Yet once more consider the matter in this light: When the soul and
the body are united, then nature orders the soul to rule and govern,
and the body to obey and serve.
Now which of these two functions is akin to the divine? and which to
the mortal? Does not the divine appear to you to be that which
naturally orders and rules, and the mortal that which is subject and
And which does the soul resemble?
The soul resembles the divine and the body the mortal-there can be
no doubt of that, Socrates.
Then reflect, Cebes: is not the conclusion of the whole matter
this?-that the soul is in the very likeness of the divine, and
immortal, and intelligible, and uniform, and indissoluble, and
unchangeable; and the body is in the very likeness of the human, and
mortal, and unintelligible, and multiform, and dissoluble, and
changeable. Can this, my dear Cebes, be denied?
But if this is true, then is not the body liable to speedy
and is not the soul almost or altogether indissoluble?
And do you further observe, that after a man is dead, the body,
which is the visible part of man, and has a visible framework, which
is called a corpse, and which would naturally be dissolved and
decomposed and dissipated, is not dissolved or decomposed at once, but
may remain for a good while, if the constitution be sound at the
time of death, and the season of the year favorable? For the body when
shrunk and embalmed, as is the custom in Egypt, may remain almost
entire through infinite ages; and even in decay, still there are
some portions, such as the bones and ligaments, which are