previous next
[415a] I said; “but all the same hear the rest of the story. While all of you in the city are brothers, we will say in our tale, yet God in fashioning those of you who are fitted to hold rule mingled gold in their generation,1 for which reason they are the most precious—but in the helpers silver, and iron and brass in the farmers and other craftsmen. And as you are all akin, though for the most part you will breed after your kinds,2

1 Cf. 468 E, 547 A, and “already”Cratylus 394 D, 398 A. Hesiod's four metals, Works and Days 109-201, symbolize four succcessive ages. Plato's myth cannot of course be interpreted literally or made to express the whole of his apparently undemocratic theory, of which the biologist Huxley in his essay on Administrative Nihilism says: “The lapse of more than 2000 years has not weakened the force of these wise words.”

2 The four classes are not castes, but are species which will generally breed true. Cf. Cratylus 393 B, 394 A.

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 Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Huxley (Canada) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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