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Πολιτεία
Πλάτων
(360 B.C.)

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Πολιτεία Republic
Πολιτεία α´Book I


Σωκράτης κατέβην χθὲς εἰς Πειραιᾶ μετὰ Γλαύκωνος τοῦ Ἀρίστωνος προσευξόμενός τε τῇ θεῷ καὶ ἅμα τὴν ἑορτὴν βουλόμενος θεάσασθαι τίνα τρόπον ποιήσουσιν ἅτε νῦν πρῶτον ἄγοντες. καλὴ μὲν οὖν μοι καὶ ἡ τῶν ἐπιχωρίων πομπὴ ἔδοξεν εἶναι, οὐ μέντοι ἧττον ἐφαίνετο πρέπειν ἣν οἱ Θρᾷκες ἔπεμπον. προσευξάμενοι δὲ καὶ θεωρήσαντες ἀπῇμεν πρὸς τὸ ἄστυ. κατιδὼν οὖν πόρρωθεν ἡμᾶς οἴκαδε ὡρμημένους Πολέμαρχος ὁ Κεφάλου ἐκέλευσε δραμόντα τὸν παῖδα περιμεῖναί ἑ κελεῦσαι. καί μου ὄπισθεν ὁ παῖς λαβόμενος τοῦ ἱματίου, κελεύει ὑμᾶς, ἔφη, Πολέμαρχος περιμεῖναι. καὶ ἐγὼ μετεστράφην τε καὶ ἠρόμην ὅπου αὐτὸς εἴη. οὗτος, ἔφη, ὄπισθεν προσέρχεται· ἀλλὰ περιμένετε. ἀλλὰ περιμενοῦμεν, ἦ δ' ὃς ὁ Γλαύκων.

καὶ ὀλίγῳ ὕστερον ὅ τε Πολέμαρχος ἧκε καὶ Ἀδείμαντος ὁ τοῦ Γλαύκωνος ἀδελφὸς καὶ Νικήρατος ὁ Νικίου καὶ ἄλλοι τινὲς ὡς ἀπὸ τῆς πομπῆς.

ὁ οὖν Πολέμαρχος ἔφη· ὦ Σώκρατες, δοκεῖτέ μοι πρὸς ἄστυ ὡρμῆσθαι ὡς ἀπιόντες.

οὐ γὰρ κακῶς δοξάζεις, ἦν δ' ἐγώ.

ὁρᾷς οὖν ἡμᾶς, ἔφη, ὅσοι ἐσμέν;

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

ἢ τοίνυν τούτων, ἔφη, κρείττους γένεσθε ἢ μένετ' αὐτοῦ.

οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἔτι ἓν λείπεται, τὸ ἢν πείσωμεν ὑμᾶς ὡς χρὴ ἡμᾶς ἀφεῖναι;

ἦ καὶ δύναισθ' ἄν, ἦ δ' ὅς, πεῖσαι μὴ ἀκούοντας;

οὐδαμῶς, ἔφη ὁ Γλαύκων.

ὡς τοίνυν μὴ ἀκουσομένων, οὕτω διανοεῖσθε.

καὶ ὁ Ἀδείμαντος, ἆρά γε, ἦ δ' ὅς, οὐδ' ἴστε ὅτι λαμπὰς ἔσται πρὸς ἑσπέραν ἀφ' ἵππων τῇ θεῷ;

ἀφ' ἵππων; ἦν δ' ἐγώ· καινόν γε τοῦτο. λαμπάδια ἔχοντες διαδώσουσιν ἀλλήλοις ἁμιλλώμενοι τοῖς ἵπποις; ἢ πῶς λέγεις;

οὕτως, ἔφη ὁ Πολέμαρχος. καὶ πρός γε παννυχίδα ποιήσουσιν, ἣν ἄξιον θεάσασθαι· ἐξαναστησόμεθα γὰρ μετὰ τὸ δεῖπνον καὶ τὴν παννυχίδα θεασόμεθα. καὶ συνεσόμεθά τε πολλοῖς τῶν νέων αὐτόθι καὶ διαλεξόμεθα. ἀλλὰ μένετε καὶ μὴ ἄλλως ποιεῖτε.

καὶ ὁ Γλαύκων, ἔοικεν, ἔφη, μενετέον εἶναι.

ἀλλ' εἰ δοκεῖ, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, οὕτω χρὴ ποιεῖν.

ἦιμεν οὖν οἴκαδε εἰς τοῦ Πολεμάρχου, καὶ Λυσίαν τε αὐτόθι κατελάβομεν καὶ Εὐθύδημον, τοὺς τοῦ Πολεμάρχου ἀδελφούς, καὶ δὴ καὶ Θρασύμαχον τὸν Καλχηδόνιον καὶ Χαρμαντίδην τὸν Παιανιᾶ καὶ Κλειτοφῶντα τὸν Ἀριστωνύμου· ἦν δ' ἔνδον καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὁ τοῦ Πολεμάρχου Κέφαλος. καὶ μάλα πρεσβύτης μοι ἔδοξεν εἶναι· διὰ χρόνου γὰρ καὶ ἑωράκη αὐτόν. καθῆστο δὲ ἐστεφανωμένος ἐπί τινος προσκεφαλαίου τε καὶ δίφρου· τεθυκὼς γὰρ ἐτύγχανεν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ. ἐκαθεζόμεθα οὖν παρ' αὐτόν· ἔκειντο γὰρ δίφροι τινὲς αὐτόθι κύκλῳ.

εὐθὺς οὖν με ἰδὼν ὁ Κέφαλος ἠσπάζετό τε καὶ εἶπεν· ὦ Σώκρατες, οὐ δὲ θαμίζεις ἡμῖν καταβαίνων εἰς τὸν Πειραιᾶ. χρῆν μέντοι. εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἐγὼ ἔτι ἐν δυνάμει ἦ τοῦ ῥᾳδίως πορεύεσθαι πρὸς τὸ ἄστυ, οὐδὲν ἂν σὲ ἔδει δεῦρο ἰέναι, ἀλλ' ἡμεῖς ἂν παρὰ σὲ ᾖμεν· νῦν δέ σε χρὴ πυκνότερον δεῦρο ἰέναι. ὡς εὖ ἴσθι ὅτι ἔμοιγε ὅσον αἱ ἄλλαι αἱ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα ἡδοναὶ ἀπομαραίνονται, τοσοῦτον αὔξονται αἱ περὶ τοὺς λόγους ἐπιθυμίαι τε καὶ ἡδοναί. μὴ οὖν ἄλλως ποίει, ἀλλὰ τοῖσδέ τε τοῖς νεανίσκοις σύνισθι καὶ δεῦρο παρ' ἡμᾶς φοίτα ὡς παρὰ φίλους τε καὶ πάνυ οἰκείους.

καὶ μήν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Κέφαλε, χαίρω γε διαλεγόμενος τοῖς σφόδρα πρεσβύταις· δοκεῖ γάρ μοι χρῆναι παρ' αὐτῶν πυνθάνεσθαι, ὥσπερ τινὰ ὁδὸν προεληλυθότων ἣν καὶ ἡμᾶς ἴσως δεήσει πορεύεσθαι, ποία τίς ἐστιν, τραχεῖα καὶ χαλεπή, ἢ ῥᾳδία καὶ εὔπορος. καὶ δὴ καὶ σοῦ ἡδέως ἂν πυθοίμην ὅτι σοι φαίνεται τοῦτο, ἐπειδὴ ἐνταῦθα ἤδη εἶ τῆς ἡλικίας ὃ δὴ “ἐπὶ γήραος οὐδῷ” φασιν εἶναι οἱ ποιηταί, πότερον χαλεπὸν τοῦ βίου, ἢ πῶς σὺ αὐτὸ ἐξαγγέλλεις.

ἐγώ σοι, ἔφη, νὴ τὸν Δία ἐρῶ, ὦ Σώκρατες, οἷόν γέ μοι φαίνεται. πολλάκις γὰρ συνερχόμεθά τινες εἰς ταὐτὸν παραπλησίαν ἡλικίαν ἔχοντες, διασῴζοντες τὴν παλαιὰν παροιμίαν· οἱ οὖν πλεῖστοι ἡμῶν ὀλοφύρονται συνιόντες, τὰς ἐν τῇ νεότητι ἡδονὰς ποθοῦντες καὶ ἀναμιμνῃσκόμενοι περί τε τἀφροδίσια καὶ περὶ πότους τε καὶ εὐωχίας καὶ ἄλλ' ἄττα ἃ τῶν τοιούτων ἔχεται, καὶ ἀγανακτοῦσιν ὡς μεγάλων τινῶν ἀπεστερημένοι καὶ τότε μὲν εὖ ζῶντες, νῦν δὲ οὐδὲ ζῶντες. ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ τὰς τῶν οἰκείων προπηλακίσεις τοῦ γήρως ὀδύρονται, καὶ ἐπὶ τούτῳ δὴ τὸ γῆρας ὑμνοῦσιν ὅσων κακῶν σφίσιν αἴτιον. ἐμοὶ δὲ δοκοῦσιν, ὦ Σώκρατες, οὗτοι οὐ τὸ αἴτιον αἰτιᾶσθαι. εἰ γὰρ ἦν τοῦτ' αἴτιον, κἂν ἐγὼ τὰ αὐτὰ ταῦτα ἐπεπόνθη, ἕνεκά γε γήρως, καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες ὅσοι ἐνταῦθα ἦλθον ἡλικίας. νῦν δ' ἔγωγε ἤδη ἐντετύχηκα οὐχ οὕτως ἔχουσιν καὶ ἄλλοις, καὶ δὴ καὶ Σοφοκλεῖ ποτε τῷ ποιητῇ παρεγενόμην ἐρωτωμένῳ ὑπό τινος· “πῶς,” ἔφη, “ὦ Σοφόκλεις, ἔχεις πρὸς τἀφροδίσια; ἔτι οἷός τε εἶ γυναικὶ συγγίγνεσθαι”; καὶ ὅς, “εὐφήμει,” ἔφη, “ὦ ἄνθρωπε· ἁσμενέστατα μέντοι αὐτὸ ἀπέφυγον, ὥσπερ λυττῶντά τινα καὶ ἄγριον δεσπότην ἀποδράς.” εὖ οὖν μοι καὶ τότε ἔδοξεν ἐκεῖνος εἰπεῖν, καὶ νῦν οὐχ ἧττον. παντάπασι γὰρ τῶν γε τοιούτων ἐν τῷ γήρᾳ πολλὴ εἰρήνη γίγνεται καὶ ἐλευθερία· ἐπειδὰν αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι παύσωνται κατατείνουσαι καὶ χαλάσωσιν, παντάπασιν τὸ τοῦ Σοφοκλέους γίγνεται, δεσποτῶν πάνυ πολλῶν ἐστι καὶ μαινομένων ἀπηλλάχθαι. ἀλλὰ καὶ τούτων πέρι καὶ τῶν γε πρὸς τοὺς οἰκείους μία τις αἰτία ἐστίν, οὐ τὸ γῆρας, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀλλ' ὁ τρόπος τῶν ἀνθρώπων. ἂν μὲν γὰρ κόσμιοι καὶ εὔκολοι ὦσιν, καὶ τὸ γῆρας μετρίως ἐστὶν ἐπίπονον· εἰ δὲ μή, καὶ γῆρας, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ νεότης χαλεπὴ τῷ τοιούτῳ συμβαίνει.

καὶ ἐγὼ ἀγασθεὶς αὐτοῦ εἰπόντος ταῦτα, βουλόμενος ἔτι λέγειν αὐτὸν ἐκίνουν καὶ εἶπον· ὦ Κέφαλε, οἶμαί σου τοὺς πολλούς, ὅταν ταῦτα λέγῃς, οὐκ ἀποδέχεσθαι ἀλλ' ἡγεῖσθαί σε ῥᾳδίως τὸ γῆρας φέρειν οὐ διὰ τὸν τρόπον ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ πολλὴν οὐσίαν κεκτῆσθαι· τοῖς γὰρ πλουσίοις πολλὰ παραμύθιά φασιν εἶναι.

