which is natural to him and is done at the right time, and
leaves other things.
Then more than four citizens will be required, for the hus-
bandman will not make his own plough or mattock, or other
implements of agriculture, if they are to be good for any-
thing. Neither will the builder make his tools — and he, too,
needs many ; and the same may be said of the weaver and
Then carpenters, and smiths, and other artisans, will be
sharers in our little State, which is already beginning to
Yet even if we add neatherds, shepherds, and other herds-
men, in order that our husbandmen may have oxen to plough
with, and builders as well as husbandmen have the use of
beasts of burden for their carrying, and weavers and curriers
of their fleeces and skins, — still our State will not be very large.
That is true ; yet neither will that be a very small State
which contains all these.
Further, I said, to place the city on a spot where no im-
ports are required is well nigh impossible.
Then there must be another class of citizens who will bring
the required supply from another city ?
But if the trader goes empty-handed, taking nothing which
those who are to supply the need want, he will come
That is certain.
And therefore what they produce at home must be not only
enough for themselves, but such both in quantity and quality as
to accommodate those from whom their wants are supplied.
THE REPUBLIC 215
That is true.
Then more husbandmen and more artisans will be re-
Not to mention the importers and exporters, who are called
Then we shall want merchants ?
And if merchandise is to be carried over the sea, skillful
sailors will be needed, and in considerable numbers ?
Yes, in considerable numbers.
Then, again, within the city, how will they exchange their
productions ? and this, as you may remember, was the object
of our society.
The way will be, that they will buy and sell.
Then they will need a market-place, and a money-token for
purposes of exchange.
Suppose now that a husbandman, or possibly an artisan,
brings some production to market, and he comes at a time
when there is no one to exchange with him, — is he to leave
his work and sit idle in the market-place?
Not at all ; he will find people there who, seeing this want,
take upon themselves the duty of sale. In well-ordered States
they are commonly those who are the weakest in bodily
strength, and therefore unable to do anything else ; for all
they have to do is to be in the market, and take money of
those who desire to buy goods, and in exchange for goods to
give money to those who desire to sell.
This want, then, will introduce retailers into our State. Is
not " retailer " the term which is applied to those who sit in
the market-place buying and selling, while those who wander
from one city to another are called merchants ?
Yes, he said.
And there is another class of servants, who are intellectually
hardly on the level of companionship; still they have plenty
of bodily strength for labor, which accordingly they sell, and
are called, if I do not mistake, hirelings, hire being the name
which is given to the price of their labor.
2l6 PLATO THE TEACHER
Then hirelings will help to make onr population.
And now, Adeimantus, is our State matured and per-
Where, then, is justice, and where is injustice, and in which
part of the State are they to be found ?
Probably in the relations of these citizens with one an-
' other. I cannot imagine any other place in which they
are more likely to be found.
I dare say that you are right in that suggestion, I said ;
still, we had better consider the matter further, and not
shrink from the task.
First, then, let us consider what will be their way of life,
now that we have thus established them. Will they not pro-
duce corn, and wine, and clothes, and shoes, and build houses
for themselves ? And when they are housed, they will work
in summer commonly stripped and barefoot, but in winter
substantially clothed and shod. They will feed on barley and
wheat, baking the wheat and kneading the flour, making
noble puddings and loaves ; these they will serve up on a mat
of reeds or clean leaves, themselves reclining the while upon
beds of yew or myrtle boughs. And they and their children
will feast, drinking of the wine which they have made, wear-
ing garlands on their heads, and having the praises of the
gods on their lips, living in sweet society, and having a care
that their families do not exceed their means; for they will
have an eye to poverty or war.
But, said Glaucon, interposing, you have not given them a
relish to their meal.
True, I replied, I had forgotten that ; of course they will
have a relish, — salt, and olives, and cheese, and onions, and
cabbages or other country herbs which are fit for boiling ; and
we shall give them a dessert of figs, and pulse, and beans, and
myrtle-berries, and beech-nuts, which they will roast at the
fire, drinking in moderation. And with such a diet they
may be expected to live in peace to a good old age, and be-
queath a similar life to their children after them.
