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[422a] “Wealth and poverty,” said I, “since the one brings luxury, idleness and innovation, and the other illiberality and the evil of bad workmanship in addition to innovation.” “Assuredly,” he said; “yet here is a point for your consideration, Socrates, how our city, possessing no wealth, will be able to wage war, especially if compelled to fight a large and wealthy state.” “Obviously,” said I, “it would be rather difficult to fight one such, [422b] but easier to fight two.1” “What did you mean by that?” he said. “Tell me first,” I said, “whether, if they have to fight, they will not be fighting as athletes of war2 against men of wealth?” “Yes, that is true,” he said. “Answer me then, Adeimantus. Do you not think that one boxer perfectly trained in the art could easily fight two fat rich men who knew nothing of it?” “Not at the same time perhaps,” said he. “Not even,” said I, “if he were allowed to retreat3 [422c] and then turn and strike the one who came up first, and if he repeated the procedure many times under a burning and stifling sun? Would not such a fighter down even a number of such opponents?” “Doubtless,” he said; “it wouldn't be surprising if he did.” “Well, don't you think that the rich have more of the skill and practice4 of boxing than of the art of war?” “I do,” he said. “It will be easy, then, for our athletes in all probability to fight with double and triple their number.” “I shall have to concede the point,” [422d] he said, “for I believe you are right.” “Well then, if they send an embassy to the other city and say what is in fact true5: ‘We make no use of gold and silver nor is it lawful for us but it is for you: do you then join us in the war and keep the spoils of the enemy,’6—do you suppose any who heard such a proposal would choose to fight against hard and wiry hounds rather than with the aid of the hounds against fat and tender sheep?” “I think not.” “Yet consider whether the accumulation [422e] of all the wealth of other cities in one does not involve danger for the state that has no wealth.” “What happy innocence,” said I, “to suppose that you can properly use the name city of any other than the one we are constructing.” “Why, what should we say?” he said. “A greater predication,” said I, “must be applied to the others. For they are each one of them many cities, not a city, as it goes in the game.7 There are two at the least at enmity with one another, the city of the rich

1 Apparent paradox to stimulate attention. Cf. 377 A, 334 A, 382 A, 414 B-C, 544 C, Laws 919 B. For images from boxing cf. Aristotle Met. 985 a 14, and Demosthenes' statement (Philip. i. 40-41) that the Athnians fight Philip as the barbarians box. The Greeks felt that “lesser breeds without the law” were inferior in this manly art of self-defense. Cf. the amusing description of the boxing of Orestes and Plylades by the ἄγγελος in Euripides I. T. 1366 ff.

2 Cf. 416 E, 403 E.

3 Cf. Herodotus iv. 111.

4 Two elements of the triad φύσις, μελέτη, ἐπιστήμη. Cf. 374 D.

5 Cf. Herodotus vii. 233τὸν ἀληθέστατον τῶν λόγων, Catullus x. 9 “id quod erat.”

6 The style is of intentional Spartan curtness.

7 “As they say in the game” or “in the jest.” The general meaning is plain. We do not know enough about the game called πόλεις(cf. scholiast, Suidas, Hesychius, and Photius) to be more specific. Cf. for conjectures and deatils Adam's note, and for the phrase Thompson on Meno 77 A.

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