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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

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.