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καὶ ὡς τὸ πολὺ κτλ.: ‘and the magistracies in the city are for the most part given by lot.’ These words, which depend, of course, on ὅταν, explain ἐξ ἴσουἀρχῶν, and should be taken in close connexion with that clause, as Ast long ago pointed out. The difference in tense (μεταδῶσι but γίγνωνται), no less than the meaning, clearly indicates that the two clauses do not express two separate and distinct acts. It is by means of the lot that ἰσότης is secured; and hence democracy is not established until offices are assigned thereby: cf. Hdt. III 80 πάλῳ μὲν ἀρχὰς ἄρχει and Arist. Rhet. I 8. 1365^{b} 32 δημοκρατία μὲν πολιτεία ἐν κλήρῳ διανέμονται τὰς ἀρχάς, with Whibley Gk Olig. p. 35 and Greenidge Gk Const. Hist. pp. 139 ff. The clause was, strangely enough, condemned by Hermann. Plato was not likely to omit all mention of the most characteristic and necessary factor in the establishment of a democracy, especially as he introduces the same feature in describing the democratical man (561 B ὥσπερ λαχούσῃ). J. and C., with Schneider and others, read γίγνονται, for which there is very little MS support, remarking that ‘the subjunctive is inexact, because any words dependent on ὅταν should describe a characteristic of the origin of democracy, not merely a characteristic of democracy.’ The fact is that the words do explain the origin of democracy by explaining ἐξ ἴσου μεταδῶσι κτλ., where the aorist is rightly used of the act by which democracy is established; whereas if we read γίγνονται the clause must be taken by itself, and then it can only express a characteristic of democracy after that constitution is in force, so that its proper place would be in the next chapter. It should be observed that in no ancient democracy that we know of was the lot employed in electing to all magistracies: see Gilbert l.c. II p. 318. For this reason Plato writes ὡς τὸ πολύ.

557A - 558C The peculiar characteristics of Democracy are liberty and licence. It is of all governments the most manifold and many-coloured, resembling a bazaar of constitutions rather than a single polity. In a democratic city the individual is free to adopt his own policy independently of the State. Little trouble is taken to execute judicial sentences. The people are indulgent to educational defects in their leaders and require nothing beyond a profession of loyalty to the masses. Truly a delightful constitution, full of anarchy and colour, distributing a species of equality to equal and unequal alike!

τίνα δὴ οὖν κτλ. The psychological principle of Democracy, as well as of Oligarchy, is τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν. But whereas in Oligarchy everything was subjected to the dominion of one particular desire, viz. the desire of wealth (550 C note), Democracy, on the other hand, is the political embodiment of absolute freedom and equality among all desires, unnecessary as well as necessary: see on 558 C ff. The materials for Plato's picture of democracy are of course taken from Athens more than any other single city. It is an extraordinarily vivid sketch; and indeed Plato's whole account of democracy and the democratical man (557 A—565 C), in spite of manifest exaggerations, brings Athens nearer to us than almost any monument of ancient literature, Aristophanes alone excepted. We can see that Plato was fully alive to the wonderful variety and colour of Athenian life; but even on this ground democracy did not appear to him worthy of praise. Multiplicity and variety are the offspring of that fatal ἀνομοιότης which works ruin alike in the city and the soul (547 A note). In other respects, Plato represents democracy as a land of Hedonism, peopled by Anarchy and Waywardness, and darkened by the shadow of the Tyranny to which it must at last succumb. Nearly all the greatest writers of Greek antiquity were on the whole unfavourable to democracy, except of course the Orators: and least of all in Plato could democracy expect a champion. For the other side of the picture, we should of course take Pericles' speech in Thuc. II 35 ff. See Neil's Knights of Aristophanes pp. vii ff.

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