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Classical Greek Online

Lesson 8

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

Plato is probably the most influential Greek philosopher, as well as one of the greatest in the western world. Born in 429 or 428 B.C., he died in 347 B.C. At the age of twenty he became a follower of Socrates, and remained with him until his death in 399 B.C. After that time he traveled in Egypt, Sicily and lower Italy. He then founded a philosophical school in the Academus grove, from which it is known as the Academy. He produced many dialogues, of which The Laws and the Republic are the most extensive. Socrates conducts the dialogues in which the ideas are discussed. Western philosophers and editors have achieved distinction through their attention to his works, among them Jowett for his translation of the Republic.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The Republic is Plato's major work. In it he discusses, through the mouth of Socrates, the bases of an ideal state. The major ideas deal with human improvement and with the love of truth, as well as the supremacy of mind. The state or city is essential because, without it, individuals cannot be provided with the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Moreover, education is highly important for achieving an ideal state. The four cardinal virtues must be observed, and the three classes must have the desired virtues. The rulers must be wise; the soldiers must be brave and aware of what is to be feared; all others as well must apply moderation and temperance. The health of the state is based on justice, which requires that each class carry out its proper functions. These ideas are presented in the first five books. In the sixth book the prerequisites of higher education are discussed; in the seventh, specialization in the mathematical sciences and dialectic. The eighth book deals with the four types of states that differ from the ideal:

  1. Timocracy, where honor is the basic principle;
  2. Oligarchy, where emphasis is on wealth;
  3. Democracy, where emphasis is on liberty, often on doing what one likes;
  4. Tyranny, where there is slavery to appetite.

The ninth book deals with the difference between the just and the unjust life. The tenth book is a kind of conclusion that emphasizes the importance of righteousness and sobriety.

Choice among the many excellent sections of the Republic is difficult; this passage from Book VI, section XIII, provides insight into the ideal man; it has affected authors from Boethius through Dante to Matthew Arnold.

Οὐδὲ γάρ που, ὦ Ἀδείμαντε, σχολὴ τῷ γε ὡς ἀληθῶς πρὸς τοῖς οἶσι τὴν διάνοιαν ἔχοντι κάτω βλέπειν εἰς ἀνθρώπων πραγματείας.

  • οὐδὲ -- particle; <οὐδέ> not -- not
  • γάρ -- conjunction; <γάρ> for -- for
  • που -- adverb; <που> anywhere, perhaps -- anywhere
  • -- exclamation; <> Oh -- Oh
  • Ἀδείμαντε -- noun, masculine; vocative singular of <Αδείμαντος> Adeimontus -- Adeimontus
  • σχολὴ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <σχολή> leisure -- there is ... leisure
  • τῷ -- article; dative singular masculine of <> the -- for the one
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- at all
  • ὡς -- adverb; <ὡς> so, thus -- thus
  • ἀληθῶς -- adverb; <ἀληθῶς> really, truly -- truly
  • πρὸς -- preposition; <πρός> to -- on
  • τοῖς -- article; dative plural neuter of <> the -- the
  • οἶσι -- participle used as substantive; dative plural neuter of present participle of <εἰμί> I am -- (beings) eternal verities
  • τὴν -- article; accusative singular feminine of <> the -- (the) his
  • διάνοιαν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular <διάνοια> thought, mind -- mind
  • ἔχοντι -- verb; dative singular masculine present participle of <ἔχω> have -- (who) has
  • κάτω -- adverb; <κάτω> downward -- downward
  • βλέπειν -- verb; infinitive of <βλέπω> see -- to look
  • εἰς -- preposition; <εἰς> towards -- at
  • ἀνθρώπων -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ἄνθρωπος> human being -- of human beings
  • πραγματείας -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <πραγματεία> hard work, affairs -- the affairs

καὶ μαχόμενον αὐτοῖς φθόνου τε καὶ δυσμενείας ἐμπίπλασθαι,

  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • μαχόμενον -- deponent verb; accusative singular masculine of present participle of <μάχομαι> fight, quarrel -- quarreling
  • αὐτοῖς -- pronoun; dative plural masculine of <αὐτός> oneself, he -- with them
  • φθόνου -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <φθόνος> envy, ill-will -- with ill-will
  • τε -- conjunction; <τε> and -- and
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • δυσμενείας -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <δυσμένεια> enmity, hate -- hate
  • ἐμπίπλασθαι -- verb; infinitive passive of <ἐμπίπλημι> fill -- to be filled

ἀλλ' εἰς τεταγμένα ἅττα καὶ κατὰ ταῦτὰ ἀεὶ ἔχοντα ὁρῶντας καὶ θεωμένους οὔτ' ἀδικοῦντα οὔτ' ἀδικούμενα ὑπ' ἀλλήλων, κόσμῳ δὲ πάντα καὶ κατὰ λόγον ἔχοντα, ταῦτα μιμεῖσθαί τε καὶ ὅ τι μάλιστα ἀφομοιοῦσθαι.

  • ἀλλ' -- conjunction; <ἀλλά> but -- but
  • εἰς -- preposition; <εἰς> towards -- towards
  • τεταγμένα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of passive participle of <τάσσω> arrange, put in order -- has been arranged, i.e. is eternal
  • ἅττα -- pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <ὅστις> whoever, whatever -- what
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κατὰ -- preposition; <κατά> completely, down, under -- in accordance with
  • ταῦτὰ -- article; accusative plural neuter of <> the + pronoun <αὐτός> oneself, he -- the things
  • ἀεὶ -- adverb; <ἀεί> always -- constant
  • ἔχοντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ἔχω> have -- (being) that are
  • ὁρῶντας -- verb; accusative plural masculine of participle of <ὁράω> see -- he keeps his eyes fixed
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • θεωμένους -- deponent verb; accusative plural masculine of middle participle of <θεάομαι> see -- sees
  • οὔτ' -- adverb; <οὔτε> neither, nor -- neither
  • ἀδικοῦντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ἀδικέω> wrong -- wrong
  • οὔτ' -- adverb; <οὔτε> neither, nor -- nor
  • ἀδικούμενα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of passive participle of <ἀδικέω> wrong -- wronged
  • ὑπ' -- preposition; <ὑπό> under, by -- by
  • ἀλλήλων -- pronoun; genitive plural neuter of <ἀλλήλων> one another -- by one another
  • κόσμῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <κόσμος> beauty, order, world -- order
  • δὲ -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- and
  • πάντα -- adjective used as substantive; accusative plural neuter of <πᾶς> all, every -- everything
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κατὰ -- preposition; <κατά> completely, down, under -- in accordance with
  • λόγον -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <λόγος> word, reason -- reason
  • ἔχοντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ἔχω> have -- that is
  • ταῦτα -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <οὗτος> this -- things
  • μιμεῖσθαί -- deponent verb; infinitive middle of <μιμέομαι> imitate -- he will imitate
  • τε -- conjunction; <τε> and -- and
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • -- relative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ὅς> who, which -- what
  • τι -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <τις> someone, something -- that
  • μάλιστα -- adverb; superlative of <μάλα> very -- as much as possible
  • ἀφομοιοῦσθαι -- verb; passive infinitive of <ἀφομοιο̃ω> to make like -- become like

ἤ οἴει τινὰ μηχανὴν εἶναι, ὅτῳ τις ὁμιλεῖ ἀγάμενος, μὴ μιμεῖσθαι ἐκεῖνο;

  • -- conjunction; <> or, than -- or
  • οἴει -- deponent verb; 2nd person singular present middle of <οἶμαι> think -- do you think
  • τινὰ -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <τις> someone, something -- it
  • μηχανὴν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <μηχανή> instrument -- possible
  • εἶναι -- verb; infinitive of <εἰμί> I am -- to be
  • ὅτῳ -- relative pronoun; dative singular neuter of <ὅστις> whoever, whatever -- with something
  • τις -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <τις> someone, something -- (if) someone
  • ὁμιλεῖ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <ὁμιλέω> consort with, busy oneself with -- busies himself
  • ἀγάμενος -- deponent verb; nominative singular masculine of middle participle of <ἄγαμαι> to wonder, admire -- admiringly
  • μὴ -- particle; <μή> not -- not
  • μιμεῖσθαι -- deponent verb; infinitive middle of <μιμέομαι> imitate -- (would) ...imitate
  • ἐκεῖνο -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ἐκεῖνος> that -- that

Ἀδύνατον, ἔφη.

