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615 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2007 :  08:38:08  


If I sounded offensive, I apologize. However, it is obvious (to whom it is) that you don't understand Plato. Anyone interested in the subject has the views of both of us here published and may draw one's own conclusions. As for myself, I won't answer to your last post, in order to avoid a meaningless discussion. After all, what could I say to someone who does not even understand that totalitarianism is a form of tyranny?

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Don Paarlberg

50 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2007 :  10:52:58  


You "won't answer", but then claim the last word. Please allow a comment on your parting shot.

"Tyrant" has a precise meaning for Plato, differing from the twentieth century colloquial notion you seem to have in mind. As to what Plato meant, you should read his texts, starting perhaps with the Book VIII passage I cited.

"Totalitarian" is, of course, a modern term that is not found in Plato. Arguably, totalitariarianism might -- as you contend -- be a form of the tyranny that Plato condemns. If so, however, totalitarianism can also by the same token be a form of the monarchy that he praises. His texts make it clear how this is so.

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69 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2007 :  21:15:31  


I have submitted a work to an academic journal, "Sparta, Journal of Spartan and Greek History" and it got accepted and printed. It is called "The Spartan Republic". It is about Politiea. I don't read Greek or Latin. This was all done knowing only English and looking at a Loeb.

Here is the article.

I hope you all enjoy it.

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69 Posts

Posted - 11 Jun 2007 :  20:35:12  


Arius Didymus of Stobaeus, 1st century A. D. writes "A primary kind of association (politeia) is the legal union of a man and woman for begetting children and for sharing life." From the collection of households a village is formed and from villages a city, "So just as the household yields for the city the seeds of its formation , thus it yields the constitution (politeia)".

"Connected with the house is a pattern of monarchy, of aristocracy and of democracy. The relationship of parents to children is monarchic, of husbands to wives aristocratic, of children to one another democratic."
He concludes his political philosophy with "The best constitution is some mixture of the good forms", i.e. monarchy, aristocracy and democracy.

I found this in Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament, ed. By M. Eugene Boring, Klaus Berger, Carsten Colpe, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, l995.

The family is called a Politiea.

Now connect this to what Plutarch records in his Lives, the bio of Lycurgus. Someone came up to Lycurgus and asked him, why he didn't set up a democracy for his people. Lycurgus replied, ""Begin, friend, and set it up in your family".

A family can not be run on democracy. It will fall apart. Lycurgus imitates that with that statement is that he modeled his state upon the institution of the family. How the family is run, that is how his state ran. The family is the model for the state. Arius, I believe is a Stoic. And the Stoics, I think borrowed heavily from the Doric Greeks.

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11 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2008 :  13:52:52  


Why do you think that 'Πολιτεία' is not translatable?
It means ' Civil State' the body politic.
I agree it does not mean necessarily, 'Democracy or Republic' because the state can be of different regimes ( τα διαφορετικά πολίτευματα)The state can be a monarchy or governed by an autocrat (dictator) or any of the above.
Another way of looking at it is 'Citizenry' the sum of all the citizens(Οι πολίτες).

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