previous next
[590d] of that best man1 who has within himself the divine governing principle, not because we suppose, as Thrasymachus2 did in the case of subjects, that the slave should be governed for his own harm, but on the ground that it is better for everyone to be governed by the divine and the intelligent, preferably indwelling and his own, but in default of that imposed from without, in order that we all so far as possible may be akin and friendly because our governance and guidance are the same?” “Yes, and rightly so,” he said.

1 For the idea that it is better to be ruled by a better man Cf. Alc. I. 135 B-C, Polit. 296 B-C, 75 (Diels ii.3 p. 77), Xen.Mem. i. 5. 5δουλεύοντα δὲ ταῖς τοιαύταις ἡδοναῖς ἱκετευτέον τοὺς θεοὺς δεσποτῶν ἀγαθῶν τυχεῖν, Xen.Cyr. viii. 1. 40βελτίονας εἶναι. Cf. also Laws 713 D-714 A, 627 E, Phaedo 62 D-E, and Laws 684 C. Cf. Ruskin, Queen of the Air, p. 210 (Brantwood ed., 1891): “The first duty of every man in the world is to find his true master, and, for his own good, submit to him; and to find his true inferior, and, for that inferior's good, conquer him.” Inge, Christian Ethics, p. 252: “It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free.” Carlyle (apud M. Barton and O. Sitwell, Victoriana): “Surely of all the rights of man the right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be gently or forcibly held in the true course by him, is the indisputablest.” Plato's idea is perhaps a source of Aristotle's theory of slavery, though differently expressed. Cf. Aristot.Pol. 1254 b 16 f., Newman i. pp. 109-110, 144 f., 378-379, ii. p. 107. Cf. also Polit. 309 A f., Epist. vii. 335 D, and Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, iii. p. 106.

2 Cf. 343 B-C.

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 Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1254 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: