Would you like, for the sake of clearness, to distinguish which are the
necessary and which are the unnecessary pleasures?
Are not necessary pleasures those of which we cannot get rid, and of
which the satisfaction is a benefit to us?
They will use friendly correction, but will not enslave or destroy their
opponents; they will be correctors, not enemies?
And as they are Hellenes themselves they will not devastate Hellas, nor
will they burn houses, not even suppose t
Consider then, I said, when that which we have acknowledged to be
discord occurs, and a city is divided, if both parties destroy the lands
and burn the houses of one another, how wicked does the strife appear!
No true lover of his country would bring hims
Again, as to the devastation of Hellenic territory or the burning of
houses, what is to be the practice?
May I have the pleasure, he said, of hearing your opinion?
Both should be forbidden, in my judgment; I would take the annual
produce and no more. Shal
Certainly, he said; they will in this way be united against the
barbarians and will keep their hands off one another.
Next as to the slain; ought the conquerors, I said, to take anything but
their armour? Does not the practice of despoiling an enemy affor
They are holy angels upon the earth, authors of good, averters of evil,
the guardians of speech-gifted men?
Yes; and we accept his authority.
We must learn of the god how we are to order the sepulture of divine and
heroic personages, and what is to be the
matters more than others, in order that he may have as many children as
Again, there is another manner in which, according to Homer, brave
youths should be honoured; for he tells how Ajax, after he had
distinguished himself in battle,
And he who allows himself to be taken prisoner may as well be made a
present of to his enemies; he is their lawful prey, and let them do what
they like with him.
But the hero who has distinguished himself, what shall be done to him?
In the firs
And they will place them under the command of experienced veterans who
will be their leaders and teachers?
Still, the dangers of war cannot be always foreseen; there is a good
deal of chance about them?
Then against such chances the c
they will all know one another, and each will call the other father,
brother, son; and if you suppose the women to join their armies, whether
in the same rank or in the rear, either as a terror to the enemy, or as
auxiliaries in case of need, I know that
The approximation will be enough.
We are enquiring into the nature of absolute justice and into the
character of the perfectly just, and into injustice and the perfectly
unjust, that we might have an ideal. We were to look at these in order
that we might
Then opinion and knowledge have to do with different kinds of matter
corresponding to this difference of faculties?
And knowledge is relative to being and knows being. But before I proceed
further I will make a division.
And he who, having a sense of beautiful things has no sense of absolute
beauty, or who, if another lead him to a knowledge of that beauty is
unable to follow - of such an one I ask, Is he awake or in a dream
only? Reflect: is not the dreamer, sleeping or
food is not hungry, and may be said to have a bad appetite and not a
Very true, he said.
Whereas he who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is
curious to learn and is never satisfied, may be justly termed a
philosopher? Am I not righ
What is the proposition?
That since beauty is the opposite of ugliness, they are two?
And inasmuch as they are two, each of them is one?
And of just and unjust, good and evil, and of every other class, the
same remark holds: taken s
drown me in laughter and dishonour; and do you mark my words.
I said: Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this
world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness
and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner
And I think that, if there is to be a chance of our escaping, we must
explain to them whom we mean when we say that philosophers are to rule
in the State; then we shall be able to defend ourselves: There will be
discovered to be some natures who ought to
is no excuse which you will not make, and nothing which you will not
say, in order not to lose a single flower that blooms in the spring-time
If you make me an authority in matters of love, for the sake of the
argument, I assent.
And what do you
I want to know whether ideals are ever fully realised in language? Does
not the word express more than the fact, and must not the actual,
whatever a man may think, always, in the nature of things, fall short of
the truth? What do you say?
True, I said; but would you never allow them to run any risk?
I am far from saying that.
Well, but if they are ever to run a risk should they not do so on some
occasion when, if they escape disaster, they will be the better for it?
Whether the fu
possible, in what way possible?
You have anticipated the question which I was about to suggest.
There is no difficulty, I said, in seeing how war will be carried on by
Why, of course they will go on expeditions together; and will take with
sons, and the female children his daughters, and they will call him
father, and he will call their children his grandchildren, and they will
call the elder generation grandfathers and grandmothers. All who were
begotten at the time when their fathers and
And the insatiable desire of wealth and the neglect of all other things
for the sake of money-getting was also the ruin of oligarchy?
And democracy has her own good, of which the insatiable desire brings
her to dissolution?
Freedom, I rep
Yes, I said; his life is motley and manifold and an epitome of the lives
of many; - he answers to the State which we described as fair and
spangled. And many a man and many a woman will take him for their
pattern, and many a constitution and many an examp
elapsed, and the heyday of passion is over - supposing that he then
re-admits into the city some part of the exiled virtues, and does not
wholly give himself up to their successors - in that case he balances
his pleasures and lives in a sort of equilibriu
It must be so.
And there are times when the democratical principle gives way to the
oligarchical, and some of his desires die, and others are banished; a
spirit of reverence enters into the young man's soul and order is
Yes, he said, that someti
That is what I should suppose.
The pleasure of eating is necessary in two ways; it does us good and it
is essential to the continuance of life?
But the condiments are only necessary in so far as they are good for
desires of this sort, and was the slave of the unnecessary desires,
whereas he who was subject o the necessary only was miserly and
Again, let us see how the democratical man grows out of the
oligarchical: the following, as I susp
And so the young man returns into the country of the lotus-eaters, and
takes up his dwelling there in the face of all men; and if any help be
sent by his friends to the oligarchical part of him, the aforesaid vain
conceits shut the gate of the king's fast
been conceived under auspices very unlike the sacrifices and prayers,
which at each hymeneal priestesses and priest and the whole city will
offer, that the new generation may be better and more useful than their
good and useful parents, whereas his child