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If anyone, while acting as ambassador or herald, conveys false messages from his State to another State, or fails to deliver the actual message he was sent to deliver, or is proved to have brought back, as ambassador or herald, either from a friendly or hostile nation, their reply in a false form,—against all such there shall be laid an indictment for breaking the law by sinning against the sacred messages and injunctions of Hermes1 and Zeus, and an assessment shall be made of the penalty they shall suffer or pay, [941b] if convicted. Theft of property is uncivilized, open robbery is shameless: neither of these has any of the sons of Zeus practiced, through delight in fraud or force. Let no man, therefore, be deluded concerning this or persuaded either by poets or by any perverse myth-mongers into the belief that, when he thieves or forcibly robs, he is doing nothing shameful, but just what the gods themselves do.2 That is both unlikely and untrue; and whoever acts thus unlawfully is neither a god at all nor a child of gods; [941c] and this the lawgiver, as it behoves him, knows better than the whole tribe of poets. He, therefore, that hearkens to our speech is blessed, and deserves blessing for all time; but he that hearkens not shall, in the next place, be holden by this law:—If anyone steals any piece of public property, he shall receive the same punishment, be it great or small. For he that steals a small thing steals with equal greed, though with less power, while he that takes a large thing which he has not deposited does wrong to the full; [941d] wherefore the law deems it right not to inflict a less penalty on the one offender than on the other on the ground that his theft is smaller, but rather because the one is possibly still curable, the other incurable. So if anyone convict in a court of law either a resident alien or a slave of stealing any piece of public property, in his case, since he is probably curable, the court shall decide what punishment he shall suffer [942a] or what fine he shall pay. But in the case of a citizen, who has been reared in the way he is to be reared,—if he be convicted of plundering or doing violence to his fatherland, whether he has been caught in the act or not, he shall be punished by death,3 as being practically incurable. Military organization is the subject of much consultation and of many appropriate laws. The main principle is this—that nobody, male or female, should ever be left without control, nor should anyone, whether at work or in play, grow habituated in mind to acting alone and on his own initiative, but he should live always, both in war [942b] and peace, with his eyes fixed constantly on his commander and following his lead; and he should be guided by him even in the smallest detail of his actions—for example, to stand at the word of command, and to march, and to exercise, to wash and eat, to wake up at night for sentry-duty and despatch-carrying, and in moments of danger to wait for the commander's signal before either pursuing or retreating before an enemy; and, in a word, [942c] he must instruct his soul by habituation to avoid all thought or idea of doing anything at all apart from the rest of his company, so that the life of all shall be lived en masse and in common; for there is not, nor ever will be, any rule superior to this or better and more effective in ensuring safety and victory in war. This task of ruling, and being ruled by, others must be practiced in peace from earliest childhood;4 but anarchy [942d] must be utterly removed from the lives of all mankind, and of the beasts also that are subject to man. Moreover, with a view to excellence in war, they shall dance all kinds of dances,5 and with the same object they shall cultivate in general suppleness and dexterity, and endurance also in the matter of foods and drinks and cold and heat and hard beds; and, what is most important, they shall accustom themselves not to spoil the natural powers of head and feet by wrapping them in coverings of alien material, and thereby ruining the production and growth [942e] of their own natural hair and soles. For when these extremities are conserved, they keep at its highest the power of the whole body, but they effect the opposite when spoiled; and of these two extremities, the one is the chief minister of the whole body, and the other the chief master, inasmuch as, by the ordinance of nature, it contains all the leading senses of the body. [943a] Such is the laudation of the military life to which, as we hold, the youth ought to hearken, and its laws are these:—He that is enrolled or put on some rota must perform military service. If anyone, through cowardice, fail to present himself without leave from the commanders, he shall be indicted for desertion before the military officers when they return from camp, and each class of those who have served shall sit by themselves as judge—that is, hoplites, cavalry, and each of the other branches,— [943b] and they shall summon hoplites before the hoplites, cavalrymen before the cavalry, and all others in like manner before soldiers of their own class; and any man that is convicted shall be debarred from ever competing for any distinction and from ever prosecuting another for shirking service, or acting as accuser in connection with such charges; and, in addition to this, what he ought to suffer or pay shall be determined by the court. Next, when the suits for shirking service have been fully decided, the officers shall again hold a review of each class of soldiers, and he who wishes shall be tried before a court of his own colleagues on his claim for an award of merit; but any proof or verbal testimony which the claimant produces must have reference, [943c] not to any previous war, but solely to that campaign in which they have just been engaged. The prize for each class shall be a wreath of olive leaves; and this the recipient shall hang up, along with an inscription, in whatever temple of the war-gods he chooses, to serve throughout his life as a proof that he has won the first, [943d] second or third prize, as the case may be. If a man goes on military service, but returns home without leave from the officers, he shall be liable to be indicted for desertion before the same court which deals with cases of shirking service, and the same penalties which have been already prescribed shall be imposed upon him, if he is convicted. Every man, when bringing an action against another, ought rightly to dread bringing upon him, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a wrongful punishment [943e] (for Justice is, and has been truly named,6 the daughter of Reverence, and falsehood and wrong are naturally detested by Reverence and Justice); and he should beware also of trespassing against Justice in any matter, and especially in respect of loss of arms in battle, lest by mistakenly abusing such losses as shameful, when they are really unavoidable, he may bring undeserved charges against an undeserving man. It is by no means easy to draw distinctions between such cases; [944a] but none the less the law ought to try by some means to distinguish case from case. In illustration we may cite the story of Patroclus:7 suppose that he had been brought to his tent without his arms and had recovered—as has happened in the case of thousands,—while the arms he had had (which, as the poet relates, had been given to Peleus by the gods, as a dowry with Thetis) were in the hands of Hector,—then all the base men of those days would have been free to abuse Menoetios' son for loss of arms. Moreover, there are instances [944b] of men losing their arms through being flung down from cliffs, or on the sea, or in ravines, when overwhelmed by a sudden great rush of water, or from other mishaps, countless in number, which one could mention by way of consolation, and thereby justify an evil which lends itself to calumny. It is right, therefore, to separate, as best one can, the greater and more serious evil from its opposite. As a rule, indeed, the employment of the names in question by way of abuse admits of a distinction; for the term “shield-flinger” would not properly be applied in all cases, but rather the term “arms-dropper.” [944c] For the man who by a fair amount of violence is stripped of his arms will not be as much of a “shield-flinger” as the man who has voluntarily thrown them away—rather there is a vast difference between the two cases. So let the pronouncement of the law be this:—If a man is overtaken by his enemies and, having arms, instead of turning and defending himself, voluntarily drops his arms or flings them away, thereby gaining for himself a life that is shameful by speed of foot, rather than by bravery a noble and blessed death,—concerning the arms flung away in a loss of this sort a trial shall be held, but the judge shall pass over in his enquiry a case of the kind previously described. [944d] For the bad man one must always punish, in order to better him, but not the luckless man; for that profits not. What, then, would be a proper penalty for the man who has thrown away for naught such powerful weapons of defence? A god, it is said, once changed Kaineus the Thessalian8 from woman's shape to man's; but it is beyond human power to do the opposite of this; otherwise, [944e] the converse transformation—changing him from a man into a woman—would be, perhaps, the most appropriate of all penalties for a “shield-flinger.” As it is, to get the nearest possible approach to this, because of the man's love of life at any price, and to secure that for the rest of his life he may run no risk, but may live saddled with this disgrace as long as possible,—the law dealing with such cases shall be this:—If any man be convicted on a charge of shamefully throwing away his military weapons, no general