in the first place, that which the man finds in his own bosom ;
secondly, the brethren and descendants and relations of this
which has been duly implanted in the souls of others j and
who cares for them and no others — this is the right sort of
man; and you and I, Phsedrus, would pray that we may be-
come like him.
Phcedr. That is most assuredly my desire and prayer.
Soc. And now the play is played out; and of rhetoric
enough. Go and tell Lysias that to the fountain and school
of the Nymphs we went down, and were bidden by them to
convey a message to him and to other composers of speeches
— to Homer and other writers of poems, whether set to music
or not. And to Solon 63 and the writers of political docu-
ments, which they term laws, we are to say that if their com-
positions are based on knowledge of the truth, and they can
defend or prove them, when they are put to the test, by spoken
arguments, which leave their writings poor in comparison of
them, then they are not only poets, orators, legislators, but
worthy of a higher name.
Phcedr. What name is that ?
Soc. Wise, I may not call them; for that is a great name
which belongs to God only, — lovers of wisdom or philosophers
is their modest and befitting title.
Phcedr. Very good.
Soc. And he who cannot rise above his own compilations
and compositions, which he has been long patching and piec-
ing, adding some and taking away some, may be justly called
poet or speech-maker or law-maker.
Soc. Now go and tell this to your companion.
Phcedr. But there is also a friend of yours who ought not
to be forgotten.
Soc. Who is that ?
Phcedr. Isocrates 64 the fair.
63 Solon (638-558 B.C.) : a celebrated Athenian statesman and law-giver.
* 4 Isocrates (i-sok'ra-tez, 436-338 B.C.): a Greek orator and teacher of
rhetoric. He came under the influence of Socrates, but never belonged to
the circle of his most intimate friends and disciples.
Soc. What of him ?
Phcedr. What message shall we send to him ?
Soc. Isocrates is still young, Phaedrus; but I am 279
willing to risk a prophecy concerning him.
Phcedr. What would you prophesy ?
Soc. I think that he has a genius which soars above the
orations of Lysias, and he has a character of a finer mould.
My impression of him is that he will marvelously improve as
he grows older, and that all former rhetoricians will be as
children in comparison of him. And I believe that he will
not be satisfied with this, but that some divine impulse will
lead him to things higher still. For there is an element of
philosophy in his nature. This is the message which comes
from the gods dwelling in this place, and which I will myself
deliver to Isocrates, who is my delight ; and do you give the
other to Lysias, who is yours.
Phcedr. I will ; and now as the heat is abated let us depart.
Soc. Should we not offer up a prayer first of all to the local
Phcedr. By all means.
Soc. Beloved Pan, 65 and all ye other gods who haunt this x
place, give me beauty in the inward soul ; and may the out-
ward and inward man be at one. May I reckon the wise to
be the wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as
none but the temperate can carry. Anything more ? That^
prayer, I think, is enough for me.
Phcedr. Ask the same for me, for friends should have all
things in common.
Soc. Let us go.
6:5 Pan : god of woods and fields, of flocks and shepherds ; he dwelt in caves
or forests, and wandered over mountains and valleys.
/ I. The siibifl±afah e Republic is given in the dialogue as s^ ; .
justice. Justice, as here used, may be described quite gener- /
ally as t he rightVonduct of individual and social life . The
conductof jifejsjieldjobe determined by the_jTatun^of^thf.
world in whiclu ve live and by the nature of ma n.
II. We are said to live in two worlds . One, of these is the^-^v,
world which is eternal, unchangeable, absolutely good, abso-
lutely beautiful, absolutely one, in all ways absolutely per-
fect. It is called the / world of be ing^ world of essence , the
J real world ?the. one ^hej>ood^t he absolut e, and other such
names. The soul is said to belong by its highest nature to
the eternal world, and by pure reflection it may know the
real world as it is. This is the only true knowledge, the
only true guide for the conduct of individual and social life.
While we are on earth we are, through our bodies, in connec-
tion with the world of imperfect things. The knowledge
which we have of this world through our bodily senses is
not' true knowledge, and the life of the individual or state is
corrupted in so far as it is guided by such pseudo-knowledge.
