well as
pains, and of competence to deal with the highest studies.[186]
But what are the highest studies? What is the supreme object of
knowledge? It is the Idea of Good--the Form of Good: to the
acquisition of which our philosophers must be trained to ascend,
however laborious and difficult the process may be.[187] Neither
justice nor any thing else can be useful or profitable, unless we
superadd to them a knowledge of the Idea of Good: without this, it
would profit us nothing to possess all other knowledge.[188]

[Footnote 186: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 503.]

[Footnote 187: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 504.]

[Footnote 188: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 A. [Greek: o(/ti ge ê(
tou= a)gathou= i)de/a me/giston ma/thêma polla/kis a)kê/koas, ê)=|
di/kaia kai\ ta)/lla proschrêsa/mena chrê/sima kai\ ô)phe/lima
gi/gnetai], &c.]

[Side-note: Ancient disputes upon this point, though every
one yearns after Good. Some say Intelligence; some say Pleasure.
Neither is satisfactory.]

Now as to the question, What Good is? there are great and
long-standing disputes. Every mind pursues Good, and does every thing
for the sake of it--yet without either knowledge or firm assurance
what Good is, and consequently with perpetual failure in deriving
benefit from other acquisitions.[189] Most people say that
Pleasure is the Good: an ingenious few identify Intelligence with
the Good. But neither of these explanations is satisfactory. For
when a man says that Intelligence is the Good, our next question
to him must be, What sort of Intelligence do you
mean?--Intelligence of what? To this he must reply, Intelligence
of the Good: which is absurd, since it presumes us to know already
what the Good is--the very point which he is pretending to elucidate.
Again, he who contends that Pleasure is the Good, is forced in
discussion to admit that there are such things as bad pleasures:
in other words, that pleasure is sometimes good, sometimes
bad.[190] From these doubts and disputes about the real nature
of good, we shall require our philosophical Guardians to have
emancipated themselves, and to have attained a clear vision. They
will be unfit for their post it they do not well know what the
Good is, and in what manner just or honourable things come to be
good.[191] Our city will have received its final consummation,
when it is placed under the superintendence of one who knows what
the Good is.

[Footnote 189: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 E. [Greek: O(\ dê\
diô/kei me\n a(/pasa psuchê\ kai\ tou/tou e(/neka pa/nta pra/ttei,
a)pomanteuome/nê ti\ ei)=nai, a)porou=sa de\ kai\ ou)k e)/chousa
labei=n i(kanô=s ti/ pot' e)sti/n, ou)de\ pi/stei chrê/sasthai
moni/mô|, oi(/a| kai\ peri\ ta)/lla, dia\ tou=to de\
a)potugcha/nei kai\ tô=n a)/llôn ei)/ ti o)/phelos ê)=n],

[Footnote 190: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 C.]

[Footnote 191: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 506 A. [Greek: di/kaia/ te
kai\ kala\ a)gnoou/mena o(/pê| pote\ a)gatha/ e)stin, ou) pollou=
tino\s a)/xion phu/laka kektê=sthai a)\n e(autô=n to\n tou=to

[Side-note: Adeimantus asks what Sokrates says. Sokrates
says that he can not answer: but he compares it by a metaphor to
the Sun.]

But tell me, Sokrates (asks Adeimantus), what do _you_
conceive the Good to be--Intelligence or Pleasure, or any other
thing different from these? I do not profess to know (replies
Sokrates), and cannot tell you. We must decline the problem, What
Good itself is? as more arduous than our present impetus will
enable us to reach.[192] Nevertheless I will partially supply the
deficiency by describing to you the offspring of Good, very like
its parent. You will recollect that we have distinguished the Many
from the One: the many just particulars, beautiful particulars,
from the One Universal Idea or Form, Just _per se_, Beautiful
_per se_. The many particulars are seen but not conceived:
the one Idea is conceived, but not seen.[193] We see the many
particulars through the auxiliary agency of light, which emanates
from the Sun, the God of the visible world. Our organ and sense of
vision are not the Sun itself, but they are akin to the Sun in a
greater degree than any of our other senses. They imbibe their
peculiar faculty from the influence of the Sun.[194] The Sun
furnishes to objects the power of being seen, and to our eyes the
power of seeing: we can see no colour unless we turn to objects
enlightened by its rays. Moreover it is the Sun which also brings
about the generation, the growth, and the nourishment, of these
objects, though it is itself out of the limits of generation: it
generates and keeps them in existence, besides rendering them
visible.[195] Now the Sun is the offspring and representative
of the Idea of Good: what the Sun is in the sensible and visible
world, the Idea of Good is in the intelligible or conceivable
world.[196] As the Sun not only brings into being the objects of
sense, but imparts to them the power of being seen so the Idea of
Good brings into being the objects of conception or cognition,
imparts to them the power of being known, and to the mind the
power of knowing them.[197] It is from the Idea of Good that all
knowledge, all truth, and all real essence spring. Yet the Idea of
Good is itself extra-essential; out of or beyond the limits of
essence, and superior in beauty and dignity both to knowledge and
to truth; which are not Good itself, but akin to Good, as vision
is akin to the Sun.[198]

[Footnote 192: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 506 B-E. [Greek: Au)to\
me\n ti/ pot' e)sti\ ta)gatho\n e)a/sômen ta\ nu=n ei)=nai; ple/on
ga/r moi phai/netai ê)\ kata\ tê\n parou=san o(rmê\n e)phike/sthai
tou= ge dokou=ntos e)moi\ ta\ nu=n; o(/s de\ e)/kgono/s te tou=
a)gathou= phai/netai kai\ o(moio/tatos e)kei/nô|, le/gein
e)the/lô] (p. 506 E).]

[Footnote 193: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 507 B-C. [Greek: Kai\ ta\
me\n (polla\) dê\ o(ra=sthai/ phamen, noei=sthai de\ ou)/; ta\s d'
au)= i)de/as noei=sthai me/n, o(ra=sthai de\ ou)/.]]

[Footnote 194: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 508 A. [Greek: ê(
o)/psis--ê(lioeide/staton tô=n peri\ ta\s ai)sthê/seis o)rga/nôn.]]

[Footnote 195: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 509 B. [Greek: To\n ê(/lion
toi=s o(rôme/nois ou) mo/non tê\n tou= o(ra=sthai du/namin
pare/chein phê/seis, a)lla\ kai\ tê\n ge/nesin kai\ au)/xên kai\
trophê/n, ou) ge/nesin au)to\n o)/nta.]]

[Footnote 196: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 508 B-C. [Greek: Tou=ton
(to\n ê(/lion) to\n tou= a)gathou= e)/kgonon, o(\n ta)gatho\n
e)ge/nnêsen a)na/logon e(autô=|, o(/, ti per au)to\ e)n tô=|
noêtô=| to/pô| pro/s te nou=n kai\ ta\ noou/mena, tou=to tou=ton
e)n tô=| o(ratô=| pro/s te o)/psin kai\ ta\ o(rô/mena.]]

[Footnote 197: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 508 E. [Greek: Tou=to
toi/nun to\ tê\n a)lê/theian pare/chon toi=s gignôskome/nois kai\
tô=| gignô/skonti tê\n du/namin a)podido\n tê\n tou= a)gathou=
i)de/an pha/thi ei)=nai, ai)ti/an d' e)pistê/mês ou)=san kai\
a)lêthei/as ô(s gignôskome/nês], &c.]

[Footnote 198: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 509 B. [Greek: Kai\ toi=s
gignôskome/nois toi/nun mê\ mo/non to\ gignô/skesthai pha/nai
u(po\ tou= a)gathou= parei=nai, a)lla\ kai\ to\ ei)=nai te kai\
tê\n ou)si/an u(p' e)kei/nou au)tois prosei=nai, ou)k ou)si/as
o)/ntos tou= a)gathou=, a)ll' e)/ti e)pe/keina tê=s ou)si/as
presbei/a| kai\ duna/mei u(pere/chontos. Kai\ o( Glau/kôn ma/la
geloi/ôs, A)/pollon, e)/phê, daimoni/as u(perbolê=s! Su\ ga/r,
ê)=n d' e)gô/, ai)/tios, a)nagka/zôn ta\ e)moi\ dokou=nta peri\
au)tou= le/gein.]--Also p. 509 A.]

[Side-note: The Idea of Good rules the ideal or intelligible
world, as the Sun rules the sensible or visible world.]

Here then we have two distinct regions or genera; one, the
conceivable or intelligible, ruled by the Idea of Good--the other
the visible, ruled by the Sun, which is the offspring of Good. Now
let us subdivide each of these regions or genera, into two
portions. The two portions of the visible will be--first, real
objects, visible such as animals, plants, works of art,
&c.--second, the images or representations of these, such as shadows,
reflexions in water or in mirrors, &c. The first of these two
subdivisions will be greatly superior in clearness to the second:
it will be distinguished from the second as truth is distinguished
from not-truth.[199] Matter of knowledge is in the same relation
to matter of opinion, as an original to its copy. Next, the
conceivable or intelligible region must be subdivided into two
portions, similarly related one to the other: the first of these
portions will be analogous to the real objects of vision, the
second to the images or representations of these objects: the
first will thus be the Forms, Ideas, or Realities of Conception or
Intellect--the second will be particular images or embodiments

[Footnote 199: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 509-510. 510 A: [Greek:
diê|rê=sthai a)lêthei/a| te kai\ mê/, ô(s to\ doxasto\n pro\s to\
gnôsto/n, ou)/tô to\ o(moiôthe\n pro\s to\ ô(=| ô(moiô/thê.]]

[Footnote 200: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 510 B.]

[Side-note: To the intelligible world there are applicable
two distinct modes of procedure--the Geometrical--the Dialectic.
Geometrical procedure assumes diagrams.]

Now in regard to these two portions of the conceivable or
intelligible region, two different procedures of the mind are
employed: the pure Dialectic, and the Geometrical, procedure. The
Geometer or the Arithmetician begins with certain visible images,
lines, figures, or numbered objects, of sense: he takes his
departure from certain hypotheses or assumptions, such as given
numbers, odd and even--given figures and angles, of three
different sorts.[201] He assumes these as data without rendering
account of them, or allowing them to be called in question, as if
they were self-evident to every one. From these premisses he
deduces his conclusions, carrying them down by uncontradicted
steps to the solution of the problem which he is examining.[202]
But though he has before his eyes the visible parallelogram
inscribed on the sand, with its visible diagonal, and though all
his propositions are affirmed respecting these--yet what he has
really in his mind is something quite different--the Parallelogram
_per se_, or the Form of a Parallelogram--the Form of a
Diagonal, &c. The visible figure before him is used only as an
image or representative of this self-existent form; which last he
can contemplate only in conception, though all his propositions
are intended to apply to it.[203] He is unable to take his
departure directly from this Form, as from a first principle: he
is forced to assume the visible figure as his point of departure,
and cannot ascend above it: he treats it as something privileged
and self-evident.[204]

[Footnote 201: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 510 B. [Greek: ê(=| to me\n
au)tou= (tmê=ma) toi=s to/te tmêthei=sin ô(s ei)ko/si chrôme/nê]
(this is farther illustrated by p. 511 A--[Greek: ei)ko/si
chrôme/nên au)toi=s toi=s u(po\ tô=n ka/tô a)peikasthei=si)
psuchê\ zêtei=n a)nagka/zetai e)x u(pothe/seôn, ou)k e)p' a)rchê\n
poreuome/nê a)ll' e)pi\ teleutê/n], &c.]

[Footnote 202: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 510 C-D. [Greek: oi( peri\
ta\s geômetri/as te kai\ logismou\s kai\ ta\ toiau=ta
pragmateuo/menoi, u(pothe/menoi to/ te peritto\n kai\ to\ a)/rtion
kai\ ta\ schê/mata kai\ gôniô=n tritta\ ei)/dê kai\ a)/lla tou/tôn
a)delpha\ kath' e(ka/stên me/thodon, tau=ta me\n ô(s ei)do/tes,
poiêsa/menoi u(pothe/seis au)ta/, ou)de/na lo/gon ou)/te au(toi=s
ou)/te toi=s a)/llois e)/ti a)xiou=si peri\ au)tô=n dido/nai, ô(s
panti\ phanerô=n; e)k tou/tôn d' a)rcho/menoi ta\ loipa\ ê)/dê
diexio/ntes teleutô=sin o(mologoume/nôs e)pi\ tou=to, ou)= a)\n
e)pi\ ske/psin o(rmê/sôsin.]]

[Footnote 203: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 510 D-E. [Greek: toi=s
o(rôme/nois ei)/desi proschrô=ntai, kai\ tou\s lo/gous peri\
au)tô=n poiou=ntai, ou) peri\ tou/tôn dianoou/menoi, a)ll'
e)kei/nôn pe/ri oi(=s tau=ta e)/oike, tou= tetragô/nou au)tou=
e(/neka tou\s lo/gous poiou/menoi kai\ diame/tron au)tê=s, a)ll'
ou) tau/tês ê(\n gra/phousi, kai\ ta)/lla ou(/tôs; au)ta\ me\n
tau=ta a(\ pla/ttousi/ te kai\ gra/phousin, ô(=n] kai\ skiai\ kai\
e)n u(/dasin ei)ko/nes ei)si/, tou/tois me\n ô(s ei)ko/sin au)=
chrô/menoi, zêtou=nte/s te au)ta\ e)kei=na i)dei=n, a(\ ou)k a)\n
a)/llôs i)/doi tis ê)\ tê=| dianoi/a|.]

[Footnote 204: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 511 A. [Greek: ou)k e)p'
a)rchê\n i)ou=san, ô(s ou) duname/nên tô=n u(pothe/seôn a)nôte/rô
e)kbai/nein, ei)ko/si de\ chrôme/nên au)toi=s toi=s u(po\ tô=n
ka/tô a)peikasthei=sin, kai\ e)kei/nois pro\s e)kei=na ô(s
e)narge/si dedoxasme/nois te kai\ tetimême/nois.]]

[Side-note: Dialectic procedure assumes nothing. It departs
from the highest Form, and steps gradually down to the lowest,
without meddling with any thing except Forms.]

From the geometrical procedure thus described, we must now
distinguish the other section--the pure Dialectic. Here the
Intellect ascends to the absolute Form, and grasps it directly.
Particular assumptions or hypotheses are indeed employed, but only
as intervening stepping-stones, by which the Intellect is to
ascend to the Form: they are afterwards to be discarded: they are
not used here for first principles of reasoning, as they are by
the Geometer.[205] The Dialectician uses for his first principle
the highest absolute Form; he descends from this to the next
highest, and so lower and lower through the orderly gradation of
Forms, until he comes to the end or lowest: never employing
throughout the whole descent any hypothesis or assumption, nor any
illustrative aid from sense. He contemplates and reasons upon the
pure intelligible essence, directly and immediately: whereas the
Geometer can only contemplate it indirectly and mediately, through
the intervening aid of particular assumptions.[206]

[Footnote 205: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 511 B. [Greek: to\ e(/teron
tmê=ma tou= noêtou= . . . ou)= au)to\s o( lo/gos a(/ptetai tê=|
tou= diale/gesthai duna/mei, ta\s u(pothe/seis poiou/menos ou)k
a)rcha\s a)lla\ tô=| o)/nti u(pothe/seis, oi(=on e)piba/seis te
kai\ o(rma/s, i(/na me/chri tou= a)nupothe/tou, e)pi\ tê\n tou=
panto\s a)rchê\n i)ô/n, a(psa/menos au)tê=s, pa/lin au)=
e)cho/menos tô=n e)kei/nês e)chome/nôn, ou(/tôs e)pi\ teleutê\n
katabai/nê|, ai)sthêtô=| panta/pasin ou)deni\ proschrô/menos,
a)ll' ei)/desin au)toi=s di' au)tô=n ei)s au)ta/, kai\ teleuta=|
ei)s ei)/dê.]]

[Footnote 206: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 511 C. [Greek: saphe/steron
ei)=nai to\ u(po\ tê=s tou= diale/gesthai e)pistê/mês tou= o)/ntos
te kai\ noêtou= theôrou/menon ê)\ to\ u(po\ tô=n technô=n
kaloume/nôn, ai(=s ai( u(pothe/seis a)rchai/], &c.]

[Side-note: Two distinct grades of Cognition--Direct or
Superior--Noûs--Indirect or Inferior--Dianoia.]

The distinction here indicated between the two different sections
of the Intelligible Region, and the two different sections of the
Region of Sense--we shall mark (continues Sokrates) by appropriate
terms. The Dialectician alone has Noûs or Intellect, direct or the
highest cognition: he alone grasps and comprehends directly the
pure intelligible essence or absolute Form. The Geometer does
not ascend to this direct contemplation or intuition of the Form:
he knows it only through the medium of particular assumptions, by
indirect Cognition or Dianoia; which is a lower faculty than Noûs
or Intellect, yet nevertheless higher than Opinion.

[Side-note: Two distinct grades of Opinion also in the
Sensible World--Faith or Belief--Conjecture.]

As we assign two distinct grades of Cognition to the Intelligible
Region, so we also assign two distinct grades of Opinion to the
Region of Sense, and its two sections. To the first of these two
sections, or to real objects of sense, we assign the highest grade
of Opinion, _viz._: Faith or Belief. To the second of the
two, or to the images of real objects of sense, we assign the
lower grade, _viz._: Conjecture.

Here then are the four grades. Two grades of Cognition--1. Noûs,
or Direct Cognition. 2. Dianoia, or Indirect Cognition: both of
them belonging to the Intelligible Region, and both of them higher
than Opinion. Next follow the two grades of Opinion. 3. The higher
grade, Faith or Belief. 4. The lower grade, Conjecture. Both the
two last belong to the sensible world; the first to real objects,
the last to images of those objects.[207]

[Footnote 207: Plato, Republic, p. 511 D-E.]

[Side-note: Distinction between the philosopher and the
unphilosophical public, illustrated by the simile of the Cave, and
the captives imprisoned therein.]

Sokrates now proceeds to illustrate the contrast between the
philosopher and the unphilosophical or ordinary man, by the
memorable simile of the cave and its shadows. Mankind live in a
cave, with its aperture directed towards the light of the sun; but
they are so chained, that their backs are constantly turned
towards this aperture, so that they cannot see the sun and
sunlight. What they do see is by means of a fire which is always
burning behind them. Between them and this fire there is a wall;
along the wall are posted men who carry backwards and forwards
representations or images of all sorts of objects; so that the
shadows of these objects by the firelight are projected from
behind these chained men upon the ground in front of them, and
pass to and fro before their vision. All the experience which such
chained men acquire, consists in what they observe of the
appearance and disappearance, the transition, sequences, and
co-existences, of these shadows, which they mistake for truth and
realities, having no no acquaintance with any other
phenomena.[208] If now we suppose any one of them to be liberated
from his chains, turned round, and brought up to the light of the
sun and to real objects--his eyesight would be at first altogether
dazzled, confounded, and distressed. Distinguishing as yet nothing
clearly, he would believe that the shadows which he had seen in
his former state were true and distinct objects, and that the new
mode of vision to which he had been suddenly introduced was
illusory and unprofitable. He would require a long time to
accustom him to daylight: at first his eyes would bear nothing but
shadows--next images in the water--then the stars at
night--lastly, the full brightness of the Sun. He would learn that
it was the Sun which not only gave light, but was the cause of varying
seasons, growth, and all the productions of the visible world. And
when his mind had been thus opened, he would consider himself much
to be envied for the change, looking back with pity on his
companions still in the cave.[209] He would think them all
miserably ignorant, as being conversant not with realities, but
only with the shadows which passed before their eyes. He would
have no esteem even for the chosen few in the cave, who were
honoured by their fellows as having best observed the
co-existences and sequences among these shadows, so as to predict
most exactly how the shadows would appear in future.[210] Moreover
if, after having become fully accustomed to daylight and the
contemplation of realities, he were to descend again into the
cave, his eyesight would be dim and confused in that comparative
darkness; so that he would not well recognise the shadows, and
would get into disputes about them with his companions. They on
their side would deride him as having spoilt his sight as well as
his judgment, and would point him out as an example to deter
others from emerging out of the cave into daylight.[211] Far from
wishing to emerge themselves, they would kill, if they could,
any one who tried to unchain them and assist them in

[Footnote 208: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 514-515.]

[Footnote 209: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 515-516.]

[Footnote 210: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 516 C. [Greek: Timai\ de\
kai\ e)/painoi ei)/ tines au)toi=s ê)=san to/te par' a)llê/lôn
kai\ ge/ra tô=| o)xu/tata kathorô=nti ta\ pario/nta, kai\
mnêmoneu/onti ma/lista o(/sa te pro/tera au)tô=n kai\ u(/stera
ei)ô/thei kai\ a(/ma poreu/esthai, kai\ e)k tou/tôn dê\
dunatô/tata a)pomanteuome/nô| to\ me/llon ê(/xein, dokei=s a)\n
au)to\n e)pithumêtikô=s au)tô=n e)/chein kai\ zêlou=n tou\s par'
e)kei/nois timôme/nous te kai\ e)ndunasteu/ontas?]]

[Footnote 211: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 517 A. [Greek: a)=r' ou)
ge/lôt' a)\n para/schoi kai\ le/goito a)\n peri\ au)tou= ô(s
a)naba\s a)/nô diephtharme/nos ê(/kei ta\ o)/mmata, kai\ o(/ti
ou)k a)/xion ou)de\ peira=sthai a)/nô i)e/nai?]]

[Footnote 212: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 517 A. [Greek: kai\ to\n
e)picheirou=nta lu/ein te kai\ a)na/gein, ei)/ pôs e)n tai=s
chersi\ du/naito labei=n kai\ a)poktei=nai, a)poktinnu/nai

[Side-note: Daylight of philosophy contrasted with the
firelight and shadows of the Cave.]

By this simile (continues Sokrates) I intend to illustrate, as far
as I can, yet without speaking confidently,[213] the relations of
the sensible world to the intelligible world: the world of
transitory shadows, dimly seen and admitting only opinion,
contrasted with that of unchangeable realities steadily
contemplated and known, illuminated by the Idea of Good, which is
itself visible in the background, being the cause both of truth in
speculation and of rectitude in action.[214] No wonder that the
few who can ascend into the intelligible region, amidst the clear
contemplations of Truth and Justice _per se_, are averse to
meddle again with the miseries of human affairs and to contend
with the opinions formed by ordinary men respecting the shadows of
Justice, the reality of which these ordinary men have never seen.
There are two causes of temporary confused vision: one, when a man
moves out of darkness into light--the other when he moves from
light into darkness. It is from the latter cause that the
philosopher suffers when he redescends into the obscure cave.[215]

[Footnote 213: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 517. [Greek: tê=s g'
e)mê=s e)lpi/dos, e)peidê\ tau/tês e)pithumei=s a)kou/ein;
_theo\s de/ pou oi)=den ei) a)lêthê\s ou)=sa tugcha/nei_.]

This tone of uncertainty in Plato deserves notice. It forms a
striking contrast with the dogmatism of many among his

[Footnote 214: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 517 C.]

[Footnote 215: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 517-518.]

[Side-note: Purpose of a philosophical training, to turn a
man round from facing the bad light of the Cave to face the
daylight of philosophy, and to see the eternal Forms.]

The great purpose of education is to turn a man round from his
natural position at the bottom of this dark cave, where he sees
nothing but shadows: to fix his eyes in the other direction, and
to induce him to ascend into clear daylight. Education does not,
as some suppose, either pour knowledge into an empty mind, or
impart visual power to blind persons. Men have good eyes, but
these eyes are turned in the wrong direction. The clever among
them see sharply enough what is before them: but they have nothing
before them except shadows, and the sharper their vision the more
mischief they do.[216] What is required is to turn them round
and draw them up so as to face the real objects of daylight. Their
natural eyesight would then suffice to enable them to see these
objects well.[217] The task of our education must be, to turn
round the men of superior natural aptitude, and to draw them up
into the daylight of realities. Next, when they shall have become
sufficiently initiated in truth and philosophy, we must not allow
them to bury themselves permanently in such studies--as they will
themselves be but too eager to do. We must compel them to come
down again into the cave and exercise ascendancy among their
companions, for whose benefit their superior mental condition will
thus become available.[218]

[Footnote 216: Plato, Republic, p. 519 A-B.]

[Footnote 217: Plato, Republic, p. 519 B. [Greek: ô(=n ei)
a)pallage\n periestre/pheto ei)s ta)lêthê=, kai\ e)kei=na a)\n to\
au)to\ tou=to tô=n au)tô=n a)nthrô/pôn o)xu/tata e(ô/ra, ô(/sper
kai\ e)ph' a)\ nu=n te/traptai.]]

[Footnote 218: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 519-520.]

[Side-note: Those who have emerged from the Cave into full
daylight amidst eternal Forms, must be forced to come down again
and undertake active duties--Their reluctance to do this.]

Coming as they do from the better light, they will, after a little
temporary perplexity, be able to see the dim shadows better than
those who have never looked at anything else. Having contemplated
the true and real Forms of the Just, Beautiful, Good--they will
better appreciate the images of these Forms which come and go,
pass by and repass in the cave.[219] They will indeed be very
reluctant to undertake the duties or exercise the powers of
government: their genuine delight is in philosophy; and if left to
themselves, they would cultivate nothing else. But such reluctance
is in itself one proof that they are the fittest persons to
govern. If government be placed in the hands of men eager to
possess it, there will be others eager to dispossess them, so that
competition and factions will arise. Those who come forward to
govern, having no good of their own, and seeking to extract their
own good from the exercise of power, are both unworthy of trust
and sure to be resisted by opponents of the like disposition. The
philosopher alone has his own good in himself. He enjoys a life
better than that of a ruler; which life he is compelled to forego
when he accepts power and becomes a ruler.[220]

[Footnote 219: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 520 C.]

[Footnote 220: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 520-521.]

[Side-note: Studies serving as introduction to
philosophy--Arithmetic, its awakening power--shock to the mind
by felt contradiction.]

The main purpose of education, I have said (continues Sokrates)
is, to turn round the faces of the superior men, and to invite
them upwards from darkness to light--from the region of
perishable shadows to that of imperishable realities.[221] Now
what cognitions, calculated to aid such a purpose, can we find to
teach?[222] Gymnastic, music, the vulgar arts, are all useful to
be taught: but they do not tend to that which we are here seeking.
Arithmetic does so to a certain extent, if properly taught which
at present it is not.[223] It furnishes a stimulus to awaken the
dormant intellectual and reflective capacity. Among the variety of
sensible phenomena, there are some in which the senses yield a
clear and satisfactory judgment, leaving no demand in the mind for
anything beyond: there are others in which the senses land us in
apparent equivocation, puzzle, and contradiction--so that the mind
is stung by this apparent perplexity, and instigated to find a
solution by some intellectual effort.[224] Thus, if we see or feel
the fingers of our hand, they always appear to the sense, fingers:
in whatever order or manner they may be looked at, there is no
contradiction or discrepancy in the judgment of sense. But if we
see or feel them as great or small, thick or thin, hard or soft,
&c., they then appear differently according as they are seen
or felt in different order or under different circumstances. The
same object which now appears great, will at another time appear
small: it will seem to the sense hard or soft, light or heavy,
according as it is seen under different comparisons and
relations.[225] Here then, sense is involved in an apparent
contradiction, declaring the same object to be both hard and soft,
great and small, light and heavy, &c. The mind, painfully
confounded by such a contradiction, is obliged to invoke
intellectual reflection to clear it up. Great and small are
presented by the sense as inhering in the same object. Are they
one thing, or two separate things? Intellectual reflection informs
us that they are two: enabling us to conceive separately two
things, which to our sense appeared confounded together.
Intellectual (or abstract) conception is thus developed in our
mind, as distinguished from sense, and as a refuge from the
confusion and difficulties of sense, which furnish the stimulus
whereby it is awakened.[226]

[Footnote 221: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 521 C. [Greek: psuchê=s
periagôgê/, e)k nukterinê=s tino\s ê(me/ras ei)s a)lêthinê\n tou=
o)/ntos i)ou/sês e)pa/nodon, ê(\n dê\ philosophi/an a)lêthê=
phê/somen ei)=nai.]]

[Footnote 222: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 521 C. [Greek: Ti/ a)\n
ou)=n ei)/ê ma/thêma psuchê=s o(lko\n a)po\ tou= gignome/nou e)pi\
to\ o)/n?]]

[Footnote 223: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 522-523 A.]

[Footnote 224: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 523 C.]

[Footnote 225: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 523-524.]

[Footnote 226: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 524 B-C.]

[Side-note: Perplexity arising from the One and Many,
stimulates the mind to an intellectual effort for clearing it up.]

Now arithmetic, besides its practical usefulness for arrangements
of war, includes difficulties and furnishes a stimulus of this
nature. We see the same thing both as One and as infinite in
multitude: as definite and indefinite in number.[227] We can
emerge from these difficulties only by intellectual and abstract
reflection. It is for this purpose, and not for purposes of
traffic, that our intended philosophers must learn Arithmetic.
Their minds must be raised from the confusion of the sensible
world to the clear daylight of the intelligible.[228] In teaching
Arithmetic, the master sets before his pupils numbers in the
concrete, that is, embodied in visible and tangible objects--so
many balls or pebbles.[229] Each of these balls he enumerates as
One, though they be unequal in magnitude, and whatever be the
magnitude of each. If you remark that the balls are unequal--and
that each of them is Many as well as One, being divisible into as
many parts as you please--he will laugh at the objection as
irrelevant. He will tell you that the units to which his
numeration refers are each _Unum per se_, indivisible and
without parts; and all equal among themselves without the least
shade of difference. He will add that such units cannot be
exhibited to the senses, but can only be conceived by the
intellect: that the balls before you are not such units in
reality, but serve to suggest and facilitate the effort of
abstract conception.[230] In this manner arithmetical teaching
conducts us to numbers in the abstract--to the real, intelligible,
indivisible unit--the _Unum per se_.

[Footnote 227: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 525 A. [Greek: a(/ma ga\r
tau)to\n ô(s e(/n te o(rô=men kai\ ô(s a)/peira to\ plê=thos.]]

[Footnote 228: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 525 B. [Greek: dia\ to\
tê=s ou)si/as a(pte/on ei)=nai gene/seôs e)xanadu/nti], &c.]

[Footnote 229: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 525 D. [Greek: o(rata\ ê)\
a(pta\ sô/mata e)/chontas a)rithmou\s], &c.]

[Footnote 230: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 526 A. [Greek: ei)/ tis
e)/roito au)tou/s, Ô)= thauma/sioi, peri\ poi/ôn a)rithmô=n
diale/gesthe, e)n oi(=s to\ e(\n oi(=on u(mei=s a)xiou=te/ e)stin,
i)/son te e(/kaston pa=n panti\ kai\ ou)de\ smikro\n diaphe/ron,
mo/rio/n te e)/chon e)n e(autô=| ou)de/n? ti/ a)\n oi)/ei au)tou\s
a)pokri/nasthai? Tou=to e)/gôge, o(/ti peri\ tou/tôn le/gousin
ô(=n dianoêthê=nai mo/non e)gchôrei=, a)/llôs d' ou)damô=s
metacheiri/zesthai dunato/n.]]

[Side-note: Geometry conducts the mind to wards Universal

Geometrical teaching conducts the mind to the same order of
contemplations; leading it away from variable particulars to
unchangeable universal Essence. Some persons extol Geometry
chiefly on the ground of its usefulness in applications to
practice. But this is a mistake: its real value is in conducing to
knowledge, and to elevated contemplations of the mind. It does,
however, like Arithmetic, yield useful results in practice: and
both of them are farther valuable as auxiliaries to other

[Footnote 231: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 526-527.]

[Side-note: Astronomy--how useful--not useful as now
taught--must be studied by ideal figures, not by observation.]

After Geometry--the measurement of lines and superficial
areas--the proper immediate sequel is Stereometry, the measurement
of solids. But this latter is nowhere properly honoured and
cultivated: though from its intrinsic excellence, it forces its
way partially even against public neglect and discouragement.[232]
Most persons omit it, and treat Astronomy as if it were the
immediate sequel to Geometry: which is a mistake, for Astronomy
relates to solid bodies in a state of rotatory movement, and ought
to be preceded by the treatment of solid bodies generally.[233]
Assuming Stereometry, therefore, as if it existed, we proceed to

[Footnote 232: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 528 A-C.]

[Footnote 233: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 528 A-B. [Greek: e)n
periphora=| o)\n ê)/dê stereo\n labo/ntes, pri\n au)to\ kath'
au(to\ labei=n.] Also 528 E.]

Certainly (remarks Glaukon) Astronomy, besides its usefulness in
regard to the calendar, and the seasons, must be admitted by every
one to carry the mind upwards, to the contemplation of things not
below but on high. I do not admit this at all (replies Sokrates),
as Astronomy is now cultivated: at least in my sense of the words,
_looking upwards and looking downwards_. If a man lies on his
back, contemplating the ornaments of the ceiling, he may carry his
eyes upward, but not his mind.[234] To look upwards, as I
understand it, is to carry the mind away from the contemplation of
sensible things, whereof no science is attainable--to the
contemplation of intelligible things, entities invisible and
unchangeable, which alone are the objects of science. Observation
of the stars, such as astronomers now teach, does not fulfil any
such condition. The heavenly bodies are the most beautiful of all
visible bodies and the most regular of all visible movements,
approximating most nearly, though still with a long interval of
inferiority, to the ideal figures and movements of genuine and
self-existent Forms--quickness, slowness, number, figure, &c.,
as they are in themselves, not visible to the eye, but
conceivable only by reason and intellect.[235] The movements of
the heavenly bodies are exemplifications, approaching nearest to
the perfection of these ideal movements, but still falling greatly
short of them. They are like visible circles or triangles drawn by
some very exact artist; which, however beautiful as works of art,
are far from answering to the conditions of the idea and its
definition, and from exhibiting exact equality and
proportion.[236] So about the movements of the sun and stars: they
are comparatively regular, but they are yet bodily and visible,
never attaining the perfect sameness and unchangeableness of the
intelligible world and its forms. We cannot learn truth by
observation of phenomena constantly fluctuating and varying. We
must study astronomy, as we do geometry, not by observation, but
by mathematical theorems and hypotheses: which is a far more
arduous task than astronomy as taught at present. Only in this way
can it be made available to improve and strengthen the
intellectual organ of the mind.[237]

[Footnote 234: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 529 B.]

[Footnote 235: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 529 D.]

[Footnote 236: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 529-530.]

[Footnote 237: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 530 B. [Greek:
Problê/masin a)/ra chrô/menoi ô(/sper geômetri/an, ou(/tô kai\
a)stronomi/an me/timen; ta\ d' e)n tô=| ou)ra/nô| e)a/somen],

[Side-note: Acoustics, in like manner--The student will be
thus conducted to the highest of all studies--Dialectic: and to
the region of pure intelligible Forms.]

In like manner (continues Sokrates), Acoustics or Harmonics must
be studied, not by the ear, listening to and comparing various
sounds, but by the contemplative intellect, applying arithmetical
relations and theories.[238]

[Footnote 238: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 531.]

After going through all these different studies, the student will
have his mind elevated so as to perceive the affinity of
method[239] and principle which pervades them all. In this state
he will be prepared for entering on Dialectic, which is the final
consummation of his intellectual career. He will then have
ascended from the cave into daylight. He will have learnt to see
real objects, and ultimately the Sun itself, instead of the dim
and transitory shadows below. He will become qualified to grasp
the pure Intelligible Form with his pure Intellect alone, without
either aid or disturbance from sense. He will acquire that
dialectical discursive power which deals exclusively with these
Intelligible Forms, carrying on ratiocination by means of them
only, with no reference to sensible objects. He will attain at
length the last goal of the Dialectician--the contemplation of
Bonum _per se_ (the highest perfection and elevation of the
Intelligible)[240] with Intellect _per se_ in its full
purity: the best part of his mind will have been raised to the
contemplation and knowledge of the best and purest entity.[241]

[Footnote 239: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 531 D.]

[Footnote 240: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 532 A. [Greek: ou(/tô kai\
o(/tan tis tô=| diale/gesthai e)picheirê=|, a)/neu pasô=n tô=n
ai)sthê/seôn dia\ tou= lo/gou e)p' au)to\ o(\ e)/stin e(/kaston
o(rma=|, kai\ mê\ a)postê=| pri\n a)\n au)to\ o(\ e)/stin
a)gatho\n au)tê=| tê=| noê/sei la/bê|, e)p' au)tô=| gi/gnetai tô=|
tou= noêtou= te/lei], &c.]

[Footnote 241: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 532 D.]

[Side-note: Question by Glaukon--What is the Dialectic
Power? Sokrates declares that he cannot answer with certainty, and
that Glaukon could not follow him if he did.]

I know not whether I ought to admit your doctrine, Sokrates
(observes Glaukon). There are difficulties both in admitting and
denying it. However, let us assume it for the present. Your next
step must be to tell us what is the characteristic function of
this Dialectic power--what are its different varieties and ways
of proceeding? I would willingly do so (replies Sokrates), but you
would not be able to follow me.[242] I would lay before you not
merely an image of the truth but the very truth itself; as it
appears to me at least, whether I am correct or not--for I ought
not to be sure of my own correctness.

[Footnote 242: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 533 A.]

[Side-note: He answers partially--It is the consummation of
all the sciences, raising the student to the contemplation of pure
Forms, and especially to that of the highest Form--_Good_.]

But I am sure that the dialectic power is something of the nature
which I have described. It is the only force which can make plain
the full truth to students who have gone through the preliminary
studies that we have described. It is the only study which
investigates rationally real forms and essences[243]--what each
thing is, truly in itself. Other branches of study are directed
either towards the opinions and preferences of men--or towards
generation and combination of particular results--or towards
upholding of combinations already produced or naturally springing
up: while even as to geometry and the other kindred studies, we
have seen that as to real essence, they have nothing better than
dreams[244]--and that they cannot see it as it is, so long as
they take for their principle or point of departure certain
assumptions or hypotheses of which they can render no account. The
principle being thus unknown, and the conclusion as well as the
intermediate items being spun together out of that unknown, how
can such a convention deserve the name of Science?[245] Pursuant
to custom, indeed, we call these by the name of Sciences. But they
deserve no higher title than that of Intellectual Cognitions,
lower than Science, yet higher than mere Opinion. It is the
Dialectician alone who discards all assumptions, ascending at once
to real essence as his principle and point of departure:[246]
defining, and discriminating by appropriate words, each variety of
real essence--rendering account of it to others--and carrying it
safely through the cross-examining process of question and
answer.[247] Whoever cannot discriminate in this way the Idea or
Form of Good from every thing else, will have no proper cognition
of Good itself, but only, at best, opinions respecting the various
shadows of Good. Dialectic--the capacity of discriminating real
Forms and maintaining them in cross-examining dialogue is thus the
coping-stone, completion, or consummation, of all the other

[Footnote 243: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 533 B. [Greek: ô(s au)tou=
ge e(ka/stou pe/ri, o(\ e)/stin e(/kaston, ou)k a)/llê tis
e)picheirei= me/thodos o(dô=| peri\ panto\s lamba/nein], &c.]

[Footnote 244: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 533 C. [Greek: ô(s
o)neirô/ttousi me\n peri\ to\ o)/n, u(/par de\ a)du/naton au)tai=s
i)dei=n, e(/ôs a)\n u(pothe/sesi chrô/menai tau/tas a)kinê/tous
e)ô=sin], &c.]

[Footnote 245: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 533 D.]

[Footnote 246: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 533 E.]

[Footnote 247: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 534 B. [Greek: ê)= kai\
dialektiko\n kalei=s to\n lo/gon e(/kastou lamba/nonta tê=s

[Footnote 248: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 534 C-E. [Greek: ô(/sper
thrigko\s toi=s mathê/masin ê( dialektikê\ ê(mi=n e)pa/nô
kei=sthai], &c.]

[Side-note: The Synoptic view peculiar to the

[Side-note: Scale and duration of various studies for the
Guardians, from youth upwards.]

The preliminary sciences must be imparted to our Guardians during
the earlier years of life, together with such bodily and mental
training as may test their energy and perseverance of
character.[249] After the age of twenty, those who have
distinguished themselves in the juvenile studies and gymnastics,
must be placed in a select class of honour above the rest, and
must be initiated in a synoptic view of the affinity pervading all
the separate cognitions which have been imparted to them. They
must also be introduced to the view of Real Essence and its
nature. This is the test of aptitude for Dialectics: it is the
synoptic view only, which constitutes the Dialectician.[250]

[Footnote 249: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 535-536 D.]

[Footnote 250: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 536-537 C. [Greek: kai\
megi/stê pei=ra dialektikê=s phu/seôs kai\ mê/; o( me\n ga\r
sunoptiko\s dialektiko/s, o( de\ mê/, ou)/.]]

In these new studies they will continue until thirty years of
age: after which a farther selection must be made, of those
who have most distinguished themselves. The men selected will be
enrolled in a class of yet higher honour, and will be tested by
dialectic cross-examination: so that we may discover who among
them are competent to apprehend true, pure, and real Essence,
renouncing all visual and sensible perceptions.[251] It is
important that such Dialectic exercises should be deferred until
this advanced age--and not imparted, as they are among us at
present, to immature youths: who abuse the license of
interrogation, find all their homegrown opinions uncertain, and
end by losing all positive convictions.[252] Our students will
remain under such dialectic tuition for five years, until they are
thirty-five years of age: after which they must be brought again
down into the cave, and constrained to acquire practical
experience by undertaking military and administrative functions.
In such employments they will spend fifteen years: during which
they will undergo still farther scrutiny, to ascertain whether
they can act up to their previous training, in spite of all
provocations and temptations.[253] Those who well sustain all
these trials will become, at fifty years of age, the finished
Elders or Chiefs of the Republic. They will pass their remaining
years partly in philosophical contemplations, partly in
application of philosophy to the regulation of the city. It is
these Elders whose mental eye will have been so trained as to
contemplate the Real Essence of Good, and to copy it as an
archetype in all their ordinances and administration. They will be
the Moderators of the city: but they will perform this function as
a matter of duty and necessity--not being at all ambitious of it
as a matter of honour.[254]

[Footnote 251: Plato, Republic, p. 537 D.]

[Footnote 252: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 538-539.]

[Footnote 253: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 539 D-E.]

[Footnote 254: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 539-540.]

[Side-note: All these studies, and this education, are
common to females as well as males.]

What has here been said about the male guardians and philosophers
must be understood to apply equally to the female. We recognise no
difference in this respect between the two sexes. Those females
who have gone through the same education and have shown themselves
capable of enduring the same trials as males, will participate,
after fifty years of age, in the like philosophical
contemplations, and in superintendence of the city.[255]

[Footnote 255: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 540 C.]

[Side-note: First formation of the Platonic city--how
brought about: difficult, but not impossible.]

I have thus shown (Sokrates pursues) how the fundamental postulate
for our city may be brought about.--That philosophers, a single
man or a few, shall become possessed of supreme rule: being
sufficiently exalted in character to despise the vulgar
gratifications of ambition, and to carry out systematically the
dictates of rectitude and justice. The postulate is indeed hard to
be realised--yet not impossible.[256] Such philosophical rulers,
as a means for first introducing their system into a new city,
will send all the inhabitants above ten years old away into the
country, reserving only the children, whom they will train up in
their own peculiar manners and principles. In this way the city,
according to our scheme, will be first formed: when formed, it
will itself be happy, and will confer inestimable benefit on the
nation to which it belongs.[257]

[Footnote 256: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 540 E.]

[Footnote 257: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 541 A.]

Plato thus assumes his city, and the individual man forming a
parallel to his city, to be perfectly well constituted. Reason,
the higher element, exercises steady controul: the lower elements,
Energy and Appetite, both acquiesce contentedly in her right to
controul, and obey her orders--the former constantly and
forwardly--the latter sometimes requiring constraint by the
strength of the former.]

[Side-note: The city thus formed will last long, but not
for ever. After a certain time, it will begin to degenerate.
Stages of its degeneracy.]

But even under the best possible administration, the city, though
it will last long, will not last for ever. Eternal continuance
belongs only to Ens; every thing generated must one day or other
be destroyed.[258] The fatal period will at length arrive, when
the breed of Guardians will degenerate. A series of changes for
the worse will then commence, whereby the Platonic city will pass
successively into timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, despotism. The
first change will be, that the love of individual wealth and
landed property will get possession of the Guardians: who, having
in themselves the force of the city, will divide the territory
among themselves, and reduce the other citizens to dependence and
slavery.[259] They will at the same time retain a part of their
former mental training. They will continue their warlike
habits and drill: they will be ashamed of their wealth, and will
enjoy it only in secret: they will repudiate money-getting
occupations as disgraceful. They will devote themselves to the
contests of war and political ambition--the rational soul becoming
subordinate to the energetic and courageous.[260] The system which
thus obtains footing will be analogous to the Spartan and Kretan,
which have many admirers.[261] The change in individual character
will correspond to this change in the city. Reason partially
losing its ascendancy, while energy and appetite both gain
ground--an intermediate character is formed in which energy or
courage predominates. We have the haughty, domineering, contentious,

[Footnote 258: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 546 A. [Greek: genome/nô|
panti\ phthora/ e)stin], &c.]

[Footnote 259: Plato, Republic, vii. p. 547.]

[Footnote 260: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 547-548 D. [Greek:
diaphane/staton d' e)n au)tê=| e)sti\n e(/n ti mo/non u(po\ tou=
thumoeidou=s kratou=ntos--philonei/kiai kai\ philoti/miai.]]

[Footnote 261: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 544 C.]

[Footnote 262: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 549-550.]

[Side-note: 1. Timocracy and the timocratical individual. 2
Oligarchy, and the oligarchical individual.]

Out of this timocracy, or timarchy, the city will next pass into
an oligarchy, or government of wealth. The rich will here govern,
to the exclusion of the poor. Reason, in the timocracy, was under
the dominion of energy or courage: in the oligarchy, it will be
under the dominion of appetite. The love of wealth will become
predominant, instead of the love of force and aggrandisement. Now
the love of wealth is distinctly opposed to the love of virtue:
virtue and wealth are like weights in opposite scales.[263] The
oligarchical city will lose all its unity, and will consist of a
few rich with a multitude of discontented poor ready to rise
against them.[264] The character of the individual citizen will
undergo a modification similar to that of the collective city. He
will be under the rule of appetite: his reason will be only
invoked as the servant of appetite, to teach him how he may best
enrich himself.[265] He will be frugal,--will abstain from all
unnecessary expenditure, even for generous and liberal
purposes--and will keep up a fair show of honesty, from the fear
of losing what he has already got.[266]

[Footnote 263: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 550 D-E-551 A. 550 E:
[Greek: proi+o/ntes ei)s to\ pro/sthen tou= chrêmati/zesthai,
o(/sô| a)\n tou=to timiô/teron ê(gô=ntai, tosou/tô| a)retê\n
a)timote/ran. ê)\ ou)ch ou(/tô plou/tou a)retê\ die/stêken,
ô(/sper e)n pla/stiggi zugou= keime/nou e(kate/rou a)ei\
tou)nanti/on r(e/ponte?] Also p. 555 D.]

[Footnote 264: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 552 D-E.]

[Footnote 265: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 553 C.]

[Footnote 266: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 554 D.]

[Side-note: 3. Democracy, and the democratical

The oligarchical city will presently be transformed into a
democracy, mainly through the abuse and exaggeration of its own
ruling impulse--the love of wealth. The rulers, anxious to enrich
themselves, rather encourage than check the extravagance of young
spendthrifts, to whom they lend money at high interest, or whose
property they buy on advantageous terms. In this manner there
arises a class of energetic men, with ruined fortunes and habits
of indulgence. Such are the adventurers who put themselves at the
head of the discontented poor, and overthrow the oligarchy.[267]
The ruling few being expelled or put down, a democracy is
established with equal franchise, and generally with officers
chosen by lot.[268]

[Footnote 267: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 555-556.]

[Footnote 268: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 557 A.]

The characteristic of the democracy is equal freedom and open
speech to all, with liberty to each man to shape his own life as
he chooses. Hence there arises a great diversity of individual
taste and character. Uniformity of pursuit or conduct is scarcely
enforced: there is little restraint upon any one. A man offers
himself for office whenever he chooses and not unless he chooses.
He is at war or at peace, not by obedience to any public
authority, but according to his own individual preference. If he
be even condemned by a court of justice, he remains in the city
careless of the sentence, which is never enforced against him.
This democracy is an equal, agreeable, diversified, society, with
little or no government: equal in regard to all--to the good, bad,
and indifferent.[269]

[Footnote 269: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 557-558.]

So too the democratical individual. The son of one among these
frugal and money-getting oligarchs, departing from the habits and
disregarding the advice of his father, contracts a taste for
expensive and varied indulgences. He loses sight of the
distinction between what is necessary, and what is not necessary,
in respect to desires and pleasures. If he be of a quiet
temperament, not quite out of the reach of advice, he keeps clear
of ruinous excess in any one direction; but he gives himself up to
a great diversity of successive occupations and amusements,
passing from one to the other without discrimination of good
from bad, necessary from unnecessary.[270] His life and
character thus becomes an agreeable, unconstrained, changeful,
comprehensive, miscellany, like the society to which he

[Footnote 270: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 560-561 B. [Greek: ei)s
i)/son dê/ ti katastê/sas ta\s ê(dona\s dia/gei, tê=|
parapiptou/sê| a)ei\ ô(/sper lachou/sê| tê\n e(autou= a)rchê\n
paradidou/s, e(/ôs a)\n plêrôthê=|, kai\ au)=this a)/llê|,
ou)demi/an a)tima/zôn, a)ll' e)x i)/sou tre/phôn.]]

[Footnote 271: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 561 D-E. [Greek:
pantodapo/n te kai\ plei/stôn ê(thô=n mesto/n, kai\ to\n kalo/n te
kai\ poiki/lon, ô(/sper e)kei/nên tê\n po/lin, tou=ton to\n
a)/ndra ei)=nai.]]

[Side-note: 4. Passage from democracy to despotism.
Character of the despotic city.]

Democracy, like oligarchy, becomes ultimately subverted by an
abuse of its own characteristic principle. Freedom is gradually
pushed into extravagance and excess, while all other
considerations are neglected. No obedience is practised: no
authority is recognised. The son feels himself equal to his
father, the disciple to his teacher, the metic to the citizen, the
wife to her husband, the slave to his master. Nay, even horses,
asses, and dogs, go free about, so that they run against you in
the road, if you do not make way for them.[272] The laws are not
obeyed: every man is his own master.

[Footnote 272: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 562-563 C.]

The subversion of such a democracy arises from the men who rise to
be popular leaders in it: violent, ambitious, extravagant, men,
who gain the favour of the people by distributing among them
confiscations from the property of the rich. The rich, resisting
these injustices, become enemies to the constitution: the people,
in order to put them down, range themselves under the banners of
the most energetic popular leader, who takes advantage of such a
position to render himself a despot.[273] He begins his rule by
some acceptable measures, such as abolition of debts, and
assignment of lands to the poorer citizens, until he has expelled
or destroyed the parties opposed to him. He seeks pretences for
foreign war, in order that the people may stand in need of a
leader, and may be kept poor by the contributions necessary to
sustain war. But presently he finds, or suspects, dissatisfaction
among the more liberal spirits. He kills or banishes them as
enemies: and to ensure the continuance of his rule, he is under
the necessity of dispatching in like manner every citizen
prominent either for magnanimity, intelligence, or wealth.[274]
Becoming thus odious to all the better citizens, he is obliged
to seek support by enlisting a guard of mercenary foreigners and
manumitted slaves. He cannot pay his guards, without plundering
the temples, extorting perpetual contributions from the people,
and grinding them down by severe oppression and suffering.[275]
Such is the government of the despot, which Euripides and other
poets employ their genius in extolling.[276]

[Footnote 273: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 565-566.]

[Footnote 274: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 567 B.]

[Footnote 275: Plato, Republic, viii. pp. 568-569.]

[Footnote 276: Plato, Republic, viii. p. 568 B.]

[Side-note: Despotic individual corresponding to that

We have now to describe the despotic individual, the parallel of
the despotised city. As the democratic individual arises from the
son of an oligarchical citizen departing from the frugality of his
father and contracting habits of costly indulgence: so the son of
this democrat will contract desires still more immoderate and
extravagant than his father, and will thus be put into training
for the despotic character. He becomes intoxicated by insane
appetites, which serve as seconds and auxiliaries to one despotic
passion or mania, swaying his whole soul.[277] To gratify such
desires, he spends all his possessions, and then begins to borrow
money wherever he can. That resource being exhausted, he procures
additional funds by fraud or extortion; he cheats and ruins his
father and mother; he resorts to plunder and violence. If such men
are only a small minority, amidst citizens of better character,
they live by committing crimes on the smaller scale. But if they
are more numerous, they set up as a despot the most unprincipled
and energetic of their number, and become his agents for the
enslavement of their fellow-citizens.[278] The despotic man passes
his life always in the company of masters, or instruments, or
flatterers: he knows neither freedom nor true friendship--nothing
but the relation of master and slave. The despot is the worst and
most unjust of mankind: the longer he continues despot, the worse
he becomes.[279]

[Footnote 277: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 572-573 D. [Greek: E)/rôs
tu/rannos e)/ndon oi)kô=n diakuberna=| ta\ tê=s psuchê=s
a(/panta.] 574 E-575 A: [Greek: turanneuthei\s u(po\
E)/rôtos--E)/rôs mo/narchos], &c.]

[Footnote 278: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 574-575.]

[Footnote 279: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 575-576.]

[Side-note: The city has thus passed by four stages, from
best to worse. Question--How are Happiness and Misery apportioned
among them?]

We have thus gone through the four successive depravations which
our perfect city will undergo--timocracy, oligarchy, democracy,
despotism. Step by step we have passed from the best to the
worst--from one extreme to the other. As is the city, so is the
individual citizen--good or bad: the despotic city is like the
despotic individual,--and so about the rest. Now it remains to
decide whether in each case happiness and misery is proportioned
to good and evil: whether the best is the happiest, the worst the
most miserable,--and so proportionally about the
intermediate.[280] On this point there is much difference of

[Footnote 280: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 576 D.]

[Footnote 281: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 576 C. [Greek: toi=s de\
polloi=s polla\ kai\ dokei=.]]

[Side-note: Misery of the despotised city.]

If we look at the condition of the despotised city, it plainly
exhibits the extreme of misery; while our model city presents the
extreme of happiness. Every one in the despotised city is
miserable, according to universal admission, except the despot
himself with his immediate favourites and guards. To be sure, in
the eyes of superficial observers, the despots with these few
favourites will appear perfectly happy and enviable. But if we
penetrate beyond this false exterior show, and follow him into his
interior, we shall find him too not less miserable than those over
whom he tyrannises.[282]

[Footnote 282: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 577 A.]

[Side-note: Supreme Misery of the despotising individual.]

What is true of the despotised city, is true also of the
despotising individual.[283] The best parts of his mind are under
subjection to the worst: the rational mind is trampled down by the
appetitive mind, with its insane and unsatisfied cravings. He is
full of perpetual perturbation, anxiety, and fear; grief when he
fails, repentance even after he has succeeded. Speaking of his
mind as a whole, he never does what he really wishes for the
rational element, which alone can ensure satisfaction to the whole
mind, and guide to the attainment of his real wishes, is enslaved
by furious momentary impulses.[284] The man of despotical mind is
thus miserable; and most of all miserable, the more completely he
succeeds in subjugating his fellow-citizens and becoming a despot
in reality. Knowing himself to be hated by everyone, he lives
in constant fear of enemies within as well as enemies without,
against whom he can obtain support only by courting the vilest of
men as partisans.[285] Though greedy of all sorts of enjoyment, he
cannot venture to leave his city, or visit any of the frequented
public festivals. He lives indoors like a woman, envying those who
can go abroad and enjoy these spectacles.[286] He is in reality
the poorest and most destitute of men, having the most vehement
desires, which he can never satisfy.[287] Such is the despot who,
not being master even of himself, becomes master of others: in
reality, the most wretched of men, though he may appear happy to
superficial judges who look only at external show.[288]

[Footnote 283: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 577 C-D. [Greek: tê\n
o(moio/têta a)namimnêsko/menos tê=s te po/leôs kai\ tou= a)ndro/s
. . . ei) ou)=n o(/moios a)nê\r tê=| po/lei, ou) kai\ e)n
e)kei/nô| a)na/gkê tê\n au)tê\n ta/xin e)nei=nai?] &c. Also
579 E.]

[Footnote 284: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 577-578. [Greek: Kai\ ê(
turannoume/nê a)/ra psuchê\ ê(/kista poiê/sei a(\ a)\n boulê/thê|,
ô(s peri\ o(/lês ei)pei=n psuchê=s; u(po\ de\ oi)/strou a)ei\
e(lkome/nê bi/a| tarachê=s kai\ metamelei/as mestê\ e)/stai] (557

[Footnote 285: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 578-579.]

[Footnote 286: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 579 C.]

[Footnote 287: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 579 E.]

[Footnote 288: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 579-580.]

[Side-note: Conclusion--The Model city and the individual
corresponding to it, are the happiest of all--That which is
farthest removed from it, is the most miserable of all.]

Thus then (concludes Sokrates) we may affirm with confidence,
having reference to the five distinct cities above described--(1.
The Model-City, regal or aristocratical. 2. Timocracy. 3.
Oligarchy. 4. Democracy. 5. Despotism)--that the first of these is
happy, and the last miserable: the three intermediate cities being
more or less happy in the order which they occupy from the first
to the last.

[Side-note: The Just Man is happy in and through his
Justice, however he may be treated by others. The Unjust Man,

Each of these cities has its parallel in an individual citizen.
The individual citizen corresponding to the first is happy--he who
corresponds to the last is miserable: and so proportionally for
the individual corresponding to the three intermediate cities. He
is happy or miserable, in and through himself, or essentially;
whether he be known to Gods and men or not--whatever may be the
sentiment entertained of him by others.[289]

[Footnote 289: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 580 D. [Greek: e)a/n te
lantha/nôsi toiou=toi o)/ntes e)a/n te mê\ pa/ntas a)nthrô/pous te
kai\ theou/s.]]

There are two other lines of argument (continues Sokrates)
establishing the same conclusion.

[Side-note: Other arguments proving the same
conclusion--Pleasures of Intelligence are the best of all pleasures.]

1. We have seen that both the collective city and the individual
mind are distributed into three portions: Reason, Energy,
Appetite. Each of these portions has its own peculiar pleasures
and pains, desires and aversions, beginnings or principles of
action: Love of Knowledge: Love of Honour: Love of Gain. If you
question men in whom these three varieties of temper respectively
preponderate, each of them will extol the pleasures of his own
department above those belonging to the other two. The lover of
wealth will declare the pleasures of acquisition and appetite to
be far greater than those of honour or of knowledge: each of the
other two will say the same for himself, and for the pleasures of
his own department. Here then the question is opened, Which of the
three is in the right? Which of the three varieties of pleasure
and modes of life is the more honourable or base, the better or
worse, the more pleasurable or painful?[290] By what criterion, or
by whose judgment, is this question to be decided? It must be
decided by experience, intelligence and rational discourse.[291]
Now it is certain that the lover of knowledge, or the philosopher,
has greater experience of all the three varieties of pleasure than
is possessed by either of the other two men. He must in his
younger days have tasted and tried the pleasures of both; but the
other two have never tasted his.[292] Moreover, each of the three
acquires more or less of honour, if he succeeds in his own
pursuits: accordingly the pleasures belonging to the love of
honour are shared, and may be appreciated, by the philosopher;
while the lover of honour as such, has no sense for the pleasures
of philosophy. In the range of personal experience, therefore, the
philosopher surpasses the other two: he surpasses them no less in
exercised intelligence, and in rational discourse, which is his
own principal instrument.[293] If wealth and profit furnished the
proper means of judgment, the money-lover would have been the best
judge of the three: if honour and victory furnished the proper
means, we should consult the lover of honour: but experience,
intelligence, and rational discourse, have been shown to be the
means--and therefore it is plain that the philosopher is a better
authority than either of the other two. His verdict must be
considered as final. He will assuredly tell us, that the pleasures
belonging to the love of knowledge are the greatest: those
belonging to the love of honour and power, the next: those
belonging to the love of money and to appetite, the least.[294]

[Footnote 290: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 581.]

[Footnote 291: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 582 A. [Greek: e)mpeiri/a|
te kai\ phronê/sei kai\ lo/gô|.]]

[Footnote 292: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 582 B.]

[Footnote 293: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 582 C-D. [Greek: lo/goi de\
tou/tou ma/lista o)/rganon.]]

[Footnote 294: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 582-583.]

[Side-note: They are the only pleasures completely true and
pure. Comparison of pleasure and pain with neutrality. Prevalent

2. The second argument, establishing the same conclusion, is as
follows:--No pleasures, except those belonging to philosophy or
the love of wisdom, are completely true and pure. All the other
pleasures are mere shadowy outlines, looking like pleasure at a
distance, but not really pleasures when you contemplate them
closely.[295] Pleasure and pain are two conditions opposite to
each other. Between them both is another state, neither one nor
the other, called neutrality or indifference. Now a man who has
been sick and is convalescent, will tell you that nothing is more
pleasurable than being in health, but that he did not know what
the pleasure of it was, until he became sick. So too men in pain
affirm that nothing is more pleasurable than relief from pain.
When a man is grieving, it is exemption or indifference, not
enjoyment, which he extols as the greatest pleasure. Again, when a
man has been in a state of enjoyment, and the enjoyment ceases,
this cessation is painful. We thus see that the intermediate
state--cessation, neutrality, indifference--will be some times
pain, sometimes pleasure, according to circumstances. Now that
which is neither pleasure nor pain cannot possibly be both.[296]
Pleasure is a positive movement or mutation of the mind: so also
is pain. Neutrality or indifference is a negative condition,
intermediate between the two: no movement, but absence of
movement: non-pain, non-pleasure. But non-pain is not really
pleasure: non-pleasure is not really pain. When therefore
neutrality or non-pain, succeeding immediately after pain,
appears to be a pleasure--this is a mere appearance or illusion,
not a reality. When neutrality or non-pleasure, succeeding
immediately after pleasure, appears to be pain--this also is a
mere appearance or illusion, not a reality. There is nothing sound
or trustworthy in such appearances. Pleasure is not cessation of
pain, but something essentially different: pain is not cessation
of pleasure, but something essentially different.

[Footnote 295: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 583 B. [Greek: ou)de\
panalêthê/s e)stin e( tô=n a)/llôn ê(donê\ plê\n tê=s tou=
phroni/mou, ou)de\ kathara/, a)ll' e)skiagraphême/nê tis, ô(s
e)gô\ dokô= moi tô=n sophô=n tino\s a)kêkoe/nai.]]

[Footnote 296: Plato, Republ. ix. pp. 583 E-584 A. [Greek: O(\
metaxu\ a)/ra nu=n dê\ a)mphote/rôn e)/phamen ei)=nai, tê\n
ê(suchi/an, tou=to/ pote a)mpho/tera e)/stai, lu/pê te kai\
ê(donê/ . . . Ê)= kai\ dunato\n to\ mêde/tera o)\n a)mpho/tera
gi/gnesthai? Ou)/ moi dokei=. Kai\ mê\n to/ ge ê(du\ e)n psuchê=|
gigno/menon kai\ to\ lupêro\n ki/nêsi/s tis a)mphote/rô e)/ston?
ê)\ ou)/? Nai/. To\ de\ mê/te ê(du\ mê/te lupêro\n ou)chi\
ê(suchi/a me/ntoi kai\ e)n me/sô| tou/tôn e)pha/nê a)/rti?
E)pha/nê ga/r. Pô=s ou)=n o)rthô=s e)/sti to\ mê\ a)lgei=n ê(du\
ê(gei=sthai, ê)\ to\ mê\ chai/rein a)niaro/n? Ou)damô=s. Ou)k
e)/stin a)/ra tou=to, a)lla\ phai/netai, para\ to\ a)lgeino\n
ê(du\ kai\ para\ to\ ê(du\ a)lgeino\n to/te ê( ê(suchi/a, kai\
ou)de\n u(gie\s tou/tôn tô=n phantasma/tôn pro\s ê(donê=s
a)lê/theian, a)lla\ goêtei/a tis.]]

[Side-note: Most men know nothing of true and pure
pleasure. Simile of the Kosmos--Absolute height and depth.]

Take, for example, the pleasures of smell, which are true and
genuine pleasures, of great intensity: they spring up
instantaneously without presupposing any anterior pain--they
depart without leaving any subsequent pain.[297] These are true
and pure pleasures, radically different from cessation of pain: so
also true and pure pains are different from cessation of pleasure.
Most of the so-called pleasures, especially the more intense,
which reach the mind through the body, are in reality not
pleasures at all, but only cessations or reliefs from pain. The
same may be said about the pleasures and pains of anticipation
belonging to these so-called bodily pleasures.[298] They may be
represented by the following simile:--There is in nature a real
Absolute Up and uppermost point--a real Absolute Down and lowest
point--and a centre between them.[299] A man borne from the lowest
point to the centre will think himself moving upwards, and will be
moving upwards relatively. If his course be stopped in the centre,
he will think himself at the absolute summit--on looking to the
point from which he came, and ignorant as he is of any thing
higher. If he be forced to return from the centre to the point
from whence he came, he will think himself moving downwards, and
will be really moving downwards, absolutely as well as relatively.
Such misapprehension arises from his not knowing the portion of
the Kosmos above the centre--the true and absolute Up or summit.
Now the case of pleasure and pain is analogous to this. Pain is
the absolute lowest--Pleasure the absolute highest--non-pleasure,
non-pain, the centre intermediate between them. But most men know
nothing of the region above the centre, or the absolute
highest--the region of true and pure pleasure: they know only the
centre and what is below it, or the region of pain. When they fall
from the centre to the point of pain, they conceive the situation
truly, and they really are pained: but when they rise from the
lowest point to the centre, they misconceive the change, and
imagine themselves to be in a process of replenishment and
acquisition of pleasure. They mistake the painless condition for
pleasure, not knowing what true pleasure is: just as a man who has
seen only black and not white, will fancy, if dun be shown to him,
that he is looking on white.[300]

[Footnote 297: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 584 B.]

[Footnote 298: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 584 C.]

[Footnote 299: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 584 C. [Greek: Nomi/zeis ti
e)n tê=| phu/sei ei)=nai to\ me\n a)/nô, to\ de\ ka/tô, to\ de\
me/son? E)/gôge.]]

[Footnote 300: Plato, Republic, pp. 584 E-585 A. [Greek: Ou)kou=n
tau=ta pa/schoi a)\n pa/nta dia\ to\ mê\ e)/mpeiros ei)=nai tou=
a)lêthinô=s a)/nô te o)/ntos kai\ e)n me/sô|? . . . o(/tan me\n
e)pi\ to\ lupêro\n phe/rôntai, a)lêthê= te oi)/ontai kai\ tô=|
o)/nti lupou=ntai, o(/tan de\ a)po\ lu/pês e)pi\ to\ metaxu/,
spho/dra me\n oi)/ontai pro\s plêrô/sei te kai\ ê(donê=|
gi/gnesthai, ô(/sper de\ pro\s me/lan phaio\n a)poskopou=ntes
a)peiri/a| leukou=, kai\ pro\s to\ a)/lupon ou(/tô lu/pên
a)phorô=ntes a)peiri/a| ê(donê=s a)patô=ntai?]]

[Side-note: Nourishment of the mind partakes more of real
essence than nourishment of the body--Replenishment of the mind
imparts fuller pleasure than replenishment of the body.]

Hunger and thirst are states of emptiness in the body: ignorance
and folly are states of emptiness in the mind. A hungry man in
eating or drinking obtains replenishment: an ignorant man becoming
instructed obtains replenishment also. Now replenishment derived
from that which exists more fully and perfectly is truer and more
real than replenishment from that which exists less fully and
perfectly.[301] Let us then compare the food which serves for
replenishment of the body, with that which serves for
replenishment of the mind. Which of the two is most existent?
Which of the two partakes most of pure essence? Meat and drink--or
true opinions, knowledge, intelligence, and virtue? Which of the
two exists most perfectly? That which embraces the true, eternal,
and unchangeable--and which is itself of similar nature? Or that
which embraces the mortal, the transient, and the ever
variable--being itself of kindred nature? Assuredly the former. It
is clear that what is necessary for the sustenance of the body
partakes less of truth and real essence, than what is necessary
for the sustenance of the mind. The mind is replenished with
nourishment more real and essential: the body with nourishment
less so: the mind itself is also more real and essential than the
body. The mind therefore is more, and more thoroughly, replenished
than the body. Accordingly, if pleasure consists in being
replenished with what suits its peculiar nature, the mind will
enjoy more pleasure and truer pleasure than the body.[302] Those
who are destitute of intelligence and virtue, passing their lives
in sensual pursuits, have never tasted any pure or lasting
pleasure, nor ever carried their looks upwards to the higher
region in which alone it resides. Their pleasures, though seeming
intense, and raising vehement desires in their uninstructed minds,
are yet only phantoms deriving a semblance of pleasure from
contrast with pains:[303] they are like the phantom of Helen, for
which (as Stesichorus says) the Greeks and Trojans fought so many
battles, knowing nothing about the true Helen, who was never in

[Footnote 301: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 585 B. [Greek: Plê/rôsis
de\ a)lêtheste/ra tou= ê(=tton ê)\ tou= ma=llon o)/ntos? Dê=lon
o(/ti tou= ma=llon. Po/tera ou)=n ê(gei= ta\ ge/nê ma=llon
kathara=s ou)si/as mete/chein, ta\ oi(=on si/tou kai\ potou= kai\
o)/psou kai\ xumpa/sês trophê=s, ê)\ to\ do/xês te a)lêthou=s
ei)=dos kai\ e)pistê/mês kai\ nou= kai\ xullê/bdên xumpa/sês

[Footnote 302: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 585 E.]

[Footnote 303: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 586.]

[Side-note: Comparative worthlessness of the pleasures of
Appetite and Ambition, when measured against those of

The pleasures belonging to the Love of Honour (Energy or Passion)
are no better than those belonging to the Love of Money
(Appetite). In so far as the desires belonging to both these
departments of mind are under the controul of the third or best
department (Love of Wisdom, or Reason), the nearest approach to
true pleasure, which it is in the nature of either of them to
bestow, will be realised. But in so far as either of them throws
off the controul of Reason, it will neither obtain its own truest
pleasures, nor allow the other departments of mind to obtain
theirs.[304] The desires connected with love, and with despotic
power, stand out more than the others, as recusant to Reason. Law,
and Regulation. The kingly and moderate desires are most obedient
to this authority. The lover and the despot, therefore, will enjoy
the least pleasure: the kindly-minded man will enjoy the most. Of
the three sorts of pleasure, one true and legitimate, two bastard,
the despot goes most away from the legitimate, and to the farthest
limit of the bastard. His condition is the most miserable, that of
the kingly-minded man is the happiest: between the two come the
oligarchical and the democratical man. The difference between
the two extremes** is as 1: 729.[305]

[Footnote 304: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 586-587.]

[Footnote 305: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 587 E.]

[Side-note: The Just Man will be happy from his justice--He
will look only to the good order of his own mind--He will stand
aloof from public affairs, in cities as now constituted.]

I have thus refuted (continues Sokrates) the case of those who
contend--That the unjust man is a gainer by his injustice,
provided he could carry it on successfully, and with the
reputation of being just. I have shown that injustice is the
greatest possible mischief, intrinsically and in itself, apart
from consequences and apart from public reputation: inasmuch as it
enslaves the better part of the mind to the worse. Justice, on the
other hand, is the greatest possible good, intrinsically and in
itself, apart from consequences and reputation, because it keeps
the worse parts of the mind under due controul and subordination
to the better.[306] Vice and infirmity of every kind is
pernicious, because it puts the best parts of the mind under
subjection to the worst.[307] No success in the acquisition of
wealth, aggrandisement, or any other undue object, can compensate
a man for the internal disorder which he introduces into his own
mind by becoming unjust. A well-ordered mind, just and temperate,
with the better part governing the worse, is the first of all
objects: greater even than a healthy, strong, and beautiful
body.[308] To put his mind into this condition, and to acquire all
the knowledge thereunto conducing, will be the purpose of a wise
man's life. Even in the management of his body, he will look not
so much to the health and strength of his body, as to the harmony
and fit regulation of his mind. In the acquisition of money, he
will keep the same end in view: he will not be tempted by the
admiration and envy of people around him to seek great wealth,
which will disturb the mental polity within him:[309] he will, on
the other hand, avoid depressing poverty, which might produce the
same effect. He will take as little part as possible in public
life, and will aspire to no political honours, in cities as at
present constituted--nor in any other than the model-city
which we have described.[310]

[Footnote 306: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 588-589.]

[Footnote 307: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 590 B-C.]

[Footnote 308: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 591 B.]

[Footnote 309: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 591 D-E. [Greek: kai\ to\n
o)/gkon tou= plê/thous ou)k, e)kplêtto/menos u(po\ tou= tô=n
pollô=n makarismou=, a)/peiron au)xê/sei, a)pe/ranta kaka\ e)/chôn
. . . A)ll' a)poble/pôn ge, pro\s tê\n e)n au(tô=| politei/an,
kai\ phula/ttôn mê/ ti parakinê=| au)tou= tô=n e)kei= dia\
plê=thos ou)si/as ê)\ di' o)ligo/têta, ou(/tô kubernô=n
prosthê/sei kai\ a)nalô/sei tê=s ou)si/as, kath' o(/son a)\n
oi(=o/s t' ê)=|.]]

[Footnote 310: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 592.]

[Side-note: Tenth Book--Censure of the poets is
renewed--Mischiefs of imitation generally, as deceptive--Imitation
from imitation.]

The tenth and last book of the Republic commences with an argument
of considerable length, repeating and confirming by farther
reasons the sentence of expulsion which Plato had already
pronounced against the poets in his second and third books.[311]
The Platonic Sokrates here not only animadverts upon poetry, but
extends his disapprobation to other imitative arts, such as
painting. He attacks the process of imitation generally, as false
and deceptive; pleasing to ignorant people, but perverting their
minds by phantasms which they mistake for realities. The work of
the imitator is not merely not reality, but is removed from it by
two degrees. What is real is the Form or Idea: the one conceived
object denoted by each appellative name common to many
particulars. There is one Form or Idea, and only one, known by the
name of Bed; another by the name of Table.[312] When the carpenter
constructs a bed or a table, he fixes his contemplation on this
Form or Idea, and tries to copy it. What he constructs, however,
is not the true, real, existent, table, which alone exists in
nature, and may be presumed to be made by the Gods[313]--but a
something like the real existent table: not true Ens, but only
quasi-Ens:[314] dim and indistinct, as compared with the truth,
and standing far off from the truth. Next to the carpenter comes
the painter, who copies not the real existent table, but the copy
of that table made by the carpenter. The painter fixes his
contemplation upon it, not as it really exists, but simply as it
appears: he copies an appearance or phantasm, not a reality. Thus
the table will have a different appearance, according as you look
at it from near or far--from one side or the other: yet in reality
it never differs from itself. It is one of these appearances
that the painter copies, not the reality itself. He can in like
manner paint any thing and every thing, since he hardly touches
any thing at all--and nothing whatever except in appearance. He
can paint all sorts of craftsmen and their works--carpenters,
shoemakers, &c. without knowledge of any one of their

[Footnote 311: Plato, Republic, x. p. 607 B. The language here
used by Plato seems to imply that his opinions adverse to poetry
had been attacked and required defence.]

[Footnote 312: Plato, Republic, x. p. 596 A-B. [Greek: Bou/lei
ou)=n e)/nthende a)rxô/metha e)piskopou/ntes, e)k tê=s ei)ôthui/as
metho/dou? ei)=dos ga/r pou/ ti e(\n e(/kaston ei)ô/thamen
ti/thesthai peri\ e(/kasta ta\ polla/, oi(=s tau)to\n o)/noma
e)piphe/romen . . . thô=men dê\ kai\ nu=n o(/ti bou/lei tô=n
pollô=n; oi(=on, ei) the/leis pollai/ pou/ ei)si kli=nai kai\
tra/pezai . . . A)ll' i)de/ai ge/ pou peri\ tau=ta ta\ skeu/ê
du/o, mi/a me\n kli/nês, mi/a de\ trape/zês.]

[Footnote 313: Plato, Republic, x. p. 597 B-D. 597 B: [Greek: mi/a
me\n ê( e)n tê=| phu/sei ou)=sa, ê(\n phai=men a)/n, ô(s
e)gô=|mai, theo\n e)rga/sasthai.]]

[Footnote 314: Plato, Republic, x. p. 597 A. [Greek: ou)k a)\n to\
o)\n poioi=, a)lla/ ti toiou=ton oi(=on to\ o)/n, o)\n de\

[Footnote 315: Plato, Republic, x. p. 598 B-C.]

[Side-note: Censure of Homer--He is falsely extolled as
educator of the Hellenic world. He and other poets only deceive
their hearers.]

The like is true also of the poets. Homer and the tragedians give
us talk and affirmations about everything: government,
legislation, war, medicine, husbandry, the character and
proceedings of the Gods, the habits and training of men, &c.
Some persons even extol Homer as the great educator of the
Hellenic world, whose poems we ought to learn by heart as guides
for education and administration.[316] But Homer, Hesiod, and the
other poets, had no real knowledge of the multifarious matters
which they profess to describe. These poets know nothing except
about appearances, and will describe only appearances, to the
satisfaction of the ignorant multitude.[317] The representations
of the painter, reproducing only the appearances to sense, will be
constantly fallacious and deceptive, requiring to be corrected by
measuring, weighing, counting--which are processes belonging to
Reason.[318] The lower and the higher parts of the mind are here
at variance; and the painter addresses himself to the lower,
supplying falsehood as if it were truth. The painter does this
through the eye, the poet through the ear.[319]

[Footnote 316: Plato, Republic, p. 606 E.]

[Footnote 317: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 600-601 C. 601 B: [Greek:
tou= me\n o)/ntos ou)de\n e)pai+/ei, tou= de\ phainome/nou.] 602
B: [Greek: oi(=on phai/netai kalo\n ei)=nai toi=s polloi=s te kai\
mêde\n ei)do/si, tou=to mimê/setai.]]

[Footnote 318: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 602-603.]

[Footnote 319: Plato, Republic, x. p. 603 B.]

[Side-note: The poet chiefly appeals to emotions--Mischiefs
of such eloquent appeals, as disturbing the rational government of
the mind.]

In the various acts and situations of life a man is full of
contradictions. He is swayed by manifold impulses, often directly
contradicting each other. Hence we have affirmed that there are in
his mind two distinct principles, one contradicting the other: the
emotional and the rational.[320] When a man suffers misfortune,
emotion prompts him to indulge in extreme grief, and to
abandon himself like a child to the momentary tide. Reason, on the
contrary, exhorts him to resist, and to exert himself immediately
in counsel to rectify or alleviate what has happened, adapting his
conduct as well as he can to the actual throw of the dice which
has befallen him.[321] Now it is these vehement bursts of emotion
which lend themselves most effectively to the genius of the poet,
and which he must work up to please the multitude in the theatre:
the state of rational self-command can hardly be described so as
to touch their feelings. We see thus that the poet, like the
painter, addresses himself to the lower department of the mind,
exalting the emotional into preponderance over the rational--the
foolish over the wise--the false over the true.[322] He introduces
bad government into the mind, giving to pleasure and pain the
sceptre over reason. Hence we cannot tolerate the poet, in spite
of all his sweets and captivations. We can only permit him to
compose hymns for the Gods and encomiums for good men.[323]

[Footnote 320: Plato, Republic, x. p. 603 D. [Greek: muri/ôn
toiou/tôn e)nantiôma/tôn a(/ma gignome/nôn ê( psuchê\ ge/mei
ê(mô=n . . .] 604 B: [Greek: e)nanti/as de\ a)gôgê=s gignome/nês
e)n tô=| a)nthrô/pô| peri\ to\ au)to\ a(/ma du/o tine/ phamen e)n
au)tô=| a)nagkai=on ei)=nai.]]

[Footnote 321: Plato, Republic, x. p. 604 C. [Greek: Tô=|
bouleu/esthai peri\ to\ gegono\s kai\ ô(/sper e)n ptô/sei ku/bôn
pro\s ta\ peptôko/ta ti/thesthai ta\ au)tou= pra/gmata, o(/pê| o(
lo/gos ai(rei= be/ltist' a)\n e)/chein, a)lla\ mê\
prosptai/santas, katha/per pai=das, e)chome/nous tou= plêge/ntos
e)n tô=| boa=n diatri/bein], &c.]

[Footnote 322: Plato, Republic, x. p. 605.]

[Footnote 323: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 605-606-607. 605 B: [Greek:
to\n mimêtiko\n poiêtê\n phê/somen kakê\n politei/an i)di/a|
e(ka/stou tê=| psuchê=| e)mpoiei=n, tô=| a)noê/tô| au)tê/s
charizo/menon . . .] 607 A: [Greek: ei) de\ tê\n ê(dusme/nên
mou=san parade/xei e)n me/lesin ê)\ e)/pesin, ê(donê/ soi kai\
lu/pê basileu/seton a)nti\ no/mou te kai\ tou= koinê=| a)ei\
do/xantos ei)=nai belti/stou lo/gou.]]

[Side-note: Ancient quarrel between philosophy and
poetry--Plato fights for philosophy, though his feelings are
strongly enlisted for poetry.]

This quarrel between philosophy and poetry (continues the Platonic
Sokrates) is of ancient date.[324] I myself am very sensible to
the charms of poetry, especially that of Homer. I should be
delighted if a case could be made out to justify me in admitting
it into our city. But I cannot betray the cause of what seems to
me truth. We must resist our sympathies and preferences, when they
are incompatible with the right government of the mind.[325]

[Footnote 324: Plato, Republic, x. p. 607 B. [Greek: palaia/ tis
diaphora\ philosophi/a| te kai\ poiêtikê=|].]

[Footnote 325: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 607-608.]

[Side-note: Immortality of the soul affirmed and sustained
by argument--Total number of souls always the same.]

To maintain the right government and good condition of the soul or
mind, is the first of all considerations: and will be seen yet
farther to be such, when we consider that it is immortal and
imperishable. Of this Plato proceeds to give a proof,[326]
concluding with a mythical sketch of the destiny of the soul
after death. The soul being immortal (he says), the total
number of souls is and always has been the same--neither
increasing nor diminishing.[327]

[Footnote 326: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 609-610.]

[Footnote 327: Plato, Republic, x. p. 611 A.]

[Side-note: Recapitulation--The Just Man will be happy,
both from his justice and from its consequences, both here and

I have proved (the Platonic Sokrates concludes) in the preceding
discourse, that Justice is better, in itself and intrinsically,
than Injustice, quite apart from consequences in the way of reward
and honour; that a man for the sake of his own happiness, ought to
be just, whatever may be thought of him by Gods or men--even
though he possessed the magic ring of Gyges. Having proved this,
and having made out the intrinsic superiority of justice to
injustice, we may now take in the natural consequences and
collateral bearings of both. We have hitherto reasoned upon the
hypothesis that the just man was mistaken for unjust, and treated
accordingly--that the unjust man found means to pass himself off
for just, and to attract to himself the esteem and the rewards of
justice. But this hypothesis concedes too much, and we must now
take back the concession. The just man will be happier than the
unjust, not simply from the intrinsic working of justice on his
own mind, but also from the exterior consequences of justice.[328]
He will be favoured and rewarded both by Gods and men. Though he
may be in poverty, sickness, or any other apparent state of evil,
he may be assured that the Gods will compensate him for it by
happiness either in life or after death.[329] And men too, though
they may for a time be mistaken about the just and the unjust
character, will at last come to a right estimation of both. The
just man will finally receive honour, reward, and power, from his
fellow-citizens: the unjust man will be finally degraded and
punished by them.[330] And after death, the reward of the just
man, as well as the punishment of the unjust, will be far greater
than even during life.

[Footnote 328: Plato, Republic, x. p. 612 B-C.]

[Footnote 329: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 612-613.]

[Footnote 330: Plato, Republic, x. p. 613 C-D.]

This latter position is illustrated at some length by the mythe
with which the Republic concludes, describing the realm of Hades,
with the posthumous condition and treatment of the departed souls.



[Side-note: Summary of the preceding chapter.]

The preceding Chapter has described, in concise abstract, that
splendid monument of Plato's genius, which passes under the name
of the [Greek: Politei/a] or Republic. It is undoubtedly the
grandest of all his compositions; including in itself all his
different points of excellence. In the first Book, we have a
subtle specimen of negative Dialectic,--of the Sokratic
cross-examination or Elenchus. In the second Book, we find two
examples of continuous or Ciceronian pleading (like that ascribed
to Protagoras in the dialogue called by his name), which are
surpassed by nothing in ancient literature, for acuteness and
ability in the statement of a case. Next, we are introduced to
Plato's most sublime effort of constructive ingenuity, in putting
together both the individual man and the collective City: together
with more information (imperfect as it is even here) about his
Dialectic or Philosophy, than any other dialogue furnishes. The
ninth Book exhibits his attempts to make good his own thesis
against the case set forth in his own antecedent
counter-pleadings. The last Book concludes with a highly poetical
mythe, embodying a [Greek: Nekui/a] shaped after his own fancy,--and
the outline of cosmical agencies afterwards developed, though with
many differences, in the Timæus. The brilliancy of the Republic
will appear all the more conspicuous, when we come to compare it
with Plato's two posterior compositions: with the Pythagorean
mysticism and theology of the Timæus--or with the severe and
dictatorial solemnity of the Treatise De Legibus.

[Side-note: Title of the Republic, of ancient date, but only
a partial indication of its contents.]

The title borne by this dialogue--the Republic or
Polity--whether affixed by Plato himself or not, dates at least
from his immediate disciples, Aristotle among them.[1] This title
hardly presents a clear idea either of its proclaimed purpose or
of its total contents.

[Footnote 1: See Schleiermacher, Einl. zum Staat, p. 63 seq.;
Stallbaum, Proleg. p. lviii. seq.]

The larger portion of the treatise is doubtless employed in
expounding the generation of a commonwealth generally: from whence
the author passes insensibly to the delineation of a
Model-Commonwealth--enumerating the conditions of aptitude for its
governors and guardian-soldiers, estimating the obstacles which
prevent it from appearing in the full type of goodness--and
pointing out the steps whereby, even if fully realised, it is
likely to be brought to perversion and degeneracy. Nevertheless
the avowed purpose of the treatise is, not to depict the ideal of
a commonwealth, but to solve the questions, What is Justice? What
is Injustice? Does Justice, in itself and by its own intrinsic
working, make the just man happy, apart from all consequences,
even though he is not known to be just, and is even treated as
unjust, either by Gods or men? Does Injustice, under the like
hypothesis, (_i.e._ leaving out all consideration of
consequences either from Gods or from men), make the unjust man
miserable? The reasonings respecting the best polity, are means to
this end--intermediate steps to the settlement of this problem. We
must recollect that Plato insists strongly on the parallelism
between the individual and the state: he talks of "the polity" or
Republic in each man's mind, as of that in the entire city.[2]

[Footnote 2: Plato, Repub. ix. p. 591 E. [Greek: a)poble/pôn pro\s
tê\n e)n au(tô=| politei/an.] x. p. 608 B: [Greek: peri\ tê=s e)n
au(tô=| politei/as dedio/ti], &c.]

[Side-note: Parallelism between the Commonwealth and the

The Republic, or Commonwealth, is introduced by Plato as being the
individual man "writ large," and therefore more clearly
discernible and legible to an observer.[3] To illustrate the
individual man, he begins by describing (to use Hobbes's language)
the great Leviathan called a "Commonwealth or State, in Latin
Civitas, which is but an artificial man, though of greater stature
and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defence
it was intended".[4] He pursues in much detail this parallel
between the individual and the commonwealth, as well as between
the component parts and forces of the one, and those of the other.
The perfection of the commonwealth (he represents) consists in its
being One:[5] an integer or unit, of which the constituent
individuals are merely functions, each having only a fractional,
dependent, relative existence. As the commonwealth is an
individual on a large scale, so the individual is a commonwealth
on a small scale; in which the constituent fractions,
Reason,--Energy or Courage,--and many-headed Appetite,--act each for
itself and oppose each other. It is the tendency of Plato's imagination
to bestow vivid reality on abstractions, and to reason upon
metaphorical analogy as if it were close parallelism. His language
exaggerates both the unity of the commonwealth, and the
partibility of the individual, in illustrating the one by
comparison with the other. The commonwealth is treated as capable
of happiness or misery as an entire Person, apart from its
component individuals:[6] while on the other hand, Reason, Energy,
Appetite, are described as distinct and conflicting Persons,
packed up in the same wrapper and therefore looking like One from
the outside, yet really distinct, each acting and suffering by and
for itself: like the charioteer and his two horses, which form the
conspicuous metaphor in the Phædrus.[7] We are thus told, that
though the man is apparently One, he is in reality Many or
multipartite: though the perfect Commonwealth is apparently Many,
it is in reality One.

[Footnote 3: Plato, Repub. ii. p. 368 D.

"New presbyter is but old priest writ large."--(Milton.)]

[Footnote 4: This is the language of Hobbes. Preface to the
Leviathan. In the same treatise (Part ii. ch. 17, pp. 157-158,
Molesworth's edition) Hobbes says:--"The only way to erect such a
common power as may be able to defend men from the invasion of
foreigners and the injury of one another, is to confer all their
power and strength upon one man or one assembly of men, that may
reduce all their wills by plurality of voices to one will: which
is as much as to say, to appoint one man or assembly of men to
bear their person. This is more than consent or concord: _it is
a real unity of them all in one and the same person_, made by
covenant of every man with every man. This done, the multitude so
united in one person, is called a Commonwealth, in Latin Civitas.
This is the generation of that great Leviathan," &c.]

[Footnote 5: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 423.]

[Footnote 6: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 420-421.]

[Footnote 7: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 588, x. p. 604, iv. pp.
436-441. ix. p. 588 E: [Greek: ô(/ste tô=| mê\ duname/nô| ta\
e)nto\s o(ra=|n, a)lla\ to\ e)/xô mo/non e)/lutron o(rô=nti, e(\n
zô=on phai/nesthai, a)/nthrôpon.]]

[Side-note: Each of them a whole, composed of parts distinct
in function and unequal in merit.]

Of the parts composing a man, as well as of the parts composing a
commonwealth, some are better, others worse. A few are good and
excellent; the greater number are low and bad; while there are
intermediate gradations between the two. The perfection of a
commonwealth, and the perfection of an individual man, is attained
when each part performs its own appropriate function and no
more,--not interfering with the rest. In the commonwealth there are
a small number of wise Elders or philosophers, whose appropriate
function it is to look out for the good or happiness of the whole;
and to controul the ordinary commonplace multitude, with a view to
that end. Each of the multitude has his own special duty or
aptitude, to which he confines himself, and which he executes in
subordination to the wise or governing Few. And to ensure such
subordination, there are an intermediate number of trained, or
disciplined Guardians; who employ their force under the orders of
the ruling Few, to controul the multitude within, as well as to
repel enemies without. So too in the perfect man. Reason is the
small but excellent organ whose appropriate function is, to
controul the multitude of desires and to watch over the good of
the whole: the function of Energy or Courage is, while itself
obeying the Reason, to assist Reason in maintaining this controul
over the Desires: the function of each several desire is to obey,
pursuing its own special end in due harmony with the rest.

