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χαλεπαίνεσθαι. This strained use of the passive of χαλεπαίνω in order to make the antithesis to ἐλεεῖσθαι formal as well as real is not found elsewhere in Plato. For parallels see Cope's Rhetoric of Aristotle Vol. 1 p. 299. 337A - 339B After some wrangling, Thrasymachus finally declares justice to be ‘the interest of the stronger.’ Rulers are stronger than those whom they rule: and in every state they pass laws in their own interest: and what is done in their own interest they call just. ff. The natural history definition of justice (ὁ φύσει ὅρος τοῦ δικαίου Laws IV 714 C) is here for the first time mentioned in the Republic. It is to be noticed that the theory is presented by Thrasymachus not—in the first instance —as a rule of conduct for the individual, but as a political theory: his object is to describe the actual practice of Greek states (338 D ff.). We are thus for the first time introduced to the political aspect of δικαιοσύνη. The same view of the definition is taken in Laws 714 C ff., and it is the same theory which is afterwards (in II 358 E ff.) represented by Glauco as an hypothesis on which not Thrasymachus only but many others (Θρασυμάχου καὶ μυρίων ἄλλων 358 C) explained the origin and constitution of existing states: cf. also Gorg. 483 A ff. We are therefore justified in supposing that the definition which Plato puts into the mouth of Thrasymachus represents a theory current in the politics of the day. The conduct of Athens towards her allies furnished many examples of the practical application of this rule of government; and, if we may trust Thucydides, similar principles were frankly laid down by Athenian statesmen in their speeches: see for example I 76. 2 ἀεὶ καθεστῶτος τὸν ἥσσω ὑπὸ τοῦ δυνατωτέρου κατείργεσθαι, and cf. I 77. 4, V 89 and 105. 2 τὸ ἀνθρώπειον σαφῶς διὰ παντὸς ὑπὸ φύσεως ἀναγκαίας οὗ ἂν κρατῇ ἄρχειν. It is indeed not too much to say that ‘Might is Right’ was the only argument by which the existence of the Athenian empire could be defended before the tribunal of Greek public opinion, which regarded the independent πόλις as the only legitimate form of civic life. Hence the dominion of Athens is often in Thucydides called a τυραννίς, from which the Spartans claimed to be liberating their countrymen: see III 37. 2 τυραννίδα ἔχετε τὴν ἀρχήν, 62. 5 ff., IV 85. 6, and cf. Henkel Studien zur Gesch. d. gr. Lehre vom Staat pp. 126—128. The most conspicuous assertion of the principle before Plato's time was found in Pindar's much-quoted fragment (Bergk 169 and ap. Pl. Gorg 484 B) νόμος ὁ πάντων βασιλεὺς | θνατῶν τε καὶ ἀθανάτων | ἄγει δικαιῶν τὸ βιαιότατον | ὑπερτάτᾳ χειρί κτλ., though it may well be doubted (with Dümmler Prolegomena zu Platon's Staat p. 34) whether Pindar intended to suggest any such view. It is in order to refute this theory, as expounded by Glauco and Adimantus, Thrasymachus' successors in the argument (see on παῖδες ἐκείνου τοῦ ἀνδρός II 368 A) that Socrates finds it necessary to draw a picture of an Ideal State (ib. 368 D ff.), so that the political theory of Plato's Republic may truly be said to commence here. For more on this subject see Chiappelli Per la storia della Sofistica Greca in Archiv f. Gesch. d. Philos. III pp. 263 ff. σαρδάνιον. Plato uses this expression as Homer does, of a sinister smile which bodes pain to others: Od. XX 301 f. μείδησε δὲ θυμῷ | σαρδάνιον μάλα τοῖον (of Odysseus among the suitors). Among later authors it more frequently denotes the forced smile which disguises the sufferer's own pain; and so apparently Simonides used the phrase (Fr. 202 A Bergk). The explanations volunteered by the ancients apply only to the non-Homeric usage: the Scholiast, however, at the end of his note on this passage correctly remarks, μήποτε οὖν τὸ Ὁμηρικόν, ὅθεν καὶ ἡ παροιμία ἴσως ἐρρύη, “μείδησε δὲ κτλ.,” τὸν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν τῶν χειλῶν γέλωτα καὶ μέχρι τοῦ σεσηρέναι γιγνόμενον σημαίνει. The spelling σαρδόνιον came into vogue through the popular etymology from the bitter Sardinian herb, ἧς οἱ γευσάμενοι δοκοῦσι μὲν γελῶντες, σπασμῷ δὲ ἀποθνῄσκουσιν (Schol.). The Scholiast's suggested derivation from σαίρειν (ringi, as of an angry dog) suits the meaning which the phrase bears in Homer and Plato, and is probably right. Photius' σαρδάζων: μετὰ πικρίας γελῶν preserves the δ. ποιήσοις is rejected by Cobet and Herwerden. “Post οὐδὲν ἄλλο ἤ, τί ἄλλο ἤ, πάντα μᾶλλον ἤ verbum omittunt” (says Cobet, quoting Theophr. Char. c. 25). ποιήσοις is not however otiose, but suggests the phrase πάντα ποιεῖν, ‘leave nothing undone,’ as in Euthyph. 8 C πάντα ποιοῦσι καὶ λέγουσι φεύγοντες τὴν δίκην: cf. Ap. 39 A. ἐρωτᾷ. I formerly read ἐρωτῷ (with Goodwin MT. p. 277). A few inferior MSS have ἔροιτο. The optative is certainly the regular periodic construction in clauses of this kind: but the indicative may perhaps be allowed in loose conversational style.
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