Yes, Socrates, he said, and if you were making a city of
pigs, how else would you feed the beasts ?
But what would you have, Glaucon ? I replied.
Why, he said, you should give them the properties of life.
THE REPUBLIC 217
People who are to be comfortable are accustomed to lie on
sofas, and dine off tables, and they should have dainties and
dessert in the modern fashion.
Yes, said I, now I understand ; the question which you
would have me consider is, not only how a State, but how a
luxurious State is to be created ; and possibly there is no harm
in this, for in such a State we shall be more likely to see how
justice and injustice grow up. I am certainly of opinion that
the true State, and that which may be said to be a healthy
constitution, is the one which I have described. But if you
would like to see the inflamed constitution, there is no objec-
tion to this. For I suppose that many will be dissatis-
fied with the simpler way of life. They will be for add-
ing sofas, and tables, and other furniture ; also dainties, and
perfumes, and incense, and courtesans, and cakes, not of one
sort only, but in profusion and variety ; our imagination
must not be limited to the necessaries of which I was at first
speaking, such as houses, and clothes, and shoes ; but the art
of the painter and embroiderer will have to be set in motion,
and gold and ivory and other materials of art will be re-
True, he said.
Then we must enlarge our borders ; for the original healthy
State is too small. Now will the city have to fill and swell
with a multitude of callings which go beyond what is required
by any natural want ; such as the whole tribe of hunters and
actors u of which one large class have to do with figures and
colors, another are musicians ; there will be poets and their
attendant train of rhapsodists, 15 players, dancers, contractors;
also makers of divers kinds of utensils, not forgetting women's
ornaments. And we shall want more servants. Will not
tutors be also in request, and nurses wet and dry, tirewomen
and barbers, as well as confectioners and cooks ; and swine-
herds, too, who were not needed and therefore not included
in the former edition of our State, but needed in this? They
14 Bosanquet in his Companion to Plato's Republic, has the following note :
" ' Hunters' and 'imitators.' (i) The predatory classes, including lawyers,
political orators, and professional teachers (Sophists) ; and (2) those who
practice the arts of deception, again including the Sophist, together with the
sculptor, painter, musician, poet, and here apparently those who have to
do with women's toilet."
15 See Phaedrus, note 62.
2l8 PLATO THE TEACHER
must not be forgotten : and there will be hosts of animals, if
people are to eat them.
And living in this way we shall have much greater need of
physicians than before?
And the country which was enough to support the original
inhabitants will be too small now, and not enough?
Then a slice of our neighbor's land will be wanted by us for
pasture and tillage, and they will want a slice of ours, if, like
ourselves, they exceed the limit of necessity, and give them-
selves up to the unlimited accumulation of wealth ?
That, Socrates, will be unavoidable.
And then we shall go to war, Glaucon, — that will be the
So we shall, he replied.
Then, without determining as yet whether war does good
or harm, thus much we may affirm, that now we have dis-
covered war to be derived from causes which are also the
causes of almost all the evils in States, private as well as public.
Then our State must once more enlarge ; and this time the
enlargement will be nothing short of a whole army, which
will have to go out and fight with the invaders for all
that we have, as well as for the precious souls whom we
were describing above.
Why? he said; are they not capable of defending them-
No, I said; not if you and all of us were right in the prin-
ciple which was acknowledged at the first creation of the State:
that principle was, as you will remember, that one man could
not practice many arts.
Very true, he said.
But is not war an art ?
And an art requiring as much attention as shoemaking?
And the shoemaker was not allowed to be a husbandman,
or a weaver, or a builder — in order that we might have our
shoes well made : but to him and to every other worker one
THE REPUBLIC 219
work was assigned by us for which he was fitted by nature,
and he was to continue working all his life long at that and at
no other, and not to let opportunities slip, and then he would
become a good workman. And is there any more important
work than to be a good soldier? But is war an art so easily
acquired that a man may be a warrior who is also a husband-
man, or shoemaker, or other artisan ; although no one in the
world would be a good dice or draught 16 player who merely
took up the game as a recreation, and had not from his earliest
years devoted himself to this and nothing else ? The mere
handling of tools will not make a man a skilled workman, or
master of defense, nor be of any use to him who knows not
the nature of each, and has never bestowed any attention upon
them. How then will he who takes up a shield or other
implement of war all in a day become a good fighter, whether
with heavy-armed or any other kind of troops?
Yes, he said, the tools which would teach their own use
would be of rare value.
And the greater the business of the guardian is, I said, the
more time, and art, and skill will be needed by him?
That is what I should suppose, he replied.
Will he not also require natural gifts ?
We shall have to select natures which are suited to their
task of guarding the city ?
That will be our duty.
And anything but an easy duty, I said ; but still we must
endeavor to do our best as far as we can ?
The dog is a watcher, I said, and the guardian is also a
watcher; and regarding them in this point of view only,
is not the noble youth very like a well-bred dog?
How do you mean ?
I mean that both of them ought to be quick to observe, and
swift to overtake the enemy; and strong too, if, when they
have caught him, they have to fight with him.
All these qualities, he replied, will certainly be required.
Well, and your guardian must be brave if he is to fight well?
And is he likely to be brave who has no spirit, whether
16 Draughts : a game similar to our checkers.
220 PLATO THE TEACHER
horse or dog or any other animal ? Did you never observe
how the presence of spirit makes the soul of any creature
absolutely fearless and invincible ?
Yes ; I have observed that.
Then now we have a clear idea of both the bodily qualities
which are required in the guardian.
And also of the mental ones; his soul is to be full of spirit?
But then, Glaucon, those spirited natures are apt to be furi-
ous with one another, and with everybody else.
That is a difficulty, he replied.
Whereas, I said, they ought to be gentle to their friends,
and dangerous to their enemies j or, instead of their enemies
destroying them, they will destroy themselves.
True, he said.
What is to be done then, I said ? how shall we find a gentle
nature which has also a great spirit, for they seem to be incon-
sistent with one another ?
And yet he will not be a good guardian who is wanting in
either of these two qualities ; and, as the combination of them
appears to be impossible, this is equivalent to saying that to be
a good guardian is also impossible.
I am afraid that is true, he replied.
Here feeling perplexed, I began to think over what pre-
ceded. My friend, I said, we deserve to be in a puzzle ; for
if we had only kept the simile before us, the perplexity in
which we are entangled would never have arisen.
What do you mean ? he said.
I mean to say that there are natures gifted with those
opposite qualities, the combination of which we are denying.
And where do you find them?
Many animals, I replied, furnish examples of them ; our
friend the dog is a very good one : you know that well-bred
dogs are perfectly gentle to their familiars and acquaintances,
and the reverse to strangers.
I know that.
Then there is nothing impossible or out of the order of
nature in our finding a guardian who has a similar combination
THE REPUBLIC 221
Would you not say that he should combine with the spirited
nature the qualities of a philosopher?
I do not apprehend your meaning.
The trait of which I am speaking, I replied, may be
also seen in the dog, and is very remarkable in an animal. '
Why a dog, whenever he sees a stranger, is angry j when an
acquaintance, he welcomes him, although the one has never
done him any harm, nor the other any good. Did this never
strike you as curious ?
I never before made the observation myself, though I quite
recognize the truth of your remark.
And surely this instinct of the dog is very charming, — your
dog is a true philosopher.
Why, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and of an
enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing.
And must not the creature be fond of learning who determines
what is friendly and what is unfriendly by the test of knowl-
edge and ignorance ?
And is not the love of learning the love of wisdom, which
is philosophy ?