[Side-note: End proposed by Plato. Happiness of the
Commonwealth. Happiness of the individual. Conditions of

The End to be accomplished, and with reference to which Plato
tests the perfection of the means, is, the happiness of the entire
commonwealth,--the happiness of the entire individual man. In
order to be happy, a commonwealth or an individual man must be at
once wise, brave, temperate, just. There is however this
difference between the four qualities. Though all four are
essential, yet wisdom and bravery belong only to separate
fractions of the commonwealth and separate fractions of the
individual: while justice and temperance belong equally to all the
fractions of the commonwealth and all the fractions of the
individual. In the perfect commonwealth, Wisdom or Reason is found
only in the One or Few Ruling Elders:--Energy or Courage only in
the Soldiers or Guardians: but Elders, Guardians, and the working
multitude, alike exhibit Justice and Temperance. All are just,
inasmuch as each performs his appropriate business: all are
temperate, inasmuch as all agree in recognising what is the
appropriate business of each fraction--that of the Elders is, to
rule--that of the others is, to obey. So too the individual: he is
wise only in his Reason, brave only in his Energy or Courage: but
he is just and temperate in his Reason, Courage, and Appetites
alike--each of these Fractions acting in its own sphere under
proper relations to the rest. In fact, according to the
definitions given by Plato in the Republic, justice and temperance
are scarce at all distinguishable from each other--and must at any
rate be inseparable.

[Side-note: Peculiar view of Justice taken by Plato.]

Now in regard to the definition here given by Plato of Justice,
which is the avowed object of his Treatise, we may first remark
that it is altogether peculiar to Plato; and that if we reason
about Justice in the Platonic sense, we must take care not to
affirm of it predicates which might be true in a more usual
acceptation of the word. Next, that even adopting Plato's own
meaning of Justice, it does not answer the purpose for which he
produces it--_viz._: to provide reply to the objections, and
solution for the difficulties, which he had himself placed in the
mouths of Glaukon and Adeimantus.

[Side-note: Pleadings of Glaukon and Adeimantus.]

These two speakers (in the second Book) have advanced the position
(which they affirm to be held by every one, past and
present)--That justice is a good thing or a cause of happiness to
the just agent--not in itself or separately, since the performance
of just acts is more or less onerous and sometimes painful,
presenting itself in the aspect of an obligation, but--because of
its consequences, as being indispensable to procure for him some
ulterior good, such as esteem and just treatment from others.
Sokrates on the other hand declares justice to be good, or a cause
of happiness, to the just agent, most of all in itself--but also,
additionally, in its consequences: and injustice to be bad, or a
cause of misery to the unjust agent, on both grounds also.

Suppose (we have seen it urged by Glaukon and Adeimantus) that a
man is just, but is mis-esteemed by the society among whom he
lives, and believed to be unjust. He will certainly be hated and
ill-used by others, and may be ill-used to the greatest
possible extent--impoverishment, scourging, torture, crucifixion.
Again, suppose a man to be unjust, but to be in like manner
misconceived, and treated as if he were just. He will receive from
others golden opinions, just dealing, and goodwill, producing to
him comfortable consequences: and he will obtain, besides, the
profits of injustice. Evidently, under these supposed
circumstances, the just man will be miserable, in spite of his
justice: the unjust man will, to say the least, be the happier of
the two.

Moreover (so argues Glaukon), all fathers exhort their sons to be
just, and forbid them to be unjust, admitting that justice is a
troublesome obligation, but insisting upon it as indispensable to
avert evil consequences and procure good. So also poets and
teachers. All of them assume that justice is not inviting for
itself, but only by reason of its consequences: and that injustice
is in itself easy and inviting, were it not for mischievous
consequences and penalties more than countervailing the
temptation. All of them either anticipate, or seek to provide,
penalties to be inflicted in case the agent commits injustice, and
not to be inflicted if he continues just: so that the treatment
which he receives afterwards shall be favourable, or severe,
conditional upon his own conduct. Such treatment may emanate
either from Gods or from men: but in either case, it is assumed
that the agent shall be known, or shall seem, to be what he really
is: that the unjust agent shall seem, or be known, to be
unjust--and that the just shall seem also to be what he is.

[Side-note: The arguments which they enforce were not
invented by the Sophists, but were the received views anterior to

It is against this doctrine that the Platonic Sokrates in the
Republic professes to contend. To refute it, he sets forth his own
explanation, wherein justice consists. How far, or with what
qualifications, the Sophists inculcated the doctrine (as various
commentators tell us) we do not know. But Plato himself informs us
that it was current and received in society, before Protagoras and
Prodikus were born: taught by parents to their children, and by
poets in their compositions generally circulated.[8] Moreover,
Sokrates himself (in the Platonic Apology) recommends virtue
on the ground of its remunerative consequences to the agent in the
shape of wealth and other good things.[9] Again, the Xenophontic
Sokrates, as well as Xenophon himself, agree in the same general
doctrine: presenting virtue as laborious and troublesome in
itself, but as being fully requited by its remunerative
consequences in the form of esteem and honour, to the attainment
of which it is indispensable. In the memorable Choice of Heraklês,
that youth is represented as choosing a life of toil and painful
self-denial, crowned ultimately by the attainment of honourable
and beneficial results--in preference to a life of easy and
inactive enjoyment.[10]

[Footnote 8: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 363-364.]

[Footnote 9: Plato, Apolog. Sokrat. p. 30 B.

[Greek: le/gôn o(/ti ou)k e)k chrêma/tôn a)retê\ gi/gnetai, a)ll'
e)x a)retê=s chrê/mata kai\ ta)/lla a)gatha\ toi=s a)nthrô/pois
a(/panta kai\ i)di/a kai\ dêmosi/a|.]

Xenophon in the Cyropædia puts the following language into the
mouth of the hero Cyrus, in addressing his officers (Cyrop. i. 5,
9). [Greek: Kai/toi e)/gôge oi)=mai, ou)demi/an a)retê\n
a)skei=sthai u(p' a)nthrô/pôn, ô(s mêde\n ple/on e)/chôsin oi(
e)sthloi\ geno/menoi tô=n ponêrô=n; a)ll' oi(/ te tô=n parauti/ka
ê(donô=n a)pecho/menoi, ou)/ch i(/na mêde/pote eu)phranthô=si,
tou=to pra/ttousin, a)ll' ô(s dia\ tau/tên tê\n e)gkra/teian
pollapla/sia ei)s to\n e)/peita chro/non eu)phranou/menoi, ou(/tô
paraskeua/zontai], &c.

The love of praise is represented as the prominent motive of Cyrus
to the practice of virtue (i. 5, 12, i. 2, 1).

Compare also Xenophon, Cyropæd. ii. 3, 5-15, vii. 5, 82, and
Xenophon, Economic. xiv. 5-9; Xenophon, De Venatione, xii.

[Footnote 10: Xenophon, Memorab. ii. 1, 19-20, &c. We read in
the 'Works and Days' of Hesiod, 287:--

[Greek: Tê\n me/n toi kako/têta kai\ i)lado\n e)/stin e)le/sthai
R(êi+di/ôs; lei/ê me\n o(do/s, ma/la d' e)ggu/thi nai/ei.
Tê=s d' a)retê=s i(drô=ta theoi\ propa/roithen e)/thêkan
A)tha/natoi; makro\s de\ kai\ o)/rthios oi)=mos e)p' au)tê/n,
Kai\ trê=chus toprô=ton; e)pê\n d' ei)s a)/kron i(/kêai,
R(êi+di/ê d' ê)peita pe/lei, chalepê/ per e)ou=sa.]

It is remarkable that while the Xenophontic Sokrates cites these
verses from Hesiod as illustrating and enforcing the drift of his
exhortation, the Platonic Sokrates cites them as misleading, and
as a specimen of the hurtful errors instilled by the poets
(Republic, ii. p. 364 D).]

We see thus that the doctrine which the Platonic Sokrates impugns
in the Republic, is countenanced elsewhere by Sokratic authority.
It is, in my judgment, more true than that which he opposes to it.
The exhortations and orders of parents to their children, which he
condemns--were founded upon views of fact and reality more correct
than those which the Sokrates of the Republic would substitute in
place of them.

[Side-note: Argument of Sokrates to refute them. Sentiments
in which it originates. Panegyric on Justice.]

Let us note the sentiment in which Plato's creed here originates.
He desires, above every thing, to stand forward as the champion
and panegyrist of justice--as the enemy and denouncer of
injustice. To praise justice, not in itself, but for its
consequences--and to blame injustice in like manner--appears
to him disparaging and insulting to justice.[11] He is not
satisfied with showing that the just man benefits others by his
justice, and that the unjust man hurts others by his injustice: he
admits nothing into his calculation, except happiness or misery to
the agent himself: and happiness, moreover, inherent in the
process of just behaviour--misery inherent in the process of
unjust behaviour--whatever be the treatment which the agent may
receive from either Gods or men. Justice _per se_ (affirms
Plato) is the cause of happiness to the just agent, absolutely and
unconditionally: injustice, in like manner, of misery to the
unjust--_quand même_--whatever the consequences may be either
from men or Gods. This is the extreme strain of panegyric
suggested by Plato's feeling, and announced as a conclusion
substantiated by his reasons. Nothing more thoroughgoing can be
advanced in eulogy of justice. "Neither the eastern star nor the
western star is so admirable"--to borrow a phrase from

[Footnote 11: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 368 B-C. [Greek: de/doika
ga\r mê\ ou)d' o(/sion ê)=| parageno/menon dikaiosu/nê|
kakêgoroume/nê| a)pagoreu/ein kai\ mê\ boêthei=n], &c.]

[Footnote 12: Aristot. Ethic. Nikom. v. 3 (1), 1129, b. 28.
[Greek: ou)/th' e(/speros ou)/th' e(ô=|os ou(/tô thaumasto/s.]]

Plato is here the first proclaimer of the doctrine afterwards so
much insisted on by the Stoics--the all-sufficiency of virtue to
the happiness of the virtuous agent, whatever may be his fate in
other respects--without requiring any farther conditions or
adjuncts. It will be seen that Plato maintains this thesis with
reference to the terms _justice_ and its opposite
_injustice_; sometimes (though not often) using the general
term _virtue_ or wisdom, which was the ordinary term with the
Stoics afterwards.

[Side-note: Different senses of justice--wider and narrower

The ambiguous meaning of the word _justice_ is known to Plato
himself (as it is also to Aristotle). One professed purpose of the
dialogue called the Republic is to remove such ambiguity. Apart
from the many other differences of meaning (arising from
dissentient sentiments of different men and different ages), there
is one duplicity of meaning which Aristotle particularly dwells
upon.[13] In the stricter and narrower sense, justice comprehends
only those obligations which each individual agent owes to
others, and for the omission of which he becomes punishable as
unjust--though the performance of them, under ordinary
circumstances, carries little positive merit: in another and a
larger sense, justice comprehends these and a great deal more,
becoming co-extensive with wise, virtuous, and meritorious
character generally. The narrower sense is that which is in more
common use; and it is that which Plato assumes provisionally when
he puts forward the case of opponents in the speeches of Glaukon
and Adeimantus. But when he comes to set forth his own
explanation, and to draw up his own case, we see that he uses the
term justice in its larger sense, as the condition of a mind
perfectly well-balanced and well-regulated: as if a man could not
be just, without being at the same time wise, courageous, and
temperate. The just man described in the counter-pleadings of
Glaukon and Adeimantus, would be a person like the Athenian
Aristeides: the unjust man whom they contrast with him, would be
one who maltreats, plunders, or deceives others, or usurps power
over them. But the just man, when Sokrates replies to them and
unfolds his own thesis, is made to include a great deal more: he
is a person in whose mind each of the three constituent elements
is in proper relation of controul or obedience to the others, so
that the whole mind is perfect: a person whose Reason, being
illuminated by contemplation of the Universals or self-existent
Ideas of Goodness, Justice, Virtue, has become qualified to
exercise controul over the two inferior elements: one of which
(Energy) is its willing subordinate and auxiliary--while the
lowest of the three (Appetite) is kept in regulation by the joint
action of the two. The just man, so described, becomes identical
with the true philosopher: no man who is not a philosopher
can be just.[14] Aristeides would not at all correspond to
the Platonic ideal of justice. He would be a stranger to the
pleasure extolled by Plato as the exclusive privilege of the just
and virtuous--the pleasure of contemplating universal Ideas and
acquiring extended knowledge.[15]

[Footnote 13: Aristotel. Eth. Nikom. v. 2 (1), 1129, a. 25.
[Greek: e)/oike de\ pleonachô=s le/gesthai ê( dikaiosu/nê kai\ ê(

Also v. 3 (1), 1130, a. 3. [Greek: dia\ de\ to\ au)to\ tou=to kai\
a)llo/trion a)gatho\n dokei= ei)=nai ê( dikaiosu/nê, mo/nê tô=n
a)retô=n, o(/ti pro\s e(/teron e)stin; a)/llô| ga\r ta\
sumphe/ronta pra/ttei, ê)\ a)/rchonti ê)\ koinô=|.]

This proposition--that justice is [Greek: a)llo/trion
a)gatho/n]--is the very proposition which Thrasymachus is
introduced as affirming and Sokrates as combating, in the first
book of the Republic.

Compare also Aristotle's Ethica Magna, i. 34, p. 1193, b. 19,
where the same explanation of justice is given: also p. 1194, a.
7, where the Republic of Plato is cited, and the principle of
reciprocity, as laid down at the end of the second book of the
Republic, is repeated. We read in a fragment of the lost treatise
of Cicero, De Republicâ (iii. 6, 7):--"Justitia foras spectat, et
projecta tota est atque eminet.--Quæ virtus, præter cæteras, tota
se ad alienas porrigit utilitates atque explicat."]

[Footnote 14: This is the same distinction as that drawn by
Epiktetus between the [Greek: philo/sophos] and the [Greek:
i)diô/tês] (Arrian, Epiktet. iii. 19). An [Greek: i)diô/tês] may
be just in the ordinary meaning of the word. Aristeides was an
[Greek: i)diô/tês]. The Greek word [Greek: i)diô/tês], designating
the ordinary average citizen, as distinguished from any special or
professional training, is highly convenient.]

[Footnote 15: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 582 C. [Greek: tê=s de\ tou=
o)/ntos the/as, oi(/an ê(donê\n e)/chei, a)du/naton a)/llô|
gegeu=sthai plê\n tô=| philoso/phô|.]]

[Side-note: Plato's sense of the word Justice or

The Platonic conception of justice or Virtue on the one side, and
of Injustice or Vice on the other, is self-regarding and
prudential. Justice is in the mind a condition analogous to good
health and strength in the body--(_mens sana in corpore
sano_)--Injustice is a condition analogous to sickness,
corruption, impotence, in the body.[16] The body is healthy, when
each of its constituent parts performs its appropriate function:
it is unhealthy, when there is failure in this respect, either
defective working of any part, or interference of one part with
the rest. So too in the just mind, each of its tripartite
constituents performs its appropriate function--the rational mind
directing and controuling, the energetic and appetitive minds
obeying such controul. In the unjust mind, the case is opposite:
Reason exercises no supremacy: Passion and Appetite, acting each
for itself, are disorderly, reckless, exorbitant. To possess a
healthy body is desirable for its consequences as a means towards
other constituents of happiness; but it is still more desirable in
itself, as an essential element of happiness _per se_,
_i.e._, the negation of sickness, which would of itself make
us miserable. On the other hand, an unhealthy or corrupt body is
miserable by reason of its consequences, but still more miserable
_per se_, even apart from consequences. In like manner, the
just mind blesses the possessor twice: first and chiefly, as
bringing to him happiness in itself--next also, as it leads to
ulterior happy results:[17] the unjust mind is a curse to its
possessor in itself, and apart from results--though it also
leads to ulterior results which render it still more a curse to

[Footnote 16: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 591 B, iv. p. 444 E.]

[Footnote 17: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367 C. [Greek: e)peidê\
ou)=n ô(molo/gêsas tô=n megi/stôn a)gathô=n ei)=nai dikaiosu/nên,
a(\ tô=n te a)pobaino/ntôn a)p' au)tô=n e(/neka a)/xia
kektê=sthai, _polu\ de\ ma=llon au)ta\ au(tô=n_], &c.]

This theory respecting justice and injustice was first introduced
into ethical speculation by Plato. He tells us himself (throughout
the speeches ascribed to Glaukon and Adeimantus), that no one
before him had announced it: that all with one accord[18]--both
the poets in addressing an audience, and private citizens in
exhorting their children--inculcated a different doctrine,
enforcing justice as an onerous duty, and not as a
self-recommending process: that he was the first who extolled justice
in itself, as conferring happiness on the just agent, apart from
all reciprocity or recognition either by men or Gods--and the
first who condemned injustice in itself, as inflicting misery on
the unjust agent, independent of any recognition by others. Here
then we have the first introduction of this theory into ethical
speculation. Injustice is an internal taint, corruption of mind,
which (like bad bodily health) is in itself misery to the agent,
however he may be judged or treated by men or Gods; and justice is
(like good bodily health) a state of internal happiness to the
agent, independent of all recognition and responsive treatment
from others.

[Footnote 18: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 364 A. [Greek: pa/ntes e)x
e(no\s sto/matos u(mnou=sin], &c. Also p. 366 D.]

[Side-note: He represents the motives to it, as arising from
the internal happiness of the just agents.]

The Platonic theory, or something substantially equivalent to it
under various forms of words, has been ever since upheld by
various ethical theorists, from the time of Plato downward.[19]
Every one would be glad if it could be made out as true: Glaukon
and Adeimantus are already enlisted in its favour, and only demand
from Sokrates a decent justification for their belief. Moreover,
those who deny its truth incur the reproach of being deficient in
love of virtue or in hatred of vice. What is still more
remarkable--Plato has been complimented as if his theory had been
the first antithesis to what is called the "selfish theory of
morals"--a compliment which is certainly noway merited: for
Plato's theory is essentially self-regarding.[20] He does not
indeed lay his main stress on the retribution and punishments
which follow injustice, because he represents injustice as being
itself a state of misery to the unjust agent: nor upon the rewards
attached to justice, because he represents justice itself as a
state of intrinsic happiness to the just agent. Nevertheless the
motive to performance of justice, and to avoidance of injustice,
is derived in his theory (as it is in what is called the selfish
theory) entirely from the happiness or misery of the agent
himself. The just man is not called upon for any self-denial or
self-sacrifice, since by the mere fact of being just, he acquires
a large amount of happiness: it is the unjust man who, from
ignorance or perversion, sacrifices that happiness which just
behaviour would have ensured to him. Thus the Platonic theory is
entirely self-regarding; looking to the conduct of each separate
agent as it affects his own happiness, not as it affects the
happiness of others.

[Footnote 19: It will be found maintained by Shaftesbury and
Hutcheson and impugned by Rutherford in his Essay on Virtue: also
advocated by Sir James Mackintosh in his Dissertation on Ethical
Philosophy, prefixed to the Encyclopædia Britannica; and
controverted, or rather reduced to its proper limits, by Mr. James
Mill, in his very acute and philosophical volume, Fragment on
Mackintosh, published in 1835, see pp. 174-188 seq. Sir James
indeed uses the word Benevolence where Plato uses that of Justice:
he speaks of "the inherent delights and intrinsic happiness of
Benevolence," &c.]

[Footnote 20: Stallbaum, Proleg. ad Plat. Rep. p. lvii. "Quo facto
deinceps ad gravissimam totius sermonis partem ita transitur, ut
inter colloquentes conveniat, justitiæ vim et naturam eo modo esse
investigandam, ut emolumentorum atque commodorum ex eâ
redundantium nulla plané ratio habeatur."

This is not strictly exact, for Plato claims on behalf of justice
not only that the performance of it is happy in itself, but also
that it entails an independent result of ulterior happiness. But
he dwells much less upon the second point; which indeed would be
superfluous if the first could be thoroughly established. Compare
Cicero, Tusc. Disput. v. 12-34, and the notes on Mr. James
Harris's Three Treatises, p. 351 seq., wherein the Stoical
doctrine--[Greek: Pa/nta au(tou= e(/neka pra/ttein]--is

[Side-note: His theory departs more widely from the truth
than that which he opposes. Argument of Adeimantus discussed.]

So much to explain what the Platonic theory is. But when we ask
whether it consists with the main facts of society, or with the
ordinary feelings of men living in society, the reply must be in
the negative.

"If" (says Plato, putting the words into the counter-pleading of
Adeimantus)--"If the Platonic theory were preached by all of you,
and impressed upon our belief from childhood, we should not have
watched each other to prevent injustice; since each man would have
been the best watch upon himself, from fear lest by committing
injustice he should take to his bosom the maximum of evil."[21]

[Footnote 21: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367 A. [Greek: ei) ga\r
ou(/tôs e)le/geto e)x a)rchê=s u(po\ pa/ntôn u(mô=n kai\ e)k ne/ôn
ê(ma=s e)pei/thete, ou)k a)\n a)llê/lous e)phula/ttomen mê\
a)dikei=n, a)ll' au)to\s au(tou= ê)=n e(/kastos a)/ristos phu/lax,
dediô\s mê\ a)dikô=n tô=| megi/stô| kakô=| xu/noikos ê)=|.]

These words are remarkable. They admit of two constructions:--1. If
this Platonic theory were true. 2. If the Platonic theory,
though not true, were constantly preached and impressed upon every
one's belief from childhood.

Understanding the words in the first of these two constructions,
the hypothetical proposition put into the mouth of Adeimantus is a
valid argument against the theory afterwards maintained by
Sokrates. If the theory were conformable to facts, no precautions
would need to be taken by men against the injustice of each other.
But such precautions have been universally recognised as
indispensable, and universally adopted. Therefore the Sokratic
theory is not conformable to facts. It is not true that the
performance of duty (considered apart from consequences) is
self-inviting and self-remunerative--the contrary path self-deterring
and self-punitory--to each individual agent. Plato might perhaps
argue that it would be true, if men were properly educated; and
that the elaborate education which he provides for his Guardians
in the Republic would suffice for this purpose. But even if this
were granted, we must recollect that the producing Many of his
Republic would receive no such peculiar education.

Understanding the words in the second construction, they would
then mean that the doctrine, though not true, ought to be preached
and accredited by the lawgiver as an useful fiction: that if every
one were told so from his childhood, without ever hearing either
doubt or contradiction, it would become an established creed which
each man would believe, and each agent would act upon: that the
effect in reference to society would therefore be the same as if
the doctrine were true. This is in fact expressly affirmed by
Plato in another place.[22] Now undoubtedly the effect of
preaching and teaching, assuming it to be constant and unanimous,
is very great in accrediting all kinds of dogmas. Plato believed
it to be capable of almost unlimited extension--as we may see by
the prescriptions which he gives for the training of the Guardians
in his Republic. But to persuade every one that the path of duty
and justice was in itself inviting, would be a task overpassing
the eloquence even of Plato, since every man's internal
sentiment would refute it. You might just as well expect to
convince a child, through the declarations and encouragements of
his nurse, that the medicine prescribed to him during sickness was
very nice. Every child has to learn obedience as a necessity,
under the authority and sanction of his parents. You may assure
him that what is at first repulsive will become by habit
comparatively easy: and that the self-reproach, connected with
evasion of duty, will by association become a greater pain than
that which is experienced in performing duty. This is to a great
degree true, but it is by no means true to the full extent: still
less can it be made to appear true before it has been actually
realised. You cannot cause a fiction like this to be universally
accredited. A child is compelled to practise justice by the fear
of displeasure and other painful consequences from those in
authority over him: the reason for bringing this artificial motive
to bear upon him, is, that it is essential in the first instance
for the comfort and security of others: in the second instance for
his own. In Plato's theory, the first consideration is omitted,
while not only the whole stress is laid upon the second, but more
is promised in regard to the second than the reality warrants.

[Footnote 22: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 663-664.]

The opponents whom the Platonic Sokrates here seeks to confute
held--That Justice is an obligation in itself onerous to the
agent, but indispensable in order to ensure to him just dealing
and estimation from others--That injustice is a path in itself
easy and inviting to the agent, but necessary to be avoided,
because he forfeits his chance of receiving justice from others,
and draws upon himself hatred and other evil consequences. This
doctrine (argues Plato) represents the advantages of justice to
the just agent as arising, not from his actually being just, but
from his seeming to be so, and being reputed by others to be so:
in like manner, it represents the misery of injustice to the
unjust agent as arising not from his actually being unjust, but
from his being reputed to be so by others. The inference which a
man will naturally draw from hence (adds Plato) is, That he must
aim only at seeming to be just, not at being just in reality: that
he must seek to avoid the reputation of injustice, not injustice
in reality: that the mode of life most enviable is, to be unjust
in reality, but just in seeming--to study the means either of
deceiving others into a belief that you are just, or of coercing
others into submission to your injustice.[23] This indeed cannot
be done unless you are strong or artful: it you are weak or
simple-minded, the best thing which you can do is to be just. The
weak alone are gainers by justice: the strong are losers by it,
and gainers by injustice.[24]

[Footnote 23: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 362-367.]

[Footnote 24: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 366 C.]

These are legitimate corollaries (so Glaukon and Adeimantus are
here made to argue) from the doctrine preached by most fathers to
their children, that the obligations of justice are in themselves
onerous to the just agent, and remunerative only so far as they
determine just conduct on the part of others towards him. Plato
means, not that fathers, in exhorting their children, actually
drew these corollaries: but that if they followed out their own
doctrine consistently, they would have drawn them: and that there
is no way of escaping them, except by adopting the doctrine of the
Platonic Sokrates--That justice is in itself a source of happiness
to the just agent, and injustice a source of misery to the unjust
agent--however each of them may be esteemed or treated by others.

[Side-note: A Reciprocity of rights and duties between men
in social life--different feelings towards one and towards the

Now upon this we may observe, that Plato, from anxiety to escape
corollaries which are only partially true, and which, in so far as
they are true, may be obviated by precautions--has endeavoured to
accredit a fiction misrepresenting the constant phenomena and
standing conditions of social life. Among those conditions,
reciprocity of services is one of the most fundamental. The
difference of feeling which attaches to the services which a man
renders, called duties or obligations--and the services which he
receives from others, called his rights--is alike obvious and
undeniable. Each individual has both duties and rights: each is
both an agent towards others, and a patient or sentient from
others. He is required to be just towards others, they are
required to be just towards him: he in his actions must have
regard, within certain limits, to their comfort and security--they
in their actions must have regard to his. If he has obligations
towards them, he has also rights against them; or (which is the
same thing) they have obligations towards him. If punishment
is requisite to deter him from doing wrong to them, it is equally
requisite to deter them from doing wrong to him. Whoever theorises
upon society, contemplating it as a connected scheme or system
including different individual agents, must accept this
reciprocity as a fundamental condition. The rights and
obligations, of each towards the rest, must form inseparable and
correlative parts of the theory. Each agent must be dealt with by
others according to his works, and must be able to reckon
beforehand on being so dealt with:--on escaping injury or hurt,
and receiving justice, from others, if he behaves justly towards
them. The theory supposes, that whether just or unjust, he will
appear to others what he really is, and will be appreciated

[Footnote 25: Euripid. Herakleid. 425.

[Greek: Ou) ga\r turanni/d', ô(/ste barba/rôn, e)/chô,
A)ll', ê)\n di/kaia drô=, di/kaia pei/somai.]

In a remarkable passage of the Laws, Plato sets a far higher value
upon correct estimation from others, which in the Republic he
depicts under the contemptuous appellation of show or seeming.

Plato, Legg. xii. p. 950 B. [Greek: Chrê\ de\ ou)/pote peri\
smikrou= poiei=sthai to\ dokei=n a)gathou\s ei)=nai toi=s a)/llois
ê)\ mê\ dokei=n; ou) ga\r o(/son ou)si/as a)retê=s a)pesphalme/noi
tugcha/nousin oi( polloi/, tosou=ton kai\ tou= kri/nein tou\s
a)/llous oi( ponêroi\ kai\ a)/chrêstoi, thei=on de/ ti kai\
eu)/stocho/n e)sti kai\ toi=s kakoi=s. ô(/ste pa/mpolloi kai\ tô=n
spho/dra kakô=n eu)= toi=s lo/gois kai\ tai=s do/xais diairou=ntai
tou\s a)mei/nous tô=n a)nthrô/pôn kai\ tou\s chei/rous. Dio\
kalo\n tai=s pollai=s po/lesi to\ parake/leusma/ e)sti, protima=|n
tê\n eu)doxi/an pro\s tô=n pollô=n; to\ me\n ga\r o)rtho/taton
kai\ me/giston, o)/nta a)gatho\n a)lêthô=s ou(/tô to\n eu)/doxon
bi/on thêreu/ein--chôri\s de\ mêdamô=s, to/n ge te/leon a)/ndra

The fathers of families, whose doctrine Plato censures, adopted
this doctrine of reciprocity, and built upon it their exhortations
to their children. "Be just to others: without that condition, you
cannot expect that they will be just to you." Plato objects to
their doctrine, on the ground, that it assumed justice to be
onerous to the agent, and therefore indirectly encouraged the
evading of the onerous preliminary condition, for the purpose of
extorting or stealing the valuable consequent without earning it
fairly. Persons acting thus unjustly would efface reciprocity by
taking away the antecedent. Now Plato, in correcting them, sets up
a counter-doctrine which effaces reciprocity by removing the
consequent. His counter-doctrine promises me that if I am just
towards others, I shall be happy in and through that single
circumstance; and that I ought not to care whether they behave
justly or unjustly towards me. Reciprocity thus disappears. The
authoritative terms _right_ and _obligation_ lose all
their specific meaning.

[Side-note: Plato's own theory, respecting the genesis
of society, is based on reciprocity.]

In thus eliminating reciprocity--in affirming that the performance
of justice is not an onerous duty, but in itself happiness-giving,
to the just agent--Plato contradicts his own theory respecting the
genesis and foundation of society. What is the explanation which
he himself gives (in this very Republic) of the primary origin of
a city? It arises (he says) from the fact, that each individual
among us is not self-sufficing, but full of wants. All having many
wants, each takes to himself others as partners and auxiliaries to
supply them: thus grows up the aggregation called a city.[26] Each
man gives to another, and receives from another, in the belief
that it will be better for him to do so. It is found most
advantageous to all, that each man shall devote himself
exclusively to one mode of production, and shall exchange his
produce with that of others. Such interchange of productions and
services is the generating motive which brings about civic
communion.[27] Justice and injustice will be found in certain
modes of carrying on this useful interchange between each man and
the rest.[28]

[Footnote 26: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 369 B-C. [Greek: gi/gnetai
po/lis, e)peidê\ tugcha/nei ê(mô=n e(/kastos ou)k au)ta/rkês
a)lla\ pollô=n e)ndeê/s . . . metadi/dôsi dê\ a)/llos a)/llô|,
ei)/ ti metadi/dôsin, ê)\ metalamba/nei, _oi)o/menos au(tô=|
a)/meinon ei)=nai_ . . . poiê/sei de\ au)tê\n (tê\n po/lin),
ô(s e)/oiken, ê)\ _ê(mete/ra chrei/a_.]]

[Footnote 27: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 371 B. [Greek: Ti/ de\ dê/?
e)n au)tê=| tê=| po/lei pô=s a)llê/lois metadô/sousin ô(=n a)\n
e(/kastoi e)rga/zôntai? _ô(=n dê\_ e(/neka _kai\ koinôni/an
poiêsa/menoi po/lin ô)|ki/samen_.]]

[Footnote 28: Plato, Republ. ii. pp. 371 E-372 A. [Greek: Pou=
ou)=n a)/n pote e)n au)tê=| (tê=| po/lei) ei)/ê ê(/ te dikaiosu/nê
kai\ ê( a)diki/a? . . . E)gô\ ou)k e(nnoô=, ei) mê/ pou _e)n
au)tô=n tou/tôn chrei/a| tini\ tê=| pro\s a)llê/lous_.]]

Here Plato expressly declares the principle of reciprocity to be
the fundamental cause which generates and sustains the communion
called the city. No man suffices to himself: every man has wants
which require supply from others: every man can contribute
something to supply the wants of others. Justice or injustice have
place, according as this reciprocal service is carried out in one
manner or another. Each man labours to supply the wants of others
as well as his own.

This is the primitive, constant, indispensable, bond whereby
society is brought and held together. Doubtless it is not the only
bond, nor does Plato say that it is. There are other auxiliary
social principles besides, of great value and importance: but they
presuppose and are built upon the fundamental
principle--reciprocity of need and service--which remains when we
reduce society to its lowest terms; and which is not the less real
as underlying groundwork, though it is seldom enunciated separately,
but appears overlaid, disguised, and adorned, by numerous
additions and refinements. Plato correctly announces the
reciprocity of need and service as one indivisible, though complex
fact, when looked at with reference to the social communion.
Neither of the two parts of that fact, without the other part,
would serve as adequate groundwork. Each man must act, not for
himself alone, but for others also: he must keep in view the
requirements of others, to a certain extent, as well as his own.
In his purposes and scheme of life, the two must be steadily

[Side-note: Antithesis and correlation of obligation and
right. Necessity of keeping the two ideas together, as the basis
of any theory respecting society.]

It is clear that Plato--in thus laying down the principle of
reciprocity, or interchange of service, as the ground-work of the
social union--recognises the antithesis, and at the same time the
correlation, between obligation and right. The service which each
man renders to supply the wants of others is in the nature of an
onerous duty; the requital for which is furnished to him in the
services rendered by others to supply his wants. It is payment
against receipt, and is expressly so stated by Plato--which every
man conforms to, "believing that he will be better off thereby".
Taking the two together, every man is better off; but no man would
be so by the payment alone; nor could any one continue paying out,
if he received nothing in return. Justice consists in the proper
carrying on of this interchange in its two correlative parts.[29]

[Footnote 29: We may remark that Plato, though he states the
principle of reciprocity very justly, does not state it
completely. He brings out the reciprocity of need and service; he
does not mention the reciprocal liability of injury. Each man can
do hurt to others: each man may receive hurt from others.
Abstinence on the part of each from hurting others, and security
to each that he shall not be hurt by others, are necessities quite
as fundamental as that of production and interchange.

The reciprocal feeling of security, or absence of all fear of
ill-usage from others ([Greek: to\ kath' ê(me/ran a)dee\s kai\
a)nepibou/leuton pro\s a)llê/lous], to use the phrase of
Thucydides iii. 37), is no less essential to social sentiment,
than the reciprocal confidence that each man may obtain from
others a supply of his wants, on condition of supplying theirs.]

We see therefore that Plato contradicts his own fundamental
principle, when he denies the doing of justice to be an onerous
duty, and when he maintains that it is in itself
happiness-giving to the just agent, whether other men account him
just and do justice to him in return--or not. By this latter doctrine
he sets aside that reciprocity of want and service, upon which he had
affirmed the social union to rest. The fathers, whom he blames,
gave advice in full conformity with his own principle of
reciprocity--when they exhorted their sons to the practice of
justice, not as self-inviting, but as an onerous service towards
others, to be requited by corresponding services and goodwill from
others towards them. If (as he urges) such advice operates as an
encouragement to crime, because it admits that the successful
tyrant or impostor, who gets the services of others for nothing,
is better off than the just man who gets them only in exchange for
an onerous equivalent--this inference equally flows from that
proclaimed reciprocity of need and service, which he himself
affirms to be the generating cause of human society. If it be true
(as Plato states) that each individual is full of wants, and
stands in need of the services of others--then it cannot be true,
that payment without receipt, as a systematic practice, is
self-inviting and self-satisfying. That there are temptations for
strong or cunning men to evade obligation and to usurp wrongful
power, is an undeniable fact. We may wish that it were not a fact:
but we gain nothing by denying or ignoring it. The more clearly
the fact is stated, the better; in order that society may take
precaution against such dangers--a task which has always been
found necessary and often difficult. In reviewing the Gorgias,[30]
we found Sokrates declaring, that Archelaus, the energetic and
powerful king of Macedonia, who had usurped the throne by means of
crime and bloodshed, was thoroughly miserable: far more miserable
than he would have been, had he been defeated in his enterprise
and suffered cruel punishment. Such a declaration represents the
genuine sentiment of Sokrates as to what he _himself_ would
feel, and what ought to be (in his conviction) the feeling of
every one, after having perpetrated such nefarious acts. But it
does not represent the feeling of Archelaus himself, nor that of
the large majority of bystanders: both to these latter, and
to himself, Archelaus appears an object of envy and
admiration.[31] And it would be a fatal mistake, if the peculiar
sentiment of Sokrates were accepted as common to others besides,
and as forming a sound presumption to act upon: that is, if, under
the belief that no ambitious man will voluntarily bring upon
himself so much misery, it were supposed that precautions against
his designs were unnecessary. The rational and tutelary purpose of
punishment is, to make the proposition true and obvious to
all--That the wrong-doer will draw upon himself a large preponderance
of mischief by his wrong-doing. But to proclaim the proposition by
voice of herald (which Plato here proposes) as if it were already
an established fact of human nature, independent of all such
precautions--would be only an unhappy delusion.[32]

[Footnote 30: See above, ch. xxiv., vol. ii., pp. 325-29.]

[Footnote 31: Xenophon, Cyropæd. iii. 3, 52-53. Cyrus says:--

[Greek: A)=r' ou)k, ei) me/llousi toiau=tai dia/noiai
e)ggenê/sesthai a)nthrô/pois kai\ e)/mmonoi e)/sesthai, prô=ton
me\n no/mous u(pa/rxai dei= toiou/tous, di' ô(=n _toi=s me\n
a)gathoi=s e)/ntimos kai\ e)leuthe/rios o( bi/os
paraskeuasthê/setai_, toi=s _de\ kakoi=s tapeino/s te kai\
a)lgeino\s_ kai\ a)bi/ôtos o( ai)ô\n e)panakei/setai? E)/peita
de\ didaska/lous, oi)/mai, dei= kai\ a)/rchontas e)pi\ tou/tois
gene/sthai, oi(/tines dei/xousi/ te o)rthô=s kai\ dida/xousi kai\
e)thi/sousi tau=ta dra=|n, e)/st' a)\n e)gge/nêtai au)toi=s, tou\s
me\n _a)gathou\s kai\ eu)kleei=s eu)daimonesta/tous_ tô=|
o)/nti nomi/zein, tou\s de\ _kakou\s kai\ duskleei=s
a)thliôta/tous_ a(pa/ntôn ê(gei=sthai.]

Xenophon here uses language at variance with that of Plato, and
consonant to that of the fathers of families whom Plato censures.
To create habits of just action, and to repress habits of unjust
action, society must meet both the one and the other by a suitable
response. Assuming such conditional reciprocity to be realised,
you may then persuade each agent that the unjust man, whom society
brands with dishonour, is miserable ([Greek: oi( kakoi\
_kai\_ duskleei=s]).]

[Footnote 32: Xenophon, Economic. xiii. 11. Ischomachus there

[Greek: Pa/nu ga/r moi dokei=, ô)= Sô/krates, a)thumi/a
e)ggi/gnesthai toi=s a)gathoi=s, o(/tan o(rô=si ta\ me\n e)/rga
di' au)tô=n katapratto/mena, tô=n de\ o(moi/ôn tugcha/nontas
e(autoi=s tou\s mê/te ponei=n mê/te kinduneu/ein e)the/lontas,
o(/tan de/ê|.]--Also xiv. 9-10.]

[Side-note: Characteristic feature of the Platonic
Commonwealth--specialization of services to that function for
which each man is fit--will not apply to one individual

The characteristic feature of the Platonic commonwealth is to
specialize the service of each individual in that function for
which he is most fit. It is assumed, that each will render due
service to the rest, and will receive from them due service in
requital. Upon this assumption, Plato pronounces that the
community will be happy.

Let us grant for the present that this conclusion follows from his
premisses. He proceeds forthwith to apply it by analogy to another
and a different case--the case of the individual man. He
presumes complete analogy between the community and an
individual.[33] To a certain extent, the analogy is real: but it
fails on the main point which Plato's inference requires as a
basis. The community, composed of various and differently endowed
members, suffices to itself and its own happiness: "the individual
is not sufficient to himself, but stands in need of much aid from
others"[34]--a grave fact which Plato himself proclaims as the
generating cause and basis of society. Though we should admit,
therefore, that Plato's commonwealth is perfectly
well-constituted, and that a well-constituted commonwealth will be
happy--we cannot from thence infer that an individual, however
well-constituted, will be happy. His happiness depends upon others
as well as upon himself. He may have in him the three different
mental varieties of souls, or three different persons--Reason,
Energy, Appetite--well tempered and adjusted; so as to produce a
full disposition to just behaviour on his part: but constant
injustice on the part of others will nevertheless be effectual in
rendering him miserable. From the happiness of a community, all
composed of just men--you cannot draw any fair inference to that
of one just man in an unjust community.

[Footnote 33: The parallel between the Commonwealth and the
individual is perpetually reproduced in Plato's reasoning.
Republic, ii. pp. 368-369, vii. p. 541 B, ix. pp. 577 C-D, 579 E,

[Footnote 34: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 369 B.]

Thus much to show that the parallel between the community and the
individual, which Plato pursues through the larger portion of the
Republic, is fallacious. His affirmation--That the just man is
happy in his justice, _quand même_--in his own mental
perfection, whatever supposition may be made as to the community
among whom he lives--implies that the just man is self-sufficing:
and Plato himself expressly declares that no individual is
self-sufficing. Indeed, no author can set forth more powerfully than
Plato himself in this very dialogue--the uncomfortable and
perilous position of a philosophical individual, when standing
singly as a dissenter among a community with fixed habits and
sentiments--unphilosophical and anti-philosophical. Such a person
(Plato says) is like a man who has fallen into a den of wild
beasts: he may think himself fortunate, if by careful
retirement and absence from public manifestation, he can preserve
himself secure and uncorrupted: but his characteristic and
superior qualities can obtain no manifestation. The philosopher
requires a community suited to his character. Nowhere does any
such community (so Plato says) exist at present.[35]

[Footnote 35: Plato, Repub. vi. pp. 494 E, 496 D, 497 B. [Greek:
ô(/sper ei)s thêri/a a)/nthrôpos e)mpesô/n], &c. Compare also
ix. p. 592 A.]

[Side-note: Plato has not made good his refutation--the
thesis which he impugns is true.]

I cannot think, therefore, that the main thesis which Sokrates
professes to have established, against the difficulties raised by
Glaukon, is either proved or provable. Plato has fallen into
error, partly by exaggerating the parallelism between the
individual man and the commonwealth: partly by attempting to
reason on justice and injustice in abstract isolation, without
regard to the natural consequences of either--while yet those
consequences cannot be really excluded from consideration, when we
come to apply to these terms, predicates either favourable or
unfavourable. That justice, taken along with its ordinary and
natural consequences, tends materially to the happiness of the
just agent--that injustice, looked at in the same manner, tends to
destroy or impair the happiness of the unjust--these are
propositions true and valuable to be inculcated. But this was the
very case embodied in the exhortations of the ordinary moralists
and counsellors, whom Plato intends to refute. He is not satisfied
to hear them praise justice taken along with its natural
consequences: he stands forward to panegyrise justice
abstractedly, and without its natural consequences: nay, even if
followed by consequences the very reverse of those which are
ordinary and natural.[36] He insists that justice is eligible and
pleasing _per se_, self-recommending: that among the three
varieties of _Bona_ (1. That which we choose for itself and
from its own immediate attractions. 2. That which is in itself
indifferent or even painful, but which we choose from regard to
its ulterior consequences. 3. That which we choose on both
grounds, both as immediately attractive and as ultimately
beneficial), it belongs to the last variety: whereas the opponents
whom he impugns referred it to the second.

[Footnote 36: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367 B. [Greek: ei) ga\r mê\
a)phairê/seis e(kate/rôthen] (_i.e._ both from justice and
from injustice) [Greek: ta\s a)lêthei=s, ta\s de\ pseudei=s
prosthê/seis, ou) to\ di/kaion phê/somen e)painei=n se, a)lla\ to\
dokei=n, ou)de\ to\ a)/dikon ei)=nai pse/gein, a)lla\ to\ dokei=n,
kai\ parakeleu/esthai a)/dikon o)/nta lantha/nein], &c.]

[Side-note: Statement of the real issue between him and his

Here the point at issue between the two sides is expressly set
forth. Both admit that Justice is a Bonum--both of them looking at
the case with reference only to the agent himself. But the
opponents contend, that it is Bonum (with reference to the agent)
only through its secondary effects, and noway Bonum or attractive
in its primary working: being thus analogous to medical treatment
or gymnastic discipline, which men submit to only for the sake of
ulterior benefits. On the contrary, Plato maintained that it is
good both in its primary and secondary effects: good by reason of
the ulterior benefits which it confers, but still better and more
attractive in its direct and primary effect: thus combining the
pleasurable and the useful, like a healthy constitution and
senses. Both parties agree in recognising justice as a good: but
they differ in respect of the grounds on which, and the mode in
which, it is good.

[Side-note: He himself misrepresents this issue--he
describes his opponents as enemies of justice.]

Such is the issue as here announced by Plato himself: and the
announcement deserves particular notice because the Platonic
Sokrates afterwards, in the course of his argument, widens and
misrepresents the issue: ascribing to his opponents the invidious
post of enemies who defamed justice and recommended injustice,
while he himself undertakes to counterwork the advocates of
injustice, and to preserve justice from unfair calumny[37]--thus
professing to be counsel for Justice _versus_ Injustice. Now
this is not a fair statement of the argument against which
Sokrates is contending. In that argument, justice was admitted to
be a Good, but was declared to be a Good of that sort which is
laborious and irksome to the agent in the primary proceedings
required from him--though highly beneficial and indispensable to
him by reason of its ulterior results: like medicine, gymnastic
discipline, industry,[38] &c. Whether this doctrine be correct
or not, those who hold it cannot be fairly described as
advocates of injustice and enemies of Justice:[39] any more than
they are enemies of medicine, gymnastic discipline, industry,
&c., which they recommend as good and indispensable, on the
same grounds as they recommend justice.

[Footnote 37: Plato, Repub. ii. p. 368 B-C. [Greek: de/doika ga\r
mê\ ou)d' o(/sion ê)=| parageno/menon dikaiosu/nê| kakêgoroume/nê|
a)pagoreu/ein kai\ mê\ boêthei=n, e)/ti e)mpne/onta kai\
duna/menon phthe/ggesthai.]]

[Footnote 38: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 357-358.]

[Footnote 39: In the lost treatise De Republicâ of Cicero, Philus,
one of the disputants, was introduced as spokesman of the
memorable discourse delivered by Karneades at Rome, said to have
been against Justice, and in favour of Injustice--"patrocinium
injustitiæ". Lælius replied to him, as "_Justitiæ defensor_".
The few fragments preserved do not enable us to appreciate the
line of argument taken by Karneades: but as far as we can judge,
it seems to have been very different from that which is assigned
to Glaukon and Adeimantus in the Platonic Republic. See the
Fragments of the third book De Republicâ in Orelli's edition of
Cicero, pp. 460-467.]

It may suit Plato's purpose, when drawing up an argument which he
intends to refute, to give to it the colour of being a panegyric
upon injustice: but this is no real or necessary part of the
opponent's case. Nevertheless the commentators on Plato bring it
prominently forward. The usual programme affixed to the Republic
is--Plato, the defender of Justice, against Thrasymachus and the
Sophists, advocates and panegyrists of Injustice. How far the real
Thrasymachus may have argued in the slashing and offensive style
described in the first book of the Republic, we have no means of
deciding. But the Sophists are here brought in as assumed
preachers of injustice, without any authority either from Plato or
elsewhere: not to mention the impropriety of treating the Sophists
as one school with common dogmas. Glaukon (as I have already
observed) announces the doctrine against which Sokrates contends,
not as a recent corruption broached by the Sophists, but as the
generally received view of Justice: held by most persons, repeated
by the poets from ancient times downwards, and embodied by fathers
in lessons to their children: Sokrates farther declares the
doctrine which he himself propounds to be propounded for the first

[Footnote 40: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 358 A. [Greek: Ou) toi/nun
dokei= _toi=s polloi=s_, a)lla\ tou= e)pipo/nou ei)/dous],
&c. 358 C-D: [Greek: a)kou/ôn Thrasuma/chou kai\ muri/ôn
a)/llôn. to\n de\ u(pe\r tê=s dikaiosu/nês lo/gon ou)deno/s pô
a)kê/koa ô(s bou/lomai.] 362 E-364: [Greek: le/gousi de/ pou kai\
parakeleu/ontai pate/res te ui(e/si kai\ pa/ntes oi(/ tinôn
kêdo/menoi], &c.--[Greek: tou/tois de\ pa=si toi=s lo/gois
ma/rturas poiêta\s e)pa/gontai] (p. 364 C). Also p. 366 D.]

[Side-note: Farther arguments of Plato in support of his
thesis. Comparison of three different characters of men.]

Over and above the analogy between the just commonwealth and the
just individual, we find two additional and independent arguments,
to confirm the proof of the Platonic thesis, respecting the
happiness of the just man. Plato distributes mankind into three
varieties. 1. He in whom Reason is preponderant--the
philosopher. 2. He in whom Energy or Courage is preponderant--the
lover of dominion and superiority--the ambitious man. 3. He in
whom Appetite is preponderant--the lover of money. Plato considers
the two last as unjust men, contrasting them with the first, who
alone is to be regarded as just.

The language of Plato in arguing this point is vague, and requires
to be distinguished before we can appreciate the extent to which
he has made out his point. At one time, he states his conclusion
to the effect--That the man who pursues and enjoys the pleasures
of ambition or enrichment, but only under the conditions and
limits which reason prescribes, is happier than he who pursues
them without any such controul, and who is the slave of violent
and ungovernable impulses.[41] This is undoubtedly true.

[Footnote 41: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 586-587.]

But elsewhere Plato puts his thesis in another way. He compares
the pleasures of the philosopher, arising from intellectual
contemplation and the acquisition of knowledge--with the pleasures
of the ambitious man and the money-lover, in compassing their
respective ends, the attainment of power and wealth. If you ask
(says Plato) each of these three persons which is the best and
most pleasurable mode of life, each will commend his own: each
will tell you that the pleasures of his own mode of life are the
greatest, and that those of the other two are comparatively
worthless.[42] But though each thus commends his own, the judgment
of the philosopher is decidedly the most trustworthy of the three.
For the necessities of life constrain the philosopher to have some
experience of the pleasures of the other two, while they two are
altogether ignorant of his: moreover, the comparative estimate
must be made by reason and intelligent discussion, which is his
exclusive prerogative. Therefore, the philosopher is to be taken
as the best judge, when he affirms that his pleasures are the
greatest, in preference to the other two.[43] To establish this
same conclusion, Plato even goes a step farther. No pleasures,
except those peculiar to the philosopher, are perfectly true and
genuine, pure from any alloy or mixture of pain. The
pleasures of the ambitious man, and of the money-lover, are
untrue, spurious, alloyed with pain and for the most part mere
riddances from pain--appearing falsely to be pleasures by contrast
with the antecedent pains to which they are consequent. The
pleasures of the philosophic life are not preceded by any pains.
They are mental pleasures, having in them closer affinity with
truth and reality than the corporeal: the matter of knowledge,
with which the philosophising mind is filled and satisfied, comes
from the everlasting and unchangeable Ideas and is thus more akin
to true essence and reality, than the perishable substances which
relieve bodily hunger and thirst.[44]

[Footnote 42: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 581 C-D.]

[Footnote 43: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 582-583.]

[Footnote 44: Plato, Republic, ix. pp. 585-586.]

[Side-note: His arguments do not go to the point which he
professes to aim at.]

It is by these two lines of reasoning, and especially by the last,
that Plato intends to confirm and place beyond dispute the triumph
of the just man over the unjust.[45] He professes to have
satisfied the requirement of Glaukon, by proving that the just man
is happy by reason of his justice--_quand même_--however he
may be esteemed or dealt with either by Gods or men. But even if
we grant the truth of his premisses, no such conclusion can be
elicited from them. He appears to be successful only because he
changes the terminology, and the state of the question. Assume it
to be true, that the philosopher, whose pleasures are derived
chiefly from the love of knowledge and of intellectual
acquisitions, has a better chance of happiness than the ambitious
or the money-loving man. This I believe to be true in the main,
subject to many interfering causes--though the manner in which
Plato here makes it out is much less satisfactory than the
handling of the same point by Aristotle after him.[46] But when
the point is granted, nothing is proved about the just and the
unjust man, except in a sense of those terms peculiar to Plato

[Footnote 45: Plato, Republic, ix. p. 583 B. [Greek: Tau=ta me\n
toi/nun ou)/tô du/' e)phexê=s a)\n ei)/ê kai\ di\s nenikêkô\s o(
di/kaios to\n a)/dikon; to\ de\ tri/ton . . . tou=t' a)\n ei)/ê
me/gisto/n te kai\ kuriô/taton tô=n ptôma/tôn.]]

[Footnote 46: Aristot. Ethic. Nikom. i. 5, p. 1095 b, 1096 a, x.
6-9, pp. 1176-1179.]

Nor indeed is Plato's conclusion proved, even in his own sense of
the words. He identifies the just man with the philosopher or man
of reason--the unjust man with the pursuer of power or wealth.
Now, even in this Platonic meaning, the just man or
philosopher cannot be called happy _quand même_: he
requires, as one condition of his happiness, a certain amount of
service, forbearance, and estimation, on the part of his fellows.
He is not completely self-sufficing, nor can any human being be

[Side-note: Exaggerated parallelism between the Commonwealth
and the individual man.]

The confusion, into which Plato has here fallen, arises mainly
from his exaggerated application of the analogy between the
Commonwealth and the Individual: from his anxiety to find in the
individual something like what he notes as justice in the
Commonwealth: from his assimilating the mental attributes of each
individual, divisible only in logical abstraction,--to the really
distinct individual citizens whose association forms the
Commonwealth.[47] It is only by a poetical or rhetorical metaphor
that you can speak of the several departments of a man's mind, as
if they were distinct persons, capable of behaving well or ill
towards each other. A single man, considered without any reference
to others, cannot be either just or unjust. "The just man"
(observes Aristotle, in another line of argument), "requires
others, towards whom and with whom he may behave justly."[48] Even
when we talk by metaphor of a man being just towards himself,
reference to others is always implied, as a standard with which
comparison is taken.

[Footnote 47: Plato, Republic, i. pp. 351 C, 352 C. [Greek: ou)
ga\r a)\n a)pei/chonto a)llê/lôn komidê=| o)/ntes a)/dikoi, a)lla\
dê=lon o(/ti e)nê=n tis au)toi=s dikaiosu/nê, ê(\ au)tou\s
e)poi/ei mê/ toi kai\ a)llê/lous ge kai\ e)ph' ou(\s ê)/|esan
a(/ma a)dikei=n, di' ê(\n e)/praxan a(\ e)/praxan, ô(/rmêsan de\
e)pi\ ta\ a)/dika a)diki/a| ê(mimo/chthêroi o)/ntes], &c.

We find the same sentiment in the Opera et Dies of Hesiod, 275,
contrasting human society with animal life:--

[Greek: i)/chthusi me\n kai\ thêrsi\ kai\ oi)ônoi=s peteê/nois
e)/sthein a)llê/lous, e)pei\ ou) di/kê e)sti\n e)n au)toi=s;
a)nthrô/poisi d' e)/dôke (Zeu\s) di/kên, ê(\ pollo\n a)ri/stê

[Footnote 48: Aristotel. Ethic. Nikomach. x. 7. [Greek: o(
di/kaios dei=tai pro\s ou(\s dikaiopragê/sei, kai\ meth' ô(=n.]]

[Side-note: Second Argument of Plato to prove the happiness
of the just man--He now recalls his previous concession, and
assumes that the just man will receive just treatment and esteem
from others.]

In the main purpose of the Republic, therefore--to prove that the
just man is happy in his justice, and the unjust miserable in his
injustice, whatever supposition may be made as to consequent
esteem or treatment from Gods or men--we cannot pronounce Plato to
have succeeded. He himself indeed speaks with triumphant
confidence of his own demonstration. Yet we find him at the close
of the dialogue admitting that he had undertaken the defence of a
position unnecessarily difficult. "I conceded to you" (he
says) "for argument's sake that the just man should be accounted
unjust, by Gods as well as men, and that the unjust man should be
accounted just. But this is a concession which I am not called
upon to make; for the real fact will be otherwise. I now compare
the happiness of each, assuming that each has the reputation and
the treatment which he merits from others. Under this supposition,
the superior happiness of the just man over the unjust, is still
more manifest and undeniable."[49]

[Footnote 49: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 612-613.]

Plato then proceeds to argue the case upon this hypothesis, which
he affirms to be conformable to the reality. The just man will be
well-esteemed and well-treated by men: he will also be favoured
and protected by the Gods, both in this life and after this life.
The unjust man, on the contrary, will be ill-esteemed and
ill-treated by men: he will farther be disapproved and punished by
the Gods, both while he lives and after his death. Perhaps for a time
the just man may seem to be hardly dealt with and miserable the
unjust man to be prosperous and popular but in the end, all this
will be reversed.[50]

[Footnote 50: Plato, Republic, x. p. 613.]

The second line of argument is essentially different from the
first. Plato dispatches it very succinctly, in two pages: while in
trying to prove the first, and in working out the very peculiar
comparison on which his proof rests, he had occupied the larger
portion of this very long treatise.

In the first line of argument, justice was recommended as
implicated with happiness _per se_ or absolutely--_quand
même_--to the agent: injustice was discouraged, as implicated
with misery. In the second line, justice is recommended by reason
of its happy ulterior consequences to the agent: injustice is
dissuaded on corresponding grounds, by reason of its miserable
ulterior consequences to the agent.

It will be recollected that this second line of argument is the
same as that which Glaukon described as adopted by parents and by
other monitors, in discourse with pupils. Plato therefore here
admits that their exhortations were founded on solid grounds;
though he blames them for denying or omitting the
announcement, that just behaviour conferred happiness upon
the agent by its own efficacy, apart from all consequences. He
regards the happiness attained by the just man, through the
consequent treatment by men and Gods, as real indeed,--but as only
supplemental and secondary, inferior in value to the happiness
involved in the just behaviour _per se_.

In this part of the argument, too, as well as in the former, we
are forced to lament the equivocal meaning of the word
_justice_: and to recollect the observation of Plato at the
close of the first book, that those who do not know what justice
is, can never determine what is to be truly predicated of it, and
what is not.[51] If by the just man he means the philosopher, and
by the unjust man the person who is not a philosopher,--he has
himself told us before, that in societies as actually constituted,
the philosopher enjoys the minimum of social advantages, and is
even condemned to a life of insecurity; while the unphilosophical
men (at least a certain variety of them) obtain sympathy, esteem,
and promotion.[52]

[Footnote 51: Plato, Republic, i. p. 354 B.]

[Footnote 52: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 492-494-495-497.]

Now in this second line of argument, Plato holds a totally
different language respecting the way in which the just man is
treated by society. He even exaggerates, beyond what can be
reasonably expected, the rewards accruing to the just man: who
(Plato tells us), when he has become advanced in life and
thoroughly known, acquires command in his own city if he chooses
it, and has his choice among the citizens for the best matrimonial
alliances: while the unjust man ends in failure and ignominy,
incurring the hatred of every one and suffering punishment.[53]
This is noway consistent with Plato's previous description of the
position of the philosopher in actual society: yet nevertheless
his argument identifies the just man with the philosopher.

[Footnote 53: Plato, Republic, x. p. 613 D-E.]

[Side-note: Dependence of the happiness of the individual on
the society in which he is placed.]

Plato appears so anxious to make out a triumphant case in favour
of justice and against injustice, that he forgets not only the
reality of things, but the main drift of his own previous
reasonings. Nothing can stand out more strikingly, throughout this
long and eloquent treatise, than the difference between one
society and another: the necessary dependence of every one's lot,
partly indeed upon his own character, but also most
materially upon the society to which he belongs: the impossibility
of affirming any thing generally respecting the result of such and
such dispositions in the individual, until you know the society of
which he is a member, as well as his place therein. Hence arises
the motive for Plato's own elaborate construction--a new society
upon philosophical principles. This essentially relative point of
view pervades the greater part of his premisses, and constitutes
the most valuable part of them.

Whether the commonwealth as a whole, assuming it to be once
erected, would work as he expects, we will not here enquire. But
it is certain that the commonwealth and the individuals are
essential correlates of each other; and that the condition of each
individual must be criticised in reference to the commonwealth in
which he is embraced. Take any member of the Platonic
Commonwealth, and place him in any other form of government, at
Athens, Syracuse, Sparta, &c.--immediately his condition, both
active and passive, is changed. Thus the philosophers, for whom
Plato assumes unqualified ascendancy as the cardinal principle in
his system, become, when transferred to other systems, divested of
influence, hated by the people, and thankful if they can obtain
even security. "The philosopher (says Plato) must have a community
suited to him and docile to his guidance: in communities such as
now exist, he not only has no influence as philosopher, but
generally becomes himself corrupted by the contagion and pressure
of opinions around him: this is the natural course of events, and
it would be wonderful if the fact were otherwise."[54]

[Footnote 54: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 487-488-489 B, 497 B-C. 492
C: [Greek: kai\ phê/sein ta\ au)ta\ tou/tois kala\ kai\ ai)schra\
ei)=nai, kai\ e)pitêdeu/sein a(/per a)\n ou(=toi, kai\ e)/sesthai
toiou=ton?] Compare also ix. pp. 592 A, 494 A: [Greek: tou\s
philosophou=ntas a)/ra a)na/gkê pse/gesthai u(p' au)tô=n (tou=
plê/thous).] And vii. p. 517 A.]

[Side-note: Inconsistency of affirming general positions
respecting the happiness of the just man, in all societies without

After thus forcibly insisting upon the necessary correlation
between the individual and the society, as well as upon the
variability and uncertainty of justice and injustice in different
existing societies[55]--Plato is inconsistent with himself in
affirming, as an universal position, that the just man receives
the favour and good treatment of society, the unjust man, hatred
and punishment.[56] You cannot decide this until you know in
what society the just man is placed. In order to make him
comfortable, Plato is obliged to construct an imaginary society
suited to him: which would have been unnecessary, if you can
affirm that he is sure to be well treated in every society.

[Footnote 55: Plato, Republic, v. p. 479, vi. p. 493 C.]

[Footnote 56: Plato, Republic, x. p. 613.]

[Side-note: Qualified sense in which only this can be done.]

There is a sense indeed (different from what Plato intended), in
which the proposition is both true, and consistent with his own
doctrine about the correlation between the individual and the
society. When Plato speaks of the just or the unjust man, to whose
judgment does he make appeal? To his own judgment? or to which of
the numerous other dissentient judgments? For that there were
numerous dissentient opinions on this point, Plato himself
testifies: a person regarded as just or unjust in one community,
would not be so regarded in another. All this ethical and
intellectual discord is fully recognised as a fact, by Plato
himself: who moreover keenly felt it, when comparing his own
judgment with that of the Athenians his countrymen. Such being the
ambiguity of the terms, we can affirm nothing respecting the just
or the unjust man absolutely and generally--respecting justice or
injustice in the abstract: We cannot affirm any thing respecting
the happiness or misery of either, except with reference to the
sentiments of the community wherein each is placed. Assuming their
sentiments to be known, we may pronounce that any individual
citizen who is unjust _relatively to them_ (_i.e._, who
behaves in a manner which they account unjust), will be punished
by their superior force, and rendered miserable: while any one who
abstains from such behaviour, and conducts himself in a manner
which they account just, will receive from them just dealing, with
a certain measure of trust, and esteem: Taken in this relative
sense, we may truly say of the unjust man, that he will be
unhappy; because displeasure, hatred, and punitory infliction from
his countrymen will be quite sufficient to make him so, without
any other causes of unhappiness. Respecting the just man, we can
only say that he will be happy, so far as exemption from this
cause of misery is concerned: but we cannot make sure that he
will be happy on the whole, because happiness is a product to
which many different conditions, positive and negative, must
concur--while the serious causes of misery are efficacious, each
taken singly, in producing their result.

[Side-note: Question--Whether the just man is orthodox or
dissenter in his society?--important in discussing whether he is

Moreover, in estimating the probable happiness either of the just
(especially taking this word _sensu Platonico_ as equivalent
to _the philosophers_) or the unjust, another element must be
included: which an illustrious self-thinking reasoner like Plato
ought not to have omitted. Does the internal reason and sentiment
of the agent coincide with that of his countrymen, as to what is
just and unjust? Is he essentially homogeneous with his countrymen
(to use the language of Plato in the Gorgias[57]), a chip of the
same block? Or has he the earnest conviction that the commandments
and prohibitions which they enforce upon him, on the plea of
preventing injustice, are themselves unjust? Is he (like the
philosopher described by Plato among societies actually
constituted, or like Sokrates at Athens[58]) a conscientious
dissenter from the orthodox creed--political, ethical, or
æsthetical--received among his fellow-citizens generally? Does he
(like Sokrates) believe himself to be inculcating useful and
excellent lessons, while his countrymen blame and silence him as a
corruptor of youth, and as a libeller of the elders?[59] Does he,
in those actions which he performs either under legal restraint or
under peremptory unofficial custom, submit merely to what he
regards as _civium ardor prava jubentium_, or as _vultus
instantis tyranni_?

[Footnote 57: Plato, Gorgias, p. 513 B. [Greek: au)tophuô=s
o(/moios tê=| politei/a|], &c.]

[Footnote 58: Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 496-497. Plato, Gorgias, p.
521 D.]

[Footnote 59: Plato, Gorgias, p. 522 B. [Greek: e)a/n te/ ti/s me
ê)\ neôte/rous phê=| diaphthei/rein a)porei=n poiou=nta, ê)\ tou\s
presbute/rous kakêgorei=n le/gonta pikrou\s lo/gous ê)\ i)di/a|
ê)\ dêmosi/a|, ou)/te to\ a)lêthe\s e(/xô ei)pei=n, o(/ti Dikai/ôs
pa/nta tau=ta e)gô\ le/gô kai\ pra/ttô to\ u(me/teron dê\ tou=to,
ô)= a)/ndres dikastai/, ou)/te a)/llo ou)de/n; ô(/ste i)/sôs, o(/,
ti a)\n tu/chô, tou=to pei/somai.]]

[Side-note: Comparison of the position of Sokrates at
Athens, with that of his accusers.]

This is a question essentially necessary to be answered, when we
are called upon to affirm the general principle--"That the just
man is happy, and that the unjust man is unhappy". Antipathy and
ill-treatment will be the lot of any citizen who challenges
opinions which his society cherish as consecrated, or professes
such as they dislike. Such was the fate of Sokrates himself
at Athens. He was indicted as unjust and criminal ([Greek:
A)dikei= Sôkra/tês]), while his accusers, Anytus and Melêtus,
carried away the esteem and sympathy of their fellow-citizens
generally, as not simply just men, but zealous champions of
justice--as resisting the assailants of morality and religion, of
the political constitution, and of parental authority. How
vehement was the odium and reprobation which Sokrates incurred
from the majority of his fellow-citizens, we are assured by his
own Apology[60] before the Dikasts. Now it is to every one a
serious and powerful cause of unhappiness, to feel himself the
object of such a sentiment. Most men dread it so much, like the
Platonic Euthyphron, that they refrain from uttering, or at least
are most reserved in communicating, opinions which are accounted
heretical among their countrymen or companions.[61] The resolute
and free-spoken Sokrates braved that odium; which, aggravated by
particular circumstances, as well as by the character of his own
defence, attained at last such a height as to bring about his
condemnation to death. That he was sustained in this unthankful
task by native force of character, conscientious persuasion, and
belief in the approbation of the Gods--is a fact which we should
believe, even if he himself had not expressly told us so. But to
call him _happy_, would be a misapplication of the term,
which no one would agree with Plato in making--least of all the
friends of Sokrates in the last months of his life. Besides, if we
are to call Sokrates happy on these grounds, his accusers would be
still happier: for they had the same conscientious conviction, and
the same belief in the approbation of the Gods: while they enjoyed
besides the sympathy of their country men as champions of religion
and morality.

[Footnote 60: Plato, Apolog. Sokr. pp. 28 A. 37 D.

[Greek: pollê/ moi a)pechthei/a ge/gone kai\ pro\s pollou/s],

[Footnote 61: Plato, Euthyphron, p. 3 C-D. [Greek: A)thênai/ois
ga/r toi ou) spho/dra me/lei, a)/n tina deino\n oi)/ôntai ei)=nai,
mê\ me/ntoi didaskaliko\n tê=s au(tou= sophi/as; o(\n d' a)\n kai\
a)/llous oi)/ôntai poiei=n toiou/tous, thumou=ntai, ei)/t' ou)=n
phtho/nô|, ei)/te di' a)/llo ti.]

_Euthyphr._ [Greek: Tou/tou me\n pe/ri o(/pôs pote\ pro\s
e)me\ e)/chousin, ou) pa/nu e)pithumô= peirathê=nai.]

_Sokrat._ [Greek: I)/sôs ga\r su\ me\n dokei=s spa/nion
seauto\n pare/chein, kai\ dida/skein ou)k e)the/lein tê\n seautou=
sophi/an], &c.]

[Side-note: Imperfect ethical basis on which Plato has
conducted the discussion in the Republic.]

In spite of all the charm and eloquence, therefore, which abounds
in the Republic, we are compelled to declare that the Platonic
Sokrates has not furnished the solution required from him by
Glaukon and Adeimantus: and that neither the first point (ix.
p. 580 D) nor the second point of his conclusion (x. p. 613) is
adequately made out. The very grave ethical problem, respecting
the connexion between individual just behaviour and individual
happiness, is discussed in a manner too exclusively
self-regarding, and inconsistent with that reciprocity which Plato
himself sets forth as the fundamental, generating, sustaining,
principle of human society. If that principle of reciprocity is to
be taken as the starting-point, you cannot discuss the behaviour
of any individual towards society, considered in reference to his
own happiness, without at the same time including the behaviour of
society towards him. Now Plato, in the conditions that he
expressly prescribes for the discussion,[62] insists on keeping
the two apart; and on establishing a positive conclusion about the
first, without at all including the second. He rejects
peremptorily the doctrine--"That just behaviour is performed for
the good of others, apart from the agent". Yet if society be, in
the last analysis (as Plato says that it is), an exchange of
services, rendered indispensable by the need which every one has
of others--the services which each man renders are rendered _for
the good of others_, as the services which they render to him
are rendered _for his good_. The just dealing of each man is,
in the first instance, beneficial to others: in its secondary
results, it is for the most part beneficial to himself.[63] His
unjust dealing, in like manner, is, in the first instance,
injurious to others: in its secondary results, it is for the most
part injurious to himself. Particular acts of injustice may, under
certain circumstances, be not injurious, nay even beneficial, to
the unjust agent: but they are certain to be hurtful to
others: were it not so, they would not deserve to be branded as
injustice. I am required to pay a debt, for the benefit of my
creditor, and for the maintenance of a feeling of security among
other creditors though the payment may impose upon myself severe
privation: indirectly, indeed, I am benefited, because the same
law which compels me, compels others also to perform their
contracts towards me. The law (to use a phrase of Aristotle)
guarantees just dealing by and towards each.[64] The Platonic
Thrasymachus, therefore, is right in so far as he affirms--That
injustice is _Malum Alienum_, and justice _Bonum
Alienum_,[65] meaning that such is the direct and primary
characteristic of each. The unjust man is one who does wrong to
others, or omits to render to others a service which they have a
right to exact, with a view to some undue profit or escape of
inconvenience for himself: the just man is one who abstains from
wrong to others, and renders to others the full service which they
have a right to require, whatever hardship it may impose upon
himself. A man is called just or unjust, according to his conduct
towards others.

[Footnote 62: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367.]

[Footnote 63: See the instructive chapter on the Moral Sense, in
Mr. James Mill's Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, ch.
xxiii. vol. ii. p. 280.

"The actions from which men derive advantage have all been classed
under four titles--Prudence, Fortitude, Justice, Beneficence. . .
When those names are applied to our own acts, the first two,
Prudent and Brave, express acts which are useful _to
ourselves_, in the first instance: the latter two, Just and
Beneficent, express acts which are useful _to others_, in the
first instance. . . It is further to be remarked, that those acts
of ours which are primarily useful to ourselves, are secondarily
useful to others; and those which are primarily useful to others,
are secondarily useful to ourselves. Thus, it is by our own
prudence and fortitude that we are best enabled to do acts of
justice and beneficence to others. And it is by acts of justice
and beneficence to others, that we best dispose them to do similar
acts to us."]

[Footnote 64: Aristot. Polit. iii. 9, 1280, b. 10, [Greek: o(
no/mos sunthê/kê, kai\ katha/per e)/phê Luko/phrôn o( sophistê/s,
e)gguêtê\s a)llê/lois tô=n dikai/ôn.] Chrysippus also, writing
against Plato, maintained that [Greek: a)diki/a] was essentially
[Greek: pro\s e(/teron, ou) pro\s e(auto/n] (Plutarch, Stoic.
Repugnant. c. 16, p. 1041 D).]

[Footnote 65: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 367 C. [Greek: kai\
o(mologei=n Thrasuma/chô| o(/ti to\ me\n di/kaion, a)llo/trion
a)gatho/n, xumphe/ron tou= krei/ttonos; to\ de\ a)/dikon, au)tô=|
me\n xumphe/ron kai\ lusitelou=n, tô=| de\ ê(/ttoni,

[Side-note: Plato in Republic is preacher, inculcating
useful beliefs--not philosopher, establishing scientific theory.
State of Just and Unjust Man in the Platonic Commonwealth.]

In considering the main thesis of the Republic, we must look upon
Plato as preacher--inculcating a belief which he thinks useful to
be diffused; rather than as philosopher, announcing general truths
of human nature, and laying down a consistent, scientific, theory
of Ethics. There are occasions on which even he himself seems to
accept this character. "If the fable of Kadmus and the dragon's
teeth" (he maintains) "with a great many other stories equally
improbable, can be made matters of established faith, surely a
doctrine so plausible as mine, about justice and injustice, can be
easily taught and accredited."[66] To ensure unanimous
acquiescence, Plato would constrain all poets to proclaim and
illustrate his thesis--and would prohibit them from uttering
anything inconsistent with it.[67] But these or similar official
prohibitions may be employed for the upholding of any creed,
whatever it be: and have been always employed, more or less, in
every society, for the upholding of the prevalent creed. Even in
the best society conceivable under the conditions of human life,
assuming an ideal commonwealth in which the sentiments of
_just_ and _unjust_ have received the most systematic,
beneficent, and rational embodiments, and have become engraven on
all the leading minds--even then Plato's first assertion--That the
just man is happy _quand même_--could not be admitted without
numerous reserves and qualifications. Justice must still be done
by each agent, not as a self-inviting process, but as an
obligation entailing more or less of sacrifice made by him to the
security and comfort of others. Plato's second assertion--That the
unjust man is miserable--would be more near the truth; because the
ideal commonwealth is assumed to be one in which the governing
body has both the disposition and the power to punish
injustice--and the discriminating equanimity, or absence of
antipathies, which secures them against punishing anything else.
The power of society to inflict misery is far more extensive than
its power of imparting happiness. But even thus, we have to recollect
that the misery of the unjust person arises not from his in justice
_per se_, but from consequent treatment at the hands of others.

[Footnote 66: See Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 663-664.

Good and simple people, in the earlier times (says Plato) believed
every thing that was told them. They were more virtuous and just
then than they are now (Legg. iii. p. 679 C-E).]

[Footnote 67: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 661-662. Illustrated in the
rigid and detailed censorship which he imposes on the poets in the
Republic, in the second and third books.

In the Legg., however, Plato puts his thesis in a manner less
untenable than in the Republic:--"Neither to do wrong to others,
nor to suffer wrong from others; this is the happiest condition"
(Legg. ii. p. 663 A). This is a very different proposition from
that which is defended in the Republic; where we are called upon
to believe, that the man who acts justly will be happy, whatever
may be the conduct of others towards him.

Epikurus laid down, as one of the doctrines in his [Greek: Ku/riai
Do/xai] (see Diog. Laert. x. 150): [Greek: To\ tê=s phu/seôs
di/kaion e)sti\ su/mbolon tou= sumphe/rontos, ei)s to\ mê\
bla/ptein a)llê/lous mêde\ bla/ptesthai. O(/sa tô=n zô/|ôn mê\
ê)du/nato sunthê/kas poiei=sthai ta\s u(pe\r tou= mê\ bla/ptein
a)/llêla mêde\ bla/ptesthai, pro\s tau=ta ou)the/n e)stin ou)de\
di/kaion ou)/de\ a)/dikon. Ô(sau/tôs de\ kai\ tô=n e)thnô=n o(/sa
mê\ ê)du/nato, ê)\ mê\ e)bou/leto, ta\s sunthê/kas poiei=sthai
ta\s u(pe\r tou= mê\ bla/ptein a)llê/lous mêde\ bla/ptesthai],

Lucretius expresses the same--v. 1020:--

"Tunc et amicitiam coeperunt jungere aventes
"Finitimi inter se nec _lædere nec violari_," &c.]

[Side-note: Comparative happiness of the two in actual
communities. Plato is dissatisfied with it--This is his motive for
recasting society on his own principles.]

Thus much for the Platonic or ideal commonwealth. But when we pass
from that hypothesis into the actual world, the case becomes far
stronger against the truth of both Plato's assertions. Of
actual societies, even the best have many imperfections--the less
good, many attributes worse than imperfections:--"_ob virtutes
certissimum exitium_". The dissenter for the better, is liable
to be crucified alongside of the dissenter for the worse: King
Nomos will tolerate neither.

[Side-note: Confusion between the preacher and the
philosopher in the Platonic Republic.]

Plato as a preacher holds one language: as a philosopher and
analyst, another. When he is exhorting youth to justice, or
dissuading them from injustice, he thinks himself entitled to
depict the lot of the just man in the most fascinating colours,
that of the unjust man as the darkest contrast against
it,--without any careful observance of the line between truth and
fiction: the fiction, if such there be, becomes in his eyes a
_pia fraus_, excused or even ennobled by its salutary
tendency. But when he drops this practical purpose, and comes to
philosophise on the principles of society, he then proclaims
explicitly how great is the difference between society as it now
stands, and society as it ought to be: how much worse is the
condition of the just, how much less bad that of the unjust (in
every sense of the words, but especially in the Platonic sense)
than a perfect commonwealth would provide. Between the
exhortations of Plato the preacher, and the social analysis of
Plato the philosopher, there is a practical contradiction, which
is all the more inconvenient because he passes backwards and
forwards almost unconsciously, from one character to the other.
The splendid treatise called the Republic is composed of both, in
portions not easy to separate.

[Side-note: Remarks on the contrast between ethical theory
and ethical precepts.]

The difference between the two functions just mentioned--the
preceptor, and the theorizing philosopher--deserves careful
attention, especially in regard to Ethics. If I lay down a theory
of social philosophy, I am bound to take in all the conditions and
circumstances of the problem: to consider the whole position of
each individual in society, as an agent affecting the security and
comfort of others, and also as a person acted on by others, and
having his security and comfort affected by their behaviour: as
subject to obligations or duties, in the first of the two
characters--and as enjoying rights (_i.e._, having
others under obligation to him) in the second. This reciprocity of
service and need--of obligation and right--is the basis of social
theory: its two parts are in indivisible correlation: alike
integrant and co-essential. But when a preceptor delivers
exhortations on conduct, it is not necessary that he should insist
equally on each of the two parts. As a general fact of human
nature, it is known that men are disposed _proprio motu_ to
claim their rights, but not so constantly or equally disposed to
perform their obligations: accordingly, the preceptor insists upon
this second part of the case, which requires extraneous support
and enforcement--leaving untouched the first part, which requires
none. But the very reason why the second part needs such support,
is, because the performance of the obligation is seldom
self-inviting, and often the very reverse: that is, because the
Platonic doctrine misrepresents the reality. The preceptor ought
not to indulge in such misrepresentation: he may lay stress
especially upon one part of the entire social theory, but he ought
not to employ fictions which deny the necessary correlation of the
other omitted part. Many preceptors have insisted on the
performance of obligation, in language which seemed to imply that
they considered a man to exist only for the performance of
obligation, and to have no rights at all. Plato in another way
undermines equally the integrity of the social theory, when he
contends, that the performance of obligations alone, without any
rights, is delightful _per se_, and suffices to ensure
happiness to the performer. Herein we can recognise only a
well-intentioned preceptor, narrowing and perverting the social
theory for the purpose of edification to his hearers.



[Side-note: Double purpose of the Platonic Republic--ethical
and political.]

In my last Chapter, I discussed the manner in which Plato had
endeavoured to solve the ethical problem urged upon him by Glaukon
and Adeimantus. But this is not the entire purpose of the
Republic. Plato, drawing the closest parallel between the
Commonwealth and the individual, seeks solution of the problem
first in the former; because it is there (he says) written in
larger and clearer letters. He sketches the picture of a perfect
Commonwealth--shows wherein its justice consists--and proves, to
his own satisfaction, that it will be happy in and through its
justice--_per se_. This picture of a Commonwealth is
unquestionably _one_ of the main purposes of the dialogue;
serving as commencement--or more properly as intermediate
stage--to the Timæus and Kritias. Most critics have treated it
as if it were the dominant and almost exclusive purpose. Aristotle,
the earliest of all critics, adverts to it in this spirit;
numbering Plato or the Platonic Sokrates among those who, not being
practical politicians, framed schemes for ideal commonwealths,
like Phaleas or Hippodamus. I shall now make some remarks on the
political provisions of the Platonic Commonwealth: but first I
shall notice the very peculiar manner in which Plato discovers
therein the notions of Justice and Injustice.

[Side-note: Plato recognises the generating principle of
human society--reciprocity of need and service. Particular
direction which he gives to this principle.]

The Platonic Sokrates (as I remarked above) lays down as the
fundamental, generating, principle of human society, the
reciprocity of need and service, essentially belonging to human
beings: exchange of services is indispensable, because each man
has many wants more than he can himself supply, and thus
needs the services of others: while each also can contribute
something to supply the wants of others. To this general principle
Plato gives a peculiar direction. He apportions the services among
the various citizens; and he provides that each man shall be
specialised for the service to which he is peculiarly adapted, and
confined to that alone. No double man[1] is tolerated. How such
specialisation is to be applied in detail among the multitude of
cultivators and other producers, Plato does not tell us. Each is
to have his own employment: we know no more. But in regard to the
two highest functions, he gives more information: first, the small
cabinet of philosophical Elders,[2] Chiefs, or Rulers--artists in
the craft of governing, who supply professionally that necessity
of the Commonwealth, and from whom all orders emanate: next, the
body of Guardians, Soldiers, Policemen, who execute the orders of
this cabinet, and defend the territory against all enemies.
Respecting both of these, Plato carefully prescribes both the
education which they are to receive, and the circumstances under
which they are to live. They are to be of both sexes intermingled,
but to know neither family nor property: they live together in
barrack, and with common mess, receiving subsistence and the means
of decent comfort, but no more, from the producers: respecting
sexual relations and births, I shall say more presently.

[Footnote 1: Plato, Rep. iii. p. 397 E.]

[Footnote 2: The principle laid down in the Protagoras will be
remembered--[Greek: ei(=s e)/chôn te/chnên polloi=s i(kano\s
i)diô/tais] (Protag. p. 322 D).]

[Side-note: The four cardinal virtues are assumed as
constituting the whole of Good or Virtue, where each of these
virtues resides.]

When Plato has provided thus much, he treats his city as already
planted and brought to consummation. He thinks himself farther
entitled to proclaim it as perfectly good, and therefore as
including the four constituent elements of Good: that is, as being
wise, brave, temperate, just.[3] He then looks to find wherein
each of these four elements resides: wisdom resides specially in
the cabinet of Rulers--courage specially in the
Guardians--temperance and justice, in these two, but in the
producing multitude also. The two last virtues are universal in
the Commonwealth. Temperance consists in the harmony of opinion
between the multitude and the two higher classes as to obedience:
the Guardians are as ready to obey as the Chiefs to command: the
multitude are also for the most part ready to obey--but should
they ever fail in obedience, the Guardians are prepared to lend
their constraining force to the authority of the Chiefs. Having
thus settled three out of the four elements of Good, which
enumeration he assumes to be exhaustive--Plato assumes that what
remains must be Justice. This remainder he declares to be--That
each of the three portions of the Commonwealth performs its own
work and nothing else: and this is Justice. Justice and Temperance
are thus common to all the three portions of the Commonwealth:
while Wisdom and Prudence belong entirely to the Chiefs, and
Courage entirely to the Guardians.

[Footnote 3: Plato, Repub. iv. pp. 427 D-428 A. [Greek:
ô|kisme/nê me\n toi/nun, ê)=n d' e)gô/, ê/dê a)/n soi
ei)/ê, ô)= pai= A)ri/stônos, ê( po/lis . . . Oi)=mai ê(mi=n
tê\n po/lin, ei)/per o)rthô=s ge ô/|kistai, _te/leôs
a)gathê\n ei)=nai_. A)na/gkê, e)/phê. Dê=lon dê/, o(/ti
sophê/ t' e)sti\ kai\ a)ndrei/a kai\ sô/phrôn kai\ dikai/a.
Dê=lon. Ou)kou=n, o(/, ti a)\n au)tô=n eu(/rômen e)n au)tê=|,
to\ u(po/loipon e)/stai to\ ou)ch eu(rême/non?] &c.]

[Side-note: First mention of these, as an exhaustive
classification, in ethical theory. Plato effaces the distinction
between Temperance and Justice.]

Here, for the first time in Ethical Theory, Prudence, Courage,
Temperance, Justice, are assumed as an exhaustive enumeration of
virtues: each distinct from the other three, but all together
including the whole of Virtue.[4] Through Cicero and others, these
four have come down as the cardinal virtues. From whom Plato
derived it, I do not know: not certainly from the historical
Sokrates, who resolved the last three into the first.[5] Nor is it
indeed in harmony with Plato's own view: for temperance and
justice are substantially coincident, in his explanation of them
(since he does not recognise the characteristic feature of
Justice, as directly tending to the good of a person other than
the agent): and the line, by which he endeavours to part them, is
obscure as well as unimportant. Schleiermacher--who admits that
the distinction drawn here between Temperance and Justice is
altogether forced--supposes that Plato took up this quadruple
classification, because he found it already established in the
common, non-theorising, consciousness.[6] If this be true, the
real distinction between Justice (as directly bearing on the
rights of another person) and Temperance (as directly concerning
only the future happiness of the agent himself), which is one of
the most important distinctions in Ethics--must have been already
felt, without being formulated, in the common mind: and Plato, by
retaining the two words, but effacing the distinction between the
two, and giving a new meaning to Justice--took a step in the wrong
direction. He himself however tells us, that the definition, here
given of Justice, is not his own; but that he had heard it
enunciated by many others before him.[7] What makes this more
remarkable is, That the same definition (to do your own business
and not to meddle with other people's business) is what we read in
the Charmidês as delivered respecting Temperance, by Charmides
and Kritias:[8] delivered by them, and afterwards pulled to pieces
in cross-examination by Sokrates. Herein we see farther proof how
little distinction Plato drew between Justice and Temperance.

[Footnote 4: Plat. Rep. iv. p. 432 B. [Greek: to\ _de\ dê\
loipo\n ei)=dos_, di' o(\ a)\n e)/ti a)retê=s mete/choi
po/lis, ti/ pot' a)\n ei)/ê? dê=lon ga\r o(/ti _tou=to/_
e)stin ê( _dikaiosu/nê_.]

Compare p. 444 D, where he defines [Greek: A)retê/--A)retê\ me\n
a)/ra, ô(s e)/oiken, u(gi/eia te/ tis a)\n ei)/ê kai\ ka/llos
kai\ eu)exi/a psuchê=s; kaki/a de\, no/sos te kai\ ai)=schos kai\

[Footnote 5: Xenoph. Mem. iii. 9, 4-5. [Greek: sophi/an de\ kai\
sôphrosu/nên ou) diô/rizen], &c.

Compare the discussion of [Greek: sôphrosu/nê], iv. 5, 9-11,
where Sokrates enforces the practice of it on the ground that it
ensured to a man both more pleasures and greater pleasures, of
which he would deprive himself if he were foolish enough to be

[Footnote 6: Schleiermacher, Einl. zum Staat, pp. 25-26. "Dieser
Tadel trifft höchstens die Aufstellung jener vier
zusammengehörigen Tugenden; welche Platon offenbar genug nur mit
richtigem praktischen Sinne aus Ehrfurcht für das Bestehende
aufgenommen hat: wie sie denn schon auf dieselbe Weise aus dem
gemeinen Gebrauch in die Lehrweise des Sokrates übergegangen

[Footnote 7: Plato, Repub. iv. p. 433 A. [Greek: kai\ mê\n o(/ti
ge to\ ta\ au(tou= pra/ttein kai\ mê\ polupragmonei=n
dikaiosu/nê e)sti/, kai\ tou=to _a)/llôn te pollô=n
a)kêko/amen_, kai\ au)toi\ polla/kis ei)rê/kamen.] Compare
iii. p. 406 E.]

[Footnote 8: See Charmidês, pp. 161-162. Heindorf observes in his
note on this passage:--"A _sophistis_ ergo vulgata hæc
[Greek: sôphrosu/nês] definitio: ad _justitiam_ quoque ab
iisdem ut videtur, translata. Republ. iv. p. 433 (the passage
cited in note preceding). Quo pertinent illa Ciceronis, De
Officiis, i. 9, 2. Item ad _prudentiam_, Aristot. Eth. Nicom.
vi. 8, Philosopho vero hoc tribuit Sokrates, Gorgias, p. 526)."

The definition given in the Charmidês appears plainly ascribed to
Kritias as its author (p. 162 D). The affirmation that it was "a
sophistis vulgata," and afterwards transferred by these same to
Justice, is made without any authority produced; and is expressed
in the language usual with the Platonic commentators, who treat
the Sophists as a philosophical sect or school.]

From whomsoever Plato may have derived this ethical
classification--Virtue as a whole, distributed into four
varieties--1. Prudence or Knowledge--2. Courage or Energy--3.
Temperance--4. Justice--we find it here placed in the foreground
of his doctrine, respecting both the collective Commonwealth and
the individual man.[9] He professes to understand and explain
what they are--to reason upon them all with confidence--and to
apply them to very important conclusions.

[Footnote 9: In some of the Platonic Dialogues these four
varieties are not understood as exhausting the sum total of
Virtue: [Greek: ê( o(sio/tês] is included also; see Lachês, p.
199 D, Protagoras, p. 329 D, Euthyphron, pp. 5-6. Plato does not
advert to [Greek: to\ o(/sion] in the Republic as a separate
constituent, seemingly because on matters of piety he enjoins
direct reference to Apollo and the Delphian oracle (Rep. iv. p.
427 B).]

[Side-note: All the four are here assumed as certain and
determinate, though in former dialogues they appear indeterminate
and full of unsolved difficulties.]

But let us pause for a moment to ask, how these professions
harmonise with the dialogues reviewed in my preceding volumes. No
reader will have forgotten the doubts and difficulties, exposed by
the Sokratic Elenchus throughout the Dialogues of Search: the
confessed inability of Sokrates himself to elucidate them, while
at the same time his contempt for the false persuasion of
knowledge--for those who talk confidently about matters which they
can neither explain nor defend--is expressed without reserve. Now,
when we turn to the Hippias Major, we find Sokrates declaring,
that no man can affirm, and that a man ought to be ashamed to
pretend to affirm, what particular matters are beautiful (fine,
honourable) or ugly (mean, base), unless he knows and can explain
what Beauty is.[10] A similar declaration appears in the Menon,
where Sokrates treats it as absurd to affirm or deny any predicate
respecting a Subject, until you have satisfied yourself that you
know what the Subject itself is: and where he farther proclaims,
that as to Virtue, he does not know what it is, and that he has
never yet found any one who _did_ know.[11] Such ignorance is
stated at the end of the dialogue not less emphatically than at
the beginning. Again, respecting the four varieties or parts of
Virtue. The first of the four, Prudence--(Wisdom--Knowledge)--has
been investigated in the Theætêtus--one of the most elaborate of
all the Platonic dialogues: several different explanations of it
are proposed by Theætêtus, and each is shown by Sokrates to be
untenable; the problem remains unsolved at last. As to Courage and
Temperance, we have not been more fortunate. The Lachês and
Charmidês exhibit nothing but a fruitless search both for one and
for the other. And here the case is more remarkable; because in
the Lachês, one of the several definitions of Courage,
tendered to Sokrates and refuted by him, is, the very definition
of Courage delivered by him in the Republic as complete and
satisfactory: while in the Charmidês, one of the definitions of
Temperance, refuted, and even treated as scarcely intelligible, by
Sokrates ([Greek: to\ pra/ttein ta\ e(autou=]) is the same as that
which Sokrates in the Republic relies on as a valid definition of
Justice.[12] Lastly, every one who has read the Parmenidês, will
remember the acute objections there urged against the Platonic
hypothesis of substantive Ideas, participated in by particulars:
of which objections no notice is taken in the Republic, though so
much is said therein about these Ideas, in regard to the training
of the philosophical Chiefs.

