previous next


“Very good. We are agreed then, Glaucon, that the state which is to achieve the height of good government must have community1 of wives and children and all education, and also that the pursuits of men and women must be the same in peace and war, and that the rulers or kings2 over them3 are to be those who have approved themselves the best in both war and philosophy.” “We are agreed,” he said. “And we further granted this, [543b] that when the rulers are established in office they shall conduct these soldiers and settle them in habitations4 such as we described, that have nothing private for anybody but are common for all, and in addition to such habitations we agreed, if you remember, what should be the nature of their possessions.5” “Why, yes, I remember,” he said, “that we thought it right that none of them should have anything that ordinary men6 now possess, but that, being as it were athletes7 [543c] of war and guardians, they should receive from the others as pay8 for their guardianship each year their yearly sustenance, and devote their entire attention to the care of themselves and the state.” “That is right,” I said. “But now that we have finished this topic let us recall the point at which we entered on the digression9 that has brought us here, so that we may proceed on our way again by the same path.” “That is easy,” he said; “for at that time, almost exactly as now, on the supposition that you had finished the description of the city, you were going on to say10 that you assumed such a city [543d] as you then described and the corresponding type of man to be good, and that too though, as it appears, you had a still finer city and type of man to tell of;

1 Strictly speaking, this applies only to the guardians, but Cf. Laws 739 C ff. Aristotle, Pol. 1261 a 6 and 1262 a 41, like many subsequent commentators, misses the point.

2 Cf. 445 D and What Plato Said, p. 539, on Menex. 238 C-D.

3 So Jowett. Adam ad loc. insists that the genitive is partitive, “those of their number are to be kings.”

4 Cf. 415 E.

5 Cf. 416 C.

6 Cf. 429 A.

7 Cf. on 403 E and 521 D. Polyb. i. 6. 6ἀθληταὶ γεγονότες ἀληθινοὶ τῶν κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον ἔργων

8 Cf. 416 E.

9 Cf. Vol. I. p. 424, note c, and What Plato Said, p. 640, on Laws 857 C.

10 Cf. 449 A-B.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: