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424D - 427A Our Guardians must above all things guard against changes in musical education. Musical innovations even if sanctioned only in play soon make themselves felt in every quarter of the State. The spirit of law and virtue must be infused into children even through their pastimes. For this reason, we should not neglect details of dress and manners, although they call for no special enactments, but will readily conform to the spirit of our rules about education. Many other individual points may safely be left to our guardians, if only God vouchsafes to them the preservation of our laws; otherwise it is in vain for them to pass law upon law, acting like those who hope to cure their diseases by continually changing their medicines. As nothing but a complete change in their habits will benefit such men, so only a revolution will cure a state which is similarly situated. Such cities honour and make proud the men who minister to their desires; but the true statesman does not care to cut the Hydra. In a bad city, petty legislation is useless; in a good, superfluous.

ff. This section has a certain historical interest from its scarcely-veiled impeachment of Athenian politics and manners: see on 425 A, 425 C, 426 C.

φυλακτήριον -- μουσικῇ . μουσική is at once the vital and the most vulnerable —see next note—part of our State; hence the guard-house must be built in Music. ἐν is quasi-local, as ἐνταῦθά που shews; we shall confuse the metaphor if we suppose (as some have done) that Music is itself the guard-house.

γοῦν -- αὕτη . αὕτη is ἐν μουσικῇ. Madvig's suggestion ταύτῃ should not be accepted; it would make παρανομία ‘lawlessness’ in general, whereas Socrates' reply and Adimantus' next remark shew that only ἄμουσος παρανομία (Laws 700 D) is meant. παρανομία is aptly used of heterodoxy in music, thanks to the musical sense of νόμος. Cf. infra 424 E and Shorey in Chicago Studies in Cl. Phil. I p. 222 note 4. The position of αὕτη increases its emphasis.

ἐν παιδιᾶς γε μέρει. Plato is animadverting on the common view that music should be cultivated πρὸς παιδιάν rather than πρὸς παιδείαν. Aristotle allows a threefold use of music—for pastime (παιδιά), education, and the rational employment of leisure: Pol. Θ 5. 1339^{a} 16 and^{b} 14 ff.

ὑπορρεῖ κτλ.: as a gentle river may become a destructive torrent before its course is ended. The sentence eloquently describes the decay of Athenian music, character, and politics from the simplicity of earlier times, as appears from Laws 700 A—701 D. See also on οἱ πρότερον 425 A. For πολιτείας Hartman would read the singular; but the plural is more forcible. Laws and constitutions are overthrown by the devouring flood. σύν in Plato (as in good Attic generally) is rare; one of its recognised uses is in modal phrases of this kind, especially where (as here and in VI 492 B, VIII 564 C, X 619 B) the style seeks elevation: cf. Lina De praep. usu. Plat. pp. 32 —34 and Mommsen Beiträge z. d. Lehre v. d. Gr. Praep. pp. 376 ff.

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