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[338d] for his body, this viand is also for us who are weaker than he both advantageous and just.” “You're a buffoon,1 Socrates, and take my statement2 in the most detrimental sense.” “Not at all, my dear fellow” said I; “I only want you to make your meaning plainer.”3“Don't you know then,” said he, “that some cities are governed by tyrants, in others democracy rules, in others aristocracy?”4“Assuredly.” “And is not this the thing that is strong and has the mastery5 in each—the ruling party?” “Certainly.”

1 The Greek is stronger—a beastly cad. A common term of abuse in the orators. Cf. Aristophanes Frogs 465, Theophrast.Char. xvii. (Jebb).

2 Cf. 392 C, 394 B, 424 C, Meno 78 C, Euthydemus 295 C, Gorgias 451 Aδικαίως ὑπολαμβάνεις, “you take my meaning fairly.” For complaints of unfair argument cf. 340 D, Charmides 166 C, Meno 80 A, Theaetetus 167 E, Gorgias 461 B-C, 482 E.

3 This is the point. Thrasymachus is represented as challenging assent before explaining his meaning, and Socrates forces him to be more explicit by jocosely putting a perverse interpretation on his words. Similarly in Gorgias 451 E, 453 B, 489 D, 490 C, Laws 714 C. To the misunderstanding of such dramatic passages is due the impression of hasty readers that Plato is a sophist.

4 These three forms of government are mentioned by Pindar, Pyth. ii. 86, Aeschines In Ctes. 6. See 445 D, Whibley, Greek Oligarchies, and Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 62.

5 κρατεῖ with emphasis to suggest κρείττων. Cf. Menexenus 238 D, Xenophon Memorabilia 1. 2. 43. Platonic dialectic proceeds by minute steps and linked synonyms. Cf. 333 A, 339 A, 342 C, 346 A, 353 E, 354 A-B, 369 C, 370 A-B, 379 B, 380-381, 394 B, 400 C, 402 D, 412 D, 433-434, 486, 585 C, Meno 77 B, Lysis 215 B, where L. and S. miss the point.

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