or other military officer shall ever employ him as a soldier [945a] or post him to any rank; otherwise, the examiner shall fine the officer who posts the coward 1000 drachmae, if he be of the highest property-class,—if of the second class, five minas,—if of the third, three minas,—if of the fourth, one mina. And the soldier who is convicted of the charge, in addition to being debarred, as his own nature requires, from manly risks, shall also pay back his wage—1000 drachmae, if he be of the highest class,—if of the second, five minas,— [945b] if of the third, three,—and if of the fourth, one mina, just as in the previous cases. Respecting examiners,9 what would be a proper statement for us to make, seeing that some of the magistrates are appointed by the hazard of the lot and for a year, while others are appointed for several years and chosen out of a number of selected persons? Of such, who will be a competent examiner, in the event of any one of them acting at all crookedly through being burdened by the weight of his office and his own inability to support it worthily? [945c] It is by no means easy to find an officer of officers, who surpasses them in excellence, but still one must try to find some examiners of a divine quality. In fact, the case stands thus:—The dissolution of a polity, like that of a ship's frame, depends upon many critical factors: these (in the case of a ship) though one in nature are separated into many parts, and we call them by many names—such as stays, under-girders, bracing-ropes. For the preservation, or dissolution and disappearance, of a polity the office of examiner is such a critical factor, and that of the gravest kind. [945d] For if those who act as examiners of the magistrates are better men than they, and if they act blamelessly with blameless justice, then the whole of the State and country flourishes and is happy; but if the examination of the magistrates is carried out otherwise, then the bond of justice which binds all political elements into one is dissolved, and in consequence every office is torn apart from every other, and they no longer tend all to the same end; and thus out of one State they make many,10 and by filling it with civil strife they speedily bring it to ruin. [945e] Wherefore it is most necessary that the examiners should be men of admirably complete virtue. Let us contrive to bring them into being in some such way as this:—Every year, after the summer solstice,11 the whole State must assemble at the common precincts of Helios and Apollo, there to present before the god the names of three out of their own number,— [946a] each citizen proposing that man, not less than fifty years old, whom (with the exception of himself) he regards as in all respects the best. Of those so nominated they shall choose out those who have gained most votes—half of the total number nominated, if that number be even, but if it be an odd number, they shall reject the one who has least votes and retain the even half, marking them off according to the number of the votes received; and if several have an equal number of votes, thus causing the upper half-section to be too large, they shall remove the excess by rejecting those that are youngest; [946b] the rest being retained on the list, they shall vote again on these, and they shall continue the same process until three be left with an unequal number of votes. If, however, all of these, or two of them, have equal votes, they shall commit the matter to good luck and chance, and distinguish by lot between the first, the second, and the third, and crown them with olive-wreaths; and when they have thus awarded the distinctions, they shall make this public proclamation:—The State of the Magnetes,—which, by God's grace, has again won salvation,—has presented to Helios the three best of its own men, and now it dedicates them, [946c] according to the ancient law, as a joint offering to Apollo and Helios of its choicest first fruits, for so long a time as they pursue their judicial task. Twelve such examiners shall be appointed in the first year, until each of them has come to the age of seventy-five; and thereafter three shall be added annually. And they, after dividing all the public offices into twelve sections, shall employ all tests, of a gentlemanly kind, in investigating them. So long as they are serving as examiners, they shall reside within the precincts of Apollo and Helios, [946d] where they were chosen. When they have judged—either each one singly or in consultation with one another—the State officials, they shall publish, by means of records placed in the market, a statement concerning what each official should suffer or pay according to the decision of the examiners. If any official claims that he has not been judged justly, he shall summon the examiners before the select judges;12 and if he be acquitted in respect of the examiners' charges, he shall, if he wishes, [946e] prosecute the examiners themselves; but if he be convicted, in case the penalty imposed on him by the examiners be death, he shall simply be put to death (one death only being possible), but in the case of other penalties which admit of being doubled, he shall pay a double penalty. As regards the examinations of these examiners themselves, it is right for us to hear what they are to be, and how they are to be conducted. During their lifetime these men, who have been deemed worthy of the highest distinction by the whole State, [947a] shall have the front seats at every festival; and from their number, too, shall be chosen the heads of every sacred mission sent out to take part in any public sacrifices, congresses or other such sacred assemblies of the Hellenes; and these alone of all the citizens shall be adorned with a crown of laurel; and they all shall be priests of Apollo and Helios, and every year that one of them who has been adjudged first of those appointed in that year shall be the high-priest, and his name they shall inscribe at the head of the year, [947b] that it may serve as a measure of the date, so long as the State remains. When they die, their laying-out, funeral and interment shall be different from that of other citizens: nothing but white raiment shall be used at it, and there shall be no dirges or lamentations; a choir of girls and another of boys shall stand round the bier, and they shall chant alternately a laudation for the priests in the form of a hymn in verse, glorifying them with their hymnody all the day long; [947c] and at the next dawn the bier itself shall be borne to the tomb by a hundred of the young men who attend the gymnasia,—they being selected by the relatives of the dead man,—and the procession shall be led by the men of war, all clad in their proper military garb,—cavalry with their horses, hoplites with their weapons, [947d] and the rest in like manner; and round about the bier the boys, being in front, shall sing their national anthem, and behind them the girls shall follow singing, and all the women who have passed the age of child-bearing; and next shall follow the priests and priestesses as to a tomb that is sanctified—yea, though they be debarred from approaching all other tombs,—if so be that the voice of the Pythian 13 approves that thus it shall be. Their tomb shall be constructed under ground, in the form of an oblong vault of spongy stone, as long-lasting as possible, and fitted with couches of stone [947e] set side by side; in this when they have laid him who is gone to his rest, they shall make a mound in a circle round it and plant thereon a grove of trees, save only at one extremity, so that at that point the tomb may for all time admit of enlargement, in case there be need of additional mounds for the buried. And every year contests of music, gymnastics and horse-racing shall be held in their honor. These shall be the rewards for those who have passed the scrutiny of examiners. But if any of these examiners, relying on the fact of his election, shall give proof of human frailty by becoming evil after his election, the law shall enjoin on him who wishes to indict him, and the trial shall take place in the court after this manner:— [948a] The court shall be composed first of Law-wardens, next of the living14 members of the body of examiners themselves, and, in addition to these, of the Bench of select judges;15 and he who indicts anyone shall state in his indictment that the person in question is unworthy of his distinctions and of his office; and if the defendant be convicted, he shall be deprived of his office and of his tomb, and of the other privileges granted to him; but if the prosecutor fails to gain one-fifth of the votes, he shall pay twelve minas if he be of the highest class,— [948b] if of the second, eight,—if of the third, six,—and if of the fourth, two minas. Rhadamanthys deserves admiration for the way in which, as we are told, he judged cases of law, in that he perceived that the men of his time had a clear belief in the existence of gods,—and naturally so, seeing that most men at that time were the offspring of gods, he himself among others, as the story declares. Probably he thought that he ought not to entrust lawsuits to any man, but only to gods, from whom he obtained verdicts that were both simple and speedy; for he administered an oath [948c] to the disputants regarding each matter in dispute, and thus secured a speedy and safe settlement. But nowadays, when, as we say,16 a certain section of mankind totally disbelieve in gods, and others hold that they pay no regard to us men, while a third party, consisting of the most and worst of men, suppose that in return for small offerings and flatteries the gods lend them aid in committing large robberies, and often set them free from great penalties,—under such conditions, for men as they now are, the device of Rhadamanthys would no longer be appropriate in