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_ Cornell University Library 

B 173.G63 1901 


Greek thinkers; a history of ancient phil 

3 1924 019 527 419 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 







Volume III 


G. G. BERRY, .B.A. 




153-157 'fifth avenue 




A. \^%4A-o 

Printed in Great Britain 


€a t^e Mematrs 


NOV. 19, 1820 : JULY 16, 1894 





BOOK V. — {continued). 





•• 1 I §3 

5 I §4 





i6 I §3 

20 I §4 



















i 2 




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§ 10 







PLATO'S " REPUBLIC."— (f»«;/««^(0. 














... 118 

... 121 

... 124 

... 128 




- 133 I §3 
... 136 I 




144 I §3 

148 I 





ISS I §3 

IS7 I §4 





167 I §3 

170 i §4 








. ... i86 §3 
... 191 1 §4 








... 200 
... 203 
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... 211 



... 227 
••• 233 
... 241 
... 248 















BOOK v.— {continued). 




I. The learned Spanish Jesuit, Jos^ d'Acosta,* closes his 
account of a certain belief held by the Indians of Peru, with 
the remark that it approximates " in some measure " to the 
Platonic doctrine of ideas. The belief to which he refers 
has also been met with among the Indians of North 
America ; here, again, the Abbe Laffiteau f detected points 
of agreement with Plato. The inhabitants of the Samoan 
Islands, and lastly, the Finns, present us with additional 
examples of the same mode of thought, the essence of 
which may be stated as follows : The occurrence in nature 
of numberless groups of similar objects, particularly animal 
and vegetable species, requires an explanation ; this is 
afforded by the assumption of a primary entity or arche- 
type, whose relation to the corresponding objects is variously 
conceived. Sometimes it appears as a kind of elder and 
bigger brother ; sometimes it is a pattern, residing in the 
world of spirit ; or, again, it may be a god or a genius 
dwelling on some distant star, to whose influence par- 
ticular objects owe their origin and their continuance. 
This tendency of the human mind to refer the perpetual 

* Born 1540, died 1599. t Died 1755. 

VOL. in. I! 


recurrence of similar qualities to a real type or model, must 
be allowed no inconsiderable share in the genesis of the 
Platonic doctrine. 

But the definite shape which this theory took in the 
mind of Plato must be explained from the previous history 
of Greek thought. " Divide the Becoming of Heraclitus 
by the Being of Parmenides, and you will obtain the 
Ideas of Plato "—such is the formula into which Herbart 
compressed his view of the course of philosophic develop- 
ment. The authentic account of the matter, which we 
owe to Aristotle,* is not very different : " Plato had been 
early familiar with Cratylus and the Heraclitean doctrines 
touching the perpetual flux of the world of sense, and 
the impossibility of that world being the object-matter of 
science. To these doctrines he adhered in later life. 
Moreover, Socrates, confining himself as he did to ethical 
speculations, and making no attempt to study nature 
as a whole, had sought the universal within the limits 
of his own subject, and had given his chief attention 
to the construction of definitions. Plato, who followed 
him, was thus led to the opinion that the realities corre- 
sponding to definitions are other than the objects given 
in sense. . . . This something else he called ideas of 
entities ; the objects of sense were for him additions to 
the ideas, and named after them, for it was by participa- 
tion in the ideas (here Aristotle recalls the precedent of 
the Pythagoreans) that their material namesakes existed." 

This explanation may be summarized by saying that 
matter was volatilized into an abstraction, while con- 
cepts, to make the balance even, became concrete and 
almost material. The place of nature, with its perpetual 
flux, was usurped by the world of concepts, which laid 
claim to the fixity denied to the world of Becoming. 
This denial, it must be remembered, had not been made 
by Heraclitus alone, but also by the Eleatics, who tended 
more and more to relegate the things of 'sense to the 
realm of appearances. Additional support was derived by 
this view from certain difficulties of thought which we 
* " Met.," i. 6. 


have mentioned in a previons section — ^the problems of 
Inherence and Predication, in which we recognize the old 
enigma, formerly known as the problem of chsmge, and 
concerned with the relations of the One to the Many, 
reappearing in a new guise, due to the Socratic study of con- 
cepts (cf. Vol. II. p. 1 75, sgq.). Reality — so we may formulate 
the conclusion to which this train of thought naturally led 
— is to be found only in that of which the self-identity 
is interrupted by no change and impaired by no incon- 
sistency : in the content of concepts, not in individual things, 
each of which, in its relations of space and time, is subject 
to manifold variation and contradiction. 

It is true that the difficulties of thought to which we 
have alluded were not removed by the new teaching, but 
only clothed in a different garb. They reappeared in the 
form of questions such as — How are the fleeting individual 
things connected with their eternal archetypes ? Do they 
" participate " in them, or are they " copied " from them ? 
And what is the precise nature of this participation or 
process of copying ? To these questions Plato never 
succeeded in returning a satisfactory answer ; but, as 
Aristotle remarks in the above-quoted passage, "he left 
them to be investigated by others." 

But this is not the place to discuss the consequences 
of a doctrine whose origin we have not yet completely 
accounted for. We must once more draw the reader's 
attention to a fundamental tendency of the human mind, 
and to its far-reaching effects. Abstractions are clothed 
by language in the same dress as objects of perception. 
Both are designated by substantives, and perhaps could not 
be designated in any other way. In the untrained mind, 
the Real and the Thing are so closely associated, that in 
ordinary language the two terms are synonymous. The 
very word " real " is derived from res, " a thing." Forces, 
qualities, states, relations, are regarded as entities having 
the nature of things, and, when they produce lasting 
impressions upon the mind, as living beings endowed with 
will — as gods and daemons. After the mythological comes 
an ontological stage, a nafve realism (in the mediaeval sense) , 


of which we find traces in the earlier history even of Greek 
thought. Plague and fever cease to be demons, but the art 
of healing is still a species of thing. As illustrations, take 
the following expressions used by the author of the treatise 
" On the Art." He meets doubters in the reality of the 
healing art by the question — " How could we have ever 
come to speak of the art of medicine as a reality if it were 
not so in truth ? " In other words : The long series of 
judgments touching the laws of nature and man's ability 
to perceive them and turn them to account in the care of 
health — this series of judgments, with its true or false 
conclusion : " The art of healing exists," is put on a level 
with the perception of an external object, and regarded as 
an act of mental vision. The bare fact of a name having 
been given to the art of healing is taken to be a sufficient 
reason for ascribing objective existence to it, just as in the 
case of actual things. In a very similar strain the comic 
poet Epicharmus (cf. Vol. II. p. 265), whom we shall presently 
have occasion to mention as a precursor of Plato in another 
respect, had already drawn the inference: "The good is 
a thing-in-itself," after previously calling flute-playing a 
" thing." He goes on to prove that as it is the acquisition 
of skill in flute-playing, dancing, or weaving that -makes 
the weaver, the dancer, or the flute-player, so it is the 
possession of the good that makes the good man. Not 
that there was any lack of protests against this objectifying 
of concepts, even before Plato's time ; such a protest is 
contained in an expression of the sophist Antiphon, which 
has already been quoted (cf. Vol. I. p. 437, also 195). 

We have thus two tendencies of thought ; the one 
leading to the assumption of real types, the other to the 
objectifying of abstractions, the two together resulting in 
the promotion of concepts to the status of objective types. 
With these there were associated in the mind of Plato 
two subsidiary tendencies. The first, which went to 
strengthen the objectifying impulse, had its origin in the 
special nature of Plato's favourite studies. These were, in 
the words of Hermann Bonitz, "concepts belonging to the 
sphere of ethics ; " and again, " Mathematical concepts ; 


in the case of the former it is the unconditional acceptance 
claimed by the ethical judgment, in the case of the latter, 
the universal validity and independence of individual 
caprice, which produces the appearance of objective reality." 
On the other hand, the tendency towards the assumption 
of types was reinforced by the artistic and visionary 
element in Plato. Nature's types became for him ideals, 
that is, aesthetic patterns and standards. The disposition 
to see in that harmonious union of perfected excellences 
which we call an ideal, no mere synthesis of a mind fired 
with the creative impulse, but a real existence, of which the 
correlative object is a dim reflexion — this disposition, so 
congenial to artistic and imaginative natures, had certainly 
some share, though not, as John Stuart Mill assumed, the 
chief share, in the genesis of Plato's theory. 

2. Closer consideration is demanded by a tendency of 
thought on which we have already briefly touched, and 
which may be summarily described as a leaning towards 
the a priori. It is concerned with questions respecting the 
origin of concepts and judgments which do not seem to be 
derived from experience. Whence, it is asked, comes the 
concept of a line as length without breadth, or that of pure 
surface destitute of thickness ? Whence comes the idea 
of a circle or a sphere, forms which do, indeed, occur in 
the world of sense, but never in that ideal perfection which 
their definitions imply? With these mathematical con- 
cepts are joined others — concepts of relations, such as 
identity or equality — ^whose origin in experience Plato 
contests on grounds exemplified in the " Phaedo : " when- 
ever we speak of two things as equal, we really deny the 
absolute equality which our words appear to affirm ; for 
when this is present, the two things are no longer two, 
but one and indistinguishable. 

To all such questions the empiricist returns one and 
the same answer. Whatever stock of ideas we possess is 
ours to deal with as we like ; we may at pleasure join 
what is divided and divide what is joined. Length without 
breadth is no doubt something which experience has never 
presented to us. But we may disregard or overlook breadth 


(and thickness too, in the case of a surface), and so, by an 
act of abstraction, contemplate space of one or of two 
dimensions. On the other hand, neither nature nor the 
hand of man has ever fashioned a sphere in which the 
exactest possible measurement would not discover im- 
perfection ; and absolute equality is similarly unrepresented 
by any concrete instance. But, along with that faculty of 
abstraction, we possess another, a combining faculty, by 
the aid of which we are enabled to construct complete 
equality out of partial equalities, and absolute perfection 
out of the different degrees of imperfection. Thinkers, 
however, to whom this way out of the difficulty has either 
not occurred or has seemed inadequate, have been obliged 
to seek a solution elsewhere— in the assumption that the 
concepts in question are gained by immediate intuition, 
and that the objects of these intuitions, being alien to the 
world of sense, are of a supersensual order. Thus yet 
another motive impelled Plato towards the hypothesis that 
there exist real archetypes of concepts, which the soul has 
beheld in a former life. The remembrance of these visions, 
so Plato held, slumbers in the soul, and is awakened to fresh 
life by the sight of those imperfect copies of them which 
experience furnishes. 

Next to concepts come their combinations — ^judgments. 
It is in this quarter that the a priori philosophy, and in 
particular that form of it known as the doctrine of ideas, 
finds its strongest support. A wide chsism, we are told, 
yawns between the knowledge which we derive from 
experience, and that which claims another and a higher 
origin. Knowledge of the first kind may rest on the 
guarantee of an experience hitherto without exception, and 
yet we do not feel compelled to believe in its unconditional 
truth ; it lacks the character of universality and necessity 
which distinguishes the second kind of knowledge. In all 
times and in all places water has quenched thirst ; we have 
not the slightest reason to suppose it will ever cease to do 
so. Still, there is nothing to prevent us from thinking of 
a draught of water which moistens the throat but brings no 
feeling of refreshment. More generally, however firmly 


we may be convinced that the relations of succession and 
coexistence, the sum of which constitutes for us the present 
order of things, will continue to prevail, there is nothing 
inconceivable in the contrary supposition. On the other 
hand, it is inconceivable and unthinkable that the whole 
should ever be less than the part, that twice two should 
be other than four, that two straight lines should enclose 
a space. Nothing could be more natural than that this 
distinction between the truths of experience and the so- 
called truths of reason should have made the deepest im- 
pression on those who first perceived it, and should have 
led them to ascribe totally different origins to the two 
species of knowledge. For Plato, those parts of knowledge 
which are anterior,, both in time and rank, to all experience, 
have their source in the world of ideas, and exhibit the 
relations which obtain there. Similarly, a later age speaks 
of " innate ideas ; " and the same mode of thought has in 
the course of time received a great variety of expression. 

Our own day has witnessed an attempted reconciliation 
between the two points of view — a compromise which is at 
once empirical in respect of the race, and a priori in 
respect of the individual. It appeals, not to the personal 
pre-existence assumed by Plato, but to the real pre-existence 
of a line of ancestors. For aeons, it is assumed, our fore- 
fathers have been collecting experiences, the effect of 
which, increasing by accumulation, has been to modify the 
structure of our organ of thought, and to give the corre- 
sponding beliefs an irresistible power over our minds. 

The empirical school gratefully takes note of the 
attempt to utilize agelong habituation and transmission 
by heredity in the explanation both of intellectual and 
moral dispositions ; at the same time, it claims that the 
problem now before us can be satisfactorily treated without 
the aid of such hypotheses. It points out that many a so- 
called truth of reason rests on a mere analytical or ex- 
planatory judgment ; it is so, for instance, in the case of 
the proposition, "The whole is greater than its part." 
The proposition has unconditional validity, but it does no 
more than unfold the thought already contained in the 


words "whole " and "part." By a "part " we only mean 
one of two or more quantities which together form a total : 
A = a + 3, etc. To say that « + ^ is greater than b, that 
a increased by b is more than b, is merely to express 
differently the relations implied by the use of the words 
" whole " and " part." All true necessity of thought is (as 
John Stuart Mill has aptly remarked) necessity of inference. 
The inconceivability of the contrary means the impossibility 
of at once affirming and denying the same proposition ; 
and the necessary validity of a conclusion is confirmed by 
closing up to the denier of it every other means of escape. 
" All men are mortal ; Caius is a man : therefore Caius is 
mortal " — he who has admitted the two premisses can 
reject the conclusion only by simultaneously affirming and 
denying the mortality of mankind (which includes Caius) 
or the humanity of Caius. But the incompatibility of an 
affirmation and its correlative negative (commonly called 
the principle of contradiction) is, in our opinion, not 
so much a canon of reason as a fundamental property 
attaching to all perception, and, indeed, to all processes of 
consciousness. The very expression " incompatibility " is 
not, strictly speaking, appropriate. The fundamental fact 
is rather this — that we are acquainted with absence as well 
as presence, deficiency as well as provision, omission as well 
as action. In these negative states the exclusion of the 
corresponding positives is already contained. 

Nor (in spite of the hints scattered in the " Meno ") is 
the case essentially different with mathematical knowledge. 
Here, too, necessary truth is necessary inference from 
hypotheses. As far as relates to geometry, with its 
deductions from definitions only approximately applicable 
to real objects, the truth of this statement is obvious 
enough. Next to the definitions come certain propositions 
which are sometimes called " general notions," and some- 
times " axioms," such as that equals added to equals give 
equal totals, or that two straight lines cannot enclose a space. 
The first of these asserts that if to a square yard on my 
right hand I join a second square yard, the sum, two square 
yards, is the same as when I perform a similar operation 


on my left. But this depends on the fact that the two 
square yards as such, that is, abstraction being made of 
the matter to which they belong, and of the adjacent 
space, are identical, both they and their equal increments 
or decrements. And it is the same with other quantities- 
weights, forces, periods of time. Thus what the proposition 
amounts to is that there are certain relations — cognizable by 
experience — which we term "quantitative," and which remain 
the same whatever may be the particular objects, or classes 
of objects, in which they occur. As for the axiom of the 
two straight lines, its significance is the following : Given 
that idea in the mind (nowhere completely realized) which 
we call a straight line, a moment's contemplation of it is 
enough to teach us that where two such lines meet they 
must cross, and therefore diverge — a truth whose universal 
validity is at once placed beyond doubt by an experiment 
embracing all possible angles of intersection. But in order 
to enclose a space, two lines would need to meet at least in 
two points. 

In arithmetic the proofs are not drawn in the same 
explicit manner from hypotheses ; but the reason of the 
omission is that one single hypothesis governs the whole 
subject. When we say 2 + 2 = 4, the meaning is not that 
two pairs of houses, men, or horses always give four times 
the accommodation, or do four times the work, of one. 
For this is in part not true at all, and in part only true of 
averages. We rather regard objects as items capable of 
being counted, ignoring their other attributes, and of the 
abstract units thus obtained we assert that in combination 
they remain the same as they were in isolation, thus 
giving expression to a second empirical truth, namely, that 
we are able to group these units and their combinations as 
we please. It is never any part of knowledge, so says the 
empiricist, that is given us a priori, but only the faculty 
of performing certain operations, in particular, those of 
separating and combining, of inference and comparison. 
Plato, however, who even as an a priori philosopher is 
something of an empiricist, appeals to experiences which 
the soul gained before it was united to the body. 


3. To the chasm thus opened between the world of 
ideas and the world of sense, there corresponded a growing 
separation of the psychical from the corporeal. Plato here 
continued a process of development which had begun long 
before his time. Besides the Orphics and the Pythagoreans, 
Xenophanes may be named in this connexion. He it was, 
so we read, who gave to the psychic principle a new name, 
TTVEvjua (breath, spirit), of which later ages made much use. 
Such a change of name generally goes hand in hand with, 
and helps forward, a change of thought on the matters 
concerned. We have reason to suppose that in this subject, 
as in his religious innovations, Xenophanes reverted to old 
Aryan notions which had never been completely eradicated 
from the national consciousness. Such a notion is that 
according to which the soul, or breath of life, returns to 
celestial space and the ether which fills it. This is a con- 
ception to which we have been able to point as having been 
current in Athens during the last third of the fifth century, 
one to which Euripides gave literary expression (see Vol. II. 
p. 84). He had been anticipated by Epicharmus, in verses 
which were apparently intended to console a mourner — 

' ' What was joined is no w dissevered ; every part hath sought its own : 
Dust to dust and breath to heaven. Is this more than thou 
canst bear ? " 

It may be conjectured that the philosophic comedy- 
writer here followed in the footsteps of Xenophanes, whom 
he had met at the court of Hiero, on whom he bestowed 
the significant praise (as we gather from an allusion of 
Aristotle) that his doctrine was "not probable, but true," 
and with whom he exhibits,, a far-reaching agreement on 
other matters. Thus he regarded the great factors of 
nature as gods — a primitive Aryan belief clearly traceable 
among the Persians, which we could only inferentially 
ascribe to Xenophanes (Vol. I. p. 161), but for which, 
in the case of Epicharmus, we have the testimony of 
the comic poet Menander — 

" The gods of Epicharmus are the sun, 
The moon, the stars, fire, water, earth, and air." 


And just as Xenophanes represented his supreme Deity as 
possessing knowledge gained by the medium of no bodily 
organs, so we find Epicharmus saying — 

" Mind is ear and eye together, blind and deaf is all beside." 

At this point the attentive reader of these volumes may 
perhaps feel a difficulty. Is it to be supposed that from the 
author of the doctrine of the All-One, in whose supreme 
Godhead we recognized a species of universal soul, there 
proceeded influences which smoothed the way for psychic 
dualism ? It may seem strange that it should be so, but 
there is no contradiction. There are points of close 
contact between psychic and cosmic dualism, but neither 
of the two necessarily implies the other. Each has a 
tendency to lead to the other ; but the road is often 
long, and opposing forces may check or destroy the 
tendency. It was so with Orphicism ; we have alreadjl 
spoken "(Vol. I. p. 138) of the dualism which "was im- 
plicit in the fundamental principles of Orphicism, though 
the Orphics never deduced it themselves." This was first 
done by Plato. To the splendour of the ideas he opposed 
the pettiness of individual things, to the reality of the 
supraterrene the unreality of nature, to the perfect goodness 
of the Deity the dull power which thwarts the divine rule. 
Similarly, he represents the soul as exiled from its first 
home among the gods to a body which darkens its know- 
ledge and clouds its happiness, in which it is enclosed as 
a prisoner in his cell or a dead man in his grave. The 
premisses of Orphic Pythagoreanism are here followed to 
their ultimate consequences. Expression is given to a 
strain of thought and feeling which exerted a persistent 
influence upon late antiquity, and produced long-enduring 
after-effects perceptible down to our own day. The 
speculative tendency antagonistic to old Hellenic thought 
owed principally to Plato a victory which, if not immediate, 
was none the Ifess assured. Let us dwell for a moment on 
this contrast between two modes of conceiving the world. 

4. Dualism is not necessarily hostile to nature. Its line 
of division may be drawn vertically as well as horizontally. 


Instead of opposing the Deity to the world, mind to matter, 
soul to body, it is possible to seek, and when found to 
utilize, antitheses within each of the great divisions of 
existence, contrasted pairs and series of entities, within 
the world of gods as well as in the whole animate 
and inanimate creation. This is what was done by 
Zoroastrianism, a religion which falls short of its more 
fortunate sisters in local and temporal extent, but hardly 
in intensity of immediate efficacy. It teaches that the 
most fundamental of all distinctions, the one which per- 
vades all the provinces of Being, is that between good 
and evil. It arrays the universe in two opposing hosts, 
and summons man to take his part in the never-resting 
conflict. Thus it has been, in a greater degree than most 
others, a religion of strenuous effort and struggle, leaving, 
it is true, to the artistic imagination little more scope than 
did nature-hating asceticism. The disciples of Zoroaster 
fulfilled their religious duty by begetting numerous children, 
tilling waste land, exterminating noxious beasts, subduing 
barbarous peoples — in a word, by extending the realm of 
light and order and curtailing that of darkness and death. 
Throughout the Avesta we seem to hear the murmurings 
of fountains gushing forth youth, strength, and health. 

It is again to a conflict that the Orphic-Platonic 
dualism incites men ; but it is against himself rather than 
the external world that he is now bidden fight. To 
deepen the inner life and to make consciences more 
tender was the historical mission of this phase of thought. 
The movement begun by the Orphics and continued by 
Plato here joins hands with the cult of Apollo, which from 
its central seat exerted an influence upon the whole Greek 
world in the direction of a higher morality. It is not by 
chance that the earliest indications of a refined moral 
sense— a refinement which sometimes strikes us as a 
strange product of the ancient world— are found in the 
Delphic oracles. Take for an instance the story told 
by Herodotus of Glaucus the Spartan, who desired to 
appropriate illegally a sum of money entrusted to his 
care, and who went to the Delphic oracle for advice. 


He asked whether he should retain the money and 
commit the necessary perjury. The Pythia replied in 
vigorous verse, which has been preserved — 

"Swear, for the truth-loving man must die one death with the 

perjured : 
Yet hath the oath which thou swearest a son ; he is nameless 

and handless, 
Feet hath he none; yet swiftly he follows, nor rests from 

Till thy whole race be consumed, and cut off from the earth 

without remnant." 

Glaucus, in a fright, gives up his plan, and asks the god 
for pardon. But the Pythia answers, "To tempt the god 
and to do the deed is all one." And in truth, so the pious 
historian makes his authority finish the tale, " Of this 
Glaucus there is nowhere any posterity left ; no house or 
hearth bears his name ; he has been blotted out of Sparta." 
In spite of this admixture of strongly marked ethical 
sentiment, in spite of that moral progress of the gods which 
was necessitated by the advance of culture and promoted 
by the works of the great poets (cf. p. 5, seq^, the Hellenic 
religion always remained, principally, a worship of the 
powers of nature. As such it may be compared to a 
garment which covers every part of the body with 
rich and graceful folds. With generous inclusiveness it 
acknowledges the claims of every aspect and every im- 
pulse of human nature ; it provided growing-space and 
nutriment for every power of thought and feeling ; coupled 
as it was with the peculiarly Greek sense of proportion, it 
ennobled every kind of energetic action and passive enjoy- 
ment. Free and serene is the life of one who is guided 
and inspired by such a religion, who sees or surmises a 
divine element in every manifestation of nature. If with 
Aristotle, herein the organ and exponent of the Greek 
national mind, we understand by the hygiene of the soul 
the avoidance of all extremes, the equilibrium of the 
powers, the harmonious development of aptitudes, none of 
which is allowed to starve or paralyze the others, — then 
we shall comprehend that species of individual morality 


to the requirements of which the Greek religion was so 
exceptionally adequate. It was in the domain of social 
morality that this religion proved insufficient. Self- 
assertion and self-seeking were in almost every age of 
antiquity far too predominant features of Hellenic life. 
Characters of spotless purity in this respect were among 
the greatest of rarities. All the disciplinary resources of the 
State, both political and military, were always necessary, 
and barely sufficient, to keep anti-social impulses in check. 
Thus, at Sparta, the Lycurgean system proved ineffective 
outside the limits of its most stringent application and its 
most direct control. In those small states, which were not 
unlike enlarged families, love of the fatherland no doubt 
acquired passionate intensity. But it was insufficient to 
restrain the citizen from treason, whenever any exceptional 
temptation was put in his way. A like tale is told by the 
paucity of incorruptible judges, and by those outbreaks of 
partisan fury which shrank from no excess. In honesty 
and truthfulness, above all, the Hellenic nation was woefully 

Such a society had much to gain from the Orphic- 
Pythagorean movement, whose final triumph was due to 
the mighty influence of Plato. The inward breach and 
schism within the soul, the hostility to nature and con- 
sequent extravagances of asceticism, — all these fruits of the 
movement may be called evils, but certainly not unmixed 
evils. They led to a deepening of the emotional life 
which greatly extended the domain of art and speculation, 
and which, in course of time, proved especially helpful by 
strengthening the sense of duty and reinforcing social 
morality (cf. Vol. I. p. 133, sqq?^. To allow the individual 
his fullest and freest development, and yet to curb 
effectually those impulses in him which menace the well- 
being of his fellows, — here we have two ideals which human 
nature seems incapable of realizing simultaneously. When 
the one bucket rises from the well, the other must sink. In 
describing the Italy of the Renaissance, the home of Raphael 
and Michelangelo, as " a den of murderers and a place of 
evil resort," Ernest Renan doubtless exaggerated, but the 


expression is not altogether without historical warrant. It 
is for the late heirs of an evolution occupying thousands 
of years to attempt a reconciliation by fusing into one 
new and harmonious whole the most precious among those 
elements of culture which their forerunners possessed 




1. In the "Symposium" the doctrine of ideas only appears 
for the purpose of introducing the idea of the beautiful, and 
so illustrating the nature of love. But in the " Phsedrus " 
this doctrine occupies a far larger space ; it here takes up 
an almost central position, both in the theory of knowledge 
and in ethics, while it is most intimately connected with 
teaching upon the destinies of the soul. This alone 
would not prove that the " Phsedrus " was written after 
the " Symposium." But the order which we have adopted 
is thereby rendered necessary, at any rate for the purposes 
of exposition. 

" If any one will write a noble style, let him have a 
noble character." These words of Goethe might fitly serve 
as a motto to the present dialogue. More exactly, the 
purport of this great creation, which with all its wonderful 
wealth has not the slightest lack of unity, may be thus 
stated : Without a noble disposition and noble love there 
can be no genuine philosophy ; without genuine philosophy, 
no true eloquence or artistic use of language. 

The scenery of the dialogue, in which Socrates and the 
cultured Phaedrus are the only interlocutors, is not new to 
the reader (cf. Vol. II. p. 269). Here we propose to give the 
briefest possible account of its progress. The starting-point 
is a speech, highly admired by Phaedrus, which he has just 
heard from Lysias, the " most eminent writer of speeches " 
of the day, and which he repeats to Socrates. This little 
piece of declamation, as we have every reason to suppose, 
is authentic, and no mere fiction. It would be absurd for 
an author to apply to a phantom of his own invention such 


searching criticism as Plato here devotes to this effusion. 
It is not so much a work of art as a triumph of artifice, and 
belongs to a class of which there were many examples in 
that age. We may instance the speech of Polycrates in 
praise of mice ; his defence of the cruel tyrant Busiris ; his 
encomia on Clytsemnestra, Helen, and Paris. These were 
exhibitions of wit and cleverness by which a high degree of 
plausibility was sought to be given to paradoxical theses. 
The subject of this particular specimen is the praise of 
self-surrender to a suitor who neither loves nor is loved. 
Socrates offers to treat the same theme in a still more 
effective manner, but in the speech which he actually 
delivers he only fulfils the first part of his task, by 
denouncing surrender to a lover and describing the evils 
of passion. He speaks with his head veiled, as a symbol 
of inward dissent, and breaks off at the point where the 
negative part of his argument should have been followed 
by its more objectionable positive counterpart. 

So far his aim has been merely to outbid Lysias. Now, 
however, impelled by a sense of religious duty towards Eros 
and Aphrodite, he addresses himself to the recital of a 
palinode, in which he at the same time endeavours to 
outbid himself. The great speech now begins which 
occupies the main portion of the dialogue. With the 
worldly prudence which shuns all passion he contrasts 
the divine madness, frenzy, or ecstasy, which he paints 
in the most glowing colours — the passion of the poet and 
the prophet, of him who thirsts after beauty and truth, 
of the philosopher and lover. We need have no hesitation 
in describing this speech as Plato's abjuration of pure 
Socratism, of the exclusive cult of cold and sober reason. 
We are here far removed from what we might term the 
rationalism of Socrates. The magnitude of the interval 
by which, in this work, Plato is separated from the other 
Socratics, appears plainly if we call to mind Antisthenes' 
way of thinking. His exclamation, "If I could but lay 
hands on Aphrodite, I would shoot her" (Vol. II. p. 143), 
would now seem to Plato doubly blasphemous. He would 
be equally out of sympathy with that other view of love, 


which regards it as a desire to satisfy sensual needs in 
the most harmless possible way. Passion is at once 
Justified and ennobled. For this purpose a myth is 
employed, a magnificent creation, which is clothed in 
language of the utmost elevation and brilliance. 

First, however, comes an assertion of the immortality of 
the soul, supported by arguments which we shall consider 
later on, in connexion with others of a different kind. The 
nature of the soul is illustrated by a figure, in which it is 
compared by Socrates to a yoke of horses, one a thorough- 
bred, the other an inferior animal (the noble and the ignoble 
desires), driven by a charioteer (Reason). Next, he describes 
the life of souls in heaven, how they take part in the pro- 
cession of the gods, each soul attaching itself to a kindred 
divinity, and how they desire to mount to the " supra- 
celestial space, of which no poet has yet sung, nor ever 
will sing worthily. . . . The nature of it, however, may be 
thus set forth. . . . Real truth, which is colourless, formless 
and intangible, can be perceived only by the charioteer of 
the soul. ... In the procession he beholds Justice itself, 
he beholds Temperance and Knowledge, not that which 
begins to be, not that which is different in different 
manifestations of what we now call existence, but the 
knowledge of that which has true and real existence." 
Complete success in this survey is only for the divine 
souls ; the weaker souls see little in the throng of struggling 
horses ; they lose their wings and sink to earth, but not 
till each one has beheld some part of that which is. They 
are not sent to inhabit animal bodies at their first birth 
but those souls which have seen the most go to the making 
of a human being, one who will be a friend of wisdom or 
beauty, inclined towards the Muses or to love ; the others 
are disposed of according to a scale of merit, which descends 
from the lawful king and commander, the statesman the 
ruler of a house or estate, the physician and the gymnast 
the poet and imitative artist, the soothsayer and the priest' 
the artisan and the husbandman, down to the sophist the 
popular orator and the tyrant. « He who leads justly'any 
one of the lives here named receives a better lot ; he who 


lives unjustly, a worse. No soul lives the same life twice 
within ten thousand years, the soul of him only excepted 
who has pursued philosophy with sincerity, or who has been 
a lover of youths and of philosophy together. These, in 
course of time, regain their wings ; the others, after the 
completion of their first life, are brought to judgment," 
the result of which is that some are sent to the places of 
punishment beneath the earth and others ascend to a 
region of heaven where they lead an existence corre- 
sponding to their mode of life on earth. After a thousand 
years they come to the choice of their second life, at which 
a human soul may be transferred to an animal body, or be 
retransferred to a human body after a life in an animal. 

In this myth the chief mediator between the earthly 
life and the divine is love. For justice, temperance, and 
wisdom are without a visible copy, the sight of which 
would assuredly awake ineffable transports in us. " But 
now beauty alone has this lot assigned to it, that it should 
be at once most bright to behold and most worthy of love." 
The effluxes of beauty pour through the eyes into the soul 
of the beholder, which is thereby filled with warmth and 
relieved of the rigidity which had kept its wings from 
growing. And again the stream of beauty returns like 
an echo from the eyes of the admirer back to the fair one, 
moistens the roots of his wings, and causes them to shoot 
forth. The beloved loves in return ; though at the first he 
does not know whom, nor how it all befell. (No feature in 
the description is without its meaning. There is deliberate 
purpose in the mention of rigidity and its relaxation in the 
case of the elder, while in that of the younger only growth 
and its promotion are referred to.) The different gradations 
of the love-bond are delineated with great fulness and wealth 
of imagery. Lowest of all stands the brutish craving for 
unnatural pleasure, unattended by any respect or reverence 
for the object of desire. The highest stage, and with it 
speedy release from the earthly prison in which the exiled 
soul is held as a shell-fish in its shell, is attained by those 
in whom " the better part of the soul is victorious, leading 
them to an ordered life and to philosophy." The acquisition 


of wings comes later for those who " lead a coarser life, full 
of ambition and without philosophy." They oppose less 
resistance to the pull of the unruly horses, which bring them 
together at an unguarded moment ; afterwards the same 
thing will happen again, " but not often, for they do that to 
which their whole soul has not consented." But they, too, 
" reap no little reward from the love-madness ; " to them 
also it is granted " to receive wings together, when the time 
comes, thanks to their love." 

2. The second part of the dialogue is as closely packed 
with thought as the first is with images and passages of 
highly wrought feeling. Phaedrus intimates his approval, 
and at the same time expresses a doubt whether Lysias 
could produce anything as good ; very likely he would 
rather retire from the contest, or even give up altogether 
the writing of speeches, a practice for which he has been 
lately reproached in scornful tones by a public orator. 

Thus the way is opened for a discussion of the question 

Under what circumstances does the practice of rhetoric, or 
authorship in general, deserve praise or blame } In other 
words, we have a reconsideration of the same question 
which, in the " Gorgias," was summarily disposed of by a 
passionately hostile verdict. This time, the wholesale 
condemnation of rhetoric is not repeated. What the 
judicious critic of the earlier dialogue says to himself 
to-day, Plato said to himself in the interval between the 
composition of the two works. He is now fully aware that 
the art of communicating thought is the same, whether it 
be used by the orator or the author, the private citizen 
or the legislator, whether prose or verse be the vehicle 
employed. As before, the older teachers of rhetoric are 
treated with scornful depreciation. Even the less important 
among them are mentioned by name, but Gorgias the 
greatest of them, is only glanced at in passing, obviously 
because a special work has already been devoted to hini 
several references to which occur in thq, present dialogue' 
But those masters of language and their "work are not now 
dismissed with a simple censure ; they are only relegated 
to what Plato conceives to be their proper position, much 


as the statesmen were dealt with in the "Meno." The 
rhetoricians, in their turn, are granted partial rehabilitation. 
It is not admitted that they taught real rhetoric ; they only 
provided a training preliminary to it. The art itself is 
placed on new foundations. Special knowledge is neces- 
sary, even for the man who wishes to deceive effectively, 
and not less so for the man who would guard himself from 
being deceived. It is by similarities that we are deceived 
and misled — a thought which is here developed with a 
suggestiveness only found in Plato's maturest work. The 
knowledge of similarities and differences is again condi- 
tioned by the knowledge of the relations between genera 
and species, by the capacity of analyzing concepts, of 
recognizing unity in multiplicity, of combining the many 
into one, of breaking up classes into their subdivisions, 
without injuring any portion of them in the process after 
the manner of a bad cook. And if authorship depends for 
the one part upon the dialectic which is thus described 
and thus lauded as an outgrowth of the vision of the 
ideas, it also depends on psychology. Effectiveness in 
speech is conditioned by knowledge of the souls of those 
whom the speaker addresses. Again, the form of a speech 
must resemble that of a living being; it must possess 
organic unity. The thoughts and the sentences must be 
inwardly connected, and not merely " poured out at 
random," as (according to Socrates) they are in the speech 
of Lysias. This speech, indeed, as Plato adds, not without 
a touch of complacent self-approval, has been put in their 
way by a " fortunate chance," to serve as an illustration of 
the requirements just formulated. 

At this point the dialogue takes an extraordinary course. 
Plato now turns his back on that art of authorship which he 
has set upon such deep foundations and supported by the 
two pillars of dialectic and psychology. Himself one of 
the greatest among authors, if not the greatest of all, he 
mounts here to a height from which he looks down upon 
all authorship and all rhetoric, recognizes and sets forth 
all their weaknesses and drawbacks with incomparable 
depth of insight. Writing, as he makes the Egyptian 


god Ammon reproach Theuth, the inventor of it, weakens 
the memory. Further, the written page flies about and 
addresses, without distinction, the prepared and the un- 
prepared, the intelligent and the unintelligent alike. It 
cannot answer questions or solve doubts, and it is defence- 
less against every attack. Thus the instruction imparted 
by it is like a hothouse plant, which grows up rapidly 
but strikes no deep roots. Such is the harvest, and not 
fruit of real value, which springs from the seed scattered 
by the writer's pen. Instruction should be inscribed, not 
in books, but on the soul. But this is a task beyond 
writings and those speeches in which words are reeled off in 
" rhapsodist fashion," without question and answer, with no 
purpose beyond that of persuasion. They merely provide 
aids towards the recollection of what has already been 
communicated, by the living utterance of one who carefully 
chooses his auditor, takes account of his stage of prepared- 
ness, answers his objections, and thus produces truly 
unassailable convictions. Other speeches and writings are 
mere " shadows ; " the composition of them is at the best a 
" noble pastime," and not a really serious business. It is 
the Socratic cross-questioning that is here glorified. Second 
in rank, though at a long interval — thus we may read 
between the lines — comes the literary imitation of oral 
teaching, the dialogue as manipulated by Plato. This, too, 
makes no slight demand on the intellectual co-operation of 
the reader, and, to the extent of what is possible, restrains 
him from the merely passive or verbal reception of instruc- 
tion. This passage has been regarded, not without justice, 
as giving the key to the chief characteristics of the Platonic 
dialogues, which so often leave the final result unpro- 
nounced, which weave riddles " out of contradictions," and 
scatter hints " which can be perceived and understood only 
by those who really search for themselves." The dialogue 
closes with a greeting to the philosophically minded young 
orator Isocrates, and with a prayer to the divinities of the 
place, in which the only boon craved is the inward beauty 
of the soul. 

3. That which most arouses our admiration in this work 


is the depth of the perspective which it opens out to us. 
The philosopher, or lover of wisdom — and this at once 
proud and modest title is claimed for himself by Plato, 
speaking by the mouth of Socrates, at the close of the 
work — is able to assign everything to its right place. He 
does not particularly value the instrument of the orator 
and author, but neither does he entirely despise it ; he does 
not load it with abuse and obloquy, as he had done in the 
" Gorgias." Behind the master of rhetorical artifices there 
now stands the dialectician and psychologist, behind whom 
again is the man, filled with enthusiasm, disdainful of all 
that is ignoble, aiming at the highest ends. Plato knows 
that no collection of writers' tricks or mere routine makes 
the great author ; he knows that the richest development 
of intelligence, a wide survey of things, and a deep insight 
into the nature of the human soul, are additional requisites, 
and that all this again is valueless unless a strong per- 
sonality, raised in every way above the common level, 
possesses both the means of style and ability to wield those 
weighty weapons of the intellect. It is in the expression 
given to this knowledge — as we have already hinted at the 
beginning of the chapter — that the true kernel and im- 
perishable value of the dialogue consists. Thus conceived, 
its value is incalculable, even for him who no longer 
believes in the existence of metaphysical entities, and to 
whom the philosophic love of youths appears as a grotesque 
garment in which an ideal sense of beauty and an imagi- 
native enthusiasm were once enclosed. In one respect only 
is the " Phsedrus " open to the charge of injustice, and that 
is in its treatment of Lysias. With an unerring eye Plato 
picks out a rhetorical exercise which at once bears a famous 
name on its front, and exhibits all the defects which he 
would proscribe — frivolity instead of highmindedness, shal- 
lowness instead of deep thought, irregular though not 
purposeless jumbling instead of orderly arrangement of 
ideas. To the objection — had it been urged against him — 
that he was applying to a piece of mental gymnastics a 
standard of judgment inappropriate to such productions, 
Plato would probably have answered that intellectual and 


moral habits should not be cultivated in sport which may- 
do harm in earnest. 

The fact remains not a little singular that the philosopher 
should have deemed it desirable to pillory the little practice- 
speech of a great master and with it the author himself The 
explanation is probably to be found in Plato's antipathy to 
Lysias — a feeling which sprang from several sources. The 
near kinsman of Critias and Charmides could hardly be ex- 
pected to regard with sympathy the energetic democrat who 
displayed the utmost zeal in the contest with those oligarchs. 
Nor were the peculiar artistic excellences of the Lysianic 
oratory of a kind to win Plato's approval. Lysias was a 
virtuoso whose skill lay in the subtle and the minute. 
Grandeur, pathos, fervour, and all that savours of elevation, 
were foreign to his nature. On the other hand, he pos- 
sessed an unrivalled faculty of adapting the tone and style 
of a forensic speech to the idios5Ticrasies of his client. 
Now he appears wearing a mask of nafve, uncultured bon- 
homie in the character of a deceived husband belonging to 
the lower middle class ; now he plays the part of a needy old 
pensioner who makes a jest of his poverty while pleading for 
an increase of his meagre allowance from the State. This 
art of character-drawing, for which Lysias was deservedly 
famous among the ancients, was by no means to Plato's 
taste. We are not here dependent on inference. The 
author of the " Republic " specifically proscribes the faculty 
of assuming any and every form at will, of reproducing the 
ignoble and the trivial in perfect imitations ; in which con- 
nexion he expressly bans the orator as well as the poet 
Nor was his antipathy towards all that is "banausic" and 
illiberal greater in any epoch of his life than in that when 
he wrote the " Symposium " and " Phaedrus," and in these 
works unfurled the banner at once of exalted passion and 
of transcendental philosophy. The gates of heaven are 
opened, and before the splendour which pours out from 
them not only the petty art of Lysias pales, but the whole 
species of rhetoric which the ancients named "meagre " or 
"slender." There remains a possibility, not worthy of more 
than passing mention, that personal friction may have 


accentuated an antagonism the roots of which lay deep in 
the natures of the two men. The democratically minded 
Lysias, even when writing in defence of Socrates, may 
have drawn a distinction between the philosopher and his 
aristocratic friends, say Critias or Alcibiades, to the dis- 
advantage of the latter. Another pupil of Socrates, 
iEschines, was attacked by him in a forensic speech with 
no less wit than refined malice — a fact to which the fellow- 
disciples could not be indifferent. Lastly, we have the 
attack upon Alcibiades contained in the two speeches 
against his son. But we prefer to lay no stress on the 
virulent abuse here poured out on the man who in Plato's 
works appears among the most intimate associates of 
Socrates, seeing that the Lysianic authorship of the 
speeches in question is not yet definitively established. 

Much of that which, in Lysias, repelled Plato was likely 
to attract him, at least temporarily, to Isocrates. The 
latter, as we learn more especially from his " Areopagiticus," 
was an opponent of pure democracy. In his speech " On 
the Pair of Horses" he casts a halo over the figure of 
Alcibiades. He had been familiar with Socrates, and some 
of his works are illuminated by the reflexion of this com- 
panionship. Lastly, he must have been brought near to 
Plato by their common antagonism to Antisthenes. We 
need not, therefore, be surprised to find the philosopher 
using him in his contest with Lysias as a kind of foil. We 
should not, indeed, make too much of the prophecy which 
Plato puts into Socrates' mouth at the end of the dialogue : 
Isocrates will leave all other orators far behind him ; as 
there is something of the philosopher in him already, and 
as he is of a far nobler disposition than Lysias, it would 
not be surprising if he were to go over to philosophy alto- 
gether. Those who agree with us in not regarding the 
" Phaedrus " as a work of early youth — a supposition which 
is sufficiently negatived by the Orphic-Pythagorean con- 
ception of the destiny of the soul — will not imagine that 
Plato seriously anticipated the fulfilment of this prophecy. 
He wrote in mature manhood (as Cicero pointed out long 
ago with perfect justice), and he could not expect the 


development of Isocrates, who was his senior by nearly a 
decade, to take an entirely new direction. To this extent 
the prediction contains an expression of regret ; it is a 
compliment not without a touch of condescension. 

In truth Isocrates (436-338) was a particularly typical 
example of what has been called " a great man with limi- 
tations." Moreover, his limitations were bound up most 
intimately with his greatness. Without much wealth of 
ideas, he was an artist in language of the first rank. He 
freed Greek prose from the hampered gait and measured 
stiffness of its earlier representatives. He created the great 
smoothly rolling period— the monotonous symmetry of 
which, it must be admitted, has at times a soporific effect 
upon the reader. Now, of all one-sided talents, virtuosity 
of style is perhaps the one which leads the most easily to 
the over-appreciation of its possessor, both by himself and 
others. He who can express thoughts with more than 
common skill, and shape them with more than common 
smoothness and dignity, will hardly escape sharing with the 
great public the delusion that he is a wholesale producer of 
thoughts. And if such an artist in style rises, in his capacity 
of original thinker, high enough above the average level to 
impress, but not high enough to shock his contemporaries, 
his success is likely to be complete and permanent. But the 
strong feeling of self-satisfaction thus aroused, combined with 
a not wholly repressible consciousness of an inward void, 
moves the stylist to look with an eye of disfavour on those 
who equal him in mastery over speech, and far surpass him 
in power of thought. Such, in later years, was the relation 
of Isocrates to Plato. The quondam advocate, who had 
abandoned his old calling and wished it to be forgotten, 
had become the head of a distinguished school of rhetoric. 
In this position he believed himself to have rendered signal 
service to Athens and the whole of Greece, not only as the 
educator of numerous statesmen and authors, but also — a 
less well-founded claim — by his many-sided activity as a 
publicist. Of Plato's genius and its far-reaching influence 
he had no conception. Sarcastic phrases were bandied about 
between the two, but it is more particularly in the works 


of Isocrates that we find unfriendly allusions to the greater 
of the two rivals. Sometimes, true " philosopher " as he 
imagines himself to be, and fully conscious of his own 
immediate success, he looks down from the height of his 
superiority on the inventor of barren theories. Elsewhere 
he extends to the " princes of the contentious art " the same 
condescending patronage as to the mathematicians and 
astronomers ; he reluctantly admits that these men, who 
keep youths to their school-tasks longer than other teachers, 
do contribute, at least indirectly, towards the preparation of 
their pupils for life, by sharpening their wits and exercising 
their faculties. The bitterest expressions of his antipathy 
were posterior to the death of Plato, whose " Republic " and 
" Laws " were branded by him as "sophistical " humbug. 

4. The final compliment to Isocrates does not stand 
quite alone. Long ago certain instances have been noticed 
of almost verbal agreement between the " Phsedrus " and 
Isocrates' " Speech against the Sophists." With the majority 
of specialists, we hold that Plato is here the borrower, and 
that he desires to show his friendliness to Isocrates by 
this reminiscence of his writings. There is a no less striking 
resemblance between several passages of the " Phsedrus " 
and certain expressions of Alcidamas, a pupil of Gorgias, 
in his speech "against the Sophists,'' where the subject 
is the praise of improvisation as against written speeches. 
Here, again, chance is hardly to be thought of, and this 
time the borrower, if there is one, is most certainly Alci- 
damas. It is most probably to his attacks that a reply is 
made in the " Panegyric " of Isocrates. These circum- 
stances, if we have represented them correctly, enable us 
to circumscribe the date of our dialogue within fairly narrow 
bounds. It would follow that the " Phasdrus " was written 
a few years after 390 and before 380. For the speech of 
Isocrates " against the Sophists " was composed not ' long 
after 390, and his " Panegyric " in 380. 

A much more difficult question to decide is that whether 
the " Phaedrus " preceded or followed the " Symposium," 
a work which was written later than 384, and which may 
be rightly inferred, from the close relationship of its 


contents, to be of approximately the same date. That 
the " Symposium " is the later of the two, is a conclusion 
readily suggested by the greater advance which we find in 
this dialogue towards the refining and purifying of erotic 
sentiment. The argument, however, is not convincing, for 
the difference might very well have its cause in a 'change 
of mood. But it is the following consideration that leads 
us entirely to distrust this traditional reasoning : In a 
passage of the "Symposium" which we have already 
mentioned Plato looks up, with as yet unabated admiration, 
to the great poets and lawgivers, a Homer and a Hesiod, a 
Solon and a Lycurgus, to emulate whom is the philosopher's 
endeavour, and to equal whom is the highest goal of his 
ambition. Near the end of the " Phsedrus," on the other 
hand, where he declares war upon authorship in general, he 
looks down from his height of attainment upon the authors 
of poems and of legislations, among whom he expressly 
names Homer and Solon. He thus not only removes him- 
self to a considerably greater distance from the current 
Greek estimate, — an estimate not foreign to his own youthful 
works ; he not only displays a stronger feeling of self- 
assurance ; he also gives expression to a mode of thinking 
which is essentially retained in his chief work, the " Re- 
public," where he banishes the poets and strikes out entirely 
new paths in legislation. 

Still more serious difficulties await us when we seek to 
establish the chronological relationship of the " Phaedrus " 
to the dialogue which is to occupy us next — the " Phaedo." 
That the last-named is the later of the two is a conclusion 
for which there is internal evidence of a most convincing 
kind. It is not merely that in the " Phsedo " the doctrine 
of ideas is treated as one which has already been the sub- 
ject of much discussion, and has long been familiar, almost 
to the point of becoming a commonplace, to the wide circle 
of readers to which the work is addressed. More than this, 
the demonstrations which make up the whole content of 
the dialogue rest throughout on that doctrine. In the 
" PhEdrus," on the other hand, the main feature of Plato's 
system is introduced, almost shyly, as though it were a 


perfect novelty, or nearly so, with the words, " For one 
really ought to venture to speak the truth, especially in 
speaking about truths." 

But the priority of date thus indicated for the " Phaedrus " 
is contradicted by the criteria derived from language and 
style. A riddle is presented to us, the final solution of 
which has not yet been obtained. Still, to renounce, on 
this account, all faith in the linguistic criteria, is more than 
any sensible investigator would easily consent to do. The 
agreement of these criteria with those arising out of the 
subject-matter is all but complete, in respect both of 
the purely Socratic dialogues and of the numerous works 
of Plato's old age. The theory of gravitation was not 
abandoned because in the first instance it explained only the 
main facts of the planetary motions, and did not account 
for all the perturbations. Similarly, the present problem 
would appear to be partly one of perturbations ; here, too, 
it may well be that the direct action of the dominant causes 
is masked and modified by subsidiary influences. Who 
would ever expect, in the case of any writings whatever, 
that the operation of arranging them chronologically, by the 
test of the author's stylistic development, would yield a 
perfectly definite and consistent result ; that the sum would 
work out without remainder } There are two possibilities 
which should not be lost sight of in such cases. A work 
may be long brooded over in the mind, and yet receive its 
clothing of language some time after another work much 
later in conception. Secondly, a work which is the earlier 
of two in composition and publication may, especially if its 
reception has been particularly favourable, have been 
subjected by the author to a process of revision, and may 
reach posterity only in its later garb. That precisely this 
latter was the fate of the " Phsedrus " is a view the 
probability of which the present author has already main- 
tained elsewhere. 




I. In the "Symposium" the doctrine of ideas finds only a 
limited application ; in the " Phaedrus " it has entered into 
relations with psychology, the theory of knowledge, and 
ethics ; in the " Phsedo " it completely dominates Plato's 
thought. Here, too, we meet for the first time the technical 
term (aSoe) by which these supernatural entities are to be 
henceforth designated ; they now include not only concepts 
of values, ethical and aesthetic, but universals of every 
character and rank ; lastly, some attention is now given to 
the relations of the ideas to each other, their compatibilities 
and incompatibilities, as well as to the mode in which 
individual things participate in them. With all this the 
circumstance well agrees that the doctrine of ideas is here 
spoken of as one which has already been much debated, 
and which is trite and familiar to the interlocutors — there- 
fore also to the readers. In a word, Plato's mind has 
become thoroughly imbued with the doctrine of ideas, which 
now, if we may use the expression, not only fills the main 
arteries of his philosophical system, but has penetrated into 
its finest capillaries. 

Accordingly, the exposition of this doctrine is now freed 
from the last remnant of mythical disguise ; it lies plain and 
naked before us. As long as we confine ourselves to the 
" Symposium " and the " Phaedrus," it remains possible, if 
we are put to it, to explain the substantial existence of the 
ideas as a mere figure of speech ; when we come to the 
"Phaedo," all such expedients or evasions become in- 
admissible. The future life of the soul is made an inference 
from its previous existence, and this again is inferred from 


that vision of the archetypes which was vouchsafed to it in 
such previous existence. This brings us to the true kernel 
of the dialogue — a mighty structure, lavishly adorned with 
all the resources of art, the form of which excites our 
highest admiration in spite of the objections to which its 
argumentative content gives occasion. 

The dialogue, of which the scene is laid in the prison 
of Socrates, is enclosed, as in a frame, by a subsidiary 
dialogue, which occupies the beginning, the middle, and the 
end of the work. At Phlius in the Peloponnese, a remote 
and little-visited town, Echecrates requests Phaedo, the 
loved disciple of Socrates (cf. Vol. II. p. 205), to give him an 
account of the master's last hours, and of the conversation 
which, according to report, he then held with his pupils. 
Plato is named as not having been present among the 
latter — a clear hint that the narrative lays no claim to 
historical accuracy in every particular. From early morning 
till close upon sunset, the moment when he drains the cup 
of hemlock, Socrates discourses with the company of friends 
around him, displaying as he does so the utmost calm and 
composure, the most untroubled confidence — that temper, 
in short, which has made the " Phsedo " a book of edifica- 
tion for mankind. It is precisely this cheerfulness in the 
face of death and of separation from friends and kin which 
moves the disciples to pained surprise. They ask Socrates 
to justify his demeanour. In response, he enters upon a 
series of disquisitions, in which the whole of life is repre- 
sented as a preparation for death, corporeal existence as an 
imprisonment of the soul, all the desires of the body as so 
many hindrances to pure knowledge, and yearning for death 
as a state of mind both natural and becoming to the wise 

The dialogue thus centres in the question as to the con- 
tinued existence of the soul after separation from the body. 
The task of proof is one which Plato is far from taking 
lightly. Simmias and Cebes, two young Thebans who had| 

formerly been pupils of the Pythagorean Philo laus. are cast 
for the opposition, and they play their part with such per- 
sistent thoroughness, with such ample resources of ingenious 


and penetrating criticism, that Socrates is compelled to 
ascend from weaker proofs to stronger, and from these again 
to the strongest of all, those which Plato himself deems 
irresistible. These arguments pro and con, the examination 
and illustration of them, will occupy us later. But it may 
be observed at once that the alternate exposition of them, 
the unwearied energy with which the tournament of 
demonstrations is fought to a finish, fulfils a double purpose. 
The conclusions finally reached are offered as the fruit of a 
conflict of opinions which the contestants have waged with- 
out fear or favour, unrestrained even by the wish to spare 
the feelings of the master so soon to be taken from them. 
Conclusions so arrived at appear invested with the highest 
possible degree of objective certainty. In the second place, 
Plato represents Socrates as lending a ready ear to all 
possible objections against a doctrine which at the moment 
must lie nearest his heart, as even pressing his friends to 
urge their doubts without concealment, as declaring im- 
placable war upon all " misology," that is, hatred of dis- 
course, or better, distaste for the critical examination of 
beliefs. Plato could not have paid more magnificent 
homage to the true philosophic spirit, or raised a nobler 
monument to the beloved master whom he thus depicts. 
Many readers of the " Phado " may be inclined to think the 
proofs of immortality unconvincing. Many of us may be 
repelled by the ascetic aloofness from life which is its funda- 
mental note. But no enemy of intellectual obscurantism, 
no one who is filled with the genuine spirit of truth-seeking, 
can hear this gospel of the unlimited liberty of thought 
without bowing the knee in reverence. 

2. The "Phaedo" is thus first and foremost an ex- 
pression of fearless and tireless striving for the attainment 
of reasoned convictions. But the emotions and the imagina- 
tion are by no means sent empty away. When the first 
two proofs have been dealt with, and an end made of the 
religious and ethical exhortations connected with them, a 
solemn silence ensues, and Socrates himself sinks into mute 
reverie. At this culminating point of the dialogue we seem 
to hear Plato's heart beating with an unwonted throb. He 


is deeply moved, and his emotion betrays itself in the 
manner customary with truly great authors. Image on 
image, thought on thought, rises from the perturbed depths 
of his soul as from an inexhaustible spring. 

The case of those whose souls are no longer "nailed 
and glued " to their bodies, but who yet continue to cling 
to the pleasures by which they are entangled afresh in 
corporeal existence — the case of such is illustrated by 
Penelope's endless and fruitless labour at the loom. When 
the other participants in the debate delay the expression 
of their remaining doubts, out of consideration for Socrates, 
the latter reminds them of the swans, whose song rises 
clear and jubilant in the hour of death ; they are the 
servants of Apollo the god of prophecy, and, being them- 
selves prescient, they anticipate no evil at that time. The 
possibility that the soul may be long-lived, and yet not 
immortal, is illustrated by an ingenious comparison. Per- 
haps the soul, with its long series of incarnations, may 
resemble a weaver who makes and wears a number of 
garments in succession. Many of these he will wear out 
and survive, but at last one of them, which he has woven 
in his old age, will survive him. If we cannot find some 
•'divine word" which will carry us through the ocean of 
life like a trusty vessel, then, we are told, it behoves us to 
take the best and most tenable of human proofs, and let 
them be our raft — a comparison which would certainly 
suggest to the Greek mind the image of Ulysses escaping 
from shipwreck. Seeing his friends flag in their efforts, 
Socrates addresses them, as a general might his " defeated 
and fleeing troops," and rallies them for. a new attempt. 
He strokes caressingly the fair locks of Phaedo, who is 
sitting on a stool by his side, and remarks that to-morrow 
those locks must be shorn. " But do not mourn for me," 
so we may paraphrase his next words, " Rather let the hair 
of both of us be shorn to-day, if our argument dies, and we 
cannot call it back to life." The chief obstacle to success 
in such an endeavour, unwillingness to test beliefs, or 
" hatred of discourse," is compared to hatred of mankind ; 
the cause of both is blind confidence, the disillusions which 


inevitably follow that state of mind, and the resulting 
embitterment. Thus the discussion flows on with a continual 
variety of graceful turns and profound thoughts, till at last 
out of the conflict of arguments, as from the "eddies 
and surge of the Euripus," there emerges the last and 
strongest proof, that with which Plato is satisfied. 

A firm foundation having been found for the belief that 
the soul is indestructible, inferences are drawn relating to 
the care of it during life. For if death were the end of all, 
it would indeed be a " windfall for the wicked," who would 
be rid of their soul and their wickedness along with their 
body. But the soul is immortal, and takes with it to Hades 
its "education and nutriment," on which its weal or woe 
depends. The account of the world below is prefaced by 
a description of the earth as a sphere freely suspended in 
space (this Pythagorean doctrine was first promulgated by 
Parmenides ; cf. Vol. I. p. 182), and this state of suspension 
is explained by a theory due to Anaximander, as caused 
by the equilibrium of the earth and the homogeneity of 
the heavens (cf Vol. I. p. 51). The dwellings of men are 
not, as commonly supposed, on the surface of the earth, but 
in depressions, where the waters gather together, where the 
air is less clear and pure, where the very rocks are corrupted 
and corroded. We dwell round the Mediterranean "like 
frogs round a marsh, and many others dwell elsewhere in 
many similar places. . . . But the earth itself lies pure in 
the pure heaven, which is commonly called the ether." The 
illusion we experience is compared to that of imaginary 
beings dwelling at the bottom of the sea, and thinking the 
sea heaven because they see the sun and other celestial 
bodies through it. If we could grow wings and rise to the 
boundary of the grosser air, then, "like fishes which leap 
from the water," we should see our portion of the earth, as 
well as the true heaven, the true light, and the true earth. 
And that which the sea-bottom, with its fissures and sand and 
infinite slime, is, compared with the earth and its loveliness, 
such is the world we know compared with that upper part. 
There all colours are far more brilliant, all plants more 
glorious, and the mountains are composed of precious stones. 


This imaginative picture, to which Plato himself assigns 
only the value of a conjecture, probably made a stronger 
impression on his first readers than on us, who are to some 
extent reminded of the tales of the Thousand and One 
Nights. It is an outcome of Plato's thirst for beauty, which, 
in this work so remote from all passion and sensuality, could 
only find satisfaction in the execution of a brilliant picture 
of the world. Such a picture, too, forms an effective foil to 
the terrors of Tartarus, which are here described shortly 
but with great vigour. With the penalties of the evil-doers 
is contrasted the reward of the good, who pass from the 
lower world to the earth, and finally attain a purely incor- 
poreal existence. This latter is spent by them in dwelling- 
places the description of which is not attempted. The 
dialogue closes with the equally simple and noble account of 
Socrates' last moments, with which the educated world is 
familiar (cf. Vol. II. p. no). 

3. The first observation we have to make relates to the 
emotional effectiveness of the " Phasdo." This would have 
been greater if the confidence displayed by Socrates in the 
attainment of future blessedness had been somewhat less. 
At any rate, we are more deeply moved by the equally 
cheerful courage in face of death depicted in the " Apology," 
where Socrates knows nothing of any such hope, and is even 
unwilling to decide the question whether a dreamless sleep 
awaits him, to be followed by no waking, or a residence in the 
realm of shadows. But the value of the " Phaedo " as a philo- 
sophic work of art is incomparable. Indeed, it may be said 
to bear the impress of all Plato's excellences ; in it we find 
united all that adorns his other writings, with none of the 
excrescences by which some of them are disfigured. The 
dialogue marks a stage of adjustment in Plato's develop- 
ment. The acute dialectician and the imaginative poet, 
the fervid votary of free intellectual inquiry, and the enthu- 
siast glowing with intense religious emotion, — all these 
characters appear side by side, and none finds room at the 
expense of another ; their voices combine in a harmony 
which is marred by no false note, not even that of harshness 
and injustice. The " Phsedo " is free from manifestations of 


that Platonic hate which, though less celebrated than Pla- 
tonic love, is hardly less important. Such an equilibrium of 
qualities and powers occurs but once or twice in the career 
of even the most highly gifted. Nor was it permanent with 
Plato. When he wrote the " Phaedo " he still cherished a 
firm belief that the utmost acuteness and boldness in argu- 
ment could only strengthen, and not shake, his ethical and 
religious convictions. A time came when he perceived his 
error. That spirit of doubt which, in the " Phaedo," did no 
more than dig deep the foundations for a mighty edifice of 
thought, was destined, in its later activity, to undermine the 
stability of the whole fabric. The sceptical utterances of 
the " Parmenides " are followed, in the " Sophist " and the 
"Statesman," by attempts at revision and adaptation. 
Finally, Plato rescues his dearest possessions from the 
storms of dialectic, which latter he abandons together 
with toleration and freedom of thought ; the " misology " 
proscribed in the " Phsedo " is enthroned in the " Laws," 
and Socrates, the embodiment of cross-questioning, dis- 
appears from the stage. 

Such an epoch of reconciliation and harmonious adjust- 
ment naturally occurs midway in the course of a thinker's 
development. We have just had occasion to notice how far 
the " Phaedo " is removed from the " Laws," the terminal 
point of Plato's philosophic activity. But it is also separated 
from his starting-point, that is, from the " Protagoras " 
group, by a considerable interval of time. It contains 
unmistakable retrospective references to the " Meno " which 
are universally recognized. And it may be regarded as 
established that the " Meno " presupposes the " Protagoras " 
(cf Vol. II. p. 374). The same result may also be obtained 
by direct comparison. That prudential theory of ethics 
which is expounded, though not without reservation, in the 
closing portion of the " Protagoras," recurs in the " Phsedo," 
but the virtue to which it leads is here pronounced a 
" shadowy image " of the true virtue which rests on inward 
purification ; it is a " slavish disposition of mind," a chastity 
born of inchastity, a courage springing from cowardice. 
Plato now regards such virtues as a mere substitute, which 


may suit the great mass, but is unworthy of the wise. This 
violent tone will be softened again in course of time. The 
excursions of the pendulum to right and left will be followed 
by a halt midway ; in the " Laws " the morality which 
rests on Hedonism is accorded an honourable, if sub- 
ordinate, position, by the side of that which has an idealistic 
basis (cf. Vol. II. p. 323). We may observe, in passing, that 
the " Euthyphro " must also have preceded the " Phaedo," 
for in the latter, exactly as in the " Republic," piety is not 
numbered among the chief virtues — a feature which is 
doubly striking in view of the predominantly religious tone 
of the dialogue, and cannot possibly be due to chance 
(cf. Vol. II. p. 363). The posterior limit of date is determined 
by those passages in the sixth and seventh books of the 
" Republic " in which we can hardly avoid seeing an example 
of self-correction on Plato's part. The reference is to the 
principle of method set forth in the " Phaedo," according to 
which we rise from one hypothesis to another more com- 
prehensive than the first, and, in the case of each hypothesis, 
examine its consequences as to their agreement or disagree- 
ment. The above-mentioned books of the " Republic," on 
the contrary, warn us not to rest satisfied with hypotheses, 
but rather to use them as instruments, as finger-posts meant 
to indicate to us the way towards higher principles which are 
no longer hypothetical. 

How completely the Orphic-Pythagorean mode of 
thought had taken possession of Plato when he wrote the 
" Phaedo," is clearly shown, even by our short sketch of the . 
dialogue. The " pool of slime " of the Orphics is expressly 
mentioned ; so is the Pythagorean transference of human 
souls to brute bodies, and that in accordance with the 
inward relationship of the souls to the different animal 
species, so that, for example, robbers and tyrants become 
wolves, hawks, and vultures, with more transformations of 
a similar order (compare our account of the " Phaedrus," 
p. 19). 

The attitude adopted in the "Phaedo" towards the 
question of the soul is altogether peculiar. In one of 
the proofs of immortality the soul is termed an absolutely 


simple substance, and is identified with the principle of 
knowledge. There results a contrast with the " Phaedrus," 
as well as with the " Republic " and the " Timaeus," all of 
which know the soul as tripartite. One is tempted, on this 
account, to assume an earlier phase of the Platonic 
psychology, and to assign to the " Phaedo " a position 
nearer in this respect to the purely Socratic dialogues and 
the intellectualism represented by them. But to develop 
this thought fully is to reject it. True Socratism knows 
nothing of the bad will, but only errors of the understand- 
ing. Every one wills the good ; the many who do not 
attain it are hindered by nothing but lack of knowledge. 
It is quite otherwise in the " Phaedo." Here the " irrational 
parts of the soul," to use Aristotle's expression, are so far 
from being ignored, that the life of the wise man rather 
appears as a perpetual conflict with desires, bom of the 
body, which stain the soul and seduce it to wrong-doing. 
How, then, we ask, could Plato yet pronounce the soul a 
simple entity, having pure reason for its essejjce ? We 
may answer this question somewhat as follows, f Plato has 
fallen into a very natural error, one by which popular 
phraseology is largely affected. He regards those functions 
of the soul which are obviously conditioned by the body as 
being really " affections of the body," and he so describes 
them. Even such active emotions as anger or ambition are 
here viewed in that light. Plato will allow nothing to be of 
the nature of soul, except what he deems immortal, and 
immortality, for him, belongs only to the rational principle 
in man, which is intended to bear rule in him. The main 
idea recurs, with greater clearness of conception, in the 
" Republic," and in its continuation, the " Timaeus," which 
distinguishes between three souls— the intellectual, residing 
in the head, and the lower souls of passion and desire, 
seated in the breast and the belly, while immortality is 
conceded only to the first and most excellent of them. 
Thus, in spite of the apparent cpQ.txadkt.iDiy the " Phaedo " 
stands nearer to the " Republic " and " Timaeus," in respect 
of the question of immortality, than it does to the " Phae- 
drus," which, by its image of the charioteer and the two 


horses, acknowledges the tripartite nature of the soul in its 
prenatal existence as well as, indirectly, in its future life, 
and does not ascribe immortality solely to the rational 

How, then, are we to interpret the fact that in the 
description of the under-world, which forms the closing 
portion of the " Phaedo," souls appear which " by the magni- 
tude of their transgressions, by accumulated murders, by 
repeated and grievous sacrilege," have become " incurably " 
corrupt, and have therefore been banished to Tartarus for 
all eternity ? Can it really be that Plato is here thinking 
merely of an intellect which has been shattered beyond 
repair by a series of misdeeds and by the bodily desires 
which led to them ? This is not very probable, though it is 
not altogether impossible. But what are we to say of those 
other souls, also deeply corrupt yet not irremediably so, 
which are subjected to purifying punishments, which long 
for release, which cry for help and implore the pardon of 
those against whom they have sinned ? Much in this 
description may be mere mythical embellishment, but the 
souls represented as suffering torments from which they 
flee cannot, from the nature of the case, have been regarded 
by Plato as beings endowed only with thought ; he must 
have ascribed feeling and action to them as well. rWe are 
justified, therefore, in asserting that while Plato does indeed 
teach, in general terms, the exclusive immortality of the 
single-natured rational soul, he departs from this doctrine 
in the details of his exposition ; overpowered by the anthro- 
pomorphic instinct, which craves for these beings also the 
full attributes of personality, he endows and complicates the 
intellectual principle with elements of emotion and de sire, f 
Perhaps, if questioned on the point, he would have replied 
that those souls still had a remnant of corporeality clinging 
to them ; just as he really asserts, in respect of the souls 
which wander, ghost-like, about graveyards; that they are 
not sufficiently detached from materiality, by which they 
are permeated, and thus, having still some share in visi- 
bility, have been seen by men. In that case, those as yet 
incompletely purified souls of the under-world would, though 


in a less degree than the souls upon earth, bear some 
resemblance to the sea-god Glaucus (to quote a fine simile 
from the " Republic "), parts of whose body were broken 
off or worn off, and the defect supplied by incrustations of 
shellfish, stones, and seaweed. 

4. The proofs of immortality offered in the "Phsedo" 
are three in number, as Hermann Bonitz has shown in a 

I masterly analysis of the work, and all are based on the 
doctrine of ideas. Here, however, we have to note an im- 
portant difference. The two first proofs, which are sent, as 
it were, to bear the brunt of the attack, borrow their 
premisses only in part from the doctrine of ideas. For the 
rest, Plato supports them, deliberately and consciously, by 
principles belonging to his predecessors, the nature-philo- 
sophers. For this reason those proofs are not regarded by 
him as unconditionally valid, and for the same reason the 
third argument, conceived by him as possessing irresistible 
cogency, is made to follow the first two at a considerable 
interval and clearly separated from them. Plato's manner 
of effecting this separation is highly artistic and ingenious. 
The barrier of division is not formed solely by the controversy 
on the objections raised by Simmias and Cebes. |The real 
transition is supplied by an account of Socrates' intellectual 
development, the aim and object of which is to justify his 
abandonment of nature-study for the investigation of con- 
cepts, and thus to indicate that the third proof depends 
exclusively on the latter, without owing anything to physical 
speculation. The turning-point in this mental history is 
placed at the time when Socrates first made the acquaint- 
ance of the Anaxagorean doctrine of mind — a doctrine which 
at first inspired him with enthusiasm, but soon left him dis- 
illusioned, because the sage of Clazomense, though placing 
in the forefront the rational principle that promised so 
much, made only an inadequate use of it in his explanations. 
He, too, had been chiefly at pains to discover physical or 
{mechanical, not final causes (cf. Vol. I. p. 216). 

The main question, for Socrates, is not the agency 
Ifthrough which anything happens, but the reason why it 
ijhappens ; the true cause of everything is purpose, directed 


towards the best. But the traditional mode of viewing 
nature does not lead to a knowledge of such true causes, 
rather to a knowledge of that "without which the cause 
could not be a cause." It is much as if some one, instead 
of explaining the fact of Socrates being seated here in 
prison by his condemnation and his conviction that flight 
would be wrong, were to attribute it to his possession of 
bones and sinews and other parts which enable him to sit ; 
or as if the causes of the dialogue now in progress were 
stated to be sound, air, hearing, and so forth. A certain 
amount of biographical fact may be interwoven with 
this narrative, but its main purpose is to exhibit the 
exclusive validity of the Socratic and Platonic method of 
inquiry. As the story proceeds it is associated with an 
exposition of certain speculati,ve difficulties, which points in 
the same direction. 

At this point Socrates' abandonment of natural for 
mental philosophy is illustrated by a brilliant simile. The 
contemplation of the universe, he remarks, produced upon 
him a blinding effect, such as is experienced by one who 
fixes his gaze upon the sun, say for the purpose of observing 
a solar eclipse. Just as that observer would look away from 
the great luminary to its " reflexion in water or some similar 
substance," so Socrates turned from things to concepts. 
Not that he is for a moment ready to admit — as Plato im- 
mediately adds, to correct the injustice of the comparison — 
that concepts are a paler copy of true reality than the things 
of sense. 

Reduced to its tersest expression, the first proof of 
immortality runs as follows : The world-process consists 
of an alternation of contraries (the doctrine of HeracHtus) ; 
the earthly existence of the human soul was preceded by a 
life of an opposite character, which included the vision of 
the ideas ; it must therefore be followed by another such 
life in the future. 

This cyclic character of all processes is brought out in a 
highly ingenious manner. Without cease or intermission, it 
is urged, there goes on an alternation of heat and cold, of 
sleep and waking, of the mixture and the separation of 


substances. If the course of nature followed only one 
direction, it would lead in the end to an eternal sameness 
and stagnation ; the universe would sink into a sleep of 
Endymion. The argument reminds us of the modern 
doctrine of entropy, which teaches the final extinction of all 
sensible motion by its conversion into molecular motion in 
the form of heat— a process which cannot be completely 
reversed. One might, indeed, be inclined to suppose that 
the circulation of matter was sufficient to prevent such a 
" lameness " of nature in respect of the organic and the 
inorganic world, while the alternating conditions of the soul, 
now parted from the body, now reattached to it, present no 
accurate counterpart to the above-mentioned processes of 
change. But though the analogy may be inexact and the 
reasoning based on it inconclusive, the fact remains that 
this argument appeals, in its first part, to real features of the 
order of nature, and that it is only the second premiss 
which is borrowed from the specifically Platonic theory of 

The second proof has the following form : All decay 
is a dissolution of the composite ; all that is simple, on 
the contrary, is indissoluble, and therefore imperishable ; 
the ideas, which have their existence in themselves, are 
absolutely simple ; the knowing subject and the object of 
knowledge are essentially similar to each other (a doctrine 
taught by Empedocles and others) ; therefore the soul, 
which knows the ideas, is also simple — that is to say, 
indissoluble and likewise imperishable. The relations to 
the doctrines of the nature-philosophers extend further 
than we have here indicated. For the proposition that all 
perishing is dissolution, or division of the compounded, was 
asserted, as the reader will remember, by Anaxagoras and 
Empedocles, and by them emphatically contrasted with the 
popular view that things really perish (cf. Vol. I. pp. 210, 
232), while the denial of all true genesis and annihilation 
was a common doctrine of the physicists in general. Plato 
himself, as we have already remarked, was not perseveringly 
consistent on the soul's simplicity. Such simplicity was hard 
to harmonize with psychological facts, and the difficulty 


is nowhere more manifest than in that passage of the 
" RepubHc " in which the threefold division of the soul is 
maintained in respect of its life on earth while linked with 
the body, and denied in respect of its independent existence. 
Still, the doctrine of simplicity won the upper hand later 
on, and its predominance has lasted down to our day. It 
is only in recent times that it has been seriously impugned, 
and that cases of "double consciousness" and kindred 
phenomena have been invoked against the supposed un- 
compounded nature of the soul. 

Before Plato develops his third, and, in his own 
view, conclusive argument, he presents us with a dis- 
cussion, ending in a refutation, of a rival theory — one 
which was afterwards championed by Peripatetics such as 
Aristoxenus and Dicaearchus, and which was possibly due 
to Philolaus. According to this theory, the soul is a 
harmony of the body, or, as it is expressed elsewhere, of 
the four elements composing the body. The comparison 
here shadowed forth between the soul and the concordant 
sounds elicited from a musical instrument appears to 
rest on the following considerations : As the immaterial 
harmonies take their rise from the material strings of 
the lyre, so the operations of the soul have their origin 
in the bodily organs. In either case the invisible and 
intangible proceeds from the visible and tangible, the fine 
from the coarse, the highly valuable from the comparatively 
valueless. With equal right the psychical element in man 
might be compared to the delightful fragrance wafted from 
an uncomely plant. The principal purpose which the analogy 
served was doubtless that of breaking down the assumption 
that psychical processes are of higher than merely corporeal 
origin, and the essential part of the doctrine was clearly 
the thesis that the workings of the soul are the effects of 
bodily causes ; that no special entity need be assumed 
as the vehicle and generator of those operations. It is, 
in a word, what is usually called the materialistic theory 
of the soul, except that it is free from the confusion of 
thought which regards the psychical functions as them- 
selves corporeal, and not merely as a product of the 


corporeal. It is thus not the heart of the theory, but only 
its outward vesture, which is touched by Plato's chief 
objection, namely, that virtue is a concord or harmony of 
the soul's functions, and would therefore be, by the theory 
in question, a "harmony of harmony," which is absurd. 
The materialistic view does not lose its right to existence 
till we come to a higher stage of thought, one for which 
the Cyrenaic school prepared the way, but on which no 
ancient thinker ever fully entered. That which really puts 
materialism out of court is the consideration that we know 
absolutely nothing of any matter which exists in and for 
itself; our analysis of facts cannot carry us further or 
dewier than to the phenomena of consciousness. 

The third argument rests on the principle of contra- 
diction : contradictory opposites exclude each other. 
Applied in the world of ideas, this is as much as to say 
that an idea cannot take up into itself the idea of its 
contrary. Indirect contradiction is treated similarly. The 
individual thing which has part in an idea (that is, a thing 
of which the idea is an essential attribute) is declared 
incapable of receiving into itself either the contrary idea or 
a thing which participates in the contrary idea. In such a 
case the choice lies between two possibilities : the thing will 
cease to be what it was, will perish as such ; otherwise it 
will turn aside and escape unharmed. If, for example, fire, 
which participates in the idea of heat, is brought near to 
snow, which participates in the idea of cold, then, either 
the fire will destroy the snow, or the snow the fire. With 
the soul, Plato argues, it is otherwise. The soul has part , 
in the idea of life ; the opposite of life is death ; the soul is 
therefore alien to death ; if, then, annihilation is brought 
near the soul, as it is to snow by fire or to fire by snow, the 
result is not that the soul perishes, but that it withdraws 
uninjured ; it is indestructible. 

5. The irony of fate has ordained that the proof prized 
most highly by its author should be the one in which an 
impartial critic finds the greatest weaknesses. The applica- 
tion made of the principle of contradiction to the world of 
ideas belongs to the mythology of concepts. The illustration 


of fire and snow is by no means a happy one. Heat 
and cold are not absolute, but relative determinations. 
Indeed, the snow formed from water, as a modern physicist 
might object, is hot in comparison with the snow of carbonic 
acid which is prepared in our laboratories. Nor can it be 
regarded as irrevocably established what is the essential 
attribute of a concrete thing. As regards the concluding 
portion of the argument, the choice lies between two inter- 
pretations which are equally fatal to its validity. I^ither, 
on the one hand, the soul, as the principle of life, is regarded 
from the first as immortal ; in which case the question is 
evaded, and the argument reduced to 3,_.jieii^w_Jj:i3id^iii; 
while appearing to advance, it merely changes its linguistie 
dress. Or else, if we adopt the not improbable view of a 
recent interpreter, Plato is guilty of a " fallacy." He starts 
from the assumption that the soul, being the vehicle of life, 
excludes " death, the opposite of life." From this, however, 
the only direct and legitimate inference is that the soul 
" in so far as, and as long as it exists, can only be alive 
and never dead." But Plato illegitimately infers the im-i 
mortality of the soul, in the sense of indestructibilityJ 
Criticism apart, it is worthy of remark that in the secona 
argument the soul signifies the principle of knowledge, but 
in the third the principle of life. Thus the last proof of 
immortality, as was perceived long ago, has an extensive 
range of application ; for it includes not human souls alone, 
nor even the souls of animals, but also the vital energy of 
plants, to which the ancients gave likewise the name of 
"soul." The comprehensive nature of the proof is not 
explicitly noticed in the " Phaedo," but the " Timseus " con- 
tains the doctrine that there is only a limited number of 
souls, and that these serve to animate and inform, succes- 
sively, organisms of the most diverse kinds. 

Plato sometimes regarded the soul, not only as the 
principle of life, but also as the principle of all motion, and 
he thence deduced its immortality. In this he followed in 
the footsteps of Alcmaeon (cf. Vol. I. p. 151, sqq.). The 
same idea is to be found in the " Phsedrus," and it recurs 
in a passage of the " Laws." The soul is regarded as the 


•' source and spring of all movement," as the " only self- 
moving thing," whereas everything else receives its motion 
from without. But that which has the source of its motion 
in itself, Plato contends, can neither begin nor cease to 
exist. In this proof, which is contained in the " Phsdrus," 
we also note the first clear manifestation of Plato's com- 
plete breach with the hylozoism (ascription of life to matter) 
of the old nature -philosophers, his degradation of matter to 
a lower plane (cf. Vol. I. p. 344)- 

As the doctrine of ideas is not mentioned in the " Laws," 
it is natural to suppose that the aged Plato had ceased to 
be satisfied with the demonstration, wholly built on that 
doctrine, which he had given in the " Phaedo." In the 
" Phaedrus," on the other hand, where the doctrine of ideas 
is a comparative novelty and the preaching of it a bold 
venture (cf. p. 28, seg.), he had not yet travelled so far as to 
make it the foundation of his most cherished religious con- 
victions. One stage of the journey from the " Phaedo " to 
the " Laws " is marked by a proof noticed in the tenth 
book of the " Republic," which also evidently failed to 
satisfy Plato permanently. Everything — this is the gist of 
the argument — is destroyed by badness, both of itself and 
of other things, not by what is good or indifferent ; but 
the soul survives its own deepest corruption ; no one dies 
of injustice, though this is the greatest malady of the soul ; 
how, then, can external causes of destruction have any power 
over it .■' For this reason it must be regarded as absolutely 
imperishable. It is hardly necessary to point out that the 
words " goodness " and " badness " are here employed partly 
in the moral sense, partly in the sense of fitness and un- 
fitness for the battle of existence. We shall be brought 
back to the subject when we come to consider the position 
occupied in Plato's system by the " idea of the good." 

We take our leave of the " Phaedo." But first we must 
call attention to a real . discovery — one proof against all 
contradiction — which appears within the limits of this 
dialogue. Plato is speaking of the recollection which the 
soul has of the impressions received by it during its pre- 
existence, and he takes occasion to formulate for the first 


time and to elucidate with unsurpassable clearness the two 
fundamental laws governing the association of ideas — the 
law of similarity and the law of contiguity. Similar images, 
and images which have been perceived side by side or in 
immediate succession, tend to reproduce each other in the 
mind. Our recollections of a lyre may be aroused either 
by its own painted semblance or by the person of the 
musician who played upon it. The service thus rendered 
by Plato can be justly appreciated only by those who 
know the full extent of the help which the psychology of 
association has given towards the unravelling of the most 
difficult problems in mental science, in the theory of morals 
as well as in the theory of knowledge. The architect of 
many a thought-fabric not destined to endure has here 
erected two mighty gate-towers at the entrance of the 
Temple of Truth. 




I. Guided by the progress of the doctrine of ideas, we have 
followed Plato to the meridian height of his productivity. 
Here there awaits us his most powerful creation, the 
" Republic." But before we enter upon the study of it, a 
few subsidiary works must be mentioned which certainly 
did not follow the " Republic," though one or two of them 
may not be earlier in date than the first out of the ten 
books of the longer work. It was perhaps in an interval 
of that long and tedious literary labour that the " Phsedo " 
saw the light — a possibility to which we shall have occa- 
sion to recur. One of these subsidiary works, the 
" Euthydemus," we only mention now in order to reserve 
the discussion of it, which can hardly be separated from 
that of the " Thesetetus," for a later chapter. But there are 
two others, curiously contrasted with each other, which 
invite our attention for the moment — the " Menexenus " 
and the " Crito." 

The " Menexenus " exhibits a strangely discordant cha- 
racter. In it Plato, as his manner is (see Vol. II. p. 309), 
desires at once to ridicule and to outbid the rhetoricians. 
But the theme which he chooses for this purpose, the 
glorification of Athens, hardly admitted of a purely bur- 
lesque mode of treatment, and the mocker found himself 
at times overpowered by his subject and carried away into 
genuine emotion. " It is easier to blame than to do 
better ; " " Let him try for once to equal the rhetoricians he 
despises ; " — phrases such as these may well have been 
heard more than once by the author of the " Gorgias," and 
in them, possibly, we may see the impulse out of which 


this parodistic show-piece grew. Plato indicates clearly 
enough that it is not meant seriously by making Socrates 
express a doubt whether such amusements befit his old 
age. There is bitter sarcasm in the confession of Socrates: 
" After hearing such a speech, I seem to myself a nobler 
and better man than I was before, and the impression lasts 
quite three or four days." On the other hand, there is 
humour in the idea of making Socrates call Aspasia his 
teacher. He professes to do no more than reproduce the 
crumbs of eloquence which were left over at the prepara- 
tion of the great funeral-speech — that speech which Pericles 
delivered, and the highly gifted companion of his life is 
here said to have composed. For Socrates also devotes a 
speech to the honour of Athenians fallen in battle — by a 
wilful anachronism, the peace of Antalcidas, B.C. 387, is 
made the occasion of it — his effort is adorned with all the 
rhetorical tinsel usual in such circumstances, while historical 
and political truth is treated with the popular orator's 
customary disregard for accuracy. The worst reproach, it 
is said, that can be brought against Athens is that she has 
always been too soft-hearted, and has always been ready 
to serve the cause of the weaker. Scorn of the bitterest 
kind is to be found in what is said about the Athenian 
constitution of the day, namely, that whether it is called 
a democracy, or whatever other name may be given to it, 
it is really an aristocracy, a government by the best. A 
thought which Pericles, as reported by Thucydides, ex- 
presses in full earnest, that no Athenian is prevented from 
serving the State by poverty or obscurity of origin (cf. 
Vol. II. p. 41), is here given a purely ironical turn. Reading 
these and similar passages, one is inclined to see in Plato 
an associate of the oligarchical revolutionaries. 

Such an impression is corrected by the " Crito." This 
work gives the other side of the picture, and thus presents 
a sharp contrast to the " Apology '"'' and the " Gorgias " as 
well as to the " Menexenus.'' We do not know what was 
the occasion out of which the little dialogue grew ; but we 
can hardly resist the impression that in writing it Plato was 
particularly concerned to defend himself and his friends 


against the suspicion of sympathy with revolution. " Much 
as we regret and condemn the imperfections and the per- 
versities of our national institutions, we have not the 
remotest desire to overturn the constitution by violence 
and substitute our own ideals at a stroke " — such is the 
message we read between the lines of the dialogue, the 
contents of which may be summarized as follows, 

Crito, an old and tried friend of Socrates, has made 
every preparation for his master's flight ; now that the 
return of the Delian ship is imminent (cf. Vol. II. p. no), 
he is ready to set everything in motion for the rescue. But 
Socrates refuses his co-operation, and supports his refusal 
by an argument which stands in glaring contradiction to 
the defiant audacities of the " Apology." He begins by 
reminding Crito of the principles which the discussions 
they have had together have done so much to confirm — 
that life with a corrupted soul is as little desirable as life 
with a corrupted body ; that nothing corrupts the soul like 
injustice ; that the foundation of all justice is obedience to 
the laws ; that every one who disobeys the existing laws, 
whether he thinks them salutary or not, is contributing 
his share to the destruction of the community. Not content 
with this dialectic proof, Socrates brings the Athenian laws 
themselves on the stage, and allows them to deliver a 
powerful and rhetorically effective address. The main 
thought in it is that every citizen, by remaining a member 
of the common body and not leaving his country, as he is 
perfectly at liberty to do, has entered into a tacit contract, 
which no circumstances can justify him in violating. 

The most remarkable feature of the "Crito" is the 
ethical refinement displayed in it— a refinement which goes 
far beyond that of the " Gorgias," and finds a parallel only 
in the earlier books of the "Republic." All doing of 
injury, even to an enemy, all retaliation, even of injustice, 
is prohibited, and a striking contrast is thus presented, not 
only to the teaching of the Xenophontean Socrates, but 
also to the " Gorgias," where utterance is given to a wish 
that the unjust enemy may be preserved from cure by 
impunity, and, if possible, may remain an immortal villain 

THE " CJilTO." 5 1 

(cf. Vol. II. p. 332). The traditional view, that the " Crito " 
is closely related chronologically to the "Apology," is in 
contradiction with the different representations given in 
the two works of the world below. Faith in future rewards 
and punishments is not so entirely alien to the " Crito " as 
it is to the "Apology." Lastly, the relatively late date 
of the dialogue, as has been recently pointed out, is attested 
by the fact of its not being presupposed in the intro- 
duction to the " Phaedo." The purpose of the " Crito " is, 
perhaps, most easily intelligible if we suppose it to have 
appeared at a time when several books of the " Republic " 
were already composed, and perhaps even published. It is 
as if Plato said to his countrymen, " You know that I have 
devised and submitted to the public judgment certain 
social and political innovations, such as would revolutionize 
the present order of things. But do not therefore suppose 
that I and my pupils are plotting the violent overthrow of 
national institutions. We set a great value on fidelity to 
the laws, no less than our master did ' when he appeared 
before the judges, though it was in his power not to appear,' 
and again when he submitted to the penalty of death you 
decreed against him, though, if he had wished to evade it, 
there was nothing to prevent his purchasing liberty and 
life by an illegal flight." 

2. The composition of the " Republic " has, during the 
last few decades, been made the subject of conjectures 
which we see the less occasion to discuss fully, as we feel 
bound to reject them in toto. Critics have credited them- 
selves with such profound insight into Plato's literary 
methods as to imagine they had discovered the true order 
in which the books of the " Republic " were written — an 
order differing from that in which they appear — and to 
represent the work as a conglomerate of disparate frag- 
ments. Now, the " Republic " is no posthumous work ; 
there can be no doubt that it was published by Plato as a 
whole. The sequence of its parts, as we have it, is that 
which was finally settled upon by one of the greatest 
of artists in style ; and it would be truly wonderful if we 
could go behind that sequence and find evidences of 


another and more primitive distribution. The audacity, 
not to say presumption, of the attempt to do so is height- 
ened by an admission which the critics in question were 
compelled to make. Their hypotheses could not be main- 
tained erect without the support of auxiliary hypotheses. 
They were obliged to assume that before the publication 
of his work Plato set about making alterations in it for the 
purpose of fusing the discordant elements and obliterating 
the traces of the original arrangement. In fact, the more 
deeply the structure of the " Republic " was studied, the 
more imperative became the need of having constant 
recourse to this subsidiary assumption. Thus the fabric 
of hypothesis, the foundations of which were insecure from 
the beginning, became more and more unstable. There 
are instances where Plato clamps together neighbouring 
portions of his work as with iron bands, by anticipatory 
statement, by retrospective reference, by continued de- 
velopment of the same image. Here, however, we are 
invited to believe that what now comes second once came 
first, and that the contrary appearance has been produced 
by Plato's subsequent additions and modifications. Enough, 
we think, has been said to convince the reader that while 
such complicated manipulations are in themselves possible, 
certitude, or any near approach to certitude, in the detection 
of them is out of the question. 

That which the minute investigation of the " Republic " 
has really brought to light is, apart from a few memory-slips 
of the author, nothing more than what one might have taken 
for granted, namely, that the writing of so comprehensive a 
work, one teeming with so great a variety of matter, must 
have occupied a very considerable time, and that during the 
interval the restless mind of Plato was not content to stand 

One remark here in anticipation. Like every judicious 
writer who seeks to convince rather than to dazzle, the 
author of the " Republic " took serious counsel with himself 
as to how, when, and in what order he should treat the 
points on which the greatest opposition and most deter- 
mmed resistance was to be expected on the part of his 


readers. The economy of paradox which he thus observes 
may be reduced to three main principles. Firstly, he 
reserves the thorny questions for a relatively advanced 
stage of the inquiry, at which the reader's mind and heart 
have been already captured and won over. Secondly, he 
allows the reader time to overcome one difficulty before he 
presents him with another, and he is at pains to interrupti 
by literary artifices, the direct sequence of the corresponding 
discussions. Thirdly, he treats these most difficult and 
most delicate parts of his subject in ascending order of 
difficulty or repellency. Moreover, he not only adopts this 
procedure ; he announces his adoption of it in unmistakable 
terms. This is an observation to which we shall recur at 
a suitable place, and it will prove, we hope, one of our 
strongest weapons in the fight against the theory of 

The "Republic" belongs to the family of reported 
dialogues. The discussion is continued, to the length of a 
good-sized octavo volume, by practically the same persons 
throughout, and Socrates reproduces the long colloquy in 
one continuous narrative. One may, perhaps, feel some 
surprise that a great literary artist should have set so little 
store by the illusion of reality as to admit so gross an 
improbability into his fiction. There must be some definite 
reason for the incongruity ; the composition of the work 
is, in all other respects, governed by the most purposeful 
calculation, and we cannot, as in many similar instances in 
the works of Plato's old age, lay the responsibility on a 
growing indifference to external form. We are inclined to 
assume that Plato wished this, his principal work, to be the 
acknowledged presentment of his fundamental doctrines as 
a connected whole, and that he was therefore unwilling to 
dispense with unity in the framework of it. If, in the 
end, he recognized the necessity of reserving a portion of 
his system for special treatment, and of expanding the 
"Republic" into a trilogy, or even — as was his intention 
for a time — into a tetralogy, this must be set down as an 
after-thought which did not arise in his mind till a consider- 
ably later date. 


3. The picture which meets us at the threshold of the 
great work is one to warm the heart. Socrates, accom- 
panied by Plato's brother Glaucon, is on his way home 
from the Piraeus, where he has been attending a religious 
festival. He is perceived from afar by Polemarchus (the 
philosophically -minded brother of the unphilosophical 
orator Lysias), who at once sends a slave in pursuit of 
him, and by playful threats of force compels him to retrace 
his steps. He conducts him to the hospitable house of his 
father Cephalus. The latter also greets Socrates with the 
most winning cordiality. It is a long time since the friends 
last met. The advanced age of the host supplies material 
for the opening portion of the dialogue. Cephalus rejoices 
to have escaped from the stormy passions of youth ; he 
rejoices, too, in his possession of ample means, chiefly 
because he has thereby been preserved from many a 
temptation to injustice. He finds his true happiness in 
the consciousness of lifelong integrity. Thus the key-note 
of the whole work is struck. The naive instinct of the 
worthy old man grasps at once the solution which the 
dialogue is destined to pursue by devious paths and wide 
circuits. As soon as the discussion on the nature of justice 
assumes the true dialectical character, Cephalus disappears 
from the numerous auditory, called away by a religious 
duty, and Polemarchus his son and heir inherits, as is 
jestingly remarked, his father's share in the debate. 

The inquiry begins exactly as in the "Laches," the 
"Charmides," the " Euthyphro.'' Starting from what is 
crudest and most external, it ever strives towards increased 
refinement and more intimate comprehension. Is justice 
to be identified with straightforwardness in conduct, and 
the restoration of that which has been borrowed from 
another ? Certainly not ; the weapon, for example, which 
has been borrowed from a man in sound health must not 
be restored to him when he is afflicted with mania. For 
this reason a saying of the poet Simonides, who deemed 
justice to consist in the "payment of debts," is reinterpreted 
to mean that a debt is that which is due— good to friends 
and evil to enemies. 


Here the discussion leaves the straight path, to return to 
it presently. The objection now raised involves a strange 
confusion — one that will often recur — between character 
and capacity. The physician and the cook must be added 
to those who render what is due — the medicine, food, and 
drink, which is the due of the body whether in health or 
in disease. These men, then, have the power of benefiting 
their friends and injuring their enemies ; and so has the 
pilot in the case of a voyage at sea. It appears, therefore, 
that justice, so understood, ranks after special skill in nearly 
every department of life ; for it is profitable, not when things 
are to be used, but at most when they are to lie idle. It is 
of service so long as a shield or a lyre needs nothing but 
safe custody, but if either of these must be used, the soldier's 
or the musician's art is required. Nor is this the worst that 
can be said of such a justice. That of which any man is 
the best keeper is also that, as many examples show, of 
which he is the best taker. Justice, then, which is a most 
effectual preserver of gold and goods, turns out to be an art 
of stealing and overreaching. 

But, to be sure — here Plato returns from his playful 
digression to the serious consideration of his subject — the 
object aimed at, whether in keeping or taking, must always 
be that of benefiting friends or injuring enemies. This 
limitation is now examined closely. Whom do we consider 
friends ? Those only who appear to us to be good. The 
reverse holds of enemies. But is not the appearance, 
both of goodness and badness, often deceptive .' And does 
it not follow from our rule that the just man will often 
desire to injure the good and benefit the bad ? But this 
cannot possibly be just ; the maxim must be revised, and 
will now run : It is just to injure the bad, that is, unjust 
man, and to benefit the good, or just man, no matter whether 
friends or enemies. 

But the inquirers are not yet satisfied. The definition 
just arrived at is assailed with the help of a principle which 
we have already met with in the " Crito," the principle . 
namely, that the just man must injure no one, not even 
an enemy, not even a bad enemy. For by injury all beings 


are made worse, men no less than horses or dogs. Each, 
too, is made worse in its own peculiar virtue or excellence, 
such as justice is for men. (Here, without doubt, there is 
introduced a confusion between "to injure" in the sense 
of making unserviceable, and in that of causing pain or 
unhappiness.) The paradoxical character of this result 
and its contradiction of what poets and sages have hitherto 
taught, are fully present to Plato's mind. 

4. He is therefore anxious to try conclusions with the 
prevailing view. Taking full advantage of his liberty as 
artist, he employs an unsympathetic personality, whose 
entry upon the scene is marked by violent abruptness, to 
embody popular opinion. Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, 
the rhetorician, who has already several times endeavoured 
to interfere in the discussion, and has been restrained with 
difficulty by the others present, now avails himself of a 
pause in the dialogue. He can no longer contain himself, 
and, " like a wild beast on the spring," leaps upon Socrates 
and Polemarchus. In contrast with the " childish " idealism 
of Socrates, which nauseates him, he comes forward in the 
character of a case-hardened realist. Pressed to formulate 
a definition of his own, he declares that the just is nothing 
else than " the interest of the stronger," meaning by the 
" stronger " the supreme authority in the State, whether the 
government be monarchical, aristocratic, or democratic. We 
cannot here forbear remarking that this definition, as long 
as we confine ourselves to positive law, harmonizes ex- 
cellently with the facts, and still more with the theories 
on which in ancient and modern times representative 
government, and its ancient equivalent, direct government 
by the people, have been supported. Words quite similar 
to those of Thrasymachus are used by an author almost 
contemporary with him, who set a great value on fidelity 
to the laws and on the rule of the people. He speaks of 
" the laws which benefit the many," and brands the usurper 
as the man who " overthrows right and the law which is 
the common interest of all." And much the same language 
is used to-day by those advocates of universal suffrage who 
maintain that this institution is the only one capable of 


giving full effect to the demands of the general interest. 
He who entertains this conviction, be it well or ill founded, 
cannot doubt that rulers are guided by their own interests 
in the exercise of their powers, and he must therefore 
recognize the soundness of the above formula, provided 
it be understood as merely asserting that the laws in 
force at any time and place are the expression of the 
interests of that factor whose influence is paramount in the 

The polemic against this thesis starts from the obser- 
vation that this factor may misunderstand its own interest, 
that, in short, it is not infallible. Thrasymachus is perfectly 
willing to admit this, and amends his proposed definition 
accordingly. In the revised form of it the fallibility which 
attaches to all human effort is taken account of, and a 
distinction is drawn, not without subtlety, between the ruler 
as such and the ruler as man. When the physician or the 
calculator commits an error, he is, to that extent, no longer 
a physician or calculator, and a similar remark applies to 
rulers and persons in authority. Plato does not entangle 
him in a real contradiction until he represents him as 
making concessions which he might very well have avoided. 
The art of rule is compared with other arts, and the analogy 
invoked as proving that the ruler, like the physician or 
pilot, does not regard his own interest, but the interest of 
those to whose service he devotes his art. Nor does this 
conclusion appear in the guise of an ethical postulate, but 
as a truth implicit in the conceptions employed. 

To meet the obvious objection that the physician does, 
after all, derive personal advantages from his labours, he, 
too, is split into two halves, the " true physician " who is a 
" tender of the sick," and the " man of business " intent on 
gain. We have here a distinction of uncommon significance, 
and one which may well remind us of the recent demand 
that the higher callings should fully supply the material 
needs of those who follow them, but should not serve as 
sources of great wealth ; Socrates, to be sure, does not 
distinguish between what is socially or ethically desirable 
and what is actual fact. As against this confusion of ideas. 


Thrasymachus' reference to the art of a shepherd, who by 
no means seeks the welfare of his flock as his ultimate end, 
is very much to the purpose. It shows, at the least, that 
in the concept of " art," or practice governed by rules, no 
ethical element whatever is contained, and that if the 
opposite view seemed to follow from the consideration of 
a few arts, the exercise of which benefits their object, the 
conclusion was surreptitiously imported into the premisses. 
This, of course, is not Plato's opinion ; it is precisely at 
this point that he represents the vehemence of the 
rhetorician as degenerating into brutality, and puts one or 
two really offensive expressions in his mouth. As the 
shepherd exploits his sheep, says Thrasymachus, so the 
ruler exploits the ruled for his own advantage ; herein lies 
his happiness, and the highest degree of it is attained by 
the tyrant or usurper who appropriates, not piecemeal, but 
at a blow, the possessions of others, private as well as 
public, secular as well as sacred, who robs his subjects of 
their freedom along with their property, and who, by the 
very thoroughness with which he goes to work, secures 
himself against the scorn and infamy which overtake 
plunderers on a smaller scale ; is he not rather lauded and 
congratulated, at home as well as abroad .? Thrasymachus 
wishes to withdraw after administering this douche to the 
other speakers ; but they detain him and compel him to 
continue the discussion. 

At this point we feel constrained to ask — How much 
in this description of the man and his teaching is historical 
truth and how much fiction ? The scanty remnants of his 
writings prove useless for the decision of this question. 
We have no guidance beyond general probabilities. In a 
picture drawn by so great a master of characterization it is 
not to be doubted that many a feature has been taken from 
life. The rhetorician of Chalcedon, who rendered uncom- 
mon service to the progress of his art, cannot have been 
a model of meekness and patience. If he had, Plato's 
caricature would have missed fire altogether. Possibly he 
may have propounded somewhere or other that definition 
of justice or law here attributed to him, though not even 


the titles of his works, which were either addresses to the 
people or treatises on rhetoric, give us any handle for 
conjecture. It must, on the other hand, be regarded as 
impossible that a man who followed the calling of an 
orator in a democratically ordered commonwealth, and who 
depended on the favour of public opinion, should ever have 
spoken in such a tone about tyranny or the overthrow of the 
rule of law. It is not clear why Plato should have painted 
him in such repulsive colours. For while he indicates at 
one point that what he charges against him is rather a 
wrangling and disputatious character than real badness, 
there are other passages where he does not shrink from 
using such expressions as, " Do you think me mad enough 
to try to shave a lion or cheat Thrasymachus .■" " And 
again, "Then I saw something quite new — Thrasymachus 
blushing." The causes of this bitterness are a secret we 
cannot penetrate. The chief point is this : Plato needed 
a foil for the doctrine enounced by Socrates, and thought 
himself at liberty to put forward the rhetorician in question 
to combat the main thesis of the "Republic" — Justice 
makes the just man happy. 

For Plato is now completely under the spell of this 
thesis, which is the original and fundamental doctrine of 
Socrates (cf. Vol. II. p. 71, sqq.). The eudaemonistic basis of 
morals is for him so certainly the right one, the decisive 
question is so certainly that as to the coincidence of virtue 
and happiness, that it never occurs to him to suppose that any 
one could dispute this thesis and yet prefer the just to the 
unjust life. With an unmistakable backward reference to 
the " Gorgias," he resists the temptation to make use of such 
admissions as that justice is nobler, though not more useful, 
than its opposite, in order to draw inferences similar to those 
of the earlier dialogue (cf. Vol. II. pp. 332 and 345, sqq.). The 
objection drawn from the art of the shepherd is assigned to 
Thrasymachus merely in order to be refuted, and that by 
means of the same distinction which has been drawn 
between the " true physician " and the " man of business." 
The shepherd, too, in so far as he is a shepherd, will only 
aim at the welfare of his flock. The same, it is contended, 


holds of every kind of rule or government without exception. 
For men never undertake these duties — such is the argu- 
ment adduced in proof — unless they are to be remunerated, 
thus clearly showing that rule, in itself, is profitable not to 
the rulers, but to the ruled. In every department the 
individual art, which is what it is by reason of its specific 
performance, is distinguished from the art of pay, which is 
the common accompaniment of all the arts. 

