previous next

430D - 432A Thirdly, we consider Temperance. This virtue resembles a kind of ‘harmony’ or mutual accord. It is often explained as self-control. Self-control means that the better self rules the worse; and this is surely true of our city, for in it the higher controls the lower, and the irrational desires of the inferior many are subject to the rational desires of the virtuous few. Further, our citizens are in accord with one another as to who shall rule and who shall be ruled, so that Temperance is present in both ruled and rulers, pervading the whole city through and through and rendering it accordant with itself. We may define Temperance as accord between the naturally better and the naturally worse, on the question which of them should rule.

ff. The difficulties connected with Plato's view of Temperance and Justice and their mutual relationship have been to a large extent cleared up by Hirzel (Hermes VIII pp. 379—411). Hirzel's conclusions, some of which have been attacked by W. A. Hammond in his instructive dissertation “On the notion of Virtue in the Dialogues of Plato,” but not, I think, successfully, are now accepted in the main by Zeller^{4} II 1, pp. 884 ff. Till Hirzel wrote, the tendency was to regard the two virtues as nearly, if not quite, identical—in which case one of the two would be practically superfluous. In that case, Plato's search for Justice is little better than a fiasco, and his ideal city falls to pieces. Cf. Rettig Proleg. p. 137. Hirzel succeeds in shewing that Justice and Temperance are different, and both of them necessary to Plato's perfect city; nor does he employ any other method than a strict interpretation of Plato's own words as they occur. See on 432 A.

πρότερον is omitted by Richards as illogical. So slight a flaw is easy to forgive; and ἔτι in μηκέτι suggests that πρότερον is genuine. Nor could Adimantus well have said that in any event he did not wish Justice—οὗ δὴ ἕνεκα πάντα ζητοῦμεν—to be discovered.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: