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Closely connected with εὐσέβεια and δικαιοσύνη, which should form the foundations of human training, is ἐγκράτεια (self-mastery), which alone enables a man to keep a practical grasp of life. Self-mastery enables a man not only to work successfully but also to enjoy thoroughly all true pleasures.
ἐγκράτειαν ὑπάρχειν ἀγαθὸν εἶναι: it was a good thing for self-control to belong to. ἐγκράτειαν ὑπάρχειν is subj. of εἶναι. μάλιστα πάντων: above all men, belongs to the subj., while πάντων μάλιστα below is equivalent to above everything, and is connected with ἐγκράτειαν.
ἀεὶ μὲν οὖν κτλ.: “he both himself always kept in mind the things conducive to virtue.” Const. περί with μεμνημένος, and for the participle with διατελέω, see on iv.2.4. κτῆμα ἐλευθερίαν: note the emphatic juxtaposition of this pred. and subject. οἷόν τέ γε: see on iv.2.11. μάλιστα: sc. καλὸν καὶ μεγαλεῖον.
τῶν διὰ τοῦ σώματος ἡδονῶν: see on i.5.6. ἥκιστα: “far from it.” ἐλευθέριον: pred., fitting a freeman. εἶτα: see on ii.2.14. τοὺς κωλύσοντας: for τούς with the fut. participle, see on τοὺς τάξοντας iii. 4. 4. ποιεῖν: for the inf. with verbs of hindering, see on πορεύεσθαι i. 6. 6.
εἰκότως: naturally. οὐδὲν ἧττον ἤ: just as much as. ταῦτα, ἐκεῖνα: sc. ποιεῖν. But cf. τὰ κάκιστα ἀναγκάζοντας in 5, and see on φροντίζοντας i. 1. 11.
ποίους τινάς: see on τοιάδε τις i. 1. 1. ἡγῇ: sc. εἶναι. παρά: lit. with, at the house of; here (to follow Eng. idiom), under. δουλείαν δουλεύουσιν: suffer slavery. For the cognate acc., see on ἀγῶνας ἐνίκων ii. 6. 26.
σοφίαν, τὸ μέγιστον ἀγαθόν: for the views of Socrates on the summum bonum, see Introd. § 19.— ἢ οὐ δοκεῖ σοι κτλ.: const. ἢ οὐ δοκεῖ σοι (ἡ ἀκρασία) κωλύειν καὶ ποιεῖν. προσέχειν τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι: from attending to useful things. αἰσθανομένους: even when they have a perception. ἐκπλήξασα: by bewildering them. Cf. ἐξίστησιν i. 3. 12.
σωφροσύνης τίνι ἧττον προσήκειν: who has a less share of discretion? For the gen. with verbs of sharing, see G. 1097, 2; H. 737. αὐτὰ τὰ ἐναντία: pred., the direct opposites (of each other). τοῦ ἐπιμελεῖσθαι: objective gen. with κωλυτικώτερον. ὧν προσήκει: “duties.” τοῦ ποιοῦντος, πείθοντος, ἀναγκάζοντος: for the participle used substantively, see on τὸ κρατοῦν i. 2. 43. τοῖς σωφρονοῦσι τὰ ἐναντία: the opposite of what prudent men do. For the condensed form of expression, see on θεοῖς ταῦτα πάντα ἔοικε iv. 4. 24. οἴει τι: the τὶ shows that the preceding participles are neuter.
οὐκοῦν κτλ.: const. οὐκοῦν εἰκὸς (ἐστὶ) τὴν ἐγκράτειαν αἰτίαν εἶναι τῶν ἐναντίων ἢ τὴν ἀκρασίαν. τῶν ἐναντίων ἤ: of the opposite of what. ἄριστον: for the gender, see on χρησιμώτερον ii. 3. 1.
ὅτι καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἡδέα κτλ.: that even to those pleasures to which alone intemperance seems to lead men, it really cannot lead them. ἀκρασία is lack of self-control, the exact opposite of ἐγκράτεια. πῶς: how so? ὥσπερ: inasmuch as. ἔστιν: it is possible. περιμείναντας, ἀνασχομένους: circumstantial participles of manner, explaining καρτερεῖν, and belonging to its subj. (sc. ἀνθρώπους). ὡς ἔνι ἥδιστα: see on iii.8.4. From οὐκ ἐῶσα to γένηται may be regarded as a parenthesis explanatory of κωλύει. τοῖς ἀναγκαιοτάτοις τε καὶ συνεχεστάτοις: the most natural and most continuous pleasures. ἥδεσθαι ἀξίως μνήμης: to have any pleasure worth recalling.
ἀλλὰ μήν: see on i.1.6. τοῦ μαθεῖν, τοῦ ἐπιμεληθῆναι: gens. of source with ἀπολαύουσι. G. 1130; H. 750. πράττοντες αὐτά: “in the very act of practicing them” (sc. τὸ μαθεῖν καὶ τὸ ἐπιμελεῖσθαι). προσήκειν: as in 7. κατεχομένῳ ἐπὶ τῷ σπουδάζειν περί: “wholly occupied in the pursuit of.” τὰς ἐγγυτάτω ἡδονάς: i.e. pleasures of the moment. Cf. αἱ ἐκ τοῦ παραχρῆμα ἡδοναί ii. 1. 20.
ἥττονι τῶν ἡδονῶν: under subjection to the pleasures. Cf. ἥττω γαστρός i. 5. 1. τί γάρ: (sc. quite right,) for in what respect. ἀλλά: atqui.
οὕτως: i.e. by self-control, and that discretion which carefully distinguishes the good from the bad, and cherishes it. διαλέγεσθαι, διαλέγοντας: in the act. form, this verb means to pick out, select; διαλέγεσθαι is to converse, then, specifically, “to arrive at truth by discussion.” For the lofty estimate placed on ‘dialectic’ by Plato, cf. ἆρ᾽ οὖν δοκεῖ σοι, ἔφην ἐγώ, ὥσπερ θριγκὸς (a coping stone) τοῖς μαθήμασιν ἡ διαλεκτικὴ ἡμῖν ἐπάνω κεῖσθαι, καὶ οὐκέτ᾽ ἄλλο τούτου μάθημα ἀνωτέρω ὀρθῶς ἂν ἐπιτίθεσθαι, ἀλλ̓ ἔχειν ἤδη τέλος τὰ τῶν μαθημάτων; Ἔμοιγ̓, ἔφη Rep. 534 E.
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