Now, in the sphere of political activity, there are two 
kinds of reward, " money and honour," and besides these 
there is a penalty, the fear of which induces men to accept 
positions of authority. It is this last motive alone — such is 
the somewhat surprising assertion made at this point — 
which makes the " best " men willing to rule ; the punish- 
ment of refusal is to be governed by their inferiors. Public 
spirit is here left out of the reckoning, and so is the craving 
to exercise an inborn gift ; while the two kinds of reward 
just mentioned are excluded as being "disgraceful," and 
therefore unworthy of the " best," who are free from avarice 
and ambition. This valuation of ambition is in striking 
contrast with the common Greek feeling, which is repre- 
sented by Aristotle, among others, when he calls the desire 
of honour the fundamental motive of political life ; it also 
contradicts the utterances, already known to the reader, of 
Plato himself in the " Symposium " (cf. Vol. II. p. 390). But 
the less justified the generalization, the more deeply it allows 
us to penetrate into Plato's mind. To be ruled by the 
"worse," that is, by the demagogues of decadent Athens, 
was evidently felt by him as a galling humiliation, and the 
overflowing bitterness of his heart left its mark on his 

In the closing section of the book the discussion moves 
in much the same direction as hitherto. An admission is 
wrung from Thrasymachus that the good man is wise, that 
justice is a kind of wisdom. As such it is stated to be a 
faculty, a capacity for performance. On such foundations 
the assertion is based that justice is the necessary condition 
of vigorous action, in international relations as in home 
affairs, in private life, and, lastly, in the individual soul. 


An appeal to experience goes hand-in-hand with the 
dialectic. No State and no army, no band of robbers even, 
or gang of thieves, can entirely dispense with justice in its 
unjust proceedings without damage to its internal coherence. 
So great is the disorganizing effect of the absence of justice 
from the relations of private persons, as well as of public 
bodies, even though no more than two men are concerned. 
Indeed, the discord and mutiny produced by injustice are 
in the end fatal, so it is urged, to the efficiency of even the 
individual who falls out with, and becomes hateful to, 
himself, no less than to the just and the gods. The 
demonstration reaches its culminating point in the com- 
parison of justice as an excellence of the soul to the 
faculties of hearing and sight as excellences of the ear 
and eye. 

5. At this point the reader may possibly find himself 
somewhat taken aback, and inclined to think that the argu- 
ment has lightly leaped over many a chasm, that it has 
neglected the distinction between character and knowledge 
as well as that between the requirements of the general 
weal and those of private interests, or at least that the 
connexion here asserted to exist between them needs to be 
supported on much deeper foundations. If so, he is not 
straying too far from Plato's path. The latter proceeds to 
compare the participants in the dialogue to gluttons who 
cannot forbear tasting each dish as soon as it is brought 
to table, without waiting to do justice to what has gone 
before. The nature of justice, says Socrates, has not yet 
been ascertained ; not till that has been done will it be time 
to deduce the consequences at which they have been too 
precipitately grasping. In other words, the dialogue has so 
far been only a " prelude," as it is called at the beginning 
of the second book, intended partly for practice in dialectic, 
partly as preparation for the results to be obtained later. 
The nature of these is indicated beforehand, and by the 
alluring prospect held out the desire is awakened and stimu- 
lated for the safe acquisition and the irrefragable establish- 
ment of them. 

Nor does this desire remain long unsatisfied. There 


follows a passage which, in its acuteness, its clearness, its 
genuinely scientific spirit, is truly marvellous. Plato's 
brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, come forward, full of 
fervour and earnestness, anxious to state the question in its 
purest possible form and to free the kernel of it from every 
enveloping husk. The manner in which they reject and 
frustrate in advance all superficial solutions reminds us 
to some extent of the part played in the " Phaedo " by 
Simmias and Cebes. In spite of the promise contained 
in the closing portion of the first book, it is not the 
definition of justice, but its power to make the just man 
happy, which first engages their attention. The mode in 
which they approach the subject reminds us of the modem 
rigidly experimental method of research. But this pro- 
cedure is not here applied towards the solving of the 
ethical problem — which would be folly — but merely to its 
exact formulation. Two instances are to be constructed 
in the mind, differing in no respect whatever, except the 
presence or absence of the factor (here justice) whose effects 
are to be examined. For this purpose the " perfectly just 
man " is first of all contrasted with the " perfectly unjust 
man." Justice and injustice are then "stripped" of all 
their usual accompaniments (good and bad reputation, 
rewards and punishments, and so forth), indeed, the inci- 
dence of these is completely transposed. Two diametri- 
cally opposite cases are thus brought together for comparison. 
In the one (A) justice is present, but all its accessories absent. 
In the other (B) all the accessories of justice are present, 
but justice itself is absent. In order to help the imagination 
in realizing this hypothesis, the ring of Gyges, which made 
its wearer invisible, is pressed into service. We are to 
conceive the unjust man as able, by some such means, to 
perpetrate whatever wrong he chooses, and yet suffer no 
penalty nor even any loss of honour or repute. He is to 
tread the path of injustice without hindrance, to its farthest 
limit, and be blessed all the while with abundance of 
worldly goods. In contrast to him we are to set his 
complementary opposite, the just man, who derives no 
profit or precedence from his virtuous acts ; who is rather, 


for the whole of his life, misjudged, persecuted, maltreated, 
tormented to the uttermost. If, and only if, it may be 
shown that, even on such a supposition, the just man is 
happier than the unjust, will the brothers consent to 
regard Socrates' thesis as proven. 

The place of Gyges' ring, or the helmet of Pluto 
mentioned by Plato elsewhere, is taken in ordinary life, 
they go on to say, by successful hypocrisy, by the " fox- 
like " tricks and devices of " dissembling respectability." 
" Appearance " may be substituted for " reality." And with 
appearance the majority of men are very well content. 
Their aim is to garner in all the advantages which the 
appearance of justice brings, and to pay for them the 
least possible price. Nor need the threatened retribution 
of the gods inspire any fear where there is faith in the 
atoning power of holy works, and the maxim prevails, 
" Steal, but offer sacrifice of thy stealings." 

But the object now in view is not to praise appearance, 
nor yet " opinions about justice and the rewards of it," 
but rather to ascertain and demonstrate its own intrinsic 
power and efficacy. Nor is it enough to say merely that 
it is a good and the opposite of evil ; it is required to 
discover what " effect each of the two produces, even when 
unknown to gods and men, in the soul of its possessor." 
To this thought, which he repeats with the greatest 
emphasis, Plato gives expression in a manner which recalls, 
perhaps not by accident, an utterance of Hippocrates (cf. 
Vol. I. p. 301). 

We now come to that turning-point at which the 
dialogue passes over to the study of society from that of 
the individual. Here, too, that conception of the State as 
an organism, which has now become a commonplace, 
appears for the first time. Socrates professes his inability 
to find a direct solution of the problem as presented to 
him. It can only be reached by a circuitous route. 
Supposing our sight not strong enough to read a piece of 
small writing at a great distance, we should hail it as a 
happy chance if the same matter were to be found else- 
where written in larger characters and occupying a greater 


space. The work which justice performs, in virtue of its 
own essential nature, in the individual soul, will best 
appear if we seek first for the same quality where it is 
displayed on a magnified scale. It will appear most 
clearly of all if we endeavour to discern the " beginnings 
of justice and injustice " in the " beginnings of the common- 
wealth." Thus the way is opened for the genetic study of 
the State. 

6. If no part of Plato's writings had been preserved 
except the hypothetical sketch, which now follows, of the 
origin of a State, the materialistic conception of history 
might well have claimed the great idealist for an adherent. 
He derives the State entirely from economic necessities. 
To begin with, there are the " manifold wants " of the 
individual, who is unable by himself to provide his food, 
clothing, housing, and so on, whence arises the need for 
co-operation and the division of labour. Then we see the 
circle of producers gradually widening, as indirect require- 
ments are added to the direct, and new operations become 
necessary for their satisfaction. Thus the husbandman, 
for example, has need of a plough, and the maker of 
ploughs must labour to supply his need. But not even the 
community is a self-contained economic unit ; it cannot 
entirely dispense with foreign products ; 1:he imports thus 
rendered necessary must be paid for by a corresponding 
exportation, which is impossible without a production of 
commodities in excess of the home consumption. The 
need of "traders, wholesale and retail, to act as interme- 
diaries, is not forgotten, nor that of the employment of 
hired labour. 

After an idyllic description of this as yet simple 
commonwealth — in which the justice and injustice sought 
for are to be found in their first beginnings — there follows 
an account of the changes wrought by increasing luxury. 
As bread is supplemented by " relish," so in every depart- 
ment the refined enjoyment of life is added to the satis- 
faction of natural wants. The city soon swarms with the 
ministers of luxury — with makers of artistic furniture 
and costly adornments, with painters, rhapsodists, actors. 


dancers, courtezans, bakers, cooks, nurses, tutors, and so 
on, not to mention the doctors whom such a mode of life 
renders very necessary. The increase of population makes 
the bounds of the State appear too narrow. Hence the 
origin of war, the successful prosecution of which, accord- 
ing to the often and emphatically repeated principle of 
the division of labour, necessitates a professional army. 
Prominence is given to the difficulty of making the 
warriors or "guardians" resemble good watch-dogs in being 
fierce towards what is outside, and gentle towards what 
is inside their community. This can only be done by 

With the question : " How shall we educate the 
guardians ? " we ent^r upon entirely different ground. 
At the same time, the earlier transition from the individual 
to society is followed by 'a second transition, of more far- 
reaching consequence, .fifom the real to the ideal. This 
procedure of Plato's is.%ot to be understood without some 

The first im^ession is one of violent arbitrariness. He 
had undertaken to 'write what we might call the natural 
history of the State and society, in order to discover in its 
growth and being the growth and being of justice and 
injustice. Now, at a stroke, he abandons the description of 
actual processes, or what might pass with him for such, and 
begins to design a pattern State, utterly different from any- 
thing ever realized in history. The genetic method yields 
place to an ideal construction ; instead of the " So it was," 
there meets us a " So ought it to be." Was Plato conscious 
of this abrupt reversal ? Or how did he think it might be 
justified .' 

To these questions the following is probably the right 
answer. Plato does not believe himself to be setting forth 
a purely subjective ideal, one out of many others equally 
possible. The fundamental features of it, though perhaps 
not every detail, are on his view, which is repeatedly and 
prominently expressed, capable of realization ; they are no 
mere pious " dreams," but the perfectings, demanded by 
human nature, of what already exists. They appeared to 


him, so we may not unreasonably suppose, as a further 
stage in the process of natural development. And the 
greater the progress, the higher the perfection attained by 
State and society, the sooner he expects justice to appear, 
distinct in all its features, in the commonwealth so 
ordered, and similarly injustice in the opposite type. He 
tells us so much himself at the beginning of the fourth 

No doubt it was impossible to attain perfect smooth- 
ness and continuity in the composition of a work whose 
purpose, apart from its numerous subsidiary subjects, 
was to weld together into a single whole three main 
themes whose internal connexion was but slight — moral 
philosophy, political philosophy, and the philosophy of 
history. In spite of the prodigious literary art which 
Plato brought to bear on his task — an art which is 
probably without parallel in the whole of prose literature, 
and was certainly too great to be understood and ap- 
preciated by all his interpreters — some harshnesses of 
transition were not entirely to be avoided, especially at 
the junction of the two last-named themes. Plato there 
proceeds with even greater boldness than here ; in making 
the return journey from the ideal to the real, he represents 
all other forms of State as arising from the corruption of 
his own model commonwealth! But this is not till the 
beginning of the eighth book ; at present we are still in 
the second, at the opening of the discussion upon the right 
education of the upper or warrior class. 

7. In this section an extraordinary depth is reached. 
It is, indeed, a peculiarity of the work that the progress of 
the debate is continually supplying Plato with an occasion 
to treat, almost exhaustively, some great department of 
thought. At the threshold of education comes the nar- 
ration of myths. The mythical story of the gods is 
therefore subjected to a thorough-going examination 
and the process of criticism, begun by Xenophanes and 
continued by Euripides, which was mainly directed against 
the popular notions embodied in the Homeric poems 
(cf. Vol. II. p. 13 and Vol. I. p. 156), is continued with 


incisive effect. Nor does he merely prune away those 
excrescences of myth which are condemned by his own 
or the general standard of morality ; he introduces far- 
reaching modifications into genuinely theological doctrines. 
The Deity is unconditionally "good," and for that very 
reason is " not the cause of everything ; " evil springs from 
other sources, particularly from the faults of men for which 
they are themselves to blame (cf. Vol. II. p. 364). This is one 
of the fundamental principles here insisted upon. A second, 
which is proclaimed with equal earnestness, appears to be 
directed against anthropomorphism in general : the gods 
are no jugglers ; they do not manifest themselves in a 
variety of forms. For there is no power, superior to their 
own, which could compel them to such performances ; and 
just as little can beings, to whose nature all manner of 
lying and deceit is foreign, do such things of their own 

The chapter on religion — for so we may term these 
discussions, which are closely knit together and sharply 
divided by the author from what precedes and what 
follows — the chapter on religion contains two more points 
of great importance. All descriptions of the supposed 
terrors of the under-world, indeed all expressions likely 
to bring them to mind, are prohibited on account of their 
enervating effect, their hostility to manliness of character. 
The prohibition, moreover, is so emphatic and so un- 
conditional, that we seem to have lighted upon a stage 
in Plato's development at which the "Phaedo," at least, 
has been left far behind (cf. p. 48). In any case, the 
mind of Plato underwent several changes in this respect ; 
thus, in the last book of the "Republic," he dwells at 
exhaustive length on those very terrors. Lastly, he com- 
bats with great earnestness the belief, suggested by the 
poets, that the sons of the gods, or heroes, stood on a low 
moral level. 

After the matter of the stories comes their form. In 
the first place, a distinction is drawn between the truly 
narrative and the imitative, or dramatic, mode of treat- 
ment ; and the second, which is not limited to the drama 


in the narrower sense of the word, but also characterizes 
the Homeric Epos, is decisively rejected. Two reasons 
are given, one general, the other of a more special order. 
Firstly, all the members of society are to be brought up to 
the strictest division of labour. " Our State," we are told, 
" has no need of double, still less of multiform men. Each 
must follow only one business: the farmer must be a 
farmer only, and not a judge at the same time ; the soldier 
must be a soldier, and not also a merchant." But the 
type of character thus aimed at harmonizes ill with the 
capacity of assuming all manner of forms ; and therefore 
even the greatest master of this art is to be bowed out of 
the ideal State. In the second place, however, that which is 
imitated leaves some tinge of itself upon the imitator ; and 
it is of importance to avoid all that might diminish nobility 
of soul in the ruling class, all that might degrade them to 
a mean and vulgar level. A similar spirit animates the 
prescriptions, which now follow, relating to lyric poetry, to 
rhythm, melody, and music in general. All of these, it is 
claimed, exercise a most enduring influence on the growth 
of character ; for all that a man does, all that he hears and 
sees, down to the shape of household furniture, produces 
an effect upon him for good or bad, and must therefore be 
enrolled in the service of morality. All that tends towards 
effeminacy is banished from music, indeed, all the restless 
and passionate elements in it ; and for this reason the very 
fabrication of certain instruments, such as the flute, is 

After music comes gymnastic, the second main element 
in Greek education. The exclusive practice of it, we are 
told in effect, is brutalizing, just as that of music is 
enervating. As this latter name is used here in its widest 
sense, to designate the whole of the musical arts, so 
" gymnastic " comprises all that relates to the care of the 
body, including the whole of dietetics ; even the art of 
healing has significant side-lights thrown upon it, which 
will occupy us later. That sobriety and moderation are 
preached, that the keeping of measure is required in 
respect of bodily exercises as well as other things, is only 


what we might expect. This branch of education, equally 
with the other, is treated as extending through all the 
stages of life, and both are carefully guarded against every 
innovation. Of the general regulation of the guardians' 
lives we learn here only the fundamental features ; they 
are to possess no private property, so far as this can 
possibly be avoided ; they are in no respect to live separate 
lives ; all are to think of each other as brothers — an end 
which is to be promoted by useful lies about the different 
origin of the different classes in the State. Gold and silver 
— so the authorities are to teach — are mingled with the 
bodies of those called to rule and of the warriors (now 
termed " helpers ") in general ; iron and copper with those 
of husbandmen and mechanics. Provision, however, is 
made against a caste-like separation of classes ; for ex- 
ceptional ability or incapacity is to entail a rise to a 
higher or a descent to a lower class. But as to how 
the authorities are to be appointed — how those who shall 
rule the destinies of the State are to be selected from the 
general body of guardians, — on all this we receive at this 
stage of the work only indications, which relate exclusively 
to the ethical side of the subject. Those are to govern 
who are distinguished by the highest degree of public 
spirit, who display the greatest power of resistance to 
every species of temptation. That the problem is hereby 
solved only "in the rough," is what Plato himself tells us, 
in a passage of the third book ; and at the same time he 
holds out, clearly enough, a prospect of a " more accurate " 
treatment later on. 

8. This, and more than this, the thoughtful reader would 
have already said for himself. For the regulation of 
property is by its nature most intimately bound up with 
the regulation of the family, and yet the description of 
the latter, the rules governing " the possession of women, 
marriage, and the procreation of children," are expressly 
reserved in the fourth book for subsequent discussion. But 
the decisive proof that the delineation of the ideal State 
which closes with this book was never intended by Plato 
as a real conclusion, though many eminent scholars have 


been of the contrary opinion — the decisive proof is as 
follows : In the whole of this section (as also in that part 
of the fifth book which several critics also assign to this 
"stratum ") there is not a single word on the subject of 
intellectual culture. " Practice and habituation, not know- 
ledge,"— such are the designations which are retrospectively 
applied to the means of education here passed in review. 
It may be set down as absolutely impossible that the 
former disciple of Socrates, the thinker who in so many 
works has asserted and demonstrated the unconditional 
primacy of knowledge, should ever have entirely forgotten 
philosophy, science, intellect. Nor did he, in fact, forget 
them. In the course of these books he alludes more than 
once to philosophy and the philosophic temper ; indeed, he 
names the latter as indispensable for the guardians. But 
on the education of the intellect he lets fall not a syllable. 
And with this he was to rest content — the philosopher who 
knew better than any one else, and who himself affirmed 
in the " Republic," that " only he attains to the possession 
of wisdom who has earned it " ! Since, however, the 
selection of men to direct the State, and, indeed, the 
differentiation of the upper class in general, is made to 
depend on their grades of scientific training and the 
progress accomplished by them, all this could only appear, 
at this early stage of the work, in dim outlines. 

We have treated the point at some length because it is 
of importance to understand the structure of this great 
work, and to protect the right comprehension of it against 
errors which are equally dangerous and widespread. Plato 
went about his task with the most cautious calculation and 
with perfect artistic tact. It was necessary, if he was 
to produce anything but confusion, that his complicated 
subject-matter should be most carefully co-ordinated. The 
manifold themes, each of which he desired to treat ex- 
haustively, needed to be kept apart with the utmost 
strictness. Those anticipatory hints, too, which a prentice 
hand would have scattered lavishly, weakening in advance 
the effect of his work— with these the master was bound to 
observe a wise economy. Some thoughts there were which 


he had resolved not to impart to his readers till they were 
attuned to confidence and ready to lend a willing ear ; all 
reference to these had to be avoided by every possible 
means, and indeed there is a part of his system over which 
at the outset (as he himself says) he purposely drew a veil. 
Of the ground-plan of the ideal State only so much might 
immediately be revealed as was absolutely necessary for 
the first stage of the inquiry, that, namely, in which the 
nature of justice is ascertained. 

But if Plato thus allows some of the threads which he 
has started to run on in concealment, he gathers together 
with a powerful hand those which lead to his proximate 
goal. The nearer he approaches to this, the more vivid 
becomes the colouring of his exposition. Justice, which 
was to be found in the State, is now to be sought for in 
the pattern commonwealth. The manner of the search 
reminds us of the modern method of residues. First of all, 
the searchers fix their gaze on wisdom. This virtue is 
distinguished from all special branches of knowledge, and 
identified with well-advisedness ; its seat is discovered in 
that small group of citizens to whom the direction of the 
State is entrusted. Next comes the turn of courage, the 
essence of which consists in the right knowledge of what to 
fear ; its source is stated to be the education prescribed by 
law, and its seat the whole soldier-class. Temperance is 
next considered, and a difference at once appears between 
it and the first two virtues, inasmuch as it resides not in a 
part but in the whole of the community. Its essence, 
whether in the individual or in society, consists in the fact 
that the better and the worse elements are in harmony, 
that kind of harmony, too, which rests on the predomi- 
nance of the higher and the subordination of the lower. 
One virtue, the last of the four, still remains to be detected, 
and that is justice. Socrates compares himself and the 
other speakers to a party of hunters who have surrounded 
a thicket. Every trail must be followed up, in order that 
the noble quarry may not escape. But the ground is 
difficult and the place dark ; the searchers are on the point 
of giving up their task. Suddenly Socrates breaks out into 


a cry of joy ; he thinks he is on the right track. What 
need to search for that which is within their grasp ? It is 
a principle which they have noted long ago in connexion 
with the genesis of society ; one, too, of which they have 
made frequent use in constructing the ideal State — the 
principle of the division of labour, the specialization of 
activities. When each one has and does his rightful share, 
then will justice be realized. In the State, it will manifest 
itself in right relationships between all the citizens, in the 
" peculiar or special activities of each of the classes : " for 
a reason which we shall shortly see, Plato now enumerates 
three of these classes — craftsmen, helpers, and guardians. 
But this result, we are told, is by no means a final solution 
of the problem. What has now been read in the larger 
characters should next become legible in the smaller 
as well (cf. p. 63) ; we must turn from the State to the 
individual, and then from him once more to the State. 
Only from such continued comparisons will the full truth 
appear, as when two sticks rubbed together burst into 
bright flame. The investigation accordingly now centres 
primarily in the individual human being and the dififerent 
parts of each separate soul. 

9. That this latter does in truth consist of parts is main- 
tained on the strength of an unusually laborious demonstra- 
tion, in which not a few objections are met in anticipation. 
It is urged that one and the same thing cannot do or suffer 
contraries simultaneously. The various appearances which 
conflict with this principle — the principle of contradiction — 
vanish on closer investigation. If a man stands still, and 
at the same time his hands move, rest is an attribute of his 
body as a whole, motion of a part of it. If a top spins, 
remaining stationary in one spot, it is at rest relatively to 
the vertical direction, but in motion horizontally. But that 
one and the same entity should simultaneously desire and 
loathe one and the same object, should will and not will 
the same thing,— that, we are told, is an absolute impossi- 
bility. And yet it sometimes happens that a man feels 
thirsty, that is, desires to drink, and at the same time (for 
some reason or other, we may add, e.g., out of regard for his 


health) he refrains from drinking. We must assume here 
two elements in the soul, one of which bids the man 
drink, while the other bids him disobey the command of 
the first. But besides such conflicts between reason and 
desire, there are others between desire and the " spirited 
impulses " (of the nature of anger, ambition, and so forth). 
Thus it befell once with that Leontius whose way lay past 
the place of execution. He struggled hard with the desire 
which awoke in him to view the corpses exposed there, 
and in the end, overmastered by his craving, he granted 
his eyes what they wanted, crying out to them as he did 
so, "Take your fill, miserable creatures, of the glorious 
spectacle." Continuing to build on this foundation, Plato 
distinguishes three parts of the soul — the rational, the appe- 
titive, and the spirited, or emotional. This last element, 
so long as it remains uncorrupted, takes the side of reason 
in any conflicts that may arise. It then attacks the refrac- 
tory desires, and battles with them till reason bids it cease, 
as a shepherd calls off his dog. It is to just such pugnacious 
dogs that the soldiers, or helpers, are compared ; they are 
kept in check by the rulers, or shepherds of the people. 
Thus the three orders are found for a second time in the 
soul of man ; for the lowest class, that of the craftsmen, is 
taken to represent the element of desire. 

The reader may possibly find cause for astonishment 
in the parallel thus carried out with the boldness of genius, 
in which profound insight and the influence of subjective 
taste are curiously niingled. We refer particularly to the 
analogy assumed between the class of craftsmen and the 
appetitive part of the soul. It rests in some degree on 
the real kinship between the task performed by the 
stratum of society which is its economic foundation, and 
that fulfilled by the desires which subserve the nutrition 
and the reproduction of the individual. But the force of 
this comparison is increased for Plato by the aristocratic 
contempt which he entertains as much for the "base 
men and mechanics," who are dominated by the "love of 
gain," as for the desires which drag the soul down to earth 
from its ideal kingdom. Against the doctrine as a whole 


it may be objected that the assumption of different parts of 
the soul by no means removes the difficulty it is intended 
to meet. For the conflicts, which this theory claims to 
make intelligible, occur not only between the different 
parts here distinguished, but also within one and the 
same part. Such, for example, will be the case with the 
appetitive element, if the craving for food and the craving 
for sleep strive for precedence within the soul of a child. 
The really valuable element in this rudimentary psychology 
is the recognition that we have no right to attribute the 
functions of the soul to a simple substance. But just as 
little as we can arrive at any satisfactory result by assuming 
three such substances, or any other number we please — so 
little has the principle of contradiction any bearing on 
the problem. This principle could be legitimately invoked 
only against some such assertion as the following : A wills 
and at the same time does not will — it being understood 
that by his volition no mere desire is meant, but a real 
resolve, such as is admittedly an indivisible psychic act 
and implies an at least temporary truce, whether arising 
from the unanimity of the different elements in the soul 
or forcibly imposed on a recalcitrant minority. On the 
other hand, it is not violating the principle of contradiction 
in the slightest degree to represent conscious life as a 
seething tumult of mutually hostile tendencies, which, like 
mechanical impulses acting simultaneously, sometimes 
cancel each other and again blend into a resultant The 
one impossibility, in either case, is that such a resultant 
should both exist and not exist at the same moment. 

lo. Plato, to be sure, marches towards his goal with 
vigorous strides, untroubled by any of these difficulties. 
" So our dream has been fulfilled," he makes Socrates 
exclaim. " The division of labour has shown us the right 
way to the knowledge of justice." As the callings within 
the State, so must the several " ranks within the soul " be 
kept apart. Its salvation lies in the avoidance of every 
encroachment, in the harmonious co-operation of all the 
parts. Such is the nature of justice, while its antithesis, 
" the revolt of a part against the whole soul," the resulting 


" jangle and tangle," is nothing else than " injustice, 
incontinence, cowardice, ignorance — badness, in a word, of 
every kind." As the health of the body depends on its 
parts being in their natural relations, some ruling, others 
serving, while its disease follows from the reversal of this 
order, so is it also in the ethical sphere. Virtue appears 
as the " health, beauty, and fair nurture of the soul ; " 
vice, as its "disease, ugliness, and weakness." Thus the 
investigation reaches an at least temporary conclusion 
For henceforth "it would be ridiculous" to raise the 
question whether justice is really profitable to the just 
man or injustice harmful to the unjust, let the virtue of 
the one or the vice of the other be manifest to the world 
or not. 

If this great project of establishing ethics on its natural 
basis and making an end for ever of the fatal discord 
between human standards — if this brilliant attempt, the 
splendour of which shines undimmed through the centuries, 
was not crowned with complete success, who can wonder ? 
With the poet-philosopher's genius for discovering resem- 
blances there went a companion faculty of discrimination, 
which, though highly developed, was not of quite the same 
quality. And the magic of numbers (three parts of the 
soul — three classes in the State) found him an almost 
defenceless victim. 

That the boundary between temperance and justice is 
blurred almost beyond recognition, that the latter virtue, 
indeed, tends to be confused with virtue in general, is a 
defect of logical rigour plain for all to see. It is closely 
bound up with a still deeper fault of the whole investigation, 
the insufficient severance of individual from social ethics. 
It is in consequence of this defect that the true content of 
justice — the sum of the demands which society makes upon 
us, a concept which has nothing in common with that of 
individual psychic hygiene, intimately as the two may be 
connected by action and reaction — is sometimes passed 
over in silence, sometimes introduced without justification. 

Such are some of the objections which force themselves 
on the modern reader ; but it is from no deference to any 


of them that Plato here subdues his tone and defers the 
full expression of his triumphant joy. He is saving up his 
more powerful notes for a much later passage, at which the 
final goal of the whole investigation has been reached. We 
may here shortly indicate what still remains to be done. 
The ideal State lacks as yet both its true foundation and 
its crowning glory— the former in the organization of the 
family, the latter in the government of philosophers. Not 
till the constitutional edifice has been completed by these • 
additions can it be brought into comparison with its anti- 
thesis — the imperfect State in its many hues, its forms more 
and more widely diverging from the ideal : the State as 
presented to us in historic reality. Even then, by the side 
of these ideal and real types of constitutions must be placed 
the corresponding human types ; and the latter must be 
exhaustively described before the whole of the materials 
will have been collected for the final solution of the original 
problem. What comes after that is of a supplementary 
character: additional confirmations of the result already won, 
new treatments of subjects which have already been dis- 
cussed, but which could not be fully worked out with the 
materials originally available ; finally, there is one of those 
magnificent pictures of the universe and the future life with 
which Plato, as the " Phaedo " and the " Gorgias " have 
already taught us, loved to round off his greater works. 


PLATO'S " REPUBLIC." — {continued). 

I. From these anticipations we return to the beginning of 
the fifth book. The immediate prospect here held out is 
a passing in review of the "vitiated" forms of the State. 
At this point a diversion is introduced, by means of an 
artifice, of which this is not the only example in Plato's 
works. Two persons in the dialogue, brothers of Plato, 
have been talking in subdued tones, but loud enough for 
Socrates to catch the question: "Shall we let him off.'" 
The reference is to the previously reserved question of 
women and the family, for the immediate solution of 
which Glaucon and Adeimantus now press. Socrates 
reluctantly complies. He sees a "swarm of speeches" 
rise up before him. He is seized with "trembling" at 
the thought of the peculiar and wonderful proposals he has 
to make, the practicability of which will seem to his hearers 
as controvertible as their salutary character. Encouraged, 
however, by the kind assurances of his friends, he ventures 
upon his exposition of things " ridiculous because unusual," 
and congratulates himself (an important hint on the com- 
position of the work) that he did not take the plunge at 
what was really the more appropriate moment. 

He goes on to proclaim what we generally call the 
emancipation of women, the placing of them on a complete 
equality with the male guardians, even to the extent of 
permitting them access to the highest offices in the State. 
This doctrine, which includes the participation of women 
in war, is defended by analogies drawn from animal life, 


and by the assertion that between the sexes there are only 
quantitative, and not qualitative, differences of capacity. 
The same maxim furnishes an answer to the objection 
derived from the principle of the division of labour. One 
might as well argue that because some shoemakers are 
bald, men possessed of hair should be excluded from that 
trade, or vice versA. The average woman is declared to be 
not different in nature, but only weaker, and weaker in 
every respect, than the average man ; not but what we 
find exceptions, and considerable superiority in "many a 
woman over many a man." Education, too, should be 
the same for both sexes, and received in common ; Plato 
does not even shrink from the exposure of the female 
form in gymnastic exercises, seeing that "they will be 
clothed with virtue instead of garments." The section 
concludes, in a tone of solemn earnestness, with an appro- 
priate quotation from Pindar, and an emphatic assertion 
of utility and its opposite as the only true standards for the 
measurement of values. 

Hardly has Socrates escaped from the first "wave" 
which threatened to engulf him, when he sees a second 
and still more dangerous one approaching. That which 
is in question is the regulation, more accurately the 
abolition, of the family. Plato speaks here of the com- 
munity of women ; the expression, however, is somewhat 
too pointed and not exactly appropriate. For it is not 
promiscuity that he has in view, but temporary marriages, 
arranged with the principal aim of securing the healthiest 
possible offspring, and regulated by the authorities on 
strict principles, similar to those observed by breeders of 

But the designation " community of women and 
children" is not chosen without considerable reason. It 
is intended to place the sharpest and strongest emphasis 
on the contrast with the usual division of the State into 
isolated families which are strange to each other and often 
hostile. Children are procreated " for the State ; " only the 
well-favoured offspring of the " best " parents is reared ; 
the age of generation is fixed inviolably at between twenty 


and forty for women, between thirty and fifty-five for men. 
At greater ages than these liberty of sexual intercourse is 
allowed, but there is an express prohibition against rearing 
any fruit of such unions. In all circumstances infants are 
taken away from their mothers immediately after birth, and 
entrusted to the fostering care of the State. Thus every 
bond of union between parent and child is broken ; they 
do not know each other as such. On the other hand, it is 
hailed as a great gain that all persons of about the same 
age will regard each other as brothers and sisters, that, 
in general, a widely comprehensive though hypothetical 
kinship takes the place of the ordinary certain but narrow 
ties of family. By this means it is intended to secure the 
highest possible degree of organic unity for the State, or 
rather for the class of guardians who are alone in question. 
The best type of community is that in which the "mine 
and thine" divides men least, the society whose members 
are no less closely bound together than the members of a 
physical body. Doubts are admitted by Plato only on the 
possibility, not on the salutary effect, of this sweeping 
innovation. The study of historical parallels, which are 
not wholly wanting, and an unprejudiced comparison of 
the order of life here proposed with that to which we are 
accustomed, will justify us, I believe, in exactly reversing 
this judgment. 

2. As soon as Socrates has left the second of the 
dreaded "waves" behind him, he begins to lead up im- 
perceptibly to the passage in which he is finally to breast 
the " triple surge." Doubts have been expressed touching 
the possibility of the transformation whose happy con- 
sequences have been painted in such glowing colours, and 
it is by the discussion of this possibility that the way is 
bridged to the greatest and most delicate of the problems. 
After a disquisition on international law, introduced at this 
stage, we may suppose, chiefly for the purpose of allowing 
the reader to gather fresh strength, search is made for the 
best possible starting-point of reform, such a starting-point 
as may enable the transition to be made from the old 
bad political system to the new salvation with the least 


expenditure of force. As before, and, indeed, much more 
than before, Socrates expects to be overwhelmed by a 
storm of contempt and obloquy ; yet shall the saving word 
not remain unspoken : " There can be no cure for the ills 
of a State, or, as I think, of the whole human race, until 
political power and philosophy are united, until either philo- 
sophers become kings, or those who are now called kings 
and potentates begin to pursue philosophy, not super- 
ficially, but in the true spirit. Not till then can our State 
arise and see the light." This passage has been rightly 
called the key-stone of the whole work. 

That Plato should have placed knowledge — the highest 
knowledge, scientifically trained — at the head of his 
commonwealth, is no more than what was to be ex- 
pected. But why does he fulfil this expectation so late .? 
why has he held up his best trump for so long .? Plato 
has himself answered the question plainly enough, partly 
in his simile of the three waves with their ascending 
degrees of menace, partly in the further course of the 
dialogue. After proclaiming the sovereignty of the philo- 
sophers, he goes on to discuss the .training of the men 
thus called to rule, and he seizes the opportunity — we 
might, perhaps, more correctly say the pretext — to ex- 
pound his whole theory of knowledge. Similarly, in the 
earlier books, where the elementary education of the 
guardians was under discussion, he took occasion to 
treat exhaustively of mythology, religion, music, poetry, 
gymnastic, all to an extent far exceeding the require- 
ments of his immediate purpose. It is evident that his 
present theme, the most subtle and difficult of all, could 
only be dealt with at an advanced stage of the work. 
He begins by emphasizing, with the help of frequently 
repeated references to the anticipatory hints of earlier 
chapters, the enhanced refinement and rigour of the ex- 
position now in prospect as compared with the rougher 
and more summary methods of the first books. Much 
help, too, is promised towards the " more exact " under- 
standing of the theory of the tripartite soul, and of the 
ethics based on it, from the " longer way " which was 


referred to in the fourth book and is now entered upon 
near the end of the sixth. Nothing forbids us, and every- 
thing invites us, to see herein the execution of a design 
cherished by the author from the first and gradually 
revealed by him with the wisest calculation. 

Not many will ever attain the highest goals. The 
way is barred by a natural antagonism, the operation of 
which Plato deplores here, and not here only. That solid 
thoroughness of character which is needed for sustained 
work in science as in other fields, is not seldom accom- 
panied by intellectual sluggishness ; while facility and 
brilliance in apprehension and creation are often found 
without the ballast requisite for the right ordering of life. 
The selection of the rare natures which unite these opposed 
excellences is only possible by means of that comprehen- 
sive intellectual training which was " passed over before." 
To describe this training, and to lay for the describing of 
it the deepest and broadest foundation conceivable, is the 
task to which a part of the sixth and the whole of the 
seventh book are devoted. 

As a preliminary, however, it is desirable to prove the 
fitness of Philosophy for the high office assigned to her, 
and to explain the misesteem under which she now 
labours. In itself, the philosophic nature is inwardly akin 
to all that is good. It is filled with the love of truth and 
the craving for knowledge. A deep channel is thus pro- 
vided, into which the whole stream of its desires may be 
poured. For this reason the philosopher is not covetous ; 
of the things he prizes there are few that gold can buy. 
Meanness and pettiness, too, are foreign to a spirit which 
is at home in all existence and in all ages. Cowardice 
finds no room in a soul too lofty to regard life as some- 
thing great. Thus all the forces of his being carry him 
away from injustice and towards justice. But these 
fortunate tendencies are opposed by others, the effect of 
which is partly to bring discredit on philosophy, partly to 
diminish the value of the philosopher. 

His manifold excellences, wonderful as it sounds, are 
themselves of a nature to estrange him from philosophy. 


From his early youth he is beset by friends and kinsmen, 
later on by his fellow-citizens as well, all urging him to 
devote his rich gifts, from which they hope to draw great 
profit, to the acquisition of political power. Philosophy, 
too, thrives as little in the soil of a bad political consti- 
tution, as a plant transferred to a new and strange region. 
It is dwarfed or degenerates. And the better the original 
germ, the worse is its degenerate state. A weak nature 
can produce nothing great, whether good or evil. The 
source of corruption, however, is not to be found, as many 
maintain, in the sophists, but in public opinion ; that 
mighty being which calls good that which pleases it, and 
bad that which displeases it — that monster which compels 
even the sophists to mould themselves to its caprices and 
hide from its outbursts of wrath. When the multitude is 
assembled, and the rocks — Plato has in mind the terraces 
of the Pnyx — ring to their shouts and the clapping of their 
hands, as they now praise this, now blame that, and both 
in over-measure : how can the youth listen unmoved, or 
any ordinary education save him from being carried away 
by the all-conquering flood ? Thus is Philosophy left 
" desolate ; " but there is no lack of aspirants to the vacant 
place at her side. Hither press, for the most part, all 
those who have brought their "artlets" (we might say, 
their little virtuosities) to the highest pitch of polish. 
Foremost among them is the rhetorician, or artist in style 
— Isocrates seems specially aimed at — with whom the 
well-rounded harmony of a perfect period counts for every- 
thing, the inward harmony and perfection of human 
character for nothing. Left in isolation, the true philo- 
sopher feels himself as powerless against the " madness of 
the many " as against the might of the whirlwind. He 
steps timidly aside. Just as at the onset of a dust-storm 
(no rare experience in Athens) a man will take shelter 
behind the nearest wall, so the philosopher is content 
if he can keep himself free from all share in the crimes 
with which he cannot prevent his fellow-citizens staining 

If, however, potentates, or the sons of such, should ever 


be won over to the projected transformation — a prospect 
which cannot but remind us of Plato's Sicilian hopes, 
largely built on Dion — then it will be necessary to make 
a clean sweep of existing laws and customs, and let the 
State come into their hands a tabula rasa. The graduated 
intellectual training is next treated of, by which the 
" saviours " of the State are to be fitted for the execution 
of their task. The curriculum follows the order of the 
sciences themselves, of whose scale of precedence, or 
hierarchy (to use a phrase coined by Auguste Comte) a 
rudimentary account is now given. 

After the science of number comes that of space, and 
then that of the stars. This first arrangement is forthwith 
corrected by the interposition between geometry, as under- 
stood at that day, and astronomy, of a new branch — the 
measurement of solids. Astronomy is thus relegated to 
the fourth place, being preceded by arithmetic, plane 
geometry, and solid geometry. The more abstract sciences 
are followed by those with a more concrete subject-matter, 
in such wise that with each step towards concreteness 
a new set of attributes is introduced. Thus the realm 
of the numerable is more comprehensive than that of the 
extended ; and the conception of a solid body is generated 
by the addition, to the two plane dimensions, of thickness, 
which is the third. From pure figures in space Plato 
advances to bodies endowed with qualities, by taking 
account of the motions of sohds, or " transference of depth " 
as he calls it. In reality, however, he only treats of 
celestial mechanics or astronomy. Why has he made no 
mention of terrestrial mechanics .' Why does he not, at the 
least, recognize the void waiting to be filled, as he did in 
the case of solid geometry .' This question demands an 

Even in the case of astronomy, he does not seek the 
causes of motion, but types of motion, the most perfect, con- 
tinuous, and orderly possible, and bound up with numerical 
relationships such as best satisfy mathematical thought 
(cf. Vol. I. p. 118). That terrestrial mechanics is in reality 
governed by the same laws as celestial, and that this wider 


field of knowledge amply fulfils the most exacting demands 
in point of simplicity and regularity, — all this was beyond 
the dreams of Plato's pre-eminently deductive genius. 
These uniformities lie hid at a depth from which specu- 
lative thought cannot avail to drag them, but only the 
analysis of concrete processes. Such was the method 
pursued by Archimedes in statics, by Galilei in dynamics. 
The impression of order and law which the mind receives 
from the mere observation of the celestial phenomena, on 
barely correcting the immediate message of the senses, is 
produced in comparatively small measure by the movements 
of terrestrial objects. The theories, too, which were gleaned 
from the unanalytical observation of appearances were of a 
superficial order, and gave a false picture of the mode in 
which nature's forces work. As an instance, we may take 
the belief — rejected only by the atomists — that light objects, 
as such, tend to rise, or again, that heavy objects fall with* 
greater rapidity the heavier they are. Some of these views 
were not unacceptable to Plato, and he gathered them 
together in his doctrine of " natural places " (cf. Vol. I. 
p. 364). That which is light, as fire, tends to move 
upwards ; while that which is heavy, as earth and water, 
passes downwards — each, that is to say, towards the region 
where the matter of like nature with itself is accumulated. 
To correct these inadequate interpretations, and thereby 
to advance towards a statement of the laws of motion which 
should combine truth with simplicity, was impossible with- 
out an artificial isolation of the superposed natural factors 
which in any given case mask each other's action : in a 
word, without experiment. The beginnings of disentangle- 
ment, moreover, were due to manipulations serving practical 
ends, and performed not in any spirit of scientific research.. 
Mechanics meant originally nothing more than the theory 
of machines ; and it was one of the simplest of them, the 
lever, which gave Aristotle the first handle for an inquiry 
into the fundamentals of statics. His answer to the 
question was no doubt pitiable enough. But to raise it 
at all he had to observe operations which Plato despised as 
manual and "banausic." To make such doings the subject 


of scientific study would have been impossible for a man 
who shrugs his shoulders at experiments even when con- 
ducted with a purely speculative purpose, and who makes 
merry over musicians pricking up their ears and emulously 
striving to determine the smallest perceptible interval. He 
would have this part of physics, almost the only one which 
had as yet begun to be cultivated, based not on " sounds 
which are heard," but on properties of pure numbers. 

Similarly, he would prefer to treat astronomy as an 
exclusively mathematical science, just as Kepler did before 
Tycho Brahe's observations supplied him with a solid basis 
of fact. It is for him, moreover, a science whose pure and 
stringent laws are only approximately realized by those 
bodies, material after all, which we see in the sky. It is 
no practical utility that makes this knowledge valuable, 
nor yet the lifting up of the mind before the mysteries of 
the heavens. This last way of thinking, indeed, arouses 
his bitter scorn. It is " simpleness of mind," he thinks, to 
prize " ceiling ornaments " more highly than the beautiful 
things which perhaps lie in the depths ; it makes no differ- 
ence whether the beholder is swimming on his back or on his 
breast. For the " invisible and really existent," the one 
mode of contemplation is as little suited as the other. 
The aim of these sciences is solely the " purification and 
revival " of that organ within the soul, more precious " than 
ten thousand bodily eyes," which has been blunted and 
dimmed by attention to the things of sense. All our 
efforts must be directed to the task of raising ourselves 
above the " realm of Becoming " to true existence, that 
is, to the realm of the archetypes and, as the culmination 
and crown of them, to the " idea of the good." 

3. This last is compared with the sun, considered as 
the source not only of light and vision, but of the genera- 
tion and growth of visible things. The idea of the good 
is for Plato the highest cause at once of all knowledge and 
of all being. It is the central entity which at this phase of 
his development almost occupies the place of the supreme 
personal Deity. For us it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
grasp this thought with full clearness. A stepping-stone 


towards it, as has been rightly remarked, is to be found 
in the " pure and divine beauty " of the " Symposium ; " 
a later dialogue, the " Philebus," will present us with a 
different conception of the good. The craving, seen in the 
"Phaedo," for a teleological treatment of natural science 
receives light from this part of the " Republic." Goodness, 
in the sense of benevolence and beneficence, is not foreign 
to the concept in question, but by no means forms the 
principal part of its content. Permanence, stability, well- 
being, order, subordination to purpose, — these are the chief 
ingredients in it, while Anaxagoras and the Pythagorean 
philosophy have been laid under contribution.' It is not free 
from the contradictions which beset the Existing or Real of 
Euclides, by him identified with the good (cf. Vol. II. p. 174). 
To the idea of the good the other ideas owe their existence. 
But whence arise, we vainly ask, those archetypes or ideas 
which preside over the realm of the mean and the trivial, 
the evil and the noxious .? Such ideas are necessary to the 
consistency of Plato's thought, and are partially recognized, 
though with reluctance, by Socrates in the " Parmenides." 

The doctrine of ideas is introduced by a brilliant 
metaphor, in which earthly existence is compared to a 
sojourn in a subterranean dwelling. In this cavern men 
pass their whole life, prevented by chains from moving 
their necks or legs. Behind them there are persons passing 
to and fro on a raised platform, holding up all kinds of 
objects, wooden and stone images of animals, plants, and 
so on, above a breastwork or screen. Over and behind 
them a flame burns. Thus the shadows thrown by the 
images are all that the cave-dwellers can see. For them 
this world of shadows is the only reality. If one of them 
were to have his chains loosed, and be allowed to turn his 
head and see the light, or walk towards it, he would suffer 
pain ; he would hardly be able to bear the brightness of 
the flame, and he would think the scene before his eyes 
less real than that to which he had been accustomed. But 
suppose him dragged forcibly up the steep path which 
leads out of the cave into the sunlight. He would be 
indignant, and the dazzling glare would prevent him from 


seeing anything of what would now be offered him as truth. 
Only by degrees would his eye become accustomed to the 
light of the upper world. At first he would be able to see 
shadows, then reflexions in water, afterwards things them- 
selves ; in time he would learn to look upon the moon and 
stars, last of all upon the light of the Sun himself Should 
he ever return to the cave, and attempt to free the others 
from their imprisonment and lead them up to the light, 
they would be furious with him, and, if they could, put 
him to death. 

The allegory hardly needs any word of explanation. 
No one will need to be told that the things of earth 
illuminated by the real sun, the images of these things 
carried in the cave, and the shadows seen by the prisoners 
mean nothing else than the archetypes, illuminated by the 
ideal sun or idea of the good, the earthly copies of them, 
and the impressions, whose being is more that of a shadow 
than of a substance, produced by these copies on the 
senses of man. Following on this parable we have a dis- 
tinction drawn between four stages of knowledge and four 
corresponding species of the knowable. Two of them 
belong to the world of experience, two to the sphere of 
concepts. The rising scale is formed by sensible images 
and sensible things, by mathematical forms and archetypes 
or ideas. The two first compose the realm of " opinion," 
or empiricism estranged from the strict knowledge of con- 
cepts. Within this realm, " conjecture " is separated from 
" belief," or " conviction." The objects of the uncertain, or 
conjectural, stage of knowledge are no doubt to be found 
in those kinds of sense-perception which are frequent 
sources of illusion ; probably, too, in the empirical laws 
which are valid only for a majority of cases. The objects 
of belief will be the more trustworthy kinds of perception 
and the more certain inferences which can be drawn from 
them. This whole world of " Becoming " has for its 
antithesis the world of " Being." The knowledge of it is 
made possible by two factors which in combination are 
termed " science " — cognition by the understanding and 
the reason. To the latter we can only attain under the 


guidance of dialectic, which alone, so it is claimed, can 
reach its high goal without help from sense-perception, 
solely by the investigation of concepts. The "under- 
standing " is at home in the various branches of mathe- 
matics, the relative inferiority of which betrays itself in 
their incapacity to dispense entirely with the data of sense. 
It is true that they rise, to quote Plato's instance, from 
the particular quadrilateral and the particular diagonal to 
the " quadrilateral and the diagonal in themselves ; " and 
as this is in his language an equivalent expression for the 
" idea " of these forms, one does not at first see why a 
science occupying itself with these ideas should be inferior 
to any other. The difference in Plato's eyes seems to be 
that the mathematician manipulates concepts which he does 
not reduce to their elements, while dialectic has precisely 
this reduction for its principal task. Rudimentary essays 
in this species of analysis are to be met with in Plato's 
later works, especially where he refers to the fundamental 
concepts of limit and the unlimited. It has been remarked 
with some justice that such a creation as modern analytical 
geometry, which translates spatial concepts into numerical 
concepts, and represents the circle and the ellipse, for 
example, by slightly differing modifications of the same 
formula, or again, the general theory of numbers, would 
have in a measure satisfied the demands of Plato. 

In a measure, but not wholly. For beyond a doubt he 
would always have reserved the first place for the science 
of concepts, which alone "dispenses with all hypotheses," 
which gradually lifts up to the light " the eye of the soul 
buried in slime," and to which the other sciences render 
service only as " fellow-helpers " and " fellow-guides." 

The preference for dialectic expressed here and else- 
where in Plato bespeaks an intellectual attitude which is 
almost the opposite of that of modern science. For him 
all that is given in experience counts as a hindrance and 
a barrier to be broken through; we, on the other hand, 
while legitimately striving for greater simplicity in our 
conception of the universe, are learning to content our- 
selves more and more with what is so given, and to regard 


the final aim of knowledge as nothing else than the faithful 
reproduction of the actual, the cataloguing of primal facts 
which in the last resort must ever remain for us as 
dark and impenetrable as they are now. We know that 
progress in the interpretation of nature sets at best one 
incomprehensibility in the place of several, and with Royer 
CoUard we exclaim, " Science will be complete when it is 
able to trace back ignorance to its ultimate fount." Plato's 
mind, fed on dialectic and mathematics, is in the grip of 
that intoxication which commonly attends the exclusive or 
predominant study of the deductive sciences, and which 
may be experienced by any one who will immerse himself 
completely for a time in the theory of functions or some 
other branch of higher mathematics. The highest ab- 
stractions possess for our sobered thought no more than 
the widest sphere of validity ; Plato, with the fever of 
altitudes upon him, overlooks the poverty of their content, 
and invests them with supreme worth and supreme reality. 
4. The intellectual education of the guardians — for that 
is the point on which all this discussion bears — begins with 
arithmetic and ends with theology, as we may term the 
studies centring in the idea of the good. The first-named 
subject and the branches of mathematics which follow it are 
to be taught to members of the upper class, aged from 
sixteen to eighteen. After another period of two years, 
devoted to military training, a first selection is made, by 
which those qualified for higher tasks are separated from 
the general body of warriors. For the next ten years 
those who have been thus selected go through a course, 
of instruction comparable with that given in modern 
universities. No change is made in the subjects of study, 
but the mode of treatment is more fundamental, and help 
is given towards understanding the inner connexions of 
what has already been taught in detail. A second selection 
follows. The less highly gifted become subordinate officers 
of State ; those whose power of comprehensive survey has 
marked them out as apt students of dialectic devote five 
years to this subject, after which they occupy positions of 
authority up to the age of fifty. Then, but not before. 


they reach the topmost rung of philosophy. What remains 
of their life they devote principally to philosophical con- 
templation ; but in addition, as men not desirous of bearing 
rule, and for that very reason the most called to rule, they 
take part, as their turn comes round, in the real govern- 
ment of the State. 

Although this scheme may strike us as being conceived 
in a somewhat mandarin-like spirit, two points about 
it should not be forgotten which distinguish it, to its 
advantage, from modern systems of State education. All 
constraint, everything that makes learning a task and a 
burden rather than a delightful exercise of natural powers, 
is repugnant to Plato ; he would knock at the door, as it 
were, of every slumbering faculty of every individual, in 
order to rouse it to action. Nor does the idealist ever 
forget the body and its demands. Besides the continual 
alternation of practical and theoretical, or military and civil 
occupations, the uninterrupted practice of gymnastic is 
designed to keep the body no less fresh and efficient than 
the soul, and guard against the one kind of " limping " 
one-sidedness as much as against the other. The sallow- 
cheeked, narrow-chested bookworm was as little to Plato's 
taste as to Goethe's. 

5. The eighth book takes up again the thread which 
had been dropped at the beginning of the fifth. The 
digression there begun is brought to a close. The edifice 
of the perfect constitution no longer lacks foundation and 
coping (cf. p. "jG) ; there is now nothing to prevent the 
imperfect types, whether of constitutions or of men, from 
being compared and contrasted with it. Nor till they have 
been passed in review will a final answer be possible to the 
question whether "the best man is also the happiest, and 
the worst man the most miserable." Four forms of the 
State are distinguished — timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, 
tyranny. By timarchy or timocracy is meant not, as in 
Aristotle, the rule of the wealthy, which is by preference 
termed oligarchy, but the type of constitution realized in 
Crete and Sparta, the vital principle of which is the pursuit 
of riya{, or honour. The descending series indicate at once 


the order in rank and the order in time of the constitutions. 
Two points are therefore prominent in the exposition — 
the scale of merit and the historical sequence (the " transi- 
tions ") of these forms of government. This combination 
of two points of view is not always possible without some 
violence. Thus the " most laudable " of all historical con- 
stitutions has to be represented as a product of decay, as 
a pseudo-aristocracy which is a degenerate form of the real 
thing. But as this latter is the Platonic ideal, as yet no- 
where realized on earth, it is tacitly replaced first by 
patriarchal monarchy, then by the corresponding type of 
aristocracy, and the hoary past is thus credited with a 
political perfection which it never really possessed. In 
the "Timaeus" and the "Critias" the vague indications 
here given are worked out, as far as regards the primitive 
age of Athens, with poetic freedom. Two motives seem 
to underlie this procedure of Plato's : the striving we have 
already noted towards a systematic philosophy of history, 
and the need, felt also by Antisthenes, for supporting 
facts, even half-fictitious facts, by which his ideal picture 
might be redeemed from the character of a pure Utopia, 
and the doubts laid to rest which even he felt as to the 
possibility of realization. 

There are other matters, too, in connexion with which the 
philosopher appears in the guise of an imaginative writer. 
It is clearly repugnant to him to maintain a dry didactic 
tone throughout his historical and political expositions. 
He prefers to clothe them, as one may say, in parables, 
in which a characteristic instance takes the place of a 
general process. By this means he also succeeds in giving 
immediate expression to the analogy, partly real, partly 
artificial, between forms of the State and types of individual 

All earthly things are subject to decay, and that 
according to a cyclic law by which the end is connected 
with the beginning. An attempt is made to embody this 
law in a mathematical expression which is famous under 
the name of the "Platonic number," and has been the 
despair of commentators. It is with human generation 


as with the fruits of the field— ill growths will appear 
occasionally. Our ignorance of these mysterious processes 
adds to the difficulty of taking timely precautions. The 
crossing of superior with inferior stocks causes the race 
to degenerate. Silver (Plato returns to a former image, 
see p. 69) receives an admixture of iron, gold of bronze. 
Inequality and irregularity ensue, which are everywhere 
the causes of enmity and war. Peace is at last made on 
terms which involve two consequences : the denationaliza- 
tion, or conversion into private property, of land, and the 
enslavement of the "protected," or lower, classes. Thus a 
mixed form comes into being, intermediate between the 
ideal State and the first stage of corruption, exhibiting, 
therefore, some characteristics of both. The abstinence 
of the upper class from all pursuit of gain, the common 
meals of the men, the assiduous practice of gymnastic, are 
features which it shares with the higher type ; with the 
lower it agrees in the meaner value set on science, in 
the preference of warlike above peaceful occupations, in the 
increased desire for wealth. Crete, and more particularly 
Sparta, have here served as Plato's models, and by trans- 
ferring their features to his page he himself gives us the 
key to some of the "historical elements" in his pattern 
State. The agreement extends to quite subordinate details, 
such as the evading of the law by accumulating treasure 
abroad. The chief characteristic of timarchy, however, is 
the predominance of the middle, or " spirited " part of 
the soul. 

The next stage on the downward path is marked by the 
increased power of private interest, which has been kept 
in restraint by external checks rather than by internal 
subjugation. With the "money-chest" decadence invades 
the State. Wealth turns the balance, and virtue kicks 
the beam. Oligarchy, or the rule of the rich, comes into 
existence. Those of slender means — by whom are always 
meant the less well-to-do among the upper class — lose all 
their share of political privileges. The State is thus more 
poorly supplied with talent. It is much as if the more 
competent but poorer pilot were compelled to yield place 


to a less competent but richer. Further, the inward unity 
of the commonwealth is lost, for it has become divided into 
two hostile cities. But the greatest evil is the appearance 
of a proletariate, due to the fact that one man may now sell 
all his property and another buy it. Thus side by side 
with the " unduly rich " there live a number of " utterly 
poor." The two classes resemble each other in being 
" mere consumers," for which reason they are compared to 
drones. Lastly, where there are beggars there will also be 
a multitude of evil-doers. 

And now for the corresponding type of individual 
character and the particular instance in which the opera- 
tion of general tendenciesreceives concrete illustration. A 
statesman or commander meets with failure ; informers 
procure his condemnation ; his lot is exile or death and the 
confiscation of his goods. His son, to whom the father has 
hitherto been an example, is terrified by the catastrophe, 
and makes it his aim to escape from the poverty by which 
he feels himself humiliated. The instinct of acquisition 
gains the upper hand in him. " He enthrones the appe- 
titive element in his soul," and prostrates himself before 
it "as before the great king." He condemns to slavery 
the elements of reason and courage ; his mind is wholly 
occupied with the question how he may " make little 
money into more." Thus is accomplished the transforma- 
tion " of the honour-loving into the money-loving youth." 
He becomes miserly and small-minded, loses every noble 
ambition, and turns his back on intellectual culture ; 
"drone-like" instincts also awake in him; he develops 
tendencies to crime, which he will not indulge, however, 
unless he is certain of impunity. Otherwise, he is careful 
to lead a respectable life, and enjoys a reputation for 
integrity. In fact, " the better desires in him will for the 
most part triumph over the worse." But this is due to the 
stress of fear, not to the might of reason. His is a divided 
nature ; the true virtue of a harmonious soul at one with 
itself is unknown to him. 

The third stage of decay is called democracy. It 
springs from the increased activity of the same causes 


which produced oligarchy. The rich ever desire to become 
richer ; and they sit in the seat of authority. Accordingly, 
all the barriers are torn down which might prevent ex- 
travagance and financial ruin on the one side, and the 
enrichment of money-lenders and buyers-up of land on the 
other. (These very evils had been experienced at Thebes 
in the olden days, and Philolaus of Corinth had sought to 
meet them by his adoption laws, the object of which was 
to " maintain the lots of land undiminished in number.") 
Impoverished and indebted members of the ruling class, 
who are yet in many cases men of high gifts and high aims, 
become, in their embitterment and their desire for inno- 
vation, a danger to the State^ — a danger to which the 
leading politicians keep their eyes carefully closed. For 
these possessors of power are too covetous to adopt the 
appropriate remedies, to confine business transactions 
within narrower bounds, or to withdraw the protection of 
the law from modes of acquiring excessive wealth. In the 
long run, it is true, the rulers themselves do not escape 
unharmed. Good living enervates them ; anxiety for gain 
drives all other interests into the background ; they cease 
from the exertions necessary to keep them efficient and 
superior to the unmoneyed class. So it comes about that 
the sunburnt, sinewy, and stalwart son of the people learns 
to despise the bloated, short-winded, helpless plutocrat who 
may stand beside him in the ranks. By such comparisons 
the masses become aware of their superiority, and feel the 
continuance of their exclusion from power and property as 
a disgrace. Only a slight impulse is then needed, say an 
alliance with a similar faction in a neighbouring State, to 
kindle a contest, which, if the poorer side wins, will lead to 

Plato's attitude towards democracy will occupy us in 
the sequel. This was the form of government under which 
he lived and worked, the one which, according to a law 
formulated by himself — the law of reaction — produced the 
most powerful effect upon his mind. The evils which he 
has himself experienced affect him so strongly that little 
room remains for other impressions. Not one gleam of 


light relieves the monotonous blackness of his picture. 
Democracy is for him not one constitution, but a " mart of 
constitutions." So great is its inconstancy, so confusing 
the motley multiformity which composes its being. That 
he should be the " friend of the people " is the one demand 
made on the politician, his all-in-all that stands for every 
excellence and compensates every defect. The laws of 
democracy remain a dead letter, its freedom is anarchy, its 
equality the " equality of the unequal." 

It is much the same in the breast of the individual. 
For the democratic man all desires are on a level. That 
he should respect some and discipline others is teaching to 
which he will not listen. All ethical conceptions are 
turned inside out. As libertinage becomes freedom and 
shamelessness manly independence, so moderation becomes 
weakness and pious awe imbecility. All noble qualities of 
character are placed under ban and driven with contumely 
out of the city, just as were the best men when democracy 
was founded. In this description there are two points of 
particular interest : a unique but unmistakable reference to 
a passage in Thucydides, and the parallel, which we have 
not pursued into its finest details, between the processes 
within the democratic soul and the corresponding political 
phenomena — a parallel which is often forced and over- 
loaded with imagery. It provokes a smile to compare this 
misuse of the imagination with the wholesale condemna- 
tion of that faculty which Plato pronounces in his attack 
on poetry and poets. 

Democracy is followed by tyranny — the maximum of 
liberty by the maximum of servitude. It is, indeed, a 
fundamental law, the operation of which includes both 
nature and human life, that extremes generate each other 
reciprocally. Just as oligarchy was destroyed by that 
which under it was prized as the highest good and made 
the object of exclusive pursuit — by the lust of riches — so 
also is it with democracy, the downfall of which is brought 
about by its excessive and one-sided devotion to liberty. 
The same insatiability marks the two cases. And when 
evil cup-bearers give the State, which thirsts for freedom, 


too strong a draught, it loses its senses. It reviles the 
moderate politicians as "abominable oligarchs," and re- 
proaches their adherents for plunging wilfully into slavery. 
The citizens soon find themselves living in a topsy-turvy 
world, out of which all authority has vanished. Fathers 
fear their sons ; metics, foreigners, and even slaves are put 
on a level with citizens ; the very animals parade the 
streets with a proud air of independence and jostle who- 
ever will not stand out of their path. But the deciding 
voice in the State is that of the " drones," of the powerful 
ones with stings as well as the weak and stingless, the first 
of which can lead the second only by offering them much 
honey. " A little honey," too, must be paid to the mass of 
wage-earners, here for the first time mentioned. What is 
thus given must first be taken from the possessors. If 
these, however, defend themselves in their extremity, they 
are accused of oligarchical designs, and the people cry for 
a protector. This protectorship is the root from which 
tyranny springs. The protector, or agent of the people, 
threatens the life no less than the property of the wealthy. 
His decoy-calls are promises involving the extinction of 
debts and the division of land. He goes to the length of 
utilizing the law-courts and procuring capital sentences. 
Once having tasted blood, however, he must soon face the 
choice between falling a victim to his enemies and seizing 
absolute power. His next step is the request for a body- 
guard, which is to secure the friend and protector of the 
people against hostile machinations. If this request is 
granted, it is not long before he stands in the State- 
chariot, erect and sublime in all his glory : the tribune has 
become the tyrant. 

His career is divided into several phases. At first he 
is " all smiles " and affability ; he satisfies his own faction 
by fulfilling his promises. But all the while the moment 
is approaching when he must make himself indispensable 
to the people. For this purpose he contrives foreign wars, 
by which he gains yet other advantages. The property of 
his opponents is eaten up by extraordinary taxation ; the 
conduct of a campaign provides favourable opportunities 


for getting rid of their persons. By this means, however, 
he creates an accumulation of hatred against himself, and 
even those to whom he owes his elevation are not sparing 
in criticism and censure. He is thus compelled to search 
out " with far-seeing eye " the brave, the high-minded, the 
wise, to attack them, and in the end to purge the State 
of them. A rare purgation — the exact opposite of that 
accomplished by the physician when he removes noxious 
matter from the body and leaves what is best behind. He 
is thus constrained by an unblest destiny to live only with 
the bad or not live at all. The more hateful he becomes 
to the citizens, the more must he depend for support upon 
hirelings. These he obtains partly from abroad, but he 
also finds some at home by robbing the citizens of their 
slaves and giving the latter their freedom. But how will 
he feed the motley horde .' First by confiscating temple- 
property, then by grinding the people. The latter per- 
ceives too late that it has run out of the smoke into the 
fire, that its once immoderate liberty has been exchanged 
for the most galling servitude of all, now that it is the 
slave of its own slaves. But the tyrant, the offspring of 
the Demos, is now under the necessity of raising his hand 
against his own parent. 

The tragedy of the tyrant is no mere invention of Plato. 
This sketch owes less to the philosopher's constructive 
imagination than those by which it is preceded. It 
borrows, indeed, from that source little more than the 
occasioning cause of tyranny ; in reality, this should cer- 
tainly be sought for less in the free rein given to the 
desires of the many than in a deeply seated divergence of 
interests, and in a passionateness of temperament from 
which the aristocrats were no freer than the Demos. We 
refer particularly to the origin of the Sicilian tyranny (cf. 
Vol. II. p. 262, seq.), which Plato also has more especially 
before his mind. He has fulfilled that condition which he 
can only allow Socrates to refer to as an imaginary hypo- 
thesis ; he has " lived in the tyrant's palace, and witnessed 
his daily doings." And here we should note a transi- 
tion characteristic of Plato's adaptability. He begins as a 


dispassionate observer, and describes the gradual transfor- 
mation of the people's advocate, his tyrant's progress, as 
an inevitable necessity accomplishing itself step by step. So 
far his account is not without a touch of compassion. But 
suddenly he becomes a fierce accuser, for whom the tyrant 
is the quintessence of all that is despicable and hateful, 
destitute from the beginning of every germ of noble 
feeling. Plato has been roused to strong emotion ; 
memories of his own experiences lend bitterness to his 
language ; at the same time, he is bent on demonstrating 
the main thesis of the " Republic : " The most unjust of 
men is also the most miserable. 

6. As if to lay still deeper foundations for this momen- 
tous decision, Plato (at the beginning of the ninth book) 
seeks the tyrannical nature in process of manufacture. 
Two generations are required for its production. Its 
growth is caused by the more and more luxuriant develop- 
ment of passions for which democracy (here looked at 
with a more lenient eye, as the foil of tyanny) had prepared 
the ground. The wild beast which sleeps in every man, 
and at times, especially by night, awakes to rage and roar, 
is freed from every restraining curb ; the herd of " wild 
and mutinous desires" is let loose. Out of the many 
passions one comes forward as master, as the "tyrant 
within the soul," and the other desires form its body-guard. 
Here, too, are soon enrolled the baser tendencies, once 
repressed, but now emancipated ; the good impulses which 
resist them are killed or banished ; the man's soul is 
purged of temperance ! The reader will note the minute 
detail of the parallel, which for Plato is no mere rhetorical 
ornament, but has real convincing force. The criminal 
nature thus produced procures the means for the satisfac- 
tion of its desires, at first by robbery and fraud practised 
on parents ; its next step is unfilial violence, just as the 
demagogue become tyrant will employ force against his 
fatherland or his mother-city. For it is out of the ranks 
of the common criminals, of the tyrannical natures, that 
here and there a tyrant in the full sense emerges, sent 
forth by some ordinance of destiny. A lurid description 


is now given of his vices, his faithlessness, his godlessness, 
and, with it all, of his misery, in spite of the envy he 
inspires ; he is full of suspicion and fear, he has no peace 
or rest, he is deserted and poor, for of his measureless 
desires he can satisfy but the smallest fraction. In reality, 
too, he is no ruler, but a slave, and a slave of the vilest, 
whom he must continually flatter that he may have them 
on his side. Plato has reached his goal. The cry of 
triumph will no longer be restrained. Let the son of 
Ariston make it known by herald's cry that the best and 
justest man is also the happiest, the worst and most unjust 
the most wretched, whether the one and the other remain 
hidden from God and men or not (cf. pp. 62 and 74). 

Just as the tyrannic type of character stands at once 
for the worst and most miserable, so the other types agree 
in point of goodness and happiness with the corresponding 
forms of constitution. At their head is the royal or truly 
aristocratic nature. After this comes the timocratic, then 
the oligarchic, which again is followed by the democratic. 

The never-tiring author of the " Republic " proceeds to 
supplement this first proof by additional corroborations 
of the disputed thesis. Probably he himself feels that his 
last argument, derived from the order of merit of the 
constitutions, sadly needs strengthening. A reference to 
his theory of the soul has already been introduced by his 
assertion that in the tyrant's soul the noblest impulses are 
enslaved, the lowest promoted to exclusive dominion. 
Corresponding to the three parts of the soul he now 
enumerates three kinds of pleasure : for the highest there 
is the pleasure of knowledge, for the middle part the 
pleasure of victory and honour, for the lowest, the multi- 
formity and vague delimitation of which is expressly recog- 
nized, the pleasure of gain. That this order of enumeration 
corresponds to the position of these pleasures in the scale 
of value, is inferred from experience. The philosopher or 
lover of truth prefers his species of pleasure to the other 
two, and also the second to the third. But this valuation 
of his is final and incontrovertible, because his experience 
is the most comprehensive. From childhood upwards he 


has been familiar with the other two kinds of pleasure, 
while the joy of knowledge is as unknown to the mere 
lover of honour as it is to the mere lover of gain, the 
latter of whom rises at best to the love of honour, seeing 
that honour is paid also to riches. (Plato, like J. S. Mill 
in a cognate argument, overlooks the fact that greater 
susceptibility to one kind of pleasure is usually coupled 
with a smaller capacity for enjoying other kinds.) To 
this must be added that the instrument of comparison and 
valuation, the intellect, is more highly developed in the 
philosopher than in the other two classes of men ; hence 
from his verdict there can be no appeal. Thus the just 
man, here identified with the philosopher, has for the second 
time gained a victory over the unjust. 

A third argument rests on the " truth and purity " of 
pleasures of the reason, whereas all other pleasure is but a 
shadow. This applies equally to the pleasures which are shot 
through with pain (desires, wants, cf Vol. II. pp. 336 and 
350), and to those neutral states which are felt as pleasurable 
or painful or neither, according to the state by which they 
are preceded. In the same way — it is somewhat after this 
fashion that Plato expresses himself — a point situated at a 
middle level will seem low to one who approaches it from 
above, high to one who comes up from below. Thus 
quiescence of the soul is felt as painful after keen pleasure, 
as pleasurable after the cessation of violent pain. " How 
can that which in itself is neither pleasure nor pain be in 
truth both ? " It is not here, therefore, in the sphere of the 
relative, as we should say, that the home of true pleasure 
is to be sought. True pleasure is unknown to the mass 
of mankind, and they are under the same illusion as a man 
who, not knowing white, should see grey by the side of 
black, and think it white. A further development of these 
thoughts will meet us in the "Philebus," and give us an 
occasion for the criticism of them. Plato next places the 
acquisition of knowledge above the nutrition of the body, 
on the ground that the object of knowledge is the imperish- 
able and the immutable, endowed with true being, as 
opposed to the things of sense by which the body is fed. 


The mass of mankind, truly, who after the manner of beasts 
look only downwards, struggle like them for what alone 
gives them pleasure, "thrusting and trampling each other 
with iron horns and hoofs." Their struggle, however, 
resembles the Trojan war, if Stesichorus is right, and 
Helen herself never lived at Troy, but only her shadow. 

Lastly, Plato essays the strange feat of obtaining an 
arithmetical expression for the relative values of the 
pleasures proper to the "king," here hardly to be dis- 
tinguished from the philosopher, and to the lower types, 
down to the tyrant. His calculation starts from the as- 
sumption that the happiness of the highest-placed member 
of the series (the king) stands in the same ratio to that 
of the next but one (the oligarch) as this does to the happi- 
ness of the tyrant two more places lower down. For this 
last quantity, which is the measure of a " shadow " without 
substance, the "superficial number," 9 (3 X 3), is chosen, 
and thus the proportion obtained: 9 : 81 =81 : 729, so that 
to the five stages of worth and happiness there correspond 
five successive powers of 3 (9, 27, 81, 243, 729). Plato here 
shows himself a true disciple of the Pythagoreans. That 
which is bizarre and arbitrary in such attempts should not 
blind us to the depth of insight which divines the uni- 
versal sway of law, rightly refusing to make the world of 
soul an exception to the general order of nature. Internal 
consistency, or even the mere appearance of such, was 
necessarily substituted for the investigation of facts (cf. 
Vol. I. p. 120), and the very possibility of the former became 
a secondary question. Exact psychology has abated its 
pretensions since that day ; the place of the ambitious 
scale of happiness and virtue is taken by the modest 
"personal equation." 

The numerical mystic now leaves the scene and makes 
way for the poet. Plato wishes to knit once more into a 
compact unity his doctrine of the tripartite soul and the 
system of ethics which rests on that doctrine. For this 
purpose he employs an image which, though grotesque to 
the verge of absurdity, is yet highly impressive. We are 
to construct in thought— and thought is "more plastic 


than wax—" a little man, a larger lion, and a polymorphous 
monster. This last is to have a chaplet of heads, some of 
them pertaining to tame and others to wild beasts, but 
capable of transformation and renewal. All three — man, 
lion, monster — are to be supposed joined together, and 
enclosed in an outer husk of human form. The advocates 
of injustice, who would have this quality avoided merely 
on account of its external consequences, virtually demand 
that the " man within man " shall be starved, weakened, 
and placed at the mercy of the inferior creature at his side- 
But that which is really befitting is that we should utilize 
the help of the lion within us to discipline yet more 
strictly the tame part of the many-headed monster, and 
nourish this part to greater strength, while checking the 
growth of the wild part. Thus these creatures may be 
kept at peace with each other and with ourselves. No 
price would tempt us to sell our sons and daughters into 
slavery, still less to a savage and wicked master ; just as 
little is it to our profit, for the sake of whatever advantage, 
to place that which is best in us under bondage to 
that which is worst, that which is most godlike to that 
which is most godless and most foul. So doing, we 
should be guilty of worse treason than Eriphyle, who sold 
her husband's life for a golden necklace. With the elabora- 
tion of these thoughts and a repeated exhortation to set up 
the ideal kingdom in the " inner city " of the soul, whether 
the "heavenly pattern" is ever realized on earth or not, 
the book is brought to a close. What remains is of a 
supplementary character. 

7. The tenth and last book begins with a transition, 
the abruptness of which receives immediate justification. 
The fight is resumed against poetry as the arch-enemy of 
an order of life based on reason. It can now be carried 
on " more effectually," because the division of the soul and 
— as we may add — the doctrine of ideas have been ex- 
pounded in the interval. Poetry is treated as one of the 
imitative arts. They all offer imperfect semblances of 
reality. Their products are not truth, but appearance, and 
indeed, an appearance not only one but two degrees 


removed from the truth. When, for example, the cabinet- 
maker fashions tables and beds, that which he copies is 
the archetype or idea of the table or bed, which exists but 
once, and which may be said to have been made by the 
gods. Thus the painter who counterfeits these objects 
produces in reality only the copy of a copy, and a false 
one at that, for the table or bed seen sideways is not the 
same as when viewed from the front. The discussion on 
pleasure and pain, in the ninth book, where shadows of 
shadows have already been brought to view, would seem to 
be still echoing in Plato's mind. The present argument, 
which inadequately separates the problems of art from 
those of science, and which unduly narrows the sphere of 
art by regarding it as pure imitation, derives its main 
interest from the predominance given to the ethical stand- 
point. Plato's quarrel with the fine arts turns chiefly on 
their effects— their antagonism to his ethical ideal, their 
glorification of the senses, their enervating appeal to the 
emotions. Poetry is here the worst offender, tragic poetry 
— of which Homer was the real founder — the worst of all, 
for it " waters and feeds " those elements in the soul which 
ought to be " dried up." 

This attack is bitter beyond the proverbial bitterness 
of civil war. Plato is at feud, not with his fellow-country- 
men only, but with himself. He offers a spectacle never 
seen before his day, one of which the first astonishing 
repetition has been reserved for our own time — a prince 
among artists violently rooting up the love of art from his 
own soul. He acknowledges, in his pain, that he finds it 
difficult to fight down the admiration for Homer which he 
has cherished from his youth. But truth demands the 
sacrifice. We note with astonishment the adaptability of 
Plato's mind. In order to humble the poets he elevates 
the sophists. The slighting tone in which he generally 
speaks of this class is forgotten for the moment. If Homer 
or Hesiod — so runs one of these arguments — had benefited 
his neighbours by his wisdom as much as, say, Protagoras 
or Prodicus, he would have been as highly honoured as 
these men, and not allowed to end his life as a beggar and 


rhapsodist. The great poets, however, had only " shadows 
of virtue " to offer ; the most they could do in reality was 
to delight. But where the conduct of life is concerned 
there is something which stands higher than all delights: 
the " great question " of whether we are becoming good or 
bad (cf. Vol. II. p. 337, § 5), the struggle to maintain the 
" polity within the soul " — for the image already employed 
in the ninth book is retained in this continuation. He 
therefore finally congratulates himself on having banished 
the poets from his republic. If " pleasure and pain " are 
not to rule instead of reason and law, only religious poetry 
may be tolerated, nothing will be admitted but hymns to 
the god and songs in praise of great men. 

Religious thoughts and their expression by the aid of 
myth form also the conclusion of the work. Before Plato 
reaches that bourne, he turns the tables in a remarkable 
manner. Socrates requests " repayment of the loan " which 
he had made to the other speakers — the concession, that is 
to say, by which both the just man and the unjust were 
treated as though they remained hidden from gods and 
men. The hypothesis was necessary in order to determine 
the intrinsic value or happiness-yielding quality of virtue 
and its opposite — stripped of all external additions — and to 
institute a strict and searching comparison between justice 
and injustice taken each by itself. But the dialogue must 
not end before the just man has the " prizes of victory " 
awarded to him, which at first were withheld. For by what 
possible means could our actions really remain hidden from 
the gods .' Nor will the just man, as a rule, be more than 
temporarily misjudged by his fellows ; in the end both he 
and the unjust man will be known for what they are, and 
receive the reward or punishment which they have earned. 

A mythical narrative follows, resting on the supposed 
testimony of Er the Pamphylian, son of Armenius, a 
person otherwise entirely unknown. This man fell on the 
field of battle, and his soul, we are told, witnessed the 
judgment of the dead, but after twelve days returned to 
his body, which was still uncorrupted, for Er had been 
chosen by the gods to bring men tidings of the fortunes 


which await them. He saw the meadow where the ways 
cross of those who come down from Heaven and of those 
who ascend from the lower world ; he rested Ijy Jthe foun- 
tain whence souls drink the draught of forgenulness ; and 
he saw them fly thence, like shooting stars, amid thunder, 
lightning, and earthquake. He beheld the mouth of the 
under-world close with a mighty roar when the greatest 
criminals sought to pass out into the light. Above all, he 
witnessed the " choice of life " made by those who after " a 
thousand years of wandering " stood on the threshold of a 
new incarnation. It is not the daemon, or tutelary genius, 
that chooses the man ; but each man chooses his own 
daemon. His choice is free, and if evil follow he must bear 
the blame, not God. Quaint and humorous touches are not 
wanting to relieve the sombre recital of the pains of hell 
by which the guilty are visited, and tyrants, as before, 
more than the rest. Thus Ulysses, the highly renowned 
but also the man of many travels and many troubles, 
chooses for himself a modest middle-class existence. The 
whole narrative is a mixture of Orphic and Pythagorean 
myths. To the latter category belongs the transference of 
human souls to animal bodies, and vice versd (of, Vol. II. 
p. 364 and Vol. III. p. 6y). Swans and other musical birds 
become men. The soul of the demagogue Thersites, on 
the other hand, takes the form of an ape. Ajax and 
Agamemnon, who have suffered so grievously, desire to 
flee the society of men ; the gloomy Ajax chooses the 
body of a lion, the kingly Agamemnon that of an eagle. 
But the teaching to which all these visions bear witness is 
genuinely Platonic : We should " hold with a grip of iron 
the belief " that the worse lot is that which causes the soul 
to become unjust. For all else we need take no thought. 
This conviction must be held unswervingly in the lower 
world also, where we must beware of being dazzled "by 
riches and similar evil things," lest we " fall into tyrannies 
and other like wickedness, whereby we shall do great 
and irreparable wrongs to others and suffer yet worse 




I. Of the two titles borne by this great work— "On 
Justice," and "The Constitution" or " Republic "—the 
second has obtained the preference. The social and 
political content of Plato's creation has made a deeper 
impression than the ethical. In treating of the former 
before the latter, we shall, indirectly at least, comply with 
the author's purpose : we shall proceed from the outer 
husk of his ideal to its kernel. 

A question frequently put to experts at the present day 
is this — Was Plato a forerunner of the modem socialists 
and communists .' The answer must be both Yes and No. 
By the side of the obvious points of agreement there are 
differences of the most far-reaching kind. What these 
modern movements strive to obtain for the community as 
a whole, Plato proposed to enact merely for his upper or 
ruling classes of warriors and guardians. For the great 
mass, for the classes engaged in agriculture and handi- 
crafts, the traditional form of the family and the old 
economic order were to be retained. Indeed, he is so far 
from advocating any emancipation of these classes that he 
requires them to provide the means of living for the upper 
classes, towards whom he places them in a relation of the 
strictest dependence. In describing this relation he does 
not even shrink from using the word " slavery," though he 
means by it no more than a state of wardship salutary to 
the masses themselves. No clear picture is vouchsafed us 
of these classes. Plato is silent, and his silence is eloquent. 


In the course of his exposition, it has been rightly re- 
marked, he lets the lower orders fall completely out of 
sight. He will have them well and justly ruled, but he 
takes so little interest in them that he forgets to give us 
any details of the manner of ruling them. All we can 
gather casually is that for them, too, the division of labour 
is to be strictly enforced, and that " wealth " no less than 
" poverty " is to be kept far from them, in order that they 
may lack neither the desire nor the power to work. For 
the rest, he contents himself with comparing them to the 
lowest elements in the soul, with pronouncing it an 
impossibility for them to order their own lives inde- 
pendently and successfully, with discussing the question, 
not whether, but %vhy, they should be held in inferior 

For this attitude of depreciation several causes may be 
assigned. Mere pride of birth and rank had something 
to do with it. Such feelings were present in Plato's mind, 
if only as an under-current, yet not without effect. The 
reader will remember many instances, especially in the 
" Charmides," where he uses expressions tending to exalt 
his own family. The impiety of Euthyphro, who accused 
his own father of murder (cf. Vol. II. p. 359), appears to him 
in darker colours because the murdered man was only a 
" day-labourer." Still stranger in our eyes is a passage of the 
" Gorgias," where a " mechanic," who had saved his country 
from' destruction by inventing an engine of war, is, never- 
theless, spoken of in a tone of contempt, just because he 
laboured with his hands. In a passage of the " Republic " 
Plato condemns the brutal treatment of slaves, on the 
ground that the truly educated man despises them too 
much to be angry with them. For the rest, a class of 
slaves is not explicitly mentioned as existing in the ideal 
State. ; but the prohibition against enslaving Greek prisoners 
of war indicates that in the case of barbarians Plato would 
have raised no objection. The prohibition in question 
occurs, it may be remarked, in a section devoted to inter- 
national law, and is one of a series of precepts which all 
agree in restricting to wars against barbarians certain 


severities which at that time were customary as between 
Hellenes — devastation of territory, burning of houses, and 
so on. A war between Hellenes, Plato says, should never 
bear the character of perpetual hostility, but rather that of 
a temporary chastisement, an enforcing of the law which 
only affects the guilty and not the general mass of the 

The chief logical ground, however, on which Plato 
justifies his contempt for the lower classes as well as slaves, 
is their lack of leisure and consequently of the higher 
culture which leisure alone makes possible. It is this 
culture — the assiduous pursuit of music, gymnastics, and 
the sciences — which forms the true charter of the ruling 
class, hereby assimilated in some measure to the Pytha- 
gorean order. Their life is regulated on the communistic 
plan for the purpose of completing their education. No 
private ownership is allowed among them which exceeds 
the indispensable minimum. Their income is to provide 
them with a sufficient maintenance, but no superfluities. 
Gold and silver may not be used even for adornment or 
in the form of plate. The possession of private land or 
houses might make the members of the ruling class 
successful "householders and farmers," but not good 
" guardians." 

In all this Plato is not entirely independent of historical 
models. A ruling class which kept aloof not only from 
trade and manual work, but even from agriculture, was 
not unknown either at Sparta or in Crete. Rudiments, 
too, of a communistic order of life might be observed at 
Sparta, where hunters, for example, were allowed to help 
themselves to provisions from other men's stores — a custom 
which has an echo in Plato's injunction not to lock up the 
storehouses. Need we remind the reader of the Lacedae- 
monian and Cretan syssitia, or common meals of men, 
by which camp life was continued in time of peace .' 
Plato modifies the institution in a manner which makes a 
clean sweep of all family life. Even during the continu- 
ance of the temporary marriages already spoken of, no 
common home life is possible for the couples. It is not 


merely that the children are lost to the parents' abode from 
an early date ; the women, too, share in the public meals ; 
they fill posts in the army and government departments, 
and cannot be even temporary helpmates to their husbands. 
What were the reasons, we may ask, which impelled Plato 
towards these subversive innovations ? 

2. Part of the answer he has himself supplied. He is 
afraid that the ruling class may misuse the unlimited power 
with which it is endowed, that its members may resemble 
dogs that attack the herds committed to their care, that 
they may become wolves instead of dogs. In reality, all 
the parts of the scheme are most closely connected. If the 
highest intellectual training is to reign supreme, restrained 
by no checks on the part of the subject classes, who are 
deemed unqualified to exercise any control, and are yet to 
be preserved from every kind of exploitation, then security 
for the right use of power must be had in some other way. 
The absence of constitutional checks must be compensated 
by the absence of those impulses for the curbing of which 
constitutional forms exist. For the moderation of these 
impulses provision is made by an education specially 
designed for the purpose — a means whose efficacy Plato 
rates almost as highly as does Helvetius. To the credit, 
however, of his good sense, he did not carry his over-appre- 
ciation to unlimited lengths. He did not believe in the 
omnipotence of education. Accordingly, he found pro- 
tection from the abuse of power only in the absence of all 
separate interests on the side of the rulers, in the suppression 
of the family and of private property. 

In this explanation there is no doubt contained a con- 
siderable portion of truth. That it is not the whole truth, 
we have cogent reasons for affirming. In the " Laws " 
Plato renounces the absolute character of the philosophers' 
rule ; he accepts a compromise which introduces constitu- 
tional checks and even gives the mass of the people a share 
of political power. Nevertheless, he holds with unswerving 
fidelity to the communistic ideal, though he abandons the 
project of realizing it. " Community of women, of children, 
of goods," he still pronounces to be the best. His 


endeavours do not cease to be directed towards " the rooting 
out of the so-called private or particular element from every 
department of life. ... So far as is by any means possible, 
all should praise or blame the same thing together, all 
should rejoice or grieve for the same cause." The 
greatest possible emphasis is bestowed on the glorifica- 
tion of " life in common," and on the injunction to destroy 
from among men, even from among the domestic animals, 
that " lack of a master " which makes for division. This 
endeavour after the "unification" of the commonwealth 
goes far beyond the design of drying up the sources of 
discord in public life. Plato's quarrel is with individuality 
as such, and as much with the diversity of different indi- 
viduals as with the inward multiformity within the single 
soul. This latter point appears most clearly in the picture 
he gives of the " democrat," that is, of his Athenian con- 
temporaries. " Motley variety " and " multiplicity of forms " 
are the worst reproaches which he levels against this type 
of man — a type which, according to him, contains in itself 
patterns of all possible constitutions (cf. p. 95). 

Such a man is, so Plato tells us in effect, the plaything 
of every fleeting mood. To-day he revels in wine and 
banquet-music ; to-morrow he will fast on bread and water. 
To-day he works in the gymnasium till the sweat runs 
down his brow ; to-morrow he will dedicate to dolce far 
niente. At one time he will play the philosopher, at 
another the politician ; he will spring to his feet from his 
place in the assembly, and do and say what comes into his 
head. If a general's fame catches his fancy he is off 
soldiering ; if a speculator's gains rouse his envy, he tries 
his luck in business. In short, there is no order and no 
discipline in his doings, and this is precisely the reason why 
in his own eyes his life is " so free, so sweet, so blessed." 
Who can fail to perceive herein the caricature of just that 
brilliant type which Thucydides has painted in imperishable 
colours (cf. Vol. II. p. 41) ? The subject of the two pictures 
is the same ; Athens has, perhaps, in the mean time lapsed 
somewhat from the height to which she had attained ; but 
what has changed more fundamentally is the standpoint of 


the beholder. The versatile exercise of many-sided talents, 
individual character and genius, — all this is non-existent 
for Plato ; in all that we admire he can see nothing but 
anarchic irregularity, bungling half-knowledge, and ama- 
teurish incompetence. He is free, on the other hand, from 
an anxiety which has troubled some of the best men of the 
nineteenth century — from the fear of an ever-widening 
divergence from the Periclean ideal, of an approach to " the 
Chinese ideal of making all people alike." The shadows 
alone are visible to him in the picture of his age ; all the 
energy and fire of his nature are directed towards the 
realization of a new pattern, of whose latent dangers he 
has not the slightest suspicion. 

Nor must we forget the connexion between Plato's 
ethico-political ideal and his doctrine of ideas. Every 
separate thing or being is for him the inadequate copy of a 
more perfect universal. How, then, could he have laid any 
store on the maintenance of the " particular," on the multi- 
plication of varieties of imperfection, on individuality .■" 
Again, we moderns regard the diversity of individuals as 
salutary, for the additional reason that by the multiplicity 
of paths entered upon the prospect is increased of progress, 
of the attainment of a perfection as yet unknown to us. 
Plato, on the other hand, could see in individual differences 
only impediments preventing the realization of an ideal 
which for him was final and complete, the sharp and certain 
outline of which was graven in his soul. 

3. It is not to no purpose that the " guardians " are 
half philosophers and half aristocratic soldiers. Each of 
these elements has left its traces on the Platonic ideal. 
The Athenian oligarchs, to which circle Plato and his family 
belonged, were " friends of the Lacedaemonians." Among 
such modes of ordering life as were put in practice in his 
own age and country, that followed at Sparta stood nearest 
his heart. Reverence for age, strict discipline of youth, a 
high valuation of musical, gymnastic, and military education, 
contempt for the " banausic," — all these are features common 
to the Platonic and the Spartan ideal. A Critias and a 
Charmides probably thought and felt on these matters 


much as did their young kinsman the philosopher. Of 
aristocratic origin, too, is the strong accent which Plato lays 
on " magnificence," a quality which he more than once sets 
in the company of the cardinal virtues, without justifying 
this position on any principle. Similarly, the opposite of 
" magnificence," stinginess, meanness, illiberality, is among 
the attributes which Plato most despises. A conviction 
that the pursuit of trades cannot but engender this vice 
strengthens what we may term an innate repugnance. In 
this connexion a passage in the " Laws " is highly instruc- 
tive. It shows some advance towards a juster appreciation 
of trade and its beneficial operation in levelling down 
economic contrasts. The hypothesis is there allowed to 
stand for a moment that the " best men of all," or women 
of similar quality, might be compelled by some stroke of 
fate to do the work of innkeepers, to offer the longed-for 
refreshment or shelter to one wearied by long travel or lost 
in an inhospitable region. Trade would then appear in 
the most favourable light possible. But the thought is 
dropped immediately. The belief that such occupations 
foster an ignoble love of gain, a tendency to fraud and 
over-reaching, is too deeply rooted to allow the above 
hypothesis to appear other than ridiculous. Schiller's distich, 
" The Merchant," would have been unintelligible to Plato. 

With the demand for "discipline and order" there is 
coupled another for "symmetry and beauty" (cf. Vol. II. 
P- 353)' This latter is the soul's cry of one who is at once 
an artist devoted to the cult of beauty and a philosopher 
with Pythagorean leanings, one who has learnt to see and 
admire the reign of rule, of symmetry, of harmony and 
rhythm in mathematics, acoustics, and, above all, in 
astronomy. The Socratic moralist, too, insists no less 
imperatively that unquestioning obedience be paid to the 
commands of reason, more exactly, of utility established by 
reason. From the fusion of these elements there arose in 
Plato that ideal which is peculiar to him of inward order 
coupled with devotion to science, of self-mastery, of con- 
stancy, calmness, equanimity, and moderation. Temper- 
ance, in reality, takes the highest position with him, though 


justice is the particular virtue which he employs most 
frequently as a representative of virtue in general. The 
definition which he gives of justice is in truth more 
accurately applicable to temperance. " Each one of us is 
just " — so runs a passage of the " Republic " — " in whose 
soul every part does its allotted work." How closely this 
resembles one of the definitions of temperance adduced 
in the " Charmides " (cf. Vol. II. pp. 303 and 307) ! That 
which is presented to us as justice is, taken strictly, 
a condition implied by justice. But for Plato this con- 
dition is more valuable than that which depends upon it. 
The manifestation of the ideal in the personality of each 
individual meant still more to him than did the service 
rendered by the individual to the community. 

4. The utilitarians proudly reckon Plato as one of them- 
selves, and they have a good right to do so. There are 
decisive passages in which he lays an emphasis which could 
not be exceeded on the principle of utility. It was with 
deep satisfaction that Grote, the pupil of Bentham, was 
able to place at the head of his work on Plato this citation 
from the " Republic : " " For this is and will ever remain 
the best of sayings, that the useful is the noble, and the 
hurtful is the base." But in order to avoid a one-sided 
interpretation of this sentence, it must be supplemented 
by the fundamental Socratic and Platonic doctrine of the 
utility, or power to make men happy, inherent in the good 
or noble. The study of this principle creates a momentary 
impression that Plato's thoughts moved in a circle : The 
useful is noble ; and then again, the noble is useful. But 
it is not so in reality. So long as his mind moves in the 
region of means, he is perfectly in earnest with the doctrine 
of utility. His supreme standard is here that of conformity 
to ends ; and any objection which has its source in feeling 
touches him, as we shall shortly have abundant occasion to 
observe, only in the very slightest degree. But in the 
sphere of ends (or, to be quite correct, of ends and the 
highest means which are directly subordinated to them) 
Plato is constrained to listen to the voice of his own feelings. 
In this he is not different from other thinkers, and it 


signifies but little if one proclaims an ideal while another 
adopts individual or collective happiness as his supreme 
standard. What it is that makes us happy can only in 
the smallest measure be determined by objective criteria ; 
the decision must for by far the greater part rest with 
feeling, beyond the possibility of appeal. 

At the beginning of the fourth book of the " Republic" 
expression is given to a doubt whether the lives of the 
guardians are likely to be happy, deprived as they are of 
the good things commonly prized most highly. This 
doubt is admitted, though not without a reservation ("I 
should not be surprised if their lives were really the happiest 
after all "), but the objection founded upon it is dismissed 
with the remark that the object aimed at is not the greatest 
possible happiness of any one class, but of the State as a 
whole. This argument has been criticized on good grounds 
by Aristotle. And it would be indeed strange if Plato had 
really proposed to sacrifice the guardians to the interests 
of the many— if the class raised above the others, not 
merely by the possession of power, but by its inner worth, 
the class, too, which lay nearest his own heart, had been 
subordinated to the class which he compares with the 
lowest element in the soul, and which he therefore refuses 
to regard as capable of true well-being. Plato has himself 
left no room for doubt ; as early as the middle of the fifth 
book he resumes the subject, reaffirms the reservation we 
have alluded to, and defends it with the utmost emphasis. 
Life in common, such as he proposes for the guardians, 
is, he says, free from the dissensions, the animosities, the 
jealousies, the acts of violence, and the strife at law which 
spring from the Mine and Thine ; flattery has no place in 
it, nor the minor evils which attend inequality. The life of 
the guardians, so concludes his enthusiastic eulogy, is the 
happiest which it is possible for man to live. 

A comparison of the two passages will furnish us with 
an instructive clue. In the first Plato does homage, quite 
sincerely, to the principle of utility ; in the second he over- 
flows with fervent devotion to his ideal. For the decisive 
factor is here the satisfaction which life in common gives 


him. He possessed no balance in which he might weigh, 
one against the other, the merits and the disadvantages of 
this mode of life and its opposite. That which in his soul 
turned the scale in favour of the former was an impulse 
cognate to his preference for universals in the theory of 
knowledge, an ardent longing for the abolition of all that 
divides and isolates men, for a state in which they " call 
nothing their own but their body"— a last barrier before 
which one is inclined to say that the unifying tendency 
comes to a reluctant halt. May we not infer that the 
rationalistic utilitarian basis of argument is often merely an 
after-thought, aesthetic and ethical preferences supplying 
the real motive-power of hiis reforming zeal .' This will 
apply with particular force to the question in connexion 
with which the aphorism quoted at the beginning of this 
section is enounced — the question of women. 

Plato desired the full and many-sided development of 
women's talents, the field for which, especially in the 
Athens of that day, was very greatly cramped ; he dreamt 
of their elevation from profound ignorance and subjection 
bordering on servitude to the power of knowledge and 
proud independence. He felt the charm of the ideal type 
of woman which he had in his mind's eye, and of which 
some rudiment at least was exhibited by the Spartan 
women, with their fine physical development, due to 
gymnastic, and their celebrated beauty. The proverbial 
boldness which had been engendered by Spartan semi- 
emancipation might, he hoped, be ennobled by a completer 
education and transfigured into self-conscious dignity. All 
this, we may imagine, outweighed in his soul the rationalistic 
considerations by which he supports his innovation : the 
analogies from animal life, employed also by Antisthenes, 
and the argument of the " Laws " that the prevailing order 
of society allows half of its available forces to lie fallow, 
and withdraws them from the service of the community. 

5. The picture of Plato as moralist would be incomplete 
without those features of sternness and severity which seem 
so surprising to us and which are so characteristic of his 
individuality. He would have the healing art restricted 


to surgery and the treatment of acute diseases. The 
dietetic medicine which was then a novelty of the day, 
and which served to prolong artificially the lives of sickly 
persons, appears to him as a " fosterer of diseases," and is 
condemned accordingly. But he looks with full approval 
on the son of the people who seeks speedy death or speedy 
cure, who " has no time to be ill." A cautiously regulated 
life, anxiously avoiding all risks and shielding, for example, 
such parts of the body as the head and feet from the 
exposure which should harden them, is an abomination to 

Moral hardening goes side by side with physical. He 
condemns tragedy, principally on the ground that it supplies 
abundant nutriment to the feeling of pity, and thereby 
relaxes the emotional fibre. He who pays the tribute of 
tears to a stage-hero's misfortunes diminishes his power 
of bearing his own sorrows unmoved. A quietness of soul 
bordering on rigidity is the temper which Plato would have 
men preserve under every stroke of fate — an injunction in 
giving which he is clearly combating his own nature as 
much as in his polemic against poetry. Far from him is 
the thought that on such occasions as the loss of friends or 
kin it is possible to mourn too little as well as too much. 
There is something that reminds us of the Cynics in the 
way in which he treats such questions with a sole eye to 
the protection of will-power against the dangers which 
threaten it on this side. It has been rightly remarked that 
an attempt, like that of Schopenhauer, to base ethics on 
compassion, would have been incomprehensible to Plato. 
And he would have utterly despised all the delights of 
sensibility as depicted by a Rousseau. 

We have here a union of the Socratic and Cynic " self- 
sufficiency " (avTapKiia) with such a view of life as grows out 
of the environment of a military aristocracy. If Aristotle, 
on the other hand, allows a wider scope to the softer 
feelings, and by his theory of " Catharsis " or emotional 
discharge pleads for a compromise with this part of human 
nature in life and art, his middle-class origin would seem 
to have something to do with this notable divergence from 


his master's teaching. The same difference continued to 
divide the two schools. As much as two generations later 
a man who left the Academy for the Lyceum received the 
impression that he had come from demigods or heroes to 
human beings. 

There was one point, however, on which Plato and 
Aristotle were in entire agreement — the vigorous control 
which they would have the State exercise over the increase 
of population, in respect of quality no less than quantity. 
For the small and narrowly circumscribed republics of 
Greece, impoverishment through over-population, with result- 
ing political disorders, was a danger of no small magni- 
tude, and therefore at an early date engaged the serious 
attention even of practical legislators, such as Pheido the 
Corinthian. The danger was aggravated for the ruling 
class by the circumstance that its income was exclusively 
derived from the possession of land incapable of increase. 
The same class was faced by the momentous problem of 
preserving its physical and mental superiority. The 
ancient mind admitted expedients in this connexion, which 
to the feelings of a modern man are highly revolting. 
Thus Plato, when he recommends the exposure of weakly 
or crippled infants, is in the main merely following the 
example of Sparta. If he and Aristotle go somewhat 
beyond this precedent, it is only in so far as they devote to 
extinction, whether before or after birth, the presumed 
weakly offspring of elderly parents. " To procreate for the 
State" is an often-recurring formula in which the Platonic 
attitude finds its strongest expression. It is necessary here 
to distinguish most strictly between the ends aimed at and 
the means employed to gain them. No one in our day 
would ever think of returning to the cruel practices 
approved by Greek lawgivers. But the great importance 
to the community of questions relating to the propagation 
of the species is being more permanently recognized, and 
the regard due to the common welfare and to posterity (in 
such matters as the hereditary transmission of grave 
maladies) is being inculcated with greater and greater 
emphasis on the individual conscience. 



6. Aristotle subjected his master's projects of reform t 
a thorough critical examination. We shall select some c 
his chief points and use them as pegs on which to hang ou 
final comments. Not a little surprising is the initic 
attitude of Aristotle towards the Platonic social orde 
which he finally condemns. " Legislation of this type," h 
says, " makes an excellent show, and has every appearanc 
of being a boon to humanity ; it therefore commends itse] 
to those who hear of it, and creates the impression that i 
would do wonders in the way of introducing a high degre 
of mutual sympathy among men." The principal referenc 
is to the community of goods, but the community of womer 
of which he has spoken immediately before, is doubtles 
included. The object aimed at in these reforms, name!}! 
the "unification" of society, is disapproved of on thj 
ground that not every degree of unity is desirable for th] 
State. It is the nature of the State to be composed o 
heterogeneous elements, and unity going beyond a certaii 
measure would destroy its essence. The family mus 
have more unity than the State, and the individual humai 
being more still. With this objection, which we may call ! 
logical one, goes the discussion of not a few difficultie| 
incidental to the carrying out of the scheme in detail. Bu 
for any rejection of it on strictly fundamental principle; 
any expression of repugnance on ethical grounds, we ma; 
search Aristotle in vain. This is not a little noteworthy 
and requires explanation. 

We recur to a fact which has already been mentionec 
namely, that Sparta, a State regarded by the philosopher 
as all but a pattern, exhibited at least the rudiments of ; 
practical communism : the common meals of the men, thi 
liberty accorded within certain limits of using other person; 
slaves, horses, dogs, and so forth. All this is approved o 
by Aristotle ; indeed, he recommends a further advance ii 
the same direction. We might add that germs of marita 
communism are also to be met with among the Spartans 
as in the substitution for an aged husband of a younge 
man chosen by him, and "many other such licences," a 
Xenophon calls them. Now the so-called Lycurgeai 


legislation did not so much create novelties as give an 
artificial fixity to customs handed down from the earliest 
antiquity ; we are thus entitled to draw some inferences as 
to the conditions of primitive Greece. Here, too, we may 
mention the account, by no means condemnatory, which 
Herodotus gives of the community of women among the 
Agathyrsi. The object of it, so he tells us, was to " make 
brothers" of the tribesmen, and to banish "hatred and 
ill will" from the wide circle of kindred. It is hardly an 
exaggeration to say that to the common Greek sentiment, 
which may be described as tinged with atavism in this 
respect, exclusive personal appropriation and the resulting 
inequality in ownership was as yet very far from seeming 
so much of a law of nature, or meeting with such un- 
conditional acceptance as it does in modern times. 

There is another particular in which our comprehension 
of Plato's reform-projects is greatly assisted by the criticism 
of his pupil. The latter, and without doubt his master as 
well, was acquainted with genuinely communistic institu- 
tions among foreign peoples. So far is he from any 
narrowness of horizon in this respect, that he even dis- 
tinguishes different kinds of land-collectivism : common 
ownership and common tillage on the one hand ; separate 
ownership with common usufruct on the other. Community 
of women, too, is known to him as existing among the 
tribes of the African interior. Herodotus, we may note, 
had already reported the prevalence of this institution 
among the Agathyrsi, the Libyan Nasamones, and the 
Asiatic Massagetes. Thus those ' features of Plato's ideal 
which seem the strangest to us, were not altogether out 
of touch with the facts of experience, real or believed to 
be so. 

Still, the combination of these features, together with 
the additions peculiar to Plato, especially with regard to 
the class of philosophical warriors and rulers, was suffi- 
ciently startling to draw from this critic the somewhat 
rhetorical exclamation, "Shall length of time go un- 
regarded, and the multitude of years that are past 1 " In 
other words. The world- is now very old ; and had such 


a constitution been possible, some realization of it would 
have occurred somewhere before now. It is the standing 
and staple argument of all conservative minds against sub- 
versive innovations — an argument which appeals to us, 
with our greatly extended ethnographic and historical 
perspective, far less forcibly than to past generations. 
"The world is still in its infancy," says Goldsmith, in 
the " Vicar of Wakefield," and the cry has been re-echoed 
a hundred times since. The truth that "the paradoxes 
of to-day are the commonplaces of to-morrow" is as 
applicable to practical reforms as to speculative knowledge. 
On the other hand, it is true, the complication of all human 
concerns, and the consequent untrustworthiness of merely 
deductive reasonings upon them, are now realized far more 
vividly than ever before ; and we require of deep-reaching 
innovations that they shall establish their viability as well 
as their usefulness, not by ratiocination merely, but by 
actual experiment. 

Plato's expectation that the suppression of separate 
families would engender a sentiment of universal brother- 
hood, and thus extend the power of kindred ties over the 
whole of a united people, moves Aristotle to contradiction. 
He remarks that by the very width of their extension 
those sentiments would lose in power ; he speaks of a 
" watered-down " love of kin, and thinks that " a real cousin 
is worth more than a son after Plato's model." Grote here 
comes to the rescue with the rejoinder that for the objects 
aimed at by Plato even a highly diluted sentiment of kin- 
ship and solidarity would have been sufficient, while intensity 
in such sympathies is exactly one of the elements which 
he would have desired to be banished from his common- 

On the other hand, no answer seems possible to another 
objection of the Stagirite, namely, that by the funda- 
mentally different education and life of the ruling class 
and the ruled so deep a gulf would be fixed between them 
that they would in reality "form two states in one, and 
indeed two mutually hostile states." In this expression 
we note a resemblance, which is no doubt more than an 


innocent coincidence, to the condemnation which Plato 
passes on one of his "degenerate" forms of constitution, 
the oligarchic (cf. p. 93). 

7. Here we reach the most assailable point of the 
Platonic project, so far as it is of a political character — 
the absence of any constitutional check or practical counter- 
poise to the power of the philosophic rulers, although this 
penetrates to the most intimate concerns of private life. 
That such a rule could not possibly last, that from the 
very beginning it would of necessity militate against the 
welfare of those entrusted to it, is no doubt more than 
can be proved. The theocratic despotism of the Incas is 
one of several instances which should teach us caution. 
Only so much may be definitely affirmed, that in the 
immense majority of cases of political and social prosperity 
some play of antagonistic forces has existed and has been 
the chief condition of success, while the sole sway of any 
one class or power in the State, untempered either by law 
or circumstance, has seldom or never proved a model 
worthy of imitation. Certainly such a rule has never been 
a source of progress. Nor indeed was progress among the 
advantages which Plato had in view. In this respect his 
ideal fell far short of the despised Athenian reality. Plato's 
" Republic " could never have come into existence in a 
State after Plato's heart, nor any other reform-project of 
equal boldness. Nay, even if we suppose him to have 
realized his ideal, to have become a member of the new 
commonwealth, had he then begun to doubt the supreme 
excellence of his institutions, and desired to bring forward 
proposals for a more moderate reform, such as is found in 
the " Laws," the strict censorship of his " guardians " would 
have effectually silenced him. We need not depict at 
length the ossification, the intellectual rigidity, which such 
a " pedantocracy " would have infallibly produced, in mar- 
vellous contrast with the restless, never-ceasing development 
of its creator. 

We here observe a feature of Plato's mind which was 
peculiarly detrimental to his work as reformer. We may 
name it shortly : " dread of friction." The pupil of Socrates 


has realized the importance for political life of scientifically- 
refined intelligence. This, therefore, must be freed, once 
for all, from the leaden resistance of folly and inertia of 
thought, by being endowed with absolute power. It is 
the same in the social and ethical sphere. He recognizes 
the great value of devotion to the common weal, of eleva- 
tion above the conflicting interests which divide mankind ; 
away, therefore, with all separate life, and with its organs, 
private property and the family! Stoutness of heart and 
strict conformity to reason in the conduct of life are 
threatened by enervating emotions and the supremacy of 
imagination ; nine-tenths, therefore, of all poetry, as the 
main source of these dangers, must be thrown overboard. 
This way of thinking Plato shares with a good many 
others. Auguste Comte desired the annihilation of all 
bad, indeed of all second-rate compositions, and he would 
have had all useless varieties of animals and plants ex- 
terminated. That many a species deemed to be useless 
or even noxious might in course of time prove to have a 
value, is an obvious reflexion, but one which did not arrest 
his impatient striving for the abolition of the worthless. 
This error seems to us typical of the trend of thought 
represented by Plato. It is in the moral world as in the 
physical, where with nearly every poison a means of healing 
would be lost. The same powers of human nature are 
capable of being used with the best results, and of being 
misused with the worst. He who will achieve perfect 
goodness in any one direction by the eradication of the 
opposing instincts runs a risk of tampering with the roots 
from which goodness itself springs. The philosopher was 
here far behind his elder contemporary Euripides, the 
tragedian whom he so heartily despised. It is to the 
latter we owe the profound saying — 

" The good and evil cannot dwell apart : 
The world's a mixture ; " 

a thought which Otto Ludwig expresses with still greater 
force in the words — 

" Excision of my worst 
Were loss of what in me is best of all." 


And while unerring certainty in disentangling the bad 
from the good is something far beyond the powers of 
human reason, we are not so passing rich in impulses, 
capacities, possibilities of happiness, that we can afford to 
seek salvation in the maiming and impoverishment of our 
nature rather than in its ever-renewed discipline and 

Here, to our thinking, lies the double objection which is 
decisive against Plato's social reforms — an objection of far 
greater weight than the easy and superficial assumption 
that the unusual must also be the impossible. This is 
certainly not true of that species of communism in property 
which Plato demands for his class of guardians. It is not 
necessary, in this connexion, to decide the question whether 
collective management is in itself adapted to supersede 
private management everywhere. Plato's dream has in any 
case been fulfilled more than once. What he demands is 
not the socialization of the means of production (which in 
our day can no longer be called an unexampled procedure), 
for the producing classes are not touched by his reform. 
A better parallel to his requirements is supplied by every 
monastic community, and on a larger scale by brotherhoods 
such as the Knights of the Teutonic Order, the members of 
which renounced private property by the vow of poverty, 
while a dependent and tributary peasantry, otherwise 
treated by the Knights with indulgent kindness, furnished 
the means of subsistence for the community. 

These analogies belong to Mediaeval Europe. On the 
other hand, marital communism has found an exact parallel 
in modern America. We refer to the sect of the " Perfec- 
tionists," founded by John Humphrey Noyes, who was 
bom in New England in 181 1. For a full generation this 
sect had its chief seat at Oneida in the state of New York. 
We do not know whether Noyes was acquainted with 
Plato's scheme of reform. In any case, the form which 
" stirpiculture," or hiiman stock-breeding, took among his 
adherents (in 1874 they numbered nearly 300) exhibits a 
striking resemblance to the Platonic model. The only 
marriages allowed were temporary ones for the purpose of 


providing children, and these were all arranged by the 
head of the community ; the number and character of them 
depended on the economic situation of the society for the 
time being, and they were regulated by the endeavour to 
secure the greatest possible perfection in the offspring. 
Exclusiveness and intensity in the emotion of love was 
condemned as " respect of persons," and branded as " sinful 

8. In dealing with a genius like Plato it is a great 
pleasure to be able to exchange the part of critic for 
that of eulogist. We have that pleasure when we turn 
from communism in property and marriage to the emanci- 
pation of women. Plato here treads in the footsteps of his 
great teacher. This is proved, not only by the agreement 
with Xenophon and Antisthenes (cf. Vol. II. p. 8i), but by 
the additional consentient voice of that disciple who had 
the least originality, and who may therefore be taken as 
representing most faithfully the peculiarites of the common 
master. In his dialogue entitled " Aspasla," .^schines put 
in the mouth of that distinguished woman an incisive 
criticism of the education and mode of life traditional for 
her sex. We hold the opinion that in this matter the author 
of the "Republic" has given utterance to the pure and 
complete truth, almost without admixture of error, namely, 
that the female is the more delicate or weaker sex, but that 
this relative weakness only appears on striking an average, 
since an arrangement of all men and all women by 
order of capacity would yield a highly diversified series. 
And, further, that qualitative differences, decisive in the 
choice of a calling, do not exist between masculine and 
feminine endowment. 

It is true that these propositions seem to require a 
somewhat more cautious statement. Even in respect of 
that average inferiority, it cannot as yet be regarded as 
established that, where intellectual gifts are concerned, it 
is an ultimate unalterable fact. On the other hand, the 
possibility is not excluded that a free field for the develop- 
ment of women's talents might bring to light average 
differences of even qualitative order. Only so much is 


certain, that these differences could never suffice to justify 
the limitation of callings for one half of the human race. 
That which is absolutely established is the fact that women 
have done good work and achieved notable success in a 
great variety of spheres which the accident of birth or the 
play of circumstances has opened up to them. On the 
other hand, the observation still holds good, that intellectual 
creations of the first rank, such as demand exceptionally 
sustained concentration, whether in poetry, music, philo- 
sophy, or history, have not hitherto been produced by 
women. But nothing can be inferred hence touching the 
manner of women's education or their freedom in the 
choice of vocations. No one was ever educated to be a 
Shakespeare or a Dante, a Galilei or a Descartes ; and 
every calling employs a great variety of powers by no 
means equal in value. To this must be added that the 
above empirical rule has merely a provisional validity, and 
may at any moment be broken through by a brilliant 
exception. In a department closely related to those just 
named, that of narrative literature, women have, during the 
last few decades, produced works in no respect inferior to 
those of their male rivals. The possibility must not be 
forgotten that the lower degree of merit hitherto observed 
in the productions of women may be due, in those cases 
where it is undeniable, more to the pressure of unfavourable 
circumstances than to any deficiency of talent. 

In the application of these ruling principles there is, it 
must be confessed, a difference between our modern ideals 
and those of Plato, arising out of the difference between 
our way and his of ordering the family. When we insist 
on the retention of the separate family, then for a great 
number of cases, though by no means for all, there 
immediately results that very division of labour which 
Plato affirms so energetically as a general principle and 
rejects so decidedly in regard to the two sexes. Nothing 
can be more natural than that mothers, being kept at 
home by the care of their children, especially if these are 
numerous and of tender age, should devote themselves to 
household duties and to other tasks, such as sick-nursing, 
which are suited to their degree of physical strength. 


But though Plato's ideal of womanhood has little prospect 
of complete realization, a comparison between the Athens 
of the fifth century and the most highly civilized nations of 
to-day shows that the course of development is in the 
direction which Plato approved, and that a considerable 
part of his demands have been actually fulfilled. 

Xenophon gives us, in his " CEconomicus," a picture 
which is assuredly a faithful one, of the mind and life of 
Athenian women. The newly married Ischomachus is 
busy with the education of his wife, a girl barely out of 
her childhood, whom he is anxious to train into an active 
and competent housekeeper and companion of his life, 
healthy in body and mind. It is necessary for him, first 
of all, to tame her as though she were a wild animal, to 
overcome her shyness, and raise her towards his own level. 
Hitherto she has learnt almost nothing ; her mother has 
merely brought her up to be well-behaved and submissive 
to her master's will. She knows, too, how to spin ; but for 
the rest is inclined to leave weaving and all other house- 
work to her slaves, to idle her time away, and to make 
sure of her husband's affection by artificially embellishing 
her indoor complexion and by an unsparing use of all the 
arts of the toilet. (Marriages for love, we note in passing, 
were all but unheard of, since freeborn maidens were 
debarred from the society of young men of their own age. 
It was by considerations of private interest that marriages 
were decided, and Plato is less violent than he seems at 
first sight when he proposes to consult the public interest 
instead.) ftow great is the diff"erence between this half- 
Oriental seclusion and the life of the girls and women — in 
the same social class — of to-day ! Their cheeks are bronzed 
with sport, they deliver lectures and take part in public 
meetings, they paint pictures and write books ; many 
professions, in North America almost all, are open to 
them ; and they are leaving farther and farther behind them 
the stage in which they were banished to the wash-tub and 
the needle, the kitchen and the nursery. 

There are yet other respects in which Plato's model has 
by no means remained a mere Utopia. If the work of State 


departments is now largely performed by trained officials, 
if standing armies display a far higher degree of efficiency 
than was possible to a burgess-militia, if the progressive 
division of labour has brought industry to a height of 
development undreamt of in antiquity, — Plato, influenced 
herein by Socratic intellectualism, by his hatred of the 
Athenian democratic amateurism, as well as by Egyptian 
and other foreign models, must be regarded as a precursor 
of all these changes. It is true that he did not escape 
occasional inconsistencies. For example, the strict division 
of labour which he postulates is only imperfectly realized 
by his " guardians," among whom those at least who attain 
the highest goal are in turn civil officials, military com- 
manders, and speculative philosophers. It is surprising, 
too, that while special training and " experience " are not 
wholly neglected in the governors of the state, they occupy 
a very subordinate space. History has here pronounced 
Plato not altogether in the wrong. Thus many of the 
most famous English politicians, though equipped with no 
more than a purely general education, have grappled suc- 
cessfully with the most difficult problems. And alternation 
between civil and military employments has impaired the 
efficiency of the great Anglo-Indian statesmen as little as 
that of the Roman. 

But whatever our judgment on many a detail, even on 
many a leading thought, of this social and political scheme, 
the author has earned an imperishable distinction. Follow- 
ing the hints 'of his teacher Socrates, he was the first to 
turn upon human institutions the light of free rational 
investigation, and to open in the triple rampart of tradition, 
prejudice, and tyrannous force a breach which has since 
been often narrowed but never repaired. 

Further, in the positive content of Plato's chief work 
there were latent germs the development of which was not 
to be arrested ; indeed, the beginnings of that development 
are in part visible to us in that product of the philosopher's 
old age, the " Laws." That harsh severity which we found 
so characteristic of the author of the " Republic " will appear 
there in greatly diminished strength. Nor can we wonder. 


For the obstacles in the path of what we now call altruism 
or solidarism have already been largely overcome in the 
'' Republic." An ideal involving the sacrifice by the indi- 
vidual of nearly all his separate life, which sweeps away 
all the barriers dividing him from his fellows — such an ideal 
opens a wide channel for the influx of altruistic feelings, for 
the devotion of each one to the interests of others. That 
Plato did not immediately enter the path thus traced for 
him was due to the high-strung idealism of his late-continued 

A great part of human interests, nearly all, in fact, that we 
mean by material welfare and its opposite, had very little 
significance for him, whether in his own case or in that of 
others ; while his contempt for the lower classes contributed 
to the same result from another side. Advancing age 
mellowed the austerity of that idealism, and at the same 
time diminished that prejudice against the lowly bom, and 
even against slaves, chiefly, perhaps, because of his growing 
withdrawal from the influence of the aristocratic associations 
of his youth. All this will come before us in the " Laws." 
But besides the beginnings of an enhanced altruism which 
we have just noticed, the " Republic " betrays a tendency 
in quite the opposite direction, towards the higher valuation 
of the individual. We refer particularly to the comparison 
of the man with the State, or ttoXlq, and the injunction to 
realize, in the single soul at least, the pattern which has 
been exhibited, even should it prove impossible to embody 
it in a commonwealth. As contrasted with* the common 
Greek view, this injunction and the parallelism on which 
it rests bespeak considerable progress in the direction 
followed later by the Stoa and finally by Christianity. 
In all these respects we observe a close affinity to Cynic 
doctrines of which the reader will hardly need to be 
reminded (cf. Vol. II. pp. 152, 161 seq., 165 seq^). 

9. One word more on the fundamental thesis of the 
" Republic," the coincidence of happiness and justice. The 
critical comments with which we have accompanied our 
accounts of the arguments bearing on this point (cf. pp. 61 
and 75) may now be fitly supplemented by a final estimate 


of their value. Earnestly as every well-disposed reader 
must desire to find the thesis proven, just as little can an 
impartial judge avoid perceiving that the soundness of the 
demonstration is not on a level with the greatness of its 
purpose. We need hardly mention the palpable ex- 
aggeration which reckons all external goods as nothing, 
and speaks of happiness even in the case of one persecuted 
and tormented to the uttermost. The no less high-minded 
but more sober-thinking Aristotle tacitly discarded these 
exaggerations. But they form, so we would suggest, 
merely the incongruous husk of a central thought which 
is both true and of great importance — the thought, 
namely, that for every one who possesses an ideal, of 
whatever nature, there are some values which may be 
termed infinite, not comparable or commensurate with any 
other values. Better death, or any extremity of outward 
suffering, than inward degradation ! — such words are no 
rhetorical hyperbole, but a cry from the heart of every one 
who has any share of ethical culture. But the knowledge 
of that which alone makes life truly worth living is the 
fruit of just that education and training which the indi- 
vidual has gained from society. The possibility of that 
training is no doubt a gift of nature. Social influences 
could do nothing for us if we had not the inborn capacity 
to profit by them. But without such influences our 
capacities would slumber on undeveloped. And the de- 
velopment achieved will be entirely different according to 
the surroundings in which destiny places a man. It will 
be of one kind, for example, among Plato's countrymen, 
the slave-owning Greeks, and of a very different kind with 
us, to whom slavery is an abomination. It will be one 
thing with the Turcomans or Bedouins, for whom robbery 
is permissible and honourable, but quite another with us, 
who brand and punish robbery as a hateful crime. Social 
virtue, or justice, has a basis in nature, but is not therefore 
by any means a product of nature. The wide survey 
afforded us by our familiarity with numerous and funda- 
mentally different stages of ethical culture— differing, above 
all, in the scope and range of moral precepts— leaves no 


room for the shadow of a doubt on this head. But even 
Plato's older contemporaries, an Herodotus or a Hippias, 
had already perceived this clearly enough (cf. Vol. I. p. 403). 
Plato's zeal, inherited from Socrates and springing from 
the purest motives, for the establishment of justice or 
social virtue on an unassailable foundation, has dimmed 
the clearness of his vision, and caused him to overlook 
evident facts. Only so can it be explained that Plato 
now thought himself justified in identifying justice with 
efficiency, and again with the equilibrium of the soul's 
powers. We should hesitate to' admit his contention that 
no tyrant or slave-hunter, or even that no robber-captain, 
has ever existed who was thoroughly capable and efficient, 
and at the same time happy. A man of anti-social or 
inhuman disposition does not, as an immediate and express 
consequence of this disposition, suffer any loss of his 
capacity for action and enjoyment. Or, more accurately, 
he does not begin to suffer such a loss until he has granted 
admission to enough altruistic feeling to impair the unity 
and coherence of his character. Then ensues that discord 
and confusion, that inward conflict and disturbance of 
equilibrium, which destroys his happiness and his power 
to act, but which is as foreign to the wholly anti-social 
disposition as it is to the character filled and penetrated 
with the social spirit. 

This thought, one which bridges the gulf between social 
ethics and the hygiene of the soul, admits of a much more 
general statement. Whenever the predominant element 
in a character is temporarily overpowered, it will resume 
its rights when the trouble is over, but now accompanied 
by painful feelings, which we name regret, repugnance, 
remorse, pricks of conscience, according to circumstances. 
And well for him who has the courage to drain the bitter 
cup and endure to the end the struggle between the 
opposing tendencies within him. Otherwise the acute 
disorder easily becomes a chronic malady, gradually cor- 
roding the powers both of feeling and of will. For in the 
continual shock of conflicting impulses these powers be- 
come weakened, much as two currents moving in opposite 


directions in the same channel. This enfeebling process 
is, moreover, indirectly promoted by the involuntary effort 
to escape from the struggle, that is, to banish the con- 
flicting ideas from the mind. Such efforts can hardly 
remain confined to a narrow region of psychic activity ; 
thus the normal flow of ideas is itself impeded, and injury 
done to the healthy working of the soul's functions. Per- 
haps these results, which have been obtained from observa- 
tion and the analogy of natural phenomena, may one day 
be established by the strict methods of psycho-physical 
experiment. If so, the dream of Plato and Socrates would 
be fulfilled, and a natural basis found for social ethics in 
the proof of its real indispensability for the happiness of 
the individual. It may be objected, certainly, that the 
inward breach might also be healed by rooting out not 
the anti-social, but the social impulses. In itself, the 
objection holds, but it is of no practical importance. A 
Cyclops dwelling in lonely seclusion might make the 
attempt, but not a member of society in constant inter- 
course with his fellows, and, if not a monster or a de- 
humanized brute, continually bound more closely to them 
by new ties of conscious or unconscious sympathy. 

Such a demonstration, however, with its long chain of 
intermediate links, seemed to Plato unnecessary. He 
escaped the necessity of one by setting the motives 
of injustice in the place of injustice itself. For him the 
unjust man is the luster after rule, the covetous man, 
the man given over to unbridled sensuality. With these 
types he contrasts their opposites, and thus frames an 
ideal which has wielded enormous influence and won the 
highest significance for humanity. But there is one thing 
which an impartial judge will not admit, namely, that 
Plato has succeeded in proving, as strictly as he thought 
he had, the greater worth of those types in respect of 
happiness (cf, for example, p. 99). That he who masters 
his desires is happier than he who is under their yoke, 
may be conceded without demur. But that the contem- 
plative or philosophic life, which Plato admits into his 
ideal as being the freest from desires, blesses him who 


lives it more than does the life of one born to rule, one 
whose energies naturally flow outwards — this is an assertion 
which no argument could ever make good. The taste and 
the talent of a Plato or an Aristotle here stand opposed 
to the taste and the talent of a Pericles or an Epaminondas ; 
and where shall we look for an umpire ? 




I. Plato himself was not always given up to contemplation. 
His keen ambition to make the world better did not always 
rest content with the long circuit of writing and teaching. 
Twice he attempted to take an active part in politics ; on 
neither occasion were his efforts crowned with success. 
The grievous failure, with its final note of tragedy, darkened 
the evening of the philosopher's life, but probably turned 
to the advantage of his philosophy. The further develop- 
ment of his political theory, as presented to us in the 
" Statesman " and the " Laws," must have been influenced 
by those bitter experiences. We may even conjecture that 
the impulse thus received extended to the other parts of 
his system, and forwarded that general revision of all his 
fundamental doctrines to which we have already alluded 
(cf. Vol. n. pp. 289, 290). 

The royal throne of Syracuse was occupied by Diony- 
sius n. (367 B.C.). His familiar adviser, bound to him by 
a threefold bond of affinity, was Dion, the same high- 
minded prince who twenty years earlier had enjoyed the 
friendship of Plato, and received from him a stimulus 
which affected the whole of his subsequent life. It was 
Dion's influence that moved the young prince to invite to 
his court the great philosopher, then in the fulness of his 
powers and at the zenith of his reputation. At the same 
time, possibly, Dionysius thought to enhance the splendour 
of his reign by surrounding himself with eminent thinkers 


and writers, just as a Polycrates in Samos, a Gelo and 
Hiero in Syracuse itself, had made celebrated poets mem- 
bers of their royal households. In fact, Plato was not the 
only recipient of that invitation ; Aristippus of Cyrene, as 
well as iEschines the Socratic, also resided as guests in 
the palace of Dionysius II. Plato forgot the wrong done 
him by the father ; he obeyed the summons of the son, 
backed as it was by Dion's urgent entreaties, and left the 
Academy, accompanied by a train of pupils. 

A teacher whose powerful eloquence is still mirrored 
in his dialogues, whose forceful personality had already 
imposed its yoke on so many hearts, may well have thought 
it no chimerical undertaking to gain for the service of 
philosophy a great Hellenic state, ruled by a young and 
susceptible prince, and with the help thus obtained to bring 
his political ideal into being. Experiences which might 
have checked such hopes were wholly lacking ; and the 
example of Sparta, whose peculiar constitution, then held 
to be a model of perfection in many of its parts, was 
regarded as the well-planned work of a single legislator, 
seemed to invite emulation. His first impressions, too, 
were in correspondence with these high-pitched expecta- 
tions. Plato was received with marks of the highest 
distinction ; a royal carriage, adorned as for a great 
occasion, conveyed him from the harbour to the palace. 
Dionysius soon became a diligent pupil of the great 
Athenian master. A course of instruction was begun, 
the first stage of which, on Platonic principles, was devoted 
to mathematics. The fashion thus introduced in royal 
quarters was taken up by the crowd of courtiers with 
amusing eagerness, and soon the sand of the courts and 
paths round the palace was covered with geometrical 

Not intriguing politicians only, but sincere patriots, and 
especially the statesmen who had grown grey in the service 
of Dionysius I., may well have shaken their heads. The 
foundations of the State seemed in danger. Plutarch tells 
a story, which may or may not be true, to the effect that 
once, when sacrifice was being offered in the palace, and the 


herald was invoking the blessing of heaven on the un- 
changed continuance of his master's reign, the prince, then 
twenty-five years of age, was so carried away by his zeal for 
Plato's teaching, that he interrupted the rite and declared 
that blessing a curse. An Athenian sophist — so men 
whispered — was attempting to debase and emasculate 
Syracuse, had undertaken to win by his power of speech that 
triumph in pursuit of which his countrymen, half a century 
earlier, had vainly employed their whole armed force ! The 
conservative party did what it always does in such a case — it 
shortened sail, and waited for a favourable wind. Plato mean- 
time continued to discharge his duties as instructor, and to 
prepare his royal pupil to play the part of a philosophic 
ruler. He has been reproached with allowing the decisive 
moment to slip by unused. It is suggested that he ought 
to have turned the honeymoon of philosophic enthusiasm to 
better account by bringing about a change in the form of 
government, and procuring the liberation of the Greek cities 
subject to Syracuse. He is censured as an unpractical 
politician, who, instead of setting promptly to work, pre- 
ferred to dally with his office as a director of education and 
conscience. Such, more or less, is the judgment of George 
Grote, who involuntarily substitutes his own political ideal 
for Plato's. The author of the " Republic " was no believer 
in the universal healing power of political constitutions. 
His ideal, both then and for some time afterwards, was 
philosophic absolutism. The inward reformation of the 
ruler was, therefore, for him, no merely ornamental or sub- 
sidiary achievement, which might be omitted without much 
loss, but the very heart and centre of the reformer's task. 
It is not want of consistency that can fairly be charged 
against him, but want of knowledge of human nature. 
This reproach, however, can be urged with greater justice 
against Plato's helper and intermediary, Dion, who failed 
to perceive that the sudden enthusiasm of his young kins- 
man was but a fire of straw which flames up fiercely and 
soon dies out. The mistake was to cost him dear. The 
old conservative party, then led by Philistus, an historian 
and statesman who had been recalled from exile, watched 


vigilantly for Dion to make a false move. That which is 
so earnestly sought is generally found. Material for an 
accusation was supplied by intercepted letters of Dion 
addressed to the Carthaginian generals — letters whose 
object was the conclusion of a treaty of peace, and in which 
a prejudiced eye could not fail to discover a treasonable 
design. Nothing was easier than to represent to the 
occupant of the throne — suspicious as he was by nature and 
soon tired of an unaccustomed tutelage — that his own 
exclusion from public business and the exaltation of Dion 
had been the true motives of the summons sent to Plato. 
The resentment thus diligently fostered broke out with full 
force, and an abrupt end was made of the philosophic inter- 
lude at the royal residence. Not but what a continuation 
of it was to be witnessed shortly. 

2. Dion was banished ; but it was only after long delays 
that Plato himself received his cong^, and then not without 
promising Dionysius to return at a more convenient season. 
With this promise Plato coupled the condition that at the 
same time — after the conclusion of a campaign with which 
for the moment the monarch was fully occupied — Dion, too, 
should be recalled. But such a breach as had been opened 
-between the ruler and his elder kinsman and adviser has 
a natural tendency to widen. The confidential position 
formerly occupied by the displaced friend is invaded by 
others who spare no pains to make themselves secure in it. 
Dion, too, was highly honoured in the motherland ; and 
every token of esteem paid to the exile, such as the com- 
plimentary citizenship granted him by Sparta, was neces- 
sarily felt by Dionysius as an affront. Whether he wished 
it or not, Dion was sure to seem the living indictment of 
his royal brother-in-law. It was inevitable that the dis- 
contented in Syracuse, and the enemies of Dionysius every- 
where, should see their natural leader in the expelled prince. 
Dion himself, however, still hoped for a reconciliation, and 
he urged Plato to accept a new invitation which he re- 
ceived to the Syracusan court. Archytas, then at the head 
of the Tarentine commonwealth, joined his entreaties, and 
at length Plato reluctantly gave way. He had received 


satisfactory reports of the monarch's changed sentiments and 
philosophical studies ; he was able, therefore, to embark on 
the Syracusan war-ship sent for his conveyance in the hope 
of smoothing the way for Dion's return, and thus preparing 
the moral and political regeneration of the Sicilian monarchy. 
But his expectation was again disappointed. Indeed, the 
breach he hoped to heal was the rather widened. The 
marked predilection which Plato showed for Dion is said to 
have roused the jealousy of the suspectible prince. Hitherto 
he had done nothing to curtail the revenue which Dion 
received from his vast estates ; he now proceeded to their 
confiscation. The disillusioned philosopher perceived the 
hopelessness of his efforts, and expressed his wish to return 
home. But, though he was overwhelmed with marks of 
distinction, his departure was not permitted, and he was 
detained in a kind of honourable captivity. His final 
release was due to the urgent representations of Archytas. 
He landed on the Peloponnese, and met Dion at the 
Olympic games (July, 360), where the banished prince and 
the renowned teacher formed the centre of interest for the 
crowds drawn by the festival from all parts of Greece. 

If the two friends sought the banks of the Alpheus to 
avoid the gaze of the curious and enjoy the cool of the 
evening, there can have been no lack of varied information 
for them to exchange as they walked. Let us endeavour 
to catch a few morsels of their conversation. Plato has an 
attentive listener as he describes the impressions which his 
nephew Speusippus has received from all sorts and con- 
ditions of men in Syracuse, and has since carefully pre- 
served. If Dion speaks regretfully of the new and heavy 
sacrifice which has been fruitlessly made for himself and 
his native city by the philosopher now on the threshold 
of old age, Plato seeks to console him by relating the 
successes of his pupils at the palace — successes which 
have not a little increased the reputation of the Aca- 
demy. He tells of the astonishment which the predic- 
tion of a solar eclipse (May 1 2, 360) by his pupil Helicon of 
Cyzicus had aroused, and how Xenocrates won universal 
admiration when with genuine " Socratic strength " he 


gained the victory in the drinking contest instituted by 
Dionysius at the " Pitcher-Feast," but disdained the prize, 
a circlet of gold, and laid it upon the statue of a god. He 
speaks, too, of the pleasure with which he met Eudoxus the 
Cnidian, who more than two decades earlier had visited 
Athens and the Academy as a youth of twenty-three, and 
had since become the most celebrated astronomer of the 

Meanwhile the logic of facts was pressing on to further 
and further consequences. Dionysius could not but expect 
the worst from the prince whom he had robbed and wronged 
so grievously, and he felt he could no longer allow him 
to possess, in the royal palace itself, a point of support 
which seemed intended for a centre of hostile intrigues. 
Dion's wife, Arete, was the daughter of Dionysius I. by 
his marriage with Dion's sister Aristomache. Dion had 
formerly maintained the claims to the throne of Arete's 
brothers, while their sister Sophrosyne was at the same 
time the half-sister and wife of Dionysius II., whose mother 
was a Locrian named Doris. This Dionysius now dis- 
solved Dion's marriage, and compelled Arete to become 
the wife of Timocrates, one of his own familiar friends. 
Thus the last bond was broken by which the estranged 
kinsmen had hitherto been united. An open conflict was 

Three years were spent in preparations, and then Dion 
drew the sword. In August, 357, he left Zante for Sicily, 
taking with him, in five merchantmen, a small body of 
volunteers, chiefly composed of Peloponnesian mercenaries. 
Several members of the Academy accompanied him, among 
them Eudemus of Cyprus, who never returned, and whose 
untimely end was mourned by his friend Aristotle both in 
prose and verse (cf. Vol. II. p. 71). Timonides, too, went 
with the expedition ; and his notes, drawn up in the form 
of a diary and addressed to Speusippus, are one of the chief 
sources for the historical narrative of these events ; lastly, 
there was Callippus of evil destiny. The small number of 
the adventurers and their rapid triumph remind us of the 
thousand of Marsala and Garibaldi's marvellous conquest 


of the kingdom of Naples. In both cases the discontent of 
the people was the most powerful ally of the invaders. But 
the fickleness of the masses, who now received Dion and 
his company with enthusiastic jubilation and now drove 
them out of the city, together with the intrigues of Dion's 
personal opponent, Heraclides, a returned exile, jeopardized 
the successes won until Dion gained the final victory, of 
which he was to enjoy the fruits for barely a year. By a 
freak of destiny the school of idealism sent forth a politician 
whose actions seemed inspired by the most unscrupulous 
opportunism. An unworthy member of the Platonic circle, 
the Callippus already mentioned, assassinated Dion (in the 
year 354), and made himself master, though only for a short 
time, of Syracuse. It is foreign to the purpose of the 
present work to trace the changing fortunes of that struggle. 
All we need ask is whether, and in what way, Dion had 
merited his tragic end, and whether Plato was deceived in 
him. The affirmative is now often maintained ; some 
think that Dion was merely an example of vulgar ambition, 
whose only object was to set himself in the place of 
Dionysius, while others imagine that he quickly fell a victim 
to the intoxication of power, and abandoned the high aims 
with which he had set out. Neither of these opinions 
seems to us well-founded. 

3. Dion and his countrymen were separated from the 
first by a grave misunderstanding which it was hardly 
possible for them to overcome. The dwellers in the great 
Sicilian city were well acquainted with two things : the 
ruthless tyranny of their monarchs, the first and the second 
Dionysius, and the equally ruthless revolutionary democracy 
which sought the welfare of the many by the spoil of the 
rich, whose watchwords were "confiscation of property" and 
" division of the land." That which was wholly unknown to 
them, and could scarcely be made intelligible to them, was 
a ruler whose aim was the welfare of the people, but whose 
means consisted in a well-considered division of power, 
in a strong government, not unreservedly at the mercy 
of the immediate influence of the many — a government 
whose guiding principle might be expressed by the motto. 


" Everything for the people, little by the people." We can 
well understand that the Syracusans were not ready to 
extend their confidence to a member of their royal family, 
and that they fell an easy prey to the seductive arts of a 
demagogue like Heraclides. For such an opponent Dion 
was no match. The very qualities which had enabled him | 
to represent his country abroad with dignity, which had 
effectively impressed the Carthaginians on the occasion of 
his different embassies, diminished his fitness for the part 
of popular leader. His disposition was proud and reserved, 
he had the self-assured address of the prince and the 
philosopher. He possessed, moreover, another feature of 
the philosopher's and idealist's character — an exaggerated 
leniency, a readiness to forgive and forget past injuries, 
which in his dealings with Heraclides he carried beyond all 
reasonable limits. Nor was he able to persevere in this 
course to the end. At the wrong moment, and against the 
wish of all his adherents, he had been merciful ; he had 
not only spared the perjurer's forfeited life when he might 
legitimately have ordered his execution, but had set him 
once more at his own side to share his authority. At last, 
however, he had no choice but either to yield place to his 
unworthy subordinate, or procure his death without a 
judicial sentence. He did the latter, and thus entered 
upon the path of revolution which was to lead to his own 
destruction. In death, at least, Dion received the highest 
honours from the Syracusan people ; and their mourning 
gave evidence of the deep impression which the 
character of the royal philosopher had made upon them 
in spite of all misunderstandings and differences of 

The chief charge brought against Dion by modern 
historians we regard as entirely without foundation. He 
refused compliance with the popular wish, of which 
Heraclides was the spokesman, that he should raze the 
fortress into which the royal residence had been trans- 
formed. For this refusal he had many and good grounds. 
Such a demolition would have been, first and foremost, a 
demonstration, in which Dion would have been prevented 


from participating by the mere dictates of decency and 
regard to his family. For decades his sister Aristomache, 
and afterwards his niece and wife Arete, had reigned in 
that stronghold. The destruction of it would have been 
the signal for a wild outburst of popular rejoicing, for the 
expression of sentiments directed against all the members 
of the ruling family. Dion's task was to reconcile the con- 
flicting parties, not to increase the forces of revolutionary 
radicalism. And, had these considerations not been 
decisive, the mere fact that his bitter and crafty opponent 
Heraclides was the author of the proposal, was enough to 
make it distasteful to him and convert the discussion of it 
into a trial of strength between the rivals. 

The form of government which Dion intended to intro- 
duce was one blended out of monarchical, aristocratic, and 
democratic elements — a project whose agreement with 
Plato's maturer suggestions can hardly be accidental. 
That this statement of Plutarch does not rest on mere 
conjecture, or on fictions current in a narrow circle, is 
shown by the circumstance that Dion summoned " helpers 
and counsellors " from the aristocratically ruled mother- 
city, Corinth — a fact which we have no ground for doubting, 
and which is in harmony with the action of Dion in copying 
his coinage from Corinthian models. Here, too, we have 
Dion's point of closest contact with Timoleon. The lat):er 
was summoned from Corinth ten years later, after an interval 
in which the Syracusans had endured the despotism of 
Callippus, of Dion's two sons, of the returned Dionysius, 
and finally of Hicetas. Or rather we should say that the 
mother-city, having received a request to restore order in 
Syracuse, entrusted the task to Timoleon as a man of high 
character and proved ability. He succeeded where Dion 
had failed. His powerful personality, together with the 
well-calculated measures he adopted, triumphed over the 
dangerous forces which were ever making for tyranny, and 
which, twenty years later, after the death of Timoleon (316), 
did in fact gain the upper hand once more, through the 
agency of Agathocles. Between the constitutional reform 
accomplished by Timoleon and that projected by Dion there 


does not exist that sharp contrast which modern historians 
generally claim to discern. The similarity of starting-point, 
the dependence upon the aristocratically ruled Corinth 
which is common to the two cases, are preliminary 
objections to that claim. And this first impression is 
strengthened by the little we know with certainty of the 
government founded by Timoleon ; by the yearly drawing 
of lots which placed at the head of the State some priest 
of the Olympian Zeus belonging to one of a limited circle 
of families, by the council of six hundred, which formed 
part of the same constitutional enactment, and which in 
its later development appears as the organ of oligarchic 
tendencies. That which principally distinguished the two 
high-minded men and their work, apart from the very 
unequal duration of their activity, was firstly their tempera- 
ments, and secondly — a more important matter, in our 
opinion — the difference in their situations. Just as the 
glorious and brilliant reign of Louis XIV. did not prevent 
the exhaustion and impoverishment of France at its close, 
so Syracuse, in spite of the position which it won as a great 
power, in spite of the military successes of its monarchs, 
was in the end drained of its life-blood by the endless wars 
with Carthage and the long-enduring civil conflict. Grass 
was growing in the Syracusan market-place when Timoleon 
entered the city. Thus the Demos with which Dion had 
to deal, and that which awaited Timoleon, were identical 
only in name. The people which had met Dion with 
mutinous defiance and unbridled greed became a willing 
and obedient instrument in the hand of Timoleon. Dion 
lost a great part of his popularity when he refused com- 
pliance with the wild cry for the division of the land. He 
was thus unable, whether willing or not, to trust entirely 
to the Demos and dispense with the aid of foreign 
mercenaries. Timoleon was the idol of the people, 
although, instead of dividing the land among the many, 
he brought a great number of colonists with capital into 
the country, and sold to the highest bidder the houses 
of banished owners which he might have given away. This 
far-reaching difference in the social and economic situation 


at two epochs divided by so short an interval has not 
hitherto, we think, received sufficient consideration. The 
failure to recognize this important distinction has led to 
comparisons in which the head of Timoleon has been 
encircled with an undeserved halo, while the figure of Dion 
has been shrouded in an equally unmerited gloom. 




I. Did Dion's enterprise — so many a reader may well ask 
— leave no discernible trace in the long series of Plato's 
writings ? Such a trace, we think, is to be found in that 
passage of the " Statesman " which is concerned with the 
right of a ruler, supposed well-intentioned and qualified for 
his task, to coerce men for their good by conducting them 
from a perverse to a salutary form of polity. This right is 
there maintained with a warmth and eagerness such as 
only questions of practical politics usually inspire. We 
could wish to take this opportunity of bringing our 
study of the " Statesman " — which is a link between the 
" Republic '' and the " Laws " — into close relation with our 
account of the former work. But a full understanding of 
the dialogue could not be reached by this path. For the 
" Statesman " is a continuation of the " Sophist," which in 
its turn takes up the thread of the " Theaetetus." Again, 
two parts of this trilogy — the "Theaetetus" and the 
" Sophist " — presuppose the " Parmenides," not only by 
isolated hints and allusions, but by their explicit mention 
of the fictitious conversation, on the doctrine of ideas, 
between the youthful Socrates and the aged Parmenides, 
which forms the content of the dialogue bearing the 
Eleatic thinker's name. Our exposition of this whole 
phase of Platonic authorship must therefore start from 
the "Parmenides." But first we desire to deal with a 
work of slighter importance, which we have hitherto 
ignored. This is the " Euthydemus," which both form 
and matter assign to an earlier period. 


This earlier period, however, is not the earliest of all. 
For the sophists against whom Socrates now takes the 
field are no longer the old sophists known to the " Hip- 
pias," the " Protagoras," or the " Gorgias ; " the " Eristics " 
(of. Vol. I. p. 421, seq.) and their art are now the enemy. 
It is true that insignificant and commonplace characters 
are employed to retail those excrescences of dialectic with 
which the " Euthydemus " is concerned, two brothers who 
have exchanged the arts of armed combat and of rhetoric 
for that of refutation and argument. But it is at his fellow- 
Socratics, more especially Antisthenes, that Plato strikes 
through these bruisers. The buffoonery of the piece 
furnishes us with a chronological indication which is not 
to be despised. This sportive, almost farcical attack must 
have preceded the serious polemic against Antisthenic 
doctrines contained in the " Theaetetus " and the " Sophist." 
The contrary order would involve an inverted climax which 
the artistic sense of even a less consummate master than 
Plato would have avoided. 

The " Euthydemus " may be described as a piece of 
dialectical horseplay. The purpose of it is most clearly 
revealed in the epilogue. Socrates' friend Crito has left the 
gymnasium known as the Lyceum, in which the two Eristics 
have been showing off their tricks. On his way he meets a 
rhetorician, who expresses his contempt for Eristic, and, in 
the superior tone of a man who regards his own art of 
rhetoric as the one true philosophy, includes the philosophers 
as a class in his depreciations. Under this artistic disguise, 
and by it accommodated to the dialogue form, we have no 
doubt that there lies a reference to a current literary event. 
Attacks of this nature, in which the philosophers are 
censured as vain disputers, in which Plato, Antisthenes, 
and the Megarians are lumped together without distinction, 
are to be found in several speeches of Isocrates. Since the 
character given of the unnamed rhetorician is likewise 
appropriate to Isocrates, in details as well as in the main 
point — he is a writer of speeches, but yet not accustomed to 
appear in public — it was a natural conclusion to suppose 
him aimed at here. This conjecture cannot be raised to 


the rank of a certainty. But whether the critic in question 
who is relegated without anger to his proper place and for 
the rest is not treated altogether without respect, be 
Isocrates or some other, the fact remains that in this 
epilogue we have the key to the dialogue as a whole. Some 
attack of the kind just mentioned supplied Plato with an 
occasion for sharply differentiating his own Socratism from 
that of his opponents and rivals. Euthydemus and Diony- 
sodorus are the representatives, in caricature, of that 
dialectic which arose out of the school of Socrates, but at 
the same time owed much to impulses first given by Zeno. 
Paradoxical reasonings cease in this burlesque to be merely 
the instrument of intellectual gymnastic ; as fallacies and 
logical pitfalls they become an end in themselves, or, rather, 
a means of money-making, and the primary use made of 
them is to dazzle and astonish, to win from crowded 
audiences laughter and applause that shake the very 
columns of the Lyceum. The alleged aim, that of guiding 
towards wisdom and virtue, is most glaringly contradicted 
by the frivolity with which from the outset all learning is 
declared impossible, on the ground that the wise no longer 
need to learn, while the ignorant are incapable of learning 
anything. On the one hand, the word " learn " is used to 
denote the acquisition of knowledge in general ; on the other, 
it stands for the turning to account, in that process, of 
knowledge already acquired, e.g. of tHe ability to read in 
learning by heart. Such playing with the double significance 
of words, the tacit omission of restrictive qualifications, 
the use of constructions linguistically possible but inadmis- 
sible in regard to their matter, the summation of predicates 
designating entirely different relations, the interchange of 
the various meanings of the possessive pronoun, — all these 
and many other devices serve to support a series of para- 
doxical fallacies which perhaps culminate in the following 
argument : You beat this dog ; he is yours ; he is a father ; 
therefore it is your father that you beat. Similarly, we are 
told that he who knows anything has knowledge, that he 
who has knowledge can never m any circumstances be 
ignorant ; consequently that whoever knows anything at all 


must know everything and have known it always. Or 
again : Killing befits the butcher, therefore it is fitting to 
kill him ; or : Living beings (animals) belonging to me I 
have the right to offer in sacrifice or to sell ; Apollo belongs 
to me (being bound to me by an ancestral cult) ; he is a 
living being ; therefore I have a right to sacrifice the god 
and sell him. 

We come to an exquisite piece of trickery on Plato's 
part. In the midst of the imbecilities of these word-twisters 
and thought-jugglers, he smuggles certain doctrines of 
Antisthenes. Thus the brothers are made to assert the 
impossibility of other than identical judgments, the im- 
possibility of contradiction and false statement. That in 
the mind of the man who founded the Cynic school these 
were serious and honest difficulties, there cannot be the 
slightest doubt. It is one of Plato's controversial artifices 
to discredit the, for him, despised doctrines of an opponent 
(cf. Vol. II. p. 182, seq) by the company in which he intro- 
duces themand the character of thosewhom he selects as their 
mouthpiece. Antisthenes, moreover, is brought before our 
thoughts by the words in which the Eristic mountebanks are 
first presented to our notice. The circumstance that they 
have passed over from rhetoric to dialectic, and that late in 
life, is a touch which must infallibly have reminded a contem- 
porary reader of Antisthenes, who traversed the same path, 
and who, in addition, is jeered at by Plato in the " Sophist " 
as " an old man gone to school " (cf. Vol. II. p. 143). 

As foil to the caricature we have an idealized portrait. 
The turns of the dialectical variety-artists are repeatedly 
relieved by plain and simple colloquies between Socrates 
and one of the young men present. The purport of these 
interludes is somewhat as follows : All good things acquire 
that character only by right use. Left unused they remain 
an inert possession ; misuse transforms them into evils, and 
those are the worst which have the greatest power over 
men's lives. Now, the condition of right use is wisdom ; 
this, then, is the one absolutely good thing. The question 
arises — What is the nature of this wisdom ^ It is taken for 
granted that in it the capacity for production and that for 


the right employment of what is produced must coincide. 
Production alone is not enough. For the masters of even 
the most eminent arts are comparable to mere hunters 
As the latter hand over the prey they have caught to others 
who know how to make use of it, so the general who has 
taken a city must pass it on to the statesman, so the 
researcher in a special science {e.g. the mathematician or 
the astronomer) must entrust his acquisitions to the dialec- 
tician to whom he is subordinate. What, then, is that 
supreme or " royal art " .-' This question remains un- 
answered ; we shall meet it again in the " Statesman.'' 
The most noteworthy feature of these disquisitions is the 
tone in which they are delivered. We are carried far from 
the bewildering cross-examination, the benumbing shock of 
the Socratic inquisition, which are described in the " Meno " 
by the graphic image of the torpedo (cf. Vol. II. pp. 362, 376) ; 
mystification and paradox are a heaven's breadth behind 
us. These same disquisitions, we may remark in passing, 
supply a cogent proof that the " Euthydemus " is later than 
the " Meno." For while in the " Meno " much space is 
given to a treatment of the question whether virtue can be 
taught, the same question is here affirmatively answered by 
Socrates in a short phrase of joyous assent. The friendly 
tone of his exhortations, the fatherly way in which he 
guides and encourages his young hearers to the acquisition 
of positive results, stand in violent antithesis to the sterile 
and repellent paradoxes of the two eristics. This far- 
reaching and nicely calculated contrast-effect may be 
regarded as the central feature of the whole dialogue. Its 
primary motive, however, was the settling of accounts with 
other schools of philosophy, more particularly the Socratic— 
a motive which, with heightened earnestness and increasing 
maturity, governs a series of subsequent dialogues. This 
relationship provides us with an unimpeachable chonological 
criterion, which compels us, as we have already remarked, 
to date the " Euthydemus " before the " Theaetetus," and 
the " Parmenides " before the " Sophist." 

2. He who turns from the "Euthydemus" to the 
" Parmenides " finds a great surprise awaiting him. The 


air of superiority and certainty with which Plato pierces 
through fallacies of all kinds, the scathing sarcasm with 
which he ridicules the thought-jugglers, hardly prepare us 
to see him scattering paralogisms broadcast himself And 
yet it is precisely such a collection, as even the warmest 
admirers of Plato are bound to admit, that occupies the 
greater part of the " Parmenides." How this is possible, 
and possible without in any way diminishing our respect for 
Plato's character as an earnest inquirer, will appear upon 
examining the construction of this work, perhaps the most 
remarkable of those which Plato wrote. 

Our readers are already acquainted with the strong 
family feeling of the thinker who in the "Republic" 
proposed the abolition of the family ; they know the pains 
which the great author took to immortalize the memory of 
his nearest kin. Here it is to his half-brother Antiphon 
that this honour is extended. Clearly, however, it would 
have been impossible to ascribe to him any speculative 
tendencies without doing violence to his actual character. 
He is presented to us, therefore, at the opening of the 
dialogue, as the sportsman that he was, fresh from a 
conference with a mechanic on the making of a bridle. 
More than once in the past he has heard from Pythodorus, 
who was bound by the ties of hospitality to Zeno the 
Eleatic, an account of a conversation which Parmenides 
and his favourite pupil had, when visiting Athens, with 
the then youthful Socrates. As an event is in question 
which took place long ago, this artifice of a narrative by 
a third person is perfectly legitimate. After some hesita- 
tion Antiphon complies with the request of Cephalus— 
a visitor from Clazomenae, introduced by Plato's brothers, 
Adeimantus and Glaucon— and repeats what he has heard 
from Pythodorus. The dialogue thus reported starts from 
the Zenonian theses (cf Vol. I. p. 192, seq.), which Socrates 
and many others had hastened to hear. Plato at once 
indicates the leading thought of the whole dialogue by 
making Zeno speak of the retribution he wishes to inflict 
on his master's opponents as the motive of his chain of 
theses. Soon an easy transition is made to the Platonic 
VOL. III. m 


doctrine of ideas, which Socrates, who is at present hardly 
out of his boyhood, defends with the confidence and the 
impetuosity of youth, so that his dogmatism provolses the 
aged head of the Eleatic school to criticism. A series of 
objections are urged against the doctrine of ideas, and 
remain substantially unanswered. This discussion occupies 
the first and much the shorter portion of the dialogue. 
With the object of assisting Socrates towards greater 
maturity, Parmenides now sets before him, as preliminary 
mental exercises, a long series of difficulties or " apories," 
the sting of which is directed against nothing else than the 
central Eleatic doctrine of the One ! Thus the self-criticism 
of Plato is followed by that of Parmenides. It is here that 
Plato's subtlety attains its highest pitch, here where true 
and false, admissible and invalid arguments are crowded 
together in exuberant variety, where contradictory con- 
clusions are deduced from the same premisses, and at 
last nothing remains but an impression of bewildering 

This dialogue has given so much trouble to the critics 
and commentators that there has been no lack of violent 
interpretations; that its genuineness has been disputed; 
that, finally, an hypothesis has been raised according to 
which the concluding portion of the work, containing 
the much-desired positive solutions, has been lost, and 
what remains in our hands is a mere torso. From all 
these counsels of desperation we are saved by the view 
of the dialogue which we now proceed to expound — a view 
in which we are in partial agreement with several previous 

The " Parmenides " is the product of an epoch at which 
the author's mind was in a ferment. Objections, proceeding 
chiefly from the camp of the Megarians or Neo-Eleatics 
and the thinkers influenced by them, together with Plato's 
own deepened reflexion, have revealed to him a number 
of difficulties attaching to his fundamental metaphysical 
doctrine. To overcome these difficulties collectively is, for 
the moment at least, a task to which he feels himself 
unequal. But it is still harder for him to abandon the 


doctrine of ideas, which has become interwoven with his 
whole conception of the universe, or even to clothe it in a 
form less susceptible to attack. Whether this will ever be 
possible remains an open question. But that the difficulties 
under which his own theory labours are matched by equal 
or greater difficulties, the means of surmounting which is 
provided by his theory alone— of this he is certain. Perhaps, 
so he may have thought, an absolutely flawless, perfectly 
consistent conception of the highest things is more than 
what it is given to man to attain. Animated, therefore, by 
the purest zeal for truth, he gathers into a focus everything 
that can be urged against the doctrine of ideas, regardless 
of the distinction between arguments which seem to him 
answerable and those which do not as yet fall within that 
category. By thus stringing together the plausible objections 
to his own theory,he purchases the right to deal similarly with 
the theories of others. He proceeds, therefore, to compile 
another exhaustive list of possible objections, neglecting as 
before the difference between the tenable and the untenable, 
but this time selecting for attack the fundamental meta- 
physical doctrine of the very school from a younger branch 
of which had come the most violent assaults upon his own 
doctrine of ideas, the school, too, which stood pre-eminent 
above all others for exactness of thought. In this species 
of "retaliation," which after Plato's manner becomes at 
the same time a process of outbidding (cf Vol. II. p. 309, 
and Vol. III. p. 48), he finds consolation and satisfaction. 
Thus the " Parmenides " resembles the proceedings in a 
court of justice, where, after the pleadings, the speech for 
the prosecution and the speech, taking the form of a 
counter-charge, for the defence, the case is adjourned 
before a verdict is reached. 

3. Let us cast a glance on both portions of the dialogue. 
The objections against the doctrine of ideas are six in 
number, or, more correctly, five, since two of them are only 
variations of the same argument. This is the one which 
Aristotle designates by the technical term " the third man ; " 
it was due to the sophist Polyxenus, a thinker closly allied 
to the Megarian circle. Another allusion to it is contained 


in the tenth book of the " Republic." If two particular 
things, a and b, owe their similarity to a form or idea C, in 
which they both participate, or from which they are both 
copied, whence does the similarity which obtains between 
the form C and the two particulars derive its origin ? In 
order to account for this similarity, must we not assume a 
second, superior form D, that is, a third stage in the scale of 
entities ? And what is true of C in relation to a and b is 
again true of D in relation to C, and so on ad infinitum. 
Another difficulty is contained in the question — How can 
the individual things participate in the ideas ? how can an 
idea be present in many individuals without loss of its 
unity ? The difficulty recurs in the late dialogue " Philebus," 
and, according to Aristotle, Plato never saw his way clear 
through it. The alternative assumption — imitation instead 
of participation — is also propounded and met by one of the 
varieties of the first argument we have noticed. A further 
objection is one which may be termed the anti-realistic 
argument — How can the ideas exist elsewhere than in our 
consciousness .-' Plato here breaks through the artistic form 
which he has adopted. Manifestly it is distasteful to him 
to allow his hated adversary, Antisthenes, the author of this 
objection (cf Vol. II. p. i8i), to be right even for a moment. 
He therefore makes Parmenides himself reply that the 
notions present in our mind, if there is to be any truth in 
them, must be notions ol something ; there must exist objects 
corresponding to them. (In the last resort this is an appeal 
to the primitive un analyzed thought which underlies 
language. In any case the possibility is forgotten that the 
universals here in question may be abstracted from the parti- 
culars.) The series closes with the two arguments to which 
Plato himself assigns the greatest weight. Even granted 
the existence of the ideas, how can we — here the reader is 
reminded of Gorgias' chain of theses (cf Vol. I. p. 484) — 
how can we come to know them .' The two terms of a 
relation are always on the same plane. To the master 
there corresponds the slave, to the slave the master ; but 
to mastership we oppose slaveship, and vice versd. Thus 
the real correlate of truth in itself, or the idea of truth. 


is the idea of knowledge, not knowledge in a human 
mind. Similarly in respect of their qualities. That 
knowledge which is highest, purest, most perfect, can 
only reside in a being of the corresponding type ; not 
in man, that is to say, but in God. We here recall 
the "Phaedo" and its conception, of corporeality as a 
hindrance to unclouded knowledge. We may mention, 
lastly, that this whole series of difficulties is preceded by a 
question which Socrates propounds with great earnestness 
concerning the relations of the ideas among themselves, 
whether they can be combined and separated or no. To 
this question Plato endeavoured to give an answer in the 
" Sophist." 

Turning now to the " laborious pastime," as Plato 
himself calls it, which occupies the second portion of the 
dialogue, we must endeavour to be brief If out of the 
Eleatic concept of unity a series of contradictory conclusions 
(antinomies) can be deduced, the fault is chiefly with the 
self-contradictory nature of that concept itself. Absolute 
unity, as we have already had occasion to remark (Vol. I. 
p. 200; see also 210), is incompatible with all succession or 
coexistence. It is identical with the unextended, in space 
as in time. And yet this unity is put forth as real, indeed 
as the only real, although reality is by no means strictly 
separated from existence in space. So understood. Being 
includes in itself a multiplicity of parts, and yet, as absolute 
unity, it is both free from all multiplicity and contrary to it. 
Zeno had already perceived this inner contradiction, and 
with its aid constructed his bewildering antinomies. The 
author of the " Parmenides " follows in his footsteps and 
outbids him, giving, as he does so, free rein to his dialectical 
high spirits, and chiefly rejoicing to rediscover, in the Eleatic 
theory, the incompatibility of unity and plurality which 
furijished a leading objection against the doctrine of ideas. 
The collection of contradictions is summarized in the closing 
words of the dialogue, where it is laid down " that whether 
the One is or is not, both it and the Other, in relation to 
themselves as well as to each other, both are and are not 
seem to be and seem not to be." Brilliant subtlety, here 


and there a fallacy deliberately perpetrated, the want of 
logical training common to the whole age, are some of the 
features combined in these dazzling but fatiguing ratio- 
cinations. To the last category belong, as a comparison 
with other dialogues will show, the confusion of " to be " 
as copula with the same word as denoting existence, the 
confusion of identity in respect of a quality with numerical 
identity, and certain illegitimate conversions of judg- 
ments — three errors of thought which Plato shares with 
Gorgias (cf. Vol. I. pp. 482 and 485). We observe, further, 
a confusion between the reality of a concept and the 
reality of "all the objects or thoughts which can 
possibly be subordinated to it," and another "confusion 
between judgment and the comparison of concepts." The 
two last aberrations have been well illustrated by a con- 
temporary. They are arguments such as the following: 
" The idea ' bird ' is not imaginary, but has being ; the 
griffin is a bird ; therefore it has being." And again : 
" Rich is not happy ; that is to say, the idea ' rich ' is different 
from the idea ' happy ; ' consequently no rich man can be 
happy." No attempt is made to separate the sound from 
the unsound in these proofs, and for Plato, as we have 
already seen, only a partial success was attainable in this 
direction ; such separation, so far as it was possible at the 
stage of logical development then reached, is left to readers 
and pupils. To return to our metaphor of the law court, 
the proceedings are adjourned before a verdict is arrived at ; 
but for any one who knows Plato there can be no doubt 
that there will be a resumption. This will wear a twofold 
character. An earnest, comprehensive, and profound ex- 
amination of other men's metaphysical doctrines will aim 
at the presentation in stricter form of the indirect argument 
for the doctrine of ideas ; and the doubts and difficulties by 
which Plato's mind has been racked will impel him to 
modify his own fundamental principle. The first of these 
expectations is satisfied by the " Theaetetus," and the second 
by its continuation, the " Sophist." 



I. The^tetuS, whose name is mentioned with honour in the 
annals of mathematics, has been wounded before the walls 
of Corinth, and, more than that, he has been stricken by 
disease in the camp. He desires to die at home, and has 
been conveyed by ship to the port of Megara, where he 
has been met by Euclides. The latter, speaking to his 
friend Terpsion, who also is a pupil of Socrates, deplores 
the impending loss of so excellent a man. Recalling an 
interesting conversation in which Socrates once took part 
along with the mathematician Theodorus of Cyrene and 
the latter's pupil Theaetetus, he takes pleasure in re- 
membering how, at that early date, Socrates discerned 
with the eye of a connoisseur the eminent gifts of the 
youth. Euclides has accompanied his dying friend for a 
portion of his journey ; he is tired with the long walk ; and 
Terpsion, who has returned from the country, is in like 
case. The latter has long desired to become acquainted 
with the conversation referred to, and Euclides complies 
with his wish by causing his? dwn report of the dialogue to 
be read aloud by a slave to himself and his companion, 
while they rest. Plato here interposes a remark on the 
style of this report, in which he explains, with a direct- 
ness unique in the whole series of his works, one of the 
motives which guide his art. He makes Euclides say 
that he has discarded the narrative form, with its wearisome 
repetitions of " said he," " he agreed," and so forth, instead 
of which he has introduced the interlocutors as speaking 


in their own persons. This elimination of the epic element 
now became a constant feature, if our chronological arrange- 
ment is correct, of Plato's works. Indeed, the introductory 
dialogue, which sometimes, as here, serves as preface to 
the dialogue proper, never occurs again. In his earlier 
productions the poet-philosopher had preferred sometimes 
the one form, sometimes the other. To the narrative method 
we owe the lifelike vividness with which the " Protagoras " 
brings before our eyes the doings in that sophists' hostelry, 
the house of Callias ; the " Charmides " and " Lsysis," the 
demeanour of the youths and boys in the gymnasium ; 
the " Symposium," the amusements of a select portion of 
Athenian society ; the " Phaedo," the last hours of Socrates' 
life ; the " Republic," the graceful figure of the venerable 
Cephalus. Probably it was precisely the tedious work of 
writing the " Republic " which caused Plato to realize 
clearly the inconveniences of strict adherence to the narrative 
form. And it may have been the same experience which 
decided him to have done for the future with all such 
by-play, and henceforth to employ exclusively the form 
which hitherto he had employed mainly in his shorter 
dialogues (such as " Hippias," " Laches,'" " Euthyphro," 
" Crito," " Meno "), and only exceptionally in long works 
such as the " Gorgias " or " Phsedrus." This decision was 
made easier for him by the increasing preponderance in 
interest of the matter contained in his dialogues, by that 
tendency towards merely didactic exposition which the 
long-continued practice of teaching must have brought 
with it, partly also, perhaps, by a gradual decay of artistic 
fertility. The "Thesetetus" is a milestone on this path 
of development. We now take our leave, not without 
regret, of the poetic and creative genius; henceforth our 
business will be almost entirely with the author bent on 
giving instruction, for whom the dialogue becomes in the 
end a mere treatise varied by short interludes of rarer and 
rarer occurrence, while compensation is sought for the 
weakness in genuinely artistic construction of his latest 
works by an increasingly self-conscious and deliberate 
exhibition of mastery over language. 


The " Theaetetus " itself, it must be admitted, is adorned, 
in spite of its date, with all the charms of mature com- 
position. The stream of conversation flows slowly on, with 
no anxious pressing towards a goal. It is marked by a 
tone of confident and genial superiority. An early, and 
apparently unintentional, warning is given that only negative 
results are to be expected. And this negative criticism, 
which will be trenchant enough, is freed at the outset from 
every appearance of harshness or injustice. It is not as 
critic that Socrates is introduced, but as accoucheur, for the 
son of the "esteemed and portly" midwife Phsenarete 
assists into the world the thoughts of the youthful Theaetetus, 
whose portrait is painted in the most sympathetic colours. 
It is only because at these intellectual births some dis- 
crimination is required between mere phantoms and genuine 
offspring, that it becomes incumbent on Socrates to test 
the thoughts of which Theaetetus is delivered, and decide 
whether they can live or no. 

2. The scene of the dialogue is a gymnasium. The- 
astetus, who is warmly praised by his teacher, shows that 
he possesses the faculty of generalization by his treatment 
of a problem in the science of numbers. He is imperceptibly I 
led on to answer the question — What is knowledge .' His 
first answer is, " Knowledge is perception." Socrates thus 
gains an opportunity to weave together, out of this some- 
what primitive identification of knowledge and perception, 
out of what he claims to be inferences from the tenet 
of Protagoras, and out of the epistemology of Aristippus, 
a connected whole, which he proceeds to systematize, to 
defend against the more superficial of the objections against 
it, to acknowledge as partially justified, and yet to reject 
as being an inadequate account of the whole process of cog- 
nition (cf. Vol. II. p. 238, and Vol. I. p. 458, seq). The assump- 
tion that perception is knowledge leads, as it is made to 
appear, to the consequence that the same person knows and 
does not know the same thing at the same time. Thus, if 
any one hears, and therefore knows, words of a foreign 
language with whose meaning he is not acquainted, he both 
knows and does not know them. Or if he calls to mind a 


perception which he no longer has, he knows it (in one sense) 
and does not know it (in another). Now, the identification 
of knowledge with perception may mean two things — either 
that the perceptive faculty is the sole faculty employed 
in knowledge (which woirtd be a gross oversight of so 
obvious a faculty as niemory), or that the material of per- 
ception is the only material of knowledge. It is the latter 
that is meant. For by asserting the fallacious character 
and untenability of the above objections, which would 
apply with real force to the identification in question if 
understood in the first sense, or to a defective discrimination 
between different processes involved in knowledge, he tells 
us clearly enough that the formula, " Perception is know- 
ledge " (probably one of his own coining, by the way) 
relates to the material or content of knowledge. All it 
affirms is that sense-perception is the sole source of our 
knowledge. Before attacking the theory involved in this 
formula, he frankly concedes a point contended for by 
Aristippus, and perhaps earlier by Protagoras, that the 
senses do not deceive and cannot be confuted, that each 
impression as it arises has subjective truth. But it does, 
not by any means follow, as he points out, that all opinions 
are equally true like all sense-impressions ; the distinction 
between the wisdom and unwisdom of different subjects 
remains intact, and manifests itself most clearly in the 
successful prediction of the future. 

This negative criticism is now interrupted by an episode 
consisting in a comparison between the life of the philo- 
sopher and that of the politician, here identified with the 
every-day ordinary man. A picture is painted in the 
strongest colours of the philosopher as a stranger to the 
world. He does not even know the way to the Agora ; 
legislation, decrees of the people, electoral campaigns, are 
meaningless to him. We can hardly be wrong in saying 
that Plato could no longer have written in this tone after 
his second Sicilian journey (367). He would have exposed 
himself to the scornful reminder, " If only you had re- 
mained true to your ideal, how many a bitter and humiliating 
experience would you have saved yourself and others ! " 


We notice further an echo of the "Phaedo" ("One must strive 
after the speediest possible escape from life on earth "), one 
plain allusion to the doctrine of ideas — " the contemplation 
of justice and injustice in themselves ; " lastly, the en- 
thusiastic preaching of the struggle after likeness with the 
absolutely just Deity. All these features afford us glimpses 
of the state of Plato's mind and feelings at the time when 
he wrote the " Thesetetus." In the midst of this elevated 
strain he descends to a somewhat lower level in an attack 
upon Antisthenes. It is possible that the latter, irritated 
by the " Euthydemus," had in the mean time published 
his "Sathon," and thus called forth a rejoinder in the 
" Thesetetus" (cf Vol. II. p. 182). 

Before Socrates takes his leave of the sensualistic theory 
of knowledge, he casts a glance upon the philosophic prin- 
ciple from which he believes it to have arisen — Heraclitism. 
The latter, he says, is in contradiction with itself For by 
its assumption of universal movement, it destroys not only 
all real knowledge, but, if the matter be viewed rightly, 
all perception as well. Here we may observe that Plato 
perpetrates a notable fallacy. He distinguishes two kinds 
of motion — change of place and change of quality. He 
goes on to affirm, not only, as he might have done with 
perfect justice, that Heraclitism exhibits the two as pro- 
ceeding hand-in-hand throughout wide provinces of nature 
(cf Vol. I. p. 66, seq.) ; he adds the assertion that unceasing 
movement in space cannot be allowed to things without also 
allowing to them unceasing change of quality ; for otherwise 
the contradiction would arise of the same thing being at the 
same time at rest and in motion. He thus falls into the 
same error which he had satirized so bitterly in the 
" Euthydemus : " the omission of a restrictive qualification. 
For there is no contradiction in saying that in one sense 
a thing is at rest, while in another it has motion. The 
variation of colour exhibited by many stars is a movement 
in the second or derived sense. Who would think of 
asserting on that ground that the stars in which this 
change of colour does not occur must remain for ever 
stationary in one place .? There is deeper meaning in the 


distinction between the senses as the instruments through 
which we know, and the soul with which we know. As 
objects of our knowledge, general notions are specified. 
This is a result to which Socrates gives his assent with 
unusual warmth. Among those general notions are being, 
similarity and difference, unity and multiplicity, beauty and 
ugliness, goodness and badness. Sense-perception, which 
transfers the affections of the body to the soul, is given 
us from birth onwards"; the fact that we acquire only by 
degrees the faculty of reading and interpreting sense- 
impressions is here overlooked ; the knowledge of those 
general categories, on the other hand, is the fruit of long- 
continued and painful training. 

3. A second attempt at definition runs as follows:! 
Right conception (opinion, belief) is- knowledge. Con-' 
trasted with right opinion, we have false opinion, or error. 
This distinction at once raises the preliminary question — 
How is error possible .■' It is a question which we have 
already met more than once (cf Vol. I. p. 486, also p. 456) ; 
Plato now engages in a thorough discussion of it, a- dis- 
cussion, however, which is, perhaps, more ingenious than 
fertile. Repeated onslaughts are made upon the problem, 
but no solution is arrived at which satisfies Socrates. The 
obviously sound suggestion is made that error consists in a 
combination of the elements of knowledge which does not 
correspond to reality. But this thought, after receiving a 
most excellent illustration, is finally dropped. The over- 
exacting criticism here employed — a criticism not wholly 
free from palpable fallacies — must be explained' hy Plato's 
anxiety to achieve the main purpose of the dialogue,- His 
object is to establish the truth of the doctrine of ideas byi 
an indirect proof; all attempts, therefore, to construct aj 
theory of knowledge without the help of that doctrine must 
be proved inadequate to account for any psychical facts 
whatever that bear on the question, the possibility of error 
among them. This portion of the dialogue is "by- no means 
poor in subtle distinctions and brilliant comparisons. The 
possession of knowledge is carefully distinguished from the 
acquisition of knowledge (learning) and its loss (forgetting). 


The errors of memory are illustrated by the image of the 
wax tablet, which is either not large enough, not soft 
enough, or not hard enough to receive clear impressions, 
to keep them distinct, and to preserve them securely. The 
confusion of different pieces of knowledge already acquired, 
that is, the errors of reproduction, he illustrates by the 
figure of the aviary, the inmates of which have all been 
caught by their possessor — a fact which is no impediment 
to his laying hands on a ringdove when he is hunting 
among his fluttering prisoners for a wood-pigeon. That 
error does not, however, consist in a mere interchange, in 
the improper combination of memory-images, or the false 
co-ordination of remembered with present impressions, 
Plato undertakes to prove from the fact that we also make 
mistakes in calculation — in a region, that is to say, in which 
our thought is occupied solely with concepts. This long 
excursus is followed by a very summary despatch of the 
attempted definition w^ich was its starting-point. That 
right opinion does not amount to knowledge is proved by 
the art of the orator, who; in the short interval allowed him 
by the water-clock, often conveys to his audience, by pure 
persuasion, without any great depth of instruction, right 
opinions on current events. 

The way is thus paved for the third attempt at &\ 
definition : Knowledge is right opinion coupled with 
explanation. Thesetetus expressly designates this defini- 
tion as the work of another, and the fuller version of it, 
which Socrates at once supplies, leaves us in no doubt as to 
who this other is. According to the doctrine here alluded 
to, there exist primary elements which are not the objects 
of true knowledge ; the latter relates on the contrary — and 
here we have presented to us the counterpart of the theory 
of error discussed above — only to combinations, which are 
compared to syllables as distinguished from the elementary 
speech-sounds. Our readers will remember this theory as 
the work of Antisthenes (cf Vol. II. p. 183) ; they know, too, 
that we have not the means of following into further detail 
this evidently most important doctrine. Another most 
noteworthy fact is that Plato is here clearly combining 


self-correction with his polemic against Antisthenes. For, 
according to the "Meno," right conception or opinion is 
elevated to the rank of knowledge in the full sense by its 
association with causal explanation (cf.°Vol. II. p. 373) ; and 
in the " Symposium " right opinion is recognized as an inter- 
mediate stage between knowledge and ignorance only so 
long as it is unaccompanied by the power of explanation 
(cf Vol. II. p. 393). The correspondence is here very close, 
and extends to the form of expression. This relationship 
supplies a new testimony in favour of a point on which 
doubt has been cast, namely, the relatively late date at 
which the " Theaetetus " was composed. For if Plato had 
been engaged upon this dialogue while he still retained 
those earlier convictions, he would certainly not have 
omitted to draw a clear and precise line of demarcation 
between his own doctrine and that of Antisthenes, to which 
it bore quite a deceptive likeness. 

For the rest, Plato does not take too seriously his task 
of controverting this third and last attempt at a definition. 
He contends that the Greek word which we have translated 
" explanation " Q<6''jo<,) admits of a threefold interpretation. 
It may mean, firstly, the expression of thought in language ; 
so understood, explanation adds nothing" new to right 
opinion. Secondly, we may understand by it the orderly 
rehearsal or enumeration of the individual elements in the 
object known ; but without this right opinion- would not 
be possible at all. Lastly, the word may--stand — here our 
" explanation " is no longer adequate — for the statement of 
the distinctive character of a thing; but by this no new 
qualification is added to right opinion, for the opinion only 
becomes right when it includes the attributes by which the 
object thought of is distinguished from every other object 
Here, we think, an appeal lies from Plato to Plato. " If a 
man has right opinion," he makes Diotima say to Socrates, 
" but cannot render an account of it, do you not know that 
that is neither knowledge . . . nor ignorance ? " Thus the 
author of the " Symposium " retognizes a distinction which 
the author of the " Thesetetus " denies^^ surely without 
warrant. For it is one thing to preserve in the memory 


a true copy of two objects, but quite a different thing to 
note their distinguishing features, to be clearly and com- 
pletely conscious of them, to be able, in consequence, to 
give an apposite and exhaustive account of their agreements 
and differences. 

When we survey the dialogue as a whole, we observe 
three main arguments which Plato employs against the 
theories of knowledge reviewed by him. The weakest of 
these arguments, we are inclined to think, is that contained 
in the reference to mistakes made in dealing with mere 
numbers — mistakes, according to Plato, which require an 
explanation of error different to that contained in the 
doctrines he is impugning. The authors of those theories 
might have replied to their critic somewhat as follows : 
" You overlook the fact that these number-abstractions are 
always represented in our minds by symbols taken from 
the world of sense, and that the manipulation of these 
symbols is the usual, indeed, the only, source of errors in 
this field, which would be excluded if we were able to work 
with pure abstractions. The unpractised arithmetician 
who says 3 x 6 = 16, or confuses 53 with 35, or substitutes 
10,000, which he has in his mind from a former column of 
numbers, for the 1000 before him, supplies us with ready 
examples of such mistakes, none of which can be called 
a negative instance disproving the theory of error under 

Of much greater weight are the other two main objec- 
tions : Wisdom or knowledge manifests itself chiefly by 
right predictions of the future; and: The "general notions," 
or categories of being, of likeness and unlikeness, of unity 
and plurality, of good and bad, of fair and foul, are not 
given with sense-perception. The first of these objections 
is really a sub-variety of the second. For the power of pre- 
diction depends on that of induction ; and inductions rest, 
in the last resort, on comparisons. The kernel of truth 
contained in the two arguments is simply this : We not 
only receive and store up impressions of sense, but we have 
the further faculty of separating and combining them, as 
also of ascertaining agreements and differences between 


them (cf. p. 9). The emotional stimuli which are received 
in addition to sense-impressions and in association with 
them, and which are the basis of the judgments of worth 
brought into the discussion by Plato, are another instance 
of what we may call, with approximate accuracy, the active 
reactions of the soul. We pass over the notion of Being, 
the many meanings of which we shall soon have a fitting 
opportunity for considering. To avoid unnecessary 
lengthiness, we make use of traditional forms of expression 
in handling these subjects. If we desired to abstain strictly 
from all metaphor and all hypothesis, we could not, for 
example, speak of an ego which compares sensory impres- 
sions or reacts upon sensory stimuli ; we should have • to 
say instead that out of the succession in time of two 
sensory phenomena there emerges a third phenomenon of 
consciousness which contains the elements common to the 
former two as well as those that divide them. 

4. Among the works which, from the standpoint of 
epistemology, belong to a stage preliminary to that of the 
" Thesetetus," we must reckon, along with the " Meno " 
and the " Symposium," the " Cratylus." For in this dialogue 
the confusion or interchange theory of error is brought 
forward without any qualification and without any hint of 
the difficulties which have just been presented to our notice. 
The persons of the dialogue are only three in number : 
Socrates ; his faithful pupil Hermogenes, who is the im- 
poverished brother of the rich Callias ; and Cratylus, the 
Heraclitean instructor of Plato's youth (cf Vol. II. p. 252, 
and Vol. III. p. 2). This work is one of the most prolific of 
controversy in the whole series written by our philosopher. 
Its purpose we conceive to be as follows : Antisthenes, as 
was only to be expected of a nominalist, had devoted the 
most careful study to language, in particular to the meaning 
of words, and we still possess a saying of his to the effect 
that " the investigation of words stands in the forefront of 
education." Now, Plato thus sums up the result of his 
inquiry at the close of the dialogue : " Things must not be 
learnt from names, but must be studied and investigated in 
themselves." It is no longer possible to know what was 


the direction taken by Antisthenes' study of names, what was 
the matter contained in his work of five books " on education 
or on words." In any case, Plato's attack upon the claims 
put forward in that work supplied him with an opportunity 
for reviewing the linguistic theories of the day, and in parti- 
cular the theory of the correctness of names championed by 
his teacher Cratylus and other Heracliteans. This does 
not altogether coincide with the theory of which we have 
already treated (Vol. I. p. 394, seq^, and which we described 
as asserting the natural origin of language. On the con- 
trary, it assumes a name-giver, distinguished by wisdom, 
and working according to a set plan. It is not the opposi- 
tion of nature and convention, but rather that of purposeful 
contrivance and random caprice, that subsists between the 
theory of the Heracliteans and its rival. The attitude 
which Plato adopts towards it is difficult, but not impos- 
sible, to ascertain. Here, as elsewhere, his serious purpose 
is overshadowed by a rank growth of humour and irony, 
besides being obscured by his tendency, now familiar to 
us, to outbid the objects of his satire. But this wild and 
wanton sport with fantastic etymologies, begun by others 
and now carried by him to extravagant lengths, is a very 
different thing from his serious conviction that the con- 
nexion presupposed in those theories between sound and 
meaning did once really exist. He explains, without a 
trace of irony in his manner, the significance of particular 
sounds, very much as Leibnitz and Jakob Grimm did ; he 
recognizes in the imitative movements of the speech-organs 
a main factor in the formation of languages, more potent 
than the imitation of sounds or onomatopceia. But there 
is no contradiction between these admissions and the con- 
tention that the primitive meanings of words, as proceeding 
from those sources, are now mostly undiscoverable by us. 
For the comparison of Greek dialects had made Plato 
acquainted with the phenomena of phonetic change. By 
such change, and by the co-operation of an element, which 
Plato frankly recognizes, of genuine convention or arbitrary 
decision—" the caprice of linguistic usage," as we say now 
— the primitive stock of sounds and meanings has been so 


transformed that between its first and its last state there 
yawns a chasm no longer to be bridged. 

But even were it otherwise, Plato contends, language 
would still be no appropriate key to open up for us the 
nature of things. Even then it would be preferable, here 
as elsewhere, to view the things themselves rather than 
their "copies." And words — which is the main point — 
could at best mirror to us only the world of phenomena, 
the world of Becoming. But the knowledge of the ideas, 
or of entities existing in and for themselves, knowledge in 
the most proper sense, would not be furthered in the 
slightest degree by even the profound est comprehension of 
the most primordial words. Nor can Plato refrain from 
pointing out a contradiction inherent in the theory he con- 
troverts. It is said, on the one hand (the thought is, in 
any case, most probably Antisthenic), that right thinking 
is contained in the right use of words ; but, on the other 
hand, the makers of language are said to have displayed 
right thinking and deep wisdom in the work of assigning 
names to things, while as yet language did not exist. 

We have now, we believe, given, if not an exhaustive 
account, yet a faithful one, and one free from subjective 
importations, of this remarkable dialogue, rich in flashes of 
genius. The " Cratylus " has many threads connecting it 
with the " Thesetetus." In both dialogues Antisthenes is 
attacked, and his paradoxes discussed relating to the im- 
possibility of contradiction and false statement ; in both we 
find the same interpretation of the Protagorean proposition 
that man is the measure of things ; in both recognition is 
given to the far-reaching consequences of the fundamental 
tenet of Heraclitus \ in both, lastly, the procedure of the 
Neo-Heracliteans is graphically described and genially 



I. The concluding sentence of the " Theaetetus " promises 
a continuation. Socrates invites his fellow-participants in 
the dialogue to meet again on the morrow. The meeting 
takes place, and with it begins the dialogue entitled " The 
Sophist," in which a new character is introduced, a stranger 
from Elea. It has hardly got under way before a third 
member of the cycle is announced — the " Statesman." 
Indeed, a fourth, the "Philosopher," is promised. But 
Plato rested satisfied with the trilogy instead of completing 
the projected tetralogy. The fact that he did not expunge 
the reference to his unfulfilled plan is perhaps to be ex- 
plained by the growing indifference to questions of literary 
form, which marks the last phase of his authorship. 
Another similar trait is his omission to take account, in this 
continuation, of the circumstances presupposed in the 
introduction to the " Theaetetus ; " nothing is said of any 
further reading aloud of a written report. Indeed, Plato's 
carelessness in these matters goes so far that in a passage 
of the " Statesman " he makes an interlocutor allude to the 
" Sophist " as to a dialogue in a book. 

It is a peculiar situation in which we find Socrates in 
both dialogues. He may, perhaps, be described as the 
chairman of the debate. He opens the discussion in the 
first dialogue, opens and closes it in the second ; but in 
neither does he take any part in its progress. The chief 
reason of this, we imagine, lies in the fact that doctrines 
are here subjected to criticism which had been preached in 


earlier works through the mouth of Socrates. The ad- 
vantage which Plato drew from his adoption of the dialogue 
form, that of not being bound by any of the doctrines pro- 
pounded in his works, is considerably enhanced by this 
withdrawal into the background of his chief speaker. On 
the other hand, the replacing of Socrates by the Eleatic 
stranger, a man who has grown up in the circle of Par- 
menides and Zeno, yields Plato an advantage in a new 
direction. The criticism of other systems, including the 
Eleatic, which it was Plato's main purpose in the " Sophist " 
to bestow, is unusually gentle and respectful in tone, being 
partly thrown into the form of self-correction on the part of 
the Eleatic; this feature not only corresponds to Plato's 
personal feeling, but provides him with a welcome foil to 
the other polemical matter contained in the dialogue. The 
" Sophist " consists of two apparently quite disparate parts 
— an enclosing "husk," and an enclosed "kernel." The 
link connecting the two can be indicated only to one who 
is already familiarized with the course followed by the 
dialogue and the matter contained in it. 

The ostensible aim of the investigation is a definition 
of the sophist. With much apparent ingenuousness, the 
great difficulty of the subject is recognized, and a pre- 
paratory exercise proposed by way of practice, namely, the 
definition of the " angler." The search takes a rather wide 
sweep. The whole of art is first divided into the pro- 
ductive and the acquisitive arts. Acquisition depending on 
voluntary exchange is next contrasted with forcible appro- 
priation. Distinctions are next drawn relative to the 
objects of pursuit, the means employed, and the time of 
day at which the pursuit takes place ; thus the process of 
division gradually descends the scale till the angler is 
reached. Of a sudden it appears that this merely prepara- 
tory exercise, as it was meant to be, has conducted us to 
the heart of the main inquiry itself. The angler has to do 
with fishes, the sophist with men ; to the seas, rivers, and 
lakes in which the angler plies his craft there corresponds 
the earth, with its " streams of wealth " and its luxuriant 
"pastures of youth," from which the sophist draws his 


sustenance. In pursuance of this hint, the chase on the 
dry land is now divided into that of wild and that of tame 
animals : among the latter must be counted Man. Human 
game is hunted in different ways. Open force is employed 
by the highwayman, the kidnapper, the tyrant, the warrior ; 
others use persuasion. Different varieties are distinguished 
of this persuasion, until at length one particular art — that 
which is practised in private, aims at profit, and promises 
the acquisition of virtue — is recognized as the art of the 
sophist. Can satire go further.? Certainly. Plato does 
not rest here \ he returns to the charge, and follows up his 
purpose with undiminished acerbity. To the art of acqui- 
sition belongs also that of the wholesale trader ; and here, 
too, the sophist, who travels from city to city with his food- 
stuffs for the soul, has his appropriate place. But he may 
also ply the same trade as a retailer with a fixed local 
business, or as a producer who vends his own work. Nor 
is he excluded from the number of those artists in acqui- 
sition who employ the combative method ; his weapon is 
the spoken word, and his arena the contentious dialogue. 
Attention is further drawn to a series of operations whose 
purpose is to sift and effect separations. Where these are 
directed towards the elimination of what is evil or foul, 
they receive the common name of " purification." This 
conception is divided into two species according as the 
operation takes place in the corporeal or the spiritual sphere. 
With the sweeping, brushing, scouring, washing, to which 
even lifeless objects may be subjected, there is associated 
the inward cleansing of our bodies which is effected by the 
art of medicine and also by gymnastic. The purification 
of the soul includes, among other things, the removal of 
ignorance, which is achieved not least of all by refutation 
(cross-questioning). It is at this point that Plato finds the 
greatest difficulty in separating sophistic from philosophy ; 
his mode of attempting it is to attribute to the former a 
claim to omniscience. This claim of the. sophists appears 
both in their contentious disputes, or negative eristic, and 
in their positive instruction. Because of its manifest unsub- 
stantiality this pretentious instruction is now pronounced 


a mere sport. It can have no reference to things themselves, 
but only to their copies. Thus the play or sport spoken 
of becomes more exactly defined as a branch of the mi- 
metic or imitative art. The latter, again, is subdivided 
into two arts, one of which produces likenesses, the otlier 
delusive phantoms. The sophist is now recognized as an 
adept of this second species ; he is a kind of juggler or 

2. Here the second part of the dialogue is joined on to 
the first ; the serious investigation succeeds the bitter 
jesting of the polemics, the purpose of which at once 
becomes clear. The transition is effected by the question 
how deception is possible, whether it does not involve that 
assumption of a Not-Being against which Parmenides of 
old uttered such insistent warnings (cf. Vol. I. p. 170). 
The sophistic opponent — Antisthenes is meant — will not 
allow us to maintain the existence of " falsehood in pro- 
positions and opinions," and thus the knowledge of the 
unknowable, of Not-Being. This many-facetted problem 
has already presented itself to us more than once (cf. Vol. 
I. p. 454; Vol. II. p. 185). It will be necessary for us 
now to approach it seriously ourselves before we can 
advance further. How does it come about, we have a right 
to ask, that we are able to speak or treat of the unreal, the 
non-existent ? What is the essence of this notion ? We 
answer that it depends, in the last resort, on the idea of 
absence, which is only gained from judgments of com- 
parison. I draw two circles and mark the centre of one. 
I compare the circles and note the difference, the pos- 
session by the one circle of a point which the other 
lacks. The absence thus detected, the defect or loss thus 
ascertained, of a positive already known from another source 
— such is the kernel of this notion. Negative phenomena, 
negative raw materials of knowledge, do not, in fact, exist ; 
each phenomenon in itself, and according to its own 
immediate nature, is something positive. The appearance 
to the contrary arises out of a confusion which lies close at 
hand. Cold, for example, is a positive sensation. Why 
does it appear to us as the negative antithesis of heat .' For 


no other reason, surely, than that such antitheses really 
occur, on the one hand, in the sphere of the causes by which 
these sensations are produced, and, on the other, in that of 
their objective as well as their subjective effects {e.g. fire, 
no-fire — burning, not-burning — perspiring, not-perspiring). 
In any case the author of the " Sophist " comes nearer the 
recognition of this truth than Hegel does, in whose dialectic 
the pseudo-concept of " Nothing," that "fantastic hypostasy," 
as Trendelenburg calls it, still plays the part of an active 
principle, and indeed exerts a wider influence than any 
other active principle. 

Plato frees himself from the nightmare of the non- 
existent by reducing it to the positive notion of difference. 
Not-being has always a merely relative significance ; it 
always denotes a being-other as opposed to being 
determined in some particular way. The non-existent 
in the province of beauty is simply the ugly, in that of 
goodness the bad, and so forth. The second step of this 
reduction is logically more assailable than the first. For, 
strictly speaking, the not-beautiful is all else, the beautiful 
only excluded. But in reality, neither for practical purposes 
nor for the simple conveyance of information are we often 
led to treat of the totality of things, or of the elements of 
thought, with one sole exception. The negative predicate, 
as a rule, and especially in the dialectic articulation or 
subdivision of the material of knowledge, serves to exclude 
from a higher class one of the sub-classes which compose 
it, and thus to delimit indirectly the remainder of the 

But when the spectre of absolute negation has been 
thus exorcised, new problems at once press for solution, 
and in the forefront of them is that which inquires the 
nature of the opposite to Not-being, of Being itself. Two 
fundamental theories here confront one another in irrecon- 
cilable opposition — the materialistic and the idealistic. 
For the former, only that is real or existent "which can 
be grasped with the hands," and even the soul is regarded 
as something corporeal ; by the representatives of this 
theoiy the atomistic physicists are no doubt meant. Their 


opponents have very prudently taken refuge in the realm 
of the invisible ; from the vantage-ground of the heavens 
they wage their warfare against the " earth-born," declaring 
nothing else real except incorporeal entities or archetypes. 
By these " friends of the ideas " Plato meant none other 
than himself and his adherents— a stroke of humour not 
intelligible or credible to all Platonic students. We shall 
the better understand it the more clearly we perceive that 
the " Sophist " introduces far-reaching modifications into the 
doctrine of ideas, so that the latter in its earlier form has 
acquired a kind of objective and historical character for 
its own author. Both theories are subjected to incisive 
criticism. Against the materialistic view the reproach is 
levelled that it is compelled to pronounce unreal and non- 
existent all that belongs to the soul, including the highest 
and most valuable of its qualities, such as virtue and 
justice. The " reverend and holy " archetypes, on the 
other hand, existing as they do in eternal, one might 
almost say pedantic, repose, are declared incapable of 
explaining either events in the world of phenomena or 
the process of knowledge. In this argument Plato falls 
into strange errors. Knowledge, he says, is active, to be 
known is to be acted upon, which is inconsistent with the 
changeless immobility of those highest objects of knowledge. 
It is chiefly, if not exclusively, by the forms of language 
that he has been here misled. The passive voice sometimes 
expresses subjection to an external influence, sometimes 
the relation of an action to an object not in the least degree 
affected by it. " The lyre is struck," "the child is taught," 
are examples of the first type ; " the sun is seen," " the pic- 
ture is admired," of the second. Similarly, the materialist, 
though he denies the independent existence of immaterial 
entities, is not by any means bound to contest the reality 
of psychic phenomena, the subsistence of relations, the 
validity of laws. But formal correctness is here, as before, 
a matter of subsidiary importance. Moreover, the surplus 
of meaning which we have just indicated as having been 
imported into the word "being" was not unnoticed by 
Plato himself. The necessity of clearing up this notion 


and freeing it from the inadequate concept of substantiality 
or existence as a thing certainly had some share in that 
attempted definition which makes him a precursor of the 
modern "energy" school. "The actual is simply and 
solely that which acts " — so we may sum up Plato's 
wonderful utterance on the subject ; and the German 
language, with the profound philosophy of its wirken and 
wirklich, can express the same thought with equal brevity 
and greater naturalness. The passage runs as follows : " I 
say, then, that whatever possesses any power of any kind, 
either to act upon anything else of whatever nature, or to 
be acted upon in even the slightest degree by even the 
most trivial of things, and even if this happen only once — 
every such thing, I say, truly is ; for I lay down as a 
definition of all things that are that their being is nothing 
else but power (Suvajujc)-" 

On the strength of this definition an admission is wrung 
from the " friends of the ideas " that agency, and therefore 
also movement, cannot be lacking in these supreme entities. 
The latter are further recognized as possessing life, soul, 
and wisdom — a conclusion reached by an abrupt transition 
of thought springing from the increasing tendency of 
Plato's late period to regard the primary principles of the 
universe as conscious and of the nature of soul. The 
doctrine of ideas has thus undergone a transformation 
which may not inaptly be described as a reversion to an 
earlier type. All ontology, we are justified in affirming, is 
watered-down theology (cf. p. i). In their re-endowment 
with activity and soul the metaphysical entities return, as 
it were, to their origin. The same circle which we have 
already noticed has been once more accomplished (cf. 
Vol. II. p. 174). At the same time, the rampart which had 
divided the worlds of Becoming and of Being has been 
broken through. The whole of the positive content of the 
" Sophist " may be compressed into a single phrase — 
Plato's emancipation from the bonds of Eleaticism. The 
emancipation, however, proceeds in several different de- 
partments simultaneously. For Plato has before him a 
logical as well as an ontological problem, and the solution 


he offers of the latter depends on his treatment of the 

The question — How are falsehood, error, and deception 
possible ? gives place to a second and wider question — How 
is assertion in general possible ? This problem, already 
familiar to the reader as that of predication (cf. Vol. H. 
p. 17s), is approached by Plato from its linguistic side. A 
proposition or sentence presupposes two kinds of words : 
names and words implying action (nouns and verbs). He 
who repeats however long a list of words such as " walks," 
" runs," " sleeps," will never produce an assertion, any more 
than if he strings together terms like "lion," "stag," 
" horse," and so forth. It is only the combination of the 
two elements, as in "the man learns," "the stag runs," that 
makes assertion possible. The assertion is then true or 
false, according as the combination does or does not 
correspond to the reality. "Thesetetus is sitting" and 
" Theaetetus is flying " are examples in point. This earliest 
exposition of a theory of propositions or judgments was by 
no means without value in an age which as yet possessed 
no logic or fully developed grammar, and in which the 
ground had only recently been prepared, chiefly by 
Protagoras, for those distinctions between different parts 
of speech and different forms of words which even in 
Aristotle's time were still imperfectly drawn. We should 
be glad to learn the relationship between this theory of 
Plato's and that propounded in the " Theaetetus " but 
rejected as inadequate — a theory which likewise reduced 
all truth and all error to combinations, and which is with 
great probability ascribed to Antisthenes. We shall 
hardly go wrong if we regard that repudiated theory as 
the germ which was carried to its full development by the 
labours of Plato. It would not be the first time that the 
successor has looked down with contempt upon the fore- 
runner by whose shoulders he is supported. 

It is true that Plato does not regard the funda- 
mental epistemological problem as already solved by this 
linguistic analysis. It follows from the presuppositions 
by which his whole thought is governed that the true 


solution can only be obtained in the province of ontology — 
by the proof that the combinations or connexions referred 
to occur primarily in the real background of all phenomena, 
in the world of those entities which exist in and for them- 
selves, the objective archetypes or forms. The doctrine of 
ideas, as first framed by its author, may be said to wear an 
Eleatic aspect. Rigidity of concepts is henceforth replaced 
by fluidity. Plato now affirms that it is altogether un- 
philosophical to " separate everything from everything 
else," that there can be " no more utter annihilation of all 
rational discourse than the detachment of each individual 
thing from every other." He proclaims his belief in the 
" interpenetration of the archetypes " and the " communion 
of classes," by a delicate artifice placing this profession of 
faith in the mouth of the Eleatic stranger, as if the latter 
were thus taken to witness that the abandonment of Eleatic 
rigidity in concepts had begun in the mind of Parmenides 
himself, that Plato, and not, say, the Neo-Eleatics or 
Megarians and their congener Antisthenes, was the true 
and rightful heir of the great ontologist. The theory does 
not deny that there are mutually exclusive ideas, as in 
pairs of opposites like rest and motion ; other ideas, how- 
ever, and very many of them, are capable of forming 
partnerships among themselves in virtue of which the partici- 
pation by one thing in a plurality of ideas is made possible. 
It is thus that a solution is conceived to be found for the 
old riddle which asks how one thing can have many 
attributes, why its essential nature is not exhausted in 
the possession of a single attribute, in its acceptance of a 
single predicate. Or rather, an answer is returned to the 
twofold question — How can one subject possess many 
predicates .? How can one predicate belong to many 
subjects ? The ground is cut away from the rough-and- 
tumble dialectic of the " Euthydemus." No support 
remains for such statements as that Socrates sick is an 
absolutely different man from Socrates well, or from 
Socrates who is white or musically educated — that, further, 
two entities which have one quality in common are unable, 
for that reason, to differ in any other respect. A wide 


space is obtained for limitations, intermediate states, tran- 
sitions of every kind. These take the place of the old, 
sharply defined alternatives of thought, such ,as— Whoever 
knows anything has knowledge, and must therefore know 
everything ; or, There can be no such thing as opinion or con- 
jecture, since everything must either be known or not known. 
3. Here, we believe, we have touched the vital nerve 
of this dialogue, and not of this dialogue alone. The 
phase of Plato's later years, the St. Luke's summer of his 
philosophic career, is now plainly revealed to us. The 
aged thinker shivers in the heaven of his ideas. His 
mind and heart gain a stronger hold on particular things, 
particular entities, particular processes. He acknowledges 
the inadequacy of all absolute theories. Crude one-sidedness 
begins to repel him ; he turns away in disgust from mere 
bald negation. In every quarter he is on the look out for 
compromises. He yearns to reconcile opposites, even such 
opposites as those of Being and Not-Being. Just as in the 
" Laws " he mixes constitutions, so in the " Timsus " he 
mixes primary substances, and in the " Philebus " species 
of pleasure and wisdom. The new departure has already 
been heralded, if we examine the matter closely, in the 
opening portion of the " Parmenides." The relativity of 
such notions as unity, plurality, and so on, has already 
been set forth there, and a prospect at least held out of 
that attempt to solve the difficulties which is made in the 
" Sophist." The whole course of the " Parmenides " may 
perhaps be regarded as governed by a surmise that all the 
hopeless tangle of these vividly delineated antinomies is 
due solely to the use of such notions as unity, being, and 
so forth, conceived absolutely and as incapable of qualifica- 
tion or compromise. All this is closely bound up with the 
circumstance that dialectic is employed more and more as 
an aid towards the comprehension of the universe. Plato's 
aim is to gain mastery over the motley variety of phenomena. 
His method is that of progressive subdivision and classifica- 
tion proceeding by dichotomy. Nature has here pointed 
the way, with her species and varieties of plants, animals, 
inorganic formations. To follow in her footsteps, to 


arrange all objects and all human activities in groups, 
and thus to descend from the most general to the most 
particular, or to ascend by a reversal of the process, — such 
is the desire of the aged Plato. In the "Sophist" he 
practises this method in a manner which is in part 
humorously polemical, and not without a touch of self- 
directed irony aimed at its own pedantic aspect ; in the 
"Statesman" he employs it more seriously and upon 
worthier objects. A comic fragment teaches us that this 
method, which may be termed the method of natural 
history, was put in the Academy to its most appropriate 
purpose — the study of plants and animals. This was the 
school from which Aristotle went forth, whom we shall 
later on learn to know and admire as a natural historian in 
all branches of knowledge. 

The change we have been considering is closely con- 
nected with a second. The inquirer who consents to 
occupy himself with particular things, who descends from 
the heights of abstract generality to the lowlands of con- 
crete fact, cannot possibly continue to lay an all-preponderant 
stress on distinctions in respect of value. He has to admit 
that the sun of knowledge — to quote Bacon's phrase — 
shines on the dunghill as on the palace. Divisions and 
arrangements which rest on distinctions of human or even 
of national valuation, often clash to a ridiculous extent 
with the natural system of classification. We can under- 
stand, therefore, that for the author of the " Statesman " 
the division of mankind into Greeks and barbarians is as 
absurd as would be their division into Phrygians and non- 
Phrygians. This advance towards strictly scientific modes 
of thought — an advance which leaves its mark in the pro- 
gressive development of a technical nomenclature from 
the " Thesetetus " onwards — likewise has its prelude in the 
" Parmenides." For when, in that dialogue, Socrates 
expresses his doubts as to whether there are ideas of even 
trivial objects, such as "hairs, mud, or dirt," Parmenides 
tells him in reply that he is still young, that in his riper 
years he will answer the question affirmatively, and learn 
to think less of the opinions of men. 


But we must return to the " Sophist." We have still to 
consider a circumstance of no little importance. Plato's 
peculiar proneness to the objectifying of concepts has 
brought about a truly wonderful result. Absolute negation 
had been replaced by the relative notion of difference. 
But this, in its turn, has become absolute. That which 
had barely been liquefied — we may almost say — has imme- 
diately turned solid again. It is no mere figure of speech 
in which Plato represents the " other " or " different " into 
which " not-being " has been transformed, as an independent 
principle pervading all things. In so declaring this non- 
existent to be existent or real, he throws down the glove 
to the champions of formal strictness of thought, the ancient 
Herbartians (cf. Vol. II. p. 177), whom the whole contents 
of the dialogue were calculated to provoke. " We shall not 
go unpunished " — " We have made ready a feast for grey- 
bearded beginners'' — in such phrases as these, the last 
of which is unmistakably aimed at Antisthenes, Plato 
expresses at once his expectation of being attacked and 
his contempt for his assailants. Here we have the key to 
the meaning of the dialogue as a whole. We have in our 
hands the bond which connects its outer with its inner 
part. Plato brands his opponents as sophists, particularly 
his personal enemy, Antisthenes, who had reviled him in 
his " Sathon ; " hence the definitions proposed by him — 
definitions which, while to all appearance strictly scientific 
in character, are in reality inspired by the bitterest aversion 
— depict the type in the most detestable colours that 
can be imagined. The Socratic contentious dialecticians 
were present to his mind in a far greater degree than the 
so-called sophists of an earlier generation. Plato attempts 
to disguise this fact by linking, not without violence, the 
new " sophists " to the older possessors of that name. But 
the truth is betrayed by the importance assigned in this 
description to contentious dialectic, which, on the testi- 
mony of Plato's own works, such as the " Hippias," the 
" Protagoras," and the " Gorgias," was foreign to the great 
sophists of a former epoch. The didactic content of the 
dialogue is directed against those "rigid" thinkers, the 


Megarians, and their close ally Antisthenes, while Plato 
anticipates their reply by his disquisitions on the nature 
of the sophists. To the cunning with which this is done 
a production of recent years offers an apt parallel. I 
refer to Zollner's book on "The Nature of Comets," in 
which the scientific treatment of that subject is supple- 
mented by certain " studies in the field of psychology and 
the theory of knowledge," wherein, under the pretext of 
discussing obstacles to the progress of science, violent 
personal attacks are made on Tyndall, Hofmann, and 
others. In Plato's case, however, it is something more 
than a mere polemical artifice that we have to deal with. 
His bitterness is fed by the dissatisfaction with which he 
looks back upon errors of his own youth. That rigidity of 
thought which he lashes in his rivals had not always been 
a stranger to his own mind. The fertile dialectic which he 
now begins to practise, that instrument by the aid of which 
he and the greatest of his pupils after him seek to master 
the whole breadth and depth of the phenomenal world, is 
sharply divided from the barren dialectic by which all 
access to that world is barred. The juster course is no 
doubt to recognize, as serious and significant, the difficulties 
with which one has one's self wrestled. But it is psycho- 
logically intelligible that an inquirer should be angry with 
those of whom he knows beforehand that they will reject 
the help he is at last able to offer them, and continue to 
grope in the old maze ; that he should despise their 
persistence as stiff-necked obstinacy ; that a previously 
existing antagonism should be enhanced and carried to 
the height indicated by the definition of the sophist which 
is pieced together at the close of this dialogue. 

4. The fruits promised in the " Sophist " are gathered 
in the " Statesman." A revulsion from the abstract to 
the concrete, a clear insight into the complication of 
reality, a consequent repudiation of premature generaliza- 
tions and half or imperfect truths — such are some of the 
characteristic features of this work. With these signs of 
full maturity is associated an increased prolixity symp- 
tomatic of advancing age. Plato's wealth of ideas is the 


same as ever, but his mastery over his thoughts is gradually 
losing in strictness. If an example is employed by way 
of illustration, an excursus is appended on the essential 
nature of examples in general ; a question as to the too- 
much or too-little of discussion leads to an investigation of 
the idea of measure. The " cult of method," too, does its 
part in impairing the unity of the work and its artistic 
charm as well ; while the mythical story of cosmic begin- 
nings increases the fascination of the dialogue at the 
expense of its coherence. 

The discussion, in which a part is taken by yet another 
new character — the younger Socrates — starts from the 
notion of science or knowledge. This is divided into 
theoretical and practical. The latter, spoken of also as 
manual art, has to do only with the production of material 
objects ; so that, to our surprise, the kingly art is sought 
for within the first category. By successive divisions the 
art of the herdsman is reached ; and it is very remarkable 
to see how, in his desire not to be misled by judgments of 
value, and in his obedience to his new and severely scientific 
method, Plato abstains from defining man by specifically 
psychic attributes, such as his reason or his worship of the 
gods, and prefers to distinguish him step by step from 
all other animals by purely external marks, such as his 
possession of two feet and his lack of horns or wings. 
Against the identification, due as it would appear to 
Antisthenes, of the king with the herdsman, it is urged that 
the care of the latter for the members of his flock extends 
through their whole life and includes their nutrition, 
whereas a king's work lies in a narrower sphere. • It is at 
this point that Plato intercalates the strange myth already 
alluded to, in which the following thoughts are given 
concrete expression : Men are no longer, as in the begin- 
ning, under the immediate guardianship of the Deity. In 
alternating periods the latter moves the universe and then 
again leaves it to its own motion. The human race also— 
the thought is worked out in a fanciful and even fantastic 
manner — has become independent like its dwelling-place. 
At a time when, for lack of divine guidance, it was on the 


brink of destruction, it received, as a gift from the gods, the 
arts, from the totality of which the art of the statesman 
has now to be isolated. The difficulties of this problem are 
to be made easier by a preliminary exercise, by which 
we are reminded of the " angler " in the " Sophist." The 
subject proposed in the present instance is the "art of 
weaving," the somewhat discursive treatment of which 
yields manifold profit both in matter and method. We 
learn to distinguish the main process from subsidiary and 
co-operating processes ; the method of dichotomy which 
was exclusively used in the " Sophist " is abandoned as 
inadequate ; varieties or sub-classes are strictly separated 
from parts which are not classes at all. A question raised 
as to whether the discussion is not being unduly lengthened 
leads, as we have already mentioned, to an investigation 
of the concept of measure. Such words as " much " and 
"little," " great" and " small," have a double meaning — a 
relative and an absolute. In the one case they express the 
result of a comparison — A is great or small relatively to 
B or C ; in the other, the standard is found in the object 
itself to which these terms are applied. Casually as this 
remark seems to be dropped, it is well worthy of note when 
we compare it with kindred expositions in the " Phsedo," 
the " Republic," and the " Thesetetus." The epistemological 
difficulty as to how the same thing can be at once great and 
small, much and little, is now passed over without mention. 
Plato has reached a new, and we may be permitted to say 
a higher, stage. He has left these old puzzles behind him. 
The " participation " of things in the ideas, by which a 
solution was formerly provided, is now very significantly 
absent ; while the self-existent archetypes pass into the 
background in a manner which is very striking after their 
exaltation in the " Sophist." We might almost say that in 
conferring divine rank upon his ideas Plato has consigned 
them to a sphere of dignified repose. 

The " co-operating " arts are divided into seven classes, 

according as they yield raw material, tools, receptacles, the 

means of nutrition, protection, transport, or enjoyment. In 

this classification we observe how things externally the 



most diverse are brought together under the unity of a 
common purpose : thus clothes, most sorts of arms, and 
again city walls, together form the class of protective 
instruments. Nearer to the statesman's art, but still only 
related to it as subordinate processes, come the art of the 
general and the somewhat ironically handled services of the 
soothsayer and the priest. There follows a discussion on 
the forms of the State, of which three are mentioned : the 
rule of one, the rule of few, and the rule of many, or 
democracy. The economic standpoint, which played so 
great a part in the corresponding part of the " Republic," is 
now abandoned and declared inadequate. The momentous 
question is not whether rich or poor men, but whether wise 
or ignorant, are to rule the State. That knowledge can ever 
be imparted to any considerable number, is roundly denied. 
In no Greek city are there to be found as many as fifty good 
players at draughts, let alone so many good statesmen. 
Nor is it a distinction of great importance that depends on 
whether rule is exercised with the free consent of the ruled 
or against their will. The one decisive standard is that of 
knowledge or wisdom, with which the good will is repre- 
sented as inseparably united, just as in the " Republic " the 
figure of the philosopher is finally fused into one with that 
of the just man. 

There now follows the investigation which forms the 
kernel of the dialogue, namely, a treatment of the question 
whether laws are necessary and salutary. At first it is 
denied that they are so. It is urged as a reproach against 
laws that they cannot do justice to the diversity of situations 
and cases. " It is impossible that what is perfectly simple 
can be adapted to that which is never simple." Imagine a 
physician setting out on a journey and leaving his patient 
written directions to cover the period of his projected 
absence ; if he returns earlier than he expected, and finds 
a change in the weather or other circumstances affect- 
ing health — what a fool he would be if he were to think 
himself bound by his former prescriptions, instead of 
taking the altered situation into account ! But, to be sure, 
when perfect wisdom is absent, then laws, which are " the 


fruit of long experience and the work of estimable 
counsellors," present themselves, though still only as a 
second best, yet as an acceptable substitute. They are 
rules which renounce all finely graded, individual treatment 
of particular cases, and resemble those maxims which are 
given prize fighters by trainers, and which prescribe, in 
broad outlines, a mode of life adapted to the majority of 
persons and to average circumstances. Plato speaks here 
of a " second journey," of a new quest for the perfect State. 
It is a journey that will take him from the philosophic 
absolutism of the " Republic," in which nothing is fixed by 
rule, to the legislation of the " Laws," in which everything 
is fixed by rule. The " Statesman " is a half-way house on 
the road. Or perhaps we should say that the mind of the 
author has already reached the new haven, while his heart 
still clings to the old shore. The myth taught us that we 
no longer live in the golden age, that we must renounce 
the hope of perfection. Plato, we see, is in the early stages 
of pessimism ; but his progress in renunciation is as yet far 
short of what it will be in the " Laws." His heart is full of 
bitterness ; and through the midst of the apparent calm 
and objectivity of his exposition there break forth from 
time to time notes of deep feeling, invectives against the 
"chorus of satyrs and centaurs," the "jugglers," "the most 
sophistic among the sophists." His embitterment, how- 
ever, is no longer directed first and foremost against 
democracy, for which his feeling is now one of contempt 
rather than hatred. He regards it as the most ineffective, 
and therefore the worst, of the three forms of government 
if these are all exercised according to law ; in the contrary 
case, its weakness makes it the best because the least 
injurious. Of monarchy, the exact opposite holds on each 
supposition ; while the intermediate form, aristocracy, 
occupies a middle position both for good and for evil. 
This revised estimate of democracy has a manifest con- 
nexion with the decadence and enfeeblement of Plato's own 
democratic fatherland — that Athens, which the eloquence 
of a Demosthenes cannot galvanize into more than an 
occasional fit of political activity, that once proud mistress 


of the seas which has been transformed (to use the phrase of 
the orator Demades) into a " gruel-sipping old woman that 
creeps about in slippers." Plato's most violent invectives 
now appear to be directed against other states and other 
statesmen. The thought naturally occurs that it is by the 
events in Sicily that his keenest interest and his bitterest 
antipathy are now aroused (cf. p. 162). 

The dialogue does not close without recording a notable 
piece of self-correction. The subject to which it relates is 
nothing less than the Socratic doctrine of the unity of 
virtue to which Plato so long remained faithful. The 
occasion for this correction is planned with some care. 
One of the chief tasks incumbent on the governor of a 
state is maintained to be that of joining together dissimilar 
natures in marriage, and so providing for the smoothing 
down of opposed extremes of temperament. With this 
counsel he joins a statement which he designates as 
" strange," " astonishing," and as " a venture ; " within 
virtue itself, he says, there is a kind of distinction, or rather 
a sharp contrast — that between self-mastery (o-w^poauvT)) 
and courage. This, moreover, is only a particular case of 
a more general antithesis, which is also found in the physical 
world, in knowledge, and in music. In all these spheres, 
acuteness, vehemence, and quickness on the one hand, are 
opposed to gentleness, steadiness, and slowness on the other. 
One-sided exaggeration of the first-named qualities leads 
to violence, even to madness ; of the second, to slackness 
and cowardice. Plato's dread of what may be termed the 
" in-breeding of the temperaments " is noteworthy enough ; 
more noteworthy still is the Heraclitean breadth of vision, 
as we may call it, with which he traces the antithesis 
throughout the twofold realm of nature and mind, and 
insists on the necessity for the coexistence and reconcili- 
ation of the opposed qualities. What is most noteworthy 
of all, however, is his breach with Socratic intellectualism — 
a breach which has often been foreshadowed, which has never 
been carried to its ultimate consequences, but which, in the 
present passage, reaches a greater depth than ever before or 
afterwards. The self-correction appears in the guise of an 


attack upon the reactionary Antisthenes, whose love of 
" disputing about words," due to the rigidity of his ideas, is 
referred to and censured, not here only, but in other parts 
of Plato's works. Plato himself, however, is nowhere freer 
from such tendencies than here, where he counsels us " not 
to take words too seriously," but rather to learn to under- 
stand " the difficult language of facts." His liberation from 
Eleatic fetters is complete ; a breath of the Baconian, or 
modern inductive spirit has passed over his soul. 




I. The " Philebus " is closely related to the " Sophist " and 
the " Statesman." We have evidence of this first of all in 
a little peculiarity of style, which occurs sparingly in the 
general run of Plato's works, more frequently in the 
"Theaetetus," but with great profusion in each of the three 
dialogues named. I refer to such turns as : " We are now 
met by this argument." " Which .? " — " The following 
difference results." "Which do you mean.'" The dia- 
logue form has become a mere external mechanism, the 
aid of which might easily be dispensed with. The long 
didactic exercitations of the "Timseus" and the "Laws" 
are now in prospect. The personality of the interlocutors 
is accordingly almost destitute of pronounced individual 
features. It is a significant fact in this connexion that 
Philebus, who pleads the cause of Hedonism or the theory 
of pleasure, is represented early in the dialogue as being 
tired, for which reason he retires into the background to 
make way for the colourless Protarchus. To have assigned 
him a more active part in the dialogue would have been to 
impress upon it the character of a real conflict of opinion, 
for which the author lacked the inclination perhaps still 
more than the strength. He therefore causes Socrates to 
deliver what is practically a monologue, while Protarchus, 
like the younger Socrates in the " Statesman," merely 
presses him to continue, and asks for explanations. 

But it is not merely in point of form that the " Philebus" 
approximates to those other two dialogues. Those old 


difficulties attaching to the problem of predication, the 
solution of which had been found in the " Sophist," are 
now regarded as done with ; they are even spoken of as 
" childish exhibitions " and hindrances to inquiry. Here, 
too, as there, the self-existent ideas are not, indeed, 
abandoned, but consigned to the background. Plato's sense 
of reality is as strong in the " Philebus " as in the other 
two dialogues ; and his chief instrument for the acquisition 
of truth is again classificatory dialectic — a method which, 
after the precedent of the " Statesman," abandons the ex- 
clusive use of dichotomy practised in the " Sophist," which 
guards against the overleaping of " mediate notions " 
(whereby we are reminded of Bacon's axiomata media), and 
which is extolled in unambiguous language as the basis of 
all scientific discovery. Such, in truth, it was for Plato, as 
well as for Aristotle. For the insight of these thinkers 
into causes was far in the rear of their hold upon the 
ordered coexistences of things. The chief school in which 
the knowledge of causes is gained, physical investigation, 
was closed to them. Not only was the art of experimenta- 
tion but little developed as yet, what there was of it Plato 
in particular despised as a mechanical craft, while both 
thinkers were parted by wide-reaching differences of opinion 
from the foremost physicists of the day, the atomists. In 
the "Philebus," as is well worth remarking, the work of 
classification is supported by what alone can make it fruitful 
and truly valuable — by abundant and acute observation. 

Nor is the " Philebus " without its preliminary dialectical 
exercise. The place of the "angler" and the "art of 
weaving" (cf. pp. 168 and 181) is taken by the elements of 
phonetics ; the different speech-sounds are divided into 
species, namely, mutes, sonants, and fricatives. The real 
subject is the nature of the good, or rather of that which, 
in a later age, was termed the "highest good." The 
manner of stating the question may well surprise us. As 
the two competitors for the highest prize, "pleasure" and 
" knowledge " are introduced, just as in a passage of the 
"Republic." It is an obvious objection that knowledge, 
apart from all its subsidiary services to the cause of pleasure. 


is itself a source of pleasure (as no one knew better than 
Plato himself), and cannot therefore be rightly opposed to 
pleasure in general. But the identification of knowledge 
with the good was a doctrine that had been actually taught 
by the Socratic Euclides, who was followed in this by the 
Cynics ; and Plato weakens the effect of the false antithesis 
at an early stage by proposing a compromise such as fitted 
in with the inclinations of his advancing years. Neither 
pleasure nor knowledge, so he suggests, can alone procure 
happiness ; this is always the fruit of a " mixture." Here, 
at the very outset of the discussion, we note the peculiarity 
of the method, which is the same as that adopted in the 
second book of the " Republic " (cf p. 62) — the experi- 
mental method, or method of difference. In thought 
Plato strips from the life of pleasure every admixture of 
intelligence, from the life of intelligence every admixture 
of pleasure, and then compares the two lives in themselves. 
The insufficiency of the mere life of pleasure is proved by 
the argument that with the loss of memory and expec- 
tation two important sources of pleasure are dried up. 
Again, a being of the kind considered would, by reason 
of its deficient consciousness of self, be incapable of any 
other pleasures than those such as oysters and other similar 
sea-creatures enjoy. The other alternative, the purely 
intellectual life, touched by no breath of pleasure or pain, 
is designated, perhaps with reference to the Cynic ideal, as 
apathy ; it is not subjected to any profound analysis, but 
simply rejected as unsuited to man. 

The necessity for mixture having been admitted, a 
question arises as to the proportional value of the two 
ingredients. The answer is not found on the surface. The 
investigation strikes back to the first principles of things, 
and at the outset discovers two of them — the Unlimited 
and the Limit. In this Plato is evidently influenced by the 
Pythagoreans, and at the same time by Philolaus, a con- 
temporary (probably a younger contemporary) of Socrates. 
Whatever possesses degrees of intensity is referred to the 
Unlimited — obviously because these degrees constitute a 
continuum which is capable of infinite division. All measure 


and number, as well as ideas implying measure and number, 
such as equality, duplication, and so on, belong to the 
province of the Limit. From the " mixture " of the two 
principles proceeds all beauty and power, all order and 

Thus it is with bodily health or with music, the case 
of which latter is explained by saying that " the high and 
the deep, the quick and the slow " (the raw material, so 
to speak, of melody and of rhythm), receive their form 
or articulation from the measure which limits them. 
The mixture itself is now recognized as a third factor ; and 
the cause of it (for nothing is without a cause) as a fourth 
principle of the universe. A basis has thus been acquired 
for the proposed comparison of values ; pleasure and pain, 
as varieties of the Unlimited, have assigned to them the 
corresponding inferior rank, while knowledge has the 
superior dignity resulting from its inclusion in the domain 
of the Limit. At this point the strict sequence of thought 
is interrupted by a hymn to Intellect, as " King of the 
heavens and the earth." As in a kindred passage of the 
"Sophist," and again in the tenth book of the "Laws," 
there is an attack upon naturalism, or the theory which 
ascribes the cosmic processes to blindly working natural 
forces, and claims to dispense with a guiding intelligence 
in the universe. This theory is condemned with great 
severity, and not without a side-thrust at Leucippus or 

What follows is somewhat striking. A moment ago 
pleasure and pain, taken in the abstract, as we may say, 
have been assigned to the realm of the Unlimited ; they are 
now referred to the third fundamental principle, that of 
union or combination. Their significance for concrete 
existence, and particularly for animal life, is now explained 
by an anticipation of Kant, in which pain is regarded as 
a phenomenon accompanying the dissolution of union, 
pleasure as a concomitant of its restoration. With this 
physically conditioned pleasure and pain is next contrasted 
the purely psychical pleasure and pain of expectation, while 
the state of emotional indifference niust be added as a 


third possibility. This last is identified with the purely- 
intellectual life, which may very well be that of the gods, 
and which, among men, must have at least the second 
prize awarded to it. There follow some subtle psycho- 
logical reasonings. The pleasure which is of the soul alone 
is conditioned by memory. But the object of memory 
cannot be those impressions which affect only the body, 
which fade away before they reach the soul. That object 
must rather be supplied by those " vibrations " which quiver 
through both body and soul, and which are named by us 
" sensations." These are stored up in the memory ; as 
recollections, they are the source of a purely psychic pleasure 
which Plato strictly distinguishes from the pleasure resting 
on desires. It is true that a purely psychic element enters 
into desire, namely, the expectation, based on memory, 
relative to what is desired. With this is coupled pleasure 
or pain, according as the fulfilment of desire was hoped 
for or doubted ; but, in addition, there is always an element 
of pain in desire, corresponding to the physical privation. 

At this point the question arises whether there are 
" true " and " false " pleasures and pains. The problem 
is evidently one which had already been much debated. 
This appears not only from the quickness and certainty 
with which answer follows upon question, but also from 
the circumstance that the youthful Protarchus appeals to 
what he has " heard " on the subject. The inapplicability 
of the predicates " true " and " false " is first of all proved 
by excellent arguments, which we may well assume origi- 
nated in hedonistic circles. It is not to the emotions 
themselves that those predicates should be applied, but 
to the notions or opinions which give rise to the emotions 
or are accompanied by them. On this point the scientific 
thinker in Plato is at feud with the moral enthusiast, 
and is in the end overcome by him. The distinction 
under consideration is maintained, not without some 
violence, in the teeth of the objections urged against it ; 
as "false" pleasures are nominated those experienced in 
dreams, as well as that enhancement of pleasure which is 
conditioned by a previous pain of some magnitude. We 


need not dwell on this fallacy, the source of which is a 
tendency of Plato, not noticeable here only, to attempt the 
withdrawal of ethical and aesthetic valuations from the 
sphere of subjective feeling, and their establishment on 
the basis of supposed objective criteria. Just as little need 
we trouble ourselves about the confusion, already noted 
in the "Gorgias," between the "good" in the ethical sense, 
and the " good " in the sense of a good thing or a 
valuable possession. We think it preferable to draw into 
prominence the most important of the penetrating obser- 
vations and well-founded distinctions which are supplied 
in profusion. There is hardly any other part of Plato's 
works in which the genuinely scientific spirit shows itself 
so active and fruitful as in the "Philebus," The mani- 
pulator of concepts is here supported by the psycho- 
logist ; his nimble and supple dialectic is now exercised 
upon a wealth of the material which experience supplies. 
This deeply earnest endeavour after unprejudiced objectivity 
shows itself, among its other manifestations, by the way in 
which Plato turns the shafts of his polemic against certain 
"enemies of Philebus," that is, opponents of Hedonism. 
These thinkers, for whom he obviously has considerable 
sympathy, yet seem to him to have overshot the mark by 
denying pleasure altogether, and asserting that what passes 
for such is a mere negative, freedom from pain. We have 
no means of identifying the men here referred to and 
described as the representatives of a "not ignoble fasti- 
diousness," and as highly successful students of nature. 
But they can hardly have been other than Pythagoreans 
personally known to Plato, and our thoughts naturally turn 
first to Archytas. 

2. We pass on to the main results of the investigation. 
With great vividness of detail, and with what we may call 
terrible truthfulness to life, a description is given, which is 
at the same time a condemnation, of excess in the most 
violent pleasures, or those which arise out of the strongest 
instincts. Plato expressly guards here against the suppo- 
sition that these strictures are intended for Philebus — that 
is, the Hedonists represented by him. And, indeed, they 


stood in no need of such instruction. The " exceptionally 
austere " Eudoxus and the pleasure-loving Aristippus were 
neither of them inclined to commend that blind fury of 
desire which Plato paints in such repulsive colours, or to 
extol the sway which sensual passion exerts over the mind 
and soul of men. The adherents of these thinkers could 
not possibly assign any very exalted rank to animal 
pleasures, even if they simply measured them by the 
rational standards of intensity, duration, and freedom from 
admixture or purity, however little they may have cared to 
help Plato smooth the way for asceticism by one-sided 
delineations of the abnormalities here in question. 

A mixture of pleasure and pain is also recognized in the 
purely psychic sphere in the emotions of anger, yearning, 
pity, and so forth. Attention is drawn to revenge, which, 
according to Homer, is " sweeter than honey," and also to 
that "tearful joy" which tragedy affords. Even comedy 
itself is said to be not free from such mixture ; for the 
faults and the weaknesses at which we laugh, sometimes at 
the expense of friends, are not perceived altogether without 
pain. Lastly, in the theatre of reality itself, " the tragedy 
and the comedy of life," these mixed feelings have 
yet another source. These mixed products are contrasted 
with the pure and unmixed pleasures ; before all, the 
elementary aesthetic feelings which are here for the first 
time brought to light. It is not partial and relative 
beauty, but lasting, complete, and intrinsic beauty, that 
attaches to certain lines and forms, to certain colours and 
tones, lastly even to odours, which, though standing to 
some extent on a lower level, are yet ranged in this 
categoiy because of their absolute freedom from pain. 
There follow those pleasurable feelings which accompany 
scientific knowledge. It is not without a certain boldness 
challenging contradiction that the absolute purity or free- 
dom from pain of these pleasures is asserted. Plato seems 
to forget the difficulties of learning, and that hunger for 
positive solutions which he has himself so vividly described 
in the "Meno," as well as the discomfort produced by 
cross-examination. He goes further; he maintains that 


the smallest amount of absolutely pure pleasure is pre- 
ferable to the greatest amount of mixed pleasure. On 
what does this assertion rest ? It is supported by the 
reintroduction of the category of truth : the unmixed, the 
pure, the genuine, is said to be the true. Thus Plato defends 
a preference incapable of logical justification by a dis- 
tinction alien to the subject. A second path leads to the 
same goal. Emphasis is laid on the distinction between 
Becoming and Being. " We have heard," that is, from the 
Hedonists themselves, " that pleasure is always a Becoming, 
never a Being." This clearly meant nothing more than 
that pleasure, as feeling, is an event or process in the soul, 
just as much as, say, thought or will. But all Becoming — 
it is now inferred — is the means to a Being ; therefore 
pleasure, too, can only be a means, not an end, and there- 
fore no part of the good. To this is joined an ironical 
expression of thanks to the "subtle school" for this 
suicidal admission of theirs. By Being, in the psychic 
sphere, so they might have replied, we are not to under- 
stand anything else than permanent states of the soul ; 
and thus the argument can only prove, at best, that 
these, and not momentary feelings, are objects worth the 
striving for. But to the objection understood in this 
manner, justice was done by that form of ancient 
Hedonism which regarded " pleasurable states " — for 
example, a contented frame, of mind — as the object of life. 
Further, he who pronounces pleasure a good — so Plato 
continues — must wish to be rid of a life in which there 
should be neither thirst, nor hunger, nor any of the other 
painful feelings by which the corresponding pleasures are 
conditioned. The objection holds good only against that 
part of Hedonism which comprehends the pleasures 
springing from the satisfaction of desire. And against these 
it is decisive only under the supposition that the pleasure 
of satisfaction is less in quantity than the preceding pain of 
privation. Even then, the Hedonists might declare that, 
though this pleasure is not a positive good, yet, as a 
diminution of an evil which would otherwise exist, it is an 
end very well worth the striving for. Besides this, there 


was another answer which they might have given, namely, 
that their theory only related to the actual world and 
actual human nature, and that it was altogether irrelevant 
to appeal to a hypothetical, perhaps not even possible, 
existence — an existence which in any case must be unknown 
to us and unknowable, such as that life free from hunger, 
thirst, and all other needs. Lastly, we notice once more 
that old confusion between good and goodness which 
culminates in the assertion that, for the Hedonist, even the 
best man of all must be regarded as bad when he is in 
pain, and even the worst as good when he feels pleasure. 

These logical violences are immediately followed by a 
wave of strictly scientific reasoning. After the severe 
scrutiny to which pleasure has just been subjected, wisdom, 
the mind, and knowledge will not be spared ; here, too, it 
is of importance to search out and cut away whatever is 
rotten ; only what is purest may remain and be compared 
with the purest parts of pleasure. 

That which comes next is nothing less than the first 
clear definition of exact science — as knowledge based on 
counting, weighing, and measuring. Our readers will 
remember a casual allusion to this notion in Plato's 
" Euthyphro " (cf. Vol. II, p. 360), which is paralleled by a 
passage in the " Republic ; " they will also remember the 
complaint of a reflecting physician that medicine must 
renounce " measure, weight, and number," and be content 
with " bodily sensation " (cf. Vol. I. p. 299). The three 
means of exact knowledge have already appeared together 
in a verse of Sophocles, who terms them the invention of 
Palamedes, the great hero of civilization, while his pre- 
decessor ^schylus had attributed to the friend of man, 
the Titan Prometheus, simply the invention of number 
as the "most ingenious of all artifices." With exact 
or quantitative knowledge there is contrasted, in the 
" Philebus," that empiricism which rests upon " the school- 
ing of the senses " — a passage in which mere practice or 
routine is no longer treated with the same contempt as 
in the " Gorgias." After this the practical arts are divided 
from each other according as they use or do not use 


instruments of precision, such as the ruler, the compass, the 
measuring-line, and so forth. A deeper distinction, one 
already found in the " Republic," exists among the exact 
sciences themselves. The arithmetic, for example, which 
deals with " unequal units " — say, two head of cattle, or two 
armies — is one thing, and that which deals with units not 
differing in the slightest degree, is quite another. The 
same holds of geometry. In this whole province, pure or 
abstract science is thus contrasted with the knowledge 
which relates to the things of sense ; to the first is attri- 
buted the highest degree of strictness and accuracy, and 
for the object of it we are referred to the immutable, self- 
existent entities. 

3. Before the discussion is summarized a glance is cast 
backwards upon the course of the dialogue. Philebus, 
the champion of the Hedonists, had recognized in pleasure 
the appropriate end of the actions of all living creatures, 
and had thus identified it with the good. It was Socrates 
who had first maintained that the two do not coincide, and 
that knowledge, which others (Euclides and the Cynics) 
placed in the forefront, had a greater share than pleasure 
in the nature of the good. It had further been admitted 
that neither mere pleasure nor mere knowledge is sufficient 
for happiness, but that a mixture is necessary. This mixture 
is now performed. We have, so to speak, two sources, the 
one of them flowing "as it were with honey," the other 
" with sober and bracing water." And our task is to mix 
from them, in the right proportions, the drink we require. 
First of all, the different species of knowledge are blended 
together, the purest as well as the most clouded ; not 
those only which relate to the unchangeable and self- 
existent, but those, too, which have for their object the 
world of becoming and decay. The necessity of not pro- 
ceeding here in too eclectic a fashion is illustrated by a 
forcible phrase : " Otherwise not one of us would even 
know his way home." It is otherwise in respect of 
pleasures ; on these, " intellect and knowledge " must 
themselves decide. Their verdict is that only the "true 
and pure " species of pleasure are admissible ; not those 


which raise mad mutiny in our souls, which often impede 
our growth, and are for the most part ruinous to our 
offspring. Thus the mixture is completed to the satis- 
faction of the interlocutors. Search is next made for the 
principles governing the mixture. First of all, measure and 
right proportion are recognized as the principle without 
which no appropriate mixture could even be made, without 
which, indeed, there could be no real mixture at all, but at 
best a confused chaos. But on all hands measure and 
proportion are regarded as beauty and virtue, and thus the 
nature of the good of which we are in search has escaped 
into the province of beauty. With this is joined truth, 
which also has gone into the mixture. The good therefore 
is apprehended not in one, but in three forms, namely, as 
beauty, truth, and proportion. 

The question arises once more whether pleasure or 
knowledge is the nearer akin to "the best in gods and 
men," as the " good " is here termed. We know what the 
answer will be. With an emphasis which reminds us of 
the most emphatic passage in the " Republic " (cf. p. 99), 
Protarchus is invited to proclaim far and wide that pleasure 
is not the first of possessions, nor yet the second. The 
first place is, on the contrary, occupied by " measure ; " the 
second by " the beautiful, the proportionate, the complete, 
and sufficient," the third by " intellect and knowledge ; " 
the fourth by " science, arts, and right opinions ; " the fifth 
by those species of pleasure which are free from all 
admixture of pain, that is, pure. (With approximate 
accuracy we understand by (i) the objects of mathematics ; 
by (2) the realization of them in the world of appearance ; 
by (3) the intellectual faculties which apprehend them ; by 

(4) their application to the domain of objective facts ; by 

(5) the emotional effects which they produce through the 
agency of the elementary aesthetic feelings, resting, as they 
do in a preponderating degree, on relations of form.) " But 
in the sixth generation," as is said in allusion to a line of 
Orphic verse, " our song may be mute." Once again the 
course of the investigation is summarized, and an injunction 
added to put less trust in the testimony "of all cattle 


and all horses " than in that of discourses inspired by the 
philosophic Muse. 

4. It is at an opportune moment that we are reminded 
of the " Muse." Plato distinguished between three souls. 
The truth is that in his breast such a trinity did, in fact, 
reign — the soul of the poet, of the ethical teacher, and of 
the scientific thinker. Poetic power is not yet wholly 
extinct in the author of the " Philebus." Its exercise, how- 
ever, is exhausted in the task of strengthening the voice 
of the moralist. The latter is here affected by ascetic 
tendencies to a degree paralleled, perhaps, only in the 
" Phaedo." That Orphic-Pythagorean current of feeling, as 
we may call it, is here encountered by another current 
tending towards the strictest objectivity and the most 
careful accuracy — a current already familiar to us in the 
" Sophist " and the " Statesman." 

The struggle between the two currents is a moving 
sight ; we observe with no little sympathy how Plato's 
warm desire not merely to preach and enforce his ideal, 
but also to demonstrate its unconditional validity, en- 
tangles him in contradictions with the rules of method 
which he has himself laid down at the beginning of the 
dialogue. We remember his warnings not to overleap 
" mediate notions," and thus to guard against false generali- 
zations ; this warning he himself seems to forget in the 
passage where he paints the extreme of sensual pleasure in 
repellent colours, and, at the same time, makes the extreme 
special case the type of each and every satisfaction of 
natural needs. And if even the less pure, enipiric kinds 
of knowledge deserve some respect "because otherwise 
no one of us would even know his way home," why — so we 
might ask him — why do you despise the instincts which 
call us into life, which preserve us in it, and which are 
only extinguished when our own dissolution is imminent ? 
It will be obvious to every reader how greatly the dithy- 
rambic fervour of the concluding speeches destroys the 
effect of the strictness in thought which he has so care- 
fully endeavoured to observe. There is only one point we 
wish to emphasize. " Proportionality " is counted by him 


as "beauty;" it is, therefore, either identical with this 
quality or else related to it as one species to another 
species logically higher or lower than itself. In neither 
case is it admissible to co-ordinate it with beauty ; and 
yet this is what Plato does when he speaks of the " three 
forms of the good." 

The dialogue as a whole is not so much " dark and 
ponderous " — the current judgment — as contradictory. In 
the beginning of it Plato is inspired by the most lively 
zeal to do full justice to that theory which starts from 
the struggle for pleasure as a primitive phenomenon in 
the human and animal will, and uses it as a basis on 
which to construct a rule of life. Accordingly, he takes 
" pleasure " in the widest sense, and instead of this word 
with its narrowing and debasing associations, he uses others, 
such as "joy" and "satisfaction." He even mentions the 
pleasure " of the moral man in his morality, or of the 
reasonable man in the exercise of his reason." With the 
strictly scientific investigation he goes on to combine an 
attack upon the life of pleasure in the vulgar sense of the 
word ; he becomes less and less able to keep the two 
questions apart. Only those pleasures which are wholly 
without mixture, and thus entirely removed from the 
domain of needs, find favour in Plato's eyes ; the natural 
instincts, on the other hand, on which rests the continuance 
of the individual and of the race, are not merely relegated 
by him to their appropriate place ; he rather identifies 
them with their extreme manifestations, and thus at last 
rises to an invective which does not shrink even from 
pouring out scorn on scientific Hedonism regarded as 
advocating the life of pleasure. 

There is yet another circumstance which detracts both 
from the transparency of the results and from the certainty 
of the proof. Nothing is more characteristic of the period 
of Plato's old age than the enormous widening of his horizon. 
We have already had occasion to wonder at the width of 
vision which in the concluding section of the " Statesman " 
expands human into cosmic tendencies. It is the same in 
the " Philebus." The treatment of an ethical problein leads 


to a question touching primordial principles. Even the 
"good," to the nature of which the inquiry relates, is no 
longer merely the principle of human welfare, but embraces 
that of the cosmos as well. The question is accordingly 
so extended that the answer can only be found in those 
abstractions which, though certainly possessing the highest 
degree of comprehensiveness, are for that very reason poor 
in content. The vagueness of the solutions, and the false, 
or at any rate misleading, analogy are the shadows cast by 
that light which may be described as Heraclitean depth and 
width of vision. In the last phase of the doctrine of ideas 
— that of increasing Pythagoreanism — we shall soon see 
this tendency reach its culminating height ; but, before that, 
we shall encounter it in the doctrine of the microcosm and 
the macrocosm which occupies so great a space in the 
" Timaeus." 




I. An historical novel and a scientific fairy tale — it is thus 
that we may describe the content of these two dialogues, 
without breach of the reverence due to Plato. A consider- 
able time after the completion of the "Republic," its author 
gathered up the threads he had allowed to drop, and set 
about increasing by an extension a work which was already 
of no mean magnitude. The same endeavour after sys- 
tematic completeness, shown in the expansion of a work 
originally created without any thought of continuation, is 
manifest here as in the continuation of the " Thesetetus." 
The analogy goes further. In both cases Plato planned a 
tetralogy of which the last member is lacking in the exe- 
cution. In the present case the performance has lagged 
still further behind the intention, for even the third part 
of the trilogy — the " Critias " — remained incomplete ; in 
fact, it breaks off in the middle of a sentence. 

The " Timteus " and the " Critias " are cemented to the 
"Republic" by their matter, but not by their form. New 
characters appear in the dialogue : besides Isocrates, there 
is the Timaeus who gives his name to the first of these two 
dialogues, a citizen and statesman of Locri, in Lower Italy, 
a man here praised for his philosophic training, and almost 
certainly a personal friend of Plato's. The latter makes 
him the mouthpiece of his own theories of nature, possibly 
as an expression of gratitude to Timaeus himself and other 
representatives of the Pythagorean school. The third 
character, who is also the chief speaker in the second 


dialogue, which is named after him, is Plato's highlyesteemed 
great-uncle, the Critias who is already well known to the 
reader (of. Vol. II. pp. 250, 301) ; the fourth is Hermocrates, 
who was intended to be the chief speaker in the fourth 
dialogue bearing his name, like which he is for us a mere 
shadow. With these persons Socrates states that he has 
had a conversation on the previous day, and the substance 
of this is recapitulated in the opening portion of the 
"Timaeus." To a great extent, but by no means com- 
pletely, it coincides with the matter contained in the 
" Republic." The material differences, as well as the 
variation in the persons represented as having taken 
part in the dialogue, have roused the astonishment of 
interpreters, and led some of them to hypotheses which 
we regard as adventurous. The two circumstances, as 
we believe, may be satisfactorily explained by reference 
to the objects which guided Plato in the composition of 
the " Timaeus " and the " Critias." 

The author of the " Republic " was not spared the 
reproach of having designed a Utopia, an unattainable 
ideal of the State and of society. An echo of this complaint, 
which for the rest is very intelligible, reaches us in the 
criticism to which Aristotle subjected the work of his 
master (cf. p. 119). There was another reproach, too, of 
which we learn from Grantor, a pupil of one of Plato's 
pupils, and the oldest commentator on the " Timaeus : " 
Plato was accused of being unfaithful to the traditions of 
his native land, and of going to school to the Egyptians — a 
criticism which was doubtless made with an eye to the 
caste-like organization of Plato's pattern State. To these 
accusations coming from without there was certainly added 
a feeling of uneasiness in Plato's own breast. A scion of 
an ancient and noble house, a descendant of Attic kings, 
could not be content with the rdle of subversive innovator 
and quibbling sophist, which his projects of political reform 
had led Isocrates to attribute to him (cf p. 27). To this 
chorus of accusing voices he answered by a narrative which 
was intended to turn the edge of these reproaches, and at 
the same time offer signal satisfaction to his own feelings 


of affection for a fatherland which he had so often felt 
himself compelled to censure. Truth and fiction were 
blended in this narrative ; but the fiction was not wholly 
arbitrary, and a considerable measure of self-deception 
preceded the deception practised on others. Plato believed 
that he had discovered some of the essential features of his 
political ideal in the dim beginnings of his native city. 
We have already had more than one occasion to note the 
shiftings of his historical perspective ; and we have seen 
how he came, half involuntarily, to find the image of the 
future mirrored in the past (cf pp. 91 and 108). Inspired by 
this belief, he found in the facts of history, or in what were 
commonly accepted as such, a point of support for the 
true myth-forming faculty, which colours, supplements, and 
elaborates the half-known in accordance with emotional 
needs. Plato's " guardians " — that ruling class freed from 
all petty cares and ignoble aspirations, extending their 
fatherly guidance and protection to the great mass of the 
people — were by no means unlike a genuine aristocracy, 
especially that transfigured image of it which is cherished 
in the traditions of old and noble families. The similarity 
was heightened in the mind of one who credited the whole 
of primitive Greece with those customs and institutions of 
Sparta which inclined towards practical communism, and 
transferred them to the soil of prehistoric Athens. Even 
the caste-like separation of classes was not quite without 
its precedent in this latter quarter. There was at the least 
a widespread belief that in former ages such a sharply 
marked division had existed. Thus Aristotle, in his " Con- 
stitution of the Athenians," speaks of three classes : the 
Eupatridse, or nobles ; the agricultural peasants ; and the 
artisans — three sections of the people, each with its own 
political rights and its proportion of votes in the election 
of the ten archons. Even so rash an innovation as the 
emancipation of women was not necessarily, for Plato, a 
product of the Socratic "thinking-shop," as Aristophanes 
called it ; not " Cloud-cuckoo-town," but the Athens of his 
ancestors, was, in his belief, the original home of this 
practice. The guardian goddess of the city, "Athene the 


Defender," who with shield and spear kept watch on the 
height of the Acropolis, was in this instance the guarantor 
of his faith. She supplied him with a proof that at one 
time " the business of war had been the common concern of 
men and women ; " and if this were the case with that 
most unfeminine of occupations, why not with all others ? 

Two inferences follow from what has just been said. 
In the recapitulation of his political ideals with which Plato 
prefaces his parallels from prehistoric Athens, those features 
are necessarily absent of whose existence in the primitive 
age he could persuade neither himself nor his readers. He 
was thus obliged to break off that recapitulation at the 
point where he would otherwise have touched on the 
scientific education of the " guardians," their crowning study 
of dialectic, the theory of knowledge by which all those 
requirements were justified and invested with a deeper 
meaning. Secondly, the participants in the present dialogue, 
and therefore also in the earlier one, represented as having 
preceded it, were necessarily different from those of the 
" Republic," and such as were better suited to the purposes 
of the continuation. Thus, in particular, Plato's younger 
brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, are replaced by his 
great-uncle Critias, the representative of an earlier genera- 
tion, who repeats his tale of prehistoric Athens as having 
been told him in his early boyhood by his aged grandfather. 
The latter, who was also named Critias, had in his turn 
heard it from a close friend of his father Dropides, the far- 
travelled and historically learned legislator and poet Solon. 

2. The quasi-historical verification is accompanied by 
a quasi-experimental one — a strange proceeding, which it is 
not too easy for us to understand. Immediately after the 
recapitulation to which we have alluded, Socrates lets fall 
the remark that he feels like a man looking at a fine 
painting ; he is seized, as such a man might be, with a 
longing to see the figures on which he has been feasting 
his gaze — not only at rest, but in active motion. He would 
like to hear of the conflicts sustained by the pattern State, 
of its relations with other states, of the famous actions 
performed by its citizens. This is the cue for which Critias 


is waiting, in order to regale his audience with the narrative 
once told by Solon, on the authority of Egyptian priests 
and by them derived from the study of primaeval records. 
Here begins the marvellous tale of the citizens of Athens 
in the dim prehistoric age. Plato is not content with 
attributing to his own and his fellow-citizens' forefathers 
institutions resembling in essentials those devised by him- 
self in the " Republic ; " nor does he rest satisfied when he 
has repelled the charge of " Egypticizing " by making the 
Egyptians themselves the borrowers. He goes on to 
recount the great deeds of those Athenian forefathers, more 
particularly their wonderful victory, gained nine thousand 
years ago, over the inhabitants of Atlantis, an island in the 
Western sea which had afterwards sunk beneath the surface. 
The narrative is begun in the " Timaeus," and continued in 
the " Critias," but not concluded. What, we are inclined to 
ask, was Plato's purpose in this over-bold fiction .' 

No doubt the pleasure of romancing was in itself no 
small allurement to the poet-philosopher ; in his later 
period he was no longer satisfied, as when he wrote the 
" Symposium," the " Phaedrus," the " Gorgias," or the " Pro- 
tagoras," with the opportunities afforded him in the con- 
struction of the dialogue, in the word-painting of the 
scenery, in the richly coloured characterization of the 
dramatis persona, in the alternation of highly diversified 
styles of discourse. We can well understand that this 
particular tendency of Plato's mind has now carved out a 
separate channel for itself, and become an independent 
element in his work. But while we may have here dis- 
covered a predisposing cause, the true ground and motive 
of his puzzling procedure is still to seek. Not even in the 
days of his old age did Plato become a mere teller of 
stories. Behind his romancing we have most certainly to 
look for a didactic purpose ; and the nature of it is indicated 
to us in no uncertain manner by the wish of Socrates to 
see the ideal figures of the " Republic " set, as it were, in 
motion. The viability of these figures had been called in 
question ; objections had been raised, both by others and 
in Plato's mind (cf p. 128), against the practicability and 


salutary operation of the Platonic projects. These doubts 
it was necessary to overcome ; and the weapon of fiction 
seemed more effective for the purpose than the mere 
parallelism with the above-mentioned institutions. The 
paradox is not so great as it sounds ; an analogous 
case in modern literature will serve as an illustration. 
A highly gifted French novelist of the nineteenth 
century states very seriously, in his "Experimental 
Novel," his conviction that by the long series of his own 
fictitious narratives he has done more for the progress 
of psychology than is generally accomplished by any one 
acute and profound observer of human nature. He believes 
that in the rigorously consistent deduction of action from 
character, the latter an assumed datum based on " human 
documents," he has performed a truly scientific operation, 
closely akin to the experiments conducted by the student 
of nature. Plato, we imagine, entertained a precisely 
similar purpose. Deceiving himself by a process which is 
as intelligible in the one case as in the other, he overlooked 
the arbitrary element which must necessarily cleave to his 
description under the best of circumstances. In his con- 
tinuation of the. " Critias " he would certainly have honestly 
endeavoured to depict characters and actions such as would 
necessarily arise out of the assumed situation, that is, from 
the institutions and educational system of the ideal State, 
supposed realized. He would have claimed the ideal beauty 
of the characters and the excellence of the actions as wit- 
nesses to the soundness of the projected institutions, the 
worthiness of the ends proposed for pursuit, and the 
efficacy of the means recommended for their attainment. 
In other words, he would have laid upon the shoulders of 
his fiction that task which the student of nature performs 
when he verifies experimentally the result of a theoretical 

Plato abandoned the undertaking when barely begun. 
For this we need assign no other reason than that the 
genuine scientific spirit was after all too strong in him ; 
that though he might project, he could not carry out a plan 
founded on so grievous a self-deception without becoming 


aware of its illusory character. Thus what we have before 
us is not the edifice as the architect designed it, but only 
the vestibule by which it was to be approached : the 
description of that mighty empire which was founded by 
Poseidon and ruled by his posterity, ten allied kings in 
each generation — an empire which surpassed all regions of 
the earth in the excellence of its climate and the fruitful- 
ness of its soil, in its abundance of precious metals, in the 
magnificence of its aqueducts and the splendour of its 
temples and palaces — an empire whose power extended 
over an island larger than Africa and Asia taken together, 
over other islands lying beyond it, and over parts of the 
Western Continent itself, which by force of arms had 
pushed its authority as far as the borders of Egypt in 
Africa and those of Italy in Europe. 

We should be glad to know how far Plato's fiction is 
based on popular legend ; how far the belief in an extensive 
country in the West rests on the presupposition of a not 
wholly unsymmetrical distribution of land between the 
Eastern and Western hemispheres ; how far the fact, now 
attested by documentary evidence, of an incursion into 
Libya and Egypt made by conquering "sea-nations" coming 
from the West. But on all these points we are left to 
uncertain conjecture. 

3. Be that as it may, the historical romance merely 
supplies a framework for Plato's theories of nature. To 
give an account of these is not the most delectable of 
tasks. Their fruitfulness stands in inverse ratio to their 
obscurity. The contents of the " Timaeus " have always 
been regarded as enigmatic ; so much so, that the con- 
troversy over their interpretation began in the second 
generation of the Platonic school, and has lasted down 
to the present day. It was not till late in life that the 
philosopher approached the investigation of nature ; this 
part of his system was therefore subjoined by way of 
appendix to the " Republic," a work already complete in 
itself, in which all the other divisions of his philosophy 
were contained. Even then the study of nature was for 
him, as he tells us expressly, a labour of secondary 


importance, a kind of pastime. The limitations of Plato's 
endowment are here plainly discernible, and it is still more 
evident that by his disdain of the most effective means of 
pursuing these inquiries, he has closed against himself the 
paths which might have led to valuable results. Indeed, 
this antagonism to the experimental method is even more 
pronounced in the " Timseus " than in the " Republic ; '' 
what he had ridiculed in the earlier dialogue (cf. pp. 84, 
85, and 187) he condemns in the later. Alluding to an 
experiment, probably conducted by atomists, and bearing 
on a question in the theory of colour, he describes such 
procedure as a trespassing on the divine domain, as 
rebellious presumption of the human intellect. Thus the 
most important auxiliary in the investigation of nature is 
no longer merely disdained, but proscribed as an impiety. 

From the romance of "Atlantis," Plato passes to his 
theories of nature by a transition which is external in 
character and not a little violent. The narrative must 
not proceed, he says, till the origin of man has been 
described, and this presupposes the origin of the world. 
But the bond by which these two parts of the work were 
connected in the author's mind was much closer and 
stronger. It was from the nature of justice that the 
investigation in the " Republic " had set out ; in the 
" Timseus " he returns to the same point by a wide circuit. 
He supplies ethics with a cosmic foundation. The whole 
of nature is " ethicized," and in the following manner. The 
analogy between individual and State is no longer sufficient 
for the broadened range of Plato's thought ; it is expanded 
into an analogy between man and the universe. Justice, 
as the reader will remember, had beeri defined as the right 
relation among the different parts of the soul. To this 
there corresponded the right relation among the three 
classes of the ideal State. But: Plato's survey is now 
immeasurably enlarged. The threefold division is now 
extended to the world-soul ; and on the due proportion 
of its three parts, the continuance of the universe is made 
to depend. While justice was previously regarded as the 
foundation of human happiness, it is now acknowledged, 


like the " good " of the " Philebus," as essential to the 
welfare of the cosmos. The whole organic world, in its 
various transformations, is similarly conditioned by the 
ascendancy or the decline of justice. These transformations 
form a descending scale. Man, who is created first, sinks, 
as a result of moral deterioration, first into woman, then 
into brute form, and, continuing his downward progress 
from the higher through the lower animals, becomes at 
last a plant. Such is the kernel of the Platonic theory of 
descent — a descent with every right to the name, whereas 
our modern doctrine of the derivation of species should 
rather be called a theoiy of ascent, as involving a pro- 
gress upwards. One rule applies both to the individual 
and the race. "By the loss and gain of wisdom and 
unreason," the higher sink to the lower, and the lower 
again sometimes rise to the higher, in virtue of the trans- 
migration of souls. The Orphic doctrine of the " fall of 
the soul by sin " is here blended with the Pythagorean 
metempsychosis, and the two together expanded into a 
theory which embraces the whole universe. Orphic, 
Pythagorean, and Socratic elements unite to produce a 
conception of the cosmos, the greatness and sublimity of 
which is worthy of a thinker and poet, ■ in whom the 
ethical impulses were supreme, while at the same time its 
lack of foundation in fact moves our astonishment. But 
this astonishment may be lessened by the following con- 
siderations. Severed as he was from the atomists by the 
religious temper of his mind, and thus deprived of the only 
school then accessible in which he might have learnt the 
true way to understand nature, Plato had no other choice 
than to follow Pythagorean teachers, who could very well 
teach him to require rigour in deduction and to appreciate 
order and harmony, but not to eschew the arbitrary assump- 
tion of fundamental premisses. He himself was a deductive 
mathematician, not by any means an inductive physicist. 
His physics, indeed, as has been rightly observed, were 
biology, and his biology a psychology tinged with ethics. 
There thus arose in his mind a picture of the world which 
fascinates by its consistency within itself, by its numerical 


symmetry, by its ethical purpose, but which is destitute of 
all true foundation in experience. This picture of the 
world we have now to examine more closely. 

In the "Timseus" Plato states that he can only offer 
" probable opinions," not established truth ; Plato's inter- 
preter is here in much the same case. He cannot claim 
certainty, but only a greater or less degree of plausibility 
for his exegesis. Sometimes he must be more modest 
still, and leave to the reader the choice among an array 
of conflicting explanations. 

Timseus begins his exposition with the creative act of 
the supreme Deity, to whom, as in the " Sophist " and the 
"Statesman," the names are applied of "Artificer," "Father," 
and "Generator." He creates a universal or world-soul, 
by the possession of which the universe becomes an 
organism. As such, it is sometimes spoken of as a living 
being, and again even as a "blessed god." A germ of 
this conception, which has already found expression in 
the " Philebus," may be recognized in the Orphic myth of 
the world-egg, as also in a comparison employed by Ana- 
ximenes (cf. Vol. I. pp. 56 and 92) ; and it is similarly 
prefigured in the teaching of the Pythagorean Philolaus 
as to the respiration of the world (cf Vol. I. p. 139). 
Further, the universal mind of Xenophanes bears consider- 
able resemblance to the Platonic world-soul. But there is 
a noteworthy difference between the two. The pantheism 
of Xenophanes excludes the transcendental element. On 
the other hand, it was possible for Plato's mind, moving as 
it did in the supersensual world of ideas, to conceive the 
world as animated, even as a deity, without rejecting on 
that account the idea of a supreme Godhead standing above 
the world, creating it and directing it. 

That act of creation is twofold. The world-soul, with its 
endowment of reason, was created in the image of the ideas ; 
and its enveloping husk, the world-body or the heavens, 
was fashioned after the same model. As the Deity 
is good. He desired that all else should be good, and, 
as far as possible. He ordered the world accordingly. This 
is a phrase of weighty import, this " as far as possible," and 


implies a limitation of the. divine power. Plato does, in fact, 
speak of a principle, named here " Necessity," which is in 
conflict with the good, which may be appeased or silenced 
by reason, but not overcome. In addition to these two 
principles of necessity and reason, he recognizes yet a 
third, the "cause of disorded motion," which originally 
prevailed in the world of space, and was converted into 
order by the Deity. This is the point at which we encounter 
the first great difficulty of interpretation. We are told 
further on that simultaneously with the heavens, or world- 
body, time came into existence — a thought in which we catch 
at least a faint echo of the Orphic cosmogonies (cf. Vol. I. 
p. 86). How is this dictum to be reconciled with the 
assertion of that disorderly motion which preceded the 
world, and which must have been a process in time ? This 
difficulty was a great stumbling-block to the ancient ex- 
positors. One ingenious attempt to solve it is as old as 
Aristotle. According to this view, Plato speaks of those 
motions much in the same spirit as a teacher of geometry 
shows his pupil a figure constructed piece by piece, for 
the sake of clearness, and not in order that an origin in 
time or relations of succession may be attributed to what 
is really coexistent. (Draw such and such a line, draw 
another meeting it at a given angle, and so on.) Aristotle 
rightly condemned this way out of the difficulty as inade- 
quate. There is more plausibility in a second ancient 
solution, which may be reproduced, briefly and in modern 
terminology, as follows : Plato is not thinking of motions 
actually performed before the creation, but a tendency, an 
ever-present resistance to orderly motion ; it is merely for 
the sake of greater vividness in exposition that he speaks 
of this as an independent factor that had once manifested 
itself with untrammelled freedom. We should be glad to 
rest content with this explanation. It is barred, however, 
by the circumstance that exactly the same assertion of a 
chaos preceding the cosmos is found in the " Statesman ; " 
and it is improbable in the highest degree that an author 
should have used the same figurative and misleading form 
of expression twice and in two quite diff"erent contexts. 


Turn and twist the matter as we will, there is no acquitting 
Plato of having confused time, if not with the measure of 
time — the heavens, with the sun, moon, and stars, are 
regarded by him as such a measure — ^yet with the time, 
which thereby became measurable. 

4. We have been speaking of the disorderly motion 
which preceded the beginning of things. What, then, was 
it that moved ? This is a point which Plato had not ex- 
plained with perfect clearness. Are we therefore to join 
the number of those modern interpreters who credit him 
with the absurdity of assuming a motion which is a motion 
of nothing ? Our view is rather that Plato recognizes, as 
substratum of this motion and of all processes of becoming, 
a kind of primordial matter, originally without form or 
qualities, which he terms sometimes the " nurse," and again 
the "womb " or the "mother," of all becoming. But this 
" dark and difficult " somewhat, destitute of reality in the 
fullest sense of the word, in face of which he confesses 
his perplexity with equal candour and emphasis, is in his 
mind so far from being identified with its "seat" — mere 
space — that, on the contrary, he affirms the assumption of 
empty space to be illegitimate, and banishes it entirely 
from his picture of the universe. 

Thus the creative act does not, for Plato, mean a creation 
out of nothing. The cosmos, or well-ordered universe, is 
created in the sense that the Demiurge, or artificer, imparts 
form to the formless, order and regularity to the disorderly 
and irregular. Before we pass on, let us say a word on 
the Demiurge himself. Since his being consists solely in 
goodness, it is natural to ask whether and how he is to be 
distinguished from the idea of the good, to which the fore- 
most place was assigned in the " Republic." An answer, a 
well-considered answer, to this question is that there is no 
distinction at all. The following are the grounds which serve 
to justify this conclusion : If the Demiurge were not identical 
with the idea of the good, he would necessarily participate 
in it, or be copied from it ; he would therefore occupy a 
lower position than that idea, which is contrary to his 
strongly emphasized rank as Supreme Deity. The complete 


identification of the Demiurge with the idea of the good 
thus seems unavoidable. But it is open to an objection 
which is worth consideration. It is true that the idea of 
the good has already been represented in the " Republic " 
as an active principle, not an inert pattern, by an enhance- 
ment of its nature which we do not find accorded to the 
other ideas till we reach the " Sophist." But it is quite 
certain that Plato is fully in earnest when he speaks of the 
fabrication of the world by the Demiurge. That the world 
has " become," and has not existed from eternity, is a thesis 
which he affirms, amid doubts and reservations on other 
matters, in a tone of dogmatic certitude. How, then — we 
are driven to ask — can this work of creation, which is an 
isolated act, not a continuous influence, be ascribed to an 
idea, that is, to an hypostasized quality, even though it 
were the highest of all qualities 1 We know of no answer 
but the following : The enhancement or transfiguration of 
the ideas, more accurately their deification, has made further 
and further progress in Plato's mind. In the " Timaeus " 
he roundly terms the ideas " eternal gods ; " but the names 
" author," " generator," " father," are, as we have already 
observed, to be found in the " Sophist " and " Statesman," 
and do not meet us in the " Timaeus " for the first time. 
These names, we now venture to say, denote in all these 
dialogues the same principle which in the " Republic " 
appears as " the idea of the good." It is not for the sake 
of disguising his thought, or of merely presenting it in a 
new dress, that Plato chooses these names ; he does so 
because in his own consciousness that supreme and divine 
principle has become invested with a greater degree of 
personality, and has thereby gained, as we learn from the 
" Timaeus " itself and its doctrine of creation, what we have 
called in another connexion '' an allowance of free action " 
(cf Vol. I. p. 26). 

Like the great natural fetishes of the old Hellenic 
religion, Plato's ideas have outgrown themselves. It is 
thus no conscious accommodation to popular theology that 
we have to presuppose. Plato has, indeed, somethingSio 
keep back, as is shown by his saying that " to discover the 

THE ''EVIL world-soul:' 213 

Author and Father of this All is difficult ; to reveal Him to 
all, were He once discovered, would be impossible." But 
his meaning, we think, is only that, although the embodi- 
ment of all good has become for him a divine Person, he 
yet rejects all anthropomorphic accretions that can possibly 
be dispensed with, so that this primordial principle is very 
unlike what passes for deity in the general mind. For the 
rest, Plato's inner estrangement from the popular faith is 
greater in the " Timaeus " than anywhere else. This is 
apparent from his remark, made not without a touch of 
irony, that the assertions made touching the gods of 
mythology rest on no cogent or even plausible proof ; still, 
law and tradition ought to be trustfully followed. But 
what repels him in the popular religion is not its poly- 
theism. Even his own Supreme Godhead does not stand 
alone, but is surrounded by a company of " eternal gods," 
the ideas ; he generates the " blessed deity " known as the 
Cosmos, and those souls clad in fiery raiment, the stars. 
Further, the god of goodness has not fellows and sub- 
ordinates merely, but mighty opponents. With two of 
the latter we have already made acquaintance — Necessity, 
a dark primaeval force which resists the good — and the 
irregularly working or "erratic cause of motion." These 
agencies are fused into one and augmented in the " Laws," 
where the " beneficent " world-soul is matched against a 
hostile principle with " contrary powers " to its own. We 
have here an aspect of Plato's theology on which it is all 
the more necessary to lay stress, because it has often been 
ignored, and sometimes even denied, by the historians of 

" Away, then, with that evil world-soul ! " So exclaims 
no less a critic than August Bockh ; and evidently he 
believes himself to be doing Plato's reputation a service by 
eliminating this highly important element from his theory 
of the gods. And yet it redounds not a little to the 
honour of the poet-thinker that, with all his artist's delight 
in beauty, he is not blind to the evil of the world ; that he 
is consistent enough, in face of that evil, not to find the 
omnipotence of the deity compatible with his perfect 
VOL. in. Q 


goodness. The latter could be supposed absolute only if 
there were limits and hindrances to the realization of the 
divine purposes. The nmaturer experience of added years 
and the gradual loss of the optimism natural to sanguine 
youth had doubtless contributed to make the power of evil 
loom larger in Plato's outlook. Witness the doubts to 
which utterance had already been given in the closing 
portion of the " Republic" as to the possibility of realizing 
the social ideal portrayed in that dialogue — doubts which 
find stronger expression in the "Statesman," and the 
strongest of all in the " Laws." Nothing, then, could be 
more natural than that, with Plato's view of life darkened 
by sad experiences, some tinge of that blackness should 
appear in his picture of the universe ; that the powers 
hostile to the good, or, the same thing for him, to order 
and regularity, should both fill a wider space and tend 
to become concentrated in a single principle. In the 
" Theaetetus," every good had its companion evil attached 
to it like a shadow. But that only applied to life on the 
earth, not to cosmic existence. In the " Statesman," 
periods of universal "disorder" alternate with orderly 
periods in which the divine goodness reigns without limita- 
tion or check. In the " Tim^us " evil appears as a restrained 
but ever-active power, still bearing many names, and not 
yet comprehended under the unity of a supreme principle. 
In accordance with the tendencies of Plato's later phase, 
such a principle would necessarily be of the nature of soul, 
and it is nothing to be surprised at if in the last of his 
works he took the final step, demanded by the whole course 
of his development, and provided the good world-soul with 
its manifest counterpart. It should be added that Plato's 
pessimistic tendency is much more prominent in his treat- 
ment of various subordinate matters than in his presentation 
of the main theological and metaphysical thesis. For while 
the evil world-soul is spoken of as less powerful than the 
good, and the corresponding principles appear in the 
"Timseus" as disturbing elements, not as predominant 
forces by which the good is overpowered, the "Zoogony," 
on the other hand, or theory of descent to which we have 


already referred, exhibits mankind as continually sinking to 
lower and lower planes of existence, and wears an aspect 
of thorough-going pessimism. The gloomy outlook, more- 
over, is not relieved (exceptional cases apart) by any 
prospect of future restoration such as had been held out in 
the Orphic doctrine of the "fall of the soul by sin," of 
which the influence is here apparent. 

To return to the world-soul, we note that it, too, is not 
created out of nothing. It comes into being by a process 
which is, strictly speaking, not so much one of creation as 
of composition, such as we have already heard of in the 
"Philebus." We are here brought into contact with the 
most abstract, we may perhaps say the most abstruse, part 
of Plato's philosophy. As objects of the mixing process, 
we have two primary substances; and these are mixed 
first with each other, secondly with the product of the first 
mixing. These primary substances are not wholly new to 
the reader. In the " Philebus " they appear under the 
names of " limit " and " the unlimited." In the " Timseus " 
they are renamed, and we now know them as " the same " 
and " the other," the second of which appellations reminds 
us of the "Sophist." Yet, again, they are termed "the 
divisible" and "the indivisible," and Plato's pupils spoke 
in this connexion of " unity," of " the great and the small," 
or of " duality." These are Platonic developments of 
Pythagorean thoughts, and remind us of the " table of con- 
traries." With the substance of the world of ideas is 
contrasted the substance of the physical world. On the 
one side we have the principle of good, unchangeable, 
uniform, regarded at the same time as the limiting, forming, 
comprehending- unity. Opposed to it is the principle of 
evil, which is likewise the principle of change, of difference, 
of division and dismemberment. We should not at this 
point lose sight entirely of Plato's political and ethical 
teaching. To efface all diversities, to realize unity in a 
measure far transcending the bare necessities of civic peace 
— such, as we have already seen, was the object pursued 
with single-minded earnestness in Plato's social scheme. 
Once more we note the boundless extension of the aged 


philosopher's intellectual horizon ; the great factors in 
human weal and woe have for him become merged in 
cosmic principles, and these again are traced to their 
source in the domain of the supernatural. The doctrine 
prevailed in early antiquity that like is known by like; 
and in accordance with this the unitary principle of the 
world-soul, as we may shortly term it, becomes the subject 
of rational knowledge, the dual principle that of opinion ; 
the object of the higher knowledge is the ideas, of the 
lower the things perceptible by the senses. Much the 
hardest to understand is the entity produced by the mixture 
of the two original substances. Such being its origin, it 
must necessarily be intermediate in character, a mean 
between two extremes. Now, this position of intermediary 
between ideas and things was ascribed by Plato in the 
" Republic " to mathematical forms. Some of his followers 
have accordingly supposed that what is here meant is the 
totality of such forms. But the designation of this inter- 
mediate something as " substance," or ovaia par excellence 
and the nature of the mixing in the " Philebus " (cf p. i88), 
incline us rather to describe it, in un-Platonic terminology 
it must be admitted, as the realization of form in matter, 
or rather, the principle of such realization. 

The souls of the heavenly bodies and of the beings 
resident on the earth were formed of the same elements as 
the world-soul. Man was the first of animals to be created, 
or rather compounded out of the material elements ; and 
to the immortal soul within him, the first home of which 
had been on some fixed star, there were now joined two 
other mortal souls. This triad — the rational or head-soul, 
the spirited or breast-soul, and the appetitive or abdominal 
soul — has already been brought to our notice (cf pp. 38 
and 73). What is new is the detailed parallelism between 
the microcosm and the macrocosm. One point deserves 
special mention as characteristic of Plato's poetically 
constructive method. Where we compare he identifies. 
We, too, might be inclined to compare the stars, travelling 
in their appointed paths with changeless, equable motion, 
to well-ordered rational thoughts, untroubled by any 


current of feeling. For the author of the " Timaeus " the 
rational thoughts of man are nothing less than regular 
rotations, performed within the human head, which he 
regards as copied from the spherical heaven. Similarly, 
the rational thoughts of the world-soul are regarded as 
dependent upon movements which its element of identity 
or unity executes in the plane of the celestial equator, 
while the uncertain opinions or notions of its second 
element, " the other," are bound up with motions in the 
plane of the ecliptic, which is inclined obliquely to the 
equatorial plane. What reason is to opinion, such is 
the unvarying revolution of the sphere of the fixed stars 
to the motions of the planets with their "turnings and 
strayings." But we are anticipating ; our present business 
is with the body of the world-soul, the material cosmos 
and its origin. 

5. "Plato mathematicized nature," was the caustic 
gibe of an ancient critic. It is quite true that the 
natural philosophy of the " Timseus '' proceeds throughout 
upon the assumption of mathematical regularities and 
corresponding rhythms, even in spheres where modern 
science has seldom sought and never found them. It 
follows the lead of an aesthetic or quasi-sesthetic sentiment, 
backed by the confident hope that nature will everywhere 
meet the demand to the full. It is easy enough to expose 
the baselessness of this hope and to inveigh against the 
arbitrariness of the resulting method ; but it is a harder 
matter to recognize the element of legitimacy which it 
contains. With Plato, as with his Pythagorean predecessors, 
the well-founded divination of a universal reign of law was 
balked of its due satisfaction by an insufficient knowledge 
of causes ; still, as we have already had occasion to remark, 
"it was anyhow better to look for law where it did not 
exist than not to look for it at all" (cf. Vol. I. p. 119). 
There are modern instances, too, such as that of the great 
Johannes Kepler and his "Mysterium Cosmographicum," 
which teach us that the boundary between the almost 
sportive quest of merely apparent regularities and the 
epoch-making discovery of comprehensive natural laws is 


sometimes very unstable. The other canon of Plato's 
method in natural philosophy was of more fatal con- 
sequence. He adopted in dead earnest the postulate of 
the "Phsedo," that all investigation should be conducted 
from the standpoint of "the better;" and he employed 
this teleological principle not only where the better was 
simply the more regular, but where it was the more 
preferable, judged by the general human or the speci- 
fically Greek standard, or even by his own personal 
taste. His instrument, here as before, is deduction a 
priori, which, in the best case, takes an arbitrarily selected 
piece of experience, and thence spins its far-reaching 

The universal being — such, roughly, is his argument — 
if it was to manifest itself, was under the necessity of 
becoming visible and tangible. Visibility demanded light, 
tangibility earth. But these two elements were not enough. 
In order that they might be combined into a unity, there 
was need of a proportional relation ; and this implied the 
existence of intermediate terms. Moreover, two such 
terms were necessary ; for in the domain of cubic or solid 
numbers such proportions — the reason of this is a highly 
controversial problem in the exposition of the " Timaeus " — 
cannot be effected by one middle term, but require two. 
The scheme could not he. a : b = b : c, but must be « : ^ 
= c '. d. 

By this deductive path Plato arrives at the Empedo- 
clean quaternary of elements, water and air supplying the 
required intermediates. As water is related to earth, so is 
fire to air ; and the series, earth, water, air, fire, exhibits a 
progress from the least to the highest degree of mobility. 
The specific nature of the four fundamental substances is 
deduced from their primary constituents, and ultimately 
the geometrical properties of the latter. In this Plato is 
said to have followed Philolaus, who would appear to have 
constructed a Pythagorean atomism in rivalry to that of 
Abdera. Four of the regular solids were assigned as the 
fundamental forms of the four elements : the cube as that 
of earth ; the tetrahedron, or pyramid, as that of fire ; the 


octahedron as that of air ; the icosahedron as that of water. 
The remaining regular soHd, the dodecahedron, had been 
associated by Philolaus with the heavenly fire or ether ; 
Plato, probably reluctant to overstep the number of four 
proportional terms, perhaps, too, with the object of avoiding 
the pentagons of the dodecahedron, omitted this element 
altogether, though he admitted it again in his latest phase. 
It is hardly necessary to say that the tapering tongue of 
flame suggested the pyramid as the form of the primary 
constituents of fire, while the cube was assigned to the 
earth-element, on the ground of its comparative immobility. 
Now, each of the six sides of a cube can be divided into 
two right-angled isosceles triangles ; on the other hand, the 
faces of the other three fundamental solids are compounded 
of right-angled scalene triangles, of what was considered 
the most perfect form ; hence was explained the trans- 
mutability of the corresponding elements (water, air, fire) 
into each other, while earth, with its radically different 
triangles, occupied a position apart. The enigmatic question 
whether Plato conceived the interior of his primary solids 
to be empty, or with what he imagined them filled, can 
hardly admit any other answer than that those smallest 
triangles enclosed formless ultimate matter, the assumption 
of which is demanded by several other problems, insoluble 
without it, in the physics of the " Timseus." The primary 
triangles themselves, however, were regarded as exempt 
from all motion, and played the same part in the Platonic 
physics which Leucippus and Democritus had reserved for 
their atoms. Plato's relation to the atomists, we may 
remark, is not a little peculiar. He knows their theories, he 
borrows an isolated hypothesis from them here and there, 
but on the whole he is uncompromisingly hostile to their 
conception of the universe, and he is not above attacking 
them with ridicule and plays upon words. Thus in 
combating the infinity of the universe he makes frequent 
use of the twofold meaning borne by a Greek word which 
may signify either " infinite " or " ignorant." 

The elements having been constructed a priori, the 
cosmos is now constructed out of the elements. Since the 


sphere is the most perfect of forms, the universe, the most 
perfect of physical existences, must be spherical. Justifi- 
cation is thus found for what a glance at the vault of 
heaven teaches the eye of the beholder. In this portion of 
the dialogue reasoned anthropomorphism and the artificial 
return to the naive ideas of nature entertained by primitive 
man reach their culminating height. Plato expounds, in 
all seriousness, the reasons why the cosmos, though a living 
being, is able to dispense with extremities and a mouth : 
the first, because of all possible motions only the most 
perfect is vouchsafed to it, namely, rotation in itself; the 
second, because that which includes everything in itself can 
receive no nutriment from without, while its continuance 
is ensured by the fact that it is not, like other beings, 
threatened with disease and injury by external agents. 
Cognate thoughts have been expressed in our own day by 
Gustav Theodor Fechner ; but mature science may indulge 
in a half-serious sport with hypotheses, which at an earlier 
stage is far from profitable. 

6. It is not the object of the present work to register all 
the erroneous opinions of even great minds. Only so much 
need find a place here as serves for the characterization of 
an age or illustrates the growth of science. To this category 
belongs the rudiment, discernible in Plato's astronomical 
teaching, of the theory of the celestial spheres — a theory 
which was soon to receive ample development, and which, 
thus elaborated, survived for centuries, nay, millennia, and 
was not entirely abandoned even by Copernicus. Compared 
with the astronomy of Philolaus, this theory may be termed 
at once retrograde and progressive. It was retrograde 
because it attached the heavenly bodies to solid supports, 
and thus departed further from the truth than the doctrine 
of those Pythagoreans who had already learnt to regard 
the stars as freely suspended in space. At the same time, 
the sphere-theory contained an element of progress, since 
it provided a means — appropriate in itself and capable of 
considerable improvement — for the faithful and accurate 
representation of the forces acting upon the heavenly 
bodies. This theory and that of Philolaus both set out 


from what is the starting-point of all scientific astronomy, 
the endeavour, namely, to resolve the variable and irregular 
movements visible in the heavens into constant and regular 
movements out of which they are compounded. The 
manner in which this analysis was effected by the 
hypothesis of Philolaus is familiar to the reader (cf. Vol. I. 
p. 113, seq.). We do not learn how it came about that 
Plato, who followed that Pythagorean so closely in his 
doctrine of the elements, struck out an entirely different 
path in astronomy. In any case, this path led backwards 
to an archaic, one might almost say to the primitive fashion 
of Hellenic thought. It was possibly a religious prejudice 
by which Plato was here guided. The earth, he felt, ought 
to rest once more in the centre of the universe. It was 
not till the days of his extreme old age, so we learn from 
the most trustworthy of all authorities, Theophrastus, 
that Plato changed his mind on this subject. He then 
" repented " of having assigned to the earth the position 
of greatest dignity in the cosmos — a repentance which we 
ought perhaps to interpret in the sense that the growing 
depreciation of human concerns observable in the " Laws " 
was extended to the dwelling-place of the human race. 
That retrogression, however, led straight to the "brazen 
heaven" of Homer, to a celestial sphere imagined as 
material, to which the fixed stars are attached. The 
measure of legitimacy possessed by this conception can 
hardly be better expressed than in the following words of 
an eminent American astronomer of our day : — 

" It must be admitted that the idea of the stars being set in a 
hollow sphere of crystal, forming the vault of the firmament, was 
a very natural one. They seemed to revolve round the earth 
every day, for generation after generation, without the slightest 
change in their relative positions. If there were no solid con- 
nexion between them, it does not seem possible that a thousand 
bodies could move around their vast circuit for such long periods 
of time without a single one of them varying its distance from 
one of the others. It is especially difficult to conceive how they 
could all move around the same axis." 

It was not in the slightest degree unscientific to search 


for a single cause underlying these phenomena ; and if the 
quest ended in complete failure, this was the natural 
result of ignorance touching the one circumstance which 
affords a satisfactory explanation. Instead of the daily 
rotation of the earth, a daily rotation of the celestial vault 
was assumed. The impulse towards an ampler development 
of hypotheses came to Plato from the irregularities, no 
doubt very imperfectly known to him, which characterize the 
movements of the seven bodies named planets or wandering 
stars : the sun, the moon, and the five planets visible to 
the naked eye. We call to mind the screw-like windings 
of the sun which are exhibited to the eye as the result of 
his combined daily and yearly motions (cf. Vol. I. p. 112). 
That these motions, too, must be absolutely regular, and 
indeed strictly circular, was a presumption founded upon 
the daily motions of the stars, which appear to move in 
circles, owing to the rotation of our own abode, the earth. 
This presumption was further strengthened by a natural 
predilection for the circle, which was accorded the same 
precedence among curves as the sphere enjoyed among 
cognate solids. The attempt to solve the problem thus 
presented gave rise to the theory of the celestial spheres. 
It was required to devise a combination of circular 
motions which should result in motions not strictly circular. 
Assistance was here afforded by the analogy of the sphere 
of the fixed stars, corresponding to which other spheres, 
or else, as in the early, Platonic form of the theory, ring 
or hoop-shaped structures were devised, bearing the 
planets (in the wider sense) attached to them. This con- 
ception, as we at least are inclined to think, is not un- 
connected with the sun, moon, and star-wheels invented 
by Anaximander (cf. Vol. I. p. 53)— a precedent which may 
have influenced either Plato himself or some predecessor 
of his unknown to us. The mechanism was thus provided 
by which a solution of the aforesaid problem became 
possible. The hoop or sphere with the planet attached to 
its equator was imagined enclosed in another sphere, fixed 
in such a manner that without losing its own proper 
motion it partook in that of the enclosing sphere. Assuming 


that the two motions were performed round different axes 
and with different velocities, it was quite possible, even 
though the component motions were circular, that the 
resulting orbit of the planet should deviate from the 
strict circular type. This is the simplest form of the hypo- 
thesis, and the one with which Plato remained content. 
The enclosing sphere was that of the fixed stars, the 
enclosed rings or hoops carried the planets ; of the two 
motions thus compounded, the first took place in the 
celestial equator, or in the plane of " the same," the second 
in the obliquely inclined plane of the ecliptic, in the circle 
of "the other." In extreme old age, when Plato was 
engaged upon the " Laws," he became acquainted with 
the theory of the earth's rotation round its own axis, a 
theory already familiar to Aristotle (cf. Vol. I. p. 120), and 
gave it the preference over his own former speculations. 
The first step towards a further development of the sphere- 
theory was taken by Eudoxus, an investigator who supplies 
a model of genius combined with sobriety. How he 
elaborated the doctrine, already existent in germ, how his 
assumption of three spheres apiece for sun and moon, of 
four spheres for each of the true planets, fully met all the 
facts of observation then known, we may learn from the 
concise exposition of an eminent contemporary, the first 
astronomer of modern Italy. We shall return to the 
subject in connexion with the theories of Aristotle and 

Plato's other thoughts on things celestial exhibit a 
purely Pythagorean tinge. The " harmony of the spheres" 
recurs in the assumption that the circles described by the 
planets are disposed at intervals which ensure the har- 
monious concord of the sounds produced by their revolutions. 
Like the heaven of Pythagoras, so that of Plato, together 
with the world-soul pervading it, is "all number and 
harmony" (cf. Vol. I. p. 119). His great, or world-year 
(cf. Vol. I. p. 143), comprehends ten thousand ordinary 

7. The most salient feature of Plato's physics is its 
anthropomorphism. The doctrine of natural places, a 


deduction from wrongly interpreted observations (cf. p. 84), 
is presented in a manner implying that each element must 
feel uncomfortable when not in the region assigned to it, 
and yearn after its "natural" place. At the same time, 
there are not wanting welcome flashes of illumination. 
Among such must be counted the denial of a true above 
and below in space ; the above and below in the doctrine 
of natural places are not absolute but conditioned by the 
stratification of matter round the earth, so that the anti- 
podeans may use these terms in the opposite sense to ours. 
Here, too, we reckon the consistency with which far-reaching 
consequences are drawn from the denial of the void. Though 
only a special case is discussed, the principles appealed to 
are of much wider scope. Plato represents the two phases 
of the respiratory act, expiration and inspiration, as together 
forming a single recurrent motion; and in this connexion 
he points out that, in the absence of a void space, motion 
can only proceed by each moving particle displacing its 
neighbour, this again another, till the impulse reaches a last 
particle, which takes the place of the first. The image of 
the " revolving wheel " is here made use of ; and it may be 
conjectured that this most obvious and graphic illustration 
of cyclic transference had some share in the genesis of the 
ring or hoop-theory of the planetary motions. A remark- 
able anticipation of the most modern theories is perhaps 
to be found in the denial of real attraction, and thus of the 
action at a distance thereby implied, which is made in the 
course of a disquisition on electric and magnetic phenomena. 
It should not be forgotten, however, that this denial, whether 
it be justifiable or not, is one which primitive thought, 
dominated by the daily experience of impact and pressure, 
is particularly ready to make. 

In the biology of the " Timaeus," nothing is so remark- 
able as the predominance of specifically human, indeed 
of ethical, points of view. The sovereignty of reason, the 
restraint of desire, are here invested with supreme import- 
ance. Thus the numerous windings of the intestines are 
explained as a precaution against gluttony ; by retarding 
the passage of digestive residues they prevent too speedy 


replenishment. At first we are astonished that Plato seems 
to have completely forgotten the structural similarity of 
man's congeners among the brutes ; but this feeling dis- 
appears in view of what we have called Plato's theory of 
descent. If animals are degenerate men, the structure 
of their bodies may well bear witness to a purpose which 
was originally confined to the human race. At the same 
time, we have at least occasional examples of the opposite 
relationship. Thus nails, which are of little use to man, 
but of much use (in the shape of claws) to many beasts, 
are said to have been bestowed on the human race at its 
creation with an eye to its future degeneracy. 

And now for a last word on this inverted theory of 
descent, perhaps the most remarkable of all the theories 
devised by Plato's inventive mind. This pessimistic 
doctrine is the legitimate offspring of his theological 
optimism. The spectacle of the "mutual slaughter," to 
use a phrase of the " Protagoras," which seems almost a 
fundamental law of the animal kingdom, could not but 
raise the question of how all this accumulated mass of 
suffering, and injustice was caused. The responsibility for 
it could not be allowed to rest on the Deity conceived as 
perfectly good, nor yet on the antagonistic principle of 
"Necessity," to which too great power would then be 
attributed ; man, therefore, must be regarded as having 
by his own fault brought about his degeneracy and the 
terrible evils resulting from it. We are reminded of the 
passage in the " Republic " which describes the voluntary 
choice by disembodied souls of the worse life-destinies. 
Here, as there, " God is guiltless " of all evil (cf p. 105). 

The theory of disease expounded in the " Timaeus " 
might be passed over if it were not that the problem of 
will, which we have just touched upon, is there treated in a 
fashion which invites us to cast a glance backwards and 
forwards. The primary Socratic thesis : No one errs of his 
own free will, recurs here in connexion with " disorders of 
the soul," which Plato describes collectively as "want 
of intelligence," and subdivides into " madness '' and 
" ignorance." The first of these is explained as the result 


of particular bodily conditions — a remarkable expansion 
of the Socratic doctrine. In the works of Plato's earliest 
period the above-mentioned thesis occurs in what is 
obviously the original Socratic form, as an expression of 
absolute confidence in the supremacy of that knowledge 
which is the fruit of reflexion and instruction. No one 
acts against his better conviction ; he who appears to do 
so is demented. 

This addition, this restrictive qualification, is now 
developed into a theory. Plato enters minutely into the 
physical causes of madness, and for us this procedure of 
his has a double significance. It shows, firstly, that he no 
longer follows Socrates in regarding madness as an isolated 
phenomenon, unworthy of more than passing mention ; and, 
secondly, that the connexion between mental and bodily 
processes has now gained for him an interest commensurate 
with that widening of his intellectual horizon, so often 
emphasized by us, in which Nature is now included equally 
with the world of mind. At the same time, it is not a little 
remarkable with what tenacity he clings to the Socratic 
formula, not only in the "Timffius" but even in the "Laws," 
although the intellectualism of which it was originally the 
expression has been undermined as far back as in the 
"Gorgias" and the "Phaedo" (cf. Vol. II. p. 353, and Vol. 
III. p. 38), and still more, in the " Republic," by the doctrine 
of the tripartite soul and the emphatic recognition of 
practice and habitation as indispensable in moral education 
(cf. p. 70). Plato's furthest advance in this direction is to 
be observed in the obviously self-critical passages on the 
all-sufficiency of "wisdom" and "knowledge" which are 
scattered up and down the " Laws," that terminal member 
in the series of the Platonic writings to which our attention 
must now be directed. 



PLATO'S "laws." 

I. There is a fine poem by Ferdinand von Saar which 
begins with an apostrophe to " Autumn, sunny and mild, 
that gives the forests new hues." Such is the life's autumn 
of which we have the reflex in the " Laws." Not that in 
this work of Plato's old age all is pure radiance of intellect 
or mild and gentle sentiment. The journey through the 
" Laws " lies past many a desert tract, and there are 
occasional utterances of almost incomprehensible severity. 
Taken all in all, however, it is a work of the richest maturity, 
permeated by serene wisdom and a mellow warmth of 
feeling to which nothing human is alien. At the same time, 
it is in no mean degree the product of a high artistic sense, 
obscured, as we must admit, by not a few weaknesses of 
execution. Many circumstances conspire to diminish the 
power of its appeal. As ancient critics were well aware, 
the " Laws " never underwent the last labours of the file. 
It is a posthumous work, with the publication of which 
Plato entrusted his pupil and amanuensis Philippus of Opus. 
The latter discharged his commission in precisely the 
manner that was to be expected of the devoted disciple of 
a great master. The expectant circle of pupils and readers 
was not kept in long suspense. Within a year the voluminous 
work was given to the world. This very intelligible haste, 
and the still more intelligible feeling of duty towards the 
revered head of the school, caused the editor to refrain 
with the most scrupulous care from all interference with the 
text, and all the marks of imperfection, including certain 
manifest contradictions, were left unobliterated. 


The contents of the book, which includes no less than 
a complete code of constitutional, private, and criminal law, 
together with philanthropic and educational institutions, 
were out of keeping with the dialogue-form, the artistic 
medium which Plato nevertheless retained from lifelong 
habituation. Long didactic disquisitions were thus even 
less avoidable than in the " Timaeus." For the whole of 
one book, the fifth of the twelve, a single person speaks 
continuously, uninterrupted by as much as a question. To 
this conflict between form and matter were added other 
defects of which Plato was well aware, though unable to 
remedy them. He is conscious of the tendency to repetition 
arising from the loquacity of age, and he excuses it by 
remarking that " the truth may well be said twice or thrice 
over." He is equally conscious of the old man's leaning 
towards digressions, and he palliates it, making a virtue of 
necessity, by comparing his mind to a fiery steed which it 
is necessary to curb and hold forcibly to the straight path. 

There is yet another reproach against which Plato 
defends himself in anticipation of his critics. It is in no 
spirit of wilfulness, he says, that he has industriously 
employed linguistic innovations. The feature to which he 
alludes is one that forces itself upon the most cursory 
reader of the " Laws." The text of this work is thickly 
sown with neologisms, both real and apparent. He borrows 
words and forms from the language of the poets as well as 
from an older stage of the Attic dialect, and in addition he 
employs new inventions of his own in great number. All 
this, together with the frequently unusual order of the 
words and the delicately adjusted rhythm, evidently serves 
the purpose of imparting to the discourse a character of 
solemnity and remoteness form everyday commonplace 
(cf. Vol. n. pp. 279, 285, and Vol. HI. 156). With regard to 
the success of this endeavour, the author is at no pains to con- 
ceal his satisfaction. He makes the other personages of the 
dialogue praise the " speeches resembling poetry," and hold 
them up as models in the manner that betokens a remark- 
able and not altogether pleasing degree of self-complacency. 

We say " the other personages of the dialogue," because 


Plato himself takes part in the colloquy behind the trans- 
parent mask of a stranger from Athens. The disappearance 
of Socrates is an event for which we have been in some 
measure prepared by other works of Plato's old age. In 
the " Sophist " and the " Statesman " we saw the chief rdle 
assigned to the stranger from Elea ; in the " Timaeus," to 
the character from whom the dialogue takes its name. 
Several motives may be suggested for the dismissal of 
Socrates from the scene. 

Possibly Plato thought it unfitting to make the chief 
character in the "Republic" the spokesman of a new 
political and social programme ; perhaps, too, he felt that 
the dogmatic tone predominant in these disquisitions was 
too far removed from the Socratic spirit of criticism, that 
many an expression of rigid intolerant orthodoxy was far 
more suited to a Meletus than to his victim. Be that as 
it may, Socrates has disappeared, and in his stead we have 
a stranger from Athens, a man advanced in years, con- 
versing with two other old men, the Spartan Megillus and 
the Cretan Cleinias. The three have set out together, on 
a day in midsummer, to walk from Cnossus the old-famed 
city of Minos, to the grotto of Zeus on Ida, a journey of 
several hours. As they traverse the undulating, grassy 
meadows, or rest in the shade of cypresses, famous for 
their wonderful beauty (the wide-branched variety is meant, 
which still grows in the island), they entertain each other 
with leisurely discourse. 

The high artistic sense of the author shows itself most 
clearly at the beginning of the dialogue. Here is a con- 
versation, held with a Lacedaemonian and a Cretan in the 
native land of the latter, having for its subject questions 
of legislation, and opening with the praises of the divine 
legislators. What else could its object be, so every reader 
was sure to ask, than to glorify the constitutions of those 
Dorian pattern-states which aristocrats and philosophers 
vied with each other in extolling .' And it is quite true 
that features embodied in those constitutions — the aristo- 
cratic regime, the stability of the institutions, the strict 
discipline and subjugation of the individual will — served 


Plato as models. But in one decisive point the case was 
otherwise. The policy of war and conquest was one which 
Plato detested from his innermost soul, and on this head 
he did not wish his readers to be left in doubt for a moment. 
Hence, alrtiost at the beginning of the dialogue, the sug- 
gestive question is asked : What is the object of your 
common meals of men and kindred institutions } The 
answer elicited from the other interlocutors is that the 
political institutions of their countries are directed towards 
war and conquest as the supreme end. Plato at once 
signifies his dissent. He sets about proving the irrationality 
of war by comparing the strife of city with city to that of 
village with village ; then to that between families and 
individuals ; lastly, to the inward conflict in the single soul. 
From this argument far-reaching consequences ensue. It 
has served to build a bridge between politics and ethics. 
Whither this bridge is to lead us soon becomes abundantly 
clear. If war and conquest are not the supreme end in 
politics, how can capacity for war, or courage, claim the 
first place in the hierarchy of the virtues ? It is not the 
whole of virtue, but the least valuable part of it, towards 
which those institutions are directed, so far as their purpose 
is educational. This, it may be observed, is also the chief 
accusation brought by Aristotle against the Lycurgean 
discipline. In bringing it here, Plato strikes the key-note 
of the whole work. Towards the end he refers in express 
terms to this introduction, and the intervening matter is 
all subordinated to the same thought. The whole of state- 
craft is represented as a means of education, an instrument 
for the attaining of perfection ; and for the author of the 
"Laws," if not for that of the "Gorgias" and the 
" Theaitetus," the " Phaedo " and the " Philebus," perfection 
is the completest and most symmetrical development of 
the mind and the body, the evolving of a harmony in 
which the whole is set high above the parts. 

But we will return from this anticipation, and follow 
Plato's more deliberate advance. Even if courage were 
the chief of the virtues — it is thus, roughly, that the argu- 
ment proceeds— even then, the educational means employed 


would not be the best adapted to their purpose. The 
education in question is a one-sided, " limping '' education. 
For courage, taken in its highest sense as steadfastness of 
the soul, is exercised not only in face of danger and pain, 
but also in respect of pleasure (cf. the treatment of the 
subject in the " Laches," p. 299, seq., of the second volume). 
Against the temptations from this source youth ought to be 
armed, not removed from temptation altogether. As an 
example, he takes the pleasures of wine, complete ignorance 
of which is counted by Megillus among the virtues of the 
Spartan youth. The truth is, according to Plato, that wine 
is a highly important test of the steadfastness of the soul, 
and at the same time a strengthening tonic for it, no less 
than the painful ordeals by which the boys of Sparta are 
trained into fitness for war. This brings him to an im- 
portant generalization, which he illustrates by an ingenious 
fiction. His purpose requires a substance contrary in its 
effects to wine — predisposing to fear instead of to desire, 
diminishing instead of increasing the sense of life and 
energy, depressing instead of exalting. The method sug- 
gested for the employment of wine in education consists 
in first exciting the aggressive and appetitive instincts by 
its use, then subjecting them to restraining discipline. 
The imagined antithesis to wine would render a similar 
service in respect of the depressive emotions. It is much 
as if Plato had prescribed the complementary use of alcohol 
and the bromides. 

Education is the subject on which Plato first dwells at 
any length. Its primary object is stated (in the second 
book) to be right modes of feeling, the acquisition of which 
should precede by a long interval the instruction of the 
reason, and should be finally found in agreement with the 
substance of such instruction. After the education of 
children comes that received by adults on the occasion of 
festivals — an education resting in the last resort on rhythm 
and harmony. The question arises : What works of plastic 
and musical art are to be counted beautiful } The answer 
is : That is beautiful which pertains to any excellence of 
soul or body or to the copy of such virtue ; ugliness has 


the same relation to vices and defects. The aesthetic 
judgment is thus reduced to an ethical one. Prominence 
is given to the high importance of habituation, the effect 
of which is to produce liking, both for good things and 
evil. For we involuntarily come to resemble the things 
that please us, even when they are evil, long before we 
cease to be shy of praising them. For this reason Egypt 
is highly commended as being the only land in which, by 
the establishment of fixed and unalterable types in musical 
as well as decorative art, legislative wisdom has done its 
utmost to familiarize youth with beauty (cf. Vol, II. p. 256). 
Since all practice of art is to be subjected to the 
strictest control on the part of the State, there can hardly 
be a more important question for the politician than that 
of the criterion of beauty. According to the principles 
here taken for granted, this coincides with the criterion 
of goodness. In the course of the. argument the funda- 
mental thesis of the "Republic" recurs, the central doctrine 
of Socratism touching the inseparability of happiness and 
justice (cf. p. 59). It should be observed that Plato 
enounces it here with somewhat diminished confidence. 
All the proofs which the author of the " Republic " accumu- 
lated so insatiably (cf. p. 99), and which he will supplement 
by a fresh batch in a later part of the " Laws " (cf. Vol. II. 
p. 322, seq) have been insufficient to banish the last remnant 
of doubt. It is only thus that we can explain the reservation 
with which the great doctrine is here introduced : " Even if 
this belief were not true, any not wholly useless legislator 
would seek to implant it in the youthful mind by means of 
a noble lie, the most profitable of its kind." Art is wholly 
enlisted in the service of morality. For the purpose of 
" filling the tender souls of the young with the charm of 
virtue," songs are to be poured into their ears from every 
side. Three choirs are to share the singing of them, one of 
children, one of young, and one of elder men, the flagging 
spirits of these last raised by the liberal use of wine. In this 
connexion we have presented to us the doctrine, so familiar 
to Aristotle, that all art rests on imitation ; and occasion is 
taken to pass a strikingly depreciatory judgment on purely 


instrumental music. The second main branch of Greek 
education, which occupies so large a space in the correspond- 
ing section of the " Republic," is here almost omitted. 
There is, however, no occasion for surprise. Gymnastic is 
touched upon in a few words, but the exhaustive treatment 
of the subject is expressly reserved for a later stage. 

2. In Book III. a fresh start is made. After the 
moralist, the historian takes up the tale. Nothing could 
be more natural or more reasonable. If the State is 
primarily that which Plato represents it to be, an institution 
for moral education, the ethical and pedagogic standpoint 
claims precedence. But its historico-philosophical com- 
plement must follow if the premisses of the legislator's 
labours are not to remain inadequate. The new departure 
leads, as a matter of fact, to a highly important doctrine, 
the main guiding principle in the subsequent task of 
constitution-building. We refer to the doctrine of the 
necessary mixture of constitutional forms, which makes its 
first appearance here, and which, under the name of the 
division of powers or equilibrium of authority, plays so large 
a part in modern political theory. The path by which 
Plato reaches this principle is not a little noteworthy. It 
is much as if the author of the " Republic " regretted the 
meagre and somewhat arbitrary process of construction 
by which he had sought to explain the origin of human 
communities (cf. p. 64). Once more he treats of the 
primaeval age, but in the mean time his historico- 
philosophical horizon has been very greatly extended. 
The beginnings of culture now seem to him removed to 
an incalculable distance ; vast intervals of time separate us 
from them ; mighty floods and other catastrophes have 
wiped out whole civilizations, or at best left a few miserable 
remnants of them to serve as starting-points for new 
developments. These are thoughts, we may note in pass- 
ing, that were borrowed by Aristotle from his master, 
who for his part would appear to have been guided by 
Pythagorean speculations. But in this instance speculation 
by itself does not satisfy him. He lays the strongest 
emphasis on the teachings of historical experience, and 


finds there the confirmation of the results which he has 
obtained from another source. He appeals to the history 
of the Dorian states of the Peloponnese, to that of the 
Persian monarchy and the Athenian democracy. Amid 
much that is legendary, statements occur which may well 
seem less improbable to us than they did to the last 
generation. Such, for example, is the assumption that 
Troy was once within the sphere of Assyrian influence ; 
we have now documentary evidence to show that Assyria 
exercised a temporary suzerainty over Lydia. But the 
important point is Plato's clear perception that political 
structures may fall not only by force from without but 
by their own inherent defects, and that the chief of these 
fatal flaws is the exclusive dominance of a single principle 
of government, the one-sided exaggeration, whether of 
authority or of liberty. The truth is proclaimed — and 
herein lies an indirect criticism of the philosophers' govern- 
ment proposed in the "Republic" — that human nature is 
not equal to the exercise of absolute or irresponsible power. 
Hence arises the necessity, here asserted with the utmost 
emphasis, of a tempered or mixed form of constitution. 
Need we say how greatly it redounds to Plato's honour 
that he should have won his way in his old age to this 
fundamental truth, valid for all ages ? And yet it might 
never have dawned upon his mind if he had not had before 
his eyes an historical example of a mixed constitution, 
distinguished by its stability. Sparta, with its double 
monarchy, its aristocratic council of elders, and its demo- 
cratic Ephorate, served him as a pattern just as the English 
constitution did Montesquieu and his followers. It is a 
pleasing task to trace the influence of Plato's thoughts 
down to the immediate present. The "fathers" of the 
United States' constitution received the doctrine of the 
division of powers as an inviolable heritage from Montes- 
quieu, whose authority meant for them what that of 
Aristotle meant for the Middle Ages. But the author of 
the "Spirit of the Laws" (1748) championed this funda- 
mental doctrine of his with immediate reference to 
Polybius, who borrows in unmistakable fashion from Plato, 


as well as from the corresponding passages in Aristotle ; 
he betrays at the same time an intimate acquaintance with 
Plato's " Laws." No doubt it is impossible to appraise the 
influence which ancient forerunners exercised upon him. But 
that this influence is negligible, that the confidence and the 
persistency with which Montesquieu enounced that doctrine 
of his, so full of consequences, were in no degree enhanced 
by the consciousness of treading in the footsteps of great 
predecessors — this, we think, is more than any one will 
venture to assert. 

The doctrine of the balance of powers has been objected 
to on the ground that its strict and unqualified application 
in practice would lead to a deadlock. The " division of 
powers," on the other hand, may be regarded as a catch- 
phrase expressing, not quite satisfactorily, either of two 
very different things — the demand that the supreme political 
functions, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be kept 
separate ; or, again, that the paramount element in the 
community shall be something less than omnipotent. But 
Plato and his ancient followers, Aristotle and the historian 
Polybius, must be acquitted of all share of responsibility 
for these misunderstandings and difficulties. The demand 
which Plato makes in the " Laws," and which he repeats 
in many varied forms, is one for the " tempering," the 
" moderation," the " mixture " of forms of government, for 
the reconciliation of the people's liberty with the rulers' 
authority, antagonistic to arbitrary despotism as much as 
to any democratic degeneracy. The root of this degeneracy, 
in his own country, seems to him to be the " delusion of 
all that they know all," or else, as this delusion appears to 
spring from the presumption of the theatre-going public, 
that influence which he names " theatrocracy." Plato 
congratulates himself on having prepared the way for this 
consideration by his aesthetic disquisitions earlier in the 
dialogue ; and there are several other instances in this book, 
notably at its close, in which he looks back with some com- 
placency on the " random truancy of the discourse" which 
has been so well justified by the result. This complacency 
reaches its highest limit in the passage where Cleinias 


manifests his anxiety to derive profit from the colloquy, so 
far as it has gone, and apply the theory to a purpose of 
immediate practical utility. A fortunate chance, he says, 
has brought about this conversation precisely at the moment 
when he is charged, as member of a committee of ten, with 
the duty of framing laws for a proposed new Cretan colony. 
The reader may perhaps remember an earlier instance of 
this same phrase, "a fortunate chance." The Platonic 
Socrates uses it to express his satisfaction that he and 
Phsedrus have Lysias's speech so ready to their hand to 
illustrate and confirm their newly discovered rhetorical 
postulates (cf. p. 21). The literary artifice is one and the 
same in both cases. The great artist loves to conceal his 
purposes, and prides himself on the skill with which he can 
represent as the work of sportive chance what has really 
been prepared for long beforehand and led up to with 
elaborate calculation. 

We see that even the flagging powers of the greatest 
of all authors still deserve our entire respect. He knows 
his business far better than some of his critics. Certain of 
these have seen only faults of workmanship in the "truancy 
of the discourse," that is, the unconstrained and apparently 
planless flow of talk, which the author of the "Laws" 
deliberately chooses and commends. Or rather, merely 
because he has not from the very beginning set forth the 
whole of his purpose and the order of its fulfilment in clear 
and hard outline, they have doubted the Platonic com- 
position of the work, and described it as a patchwork 
production, more or less arbitrarily and unskilfully pieced 
together by the editorial hand out of several original drafts. 
These views, which we regard as wholly without foundation, 
are very widely held ; we do not, however, feel called upon 
to discuss them at length in the present pages, but prefer 
to adduce a few instances of literary art in which Plato 
appears as his true old self. Note the delicacy of the 
passage in which the characterization of the Lacedaemonian 
constitution is placed in the mouth of the most credible 
of all witnesses, the aged Spartan himself, by a turn after- 
wards imitated by Polybius. Interrogated as to the form 


of polity obtaining in his native land, Megillus replies that 
every time he considers the question a new answer forces 
itself upon his mind. Sometimes he is moved to speak of 
a monarchy, at others of an aristocracy, or again of a 
democracy, and on occasion even of a tyranny. Another 
part of the dialogue touches on the highly subtle problem 
of the different forms of motion. How admirable is the 
tact with which Plato here breaks off the colloquy with the 
simple old man, trained in politics but not in science, and 
substitutes a monologue, just as in the " Symposium " he 
was moved by equally good reasons to indite a dialogue 
within the dialogue and at the same time preserve the 
character of the historical Socrates (cf. Vol. II. pp. 388, 389). 
How graceful, too, is the simile with which he embellishes 
the artifice! The difficult investigation is compared to a 
rapid stream which the three travellers have to cross. The 
Athenian stranger, as the youngest of the three and the 
one most versed in such hazards, proposes first of all to 
test the strength of the current by himself, and then, if all 
goes well, to help his older and less experienced comrades 
to cross after him. This fine image reminds us of others. 
There is, for example, the comparison of all living beings 
to marionettes worked by all manner of threads and wires. 
Some of these are of great strength, some are even made 
of iron, but one, the " delicate golden thread of reason," 
has pre-eminence over the rest. Lastly, we have the signifi- 
cant figure which occurs in the defence of the gods against 
the charge of being open to bribes. If it were possible for 
evil-doers to gain their favour by gifts, then, it is said, they 
would be like dogs which can be induced to let the wolves 
go in peace, if only the plunderers of the flock will drop 
a little of their spoil for their pursuers. 

The fourth book is occupied with questions preliminary 
to the projected legislation. In the first place attention is 
given to the situation and character of the locality selected 
for the new colony. The least possible measure of foreign 
intercourse is pronounced desirable ; the sea is decribed as 
a " sweet " but also a " salt and bitter " neighbour. In 
Plato's eyes, as we have already seen, trade is a source of 


ignoble and treacherous sentiments. Here, in addition, we 
notice his tendency towards bewildering paradox. When 
informed that the district is well provided with harbours, 
he exclaims : " What dreadful news ! " There is a similarly 
paradoxical turn in a later passage, when Cleinias asks in 
some astonishment whether it is really proposed to begin 
the gymnastic training of the child immediately after birth, 
earlier than that." The question as to the composition of 
and the Athenian answers : " Certainly not ; we shall begin 
the population is discussed with the caution characteristic 
of Plato's late period. There is much, he says, to be urged 
both for and against the policy of selecting the colonists 
from a single stock. If the citizens are bound together by 
identity of dialect and origin, by the possession of common 
shrines, the inner coherence and unity of the new State is 
so much the greater ; on the other hand, heterogeneity of 
population diminishes the opposition to the legislator's 
enactments and leaves him a freer hand for new departures. 
Much in the same way the pros and cons are discussed of 
another question. "Give me a city ruled by a tyrant," 
exclaims the Athenian, greatly to the astonishment of the 
Cretan and the Spartan. Presently he makes his meaning 
clearer. It is one of the happiest of conjunctures, he says, 
that places a highly gifted despot at the head of a State. 
The most radical innovations are easy for him ; he can 
change the characters of men as with a wave of the hand ; 
he can realize the aims of a good legislator, if he is so 
fortunate as to have such a one by his side, with an other- 
wise impossible rapidity. The Athenian stranger speaks 
in this connexion of personal experiences, and it is clear 
that he is giving expression to the wishes and hopes once 
entertained by Plato at the court of Dionysius. But the 
disappointments of those days have their echo too. Of all 
fortunate chances the rarest, it is said, is to find a possessor 
of absolute power filled with " the divine love of just and 
judicious action." The dialogue proceeds to the examina- 
tion of the different political forms among which a choice 
has to be made. Just as each kind of constitution receives 
its name from the element to which it gives predominance. 


so this element, as a rule, strives for no political end other 
than its own advantage. It is so with government by 
kings, by nobles, by the people ; each such government, 
as commonly exercised, should rather be called a dis- 
ordering than an ordering of the State. Only then can 
the State be said to be truly ordered when the rulers are 
the " servants of the law." Such a government deserves 
to be named " the rule of God." 

In order that the work taken in hand may prosper, it 
is well to invoke the Deity, who is in truth (a paradoxical 
reversal of the Protagorean thesis) " the measure of all 
things.'' But no service is acceptable which is not accom- 
panied by a disposition to goodness and holiness. God, 
like the good man, will receive no gift from impure hands. 
There follows an injunction to honour the gods, whether of 
Olympus or the world below, and the daemons and heroes 
with them ; filial piety is likewise commended in earnest 
and emphatic speeches. 

After these preparations for the legislative task, the 
formal aspect of the question is considered. Ought the 
legislator to compel only, or should he both compel and 
persuade ? Should he resemble the slave-physician who 
flies from patient to patient in breathless haste, issues his 
directions in curt bald terms, like the decree of a poten- 
tate, and disappears as quickly as he came 1 Or should 
he not rather take for his pattern the more scientific and 
humaner physician who converses genially with the patient 
and his family, who seeks to enlighten him on the nature 
of his malady and to win his assent to the treatment he 
thinks necessary } The difference is illustrated by an 
example. In dealing with the question of population, 
which is the first thing he has to concern himself with, the 
legislator has two courses open to him. He may announce, 
in set formal terms, that certain penalties (fines and dis- 
abilities partly modelled on the Spartan practice) will be 
enforced against bachelors ; or he may couple the 
announcement of these penalties with a full statement of 
the reasons justifying them — adverting to the share in 
immortality granted to the human race, and admonishing 


men to secure it by the procreation of children. The 
interlocutors agree to give the preference to this " double " 
mode of promulgation over the first or " simple " mode. 
Just as the dialogue, up to the present stage, has served 
as a preamble to legislation as a whole, so each part will 
need its own preamble. The highest matters, worship of 
the gods and filial piety, have already been dealt with ; 
it is now time to discuss the points which come second in 
importance— the soul, the body, property, the doings and 
dealings of men. There follows a prelude in the grand 
style, which occupies a considerable portion of the fifth 

In this section the language and the thoughts are of 
equal elevation. That which is highest or most divine in 
man is the soul ; to it, therefore, the greatest honour 
should be paid, and it is only honoured by being made 
better. The greatest impediments to the performance of 
this duty are conceit, self-indulgence, the tendency which 
men have to lay the blame for their greatest misfortunes 
not on themselves but others. Not all the gold upon the 
earth or beneath it can be weighed against virtue. The 
greatest punishment of the vicious man is his flight from 
good men and good discourse. The body holds the 
second rank. Its excellence consists — here we have the 
Aristotelian doctrine of the mean — not in a maximum of 
strength, health, beauty, and dexterity, but' in a middle 
quality. For the excess of these advantages makes the 
soul bold and puffed-up ; the defect dispirited and timorous. 
It is the same with the possession of money and honours. 
Of all transgressions those against aliens deserve the 
severest censure. For the friendless and forsaken are 
worthier of pity in the eyes both of gods and men. Slaves, 
too, are persons whom we ought to be even less ready to 
injure, if possible, than our equals. For the true unfeigned 
love of justice is most evident in cases where wrong-doing 
is easy. Love of truth stands foremost of all excellences 
of character. Every one that does no injustice is worthy 
of honour. He, however, who opposes injustice with all 
his power deserves double praise ; it is he, and not the 


physician as Homer said, who " outweighs many other 
men " (cf. Vol. I. p. 277). The man of high character must 
be capable of indignation and at the same time gentle. 
For without noble anger, a man cannot fight against wrong 
without wearying, repel it without ceasing, punish it without 
weakness. But towards those whose vice is curable gentle- 
ness should be practised ; for we know that all wrong- 
doing is involuntary. The greatest of all evils is excess 
of self-love — a quality which the poets have treated too 
leniently. This love, like every other, blinds men, and 
causes them to think their own unreason wisdom. The 
prelude closes with that hedonistic deduction of morality 
which we have already dealt with in our study of the 
"Protagoras " (Vol. II. pp. 322, seq?). 

3. The ground is now clear for the work of legislation, 
which, broadly speaking, moulds itself upon the varying 
phases of man's life and accompanies him from the cradle 
to the grave. Civil and criminal law, however, which 
according to the ancient practice Plato does not keep 
strictly separate, are preceded by constitutional law, which 
for its part is based upon the economic regime as on the 
"only enduring foundation." The communism of the 
" Republic " once more receives enthusiastic praise as an 
ideal ; but the hope of carrying it out in practice is 
renounced. Indeed, the class of "guardians," to which 
alone it was meant to be applied, does not appear at all in 
the present scheme. " No riches and no poverty " is the 
economic motto of the " Laws." The inequality of property 
is restricted within narrow bounds ; the maximum must 
not amount to more than five times the minimum. The 
land is divided into twelve districts and into 5040 lots, 
corresponding to the number of the citizens. This number 
is chosen because of its numerous divisors, and is to be 
maintained unchanged. Various means are proposed to this 
end : landed property is to be indivisible and inalienable, 
dowries are forbidden, the adoption of children is com- 
manded in certain cases, and so forth. In order that the 
heads of families may always be equal in number to the 
lots of land, the increase of population is regulated by 


the prohibition of celibacy, by the dissolution of childless 
marriages, by a system of honours and rewards to be con- 
ferred on those who fulfil their duty in this respect, by the 
same violent measures, it must be added, of which we read 
in the " Republic." This time, however, the exposure of 
children is at least not explicitly mentioned ; and abortion 
is alluded to by the milder phrase "restraint of births." 
Such measures, however, would necessarily be in frequent 
use ; for only the first ten years of marriage are devoted 
to the procreation of children " for the State." In case of 
need, the population may be reduced by the emigration of 
colonists, while the contrary danger may be met by the 
admission of foreigners to citizenship — an expedient, it is 
true, which is sanctioned with some reluctance. 

The accumulation of movable property by the 
citizens is guarded against in every possible way: by 
prohibiting the ownership of gold and silver, by interdicting 
trade and commerce (these occupations are reserved for 
aliens, who are not allowed more than twenty years' 
residence in the colony), by a law against usury, and by 
the refusal of legal protection — a measure also adopted 
by Charondas — to transactions involving credit or the 
advancing of money. Any increase of property that may 
take place in spite of these precautions, as also every 
diminution, must be reported to those authorities whose duty 
it is to assess from year to year and register the capital and 
the income of the citizens. No more than a third part of 
the produce of the soil may be sold, and that only to the 
resident foreigners. The remaining two-thirds serve to feed 
the colonists and their slaves. The whole economic system 
is strongly reminiscent of Spartan and Cretan institutions 
designed to create and maintain a purely landed aristo- 
cracy. In the firm hand of Plato, however, the tendencies 
of these legislations are developed and extended with 
greater consistency and precision. One of these extensions 
affects the institution of the Syssitia, or common meals of 
men, to which women are now to be admitted. The 
emancipation of women, for the rest, is by no means 
abandoned, but established on a firmer basis of experience 


by an appeal to ethnographic parallels. In this work of 
Plato's old age " experience," both the word and the 
thing, recurs with greater frequency than in all his earlier 
works put together. 

The truly political institutions present us with a very 
different picture. Plato has here taken Athens, more par- 
ticularly early Athens, for his model. No section of the 
citizens is to be destitute of political rights, or bound to 
obey another section as a slave obeys his master (cf. p. 106). 
On the other hand, the equality of all is not to be of the 
mechanical type, not an "equality of the unequal." In 
accordance with the first of these postulates, the distinction 
between a ruling and a ruled class is abandoned. Whether 
from his own reflexions or from the criticism of others, 
Plato has learnt the inadmissibility of the "two states in 
one" (cf. p. 120). The rights which he concedes to the 
general body of citizens are much the same as those 
enjoyed by them under the Solonic constitution — a voice 
in electing the officers of State, and a share in the adminis- 
tration of justice. Direct government by the people is 
practically abandoned. The graduation of political privi- 
leges is closely akin to that which had formerly existed in 
Athens, where, as we have recently learnt, it was not 
entirely the work of Solon, but had been prepared for by 
his predecessor Draco's creation of four classes of tax- 
payers. Plato, too, introduces a fourfold division of property- 
owners in the " Laws." And here we are met by a surprise. 
After wealth has been proscribed, one might almost say 
branded, participation in public life is still apportioned 
according to the different degrees of affiuence. But the 
contradiction is not so glaring as it seems. Riches in the 
true sense are not to be found in the commonwealth treated 
of in the "Laws." Differences of property, as we have 
already seen, are confined within comparatively narrow 
limits. Nor, on the other hand, is there any yawning 
chasm between the privileges of the more and those of the 
less propertied. The chief difference is that in certain 
circumstances the members of the two upper, or wealthier, 
classes are required under a penalty to give their votes in 


the elections, while the two lower classes are free to abstain. 
Plato's motive in this may be inferred from his reference 
to the greater measure of "education and solidity," to 
which a greater measure of influence is due. He probably 
assumed a higher level of culture among the more well- 
to-do, the fruit of their ampler leisure, and a correspondingly 
lower level in the less substantial classes, with which would 
be joined less contentment with their lot, and therefore 
greater readiness to embark on ill-considered innovations. 
This principle of the compulsory vote, by which a penalty 
is attached to abstention, seems to have been otherwise 
unknown to Greek political institutions ; in the nineteenth 
century it was adopted practically by several Swiss cantons 
and by Belgium, while in the United States it has been at 
least taken into consideration. 

Election is not, however, to be the only road to office ; 
it is to be supplemented by that drawing of lots which 
Plato himself had formerly censured so severely, and his 
master Socrates before him. The modes of election pro- 
posed exhibit considerable variety ; and even the combi- 
nation of election and lot-drawing has its place. Here, 
again, Plato is not without precedents taken from his own 
country. In Solon's constitution the nine archons^as we 
learn from Aristotle's recently discovered " Constitution 
of the Athenians" — were chosen by lot from candidates 
nominated by the four tribes. The purpose served by 
these election-regulations — highly artificial many of them, 
and unusually complicated — is evidently as follows. The 
mass of the people is not to be excluded from a share 
in the appointment of the officials, but this appointment 
is to be removed as far as possible from the immediate 
influence of the many. Further, personal preferences, the 
spirit of clique, and party interests are to be eliminated 
as far as may be, and the public choice guided towards 
those who enjoy the general confidence. Lastly, the ex- 
treme harshnesses of government by the majority are to 
be avoided. For these reasons the law of elections is, in 
several instances, not the same on the active as on the 
passive side, indirect modes of election are given the 


preference over direct, the process of election is divided 
into stages and sometimes ends in the choice by lot of a 
small out of a large number of elected. Or, again, the 
sifting and winnowing is performed by subjecting those 
who have received the relatively largest number of votes 
to a second or even a third ordeal of selection. Thus the 
highest officials, the "guardians of the laws," are chosen 
in the following manner. The electors are all those who 
have fulfilled their military duties either in the cavalry or 
the heavy-armed division — a restriction which reminds us 
of a cognate provision in the Draconian constitution. By 
written votes, which, however, are not secret, these electors 
choose 300 persons ; a second election, conducted in a 
similar manner, reduces the number to 100, and a third to 
37. There follows an application of a principle otherwise 
almost unknown in Greece — a minimum age-limit is 
common enough, but here we have a maximum as well. 
No one may enter the college of " guardians of the law " 
below the age of fifty, or remain in it after the age of 
seventy. The council, the committee of the council 
(prytanes), the wardens of the city, of the land, of the 
market, and other officials are, broadly speaking, copied 
from Athenian patterns so far as their functions are con- 
cerned, though not in respect of their mode of appointment. 
Cases present themselves in which the employment of all 
the above-mentioned precautions is not judged sufficient, 
and in which the line drawn to hold the " mean between 
monarchy and democracy" approaches closely to modern 
institutions. Popular election and appointment by lot 
are here superseded by nomination, which is entrusted 
(seeing there is no monarch) to the totality of the 
raagistrature. This body, with the sole exception of 
members of the council, appoints by secret vote, for a term 
of only five years, the holder of what Plato calls " the most 
important by far of all the higher offices of State." This 
official is the minister of education, or "director of all 
education, both male and female." He must have reached 
the age of fifty ; like the Athenian strategi, he must be the 
father of legitimate children ; and in addition, be must be 


one of the thirty-seven guardians of the laws. After 
election, his character and qualifications are examined by 
a board consisting of the electing body with the omission 
of the guardians of the laws, that is, the eligible part of it. 
The limitation is not without Attic parallels. 

Plato, we observe, cannot have too many or too 
elaborate safeguards in this connexion. That which is at 
stake is the object he prizes most highly of all — education, 
and that not of youth only, for the minister of education 
is at the same time the supreme censor of all music and 
literature. It is education which must chiefly decide 
whether man is to be the "tamest and most god-like" 
or "the wildest of all living creatures." The provision 
made in the "Laws" for the training of youth extends 
beyond the customary Greek curriculum, which embraced 
only the elementary branches of knowledge, together 
with poetry, music, and gymnastics. Compulsory school- 
attendance is proposed for both sexes ; the instruction to 
be received by them in common includes a knowledge of 
the laws and their preambles, as also the rudiments 
of geometry and astronomy — of the last-named chiefly 
because in view of the divine nature of the heavenly 
bodies erroneous ideas about their motions are regarded 
as irreligious. This course of study encroaches to some 
extent on the domain which we generally reserve for 
secondary education ; there is, however, an absence of 
definite statements, not only, as in the "Republic," with 
regard to the mode of acquiring knowledge, but also in 
respect of the degree of higher education required. 
Dialectic is not alluded to by as much as a single word. 
Nor need we wonder. Even in the " Republic," in which 
the study of dialectic plays the most influential part, 
expressions of the keenest distrust towards it are not 
wanting. This branch of education is regarded as tending 
to promote resistance to authority ; and Plato's dread of 
this result — a feeling towards which the contentious 
dialectic of the Megarians probably contributed not a 
little — has increased more and more. But few traces' 
remain in the "Laws" of the spell once cast over Plato 


by classificatory dialectic, of the rage for division which 
was so strong upon him in the " Sophist," the " Statesman," 
and even in the " Philebus." 

The doctrine of ideas is not referred to in the " Laws " 
by as much as a single syllable. Those problems in the 
investigation of concepts which had been a main motive in 
its genesis were regarded, after the "Sophist," as solved. 
The compass of the ideas was accordingly narrowed in a 
manner which, though perhaps not strictly justifiable 
logically, is psychologically intelligible. It is pertinent, 
in this connexion, to observe that at the time when 
Aristotle was a student at the Academy, Plato had already 
abandoned the ideas of artificial products which are 
recognized in the "Republic" (cf. p. 103). In the end, 
both the doctrine of ideas and dialectic became for him 
exclusively subservient to the understanding of nature 
(cf. p. 176). As his pupil Xenocrates reports, the idea 
had been developed into "the typical cause of the 
beings whieh are always formed according to nature." 
(We note, incidentally, that the theory which made the 
ideas types or copies to be imitated had triumphed over 
the theory of participation — cf. pp. 3, 30, and 152 — ^just 
as was to be expected after the elevation of the 
ideas to the rank of gods.) The same rdle, as we 
have already seen, is assigned to this doctrine in the 
" Timseus," where the Demiurge creates things after the 
pattern of the ideas. Plato busied himself, in this phase, 
with the deduction of the ideas, as "ideal numbers," 
from mathematical "primary principles." This is a 
Pythagoreanizing tendency, of which some traces are 
found in the "Philebus," as well as the "Timaeus" 
(cf. pp. 188 and 215) ; our account of it, however, cannot 
conveniently be separated from that of its further 
development by Plato's successors, Speusippus and 
Xenocrates. The sound kernel of it lies in the surmise 
that the essence of things is circumscribed by mathe- 
matical regularities. In the " Laws " this process is carried 
forward another step. Only mathematics and its applica- 
tion to astronomy are recognized as possessing a truly 


educational value ; with these is joined at most the science 
of law, then scarcely in its beginnings. 

Just as the Athenian archon became a member of the 
Areopagus after his year of office, so the "superintendent 
of education," when his five years are over, belongs to what 
Plato calls the " nocturnal " council. This body, something 
between a scientific academy and a supreme legislative and 
controlling authority, is to meet every day in the early 
morning to discuss questions of political or scientific 
interest. The other members of this supreme council are 
those priests who have won prizes for virtue, the ten 
oldest " guardians of the laws," and the " superintendent 
of education " for the time being. The further recruiting 
of this body is provided for by the regulation that each of 
these elderly members may, with the consent of the others, 
appoint a man aged from thirty to forty as his junior or 
assistant-councillor. Although the council is expected to 
discuss reforms in the light of foreign experience, its main 
function, as is shown by the advanced age of the guardian^ 
of the laws belonging to it, is conservative. Strange as it 
may seem, Plato's express declarations, as well as the 
extraordinary severity he brings to bear on innovators, 
leave no room for doubt that he regarded the institutions 
recommended in the " Laws " as in their essence final and 
incapable of improvement. 

4. This ultra-conservatism, the darkest blemish of the 
" Laws," should not blind us to the brighter aspects of 
this work. Taught by a varied and bitter experience of 
life, deserted at last by the long-retained sanguine temper 
of youth, Plato had learnt to doubt the practicability of his 
ideal — the unconditional rule of philosophers — and nothing 
else was left him than to choose the " second-best," as he 
has called it in the " Statesman," that is, a constitutionally 
regulated government. But this same varied experience, 
together with his reflexions on history, had made him only 
too familiar with the imperfections peculiar to all forms of 
constitution, and led him to the conclusion — the ripest fruit 
of his political thought — that the mixture of constitutional 
forms is necessary to the welfare of the State. This goal 


can be attained only by the coexistence and co-operation 
of independent political forces, that is, by a mixed consti- 
tution in that sense of the phrase which, as we have already 
noted, is exemplified by Sparta in antiquity and Great 
Britain in modern times. Such a constitution is the result 
of historical processes ; it represents a compromise between 
different forces, one of which is in the ascending, the other 
in the declining phase. But for just this reason such a com- 
promise can only be temporary, and, above all, it cannot be 
transplanted to a quarter where the historical conditions 
presupposed by it are wanting. The type of such a mixed 
constitution — limited monarchy — is destined in the course 
of time either to revert to its primitive form of absolute or 
nearly absolute monarchy, in consequence of some episode 
of reaction, or else to be transformed into a strictly par- 
liamentary monarchy by the growing power of the people. 
So transformed, the institution may work extraordinarily 
well ; but a little consideration will show that it carries in 
itself the germ of its own destruction. Imagine the strictly 
parliamentary government which England now enjoys con- 
tinued through a course of centuries : its raison d'etre is 
gone. For the prestige of the ruling dynasty, in the long 
run an indispensable element in the monarchical system, 
has its origin in the unlimited or scarcely limited power 
once possessed by the sovereign, and loses lustre in propor- 
tion as that plenitude of authority recedes into an ever more 
distant past. 

The above reflexions seemed indispensable if we were 
to point out what appears to us to be the most fruitful 
germ of political thought in the " Laws." The thesis, that 
a tempered form of government is the best of all, retains its 
truth and value even in the absence of that fortunate con- 
junction of historical accidents which produces mixed 
constitutions in the strict sense. Even when one political 
factor gains exclusive domination and ceases to be in 
any way limited by competing forces, the tempering of it 
is no less possible than advantageous. It is then tempered 
by the forms of the constitution, by the restraints which the 
sovereign power — be this monarch or people — imposes 


upon itself. This is the form of mixed constitution towards 
which Plato strives in the " Laws." All authority is here 
derived from the people, but by a wealth of ingenious 
artifices the people prevents itself from using its own 
plenary powers amiss. Its renunciation of all immediate 
rule is almost complete ; a complex and skilfully con- 
structed system of elections provides a highly organized 
body of officials, who wield a derived but none the less 
effectual authority. Taken in its fundamental essence, 
and freed from the ultra-conservative tendencies of its 
author, this side of the political ideal contained in the 
" Laws " supplies, as we think, a model not without its 
importance for the present and future generations of 

Plato's inventive spirit takes its boldest flight in a 
section where he deals with the highest political end. A 
college of twelve men is entrusted with the supreme control 
of the State. These " censors " are authorized to impeach all 
the other officials ; they are thus " rulers of the rulers," and 
only the very best men of all may be charged with their 
responsible task. The mode of election here proposed by 
Plato is one which we may term " election by elimination." 
The whole body of citizens takes part in it. Votes are 
given in writing, but not secretly. Three men are to be 
chosen, but each elector may only vote for one; he may 
name any man, except himself, who is not under fifty years 
of age. This first nomination yields a list of names, which 
is arranged according to the number of votes received by 
each. A second election follows, limited to the upper half 
of the list, and so the process of sifting continues till by 
successive halvings the number is reduced to three. The 
guiding principles of this system, it will be seen, resemble 
those underlying the most modern schemes for the reforma- 
tion of electoral technique, proportional election and the 
representation of the minority. No vote is lost ; the 
elected are the choice not of a majority but of the whole ; 
even the detail of the written, but not secret, vote complies 
with the requirements laid down by Thomas Hare, the chief 
founder of the modern movement. More accurately, this 


mode of election is a combination of the second ballot * 
and the principle of the vote unique (each elector can only 
vote for one candidate, even though the same electoral 
district may return several representatives). Plato's aim is 
directed towards an end which is also sought, though not 
as a first end, by the modern reformers — high quality in 
the elected. The choice should fall on men "of wonderful 
virtue ; " at the worst, with the elections so regulated, it 
will fall on the leaders of three equally balanced parties ; 
but as such a division of the State is unlikely, the elected 
will generally be the most highly respected men in whom 
the community has confidence. Such men are at any one 
time very few in number ; for this retison not more than 
three are ever to be elected. The three men chosen at the 
first election of the kind, held after the foundation of the 
colony, are to nominate the college of twelve ; afterwards, 
yearly elections are to fill the gaps caused by death and 
attainment of the upper age-limit — seventy-five years. 

5. No feature of equal originality is to be found in 
Plato's system of criminal law. It is chiefly distinguished 
by its many-sided conception of the end of punishment. 
The " Gorgias " had known but one such end, amelioration 
or healing of the wrong-doer ; in the " Protagoras," the 
sophist of that name is made to discourse on the deterrent 
purpose of punishment in a speech which seems half a 
travesty. Both these purposes are recognized in the 
" Laws," together with a third — that of making the offender 
harmless, — and all three are clearly distinguished from 
each other. But here, as often elsewhere, there is a 
yawning gulf between principles and their application. 
Who would expect, after these highly rational expositions 
of principle, to meet in the " Laws " with such glaring 
examples of unreason as trials of animals, sentences upon 
inanimate objects, and kindred concessions to the primitive 

* German, Stichnvahl. This name is given to elections where a 
candidate needs an absolute majority, that is, more than half the votes 
cast, in order to be returned. If no candidate obtains such a majority, 
a second election is held between the two candidates with the greatest 
number of votes. 


instincts of the popular mind ? Yet this work contains 
many such. The power of tradition and old-time custom 
often prevails, in matters of detail, over the convictions 
which the thinker has gained by his own efforts. It is so 
especially in the treatment of the slave-class. That slaves 
not seldom surpass the free-born in excellence, that their 
fidelity to their masters and their self-sacrificing spirit has 
sometimes exceeded that of brothers or sons, is admitted 
without difficulty. But this does not prevent the same 
offence — for example, omission to inform against the stealer 
of buried treasure — being regarded leniently in the case of 
the free and visited with excessive severity upon the slave. 
And yet it is an obvious reflexion that the dependent 
situation of the slave makes the giving of such information, 
which after all may prove unfounded, much more dangerous 
for him than for the free man, and should therefore ensure 
him a more indulgent rather than a severer treatment. 

The judge, it is laid down, should really try cases; 
procedure like that of the Attic courts, where those " dumb 
judges," the jurors, take no active part in investigating the 
issues which they decide, is repeatedly and emphatically 
condemned. Herein is implicitly contained the demand 
that the administration of justice be placed in the hands of 
professional judges, and the popular tribunal (in modern 
phrase) replaced by a permanent judiciary. In point of fact, 
there are many cases in which Plato requires the employ- 
ment of " select " judges, in addition to which he stimulates 
the sense of individual responsibility by providing for the 
public delivery of judgment by each member of the 
tribunal, and institutes a court of appeal, following in this 
last particular the precedent of Hippodamus. An innova- 
tion of Plato's is the introduction of long-term sentences ; 
ordinary Greek law only recognized the custody of prisoners 
on trial, the imprisonment of defaulting debtors to the State, 
and the supplementing of money fines in a few cases by 
a brief incarceration. The long sentence is evidently 
employed by Plato as a substitute for other penalties which 
he rejects. Among these are deprivation of honour, 
banishment — a penalty which Plato condemns on principle. 


but allows in isolated cases, chiefly in compliance with 
the principle of expiation — and above all confiscation of 
property, a penalty at variance with the social and political 
principle which required the number of family land-lots to 
be maintained undiminished. 

In the forefront of civil law is placed the regulation of 
the family. The possibility of any such regulation, in the 
true sense of the word, depends on the changed organization 
of society. The community of the " Laws " is a unitary 
whole, and occupies a position intermediate between the 
two social divisions of the " Republic." To that extent it 
resembles the diffused aristocracies of Sparta and Crete. 
Its level of life and culture is somewhat lower than that of 
the " guardians," but considerably higher than that of the 
" craftsmen." With the disappearance of the ruling class, 
the communism, both as to family and as to property, which 
had distinguished it, is now abandoned (cf. p. 241). The 
temporary union is abolished and permanent marriage 
restored to the rank of universal norm. It is dissoluble, not 
only, as we have already remarked, in cases of childlessness 
or as a consequence of grave misdemeanour, but also on the 
ground of incompatibility of temperament. For the divorced 
partner who has not yet contributed his or her share of 
children "to family and State," remarriage is not only 
permitted but enjoined. Following the precedent of Cha- 
rondas, the legislator advises men not to give their children 
stepmothers. A divorced woman is also to be remarried 
when she is too young to live in the unmarried state with- 
out danger to her health. Less regard is paid, in these 
matters, to the inclinations of girls and women than we 
should have expected from a champion of female emanci- 
pation. The marriage of an heiress with the nearest 
kinsman is another point on which Plato follows the 
ordinary Greek rule as exemplified in the legislations of 
Athens and Gortyn, and as adopted by Charondas. 

In the treatment of sexual questions in general, the 
" Laws " display a tendency towards ever-increasing strict- 
ness, not only as compared with the earlier treatise, but 
also within the limits of the work itself. In the " Republic," 


we find, among other rewards of eminent courage, a right 
to caresses which no fellow-combatant, male or female, is 
entitled to reject. The marriageable age of young men is 
fixed in the same work as beginning at that period of life 
when the natural instinct has already lost its first force, 
without any word to indicate that youths under age are to 
be kept under strict control. And in the case of those who 
have reached the stage when " procreation for the State " 
ceases to be a duty, complete liberty is allowed in this 
respect. It is quite otherwise in the "Laws." The last- 
named privilege is expressly revoked in a passage of the 
sixth book ; though irregularities of this nature are still 
treated indulgently. In the eighth book, however, sexual 
intercourse outside the marriage-tie, under whatever circum- 
stances, is severely condemned. " Immense advantages," in 
particular an enormous increase of trust and devotion on 
the part of wives, are expected to result from the intro- 
duction of the stricter code. The objection that what is 
demanded exceeds the strength of human nature, is met by 
a reference to the power of public opinion, which, when the 
public is really of one mind, can hardly be overrated. It 
is worthy of note that the author of the " Laws " not merely 
preaches abstinence, but names various means by which 
its practice is facilitated. The education of the sexes in 
common, their co-operation in all walks of life, are clearly 
designed in part to blunt the edge of sexual appetite. The 
same purpose is still more obviously served by the recom- 
mendation that youths and girls should associate together 
without constraint, wearing dress which by only slightly 
concealing the form should do little to excite desire. 
Lastly and chiefly, dietary regulations and the practice of 
gymnastics are expressly invoked as means to the same 
end, the former by providing against overfeeding in the 
critical period of life, and the latter by supplying a vent for 
all surplus energy. We note, in conclusion, that the love 
of boys, which earlier dialogues had treated so indulgently, 
receives the most emphatic condemnation possible in the 
"Laws," — a change probably not uninfluenced by Cynic 
teaching, resting, as it does, in part on a detestation of the 


unnatural and also by a lively sense of the danger of 
depopulation. The sentiment in question is now admitted 
only in its most purified form, as limited to an "aesthetic 
delight" in physical beauty. The "condition of mind 
peculiar to the lover alternating between sensual and 
spiritual impulses," a condition, that is, which was described 
in the " Phaedrus " and the " Symposium " as " the well- 
spring of the most salutary emotions, is now, in the ' Laws,' 
condemned with the utmost severity." Such is the well- 
founded comment of Ivo Bruns, whose untimely death is 
so much to be deplored. 

We have already referred more than once to the regu- 
lations affecting property. Worthy of mention are the 
restrictions on the rights of alienation and testamentary 
disposition, prompted by Plato's desire to maintain family 
properties intact. His commercial code is full of the spirit 
of distrust : fixed prices, no haggling, no advertising. His 
legislation dilates with affectionate fulness, but without 
marked originality, on all that pertains to agriculture, in- 
cluding bee-keeping and fruit-culture, water-rights, litigation 
arising out of neighbourship. 

6. The most remarkable feature of the civil procedure 
is the regulation that a party to a suit may not make on 
oath any statement tending to procure him any advantage, 
or save him from any loss. What is chiefly interesting in 
this prohibition is the reason for it, which is given in a 
reference to the widespread unbelief of the age, favouring 
perjury. It is astonishing to find Plato so faint-hearted. 
His legislation, it must be remembered, is meant for a 
community brought up on the strictest pedagogic principles, 
every member of which is anxiously shielded throughout 
life from all noxious influences. And yet Plato is so 
terribly afraid of the miasma of infidelity spreading to 
his community. This is the dangerous enemy against 
which he fights for a whole book (the tenth), taking 
religious offences as a starting-point. Three species of 
heresy are distinguished : disbelief in the existence of 
the gods, disbelief in their providential care, disbelief in 
their incorruptibility — by which last is meant the belief that 


the favour and indulgence of divine beings may be won by 
the performance of holy works. The author of the " Laws " 
employs all the resources of his eloquence, as well as 
threats of the severest penalties, for the purpose of 
diffusing and protecting the type of religion which he 

The latter by no means coincides entirely with the 
popular religion, but the differences, where not important 
ethically, are rather cloaked over than emphasized. The 
new State religion — it is'certainly such that is proposed, to 
the rigid exclusion of all private cults, the Orphic as well as 
others — is clothed so far as may be in the garb of the old. 
By the side of the supreme Deity there appear numerous 
individual gods, foremost among them those connected 
with the stars. The main proof for the existence of the 
Divine is prefaced by an analysis of this concept by which 
it is reduced to the psychic, and rests upon the priority of 
all that pertains to soul over all that pertains to body. A 
review of all forms of motion leads to the conclusion that 
soul is the one self-moving thing, whereas all else receives 
its impulse to motion from without. In this doctrine Plato 
harks back to the " Phsedrus " (cf. pp. 45, 46), and with it 
he believes himself to have made a clean sweep of all 
materialism and the whole of the earlier nature-philosophy. 
That the soul which moves and guides the world is the 
best soul of all, is a thesis which he supports by a reference 
to the well-ordered universe. Plato is here in close agree- 
ment with Anaxagoras, an agreement, however, which is 
soon exchanged for hostility. For it is to this philosopher 
and his followers that he alludes in the remark that some 
wise men regard the sun, moon, earth, and stars not as gods 
but as lifeless " stones," and see in the fore-mentioned 
argument nothing more than a "farrago of words concocted 
for the mere sake of persuasion." It is, again, to a pupil 
of Anaxagoras, Archelaus, that Plato seems to refer when 
he speaks of the distinction between " Nature '' and " Con- 
vention," and its employment in the critical, or, as he 
thinks, sceptical sense (cf Vol. I. p. 402). With a similar 
end in view he had already attacked, in an earlier book. 


Pindar's phrase describing " Convention as the mistress of 
all men " (cf. Vol. I. p. 404). 

The second and third heresies are combated, in the first 
instance, by arguments which derive their force from the 
moral qualities of the gods. Goodness being once admitted 
as the fundamental characteristic of their nature and their 
power placed beyond question, failure on their part to 
provide for the welfare of created beings could only be 
attributed to levity or indolence — qualities which would 
place them on a lower level than even second-rate men. 
The third heresy, finally, is said to rest on the assumption 
that divine beings are prevailed upon by sacrifices to leave 
punishable actions unpunished, that is, to neglect their duty 
for the sake of profit. If so, a god would be like a pilot, 
persuaded by a fat morsel or a drink of wine to compass 
the destruction of the ship entrusted to his care with all on 
board, or a charioteer bribed by an enemy to betray his 
master, or even a dog made forgetful of his duty by a 
share of the robber's booty (cf. p. 237). 

This series of arguments, or rather of analogies, is no 
doubt mainly directed against the popular religion ; the 
polemic against the second heresy, however, strikes at the 
consequences of a mode of thought which had already 
gained the upper hand in the scientific world. To regard 
the Deity as the prime source of a world-process, which, 
once begun, is not subject to any special intervention of 
Divine power — such, it is clear, was the prevalent view of, 
let us say, enlightened medical circles. We recall the 
comprehensive formula : " All is divine and all is human " 
(cf Vol. I. p. 310). Even Plato did not wholly emancipate 
himself from this view. His endeavour, it may be said, is to 
construct a theory of the universe which does notrob morality 
of divine protection, but which at the same time makes 
shift with a minimum — if not an entire absence — of divine 
intervention. It is thus, as we conceive, that we ought to 
understand an exposition, the obscurity of which is probably 
not wholly the fault of the textual tradition. To those 
who doubt the divine justice, because they see no reflex of 
it in a world where injustice so often triumphs, Plato 


answers that their horizon is narrow, that the plan of the 
universe, in its coherent completeness, is beyond their ken. 
It is to the welfare of the whole, not of the individual part 
or particle, that the divine purpose is directed ; the part 
exists for the whole, not the whole for the part ; the same 
principle guides the action of the physician and every other 
skilled artificer. These arguments contain a slight, but 
perceptible hint of limits to the divine power (cf. pp. 6j and 
213), a hint which receives more definite expression in the 
comparison of the Deity to a draughts-player. The latter, 
it is urged, can only move his men, not change them. Not 
that the human soul is unchangeable — the causes of its 
manifold changes, however, are contained in itself and in 
the operation of other souls upon it. All that is left for the 
Deity to do — and that, too, as Plato seems to suggest, not 
by special interventions, but by an order of nature esta- 
blished once for all — is to transfer the soul which has become 
better to a better place, and that which has become worse 
to a worse ; by which phrase is meant the alternating 
association with human and animal bodies, as well as the 
sojourn in the place of punishment below. 

This section touches on the problem of the will, and 
there are isolated phrases which might seem to stamp 
Plato as an indeterminist. This impression, however, will 
not bear scrutiny. The intellectualistic theory of the will 
upheld by Socrates, to which Plato remained so long 
faithful, and of which he never abandoned the formula 
(" No one errs voluntarily "), is not merely determinism, 
but determinism of a quite particular kind. For it supposes 
the will to be invariably determined, not simply by motives, 
but by a special class of motives, having the nature of 
knowledge or wisdom. Now, it is quite true that in the 
works of his old age Plato travelled a long way from this 
his original starting-point, and nowhere further than in the 
" Laws," where, in addition to " ignorance " a second cause 
of wrong-doing appears in the shape of aKparsia, that very 
" paralysis of the will " which Socrates expressly declared 
impossible. But, for all that, he never makes uncaused 
action an attribute of the soul ; on the contrary, its volitions 


are explained as the effects of its nature, which nature, 
though admitted to be changeable, is declared not to 
change per saltunt or without sufficient reason. And in 
that section of the work (Book IX.) where the conception 
of free will is subjected to a searching examination, the 
result is merely to identify free action with purposive 
action. To the responsibility of the homicide A — so we 
venture to paraphrase Plato's thought — it makes the 
greatest difference conceivable whether he killed B in- 
tentionally or unintentionally. But then, the purpose to 
kill, the criminal intention itself, has arisen out of an 
already existing corrupt condition of the will. In order 
that the deed may be imputed to the doer, it is by no 
means requisite that he should have himself wrought or 
chosen the condition of will which produced it. In fact, it 
is impossible that he should have deliberately chosen it, as 
impossible as it is for any one to prefer sickness to health. 
It may be admitted that this last comparison is inappro- 
priate, resting as it does on an inadequate distinction 
between social and individual morality (cf. Vol. II. p. 68, seq). 
But it is due to Plato to acknowledge that he kept himself 
free from an aberration which has survived down to our own 
day, and admitted the justification of punishment in every 
case where it can act remedially on the evil-doer's will, no 
matter how formed, or deter others from the like fault. 

7. After the theological arguments come the penal 
sanctions, in regard to which we find ourselves in no small 
perplexity. The attentive reader has already noticed how 
thin a line of division separates certain opinions held 
temporarily or permanently by Plato himself from the 
heresies which he combats with so much zeal. The " idea 
of the good " is certainly not a personal Deity, and yet, in 
the "Republic" it is the crown and summit of all existence 
(cf. p. 85). The principle of "Necessity," that of "erratic 
motion," the "evil world-soul," all of these are as many 
limits to the perfection of the divine power (cf. p. 214). 
Between the acknowledgment of these limitations and the 
second heresy, which doubts the sufficient providence of 
the gods for man, there assuredly yawns no unfathomable 


chasm. Add to this that the third heresy, or belief in 
the appeasing power of prayer and sacrifice, does not 
conflict with the popular religion ; that Plato is himself a 
presumptuous innovator in this respect, as well as in the 
rough criticism which accepted mythology receives at his 
hands in the " Euthyphro," the " Republic," and even the 
"Laws" (cf. Vol. II. p. 364, and Vol. III. p. 67) ; that, finally, 
the fate of his master Socrates was still fresh in his memory ; 
— all these considerations, one might think, should have 
been enough to make him hesitate before spreading an aegis 
of ruthless penalties over the late-won religious views of his 
final phase. But it was ordained otherwise. Advanced age 
exerted a twofold series of influences upon the philosopher. 
It is as if two streams, flowing towards opposite points of 
the compass, were to issue from neighbouring founts. Old 
age made Plato at once more gentle and more severe than 
he had ever been before. 

Let us consider first the former of these two effects. 
The tendencies which we found characteristic of Plato's 
latest period as a whole reach their culmination in the 
"Laws." " His mind and heart," so we wrote aproposoi 
the " Sophist," " gain a stronger hold on particular things, 
particular entities, particular processes." This trait is now 
exemplified in the sphere of legislation. Nothing is too 
trivial for its regulating prevision ; from the nursing and 
the playthings of children down to the equal development 
of the right and the left hand, from hunting and fishing to 
the different kinds of dances, and from these to the minutiae 
of building, market, and funeral ordinances. The worth of 
man and of human life is not appraised by Plato higher 
than formerly, rather the reverse. In regard to both, the 
" Laws " contain strikingly pessimistic utterances. But the 
lot of the great mass engages his attention far more 
persistently than in the '' Republic." He abates something 
of the ruthless thoroughness with which he had pressed for 
the realization of his social and political principles, but he 
no longer limits that realization to a select minority. The 
heroic standard of life has in many points made way for a 
humaner ideal. Thus the medical treatment of chronic 


diseases is no longer forbidden ; warm baths enjoyed in 
beautiful park grounds are to refresh the tired limbs of the 
aged. A comprehensive scheme of poor-relief is designed; 
no person, whether freeborn or slave, may be allowed to 
suffer the extreme of destitution. 

The old man's eye, purged of all illusions, the old 
man's heart, which is often the more sorely disappointed 
the greater have been the objects of its yearnings, — these 
are well adapted to perceive clearly, to spy out anxiously, 
and to feel deeply the evils that belong to the present and 
the future. Old age is consequently often marked by a 
faint and timid spirit ; but with Plato these causes had very 
different effects. His literary triumphs, his intercourse with 
an ever-widening circle of admiring disciples, must have 
strengthened his self-confidence, and may well have stifled 
all his doubt as to his own infallibility, in spite of the 
manifold changes that had been wrought within his mind. 
Thus he becomes less and less scrupulous in his choice of 
weapons with which to fight against what he deems repre- 
hensible and to the common danger, until at last he is 
prepared to draw the sword of justice upon irreligion, the 
love of innovation, and even upon rhetoric and lawyers, 
those old objects of an antipathy which time has only 
deepened. But when we survey the field in which this 
intolerance disports itself, a circumstance forces itself upon 
our notice which may well be not altogether without 
significance. It is only the last three books of the "Laws" 
(X. — XII.)in which this tendency of Plato's mind is revealed. 
We are inclined to conjecture that this is no mere chance. 
The triumph of that "misology" which had been so earnestly 
and so successfully combated in the " Phaedo " (cf p. 32) 
may not have belonged to the period of Plato's old age as 
a whole, but only to its terminal phase, the last year or two 
of his life. Our information is that he continued writing till 
his death at the age of eighty, and that these latest labours 
were devoted to the " Laws " is testified by the unfinished 
state of the work. There is thus, perhaps, some justification 
for taking refuge in the belief that this victory of intoler- 
ance was due solely to the fossilizing influence of old 


age. One circumstance in particular seems to support this 

In close neighbourhood to the bloodthirsty sentences 
passed upon irreclaimable freethinkers, upon proposers of 
political innovations, who are by no means necessarily 
apostles of subversion, even upon contentious advocates who 
make, or appear to make, a perverse use of their art, — in 
close neighbourhood to all this we meet with a contempt 
for individuality, an indifference to every form of personal 
initiative, a disposition, as we may even say, to enslave 
men's souls, which is absolutely astonishing. The fatal 
endeavour after " unity " here reaches a height of develop- 
ment which reminds us of the Jesuit-ruled state of 
Paraguay. A system which may perhaps have had its 
use for the purpose of introducing roving Indian tribes to 
settled and civilized ways, is here applied to the highly 
cultivated Greeks of the fourth tentury before Christ. We 
refer to the passage in the last book, in which military 
discipline is held up as a model for the whole of civic life. 
A wish is expressed for a state of things in which no one 
should ever do anything alone and for himself, in which 
every one should everywhere and always look up to a 
superior, in which every act, from the greatest to the 
smallest, should be performed in obedience to an order, 
just as the soldier in camp stands and walks, washes and 
feeds, leaves his bed and seeks it, all on the word of com- 
mand. Is any proof necessary that this desire to keep 
men in lifelong leading-strings is an expression of the 
same temper which banishes the freethinker to the re- 
formatory ((Twippovumipiov), there to languish in his cell, 
deprived of all except spiritual consolation, and in the end 
to be delivered up, if the " nocturnal council " fails in its 
work of conversion, to the axe of the executioner .' 

Let us turn to another and more edifying side of the 
picture. It is said that at the hour of death images of 
childhood and early youth hover round us. It is of such 
thoughts that we are reminded by the concluding portion 
of the " Laws." We find there a repetition and emphatic 
reassertion of some fundamental thoughts of the book : the 


little worth of mere courage, the divine nature of the soul, 
its precedence over the body, its immortal sovereignty, and 
its generation of all motion. But side by side with all this 
the Socratic problems and methods with which we are so 
familiar come once more into view. The old riddle of the 
unity or plurality of virtue is once more discussed and 
once more left unsolved. The Socratic induction, with its 
time-honoured instances of the pilot, the general, and the 
physician, once more parades before our eyes. Dialectic, 
too, makes an unexpected entry, and its object is now 
declared, in words strikingly like a passage in the 
" Phaedrus " (cf. p. 21), to be the "contemplation of the 
One in the Many and the Unlike." Such may well have 
been the meditations amid which the aged thinker sank 
to rest. 




I. A LONG series of creations has defiled before us : we have 
passed in review the whole of the works which were un- 
doubtedly written by Plato. When we look back from the 
end to the beginning, our first feeling is one of intense 
astonishment, called forth by an unexampled wealth of 
intellect, a never-resting, never-tiring labour of thought. 
Our admiration grows when we remember the thinker's 
earnest and persevering zeal for the improvement of men 
and the perfecting of society. It is still further increased 
when we think of the many-sidedness of Plato's mind — a 
quality displayed not only in the diversity of subjects 
treated, but just as much so in the varying manner of treat- 
ing them. This continual process of change follows a very 
remarkable course. It may be said, and the assertion is a 
paradox only in appearance, that Plato was just as much 
one-sided as many-sided. Having once entered upon a 
path, he pursues it with the utmost self-confidence, un- 
troubled by warning voices and the objections that may 
occur to his mind. Like many an epoch-making thinker, he 
is not afraid of extreme solutions. Then comes a reaction, 
constraining him to acknowledge the elements of truth 
which he has hitherto neglected. Such is the case in his 
works on political philosophy. First we have the exclusive 
and unlimited sovereignty of philosophers, then the model 
of a mixed constitution permeated by reciprocal checks 
and limitations ; first over-bold deduction, then cautious, 
almost timid empiricism. Physiology has lately taught us 


that certain poisons can only be resisted by antidotes which 
the threatened organism produces for itself. But this 
healthful reaction does not set in unless [the poison has 
been administered in sufiScient quantity. In such cases it 
may be said with truth, though it sounds startling, that he 
who drains the poisoned draught to the dregs is nearer 
recovery than he who puts it too precipitately from his lips. 
It is the same with the great original thinker. When he 
has trodden the path of error to the end, he is nearer to 
the truth than if he had halted half-way. 

2. Plato's successes were not the fruits of that soil which 
Greek speculation, prior to the appearance of Socrates, had 
cultivated by preference. It must be affirmed without 
reserve that Plato's theory of nature as a whole, as also 
that held by his greatest pupil Aristotle, in spite of many 
an advance on points of detail, stood far behind the achieve- 
ments and surmises of the older nature-philosophers. This 
was rightly judged by Bacon, and, in more recent times, by 
Schopenhauer. Plato was as much wanting in feeling for 
nature as Anaxagoras had been — that predecessor whom 
he valued above the others. His inverted theory of descent 
is as exactly a reversal of the truth as the Clazomenian's 
theory of matter had been (cf. Vol. I. p. 210). The teleo- 
logical method of investigation which Anaxagoras suggested, 
which the " Phaedo " preached, and the " Timaeus " made an 
effort to practise, has only evinced a temporary fruitfulness 
within the domain of biology as a heuristic expedient. 

But, methods apart, in the fundamentals of astronomy, 
a science which exerts a far-reaching influence on men's 
conception of the universe, the lonians, as well as the 
atomists, came much nearer the truth than did Plato and 
Aristotle. They had already surmised what the telescope 
and the spectroscopic prism have since converted into irre- 
fragable certainty, namely, that the stars, too, are under the 
dominion of change, which is not to be regarded as a 
characteristic peculiar to the sublunary world (cf Vol. I. 
p. 366). And even relatively to the Pythagoreans, who were 
Plato's chief teachers in natural philosophy, the return to 
the geocentric theory is a long step backwards. Turning to 


the two chief instruments in the investigation of nature, 
we note that one of them, the experimental method, was 
contemned by Plato (the reader is familiar with the point, 
cf. pp. 84, 187, and 207) ; the other, mathematics, he 
no doubt prized highly and raised in the general esteem 
by interweaving it with many of his doctrines. That, in 
addition to the stimulus and indirect influence which he 
exercised upon this branch of research, he left the world 
indebted to him for original contributions to it, we are very 
willing to believe ; though the ancient statements to that 
effect are lacking in definiteness. Nor can we determine 
with certainty whether the rudiment of the sphere-theory 
was Plato's own work, or only borrowed by him. The 
few obscure sentences in which Plato speaks of this 
theory do not in themselves give the impression that a 
discoverer is here announcing to his fellow-workers for the 
first time the results of his laborious investigations. But 
if, in this instance, it is not permitted to do more than 
doubt, we regard it as altogether inadmissible to class 
Eudoxus, who as a Hedonist in ethics was an opponent 
of Plato, among the members of Plato's school, on the 
ground that in early youth he attended some of Plato's 

3. The vast and varied influence which proceeded from 
Plato and affected the history of the world, may perhaps be 
best summed up in the remark that without Plato we should 
have had no Aristotle, no Carneades, no Augustine. 

Through the intermediacy of Aristotle. (384-322) Plato 
contributed, after all, to the progress of physical research — 
much less, it must be admitted, in connexion with the 
knowledge of causal successions than with that of the 
ordered coexistence of things. The classification of natural 
objects grew in the soil of the Platonic dialectic. The inter- 
minable divisions of the " Sophist " and tlje " Statesman " 
disgust and weary us sometimes by th^r excess of petty 
detail ; we should not forget, however, that we are here in 
the school which sent forth the great arranger and classifier, 
the morphologist par excellence. Both teacher and pupil 
transferred this method, the method of natural history, to 


the field of mental science ; the exact differentiation of forms 
of inference is wholly, that of political and poetical forms 
partly, due to the pupil. But, by the employment of this 
method on its native ground, natural history itself, Aristotle 
prepared the way for, if he did not himself work out, results 
of the highest importance dealing with causal connexions. 
For one of his creations, comparative anatomy, was an 
indispensable preliminary to the construction of the theory 
of descent. 

But while Plato's school produced in Aristotle the great 
encyclopaedist, the collector and orderer of a vast stock of 
knowledge, above all, the arbiter of mediaeval thought both 
in East and West, there is another point at which its in- 
fluence penetrates into the modern world still more deeply. 
The critical spirit of antiquity reached its culmination in 
the New Academy. Even the " laborious pastime " of the 
" Parmenides " was not labour lost (cf. p. 1 5 3). Plato's 
immediate successors, it is true, retained only the quasi- 
Pythagoreanism and . the ethical aspirations of his latest 
years. But with Arcesilaus (died 241) came the triumph 
of the critical and dialectical tendency of the Platonic mind, 
which had derived some of its strength from Megarian in- 
fluences. The movement reached its apogee in Carneades 
(213-129), who surpassed all his predecessors and successors 
in subtlety of thought, whose piercing criticism shattered 
the confidence of the dogmatic schools, and in particular 
drove the Stoa to a comprehensive revision of its doctrines. 
His theory of probability at the same time gave an impulse 
towards the creation of an inductive logic which was re- 
presented in the later Epicureanism as well as in the 
medical schools of the Methodics and Empirics. Carneades 
has been rightly named the David Hume of antiquity. 
But he also reminds us of Michel de Montaigne, the great 
questioning spirit of the Renaissance, by his audacious 
criticism, which made full use of all the contradictions of 
traditions and accepted standards, which respected no 
barrier. And though Montaigne's relation to Carneades 
may be the same as his relation to Plato (" I was a 
Platonist in this respect before I knew that there had ever 


been a Plato "), he was, in any case, accurately acquainted 
with his teachings. 

Finally, in Augustine (354-43° A-I^.). two streams united 
which for several centuries had battled against each other 
— Neo-Platonism and Christianity. The first opened at 
Athens, Plato's school was also the last to be closed in that 
city (in 529, by Justinian). The form of Platonism re- 
presented in that school in its last period had been the 
philosophy of dying antiquity, just as it afterwards became 
the philosophy of the dawning Renaissance. In the Greek 
East, indeed, the Platonic tradition was never wholly extinct. 
As late as in the eighth century, John of Damascus, the 
systematizer of that day's theology and philosophy, drew 
from a Neo-Platonist source as well as from the Fathers of the 
Church ; and as early as in the eleventh century we find 
Constantine Psellus appearing as a fully developed Platonist 
in respect both of the form and the substance of his teaching. 
That even in the two intervening centuries interest in Plato 
had not died out in Byzantium, is shown by the date of 
the two chief manuscripts of his works. In the West, 
Platonism, after a short hibernation, awoke to new life at 
the least as early as the end of the ninth century ; in the 
course of the next few centuries the campaign against that 
petrified Aristotelianism, known as Scholasticism, is opened 
under its banner and carried on with continually increasing 
vigour. But though deeply permeated by mystic elements, 
finding life's supreme end in the ecstatic contemplation of 
the divine, Neo-Platonism did not allow its origin in the 
great critical intellect of Plato to be entirely forgotten. 
Thus it may be noted in this connexion that the Primordial 
Essence or First Cause of Plotinus (204-269 A.D.), the 
true systematizer of the school, is regarded neither as self- 
knowing nor even as knowable, still less as having life or 
personality, but as something transcending all these deter- 
minations — a conception in which we recognize without 
difficulty the after-effects of the trenchant criticism applied 
by Carneades to the current ideas about God. 

But the mystical elements are of Platonic origin equally 
with the critical. The exalted mysticism'which we meet 


with in the " Symposium " (cf. Vol. II. p. 396) is a fountain 
from which both late antiquity and the Middle Ages drew 
copiously. The Sufism of Islam, German mysticism, the 
Jewish Kabbalas, are one and all saturated with Platonic 
thoughts. Mysticism is alien to the scientific spirit, but by 
no means so hostile to it as appears at first sight. It is 
with mysticism much as it is with war. There is an in- 
finite deal to be said against both, but both have saved 
mankind from other and far worse evils than themselves. 
Mysticism is the great specific against aridity of heart 
and woodenness of intellect. A stream of warm life issues 
from its hidden depths, gently dissolving and lightly wash- 
ing away the clogging relics of an outlived past. It proves 
as fatal to the sham knowledge which wrangles over for- 
mulae, burrows among words, clutches at the letter, as it is to 
strait-laced conventionality and self-righteous pharisaism. 

In the mind of Augustine, that genius in self-observa- 
tion and depth of spiritual insight. Christian and Platonic 
elements were fused together. His " Confessions," that 
precious work, which by its strength of feeling, its vividness 
of delineation, the penetrating power of its self-analysis, 
has won a place of honour in the world's literature, and 
which moves us now as forcibly as it once did Petrarch — 
this work has gained for its author the name of the first 
modern man. His influence upon later ages has been of 
incalculable depth. The Catholic Church numbers him 
among the foremost of those who have shaped her destinies. 
Yet also that form of Protestantism which has ploughed 
most deeply into the souls of men — the faith of Calvin — 
has been most permanently influenced by Augustine and 
his doctrine of predestination. In taking his stand upon 
self-consciousness as the foundation of all knowledge, where- 
in he shows himself pre-eminently a powerful thinker partly 
inspired by Platonism, he became the predecessor of Des- 
cartes, the creator of modern philosophy. 

4. Now that we have named the great Christian Platonist, 
it will be well, in order to guard against every possible 
misunderstanding, to add a word on the specific character 
of Plato's ethics. ^ Its central pivot is the concept of justice. 


The relaxed austerity of Plato's old age gave considerable 
scope to mere benevolence, without, for all that, encroach- 
ing upon the privileged position of justice. After this 
virtue, and only imperfectly distinguished from it, comes 
(TM^poavvv, that self-discipline supported by a sense of one's 
own worth which, in Plato still more than elsewhere, bears 
a character of proud and dignified reserve. The incomplete 
severance of the two domains is regrettable ; it is excusable 
on the ground of their intimate action and reaction upon 
each other. For not only is self-discipline the indispensable 
condition for the fulfilment of social duty ; the latter reacts 
on the former, and so promotes the health of the soul. 
The absence of duties to society, the freedom of the will 
from all restraints, leads to psychic disintegration (madness 
of the Caesars, and so forth). In its exaggeration, temper- 
ance becomes asceticism. This principle, the practice of 
which is the most effectual hunger-cure for pleasure-sated 
epochs, plays in the " Phsedo " a part which, supposing that 
only this work and a few kindred to it had been preserved, 
would inevitably have produced a fundamentally false im- 
pression. These works present to us a thinker for whom 
everything corporeal is merely a hindrance to knowledge 
and the present of no other account than as a preparation 
for the future : who would have guessed that this same 
thinker, far from becoming a penitent anchorite, would in 
other writings lavish the most devoted thought on the care 
of the body in all its branches, as well as on the ordering 
of economic and social conditions ; that he woiild one day 
glory in the labour and research he had bestowed on these 
objects with the emphasis displayed by the "Athenian 
stranger " at the close of the " Laws " ? In this, his latest 
work, more than in any other, Plato made his peace with 
the genius of his people ; he returned in large measure to 
the old Hellenic ideal which sought the harmonious develop- 
ment of the whole personality. 

Flight from the world, asceticism, hostility to nature — 
all these visited Plato's soul without taking permanent pos- 
session of it. A feature which they resemble, and which 
they perhaps strengthened, was the depreciation, common 


to all Socratics, of the external goods enjoyed either by 
individuals or associations of men. That the happiness 
even of a State does not rest on its size or its riches, is a 
conviction which the mature old man's wisdom of the 
" Laws " held as inviolably as the youthful impetuosity of 
the " Gorgias " had done. None the less, those extreme 
tendencies, among which must be reckoned the principle 
of avoiding all resort to force (cf. pp. 50 and 55), having 
once gained the vantage-ground of incorporation in Plato's 
works, exerted an equally powerful influence on the world. 
The character of this influence was determined in no in- 
considerable measure by the defects of that view of nature 
which was held by Plato and retained by Aristotle, par- 
ticularly by the geocentric hypothesis and the anthropo- 
centric ideas based upon it. Had the final fall of this 
hypothesis been consummated in the third century before 
Christ, when all the intellectual conditions were propitious 
for the change (cf. Vol. I. p. 122), instead of being delayed 
till the sixteenth after Christ, the whole development of 
Western humanity would have taken a different course. 
But sometimes the safety of an army's movements demands 
the recall of a flying column sent far in advance. Taken 
all in all, it may have been better that the dangerous 
revision of the theory of the universe was postponed to a 
maturer phase of the human mind. 

5. These great and distant after-effects were beyond 
the ken of the youths who thronged round the admired 
teacher in the Academy. They attended the school of 
Plato just as they attended that of Isocrates, just as, a few 
decades earlier, men had hung on the lips of a Prodicus or 
a Protagoras. Philosophy was pursued more in the spirit of 
Callicles than in that of Socrates (cf. Vol. II. p. 334). The 
object was to gain the means for successful competition in 
the field of politics by training and sharpening the intel- 
lectual faculties. Thus the most eminent statesmen of the 
Athens of that day were temporarily pupils of Plato — 
Lycurgus the wise administrator and financier no less than 
Hyperides the successful advocate, Demosthenes the leader 
of the radical-national party equally with Phocion the head 


of the peace-party. All shades of political sentiment and 
activity were represented among Plato's disciples. Clearchus 
set himself up as ruler of Heracleia ; Chion and Leonidas 
conspired against him ; Leon of Byzantium who snatched 
his native city from the claws of Philip, and Python who 
beat the recruiter's drum for the same Philip in every corner 
of Greece, — all these alike had been Academics. Besides 
Dion, the philosopher in the palace, there was Chaeron of 
Pellene, a tyrant in the Greek and also in the modern 
acceptation of the word, who overthrew the constitution of 
his country by the aid of Macedonian lances, and who 
shrank from no deed of violence. Hermias, the eunuch 
and former slave, who founded a throne in the city of 
Atarneus in Northern Asia Minor, and who received the 
support of Philip in the struggle against Persia, .was also a 
member of the Academy. So, too, was Euphraeus of Oreus 
in Eretria, who for a long time enjoyed favour and high 
esteem at the court of Perdiccas III., but who ended as a 
passionate opponent of Philip, and took his own life in 
prison to avoid falling into the hands of his generals. It 
was a comparatively meagre band of disciples that chose 
the pursuit of science for their life's calling. From this 
narrower circle we shall see men proceed who, partly in 
the Academy, partly outside it, carried on and developed 
the teachings of Plato, foremost among them the man 
whose name has so often appeared in these pages — Aristotle 
of Stagira. 


Book IV.— Chapter I. 

(The citations from vEschylus are taken from the edition of Kirchhoff ; 
those from Euripides from that of Nauck. Sophocles and Aristo- 
phanes are quoted from Dindorf's Poeta Scenici Grceci; the tragic 
fragments from Nauck's collection of fragments, ed. 2.) 

Page 3. Theognis : cf. v. 349 [Poetce Lyrici Grceci, ed. Bergk, ii. 
150, 4th ed.); also Homer, Iliad, iv. 35 ; similarly //., xxii. 347 ; xxiv. 
212. Some other passage, now lost, must have been in the mind of 
Philodemus : De Ira, col. viii. 18, seq. (ed. Gomperz). 

Page 4. Cf. Tylor, Anthropology (London, 1881), p. 414, seq. The 
treatise of Miklosich : Die Blutrache bei den Slaven, Vienna, 1887, 
supplies much more than what is promised in the title. On this 
point the true appreciation has been greatly hindered by the narrow 
outlook of classical learning, and similarly by the view, till lately 
prevalent, that the Homeric poems everywhere give a picture of 
primitive antiquity. In essentials, the process of development in 
Greece cannot have been other than the process elsewhere. In- 
dividual revenge was succeeded by family or hereditary revenge, 
which on its side constituted an important advance. The Australians 
and New Guinea natives remain at this stage to this day ; the remnants 
of the custom among Corsicans, Albanians, etc., are well known. 
The further stages of the development sometimes take the form, (i) 
private blood-requital, (2) public blood-requital ; at other times, (i) 
private blood-revenge, (2) private compensation (weregeld), (3) public 
regulation of the compensation. Sometimes, in special conditions of 
social conformation, bloodless is again replaced by bloody requital. 
That in Greece also blood-requital was a primseval custom, ^Eschylus 
already knew better than many of his commentators. 'Ayrl S^ irXriT^s 

^ovias <l>ovlav irXniy^v TivfTW, SpdiTavn ira^etv, rptyepuv fivBos riSe ifxcvel 
(Cho'eph., 304, seq^. 

Page 7. iEschylus. The quotations are from i'«;5//.,'5o7-8,£'7^;«., 


553-S, Fragm., 381. A valuable collection in Haigh, The Tragic 
Drama of the Greeks (Oxford, i8g6), p. 86, seq. 

Page 8. On the Oresteia, now compare also the suggestive 
introduction of Wilamowitz in his translation. For the characteristics 
of jEschylus and Sophocles generally, above all see Rohde's Psyche, 
ii. 224 (ed. 2), and his lecture, Die Religion des Griechen, Heidel- 
berg, 1895. 

Page 9. Besides Rohde {pp. cit., p. 237), Johannes Hooykaas, 
De Sophoclis CEdipode Coioneo (Leyden, 1896), has lately treated the 
" moral order of the world " in Sophocles with penetration and 
convincing truth. (Below) " One of the most pious : " cf. Schol. on 
Soph., Eiectra, S:ii. "One of the honest Athenians:" so his con- 
temporary Ion calls him in Athenceus, xiii. 603 C. 

Page 10. " Not to be born," etc. : cf. CEd. Col., 1224, seq. (Below) 
Cf Herodot., vi. 98. (Below) Euripides : Translation of Fragm., 449. 

Page II. " Children who turn out ill," etc. : Fragm., yji. With 
the above, cf. on having children, Ale, 882, seq. ; Androm., 418, seq. ; 
Med., 1098, seq. ; Suppl., 1089, seq. (Bottom) Cf. Eurip., Fragm., 

Page 12 (Middle). Thucyd., iii. 81, seq. (Middle) Advantage of a 
middle station ; cf. Eurip., Suppl., 244, and Fragm., 626. (Bottom) 
Grotto in Salamis: ancient Life of Euripides, 1. 61 (p. vi. in 
Nauck's ed.). 

Page 13. Eurip., Fragm., 9io|and 913. " If gods do evil," etc. : 
Fragm., 292, 7. (Below) On the treatment of legendary matter by 
Euripides compared with older poets, cf. Welcker, GStterlehre, ii. 90 ; 
Leopold Schmidt, Ethik der Griechen, i. 17 ; Christ, Griech. Lit. 
Gesch., § 121. 

Page 14. Euripides on athletes : cf. Fragm., 201 and 282. (Below) 
Cf Troad., 884, seq. 

Page 15. Cf. the collection in Nauck's Introduction, Note 67. 
Euripides raises his voice against war and conquest, Suppl., 491, seq. ; 
Fragm., 286, 10-12. 

Page 16. Plato calls the milder treatment of slaves " spoiling " 
{epimniv) in Laws, vi. 777 C. But cf 776 D-E. 

Page 17. Cf. Eurip., Hipp., 486 ; Med., 582. Of " Sophistic," of 
"extreme individualism," Pohlmann speaks in many passages 
{Geschichte des antiken Communismus und Socialismus). (Below) 
Hesiod, Works and Days, 602, where the! lines (generally recognized 
as misplaced) fl^ri^ t' &omov voieltrBai Kal HreKvov Ipifloj/ Sifso-Soi ice'Ao/iioi 
admit no other interpretation. (Below) Theognis, especially 53, seq. 
(Poetce Lyr. Gr., 124, Bergk, ed. 4). 

Page 19. " Let the alien serve the Hellene," etc. Eurip., Iph. in 
Aul., 1400, seq. 

Page 20. Xenophon, Anai., vii. 6. (Below) Aristotle : cf. Pol., i. 
c. 2 and 5. (Below) //., xxii. 371. The tragic poet Moschion (transition 


between the 5th and 4th centuries) ; cf. Fragm., 3. Herodot., ix. 79. 
Incidental disapproval of insults to dead bodies even as early as 
//., xxii. 395 and xxiii. 176. (Below) The remark that Homer does not 
use the name " Hellenes " as a collective term, nor yet oppose bar- 
barians to Greeks, is as old as Thucyd., i. 3. The 'n.avi\Ki)ves of //., 
ii. 530, and the description of the Carians as papPapi<i>avoi {ibid., 867), 
prove at the utmost, if they prove so much, that that part, the so- 
called " Catalogue of Ships," is the work of a later age. The words 
of the Amphictyonic oath in ^schines' In Ctesiph., §§ 109, seq. 

Page 21 (Bottom). Ernst Curtius, in his Greek History, has 
described the services of Delphi to civilization in many passages, 
with penetration if not without occasional exaggeration. 

Page 22 (Top). Mardonius, in Herodot., vii. 9. The poet of 
" enlightenment," i.e. Euripides, Suppl., 491, seq. (Bottom) Armistice. 
//., vii. 408, seq. 

Page 23, 1. 3. Athene, //., viii. 379 ; Diomedes, //., xi. 395. H. 
Weil has excellently treated the matter in his essay, L'lliade et le 
droit des gens dans la vieille Grice, Rev. de Philologie, 1885, p. 161 
seq., reprinted in Etudes sur Vantiquiti Grecque (Paris, 1900), p. 
183, seq. (Below) Life and freedom of the conquered : cf. Calli- 
cratidas in Xenoph., Hellen., i. 6, 14, and Plato, Rep., v. 469 c. For 
what follows, cf. Thucyd., iii. 68, 2, and Pausan., ix. 15, 2. 

Page 24. Cf. Iliad, vi. 62. Against butchery of prisoners: 
Thucyd., iii. 58, 2 ; 66, 2 ; 67, 3. (Below) " Flames devour the 
city," etc. : Iliad, ix. 593, seq. On the Thebans and the Syracusans, 
see Pausan., ix. 15, 2, and Thucyd., vii. 86. For what follows : Torone, 
Thucyd., v. 3 ; Scionel, ibid., 32 ; Plataea, iii. 68, 2; Melos, v. 116. 

Page 25 (Middle). Cf. Thucyd., ii. 67, seq. Thucyd. : i.e. v. 85, 
seq. This dialogue is treated by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, De 
Thucyd., c. 47-42 ; Grote, vii. 157 (2nd ed.). 

Page 26. " Death-sentence on the inhabitants of Mytilene : " cf. 
Thucyd., iii. 35, seq. 

Page 27. Support of the disabled : cf. the speech of Lysias (24) 
" for the invalid " (fiirep tov iSvudTov). Prosecution by wives : cf. Meier 
and Schomann, Der Attische Process, ii. p. 509 (2nd ed.). Provision 
for widows and orphans : cf. Girard, D Education AtMnienne, p. 32 
seq.; Schomann, Griechische Alterthiimer, i. 563 (4th ed.). Orphans 
of fallen soldiers : cf. Gilbert, Griechishe StaatsaltertUmer, i. 328. 
Quotation from the Iliad, xxii. 495. Legal protection of the slave : 
Meier and Schomann, op. cit., p. 625, seq. Similar laws elsewhere also : 
e.g. at Gortyn in Crete ; cf. Neues Stadtrecht von Gortyn (ed. 
Bucheler and Zittelmann), p. 95, seq. 

Page 28. Cf. the instructive essay of S. Spitzer in the Zeitschr. 
f. osterr. Gymn., 1894, p. i, seq., Zur Geschichte der internationalen 
Moral bei den Griechen. It is specially remarkable that in Thucyd., 
vii. 18, the Spartans ascribe their failure in the Archidamian war to 


their irafaviiKtiiia, their violation of the terms of the peace, and now 
draw;new hope from the same act on the part of the Athenians. 

Page 29. " School of Greece." In the funeral oration in Thucyd., 
ii. 41, Pericles calls Athens T^s'EWcSSojirofSeuiro'. 

Book IV.— Chapter II. 

Page 30. Praise of Athens in Eurip., Med., 824, seq. ; Ale, 452 ; 
Troad., 207, seq.; Fragm., 360, 5, ^^^■.,981. In Aristophanes, Athens 
is several times called " violet-crowned." (Below) Capture of 
Miletus, cf. Herodot., vi. 21. 

Page 32 (Middle). " One family of high repute : " i.e. that of 
Isagoras; cf. Herodot., v. 66. Nelidse and yEacidse ; the former from 
Pylos in Messenia, the latter from ^gina. " Hospitality : " cf. Strabo, 
X. 471 ; and Plutarch, Cimon, x. 8. Ernst Curtius : Alterthum und 
Gegenwart, ii. 30. 

Page 33. On the stability of life of the Athenian constitution, cf. 
the author's essay, Aristoteles und seine neuentdeckte Schrift, Deutsche 
Rundschau, 1 891, p. 219, seq. 

Page 34. " Abundance of light " and " purity of air," praised by 
Euripides, Med., 823 ; Aristides, Panathen., §§ 97 and loi (i. 156 and 
162, ed. Dindorf). (Below) Aristoph., ''ilpai (Fragm., i. 536, ed. Kock). 
The statements about the climate rest on the twelve years' observations 
of the astronomer Julius Schmidt. His publication is quoted by 
Kurt Wachsmuth, DieStadt Athen ini Alterthum, i. 94, note i. Ernst 
Curtius, op. cit., p. 34. 

Page 35 (Top). Herodotus, i. 60. (Bottom) Here our exposition 
owes much to the work of :6mile Boutmy, equally rich in facts and 
thoughts: Le Parthenon et le gdnie grec, Paris, 1897; first sketch, 
Philosophie de Varchitecture en Grece, 1870. 

Page 38 (Middle). Wilhelm von Humboldt, Ideen su einem Versuch. 
die Grdnzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates zu bestimmen, Werke, 
vii. p. lo-ii. John Stuart Mill, Liberty (ch. iii. p. 107, Scott Library 
ed.). (Below) Herodot., v. 78. 

Page 40 (Bottom). Thucydides or Pericles : funeral oration of 
Pericles in Thucyd., ii. 37, seq. 

Page 42 (Bottom). On the material advance of Athens after the 
Persian wars, see Beloch, Griech. Gesch., i. 395. 

Page 43 (Middle). Thucyd., iv. 55. (Bottom) On Pericles, 
Thucyd., iv. 65, 6. 

Book IV.— Chapter III. 

Page 46. Birth of Socrates. The date of his death is fixed as 
May, 399 (Diog. Laert., ii. 44) ; the length of his life^is given by Plato in 
Crito, 52 c, as seventy years, but in Apol., 17 D, as more than seventy 
years. In the latter passage the variation of the manuscripts between 
fpSo/iiiKovTa and jrMtu liSSojit^Koi'To is to be decided in favour of the 


latter reading, because no motive can be discerned for the interpolation 
of ■rXtio), and, on the other hand, the rounding-oflf of the number is 
very easily possible on the ground of the rhetorically coloured style 
of the Criio. Cf. our remark on Book III. ch. vi. " The Graces : '' on 
this, cf. Furtwangler in Roscher's Lexicon der Mythologie, i. 881 ; 
also Studniczka, Zdtschr. f. osterr. Gymn., 1886, p. 684. (Middle) 
Archelaus. The fragment of Ion in Diog. Laert., ii. 23. Cf. also 
Theophrastus in Doxogr. Gr., 479, 17 ; to this belong also 546, 11, 
and 567, 1. (Below) Cicero's saying : Tusc, v. 4, 10, and Acad. Post., 
i. 4, 15. Zeller (i. 1037, ed. 5) hesitates to believe this testimony. 

Page 47. The narrative is drawn from Plato,' Symposium, 220 C ; 
cf. also 174 D. (Below) Aristotle, Anal. Post., ii. 13 (97 b, 21). 

Page 48. Zopyrus. The sources of this information are now 
most complete in R. Forster, Scriptores Physiogttomonici (Teubner 
Coll.) Proleg., vii. seq. The version quoted from Joannes Cassianus, 
Collationes, xiii. 5, 3 (Forster, p. x., n. l) seems specially important. 
This probably contains the direct words of Phsedo's dialogue (Diog. 
Laert., ii. 9), which is generally — and without doubt justly — recognized 
as the original source. (Below) " Outbursts of violent rage : " attested 
by Spintharus, the father of Aristoxenus, not a too trustworthy autho- 
rity for things of this kind (Miiller, Fragm. Hist. Grac, ii. 280). 

Page 49. On irony, as peculiar to Socrates and as the opposite of 
i\of<i>'em, see Aristotle, Nic. Eth., ii. and iv. 13, also Eud. Eth., iii. 
7, and Magn. Mor., i. 33, and further Plato, Rep., i. 337 A, E ; Symp., 
216 C ; Meno, 80 A ; ApoL, 23 C ; also Xenophon, Memor., iv. 4-10. The 
fundamental meaning of the word is " pleasure in mystifying." The 
narrowing of the meaning given in the text is very easily compre- 
hensible, because self-depreciation, contradicting as it does the needs 
and interests of life, is unexpected, and therefore much more adapted 
to deceive than its opposite, boastfulness. The first Character of 
Theophrastus gives the above narrower meaning in its prefixed 
definition, but the older and wider meaning in its description. 

Page 50 (Middle). " Beggarly prater : " so the comic poet 
Eupolis calls Socrates {Fragm., i. 351, Kock). (Below) "Barefoot, 
as if to spite the shoemakers : " so the comic poet Ameipsias (i. 672, 
Kock). The traits that follow are taken from Aristoph., Clouds, 361, 
and Plato, PhcBdo, 1 17 B. (Bottom) ApoUodorus and Chserephon : 
cf. Groen van Prinsterer, Prosopographia Plaionica, p. 204, seq. ; also 
Eupolis, i. 322, Kock. 

Page 51. The order is taken from the Apology, 32 C-E. On the 
trial of the Generals, cf. Apology, 32 B, C ; Xenophon, Hellen., i. 714, 
seq.\ Memor., i. i. 18, and iv. 4, 2 ; lastly Diodor., xiii. 100, seq. ; of 
modern writers Grote, Hist, of Greece, viii. 242, seq. (2nd ed.) ; Max 
Frankel, Die Attischen Geschworenengerichte, p. 79, seq. ; Kenyon's 
remarks on Aristotle, ' PSi\va!iav TioKnda, c. 34 (beginning), and the 
author's pamphlet Die Schrift vom Staatswesen der Athener, p. 1 7, seq. 



Page SS, § 3. Aristotle, Metaph., M. c. 4 (1078 b, 27, segr.). (Bottom) 
The distinction stated in the text is at least implied in the entry of 
Socratic sentences under the head of ir«po)3oA.^. Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric, 
B. 20 (1393 b, 3), with expositions, such as we read in Xenophon, 
Memor., iii. 9. 10. 

Page 56 (Middle). Xenophon, Memor., iv. 2. 13, seq. Cf. also 
Plato, Rep., i. 331 C. 

Page 57. Xenophon, Memor., iv. 6, 15, and i. 2, 37 ; similarly 
Plato, Gorg., 491 A ; also Symp., 221 E. 

Page 58. " Did he propose," etc. : Xenophon, Memor., iii. 6 and 7 ; 
then iii. 9, 10. 

Page 59. "Misology : " cf. Plato, Phcedo, 89 C. The next quotation, 
Apol., 38 A. 

Page 60. Aristotle denies the theory of ideas to Socrates, Metaph., 
M. iv. 1078 B, 30, and 1086 B, 4. 

Page 61 (Bottom). Xenophon, CEcon., i., and iv. 18. 

Page 62. " Pilgrimage to Delphi : " cf. Aristotle in Diog. Laert., ii. 
23 ; also Memor., iv. 2, 24, seq. ; and Plutarch, In Colotam, c. 20. 
(Below) " Fields and trees : " Phadrus, 230 D. " Mysians and 
Pisidians : " Memor., iii. 5, 26 ; Anab., iii. 2, 23. 

Page 63. On the pamphlet of Polycrates, cf. Isocrates, Or., xi. 
§ 4. We know, on the authority of Favorinus, Diog. Laert., ii. 39, 
that it was not composed till several years after the execution of 
Socrates. Cobet especially {Nova Lectiones, 662, seq^ has made it 
very probable that Xenophon, in the Memorabilia, makes frequent 
reference to this pamphlet. (Below) "The turns of phrase, the 
formulas :" cf. the definition of <t>S6vos, iii. 9, 8, and of o-xox^, iii. 9, 9, 
similarly iii. 8, 6 (on the beautiful dung-basket), and further, iii. 4. 

Page 64 (Top). The right method in principle has been shown by 
Karl Joel, Der Echte und der Xenophontische Socrates, i. p. 64, seq. 

Book IV.— Chapter IV. 

Page 66. " No man errs of his own free will " (ofcSels kKitv a/topr&ei). 
The numerous Platonic references in C. F. Hermann, Geschichte und 
System, der Platonischen Philosophie, p. 330, note 328. 

Page 67. On the denial of the irrational part of the soul and the 
impossibility of axfaala, cf. Aristotle, Nic. Eth., H. 3, 1 145 b, 23 ; 
Ii47b,i4, J«^. ;i20ob,25; Magn.Mor.,K. i (similarly ch. 20, 1190b, 28), 
also ch. 10, 1 187 a, 6. " Video meliora" etc. : Ovid, Metamorph., vii. 20, 
seq. (Below) " Great ' one-eyed men : '" so Bentham is called by Mill, 
Dissertations and Discussions, i. 357. 

Page 68. " French writer of comedies : " Sardou, La Famille 
Benoiton, p. 118 (Paris, 1889^. 

Page 70. Epicharmus, Fragm., 78 {Com. Grcec. Fragm., ed. Kaibel, 
i. I, 104. = Ahrens, fr. 56), ouSeis kx^v vovtiphs oiS' Srai' ex"". The two last 
words altered to Skoiv ficJKop in Aristot., Nic. Eth., r. i. 7, 1113 b, 15. 


Page 71. Cleanthes. The quotation forms the motto of this book. 
Besides Clement, I.e., this sentence also appears in Cicero, De Legibus, 
i. 12, 33 (with the addition, Id enim querebaiur caput esse exitiorum 
omnium), and in a slightly altered form, De Off., iii. 3, 11. The elegy 
of Aristotle in Bergk, Poeta Lyr. Gr., ed. 4, ii. 336, seq. At the beginning 
of the last line the tradition has ob vw, which the author ( Wiener 
Studien, ii. l) has emended o4 S£x<«- Cf., for example, Dion's Oration, iii. 
39 (i. 40, 14, Arnim), o« S^x" *«'* ''^ ''^ ofiroD, k.t.\. The author believes 
with Bernays {Ges. Abhandlungen, i. 141, seq. = Rhein. Mus., xxxiii. 
232, seq^ that Socrates, not Plato, is here meant (compare, now, 
my Platonische Aufsdtze, iii. end). Line 3, 'AvSp^j %v oiS' atvetv Totai 
KBKouti fleyais, can be referred precisely to the unworthy representatives (as 
Aristotle regarded them) of Socrates, like Aristippus and Antisthenes. 

Page 72. " Slavish condition :" cf. Plato, Symp., 215 E, and Xeno- 
phon, Memor., iv. 2, 22. 

Page 74. Xenophon, Mem., iii. 9, 4 : :So^!av . . . xal <x<i>^po<rivriv oi 
StdptCey. The structure of the Socratic moral philosophy has been 
nowhere better exhibited than in the forgotten doctoral disserta- 
tion of the EngUshman, W. F. Hurndall, De Philosophia Morali 
Socratis (Heidelburg, 1853). L. Dissen's programme, De Philosophia 
Morali in Xenophontis de Socrate Commentariis Tradita (Gottingen, 
1812), also deserves mention. (Below) Here we follow Zeller's 
admirable exposition of the eudaemonistic basis of morality in 
Xenophon {Phil, der Gr., ii. i, 152, ed. 4). 

Page 78. J. S. Mill, System of Logic, bk. v. ch. i, § 33. 

Page 79. "That is, and ever will be:" Plato, Rep., v. 457 B, 
(Below) Xenophon, Memor., iii. 8. 3, 6, 7 and iv. 6, 9. 

Page 80. " The reproach was urged : " cf. Xenophon, Memor., 
i. 2, 49, seq,, and i. 2, 9, seq. (Bottom) Criticism of the appointment of 
officers by lot ; e.g. Memor., i. 2, 9 ; iii. 9, 10. Georges Perrot (JEssais 
sur le droit public et privi de la Ripublique AtMnienne, Paris, 1867, 
p. 10, seq., 54, 71) has excellently indicated the right points of view for 
estimating this institution. 

Page 81. No depreciation of hand labour : Xenophon, Memor., 
ii. 7, 6, seq., and CEcon., in many places. (Below) Capacity of the 
female sex : cf. Xenophon, Symp., ii. 12 (even courage seems teachable, 
since this woman has learned to go through such dangerous perform- 
ances ; Antisthenes in Diog. Laert., vi. i, 12, " The virtue of man and 
woman is the same," and especially Plato in the Republic and the Laws. 

Page 82. Confucius. The quotation from the 39th book of the 
Li Ki according to Legge's translation {Sacred Books of the East, xxviii. 
p. 412). Cf. also Lanessan, La Morale des philosophes Chinois, p. 28, 
and G. von der Gabelentz, Confucius und seine Lehre (Leipzig, 1888), 
p. 43, seq. " Reproach of eudaemonism : " ibid., p. 22. Altruistic spirit 
of the Confucian doctrine, Lt-Kt, Bk. 39, i ; similarly Giles, Gems of 
Chinese Literature, p. 3, seq., ibid., p. i ; comparison with Socrates. 


The Chinese State paper in Giles, p. i6i. Conhicius' doubts of 
immortality in von der Gabelentz, op. cit.i^. ii, seq. (Below) Socrates 
and the question of immortality : cf. Plato, ApoL, ad fin., and Xenophon, 
Cyrop., viii. 7, 19. 

Page 84. "Then by the earth his body : " Corpus Inscr. Att, i. 442. 
For what follows, cf Rohde, Psyche, ii. 257, ed. 2 ; also Brtickner's 
lecture Uber die Entviickelung der Bestattung in Attika, Berliner 
Philol. Wochemschr., 1892, Nos. 13 and 14. 

Page 85, § 5. Socrates' relation to religion is excellently treated 
by K. Joel, Der Echte und der Xenophontische Socrates, i. 69, seq. (a 
work of which the second and altogether more comprehensive part 
appeared too late to be used below). 

Page 86. "The good" simply : Xenophon, Memor., i. 3, 2. (Below) 
"Accordingtothelawsofthe State " (yiJ/it^ -nixcasy. Xeno-phon, Memor., 
i. 3, I ; iv. 3, 16 J iv. 6, 3. Also for what follows, cf. Memor., \. 3. 3. 

Page 87. Socrates and Delphi : cf note to p. 62, and further Plato, 
Phcedrus, 229 E, SiXiAApol. in many places, XenophoTi, Memor., iv. 2, 24, 
and Anab., iii. I, 5 seg. On dreams, cf. Plato, Phcedo, 60 E and 61 A ; 
.(4^1?/., 33 C ; O'zVo, 44 A-B. Aai/i^viov : cf.Xenoph., Memor., i. i, 4; 
decisive on the other side, Plato, ApoL, 31 D. Zeller counts the 
" cases of its intervention " (ii. i, 80, note 2, ed. 4). 

Page 90 (Top). The two theological sections of the Memorabilia 
are i. 4 and iv. 3. On these and the judgment of ancient and modern 
times on them, cf. Joel, op. cit., 118, seq. We agree to the verdict {ibid., 
p. 120) that "in any case i. 4 has more claim to belong to the genuine 
Socrates than iv. 3." (Below) Desertion of natural philosophy by So- 
crates : cf. Aristotle, Metaph., A. 6, 987 B i, and De Anima, A. 1,642 A, 
25. His polemic against natural philosophers in Xenophon, Memor., i. 
I, 1 1, seq., iv. 7, 6, seq., and (probably more Xenophontic than Socratic) 
iii. 7, 1-5. 

Book IV.— Chapter V. 

Page 92 (Bottom). Eupolis (i. p. 35 1 and 355, Kock). On Protagoras, 
ibid., p. 297. 

Page 93. Telecleides : ibid., -p. 21S. Ameipsias : p. 672. Aristo- 
phanes, Birds, 1281, seq., 1553, seq. ; Frogs, 1491, seq. 

Page 94 (Middle). " King Vortex : " in Aristoph., Clouds, 380, seq., 
and 1471. (Bottom) Invitation by King Archelaus : attested by 
Aristotle, Phet., B. 23, 1398 a, 24. 

Page 95 (Top). " Reads out of yellow rolls : " cf. Xenophon, 
Memor., i. 6, 14. Gifts of his friends : principal passage, Quintilian, 
Inst., xii. 7, 9 ; indirectly acknowledged by Plato, ApoL, 33 B. The 
quotation from the Clouds of Aristophanes, 144, seq. 

Page 96. On Critias, see below, p. 302. 

Page 97. On Anytus, see Plato, Meno. 90 B ; Isocrates, Or,, xviii. 


§ 23 ; Diodor., xiii. 64; Xenoph., Hellen., xii. passim. What Xenophon 
{ApoL, § 29, seq.) relates about the relations of Socrates with the son 
of Anytus may be regarded as worth little credit. (Below) Lycon : 
an unimportant politician, often jeered by the comic poets ; cf. the 
Scholia on Plato, Apol., 23 E. Meletus : a mediocre poet, author of 
an CEdipodeia, similarly jeered by the comic poets, and also for his 
thinness ; cf. Scholia on Apol., 18 B and i. p. 793, Kock. He is called 
" young and unknown " by Plato [Euthyphr., 2 B), where also his 
appearance is described. 

Page 98 (Top). The exact words of the indictment in Diog. Laert., 
ii. 5, 40. On the external details of the procedure which follow, cf. 
Meier and Schomann, Att. Process, 160, seq. and 181, seq. (2nd ed,). 
Curt Wachsmuth's corrections (Die Stadt A then in. Alterthum, ii. 
377, seq^ are again corrected through Aristot., 'AflTji/. HoKit. Col. 32, the 
most complete explanation by Sandys, p. 240 of his edition. Cf. 
also Daremberg-Saglio, Diction, des Antiq., ii. p. 195. Incense 
and prayer certainly attested by Aristoph., Wasps, 860. The number 
of the jury is clear from Diog. Laert., ii. 41, combined with Plato, Apol., 
36 a. Only Plato has rounded off the number 31 to 30 ; and Diogenes 
by a slight inaccuracy, speaks of a majority of 281 votes, instead of 
281 votes which form the majority. It is not necessary to assume a 
textual error in Diogenes, like Kochly, Reden und Vortrdge, p. 370. 
Observe the large number of the jury, not much less than the tenth 
part of the 6000, who were qualified to apply ostracism and similar 
legal measures. Such a considerable part of the Athenian people must 
have been strongly impressed by the aggressive tone of the defence, 
and perceived in it the proof of the reproach against Socrates : imepopav 
lirolei Tuv KoSeaTdnuv y6iiuv robs aw6vras (Xenoph., Memor., '\. 2. 9). 

Page 99 (Top). On the persons described here, cf. Plato, Apol., 
33 e-34 a, alsoGrcen van Prinsterer, Prosopographia Platonica (Leyden, 
1823) ; and further the bust of Antisthenes in Schuster, Portrdts der 
Griechiscken Philosophen (Leipzig, 1876), plate I. 6, and similarly the 
bust of Plato, now acknowledged as authentic, cf. Benndorf, Jahres- 
hefte des ost. arch. Instituts, ii. 250. 

Page 100. " Adaptation of the truth to the exigencies of style : " 
the author treated this more thoroughly at the Cologne Congress of 
Philologists in the autumn of 1895. He still remains far removed from 
holding the Apology (with Martin Schanz, Platons Apologie, Leipzig, 
1893, Introduction, p. 74), for a "free creation" of Plato, although he 
now approaches Schanz's view somewhat nearer than he did. 

Page loi (Bottom). When I oppose the view that Socrates desired 
death at any price, I do not thereby agree with those who deny to 
Xenophon the Apology attributed to him (cf. § 33). Even if Xenophon 
had been in Athens, instead of staying in Asia Minor, he would not 
have been able to see through the purposes and motives of Socrates 
with infallible certainty. 


Page 107 (Middle). "As has recently been remarked:" here I 
follow my son, H, Gomperz, Grundlegung der neusokratischen PMlo- 
sophie, p. 28. 

Page 108. " Useful lie : " cf. Plato, Rep., iii. 389 b. 

Page 1 10 (Middle). On Socrates' prison-poems, cf. Plato, Phcedo, 
60 C, and further Diog. Laert., ii. 42 : 'A\Ao koI iraima Kurd nvas iwalriirey. 
According to the same writer, ii. 62, a doubt about the genuineness of 
this paean was expressed in antiquity. But, on the other hand, the 
criticism of the versified iEsopian fables, indicated in the words, oi trim 
iwtTeTeuyiifvas, should not be taken as expressing a doubt of their 
genuineness. Whether the two lines there quoted are genuine or not, 
does not admit of decision. The same is true of the small fragment in 
Athenaeus, xiv. 628, F (Bergk, Poeta Lyr. Gr., ii. 287, ed. 4). There 
seems to me no ground for doubting, like Schanz in Hermes, xxix. 602, 
the actual fact stated by Plato. 

Page III (Top). In my judgment the best accounts and judgments 
of the trial are given by H. Kochly, op. cit., and Grote in the 68th 
chapter of the Hist, of Greece. Peter Forchhammer's treatise. Die 
Athener und Sokrates. Die GesetzUchen und der Revolutionar 
(Berlin, 1837), is not at all worthless, although not completely free from 
caprice. (Below) Hegel, Gesammelte Werke, xiv. p. 81 seq. (Bottom) 
J. S. Mill, Liberty, ch. iii. 

Page 114 (Top). " Alcibiades and Critias." When Isocrates, Dr., 
xi. § s, maintains that before the denunciation of Polycrates no one 
had any knowledge of Alcibiades having been a disciple of Socrates, 
either (i) although he is a fellow-countryman and a contemporary, he 
does not know the truth, or (2) he refuses to know it in the heat of his 
polemic against Polycrates, or (3) he plays inadmissibly with the 
word " pupil " or " disciple " (/loflTjT^y). For Plato's Symposium allows 
no contradiction, any more than the openings of the Protagoras (481 D) 
or the Gorgias (519 A). Xenophon, Memor., i. 2, 12, seq. (Below) 
" Xenophon quotes the ' accuser ' : " Memor., i. 2-9, seq. 

Page IIS (Bottom). Bentham, IVorks, x. p. 583. 

Page 1 16 (Top). Epictetus, i. 9, i (ed. H. Schenkl, p. 32, 9). 

Page 1 17 (Middle). Cf. Plato, Crito, 45 E, 'as «V^\flcs i^hvut, tinMuv. 
52 C, 'AAA' ■fpov i>s e<j>7i(r8a irpi rrjs <t>vyfis BivaTov, and above "Ey ofrrp rp Ukji 
Htiv a-oi tl>vyfis Ti/iiia-aa-Sat. Xenoph., Memor., iv. 4. 4, 'AAAtb ^aS/ms %ii 
tt^eflcU vjri Ttav 8iKa(rTwy et Koi fierplas Tt to^twv iiroi'fiae. (Bottom) ** Re- 
pentance of the Athenians : " cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 43 ; and Diodor., xiv. 
37, ad^n. 

Page 118. ./Eschines, In Timarckum, § 173. 

Book IV.— Chapter VI. 

Page 1 19. " Personal beauty : '' Diog. Laert., ii. 6. 48. Except 
this section, Xenophon's writings are also the only authority for his 


life, besides incidental statements of ancient) writers. (Below) 
" Dilettante, in Goethe's sense of the word." " That is exactly the 
nature of dilettanti, that they do not know the difficulties that inhere 
in a subject, and that they always want to undertake something for 
which they have no powers " (Goethe's Gesprdche, ed. Biedermann, 
vi. 35). (Below) " On hunting : " L. Radermacher (Rhein. Mus., 
li. and lii.) has certainly proved that its language shows many 
divergences from that of Xenophon's other writings. Yet the 
possibility of explaining] these discrepancies by long distance in time 
does not seem to the present writer to be quite excluded. The spirit 
of the little work certainly shows complete correspondence with the 
cognate writings of Xenophon. 

Chronology of Xenophon. Since at his first public appearance 
after the arrest of the generals he speaks of his youth, which makes 
him appear scarcely qualified to take a command (/Lnab., iii. i, 25), 
probably he had not then (401) yet reached the age of thirty. So he 
was born, in any case, not before 430, probably not till the beginning of 
the " twenties " of the fifth century. His death cannot have happened 
before the end of the " fifties " of the fourth century. There are two 
reasons : (i) Xenophon ends the Hellenica with the battle of Mantineia. 
and in the Agesilaus he presupposes the death of that king. That 
would not require him to live long after 360. But the statement in 
the Hellenica (vi. 4, 37), according to Sauppe's just remark (" Ein 
Capitel aus Xenophon^ s 'EWrirmd," Nachr. der Gotting. Ges. der Wiss., 
1882, No. 10), points at least to 357. (2) Kaibel {Hermes, xxv. 597), 
though in my view he does not prove that the " Peace-Speech " of 
Isocrates is used in the jrepl ■K&fiav, does prove the identity of the 
political situation presupposed in both works. But, since this speech 
of Isocrates falls in the middle of the "fifties" (Blass, Attische 
Beredsamkeit, ii. 299, 2nd ed.), this indication also leads to the same 
period as the expression in the Hellenica. The work of E. Schwartz, 
FUnf Vortrdge Uber den Griechischen Roman, did not reach me until 
this chapter was finished. His treatment of Xenophon corresponds 
in many points with mine. We should be glad to know what is the 
foundation for his view that Antisthenes died at a time when Xeno- 
phon's romance on Cyrus could not yet have been composed. In 
modern literature may be mentioned the character of Xenophon in 
Gutschmid, Kleine Schriften, iv. 328, also the few pages relating to 
Xenophon in Mahaffy, Problems of Greek History, pp. 106, seq., 118, 

Page 120 (Middle). On this younger Aspasia, cf. Plut., Artaxerx., 
xxvi. 4 {VitcB, 1221, IS, seq., ed. Dohner). 

Page 121 (Top). Xenophon's inquiry at the Delphian oracle, 
Anab., iii. i. 4-1 1. 

Page 122. The inaccurate statement, which often recurs in 
modern times, that Xenophon lead the retreat of the Ten Thousand, 


appears in antiquity, probably for the first time in Pausanias, ix. ij. 3. 
(Bottom) "Number of petty anecdotes :" cf. iii. 4. 46, seq,, and iv. 

Page 123 (Middle). " Themistogenes of Syracuse : " the statement 
in Xenophon's Hellenica, iii. i. (Below) The investigation of the 
agreements and differences in the narratives of Xenophon and 
Diodorus would lead us too far. Diirrbach's attempt to explain these 
agreements by the use of a common source {JJApologie de XSnophon 
dans I'Anabase, R'ev. des Etudes Grecques, vi. 343, je?.),^very suspicious 
in itself, is completely overthrown by the way in which Diodprus 
(xiv. 29. 3) makes use of the passage Anab., iv. 7. 21, so important as 
a piece of effective writing. Also compare Diod., xiv. 30. 2 with 
Anab., iv. 8. 21. 

Page 124 (Bottom). On Scillus, cf. Anab., v. 3. 

Page 125. Grylus : cf. Aristotle in Diog. Laert., ii. 6. 55, and 
Quintil., Inst., ii. 17. 14. See the author's essay. Die Herculanischen 
Rollen, Zeitschr. fiir osterr. Gymn., 1866, p. 701, seq. Cf. also Jakob 
Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, pp. 62 and 157. 

Page 126 (Middle). Cf. Cyropadia, iii. 1-22, and CEconomicus, xii. 
12 ; similarly xx. 2, 21. With respect to women, cf. on one side the 
whole CEconomicus, and on the other the already quoted expressions 
on female courage in the Symposium. 

Page 127 (Top). The relation of the two Symposia has greatly 
occupied scholars. It can now be taken as proved that Xenophon's 
work followed its Platonic namesake. Cf Ivo Bruns, Attische Liebes- 
theorien, etc., in Neue Jahrbilcherf. d. Class. Alterthum, 1900, I Abt. 
p. 17, seq. (Bottom) Striking passages of the Hellenica: iv. 1.29; 
iv. I. 3, seq. ; v. 4. 25, seq. ; vi. 4. 36, seq. ; vii. 2. 9. 

Page 128 (Middle). Speeches of Theramenes and Critias : Hellen., 
ii. 3 ; of Procles : v. 3. 13. 

Page 129, § 3. Plutarch, in his Life of Agesilaus, especially in 
ch. v., in init. 

Page 132 (Top). Spartan features in the Cyropadia : e.g. syssitia, 
ii. I. 25 ; military drill, ii. 3. 21. (Below) Discipline, Cyropadia, 
viii. I. 2 ; official hierarchy, viii. I. 15; responsibility, v. 3. 50; 
division of labour, ii. i. 21 and viii. 2. 5. 

Page 133. " Humour of a blunt guard-room type : " i. 3. 10 ; 
ii. 2 ; vii. 5. 40 ; sport, i. 6. 39 ; art of horsemanship, iv. 3. 15, seq. 

Page 136 (Top). Hipparch., ix. 8. For what follows, cf. ibid., 9, 
ad fin. Cf. also the characteristic passage, Cyropadia, i. 6. 44, seq. 
(Bottom) " One critic in particular : " August Krohn, in Sokrates und 

Page 137 (Bottom). " Conversation with Lamprocles :" JI/i?»«or.,ii. 7. 

Page 138. "Exhortation to patience:" Memor., ii. 3. (Below) 
Aristarchus, Memor., ii. 7 ; Eutherus, ii. 8. For what follows, cf. 
iii. 12. On behaviour at table, iii. 14. " But to give a complete 
account," etc. : iv. 6. i. 


Book IV. — Chapter VII. 

Antisthenes is treated by Diog. Laert., vi. i. The fragments are 
collected by A. W. Winckelmann, Antisthenis Fragmenta (Zurich, 
1842). The chronological questions are discussed thoroughly, but with 
little profit, by Chappuis, Antisthlne (Paris, 1854), p. 171, seq. 
Probably the only decisive fact is that Plato {Sophist, 1^,1 B) mocks 
him as a " belated learner," which must mean that he was no longer 
young when he associated with Socrates. It agrees with this that he 
had before that been a pupil of Gorgias ; and accordingly it does not 
sound incredible that he urged the youths whom he had instructed (in 
rhetoric, we must suppose) to join in his companionship with Socrates 
(Diog. Laert., vi. i. i, 2). So he would be consideraly older than 
Plato. Every attempt at more exact dating breaks down through the 
untrustworthy character of the anecdotes, and the ambiguity and 
uncertainty of the chronological data. Ferd. Dummler has done 
great service to the understanding of Antisthenes. Cf. his Antisthenica 
(Bonn, 1882), now in his Kleine Schriften, i. 10-78 ; De Antisthenis 
Logica, ibid., 1-9 ; Akademika (Giessen, 1889). This too early lost 
investigator (1859-1896) was learned, acute, wonderfully many-sided, 
and untiringly active. Destiny denied him his full maturity. His 
attempt to trace back not only the Cynic but the Heraclitean element 
in Stoicism to Antisthenes was attractive, but in my judgment 
untenable. Dummler did not observe that Antisthenes, who in his 
theory of knowledge stood so near to the Megarians or late Eleatics, 
could not be also a half-Heraclitean, without becoming a confused 
eclectic. But to put him down as that, without strict proof, on the 
ground of some combinations very plausible in themselves, would be 
the height of caprice, and, in fact, a grievous wrong to a defenceless 
thinker, whose works are lost, and whose doctrine we know almost 
exclusively through bitter polemical allusions in his opponents, Plato 
and Aristotle. 

Page 141 (Top). Cf. Xenoph., Memor., iii. 9, 10, seq. 

Page 143 (Top). " Blasphemous exclamations : " in Clement Alex., 
Strom., ii. 20, p. 485, ed. Potter. (Below) "Attacks upon Pericles 
and Alcibiades : " cf. Athenasus, v. 220, C-D and xiii. 589, E. 

Page 144. "On the Nature of Animals :" cf. Diog. Laert., vi. 
I. 15. Examples from animal life, e.g., Dion., Or., 40. 174, ii. 
(Reiske) = ii. 54. 24 (Arnim) and 68. 364, ii. (Reiske) = ii. 178. 18 
(Arnim), ad fin. (Below) " Idealization of uncivilized peoples : " 
cf. -Rohde, Griech. Roman, p. 214 (2nd ed.). Much instructive 
matter also in Diimmler, Prolegomena zum Platonischen Staat (JCleine 
Schrift., i. 150, seq^. The Homeric line, //., xiii. 5, 6. 

Page 145. I take this exposition from the sixth oration of Dion. 
Chr., tiayivi\t fi TTcpl rvpavviSos, especially p. 206, seq. (Reiske) = i, 
88. 14 (Arnim). The oration is certainly what it professes to be — a 


collection of Cynic thoughts and expressions. The polemic against 
Plato's Protagoras seems not ,to have been noticed before, but is 
unmistakable. Cf. especially Dion., loc. cit., p. 21, seq., with Protagoras^ 
321 A-C. (Bottom) Rousseau, Discours sur les Sciences eiles Arts, 
jnde paitie, note i. 

Page 147 (Bottom). Both these quotations from Tolstoi are 
brought together and discussed by Melchior de Vogii^, in his work 
Le Roman Pusse, pp. 310, 311. He refers" to the "verttge sdculaire 
Oriental," whose doctrines are revived " dans la frinhie qui fricipite 
une partie de la Russie vers cette abnegation intellectuelle et morale, 
parfois stupide de quiMsme, parfois sublime de d^vouement" (p. 313). 

Page 150, § 4. Cf. Diog. Laert., vi. 9. 105, and vi. i. 11. 

Page IS I (Top). Diog. Laert., vi. i. 3. (Middle) Prometheus and 
Heracles. Here we draw from Dion's eighth oration, AioyEvijs % mfl 
apsTrjs. (Bottom) " When Julian ascended the throne : " cf. Dion, Or. 
ad Alexandrines, 657 (Reiske) = i. 269. 1 1 (Arnim) : TSi' Se Kwucuv 
\eyofi4i>uv effTt inhy 4v ry 7r(i\ei TT\ij8os ovk d\lyov ; also Julian's sixth and 
seventh Epistles : Eis robs airaiSeirovs Kvvas, and Xlpbs 'HpdK\etoj> kvvm6v 
(i. 234-310, ed. Hertlein). The cowardice which the Cynics at 
Antioch are said to have displayed during the revolt (January, 387 A.D.), 
in contrast with the monks, is emphasized by John Chrysostom, xlix. 
p. 173, ed. Migne; cf. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, iii. p. 48, 2nd ed. 
(More exact dates in Rauscher, Jahrb. d. Christl. Kirche unter 
Theodosius, pp. 512-520.) 

Page 152. " Illusion ; " " freedom from illusion : " Tu<()os"and aru^ia. 
(Below) On Crates, cf. Diog. Laert, vi. 5. He was living when 
Ptolemy Philadelphus ascended the throne (285 B.C.); cf. Hense, 
Proleg. ad Telet. Pel., p. 27. The fragments of his poems are 
collected in Bergk, Poetce Lyr. Gr., ii. 364 (4th ed.), partly repeated 
in Curt Wachsmuth, Corpusculum Po'esis Epicce Gracce Ludibunda, 
ii. 192, seq. (2nd ed.). Fragments of his tragedies in Nauck, p. 809, 
seq. Add the supplements in Nauck's Tragicce Dictionis Index, 
p. xxvii., and the present writer's Nachlese zu den Bruchstiicken der 
Griech. Tragiker, p. 48, seq. On Bion, cf. note on pp. 243, 244. On 
Teles, cf. notes on § 6. (Below) On the behaviour of the Roman 
Cynics, and especially on Peregrinus, cf. Bernays, Lucian und die 
Kyniker mit einer Ubersefzung der Schrift Lucian's " Uber das 
Lebensende des Peregrinus^' (Berlin, 1879). 

Page 153. In spite of the allusion to passages of the Odyssey, I 
do not agree with Wachsmuth in counting the fragment among the 
alKKoi of Crates. So also his explanation of the last line, " Terra . . . 
qucz jacet in medio philosophorum fastu," seems to me much too 
narrow. He is speaking not " de dogmaticorum placitis," but of the 
common current view of Ufe. (Middle) Here I draw from the thirteenth 
joration of Dion, in estimating which I find myself entirely confirmed 
by Arnim, Leben und Werke des Dio -von Prusa (1898), p. 256, seq. 


Like him, I took Diimmler's view, that Dion here uses the Archelaus 
of Antisthenes, to be wrong. But it may be regarded as extremely 
likely that Dion has made spoil of an early Cynic, perhaps Anti- 
sthenic, work. Cf. Or., 13. 424 (Reiske) = i. 182. 20, seq. (Arnim). 
Page 154. " Heaped unmeasured condemnation." This is stated 

by AthenasUS, v. 220 D : 'O S^ iro\i™cbi ovtoS $11^^0701 avivToiv KaraSpoiiiiv 
ire(iie'x« ™y ' tLH\vi\<Tiv STjiiayayuy. He is Said also to have reviled his 
teacher Gorgias in his Archelaus, as Athenseus states in the same 
passage; he similarly inveighed against Isocrates (Diog. Laert., 
vi. I. 15). We agree with most investigators in regarding the 
declamations Aias and Odysseus {Orat. Att., ii. 167, seq^, attributed 
to Antisthenes, as spurious. (Bottom) Here also I draw from Dio's 
thirteenth oration. 

Page 155. Diogenes is treated (very fully) by Diog. Laert., vi. 2; 
a not very trustworthy monograph in Gottling's Gesammelte Abhand- 
lungen, i. 25 1, seq. ; a massive collection of apophthegms in MuUach's 
Fragm. Philosophy ii. 295, seq. " Compared his teacher to a trumpet : " 
cf. Dion, Or.,y\\\. 275 (Reiske) = i. 96. 3, seq. (Arnim). "Socrates 
gone mad." The saying is attributed to Plato by Diog. Laert., vi. 2. 54 
(where Cobet has bracketed the words without reason) ; and ^lian, 
Var. Hist, xiv. 33. 

Page 156. "Coining false money,'' The explanation here given 
comes from Diels' Aus dent Leben des Cynikers Diogenes, in the 
Festgabe in honour of Zeller, by the editors of the Arch.f. Gesch. der 
Philos. (Berlin, 1894), pp. 3-6. I now accept this result as quite 
certain. "Two ancient monographs." As authors of these mono- 
graphs, the names of Menippus and a certain unknown Eubulus are 
mentioned. (According to information kindly supplied by Professor 
Bywater, " Eubulides " and " Hermippus " have no manuscript 
authority.) We have really before us, apparently, an imaginary 
story by the Cynic poet Menippus, a AioyeVous irpaats, which may 
have been suggested by the real sale of Plato at Mgma., and in its 
own turn have given a model to Lucian's B&i' Tipiaeis. " According to 
Dion." The words of Dion are: 'Eir^l Se Inrfeavev i 'ApriaBhris . . ■ 
jtt6Te;8ij ets KdpivBov, Or., viii. 276 (Reiske) = i. 96. 17, seq. (Arnim). 
"Xeniades the Corinthian :" Diog. Laert., vi. 2. 30, seq. 

Page 157 (Top). " Health, strength, and cheerfulness : " cf. Julian, 
Or., vi. 195 A (= i. 252. 21, Hertlein), and Epictetus, Dissert, iii. 
22. 88, and iv. 11. 22 (= p. 277. 4 and 391. 22, Schenkl). (Middle) 
"Diogenes and;the Craneion :" cf. Pausanias, ii. 2. 4; Plutarch, De 
Exilio, vi.; Alexander, xiv. ; Alciphro, iii. 60; Dion, iv. 147; vi. 199; 
ix. 289 (Reiske) = i. 58. 4, i. 84. 4, i. 103. 17 (Arnim) ; Curtius, 
Peloponnes., ii. 529. (Bottom) On his death, cf. Diog. Laert., 
vi. 2. 76, seq. If the poet Cercidas was really a contemporary of 
Diogenes, as is almost universally believed (cf. Steph. Byz., s.v. 
UeyiKr) itihis, and Meineke, Analecta Alexandrina, p. 390), there can 


be no doubt of the suicide. The verses given in Diog. Laert., I.e., are 
treated by Bergk, Poetm Lyr. Gr., ii. 513, 4th ed. On the origin 
of the name there were already disputes in antiquity. Cf. Elias' 
(formerly called "David") Commentary on the Categories, in 
Commentaria in Aristof., xviii. pp. iii, 1 12 (Berlin, 1900). The 
obviously right view is found in H. Weber, De Dione Chrysostomo 
Cynicorum. Sectatore, p. 103, seq. The dog was the type of shameless- 
ness, and the Cynics flouted all custom and seemliness. But on 
their own side they pointed to all the excellent qualities of the dog 
— its fidelity, watchfulness, sharp discrimination, etc. The nickname 
seems to have been given already to Antisthenes. 

The picture of Diogenes has been greatly distorted by later 
exaggerations. The beggar's life, to which many apophthegms and later 
stories refer, he can only occasionally have led. His dwelling in the 
tub was only a momentary expedient, which he selected certainly not 
without the purpose of displaying his freedom from wants (Diog. 
Laert., vi. 2. 23). It is difficult to penetrate to the historical truth, 
because later times have obviously delighted to transfer the features 
of the later Cynicism to its earlier representatives, above all to 
Diogenes, who was exalted to a type. But we come near to 
original when we fix our eyes on the picture, which can be recognized 
in the exhortations of Teles less than a hundred years after his 
death. Thus we find in him (p. 31. 4, ed. Hense) the saying which 
Diogenes gave as his reason for not pursuing his escaped slave : " If 
Manes can live without Diogenes, why not Diogenes without Manes?" 
At the time when Teles wrote, therefore, Diogenes was believed to 
be the owner of a slave,, which is not compatible with beggary in the 
strict sense. And since it can be proved that Teles drew most of such 
matter from Bion, the picture gains a further attestation of antiquity. 

Page 158. Monimus, Onesicritus, Metrocles, Hipparchia, are 
treated in this order by Diog. Laert., vi. C 3, seq. Crates' poems 
have been mentioned already (p. 153). His supposed letters are 
very barren, sometimes filled with apophthegms elsewhere attributed 
to Diogenes and Antisthenes ; sometimes, like No. 24 (Hercher, 
Epistolographi Graci, p. 213), bad to the point of absurdity. On 
the other hand, the letters attributed to Diogenes {ibid., p. 235, seq^ 
can be treated as a not quite worthless authority (cf. Weber, op. cit., 
p. 93, note l). Comedy, as might be expected, has bitterly attacked 
the Cynics. Thus Menander makes Monimus carry not one, but 
three beggars' wallets ; in Philemon it is not enough for Crates to 
wear the same garment in summer and winter ; he wears a lighter 
robe in winter, and a heavier one in summer. Even Crates' wife, 
Hipparchia, is not spared (cf. Kock, Fragm. Com., ii. 523 ; iii. 35 ; 
iii. 72). The visit of Onesicritus to the so-called Gymnosophists of 
India is narrated in great detail by Strabo, xv. p. 716, probably 
following Onesicritus' work on Alexander. (Middle) " Book-dramas 


of Diogenes." The remains of these dramas, which have frequently 
been regarded as spurious (but in the present writer's opinion wrongly, 
as he tried to prove in Zeitschr. f. osterr. Gymn., 1878, p. 255), are in 
Nauck, Trag. Fragm., p. 807, seg. ; cf. his Tragicm Dictionis Index, 
p. xxvi., seq. (§ 6) The remains of Teles, preserved chiefly in 
Stobaeus, are collected, revised, and provided with an excellent 
introduction by Otto Hense, Teletis Reliquias edidit. Prolegomena 
scripsit 0. H. (Freiburg, 1889). 

Page 160 (Top). The CEdipus of Diogenes certainly treated the 
question of incest in the manner which we know from Dion, x., ad fin., 
the Atreus or Thyestes\xe^z.\sA the question of cannibalism, according 
to Diog. Laert, vi. 2. 73. The extreme of his contempt for moral 
custom is given in Dion, vi. 203, seq. (Reiske) = i. 86, 7 (Arnim). 
That he was also occupied with the thought that men should dispense 
with the use of fire, and return to the aifw^ayia of the beasts, is clear 
from Julian, Or., VI. i. 250. 20, seq. (Hertlein). To this the story was 
attached that the eating of raw flesh had brought him to his death. 
Plutarch, Aquane an Ignis, etc., ii. 6, and De Esu Camium, i. 6 
{Moralia, ed. Dubner, 1170. 40, and 1217. 49) ; cf. also Diog. Laert., vi. 
2, 34. (Below) "The 'Republic' of Diogenes." Its genuineness is 
discussed by the present writer, op. cit., 254. 

Page 161. "Observation, first made by Plutarch." Plutarch (or 
rather Eratosthenes in) De Alexandri Fortuna,y2.<j Pi. = Moralia, ip^jt 
404, Dubner. Similarly in Strabo, i. p. 66. Here, and for what follows, 
cf. the instructive essay of Eduard Schwartz, Hekataos von Teas, Rhein. 
Mus., xl. 233, seg. ; and the remarkable excerpts from Suidas, treated 
by Ulrich Kohler, Fragm. zur Diadochengeschichte {Berliner Sitzungs- 
berichte, Feb. 26, 1891). (Below) "A single flock under a single 
shepherd :" cf. Plutarch, I.e. The "bone-money" in Athenasus, iv. 159 C, 
and Philodemus, treated by the present writer, loc. cit. 
• Page 162 (Top). " Community of children." On this and what 
follows, cf. Diog. Laert., vi. 2. 72. (Below) " Free love : " Diog. Laert., 
I.e., Thv irelirapTa r'ff ireia-BfCtrri ffwetvai, compared withvii. 131, according 
to Zeno and Chrysippus, "nare rhy ivrvxivra ry ivTVXoiffri xp5°'9ai. 

(Below) " Relevant works of Antisthenes : " the titles in Diog. Laert., 
vi. 16, seq. 

Page 163. " Kindness and gentleness :" cf. Origen, Contra Celsum, 
iii. 50 (p. 142, Spencer) ; Aristides, ii. 400, seq. (Dindorf) ; Epict., 
Dissert., iii. 24. 64 (p. 297, i, Schenld). 

Page 164 (Middle). Antisthenes. His confession of monotheism, 
previously known only by the imitation by Cicero, De Nat. Deor., i. 10. 
26, can now be read in Philodemus, De Pietate, p. 72 of my edition : nap" 
'AvTiffflcyet 5* ev fikv tQ ^vffiK^ KeyeraL rh Kar^ v6ftov flvai iroKKois, Karh. 8e 
<\>iaiv ha. That the divinity cannot be known from any image is said 
by Antisthenes in Clem. Alex., Protrept., vii. 71 (61, Potter), repeated 
in Strom., v. 108 (714, Potter). Cf. Jakob Bernays, Lucian und die 


Kyniker, p. 31, seg. The jest of Diogenes in Diog. Laert., vi. 2. 37 
and 72. Other versions in Bernays, op. cit, p. 95. In the apophthegm 
in Joan. Damasc. (appendix to Stob., Floril., iv. 199. 76, ed. Meineke), 
Antisthenes puts himself on the level of the popular religion. 

Page 165. "Antisthenes is said." The sayings of Antisthenes 
and Diogenes in Clem. Alex., Protrejit., p. 64 (Potter), Diog. Laert., vi. 
4; Plutarch, DeAud. Poet, iv. {Moralia, Dubner, 26. 4), watered down 
in Diog. Laert., vi. 2. 39. (Bottom) Abundant extracts from the VaiiTav 
idpa of CEnomaus in Eusebius, Prccp. Ev., v. 19, seq., and vi. 7. On 
his Yivvbs avTo^avia, cf. Crusius Rhein. Mus., xliv. 309, seq. Of his 
tragedies, now completely vanished, Julian speaks with horror in Or., 
vii. 210 B (= i. 273. 6, Hertlein) ; while he quotes with approval a 
saying of his on the antiquity of Cynicism and its independence of the 
teaching of the founders of schools (vi. 187 C = i. 242. 22, Hertlein). 
The personal friendship of CEnomaus with the Rabbi Meir is a unique 
incident in the history of civilization ; cf. Comptes rendus of the 
Academic des Inscriptions, 1883, p. 258. 

Page 166. "The physicians also." The retort belongs to Anti- 
sthenes (Diog. Laert., vi. 6 ; cf. Bernays, op. cit,, p. 92). 

Book IV.— Chapter VIII. 

Page 171. " Grey-bearded beginners," "poverty-stricken intellects:" 
cf. Plato, Sophist, 251 B, C ; Aristotle, Metaph., A. 1024 B, 32 ; H. 3. 
1043 B, 24. (Bottom) " The first impulse." We were thinking of Gustav 
Hartenstein's paper, Uber die Bedeutung der megarischen Sckule fur 
die Geschichte der metaphysischen Probleme (1847), now included in 
Historisch-Philos. Abhandlungen, 127. seq. 

Page 173, § 2. On Euclides and his disciples, cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 
10, especially § io5. Cf. Ferd. Deycks, De Megaricorum Doctrina 
(Bonn, 1827). 

Page 175 (Top). This judgment on Abelard belongs to Windel- 
band. Hist, of Philos., trans. Tufts (Macmillan, 1893), p. 308, note 2. 

Page 177 (Top). "An eminent historian of philosophy : " Windel- 
band, op. cit., p. 299, note 2. (Middle) The quotation from Zeller, 
Gesch. d. Deutschen Philos., p. 840, seq. " Contaminating judgments :" 
cf. H. Gomperz, Zur Psychologie der logischen Grundthatsachen 
(1897), chap. 3, especially p. 54, seq. 

Page 181 (Bottom). Cf. Diog. Laert., vi. 2, 53 ; Simplicius, In 
Aristotelis Categorias, f. 66 B (67 A, Brandis) ; Ammonius, In Porphyrii 
Isagogen, 22 B ; Theopomp., Fragm., 335, Fragin. Histor. Grac, i. 
331, where C. Miiller's doubts may be regarded as unfounded. 

Page 182 (Middle). " An allusion in Plato ... :" Sophist, l.c. 

Page 183 (Top). "All propositions but those of the identifying 
type : " Aristotle, Met., A. 29, 1024 B, 32 ; and Plato, Sophist, Ic. 
(Middle) " Definitions : " cf. Diogenes, vi. i, 3. For what follows, cf. 


Aristotle, Met., H. 3, 1043 B, 24, compared with Plato, Theatetus 
201 E, seq. 

• Whether the solution proposed by us, p. 183, seq., is the right one, 
may be contested. But there is absolutely no justice in the accusation 
which is often made, that by admitting no propositions but identical 
ones Antisthenes made an end of all science. It would be necessary 
to go further, and maintain that he had given up his right to speak of 
the warmth of the sunshine or the coldness of ice. In reality, all that 
he can have declared inadmissible — for reasons which we have 
explained repeatedly in the text — must have been the use of the verb 
"to be" in such utterances. If this was the case, he must, like 
Lycophron (cf. Vol. II. p. 179, and Vol. I. p. 493), have employed other 
linguistic forms for this purpose. If he did adopt the course we have 
conjectured, he was a predecessor of Thomas Brown (cf. Mill, Logic, 
bk. ii. ch. 3, § 6). 

Page 185 (Top). "Maintained that all contradiction is im- 
possible:" Aristotle, Met, l.c. (for his imufhs xdyos, 1043 b, 26 ; cf. also 
N. 3, 1091a, 7 with Schwegler's comments) ; also Topics, A. 11, 104 B, 
20. Add Plato, Euthydemtls, 285 D, seq, ; Cratylus, 429 D, seq. Cf. also 
the gibe of Isocrates at the beginning of the Helena. The work of 
Antisthenes against Plato was named 'S.iiav ^ irepl toS hnixiynv, Diog. 
Laert., vii, 16. (Middle) " Investigation of names : " Epictet., Dissert., 

i. 17, 12(17, II) Schenkl), 'Apx4 iraiScifcreius t\ tUv ovoiidrav MoKe^is. 

Page 188 (second par.). Timon's satiric verse, Fragm., 41, Poesis 

Z»(&'i}««^a,ed.Wachsmuth,ii. I52(ed.2): 048*l()iSi{i/TeiB | EuKXeJSea.Meya- 
peSo-iy %s if&aKi \iaffav epur/wS, should not lead US astray. The anecdote 
related by Plutarch (Mor., 560, 46, and 593, 14, Diibner), De Cohibenda 
Ira, 14, and De Fraterno Amore, 18, shows that he was considered a 
model of gentleness. His brother, in a violent rage, ejaculates, " I 
shall perish unless I have my revenge on you." To which he answers, 
"And I, unless I conciliate you." For what follows, see Diog. 
Laert., ii. 10. 107. In that passage the titles of six dialogues by 
Euclides are mentioned. Unfortunately, no part of any of them has 
been preserved. Panaetius doubted their genuineness, together with 
that of Phaedo's dialogues, while he rejected absolutely the remainder 
of the Socratic dialogue literature, apart from Plato, Xenophon, 
Antisthenes, and jEschines (Diog. Laert., ii. 64). As a critical historian 
of literature, this eclectic Stoic seems to us not to possess the slightest 
authority. Because he thought highly of Plato, but did not share his 
belief in immortality, he rejected the Phmdo ! Similarly, he attributed 
the writings of Ariston the Stoic to Ariston the Peripatetic, doubtless 
on no other ground than that he disliked the Stoic's Cynicism. Clearly, 
also, it was a perfectly arbitrary proceeding on his part to refer 
Aristophanes' mockery of Socrates {Frogs, 1493, seq^, not to the 
philosopher, but to an otherwise entirely unknown poet of the same 
name. At this stage we can only express our convictions ; we shall 


enter more fully into Pansetius's rejections in our notes on pp. 211 
and 282. 

Page 189 (Middle). On Eubulides, cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 108, seq. 
On his ill-mannered polemic against Aristotle, cf. chiefly Eusebius, 
PrcBp. E-vang., xv. 2, 5 ; Athen»us, viii. 354 C. The latter writer also 
quotes (x. 437 D) two spiteful lines from a comedy of his (cf. ii. 431, 
Kock). (Bottom) On the " Heap," see chiefly Diog. Laert., vii. 82 ; 
Cicero, Acad. Priora, ii. 29 ; Sextus Pyrrh., ii. 253 ; and Adv. Mathem, 
vii. 416 (117, 19 and 281, 17, Bekker). 

Page 192 (Middle). On the " Liar," cf. firstly Cicero, Lc, § 95 ; 
Gellius, Nodes Attica, xviii. 2. 10. (Below) The quotation from 
Aristotle, Soph. El., xxv. 180 B, 2. 

Page 193 (Middle). Chrysippus : according to Diog. Laert., vii. 
197. Theophrastus : according to Diog. Laert., v. 49, Jin. (Bottom) 
" Electra," or " The Man in Disguise : " cf. Lucian, Vitarum Audio, 
22 (562) ; Diog. Laert., vii. 198 ; Aristotle, Sopk. EL, xxiv. 179 A, 33. 

Page 194 (Middle). Epicurus: cf. the author's pamphlet, Neue 
Bruchstiicke Epikurs (Vienna, 1876), p. 7 : Aib koI ^cfSias aTravres Karaye- 
Kaffiv Srap Tis ii]U)Xoyi\iiavr6s rtvos lirjS' hSix^ffBai toutA imaraffBal re no! ^i) 
iirlifTaffBai irpoipepri rhv (T\ryKiKaKvii,p,4vov. The author of the catch IS 
presently censured as a sophist. (Next par.) Cf. Diog. Laert., vii. 187 
and ii. 135 ; also vi. 38 ; Gellius, Noct. Att., xvi. 2. 4, seq. (very judicious). 
Mentioned also by Aristotle, op. cit., xxii. 178 A, 29. 

Page 19s, § 8. Alexinus : von Arnim has shown some ingenuity in 
recognizing and restoring a fragment of this philosopher's work, Xlep! 
'A7M7?s : Hermes, xxvii. 65, seq. I cannot set as high a value as Arnim 
does {ibid., p. 70) on the anecdote in Diog. Laert., ii. 109. By the 
terminus ante quern, 282/1, of that work, his date is fixed more 
definitely than it has been before. (Below) Stilpo : cf. Diog. Laert., 
ii. c. II. 

Page 196 (Top). "A thorough man of the world:" this is the 
correct interpretation of the voKmntinaTos of Diog. Laert., loc. cit., 
§ 114; cf. V. Wilamowitz's Antigonos von Karystos, p. 142, in spite 
of Susemihl's objection (Alexandrin. Lit. Gesch., i. 17). On Stilpo 
as an ethical philosopher, cf. particularly Seneca, Epist, ix. i and 18 ; 
also Teles, 45, 10 Hense. (Middle) The solitary fragment has been 
treated by the author, Rhein. Mus., 32. 477, seq. : -SaiKiravt (read IfriKimni) 
MijTpoKAe? [this dialogue is known to Diog. Laert., ii. 120] yePplfieL 
Tif 'Srl\iravi MriTpoKKijs. The quotation by Teles (p. 14, Hense) cannot 
be completely disentangled from the quoter's additions. Cf. von 
Wilamowitz {op. cit., p. 360), who has admirably restored the opening 
words. Cancelling two interpolations of the critics, I read : Ti Xeyeis, 
^riffl, KoCi tIvuv 7) <t>vyti, iroiav ir/aBwv <mpi<TKei, tuv vepl 'livx^v ^ Twy irfpl rh 
irafia it tSiv Ikt<(s ; (Bottom) Gibes of Crates at Stilpo : Diog. Laert., ii. 
118. In the same passage a gibe of Stilpo at Crates. It seems to me 
a comparatively harmless exchange of banter. 


Page 197 (Top). " Denying the possibility of predication : " I see no 
reason to interpret Diog. Laert., ii. 119, Ayi/pei koItJi eifS)?, as referring 
solely to a polemic against Plato's doctrine of ideas. The context is 
against this view ; and it is altogether preferable to understand a 
denial of substantial existence to class-concepts in general. Cf. what 
is reported of the Eretrian school, and therefore pre-eminently of 
Stilpo's pupil Menedemus : 'Ainfpovi/ rhs iroiirnTas Sis oida/iSs 4xoi(ras ti 
Koivhv oiaiaies, h Se rots KaB' '^Kourra Koi avvBerois virapxoi<ras (Simplicius, 
In Aristotelis Categorias, 68 A 24, Brandis). (Bottom) Abelard : cf. 
the quotation in L. Stein, Psychologie der Stoa, ii. 64. The following 
is also quoted there : " Nee rem ullam de pluribus dici, sed nomen 
tantum concedimus." 

Page 198 (Top). Cf. Plutarch, Against Colotes, 22 {Mor., 1369, 
Dubner). (Middle) "A well-informed writer:" Aristocles in Euseb., 
PrcBp. Evang., xiv. 17. i. (§ 9) We have little information on the 
facts of Diodorus' life ; cf. p. 201, § 10. He is treated of more fully 
by Brandis, Griechisch-romische Philosophie, ii. 1. 124, seq., and Ritter, 
Geschichte der Philosophie, ii. 137, seq. There are also some very 
judicious remarks in Tennemann, ii. 146, seq. Thus he says of the 
corpuscular theory attributed to Diodorus (Euseb., Prcep. Evang., xiv. 
23,4; Sextas, Adv. Ma/kem., x. 85(= 493, ii,Bekker); Stoh., EcUgiz,i. 
310 and 350 (= i. 128, 10 and 143, 20, Wachsmuth) ; Simplic, In Phys., 
920, 20, Diels) : " It appears, therefore, more probable that he assumed 
the atoms of Leucippus merely as an hypothesis for the sake of the 
latter [the arguments against motion]" {op. cit., 151). The chief 
passages relating to those arguments are Sextus, loc. cit., and x. 112. 
seq. (499, 5, seq., Bekker). Our view (pp. 199, 200) agrees fairly closely 
with that of Prantl {Gesch. der Logik, i. 55, seq.). 

Page 200 (Middle). The argument against possibility was known 
as i Kvpieiav Kdyos. This phrase is not, in our opinion, to be inter- 
preted as " the victorious (or invincible) argument," but refers, like 
all analogous designations (<5 apyhs \4yos, 6 ai^av6fievos, 6 tf/evS6ii€vos, etc.), 
to the substance of it. This was perceived long ago by Gassendi 
{Opera, Lyon, 1658, i. p. 52, A), who, however, found no following. 
The best translation is possibly " The theorem of omnipotence " 
(Cicero, Ad Familiares, ix. 4). His fullest discussion of the question 
in De Fato, ch. 6, seq. Cf. Epictetus, ii. 19, seq. (169, 70, Schenkl) ; 
Plutarch, De Stoicorum Repugn., 46 {Mor., 1291, 30, Dubner) ; Alex- 
ander, In Aristot. Analyt. Prior., 183, 4 (Wallies). More in'Gercke, 
Chrysippea, p. 725, seq. (Leipzig, 1885). 

Page 204 (Top). Hermann Bonitz, in his commentary on Aris- 
totle's Metaphysics, 0. 6, 1048 b (p. 395, note i), " Mira levitate, ut 
dicam quod sentio, Aristoteles his notionibus defungitur," etc. With 
this Grote agrees {Plato, iii. 495, note) : " I will not use so uncourteous 
a phrase ; but I think his refutation of the Megarics is both unsatis- 
factory and contradicted by himself." The contradiction is between 



Metaphysics, 0. 3, particularly 1047 a, 25, and 0. 5, 1048 a, 1-24. 
Zeller's judgment on the controversy (ii. i, 257, ed. 4) is one with which 
I cannot agree. On what follows, cf. Clemens, Strom., iv. 19, 619 
(Potter). The name only borne by men is Theognis ; and Menexene 
is at least a feminine formed contrary to analogy from Menexenus. 
On Diodorus' use of particles as names, 'AAAo/tV for a slave, MeV and 
Ae for his own sons, see Ammon., In Aristot. de Interpret, p. 38, 17 
(Busse) ; and Stephanus in his commentary on the same work, p. 9, 21 
(Hayduck). For his doctrine that ambiguities do not exist, cf. Aulus 
Gellius, xi. 12. All this is closely bound up with his championship of 
the theory of convention, as Stephanus {loc. cit.) expressly testifies and 
Ammonius indicates sufficiently clearly. Sextus (Pyrrhon., ii. 245 = p. 
lis, I3> Bekker) tells a good story. The great Alexandrian physician 
Herophilus is summoned to attend Diodorus, who has dislocated his 
shoulder, and proves to him, by the Zenonian argument against the 
possibility of motion, which Diodorus had revived, that the latter 
could not have sustained the injury in question. (§ 10) On the origin 
of Diodorus, his pupils, and his fame, cf Diog. Laert., ii. m. (Below) 
Zeno : according to Diog. Laert., vii. 25. 

Page 205 (Top). Clinomachus : cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 112. Phsedo : 
Diog. Laert. treats of him, ii. ch. 9. The few fragments of him are 
discussed by Preller, Ausgewahlte Aufsdtze, p. 370, recently by von 
Wilamowitz, Hermes, xiv. 189, seq. There, too, are expressed what 
seem the right conclusions as to his intermediate position between 
Antisthenes and Aristippus. We shall meet with his personality again 
in the dialogue of Plato named after him. (Bottom) Menedemus : 
Diog. Laert. devotes to him the seventeenth chapter of the second 
book. An analysis of the sources is given by v. Wilamowitz, Anti- 
gonos von Karystos, 86, seg. The circle of Menedemus, ibid., 140, 2. 

Page 206 (Bottom). The fragments of Lycophron in Nauck, ed. 
2, p. 817. It is a Satyric drama dealing with literary history. 

Page 207 (Top). " The first of these qualities : " cf. Plutarch, De 
Adulatore et Amico, 11 {Mor., 66, 46, Diibner). On his doctrine of 
virtue — unity of virtue — cf the same author in De Virtute Mor alt, 2 
{Mor., 535, I, D). Witty sayings of Menedemus in Plutarch, De Pro- 
fectibus in Virtute, 10 {Mor., 97, 37, D), and De Vitioso Pudore, 18 
(648, 42, D). In the same author, De Stoicorum Repugn.,x. 11 (1268, 
18, D), Chrysippus speaks of the former fame of Stilpo and Mene- 
demus, a fame which in his time was already dimmed. 

Page 208 (Middle). " Denied the substantial existence . . . : " see 
our note to p. 197 (top). 


Book IV.— Chapter IX. 

Page 209, seq. The description of the locality is founded mainly 
on Heinrich Barth, Wanderungen durck die Kitstenlander des Mittel- 
meeres, i. ch. 8 ; Elisde Reclus, Nouvelle gdographie universelle, xi. 
p. 8, seq.\ Beechey, Proceedings of the Expedition, to explore the 
North Coast of Africa, p. 434, seq. (Bottom) Pindar's phrase, Pyth., 
iv. 7. The quotation from Barth : op. cit., p. 425. 

Page 211, § 2. Aristippus is treated of by Diog. Laert., ii. ch. 8. 
Cf H. von Stein, De Philosophia Cyrenaica (pars prima), Gottingen, 
1885. " A disciple of Socrates : " i.e. Ischomachus. Cf. Plutarch, De 
Curiositate, ch. 2 (Mor., 624, 38, seq., Diibner). On his intercourse 
with Socrates, cf Xen., Mem., ii. i, and iii. 8. Xenophon ascribes to 
him a remarkably independent attitude. " GaVe instruction for pay : ' ' 
an ancient witness to this is Phanias of Eresus, a fellow-student of 
Theophrastus, reported in Diog. Laert., ii. ch. 8, § 65. Called a sophist 
by Aristotle, Met., B. 2, 996 a, 32. " His stay at the Syracusan court : " 
whether this was in the reign of the older or the younger Dionysius 
cannot be determined with certainty. Grote is certainly right {Plato, 
iii. 549, seq^ in regarding the anecdotes referring to the simultaneous 
residence of Plato and Aristotle as " illustrative fiction." He thinks 
the visit was more probably paid to Dionysius I. " Aristotle's know- 
ledge of Aristippus' doctrines : " Met., M. 4, 1078 a, 32, compared with 
the above-mentioned passage. Theopompus, quoted in Athenaeus, 
ix. 508, C. The Siarpi/Sal mentioned there also appear in the list of his 
writings given by Diog. La,ert., ii. 84 : ivMi 5e /toi SioTpi/BSi' a\niv ifiaa-tv 
H yeypaipdi/ai, ot S' oiS' 'i\as ypd^fiat' S,v etTTi Kal iaaiKpdT-i)S S 'PSSios. This is 

the same writer who agreed with Panaetius in assigning the writings 
of Ariston the Stoic to Ariston the Peripatetic, in spite of the evidence 
of titles and subjects (Diog. Laert., vii. 163). Immediately afterwards 
Diogenes makes Panastius himself — in glaring contradiction with his 
wholesale rejection in ii. 64 (cf. above, p. 291) — admit the genuineness 
of twelve named writings, thus indirectly repudiating as spurious 
several others mentioned before. We possess a small fragment in 
Demetrius, De Eloattione, § 296 : 01 8^ i,vBf<moi xp^M"""" A'«>' a-voMiiiovai 

TOiS ■Kaiiriv, iTruTT^fvnv Se oi ffvva-iro\ehou(rii> t^v xpI'ToMeViiv Toiaiv i.iro\€i- 

(pe^^fft. Cf. Demetrii Phalerei qui dicitur libellus. . . . L. Radermacher 
(Leipzig, 1901), p. 60, 27, and p. 121. 

Page 212 (Top). 'Aptartwos fi KaWlas is mentioned among Stilpo's 
dialogues by Diog. Laert., ii. 120 ; and Speusippus' 'Apiarnriros in iv. 5. 
" The man who makes himself master . . . :" this saying is recorded 
by Stobseus, Flor., xvii. 18 (= iii. 493, iS Hense). " I possess . . . : • 
Ix", ovK exo/ioi,in Diog. Laert., ii. 75, and in other authors : Horace, 
Epist., i. 17, 24, and i. i, 18, 9. "Almost unwilling praise of Aristotle :' 
Rhet., B. 23, 1398 b, 29. "Strain of sunny cheerfulness :" cf. JEWsxi, 


Var. Hist., 14, 6 (ii. 160, 23, seq., Hercher). On the bust probably 
representing Aristippus, cf. Franz Winter, p. 436, seq., in the 
"Festschrift" dedicated to me. 

Page 213 (Top). Cicero: "Magnis illi et divinis bonis hanc 
licentiam assequebantur " {De Offlciis, i. 41, 148). Highly noteworthy is 
the praise of Maximus Tyrius, Diss., vii. ch. 9, p. 125. Against the 
malicious anecdotes which Athenaeus derived mainly from Hegesandrus 
(xii. 544, ch. 63) may be set others, such as those in Plutarch, De 
Cohibenda Ira, 14 {Mor., 561, 2 D). Aristippus, who is disputing 
with ^schines, here derives as much lustre from his calm equability 
as from the unwilling acknowledgment of his superiority by his fellow- 
pupil and opponent. Montesquieu, quoted by Karl Hillebrand, 
Zeiten, Volker und Menscken, v. 14. (Middle) Plato, Theatetus, 
156 A (Ko/jif/(!T€poi), and Philebus, 53 C (koa»I"'0- (Bottom) "The field 
of scientific interest ... :" cf. Sextus, Adv. Math., vii. 11 (192, 24, 
seq., Bekker). There is quite a Socratic ring in the words quoted by 
Eusebius, Prap. Evang., i. 8, 9, on the authority of Plutarch. The 
reproach against mathematics in Aristotle, Met., B. 2, 996 a, 32. 

Page 214 (Middle). "But for the purpose of establishing its true 
nature . . . : " the chief theses in his deduction of Ethics are given by 
Diog. Laert., ii. 85, seq. 

Page 215 (Bottom). The "gentle motion" finding its way into 
consciousness (Diog. Laert., ii. 85) is more accurately defined and 
illustrated by Aristocles, quoted in Eusebius, Prcep. Evang., xiv. 18, 32. 

Page 216 (Middle). "One pleasure does not differ . . . :" lo] 
Sia<t)cpeiv Tc T/Soviiv ^Sovrjs, Diog. Laert, ii. 87. (Bottom) " Sum of 
pleasurable sensations : " quoted by Diogenes, toe. cit. The modern 
Utilitarian is J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism (1863), p. 53. 

Page 317 (Top). " ' Wisdom ' was declared to be," to end of par. : 
cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 91 and o^dfin. (Bottom) The saying of Antisthenes 
quoted in Athenaeus, xii. p. 513 A. 

Page 218 (Bottom). Eudoxus is designated a Hedonist by 
Aristotle, Eth. Nic, A. 12, iioi b, 27, and K. 2, 1172 b, 9, with the 
laudatory addition, 15, seq. : tTna-niovro 5' ol A.0'70' SiA t^v roS ^floiis operV 
jUaAA.01/ fl ^i avTois' Siatpep6vTws yap i56K€L trditppuv etyai. 

Page 220 (Top). "Aristippus himself is reported . . . :" cf. Diog. 
Laert., ii. 68. (Bottom) "They appealed ... :" as reported by Diog, 
Laert., ii. 90. 

Page 221 (Top). Hegesias : on him and his surname, see Diog. 
Laert., ii. 86. On his book and its effects, see Cicero, Tuscul., i. 34, 
83, 4, and Plutarch, De Amore Prolis, ch. 5 {Mor., 602, 24, D). " Held 
happiness to be unattainable . . . :" Diog. Laert., ii. 94, 5. (Bottom) 
On Anniceris and his teaching, cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 96, 7, and Clemens, 
Strom., ii. ch. 21, 498 (Potter). 

Page 223 (Top). "Still, they held it for an established truth . . . :» 
cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 93. (Middle) "Again, the English divine . . . : » 


cf- Paley, Moral Philosophy (Edinb. 1852), p. 59, seq. : " Therefore, 
private happiness is our motive, and the will of God our rule." The 
only difference which Paley acknowledges between prudence and 
duty is the following : " that in the one case we consider what we 
shall gain or lose in the present world : in the other case we consider 
also what we shall gain or lose in the world to come." 

Page 224 (Middle). " The second mode of connexion . . . : " cf. 
particularly Guyau, La Morale d'' Epicure, which is also my source for 
the quotations from d'Alembert and Holbach (p. 270, seq^. 

Page226(Middle). "That supposed fundamental phenomenon . . . ." 
This will be an appropriate place for at least one quotation from 
Bentham (Works, ed. Bowring, i. i) : " Nature has placed mankind 
under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. . . 
In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire, but in reality he 
will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility 
recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that 
system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands 
of reason and of law." 

Page 228 (Middle). The reference is to David Hartley's Observa- 
tions on Man (1749), and James Mill's Analysis of the Phenomena of 
the Human Mind (first published, 1829 ; edited in 1869 by J. S. Mill, 
in greatly expanded form, with notes by Bain, Findlater, and Grote). 

Page 230 (Top). " Our modes of being affected . . . : " the 
sentence runs: Miva. rk iroff?) KoTo\?)irTct (fhai). Thus Aristocles in 
Euseb., Prczp. Evang., xiv. 19, init, agreeing almost verbally with Sext. 
Emp., Adv. Math., vii. 190, seq. (232, 19, Bekker). Similarly, 
Plutarch, Against Colotes, 24, 2 (Mor., 1370, 21, D), and Cicero, 
Acad. Prior., ii. 46. 142 : " Aliud . . . Cyrenaicorum, qui praster 
permotiones intimas nihil putant esse judicii ; " cf. Diog. Laert., ii. 92. 

Page 231 (Top). Plato : cf. vol. i. pp. 456, seq., and 589. The 
assumption that in Thecetetus, 152 D, Plato is expounding and 
criticizing the theory of Aristippus is now shared by Zeller (ed. 5, i. 
1098, seq>i, though he strongly contested it in ed. 4, ii. i. 350, note 2. 
It now meets with only isolated opposition, such as that of Tiirk, 
Satura Viadrina (1896), p. 89, seq. The objections which we have to 
urge against this highly estimable treatise have already been embodied 
in the text. (Bottom) The words expressing dogmatic certainty in 
these accounts are : dhrierj, rijv hipynav Ix"' aireplairaaTov, aSimpevcTa, 
&\liiV(TTa, &iTKave!s, rh aya/idpTriTov, ave^e\eyKTas. 

Page 232 (Middle). The illusions here referred to are partly 
mentioned by Sextus, loc. cit., and partly by Aristotle, Met, r. 6, loii 
a, 33, and in many other passages ; cf. Index Aristotelicus, p. 165 A, 
31, seq. 

, , Page 234 (Top). "The sensation itself remains undeniable. ... :" 
cf. Sextus, loc. cit., 196 (233, 26, B) : 'ixamas y&p toO ISCov vdeovs 
avTiKauPdvirai with Plato, ThecetetUS, 160 C : aAijflJjj i.fa e/iol 71 l/ij| 


alaBriffis, (Middle) The quotation from James Mill, Analysis, ed. i, 
i. 71. The passage in Plato's Theatetus, 157 B, C. 

Page 23s (Top). " Modes of being affected . . . : " Sextus, loc. cit., 
194 (233, 15, Bekker). « An English psychologist : " J. S. Mill, ^« 
Examination of Sir W. Hamilton's Philosophy, ed. I, 203 ; the 
German-Austrian physicist is ^m.s\.y\.a.cla, Beitr age zur Analyse der 
Empfittdungen, ed. 3 (Jena, 1902), p. 6, 

Page 236 (Bottom). " Activities, processes, and all the invisible :" 

trpa^eis 5e koX yeviffeis Kal irav rb a6parou, Thecetet*, 1^5 E. 

Page 237 (Top). " He will, of course, begin . . . ." The thought 
expressed here needs a more exact statement. No contradiction 
arises if I first declare that I know matter only as something tangible, 
visible, and so forth, so that I cannot without confusion retain this 
conception and at the same time make abstraction of every perceiving 
subject, and if I afterwards refer particular sensations or possibilities 
of sensations to other such sensations and possibilities as their causes 
(that is, invariable and unconditional antecedents). The Cyrenaics, 
on the other hand, would have been guilty of real inconsistency if they 
had denied all substantial existence, and yet at the same time had 
explained the totality of phenomena as arising from the motion of 
substances. But it is important not to forget that the exposition 
given by Plato, in which such a contradiction appears to be contained, 
is anything but an authentic report of Cyrenaic doctrine. (Middle) 
" This would accord . . . : " cf. Seneca, Ep., 89, 12 ; Sextus, Adv. Math., 
vii. II (192, 3, Bekker). (Bottom) The work of Philodemus here 
mentioned bears the title iliepl Swefwy koI 2ri;i4«(6(rei»i', and was first 
edited by the author in 1865. The allusion in Plato's Republic, v. 516 
C. It was not entirely overlooked by Schopenhauer, Die Welt als 
Wille und Vorstellung, bk. iii. § 31. But it was Ernst Laas who 
first noticed thej allusion to the ancient theory of induction ; and 
spoken words of his were the occasion of Paul Natorp treating the 
subject in his Forschungen sur Geschichte des Erkenntnisproblems im 
Altertum, p. 148, seg., where he explained the reference as being to 

Page 239 (Middle). Theastetus : 157 E, seq. (Bottom) The quota- 
tion is from Helmholtz, Physiol. Optik., ed. i, 444, 5. The following 
quotation is taken from a treatise written by Ernst Mach in 1868, and 
cited in his Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations (trans. 
Williams, Chicago, 1897), p. 9, note. 

Page 240 (Bottom). The attitude of the modern phenomenalists 
to the problem of inherence may be illustrated by the following 
quotation : " Thing, body, matter, are nothing apart from their 
complexes of colours, sounds, and so forth — nothing apart from their 
so-called attributes. That Protean, supposititious problem, which 
springs up so much in philosophy, of a single thing with many 
attributes, arises wholly from a mistaking of the fact, that summary 



comprehension and precise analysis, although both are provisionally 
justifiable and for many purposes profitable, cannot and must not be 
carried on simultaneously " (Mach, op. cit., p. 6). 

Page 341 (Top). On Theodorus, cf. especially Diog. Laert, ii. 86 
and 97, seq. Sayings of his betokening frank candour are reported by 
Diog. Laert., loc. cit., and by Plutarch, De Exilio, i6 {Mor., 732, 18, D). 
That which is given by Philo, Quod Omnis Probus Liber, ch. 18 (ii.Vs,* 
Mangey), is only a spun-out, bombastic version of Plutarch's anecdote. 
See also Cicero, Tusc, i. 43, 102 ; Plutarch, An. Vitiositas . . . sufficiat, 
3, fin. {Mor., 604, 35, D) ; Stobseus, ,Flor., ii. 33. (Bottom) The 
assumption that Theodorus was a denier of the gods in the true sense 
although favoured by Cicero, is contradicted by De Nattira Deorum, i. 
I, 2 (and many other passages). The words of Sextus, Adv. Math., 

ix. 55 (404, 20, Bekker), t^ itafh. roTs''EW7iffi 6eo?i.oyoiiieva TOiKl\as 

cLi/ameuda-as, can hardly relate to a total, and therefore simple, rejection 
of the belief in gods. Another point is the alleged indebtedness of 
Epicurus to Theodorus' criticism (Diog. Laert., ii. 97) j and lastly we 
have an anecdote, which, being without moral, is not altogether 
worthless, touching a dialectic wrangle between Theodorus and 
Stilpo, in which unquestioning faith in the gods is presupposed (Diog. 
Laert., ii. 100). Plutarch, De Commun. Notitiis,->,\, 4 {Mor., 1315, 28, D), 
proves nothing. I am inclined, therefore, to allow considerable weight 
to the opinion expressed by Clemens {Protrept., ii. 24, 20, Potter) to 
the effect that the name of atheist has been unjustly bestowed on 
Theodorus and certain others : (raxppdvas $e$wK6Tas koI KaBeapaK6Tas 

h^^ep6v irov . . . T^v afKftl robs 6eo{/s Toirovs iT\ai/riv. 

Page 242 (Top). " A late ecclesiastical writer :" Epiphanius, ^<fz/. 
Hcereses, iii. 2, 9, 24 (Doxogr., 591, 25) : @e6Sapos . . . ^ero . . . /ii/ ehat 

$eioj/ Kal TovTOv MveKev wpovTpejreTO irovTos K\ejrTeiv iviopKeiv apvdCetv Kal fj.ii 

intepmtoBvitaReiv TrarpiSos. If there really were any among his pupils 
who so understood his teaching, he had ample ground for saying that 
some took with the left hand what he offered with the right (Plutarch, 
De TranquUlitate Am'mi, ch. 5 {Mor., 566, 31, D). (Middle) " Joy and 
sorrow:" x"?'^ ^'^^ ^^ (Diog. Laert., ii. 98). The best right to be 
considered a true fragment of Theodorus belongs to the demonstration, 
quoted by Stobaeus, Elor., iig, 16, of the unlawfulness of suicide. 
How can that act be other than repugnant to a man for whom the 
accidents of life have no significance ; for whom only the beautiful is 
good, and only the ugly evil ? (Instead of aWxphv rh KaK6y, it is obvious 
that we ought to read, rb aiirxphv KaxSy.) 

We cannot acquiesce in the .tradition which ranges Euhemerus 
among the members of the Cyrenaic school — a tradition which, though 
subject to all manner of reservations and restrictions, stiU finds 
acceptance. " There is not the slightest hint in any of the authorities " 
— so Erwin Rohde justly remarked long ago — " which speaks for this 
assumption" (Z?er griechische Roman, ed. 2. 241, note i). The 


Cyrenaic school has no manner of responsibility for the mistake of 
Euhemerus— a mistake due to the influence of the Alexander-cult— 
which consisted in making one real and effectual factor in the genesis 
of religions, the deification of men, the only factor in the process (cf. 
also Vol. I. p. 523, where we might have referred more plainly to the dei- 
fication of living men, which is still continually taking place in India). 
Page 243 (Middle). On Bion, cf. Diog. Laert., iv. ch. 7 ; a 
thorough investigation in Hense's Teletis Reliquia, Prolegomena, p. 
xlvi. seq. It must be admitted that the course of his education, as 
described by our chief source, labours under chronological impossi- 
biUties. I cannot, however, agree with those who attribute the 
statement that he attended the school of Crates the Academic to a 
confusion with Crates the Cynic. For the testimony of Diogenes 
Laertius is corroborated on this point by that of a well-read scholar, 
the compiler of the Index Academicorum Herculanensis (cf. the 
author's Die herculanische Biographie des Polemon in Philosophische 
Aufsdtze Eduard Zeller gewidmet, p. 149). I prefer, therefore, on 
obvious grounds, to abandon the chronological order of Bion's studies 
rather than the individual facts recorded, derived as these doubtless 
are, both in this and other instances, from the inscription-registers of 
the schools themselves. For this very same reason, these statements 
prove nothing at all as to any permanent influencing of the pupil by 
the teacher ; nor must we forget that even advanced age was not 
incompatible with the attending of lectvures. (Bottom) The two 
burlesque verses are discussed by Wachsmuth, Poesis Graca 
Ludibunda,fin. On p. 75 of that work there is much ej^cellent matter 
on Bion and against his detractors. Erwin Rohde's judgment is 
expressed in Griech, Roman, ed. 2, p. 268, note. Hense {op. cit., p. 
xlvi.) shows admirably that Bion's own humorous description of a 
superstitious person loaded with amulets " like a peg " was transferred 
to Bion himself and his deathbed conversion. Cf. Diog. Laert., iv. 
S4 — and its appeal to the local gossip of Chalcis, where Bion died ! — 
with Plutarch, De Superstitione, ch. 7 (Jllor., 199, 200, D). 

Book V.— Chapter I. 

Plato is treated of very fully in the whole of the third book of 
Diogenes Laertius. Out of the almost unmanageable mass of modem 
literature we may single out Zeller's Philos. d. Gr., ii. I (ed. 4), 
pp. 389-986 ; George Grote, Plato and the other Companions of 
Socrates, London, 1865, 3 vols. (pp. 465-602 of vol. iii. is all that is 
devoted to the other Socratics) ; some other writings of the first 
importance will be named in the separate sections. Of editions of 
Plato's works we may mention the Zurich edition, complete in one 
volume, for its convenience in use ; that by Martin Schanz, unfortu- 
nately not yet finished, for the copious critical apparatus ; that of 


K. F. Hermann (in the Teubner collection) for its handy size ; and 
the most recent by John 1 Burnet (four volumes published so far) for the 
prominence given to essentials in the apparatus criticus and for the 
extensive use made, at least in the second volume, of external sources 
of tradition. Friedrich Schleiermacher's translation has exerted a 
lasting influence on Platonic study by the introductions prefixed to 
the separate dialogues. 

Plato's life was written first of all by his immediate pupils. Speu- 
sippus, his nephew and successor as head of the school, gave the world 
a nxaraii/os eyK^juov ; cf. Diog. Laert., iii. 2 and iv. 5 ; the first passage 
should be corrected from the second by transposition. His second 
successor, Xenocrates, wrote a Bfoj {Fragm., 53, Heinze). Books on 
Plato were also written by his pupils Hermodorus {Index Academ.^ 
col. vi., and Simplicius, In Aristotelis Phys., 247, 33, Diels) and 
PhiUppus (Suidas, sub voc.) ; sections were devoted to him in the 
biographical works of Neanthes and Hermippus, and several Peri- 
patetics, e.g. Aristoxenus and Clearchus treated of him in separate 
writings. Nothing considerable remains beyond that book of Dio- 
genes Laertius. There are, firstly, the parts relating to Plato of the 
Philodemic Index Academicorum Herculanensis, worked up by 
Biicheler, and more recently by Mekler ; next, a short biography by 
Olympiodorus (second half of the sixth century), or, more accurately, 
written down by a pupil of his from his lectures ; then the Prolegomena 
composed by Olympiodorus himself (cf. Freudenthal in Hermes, xvi. 
208, seg.) both in the sixth volume of Hermann's edition ; the first, 
biographical, half of the \Prolegomena, also in Westermann, Biogr, 
Grceci, pp. 388-396 ; lastly, the life in Suidas Qub voc). 

Page 249 {intt.). " An eminent contemporary : " Alexander Bain. 
(Bottom) Immanuel Kant : cf. Friedr. Paulsen in Deutsche Rund- 
schau, August, 1898, p. 198 : "I might have entitled my exposition 
' Kantius Platonizans.' " 

Page 250 (Middle). "Traces of the relationship :" cf. Adalbert 
Merx, Ideen und Grundlininien einer allgemeinen Geschichte der 
Mystik, especially p. 9, notes 12 and 26. (Second par.) According to 
the testimony of ApoUodorus, reported in Diog. Laert., iii. 2, Plato was 
born on the seventh of the month Thargelion, in a year of the eighty- 
eighth Olympiad, which, to agree with the statements as to his age, 
must have been the first— that is, in the spring of 427. He died while 
engaged in the work of authorship (Dionys.,Z'e Compos. Verb., v. 208, 
n, Reiske ; Cic, Cato Major, v. 13). Again, according to the decisive 
testimony of ApoUodorus, in the archonship of Theophilus, 348-7 
(cf. Diog. Laert., v. 9, seq. ; Index Acad., col.ii. ; Dionys., Ad Amma., 
S, 262, 17, Usener). On Plato's family, see chiefly the testimonia m 
Plato's own dialogues : Charmides, 155 A (relationship with Solon) and 
157 E (his family extolled by Solon, Anacreon, etc.) ; also Republic, u. 
368 A, and Timceus, 20 E. The seventh book of the Laws further 


contains autobiographical material ; for here, as Lutoslawski has also 
remarked (^Plato's Logic, p. 498), the vesture^ of dialogue is broken 
through, and Plato discloses himself as the Athenian stranger. 
(Bottom) Critias : the " philosopher among men of the world and 
man of the world among philosophers" (he is so styled in a 
scholium to Plato's Timaus, 20 A) suffers to this day from this two- 
fold character of his. We seek in vain for a complete account of his 
personality. The beginnings of one may be found in two memoranda 
of Th. Bergk (firiech. Lit. Gesch., iv. 342). Even the remnants of his 
authorship have not been reunited since N. Bach's collection (Leipzig, 
1827). The considerable fragment of his book-drama Sisyphus has 
already been mentioned in the present work (Vol. I. p. 389), and studied 
more closely in the author's Beitrdge zur Kritik und Erkldrung 
griecMscher Schriftsteller, i. 36, seq. ; the other poetical fragments 
may be found in Bergk's Poetce Lyr. Gr., ed. 4, ii. 279, seq. ; the re- 
mains of his Politics are contained in Fragmenta Hist. Grcec, ii. 
68, seq. ; the few philosophical fragments are waiting to be edited 
afresh (cf. the author's Beitrdge, loc. cit.). On his prose style, cf. the 
author's Apologie der Heilkunst, p. 105, seq. His Politics are 
devoted to the description of manners rather than constitutions! The 
fragment of his book, On the Nature of Love, which is taken from 
Galen's Glossary, sub voc. tMaavUi (in Bach, p. 103), exhibits him as a 
precursor of Theophrastus in the delineation of types of character. 
The chief testimony relating to his doctrine of the soul is found in 
Aristotle, De Anima, A. 2 (alino r'tiv i/vyk^v eTire). 

Page 251 (Middle). Aristotle, Rhet., r. 16, 1416 b, 26, seq. This 
declaration (" If any one desired to praise Critias, he would have to 
tell his story at great length, for few know him ") hardly admits of any 
other interpretation than that Aristotle regarded Critias as a mis- 
understood man. It is remarkable that Aristotle, who here couples 
Critias with Achilles, in another passage {Anal. Post., B. 13, 97 b, 17) 
sets Alcibiades in the same company, in both passages he goes out of 
his way to name the two men and treat them as heroes, whereas in his 
'Mrivaiwv lloAiTeia he carefully avoids mentioning them. Probably he 
judged the political influence of both of them pernicious, but saw in 
each a personality of commanding genius, towering above the common 
stature. " To excite the tributary peasants . . ." This action of Critias 
seems to us, as it did to Grote {Hist, of Greece, ed. 2, viii. 317 : " he is 
said . . ."), not completely established as a fact ; the source of the 
statement is the accusing speech of his mortal enemy Theramenes 
(in Xenophon, Hellen., ii. 3, 36). (Bottom) The quotation from 
Niebuhr: Kleine historische und philologische Schriften, ist collection, 
475. seq. 

Page 252 (Middle). The intimacy of Critias and Charmides is 
evident from Xenophon, Mem., iii. 6 and 7 ; i. 2, 6 ; also Symp., init. 
Damon : cf. Vol. I. pp. 386 and 575. (Bottom) Cratylus : on him, cf. 


Aristotle, Met., A. 6 {init.), and r. 5, loio a, 10 ; also Plato, Theatel., 189 
A, and Cratylus, 440 C. 

Page 253 (Bottom). That Plato performed military service may be 
assumed as a matter of course, though the different statements relating 
to the subject have " blended truth with falsehood ; " cf. W. Christ, 
Platonische Sttedien, p. 58, where it is endeavoured to give probability 
to the view that Plato served in the cavalry. 

Page 254 (second par.). The possibility of some of the purely 
Socratic dialogues having been composed in the master's lifetime was 
unconditionally rejected by Grote on the following grounds : A dialogue 
so composed either contained a true report, and then the copy must 
have paled before the original, or else it put un-Socratic thoughts in 
the mouth of Socrates, and then Plato must have been guilty of an 
undutifulness we should never have expected of him {Plato, i. 199). 
This dilemma does not seem to me decisive on the point. AU the 
loyalty in the world need not have prevented Plato from inventing 
occasions for the dialogues and participants in them, as well as the 
speeches of the latter, or from modifying and rearranging such 
speeches so as to produce a work of art far superior to the haphazard 
course of an actual conversation. (Bottom) This report of Plato's 
failure in the law court is taken by Diog. Laert. (ii. 41) from a late 
author, Justus of Tiberias {circa 100 B.C.). 

Page 255 (Below), "Resided for a while at Megara ..." This 
is attested by Hermodorus, who is cited in Diog. Laert, ii. 106, and 
iii. 6. The order of Plato's travels is given according to Cicero, De 
Fin., V. 29, 87, and De Republ., i. 10, 16. But it is hardly likely that 
there was an absolutely trustworthy tradition on the subject ; in any 
case incidental visits to Athens are very possible (cf. Vol. II. p. 336), 
as no one would remain absent from his home for so long without 
necessity. On the condition of Egypt at that date, cf. Ed. Meyer, 
Geschichte des alien Agyptens, p. 394. (Bottom) "You Greeks are 
boys : " "EAXrji/es ail iratSh iare, TimcBus, 22 B. The following quota- 
tions are from Herodotus, ii. 84, and Plato's Laws, ii. 656 D, seq. ; 
vii. 799 A and 819 B. 

Page 256 (Bottom). Strabo, xvii. 806. On the local features of 
Heliopolis, cf. Diimichen, Geschichte Agyptens, 256, seq.; Maspero, 
Histoire ancienne des peuples de V Orient classique, i. p. 505 ; Atis 
Mehemet Alt's Reich, by the author of the Brief e eines Verstorbenen 
(Furst Puckler-Muskau), i. 356; Jul. Braun, Historische Land- 
schaften, p. 56 ; Meyer's Reisebucher, Agypten, p. 206, seq. 

Page 257 (Top). Strabo {loc. cit.) makes Plato and Eudoxus 
arrive at HeliopoUs together. The length of their stay there he fixes 
(not without reservation— wi tipwrai ri<ri) at thirteen years, wherein he 
appears to have confused the total duration of Plato's travels with his 
Egyptian sojourn. Much greater credibility attaches to the statement 
given by Diog. Laert., viii. 87, that Eudoxus spent one year and four 


months in Egypt. The chronological impossibility of the two having 
been there simultaneously has been recently confirmed by Susemihl, 
Rhein. Mtts., liii. 626, seg. (Bottom) What is here said as to Theuth 
and Dhuti rests on Plato's Phadrus, 274 C, and the information given 
by Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie der alien Egypter, pp. 440, 

Page 258 (Top). Passage in Plato's Statesman, 290 D, E. Ac- 
cording to an oral communication of my colleague, Professor Krall, 
the Egyptian king is in truth " the supreme priest of all the Egyptian 
deities." Professor Krall also refers to the Egyptian accession-rites, 
as described by Nigidius Figulus, p. 124, in the edition by A. Swoboda. 
(Middle) Theodorus : cf. Diog. Laert., iii. 6. Theodorus is an inter- 
locutor in Plato's Theatetus, Sophist, and Statesman. His transition 
" from pure speculation " (ck tSiv •^ckSiv \6yav) to a special science is 
mentioned by himself in Thecetetus, 165 A. More self-characterization, 
ibid., 143 B, C, and 145 A. Plato may have made his acquaintance 
at Athens, where he appears to have stayed shortly before the death 
of Socrates (cf. Thecetetus, 143 A, and Xenophon, Mem., iv. 2, 10), and 
■where TheEtetus became his pupil. Theodorus is mentioned as a 
mathematician, along with Hippocrates of Chios ; cf. AUman, Greek 
Geometry, p. 58. The most important testimony is that of Eudemus 
{Fragmenta, p. 114, Spengel) ; then lamblichus, De Communi Mathem. 
Scientia, ch. xxv. (p. 77, seq., Festa). He is assigned to the circle of 
the Pythagoreans by lamblichus, De Vita Pyth., ch. xxxvi. (p. 193, 4, 
Nauck). Plato calls him a friend of Pythagoras, Theatetus, 161 B 
and 168 E. 

Page 259 (Top). The names of numerous Pythagoreans, natives 
of Tarentum, are given by lamblichus, De Vita Pyth., ch. xxxvi. 
(p. 198, Nauck). TafavrXvoi was the title of comedies by the younger 
Cratinus and Alexis (ii. 291 and 378, Kock). The Pythagoreans, 
we may remark in passing, were the butt of much ridicule, 
both in these and other comedies. The two poets named each 
produced a Uviayofi^ovaa, and Aristophon a nuflayopHTT^s (ii. 279, 280, 
290, 370, K). Cf. also the MvV«™ of Antiphanes, ibid., p. 76. 
(Middle) " Tarentum at Carnival-time : " cf. Plato, Laws, i. 637 B. 
On the social and political conditions there, cf. Aristotle, Pol., Z. 
1320 b, 9. Thes ituation of Tarentum is here described from the 
author's personal observation. On the advantages and the history of 
Tarentum, cf. Strabo, vi. 278, seq., and Polybius, x. i. The friend- 
ship of Plato and Archytas is coupled with that of Damon and 
Phintias, by lamblichus, De Vita Pyth., ch. xxvii. (p. <)2,seq., Nauck). 
(§ 3) Archytas is treated of by Diog. Laert., viii. 4. Aristoxenus wrote 
a biography of him (according to Athenffius, xi. 545 A) ; Aristotle 
composed three books on his philosophy, and in addition compiled 
extracts from his writings (Diog. Laert., v. 25). With his flute-playing 
(Athena3us, iv. 184 E) are connected his investigations into the theory 


of music (cf. von Jan in Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Encydopadie, ii. i, 
6oOj seq^. On his Idndness to children and slaves, cf. ^lian, Varia 
Historia, xii. 15, and Athenasus, xii. 519 B, with which the statement 
that ^le invented children's rattles (Aristotle, Pol., 6, 1340 b, 26) 
excellently agrees. 

Page 260 (Top). " Archytas at the head of a confederation of 
cities :" according to Suidas, sub voc. 'Apxiras. On his end, cf. Horace, 
Odes, i. 28, with Kiessling's comments. (Par. 2) He is termed the 
founder of mechanics by Diog. Laert., loc. cit. As to the invention of 
that flying dove (concerning which, besides Favorinus, quoted 'verbatim 
by Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att, x. 12, 9, seq., "many and eminent" 
authors have written most positively), there is no ground for doubt, 
although the employment of compressed air is not otherwise met with 
till considerably later, in connexion with Ctesibius, there, to be sure, on 
a large scale (cf. Susemihl, Alexander Lit. Gesch., 735, n. 153). The 
testimony of Eudemus, in his history of geometry, may be foundl in 
Spengel's Eudemi Fragmenta, p. 45. Fuller details of his achieve- 
ments in mathematics, as well as a discussion on the spuriousness of 
the philosophical writings attributed to him, are given by E. Wellman 
(Pauly-Wissowa, op. cit.). 

Page 261 (Top). The first of the two fragments here discussed 
is taken from Porphyrins' commentary on the " Harmony " of 
Ptolemasus (p. 236, seq.), newly edited by Blass in his important essay, 
De Archyta - . . Fragmentis Mathematicis, " Mflanges Graux," 573, 
seq. ; the second from Aristotle's Problems, xvi. 9, 915 a, 25. Aristotle, 
by the way, has two more quotations from Archytas : the definitions 
of a calm (sea or wind), {Metaph., h. 2, 1043 a, 21, seq.), and an 
ingenious comparison (/f^^/., r. 11, 1412 a, 12). (Middle) Character of 
Archytas : anecdotes and apophthegms illustrating his self-command, 
his sociability, his steadfastness, are given by lamblichus, De Vita 
Pyth., 31, 197 (141, 8, seq., Nauck) ; by Cicero, Cato Mafor,xn. 41 ; 
and Lselius, xxiii. 88 (the remainder are repetitions). 

Page 262 (par. 2). On the two phases of tyranny, cf. a work, now 
out of date, which, though disfigured by many errors of detail, is yet 
on the whole excellent : Die ihren beiden Perioden bei 
den alien Griechen . . . , by H. G. Plass (2 vols., Bremen, 1852). It 
is, so far as I know, the first attempt to judge the great historical 
phenomenon of tyranny with insight and justice ; cf., e.g., vol. i. 130, 
seq. On Gelon and his mercenaries, cf. Beloch, Gr. Gesch., i. 443. 
See further the History of Greece by Grote, against whose tendency to 
minimize the violent acts of democracies we must be on our guard. 
Thus Thucyd., v. 4, cited by Grote, vii. 191 (ed. 2), decisively con- 
tradicts Grote's narrative on p. 163, seq. Cf., too, Aristotle, Polit., 
E. S, 130S a, 4. It is clear, from these passages, that divisions 
of land were by no means unheard-of occurrences. " Proverbial 
abundance : " S.mxis cTpmidn-ns in Zenob., v. 89 {Para;miogr. Greed, i. 


157, 3 ; cf. ii.2 08, I ; 641, g, and 770, 7). (Bottom) Treitschke : 
Politik, ii. 338. Speech of Alcibiades in Thucydides, vi. 17, 2.1 A 
speech which contains, so to speak, the philosophy of the Sicilian 
tyranny. / 

Page 264. The author speaks of Syracuse from personal 

Page 265 (Top). The remains of the mimes of Sophron and 
Xenarchus have now been collected with the greatest completeness, 
and explained by Georg Kaibel, Com. Grac. Fragm., i. i, 152-182. 
An interesting characterization of them in Otto Jahn, Aus der Alter- 
tumsijuissenschaft, p. 56. The imitations belong in part to Theocritus 
and Moschus, in part to Herondas, who was coarser than his model. 
Plato's preference is attested by Duris, inAthensus, xi. 504 B, as well 
as by Diog. Laert., iii. 18. On Epicharmus, cf. note on ch. 8, § 3. 
On the " Theorem of Becoming " (ai^avd/iems \6yos) and its statement 
by Epicharmus, cf. Bemays, Rhein. Mus., New Series, viii. 2S0, 
seq. ( = Ges. Abhandlungen, i. 109, seq^. The fragments of Epicharmus 
are again to be found best treated in Kaibel, op. cit, p. 88, seq. The 
line given by us in free rendering is fragment 170 in that collection, p. 
122. Kaibel, however, seems to have erred, in company with von 
Wilamowitz (Heracles, i. 29, ed. i), in rejecting, as not written by 
Epicharmus, a considerable number of philosophic and sententious 
fragments ; see the author's comments in the contrary sense in 
Beitrdge zur Kritik und Erklaruttg griecMscher Schriftsteller, vii. 5, 
seq. (Vienna, 1900). 

Page 266 (Middle). " The heavily laden tables of Syracuse : " cf. 

Republic, iii. 404 D : tvfoxoaiav Se . . . rpdire^av Ka! SikeA.ik^I' iroiKiXlcui 
it\/ov, K.T.x. Also Gorgias, 518 B. (Below) Moral sermons addressed 
to Dionysius are placed in Plato's mouth by Diog. Laert., iii. 18, and 
again by Plutarch, Dio, ch. 5 (1144, 5, Dohner). 

Page 267 (Top). "The most bloodstained of all creatures, 
adversary of all right and justice." I allude here to Herodotus, v. 
92 : ToS oifre aSiKiiTepov ovSey isTi . . . oSre luaupoviTcfov, The remains 
of Dionysius' poems, in Nauck's Trag. Grcec. Fragm., ed. 2, p. 793-6. 
(Below) " Despotic power . . . ." The original is t, yap rvpawh aStictas 

Page 268 (Middle). Cf. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Judicium de 
Lysia,Tp. 519 (Reiske) and the fragment there preserved of Lysias' 
Olympic oration ; also Diodorus, xiv. 109. 

Page 269 (Top). The narrative of Plato's being sold mto slavery 
appears in different versions. Cf. Plutarch, Dio, ch. J ; Diodorus, xv. 7 ; 
Diog. Laert., iii. 19, seq. ■ Aristides, speech, xlvi. 233 (ii. 306, Dindorf). 
Of these, the most credible in itself is the first-named. The doubts 
as to the authenticity of the whole story, such as are expressed by 
Diimmler, Academica, 210, are wholly without foundation, and, as 
Diels has observed, Ztir Textgeschichte der aristotelischen Physik, 


p. 23, they are contradicted by an incidental allusion of Aristotle, 
Physics, B. 8, 199 b, 20. The chronological position of the event, 
as Zeller remarks, ii. i, 406, ed. 4, is fixed by the circumstance that it 
would have been impossible after the Peace of Antalcidas (487). 
With this agrees the statement in the 7th Platonic or pseudo-Platonic 
epistle, which, in any case, is based upon good sources, 324 A. On 
the purchase of a plot of land, cf., besides Diog. Laert., iii. 19, 20, 
also Plutarch, De Exil., 10 {Mor., 728, 38, Dubner). (§ 6) Cf. Plato's 
Phmdrus, 229 A, seq. 

Page 270 (par. 2). On the locality, cf. Bursian, Geographie von 
Griechenland, i. 323, and Wachsmuth, .,4/Af« ini Altertum, i. 255, seq., 
262, seq. Ancient accounts : Cicero,27« Fin., v. l, 1-2 ; Diog. Laert., 
iii. 7, seq. ; [Dicaarchi] Descriptio GrcEcice, I {Fragm. Hist. Gr., ii. 
254) ; Pausanias, i. chs. 29 and 30 ; Athenaeus, xiii. 561 D, E ; 
Plutarch, Cimon, i^Jin. {Vitce, 582, 18, Dohner) ; Aristophanes, Clouds, 
ioq6, seq. (Bottom) " Frugal banquets : " cf. Athenseus, x. 419 C ; also 
Plutarch, De Sanitate Pracepta, ch. 9, fin., QucBst. Conviv., prooemium 
(Mor., 151, 40 and 834, 33, Dubner). The same in .(Elian, Var. Hist., 
ii. 18. 

Page 271 (Top). Founder's birthday banquets : cf. Plutarch's 
Qttast. Conviv., viii. i, i, and 2, l ; Porphyr., Vita Plotin., ch. 2. 
On the cult of the Muses in children's schools, cf. Theophrastus, 
Characters, 22 (accAEuecpfo), ./Eschines, In Titnarchum, § 10, as also 
on the cult of Hermes in the gymnasia, add the scenery of Plato's 
Lysis, 206 D ; further, Epigramm. Gr., ed. Kaibel, No. 295. Daily 
offerings in the Academy to the Muses may be conjectured from the 
account in the Index Acad. Hercul., col. vii., of Xenocrates' conduct 
after the entry of the Macedonian garrison : ws oKte tA Mouo-em flBo-oi 
Tiire, K.T.\. (Below) The distich is preserved by Philodemus in the 
Index Acad., col. vi, — 

Ta(rSE 9i^ai, Sfcis Xdptras Moiffais aveSriKev 
STreiSflTiTTTTOS \Qyla3v e'iveKa dSjpa re\av. 

The restoration \o(,yl)ai> is unavoidable ; but as the ordinary meaning 
of the word, " oracular responses," seems hardly appropriate, I have 
hazarded the conjecture that \6yM may here have been used in the 
sense of "knowledge," "learning," just as Aeiyios denotes a scholar. 
Speusippus would then have addressed to the patron goddesses of all 
science the thanks due to his uncle for the vaiSela he had received. A 
statue of Plato, the work of the sculptor Silanion, was also placed in 
the chapel of the Muses by a Persian named Mithridates (Diog. 
Laert., iii. 25). On the lecture-halls recently discovered in Delos and 
Olympia, cf. P. Paris in the Dictionnaire des Antiquitis, Daremberg- 
Saglio, sub voc. " Exedra." (Bottom) On the dress and bearing of 
the Academics, cf. the satire of the comic poets, Antiphanes and 
Ephippus (ii. 23 and 257, Kock). 


Page 272 (Top). " Dion of Syracuse : " Various instances are 
recorded of his pecuniary services to Plato : repayment of the emanci- 
pation-money to Anniceris, and, when the latter refused to accept it, 
purchase of the plot of land for the same amount, Diog. Laert., iii. 20 ; 
the costly work of Philolaus purchased for Plato, Diog., iii. 9; the 
expenses of a choregia borne for him, Diog., iii. 3 ; and Plutarch, Dio, 
ch. 17, 2 {Vita, 1150,47, Dohner) ; aho Aristides,ch. 1,4 (38o,30,D). 
(Middle) " Modest beginnings : " cf. Antigonus of Carystus, in 
AthenKus, xii. 547 D-F, where the simplicity native to the Academy 
is contrasted with Peripatetic luxury. And though Antigonus is 
contrasting the Peripatos under Lycon with the Academy under Plato 
and Speusippus, a glance at Plato's and Aristotle's wills (Diog. Laert., 
iii. 41, seg., and v. 11, seg.) will suffice to confirm what we have said in 
the text. On the absence of a school library, cf. the author's Platonische 
Aufsatze, ii. (Vienna, 1899). On the absence of corporate rights — 
contrary to the prevalent view that the philosophic schools of that 
time possessed the legal form of religious associations, or elaaoi — see 
Beitrdge zur Kriiik und Erkldrimg Griechischer Schrijtsteller, vii. 
p. 9, seq. 

The analogy in question has been pointed out by G. Lumbroso 
{Ricercke Alessandrine, Publications of the Turin Academy, 1873, ii. 
i(x),seq., ch. 4) and Usener {Preuss. Jahrb., vol. liii. part i, Organisation 
der ■wissenschafi lichen Arbeit., p. 7). Von Wilamowitz declares more 
definitely for this identification {Antigonus von Karystus, 263, seq^, and 
so now does Erich Ziebarth, Das griechische Vereinswesen, " Preis- 
schriften der Jablonowsky'schen Gesellschaft,"Leipzig, 1896. The latter 
speaks of the Alexandrine Museumasa" prominent example " in which 
we still clearly recognize " the influence of the organization of the Attic 
philosophical associations " (p. 73), without noticing that the statement 
quoted immediately afterwards from Strabo (xvii. 794), to the effect 
that the Museum possessed xp^fnara Koivi, is in flat contradiction with 
what we read in the philosophers' wills. These so-called associations 
lacked all corporate rights and all legal position relatively to the out- 
side world, not, indeed, in the late Roman times, but at the period 
into which we are introduced by the philosophers' wills, which have 
been preserved. They possessed an inward tendency to become 
corporations ; but evidently the Attic legislation denied them the 
possibiUty of realizing this tendency otherwise than by the circuitous 
method of fictions and moral pressure. That in these institutions, as 
in all others devoted to instruction, private religious observances had 
something to do with the legal form of the associations, may be 
asserted, but cannot be proved. The quotation from Theophrastus' 
will is as follows in the original : cUa.' iis tv Uphv koiv^ Kem-nndi/ois 
(Diog. Laert., v. 53). What is here said as to the procedure at the 
election of the school-heads is taken from various passages of the 
Index- Acad., particularly col. vii., also from Diog. Laert, iv. 32 ; cf. 


the author's essay, Die Akademie und ihr vermeintlicher PMlo- 
Macedonismus, Wiener Studien, iv. p. 109. On Plato's assistants, cf. 
note on Vol. III. 177, and Bergk, Fiinf Abhandlungen, p. 63, seq. 

Page 273 (par. 2). The incidental allusions of Aristotle are 
collected and commented on by Zeller, ii. i, 416, seg., ed. 4, and ii. 2, 
64, ed. 3, where also is given what can be ascertained about Plato's 
work, nepl ToD 'AyoSoB. The amusing episode is known to us through 
Aristoxenus (see Marquardt, Harmonische Fragmente, p. 44). Accord- 
ing to this narrative, the title of that very course of lectures just 
mentioned, "On the Good," had attracted a numerous audience 
which promptly melted away when it became apparent that Plato did 
not propose to treat of such human goods as strength, health, riches, 
but on the highest abstractions of his doctrine of ideas in its quasi- 
Pythagorean form. The comparison with the Seminar is due to P. 
Natorp, Archiv f. Gesch. d. Philos, xii. 42. "In his own little 
garden." The statement, with the names of the authorities for it, is 
given by Diog. Laert., iii. J. The " garden on the hill Colonus " is 
clearly identical with the plot of ground mentioned in Plato's will, 
situate in the Deme Eiresidse. It is quite unnecessary to assume 
Plato's possession of another piece of land, disposed of before he 
made his will, and different both from the above-mentioned and the 
neighbouring property in the Deme Iphistiadse (Diog. Laert., iii. 41, 
seq.; cf. Loper, Athen. Mitteilungen, xvii. 394, seg^. "Academy' 
sometimes means the whole district (thus in Xenophon, Hellen., vi. 5, 
49, or Inscr. Att., iii. 61), sometimes the r^/iems, then again the 
gymnasium, or Plato's school as a community without reference to 
place. " Still greater intimacy. . . : " meals taken daily in common 
are indicated by the narrative in Cicero, Tttsc, v. 32, 91 : " Xenocrates 
. . . abduxit legates ad cenam in Academiam : iis apposuit tantum 
quod satis esset, nullo apparatu." This, therefore, was no banquet, but 
a daily meal ; and nothing is more probable than that in this particular, 
too, the succeeding heads of the school followed the master's precedent. 
Athenseus (i. 4 E) reports that the table was laid for twenty-eight ; the 
number seems to me neither mystic nor incredible. Apart from the 
limits dictated possibly by space or expanse, Plato may well have liked 
to gather his guests round him at three tables, nine at each, for the 
number of the Muses was a favourite one in antiquity. On what 
follows, compare the discussion on drinking-clubs in Plato's Laws, 
particularly i. 639 E, with the complaint of the lack of well-ordered 
drinking-societies (see also our text. Vol. III. p. 231). Onthe"table- 
rules " and " drinking-regulations " {y&\u>i avaai.ri.K&s and avimo-rmis are 
the expressions), cf. Athenaeus, v. 178 F, v. 186 B, i. 3 F, explained by 
Bergk, op. cit, p. 67, and Proclus, In Platan. Rempubl., i. 8, l2,^seq., 
ed. Kroll. 

Page 274 (Middle). On the " torch-race " (Pausan., i. 30, 2), cf. 
Weckelin's essay so entitled in Hermes, vii. 437, seq. 

VOL. in. Y 


Book V. — Chapter II, 

Page 276. " We learn from Aristotle : " ax^Sbv Se TrapwirKritrias koI 
vepl roSs Nd/wvs ?x^' '''"^^ Simpov ypatpivras (Pol., B. 6, ad inii.) ; cf. 
Diog. Laert., iii. 37. (Below) The distinction between genuine (yj^o-wi), 
unanimously rejected {voe^iovrai . . . i/wAoyouiieviDs), and doubtful 
dialogues, in Diog. Laert., iii. 57 ; cf. ii. 64 and 105. 

Page 277. "Of the remaining three-fourths . . . condemned as 
spurious : " by C. Schaarschmidt, Die Sammlung der platonischen 
Schriften, etc. (Bonn, 1866). " Aristotle's warning : " Pol., b. 6. 1265 a, 
10. (Below) "A hot-headed critic:" Josef Socher, 'Uber Platan's 
Schriften, p. 265 (Munich, 1820). (Below) "A second has been con- 
demned." I quote Ueberweg, Untersuchungen iiber die Echtheit und 
Zeitfolge platonischer Schriften, p. 180 (Vienna, 1861). 

Page 278 (Top). Schjeiermacher : in his translation of Plato, 
i. I. 25 (3rd ed.). (Below) " Citations contained in the writings of 
Aristotle : " the principal collection in Ueberweg, op. cit., 131, seq., 
who names his predecessors, and in Bonitz, Index Aristotelicus 
(fifth volume of the Berlin Academy's edition), s.v. Tl\i.Twv. (Middle) 
The misuse of this method may be exemplified by the following 
quotations : Suckow, Die wissensch. und kilnstl. Form der Plat. 
Schriften, p. 180 : " The list teaches us which dialogues besides 
these" (z>. besides eight principal works mentioned above) "may 
possibly be genuine, so that the collection may be completed from 
their number." Similarly, Schaarschmidt {pp. cit., p. 83) : " For as 
soon as it is established that some parts of this corpus have to be 
separated as spurious, for the remaining parts also their merely 
external attestation seems to lose all value as a testimony to their 
genuineness." Whoever thinks, we may ask, of proceeding in such 
a way with other ancient writers ? Of Lysias, for instance, there were 
in antiquity 425 orations, of which the critics recognized little more 
than half as genuine <cf. [Plutarch] VitcE Decern Oratorum, 3, Moralia, 
1018, 48, Diibner). None of us regards that judgment of Csecilius and 
Dionysius as decisive ; yet nobody thinks of refusing to regard an 
extant speech as genuine, except when it is guaranteed by contem- 
porary or nearly contemporary evidence. The burden of proof always 
falls on one who disputes the tradition, not on one who accepts it ; 
it may not in itself possess full cogency, but it always creates a pre- 
sumption that weighs heavy in the scale. (Below) " And it is only in 
recent years : " cf. Bonitz, in Hermes, iii. 447, seq. 

Page 279 (Middle). I take the statistics of language from the 
pioneering researches, long left unknown, of Lewis Campbell, Sophistes 
and Politicus of Plato, p. xxxi. (Oxford, 1867). 

Page 281 (Middle). " Replies to them." I refer to the writings 
of Colotes (a favourite pupil of Epicurus) against Plato's Lysis and 


Euthydemus, of which the Herculanean rolls have preserved miserable 
remnants. Much more considerable remains of the Laches {Brit. 
Mus. Pap., 187 verso), without an author's name, but in my judgment 
not without bearing on the question. (Below) The list of Aristophanes 
is preserved to us by Diog. Laert. (iii. 61), that of Thrasyllus (generally 
but without decisive reasons identified with the mathematician of the 
same name, a contemporary of Augustus and Tiberius ; cf. Cobet, 
Mnemosyne, N. S., iii. 160) by Diog. Laert., iii. 56, seq. That Thra- 
syllus did not compile his list on the ground of his personal impression 
has been rightly concluded from the following fact. To a certain 
dialogue, of which he incidentally expresses a doubt — probably not 
even then a merely subjective doubt — he still does not refuse admis- 
sion into his list (Diog. Laert., ix. 37, eftrep oi 'AvTspaaraX IlKdravos 
(Iffiv). So he must be guided by an authority, and that can scarcely 
be any other than Aristophanes, whose list, so far as it is known to us, 
completely coincides with his own (cf. Grote, Plato, i. 165). 

Page 282. " Had their origin ... in the catalogues of the great 
libraries." Cf. Diels, in Hermes, xxii. p. 414. (Below) The genuine- 
ness of the Hipparchus is doubted in ^lian, Var. Hist., viii. 2 (ei 5J) 
i "imropxM nxc^Taiyiis ia-ri. Tif Svri), that of the Alcibiades II. in Athenseus, 
vi. 506 C ('O 7^p Seiirfpoy vit6 Tiviav aevo(l)uvTOS eJvai Keyerai), the Epiuofllis 
in Diog. Laert., iii. 37 {toiStov Se koI t})C 'Evtvo/iiSa (pturlv elvai) • cf. also 
the Prolegomena of Olympiodorus, ch. 25 (vi. 218, Hermann), and 
Suidas, s.-u. i-ixiaot^os. (Below) My conjecture, that Philippus had 
been Plato's amanuensis, rests on the Index Acad., col. iii., where the 
avaypa(pev5 rod IIAiiTaiyoy Kai aKouirriis is also called a(rTpo\6yos, This 
description applies to Philippus : Plato's great age is there in question ; 
and there is certainly an intrinsic probability that the private secretary 
of Plato was also the editor of his remains. It may be remarked in 
passing that I cannot agree with the practically universal assumption 
that Philippus was the actual author of the Epinomis. Going to the 
bottom of the matter, one can find nothing beyond the inconclusive 
^Bo-lj' of Diogenes and two weak arguments of Olympiodorus, loc. cit., 
except the remark thrown out by Boeckh in an early work (Jn Platonis 
Minaem,, etc.), that the Epinomis contains much astronomical matter, 
and that Philippus was an astronomer. Boeckh, then in his twenty 
first year, intended to strengthen this proof (p. 76) ; in fact, he often 
repeated this view in his later writings, without supporting it by any new 
grounds. Neither has that been done from any other quarter, and so 
I should like to raise the question whether this somewhat weak argu- 
ment outweighs the intrinsic improbability that Plato's trusted friend 
has so grossly betrayed his trust. For the author of the Epinomis, 
if he is not Plato, certainly wishes to present the appearance of being 
Plato. Any one else would be more likely to do that than the pupil 
entrusted with the editing of the remains. And let it not be objected, 
that in the judgment of these questions antiquity had a less severe 


standard than ours. That is true for certain times and certain kinds 
of literature, but not for this case. In the case of the Timceus we 
shall observe the earnestness and zeal with which the immediate 
disciples, a Speusippus and a Xenocrates, strove to elicit the true 
opinion of the master from his writings. (Below) "The inepti- 
tudes of certain Stoics and Neo-Platonists." Panaetius, who rejected 
the PhcBdo, has been mentioned above (p. 295). This rejection is so 
monstrous that the utmost toil has been expended in explaining 
away the statement, and converting the rejection of the genuine- 
ness into a dislike of the contents. So Zeller, in the Commeniationes 
Mommseniance, p. 402, seq. But his principal argument, that one 
witness to the statement betrays his ignorance by speaking of "a 
certain PanKtius," is not valid. That navaXTi/is ns is, as Grote already 
saw {Plato, i. 157), said rather in contempt. Quite similarly, the by 
no means unlearned Aristocles, in Eusebius, Prcep. E-vang., xiv. 18. 
27, mentions 'Ayo|apxou tiv<Ss ; so the famous sceptic is called by him, 
AiVi)<r(Sij;[4os Tis {ibid., 29). The caprice of Panaetius may be compared 
with the Neo-Platonic daring, which did not shrink from rejecting the 
Republic ; cf. Freudenthal, in Hermes, xvi. 201, seq. 

Page 283 (Top). The weakest grounds for rejection seem to 
belong to the Ion, which the genius shown in the simile of the magnet 
would be alone enough to defend (533 D ). (As the magnet attracts the 
iron, and the iron attracts other iron as soon as it becomes magnetic, 
so the Muse is related to the poet, and the poet to the hearers, and 
these again, when they recite the work, to other hearers.) A vigorous 
defender of the much-attacked dialogue has lately appeared in Walther 
Janell, Quastiones Platonicce, 325, seq. (Below) '' The letters : " the 
case with these is that neither a general rejection nor the contrary can 
be proved tenable. In fact, some such conclusion is no longer con- 
tested. Even von Wilamowitz, who in this line sometimes goes 
furthest in scepticism, declares, " I could easily accept the Platonic 
letter" {}.e. the sixth) "as genuine" {Arisioteles und A then., i. 334 ; 
Anm., 33). On the other hand, Blass {Rhein. Mrts., liv. p. 36) 
" strikes out the first letter " (but that is a letter of Dion to Dionysius), 
expresses objections also to the twelfth, and will "simply not" speak 
of the five which are not transmitted in the MSS. of Plato. Christ 
also regards several, among them the seventh and eighth, as suspicious 
{Platonische Studien, Munich, 1885, p. 26). He remarks very per- 
tinently that the thirteen letters which Thrasyllus mentions (Diog. 
Laert., iii. 6), and which therefore, on the grounds stated above, are 
almost certainly meant by the cVio-roAai of the Aristophanic Ust (Diog. 
Laert., iii. 62), are in any case too old for any one to speak of 
" sophists' school-exercises " and the like (p. 25). The main a priori 
objection also against the genuineness of the letters, more often felt than 
expressed, the contradiction between the " world of ideals," in which 
his works show him dwelling and the everyday cares which take up 


no small part of Plato's letters, is best exhibited by Christ, and 
deprived of its force (ibid., p. 26). What he produces to prove the 
genuineness of the thirteenth letter seems to me very well worthy of 
attention ; e.g. the allusion by Aristotle {Meiaph., A. 5, 1015 A, 25) to 
a passage of this letter (362 B)— an allusion of exactly the same kind 
as that which has served to confirm the truth of a statement of 
biography (cf. note on p. 269). Wilamowitz's remarks on the other 
side {Hermes, xxxiii. 492, seg.) seem to me to be overthrown by Blass, 
loc. cit., and by anticipation by Christ, with whose view of the age of 
Plato's mother I agree. 

On the whole, the conservative tendency in these questions is 
perceptibly gaining the upper hand. Grote, it is true, who wished to 
exempt the whole Corpus Platonicum, as Thrasyllus attests it, from all 
attack, certainly went beyond the mark. For we believe that we have 
refuted his fundamental premiss, the assumption of a school-library 
which preserved the writings of Plato, and which Aristophanes could 
still consult {Platoniscke Aufsatze, ii.) ; and no words need be spent 
on his incidental attempts to interpret out of existence the expressions 
of doubt in antiquity (e.g. Plato, i. 167, seg.). But his mockery of 
the misuse of the " Platonic sense," his indication of the grotesque 
contradictions of subjective criticism, have borne fruit. Through the 
growth also of the historical sense, the ground has been cut from 
under hazardous constructions. To-day it scarcely seems credible to 
us that the most pre-eminent veteran in the study of the history of 
philosophy, a little more than sixty years ago, declared the Laws to be 
un-Platonic, against the express testimony of Aristotle. Here a place 
may be found for a double caution, (i) Observe the astonishing 
inconsequence, which is not seldom committed in this sphere. A 
positive testimony to genuineness by Athenaeus or JEVxaxi is reckoned 
as null ; but a faintly indicated doubt of these very writers, even 
when it directly contradicts the testimony of the Alexandrians five 
hundred years earlier, is to be a sufficient ground, not merely to 
counter-balance it in the particular case, but to put the whole Corpus 
Platonicum in the dock. (2) But as regards rejection on internal 
grounds, our exposition in the text (pp. 277-280) may be followed by 
a warning drawn from personal experience. Any one who broods 
over and steeps himself in one of the less prominent dialogues, easily 
perceives many objections, which seem to justify a sentence of 
rejection. But if one reads a number of the dialogues in quick 
succession, it happens many times that a single impression of that 
kind is corrected and set aside by a second impression. What seemed 
objectionable in A is repeated in B, and this time in union with 
excellences which exclude every thought of non-Platonic origin. 

Page 283 (Bottom). " When ... we read in a late author : " 
both quotations from Diog. Laert., iii. 38 (on the other side Cicero, 
Oral., xiii. 41) and iii. 35. 


Page 284 (Top). " Meno " and " Symposium : " cf. Symp., 193 A, 
Meno, go A, compared with Xen., Hellen., iii. 5. i. Up to the present, 
no other at all certain explanation has been found for these allusions. 
(Below) " The comparative study." For the questions here treated 
the foundation was laid by the prize essay of Friedrich Ueberweg, 
crowned by the Vienna Academy, Untersuchungen iiber die Echtheit 
und Zeitfolge platonischer Sckriften (Vienna, 1861). The mutual 
back-references and anticipations in the Platonic writings have been 
followed up with important results by Siebeck, Untersuchungen zur 
Geschichte der Philosophie, p. 107, seq. (2nd ed.). The present writer 
has also entered this field {Platoniscke Aufsdtze, i.). 

Page 285. The investigation of the statistics of the language was 
started by two researchers independent of each other, but essentially 
agreeing in their results. Lewis Campbell came first, in his edition 
mentioned above (note on p. 279), which has been followed by an 
important excursus in his and Jowett's edition of the Republic, ii. 46, 
seq. (Oxford, 1894), and further by an essay on the place of the 
Parmenides {Classical Review, vol. x.). Next came Wilhelm Ditten- 
berger, with his paper (1881, in Hermes, xvi. 421, seq\ Sprachliche 
Kriterien fiir die Chronologie der platonischen Dialoge. The most 
important further contributions have been added by M. Schanz, in 
Hermes,-xx.\. (1886), 439, j^j-. ; Constantin Ritter, Untersuchungen uber 
Plato (Stuttgart, 1888); and Hans von Arnim, in the Winter Pro- 
gramme of the University of Rostock, 1896-7, De Platonis Dialogis 
Qumstiones Chronologica. The whole literature on this subject may 
be found, collected and estimated, in Lutoslawski's work. The Origin 
and Growth of Plato's Logic (London, 1897). The present writer 
has reported on the progress of this branch of study in the Zeitschr. 
filr Philos. und Philos. Kritik, vol. 109, p. 162, seq., and in the 
Anzeiger der Kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften, April 20, 1898. 

Book V. — Chapter III. 

Page 288. Karl Friedrich Hermann : in his work, Geschichte und 
System der Platonischen Philosophic, ist (and only) part (Heidelberg, 
1839). Hermann's principal service was that he freed Platonic study 
from the spell of Schleiermacher's ingenious but deceitful construction. 
According to it, Plato in his early youth had thought out a plan of 
philosophic production, and executed it in the course of his long life. 
Every preceding dialogue had prepared the reader for a successor, 
the totahty of the dialogues together had formed a course of philosophy. 
Apart from its inadequate proof and the violence with which it is 
applied to particulars, the hypothesis suggests three decisive objections. 
How wonderful it would be, if even a philosophic genius had sketched 
a plan in his early youth to embrace his whole career ; yet more 
wonderful, if he had kept to it, never diverted by inward growth or 


outward influences ; and finally, most wonderful of all, he is supposed 
to have regarded the succession of his works and the gradation of 
the teaching to be drawn from them as so supremely important, and 
yet not to have transmitted it to posterity by any plain and easily 
recognizable sign ! By overturning this phantom, Hermann left the 
ground free for the historical treatment of the whole matter, and at 
the same time made possible the unprejudiced understanding and 
equitable estimate of the separate writings, whereby they were rescued 
— so far as first principles went — from the sway of the hypercritical 
mania for rejection. (Below) Aristotle, Metaph., A. 6 and M. 4 
(1078 b, 30, oAX' i fiev SioKpdTTis to Ka06Kov ou p^wpiffTck eirolei, k.t.A.). 

Page 289 (Top). " Predecessors of K. F. Hermann : " I am 
thinking especially of Friedrich Ast, Platan's Leben und Schriften 
(Leipzig, 1816). This scholar did, it is true, put the Protagoras at the 
head of the " Socratic " dialogues, which certainly is approximately 
right (p. 56) ; but he joined the Phcedrus to it as second, and (after the 
Gorgias) the Phcedo as fourth. 

Page 290 (Top). The characteristic marks and description of 
Plato's aged period are best given by Campbell in the writings 
above cited. His assignments of time agree almost throughout 
with those of Dittenberger {op. cit.). As early as 1854 Friedrich 
Ueberweg came fairly near to the now accomplished solution of this 
problem. In his paper, Uber die platonische Weltseele {Rhein. Mus., 
N. F., ix.), to which we are inclined to award the first place among all 
the studies on Plato that we know, he has distinguished three series 
of writings, according to the presence, absence, and modifications of 
the theory of ideas. He counts the Phadrus in the second group, the 
Timceus in the third, at the head of which he puts the Parmenides 
(p. 52, seq^. At this time he was as yet untouched by the scepticism 
which afterwards made him nibble at the genuineness of the 
Parmenides and the Sophists (p. 70). 

Page 296, § 3. Siebeck has here committed an instructive error. 
In the Republic, iv. 430 B, a definition of " courage " is given, and at the 
same time, in 430 C, a more exact research into the matter is promised. 
Here can be recognized only an unfulfilled promise, the announce- 
ment of a purpose which is only inadequately carried out in Bk. vi. 
486 A, B. But Siebeck refers this announcement to the Laches {op. cit., 
p. 127), which he therefore makes later than Rep., iv. But, since he 
makes the Protagoras, not without probability, later than the Laches 
(p. 120), and the Gorgias and Meno later than the Protagoras, quite 
rightly, and the Phadrus later than the Gorgias, just as rightly 
(p. 129), thus (to say nothing of the opposing evidence of linguistic 
criteria), the middle period of Plato's authorship is incredibly over- 
weighted, and his early creative period practically emptied. Any one 
who looks more carefully, moreover, will by no means conclude with 
Siebeck, from the comparison of Rep., iv. 430 C, with Laches, 196 D, 


that the Laches contains "the fulfilment of the promise given in 
Re<p., 430 C." In the Laches the conception of animal courage is 
•elicited, and pari passu elaborated from many single cases ; but in 
the Republic it is handled with certainty as a possession of long 
standing. The much more probable inference is the opposite order. 
When von Arnim also {De Platonis Dial. Quasi. Chronol.,-p. 19) makes 
the Laches later than we do, though not so late as Siebeck, he seems 
to me to be overrating the cogency of some few answer-formulas. 

Page 300. It belongs to the most extraordinary delusions of 
hypercriticism, that even the charming Charmides, not less than the 
Lysis, "two jewels in the crown of the Platonic work, small, but of the 
finest polish " (Lehrs, Plato's Phcedrus und Gastmahl, xv.), have been 
victims of excision at the hands of Ast, Socher, and others, down to 
the latest times. 

Page 305 (Bottom). The parallel to Charmides, 174 B, in Gorgias, 
449 B, has been pointed out by my revered teacher Bonitz, in Platan. 
Stud., 251 (3rd ed.), a work to which here and elsewhere our 
expositions owe much. 

Book V. — Chapter IV. 

Page 310. George Grote, Plato, ii. 45. 

Page 314. "The second fallacy:" against Bonitz's view, that 
the reasoning here treated {Protag., 332 A) " is not seriously meant 
by Plato " {op. cit., p. 265), in my judgment the fact is decisive that 
Plato, while he was still a pure Socratist, could not be fully conscious 
of the double sense of acj>po<rip-ri. For such a strict distinction is 
incompatible with the intellectualist doctrine, according to which 
the will is determined exclusively by knowledge. It is strange that 
Bonitz mistakes this, and at the same time has overlooked the fact 
that in this discussion Plato is exactly on the level of the Xenophontic 
Socrates. Bonitz himself formulates the " dictum, whose proof is 
here undertaken," which he supposes not to be seriously meant, as 
ffutppoaivTt Kol ao(pta toutiJ, without ever remembering, as it seems, the 
sentence of the Memorabilia (iii. 9. 4), irixjilay . . . Kal ira^poirivriv oi 

If Plato, as Bonitz has rightly remarked, goes further in this 
passage than anywhere else, in the identification of the separate 
virtues, this can be explained, in my view of the dialogue, apart from 
the young author's comparative want of independence, by the difference 
of the points of view which prevail here and elsewhere. In the 
Protagoras the object is to expound and to confirm, in oppositioi 
to the current view and its embodiment in a brilliant representative 
the inner connexion of the Socratic principles. So it might easilj 
happen, that the several doctrines appear in the form most sharph 


accented and furthest removed from common opinion, while the points 
of contact between the new and the usual opinion, which are really 
present and on other occasions are consciously appreciated, are here 
unduly neglected. Hence comes this liking for paradox, which has 
also caused the surprising hedonistic colouring of the final discussion. 
Page 315. " Laborious pastime : " cf. Parmenides, 317 b (vpay/ia. 

ret^Sri nmSiav iralieiv). 

Page 318 (Bottom). The thought formerly occurred to the writer, 
and similarly to Teichmiiller ij^itterarische Fehden, ii. p. 52), that 
Plato is here (Protag., 349 E, seq^ disputing against Xenophon 
{Memor., iv. 6, 10, seq."). But, not to speak of the almost insoluble 
chronological difficulties, it would have been a very odd kind of polemic, 
only perceptible to a reader here and there. 

Page 322. " The reader of the Platonic Laws : " v. 732 E. This 
parallel would of itself be sufficient to dispose of the once common 
and not yet extinct view that the " hedonistic " discussion at the end 
01 the Protagoras is not meant seriously. Moreover, the 9th book 
of the Republic also contains a passage (576 E-588 A), a discussion, in 
which the sensations of pleasure and pain (JiiovaX and ^.BTrai) are named 
and discussed as the elements of happiness and its opposite (euSai/ioyla 
and dSAiiJTTjs). 

Book V.— Chapter V. 

The succession of thoughts and the structure of the Gorgias are 
eminently well expounded by Bonitz, op. cit., pp. 1-46. 

Page 331. " The surprise of ancient as well as modern readers : " 
cf. note on p. 342. 

Page 33S (Bottom). " A pupil of the Pythagoreans." The many 
and strong traces of Pythagorean influence in the Gorgias have been 
till now scarcely noticed by the commentators, and in any case not 
duly estimated. In Schleiermacher's and Jowett's introductions, also 
in Grote's Plato, ch. xxii., I find no expression pointing that way. In 
Gercke's introduction {Plafonds ausgewdhlte Dialoge, ekrlart von H. 
Sauppe, iii. herausg. von A. Gercke), we meet a quite cursory indication 
of a single passage (493 A), with the remark, " He " (that is, the his- 
torical Socrates) " would never have had recourse to Pythagorean 
doctrines." But hither belong also the passages referred to in the 
text (465 B-C, 505 E, 507 E-S08 A), and much besides. 

Page 340, § 6. The description of the judgment of the dead is the 
first of the eschatological myths which occur in Plato. They have 
been treated as a whole by Dohring {Archiv fir Gesch. der Philos., 
1893, vi. 475, seq.) and A. Dieterich {Nekyid), who agree in essentials. 
Both derive these representations from Orphic-Pythagorean sources. 
Dieterich's proof of the correspondence of Plutarch, De Latenter 
Vivendo, ad fin. {Moralia, 1382, 12, seq., Diibner), with Rep., 614 E, 


and the origin of both representations from a lost poem of Pindar, 
seems to me quite successful. Among Dohring's remarks, we call 
special attention to those which relate to the deeper meaning which 
Plato gives to the theory of retribution (Vol. III. p. 92). 

Page 342 (Top). " A lost dialogue of Aristotle : " on this lost 
dialogue, entitled N^picflor, cf. Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, 
p. 89, seq. For what follows, cf. Athenaeus, xi. 505, D-E. (Below) 
"Debate on the value of rhetoric :" cf. Quintil., ii. 15, 24, seq., the 
present writer's essay. Die herculanischen Rollen, in Zeitsfkr. fur 
osterr. Gymn., 1866, p. 697, seq. The two orations of Aristides are 
called Tpis TiKirava, irepl fniTopiKrjs. In the oration vTTcp Tav TtTTopav is 
found the passage (ii. 99, 7, Dindorf) to which I refer in Vol. II. pp. 
331, 343, elr' kXeyx^tif p.^v ^ovKerai pT]TopiK-f]v, Karjiyopet Se tuv Tvpdyvap Koi 
Swaa-Toiv, ra &ixiKTa fuyvvs. The reply of Porphyrius is mentioned by 
Suidas, s.v. noptfiipios. 

Page 343. The discovery of the connexion between the pamphlet 
of Polycrates and the Gorgias is the merit of Gercke in his introduc- 
tion {pp. cit, p. xliii., seq^. His assumption that Libanius has used 
Lysias' defence of Socrates is superfluous. Gercke has overlooked 
an important point of correspondence. Libanius, § 139 (p. 70, Rogge, 
Amsterdam, 1891), quotes among the accusations the following : o^A.' 
apyois, tpTjaiv, iiroUi SaKparris, with great prolixity as far as § 146 (p. 73, 
Rogge). I compare the saying in Gor^'izr, 515 E, TouTi7Ap eymyc ctno^w, 
Ilepi/cAea ireKoniK^vai 'Adrivaiovs apyovs Kal Sei\obs Kal \d\ovs Koi <j>i\apy^povs, eis 
■ iu(r6o<f>optav irpSmv KaTaaT-tiffavra. It is, as we say, a case of the enemy's 
guns turned on himself. It would have been strange if the vtux^s 
aSoXiaxn^, as Socrates is called in Eupolis (cf. note on p. 50), had not 
been also assailed with the reproach of making the Athenians 
chatterers, which Plato accordingly reproduces in koI Kd\ovs. And 
since luaBo^apia is mentioned immediately afterwards, we cannot help 
thinking of the leading democratic statesmen in the " nineties " of the 
fourth century, who, like Agyrrhius, extended and increased the pay- 
ments, and so continued the work of Pericles (cf. Aristotle, 'aStji'. 
UoKiT., col. xxi., with Kenyon's remarks, p. 131, 3rd ed.). The second 
important accusation may be read in Libanius, § 167, seq. (p. 82, 
Rogge). The accuser has just praised Solon and Theseus, koI SieIt/ci 
Tohs TOLS <ro<pia'Tats ov ffvyyevofievovSf as hyadobs &fSpas yeyevTjfJLevovv, rhv 
Mi\T«£5r)c, riv ©e/uicTTOKAea, rhv ' ApitrrelSriVj k.t.A. " Plato's answer," as 
Gercke rightly remarks (op. cit., p. xlvii.), " stands in the Gorgias," 
namely, in the counter-accusation of just those honoured guides of the 
Athenian state. That these inferences are right, there seems to me 
no room for doubt. Libanius has certainly used some not extant 
source ; there are a number of passages, which absolutely exclude the 
idea of free fiction, which are only intelligible as replies to accusations 
recorded in a tradition, for which Plato's Apology and Xenophon 
alike leave us in the lurch ; e.g., above all, the passage just mentioned 


(§ 167). !Now, since one of the few points which we know in 
Polycrates' pamphlet is the reference to Conon's services (Favorinus 
in Diog. Laert., ii. 39), and this very Conon with his comrade 
Thrasybulus is treated in Libanius (§ 177, p. 86, Rogge), no doubt on 
the main question can remain. Of Wilamowitz's inversion of the 
relation {Berlin. Sitzungs-Berichte, Oct. 26, 1899), it will be time 
enough to judge when we are made acquainted with the grounds of 
this view. 

Page 345. The fallacies here exhibited are found in the Gorgias, 
474 E, seq., 476 B, seq. ; the first member of the second pair (p. 349) 
in 497 E, seq., the second paralogism (p. 350) in 496 E, seq. 

Page 349 (Middle). Cf. Rudolf von Jhering, Scherz und Ernst 
in der Jurisprudem (Leipzig, 1884), p. 245, seq. : " Im juristischen 

Page 350. " Precisely as in the Laws : " v. 734, C-D. 

Page 351. "Sometimes recognizes a variety of goods, of which 
wisdom is the highest :" Laws, i. 631 B-C. " N.ot merely the highest, 
but the only good:" Euthydemus, 281 E. ("Bottom) "A previous 
want." Here may be mentioned Guyau, Esquisse d!une morale sans 
obligation ni sanction, who proves very convincingly that the desire 
which precedes the enjoyment need by no means be always felt as 
pain. Extreme hunger is torture, appetite is pleasant. Before the 
satisfaction of a desire comes, not pain, but a sensation of pleasure, if 
the desire keeps short of a certain degree of intensity, and its satis- 
faction is held to be attainable and easily attainable. 

Page 353 (Top). The two contradictory passages, Gorgias, 460 B 
[ohKQvv KaTci TovTov rhv \6yoy Koi 6 t^ SiKaia fiefiadTiK&is SiKaios) and 525 C 
{oil yap oXiv tc iWus [i.e. without punishment] dSixlas airaWdTTea-Oat). 

Page 354 (Middle). The juxtaposition of the differing ethical 
standards : Laws, ii. 663 D and v. 734. 

Page 356. Passage on the "judgment of the dead," 525 D. (Below) 
Pindar, Fragm., 133, Bergk, preserved by Plato {Meno, 81 B), 
Empedocles (457, seq., ed. Stein). 

Book V.— Chapter VI. 

Page 358. Piety (icriorrjs) appears as one of the cardinal virtues in 
Protag., 330 B, Gorg., 507 B (koI }i.^v Trepl itkv hvQpdmovs Th. irpoffriKovTa irpdr- 
Tiev SUai it.vTrp6.TToi, ircpl 5c Beois iaia), Laches, 199 D ; on the other hand, 
the Repttblic,\\. 441 C-443 B, only knows theother four cardinal virtues. 
Our dialogue was understood as early as Schleiermacher (i. 2, 38, 3rd 
ed.) to be a necessary hint towards the elimination of icrioTris (but 
with reference only to the Protagoras). Others, as Lutoslawski 
notices, Plato's Logic, p. 200, have also brought in the Gorgias. Our 
chronological order, though for quite different reasons, also appears in 


K. F. Hermann, Geschichte und System, etc., p. 480. On the rejections 
of Ast and others, I prefer silence. 

Page 359. With the criticism of the myths of Kronos and Uranus, 
cf. Rep., ii. 378. 

Page 361 (Bottom). " It has long been recognized." I am here 
thinking of Bonitz's excellent discussion, Platonische Studien, 227, 
seq. (3rd ed.), especially p. 234, seq. 

Page 366. " Many believers in revealed religion : " on the moral 
positivism of certain nominalists, cf. Ueberweg-Heinze, Grundriss, 
ii. 226 ; also 309, seq. (8th ed.). Information on many details in 
Cathrein, Moralphilosophie, i. 530 (2nd ed.). Not only Occam and 
Gerson, but Descartes and Pufendorf appear among the classics of 
moral positivism. 

Page 367 (Top). Kant, Werke, x. 184, seq. (ed. Rosenkranz and 
Schubert). A lofty irony, playing with the facts, is characteristic 
of the Euthyphro, and proclaims itself at the very beginning. The 
accuser of Socrates is not reviled as in the Gorgias (486 B, KaT-ijy6po\. 
Tvxiiv Trim <pav\ov xal /loxBripov), but treated with cold and towering 
contempt. The art is also lofty, which knows how to interweave, 
unconstrained and as it were unintentionally, the single case with the 
discussion of first principles to which it gives rise. Great also is the 
logical maturity of the writer. Notice the distinction between oiicrla. 
and vdBos (11 A), M ir\4oy (the further extension) of a conception, the 
application of the word m6Beais, which seems to be entirely wanting 
in the Protagoras group, and is here used more technically than in 
the Gorgias (454 C). Finally, the precision with which the con- 
ception of 80-101' is subordinated to that of SUaiov (12 D), in sharp 
contrast to their co-ordination, agreeing with the popular view, in the 
Gorgias (507 B), offers a further and desirable proof of the chrono- 
logical order which we support. Moreover, the Euthyphro affords 
perhaps the most decisive instance to disprove Grote's view of the 
" dialogues of search " as genuinely coming to no result. (Below , 
§ 3). The genuineness of the Meno, doubted by Ast and Schaar- 
schmidt, is, thanks to Aristotle, better attested than that of the 
Protagoras and Gorgias. Cf. the passages in Ueberweg's Unter- 
suchungen, p. 139. 

Page 368 (Middle). On Gorgias's definition of colour, see Vol. I. 
p. 594. 

Page 369. " Utterance of Xenophanes : " cf. Meno, 80 D, % «' (col 3 
Ti fw.\iirTa hrlxois aiiT^, Tras eifirei Sti rourd kff-nv & (rh ovk ■fSriaBa ; with 
Xenophanes, Fragm. 14 (MuUach) (referred to in Vol. I. pp. 164 and 
310) : « 74p Kol rh. /idM^ra rixoi T€Te\e(r/ieiiov emdiv, avrhs S/ias ovk o'lSe, k.t.,\. 
Page 370 (Top). Pindar, Fragm., 134 (Bergk, Poetce Lyr. Gr., i. 
428) (4th ed.). On the geometrical discussion in chapter 15, cf. 
Cantor, Vorlesungen uber Geschichte der Mathematik, i. 204, seq. 
(2nd ed.). What is there given is "the proof of the theorem of 
Pythagoras for the case of the isosceles right-angled triangle." 


Page 371 (Middle). The bribing of Ismenias, here mentioned, 
has been applied as chronological criterion not to be disregarded, 
p. 284 above. 

Page 373 (Top). " The work of binding them." The connexion 
between reminiscence {Swiiivniris) and the apprehension of causes 
(aWoi Koyianis) remains obscure, so long as " cause " is thought of as 
the actual causal process, which of course is discovered empirically. 
Plato is rather thinking of reason than of cause. The word " deduc- 
tion " is wanting, but deductive knowledge is that which he has here 
in his eye, which alone seems to him to offer indisputable certainty, 
and for whose visible presentation mathematics offers him the most 
appropriate examples. (Below, § 4) Here I borrow much from my 
treatise, Platonische Aufsatze, i. p. 5, seq. (Vienna, 1887). Probably, 
also, the fact may be used as evidence of the chronological place of 
the Meno, that in several passages, where there would be a motive 
for it (74 A and 88 A), piety is not mentioned as a separate virtue. 
So far as this criterion goes, it suggests that the Euthyphro preceded 
the Meno. 

Page 375 (Middle). "Palinode to the Corgias:'' observe the 
glaring contrast between — 

Goz-^oj, 516 E-517 A. Meno, g^ A. 

2m. 'AAijfleis i,pa . . . oi l/iirpoffOev 2w. "K/ioiye, S> 'Ayure, KaX etvai 

\6yot ^(Tav, Hti oitStva Jifiels ifffiev SoKovtrw ei^ddSe ayaOol tvl iroA,tTi/cA, 
^vSpit SiyaShv yiyavlna to. itoKLTMh. koX ytyavivai en ohx ?ttov % eiyat. 

Page 377 (Top). Praise of Aristides in the Gorgias, els Si Kal 
irdvv iXK6yi.iiios yeyove (in reputation for righteous government) /cal els 
Toils &Wous "EWnvas 'ApiartiSris S Avai/idxov (526 B). 

Page 378. Retrospective reference in the Phaedo (72 E, seq^ to 
the Meno (81 A, seq^. Ci. Schleiermacher, ii. 3, 11 (3rd ed.) ; 
Ueberweg, Untersuchungen, 289, seq. ; Siebeck, Untersuchungen, iii. 
(2nd ed.). Siebeck recognizes also " the priority of the Protagoras 
to the Meno and Gorgias" {op. cit., p. 129), while Ueberweg {pp. cit, 
p. 296) remarks with full justice, " The Meno must at least be later 
than the Gorgias^'' 

Book v.— Chapter VII. 

Page 379. " Aristotle speaks in a certain passage : " IpariKo! \iym, 
in the middle of a polemic against Plato, Politics, B. 4, 1262 b, with 
reference to the speech of Aristophanes in the Symposium. (Below) 
" Goethe expressed himself : " Gesprdche, ed. Biedermann, vii. 294. 

Page 380 (Top). The point of view mentioned here has been 
emphasized by Wilamowitz, Gotting. gel. Anzeigen, 1896, p. 636. 
TheTheraic inscriptions in question, in Inscript. Gracce Insul. Maris 


^gai, fasc. iii., ed. Hiller von Gartringen, No. 536, seg. On Spartan 
customs, cf. Gilbert, Handbuch der Griech. Staatsaltertumer, i. 70, on 
Cretan customs, especially Ephorus in Strabo, x. (483-4). (Bottom) 
^^ Albanian Studies,^'' p. 166. The instructive work of Havelock Ellis 
on Sexual Inversion, p. 5, has given me the reference. 

Page 381 (Middle). The stories of Agesilaus and Xenophon in 
Xenoph., Ages., 5. 5, and Ion in Athenasus, xiii. 603-4. (Below) On 
the later perversion of the friendship of Achilles and Patroclus, cf. the 
collection in Roscher's Lexicon der Mythologie, i. 43, 45, seq. 

Page 382 (Top). Cf. Mahaffy, Greek Life and Thought from 
Alexander's Death, p. 254 (2nd ed.). (Middle) "We marry in 
order that," etc. : [Demost.] Or., lix., § 122. (Bottom) The genuine- 
ness of the Lysis, attacked by Ast, Socher, etc., is sufficiently assured 
by the numerous allusions of Aristotle alone (cf. Ueberweg, Unter- 
sicchungen, 172, seq^, but of course a fortiori by its intrinsic quality. 
The parallel with the Symposium, which in some passages becomes 
verbal agreement, while the Symposium is worked out in an in- 
comparably greater style, and separated from the Socratic phase of 
apparent in conclusiveness by its positive solutions, scarcely allows a 
doubt either of the chronological neighbourhood of the two dialogues 
or of the order Lysis, Symposium. 

Page 383, § 2. The fragments of Agathon in Nauck, 592, seq. 
(2nd ed.). 

Page 393 (Bottom). " An allusion to the Charmides : " i.e. 205 
E, compared with Charmides, 163 B. As regards the relation to the 
Meno, cf. Symp., 202 A, with Meno, 97 A, seq. 

Page 394. " Judgment pronounced on the poets : " cf. 209 A, seq., 
as against Gorgias, 502 B. " Justification of ambition : " 208 C, com- 
pared with Rep., i. 347 B. (Below) Our view of the internal struchure 
is approached most nearly by Arnold Hug (Platen's Symposium, 
Leipzig, 1876). 

Page 396. " Dion, to whom Plato dedicated an epitaph." The 
small poem (in Bergk, Poetcs Lyr. Gr., ii. p. 301, 4th ed.) ends 
with the line S ijxhv ittixiivas Bviibv epari Aluv. On this one point — the 
" reference to Dio ''■ — I have the pleasure of finding myself in agreement 
with Paul Natorp, in his latest work, Plato's Ideenlehre eine Einfuhr- 
ting in den Idealismns (Leipzig, 1903}, p. 166, note i. The extent to 
which our views diverge on other matters may be best seen from the 
manner in which Natorp {ibid., p. 171) conceives the final goal of the 
love-throes described by Diotima : " But if the beautiful represents 
simply that which is according to law, the one beautiful necessarily 
signifies the law of uniformity itself; that is, the ultimate, central 
union of all particular knowledge in the primary law of knowledge 
itself, in its basis of pure method." That there is no ground for 
doubting the genuineness of this and other Platonic poems, I share 
the conviction with von Wilamowitz. 


Book v. — Chapter VIII. 

Page I, § I. Cf. above all Tylor, Primitive Culture, ii. 222. 
D'Acosta's Historia de las Indtas is accessible to me only in the 
French translation (Paris, 1592). There the passage quoted by 
Tylor is on p. 214, seq. Laffiteau, Mceurs des Sauvages Amiricains, 
i. p. 360, also quoted by Debrosses, Du Culte des Dieux fMches, 
P- 59i gives the information on the belief of the Iroquois, that every 
kind of animal has its archetype in the land of souls, ce qui revient 
aux idies de Platon. 

Page 2 (Top). Herbart, Ges. Werke, xii. 8 1. The account by 
Aristotle, Metaph., A. 6, and similarly M. 4. 

Page 4 (Top). (Hippocrates, ncpl Tex>")s, § 2, vi. 3, 4, ed. Littrd), 
cf. the author's Apologie der Heilkunst, pp. 44 and 107, seq. (Middle) 
Epicharmus. In Kaibel, Com. Grac. Fragm., i. i, p. 123 (Fragm. 
171 = 41 Lorenz). (Below) " In the words of Hermann Bonitz : " 
Platonische Studien, p. 201 (3rd ed.). 

Page 5. " As John Stuart Mill assumed : " in Dissertations and 
Discussions, ii. 348, seq. 

Page 7. "An attempted reconciliation:" this attempt belongs 
to Herbert Spencer. (Below) " The empirical school," etc. : cf. 
especially the sections on this matter in Mill's Logic, above all book 
ii. chs. 5-7 J similarly Helmholtz, Vber den Ursprung und die 
Bedeutung der Geometrischen Axiome, Populare Aufsatze, p. 23, seq., 
and his Zdhlen und Messen, erkenntnistheoretisch betrachtet, in 
PhilosopMsche Aufsatze, Eduard Zeller gewidinet, p. 17, seq., and in 
the same connection Kronecker, Uber den Zahlbegriff, p. 263, seq 
Stallo's polemic against Mill {Theories and Concepts of Modern 
Physics, p. 138, seq^ is partly, but only partly, to the point. Much 
nearer to our, that is to the empirical, position, than Stallo, whom he 
himself introduced to the German public, comes Ernst Mach, in the 
excursuses on the theory of knowledge which he has appended to his 
Prindpien der Wdrmelehrej cf. also his Analyse der Empfindungen, 
264., seq. (3rd ed.). 

Page 10, § 3. Xenophanes and his irreSiua : according to Diog. 
Laert., ix. ig ; cf. Rohde, Psyche, ii. 258 (2nd ed.). (Middle) 
For the ancient Aryan conceptions in general, cf. Darmesteter, 
Zend-Avesta, i. 187 {Sacred Books of the East, iv.), where traces 
of the doctrine of the return of the components of man to the 
elements are proved to be also found in the Ri^- Veda and the Edda. 
(Below) The quotation from Epicharmus ; Fragm. 246 Kaibel = 8 
Lorenz. The present writer has lately treated the genuineness of 
this and similar fragments {Beitrdge zur Kritik und Erkldrtmg, etc., 
vii. p. 5, seq\ and also the far-reaching correspondences between 


Epicharmus and Xenophanes (ibid., p. 9). Intercourse of both at the 
court of Hiero ; according to the Marmor Parium in C. I. G., ii. p. 302, 
Clem. Alex., Strom., i. 14, 64 (353 Potter), Plut. Apophthegm, 175 
{Moralia, 208, 29, seq., ed. Dubner). "An allusion of Aristotle:" 
Metaph, r. 5, loioa, 5, treated by the present writer, Beitrage, iii. 8, seq., 
where the verse is recovered, fltc^ras fiev ou/c ^0a t6S' &aa.' a\a9cas e<i>a, now 
Fragm. 252 Kaibel. (Bottom) Menander, in fragments of Epicharmus, 
239 Kaibel =11 Lorenz ; the next fragment, 249 Kaibel, = 2 Lorenz. 

Page 12 (Bottom). " Story told by Herodotus : " vi. 86. 

Page 14. Renan, Les Apotres, Introd., p. Ixiv. Cf. also his 
profound remarks in Hist, du Peuple d'Israel, iv. 359-6o. 

Book V. — Chapter IX. 
Page 16. " These words of Goethe : " Gesprdche mit Eckermann, 

p. lOI. 

Page 17 (Top). "Speech of Polycrates in praise of mice," etc.: 
cf. Blass, Attische Beredsamkeit, ii. 367, seq. (2nd ed.). 

Page 20 (Middle). An unmistakable reference back to the Gorgias 
in the Phcedrus, 260 E : Hffirep yctp axoieiv SokS, . . . ovK icTi Te'xi^, 4\x' 
inexvos Tpi|3^. Plato holds fast to his newly attained estimate of 
rhetoric, even in the Politicus, 304 A (cf. Thompson, Phadrus, Introd., 
p. xvi.). Another echo of the Gorgias (452 E) in Phadrus, 261 A. 
The hasty gliding over the name of the venerated orator {j^ofy'mv . . . 
kdaa/iej/ e88eij») corresponds best with this chronology. Plato could not 
have permitted himself this liberty, unless he had already dealt with 
him to the best of his power. 260 A and 260 D also remind us of 
that dialogue. 

Page 21 (Middle). " Organic unity." The comparison of a work 
of literary art to an organism appears here for the first time (J'hadrus, 
264 C and 268 D), and recurs, as Thompson pointed out {pp. cit., p. 103), 
in Philebus, 64 B, and a little modified in Politicus, 377 B. Here, as 
so often, Aristotle follows the steps of his master {Poetics, ch. 23, 
1459 A, 20). The thought was also frequent with the young Goethe 
(Weimar ed., 37. 315). 

Page 22 (Bottom). " This passage . . . search for themselves : " 
cf. Schleiermacher, Einleitung zu Platon's Werken, i. i. 16 (3rd ed.). 

Page 24 (Top). Plato's political aversion from Lysias and pre- 
ference for Isocrates is treated excellently by Niebuhr, Vortrdge iiber 
alte Geschichte, ii. 212. (Middle) "This art of character-drawing : " 
cf. the ancient judgments in Blass, op. cit., i. 392 (2nd ed.). If the 
realistic quality of Sophron's mimes attracted Plato (cf. Vol. II. p. 264), 
but repelled him in Lysias' forensic speeches, the contradiction is more 
in the words than in the fact. That kind of mime, which we partly 
know from the fragments and still more from Theocritus' imitations 


illuminated every-day life by a freely playing humour ; the advocacy 
of Lysias sticks fast to every-day life, and is likely to have seemed to 
the author of the Republic an offence against his prohibition : rk S' 

o«\ei!flep« iit^TS iroieTc /n^re Seivoiis eTyoi fun'titrairBai (ill. 395 C ; cf. also 396 

D, 397 A, 398 A, and further the judgment against everything 
" banausic," vi. 495 D). 

Page 25 (Top). " ^schines was attacked by him : " cf. note on p. 
124. (Middle) The influence of Socratic teaching on Isocrates is treated 
thoroughly, and on the whole convincingly, in spite of many less 
weighty arguments, by Schroder, QucBsHones Isocratece Duce (Utrecht, 
1859, pp. 1-41). Some particulars are mentioned by ancient tradition : 
[Plutarch] Vitce Decern Oratorum, iv. 35 {Mor., 1022, 16, Diibner). The 
final compliment also at the end of the Pkcedrusxs scarcely intelligible 
without personal relations between the two. (Below) " Antagonism to 
Antisthenes : " cf. Blass, op. cit, ii. 45 (2nd ed.). That at the time when 
Plato wrote the Phadrus he was already unfavourable to Antisthenes, 
may not improbably be inferred from the ridicule on the interpretation 
of myths, 229 B, seq. (Bottom) The much-disputed statement of Cicero 
{Orator., xiii. 42), " Hsec de adulescente Socrates auguratur, at ea de 
seniore scribit Plato et scribit sequalis," we take to be completely 
justified. Our view of the famous prophecy was anticipated a gene- 
ration ago by Thompson [pp. cit., pp. 182, 183), and Constantin Ritter 
has also judged likewise, though not without some exaggeration 
{Untersuchungen iiiber Plato, p. 133). 

Page 26. The relations between Isocrates and Plato have been 
an object of almost endless discussion. The foundation was laid by 
Leonhard Spengel, who did much service to the understanding of Plato 
as well as of Aristotle, in the paper Isokrates und Platan {Munchener 
Akademie-Schriften, 1855). Isocrates speaks of his " philosophy " in 
Orat., xii. § 9, xv. § 50 ; cf. also § 41 ; in opposition to the barrenness of the 
"so-called philosophy," §§ 270 and 181, and with direct reference to 
Plato in Or., x. ad init. ; on the " princes of the contentious art," in xv. 
§ 261. The raving outburst against the dead Plato in v. § 12 came 
a year after Plato's death, and so, probably, under the immediate 
impression of the fresh-published Laws and their expressions of com- 
plete hostihty to the rhetorical profession (xi. 937, 938). Isocrates' 
self-appreciation is probably expressed most strongly in xii. 13 and 
XV. 46, seq. 

Page 27, § 4. The correspondence between Phadrus, 269 D and 
Isocrates' Sophists (xiii.) §§15-18 was first observed and discussed, not 
by Reinhardt, De Isocratis Mmulis, as Blass erroneously states {op. cit., 
ii. 29, 2nd ed.),but long before by Spengel {pp. cit., p. 17). The present 
writer agrees with those who hold Plato for the borrower, like Blass^ 
I.C.; tJberweg, Philologvs, xxvii. 177; '&tx^,Fiinf Abhandlungen, etc., p. 
31; Siebeck, I7ntersuchungen,i2(),seq.; Zycha {16th Leopoldstddter Gyvi- 
nasial-Programm, Vienna, 1880), p. 23; Natorp,//£^;««, xxxv. 389, seq. ; 



and (less decidedly) Thompson, op. cit., p. 120. The most thorough 
proof is given by Siebeck, Lc, who has most strictly investigated the 
relation of both works. Closely connected with this is the important 
question of the date of the Phadrus. The anonymous ancient statement 
that it was Plato's first-fruit (cf. Vol. II. p. 283) has found much support. 
Schleiermacher, though he gives no authority to that tradition {Platan's 
Werke, i. i, p. 53, 3rd ed.), yet believes that the purpose of the dialogue 
and the method of its fulfilment " indisputably " secure to it " the 
earliest place among all the works of Plato " {pp. cit., p. 47). Bonitz 
also defends the early composition of the Pkadrus. He finds, briefly 
stated, that the various subjects treated are not brought into such 
complete and unconstrained connexion as might be expected from 
Plato's perfected skill. " To excellences, which can only be attained 
by an artist of genius, are united defects, in which we must recognize 
the artist just beginning " {Platon. Studien, 292, 3rd ed.). We may 
answer, I think, that the blame for the defects mentioned by Bonitz 
lies not with insufficient skill in the mastery of the task, but in its too 
great difficulty. The thinness of the "connecting threads," the 
obviousness of the "joints in the structure," both recur to an increased 
degree in the Republic and the Laws. To judge the Phczdrus with 
complete equity, Bonitz should have compared it with these works, not 
with the "small works, unimportant in content," nor yet with the 
" perfected works," of which the content, while supremely important, 
is incomparably more uniform. The latest attempt to claim the 
Phadrus for Plato's early period has been made by Usener {Rhein. 
Mus., XXXV. 131, seq^. According to him, Plato wrote the Phcsdrus 
" surprisingly early, as early as his twenty-fifth year," i.e. 403 or 402. 
To say nothing of all other reasons, that is, in my judgment, quite 
excluded by the way in which Lysias appears as " the most important 
speech-writer of his time : " Sia/6-raTos rSiv viv . . . ypd(peiv (228 A). For 
Lysias, as Grote {Plato, i. 200) points out in a similar connexion, 
delivered a speech in 403,in which he speaks of his " inexperience." 
This might, as a last resort, be explained as want of practice 
in public appearance. But the surrounding words, fiii Sict Ti\v 
efjLtreipiav sLya^tas Kal aSwdras , . . ttjv Kwrriyopiav iroi-iitTa^ai {Oral., xii. 
§ 3), make it appear quite impossible, as I judge with Blass, op. 
cit., i. 542 (2nd ed.), that he was then already a celebrated speech- 
writer. Also this oration describes his personal fortunes and the 
overthrow which they received under the rule of the Thirty Tyrants. 
Before it he was very well off, and has only lately become poor. 
This is a second decisive reason against the view that before that 
he had been an orator by profession, and an expert, so that he 
could be opposed to the "layman" (iShSttis), as is done in the 
Ph(Edrus, l.c. Compare what we have collected on the low esteem of 
such a " banausic " occupation in Vol. I. p. 580 (note on p. 417). Only 
reasons of absolutely overwhelming strength would enable us to make 


such a presupposition. In truth, the date of none of Lysias' orations 
leads us further back than that time. Usener's proof rests chiefly on 
■ the notice in Cicero, Brutus, xii. 48 : " Nam Lysiam primo profiteri 
solitum artem dicendi ; deinde, quod Theodorus esset in arte subtilior, 
in orationibus autem ieiunior, orationes eum scribere aliis ccepisse, 
• artem removisse." Although Aristotle may be Cicero's authority 
(cf. § 46), the words of his statement are not before us, and the possi- 
bility of a free reproduction by Cicero cannot be excluded. In a 
word, we are not at all driven to assume that the two activities of 
Lysias were mutually exclusive, and that his career as a teacher had 
already preceded his earliest forensic speeches. Preferably the con- 
clusions arising from the facts of his life compel us to interpret the 
notice in Aristotle and Cicero as meaning that at first, but not before 
403, he was a teacher of rhetoric, and that this occupation more and 
more gave way to' his activity as speech-writer and advocate. The 
statement of Isocrates (fir., xv. 41), quoted by Reinhardt {De Isocratis 
Mmulis, p. 4), that no speech-writer ever became a teacher of rhetoric, 
cannot make us doubt our view. Taken strictly, it may be true ; but, 
so taken, neither does it contradict the account of Lysias' life to which 
we are compelled by the facts. That the transition from one to the 
other of these occupations was effected by entirely giving up the first 
before the second was begun, may be true of Isocrates, who began as an 
advocate and ended as a teacher, and who, moreover, was anxious to 
obliterate the traces of his short career of advocacy (cf. Vol. I. p. 417). 
But there cannot have been a rule without exception, which, even in 
the reverse order, was bound to apply to Lysias or Antiphon. 

The very remarkable echo of the Phcedrus, 275 D, 276 D-E, 277 E, 
in the Oration of Alcidamas, §§ 27 and 35, has been noticed by Zycha 
{op. ciL, p. 25, seq^, and the polemic of Isocrates {Panegyricus, Or. 
iv. § n, seq^ against Alcidamas by Reinhardt {op. cit, p. 16) ; Zycha 
has best used his observation for the chronological fixing of the 
Phcedrus. The date of 380 or 381 was the most usual for the 
Panegyricus (cf. Blass, op. cit, p. 25 1, 2nd ed.), and has lately been 
determined more exactly by von Wilamowitz {Aristoteles und Athen., 
ii. 380) by means of the obvious reference to the Olympian festival 
(Midsummer, 380). Whether the oration was "already finished in 
the second half of 381," as Judeich affirms {Kleinasiat. Studien, 
p. 137, seq^, and Beloch denies {Griech. Gesch., ii. 219), need not 
trouble us. On the date of the Sophists, cf. Blass, op. cit., pp. 17, 22. 

Page 28 (Top). "The great poets and lawgivers." The two passages 
here mentioned are Symp., 100 C-D, and Phadrus, 277 E, with 278 C. 
It may be objected that in Rep., x. 599 D-E, Lycurgus and Solon are 
again named with honour. Yet it must not be forgotten that Plato 
always paid high honour to Solon personally, as a friend of his 
ancestors, and in that passage he required Lycurgus to contrast with 
Homer, whom he is there blaming. In that part of the Republic, the 


Sophists, as well as the legislators, are treated very leniently. The 
latest attempt to prove the priority of the Phcedrus (I vo Bruns, Attische 
Liebestheorien, Neue Jahrbiicher, 1900, p. 17, seq^ is ingenious, but 
by no means free from artificial and violent constructions. The main 
argument may be exactly reversed. The Symposium knows nothing 
of personal immortality ; its place is taken by the continuation of 
individual existence through bodily and intellectual posterity. But 
in the Phado, the Republic, and the Laws, the question of individual 
immortality is supremely important for Plato. In the Laws, as we shall 
see, he even repeats a proof of immortality already given in the Phcedrus. 
Hence the separate attitude of the Symposium in this respect, so far 
as it proves anything, proves its own priority, not that of the Phcedrus. 
(Below) "Already been the subject of much discussion." The 
passages of the Phcsdo chiefly referred to are 76 D and 100 B : ci likv 

eo-Tiv & 6pv\ovii€v acl, and «r' kKetva rh ir oXvB piXl)T a, both about 

the doctrine of ideas, while it is said of the same doctrine, in Pkadrus, 
247 C, ToX/inreov yap olv t6 ye a\7)8ey elireiy. Before Plato " dared " to 
announce the doctrine of ideas in the name of Socrates, and thereby 
in his own, he had put it into the mouth of the prophetess Diotima 
{Symp., 211 E), and there too with reference only to the idea of beauty. 
Page 29. The question here discussed has been minutely treated 
by the present writer in Platon. Aufsdtze, i. {Zur Zeitfolge Platonischer 
Sckrifteii). His conjecture, that the Phcedrus is extant in a second 
redaction, appears to him still (or rather again, for at one time he for- 
sook it) as the only path of rescue from many other insoluble diffi' 
culties. There seems to him little force in the objection raised against 
it, that Plato, if he had published the Phcedrus at a later date in a 
second edition, would have thought himself ol)liged, by the troubled 
relations with Isocrates which had intervened, to cancel the prophecy 
relating to him. In truth it contained from the first only a very con- 
ditional and relative praise (cf. pp. 25, 26). That on the occasion 
of a revision of the text, which is all that we suppose, the author of 
the already widely known work was bound to cancel an expression 
which belonged to its substance, — we think too highly of Plato to 
assume that. (Blass agrees with us, in Attische Beredsamkeit, iii. 2. 
392, 2nd ed.) 

Book V.— Chapter X; 

Page 30 (Bottom). Here I am glad to agree precisely with Windel- 
band {Platon, p. 77). I point this out the more gladly, because the 
tendency to minimize the doctrine of ideas, and the monstrous suppo- 
sition that Plato was misunderstood by Aristotle in regard to his 
principal doctrine, have in these days been very considerably diffused. 
A rough refutation of this view, but in my judgment quite to the point. 


may be read in a letter of Lehrs' {Briefe von tend an Lobeck und 
Lehrs, p. 1002, 1003). 

Page 31 (Bottom). Philolaus. On his system of the universe, cf. 
Book I. chap. iv. We shall meet with him again in considering the 
TimcBUs, and reserve further information till then. 

Page 36 (Bottom). On the reference in the Phcedo to the Mow, 
cf. note on Vol. II. p. 378. The morality of prudence is called a 
" shadowy (image " of true virtue in Phcedo, 69 B. 

Page 37 (Middle). A correction of the rules of method found in 
Phcedo, loi D-E, is contained in Rep., vi. 511 A-B, and vii. 533 B-D. 
(Similar observations in Lutoslawski, Plato's Logic, 308-310 and 312.) 
Similarly, Rep., x. 611 B, in the words, ws vDi/ riiuv i^&vr\ ri rf/vxli {i.e. as 
composite), seems to look back to the now abandoned doctrine of the 
simpHcity of the soul, as it is represented in the Phcedo. (Cf. Schultess, 
Platonische Forschungen, pp. 49, 55, who, however, defends the order 
which we reject — Phcedo, Phcedrus, Republic, ibid., p. 58.) We regard 
as equally erroneous the view supported by others, that the Thecetetiis 
precedes the Phcedo. This appearance is, it is true, produced by the 
fact that difficulties which are discussed in Phcedo, 96 D, seg., and 
solved in 102 B, seg., by means of the doctrine of ideas, emerge again 
in Thecstetus, 154 C, without finding a solution. In general, it is 
true, such a relation speaks for the order which in this case we 
oppose. But for this time the inference is not conclusive. For in the 
Thecetetus those difficulties are not discussed simply in themselves, but 
as corollaries, which spring from the doctrines of other schools there 
attacked, and of which the solution cannot be got from those schools. 
In other words, it is the critical survey of the theories of Aristippus 
and Antisthenes that leads Plato back to difficulties which, from his 
own point of view and by his own means, he thinks he has already 
solved. In the Republic also (vii. 523, seq^ Plato comes back to these 
difficulties, and yet we have just seen that this and the neighbouring 
books in any case followed the Phcedo. It might be a temptation to 
bring down the Phcedo very late, that it finds the most trustworthy 
grounds of virtue in the rewards and punishments of a future life 
(especially 107 C), while the Republic tries to prove that even on earth 
the life of the just man is the happiest, the life of the unjust the most 
miserable; But a conclusion based on that would belong to the class 
of those which prove too much. For then we must also put the Phcedo 
after the Laws (v. 732 E, seq^, which is obviously impossible, on 
internal and external grounds alike. We readily concede this much 
only, that the Phcedo must have been composed at a time when the 
coincidence of justice and happiness was not so unshakably certain to 
the philosopher as it was in other periods of his hfe. That hesitations 
even in this fundamental conviction were not wanting we learn from 
the very same Laws (ii. 663 B-E). The Phcedo stands just as far 
removed from the end as from the beginning of the Platonic series. 


Besides what we have said about its relation to the Protagoras, another 
sign of that date is, as Grote remarks {Plato, ii. 152), the manner 
in which Socrates is spoken of at the end, kvipbs . . . t&v t6t€ . . . 


Page 40 (Top). "The sea-god Glaucus." The simile in Pep., x. 
611 C-D. On the whole preceding discussion, cf. Phado, 82 E, seq. 
(especially 83 D), and 93 D, 94 B, seq. (Below, § 4) See Bonitz's 
masterly analysis in his Platonische Studien, 293, j^^.(ed. 3). There also 
(p. 310, note 9) the much-discussed question, whether Phcedo, 96 A, seq., 
is a description of Socrates' mental development or of Plato's own, 
receives what is plainly the only right answer : " Plato ... is not giving 
an historical account, but laying down in outline the reasons which lead 
from the philosophy of nature to the philosophy of concepts." That 
does not, in my judgment, exclude the possibility that certain details 
may also possess historical truth ; e.g. the combined impression of 
admiration and disillusionment which Socrates received from the 
teaching of Anaxagoras. Cf. what was remarked on pp. 46, 47 of Vol. 
II., about his earlier intercourse with the Anaxagorean Archelaus. 

Page 43. The view of the soul as a harmony of the body appears 
as represented by Dicaarchus in Aetius (cf. Doxographi, p. 387, 5). 
In general, cf. Zeller, i. i. 444, seq. (5th ed.). Macrobius {Somnium, 
i. 14) ascribes this theory to Philolaus and Pythagoras. Aristotle 
refers to them, without mention of a name (JDe Anima, A. 4, Politics, 
0. 5, ad Jin.). The testimony on Aristoxenus in Zeller, ii. 2. 888, note i 
(3rd ed.). 

Page 45 (Middle). " A recent interpreter : " Windelband, Platon, 
137. (Bottom) Phadrus, 245 C, seq. ; Laws, x. 854 E, seq. 

Page 46 (Middle). " In the tenth book of the Republic : " Rep., 
X. 608 D, seq. (Bottom) I am thinking of Phcedo, 73 C, seq. 

Book V.— Chapter XI. 

Page 48 (Middle). We regard the much-disputed genuineness 
of the Menexemcs as secured by Aristotle's allusions {Rhetoric, A. 9. 
1367, b 8, and r. 14. 1415, b 30). The latter testimony, especially with 
the introduction, % . . . Keyei ^wKpdTiis h TijT iinra^iif, allows no con- 
tradiction, since Aristotle does not in any demonstrable case quote 
any other writings than Platonic dialogues in this manner. Uberweg's 
expedient {Untersuchungen, p. 146) breaks down on passages like 
Politics, B 6. 1265, A. 10, where 01 toD Seo/cpi^Tous \6-^oi appears as pre- 
cisely the collective name for the Platonic dialogues. I regard also 
the genuineness of Rhetoric, iii. as certain, following Diels' exposition 
in the Abhandlungen des konigl. preuss. Akad. der Wissensch., 1886. 
On the purpose of the author of the Menexenus, I think exactly like 
Grote {Plato, iii. 8), Diels, op. cit., p. 21, and Wendland, Hermes, 


XXV. 180. Grote is only wrong in refusing to acknowledge raillery in 
the working out of the subject, while others overlook that Plato, carried 
away by his subject, sometimes has quite forgotten his purpose of 

Page 49. Whether Menexenus, 238 C-D, is exactly modelled on 
passages of the Periclean funeral oration (Thuc, ii. 37), can scarcely 
be decided. The jest (236 B) that Aspasia has glued together scraps 
from her own oration, seems to favour our conjecture. I do not 
accept the objection that Plato did not know the history of Thucydides. 
It is incredible in itself, and besides, there seems to me an agreement, 
which cannot be accidental, between Rep., viii. 560 D-E, and 
Thuc, iii. 82, 83. 

Page 50 (Bottom). " In the earlier books of the Republic : " 
especially i. 335 B-D. 

Page 51 (Top). "As has been recently pointed out:" by Dr. 
Heinrich Gomperz, U6er die Abfassungszeit des Platonischen Kriton, 
Zeitschr.f. Philos. und Philos. Kritik, vol. cix. pp. 176-179. (§ 2) To 
go thoroughly into the opposing views on the composition of 
the Republic, as they are represented especially by A. Krohn, Der 
Platonische Siaat (Halle, 1876) ; E. Pfleiderer, Zur Losung der Pla- 
tonischen Frage (Freiburg, 1888) ; and also by Windelband, Platan 
(Stuttgart, 1900), is impossible in this place. I may just refer, first of 
all, to the replies of Zeller, ii. i. 558, seq. (4th ed.), and Campbell, 
Republic, ii. i, seg. ; and further, cf. Apelt, Berl. Philol. Wochenschr., 
November 10, 1888 ; Siebeck, Untersuchungen, 271 (2nd ed.) ; 
YlixxatrfEntstehungund Compositionder Platonischen Politeia (J^tvpzi%, 
1897) ; Grimmelt, De Reipublicce Compos. (Berlin, 1887) ; Westerwiek, 
De Rep. Plat. (Munster, 1887). On the dates, of the single parts, I 
believe that I, agreeing with others, have obtained the following 
results. The earlier books presuppose the Gorgias ; compare i. 348 E 
with Gorgias, 474 C, seq., and iv. 438 D with Gorgias, /^.jd, 477. With 
equal certainty the Phcedrus precedes at least the fourth and fifth 
books of the Republic, which is clear from the comparison of Rep., v. 
454 A with Phadrus, 265 C and 273 E, and of iv. 435 A-441 C with 
Phcedrus, 246 A, seq. The later books of the Republic, as we have 
seen, look back to the Phcedo. That the Phado itself must have 
been composed after Rep., ii. and iii., is an apparent but not really 
cogent inference. It is true that in these books " there is no trace of 
a doctrine of immortality strictly so called " (Rohde, Psyche, ii. 267, 
ed. 2), but not true that " the rewards which are held out to it (justice) 
after death are only mentioned ironically." No more ironically than 
the prosperity on earth which is appointed for the just man by the 
gods, or the good and evil fame which are assigned to the just and the 
unjust man in this life (ii. 363). The object in these parts is rigorously 
to demonstrate the power of justice in itself to give happiness, to cut it 
free from all rewards and punishments, whether real or supposed, in this 


life or the next. This point of view, the effort to make the strictest ap- 
pUcation of the method of difference, prevails here without Umit, Plato 
has to do only with this isolation (Siiaraais), with the uncompromising 
completion of his thesis [yv/ivuTeos 8); vivrmi irA^y iucauxrivT]!, ii. 360 E 
and 361 C). This tendency is further heightened by another, by the 
polemic against the vulgar view of the under-world, which sees in 
Hades merely a place of horjror and wailing. The <i>i\aices are to be 
steeled against this feeling, which enfeebles the soul. (Beginning of 
iii.) The fear of punishment, which awaits transgressors according to 
the Orphic view— a view shared, and in many dialogues expressed by 
Plato himself— here, we may say, never comes into his spiritual field 
of vision ; any regard to it would, in fact, introduce an element 
injurious to the exposition and weakening to its power. Therefore 
also the way in which the "muddy pool" (363 D) is mentioned proves 
nothing against the priority of Phado, 69 C. 

Page 58. The few fragments of the speeches of Thrasymachus, 
in Oratores Attici (Ziirich ed.), pp. 162-164. 

Page 64 (Middle). I cannot agree with the opinion of many 
scholars — to whom, however, Campbell (on Rep., iii. 86) does not 
belong — that the community described in Rep., ii. 372, is intended to 
represent the Cynic ideal. There is no lack of points of contact, but 
also no lack of characteristic differences. Any ironical intention of 
Plato is absolutely out of the question. The abusive name, "pigs' 
commonwealth," is put into the mouth of Glaucon, whose desire lor 
more luxurious furnishing of society is immediately expressed at fuU 
length by Socrates in the words, ^a 8^; ical fiBpa ko! Au/ukJ^ioto koI iToipai 
Kol ire/i/iora, 'iKaara tairKV irnvToiatri (373 A), which certainly are no 
ideal demands in Plato's sense. And, most important of all, the 
description " healthy " (So-irep vyvi\s ns), is applied to the earlier model 
of primitive simplicity, while the succeeding social life of greater 
luxury is called by Socrates <^\i-/fuUvo\i<ra. iro\is (372 E). Arthur 
Fairbanks also agrees with me (" The Stoical Vein in Plato's 
Republic" Philosophical Review, x. 17). 

Page 66 (Top). What is here said about the stages of a process 
of natural development requires justification and limitation. In fact, 
there are two opposing currents. The degeneration of constitutions 
described in the eighth book of the Reptiblic corresponds to the 
gradual decadence of organisms described in the TimcEus. Both corre- 
spond to the primitive Greek way of thinking, which is suggested in 
the Homeric oToi vvv Pporol ciViv, and fully pictured in the Hesiodic 
doctrine of the ages. With the opposite view we have already met in 
Vol. I. 388, and not less in Vol. I. 297. Something similar is found in 
Plato, not only in the Protagoras (cf. Vol. I. p 389), but also where he 
is speaking in his own name, in the Politicus (274 B-C), in connexion, it 
is true, with the doctrine of cycUcal succession of progress and retro- 
gression. This doctrine is also tacitly assumed as the foundation of 


the expositions in the Republic. Cf. Rohde, Der Griechische Roman, 
216, note 2 (2nd ed.). 

Page 69 (end of § 7). Cf. Rep.^ iii. 414 A : as eV tiStt^, ^tJ Si' 
iiKfiPelas, also vi. 502 D, se^. 

Page 70 (Top). Of music Plato says, eflco-i iraiSeiovcra roiis ^iJAokos 
. . . evapiiotrrica' tivc^, oi!k eKiaTi\ixiiv irapaSiSov<ra ; and vii. 518 £ : ^0E<r2 te 
m\ aaidimTiv. (Below) "Alludes more than once to philosophy . . . : " 
ii. 376 C, iii. 410 E, 411 C-F, v. 456 A. On the necessity of subordi- 
nation under the XoyurTM6v, cf. iv. 441 E. (Middle) " Only he attains 
to the possession . . . :" vi. 494 D. 

Page 71 (Top). "Drew a veil :" irapilUvros koJ irapaKaXwTOnivov 
To5 \iyou, vi. 503 B. 

Page 73 (Middle). " Soldiers or helpers : " eVi/coupoi. As the 
use of this expression has been made a test in the discrimination of 
the supposed " strata " of the work, a few remarks on it may be in 
place here. The division of the <pi\a.Kis into &pxovTes and mere 
hrtKovpoi is accomplished by degrees and quite naturally. Compare iii. 
414 B with passages of book iv., such as 434 C, 440 D, 441 A, where, 
instead of Hpxai/res, Plato speaks simply of the Pov\evTiKhv y4ms. In 
books ii. and iii. up to nearly the end of the latter, everywhere 
where the character and education of the upper class is described as 
opposed to the <pav\ol re Kal xe'corexvo' (iii- 4oS A), no occasion had 
arisen for that differentiation. It would only have introduced confu- 
sion, as, instead of one class, two sub-classes would have had to be 
mentioned. That differentiation does not take place till the i/tree 
parts of the soul are recognized, and the parallelism with the three 
classes taken in hand, not till the study of science, by which the division 
is effected, is in near prospect. Both in the Republic and in the 
Laws it is not so much the exaggeration of literary defects, as bUnd- 
ness to literary excellences, which has provided hyper-criticism with 
its sharpest weapons. 

Book V. — Chapter XII. 

Page 80 (Top). " Until political power and philosophy are 
united." The important passage is Rep., v. 473 D, partly repeated in 
vi. 487 E. (Par. 2) One of the most important passages bearing on 
the arrangement of the work is vi. 502 D, seq. How can any one read 
this part, with its accumulated references to the preceding books, 
without recognizing the artistic interweaving of the different threads, 
the well-calculated ascent of the exposition from the coarser to the 
more subtle? (Compare v. 502 E, seq., with iii. 412 E and 413 U ; or 
vi. 504 A-B with iv. 427 D, seq., 435 D, and iii. 414 A.) Again and 
again, in 502 and 503, the enhanced subtlety (awpf^eia) of the discus- 
sion is emphasized — a subtlety that could only be offered to the reader 
after he has been thoroughly prepared for it, and become fascinated by 


the work, whereas previously he has had to content himself with an 
exposition given in rough outline. 

Page 83 (Top). "Scale of precedence, or hierarchy." The absolutely 
earliest rudiments of the hierarchy of the sciences are to be found, 
perhaps, not in Plato, Rep., vii. 525 B, but in Philolaus, who treated 
of the sequence of the sciences under the mystic garb of the theory of 
numbers. For what else is the meaning of his making the ideas of 
point, line, surface, body, physical quality, and soul, correspond, in 
that order, to the first^six numbers ? I am not inclined to see here, as 
Zeller does (i. 443, ed. 5), " a weak attempt " at analysis, but a highly 
remarkable anticipation of most important theories. Cf. Diog. Laert., 
viii. 25, especially, «k Se Toirwv (that is, from the points, which for their 
part have arisen from the numbers) Tcks ypan/ids, e| Sy to eTrfa-eSa axit^'^'^' 
tK Se tSov iirnridwv t^ (rrepea. ffxflp^Ta, e/c Serovruj/T^ cuitBtit^ frd^fiaTo. In this 
respect Aristotle followed Plato ; cf. Metaph., A. 2, 982 a, Tj {aX t\ 
fKaTrivmv [sc. tiriffT^^uai] aKpiffirmpai) ; Analyt. Post., A. 27, 87 a, 30 > 
and De Ceelo, T. 1, 299 a, 16, etc. — passages in which the fundamental 
principles underlying all classification of the sciences are expressed 
with wonderful pregnancy. It would be worth while to trace the 
further development of the theory, with its chief stages : Descartes 
(Preface to the Principia, iii. i, ed. Cousin), Hobbes {Opera Lat., ed. 
Molesworth, iii. 87, iv. 28, et al.), then d'Alembert (cf. Discours Pri- 
liminaire de r Encydop'edie), Ampere {Essai sur la Philosophie des 
Sciences, Paris, 1834), down to Comte and Spencer. Dilthey {Archiv, 
xiii. 358-360 and 466, seg.) has lately contributed a valuable beginning 
towards this task. Cf. also Edmond Goblot, Essai sur la Classification 
des Sciences (Paris, 1898). The contradictions which arise in the treat- 
ment of this theme are partly due to the fact that the chronological or 
historical sequence of the sciences corresponds largely but not entirely 
to the logical sequence, while the third point of view, the didactic, has 
little in common with the two others. Comte, like Plato, placed 
astronomy immediately after mathematics. Spencer {Essays, iii. p. 6) 
raised objections against this juxtaposition, which Littrd {Augitste 
Comte et la Philos. Posit., p. 294) endeavoured to repel. It is obvious 
that astronomy, taken in the widest sense, is a branch of physics. But 
it is otherwise with Vastronomie m^caniqve, which is, as Littr^ expresses 
it, une dtude de gravitation. As such, it may precede terrestrial 
mechanics, because it exhibits to us a particular mechanical force, 
perhaps the most fundamental of all, acting on an overwhelmingly great 
scale, and thus practically without modification or check. 

Page 84 (Bottom). " The beginnings of disentanglement : " cf. 
Mach, Die Mechanik in ihrer Entwickelung, ed. 3, p. 8, seq., where 
reference is made to Aristotle's treatment of the lever problem. The 
passage in question is, MTjxoyiitci, ch. i, 847 A, 28, seq. 

Page 85 (Top). " Who shrugs his shoulders at experiments." I 
am here thinking of Republic, vii. 531 A. The light and the shadow of 


Plato's scientific thought are equally displayed in what is related by 
Plutarch, Life of Marcellus, ch. 14, 5 ( Vita, p. 364, 46, Dohner), and 
QucBst. Conviv., viii. 2, I, 7 (^Mor., 876, 9, Diibner). Plato is repre- 
sented as having been angry with Eudoxus and Archytas because 
they employed instruments and apparatus for the solution of a 
problem, instead of relying solely on reasoning. The problem in 
question certainly was one of pure geometry — the so-called Delian 
problem of the duplication of the cube. It is clear that Plato desired 
geometry to retain its newly acquired character of a deductive 
science, and not lapse, say, into the old Egyptian methods. But the 
expression of lofty disdain in Plutarch's narrative (ttokktis koI (^opriK^r 
fiaiiauffoupylas), agreeing as it does with the passage just cited from 
the Republic and with another in the Timceus which will occupy us 
shortly, allows us to draw more far-reaching inferences. Had Archi- 
medes or Galilei been a contemporary of Plato's, had they carried 
out in his presence their fundamental experiments in statics and 
dynamics, they would hardly have fared better than Eudoxus and 
Archytas. As we learn from Diogenes Laertius (viii. 13 : oSror irpSros 
Ttk i).i\x<i'VMh, Tttij fiaBrj/iaTiKois 'trpoaxi'i]<'^l''^vos apxats fi.e6iiSevffe), Archytas 
himself laid the foundation of a scientific study of mechanics ; and it 
may be that Plato's silence on these beginnings, which were known 
to the world in his own time, has something to do with an opinion of 
his that Archytas had made an insufficient use of mathematical 
principles. (Below) Kepler and Tycho Brahe : cf. Rudolf Wolf, 
GescMchte der Astronomic {Gcsch. d. Deutschland, xvi.), 
p. 286, seq. ; also Newcomb, Popular Astronomy, p. 66. 

Page 86 (Top). " Pure and divine beauty : " Jowett and Camp- 
bell {Plato's Republic, iii. 306) refer here to Symposium, 211 D, E, 
and to Phcedrus, 250 D. See also the thoughtful remarks on the 
Idea of the Good, p. 306 of the same work. (Middle) " A brilliant 
metaphor." The simile of the cave occurs at the beginning of 
Republic, vii. 

Page 88 (Middle). " It has been remarked with some justice : " 
cf. D. Peipers, Die Erkenntnistheorie Plato's, p. 588 and p. 594 note. 

Page 89 (Top). " Science will be complete . . ." My source for 
the quotation from Royer Collard is Taine, Les Philosophes classiques 
du XIX^"" Steele en France, ed. 7, p. 28. The strictly empirical mode 
of thought described in what precedes has already been under our 
notice in the case of Democritus, cf. Vol. I. p. 363. In the century 
just over it was maintained by no one with greater consistency and 
fruitfulness than by J. S. Mill ; compare, e.g.. System of Logic, bk. 
iii. ch. 12, " Of the Explanation of Laws of Nature," especially the 
conclusion, § 6. 

Page 90 (Middle). " ' Limping ' one-sidedness." It is no little to 
Plato's credit that he did not censure the "limping" one-sidedness of 
the mere sportsman and hunter more severely than that of the man 


who cultivates his mind jto the entire neglect of his body (vii. 535 D : 

X<e7Cbs Se Koi 6 ravwrta roirov fifTaPe$Kr)Ki>s ri/v ifitKoTroviav). It is no 
less characteristic that in the choice of rulers he desires comeliness of 
form to be taken into consideration, so far as possible, as well as 

mental and moral qualities : Toftj Se yhp pePaiordTovs koX robs avSpfiora- 
Tovs irpoaipcriov, xal koto; iivafuv toIis cteiinrrirovs (535 ■^)' The ascetic 

author of the Phado has here become a true and complete Hellene 
once more. 

Page 91 (Top). " Patriarchal monarchy . . . aristocracy:" cf. ix. 
576 D, then 580 B ; iv. 445 D is highly important for the express 
declaration that the ideal state may be termed monarchy just as well 
as aristocracy. And, in fact, when we come to 587 D, we find the 
apuTT0KpaTiK6s identified with the Pa<ri\iK6s, and timocracy, the first 
degenerate form of government, is represented by Plato in viii. 544 E 
and 545 C as arising out of that same aristocracy. I am, therefore, 
entirely unable to agree with Zeller when he says (ed. 4, ii. i, 925) 
that Plato is here concerned only with the scale of worth, or " ideal 
development," and not at all with the " historical development " — a 
circumstance " which Aristotle . . . quite fails to recognize in his 
criticism, Poltf., v. 12." It is none of our business, I think, to extricate 
Plato from the contradictions in which he has, without any doubt, 
involved himself ; or at least only to the extent of attributing to him 
the thought that the patriarchal monarchy of the first ages formed the 
most important approximation to the ideal state. (Bottom) " The 
analogy, partly, real . . ." Jowett and Campbell rightly remark, on 
viii. 559, that the analogy between political and individual types 
" begins to fail more and more." " The ' Platonic number : ' " Pep., viii. 
546 B-C. A vast amount .has, been written on this number, both in 
ancient and modem times. It is only recently that the commentary 
of Proclus on the passage has become known to us {Prodi in Platonis 
Rem Publ. Comment., ii. 36, seq., KroU, with important explanations by 
Hultsch, who writes with uncommon authority on the subject, p. 400, 
seg., of the same work). Through the intermediacy of Proclus (410- 
485 A.D.) we make the acquaintance of the treatises by ancient 
scholars on this difficult problem, the final solution of which has not 
yet been won, but to the elucidation of which the best contributions 
had already been made by Hultsch himself (Zeitschr. f. Mathematik 
11. Physik, xxvii.). 

Page 92 (Middle). "Historical elements." I allude here to K, 
F. Hermann's essay. Die historischen Elemente des platonischen 
Staatsideals, Ges. Abhandlungen usw., p. 132, seq. "Accumulating 
treasure abroad : " at least one allusion to this may be detected in 
548 A. This mode of evading the Spartan prohibition against own- 
ing the precious metals is treated of by Posidonius in Athenseus, 
vi. 233 F, and probably the inscription no. 68 in Rohl's Inscr. Gr. 
Antiqxdss. relates to the same subject. 


Page 94 (Top). " Philolaus of Corinth : " on his legislature, cf. 
Aristotle, Politics, B 12, 1374 A, B. (Bottom) "The law of reaction." 
This law is hinted at in Rep., iii. 388 D, fully stated in 563 E. The 
reaction against Athenian many-sidedness and individuality is most 
conspicuous in the repeated emphasis laid on the division of labour, 
e.g. iii. 394 E and 397 E, and in the glorification of life in common, 
Rep., V. 463 B, or Laws, v. 739 C, D. 

Page 95 (Middle). Thucydides. On this allusion, cf. note to 
p. 49. " Overloaded with imagery : " see especially 560 A, B ; the 
condemnation of the imagination in x. 603 A. 

Page 99 (Top). "Plato has reached his goal . . ." We may 
here note the highly artistic manner in which Plato returns to the 
original problem of the work by means of the words, 'Ap' oZv . . . f>s 
%v ^aivii]TUi TtovopiraTOS, KaX aBAiiiraTos ipavlia'eTai ; (JRep., ix. 57^ C). An 

inferior writer would not have been able to dispense with a forced 
transition. He would have left the long historico-philosophical 
digression, which occupies the whole of bk. viii. and the first section 
of bk. ix., and returned to the main problem by some such phrase 
as, " We will now resume our discussion of the old question whether 
justice makes the just man happy." As it is, the transition is brought 
about quite naturally and as it were spontaneously. But this result, 
when we come to look into it, is only made possible by the fact that 
after the last degenerate form of constitution, tyranny, has been dealt 
with, the personal character of the tyrant is described with great 
minuteness. And the right to this fulness of description has only 
been acquired by a previous detailed parallelism between the several 
forms of state and the corresponding types of men. This parallelism, 
we observe, has not been carried through entirely without violence, 
especially in the passage where the rise of democracy is deduced from 
the democratic type. We may perhaps venture to say that this whole 
modus procedendi was in large measure dictated by artistic considera- 
tions, and that what seems violent in the earlier stages of it was partly 
intended to facilitate the passage from the historical back to the 
ethical theme, and free it from every suspicion of violence. 

Page 100 (Top). " J. S. Mill in a cognate argument : " Utilitarian- 
ism, ch. ii. p. 12. 

Page 103 (Below). "The first astonishing repetition :" Leo Tolstoi, 
who entirely agrees with Plato ; see Gegen die Moderne Kunst (Berlin, 
H. Steinitz), p. 152. 

Page 104 (Middle). We have already (at the end of the chapter 
on the Phcedo, p. 46) treated of the proof of immortality given in this 
passage (x. 608 D). From the circumstance that Glaucon at the 
outset speaks as if he had never before heard of the immortality of 
the soul, far-reaching consequences have been deduced with regard to 
the composition of the Republic. The argument again appears to 
prove too much. How could Plato have here introduced the doctrine 


of immortality " as a paradox "(Rohde's expression, Psyche, ii. 267, ed. 2), 
when he had presupposed that doctrine in the Gorgias and the CHto, 
and carefully demonstrated it in the Phcedrus and the Phado ? Surely 
no one will venture to set down the tenth book of the Republic as 
earlier than all these works. Such a chronological order could soon be 
proved impossible by decisive arguments. But the hypothesis that 
Plato is here treating the question of the soul and immortality for the 
first time, is more than sufficiently negatived by the wording of the 
passage. In 611 B we must not stop at the words, as vvv ^ic k^ v 
^vxi, but go on to what immediately follows : "On /ley Toimiv afliixarov 
^"xh, to! 6&pTi \6y05 Kalot &\\oi avayKdanav &v. Both certainly refer back 
to the Phcedo (cf. note to p. 46). The circumstance that the whole 
question of immortality appears here in the guise of a newly arisen 
problem, is and must remain strange, whatever view we take of the 
original order in which the books of the Republic were written. It 
may be partly explained by the reflexion that the introduction of a 
new argument finds its best motive in an antecedent expression of 
doubt, and that its convincing force stands out most strongly against 
the background of emphatically stated disbelief. In the use of this 
artifice, however, the great artist has for once overshot the mark. 
The literary economy of a part has been served at the expense of that 
of the whole. It may be set down as an error on Plato's part that in 
bk. vi. (496 E, 498 C, D) he makes his brother Glaucon assent to 
several doctrines which involve the belief in immortality, and then, in 
bk. X., makes him reject that belief in the first instance. But this 
error gives us no trustworthy instruction on the chronological order of 
the books. It teaches us at the most that the author of this highly 
complex work, one which occupied him during a long series of years, 
did not write with all the details of his plan continually present to his 
mind, and that his final revision left something to be desired in point 
of thoroughness and accuracy. Let me here say a last word on the 
composition of the Republic. To those who believe that bks. viii. 
and ix. were written before bks. vi. and vii., the following reply may 
be made : It is quite incorrect that bks. viii. and ix. connect 
immediately with the earlier books. The sections which treat of the 
doctrine of ideas are indispensably presupposed by the preference 
given to philosophy, to the knowledge of the eternal essences — a 
preference so strongly marked at the close of bk. ix. that it leads 
to the morally superior or just man being confounded with the 
philosopher, from which even the Paa-i.\eis almost ceases to be dis- 
tinguished (cf. especially 587 B). It may be termed a sheer 
impossibility that these sections were written as the immediate con- 
tinuation of those parts of the work which know nothing of philosophical 
training, or intellectual training of any kind, in which music and 
gymnastic are regarded as sufficient instruments of education even for 
the ruling class. 


Book V. — Chapter XIII. 

Page io6 (Bottom). " Slavery : " cf. the important passage, 
ix. 590 C, D. 

Page 107 (Top). " It has been rightly remarked : " by Jowett and 
Campbell {Platens Republic, iii. p. 224) : " The lower classes have no 
real place in the Republics they fade away into the distance." 
" ' Wealth ' no less than ' poverty : ' " Rep., ii. 374 B, and iv. 421 C, seg. 
For what follows, cf. ix. 590 C. (Below) " A passage of the Gorgias : " 
512 E, seq. In what follows the reference is to Rep., viii. 549 A, then 
to v. 469 C, seq. ; see also 470, 471. 

Page 108 (end of par. 2). " ' Householders and farmers,' but not 
good ' guardians ; ' " iii. 417 A. (Below) " Rudiments of communism at 
Sparta : " cf. Xenophon, Respubl. Lacedcem., ch. vi. 4. 

Page 109, § 2. The simile of the dogs and wolves : iii. 416 A. 
■ (Bottom) " Community of women ... : " this important utterance in 
Laws, V. 739 C, D, supplemented by xii. 942 C. 

Page 1 10 (Middle). "Such a man is . . . ." The passages referred 
to here and immediately above are Rep., viii. 561 C, seq., and 557 D. 
My translation largely follows Oncken, Staatslehre des Aristoteles, 
i. 118. 

Page III (Top). " Some of the best men of the nineteenth century." 
I am thinking of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and J. S. Mill's 

Page 112 (Top). "Magnificence:'' iieyaKoirpiveia, which appears 
in Rep., iii. 402 C, and vii. 536 A, as a virtue by the side of a-uKppoa-ivn 
and avSpela. Although the high position thus given to the quality is 
not "justified on any principle," mankind may well be grateful to 
Plato for this enlargement of the modern ideal, especially in a 
democratic age with a tendency to give what are sometimes called the 
"huckstering virtues" an undue preponderance. Plato pronounced 
a " commonalty of thinkers " an " impossibility " (Rep., vi. 494 A . 
(juxiaoipov . . , TrhTjeos oSvvarov ehai) ; a high-souled " magnificent " 
commonalty would not have seemed to him any more credible. 
(Below) The passage from the Laws, xi. 918, 919. 

Page 113 (Top). The quotation from the Republic; iv. 441 E. 
(Middle) " The best of sayings . . . ■ " KaXXiSTa yap Si) toDto kuI Aeyerai 
Kal A.EA.€'j€Tai, 3ti rh fjikv oi^iXinov KoAiy, rh 8e ^Ka^tplv alffxpov (v. 457 B). 

Page 114 (Below). The passages in the Republic are iv. 420 B, 
and V. 465 E, seq. Aristotle's criticism is in Politics, B. 5, fin. I 
cannot agree with Campbell and Jowett {Plato's Republic, iii. 162, 163) 
in regarding this criticism as a grave misunderstanding. 

Page 115 (Top). " Call nothing their own but their body : " Sia rh 
mSiv iSiov EKT^o-eai vKTjv Th (tZ/w. (Rep., v. 464 D). (Bottom) " Analogies 
from animal life : " e.g. Rep., v. 451 D, 459 A, 466 D, 467 B ; cf. also 


Laws, vii. 814 B. The example of the animals is also cited against 
the love of boys and in favour of strict monogamy in Laws, viii. 836 C 
and 840 D, E. " The argument of the Laws : " vii. 805 B. (§ 5) On 
the restriction of the healing art, see Rep., iii. 405 C, seg. ; on the 
hardening rdgime, principally Laws, xii. 942 D, E. 

Page 116 (par. 2). "Moral hardening:" Rep., x. 606 B, D ; also 
603 E, seg., and iii. 387 D, seg. 

Page 117 (Top). "The Academy and the Lyceum:" cf. Diog. 
Laert., iv. 22, and hidex Acad. Hercul., col. xv. The saying is one of 
Arcesilaus, reported by his contemporary, Antigonus of Carystus. 
(Below) "Pheido the Corinthian :" cf. Aristotle, Politics, B. 6, 1265 
B, 12. He wished ri TrA^flos tSc TToAiTwj' to remain unchanged as well 
as their property in land. (Middle) " Exposure of . . . infants : " 
on this and kindred matters, see Rep., v. 459 D, 460 C, and 461 A-C. 
The hardly less severe precepts of Aristotle may be found in Politics, 
H. 16. Cf., on this subject, the instructive remarks of Grote {Plato,m. 
229, seg^. 

Page 118, § 6. Aristotle's criticism of Plato : Politics, B. 1-5, that 
of the Laws, 6-7. The remark quoted occurs in B. 5, 1263 b, 15. 
(Bottom) "All this is approved of by Aristotle : " op.cit., 1265 a, \2„seg. 
The quotation from Xenophon, Respubl. Lacedczm., ch. i. 7-10. Instead 
of " primitive Greece," I might have spoken of the primitive Aryan 
period ; see the articles " Keuschheit " and " Zeugungshelfer " in 
O. Schrader's Real-Lexicon der Indogermanischen Altertumskunde. 

Page 119 (Top). Herodotus : iv. 104. Fragment 653 of Euripides 
{Protesilaus), Koivhv yapfhai xpv" yi""^"<e7ov Ae'xoj, is not wholly irrelevant. 
It is true we should need to know the dramatic situation out of which 
this exclamation arose, in order to measure its significance (cf. 
kindred paradoxes in Hippolytus, 6i8, seg., and Medea, 573, seg^. 
Perhaps the intention was to rebuke the excess of conjugal love 
which caused Laodamia to follow her husband to the grave. The 
line shows at the least, just as much as the mad pranks of the 
Ecclesiazusae, that such thoughts were not entirely strange to the 
Athenian public of that day. An opinion was once widely held that 
in the comedy referred to, Aristophanes had Plato and his Republic in 
his mind. This opinion, with its corollary that a part of the Republic 
was published as early as 392, may now be considered as out of date. 
See H. Dietzel's essay on the subject in the Zeitschrift f. Gesch. u. 
Lit. d. Staatswissenschaft, i. (Leipzig, 1893), p. 373, seg. Zeller has 
a full discussion of it, ed. 4, ii. i, 551, seg. See also Ivo Bruns' 
pamphlet, Frauenemancipation in Athen. (Kiel, 1900), pp. 22-25. 
The chief point is that Aristophanes treats the community of 
women as a hitherto unheard-of thought, and that the public 
could not possibly have detected an allusion to Plato which was 
not hinted at in a single syllable. Further, the Lysistrate, which 
was performed as early as 411, contains passages which remind us 


of Plato's emancipation of women ; no one, however, could explain 
these passages as in any way dependent on Plato, who was only 
sixteen years old at the time. Lastly, the above hypothesis has 
been supported by a statement found in Aulus Gelhus {Nod. Att, 
xiv. 3. 3, 4), to the effect that two books of the Republic were 
published independently, and that Xenophon's Cyropadia was partly 
intended as a polemic against them. But this statement has turned 
out to be quite unhistorical (see Zeller, op. cit., p. 488, and the 
copious literature cited by Martin Herz, in his edition of Gellius, 
ii. 3o6). The decisive circumstance here is that the first two books 
of the Republic do not contain a single word on the projects of reform 
which Aristophanes is supposed to be ridiculing in the Ecclesiazusce. 
Moreover, it is absolutely impossible to see how Plato could have 
published the two introductory books as an independent work. On 
the other hand, Gellius {Joe. cit.) and Diogenes Laertius (iii. 34) 
would appear to have been right in remarking that the words of 
Laws, iii. 694 C, iraiSfias Se opBrfs ovx ?i<p9ai t!> irapdnav (sc. rhv Kipoy), 
are meant as a thrust against the above-named work of Xenophon. 
(Middle) " Different kinds of land-collectivism : " shown to be known 
by Aristotle in Politics, B. 5, 1263 a, 1-8. " Community of women in 
African tribes : " ibid., B. 3, 1262 a, 19-22 ; cf. Herodotus, iv. 172, on 
the (Libyan) Nasamones and Massagetes. (Bottom) "Shall length 
of time. . . ." These remarkable words of Aristotle occur in op. cit., 
1264 A, I : Sti xP^ irpotrexeiy t$ ttoKI^^ XP^'I' ""^ '''''* iroWois €Tetriv. The 
last word is not to be corrected to iBv^aiv, as is done by Bernays 
{Ges. Abhandlungen, i. 177; cf. Vahlen, in Zeitschrift f. osterr. Gymn., 
xxi. 829, seq^. 

Page 120 (Top). " Re-echoed a hundred times : " e.g. by Lubbock, 
Prehistoric Times, p. 490 : " In reality we are but on the threshold of 
civilization." Similar expressions occur not infrequently in the works 
of Guizot and J. 8. Mill, of Maine and Tylor. (Middle) Aristotle's 
criticisms: op. cit., 1261 b, 22, and 1262 b, 15. Grote's polemic, 
Plato, iii. 230, note b. (Bottom) " Another objection of the Stagirite : " 
op, cit., 1264 a, 24 : h luS yhp ■ir6Xii Sio iroXcis avayKutov sTvai, Kal rairas 
ivemvTias aAAiJXois, compared with Rep., viii. 551 D : rh /ii; /ilav aWh Sio 
hiiyKT) ehai riiv TOioiJrrjj' iroKiv, r^v fiev mv^Toiv riiv Sh itKoviriav, olxovvras iv 
rQ ouT$, oel lm^ov\eiovTas oAA.^\ois : and iv. 422 E : Sio ;nec . . . irohe/ila 
iTOL^iXats, 71 nii> irev^uv, r) Se ■rrKovalav. 

Page 121 (Above). " The theocratic despotism of the Incas." The 
mention of this empire leads me to notice an analogy between the 
old Peruvian and the Platonic legislations. According to Prescott, 
History of the Conquest of Peru (New York, 1847), i. 112-115, all the 
girls of from eighteen to twenty years of age were every year married 
by the State to the young men of twenty-four, and dowered with a 
piece of land, which received an increase at the birth of each child. 
But the consent of the parents was necessary, and the wishes 

VOL. III. 2 A 


of the parties concerned were not left unregarded. (Bottom) 
" Pedantocracy." The expression was coined by J. S. Mill and 
adopted by Comte ; cf. their newly published correspondence (Paris, 
1899) in many passages. 

Page 122 (Bottom). Otto Ludwig, Genofeva-Fragment [Dramat. 
Fragmente, Berl., 1891, p. 275). The preceding quotation from 
Euripides, Fragm., 21, 3/4. 

Page 123 (Middle). "Socialization of the means of production." 
I call this no longer unexampled, on the strength of Franz Oppenheimer's 
account (in Julius Wolff's Zeitschr.f. Social-Wissenschaft, ii. 194, seq^ 
of the successful attempts in that direction of which Southern California 
has been the theatre still more than the Mormon state. (Bottom) 
On the Perfectionists of Oneida, cf. Charles Nordhoff", The Com- 
munistic Societies of the United States (London, 1875), pp. 259-301, 
especially pp. 276 and 291. The other publications relating to this 
subject, including a reply of J. H. Noyes himself to W. Hepworth 
Dixon's account in his New America, may be disregarded. This 
parallel has also been referred to recently (1902) by Lewis Campbell, 
in his short but uncommonly valuable monograph, Plato's Republic, 
pp. 103 and 105. 

Page 124 (Middle). jEschines. So far we have only spoken of 
this Socratic once and at slight length (Vol. I. p. 426). Diogenes 
Laertius treats of him in ii. ch. 7. The not very numerous fragments 
were collected by K. F. Hermann, in Be jEschinis Socratici Reliquiis 
(Gottingen, 1850), supplemented by Hirzel, Der Dialog, i. 138, 139. A 
luminous characterization is given in the latter work, pp. 129-140. 
The relics of his dialogues exhibit an apparently artless, but in reality 
highly artistic, kind of literary miniature-painting. Antiquity saw in 
them the truest copy of the actual dialogues in which Socrates took 
part. Their content was partly political ; in the Alcibiades, the 
praise of Themistocles took up considerable space. His personality 
is exhibited in a very disagreeable light by the remains of a plaintiffs 
speech by Lysias (cf. p. 25). According to this speech, he paid court 
to an old woman, "whose teeth might be counted more easily than the 
fingers of one hand," swindled her, and brought her family to beggary 
(in Athenseus, xiii. 611, 612). There is better attestation for his long 
residence at the court of Dionysius II. (Diog. Laert., ii. 63), where 
he met with Plato. The relations of the two are very differently 
described by different authorities. Diogenes' statement (ii. 61), 
that Plato ignored jEschines at the Syracusan court, is in fiat 
contradiction with what is told us by Plutarch (De Adulatore et 
Amico, ch. 26 ; Mar., p. 81. 14, Diibner), and the latter writer is 
corroborated to some extent by the fact that Plato mentions 
^schines twice {Apology, 33 E, and Phado, 59 B). There seems 
no doubt that his dialogue Aspasia had for its content what we 
have stated in the text ; cf. Natorp, in Philologus, 51, 489, seq., and 


von Wilamowitz, Hermes, 35. 552. I cannot, however, agree with the 
latter writer in denying all inferences as to the historical Aspasia. 
It would be exceedingly strange if three authors (Plato, Xenophon, 
and ^schines) had agreed in fictitiously endowing the companion 
of Pericles with what we might very reasonably have expected her to 
possess — a highly cultivated mind and intellectual influence. For I 
cannot admit the contention that Xenophon's praise of Aspasia 
{CEcon., iii. 13) may have been intended merely as a compliment 
to jEschines, " in whose dialogue Aspasia appeared in company with 
Xenophon and his young wife." This seems to me by no means 
"obvious." For if von Wilamowitz's conception of Aspasia were 
the objectively correct one, Xenophon could not possibly have been 
gratified to find himself, and still less his real or fictitious young wife, 
joined with her in a dialogue. 

Page 126 (Top). Xenophon's description {CEconomicus, vii. 4, seg.) 
is made good use of by Ivo Bruns, in the pamphlet which we have 
already mentioned (Fraicen-Emancipation in A then, p. 29). 

Page 128 (Middle). The comparison of the individual with the 
jToAis, and the appended injunction, occur in Rep., ix. 591 E, 592 A. 

Book V.— Chapter XIV. 

Our chief sources are Plutarch's Life of Dion and the relevant 
sections of Diodorus' sixteenth book. I have not ventured to utilize 
Plato's Epistles, in view of the controversy still pending as to their 

Page 134 (par. 2). The details given here and in the sequel are 
taken from Plutarch's Dio, ch. 13, 14 {Vita, 1148, seq., Dohner). 
The expression rvpawlSa (Plutarch, op. cit., 1149, 8) is certainly un- 
historical, for at that period it had long been a word of evil sound. 
The official title of Dionysius II. was at all events not ;8oo-iA.eiis, but 
Spx™" or rryendy. StKeAias &pxav is the title of Dionysius I. in an 
Athenian decree (C. /. A., ii. Ji ; cf- Ad. Wilhelm, Wiener Jahres- 
hefte, iii. 170, and U. Kohler, Athen. Mitteilungen, i. 19). 

Page 135 (Middle). " The judgment of George Grote : " History of 
Greece, xi. 103. Grote certainly supports his judgment by an appeal 
to Plato's Epist., iii. 315 E ; but the authenticity of this epistle would 
need to be fully established before we should be justified in drawing 
conclusions from it as to Plato's own thoughts and views. 

Page 137 (Bottom). Speusippus : cf. Plutarch, Dio, ch. 22, 2 
{Vita, 1 1 53, 28, D.). Helicon. The solar eclipse predicted by him 
(Plutarch, op. cit., 19, 3 = 11 52, 11) must be identified with that 
numbered 2035 in Oppolzer's Kanon der Finsternisse, and dated May 
12, 360 B.C. The victory of Xenocrates in the drinking contest at the 
Pitcher-Feast is glanced at by Diog. Laert., iv. ch. 2, 8, and fully related 


in the Index Acad. Hercul., coll. 8 and 4 (treated by the author in the 
collection of essays dedicated to Zeller, p. 143). 

Page 138 (par. 3). The narrative of Diodorus exhibits astonishing 
divergences in historical detail from that of Plutarch. One of Dio- 
dorus' main sources was Ephorus. Plutarch made special use of 
Timonides, besides whom he cites Ephorus and Theopompus for 
special details, together with the censorious Timseus, whom he very 
rightly mistrusts. It is generally recognized that this latter was a 
source of Cornelius Nepos (cf. Holm, Sicilien im Altertum, ii. 374, 
seq^, on the strength of the agreement of Nepos, Dio, 2, with Plutarch, 
ch. 6, where Timseus is cited. I cannot, however, here give the com- 
plete justification for my conviction that the unfavourable verdict on 
Dion, which is found in Nepos alone, is entirely due to the malevolence 
of Timaeus. (Bottom) "Eudemus of Cyprus :" cf. p. 71. Aristotle 
wrote a dialogue entitled, EiStifios ii ircpl Vvxvs, of which not inconsider- 
able relics have been preserved (Berlin Academy edition, 1479 B, 
seq.). Timonides: cf Plutarch, o^. cit., ch. 35,3 (1161,22). That 
Callippus belonged to the Platonic circle is undisputed. The Platonic 
Epistle, vii. 333 E, and also Plutarch, op. cit., ch. 54, init. (1170, 37), 
seek to qualify the closeness of his association ; the hostile Athenseus, 
on the other hand (xi. 508 E), refuses to allow the qualification ; the 
one is as intelligible as the other, and complete certainty in such a 
case seems unattainable. 

Page 139, § 3. The greater the divergences between the accounts 
given by Diodorus and Plutarch, the more weight must be given to 
their agreement in judging Dion's character. Indeed, the expres- 
sions of Diodorus, who, as far as we can see, was not influenced by 
the Platonics, have a still more enthusiastic ring about them than 
those of Plutarch : cf. Diodorus, xvi. 6, 4 ; 20, 2. Grote's account 
(xi. 172) is based exclusively on the narrative of Nepos — a narrative 
which has been recognized by us as quite untrustworthy, and which, 
in any case, stands entirely alone. 

Page 141 (Middle). "Helpers and counsellors:" cf. Plutarch, 
op. cit., 53, I (117O1 14) '■ MeToire/iTreTai Se Jk KoplvBov (Tv/iPoiKovs /col 
a-vi'dpxix'Tas. Our allusion to Dion's coinage is derived from Bury's 
History of Greece (London, 1900, p. 672). The chief sources for what 
follows are Plutarch's Life of Timoleon, and Diodorus, xvi. 66, seq. 
(Bottom, and p. 142) Comparison of Timoleon with Dion : I am here 
in agreement with Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, ii. 578, seq., who 
expresses himself on the constitution founded by Timoleon, perhaps 
too positively, but certainly in the main justly (p. 587, seq). The 
expression " democratic ilaws," used by Diodorus (xvi. 70), should, 
according to the context, be taken as referring to civil and penal rather 
than to constitutional legislation. A really democratic system of 
government is contradicted by the institution, mentioned immediately 
afterwards, of the priesthood of the Olympic Zeus as the ipTi/iordrri 


ofxh- The possible objection, that this priestly office was invested, 
with the dazzling semblance of an authority it did not really exercise, 
has the ground cut from under it by Diodorus himself, who remarks : 

lav ycip 'Pufiaiav neraSivruv ro7s ^iKeKuirais t^s iroKiTeCas ri ray ct,n<pnr6\a>v 
apxh eTairetv^9ri, which certainly points to a more than nominal im- 
portance of the office. The constitution estabUshed by Timoleon with 
the assistance of Corinthian legislators (Plut., Timol., ch. 24, 2 = Vita, 
296, 47, D.) cannot, from all that we know, have been very unlike the 
mixed constitution projected by Dion (Plut., Dio., 53, 2 = 1170, 20). 
Just as Timoleon may be said to have continued Dion's policy, so 
Agathocles resumed the tradition of the demagogue Heraclides. 
When the rich and highly placed had been partly butchered, partly 
hunted into exile, when, after this " purging of the city," Agathocles 
had been chosen dictator {arfwrtri^'^ airoKptiToip), he at once promised 
the poor extinction of debts and division of the land (Diodorus, xix. 
ch. 9, i-s). 

Book v.— Chapter XV. 

Page 144 (Middle). "Passage of the Statesman:^' 296, B-E. 
(Bottom) " The Eufhydemus." After Ast, several writers have contested 
the genuineness of this dialogue. It is attested by Thrasyllus, and 
therefore, probably also, indirectly, by Aristophanes. The various 
references in Aristotle (cf. Ueberweg, Untersuchungen'ijj^, and Bonitz, 
Platonische Studien, ed. 3, 135, note 27) cannot be regarded as finally 
establishing its authenticity, for the sophisms there treated of were 
certainly not invented entirely by Plato. Considerable weight should 
be allowed to the polemical writing of Colotes already mentioned, 
npis Tiv nxirievos EieiSrifioy (cf. note to Vol. II. p. 281), of which, how- 
ever, we only know the title. Taken all in all, the Euthydemus is no 
better and no worse attested than, say, the Protagoras ; no reasons, 
however, worth taking seriously have been urged against its Platonic 

Page 145 (Top). Euthydemus and Dionysodorus are real, if not 
very important, personalities. On the former, cf. Aristotle, Soph. 
Elench., 20 (177 B, 12) ; Rhetoric, B, 24 (1401 A, 27) ; Plato, Cratylus, 
386 D. Dionysodorus is mentioned by Xenophon as a teacher of 
military science {Mem., iii. i, i). The polemic against the Megarians 
and Antisthenes was first detected by Schleiermacher (ed. 3, ii. i, 
276) ; as far as regards Antisthenes it was examined in detail by K. 
Urban, Uber die Erwahnungen der Philosophie des Antisthenes in 
den platonischen Schriften, Konigsberger Gymnasial-Programm, 
1882. (Bottom) This passage of the Eicthydemws (304 D, seq^ has 
received various interpretations, which may be found indicated in 
Winckelmann's special edition of the dialogue (p. xxxiv., seq). The 
conjecture which has found most favour is the one according to 


which the passage refers to Isocrates ; it is a conjecture which was 

first propounded by Schleiermacher in 1805, in the introduction to his 

translation of the dialogue, and shortly afterwards, in 1806, by Hein- 

dorf, Platonis Dialogi Selecti, iii. 413. Welcker, Spengel, and many 

others have accepted it. Full certainty is, however, lacking ; and in 

any case a conjecture of this nature, though very plausible, cannot 

serve as basis for far-reaching conclusions touching Plato's literary 

chronology. It is from the relation of the strictures in this dialogue to 

the prophecy concerning Isocrates at the close of the Phadrus that 

such conclusions have been largely drawn. With our interpretation 

of the two passages, in which the first-named is regarded as a very 

qualified censure and the second a very qualified compliment, little 

room remains for such inferences. And even if the expressions in the 

Euthydemus could be taken to imply a decided antipathy to Isocrates, 

no crucial argument would result as to the chronological order of the 

two dialogues. For the changes in the personal relations of the two 

men may, indeed, but need not, have followed a straight course. A 

momentary tension may have yielded to a more friendly understanding, 

and this in its turn have been replaced by renewed and heightened 

discord. (Such want of harmony existed in any case between Isocrates 

and Plato at the time when the latter wrote the sixth book of the 

Republic. Compare 500 B with the rejoinder of Isocrates in Oration 

XV., " On the Exchange of Property " — published in 352 — § 260, one 

of the most certain among the many conjectured polemical references. 

See Spengel, Philologus, xix. 596, seq., and Bergk, F'unf Abhand- 

lungen, p. 38.) Thus, even supposing the allusion established, it is 

by no means intrinsically impossible that the Euthydemus may have 

preceded the Phcedrus, or, according to my hypothesis, the first 

edition of it. (Cf. von Arnim, in the Rostock " Winterprogramm," 1896- 

7, p. 21.) I am inclined to place the Euthydemus at least well towards 

the end of Plato's first stylistic period, to which it is assigned by the 

linguistic criteria. For it is the dialogue in which the polemic against 

Antisthenes and the Megarians begins which is continued in the 

ThecEtetus and Sophist; it displays, moreover, a maturity of thought 

such as characterizes these later works, and not those of the early 

period. (See, for example, 290 B, seq., where the special branches — 

arithmetic, geometry, astronomy — are subordinated to the philosophic 

master-science, or dialectic.) The faculty, too, of viewing from the 

same standpoint things very different externally, must have reached 

a high stage of development in Plato when he co-ordinated miUtary 

commanders and special researchers, compared them, just as if it 

were the obvious thing to do, with hunters and fishers, and brought 

them all together under the common category of acquisition. We 

are here hot so far behind the dialectical works of the late period, and 

a long way ahead of a Protagoras or a Gorgias. That the Meno, 

which presupposes the Protagoras and the Gorgias, is itself prior to 


the Eutkydemus, may, I think, be abundantly proved. I owe some- 
thing here to the apposite remark of Bonitz : " The possibility of 
teaching wisdom, and hence, by a necessary connexion, virtue as 
well, is conceded to Socrates by Cleinias in Euthydemus, 282 C. 
as an established truth ; now, this same possibility is under demon- 
stration throughout the Meno" [Platonische Studien, ed. 3, 122, note). 
A different judgment on the relation of the two dialogues, and, I 
venture to say, a very perverse one, is that of Steinhart, in his intro- 
duction (Platons sdmmtl. Werke ubersetzt von H. Muller, ii. 26). 
I have also derived no little help from the above-mentioned essay of 
Bonitz in the grouping and arrangement of the various sophisms, as 
well as in their reduction to general categories. 

Page 148, § 2. The genuineness of the Parmenides, which is 
attested by no mention or allusion on the part of Aristotle, has been 
frequently attacked in recent times. Two main reasons have been 
urged against it. Both have been formulated with most precision 
by Ueberweg, in Untersuchungen 'icber die Echtheit und Zeitfolge 
platonischer Schriften, pp. 180, 181 (see p. 277 of the second volume, 
and note). The most telling reply to both has been given by Clemens 
Baumker. This scholar has shown that the most "overwhelming 
objection " against the doctrine of ideas, the argument of the so-called 
Tfiros &v6p<mos, is not removed out of the works of Plato by cancelling 
the Parmenides ; that " a quite similar train of thought " recurs in Rep., 
x- 597 C ; further, that this argument, as had been already pointed 
outby Grote {Plato,\\. 271), was not the work of Plato, but of Polyxenus, 
a so-called sophist closely allied to the Megarians {Rhein. Mus., 34, 
82, 3). There is thus no force in Ueberweg's dilemma that we must 
either deny the Parmenides to Plato or make Aristotle "guilty of 
plagiarism," since he gives " no hint whatever that he has borrowed 
this argument, on which he lays the greatest stress, from Plato him- 
self." Nor can we fail to be astonished at the liberality which the de- 
structive critics show in enriching Greek literature with an ever-fresh 
supply of philosophic writers of the first rank. The Parmenides is a 
marvellous product of dialectic subtlety. So much even those can- 
not refuse to admit who view the dialogue very differently from the 
latest Neo-Platonists. These — agreeing herein with Hegel (see Kuno 
Fischer's Hegel, p. 1054) — ^have regarded it as "the true unveiling 
of all the mysteries of the Divine Essence," and have accordingly 
expounded it in many-volumed commentaries. We may instance 
Proclus (best edited by Victor Cousin in collaboration with L^vesque, 
1864, and lately translated into French by Chaignet, 2 vols., Paris, 
1900) and Damascius (recently edited, for the first time completely, 
by Ruelle, Paris, 1889). The objections to which the dialogue was 
supposed to be open from the linguistic standpoint have been defi- 
nitively cleared away by O. Apelt, Gdttinger Gel. Anzeigen, 1894, p. 75, 
seg., supplemented by Philolog. Anzeiger, 14, 194. 


For my conception of the dialogue I am most indebted to Otto 
Apelt's masterly Untersuchungen uber den Parmenides des Plato, 
(Weimar, 1879). In regard to its date, I am so far in agreement with 
him as to place the Parmenides before the Thetztetus and the Sophist — 
a position demanded by the material (cf. Apelt, op. cif., pp. 5 1-S4) as 
well as by the linguistic criteria. The allusions in Sophist, 217 C, and 
Theatetus, 183 E, seq., to the meeting of Socrates and Parmenides 
are quite decisive on the point ; and, as the meeting in question is 
obviously a fictitious incident, no difference of opinion ought ever to 
have arisen. This decisive argument, by the way, was urged long ago, 
so far as the Sophist is concerned, by Schleiermacher (^Platan's Werke, 
ed. 3, ii. 2, p. 95). Schleiermacher likewise recognized the priority of 
the Parmenides to the Theatetus (ed. 3, ii. i, p. 125, seq^, though the 
applicability of the above argument escaped him in this case. Camp- 
bell (in his comment on Sophist, 217 C) mentions, for the sake of 
completeness, the possibility that when Plato wrote that passage he 
had already planned the Parmenides, but not written it; the possibility, 
no doubt, exists, but there is not the slightest ground for regarding it 
as even a probability. The " fairly early date " assumed by Apelt 
{pp. cit., p. 56) can be accepted only in this relative sense. Or need 
we prove that a considerable time must have elapsed since the first 
promulgation of the doctrine of ideas before Plato's critics or Plato 
himself could light on the " overwhelming" objections which are treated 
of in the first part of the dialogue ? 

Between the Republic, or the greater part of it by far, and the 
Timceus — these are the widest limits within which the criteria of style 
and substance allow us to place this dialogue (cf. Dittenberger, in 
Hermes, xvi. 337, seq., and Apelt, op. cit., p. 51). The two great 
constructive works are separated by an intervening stratum of dialectic. 
The negative arm of the Platonic philosophy would seem to have 
craved exercise and activity after its long rest and before the rest that 
awaited it. 

Page 150 (Bottom). "Megarians or Neo-Eleatics." It is not 
against Euclides himself — to do this man honour is perhaps the main 
purpose of the prelude to the Thecetetus — but against the thinkers 
trained by him and their congeners that Plato, not yet by any means 
an aged man, directs his polemic. This alone is enough to suggest 
that of the two Euclides was the older, and that he had already made 
speed to found his school. There are several other circumstances which 
support this conjecture. In the introduction to the Thecetetus Euclides 
speaks of his repeated visits to Athens shortly before the time when 
Socrates drained the cup of poison {iiaaK.i.s 'Afl^i/ofe iupMolnriv, 143 A). 
Thus at that time he was no longer in the number of Socrates' 
pupils, in the strict sense ; and his discipleship must be placed in 
an earlier epoch. Moreover, Aristotle, who was a grand-pupil of 
Socrates, had for a contemporary a great-great-grand-pupil of 


Socrates, in the person of Diodorus, who was indirectly a pupil 
of Eubulides, the pupil of Euclides (of. Diog. Laert., ii. 1 1 1). 

Page 153 (par. 2). " Laborious pastime : " see note to Vol. II. 
p. 315, par. 2. 

Page 154 (Top). "Comparison with other dialogues:" such a 
comparison has been carried out with acuteness and judgment 
by Apelt, pp. 8-1 1. From this source are taken the quotations 
further on. 

Book V. — Chapter XVI. 

Page 155. The testimonies relating to Theaetetus as a mathema- 
tician may be found in AUman, Greek Geometry from Thales to 
Euclid, p. 206, seq. Cf. also Cantor, Vorlesungen uber Geschichte der 
Mathematik, ed. 2, i., especially pp. 222-224. The date of the 
Theatetus has exercised scholars hardly less than that of the 
Phmdrtts. It is no doubt definitely established that this dialogue 
preceded the Sophist and the Statesman, which form its continuation, 
but which, it must be admitted, do not seem to have followed it 
immediately. (See Dittenberger in Hermes, xvi. 345, but more 
particularly the important remarks of Janell, Quast. Plat., 294 and 
306, seq., on the greatly increased diligence of Plato in avoiding 
the hiatus.) Equally certain, in my opinion, is the priority of the 
Parmenides (see the remarks above). To this I will add that the 
investigations based on statistics of language decisively assign the 
Thecetetus to the second period of Plato's style, and now make an 
attempt to fix the date of its composition within still narrower limits. 
In this case the attempt bids fair to be more successful than usual. 
The terminus a quo is supplied by Plato's allusion (in 174 D-175 B) 
" to panegyric speeches in which kings of his own day had been 
glorified. Such panegyrics did not exist before the Euagoras of 
Isocrates, that is, at least not before 374." Thus writes Erwin Rohde, 
in the Philologus, 49, 230, seq. (= Kleine Schriften, i. 277). The same 
scholar had previously written (in 1881, Kl. Schr., i. 259, seq?), " Now 
we . . . know from the 'S,va,y6fas of Isocrates (§ 5, seq., and especially 
§ 8) that this was the first attempt to glorify a contemporary in a 
prose encomium. Isocrates wrote the ^vKyofas after the death of his 
hero, that is, after 374 (Diodorus, xv. 47), probably not long after, 
perhaps in 370.'! The terminus ad quern is provided by the argument 
stated on p. 158 of this volume, based on the episode of 173 D-E. 
The date of the Thecetetus thus lies somewhere between 374 and 367. 
On the other hand, I do not think that the battle near Corinth, 
mentioned in the introduction, in which Theaetetus was wounded, 
can be utilized for the purposes of chronology. With approximately 
equal probability, this battle may be placed either in the late nineties 
or in the year 368 ; and, above all, we lack every means of measuring 


the interval of time between the "composition of the work itself" and 
the " event to which it alludes " (Rohde, op. cit, p. 276). A second 
indication, utilized by Rohde, namely, the reference (175 A-B) to the 
encomium on a Spartan king who counted twenty-five ancestors, 
ought also, I think, to be eliminated from the discussion, for the 
simple reason that the number of ancestors may have been slightly 
rounded off. (See the debate between Rohde, Kl. Schr., i. 256-308, 
and Zeller, Berliner Sitzungsberichte, 1886, No. 37, Archiv, iv. 
189, seq., and v. 289, seq. In this connexion we may also refer to 
Bergk, Funf Abhandlungen, etc., 1-40. This writer also appeals to 
the trial of Chabrias. He interprets the passage in the Thecetetus: 
Srav kv SiKcuTTTiplif . . . avaryKoxrBf [that is, the philosopher] irepl rSy vApa 
iriJSas . . . Sm\4ye<reai, y4\uTa irope'xei, 1 74 C, as referring to the ill 
success which Plato is said to have had as that general's advocate. 
But how improbable it is that Plato should have thus revived the 
memory of his own fiasco, apart from the doubt as to its historical 
character !) There is much excellent matter on the priority of the 
Republic to the Thecetetus in Lutoslawski's work, Plato's Logic, pp. 
396, seq. The whole question is admirably treated by Dr. Michael 
Jezienicki in a work marred by linguistic and typographical errors, 
but equally rich in knowledge and thought : Uber die Abfassutigszeit 
der platoniscken Dialoge Theaitet und Sopkistes (Lemberg, 1887). 
(Bottom) " He makes Euclides say : " 143 C. The substitution of 
the narrative for the purely dramatic form was employed by Teich- 
miiller as a criterion for dating the works of Plato in his pamphlet. 
Die Reihenfolge der platoniscken Dialoge (Leipzig, 1879). He there 
far overshot the mark, as his manner was ; the limited sense in which 
I think his observation valuable has been explained in the text. 

Page 159 (Top). "An echo of the Phcedo:" 176 B. "An allusion 
to the doctrine of ideas:" 175 C. "Straggle after likeness with 
the . . . Deity:" 176 B. I speak of his attack on Antisthenes as 
descending to a lower level, not so much because of the allusion to 
his Thracian mother (174 A, compared with Diog. Laert., vi. i, i), 
without which the reference to Antisthenes might not have been 
sufficiently clear, as because of its twofold repetition with opprobrious 
adjuncts : ov /iovov @p^tt&is, ctAAet /tal t^ &\\<f o^A^, and ©p^ttois /ley ou 

iropExei ouS' S\x^ iiraiSeiTip ovSevl (174 C and 175 D). Note also the 
echo in Aristotle, Metaph., H. 3, 1043 b, 24 : oi'AvTureheioL icai 01 oSras 
airalSfvToi. This abusive epithet may have become a stock expression 
of the school. It is not improbable that in his 'HpaxA^s ^ irepl ipovliaeus 
Kttl 'la-x^os Antisthenes may have taxed the "Sophist" Prometheus 
through the mouth of his hero with useless brooding and dreamy 
aloofness from the world, aiming herein at Plato. The latter would 
then have taken his revenge by his gibe at the " Thracian woman," 
and the " other uneducated rabble," after preparing the way by the 
story of Thales falling into a well while gazing at the stars, and being 


mocked at by the handmaid who was accompanying him (Diog. 
Laert., i. 34). (Cf. Bucheler, Rhein. Mus., 24, 450, and Diinimler, 
Antisthenica, p. 14 = Kleine Schriften, i. 21, seq^ The gibe attributed 
to Diogenes (Diog. Laert., vi. 28) also recalls that legend. 

Page 160 (Bottom). The following fallacy may be noted : In 
189 A, the psychical object of a iol&iuv is confused with an externally 
real object ("O Se H So|<£f(Bi' oix iv n So^d(ei —Avdynri—'O S' tv ri So^diav 
ouK & n; — SuTX"?" — 'O Spa |iti) %v io^A^av, ou8f 1/ SoftJfet). 

Page 162 (Top). The complete agreement in expression, namely, 
between Theatetus, 201 C, "E^tj Se tjji' /uec /tcro 'KiyovhX'nSli i6i,av VKiffri\ii.-i\v 
eli-oi, and Symposium, 203 A, Ih opSk Soid(etv koI &veu rod exeiv Koyov 
iovvai OVK olfffl', l^ri [namely, Diotima], Sn oSre erriaTaaBal etrri . . . otkt 
anoBla. Again, in Meno, 97 A, seg., opBrj S6ia becomes eVhtt^/ihi by the 
addition of the aWias \oyi(rii,6s, 

: Page 163 (Top). I may here refer to Bonitz's excellent treatment 
of the dialogue in Platonische Studien, ed. 3, pp. 47-92. 

Page 164, § 4. As the entirely groundless doubts on the genuine- 
ness of the Cratylus have not been voiced for decades, I do not think 
it necessary to dwell on them. They were cleared away by Theodor 
Benfey, in Uber die Aufgabe des platon. Dialogs Cratylus (from the 
Abhandlungen der Gott. gelehrt. Gesellschaft, Gottingen, 1866), and 
by Lehrs in the short appendix to his translation of the Phcedrus and 
the Symposium, where (p. 144) he pithily sums up the result of the 
dialogfue ; " Language, whether we adopt the one theory of it or the 
other, is not an instrument by which we can gain the knowledge of 
things." (Bottom) " The investigation of words . . . :" cf. note to p. 185 
(middle). Plato's summing up : Cratylus, 439 B. 

Page 165 (Bottom). Leibnitz discusses the meaning of the /, r, 
and V sounds in Nouveaux Essais sur Ventendement humain, bk. iii. 
ch. I. Jakob Grimm : Uber den Ursprung der Sprache (^e.i]\n, iZ^Z, 
p. 39, seg.). 

Page 166 (Bottom). The close kinship of the Theatetus and the 
Cratylus has been pointed out recently by Carlo Giussani, in La 
Questione del Linguaggio secondo Platone e secondo Epicuro (Milan, 
1896), p. 3 of the separate reprint from the publications of the Lombard 
Institute : " II Cratilo h una specie di complemento del Teeteto " 
(here follows an excellent account of the purpose of the Theatetus). 
Which of the two dialogues is the earlier, Giussani leaves open. 
Similarly, Diels, Elementum (Leipzig, 1899), p. 18: "To the many 
points of contact between the Cratylus and the Theatetus belongs 
also the simile of the letters . . ." The satire on the Neo-Heracliteans : 
Crat., 411 C; Theat., 180 A. The sport with etymologies, lastly, 
is not foreign to the Thecetetus (199 C-E). Here, to be sure, both 
dialogues also join hands with the Phadrus (244 B-D and 251 C). 


Book V.— Chapter XVII. 

The genuineness of the Sophist and the Statesman is sufficiently- 
attested by the AristoteUan references alone, as is abundantly proved 
in Ueberweg's if anything too cautious disquisition (JJntersuchungen, 
152-171). (Cf. note to Vol. II. p. 277.) Seeing that the self-criticism 
practised by Plato in the Sophist as well as the Parmenides has led to 
these works being suspected, it is almost matter for regret that the 
Phcedrus has been protected against such attacks by the invulnerable 
character of its credentials. If the case had been otherwise, the 
treatment of this dialogue by the critics might have afforded us great 
entertainment. Why should not one or other of them have rejected 
it from among Plato's works, on the ground, say, that "one of the 
greatest among authors could not possibly have looked down upon all 
authorship with that contempt which Plato shows for it in the Phadrus. 
The voice that speaks to us in these pages is the voice of jealous 
impotence, not that of creative genius rejoicing in its strength " ? 

Page 167 (end of par. i). The words of Statesman, 284 B, KaSdrep 
iv T$ Soi^iiirTp, do not seem to me, if considered impartially, to bear 
any other interpretation. 

Page 168 (Top). "Gentle and respectful in tone:" compare 
especially 242 C : ii.v66v nm, k.t.a.. Plato corrects the " great " Par- 
menides much as a son might a father whose way of thinking seems 
to him a little old-fashioned. It is possibly for the purpose of 
providing this mode of treatment with an appropriate setting that 
the criticism of the Eleatic position, which is promised in the Theatetus, 
is there deferred, on the pretext of lack of time (180 E and 183 E). 
(Middle) The " enclosing husk " is spoken of by Bonitz, in his 
valuable sections on the Sophist iPlatonische Studien, p. 152, seq., 
ed. 3). But the inner bond of union between the two parts of the 
dialogue will be sought for in vain, even in Bonitz's pages, as I have 
already said in my necrologue (Berlin, Calvary, 1889, p. 14 of the 
separate reprint). I ventured, in the same essay, to point out what 
seems to me a defect in the Platonische Studien taken in general : 
" The picture of Plato which results from them is all too lacking in 
temporal and local colour, as well as in definite individuality. His' 
strong personal sympathies and antipathies . . . and likewise the 
exigencies of his polemics are too completely overshadowed by the 
purely didactic purposes ascribed to him." 

Page 171 (Top). Trendelenburg: Logische Untersuchungen, ii. 
149, note. The whole section xii., " Die Verneinung," is extremely 
instructive ; so, too, is the section of Sigwart's Logic (part i. ch. 4) 
dealing with the same subject. The author, however, has nowhere 
found the problem in question solved to his complete satisfaction. 


(Bottom) I am confident that the materialists here alluded to are 
the adherents of Democritus. It has been recently supposed that 
Antisthenes is aimed at ; but the illegitimacy of this view is abun- 
dantly evident from 25 1 C-D, where he and his followers are made 
the objects of attack, in words which make it clear beyond a doubt 
that up to the present nothing has been said about them. Again, 
the " corporeal soul " of 247 B is, in my. opinion, an unmistakable 
reference to the " soul-atoms " of Leucippus and Democritus. 

Page 172 (Top). " Friends of the ideas." On the identity of 
these men (johs tuv elSav iplKovs) a controversy still rages in the camp 
of Plato-students. My opinion may be best expressed in the words of 
Grote (J'lato, iii.482) : "To affirm that Eukleides admitted a plurality 
of Ideas or Forms, is to contradict the only one deposition, certain 
and unequivocal, which we have about his philosophy." In fact, all 
that we know of the positive metaphysics of the Megarians is just this 
fidelity of theirs to the Eleatic doctrine of unity. To ascribe to them 
a sort of doctrine of ideas was an unfortunate thought of Schleier- 
macher's — a counsel of desperation, only adopted because, like many 
others, he could not make up his mind to credit Plato with so 
humorous and so impersonal a criticism of his own fundamental 
doctrine. I differ from these weighty authorities with the lighter 
heart, because I find myself in agreement with a large number of 
exact Plato-students. Besides Grote, I may mention Ueberweg 
{Untersuchungen, 277); Campbell {Introduction, p. 75); Dittenberger 
{Hermes, xvi. 343) ; Jowett (Translation of Plato, iii. 446) ; Hirzel 
{Hermes, viii. 128) ; Felice Tocco {Atene e Roma, i. 40) ; Windel- 
band {Plato, pp. 88 and loi, note) ; von Arnim {Dio von Prusa, 
p. 22) ; Diels {Elementum, p. 19, note). It is true that Ueberweg and 
Campbell prefer to regard the " friends of the ideas " as Academics 
who had remained at a stage of thought which Plato had left, while 
for Windelband, as formerly for Socher (see Vol. II. p. 277 and note), 
any criticism of the doctrine of ideas is a ground for doubting the 
authenticity of the work in which it occurs. Apelt {Beitrdge zur 
Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie, p. 90) has set out on a venture- 
some quest for traces of a doctrine of ideas among the Megarians. 
He starts from a notice in Diogenes Laertius (ii. 119) relating to 
Stilpo, the first words of which unequivocally state the exact contrary 
(ayij'pei Ktti TO rfSr)), and on the remainder of which little more is to be 
said beyond whatwe have already said in the text (Vol. II. pp. 197, 198). 
The second example by which the predication difficulty is explained in 
the sense of Abelard's " rem de re praedicari monstrum " can hardly 
have any other meaning than the following : You show me an object, 
and say it is " vegetables ; " but you are maintaining an absurdity, for 
you are identifying that which was not in existence a few days ago 
with that which has existed for thousands of years. (Below) " Chiefly, 
if not exclusively." It is probable that this error was also due partly to 


that singular feature of ancient theories of perception which appears 
most clearly in the teaching of Alcmason and Empedocles on vision 
(Vol. I. pp. 150 and 235). The " fire in the eye " combines with the fire 
outside it ; the subjective and the objective factor in perception are 
supposed to be similar, and to act each upon the other. Thus the 
way was opened for the fallacy here in question. 

Page 173 (end of par. i). This most noteworthy passage occurs 
in 247 D-E. The thought is presently repeated in 248 C. (Middle) 
"Conscious and of the nature of soul :" compare Campbell's par- 
ticularly thoughtful introduction to the Sophist, especially p. Ixxvi., 
where he points to the analogies in the Philebus, the Timaus, and the 
Laws, as well as many passages in his commentary. Besides Laws, 
xii. 967 D, Timaus, 34 C, is specially considered as bearing on the 
high rank given to the psychic principle. But Campbell's just view 
of the case has been recklessly exaggerated by Lutoslawski, and by 
Ritter before him, who refused the doctrine of ideas all place in the 
works of Plato's late period, and contended that the ideas were there 
superseded by souls. In forming these conclusions, they have over- 
looked such passages as Timceus, 51 D, in which the substantial 
existence of the ideas is affirmed with an emphasis hardly to be found 
elsewhere (TiavTi,naaiV tivai Kafl" auTck toBto, ivadrBrira v^^ rifiSv elSri, vooifieva 
im6vov). Otherwise, Lutoslawski could not have made his emphatic 
remark on Philebus, 59 C : " It is very important to observe that 
eternal ideas (icl kotA t^ butiJ) are not now separate, self-existing, or 
independent existences {airh ko9' ainS) as they were in earlier dialogues " 
{Platds Logic, p. 465). At the same time, he places the Timaus, quite 
rightly, as I think, later than the Philebus. And here I am compelled, 
with much regret, to tax this meritorious investigator with an almost 
incredible piece of carelessness. In Philebus, 15 B, he finds "a very 
clear indication that the separate existence of ideas is deemed im- 
possible" {op. cit, 467). The wording of the passage quoted is as 
follows : ji-iTh. 5e tout' h Toli yiyvofievois ad Ral awelpois e?Te Steffiraffiievriv 
Kal TToWi yeyovviav, el6' B\iiv ou'tV aiTrjs x^pls, i> SJ; wivrav aSwar^raTOv 
(palvoiT' &, Tavrhii Kal ev ci/ia iv evl re ko! toXXoTs ylyveaBai. Lutoslawski 
runs together the two words xmp/i and aBuyaTt^TOToi/, and he is clearly 
of the opinion that it is the separate existence of the ideas which is 
pronounced the most impossible thing in the world ! If so, this would 
indeed be the most remarkable passage in the whole of Plato. The 
adaptability of the philosopher would have reached an unexampled 
height. He would not only have denied, but even declared absurd, 
that which, for Aristotle, was the most distinctive peculiarity of his 
own teaching : oAA' S /ihy :SaiKpiTris to KaS6\ov ou xtoptiTTci ivolet . , . 01 S' 
iX^piaav {Metaph., M. 4, 1078 b, 30— with several other passages to 
the same effect). In reality, x»pfs is to be taken with aint\s, just as in 
the passage of the Parmenides, which treats of the same problem (the 
participation of things in the ideas : koI a-uliv n laaWoy airii ofir^s x""*"'* 


isTiv (131 B). That which is really pronounced impossible here is 
the self-renunciation of the idea, which can no more become absolutely 
and entirely bare of itself than it can be taken up into the infinite 
manifold of particular things, and at the same time maintain its inde- 
pendent existence. More accurately, its entry into the particular 
things is incredible, its absorption into them the greatest of impossi- 
bilities. Just as untenable, though free from the above error of inter- 
pretation, is the assertion of Ritter (Plato's Laws, Commentary, p. 355, 
seq^ that " in all the extensive works of Plato," which we have ground 
to believe he wrote in his old age, in the "Sophist, Statesman, Philebus, 
Timceus, as also in the Laws . . . a ' doctrine of ideas,' similar to the 
one presented to us in Zeller's exposition, is nowhere to be discovered," 
with the single exception that in the Sophist, 264 B, seg., " the con- 
ception of motionless and incorporeal ideas, which have nothing in 
common with the variable things of the phenomenal world, which are 
inaccessible to all perception by the senses, and which can only be 
apprehended by the reason, is radically rejected." 

Page 173 (Bottom). " Plato's emancipation from the bonds of 
Eleaticism." The process to which I refer in these terms has been 
fully and adequately explained by Campbell, in his Introduction to the 
Sophist, lix., seg. 

The views here advocated on the transformation of the doctrine of 
ideas — views which have been defended in a special manner by.Bonitz 
{Platonische Studien, ed. 3, p. 152, seq^ — are open to a plausible objec- 
tion. In the Republic, which we regard as earlier in date than the 
Sophist, one idea, that of the Good, is already endowed with activity 
(Campbell alludes to this, Republic, ii. p. 42), and is indeed spoken 
of as the highest active principle (cf. p. 481, seq^. How, then, it may 
be asked, is it possible to say that this change in the theory of the 
ideas is not made till the Sophist? We answer : It was at this one 
supreme point that Plato first broke through the limits of his original 
doctrine. He may not at first have fully realized all the consequences 
of the innovation ; afterwards, the involuntary beginning may have 
carried him further in the same direction, and the desire for con- 
sistency and inner coherence may have united with the other factors 
we have named to produce this transformation. From the revision of 
the doctrine of ideas there follow very naturally the other changes 
which we meet further on — the abandonment of ideas of relations and 
of artificial products, likewise the abandonment of the theory of 
" participation " (of the yitcTfX""'). Cf. note to p. 247. 

Otto Apelt has treated this point in a widely different manner 
(Beitrdge zur Geschichte der griech. Philosophic, p. 67, seq., and In- 
troduction to the reissue, under his supervision, of Stallbaum's edition, 
pp. 27-32). Here I can deal with his views only in summary fashion. 
We welcome the information, which he gives us, that the Kotvuvia rZv 
l^vSiv is not an absolute innovation in the Sophist. It has already 


had its prelude in Phadrus, 265 D, seq., and in Republic, v. 476 A. 
But we fail to see the slightest force in Apelt's chief argument (Bei- 
trdge, p. 84) : " Substances can only be either bodies or spiritual 
essences ; if, then, the ideas are substances, there is nothing else left 
for them than to be spiritual essences ; " from which the further 
inference is drawn that the ideas always were for Plato what they 
were for him in the Sophist. There is here a no doubt unintentional 
ambiguity. A substance may be conceived as incorporeal and as 
imperceptible by the senses, without being for that reason regarded as 
spiritual in the sense of possessing consciousness. That the irayrcASs 
ov is a ff^iiybv KoX aytoy, j/ovy oIik ex"" — this is an assumption that Plato 
rejects in Sophist, 249 A ; but that it is an absurd, self -contradictory 
hypothesis, he does not suggest by as much as a single word. Just 
as little — I might almost have said still less — is this his view of the 
assertion that those substances must be denied life and movement. 
And how was he to attribute consciousness, life, or motion to the 
archetypes of tables and beds which he mentions in the Republic (cf. 
p. 103), to negative concepts, or to the concepts of relations ? Apelt's 
position, that the doctrine of ideas receives no modification in the 
Sophist, is, in my opinion, entirely destitute of foundation. 

Page 175 (Top). " Plato now affirms . . ." The quotation is 
from Sophist, 259 D-E. Bonitz seems to me to be mistaken in so far 
as he contends that the positive solutions contained in the dialogue 
derive all their value and significance from the fact that "for Plato 
every logical relation, precisely as such, has the force of objective 
reality " (pp. cit., p. 196). He misses the point that Plato here 
addresses himself to the old oTrop^ai, which had gained currency and 
influence independently of the doctrine of ideas, and that he 
comes as near a final solution of them as was possible, subject to the 
presuppositions which governed his own and his contemporaries' 

Page 176 (Middle). " The Parmenides : " 129 C. This passage 
sheds new light on the purpose of the Euthydemus. One is inclined 
to conjecture that when Plato wrote this dialogue he was already 
fully aware that no small number of puzzles and pitfalls owe their 
existence to the absolute use of purely relative terms, to the tendency 
(Campbell, Introduction to the Sophist, p. 60) " to view every subject 
in the light of abstract alternatives, to apply the language of logic 
immediately to the sensible world." As I am on the subject of 
anticipations, I may also remark here that the recognition and 
explanation of the /u^ ov, as found in the Sophist, had already been 
prepared for in Thecetetus, 189 B, I mean in the passage where the 
iJfcuSi; So|iifeii' is reduced to an oWoSoJeic, though it is true that Plato 
does not here rest satisfied with the explanation. 

Page 177 (Top). "A comic fragment :" namely, of Epicrates 
(ii. 287, seq., Kock). It was Usener who first drew attention to this 


fragment, which is of considerable length and very valuable. Its full 
importance is only perceived when it is used to illustrate Plato's late 
period. Unfortunately, it cannot be dated with any accuracy, and it is 
not worth the trouble to discuss fully the unauthoritative chronological 
statements which have been made on the floruit of this poet (in 
Meineke, Com. Grcec. Fragm., i. 414, and in Bergk, Rhein. Mus., 
34, 329). Only so much may be said that the appearance of 
Speusippus and Menedemus (of Pyrrha) as Plato's assistants points 
to an epoch very considerably removed from the beginnings of the 
Academy. (Below) " For the author of the Statesman : " 262 D-E ; 
see also Parmenides, 130 C. Very characteristic of the tendency here 
in question is the passage, Sophist, 227 B, where the general's art and 
the art of louse-catching are coupled as coming under the common 
concept of the hunter's art, and the natural objection drawn from their 
difference in dignity expressly overridden. Here, too, belongs the 
dictum of the Statesman, 272 C, that from anything and everything 
which Nature produces something is to be learnt. Cf. Campbell's 
Essays, i. § 30 {Republic, ii. 41). 

Page 178 (Middle). The quotations are from Sophist, 254 D and 
251 B. 

Page 179 (Top). Cf. J. C. Fr. ZoUner, Uber die Naturder Kometen, 
ed. 2 (Leipzig, 1872), p. 163, seq. (§ 4) I find it hard to understand 
how any one can doubt that the Statesman " forms the bridge from 
the Republic to the Laws,^' as Rohde puts it (JCleine Schriften, i. 275). 
The criteria of matter are in accord with those of language. My 
conjecture, that Plato's second Sicilian residence is to be placed 
between the Theatetus on the one side, and the Sophist and States- 
man on the other, has already been expressed in the text, pp. 144 and 
158. Good grounds for assuming an interval between the Sophist and 
the Statesman are given by Rohde (pp. cit., p. 262, note 1). 

Page 180 (Top). " Excursus on the . . . nature of examples : " 
Statesman, 278 C ; " investigation of the idea of measure : " 283 E, seq. ; 
" cult of method : " 286 D ; Tiiv iJ,f0oSov avriiv tiimv tov kbt' elSri SwaThv fTyai 
JioipEir. (Below) On the Cynic identification of the king with the 
shepherd, cf. note to Vol. 1 1, p. 161. It is more important to point out 
(with Hirzel, Hermes, viii. 127, seq.) that this is another instance of self- 
correction on Plato's part. Indeed, there are two instances. In the 
Republic, the ruler had been compared with the shepherd (iii. 416 A, 
seq., and iv. 440 D), and with the queen-bee (vii. 520 B). The first 
comparison is re^'oked by Statesman, 267 C, seq., the second by 
301 E. 

Page 181 (Middle). " Casually as this remark seems to be 
dropped . . . : " with Statesman, 283 D, compare Phado, 96 D, seq., 
and 102 B, seq. ; Republic, 523 E, 524 A, 525 A, seq. The case is 
somewhat different with Theatetus, 154 C (see note to p. yj). 
(Bottom) " Means of enjoyment : " elsewhere in Plato, as in Aristotle, 


/u/iriTucii is the generic idea to which the various fine arts are 
subordinated ; here (288 C) raiyytov, that is, sport or play, appears as 
the higher unity, which comprehends under itself painting, music, 
decoration and adornment (K6aiws) of all kinds. Campbell rightly 
says in his commentary, "We have here the larger kind of which 
mftriTMii is a part." 

Page 184 (Top). Demades. The quotation is from Oratores Attici, 
ii. 31S B. 

Page 185, " Not to take words too seriously." Plato's words 
are : rh /iij mrouSdCe'V ^irl roh ovofuurtv, 261 E ; and fieruTiSefieva 8' sis Tcks 
rSv irpayiiirwii fMKph Kol /i.^ ^i}Slovs avWa^is. In the first passage the 
allusion to Antisthenes is made unmistakable by the immediately 
following words : n\ov(Tid!iTepos els rh yrjpas aiiaif>avi\(ret tppovi\aeus, compared 
with Sophist, 251 C, where the vevta t^s irepl <pp6rri<riv KT^o-eais which 
belongs to TrpeaPmepois avBpdnrois is spoken of with direct reference to 
a doctrine of Antisthenes. It is certain, too, that Antisthenes is aimed 
at in 306 A. With my final remark, cf. Jowett, The Dialogues of 
Plato, iii. 568 : " But nowhere has the spirit of modern inductive 
philosophy been more happily described." 

Book v.— Chapter XVIII. 

The genuineness of the Philebus, which some scholars have 
disputed, is sufficiently guaranteed by the allusions of Aristotle, 
particularly Eth. Nic, K. 2, 1 172 b, 28, compared with Philebus, 20 B 
and 61 B. Or where else are we to suppose that Plato expressed the 
opinions there attributed to him by Aristotle ? (Cf. Ueberweg, 
Untersuchungen, 148, seq. ; and Bonitz, Index Aristotelicus, sub voc. 
XlKiTicv.) The chronological position of the dialogue between the 
Statesman and the Timaus seems to me perfectly well estabUshed ; 
compare Campbell, Essays {Republic, ii. 46, seq.), and Rohde, Kleine 
Schriften, i. 262. Ueberweg, too, places the Philebus near the Sophist 
and Statesman {Untersuchungen, 207, seq., and 267). The "pecu- 
liarity of style " noted in the text is one which I have since treated more 
fully in Platonische Aufsdtze, iii. It is only the great and well-earned 
authority of Zeller that induces me to combat shortly the opinion 
which he tenaciously holds, that the Philebus preceded the Republic. 
All that has been learnt in the last few decades about the develop- 
ment of Plato's language and style speaks against that view. No men- 
tion has so far been made of the arguments, tending in the same 
direction, of Hirzel {Der Dialog, 1.251) and Ivo Biuns {Das Literarische 
Portrdt, etc., p. 272). Zeller's proof rests on the relation of the discus- 
sions in Republic, vi. 505-509 and ix. 581-587 to the kindred matter in 
the Philebus. The question is one of very great interest from the point 
of view of method. If an author treats the same problem twice in 


substantially the same manner, except that his exposition is more 
compressed in the one instance and more expanded in the other, two 
explanations are possible. The author may have intended to clear the 
way for the longer and fuller discussion of his subject by the shorter 
one, or the latter may follow the former as a kind of condensed extract. 
Which of these hypotheses is the correct one we must learn from the 
careful and nicely balanced examination of each particular case. We 
have already come across examples of the second type (cf. Vol. II. 
p. 393)- On the other hand, the short excursus on the idea of measure 
contained in the Statesman cannot, in my opinion, be regarded as a 
risumi of the comprehensive investigation of the same subject in the 
PhiUbus (Siebeck expresses the same view, but less decidedly, in 
Untersuchungen zur Philosophic der Griechen, ed. 2, p. 118). Zeller's 
positive assertions (ed. 4, ii. l, p. 548) do not, as I think, bear close 
examination. He names a number of passages in the Philebus, and 
asks why, if all these were backward references to the Republic, there 
was any need for Plato to write the Philebus at all. Here, at all 
events, a distinction is necessary. The fundamental problem of the 
Philebus is mentioned in Republic, vi. 505 B, in a few words : hXKk 
fiijv Koi t65g ye oTtrdtt, '6ti rots fiev leoXKots tjSov^ Soksi etvai rh ayaOSv, rots Se 
Ko/v^orepois <pp6iiri(rts. This brevity proves, in my opinion, merely that 
at the time when Plato wrote this part of the Republic, he was able to 
assume his readers acquainted with the teaching of Euclides, who, 
according to Diog. Laert, ii. 106, identified rh &yae6v with ippSvniris, 
likewise with the Deity and with voSs. Why we are to suppose a 
backward reference here to Philebus, 11 B-E, etc., I cannot imagine. 
In point of logic and depth the advantage is certainly with the 
Philebus, while in the Republic (505 B-C) Plato rests content with 
objections against the two doctrines drawn from very near the 
surface. The champions of <pp6vri<Tis are said to revolve in a circle 
because they cannot avoid defining this notion more exactly as ^pSvtiiris 
ToS o7ofloS ; and the advocates of iiSovii are taxed with inconsistency 
because they are unable to deny the existence of " bad " T/Sofal as well 
as good. It is true that the passages of the ninth book, 583 B, segr., 
which Zeller matches with parallel passages in the Philebus, contain 
a discussion on the various kinds of pleasure marked by great subtlety 
— a subtlety which is only exceeded by the Philebus itself. The chief 
difference is that the exposition in the Philebus is completer and more 
intricate than that in the Republic. I am entirely of the opinion of 
Campbell, who pronounces the hypothesis demanded by the whole 
character of the two works perfectly legitimate, namely, " that Plato 
had arrived at this general conception of the relative worth of 
Pleasure, Thought, and the Good, before giving to it the full and 
complex expressions which the Philebus contains " {pp. cit., p. 23). 

Page 187 (Top). "Abandonment of dichotomy:" Statesman, 
287 C, and Philebus, 16 D. Warning against the overleaping of 


mediate notions : Philebtts, 17 A (rek Se ^eVa airrahs iKipciyet). Dialectic 
the chief instrument of all discoveries : 16 C. 

Page 188 (Bottom). Philolaus: cf. the beginning (which has 
been preserved) of his work liepl iiaeas. The fragment is contained 
in Diog. Laert., viii. 85, and has been critically treated by Reiske, 
more recently by Diels, Hermes, 24, 321 (see also his Parmenides, 
p. 66). It is perhaps best written as follows : *ti(ris a tS Kiajua apiidxiv 
i^ iirelpuv Tc Ko! mpatvovruv, koL 'Akos Kiiriios Kol tA 4v air$ vima. 

Page 189 (Middle). " King of the heavens and the earth :" see 
Philebus, 28 C. The polemic against naturalism, 28 C-29 A ; Sophist, 
246 A and 247 B ; Laws, x. 891 C, seg. 

Page 190 (Middle). On the opposition between real and merely 
apparent pleasure {Philebus, 5 1 A, seg.), Grote has written brilliantly 
and in a manner highly characteristic of his whole mode of thought 
(Plato, iii. 604, seg.). 

Page 191 (Top). Compare Philebus, 55 B, with Gorgias, 499 B, 
discussed pp. 350, 351 of the second volume. (Middle) There is 
considerable conflict of opinions as to who these "enemies of 
Philebus" (44 B) are. The literature bearing on the subject is 
catalogued by R. G. Bury, The Philebus of Plato, Cambridge, 1897, 
p. 95, seg. The hypothesis, that Antisthenes is referred to, seems to 
me entirely inadmissible. He and his adherents could not possibly 
have been described as Seixo! Tct ite/i! i^iaai. Even a Zeller, in order to 
maintain this hypothesis, is obliged to adopt the violent interpretation 
that what is here meant is the (piais of ifiov^ (ed. 4, ii. 309, note : " . . . 
thus he might very well, in the present connexion, be termed Jeivis tA 
irepl i^iiaiv ")• Equally illegitimate, as I think, is the assumption that 
those "allies" whom Plato follows "like prophets" (44 C, D) are 
Democritus and his adherents (Hirzel, Untersuchungen zu Cicero's 
philosophischen Schriften, i. 141, seg., and Natorp, Archiv, iii. 521), 
The three features mentioned in Philebus, 44 B-E : (i) the strongly 
emphasized Svaxipua, or repugnance for pleasure, that is, ascetic or 
nearly ascetic sentiments ; (2) eminent achievements in natural 
science ; (3) friendly relations to Plato ; — these three, as Grote 
recognizes {pp. cit., 609, seg.), seem to apply, in their entirety, only to 

Page 192 (Top). On Eudoxus as a Hedonist we only possess the 
condensed notices contained in two passages of the Nicomachean Ethics 
(see note to Vol. II. p. 218). Usener's assertion that it was his theory 
of pleasure and not that of Aristippus that furnished Plato's Philebus 
with an " occasion and subject " {Organisation der wissensch. Arbeit, 
p. 16), seems hardly capable of being proved. Usener finds it striking 
that the Philebus should contain words which remind of the KaTaarn- 
/ioTiKol ^Socol of Epicurus (Diog. Laert., x. 136), although states of 
pleasure were allowed no space in the system of at least the older 
Cyrenaics (Diog. Laert., ii. 87-90). Such must be his meaning in 


referring to the fact that " ideas emerge in the Philebus which other- 
wise do not occur before Epicurus." But the allusion supposed to be 
contained in Philebus, 42 U, is merely apparent. The entrance upon 
a state is not itself a state, but a process. For an example of the 
" return to the normal state " there spoken of, we may take the effect 
of food on the hungry or of drink on the thirsty. The resulting 
pleasure is momentary, and has nothing in the world to do with the 
permanent pleasures or pleasurable states of Epicurus (see Diog. 
Laert., ii. 87-90). We observe, too, that this reference is put in the 
mouth, not of Protarchus, but of Socrates, who speaks of widely held 
opinions (elpjjTof irou iroAActKu). There is thus no justification for the 
hypothesis that it is the voice of Eudoxus that speaks to us here, and 
that we ought therefore to see in him, so far as this point is concerned, 
a precursor of Epicurus. But, even supposing this view correct, how 
are we to infer from it that Plato contented himself with making only 
one of the two contemporary champions of Hedonism the target of his 
polemic ? Both thinkers based their common doctrine on the same 
fundamental phenomena of animal life ; of the two, Aristippus was in 
any case the more influential. The severity of Plato's tone suggests, 
moreover, that he is striking at Aristippus, on whom he casts else- 
where — at the beginning of the Phado — a by no means friendly 
side-glance. I leave it open whether the somewhat coarse invective 
of the final words {pi v&vns 06es re ko! iJinroi) are or are not intended to 
suggest Aristippus' name. Diimmler's arguments on the subject, 
in Akademika, p. 167, need not detain us. The careless haste with 
which he treats it is shown even by an external indication, his 
repetition of an error of the pen or press which appears in Usener's 

Page 194 (Middle). On the conception of exact science, compare 
Philebus, 55 E, with Euthyphro, 7 B, seq., and Republic, x. 602 D. 
" Measure, weight, and number," which are joined by Plato in these 
passages, are similarly connected by the author of the work On Ancient 
Medicine, ix. (i. 588, Littrd), and again by the author of the work On 
Diet, ch. 2 (vi. 470, L.). Sophocles, Fragm., 399 N : S.taiii.Sni opifl^Si' xal 
/[leVpiay (ipiinara. ^schylus, Prometheus, 461 : Kol m^)" ap'M"" *?oX'»' 
ao^iafiATav. (Bottom) The wide interval between the Philebus and 
the Gorgias is shown by 55 E, where the Karaii^Kerav invetpl^ koi nvt 
Tpi$f is placed second only to strictest and most exact procedure, 
while in Gorgias, 463 B, the arts of cookery and dress, etc., are com- 
prehended under this very notion of dnireipia /col rpiPii, and opposed to 
r4xpv in general. A similar contempt is shown in 501 A, and much 
the same again in Phcedrtcs, 270 B. In his passionate denunciation of 
lawyer-like rhetoric, the aged author of the last books of the Laws 
(xi. 938 A) returns to the modes of thought and speech which had 
distinguished the work of his youth. 

Page 196 (par. 2). In my appreciation of the scale of goods, I 


gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to Apelt, Archtv, ix. p. 20, 
seg., an essay which contains much other valuable matter ; e.g. what 
is said (p. 17) on the difference between "the good" in the Philebus 
and the " idea of the good " in the Republic. 

Page 197 (Bottom). " Because otherwise no one of us would even 
know his way home : " Phil., 62 B. 

Page ig8 (end of par. i). Cf. 65 A. A comparison of 64 E and 
65 D brings to light a very remarkable argument in a circle. 
" Truth " was made an ingredient in the mixture. With what 
ustification ? Apparently only because the " true " pleasures (falsely 
so called, by the way) occur in it, and because the imffTrjiuu likewise 
participate in truth. But the latter is only a property, either of the 
Tfiovai, or the tiria-T^fuu. Here it is hypostasized. It is next said that 
vous is either completely or almost completely identical with truth — 
a statement in which subjective knowledge and the object of knowledge 
are strangely confused. The inference is then drawn that <pp6iiriiris has 
a much larger share in the mixture than iiSorli, that is, is in a much 
higher degree a constituent element of the good. (Middle) " Pleasure 
of the moral man . . . :" 12 D : liSeerfloi Se koI rhv aaippovovpTa a!iT^ T^ 
ffatppovetv . , . rliieffBai 5* ahrhv (ppovovvra avT^, t^ tppov^7v. 

In conclusion, it is fitting to remark that Schleiermacher's Intro- 
duction not only contains many thoughts of great delicacy, as all his 
introductions do, but also is by no means blind to logical weaknesses. 
If, in spite of such defects, the closing portion of the dialogue holds 
the modern reader spell-bound, the reason of this, apart from the 
charm of style, is chiefly the following. The Hedonists appear as 
cold calculators, as representatives of a refined selfishness, a temperate 
sensuality ; Plato is all fervour and enthusiasm. Now, our conception 
of the character of the older Hedonists, of whose writings hardly a 
fragment has reached us, rests on no solid foundation. But it may be 
taken for granted that a researcher of the calibre of Eudoxus cannot 
have been lacking in enthusiasm. Nor are we entirely thrown back 
on inferences. Epicurus, too, was a Hedonist in ethics, that is, he no 
less than Aristippus and Eudoxus, founded ethics on the striving after 
pleasure which is a root-phenomenon of all life. But who would affirm 
that his real character, or that of his disciple Lucretius, bore any 
correspondence to the popular conception of him? Epicurus, at all 
events, was no " epicure " ! 

Book V.— Chapter XIX. 

Page 200 (Top). That a long interval lies between the completion 
of the Republic and the composition of the Timceus is proved, in the 
first place, by the criteria of style and language. There is further the 
trustworthy information of Grantor, who, moreover, was "the first 
commentator on Plato " (in Proclus' commentary on the Timceus, 


p. 24 E, quoted on p. 301 of this volume), of which the text is : 
(T/cwTTTeffffat fiiv <p^]ffiv avrhu inrh tuv t6tg &s oiSk a^rhv Sura ttis no\tTetas 
eiperiiv oAAck /ierwypiitfiaiiTa ri AtyvTrrlaV rhv Sh roaovTov iroi'liffairBtu rav 
ffKawrSpTttiV \6yoy, Sct' ^tt' PdyvTrriovs apairsfn^ai t^v irepl ^AQrjvalay Kal 
'ArAayT/vai/ toAttji/ iVTopfav Sis rav 'ABrpiaiuv kot^ -rairriv Qi\aii.vTaiv tote tV 

Page 201 (Top). Hermocrates : cf. Critias, 108 A-B ; also 
Timaus, 20 A. The opinion opposed to ours, that the recapitulation 
at the opening of the Timaus refers to an earlier sketch of the 
Republic, is principally represented by Rohde, Psyche, ii. 266, notes 
(2nd ed.), and von Arnim, De Reipubliccs Platonis Compositione ex 
Timceo Illustranda (Rostock Winter Programme, 1898). I have 
tried to show on p. 203 that this hypothesis is unnecessary. The 
Republic as it lies before us decidedly does not give the impression of 
being a rdchauffi of a previous work. If it were, many harsh tran- 
sitions would have been smoothed over, many violences in the 
structure softened. Further, it is not very probable that the same 
person whom Plato thought the fittest mouthpiece of his cosmological 
speculations, also possessed the qualifications to make a character in 
his principal work of social polity. Finally and principally, how can 
it be explained that the Tiinceus, which shows all the signs of Plato's 
late period, should be appended by its author to a comparatively 
early work, which must be older than even the earliest books of our 
Republic ? 

Page 202. " Aristotle, in his Constitution of the Athenians : " 'ABw 
noAiT., C. 13 (Kenyon, p. 43, 3rd ed.), in essentials agreeing with 
Critias, p. 110 B, except that the nobility whom Aristotle calls 
flnraTpiSai are described by Plato, in imitation of Egypt, as the warrior 
caste (ri lidxi/i-ov). 

Page 203 (Top). Cf. Critias, 1 10 B. (Bottom) " To see the figures 
... in active motion :" cf. Timaus, 19 B: eh imBv/ilav a<plKoiTo eedtratreai 

Page 205. " A highly gifted French novelist : " cf. Zola, Le Roman 
ExpMmental, p. 7 : " Puis I'expdrimentateur parait et institue I'ex- 
p&ience, je veux dirt fait mouvoir les personnages''^ (so Plato, in the 
passage quoted), " dans une histoire particulifere, pour y montrer que 
la succession des faits y sera telle," etc. Cf. also § 8, p. 12, seg., and 
p. 30 : " Puisque la mddecine qui dtait un art, devient une science, 
pourquoi la litterature elle-meme ne deviendrait-elle pas une science, 
grice k la mdthode exp^rimentale ? " Or p. 17, " Donc,les romanciers 
naturalistes sont bien en effet des morahstes expdrimentateurs." 
Much more reasonable is p. 48, where observation and analysis 
appear as the principal tools of the " romancier expdrimentateur." 

Page 206 (Middle). Cf. Timaus, 24 E-25 D ; and Critias, 113 B 
seq. Rohde calls the whole narrative of Atlantis " the freest fiction, 
attached, at the utmost, to some cosmological and geographical 


theories" {GriecMscher Roman, 213, 2nd ed.). Further, in note 2, 
"When Plato (Timaus, 25 D) makes the destruction of Atlantis the 
cause of the ocean's becoming muddy and shallow, and therefore 
inaccessible, at least the fact thus explained stood firm in his belief, 
as in the belief of all antiquity," with a reference to Miillenhoff, 
Deutsche Altertumskunde, i. 78 and 420. To me the connexion with 
a popular legend continues to seem more probable. People saw, or 
thought they saw, Tois 'ABrivalovs . . , piKuvras riv irphs 'ArXavrlvovs 
7riiA.eyttoy, on the ireVxos of Athene (Scholia on the opening of the 
Republic). Christ's conjecture also {Platonische Studien, 55, seq^, 
that the Atlantic legend had an historical background in the invasion 
of the Northern peoples, may be not entirely devoid of foundation. 
Moreover, it remains obscure why Plato calls Atlantis an island, 
although it is said to have been larger than Asia and Libya put 
together. Compare on this and kindred questions, H. Berger, Gesch. 
der wissensch. Erdkunde der Griechen, ii. 125, also 141. The boldness 
with which Plato puts the prehistoric Athenians at the head of 
mankind borders on the incredible. Cf. Critias, 112 E, tVl iraffay 
Evp(JjTniy Kal 'Afriav . . . e\\6ytfiol re ^(Toy koX 6f0fia(rT6TaT0t irdvrwv tup 
tJtc. (Below) "Always been regarded as enigmatic." Differences of 
opinion on the explanation of the Timceus, as early as the immediate 
pupils of Plato, such as Xenocrates and Speusippus, are attested, both 
directly and indirectly, by Plutarch, in his eminently remarkable work, 
which is unique in the ancient treatment of philosophical history : " On 
the creation of the soul in the Timceus " (irepl t^j & Tijuo?^ xf/vxayovtas — 
Moralia, 1238-60, ed. Diibner, separate edition by Berthold Miiller, 
Breslau, 1873). Besides the commentary of Crantor, named above 
(p. 201), there were others by the Peripatetics Eudorus and Adrastus, 
the Stoic Poseidonius, etc. There are extant a fragment of Galen's 
commentary in the original, edited by Daremberg (Paris, 1848); the 
commentary and the Latin translation of the Neo-Platonist Chalcidius, 
most recently edited by Wrobel (Leipzig, 1876) ; and that of Proclus, 
edited by Schneider (Breslau, 1846). (Bottom) "A labour of secondary 
importance :" Timcsus, 59 C-D. 

Page 207 (Middle). "Proscribed as an impiety:" Timceus, 68 D : 
El St Tis Toirav ifiycf a-KOTroi/ievos fiiaavov Aa/iPdvoi, rh rrjs avSpatrlinis koX 
eelas tpiaeas iiyvor)Kiis ttv ftri Sid<popoi'. What is here rejected is the 
attempt at what we call chemical synthesis and analysis. (Below) 
''But the bond," etc. I cannot find the same thoughts except in 
Alberti, Uder Geist und Ordnung der platonischen Schriften (Leipzig, 
1864), p. 17- 
Page 208 (Top). This doctrine of a descending scale or degene- 
ration in Timceus, 41 D, seq. (Bottom) "As has been rightly observed: " 
cf. Grote, Plato, iii. 251. 

Page 209 (Top). " Greater or less degree of plausibility: " iiKhis 
lUyoi, eiKoVes ij.v9o\., are names given to his expositions by the author of 


the Timcsus, in 29 B-D, 48 D-E, 57 D, 59 C. (Par. 3) The act of 
creation. Perhaps it is advisable on this occasion to present to the 
reader the stock of reasons on both sides which have determined our 
judgment. To take the creative act for a mere figure was a course 
that already commended itself to ancient interpreters from Xenocrates 
onward, with a view to escaping the Aristotelian objections (cf. 
Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus., ix. 78, seq^. Latest of all, R. Wahle {Archiv, 
xiv. 14s, seq.\ following in the wake of many others, has entered on a 
more cogent method of proof for the theory that " the Demiurge is no 
ideal, metaphysical potency." For " all kinds of being and becoming, 
of body and spirit, have already been used by Plato in the construction 
of his world and its souls, so that nothing is left for the Demiurge. 
The principle of the permanent, change, mixtures, everything, has 
been distributed ; what besides could the nature of the Demiurge be ? 
Nothing. . . . Only in a figure could it be, at the utmost, the personifi- 
cation of power, of the effect of the self-existent forms on the principle 
that invests itself with them." Plausible as all this sounds, yet hesi- 
tation is suggested, first of all, by the parallels in the Sophist and 
Siatesman,to which our exposition points. The figurative presentations, 
the " accommodation," of which Wahle speaks {op. cit, p. 150), must in 
any case have grown out of the purposes which prevail in the Timaus. 
But now, compare expressions on the Demiurge in Timaus, 28 C, rhv 
ykv oZv Tiaii\T^v Kti^ ttwrifa ToCSe ToS iravTils, or 37 C, i yevviiaas iroT^p, with 
Statesman, 269 D, vapA. rod yew/iaaVTOs iierel\i)^ei> (that is, the yfvviiaas of 
the oupavis and K6triu>s, 270 A) iropi toO SijjuioupyoS, or 273 B, tV toB 
Siiiuovpyov Kol iroTp^j . . . SiSaxfi", and further with Sophist, 265 C, /iav 
iWou Tiphs fl fleoS SiifuovpyovvTos ^aofifv Sirrepoi/ ylyye<r8cu irp6T(pov oiiK 
ivra; The mistrust thus awakened — a mistrust which is always 
appropriate in the face of a purely deductive treatment of a question 
of history or interpretation— leads us to those considerations which 
we have presented on pp. 2ii, 212. If in all this there can be any 
suggestion of " accommodation," it is accommodation to Plato's own 
religious feeling, not to any popular opinions, which he opposes more 
freely and absolutely in the Timmus (40 E, quoted on p. 213) than any- 
where else. It was simply the development of his own religious meta- 
physics that made it difficult for him to attach himself to the current 
mythical conceptions. The more intimately, we may venture to add, 
Plato occupied himself with the process of the world's formation, the 
greater was the importance that the dynamical side of the supreme 
world-principle assumed in his eyes. This now becomes a genuinely 
moulding and producing being, and therefore more and more becomes 
furnished with will, and, so far, with personality. Such a progress, 
moreover, is probably visible as early as the tenth book of the 
Republic, in the passage where the Deity, in no uncertain words, is 
called the creator (Demiurge), as of all other things, so of the ideas 
(596 B-C). This want of complete clearness is also noticed by 


Theophrastus (quoted by Simplicius, /« PAyj., P- 26, 11-13, Diels). 
While he distinguishes God from the Good in the Platonic doctrine, 
he yet unites them at the same time into one principle : Uo t&s afxi.s 
. . . rb fCiv imoKilyLfvov at S\riy (us SAtji' inroKelfjitvov?'), t wpo<rayopiiet iravSex^'t 
rb Se its aXTiov Kal Kijfovv, & irpoffdiTTeL rp rod 6eov KoL dyaBov Bvj/dfiet. (Middle) 
" Found expression in the Philebus : " 30 A. (Bottom) " As far as 
possible : " kbI kotA Siwaiuv Sti kcJaaio-to Kol ipiffra {Timcsus, ^2 E), and 
(p\avpoy 8e unShv elvai Kara Siva/uv (30 A). 

Page 210 (Top). " The first great difficulty of interpretation." 
The passage 38 B : xp^""' '' ''^'' /"*'''' oip^^voS 76'7oc€i/, and its relation to 
10 A, obx Tjfrvxlay Ikytav akXh. Kivo^fifvov wKTHMfieKoas xaX oTct/cTws, present 
perhaps the greatest difficulty of all in the explanation of the Timceus. 
See Aristotle, De Calo,'\. 10 (279, 280), and Simplicius on the passage 
(pp. 303, 304, Heiberg). Simplicius, I may remark, adduced States- 
man, 273 B, but did not make the same use of it that I have done. 

Page 211, § 4. The passages bearing on the problem of the 
primordial matter are : Timcsus, 49 A, 51 A, 52 B. Especial attention 
is due to the triad, emphasized so strongly in 52 A-D, of the iv (i.e. 
the world of ideas), of x'^P^ (z.«- space), and of yive<ns (^i.e. the sub- 
stratum of material processes) ; and with 52 A should be compared 
the exact parallels in 27 D-28 A. The emphatic denial of empty 
space occurs principally in the theory of respiration, which I have 
reproduced on p. 224. The apparent contradiction between this 
denial of Kev6v and the diiiKm mentioned in several passages (58 B, 
60 E, 61 A-B^ is removed by Deichmann and his critic Diimmler in 
a perfectly legitimate manner. They point out that the Si&Kiva " are 
not meant as true voids existing between the elementary particles ; 
the name is to be interpteted relatively to definite individual bodies " 
(Deichmann, Das Problem des Raumes in der griechischen Philosophie, 
p. 65, and Diimmler, Kleine Schriften, i. 292). Diimmler continues, 
with perfect justice, "The element-forming triangles which constitute 
the elementary crystals do so by bounding full space, not empty space, 
and they cannot divide up the whole original mass." This is fully 
decided by the passage 58 A-B in particular. The opinion of the 
most ancient interpreters has been retained not only by the two 
scholars just named, but by Bonitz, K. F. Hermann, Brandis, Ueberweg 
{Rhein. Mus., ix. 59, seq., where he gives references to the earlier 
literature), and Grote {Plato, iii. 248). The most important modern 
commentator on the Timceus, Henri Martin, wavers on this point ; 
compare his Etudes sur le Timde, ii. 180, with the page following. 
The opposite view, that Plato's primordial matter is nothing else than 
space, originated with Bockh {Kleine Schriften, iii. 124, seq.), and has 
received the assent of Zeller (ed. 4, ii. i, 727, seq^, and finally ot 
Windelband {Plato, pp. 89 and 106, seq^. Nothing decisive is to be 
extracted from Aristotle. His words in the Physics (a. 2, 209 b, 11) : 
Sib KvX nA.aTCW*' TT^y ^\t\v KoX T^v x^P^^ Ta.in6 (pjunv elvai 4v t^ Tijuat^j, can 


hardly, considering the context, mean anything else than that space 
and matter, according to Plato, coincide in their extension, in other 
words, that Plato knows nothing of space denuded of matter. 
(Bottom) " A well-considered answer : " given by Ueberweg, Rhein. 
Mus., ix. 69. 

Page 212 (Top). " Fully in earnest." Here, too, I must again 
refer to Ueberweg {pp. cit., p. 76, note 40), who insists on the highly 
important but often neglected distinction between Plato's mythical 
expositions and those which are meant seriously, though not presented 
as claiming absolute certainty. The word yiyovfv (sc. i kSo-hos) is 
not even subject to this last limitation ; it is the answer, given in 
the most positive manner conceivable, to the question, ir6Tipov ^v 
ael . . . t) yiyovev - . . s (28 B). That Plato is fully in earnest about 
the creation of the world, has recently been acknowledged, though 
not without reserve, by R. Heinze {Xenocrates, p. 51), by Apelt 
{Beitr. z. Gesch. d. Philos., viii.), and long before these by Stumpf, 
whose treatise, Verhdltnis des platonischen Gottes zur Idee des Guien, 
is only known to me at second hand. (Bottom) " To discover . . . : " 
Tim., 28 E. 

Page 213 (Middle). " Eternal gods." The ideas are called aiSioi 
e^ol in 37 C ; the cosmos a siSaliiav eds in 34 B. The might of 
" Necessity " — ^here appeased and compliant — is specially mentioned 
in 56 C ; together with the " erratic cause of motion," it appears in 
48 A. The last passage contains a significant phrase : The world 
was created ^| h/iyxiis tc koL vov avaTiaeas. The evil world-soul is 
spoken of in Laws, x. 896 E and 898 C. (Below) August Bockh, 
Kleine Schriften, iii. 130. 

Page 214 (Middle). " In the Thecetetus : ^^ 176 A {vTrcmvTiov yap 
ri T$ 0708^ aA fhai avdyxri). I am here entirely in agreement with 
Ueberweg-Heinze, i. 174, 8th ed. 

Page 215 (Top). Creation of the world-soul : TimcBus, 36 E, seq. 
(Middle) "Plato's pupils :" cf. Aristotle, Physics, r. 4, 203 a, 15 : 
m^i.Tav Se ilio ri. Aireipa, rh fiiya KoX rh lUKpiv. Similarly, Physics, A. 2, 
209-210; also Metaph., A. 6, 988 a, 13 : 3t( oBtij Stos ia-riv, rb p-irj/a 
KaX T^ fiiKp6v. 

Page 216 (Middle). "Some of his followers :" especially Xeno- 
crates, who has been followed by many moderns. I have the more 
confidence in my interpretation from the agreement of R. Heinze 
{Xenocrates, p. 22, seg.), who explains the fii/cTbc ydvos of the Philebus 
in a similar manner, without any reference to the Timceus. In 
passing, I may remark that I cannot understand why Heinze {op. 
cit, p. 21), as also Ueberweg and Heinze in several passages, make 
the Philebus follow the Timceus. I hope I have made sufficiently 
plain the close connexion of the Philebus with the companion dialogues. 
Sophist and Statesman. Perhaps, as a last desperate shift, it might 
occur to some one to place all three dialogues later than the Timaus. 


But this may easily be shown to be illegitimate. For the Philebus 
begins as a rearguard of the other two, and ends as an advance-guard 
of the TimcBus. In it a kind of dynastic change is accomplished. 
The sceptre passes from dialectic to mathematics, from which it is 
not again wrested. (Par. 2) For this section, see in particular 41 
D-E, 69 C, seq., 44 A-D, 39 C, 40 B. 

Page 217, § 5. The contemptuous expression is known to us from 
an addition by an unknown hand to Alexander's commentary on the 
Metaphysics (A. 5, 985 b, 23), Anonym. Urbin., in Brandis' Scholia 
in Aristotelem, p. 539 A, fin. : 'Ofiotas rouVotj koI UKarav, irep! ou iKpyiv 
Tivts i)s KaTefiaSriiiaTtKeiffaTO rijv (prlcriv. On the thoughts expressed in 
what follows, cf. Alex, von Humboldt, Kosmos, i. 98 : " The planetary 
system, considered with respect to its absolute magnitude and the 
relative position of the axes, . . . does not oifer any greater degree 
of natural necessity [that is, in the sense of ' intrinsic and causal 
connexion'] than the distribution of sea and land, . . . than the 
outline of the continents or the height of mountain-chains. No 
universal law governing these details is to be discovered either in 
the celestial spaces or in the inequalities of the earth's crust. These 
axe facts of nature, resulting from the conflict of many different forces 
working under unknown conditions." 

Page 218 (par. 2). The difficulties of the theory of the elements 
which is introduced in 31 B, and expounded in 53, seq., have been 
discussed with especial insight and impartiality by H. Martin, in 
Etudes sur le Timde, ii. 239, seq. The solution which he gives of the 
problem of proportion (i. 338) is approved by Bockh {Das kosmische 
System des Platon, p. 17) ; Grote {Plato, iii. 252) and Jowett {The 
Dialogues of Plato, '\\. 512) reject it, hardly on good grounds. Plato's 
statement is correct only if the numbers considered are powers of 
primes. He was, however, quite justified in making prime numbers — 
linear numbers, as the Greeks called them — the basis of his theory, 
since every number which is not prime, being the product of factors, 
as such expresses the measure of a surface or a solid. (Bottom) 
Philolaus : This Pythagorean of Crotona has been mentioned a good 
many times in the present work (see Vol. I. pp. 112, seq., 250, 285, 
544 ; Vol. III. pp. 31, 43, 188, 209). The most important testimony 
for our present purpose is found in Sfobseus, i. 10 (p. 18, J, Wachs- 
muth) : KoX T(i ^v r^ (npaipt^ fft&fiaTa Trevre 4vt{ . . . irvp, Sdap Kol 70 Kol 
aiip (to! i Tcis (T<palpas 5\Kis (?) TrefvirToy. It will be well to begin by 
answering the doubts raised by Ueberweg-Heinze (i. 66, ed. 8) : 
"The doctrine of the five regular solids must not be regarded as 
pre-Platonic, for Plato bears witness (Pep., vii. 528 B) that in his 
time no solid geometry was as yet in existence." But this is to draw 
a much too detailed inference from a general statement. Plato 
might very well regret the absence of a system of solid geometry 
rivalling plane ia depth and extent, and yet have such a rudimentary 


acquaintance with tlie subject as is implied by his recognizing the 
existence of the five regular solids. We may observe that the com- 
plaint referred to recurs in Laws, vii. 819 D, seq. On the ground 
of doctrines ascribed to Philolaus, in the London papyrus (see note to 
Vol, I. p. 285), his chronological position has now been more exactly 
determined by Diels (in Hermes, 28, 417), who makes him a younger 
rather than an older contemporary of Socrates. He shows signs of 
dependence on Alcmseon, on Hippasus, and probably on Prodicus. 
The most important of his fragments, which at one time were regarded 
with much suspicion, are now acknowledged on good grounds as 
genuine — ^by Zeller {Hermes, 10, 178, seq.\ by Rohde {Psyche, ii. 170, 
ed. 2), by Diels {Parmenides, p. 66). The fragment quoted in Vol. I. 
p. 250 of the present work is supplied by Clemens, Strom., iii. 518, 
Potter. Bockh's pioneer monograph has been already mentioned 
(Vol. I. note to p. 112). The fragments maybe found iniChaignet, 
Pythagore et la Philosophie Pythagorcienne, i. 226, seq., and in MuUach, 
Fragmenta Philos. Grcec, ii. i, seq. 

Page 219 (Top). " Admitted it again in his latest phase." That 
Plato did so recognize the ether as a fifth element, may be inferred 
with great probability from the agreement of his pupils Speusippus, 
Xenocrates, and the author of the Epinomis (cf. R. Heinze, 
Xenocrates, p. 68.). (Middle) " The enigmatic question . . . : " see 
note to p. 211, § 4. (Below) Allusions to the theories of the atomists 
in Tim., 52 E (the winnowing-fan), 59 C (specific gravity). We may 
also note a reference to Anaximenes in 49 C, to Anaxagoras in 56 C. 
The double meaning of Kireipos is played on in 55 C; a somewhat 
similar passage is Philebus, 17 C. (Bottom) "The elements having 
been constructed : " for this paragraph, cf. especially 33 B, seq. 

Page 220 (Middle). Plato's astronomical theories are set forth in 
Rep., X. (the vision of Er) 616 B, seq. Timaus, 38 B, seq., and Laws, 
vii. 821, seq. Besides these, we have the concluding portion of the 
Phcedo, and the allusions in Phcedrus, 246 E, seq. Epinomis, 982 A, 
seq., provides a supplement which can only be used with caution 
because of its doubtful origin. The chief passage bearing on the 
rudiment of the sphere-theory is Timceus, 39 A. A lucid statement 
of that theory is given by Whewell, History of the Inductive Sciences, 
i. 113, seq. The works of Schiaparelli, cited in the note to Vol. I. p. 
1 10, are of fundamental importance ; they have since been supple- 
mented by an essay in the periodical Atene e Roma, i. No. 2. There 
is one point, however, on which I venture to differ from Schiaparelli 
and his numerous followers. That the sphere-theory was a mere 
mechanism of representation, and not an account of supposed facts, 
is a conjecture to which, as far as I can see, tradition lends no support 
whatever. The hoops or rings imagined by Plato were solid, not 
immaterial ; and the later champions of the theory believed in equally 
solid, if transparent spheres. 


Page 221 (Middle). Theophrastus : in Plutarch, PlatoniccE Quces- 
Hones, viii. i. i, 3 {Mor., 1231, 37, Diibner), and Life of Numa, ch. 
1 1, 2 ( Vita, 80, 24, Dohner). Where Plato finally supposed the centre 
of the universe to be, is unfortunately not reported ; it may be that 
his utterances on the subject were quite indefinite (" another and a 
better "). The second passage suggests the central fire ; it does not, 
however, demand this solution, but, more closely considered, is rather 
against than for it. This statement of Plutarch, and a passage in the 
Laws which we shall have to speak of shortly, have been wrongly 
interpreted as proving Plato a precursor of Copernicus ; carried 
away by the reaction against this error, no less a person than Bockh 
{Das kosmische System des Platon, p. 146) as well as H. Martin (in 
his great work, Mdmoire sur Vhistoire des Hypothlses Astronomiques, 
etc., Paris, 1881, p. 131) have gone the length of declaring the state- 
ment of Theophrastus to be worthless. To this I cannot agree, any 
more than could G. C. Lewis {Astronomy of the Ancients, p. 143). 
The statement remains obscure, but it is absolutely trustworthy. On 
Plato's contempt in the Laws for human concerns, see vii. 803 B in that 
work : ^'Etm 5^ roivw tA rtov avOp^ctiy Trpayfiara fieytiKtjs fihy trtrovSTis ovk iSt^ia, 
Shortly afterwards Plato calls man " a plaything of God " (repeated 
from i. 644 D). (Bottom). The quotation is from Newcomb, Popular 
Astronomy, p. 4. 

Page 223 (Middle). In the Laws, vii. 821, seq., Plato refers 
enigmatically to a doctrine only lately made known to him, on the 
nature of which the interpreters differ. Schiaparelli, in I Precursor! 
di Copernico, p. 20, believes, on grounds which appear to me con- 
vincing, that the expression can only be understood as referring to 
the earth's rotation, and he quotes Epinomis, 987 B. in support of his 
view. I follow his great authority in opposition to Bockh (J)as 
kosmische System des Platon, p. 48, seq^ and Martin {Mdmoire, etc., 
p. 85, seq^. Aristotle was prolaably acquainted with the earth's rotation 
(cf. Vol. I. p. 1 19) ; and, considering that the works in question do not 
belong to Aristotle's later writings, it is not at all incredible, a priori, 
that Plato also was acquainted with this discovery of the younger 
Pythagoreans at the time when he wrote the seventh book of the Laws. 
Another remarkable circumstance must be mentioned, which is that 
in De Ccelo, ii. 13, Aristotle interprets a passage of the Timaus (40 B) 
as teaching the rotation of the earth. It is now universally acknow- 
ledged that this interpretation is erroneous. (Grote's attempted 
rehabilitation was unanimously rejected by the experts.) Now, 
Schiaparelli (p. 17, seq.) points out that this strange misunderstanding 
on the part of Aristotle becomes in a certain degree explicable if he had 
in his mind conversations or lectures of Plato in which the motionless 
state of the earth (really retained by him in the Timceus) was given up. 
No tenable result has been obtained by the attempt to combine Plato's 
allusion in the Laws and the statement of Theophrastus referred to 


above. (Par. 2) Bockh {Kleine Schriften, iii. 135, seq.) treats of the 
musical phenomena of Plato's heaven, and of the world-soul pervading 
it, with unsurpassed learning and an ingenuity which all acknowledge 
as triumphant. (§ 7) " The doctrine of natural places," no above and 
below, antipodeans : Timaus, 60 B-C, 62, 3. ' 

Page 224 (Middle). Theory of respiration : 79 B-80 C. For what 
follows, compare 80 C. This whole section is illustrated by Plutarch, 
Qumstiones PlatoniccB, vii. (Mor., 1229-1231, Diibner). (Bottom) Con- 
volutions of the intestines, etc. : Timaus, 73 A. Purpose of nails : 
76 D-E. 

Page 225 (Bottom). Theory of disease : 82 A, seq. On mental 
diseases, 86 B, seq. 

Page 226 (Middle). " Connexion between mind and body : " a 
rudiment of these theories may be found in the Phado, cf. p. 434. 

Book V. — Chapter XX. 

Any one desiring to make himself rapidly acquainted with the 
matter contained in the Laws may be advised to use Constantin 
Ritter's summary, Plato's Gesetze, Darstellung des Inhalts, a volume 
which, apart from the copious index, only contains 126 pages. The 
commentary which has lately been published by the same author 
contains much that is excellent, but not seldom leaves the reader 
in the lurch. A commentary which should shed a uniform light on 
all parts of the work would be a difficult but a very welcome 

Page 227 (Below). " Philippus of Opus : " see note to Vol. II. pp. 
276 and 282. Also Prolegomena ad Philosophiam, Platonis, ch. 24, 
in Hermann, vi. p. 218. (Bottom) " Within a year." This is clear from 
the malicious allusion of Isocrates in his Philippus (composed between 
April and July, 346 ; cf. Blass, Griechische Beredsamkeit, ii. 314, ed. 2). 
(See pp. 26 and 325 above.) These chronological facts have been 
noticed long ago. 

Page 228 (Middle). " The truth may well be said . . . : " quoted 
from Laws, xii., 956 E. On what follows, cf. iii. 701 C-D. (Par. 2) Cf. 
iv. 715 C, where the innovations spoken of are certainly less those of 
word-formation than of the employment of words ; still, he could 
hardly speak of the latter without being reminded of the former. 
(Bottom) The remarkable self-complacency in vii. 811 D-E. 

Page 229 (Middle). What is said about the cypresses rests on 
personal observation (see also Theophrastus, Hist. Plant., i. 2, 2 ; 
iii. I, 6 ; iii. 2, 6 ; iv. I, 3). The cypress appears as a special gift of 
Crete to the gods'in Hermippus {Fragm. Com. Grcec, i. 243 ; Frg., 63, 

Page 230 (Middle). Aristotle, Politics, B. 9, where there is an 
allusion to Laws, i. 630 D-E. 


Pages 233-255. On the filiation of the theory of the division 
of powers, cf. Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, book xi. chap. 6, seg., 
especially chap. 11 ad fin. : "Las Grecs n'imaginferent point la vraie 
distribution des trois pouvoirs dans le gouvernement d'un seul ; ils ne 
I'imaginferent que dans le gouvernement de plusieurs, et ils appel&rent 
cette sorte de constitution polls." There, too, is the reference to 
Aristotle's Politics, namely, to A. 8, 1293 b, 33 : ian yhx ri TroXircfa &s 
avKus ciireii' fu^ts 6\iyapxlas xal SriiiaicpaTlas. In book xi. chap. 17, Mon- 
tesquieu speaks of the division of powers in the Roman republic, and 
refers to the sixth book of Polybius, that is, to the celebrated passage 
in which the mixed form of government is treated of fully and held up 
as an ideal. Now, Polybius, as a glance at vi. 11, §§ 11, 12, and at 
Laws, iv. 712 D, will show, quite obviously leans on Plato, though 
R, Scala ignores this relationship in his book on Polybius. On the 
canonic reputation which Montesquieu had for Hamilton and Madison, 
the chief creators and exponents of the North-American constitution, 
Mr. Bryce speaks in TAe American Commonwealth, p. 282, ed. 3. 

Page 234 (Top). " Troy . . . within the sphere of Assyrian in- 
fluence : " see note to Vol. I. p. 47. 

Page 235 (par. 2). This objection was anticipated by Montesquieu 
himself, book xi. chap. 6, p. 269 A {CEuvres completes, Paris, 1835). 
It was worked out by Bentham, in his Book of Fallacies (ii. p. 545, ed. 
Bowring). It is equally unnecessary here to treat particularly of 
Montesquieu's precursors, Locke and Buchanan, or of the criticism 
which Montesquieu's theory has received in our own day. (Bottom) 
The consciousness of well-calculated and successful composition finds 
particularly strong expression at the close of the third book. If the 
parallel with the Phadrus had been observed, it would have forestalled 
many groundless judgments on the genesis of the Laws. The same 
artifice is employed in both passages in identical language — 

Laws, iii. 702 B. Phadrus, 262 C-D. 

ioiKf kotA Tixn" Tti/tk Tiiuv ret Tuv Kol /tV KBT^ rixv ye Tiya, &s 

\6yav Toiriev trdnrav S>v Sie|^Xflo/iei; iooKv i^^H\Ti\v rii \iya, 

An equally convincing passage is that in which the " truancy of 
the discourse," the ir^dvn toS \6you, is spoken of (682 E — 683 A). 

Page 236 (par. 2). I leave for another place (Platonische 
Aufsdtze, iii.) the controversy with the widely spread view that 
the work is quite destitute of any strict composition ; that it was 
"put together" by Philippus, " with little skill, from a number of 
sketches " (Windelband, Platon, p. 62), whether it was that Philippus 
added a great deal of his own, or confined himself to intertwining two 
sketches. The first of these theories is maintained by Ivo Bruns 
{Platotfs Gesetze, Weimar, 1880), the second by Theodor Bergk 
\Funf Abhandlungen, etc. (Leipzig, 1883), pp. 41-1 16). The objections 


which are really present can be explained by the certainly tedious and 
wearying labour on the comprehensive work, whose discrepancies 
would have required a smoothing and harmonizing revision more 
than any other work of Plato. That the Laws did not get this from 
their author is a well-attested and obvious fact. (Bottom) "A few 
instances of literary art : " cf. Laws, iv. 712 D, and notes to pp. 233-235. 
I take the next example from x. 892 D-894 B, the one following from 
i. 645 A, the last from x. 906 C-D. 

Page 238 (Top). " What dreadful news ! " The paradoxical 
exclamation, niiiroi, olov Keyeis, iv. 704 C. The second paradoxical 
term, vii. 789 A. 

Page 239 (Bottom). " The Spartan practice : " proofs in Schomann- 
Lipsius, Griech. Altert.,\. 27 (4th ed.). 

Page 241. " Excess of self-love." In the words, % \iyova-iv S>s <t>(\os 
airq: itas Mpairos (v. 73 1 E), I think I recognize an allusion to sayings 
of poets like Euripides, Medea, 86, 'iis iras ns afniv toS ire'xos imkkov <^i\ei: 
Fragm. 460, ^ihSiv iiAkutt' Ijmmhv ouK iu,<i-)(ivo)uu : or Sophocles, CEd. Col. 
309, Tfs 7ip itsS *s oux afnif <pC\os ; Above I have taken over a sentence 
from vi. 777 D, probably the most valuable moral utterance of Plato, 
and incorporated it in reproducing the prooemium of v. — the words, 
5i(iSi)\os yctp S i^iaet. Koi n^ wKaiTTus (r4$tDV ri/v Slxnv, fuaZv 5^ ivrias th SStKov 
4v Toirois Twv avdptiiram, iv oh avrtf p^Siov ctSiKeiv. (Bottom) " Dowries are 
forbidden : " probably after the ancient Spartan model ; cf. Dareste, 
La science du droit en Grece (Paris, 1893), p. 61. 

Page 242 (Middle). " Adopted by Charondas : " Theophrastus, in 
StobcBus Floril., 44. 22 ad fin., % &(nrep XapdvSas /tal TlKirav; (Laws, xi. 
915 D). OuTOj yli,p iropaxpw" K(\eiov(rt SiS6i>at ko! \aii0dvetv idv S4 Tis 
iriiTTfl/ffr), fih e?>"» Slxriv, aiirhv ydp airiov ilvai ttis iSmlas. 

Page 24.3 (Middle). " Under the Solonic constitution : " cf. 
Aristotle, Politics, B. 12, 1724 a, 16, seg., hfi ti\aiv 7c iome riiv 
avayKaiOTi.rt\v aTToSiS6vai r$ Siinip Svva/iiv, Ti ris opx'*^ oipeifffloi Kol tuBivcir. 

What is said of Dracon just below rests on the newly discovered 

'Aflrjvoiaiv IIoXiTefo, ch. 4. 

Page 244. " The compulsory vote." I take the remark on com- 
pulsory voting from Bryce, American Commonwealth, ii. 150 (3rd ed.). 
On the additions to the Belgian constitution, which include com- 
pulsory voting, cf. H. Triepel, Wahlrecht ttnd Wahlpflicht (Dresden, 
1900), p. 20, seq. In regarding the vote not as a personal right but 
as a pubUc duty, Plato is the precursor of J. S. Mill, Gneist, Robert 
Mohl, Zacharia, Lassalle, Laband, Seydel, Herbert Spencer. Cf. Leo 
Wittmayer, Unser Reichsratswahlrecht (Vienna, 1901), pp. 168-177. 
(Middle) " Constitution of the Athenians : " 'M-i\v. no\i.T., ch. 8, ad init., 
with Kenyon's remarks, p. 26 (3rd ed.). 

Page 246 (Bottom). Fears of the misuse of dialectic are expressed 
by Plato in Republic, vii. 537 D-538 A. " But few traces reniain. . . ." 
So far as these traces go, they certainly exhibit the spirit and the 

VOL. III. 2 ^ 


method of the dialogue-triad, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus. They 
occur in the following passages, which are dealt with by Campbell on 
p. Hi. of his Introduction to the Statesman: vi. 751 A ; vii. 814 C and 
824 A ; viii. 841 C ; x. 894 A and 895 C j xii. 944 B and 945 C. 

Page 247 (Top). Aristotle : of. Metaph., A, 9, 990 b, 15-17, and 
991 b, 5-7 (denial of the ideas both of relations and of artificial 
products). Xenocrates : apud Proclum, In Plat. Parmen., p. 136, 
Cousin (= p. 691, Stallbaum) : ^Ivai r^v ISeav ee/ievos ahiav vapaSeiy/mTiKiiv 
Tuv KwTcL ipiffiv ael avveffT4>Tav. With this Aristotle perfectly agrees in 
Metaph., A. 4, 1070 a, 18, Si!) V>\ o4 kokSs i 'OXi.Tuv e^i; 8ti cfSij eo-rlc 
Iniaa. i^ia^i. (Bottom) The later deduction of the ideas from mathe- 
matical " primary principles " is attested by Aristotle, Metaph., M. 4, 
1078 b, 9-12 ; N. I, 1087 b, 7, seq., also A. 6, 988 a, 7, seq. Of the 
literature bearing on the subject, I may specially mention Ueberweg's 
Untersuchungen, 202, seq., his often-quoted treatise in Rhein. Mus., 
9, 52, seq. ; Heinze's Xenocrates, 37, seq., though I cannot agree with 
the contradiction (p. 52 in the last-named work) of Zeller {Berliner 
Sitzungs-Berichte, 1887, p. 198) and Apelt, Beitrdge, p. 83. A good 
deal of truth, mixed with a little error, seems to me to be contained 
in Jackson's comprehensive dissertations on " Plato's Later Theory of 
Ideas " {Journal of Philology, x.-xv.). The attempt there made to 
prove Plato a precursor of Berkeley does not strike me as successful. 
One of his results, the chronological priority of the Philebus to the 
TimcBus, I regard, though for different reasons, as definitely 

Page 248 (Top). " The science of law.'' The praise of this study 
as an instrument of general education — a sentiment not elsewhere 
paralleled in Plato, or indeed in any other ancient author — occurs in 
xii. 957 B-C. (Bottom) " Mixture of constitutional forms." This, in 
my opinion, most important and fertile factor of Plato's political 
thought, may well be illustrated by a few quotations : iii. 693 B, is 
i,j>a ov Set iieyd?uis &px^^ ovS' oJ i/ilKTOvs vofio0eTe7v (cf. 692 A— C). As the 
two fundamental forms (oTov jUTjTepcs) he names in the sequel monarchy 
and democracy, the one-sided exaggeration of which is exemplified by 
the Persians and the Athenians. Both, he contends, have in a manner 
experienced the same fate : ixelvois liev iiA mrav SovXelav Syoucri rhv Srj/uiv, 
rifuv S' at rovi/avTiov iirl irairav i\ev8eptav Tporpdirovirt ri irA'^flj) (iii. 699 E). 
And again he says, with reference to the election of the council : /leo-oK 
&v 6X01 iwvapxMrjs Kal StinoKpariKrjs iroAiTttas . . . SovKot yiip &v (to! SeffTniTot 
oiiK &v TToTe y4vQivTo ^i\oi (vi. 756 E). 

Page 250 (Middle). The election of the censors (eHewot) is treated 
of in book xii. 945 B, seq. That the votes are not secret, I infer from 
the words, ty hv 'dicatrTos ainav r\y^rai xavrp tptirrov etvai jr^^K o4to0. 
This last limitation could have no meaning if there were no means of 
checking the voting. Stich a means is supplied if the voting-tablet 
bears the voter's signature. Precisely this regulation is found in vi. 


753 C, where the election of the guardians of the laws is in question ; 
and therefore .1 see no objection against assuming that this mode of 
voting is contemplated here too. That each voter could only vote for 
one candidate is clear from the first words of the above sentence, 
especially taken in connexion with the words which immediately pre- 
cede : T^ 9eiy Sarotpaivov/ieiiovs HvSpas airav rpcTs, after which we yet read 
not 08s .. . ipiarovs, but ti> . . . &pi(rroy. As every one can see to whom 
questions of electoral technique are not wholly unfamiliar, the whole 
subsequent process of elimination has meaning and purpose only 
on this supposition. If space permitted, I should have liked to put 
before the reader more of the abundant materials for comparison 
which have been kindly placed at my disposal by Dr. Leo Wittmayer. 
The voie unique is a special case of the vote limits, which was in use a 
short time ago at the elections of Italian deputies ; it exists to-day in 
Brazil for the election of deputies, at Hamburg for the election of 
burgess-committees by the whole body of burgesses. (The Platonic 
election system is treated with accuracy, fulness, and insight by 
Dareste, in the Annuaire . . . des Etudes grecques, 1883, p. 65, seq. 
Part of his article is repeated on p. 54, seq., of the work quoted in the 
note to p. 241.) Thomas Hare, The Election of Representatives, 
Parliamentary and Municipal {"Loiadon, 1859). 

Page 251 (Bottom). The purposes of punishment are stated in 
ix. 854 D, 860 B, 862, 863, and xi. 934 A-B. The subject is also 
touched on in v. 728 C. 

Page 252 (par. 2). The " dumb judges " are condemned in three 
passages widely separated from each other : vi. 766 D (^^wkos 8' o! 

SiKoffTjjs . . . ovK i.v trore iKavhs yevoiro), ix. 876 B (SiKaffriipia <pav\a Ka! 
&<pava), and xii. 957 B (li<ra Si vepl re aiyiiv SikocttSi/ . . . toi /xev etprrrai, 

K.T.K.) — a circumstance which, so far as it goes, does not exactly bring 
grist to the mill of the x"P^f<»"'es. (Bottom) Hippodamus : cf. Vol. I. 
pp. 409, 410- 
Page 253 (Below). Charondas : Diodorus, xii. 12, init., compared 
with Laws, xi. 930 B. For what follows, cf. Hid., 930 C. In vi. 774 E 
there is no hint of girls having any voice at all in their own disposal. 
But in 771 E a certain amount of social intercourse is prescribed 
between young people before marriage (probably more than Attic 
custom required). On heiresses, compare xi. 924 E with Hermann- 
Thalheim, Griech. Rechtsalter turner, p. 57, ed. 3, and Das Recht von 
Gortyn, p. 30 (Bucheler and Zittelmann). (Bottom) " In the Re- 
public: " v. 468 B-C ; cf. also iii. 403 B. For what follows, cf. Rep., 
V. 460 E and 461 B-C. 

Page 254. " In a passage of the sixth book ... in the eighth 
book : " vi. 784 E— 785 A ; viii. 838. 

Page 255 (Top). Cf. Laws, vi. 772 A, 841 A, with echoes in ii. 
666 A and viii. 835 D-E. On what follows, cf. viii. 837, 838 E. The 
quotation from Bruns' A ttiscke Liebestheorien, 32. (§6) "Widespread 


unbelief of the age.'' The remarkable passage in proof, xii. 948 C. 
The most widely spread of the three heresies is said to be the third, 
which, of course, was closely interwoven with the popular belief. But 
we learn with astonishment that also fueposiicvn . . . avepdiravThirapi'rav 
ovx TiyovvTai 6eo{is, ol 5' ov ^povri^eiv Tifiav aiiroi/s Siavoovvrat, 

Page 256 Anaxagoras : cf. x. 886 D-E. Archelaus : 889 E. 

Page 257 (Top). " Pindar's phrase : " iii. 690 B (cf. Stallbaum on 
the passage). (Bottom) This equally important and difficult passage 
is in X. 903. 

Page 258 (Middle). " The problemlof the will." On Plato's theory 
of the will, his only apparent indeterminism and the changes in his 
theory, Tobias Wildauer has thrown much light in his model book, 
Die Psychologic des Willens bet Sokrates, Platon und Aristoteles, ii. 
(Innsbruck, 1879). 

Page 260 (Bottom). "The medical treatment of chronic diseases." 
On this I am referring to a work chronologically near to the Laws, 
the TimCBUS (89 C) : 816 isaiZayuiyitv Set Siakais Travra tA toioSto, Ka9' iaov 
i.v ^ T(p <rxoK-ti. The delight with which the baths surrounded by 
pleasure-grounds are depicted (vi. 761 B-D) reminds us of the similar 
description in Critias, 117 A-B ; we may believe that we are here 
conscious of a personal preference of Plato's. 

Page 262 (end of par. 2). The triumph of "misology" and 
intolerance was not complete at the last. Even in the passage where 
he desires to fight heresy with the aid of the executioner, Plato's deep- 
rooted sense of truth wrings from him the confession that unbelief 
and moral corruption do not necessarily go hand-in-hand .: ^ i^p tw ^ 
yo/ii^oyTi Beois eivai vh napditav ^Bos <j>iaii irpoayevrfrm S^Koiov, k.t-A. (x. 908 B)- 

Book V.— Chapter XXI. 

Page 265 (Middle). Bacon : cf. Nov. Org-., § 77 : " Tum demum 
philosophice Aristotelis et Platonis, tamquam tabulae ex materia 
leviore et minus solida, per fluctus temporum servatae sunt," with 
which may be compared the praise of the antiquiores in § 71. 
Schopenhauer : cf. Kober, Arthur Schopenhauer's Philosophie, p. 52. 
It is true that in the passages there quoted only Aristotle is named. 
But the error there named as the most fatal of all, the geocentric 
theory, was common to Aristotle and Plato, equally with the 
fundamental physical theory of the " natiu-al places." 

Page 266 (Top). Plato's services to mathematics are insisted on 
with great ardour, but at the same time with strong emphasis on his 
more mediate influence, in sharp contrast to the real creators of the 
science, by Eudemus, the highest authority of antiquity, in his history 
of geometry {Eudemi Fragmenta, 114, 115, ed. Spengel). Against the 
erroneous inclusion of the achievements of Archytas, Theaetetus, etc., 
in the category of " Plato and the Academy," Allman has lately given 


ajustified warning {Greek Geometry from Thales to Euclid, p. 214, 215). 
Very similarly, Zeuthen, in GescMchte der Mathematik im Altertum 
und Mittelalter (Copenhagen, 1896), p. 19 : "Even these" (the later 
Academics), "however, do not ascribe to him personal mathematical 
investigations of greater importance, but rather show themselves 
inclined to claim for him the honour for the methods which came into 
use in his time, and to make him the adviser of those who made the 
real forward steps in mathematics." (This tendency is already shown 
in the account used by Philodemus, Index Acad. HercuL, col. v., now 
in Mekler, p. 15.) The solution of the Delian problem, which 
occupied Plato, is due, not to him, but to Archytas and Eudoxus (cf. 
Eutocius, in the commentary on De Sphcera et Cylindro, Archimedis 
Opera, iii. 106, ed. Heiberg). As regards Eudoxus, a pupil and 
biographer of this great and exact researcher, himself a devotee of 
exactness, has given us precise dates, which directly convict as false 
the assumption of a real course of study under Plato. According to 
these dates, he attended Plato's lectures for two months at the age of 
twenty-three (Diog. Laert., viii. 86). 

Page 267 (Bottom). Montaigne, Essais, iii. 12 (iv. 211, seq.e^A. 
Louandre). On Carneades and the distinction between his scepticism 
and Pyrrho's, Montaigne speaks (ii. 12 = iii. 368, seq^ in words which 
remind us of the opening of Sextus Empiricus's Pyrrhonian sketches. 

Page 268 (Top). On John of Damascus and his use of the "so- 
called Dionysius Areopagites" by the side of both the Gregories, 
Basil, etc., even in his religious doctrine, cf. Krumbacher's masterly 
GescMchte der Byzantin. Lit., 172 (ist ed.). A Neo-Platonist, 
Porphyrins, is one of his philosophical authorities. On Psellus, 
besides Krumbacher {op. cit., 174, seq.), see the monograph on him by 
Aurelio Covotti (Naples, 1898). (Middle) In antiquity, Plato's works 
were collected into two volumes. A copy of the first volume is found 
in the codex written on the verge of the tenth century (896), found 
by E. D. Clarke in the monastery of St. John in Patmos, and called 
sometimes "Clarkianus" after its discoverer, sometimes "Bodleianus" 
after its place of deposit, the Oxford University Library transformed 
by Sir Thomas Bodley. A copy of the second volume, mutilated at the 
beginning, is contained in a Parisian MS. of the ninth century. (Bottom) 
Plotinus. Not quite identical, but similar thoughts on the effect of 
scepticism on Plotinus, in R. Wahle, Geschichtlicher Uberblick uber die 
Entwicklung der Philosophie (Vienna, 1895), pp. 42, 43, 45. (Below) 
See the paper of Adalbert Merx, quoted in the note to Vol. II. p. 250. 

Page 269 (Middle). Petrarch. Voigt enlarges on the enthusiasm 
with which Petrarch read Augustine's Confessions {Wiederbelebung 
des Classischen Altertums, p. 51, seq:). (Cf. also Burckhardt, Cultur 
der Renaissance, ii. 19 (4th ed.).) Windelband {Hist, of Philosophy, 
Eng. tr., p. 383) gives a similar character of St. Augustine. (Bottom 
of par. 2) The frequently noticed kinship between Augustine and 


Descartes, and not less the essential points that separate them, 
are thoroughly illustrated by Dr. H. Leder, Untersuchungen uber 
AugustirHs Erkenntnisstheorie (Marburg, 1901), p. 76, seq. 

Page 271 (§ 5). Plato's pupils are treated thoroughly by Zeller 
(ii. I. 420, seq., and 986, seq., 4th ed.). The present writer has tried to 
confirm the trustworthiness of the statement that Demosthenes was a 
pupil, in Zeitschr.fur dsterr. Gymn. (1865), p. 819, seq. On the poUtical 
attitude of certain Platonists, and against the imaginary picture of the 
Academy as a kind of " Nationalverein," see the present writer's essay" 
quoted in the note to Vol. II. p. 272. 


N.B. — As in the Index to the First Volume, the following references to the text of 
the work are intended to carry with them references to the corresponding 
portions of the Notes and Additions ( Vol. III. pp. 273-378). The author's 
indices are reserved for publication with the final volume. 

Abelard, ii. 175, 186 

Abstractions, the hypostasy of, ii. 203, 

20S, iii. 3 
Academy, the, ii. 270, 271, 272, 273, 

iii. 308 
Adeimantus, ii. 99, iii. 62 
^schines, the Sipcratic, iii. 25, 134, 

^schines, the orator, ii, 118 
^schylus, ii. 6, 7, 8 
Agathocles, iii. 141 
Agathon, ii. 383, 387 
Agathyrsi, the, iii. 179 
Agesilaus, ii. 124, 381 
Agyrrhius, ii. 344 
Alcibiades, ii. 47, 50, 72, 95, 114. 

392. 394, seq., iii. 25 
Alcidamas, iii. 27 
Alcmseon, iii. 45 
d'Alembert, ii. 224 
Alexander the Great, ii. 19, 161 
Alexinus of Megara, ii. 195 
All-one, doctrine of, iii. 11 
Altruism, of the Cynics, ii. 163; 

deduction of, ii. 22i 
AmphictyonicXeague, the, ii. 21 
Anaxagoras, ii._46, 85, 97, iii. 43 
Anaximander, ii. 37 
Anaximenes, ii. 158 
Anniceris, the Cyrenaic, ii. 221, 222 
Anthemion, ii. 371 
Antigonus of Carystus, ii. 206 
Antigonus Gonatas, ii. 206, 207 
Antisthenes, ii. 81, 89, 95, 114. 139. 

197, 244, 293, 356, iii. 25, 91, 145. 

147, 152, 159, 161, 162, 164, 166, 

170, 178, 185, 350 ; his life, ii. 142 ; 

writings, ii. 142, 182 ; teachers, ii. 
182 ; teaching, ii. 150 ; on the gods, 
ii. 165; politics, ii. 154; on the 
nature of animals, ii. 144 ; on 
pleasure, ii. 217 ; on predication 
and the theory of knowledge, 
ii. 183 
Anytus, ii. 97, 99, 114, n6, 253,343, 


Apaturia, the, ii. 52 

Apollodorus, ii. 50 

" Apology," Plato's, ii. 85, 100, seq. 

Arabia, ii, 4 

Aratus, ii. 206 

Archelaus of Macedonia, ii, 46, 60, 

73. 94. 332.. 341 
Archidamus, 11. 128 
Archytas, ii. 243, 259, 260, 261, iii, 

191 .. „ 

Areopagus, the, 11, 8 

Arginusse, battle of, ii, 51 

Aristarchus of Samos, ii. 208 

Aristides, ii. 377 

Aristippus, ii. 95, 114, 244, iii. 134, 
158; life and character, ii. 211, 
212 ; his ethics, ii. 213-215 ; 
theory of knowledge, ii, 231 

Aristocles, ii, 230 

Aristomache, iii. 138 

Ariston, ii. 161 

Aristophanes, the comedian, ii. 93, 
94, 103; the "Clouds," ii, 17; in 
the " Symposium," ii, 386, 387 ; 
allusions to Plato? iii, 340, 341 

Aristophanes of Byzantium, ii, 281 

Aristotle, ii. 47, iii, 132 ; his witness 
on the teaching of Socrates, ii, 55, 
56, 59, 60, 64, 69, 89, 104 i on 
the Megarians, ii, 171, 203 ; on 



Cratylus, ii. 253 ; on Critias, ii. 
251 ; on Archytas, ii. 260 ; on 
Plato's life, ii. 269, 273 ; on the 
origin of the doctrine of ideas, 
iii. 2 ; his references attest the 
genuineness of Plato's works, ii. 
278 ; pupil of Plato, iii. 266 ; his 
views on poetry, iii. 116 ; rhetoric, 
ii. 328 ; pleasure, pain, and happi- 
ness, ii. 227, iii. 129 ; criticizes 
Plato's political science, iii. 118, 
119, 120; on the history of civiliza- 
tion, iii. 233 ; on slave-raids, ii. 20 ; 
his elegy on Eudemus, ii. 71 ; his 
" Rules for the Table," ii. 274 

Aristoxenus, iii. 43 

Art, iii. 102, seq. 

Arts and pseudo-arts, ii. 339 

Aspasia, iii. 343 

Association (in psychology), iii. 46 

Astronomy, iii. 83, 85 

Athens and the Athenians, ii. 27, 30, 
seq. ; contrast with Sparta, ii. 40 ; 
Socrates' opinion of, ii. 309 

Atlantis, tale of, iii. 204, seq. 

Atomism, iii. 171 

Augustine, St., iii. 269 

Avesta, the, iii. 12 


Bacon, Francis, ii. 57 

Balance of power, the, iii, 23S 

"Banausic" occupations, iii. 24 

Barbarians, attitude of Greeks to- 
wards, ii. 19 

Beauty, the Idea of, ii. 392 ; male 
beauty, ii. 302 

Beggar's wallet, of the Cynics, ii. 153 

Bentham, Jeremy, ii. 216, 219, 224, 
225, 226 

Berkeley, George, ii, 187, 234 

Bemays, Jakob, ii. 164 

Bion of Borysthenis, ii. 148, 152, 164, 
165, 243, 244 

Bockh, August, iii. 213 

Bonitz, Hermann, ii. 204, 365, iii. 4, 

Byron, Lord, ii, 149 

" Csesarism," ii, 133 
Callias, ii, 308 
Callimachus, ii. 211 
"Callippus, iii. 138, 139 
Callixenus, ii. 52, 54 

Cannonus, decree of, ii. 54 

Cameades, ii. 211, iii. 267 

"Cave," Plato's, iii. 86, seq. 

"Censors," iii. 250 

Cercidas, ii. 157 

Chaerephon, ii. 50, loi, 105, 301, 326 

" Charmides," dialogue, ii. 300, seq. 

Charmides, ii. 50, 96, 252, 301, iii. 
24, III 

Chinese ethics, ii. 83 

Chrysippus, ii. 193 

Cicero, ii. 200, iii. 25 ; on Socrates 
and Aristippus, ii. 213 

Cleanthes, ii. 71, 73 

Clinomachus of Thurii, ii. 205 

Clisthenes, ii. 18, 39 

Communism, iii. 118, 1 19; Plato's 
relation to, iii, 106 

Comte, iii. 122 

Confucius, ii. 82 

Contradiction, problem of, ii. 185 

Copenhagen, bombardment of, ii. 25 

Corporeality, as hindrance to know- 
ledge, iii. 1 I 

Courage, definition of, ii. 297, seq. 

Crates, ii. 152, 153, 158, 162, 165, 

" Cratylus, dialogue, iii. 164 
Cratylus, ii. 252, 253, 266, iii. 2, 164 
Creation, in the " Timaeus," iii. 209 ; 

Plato's view of the, iii. 365 
Cre1e, political institutions of, iii, 91, 

92, 108 
"Critias," dialogue, iii, 200, seq. 
Critias, ii. 51, 56,96, 114, 118, 250, 

251, 252, 301, iii, 24, 25, III 
" Crito," dialogue, iii. 49, seq. 
Critobulus, ii. 61 
Cromwell, Oliver, ii. 43 
Curtius, Ernst, ii. 32, 34 
Cynics, the, ii. 139, seq., iii. 116 j 

mode of life, ii, 151 ; their religion, 

ii, 146, 164 
Cyrenaics, their theory of knowledge, 

ii. 229, seq. ; of sensation, ii. 239 
Cyrene, situation and history of, ii, 

209, 2 to 


" Daemon" of Socrates, the, ii, 87 
Delphi and the Delphic oracle, ii. 21, 
105, 165, iii. 12 ; consulted by 
Socrates, ii. 87 ; by Xenophon, 
ii. 120 
Demetrius of Phalerum, ii. 242 
"Demiurge," the, iii, 211, 212 
Democracy, iii, 93, 94 



Demosthenes, ii. 189 

" Descent," Plato's theory of, iii. 208, 

Diagoras, ii. 85, 242 
Dicsearchus, iii. 43 
Dilettantism, ii. 119 
Diodorus the historian, ii. 85 
Diodorus Cronus, ii. 198, seq. ; gave 

strange names, ii. 204 
Diogenes of ApoUonia, ii, 90 
Diogenes of Sinope, ii. 148, 205 ; 

life, ii. 205 ; works, ii. 156, 158, 

162 ; attitude towards the gods, 

ii. l6s 
Dion of Prusa, ii. 153 
Dion of Syracuse, iii. 135, seq. ; his 

friendship with Plato, ii. 396 
Dionysius II., ii. 263, 266, 267, 268, 

iii. 133, seg. 
Diotima, ii. 389, seg. 
" Disorderly " motion, iii. 210 
Dissen, L., iii. 279 
Dualism, iii. 11 
DUmmler, Ferd., iii. 285 


Eclipse, predicted by Helicon, iii. 137 
Education, iii. 66, seg., 83, 89, 90, 

230, 231, 246, seg. 
Egypt, iii. 232 j Plato's visit to, ii. 

255, 256 
Eleatics, the, ii. 233 
Elections, political, iii. 244, seq. 
" Electra," the, fallacy, ii. 193 
Elements, the, iii. 218, seg. 
Elian-Eretrian school, the, ii. 205 
Empedocles, ii. 356 
England, ii. 25, 28 
English constitution, the, iii. 249 
Enlightenment, age of, and humanity, 

ii. 19 
Epaminondas, ii. 130 
Ephialtes, ii. 18 
Ephorus, ii. 123 
Epicharmus, ii. 69, 84,, 265, 266, iii. 

Epictetus, ii. 116 
Epicurus, ii. 188, 194, 223, 225, 242, 

" Epimetheus," ii. 321 
Eratosthenes, ii. 161, 21 1 
Eros, Plato's doctrine of, ii. 391, 

iii. 19 
Eschatology, iii. 105 
Eubulides, ii. 189, 203, 204 
Euclid, ii. 208 
Euclides of Megara, ii. 89, 188, 205, 

255, iii. 86 ; his life and character, 

ii- 173 
Eudemus of Cyprus, ii. 71, iii. 138 
Eudoxus, ii. 219, 257, iii. 223 
Eugammon, ii. 211 
Euhemerus, iii. 299 
Eupatridse, the, ii. 17 
Eupolis, ii. 92 
Euripides, ii. 10, seg., 19, 30, 84, 97, 

Euryptolemus, ii. 52, 53, 54 
Eusebius, " Prsep. Evan.," ii. 231 
" Euthydemus," dialogue, iii. 145 
" Euthyphro," dialogue, ii. 358, seg. ; 

its chronological position, ii, 363 
Exact science, definition of, iii. 194 
" Excluded Middle," principle of, ii. 


" Fall of the soul by sin," the, ii. 364 
Family, the, iii. 78, 79, 253 
Fechner, iii. 220 
Franklin, Benjamin, ii. 45 
Freedom of speech in antiquity, ii. 1 1 1 

Gabelentz, G. von, ii. 83 

Generals, trial of the Athenian, ii. 

51, seg. 
Geometry, origin of knowledge of, 

ii. 370 
Glaucon, iii. 62 
Glaucus the Spartan, iii, 12 
Goethe, ii. 379 
Goldsmith, iii. 120 
"Good," meanings of, ii. 350, 351, 

iii. 85, 86 ; " table of goods," iii. 

" Gorgias," dialogue, ii. 154, 326, seg. 
Gorgias, ii. 143, iii. 154 
Greeks, the, keenness of their senses, 

ii. 35 ; their romantic feeling, ii. 

382 ; their nature-religion, iii. 13 
Grote, George, ii. 25, 104, iii. 120, 

135, 168; misled by the "Pro- 
tagoras," ii. 310 
Gymnastic, iii. 68 


Hartley, ii. 228 

" Heap," the, fallacy, ii. 189 



Hedonism, ii. 349; of Aristippus, 

ii. 218 ; of Plato, ii. 322, scq. 
Hegesias, ii. 221 
Helicon of Cyzicus, iii. 137 
Hellenic race, consciousness of its 

unity, ii. 20 
Helmholtz, ii. 239 
Helots, ii. 27 
Helvetius, ii. 224, iii. 109 
Heracles as patron saint of the 

Cynics, ii. 151, 166 
Heraclides, iii. 140 
Heraclitus, ii. 385, iii. 2 
Herbart, J. F., ii. 171, I77. 188 
Hero-worship, ii. 333, 334 
Herodotus, ii. 5, 8, 12, 17, 20, 35, 

38, 90, 208, 391, iii. 103, 119 
Hipparchia, ii. 148, 158, 162 
"Hippias," the lesser, dialogue, 11. 

291, seq. 
Hippias of Elis, ii. ij, 223, 315 
Hippocrates, ii. 35 
Hippodamus of Miletus, ii. 13S 
Hobbes, ii. 230 
Holbach, ii. 224 
Homer, ii. 3, 4. S. 2°. 22. 35. HO, 

391, iii. 103 
« Horned Man," the, fallacy, n. 194 
Humboldt, W. von, ii. 38 
Hume, David, iii. 267 
Hurndall, W. F., iii. 279 
Hypotheses, iii. 37 

Ideas, Plato's doctrine of, ii. 176, 180, 
352, iii. I, seq., 28, 46, 85, siq., 
150, seq., 173, 17s. 181, 247, 355 

Induction, Socratic, ii. 56 

" Inherence," problem of, ii. 175, seq., 
182, iii. 3 

Intellectualism, ii. 66 

International morality and law, ii. 

Involuntary error, n. 294 
Ion of Chios, ii. 46 
lonians, characteristics of the, ii. 36 
Ismenias, ii. 371 

Isocrates, iii. 22, 25, seq., 145, 146 
Italy of the Renaissance, iii. 14 

Joel, K., iii. 280 
John of Damascus, iii. 268 
Judgment of the dead, the, ii. 340, 

Jung-Stilling, ii. 88 

Justice, definition of, iii. 55, seq. 


Kant, ii. 249; on religion, ii. 366, 

Kepler, iii. 217 
Knowledge, theory of, iii. 157 seq. ; 

distinguished from " right opinion," 

ii- 372. 374. 393 

Laas, Ernst, ii. 237 
"Laches," dialogue, ii. 296 
Language, theories of, ii. 204, iii. 

164, seq. 
"Laws, the, dialogue, iii. 2.2"], seq. 
Legislation, iii. 239, seq. 
Leibnitz, ii. 224 
Leodamas, ii. 260 
Leon of Salamis, ii. 5 1 
"Lesser Hippias," dialogue, ii. 291, 

Leucippus, ii. 230, 232 
"Liar," the, fallacy, ii. 192 
Limited monarchy, iii. 249 
Linguistic criteria, iii. 29 
Locke, John, ii. 187, 230 
Logic, the beginnings of, ii. 318 ; of 

lie Cyrenaics, ii. 237 
Lucian, ii. 155, 165 
Lycon, ii. 99, 116 
Lycophron, ii. 179, 206 
Lysias, ii. 118, iii. 16, seq., 326 
" Lysis," dialogue, ii. 382, seq. 


Mach, Ernst, ii. 235, 240 

" Magnificence," iii. 112 

" Man in Disguise," fallacy, ii. 193 

Mathematics and mathematical truth, 

iii. 8, seq., 23 
Matter, ancient doctrines of, ii. 236, 

iii. 211 ; Plato's doctrine of, iii. 366 
Mechanics, history of, iii. 84 
Megara, situation and history of, ii. 

Megarian school, the, li. 170, seq., 

iii. 145, 253 
Meleager, ii. 165 

Meletus, ii. 97, seq., 104, 1 16, 358 
Melissus, ii, 174 
Melos, ii. 25 



Menander, iii, 10 

Monedemus of Eretria, ii. 205, 206, 

208, 241 
Menedemus of Pyrtha, ii. 273 
Menexenus, iii. 48 
Menippus, ii. 165 
" Meno," dialogue, ii. 367, seq. ; 

chronological position of, ii. 374 
Metrocles, ii. 148, 158, 195 
Miletus, ii. 30, 33, 43 
Mill, James, ii. 228, 234 
Mill, John Stuart, ii. 38, 78, ill, 235, 

iii. S, 8, 100 
Mitylene, ii. 26 

Mixed constitutions, iii. 233, seq. 
Monimus, ii. 158 
Montaigne, iii. 267 
Montesquieu, ii. 213, iii. 234 
Moschion, ii. 20 
Murder, expiation of, ii. 4 
Music, iii. 68 ; of the Greeks, ii. 35 
Mysticism, ii. 250, iii. 268 


"Natural places," doctrine of, iii. 84, 

Nature and Convention, ii. 333 
Nature-religion of the Greeks, iii. 13 
Necessary truth, iii. 6, seg. 
Negation, problem of, iii. 170, 171 
Newton, Isaac, ii. 47 
Nicias, ii. 96, 332, 355 
Niebuhr, ii. 251 

Nocturnal Council, the, iii. 248 
Nominalism, ii. 177, 181 
Number, the Platonic, iii. 91 


CEnomaus of Gadara, ii. 165 
Oligarchy, iii. 92, 93 
Olympia, ii. 21 

Orphicism, ii. 336, 352, 355, 364, iii, 
II, 12, 14, 208, 210 

Paley, ii. 223 
Pansetius, iii. 291 

"Parmenides," dialogue, iii. 148, seq. 
Parmenides, ii. 174, iii. 2, 34, 170 
Parthenon, the, ii. 35 
Pausanias, King of Sparta, ii. 20 
Perception and knowledge, iii. IS7) 

Peregrinus the Cynic, ii. 152 

Pericles, ii. 41, 43, 72, 324, 327, 329 

Persians, their belief in the divinity 
of the sun, etc., iii. 10 

" Phaedo," dialogue, iii. 30, seq. 

Phaedo of Elis, ii. 205 

" Phsedrus," dialogue, iii. 16, seq. ; its 
mise en seine, ii. 269 

Pheido of Corinth, iii. 117 

Phenomenalism, ii. 211, iii. 298 

"Philebus," dialogue, iii. 186, seq. 

Philippus of Opus, iii. 226 

Philistus, iii. 135 

Philodemus, ii. 237 

Philolaus of Corinth, iii. 43, 94, 188, 
209, 220, 221 

Philosophers, rule of, iii. 80 

Philosophic nature, the, iii. 81, 82 

Phocion, ii. 158 

Phrynichus, his " capture of Miletus," 
ii. 30 

Piety, nature of, ii. 359, seq. 

Pindar, ii. 7, 356 

Pisistratus, ii. 34, 38 

Platsea, treatment of, by the Spartans, 
ii. 24 

Plato, birth and family, ii. 250 ; life, 
ii. 250, seq., iii. 133, seq. ; travels, ii. 
254, seq. ; in Egypt, ii. 256, seq. j 
Cyrene, ii. 258 ; Italy, ii. 259 ; 
Sicily, ii. 261, iii. 133 ; sold as a 
slave, ii. 269 ; his financial position, 
ii. 272 ; his teachers, ii. 252, 258 ; 
influenced by Archytas, ii. 259 ; by 
Isocrates, iii. 27 ; by Socrates, ii. 
47, 288, 289, 294, 295 ; by Hera- 
cliteans, ii. 252, 253 ; by theOrphics 
and Pythagoreans, ii. 259, 336, 351, 
352, 364, iii. 37, 2IS, 221, 223, 233, 
247 ; his family pride, ii. 250 ; his 
contempt for the lower orders, iii. 
107, 108 ; his contempt for the 
" banausic," ii. 81, iii. 24 ; his 
ascetic tendency, iii. 28 ; his in- 
tolerance, iii. 179, 248, 255, 291 J 
his severity, iii. 115, 116, 127 ; his 
pessimism, iii. 214 ; unemotional 
tone in early dialogues, ii. 324 ; 
the aesthetic impulse, iii. 35 ; his 
love of natural beauty, ii. 269 ; his 
"dread of friction," iii. 121; his 
mathematical studies and bent, ii. 
258, 335. 336, iii- 217. 248 ; his 
capacity for self-criticism and self- 
correction, ii. 277, iii. 37, 184 ; 
founds the Academy, ii. 269, 270 ; 
as lecturer, ii. 273 ; his assistants, 
ii. 273 ; influence of his teaching 
vocation on himself, ii. 373, seq. ; 




his influence on the world, ii. 249, 
250, iii. 264, seq. ; his anticipation 
of modern conditions, iii. 127 ; 
authenticity of the works attributed 
to him, ii. 275, seq., iii. 312, seq. ; 
chronology of his works, ii. 254, 
275, seq., 290, iii. 148 ; wrote a 
tragedy? ii. 252; general view of 
the series of his writings, ii. 289 ; 
their division into trilogies, etc., ii. 
281, 286; the best editions, iii. 300, 
seq. ; influence of his life on his 
works, iii. 158 ; his language, ii. 
279, 284, 285; style, iii. 26, 186, 
228 ; characteristics of his later 
phase, iii. 176, 198, 260 ; artistic 
and constructive methods, ii. 388, 
393. iii- 35. 52. S3. 66, 70, 71, 155, 
156, 176, 181, 184, 216, 229, 236, 
337. 359 > Ws historical sense, iii. 
202 ; his use of myths, ii. 309, iii. 
17, 104, sej., 180 ; exaggeration, 
iii. 129 ; tendency to outbid, ii. 309, 
iii. 151 ; love of paradox, iii. 238 ; 
humour, iii. 172 ; plays on words, 
iii. 219 ; imagery, iii. 33, 41, 102 ; 
fallacies, ii. 313, 314, 345, seq., iii. 
38, 45, 46, 75, 172, 191, 193; 
changes in tone and sentiment, ii. 
279 ; his nearest approach to the 
Cynics, ii. 356 ; his relation to 
Eleaticism, iii. 173, 175 ; his re- 
ligion and theology, iii. 66, 256 ; 
his ethics, iii. 36, 50 j relation to 
Hedonism and utilitarianism, ii. 79, 
322, seq., iii, 113 ; on punishment, 
i. 311, 317; on the_ notion of th e 
gooijii. 85, 86 ; not an indetei:- 
mmist, iii. 258 ; his psychology, ii. 
353. iii- 37. 102 5 o" pleasure, iii. 
99, seq. ; the Platonic eros, ii. 391, 
seq., iii. 19, seq. ; his views on art, 
iii. 67, 102 ; on music, iii. 232 ; on . 
poetry, iii. 116; on rhetoric, iii. 
20, seq. ; his political and social 
thought, ii. 331, iii. 90, seq., 106, 
seq., 182, seq. ; attitude towards 
Athens and contemporary politics, 
ii. 333, iii. 46...49. 5° 5 slavery, iii. 
107 ; women, iii. 115, seq., 124, seq. ; 
communism, iii. 118, 119; educa- 
tion, iii. 66, seq, 109 ; his natural 
science, iii. 83, 84, 224, 301, seq. ; 
relation to the atomists, iii. 219 ; 
contempt for experiment, iii. 85, 
207 ; his astronorny, iii. 34, 85 ; 
invents the sphere-theory, iii. 220 ; 
medicine, iii. 115, 116 ; a source of 
information on Aristippus, ii. 231 ; 

on the Megarians, ii. 171 ; on 
^Socrates, ii. 50, 53, 57, 59, 60, 61, 

62, 87, 88, 100 

Pleasure, ii. 349, 350, iii. 189, seq. ; 

views of Aristippus, Bentham, and 

Mill on, ii. 2l5 
Plotinus, iii. 268 
Poetry, iii. 102, seq., 116 
Polus of Agrigen^um,_ ii. 326 
Polycrates wrote against Socrates, ii. 

63, 114. "8, 343. 394. 395. iii- >7 
Polyxenus, iii. 151, 347 
Population, question of, iii. 117 
Prayer, ii. 362 

Predication, problem of, ii. 175, seq., 

197, iii. 3, 174.. 353 ,^^ 
Procedure, legal, m the " Laws," lu. 

252, seq. 
Prodicus, ii. 242, 314, 315, iii. 103 
Prometheus, legend of, ii. 145, 153 
"Protagoras," dialogue, ii. 308, seq, 
Protagoras, ii. 85, 92, 93, 94, 97, 144. 

231. 233, iii. 103. 158 ... 
Punishment, purpose of, 111. 251 
Pythagoreanism, ii. 259, iii. 34, 199, 

209, 215, 223, 233 


Realism, ii. 177, i8i 

Relations, ideas of, iii. 5 

"Republic," dialogue, iii. 51, seq.; 
rearrangement theory of its com- 
position, iii. 51, 69, 70, 8l 

Rhetoric, definition and nature of, 
ii. 327, seq. ; Plato's views on, 
iii. 20, seq. 

Rotation of the earth, known to 
Plato? iii. 315 

Rousseau, ii. 142, 145, 148, iii. Il5 

Russian pessimism, ii. 148 

Sacrifice, ii. 362 

Schleiermacher, ii. 231, 374, 376, 378 

Schools of philosophy, iii. 308 

Schopenhauer, iii. 116 

Scientific classification, iii. 177. '78 

Scione, ii. 24 

Sensation, subjectivity of, ii. 230 ; 

Cyrenaic theory of, ii. 239 
Sextus Empiricus, ii. 230 
Sicily, history of, ii. 262, 263, iii. 

. 133. ■'«'?• 
Simonides, poem of, ii. 315, seq. 
Slavery, iii. 107 ; at Athens, ii. 27 



Socialism, Plato's relation to, iii. 106 
Socrates, birth, facts of his life, ii. 
46 ; his teachers, ii. 46 ; his mode 
of life and work, ii. 48 ; his trial, 
ii. 98 ; his death, ii. 1 10 ; public 
opinion on him after his death, ii. 
118 ; his character, ii. 45 ; natural 
tendencies, ii. 48 ; his concentra- 
tion, ii. 47 5 his " daemon," ii. 87 ; 
his participation in public life, ii. 
54 ; his relation to Alcibiades, ii. 
394, seq. ; his teaching, ii. 66 ; 
sources for our knowledge of it, ii. 
60, seq. ; his intellectualism, ii. 66 ; 
his definitions, ii. 55 ; his habit of 
starting from the obvious, ii. S7 > 
his irony, ii. 49 ; his doctrine of 
involuntary error, ii. 66 ; practical 
effects of his teaching, ii, 78 ; 
Athenian opinion on his influence, 
ii. 113; his utilitarianism, ii. 80; 
his views on public life, ii. 115 ; on 
appointment by lot, ii. 80; on 
slavery, ii. 8l j what he would 
think of modern society, ii. 78 ; 
his freedom from prejudice, ii. 58 ; 
his religious views, ii. 85 ; his 
attitude towards natural science, 
ii. 91 ; Plato's homage to him, ii. 
1,254; the Platonic Socrates, iii. 
229 ; schools of Socratism, ii. 205 ; 
general view of Socratism, ii. 244 
Solon, ii. 34, 344 
" Sophist," dialogue, iii. 167, seq. 
Sophocles, ii, 9, 97 
Sophron, ii. 265 
Sophroniscus, ii. 46 
Stti^poo'iii'T), iii. 138 
Soul, the, immortality of, ii. 84, iii. 
40, seq.; simile of the horses, iii. 
18 ; a harmony of the body, iii. 43, 
44 ; the source of motion, iii. 45 ; 
of threefold nature, iii. 72, 73, 102 
Sparta, social and political conditions 
of, iii. 91, 92, 108, III, 115, 118, 
234 ; contrasted with Athens, ii. 

4° , ... 

Speculative life, the, ui. 131 
Speusippus, ii. 271, 273, 274, iii. 137 
Sphere-theory, the, iii. 220, seq. 
Sphodrias, ii. 128 

"Statesman," dialogue, iii. I1ij,seq. 
Statesmen, Athenian, condemnation 

of, ii. 338, 339; apology to, ii. 

375, seq. ; have inferior sons, 11. 

Stilpo, ii. 19s, 205, 206, 207, 208, 

240, 241, 242 
Stylists, literary, iii. 26 

Suicide among the Cynics, ii. 152 
Sun and moon, opinions of Plato and 

Aristotle on, ii. 86 
" Symposium," dialogue, ii. 383, seq.\ 

date, ii. 393, iii. 27, 28 
Syracuse, description of, ii. 264 
Syssitia, ii. 40 

Telegonia, the, ii. 211 
Teles, ii. 152, 211, 244 
Temperance, definition of, ii. 303, 

seq. ; Greek idea of, ii. 300, 301 
Ten Thousand, retreat of the, ii. 120 
Teutonic Order, compared to Plato's 

guardians, iii. 123 
"TheEEtetus," dialogue, iii. 155, seq. 
Thesetetus, ii. 260 
" Thebais," the, ii. 23 
Thebans, the, ii. 24; dangerous to 

Hellas, ii. 130 
Themistocles, ii. 327, 329 
Theodorus, ii. 220, 240, 241, 258 
Theognis, ii. 3, 4, 17. 172 
Theophrastus, ii. 46, 193, 211 ; his 

will, ii. 269 
Theramenes, ii. 130, 394 
Thirty Tyrants, the, ii. 51 
Thrasyllus, ii. 281, 282 
Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, iii. 56, 

Thrasymachus of Corinth, ii. 205 
Thucydides, ii. 12, 25, 26, 35, 41. 43. 

iii. 9S, no 
" Timaeus," dialogue, iii. 200, seq. 
Timocracy, iii. 92 
Timocrates, iii. 138 
Timoleon, iii. 141, seq. 
Timonides, iii. 138 
Tolstoi, ii. 337, iii. 103, 337 
Torone, ii. 24 
Torpedo, Socrates compared to, ii. 

Transmigration of souls, u. 370 
Tyranny and tyrants, iii. 95, seq. 


United States, the, ii. 20 
Unity, absolute, iii. 153 
Unity of virtue, ii. 299, 312, 313, 

319, iii. 184 
Utilitarianism, ii. 140, ui. 113, seq. 



Virtue, coincident with happiness, 
ii. 354 J possibility of teaching it, 
ii. 311, 312, 370, 372 

Volney, ii. 223 

Voltaire, ii. 244 


WeH-being, notion of, ii. 336 
Wine, Plato on the uses of, iii. 231 
Women, iii. 77, 78, 115, seq., 124 
World-soul, the, iii. 213, 216 


Xeniades, ii. 156 

Xenocrates, ii. 274, iii. 137 

Xenophanes, ii. 14, 89, 369, iii. 10, 
II, 209 

Xenophon, ii. 20, 53, 56, 57, 59, 60, 
61, 62, 63, 64, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 
83, 86, 87, 90, 96, 382, iii. 118; 

his life, ii. 119, seq. ; not the leader 
of the Ten Thousand, ii. 122 ; his 
life in retirement, ii. 124 ; his cha- 
racter, ii. 119; intellectual defects, 
126 ; his religion, ii. 135 ; as apo- 
logist of Socrates, ii. 114, 395 ; his 
" CEconomicus," ii. 62, 119, iii. 
126 ; " Symposium," ii. 62, 127 ; 
" Memorabilia," ii. 63, 75, 79, 136 ; 
"Hellenica," ii. 123, 128 ; "Cyro- 
psedia," ii. 131; other writings, 
ii. 133, 134 

Zalmoxis, ii. 302 

Zeno of Elea, ii. 188, igj, 244, iii. 

149, seq. 
Zeno the Stoic, ii. 195, 204 
Zeus, conceived as judge, ii. 56 
Zola, iii. 205, 363 
Zbllner, iii. 179 
Zopyrus, ii. 48 
Zoroastrianism, iii. 12