previous next

τὸν σηκόν. A σηκός is an enclosed pen or fold in which the young of animals may be reared. Hartman prefers τινα σηκόν (with q and a Florentine MS), because the σηκός has not been mentioned before. The way has, however, been prepared for it by 459 A, 459 B (τί δὲ ἵππων κτλ.), ποίμνιον (459 E), ἀγέλη (ib.), and σύνερξις (460 A). The comparison with a sort of ‘breeding-stud’— see above on 459 D—runs through all this passage and supplies the metaphors. See also on 460 E. The whole discussion affords an excellent example of the uncompromising rationalism with which Plato carries out his theories to their logical conclusion.

ἀνάπηρον. Pollux (II 61) explains this word as πᾶν τὸ σῶμα πεπηρωμένος; but it is little more than πηρός: cf. ἀνάπλεως, ἀναπιμπλάναι etc. The present passage is not inconsistent with III 415 B, for ὑπόχαλκος and ὑποσίδηρος do not imply deformity.

ἐν ἀπορρήτῳ κτλ. is a euphemism for infanticide: see App. IV. Compare the Spartan usage: εἰ δ᾽ ἀγεννὲς καὶ ἄμορφον, ἀπέπεμπον εἰς τὰς λεγομένας Ἀποθέτας, παρὰ Ταΰγετον βαραθρώδη τόπον (Plut. Lyc. 16. 1). (The word for the exposure of infants was ἀπόθεσις.) See also Whibley Greek Oligarchies p. 113 notes

εἴπερ μέλλει . μέλλοι (see cr. n.) might possibly be defended, if it referred to a previous statement to the same effect (‘if, as we saw,’ etc.). But there has been no such statement, unless with Stephanus we write ἀκρατότατον for ἀκρότατον in 459 E. εἴπερ γε μέλλει, conjectured by Herwerden, would be in danger of meaning κατακρύψουσιν, εἴπερ μέλλει κτλ. As it is, εἴπερ μέλλει qualifies ὡς πρέπει ‘as is proper.’ Gl. ‘If the class of guardians is to be kept pure.’ Glauco, in fact, takes the words out of Socrates' mouth. On the meaning and usage of εἴπερ in Greek see E. S. Thompson's edition of the Meno pp. 258—264.

πᾶσαν μηχανὴν κτλ. Aristotle (Pol. B 3. 1262^{a} 14 ff.) argues that no precautions would prevent parents from occasionally recognising their children. In such cases Plato might reasonably hope that the general weakening of parental sentiment would secure his city against serious harm.

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: