First, I'd like to say that I love your site and your initiative to offer all this content. I'm a researcher in ancient thought, especially on Plato's thinking. I'm writting asking you for help. I was reading a book these days about Salamina's war, when the Greeks fought against the Persians. At this book, the author said that Plato thought that this war made the Greeks worse as a community. This opinion sounds very interesting, but the author didn't left any references. I'm doing a research about the concepts of 'Polemos' and 'Stasis' on Plato's thought, and I tried to find his opinions about Salamina's war, but with no success. Do you have any idea of where Plato would state his opinion about the Salamina's war?
Plato doesn't say that the war made the Greeks worse, but, if I understand well, that having power and prosperity can result to corruption. The war by itself (according to Plato) was good and those who fought should be honoured. Arrogance because of power or other virtues is a human frailty, not the result of the war.
Could anyone give me the Stephanus page on this passage of the Laws?
Thanks in advance.
"Ath. Why, yes; and that is an opinion which is widely spread both among Hellenes and barbarians. But Megillus and I say rather, that the battle of Marathon was the beginning, and the battle of Plataea the completion, of the great deliverance, and that these battles by land made the Hellenes better; whereas the sea - fights of Salamis and Artemisium - for I may as well put them both together - made them no better, if I may say so without offence about the battles which helped to save us. And in estimating the goodness of a state, we regard both the situation of the country and the order of the laws, considering that the mere preservation and continuance of life is not the most honourable thing for men, as the vulgar think, but the continuance of the best life, while we live; and that again, if I am jot mistaken, is remark which has been made already." - Plato, Laws, Part 2 Page 16
It seems to me that Plato makes a distinction: some wars made the greek better (καὶ τὰς μὲν βελτίους τοὺς Ἕλληνας ποιῆσαι), while the battles that happened at the sea did not made the greek better (τὰς δὲ οὐ βελτίους, if I'm not wrong).
Do you have any opinion on it? I mean, can you understand why he's, ahn, classifying the wars in this way?