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[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

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.

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