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[906c] and prayerful incantations that (as the tales of evil men relate) they can profiteer among men on earth without any severe penalty: but we assert that the sin now mentioned, of profiteering or “over-gaining,” is what is called in the case of fleshly bodies “disease,”1 in that of seasons and years “pestilence,” and in that of States and polities, by a verbal change, this same sin is called “injustice.”


Such must necessarily be the account of the matter given by the man who says that the gods are always merciful to unjust men

1 Cp.Plat. Rep. 609 ff, Plat. Sym. 188a ff., where the theory is stated that health depends upon the “harmony,” or equal balance, of the constituent elements of the body (“heat” and “cold,” “moisture” and “dryness,”); when any of these (opposite) elements is in excess (πλεονεκτεῖ), disease sets in. So, too, in the “body politic,” the excess of due measure by any element, or member, is injustice.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Plato, Republic, 609
    • Plato, Symposium, 188a
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