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Early Indo-European Texts

Classical Greek

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Classical Greek with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Classical Greek Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Classical Greek language and its speakers' culture.

from Plato's Republic, Book 6, Section 13

Oude gar pou, ô Adeimante, scholê tô ge hôs alêthôs pros tois oisi tên dianoian echonti katô blepein eis anthrôpôn pragmateias. kai machomenon autois phthonou te kai dusmeneias empiplasthai, all' eis tetagmena hatta kai kata tauta aei echonta horôntas kai theômenous out' adikounta out' adikoumena hup' allêlôn, kosmô de panta kai kata logon echonta, tauta mimeisthai te kai ho ti malista aphomoiousthai. ê oiei tina mêchanên einai, hotô tis homilei agamenos, mê mimeisthai ekeino? Adunaton, ephê. Theiô dê kai kosmiô ho ge philosophos homilôn kosmios te kai theios eis dunaton anthrôpô gignetai. diabolê d' en pasi pollê. Pantapasi men oun. An oun tis, eipon, autô anagkê genetai ha ekei hora meletêsai eis anthrôpôn êthê kai idia kai dêmosia tithenai, kai mê monon heauton plattein, ara kakon dêmiourgon auton oiei genêsesthai sôphrosunês te kai dikaiosunês kai xumpasês tês dêmotikês aretês? Hêkista ge, hê d' hos.

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.