republic (books 6 - 10)
Good, he said.
Such, I said, is the timocratical youth, and he is like the timo-
His origin is as follows: He is often the young son of a
brave father, who dwells in an ill-governed city, of which he
declines the honors and offices, and will not go to law, or exert
himself in any way, but is ready to waive his rights in order
that he may escape trouble.
And how does the son come into being?
The character of the son begins to develop when he hears
his mother complaining that her husband has no place in the
government, of which the consequence is that she has no prece-
dence among other women. Further, when she sees her hus-
band not very eager about money, and instead of battling and
railing in the law courts or assembly, taking whatever happens
to him quietly; and when she observes that his thoughts always
centre in himself, while he treats her with very considerable
indifference, she is annoyed, and says to her son that his father
is only half a man and far too easy-going: adding all the other
complaints about her own ill-treatment which women are so
fond of rehearsing.
Yes, said Adeimantus, they give us plenty of them, and their
complaints are so like themselves.
And you know, I said, that the old servants also, who are
supposed to be attached to the family, from time to time talk
privately in the same strain to the son; and if they see anyone
who owes money to his father, or is wronging him in any way,
and he fails to prosecute them, they tell the youth that when
he grows up he must retaliate upon people of this sort, and be
more of a man than his father. He has only to walk abroad
and he hears and sees the same sort of thing: those who do their
own business in the city are called simpletons, and held in no
esteem, while the busy-bodies are honored and applauded. The
result is that the young man, hearing and seeing all these things
--hearing, too, the words of his father, and having a nearer
view of his way of life, and making comparisons of him and
others--is drawn opposite ways: while his father is watering
and nourishing the rational principle in his soul, the others are
encouraging the passionate and appetitive; and he being not
originally of a bad nature, but having kept bad company, is at
last brought by their joint influence to a middle point, and gives
up the kingdom which is within him to the middle principle of
contentiousness and passion, and becomes arrogant and ambi-
You seem to me to have described his origin perfectly.
Then we have now, I said, the second form of government
and the second type of character?
Next, let us look at another man who, as AEschylus says,
"Is set over against another State;"