  • ἀδύνατον -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <ἀδύνατος> impossible -- (it is) impossible
  • ἔφη -- verb; 2nd person singular imperfect of <φημί> say -- he said

Θείῳ δὴ καὶ κοσμίῳ ὅ γε φιλόσοφος ὁμιλῶν κόσμιός τε καὶ θεῖος εἰς δυνατὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γίγνεται.

  • θείῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <θεῖος> deity, divinity -- the divine
  • δὴ -- particle; <δή> indeed -- indeed
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κοσμίῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <κόσμιος> decorum, order -- order
  • -- article; nominative singular masculine of <> the -- the
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- ...
  • φιλόσοφος -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <φιλόσοφος> wise man -- wise man
  • ὁμιλῶν -- verb; nominative singular masculine of present participle of <ὁμιλέω> consort with, busy oneself with -- who busies himself with
  • κόσμιός -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <κόσμιος> orderly -- orderly
  • τε -- conjunction; <τε> and -- and
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • θεῖος -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <θεῖος> divine, godlike -- divine
  • εἰς -- preposition; <εἰς> towards -- to
  • δυνατὸν -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <δυνατός> possible -- the extent possible
  • ἀνθρώπῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <ἄνθρωπος> human being -- for a human
  • γίγνεται -- deponent verb; 3rd person singular present of <γίγνομαι> happen, become -- will become

διαβολὴ δ' ἐν πᾶσι πολλή.

  • διαβολὴ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <διαβολή> false accusation, calumny -- calumny
  • δ' -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- but
  • ἐν -- preposition; <ἐν> in -- in
  • πᾶσι -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <πᾶς> all, every -- everything
  • πολλή -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <πολύς> many -- (is) plentiful

Παντάπασι μὲν οὖν.

  • παντάπασι -- adverb; <παντάπασι> absolutely -- absolutely
  • μὲν -- particle; <μέν> on the one hand -- indeed
  • οὖν -- adverb; <οὖν> indeed -- to be sure

Ἄν οὖν τις, εἶπον, αὐτῳ ἀνάγκη γένεται ἅ ἐκεῖ ὁρᾷ μελετῆσαι εἰς ἀνθρώπων ἤθη καὶ ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ τίθεναι, καὶ μὴ μόνον ἑαυτὸν πλάττειν,

  • ἄν -- particle; <ἄν> if -- supposing
  • οὖν -- adverb; <οὖν> indeed -- then
  • τις -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <τις> someone, something -- someone
  • εἶπον -- verb; 1st person singular aorist of <λέγω> say -- I said
  • αὐτῳ -- pronoun; dative singular masculine of <αὐτός> oneself, he -- for him
  • ἀνάγκη -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <ἀνάγκη> force, compulsion -- force
  • γένεται -- deponent verb; 3rd person singular present subjunctive of <γίγνομαι> happen, become -- is applied
  • -- relative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <ὅς> who, which -- which
  • ἐκεῖ -- adverb; <ἐκεῖ> there -- there
  • ὁρᾷ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <ὁράω> see -- he sees
  • μελετῆσαι -- verb; aorist infinitive of <μελετάω> care for, practice -- to practice
  • εἰς -- preposition; <εἰς> towards -- ...
  • ἀνθρώπων -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ἄνθρωπος> human being -- of humans
  • ἤθη -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <ἦθος> custom, character -- the manners
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- both
  • ἰδίᾳ -- adverb; <ἰδίᾳ> privately -- privately
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • δημοσίᾳ -- adverb; <δημοσίᾳ> in public -- in public
  • τίθεναι -- verb; infinitive of <τίθημι> put, place -- arranging
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • μὴ -- particle; <μή> not -- not
  • μόνον -- adverb; <μόνον> alone -- alone
  • ἑαυτὸν -- reflexive pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <ἑαυτός> himself -- himself
  • πλάττειν -- verb; infinitive of <πλάττω> mould, shape -- moulding

ἆρα κακὸν δημιουργὸν αὐτὸν οἴει γενήσεσθαι σωφροσύνης τε καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ξυμπάσης τῆς δημοτικῆς ἀρετῆς;

  • ἆρα -- interrogative particle; <ἆρα> then -- then
  • κακὸν -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <κακός> evil, poor -- a poor
  • δημιουργὸν -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <δημιουργός> craftsman -- craftsman
  • αὐτὸν -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <αὐτός> oneself, he -- he
  • οἴει -- deponent verb; 2nd person singular present middle of <οἶμαι> think -- do you consider
  • γενήσεσθαι -- deponent verb; infinitive future middle of <γίγνομαι> happen, become -- will become
  • σωφροσύνης -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <σωφροσύνη> moderation, discretion -- of discretion
  • τε -- conjunction; <τε> and -- and
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • δικαιοσύνης -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <δικαιοσύνη> justice, righteousness -- of justice
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • ξυμπάσης -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <ξύμπας> all together -- of all kinds
  • τῆς -- article; genitive singular feminine of <> the -- the
  • δημοτικῆς -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <δημοτικός> of the people, in common use -- common
  • ἀρετῆς -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <ἀρετῆ> virtue -- virtue

Ἥκιστά γε, ἧ δ' ὅς.

  • ἥκιστά -- adverb; <ἥκιστα> least -- not at all
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- indeed
  • -- adverb; <> verily -- in truth
  • δ' -- particle; <δέ> and, on the other hand -- ...
  • ὅς -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <ὅς> this, that, he, she, it -- he (said)

Lesson Text

Οὐδὲ γάρ που, ὦ Ἀδείμαντε, σχολὴ τῷ γε ὡς ἀληθῶς πρὸς τοῖς οἶσι τὴν διάνοιαν ἔχοντι κάτω βλέπειν εἰς ἀνθρώπων πραγματείας. καὶ μαχόμενον αὐτοῖς φθόνου τε καὶ δυσμενείας ἐμπίπλασθαι, ἀλλ' εἰς τεταγμένα ἅττα καὶ κατὰ ταῦτὰ ἀεὶ ἔχοντα ὁρῶντας καὶ θεωμένους οὔτ' ἀδικοῦντα οὔτ' ἀδικούμενα ὑπ' ἀλλήλων, κόσμῳ δὲ πάντα καὶ κατὰ λόγον ἔχοντα, ταῦτα μιμεῖσθαί τε καὶ ὅ τι μάλιστα ἀφομοιοῦσθαι. ἤ οἴει τινὰ μηχανὴν εἶναι, ὅτῳ τις ὁμιλεῖ ἀγάμενος, μὴ μιμεῖσθαι ἐκεῖνο; Ἀδύνατον, ἔφη. Θείῳ δὴ καὶ κοσμίῳ ὅ γε φιλόσοφος ὁμιλῶν κόσμιός τε καὶ θεῖος εἰς δυνατὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γίγνεται. διαβολὴ δ' ἐν πᾶσι πολλή. Παντάπασι μὲν οὖν. Ἄν οὖν τις, εἶπον, αὐτῳ ἀνάγκη γένεται ἅ ἐκεῖ ὁρᾷ μελετῆσαι εἰς ἀνθρώπων ἤθη καὶ ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ τίθεναι, καὶ μὴ μόνον ἑαυτὸν πλάττειν, ἆρα κακὸν δημιουργὸν αὐτὸν οἴει γενήσεσθαι σωφροσύνης τε καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ξυμπάσης τῆς δημοτικῆς ἀρετῆς; Ἥκιστά γε, ἧ δ' ὅς.

Translation

"For there is no leisure at all anywhere, Oh Adeimontus, for the one who truly has his mind on the eternal verities to look downward at the affairs of human beings, and quarreling with them to be filled with ill-will and hate. But he keeps his eyes fixed on what is eternal and on the things that are constant, and sees neither what is wrong nor wronged by one another; and he will imitate everything that is in accordance with reason, and become like that as much as possible. Or do you think it to be possible if someone busies himself with something admiringly not to imitate that?" He said it is impossible. "Then the wise man who busies himself with the divine and with order will become orderly and divine to the extent possible for a human. But calumny is plentiful in everything." "Absolutely, to be sure." "Suppose then, I said, some force is applied to him to practice arranging both privately and in public the manners of humans which he sees there, and not moulding himself alone. Then do you consider that he will become a poor craftsman with regard to discretion and justice and all kinds of common virtues?" "Not at all, in truth," he said.

