republic (books 6 - 10)
affirm to be the stock from which discord has sprung, wherever
arising; and this is their answer to us.
Yes, and we may assume that they answer truly.
Why, yes, I said, of course they answer truly; how can the
muses speak falsely?
And what do the muses say next?
When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different
ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money, and land, and
houses, and gold, and silver; but the gold and silver races, not
wanting money, but having the true riches in their own nature,
inclined toward virtue and the ancient order of things. There
was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute
their land and houses among individual owners; and they en-
slaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly
protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them sub-
jects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war
and in keeping a watch against them.
I believe that you have rightly conceived the origin of the
And the new government which thus arises will be of a
form intermediate between oligarchy and aristocracy?
Such will be the change, and after the change has been made,
how will they proceed? Clearly, the new State, being in a
mean between oligarchy and the perfect State, will partly fol-
low one and partly the other, and will also have some pecul-
True, he said.
In the honor given to rulers, in the abstinence of the warrior-
class from agriculture, handicrafts, and trade in general, in the
institution of common meals, and in the attention paid to gym-
nastics and military training--in all these respects this State
will resemble the former.
But in the fear of admitting philosophers to power, because
they are no longer to be had simple and earnest, but are made
up of mixed elements; and in turning from them to passionate
and less complex characters, who are by nature fitted for war
rather than peace; and in the value set by them upon military
stratagems and contrivances, and in the waging of everlasting
wars--this State will be for the most part peculiar.
Yes, I said; and men of this stamp will be covetous of money,
like those who live in oligarchies; they will have a fierce secret
longing after gold and silver, which they will hoard in dark
places, having magazines and treasuries of their own for the de-
posit and concealment of them; also castles which are just
nests for their eggs, and in which they will spend large sums
on their wives, or on any others whom they please.