Plato, Republic (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Pl. Resp.].
<<Pl. Resp. 469a Pl. Resp. 470e (Greek) >>Pl. Resp. 472d

470bsaid I, “they ought to do neither, but confine themselves to taking away the annual harvest. Shall I tell you why?” “Do.” “In my opinion, just as we have the two terms, war and faction, so there are also two things, distinguished by two differentiae. [Note] The two things I mean are the friendly and kindred on the one hand and the alien and foreign on the other. Now the term employed for the hostility of the friendly is faction, and for that of the alien is war.” “What you say is in nothing beside the mark,” he replied. “Consider, then, 470cif this goes to the mark. I affirm that the Hellenic race is friendly to itself and akin, and foreign and alien to the barbarian.” “Rightly,” he said. “We shall then say that Greeks fight and wage war with barbarians, and barbarians with Greeks, and are enemies by nature, [Note] and that war is the fit name for this enmity and hatred. Greeks, however, we shall say, are still by nature the friends of Greeks when they act in this way, but that Greece is sick in that case and divided by faction, 470dand faction is the name we must give to that enmity.” “I will allow you that habit of speech,” he said. “Then observe,” said I, “that when anything of this sort occurs in faction, as the word is now used, and a state is divided against itself, if either party devastates the land and burns the houses of the other such factional strife is thought to be an accursed thing and neither party to be true patriots. Otherwise, they would never have endured thus to outrage their nurse and mother. [Note] But the moderate and reasonable thing is thought to be that the victors 470eshall take away the crops of the vanquished, but that their temper shall be that of men who expect to be reconciled and not always to wage war.” “That way of feeling,” he said, “is far less savage than the other.” “Well, then,” said I, “is not the city that you are founding to be a Greek city?” “It must be,” he said. “Will they then not be good and gentle?” “Indeed they will.” “And won't they be philhellenes, [Note] lovers of Greeks, and will they not regard all Greece as their own and not renounce their part in the holy places common to all Greeks ?” “Most certainly.” “Will they not then regard any difference with Greeks 471awho are their own people as a form of faction and refuse even to speak of it as war?” “Most certainly.” “And they will conduct their quarrels always looking forward to a reconciliation?” “By all means.” “They will correct them, then, for their own good, not chastising them with a view to their enslavement [Note] or their destruction, but acting as correctors, not as enemies.” “They will,” he said. “They will not, being Greeks, ravage Greek territory nor burn habitations, and they will not admit that in any city all the population are their enemies, men, women and children, but will say that only a few at any time are their foes, [Note] 471bthose, namely, who are to blame for the quarrel. And on all these considerations they will not be willing to lay waste the soil, since the majority are their friends, nor to destroy the houses, but will carry the conflict only to the point of compelling the guilty to do justice by the pressure of the suffering of the innocent.” “I,” he said, “agree that our citizens ought to deal with their Greek opponents on this wise, while treating barbarians as Greeks now treat Greeks.” “Shall we lay down this law also, then, 471cfor our guardians that they are not to lay waste the land or burn the houses?” “Let us so decree,” he said, “and assume that this and our preceding prescriptions are right.

“But [Note] I fear, Socrates,that if you are allowed to go on in this fashion, you will never get to speak of the matter you put aside in order to say all this, namely, the possibility of such a polity coming into existence, and the way in which it could be brought to pass. I too am ready to admit that if it could be realized everything would be lovely [Note] for the state that had it, and I will add what you passed by, that they would also be 471dmost successful in war because they would be least likely to desert one another, knowing and addressing each other by the names of brothers, fathers, sons. And if the females should also join in their campaigns, whether in the ranks or marshalled behind to intimidate the enemy, [Note] or as reserves in case of need, I recognize that all this too would make them irresistible. And at home, also, I observe all the benefits that you omit to mention. But, taking it for granted that I concede 471ethese and countless other advantages, consequent on the realization of this polity, don't labor that point further; but let us at once proceed to try to convince ourselves of just this, that it is possible and how it is possible,



Plato, Republic (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Pl. Resp.].
<<Pl. Resp. 469a Pl. Resp. 470e (Greek) >>Pl. Resp. 472d

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