They will provide for their nurture, and will bring the mothers to the
fold when they are full of milk, taking the greatest possible care that
no mother recognizes her own child; and other wet-nurses may be engaged
if more are required. Care will also be
And do you breed from them all indifferently, or do you take care to
breed from the best only?
From the best.
And do you take the oldest or the youngest, or only those of ripe age?
I choose only those of ripe age.
And if care was not taken in the br
diseases and any similar agencies, in order as far as this is possible
to prevent the State from becoming either too large or too small.
Certainly, he replied.
We shall have to invent some ingenious kind of lots which the less
worthy may draw on each occa
That is quite true, he said; but to what are you alluding?
I mean, I replied, that our rulers will find a considerable dose of
falsehood and deceit necessary for the good of their subjects: we were
saying that the use of all these things regarded as medic
select the women and give them to them; - they must be as far as
possible of like natures with them; and they must live in common houses
and meet at common meals, None of them will have anything specially his
or her own; they will be together, and will be
that we have now escaped; the wave has not swallowed us up alive for
enacting that the guardians of either sex should have all their pursuits
in common; to the utility and also to the possibility of this
arrangement the consistency of the argument with it
But that little attempt is detected, and therefore you will please to
give a defence of both.
Well, I said, I submit to my fate. Yet grant me a little favour: let me
feast my mind with the dream as day dreamers are in the habit of
feasting themselves when
And can there be anything better for the interests of the State than
that the men and women of a State should be as good as possible?
There can be nothing better.
And this is what the arts of music and gymnastic, when present in such
manner as we have des
You will admit that the same education which makes a man a good guardian
will make a woman a good guardian; for their original nature is the
I should like to ask you a question.
What is it?
Would you say that all men are equal in exce
Then are we to impose all our enactments on men and none of them on
That will never do.
One woman has a gift of healing, another not; one is a musician, and
another has no music in her nature?
And one woman has a turn for gymnastic and m
companions and colleagues of men who have similar qualities and whom
they resemble in capacity and in character?
And ought not the same natures to have the same pursuits?
Then, as we were saying before, there is nothing unnatural in
Let us say to him: Come now, and we will ask you a question: - when you
spoke of a nature gifted or not gifted in any respect, did you mean to
say that one man will acquire a thing easily, another with difficulty; a
little learning will lead the one to di
Whereas the physician and the carpenter have different natures?
And if, I said, the male and female sex appear to differ in their
fitness for any art or pursuit, we should say that such pursuit or art
ought to be assigned to one or the other of
Yes, he replied, such is very often the case; but what has that to do
with us and our argument?
A great deal; for there is certainly a danger of our getting
unintentionally into a verbal opposition.
In what way?
Why, we valiantly and pugnaciously insist u
By Zeus, he said, the problem to be solved is anything but easy.
Why yes, I said, but the fact is that when a man is out of his depth,
whether he has fallen into a little swimming bath or into mid-ocean, he
has to swim all the same.
And must no
will probably lead to the fairest conclusion.
That will be much the best way.
Shall we take the other side first and begin by arguing against
ourselves; in this manner the adversary's position will not be
Why not? he said.
Then let us put a sp
But then, I said, as we have determined to speak our minds, we must not
fear the jests of the wits which will be directed against this sort of
innovation; how they will talk of women's attainments both in music and
gymnastic, and above all about their wea
Well, I replied, I suppose that I must retrace my steps and say what I
perhaps ought to have said before in the proper place. The part of the
men has been played out, and now properly enough comes the turn of the
women. Of them I will proceed to speak, an
bred and fed in the same way?
Then, if women are to have the same duties as men, they must have the
same nurture and education?
The education which was assigned to the men was music and gymnastic.
Then women must be taught music and
Fear not, he replied, for your audience will not be hard upon you; they
are not sceptical or hostile.
I said: My good friend, I suppose that you mean to encourage me by these
Yes, he said.
Then let me tell you that you are doing just the reverse; t
And without more ado, said Thrasymachus, you may consider us all to be
I said, You know not what you are doing in thus assailing me: What an
argument are you raising about the State! Just as I thought that I had
finished, and was only too
Certainly not, said Adeimantus, raising his voice.
Who is it, I said, whom you are refusing to let off?
You, he said.
I repeated, Why am I especially not to be let off?
Why, he said, we think that you are lazy, and mean to cheat us out of a
Yes, I said, the question is, as you say, ridiculous. Still, as we are
near the spot at which we may see the truth in the clearest manner with
our own eyes, let us not faint by the way.
Certainly not, he replied.
Come up hither, I said, and behold the var
But I regard the two names as describing one form only; for whether the
government is in the hands of one or many, if the governors have been
trained in the manner which we have supposed, the fundamental laws of
the State will be maintained.
That is true,
And is not the creation of justice the institution of a natural order
and government of one by another in the parts of the soul, and the
creation of injustice the production of a state of things at variance
with the natural order?
Exactly so, he said.
injustice, and intemperance and cowardice and ignorance, and every form
And if the nature of justice and injustice be known, then the meaning of
acting unjustly and being unjust, or, again, of acting justly, will also
be perfectly cle
compared to the higher, lower, and middle notes of the scale, and the
intermediate intervals - when he has bound all these together, and is
no longer many, but has become one entirely temperate and perfectly
adjusted nature, then he proceeds to act, if he
Both together will they not be the best defenders of the whole soul and
the whole body against attacks from without; the one counselling, and
the other fighting under his leader, and courageously executing his
commands and counsels?
And he is to be
And the reason is that each part of him is doing its own business,
whether in ruling or being ruled?
Are you satisfied then that the quality which makes such men and such
states is justice, or do you hope to discover some other?
Not I, indeed.
And is justice dimmer in the individual, and is her form different, or
is she the same which we found her to be in the State?
There is no difference in my opinion, he said.
Because, if any doubt is still lingering in our minds, a few commonplace