Grammar

36. Tense formation.

To identify verbal forms, it is useful to note the principal parts. Illustrations are provided here, first with the so-called pure verbs, that is, those for which the stems are not modified by the endings. Examples are: παιδεύω 'educate', τιμάω 'honor', ποιέω 'make'.

Present   παιδεύω   τιμάω   ποιέω
Future   παιδεύσω   τιμήσω   ποιήσω
Aorist active   ἐπαίδευσα   ἐτίμησα   ἐποιήσα
Perfect active   πεπαίδευκα   τετίμηκα   πεποίηκα
Perfect middle   πεπαίδευμαι   τετίμημαι   πεποίημαι
Aorist passive   ἐπαιδεύθην   ἐτιμήθην   ἐποιήθην
37. Tense formation of obstruent stems.

In stems ending in obstruent consonants, that is, those ending in stops or fricatives, the consonant of the stem is modified before the tense markers. Examples are given here for πείθω 'persade', πράττω 'do', ἄγω 'lead', and γράφω 'write'.

Present   πείθω   πράττω   ἄγω   γράφω
Future   πείσω   πράξω   ἄξω   γράψα
Aorist active   ἔπεισα   ἔπραξα   ἤγαγον   ἔγραψα
Perfect active   πέπεικα   πέπραχα   ἦχα   γέγραφα
Perfect middle   πέπεισμαι   πέπραγμαι   ἤγμαι   γέγραμμαι
Aorist passive   ἐπείσθην   ἐπράχθην   ἤχθην   ἐγράφθην
38. Tense formation of resonant stems.

Stems ending in resonants may fail to have the future/aorist marker. Examples are φαίνω 'appear', ἀγγέλλω 'announce', and σπείρω 'sow'.

Present   φαίνω   ἀγγέλλω   σπείρω
Future   φανῶ   ἀγγελῶ   σπερῶ
Aorist active   ἔφηνα   ἤγγειλα   ἔσπειρα
Perfect active   πέφαγκα   ἤγγελκα   ἔσπαρκα
Perfect middle   πέφασμαι   ἤγγελμαι   ἔσπαρμαι
Aorist passive   ἐφάνθην   ἠγγέλθην   ἔσπάρθην
39. The tense formations of some frequent but irregular verbs.

Some verb forms are quite irregular. Some forms of ἔχω 'have' are based on its ancient root *σεχ-. The forms of φέρω 'bear' are based on several roots. The forms of λέγω, φημί, ἀγορεύω 'say, speak' are also based on various roots.

Present   ἔχω   φέρω   λέγω (etc.)
Future   ἕξω   οἴσω   έρῶ
Aorist active   ἔσχον   ἤνεγκον   εἶπον
Perfect active   ἔσχηκα   ἐνήνοχα   εἴρηκα
Perfect middle   ἔσχημαι   ἐνήνεγμαι   εἴρημαι
Aorist passive   ἔσχομην   ἠνέχθην   ἐρρήθην
40. The Middle and Passive Perfect.

The forms are the same in the two voices. The subjunctive and optative have forms of the verb 'to be' after the participle (not repeated in the optative, below). They are as follows:

    Indicative   Preterite   Subjunctive   Opt.
1s   πεπαίδευμαι   ἐπεπαιδεύμην   πεπαιδευμένος ω ᾿̃   εἴην
2s   πεπαίδευσαι   έπεπαίδευσο   --- ἦς   εἴης
3s   πεπαίδευται   ἐπεπαίδευτο   ---   εἴη
                 
1p   πεπαιδεύμεθα   ἐπεπαιδεύμεθα   πεπαιδευμένοι ὦμεν   εἴημεν
2p   πεπαίδευσθε   ἐπεπαιδεύσθε   --- ἦτε   εἴτηε
3p   πεπαίδευνται   ἐπεπαίδευντο   --- ὦσι   εἴησιν