Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Plato
Pages of statesman

Previous | Next


digression by
way of interest.
Str. Then now, let us go back to the beginning, and join the
links, which together make the definition of the name of the
Statesman's art.
Y. Soc. By all means.
Str. The science of pure knowledge had, as we said originally, a
part which was the science of rule or command, and from this was
derived another part, which was called command-for-self, on the
analogy of selling-for-self; an important section of this was the
management of living animals, and this again was further limited to
the manage merit of them in herds; and again in herds of pedestrian
animals. The chief division of the latter was the art of managing
pedestrian animals which are without horns; this again has a part
which can only be comprehended under one term by joining together
three names-shepherding pure-bred animals. The only further
subdivision is the art of man herding-this has to do with bipeds,
and is what we were seeking after, and have now found, being at once
the royal and political.
Y. Soc. To be sure.
Str. And do you think, Socrates, that we really have done as you
Y. Soc. What?
Str. Do you think, I mean, that we have really fulfilled our
intention?-There has been a sort of discussion, and yet the
investigation seems to me not to be perfectly worked out: this is
where the enquiry fails.
Y. Soc. I do not understand.
Str. I will try to make the thought, which is at this
moment present
in my mind, clearer to us both.
Y. Soc. Let me hear.
Str. There were many arts of shepherding, and one of them was the
political, which had the charge of one particular herd?
Y. Soc. Yes.
Str. And this the argument defined to be the art of rearing, not
horses or other brutes, but the art of rearing man collectively?
Y. Soc. True.
Str. Note, however, a difference which distinguishes the king from
all other shepherds.
Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
Str. I want to ask, whether any one of the other herdsmen has a
rival who professes and claims to share with him in the management
of the herd?
Y. Soc. What do you mean?
Str. I mean to say that merchants husbandmen, providers of
food, and
also training-masters and physicians, will all contend with the
herdsmen of humanity, whom we call Statesmen, declaring that they
themselves have the care of rearing of managing mankind, and
that they
rear not only the common herd, but also the rulers themselves.
Y. Soc. Are they not right in saying so?
Str. Very likely they may be, and we will consider their claim.
But we are certain of this,-that no one will raise a similar claim
as against the herdsman, who is allowed on all hands to be the sole
and only feeder and physician of his herd; he is also their
and accoucheur; no one else knows that department of science. And he
is their merry-maker and musician, as far as their nature is
susceptible of such influences, and no one can console and soothe
his own herd better than he can, either with the natural tones of
his voice or with instruments. And the same may be said of tenders
of animals in general.

Previous | Next
Site Search