[Footnote 10: Plat. Hipp. Maj. pp. 286 D, 304 C.]

[Footnote 11: Plato, Menon, pp. 71 B-C, 86 B, 100 B.]

[Footnote 12: See Lachês p. 195 A. [Greek: tê\n tô=n deinô=n
kai\ thar)r(ale/ôn e)pistê/mên], pp. 196 C-199 A-E--in the
cross-examination of Nikias by Sokrates: and the question in the
cross-examination of Lachês (who has defined Courage to be
[Greek: ê( phro/nimos karteri/a]) put by Sokrates--[Greek: ê(
_ei)s ti/_ phro/nimos?] compared with Republic, iv. pp. 429
C, 430 B, 433 C. See also Charmidês, pp. 161 B, 162 B-C, compared
with Republic, iv. p. 433 B-D.]

[Side-note: Difficulties left unsolved, but overleaped by

If we revert to these passages (and many others which might be
produced) of past dialogues, we shall find no means provided of
harmonising them with the Republic. The logical and ethical
difficulties still exist: they have never been elucidated: the
Republic does not pretend to elucidate them, but overlooks or
overleaps them. In composing it, Plato has his mind full of a
different point of view, to which he seeks to give full effect.
While his spokesman Sokrates was leader of opposition, Plato
delighted to arm him with the maximum of negative cross-examining
acuteness: but here Sokrates has passed over to the ministerial
benches, and has undertaken the difficult task of making out a
case in reply to the challenge of Glaukon and Adeimantus. No new
leader of opposition is allowed to replace him. The splendid
constructive effort of the Republic would have been spoiled, if
exposed to such an analytical cross-examination as that which we
read in Menon, Lachês, or Charmidês.

[Side-note: Ethical and political theory combined by Plato,
treated apart by Aristotle.]

In remarking upon the Platonic Republic as a political scheme
only, we pass from the Platonic point of view to the Aristotelian:
that is, to the discussion of Ethics and Politics as separate
subjects, though adjoining and partially overlapping each other.
Plato conceives the two in intimate union, and even employs
violent metaphors to exaggerate the intimacy. Xenophon also
conceives them in close conjunction. Aristotle goes farther in
separating the two: a great improvement in regard to the
speculative dealing with both of them.[13]

[Footnote 13: The concluding chapter of the Nikomachean Ethics
contains some striking remarks upon this separation.]

[Side-note: Platonic Commonwealth--only an outline--partially
filled up.]

If, following the example of Aristotle, we criticise the Platonic
Republic as a scheme of political constitution, we find that on
most points which other theorists handle at considerable length,
Plato is intentionally silent. His project is an outline and
nothing more. He delineates fully the brain and heart of the great
Leviathan, but leaves the rest in very faint outline. He announces
explicitly the purpose of all his arrangements, to obtain
happiness for the whole city: by which he means, not happiness for
the greatest number of individuals, but for the abstract unity
called the City, supposed to be capable of happiness or misery,
apart from any individuals, many or few, composing it.[14] Each
individual is to do the work for which he is best fitted,
contributory to the happiness of the whole--and to do nothing
else. Each must be content with such happiness as consists with
his own exclusive employment.[15]

[Footnote 14: Plato, Republic, iv. pp. 420-421. The objection that
the Guardians will have no happiness, is put by Plato into the
mouth of Adeimantus, but is denied by Sokrates; who, however, says
that even if it were true he could not admit it as applicable,
since what he wishes is that the entire commonwealth shall be
happy. Aristotle (Politic. ii. 5, 1264, 6-15) repeats the
objection of Adeimantus, and declares that collective happiness
(not enjoyed by some individuals) is impossible.

See the valuable chapter on Ideal Models in Politics (vol. ii. ch.
xxii. p. 236 seq.) in Sir George Cornewall Lewis's Treatise on the
methods of Observation and Reasoning in Politics. The different
ideal models framed by theorists ancient and modern, Plato among
the number, are there collected, with judicious remarks in
comparing and appreciating them.]

[Footnote 15: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 421 C.

He lays down this minute sub-division and speciality of aptitude
in individuals as a fundamental property of human nature. Repub.
iii. p. 395 B, [Greek: kai\ e)/ti ge tou/tôn phai/netai/ moi ei)s
smikro/tera katakekermati/sthai ê( tou= a)nthrô/pou phu/sis],

Compare Xenophon, Cyropæd. ii. 1, 21, where the same principle is
laid down. Another passage in the same treatise (Cyropæd. viii. 2,
5) is also interesting. Xenophon there contrasts the smaller
towns, where many trades were combined in the same hand and none
of the works well performed, with the larger towns, where there
was a minuter subdivision of labour, each man doing one work only,
and doing it well.]

[Side-note: Absolute rule of a few philosophers--Careful and
peculiar training of the Guardians.]

The Chiefs or Rulers are assumed to be both specially qualified
and specially trained for the business of governing. Their
authority is unlimited: they represent that One Infallible
Wise Man, whom Plato frequently appeals to (in the Politikus,
Kriton, Gorgias, and other dialogues), but never names. They are a
very small number, perhaps only one: the persons naturally
qualified being very few, and even they requiring the severest
preparatory training. The Guardians, all of them educated up to a
considerable point, both obey themselves the orders of these few
Chiefs, and enforce obedience upon the productive multitude. Of
this last-mentioned multitude, constituting numerically almost the
whole city, we hear little or nothing: except that the division of
labour is strictly kept up among them, and that neither wealth nor
poverty is allowed to grow up.[16] How this is to be accomplished,
Plato does not point out: nor does he indicate how the mischievous
working (_i.e._, mischievous, in his point of view, and as he
declares it) of the proprietary and the family relations is to be
obviated. His scheme tacitly assumes that separate property and
family are to subsist among the great mass of the community, but
not among the Guardians: he proclaims explicitly, that if the
proprietary relations or the family relations were permitted among
the Guardians, entire corruption of their character would
ensue.[17] Among the Demos or multitude, he postulates nothing
except unlimited submission to the orders of the Rulers enforced
through the Guardians. The regulative powers of the Rulers are
assumed to be of omnipotent efficacy against every cause of
mischief, subject only to one condition--That the purity of the
golden breed, together with the Platonic training and discipline,
are to be maintained among them unimpaired.

[Footnote 16: Plato, Republic, iv. p. 421.]

[Footnote 17: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 417.]

Everything in the Platonic Republic turns upon this elaborate
training of the superior class: most of all, the Chiefs or
Rulers--next, the Soldiers or Guardians. Besides this training, they
are required to be placed in circumstances which will prevent them
from feeling any private or separate interest of their own, apart
from or adverse to that of the multitude. "Every man" (says Plato)
"will best love those whose advantage he believes to coincide with
his own, and when he is most convinced that **if they do well, he
himself will do well also: if not, not."[18] "The Rulers
must be wise, powerful, and affectionately solicitous for the

[Footnote 18: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 412 D.

[Greek: Kai\ me\n tou=to/ g' a)\n ma/lista philoi=, ô(=|
xumphe/rein ê(goi=to ta\ au)ta\ kai\ e(autô=|, kai\ o(/tan
ma/lista e)kei/nou me\n eu)= pra/ttontos oi)/êtai xumbai/nein
kai\ e(autô=| eu)= pra/ttein, mê\ de/, tou)nanti/on.]

Compare v. pp. 463-464.]

These then are the two circumstances which Plato works out: The
Education of the Rulers and Guardians: Their position and
circumstances in regard to each other and to the remaining
multitude. He does not himself prescribe, or at least he
prescribes but rarely, what is to be enacted or ordered. He
creates the generals and the soldiers; he relies upon the former
for ordering, upon the latter for enforcing, aright.

[Side-note: Comparison of Plato with

On this point we may usefully compare him with his contemporary
Xenophon. He, like Plato, presents himself to mankind as a
preceptor or schoolmaster, rather than as a lawgiver. Most Grecian
cities (he remarks) left the education of youth in the hands of
parents, and permitted adults to choose their own mode of life,
subject only to the necessity of obeying the laws: that is, of
abstaining from certain defined offences, and of performing
certain defined obligations--under penalties if such obedience
were not rendered. From this mode of proceeding Xenophon dissents,
and commends the Spartan Lawgiver Lykurgus for departing from
it.[19] To regulate public matters, without regulating the private
life of the citizens, appeared to him impossible.[20] At Sparta,
the citizen was subject to authoritative regulation, from
childhood to old age. In the public education, or in the public
drill, he was constantly under supervision, going through
prescribed exercises. This produced, according to Xenophon, "a
city of pre-eminent happiness". He proclaims and follows out the
same peculiar principle, in his ideal scheme of society called the
Persian laws. He embodies in the Cyropædia the biography of a
model chief, trained up from his youth in (what Xenophon calls)
the Persian system, and applying the virtues acquired therein to
military exploits and to the government of mankind. The Persian
polity, in which the hero Cyrus receives his training, is
described. Instead of leaving individuals to their own free
will, except as to certain acts or abstinences specifically
enjoined, this polity placed every one under a regimental
training: which both shaped his character beforehand, so as to
make sure that he should have no disposition to commit
offences[21]--and subjected him to perpetual supervision
afterwards, commencing with boyhood and continued to old age,
through the four successive stages of boys, youths, mature men,
and elders.

[Footnote 19: Xenophon, Rep. Lacedæm. i. 2. [Greek: Lukou=rgos,
ou) mimêsa/menos ta\s a)/llas po/leis, a)lla\ kai\ e)nanti/a
gnou\s tai=s plei/stais, proe/chousan eu)daimoni/a| tê\n patri/da

[Footnote 20: Compare Plato, Legg. vi. p. 780 A.]

[Footnote 21: Xenophon, Cyrop. i. 2, 2-6. [Greek: Ou(=toi de\
dokou=sin oi( no/moi a)/rchesthai tou= koinou= a)gathou=
e)pimelou/menoi ou)k e)/nthen o(/thenper e)n tai=s plei/stais
po/lesin a)/rchontai. Ai( me\n ga\r plei=stai po/leis, a)phei=sai
paideu/ein o(/pôs tis e)the/lei tou\s e(autou= pai=das kai\
au)tou\s tou\s presbute/rous o(/pôs e)the/lousi dia/gein,
e)/peita prosta/ttousin au)tou\s mê\ kle/ptein. . . . Oi( de\
Persikoi\ no/moi prolabo/ntes e)pime/lontai o(/pôs tê\n
a)rchê\n mê\ toiou=toi e)/sontai oi( poli=tai, oi(=oi ponêrou=
tinos ê)\ ai)schrou= e)/rgou e)phi/esthai. E)pime/lontai de\ dê\

[Side-note: Both of them combine polity with
education--temporal with spiritual.]

This general principle of combining polity with education, is
fundamental both with Plato and Xenophon: to a great degree, it is
retained also by Aristotle. The lawgiver exercises a spiritual as
well as a temporal function. He does not content himself with
prohibitions and punishments, but provides for fashioning every
man's character to a predetermined model, through systematic
discipline begun in childhood and never discontinued. This was the
general scheme, realised at Sparta in a certain manner and degree,
and idealised both by Plato and Xenophon. The full application of
the scheme, however, is restricted, in all the three, to a select
body of qualified citizens; who are assumed to exercise dominion
or headship over the remaining community.[22]

[Footnote 22: In Xenophon all Persians are supposed to be legally
admissible to the public training; but in practice, none can
frequent it constantly except those whose families can maintain
them without labour; nor can any be received into the advanced
stages, except those who have passed through the lower. Hence none
go really through the training except the Homotimoi.]

[Side-note: Differences between them--Character of Cyrus.]

Thus far the general conception of Xenophon and Plato is similar:
yet there are material differences between them. In Xenophon, the
ultimate purpose is, to set forth the personal qualities of Cyrus:
to which purpose the description of the general training of the
citizens is preparatory, occupying only a small portion of the
Cyropædia, and serving to explain the system out of which Cyrus
sprang. And the character of Cyrus is looked at in reference to
the government of mankind. Xenophon had seen governments, of
all sorts, resisted and overthrown--despotisms, oligarchies,
democracies. His first inference from these facts is, that man is
a very difficult animal to govern:--much more difficult than sheep
or oxen. But on farther reflection he recognises that the problem
is noway insoluble: that a ruler may make sure of ruling mankind
with their own consent, and of obtaining hearty
obedience--provided that he goes to work in an intelligent manner.[23]
Such a ruler is described in Cyrus; who both conquered many distant
and unconnected nations,--and governed them, when conquered,
skilfully, so as to ensure complete obedience without any active
discontent. The abilities and exploits of Cyrus thus step far
beyond the range of the systematic Persian discipline, though that
discipline is represented as having first formed both his
character and that of his immediate companions. He is a despot
responsible to no one, but acting with so much sagacity, justice,
and benevolence, that his subjects obey him willingly. His
military orders are arranged with the utmost prudence and
calculation of consequences. He promotes the friends who have gone
through the same discipline with himself, to be satraps of the
conquered provinces, exacting from them submission, and
tribute-collection for himself, together with just dealing towards
the subjects. Each satrap is required to maintain his ministers,
officers, and soldiers around him under constant personal
inspection, with habits of temperance and constant exercise in
hunting.[24] These men and the Persians generally, constitute the
privileged class and the military force of the empire:[25] the
other mass of subjects are not only kept disarmed, but governed as
"_gens tailleables et corvéables_". Moreover, besides
combining justice and personal activity with generosity and
winning manners, Cyrus does not neglect such ceremonial artifices
and pomp as may impose on the imagination of spectators.[26] He
keeps up designedly not merely competition but mutual
jealousy and ill-will among those around him. And he is careful
that the most faithful among them shall be placed on his left hand
at the banquet, because that side is the most exposed to

[Footnote 23: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 1,** 3. [Greek: ê)/n tis
e)pistame/nôs tou=to pra/ttê|.]

Compare Xenoph. Economic. c. xxi. where [Greek: to\ e)thelo/ntôn
a)/rchein] is declared to be a superhuman good, while [Greek: to\
a)ko/ntôn turannei=n] is reckoned as a curse equivalent to that
of Tantalus.]

[Footnote 24: Xenophon, Cyropæd. viii. 6, 1-10.]

[Footnote 25: Xenoph. Cyrop. viii. 1, 43-45, viii. 6, 13, vii. 5,
79. viii. 5, 24: [Greek: ei) de\ su/, ô)= Ku=re, e)parthei\s
tai=s parou/sais tu/chais, e)picheirê/seis kai\ Persô=n
_a)/rchein e)pi\ pleonexi/a|, ô(/sper tô=n a)/llôn_],

[Footnote 26: Xenoph. Cyrop. viii. 1, 40. [Greek: a)lla\ kai\
katagoêteu/ein ô)/|eto chrê=nai au)tou/s.] Also viii. 3, 1.]

[Footnote 27: Xenoph. Cyrop. viii. 2, viii. 4, 3.]

[Side-note: Xenophontic genius for command--Practical
training--Sokratic principles applied in Persian training.]

What is chiefly present to the mind of Xenophon is, a select
fraction of citizens passing their whole lives in a regimental
training like that of Lacedæmon: uniformity of habits, exact
obedience, the strongest bodily exercise combined with the
simplest nutritive diet, perfect command of the physical appetites
and necessities, so that no such thing as spitting or blowing the
nose is seen.[28] The grand purpose of the system, as at
Sparta,[29] is warlike efficiency: war being regarded as the
natural state of man. The younger citizens learn the use of the
bow and javelin, the older that of the sword and shield. As war
requires not merely perfectly trained soldiers, but also the
initiative of a superior individual chief, so Xenophon assumes in
the chief of these men (like Agesilaus at Sparta) an unrivalled
genius for command. The Xenophontic Cyrus is altogether a
practical man. We are not told that he learnt anything except in
common with the rest. Neither he nor they receive any musical or
literary training. The course which they go through is altogether
ethical, gymnastical, and military. Their boyhood is passed in
learning justice and temperance,[30] which are made express
subjects of teaching by Xenophon and under express masters:
Xenophon thus supplies the deficiency so often lamented by the
Platonic Sokrates, who remarks that neither at Athens nor
elsewhere can he find either teaching or teacher of justice. Cyrus
learns justice and temperance along with the rest,[31] but he does
not learn more than the rest: nor does Xenophon perform his
promise of explaining by what education such extraordinary genius
for command is brought about.[32] The superior character of Cyrus
is assumed and described, but noway accounted for: indeed his rank
and position at the court of Astyages (in which he stands
distinguished from the other Persians) present nothing but
temptations to indulgence, partially countervailed by wise counsel
from his father Kambyses. We must therefore consider Cyrus to be a
king by nature, like the chief bee in each hive[33]--an untaught
or self-taught genius, in his excellence as general and emperor.
He obtains only one adventitious aid peculiar to himself. Being of
divine progeny, he receives the special favour and revelations of
the Gods, who, in doubtful emergencies, communicate to him by
signs, omens, dreams, and sacrifices, what he ought to do and what
he ought to leave undone.[34] Such privileged communications are
represented as indispensable to the success of a leader: for
though it was his duty to learn all that could be learnt, yet even
after he had done this, so much uncertainty remained behind, that
his decisions were little better than a lottery.[35] The Gods
arranged the sequences of events partly in a regular and
decypherable manner, so that a man by diligent study might come to
understand them: but they reserved many important events for their
own free-will, so as not to be intelligible by any amount of human
study. Here the wisest man was at fault no less than the most
ignorant: nor could he obtain the knowledge of them except by
special revelation solicited or obtained. The Gods communicated
such peculiar knowledge to their favourites, but not to every one
indiscriminately: for they were under no necessity to take care of
men towards whom they felt no inclination.[36] Cyrus was one of
the men thus specially privileged: but he was diligent in
cultivating the favour of the Gods by constant worship, not
merely at times when he stood in need of their revelations, but at
other times also: just as in regard to human friends or patrons,
assiduous attentions were requisite to keep up their goodwill.[37]

[Footnote 28: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 2, 16, viii. 1, 42, viii. 8, 8. He
insists repeatedly upon this point. Compare a curious passage in
the Meditations of Marcus Antoninus, vi. 30.]

[Footnote 29: Plato, Legg. i. p. 626. Plutarch, Lykurg. 25.
Compare Lykurg. and Num. c. 4.]

[Footnote 30: Xenophon, Cyrop. i. 2, 6-8.

The boys are appointed to adjudicate, under the supervision of the
teacher, in disputes which occur among their fellows. As an
instance of this practice, we find the well-known adjudication by
young Cyrus, between the great boy and the little boy, in regard
to the two coats; and a very instructive illustration it is, of
the principle of property (Cyrop. i. 3, 17).]

[Footnote 31: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 3, 16, iii. 3, 35. Cyrus is indeed
represented as having taken lessons from a paid teacher in the art
[Greek: tou= stratêgei=n]: but these lessons were meagre,
comprising nothing beyond [Greek: ta\ taktika/], i. 6, 12-15.]

[Footnote 32: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 1, 6. [Greek: poi/a| tini\
paidei/a| paideuthei\s tosou=ton diê/negken ei)s to\ a)/rchein

[Footnote 33: Xenoph. Cyrop. v. 1, 24. The queen-bee is masculine
in Xenophon's conception.]

[Footnote 34: Xenoph. Cyrop. viii. 7, 3, iv. 2, 15, iv. 1, 24.
Compare Xenoph. Economic. v. 19-20.]

[Footnote 35: Xenophon, Cyrop. i. 6, 46. [Greek: Ou(/tôs ê(/ ge
a)nthrôpi/nê sophi/a ou)de\n ma=llon oi)=de to\ a)/riston
ai)rei=sthai, ê)\ ei) klêrou/menos o(/, ti la/choi tou=to/ tis
pra/ttoi. Theoi\ de\ a)ei\ o)/ntes pa/nta i)/sasi ta/ te
gegenême/na kai\ ta\ o)/nta, kai\ o(/, ti e)x e(ka/stou au)tô=n
a)pobê/setai; kai\ _tô=n sumbouleuome/nôn_ a)nthrô/pôn
_oi(=s a)\n i)le/ô| ô)=si_, prosêmai/nousin a(/ te chrê\
poiei=n kai\ a(/ ou) chrê/. Ei) de\ mê\ pa=sin e)the/lousi
sumbouleu/ein, ou)de\n thaumasto/n; ou) ga\r a)na/gkê au)toi=s
e)stin, ô(=n a)\n mê\ the/lôsin, e)pimelei=sthai.]

Compare i. 6, 6-23, also the Memorab. i. 1, 8, where the same
doctrine is ascribed to Sokrates.]

[Footnote 36: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 6, 46 ad fin.]

[Footnote 37: Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 6, 3-5.]

When it is desired to realise an ideal improvement of society
(says Plato),[38] the easiest postulate is to assume a despot,
young, clever, brave, thoughtful, temperate, and aspiring,
belonging to that superhuman breed which reigned under the
presidency of Kronus. Such a postulate is assumed by Xenophon in
his hero Cyrus. The Xenophontic scheme, though presupposing a
collective training, resolves itself ultimately into the will of
an individual, enforcing good regulations, and full of tact in
dealing with subordinates. What Cyrus is in campaign and empire,
Ischomachus (see the Economica of Xenophon) is in the household:
but everything depends on the life of this distinguished
individual. Xenophon leads us at once into practice, laying only a
scanty basis of theory.

[Footnote 38: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 709 E, 710-713.]

[Side-note: Plato does not build upon an individual hero.
Platonic training compared with Xenophontic.]

In Plato's Republic, on the contrary, the theory predominates. He
does not build upon any individual hero: he constructs a social
and educational system, capable of self-perpetuation at least for
a considerable time.[39] He describes the generating and
sustaining principles of his system, but he does not exhibit it in
action, by any pseudo-historical narrative: we learn indeed, that
he had intended to subjoin such a narrative, in the dialogue
called Kritias, of which only the commencement was ever
written.[40] He aims at forming a certain type of character,
common to all the Guardians: superadding new features so as
to form a still more exalted type, peculiar to those few Elders
selected from among them to exercise the directorial function. He
not only lays down the process of training in greater detail than
Xenophon, but he also gives explanatory reasons for most of his

[Footnote 39: Plato pronounces Cyrus to have been a good general
and a patriot, but not to have received any right education, and
especially to have provided no good education for his children,
who in consequence became corrupt and degenerate (Legg. iii. 694).
Upon this remark some commentators of antiquity founded the
supposition of grudge or quarrel between Plato and Xenophon. We
have no evidence to prove such a state of unfriendly feeling
between the two, yet it is no way unlikely: and I think it highly
probable that the remark just cited from Plato may have had direct
reference to the Xenophontic Cyropædia. When we read the elaborate
intellectual training which Plato prescribes for the rulers in his
Republic, we may easily understand that, in his view, the
Xenophontic Cyrus had received no right education at all. His
remark moreover brings to view the defect of all schemes built
upon a perfect despot--that they depend upon an individual life.]

[Footnote 40: Plato, Timæus, pp. 20-26. Plato, Kritias, p. 108.]

One prominent difference between the two deserves to be noticed.
In the Xenophontic training, the ethical, gymnastic, and military,
exigencies are carefully provided for: but the musical and
intellectual exigencies are left out. The Xenophontic Persians are
not affirmed either to learn letters, or to hear and repeat
poetry, or to acquire the knowledge of any musical instrument. Nor
does it appear, even in the case of the historical Spartans, that
letters made any part of their public training. But the Platonic
training includes music and gymnastics as co-ordinate and equally
indispensable. Words or intellectual exercises, come in under the
head of music.[41] Indeed, in Plato's view, even gymnastics,
though bearing immediately on the health and force of the body,
have for their ultimate purpose a certain action upon the mind;
being essential to the due development of courage, energy,
endurance, and self-assertion.[42] Gymnastics without music
produce a hard and savage character, insensible to persuasive
agencies, hating discourse or discussion,[43] ungraceful as well
as stupid. Music without gymnastics generates a susceptible
temperament, soft, tender, and yielding to difficulties, with
quick but transient impulses. Each of the two, music and
gymnastic, is indispensable as a supplement and corrective to the

[Footnote 41: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 376 E.]

[Footnote 42: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 410 B. [Greek: pro\s to\
thumoeide\s tê=s phu/seôs ble/pôn ka)kei=no e)gei/rôn
ponê/sei ma=llon ê)\ pro\s i)schu/n, ou)ch ô(/sper oi( a)/lloi
a)thlêtai\ r(ô/mês e(/neka.]]

[Footnote 43: Plato, Republ. iii. pp. 410-411. 411 D-E: [Greek:
Miso/logos dê/, oi)=mai, o( toiou=tos gi/gnetai kai\ a)/mousos,
kai\ peithoi= me\n dia\ lo/gôn ou)de\n e)/ti chrê=tai, bi/a| de\
kai\ a)grio/têti ô(/sper thêri/on pro\s pa/nta diapra/ttetai,
kai\ e)n a)mathi/a| kai\ skaio/têti meta\ a)r)r(uthmi/as te kai\
a)charisti/as zê=|.]]

[Side-note: Platonic type of character compared with
Xenophontic, is like the Athenian compared with the Spartan.]

The type of character here contemplated by Plato deserves
particular notice, as contrasted with that of Xenophon. It is the
Athenian type against the Spartan. Periklês in his funeral
oration, delivered at Athens in the first year of the
Peloponnesian war, boasts that the Athenians had already reached a
type similar to this--and that too, without any special
individual discipline, legally enforced: that they combined
courage, ready energy, and combined action--with developed
intelligence, the love of discourse, accessibility to persuasion,
and taste for the Beautiful. That which Plato aims at
accomplishing in his Guardians, by means of a state-education at
once musical and gymnastical--Periklês declares to have been
already realised at Athens without any state-education, through
the spontaneous tendencies of individuals called forth and
seconded by the general working of the political system.[44] He
compliments his countrymen as having accomplished this object
without the unnecessary rigour of a positive state-discipline, and
without any other restraints than the special injunctions and
prohibitions of a known law. It is this absence of
state-discipline to which both Xenophon and Plato are opposed. Both
of them follow Lykurgus in proclaiming the insufficiency of mere
prohibitions; and in demanding a positive routine of duty to be
prescribed by authority, and enforced upon individuals through
life. In regard to end, Plato is more in harmony with Periklês:
in regard to means, with Xenophon.

[Footnote 44: Thucyd. ii. 38-39-40.

The comparison between this speech and the third book of Plato's
Republic (pp. 401-402-410-411), is very interesting. The words of
Perikles, [Greek: philokalou=men ga\r met' eu)telei/as kai\
philosophou=men a)/neu malaki/as], taken along with the chapter
preceding, mark that concurrent development of [Greek: to\
philo/sophon] and [Greek: to\ thumoeide\s] which Plato provides,
and the avoidance of those defects which spring from the separate
and exclusive cultivation of either.]

Plato's views respecting special laws and criminal procedure
generally are remarkable. He not only manifests that repugnance
towards the Dikastery--which is common to Sokrates, Xenophon,
Isokrates, and Aristophanes--but he excludes it almost entirely
from his system, as being superseded by the constant public
discipline of the Guardians.

[Side-note: Professional soldiers are the proper modern
standard of comparison with the regulations of Plato and

It is to be remembered that these propositions of Plato have
reference, not to an entire and miscellaneous community, but to a
select body called the Guardians, required to possess the bodily
and mental attributes of soldiers, policemen, and superintendents.
The standard of comparison in modern times, for the Lykurgean,
Xenophontic or Platonic, training, is to be sought in the
stringent discipline of professional soldiers; not in the general
liberty, subject only to definite restrictions, enjoyed by
non-military persons. In regard to soldiers, the Platonic principle
is now usually admitted--that it is not sufficient to enact articles
of war, defining what a soldier ought to do, and threatening him
with punishment in case of infraction--but that, besides this, it
is indispensable to exact from him a continued routine of positive
performances, under constant professional supervision. Without
this preparation, few now expect that soldiers should behave
effectively when the moment of action arrives. This is the
doctrine applied by Plato and Xenophon to the whole life of the

[Side-note: Music and Gymnastic--multifarious and varied
effects of music.]

Music and Gymnastic are regarded by Plato mainly as they bear upon
and influence the emotional character of his citizens. Each of
them is the antithesis, and at the same time the supplement, to
the other. Gymnastic tends to develop exclusively the courageous
and energetic emotions:--anger and the feeling of power--but no
others. Whereas music (understood in the Platonic sense) has a far
more multifarious and varied agency: it may develop either those,
or the gentle and tender emotions, according to circumstances.[45]
In the hands of Tyrtæus and Æschylus, it generates vehement and
fearless combatants: in the hands of Euripides and other pathetic
poets, it produces tender, amatory, effeminate natures, ingenious
in talk but impotent for action.[46]

[Footnote 45: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 376 B-C. If we examine
Plato's tripartite classification of the varieties of soul or
mind, as it is given both in the Republic and in the Timæus (1.
Reason, in the cranium. 2. Energy, [Greek: thumo/s], in the
thoracic region. 3. Appetite, in the abdominal region)--we shall
see that it assigns no place to the gentle, the tender, or the
æsthetical emotions. These cannot be properly ranked either with
energy ([Greek: thumo\s]) or with appetite ([Greek: e)pithumi/a]).
Plato can find no root for them except in reason or knowledge,
from which he presents them as being collateral derivatives--a
singular origin. He illustrates his opinion by the equally
singular analogy of the dog, who is gentle towards persons whom he
_knows_, fierce towards those whom he does not _know_;
so that _gentleness_ is the product of _knowledge_.]

[Footnote 46: See the argument between Æschylus and Euripides in
the Ranæ of Aristophanes, 1043-1061-1068.]

[Side-note: Great influence of the poets and their works on

In the age of Plato, Homer and other poets were extolled as the
teachers of mankind, and as themselves possessing universal
knowledge. They enjoyed a religious respect, being supposed to
speak under divine inspiration, and to be the privileged
reporters or diviners of a forgotten past.[47] They furnished the
most interesting portion of that floating mass of traditional
narrative respecting Gods, Heroes, and ancestors, which found easy
credence both as matter of religion and as matter of history:
being in full harmony with the emotional preconceptions, and
uncritical curiosity, of the hearers. They furnished likewise
exhortation and reproof, rules and maxims, so expressed as to live
in the memory--impressive utterance for all the strong feelings of
the human bosom. Poetry was for a long time the only form of
literature. It was not until the fifth century B.C. that
prose compositions either began to be multiplied, or were carried
to such perfection as to possess a charm of their own calculated
to rival the poets, who had long enjoyed a monopoly as purveyors
for æsthetical sentiment and fancy. Rhetors, Sophists,
Philosophers, then became their competitors; opening new veins of
intellectual activity,[48] and sharing, to a certain extent, the
pædagogic influence of the poets--yet never displacing them from
their traditional function of teachers, narrators, and guides to
the intelligence, as well as improving ministers to the
sentiments, emotions, and imagination, of youth. Indeed, many
Sophists and Rhetors presented themselves not as superseding,[49]
but as expounding and illustrating, the poets. Sokrates also did
this occasionally, though not upon system.[50]

[Footnote 47: Aristoph. Ranæ, 1053. Æschylus is made to say:--

[Greek: A)ll' a)pokru/ptein chrê\ to\ ponêro\n to/n ge
kai\ mê\ para/gein mêde\ dida/skein; toi=s me\n ga\r
e)sti\ dida/skalos o(/stis phra/zei, toi=sin d' ê(bô=si
pa/nu dê\ dei= chrêsta\ le/gein ê(ma=s.]

Compare the words of Pluto which conclude the Ranæ, 1497.

Plato, Repub. x. p. 598 D-E. [Greek: e)peidê/ tinôn a)kou/omen
o(/ti ou(=toi] (Homer and the poets) [Greek: pa/sas me\n te/chnas
e)pi/santai, pa/nta de\ ta)nthrô/peia ta\ pro\s a)retê\n kai\
kaki/an, kai\ ta/ ge thei=a], &c. Also Plato, Legg. vii. pp.
810-811; Ion, pp. 536 A, 541 B: Xenoph. Memor. iv. 2, 10; and
Sympos. iii. 6, where we learn that Nikeratus could repeat by
heart the whole Iliad and Odyssey.]

[Footnote 48: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 810. [Greek: o(/lous poiêta\s
e)kmantha/nontas], &c.]

[Footnote 49: It was to gain this facility that Kritias and
Alkibiades, as Xenophon tells us, frequented the society of
Sokrates, who (as Xenophon also tells us) "handled persons
conversing with him just as he pleased" (Memor. i. 2, 14-18.)

A speaker in one of the Orations of Lysias (Orat. viii. [Greek:
Kakologiô=n], s. 12) considers this power of arguing a disputed
case as one of the manifestations [Greek: tou= philosophei=n--Kai\
e)gô\ me\n ô)/|mên _philosophou=ntas_ au)tou\s peri\ tou=
pra/gmatos _a)ntile/gein to\n e)nanti/on lo/gon_; oi( d'
a)/ra ou)k a)nte/legon a)ll' a)nte/pratton.]

Compare the curious oration of Demosthenes against Lakritus, where
the speaker imputes to Lakritus this abuse of argumentative power,
as having been purchased by him at a large price from the teaching
of Isokrates the Sophist, pp. 928-937-938.]

[Footnote 50: Xenoph. Memorab. i. 2, 57-60.]

[Side-note: Plato's idea of the purpose which poetry
and music _ought_ to serve in education.]

It is this educational practice--common to a certain extent among
Greeks, but more developed at Athens than elsewhere[51]--which
Plato has in his mind, when he draws up the outline of a musical
education for his youthful Guardians. He does not intend it as a
scheme for fostering the highest intellectual powers, or for
exalting men into philosophers--which he reserves as an ulterior
improvement, to be communicated at a later period of life, and
only to a chosen few--the large majority being supposed incapable
of appropriating it. His musical training (co-operating with the
gymnastical) is intended to form the character of the general body
of Guardians: to implant in them from early childhood a peculiar
vein of sentiments, habits, emotions and emotional beliefs,
ethical esteem and disesteem, love and hatred, &c., to inspire
them (in his own phrase) with love of the beautiful or honourable.

[Footnote 51: The language of Plato is remarkable on this point.
Republic, ii. p. 376 E. [Greek: Ti/s ou)=n ê( paidei/a? _ê(\
chalepo\n eu(rei=n belti/ô tê=s u(po\ tou= pollou= chro/nou
eu(rême/nês_? e)sti\ de/ pou ê( me\n e)pi\ sô/masi
gumnastikê/, ê( d' e)pi\ psuchê=| mousikê/]--and a striking
passage in the Kriton (p. 50 D), where education in [Greek:
mousikê\] and [Greek: gumnastikê\] is represented as a positive
duty on the part of fathers towards their sons.

About the multifarious and indefinite province of the Muses,
comprehending all [Greek: paidei/a] and [Greek: lo/gos], see
Plutarch, Sympos. Problem. ix. 14, 2-3, p. 908-909. Also Plutarch,
De Audiendis Poetis, p. 31 F, about the many diverse
interpretations of Homer; especially those by Chrysippus and

The last half of the eighth Book of Aristotle's Politica contains
remarkable reflections on the educational effects of music,
showing the refined distinctions which philosophical men of that
day drew respecting the varieties of melody and rhythm. Aristotle
adverts to music as an agency not merely for [Greek: paidei/a] but
also for [Greek: ka/tharsis] (viii. 7, 1341, b. 38); to which last
Plato does not advert. Aristotle also notices various
animadversions by musical critics upon some of the dicta on
musical subjects in the Platonic Republic ([Greek: kalô=s
e)pitimô=si kai\ tou=to Sôkra/tei tô=n peri\ tê\n mousikê/n
tines], 1342, b. 23)--perhaps Aristoxenus: also 1342, a. 32. That
the established character and habits of music could not be changed
without leading to a revolution, ethical and political, in the
minds of the citizens--is a principle affirmed by Plato, not as
his own, but as having been laid down previously by Damon the
celebrated musical instructor (Repub. iii. p. 424 C).

The following passage about Luther is remarkable:--

"Après avoir essayé de la théologie, Luther fut décidé par les
conseils de ses amis, à embrasser l'étude du droit; qui conduisait
alors aux postes les plus lucratifs de l'État et de l'Église. Mais
il ne semble pas s'y être jamais livré avec goût.** Il aimait bien
mieux la belle littérature, et surtout la musique. C'était son art
de prédilection. Il la cultiva toute sa vie et l'enseigna à ses
enfans. Il n'hésite pas à déclarer que la musique lui semble le
premier des arts, après la théologie. La musique (dit il) est
l'art des prophètes: c'est le seul qui, comme la théologie, puisse
calmer les troubles de l'âme et mettre le diable en fuite. Il
touchait du luth, jouait de la flûte." (_Michelet_, Mémoires
de Luther, écrits par lui-même, pp. 4-5, Paris, 1835.)]

[Side-note: He declares war against most of the traditional
and consecrated poetry, as mischievous.]

It is in this spirit that he deals with the traditional, popular,
almost consecrated, poetical literature which prevailed
around him. He undertakes to revise and recast the whole of it.
Repudiating avowedly the purpose of the authors, he sets up a
different point of view by which they are to be judged. The
contest of principle, into which he now enters, subsisted (he
tells us) long before his time: a standing discord between the
philosophers and the poets.[52] The poet is an artist[53] whose
aim is to give immediate pleasure and satisfaction: appealing to
æsthetical sentiment, feeding imagination and belief, and finding
embodiment for emotions, religious or patriotic, which he shares
with his hearers: the philosopher is a critic, who lays down
authoritatively deeper and more distant ends which he considers
that poetry _ought to_ serve, judging the poets according as
they promote, neglect, or frustrate those ends. Plato declares the
end which he requires poetry to serve in the training of his
Guardians. It must contribute to form the ethical character which
he approves: in so far as it thus contributes, he will tolerate
it, but no farther. The charm and interest especially, belonging
to beautiful poems, is not only no reason for admitting them, but
is rather a reason (in his view) for excluding them.[54] The more
beautiful a poem is, the more effectively does it awaken,
stimulate, and amplify, the emotional forces of the mind: the
stronger is its efficacy in giving empire to pleasure and pain,
and in resisting or overpowering the rightful authority of Reason.
It thus directly contravenes the purpose of the Platonic
education--the formation of characters wherein Reason shall
effectively controul all the emotions and desires.[55] Hence he
excludes all the varieties of imitative poetry:--that is,
narrative, descriptive, or dramatic poetry. He admits only hymns
to the Gods and panegyrics upon good citizens:--probably also
didactic, gnomic, or hortative, poetry of approved tone. Imitative
poetry is declared objectionable farther, not only as it
exaggerates the emotions, but on another ground--that it fills the
mind with false and unreal representations; being composed by men
who have no real knowledge of their subject, though they pretend
to a sort of fallacious omniscience, and talk boldly about every

[Footnote 52: Plato, Republ. x. p. 607 B. [Greek: palaia\ me/n tis
diaphora\ philosophi/a| te kai\ poiêtikê=|], &c.]

[Footnote 53: Plato, Republ. x. p. 607 A-C. [Greek: tê\n
ê(dusme/nên Mou=san . . . ê( pro\s ê(donê\n poiêtikê\ kai\
ê( mi/mêsis], &c.

Compare also Leges ii. p. 655 D seq., about the [Greek: mousikê=s

[Footnote 54: It is interesting to read in the first book of
Strabo (pp. 15-19-25-27, &c.) the controversy which he carries
on with Eratosthenes, as to the function of poets generally, and
as to the purpose of Homer in particular. Eratosthenes considered
Homer, and the other poets also, as having composed verses to
please and interest, not to teach--[Greek: psuchagôgi/as cha/rin,
ou) didaskali/as]. Strabo (following the astronomer Hipparchus)
controverts this opinion; affirming that poets had been the
earliest philosophers and teachers of mankind, and that they must
always continue to be the teachers of the multitude, who were
unable to profit by history and philosophy. Strabo has the
strongest admiration for Homer, not merely as a poet but as a
moralising teacher. While Plato banishes Homer from his
commonwealth, on the ground of pernicious ethical influence,
Strabo claims for Homer the very opposite merit, and extols him as
the best of all popular teachers--[Greek: ê( de\ poiêtikê\
dêmôpheleste/ra kai\ the/atra plêrou=n duname/nê; ê( de\ dê\
tou= O(mêrou= u(perballo/ntôs . . . A)/te dê\ pro\s to\
paideutiko\n ei)=dos tou\s mu/thous a)naphe/rôn o( poiêtê\s
e)phro/ntise polu\ me/ros ta)lêthou=s] (Strabo, i. p. 20). The
contradiction between Plato and Strabo is remarkable. Compare the
beginning of Horace's Epistle, i. 2. In the time of Strabo (more
than three centuries after Plato's death) there existed an
abundant prose literature on matters of erudition, history,
science, philosophy. The work of instruction was thus taken out of
the poet's hands; yet Strabo cannot bear to admit this. In the age
of Plato the prose literature was comparatively small. Alexandria
and its school did not exist: the poets covered a far larger
portion of the entire ground of instruction.

As a striking illustration of the continued and unquestioning
faith in the ancient legends, we may cite Galen: who, in a medical
argument against Erasistratus, cites the cure of the daughters of
Proetus by Melampus as an incontestable authentic fact in
medical evidence; putting to shame Erasistratus, who had not
attended to it in his reasoning (Galen, De Atrâ Bile, T. v. p.
132, Kühn).]

[Footnote 55: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 606-607, iii. p. 387 B.]

[Footnote 56: Plato, Republic, x. pp. 598-599. When Plato attacks
the poets so severely on the ground of their departure from truth
and reality, and their false representations of human life--the
poets might have retorted, that Plato departed no less from truth
and reality in many parts of his Republic, and especially in his
panegyric upon Justice; not to mention the various mythes which we
read in Republic, Phædon, Phædrus, Politikus, &c.

Plato's fictions are indeed ethical, intended to serve a pedagogic
purpose; Homer's fictions are æsthetical, addressed to the fancy
and emotions.

But it is not fair in Plato, the avowed champion of useful
fiction, to censure the poets on the ground of their departing
from truth.]

[Side-note: Strict limits imposed by Plato on poets.]

Even hymns to the Gods, however, may be composed in many different
strains, according to the conception which the poet entertains of
their character and attributes. The Homeric Hymns which we now
possess could not be acceptable to Plato. While denouncing much of
the current theological poetry, he assumes a censorial authority,
in his joint character of Lykurgus and Sokrates,[57] to dictate
what sort of poetical compositions shall be tolerated among his
Guardians. He pronounces many of the tales in Homer and Hesiod to
be not merely fictions, but mischievous fictions: not fit to
be circulated, even if they had been true.

[Footnote 57: Plutarch, Sympos. Quæst. viii. 2, 2, p. 719.

[Greek: O( Pla/tôn, a(/te dê\ tô=| Sôkra/tei to\n Lukou=rgon
a)namignu/s], &c.]

[Side-note: His view of the purposes of fiction--little
distinction between fiction and truth. His censures upon Homer and
the tragedians.]

Plato admits fiction, indeed, along with truth as an instrument
for forming the character. Nay, he draws little distinction
between the two, as regards particular narratives. But the point
upon which he specially insists, is, that all the narratives in
circulation, true or false, respecting Gods and Heroes, shall
ascribe to them none but qualities ethically estimable and
venerable. He condemns Homer and Hesiod as having misrepresented
the Gods and Heroes, and as having attributed to them acts
inconsistent with their true character, like a painter painting a
portrait unlike to the original.[58] He rejects in this manner
various tales told in these poems respecting Zeus, Hêrê,
Hephæstus--the fraudulent rupture of the treaty between the Greeks
and Trojans by Pandarus, at the instigation of Zeus and
Athênê--the final battle of the Gods, in the Iliad[59]--the
transformations of Proteus and Thetis, and the general declaration
in the Odyssey that the Gods under the likeness of various
strangers visit human cities as inspectors of good and bad
behaviour[60]--the dream sent by Zeus to deceive Agamemnon (in the
second book of the Iliad), and the charge made by Thetis in
Æschylus against Apollo, of having deceived her and killed her son
Achilles[61]--the violent amorous impulse of Zeus, in the
fourteenth book of the Iliad--the immoderate laughter among the
Gods, when they saw the lame Hephæstus busying himself in the
service of the banquet. Plato will not permit the realm of Hades
to be described as odious and full of terrors, because the
Guardians will thereby learn to fear death.[62] Nor will he
tolerate the Homeric pictures of heroes or semi-divine persons,
like Priam or Achilles, plunged in violent sorrow for the
death of friends and relatives:--since a thoroughly right-minded
man, while he regards death as no serious evil to the deceased, is
at the same time most self-sufficing in character, and least in
need of extraneous sympathy.[63]

[Footnote 58: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 377 E.]

[Footnote 59: Plato, Repub. ii. pp. 378-379. Plutarch observes
about Chrysippus--[Greek: o(/ti tô=| theô=| kala\s me\n
e)piklê/seis kai\ philanthrô/pous a)ei/, a)/gria d' e)/rga kai\
ba/rbara kai\ Galaktika\ prosti/thêsin] (De Stoic. Repugnant. c.
32, p. 1049 B).]

[Footnote 60: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 380 B. Plato in the beginning
of his Sophistês treats this doctrine of the appearances of the
Gods with greater respect. Lucretius argues that the Gods, being
in a state of perfect happiness and exempt from all want, cannot
change; Lucret. v. 170, compared with Plato, Rep. ii. p. 381 B.]

[Footnote 61: Plato, Republ. ii. pp. 380-381-383.]

[Footnote 62: Plato, Republ. iii. p. 386 C. Maximus Tyrius (Diss.
xxiv. c. 5) remarks, that upon the principles here laid down by
Plato, much of what occurs in the Platonic dialogues respecting
the erotic vehemence and enthusiasm of Sokrates ought to be
excluded from education.]

[Footnote 63: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 387 D-E. [Greek: o(
e)pieikê\s a)nê\r tô=| e)pieikei=, ou(=per kai\ e(tai=ro/s
e)sti, to\ tethna/nai ou) deino\n ê(gê/setai . . . Ou)k a)/ra
u(pe/r ge e)kei/nou ô(s deino/n ti pepontho/tos o)du/roit' a)/n . . .
A)lla\ mê\n . . . o( toiou=tos ma/lista au)to\s au(tô=|
au)ta/rchês pro\s to\ eu)= zê=|n kai\ diaphero/ntôs tô=n
a)/llôn ê(/kista e(te/rou prosdei=tai . . . Ê(/kist' a)/ra
au)tô=| deino\n sterêthê=nai ui(e/os, ê)\ a)de/lphou, ê)\
chrêma/tôn, ê)\ a)/llou tou tô=n toiou/tôn] &c.

The doctrine of Epikurus, as laid down by Lucretius (iii.
844-920), coincides here with that of Plato:--

Tu quidem ut es leto sopitus, sic eris ævi
Quod superest, cunctis privatu' doloribus ægris;
At nos horrifico cinefactum te propé busto
Insatiabiliter deflebimus, æternumque
Nulla dies nobis moerorem e pectore demet.
Illud ab hoc igitur quærendum est, quid sit amari
Tantopere, ad somnum si res redit atque quietem
Cur quisquam æterno possit tabescere luctu?

Plato insists, not less strenuously than Lucretius, upon
preserving the minds of his Guardians from the frightful pictures
of Hades, which terrify all hearers--[Greek: phri/ttein dê\
poiei= ô(s oi(=o/n te pa/ntas tou\s a)kou/ontas] (Repub. iii. p.
387 C). Lucret. iii. 37:

  "metus ille foras præceps Acheruntis agendus
Funditus, humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo".]

[Side-note: Type of character prescribed by Plato, to which
all poets must conform, in tales about Gods and Heroes.]

These and other condemnations are passed by Plato upon the current
histories respecting Gods, and respecting heroes the sons or
immediate descendants of Gods. He entirely forbids such histories,
as suggesting bad examples to his Guardians. He prohibits all
poetical composition, except under his own censorial supervision.
He lays down, as a general doctrine, that the Gods are good; and
he will tolerate no narrative which is not in full harmony with
this predetermined type. Without giving any specimens of approved
narratives--which he declares to be the business not of the
lawgiver, but of the poet--he insists only that all poets shall
conform in their compositions to his general standard of

[Footnote 64: Compare also Plato de Legg. x. p. 886 C, xii. p. 941

Applying such a principle of criticism, Plato had little
difficulty in finding portions of the current mythology offensive
to his ideal type of goodness. Indeed he might have found many
others, yet more offensive to it than some of those which he has
selected.[65] But the extent of his variance with the current
views reveals itself still more emphatically, when he says
that the Gods are not to be represented as the cause of evil
things to us, but only of good things. Most persons (he says)
consider the Gods as causes of all things, evil as well as good:
but this is untrue:[66] the Gods dispense only the good things,
not the evil; and the good things are few in number compared with
the evil. Plato therefore requires the poet to ascribe all good
things to the Gods and to no one else; but to find other causes,
apart from the Gods, for sufferings and evils. But if the poet
chooses to describe sufferings as inflicted by the Gods, he must
at the same time represent these sufferings as a healing penalty
or real benefit to the sufferers.[67]

[Footnote 65: As one example, Plato cites the story in the Iliad,
that Achilles cut off his hair as an offering to the deceased
Patroklus, after his hair had been consecrated by vow to the river
Spercheius (Rep. iii. p. 391). If we look at the Iliad (xxiii.
150), we find that the vow to the Spercheius had been originally
made by Peleus, conditionally upon the return of Achilles to his
native land. Now Achilles had been already forewarned that he
would never return thither, consequently the vow to Spercheius was
void, and the execution of it impracticable.

Plato does not disbelieve the legend of Hippolytus; the cruel
death of an innocent youth, brought on by the Gods in consequence
of the curse of his father Theseus (Legg. xi. p. 931 B).]

[Footnote 66: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 379 C. [Greek: Ou)d' a)/ra o(
theo/s, e)peidê\ a)gatho/s, pa/ntôn a)\n ei)/ê ai)/tios, ô(s
oi( polloi\ le/gousin, a)ll' o)li/gôn me\n toi=s a)nthrô/pois
ai)/tios, pollô=n de\ a)nai/tios; _polu\ ga\r e)la/ttô
ta)gatha\ tô=n kakô=n ê(mi=n_. Kai\ tô=n me\n a)gathô=n
ou)de/na a)/llon ai)tiate/on, tô=n de\ kakô=n a)/ll' a)/tta dei=
zêtei=n ta\ ai)/tia, a)ll' ou) to\n theo/n.]]

[Footnote 67: Plato, Rep, ii. p. 380 B. Plutarch, Consolat. ad
Apollonium (107 C, 115 E), citation from Pindar--[Greek: e(\n par'
e)sthlo\n pê/mata su/nduo dai/ontai brotoi=s
A)tha/natoi--pollô=| ga\r plei/ona ta\ kaka/; kai\ ta\ me\n]
(sc. [Greek: a)gatha\]) [Greek: mo/gis kai\ dia\ pollô=n
phronti/dôn ktô/metha, ta\ de\ kaka/, pa/nu r(a|di/ôs.]

In the Sept. cont. Thebas of Æschylus, Eteokles complains of this
doctrine as a hardship and unfairness to the chief. If (says he)
we defend the city successfully, our success will be ascribed to
the Gods; if, on the contrary, we fail, Eteokles alone will be the
person blamed for it by all the citizens:--

[Greek: Ei) me\n ga\r eu)= pra/xaimen, ai)ti/a theou=;
Ei) d' au)=th', o(\ mê\ ge/noito, sumphora\ tu/choi,
E)teokle/ês a)\n ei(=s polu\s kata\ pto/lin
U(mnoi=th' u(p' a)stô=n phroimi/ois polur)r(o/thois
Oi)mô/gmasin th']--(v. 4).]

The principle involved in these criticisms of Plato deserves
notice, in more than one point of view.

[Side-note: Position of Plato as an innovator on the
received faith and traditions. Fictions indispensable to the
Platonic Commonwealth.]

That which he proposes for his commonwealth is hardly less than a
new religious creed, retaining merely old names of the Gods and
old ceremonies. He intends it to consist of a body of premeditated
fictitious stories, prepared by poets under his inspection and
controul. He does not set up any pretence of historical truth for
these stories, when first promulgated: he claims no traditionary
evidence, no divine inspiration, such as were associated more or
less with the received legends, in the minds both of those who
recited and of those who heard them. He rejects these legends,
because they are inconsistent with his belief and sentiment
as to the character of the Gods. Such rejection we can
understand:--but he goes a step farther, and directs the coinage
of a new body of legends, which have no other title to credence,
except that they are to be in harmony with his belief about the
general character of the Gods, and that they will produce a
salutary ethical effect upon the minds of his Guardians. They are
deliberate fictions, the difference between fact and fiction being
altogether neglected: they are pious frauds, constructed upon an
authoritative type, and intended for an orthodox purpose. The
exclusive monopoly of coining and circulating fictions is a
privilege which Plato exacts for himself as founder, and for the
Rulers, after his commonwealth is founded.[68] All the narrative
matter circulating in his community is to be prepared with
reference to his views, and stamped at his mint. He considers it
not merely a privilege, but a duty of the Rulers, to provide and
circulate fictions for the benefit of the community, like
physicians administering wholesome medicines.[69] This is a part
of the machinery essential to his purpose. He remarks that it had
already been often worked successfully by others, for the
establishment of cities present or past. There had been no recent
example of it, indeed, nor will he guarantee the practicability of
it among his own contemporaries. Yet, unless certain fundamental
fictions can be accredited among his citizens, the scheme of his
commonwealth must fail. They must be made to believe that they are
all earthborn and all brethren; that the earth which they inhabit
is also their mother: but that there is this difference among
them--the Rulers have gold mingled with their constitution,
the other Guardians have silver, the remaining citizens have brass
or iron. This bold fiction must be planted as a fundamental dogma,
as an article of unquestioned faith, in the minds of all the
citizens, in order that they may be animated with the proper
sentiments of reverence towards the local soil as their common
mother--of universal mutual affection among themselves as
brothers--and of deference, on the part of the iron and brazen
variety, towards the gold and silver. At least such must be the
established creed of all the other citizens except the few Rulers.
It ought also to be imparted, if possible, to the Rulers
themselves; but _they_ might be more difficult to

[Footnote 68: Plato, Republ. iii. p. 389 B; compare ii. p. 382 C.

Dähne (Darstellung der Jüdisch-Alexandrin. Religions-Philosophie,
i. pp. 48-56) sets forth the motives which determined the new
interpretations of the Pentateuch by the Alexandrine Jews, from
the translators of the Septuagint down to Philo. In the view of
Philo there was a double meaning: the literal meaning, for the
vulgar: but also besides this, there was an allegorical, the real
and true meaning, discoverable only by sagacious judges. Moses (he
said) gave the literal meaning, though not true, [Greek: pro\s
tê\n tô=n pollô=n didaskali/an. Manthane/tôsan ou)=n pa/ntes
oi( toiou=toi ta= pseudê=, di' ô(=n ô)phelêthê/sontai, ei)
mê\ du/nantai di' a)lêthei/as sôphroni/zesthai] (Philo, Quæst.
in Genesin, ap. Dähne, p. 50). Compare also Philo, on the [Greek:
kano/nes kai\ no/moi tê=s a)llêgori/as], Dähne, pp. 60-68.

Herakleitus (Allegoriæ Homericæ ed. Mehler, 1851) defends Homer
warmly against the censorial condemnation of Plato. Herakleitus
contends for an allegorical interpretation, and admits that it is
necessary to find one. He inveighs against Plato in violent terms.
[Greek: E)r)r(i/phthô de\ kai\ Pla/tôn o( ko/lax], &c.

Isokrates (Orat. Panathen. s. 22-28) complains much of the obloquy
which he incurred, because some opponents alleged that he
depreciated the poets, especially Homer and Hesiod.]

[Footnote 69: Plato, Repub. iii. pp. 389 B, 414 C.]

[Footnote 70: Plato, Repub. iii. p. 414 B-C. [Greek: Ti/s a)\n
ou)=n ê(mi=n mêchanê\ ge/noito tô=n pseudô=n tô=n e)n
de/onti gignome/nôn, ô(=n nu=n dê\ e)le/gomen, gennai=o/n ti
e(\n pseudome/nous pei=sai, ma/lista me\n kai\ au)tou\s tou\s
a)/rchontas, ei) de\ mê/, tê\n a)/llên po/lin? Poi=on ti?
Mêde\n kaino/n, a)lla\ Phoinikiko/n ti, _pro/teron me\n ê)/dê
pollachou= gegono/s_, ô(s phasin oi( poiêtai\ kai\
pepei/kasin, e)ph' ê(mô=n de\ ou) gegono\s ou)d' oi)=da ei)
geno/menon a)/n, pei=sai de\ suchnê=s peithou=s.] Compare De
Legg. pp. 663-664.]

[Side-note: Difficulty of procuring first admission for
fictions. Ease with which they perpetuate themselves after having
been once admitted.]

Plato fully admits the extreme difficulty of procuring a first
introduction and establishment for this new article of faith,
which nevertheless is indispensable to set his commonwealth
afloat. But if it can be once established, there will be no
difficulty at all in continuing and perpetuating it.[71] Even as
to the first commencement, difficulty is not to be confounded with
impossibility: for the attempt has already been made with success
in many different places, though there happens to be no recent

[Footnote 71: Plato, Repub. iii. p. 415 C-D. [Greek: Tou=ton ou)=n
to\n mu=thon o(/pôs a)\n peisthei=en, e)/cheis tina\ mêchanê/n?
Ou)damô=s, o(/pôs g' a)\n _au)toi\ ou(=toi_; o(/pôs me/nt'
a)\n oi( tou/tôn ui(ei=s kai\ oi( e)/peita oi(/ t' a)/lloi
a)/nthrôpoi oi( u(/steron.]]

We learn hence to appreciate the estimate which Plato formed of
the ethical and religious faith, prevalent in the various
societies around him. He regards as fictions the accredited
stories respecting Gods and Heroes, which constituted the matter
of religious belief among his contemporaries; being familiarised
to all through the works of poets, painters, and sculptors, as
well as through votive offerings, such as the robe annually worked
by the women of Athens for the Goddess Athênê. These fictions he
supposes to have originally obtained credence either through the
charm of poets and narrators, or through the deliberate coinage
of an authoritative lawgiver; presupposing in the community a
vague emotional belief in the Gods--invisible, quasi-human agents,
of whom they knew nothing distinct--and an entire ignorance of
recorded history, past as well as present. Once received into the
general belief, which is much more an act of emotion than of
reason, such narratives retain their hold both by positive
teaching and by the self-operating transmission of this emotional
faith to each new member of the community, as well as by the
almost entire absence of criticism: especially in earlier days,
when men were less intelligent but more virtuous than they are now
(in Plato's time)--when among their other virtues, that of
unsuspecting faith stood conspicuous, no one having yet become
clever enough to suspect falsehood.[72] This is what Plato assumes
as the natural mental condition of society, to which he adapts his
improvements. He disapproves of the received fictions, not because
they are fictions, but because they tend to produce a mischievous
ethical effect, from the acts which they ascribe to the Gods and
Heroes. These acts were such, that many of them (he says), even if
they had been true, ought never to be promulgated. Plato does not
pretend to substitute truth in place of fiction; but to furnish a
better class of fictions in place of a worse.[73] The religion of
the Commonwealth, in his view, is to furnish fictions and
sanctions to assist the moral and political views of the lawgiver,
whose duty it is to employ religion for this purpose.[74]

[Footnote 72: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 679 C-E. [Greek: a)gathoi\ me\n
dê\ dia\ tau=ta/ te ê)=san kai\ dia\ tê\n legome/nên
eu)ê/theian; a(\ ga\r ê)/kouon kala\ kai\ ai)schra/, eu)ê/theis
o)/ntes ê(gou=nto a)lêthe/stata le/gesthai kai\ e)pei/thonto;
pseu=dos ga\r u(ponoei=n ou)dei\s ê)pi/stato dia\ sophi/an,
_ô(/sper ta\ nu=n_, a)lla\ peri\ theô=n te kai\
a)nthrô/pôn ta\ lego/mena a)lêthê= nomi/zontes e)/zôn kata\
tau=ta . . . tô=n nu=n a)techno/teroi me\n kai\ a)mathe/steroi . . .
eu)êthe/steroi de\ kai\ a)ndreio/teroi kai\ a(/ma
sôphrone/steroi kai\ xu/mpanta dikaio/teroi.]]

[Footnote 73: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 E.

This carelessness about historical matter of fact, as such--is not
uncommon with ancient moralists and rhetoricians. Both of them
were apt to treat history not as a series of true matters of fact,
exemplifying the laws of human nature and society, and enlarging
our knowledge of them for future inference--but as if it were a
branch of fiction, to be handled so as to please our taste or
improve our morality. Dionysius of Halikarnassus, blaming
Thucydides for the choice of his subject, goes so far as to say
"that the Peloponnesian war, a period of ruinous discord in
Greece, ought to have been left in oblivion, and never to have
passed into history" (Dion. Hal. ad Cn. Pomp. de Præc. Histor.
Judic. p. 768 Reiske).

See a note at the beginning of chap. 38 of my "History of

[Footnote 74: Sext. Empiric. adv. Mathematicos, ix. 54, p. 562.
Compare Polybius, vi. 56; Dion. Hal. ii. 13; Strabo, i. p. 19.

These three, like Plato, consider the matters of religious belief
to be fictions prescribed by the lawgiver for the purpose of
governing those minds which are of too low a character to listen
to truth and reason. Strabo states, more clearly than the other
two, the employment of [Greek: mu=thoi] by the lawgiver for
purposes of education and government; he extends this doctrine to
[Greek: pa=sa theologi/a a)rchai+kê\ . . . pro\s tou\s
nêpio/phronas] (p. 19).]

[Side-note: Views entertained by Kritias and others, that
the religious doctrines generally believed had originated with
law-givers, for useful purposes.]

We read in a poetical fragment of Kritias (the contemporary
of Plato, though somewhat older) an opinion advanced--that
even the belief in the existence of the Gods sprang originally
from the deliberate promulgation of lawgivers, for useful
purposes. The opinion of Plato is not exactly the same, but it is
very analogous: for he holds that all which the community believe,
respecting the attributes and acts of the Gods, must consist of
fictions, and that accordingly it is essential for the lawgiver to
determine what the accredited fictions in his own community shall
be: he must therefore cause to be invented and circulated such as
conduce to the ethical and political results which he himself
approves. Private citizens are forbidden to tell falsehood; but
the lawgiver is to administer falsehood, on suitable occasions, as
a wholesome medicine.[75]

[Footnote 75: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 389 B. [Greek: e)n
pharma/kou ei)/dei]. Compare De Legg. ii. p. 663 D.

Eusebius enumerates this as one of the points of conformity
between Plato and the Hebrew records: in which, Eusebius says, you
may find numberless similar fictions ([Greek: muri/a toiau=ta]),
such as the statements of God being jealous or angry or affected
by other human passions, which are fictions recounted for the
benefit of those who require such treatment (Euseb. Præpar. Evan.
xii. 31).]

Plato lays down his own individual preconception respecting the
characters of the Gods, as orthodoxy for his Republic: directing
that the poets shall provide new narratives conformable to that
type. What is more, he establishes a peremptory censorship to
prevent the circulation of any narratives dissenting from it. As
to truth or falsehood, all that he himself claims is that his
general preconception of the character of the Gods is true, and
worthy of their dignity; while those entertained by his
contemporaries are false; the particular narratives are alike
fictitious in both cases. Fictitious as they are, however, Plato
has fair reason for his confident assertion, that if they could
once be imprinted on the minds of his citizens, as portions of an
established creed, they would maintain themselves for a long time
in unimpaired force and credit. He guards them by the artificial
protection of a censorship, stricter than any real Grecian city
exhibited: over and above the self-supporting efficacy,
usually sufficient without farther aid, which inheres in every
established religious creed.

[Side-note: Main points of dissent between Plato and his
countrymen, in respect to religious doctrine.]

The points upon which Plato here chiefly takes issue with his
countrymen, are--the general character of the Gods--and the extent
to which the Gods determine the lot of human beings. He distinctly
repudiates as untrue, that which he declares to be the generally
received faith: though in other parts of his writings, we find him
eulogising the merit of uninquiring faith--of that age of honest
simplicity when every one believed what was told him from his
childhood, and when no man was yet clever enough to suspect

[Footnote 76: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 679; compare x. p. 887 C, xi.
p. 913 C.

So again in the Timæus (p. 40 E), he accepts the received
genealogy of the Gods, upon the authority of the sons and early
descendants of the Gods. These sons must have known their own
fathers; we ought therefore "to follow the law and believe them"
([Greek: e)pome/nous tô=| no/mô| pisteute/on]) though they spoke
without either probable or demonstrative proof ([Greek: a)du/naton
ou)=n theô=n paisi\n a)pistei=n, kai/per a)/neu te ei)ko/tôn
kai\ a)nagkai/ôn a)podei/xeôn le/gousin]).

That which Plato here enjoins to be believed is the genealogy of
Hesiod and other poets, though he does not expressly name the
poets. Julian in his remark on the passage (Orat. vii. p. 237)
understands the poets to be meant, and their credibility to be
upheld, by Plato--[Greek: kai\ toiau=ta e(/tera e)n Timai/ô|;
pisteu/ein ga\r a(plô=s a)xioi= kai\ chôri\s a)podei/xeôs
legome/nois, o(/sa u(pe\r tô=n theô=n phasi\n oi( poiêtai/.]
See Lindau's note on this passage in his edition of the Timæus, p.

[Side-note: Theology of Plato compared with that of
Epikurus--Neither of them satisfied the exigencies of a believing
religious mind of that day.]

The discord on this important point between Plato and the
religious faith of his countrymen, deserves notice the rather,
because the doctrines in the Republic are all put into the mouth
of Sokrates, and are even criticised by Aristotle under the name
of Sokrates.[77] Most people, and among them the historical
Sokrates, believed in the universal agency of the Gods.[78]
No--(affirms Plato) the Gods are good beings, whose nature is
inconsistent with the production of evil: we must therefore divide
the course of events into two portions, referring the good only to
the Gods and the evil to other causes. Moreover--since the evil in
the world is not merely considerable, but so considerable as
greatly to preponderate over good, we must pronounce that most
things are produced by these other causes (not farther
particularised by Plato) and comparatively few things by the Gods.
Now Epikurus (and some contemporaries[79] of Plato even before
Epikurus) adopted these same premisses as to the preponderance of
evil--but drew a different inference. They inferred that the Gods
did not interfere at all in the management of the universe.
Epikurus conceived the Gods as immortal beings living in eternal
tranquillity and happiness; he thought it repugnant to their
nature to exchange this state for any other--above all, to
exchange it for the task of administering the universe, which
would impose upon them endless vexation without any assignable
benefit. Lastly, the preponderant evil, visibly manifested in the
universe, afforded to his mind a positive proof that it was not
administered by them.[80]

[Footnote 77: Aristotel. Politic. ii. 1, &c. Compare the
second of the Platonic Epistles, p. 314.]

[Footnote 78: [Greek: Zeu\s panai/tios, panerge/tas], &c.
Æschyl. Agamem. 1453. Xenophon, Memorab. i. 1, 8-9.]

[Footnote 79: Plato, Legg. x. pp. 899 D, 888 C. He intimates that
there were no inconsiderable number of persons who then held the
doctrine, compare p. 891 B.]

[Footnote 80: Lucretius, ii. 180:

Nequaquam nobis divinitus esse creatam
Naturam mundi, quæ tantâ 'st prædita culpâ--

ii. 1093:--

Nam--pro** sancta Deûm tranquillâ pectora pace,
Quæ placidum degunt ævum, vitamque serenam--
Quis regere immensi summam, quis habere profundi
Indu manu validas potis est moderanter habenas?

Compare v. 167-196, vi. 68.]

Comparing the two doctrines, we see that Plato, though he did not
reject altogether, as Epikurus did, the agency of the Gods in the
universe,--restricted it here nevertheless so as to suit the
ethical exigencies of his own mind. He thus discarded so large a
portion of it, as to place himself, or rather his spokesman
Sokrates, in marked hostility with the received religious faith.
If Melêtus and Anytus lived to read the Platonic Republic (we may
add, also the dialogue called Euthyphron), they would probably
have felt increased persuasion that their indictment against
Sokrates was well-grounded:[81] since he stood proclaimed by the
most eminent of his companions as an innovator in matters of
religion, and as disbelieving a very large portion of what
was commonly received by pious Athenians. With many persons, it
was considered a species of sacrilege to disbelieve any narrative
which had once been impressed upon them respecting the Gods or the
divine agency: the later Pythagoreans laid it down as a canon,
that this was never to be done.[82]

[Footnote 81: Xenoph. Memorab. i. 1. [Greek: A)dikei= Sôkra/tês,
ou(\s me\n ê( po/lis nomi/zei theou\s ou) nomi/zôn, e(/tera de\
kaina\ daimo/nia ei)sphe/rôn; a)dikei= de\ kai\ tou\s ne/ous

This was the form of the indictment against Sokrates. The Republic
of Plato certainly shows ground for the first part of it. Sokrates
did not introduce new names and persons of Gods, but he preached
new views about their characters and agency, and (what probably
would cause the greatest offence) he emphatically blames the
received views. The Republic of Plato here embodies what we read
in the Platonist Maximus Tyrius (ix. 8) as the counter-indictment
of Sokrates against the Athenian people--[Greek: ê( de\
Sôkra/tous kata\ A)thênai/ôn graphê/; A)dikei= o(
A)thênai/ôn dê=mos, ou(\s me\n Sôkra/tês nomi/zei theou\s ou)
nomi/zôn, e(/tera de\ kaina\ daimo/nia e)peisphe/rôn . . .
A)dikei= de\ o( dê=mos kai\ tou\s ne/ous diaphthei/rôn.]]

[Footnote 82: Jamblichus, Vit. Pythag. c. 138-148. Adhortatio ad
Philosophiam, p. 324, ed. Kiessling. See chap. xxxvii. of my
"History of Greece," p. 345, last edit.]

[Side-note: Plato conceives the Gods according to the
exigencies of his own mind--complete discord with those of the
popular mind.]

Now the Gods, as here conceived by Plato conformably to his own
ethical exigencies, are representatives of abstract goodness, or
of what he considers as such[83]--but they are nothing else. They
have no other human emotions: they are invoked for the purposes of
the schoolmaster and the lawgiver, to distribute prizes, and
inflict chastisements, on occasions which Plato thinks suitable.
But Gods with these restricted functions were hardly less at
variance with the current religious belief than the contemplative,
theorising, Gods of Aristotle--or the perfectly tranquil and happy
Gods of Epikurus. The Gods of the popular faith were not thus
specialised types, embodiments of one abstract, ethical, idea.
They were concrete personalities, many-sided and many-coloured,
endowed with great variety of dispositions and emotions: having
sympathies and antipathies, preferences and dislikes, to persons,
places, and objects: sensitive on the score of attention paid to
themselves, and of offerings tendered by men, jealous of any
person who appeared to make light of them, or to put himself upon
a footing of independence or rivalry: connected with particular
men and cities by ties of family and residence.[84] They
corresponded with all the feelings of the believer; with his
hopes and fears, his joys and sorrows, his pride or his shame, his
love or preference towards some persons or institutions, his
hatred and contempt for others. They were sometimes benevolent,
sometimes displeased and unpropitious, according to circumstances.
They were indeed believed to interfere for the protection of what
the believer accounted innocence or merit, and for the avenging of
what he called wrong. But this was only one of many occasions on
which they interfered. They dispensed alternately evil and good,
out of the two casks mentioned in that Homeric verse[85] which
Plato so emphatically censures. Nay, it was as much a necessity of
the believer's imagination to impute marked and serious suffering
to the envy or jealousy of the Gods, as good fortune and
prosperity to their kindness. Such a turn of thought is not less
visible in Herodotus, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Lykurgus, &c.,
than in Homer and the other poets whom Plato rebukes. Moreover it
is frequently expressed or implied in the answers or admonitions
delivered from oracles.[86]

[Footnote 83: Plato, Republic, ii. p. 379.

In the sixteenth chapter of my "History of Greece" (see p. 504
seq.) I have given many remarks on the ancient Grecian legends,
and on the varying views entertained in ancient times respecting
them, considered chiefly in reference to the standard of
historical belief. I here regard them more as matters of religious
belief and emotion.]

[Footnote 84: Nowhere is the relation between men and the Gods,
and the all-covering variety of divine agency, in ancient Grecian
belief, more instructively illustrated than in the Hippolytus of
Euripides. Hippolytus, a youth priding himself on piety and still
more upon inexorable continence (1140-1365), is not merely the
constant worshipper of the goddess Artemis, but also her
companion; she sits with him, hunts with him; he hears her voice
and converses with her; he knows her presence by the divine odour,
though he does not see her ([Greek: su/nthake, sugku/nage],
1093-1391-87). But he disdains to address a respectful word to
Aphrodité, or to yield in any way to her influence, though he
continually passes by her statue which stands at his gates; he
even speaks of her in disparaging terms (13-101). Aphrodité
becomes deeply indignant with him, not because he is devoted to
Artemis, but because he neglects and despises herself (20): for
the Gods take offence when they are treated with disrespect, just
as men do (6-94). His faithful attendant laments this misguided
self-sufficiency, and endeavours in vain to reason his master out
of it (see the curious dialogue 87-120, also 445). Aphrodité
accordingly resolves to punish Hippolytus for this neglect by
inspiring Phædra, his step-mother, with an irresistible passion
for him: she foresees that this will prove the destruction of
Phædra as well as of Hippolytus, but no such consideration can be
allowed to countervail the necessity of punishing her enemies. She
accordingly smites Phædra with love-sickness, which, since Phædra
will not reveal the cause, the chorus ascribes to the displeasure
and visitation of some unknown divinity, Pan, Hekatê, Kybelê,
&c. (142-238). The course of this beautiful drama is well
known: Aphrodité proves herself a goddess and something more
(359): Phædra and Hippolytus both perish; Theseus is struck down
with grief and remorse (1402); while Artemis, who appears at the
end to console the dying Hippolytus and reprove Theseus, laments
that it was not in her power, according to the established
etiquette among the Gods, to interpose for the protection of
Hippolytus against the anger of Aphrodité, but promises to avenge
him by killing with her unerring arrows some marked favourite of
Aphrodité (1327-1421). "Non esse curæ Diis securitatem nostram,
esse ultionem."--Tacitus.]

[Footnote 85: Homer, Iliad xxiv. 527.]

[Footnote 86: The opinion is memorable, which Herodotus puts into
the mouth of the wisest and best man of his age--Solon. [Greek:
Ô)= Kroi=se, e)pista/meno/n me to\ thei=on pa=n e)o\n phthonero/n
te kai\ tarachô=des, e)peirôta=s a)nthrôpêi+/ôn pragma/tôn
peri/?] (Herod. i. 32). Kroesus was overtaken by a terrible
divine judgment because he thought himself the happiest of men (i.
34). The Gods strike at persons of high rank and position: they do
not suffer any one except themselves to indulge in self-exaltation
(vii. 10). Herodotus ascribes the like sentiment to another man
distinguished for prudence--Amasis king of Egypt (iii. 40-44-125).
Compare Pausanias, ii. 33, and Æschyl. Pers. 93, Supplices, 388,
Hermann. Herodotus and Pausanias proclaim the envy and jealousy of
the Gods more explicitly than other writers. About the usual
disposition to regard the jealousy of the Gods as causing
misfortunes and suffering, see Thucyd. ii. 54, vii. 77; especially
when a man by rash speech or act brings grave misfortune on
himself, he is supposed to be under a misguiding influence by the
Gods, expressed by Herodotus in the remarkable word [Greek:
theoblabê/s] (Herodot. i. 127, viii. 137; Xenoph. Hellen. vi. 4,
3; Soph. Oed. Kol. 371). The poverty in which Xenophon found
himself when he quitted the Cyreian army, is ascribed by himself,
at the suggestion of the prophet Eukleides, to his having omitted
to sacrifice to Zeus Meilichius during the whole course of the
expedition and retreat. The next day Xenophon offered an ample
sacrifice to this God, and good fortune came upon him immediately
afterwards; he captured Asidates the Persian, receiving a large
ransom, with an ample booty, and thus enriched himself (Xenoph.
Anab. vii. 8, 4-23). Compare about [Greek: theô=n phtho/nos],
Pindar, Pyth. x. 20-44; Demosthenes cont. Timokratem, p. 738;
Nägelsbach, Die Nach-Homerische Theologie der Griechen,
pp. 330-355.]

[Side-note: Repugnance of ordinary Athenians in regard
to the criticism of Sokrates on the religious legends.]

When therefore the Platonic Sokrates in this treatise affirms
authoritatively,--and affirms without any proof--his restricted
version of the agency of the Gods, calling upon his countrymen to
reject all that large portion of their religious belief, which
rested upon the assumption of a wider agency, as being unworthy of
the real attributes of the Gods,--he would confirm, in the minds
of ordinary Athenians, the charge of culpable innovation in
religion, preferred against him by his accusers. To set up _à
priori_ a certain type (either Platonic or Epikurean) of what
the Gods _must_ be, different from what they were commonly
believed to be,--and then to disallow, as unworthy and incredible,
all that was inconsistent with this type, including a full half of
the narratives consecrated in the emotional belief of the
public--all this could not but appear as "impious rationalism," on
the part of "the Sophist Sokrates".[87] It would be not less repugnant
to the feelings of ordinary Greeks, and would appear not more
conclusive to their reason, than the arguments of rationalising
critics upon many narratives of the Old Testament appear to
orthodox readers of modern times--when these critics disallow as
untrue many acts therein ascribed to God, on the ground that such
acts are unworthy of a just and good being.

[Footnote 87: Æschines cont. Timarch. [Greek: Sôkra/tê to\n

Lucretius, i. 80.

Illud in his rebus vereor, ne forté rearis
Impia te rationis inire elementa, viamque
Indugredi sceleris--

Plato, in Leges, v. 738 B, recognises the danger of disturbing the
established and accredited religious [Greek: phê=mai], as well as
the rites and ceremonies.]

[Side-note: Aristophanes connects the idea of immorality
with the freethinkers and their wicked misinterpretations.]

Though the Platonic Sokrates, repudiating most of the
narratives believed respecting Gods and Heroes, as being
immoral and suggesting bad examples to the hearers, proposes to
construct a body of new fictions in place of them--yet, if we turn
to the Clouds of Aristophanes, we shall find that the
old-fashioned and unphilosophical Athenian took quite the opposite
view. He connected immoral conduct with the new teaching, not with
the old: he regarded the narratives respecting the Gods as
realities of an unrecorded past, not as fictions for the purposes
of the training-school: he did not imagine that the conduct of
Zeus, in chaining up his father Kronus, was a proper model to be
copied by himself or any other man: nay, he denounced all such
disposition to copy, and to seek excuse for human misconduct in
the example of the Gods, as abuse and profanation introduced by
the sophistry of the freethinkers.[88] In his eyes, the
religious traditions were part and parcel of the established
faith, customs and laws of the state; and Sokrates, in
discrediting the traditions, set himself up as a thinker above the
laws. As to this feature, the Aristophanic Sokrates in the Clouds,
and the Platonic Sokrates in the Republic, perfectly
agree--however much they differ in other respects.

[Footnote 88: Aristophan. Nubes, 358: [Greek: leptota/tôn
lê/rôn i(ereu=]. 885: [Greek: gnô/mas kaina\s e)xeuri/skôn].


[Greek: ô(s ê(du\ kainoi=s pra/gmasin kai\ dexioi=s o(milei=n,
kai\ tô=n kathestô/tôn no/môn u(perphronei=n du/nasthai.]


[Greek: (A)/dikos Lo/gos.)--

Pô=s dê=ta di/kês ou)/sês, o( Zeu\s
ou)k a)po/lôlen, to\n pate/r' au(tou=
(Di/k. Lo/gos) ai)boi=, touti\ kai\ dê\
chôrei= to\ kako/n; do/te moi leka/nên.]


[Greek: moicho\s ga\r ê)\n tu/chê|s a(lou/s, ta/d' a)nterei=s
pro\s au)to/n,
ô(s ou)de\n ê)di/kêkas; ei)=t' e)s to\n Di/' e)panenegkei=n;
ka)kei=nos ô(s ê(/ttôn e)/rôto/s e)sti kai\ gunaikô=n.]

While Aristophanes introduces the freethinker as justifying
unlawful acts by the example of Zeus, Plato (in the dialogue
called Euthyphron) represents Euthyphron as indicting his father
for murder, and justifying himself by the analogy of Zeus;
Euthyphron being a very religious man, who believed all the divine
matters commonly received and more besides (p. 6). This exhibits
the opposition between the Platonic and the Aristophanic point of
view. In the Eumenides of Æschylus (632), these Goddesses reproach
Zeus with inconsistency, after chaining up his old father Kronus,
in estimating so highly the necessity of avenging Agamemnon's
death, as to authorise Orestes to kill Klytæmnestra.

An extract from Butler's Analogy, in reply to the objections
offered by Deists against the Old Testament, will serve to
illustrate the view which pious Athenians took of those ancient
narratives which Plato censures. Butler says: "It is the province
of Reason to judge of the morality of the Scripture; _i.e._
not whether it contains things different from what we should have
expected from a wise, just, and good Being, . . . but whether it
contains things plainly contradictory to Wisdom, Justice, or
Goodness; to what the light of Nature teaches us of God. And I
know nothing of this sort objected against Scripture, excepting
such objections as are formed upon suppositions which would
equally conclude that the constitution of Nature is contradictory
to wisdom, justice, or goodness; which most certainly it is not.
Indeed, there are some particular precepts in Scripture, given to
particular persons, requiring actions which would be immoral and
vicious, were it not for such precepts. But it is easy to see that
all these are of such a kind, as that the precept changes the
whole nature of the case and of the action, and both constitutes
and shows that not to be unjust or immoral which, prior to the
precept, must have appeared and really been so; which may well be,
since none of these precepts are contrary to immutable morality.
If it were commanded to cultivate the principles, and act from the
spirit, of treachery, ingratitude, cruelty; the command would not
alter the nature of the case or of the action, in any of these
instances. But it is quite otherwise in precepts which require
only the doing an external action; for instance, taking away the
property or life of any. For men have no right to either life or
property, but what arises solely from the grant of God; when this
grant is revoked, they cease to have any right at all in either;
and when this revocation is made known, as surely it is possible
it may be, it must cease to be unjust to deprive them of either.
And though a course of external acts which, without command, would
be immoral, must make an immoral habit; yet a few detached
commands have no such natural tendency.

"I thought proper to say thus much of the few Scripture precepts
which require, not vicious actions, but actions which would have
been vicious had it not been for such precepts; because they are
sometimes weakly urged as immoral, and great weight is laid upon
objections drawn from them. But to me there seems no difficulty at
all in these precepts, but what arises from their being
offences--_i.e._ from their being liable to be perverted, as
indeed they are, by wicked designing men, to serve the most horrid
purposes, and perhaps to mislead the weak and enthusiastic. And
objections from this head are not objections against Revelation,
but against the whole notion of Religion as a trial, and against
the whole constitution of Nature." (Butler's Analogy, Part. ii.
ch. 3.)

I do not here propose to examine the soundness of this argument
(which has been acutely discussed in a good pamphlet by Miss
Hennell--'Essay on the Sceptical Tendency of Butler's Analogy,' p.
15, John Chapman, 1859). It appeared satisfactory to an able
reasoner like Butler: and believers at Athens would have found
satisfaction in similar arguments, when the narratives in which
they believed were pronounced by Sokrates mischievous and
incredible, as imputing to the Gods unworthy acts. For
example--Zeus and Athêne instigate Pandarus to break the sworn
truce between the Greeks and Trojans: Zeus sends Oneirus, or the
Dream-God, to deceive Agamemnon (Plat. Rep. ii. pp. 379-383). Here
are acts (the orthodox reasoner would say) which would be immoral if
it were not for the special command: but Agamemnon and the Greeks
had no right to life or property, much less to any other comforts
or advantages, except what arose from the gift of the Gods. Now
the Gods, on this particular occasion, thought fit to revoke the
right which they had granted, making known such revocation to
Pandarus; who, accordingly, in that particular case, committed no
injustice in trying to kill Menelaus, and in actually wounding
him. The Gods did not give any general command "to cultivate the
spirit and act upon the principles" of perjury and faithlessness:
they merely licensed the special act of Pandarus--_hic et
nunc_--by making known to him that they had revoked the right
of the Greeks to have faith observed with them, at that particular
moment. When any man argues--"Pandarus was instigated by Zeus to
break faith: therefore faithlessness is innocent and authorised:
therefore _I_ may break faith"--this is "a perversion by
wicked and designing men for a horrid purpose, and can mislead
only the weak and enthusiastic".

Farther, If the Gods may by special mandates cause the murder or
impoverishment of particular men by other men to be innocent acts,
without sanctioning any inference by analogy--much more may the
same be said respecting the acts of the Gods among themselves,
which Sokrates censures, _viz._ their quarrels, violent
manifestations by word and deed, amorous gusts, hearty laughter,
&c. These too are particular acts, not intended to lead to
consequences in the way of example. The Gods have not issued any
general command. "Be quarrelsome, be violent," &c. If they are
quarrelsome themselves on particular occasions, they have a right
to be so; just as they have a right to take away any man's life or
property whenever they choose: but _you_ are not to follow
their example, and none but wicked men will advise you to do so.

To those believers who denounced Sokrates as a freethinker (Plat.
Euthyp. p. 6 A) such arguments would probably appear satisfactory.
"_Sunt Superis sua jura_" is a general principle, flexible
and wide in its application. Of arguments analogous to those of
Butler, really used in ancient times by advocates who defended the
poets against censures like those of Plato, we find an
illustrative specimen in the Scholia on Sophokles. At the
beginning of the Elektra (35-50), Orestes comes back with his old
attendant or tutor to Argos, bent on avenging the death of his
father. He has been stimulated to that enterprise by the Gods
(70), having consulted Apollo at Delphi, and having been directed
by him to accomplish it not by armed force but by deceits ([Greek:
do/loisi kle/psai], 36). Keeping himself concealed, he sends the
old attendant into the house of Ægisthus, with orders to
communicate a false narrative that he (Orestes) is dead, having
perished by an accident in the Pythian chariot-race: and he
directs the attendant to certify this falsehood by oath ([Greek:
a)/ggelle d' o)/rkô| prostithei/s], 47). Upon which last words
the Scholiast observes as follows:--"We must not take captious
exception to the poet, as if he were here exhorting men to perjure
themselves. For Orestes is bound to obey the God, who commands him
to accomplish the whole by deceit; so that while he appears to be
impious by swearing a false oath, he by that very act shows his
piety, since he does it in obedience to the God"--[Greek: mê\
smikrolo/gôs tis e)pila/bêtai, ô(s keleu/ontos e)piorkei=n tou=
poiêtou=; dei= ga\r au)to\n pei/thesthai tô=| theô=|, to\ pa=n
do/lô| pra/ssein parakeleuome/nô|; ô(/ste e)n oi(=s dokei=
e)piorkô=n dussebei=n, dia\ tou/tôn eu)sebei=, peitho/menos
tô=| theô=|.]]

[Side-note: Heresies ascribed to Sokrates by his own
friends--Unpopularity of his name from this circumstance.]

In reviewing the Platonic Republic, I have thought it necessary to
appreciate the theological and pædagogic doctrines, not merely
with reference to mankind in the abstract, but also as they
appeared to the contemporaries among whom they were promulgated.

[Side-note: Restrictions imposed by Plato upon musical modes
and reciters.]

To all the above mentioned restrictions imposed by Plato upon the
manifestation of the poet, both as to thoughts, words, and manner
of recital--we must add those which he provides for music in its
limited sense: the musical modes and instruments, the varieties of
rhythm. He allows only the lyre and the harp, with the panspipe
for shepherds tending their flocks. He forbids both the flute and
all complicated stringed instruments. Interdicting the lugubrious,
passionate, soft, and convivial, modes of music, he tolerates none
but the Dorian and Phrygian, suitable to a sober, resolute,
courageous, frame of mind: to which also all the rhythm and
movement of the body is to be adapted.[89] Each particular
manifestation of speech, music, poetry, and painting, having a
natural affinity with some particular emotional and volitional
state--emanating from it in the mind of the author and
suggesting it in other minds--nothing is to be tolerated except
what exhibits goodness and temperance of disposition,--grace,
proportion, and decency of external form.[90] Artisans are to
observe the like rules in their constructions: presenting to the
eye nothing but what is symmetrical. The youthful Guardians,
brought up among such representations, will have their minds
imbued with correct æsthetical sentiment; they will learn even in
their youngest years, before they are competent to give reasons,
to love what is beautiful and honourable to hate what is ugly and

[Footnote 89: Plato, Repub. iii. pp. 399-400.]

[Footnote 90: Plato, Repub. iii. pp. 400 D-401 B. [Greek: o(
tro/pos tê=s le/xeôs--tô=| tê=s psuchê=s ê)/thei
e(/petai--prosanagkaste/on tê\n tou= a)gathou= ei)ko/na
ê)/thous e)mpoiei=n.]]

[Footnote 91: Plato, Repub. iii. pp. 401-402 A.]

[Side-note: All these restrictions intended for the
emotional training of the Guardians.]

All these enactments and prohibitions have for their purpose the
ethical and æsthetical training of the Guardians: to establish and
keep up in each individual Guardian, a good state of the emotions,
and a proper internal government--that is, a due subordination of
energy and appetite to Reason.[92] Their bodies will also be
trained by a good and healthy scheme of gymnastics, which will at
the same time not only impart to them strength but inspire them
with courage. The body is here considered, not (like what we read
in Phædon and Philêbus) as an inconvenient and depraving
companion to the mind: but as an indispensable co-operator, only
requiring to be duly reined.

[Footnote 92: Plato, Repub. x. p. 608 B. [Greek: peri\ tê=s e)n
au(tô=| politei/as dedio/ti--me/gas o( a)gô/n, me/gas, ou)ch
o(/sos dokei=, to\ chrêsto\n ê)\ kako\n gene/sthai.]]

[Side-note: Regulations for the life of the Guardians,
especially the prohibition of separate property and family.]

The Guardians, of both sexes, thus educated and disciplined, are
intended to pass their whole lives in the discharge of their
duties as Guardians; implicitly obeying the orders of the Few
Philosophical chiefs, and quartered in barracks under strict
regulations. Among these regulations, there are two in particular
which have always provoked more surprise and comment than any
other features in the commonwealth; first, the prohibition of
separate property--next, the prohibition of separate
family--including the respective position of the two sexes.

[Side-note: Purpose of Plato in these regulations.]