actions at law. [948d] Since, therefore, the opinions of men about the gods have changed, so also must their laws change. In legal actions laws that are framed intelligently ought to debar both litigants from taking oaths; he that is bringing an action against anyone ought to write down his charges, but swear no oath, and the defendant in like manner ought to write down his denial and hand it to the magistrates without an oath. For truly it is a horrible thing to know full well that, inasmuch as lawsuits are frequent in a State, well-nigh half the citizens are perjurers, [948e] although they have no scruple in associating with one another at common meals and at other public and private gatherings. So it shall be laid down by law that a judge shall take an oath when he is about to give judgment, and likewise oaths shall be taken by him who is appointing public officials [949a] by voting under oath or by bringing his votes from a sacred spot, and by the judge of choirs or of any musical performance, and by the presidents and umpires of gymnastic and horse-racing contests, or of any matters which do not, in human opinion, bring gain to him who commits perjury. But in all cases where it obviously appears that a large gain will accrue to him who denies stoutly and swears ignorance, all the contending parties must be judged [949b] by trials without oaths. And in general, during a trial, the presidents of the court shall not permit a man to speak under oath for the sake of gaining credence, or to imprecate curses upon himself and his family, or to make use of unseemly supplications and womanish sobbings, but only and always to state and hear what is just in proper language;17 otherwise, the magistrate shall check him for digressing from the point, and shall call him back to deal with the matter in hand. In the case of resident aliens dealing with aliens, it shall be permitted them, as now, to give and receive oaths of a binding character one from another, if so they choose,— [949c] for these men will not grow old in the State18 nor, as a rule, will they make their nest in it, and rear up others like themselves to become naturalized in the country; and in respect of the private actions they bring against one another, they shall all have the same privilege during the trial. In all cases where a free man disobeys the State, not by acts deserving of stripes, imprisonment or death, but in respect of matters such as attendance at festivals or processions or public ceremonies of a similar kind— [949d] matters involving either a sacrifice in peace or a contribution in time of war,—in all such cases the first necessity is to assess the penalty; in case of disobedience, those officers whom the State and the law appoint to exact the penalty shall take a pledge; and if any disregard the pledgings, the things pledged shall be sold, and the price shall go to the State; and if a greater penalty be required, the official proper in each case shall impose on the disobedient the suitable penalties [949e] and shall summon them before the court, until they consent to do what they are bidden. For a State which makes no money except from the produce of its soil, and which does not engage in commerce, it is necessary to determine what action it ought to take regarding the emigration of its citizens to outside countries and the admission of aliens from elsewhere. In giving counsel concerning these matters the lawgiver must begin by using persuasion, so far as he can. The intermixture of States with States naturally results in a blending of characters of every kind, as strangers import among strangers novel customs:19 [950a] and this result would cause immense damage to peoples who enjoy a good polity under right laws; but the majority of States are by no means well governed, so that to them it makes no difference if their population is mixed through the citizens admitting strangers and through their own members visiting other States whenever any one of them, young or old, at any time or place, desires to go abroad. Now for the citizens to refuse altogether either to admit others or to go abroad themselves is by no means a possible policy, [950b] and, moreover, it would appear to the rest of the world to be both churlish and cross-grained, since they would get the reputation of adopting harsh language, such as that of the so-called “Aliens Expulsion Acts,”20 and methods both tyrannical and severe; and reputation in the eyes of others, whether for goodness or the reverse, is a thing that should never be lightly esteemed. For the majority of men, even though they be far removed from real goodness themselves, are not equally lacking in the power of judging whether others are bad or good; and even in the wicked there resides a divine and correct intuition,21 whereby a vast number even of the extremely wicked [950c] distinguish aright, in their speech and opinions, between the better men and the worse. Accordingly, for most States, the exhortation to value highly a good public reputation is a right exhortation. The most correct and most important rule is this,—that the man who pursues after a good reputation should himself be truly good, and that he should never pursue it without goodness (if he is to be really a perfect man); and furthermore, as regards the State we are founding in Crete, it would well become it to gain for itself in the eyes of the rest of the world the best and noblest reputation possible for goodness; and if it develop according to plan, [950d] there is every hope that, as is natural, it (and but few others) will be numbered among the well-ordered States and countries upon which the Sun and all the other gods look down. In regard, therefore, to the question of going abroad to other lands and places and of the admission of foreigners we must act as follows:—First, no man under forty years old shall be permitted to go abroad to any place whatsoever; next, no man shall be permitted to go abroad in a private capacity, but in a public capacity permission shall be granted to heralds, embassies, and certain commissions of inspection. [950e] Military expeditions in war it would be improper to reckon among official visits abroad. It is right that embassies should be sent to Apollo at Pytho and to Zeus at Olympia, and to Nemea and the Isthmus, to take part in the sacrifices and games in honor of these gods; and it is right also that the ambassadors thus sent should be, so far as is practicable, as numerous, noble and good as possible,—men who will gain for the State a high reputation in the sacred congresses of peace, and confer on it [951a] a glorious repute that will rival that of its warriors; and these men, when they return home, will teach the youth that the political institutions of other countries are inferior to their own. Also, they ought to send out other inspecting commissioners (when they have obtained leave from the Law-wardens) of the following kind:—If any of the citizens desire to survey the doings of the outside world in a leisurely way, no law shall prevent them; [951b] for a State that is without experience of bad men and good would never be able (owing to its isolation) to become fully civilized and perfect, nor would it be able to safeguard its laws unless it grasped them, not by habit only, but also by conviction.22 Amongst the mass of men there always exist—albeit in small numbers—men that are divinely inspired; intercourse with such men is of the greatest value, and they spring up in badly-governed States just as much as in those that are well governed. In search of these men it is always right for one who dwells in a well-ordered State to go forth on a voyage of enquiry by land and sea, [951c] if so be that he himself is incorruptible, so as to confirm thereby such of his native laws as are rightly enacted, and to amend any that are deficient. For without this inspection and enquiry a State will not permanently remain perfect, nor again if the inspection be badly conducted.Clinias
How, then, might both these objects be secured?Athenian
In this way. First, our overseas inspector shall be more than fifty years old; secondly, he shall have proved himself a man of high repute both in military and other affairs, if it is intended [951d] that he shall be despatched into other States with the approval of the Law-wardens; but when he has passed sixty years of age, he shall cease to act as inspector. When he has been inspecting for as many years out of the ten as he wishes and has returned home, he shall go to the synod23 of those who supervise the laws; and this synod shall be a mixed body of young men and old which is obliged to meet every day between dawn and sunrise;24 it shall consist, first, of the priests who have gained the award of merit,25 and secondly, [951e] of the ten senior Law-wardens; and it shall also include the President of Education who has been last appointed, and his predecessors in office as well. None of these members shall go alone, but each of them shall bring with him a companion—a young man, selected by himself, between thirty and forty years old. Their conference and discourse shall deal always with the subject of laws and [952a] of their own State, and with anything important they may have learnt elsewhere which bears on this subject, or any branches of knowledge which are thought likely to assist in their enquiry, in that the learning of them helps towards a clearer view of legal matters, whereas ignorance of them conduces to a view that is dim and blurred. Whatsoever of these matters are approved by the elder members the younger shall learn with all diligence; and should any of the young men invited to attend be deemed unworthy, the person who has invited him [952b] shall be censured by the whole synod, but such of them as are held in good repute shall be watched over by the rest of the citizens, who shall regard