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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, ʼω̂ ʼΑδείμαντε, σχολὴ τῳ̂ γε ὡς ἀληθω̂ς πρὸς τοι̂ς οʼι̂σι τὴν διάνοιαν ʼέχοντι κάτω βλέπειν εἰς ἀνθρώπων πραγματείας.

  • οὐδὲ -- particle; <οὐδέ> not -- not
  • γάρ -- conjunction; <γάρ> for -- for
  • που -- adverb; <που> anywhere, perhaps -- anywhere
  • ʼω̂ -- exclamation; <ω̂> Oh -- Oh
  • ʼΑδείμαντε -- noun, masculine; vocative singular of <Αδείμαντος> Adeimontus -- Adeimontus
  • σχολὴ -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <σχολή> leisure -- there is ... leisure
  • τῳ̂ -- article; dative singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- for the one
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- at all
  • ὡς -- adverb; <ὡς> so, thus -- thus
  • ἀληθω̂ς -- adverb; <ἀληθω̂ς> really, truly -- truly
  • πρὸς -- preposition; <πρός> to -- on
  • τοι̂ς -- article; dative plural neuter of <ὁ> the -- the
  • οʼι̂σι -- participle used as substantive; dative plural neuter of present participle of <εἰμί> I am -- (beings) eternal verities
  • τὴν -- article; accusative singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- (the) his
  • διάνοιαν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular <διάνοια> thought, mind -- mind
  • ʼέχοντι -- verb; dative singular masculine present participle of <ʼέχω> 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 <ʼάνθρωπος> human being -- of human beings
  • πραγματείας -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <πραγματεία> hard work, affairs -- the affairs

καὶ μαχόμενον αὐτοι̂ς φθόνου τε καὶ δυσμενείας ἐμπίπλασθαι,

  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • μαχόμενον -- deponent verb; accusative singular masculine of present participle of <μάχομαι> fight, quarrel -- quarreling
  • αὐτοι̂ς -- 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 ʽάττα καὶ κατὰ ταυ̂τὰ ἀεὶ ʼέχοντα ὁρω̂ντας καὶ θεωμένους οʼύτ' ἀδικου̂ντα οʼύτ' ἀδικούμενα ὑπ' ἀλλήλων, κόσμῳ δὲ πάντα καὶ κατὰ λόγον ʼέχοντα, ταυ̂τα μιμει̂σθαί τε καὶ ʽό τι μάλιστα ἀφομοιου̂σθαι.

  • 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
  • ʽάττα -- pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <ʽόστις> whoever, whatever -- what
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κατὰ -- preposition; <κατά> completely, down, under -- in accordance with
  • ταυ̂τὰ -- article; accusative plural neuter of <ὁ> the + pronoun <αὐτός> oneself, he -- the things
  • ἀεὶ -- adverb; <ἀεί> always -- constant
  • ʼέχοντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ʼέχω> have -- (being) that are
  • ὁρω̂ντας -- 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
  • οʼύτ' -- adverb; <οʼύτε> neither, nor -- neither
  • ἀδικου̂ντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ἀδικέω> wrong -- wrong
  • οʼύτ' -- adverb; <οʼύτε> 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 <πα̂ς> 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
  • ʼέχοντα -- verb; accusative plural neuter of participle of <ʼέχω> have -- that is
  • ταυ̂τα -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <οʽυ̂τος> this -- things
  • μιμει̂σθαί -- deponent verb; infinitive middle of <μιμέομαι> imitate -- he will imitate
  • τε -- conjunction; <τε> and -- and
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • ʽό -- relative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ʽός> who, which -- what
  • τι -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <τις> someone, something -- that
  • μάλιστα -- adverb; superlative of <μάλα> very -- as much as possible
  • ἀφομοιου̂σθαι -- verb; passive infinitive of <ἀφομοιο̂ω> to make like -- become like

ʼή οʼίει τινὰ μηχανὴν εʼι̂ναι, ʽότῳ τις ὁμιλει̂ ἀγάμενος, μὴ μιμει̂σθαι ἐκει̂νο;

