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τὸ δέ γε κτλ. ‘But the extremest amount of freedom which appears in such a city is when’ etc.: lit. ‘the extreme of the amount of freedom’ etc. τὸἔσχατον is the subject to something like ἐστιν or γίγνεται understood: cf. such idioms as οὗ τοι ἕνεκα ἠρόμηνὅτι κτλ. I 330 B, where see note. The sentence is not exclamatory, as some have supposed. With πλήθους ἐλευθερίας cf. πολλὴντὴν ἐλευθερίαν 562 D, and (for πλῆθος) IX 591 E (πλῆθος οὐσίας), Laws XI 913 D, Theaet. 158 D (πλῆθος χρόνου) and Dem. Phil. IV 2. This explanation is that of Schneider, and indubitably right. The English editors and translators make τοῦ πλήθους depend on ἐλευθερίας: but “servi servaeque non sunt pars τοῦ πλήθους,” and ὅσονπόλει is not easily either separated from πλήθους or connected with ἔσχατον.

ὅταν -- πριαμένων. Cf. [Xen.] Rep. Ath. I. 10 ff. τῶν δούλων δ᾽ αὖ καὶ τῶν μετοίκων πλείστη ἐστὶν Ἀθήνῃσιν ἀκολασία, καὶ οὔτε πατάξαι ἔξεστιν αὐτόθι, οὔτε ὑπεκστήσεταί σοι δοῦλος κτλ. In Arist. Pol. E 11. 1313^{b} 35 δούλων ἄνεσις is said to be a symptom of extreme democracy.

ἐν γυναιξὶ κτλ. Arist. l.c. goes farther and speaks of a γυναικοκρατία περὶ τὰς οἰκίας. A German critic characteristically sees an ‘admirable’ illustration of Plato's remarks in the social life “jenes transatlantischen Staatvereins” (Steinhart Einleitung p. 243). Some have accused Plato of already forgetting the liberalism of Book V (Krohn Pl. St. p. 214): but an ideal city is one thing, and a lawless democracy another; and corruptio optimi, in the relations between the sexes, as in other cases, may well be pessima.

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    • Plato, Theaetetus, 158d
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