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[547a] Hesiod's and our races of gold, silver, bronze and iron.1 And this intermixture of the iron with the silver and the bronze with the gold will engender unlikeness2 and an unharmonious unevenness, things that always beget war and enmity wherever they arise. “‘Of this lineage, look you,’”Hom. Il. 6.211 we must aver the dissension to be, wherever it occurs and always.” “‘And rightly too,’” he said, “we shall affirm that the Muses answer.” “They must needs,” I said, “since they are3 Muses.” [547b] “Well, then,” said he, “what do the Muses say next?” “When strife arose,” said I, “the two groups were pulling against each other, the iron and bronze towards money-making and the acquisition of land and houses and gold and silver, and the other two, the golden and silvern, not being poor, but by nature rich in their souls,4 were trying to draw them back to virtue and their original constitution, and thus, striving and contending against one another, they compromised5 on the plan of distributing and taking for themselves the land and the houses, [547c] enslaving and subjecting as perioeci and serfs6 their former friends7 and supporters, of whose freedom they had been the guardians, and occupying themselves with war and keeping watch over these subjects.” “I think,” he said, “that this is the starting-point of the transformation.” “Would not this polity, then,” said I, “be in some sort intermediate between aristocracy and oligarchy ?” “By all means.”

“By this change, then, it would arise. But after the change [547d] what will be its way of life? Is it not obvious that in some things it will imitate the preceding polity, in some the oligarchy, since it is intermediate, and that it will also have some qualities peculiar to itself?” “That is so,” he said. “Then in honoring its rulers and in the abstention of its warrior class from farming8 and handicraft and money-making in general, and in the provision of common public tables9 and the devotion to physical training and expertness in the game and contest of war—in all these traits it will copy the preceding state?” “Yes.” “But in its fear [547e] to admit clever men to office, since the men it has of this kind are no longer simple10 and strenuous but of mixed strain, and in its inclining rather to the more high-spirited and simple-minded type, who are better suited for war

1 Cf. 415 A-B.

2 Cf. Theaet. 159 A.

3 γεvi terminiCf. 379 A-B.

4 Cf. 416 E-417 A, 521 A, Phaedrus 279 B-C.

5 For εἰς μέσον Cf. Protag. 338 A; 572 D, 558 B.

6 An allusion to Sparta. On slavery in Plato cf. Newman i. p. 143. Cf. 549 A, 578-579, Laws 776-777; Aristot.Pol. 1259 a 21 f., 1269 a 36 f., 1330 a 29.

7 Cf. 417 A-B.

8 Cf. Aristot.Pol. 1328 b 41 and Newman i. pp. 107-108.

9 Cf. 416 E, 458 C, Laws 666 B, 762 C, 780 A-B, 781 C, 806 E, 839 C, Critias 112 C.

10 Cf. 397 E, Isoc. ii. 46ἁπλοῦς δ᾽ ἡγοῦνται τοὺς νοῦν οὐκ ἔχοντας. Cf. the psychology of Thucyd. iii. 83.

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