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οὐ παρὰ φύσιν. Before taking leave of the subject, Plato reiterates the principle on which his communism rests. “Equal companionship in the work and interests of life is the natural relation of the sexes, whereas it is the existing relation which is unnatural” (Bosanquet). Cf. 456 C note 466D - 467E We have still to determine whether such a state of society is possible among men, as it is among the lower animals. But first let us provide for the management of war. Our men and our women will take the field in common, accompanied by such of their offspring as are not too young. The children will attend to their parents' wants and encourage them by their presence on the ground. They will thus have the advantage of witnessing the actual exercise of the profession which awaits them in later life. The risk is considerable, but the issues at stake require it to be run: and we shall take every precaution to ensure the children's safety. ὥσπερ -- ζῴοις. Cf. 451 D. περὶ μὲν γὰρ κτλ. = ‘for as to war’ etc. is a dexterous way of making room for the episode on war, and at the same time postponing ‘the great peripeteia, the on-rushing of the third wave,’ which “is made more impressive by being delayed” (J. and C.). For μὲν γάρ cf. VIII 562 A note
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