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πόλις ἀνδρῶν ἀγαθῶν is the first express allusion to an Ideal City in the Republic. The principle here laid down—the reluctance of the best men to undertake the task of government—is fully recognised in Plato's commonwealth, where the ἄρχοντες are represented as unwilling to desert the life of contemplation for the cares of office. ‘Nolo episcopari’ is in fact one of the leading guarantees which Plato gives against the abuse of political power (Nohle Die Staatslehre Plato's in ihr. gesch. Entwick. p. 119). See VI 520 E, 521 A, where this topic is resumed. Cf. also Sesame and Lilies § 43 “The true kings—rule quietly, if at all, and hate ruling; too many of them make ‘il gran rifiuto.’”

τῷ ὄντι κτλ . τῷ ὄντι belongs to οὐ πέφυκε, not to ἀληθινός (as Ast supposes). Richter suggests ἁληθινός for ἀληθινός, but what is said of a single ruler applies to all: cf. (with Schneider) Laws 733 E λέγωμεν δὴ σώφρονα βίον ἕνα εἶναι καὶ φρόνιμον ἕνα καὶ ἕνα τὸν ἀνδρεῖον.

πᾶς ἂν κτλ. The articular infinitive with αἱρεῖσθαι is hard to parallel, and on this ground Richards would cancel τό. I once thought that τὸ ὠφελεῖσθαι might be taken as the object after γιγνώσκων (‘he who knows what being benefited is,’ i.e. virtually ‘who knows his own interests’); but this is harsh, and I now acquiesce in the usual interpretation. With γιγνώσκων (intellegens) used absolutely cf. (with Schneider) Laws 733 E σώφρονα μὲν οὖν βίον γιγνώσκων θήσει πρᾶον ἐπὶ πάντα. For the sentiment cf. Soph. O. T. 584—598, Eur. Ion 621—632, Hipp. 1016—1020.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Euripides, Ion, 621
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 584
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