  • ʼή -- conjunction; <ʼή> or, than -- or
  • οʼίει -- deponent verb; 2nd person singular present middle of <οʼι̂μαι> think -- do you think
  • τινὰ -- indefinite pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <τις> someone, something -- it
  • μηχανὴν -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <μηχανή> instrument -- possible
  • εʼι̂ναι -- verb; infinitive of <εἰμί> I am -- to be
  • ʽότῳ -- relative pronoun; dative singular neuter of <ʽόστις> whoever, whatever -- with something
  • τις -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <τις> someone, something -- (if) someone
  • ὁμιλει̂ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <ὁμιλέω> consort with, busy oneself with -- busies himself
  • ἀγάμενος -- deponent verb; nominative singular masculine of middle participle of <ʼάγαμαι> to wonder, admire -- admiringly
  • μὴ -- particle; <μή> not -- not
  • μιμει̂σθαι -- deponent verb; infinitive middle of <μιμέομαι> imitate -- (would) ...imitate
  • ἐκει̂νο -- demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <ἐκει̂νος> that -- that

ʼΑδύνατον, ʼέφη.

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

Θείῳ δὴ καὶ κοσμίῳ ʽό γε φιλόσοφος ὁμιλω̂ν κόσμιός τε καὶ θει̂ος εἰς δυνατὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γίγνεται.

  • θείῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <θει̂ος> deity, divinity -- the divine
  • δὴ -- particle; <δή> indeed -- indeed
  • καὶ -- conjunction; <καί> and -- and
  • κοσμίῳ -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <κόσμιος> decorum, order -- order
  • ʽό -- article; nominative singular masculine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • γε -- particle; <γε> indeed -- ...
  • φιλόσοφος -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <φιλόσοφος> wise man -- wise man
  • ὁμιλω̂ν -- 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
  • θει̂ος -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <θει̂ος> 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 <ʼάνθρωπος> human being -- for a human
  • γίγνεται -- deponent verb; 3rd person singular present of <γίγνομαι> happen, become -- will become

διαβολὴ δ' ἐν πα̂σι 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
  • πα̂σι -- adjective; dative plural neuter of <πα̂ς> all, every -- everything
  • πολλή -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <πολύς> many -- (is) plentiful

Παντάπασι μὲν οʼυ̂ν.

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

ʼΆν οʼυ̂ν τις, εʼι̂πον, αὐτῳ ἀνάγκη γένεται ʽά ἐκει̂ ὁρᾳ̂ μελετη̂σαι εἰς ἀνθρώπων ʼήθη καὶ ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ τίθεναι, καὶ μὴ μόνον ἑαυτὸν πλάττειν,

  • ʼάν -- particle; <ʼάν> if -- supposing
  • οʼυ̂ν -- adverb; <οʼυ̂ν> indeed -- then
  • τις -- indefinite pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <τις> someone, something -- someone
  • εʼι̂πον -- 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
  • ʽά -- relative pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <ʽός> who, which -- which
  • ἐκει̂ -- adverb; <ἐκει̂> there -- there
  • ὁρᾳ̂ -- verb; 3rd person singular present of <ὁράω> see -- he sees
  • μελετη̂σαι -- verb; aorist infinitive of <μελετάω> care for, practice -- to practice
  • εἰς -- preposition; <εἰς> towards -- ...
  • ἀνθρώπων -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ʼάνθρωπος> human being -- of humans
  • ʼήθη -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <ʼη̂θος> 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

ʼα̂ρα κακὸν δημιουργὸν αὐτὸν οʼίει γενήσεσθαι σωφροσύνης τε καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ξυμπάσης τη̂ς δημοτικη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς;

  • ʼα̂ρα -- interrogative particle; <ʼα̂ρα> 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
  • οʼίει -- deponent verb; 2nd person singular present middle of <οʼι̂μαι> 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
  • τη̂ς -- article; genitive singular feminine of <ὁ> the -- the
  • δημοτικη̂ς -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <δημοτικός> of the people, in common use -- common
  • ἀρετη̂ς -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <ἀρετη̂> virtue -- virtue

ʽΉκιστά γε, ʽη̂ δ' ʽός.

