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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Plato's TIMAEUS : Politeia

Timaeus 17a-21a  *  Greek Fonts


Page 2

Soc. And when we had given to each one that single employment and particular art which was suited to his nature, we spoke of those who were intended to be our warriors, and said that they were to be guardians of the city against attacks from within as well as from without, and to have no other employment; they were to be merciful in judging their subjects, of whom they were by nature friends, but fierce to their enemies, when they came across them in battle.

Tim. Exactly.

Soc. We said, if I am not mistaken, that the guardians should be gifted with a temperament in a high degree both passionate and philosophical; and that then they would be as they ought to be, gentle to their friends and fierce with their enemies.

Tim. Certainly.

Soc. And what did we say of their education? Were they not to be trained in gymnastic, and music, and all other sorts of knowledge which were proper for them?

Tim. Very true.

Soc. And being thus trained they were not to consider gold or silver or anything else to be their own private property; they were to be like hired troops, receiving pay for keeping guard from those who were protected by them-the pay was to be no more than would suffice for men of simple life; and they were to spend in common, and to live together in the continual practice of virtue, which was to be their sole pursuit.

Tim. That was also said. 

ΣΩ. Καὶ κατὰ φύσιν δὴ δόντες τὸ καθ΄ αὑτὸν ἑκάστῳ πρόσφορον ἓν μόνον ἐπιτήδευμα͵ μίαν ἑκάστῳ τέχνην͵ τούτους οὓς πρὸ πάντων ἔδει πολεμεῖν͵ εἴπομεν ὡς ἄρ΄ αὐτοὺς δέοι φύλακας εἶναι μόνον τῆς πόλεως͵ εἴτε τις ἔξωθεν ἢ καὶ τῶν ἔνδοθεν ἴοι κακουργήσων͵ [18a] δικάζοντας μὲν πρᾴως τοῖς ἀρχομένοις ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν καὶ φύσει φίλοις οὖσιν͵ χαλεποὺς δὲ ἐν ταῖς μάχαις τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσιν τῶν ἐχθρῶν γιγνομένους.

ΤΙ. Παντάπασι μὲν οὖν.

ΣΩ. Φύσιν γὰρ οἶμαί τινα τῶν φυλάκων τῆς ψυχῆς ἐλέγομεν ἅμα μὲν θυμοειδῆ͵ ἅμα δὲ φιλόσοφον δεῖν εἶναι διαφερόντως͵ ἵνα πρὸς ἑκατέρους δύναιντο ὀρθῶς πρᾷοι καὶ χαλεποὶ γίγνεσθαι.

ΤΙ. Ναί.

ΣΩ. Τί δὲ τροφήν; ἆρ΄ οὐ γυμναστικῇ καὶ μουσικῇ μαθήμασίν τε ὅσα προσήκει τούτοις͵ ἐν ἅπασι τεθράφθαι;

ΤΙ. Πάνυ μὲν οὖν. [18b]

ΣΩ. Τοὺς δέ γε οὕτω τραφέντας ἐλέχθη που μήτε χρυσὸν μήτε ἄργυρον μήτε ἄλλο ποτὲ μηδὲν κτῆμα ἑαυτῶν ἴδιον νομίζειν δεῖν͵ ἀλλ΄ ὡς ἐπικούρους μισθὸν λαμβάνοντας τῆς φυλακῆς παρὰ τῶν σῳζομένων ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν͵ ὅσος σώφροσιν μέτριος͵ ἀναλίσκειν τε δὴ κοινῇ καὶ συνδιαιτωμένους μετὰ ἀλλήλων ζῆν͵ ἐπιμέλειαν ἔχοντας ἀρετῆς διὰ παντός͵ τῶν ἄλλων ἐπιτηδευμάτων ἄγοντας σχολήν.

ΤΙ. Ἐλέχθη καὶ ταῦτα ταύτῃ. [18c]

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