They are the same, he replied.
And may we not say confidently of man also, that he who
is likely to be gentle to his friends and acquaintances, must by
nature be a lover of wisdom and knowledge ?
That we may safely affirm.
Then he who is to be a really good and noble guardian of
the State will require to unite in himself philosophy and spirit
and swiftness and strength?
Then we have found the desired natures; and now that we
have found them, how are they to be reared and educated ?
Is this an inquiry which may be fairly expected to throw light
on the greater inquiry which is our final end — How do justice
and injustice grow up in States ? for we do not want to admit
anything which is superfluous, or leave out anything which is
really to the point.
Adeimantus thought that the inquiry would be of use to us.
222 PLATO THE TEACHER
Then, I said, my dear friend, the task must not be given up,
even if somewhat long.
Come then, and like story-tellers, let us be at leisure, and
our story shall be the education of our heroes.
By all means.
And what shall be their education ? Can we find a better
than the old-fashioned sort ? — and this has two divisions, gym-
nastic for the body, and music 17 for the soul.
Music is taught first, and gymnastic afterwards?
And when you speak of music, do you rank literature under
music or not?
And literature mav be either true or false?
And the young are trained in both kinds, and in the
378 false before the true ?
I do not understand your meaning, he said.
You know, I said, that we begin by telling children stories,
which, though not wholly destitute of truth, are in the main
fictitious; and these stories are told them when they are not
of an age to learn gymnastics.
That was my meaning in saying that we must teach music
17 " Music to the ancients had a far wider significance than it has to us. It
was opposed to gymnastic as ' mental ' to ' bodily ' training, and included
equally reading and writing, mathematics, harmony, poetry, and music
strictly speaking." — Jowett, 3d ed., v., p. 474.
" The word music is not to be judged according to the limited signification
which it now bears. It comprehended from the beginning everything ap-
pertaining to the province of the Nine Muses — not merely learning the use
of the lyre, or how to bear part in a chorus, but also the hearing, learning,
and repeating of poetical compositions, as well as the practice of exact and
elegant pronunciation. . . . As the range of ideas enlarged, so the word
music and musical teacher acquired an expanded meaning, so as to compre-
hend matter of instruction at once ampler and more diversified. During
the middle of the fifth century B.C. at Athens, there came thus to be found
among the musical teachers, men of the most distinguished abilities and emi-
nence ; masters of all the learning and accomplishments of the age, teaching
what was.known of astronomy, geography, and physics, and capable of hold-
ing dialectical discussions with their pupils upon all the various problems
then afloat among intellectual men." — Grote's History of Greece, III., chap,
THE REPUBLIC 223
Quite right, he said.
You know also that the beginning is the chiefest part of any
work, especially in a young and tender thing ; for that is the
time at which the character is formed and most readily re-
ceives the desired impression.
And shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any
casual tales which may be framed by casual persons, and to
receive into their minds notions which are the very opposite
of those which are to be held by them when they are grown
We cannot allow that.
Then the first thing will be to have a censorship of the
writers of fiction, and let the censors receive any tale of fiction
which is good, and reject the bad; and we will desire mothers
and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only.
Let them fashion the mind with these tales, and not the tender
frame with the hands only. At the same time, most of those
which are now in use will have to be discarded.
Of what tales are you speaking? he said.
You may find a model of the lesser in the greater, I said ;
for they are necessarily cast in the same mould, and there is
the same spirit in both of them.
That may be very true, he replied ; but I don't as yet know
what you would term the greater.
Those, I said, which are narrated by Homer and Hesiod,
and the rest of the poets, who have ever been the great story-
tellers of mankind.
But which are the stories that you mean, he said ; and what
fault do you find with them ?
A fault which is most serious, I said ; the fault of telling a
lie, and a bad lie.
But when is this fault committed ?
Whenever an erroneous representation is made of the nature
of gods and heroes, — like the drawing of a limner which has
not the shadow of a likeness to the truth.
Yes, he said, that sort of thing is certainly very blamable ;
but what are the stories which you mean ?
[Socrates gives examples of what he regards as objectionable
mythology for the young. He condemns the tales in which
224 PLATO THE TEACHER
the gods are represented as committing outrageous crimes or
as quarreling and fighting among themselves, on the ground
that they would lead the young man to believe that quarrel-
ing is honorable and holy, and that in committing the worst
of crimes he is only following the example of the greatest
among the gods. He says:]
Such tales must not be admitted into our State, whether
they are supposed to have an allegorical meaning or not. For
the young man cannot judge what is allegorical and what is
literal, and anything that he receives into his mind at that age
is apt to become indelible and unalterable ; and therefore
the tales which they first hear should be models of virtuous
There you are right, he replied ; that is quite essential :
but, then, where are such models to be found? and what are
the tales in which they are contained ? when that question is
asked, what will be our answer?
I said to him, You and I, Adeimantus, are not poets in
what we are about just now, but founders of a State : now the
founders of a State ought to know the general forms in
which poets should cast their tales, and the limits which
should be observed by them, but they are not bound them-
selves to make the tales.
That is true, he said ; but what are these forms of theology 18
which you mean ?
[The first rule to which Socrates would require all kinds of
poetry to conform is, " God is always to be represented as he
truly is." The question then arises, what is the nature of
God ? Adeimantus agrees with Socrates that God is truly
good and therefore cannot be the cause of evil. Socrates
Then God, if he be good, is not the author of all things,
as the many assert, but he is the cause of a few things only,
and not of most things that occur to men ; for few are the
goods of human life, and many are the evils, and the good
only is to be attributed to him : of the evil other causes have
to be discovered.
18 In this case theology means poetic representations of the gods.
THE REPUBLIC 225
That appears to me to be most true, he said.
Then we must not listen to Homer or any other poet who
is guilty of the folly of saying that —
" At the threshold of Zeus lie two casks full of lots, one of good, the
other of evil ; "
and that he to whom Zeus gives a mixture of the two —
" Sometimes meets with good, at other times with evil fortune; "
but that he to whom is given the cup of unmingled ill, —
" Him wild hunger drives over the divine earth."
And again —
" Zeus, who is the dispenser of good and evil to us."
. . . Neither will we allow our young men to hear
the words of ^Eschylus, when he says, that ' ' God plants 38 °"
guilt among men when he desires utterly to destroy a 3
[Only that evil which comes as a just punishment to the
wicked and by which they are benefited, may be attributed to
But that God being good is the author of evil to any one,
that is to be strenuously denied, and not allowed to be sung
or said in any well-ordered commonwealth by old or young.
Such a fiction is suicidal, ruinous, impious.
I agree with you, he replied, about this law, and am ready
to give my assent.
Let this then be one of the rules of recitation and inven-
tion, — that God is not the author of evil, but of good only.
That will do, he said.
And what do you think of another principle? Shall I ask
you whether God is a magician, that he should appear insid-
iously now in one shape, and now in another — sometimes
himself changing and becoming different in form, sometimes
deceiving us with the appearance of such transformations ; or
is he one and the same, immutably fixed in his own proper
226 PLATO THE TEACHER
[Adeimantus agrees that God cannot be changed by any
external influence, and that he will not wish to change himself,
for he is already perfect in virtue and beauty.]
Then, I said, my dear friend, let none of the poets tell us
"The gods, in the disguise of strangers, prowl about cities, ha\ing
diverse forms ; "
and let no one slander Proteus 19 and Thetis, 20 neither let any
one either in tragedy or any other kind of poetry, introduce
Here disguised in the likeness of a priestess, —
"Asking an alms for the life-giving daughters of the river Inachus ; " »
let us have no more lies of that sort. Neither must we have
mothers under the influence of the poets scaring their children
with abominable tales —
" Of certain gods who go about by night in the likeness, as is said, of