and observe them with special care, honoring them when they do right, but dishonoring them more than other men if they turn out worse than most. To this synod he that has inspected the legal institutions of other peoples shall repair immediately after his return home; and if he has discovered any persons able to declare any oracle regarding legislation or education or nurture, or if he has brought back any personal observations of his own, he shall communicate them to the whole synod; and if it appear [952c] that he has come back in no respect worse (nor yet any better) than when he went, still because of his extreme zeal he shall be commended; while if it appear that he has come back much better, he shall be much more highly commended during his life, and when dead, due honors shall be paid to him by the synod's authority. But if, on the other hand, such an inspector appear to be corrupted on his return, in spite of his pretensions to wisdom, he shall be forbidden to associate with anyone, young or old; wherein if he obeys the magistrates, he shall live as a private person, but if not, he shall be put to death—if, that is to say, he be convicted in a court of law of being a meddler in respect of education and the laws. And if, when such an one deserves to be summoned before a court, [952d] none of the magistrates summons him, the magistrates shall be censured at the adjudication of awards of merit. Such, then, shall be the character and the procedure of him that travels abroad. Next to him we must deal in friendly wise with the visitor from abroad. There are four types of stranger which call for mention. The first and inevitable immigrant is the one who chooses summer,26 as a rule, for his annual visits, in the fashion of migratory birds— [952e] and, like birds, the most of these cross the sea, just as if they had wings, for the sake of making gain by their trading, and fly over to foreign cities during the summer season; this stranger must be received, when he comes to the city, at the markets, harbors, and public buildings outside the city, by the officials in charge thereof; and they shall have a care lest any such strangers [953a] introduce any innovation, and they shall duly dispense justice to them, and shall hold such intercourse as is necessary with them, but to the least extent possible. The second type of stranger is he who is an inspector, in the literal sense, with his eyes, and with his ears also of all that appertains to musical exhibitions: for all such there must be lodgings provided at the temples, to afford them friendly accommodation, and the priests and temple-keepers must show them care and attention, until they have sojourned for a reasonable length of time and have seen and heard all that they intended; [953b] after which, if no harm has been done or suffered by them, they shall be dismissed. And for these the priests shall act as judges, in case anyone injures one of them or one of them injures anyone else, if the claim does not exceed fifty drachmae; but if any greater claim is made, the trial for such strangers must take place before the market-stewards. The third type which requires a public reception is he who comes from another country on some public business: he must be received by none but the generals, hipparchs and taxiarchs, and the care of a stranger of this kind [953c] must be entirely in the hands of the official with whom he lodges, in conjunction with the prytaneis. The fourth type of stranger comes rarely, if ever: should there, however, come at any time from another country an inspector similar to those we send abroad, he shall come on these conditions:—First, he shall be not less than fifty years old; and secondly, his purpose in coming must be to view some noble object which is superior in beauty to anything to be found in other States, or else to display to another State something of that description. Every visitor of this kind [953d] shall go as an unbidden guest to the doors of the rich and wise, he being both rich and wise himself; and he shall go also to the abode of the General Superintendent of Education, believing himself to be a proper guest for such a host, or to the house of one of those who have won a prize for virtue; and when he has communed with some of these, by the giving and receiving of information, he shall take his departure, with suitable gifts and distinctions bestowed on him as a friend by friends. Such are the laws in conformity with which they must receive all strangers, of either sex, from another country, [953e] and send out their own citizens; thus doing honor to Zeus, Patron of Strangers, instead of expelling strangers by means of meats and ceremonies27 (as is now done by the nurslings of the Nile), or else by savage proclamations.28 If anyone gives a security, he shall give it in express terms, setting forth the whole transaction in a written record; and this he shall do before not less than three witnesses, [954a] if the amount be under 1,000 drachmae, and before not less than five, if it be over 1,000. The broker in a sale shall act as security for the seller should the latter have no real right to the goods sold or be quite unable to guarantee their possession; and the broker shall be legally liable equally with the seller. If anyone wishes to make a search29 on any man's premises, he shall strip to his shirt and wear no girdle, and when he has first taken an oath by the appointed gods that of a truth he expects to find the object, he shall make his search; and the other man shall grant him the right to search his house, including things both sealed and unsealed. But if, when a man desires to search, the other party refuses leave, the man so prevented shall take legal proceedings, assessing the value of the object sought; [954b] and any man thus convicted shall pay as damages twice the value of the object assessed. And if the master of the house happens to be away from home, the occupants shall allow the claimant to search what is unsealed, and he that searches shall counter-seal what is sealed, and shall set any man he chooses to stand guard over it for five days; and if the master be absent longer, the claimant shall call in the city-stewards, and so make his search, in which he shall open also what is sealed, [954c] and he shall seal this up again in the same way in the presence of the household and of the city-stewards. In cases of disputed claims there must be a limit of time, after which it shall be no longer possible to dispute the claim of the person in possession. In our State no dispute is possible in respect of lands or houses; but in respect of anything else which a man has acquired, if the possessor be seen to be using it in the city, market, and temple, and if no one lays claim to it,—then if some man asserts that he has been looking for it all this time, while it is plain that its possessor has made no concealment of it, and if this goes on for a year, the possessor still keeping the article [954d] and the other man still seeking, at the expiration of the year no one shall be allowed to lay claim to its possession. And if a man uses an article openly in the country—although not in the city or market,—and if no claimant confronts him within five years, after the expiration of the five years no claim to such a possession shall be allowed. And if a man uses an article indoors in the city, the time-limit shall be three years; if he uses it in a concealed place in the country, [954e] it shall be ten years; while if it he in a foreign country, there shall be no limit of time set to making a claim, whenever it is found. If any man forcibly prevent any person from appearing at an action at law—whether it be the person himself or his witnesses,—in case that person be a slave of his own or of another man, the action shall be null and void; [955a] and in case the person so prevented be a free man, in addition to the annulment of the action, the offender shall be imprisoned for a year and shall be liable to a charge of kidnapping at the hands of anyone who chooses. And if anyone forcibly prevents a rival competitor at a gymnastic, musical or other contest from appearing, whoso wishes shall report the fact to the Presidents of the Games, and they shall allow him that wishes to contend to enter for the contest free; but should they prove unable, in case he who prevented the competitor wins, they shall give the prize to the man prevented and shall inscribe his name as victor [955b] in whatever temples he chooses, whereas the preventer shall be forbidden to put up any tablet or inscription regarding such a contest, and he shall be liable to pay damages, whether he be defeated at the contest or be victorious. If anyone knowingly receive any stolen article, he shall be liable to the same penalty as the thief; and for the crime of receiving an exile the penalty shall be death. Everyone shall regard the friend or enemy of the State as his own personal friend or enemy; and if anyone makes peace or war with any parties privately and without public consent, in his case also the penalty shall be death; [955c] and if any section of the State makes peace or war on its own account with any parties, the generals shall summon the authors of this action before the court, and the penalty for him who is convicted shall be death. Those who are performing any act of service to the State must do it without gifts; and it shall be no excuse nor laudable plea to argue that for good deeds a man ought to receive gifts, though not for bad: to decide wisely, and firmly to abide by one's decision, is no easy thing, [955d] and the safest course is for a man to listen and obey the law, which says, “Perform no service for gifts.” Whoso disobeys, if convicted by the court, shall be put to death once for all. Touching money-contributions to the public treasury, not only must the property