The directions of Plato on these two points not only hang
together, but are founded on the same reason and
considerations. He is resolved to prevent the growth of any
separate interest, affections, or aspirations, in the mind of any
individual Guardian. Each Guardian is to perform his military and
civil duties to the Commonwealth, and to do nothing else. He must
find his happiness in the performance of his duty: no double
functions or occupations are tolerated. This principle, important
in Plato's view as regards every one, is of supreme importance as
applying to the Guardians,[93] in whom resides the whole armed
force of the Commonwealth and by whom the orders of the Chiefs or
Elders are enforced. If the Guardians aspire to private ends of
their own, and employ their force for the attainment of such ends,
nothing but oppression and ruin of the remaining community can
ensue. A man having land of his own to cultivate, or a wife and
family of his own to provide with comforts, may be a good
economist, but he will never be a tolerable Guardian.[94] To be
competent for this latter function, he must neither covet wealth
nor be exposed to the fear of poverty: he must desire neither
enjoyments nor power, except what are common to his entire
regiment. He must indulge neither private sympathies nor private
antipathies: he must be inaccessible to all motives which could
lead him to despoil or hurt his fellow-citizens the producers.
Accordingly the hopes and fears involved in self-maintenance--the
feelings of buyer, seller, donor, or receiver--the ideas of
separate property, house, wife, or family--must never be allowed
to enter into his mind. The Guardians will receive from the
productive part of the community a constant provision, sufficient,
but not more than sufficient, for their reasonable maintenance.
Their residence will be in public barracks and their meals at a
common mess: they must be taught to regard it as a disgrace to
meddle in any way with gold and silver.[95] Men and women will
live all together, or distributed in a few fractional companies,
but always in companionship, and under perpetual drill; beginning
from the earliest years with both sexes. Boys and girls will be
placed from the beginning under the same superintendence; and
will receive the same training, as well in gymnastic as in music.
The characters of both will be exposed to the same influences and
formed in the same mould. Upon the maintenance of such early,
equal, and collective training, especially in music, under the
orders of the Elders,--Plato declares the stability of the
Commonwealth to depend.[96]

[Footnote 93: Plato, Repub. iv. pp. 421-A 423 D.]

[Footnote 94: Plato, Repub. iii. p. 417 A-B.]

[Footnote 95: Plato, Repub. iii. pp. 416-417.]

[Footnote 96: Plato, Repub. iv. pp. 423-424 D-425 A-C.]

[Side-note: Common life, education, drill, collective life,
and duties, for Guardians of both sexes. Views of Plato respecting
the female character and aptitudes.]

The purpose being, to form good and competent Guardians the same
training which will be best for the boys will also be best for the
girls. But is it true that women are competent to the function of
Guardians? Is the female nature endued with the same aptitudes for
such duties as the male? Men will ridicule the suggestion (says
Plato) and will maintain the negative. They will say that there
are some functions for which men are more competent, others for
which women are more competent than men: and that women are unfit
for any such duty as that of Guardians. Plato dissents from this
opinion altogether. There is no point on which he speaks in terms
of more decided conviction. Men and women (he says) can perform
this duty conjointly, just as dogs of both sexes take part in
guarding the flock. It is not true that the female, by reason of
the characteristic properties of sex--parturition and suckling--is
disqualified for out-door occupations and restricted to the
interior of the house.[97] As in the remaining animals generally,
so also in the human race. There is no fundamental difference
between the two sexes, other than that of the sexual attributes
themselves. From that difference no consequences flow, in respect
to aptitude for some occupations, inaptitude for others. There are
great individual differences between one woman and another, as
there are between one man and another: this woman is peculiarly
fit for one task, that woman for something else. But speaking of
women generally and collectively, there is not a single profession
for which they are peculiarly fit, or more fit than men. Men are
superior to women in every thing; in one occupation as well as in
another. Yet among both sexes, there are serious individual
differences, so that many women, individually estimated, will
be superior to many men; no women will equal the best men, but the
best women will equal the second-best men, and will be superior to
the men below them.[98] Accordingly, in order to obtain the best
Guardians, selection must be made from both sexes
indiscriminately. For ordinary duties, both will be found equally
fit: but the heaviest and most difficult duties, those which
require the maximum of competence to perform, will usually devolve
upon men.[99]

[Footnote 97: Plato, Repub. v. p. 451 D.]

[Footnote 98: See this remarkable argument--Republic, v. pp.
453-456--[Greek: gunai=kes me/ntoi pollai\ pollô=n a)ndrô=n
belti/ous ei)s polla/; to\ de\ o(/lon e)/chei ô(s su\ le/geis.
Ou)de\n a)/ra e)sti\n e)pitê/deuma tô=n po/lin dioikou/ntôn
gunaiko\s dio/ti gunê/, ou)/d' a)ndro\s dio/ti a)nê/r, a)ll'
o(moi/ôs diesparme/nai ai( phu/seis e)n a)mphoi=n toi=n zô/oin,
kai\ pa/ntôn me\n mete/chei gunê\ e)pitêdeuma/tôn kata\
phu/sin, pa/ntôn de\ a)nê/r; e)pi\ pa=si de\ a)sthene/steron
gunê\ a)ndro/s] (p. 455 D). It would appear (from p. 455 C) that
those who maintained the special fitness of women for certain
occupations and their special unfitness for others, cited, as
examples of occupations in which women surpassed men, weaving and
cookery. But Plato denies this emphatically as a matter of fact;
pronouncing that women were inferior to men (_i.e._ the best
women to the best men) in weaving and cookery no less than in
other things. We should have been glad to know what facts were
present to his mind as bearing out such an assertion, and what
observations were open to him of weaving as performed by males. In
Greece, weaving was the occupation of women very generally,
whether exclusively or not we can hardly say; in Phoenicia,
during the Homeric times, the finest robes are woven by Sidonian
women (Iliad vi. 289): in Egypt, on the contrary, it was
habitually performed by men, and Herodotus enumerates this as one
of the points in which the Egyptians differed from other countries
(Herodot. ii. 35; Soph. Oed. Kol. 340, with the Scholia, and the
curious citation contained therein from the [Greek: Barbarika\] of
Nymphodorus). The process of weaving was also conducted in a
different manner by the Egyptians. Whether Plato had seen finer
webs in Egypt than in Greece we cannot say.]

[Footnote 99: Plato, Repub. v. p. 457 A.]

[Side-note: His arguments against the ordinary doctrine.]

Those who maintain (continues Plato) that because women are
different from men, therefore the occupations of the two ought to
be different--argue like vexatious disputants who mistake verbal
distinctions for real: who do not enquire what is the formal or
specific distinction indicated by a name, or whether it has any
essential bearing on the matter under discussion.[100] Long-haired
men are different from bald-heads: but shall we conclude, that if
the former are fit to make shoes, the latter are unfit? Certainly
not: for when we inquire into the formal distinction connoted
by these words, we find that it has no bearing upon such
handicraft processes. So again the formal distinction implied by
the terms _male_, _female_, in the human race as in
other animals, lies altogether in the functions of sex and
procreation.[101] Now this has no essential bearing on the
occupations of the adult; nor does it confer on the male fitness
for one set of occupations--on the female, fitness for another.
Each sex is fit for all, but the male is most fit for all: in each
sex there are individuals better and worse, and differing one from
another in special aptitudes. Men are competent for the duties of
Guardians, only on condition of having gone through a complete
musical and gymnastical education. Women are competent also, under
the like condition; and are equally capable of profiting by the
complete education. Moreover, the chiefs must select for those
duties the best natural subjects. The total number of such is very
limited: and they must select the best that both sexes

[Footnote 100: Plato, Republic, v. p. 454 A. [Greek: dia\ to\ mê\
du/nastai kat' ei)/dê diairou/menoi to\ lego/meon e)piskopei=n,
a)lla\ kat' au)to\ to\ o)/noma diô/kein tou= lechthe/ntos tê\n
e)nanti/ôsin, e)/ridi, ou) diale/ktô|, pro\s a)llê/lous
chrô/menoi.] 454 B: [Greek: e)peskepsa/metha de\ ou)d'
o(pê|ou=n, ti/ ei)=dos to\ tê=s e(te/ras te kai\ tê=s au)tê=s
phu/seôs, kai\ pro\s ti/ tei=non ô(rizo/metha to/te, o(/te ta\
e)pitêdeu/mata a)/llê| phu/sei a)/lla, tê=| de\ au)tê=| ta\
au)ta/, a)pedi/domen.] Xenophon is entirely opposed to Plato on
this point. He maintains emphatically the distinct special
aptitudes of man and woman. Oeconom. vii. 20-38; compare
Euripid. Electra, 74.]

[Footnote 101: Plato, Repub. v. p. 455 C-D.]

[Footnote 102: Plato, Repub. v. p. 456.]

[Side-note: Opponents appealed to nature as an authority
against Plato. He invokes Nature on his own side against them.]

The strong objections, generally entertained against thus
assigning to women equal participation in the education and
functions of the Guardians, were enforced by saying--That
it was a proceeding contrary to Nature. But Plato not
only denies the validity of this argument: he even retorts it upon
the objectors, and affirms that the existing separation of functions
between the two sexes is contrary to Nature, and that his
proposition alone is conformable thereunto.[103] He has shown that
the specific or formal distinction of the two has no essential
bearing on the question, and therefore that no argument can be
founded upon it. The specific or formal characteristic, in the
case of males, is doubtless superior, taken abstractedly: yet in
particular men it is embodied or manifested with various degrees
of perfection, from very good to very bad. In the case of females,
though inferior abstractedly, it is in its best particular
embodiments equal to all except the best males, and superior to
all such as are inferior to the best. Accordingly, the true
dictate of Nature is, not merely that females _may be_ taken,
but that they _ought to be_ taken, conjointly with males,
under the selection of the Rulers, to fulfil the most important
duties in the Commonwealth. The select females must go through the
same musical and gymnastic training as the males. He who ridicules
them for such bodily exercises, prosecuted with a view to the best
objects, does not know what he is laughing at. "For this is the
most valuable maxim which is now, or ever has been,
proclaimed--What is useful, is honourable. What is hurtful, is

[Footnote 103: Plato, Repub. v. p. 456 C. [Greek: Ou)k a)/ra
a)du/nata/ ge, ou)de\ eu)chai=s o(/moia, e)nomothetou=men,
e)pei/per kata\ phu/sin e)ti/themen to\n no/mon; a)lla\ ta\ nu=n
para\ tau=ta gigno/mena para\ phu/sin ma=llon, ô(s e)/oike,

[Footnote 104: Plato, Repub. v. p. 457 B. [Greek: O( de\ gelô=n
a)nê\r e)pi\ gumnai=s gunaixi/, tou= belti/stou e(/neka
gumnazome/nais, a)telê= tou= geloi/ou sophi/as dre/pôn karpo/n,
ou)de\n oi)=den, ô(s e)/oiken, e)ph' ô(=| gela=| ou)d' o(/, ti
pra/ttei; ka/llista ga\r dê\ tou=to kai\ le/getai kai\
lele/xetai, o(/ti to\ me\n ô)phe/limon, kalo/n--to\ de\
blabero/n, ai)schro/n.]]

[Side-note: Collective family relations and denominations
among the Guardians.]

Plato now proceeds to unfold the relations of the sexes as
intended to prevail among the mature Guardians, after all have
undergone the public and common training from their earliest
infancy. He conceives them as one thousand in total number,
composed of both sexes in nearly equal proportion: since they are
to be the best individuals of both sexes, the male sex, superior
in formal characteristic, will probably furnish rather a greater
number than the female. It has already been stated that they are
all required to live together in barracks, dining at a common
mess-table, with clothing and furniture alike for all. There is no
individual property or separate house among them: the collective
expense, in a comfortable but moderate way, is defrayed by
contributions from the producing class. Separate families are
unknown: all the Guardians, male and female, form one family, and
one only: the older are fathers and mothers of all the younger,
the younger are sons and daughters of all the older: those of the
same age are all alike brothers and sisters of each other: those
who, besides being of the same age, are within the limits of the
nuptial age and of different sexes, are all alike husbands and
wives of each other.[105] It is the principle of the Platonic
Commonwealth that the affections implied in these family-words,
instead of being confined to one or a few exclusively, shall
be expanded so as to embrace all of appropriate age.

[Footnote 105: Plato, Republic, v. p. 457 C-D. [Greek: ta\s
gunai=kas tau/tas tô=n a)ndrô=n tou/tôn pa/ntôn pa/sas ei)=nai
koina/s, i)di/a| de\ mêdeni\ mêdemi/an sunoikei=n; kai\ tou\s
pai=das au)= koinou/s, kai\ mê/te gone/a e)/kgonon ei)de/nai to\n
au)tou= mê/te pai=da gone/a.]]

[Side-note: Restrictions upon sexual intercourse--Purposes
of such restrictions.]

But Plato does not at all intend that sexual intercourse shall
take place between these men and women promiscuously, or at the
pleasure of individuals. On the contrary, he expressly denounces
and interdicts it.[106] A philosopher who has so much general
disdain for individual impulse or choice, was not likely to
sanction it in this particular case. Indeed it is the special
purpose of his polity to bring impulse absolutely under the
controul of reason, or of that which he assumes as such. This
purpose is followed out in a remarkable manner as to procreation.
What he seeks as lawgiver is, to keep the numbers of the Guardians
nearly stationary, with no diminution and scarcely any
increase:[107] and to maintain the breed pure, so that the
children born shall be as highly endowed by nature as possible. To
these two objects the liberty of sexual intercourse is made
subservient. The breeding is regulated like that of noble horses
or dogs by an intelligent proprietor: the best animals of both
sexes being brought together, and the limits of age fixed
beforehand.[108] Plato prescribes, as the limits of age, from
twenty to forty for females--from thirty to fifty-five for
males--when the powers of body and mind are at the maximum in both.
All who are younger as well as all who are older, are expressly
forbidden to meddle in the procreation _for the city_: this
being a public function.[109] Between the ages above named,
couples will be invited to marry in such numbers as the Rulers may
consider expedient for ensuring a supply of offspring sufficient
and not more than sufficient--having regard to wars, distempers,
or any other recent causes of mortality.[110]

[Footnote 106: Plato, Repub. v. p. 458 E. [Greek: a)ta/ktôs me\n
mi/gnusthai a)llê/lois ê)\ a)/llo o(tiou=n poiei=n ou)/te
o(/sion e)n eu)daimo/nôn po/lei ou)/t' e)a/sousin oi(

[Footnote 107: Plato, Republic, v. p. 460 A. [Greek: to\ de\
plê=thos tô=n ga/môn e)pi\ toi=s a)/rchousi poiê/somen, i(/n'
ô(s ma/lista diasô/zôsi to\n au)to\n a)rithmo\n tô=n
a)ndrô=n, pro\s pole/mous te kai\ no/sous kai\ pa/nta ta\
toiau=ta a)poskopou=ntes, kai\ mê/te mega/lê ê(mi=n ê( po/lis
kata\ to\ dunato\n mê/te smikra\ gi/gnêtai.]]

[Footnote 108: Plato, Repub. v. p. 459.]

[Footnote 109: This is his phrase, repeated more than
once--[Greek: ti/ktein tê=| po/lei, genna=|n tê=| po/lei--tô=n
ei)s to\ koino\n gennê/seôn] (pp. 460-461).

What Lucan (ii. 387) observes about Cato of Utica, is applicable
to the Guardians of the Platonic Republic:--

"Venerisque huic maximus usus
Progenies. Urbi pater est, Urbique maritus."]

[Footnote 110: Plato, Repub. v. p. 460 A.]

[Side-note: Regulations about marriages and family.]

There is no part of the Platonic system in which individual choice
is more decidedly eliminated, and the intervention of the Rulers
made more constantly paramount, than this respecting the
marriages: and Plato declares it to be among the greatest
difficulties which they will have to surmount. They will establish
festivals, in which they bring together the brides and
bridegrooms, with hymns, prayer, and sacrifices, to the Gods: they
will determine by lot what couples shall be joined, so as to make
up the number settled as appropriate: but they will arrange the
sortition themselves so cleverly, that what appears chance to
others will be a result to them predetermined. The best men will
thus always be assorted with the best women, the inferior with the
inferior: but this will appear to every one, except themselves,
the result of chance.[111] Any young man (of thirty and upwards)
distinguished for bravery or excellence will be allowed to have
more than one wife; since it is good not merely to recompense his
merit, but also to multiply his breed.[112]

[Footnote 111: Plato, Repub. v. p. 460.]

[Footnote 112: Plato, Repub. v. pp. 460 B, 468 C. In the latter
passage it even appears that he is allowed to make a choice.]

In the seventh month, or in the tenth month, after the ceremonial
day, offspring will be born, from these unions. But the children,
immediately on being born, will be taken away from their mothers,
and confided to nurses in an appropriate lodgment. The mothers
will be admitted to suckle them, and wet-nurses will also be
provided, as far as necessary: but the period for the mother to
suckle will be abridged as much as possible, and all other trouble
required for the care of infancy will be undertaken, not by her,
but by the nurses. Moreover the greatest precautions will be taken
that no mother shall know her own child: which is considered to be
practicable, since many children will be born at nearly the same
time.[113] The children in infancy will be examined by the Rulers
and other good judges, who will determine how many of them are
sufficiently well constituted to promise fitness for the duties of
Guardians. The children of the good and vigorous couples, except
in any case of bodily deformity, will be brought up and placed
under the public training for Guardians: the unpromising children,
and those of the inferior couples, being regarded as not fit
subjects for the public training, will be secretly got rid of, or
placed among the producing class of the Commonwealth.[114]

[Footnote 113: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 460 D, 461 D.]

[Footnote 114: Compare Republic, v. pp. 459 D, 460 C, 461 C, with
Timæus, p. 19 A. In Timæus, where the leading doctrines of the
Republic are briefly recapitulated, Plato directs that the
children considered as unworthy shall be secretly distributed
among the remaining community, _i.e._ not among the
Guardians: in the Republic itself, his language, though not clear,
seems to imply that they shall be exposed and got rid of.]

[Side-note: Procreative powers of individual Guardians
required to be held at the disposal of the rulers, for purity of

What Plato here understands by marriage, is a special, solemn,
consecrated, coupling for the occasion, with a view to breed for
the public. It constitutes no permanent bond between the two
persons coupled: who are brought together by the authorities under
a delusive sortition, but who may perhaps never be brought
together at any future sortition, unless it shall please the same
authorities. The case resembles that of a breeding stud of horses
and mares, to which Plato compares it: nothing else is wanted but
the finest progeny attainable. But this, in Plato's judgment, is
the most important of all purposes: his commonwealth cannot
maintain itself except under a superior breed of Guardians.
Accordingly, he invests his marriages with the greatest possible
sanctity. The religious solemnities accompanying them are
essential to furnish security for the goodness of the offspring.
Any proceeding, either of man or woman, which contravenes the
provisions of the rulers on this point, is peremptorily forbidden:
and any child, born from unauthorised intercourse without the
requisite prayers and sacrifices, is considered as an outcast.
Within the limits of the connubial age, all persons of both sexes
hold their procreative powers exclusively at the disposition of
the lawgiver. But after that age is past, both men and women may
indulge in intercourse with whomsoever they please, since they are
no longer in condition to procreate for the public. They are
subject only to this one condition: not to produce any children,
or, if perchance they do, not to bring them up.[115] There is
moreover one restriction upon the personal liberty of intercourse,
after the connubial limits of age. No intercourse is permitted
between father and daughter, or between mother and son. But how
can such restriction be enforced, since no individual paternity or
maternity is recognised in the Commonwealth? Plato answers by
admitting a collective paternity and maternity. Every child born
in the seventh month or in the tenth month after a couple have
been solemnly wedded will be considered by them as their son or
daughter, and will consider himself as such.[116]

[Footnote 115: Plato, Repub. v. p. 461 C.]

[Footnote 116: Plato, Repub. v. p. 461 D.]

Besides all these direct provisions for the purity of the breed of
Guardians, which will succeed (so Plato anticipates) in a large
majority of cases--the Rulers will keep up an effective
supervision of detail, so as to exclude any unworthy exception,
and even to admit into the Guardians any youth of very rare and
exceptional promise who may be born among the remaining community.
For Plato admits that there may be accidental births both ways:
brass and iron may by occasional accident give birth to gold or
silver--and _vice versâ_.

[Side-note: Purpose to create an intimate and equal sympathy
among all the Guardians, but to prevent exclusive sympathy of
particular members.]

It is in this manner that Plato constitutes his body of Guardians;
one thousand adult persons of both sexes,[117] in nearly equal
numbers, together with a small proportion of children--the
proportion of these latter must be very small since the total
number is not allowed to increase. His end here is to create an
intimate and equal sympathy among them all, like that between all
the members of the same bodily organism: to abolish all
independent and exclusive sympathies of particular parts: to make
the city One and Indivisible--a single organism, instead of many
distinct conterminous organisms: to provide that the causes of
pleasure and pain shall be the same to all, so that a man shall
have no feeling of mine or thine, except in reference to his own
body and that of another, which Plato notes as the greatest
good--instead of each individual struggling apart for his own objects
and rejoicing on occasions when his neighbour sorrows, which Plato
regards as the greatest evil.[118] All standing causes of
disagreement or antipathy among the Guardians are assumed to be
thus removed. But if any two hot-headed youths get into a
quarrel, they must fight it out on the spot. This will serve as a
lesson in gymnastics:--subject however to the interference of any
old man as by-stander, whom they as well as all other young men
are bound implicitly to obey.[119] Moreover all the miseries,
privations, anxiety, and dependence, inseparable from the life of
a poor man under the system of private property, will disappear

[Footnote 117: This number of 1000 appears stated by Aristotle
(Politic. ii. 6, p. 1265, a. 9), and is probably derived from
Republic, iv. p. 423 A; though that passage appears scarcely
sufficient to prove that Plato meant to declare the number 1000 as
peremptory. However the understanding of Aristotle himself on the
point is one material evidence to make us believe that this is the
real construction intended by Plato.]

[Footnote 118: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 462-463-464 D. [Greek: dia\
to\ mêde/na i)/dion e)ktê=sthai plê\n to\ sô=ma, ta\ de\
a)/lla koina/.] Compare Plato, Legg. v. p. 739 C.]

[Footnote 119: Plato, Republic, v. pp. 464-465.]

[Footnote 120: Plato, Republic, v. p. 465 C.]

Such are the main features of Plato's Republic, in reference to
his Guardians. They afford a memorable example of that
philosophical analysis, applied to the circumstances of man and
society, which the Greek mind was the first to conceive and follow
out. Plato lays down his ends with great distinctness, as well as
the means whereby he proposes to attain them. Granting his ends,
the means proposed are almost always suitable and appropriate,
whether practicable or otherwise.

[Side-note: Platonic scheme--partial communism.]

The Platonic scheme is communism, so far as concerns the
Guardians: but not communism in reference to the entire
Commonwealth. In this it falls short of his own ideal, and is only
a second best: the best of all would be, in his view, a communion
that should pervade all persons and all acts and sentiments,
effacing altogether the separate self.[121] Not venturing to soar
so high, he confined his perfect communion to the Guardians.
Moreover his communism differs from modern theories in this. They
contemplate individual producers and labourers, handing over the
produce to be distributed among themselves by official authority;
they contemplate also a regulation not merely of distribution, but
of reserved capital and productive agency, under the same
authority. But the Platonic Guardians are not producers at all.
Everything which they consume is found for them. They are in the
nature of paid functionaries, exempted from all cares and anxiety
of self-maintenance, either present or future. They are all
comfortably provided, without hopes of wealth or fear of poverty:
moreover they are all equally comfortable, so that no sentiment
can grow up among them, arising from comparison of each other's
possessions or enjoyments. Among such men and women, brought
up from infancy as Plato directs, the sentiment of property, with
all the multifarious associations derived from it, would be
unknown. No man's self-esteem, no man's esteem of others, would
turn upon it.

[Footnote 121: See Plato, De Legibus, v. p. 739 D. The Republic is
_second best_; that which appears sketched in the treatise De
Legibus is _third best_.]

In this respect, the remaining members of the city, apart from the
Guardians, and furnishing all the subsistence of the Guardians,
are differently circumstanced. They are engaged in different modes
of production, each exclusively in one mode. They exchange, buy,
and sell, with each other: there exist therefore among them
gradations of strength, skill, perseverance, frugality, and good
luck--together with the consequent gradations of wealth and
poverty. The substance or capital of the Commonwealth is
maintained altogether by the portion of it which is extraneous to
the Guardians; and among that portion there is no communism. The
maintenance of the Guardians is a tax which these men have to pay:
but after paying it, they apply or enjoy the rest of their produce
as they please, subject to the requirements of the Rulers for
public service.[122]

[Footnote 122: Aristotle, in his comments upon the Platonic
Republic (Politic. ii. 5. p. 1262, b. 42 seq.), advances arguments
just in themselves, in favour of individual property, and against
community of property. But these arguments have little application
to the Republic.]

Nevertheless we are obliged to divine what Plato means about the
condition of the producing classes in his Commonwealth. He himself
tells us little or nothing about them; though they must constitute
the large numerical majority. And this defect is in him the less
excusable, since he reckons them as component members of his
Commonwealth; while Aristotle, in his ideal Commonwealth, does not
reckon them as component members or citizens, but merely as
indispensable adjuncts, in the same manner as slaves. All that we
know about the producers in the Platonic Commonwealth is, that
each man is to have only one business--that for which he is most
fit:--and that all are to be under the administration of the
Rulers through the Guardians.

[Side-note: Soldiership as a separate profession has
acquired greater development in modern times.]

The enlistment of soldiers, apart from civilians, and the holding
of them under distinct laws and stricter discipline, is a practice
familiar to modern ideas, though it had little place among the
Greeks of Plato's day. There prevailed also in Egypt[123] and in
parts of Eastern Asia, from time immemorial, a distinction of
castes: one caste being soldiers, invested with the defence of the
country, and enjoying certain lands by the tenure of such military
service: but in other respects, private proprietors like the
rest--and receiving no special discipline, training, or education.
In Grecian Ideas, military duties were a part, but only a part, of
the duties of a citizen. This was the case even at Sparta. Though
in practice, the discipline of that city tended in a preponderant
degree towards military aptitude, yet the Spartan was still a
citizen, not exclusively a soldier.

[Footnote 123: Aristot. Politic. vii. 10. Herodot. ii. 164. Plato
alludes (Timæ. 24 A) to the analogy of Egyptian castes.]

[Side-note: Spartan institutions--great impression which
they produced upon speculative Greek minds.]

It was from the Spartan institutions (and the Kretan, in many
respects analogous) that the speculative political philosophers in
Greece usually took the point of departure for their theories. Not
only Plato did so, but Xenophon and Aristotle likewise. The most
material fact which they saw before them at Sparta was, a public
discipline both strict and continued, which directed the movements
of the citizens, and guided their thoughts and feelings, from
infancy to old age. To this supreme controul the private feelings,
both of family and property, though not wholly suppressed, were
made to bend: and occasionally in a way quite as remarkable as any
restrictions proposed by either Plato or Xenophon.[124] Moreover,
the Spartan institutions were of immemorial antiquity; believed to
have been suggested or sanctioned originally by Apollo and the
Delphian oracle, as the Kretan institutions were by Zeus.[125]
They had lasted longer than other Hellenic institutions without
forcible subversion: they obtained universal notice, admiration,
and deference, throughout Greece. It was this conspicuous fact
which emboldened the Grecian theorists to postulate for the
lawgiver that unbounded controul, over the life and habits of
citizens, which we read not merely in the Republic of Plato but in
the Cyropædia of Xenophon, and to a great degree even in the
Politica of Aristotle. To an objector, who asked them how they
could possibly expect that individuals would submit to such
unlimited interference, they would have replied--"Look at
Sparta. You see there interference, as constant and rigorous as
that which I propose, endured by the citizens not only without
resistance, but with a tenacity and long continuance such as is
not found among other communities with more lax regulations. The
habits and sentiments of the Spartan citizen are fashioned to
these institutions. Far from being anxious to shake them off, he
accounts them a necessity as well as an honour." This reply would
have appeared valid and reasonable, in the fourth century before
the Christian era. And it explains--what, after all, is the most
surprising circumstance to a modern reader--the extreme boldness
of speculation, the ideal omnipotence, assumed by the leading
Grecian political theorists: much even by Aristotle, though his
aspirations were more limited and practical--far more by
Xenophon--most of all by Plato. Any theorist, proceeding avowedly
[Greek: kat' eu)chê\n], considered himself within bounds when he
assumed to himself no greater influence than had actually been
exercised by Lykurgus.

[Footnote 124: See Xenophon, Hellenic. vi. 4, 16, the account of
what passed at Sparta after the battle of Leuktra, related also in
my "History of Greece," chap. 78, vol. x. p. 253.]

[Footnote 125: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 632 D, 634 A.]

[Side-note: Plans of these speculative minds compared with
Spartan--Different types of character contemplated.]

Assuming such influence, however, he intended to employ it for
ends approved by himself: agreeing with Lykurgus in the general
principle of forming the citizen's character by public and
compulsory discipline, but not agreeing with him in the type of
character proper to be aimed at. Xenophon departs least from the
Spartan type: Aristotle and Plato greatly more, though in
different directions. Each of them applies to a certain extent the
process of abstraction and analysis both to the individual and to
the community: considering both of them as made up of component
elements working simultaneously either in co-operation or
conflict. But in Plato the abstraction is carried farthest: the
wholeness of the individual Guardian is completely effaced, so
that each constitutes a small fraction or wheel of the real
Platonic whole--the commonwealth. The fundamental Platonic
principle is, that each man shall have one function, and one only:
an extreme application of that which political economists call the
division of labour. Among these many different functions, one, and
doubtless the most difficult as well as important, is that of
directing, administering, and defending the community: which is
done by the Guardians and Rulers. It is to this one function
that all Plato's treatise is devoted: he tells us how such persons
are to be trained and circumstanced. What he describes, therefore,
is not properly citizens administering their own affairs, but
commanders and officers watching over the interests of others: a
sort of military _bureaucracy_, with chiefs at its head,
directing as well as guarding a multitude beneath them. And what
mainly distinguishes the Platonic system, is the extreme
abstraction with which this public and official character is
conceived: the degree to which the whole man is merged in the
performance of his official duties: the entire extinction within
him of the old individual Adam--of all private feelings and

[Side-note: Plato carries abstraction farther than Xenophon
or Aristotle.]

Both in Xenophon and in Aristotle, as well as at Sparta, the
citizen is subjected to a public compulsory training, severe as
well as continuous: but he is still a citizen as well as a
functionary. He has private interests as well as public duties:--a
separate home, property, wife, and family. Plato, on the contrary,
contends that the two are absolutely irreconcileable: that if the
Guardian has private anxieties for his own maintenance, private
house and lands to manage, private sympathies and antipathies to
gratify--he will become unfaithful to his duties as Guardian, and
will oppress instead of protecting the people.[126] You must
choose between the two (he says): you cannot have the self-caring
citizen and the public-minded Guardian in one.[127]

[Footnote 126: Plato, Republic, iii. pp. 416-417.]

[Footnote 127: See the contrary opinion asserted by Nikias in his
speech at Athens, Thucyd. vi. 9.]

[Side-note: Anxiety shown by Plato for the good treatment of
the Demos, greater than that shown by Xenophon and Aristotle.]

Looking to ideal perfection, I think Plato is right. If the Rulers
and Guardians have private interests of their own, those interests
will corrupt more or less the discharge of their public duties.
The evil may be mitigated, by forms of government (representative
and other arrangements), which make the continuance of power
dependent upon popular estimation of the functionaries: but it
cannot be abolished. Neither Xenophon, nor Aristotle, nor the
Spartan system, provided any remedy for this difficulty. They
scarcely even recognise the difficulty as real. In all the three,
the proportion of trained citizens to the rest of the people,
would be about the same (so far as we can judge) as the
proportion of the Platonic Guardians to the Demos or rest of the
people. But when we look to see what security either of the three
systems provide for good behaviour on the part of citizens towards
non-citizens, we find no satisfaction; nor do they make it, as
Plato does, one prominent object of their public training. Plato
shows extreme anxiety for the object: as is proved by his
sacrificing, in order to ensure it, all the private sources of
pleasure to his Guardians. Aristotle reproaches him with doing
this, so as to reduce the happiness of his Guardians to nothing:
but Plato, from his own point of view, would not admit the justice
of such reproach, since he considers happiness to be derived from,
and proportional to, the performance of duty.

[Side-note: In Aristotle's theory, the Demos are not
considered as members of the Commonwealth, but as adjuncts.]

This last point must be perpetually kept in mind, in following
Plato's reasoning. But though he does not consider himself as
sacrificing the happiness of his Guardians to their duty, we must
give him credit for anxiety, greater than either Aristotle or
Xenophon has shown, to ensure a faithful discharge of duty on the
part of the Guardians towards the rest of the people. In
Aristotle's theory,[128] the rest of the people are set aside as
not members of the Commonwealth, thus counting as a secondary and
inferior object in his estimation; while the citizens, who alone
are members, are trained to practise virtue for its own sake and
for their own happiness. In Plato's theory, the rest of the people
are not only proclaimed as members of the Commonwealth,[129] but
are the ultimate and capital objects of all his solicitude. It is
in protecting, governing, and administering them, that the lives
of the Rulers and Guardians are passed. Though they (the remaining
people) receive no public training, yet Plato intends them to reap
all the benefit of the laborious training bestowed on the
Guardians. This is a larger and more generous conception of the
purpose of political institutions, than we find either in
Aristotle or in Xenophon.

[Footnote 128: Aristotle, Politic. vii. 9, p. 1328, b. 40, p.
1329, a. 25.]

[Footnote 129: Aristot. Politic. ii. 5, p. 1264, a. 12-26,
respecting the Platonic Commonwealth, [Greek: kai/toi schedo\n
to/ge plê=thos tê=s po/leôs to\ tô=n a)/llôn politô=n
gi/netai plê=thos], &c. . . .

[Greek: Poiei= ga\r] (Plato) [Greek: tou\s me\n phu/lakas oi(=on
phrourou/s, tou\s de\ geôrgou\s kai\ tou\s techni/tas kai\ tou\s
a)/llous, poli/tas.]]

[Side-note: Objection urged by Aristotle against the
Platonic Republic, that it will be two cities. Spiritual pride of
the Guardians, contempt for the Demos.]

There is however another objection, which seems grave and
well founded, advanced by Aristotle against the Platonic
Republic. He remarks that it will be not one city, but two cities,
with tendencies more or less adverse to each other:[130] that the
Guardians, educated under the very peculiar training and placed
under the peculiar relations prescribed to them, will form one
city--while the remaining people, who have no part either in the
one or the other, but are private proprietors with separate
families--will form another city. I do not see what reply the
Platonic Republic furnishes to this objection. Granting full
success to Plato in his endeavours to make the Guardians One among
themselves, we find nothing to make them One with the remaining
people, nor to make the remaining people One with them.[131] On
the contrary, we observe such an extreme divergence of sentiment,
character, pursuit, and education, as to render mutual sympathy
very difficult, and to open fatal probabilities of mutual
alienation: probabilities hardly less, than if separate
proprietary interests had been left to subsist among the
Guardians. This is a source of mischief which Plato has not taken
into his account. The entire body of Guardians cannot fail to
carry in their bosoms a sense of extreme pride in their own
training, and a proportionally mean estimate of the untrained
multitude alongside of them. The sentiment of the gold and silver
men, towards the brass and iron men, will have in it too much of
contempt to be consistent with civic fraternity: like the pride of
the Twice-Born Hindoo Brahmin, when comparing himself with the
lower Hindoo castes: or like that of the Pythagorean brotherhood,
who "regarded the brethren as equal to the blessed Gods, but held
all the rest to be unworthy of any account".[132] The Spartan
training appears to have produced a similar effect upon the minds
of the citizens who went through it. And indeed such an
effect appears scarcely avoidable, under the circumstances assumed
by Plato. He himself is proud of his own ideal training, so as to
ascribe to those who receive it a sentiment akin to that of the
Olympic victors: while he employs degrading analogies to signify
the pursuits and enjoyments of the untrained multitude, who are
assimilated to the appetite or lower element in the organism,
existing only as a mutinous crew necessary to be kept down.[133]
That spiritual pride, coupled with spiritual contempt, should be
felt by the Guardians, is the natural result; as it is indeed the
essential reimbursement to their feelings, for the life of drill
and self-denial which Plato imposes upon them. And how, under such
a sentiment, the two constituent elements in his system are to be
competent to work out his promised result of mutual happiness, he
has not shown.[134]

[Footnote 130: Aristotel. Politic. ii. 5, p. 1264, a. 24. [Greek:
e)n mia=| ga\r po/lei du/o po/leis, a)nagkai=on ei)=nai, kai\
tau/tas u(penanti/as a)llê/lais.]

The most forcible of the objections urged by Aristotle against the
Platonic Republic, are those contained in this chapter respecting
the relations between the Guardians and the rest of the

[Footnote 131: The oneness, which Plato proclaims as belonging to
his whole city, belongs in reality only to the body of Guardians;
of whom he sometimes speaks as if they were the whole city, which
however is not his real intention; see Republic, v. p. 462-463

[Footnote 132: [Greek: Tou\s me\n e(tai/rous ê)=gen i)/sous
maka/ressi theoi=sin,
Tou\s d' a)/llous ê(gei=t' ou)/t' e)n lo/gô| ou)/t' e)n

[Footnote 133: Plato, Republ. v. 465 D.

Aristotle says (in the Nikom. Ethics, i. 5) when discussing the
various ideas entertained about happiness--[Greek: Oi( me\n ou)=n
polloi\ pantelô=s a)ndrapodô/deis phai/nontai boskêma/tôn
bi/on proairou/menoi.] This is much the estimation which the
Platonic Guardians would be apt to form respecting the Demos.]

[Footnote 134: The foregoing remarks are an expansion, and a
sequel, of Aristotle's objection against the Platonic
Republic--That it is not One City, but two discordant cities in that
which is nominally One. I must however add that the same objection
may be urged against the Xenophontic constitution of a city; and
also, in substance, even against the proposition of Aristotle himself
for the same purpose. Xenophon, in his Cyropædia, proposes a
severe, life-long drill and discipline, like that of the Spartans:
from which indeed he does not formally exclude any citizens, but
which he announces to be actually attended only by the wealthy,
since they alone can afford to attend continuously and habitually,
the poorer men being engaged in the cares of maintenance. All the
functions of the state, civil and military, are performed
exclusively by those who go through the public discipline. We have
here the two cities in One, which Aristotle objects to in Plato;
with the consequent loss of civic fraternity between them. And
when we look to that which Aristotle himself suggests, we find him
evading the objection by a formal sanction of the very mischief
upon which the objection is founded. He puts the husbandmen and
artisans altogether out of the pale of his city, which is made to
include the disciplined citizens or Guardians alone. His city may
thus be called One, inasmuch as it admits only homogeneous
elements, and throws out all such as are heterogeneous; but he
thus avowedly renounces as insoluble the problem which Plato and
Xenophon try, though unsuccessfully, to solve. If there be discord
and alienation among the constituent members of the Platonic and
Xenophontic city--there will subsist the like feelings, in
Aristotle's proposition, between the members of the city and the
outlying, though indispensable, adjuncts. There will be the same
mischief in kind, and probably exaggerated in amount: since the
abolition of the very name and idea of fellow-citizen tends to
suppress altogether an influence of tutelary character, however
insufficient as to its force.]

[Side-note: Plato's scheme fails, mainly because he provides
no training for the Demos.]

In explanation of the foregoing remarks, I will add that Plato
fails in his purpose not from the goodness of the training which
he provides for his select Few, but from leaving the rest of his
people without any training--without even so much as would
enable them properly to appreciate superior training in the few
who obtain it--without any powers of self-defence or
self-helpfulness. His fundamental postulate--That every man shall do
only one thing--when applied to the Guardians, realises itself in
something great and considerable: but when applied to the ordinary
pursuits of life, reduces every man to a special machine, unfit
for any other purpose than its own. Though it is reasonable that a
man should get his living by one trade, and should therefore
qualify himself peculiarly and effectively for that trade--it is
not reasonable that he should be altogether impotent as to every
thing else: nor that his happiness should consist, as Plato
declares that it ought, exclusively in the performance of this one
service to the commonwealth. In the Platonic Republic, the body of
the people are represented not only as without training, but as
machines rather than individual men. They exist partly as
producers to maintain, partly as governable matter to obey, the
Guardians; and to be cared for by them.

[Side-note: Principle of Aristotle--That every citizen
belongs to the city, not to himself--applied by Plato to women.]

Aristotle, when speaking about the citizens of his own ideal
commonwealth (his citizens form nearly the same numerical
proportion of the whole population, as the Platonic Guardians),
tells us--"Since the End for which the entire City exists is One,
it is obviously necessary that the education of all the citizens
should be one and the same, and that the care of such education
should be a public duty--not left in private hands as it is now,
for a man to teach his children what he thinks fit. Public
exigencies must be provided for by public training. Moreover, we
ought not to regard any of the citizens as belonging to himself,
but all of them as belonging to the city: for each is a part of
the city: and nature prescribes that the care of each part shall
be regulated with a view to the care of the whole."[135]

[Footnote 135: Aristotel. Politic. viii. 1, p. 1337, [Greek:
E)pei\ d' e(\n to\ te/los tê=| po/lei pa/sê|, phanero\n o(/ti
kai\ tê\n paidei/an mi/an kai\ tê\n au)tê\n a)nagkai=on ei)=nai
pa/ntôn, kai\ tau/tês tê\n e)pime/leian ei)=nai koinê\n kai\
mê\ kat' i)di/an; o(\n tro/pon nu=n e(/kastos e)pimelei=tai tô=n
au)tou= te/knôn i)di/a te kai\ ma/thêsin i)di/an, ê(\n a)\n
do/xê|, dida/skôn . . . A(/ma de\ ou)de\ chrê\ nomi/zein
au)to\n au(tou= tina\ ei)=nai tô=n politô=n, a)lla\ pa/ntas
tê=s po/leôs . . . ê( d' e)pime/leias pe/phuken e(ka/stou
mori/ou ble/pein pro\s tê\n tou= o(/lou e)pime/leian.]]

The broad principle thus laid down by Aristotle is common to
him with Plato, and lies at the bottom of the schemes of
polity imagined by both. Each has his own way of applying it.

Plato clearly perceives that it cannot be applied with consistency
and effect, unless women are brought under its application as well
as men. And to a great extent, Aristotle holds the same opinion
too. While commending the Spartan principle, that the character of
the citizen must be formed and upheld by continued public training
and discipline--Aristotle blames Lykurgus for leaving the women
(that is, a numerical half of the city) without training or
discipline; which omission produced (he says) very mischievous
effects, especially in corrupting the character of the men. He
pronounces this to be a serious fault, making the constitution
inconsistent and self-contradictory, and indeed contrary to the
intentions of Lykurgus himself; who had tried to bring the women
under public discipline as well as the men, but was forced to
desist by their strenuous opposition.[136] Such remarks from
Aristotle are the more remarkable, since it appears as matter of
history, that the maidens at Sparta (though not the married women)
did to a great extent go through gymnastic exercises along with
the young men.[137] These exercises, though almost a singular
exception in Greece, must have appeared to Aristotle very
insufficient. What amount or kind of regulation he himself would
propose for women, he has not defined. In his own ideal
commonwealth, he lays it down as alike essential for men and women
to have their bodies trained and exercised so as to be adequate to
the active duties of free persons (as contrasted with the harder
preparation requisite for the athletic contests, which he
disapproves), but he does not go into farther particulars.[138]
The regulations which he proposes, too, with reference to marriage
generally and to the maintenance of a vigorous breed of citizens,
show, that he considered it an important part of the lawgiver's
duty to keep up by positive interference the physical condition
both of males and females.[139]

[Footnote 136: Aristotel. Politic. ii. 9, p. 1269, b. 12. [Greek:
E)/ti d' ê( peri\ ta\s gunai=kas a)/nesis kai\ pro\s tê\n
proai/resin tê=s politei/as blabera\ kai\ pro\s eu)daimoni/an
po/leôs . . . Ô(st' e)n o(/sais politei/ais phau/lôs e)/chei
to\ peri\ ta\s gunai=kas, to\ ê(/misu tê=s po/leôs ei)=nai dei=
nomi/zein a)nomothe/têton. O(/per e)kei=] (at Sparta) [Greek:
sumbe/bêken; o(/lên ga\r tê\n po/lin o( nomothe/tês** ei)=nai
boulo/menos karterikê/n, kata\ me\n tou\s a)/ndras phanero/s
e)sti toiou=tos ô)/n, e)pi\ de\ tô=n gunaikô=n e)xême/lêken],
&c. . . . [Greek: Ta\ de\ peri\ ta\s gunai=kas e)/chonta mê\
kalô=s e)/oiken ou) mo/non a)pre/peia/n tina poiei=n tê=s
po/leôs au)tê=s kath' au(tê/n, a)lla\ sumba/llesthai/ ti pro\s
tê\n philochrêmati/an.]

Plato has a similar remark, Legg. vi. pp. 780-781.]

[Footnote 137: Stallbaum (in his note on Plato, Legg. i. p. 637 C,
[Greek: tê\n tô=n gunaikô=n par' u(mi=n a)/nesin])
observes--"Lacænarum licentiam, quum ex aliis institutis patriis,
tum ex gymnicarum exercitationum usu repetendam, Plato carpit etiam
infrà," &c. This is a mistake. Plato does not blame the
gymnastic exercises of the Spartan maidens: the four passages to
which Stallbaum refers do not prove his assertion. They even
countenance the reverse of that assertion. Plato approves of
gymnastic and military exercises for maidens in the Laws, and for
all the female Guardians in the Republic.

Stallbaum also refers to Aristotle as disapproving the gymnastic
exercises of the Spartan maidens. I cannot think that this is
correct. Aristotle does indeed blame the arrangements for women at
Sparta, but not, as I understand him, because the women were
subjected to gymnastic exercise; his blame is founded on the
circumstance that the women were not regulated, but left to do as
they pleased, while the men were under the strictest drill. This I
conceive to be the meaning of [Greek: gunaikô=n a)/nesis].
Euripides indeed has a very bitter passage condemning the
exercises of the Spartan maidens; but neither Plato nor Aristotle
shared this view.

Respecting the Spartan maidens and their exercises, see Xenophon,
Republ. Laced. i. 4; Plutarch, Lykurg. c. 14.]

[Footnote 138: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16, p. 1335, b. 8. [Greek:
Peponême/nên me\n ou)=n e)/chein dei= tê\n e(/xin,
peponême/nên de\ po/nois mê\ biai/ois, mêde\ pro\s e(/na
mo/non, ô(/sper ê( tô=n a)thlêtô=n e(/xis, a)lla\ pro\s ta\s
tô=n e)leutheri/ôn pra/xeis. O(moi/ôs de\ dei= tau=ta
u(pa/rchein a)ndra/si kai\ gunaixi/.] Compare also i. 8, near the
end of the first book.]

[Footnote 139: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16, p. 1335, a. 20, b.

In principle, therefore, Aristotle agrees with Plato,[140] as to
the propriety of comprehending women as well as men under public
training and discipline: but he does not follow out the principle
with the same consistency. He maintains the Platonic Commonwealth
to be impossible.[141]

[Footnote 140: If we take the sentence from Aristotle's Politics,
cited in a note immediately preceding, to the effect that all the
citizens belonged to the city, and that each was a part of the
city (viii. 1, p. 1337, a. 28) in conjunction with another passage
in the Politics (i. 3, p. 1254, a. 10)--[Greek: To/ te ga\r
mo/rion, ou) mo/non a)/llou e)sti\ mo/rion, a)lla\ kai\ _o(/lôs
a)/llou_]--it is difficult to see how he can, consistently with
these principles, assign to his citizens any individual
self-regarding agency. Plato denies all such to his Guardians, and
in so doing he makes deductions consistent with the principles of
Aristotle, who lays down his principles too absolutely for the use
which he afterwards makes of them.]

[Footnote 141: Aristotel. Politic. ii. 5, p. 1263, b. 29. [Greek:
phai/netai d' ei)=nai pa/mpan a)du/natos o( bi/os.]]

[Side-note: Aristotle declares the Platonic Commonwealth
impossible--In what sense this is true.]

If we go through the separate objections which Aristotle advances
as justifying his verdict, we shall find them altogether
inadequate for the purpose. He shows certain inconveniences and
difficulties as belonging to it,--which are by no means all real,
but which, even conceding them in full force, would have to be set
against the objections admitted by himself to bear against other
actual societies before we can determine whether they are
sufficiently weighty to render the scheme to which they belong
impossible. The Platonic commonwealth, and the Aristotelian
commonwealth, are both of them impossible, in my judgment, for the
same reason: that all the various communities of mankind exist
under established customs, beliefs, and sentiments, in complete
discordance with them: and that we cannot understand from whence
the force is to come, tending and competent to generate either of
these two new systematic projects. Both of them require a
simultaneous production of many reciprocally adapted elements:
both therefore require an express initiative force, exceptional
and belonging to some peculiar crisis--something analogous to Zeus
in Krete, and to Apollo at Sparta. This is alike true of both:
though the Platonic Republic, departing more widely from received
principles and sentiments than the Aristotelian, would of course
require a more potent initiative.[142] In the treatises of the two
philosophers, each explains and vindicates the principles of his
system, without including in the hypothesis any specification of a
probable source from whence it was to acquire its first start.
Where is the motive, operative, demiurgic force, ready to
translate such an idea into reality?[143] But if we assume that
either of them had once begun, there is no reason why it might not
have continued. The causes which first brought about the
Spartan constitution and discipline must have been very peculiar,
though we have no historical account what they were. At any rate
they never occurred a second time; for no second Sparta was ever
formed, in spite of the admiration inspired by the first. If
Sparta had never been actually established, and if Aristotle had
read a description of it as a mere project, he would probably have
pronounced it impracticable:[144] though when once brought into
reality, it proved eminently durable. In like manner, the laws,
customs, beliefs, and feelings, prevalent in Egypt,--which
astonished so vehemently Herodotus and other observing
Greeks--would have been declared to be impossible, if described
simply in project: yet, when once established, they were found to
last longer without change than those of other nations.

[Footnote 142: Plato indeed in one place tells us that a single
despot, becoming by inspiration or accident a philosopher, and
having an obedient city, would accomplish the primary construction
of his commonwealth (Republic, vi. p. 502 B). That despot (Plato
supposes) will send away all the population of his city above ten
years old, and will train up the children in the Platonic
principles (vii. pp. 540-541).

This is little better than an [Greek: eu)chê/], whatever Plato
may say to deprecate the charge of uttering [Greek: eu)cha/s], p.
540 D.]

[Footnote 143: Aristotel. Metaphys. A. p. 991, a. 22. [Greek: Ti/
ga/r e)sti to\ e)rgazo/menon, pro\s ta\s i)de/as a)poble/pon?]

We find Aristotle arguing, in the course of his remarks on the
Platonic Republic, that it is useless now to promulgate any such
novelties; a long time has elapsed, and such things would already
have been found established if they had been good (Politic. ii. 5,
p. 1264, a. 2). This would have applied (somewhat less in degree,
yet with quite sufficient force) to the ideal commonwealth of
Aristotle himself, as well as to that of Plato.

Because such institutions have never yet been established anywhere
as those proposed by Plato or Aristotle, you cannot fairly argue
that they would not be good, or that they would not stand if
established. What you may fairly argue is, that they are not at
all likely to be established; no originating force will be
forthcoming adequate to the first creation of them. Existing
societies have fixed modes of thinking and feeling on social and
political matters; each moves in its own groove, and the direction
in which it will henceforward move will be a consequence and
continuance of the direction in which it is already moving, by
virtue of powerful causes now in operation. New originating force
is a very rare phenomenon. Overwhelming enemies or physical
calamities may destroy what exists, but they will not produce any
such innovations as those under discussion.]

[Footnote 144: Plato himself makes this very remark in the
Treatise De Legibus (viii. p. 839 D) in defending the
practicability of some of the ordinances therein recommended.]

[Side-note: The real impossibility of the Platonic
Commonwealth, arises from the fact that discordant sentiments are
already established.]

The Platonic project is submitted, however, not to impartial
judges comparing different views on matters yet undetermined, but
to hearers with a canon of criticism already fixed and
anti-Platonic "_animis consuetudine imbutis_". It appears
impossible, because it contradicts sentiments conceived as
fundamental and consecrated, respecting the sexual and family
relations. The supposed impossibility is the mode of expressing
strong disapprobation and repugnance: like that which Herodotus
describes as manifested by the Greeks on one side and by the
Indians on the other--when Darius, having asked each of them at
what price they would consent to adopt the practice of the other
respecting the mode of treating the bodies of deceased parents,
was answered by a loud cry of horror at the mere proposition.[145]
The reasons offered to prove the Platonic project impossible, are
principally founded upon the very sentiment above adverted to, and
derive all their force from being associated with it. Such is the
character of many among the Aristotelian objections.[146] The
real, and the truly forcible, objection consists in the
sentiment itself. If that be deeply rooted in the mind, it is
decisive. To those who feel thus, the Platonic project would be
both intolerable and impossible.

[Footnote 145: Herodot. iii. 38. [Greek: oi( de/, a)mbô/santes
me/ga, eu)phême/ein min e)ke/leuon.]

Plato in a remarkable passage of the Leges (i. 638 B), deprecates
and complains of this instantaneous condemnation without impartial
hearing of argument on both sides.]

[Footnote 146: See the arguments urged by Aristotle, Politic. ii.
4, p. 1262, a. 25 et seq. His remarks upon the fictions which
Plato requires to be impressed on the belief of his Guardians are
extremely just. There are, however, several objections urged by
him which turn more upon the Platonic language than upon the
Platonic vein of thought, and which, if judged by Plato from his
own point of view, would have appeared admissions in his favour
rather than objections. In reply to Plato, whose aim it is that
all or many of the Guardians shall say _mine_ in reference to
the same persons or the same things, and not in reference to
different persons and different things, Aristotle contends that
the word _mine_ will not then designate any such strong
affection as it does now, when it is special, exclusive, and
concentrated on a few persons or things; that each Guardian,
having many persons whom he called _brother_ and many persons
whom he called _father_, would not feel towards them as
persons now feel towards brothers and fathers; that the affection
by being disseminated would be weakened, and would become nothing
more than a "_diluted friendship_"--[Greek: phili/a
u(darê/s]. See Aristot. Politic. ii. 3, p. 1261, b. 22; ii. 4, p.
1262, b. 15.

Plato, if called upon for an answer to this reasoning, would
probably have allowed it to be just; but would have said that the
"diluted friendship" pervading all the Guardians was apt and
sufficient for his purpose, as bringing the whole number most
nearly into the condition of one organism. Strong exclusive
affections, upon whatever founded, between individuals, he wishes
to discourage: the hateful or unfriendly sentiments he is bent on
rooting out. What he desires to see preponderant, in each
Guardian, is a sense of duty to the public: subordinate to that,
he approves moderate and kindly affections, embracing all the
Guardians; towards the elders as fathers, towards those of the
same age as brothers. Aristotle's expression--[Greek: phili/a
u(darê/s]--describes such a sentiment fairly enough. See
Republic, v. pp. 462-463. It must be conceded, however, that
Plato's _language_ is open to Aristotle's objection.]

[Side-note: Plato has strong feelings of right and wrong
about sexual intercourse, but referring to different objects.]

But we must recollect that it is these very sentiments which Plato
impugns and declares to be inapplicable to his Guardians: so that
an opponent who, not breaking off at once with the cry of horror
uttered by the Indians to Darius, begins to discuss the question
with him, is bound to forego objections and repugnances springing
as corollaries from a basis avowedly denied. Plato has earnest
feelings of right and wrong, in regard both to the functions of
women and to the sexual intercourse: but his feelings dissent
entirely from those of readers generally. That is right, in his
opinion, which tends to keep up the excellence of the breed and
the proper number of Guardians, as well as to ensure the exact and
constant fulfilment of their mission: that is wrong, which tends
to defeat or abridge such fulfilment, or to impair the breed, or
to multiply the number beyond its proper limit. Of these ends the
Rulers are the proper judges, not the individual person. All
the Guardians are enjoined to leave the sexual power absolutely
unexercised until the age of thirty for men, of twenty for
women--and then only to exercise it under express sanction and
authorisation, according as the Rulers may consider that children
are needed to keep up the legitimate number.

Marriage is regarded as holy, and celebrated under solemn
rites--all the more because both the ceremony is originated, and
the couples selected, by the magistrates, for the most important
public purpose: which being fulfilled, the marriage ceases and
determines. It is not celebrated with a view to the couple
themselves, still less with a view to establish any permanent
exclusive attachment between them: which object Plato not only
does not contemplate, but positively discountenances: on the same
general principle as the Catholic Church forbids marriage to
priests: because he believes that it will create within them
motives and sentiments inconsistent with the due discharge of
their public mission.

[Side-note: Different sentiment which would grow up in the
Platonic Commonwealth respecting the sexual relations.]

It is clear that among such a regiment as that which Plato
describes in his Guardians, a sentiment would grow up, respecting
the intercourse of the sexes, totally different from that which
prevailed elsewhere around him. The Platonic restriction upon that
intercourse up in the (until the ulterior limits of age) would be
far more severe: but it would be applied with reference to
different objects. Instead of being applied to enforce the
exclusive consecration of one woman to one man, choosing each
other or chosen by fathers, without any limit on the
multiplication of children,--and without any attention to the
maintenance or deterioration of the breed--it would be directed to
the obtaining of the most perfect breed and of the appropriate
number, leaving the Guardians, female as well as male, free from
all permanent distracting influences to interfere with the
discharge of their public duties. In appreciating the details of
the Platonic community, we must look at it with reference to this
form of sexual morality; which would generate in the Guardians an
appreciation of details consistent with itself both as to the
women and as to the children. The sentiment of obligation, of
right and wrong, respecting the relations of the sexes, is
everywhere very strong; but it does not everywhere attach to the
same acts or objects. The important obligation for a woman never
to show her face in public, which is held sacred through so large
a portion of the Oriental world, is noway recognised in the
Occidental: and in Plato's time, when mankind were more
disseminated among small independent communities, the divergence
was yet greater than it is now. The Spartans were not induced, by
the censures or mockery of persons in other Grecian cities,[147]
to suppress the gymnastic exercises practised by their maidens in
conjunction with the young men: nor is Plato deterred by the
ridicule or blame which others may express, from proclaiming his
conviction, that the virtue of his female Guardians is the same as
that of the male--consisting in the faithful performance of their
duty as Guardians, after going through all the requisite training,
gymnastic and musical. And he follows this up by the general
declaration, one of the most emphatic in all his writings, "The
best thing which is now said or ever has been said, is, that what
is profitable is honourable--and what is hurtful, is base".[148]

[Footnote 147: Eurip. Androm. 598.

The criticisms of Xenophon in the first chapter of his treatise,
De Laced. Republ., exhibit a point of view on many points
analogous to that of Plato respecting the female sex, and
differing from that which he puts into the mouth of Ischomachus in
his Oekonomicus. See above, p. 172, note 3. Among the lost
treatises of Kleanthes, successor of Zeno as Scholarch of the
Stoic School, one was composed expressly to show [Greek: O(/ti ê(
au)tê\ a)retê\ kai\ a)ndro\s kai\ gunaiko/s]. (Diog. Laert. vii.

[Footnote 148: Plato, Repub. v. p. 457 A-B. [Greek: A)podute/on
dê\ tai=s tô=n phula/kôn gunaixi/n, e)pei/per a)retê\n a)nti\
i(mati/ôn a)mphie/sontai, kai\ koinônête/on pole/mou te kai\
tê=s a)/llês phulakê=s tê=s peri\ tê\n po/lin, kai\ ou)k
a)/lla prakte/on; tou/tôn d' au)tô=n ta\ e)laphro/tera tai=s
gunaixi\n ê)\ toi=s a)ndra/si dote/on, dia\ tê\n tou= ge/nous
a)sthe/neian. O( de\ gelô=n a)nê\r e)pi\ gumnai=s gunaixi/, tou=
belti/stou e(/neka gumnazome/nais, a)telê= tou= geloi/ou sophi/as
dre/pôn karpo/n, ou)de\n oi)=den, ô(s e)/oiken, e)ph' ô(=|
gela=| ou)d' o(/, ti pra/ttei. _Ka/llista ga\r dê\ tou=to kai\
le/getai kai\ lele/xetai, o(/ti to\ me\n ô)phe/limon, kalo/n--to\
de\ blabero/n, ai)schro/n_.]]

[Side-note: What Nature prescribes in regard to the
relations of the two sexes--Direct contradiction between Plato and

Plato in truth reduces the distinction between the two sexes to
its lowest terms: to the physical difference in regard to
procreation--and to the general fact, that the female is every way
weaker and inferior to the male; while yet, individually taken,
many women are superior to many men, and both sexes are alike
improvable by training. He maintains that this similarity of
training and function is the real order of Nature, and that
the opposite practice, which insists on a separation of life
and functions between the sexes, is unnatural:[149] which doctrine
he partly enforces by the analogy of the two sexes in other
animals.[150] Aristotle disputes this reasoning altogether:
declaring that Nature prescribes a separation of life and
functions between the two sexes--that the relation of man to woman
is that of superiority and command on one side, inferiority and
obedience on the other, like the relation between father and
child, master and slave, though with a difference less in
degree--that virtue in a man, and virtue in a woman, are quite
different, imposing diverse obligations.[151] It shows how little
stress can be laid on arguments based on the word _Nature_, when
we see two such distinguished thinkers completely at issue as to the
question, what Nature indicates, in this important case. Each of
them decorates by that name the rule which he himself approves;
whether actually realised anywhere, or merely recommended as a
reform of something really existing. In this controversy,
Aristotle had in his favour the actualities around him, against
Plato: but Aristotle himself is far from always recognising
experience and practice as authoritative interpreters of the
dictates of Nature, as we may see by his own ideal commonwealth.

[Footnote 149: Plato, Republic, v. p. 456 C. [Greek: ta\ nu=n
para\ tau=ta gigno/mena para\ phu/sin ma=llon], &c. Also p.
466 D.]

[Footnote 150: Compare a similar appeal to the analogy of animals,
as proving the [Greek: e)/rôtas a)r)r(e/nôn] to be unnatural,
Plato, Legg. viii. p. 836 C.]

[Footnote 151: Aristotel. Politic. i. 13, p. 1260 a. 20-30.]

[Side-note: Opinion of Plato respecting the capacities of
women, and the training proper for women, are maintained in the
Leges, as well as in the Republic. Ancient legends harmonising
with this opinion.]

How strongly Plato was attached to his doctrines about the
capacity of women--how unchanged his opinion continued about the
mischief of separating the training and functions of the two
sexes, and of confining women to indoor occupations, or to what he
calls "a life of darkness and fear"[152]--may be seen farther by
his Treatise De Legibus. Although in that treatise he recedes
(perforce and without retracting) from the principles of his
Republic, so far as to admit separate properties and families for
all his citizens--yet he still continues to enjoin public
gymnastic and military training, for women and men alike: and he
still opens, to both sexes alike, superintending social
functions to a great extent, as well as the privilege of being
honoured by public hymns after death, in case of distinguished
merit.[153] Respecting military matters, he speaks with peculiar
earnestness. That women are perfectly capable of efficient
military service, if properly trained, he proves not only by the
ancient legends, but also by facts actual and contemporary, the
known valour of the Scythian and Sarmatian women. Whatever doubts
persons may have hitherto cherished (says Plato), this is now
established matter of fact:[154] the cowardice and impotence of
women is not less disgraceful in itself than detrimental to the
city, as robbing it of one-half of its possible force.[155] He
complains bitterly of the repugnance felt even to the discussion
of this proposition.[156] Most undoubtedly, there were ancient
legends which tended much to countenance his opinion. The warlike
Amazons, daughters of Arês, were among the most formidable forces
that had ever appeared on earth; they had shown their power once
by invading Attica and bringing such peril on Athens, that it
required all the energy of the great Athenian hero Theseus to
repel them. We must remember that these stories were not only
familiarised to the public eye in conspicuous painting and
sculpture, but were also fully believed as matters of past
history.[157] Moreover the Goddess Athênê, patroness of Athens,
was the very impersonation of intelligent terror-striking
might--constraining and subduing Arês[158] himself: the Goddess
Enyo presided over war, no less than the God Arês:[159] lastly
Artemis, though making war only on wild beasts, was hardly less
formidable in her way--indefatigable as well as rapid in her
movements and unerring with her bow, as Athênê was irresistible
with her spear. Here were abundant examples in Grecian legend, to
embolden Plato in his affirmations respecting the capacity of the
female sex for warlike enterprise and laborious endurance.

[Footnote 152: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 781 C. [Greek: ei)thisme/non
ga\r dedoiko\s kai\ skoteino\n zê=n], &c.]

[Footnote 153: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 795 C, 796 C, 802 A.]

[Footnote 154: Plat. Legg. vii. pp. 804-805-806. 804 E: [Greek:
a)kou/ôn me\n ga\r dê\ mu/thous palaiou=s pe/peismai, ta\ de\
nu=n, ô(s e)/pos ei)pei=n, oi)=da o(/ti muria/des a)nari/thmêtoi
gunaikô=n ei)si\ tô=n peri\ to\n Po/nton, a(\s Sauromati/das
kalou=sin, ai(=s ou)ch i(/ppôn mo/non a)lla\ kai\ to/xôn kai\
tô=n a)/llôn o(/plôn koinôni/a kai\ toi=s a)ndra/sin i)/sê
prostetagme/nê i)/sôs a)skei=tai.] We may doubt whether Plato
knew anything of the brave and skilful Artemisia, queen of
Halikarnassus, who so greatly distinguished herself in the
expedition of Xerxes against Greece (Herod. vii. 99, viii. 87),
and, indeed, whether he had ever read the history of Herodotus.
His argument might have been strengthened by another equally
pertinent example, if he could have quoted the original letter
addressed by the Emperor Aurelian to the Roman Senate, attesting
the courage, vigour, and prudence, of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra.
Trebellius Pollio, Vitæ Triginta Tyrannorum in Histor. August. p.
198 (De Zenobia, xxix.: cap. xxx.): "Audio, Patres Conscripti,
mihi objici, quod non virile munus impleverim, Zenobiam
triumphando. Næ, illi qui me reprehendunt, satis laudarent, si
scirent qualis illa est mulier, quam prudens in consiliis, quam
constans in dispositionibus, quam erga milites gravis, quam larga
cum necessitas postulet, quam tristis cum severitas poscat. Possum
dicere illius esse quod Odenatus Persas vicit, ac fugato Sapore
Ctesiphontem usque pervenit. Possum asserere, tanto apud
Orientales et Ægyptiorum populos timori mulierem fuisse, ut se non
Arabes, non Saraceni, non Armenii, commoverent. Nec ego illi vitam
conservassem, nisi eam scissem multum Romanæ Reipublicæ profuisse,
cum sibi vel liberis suis Orientis servaret imperium.]

[Footnote 155: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 813-814.]

[Footnote 156: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 781 D.]

[Footnote 157: Plutarch, Theseus, c. 27; Æschylus, Eumenid. 682;
Isokrates, Panegyr. ss. 76-78. How popular a subject the Amazons
were for sculptors, we learn from the statement of Pliny (**xxxiv.
8, 19) that all the most distinguished sculptors executed Amazons;
and that this subject was the only one upon which a direct
comparison could be made between them.]

[Footnote 158: Homer, Iliad, xv. 123.]

[Footnote 159: Homer, Iliad, v. 333-592.]

[Side-note: In a Commonwealth like the Platonic, the
influence of Aphroditê would probably have been reduced to a

The two Goddesses, Athênê and Artemis, were among the few
altogether insensible to amorous influences and to the
inspirations of Aphroditê: who is the object of contemptuous
sarcasm on the part of Athênê, and of repulsive antipathy on the
part of Artemis.[160] This may supply an illustration for the
Republic of Plato. As far as one can guess what the effect of his
institutions would have been, it is probable that the influence of
Aphroditê would have been at its minimum among his Guardians of
both sexes: as it was presented in the warlike dramas of
Æschylus.[161] There would have been everything to deaden it, with
an entire absence of all provocatives. The muscular development,
but rough and unadorned bodies, of females--

  Sabina qualis, aut perusta solibus
     Pernicis uxor Apuli--(Hor. _Epod._ ii. 41-42).

the indiscriminate companionship, with perfect identity of
treatment and manners, between the two sexes from the earliest
infancy--the training of both together for the same public duties,
the constant occupation of both throughout life in the
performance of those duties, under unceasing official
supervision--the strict regulation of exercise and diet, together
with the monastic censorship on all poetry and literature--the
self-restraint, equal and universal, enforced as the characteristic
feature and pride of the regiment, and seconded by the jealous
espionage of all over all, the more potent because privacy was
unknown--such an assemblage of circumstances would do as much as
circumstances could do to starve the sexual appetite, to prevent
it from becoming the root of emotional or imaginative
associations, and to place it under the full controul of the
lawgiver for purposes altogether public. Such was probably Plato's
intention: since he more generally regards the appetites as
enemies to be combated and extirpated so far as
practicable--rather than as sources of pleasure, yet liable to
accompaniments of pain, requiring to be regulated so as to exclude
the latter and retain the former.

[Footnote 160: Homer, Hymn. ad Venerem, 10; Iliad, v. 425;
Euripid. Hippolyt. 1400-1420.

Athênê combined the attributes of [Greek: philopo/lemos] and
[Greek: philo/sophos]. Plato, Timæus, p. 24 D; compare Kritias, p.
109 D.]

[Footnote 161: See Aristophan. Ranæ, 1042.

_Eurip._ [Greek: Ma\ Di/' ou)de\ ga\r ê)=n tê=s
A)phrodi/tês ou)de/n soi.]

_Æschyl._ [Greek: Mêde/ g' e)pei/ê. A)ll' e)pi/ soi/ toi
kai\ toi=s soi=sin pollê\ pollou= 'pikathê=to.]]

[Side-note: Other purposes of Plato--limitation of number of
Guardians--common to Aristotle also.]

The public purposes, with a view to which Plato sought to controul
the sexual appetite in his Guardians, were three, as I have
already stated. 1. To obtain from each of them individually,
faithful performance of the public duties, and observance of the
limits, prescribed by his system. 2. To ensure the best and purest
breed. 3. To maintain unaltered the same total number, without
excess or deficiency.

[Side-note: Law of population expounded by Malthus--Three
distinct checks to population--alternative open between preventive
and positive.]

The first of these three purposes is peculiar to the Platonic
system. The two last are not peculiar to it. Aristotle recognises
them[162] as ends, no less than Plato, though he does not approve
Plato's means for attaining them. In reference to the limitation
of number, Aristotle is even more pronounced than Plato. The great
evil of over-population forced itself upon these philosophers;
living as both of them did among small communities, each with its
narrow area hedged in by others--each liable to intestine dispute,
sometimes caused, always aggravated, by the presence of large
families and numerous poor freemen--and each importing bought
slaves as labourers. To obtain for their community the quickest
possible increase in aggregate wealth and population, was an
end which they did not account either desirable or commendable.
The stationary state, far from appearing repulsive or
discouraging, was what they looked upon as the best
arrangement[163] of things. A mixed number of lots of land,
indivisible and inalienable, is the first principle of the
Platonic community in the treatise De Legibus. Not to encourage
wealth, but to avert, as far as possible, the evils of poverty and
dependence, and to restrain within narrow limits the proportion of
the population which suffered those evils--was considered by Plato
and Aristotle to be among the gravest problems for the solution of
the statesman.[164] Consistent with these conditions, essential to
security and tranquillity, whatever the form of government might
be, there was only room for the free population then existing: not
always for that (seeing that the proportion of poor citizens was
often uncomfortably great), and never for any sensible increase
above that. If all the children were born and brought up, that it
was possible for adult couples to produce, a fearful aggravation
of poverty, with all its accompanying public troubles and
sufferings, would have been inevitable.[165] Accordingly both
Plato (for the Guardians in the Republic) and Aristotle agree in
opinion that a limit must be fixed upon the number of children
which each couple is permitted to introduce. If any objector had
argued that each couple, by going through the solemnity of
marriage, acquired a natural right to produce as many children as
they could, and that others were under a natural obligation to
support those children--both philosophers would have denied the
plea altogether. But they went even further. They considered
procreation as a duty which each citizen owed to the public,
in order that the total of citizens might not fall below the
proper minimum--yet as a duty which required controul, in order
that the total might not rise above the proper maximum.[166] Hence
they did not even admit the right of each couple to produce as
many children as their private means could support. They thought
it necessary to impose a limit on the number of children in every
family, binding equally on rich and poor: the number prescribed
might be varied from time to time, as circumstances indicated. As
the community could not safely admit more than a certain aggregate
of births, these philosophers commanded all couples
indiscriminately, the rich not excepted, to shape their conduct
with a view to that imperative necessity.

[Footnote 162: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16.]

[Footnote 163: Compare the view (not unlike though founded on
different reasons) of the stationary state taken by Mr. John
Stuart Mill, in a valuable chapter of his Principles of Political
Economy, Book iv. chap. 6. He says (s. 2):--"The best state for
human nature is that in which, while no one is poor, no one
desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear being thrust back
by the efforts of others to push themselves forward". This would
come near to the views of Plato and Aristotle.]

[Footnote 164: See a striking passage in Plato, Legg. v. pp.
742-743. He speaks of rich men as they are spoken of in some verses
of the Gospels--a very rich man can hardly be a good man. Wealth
and poverty are both of them evils, p. 744 D. Repub. iv. p. 421.

Pheidon the Corinthian, an ancient lawgiver (we do not know when
or where), prescribed an unchangeable number both of lots (of
land) and of citizens, but the lots were not to be all equal.
Aristotel. Politic. ii. 6, p. 1265, b. 14.]

[Footnote 165: Aristot. Politic. ii. 6, p. 1265, b. 10. [Greek:
To\ d' a)phei=sthai (tê\n teknopoii+/an a)o/riston**), katha/per
e)n tai=s plei/stais po/lesin, peni/as a)nagkai=on ai)/tion
gi/nesthai toi=s poli/tais; ê( de\ peni/a sta/sin e)mpoiei= kai\
kakourgi/an.] Compare ibid. ii. 7, p. 1266, b. 8.]

[Footnote 166: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16, p. 1335, b. 28-38.
[Greek: leitourgei=n pro\s teknopoii+/an . . . a)phei=sthai dei=
tê=s ei)s to\ phanero\n gennê/seôs.]

Plato, Republic, v. pp. 460-461. [Greek: ti/ktein tê=|
po/lei--genna=|n tê=| po/lei--tô=n ei)s to\ koino\n gennê/seôn].]

Plato in his Republic (as I have already mentioned) assumes for
his Archons the privilege of selecting (by a pretended sortition)
the couples through whom the legitimate amount of breeding shall
be accomplished: in the semi-Platonic commonwealth (De Legibus),
he leaves the choice free, but prescribes the limits of age,
rendering marriage a peremptory duty between twenty and
thirty-five years of age, and adding some emphatic exhortations,
though not peremptory enactments, respecting the principles which
ought to guide individual choice.[167] In the same manner too he
deals with procreation: recognising the necessity of imposing a limit
on individual discretion, yet not naming that limit by law, but
leaving it to be enforced according to circumstances by the
magistrates: who (he says), by advice, praise, and censure, can
apply either effective restraints on procreation, or
encouragements if the case requires.[168] Aristotle blames this
guarantee as insufficient: he feels so strongly the necessity
of limiting procreation, that he is not satisfied unless a proper
limit be imposed by positive law. Unless such a result be made
thoroughly sure (he says), all other measures of lawgivers for
equalising properties, or averting poverty and the discontents
growing out of it--must fail in effect.[169] Aristotle also lays
it down as a part of the duty of the lawgiver to take care that
the bodies of the children brought up shall be as good as
possible: hence he prescribes the ages proper for marriage, and
the age after which no parents are to produce any more

[Footnote 167: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 772-773-774. The wording is
characteristic of the view taken by these philosophers, and of the
extent to which they subordinated individual sentiment to public
considerations. [Greek: kata\ panto\s ei(=s e)/stô mu=thos
ga/mou; to\n ga\r tê=| po/lei dei= xumphe/ronta mnêsteu/ein
ga/mon e(/kaston, a)ll' ou) to\n ê(/diston au(tô=|. phe/retai
de/ pôs pa=s a)ei\ kata\ phu/sin pro\s to\n o(moio/taton
au(tô=|], &c. (p. 773 B). In marriage (he says) the natural
tendency is that like seeks like; but it is good for the city that
like should be coupled to unlike, rich to poor, hasty tempers with
sober tempers, &c., in order that the specialties may be
blended together and mitigated. He does not pretend to embody this
in a written law, but directs the authorities to obtain it as far
as they can by exhortation. P. 733 E. Compare the Politikus, p.

[Footnote 168: Plato, Legg. v. p. 740 D. [Greek: porize/tô
mêchanê\n o(/ti ma/lista, o(/pôs ai( pentakischi/liai kai\
tettara/konta oi)kê/seis _a)ei\ mo/non_ e)/sontai; kai\ ga\r
_e)pische/seis gene/seôs_, oi(=s a)\n eu)/rous ei)/ê
ge/nesis, kai\ tou)nanti/on e)pime/leiai kai\ spoudai\ plê/thous
gennêma/tôn ei)si\n], &c.]

[Footnote 169: Aristotel. Politic. ii. 6, p. 1264, a. 38; ii. 7,
p. 1266, b. 10; vii. 16.

Aristotle has not fully considered all that Plato says, when he
blames him for inconsistency in proposing to keep properties
equal, without taking pains to impose and maintain a constant
limit on offspring in families. [Greek: A)/topon de\ kai\ to\ ta\s
ktê/seis i)sa/zonta] (Plato) [Greek: to\ peri\ to\ plê=thos
tô=n politô=n mê\ kataskeua/zein, a)ll' a)phei=nai tê\n
teknopoii+/an a)o/riston], &c. (Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, p.
1265, a. fin.)

What Plato really directs is stated in my text and in my note
immediately preceding.]

[Footnote 170: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16, p. 1334, b. 39.
[Greek: ei)/per ou)=n a)p' a)rchê=s to\n nomothe/tên o(ra=|n
dei=, o(/pôs be/ltista ta\ sô/mata ge/nêtai tô=n
trephome/nôn, prô=ton me\n e)pimelête/on peri\ tê\n su/zeuxin,
po/te kai\ poi/ous tina\s o)/ntas chrê\ poiei=sthoi pro\s
a)llê/lous tê\n gamikê\n o(mili/an], &c. He names
thirty-seven as the age proper for a man, eighteen for a woman, to
marry. At the age of fifty-five a man becomes unfit to procreate
for the public, and none of his children are to appear ([Greek:
a)phei=sthai tê=s ei)s to\ phanero\n gennê/seôs], vii. 16, p.
1335, b. 36).]

The paramount necessity of limiting the number of children born in
each family, here enforced by Plato and Aristotle, rests upon that
great social fact which Malthus so instructively expounded at the
close of the last century. Malthus, enquiring specially into the
law of population, showed upon what conditions the increase of
population depends, and what were the causes constantly at work to
hold it back--checks to population. He ranged these causes under
three different heads, though the two last are multiform in
detail. 1. Moral or prudential restraint--the preventive check. 2.
Vice, and 3. Misery--the two positive checks. He farther showed
that though the aggregate repressive effect of these three causes
is infallible and inevitable, determined by the circumstances of
each given society--yet that mankind might exercise an option
through which of the three the check should be applied: that the
effect of the two last causes was in inverse proportion to that of
the first--in other words, that the less there was of
prudential restraint limiting the number of births, the more
there must be of vice or misery, under some of their thousand
forms, to shorten the lives of many of the children born--and _é
converso_, the more there was of prudential restraint, the less
would be the operation of the other checks tending to shorten

[Side-note: Plato and Aristotle saw the same law as Malthus,
but arranged the facts under a different point of view.]

Three distinct facts--preventive restraint, vice, and
misery--having nothing else in common, are arranged under one general
head by Malthus, in consequence of the one single common property
which they possess--that of operating as checks to population. To
him, that one common property was the most important of all, and the
most fit to be singled out as the groundwork of classification,
having reference to the subject of his enquiry. But Plato and
Aristotle looked at the subject in a different point of view. They
had present to their minds the same three facts, and the tendency
of the first to avert or abate the second and third: but as they
were not investigating the law of population, they had nothing to
call their attention to the one common property of the three. They
did not regard vice and misery as causes tending to keep down
population, but as being in themselves evils; enemies among the
worst which the lawgiver had to encounter, in his efforts to
establish a good political and social condition--and enemies which
he could never successfully encounter, without regulating the
number of births. Such regulation they considered as an essential
tutelary measure to keep out disastrous poverty. The inverse
proportion, between regulated or unregulated number of births on
the one hand, and diminution or increase of poverty on the other,
was seen as clearly by Aristotle and Plato as by Malthus.

[Side-note: Regulations of Plato and Aristotle as to number
of births and newborn children.]

But these two Greek philosophers ordain something yet more
remarkable. Having prescribed both the age of marriage and the
number of permitted births, so as to ensure both vigorous citizens
and a total compatible with the absence of corrupting
poverty--they direct what shall be done if the result does not
correspond to their orders. Plato in his Republic (as I have already
stated) commands that all the children born to his wedded couples
shall be immediately consigned to the care of public nurses--that the
offspring of the well-constituted parents shall be brought up,
that of the ill-constituted parents not brought up--and that no
children born of parents after the legitimate age shall be brought
up.[171] Aristotle forbids the exposure of children, wherever the
habits of the community are adverse to it: but if after any
married couple have had the number of children allowed by law, the
wife should again become pregnant, he directs that abortion shall
be procured before the commencement of life or sense in the
foetus: after such commencement, he pronounces abortion to be
wrong.[172] On another point Plato and Aristotle agree: both of
them command that no child born crippled or deformed shall be
brought up:[173] a practice actually adopted at Sparta under the
Lykurgean institutions, and even carried farther, since no child
was allowed to be brought up until it had been inspected and
approved by the public nurses.[174]

[Footnote 171: Plato, Republ. v. pp. 459 D, 460 C, 461 C.]

[Footnote 172: Aristotel. Politic. vii. 16, 10, p. 1335, b. 20.
[Greek: Peri\ de\ a)pothe/seôs kai\ trophê=s tô=n gignome/nôn,
e)/stô no/mos, mêde\n pepêrôme/non tre/phein; dia\ de\
plê=thos te/knôn, e)a\n ê( ta/xis tô=n e)thô=n kôlu/ê|,
mêde\n a)poti/thesthai tô=n gignome/nôn; ô(/ristai ga\r dê\
tê=s teknopoii+/as to\ plê=thos. e)a\n de/ tisi gi/gnêtai para\
tau=ta sunduasthe/ntôn, pri\n ai)/sthêsin e)ggene/sthai kai\
zôê/n, e)mpoiei=sthai dei= tê\n a)/mblôsin; to\ ga\r o(/sion
kai\ to\ mê\ diôrisme/non tê=| ai)sthê/sei kai\ tô=| zê=|n
e)/stai.] For the text of this passage I have followed Bekker and
the Berlin edition. As to the first half of the passage there are
some material differences in the text and in the MSS.; some give
[Greek: e)thnô=n] instead of [Greek: e)thôn], and [Greek:
ô(ri/sthai ga\r dei=] instead of [Greek: ô(/ristai ga\r dê\].
Compare Plato, Theætêt. 149 C.]

[Footnote 173: Plato, Republic, v. p. 460 C. [Greek: ta\ de\ tô=n
cheiro/nôn (te/kna), kai\ e)a/n ti tô=n e(te/rôn a)na/pêron
gi/gnêtai, e)n a)por)r(ê/tô| te kai\ a)dê/lô| katakru/psousin
ô(s pre/pei.] Aristot. _ut suprâ_, [Greek: e)/stô no/mos,
mêde\n pepêrôme/non tre/phein], &c.]

[Footnote 174: Plutarch, Lykurgus, c. 16.]

[Side-note: Such regulations disapproved and forbidden by
modern sentiment--Variability of ethical sentiment as to objects
approved or disapproved.]

We here find both these philosophers not merely permitting, but
enjoining--and the Spartan legislation, more admired than any in
Greece, systematically realising--practices which modern sentiment
repudiates and punishes. Nothing can more strikingly
illustrate--what Plato and Aristotle have themselves repeatedly
observed[175]--how variable and indeterminate is the _matter_ of
ethical sentiment, in different ages and communities, while the
_form_ of ethical sentiment is the same universally: how all
men agree subjectively, in that which they
feel--disapprobation and hatred of wrong and vice, approbation and
esteem of right and virtue--yet how much they differ objectively,
as to the acts or persons which they designate by these names and
towards which their feelings are directed. It is with these
emotions as with the other emotions of human nature: all men are
moved in the same manner, though in different degree, by love and
hatred--hope and fear--desire and aversion--sympathy and
antipathy--the emotions of the beautiful, the sublime, the
ludicrous: but when we compare the objects, acts, or persons,
which so move them, we find only a very partial agreement, amidst
wide discrepancy and occasionally strong opposition.[176] The
present case is one of the strongest opposition. Practices now
abhorred as wrong, are here directly commanded by Plato and
Aristotle, the two greatest authorities of the Hellenic world: men
differing on many points from each other, but agreeing in this:
men not only of lofty personal character, but also of first-rate
intellectual force, in whom the ideas of virtue and vice had been
as much developed by reflection as they ever have been in any
mind: lastly, men who are extolled by the commentators as the
champions of religion and sound morality, against what are styled
the unprincipled cavils of the Sophists.

[Footnote 175: Aristotel. Politic. viii. 2, p. 1337, b. 2. [Greek:
Peri/ te tô=n pro\s a)retê/n, ou)the/n e)stin o(mologou/menon;
kai\ ga\r tê\n a)retê\n ou) tê\n au)tê\n eu)thu\s pa/ntes
timô=sin; ô(/st' eu)lo/gôs diaphe/rontai kai\ pro\s tê\n
a)/skêsin au)tê=s.]

Ethica Nikomach. i. 3, p. 1094, b. 15. [Greek: Ta\ de\ kala\ kai\
ta\ di/kaia, peri\ ô(=n ê( politikê\ skopei=tai, tosau/tên
e)/chei diaphora\n kai\ pla/nên, ô(/ste dokei=n no/mô| mo/non
ei)=nai, phu/sei de\ mê/.]]

[Footnote 176: The extraordinary variety and discrepancy of
approved and consecrated customs prevalent in different portions
of the ancient world, is instructively set forth in the treatise
of the Syrian Christian Bardisanes, in the time of the Antonines.
A long extract from this treatise is given in Eusebius, Præparat.
Evang., vi. 10; it has been also published by Orelli, annexed to
his edition (Zurich, 1824) of the argument of Alexander of
Aphrodisias, De Fato, p. 202. Compare Euseb. Hist. Eccles. iv. 30.

Bardisanes is replying to the arguments of astrologers and
calculators of nativities, who asserted the uniform and
uncontrollable influence of the heavenly bodies, in given
positions, over human conduct. As a proof that mankind are not
subject to any such necessity, but have a large sphere of freewill
([Greek: au)texou/sion]), he cites these numerous instances of
diverse and contradictory institutions among different societies.
Several of the most conspicuous among these differences relate to
the institutions concerning sex and family, the conduct and
occupations held obligatory in men and women, &c.

Compare Sextus Empiric., Pyrrhon. Hypotyp. iii. s. 198 seqq.]

[Side-note: Plato and Aristotle required subordination of
impulse to reason and duty--they applied this to the procreative
impulse, as to others.]

It is, in my judgment, both curious and interesting to study the
manner in which these two illustrious men--Plato and
Aristotle--dealt with the problem of population. Grave as that
problem is in all times, it was peculiarly grave among the small
republics of antiquity. Neither of them were disposed to ignore or
overlook it: nor to impute to other causes the consequences which
it produces: nor to treat as indifferent the question, whether
poor couples had a greater or less family, to share subsistence
already scanty for themselves. Still less were these philosophers
disposed to sanction the short-sighted policy of some Hellenic
statesmen, who under a mistaken view of increasing the power of
the state, proclaimed encouragement and premium simply to the
multiplication of male births, without any regard to the comfort
and means of families. Both Plato and Aristotle saw plainly, that
a married couple, by multiplying their offspring, produced serious
effects not merely upon their own happiness but upon that of
others besides: up to a certain limit, for good--beyond that
limit, for evil. Hence they laid it down, that procreation ought
to be a rational and advised act, governed by a forecast of those
consequences--not a casual and unforeseen result of present
impulse. The same preponderance of reason over impulse as they
prescribed in other cases, they endeavoured to enforce in this.
They regarded it too, not simply as a branch of prudence, but as a
branch of duty; a debt due by each citizen to others and to the
commonwealth. It was the main purpose of their elaborate political
schemes, to produce a steady habit and course of virtue in all the
citizens: and they considered every one as greatly deficient in
virtue, who refused to look forward to the consequences of his own
procreative acts--thereby contributing to bring upon the state an
aggravated measure of poverty, which was the sure parent of
discord, sedition, and crime. That the rate of total increase
should not be so great as to produce these last-mentioned
effects--and that the limit of virtue and prudence should be made
operative on all the separate families--was in their judgment one
of the most important cares of the lawgiver.

We ought to disengage this general drift and purpose, common both
to Plato and Aristotle, on the subject of population, from the
various means--partly objectionable, partly impossible to be
enforced--whereby they intended to carry the purpose into effect.

[Side-note: Training of the few select philosophers to act
as chiefs.]

I pass from Plato's picture of the entire regiment of Guardians,
under the regulations above described--to his description of the
special training whereby the few most distinguished persons
in the regiment (male or female, as the case may be) are to be
improved, tested, and exalted to the capacity of philosophers:
qualified to act as Rulers or Chiefs.[177] These are the two
marked peculiarities of Plato's Republic. The Guardians are
admirable as instruments, but have no initiative of their own: we
have now to find the chiefs from whom they will receive it. How
are philosophers to be formed? None but a chosen Few have the
precious gold born with them, empowering them to attain this
elevation. To those Few, if properly trained, the privilege and
right to exercise command belongs, by Nature. For the rest,
obedience is the duty prescribed by Nature.[178]

[Footnote 177: Plato, Republic, v. p. 473, vi. p. 503 B. [Greek:
tou\s a)kribesta/tous phu/lakas philoso/phous dei=

[Footnote 178: Plato, Repub. v. p. 474 B. [Greek: toi=s me\n
prosê/kei phu/ei, a(/ptesthai/ te philosophi/as, ê(gemoneu/ein
t' e)n po/lei; toi=s d' a)/llois mê/te a(/ptesthai, a)kolouthei=n
te tô=| ê(goume/nô|.]

476 B: [Greek: spa/nioi a)\n ei)=en]. Also vi. 503, vii. 535. They
are to be [Greek: e)k tô=n prokri/tôn pro/kritoi], vii. 537 D.]

[Side-note: Comprehensive curriculum for aspirants to
philosophy--consummation by means of Dialectic.]

I have already given, in Chap. XXXV., a short summary of the
peculiar scientific training which Sokrates prescribes for
ripening these heroic aspirants into complete philosophers. They
pass years of intellectual labour, all by their own spontaneous
impulse, over and above the full training of Guardians. They study
Arithmetic, Geometry, Stereometry, Astronomy, Acoustics, &c.,
until the age of thirty: they then continue in the exercise of
Dialectic, with all the test of question and answer, for five
years longer: after which they enter upon the duties of practice
and administration, succeeding ultimately to the position of
chiefs if found competent. It is assumed that this long course of
study, consummated by Dialectic, has operated within them that
great mental revolution which Plato calls, turning the eye from
the shadows in the cave to the realities of clear daylight: that
they will no longer be absorbed in the sensible world or in
passing phenomena, but will become familiar with the unchangeable
Ideas or Forms of the Intelligible world, knowable only by
intellectual intuition. Reason has with them been exalted to its
highest power: not only strengthening them to surmount all
intellectual difficulties and to deal with the most complicated
conjectures of practice--but also ennobling their
dispositions, so as to overcome all the disturbing temptations and
narrow misguiding prejudices inherent in the unregenerate man.
Upon the perfection of character, emotional and intellectual,
imparted to these few philosophers, depends the Platonic

[Side-note: Valuable remarks on the effects of these
preparatory studies.]

