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εἰρήκαμεν γάρ. This has not been said in the Republic, nor (so far as I know) in any of Plato's earlier dialogues (if we except Alc. I 127 C), so that εἰρήκαμεν refers to ordinary conversation. Such a view has affinities with the legal view of Justice as the virtue which respects the rights of others (cf. 433 E and I 331 A ff.), and is natural enough, especially with the loose connotation which δικαιοσύνη had in popular language. It is however curious that in Charm. 161 B ff. precisely the same account is given of Temperance: ἄρτι γὰρ ἀνεμνήσθην ἤδη του ἤκουσα λέγοντος, ὅτι σωφροσύνη ἂν εἴη τὸ τὰ ἑαυτοῦ πράττειν: cf. Tim. 72 A εὖ καὶ πάλαι λέγεται τὸ πράττειν καὶ γνῶναι τά τε αὑτοῦ καὶ ἑαυτὸν σώφρονι μόνῳ προσήκειν. In its popular connotation, σωφροσύνη was not always distinguished from δικαιοσύνη, and even the philosophers (as Strabo VII 3. 4 observes) sometimes used the words in nearly an identical sense. See Nägelsbach Nachhom. Theol. p. 238. Steinhart and others find in the difference between this passage and the Charmides l.c. an indication of the Socratic and Platonic doctrine of the unity of Virtue. No doubt there is a certain sense in which virtue is one (see below on 434 C), but we must insist that the specific virtues are represented by Plato in the Republic as distinct; on any other hypothesis, the perfect City falls to pieces. Perhaps δικαιοσύνη after πολυπραγμονεῖν is an error for σωφροσύνη, and Plato is here deliberately correcting the popular view. If so, καὶ μὴνγε means ‘and yet,’ i.e. in spite of what we now say that Justice is εἷς ἓν κατὰ φύσιν, ‘we and others have also said that Temperance is τὰ αὑτοῦ πράττειν.’ Adimantus assents. ‘Well,’ continues Socrates, ‘it is apparently (not Temperance, but) Justice which is τὰ αὑτοῦ πράττειν.’ This view gives a much better sense to καί in καὶ τοῦτο, and δικαιοσύνη receives the proper emphasis.

δοκεῖ -- εὕροιμεν. Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. Now (1) the Virtue which enables the others to take root, and (2) Justice, each=τὸ ὑπόλοιπον. Therefore Justice enables the other Virtues to take root. <But that which does so is τὰ αὑτοῦ πράττειν. Consequently Justice is τὰ αὑτοῦ πράττειν.> Plato seldom leaves so much to be mentally supplied in his reasoning.

παρέχει. See cr. n. Former editors (except Ast) retain παρέχειν and explain it as depending directly on δοκεῖ. If this is right, καί before ἐγγενομένοις joins τοῦτο εἶναι and παρέχειν; but καὶ ἐγγενομένοις γε, following immediately on ἐγγενέσθαι, naturally suggests that παρέχειν and ἐγγενέσθαι are coordinate and both under the government of ὥστε. That this was felt in antiquity is proved by the variant ἐγγενόμενα for ἐγγενομένοις, preserved in Stobaeus (Flor. 43. 98) and in Ξ. The author of the reading ἐγγενόμενα must have understood Plato to mean ‘which enabled them all to make their appearance in the city, and having done so, to keep it safe, so long as they are there,’ and this, I think, is the natural meaning of Plato's words, if παρέχειν is retained. But the sentiment is compara tively weak; and consequently Ast and Hartman wish to cancel παρέχειν, making σωτηρίαν depend upon παρέσχεν; but a present tense is necessary. παρέχει seems to me what Plato wrote, ‘aye, and after they have appeared it preserves them, so long as it is present in the city.’ A relative clause often passes into an independent sentence (see on II 357 B); and the idiom is appropriate here because it responds to the emphatic καὶγέ. For καὶγε cf. 425 B note

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Charmides, 161b
    • Plato, Timaeus, 72a
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