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[423e] we are imposing upon them, but they are all easy, provided they guard, as the saying is, the one great thing1—or instead of great let us call it sufficient.2” “What is that?” he said. “Their education and nurture,” I replied. “For if a right education3 makes of them reasonable men they will easily discover everything of this kind—and other principles that we now pass over, as that the possession of wives and marriage,

1 The proverbial one great thing (one thing needful). The proverb perhaps is:πόλλ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἀλώπηξ ἀλλ᾽ ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα(Suidas). Cf. Archil. fr. 61ἓν δ᾽ ἐπίσταμαι μέγα, Politicus 297 Aμέχριπερ ἂν ἓν μέγα φυλάττωσι.

2 μέγα has the unfavorable associations of ἔπος μέγα, and ἱκανόν, “adequate,” is characteristically preferred by Plato.

3 Cf. on 416 E. Plato of course has in mind the education already described and the higher education of books VI. and VII.

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