The remarks made by Plato on the effect of this preparatory
curriculum, and on the various studies composing it, are highly
interesting and instructive--even when they cannot be defended as
exact. Much of what he so eloquently enunciates respecting
philosophy and the philosophical character, is in fact just and
profound, whatever view we may take as to Universals: whether we
regard them (like Plato) as the only Real Entia, cognizable by the
mental eye, and radically disparate from particulars--or whether
we hold them to be only general Concepts, abstracted and
generalised more or less exactly from particulars. The remarks
made by Plato on the educational effect produced by Arithmetic and
the other studies, are valuable and suggestive. Even the discredit
which he throws on observations of fact, in Astronomy and
Acoustics--the great antithesis between him and modern times--is
useful as enabling us to enter into his point of view.[179]

[Footnote 179: Plato, Repub. vii. p. 529 C-D.

The manner in which Plato here depreciates astronomical
observation is not easily reconcileable with his doctrine in the
Timæus. He there tells us that the rotations of the Nous
(intellective soul) in the interior of the human cranium, are
cognate or analogous to those of the cosmical spheres, but more
confused and less perfect: our eyesight being expressly intended
for the purpose, that we might contemplate the perfect and
unerring rotations of the cosmical spheres, so as to correct
thereby the disturbed rotations in our own brain (Timæus, pp.

Malebranche shares the feeling of Plato on the subject of
astronomical observation. Recherche de la Vérité, liv. iv. ch.
vii. vol. ii. p. 219, ed. 1772 (p. 278, ed. 1721).

"Car enfin qu'y a-t-il de grand dans la connoissance des mouvemens
des planètes? et n'en sçavons nous pas assez présentement pour
régler nos mois et nos années? Qu'avons nous tant à faire de
sçavoir, si Saturne est environné d'un anneau ou d'un grand nombre
de petites lunes, et pourquoi prendre parti là-dessus? Pourquoi se
glorifier d'avoir prédit la grandeur d'une éclipse, où l'on a
peut-être mieux rencontré qu'un autre, parcequ'on a été plus
heureux? Il y a des personnes destinées, par l'ordre du Prince, à
observer les astres; contentons nous de leurs observations. . .
Nous devons être pleinement satisfaits sur une matière qui nous
touche si peu, lorsqu'ils nous font partie de leurs

[Side-note: Differences between the Republic and other
dialogues--no mention of reminiscence nor of the Elenchus.]

But his point of view in the Republic differs materially from that
which we read in other dialogues: especially in two ways.

First, The scientific and long-continued Quadrivium, through which
Plato here conducts the student to philosophy, is very
different from the road to philosophy as indicated elsewhere.
Nothing is here said about reminiscence--which in the Menon,
Phædon, Phædrus, and elsewhere, stands in the foreground of his
theory, as the engine for reviving in the mind Forms or Ideas.
With these Forms it had been familiar during a prior state of
existence, but they had become buried under the sensible
impressions arising from its conjunction with the body. Nor do we
find in the Republic any mention of that electric shock of the
negative Elenchus, which (in the Theætêtus, Sophistês, and
several other dialogues) is declared indispensable for stirring up
the natural mind not merely from ignorance and torpor, but even
from a state positively distempered--the false persuasion of

[Side-note: Different view taken by Plato in the Republic
about Dialectic--and different place assigned to it.]

Secondly, following out this last observation, we perceive another
discrepancy yet more striking, in the directions given by Plato
respecting the study of Dialectic. He prescribes that it shall
upon no account be taught to young men: and that it shall come
last of all in teaching, only after the full preceding Quadrivium.
He censures severely the prevalent practice of applying it to
young men, as pregnant with mischief. Young men (he says) brought
up in certain opinions inculcated by the lawgiver, as to what is
just and honourable, are interrogated on these subjects, and have
questions put to them. When asked What is the just and the
honourable, they reply in the manner which they have learnt from
authority: but this reply, being exposed to farther
interrogatories, is shown to be untenable and inconsistent, such
as they cannot defend to their own satisfaction. Hence they lose
all respect for the established ethical creed, which however
stands opposed in their minds to the seductions of immediate
enjoyment: yet they acquire no new or better conviction in its
place. Instead of following an established law, they thus come to
live without any law.[180] Besides, young men when initiated in
dialectic debate, take great delight in the process, as a
means of exposing and puzzling the respondent. Copying the skilful
interrogators whom they have found themselves unable to answer,
they interrogate others in their turn, dispute everything, and
pride themselves on exhibiting all the negative force of the
Elenchus. Instead of employing dialectic debate for the discovery
of truth, they use it merely as a disputatious pastime, and thus
bring themselves as well as philosophy into discredit.[181]

[Footnote 180: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 538 D-539. [Greek: o(/tan
to\n ou(/tôs e)/chonta e)ltho\n e)rô/têma e)/rêtai, ti/ e)sti
to\ kalo/n, kai\ a)pokrina/menon o(\ tou= nomothetou= ê)/kouen
e)xelegchê=| o( lo/gos, kai\ polla/kis kai\ pollachê=
e)le/gchôn ei)s do/xan katabalê=| ô(s tou=to ou)de\n ma/llon
kalo\n ê)\ ai)schro\n, kai\ peri\ dikai/ou ô(sau/tôs kai\
a)di/kou, kai\ a(\ ma/lista ê)=gen e)n timê=|], &c.]

[Footnote 181: Plato, Repub. vii. p. 539 B.]

Accordingly, we must not admit (says Plato) either young men, or
men of ordinary untrained minds, to dialectic debate. We must
admit none but mature persons, of sedate disposition, properly
prepared: who will employ it not for mere disputation, but for the
investigation of truth.[182]

[Footnote 182: Plato, Repub. vii. p. 539 D.]

[Side-note: Contradiction with the spirit of other
dialogues--Parmenidês, &c.]

Now the doctrine thus proclaimed, with the grounds upon which it
rests--That dialectic debate is unsuitable and prejudicial to
young men--distinctly contradict both the principles laid down by
himself elsewhere, and the frequent indications of his own
dialogues: not to mention the practice of Sokrates as described by
Xenophon. In the Platonic Parmenidês, and Theætêtus, the season
of youth is expressly pronounced to be that in which dialectic
exercise is not merely appropriate, but indispensable to the
subsequent attainment of truth.[183] Moreover, Plato puts into the
mouth of Parmenides a specimen intentionally given to represent
that dialectic exercise which will be profitable to youth. The
specimen is one full of perplexing, though ingenious,
subtleties: ending in establishing, by different trains of
reasoning, the affirmative, as well as the negative, of several
distinct conclusions. Not only it supplies no new positive
certainty, but it appears to render any such consummation more
distant and less attainable than ever.[184] It is therefore
eminently open to the censure which Plato pronounces, in the
passage just cited from his Republic, against dialectic as
addressed to young men. The like remark may be made upon the
numerous other dialogues (though less extreme in negative subtlety
than the Parmenidês), wherein the Platonic Sokrates interrogates
youths (or interrogates others, in the presence of youths) without
any positive result: as in the Theætêtus, Charmidês, Lysis,
Alkibiadês, Hippias, &c., to which we may add the
conversations of the Xenophontic Sokrates with Euthydemus and

[Footnote 183: Plato, Parmenidês, pp. 135 D, 137 B. Theætêt. 146

Proklus, in his Commentary on the Parmenidês (p. 778, Stallbaum),
adverts to the passage of the Republic here discussed, and
endeavours to show that it is not inconsistent with the
Parmenidês. He states that the exhortation to practise dialectic
debate in youth, as the appropriate season, must be understood as
specially and exclusively addressed to a youth of the
extraordinary mental qualities of Sokrates; while the passage in
the Republic applies the prohibition only to the general regiment
of Guardians. But this justification is noway satisfactory; for
Plato in the Republic makes no exception in favour of the most
promising Guardians. He lays down the position generally. Again,
in the Parmenidês, we find the encouragement to dialectic debate
addressed not merely to the youthful Sokrates, but to the youthful
Aristoteles (p. 137 B). Moreover, we are not to imagine that all
the youths who are introduced as respondents in the Platonic
dialogues are implied as equal to Sokrates himself, though they
are naturally represented as superior and promising subjects.
Compare Plato, Sophistês, p. 217 E; Politikus, p. 257 E.]

[Footnote 184: Plato, Parmenid. p. 166 ad fin. [Greek:
ei)rê/sthô toi/nun tou=to/ te kai\ o(/ti, ô(s e)/oiken, e(\n
ei)/t' e)/stin, ei)te mê\ e)/stin, au)to/ te kai\ ta)/lla kai\
pro\s au)ta\ kai\ pro\s a)/llêla pa/nta pa/ntôs e)/sti te kai\
ou)k e)/sti, kai\ phai/netai te kai\ ou) phai/netai.

[Footnote 185: Xenophon, Memorab. iv. 2.]

[Side-note: Contradiction with the character and
declarations of Sokrates.]

In fact, the Platonic Sokrates expressly proclaims himself (in the
Apology as well as in the other dialogues just named) to be
ignorant and incapable of teaching anything. His mission was to
expose the ignorance of those, who fancy that they know without
really knowing: he taught no one anything, but he cross-examined
every one who would submit to it, before all the world, and in a
manner especially interesting to young men. Sokrates mentions that
these young men not only listened with delight, but tried to
imitate him as well as they could, by cross-examining others in
the same manner:[186] and in mentioning the fact, he expresses
neither censure nor regret, but satisfaction in the thought that
the chance would be thereby increased, of exposing that false
persuasion of knowledge which prevailed so widely everywhere. Now
Plato, in the passage just cited from the Republic, blames this
contagious spirit of cross-examination on the part of young men,
as a vice which proved the mischief of dialectic debate addressed
to them at that age. He farther deprecates the disturbance of
"those opinions which they have heard from the lawgiver respecting
what is just and honourable". But it is precisely these
opinions which, in the Alkibiadês, Menon, Protagoras, and other
dialogues, the Platonic Sokrates treats as untaught, if not
unteachable:--as having been acquired, no man knew how, without
the lessons of any assignable master and without any known period
of study:--lastly, as constituting that very illusion of false
knowledge without real knowledge, of which Sokrates undertakes to
purge the youthful mind, and which must be dispelled before any
improvement can be effected in it.[187]

[Footnote 186: Plato, Apolog. Sokrat c. 10, p. 23 D, c. 22, p. 33
C, c. 27, p. 37 E, c. 30, p. 39 C.]

[Footnote 187: Plato, Sophist. p. 230.]

[Side-note: The remarks here made upon the effect of
Dialectic upon youth coincide with the accusation of Melêtus
against Sokrates.]

We thus see, that the dictum forbidding dialectic debate with
youth--cited from the seventh book of the Republic, which Plato
there puts into the mouth of Sokrates--is decidedly anti-Sokratic;
and anti-Platonic, in so far as Plato represents Sokrates. It
belongs indeed to the case of Melêtus and Anytus, in their
indictment against Sokrates before the Athenian dikastery. It is
identical with their charge against him, of corrupting youth, and
inducing them to fancy themselves superior to the authority of
established customs and opinions heard from their elders.[188] Now
the Platonic Sokrates is here made to declare explicitly, that
dialectic debate addressed to youth does really tend to produce
this effect:--to render them lawless, immoral, disputatious. And
when we find him forbidding all such discourse at an earlier age
than thirty years--we remark as a singular coincidence, that this
is the exact prohibition which Kritias and Charikles actually
imposed upon Sokrates himself, during the shortlived dominion of
the Thirty Oligarchs at Athens.[189]

[Footnote 188: Xenophon, Memorab. i. 2, 19-49. Compare
Aristophanes, Nubes, 1042-1382.]

[Footnote 189: Xenophon, Memorab. i. 2, 33-38.

Isokrates complains that youthful students took more delight in
disputation than he thought suitable; nevertheless he declares
that youth, and not mature age, is the proper season for such
exercises, as well as for Geometry and Astronomy (Orat. xii.
Panathen. s. 29-31, p. 239).]

[Side-note: Contrast between the real Sokrates, as a
dissenter at Athens, and the Platonic Sokrates, framer and
dictator of the Platonic Republic.]

The matter to which I here advert, illustrates a material
distinction between some writings of Plato as compared with
others, and between different points of view which his mind took
on at different times. In the Platonic Apology, we find Sokrates
confessing his own ignorance, and proclaiming himself to be
isolated among an uncongenial public falsely persuaded of
their own knowledge. In several other dialogues, he is the same:
he cannot teach anything, but can only cross-examine, test, and
apply the spur to respondents. But the Republic presents him in a
new character. He is no longer a dissenter amidst a community of
fixed, inherited, convictions.[190] He is himself on the throne of
King Nomos: the infallible authority, temporal as well as
spiritual, from whom all public sentiment emanates, and by whom
orthodoxy is determined. Hence we now find him passing to the
opposite pole; taking up the orthodox, conservative, point of
view, the same as Melêtus and Anytus maintained in their
accusation against Sokrates at Athens. He now expects every
individual to fall into the place, and contract the opinions,
prescribed by authority: including among those opinions deliberate
ethical and political fictions, such as that about the gold and
silver earthborn men. Free-thinking minds, who take views of their
own, and enquire into the evidence of these beliefs, become
inconvenient and dangerous. Neither the Sokrates of the Platonic
Apology, nor his negative Dialectic, could be allowed to exist in
the Platonic Republic.

[Footnote 190: Plato, Repub. vii. p. 541.]

[Side-note: Idea of Good--The Chiefs alone know what it
is--If they did not they would be unfit for their functions.]

One word more must be said respecting a subject which figures
conspicuously in the Republic--the Idea or Form of Good. The
chiefs alone (we read) at the end of their long term of study,
having ascended gradually from the phenomena of sense to
intellectual contemplation and familiarity with the unchangeable
Ideas--will come to discern and embrace the highest of all
Ideas--the Form of Good:[191] by the help of which alone,
Justice, Temperance, and the other virtues, become useful and
profitable.[192] If the Archons do not know how and why just and
honourable things are good, they will not be fit for their
duty.[193] In regard to Good (Plato tells us) no man is satisfied
with mere appearance. Here every man desires and postulates that
which is really good: while as to the just and the honourable,
many are satisfied with the appearance, without caring for the

[Footnote 191: Plato, Republic, vii. pp. 533-534.]

[Footnote 192: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 A.]

[Footnote 193: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 506 A.]

[Footnote 194: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 D.]

[Side-note: What is the Good? Plato does not know; but
he requires the Chiefs to know it. Without this the Republic would
be a failure.]

Plato proclaims this Real Good, as distinguished from Apparent
Good, to be the paramount and indispensable object of knowledge,
without which all other knowledge is useless. It is that which
every man divines to exist, yearns for, and does everything with a
view to obtain: but which he misses, from not knowing where to
seek; missing also along with it that which gives value to other
acquisitions.[195] What then is this Real Good--the Noumenon,
Idea, or form of Good?

[Footnote 195: Plato, Republic, vi. p. 505 A-E. [Greek: O(\ dê\
diô/kei me\n a(/pasa psuchê\ kai\ tou/tou e(/neka pa/nta
pra/ttei, a)pomanteuome/nê ti\ ei)=nai, a)porou=sa de\ kai\ ou)k
e)/chousa labei=n i(kanô=s ti/ pot' e)sti\n ou)de\ pi/stei
chrê/sasthai moni/mô|, oi(/a| kai\ peri\ ta)/lla, dia\ tou=to
de\ a)potugcha/nei kai\ tô=n a)/llôn ei)/ ti o)/phelos ê)=n],

This question is put by Glaukon to Sokrates, with much
earnestness, in the dialogue of the Republic. But unfortunately it
remains unanswered. Plato declines all categorical reply; though
the question is one, as he himself emphatically announces, upon
which all the positive consequences of his philosophy turn.[196]
He conducts us to the chamber wherein this precious and
indispensable secret is locked up, but he has no key to open the
door. In describing the condition of other men's minds--that they
divine a Real Good--[Greek: Au)to\-a)gatho\n] or Bonum _per
se_--do everything in order to obtain it, but puzzle themselves
in vain to grasp and determine what it is[197]--he has
unconsciously described the condition of his own.

[Footnote 196: Certainly when we see the way in which Plato deals
with the [Greek: i)de/a a)gathou=], we cannot exempt him from the
criticism which he addresses to others, vi. p. 493 E. [Greek: ô(s
de\ kai\ a)gatha\ kai\ kala\ tau=ta tê=| a)lêthei/a|, ê)/dê
pôpote/ tou= ê)/kousas au)tô=n lo/gon dido/ntos ou)

We may illustrate this procedure of Plato by an Oriental fable,
cited in an instructive Dissertation of M. Ernest Renan.

"Aristoteles primum sub Almamuno (813-833, A.D.) arabicè
factus est. Somniumque effictum à credulis hominibus: vidisse
Almamunum in somno virum aspectu venerabili, solio insidentem:
mirantem Almamunum quæsivisse, quisnam ille esset? responsum,
Aristotelem esse. Quo audito, Chalifam ab eo quæsivisse, Quidnam
Bonum esset? respondisse Aristotelem: Quod sapientiores probarent.
Quærenti Chalifæ quid hoc esset? Quod lex divina probat--dixisse.
Interroganti porro illi, Quid hoc? Quod omnes
probarent--respondisse: _neque alii ultra quæstioni respondere
voluisse_. Quo somnio permotum Almamunum à Græcorum imperatore
veniam petiisse, ut libri philosophici in ipsius regno
quærerentur: hujusque rei gratiâ viros doctos misisse." Ernest
Renan, De Philosophiâ Peripateticâ apud Syros, commentatio
Historica, p. 57; Paris, 1852.

Among the various remarks which might be made upon this curious
dream, one is, that Bonum is always determined as having relation
to the appreciative apprehension of some mind--the Wise Men, the
Divine Mind, the Mind of the general public. _Bonum_ is that
which some mind or minds conceive and appreciate as such. The word
has no meaning except in relation to some apprehending Subject.]

[Footnote 197: Plato, Republ. vi. p. 505 E. [Greek:
a)pomanteuome/nê ti ei)=nai, a)porou=sa de\ kai\ ou)k e)/chousa
labei=n i(kanô=s ti/ pot' e)sti/n], &c.

The remarks of Aristotle in impugning the Platonic [Greek: i)de/an
a)gathou=] are very instructive, Ethic. Nikom. i. p. 1096-1097;
Ethic. Eudem. i. p. 1217-1218. He maintains that there exists
nothing corresponding to the word; and that even if it did exist,
it would neither be [Greek: prakto\n] nor [Greek: ktêto\n
a)nthrô/pô|]. Aristotle here looks upon Good as being
essentially relative or phenomenal: he understands [Greek: to\
a(plô=s a)gatho\n] to mean [Greek: to\ a)gatho\n to\ phaino/menon
tô=| spoudai/ô|] (Eth. Nik. iii. p. 1113, b. 16-32). But he does
not uniformly adhere to this meaning.]



[Side-note: Persons and scheme of the Timæus and Kritias.]

Though the Republic of Plato appears as a substantive composition,
not including in itself any promise of an intended sequel--yet the
Timæus and Kritias are introduced by Plato as constituting a
sequel to the Republic. Timæus the Pythagorean philosopher of
Lokri, the Athenian Kritias, and Hermokrates, are now introduced,
as having been the listeners while Sokrates was recounting his
long conversation of ten Books, first with Thrasymachus, next with
Glaukon and Adeimantus. The portion of that conversation, which
described the theory of a model commonwealth, is recapitulated in
its main characteristics: and Sokrates now claims from the two
listeners some requital for the treat which he has afforded to
them. He desires to see the citizens, whose training he has
described at length, and whom he has brought up to the stage of
mature capacity--exhibited by some one else as living, acting, and
affording some brilliant evidence of courage and military
discipline.[1] Kritias undertakes to satisfy his demand, by
recounting a glorious achievement of the ancient citizens of
Attica, who had once rescued Europe from an inroad of countless
and almost irresistible invaders, pouring in from the vast island
of Atlantis in the Western Ocean. This exploit is supposed to have
been performed nearly 10,000 years before; and though lost out of
the memory of the Athenians themselves, to have been commemorated
and still preserved in the more ancient records of Sais in Egypt,
and handed down through Solon by a family tradition to Kritias.
But it is agreed between Kritias and Timæus,[2] that before the
former enters upon his quasi-historical or mythical recital
about the invasion from Atlantis, the latter shall deliver an
expository discourse, upon a subject very different and of far
greater magnitude. Unfortunately the narrative promised by Kritias
stands before us only as a fragment. There is reason to believe
that Plato never completed it.[3] But the discourse assigned to
Timæus was finished, and still remains, as a valuable record of
ancient philosophy.

[Footnote 1: Plato, Timæus, p. 20 B.]

[Footnote 2: Plato, Timæus, p. 27 A.]

[Footnote 3: Plutarch, Solon, c. 33.

Another discourse appears to have been contemplated by Plato, to
be delivered by Hermokrates after Kritias had concluded (Plato,
Timæus, p. 20 A; Kritias, p. 108). But nothing of this was
probably ever composed.]

[Side-note: The Timæus is the earliest ancient physical
theory, which we possess in the words of its author.]

For us, modern readers, the Timæus of Plato possesses a species of
interest which it did not possess either for the contemporaries of
its author, or for the ancient world generally. We read in it a
system--at least the sketch of a system--of universal philosophy,
the earliest that has come to us in the words of the author
himself. Among the many other systems, anterior or
simultaneous--those of Thales and the other Ionic philosophers, of
Herakleitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Empedokles, Anaxagoras,
Demokritus--not one remains to us as it was promulgated by its original
author or supporters. We know all of them only in fragments and
through the criticisms of others: fragments always scanty--criticisms
generally dissentient, often harsh, sometimes unfair, introduced
by the critic to illustrate opposing doctrines of his own. Here,
however, the Platonic system is made known to us, not in this
fragmentary and half-attested form, but in the full exposition
which Plato himself deemed sufficient for it. This is a remarkable

[Side-note: Position** and character of the Pythagorean

Timæus is extolled by Sokrates as combining the character of a
statesman with that of a philosopher: as being of distinguished
wealth and family in his native city (the Epizephyrian Lokri),
where he had exercised the leading political functions:--and as
having attained besides, the highest excellence in science,
astronomical as well as physical.[4] We know from other sources
(though Plato omits to tell us so, according to his usual
undefined manner of designating contemporaries) that he was of the
Pythagorean school. Much of the exposition assigned to him is
founded on Pythagorean principles, though blended by Plato
with other doctrines, either his own or borrowed elsewhere. Timæus
undertakes to requite Sokrates by giving a discourse respecting
"The Nature of the Universe"; beginning at the genesis of the
Kosmos, and ending with the constitution of man.[5] This is to
serve as an historical or mythical introduction to the Platonic
Republic recently described; wherein Sokrates had set forth the
education and discipline proper for man when located as an
inhabitant of the earth. Neither during the exposition of Timæus,
nor after it, does Sokrates make any remark. But the commencement
of the Kritias (which is evidently intended as a second part or
continuation of the Timæus) contains, first, a prayer from Timæus
that the Gods will pardon the defects of his preceding discourse
and help him to amend them--next an emphatic commendation bestowed
by Sokrates upon the discourse: thus supplying that recognition
which is not found in the first part.[6]

[Footnote 4: Plato, Timæus, pp. 20 A, 27 A.]

[Footnote 5: Plato, Timæus, p. 27 A. [Greek: e)/doxe ga\r ê(mi=n
Ti/maion me/n, a(/te a)stronomikô/taton ê(mô=n, kai\ _peri\
phu/seôs tou= panto\s_ ei)de/nai ma/lista e)/rgon
pepoiême/non, prô=ton le/gein a)rcho/menon a)po\ tê=s tou=
ko/smou gene/seôs, teleuta=|n de\ ei)s a)nthrô/pôn phu/sin.]]

[Footnote 6: Plato, Kritias, p. 108 B.]

[Side-note: Poetical imagination displayed by Plato. He
pretends to nothing more than probability. Contrast with Sokrates,
Isokrates, Xenophon.]

In this Hymn of the Universe (to use a phrase of the rhetor
Menander[7] respecting the Platonic Timæus) the prose of Plato is
quite as much the vehicle of poetical imagination as the
hexameters of Hesiod, Empedokles, or Parmenides. The Gods and
Goddesses, whom Timæus invokes at the commencement,[8] supply him
with superhuman revelations, like the Muses to Hesiod,
or the Goddess of Wisdom to Parmenides. Plato expressly recognises
the multiplicity of different statements current, respecting the
Gods and the generation of the Universe. He claims no superior
credibility for his own. He professes to give us a new doctrine,
not less probable than the numerous dissentient opinions already
advanced by others, and more acceptable to his own mind. He bids
us be content with such a measure of probability, because the
limits of our human nature preclude any fuller approach to
certainty.[9] It is important to note the modest pretensions
here unreservedly announced by Plato as to the conviction and
assent of hearers:--so different from the confidence manifested in
the Republic, where he hires a herald to proclaim his
conclusion--and from the overbearing dogmatism which we read in his
Treatise De Legibus, where he is providing a catechism for the
schooling of citizens, rather than proofs to be sifted by opponents.
He delivers, respecting matters which he admits to be unfathomable,
the theory most in harmony with his own religious and poetical
predispositions, which he declares to be as probable as any other
yet proclaimed. The Xenophontic Sokrates, who disapproved all
speculation respecting the origin and structure of the Kosmos,
would probably have granted this equal probability, and equal
absence of any satisfactory grounds of preferential belief--both
to Plato on one side and to the opposing theorists on the other.
And another intelligent contemporary, Isokrates, would probably
have considered the Platonic Timæus as one among the same class of
unprofitable extravagancies, to which he assigns the theories of
Herakleitus, Empedokles, Alkmæon, Parmenides, and others.[10]
Plato himself (in the Sophistês)[11] characterises the theories
of these philosophers as fables recited to an audience of
children, without any care to ensure a rational comprehension
and assent. _They_ would probably have made the like
criticism upon his Timæus. While he treats it as fable to apply to
the Gods the human analogy of generation and parentage--they would
have considered it only another variety of fable, to apply to them
the equally human analogy of constructive fabrication or mixture
of ingredients. The language of Xenophon shows that he agreed with
his master Sokrates in considering such speculations as not merely
unprofitable, but impious.[12] And if the mission from the
Gods--constituting Sokrates Cross-Examiner General against the
prevailing fancy of knowledge without the reality of
knowledge--drove him to court perpetual controversy with the
statesmen, poets, and Sophists of Athens; the same mission would have
compelled him, on hearing the sweeping affirmations of Timæus, to
apply the test of his Elenchus, and to appear in his well-known
character of confessed[13] but inquisitive ignorance. The Platonic
Timæus is positively anti-Sokratic. It places us at the opposite
or dogmatic pole of Plato's character.[14]

[Footnote 7: Menander, De Encomiis, i. 5, p. 39. Compare Karsten,
De Empedoclis Vitâ, p. 72; De Parmenidis Vitâ, p. 21.]

[Footnote 8: Plato, Timæus, p. 27 D; Hesiod, Theogon, 22-35-105.]

[Footnote 9: Plato, Timæus, pp. 29 D, 28 D, 59 C-D, 68 C, 72 D.
[Greek: kat' e)mê\n do/xan--para\ tê=s e)mê=s psê/phou] (p. 52
D). In many parts of the dialogue he repeats that he is delivering
his _own opinion_--that he is affirming what is probable. In
the Phædon, however, we find that [Greek: ei)ko/tes lo/goi] are
set aside as deceptive and dangerous, Phædon, p. 92 D. In the
remarkable passage of the Timæus, p. 48 C-D, Plato intimates that
he will not in the present discourse attempt to go to the bottom
of the subject--[Greek: tê\n me\n peri\ a(pa/ntôn ei)/te
a)rchê\n ei)/te a)rcha\s ei)/te o(/pê| dokei= tou/tôn pe/ri,
to\ nu=n ou) r(ête/on]--but that he will confine himself to
[Greek: ei)ko/tes lo/goi--to\ de\ kat' a)rcha\s r(êthe\n
diaphula/ttôn, tê\n _tô=n ei)ko/tôn lo/gôn du/namin,
peira/somai mêdeno\s ê(=tton ei)ko/ta_, ma=llon de\ kai\
e)/mprosthen a)p' a)rchê=s peri\ e(ka/stôn kai\ xumpa/ntôn

What these _principia_ are, which Plato here keeps in the
background, I do not clearly understand. Susemihl (Entwickelung
der Plat. Phil. ii. p. 405) and Martin (Études sur le Timée, ii.
p. 173, note 56) have both given elucidations of this passage, but
neither of them appear to me satisfactory. Simplikius
says:--[Greek: O( Pla/tôn tê\n phusiologi/an ei)kotologi/an e)/legen
ei)=nai, ô(=| kai\ A)ristote/lês summarturei=], Schol. Aristot.
Phys. 325, a. 25 Brandis.]

[Footnote 10: Isokrates, De Permutatione, Or. xv. s. 287-288-304.
[Greek: ê(gou=mai ga\r ta\s me\n toiau/tas _perittologi/as_
o(moi/as ei)=nai tai=s thaumatopoii/ais tai=s ou)de\n me\n
ô)phelou/sais, u(po\ de\ tô=n a)noê/tôn perista/tois
gignome/nais] (s. 288). . . .

[Greek: tou\s de\ tô=n me\n a)nagkai/ôn a)melou=ntas, ta\s de\
tô=n palaiô=n sophistô=n _teratologi/as_ a)gapô=ntas,
philosophei=n phasi/n] (s. 304).

Compare another passage of Isokrates, the opening of Orat. x.
Encomium Helenæ; in which latter passage he seems plainly to
notice one of the main ethical doctrines advanced by Plato, though
he does not mention Plato's name, nor indeed the name of any
living person.]

[Footnote 11: Plato, Sophist. pp. 242-243. [Greek: Mu=tho/n tina
e(/kastos phai/netai/ moi diêgei=sthai paisi\n ô(s ou)=sin
ê(mi=n; o( me\n ô(s tri/a ta\ o)/nta, polemei= de\ a)llê/lois
e)ni/ote au)tô=n a)/tta pê|, to/te de\ kai\ phi/la gigno/mena
ga/mous te kai\ to/kous kai\ tropha\s tô=n e)kgo/nôn
pare/chetai] (p. 242 C-D).]

[Footnote 12: Xenophon, Memorab. i. 1, 11-14. [Greek: Ou)dei\s de\
pô/pote Sôkra/tous ou)de\n a)sebe\s ou)de\ a)no/sion ou)/te
pra/ttontos ei)=den ou)/te le/gontos ê)/kousen; _ou)de\
ga\r_ peri\ tê=s tô=n pa/ntôn phu/seôs ê(=per tô=n
a)/llôn oi(/ plei=stoi, diele/geto, skopô=n _o(/pôs o(
kalou/menos u(po\ tô=n sophistô=n ko/smos_ e)/chei, kai\
ti/sin a)na/gkais e(/kasta gi/gnetai tô=n ou)rani/ôn; a)lla\
kai\ tou\s phronti/zontas ta\ toiau=ta môrai/nontas

Lucretius, i. 80:--

Illud in his rebus vereor, ne forté rearis
Impia te rationis inire elementa, viamque
Indugredi sceleris, &c.

The above cited passage of Xenophon shows that the term [Greek:
Ko/smos] was in his time a technical word among philosophers, not
yet accepted in that meaning by the general public. The aversion
to investigation of the Kosmos, on the ground of impiety,
entertained by Sokrates and Xenophon, is expressed by Plato in the
Leges (vii. 821 A) in the following words of the principal
speaker,--[Greek: To\n me/giston theo\n kai\ o(/lon to\n ko/smon
phame\n ou)/te zêtei=n dei=n ou)/te polupragmonei=n ta\s ai)ti/as
e)reunô=ntas; ou) ga\r ou)d' o(/sion ei)=nai; to\ de\ e)/oike
pa=n tou/tou tou)nanti/on gigno/menon o)rthô=s a)\n gi/gnesthai.]
This last passage is sometimes cited as if the word [Greek:
phame\n] expressed the opinion of the principal speaker, or of
Plato himself--which is a mistake: [Greek: phame\n] here expresses
the opinion which the principal speaker is about to controvert.]

[Footnote 13: See above, vol. i. ch. ix. of the present work,
where the Platonic Apology is reviewed.]

[Footnote 14: "Quocirca Timæus non dialecticé disserens inducitur,
sed loquitur ut hierophanta, qui mundi arcana aliunde accepta
grandi ac magnificâ oratione pronunciat; quin etiam quæ
experientiæ suspicionem superant, mythorum ac symbolorum
involucris obtegit, eoque modo quam ea certa sint, legentibus non
obscuré significat."--Stallbaum, Prolegg. ad Platon. Timæum, c.
iv. p. 37.]

[Side-note: Fundamental distinction between Ens and Fientia.]

Timæus begins by laying down the capital distinction between--1.
Ens or the Existent, the eternal and unchangeable, the world of
Ideas or Forms, apprehended only by mental conception or
Reason, but the object of infallible cognition. 2. The Generated
and Perishable--the sensible, phenomenal, material world--which
never really exists, but is always appearing and disappearing;
apprehended by sense, yet not capable of becoming the object of
cognition, nor of anything better than opinion or conjecture. The
Kosmos, being a visible and tangible body, belongs to this last
category. Accordingly, it can never be really known: no true or
incontestable propositions can be affirmed respecting it: you can
arrive at nothing higher than opinion and probability.

Plato seems to have had this conviction, respecting the
uncertainty of all affirmations about the sensible world or any
portions of it, forcibly present to his mind.

[Side-note: Postulates of Plato. The Demiurgus--The Eternal
Ideas--Chaotic Materia or Fundamentum. The Kosmos is a living
being and a God.]

He next proceeds to assume or imply, as postulates, his eternal
Ideas or Forms--a coeternal chaotic matter or indeterminate
Something--and a Demiurgus or Architect to construct, out of this
chaos, after contemplation of the Forms, copies of them as good as
were practicable in the world of sense. The exposition begins with
these postulates. The Demiurgus found all visible matter, not in a
state of rest, but in discordant and irregular motion. He brought
it out of disorder into order. Being himself good (says Plato),
and desiring to make everything else as good as possible, he
transformed this chaos into an orderly Kosmos.[15] He planted in
its centre a soul spreading round, so as to pervade all its
body--and reason in the soul: so that the Kosmos became animated,
rational--a God.

[Footnote 15: Plato, Timæus, pp. 29-30.]

[Side-note: The Demiurgus not a Creator--The Kosmos arises
from his operating upon the random movements of Necessity. He
cannot controul necessity--he only persuades.]

The Demiurgus of Plato is not conceived as a Creator,[16] but as a
Constructor or Artist. He is the God Promêtheus, conceived as
pre-kosmical, and elevated to the primacy of the Gods: instead of
being subordinate to Zeus, as depicted by Æschylus and others. He
represents provident intelligence or art, and beneficent purpose,
contending with a force superior and irresistible, so as to
improve it as far as it will allow itself to be improved.[17] This
pre-existing superior force Plato denominates Necessity--"the
erratic, irregular, random causality," subsisting prior to the
intervention of the Demiurgus; who can only work upon it by
persuasion, but cannot coerce or subdue it.[18] The genesis of the
Kosmos thus results from a combination of intelligent force with
the original, primordial Necessity; which was persuaded, and
consented, to have its irregular agency regularised up to a
certain point, but no farther. Beyond this limit the systematising
arrangements of the Demiurgus could not be carried; but all that
is good or beautiful in the Kosmos was owing to them.[19]

[Footnote 16: "The notion of absolute Creation is unknown to
Plato, as it is to all Grecian and Roman antiquity" (Brandis,
Gesch. der Griech. Röm. Philos. vol. ii. part 2, p. 306).]

[Footnote 17: The verbs used by Plato to describe the proceedings
of the Demiurgus are [Greek: xunetektai/neto, xune/stêse,
xunekera/sato, e)mêchanê/sato], and such like.]

[Footnote 18: Plato, Timæus, pp. 47 E-48 A. [Greek: e)pide/deiktai
ta\ dia\ nou= dedêmiourgême/na; dei= de\ kai\ ta\ di' a)na/gkês
gigno/mena tô=| lo/gô| parathe/sthai. Memigme/nê ga\r ou)=n ê(
tou=de tou= ko/smou ge/nesis e)x a)na/gkês te kai\ nou=
xusta/seôs e)gennê/thê; nou= de\ a)na/gkês a)/rchontos
_tô=| pei/thein au)tê\n_ tô=n gignome/nôn ta\ plei=sta
e)pi\ to\ be/ltiston a)/gein, tau/tê| kata\ tau=ta/ te di'
a)na/gkês ê(ttôme/nês u(po\ _pei/thous_ e)/mphronos,
ou(/tô kat' a)rcha\s xuni/stato to/de to\ pa=n. Ei)/ tis ou)=n
ê(= ge/gone, kata\ tau=ta o)/ntôs e)rei=, mikte/on kai\ _to\
tê=s planôme/nês ei)=dos ai)ti/as_, ê(= phe/rein
pe/phuken.] Compare p. 56 C: [Greek: o(/pê|per ê( tê=s
a)na/gkês _e(kou=sa peisthei=sa/_ te phu/sis u(pei=ke.] Also
pp. 68 E, 75 B, 30 A.

[Greek: Te/chnê d' a)na/gkês a)stheneste/ra makrô=|] says
Prometheus in Æschylus (P. V. 514). He identifies [Greek:
A)na/gkê] with the [Greek: Moi=rai]: and we read in Herodotus (i.
91) of Apollo as trying to persuade the Fates to spare Kroesus,
but obtaining for him only a respite of three years--[Greek: ou)k
oi(=o/n te e)ge/neto paragagei=n moi/ras, _o(/son de\
e)ne/dôkan au(=tai_, ê)nu/sato kai\ e)chari/sato/ oi(.] This
is the language used by Plato about [Greek: A)na/gkê] and the
Demiurgus. A valuable exposition of the relations believed to
subsist between the Gods and [Greek: Moi=ra] is to be found in
Naegelsbach, Homerische Theologie (chap. iii. pp. 113-131).]

[Footnote 19: Plutarch reproduces this theory (Phokion, c. 2, ad
fin.) of God governing the Kosmos, not by superior force, but by
reason and persuasion--[Greek: ê(=| kai\ to\n ko/smon o( theo\s
le/getai dioikei=n, ou) biazo/menos, a)lla\ peithoi= kai\ lo/gô|
para/gôn tê\n a)na/gkên.]]

[Side-note: Meaning of Necessity in Plato.]

We ought here to note the sense in which Plato uses the word
Necessity. This word is now usually understood as denoting what is
fixed, permanent, unalterable, knowable beforehand. In the
Platonic Timæus it means the very reverse:--the indeterminate, the
inconstant, the anomalous, that which can neither be understood
nor predicted. It is Force, Movement, or Change, with the negative
attribute of not being regular, or intelligible, or determined by
any knowable antecedent or condition--_Vis consili expers_.
It coincides, in fact, with that which is meant by
_Freewill_, in the modern metaphysical argument between
Freewill and Necessity: it is the undetermined or
self-determining, as contrasted with that which depends upon some
given determining conditions, known or knowable. The Platonic
Necessity[20] is identical with the primeval Chaos, recognised in
the Theogony or Kosmogony of Hesiod. That poet tells us that Chaos
was the primordial Something: and that afterwards came Gæa, Eros,
Uranus, Nyx, Erebus, &c., who intermarried, males with
females, and thus gave birth to numerous divine persons or
kosmical agents--each with more or less of definite character and
attributes. By these supervening agencies, the primeval Chaos was
modified and regulated, to a greater or less extent. The Platonic
Timæus starts in the same manner as Hesiod, from an original
Chaos. But then he assumes also, as coæval with it, but apart from
it, his eternal Forms or Ideas: while, in order to obtain his
kosmical agents, he does not have recourse, like Hesiod, to the
analogy of intermarriages and births, but employs another analogy
equally human and equally borrowed from experience--that of a
Demiurgus or constructive professional artist, architect, or
carpenter; who works upon the model of these Forms, and introduces
regular constructions into the Chaos. The antithesis present to
the mind of Plato is that between disorder or absence of order,
announced as Necessity,--and order or regularity, represented by
the Ideas.[21] As the mediator between these two primeval
opposites, Plato assumes Nous, or Reason, or artistic skill
personified in his Demiurgus: whom he calls essentially
good--meaning thereby that he is the regularising agent by whom
order, method, and symmetry, are copied from the Ideas and partially
realised among the intractable data of Necessity. Good is
something which Plato in other works often talks about, but never
determines: his language implies sometimes that he knows what it
is, sometimes that he does not know. But so far as we can
understand him, it means order, regularity, symmetry, proportion--by
consequence, what is ascertainable and predictable.[22] I
will not say that Plato means this always and exclusively, by
Good: but he seems to mean so in the Timæus. Evil is the reverse.
Good or regularity is associated in his mind exclusively with
rational agency. It can be produced, he assumes, only by a reason,
or by some personal agent analogous to a reasonable and
intelligent man. Whatever is not so produced, must be irregular or

[Footnote 20: In the Symposion (pp. 195 D, 197 B) we find Eros
panegyrised as having amended and mollified the primeval empire of
[Greek: A)na/gkê].

The Scholiast on Hesiod, Theogon. 119, gives a curious
metaphysical explanation of [Greek: E)/ros], mentioned in the
Hesiodic text--[Greek: tê\n e)gkatesparme/nên phusikô=s
kinêtikê\n ai)ti/an e(ka/stô| tô=n o)ntôn, kath' ê(\n
e)phi/etai e(/kastos tou= ei)=nai.]]

[Footnote 21: In the Philêbus, p. 23 C-D, these three are
recognised under the terms:--1. [Greek: Pe/ras]. 2. [Greek:
A)/peiron]. 3. [Greek: Ai)ti/a--tê=s xummi/xeôs tou/tôn pro\s
a)/llêla tê\n ai)ti/an].

Compare a curious passage of Plutarch, Symposiacon, viii. 2, p.
719 E, illustrating the Platonic phrase--[Greek: to\n theo\n a)ei\

[Footnote 22: Plato, Timæus, p. 30 A. Compare the Republic, vi. p.
506, Philêbus, pp. 65-66, and the investigation in the
Euthydêmus, pp. 279-293, which ends in no result.]

[Side-note: Process of demiurgic construction--The total
Kosmos comes logically first, constructed on the model of the
[Greek: Au)tozô=on].]

These are the fundamental ideas which Plato expands into a
detailed Kosmology. The first application which he makes of them
is, to construct the total Kosmos. The total is here the logical
Prius, or anterior to the parts in his order of conception. The
Kosmos is one vast and comprehensive animal: just as in
physiological description, the leading or central idea is, that of
the animal organism as a whole, to which each and all the parts
are referred. The Kosmos is constructed by the Demiurgus according
to the model of the [Greek: Au)tozô=on],[23]--(the Form or Idea
of Animal--the eternal Generic or Self-Animal,)--which comprehends
in itself the subordinate specific Ideas of different sorts of
animals. This Generic Idea of Animal comprehended four of such
specific Ideas: 1. The celestial race of animals, or Gods, who
occupied the heavens. 2. Men. 3. Animals living in air--Birds. 4.
Animals living on land or in water.[24] In order that the Kosmos
might approach near to its model the Self-animal, it was required
to contain all these four species. As there was but one
Self-Animal, so there could only be one Kosmos.

[Footnote 23: Plato, Timæus, p. 30 D.]

[Footnote 24: Plat. Timæus, pp. 39 E-40 A. [Greek: ê(=per ou)=n
nou=s e)nou/sas i)de/as tô=| o(\ e)/sti zô=on, oi(=ai/ te
e)/neisi kai\ o(/sai, kathora=|, toiau/tas kai\ tosau/tas
dienoê/thê dei=n kai\ to/de schei=n. Ei)si\ de\ te/ttares, mi/a
me\n ou)ra/nion theô=n ge/nos, a)/llê de\ ptêno\n kai\
a)eropo/ron, tri/tê de\ e)/nudron ei)=dos, pezo\n de\ kai\
chersai=on te/tarton.]]

We see thus, that the primary and dominant idea, in Plato's mind,
is, not that of inorganic matter, but that of organised and
animated matter--life or soul embodied. With him, biology comes
before physics.

The body of the Kosmos was required to be both visible and
tangible: it could not be visible without fire: it could not be
tangible without something solid, nor solid without earth. But
two things cannot be well put together by themselves, without
a third to serve as a bond of connection: and that is the best
bond which makes them One as much as possible. Geometrical
proportion best accomplishes this object. But as both Fire and
Earth were solids and not planes, no one mean proportional could
be found between them. Two mean proportionals were necessary.
Hence the Demiurgus interposed air and water, in such manner, that
as fire is to air, so is air to water: and as air is to water, so
is water to earth.[25] Thus the four elements, composing the body
of the Kosmos, were bound together in unity and friendship. Of
each of the four, the entire total was used up in the
construction: so that there remained nothing of them apart, to
hurt the Kosmos from without, nor anything as raw material for a
second Kosmos.[26]

[Footnote 25: Plato, Tim. pp. 31-32. The comment of Macrobius on
this passage (Somn. Scip. i. 6, p. 30) is interesting, if not
conclusive. But the language in which Plato lays down this
doctrine about mean proportionals is not precise, and has
occasioned much difference of opinion among commentators. Between
two solids (he says), that is, solid numbers, or numbers generated
out of the product of three factors, no one mean proportional can
be found. This is not universally true. The different suggestions
of critics to clear up this difficulty will be found set forth in
the elaborate note of M. Martin (Études sur le Timée, vol. 1, note
xx. pp. 337-345), who has given what seems a probable explanation.
Plato (he supposes) is speaking only of prime numbers and their
products. In the language of ancient arithmeticians _linear
numbers_, _par excellence_ or properly so-called, were the
prime numbers, measurable by unity only; _plane numbers_ were
the products of two such linear numbers or prime numbers; _solid
numbers_ were the products of three such. Understanding solid
numbers in this restricted sense, it will be perfectly true that
between any two of them you can never find _any one_ solid
number or any whole number which shall be a mean proportional, but
you can always find _two_ solid numbers which shall be mean
proportionals. One mean proportional will never be sufficient. On
the contrary, one mean proportional will be sufficient between two
plane numbers (in the restricted sense) when these numbers are
squares, though not if they are not squares. It is therefore true,
that in the case of two _solid_ numbers** (so understood) one
such mean proportional will never be sufficient, while two can
always be found; and that between two _plane_ numbers** (so
understood) one such mean proportional will in certain cases be
sufficient and may be found. This is what is present to Plato's
mind, though in enunciating it he does not declare the restriction
under which alone it is true. M. Boeckh (Untersuchungen über das
Kosmische System des Platon, p. 17) approves of Martin's
explanation. At the same time M. Martin has given no proof that
Plato had in his mind the distinction between prime numbers and
other numbers, for his references in p. 338 do not prove this
point; moreover, the explanation assumes such very loose
expression, that the phrase of M. Cousin in his note (p. 334) is,
after all, perfectly just: "Platon n'a pas songé à donner à sa
phrase une rigueur mathématique": and the more simple explanation
of M. Cousin (though Martin rejects it as unworthy) may perhaps
include all that is really intended. "Si deux surfaces peuvent
être unies par un seul terme intermédiaire, il faudra deux termes
intermédiaires pour unir deux solides: et l'union sera encore plus
parfaite si la raison des deux proportions est la même."]

[Footnote 26: Plat. Timæus, p. 32 E.]

[Side-note: Body of the Kosmos, perfectly spherical--its

The Kosmos was constructed as a perfect sphere, rounded, because
that figure both comprehends all other figures, and is, at the
same time, the most perfect, and most like to itself.[27] The
Demiurgus made it perfectly smooth on the outside, for various
reasons.[28] First, it stood in no need of either eyes or ears,
because there was nothing outside to be seen or heard. Next, it
did not want organs of respiration, inasmuch as there was no
outside air to be breathed:--nor nutritive and excrementary
organs, because its own decay supplied it with nourishment, so
that it was self-sufficing, being constructed as its own agent and
its own patient.[29] Moreover the Demiurgus did not furnish it
with hands, because there was nothing for it either to grasp or
repel--nor with legs, feet, or means of standing, because he
assigned to it only one of the seven possible varieties of
movement.[30] He gave to it no other movement except that of
rotation in a circle, in one and the same place: which is the sort
of movement that belongs most to reason and intelligence, while it
is impracticable to all other figures except the spherical.[31]

[Footnote 27: Plato, Timæus, p. 33 B. [Greek: kuklotere\s au)to\
e)torneu/sato], &c.]

[Footnote 28: Plato, Timæus, p. 33 C. [Greek: lei=on de\ dê\
ku/klô| pa=n e)/xôthen au)to\ a)pêkribou=to, pollô=n cha/rin],

Aristotle also maintains that the sphericity of the Kosmos is so
exact that no piece of workmanship can make approach to it. (De
Coelo, ii. p. 287, b. 15.)]

[Footnote 29: Plato, Timæus, p. 33 E. On this point the Platonic
Timæus is not Pythagorean, but the reverse. The Pythagoreans
recognised extraneous to the Kosmos, [Greek: to\ a)/peiron
pneu=ma] or [Greek: to\ keno/n]. The Kosmos was supposed to inhale
this vacuum, which penetrating into the interior, formed the
separating interstices between its constituent parts (Aristot.
Physic. iv. p. 213, b. 22).]

[Footnote 30: Plato, Timæus, p. 34 A. [Greek: e)pi\ de\ tê\n
peri/odon tau/tên, a(/t' ou)de\n podô=n de/on, a)skele\s kai\
a)/poun au)to\ e)ge/nnêsen.]

Plato reckons six varieties of rectilinear motion, neither of
which was assigned to the Kosmos--forward, backward, upward,
downward, to the right, to the left.]

[Footnote 31: Plat. Tim. p. 34 A. [Greek: ki/nêsin ga\r
a)pe/neimen au)tô=| tê\n tou= sô/matos oi)kei/an, tô=n e(/pta
tê\n peri\ nou=n kai\ phro/nêsin ma/lista ou)/san.] This
predicate respecting circular motion belongs to Plato and not to
Aristotle; but Aristotle makes out, in his own way, a strong case
to show that circular motion _must belong_ to the [Greek:
Prô=ton sô=ma], as being the first among all varieties of
motion, the most dignified and privileged, the only one which can
be for ever uniform and continuous. Aristot. Physic. ix. p. 265,
a. 15; De Coelo, i. pp. 269-270, ii. p. 284, a. 10.]

[Side-note: Soul of the Kosmos--its component
ingredients--stretched from centre to circumference.]

The Kosmos, one and only-begotten, was thus perfect as to its
body, including all existent bodily material,--smooth, even,
round, and equidistant from its centre to all points of the
circumference.[32] The Demiurgus put together at the same time its
soul or mind; which he planted in the centre and stretched
throughout its body in every direction,--so as not only to reach
the circumference, but also to enclose and wrap it round
externally. The soul, being intended to guide and govern the body,
was formed of appropriate ingredients, three distinct ingredients
mixed together: 1. The Same--The Identical--The indivisible, and
unchangeable essence of Ideas. 2. The Different--The Plural--The
divisible essence of bodies or of the elements. 3. A third
compound, formed of both these ingredients melted into one.--These
three ingredients--Same, Different, Same and Different in
one,--were blended together in one compound, to form the soul of
the Kosmos: though the Different was found intractable and hard to
conciliate.[33] The mixture was divided, and the portions blended
together, according to a scale of harmonic numerical proportion
complicated and difficult to follow.[34] The soul of the Kosmos
was thus harmonically constituted. Among its constituent elements,
the Same, or Identity, is placed in an even and undivided rotation
of the outer or sidereal sphere of the Kosmos,--while the
Different, or Diversity, is distributed among the rotations, all
oblique, of the seven interior or planetary spheres--that is, the
five planets, Sun, and Moon. The outer sphere revolved towards the
right: the interior spheres in an opposite direction towards the
left. The rotatory force of the Same (of the outer Sphere) being
not only one and undivided, but connected with and dependent upon
the solid revolving axis which traverses the diameter of the
Kosmos--is far greater than that of the divided spheres of the
Different; which, while striving to revolve in an opposite
direction, each by a movement of its own--are overpowered and
carried along with the outer sphere, though the time of
revolution, in the case of each, is more or less modified by its
own inherent counter-moving force.[35]

[Footnote 32: Plat. Tim. p. 31 B. [Greek: ei(=s o(/de monogenê\s
ou)rano/s], &c.]

[Footnote 33: Plat. Tim. p. 35 A. [Greek: Tau)to\n--to\
a)me/riston--tha/teron--to\ meristo\n--tri/ton e)x a)mphoi=n
ou)si/as ei)=dos.]]

[Footnote 34: Plato, Timæus, pp. 35-36. The pains which were taken
by commentators in antiquity to expound and interpret this
numerical scale may be seen especially illustrated in Plutarch's
Treatise, De Animæ Procreatione in Timæo, pp. 1012-1030, and the
Epitome which follows it. There were two fundamental [Greek:
tetraktu/es] or quaternions, one on a binary, the other on a
ternary scale of progression, which were arranged by Krantor
(Plutarch, p. 1027 E) in the form of the letter [Greek: L], as
given in Macrobius (Somn. Scip. i. 6, p. 35). The intervals
between these figures, are described by Plato as filled up by
intervening harmonic fractions, so as to constitute an harmonic or
musical diagram or scale of four octaves and a major sixth.
(Boeckh's Untersuch. p. 19.) M. Boeckh has expounded this at
length in his Dissertation, Ueber die Bildung der Welt-Seele im
Timäos. Other expositors after him.

                     1  /\
                       /  \
                    2_/_  _\_3
                     /      \
                 4 _/_      _\_9
                   /          \
               ------       ------
                 8              27

[Footnote 35: Plato, Timæus, p. 36 C. [Greek: tê\n me\n ou)=n
e)/xô phora\n e)pephê/misen ei)=nai tê=s tau)tou= phu/seôs,
tê\n d' e)nto/s, tê=s tha)te/rou. tê\n me\n dê\ tau)tou= kata\
pleura\n e)pi\ dexia\ periê/gage, tê\n de\ thate/rou kata\
dia/metron e)p' a)ristera/.]

For the meaning of [Greek: kata\ pleura\n] and [Greek: kata\
dia/metron], referring to the equator and the ecliptic, see the
explanation and diagram in Boeckh, Untersuchungen, p. 25, also in
the note of Stallbaum. The allusion in Plato to the letter [Greek:
chi=] is hardly intelligible without both a commentary and a

In regard to the constitution of the kosmical soul, we must note,
that as it is intended to know Same, Different, and Same and
Different in one--so it must embody these three ingredients in its
own nature: according to the received axiom. Like knows like--Like
is known by like.[36] Thus began, never to end, the rotatory
movements of the living Kosmos or great Kosmical God. The
invisible soul of the Kosmos, rooted at its centre and stretching
from thence so as to pervade and enclose its visible body,
circulates and communicates, though without voice or sound,
throughout its own entire range, every impression of identity and
of difference which it encounters either from essence ideal and
indivisible, or from that which is sensible and divisible.
Information is thus circulated, about the existing relations
between all the separate parts and specialties.[37] Reason and
Science are propagated by the Circle of the Same: Sense and
Opinion, by those of the Different. When these last-mentioned
Circles are in right movement, the opinions circulated are true
and trustworthy.

[Footnote 36: Aristotel. De Animâ, i. 2, 7, i. 3, 11 (pp. 404, b.
16--406 b. 26), with Trendelenburg's note, pp. 227-253; Stallbaum,
not. ad Timæum, pp. 136-157. See also the interpretation of
Plato's opinion by Krantor, as given in Plutarch, De Animæ
Procreatione in Timæo, p. 1012 E. We learn from Plutarch, however,
that the passage gave much trouble to commentators.]

[Footnote 37: Plato, Timæus, pp. 36-37. 37 A: [Greek: le/gei
kinoume/nê dia\ pa/sês e(autê=s, o(/tô| t' a)/n ti tau)to\n
ê(=|, kai\ o(/tou a)\n e(/teron, pro\s o(/, ti te ma/lista kai\
o(/pê| kai\ o(/pôs kai\ o(po/te xumbai/nei kata\ ta\ gigno/mena/
te pro\s e(/kaston e(/kasta ei)=nai kai\ pa/schein, kai\ pro\s ta\
kata\ tau)ta\ e)/chonta a)ei/.]]

[Side-note: Regular or measured Time--began with the

With the rotations of the Kosmos, began the course of Time--years,
months, days, &c. Anterior to the Kosmos, there was no time:
no past, present, and future: no numerable or mensurable motion or
change. The Ideas are eternal essences, without fluctuation or
change: existing _sub specie æternitatis_, and having only a
perpetual present, but no past or future.[38] Along with them
subsisted only the disorderly, immeasurable, movements of Chaos.
The nearest approach which the Demiurgus could make in copying
these Ideas, was, by assigning to the Kosmos an eternal and
unchanging motion, marked and measured by the varying position of
the heavenly bodies. For this purpose, the sun, moon, and planets,
were distributed among the various portions of the circle of
Different: while the fixed stars were placed in the Circle of the
Same, or the outer Circle, revolving in one uniform rotation and
in unaltered position in regard to each other. The interval of one
day was marked by one revolution of this outer or most rational
Circle:[39] that of one month, by a revolution of the moon: that
of one year, by a revolution of the sun. Among all these sidereal
and planetary Gods the Earth was the first and oldest. It was
packed close round the great axis which traversed the centre of
the Kosmos, by the turning of which axis the outer circle of the
Kosmos was made to revolve, generating night and day. The Earth
regulated the movement of this great kosmical axis, and thus
become the determining agent and guarantee of night and day.[40]

[Footnote 38: Plato, Timæus, pp. 37-38. Lassalle, in his copious
and elaborate explanation of the doctrine of Herakleitus (Die
Philosophie Herakleitos des Dunkeln, Berlin, 1858, vol. ii. p.
210, s. 26), represents this doctrine of Plato respecting Time as
"durch und durch heraklitisch". To me it seems quite distinct
from, or rather the inversion of, that which Lassalle himself sets
down as the doctrine of Herakleitus. Plato begins with [Greek: to\
a)i+/dion] or [Greek: ai)ô/nion], an eternal sameness or
duration, without succession, change, generation or
destruction,--this passes into perpetual succession or change,
with frequent generation and destruction. Herakleitus, on the other
hand, recognises for his primary or general law perpetual succession,
interchange of contraries, generation and destruction; this passes
into a secondary state, in which there is temporary duration and
sameness of particulars--the flux being interrupted.

The ideal [Greek: lo/gos] or law of Herakleitus is that of
unremitting process, flux, revolution, implication of Ens with
Non-Ens: the real world is an imperfect manifestation of this law,
because each particular clings to existence, and thereby causes
temporary halts in the process. Now Plato's starting point is
[Greek: to\ ai)ô/nion to\ a)ei\ ô(sau/tôs e)/chon to\ o)/ntôs
o)/n]: the perishable world of sense and particulars is the world
of process, and is so far degenerate from the eternal uniformity
of primordial Ens. See Lassalle, pp. 39-292-319.]

[Footnote 39: Plato, Timæus, p. 39 C. [Greek: ê( tê=s mia=s kai\
phronimôta/tês kuklê/seôs peri/odos]. Plato remarks that there
was a particular interval of time measured off and designated by
the revolution of each of the other planets, but that these
intervals were unnoticed and unknown by the greater part of

[Footnote 40: My explanation of this much controverted sentence
differs from that of previous commentators. I have given reasons
for adopting it in a separate Dissertation ('Plato and the
Rotation of the Earth,' Murray), to which I here refer. In that
Dissertation I endeavoured to show cause for dissenting from the
inference of M. Boeckh: who contends that Plato cannot have
believed in the diurnal rotation of the Earth, because he (Plato)
explicitly affirms the diurnal rotation of the outer celestial
sphere, or Aplanes. These two facts nullify each other, so that
the effect would be the same as if there were no rotation of
either. My reply to this argument was, in substance, that though
the two facts really are inconsistent--the one excluding the
other--yet we cannot safely conclude that Plato must have
perceived the inconsistency; the more so as Aristotle certainly
did not perceive it. To hold incompatible doctrines without being
aware of the incompatibility, is a state of mind sufficiently
common even in the present advanced condition of science, which I
could illustrate by many curious examples if my space allowed. It
must have been much more common in the age of Plato than** it is

Batteux observes (Traduction et Remarques sur Ocellus Lucanus, ch.
iv. p. 116):--"Il y a un maxime qu'on ne doit jamais perdre de vue
en discutant les opinions des Anciens: c'est de ne point leur
prêter les conséquences de leurs principes, ni les principes de
leurs conséquences".

As a general rule, I subscribe to the soundness of this

[Side-note: Divine tenants of the Kosmos. Primary and
Visible Gods--Stars and Heavenly Bodies.]

It remained for the Demiurgus,--in order that the Kosmos might
become a full copy of its model the Generic Animal or Idea of
Animal,--to introduce into it those various species of animals
which that Idea contained. He first peopled it with Gods: the
eldest and earliest of whom was the Earth, planted in the centre
as sentinel over night and day: next the fixed stars, formed for
the most part of fire, and annexed to the circle of the Same or
the exterior circle, so as to impart to it light and brilliancy.
Each star was of spherical figure and had two motions,--one, of
uniform rotation peculiar to itself,--the other, an uniform
forward movement of translation, being carried along with the
great outer circle in its general rotation round the axis of the
Kosmos.[41] It is thus that the sidereal orbs, animated beings
eternal and divine, remained constantly turning round in the same
relative position: while the sun, moon, and planets, belonging to
the inner circles of the Different, and trying to revolve by their
own effort in the opposite direction to the outer sphere, became
irregular in their own velocities and variable in their relative
positions.[42] The complicated movements of these planetary
bodies, alternately approaching and receding--together with their
occultations and reappearances, full of alarming prognostic as to
consequences--cannot be described without having at hand some
diagrams or mechanical illustrations to refer to.[43]

[Footnote 41: Plato, Timæus, p. 40.]

[Footnote 42: Plato, Timæus, p. 40 B. [Greek: o(/s' a)planê=
tô=n a)/strôn zô=a thei=a o)/nta kai\ a)i+/dia], &c.]

[Footnote 43: Plato, Timæus, p. 40 D. [Greek: to\ le/gein a)/neu
dio/pseôs tou/tôn au)= tô=n mimêma/tôn ma/taios a)\n ei)/ê
po/nos.] Plato himself here acknowledges the necessity of
diagrams: the necessity was hardly less in the preceding part of
his exposition.]

[Side-note: Secondary and generated Gods--Plato's
dictum respecting them. His acquiescence in tradition.]

Such were all the primitive Gods visible and generated[44] by the
Demiurgus, to preside over and regulate the Kosmos. By them are
generated, and from them are descended, the remaining Gods.

[Footnote 44: Plato, Timæ. p. 40 D. [Greek: theô=n o(ratô=n kai\

Respecting these remaining Gods, however, the Platonic Timæus
holds a different language. Instead of speaking in his own name
and delivering his own convictions, as he had done about the
Demiurgus and the cosmical Gods--with the simple reservation, that
such convictions could be proclaimed only as probable and not as
demonstratively certain--he now descends to the Sokratic platform
of confessed ignorance and incapacity. "The generation of these
remaining Gods (he says) is a matter too great for me to
understand and declare. I must trust to those who have spoken upon
the subject before me--who were, as they themselves said,
offspring of the Gods, and must therefore have well known their
own fathers. It is impossible to mistrust the sons of the Gods.
Their statements indeed are unsupported either by probabilities or
by necessary demonstration; but since they here profess to be
declaring family traditions, we must obey the law and believe.[45]
Thus then let it stand and be proclaimed, upon their authority,
respecting the generation of the remaining Gods. The
offspring of Uranus and Gæa were, Okeanus and Tethys: from whom
sprang Phorkys, Kronus, Rhea, and those along with them. Kronus
and Rhea had for offspring Zeus, Hêrê, and all these who are
termed their brethren: from whom too, besides, we hear of other
offspring. Thus were generated all the Gods, both those who always
conspicuously revolve, and those who show themselves only when
they please."[46]

[Footnote 45: Plato, Timæus, pp. 40 D-E. [Greek: Peri\ de\ tô=n
a)/llôn daimo/nôn ei)pei=n kai\ gnô=nai tê\n ge/nesin mei=zon
ê)\ kath' ê(ma=s, peiste/on de\ toi=s ei)rêko/sin e)/mprosthen,
e)kgo/nois me\n theô=n ou)=sin, saphô=s de/ pou tou/s ge au)tôn
progo/nous ei)do/sin; _a)du/naton ou)=n theô=n paisi\n
a)pistei=n, kai/per a)/neu te ei)ko/tôn kai\ a)nagkai/ôn_
a)podei/xeôn le/gousin, a)ll' _ô(s oi)kei=a pha/skousin
a)pagge/llein, e)pome/nous tô=| no/mô| pisteute/on_. Ou(/tôs
ou)=n _kat' e)kei/nous_ ê(mi=n ê( ge/nesis peri\ tou/tôn
tô=n theô=n e)che/tô kai\ lege/sthô.]

So, too, in the Platonic Epinomis, attached as an appendix to the
Treatise De Legibus, we find (p. 984) Plato--after arranging his
quintuple scale of elemental animals (fire, æther, air, water,
earth), the highest and most divine being the stars or visible
Gods, the lowest being man, and the three others intermediate
between the two; after having thus laid out the scale, he leaves
to others to determine, [Greek: o(pê=| tis e)the/lei], in which
place Zeus, Hêrê, and the other Gods, are to be considered as
lodged. He will not contradict any one's feeling on that point; he
strongly protests (p. 985 D) against all attempts on the part of
the lawgiver to innovate ([Greek: kainotomei=n]) in contravention
of ancient religious tradition--this is what Aristophanes in the
Nubes, and Melêtus before the Dikasts, accuse Sokrates of
doing--but he denounces harshly all who will not acknowledge with
worship and sacrifice the sublime divinity of the Sun, Moon, Stars,
and Planets.

The Platonic declaration given here--[Greek: e)pome/nous tô=|
no/mô| pisteute/on]--is illustrated in the lines of Euripides,
Bacchæ, 202--

[Greek: ou)de\n sophizo/mestha toi=si dai/mosin;
patri/ous paradocha/s, a(/s th' o(mê/likas chro/nô|
kektê/meth', ou)dei\s au)ta\ katabalei= lo/gos,
ou)d' ê)\n di' a)krô=n to\ sopho\n eu(/rêtai phrenô=n.]]

[Footnote 46: Plato, Timæ. p. 41 A. [Greek: e)pei\ d' ou)=n
pa/ntes o(/soi te peripolou=si phanerô=s, kai\ o(/soi phai/nontai
kath' o(/son a)\n e)the/lôsi, theoi\ ge/nesin e)/schon.]]

[Side-note: Remarks on Plato's Canon of Belief.]

The passage above cited serves to illustrate both Plato's own
canon of belief, and his position in regard to his countrymen. The
question here is, about the Gods of tradition and of the popular
faith: with the paternity and filiation ascribed to them, by
Hesiod and the other poets, from whom Greeks of the fifth and
fourth centuries B.C. learnt their Theogony.[47] Plato
was a man both competent and willing to strike out a physical
theology of his own, but not to follow passively in the track of
orthodox tradition. I have stated briefly what he has affirmed
about the cosmical Gods (Earth, Stars, Sun, Planets) generated or
constructed by the Demiurgus as portions or members of the Kosmos:
their bodies, out of fire and other elements,--their souls out of
the Forms or abstractions called Identity and Diversity; while the
entire Kosmos is put together after the model of the Generic Idea
or Form of Animal. All this, combined with supposed purposes, and
fancies of arithmetical proportion dictating the proceedings of
the Demiurgus, Plato does not hesitate to proclaim on his own
authority and as his own belief--though he does not carry it
farther than probability.

[Footnote 47: Herodot. ii. 53.]

But while the feeling of spontaneous belief thus readily arises in
Plato's mind, following in the wake of his own constructive
imagination and ethical or æsthetical sentiment (_fingunt simul
creduntque_)--it does not so readily cleave to the theological
dogmas in actual circulation around him. In the generation of Gods
from Uranus and Gæa--which he as well as other Athenian youths
must have learnt when they recited Hesiod with their
schoolmasters--he can see neither proof nor probability: he
can find no internal ground for belief.[48] He declares himself
incompetent: he will not undertake to affirm any thing upon his
own judgment: the mystery is too dark for him to penetrate. Yet on
the other hand, though it would be rash to affirm, it would be
equally rash to deny. Nearly all around him are believers, at
least as well satisfied with their creed as he was with the
uncertified affirmations of his own Timæus. He cannot prove them
to be wrong, except by appealing to an ethical or æsthetical
sentiment which they do not share. Among the Gods said to be
descended from Uranus and Gæa, were all those to whom public
worship was paid in Greece,--to whom the genealogies of the heroic
and sacred families were traced,--and by whom cities as well as
individuals believed themselves to be protected in dangers, healed
in epidemics, and enlightened on critical emergencies through
seasonable revelations and prophecies. Against an established
creed thus avouched, it was dangerous to raise any doubts.
Moreover Plato could not have forgotten the fate of his master
Sokrates;[49] who was indicted both for not acknowledging the Gods
whom the city acknowledged, and for introducing other new divine
matters and persons. There could be no doubt that Plato was guilty
on this latter count: prudence therefore rendered it the more
incumbent on him to guard against being implicated in the former
count also. Here then Plato formally abnegates his own
self-judging power, and submits himself to orthodox authority. "It
is impossible to doubt what we have learnt from witnesses, who
declared themselves to be the offspring of the Gods, and who must
of course have known their own family affairs. We must obey the
law and believe." In what proportion such submission, of reason to
authority, embodied the sincere feeling of Pascal and
Malebranche, or the irony of Bayle and Voltaire, we are
unable to determine.[50]

[Footnote 48: The remark made by Condorcet upon Buffon is
strikingly applicable to Plato:--"On n'a reproché à M. de Buffon
que ses hypothèses. Ce sont aussi des espèces de fables--mais des
fables produites par une imagination active qui a besoin de créer,
et non par une imagination passive qui cède à des impressions
étrangères" (Condorcet, Éloge de Buffon, ad fin.).

[Greek: Au)todi/daktos d' ei)mi/, theo\s de/ moi e)n phresi\n
Pantoi/as e)ne/phusen]--(Homer, Odyss. xxii. 347)--the
declaration of the bard Phemius.]

[Footnote 49: Xenoph. Memor. i. 1. [Greek: A)dikei= Sôkra/tês,
ou(\s me\n ê( po/lis nomi/zei theou/s, ou) nomi/zôn, e(/tera de\
kaina\ daimo/nia ei)sphe/rôn.]

The word [Greek: daimo/nia] may mean matters, or persons, or both

[Footnote 50: M. Martin supposes Plato to speak ironically, or
with a prudent reserve, Études sur le Timée, ii. p. 146.

What Plato says here about the Gods who bore personal names, and
were believed in by the contemporary public--is substantially
equivalent to the well-known profession of ignorance enunciated by
the Sophist Protagoras, introduced by him at the beginning of one
of his treatises. [Greek: Peri\ de\ theô=n ou)/te ei) ei)si/n,
ou)/th' o(poi=oi/ tine/s ei)si, du/namai le/gein; polla\ ga/r
e)sti ta\ kôlu/onta/ me] (Sextus Emp. adv. Mathem. ix. 56); a
declaration which, circumspect as it was (see the remark of the
sillographer Timon in Sextus), drew upon him the displeasure of
the Athenians, so that his books were burnt, and himself forced to
leave the city.]

[Side-note: Address and order of the Demiurgus to the
generated Gods.]

Having thus, during one short paragraph, proclaimed his deference,
if not his adhesion, to inspired traditions, Plato again resumes
the declaration of his own beliefs and his own book of Genesis,
without any farther appeal to authority, and without any
intimation that he is touching on mysteries too great for his
reason. When these Gods, the visible as well as the invisible,[51]
had all been constructed or generated, he (or Timæus) tells us
that the Demiurgus addressed them and informed them that they
would be of immortal duration--not indeed in their own nature, but
through his determination: that to complete the perfection of the
newly-begotten Kosmos, there were three other distinct races of
animals, all mortal, to be added: that he could not himself
undertake the construction of these three, because they would
thereby be rendered immortal, but that he confided such
construction to them (the Gods): that he would himself supply, for
the best of these three new races, an immortal element as guide
and superintendent, and that they were to join along with it
mortal and bodily accompaniments, to constitute men and animals;
thus imitating the power which he had displayed in the generation
of themselves.[52]

[Footnote 51: Plato, Timæus, p. 41 A.]

[Footnote 52: Plato, Timæus, p. 41 C. [Greek: tre/pesthe kata\
phu/sin u(mei=s e)pi\ tê\n tô=n zô/ôn dêmiourgi/an,
mimou/menoi tê\n e)mê\n du/namin peri\ tê\n u(mete/ran

[Side-note: Preparations for the construction of man.
Conjunction of three souls and one body.]

After this address (which Plato puts into the first person, in
Homeric manner), the Demiurgus compounded together, again and in
the same bowl, the remnant of the same elements out of which he
had formed the kosmical soul, but in perfection and purity greatly
inferior. The total mass thus formed was distributed into souls
equal in number to the stars. The Demiurgus placed each soul
in a star of its own, carried it round thus in the kosmical
rotation, and explained to it the destiny intended for all. For
each alike there was to be an appointed hour of birth, and of
conjunction with a body, as well as with two inferior sorts or
varieties of soul or mind. From such conjunction would follow, as
a necessary consequence, implanted sensibility and motive power,
with all its accompaniments of pleasure, pain, desire, fear,
anger, and such like. These were the irrational enemies, which the
rational and immortal soul would have to controul and subdue, as a
condition of just life. If it succeeded in the combat so as to
live a good life, it would return after death to the abode of its
own peculiar star. But if it failed, it would have a second birth
into the inferior nature and body of a female: if, here also, it
continued to be evil, it would be transferred after death to the
body of some inferior animal. Such transmigration would be farther
continued from animal to animal, until the rational soul should
acquire thorough controul over the irrational and turbulent. When
this was attained, the rational soul would be allowed to return to
its original privilege and happiness, residing in its own peculiar

[Footnote 53: Plato, Timæus, p. 42 B-D.]

It was thus that the Demiurgus confided to the recently-generated
Gods the task of fabricating both mortal bodies, and mortal souls,
to be joined with these immortal souls in their new stage of
existence--and of guiding and governing the new mortal animal in
the best manner, unless in so far as the latter should be the
cause of mischief to himself. The Demiurgus decreed and proclaimed
this beforehand, in order (says Plato) that he might not himself
be the cause of any of the evil which might ensue[54] to
individual men.

[Footnote 54: Plato, Timæus, p. 42 D-E. [Greek:
Diathesmothetê/sas de\ pa/nta au)toi=s tau=ta, i(/na tê=s
e)/peita ei)/ê kaki/as e(ka/stôn a)nai/tios . . . pare/dôke
theoi=s sô/mata pla/ttein thnêta/, to/ te e)pi/loipon o(/son
e)/t' ê)=n psuchê=s a)nthrôpi/nês de/on prosgene/sthai, tou=to
kai\ pa/nth' o(/sa a)ko/loutha e)kei/nois a)pergasame/nous
a)/rchein, kai\ kata\ du/namin o(/, ti ka/llista kai\ a)/rista to\
thnêto\n diakuberna=|n zô=on, o(/, ti mê\ kakô=n au)to\
e(autô=| gi/gnoito ai)/tion.]

We have here the theory, intimated but not expanded by Plato, that
man is, by misconduct or folly, the cause of all the evil suffered
on earth. That the Gods are not the cause of any evil, he tells us
in Republ. ii. p. 379. It seems, however, that he did not remain
satisfied with the theory of the Timæus, because we find a
different theory in the treatise De Legibus (x. p. 896 E)--two
kosmical souls, one good, the other evil.

Moreover, the recital of the Timæus itself (besides another
express passage in it, pp. 86 D-87 A) plainly contradicts the
theory, that man is the cause of his own sufferings and evil. The
Demiurgus himself is described as the cause, by directing immortal
souls to be joined with mortal bodies. The Demiurgus had
constructed a beautiful Kosmos, with perfect and regular
rotations--with the Gods, sidereal, planetary, and invisible--and
with immortal souls distributed throughout the stars and earth,
understanding and appreciating the cosmical rotations. So far all
is admirable and faultless. But he is not satisfied with this. He
determines to join each of these immortal souls with two mortal
souls and with a mortal body. According to Plato's own showing,
the immortal soul incurs nothing but corruption, disturbance, and
stupidity, by such junction: as Empedokles and Herakleitus had
said before (Plut. Solert. Animal. 7, p. 964 E). It is at first
deprived of all intelligence ([Greek: a)/nous]); from this
stupefaction it gradually but partially recovers; yet nothing
short of the best possible education and discipline will enable it
to contend, and even then imperfectly, against the corruption and
incumbrance arising out of its companion the body; lastly, if it
should contend with every success, the only recompense which
awaits it is to be re-transferred to the star from whence it came
down. What reason was there for removing the immortal soul from
its happy and privileged position, to be degraded by forced
companionship with an unworthy body and two inferior souls? The
reason assigned is, that the Demiurgus required the Kosmos to be
enlarged into a full and exact copy of the [Greek: Au)to/zôon] or
Generic Animal, which comprehended four subordinate varieties of
animals; one of them good (the Gods)--the other three inferior and
corrupt, Men, Birds, Fishes. But here, according to Plato's own
exposition, it was the Demiurgus himself and his plan that was at
fault. What necessity was there to copy the worst parts of the
Generic Animal as well as the best? The Kosmos would have been
decidedly better, though it might have been less complete, without
such unenviable accompaniments. When Plato constructs his own
community (Republic and Legg.) he does not knowingly train up
defective persons, or prepare the foundation for such, in order
that every variety of character may be included. We may add here,
according to Plato himself, [Greek: Nou=s] (intelligence or
reason) belongs not to all human beings, but only to a small
fraction of them (Timæus, p. 51 E). Except in these few, the
immortal soul is therefore irrecoverably debased by its union with
the body.]

[Side-note: Proceedings of the generated Gods--they
fabricate the cranium, as miniature of the Kosmos, with the
rational soul rotating within it.]

Accordingly the Gods, sons of the Demiurgus, entered upon the
task, trying to imitate their father. Borrowing from the Kosmos
portions of the four elements, with engagement that what was
borrowed should one day be paid back, they glued them together,
and fastened them by numerous minute invisible pegs into one body.
Into this body, always decaying and requiring renovation, they
introduced the immortal soul, with its double circular
rotations--the Circles of the Same and of the Diverse: embodying it
in the cranium, which was made spherical in exterior form like the
Kosmos, and admitting within it no other motion but the rotatory.
The head, the most divine portion of the human system, was made
master; while the body was admitted only as subject and
ministerial. The body was endowed with all the six varieties of
motive power, forward, backwards--upward, downward--to the right,
to the left.[55] The phenomena of nutrition and sensation
began. But all these irregular movements, and violent multifarious
agitations, checked or disturbed the regular rotations of the
immortal soul in the cranium, perverting the arithmetical
proportion, and harmony belonging to them. The rotations of the
Circles of Same and Diverse were made to convey false and foolish
affirmation. The soul became utterly destitute of intelligence, on
being first joined to the body, and for some time afterwards.[56]
But in the course of time the violence of these disturbing
currents abates, so that the rotations of the Circles in the head
can take place with more quiet and regularity. The man then
becomes more and more intelligent. If subjected to good education
and discipline, he will be made gradually sound and whole, free
from corruption: but if he neglect this precaution, his life
remains a lame one, and he returns back to Hades incomplete and

[Footnote 55: Plato, Timæus, pp. 43 B, 44 D.

Plato supposes an etymological connection between [Greek:
ai)sthê/seis] and [Greek: a)i+/ssô], p. 43 C.]

[Footnote 56: Plato, Timæus, p. 44 B. [Greek: kai\ dia\ dê\
pa/nta tau=ta ta\ pathê/mata nu=n kat' a)rcha/s te a)/nous
psuchê\ gi/gnetai to\ prô=ton, o(/tan ei)s sô=ma e)ndethê=|

[Footnote 57: Plato, Timæus, p. 44 C.]

[Side-note: The cranium is mounted on a tall body--six
varieties of motion--organs of sense. Vision--Light.]

The Gods, when they undertook the fabrication of the body, foresaw
the inconvenience of allowing the head--with its intelligent
rotations, and with the immortal soul enclosed in it--to roll
along the ground, unable to get over a height, or out of a
hollow.[58] Accordingly they mounted it upon a tall body; with
arms and legs as instruments of movement, support, and defence.
They caused the movements to be generally directed forward and not
backward; since front is more honourable and more commanding than
rear. For the same reason, they placed the face, with the organs
of sense, in the fore part of the head. Within the eyes, they
planted that variety of fire which does not burn, but is called
light, homogeneous with the light without. We are enabled to see
in the daytime, because the light within our eyes pours out
through the centre of them, and commingles with the light without.
The two, being thus confounded together, transmit movements from
every object which they touch, through the eye inward to the soul;
and thus bring about the sensation of sight. At night no vision
takes place: because the light from the interior of our eyes,
even when it still comes out, finds no cognate light in the air
without, and thus becomes extinguished in the darkness. All the
light within the eye would thus have been lost, if the Gods had
not provided a protection: they contrived the eyelids which drop
and shut up the interior light within. This light, being prevented
from egress, diffuses itself throughout the interior system, and
tranquillises the movements within so as to bring on sleep:
without dreams, if all the movements are quenched--with dreams,
corresponding to the movements which remain if there are any

[Footnote 58: Plato, Timæus, p. 44 D-E. [Greek: i(/n' ou)=n mê\
kulindou/menon e)pi\ gê=s, u(/lê te kai\ ba/thê pantodapa\
e)chou/sês, a)poroi= ta\ me\n u(perbai/nein, e)/nthen de\
e)kbai/nein, o)/chêm' au)tô=| tou=to kai\ eu)pori/an

[Footnote 59: Plato, Timæus, p. 45. The theory of vision here
given by Plato is interesting. A theory, similar in the main, had
been propounded by Empedoklês before him. Aristotel. De Sensu, p.
437 b.; Theophrast. De Sensu, cap. 5-9, p. 88 of Philipson's
[Greek: U(/lê A)nthrôpi/nê]. Aristotle himself impugns the
theory. It is reported and discussed in Galen, De Hippocratis et
Platonis Dogmat. vii. 5, 6, p. 619 seqq. ed. Kühn.

The different theories of vision among the ancient philosophers
anterior to Aristotle are thus enumerated by E. H. von Baumhauer
(De Sententiis Veterum Philosophorum Græcorum de Visu, Lumine, et
Coloribus, Utrecht, 1843, p. 137):--"De videndi modo tres apud
antiquos primarias theorias invenimus: et primam quidem,
emanatione lucis ex oculis ad corpora externa, ejusque reflexu ad
oculos (Pythagorei, Alcmæon): alteram emanationibus e corporibus,
quæ per oculos veluti per canales ad animum penetrent (Eleatici,
Heraclitus, Gorgias): quam sententiam Anaxagoras et Diogenes
Apolloniates eatenus mutarunt, quod dicerent pupillam quasi
speculum esse quod imagines acceptas ad animum rejiciat. Tertia
theoria, orta è conjunctione duarum priorum, statuebat tam ex
oculis quam corporibus emanationes fieri, et ambarum illarum
concursu visum effici, quum conformata imago per meatus ad animum
perveniat (Empedocles, Protagoras, Plato). Huic sententiæ etiam
Democritus annumerari potest; qui eam planè secundum materiam, ut
dicunt, exposuit."

The theory of Plato is described in the same treatise,
pp. 106-112.]

[Side-note: Principal advantages of sight and hearing.
Observations of the rotation of the Kosmos.]

Such are the auxiliary causes (continues Plato), often mistaken by
others for principal causes, which the Gods employed to bring
about sight. In themselves, they have no regularity of action: for
nothing can be regular in action without mind and
intelligence.[60] But the most important among all the advantages
of sight is, that it enables us to observe and study the rotations
of the Kosmos and of the sidereal and planetary bodies. It is the
observed rotations of days, months, and years, which impart to us
the ideas of time and number, and enable us to investigate the
universe. Hence we derive philosophy, the greatest of all
blessings. Hence too we learn to apply the celestial rotations as
a rule and model to amend the rotations of intelligence in our
own cranium--since the first are regular and unerring, while
the second are disorderly and changeful.[61] It was for the like
purpose, in view to the promotion of philosophy, that the Gods
gave us voice and hearing. Both discourse and musical harmony are
essential for this purpose. Harmony and rhythm are presents to us,
from the Muses, not, as men now employ them, for unreflecting
pleasure and recreation--but for the same purpose of regulating
and attuning the disorderly rotations of the soul, and of
correcting the ungraceful and unmeasured movements natural to the

[Footnote 60: Plato, Timæus, p. 46 D-E.]

[Footnote 61: Plato, Timæus, pp. 47 B-C, 90 C.]

[Footnote 62: Plato, Timæus, p. 47 D-E. [Greek: ê( de\ a(rmoni/a
. . . xu/mmachos u(po\ Mousô=n de/dotai; kai\ r(uthmo\s au)= . . .
u(po\ tô=n au)tô=n e)do/thê.] Here we see Plato, in the usual
Hellenic vein, particularising the functions and attributes of the
different Gods and Goddesses.]

[Side-note: The Kosmos is product of joint action of Reason
and Necessity. The four visible and tangible elements are not

At this point of the exposition, the Platonic Timæus breaks off
the thread, and takes up a new commencement. Thus far (he says) we
have proceeded in explaining the part of Reason or Intelligence in
the fabrication of the Kosmos. We must now explain the part of
Necessity: for the genesis of the Kosmos results from co-operation
of the two. By necessity (as has been said before) Plato means
random, indeterminate, chaotic, pre-existent, spontaneity of
movement or force: spontaneity ([Greek: ê( planôme/nê ai)ti/a])
upon which Reason works by persuasion up to a certain point,
prevailing upon it to submit to some degree of fixity and
regularity.[63] Timæus had described the body of the Kosmos as
being constructed by the Demiurgus out of the four elements; thus
assuming fire, air, earth, water, as pre-existent. But he now
corrects himself, and tells us that such assumption is
unwarranted. We must (he remarks) give a better and fuller
explanation of the Kosmos. No one of these four elements is either
primordial, or permanently distinct and definite in itself.

[Footnote 63: Plato, Timæus, p. 48 A.]

The only primordial reality is, an indeterminate, all-recipient
_fundamentum_: having no form or determination of its own,
but capable of receiving any form or determination from without.

[Side-note: Forms or Ideas and Materia Prima--Forms of the
Elements--Place, or Receptivity.]

In the second explanation now given by Plato of the Kosmos and its
genesis, he assumes this invisible _fundamentum_ (which he
had not assumed before) as "the mother or nurse of all
generation". He assumes, besides, the eternal Forms or Ideas, to
act upon it and to bestow determination or quality. These forms
fulfil the office of father: the offspring of the two is--the
generated, concrete, visible, objects,[64] imitations of the Forms
or Ideas, begotten out of this mother. How the Ideas act upon the
Materia Prima, Plato cannot well explain: but each Form stamps an
imitation or copy of itself upon portions of the common

[Footnote 64: Plato, Timæus, p. 51 A. [Greek: tê\n tou=
gegono/tos o(ratou= kai\ pa/ntôs ai)sthêtou= mête/ra kai\

[Footnote 65: Plato, Timæus, pp. 50-51. 50 C: [Greek: tupôthe/nta
a)p' au)tô=n tro/pon tina\ du/sphraston kai\ thaumasto/n.] 51 A:
[Greek: a)no/raton ei)=do/s ti, kai\ a)/morphon, pandeche/s,
_metalamba/non de\ a)porô/tata/ pê| tou= noêtou=_ kai\

But do there really exist any such Forms or Ideas--as Fire _per
se_, the Generic Fire--Water _per se_, the Generic Water,
invisible and intangible?[66] Or is this mere unfounded speech?
Does there exist nothing really anywhere, beyond the visible
objects which we see and touch?[67]

[Footnote 66: Plato, Timæus, p. 51 C.]

[Footnote 67: Ueberweg, in a learned Dissertation, Ueber die
Platonische Weltseele (pp. 52-53), seeks to establish a greater
distinction between the Phædrus, Phædon, and Timæus, in respect to
the way in which Plato affirms the separate substantiality of
Ideas, than the language of the dialogues warrants. He contends
that the separate substantiality of the Platonic Ideas is more
peremptorily affirmed in the Timæus than in the Phædrus. But this
will not be found borne out if we look at Phædrus, p. 247, where
the affirmation is quite as peremptory as that in the Timæus;
correlating too, as it does in the Timæus, with [Greek: Nou=s] as
the contemplating subject. Indeed the point may be said to be
affirmed more positively in the Phædrus, because the [Greek:
u(peroura/nios to/pos] is assigned to the Ideas, while in the
Timæus all [Greek: to/pos] or local existence is denied to them
(p. 52 B-C). Sensible objects are presented in the Phædrus as
faint resemblances of the archetypal Ideas (p. 250 C), just as
they are in the Timæus: on the other hand, [Greek: to\
metalamba/nein tou= noêtou=] occurs in the Timæus (p. 51 A),
equivalent to [Greek: to\ mete/chein], which Ueberweg states to be

We must assume (says Plato, after a certain brief argument which
he himself does not regard as quite complete) the Forms or Ideas
of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, as distinct and self-existent,
eternal, indestructible, unchangeable--neither visible nor
tangible, but apprehended by Reason or Intellect alone--neither
receiving anything else from without, nor themselves moving to
anything else. Distinct from these--images of these, and bearing
the same name--are the sensible objects called Fire, Water,
&c.--objects of sense and opinion--always in a state of
transition--generated and destroyed, but always generated in some
place and destroyed out of some place. There is to be
assumed, besides, distinct from the two preceding--as a third
_fundamentum_--the place or receptacle in which these images
are localised, generated, and nursed up. This place, or formless
primitive receptivity, is indestructible, but out of all reach of
sense, and difficult to believe in, inasmuch as it is only
accessible by a spurious sort of ratiocination.[68]

[Footnote 68: Plato, Timæus, p. 52 B. [Greek: au)to\ de\ met'
a)naisthêsi/as a(pto\n logismô=| tini\ no/thô|, mo/gis

[Side-note: Primordial Chaos--Effect of intervention by the

Anterior to the construction of the Kosmos, the Forms or Ideas of
the four elements had already begun to act upon this primitive
recipient or receptacle, but in a confused and irregular way.
Neither of the four could impress itself in a special and definite
manner: there were some vestiges of each, but each was incomplete:
all were in stir and agitation, yet without any measure or fixed
rule. Thick and heavy, however, were tending to separate from thin
and light, and each particle thus tending to occupy a place of its
own.[69] In this condition (the primordial moving chaos of the
poets and earlier philosophers), things were found by the
Demiurgus, when he undertook to construct the Kosmos. There was no
ready made Fire, Water, &c. (as Plato had assumed at the
opening of the Timæus), but an agitated _imbroglio_ of all,
with the portions tending to separate from each other, and to
agglomerate each in a place of its own. The Demiurgus brought
these four elements out of confusion into definite bodies and
regular movements. He gave to each a body, constructed upon the
most beautiful proportions of arithmetic and geometry, as far as
this was possible.[70]

[Footnote 69: Plato, Timæus, pp. 52-53. 53 A: [Greek: ta\ te/ttara
ge/nê seio/mena u(po\ tê=s dexame/nês, kinoume/nês au)tê=s
oi(=on o)rga/nou seismo\n pare/chontos, ta\ me\n a)nomoio/tata
plei=ston au)ta\ a)ph' au(tô=n o(ri/zein, ta\ d' o(moio/tata
ma/lista ei)s tau)to\n xunôthei=n; dio\ dê\ kai\ chô/ran tau=ta
a)/lla a)/llên i)/schein, pri\n kai\ to\ pa=n e)x au)tô=n
diakosmêthe\n gene/sthai.] 57 C: [Greek: die/stêke me\n ga\r
tou= ge/nous e(ka/stou ta\ plê/thê kata\ to/pon i)/dion dia\
tê\n tê=s dechome/nês ki/nêsin.] 58 C.]

