previous next
[942a] or what fine he shall pay. But in the case of a citizen, who has been reared in the way he is to be reared,—if he be convicted of plundering or doing violence to his fatherland, whether he has been caught in the act or not, he shall be punished by death,1 as being practically incurable. Military organization is the subject of much consultation and of many appropriate laws. The main principle is this—that nobody, male or female, should ever be left without control, nor should anyone, whether at work or in play, grow habituated in mind to acting alone and on his own initiative, but he should live always, both in war [942b] and peace, with his eyes fixed constantly on his commander and following his lead; and he should be guided by him even in the smallest detail of his actions—for example, to stand at the word of command, and to march, and to exercise, to wash and eat, to wake up at night for sentry-duty and despatch-carrying, and in moments of danger to wait for the commander's signal before either pursuing or retreating before an enemy; and, in a word, [942c] he must instruct his soul by habituation to avoid all thought or idea of doing anything at all apart from the rest of his company, so that the life of all shall be lived en masse and in common; for there is not, nor ever will be, any rule superior to this or better and more effective in ensuring safety and victory in war. This task of ruling, and being ruled by, others must be practiced in peace from earliest childhood;2 but anarchy [942d] must be utterly removed from the lives of all mankind, and of the beasts also that are subject to man. Moreover, with a view to excellence in war, they shall dance all kinds of dances,3 and with the same object they shall cultivate in general suppleness and dexterity, and endurance also in the matter of foods and drinks and cold and heat and hard beds; and, what is most important, they shall accustom themselves not to spoil the natural powers of head and feet by wrapping them in coverings of alien material, and thereby ruining the production and growth [942e] of their own natural hair and soles. For when these extremities are conserved, they keep at its highest the power of the whole body, but they effect the opposite when spoiled; and of these two extremities, the one is the chief minister of the whole body, and the other the chief master, inasmuch as, by the ordinance of nature, it contains all the leading senses of the body.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: