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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 : 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.— οὐ δοκεῖ σοι κτλ.: const. οὐ δοκεῖ σοι ( 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 τὴν ἀκρασίαν.

τῶν ἐναντίων : 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 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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