Week 7 - The Ring of Gyges - The Ring of Gyges Plato The...

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The Ring of Gyges.Plato, The Republic, Chapter II Starting at 2.359According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherdin the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and anearthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he wasfeeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening,where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, havingdoors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature,as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a goldring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now theshepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send theirmonthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly hecame having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them hechanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantlyhe became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speakof him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, andagain touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared;he made several trials of the ring, and always with the sameresult-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, whenoutwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of themessengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived heseduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king andslew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two suchmagic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would standfast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own

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