ἀληθῆ, ἔφη, λέγεις· οὐ γὰρ ἀποδέχονται. καὶ λέγουσι μέν τι, οὐ μέντοι γε ὅσον οἴονται· ἀλλὰ τὸ τοῦ Θεμιστοκλέους εὖ ἔχει, ὃς τῷ Σεριφίῳ λοιδορουμένῳ καὶ λέγοντι ὅτι οὐ δι' αὑτὸν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν πόλιν εὐδοκιμοῖ, ἀπεκρίνατο ὅτι οὔτ' ἂν αὐτὸς Σερίφιος ὢν ὀνομαστὸς ἐγένετο οὔτ' ἐκεῖνος Ἀθηναῖος. καὶ τοῖς δὴ μὴ πλουσίοις, χαλεπῶς δὲ τὸ γῆρας φέρουσιν, εὖ ἔχει ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος, ὅτι οὔτ' ἂν ὁ ἐπιεικὴς πάνυ τι ῥᾳδίως γῆρας μετὰ πενίας ἐνέγκοι οὔθ' ὁ μὴ ἐπιεικὴς πλουτήσας εὔκολός ποτ' ἂν ἑαυτῷ γένοιτο.

πότερον δέ, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Κέφαλε, ὧν κέκτησαι τὰ πλείω παρέλαβες ἢ ἐπεκτήσω;

ποῖ' ἐπεκτησάμην, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες; μέσος τις γέγονα χρηματιστὴς τοῦ τε πάππου καὶ τοῦ πατρός. ὁ μὲν γὰρ πάππος τε καὶ ὁμώνυμος ἐμοὶ σχεδόν τι ὅσην ἐγὼ νῦν οὐσίαν κέκτημαι παραλαβὼν πολλάκις τοσαύτην ἐποίησεν, Λυσανίας δὲ ὁ πατὴρ ἔτι ἐλάττω αὐτὴν ἐποίησε τῆς νῦν οὔσης· ἐγὼ δὲ ἀγαπῶ ἐὰν μὴ ἐλάττω καταλίπω τούτοισιν, ἀλλὰ βραχεῖ γέ τινι πλείω ἢ παρέλαβον.

οὗ τοι ἕνεκα ἠρόμην, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὅτι μοι ἔδοξας οὐ σφόδρα ἀγαπᾶν τὰ χρήματα, τοῦτο δὲ ποιοῦσιν ὡς τὸ πολὺ οἳ ἂν μὴ αὐτοὶ κτήσωνται· οἱ δὲ κτησάμενοι διπλῇ ἢ οἱ ἄλλοι ἀσπάζονται αὐτά. ὥσπερ γὰρ οἱ ποιηταὶ τὰ αὑτῶν ποιήματα καὶ οἱ πατέρες τοὺς παῖδας ἀγαπῶσιν, ταύτῃ τε δὴ καὶ οἱ χρηματισάμενοι περὶ τὰ χρήματα σπουδάζουσιν ὡς ἔργον ἑαυτῶν, καὶ κατὰ τὴν χρείαν ᾗπερ οἱ ἄλλοι. χαλεποὶ οὖν καὶ συγγενέσθαι εἰσίν, οὐδὲν ἐθέλοντες ἐπαινεῖν ἀλλ' ἢ τὸν πλοῦτον.

ἀληθῆ, ἔφη, λέγεις.

πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ. ἀλλά μοι ἔτι τοσόνδε εἰπέ· τί μέγιστον οἴει ἀγαθὸν ἀπολελαυκέναι τοῦ πολλὴν οὐσίαν κεκτῆσθαι;

ὅ, ἦ δ' ὅς, ἴσως οὐκ ἂν πολλοὺς πείσαιμι λέγων. εὖ γὰρ ἴσθι, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὅτι, ἐπειδάν τις ἐγγὺς ᾖ τοῦ οἴεσθαι τελευτήσειν, εἰσέρχεται αὐτῷ δέος καὶ φροντὶς περὶ ὧν ἔμπροσθεν οὐκ εἰσῄει. οἵ τε γὰρ λεγόμενοι μῦθοι περὶ τῶν ἐν Ἅιδου, ὡς τὸν ἐνθάδε ἀδικήσαντα δεῖ ἐκεῖ διδόναι δίκην, καταγελώμενοι τέως, τότε δὴ στρέφουσιν αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν μὴ ἀληθεῖς ὦσιν· καὶ αὐτός--ἤτοι ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ γήρως ἀσθενείας ἢ καὶ ὥσπερ ἤδη ἐγγυτέρω ὢν τῶν ἐκεῖ μᾶλλόν τι καθορᾷ αὐτά--ὑποψίας δ' οὖν καὶ δείματος μεστὸς γίγνεται καὶ ἀναλογίζεται ἤδη καὶ σκοπεῖ εἴ τινά τι ἠδίκησεν. ὁ μὲν οὖν εὑρίσκων ἑαυτοῦ ἐν τῷ βίῳ πολλὰ ἀδικήματα καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὕπνων, ὥσπερ οἱ παῖδες, θαμὰ ἐγειρόμενος δειμαίνει καὶ ζῇ μετὰ κακῆς ἐλπίδος· τῷ δὲ μηδὲν ἑαυτῷ ἄδικον συνειδότι ἡδεῖα ἐλπὶς ἀεὶ πάρεστι καὶ ἀγαθὴ γηροτρόφος, ὡς καὶ Πίνδαρος λέγει. χαριέντως γάρ τοι, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοῦτ' ἐκεῖνος εἶπεν, ὅτι ὃς ἂν δικαίως καὶ ὁσίως τὸν βίον διαγάγῃ,

γλυκεῖά οἱ καρδίαν ἀτάλλοισα γηροτρόφος συναορεῖ ἐλπὶς ἃ μάλιστα θνατῶν πολύστροφον γνώμαν κυβερνᾷ.

εὖ οὖν λέγει θαυμαστῶς ὡς σφόδρα. πρὸς δὴ τοῦτ' ἔγωγε τίθημι τὴν τῶν χρημάτων κτῆσιν πλείστου ἀξίαν εἶναι, οὔ τι παντὶ ἀνδρὶ ἀλλὰ τῷ ἐπιεικεῖ καὶ κοσμίῳ. τὸ γὰρ μηδὲ ἄκοντά τινα ἐξαπατῆσαι ἢ ψεύσασθαι, μηδ' αὖ ὀφείλοντα ἢ θεῷ θυσίας τινὰς ἢ ἀνθρώπῳ χρήματα ἔπειτα ἐκεῖσε ἀπιέναι δεδιότα, μέγα μέρος εἰς τοῦτο ἡ τῶν χρημάτων κτῆσις συμβάλλεται. ἔχει δὲ καὶ ἄλλας χρείας πολλάς· ἀλλὰ ἕν γε ἀνθ' ἑνὸς οὐκ ἐλάχιστον ἔγωγε θείην ἂν εἰς τοῦτο ἀνδρὶ νοῦν ἔχοντι, ὦ Σώκρατες, πλοῦτον χρησιμώτατον εἶναι.

παγκάλως, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, λέγεις, ὦ Κέφαλε. τοῦτο δ' αὐτό, τὴν δικαιοσύνην, πότερα τὴν ἀλήθειαν αὐτὸ φήσομεν εἶναι ἁπλῶς οὕτως καὶ τὸ ἀποδιδόναι ἄν τίς τι παρά του λάβῃ, ἢ καὶ αὐτὰ ταῦτα ἔστιν ἐνίοτε μὲν δικαίως, ἐνίοτε δὲ ἀδίκως ποιεῖν; οἷον τοιόνδε λέγω· πᾶς ἄν που εἴποι, εἴ τις λάβοι παρὰ φίλου ἀνδρὸς σωφρονοῦντος ὅπλα, εἰ μανεὶς ἀπαιτοῖ, ὅτι οὔτε χρὴ τὰ τοιαῦτα ἀποδιδόναι, οὔτε δίκαιος ἂν εἴη ὁ ἀποδιδούς, οὐδ' αὖ πρὸς τὸν οὕτως ἔχοντα πάντα ἐθέλων τἀληθῆ λέγειν.

ὀρθῶς, ἔφη, λέγεις.

οὐκ ἄρα οὗτος ὅρος ἐστὶν δικαιοσύνης, ἀληθῆ τε λέγειν καὶ ἃ ἂν λάβῃ τις ἀποδιδόναι.

πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὑπολαβὼν ὁ Πολέμαρχος, εἴπερ γέ τι χρὴ Σιμωνίδῃ πείθεσθαι.

καὶ μέντοι, ἔφη ὁ Κέφαλος, καὶ παραδίδωμι ὑμῖν τὸν λόγον· δεῖ γάρ με ἤδη τῶν ἱερῶν ἐπιμεληθῆναι.

οὐκοῦν, ἔφη, ἐγώ, ὁ Πολέμαρχος, τῶν γε σῶν κληρονόμος;

πάνυ γε, ἦ δ' ὃς γελάσας, καὶ ἅμα ᾔει πρὸς τὰ ἱερά.

λέγε δή, εἶπον ἐγώ, σὺ ὁ τοῦ λόγου κληρονόμος, τί φῂς τὸν Σιμωνίδην λέγοντα ὀρθῶς λέγειν περὶ δικαιοσύνης;

ὅτι, ἦ δ' ὅς, τὸ τὰ ὀφειλόμενα ἑκάστῳ ἀποδιδόναι δίκαιόν ἐστι· τοῦτο λέγων δοκεῖ ἔμοιγε καλῶς λέγειν.

ἀλλὰ μέντοι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, Σιμωνίδῃ γε οὐ ῥᾴδιον ἀπιστεῖν--σοφὸς γὰρ καὶ θεῖος ἀνήρ--τοῦτο μέντοι ὅτι ποτὲ λέγει, σὺ μέν, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, ἴσως γιγνώσκεις, ἐγὼ δὲ ἀγνοῶ· δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι οὐ τοῦτο λέγει, ὅπερ ἄρτι ἐλέγομεν, τό τινος παρακαταθεμένου τι ὁτῳοῦν μὴ σωφρόνως ἀπαιτοῦντι ἀποδιδόναι. καίτοι γε ὀφειλόμενόν πού ἐστιν τοῦτο ὃ παρακατέθετο· ἦ γάρ;

ναί.

ἀποδοτέον δέ γε οὐδ' ὁπωστιοῦν τότε ὁπότε τις μὴ σωφρόνως ἀπαιτοῖ;

ἀληθῆ, ἦ δ' ὅς.

ἄλλο δή τι ἢ τὸ τοιοῦτον, ὡς ἔοικεν, λέγει Σιμωνίδης τὸ τὰ ὀφειλόμενα δίκαιον εἶναι ἀποδιδόναι.

ἄλλο μέντοι νὴ Δί', ἔφη· τοῖς γὰρ φίλοις οἴεται ὀφείλειν τοὺς φίλους ἀγαθὸν μέν τι δρᾶν, κακὸν δὲ μηδέν.

μανθάνω, ἦν δ' ἐγώ--ὅτι οὐ τὰ ὀφειλόμενα ἀποδίδωσιν ὃς ἄν τῳ χρυσίον ἀποδῷ παρακαταθεμένῳ, ἐάνπερ ἡ ἀπόδοσις καὶ ἡ λῆψις βλαβερὰ γίγνηται, φίλοι δὲ ὦσιν ὅ τε ἀπολαμβάνων καὶ ὁ ἀποδιδούς--οὐχ οὕτω λέγειν φῂς τὸν Σιμωνίδην;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν.

τί δέ; τοῖς ἐχθροῖς ἀποδοτέον ὅτι ἂν τύχῃ ὀφειλόμενον;

παντάπασι μὲν οὖν, ἔφη, ὅ γε ὀφείλεται αὐτοῖς, ὀφείλεται δέ γε οἶμαι παρά γε τοῦ ἐχθροῦ τῷ ἐχθρῷ ὅπερ καὶ προσήκει, κακόν τι.

ἠινίξατο ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὡς ἔοικεν, ὁ Σιμωνίδης ποιητικῶς τὸ δίκαιον ὃ εἴη. διενοεῖτο μὲν γάρ, ὡς φαίνεται, ὅτι τοῦτ' εἴη δίκαιον, τὸ προσῆκον ἑκάστῳ ἀποδιδόναι, τοῦτο δὲ ὠνόμασεν ὀφειλόμενον.

ἀλλὰ τί οἴει; ἔφη.

ὦ πρὸς Διός, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, εἰ οὖν τις αὐτὸν ἤρετο· “ὦ Σιμωνίδη, ἡ τίσιν οὖν τί ἀποδιδοῦσα ὀφειλόμενον καὶ προσῆκον τέχνη ἰατρικὴ καλεῖται;” τί ἂν οἴει ἡμῖν αὐτὸν ἀποκρίνασθαι;

δῆλον ὅτι, ἔφη, ἡ σώμασιν φάρμακά τε καὶ σιτία καὶ ποτά.

ἡ δὲ τίσιν τί ἀποδιδοῦσα ὀφειλόμενον καὶ προσῆκον τέχνη μαγειρικὴ καλεῖται;

ἡ τοῖς ὄψοις τὰ ἡδύσματα.

εἶεν· ἡ οὖν δὴ τίσιν τί ἀποδιδοῦσα τέχνη δικαιοσύνη ἂν καλοῖτο;

εἰ μέν τι, ἔφη, δεῖ ἀκολουθεῖν, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοῖς ἔμπροσθεν εἰρημένοις, ἡ τοῖς φίλοις τε καὶ ἐχθροῖς ὠφελίας τε καὶ βλάβας ἀποδιδοῦσα.

τὸ τοὺς φίλους ἄρα εὖ ποιεῖν καὶ τοὺς ἐχθροὺς κακῶς δικαιοσύνην λέγει;

δοκεῖ μοι.

τίς οὖν δυνατώτατος κάμνοντας φίλους εὖ ποιεῖν καὶ ἐχθροὺς κακῶς πρὸς νόσον καὶ ὑγίειαν;

ἰατρός.

τίς δὲ πλέοντας πρὸς τὸν τῆς θαλάττης κίνδυνον;

κυβερνήτης.

τί δὲ ὁ δίκαιος; ἐν τίνι πράξει καὶ πρὸς τί ἔργον δυνατώτατος φίλους ὠφελεῖν καὶ ἐχθροὺς βλάπτειν;

ἐν τῷ προσπολεμεῖν καὶ ἐν τῷ συμμαχεῖν, ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ.

εἶεν· μὴ κάμνουσί γε μήν, ὦ φίλε Πολέμαρχε, ἰατρὸς ἄχρηστος.

ἀληθῆ.

καὶ μὴ πλέουσι δὴ κυβερνήτης.

ναί.

ἆρα καὶ τοῖς μὴ πολεμοῦσιν ὁ δίκαιος ἄχρηστος;

οὐ πάνυ μοι δοκεῖ τοῦτο.

χρήσιμον ἄρα καὶ ἐν εἰρήνῃ δικαιοσύνη;

χρήσιμον.

καὶ γὰρ γεωργία· ἢ οὔ;

ναί.

πρός γε καρποῦ κτῆσιν;

ναί.

καὶ μὴν καὶ σκυτοτομική;

ναί.

πρός γε ὑποδημάτων ἂν οἶμαι φαίης κτῆσιν;

πάνυ γε.

τί δὲ δή; τὴν δικαιοσύνην πρὸς τίνος χρείαν ἢ κτῆσιν ἐν εἰρήνῃ φαίης ἂν χρήσιμον εἶναι;

πρὸς τὰ συμβόλαια, ὦ Σώκρατες.

συμβόλαια δὲ λέγεις κοινωνήματα ἤ τι ἄλλο;

κοινωνήματα δῆτα.

ἆρ' οὖν ὁ δίκαιος ἀγαθὸς καὶ χρήσιμος κοινωνὸς εἰς πεττῶν θέσιν, ἢ ὁ πεττευτικός;

ὁ πεττευτικός.

ἀλλ' εἰς πλίνθων καὶ λίθων θέσιν ὁ δίκαιος χρησιμώτερός τε καὶ ἀμείνων κοινωνὸς τοῦ οἰκοδομικοῦ;

οὐδαμῶς.

ἀλλ' εἰς τίνα δὴ κοινωνίαν ὁ δίκαιος ἀμείνων κοινωνὸς τοῦ οἰκοδομικοῦ τε καὶ κιθαριστικοῦ, ὥσπερ ὁ κιθαριστικὸς τοῦ δικαίου εἰς κρουμάτων;

εἰς ἀργυρίου, ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ.

πλήν γ' ἴσως, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, πρὸς τὸ χρῆσθαι ἀργυρίῳ, ὅταν δέῃ ἀργυρίου κοινῇ πρίασθαι ἢ ἀποδόσθαι ἵππον· τότε δέ, ὡς ἐγὼ οἶμαι, ὁ ἱππικός. ἦ γάρ;

φαίνεται.

καὶ μὴν ὅταν γε πλοῖον, ὁ ναυπηγὸς ἢ ὁ κυβερνήτης;

ἔοικεν.

ὅταν οὖν τί δέῃ ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ κοινῇ χρῆσθαι, ὁ δίκαιος χρησιμώτερος τῶν ἄλλων;

ὅταν παρακαταθέσθαι καὶ σῶν εἶναι, ὦ Σώκρατες.

οὐκοῦν λέγεις ὅταν μηδὲν δέῃ αὐτῷ χρῆσθαι ἀλλὰ κεῖσθαι;

πάνυ γε.

ὅταν ἄρα ἄχρηστον ᾖ ἀργύριον, τότε χρήσιμος ἐπ' αὐτῷ ἡ δικαιοσύνη;

κινδυνεύει.

καὶ ὅταν δὴ δρέπανον δέῃ φυλάττειν, ἡ δικαιοσύνη χρήσιμος καὶ κοινῇ καὶ ἰδίᾳ· ὅταν δὲ χρῆσθαι, ἡ ἀμπελουργική;

φαίνεται.

φήσεις δὲ καὶ ἀσπίδα καὶ λύραν ὅταν δέῃ φυλάττειν καὶ μηδὲν χρῆσθαι, χρήσιμον εἶναι τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅταν δὲ χρῆσθαι, τὴν ὁπλιτικὴν καὶ τὴν μουσικήν;

ἀνάγκη.

καὶ περὶ τἆλλα δὴ πάντα ἡ δικαιοσύνη ἑκάστου ἐν μὲν χρήσει ἄχρηστος, ἐν δὲ ἀχρηστίᾳ χρήσιμος;

κινδυνεύει.

οὐκ ἂν οὖν, ὦ φίλε, πάνυ γέ τι σπουδαῖον εἴη ἡ δικαιοσύνη, εἰ πρὸς τὰ ἄχρηστα χρήσιμον ὂν τυγχάνει. τόδε δὲ σκεψώμεθα. ἆρ' οὐχ ὁ πατάξαι δεινότατος ἐν μάχῃ εἴτε πυκτικῇ εἴτε τινὶ καὶ ἄλλῃ, οὗτος καὶ φυλάξασθαι;

πάνυ γε.

ἆρ' οὖν καὶ νόσον ὅστις δεινὸς φυλάξασθαι, καὶ λαθεῖν οὗτος δεινότατος ἐμποιήσας;

ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ.

ἀλλὰ μὴν στρατοπέδου γε ὁ αὐτὸς φύλαξ ἀγαθός, ὅσπερ καὶ τὰ τῶν πολεμίων κλέψαι καὶ βουλεύματα καὶ τὰς ἄλλας πράξεις;

πάνυ γε.

ὅτου τις ἄρα δεινὸς φύλαξ, τούτου καὶ φὼρ δεινός.

ἔοικεν.

εἰ ἄρα ὁ δίκαιος ἀργύριον δεινὸς φυλάττειν, καὶ κλέπτειν δεινός.

ὡς γοῦν ὁ λόγος, ἔφη, σημαίνει.

κλέπτης ἄρα τις ὁ δίκαιος, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἀναπέφανται, καὶ κινδυνεύεις παρ' Ὁμήρου μεμαθηκέναι αὐτό· καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνος τὸν τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως πρὸς μητρὸς πάππον Αὐτόλυκον ἀγαπᾷ τε καί φησιν αὐτὸν πάντας ἀνθρώπους κεκάσθαι κλεπτοσύνῃ θ' ὅρκῳ τε. ἔοικεν οὖν ἡ δικαιοσύνη καὶ κατὰ σὲ καὶ καθ' Ὅμηρον καὶ κατὰ Σιμωνίδην κλεπτική τις εἶναι, ἐπ' ὠφελίᾳ μέντοι τῶν φίλων καὶ ἐπὶ βλάβῃ τῶν ἐχθρῶν. οὐχ οὕτως ἔλεγες;

οὐ μὰ τὸν Δί', ἔφη, ἀλλ' οὐκέτι οἶδα ἔγωγε ὅτι ἔλεγον· τοῦτο μέντοι ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ ἔτι, ὠφελεῖν μὲν τοὺς φίλους ἡ δικαιοσύνη, βλάπτειν δὲ τοὺς ἐχθρούς.

φίλους δὲ λέγεις εἶναι πότερον τοὺς δοκοῦντας ἑκάστῳ χρηστοὺς εἶναι, ἢ τοὺς ὄντας, κἂν μὴ δοκῶσι, καὶ ἐχθροὺς ὡσαύτως;

εἰκὸς μέν, ἔφη, οὓς ἄν τις ἡγῆται χρηστοὺς φιλεῖν, οὓς δ' ἂν πονηροὺς μισεῖν.

ἆρ' οὖν οὐχ ἁμαρτάνουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι περὶ τοῦτο, ὥστε δοκεῖν αὐτοῖς πολλοὺς μὲν χρηστοὺς εἶναι μὴ ὄντας, πολλοὺς δὲ τοὐναντίον;

ἁμαρτάνουσιν.

τούτοις ἄρα οἱ μὲν ἀγαθοὶ ἐχθροί, οἱ δὲ κακοὶ φίλοι;

πάνυ γε.

ἀλλ' ὅμως δίκαιον τότε τούτοις τοὺς μὲν πονηροὺς ὠφελεῖν, τοὺς δὲ ἀγαθοὺς βλάπτειν;

φαίνεται.

ἀλλὰ μὴν οἵ γε ἀγαθοὶ δίκαιοί τε καὶ οἷοι μὴ ἀδικεῖν;

ἀληθῆ.

κατὰ δὴ τὸν σὸν λόγον τοὺς μηδὲν ἀδικοῦντας δίκαιον κακῶς ποιεῖν.

μηδαμῶς, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες· πονηρὸς γὰρ ἔοικεν εἶναι ὁ λόγος.

τοὺς ἀδίκους ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, δίκαιον βλάπτειν, τοὺς δὲ δικαίους ὠφελεῖν;

οὗτος ἐκείνου καλλίων φαίνεται.

πολλοῖς ἄρα, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, συμβήσεται, ὅσοι διημαρτήκασιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, δίκαιον εἶναι τοὺς μὲν φίλους βλάπτειν--πονηροὶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς εἰσιν--τοὺς δ' ἐχθροὺς ὠφελεῖν --ἀγαθοὶ γάρ· καὶ οὕτως ἐροῦμεν αὐτὸ τοὐναντίον ἢ τὸν Σιμωνίδην ἔφαμεν λέγειν.

καὶ μάλα, ἔφη, οὕτω συμβαίνει. ἀλλὰ μεταθώμεθα· κινδυνεύομεν γὰρ οὐκ ὀρθῶς τὸν φίλον καὶ ἐχθρὸν θέσθαι.

πῶς θέμενοι, ὦ Πολέμαρχε;

τὸν δοκοῦντα χρηστόν, τοῦτον φίλον εἶναι.

νῦν δὲ πῶς, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, μεταθώμεθα;

τὸν δοκοῦντά τε, ἦ δ' ὅς, καὶ τὸν ὄντα χρηστὸν φίλον· τὸν δὲ δοκοῦντα μέν, ὄντα δὲ μή, δοκεῖν ἀλλὰ μὴ εἶναι φίλον. καὶ περὶ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ δὲ ἡ αὐτὴ θέσις.

φίλος μὲν δή, ὡς ἔοικε, τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἔσται, ἐχθρὸς δὲ ὁ πονηρός.

ναί.

κελεύεις δὴ ἡμᾶς προσθεῖναι τῷ δικαίῳ ἢ ὡς τὸ πρῶτον ἐλέγομεν, λέγοντες δίκαιον εἶναι τὸν μὲν φίλον εὖ ποιεῖν, τὸν δ' ἐχθρὸν κακῶς· νῦν πρὸς τούτῳ ὧδε λέγειν, ὅτι ἔστιν δίκαιον τὸν μὲν φίλον ἀγαθὸν ὄντα εὖ ποιεῖν, τὸν δ' ἐχθρὸν κακὸν ὄντα βλάπτειν;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη, οὕτως ἄν μοι δοκεῖ καλῶς λέγεσθαι.

ἔστιν ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, δικαίου ἀνδρὸς βλάπτειν καὶ ὁντινοῦν ἀνθρώπων;

καὶ πάνυ γε, ἔφη· τούς γε πονηρούς τε καὶ ἐχθροὺς δεῖ βλάπτειν.

βλαπτόμενοι δ' ἵπποι βελτίους ἢ χείρους γίγνονται;

χείρους.

ἆρα εἰς τὴν τῶν κυνῶν ἀρετήν, ἢ εἰς τὴν τῶν ἵππων;

εἰς τὴν τῶν ἵππων.

ἆρ' οὖν καὶ κύνες βλαπτόμενοι χείρους γίγνονται εἰς τὴν τῶν κυνῶν ἀλλ' οὐκ εἰς τὴν τῶν ἵππων ἀρετήν;

ἀνάγκη.

ἀνθρώπους δέ, ὦ ἑταῖρε, μὴ οὕτω φῶμεν, βλαπτομένους εἰς τὴν ἀνθρωπείαν ἀρετὴν χείρους γίγνεσθαι;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν.

ἀλλ' ἡ δικαιοσύνη οὐκ ἀνθρωπεία ἀρετή;

καὶ τοῦτ' ἀνάγκη.

καὶ τοὺς βλαπτομένους ἄρα, ὦ φίλε, τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀνάγκη ἀδικωτέρους γίγνεσθαι.

ἔοικεν.

ἆρ' οὖν τῇ μουσικῇ οἱ μουσικοὶ ἀμούσους δύνανται ποιεῖν;

ἀδύνατον.

ἀλλὰ τῇ ἱππικῇ οἱ ἱππικοὶ ἀφίππους;

οὐκ ἔστιν.

ἀλλὰ τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ δὴ οἱ δίκαιοι ἀδίκους; ἢ καὶ συλλήβδην ἀρετῇ οἱ ἀγαθοὶ κακούς;

ἀλλὰ ἀδύνατον.

οὐ γὰρ θερμότητος οἶμαι ἔργον ψύχειν ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἐναντίου.

ναί.

οὐδὲ ξηρότητος ὑγραίνειν ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἐναντίου.

πάνυ γε.

οὐδὲ δὴ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ βλάπτειν ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἐναντίου.

φαίνεται.

ὁ δέ γε δίκαιος ἀγαθός;

πάνυ γε.

οὐκ ἄρα τοῦ δικαίου βλάπτειν ἔργον, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, οὔτε φίλον οὔτ' ἄλλον οὐδένα, ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἐναντίου, τοῦ ἀδίκου.

παντάπασί μοι δοκεῖς ἀληθῆ λέγειν, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες.

εἰ ἄρα τὰ ὀφειλόμενα ἑκάστῳ ἀποδιδόναι φησίν τις δίκαιον εἶναι, τοῦτο δὲ δὴ νοεῖ αὐτῷ τοῖς μὲν ἐχθροῖς βλάβην ὀφείλεσθαι παρὰ τοῦ δικαίου ἀνδρός, τοῖς δὲ φίλοις ὠφελίαν, οὐκ ἦν σοφὸς ὁ ταῦτα εἰπών. οὐ γὰρ ἀληθῆ ἔλεγεν· οὐδαμοῦ γὰρ δίκαιον οὐδένα ἡμῖν ἐφάνη ὂν βλάπτειν.

συγχωρῶ, ἦ δ' ὅς.

μαχούμεθα ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, κοινῇ ἐγώ τε καὶ σύ, ἐάν τις αὐτὸ φῇ ἢ Σιμωνίδην ἢ Βίαντα ἢ Πιττακὸν εἰρηκέναι ἤ τιν' ἄλλον τῶν σοφῶν τε καὶ μακαρίων ἀνδρῶν.

ἐγὼ γοῦν, ἔφη, ἕτοιμός εἰμι κοινωνεῖν τῆς μάχης.

ἀλλ' οἶσθα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, οὗ μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι τὸ ῥῆμα, τὸ φάναι δίκαιον εἶναι τοὺς μὲν φίλους ὠφελεῖν, τοὺς δ' ἐχθροὺς βλάπτειν;

τίνος; ἔφη.

οἶμαι αὐτὸ Περιάνδρου εἶναι ἢ Περδίκκου ἢ Ξέρξου ἢ Ἰσμηνίου τοῦ Θηβαίου ἤ τινος ἄλλου μέγα οἰομένου δύνασθαι πλουσίου ἀνδρός.

ἀληθέστατα, ἔφη, λέγεις.

εἶεν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ· ἐπειδὴ δὲ οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἐφάνη ἡ δικαιοσύνη ὂν οὐδὲ τὸ δίκαιον, τί ἂν ἄλλο τις αὐτὸ φαίη εἶναι;

καὶ ὁ Θρασύμαχος πολλάκις μὲν καὶ διαλεγομένων ἡμῶν μεταξὺ ὥρμα ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι τοῦ λόγου, ἔπειτα ὑπὸ τῶν παρακαθημένων διεκωλύετο βουλομένων διακοῦσαι τὸν λόγον· ὡς δὲ διεπαυσάμεθα καὶ ἐγὼ ταῦτ' εἶπον, οὐκέτι ἡσυχίαν ἦγεν, ἀλλὰ συστρέψας ἑαυτὸν ὥσπερ θηρίον ἧκεν ἐφ' ἡμᾶς ὡς διαρπασόμενος.

καὶ ἐγώ τε καὶ ὁ Πολέμαρχος δείσαντες διεπτοήθημεν· ὁ δ' εἰς τὸ μέσον φθεγξάμενος, τίς, ἔφη, ὑμᾶς πάλαι φλυαρία ἔχει, ὦ Σώκρατες; καὶ τί εὐηθίζεσθε πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὑποκατακλινόμενοι ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς; ἀλλ' εἴπερ ὡς ἀληθῶς βούλει εἰδέναι τὸ δίκαιον ὅτι ἔστι, μὴ μόνον ἐρώτα μηδὲ φιλοτιμοῦ ἐλέγχων ἐπειδάν τίς τι ἀποκρίνηται, ἐγνωκὼς τοῦτο, ὅτι ῥᾷον ἐρωτᾶν ἢ ἀποκρίνεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτὸς ἀπόκριναι καὶ εἰπὲ τί φῂς εἶναι τὸ δίκαιον. καὶ ὅπως μοι μὴ ἐρεῖς ὅτι τὸ δέον ἐστὶν μηδ' ὅτι τὸ ὠφέλιμον μηδ' ὅτι τὸ λυσιτελοῦν μηδ' ὅτι τὸ κερδαλέον μηδ' ὅτι τὸ συμφέρον, ἀλλὰ σαφῶς μοι καὶ ἀκριβῶς λέγε ὅτι ἂν λέγῃς· ὡς ἐγὼ οὐκ ἀποδέξομαι ἐὰν ὕθλους τοιούτους λέγῃς.

καὶ ἐγὼ ἀκούσας ἐξεπλάγην καὶ προσβλέπων αὐτὸν ἐφοβούμην, καί μοι δοκῶ, εἰ μὴ πρότερος ἑωράκη αὐτὸν ἢ ἐκεῖνος ἐμέ, ἄφωνος ἂν γενέσθαι. νῦν δὲ ἡνίκα ὑπὸ τοῦ λόγου ἤρχετο ἐξαγριαίνεσθαι, προσέβλεψα αὐτὸν πρότερος, ὥστε αὐτῷ οἷός τ' ἐγενόμην ἀποκρίνασθαι, καὶ εἶπον ὑποτρέμων· ὦ Θρασύμαχε, μὴ χαλεπὸς ἡμῖν ἴσθι· εἰ γάρ τι ἐξαμαρτάνομεν ἐν τῇ τῶν λόγων σκέψει ἐγώ τε καὶ ὅδε, εὖ ἴσθι ὅτι ἄκοντες ἁμαρτάνομεν. μὴ γὰρ δὴ οἴου, εἰ μὲν χρυσίον ἐζητοῦμεν, οὐκ ἄν ποτε ἡμᾶς ἑκόντας εἶναι ὑποκατακλίνεσθαι ἀλλήλοις ἐν τῇ ζητήσει καὶ διαφθείρειν τὴν εὕρεσιν αὐτοῦ, δικαιοσύνην δὲ ζητοῦντας, πρᾶγμα πολλῶν χρυσίων τιμιώτερον, ἔπειθ' οὕτως ἀνοήτως ὑπείκειν ἀλλήλοις καὶ οὐ σπουδάζειν ὅτι μάλιστα φανῆναι αὐτό. οἴου γε σύ, ὦ φίλε. ἀλλ' οἶμαι οὐ δυνάμεθα· ἐλεεῖσθαι οὖν ἡμᾶς πολὺ μᾶλλον εἰκός ἐστίν που ὑπὸ ὑμῶν τῶν δεινῶν ἢ χαλεπαίνεσθαι.

καὶ ὃς ἀκούσας ἀνεκάγχασέ τε μάλα σαρδάνιον καὶ εἶπεν· ὦ Ἡράκλεις, ἔφη, αὕτη 'κείνη ἡ εἰωθυῖα εἰρωνεία Σωκράτους, καὶ ταῦτ' ἐγὼ ᾔδη τε καὶ τούτοις προύλεγον, ὅτι σὺ ἀποκρίνασθαι μὲν οὐκ ἐθελήσοις, εἰρωνεύσοιο δὲ καὶ πάντα μᾶλλον ποιήσοις ἢ ἀποκρινοῖο, εἴ τίς τί σε ἐρωτᾷ.

σοφὸς γὰρ εἶ, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε· εὖ οὖν ᾔδησθα ὅτι εἴ τινα ἔροιο ὁπόσα ἐστὶν τὰ δώδεκα, καὶ ἐρόμενος προείποις αὐτῷ-- “ὅπως μοι, ὦ ἄνθρωπε, μὴ ἐρεῖς ὅτι ἔστιν τὰ δώδεκα δὶς ἓξ μηδ' ὅτι τρὶς τέτταρα μηδ' ὅτι ἑξάκις δύο μηδ' ὅτι τετράκις τρία· ὡς οὐκ ἀποδέξομαί σου ἐὰν τοιαῦτα φλυαρῇς” --δῆλον οἶμαί σοι ἦν ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἀποκρινοῖτο τῷ οὕτως πυνθανομένῳ. ἀλλ' εἴ σοι εἶπεν· “ὦ Θρασύμαχε, πῶς λέγεις; μὴ ἀποκρίνωμαι ὧν προεῖπες μηδέν; πότερον, ὦ θαυμάσιε, μηδ' εἰ τούτων τι τυγχάνει ὄν, ἀλλ' ἕτερον εἴπω τι τοῦ ἀληθοῦς; ἢ πῶς λέγεις;” τί ἂν αὐτῷ εἶπες πρὸς ταῦτα;

εἶεν, ἔφη· ὡς δὴ ὅμοιον τοῦτο ἐκείνῳ.

οὐδέν γε κωλύει, ἦν δ' ἐγώ· εἰ δ' οὖν καὶ μὴ ἔστιν ὅμοιον, φαίνεται δὲ τῷ ἐρωτηθέντι τοιοῦτον, ἧττόν τι αὐτὸν οἴει ἀποκρινεῖσθαι τὸ φαινόμενον ἑαυτῷ, ἐάντε ἡμεῖς ἀπαγορεύωμεν ἐάντε μή;

ἄλλο τι οὖν, ἔφη, καὶ σὺ οὕτω ποιήσεις· ὧν ἐγὼ ἀπεῖπον, τούτων τι ἀποκρινῇ;

οὐκ ἂν θαυμάσαιμι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ· εἴ μοι σκεψαμένῳ οὕτω δόξειεν.

τί οὖν, ἔφη, ἂν ἐγὼ δείξω ἑτέραν ἀπόκρισιν παρὰ πάσας ταύτας περὶ δικαιοσύνης, βελτίω τούτων; τί ἀξιοῖς παθεῖν;

τί ἄλλο, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἢ ὅπερ προσήκει πάσχειν τῷ μὴ εἰδότι; προσήκει δέ που μαθεῖν παρὰ τοῦ εἰδότος· καὶ ἐγὼ οὖν τοