previous next
[694a] in contrast to their present condition. Shall we expound the reasons for this?

Clinias
By all means—that is if we mean to complete the task we have set ourselves.

Athenian
Let us attend then. When the Persians, under Cyrus, maintained the due balance between slavery and freedom, they became, first of all, free themselves, and, after that, masters of many others. For when the rulers gave a share of freedom to their subjects and advanced them to a position of equality, the soldiers were more friendly [694b] towards their officers and showed their devotion in times of danger; and if there was any wise man amongst them, able to give counsel, since the king was not jealous but allowed free speech and respected those who could help at all by their counsel,—such a man had the opportunity of contributing to the common stock the fruit of his wisdom. Consequently, at that time all their affairs made progress, owing to their freedom, friendliness and mutual interchange of reason.

Clinias
Probably that is pretty much the way in which the matters you speak of took place. [694c]

Athenian
How came it, then, that they were ruined in Cambyses' reign, and nearly restored again under Darius? Shall I use a kind of divination to picture this?

Clinias
Yes that certainly will help us to gain a view of the object of our search.

Athenian
What I now divine regarding Cyrus is this,—that, although otherwise a good and patriotic commander, he was entirely without a right education, and had paid no attention to household management.

Clinias
What makes us say this? [694d]

Athenian
Probably he spent all his life from boyhood in soldiering, and entrusted his children to the women folk to rear up; and they brought them up from earliest childhood as though they had already attained to Heaven's favour and felicity, and were lacking in no celestial gift; and so by treating them as the special favorites of Heaven, and forbidding anyone to oppose them, in anything, and compelling everyone to praise their every word and deed, they reared them up into what they were.

Clinias
A fine rearing, I should say! [694e]

Athenian
Say rather, a womanish rearing by royal women lately grown rich, who, while the men were absent, detained by many dangers and wars, reared up the children.

Clinias
That sounds reasonable.

Athenian
And their father, while gaining flocks and sheep and plenty of herds, both of men and of many other chattels,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: