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[544d] Can you mention any other type1 of government, I mean any other that constitutes a distinct species2? For, no doubt, there are hereditary principalities3 and purchased4 kingships, and similar intermediate constitutions which one could find in even greater numbers among the barbarians than among the Greeks.5” “Certainly many strange ones are reported,” he said.

“Are you aware, then,” said I, “that there must be as many types of character among men as there are forms of government6? Or do you suppose that constitutions spring from the proverbial oak or rock7 and not from the characters8 of the citizens,

1 ἰδέαν: cf. Introd. p. x.

2 Cf. 445 C. For διαφανεῖ Cf. Tim. 60 A, 67 A, Laws 634 C, and on 548 C, p. 253, note g.

3 δυναστεῖαι Cf. Laws 680 B, 681 D. But the word usually has an invidious suggestion. See Newman on Aristot.Pol. 1272 b 10. Cf. ibid. 1292 b 5-10, 1293 a 31, 1298 a 32; also Lysias ii. 18, where it is opposed to democracy, Isoc.Panath. 148, where it is used of the tyranny of Peisistratus, ibid. 43 of Minos. Cf. Panegyr. 39 and NorIin on Panegyr. 105 (Loeb). Isocrates also uses it frequently of the power or sovereignty of Philip, Phil. 3, 6, 69, 133, etc. Cf. also Gorg. 492 B, Polit. 291 D.

4 Newman on Aristot.Pol. 1273 a 35 thinks that Plato may have been thinking of Carthage. Cf. Polyb. vi. 56. 4.

5 Plato, as often is impatient of details, for which he was rebuked by Aristotle. Cf. also Tim. 57 D, 67 C, and the frequent leaving of minor matters to future legislators in the Republic and Laws,Vol. I. p. 294, note b, on 412 B.

6 For the correspondence of individual and state cf. also 425 E, 445 C-D, 579 C and on 591 E. Cf. Laws 829 A, Isoc.Peace 120.

7 Or “stock or stone,” i.e. inanimate, insensible things. For the quotation ἐκ δρυός ποθεν ἐκ πέτρας Cf. Odyssey xix. 163, Il. xxii. 126aliter, Apol. 34 D and Thompson on Phaedrus 275 B; also Stallbaum ad loc.

8 The “mores,” 45 E, 436 A. Cf. Bagehot, Physics and Politics, p. 206: “A lazy nation may be changed into an industrious, a rich into a poor, a religious into a profane, as if by magic, if any single cause, though slight, or any combination of causes, however subtle, is strong enough to change the favorite and detested types of character.”

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