For a further discussion of this point see General Introduc-
tion, p. xxiv. For the several grades of knowledge, from
total ignorance to pure science, see especially V., 476, to
III. The Nature of Man : The life of man is said to have
three principles, (a) the appetitive principle which impels him
1 82 PLATO THE TEACHER
toward the satisfaction of bodily desires; (b) the spirited
principle which impels him to fight; and (c) the rational
principle which tends to control all his actions in accordance
with the absolute truth.
The virtues which the soul should possess are accordingly
as follows: (1) Courage: " He is deemed courageous who,
having the element of passion working within him, preserves
in the midst of pain and pleasure the notion of danger which
reason requires.' ' (2) Wisdom : " He is wise who has in
him that little part which rules and gives orders, that part be-
ing suffered to have a knowledge of what is for the interest
of each and all of the three parts." (3) Temperance : " He
is temperate who has these same elements in friendly har-
mony, in whom the one ruling principle of reason, and the
two subject ones of spirit and desire, are equally agreed that
reason ought to rule and do not rebel." (4) Justice : Jus-
tice is the perfect harmony of the other three virtues. " The
just man does not permit the several elements within him
to interfere with one another or any of them to do the
work of the others ; but he sets in order his own inner life
and is his own master and at peace with himself; and when
he has bound together the three principles within him which
may be compared to the middle, higher, and lower divisions
of the scale and the intermediate intervals, — when he has
bound together all these and is no longer many, but has be-
come one entirely temperate and perfectly adjusted nature,''
then he will truly distinguish justice and injustice, and will act
accord ; ngly. In a word, Justice is health — the harmonious or-
ganic unity of all the elements of man's life in accordance
with the absolute truth.
IV. The Nature of the State : The true nature of the State
corresponds to the nature of the individual man. There are
three classes of persons in the State, the laborers, the soldiers,
and the statesmen. The proper virtue for the statesmen is
INTRODUCTION 1 83
wisdom ; for the soldiers courage ; for all classes temperance.
Where all classes have their proper virtues and occupations,
the State has the virtue of justice, or perfect health. On III.
and IV. see Book IV. especially 428 to close.
V. Education : Since the State as a whole and the lives of
all the citizens can be rightly determined only by the abso- \
lute truth, and since the absolute truth or knowledge of the
eternal world is attained only by the philosophers, the phi-
losophers alone are fit to rule the State. A question of pri-
mary importance is therefore the selection and education of
those who are to become the philosopher-statesmen. Very
few, Plato holds, are fit by nature for this high office ; focJhe
nprps^ryjwfppfinn nf hnHy flnrl rrnnH, especially the right
^mingling of gentleness with spirit, are rarely found in the
same individual. When fit children are found, they should
be given the education proper for a guardian, to whatever
class their parents belong.
The elementary education of these children should consist
of music and gymnastics. With Plato, music includes poetry,
and, in a wider sense, all the arts. (See Republic, II., Note
1 7.) The essential thing about the elementary education is
that all things therein shall be determined by the philosopher
in accordance with the absolute truth. The greater part of
the literature and other art of Greece is condemned by Plato,
because its beauty is not a beauty which is in harmony with
the absolute good.
At a later stage (20 years), the youth who is preparing
to be a philosopher-statesman should study the pure abstract
sciences of arithmetic, plane geometry, solid geometry, as-
tronomy, and musical harmony. Only after this preparation,
and at the age of thirty, is he fit to begin the study of pure
philosophy or dialectic. After pursuing this subject for five
years, he enters active public life for fifteen years. After the
age of fifty he returns to the study of philosophy for the re-
1 84 PLATO THvE TEACHER
mainder of his life, with occasional re-entrance into active
life as emergencies may require. A State governed by such
men in accordance with absolute truth is, according to Plato,
ideally good, and every citizen therein will be better and hap-
pier than under any other conditions ; for every citizen will
be doing, in obedience to the wise rulers, what he is best fitted
to do for himself and for others, and will be receiving from
all others that which is his due. See II., 374 to end of III.,
VI., VII., and X., 595 to 608.
