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ἐντίμως ἔχειν. See VII 528 B note For the statement itself cf. for example Laws 630 D, 666 E στρατοπέδουπολιτείαν ἔχετε and elsewhere, with Isocr. Archid. 81 and Arist. Pol. Η 14. 1333^{b} 12 ff.

καὶ πολεμοῦσα κτλ. Isocrates says much the same of Sparta in Paneg. 128 and Philipp. 51: cf. also Laws 686 B. The description up to this point recalls to some extent the city of Books II—IV, minus the ἄρχοντες proper and some parts of the ‘musical’ education, and Plato may well have looked on the constitution of Lycurgus, from which he borrowed several features, as in some respects a kind of imperfect edition of his earlier καλλίπολις. See on this subject K. F. Hermann Die historischen Elemente d. plat. Staatsideals, in his Gesammelte Abhandlungen, pp. 132—159. Cf. also Laws 692 C, where the Lacedaemonian polity is called a παράδειγμα γεγονός. In what follows the strictly oligarchical features of the Spartan polity are described.

ἐπιθυμηταὶ δέ γε κτλ. Spartan avarice was the theme of universal com ment: see the references collected by Susemihl and Hicks on Arist. Pol. Β 9. 1271^{b} 16 with Eur. Andr. 451, Ar. Peace 622 ff. and Isocr. Bus. 20.

τιμῶντες ἀγρίως: ‘passionately adoring.’ The adverb was unnecessarily suspected by Herwerden.

ταμιεῖα κτλ. In spite of the formal prohibition of gold and silver (Xen. Rep. Lac. 7. 6, Plut. Lyc. 9. 2, Lys. 17. 6), an immense amount of gold and silver money was accumulated in private hands throughout Laconia: cf. Alcib. I 122 E χρυσίον δὲ καὶ ἀργύριον οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν πᾶσιν Ἕλλησιν ὅσον ἐν Λακεδαίμονι ἰδίᾳ: πολλὰς γὰρ ἤδη γενεὰς εἰσέρχεται μὲν αὐτόσε ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν Ἑλλήνων, πολλάκις δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῶν βαρβάρων, ἐξέρχεται δὲ οὐδαμόσε κτλ. and other authorities quoted in Hermann-Thumser p. 252 notes or Gilbert Gk Const. Ant. E. T. pp. 12, 13.

οἰκείους -- κρύψειαν refers specifically to the hoarding of specie as practised by Spartan citizens. It may be doubted whether the Thucydidean Pericles was justified even at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war in telling the Athenians that the Spartans possessed οὔτε ἰδίᾳ οὔτε ἐν κοινῷ χρήματα (I 141. 3), in spite of Xenophon Rep. Lac. 7. 6.

περιβόλους οἰκήσεων κτλ.: not ‘walled houses’ (D. and V.) but ‘dwellings to encompass them withal, veritable private nests’: cf. Theaet. 174 E σηκὸν ἐν ὄρει τὸ τεῖχος περιβεβλημένον and Crat. 400 C. The phrase has a poetical sound and may be taken from the drama, but is more likely to be one of Plato's own poetical flourishes. A Spartan husband could occasionally escape from the rigid discipline of camp-life and take shelter— this is the force of περιβόλους—in his domestic nest: see Plut. Lyc. 15. 4—7. Plato seems to imply that this arrangement encouraged habits of extravagance and luxuriousness in the wives as well as in the husbands: cf. Arist. Pol. Β 9. 1269^{b} 22 ζῶσι γὰρ (the Spartan wives) ἀκολάστως πρὸς ἅπασαν ἀκολασίαν καὶ τρυφερῶς. Aristotle's remark is amply borne out by other evidence: see Hermann-Thumser l. c. p. 180 note 5 and Newman on Arist. l.c.

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aristophanes, Peace, 622
    • Euripides, Andromache, 451
    • Plato, Cratylus, 400c
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 174e
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