of every man be valued, for many reasons, but the tribesmen also must furnish an annual record of the year's produce to the land-wardens, so that the Treasury may adopt whichever it may prefer of the two existing methods of contribution, [955e] and may determine year by year whether it will require a proportion of the whole assessed value, or a proportion of the current yearly income, exclusive of the taxes paid for the common meals. As regards votive offerings to the gods, it is proper for a reasonable man to present offerings of reasonable value. The soil and the hearth are in all cases sacred to all the gods; wherefore no one shall consecrate afresh what is already sacred. Gold and silver, [956a] which in other States are used both privately and in temples, are objects liable to cause envy; and ivory, which comes from a body bereft of soul, is not a pure offering;30 while iron and bronze are instruments of war; of wood forming a single piece a man may offer in the public temples whatsoever he wishes, and of stone likewise, and of woven stuff an amount not exceeding a month's output by one woman. For woven stuff and other materials, white will be a color befitting the gods; but dyes they must not employ, save only for military decorations. [956b] Birds and statues make most godlike gifts, and they should be no larger than what one sculptor can complete in a single day; and all other votive offerings shall be modelled on similar lines. And now that we have stated in detail what and how many the divisions of the State as a whole must be, and have also stated to the best of our power the laws regarding all the most important business transactions,31 it will be proper to deal next with judicial procedure.32 Of law courts the first will be composed of selected judges, selected jointly [956c] by both plaintiff and defendant, and these will be called “arbitrators,” as being a more suitable name than “judges.” The second court shall be formed of the villagers and tribesmen (the tribes being divided into twelve parts); and if the cause be not decided in the first court, they shall come before these judges to fight a case involving a greater injury, and if at the second trial the defendant is defeated, he shall pay as an extra penalty the fifth part of the assessed amount of the penalty recorded; and if, dissatisfied with his judges, he desires to fight his case before a court a third time, he shall bring it before the select judges, [956d] and if he be again worsted, he shall pay one and a half times the assessed amount. Again, if the plaintiff, when worsted in the first court, does not rest satisfied, but goes to the second court, in case he wins, he shall receive the fifth part, but in case he loses, he shall pay the same fraction of the penalty. And if, through dissatisfaction with the previous verdict, they proceed to the third court, the defendant (as we have said) shall pay, if worsted, one and a half times the penalty, and the prosecutor one-half of it. [956e] As regards the allotting of courts, the filling of vacancies, the appointing of sergeants for the several boards of magistrates, the times prescribed for performing each of these duties, the recording of votes, adjournments, and all other necessary judicial arrangements,—such as the fixing by lot of the order of trials, rules about counter-pleadings and counter-attendances, and all matters cognate thereto,— all these we have dealt with previously,33 [957a] but nevertheless it is a proper thing to reiterate twice,—yea, thrice,—the truth.34 The old lawgiver, however, may pass over all such legal observances as are trivial and easy of discovery, and the young lawgiver shall fill up his omissions. In dealing with the private law courts this method would be reasonable, but in connection with the public courts of the State, and all those which the officials have to use in managing the affairs which belong to their several offices, there exist in many States quite a number of admirable ordinances of worthy men;35 and from these the Law-wardens must construct a code which is suitable to the polity we are now framing, [957b] partly by comparing and amending them, partly by submitting them to the test of experience, until each such ordinance be deemed satisfactory; and when they have been finally approved, and have been sealed as absolutely unchangeable, then the magistrates shall put them into practice all their life long. All rules regarding silence and discreet speech, and the opposite of these, on the part of the judges, and all else that differs from the rules which obtain in the other States concerning justice and goodness,—all these have been stated in part,36 and in part they will be stated at the end. [957c] To all these matters he that purposes to be a righteous and just judge must attend, and that written exposition of them which he possesses he must learn. For of all studies, that of legal regulations, provided they be rightly framed, will prove the most efficacious in making the learner a better man; for were it not so, it would be in vain that our divine and admirable law bears a name akin to reason.37 Moreover, of all other speeches— [957d] whether they be of personal praise or blame, composed in verse or prose, written down or uttered from day to day at some gathering by way of controversy or by way of consent (often of a very futile character),—of all such speeches the writings of the lawgiver38 will serve as a test; and inasmuch as he possesses these within himself, as a talisman against other speeches, the good judge will guide both himself and the State aright; for the good he will secure both the permanence and [957e] the increase of what is just, and for the bad a change as great as possible from their ignorance, intemperance and cowardice, and, in short, from their general iniquity,—that is to say, for all the bad whose opinions are curable; but for those whose opinions are really fixed by Fate,39—if they assigned death as a cure [958a] for souls in this condition (a statement that deserves to be often repeated), such judges and leaders of judges would merit praise from the whole State. When all the lawsuits for the year have been finally adjudged, we must have laws for the execution of the verdicts to this effect:—First, the magistrate who is acting as judge shall assign to the victorious party all the goods of the party convicted, [958b] excepting such as the latter must necessarily retain in his possession; and this he shall do in each case immediately after the voting has taken place by means of a herald's proclamation made in the hearing of the judges; and unless the loser settle with the victor to their mutual satisfaction by the end of the month next to those in which the courts are sitting, the magistrate who has tried the case shall, at the instance of the victor, hand over to him the goods of the loser. And if the means are not forthcoming, and there be a deficiency of not less than a drachma, the loser in question shall be precluded from suing anyone else until he has paid to the full his whole debt [958c] to the victor; but others may bring valid actions against him. If anyone, when condemned, obstructs the court which condemned him, the officials thus wrongfully obstructed shall summon him before the court of the Law-wardens, and anyone who is cast in such an action, as being guilty of subverting the whole State and its laws, shall be punished by death. Next, when a man has been born and reared, and has himself begotten and reared up children, [958d] and has engaged reasonably in the transactions of business, giving or receiving (as the case may be) compensation for wrongs done,—when he has thus duly grown old in a law-abiding life, his end will come in the course of nature. Touching the dead, male or female, what the sacred rites are which require to be performed in respect of the gods of the underworld, or of this world, shall be declared by the Interpreters as the final authorities: no tombs, however, shall be put in places that are tilled,—whether the monument be small or great,—but they shall fill up those places where the soil is naturally fitted for this purpose only,— [958e] namely, to receive and hide the bodies of the dead with the least hurt to the living; but as regards all the places which of their own nature desire to produce food for mankind, of these no one, living or dead, shall deprive us who are alive. And they shall not pile up a mound to a height greater than can be made by five men in five days; nor shall they erect stone pillars of a size more than is required to hold, at the most, a eulogy of the dead man's life consisting of not more than four heroic lines. [959a] And as to the laying-out of the corpse, first, it shall remain in the house only for such a time as is required to prove that the man is not merely in a faint, but really dead; and accordingly, in a normal case, the third will be the proper day for the carrying out to burial. As in other matters it is right to trust the lawgiver, so too we must believe him when he asserts that the soul is wholly superior to the body, and that in actual life what makes each of us to be what he is [959b] is nothing else than the soul, while the body is a semblance which attends on each of us, it being well said that the bodily corpses are images of the dead, but that which is the real self of each of us, and which we term the immortal soul, departs to the presence of other gods,40 there (as the ancestral law declares) to render its account,—a prospect to be faced with courage by the good, but with uttermost dread by the evil. But to him who is dead no great help can be given; it was when he was alive [959c] that all his relatives should have helped him, so that when living his life might have been as just and holy as possible, and when dead he might be free during the life which follows this life from the penalty for wickedness and sin. This being so, one ought never to spend extravagantly on the dead, through supposing that the carcass of flesh that is being buried is in the truest sense one's own relative; but one ought rather to suppose that the real son or brother—or whoever else it may be that a man fancies himself to be mournfully burying—has departed in furtherance and fulfillment of his own destiny, and that it is our duty to make a wise use of what we have [959d] and to spend in moderation,41 as it were on a soulless altar to the gods below:42 and what constitutes moderation the lawgiver will most properly divine. Let this, then, be the law:—An expenditure on the whole funeral not exceeding five minas for a man of the highest property-class, three minas for one of the second class, two for one of the third, and one mina for one of the fourth class, shall be held to be moderate amounts. The Law-wardens must of necessity perform many other duties and supervise many other matters, [959e] but by no means the least of their duties is to live keeping a constant watch over children and men and people of every age; and at the end of his life above all everyone must have some one Law-warden to take charge of him—that one who is called in as overseer by the relatives of the dead man; and it shall stand to his credit if the arrangements about the dead man are carried out in a proper and moderate way, but if improperly, to his discredit. The laying-out of the corpse and the other arrangements shall be carried out in accordance with the custom concerning such matters, but it is right that custom should give way to the following regulations of State law:—Either to ordain or to prohibit weeping for the dead [960a] is unseemly, but we shall forbid loud mourning and lamentation outside the house, and we shall prohibit the carrying out of the dead on to the open roads and making lamentation while he is borne through the streets, and the funeral party must be outside the city-bounds before day-break. These shall be the legal regulations regarding such matters: he that obeys them shall be free from penalty, but he that disobeys a single one of the Law-wardens shall be penalized by them all [960b] with the penalty adjudged by all in common. All other interments of the dead, or disposal of corpses without interment in the cases of parricides, temple-robbers, and all such criminals,—have been previously43 dealt with and laid down by law, so that our task of legislation has nearly come to an end. But in every case, the full end does not consist in the doing, gaining or founding of an object; rather our view should be that it is only when we have discovered a means of salvation, endless and complete, for our creation, that we are at length justified in believing that we have done all that ought to be done: until then, we must believe, [960c] the whole of our creation is incomplete.Clinias
You say well, Stranger; but explain to us yet more clearly the purport of your last observation.Athenian
O Clinias, many of the sayings of old time have been nobly uttered, and of these not the least, I may say, are the titles given to the Fates.Clinias
What titles, pray?Athenian
That the first of them is Lachesis, the second Clotho, and Atropos the savior-third 44—she that bestows on the dooms ratified by Clotho the quality of irreversibility. [960d] She it is that must furnish also to the State and its citizens, not merely health and salvation for their bodies, but also right legality in their souls, or rather the salvation of the laws. And this, as it seems clear to me, is what our laws still lack—namely, a right mode of naturally implanting in them this irreversible quality.Clinias
The point you mention is a serious one, if it is really impossible to discover a means whereby everything may acquire some such quality. [960e] Athenian
Nay, but it is possible, as I now perceive quite clearly.Clinias
Then let us by no means desist until we have secured this very quality for the laws we have stated; for it would be ridiculous for us to have wasted all this labor on an object, and then not base it on any firm foundation.Athenian
You are right in your exhortation, and you will find me as ready as yourself to proceed.Clinias
Very good. Then what is it you say will prove a means of salvation to our polity and its laws, and how will it do so? [961a] Athenian
Did we not say45 that we must have in our State a synod of the following kind:—The ten senior members, at the moment, of the body of Law-wardens shall form the synod, in company with all who have won the award of merit; and, moreover, those inspectors who have gone abroad46 to discover if they could hear of anything pertinent to the safekeeping of laws, and who, in the belief that they have succeeded, have come safely home again, shall, after undergoing a searching test, be deemed worthy to take part in the synod? In addition to these, [961b] every member must bring with him one of the young men, not less than thirty years old, whom he has first selected as being both by nature and training a suitable person; after selecting him, he shall introduce him among the members, and if they also approve, he shall keep him as a colleague, but if they disapprove, the fact of his original selection must be concealed from all the rest, and especially from the person thus rejected. The synod must meet at an early hour, when everyone has his time most free from other business, private or public. Was it not some such organization as this that we described in [961c] our previous discourse?Clinias
Resuming, then, the subject of this synod, I will say this:—If one were to lay this down as an anchor for the whole State, possessing all the requisite conditions,—then, I affirm, it would secure the salvation of all that we desire.Clinias
Now will be the time for us to display no lack of zeal in declaring truly what follows.Clinias
Excellently spoken! Proceed as you propose. [961d] Athenian
One ought to observe, Clinias, in regard to every object, in each of its operations, what constitutes its appropriate savior—as, for example, in an animal, the soul and the head are eminently such by nature.Clinias
How do you mean?Athenian
Surely it is the goodness of those parts that provides salvation to every animal.Clinias
By the existence of reason in the soul, in addition to all its other qualities, and by the existence of sight and hearing, in addition to all else, in the head; thus, to summarize the matter, it is the combination of reason with the finest senses, and their union in one, that would most justly be termed the salvation of each animal.Clinias
That is certainly probable. [961e] Athenian
It is probable. But what kind of reason is it which, when combined with senses, will afford salvation to ships in stormy weather and calm? On shipboard is it not the pilot and the sailors who, by combining the senses with the pilot reason, secure salvation both for themselves and for all that belongs to the ship?Clinias
There is no need of many examples to illustrate this. Consider, for instance, what would be the right mark for a general to set up to shoot at in the case of an army, or the medical profession in the case of a human body, if they were aiming [962a] at salvation. Would not the former make victory his mark, and mastery over the enemy, while that of the doctors and their assistants would be the providing of health to the body?Clinias
But if a doctor were ignorant of that bodily condition which we have now called “health,” or a general ignorant of victory, or any of the other matters we have mentioned, could he possibly be thought to possess reason about any of these things?Clinias
How could he?Athenian
What, now, shall we say about a State? If a man were to be plainly ignorant as regards the political mark to be aimed at, would he, first of all, deserve the title of magistrate, and, [962b] secondly, would he be able to secure the salvation of that object concerning the aim of which he knows nothing at all?Clinias
How could he?Athenian
So now, in our present case, if our settlement of the country is to be finally completed, there must, it would seem, exist in it some element which knows, in the first place, what that political aim, of which we are speaking, really is, and, secondly, in what manner it may attain this aim, and which of the laws, in the first instance, and secondly of men, gives it good counsel or bad. But if any State is destitute of such an element, it will not be surprising [962c] if, being thus void of reason and void of sense, it acts at haphazard always in all its actions.Clinias
In which, then, of the parts or institutions of our State have we now got anything so framed as to prove an adequate safeguard of this kind? Can we answer that question?Clinias
No, Stranger; at least, not clearly. But if I must make a guess, it seems to me that this discourse of yours is leading up to that synod which has to meet at night, as you said just now. [962d] Athenian
An excellent reply, Clinias! And, as our present discourse shows, this synod must possess every virtue; and the prime virtue is not to keep shifting its aim among a number of objects,47 but to concentrate its gaze always on one particular mark, and at that one mark to shoot, as it were, all its arrows continually.Clinias
So now we shall understand that it is by no means surprising if the legal customs in States keep shifting, seeing that different parts of the codes in each State look in different directions. And, in general, it is not surprising that, with some statesmen, [962e] the aim of justice is to enable a certain class of people to rule in the State (whether they be really superior, or inferior), while with others the aim is how to acquire wealth (whether or not they be somebody's slaves); and others again direct their efforts to winning a life of freedom. Still others make two objects at once the joint aim of their legislation,—namely, the gaining of freedom for themselves, and mastery over other States; while those who are the wisest of all, in their own conceit, aim not at one only, but at the sum total of these and the like objects, since they are unable to specify any one object of preeminent value towards which they would desire all else to be directed. [963a] Clinias
Then, Stranger, was not the view we stated long ago the right one? We said48 that all our laws must always aim at one single object, which, as we agreed, is quite rightly named “virtue.”Athenian
And we stated that virtue consists of four things.Athenian
And that the chief of all the four is reason,49 at which the other three, as well as everything else, should aim.Athenian
You follow us admirably, Clinias; and now follow us in what comes next. In the case of the pilot, the doctor, and the general, reason is directed, [963b] as we said, towards the one object of aim which is proper in each case; and now we are at the point of examining reason in the case of a statesman, and, addressing it as a man, we shall question it thus:—“O admirable sir, what is your aim? Medical reason is able to state clearly the one single object at which it aims; so will you be unable to state your one object—you who are superior, as perhaps you will say, to all the wise?” Can you two, Megillus and Clinias, define that object on his behalf, and tell me what you say it is, [963c] just as I, on behalf of many others, defined their objects for you?Clinias
We are totally unable to do so.Athenian
Well then, can you declare that we need zeal in discerning both the object itself as a whole and the forms it assumes?Clinias
Illustrate what you mean by “the forms” you speak of.Athenian
For example, when we said that there are four forms of virtue, obviously, since there are four, we must assert that each is a separate one.Clinias
And yet we call them all by one name: we assert that courage is virtue, and wisdom virtue, [963d] and the other two likewise, as though they were really not a plurality, but solely this one thing—virtue.Clinias
Now it is not hard to explain wherein these two (and the rest) differ from one another, and how they have got two names; but to explain why we have given the one name “virtue” to both of them (and to the rest) is no longer an easy matter.Clinias
How do you mean?Athenian
It is not hard to make clear my meaning. Let one of us adopt the role of questioner, the other of answerer.50Clinias
In what way? [963e] Athenian
Do you ask me this question—why, when calling both the two by the single name of “virtue,” did we again speak of them as two—courage and wisdom? Then I shall tell you the reason,—which is, that the one of them has to do with fear, namely courage,51 in which beasts also share, and the characters of very young children; for a courageous soul comes into existence naturally and without reasoning, but without reasoning there never yet came into existence, and there does not nor ever will exist, a soul that is wise and rational, it being a distinct kind.Clinias
That is true. [964a] Athenian
Wherein they differ and are two you have now learnt from my reply. So do you, in turn, inform me how it is that they are one and identical. Imagine you are also going to tell me how it is that, though four, they are yet one; and then, after you have shown me how they are one, do you again ask me how they are four. And after that, let us enquire regarding the person who has full knowledge of any objects which possess both a name and a definition, whether he ought to know the name only, and not know the definition, or whether it is not a shameful thing for a man worth anything to be ignorant of all these points in regard to matters of surpassing beauty [964b] and importance.Clinias
It would certainly seem to be so.Athenian
For the lawgiver and the Law-warden, and for him who thinks he surpasses all men in virtue and who has won prizes for just such qualities, is there anything more important than these very qualities with which we are now dealing—courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom?Clinias
In regard to these matters, is it not right that the interpreters, the teachers, the lawgivers, as the wardens of the rest, in dealing with him that requires knowledge and information, or with him that requires punishment and reproof for his sin, [964c] should excel all others in the art of instructing him in the quality of vice and virtue and exhibiting it fully? Or is some poet who comes into the State, or one who calls himself a trainer of youth, to be accounted evidently superior to him that has won prizes for all the virtues? In a State like that, where there are no wardens who are competent both in word and deed, and possessed of a competent knowledge of virtue,—is it surprising, I ask, if such a State, all unwarded as it is, suffers the same fate as do many of the [964d] States which exist today?Clinias
Not at all, I should say.Athenian
Well then, must we do what we now propose, or what? Must we contrive how our wardens shall have a more accurate grasp of virtue, both in word and deed, than the majority of men? For otherwise, how shall our State resemble a wise man's head and senses, on the ground that it possesses within itself a similar kind of wardenship?Clinias
What is this resemblance we speak of and wherein does it consist? [964e] Athenian
Evidently we are comparing the State itself to the skull; and, of the wardens, the younger ones, who are selected as the most intelligent and nimble in every part of their souls, are set, as it were, like the eyes, in the top of the head, and survey the State all round; and as they watch, they pass on their perceptions to the organs of memory,—that is, they report to the elder wardens all that goes on in the State,— [965a] while the old men, who are likened to the reason because of their eminent wisdom in many matters of importance, act as counsellors, and make use of the young men as ministers and colleagues also in their counsels, so that both these classes by their co-operation really effect the salvation of the whole State. Is this the way, or ought we to contrive some other? Should the State, do you think, have all its members equal instead of having some more highly trained and educated?Clinias
Nay, my good sir, that were impossible.Athenian
We must proceed, then, to expound a type of education that is higher than the one previously described. [965b] Clinias
I suppose so.Athenian
Will the type which we hinted at just now52 prove to be that which we require?Clinias
Did we not say53 that he who is a first-class craftsman or warden, in any department, must not only be able to pay regard to the many, but must be able also to press towards the One54 so as to discern it and, on discerning it, to survey and organize all the rest with a single eye to it?Clinias
Quite right. [965c] Athenian
Can any man get an accurate vision and view of any object better than by being able to look from the many and dissimilar to the one unifying form?Clinias
It is certain, my friend, rather than probable, that no man can possibly have a clearer method than this.Clinias
I believe you, Stranger, and I assent; so let us employ this method in our subsequent discourse.Athenian
Naturally we must compel the wardens also of our divine polity to observe accurately, in the first place, what that identical element is which pervades all the four virtues, [965d] and which,—since it exists as a unity in courage, temperance, justice and wisdom,— may justly be called, as we assert, by the single name of “virtue.” This element, my friends, we must now (if we please) hold very tight, and not let go until we have adequately explained the essential nature of the object to be aimed at—whether, that is, it exists by nature as a unity, or as a whole, or as both, or in some other way. Else, if this eludes us, can we possibly suppose that we shall adequately grasp the nature of virtue, when we are unable to state whether it is many or four or one? [965e] Accordingly, if we follow our own counsel, we shall contrive somehow, by hook or by crook, that this knowledge shall exist in our State. Should we decide, however, to pass it over entirely—pass it over we must.Clinias
Nay, Stranger, in the name of the Stranger's God, we must by no means pass over a matter such as this, since what you say seems to us most true. But how is this to be contrived? [966a] Athenian
It is too early to explain how we are to contrive it: let us first make sure that we agree among ourselves as to whether or not we ought to do so.Clinias
Well, surely we ought, if we can.Athenian
Very well then; do we hold the same view about the fair and the good? Ought our wardens to know only that each of these is a plurality, or ought they also to know how and wherein they are each a unity?Clinias
It is fairly obvious that they must necessarily also discern how these are a unity. [966b] Athenian
Well then, ought they to discern it, but be unable to give a verbal demonstration of it?Clinias
Impossible! The state of mind you describe is that of a slave.Athenian
Well then, do we hold the same view about all forms of goodness, that those who are to be real wardens of the laws must really know the true nature of them, and be capable both of expounding it in word and conforming to it in deed, passing judgment on fair actions and foul according to their real character?Clinias
Certainly. [966c] Athenian
And is not one of the fairest things the doctrine about the gods, which we expounded earnestly,55—to know both that they exist, and what power they manifestly possess, so far as a man is capable of learning these matters; so that while one should pardon the mass of the citizens if they merely follow the letter of the law, one must exclude from office those who are eligible for wardenship, unless they labor to grasp all the proofs there are about the existence of gods? Such exclusion from office [966d] consists in refusing ever to choose as a Law-warden, or to number among those approved for excellence, a man who is not divine himself, nor has spent any labor over things divine.Clinias