[Footnote 70: Plato, Timæus, p. 53 B. [Greek: to\ de\ ê(=|
dunato\n ô(s ka/llista a)/rista/ te e)x ou)ch ou(/tôs
e)cho/ntôn to\n theo\n au)ta\ xunista/nai, para\ pa/nta ê(mi=n,
ô(s a)ei/, tou=to lego/menon u(parche/tô.]

This is the hypothesis pervading all the Timæus--construction the
best and finest which the case admitted. The limitations accompany
the assumed purpose throughout.]

[Side-note: Geometrical theory of the elements--fundamental
triangles--regular solids.]

Respecting such proportions, the theory which Plato here lays out
is admitted by himself to be a novel one; but it is doubtless
borrowed, with more or less modification, from the Pythagoreans.
Every solid body is circumscribed by plane surfaces: every
plane surface is composed of triangles: all triangles are
generated out of two--the right-angled isoskeles triangle--and the
right-angled scalene or oblong triangle. Of this oblong there are
infinite varieties: but the most beautiful is a right-angled
triangle, having the hypotenuse twice as long as the lesser of the
two other sides.[71] From this sort of oblong triangle are
generated the tetrahedron or pyramid--the octahedron--and the
eikosihedron: from the equilateral triangle is generated the cube.
The cube, as the most stable and solid, was assigned by the
Demiurgus for the fundamental structure of earth: the pyramid for
that of fire: the octahedron for that of air: the eikosihedron for
that of water. The purpose was that the four should be in
continuous geometrical proportion: as Fire to Air, so Air to
Water: as Air to Water, so Water to Earth. Lastly, the
Dodekahedron was assigned as the basis of structure for the
spherical Kosmos itself or universe.[72] Upon this arrangement
each of the three elements--fire, water, air--passes into the
other; being generated from the same radical triangle. But earth
does not pass into either of the three (nor either of these into
earth), being generated from a different radical triangle. The
pyramid, as thin, sharp, and cutting, was assigned to fire as
the quickest and most piercing of the four elements: the cube as
most solid and difficult to move, was allotted to earth, the
stationary element. Fire was composed of pyramids of different
size, yet each too small to be visible by itself, and becoming
visible only when grouped together in masses: the earth was
composed of cubes of different size, each invisible from
smallness: the other elements in like manner, each from its
respective solid,[73] in exact proportion and harmony, as far as
Necessity could be persuaded to tolerate. All the five regular
solids were thus employed in the configuration and structure of
the Kosmos.[74]

[Footnote 71: Plato, Timæus, pp. 53-54. 53 C: [Greek: a)êthei=
lo/gô| dêlou=n].]

[Footnote 72: That Plato intended, by this elaborate geometrical
construction, to arrive at a continuous geometrical proportion
between the four elements, he tells us (p. 32 A-B), adding the
qualifying words [Greek: kath' o(/son ê)=n dunato/n]. M. Boeckh,
however (De Platonicâ Corporis Mundani Fabricâ, pp. viii.-xxvi.),
has shown that the geometrical proportion cannot be properly
concluded from the premisses assumed by Plato:--"Platonis
elementorum doctrinam et parum sibi constare, neque omnibus
numeris absolutam esse, immo multis incommodis laborare, et divini
ingenii lusui magis quam disciplinæ severitati originem debere
fatebimur; nec profundiorem et abstrusiorem naturæ cognitionem in
eâ sitam esse suspicabimur--in quem errorem etiam Joh. Keplerus,
summi ingenii homo, incidit".

Respecting the Dodekahedron, see Zeller, Gesch. der Philos. ii. p.
513, ed. 2nd. There is some obscurity about it. In the Epinomis
(p. 981 C) Plato gives the Æther as a fifth element, besides the
four commonly known and recited in the Timæus. It appears that
Philolaus, as well as Xenokrates, conceived the Dodekahedron as
the structural form of Æther (Schol. ad Aristot. Physic. p. 427,
a. 16, Brandis): and Xenokrates expressly says, that Plato himself
recognised it as such. Zeller dissents from this view, and thinks
that nothing more is meant than the implication, that the
Dodekahedron can have a sphere described round it more readily
than any of the other figures named.

Opponents of Plato remarked that he [Greek: katemathêmatikeu/sato
tê\n phu/sin], Schol. ad Aristot. Metaph. A. 985, b. 23, p. 539,
Brandis. Aristotle devotes himself in many places to the
refutation of the Platonic doctrine on this point; see De Coelo,
iii. 8, 306-307, and elsewhere.]

[Footnote 73: Plato, Timæus, p. 56 C. [Greek: o(/pêper ê( tê=s
A)na/gkês e(kou=sa peisthei=sa te phu/sis u(pei=ke.]]

[Footnote 74: Plato, Timæus, pp. 55-56.]

Such was the mode of formation of the four so-called elemental
bodies.[75] Of each of the four, there are diverse species or
varieties: and that which distinguishes one variety of the same
element from another variety is, that the constituent triangles,
though all similar, are of different magnitudes. The diversity of
these combinations, though the primary triangles are similar, is
infinite: the student of Nature must follow it out, to obtain any
probable result.[76]

[Footnote 75: Plato, Timæus, p. 57 C. [Greek: o(/sa a)/krata kai\
prô=ta sô/mata.]

The Platonist Attikus (ap. Eusebium, Præp. Ev. xv. 7) blames
Aristotle for dissenting from Plato on this point, and for
recognising the celestial matter as a fifth essence distinct from
the four elements. Plato (he says) followed both anterior
traditions and self-evident sense ([Greek: tê=| peri\ au)ta\
e)nargei/a|]) in admitting only the four elements, and in
regarding all things as either compounds or varieties of these.
But Aristotle, thinking to make parade of superior philosophical
sagacity, [Greek: proskatêri/thmêse toi=s phainome/nois
te/ttarsi sô/masi tê\n pe/mptên ou)si/an, pa/nu me\n lamprô=s
kai\ philodô/rôs tê=| phu/sei chrêsa/menos, mê\ sunidô\n de\
_o(/ti ou) nomothetei=n dei= phusiologou=nta, ta\ de\ tê=s
phu/seôs au)tê=s e)xistorei=n_.] This last precept is what we
are surprised to read in a Platonist of the third century
B.C. "When you are philosophising upon Nature, do not lay
down the law, but search out the real facts of Nature." It is
truly Baconian: it is justly applicable as a caution to Aristotle,
against whom Attikus directs it; but it is still more eminently
applicable to Plato, against whom he does not direct it.]

[Footnote 76: Plato, Timæus, p. 57 D.]

[Side-note: Varieties of each element.]

Plato next enumerates the several varieties of each element--fire,
water, earth.[77] He then proceeds to mention the attributes,
properties, affections, &c., of each: which he characterises
as essentially relative to a sentient Subject: nothing being
absolute except the constituent geometrical figures. You cannot
describe these attributes (he says) without assuming (what has not
yet been described) the sensitive or mortal soul, to which
they are relative.[78] Assuming this provisionally, Plato gives
account of Hot and Cold, Hard and Soft, Heavy and Light, Rough and
Smooth, &c.[79] Then he describes, first, the sensations of
pleasure and pain, common to the whole body--next those of the
special senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.[80] These
descriptions are very curious and interesting. I am compelled to
pass them over by want of space, and shall proceed to the
statements respecting the two mortal souls and the containing
organism--which belong to a vein more analogous to that of the
other Platonic dialogues.

[Footnote 77: Plato, Timæus, pp. 58-61 C.]

[Footnote 78: Plato, Timæus, p. 61 C-D. [Greek: Prô=ton me\n
ou)=n u(pa/rchein ai)/sthêsin dei= toi=s legome/nois (ge/nesin)
a)ei/; sarko\s de\ kai\ tô=n peri\ sa/rka ge/nesin, psuchê=s te
o(/son thnêto/n, ou(/pô dielêlu/thamen. Tugcha/nei de\ ou)/te
tau=ta chôri\s tô=n peri\ ta\ pathê/mata o(/sa ai)sthêtika/,
ou)/t' e)kei=na a)/neu tou/tôn dunata\ i(kanô=s lechthê=nai;
to\ de\ a(/ma schedo\n ou) dunato/n. U(pothete/on dê\ pro/teron
tha/tera, ta\ d' u(/stera u(potethe/nta e)pa/nimen au)=this. I(/na
ou)=n e(xê=s ta\ pathê/mata le/gêtai toi=s ge/nesin, e)/stô
pro/tera ê(mi=n ta\ peri\ sô=ma kai\ psuchê\n o)/nta.]]

[Footnote 79: Plato, Tim. pp. 62-64 B. Demokritus appears to have
held on this point an opinion approaching to that of Plato. See
Democr. Frag. ed. Mullach, pp. 204-215: Aristot. Metaph. A. p.
985, b. 15; De Sensu, s. 62-65; Sextus Empiric. adv. Math. vii.

[Greek: Peri\ me\n ou)=n bare/os kai\ kou/phou kai\ sklêrou= kai\
malakou=, e)n tou/tois a)phori/zei--tô=n d' a)/llôn
ai)sthêtô=n ou)deno\s ei)=nai phu/sin, a)lla\ pa/nta pa/thê
tê=s ai)sthê/seôs a)lloioume/nês.] We may remark that Plato
includes hardness and softness, the different varieties of
resistance, among the secondary or relative qualities of matter;
all that he seems to conceive as absolute are extension and
figure, the geometrical conception of matter. In the view of most
modern philosophers, resistance is considered as the most
obviously and undeniably _absolute_ of all the attributes of
matter, as that which serves to prove that matter itself is
absolute. Dr. Johnson refuted the doctrine of Berkeley by knocking
a stick against the ground; and a similar refutation is adopted in
words by Reid and Stewart (see Mill's System of Logic, Book vi. ad
finem, also Book i. ch. 3, s. 7-8). To me the fact appealed to by
Johnson appears an evidence in favour of Berkeley's theory rather
than against it. The Resistant ([Greek: o(\ pare/chei prosbolê\n
kai\ e)paphê/n tina], Plato, Sophist. p. 246 A) can be understood
only as a correlate of something which is resisted: the fact of
sense called Resistance is an indivisible fact, involving the
implication of the two. In the first instance it is the resistance
experienced to our own motions (A. Bain, The Senses and the
Intellect, p. 91, 3rd ed.), and thus involves the feeling of our
own spontaneous muscular energy.

The Timæus of Plato is not noticed by Sir W. Hamilton in his very
learned and instructive Dissertation on the Primary and Secondary
Qualities of Body (notes to his edition of Reid's Works, p. 826),
though it bears upon his point more than the Theætêtus, which he

[Footnote 80: Plato, Timæus, pp. 65-69 E.]

[Side-note: Construction of man imposed by the Demiurgus
upon the secondary Gods. Triple Soul. Distribution thereof in the

The Demiurgus, after having constructed the entire Kosmos,
together with the generated Gods, as well as Necessity would
permit--imposed upon these Gods the task of constructing Man: the
second best of the four varieties of animals whom he considered it
necessary to include in the Kosmos. He furnished to them as a
basis an immortal rational soul (diluted remnant from the
soul of the Kosmos); with which they were directed to combine two
mortal souls and a body.[81] They executed their task as well as
the conditions of the problem admitted. They were obliged to
include in the mortal souls pleasure and pain, audacity and fear,
anger, hope, appetite, sensation, &c., with all the
concomitant mischiefs. By such uncongenial adjuncts the immortal
rational soul was unavoidably defiled. The constructing Gods
however took care to defile it as little as possible.[82] They
reserved the head as a separate abode for the immortal soul:
planting the mortal soul apart from it in the trunk, and
establishing the neck as an isthmus of separation between the two.
Again the mortal soul was itself not single but double: including
two divisions, a better and a worse. The Gods kept the two parts
separate; placing the better portion in the thoracic cavity nearer
to the head, and the worse portion lower down, in the abdominal
cavity: the two being divided from each other by the diaphragm,
built across the body as a wall of partition: just as in a
dwelling-house, the apartments of the women are separated from
those of the men. Above the diaphragm and near to the neck, was
planted the energetic, courageous, contentious, soul; so placed as
to receive orders easily from the head, and to aid the rational
soul in keeping under constraint the mutinous soul of appetite,
which was planted below the diaphragm.[83] The immortal soul[84]
was fastened or anchored in the brain, the two mortal souls in the
line of the spinal marrow continuous with the brain: which line
thus formed the thread of connection between the three. The heart
was established as an outer fortress for the exercise of influence
by the immortal soul over the other two. It was at the same time
made the initial point of the veins, the fountain from whence the
current of blood proceeded to pass forcibly through the veins
round to all parts of the body. The purpose of this arrangement
is, that when the rational soul denounces some proceeding as wrong
(either on the part of others without, or in the appetitive soul
within), it may stimulate an ebullition of anger in the
heart, and may transmit from thence its exhortations and threats
through the many small blood channels to all the sensitive parts
of the body: which may thus be rendered obedient everywhere to the
orders of our better nature.[85]

[Footnote 81: Plato, Timæus, p. 69 C.]

[Footnote 82: Plato, Tim. p. 69 D. [Greek: xugkerasa/menoi/ t'
au)ta\ a)nagkai/ôs to\ thnêto\n ge/nos xune/thesan. kai\ dia\
tau=ta dê\ sebo/menoi miai/nein to\ thei=on, o(/ ti mê\ pa=sa
ê)=n a)na/gkê], &c.]

[Footnote 83: Plato, Timæus, pp. 69-70.]

[Footnote 84: Plato, Timæus, p. 73 B-D.]

[Footnote 85: Plato, Timæus, p. 70 B-C.]

[Side-note: Functions of the heart and lungs. Thoracic

In such ebullitions of anger, as well as in moments of imminent
danger, the heart leaps violently, becoming overheated and
distended by excess of fire. The Gods foresaw this, and provided a
safeguard against it by placing the lungs close at hand with the
wind-pipe and trachea. The lungs were constructed soft and full of
internal pores and cavities like a sponge; without any
blood,[86]--but receiving, instead of blood, both the air inspired
through the trachea, and the water swallowed to quench thirst. Being
thus always cool, and soft like a cushion, the lungs received and
deadened the violent beating and leaping of the heart; at the same
time that they cooled down its excessive heat, and rendered it a
more equable minister for the orders of reason.[87]

[Footnote 86: Plato, Timæus, p. 70 C. [Greek: tê\n tou=
pleu/monos i)de/an e)nephu/teusan, prô=ton me\n malakê\n kai\
a)/naimon, ei)=ta sê/raggas e)nto\s e)/chousan oi(=on spo/ggou

Aristotle notices this opinion as held by some persons (not naming
Plato), but impugns it as erroneous. He affirms that the lungs
have more blood in them than any of the other viscera (Histor.
Animal. i. 17, p. 496, b. 1-8; De Respirat. c. 15, p. 478, a.

[Footnote 87: Plato, Timæus, p. 70.]

[Side-note: Abdominal Soul--difficulty of controuling
it--functions of the liver.]

The third or lowest soul, of appetite and nutrition, was placed
between the diaphragm and the navel. This region of the body was
set apart like a manger for containing necessary food: and the
appetitive soul was tied up to it like a wild beast; indispensable
indeed for the continuance of the race, yet a troublesome adjunct,
and therefore placed afar off, in order that its bellowings might
disturb as little as possible the deliberations of the rational
soul in the cranium, for the good of the whole. The Gods knew that
this appetitive soul would never listen to reason, and that it
must be kept under subjection altogether by the influence of
phantoms and imagery. They provided an agency for this purpose in
the liver, which they placed close upon the abode of the
appetitive soul.[88] They made the liver compact, smooth, and
brilliant, like a mirror reflecting images:--moreover, both
sweet and bitter on occasions. The thoughts of the rational soul
were thus brought within view of the appetitive soul, in the form
of phantoms or images exhibited on the mirror of the liver. When
the rational soul is displeased, not only images corresponding to
this feeling are impressed, but the bitter properties of the liver
are all called forth. It becomes crumpled, discoloured, dark and
rough; the gall bladder is compressed; the veins carrying the
blood are blocked up, and pain as well as sickness arise. On the
contrary, when the rational soul is satisfied, so as to send forth
mild and complacent inspirations,--all this bitterness of the
liver is tranquillised, and all its native sweetness called forth.
The whole structure becomes straight and smooth; and the images
impressed upon it are rendered propitious. It is thus through the
liver, and by means of these images, that the rational soul
maintains its ascendancy over the appetitive soul; either to
terrify and subdue, or to comfort and encourage it.[89]

[Footnote 88: Plato, Timæus, p. 71 A. [Greek: ei)do/tes de\ au)to\
ô(s lo/gou me\n ou)/te xunê/sein e)/mellen, ei)/te pê| kai\
metala/mbanoi tino\s au)= tô=n ai)sthê/seôn, ou)k e)/mphuton
au)tô=| to\ me/lein tinô=n e)/soito lo/gôn, u(po\ de\
ei)dô/lôn kai\ phantasma/tôn nukto/s te kai\ meth' ê(me/ran
ma/lista psuchagôgê/soito, tou/tô| dê\ theo\s e)pibouleu/sas
au)tô=| tê\n tou= ê(/patos i)de/an xune/stêsen.]]

[Footnote 89: Plato, Timæus, p. 71 C-D.]

[Side-note: The liver is made the seat of the prophetic
agency. Function of the spleen.]

Moreover, the liver was made to serve another purpose. It was
selected as the seat of the prophetic agency; which the Gods
considered to be indispensable, as a refuge and aid for the
irrational department of man. Though this portion of the soul had
no concern with sense or reason, they would not shut it out
altogether from some glimpse of truth. The revelations of prophecy
were accordingly signified on the liver, for the instruction and
within the easy view of the appetitive soul: and chiefly at
periods when the functions of the rational soul are
suspended--either during sleep, or disease, or fits of temporary
ecstasy. For no man in his perfect senses comes under the influence
of a genuine prophetic inspiration. Sense and intelligence are often
required to interpret prophecies, and to determine what is meant
by dreams or signs or prognostics of other kinds: but such
revelations are received by men destitute of sense. To receive
them, is the business of one class of men: to interpret them, that
of another. It is a grave mistake, though often committed, to
confound the two. It was in order to furnish prophecy to man,
therefore, that the Gods devised both the structure and the
place of the liver. During life, the prophetic indications are
clearly marked upon it: but after death they become obscure and
hard to decipher.[90]

[Footnote 90: Plato, Timæus, pp. 71-72. 71 E: [Greek: i(kano\n de\
sêmei=on, ô(s mantikê\n a)phrosu/nê| theo\s a)nthrôpi/nê|
de/dôken; ou)dei\s ga\r e)/nnous e)pha/ptetai mantikê=s
e)nthe/ou kai\ a)lêthou=s.]]

The spleen was placed near the liver, corresponding to it on the
left side, in order to take off from it any impure or excessive
accretions or accumulations, and thus to preserve it clean and

[Footnote 91: Plato, Timæus, p. 72 D.]

Such was the distribution of the one immortal and the two mortal
souls, and such the purposes by which it was dictated. We cannot
indeed (says Plato) proclaim this with full assurance as truth,
unless the Gods would confirm our declarations. We must take the
risk of affirming what appears to us probable--and we shall
proceed with this risk yet further.[92] The following is the plan
and calculation according to which it was becoming that our
remaining bodily frame should be put together.

[Footnote 92: Plato, Timæus, p. 72 D-E. [Greek: to\ me\n
a)lêthe/s, ô(s ei)/rêtai, theou= xumphê/santos to/t' a)\n
ou(/tô mo/nôs dii+schurizoi/metha; to/ ge mê\n ei)ko\s ê(mi=n
ei)rêsthai kai\ nu=n kai\ e)/ti ma=llon a)naskopou=si
diakinduneute/on to\ pha/nai, kai\ pepha/sthô . . . e)k dê\
logismou= toiou=de xuni/stasthai ma/list' a)\n au)to\ pa/ntôn

[Side-note: Length of the intestinal canal, in order that
food might not be frequently needed.]

The Gods foresaw that we should be intemperate in our appetite for
food and drink, and that we should thus bring upon ourselves many
diseases injurious to life. To mitigate this mischief, they
provided us with a great length of intestinal canal, but twisted
it round so as to occupy but a small space, in the belly. All the
food which we introduce remains thus a long time within us, before
it passes away. A greater interval elapses before we need fresh
supplies of food. If the food passed away speedily, so that we
were constantly obliged to renew it, and were therefore always
eating--the human race would be utterly destitute of intelligence
and philosophy. They would be beyond the controul of the rational

[Footnote 93: Plato, Timæus, p. 73 A.]

[Side-note: Bone--Flesh--Marrow.]

Bone and flesh come next to be explained. Both of them derive
their origin from the spinal marrow: in which the bonds of life
are fastened, and soul is linked with body--the root of the human
race. The origin of the spinal marrow itself is special and
exceptional. Among the triangles employed in the construction
of all the four elements, the Gods singled out the very best of
each sort. Those selected were combined harmoniously with each
other, and employed in the formation of the spinal marrow, as the
universal seed ground ([Greek: panspermi/an]) for all the human
race. In this marrow the Gods planted the different sorts of
souls; distributing and accommodating the figure of each portion
of marrow to the requirements of each different soul. For that
portion (called the encephalon, as being contained in the head)
which was destined to receive the immortal soul, they employed the
spherical figure and none other: for the remaining portion,
wherein the mortal soul was to be received, they employed a
mixture of the spherical and the oblong. All of it together was
called by the same name _marrow_, covered and protected by
one continuous bony case, and established as the holding ground to
fasten the whole extent of soul with the whole extent of body.[94]

[Footnote 94: Plato, Timæus, p. 73 C-D.]

[Side-note: Nails--Mouth--Teeth. Plants produced for
nutrition of man.]

Plato next explains the construction of ligaments and flesh--of
the mouth, tongue, teeth, and lips: of hair and nails.[95] These
last were produced with a long-sighted providence: for the Gods
foresaw that the lower animals would be produced from the
degeneration of man, and that to them nails and claws would be
absolutely indispensable: accordingly, a sketch or rudiment of
nails was introduced into the earliest organisation of man.[96]
Nutrition being indispensable to man, the Gods produced for this
purpose plants (trees, shrubs, herbs, &c.)--with a nature
cognate to that of man, but having only the lowest of the three
human souls.[97] They then cut ducts and veins throughout the
human body, in directions appropriate for distributing the
nutriment everywhere. They provided proper structures (here
curiously described) for digestion, inspiration, and
expiration.[98] The constituent triangles within the body, when
young and fresh, overpower the triangles, older and weaker,
contained in the nutritive matters swallowed, and then appropriate
part of them to the support and growth of the body: in old age,
the triangles within are themselves overpowered, and the body
decays. When the fastenings, whereby the triangles in the
spinal marrow have been fitted together, are worn out and give
way, they let go the fastenings of the soul also. The soul, when
thus released in a natural way, flies away with delight. Death in
this manner is pleasurable: though it is distressing, when brought
on violently, by disease or wounds.[99]

[Footnote 95: Plato, Tim. pp. 75-76.]

[Footnote 96: Plat. Tim. p. 76 E. [Greek: o(/then e)n
a)nthrô/pois eu)thu\s gignome/nois _u(petupô/santo_ tê\n
tô=n o)nu/chôn ge/nesin.]]

[Footnote 97: Plat. Tim. p. 77 B-C.]

[Footnote 98: Plat. Tim. pp. 78-79.]

[Footnote 99: Plat. Tim. p. 81.]

[Side-note: General view of Diseases and their Causes.]

Here Plato passes into a general survey of diseases and the proper
treatment of them. "As to the source from whence diseases arise
(he says) this is a matter evident to every one. They arise from
unnatural excess, deficiency, or displacement, of some one or more
of the four elements (fire, air, water, earth) which go to compose
the body."[100] If the element in excess be fire, heat and
continuous fever are produced: if air, the fever comes on
alternate days: if water (a duller element), it is a tertian
fever: if earth, it is a quartan--since earth is the dullest and
most sluggish of the four.[101]

[Footnote 100: Plat. Tim. p. 81 E. [Greek: to\ de\ tô=n no/sôn
o(/then xuni/statai, dê=lo/n pou kai\ panti/.]]

[Footnote 101: Plat. Tim. p. 86 A. [Greek: to\ de\ gê=s,
teta/rtôs o)\n nôthe/staton tou/tôn.]]

[Side-note: Diseases of mind--wickedness is a disease--no
man is voluntarily wicked.]

Having dwelt at considerable length on the distempers of the body,
the Platonic Timæus next examines those of the soul, which proceed
from the condition of the body.[102] The generic expression for
all distemper of the soul is, irrationality--unreason--absence of
reason or intelligence. Of this there are two sorts--madness and
ignorance. Intense pleasures and pains are the gravest cause of
madness.[103] A man under either of these two influences--either
grasping at the former, or running away from the latter, out of
season--can neither see nor hear any thing rightly. He is at that
moment mad and incapable of using his reason. When the flow of
sperm round his marrow is overcharged and violent, so as to
produce desires with intense throes of uneasiness beforehand and
intense pleasure when satisfaction arrives,--his soul is really
distempered and irrational, through the ascendancy of his body.
Yet such a man is erroneously looked upon in general not as
distempered, but as wicked voluntarily, of his own accord.
The truth is, that sexual intemperance is a disorder of the soul
arising from an abundant flow of one kind of liquid in the body,
combined with thin bones or deficiency in the solids. And nearly
all those intemperate habits which are urged as matters of
reproach against a man--as if he were bad willingly,--are urged
only from the assumption of an erroneous hypothesis. No man is bad
willingly, but only from some evil habit of body and from wrong or
perverting treatment in youth; which is hostile to his nature, and
comes upon him against his own will.[104]

[Footnote 102: Plato, Timæus, p. 86 B. [Greek: Kai\ ta\ me\n peri\
to\ sô=ma nosê/mata tau/tê| xumbai/nei gigno/mena, ta\ de\
peri\ psuchê\n dia\ sô/matos e(/xin tê=|de.]]

[Footnote 103: Plato, Timæus, p. 86 B. [Greek: no/son me\n dê\
psuchê=s a)/noian xugchôrête/on. Du/o d' a)noi/as ge/nê, to\
me\n mani/an, to\ de\ a)mathi/an.]]

[Footnote 104: Plato, Timæus, p. 86 C-D.]

[Side-note: Badness of mind arises from body.]

Again, not merely by way of pleasures, but by way of pains also,
the body operates to entail evil or wickedness on the soul. When
acid or salt phlegm--when bitter and bilious humours--come to
spread through the body, remaining pent up therein, without being
able to escape by exhalation,--the effluvia which ought to have
been exhaled from them become confounded with the rotation of the
soul, producing in it all manner of distempers. These effluvia
attack all the three different seats of the soul, occasioning
great diversity of mischiefs according to the part
attacked--irascibility, despondency, rashness, cowardice, forgetfulness,
stupidity. Such bad constitution of the body serves as the
foundation of ulterior mischief. And when there supervene, in
addition, bad systems of government and bad social maxims, without
any means of correction furnished to youth through good social
instruction--it is from these two combined causes, both of them
against our own will, that all of us who are wicked become wicked.
Parents and teachers are more in fault than children and pupils.
We must do our best to arrange the bringing up, the habits, and
the instruction, so as to eschew evil and attain good.[105]

[Footnote 105: Plato, Timæus, p. 87 A-C.]

[Side-note: Preservative and healing agencies against
disease--well-regulated exercise, of mind and body

After thus describing the causes of corruption, both in body and
mind, Plato adverts to the preservative and corrective agencies
applicable to them. Between the one and the other, constant
proportion and symmetry must be imperatively maintained. When the
one is strong, and the other weak, nothing but mischief can
ensue.[106] Mind must not be exercised alone, to the
exclusion of body; nor body alone, without mind. Each must be
exercised, so as to maintain adequate reaction and equilibrium
against the other.[107] We ought never to let the body be at rest:
we must keep up within it a perpetual succession of moderate
shocks, so that it may make suitable resistance against foreign
causes of movement, internal and external.[108] The best of all
movements is, that which is both in itself and made by itself:
analogous to the self-continuing rotation both of the Kosmos and
of the rational soul in our cranium.[109] Movement in itself, but
by an external agent, is less good. The worst of all is, movement
neither in itself nor by itself. Among these three sorts of
movement, the first is, Gymnastic: the second, propulsion
backwards and forwards in a swing, gestation in a carriage: the
third is, purgation or medicinal disturbance.[110] This last is
never to be employed, except in extreme emergencies.

[Footnote 106: Plat. Tim. pp. 87-88 A.]

[Footnote 107: Plat. Tim. p. 88 C.]

[Footnote 108: Plat. Tim. p. 88 D-E.]

[Footnote 109: Plat. Tim. p. 89 A. [Greek: tô=n d' au)=
kinê/seôn ê( e)n e(autô=| u(ph' e(autou= a)ri/stê ki/nêsis;
ma/lista ga\r tê=| dianoêtikê=| kai\ tê=| tou= panto\s
kinê/sei xuggenê/s; ê( d' u(p' a)/llou chei/rôn.]]

[Footnote 110: Plat. Tim. p. 89 A. [Greek: deute/ra de\ ê( dia\
tô=n ai)ôrê/seôn].

Foes, in the Oeconomia Hippocratica v. [Greek: Ai)ô/ra], gives
information about these _pensiles gestationes_, upon which
the ancient physicians bestowed much attention.]

[Side-note: Treatment proper for mind alone, apart from
body--supremacy of the rational soul must be cultivated.]

We must now indicate the treatment necessary for mind alone, apart
from body. It has been already stated, that there are in each of
us three souls, or three distinct varieties of soul; each having
its own separate place and special movements. Of these three, that
which is most exercised must necessarily become the strongest:
that which is left unexercised, unmoved, at rest or in
indolence,--will become the weakest. The object to be aimed at is,
that all three shall be exercised in harmony or proportion with each
other. Respecting the soul in our head, the grandest and most
commanding of the three, we must bear in mind that it is this which
the Gods have assigned to each man as his own special Dæmon or
presiding Genius. Dwelling as it does in the highest region of the
body, it marks us and links us as akin with heaven--as a celestial
and not a terrestrial plant, having root in heaven and not in earth.
It is this encephalic or head-soul, which, connected with and
suspended from the divine soul of the Kosmos, keeps our whole body
in its erect attitude. Now if a man neglects this soul, directing
all his favour and development towards the two others (the energetic
or the appetitive),--all his judgments will infallibly become
mortal and transient, and he himself will be degraded into a
mortal being, as far as it is possible for man to become so. But
if he devotes himself to study and meditation on truth, exercising
the encephalic soul more than the other two--he will assuredly, if
he seizes truth,[111] have his mind filled with immortal and
divine judgments, and will become himself immortal, as far as
human nature admits of it. Cultivating as he does systematically
the divine element within him, and having his in-dwelling Genius
decorated as perfectly as possible, he will be eminently
well-inspired or happy.[112]

[Footnote 111: Plato, Timæus, p. 90 C. [Greek: a)/n per
a)lêthei/as e)pha/ptêtai.]]

[Footnote 112: Plato, Timæus, p. 90 B-D. [Greek: e)/chonta/ te
au)to\n eu)= ma/la kekosmême/non to\n dai/mona xu/noikon e)n
au(tô=|, diaphero/ntôs eu)dai/mona ei)=nai.]

It is hardly possible to translate this play upon the word [Greek:

[Side-note: We must study and understand the rotations of
the Kosmos--this is the way to amend the rotations of the rational

The mode of cultivating or developing each soul is the same--to
assign to each the nourishment and the movement which is suitable
to it. Now the movements which are kindred and congenial to our
divine encephalic soul, are--the rotations of the Kosmos and the
intellections traversing the Kosmical soul. It is these that we
ought to follow and study. By learning and embracing in our minds
the rotations and proportions of the Kosmos, we shall assimilate
the comprehending subject to the comprehended object, and shall
rectify that derangement of our own intra-cranial rotations, which
was entailed upon us by our birth into a body. By such
assimilation, we shall attain the perfection of the life allotted
to us, both at present and for the future.[113]

[Footnote 113: Plato, Timæus, pp. 90 D, 91 C-D. The phrase of
Plato in describing the newly introduced mode of
procreation--[Greek: ô(s ei)s a)/rouran tê\n mê/tran a)o/rata
u(po\ smikro/têtos kai\ a)dia/plasta zô=a kataspei/rantes]--is
remarkable, as it might be applied to the spermatozoa, which
nevertheless he cannot have known.]

[Side-note: Construction of women, birds, quadrupeds,
fishes, &c., all from the degradation of primitive man.]

We have thus--says the Platonic Timæus in approaching his
conclusion--gone through all those matters which we promised at
the beginning, from the first construction of the Kosmos to the
genesis of man. We must now devote a few words to the other
animals. All of these derive their origin from man, by
successive degradations. The first transition is from man into
woman. Men whose lives had been characterised by cowardice or
injustice, were after death and in their second birth born again
as women. It was then that the Gods planted in us the sexual
impulse, reconstructing the bodily organism with suitable
adjustment, on the double pattern, male and female.[114]

[Footnote 114: Plat. Tim. p. 91 D. Whoever compares the step of
marked degeneration here indicated--in passing from men to
women--with that which is affirmed by Plato in the fifth book of the
Republic about the character, attributes, and capacities of women,
will recognise a material difference between the two.]

Such was the genesis of women, by a partial transformation and
diversification of the male structure.

We next come to birds; who are likewise a degraded birth or
formation, derived from one peculiar mode of degeneracy in man:
hair being transmuted into feathers and wings. Birds were formed
from the harmless, but light, airy, and superficial men; who,
though carrying their minds aloft to the study of kosmical
phenomena, studied them by visual observation and not by reason,
foolishly imagining that they had discovered the way of reaching

[Footnote 115: Plato, Timæus, p. 91 E.]

The more brutal land animals proceeded from men totally destitute
of philosophy, who neither looked up to the heavens nor cared for
celestial objects: from men making no use whatever of the
rotations of their encephalic soul, but following exclusively the
guidance of the lower soul in the trunk. Through such tastes and
occupations, both their heads and their anterior limbs became
dragged down to the earth by the force of affinity. Moreover, when
the rotations of the encephalic soul, from want of exercise,
became slackened and fell into desuetude, the round form of the
cranium was lost, and converted into an oblong or some other form.
These men thus degenerated into quadrupeds and multipeds: the Gods
furnishing a greater number of feet in proportion to the stupidity
of each, in order that its approximations to earth might be
multiplied. To some of the more stupid, however, the Gods gave no
feet nor limbs at all; constraining them to drag the whole length
of their bodies along the ground, and to become Reptiles.[116]

[Footnote 116: Plato, Timæus, pp. 91-92.]

Out of the most stupid and senseless of mankind, by still
greater degeneracy, the Gods formed Fishes or Aquatic
Animals:--the fourth and lowest genus, after Men, Birds, Land-Animals.
This race of beings, from their extreme want of mind, were not
considered worthy to live on earth, or to respire thin and pure
air. They were condemned to respire nothing but deep and turbid
water, many of them, as oysters, and other descriptions of
shellfish, being fixed down at the lowest depth or bottom.[117]

[Footnote 117: Plato, Timæus, p. 92 B.]

It is by such transitions (concludes the Platonic Timæus) that the
different races of animals passed originally, and still continue
to pass, into each other. The interchange is determined by the
acquisition or loss of reason or irrationality.[118]

[Footnote 118: Plato, Timæus, p. 92 B. [Greek: kai\ kata\ tau=ta
dê\ pa/nta _to/te kai\ nu=n diamei/betai ta\ zô=a ei)s
a)/llêla_, nou= kai\ a)noi/as a)pobolê=| kai\ ktê/sei

*  *  *  *  *

[Side-note: Large range of topics introduced in the Timæus.]

The vast range of topics, included in this curious exposition, is
truly remarkable: Kosmogony or Theogony, First Philosophy, Physics
(resting upon Geometry and Arithmetic), Zoology, Physiology,
Anatomy, Pathology, Therapeutics, mental as well as physical. Of
all these, I have not been able to furnish more than scanty
illustrations; but the whole are well worthy of study, as the
conjectures of a great and ingenious mind in the existing state of
knowledge and belief among the Greeks: and all the more worthy,
because they form in many respects a striking contrast with the
points of view prevalent in more recent times.

[Side-note: The Demiurgus of the Platonic Timæus--how
conceived by other philosophers of the same century.]

The position and functions of the Demiurgus, in the Timæus, form a
peculiar phase in Grecian Philosophy, and even in the doctrine of
Plato himself: for the theology and kosmology of the Timæus differ
considerably from what we read in the Phædrus, Politikus,
Republic, Leges, &c. The Demiurgus is presented in Timæus as a
personal agent, pre-kosmical and extra-kosmical: but he appears
only as initiating; he begets or fabricates, once for all, a most
beautiful Kosmos (employing all the available material, so
that nothing more could afterwards be added). The Kosmos having
body and soul, is itself a God, but with many separate Gods
resident within it, or attached to it. The Demiurgus then retires,
leaving it to be peopled and administered by the Gods thus
generated, or by its own soul. His acting and speaking is
recounted in the manner of the ancient mythes: and many critics,
ancient as well as modern, have supposed that he is intended by
Plato only as a mythical personification of the Idea Boni: the
construction described being only an ideal process, like the
generation of a geometrical figure.[119] Whatever may have been
Plato's own intention, in this last sense his hypothesis was
interpreted by his immediate successors, Speusippus and
Xenokrates, as well as by Eudêmus.[120] Aristotle in his comments
upon Plato takes little notice of the Demiurgus: the hypothesis
(of a distinct personal constructive agent) did not fit into his
_principia_ of the Kosmos, and he probably ranked it among
those mythical modes of philosophising which he expressly
pronounces to be unworthy of serious criticism.[121] Various
succeeding philosophers also, especially the Stoics, while
they insisted much upon Providence, conceived this as residing in
the Kosmos itself, and in the divine intra-kosmical agencies.

[Footnote 119: Stallbaum, Proleg. ad Timæum, p. 47.

Zeller, Platonische Studien, pp. 207-215; also his Gesch. d. Phil.
d. Griech. vol. ii. p. 508 seq. ed. 2nd; and Susemihl, Genetische
Entwicklung der Platon. Philosophie, vol. ii. pp. 322-340.
Ueberweg, Ueber die Platon. Welt-seele, p. 69; Brandis, Gesch. der
Griech. Philos. ii. cx. pp. 357-365.

A good note of Ast (Platon's Leben und Schriften, p. 363 seq.)
illustrates the analogy between the Platonic Timæus and the old
Greek cosmogonic poems.]

[Footnote 120: Respecting Speusippus and Xenokrates, see
Aristotel. De Coelo, i. 10, pp. 279-280, with Scholia, 487, b.
37, 488, b. 15, 489, a. 10, Brandis. Respecting Eudemus, Krantor,
Eudorus, and the majority of the Platonic followers, see Plutarch,
De Animæ Procreatione in Timæo, 1012 D, 1013 A, 1015 D, 1017 B,
1028 B.

Plutarch reasons against them; but he recognises their
interpretation as the predominant one.

See also the view ascribed to Speusippus and the Pythagoreans by
Aristotle (Metaphys. A. 1072, a. 1, b. 30).]

[Footnote 121: Proklus ad Platon. Tim. ii. pp. 138 E, 328, ed.
Schn.: [Greek: ê)\ ga\r mo/nos ê)\ ma/lista, Pla/tôn tê=|
a)po\ tou= pronoou=ntos ai)ti/a| katechrê/sato, phêsi\n o(
Theo/phrastos, tou=to/ ge kalô=s au)tô=| marturô=n.] And
another reference to Theophrastus, in Proklus, pp. 117, 417 Schn.
Also pp. 118 E-F, 279 Schn.: [Greek: A)ristote/lês me\n ou)=n
tê\n e)n tô=| dêmiourgô=| ta/xin ou)k oi)=den . . . o( de\
Pla/tôn O)rphei= sunepo/menos e)n tô=| dêmiourgô=| prô=ton
ei)=nai phêsi tê\n ta/xin, kai\ to\ pro\ tô=n merô=n o(/lon.]
For further coincidences between the Platonic Timæus and Orpheus
([Greek: o( theolo/gos]) see Proklus ad Timæ. pp. 233-235, Schn.
The passage of Aristotle respecting those who blended mythe and
philosophy is remarkable, Metaphys. B. 1000, a. 9-20. [Greek: Oi(
me\n ou)=n peri\ Ê(si/odon, kai\ pa/ntes o(/soi theolo/goi,
mo/non e)phro/ntisan tou= pithanou= tou= pro\s au)tou/s, ê(mô=n
d' ô)ligô/rêsan . . . A)lla\ peri\ me\n tô=n muthikô=s
sophizome/nôn ou)k a)/xion meta\ spoudê=s skopei=n; para\ de\
tô=n di' a)podei/xeôs lego/ntôn dei= puntha/nesthai
dierôtô=ntas], &c. About those whom Aristotle calls [Greek:
oi( memigme/noi] (partly mythe, partly philosophy), see Metaphys.
N. 1091, b. 8.

Compare, on Aristotle's non-recognition of the Platonic Demiurgus,
a remarkable note of Prantl, ad Aristot. Physica, viii. p. 524,
also p. 478, in his edition of that treatise, Leipsic, 1854.
Weisse speaks to the same effect in his translation of the Physica
of Aristotle, pp. 350-356, Leips. 1829.

Lichtenstädt, in his ingenious work, (Ueber Platon's Lehren auf
dem Gebiete der Natur-Forschung und der Heilkunde, Leipsic, 1826),
ranks several of the characteristic tenets of the Timæus as only
mythical: the pre-existent Chaos, the divinity of the entire
Kosmos, even the metempsychosis, though it is affirmed most
directly,--see pp. 24, 46, 48, 86, &c. How much of all this
Plato intended as purely mythical, appears to me impossible to
determine. I agree with the opinion of Ueberweg, that Plato did
not draw any clear line in his own mind between the mythical and
the real (Ueber die Platon. Weltseele, pp. 70-71).]

[Side-note: Adopted and welcomed by the Alexandrine Jews, as
a parallel to the Mosaic Genesis.]

But though the idea of a pre-kosmic Demiurgus found little favour
among the Grecian schools of philosophy, before the Christian
era--it was greatly welcomed among the Hellenising Jews at
Alexandria, from Aristobulus (about B. C. 150) down to Philo. It
formed the suitable point of conjunction, between Hellenic and
Judaic speculation. The marked distinction drawn by Plato between
the Demiurgus, and the constructed or generated Kosmos, with its
in-dwelling Gods--provided a suitable place for the Supreme God of
the Jews, degrading the Pagan Gods in comparison. The Timæus was
compared with the book of Genesis, from which it was even affirmed
that Plato had copied. He received the denomination of the
atticising Moses: Moses writing in Attic Greek.[122] It was thus
that the Platonic Timæus became the medium of transition, from the
Polytheistic theology which served as philosophy among the
early ages of Greece, to the omnipotent Monotheism to which
philosophy became subordinated after the Christian era.]

[Footnote 122: The learned work of Gfrörer--Philo und die
Jüdisch-Alexandrin. Theosophie--illustrates well this coalescence
of Platonism with the Pentateuch in the minds of the Hellenising
Jews at Alexandria. "Aristobulus maintained, 150 years earlier
than Philo, that not only the oldest Grecian poets, Homer, Hesiod,
Orpheus, &c., but also the most celebrated thinkers,
especially Plato, had acquired all their wisdom from a very old
translation of the Pentateuch" (Gfrörer, i. p. 308, also ii.
111-118). The first form of Grecian philosophy which found favour
among the Alexandrine Jews was the Platonic:--"since a Jew could
not fail to be pleased--besides the magnificent style and high
moral tone--with a certain likeness between the Oriental
Kosmogonies and the Timæus, the favourite treatise of all
Theosophists," see p. 72. Compare the same work, pp.

Philo calls Sokrates [Greek: a)nê\r para\ Môu+sei= ta\
prote/leia tê=s sophi/as a)nadidachthei/s]: he refers to the
terminology of the Platonic Timæus (Gfrörer, 308-327-328).

Eusebius (Præp. Ev. ix. 6, xi. 10), citing Aristobulus and
Numenius, says [Greek: Ti/ ga\r e)/sti Pla/tôn, ê)\ Môu+sê\s
a)ttiki/zôn?] Compare also the same work, xi. 16-25-29, and xiii.
18, where the harmony between Plato and Moses, and the preference
of the author for Plato over other Greek philosophers, are
earnestly declared.

See also Vacherot, Histoire Critique de l'École d'Alexandrie, vol.
i. pp. 110-163-319-335.]

[Side-note: Physiology of the Platonic Timæus--subordinate
to Plato's views of ethical teleology. Triple soul--each soul at
once material and mental.]

Of the vast outline sketched in the Timæus, no part illustrates
better the point of view of the author, than what is said about
human anatomy and physiology. The human body is conceived
altogether as subservient to an ethical and æsthetical teleology:
it is (like the Praxitelean statue of Eros[123]) a work adapted to
an archetypal model in Plato's own heart--his emotions,
preferences, antipathies.[124] The leading idea in his mind is,
What purposes would be most suitable to the presumed character of
the Demiurgus, and to those generated Gods who are assumed to act
as his ministers? The purposes which Plato ascribes, both to the
one and to the others, emanate from his own feelings: they are
such as he would himself have aimed at accomplishing, if he had
possessed demiurgic power: just as the Republic describes the
principles on which he would have constituted a Commonwealth, had
he been lawgiver or Oekist. His inventive fancy depicts the
interior structure, both of the great Kosmos and of its little
human miniature, in a way corresponding to these sublime purposes.
The three souls, each with its appropriate place and functions,
form the cardinal principle of the organism:[125] the unity of
which is maintained by the spinal marrow in continuity with,
the brain; all the three souls having their roots in different
parts of this continuous line. Neither of these three souls is
immaterial, in the sense which that word now bears: even the
encephalic rational soul--the most exalted in function, and
commander of the other two--has its own extension and rotatory
motion: as the kosmical soul has also, though yet more exalted in
its endowments. All these souls have material properties, and are
implicated essentially with other material agents:[126] all are at
once material and mental. The encephalic or rational soul has its
share in material properties, while the abdominal or appetitive
soul also has its share in mental properties: even the liver has
for its function to exhibit images impressed by the rational soul,
and to serve as the theatre of prophetic representations.[127]

[Footnote 123: [Greek: Praxite/lês o(\n e)/pasche
diêkri/bôsen E)/rôta
e)x i)di/ês e(/lkôn a)rche/tupon kradi/ês]--(Anthologia).]

[Footnote 124: Plato says (Tim. p. 53 E) that in investigating the
fundamental configuration of the elements you must search for the
most beautiful: these will of course be the true ones. Again, p.
72 E, [Greek: e)k dê\ logismou= toi/oude xuni/stasthai ma/list'
a)\n au(tô=| pa/ntôn pre/poi.] Galen applies an analogous
principle of reasoning to explain the structure of apes, whom he
pronounces to be a caricature of man. Man having a rational and
intelligent soul, Nature has properly attached to it an admirable
bodily organism: with equal propriety she has assigned to the ape
a ridiculous bodily organism, because he has a ridiculous
soul--[Greek: le/xeien a)\n ê( phu/sis, geloi/ô| tê\n psuchê\n
zô/ô| geloi/an e)chrê=n dothê=nai sô/matos kataskeuê/n] (De
Usu Partium, i. c. 13, pp. 80-81, iii. 16, p. 284, xiii. 2, p.
126, xv. 8, p. 252, Kühn).]

[Footnote 125: Respecting a view analogous to that of Plato, M.
Littré observes, in his Proleg. to the Hippokratic treatise
[Greek: Peri\ Kardi/ês] (OEuvres d'Hippocrate T. ix.
p. 77):--"Deux fois l'auteur s'occupe des fins de la structure (du
coeur) et admire avec quelle habileté elles sont atteintes. La
première, c'est à propos des valvules sigmöides: il est instruit
de leur usage, qui est de fermer le coeur du côté de l'artère; et
dès-lors, son admiration ne se méprend pas, quand il fait remarquer
avec quelle exactitude ils accomplissent leur office. Mais elle se
méprend quand, se tournant vers les oreillettes, elle loue la main
de l'artiste habile qui les a si bien arrangées pour souffler
l'air dans le coeur. Ces déceptions de la téléologie sont
perpétuelles dans l'histoire de la science; à chaque instant, on
s'est extasié devant des structures que l'imagination seule
appropriait à certaines fonctions. 'Cet optimisme' (dit Condorcet
dans son Fragment sur l'Atlantide) 'qui consiste à trouver tout à
merveille dans la nature telle qu'on l'invente, à condition
d'admirer également sa sagesse, si par malheur on avait découvert
qu'elle a suivi d'autres combinaisons; cet optimisme de détail
doit être banni de la philosophie, dont le but n'est pas
d'admirer, mais de connaître; qui, dans l'étude, cherche la
vérité, et non des motifs de reconnaissance.'"]

[Footnote 126: Proklus could hardly make out that Plato recognised
any [Greek: psuchê\n a)me/thekton], ad Tim. ii. pp. 220, 94 A.]

[Footnote 127: Plat. Tim. p. 71 B-C. The criticism of Aristotle
(De Partibus Animal. iv. 2, 676, b. 21) is directed against this
doctrine, but without naming Plato. But when Aristotle says
[Greek: Oi( le/gontes tê\n phu/sin tê=s cholê=s ai)sthê/seôs
tino\s ei)=nai sêmei=on, ou) kalô=s le/gousin], he substitutes
the _bile_ in place of the liver. In Aristotle's mind the two
are intimately associated.]

[Side-note: Triplicity of the soul--espoused afterwards by

The Platonic doctrine, of three souls in one organism, derives a
peculiar interest from the earnest way in which it is espoused
afterwards by Galen. This last author represents Plato as agreeing
in main doctrines with Hippokrates. He has composed nine distinct
Dissertations or Books, for the purpose of upholding their joint
doctrines. But the agreement which he shows between Hippokrates
and Plato is very vague, and his own agreement with Plato is
rather ethical than physiological. What is the essence of the
three souls, and whether they are immortal or not, Galen leaves
undecided:[128] but that there must be three distinct souls in
each human body, and that the supposition of one soul only is an
absurdity--he considers Plato to have positively demonstrated.
He rejects the doctrine of Aristotle, Theophrastus,
Poseidonius, and others, who acknowledged only one soul, lodged in
the heart, but with distinct co-existent powers.[129]

[Footnote 128: Galen, De Foetuum Formatione, p. 701, Kühn.
[Greek: Peri\ Ou)si/as tô=n phusikô=n duna/meôn], p. 763.
[Greek: Peri\ tô=n tê=s psuchê=s Ê)thô=n], p. 773.]

[Footnote 129: Galen, De Hipp. et Plat. Dogm. iii. pp. 337-347,
Kühn, vi. pp. 515-516, i. p. 200, iv. p. 363, ix. p. 727.]

[Side-note: Admiration of Galen for Plato--his agreement
with Plato, and his dissension from Plato--his improved

So far Galen concurs with Plato. But he connects this triplicity
of soul with a physiological theory of his own, which he professes
to derive from, or at least to hold in common with, Hippokrates
and Plato. Galen recognises three [Greek:
a)rcha\s]--_principia_, beginnings, originating and governing
organs--in the body: the brain, which is the origin of all the nerves,
both of sensation and motion: the heart, the origin of the arteries:
the liver, the sanguifacient organ, and the origin of the veins
which distribute nourishment to all parts of the body. These three
are respectively the organs of the rational, the energetic, and
the appetitive soul.[130]

[Footnote 130: Galen, Hipp. et Plat. Dogm. viii. pp. 656-657,
Kühn. [Greek: e)x ô(=n e)perai/neto ê( tô=n phlebô=n a)rchê\
to\ ê(=par u(pa/rchein; ô(=| pa/lin ei(/peto, kai\ tê=s
koinê=s pro\s ta\ phuta\ duna/meôs a)rchê\n ei)=nai tou=to to\
spla/gchnon, ê(/ntina du/namin o( Pla/tôn e)pithumêtikê\n
o)noma/zei.] Compare vi. 519-572, vii. 600-601.

The same triplicity of [Greek: a)rchai\] in the organism had been
recognised by Erasistratus, later than Aristotle, though long
before Galen. [Greek: Kai\ E)rasi/stratos de\ ô(s a)rcha\s kai\
stoichei=a o(/lou sô/matos u(potithe/menos tê\n triploki/an
tô=n a)ggei/ôn, neu=ra, kai\ phle/bas, kai\ a)rtêri/as] (Galen,
T. iv. p. 375, ed. Basil). See Littré, Introduction aux Oeuvres
d'Hippocrate, T. i. p. 203.

Plato does not say, as Galen declares him to say, that the
appetitive soul has its primary seat or [Greek: a)rchê\] in the
liver. It has its seat between the diaphragm and the navel; the
liver is placed in this region as an outlying fort, occupied by
the rational soul, and used for the purpose of controuling the
rebellious tendencies of the appetitive soul. Chrysippus (ap.
Galen, Hipp. et Plat. Dogm. iii. p. 288, Kühn) stated Plato's
doctrine about the [Greek: trimerê\s psuchê\] more simply and
faithfully than Galen himself. Compare his words ib. viii. p. 651,
vi. p. 519. Galen represents Plato as saying that nourishment is
furnished by the stomach first to the liver, to be there made into
blood and sent round the body through the veins (pp. 576-578).
This is Galen's own theory (De Usu Partium, iv. p. 268, Kühn), but
it is not to be found in Plato. Whoever reads the Timæus, pp.
77-78, will see that Plato's theory of the conversion of food into
blood, and its transmission as blood through the veins, is
altogether different. It is here that he propounds his singular
hypothesis--the interior network of air and fire, and the
oscillating ebb and flow of these intense agencies in the cavity
of the abdomen. The liver has nothing to do with the process.

So again Galen (p. 573) puts upon the words of Plato about the
heart--[Greek: pêgê\n tou= peripherome/nou sphodrô=s
ai(/matos]--an interpretation conformable to the Galenian theory,
but noway consistent with the statements of the Timæus itself. And
he treats the comparison of the cranium and the rotations of the
brain within, to the rotations of the spherical Kosmos--which
comparison weighed greatly in Plato's mind--as an illustrative
simile without any philosophical value (Galen, H. et P. D. ii. 4,
p. 230, Kühn; Plato, Tim. pp. 41 B, 90 A).]

The Galenian theory here propounded (which held its place in
physiology until Harvey's great discovery of the circulation of
the blood in the seventeenth century), though proved by
fuller investigation to be altogether erroneous as to the
liver--and partially erroneous as to the heart--is nevertheless
made by its author to rest upon plausible reasons, as well as upon
many anatomical facts, and results of experiments on the animal body,
by tying or cutting nerves and arteries.[131] Its resemblance with
the Platonic theory is altogether superficial: while the Galenian
reasoning, so far from resembling the Platonic, stands in striking
contrast with it. Anxious as Galen is to extol Plato, his manner
of expounding and defending the Platonic thesis is such as to mark
the scientific progress realised during the five centuries
intervening between the two. Plato himself, in the Timæus,
displays little interest or curiosity about the facts of
physiology: the connecting principles, whereby he explains to
himself the mechanism of the organs as known by ordinary
experience, are altogether psychological, ethical, teleological.
In the praise which Galen, with his very superior knowledge of the
human organism, bestows upon the Timæus, he unconsciously
substitutes a new doctrine of his own, differing materially from
that of Plato.

[Footnote 131: Galen (Hipp. et Plat. Dogm. ii. p. 233, Kühn).
[Greek: kai/toi ge ê(mei=s, a(/per e)paggello/metha lo/gô|,
tau=ta e)pi\ tai=s tô=n zô=ôn a)natomai=s e)pidei/knumen],
&c. P. 220: [Greek: Po/then ou)=n tou=to deichthê/setai?
po/then a)/llothen ê)\ e)k tô=n a)natomô=n?]]

[Side-note: Physiology and pathology of Plato--compared with
that of Aristotle and the Hippokratic treatises.]

I have no space here to touch on the interesting comparisons which
might be made between the physiology and pathology of the
Timæus--and that which we read in other authors of the same
century--Aristotle and the Hippokratic treatises. More than one
allusion is made in the Timæus to physicians: and Plato cites
Hippokrates in other dialogues with respect.[132] The study and
practice of medicine was at that time greatly affected by the current
speculations respecting Nature as a whole: accomplished physicians
combined both lines of study, implicating kosmical and biological
theories:[133] and in the Platonic Timæus, the former might
properly be comprised in the latter, since the entire Kosmos
is regarded as one animated and rational being. Among the sixty
treatises in the Hippokratic collection, composed by different
authors, there are material differences--sometimes even positive
opposition--both of doctrine and spirit. Some of them are the work
of practitioners, familiar with the details of sickness and bodily
injuries, as well as with the various modes of treatment: others
again proceed from pure theorists, following out some speculative
dogmas more or less plausible, but usually vague and
indeterminate. It is to one of this last class of treatises that
Galen chiefly refers, when he dwells upon the agreement between
Plato and Hippokrates.[134] This is the point which the Platonic
Timæus has in common with both Hippokrates and Aristotle. But on
the other hand, Timæus appears entirely wanting in that element of
observation, and special care about matters of fact, which
these two last-mentioned authors very frequently display, even
while confusing themselves by much vagueness of dogmatising
theory. The Timæus evinces no special study of matters of fact: it
contains ingenious and fanciful combinations, dictated chiefly
from the ethical and theological point of view, but brought to
bear upon such limited amount of knowledge as an accomplished man
of Plato's day could hardly fail to acquire without special study.
In the extreme importance which it assigns to diet, regimen, and
bodily discipline, it agrees generally with Hippokrates: but for
the most part, the points of contrast are more notable than those
of agreement.

[Footnote 132: Plato, Phædrus, p. 270; Protagoras, p. 311.]

[Footnote 133: See a remarkable passage, Aristotel. De Sensu, 436,
a. 21, [Greek: tô=n i)atrô=n oi( philosophôte/rôs tê\n
te/chnên metio/ntes], &c.: also De Respiratione, ad finem,
480, b. 21, and [Greek: Peri\ tê=s kath' u(/pnon mantikê=s], i.
p. 463, a. 5. [Greek: tô=n i)atrô=n oi( charie/ntes]. Compare
Hippokrat. De Aere, Locis, &c., c. 2.

M. Littré observes:--

"La science antique, et par conséquent la médecine qui en formait
une branche, était essentiellement synthétique. Platon, dans le
Charmide, dit qu'on ne peut guérir la partie sans le tout. Le
philosophe avait pris cette idée à l'enseignement médical qui se
donnait de son temps: cet enseignement partait donc du tout, de
l'ensemble; nous en avons la preuve dans le livre même du
Pronostic, qui nous montre d'une manière frappante comment la
composition des écrits particuliers se subordonne à la conception
générale de la science; ce livre, tel qu'Hippocrate l'a composé,
ne pouvait se faire qu'à une époque où la médecine conservait
encore l'empreinte des doctrines encyclopédiques qui avaient
constitué le fond de tout l'enseignement oriental." (Littré,
OEuvres D'Hippocrate, T. ii. p. 96. Argument prefixed to the

[Footnote 134: He alludes especially to the Hippokratic treatise
[Greek: Peri\ Phu/sios a)nthrô/pou], see De Hipp. et Plat. Dogm.
viii. pp. 674-710, ed. Kühn.

In the valuable Hippokratic composition--[Greek: Peri\ A)rchai/ês
I)êtrikê=s]--(vol. i. pp. 570-636, ed. Littré) the author
distinguished [Greek: i)êtroi/], properly so-called, from [Greek:
sophistai/], who merely laid down general principles about
medicine. He enters a protest against the employment, in reference
to medicine, of those large and indefinite assumptions which
characterised the works of Sophists or physical philosophers such
as Empedokles (pp. 570-620, Littré). "Such compositions," he says,
"belong less to the medical art than to the art of literary
composition"--[Greek: e)gô\ de\ toute/ôn me\n o(/sa tini\
ei)/rêtai sophistê=| ê)\ i)êtrô=|, ê)\ ge/graptai peri\
phu/sios, ê(=sson nomi/zô tê=| i)êtrikê=| te/chnê|
prosê/kein ê)\ tê=| graphikê=|] (p. 620). Such men cannot (he
says) deal with a case of actual sickness: they ought to speak
intelligible language--[Greek: gnôsta\ le/gein toi=si
dêmo/tê|si] (p. 572). Again, in the Treatise De Aere, Locis, et
Aquis, Hippokrates defends himself against the charge of entering
upon topics which are [Greek: meteôrolo/ga] (vol. ii. p. 14,

The Platonic Timæus would have been considered by Hippokrates as
the work of a [Greek: sophistê/s]. It was composed not for
professional readers alone, but for the public--[Greek:
e)pi/stasthai e)s o(/son ei)ko\s i)diô/tên]--(Hippokrat. [Greek:
Peri\ Pathô=n], vol. vi. p. 208, Littré).

The Hippokratic treatises afford evidence of an established art,
with traditions of tolerably long standing, a considerable medical
literature, and even much oral debate on medical subjects--[Greek:
e)nanti/on a)kroate/ôn] (Hipp. [Greek: Peri\ Nou/sôn], vol. vi.
pp 140-142-150, Littré). [Greek: O(\s a)\n peri\ i)ê/sios
e)the/lê| e)rôta=|n te o)rthô=s, kai\ e)rôtô=nti
a)pokri/nesthai, kai\ a)ntile/gein o)rthô=s, e)nthume/esthai
chrê\ ta/de] (p. 140) . . . [Greek: Tau=ta e)nthumêthe/nta
diaphula/ssein dei= e)n toi=si lo/goisin; o(/, ti a)\n de/ tis
tou/tôn a(marta/nê|, ê)\ le/gôn ê)\ e)rôtô=n ê)\
a)pokrino/menos, . . . tau/tê| phula/ssonta chrê\
e)piti/thesthai e)n tê=| a)ntilogi/ê|] (p. 142).

The method, which Sokrates and Plato applied to ethical topics was
thus applied by others to medicine and medical dogmas. How the
dogmas of the Platonic Timæus would have fared, if scrutinised
with oral interrogations in this spirit, by men even far inferior
to Sokrates himself in acuteness--I will not say.]

[Side-note: Contrast between the admiration of Plato for the
constructors of the Kosmos, and the defective results which he

From the glowing terms in which Plato describes the architectonic
skill and foresight of those Gods who put together the three souls
and the body of man, we should anticipate that the fabric would be
perfect, and efficacious for all intended purposes, in spite of
interruptions or accidents. But Plato, when he passes from
purposes to results, is constrained to draw a far darker picture.
He tells us that the mechanism of the human body will work well,
only so long as the juncture of the constituent triangles is fresh
and tight: after that period of freshness has passed, it begins to
fail.[135] But besides this, there exist a formidable catalogue of
diseases, attacking both body and mind: the cause of which (Plato
says) "is plain to every one": they proceed from excess, or
deficiency, or displacement, of some one among the four
constituent elements of the human body.[136] If we enquire why the
wise Constructors put together their materials in so faulty a
manner, the only reply to be made is, that the counteracting hand
of Necessity was too strong for them. In the Hesiodic and other
legends respecting anthropogony we find at least a happy
commencement, and the deterioration gradually supervening after
it. But Plato opens the scene at once with all the suffering
reality of the iron age--

[Greek: Plei/ê me\n ga\r gai=a kakô=n, plei/ê de\ tha/lassa;
Nou=soi d' a)nthrô/poisin e)ph' ê(me/rê| ê)\d' e)pi\ nukti\
Au)to/matoi phoitô=si]--[137]

[Footnote 135: Plat. Tim. pp. 81-89 B.]

[Footnote 136: Plat. Tim. p. 82. [Greek: dê=lo/n pou kai\

[Footnote 137: Compare what Plato says in Republic, ii. p. 379 C,
about the prodigious preponderance of [Greek: kaka\] over [Greek:
a)gatha\] in the life of man.]

[Side-note: Degeneration of the real tenants of Earth
from their primitive type.]

When Plato tells us that most part of the tenants of earth, air,
and water--all women, birds, quadrupeds, reptiles, and fishes--are
the deteriorated representatives of primitive men, constructed at
the beginning with the most provident skill, but debased by
degeneracy in various directions--this doctrine (something
analogous to the theory of Darwin with its steps inverted)
indicates that the original scheme of the Demiurgus, though
magnificent in its _ensemble_ with reference to the entire
Kosmos, was certain from the beginning to fail in its details. For
we are told that the introduction of birds, quadrupeds, &c.,
as among the constituents of the Auto-zôon, was an essential part
of the original scheme.[138] The constructing Gods, while forming
men upon a pure non-sexual type (such as that invoked by the
austere Hippolytus) exempt from the temptations of the most
violent appetite,[139] foresaw that such an angelic type could not
maintain itself:--that they would be obliged to reconstruct the
whole human organism upon the bi-sexual principle, introducing the
comparatively lower type of woman:--and that they must make
preparation for the still more degenerate varieties of birds and
quadrupeds, into which the corrupt and stupid portion of mankind
would sink.[140] Plato does indeed tell us, that the primitive
non-sexual type had the option of maintaining itself; and that it
perished by its own fault alone.[141] But since we find that not
one representative of it has been able to hold his ground:--and
since we also read in Plato, that no man is willingly corrupt, but
that corruption and stupidity of mind are like fevers and other
diseases, under which a man suffers against his own
consent[142]:--we see that the option was surrounded with insurmountable
difficulties: and that the steady and continued degradation, under
which the human race has sunk from its original perfection into
the lower endowments of the animal world, can be ascribed only to
the impracticability of the original scheme: that is, in
other words, to the obstacles interposed by implacable Necessity,
frustrating the benevolent purposes of the Constructors.

[Footnote 138: Plat. Tim. p. 41 B-C.]

[Footnote 139: Eurip. Hippol. 615; Medea, 573; Milton, Paradise
Lost, x. 888.

     [Greek: chrê\n a)/r' a)/llothe/n pothen brotou\s
pai=das teknou=sthai, thê=lu d' ou)k ei)=nai ge/nos;
chou(/tôs a)\n ou)k ê)=n ou)de\n a)nthrô/pois kako/n.]]

[Footnote 140: Plat. Tim. p. 76 D. [Greek: ô(s ga/r pote e)x
a)ndrô=n gunai=kes kai\ ta)/lla thêri/a genê/sointo,
ê)pi/stanto oi( xunista/ntes ê(ma=s], &c. Compare pp. 90 E,

[Footnote 141: Plat. Tim. p. 42.]

[Footnote 142: Plat. Tim. pp. 86-87.]

[Side-note: Close of the Timæus. Plato turns away from the
shameful results, and reverts to the glorification of the
primitive types.]

However, all these details, attesting the low and poor actual
condition of the tenants of earth, water, and air--and forming so
marked a contrast to the magnificent description of the Kosmos as
a whole, with the splendid type of men who were established at
first alone in its central region--all these are hurried over by
Plato, as unwelcome accompaniments which he cannot put out of
sight. They have their analogies even in the kosmical agencies:
there are destructive kosmical forces, earthquakes, deluges,
conflagrations, &c., noticed as occurring periodically, and as
causing the almost total extinction of different communities.[143]
Though they must not be altogether omitted, he will nevertheless
touch them as briefly as possible.[144] He turns aside from this,
the shameful side of the Kosmos, to the sublime conception of it
with which he had begun, and which he now builds up again in the
following poetical doxology the concluding words of the Timæus:--

"Let us now declare that the discourse respecting the Universe is
brought to its close. This Kosmos, having received its complement
of animals, mortal and immortal, has become greatest, best, most
beautiful and most perfect: a visible animal comprehending all
things visible--a perceivable God the image of the cogitable God:
this Uranus, one and only begotten."[145]

[Footnote 143: Plato, Timæus, pp. 22, 23. Legg. iii. 677.
Politikus, pp. 272, 273.]

[Footnote 144: Plat. Tim. p. 90 E. [Greek: ta\ ga\r a)/lla zô=a
ê(=| ge/gonen au)=, dia\ brache/ôn e)pimnêste/on, o(/, ti mê/
tis a)na/gkê mêku/nein; ou(/tô ga\r e)mmetro/tero/s tis a)\n
au)tô=| do/xeie peri\ tou\s tou/tôn lo/gous ei)=nai.]]

[Footnote 145: Plat. Tim. p. 92 C. [Greek: Kai\ dê\ kai\ te/los
peri\ tou= panto\s nu=n ê)/dê to\n lo/gon ê(mi=n phô=men
e)/chein; thnêta\ ga\r kai\ a)tha/nata zô=a labô\n kai\
xumplêrôthei\s o(/de o( ko/smos, ou(/tô zô=on o(rato\n ta\
o(rata\ perie/chon, ei)kô\n tou= noêtou= theo\s ai)sthêto/s,
me/gistos kai\ a)/ristos ka/llisto/s te kai\ teleô/tatos
ge/gonen,--ei(=s ou)rano\s o(/de, monogenê\s ô)/n.]

Weh! Weh!
Du hast sie zerstört,
Die schöne Welt,
Mit mächtiger Faust;
Sie stürzt, sie zerfällt!
Ein Halb-Gott hat sie zerschlagen!
Wir tragen
Die Trümmern ins Nichts hinüber,
Und klagen
Ueber die verlorne Schöne!
Der Erdensöhne,
Baue sie wieder,
In deinem Busen baue sie auf!

(The response of the Geister-Chor, in Goethe's Faust, after the
accumulated imprecations uttered by Faust in his despair.)]


[Side-note: Kritias: a fragment.]

The dialogue Kritias exists only as a fragment, breaking off
abruptly in the middle of a sentence. The ancient Platonists found
it in the same condition, and it probably was never finished. We
know, however, the general scheme and purpose for which it was

[Side-note: Prooemium to Timæus. Intended Tetralogy for
the Republic. The Kritias was third piece in that Tetralogy.]

The prooemium to the Timæus introduces us to three persons[146]:
Kritias and Hermokrates, along with Sokrates. It is to them (as we
now learn) that Sokrates had on the preceding day recited the
Republic: a fourth hearer having been present besides, whom
Sokrates expects to see now, but does not see--and who is said to
be absent from illness. In requital for the intellectual treat
received from Sokrates, Timæus delivers the discourse which we
have just passed in review: Kritias next enters upon his narrative
or exposition, now lying before us as a fragment: and Hermokrates
was intended to follow it up with a fourth discourse, upon some
other topic not specified. It appears as if Plato, after having
finished the Republic as a distinct dialogue, conceived
subsequently the idea of making it the basis of a Tetralogy, to be
composed as follows: 1. _Timæus_: describing the construction
of the divine Kosmos, soul and body--with its tenants divine and
human; "the diapason ending full in man"--but having its harmony
spoiled by the degeneration of man, and the partial substitution
of inferior animals. 2. _Republic_: Man in a constituted
society, administered by a few skilful professional Rulers,
subject to perfect ethical training, and fortified by the most
tutelary habits. 3. _Kritias_: this perfect society,
exhibited in energetic action, and under pressure of terrible
enemies. 4. _Hermokrates_--subject unknown: perhaps the same
society, exhibited under circumstances calculated to try their
justice and temperance, rather than their courage. Of this
intended tetralogy the first two members alone exist: the third
was left unfinished: and the fourth was never commenced. But the
Republic appears to me to have been originally a distinct
composition. An afterthought of Plato induced him to rank it as
second piece in a projected tetralogy.[147]

[Footnote 146: Plato, Tim. p. 17 A. [Greek: ei(=s, du/o, trei=s;
o( de\ dê\ te/tartos ê(mi=n, ô)= phi/le Ti/maie, pou=, tô=n
chthe\s me\n daitumo/nôn, ta\ nu=n d' e(stiato/rôn?]

These are the words with which the Platonic Sokrates opens this
dialogue. Proklus, in his Commentary on the Timæus (i. pp.
5-10-14, ed. Schneider), notices a multiplicity of insignificant
questions raised by the ancient Platonic critics upon this
exordium. The earliest whom he notices is Praxiphanes, the friend
of Theophrastus, who blamed Plato for the absurdity of making
Sokrates count aloud one, two, three, &c. Porphyry replied to
him at length.

We see here that the habit of commenting on the Platonic dialogues
began in the generation immediately after Plato's death, that is,
the generation of Demetrius Phalereus.

Whom does Plato intend for the fourth person, unnamed and absent?
Upon this point the Platonic critics indulged in a variety of
conjectures, suggesting several different persons as intended.
Proklus (p. 14, Schn.) remarks upon these critics justly--[Greek:
ô(s ou)/te a)/xia zêtê/seôs zêtou=ntas, ou)/t' a)sphale/s ti
le/gontas.] But the comments which he proceeds to cite from his
master Syrianus are not at all more instructive (pp. 15-16,

[Footnote 147: Socher (Ueber Platon's Schriften, pp. 370-371)
declares the fragment of the Kritias now existing to be spurious
and altogether unworthy of Plato. His opinion appears to me
unfounded, and has not obtained assent; but his arguments are as
good as those upon which other critics reject so many other
dialogues. He thinks the Kritias an inferior production: therefore
it cannot have been composed by Plato. Socher also thinks that the
whole allusion, made by Plato in this dialogue to Solon, is a
fiction by Plato himself. That the intended epic about Atlantis
would have been Plato's own fiction, I do not doubt, but it
appears to me that Solon's poems (as they then existed, though
fragmentary) must have contained allusions to Egyptian priests
with whom he had conversed in Egypt, and to their abundance of
historical anecdote (Plutarch, Solon, c. 26-31). It is not
improbable that Solon did leave an unfinished Egyptian poem.]

[Side-note: Subject of the Kritias. Solon and the Egyptian
priests. Citizens of Platonic Republic are identified with ancient

The subject embraced by the Kritias is traced back to an
unfinished epic poem of Solon, intended by that poet and lawgiver
to celebrate a memorable exploit of Athenian antiquity, which he
had heard from the Priests of the Goddess Neith or Athênê at
Sais in Egypt. These priests (Plato tells us) treated the Greeks
as children, compared with the venerable antiquity of their own
ancestors; they despised the short backward reckoning of the
heroic genealogies at Athens or Argos. There were in the temple of
Athênê at Sais records of past time for 9000 years back: and
among these records was one, of that date, commemorating a
glorious exploit, of the Athenians as they then had been, unknown
to Solon or any of his countrymen.[148] The Athens, of 9000 years
anterior to Solon, had been great, powerful, courageous,
admirably governed, and distinguished for every kind of
virtue.[149] Athênê, the presiding Goddess both of Athens and of
Sais, had bestowed upon the Athenians a salubrious climate,
fertile soil, a healthy breed of citizens, and highly endowed
intelligence. Under her auspices, they were excellent alike in war
and in philosophy.[150] The separation of professions was fully
realised among them, according to the principle laid down in the
Republic as the only foundation for a good commonwealth. The
military class, composed of both sexes, was quartered in barrack
on the akropolis; which was at that time more spacious than it had
since become--and which possessed then, in common with the whole
surface of Attica, a rich soil covering that rocky bottom to which
it had been reduced in the Platonic age, through successive
deluges.[151] These soldiers, male and female, were maintained by
contributions from the remaining community: they lived in
perpetual drill, having neither separate property, nor separate
families, nor gold nor silver: lastly, their procreation was
strictly regulated, and their numbers kept from either increase or
diminution.[152] The husbandmen and the artizans were alike
excellent in their respective professions, to which they were
exclusively confined:[153] Hephæstus being the partner of Athênê
in joint tutelary presidency, and joint occupation of the central
temple on the akropolis. Thus admirably administered, the
Athenians were not only powerful at home, but also chiefs or
leaders of all the cities comprised under the Hellenic name:
chiefs by the voluntary choice and consent of the subordinates.
But the old Attic race by whom these achievements had been
performed, belonged to a former geological period: they had
perished, nearly all, by violent catastrophe--leaving the actual
Athenians as imperfect representatives.

[Footnote 148: Plato, Timæus, pp. 22-23. The great knowledge of
past history (real or supposed) possessed by the Egyptian priests,
and the length of their back chronology, alleged by themselves to
depend upon records preserved from a period of 17,000 years, are
well known from the interesting narrative of Herodotus (ii.
37-43-77-145)--[Greek: mnê/mên a)nthrô/pôn pa/ntôn e)paske/ontes]
(the priests of Egypt) [Greek: ma/lista, logiô/tatoi/ ei)si
makrô=| tô=n e)gô\ e)s dia/peiran a)phiko/mên] (ii. 77) . . .
[Greek: kai\ tau=ta a)treke/ôs phasi\n e)pi/stasthai, ai)ei/ te
logizo/menoi, kai\ ai)ei\ a)pographo/menoi ta\ e)/tea] (ii. 145).
Herodotus (ii. 143) tells us that the Egyptian priests at Thebes
held the same language to the historian Hekatæus, as Plato here
says that they held to Solon, when he talked about Grecian
antiquity in the persons of Phorôneus and Niobê. Hekatæus laid
before them his own genealogy--a dignified list of sixteen
ancestors, beginning from a God--upon which they out-bid him with
a counter-genealogy ([Greek: a)ntegenealo/gêsan]) of 345 chief
priests, who had succeeded each other from father to son. Plato
appears to have contracted great reverence for this long duration
of unchanged regulations in Egypt, and for the fixed, consecrated,
customs, with minute subdivision of professional castes and
employments: the hymns, psalmody, and music, having continued
without alteration for 10,000 years (_literally_
10,000--[Greek: ou)ch ô(s e)/pos ei)pei=n muriosto/n, a)ll'
o)/ntôs], Plat. Legg. ii. p. 656 E).]

[Footnote 149: Plato, Timæus, p. 23 C-D.]

[Footnote 150: Plato, Tim. p. 24 D. [Greek: a(/te ou)=n
philopo/lemo/s te kai\ philo/sophos ê( theo\s ou)=sa], &c.
Also p. 23 C.]

[Footnote 151: Plato, Krit. pp. 110 C, 112 B-D.]

[Footnote 152: Plato, Krit. p. 112 D. [Greek: plê=thos de\
diaphula/ttontes o(/, ti ma/lista tau)to\n e(autô=n ei)=nai pro\s
to\n a)ei\ chro/non a)ndrô=n kai\ gunaikô=n], &c.]

[Footnote 153: Plato, Krit. p. 111 E. [Greek: u(po\ geôrgô=n
me\n a)lêthinô=n kai\ pratto/ntôn au)to\ tou=to, gê=n de\
a)ri/stên kai\ u(/dôr a)phthonô/taton e)cho/ntôn], &c.
Also p. 110 C.]

[Side-note: Plato professes that what he is about to recount
is matter of history, recorded by Egyptian priests.]

Such was the enviable condition of Athens and Attica, at a period
9400 years before the Christian era. The Platonic Kritias takes
pains to assure us that the statement was true, both as to facts
and as to dates: that he had heard it himself when a boy of ten
years old, from his grandfather Kritias, then ninety years old,
whose father Dropides had been the intimate friend of Solon: and
that Solon had heard it from the priests at Sais, who offered to
show him the contemporary record of all its details in their
temple archives.[154] Kritias now proposes to repeat this
narrative to Sokrates, as a fulfilment of the wish expressed by
the latter to see the citizens of the Platonic Republic exhibited
in full action and movement. For the Athenians of 9000 years
before, having been organised on the principles of that Republic,
may fairly be taken as representing its citizens. And it will be
more satisfactory to Sokrates to hear a recital of real history
than a series of imagined exploits.[155]

[Footnote 154: Plat. Tim. pp. 23 E, 24 A-D. [Greek: to\ d'
a)kribe\s peri\ pa/ntôn e)phexê=s ei)sau=this kata\ scholê/n,
au)ta\ ta\ gra/mmata labo/ntes die/ximen] (24 A).]

[Footnote 155: Plat. Tim. p. 26 D-E.]

[Side-note: Description of the vast island of Atlantis and
its powerful kings.]

Accordingly, Kritias proceeds to describe, in some detail, the
formidable invaders against whom these old Athenians had
successfully contended: the inhabitants of the vast island
Atlantis (larger than Libya and Asia united), which once occupied
most of the space now filled by the great ocean westward of Gades
and the pillars of Heraklês. This prodigious island was governed
by ten kings of a common ancestry: descending respectively from
ten sons (among whom Atlas was first-born and chief) of the God
Poseidon by the indigenous Nymph Kleito.[156] We read an imposing
description of its large population and abundant produce of every
kind: grain for man, pasture for animals, elephants being abundant
among them:[157] timber and metals of all varieties: besides which
the central city, with its works for defence, and its
artificial canals, bridges, and harbour, is depicted as a
wonder to behold.[158] The temple of Poseidon was magnificent and
of vast dimensions, though in barbaric style.[159] The harbour,
surrounded by a dense and industrious population, was full of
trading vessels arriving with merchandise from all quarters.[160]

[Footnote 156: Plat. Krit. pp. 113-114.]

[Footnote 157: Plat. Krit. p. 114 E.]

[Footnote 158: Plat. Krit. p. 115 D. [Greek: ei)s e)/kplêxin
mege/thesi ka/llesi/ te e)/rgôn i)dei=n], &c.]

[Footnote 159: Plat. Krit. p. 116 D-E.]

[Footnote 160: Plat. Krit. p. 117 E.]

[Side-note: Corruption and wickedness of the Atlantid

The Atlantid kings, besides this great power and prosperity at
home, exercised dominion over all Libya as far as Egypt, and over
all Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. The corrupting influence of such
vast power was at first counteracted by their divine descent and
the attributes attached to it: but the divine attributes became
more and more adulterated at each successive generation, so that
the breed was no longer qualified to contend against corruption.
The kings came to be intoxicated with wealth, full of exorbitant
ambition and rapacity, reckless of temperance or justice. The
measure of their iniquity at length became full; and Zeus was
constrained to take notice of it, for the purpose of inflicting
the chastisement which the case required.[161] He summoned a
meeting of the Gods, at his own Panoptikon in the centre of the
Kosmos and there addressed them.

[Footnote 161: Plat. Krit. p. 121.]

[Side-note: Conjectures as to what the Platonic Kritias
would have been--an ethical epic in prose.]

At this critical moment the fragment called Kritias breaks off. We
do not know what was the plan which Plato (in the true spirit of
the ancient epic) was about to put into the mouth of Zeus, for the
information of the divine agora. We learn only that Plato intended
to recount an invasion of Attica, by an army of Atlantids almost
irresistible: and the glorious repulse thereof by Athens and her
allies, with very inferior forces. The tale would have borne much
resemblance to the Persian invasion of Greece, as recounted by
Herodotus: but Plato, while employing the same religious agencies
which that historian puts in the foreground, would probably have
invested them with a more ethical character, and would have
arranged the narrative so as to illustrate the triumph of
philosophical Reason and disciplined Energy, over gigantic,
impetuous, and reckless Strength. He would have described in
detail the heroic valour and endurance of the trained
Athenian Soldiers, women as well as men: and he would have
embodied the superior Reason of the philosophical Chiefs not
merely in prudent orders given to subordinates, but also in wise
discourses[162] and deliberations such as we read in the Cyropædia
of Xenophon. We should have had an edifying epic in prose, if
Plato had completed his project. Unfortunately we know only two
small fractions of it: first the introductory prologue (which I
have already noticed)--lastly, the concluding catastrophe. The
conclusion was, that both the victors and the vanquished
disappeared altogether, and became extinct. Terrific earthquakes,
and not less terrific deluges, shook and overspread the earth. The
whole military caste of Attica were, in one day and night,
swallowed up into the bowels of the earth (the same release as
Zeus granted to the just Amphiaraus)[163] and no more heard of:
while not only the population of Atlantis, but that entire island
itself, was submerged beneath the ocean. The subsidence of this
vast island has rendered navigation impossible; there is nothing
in the Atlantic Ocean but shallow water and mud.[164]

[Footnote 162: Plat. Tim. p. 19 C-E. [Greek: kata/ te ta\s e)n
toi=s e)/rgois pra/xeis kai\ kata\ ta\s e)n toi=s lo/gois
diermêneu/seis] (19 C).]

[Footnote 163: Apollodorus, iii. 6, 6; Pausanias, ix. 8, 2.]

[Footnote 164: Plat. Tim. p. 25 C-D. [Greek: seismô=n e)xaisi/ôn
kai\ kataklusmô=n genome/nôn, mia=s ê(me/ras kai\ nukto\s
chalepê=s e)pelthou/sês . . . a)/poron kai\ a)diereu/nêton
ge/gone to\ e)kei= pe/lagos], &c.

Respecting the shallow and muddy water of the Atlantic and its
unnavigable character, as believed in the age of Plato, see a long
note in my 'History of Greece' (ch. xviii. vol. iii. p. 381).]

[Side-note: Plato represents the epic Kritias as matter of
recorded history.]

The epic of Plato would thus have concluded with an appalling
catastrophe of physical agencies or divine prodigies (such as that
which we read at the close of the Æschylean Prometheus[165]),
under which both the contending parties perished. These gigantic
outbursts of kosmical forces, along with the other facts, Plato
affirms to have been recorded in the archives of the Egyptian
priests. He wishes us to believe that the whole transaction is
historical. As to particular narratives, the line between truth
and fiction was obscurely drawn in his mind.

[Footnote 165: Æschyl. Prom. 1086.]

Another remark here deserving of notice is, That in this epic of
the Kritias, Plato introduces the violent and destructive kosmical
agencies (earthquakes, deluges, and the like) as frequently
occurring, and as one cause of the periodical destruction of
many races or communities. It is in this way that the Egyptian
priest is made to explain to Solon the reason why no
long-continued past records were preserved in Attica, or anywhere
else, except in Egypt.[166] This last-mentioned country was exempt
from such calamities: but in other countries, the thread of tradition
was frequently broken, because the whole race (except a few) were
periodically destroyed by deluges or conflagrations, leaving only
a few survivors miserably poor, without arts or letters. The
affirmation of these frequent destructions stands in marked
contradiction with the chief thesis announced at the beginning of
the Timæus--_viz._, the beauty and perfection of the Kosmos.

[Footnote 166: Plato, Tim. pp. 22 C-D, 23 B-C.]



[Side-note: Leges, the longest of Plato's works--Persons of
the dialogue.]

The Dialogue, entitled Leges--De Legibus--The Laws--distributed
into twelve books, besides its Appendix the Epinomis, and longer
than any other of the Platonic compositions--is presented to us as
held in Krete during a walk from the town of Knossus to the temple
of Zeus under Mount Ida--between three elderly persons: Megillus,
a Spartan--Kleinias, a Kretan of Knossus--and an Athenian who
bears no name, but serves as the principal expositor and
conductor. That this dialogue was composed by Plato after the
Republic, we know from the express deposition of Aristotle: that
it was the work of Plato's old age--probably the last which he
ever composed, and perhaps not completely finished at his
death--is what we learn from the scanty amount of external evidence
accessible to us. The internal evidence, as far as it goes, tends
to bear out the same conclusion, and to show that it was written
during the last seven years of his life, when he was more than
seventy years of age.[1]

[Footnote 1: The allusions of Aristotle to Plato as the author of
the Laws, after the Republic, occur in Politica, ii. b. 1264, b.
26, 1267, b. 5, 1271, b. 1, 1274, b. 9. According to Diogenes
Laertius (v. 22) Aristotle had composed separate works [Greek: Ta\
e)k No/môn Pla/tônos g--Ta\ e)k tê=s Politei/as b].

Plutarch (De Isid. et Osir. p. 370 E) ascribes the composition of
the Laws to Plato's old age. In the [Greek: Prolego/mena ei)s tê\n
Pla/tônos philosophi/an], it is said that the treatise was left
unfinished at his death, and completed afterwards by his disciple
the Opuntian Philippus (Hermann's Edition of Plato's Works, vol.
vi. p. 218).--Diog. Laert. iii. 37.

See the learned Prolegomena of Stallbaum, who collects all the
information on this subject, and who gives his own judgment (p.
lxxxi.) respecting the tone of senility pervading the Leges, in
terms which deserve the more attention as coming from so
unqualified an admirer of Plato: "Totum Legum opus nescio quid
senile refert, ut profecto etiam hanc ob caussam a sene scriptum
esse longé verisimillimum videatur." The allusion in the Laws (i.
p. 638 B) to the conquest of the Epizephyrian Lokrians by the
Syracusans, which occurred in 356 B.C., is pointed out by
Boeckh as showing that the composition was posterior to that date
(Boeckh, ad Platon. Minoem, pp. 72-73).

It is remarkable that Aristotle, in canvassing the opinions
delivered by the [Greek: A)thênai=os xe/nos] in the Laws, cites
them as the opinions of Sokrates (Politic. ii. 1265, b. 11), who,
however, does not appear at all in the dialogue. Either this is a
lapse of memory on the part of Aristotle; or else (which I think
very possible) the Laws were originally composed with Sokrates as
the expositor introduced, the change of name being subsequently
made from a feeling of impropriety in transporting Sokrates to
Krete, and from the dogmatising anti-dialectic tone which pervades
the lectures ascribed to him. Some Platonic expositors regarded
the Athenian Stranger in Leges as Plato himself (Diog. Laert. iii.
52; Schol. ad Legg. 1). Diogenes himself calls him a [Greek:
pla/sma a)nô/numon].]

[Side-note: Abandonment of Plato's philosophical
projects prior to the Leges.]

All critics have remarked the many and important differences
between the Republic and the Laws. And it seems certain, that
during the interval which separates the two, Plato's point of view
must have undergone a considerable change. We know from himself
that he intended the Kritias as a sequel to the Timæus and
Republic: a portion of the Kritias still exists--as we have just
seen--but it breaks off abruptly, and there is no ground for
believing that it was ever completed. We know farther from himself
that he projected an ulterior dialogue or exposition, assigned to
Hermokrates, as sequel to the Kritias: both being destined to
exhibit in actual working and manifestation, the political scheme,
of which the Republic had described the constituent elements.[2]
While the Kritias was prematurely arrested in its progress towards
maturity, the Hermokrates probably was never born. Yet we know
certainly that both the one and the other were conceived by Plato,
as parts of one comprehensive project, afterwards abandoned. Nay,
the Kritias was so abruptly abandoned, that it terminates with an
unfinished sentence: as I have stated in the last chapter.

[Footnote 2: Plato, Timæus, pp. 20-27. Plato, Kritias, p. 108.]

[Side-note: Untoward circumstances of Plato's later life--His
altered tone in regard to philosophy.]

To what extent such change of project was brought about by
external circumstances in Plato's life, we cannot with certainty
determine. But we know that there really occurred circumstances,
well calculated to produce a material change in his intellectual
character and point of view. His personal adventures and
experience, after his sixty-first year, and after the death of the
elder Dionysius (B.C. 367), were of an eventful and
melancholy character. Among them were included his two visits
to the younger Dionysius at Syracuse; together with the earnest
sympathy and counsel which he bestowed on his friend Dion; whose
chequered career terminated, after an interval of brilliant
promise, in disappointment, disgrace, and violent death. Plato not
only suffered much distress, but incurred more or less of censure,
from the share which he had taken, or was at least supposed to
have taken, in the tragedy. His own letters remain to attest the
fact.[3] Considering the numerous enemies which philosophy has had
at all times, we may be sure that such enemies would be furnished
with abundant materials for invidious remark--by the entire
failure of Plato himself at Syracuse as well as by the disgraceful
proceedings first of Dion, next, of his assassin Kallippus: both
of them pupils, and the former a favourite pupil, of Plato in the
Academy. The prospect, which accident had opened, of exalting
philosophy into active influence over mankind, had been closed in
a way no less mournful than dishonourable. Plato must have felt
this keenly enough, even apart from the taunts of opponents. We
might naturally expect that his latest written compositions would
be coloured by such a temper of mind: that he would contract, if
not an alienation from philosophy, at least a comparative mistrust
of any practical good to come from it: and that if his senile
fancy still continued to throw out any schemes of social
construction, they would be made to rest upon other foundations,
eliminating or reducing to a minimum that ascendancy of the
philosophical mind, which he had once held to be omnipotent and

[Footnote 3: See especially the interesting and valuable Epistola
vii. of Plato; also the life of Dion by Plutarch.