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

Lesson Text

Οὐδὲ γάρ που, ʼω̂ ʼΑδείμαντε, σχολὴ τῳ̂ γε ὡς ἀληθω̂ς πρὸς τοι̂ς οʼι̂σι τὴν διάνοιαν ʼέχοντι κάτω βλέπειν εἰς ἀνθρώπων πραγματείας. καὶ μαχόμενον αὐτοι̂ς φθόνου τε καὶ δυσμενείας ἐμπίπλασθαι, ἀλλ' εἰς τεταγμένα ʽάττα καὶ κατὰ ταυ̂τὰ ἀεὶ ʼέχοντα ὁρω̂ντας καὶ θεωμένους οʼύτ' ἀδικου̂ντα οʼύτ' ἀδικούμενα ὑπ' ἀλλήλων, κόσμῳ δὲ πάντα καὶ κατὰ λόγον ʼέχοντα, ταυ̂τα μιμει̂σθαί τε καὶ ʽό τι μάλιστα ἀφομοιου̂σθαι. ʼή οʼίει τινὰ μηχανὴν εʼι̂ναι, ʽότῳ τις ὁμιλει̂ ἀγάμενος, μὴ μιμει̂σθαι ἐκει̂νο; ʼΑδύνατον, ʼέφη. Θείῳ δὴ καὶ κοσμίῳ ʽό γε φιλόσοφος ὁμιλω̂ν κόσμιός τε καὶ θει̂ος εἰς δυνατὸν ἀνθρώπῳ γίγνεται. διαβολὴ δ' ἐν πα̂σι πολλή. Παντάπασι μὲν οʼυ̂ν. ʼΆν οʼυ̂ν τις, εʼι̂πον, αὐτῳ ἀνάγκη γένεται ʽά ἐκει̂ ὁρᾳ̂ μελετη̂σαι εἰς ἀνθρώπων ʼήθη καὶ ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ τίθεναι, καὶ μὴ μόνον ἑαυτὸν πλάττειν, ʼα̂ρα κακὸν δημιουργὸν αὐτὸν οʼίει γενήσεσθαι σωφροσύνης τε καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ξυμπάσης τη̂ς δημοτικη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς; ʽΉκιστά γε, ʽη̂ δ' ʽός.

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', ʼάγω 'lead', and γράφω 'write'.

Present   πείθω   πράττω   ʼάγω   γράφω
Future   πείσω   πράξω   ʼάξω   γράψα
Aorist active   ʼέπεισα   ʼέπραξα   ʼήγαγον   ʼέγραψα
Perfect active   πέπεικα   πέπραχα   ʼη̂χα   γέγραφα
Perfect middle   πέπεισμαι   πέπραγμαι   ʼήγμαι   γέγραμμαι
Aorist passive   ἐπείσθην   ἐπράχθην   ʼήχθην   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   φανω̂   ἀγγελω̂   σπερω̂
Aorist active   ʼέφηνα   ʼήγγειλα   ʼέσπειρα
Perfect active   πέφαγκα   ʼήγγελκα   ʼέσπαρκα
Perfect middle   πέφασμαι   ʼήγγελμαι   ʼέσπαρμαι
Aorist passive   ἐφάνθην   ἠγγέλθην   ʼέσπάρθην
39. The tense formations of some frequent but irregular verbs.

Some verb forms are quite irregular. Some forms of ʼέχω '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   ʼέχω   φέρω   λέγω (etc.)
Future   ʽέξω   οʼίσω   έρω̂
Aorist active   ʼέσχον   ʼήνεγκον   εʼι̂πον
Perfect active   ʼέσχηκα   ἐνήνοχα   εʼίρηκα
Perfect middle   ʼέσχημαι   ἐνήνεγμαι   εʼίρημαι
Aorist passive   ʼέσχομην   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 ʼ̂   εʼίην
2s   πεπαίδευσαι   έπεπαίδευσο   --- ʼη̂ς   εʼίης
3s   πεπαίδευται   ἐπεπαίδευτο   --- ʼη̂   εʼίη
                 
1p   πεπαιδεύμεθα   ἐπεπαιδεύμεθα   πεπαιδευμένοι ʼω̂μεν   εʼίημεν
2p   πεπαίδευσθε   ἐπεπαιδεύσθε   --- ʼη̂τε   εʼίτηε
3p   πεπαίδευνται   ἐπεπαίδευντο   --- ʼω̂σι   εʼίησιν