It is certainly just, as you say, that the man who is idle or incapable in respect of this subject should be strictly debarred from the ranks of the noble.Athenian
Are we assured, then, that there are two causes, amongst those we previously discussed,56 which lead to faith in the gods?Clinias
One is our dogma about the soul,—that it is the most ancient [966e] and divine of all the things whose motion, when developed into “becoming,” provides an ever-flowing fount of “being”; and the other is our dogma concerning the ordering of the motion of the stars57 and all the other bodies under the control of reason, which has made a “cosmos” of the All. For no man that views these objects in no careless or amateurish way has ever proved so godless as not to be affected by them in a way just the opposite of that which most people expect. [967a] For they imagine that those who study these objects in astronomy and the other necessary allied arts become atheists through observing, as they suppose, that all things come into being by necessary forces and not by the mental energy of the will aiming at the fulfillment of good.Clinias
What in fact is the real state of the case?Athenian
The position at present is, as I said, exactly the opposite of what it was when those who considered these objects considered them to be soulless. Yet even then they were objects of admiration, and the conviction [967b] which is now actually held was suspected by all who studied them accurately—namely, that if they were soulless, and consequently devoid of reason, they could never have employed with such precision calculations so marvellous; and even in those days there were some who dared to hazard the statement58 that reason is the orderer of all that is in the heavens. But the same thinkers, through mistaking the nature of the soul and conceiving her to be posterior, instead of prior, to body, [967c] upset again (so to say) the whole universe, and most of all themselves; for as regards the visible objects of sight, all that moves in the heavens appeared to them to be full of stones, earth and many other soulless bodies which dispense the causes of the whole cosmos. These were the views which, at that time, caused these thinkers to incur many charges of atheism and much odium, and which also incited the poets to abuse them59 by likening philosophers to “dogs howling at the moon,” with other such senseless slanders. [967d] But today, as we have said, the position is quite the reverse.Clinias
It is impossible for any mortal man to become permanently god-fearing if he does not grasp the two truths now stated,—namely, how that the soul is oldest of all things that partake of generation, and is immortal, and rules over all bodies,—and in addition to this, he must also grasp that reason which, as we have often affirmed, controls what exists among the stars, together with the [967e] necessary preliminary sciences;60 and he must observe also the connection therewith of musical theory, and apply it harmoniously to the institutions and rules of ethics;61 and he must be able to give a rational explanation of all that admits of rational explanation. [968a] He that is unable to master these sciences, in addition to the popular virtues,62 will never make a competent magistrate of the whole State, but only a minister to other magistrates. And now, O Megillus and Clinias, it is time at last to consider whether, in addition to all the previous laws which we have stated, we shall add this also—that the nocturnal synod of magistrates shall be legally established, and shall participate in all the education we have described, to keep ward over the State, and to secure its salvation; [968b] or what are we to do?Clinias
Of course we shall add this law, my excellent sir, if we can possibly do so, even to a small extent.Athenian
Then, verily, let us all strive to do so. And herein you will find me a most willing helper, owing to my very long experience and study of this subject; and perhaps I shall discover other helpers also besides myself.Clinias
Well, Stranger, we most certainly must proceed on that path along which God too, it would seem, is conducting us. But what is the right method for us to employ,— [968c] that is what we have now got to discover and state.Athenian
It is not possible at this stage, Megillus and Clinias, to enact laws for such a body, before it has been duly framed; when it is, its members must themselves ordain what authority they should possess; but it is already plain that what is required in order to form such a body, if it is to be rightly formed, is teaching by means of prolonged conferences.Clinias
How so? What now are we to understand by this observation?Athenian
Surely we must first draw up a list [968d] of all those who are fitted by age, intellectual capacity, and moral character and habit for the office of warden; but as regards the next point, the subjects they should learn,—these it is neither easy to discover for oneself63 nor is it easy to find another who has made the discovery and learn from him. Moreover, with respect to the limits of time, when and for how long they ought to receive instruction in each subject, it were idle to lay down written regulations;64 [968e] for even the learners themselves could not be sure that they were learning at the opportune time until each of them had acquired within his soul some knowledge of the subject in question. Accordingly, although it would be wrong to term all these matters “indescribable,” they should be termed “imprescribable,” seeing that the prescribing of them beforehand does nothing to elucidate the question under discussion.Clinias
What then must we do, Stranger, under these circumstances?Athenian
Apparently, my friends, we must “take our chance with the crowd” (as the saying is), and if we are willing to put the whole polity to the hazard and throw (as men say) three sixes or three aces, so it must be done; [969a] and I will go shares with you in the hazard by declaring and explaining my views concerning education and nurture, the subject now started anew in our discourse; but truly the hazard will be no small one, nor comparable to any others. And you, Clinias, I specially exhort to take good heed to this matter. For as concerns the State of the Magnesians—or whoever else, by the god's direction, gives your State its name,65—if you frame it aright, you will achieve most high renown, or at any rate you will inevitably gain the reputation of being the boldest [969b] of all your successors. If so be that this divine synod actually comes into existence, my dear colleagues, we must hand over to it the State; and practically all our present lawgivers agree to this without dispute. Thus we shall have as an accomplished fact and waking reality that result which we treated but a short while ago in our discourse as a mere dream, when we constructed a kind of picture of the union of the reason and the head,66—if, that is to say, we have the members carefully selected [969c] and suitably trained, and after their training quartered in the acropolis of the country, and thus finally made into wardens, the like of whom we have never before seen in our lives for excellence in safeguarding.Megillus
My dear Clinias, from all that has now been said it follows that either we must forgo the idea of settling the State, or else we must detain this Stranger here, and by prayers and every possible means secure his cooperation in the task of settling the State.Clinias
That is most true, Megillus; I will do as you say, and do you yourself [969d] assist me.Megillus
Assist you I will.
1 Son, and herald, of Zeus, and a master of speech (and of lies).
8 Cp. Ovid, Met. 8. 305 ff., 12. 189 ff. Timaeus 90 E.
9 i.e. persons appointed to audit the accounts and scrutinize the conduct of public officials at the expiry of their term of office. Note the play on the literal sense of εὐθυντής, “straightener” (of “crooked” actions).
14 i.e. after superannuation.
27 i.e. by forbidding their presence at ceremonial feasts; or, because (as Grote says) “the Egyptian habits as to eating and sacrifice were intolerably repulsive to a foreigner.”
29 Cp. Aristophanes Nub. 500, 966.
30 Cp. Levit. 19. 11: “He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.”
35 Alluding, probably, to Athenian law in particular.
39 i.e. men whose false beliefs are ineradicable, beyond hope of conversion.
42 i.e. the corpse is like an altar which has no “real presence” to sanctify it; hence it is less worthy of costly offerings.
44 Cp. Plat. Rep. 620e. Atropos is called “the savior-third” (cp.τὸ τρίτον τῷ Σωτῆρι) because she completes the work of the other Fates by making the thread of life (doom) spun by them irreversible. (ἄ-τροπος="unturnable.”）
54 Cp. Plat. Rep. 537b ff., where the “dialectic” method is described as a kind of induction (συναγωγή) whereby the mind ascends from “the many” particulars to “the one” universal concept or “idea”: a comprehensive view (σύνοψις) of the whole is what marks the dialectician (ὁ συνοπτικὸς διαλεκτικός).
55 In Book X.
58 An allusion to the saying of Anaxagoras, “All things were together; then Reason (νοῦς) came and set them in order.” But A. ascribed to Reason only the initiation of a world-order; in all other respects his doctrine was materialistic, and he used purely physical causes and processes in explaining the world, regarding the stars as fiery masses of matter (“full of earth, stones,” etc.). Cp.Phaedo 91 B ff.
64 Cp.Epp. 7. 341 C.
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