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τι δείσαντες=‘having some fear’ (J. and C.). τοῦτο ὡς ποιητέον κτλ.: ‘that it is their duty to do that which on each occasion they think it is best for them to do in the interests of the State.’ I have provisionally retained the reading of the best MSS, although it is open to suspicion on several grounds. The position of τοῦτο is unusual, and αὑτοῖς ποιεῖν is, to say the least, superfluous. Gaisford (with whom Cobet agrees) wished to expunge the entire clause as a gloss on δόγματος. This solution, though drastic, may be right: for an explanation of δόγματος is hardly needed after 412 D, E, and τοῦτο looks like the commencement of an explanatory note ‘this, viz. that’ etc. A simpler alternative, adopted by most editors, is to cancel αὑτοῖς ποιεῖν, but it is difficult to see why a scribe should have introduced the words. The sentence, if genuine, seems to want the finishing touch. Cf. 407 D note προθεμένοις ἔργα. It is clear that Plato is referring to specific tests, and not (as Bosanquet seems to think) to the duties of war and the public service generally. So also Susemihl (Gen. Entw. II p. 143), and Steinhart (Einleitung p. 173), the latter of whom compares, not very aptly, the tests of the Pythagorean brotherhood and the appalling spectacles displayed in the mysteries. Three kinds of tests are required: (1) κλοπή, (2) βία, (3) γοητεία. Examples of the second kind are furnished by the severer discipline of gymnastic, the chase etc.: cf. Laws 633 B ff., where the probationary value of these and similar exercises is appropriately insisted on by the Spartan stranger. It was fully recognised in the Spartan ἀγωγή (Plut. Lyc. 17. 4 ff.). The third order of tests may be illustrated from Laws 634 A, B, 635 C, 647 D ff., 649 A, 673 E ff. ἡ ἐν οἴνῳ βάσανος (649 D) consists in giving wine to test men's selfcontrol (τοῦ σωφρονεῖν ἕνεκα μελέτης 673 E). Plato gives no account of the first variety; but a good illustration of one species of it (cf. τοὺς μεταπεισθέντας 413 B) is provided by the speeches of self-seeking statesmen and unpatriotic sophists and poets. It is a curious fact that Plato's κλοπή still leaves a loophole by which vicious poetry may creep in again. On the general question, Plato does well to insist on the educational value of temptation; the theory and practice of modern times recognises it in connexion with βία, but experience too often shews that κλοπή and γοητεία mean playing with fire. Cf. Grote Plato III p. 328.
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