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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Plato's TIMAEUS : Politeia

Timaeus 17a-21a  *  Greek Fonts


OCRATES. One, two, three; but where, my dear Timaeus, is the fourth of those who were yesterday my guests and are to be my entertainers to-day?

Timaeus. He has been taken ill, Socrates; for he would not willingly have been absent from this gathering.

Soc. Then, if he is not coming, you and the two others must supply his place.

Tim. Certainly, and we will do all that we can; having been handsomely entertained by you yesterday, those of us who remain should be only too glad to return your hospitality.

Soc. Do you remember what were the points of which I required you to speak?

Tim. We remember some of them, and you will be here to remind us of anything which we have forgotten: or rather, if we are not troubling you, will you briefly recapitulate the whole, and then the particulars will be more firmly fixed in our memories?

Soc. To be sure I will: the chief theme of my yesterday's discourse was the State - how constituted and of what citizens composed it would seem likely to be most perfect.

Tim. Yes, Socrates; and what you said of it was very much to our mind.

Soc. Did we not begin by separating the husbandmen and the artisans from the class of defenders of the State?

Tim. Yes.



ΣΩ. Εἷς͵ δύο͵ τρεῖς· ὁ δὲ δὴ τέταρτος ἡμῖν͵ ὦ φίλε Τίμαιε͵ ποῦ τῶν χθὲς μὲν δαιτυμόνων͵ τὰ νῦν δὲ ἑστιατόρων;

ΤΙ. Ἀσθένειά τις αὐτῷ συνέπεσεν͵ ὦ Σώκρατες· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἑκὼν τῆσδε ἀπελείπετο τῆς συνουσίας.

ΣΩ. Οὐκοῦν σὸν τῶνδέ τε ἔργον καὶ τὸ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀπόντος ἀναπληροῦν μέρος; [17b]

ΤΙ. Πάνυ μὲν οὖν͵ καὶ κατὰ δύναμίν γε οὐδὲν ἐλλείψομεν· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν εἴη δίκαιον͵ χθὲς ὑπὸ σοῦ ξενισθέντας οἷς ἦν πρέπον ξενίοις͵ μὴ οὐ προθύμως σὲ τοὺς λοιποὺς ἡμῶν ἀνταφεστιᾶν.

ΣΩ. Ἆρ΄ οὖν μέμνησθε ὅσα ὑμῖν καὶ περὶ ὧν ἐπέταξα εἰπεῖν;

ΤΙ. Τὰ μὲν μεμνήμεθα͵ ὅσα δὲ μή͵ σὺ παρὼν ὑπομνήσεις· μᾶλλον δέ͵ εἰ μή τί σοι χαλεπόν͵ ἐξ ἀρχῆς διὰ βραχέων πάλιν ἐπάνελθε αὐτά͵ ἵνα βεβαιωθῇ μᾶλλον παρ΄ ἡμῖν. [17c]

ΣΩ. Ταῦτ΄ ἔσται. χθές που τῶν ὑπ΄ ἐμοῦ ῥηθέντων λόγων περὶ πολιτείας ἦν τὸ κεφάλαιον οἵα τε καὶ ἐξ οἵων ἀνδρῶν ἀρίστη κατεφαίνετ΄ ἄν μοι γενέσθαι.

ΤΙ. Καὶ μάλα γε ἡμῖν͵ ὦ Σώκρατες͵ ῥηθεῖσα πᾶσιν κατὰ νοῦν.

ΣΩ. Ἆρ΄ οὖν οὐ τὸ τῶν γεωργῶν ὅσαι τε ἄλλαι τέχναι πρῶτον ἐν αὐτῇ χωρὶς διειλόμεθα ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους τοῦ τῶν προπολεμησόντων;

ΤΙ. Ναί. [17d]

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