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[468a] “But now what of the conduct of war? What should be the attitude of the soldiers to one another and the enemy? Am I right in my notions or not?” “Tell me what notions,” he said. “Anyone of them who deserts his post, or flings away his weapons,1 or is guilty of any similar act of cowardice, should be reduced to the artisan or farmer class, should he not?” “By all means.” “And anyone who is taken alive by the enemy2 we will make a present of to his captors, shall we not, to deal with their catch3 [468b] as they please?” “Quite so.” “And don't you agree that the one who wins the prize of valor and distinguishes himself shall first be crowned by his fellows in the campaign, by the lads and boys each in turn?” “I do.” “And be greeted with the right hand?” “That, too.” “But I presume you wouldn't go as far as this?” “What?” “That he should kiss and be kissed by everyone4?” “By all means,” he said, “and I add to the law the provision that during that [468c] campaign none whom he wishes to kiss be allowed to refuse, so that if one is in love with anyone, male or female, he may be the more eager to win the prize.” “Excellent,” said I, “and we have already said that the opportunity of marriage will be more readily provided for the good man, and that he will be more frequently selected than the others for participation in that sort of thing, in order that as many children as possible may be born from such stock.” “We have,” he replied.

“But, furthermore, we may cite Homer5 [468d] too for the justice of honoring in such ways the valiant among our youth. For Homer says that Ajax, who had distinguished himself in the war, was honored with the long chine,6 assuming that the most fitting meed for a brave man in the prime of his youth is that from which both honor and strength will accrue to him.” “Most rightly,” he said. “We will then,” said I, “take Homer as our guide in this at least. We, too, at sacrifices and on other like occasions, will reward the good so far as they have proved themselves good with hymns and the other privileges of which we have just spoken, [468e] and also with “‘seats of honor and meat and full cups’”Hom. Il. 8.162, so as to combine physical training with honor for the good, both men and women.” “Nothing could be better,” he said. “Very well; and of those who die on campaign, if anyone's death has been especially glorious, shall we not, to begin with, affirm that he belongs to the golden race?”7 “By all means.” “And shall we not believe Hesiod8 who tells us that when anyone of this race dies, so it is that they become

1 The terms are technical. Cf. Laws 943 D ff., Lipsius, Das attische Recht(1908), ii. pp. 452 ff.

2 εἰς τοὺς πολεμίους: technical. Cf. inscription in Bulletin de corr. hellénique, xii. p. 224, n. 1τῶν ἁλόντων εἰς τοὺς πολεμίους.

3 ἄγρᾳ: the word is chosen to give a touch of Spartan, or, as we should say, Roman severity. Cf. Sophist 235 C, Aeschylus Eumenides 148, Horace, Odes, iii. 5. 33 ff. Plutarch, De aud. poet. 30, says that in Homer no Greeks are taken prisoners, only Trojans.

4 The deplorable facetiousness of the following recalls the vulgarity of Xenophon's guard-house conversations. It is almost the only passage in Plato that one would wish to blot. Helvetius, otherwise anything but a Platonist, characteristically adopts it, Lange, History of Materialism, ii. p. 86.

5 Hom. Il. 7.321-322. Cf. also viii. 162, xii. 311.

6 I.e, the back. Hom. Il. 7.321-322.

7 Cf. 415 A.

8 Cf. Stewart, Myths of Plato, p. 437.

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