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κοινὰ τὰ φίλων. “Locus brevitatem loquendi paullo insolentiorem habet, quam sic explico: δεῖ πάντα ταῦτα τι μάλιστα ποιεῖσθαι κοινά, <*>στε κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν κοινὰ τὰ φίλων εἶναι” (Schneider). Hartman's proposal to omit τὰ φίλων has much in its favour. It is more elegant to suggest than quote so familiar a proverb; and the note τὰ φίλων might well have been added by a scribe upon the margin. In V 449 C on the other hand the addition of τὰ φίλων is appropriate and right.

ὀρθότατα κτλ. Adimantus accepts the principle, both here and in V 449 C. The doubts which he expresses later concern not the principle, but the τρόπος τῆς κοινωνίας (ib.). It is obvious that the principle κοινὰ τὰ φίλων might be applied to marriage etc. in a sentimental kind of way, without involving such a kind of community as is afterwards described. As Rettig points out (Proleg. p. 95 note), Adimantus takes τι μάλιστα as “in quantum fieri posset maxime.”

ἔρχεται κτλ.: ‘goes on growing like a circle.’ So Schneider, rightly. Others take κύκλος (1) as a hoop or wheel—“goes on with accumulating force like a wheel” (J. and C.), or (2) as an ever-widening circle in ruffled water (Krohn, Herwerden etc.). As to (2), κύκλος cannot mean a circle in water, unless we insert ἐν ὕδατι, which Herwerden has the audacity to do. If we adopt the first solution, we make κύκλος a specific kind of circle: but nothing in the context warrants this. It is also very doubtful if αὐξανομένη can= ‘with accumulating force’: certainly κύκλος αὐξάνεται could not bear this meaning; and to exclude αὐξανομένη from the comparison (as J. and C. also suggest) renders ὥσπερ κύκλος practically otiose. The fact is that the growth of a natural (κατὰ φύσιν) city is just like the drawing of a circle in Plato's way of thinking. Like a circle it grows and expands, like a circle too, when its zenith is passed, it narrows to the inevitable end. Here it is only the growth which is dwelt upon; but ὥσπερ κύκλος seems to warn us of impending decay and foreshadow Books VIII—IX. For more on this point see my Number of Plato pp. 58—62. αὐξανομένη is ‘growing’ in the widest sense i.e. reaching its full maturity of size and strength and beauty; but in what follows Plato characteristically confines himself to what he conceived to be a city's truest growth, the improvement of the citizens.

τροφὴ γὰρ κτλ. Plato seems therefore to hold that acquired characters can be transmitted to posterity. The general sentiment may be illustrated by the quaint catches sung by choirs of old men, men in their prime, and boys at Sparta: (1) Ἁμὲς πόκ: ἦμες ἄλκιμοι νεανίαι, (2) Ἁμὲς δέ γ᾽ εἰμές: εἰ δὲ λῇς, πεῖραν λάβε, (3) Ἁμὲς δέ γ᾽ ἐσσόμεσθα πολλῷ κάρρονες (ap. Plut. Lyc. 21. 3). Cf. V 461 A.

εἰς τὸ γεννᾶν -- ζῴοις. Cf. V 459 A ff.

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