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ἐνίοτε κτλ. Krohn finds a difficulty in οὐκ εὖ πολιτευομένῃ, for timarchy is a degeneration of the perfect city (Pl. St. pp. 208 ff., insufficiently refuted by Grimmelt de reip. Pl. comp. et unit. p. 71). But Plato is here speaking of the origin of the ‘timarchical’ man, not of the ‘timarchical’ State, and the ἀριστοκρατικός whose son becomes τιμοκρατικός may be found in any one of the degenerate commonwealths, although he will not rule except ‘in his own city,’ i.e. aristocracy. We must beware of supposing that there is no remnant of good men in depraved States (cf. VI 492 E ff., 496 C ff., IX 591 E ff.). If Plato had here preserved the fiction of a historical narrative and made the τιμοκρατικὸς νεανίας the son of an ἀριστοκρατικός in his own ideal city, he could only have attributed his fall to the same law of natural degeneration which subverted the καλλίπολις (546 A ff.). As it is, the description is drawn from facts of daily experience and observation, and Plato, as is suggested by the Oxford editors, may well be thinking of some ‘Laconizing youth of Athens,’ perhaps of some member of the Socratic circle. We have already seen that Plato frequently deserts the epic or narrative form of exposition which he has chosen to express his views: see above on 548 D. I formerly printed a comma after πως and a full stop after ἔχειν, but now revert to Stallbaum's punctuation, because (1) the contrast with καὶ ἔστι μέν γε κτλ. seems to require a fuller pause after πως, (2) ἐνίοτεἔχειν does not explain the γένεσις of the τιμοκρατικός, as it ought to do, if γίγνεταιἔχειν is all one sentence, (3) Adimantus' interruption πῇ δὴγίγνεται, which calls attention in a lively manner to the point which Plato wishes to emphasise, is most easily accounted for on the supposition that ἐνίοτε κτλ. begins a separate sentence: cf. 567 E note and Soph. O. C. 644 f., with Jebb's note. νέος ὑός is resumed in νέος (550 A), and has no other predicate except ἦλθε etc. in 550 B.

φεύγοντος κτλ. Cf. VI 496 C ff. and Theaet. 173 C ff. φυγαρχία (if the word may be allowed) on the part of the best men was a growing evil in Athenian politics: see Hermann-Thumser l.c. p. 749 note 4. In a bad State, according to Aristotle (Pol. Γ 4), the good man is apt to be a bad citizen.

, D 19 ὅταν κτλ.: ‘whenever, I continued, he listens in the first instance to his mother, who is annoyed because her husband has no place in the government and is on that account belittled among the other wives, and who also sees’ etc. πρῶτον μέν has nothing to do with ἔπειτα, but prepares us for καὶ οἱ οἰκέται κτλ. in 549 E. See also on 549 D. Krohn (Pl. St. p. 198) thinks the present sentence inconsistent with the position assigned to women in V; but actual wives ἐν πόλει οὐκ εὖ πολιτευομένῃ may be allowed to differ from the perfect products of an ideal city. Plato's description is as realistic as anything could well be: he speaks as though ξυνῳκηκὼς ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ καὶ παραγεγονὼς ἐν ταῖς κατ᾽ οἰκίαν πράξεσιν (IX 577 A). Socrates and his relations with Xanthippe possibly furnished some details of the picture (so also Müller on p. 749 of his Translation).

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 173c
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 644
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