VI. The decline of the State : The State will be preserved
as it should be only as long as it is wholly guided by the ab-
solute truth, through the philosophers. If men whose high-
est principle is love of honor, succeed those whose highest
principle is obedience to the truth, the next generation will
likely put love of money in place of love of honor, the next
will put love of pleasure in place of money, and presently all
virtue and health will give place to the wildest license, and $o
at last, to general ruin of State and of the people. /
The several forms of government (to each of which there
corresponds a certain kind of man) are named and described
as follows: (1.) Aristocracy: Literally, government by the
best. With Plato, this meant government by the philoso-
phers. (2.) Timocracy: Literally, government by honor.
With Plato, this meant government by those whose highest
principle is soldierly ambition, and who are ignorant of and
indifferent to true wisdom. (3.) Oligarchy : Literally, gov-
ernment by the few. With Plato, this meant government by
those whose highest virtues are those involved in the acquisi-
tion of wealth, and who are indifferent to true wisdom and
to soldierly honor. (4.) Democracy : Literally, government
by the common people. With Plato, this meant government
by the mob whose highest desire is license regardless of true
wisdom, honor, or the virtues that lead to wealth. (5.) Tyr-
anny : Literally, government by one absolute ruler. With
INTRODUCTION 1 85
Plato, this meant government by one man who has absolute
power over his subjects, and who uses this power solely for
his own lowest self-interest, without regard to wisdom or
honor, and without regard to the material prosperity or the
desires of his people. See VIII. and IX.
VII. Virtue and happiness: As already stated, virtue is
health, the harmonious organic unity of all the elements of
man's life in accordance with absolute truth. Every breach
of virtue is a breach of health. Vice is disease. Vice can
appear to be more pleasurable than virtue only for a little
time. The wages of sin are always quickly misery and ruin.
The virtuous soul, on the contrary, is completely fortified
against real harm or unhappiness. It is at one with itself and
at one with God. It has the joy which springs from perfect
health, and it has that joy not only in this life but in that
which is to come. See IV., 445, IX., 576 to 581 and X., 608
Note. — Most of the first book of the Republic is given up
to an argument between Socrates, Thrasymachus, and others,
in which no conclusions satisfactory to any one are reached.
Here, as in other dialogues, Socrates sometimes appears to be
as sophistical as his opponents. This part of the Republic is
probably to be regarded as a dramatic portrayal of the way
in which the Sophists dealt with questions. The serious con-
sideration of justice in the individual and State begins with
the second book.
PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE.*
Socrates, who is the narrator. Cephalus.
And others who are mute auditors.
The scene is laid in the house of Cephalus at the Piraeus ; and the whole
discourse is narrated the day after it actually took place to Timaeus,
Hermocrates, Critias, a and a nameless person, who all reappear in the
I went down to the Piraeus 3 yesterday with Glaucon the
son of Ariston, that I might offer up a prayer to the goddess ;
and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would
1 Glaucon (glau'kon) : brother of Plato. He is said to have written a num-
ber of dialogues, but none are extant.
Adeimantus (ad'i-man'tus) : brother of Plato ; mentioned in Apology, 34 ;
little is known of him beyond the representation in this dialogue.
Polemarchus (pol'e-mar'kus) : son of Cephalus, and brother of Lysias,
the orator. The brothers owned a shield factory and amassed great wealth,
on account of which they were seized by the Thirty Tyrants. Lysias escaped,
but Polemarchus was forced, without trial, to drink the hemlock.
Cephalus (sefa-lus) : a resident alien from Syracuse. " We are to think
of Cephalus, not as the Athenian aristocrat, but, rather as the cultivated
manufacturer or merchant prince, residing, no doubt, in a good house, but
in a commercial or industrial quarter. He accepted, we are told, the bur-
dens of an Athenian citizen, and lived for thirty years, unharming and un-
harmed, under the popular government." — Bosanquet.
Thrasymachus (thra-sym'a-kus) : a native of Chalcedon (kal-se'don), a
Greek city on the Bosphorus. He was a Sophist, and a famous teacher of
rhetoric. He is mentioned in the Phaedrus.
Cleitophon (kli'to-fon) : son of Aristonymus (arTs-t<5n'y-mus) ; not men-
tioned elsewhere by Plato.
2 Timaeus (ti-me'us). Hermocrates (her-m5k'ra-tez). Critias (krit'i-as).
3 Piraeus (pi-re'us) : the most important of the harbors of Athens, situated
about five miles southwest of Athens, and connected with that city by the
Long Walls. Many foreigners resided there.
1 88 PLATO THE TEACHER
celebrate the festival of Bendis, 4 which was a new thing. I
was delighted with the procession of the inhabitants; this,
however, was equalled or even exceeded in beauty by
?P * that of the Thracians. When we had finished our
prayers and the spectacle was over, we turned in the
direction of the city ; and at that instant, Polemarchus the son
of Cephalus, who had caught sight of us at a distance as we
were departing homewards, told his servant to run and bid us
wait for him. . The servant took hold of me by the cloak
behind, and said : Polemarchus desires you to wait.
I turned round, and asked him where his master was.
He is coming, said the youth, if you will only wait.
Certainly we will, said Glaucon ; and in a few minutes Pole-
marchus appeared, and with him Adeimantus, Glaucon 's
brother, Niceratus the son of Nicias, 5 and several others who
had been at the procession.
Polemarchus said to me : I perceive, Socrates, that you and
your companion are already on your way to the city.
That is a good guess, I said.
But do you see, he said, how many we are ?
And are you stronger than all these? for if not, you will
have to remain where you are.
May there not be yet another possibility, I said, that we may
persuade you to let us go ?
But can you persuade us, if we refuse to listen to you ? he
No indeed, replied Glaucon.
Then we are not going to listen ; of that you may be as-
Adeimantus added : Has no one told you that there is to
be an equestrian torch-race in the evening in honor of the
Indeed, that is a novelty, I replied. Will the horsemen
carry torches and pass them to one another during the race ?
4 Bendis (ben'dis) : a Thracian goddess, sometimes identified with the Greek
Artemis, goddess of the moon and the chase. The worship of Bendis was
introduced into this part of Greece by Thracian aliens, residing at the
Piraeus. The public festival, the Bendideia (ben'di-dl'a), instituted in
honor of Bendis, was celebrated for the first time upon the occasion to
which Socrates here refers.
6 Niceratus (ni-ser'a-tus). Nicias (nis'i-as).
THE REPUBLIC 1 89
Yes, he said ; and there will also be a festival at night
which is well worth seeing. If we rise from supper in good
time we shall see this, and we shall find youths enough there
with whom we may discourse. Stay then, and do not be per-
Glaucon said : I suppose that we must stay.
Well, as you please, I replied.
Accordingly we went with Polemarchus to his house ; and
there we found his brothers Lysias 6 and Euthydemus, 7 and with
them Thrasymachus the Chalcedonian, Charmantides the Pae-
anian, 8 and Cleitophon the son of Aristonymus, There too
was their father Cephalus, whom I had not seen for a long
time, and I thought him very much aged. He was seated on
a cushioned chair, and had a garland on his head, for he had
been holding a sacrifice 9 in the court ; and we sat down by
him on other chairs, which were arranged in a circle around
him. He welcomed me eagerly, and then he said : —
You don't come to see me, Socrates, as often as you ought.
For if I were able to go to you I would not ask you to come
to me. But at my age I can hardly get to the city, and
therefore you ought to come oftener to the Piraeus. For, in-
deed, I find that at my time of life, as the pleasures and de-
lights of the body fade away, the love of discourse grows upon
me. I only wish therefore that you would come oftener, and
be with your young friends here, and make yourself altogether
at home with us.
I replied : There is nothing which I like better, Cephalus,
than conversing with aged men like yourself; for I regard
them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too
may have to go, and of whom I ought to inquire, whether the
way is smooth and easy, or rugged and difficult. And this is
a question which I should like to ask of you who have arrived
at that time which the poets call the " threshold of old age,"
— Is life harder towards the end, or what report do you give V/v^,
I will tell you, Socrates, he said, what my own feeling is.
Old men flock together ; they are birds of a feather, as the
8 See Phoedrus, note 3.
7 Euthydemus, not the one for whom the dialogue Euthydemus is named.
8 Charmantides (kar-man'tf-dez). Peeania (pe-a'nl-a) : a deme of Attica.
9 Probably an act of private worship. It was customary among the
Greeks for one who took part in sacrifice to wear a wreath.
19O PLATO THE TEACHER
proverb says ; and at our meetings the tale of my acquaint-
ance commonly is — I cannot eat, I cannot drink; the pleasures
of youth and love are fled away: there was a good
329 time once, but that is gone, and now life is no longer
life. Some of them lament over the slights which are put
upon them by their relations, and then they tell you plaintively
of how many evils old age is the cause. But I do not believe,
Socrates, that the blame is where they say ; for if old age
were the cause, I too being old, and every other old man,
would have felt the same. This, however, is not my own ex-
perience, nor that of others whom I have known. How well
I remember the aged poet Sophocles, 10 when in answer to the
question, How does love suit with age, Sophocles, — are
you still the man you were ? Peace, he replied ; most gladly
have I escaped that, and I feel as if I had escaped from a mad
and furious master. That saying of his has often come into
my mind since, and seems to me still as good as at the time
when I heard him. For certainly old age has a great sense of
calm and freedom ; when the passions relax their hold, then,
as Sophocles says, you have escaped from the control not of
one master only, but of many. And of these regrets, as well
as of the complaint about relations, Socrates, the cause is to
be sought, not in men's ages, but in their characters and tem-
pers ; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly
feel the pressure of age, but he who is of an opposite disposi-
tion will find youth and age equally a burden.
I was delighted at his words, and wanting to draw him out
I went on to say : Yes, Cephalus ; but I suspect that people
in general do not believe you when you say this; they think
that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy
disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known
to be a great comforter.
That is true, he replied ; they do not believe me : and there
is something in what they say; not, however, so much as
they imagine. I might answer them as Themistocles u
answered the Seriphian 12 who was abusing him and say-
ing that he was famous, not for his own merits but because
10 See Phsedrus, note 50.
11 Themistocles (the-mfs'to-klez, 514 ? — B.C.): a great Athenian statesman.
12 Seriphos (se-ri'fos) : a small island in the y£gean Sea, colonized by
THE REPUBLIC 191
he was an Athenian : "If you had been an Athenian and I a
Seriphian, neither of us would have been famous." And to
those who are not rich and are impatient of old age, the same
reply may be made ; for neither can a good pojbr man lightly
bear age, nor can a bad rich man ever be at peace with him-
May I ask, Cephalus, whether you inherited or acquired the
greater part of your wealth ?
How much did I acquire, Socrates? he replied, — is that
your question? Well, the property which Cephalus, my grand-
father, originally inherited was nearly of the same value as my
own is at present j this he doubled and trebled, but my father
Lysanias reduced below the original amount ; and I, who am
neither a spender of money like the one, nor a gainer of
money like the other, shall be satisfied if I leave my sons a
little more than I received.
That was why I asked you the question, I said, because I
saw that you were not fond of money, which is a characteris-
tic rather of those who have inherited their fortunes than of
those who have acquired them ; for the latter have a second
or extraordinary love of money as a creation of their own,
resembling the affection of authors for their own poems,
or of parents for their children, besides that other love of
money for the sake of use and enjoyment which is common
to them and all men. And hence they are very bad company,
for they talk about nothing but the praises of wealth.
That is true, he said.
Yes, that is very true, I said ; but may I ask you one more
question ? which is this — What do you consider to be the^"^/^
greatest blessing which you have reaped from wealth ?
Not one, he said, of which I could easily convince others.
For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself
to be near death he has fears and cares which never en-
tered into his mind before ; the tales of a life below and Z
the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here
were a laughing matter to him once, but now he is haunted
with the thought that they may be true : either because of
the feebleness of age, or from the nearness of the prospect, he
seems to have a clearer view of the other world ; suspicions and
alarms crowd upon him, and he begins to reckon up in his
own mind what wrongs he has done to others. And when he
192 PLATO THE TEACHER
finds- that the sum of his transgressions is great, he will many
a time like a child, start up in his sleep for fear, and he is filled
with dark forebodings. But he who is conscious of no sin
has in age a sweet hope which, as Pindar 13 charmingly says,
is a kind nurse to him.
" Hope," as he says, "cherishes the soul of him who lives in holiness
and righteousness, and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his
journey — hope, which is mightiest to sway the eager soul of man."
That is an expression of his which wonderfully delights me.
And this is the great blessing of riches, I do not say to every
man, but to a good man, that he has had no occasion to de-
ceive another, either intentionally or unintentionally ; and