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1 As in the “longer way” Plato is careful not to commit himself to a definition of the ideal or the sanction, but postulates it for his guardians.
2 The personal or ab urbe condita construction. Cf. Theaet. 169 E.
3 the guardians must be able to give a reason, which they can do only by reference to the sanction. For the idea that the statesman must know better than other men. Cf. Laws 968 A, 964 C, 858 C-E, 817 C, Xen Mem. iii. 6. 8.
6 Cf. 367 D-E.
8 Cf. on 484 C, Phaedr. 270 E.
9 Probably an allusion to the revelation of the mysteries. Cf. Phaedr. 250 C, Phileb. 16 C, rep. 518 C, 478 C, 479 D, 518 A. It is fantastic to see in it a reference to what Cicero calls the lumina orationis of Isocratean style. The rhetoric and synonyms of this passage are not to be pressed.
11 καὶ μάλα, “jolly well,” humorous emphasis on the point that it is much easier to “define” the conventional virtues than to explain the “sanction.” Cf. Symp. 189 A, Euthydem. 298 D-E, Herod. viii. 66. It is frequent in the Republic. Ritter gives forty-seven cases. I have fifty-four! But the point that matters is the humorous tone. Cf. e.g. 610 E.
13 Cf. More, Principia Ethica, p. 17 “Good, then, is indefinable; and yet, so far as I know, there is only one ethical writer, Professor Henry Sidgwick, who has clearly recognized and stated this fact.”
14 This is not superstitious mysticism but a deliberate refusal to confine in a formula what requires either a volume or a symbol. See Introd. p. xxvii, and my Idea of Good in Plato's Republic, p. 212. τὰ νῦν repeats τὸ νῦν εἶναι(Cf. Tim. 48 C), as the evasive phrase εἰσαῦθις below sometimes lays the topic on the table, never to be taken up again. Cf. 347 E and 430 C.
15 Cf. Laws 897 D-E, Phaedr. 246 A.
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