The reader will find a full account of Plato's proceedings in
Sicily, and of the adventures of Dion, in chap. 84 of my 'History
of Greece'.

The passage of Plato in Legg. iv. 709-710 (alluding to the
concurrence and co-operation of a youthful despot, sober-minded
and moderate, but not exalted up to the level of philosophy, with
a competent lawgiver for the purpose of constructing a civic
community, furnished with the best laws) is supposed by K. F.
Hermann (System der Platon. Philos. p. 69) and by Zeller (Phil. d.
Griech. vol. ii. p. 310, ed. 2nd.) to allude to the hopes which
Plato cherished when he undertook his first visit to the younger
Dionysius at Syracuse. See Epistol. vii. pp. 327 C, 330 A-B, 334
C; Epistol. ii. 311 B.

Such allusion is sufficiently probable. Yet we must remember that
the Magnetic community, described by Plato in the Treatise De
Legibus, does not derive its origin from any established despot or
prince, but from a general resolution supposed to have been taken
by the Kretan cities, and from a Decemviral executive Board of
Knossian citizens nominated by them. Kleinias, as a chief member
of this Board, solicits the suggestion of laws from the Athenian
elder (Legg. iii. p. 702 C). This is more analogous to Plato's
subsequent counsel, _after_ his attempt to guide the younger
Dionysius had failed. See Epistol. vii. p. 337 C-E.]

[Side-note: General comparison of Leges with Plato's earlier

Comparing the Laws with the earlier compositions of Plato, the
difference between them will be found to correspond pretty nearly
with the change thus indicated in his point of view. If we turn to
the Republic, we find Plato dividing the intelligible world
([Greek: to\ noêto\n]) into two sections: the higher, that of pure
and absolute Ideas, with which philosophy and dialectics deal--the
lower, that of Ideas not quite pure, but implicated more or less
with sensible illustration, to which the mathematician applies
himself: the chief use of the lower section is said to consist in
its serving as preparation for a comprehension of the higher.[4]
But in the Laws, this higher or dialectical section--the last
finish or crowning result of the teaching process, is left out;
while even the lower or mathematical section is wrapped up with
theology. Moreover, the teaching provided in the Laws, for the
ruling Elders, is presented as something new, which Plato has much
difficulty both in devising and in explaining: we must therefore
understand him to distinguish it pointedly from the teaching which
he had before provided for the Elders in the Republic.[5] Again,
literary occupation is now kept down rather than encouraged: Plato
is more afraid lest his citizens should have too much of it than
too little.[6] As for the Sokratic Elenchus, it is not merely not
commended, but it is even proscribed and denounced by implication,
since free speech and criticism generally is barred out by the
rigorous Platonic censorship. On the other hand, the ethical
sentiment in the Leges, with its terms designating the varieties
of virtue, is much the same as in other Platonic compositions: the
political and social doctrine also, though different in some
material points, is yet very analogous on several others. But
these ethical and political doctrines appear in the Laws much
more merged in dogmatic theology than in other dialogues. This
theology is of Pythagorean character--implicated directly and
intimately with astronomy--and indirectly with arithmetic and
geometry also. We have here an astronomical religion, or a
religious astronomy, by whichever of the two names it may be
called. Right belief on astronomy is orthodoxy and virtue:
erroneous belief on astronomy is heretical and criminal.

[Footnote 4: See the passages, Plat. Legg. vii. pp. 811 B-819 A.
Plato, Republic, vi. pp. 510-511. [Greek: ta\ du/o tmê/mata] or
[Greek: ei)/dê tou= noêtou=]. vii. p. 534 E: [Greek: ô(/sper
thrigko\s toi=s mathê/masin ê( dialektikê\ ê(mi=n e)pa/nô

[Footnote 5: Plat. Legg. p. 966 D, xii. pp. 968 C-E, 969 A.
Compare vii. p. 818 E. In p. 966 D, the study of astronomy is
enforced on the ground that it is one of the strongest evidence of
natural theology: in p. 818 C, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy
are advocated as studies, because, without having gone through
them, a man cannot become a God, a Dæmon, or a Hero, competent to
exercise effective care over mankind. This is altogether different
from the Republic.]

[Footnote 6: Plat. Legg. vii. pp. 811 B, 819 A.]

In the Timæus, Plato recommended the study of astronomy, in order
that the rotations of man's soul in his cranium, which were from
the beginning disturbed and irregular, might become regularised,
and assimilated by continued contemplation to the perfect
uniformity of the celestial and cosmical movements.[7] In the
Leges, he recommends astronomy to be studied, because without it
we fall into blasphemous errors respecting the cosmical movements,
and because such cosmical errors are among the three varieties of
heresy, to one or other of which the commission of all crimes
against society may be traced.[8] Hence we find Plato, in the city
here described, consecrating his astronomical views as a part of
the state-religion, and prohibiting dissent from them under the
most stringent penalties. In the general spirit of the Treatise de
Legibus, Plato approximates to Xenophon and the Spartan model. He
keeps his eye fixed on the perpetual coercive discipline of the
average citizen. This discipline, prescribed in all its details by
the lawgiver, includes a modicum of literary teaching equal to
all; small in quantity, and rigorously sifted as to quality,
through the censorial sieve. The intellectual and speculative
genius of the community, which other Platonic dialogues bring into
the foreground, has disappeared from the Treatise de Legibus. We
find here no youths pregnant with undisclosed original thought,
which Sokrates assists them in bringing forth: such as Theætêtus,
Charmidês, Kleinias, and others--pictures among the most
interesting which the ancient world presents, and lending peculiar
charm to the earlier dialogues. Not only no provision is made for
them, but severe precautions are taken against them. Even in the
Republic, Plato had banished poets, or had at least forbidden them
to follow the free inspirations of the Muse, and had
subjected them to censorial controul. But such controul was
presumed to be exercised by highly trained speculative and
philosophical minds, for the perpetual succession of whom express
provision was made. In the Treatise De Legibus, such speculative
minds are no longer admitted. Philosophy is interdicted or put in
chains as well as poetry. An orthodox religious creed is exalted
into exclusive ascendancy. All crime or immorality is ascribed to
a departure from this creed.[9] The early communities (Plato tells
us[10]), who were simple and ignorant, destitute of arts and
letters, but who at the same time believed implicitly all that
they heard from their seniors respecting Gods and men, and adopted
the dicta of their seniors respecting good and evil, without
enquiry or suspicion--were decidedly superior to his
contemporaries in all the departments of virtue--justice,
temperance, and courage. This antithesis, between virtue and
religious faith on the one side, and arts and letters with an
inquisitive spirit on the other, presenting the latter as a
depraving influence, antagonistic to the former--is analogous to
the Bacchæ of Euripides--the work of that poet's old age[11]--and
analogous also to the Nubes of Aristophanes, wherein the literary
and philosophical teaching of Sokrates is represented as
withdrawing youth from the received religious creed, and as
leading them by consequence to the commission of fraud and

[Footnote 7: Plato, Timæus, p. 47 B-C.]

[Footnote 8: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 821 D, 822 C; x. pp. 885 B, 886

[Footnote 9: Plato, Legg. x. p. 885 B.]

[Footnote 10: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 679. Compare p. 689 D.]

[Footnote 11: Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 623. "Superest fabula
(Euripidis), Bacchæ, dithyrambi quam tragoediæ similior, totaque
ita comparata, ut contra illius temporis Rationalistas scripta
videatur; qua et Bacchicarum religionum sanctimonia commendatur . . .
et rerum divinarum disceptatio ab eruditorum judiciis ad
populi transfertur suffragia:--

[Greek: sopha\n d' a)/peche prapi/da phre/na te
perissô=n para\ phôtô=n;
to\ plê=thos o(/, ti to\ phaulo/teron
e)no/mise chrê=tai/ te, to/de toi legoi/man.
    [le/goim' a)/n], Matthiæ] (427).

Compare vv. 200-203 of the same drama.]

[Footnote 12: Aristophan. Nubes, 116-875, &c.]

[Side-note: Scene of the Leges, not in Athens, but in Krete.
Persons Kretan and Spartan, comparatively illiterate.]

The submergence and discredit of letters and philosophy, which
pervades the Dialogue De Legibus, is farther indicated by the
personages introduced as conversing. In all the other Platonic
dialogues, the scene is laid at Athens, and the speakers are
educated citizens of Athens; sometimes visitors, equally or better
educated, from other Grecian cities. Generally, they are
either adults who have already acquired some intellectual
eminence, or youths anxious to acquire it. Nikias and Laches,
Melesias and Lysimachus (in the Lachês), are among the leaders
(past or present) of the Athenian public assembly. Anytus (in the
Menon) is a man not so much ignorant of letters as despising
letters.[13] Moreover Sokrates himself formally disclaims positive
knowledge, professing to be only a searcher for truth along with
the rest.[14] But the scene of the Laws is laid in Krete, not at
Athens: the three speakers are not merely all old men, but
frequently allude to their old age. One of them only is an
Athenian, to whom the positive and expository duty is assigned:
the other two are Megillus, a Spartan, and Kleinias, a Kretan of
Knossus. Now both Sparta, and the communities of Krete, were among
the most unlettered portions of the Hellenic name. They were not
only strangers to that impulse of rhetoric, dialectic, and
philosophical speculation which, having its chief domicile at
Athens, had become diffused more or less over a large portion of
Greece since the Persian war--but they were sparingly conversant
even with that old poetical culture, epic and lyric, which
belonged to the age of Solon and the Seven Wise Men. The public
training of youth at Sparta, equal for all the citizens, included
nothing of letters and music, which in other cities were
considered to be the characteristics of an educated Greek:[15]
though probably individual Spartans, more or fewer, acquired these
accomplishments for themselves. Gymnastics, with a slight
admixture of simple chronic music and a still slighter admixture
of poetry and letters, formed the characteristic culture of Sparta
and Krete.[16] In the Leges, Plato not only notes the fact, but
treats it as indicating a better social condition, compared
with Athens and other Greeks--that both Spartans and Kretans were
alike unacquainted with the old epic or theological poems (Hesiod,
Orpheus, &c.), and with the modern philosophical

[Footnote 13: Tacitus, Dialog. de Orator. c. 2. "Aper, communi
eruditione imbutus, contemnebat potius literas quam nesciebat."

Nikias is said to have made his son Nikêratus learn by heart the
entire Iliad and Odyssey of Homer; at least this is the statement
of Nikêratus himself in the Symposion of Xenophon (iii. 5).]

[Footnote 14: This profession appears even in the Gorgias (p. 506
A) and in the Republic (v. p. 450 D).]

[Footnote 15: See Xenophon, Republ. Laced. c. 2.

Compare the description given by Xenophon in the Cyropædia (i. 2,
6), of the public training of Persian youth, which passage bears
striking analogy to his description of the Spartan training. The
public [Greek: dida/skaloi] are not mentioned as teaching [Greek:
gra/mmata], which belong to Athens and other cities, but as
teaching justice, temperance, self-command, obedience, bodily
endurance, the use of the bow and the javelin, &c.]

[Footnote 16: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 673 B.]

[Footnote 17: Plato, Legg. x. p. 886 B-C. [Greek: ei)si\n ê(mi=n
e)n gra/mmasi lo/goi kei/menoi, _oi(/ par' u(mi=n ou)k ei)si\
di' a)retê\n politei/as_, ô(s e)gô\ mantha/nô, oi( me\n e)/n
tisi me/trois, oi( de\ kai\ a)/neu me/trôn le/gontes peri\ theô=n,
oi( me\n palaio/tataoi, ô(s ge/gonen ê( prô/tê phu/sis ou)ra/nou
tô=n te a)/llôn, proi+o/ntes de\ tê=s a)rchê=s ou) polu\
theogoni/an diexe/rchontai, geno/menoi/ te ô(s pro\s a)llê/lous
ô(mi/lêsan. A(\ toi=s a)kou/ousin ei) me\n ei)s a)/llo ti kalô=s
ê)\ mê\ kalô=s e)/chei, ou) r(a/|dion e)pitima=|n palaioi=s
ou)=si], &c.]

[Side-note: Gymnastic training, military drill, and public
mess, in Krete and Sparta.]

Not simply on this negative ground, but on another positive ground
also, Sparta and Krête were well suited to furnish listeners for
the Laws.[18] Their gymnastic discipline and military drill,
especially the Spartan, were stricter and more continuous than
anywhere else in Greece: including toilsome fatigue, endurance of
pain, heat, and cold, and frequent conflicts with and without arms
between different factions of citizens. The individual and the
family were more thoroughly merged in the community: the citizens
were trained for war, interdicted from industry, and forbidden to
go abroad without permission: attendance on the public mess-table
was compulsory on all citizens: the training of youth was uniform,
under official authority: the two systems were instituted, both of
them, by divine authority--the Spartan by Apollo, the Kretan by
Zeus--Lykurgus and Minos, semi-divine persons, being the
respective instruments and mediators. In neither of them was any
public criticism tolerated upon the laws and institutions (this is
a point capital in Plato's view[19]). No voice was allowed among
the young men except that of constant eulogy, extolling the system
as not merely excellent but of divine origin, and resenting all
contradiction: none but an old man was permitted to suggest
doubts, and he only in private whisper to the Archon, when no
young man was near. Both in Sparta and Krete the public
authorities stood forward as the conspicuous, positive, constant,
agents; enforcing upon each individual a known type of character
and habits. There was thus an intelligible purpose, political and
social, as contrasted with other neighbouring societies, in which
no special purpose revealed itself.[20] Both Sparta and Krete,
moreover, had continued in the main unchanged from a time
immemorial. In this, as in numerous other points, the two systems
were cognate and similar.[21]

[Footnote 18: Ephorus, ap. Strabo, x. 480; Xenophon, Repub. Lac.
c. 4-6; Isokrates, Busiris, Orat. xi. s. 19; Aristot. Politic. ii.
capp. 9 and 10, pp. 1270-1271, and viii. 9, p. 1338, b. 15; also
chap. vi. of the second part of my 'History of Greece,' with the
references there given.]

[Footnote 19: Plato, Legg. i. p. 634 D-E. [Greek: u(mi=n me\n
ga/r, ei)/per kai\ metri/ôs kateskeu/astai ta\ tô=n no/môn, ei(=s
tô=n kalli/stôn a)\n ei)/ê no/môn mê\ zêtei=n tô=n ne/ôn mêde/na
e)a=|n poi=a kalô=s au)tô=n ê)\ mê\ kalô=s e)/chei, mia=| de\
phônê=| kai\ e)x e(no\s sto/matos pa/ntas sumphônei=n ô(s pa/nta
kalô=s kei/tai the/ntôn theô=n, kai\ e)a/n a)/llôs le/gê|, mê\
a)ne/chesthai to\ para/pan a)kou/ontas], &c.

Compare Demosthen. adv. Leptin. p. 489, where a similar
affirmation is made respecting Sparta.]

[Footnote 20: These other cities are what Plato calls [Greek: ai(
tô=n ei)kê=| politeuome/nôn politei=ai] (Legg. i. p. 635 E), and
what Aristotle calls [Greek: no/mima chu/dên kei/mena], Polit.
vii. 1324, b. 5.]

[Footnote 21: Plato, Legg. i. p. 624, iii. pp. 691 E, 696 A, iii.
p. 683. Krete and Sparta, [Greek: a)delphoi\ no/moi].

K. F. Hermann (in his instructive Dissertation, De Vestigiis
Institutorum veterum imprimis Atticorum, per Platonis de Legibus
libros indagandis) represents Sparta and Krete as types of customs
and institutions which had once been general in Greece, but had
been discontinued in the other Grecian cities. "Hoc imprimis in
Lacedæmoniorum et Cretensium res publicas cadit, quæ quum et
antiquissimam Græciæ indolem fidelissimé servasse viderentur, et
moribus ac disciplinâ publicâ optimé fundatæ essent, non mirum est
eas Græco philosopho adeò placuisse ut earum formam et libris de
Civitate et Legibus quasi pro fundamento subjiceret" (p. 19,
compare pp. 13-15-23) . . . "unde (sc. a legitimis Græcarum
civitatum principiis) licet plurimi temporum decursu descivissent
atque in aliâ omnia abiissent, nihil tamen Plato proposuit, nisi
quod optimus quisque in Græciâ semper expetierat ac persecutus
erat" (p. 15). I think this view is not correct, though it is
adopted more or less by various critics. Sparta and Krete are not
specimens (in my judgment) of what all or most Grecian cities once
had been--nor of pure Dorism, as K. O. Müller affirms. On the
contrary I believe them to have been very peculiar, Sparta
especially. So far they resembled all early Greeks, that neither
literature nor luxury had grown up among them. But neither the
Syssitia nor the _disciplina publica_ had ever subsisted
among other Greeks: and these were the two characteristic features
of Krete and Sparta, more especially of the latter. They were the
two features which arrested Plato's attention, and upon which he
brought his constructive imagination to bear; constructing upon
one principle in his Republic, and upon a different principle in
his Dialogue de Legibus. While he copies these two main features
from Sparta, he borrows many or most of his special laws from
Athens; but the ends, with reference to which he puts these
elements together, are his own. K. F. Hermann, in his anxiety to
rescue Plato from the charge of rashness ("temerario ingenii
lusu," p. 18), understates Plato's originality.]

[Side-note: Difference between Leges and Republic,
illustrated by reference to the Politikus.]

Comparing the Platonic Leges with the Platonic Republic the
difference between them will be illustrated by the theory laid
down in the Politikus. We read therein,[22] that the process of
governing mankind well is an art, depending upon scientific
principles; like the art of the physician, the general, the
steersman: that it aims at the attainment of a given End, the
well-being of the governed--and that none except the scientific or
artistic Ruler know either the end or the means of attaining
it: that such rulers are the rarest of all artists, never more
than one or a very few, combining philosophical aptitude with
philosophical training: but that when they are found, society
ought to trust and obey their directions without any fixed law:
that no peremptory law can be made to fit all contingencies, and
that their art is the only law which they ought to follow in each
particular conjuncture. If no such persons can be found, good
government is an impossibility: but the next best thing to be done
is, to establish fixed laws, as good as you can, and to ensure
that they shall be obeyed by every one. Now the Platonic Republic
aims at realising the first of these two ideal projects:
everything in it turns upon the discretionary orders of the
philosophical King or Oligarchy, and even the elaborate training
of the Guardians serves only to make them perfect instruments for
the execution of those orders. But the Platonic Leges or Treatise
on Laws corresponds only to the second or less ambitious project--a
tolerable imitation of the first and best.[23] Instead of
philosophical rulers, one or a few invested with discretionary
power, we have a scheme of political constitution--an alternation
of powers temporary and responsible, an apportionment of functions
and duties--a variety of laws enacted, with magistrates and
dikasteries provided to apply them. Plato, or his Athenian
spokesman, appears as adviser and as persuader; but the laws must
be such as the body of citizens can be persuaded to adopt. There
is moreover a scheme of education embodied in the laws: the
individual citizen is placed under dominion at once spiritual and
temporal: but the infallibility resides in the laws, and authority
is exercised over him only by periodical magistrates who enforce
them and determine in their name. It is the Laws which govern--not
philosophical Artists of King-Craft.

[Footnote 22: See above, vol. iii. ch. xxx. p. 273, seq.]

[Footnote 23: Plato, Politikus, pp. 293 C-297 C.]

[Side-note: Large proportion of preliminary discussions and
didactic exhortation in the Leges.]

The three first books of the Leges are occupied with general
preliminary discussions on the ends at which laws and political
institutions ought to aim--on the means which they ought to
employ--and on the ethical effects of various institutions in
moulding the character of the citizens. "For private citizens"
(the Athenian says), "it is enough to say, in reply to the
criticism of strangers, This is the law or custom with us.
But what I propose to examine is, the wisdom of the lawgiver from
whom the law proceeds."[24] At the end of book three, Kleinias
announces that the Kretans are about to found a new colony on a
deserted site at one end of the island, and that they have
confided to a committee of ten Knossians (himself among the
number), the task of establishing a constitution and laws for the
colony. He invites the Athenian to advise and co-operate with this
committee. In the fourth book, we enter upon the special
conditions of this colonial project, to which the constitution and
laws must conform. It is not until the fifth book that the
Athenian speaker begins to declare what constitutional provisions,
and what legal enactments, he recommends. His recommendations are
continued throughout all the remaining Treatise--from the fifth
book, to the twelfth or last. They are however largely
interspersed with persuasive addresses, expositions, homilies, and
comminations, sometimes of extreme prolixity and vehemence,[25] on
various topics of ethics and religion: which indeed occupy a much
larger space than the laws themselves.

[Footnote 24: Plato, Legg. i. p. 637 C-D. [Greek: pa=s ga\r
a)pokrino/menos e)rei= thauma/zonti xe/nô|, tê\n par' au)toi=s
a)ê/theian o(rô=nti, Mê\ thau/maze, ô)= xe/ne; no/mos e)/sth'
ê(mi=n ou(=tos, i)/sôs d' u(mi=n peri\ au)tô=n tou/tôn e(/teros;
ê(mi=n d' e)sti\ nu=n ou) peri\ tô=n a)nthrô/pôn tô=n a)/llôn o(
lo/gos, a)lla\ peri\ tô=n nomothetô=n au)tô=n kaki/as te kai\

[Footnote 25: This is what Plato alludes to in the Politikus (p.
304 A) as "rhetoric enlisted in the service of the
Ruler,"--[Greek: o(/sê basilikê=| koinônou=sa r(êtorei/a
xugdiakuberna=| ta\s e)n tai=s po/lesi pra/xeis.]]

[Side-note: Scope of the discussion laid down by the Athenian
speaker--The Spartan institutions are framed only for war--This is
narrow and erroneous.]

The Athenian speaker avails himself of the privilege of old age to
criticise the Spartan and Kretan institutions more freely than is
approved by his two companions; who feel bound to uphold against
all dissentients the divine origin of their respective
polities.[26] On enquiring from them what is the purpose of their
peculiar institutions--the Syssitia or public mess-table--the
gymnastic discipline--the military drill--he is informed by both,
that the purpose is to ensure habits of courage, strength, and
skill, with a view to superiority in war over foreign enemies: war
being, in their judgment, the usual and natural condition of the
different communities into which mankind are distributed.[27] Such
is the test according to which they determine the good
constitution of a city. But the Athenian--proclaiming as the scope
of his enquiry,[28] What is it which is _right or wrong by
nature, in laws_?--will not admit the test as thus laid down.
War against foreign enemies (_i.e._ enemies foreign to the
city-community) is only one among many varieties of war. There
exist other varieties besides:--war among the citizens of the same
town--among the constituent villages of the same
city-community--among the brethren of the same family--among the
constituent elements of the same individual man.[29] Though these
varieties of war or discord are of frequent occurrence, they are
not the less evils, inconsistent with that _idéal_ of the Best which
a wise lawgiver will seek to approach.[30] Whenever any of them
occur, he ought to ensure to the good and wise elements victory
over the evil and stupid. But his _idéal_ should be, to
obviate the occurrence of war altogether--to adjust harmoniously
the relation between the better and worse elements, disposing the
latter towards a willing subordination and co-operation with the
former.[31] Though courage in war is one indispensable virtue, it
stands only fourth on the list--wisdom, justice, and temperance,
being before it. _Your_ aim is to inculcate not virtue, but
only one part of virtue.[32] Many mercenary soldiers, possessing
courage in perfection, are unjust, foolish, and worthless in all
other respects.[33]

[Footnote 26: Plato, Legg. i. p. 630 D, ii. p. 667 A.]

[Footnote 27: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 625-626. [Greek: o(/ron tê=s
eu)= politeuome/nês po/leôs], &c. (p. 626 B).]

[Footnote 28: Plato, Legg. i. p. 627 C. [Greek: o)rtho/têto/s te
kai\ a(marti/as pe/ri no/môn, ê(/tis pot' e)sti\ phu/sei.] Also
630 E.

Compare the inquiry in the Kratylus respecting naming, wherein
consists the [Greek: o)rtho/tês phu/sei tô=n o)noma/tôn]. See
above, vol. iii. ch. xxxi. p. 285, seq.]

[Footnote 29: Plato, Legg. i. p. 626.]

[Footnote 30: Plato, Legg. i. p. 628 D.]

[Footnote 31: Plato, Legg. i. p. 627 E. [Greek: o(\s a)\n tou\s
me\n chrêstou\s a)/rchein, tou\s chei/rous d' e)a/sas zê=|n
a)/rchesthai e(/kontas poiê/seie.]

The _idéal_ which Plato here sets forth coincides mainly with
that which Xenophon adopts as his theme both in the Cyropædia and
in the Oeconomicus (see the beginning of the former and the
close of the latter) [Greek: to\ e)thelo/ntôn a)/rchein].]

[Footnote 32: Aristotle cites and approves this criticism of
Plato, [Greek: e)n toi=s No/mois], Politic. ii. 9, p. 1271, b. 1.
Compare vii. 14, 1333, b. 15.]

[Footnote 33: Plato, Legg. i. p. 630 A. The doctrine--that courage
is possessed by many persons who have no other virtue--which is
here assigned by Plato to his leading speaker the Athenian,
appears in the Protagoras as advocated by Protagoras and impugned
by Sokrates (p. 349 D-E). But the arguments whereby Sokrates
impugns it are (according to Stallbaum) known by Plato himself to
be mere captious tricks (laquei dialetici--captiosé et arguté
conclusa, ad sophistam ludendum et perturbandum comparata)
employed only for the purpose of puzzling and turning into
ridicule an eminent Sophist. (See Stallbaum, not. ad Protag. p.
349 E. and Præf. ad Protag. p. 28.) I have already remarked
elsewhere, that I think this supposition alike gratuitous and

[Side-note: Principles on which the institutions of a state
ought to be defended--You must show that its ethical purpose and
working is good.]

If you wish (says the Athenian to Kleinias) to make out a
plenary defence and advocacy of the Kretan system, you ought
to do it in the following way:

Our laws deserve the celebrity which they have acquired in Greece,
because they make us happy, and provide us with all kinds of good
things: both with such as are divine and with such as are human.
The divine are, Wisdom or Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Courage:
the human are, Health, Beauty, Strength, Activity, Wealth. The
human depend upon the divine, are certain to follow them, and are
not to be obtained without them. All the regulations and precepts
of the lawgiver are directed to the attainment and protection of
these ends--to establish among the citizens a moral tone of praise
and blame favourable to that purpose. He seeks to inculcate on the
citizens a body of sentiment, as to what is honourable and not
honourable--such as may guide their pleasures and pains, their
desires and aversions--and such as may keep their minds right
amidst all the disaster (disease, war, poverty, &c.) as well
as the prosperity of life. He next regulates the properties, the
acquisitions, and the expenditure of the citizens, together with
their relations to each other on these heads, upon principles of
justice enforced by suitable penalties. Lastly, he appoints
magistrates of approved wisdom and right judgment to enforce the
regulations. The cementing authority is thus wisdom, following out
purposes of temperance and justice, not of ambition or love of

Such is the course of exposition (says the Athenian) which ought
to be adopted. Now tell me--In what manner are the objects here
defined ensured by the institutions of Apollo and Zeus at Sparta
and Krete? You two ought to show me: for I myself cannot discern

[Footnote 34: Plato, Legg. i. p. 632.]

[Side-note: Religious and ethical character postulated by
Plato for a community.]

This passage is of some value, because it gives us, thus early in
the Treatise, a brief summary of that which Plato desiderates in
the two systems here noted--and of that which he intends to supply
in his own. We see that he looks upon a political constitution and
laws as merely secondary and instrumental: that he postulates
as the primary and fundamental fabric, a given religious and
ethical character implanted in the citizens: that the lawgiver, in
his view, combines the spiritual and temporal authority, making
the latter subordinate to the former, and determining not merely
what laws the citizens shall obey, but how they shall distribute
their approval and aversion--religious, ethical, and æsthetical.
It is the lawgiver alone who is responsible and who is open to
praise or censure: for to the people, of each different community
and different system, established custom is always a valid

[Footnote 35: Plato, Legg. i. p. 637 D.]

[Side-note: Endurance of pain enforced as a part of the
public discipline at Sparta.]

We Spartans (says Megillus) implant courage in our citizens not
merely by our public mess-table and gymnastic, but also by inuring
them to support pain and hardship. We cause them to suffer severe
pain in the gymnopædia, in pugilistic contests, and other ways: we
put them to hardships and privations in the Kryptia and in
hunting. We thus accustom them to endurance. Moreover, we strictly
forbid all indulgences such as drunkenness. Nothing of the kind is
seen at Sparta, not even at the festival of Dionysus; nothing like
the drinking which I have seen at Athens, and still more at

[Footnote 36: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 633-B 637 A.

Plato puts into the mouth of the Athenian a remark that in some
other cities (not Sparta or Kretan) these [Greek: sussi/tia] or
public mess-tables had been found to lead to intestine sedition
and disturbance (p. 636 B). He instances the cases of the
Boeotians, the Milesians, and the Thurians. It is much to be
lamented that we cannot assign the particular events and
conjunctures here adverted to. The Spartan and Kretan Syssitia
were daily, compulsory, and universal among the citizens, besides
the strictness of the regulations: under such conditions they were
peculiar to these two places, as far as our knowledge goes: the
Syssitia in Southern Italy (noticed by Aristotle, Polit. vii. 10,
p. 1329 b.) are not known and seemingly unimportant. The Syssitia
in Boeotia, &c., may probably have been occasional or
periodical banquets among members of the same tribe, deme, club,
or [Greek: thi/asos]--and voluntary besides, neither prescribed
nor regulated by law. Such meetings might very probably give
occasion to disturbances under particular circumstances.]

[Side-note: Why are not the citizens tested in like manner,
in regard to resistance against the seductions of pleasure?]

How is it (says the Athenian) that you deal so differently with
pains and pleasures? To make your citizens firm against pain, you
expose them designedly to severe pains: if they were kept free
from pains, you would have no confidence in their firmness against
painful actualities, when any such shall occur. But in regard to
pleasures, you are content with simple prohibition. You provide no
means for strengthening your citizens against the temptations
of pleasure. Are you satisfied that their courage (or
self-command) shall be lame or one-sided--good against pains, but
not good against pleasures?[37] In determining about laws, the whole
enquiry turns upon pleasures and pains, both in the city and in
individual dispositions. These are the two natural fountains, from
which he who draws such draughts as is proper, obtains happiness:
while every one who draws unwisely and out of season, will fail of
obtaining happiness.[38]

[Footnote 37: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 633-634 A. [Greek: chôlê\n tê\n

[Footnote 38: Plato, Legg. i. p. 636 D-E.]

[Side-note: Drunkenness forbidden at Sparta, and blamed by
the Spartan converser. The Athenian proceeds to inquire how far
such unqualified prohibition is justifiable.]

Besides, as to drunkenness, we must not be too hasty in
condemnation of it. We must not pronounce generally respecting any
institution without examining the circumstances, persons,
regulations, &c., attending it. Such hasty praise and censure
is very misleading. Many other nations act upon the opposite
practice. But I (says Plato) shall not pretend to decide the point
by witnesses and authority. I shall adopt another course of
investigation, and shall show you, in this particular case, a
specimen of the way in which all such institutions ought to be
criticised and appreciated.[39]

[Footnote 39: Plato, Legg. i. p. 638 D-E. [Greek: Tro/pon de\
a)/llon, o(\n e)moi\ phai/netai dei=n, e)the/lô le/gein peri\
au)tou= tou/tou, tê=s me/thês, _peirô/menos a)\n a)/ra du/nômai
tê\n peri\ a(pa/ntôn tou/tôn o)rthê\n me/thodon u(mi=n
dêlou=n_, e)peidê\ kai\ muri/a e)pi\ muri/ois e)/thnê peri\
au)tô=n a)mphisbêtou=nta u(mi=n po/lesi duei=n tô=| lo/gô|
diama/choit' a)/n.]

Here Plato (as in the Sophistês, Politikus, and elsewhere)
announces that the special inquiry is intended to illustrate a
general method.]

Plato here digresses[40] from his main purpose to examine the
question of drunkenness. He will not allow it to be set aside
absolutely and offhand, by a self-justifying ethical sentiment,
without reason assigned, defence tendered, accompanying
precautions discussed. Upon this, as upon the social functions
proper for the female sex, he is a dissenter from the common view.
He selects the subject as a case for exhibiting the proper method
of criticism respecting social institutions; not without some
consciousness that the discussion, if looked at in itself (like
the examples of scientific classification or diæresis in the
Sophistês and Politikus), would appear unduly prolonged.[41]

[Footnote 40: He himself notes it as a digression, iii. p. 682

[Footnote 41: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 642 A, 645 D. Compare the
Politikus, pp. 264 A-286 C-E.]

[Side-note: Description of Sokrates in the
Symposion--his self-command under abundant potations.]

To illustrate his peculiar views[42] on the subject of
drunkenness, we may refer to the picture of Sokrates which he
presents in the Symposion, more especially in the latter half of
that dialogue, after the appearance of Alkibiades. In this
dialogue the occasion is supposed to be festive and joyous. Eros
is in the ascendant, and is made the subject of a panegyric by
each of the guests in succession. Sokrates partakes in the temper
of the society, proclaiming himself to be ignorant of all other
matters except those relating to Love.[43] In all the Platonic
writings there is hardly anything more striking than the panegyric
upon Eros there pronounced by Sokrates, blending the idea of love
with that of philosophical dialectics, and refining the erotic
impulse into an enthusiastic aspiration for that generation of new
contemplative power, by the colloquial intercourse of two minds
reciprocally stimulating each other, which brings them at last
into a clear view of the objects of the ideal or intelligible
world. Until the appearance of Alkibiades, little wine is
swallowed, and the guests are perfectly sober. But Alkibiades,
being intoxicated when he first comes in, becomes at once the
prominent character of the piece. He is represented as directing
the large wine-cooler to be filled with wine (about four pints),
first swallowing the whole himself then ordering it to be filled
again for Sokrates, who does the like: Alkibiades observing,
"Whatever quantity of wine you prescribe to Sokrates, he will
drink it without becoming drunk".[44] Alkibiades then, instead of
panegyrising Eros, undertakes to pronounce a panegyric on
Sokrates: proclaiming that nothing shall be said but what is true,
and being relieved from all reserve by his drunken condition.[45]
In this panegyric he describes emphatically the playful irony of
Sokrates, and the magical influence exercised by his conversation
over young men. But though Sokrates thus acquired irresistible
ascendancy over others, himself (Alkibiades) included, no one else
acquired the least hold over Sokrates. His will and character,
under a playful exterior, were self-sufficing and
self-determining; independent of influences from without, to such
a degree as was almost insulting to any one who sought either to
captivate or oblige him.[46] The self-command of Sokrates was
unshaken either by seduction on one side, or by pain and hardship
on the other. He faced danger with a courage never surpassed; he
endured hunger, fatigue, the extremities of heat and cold, in a
manner such as none of his comrades in the army could
parallel.[47] He was indifferent to the gratifications of love,
even when they were presented to him in a manner the most
irresistible to Grecian imagination; while at festive banquets,
though he did not drink of his own accord, yet if the society
imposed obligation to do so, he outdid all in respect to quantity
of wine. No one ever saw Sokrates intoxicated.[48] Such is the
tenor of the panegyric pronounced by Alkibiades upon Sokrates. A
general drinking-bout closes the Symposion, in which Sokrates
swallows large draughts of wine along with the rest, but persists
all the while in his dialectic cross-examination, with unabated
clearness of head. One by one the guests drop asleep, and at
daybreak Sokrates alone is left awake. He rises and departs, goes
forthwith to the Lykeum, and there passes the whole day in his
usual colloquial occupation, without being at all affected by the
potations of the preceding night.[49]

[Footnote 42: Aristotle especially notes this as one among the
peculiarities of Plato (Politic. ii. 9, 20).

[Footnote 43: Plato, Symp. p. 177 D. [Greek: e)gô\ o(\s ou)de/n
phêmi a)/llo e)pi/stasthai ê)\ ta\ e)rôtika/], &c. 198 D:
[Greek: e)/phên ei)=nai deino\s ta\ e)rôtika/.]]

[Footnote 44: Plato, Symp. pp. 213-214.]

[Footnote 45: Plato, Symp. pp. 214-215-217 E.]

[Footnote 46: Plato, Symp. pp. 219 C. [Greek: tê=s Sôkra/tous
u(perêphani/as]. Compare 222 A.]

[Footnote 47: Plato, Symp. p. 220.]

[Footnote 48: Plato, Symp. p. 220 A.

What has been here briefly recapitulated will be found in my
twenty-sixth chapter, vol. iii. pp. 20-21, seq.]

[Footnote 49: Plato, Sympos. p. 223. Compare what Plato puts into
the mouth of Sokrates in the Protagoras (p. 347 D): well educated
men will carry on a dialectic debate with intelligence and
propriety, "_though they may drink ever so much
wine_,"--[Greek: ka)\n pa/nu polu\n oi)=non pi/ôsin].]

[Side-note: Sokrates--an ideal of self-command, both as to
pain and as to pleasure.]

I have thus cited the Symposion to illustrate Plato's view of the
ideal of character. The self-command of Sokrates is tested both by
pain and by pleasure. He resists both of them alike and equally:
under the one as well as under the other, his reason works with
unimpaired efficacy, and his deliberate purposes are pursued with
unclouded serenity. This is not because he keeps out of the way of
temptation and seduction: on the contrary, he is frequently
exposed to situations of a tempting character, and is always found
superior to them.

[Side-note: Trials for testing the self-controul of the
citizen, under the influence of wine. Dionysiac banquets, under a
sober president.]

Now Plato's purpose is, to impart to his citizens the character
which he here ascribes to Sokrates, and to make them capable of
maintaining unimpaired the controul of reason against the
disturbances both of pain and pleasure. He remarks that the
Spartan training kept in check the first of these two enemies, but
not the second. He thinks that the citizen ought to be put through
a regulated system of trials for measuring and testing his
competence to contend with pleasure, as the Spartans provided in
regard to pain. The Dionysiac festivals[50] afforded occasions of
applying these trials of pleasure, just as the Gymnopædia at
Sparta were made to furnish deliberate inflictions of pain. But
the Dionysiac banquets ought to be conducted under the
superintendence of a discreet president, himself perfectly sober
throughout the whole ceremony. All the guests would drink largely
of wine, and each would show how far and how long he could resist
its disturbing tendencies. As there was competition among the
youths at the Gymnopædia, to show how much pain each could endure
without flinching--honour being shown to those who endured most,
and most successfully--so there would be competition at the
Dionysia to prove how much wine each could bear without having his
reason and modesty overset. The sober president would decide as
judge. Each man's self-command, as against seductive influences,
would be strengthened by a repetition of such trials, while proof
would be afforded how far each man could be counted on.[51]

[Footnote 50: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 650 A, 637 A. 633 D.]

[Footnote 51: Plato, Legg. i. pp. 647 D-E-649 D.

Compare the Republic, iii. pp. 412-413, where the same general
doctrine is enforced.]

[Side-note: The gifts of Dionysus may, by precautions, be
rendered useful--Desultory manner of Plato.]

This is one mode in which the unmeasured potations (common
throughout the Grecian cities, with the exception of Sparta and
Krete) might under proper regulation be rendered useful for civic
training. But there is another mode also, connected with the
general musical and gymnastical training of the city. Plato will
not allow Dionysus--and wine, the special gift of that God to
mankind--to be censured as absolutely mischievous.[52]

[Footnote 52: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 672 A.]

In developing this second topic, he is led into a general
theory of ethical and æsthetical education for his city. This
happens frequently enough in the desultory manner of the Platonic
dialogues. We are sometimes conducted from an incidental and
outlying corollary, without warning and through a side door, into
the central theory from which it ramifies. The practice is noway
favourable to facility of comprehension, but it flows naturally
from the unsystematic and spontaneous sequence of the dialogue.

[Side-note: Theory of ethical and æsthetical
education--Training of the emotions of youth through the influence
of the Muses, Apollo, and Dionysus. Choric practice and ceremonies.]

Education of youth consists mainly in giving proper direction to
their pleasures and pains--their love and their hatred. Young
persons are capable only of emotions, well or ill directed: in
this consists their virtue or vice. At that age they cannot bear
serious teaching: they are incapable of acquiring reason, or true,
firm opinions, which constitute the perfection of the mature man;
indeed, if a man acquires these even when old, he may be looked on
as fortunate.[53] The young can only have their emotions
cultivated so as to conform to reason: they may thus be made to
love what reason, personified in and enforced by the lawgiver,
enjoins--and to hate what reason forbids--but without knowing
wherefore. Unfortunately the hard realities of life are
perpetually giving a wrong turn to the emotions. To counteract and
correct this, the influence of the Muses, of Apollo, and of
Dionysus, are indispensable: together with the periodical
festivals of which these Deities are respectively presidents and
auxiliaries. Their influence is exercised through the choric
ceremony--music, singing, dancing, blended together. Every young
man is spontaneously disposed to constant indeterminate movement
and exercise of various kinds--running, jumping, speaking, &c.
This belongs to man in common with the young of other animals:
but what is peculiar to man exclusively is, the sense of
rhythm and harmony, as well as of the contrary, in these movements
and sounds. Such rhythm and harmony, in song and dance united, is
expressed by the chorus at the festivals, in which the Muses and
Apollo take part along with the assembled youth. Here we find the
only way of properly schooling the emotions.[54] The unschooled
man is he who has not gone through a good choric practice; which
will require that the matter which he sings shall be good and
honourable, while the movements of his frame and the tones of his
voice must be rhythmical and graceful. Such choric practice must
be universal among the citizens, distributed into three classes:
youths, mature men, elders.[55]

[Footnote 53: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 653-659 D-E. [Greek: paidei/a
me/n e)sth' ê( paidô=n o(lkê/ te kai\ a)gôgê\ pro\s to\n u(po\
tou= no/mou lo/gon o)rtho\n ei)rême/non kai\ toi=s
e)pieikesta/tois kai\ presbuta/tois di' e)mpeiri/an
xundidogme/non, ô(s o)/ntôs o)rtho/s e)stin; i(/n' ou)=n ê(
psuchê\ tou= paido\s mê\ e)nanti/a chai/rein kai\ lupei=sthai
e)thi/zêtai tô=| no/mô| kai\ toi=s u(po\ tou= no/mou
pepeisme/nois, a)lla\ xune/pêtai chai/rousa/ te kai\ lupoume/nê
toi=s au)tois tou/tois oi(=sper o( ge/rôn, tou/tôn e(/neka, a(\s
ô)|da\s kalou=men, o)/ntôs me\n e)pô|dai\ tai\s psuchai=s au(=tai
nu=n gegone/nai, pro\s tê\n toiau/tên ê\n le/gomen xumphôni/an
e)spoudasme/nai, dia\ de\ to\ spoudê\n mê\ du/nasthai phe/rein
ta\s tô=n ne/ôn psucha\s paidiai/ te kai\ ô)|dai\ kalei=sthai kai\
pra/ttesthai], &c.]

[Footnote 54: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 654-660 A.]

[Footnote 55: This triple distribution of classes for choric
instruction and practice is borrowed from Spartan customs,
Plutarch, Lykurgus, 21; Schol. ad Legg. p. 633 A.]

[Side-note: Music and dancing--imitation of the voice and
movements of brave and virtuous men. Youth must be taught to take
delight in this.]

But what _is_ the good and honourable--or the bad and
dishonourable? We must be able to settle this point:--otherwise we
cannot know how far the chorus complies with the conditions
above-named. Suppose a brave man and a coward in the face of danger:
the gestures and speech of the former will be strikingly different
from those of the latter. So with other virtues and vices. Now the
manifestations, bodily and mental, of the virtuous man, are
beautiful and honourable: those of the vicious man, are ugly and
base. These are the _really beautiful_,--the same
universally, or what ought to be beautiful to all: this is the
standard of rectitude in music. But they do not always
_appear_ beautiful to all. There is great diversity in the
tastes and sentiments of different persons: what appears to one
man agreeable and pleasurable, appears to another disgusting or
indifferent.[56] Such diversity is either in the natural
disposition, or in the habits acquired. A man's pleasure depends
upon the former, his judgment of approbation on the latter. If
both his nature and his acquired habits coincide with the standard
of rectitude, he will both delight in what is really beautiful,
and will approve it as beautiful. But if his nature be in
discordance with the standard, while his habits coincide with that
standard he will approve of what is honourable, but he will
take no delight in it: he will delight in what is base, but will
at the same time disapprove it as base. He will however be ashamed
to proclaim his delight before persons whom he respects, and will
never indulge himself in the delightful music except when he is

[Footnote 56: Plato, Legg. p. 655 B.]

[Footnote 57: Plato, Legg. pp. 655-656.]

[Side-note: Bad musical exhibitions and poetry forbidden by
the lawgiver. Songs and dances must be consecrated by public
authority. Prizes at the musical festivals to be awarded by select

To take delight in gestures or songs which are manifestations of
bad qualities, produces the same kind of mischievous effect upon
the spectator as association with bad men in real life. His
character becomes assimilated to the qualities in the
manifestations of which he delights, although he may be ashamed to
commend them. This is a grievous corruption, arising from bad
musical and choric exhibitions, which the lawgiver must take care
to prevent. He must not allow poets to exhibit what they may
prefer or may think to be beautiful. He must follow the practice
of Egypt, where both the music and the pictorial type has been
determined by the Gods or by divine lawgivers from immemorial
antiquity, according to the standard of natural rectitude and
where the government allows neither poet nor painter to innovate
or depart from this consecrated type.[58] Accordingly, Egyptian
compositions of the present day are exactly like what they were
ten thousand years ago: neither more nor less beautiful. The
lawgiver must follow this example, and fix the type of his musical
and choric exhibitions; forbidding all innovation introduced on
the plea of greater satisfaction either to the poet or to the
audience. In the festivals where there is competition among poets,
the prize must not be awarded by the pleasure of the auditors,
whose acclamations tend only to corrupt and pervert the poets. The
auditors ought to hear nothing but what is better than their own
characters, in order that their tastes may thus be exalted. The
prize must be awarded according to the preference of a few
elders--or better still, of one single elder--eminent for excellent
training and virtue. This judge ought not to follow the taste of
the auditors, but to consider himself as their teacher and

[Footnote 58: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 656-657.]

[Footnote 59: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 659 A, 668 A.]

[Side-note: The Spartan and Kretan agree with the Athenian,
that poets must be kept under a strict censorship. But they do not
agree as to what the poets are required to conform to.]

Such is the exposition given by the Athenian speaker,
respecting the characteristic function, and proper regulating
principles, of choric training (poems learnt, music and dancing)
for the youth. The Spartan and Kretan cordially concur with him:
especially with that provision which fixes and consecrates the old
established type, forbidding all novelties and spontaneous
inspiration of the poets. They claim this compulsory orthodoxy,
tolerating no dissent from the ancient and consecrated canon of
music and orchestic, as the special feature of their two states;
as distinguishing Sparta and Krete from other Hellenic cities,
which were invaded with impunity by novel compositions of every

[Footnote 60: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 660 C-D.]

The Athenian is thus in full agreement with his two companions, on
the general principle of subjecting the poets to an inflexible
censorship. But the agreement disappears, when he comes to specify
the dogmas which the poets are required to inculcate in their
hymns. While complimenting his two friends upon their enforcement
of an exclusive canon, he proceeds to assume that of course there
can be but ONE canon;--that there is no doubt what the
dogmas contained in it are to be. He then unfolds briefly the
Platonic ethical creed. "You Spartans and Kretans (he says)[61] of
course constrain your poets to proclaim that the just and
temperate man is happy, whether he be tall, strong, and rich--or
short, feeble, and poor: and that the bad man is wretched and
lives in suffering, though he be richer than Midas, and possessor
besides of every other advantage in life. Most men appreciate
falsely good and evil things. They esteem as good things, health,
beauty, strength, perfect sight and hearing, power, long life,
immortality: they account the contrary to be bad things. But you
and I take a different view.[62] We agree in proclaiming, that all
these so-called good things are good only to the just man. To the
unjust man, we affirm that health, strength, perfection of senses,
power, long life, &c., are not good, but exceedingly bad.
This, I presume, is the doctrine which you compel your poets
to proclaim, and no other--in suitable rhythm and harmony.[63] You
agree with me in this, do you not?"

[Footnote 61: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 660 E.]

[Footnote 62: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 661 B. [Greek: u(mei=s de\ kai\
e)gô/ pou ta/de le/gomen, ô(s tau=ta/ e)sti xu/mpanta dikai/ois
me\n kai\ o(si/ois a)ndra/sin a)/rista ktê/mata, a)di/kois de\
ka/kista xu/mpanta, a)rxa/mena a)po\ tê=s u(giei/as.]]

[Footnote 63: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 661 C. [Greek: Tau=ta dê\
le/gein oi)=mai tou\s par' u(mi=n poiêta\s pei/sete kai\
a)nagka/sete], &c.]

"We agree with you (replies Kleinias) on some of your
affirmations, but we disagree with you wholly on others."

"What? (says the Athenian.) Do you disagree with me when I affirm,
that a man healthy, rich, strong, powerful, fearless, long-lived,
exempt from all the things commonly reputed to be evils, but at
the same time unjust and exorbitant--when I say that such a man is
not happy, but miserable?"

"We _do_ disagree with you when you affirm this," answers the

"But will you not admit that such a man lives basely or

"Basely or dishonourably.--Yes, we grant it."

"What then--do you not grant farther, that he lives badly,
disagreeably, disadvantageously, to himself?"

"No. We cannot possibly grant you that,"--replies Kleinias.

[Side-note: Ethical creed laid down by the Athenian--Poets
required to conform to it.]

"Then (says the Athenian) you and I are in marked opposition.[64]
For to me what I have affirmed appears as necessary as the
existence of Krete is indisputable. If I were lawgiver, I should
force the poets and all the citizens to proclaim it with one
voice: and I should punish most severely every one[65] who
affirmed that there could be any wicked men who lived
agreeably--or that there could be any course advantageous or
profitable, which was not at the same time the most just. These
and other matters equally at variance with the opinions received
among Kretans, Spartans, and mankind generally--should persuade my
citizens to declare unanimously.--For let us assume for a moment
your opinion, and let us ask any lawgiver or any father
advising his son.--You say that the just course of life is one
thing, and that the agreeable course is another: I ask you which
of the two is the happiest? If you say that the agreeable course
is the happiest, what do you mean by always exhorting me to be
just? Do you wish me not to be happy?[66] If on the contrary you
tell me that the just course of life is happier than the
agreeable, I put another question--What is this Good and Beautiful
which the lawgiver extols as superior to pleasure, and in which
the just man's happiness consists? What good _can_ he
possess, apart from pleasure?[67] He obtains praise and
honour:--Is _that_ good, but disagreeable--and would the contrary,
infamy, be agreeable? A life in which a man neither does wrong to
others nor receives wrong from others,--is _that_
disagreeable, though good and honourable--and would the contrary
life be agreeable, but dishonourable? You will not affirm that it

[Footnote 64: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 A-B. [Greek: ê)\ tou=to me/n
i)/sôs a)\n xugchôrê/saite, to/ ge ai)schrô=s (zê=n)?
_Kleini/as_. Pa/nu me\n ou)=n. _A)thênai=os_. Ti/ de/?
to\ kai\ kakô=s? _Klein_. Ou)k a)\n e)/ti tou=th' o(moi/ôs.
_A)thên_. Ti/ de/? to\ kai\ a)êdô/s kai\ mê\ xumphero/ntôs
au)tô=|? _Klein_. Kai\ pô/s a)\n tau=ta/ g' e)/ti
xugchôroi=men? _A)thên_. O(/pôs? ei) theo\s ê(mi=n ô(s
e)/oiken, ô)= phi/loi, doi/ê tis sumphôni/an, ô(s nu=n ge schedo\n
a)pa/|domen a)p' a)llê/lôn. E)moi\ ga\r dê\ phai/netai tau=ta
ou(/tôs a)nagkai=a, ô(s ou)de\ Krê/tê nê=sos saphô=s.]]

[Footnote 65: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 B-C. [Greek: zêmi/an te
o)li/gou megi/stên e)pitithei/ên a)\n, ei) tis e)n tê=| chô/ra|
phthe/gxaito ô(s ei)si/ tines a)/nthrôpoi/ pote ponêroi\ me/n,
ê(de/ôs de\ zô=ntes], &c.]

[Footnote 66: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 D-E.]

[Footnote 67: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 E. [Greek: ei) d' au)= to\n
dikaio/taton eu)daimone/staton a)pophai/noito bi/on ei)=nai,
zêtoi= pou pa=s a)\n o( a)kou/ôn, oi)=mai, ti/ pot' e)n au)tô=|
to\ tê=s ê(donê=s krei=tton a)gatho/n te kai\ kalo\n o( no/mos
e)no\n e)painei=? ti/ ga\r dê\ dikai/ô| chôrizo/menon ê(donê=s
a)gatho\n a)\n gi/gnoito?]]

[Footnote 68: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 A.]

"Surely then, my doctrine--which regards the pleasurable, the
just, the good, and the honourable, as indissolubly
connected,--has at least a certain force of persuasion, if it has
nothing more, towards inducing men to live a just and holy life: so
that the lawgiver would be both base and wanting to his own purposes,
if he did not proclaim it as a truth. For no one will be willingly
persuaded to do anything which does not carry with it in its
consequences more pleasure than pain.[69] There is indeed
confusion in every man's vision, when he looks at these
consequences in distant outline: but it is the duty of the
lawgiver to clear up such confusion, and to teach his citizens in
the best way he can, by habits, encouraging praises, discourses,
&c., how they ought to judge amidst these deceptive outlines.
Injustice, when looked at thus in prospect, seems to the unjust
man pleasurable, while justice seems to him thoroughly
disagreeable. On the contrary, to the just man, the appearance is
exactly contrary: to him justice seems pleasurable, injustice
repulsive. Now which of these two judgments shall we
pronounce to be the truth? That of the just man. The verdict of
the better soul is unquestionably more trustworthy than that of
the worse. We must therefore admit it to be a truth, that the
unjust life is not merely viler and more dishonourable, but also
in truth more disagreeable, than the just life."[70]

[Footnote 69: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 B. [Greek: Ou)kou=n o( me\n
mê\ chôri/zôn lo/gos ê(du/ te kai\ di/kaion kai\ a)gatho/n te kai\
kalo/n, pithano\s g', ei) mêde\n e(/teron, pro\s to/ tina
e)the/lein zê=n to\n o(/sion kai\ di/kaion bi/on; ô(/ste
nomothe/tê| ge ai)/schistos lo/gôn kai\ e)nantiô/tatos, o(\s a)\n
mê\ phê=| tau=ta ou(/tôs e)/chein; ou)dei\s ga\r a)\n e(kô\n
e)/theloi pei/thesthai pra/ttein tou=to, o(/tô| mê\ to\ chai/rein
tou= lupei=sthai ple/on e(/petai.]]

[Footnote 70: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 C-D.]

[Side-note: The Spartan and Kretan do not agree with him.]

Such is the course of proof which Plato's Athenian speaker
considers sufficient to establish this ethical doctrine. But he
proceeds to carry the reasoning a step farther, as follows:--

"Nay, even if this were not a true position--as I have just shown
it to be--any lawgiver even of moderate worth, if ever he ventured
to tell a falsehood to youth for useful purposes, could proclaim
no falsehood more useful than this, nor more efficacious towards
making them disposed to practise justice willingly, without
compulsory force."[71]

[Footnote 71: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 D-E. [Greek: Nomothe/tês
de/, ou(= ti kai\ smikro\n o)/phelos, ei) kai\ mê\ tou=to ê)=n
ou(/tôs e)/chon, ô(s kai\ nu=n au)to\ ê(/|rêch' o( lo/gos
e)/chein, ei)/per ti kai\ a)/llo e)to/lmêsen a)\n e)p' a)gathô=|
pseu/desthai pro\s tou\s ne/ous, e)/stin o(/, ti tou/ton pseu=dos
lusitele/steron a)\n e)pseu/sato/ pote, kai\ duna/menon ma=llon
poiei=n mê\ bi/a| a)ll' e(ko/ntas pa/nta ta\ di/kaia?]]

"Truth is honourable (observes the Kretan) and durable. You will
not find it easy to make them believe what you propose."

"Why, it was found easy (replies the Athenian) to make men believe
the mythe respecting Kadmus and the armed men who sprang out of
the earth after the sowing of the dragon's teeth--and many other
mythes equally incredible. Such examples show conclusively that
the lawgiver can implant in youthful minds any beliefs which he
tries to implant. He need therefore look to nothing, except to
determine what are those beliefs which, if implanted, would be
most beneficial to the city. Having determined this, he will
employ all his machinery to make all his citizens proclaim these
beliefs constantly, with one voice, and without contradiction, in
all hymns, stories, and discourses."[72]

[Footnote 72: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 664 A.]

"This brings me to my own proposition. My three Choruses
(youthful, mature, elderly) will be required to sing perpetually
to the tender minds of children all the honourable and good
doctrines which I shall prescribe in detail. But the sum and
substance of them will be--The best life has been declared by the
Gods to be also the most pleasurable, and it _is_ the most
pleasurable.[73] The whole city--man, boy, freeman, slave, male,
female--will be always singing this doctrine to itself in choric
songs, diversified by the poets in such manner as to keep up the
interest and satisfaction of the singers."[74]

[Footnote 73: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 664 B.]

[Footnote 74: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 665 C.

It will be understood that here, as elsewhere, I give the
substance of Plato's reasoning without binding myself to the
translation of the particular words.]

[Side-note: Chorus of Elders are required to set an example
in keeping up the purity of the music prescribed.]

Here, then, we have the general doctrine, ethical and social,
which is to be maintained in exclusive possession of the voice,
ear, and mind, of the Platonic citizens. The imitative movements
of the tripartite Chorus must be kept in perfect accordance with
it:[75] for all music is imitative, and care must be taken to
imitate the right things in a right manner. To ensure such
accordance, magistrates must be specially chosen as censors over
both poets and singers. But this, in Plato's view, is not enough.
He requires, besides, that the choristers should themselves
understand both what they ought to imitate, and how it should be
imitated. Such understanding cannot be expected from the Chorus of
youths nor even from that of mature men. But it may be expected,
and it must be required, in the chorus of Elders: which will thus
set an example to the other two, of strict adherence to the
rectitude of the musical standard.[76] The purity of the Platonic
musical training depends mainly upon the constant and efficacious
choric activity of the old citizens.

[Footnote 75: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 668 A. [Greek: Ou)kou=n
mousikê/n ge pa=sa/n phamen ei)kastikê/n te ei)=nai kai\

[Footnote 76: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 670 B-D; vi. p. 764 C; vii. p.
812 B.

Aristotle directs that the elders shall be relieved from active
participation in choric duties, and confined to the function of
judging or criticising (Politic. viii. 6, 1340, b. 38).]

But how is such activity to be obtained? Old men will not only
find it repugnant to their natural dispositions, but will even be
ashamed to exhibit themselves in choric music and dance before the
younger citizens.

[Side-note: The Elders require the stimulus of wine, in
order to go through the choric duties with spirit.]

It is here that Plato invokes the aid of wine-drinking and
intoxication. The stimulus of wine, drunk by the old men at the
Dionysiac banquets, will revive in them a temporary fit of
something like juvenile activity, and will supply an antidote to
inconvenient diffidence.[77] Under such partial excitement, they
will stand forward freely to discharge their parts in the choric
exhibitions; which, as performed by them, will be always in full
conformity with the canon of musical rectitude, and will prevent
it from becoming corrupted or relaxed by the younger choristers.
To ensure however that the excitement shall not overpass due
limits, Plato prescribes that the president of the banquet shall
be a grave person drinking no wine at all. The commendation or
reproof of such a president will sustain the reason and
self-command of the guests, at the pitch compatible with full
execution of their choric duty.[78] Plato interdicts wine altogether
to youths, until 18 years of age--allows it only in small quantities
until the age of 40--but permits and even encourages elders above
40 to partake of the full inspiration of the Dionysiac

[Footnote 77: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 666 B-C. [Greek: e)pi/kouron
tê=s tou= gê/rôs au)stêro/têtos e)dôrê/sato (Dio/nusos) to\n
oi)=non, pha/rmakon, ô(/ste a)nêba=|n ê(ma=s . . . prô=ton me\n
dê\ diatethei\s ou(/tôs e(/kastos a)=r' ou)k a)\n e)/theloi
prothumo/tero/n ge, ê(=tton ai)schuno/menos . . . a)/|dein.]]

[Footnote 78: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 671.]

[Footnote 79: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 666 A.]

[Side-note: Peculiar views of Plato about intoxication.]

This manner of regarding intoxication must probably have occurred
to Plato at a time later than the composition of the Republic,
wherein we find it differently handled.[80] It deserves attention
as an illustration, both of his boldness in following out his own
ethical views, in spite of the consciousness[81] that they would
appear strange to others--and of the prominent function which
he assigns to old men in this dialogue De Legibus. He condemns
intoxication decidedly, when considered simply as a mode of
enjoyment, and left to the taste of the company without any
president or regulation. But with most moralists such condemnation
is an unreflecting and undistinguishing sentiment. Against this
Plato enters his protest. He considers that intoxication, if
properly regulated, may be made conducive to valuable ends,
ethical and social. Without it the old men cannot be wound up to
the pitch of choric activity; without such activity, constant and
unfaltering, the rectitude of the choric system has no adequate
security against corruption: without such security, the emotional
training of the citizens generally will degenerate. Farthermore,
Plato takes occasion from drunkenness to lay down a general
doctrine respecting pleasures. Men must be trained to self-command
against pleasures, as they are against pains, not by keeping out
of the way of temptation, but by regulated exposure to
temptations, with motives at hand to help them in the task of
resistance. Both these views are original and suggestive, like so
many others in the Platonic writings: tending to rescue Ethics
from that tissue of rhetorical and emotional commonplace in which
it so frequently appears;--and to keep present before those who
handle it, those ideas of an end to be attained, and of
discrimination as to means--which are essential to its pretensions
as a science.

[Footnote 80: In the Republic (iii. p. 398 E) Plato pronounced
intoxication ([Greek: me/thê]) to be most unbecoming for his
Guardians. He places it in the same class of defects as indolence
and effeminacy. He also repudiates those varieties of musical
harmony called _Ionic_ and _Lydian_, because they were
languid, effeminate, symposiac, or suitable for a drinking society
([Greek: malakai/ te kai\ sumpotikai/, chalarai/]). Various
musical critics of the day ([Greek: tô=n peri\ tê\n mousikê/n
tines]--we learn this curious fact from Aristotle, Polit. viii. 7,
near the end) impugned this opinion of Plato. They affirmed that
drunkenness was exciting and stimulating,--not relaxing nor
favourable to languor and heaviness: that the effeminate musical
modes were not congenial to drunkenness. When we read the Treatise
De Legibus, we observe that Plato altered his opinion respecting
[Greek: me/thê], and had come round to agree with these musical
critics. He treats [Greek: me/thê] as exciting and stimulating,
not relaxing and indolent; he even applies it as a positive
stimulus to wind up the Elders. Moreover, instead of repudiating
it absolutely, he defends its usefulness under proper regulations.
Perhaps the change of his opinion may have been partly owing to
these very criticisms.]

[Footnote 81: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 665 B. Old Philokleon, in the
Vespæ of Aristophanes (1320 seq.), under the influence of wine and
jovial excitement, is a pregnant subject for comic humour.]

[Side-note: General ethical doctrine held by Plato in

But the general ethical discussion--which Plato tells us[82] that
he introduces to establish premisses for his enactment respecting
drunkenness--is of greater importance than the enactment itself.
He prescribes imperatively the doctrine and matter which alone is
to be tolerated in his choric hymns or heard in his city. I have
given an abstract (p. 292-297) of the doctrine here laid down and
the reasonings connected therewith, because they admit of being
placed in instructive comparison with his manner of treating the
same subject in other dialogues.

[Footnote 82: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 664 D.]

[Side-note: Pleasure--Good--Happiness--What is the relation
between them?]

What is the relation between Pleasure, Good, and Happiness?
Pain, Evil, Unhappiness? Do the names in the first triplet
mean substantially the same thing, only looked at in different
aspects and under different conditions? Or do they mean three
distinct things, separable and occurring the one without the
other? This important question was much debated, and answered in
many different ways, by Grecian philosophers from the time of
Sokrates downward--and by Roman philosophers after them. Plato
handles it not merely in the dialogue now before us, but in
several others--differently too in each: in Protagoras, Gorgias,
Republic, Philêbus, &c.[83]

[Footnote 83: See above, vol. ii. ch. xxiv. pp. 353.]

[Side-note: Comparison of the doctrine laid down in Leges.]

Here, in the Dialogue De Legibus (by incidental allusion, too, in
some of the Epistles), we have the latest form in which these
doctrines about Pleasure, Happiness, Good--and their respective
contraries--found expression in Plato's compositions. Much of the
doctrines is the same--yet with some material variation. It is
here reasserted, by the Athenian, that the just and temperate man
is happy, and that the unjust man is miserable, whatever may
befall him: moreover that good things (such as health, strength,
sight, hearing, &c.) are good only to the just man, evil to
the unjust--while the contrary (such as sickness, weakness,
blindness) are good things to the unjust, evil only to the just.
To this position both the Spartan and the Kretan distinctly refuse
their assent: and Plato himself admits that mankind in general
would agree with them in such refusal.[84] He vindicates his own
opinion by a new argument which had not before appeared. "The just
man himself" (he urges), "one who has been fully trained in just
dispositions, will feel it to be as I say: the unjust man will
feel the contrary. But the just man is much more trustworthy than
the unjust: therefore we must believe what he says to be the
truth."[85] Appeal is here made, not to the Wise Man or Artist,
but to the just man: whose sentence is invested with a
self-justifying authority, wherein Plato looks for his _aliquid
inconcussum_. Now it is for philosophy, or for the true Artist,
that this pre-eminence is claimed in the Republic,[86] where
Sokrates declares, that each of the three souls combined in the
individual man (the rational or philosophical, in the head--the
passionate or ambitious, between the neck and the diaphragm--and
the appetitive, below the diaphragm) has its special pleasures;
that each prefers its own; but that the judgment of the
philosophical man must be regarded as paramount over the other
two.[87] Comparing this demonstration in the Republic with the
unsupported inference here noted in the Leges--we perceive the
contrast of the oracular and ethical character of the latter, with
the intellectual and dialectic character of the former.

[Footnote 84: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 C.]

[Footnote 85: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 C.]

[Footnote 86: Plato, Repub. ix. pp. 580 E-583 A.]

[Footnote 87: Plato, Repub. ix. p. 583 A. [Greek: A)na/gkê a(\ o(
philo/sopho/s te kai\ o( philolo/gos e)painei=, a)lêthe/stata
ei)=nai . . . ku/rios gou=n e)paine/tês ô)\n e)painei= to\n
e(autou= bi/on o( phro/nimos.]]

Again, here in the Leges, the Athenian puts it to his two
companions, Whether the unjust man, assuming him to possess every
imaginable endowment and advantage in life, will not live,
nevertheless, both dishonourably and miserably? They admit that he
will live dishonourably: they deny that he will live
miserably.[88] The Athenian replies by reasserting emphatically
his own opinion, without any attempt to prove it. Now in the
Gorgias, the same issue is raised between Sokrates and Polus:
Sokrates refutes his opponent by a dialectic argument, showing
that if the first of the two doctrines (the living
dishonourably--[Greek: ai)schrô=s]) be granted, the second (the
living miserably--[Greek: kakô=s]) cannot be consistently denied.[89]
The dialectic of Sokrates is indeed more ingenious than conclusive:
but still it _is_ dialectic--and thus stands contrasted with the
oracular emphasis which is substituted for it in Leges.

[Footnote 88: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 A.]

[Footnote 89: Plato, Gorgias, pp. 474 C, 478 E.]

[Side-note: Doctrine in Leges about Pleasure and
Good--approximates more nearly to the Protagoras than to Gorgias
and Philêbus.]

Farthermore, the distinction between Pleasure and Good, in the
language of the Athenian speaker in the Leges, approximates more
nearly to the doctrine of Sokrates in the Protagoras, than to his
doctrine in the Gorgias, Philêbus, and Republic. The Athenian
proclaims that he is dealing with men, and not with Gods, and that
he must therefore recognise the nature of man, with its
fundamental characteristics: that no man will willingly do
anything from which he does not anticipate more pleasure than
pain: that every man desires the maximum of pleasure and the
minimum of pain, and desires nothing else: that there neither is
nor can be any Good, apart from Pleasure or superior to Pleasure:
that to insist upon a man being just, if you believe that he will
obtain more pleasure or less pain from an unjust mode of life, is
absurd and inconsistent: that the doctrine which declares the life
of pleasure and the life of justice to lead in two distinct paths,
is a heresy deserving not only censure but punishment.[90] Plato
here enunciates, as distinctly as Epikurus did after him, that
Pleasures and Pains must be regulated (here regulated by the
lawgiver), so that each man may attain the maximum of the former
with the minimum of the latter: and that Good, apart from maximum
of pleasure or minimum of pain accruing to the agent himself,[91]
cannot be made consistent with the nature or aspirations of man.

[Footnote 90: Plato, Legg. ii. pp. 662 C-D-E, 663 B.

In v. pp. 732 E to 734, the Athenian speaker delivers [Greek: ta\
a)nthrô/pina] of the general preface or proëm to his Laws, after
having previously delivered [Greek: ta\ thei=a] (v. pp. 727-732).

[Greek: Ta\ thei=a]. These are precepts respecting piety to the
Gods, and behaviour to parents, strangers, suppliants; and
respecting the duty of rendering due honour, first to the mind,
next to the body--of maintaining both the one and the other in a
sound and honourable condition. Repeated exhortation is given to
obey the enactments whereby the lawgiver regulates pleasures and
pains: the precepts are also enforced by insisting on the
suffering which will accrue to the agent if they be neglected. We
also read (what is said also in Gorgias) that the [Greek: di/kê
kakourgi/as megi/stê] is [Greek: to\ o(moiou=sthai kakoi=s
a)ndra/sin] (p. 728 B).

[Greek: Ta\ a)nthrô/pina], which follow [Greek: ta\ thei=a],
indicate the essential conditions of human character which limit
and determine the application of such precepts to man. To love
pleasure--to hate pain--are the paramount and indefeasible
attributes of man; but they admit of being regulated, and they
ought to be regulated by wisdom--the [Greek: metrêtikê\
te/chnê]--insisted on by Sokrates in the Protagoras (p. 356 E).
Compare Legg. i. p. 636 E, ii. p. 653 A.]

[Footnote 91: It is among the tests of a well-disciplined army
(according to Xenophon, Cyropæd. i. 6, 26) [Greek: o(po/te to\
pei/thesthai au)toi=s ê(/dion ei)/ê tou= a)peithei=n.]]

[Side-note: Comparison of Leges with Republic and Gorgias.]

There is another point too in which the Athenian speaker here
recedes from the lofty pretensions of Sokrates in the
Republic and the Gorgias. In the second Book of the Republic, we
saw Glaukon and Adeimantus challenge Sokrates to prove that
justice, apart from all its natural consequences, will suffice
_per se_ to make the just man happy;[92] _per se_, that
is, even though all the society misconceive his character, and
render no justice to him, but heap upon him nothing except obloquy
and persecution. If (Glaukon urges) you can only recommend justice
when taken in conjunction with the requiting esteem and
reciprocating justice from others towards the just agent, this is
no recommendation of justice at all. Your argument implies a tacit
admission, that it will be better still if he can pass himself off
as just in the opinion of others, without really being just
himself: and you must be understood as recommending to him this
latter course--if he can do it successfully. Sokrates accepts the
challenge, and professes to demonstrate the thesis tendered to
him: which is in substance the cardinal dogma afterwards espoused
by the Stoics. I have endeavoured to show (in a former
chapter[93]), that his demonstration is altogether unsuccessful:
and when we turn to the Treatise De Legibus, we shall see that the
Athenian speaker recedes from the doctrine altogether: confining
himself to the defence of justice _with_ its requiting and
reciprocating consequences, not _without_ them. The just man,
as the Athenian speaker conceives him, is one who performs his
obligations towards others, and towards whom others perform their
obligations also: he is one who obtains from others that just
dealing and that esteem which is his due: and when so conceived,
his existence is one of pleasure and happiness.[94] This is, in
substance, the Epikurean doctrine substituted for the Stoic. It is
that which Glaukon and Adeimantus in the Republic deprecate as
unworthy disparagement of justice; and which they adjure Sokrates,
by his attachment to justice, to stand up and repel.[95] Now even
this, the Epikurean doctrine, is true only with certain
qualifications: since there are various other conditions essential
to happiness, over and above the ethical conditions. Still it is
not so utterly at variance with the truth as the doctrine which
Sokrates undertakes to prove, but never does prove, in the

[Footnote 92: Plato, Republic, ii. pp. 359-367.]

[Footnote 93: See above, chap. xxviii. p. 150,** seq.]

[Footnote 94: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 A.]

[Footnote 95: Plato, Republ. ii. p. 368 B. [Greek: de/doika ga\r
mê\ ou)d' o(/sion ê)=| parageno/menon dikaiosu/nê| kakêgoroume/nê|
mê\ boêthei=n.]]

[Side-note: Plato here mistrusts the goodness of his own
proof. He falls back upon useful fiction.]

The last point which I shall here remark in this portion of the
Treatise De Legibus is, the sort of mistrust manifested by Plato
of the completeness of his own proof. Notwithstanding the vehement
phrases in which the Athenian speaker proclaims his internal
persuasion of the truth of his doctrine,** while acknowledging at
the same time that not only his two companions, but most
other persons also, took the opposite view[96]--he finds it
convenient to reinforce the demonstration of the expositor by the
omnipotent infallibility of the lawgiver. He descends from the
region of established truth to that of useful fiction. "Even if
the doctrine (that the pleasurable, the just, the good, and the
honourable, are indissoluble) were not true, the lawgiver ought to
adopt it as an useful fiction for youth, effective towards
inducing them to behave justly without compulsion. The law giver
can obtain belief for any fiction which he pleases to circulate,
as may be seen by the implicit belief obtained for the Theban
mythe about the dragon's teeth, and a thousand other mythes
equally difficult of credence. He must proclaim the doctrine as an
imperative article of faith; carefully providing that it shall be
perpetually recited, by one and all his citizens, in the public
hymns, narratives, and discourses, without any voice being heard
to call it in question."[97]

[Footnote 96: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 662 B.]

[Footnote 97: Plato, Legg. ii. p. 663 D. [Greek: e)p' a)gathô=|
pseu/desthai pro\s tou\s ne/ous], &c. Also 664 A. So, in the
Bacchæ of Euripides (332), the two old men, Kadmus and Teiresias,
after vainly attempting to inculcate upon Pentheus the belief in
and the worship of Dionysus, at last appeal to his prudence, and
admonish him of the danger of unbelief:--

[Greek: kei\ mê\ ga/r e)stin o( theo\s ou(=tos, ô(s su\ phê/s,
para\ soi\ lege/sthô, kai\ katapseu/dou kalô=s
ô(s e)/sti, Seme/lê th' i(/na dokê=| theo\n tekei=n,
ê(mi=n te timê\ A)ktai/ônos a)/thlion mo/ron?
. . . o(\ mê\ pathê=|s su/.]]

[Side-note: Deliberate ethical fiction employed as means of

Here is a second attempt on the part of Plato, in addition to that
which we have seen in the Republic,[98] to employ deliberate
ethical fiction as a means of governing his citizens: first to
implant and accredit it--next to prescribe its incessant iteration
by all the citizens in the choric ceremonies--lastly to consecrate
it, and to forbid all questioners or opponents: all application of
the Sokratic Elenchus to test it. In this treatise he speaks of
the task as easier to the lawgiver than he had described it to be
in his Republic: in which latter we found him regarding a new
article of faith as difficult to implant, but as easy to uphold if
once it be implanted; while in the Treatise De Legibus both
processes are treated as alike achievable and certain. The
conception of dogmatic omnipotence had become stronger in Plato's
mind during the interval between the two treatises. Intending to
postulate for himself the complete regulation not merely of the
actions, but also of the thoughts and feelings of his
citizens--intending moreover to exclude free or insubordinate
intellects--he naturally looks upon all as docile recipients of
any faith which he thinks it right to preach. When he appeals,
however, as proofs of the facility of his plan, to the analogy of
the numerous mythes received with implicit faith throughout the
world around him--we see how low an estimate he formed of the
process whereby beliefs are generated in the human mind, and of
their evidentiary value as certifying the truth of what is
believed. People believed what was told them at first by some
imposing authority, and transmitted the belief to their
successors, even without the extraneous support of inquisitorial
restrictions such as the Platonic lawgiver throws round the
Magnêtic community in the Leges. It is in reference to such
self-supporting beliefs that Sokrates stands forth, in the earlier
Platonic compositions, as an enquirer into the reasons on which
they rested--a task useful as well as unpleasant to those whom he
questioned--attracting unpopularity as well as reputation to
himself. Plato had then keenly felt the inestimable value of this
Elenchus or examining function personified in his master; but in
the Treatise De Legibus the master has no place, and the function
is severely proscribed. Plato has come round to the dogmatic pole,
extolling the virtue of passive recipient minds who have no other
sentiment than that which the lawgiver issues to them. Yet while
he postulates in his own city the infallible authority of the
lawgiver, and enforces it by penalties, as final and
all-sufficient to determine the ethical beliefs of all the Platonic
citizens--we shall find in a subsequent book of this Treatise that
he denounces and punishes those who generalise this very
postulate; and who declare the various ethical beliefs, actually
existing in communities of men, to have been planted each by some
human authority--not to have sprung from any unseen oracle called

[Footnote 98: Plato, Republic, iii. p. 414; v. p. 459 D.]

[Footnote 99: Plato, Legg. x. pp. 889-890.]

[Side-note: Importance of music and chorus as an engine of
teaching for Plato. Views of Xenophon and Aristotle compared.]

Such is the ethical doctrine which Plato proclaims in the Leges,
and which he directs to be sung by each Chorus among the three
(boys, men, elders), with appropriate music and dancing. It is on
the constancy, strictness, and sameness of these choric and
musical influences, that he relies for the emotional training of
youth. If the musical training be either intermitted or allowed to
vary from the orthodox canon--if the theatrical exhibitions be
regulated by the taste of the general audience, and not by the
judgment of a few discerning censors--the worst consequences will
arise: the character of the citizens will degenerate, and the
institutions of his city will have no foundation to rest
upon.[100] The important effects of music, as an instrument in the
hands of the lawgiver for regulating the emotions of the citizens,
and especially for inspiring a given emotional character to
youth--are among the characteristic features of Plato's point of
view, common to both the Republic and the Laws. There is little
trace of this point of view either in Xenophon or in Isokrates; but
Aristotle embraces it to a considerable extent. It grew out of the
practice and tradition of the Grecian cities, in most of which the
literary teaching of youth was imparted by making them read,
learn, recite, or chaunt the works of various poets; while the use
of the lyre was also taught, together with regulated movements in
the dance. The powerful ethical effect of musical teaching (even
when confined to the simplest choric psalmody and dance), enforced
by perpetual drill both of boys and men, upon the unlettered
Arcadians--may be seen recognised even by a practical politician
like Polybius,[101] who considers it indispensable for the
softening of violent and sanguinary tempers: the diversity of the
effect, according to the different modes of music employed,
is noted by Aristotle,[102] and was indeed matter of common
repute. Plato, as lawgiver, postulates poetry and music of his own
dictation. He relies upon constant supplies of this wholesome
nutriment, for generating in the youth such emotional dispositions
and habits as will be in harmony, both with the doctrines which he
preaches, and with the laws which he intends to impose upon them
as adults. Here (as in Republic and Timæus) he proclaims that the
perfection of character consists in willing obedience or
harmonious adjustment of the pleasures and pains, the desires and
aversions, to the paramount authority of reason or wisdom--or to
the rational conviction of each individual as to what is good and
honourable. If, instead of obedience and harmony, there be
discord--if the individual, though rationally convinced that a
proceeding is just and honourable, nevertheless hates it--or if,
while convinced that a proceeding is unjust and dishonourable, he
nevertheless loves it--such discord is the worst state of
stupidity or mental incompetence.[103] We must recollect that
(according to the postulate of Treatise De Legibus) the rational
convictions of each individual, respecting what is just and
honourable, are assumed to be accepted implicitly from the
lawgiver, and never called in question by any one. There exists
therefore only one individual reason in the community--that of the
lawgiver, or Plato himself.

[Footnote 100: Plato, Republ. iv. p. 424 C-D; Legg. iii. pp.

[Footnote 101: Polybius, iv. pp. 20-21, about the rude Arcadians
of Kynætha. He ascribes to this simple choric practice the same
effect which Ovid ascribes to "ingenuæ artes," or elegant
literature generally:--

Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.

See the remarkable contention between Æschylus and Euripides in
Aristophan. Ran. 876 seq., about the function and comparative
excellence of poets (also Nubes, 955). Aristophanes, comparing
Æschylus with Euripides, denounces music as having degenerated,
and poetry as having been corrupted, at Athens. So far he agrees
with Plato; but he ascribes this corruption in a great degree to
the conversation of Euripides with Sokrates (Ranæ, 1487); and here
Plato would not have gone along with him--at least not when Plato
composed his earlier dialogues--though the [Greek: ê)=thos] of the
Treatise De Legibus is in harmony with this sentiment. Polybius
cites, with some displeasure, the remark of the historian Ephorus,
who asserted that musical teaching was introduced among men for
purposes of cheating and mystification--[Greek: e)p' a)pa/tê| kai\
goêtei/a| pareiskê=chthai toi=s a)nthrô/pois, ou)damô=s
a(rmo/zonta lo/gon au)tô=| r(i/psas] (iv. 20). Polybius considers
this an unbecoming criticism.]

[Footnote 102: Aristotle, Polit. viii. c. 4-5-7, p. 1340, a. 10,
1341, a. 15, 1342, a. 30. We see by these chapters how much the
subject was discussed in his day.

The ethical and emotional effects conveyed by the sense of
hearing, and distinguishing it from the other senses, are noticed
in the Problemata of Aristotle, xix. 27-29, pp. 919-920.]

[Footnote 103: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 689 A. [Greek: ê( megi/stê
a)mathi/a . . . o(/tan tô=| ti do/xê| kalo\n ê)\ a)gatho\n
ei)=nai, mê\ philê=| tou=to a)lla\ misê=|, to\ de\ ponêro\n kai\
a)/dikon dokou=n ei)=nai philê=| te kai\ a)spa/zêtai; tau/tên tê\n
diaphôni/an lu/pês te kai\ ê(donê=s pro\s tê\n kata\ lo/gon
do/xan, a(mathi/an phêmi\ ei)=nai tê\n e)scha/tên.] Compare p. 688

[Side-note: Historical retrospect as to the growth of
cities--Frequent destruction of established communities, with only
a small remnant left.]

Besides all the ethical prefatory matter, above noticed, Plato
gives us also some historical and social prefatory matter, not
essential to his constructive scheme (which after all takes its
start partly from theoretical principles laid down by himself,
partly from a supposed opportunity of applying those principles in
the foundation of a new colony), but tending to illustrate the
growth of political society, and the abuses into which it
naturally tends to lapse. There existed in his time a great
variety of distinct communities: some in the simplest, most
patriarchal, Cyclopian condition, nothing more than families--some
highly advanced in civilization, with its accompanying good and
evil--some in each intermediate stage between these two
extremes.--The human race (Plato supposes) has perhaps had no beginning,
and will have no end. At any rate it has existed from an indefinite
antiquity, subject to periodical crises, destructive kosmical
outbursts, deluges, epidemic distempers, &c.[104] A deluge,
when it occurs, sweeps away all the existing communities with
their property, arts, instruments, &c., leaving only a small
remnant, who, finding shelter on the top of some high mountain not
covered with water, preserve only their lives. Society, he thinks,
has gone through a countless number of these cycles.[105] At the
end of each, when the deluge recedes, each associated remnant has
to begin its development anew, from the rudest and poorest
condition. Each little family or sept exists at first separately,
with a patriarch whom all implicitly obey, and peculiar customs of
its own. Several of these septs gradually coalesce together into
one community, choosing one or a few lawgivers to adjust and
modify their respective customs into harmonious order, and
submitting implicitly to the authority of such chosen few.[106] By
successive coalitions of this kind, operated in a vast length of
time,[107] large cities are gradually formed on the plain and on
the seaboard. Property and public force is again accumulated;
together with letters, arts, and all the muniments of life.

[Footnote 104: Plato, Legg. iii. pp. 677-678, vi. p. 782 A.]

[Footnote 105: Plato, Legg. p. 680 A. [Greek: toi=s e)n tou/tô|
_tô=| me/rei tê=s perio/dou_ gegono/sin], &c.]

[Footnote 106: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 681 C-D.]

[Footnote 107: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 683 A. [Greek: e)n chro/nou
tino\s mê/kesin a)ple/tois.]]

[Side-note: Historical or legendary retrospect--The Trojan
war--The return of the Herakleids.]

Such is the idea which Plato here puts forth of the natural
genesis and development of human society. Having thus arrived at
the formation of considerable cities with powerful military
armaments, he carries us into the midst of Hellenic legend--the
Trojan War, the hostile reception which the victorious heroes
found on their return to Greece after the siege, the Return of the
Herakleids to Peloponnesus, and the establishment of the three
Herakleid brethren, Têmenus, Kresphontês, Aristodêmus, as kings of
Argos, Messênê, and Sparta. The triple Herakleid kingdom was
originally founded (he affirms) as a mode of uniting and
consolidating the force of Hellas against the Asiatics, who were
eager to avenge the capture of Troy. It received strong promises
of permanence, both from prophets and from the Delphian
oracle.[108] But these hopes were frustrated by misconduct on the
part of the kings of Argos and Messênê: who, being youths
destitute of presiding reason, and without external checks, obeyed
the impulse of unmeasured ambition, oppressed their subjects, and
broke down their own power.

[Footnote 108: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 685-686.]

[Side-note: Difficulties of government--Conflicts about
command--Seven distinct titles to command exist among mankind, all
equally natural, and liable to conflict.]

To conduct a political community well is difficult; for there are
inherent causes of discord and sedition which can only be
neutralised in their effects, but can never be eradicated. Among
the foremost of these inherent causes, Plato numbers the many
distinct and conflicting titles to obedience which are found among
mankind, all co-existent and co-ordinate. There are seven such
titles, all founded in the nature of man and the essential
conditions of society:[109]--1. Parents over children. 2. Men of
high birth and breed (such as the Herakleids at Sparta) over men
of low birth. 3. Old over young. 4. Masters over slaves. 5. The
stronger man over the weaker. 6. The wiser man over the man
destitute of wisdom. 7. The fortunate man, who enjoys the favour
of the Gods (one case of this is indicated by drawing of the best
lot), over the less fortunate man (who draws an inferior lot).

[Footnote 109: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 690 A-D. [Greek:
_a)xiô/mata_ tou= te a)/rchein kai\ a)/rchesthai], &c. . . .
[Greek: O(/sa e)sti\ pro\s a)/rchontas a)xiô/mata kai\ o(/ti
pephuko/ta pro\s a)llêla e)nanti/ôs.]]

Of these seven titles to command, coexisting, distinct, and
conflicting with each other, Plato pronounces the sixth--that of
superior reason and wisdom--to be the greatest, preferable to all
the rest, in his judgment: though he admits the fifth--that of
superior force to be the most extensively prevalent in the actual

[Footnote 110: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 690 C.

This enumeration by Plato of seven distinct and conflicting
[Greek: a)xiô/mata tou= a)/rchein kai\ a)/rchesthai], deserves
notice in many ways. All the seven are _natural_: nature is
considered as including multifarious and conflicting titles
(compare Xenophon, Memorab. ii. 6, 21), and therefore as not
furnishing in itself any justification or ground of preference for
one above the rest. The [Greek: a)xi/ôma] of superior force is
just as _natural_ as the [Greek: a)xi/ôma] of superior
wisdom, though Plato himself pronounces the latter to be the
greatest; that is--greatest, not [Greek: phu/sei] but [Greek:
no/mô|] or [Greek: te/chnê|], according to his own rational and
deliberate estimation. Plato is not uniform in this view, for he
uses elsewhere the phrases [Greek: phu/sei] and [Greek: kata\
phu/sin] as if they specially and exclusively belonged to that
which he approves, and furnished a justification for it (see Legg.
x. pp. 889-890, besides the Republic and the Gorgias). Again the
lot, or the process of sortition, is here described as carrying
with it both the preference of the Gods and the principles of
justice ([Greek: to\ dikaio/taton ei)=nai/ phamen]). The Gods
determine upon whom the lot should fall--compare Homer, Iliad,
vii. 179. This is a remarkable view of the lot, and represents a
feeling much diffused among the ancient democracies.

The relation of master and slave counts, in Plato's view, among
the natural relations, with its consequent rights and obligations.

The force of [Greek: eu)tuchi/a], as a title to command, is
illustrated in the speech addressed by Alkibiades to the Athenian
assembly. Thucyd. vi. 16-17: he allows it even in his competitor
Nikias--[Greek: a)ll' e(/ôs te e)/ti a)kma/zô met' au)tê=s kai\ o(
Niki/as eu)tuchê\s dokei= ei)=nai, a)pochrê/sasthe tê=| e(kate/rou
ê(mô=n ô)pheli/a.] Compare also the language of Nikias himself in
his own last speech under the extreme distress of the Athenian
army in Sicily, Thucyd. vii. 77.

In the Politikus (p. 293 and elsewhere) Plato admits no [Greek:
a)xi/ôma tou= a)/rchein] as genuine or justifiable, except
Science, Art, superior wisdom, in one or a few Artists of
governing; the same in Republic, v. p. 474 C, respecting what he
there calls [Greek: philosophi/a].]

[Side-note: Imprudence of founding government upon any
one of these titles separately--Governments of Argos and Messênê
ruined by the single principle--Sparta avoided it.]

Plato thinks it imprudent to found the government of society upon
any one of these seven titles singly and separately. He requires
that each one of them shall be checked and modified by the
conjoint operation of others. Messênê and Argos were depraved and
ruined by the single principle: while Sparta was preserved and
exalted by a mixture of different elements. The kings of Argos and
Messênê, irrational youths with nothing to restrain them (except
oaths, which they despised), employed their power to abuse and
mischief. Such was the consequence of trusting to the exclusive
title of high breed, embodied in one individual person. But Apollo
and Lykurgus provided better for Sparta. They softened regal
insolence by establishing the double line of co-ordinate kings:
they introduced the title of old age, along with that of high
breed, by founding the Senate of twenty-eight elders: they farther
introduced the title of sortition, or something near it, by
nominating the annual Ephors. The mixed government of Sparta was
thus made to work for good, while the unmixed systems of Argos and
Messênê both went wrong.[111] Both the two latter states were in
perpetual war with Sparta, so as to frustrate that purpose--union
against Asiatics--with a view to which the triple Herakleid
kingdom was originally erected in Peloponnesus. Had each of these
three kingdoms been temperately and moderately governed, like
Sparta, so as to maintain unimpaired the projected triple
union--the Persian invasions of Greece by Darius and Xerxes would
never have taken place.[112]

[Footnote 111: Plato, Legg. iii. pp. 691-692.]

[Footnote 112: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 692 C-D.]

[Side-note: Plato casts Hellenic legend into accordance with
his own political theories.]

Such is the way in which Plato casts the legendary event, called
the Return of the Herakleids, into accordance with a political
theory of his own. That event, in his view, afforded the means of
uniting Hellas internally, and of presenting such a defensive
combination as would have deterred all invasions from Asia, if
only the proper principles of legislation and government had been
understood and applied. The lesson to be derived from this failure
is, that we ought not to concentrate great authority in one hand;
and that we ought to blend together several principles of
authority, instead of resorting to the exclusive action of one
alone.[113] This lesson deserves attention, as a portion of
political theory; but I feel convinced that neither Herodotus nor
Thucydides would have concurred in Plato's historical views.
Neither of them would have admitted the disunion between Sparta,
Argos, and Messênê as a main cause of the Persian invasion of

[Footnote 113: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 693 A. [Greek: ô(s a)/ra ou)
dei= mega/las a)rcha\s ou)d' au)= a)mi/ktous nomothetei=n].
Compare pp. 685-686.

Plato here affirms not only that Messênê and Argos were and had
been constantly at war with Sparta, but that they were so at the
time of the Persian invasion of Greece--and that Messênê thus
hindered the Spartans from assisting the Athenians at Marathon,
pp. 692 E, 698 E. His statement that Argos was at least neutral,
if not treacherous and philo-Persian, during the invasion of
Xerxes, is coincident with Herodotus; but not so his statement
that the Lacedæmonians were kept back by the war against Messênê.
Indeed at that time the Messenians had no separate domicile or
independent station in Peloponnesus. They had been conquered by
Sparta long before, and their descendants in the same territory
were Helots (Thucyd. i. 101). It is true that there always existed
struggling remnants of expatriated Messenians, who maintained the
name, and whom Athens protected and favoured during the
Peloponnesian war; but there was no independent Messenian
government in Peloponnesus until the foundation of the city of
Messênê by Epaminondas in 369 B.C., two years after the
battle of Leuktra: there had never been any _city_ of that
name in the Peloponnesus before.

Now Plato wrote his Treatise De Legibus _after_ the
foundation of this city of Messênê and the re-establishment of an
independent Messenian community in Peloponnesus. The new city was
peopled partly by returning Messenian exiles, partly by
enfranchised Helots. It is probable enough that both these classes
might be disposed to disguise (as far as they could) the past
period of servitude--and to represent the Messenian name and
community as never having been wholly effaced in the neighbourhood
of Ithômê, though always struggling against an oppressive
neighbour. Traditions of this tenor would become current, and
Plato has adopted one of them in his historical sketch.

If we look back to what Plato says about the Kretan prophet
Epimenides, we shall see that here too he must have followed
erroneous traditions. He makes Epimenides contemporary with the
invasion of Greece by Darius, instead of contemporary with the
Kylonian sacrilege (B.C. 612). When a prophet had got
reputation, a great many new prophecies were fathered upon him (as
upon Bakis and Musæus) with very little care about chronological
consistency. Plato may well have been misled by one of these
fictions (Legg. i. p. 642, iii. p. 677).]

[Side-note: Persia and Athens compared--Excess of despotism.
Excess of liberty.]

A lesson--analogous, though not exactly the same--is derived by
Plato from the comparison of the Persian with the Athenian
government. Persia presents an excess of despotism: Athens an
excess of liberty. There are two distinct primordial forms of
government--_mother-polities_, Plato calls them--out of which
all existing governments may be said to have been generated or
diversified. One of these is monarchy, of which the Persians
manifest the extreme: the other is democracy, of which Athens
manifests the extreme. Both extremes are mischievous. The wise
law-giver must blend and combine the two together in proper
proportion. Without such combination, he cannot attain good
government, with its three indispensable constituents--freedom,
intelligence or temperance, and mutual attachment among the

[Footnote 114: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 693 B-C. Aristotle (Politic.
ii. 6, pp. 1265-1266) alludes to this portion of Plato's doctrine,
and approves what is said about the combination of diverse
political elements; but he does not approve the doctrine which
declares the two "mother-forms" of government to be extreme
despotism or extreme democracy. He says that these two are either
no governments at all, or the very worst of governments. Plato
gives the same opinion about them, yet he thinks it convenient to
make them the starting-points of his theory. The objection made by
Aristotle appears to be dictated by a sentiment which often
influences his theories--[Greek: To\ te/leion pro/tero/n e)sti
tê=| phu/sei tou= a)telou=s]. The perfect is prior in order of
nature to the imperfect. He does not choose to take his
theoretical point of departure from the worst or most imperfect.]

[Side-note: Cyrus and Darius--Bad training of sons of

The Persians, according to Plato, at the time when they made their
conquests under Cyrus, were not despotically governed, but enjoyed
a fair measure of freedom under a brave and patriotic military
chief, who kept the people together in mutual attachment. But
Cyrus, though a great military chief, had neither received a good
training himself, nor knew how to secure it for his own sons.[115]
He left them to be educated by the women in the harem, where
they were brought up with unmeasured indulgence, acquiring nothing
but habits of insolence and caprice. Kambyses became a despot; and
after committing great enormities, was ultimately deprived of
empire by Smerdis and the Medians. Darius, not a born prince, but
an usurper, renovated the Persian empire, and ruled it with as
much ability and moderation as Cyrus. But he made the same mistake
as Cyrus, in educating his sons in the harem. His son Xerxes
became thoroughly corrupted, and ruled despotically. The same has
been the case with all the successive kings, all brought up as
destined for the sceptre, and morally ruined by a wretched
education. The Persian government has been nothing but a despotism
ever since Darius.[116] All freedom of action or speech has been
extinguished, and the mutual attachment among the subjects exists
no more.[117]

[Footnote 115: Plato, Legg. p. 694 C. [Greek: Manteu/omai peri/ ge
Ku/rou ta\ me\n a)/ll' au)to\n stratêgo/n te a)gatho\n ei)=nai
kai\ philo/polin, paidei/as de\ o)rthê=s ou)ch ê(=phthai to\

I think it very probable that these words are intended to record
Plato's dissent from the [Greek: Ku/rou Paidei/a] of Xenophon.
Aulus Gellius (xiv. 3) had read that Xenophon composed the
Cyropædia in opposition to the two first books of the Platonic
Republic, and that between Xenophon and Plato there existed a
grudge (_simultas_) or rivalry; so also Athenæus, xi. p. 504.
It is possible that this may have been the case but no evidence is
produced to prove it. Both of them selected Sokrates as the
subject of their descriptions; in so far there may have been a
literary competition between them: and various critics seem to
have presumed that there could not be _æmulatio_ without
_simultas_. Each of them composed a Symposion for the purpose
of exhibiting Sokrates in his joyous moments. The differences
between the two handlings are interesting to notice; but the
evidences which some authors produce, to show that Xenophon in his
Symposion alluded to the Symposion of Plato, are altogether
uncertain. See the Preface of Schneider to his edition of the
Xenophontic Symposion, and his extract from Cornarius.]

[Footnote 116: Plato, Legg. iii. pp. 694-695.]

[Footnote 117: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 697 D.]

[Side-note: Changes for the worse in government of Athens,
after the Persian invasion of Greece.]

While the Persian government thus exhibits despotism in excess,
that of Athens exhibits the contrary mischief--liberty in excess.
This has been the growth of the time subsequent to the Persian
invasion. At the time when that invasion occurred, the government
of Athens was an ancient constitution with a quadruple scale of
property, according to which scale political privilege and title
to office were graduated: while the citizens generally were then
far more reverential to authority, and obedient to the laws, than
they are now. Moreover, the invasion itself, being dangerous and
terrific in the extreme, was enough to make them obedient and
united among themselves, for their own personal safety.[118] But
after the invasion had been repelled, the government became
altered. The people acquired a great increase of political power,
assumed habits of independence and self-judgment, and became
less reverential both to the magistrates and to the laws.

[Footnote 118: Plato, Legg. iii. pp. 698-699.]

[Side-note: This change began in music, and the poets
introduced new modes of composition--they appealed to the
sentiment of the people, and corrupted them.]

The first department in which this change was wrought at Athens
was the department of music: from whence it gradually extended
itself to the general habits of the people. Before the invasion,
Music had been distributed, according to ancient practice and
under the sanction of ancient authority, under four fixed
categories--Hymns, Dirges, Pæans, Dithyrambs.[119] The ancient
canons in regard to each were strictly enforced: the musical
exhibitions were superintended, and the prizes adjudged by a few
highly-trained elders: while the general body of citizens listened
in respectful silence, without uttering a word of acclamation, or
even conceiving themselves competent to judge what they heard. Any
manifestations on their part were punished by blows from the
sticks of the attendants.[120] But this docile submission of the
Athenians to authority became gradually overthrown, after the
repulse of the Persians, first in the theatre, next throughout all
social and political life. The originators of this corruption were
the poets: men indeed of poetical genius, but ignorant of the
ethical purpose which their compositions ought to aim at, as well
as of the rightful canons by which they ought to be guided and
limited. These poets, looking to the pleasure of the audience as
their true and only standard, exhibited pieces in which all the
old musical distinctions were confounded together--hymns with
dirges, the pæan with the dithyramb, and the flute with the harp.
To such irregular rhythm and melody, words equally irregular were
adapted. The poet submitted his compositions to the assembled
audience, appealing to them as competent judges, and practically
declaring them to be such. The audience responded to the appeal.
Acclamation in the theatre was substituted for silence; and
the judgment of the people became paramount instead of that
pronounced by the enlightened few according to antecedent custom.
Hence the people--having once shaken off the reverence for
authority, and learnt to exercise their own judgment, in the
theatre[121]--began speedily to do the same on other matters also.
They fancied themselves wise enough to decide everything for
themselves, and contracted a shameless disregard for the opinion
of better and wiser men. An excessive measure of freedom was
established, tending in its ultimate consequences to an anarchical
or Titanic nature: indifferent to magistrates, laws, parents,
elders, covenants, oaths, and the Gods themselves.[122]

[Footnote 119: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 700 B.
[Greek: u(/mnoi--thrê=noi--paia=nes--dithu/rambos].]

[Footnote 120: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 700 C. [Greek: to\ de\ ku=ros
tou/tôn gnô=nai/ te kai\ a(/ma gno/nta dika/sai, zêmiou=n te au)=
to\n mê\ peitho/menon, ou) su/rigx ê)=n ou)de/ tines a)/mousoi
boai\ plê/thous, _katha/per ta\ nu=n_, ou)d' au)= kro/toi
e)pai/nous a)podido/ntes, a)lla\ toi=s me\n gegono/si peri\
pai/deusin dedogme/non a)kou/ein ê)=n au)toi=s meta\ sigê=s dia\
te/lous, paisi\ de\ kai\ paidagôgoi=s kai\ tô=| plei/stô| o)/chlô|
r(a/bdou kosmou/sês ê( nouthe/têsis e)gi/gneto.]

The testimony here given by Plato respecting the practice of his
own time is curious and deserves notice: respecting the practice
of the times anterior to the Persian invasion he could have had no
means of accurate knowledge.]

[Footnote 121: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 701 A. [Greek: nu=n de\ ê)=rxe
me\n ê(mi=n e)k mousikê=s ê( pa/ntôn ei)s pa/nta sophi/as do/xa
kai\ paranomi/a, xunephe/speto de\ e)leutheri/a.]]

[Footnote 122: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 701 B. [Greek: _E)phexê=s
dê\ tau/tê|_ tê=| e)leutheri/a| ê( tou= mê\ e)the/lein toi=s
a)/rchousi douleu/ein _gi/gnoit' a)/n_.]

The phrase here employed by Plato affirms inferential
tendencies--not facts realised. How much of the tendencies had passed
into reality at Athens, he leaves to the imagination of his readers to
supply. It is curious to contrast the faithless and lawless
character of Athens, here insinuated by Plato--with the oration of
Demosthenes adv. Leptinem (delivered B.C. 355, near upon
the time when the Platonic Leges were composed), where the main
argument which the orator brings to bear upon the Dikasts,
emphatically and repeatedly, to induce them to reject the
proposition of Leptines, is--[Greek: to\ tê=s po/leôs ê)=thos
a)pseude\s kai\ chrêsto/n, ou) to\ lusitele/staton pro\s
a)rgu/rion skopou=n, a)lla/ ti kai\ kalo\n pra=xai] (p. 461) . . .
[Greek: ou)d' o( plei=stos lo/gos e)/moige peri\ tê=s a)telei/as
e)/stin, a)ll' u(pe\r tou= ponêro\n e)/thos ei)sa/gein to\n
no/mon, kai\ toiou=ton di' ou)= pant' a)/pist' o(/sa o( dê=mos
di/dôsin e)/stai], also pp. 500-507, and indeed throughout nearly
the whole oration. So also in the other discourses, not only of
Demosthenes but of the other orators also--good faith, public and
private, and respectful obedience to the laws, are constantly
invoked as primary and imperative necessities.

Indeed, in order to find a contradiction to the picture here
presented by Plato, of Athenian tendencies since the Persian war,
we need not go farther than Plato himself. We have only to read
the Menexenus, wherein he professes to describe and panegyrise the
achievements of Athens during that very period which he paints in
such gloomy colours in the Leges--the period succeeding the
Persian invasion. Who is to believe that the people, upon whose
virtue he pronounces these encomiums, had thrown off all reverence
for good faith, obligation, and social authority? As for the
[Greek: Titanikê\ phu/sis], to which Plato represents the
Athenians as approximating, the analogy is principally to be found
in the person of the Titan Promêtheus, with his philanthropic
disposition (see Plato, Menexenus, pp. 243 E, 244 E), and the
beneficent suggestions which he imparted to mankind in the way of
science and art (Æschyl. Prom. 440-507--[Greek: Pa=sai te/chnai
brotoi=sin e)k Promêthe/ôs]).]

[Side-note: Danger of changes in the national
music--declared by Damon, the musical teacher.]

The opinion here expressed by Plato--that the political
constitution of Athens was too democratical, and that the changes
(effected by Perikles and others during the half century
succeeding the Persian invasion) whereby it had been rendered more
democratical, were mischievous--was held by him in common with a
respectable and intelligent minority at Athens. That minority had
full opportunity of expressing their disapprobation--as we may see
by the language of Plato himself; though he commends the Spartans
for not allowing any such opportunity to dissenters at
Sparta, and expressly prohibits any open expression of dissent in
his own community. But his assertion, that the deterioration at
Athens was introduced and originated by an innovation in the
established canon of music and poetry--is more peculiarly his own.
The general doctrine of the powerful revolutionising effect
wrought by changes in the national music, towards subverting the
political constitution, was adopted by him from the distinguished
musical teacher Damon,[123] the contemporary and companion of
Perikles. The fear of such danger to the national institutions is
said to have operated on the authorities at Sparta, when they
forbade the musical innovations of the poet Timotheus, and
destroyed the four new strings which he had just added to the
established seven strings of his lyre.[124]

[Footnote 123: Plato, Republ. iv. p. 424 D.]

[Footnote 124: Cicero, De Legib. ii. 15; Pausanias, iii. 12.

Cicero agrees with Plato as to the mischievous tendency of changes
in the national music.]

[Side-note: Plato's aversion to the tragic and comic poetry
at Athens.]

Of this general doctrine, however, Plato makes a particular
application in the passage now before us, which he would have
found few Athenians, either oligarchical or democratical, to
ratify. What he really condemns is, the tragic and comic poetical
representations at Athens, which began to acquire importance only
after the Persian war, and continued to increase in importance for
the next half century. The greatest revolution which Grecian music
and poetry ever underwent was that whereby Attic tragedy and
comedy were first constituted:--built up by distinguished poets
from combination and enlargement of the simpler pre-existent
forms--out of the dithyrambic and phallic choruses.[125] The first
who imparted to tragedy its grand development and its special
novelty of character was Æschylus--a combatant at Marathon as well
as one of the greatest among ancient poets: after him, Sophokles
carried improvement still further. It is them that Plato probably
means, when he speaks of the authors of this revolution as
men of true poetical genius, but ignorant of the lawful purpose of
the Muse--as authors who did not recognise any rightful canon of
music, nor any end to be aimed at beyond the emotional
satisfaction of a miscellaneous audience. The abundance of
dramatic poetry existing in Plato's time must have been prodigious
(a few choice specimens only have descended to us):--while its
variety of ingredients and its popularity outshone those four
ancient and simple manifestations, which alone he will tolerate as
legitimate. He censures the innovations of Æschylus and Sophokles
as a deplorable triumph of popular preference over rectitude of
standard and purpose. He tacitly assumes--what Aristotle certainly
does not believe, and what, so far as I can see, there is no
ground for believing--that the earlier audience were passive,
showing no marks of favour or disfavour: and that the earlier
poets had higher aims, adapting their compositions to the judgment
of a wise few, and careless about giving satisfaction to the
general audience. This would be the practice in the Platonic city,
but it never was the practice at Athens. We may surely presume
that Æschylus stood distinguished from his predecessors not by
desiring popularity more, but by greater success in attaining it:
and that he attained it partly from his superior genius, partly
from increasing splendour in the means of exhibition at Athens.
The simpler early compositions had been adapted to the taste of
the audience who heard them, and gave satisfaction for the time;
until the loftier genius of Æschylus and the other great
constructive dramatists was manifested.

[Footnote 125: Aristotle, Poetic. c. 4. p. 1449 a.

The ethical repugnance expressed by Plato against the many-sided
and deceptive spirit of tragic and comic compositions, is also
expressed in the censure said to have been pronounced by Solon
against Thespis, when the latter first produced his dramas
(Plutarch, Solon, 29; Diog. Laert. i. 59).]

[Side-note: This aversion peculiar to himself, not shared
either by oligarchical politicians, or by other philosophers.]

However Plato--while he tolerates no poetry except in so far as it
produces ethical correction or regulation of the emotions, and
blames as hurtful the poet who simply touches or kindles
emotion--is in a peculiar manner averse to dramatic poetry, with
its diversity of assumed characters and its obligation of giving
speech to different points of view. His aversion had been
exhibited before, both in the Republic and in the Gorgias:[126]
but it reappears here in the Treatise De Legibus, with this
aggravating feature--that the revolution in music and poetry is
represented as generating cause of a deteriorated character and an
ultra-democratical polity of Athens. This (as I have before
remarked) is a sentiment peculiar to Plato. For undoubtedly,
oligarchical politicians (such as Thucydides, Nikias, Kritias),
who agreed with him in disliking the democracy, would never have
thought of ascribing what they disliked to such a cause as
alteration in the Athenian music and poetry. They would much more
have agreed with Aristotle,[127] when he attributes the important
change both in the character and polity of the Athenian people
after the Persian invasion, to the events of that invasion
itself--to the heroic and universal efforts made by the citizens,
on shipboard as well as on land, against the invading host--and
to the necessity for continuing those efforts by organising the
confederacy of Delos. Hence arose a new spirit of self-reliance
and enterprise--or rather an intensification of what had already
begun after the expulsion of Hippias and the reform by
Kleisthenes--which rendered the previous constitutional forms too
narrow to give satisfaction.[128] The creation of new and grander
forms of poetry may fairly be looked upon as one symptom of this
energetic general outburst: but it is in no way a primary or
causal fact, as Plato wishes us to believe. Nor can Plato himself
have supposed it to be so, at the time when he composed his
Menexenus: wherein the events of the post-Xerxeian period are
presented in a light very different from that in which he viewed
them when he wrote his Leges--presented with glowing commendations
on his countrymen.

[Footnote 126: Plato, Republ. iii. pp. 395-396, x. p. 605 B;
Gorgias, p. 502 B; Legg. iv. p. 719 B.

Aristotle takes a view of tragedy quite opposed to that of Plato:
he considers it as calculated to purge or purify the emotions of
fear, compassion, &c. (Aristot. Poet. c. 13. Compare Politic.
viii. 7, 9). Unfortunately the Poetica exist only as a fragment,
so that his doctrine about [Greek: ka/tharsis] is only declared
and not fully developed.

Rousseau (in his Lettre à d'Alembert Sur les Spectacles, p. 33
seq.) impugns this doctrine of Aristotle, and condemns theatrical
representations, partly with arguments similar to those of Plato,
partly with others of his own.]

[Footnote 127: Aristotel. Politic. v. 4, p. 1304, a. 20; ii. 12,
p. 1274, a. 12; viii. 6, 1340, a. 30.]

[Footnote 128: Herodot. v. 78.]

[Side-note: Doctrines of Plato in this prefatory matter.]

The long ethical prefatory matter[129] which we have gone through,
includes these among other doctrines--1. That the life of justice,
and the life of pleasure, are essentially coincident. 2. That
Reason, as declared by the lawgiver, ought to controul all our
passions and emotions. 3. That intoxication, under certain
conditions, is an useful stimulus to elderly men. 4. That the
political constitution of society ought not to be founded upon one
single principle of authority, but upon a combination of several.
5. That the extreme of liberty, and the extreme of despotism, are
both bad.[130]

[Footnote 129: What Aristotle calls [Greek: toi=s e)/xôthen
lo/gois], in reference to the Republic of Plato (Aristotel.
Politic. ii. 36, p. 1264, b. 39).]

[Footnote 130: Compare on this point Plato's Epistol. viii. pp.
354-355, where this same view is enforced.]

[Side-note: Compared with those of the Republic and of the
Xenophontic Cyropædia.]

Of these five positions, the two first are coincident with the
doctrines of the Republic: the third is not coincident compared
with them, but indirectly in opposition to them: the fourth and
fifth put Plato on a standing point quite different from that of
the Republic, and different also from that of the Xenophontic
Cyropædia. In the Cyropædia, all government is strictly personal:
the subjects both obey willingly, and are rendered comfortable
because of the supreme and manifold excellence of one
person--their chief, Cyrus--in every department of practical
administration, civil as well as military. In the Platonic
Republic, the government is also personal: to this extent--that
Plato provides neither political checks, nor magistrates, nor
laws, nor judicature: but aims only at the perfect training of the
Guardians, and the still more elaborate and philosophical training
of those few chief or elder Guardians, who are to direct the rest.
He demands only a succession of these philosophers, corresponding
to the regal Artist sketched in the Politikus: and he leaves all
ulterior directions to them. Upon their perfect dispositions and
competence, all the weal or woe of the community depends. All is
personal government; but it is lodged in the hands of a few
philosophers, assumed to be super-excellent, like the one chief in
the Xenophontic Cyropædia. When however we come to the Leges, we
find that Plato ceases to presume upon such supreme personal
excellence. He drops it as something beyond the limit of human
attainment, and as fit only for the golden or Saturnian age.[131]
He declares that power, without adequate restraints, is a
privilege with which no man can be trusted.[132] Nevertheless the
magistrates must be vested with sufficient power: since excess of
liberty is equally dangerous. To steer between these two
rocks,[133] you want not only a good despot but a sagacious
lawgiver. It is he who must construct a constitutional system,
having regard to the various natural foundations of authority in
the minds of the citizens. He must provide fixed laws,
magistrates, and a competent judicature: moreover, both the
magistrates and the judicature must be servants of the law, and
nothing beyond.[134] The lawgiver must frame his laws with
single-minded view, not to the happiness of any separate section
of the city, but to that of the whole. He must look to the virtue
of the whole, in its most comprehensive sense, and to all good
things, ranked in their triple subordination and their comparative
value--that is, First, the good things belonging to the
mind--Secondly, Those belonging to the body--Thirdly, Wealth and
External acquisitions.[135]

[Footnote 131: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 713-714.]

[Footnote 132: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 687 E--iv. p. 713 B, ix. p. 875

[Footnote 133: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 710-711.]

[Footnote 134: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 715 C-D. [Greek: tou\s d'
a)/rchontas legome/nous nu=n u(pêre/tas toi=s no/mois e)ka/lesa,
ou)= ti kainotomi/as o)noma/tôn e(/neka, a)ll'], &c. It
appears as if this phrase, calling "magistrates the servants or
ministers of the law," was likely to be regarded as a harsh and
novel metaphor.]

[Footnote 135: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 707 B, 714 B; iii. p. 697 A.]

[Side-note: Constructive scheme--Plato's new point of view.]

We now enter upon this constructive effort of Plato's old age.
That a political constitution with fixed laws (he makes the
Athenian say) and with magistrates acting merely as servants of
the laws, is the only salvation for a city and its people--this is
a truth which every man sees most distinctly in his old age,
though when younger he was very dull in discerning it.[136]
Probably enough what we here read represents the change in Plato's
own mind: the acquisition of a new point of view, which was not
present to him when he composed his Republic and his Politikus.

[Footnote 136: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 715 E. [Greek: Ne/os me\n ga\r
ô)\n pa=s a)/nthrôpos ta\ toiau=ta a)mblu/tata au)to\s o(ra=|,
ge/rôn de\ o)xu/tata.]

Compare vii. pp. 819 D-821 D, for marks of Plato's old age and
newly acquired opinions.]

[Side-note: New Colony to be founded in Krete--its general

Here the exposition assumes a definite shape. The Kretan Kleinias
apprises his Athenian companion, that the Knossians with other
Kretans are about to establish a new colony on an unsettled point
in Krete; and that himself with nine others are named
commissioners for framing and applying the necessary regulations.
He invites the co-operation of the Athenian:[137] who accordingly
sets himself to the task of suggesting such laws and measures
as are best calculated to secure the march of the new Magnetic
settlement towards the great objects defined in the preceding

[Footnote 137: Plato, Legg. iii. p. 702 C.]

The new city is to be about nine English miles from the sea. The
land round it is rough, poor, and without any timber for
shipbuilding; but it is capable of producing all supplies
absolutely indispensable, so that little need will be felt of
importation from abroad. The Athenian wishes that the site were
farther from the sea. Yet he considers the general conditions to
be tolerably good; inasmuch as the city need not become commercial
and maritime, and cannot have the means of acquiring much gold and
silver--which is among the greatest evils that can befall a city,
since it corrupts justice and goodness in the citizens.[138] The
settlers are all Greeks, from various towns of Krete and
Peloponnesus. This (remarks the Athenian) is on the whole better
than if they came from one single city. Though it may introduce
some additional chance of discord, it will nevertheless render
them more open-minded and persuadable for the reception of new

[Footnote 138: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 705.]

[Footnote 139: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 708.]

[Side-note: The Athenian declares that he will not merely
promulgate peremptory laws, but will recommend them to the
citizens by prologues or hortatory discourses.]

The colonists being supposed to be assembled in their new domicile
and ready for settlement, Plato, or his Athenian spokesman,
addresses to them a solemn exhortation, inculcating piety towards
the Gods, celestial and subterranean, as well as to the Dæmons and
Heroes--and also reverence to parents.[140] He then intimates
that, though he does not intend to consult the settlers on the
acceptance or rejection of laws, but assumes to himself the power
of prescribing such laws as he thinks best for them--he
nevertheless will not content himself with promulgating his
mandates in a naked and peremptory way. He will preface each law
with a proëm or prologue (_i.e._ a string of preliminary
recommendations): in order to predispose their minds favourably,
and to obtain from them a willing obedience.[141] He will employ
not command only, but persuasion along with or antecedent to
command: as the physician treats his patients when they are
freemen, not as he sends his slaves to treat slave-patients,
with a simple compulsory order.[142] To begin with an introductory
proëm or prelude, prior to the announcement of the positive law,
is (he says) the natural course of proceeding. It is essential to
all artistic vocal performances: it is carefully studied and
practised both by the rhetor and the musician.[143] Yet in spite
of this analogy, no lawgiver has ever yet been found to prefix
proëms to his laws: every one has contented himself with issuing
peremptory commands.[144] Here then Plato undertakes to set the
example of prefixing such prefatory introductions. The nature of
the case would prescribe that every law, every speech, every song,
should have its suitable proëm: but such prolixity would be
impolitic. A discretion must be entrusted to the lawgiver, as it
is to the orator and the musician. Proëms or prologues must be
confined to the great and important laws.[145]

[Footnote 140: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 716-718.]

[Footnote 141: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 718-719-723.]

[Footnote 142: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 720. This is a curious
indication respecting the medical profession and practice at

[Footnote 143: Plato, Legg. iv. pp. 722 D-723 D. [Greek: tô=| te
r(ê/tori kai\ tô=| melô|dô=| kai\ tô=| nomothe/tê| to\ toiou=ton
e(ka/stote e)pitrepte/on.]]

[Footnote 144: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 722 B-E.

The [Greek: prooi/mia dêmêgorika/] of Demosthenes are well

[Footnote 145: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 723 C-D. About [Greek: ta\ tô=n
no/môn prooi/mia], compare what Plato says about his
communications with the younger Dionysius, shortly after his
(Plato's) second arrival at Syracuse, Plato, Epistol. iii. p. 316

[Side-note: General character of these prologues--didactic
or rhetorical homilies.]

Accordingly, from hence to the end of the Treatise De Legg., Plato
proceeds upon the principle here laid down. He either prefixes a
prologue to each of his laws--or blends the law with its proëm--or
gives what may be called a proëm without a law, that is a string
of hortatory or comminatory precepts. There are various points (he
says) on which the lawgiver cannot propose any distinct and
peremptory enactment, but must confine himself to emphatic
censure[146] and declaration of opinion, with threats of
displeasure on the part of the Gods: the rather as he cannot hope
to accomplish his public objects, without the largest interference
with private habits--nor without bringing his regulations to bear
upon individual life, where positive law can hardly reach.[147]
The Platonic prologues are sometimes expositions of the reasons of
the law--_i. e._ of the dangers which it is intended to
ward off, or the advantages to be secured by it. But far more
frequently, they are morsels of rhetoric--lectures, discourses, or
homilies--addressed to the emotions and not to the reason,
insisting on the ethical and religious point of view, and destined
to operate with persuasive or intimidating effect upon an
uninstructed multitude.[148]

[Footnote 146: Cicero (De Legg. ii. 6) professes to follow Plato
in this practice of prefixing proëms to his Laws. He calls the
proëm an encomium upon the law, which in most cases it is--"ut
priusquam ipsam legem recitem, de ejus legis laude dicam".]

[Footnote 147: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 780 A.]

[Footnote 148: Plato, Legg. iv. p. 722 B. [Greek: pro\s tou/tô|
de\ ou)dei\s e)/oike dianoêthê=nai pô/pote tô=n nomothetô=n, ô(s
e)xo\n duoi=n chrê=sthai pro\s ta\s nomothesi/as, peithoi= kai\
bi/a|, kath' o(/son oi(=o/n te e)pi\ to\n a)/peiron paidei/as
o)/chlon tô=| e(te/rô| chrô=ntai mo/non.]]

[Side-note: Great value set by Plato himself upon these
prologues. They are to serve as type for all poets. No one is
allowed to contradict them.]

It seems that Plato took credit to himself for what he thought a
beneficial innovation, in thus blending persuasive exhortation
with compulsory command. His assurance, that no Grecian lawgiver
had ever done so before, is doubtless trustworthy:[149] though we
may remark that the confusion of the two has been the general rule
with Oriental lawgivers--the Hindoos, the Jews, the Mahommedan
Arabs, &c. But with him the innovation serves a farther
purpose. He makes it the means of turning rhetoric to account; and
of enlisting in his service, as lawgiver, not only all the
rhetoric but all the poetry, in his community. His Athenian
speaker is so well satisfied with these prologues, that he
considers them to possess the charm of a poetical work, and
suspects them to have been dictated by inspiration from the
Gods.[150] He pronounces them the best and most suitable
compositions for the teaching of youth, and therefore prescribes
that teachers shall cause the youth to recite and learn them,
instead of the poetical and rhetorical works usually employed. He
farther enjoins that his prologues shall serve as type and canon
whereby all other poetical and rhetorical compositions shall be
tried. If there be any compositions in full harmony and analogy
with this type, the teachers shall be compelled to learn them by
heart, and teach them to pupils. Any teacher refusing to do so
shall be dismissed.[151] Nor shall any poet be allowed to
compose and publish works containing sentiments contradictory
to the declaration of the lawgiver.[152]

[Footnote 149: The testimony of Plato shows that the [Greek:
prooi/mia tê=s nomothesi/as] ascribed to Zaleukus and Charondas
(Diodor. xii. 12-20) are composed by authors later than his time,
and probably in imitation of his [Greek: prooi/mia]: which indeed
is probable enough on other grounds. See Heyne, Opuscula, vol.
ii., Prolus i. vi., De Zaleuci et Charondæ Legibus.

Cicero read the proëms ascribed to Zaleukus and Charondas as
genuine (Legg. ii. 6); so did Diodôrus, xii. 17-20; Stobæus, Serm.

[Footnote 150: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 811 C. [Greek: ou)k a)/neu
tino\s e)pipnoi/as theô=n, e)/doxan d' ou)=n moi panta/pasi
poiê/sei tini\ prosomoi/ôs ei)rê=sthai.]]

[Footnote 151: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 811 D-E.]

[Footnote 152: Plato, Legg. p. 811 E.]

[Side-note: Contrast of Leges with Gorgias and Phædrus.]

As a contrast to this view of Plato in his later years, it is
interesting to turn to that which he entertained in an earlier
part of his life, in the Gorgias and the Phædrus, respecting
rhetoric. In the former dialogue, Gorgias is recognised as a
master of the art of persuasion, especially as addressed to a
numerous audience, and respecting ethical questions, What is just,
and what is unjust? Sokrates, on the contrary, pointedly
distinguishes persuasion from teaching--discredits simple
persuasion, without teaching, as merely deceptive--and contends
that rhetorical discourse addressed to a multitude, upon such
topics, can never convey any teaching.[153] But in the Leges we
find that the art of persuasion has risen greatly in Plato's
estimation. Whether it be a true art, or a mere unartistic knack,
he now recognises its efficacy in modifying the dispositions of
the uninstructed multitude, and announces himself to be the first
lawgiver who will employ it systematically for that purpose. He
combines the seductions of the rhetor with the unpalatable
severities of the lawgiver: the two distinct functions of Gorgias
and his brother the physician Herodikus, when Gorgias accompanied
his brother to visit suffering patients, and succeeded by force of
rhetoric in overcoming their repugnance to the cutting and burning
indispensable for cure.[154] Again, in the Phædrus, Plato treats
the art of persuasion, when applied at once to a mixed assemblage
of persons, either by writing or discourse, as worthless and
unavailing.[155] He affirms that it makes no durable impression on
the internal mind of the individuals: the same discourse will
never suit all. Individuals differ materially in their cast of
mind; moreover, they differ in opinion upon ethical topics (just
and unjust) more than upon any other. Some men are open to
persuasion by topics which will have no effect on others.
Accordingly, you must go through a laborious discrimination:
first, you must discriminate generally the various classes of
minds and the various classes of discourse--next, you must
know to which classes of minds the individuals of the multitude
before you belong. You must then address to each mind the mode of
persuasion specially adapted to it. The dialectic philosopher is
the only one who possesses the true art of persuasion. Such was
Plato's point of view in the Phædrus. I need hardly point out how
completely it is dropped in his Leges: wherein he pours persuasion
into the ears of an indiscriminate multitude, through the common
channel of a rhetorical lecture, considering it of such impressive
efficacy as to justify the supposition of inspiration from the

[Footnote 153: Plato, Gorgias, pp. 454-456.]

[Footnote 154: Plato, Gorgias, p. 456 B.]

[Footnote 155: Plato, Phædrus, pp. 263 A, 271-272-273 E--275 E--276
A--277 C.]

[Footnote 156: Zeller, in his 'Platonische Studien' (pp. 66-72-88,
&c.), insists much on the rhetorical declamatory prolixity
visible throughout the Treatise De Legibus, as quite at variance
with the manner of Plato in his earlier and better dialogues, and
even as specimens of what Plato there notes as the rhetorical or
sophistical manner. He expresses his surprise that the Athenian
should be made to ascribe such discourses to the inspiration of
the Gods (p. 107). Zeller enumerates these and many other
dissimilarities in the Treatise De Legibus, as compared with other
Platonic dialogues, as premisses to sustain his conclusion that
the treatise is not by Plato. In my judgment they do not bear out
that conclusion (which indeed Zeller has since renounced in his
subsequent work); but they are not the less real and notable,
marking the change in Plato's own mind.

How poor an opinion had Plato of the efficacy of the [Greek:
nouthetêtiko\n ei)=dos lo/gôn] at the time when he composed the
Sophistês (p. 230 A)! What a superabundance of such discourse does
he deliver in the Treatise De Legibus, taking especial pride in
the peculiarity!]

[Side-note: Regulations for the new colony--About religious
worship, the oracles of Delphi and Dodona are to be consulted.]

After this unusual length of preliminaries, Plato enters on the
positive regulation of his colony. As to the worship of the Gods,
he directs little or nothing of his own authority. The colony must
follow the advice of the oracles of Delphi, Dodona, and
Ammon--together with any consecrated traditions, epiphanies, or
inspirations from the Gods belonging to the spot--as to the Gods
who shall be publicly worshipped, and the suitable temples and
rites. Only he directs that to each portion of the territory set
apart for civil purposes, some God, Dæmon, or Hero, shall be
specially assigned as Patron,[157] with a chapel and precinct
wherein all meetings of the citizens of the district shall be
held, whether for religious ceremonies, or for recreation, or for
political duties.

[Footnote 157: Plato, Legg. v. p. 738 C-D. [Greek: o(/pôs a)\n
xu/llogoi e(ka/stôn tô=n merô=n kata\ chro/nous gigno/menoi tou\s
prostachthe/ntas . . . meta\ thusiô=n.]

That such "ordained seasons" for meetings and sacrifices should be
punctually attended to--was a matter of great moment, on religious
no less than on civil grounds. It was with a view to that object
principally that each Grecian city arranged its calendar and its
system of intercalation. Plato himself states this (vii. p. 809

Sir George Lewis, in his Historical Survey of the Astronomy of the
Ancients, adverts to the passage of Plato here cited, and gives a
very instructive picture of the state of the Hellenic world as to
Calendar and computation of time (see p. 19; also the greater part
of chapter i. of his valuable work). The object of all the cities
was to adjust lunar time with solar time by convenient
intercalations, but hardly any two cities agreed in the method of
doing so. Different schemes of intercalation and periods
(trietêric, octaetêric, enneadekaetêric) were either adopted by
civic authority or suggested by private astronomers, such as
Kleostratus and Meton. The practical dissonance and confusion was
great, and the theoretical dissatisfaction also.

Now in this dialogue De Legibus, Plato recognises both the
importance of the object and the problem to be solved, yet he
suggests no means of his own for solving it. He makes no
arrangement for the calendar of his new Magnêtic city. I confess
that this is to me a matter of some surprise. To combine an
exertion of authority with an effort of arithmetical calculation,
is in his vein; and the exactness of observances as respects the
Gods, in harmony with the religious tone of the treatise, depended
on some tolerable solution of the problem.

We may perhaps presume that Plato refused to deal with the problem
because he considered it as mathematically insoluble. Days,
months, and years are not exactly commensurable with each other.
In the Timæus (p. 36 C) Plato declares that the rotation of the
Circle of the Same, or the outermost sidereal sphere, upon which
the succession of day and night depends, is according to the side
of a parallelogram ([Greek: kata\ pleura/n])--while the rotations
of the Moon and Sun (two of the seven branches composing the
Circle of the Different) are according to the diagonal thereof
([Greek: kata\ dia/metron]): now the side and the diagonal
represented the type of incommensurable magnitudes among the
ancient reasoners. It would appear also that he considers the
rotations of the Moon and Sun to be incommensurable with each
other, both of them being members included in the Circle of the

Since an exact mathematical solution was thus unattainable, Plato
may probably have despised a merely approximative solution,
sufficient for practical convenience--to which last object he
generally pays little attention. He might also fancy that even the
attempt to meddle with the problem betokened that confusion of the
incommensurable with the commensurable, which he denounces in this
very treatise (vii. pp. 819-820).]

[Side-note: Perpetuity of number of citizens, and of lots of
land, one to each, inalienable and indivisible.]

Plato requires for his community a fixed and peremptory total of
5040 citizens, never to be increased, and never to be diminished:
a total sufficient, in his judgment, to defend the territory
against invaders, and to lend aid on occasion to an oppressed
neighbour. He distributes the whole territory into 5040 lots of
land, each of equal value, assigning one lot to each citizen. Each
lot is assumed to be sufficient for the maintenance of a family of
sober habits, and no more. The total number (5040) is selected
because of the great variety of divisors by which it may be
divided without remainder.[158]

[Footnote 158: Plato, Legg. v. pp. 737-738, vi. p. 771 C.

Aristotle declares this total of 5040 to be extravagantly great,
inasmuch as it would require an amount of territory beyond the
scale which can be reckoned upon for a Grecian city, to maintain
so many unproductive persons, including not merely the 5040 adult
citizens, but also their wives, children, and personal attendants,
none of whom would take part in any productive industry (Politic.
ii. 6, p. 1265, b. 16).

The remark here cited indicates the small numerical scale upon
which the calculations of a Greek politician were framed. But we
can hardly be surprised at it, seeing that the new city is
intended for the Island of Krete, where none even of the existing
cities were considerable. Moreover Aristotle had probably present
to his mind the analogy of Sparta. The Spartan citizens were in a
situation more analogous to the 5040 than any other Grecian
residents. But the Spartan citizens could not have been near so
numerous as 5040 at that time; not even one-fifth of it--Aristotle
tells us, Politic. ii. 9, 1270, a. 31. Aristotle goes on to remark
on the definition given by Plato of the size and value of each lot
of land sufficient for the citizen and his family to live [Greek:
sôphro/nôs]: it ought to be (says Aristotle) [Greek: sôphro/nôs
kai\ e)leutheri/ôs]. These are the two modes of excellence, and
the only two, which a man can display in the use of his property
(1265, a. 35). But this change would only aggravate the difficulty
as to the total area of land required for the 5040. Compare the
remark of Aristotle on the scheme of Hippodamus, Politic. ii. 8,
1268, a. 42.]

[Side-note: Plato reasserts his adherence to the
principle of the Republic, though the repugnance of others hinders
him from realising it.]

We thus see that Plato, in laying down his fundamental principle
([Greek: u(po/thesin]), recognises separate individual property
and separate family among his citizens: both of which had been
strenuously condemned and strictly excluded, in respect to the
Guardians of his Republic. But he admits the principle only with
the proviso that there shall be a peremptory limit to number of
citizens, to individual wealth, and to individual poverty:
moreover, even with this proviso, he admits it only as a
second-best, because mankind will not accept, and are not
sufficiently exalted to work out, what is in itself the best. He
reasserts the principle of the Republic, that separate property
and separate family are both essentially mischievous: that all
individuality, either of interest or sympathy or sentiment, ought
to be extinguished as far as possible.[159] Though constrained
against his will to renounce this object, he will still approximate
to it as near as he can in his second-best. Moreover, he may
possibly, at some future time (D.V.), propose a third-best. When
once departure from the genuine standard is allowed, the departure
may be made in many different ways.

[Footnote 159: Plato, Legg. v. pp. 739-740; vii. p. 807 B.]

This declaration deserves notice as attesting the undiminished
adhesion of Plato to the main doctrines of his Republic. The point
here noted is one main difference of principle between the
Treatise De Legibus and the Republic: the enactment of written
fundamental laws with prologues serving as homilies to be preached
to the citizens, is another. Both of them are differences of
principle: each gives rise to many subordinate differences or

[Footnote 160: Plato, Legg. v. p. 739 E. [Greek: ê(\n de\ nu=n
ê(mei=s e)pikecheirê/kamen, ei)/ê te a)\n genome/nê pôs
a)thanasi/as e)ggu/tata kai\ ê( mi/a deute/rôs; tri/tên de\ meta\
tau=ta, e)a\n theo\s e)the/lê|, diaperanou/metha.] Upon this
passage K. F. Hermann observes: "Hæc enim est quam ordine tertiam
appellat Plato, quæ Aristoteli [Politic. iv. 1, 2] [Greek: e)x
u(pothe/seôs politei/a] dicitur: quod tamen nolim ita accipi, ut à
nonnullis factum est, ut hanc quoque olim singulari scripto
persecuturum fuisse philosophum credamus, quasi tribus exemplis
absolvi rerum publicarum formas censuisset; innumeræ enim pro
singularum nationum et urbium fortuna esse possunt," &c. (De
Vestigiis Instit. Vet. imprimis Attic. per Plat. de Legg. libros
indag., p. 16).

That Plato _did_ intend to compose a _third_ work upon
an analogous subject appears to me clear from the words,--but it
does not at all follow that he thought that three varieties would
exhaust all possibility. Upon this point I dissent from Hermann,
and also upon his interpretation of Aristotle's phrase [Greek: ê(
e)x u(pothe/seôs politei/a]. Aristotle distinguishes three
distinct varieties of end which the political constructor may
propose to himself:--1. [Greek: tê\n politei/an tê\n a(plô=s
a)ri/stên, tê\n ma/lista kat' eu)chê/n]. 2. [Greek: Tê\n e)k tô=n
u(pokeime/nôn a)ri/stên]. 3. [Greek: Tê\n e)x u(pothe/seôs
a)ri/stên]. Now K. F. Hermann here maintains, and Boeckh had
already maintained before him (ad Platonis Minoem et de Legibus,
pp. 66-67), that the city sketched in Plato's treatise De Legibus
coincides with No. 2 in Aristotle's enumeration, and that the
projected [Greek: tri/tê] in Plato coincides with No. 3--[Greek:
tê\n e)x u(pothe/seôs]. I differ from them here. There is no
ground for presuming that what Plato puts _third_ must also
be put by Aristotle _third_. I think that the Platonic city
De Legibus corresponds to No. 3 in Aristotle and not to No. 2. It
is a city [Greek: e)x u(pothe/seôs], not [Greek: e)k tô=n
u(pokeime/nôn a)ri/stên]. Plato borrows little or nothing from
[Greek: ta\ u(pokei/mena], and almost everything from his own
[Greek: u(po/thesis] or assumed principle, which in this case is
the fixed number of the citizens as well as of the lots of land,
the imposition of a limit on each man's proprietary acquisitions,
and the recognition of separate family establishments subject to
these limits. This is the [Greek: u(po/thesis] of Plato's second
city, to which all his regulations of detail are accommodated: it
is substituted by him (unwillingly, because of the repugnance of
others) in place of the [Greek: u(po/thesis] of his first city or
the Republic, which [Greek: u(po/thesis] is perfect communism
among the [Greek: phu/lakes], without either separate property or
separate family. This last is Plato's [Greek: a(plôs a)ri/stê].]

[Side-note: Regulations about land, successions,
marriages, &c. The number of citizens must not be allowed to

Each citizen proprietor shall hold his lot of land, not as his
own, but as part and parcel of the entire territory, which, taken
as a whole, is Goddess and Mistress--conjointly with all the local
Gods and Heroes--of the body of citizens generally. No citizen
shall either sell or otherwise alienate his lot, nor divide it,
nor trench upon its integrity. The total number of lots, the
integrity of each lot, and the total number of citizens, shall all
remain consecrated in perpetuity, without increase or diminution.
Each citizen in dying shall leave one son as successor to his lot:
if he has more than one, he may choose which of them he will
prefer. The successor so chosen shall maintain the perpetuity of
worship of the Gods, reverential rites to the family and deceased
ancestors, and obligations towards the city.[161] If the citizen
has other sons, they will be adopted into the families of other
citizens who happen to be childless: if he has daughters, he will
give them out in marriage, but without any dowry. Such family
relations will be watched over by a special board of magistrates:
with this peremptory condition, that they shall on no account
permit either the number of citizen proprietors, or the number of
separate lots, to depart from the consecrated 5040.[162] Each
citizen's name, and each lot of land, will be registered on
tablets of cypress wood. These registers will be preserved in the
temples, in order that the magistrates may be able to prevent

[Footnote 161: Plato, Legg. v. p. 740 A-B.]

[Footnote 162: Plato, Legg. v. pp. 740 D-742 C. Aristotle remarks
that in order to attain the object which Plato here proclaims,
restriction ought to be imposed on [Greek: teknopoii+/a]. No
citizen ought to be allowed to beget more than a certain number of
children. He observes that this last-mentioned restriction, if
imposed alone and without any others, would do more than all the
rest to maintain the permanent 5040 lots, and that without this no
other restrictions could be efficacious (Politic. ii. 6, 1265, a.
37, 1266, b. 9).

Plato concurs in this opinion, though he trusts to prudence and
the admonition of elders for bringing about this indispensable
limitation of births in a family, without legal prohibition. I
have already touched upon this matter in my review of Plato's
Republic. See above--chap. xxxvii. p. 198 seq.

The [Greek: no/moi thetikoi\] of Philolaus at Thebes, regulating
[Greek: tê\n paidopoii+/an] with a view to keep the lots of land
unchanged, are only known by the brief allusion of Aristotle,
Polit. ii. 12, 1274, b. 4.]

[Footnote 163: Plato, Legg. v. p. 741 C. [Greek: kuparitti/nas
mnê/mas], &c.]

[Side-note: Position of the city and akropolis--Distribution
of the territory and citizens into twelve equal sections or

The city, with its appropriate accessories, shall be placed as
nearly as possible in the middle of the territory. The akropolis,
sacred to Hestia and Athênê, will be taken as a centre from whence
twelve radiating lines will be drawn to the extremity of the
territory, so as to distribute the whole area into twelve
sections, not all equal in magnitude, but equalised in value by
diminishing the area in proportion to superior goodness of land.
The total number of citizens will be distributed also in twelve
sections, of 420 each (5040/12), among whom the lots of land
contained in each twelfth will be apportioned. This duodecimal
division, the fundamental canon of Plato's municipal arrangements,
is a sanctified present from the Gods, in harmony with the months
and with the kosmical revolutions.[164] Each twelfth, land and
citizens together, will be constituted a Tribe, and will be
consecrated to some God (determined by lot) whose name it will
bear, and at whose altar two monthly festivals will be celebrated:
one for the tribe, the other for the entire city. The tribes are
peremptorily equal in respect to number of citizens; but care
shall also be taken to make them as nearly equal as possible in
respect to registered property: that is, in respect to property
other than land, which each citizen brings with him to the
settlement, and which will all be recorded (as well as the land)
in the public registers.[165] The lot of land assigned to each
citizen will include a portion near the centre, and a portion near
the circumference: the most central portion being coupled with the
most outlying, and so on in order. Each citizen will thus have two
separate residences:[166] one nearer to the city, the other more
distant from it.

[Footnote 164: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 771 B. Plato here reckons the
different numerical divisions adopted in different cities as being
all both natural and consecrated, but he considers his own as the
most fortunate and right. He insists much upon the importance of
symmetrical distribution, with definite numerical ratio, in all
the departments of life: in the various civil subdivisions of the
Tribe, such as Phratries, Dêmes, Villages--in the arrangements of
the citizens for military service, [Greek: ta/xeis kai\
a)gôga/s]--in the coins, weights and measures--in the modulations
of the voice, and in the direction of movements either rectilinear
or rotatory. (Whoever looks at Aristophanes, Aves, 1010 seq., will
see all such regularity and symmetry derided in the person of
Meton.) Nay, he enjoins that all the vessels made for common use
shall be exact fractions or exact multiples of each other. This
will make it necessary for all the citizens to learn elementary
arithmetic, which Plato considers to be of essential value, not
only for practical use but as a stimulus to the dormant
intelligence. On this point he notes the Egyptians and Phenicians
as standing higher than the Greeks (vii. p. 818), but as applying
their superior arithmetical knowledge only to a mean and
disgraceful thirst for wealth. Against this last defect Plato
reckons upon guarding his citizens by other precautions, while he
encourages in them the learning of arithmetic (Legg. v. p. 747).
Plato here speaks of the Egyptians and Phenicians, much as the
Jews have been spoken of in later times. And it is curious that he
seems to consider their peculiarities of character as referable to
their local domicile. He maintains that one place is intrinsically
different from another in respect to producing good and bad
characters; some places are even privileged by [Greek: thei/a
e)pi/pnoia kai\ daimo/nôn lê/xeis] &c.]

[Footnote 165: Plato, Legg. v. p. 745.]

[Footnote 166: Plato, Legg. v. p. 745, vi. p. 771 D.]

[Side-note: Movable property--Inequality therein reluctantly
allowed, as far as four to one, but no farther.]

Plato would be glad if he were able to establish among all the
citizens, equality not merely of landed property, but property of
all other property besides. This, however, he recognises his
inability to exact. The colonists will bring with them movable
property--some more, some less: and inequality must be tolerated
up to a certain limit. Each citizen is allowed to possess movable
property as far as four times the value of his lot of land, but no
more. The maximum of wealth possessed by any citizen will thus be
equal to five times the value of his lot of land: the minimum of
the poorest citizen will be the lot of land itself, which cannot,
under the worst circumstances, be alienated or diminished. If any
citizen shall in any way acquire property above the maximum here
named, he is directed to make it over to the city and to the
Gods. In case of disobedience, he may be indicted before the
Nomophylakes; and if found guilty, shall be disgraced, excluded
from his share of public distributions, and condemned to pay twice
as much--half being assigned as recompense to the prosecutor.[167]
The public register kept by the magistrates, in which is
enrolled all the property of every kind belonging to each citizen,
will enable them to enforce this regulation, and will be farther
useful in all individual suits respecting money.

[Footnote 167: Plato, Legg. v. pp. 744-745, vi. p. 754 E.]

[Side-note: Census of the citizens--four classes, with
graduated scale of property. No citizen to possess gold or silver.
No loans or interest. No debts enforced by law.]

In the public census of the city, the citizens will be distributed
into four classes, according to their different scales of
property. The richest will be four minæ: the other three minæ,
two, and one mina, respectively. Direct taxation will be assessed
upon them according to the difference of wealth: to which also a
certain reference will be had in the apportionment of
magistracies, and in the regulation of the voting privilege.[168]

[Footnote 168: Plato, Legg. v. p. 744 B, vi. p. 754 E.]

By this determination of a maximum and minimum, coupled with a
certain admitted preference to wealth in the assignment of
political power, Plato considers that he has guarded against the
intestine dissensions and other evils likely to arise from
inequality of property. He accounts great poverty to be a serious
cause of evil; yet he is very far from looking upon wealth as a
cause of good. On the contrary, he proclaims that great wealth is
absolutely incompatible either with great virtue or great
happiness.[169] Accordingly, while he aims at preserving every
individual citizen from poverty, he at the same time disclaims all
purpose of making his community either richer or more
powerful.[170] He forbids every private citizen to possess gold
and silver. The magistrates must hold a certain stock of it in
reserve, in case of public dealing with foreign cities: but they
will provide for the daily wants of the community by a special
cheap currency, having no value beyond the limits of the
territory.[171] Moreover, Plato prohibits all loans on interest.
He refuses to enforce by law the restoration even of a
deposit. He interdicts all dowry or marriage portion with

[Footnote 169: Plato, Legg. v. pp. 742 E, 743 A, 744 E.]

[Footnote 170: Plato, Legg. v. p. 742 D.]

[Footnote 171: Plato, Legg. v. p. 742 A.]

[Footnote 172: Plato, Legg. v. p. 742 C.]

[Side-note: Board of thirty-seven Nomophylakes--general
supervisors of the laws and their execution--how elected.]

How is the Platonic colony to be first set on its march, and by
whom are its first magistrates to be named? By the inhabitants of
Knôssus, its mother city--replies Plato. The Knossians will
appoint a provisional Board of two hundred: half from their own
citizens, half from the elders and most respected men among the
colonists themselves.[173] This Board will choose the first
Nomophylakes, consisting of thirty-seven persons, half Knossians,
half colonists. These Nomophylakes are intended as a Council of
State, and will be elected by the citizens in the following way,
when the colony is once in full march:--All the citizens who
perform or have performed military service, either as hoplites or
cavalry, will be electors. They will vote by tablets laid upon the
altar, and inscribed with the name both of the voter himself and
of the person whom he prefers. First, three hundred persons will
be chosen by the majority of votes according to this process.
Next, out of these three hundred, one hundred will be chosen by a
second process of the same kind. Lastly, out of these one hundred,
thirty-seven will be chosen by a third similar process, but with
increased solemnity: these thirty-seven will constitute the Board
of Nomophylakes, or Guardians of the Laws.[174] No person shall be
eligible for Guardian until he has attained the age of fifty. When
elected, he shall continue to serve until he is seventy, and no
longer: so that if elected at sixty, he will have ten years of
service.[175] The duties of this Board will be to see that all the
laws are faithfully executed: in which function they will have
superintendence over all special magistrates and officers.

[Footnote 173: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 752 D, 754 C.]

[Footnote 174: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 753 C-D.]

[Footnote 175: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 755 A.]

[Side-note: Military commanders--General council of
360--complicated mode of election.]

For the office of General and Minister of War, three persons shall
be chosen by show of hands of the military citizens. It shall be
the duty of the Nomophylakes to propose three names for this
office: but other citizens may also propose different names, and
the show of hands will decide. The three Generals, when chosen,
shall propose twelve names as Taxiarchs, one for each tribe:
other names may also be proposed, and the show of hands of each
tribe will determine.[176]

[Footnote 176: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 755 E.]

A Council shall be annually chosen, consisting of 360 members,
ninety from each of the four proprietary scales in the Census. The
mode of electing this Council is highly complicated. First, Plato
provides that 360 Councillors shall be chosen out of the first (or
richest) class, and as many out of the second class, by universal
suffrage, every citizen being compelled to give his vote: then
that 360 Councillors shall be chosen out of the third class, by
universal suffrage, but under this condition, that the three
richest classes are compelled to vote, while the fourth class may
abstain from voting, if they please: next, that 360 Councillors
shall be chosen out of the fourth class, still by universal
suffrage, but with liberty to the third and fourth classes to
abstain from voting, while the first and second classes are
compelled to vote. Out of the four batches, of 360 names from each
class, 180 names from each class are to be chosen by universal
suffrage compulsory on all. This last list of 180 names is to be
reduced, by drawing lots, to 90 from each class, or 360 in all:
who constitute the Council for the year.[177]

[Footnote 177: Plato, Legg vi. p. 756. Compare Aristot. Politic.
ii. 6, p. 1266, a. 14.

The passage of Plato is not perspicuous. It appears to me to have
been misunderstood by some commentators, who suppose that only 90
[Greek: bouleutai\] are to be chosen out of each census in the
original voting (see Schneider's Comment. on the passage of
Aristotle above alluded to, p. 99). The number originally chosen
from each class must be 360, because it is directed, in the final
process, to be reduced first (by election) to 180 from each class,
and next (by sortition) to 90 from each class.]

[Side-note: Character of the electoral scheme--Plato's views
about wealth--he caters partly for the oligarchical sentiment,
partly for the democratical.]

Here the evident purpose of Plato is to obtain in the last result
a greater number of votes from the rich than from the poor,
without absolutely disfranchising the poor. Where the persons to
be voted for are all of the richer classes, there the poor are
compelled to come and vote as well as the rich: where the persons
to be voted for are all of the poorer class, there the rich are
compelled to vote, while the poor are allowed to stay away. He
seems to look on the vote, not as a privilege which citizens will
wish to exercise, but as a duty which they must be compelled by
fine to discharge. This is (as Aristotle calls it) an oligarchical
provision. It exhibits Plato's mode of attaining the end
stated by Livy as proposed in the Servian constitution at Rome,
and the end contemplated (without being announced) by the framers
of most other political constitutions recorded in
history--"_Gradus facti, ut neque exclusus quisquam suffragio
videretur, et vis omnis penes primores civitatis esset_".[178]
Plato defends it by distinguishing two sorts of equality: one complete
and undistinguishing, in which all the citizens are put upon a
level: the other in which the good and able citizen is
distinguished from the bad and incapable citizen, so that he
acquires power and honour in proportion to his superior
merit.[179] This second sort of equality Plato approves,
pronouncing it to be political justice. But such defence tacitly
assumes that superiority in wealth, as between the four classes of
his census, is to count as evidence of, or as an equivalent for,
superior merit: an assumption doubtless received by many Grecian
politicians, and admitted in the general opinion of Greece--but
altogether at variance with the declared judgment of Plato himself
as to the effect of wealth upon the character of the wealthy man.
The poorest citizen in the Platonic community must have his lot of
land, which Plato considers sufficient for a sober-minded family:
the richest citizen can possess** only five times as much: and all
receive the same public instruction. Here, therefore, there can be
no presumption of superior merit in the richer citizen as compared
with the poorer, whatever might be said about the case as it stood
in actual Grecian communities. We see that Plato in this case
forgets his own peculiar mode of thought, and accommodates himself
to received distinctions, without reflecting that the principles
of _his_ own political system rendered such distinctions
inapplicable. He bows to the oligarchical sentiment of his
contemporaries, by his preferential encouragement to the votes of
the rich: he bows to the democratical sentiment, when he consents
to employ to a small extent the principle of the lot.[180]

[Footnote 178: Livy i. 43.

Aristotle characterises these regulations of the Platonic
community as oligarchical, and remarks that this is in
contradiction to the principle with which Plato set out--that it
ought to be a compound of monarchy and democracy. Aristotle
understands this last principle somewhat differently from what
Plato seems to have intended (Politic. ii. 6, 1266, a. 10).]

[Footnote 179: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 757 A-B.

Compare a like distinction drawn between two sorts of [Greek:
i)so/tês] in Isokrates, Areiopagitic. Orat. vii. s. 23-24; also
Aristotel. Politic.]

[Footnote 180: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 757 E. [Greek: dio\ tô=| tou=
klê/rou i)/sô| a)na/gkê proschrê/sasthai, duskoli/as tô=n pollô=n
e(/neka], &c.]

[Side-note: Meetings of council--other
magistrates--Agoranomi--Astynomi, &c.]

Of the annually-chosen Council, one twelfth part only (or thirty
Councillors) will be in constant session in the city: each of
their sessions lasting for one month, and the total thus covering
the year. The remaining eleven twelfths will be attending to their
private affairs, except when special necessities arise. The
Council will have the general superintendence of the city, and
controul over all meetings of the citizens.[181] Provision is made
for three magistrates called Astynomi, to regulate the streets,
roads, public buildings, water-courses, &c.: and for five
Agoranomi, to watch over the public market with its appertaining
temples and fountains, and to take cognisance of disputes or
offences occurring therein. None but citizens of the two richest
classes of the census are eligible as Astynomi or Agoranomi:
first, twice the number required are chosen by public show of
hands--next, half of the number so chosen are drawn off by lot. In
regard to the show of hands, Plato again decrees, that all
citizens of the two richer classes shall be compelled to take part
in it, under fine: all citizens of the two poorer classes may take
part if they choose, but are not compelled.[182] By this
provision, as before, Plato baits for the oligarchical sentiment:
by the partial use of the lot, for the democratical.

[Footnote 181: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 758 C-D.]

[Footnote 182: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 763-764.]

[Side-note: Defence of the territory--rural
police--Agronomi, &c.]

The defence of the territory is entrusted to the Agronomi, five
persons selected from each of the twelve tribes, making sixty in
all; and assisted by sixty other junior subordinates, selected by
the five Agronomi (those of each tribe choosing twelve) from their
respective tribes. Each of these companies of seventeen will be
charged with the care of one of the twelve territorial districts,
as may be determined by lot. Each will then pass by monthly change
from one district to another, so as to make the entire circuit of
the twelve districts in one year, going round in an easterly
direction or to the right: each will then make the same circuit
backward, during a second year, in a westerly direction or to the
left.[183] Their term of service will be two years in all,
during which all of them will have become familiarly acquainted
with every portion of the territory. A public mess will be
provided for these companies, and each man among them will be held
to strict continuity of service. Their duties will be, not merely
to keep each district in a condition of defence against a foreign
enemy, but also to improve its internal condition: to facilitate
the outflow of water where there is too much, and to retard it
where there is too little: to maintain, in the precincts sacred to
the Gods, reservoirs of spring-water, partly as ornament, partly
also as warm baths (for the heating of which large stocks of dry
wood must be collected)--to benefit the old, the sick, and the
overworked husbandman.[184] Farthermore, these Agronomi will
adjudicate upon disputes and offences among the rural population,
both slave and free. If they abuse their trust, they will be
accountable, first to the assembled citizens of the district, next
to the public tribunals in the city.

[Footnote 183: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 760 D. [Greek: tou\s tê=s
chô/ras to/pous metalla/ttontas a)ei\ tô=n e(xê=s to/pôn e(ka/stou
mêno\s ê(gei=sthai tou\s phroura/rchous e)pi\ dexia\ ku/klô|; to\
d' e)pide/xia gigne/sthô to\ pro\s e(/ô.]

In reference to omens and auguries the Greek spectator looked
towards the north, so that he had the east on his right hand.]

[Footnote 184: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 761 A-D.

Agreeable and refreshing combinations of springs with shady trees
near the precincts of the Gods were frequent. See Xenophon,
Hellen. v. 3, 19.

The thermal waters were also generally connected with some
precinct of Hêraklês or Asklêpius.

In some temples it was forbidden to use this adjoining water
except for sacred rites, Thucyd. iv. 97.]

[Side-note: Comparison with the Lacedæmonian Kryptia.]

Plato considers that these Agronomi will go through hard work
during their two years of service, inasmuch as they will have no
slaves, and will have to do everything for themselves: though in
the performance of any public work they are empowered to put in
requisition both men and cattle from the neighbourhood.[185] He
pronounces it to be a salutary discipline for the young men, whom
he admonishes that an apprenticeship in obedience is indispensable
to qualify them for command, and that exact obedience to the laws
and magistrates will be their best title to posts of authority
when older.[186] Moreover, he insists on the necessity that all
citizens should become minutely acquainted with the whole
territory: towards which purpose he encourages young men in the
exercise of hunting. He compares (indirectly) his movable guard of
Agronomi to the Lacedæmonian Krypti, who maintained the police of
Laconia, and kept watch over the Helots:[187] though they are
also the parallel of the youthful Peripoli at Athens, who were
employed as Guards for two years round various parts of Attica.

[Footnote 185: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 760 E-763 A.]

[Footnote 186: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 762 E.]

[Footnote 187: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 763 A-B. [Greek: ei)/te tis
kruptou\s ei)/te a)grono/mous ei)/th' o(/, ti kalô=n chai/rei],
&c. He notes the hardships endured by these [Greek: Kruptoi\]
in their [Greek: Kruptei/a], i. p. 633 C.

The phrase seems however to indicate that Plato did not much like
to call his Agronomi by the name of [Greek: Kruptoi/]. The duties
performed by the Lacedæmonian [Greek: Kruptoi\] against the Helots
were of the harshest character. See chap. vi. p. 509 of my
'History of Greece'. Schömann, Antiq. Juris Publ. Græc. iv. 1-4,
p. 111, v. 1, 21, p. 199.]

[Side-note: Priests--Exêgêtæ--Property belonging to

Besides Astynomi and Agoranomi, Plato provides priests for the
care of the sacred buildings in the city, and for the service of
the Gods. In choosing these priests, as in choosing the other
magistrates, election and sortition are to be combined: to satisfy
at once the oligarchical and the democratical sentiment. The lot
will be peculiarly suitable in a case where priests are to be
chosen--because the God may be expected to guide it in a manner
agreeable to himself.[188] Plato himself however is not confident
on this point, for he enjoins additional precautions: the person
chosen must be sixty years old at least, free from all bodily
defect, of legitimate birth, and of a family untainted by previous
crime. Plato prescribes farther, that laws or canons respecting
matters of divine concern shall be obtained from the Delphian
oracle: and that certain Exêgêtæ shall be named as authorised
interpreters of these canons, as long as they live.[189]
Treasurers or stewards shall also be chosen, out of the two richer
classes of the census, to administer the landed property and
produce belonging to the various temples.[190]

[Footnote 188: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 749 D.]

[Footnote 189: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 759 E.]

[Footnote 190: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 760 A.]

In the execution of the duties imposed upon them, the Agoranomi
and Astynomi are empowered to fine an offender to the extent of
one mina (one hundred drachmæ), each of them separately--and when
both sit together, to the extent of two minæ.[191]

[Footnote 191: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 764 B.

Here, as in other provisions, Plato copies the practice at Athens,
where each individual magistrate was empowered to impose a fine of
definite amount ([Greek: e)pibolê\n e)piba/llein]), though we do
not know what that amount was. The Proedri could impose a fine as
high as one mina, the Senate as high as five minæ (Meier und
Schömann, Der Attische Prozess, p. 34).]

[Side-note: Superintendence of Music and Gymnastic.
Educational function.]

_Music and Gymnastic._--For each of these, two magisterial
functions must be constituted: one to superintend the
teaching and training--the other, to preside over the matches and
distribution of prizes. In regard to the musical matches, one
President must be appointed for the monôdic single-headed
exhibitions, another for the choric exhibitions. The President of
the former must be not less than thirty years of age. The
President of the latter must be not less than forty years of age.
In order to appoint a fit person, the Nomophylakes shall constrain
all the citizens whom they believe to be conversant with monôdic
or choric matters, to assemble and agree on a preliminary list of
ten candidates, who shall undergo a Dokimasy or examination, upon
the single point of skill and competency, and no other. If they
all pass, recourse shall be had to lot, and the one who draws the
first lot shall be President for the year. In regard to the
gymnastic matches, of men as well as of horses, the citizens of
the three richest classes shall be constrained to come together
(those of the fourth class may come, or stay away, as they
please), and to fix upon twenty suitable persons; who shall
undergo the Dokimasy, and out of whom three shall be selected by
lot as Presidents of gymnastic contests for the year.[192]

[Footnote 192: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 764-765.]

[Side-note: Grave duties of the Minister of
Education--precautions in electing him.]

We observe that in the nomination of Presidents for the musical
and gymnastic contests, Plato adopts the same double-faced
machinery as before--To please the oligarchical sentiment by
treating the votes of the rich as indispensable, the votes of the
poor as indifferent--To please the democratical sentiment by a
partial application of the lot. But in regard to the President of
musical and gymnastic education or training, he prescribes a very
different manner of choice. He declares this to be the most
important function in the city. Upon the way in which the Minister
of Education discharges his functions, the ultimate character of
the citizens will mainly turn. Accordingly, this magistrate must
be a man of fifty years of age, father of legitimate
children--and, if possible, of daughters as well as sons. He must
also be one of the thirty-seven Nomophylakes. He will be selected,
not by the votes of the citizens generally, but by the votes of all
the magistrates (except the annual Councillors and the Prytanes):
such votes being deposited secretly in the temple of Apollo. The
person who obtains the most of these secret votes will be
submitted to a farther Dokimasy by all the voting magistrates
(except the Nomophylakes themselves), and will, if approved, be
constituted President of musical and gymnastic education for five

[Footnote 193: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 765-766.]

[Side-note: Judicial duties.]

From the magisterial authority in his city, Plato now passes to
the judicial or dikastic. He remarks that no peremptory line of
separation can be drawn between the two. Every magistrate
exercises judicial functions on some matters: every dikast, on the
days when he sits, decides magisterially.[194] He then proceeds to
distinguish (as the Attic forum did) between two sorts of
causes:--Private, disputes between man and man, where the persons
complaining of being wronged are one or a few individuals--Public,
where the party wronged or alleged to be wronged is the

[Footnote 194: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767 A.]

[Footnote 195: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767 B.

This was the main distinction adopted in the Attic law. 1.
Complaint, founded upon injury alleged to be done to the interest
of some individual--[Greek: a)gô\n i)/dios, di/kê i)di/a, di/kê]
in the narrow sense. 2. Complaint, founded upon injury alleged to
be done towards some interest not strictly individual--[Greek:
a)gô\n dêmo/sios, di/kê dêmosi/a, graphê/] (Meier und Schömann,
der Attische Prozess, p. 162).]

[Side-note: Private Causes--how tried.]

In regard to the private causes, he institutes Tribe-Dikasteries,
taken by lot out of the citizens of each tribe, and applied
without notice to each particular cause as it comes on, so that no
one can know beforehand in what cause he is to adjudicate, nor can
any one be solicited or bribed.[196] He institutes farthermore a
superior court of appeal, formed every year by the various Boards
of Magistrates, each choosing out of its own body the most
esteemed member, subject to approval by an ensuing Dokimasy.[197]
When one citizen believes himself to be wronged by another, he
must first submit the complaint to arbitration by neighbours and
common friends. If this arbitration fails to prove satisfactory,
he must next bring the complaint before the Tribe-Dikastery.
Should their decision prove unsatisfactory, the case may be
brought (seemingly by either of the parties) before the
superior court of appeal, whose decision will be final. Plato
directs that this superior Court shall hold its sittings publicly,
in presence of all the Magistrates and all the Councillors, as
well as of any other citizen who may choose to attend. The members
of the Court are to give their votes openly.[198] Should they be
suspected of injustice or corruption, they may be impeached before
the Nomophylakes; who, if convinced of their guilt, shall compel
them to make good the wrong done, and shall impose penalties
besides, if the case requires.[199]

[Footnote 196: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 768 B.]

[Footnote 197: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767-C-D. [Greek: gigne/sthô
koino\n a(/pasi toi=s to\ tri/ton a)mphisbêtou=sin i)diô/tais
pro\s a)llê/lous.]]

[Footnote 198: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 767 A-D, 768 B. Compare xii.
p. 956.]

[Footnote 199: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 767 E.]

[Side-note: Public Causes must be tried directly by the
citizens--strong feeling among Greeks about this.]

In regard to Public Causes, Plato makes unusual concession to a
feeling much prevalent in Greece, and especially potent at Athens.
Where the wrong done is to the public, he recognises that the
citizens generally will not submit to be excluded from the
personal cognizance of it: the citizen excluded from that
privilege feels as if he had no share in the city.[200] If one
citizen accuses another of treason, or peculation, or other wrong
towards the public, the accusation shall be originated at first,
and decided at last, before the general body of citizens. But
after having been originated before this general assembly, the
charge must be submitted to an intermediate stage of examination,
before three of the principal Boards of Magistrates; who shall
sift the allegations of the accuser, as well as the defence of the
accused. These commissioners (we must presume) will make a report
on the case, which report will be brought before the general
assembly; who will then adjudicate upon it finally, and condemn or
acquit as they think right.[201]

[Footnote 200: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 768 B. [Greek: o( ga\r
a)koinô/nêtos ô)\n e)xousi/as tou= sundika/zein, ê(gei=tai to\
para/pan tê=s po/leôs ou) me/tochos ei)=nai.] This is a remarkable
indication about the tone of Grecian feeling from a very adverse

[Footnote 201: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 768 A. [Greek: tê\n de\
ba/sanon e)n tai=s megi/stais a)rchai=s trisi/n], &c.

Here the word [Greek: ba/sanos] is used in a much more extended
sense than usual, so as to include the whole process of judicial

[Side-note: Plato's way of meeting this
feeling--intermediate inquiry and report by a special Commissioner.]

This proposition deserves notice. Plato proclaims his
disapprobation of the numerous Dikasteries in Athens, wherein the
Dikasts sat, heard, and voted--perhaps with applause or murmurs,
but with no searching questions of their own--leaving the
whole speech to the parties and their witnesses. To decide justly
(he says), the judicial authority must not remain silent, but must
speak more than the parties, and must undertake the substantial
conduct of the inquiry. No numerous assembly--nor even any few,
unless they be intelligent--are competent to such a duty: nor even
an intelligent few, without much time and patience.[202] To secure
such an inquiry on these public causes--as far as is possible
consistent with the necessity of leaving the final decision to the
general assembly--is the object of Plato's last-mentioned
proposition. It is one of the most judicious propositions in his
whole scheme.

[Footnote 202: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 766 E.]

*  *  *  *  *

[Side-note: What laws the magistrates are to enforce--Many
details must be left to the Nomophylakes.]

Plato has now constituted the magistrates and the judicial
machinery. It is time to specify the laws which they are to obey
and to enforce.[203]

[Footnote 203: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 768 E.]

Plato considers the Nomophylakes (together with another board
called the Nocturnal Council, to be hereafter described) as the
permanent representatives of himself: destined to ensure that the
grand ethical purpose of the lawgiver shall be constantly kept in
view, and to supply what may have been left wanting in the
original programme.[204] Especially at the first beginning,
provision will be found wanting in many details, which the
Nomophylakes will take care to supply. In respect to the choric
festivals, which are of so much importance for the training and
intercourse of young men and maidens, the lawgiver must trust to
the Choric Superintendents and the Nomophylakes for regulating, by
their experience, much which he cannot foresee. But an experience
of ten years will enable them to make all the modifications and
additions required; and after that period they shall fix and
consecrate in perpetuity the ceremonies as they then stand,
forbidding all farther change. Neither in that nor in any other
arrangement shall any subsequent change be allowed, except on
the unanimous requisition of all the magistrates, all the people,
and all the oracles of the Gods.[205]

[Footnote 204: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 770 C-E.]

[Footnote 205: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 772 C-D.]

[Side-note: Marriage-Laws--Rich husbands to choose poor
wives--No dowries--costly marriage festivals are forbidden.]

The choric festivals, in which the youths and maidens will take
part, both of them naked as far as a sober modesty will allow,
present occasions for mutual acquaintance between them, which
serves as foundation for marriage.[206] At the age of twenty-five
a young man is permitted to marry; and before the age of
thirty-five he is required to marry, under penalty of fine and
disgrace, if he does not.[207] Plato introduces here a discourse,
in the form of a prologue to his marriage law, wherein he impresses
on young men the general principles according to which they ought
to choose their wives. The received sentiment, which disposes a rich
youth to choose his wife from a rich family, is (in Plato's view)
altogether wrong. Rich husbands ought to assort themselves with
poor wives; and in general the characters of husband and wife
ought to be opposite rather than similar, in order that the
offspring may not inherit the defects of either.[208] The
religious ceremonies antecedent to marriage are to be regulated by
the Exêgêtæ. A costly marriage feast--and, above all, drunkenness
at that feast--are emphatically forbidden. Any offspring begotten
when the parent is in this disorderly and insane condition,[209]
will probably be vitiated from the beginning. Out of the two
residences which every citizen's lot will comprise, one must be
allotted to the son when the son marries.[210]

[Footnote 206: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 772 A. [Greek: gumnou\s kai\
gumna\s me/chri per ai)dou=s sô/phronos e(ka/stôn], &c.]

[Footnote 207: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 772 E, 774 A.]

[Footnote 208: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 773 C-D.

Compare the Politikus, pp. 310-311, where the necessity is
insisted on of coupling in marriage two persons of opposite
dispositions--[Greek: to\ a)ndrei=on ê)=thos] with [Greek: to\
ko/smion ê)=thos]. There is a natural inclination (Plato says) for
the [Greek: a)ndrei=oi] to intermarry with each other, and for the
[Greek: ko/smioi] to do the like: but the lawgiver must contend
against this. If this be permitted, each of the breeds will
degenerate through excess of its own peculiarity.]

[Footnote 209: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 775.]

[Footnote 210: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 776 A.]

[Side-note: Laws about slavery. Slaves to be well fed, and
never treated with cruelty or insolence. The master must not
converse with them.]

Plato now enters upon his laws respecting property; and first of
all upon the most critical variety of property; that in human
beings, or slavery. This he declares to be a subject full of
difficulty. There is much difference of opinion on the subject.
Some speak of slaves as deserving trust and good treatment,
in proof of which various anecdotes of exemplary fidelity on their
part are cited: others again regard them as incorrigibly debased,
fit for nothing better than the whip and spur, like cattle. Then
moreover the modified form of slavery, such as that of the Helots
in Laconia, and the Penestæ in Thessaly, has been found full of
danger and embarrassment, though the Spartans themselves are well
satisfied with it.[211] (It will be recollected that the Helots
and Penestæ were not slaves bought and imported from abroad, as
the slaves in Attica were, but conquered Hellenic communities who
had been degraded from freedom into slavery, and from the
condition of independent proprietorship into that of tributary
tenants or serfs; but with the right to remain permanently on
their lands, without ever being sold for exportation.) This form
of slavery (where the slaves are of the same race and language,
with reciprocal bonds of sympathy towards each other) Plato
denounces as especially dangerous. Care must be taken that there
shall be among the slaves as little fellowship of language and
feelings as possible; but they must be well fed: moreover
everything like cruelty and insolence in dealing with them must be
avoided, even more carefully than in dealing with freemen. This he
prescribes partly for the protection of the slave himself, but
still more for the interest of the master: whose intrinsic virtue,
or want of virtue, will be best tested by his behaviour as a
master. The slaves must be punished judicially, when they deserve
it. But the master must never exhort or admonish them, as he would
address himself to a freeman: he must never say a word to them,
except to give an order: above all, he must abstain from all
banter and joking, either with male or female slaves.[212] Many
foolish masters indulge in such behaviour, which emboldens
the slaves to give themselves airs, and renders the task of
governing them almost impracticable.[213]

[Footnote 211: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 777. He alludes also to the
enslavement of the indigenous population called the Mariandyni, by
the Grecian colonists of Herakleia on the southern coast of the
Euxine; and to the disturbances and disorders which had occurred
through movements of the slaves in Southern Italy. Probably this
last may be connected with that revolt whereby the Bruttians
became enfranchised; but we can make out nothing definite from
Plato's language.]

[Footnote 212: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 777 D-E. [Greek: kola/zein ge
mê\n e)n di/kê dou/lous a)ei\, kai\ mê\ nouthetou=ntas ô(s
e)leuthe/rous thru/ptesthai poiei=n. Tê\n de\ oi)ketou= pro/srêsin
chrê\ schedo\n e)pi/taxin pa=san gi/gnesthai, mê\ prospai/zontas
mêdamê=| mêdamô=s oi)ketai=s, mê/t' ou)=n thêlei/ais mê/t'

[Footnote 213: Aristotle (Polit. vii. p. 1330, a. 27; Oeconom.
i. p. 1344, b. 18) agrees with Plato as to the danger of having
slaves who speak the same language and are of the same tribes,
with common lineage and sympathies. He disapproves of anything
which tends to impart spirit and independence to the slave's
character; and he takes occasion from hence to deduce some
objections against various arrangements of the Platonic Republic
(Politic. ii. p. 1264, a. 35). These are precautions--[Greek:
pro\s to\ mêde\n neôteri/zein]. But Aristotle dissents from Plato
on another point--where Plato enjoins that the master shall not
exhort or admonish his slave, but shall address to him no word
except the word of command (Aristot. Politic. i. p. 1260, b. 5).
Aristotle says that there is a certain special and inferior kind
of [Greek: a)retê\] which the slave can possess and ought to
possess; that this ought to be communicated to him by the
admonition and exhortation of the master; and that the master
ought to admonish his slaves even more than he admonishes his
children. The slave requires a certain [Greek: ê)thikê\n
a)retê/n], so that he may not be hindered from his duty by [Greek:
a)kolasi/a] or [Greek: deili/a]: but it is an [Greek: a)retê\
mikra/]: the courage required for the slave is [Greek:
u(pêretikê/], that for the master [Greek: a)rchikê/] (ib. p. 1260,
a. 22-35). This measure of virtue the master must impart to the
slave by exhortation, over and above the orders which he gives as
to the performance of work. It would appear, however, that in
Aristotle's time there were various persons who denied that there
was any [Greek: a)retê\] belonging to a slave--[Greek: para\ ta\s
o)rganika\s kai\ diakonika/s] (p. 1259, b. 23). Upon this last
theory is founded the injunction of Plato which Aristotle here

What Aristotle says about slaves in the fifth chapter of the first
book of his Oeconomica, is superior to what he says in the
Politica, and superior to anything which we read in the Platonic
Treatise De Legibus.]

[Side-note: Circular form for the city--Temples in the
centre--No walls round it.]

As to the construction of the city, Plato prescribes that its
external contour shall be of circular form, encircling the summit
of an eminence, with the agora near the centre. The temples of the
Gods shall be planted around the agora, and the buildings for
gymnasia and schooling, for theatrical representation, for
magistrative, administrative, and judicial business, near at hand.
Plato follows the example of Sparta in prohibiting any special
outer wall for the fortification of the city, which he treats as
an indication of weakness and timidity: nevertheless he suggests
that the houses constituting the city may be erected on such a
plan, and in such connection, as to be equivalent to a
fortification.[214] When once the city is erected, the Astynomi or
Ædiles are to be charged with the duty of maintaining its
integrity and cleanliness.

[Footnote 214: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 778-779.]

[Side-note: Mode of life prescribed to new-married couples
They are to take the best care about good procreation for the

Plato next proceeds to regulate the mode of life proper for all
his new-married couples. He proclaims broadly that large
interference with private and individual life is unavoidable; and
that no great public reform can be accomplished without it.[215]
He points out that this principle was nowhere sufficiently
admitted: not even at Sparta, where it was carried farther than
anywhere else. Even the Spartans and Kretans adopted the public
mess-table only for males, and not for females.[216] In Plato's
view, it is essential for both. He would greatly prefer (as
announced already in his Republic) that it should be one and the
same for both--males and females taking their meals together.

[Footnote 215: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 780 A, vii. p. 790 A.]

[Footnote 216: Plato. Legg. vi. p. 781 A.]

[Side-note: Board of superintending matrons.]

The newly-married couples are enjoined to bestow their best
attention upon the production of handsome and well-constituted
children: this being their primary duty to the city for ten years
after their marriage. Their conduct will be watched by a Board of
Matrons, chosen for the purpose by the Nomophylakes, and
assembling every day in the temple of Eileithuia. In case of any
dispute, or unfaithful or unseemly conduct, these Matrons will
visit them to admonish or threaten, if they see reason. Should
such interference fail of effect, the Matrons will apprise the
Nomophylakes, who will on their parts admonish and censure, and
will at last denounce the delinquents, if still refractory, to the
public authority. The delinquents will then be disgraced, and
debarred from the public ceremonies, unless they can clear
themselves by indicting and convicting their accusers before the
public tribunal.[217]

[Footnote 217: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 784.]

[Side-note: Age fixed for marriage. During the first ten
years the couple are under obligation to procreate for the
city--Restrictions during these ten years.]

The age of marriage is fixed at from thirty to thirty-five for
males, from sixteen to twenty for females. The first ten years
after marriage are considered as appropriated to the production of
children _for the city_, and are subject to the strict
supervision above mentioned. If any couple have no offspring for
ten years, the marriage shall be dissolved by authority. After ten
years the supervision is suspended, and the couple are left to
themselves. If either of them shall commit an infidelity with
another person still under the decennial restriction, the party so
offending is liable to the same penalty as if he were still
himself also under it.[218] But if the person with whom infidelity
is committed be not under that restriction, no penalty will be
incurred beyond a certain general discredit, as compared with
others whose conduct is blameless, and who will receive greater
honour. However, Plato advises that nothing shall be said in the
law respecting the conduct of married couples after the period of
decennial restriction has elapsed, unless there be some grave
scandal to call attention to the subject.[219]

[Footnote 218: Plato, Legg. vi. pp. 784-785.]

[Footnote 219: Plato, Legg. vi. p. 785 A. [Greek: kai\
metriazo/ntôn me\n peri\ ta\ toiau=ta tô=n pleio/nôn
a)nomothe/têta sigê=| kei/sthô, a)kosmou/ntôn de\ nomothetêthe/nta
tau/tê| pratte/sthô], &c.]

[Side-note: How infants are to be brought
up--Nurses--Perpetual regulated movements--useful for toning
down violent emotions.]

Plato now proceeds to treat about the children just born. The
principle of separate family being admitted in the Treatise De
Legibus, he refrains from promulgating any peremptory laws on this
subject, because it is impossible for the lawgiver or the
magistrate to enter into each private house, and to enforce
obedience on such minute and numerous details: while it would be
discreditable for him to command what he could not enforce, and it
would moreover accustom citizens to disobey the law with impunity.
Still, however, Plato[220] thinks it useful to deliver some
general advice, which he hopes that fathers and mothers will
spontaneously follow. He begins with the infant as soon as born,
and even before birth. The mother during pregnancy is admonished
to take regular exercise; the infant when born must be carried
about constantly in the nurse's arms. The invigorating effects of
such gestation are illustrated by the practice of Athenian
cock-fighters, who cause the cocks while under training to be carried
about under the arms of attendants in long walks.[221] Besides
that the nurses (slaves) must be strong women, there must also be
more than one to each infant, in order that he may be sufficiently
carried about. He must be kept in swaddling-clothes for the first
two years, and must not be allowed to walk until he is three years
of age.[222] The perpetual movement and dandling, in the arms of
the nurse, produces a good effect not only on the health and
bodily force of the infant, but also upon his emotions.[223] The
infant ought to be kept (if it were possible) in movement as
constant and unceasing as if he were on shipboard. Nurses know
this by experience, when they lull to sleep an insomnious child,
not by holding him still, but by swinging him about in their arms,
and by singing a ditty. So likewise the insane and furious
emotions inspired by Dionysus (also by Zeus, by the mother of the
Gods, &c.) are appeased by the regulated movement, dance and
music, solemnly performed at the ceremonial worship of the God who
excited the emotions. These are different varieties of fear and
perturbation: they are morbid internal movements, which we
overpower and heal by muscular and rhythmical movements impressed
from without, with appropriate music and religious

[Footnote 220: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 788-790 A.]

[Footnote 221: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 789.]

[Footnote 222: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 789 E, 790 A.]

[Footnote 223: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 790 C-D. [Greek: la/bômen
toi/nun tou=to oi(=on stoichei=on e)p' a)mpho/tera sô/mato/s te
kai\ psuchê=s tô=n pa/nu ne/ôn, tê\n tithê/nêsin kai\ ki/nêsin,
gignome/nên o(/ti ma/lista dia\ pa/sês nukto/s te kai\ ê(me/ras,
ô(s e)/sti xu/mphoros a(/pasi me/n, ou)ch ê(/kista de\ toi=s o(/,
ti neôta/toisi, kai\ oi)kei=n, ei) dunato\n ê)=n, oi(=on a)ei\
ple/ontas; nu=n d' ô(s e)ggu/tata tou/tou poiei=n dei= peri\ ta\
neogenê= pai/dôn thre/mmata.]]

[Footnote 224: Plato, Legg. vii. pp. 790 E-791 A. [Greek:
deimai/nein e)sti/ pou tau=t' a)mpho/tera ta\ pa/thê, kai\ e)/sti
dei/mata di' e(/xin phau/lên tê=s psuchê=s tina/. o(/tan ou)=n
e)/xôthe/n tis prosphe/rê toi=s toiou/tois pa/thesi seismo/n, ê(
tô=n e)/xôthen kratei= ki/nêsis prospherome/nê tê\n e)nto\s
phobera\n ou)=san kai\ manikê\n ki/nêsin, kratê/sasa de\ galê/nên
ê(suchi/an tê=s peri\ ta\ tê=s kardi/as chalepê=s genome/nês
e(ka/stôn pêdê/seôs.]

About the effect of the movement, bustle, noise, and solemn
exhibitions, &c., of a Grecian festival, in appeasing the
over-wrought internal excitement of those who took part in it, see
Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 689.

Compare Euripid. Hippolyt. 141, where the Chorus addresses the
love-sick Phædra:--

[Greek: su\ ta)/r' e)/ntheos, ô)= kou/ra,
ei)/t' e)k Pano\s ei)/th' E(ka/tas,
ê)\ semnô=n Koruba/ntôn,
ê)\ matro\s o)rei/as phoita=|s.]

Also Eurip. Medea, 1172 about [Greek: Pano\s o)rga/s].]

To guard the child, during the first three years of his life,
against disturbing fears, or at least to teach him to conquer them
when they may spring up, is to lay the best foundation of a
fearless character for the future.[225] By extreme indulgence he
would be rendered wayward: by extreme harshness his spirit would
be broken.[226] A middle course ought to be pursued, guarding him
against pains as far as may be, yet at the same time keeping
pleasures out of his reach, especially the stronger pleasures:
thus shall we form in him a gentle and propitious disposition,
such as that which we ascribe to the Gods.[227]

[Footnote 225: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 791 C.]

[Footnote 226: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 791 D.]

[Footnote 227: Plato, Legg. vii. p. 792 C-D.]

[Side-note: Choric and orchestic movements, their effect in
discharging strong emotions.]

The comparison made here by Plato between the effect produced by
these various religious ceremonies upon the mind of the votary,
and that produced by the dandling of the nurse upon the perturbed
child in her arms, is remarkable. In both, the evil is the
same--unfounded and irrational fear--an emotional disturbance within:
in both, the remedy is the same--regulated muscular movement and
excitement from without: more gentle in the case of the infant,
more violent in the case of the adult. Emotion is a complex fact,
physical as well as mental; and the physical aspect and basis of
it (known to Aristotle[228] as well as to Plato) is here brought
to view. To speak the language of modern science (with which their
views here harmonise, in spite of their imperfect acquaintance
with human anatomy), if the energies of the nervous system are
overwrought within, they may be diverted into a new channel by
bodily movements at once strenuous and measured, and may thus be
discharged in a way tranquillising to the emotions. This is
Plato's theory about the healing effects of the choric and
orchestic religious ceremonies of his day. The