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562A - 563E It remains to describe tyranny and the tyrannical man. As oligarchy was overthrown by the insatiate pursuit of wealth, so democracy begins to change to tyranny, when evil cupbearers provide the wine of Freedom in excessive draughts. Anarchy under the name of Freedom infects every department of life—political, domestic, educational, and social: the very dogs and beasts of burden become tainted with the prevailing vice. In the final stage no regard whatever is paid to laws, whether written or unwritten.

ff. 3 καλλίστη κτλ. As Oligarchy fell a victim to the excessive pursuit of its ideal, viz. Wealth, so also the extravagant devotion to liberty and equality subverts in course of time the democratic State. In 562 A—565 D Plato puts before us the different stages in the fall of democracy: cf. Arist. Pol. Δ 4 1291^{b} 30—1292^{a} 38, where the various εἴδ<*>ς δημοκρατίας are distinguished, and Newman The Politics of Aristotle IV pp. xxxvi—lxi. Plato's description, as usual, can be illustrated in many places from Greek and especially Athenian political and social life: see 562 D, E, 563 B, C, D al. notes

γίγνεται=‘prodit,’ ‘quaerentibus se offert’ (Schneider). Cf. III 412 C οἱ δὲ γεωργῶν ἄριστοι ἆρ᾽ οὐ γεωργικώτατοι γίγνονται, Euthyd. 298 E ὥστε σὸς πατὴρ γίγνεται κύων καὶ σὺ κυναρίων ἀδελφός, infra 566 A, IX 576 B and Prot. 325 B with my note ad loc. ‘What,’ asks Socrates, ‘do we find to be the character of tyranny? As for its origin, it is pretty obvious that tyranny comes from democracy.’ For the order of questions cf. 558 C. The words ὅτι μὲν γὰρ κτλ., when taken in connexion with the preceding question, seem at first sight to suggest that the μεταβολή will not be described: but cf. V 466 D, where μὲν γὰρ is used in exactly the same way, and followed by a full account of the topic to which its clause refers. See also App. V.

ἆρ᾽ οὖν κτλ. begins a long description of the τρόπος τῆς γενέσεως: the τρόπος τῆς πολιτείας is not described till 566 D ff. Here again the situation in V 466 D is nearly, though not quite, analogous: see note ad loc. For other views on this passage consult App. V.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 298e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 325b
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