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550C - 551C Next in order comes Oligarchy or Plutocracy. The change originates in the growth of avarice and cupidity within the timarchical State; it is completed as soon as a property qualification for the holding of office has been established by law.

οὐκοῦν μετὰ τοῦτο κτλ. As θυμοειδές in Timarchy superseded λογιστικόν, so in Oligarchy φιλοχρήματον supersedes θυμοειδές. The lower ‘parts’ of soul assert the mastery in turn, as the scale of commonwealth descends (cf. 553 D and 547 C note); and the continuity is unbroken, for the element of φιλοχρήματον already displayed an ominous activity in the Spartan State, although it had not yet attained the sovereign place. Plato's description of Greek oligarchies, if we judge it by the facts of history, probably lays rather too much emphasis on τὸ φιλοχρήματον: but it is certainly true that the pursuit of riches was the characteristic feature of ancient oligarchy. See on the whole subject Whibley Greek Oligarchies, and Newman The Politics of Aristotle IV pp. xxi— xxxvi, and compare the account which Aristotle gives of the causes producing revolution in what he calls ‘aristocracies’ (Pol. Ε 7).

τὸ τοῦ Αἰσχύλου. The line is a playful adaptation from Sept. 451 λέγ᾽ ἄλλον ἄλλαις ἐν πύλαις εἰληχότα and 570 Ὁμολωίσιν δὲ πρὸς πύλαις τεταγμένος. There is no good reason for holding (with Herwerden) that Plato is quoting from one of Aeschylus' lost plays.

τὴν ὑπόθεσιν. See 545 B ff.

τὴν ἀπὸ τιμημάτων. By Herodotus (III 81) ὀλιγαρχίη is used in its strictly etymological sense; and Socrates' own name for that which Plato calls ‘oligarchy’ was πλουτοκρατία (Mem. IV 6. 12). The establishment of a property qualification for full citizenship was the central feature in the programme of the Athenian oligarchical party from 412 B.C. onwards: see (for 411) Thuc. VIII 65. 3, 97. 1 and (for 404) Xen. Hell. II 3. 48, with Hermann-Thumser l.c. pp. 724—734. It is therefore natural enough that Plato should define oligarchy as he does, especially as in his younger days, both personally and through his friends, he was himself connected with the Athenian oligarchical faction (Grote VIII p. 30). The term ‘oligarchy’ retained its Platonic sense after Plato (cf. e.g. Arist. Pol. Γ 8. 1280^{a} 1 f. ἀναγκαῖον μέν, ὅπου ἂν ἄρχωσι διὰ πλοῦτον ἄν τ᾽ ἐλάττους ἄν τε πλείους, εἶναι ταύτην ὀλιγαρχίαν κτλ.), though Aristotle recognises also the wider meaning, e.g. in Pol. Ζ 2. 1317^{b} 39 ὀλιγαρχία καὶ γένει καὶ πλούτῳ καὶ παιδείᾳ ὁρίζεται. See especially Whibley Gk Olig. pp. 15—22.

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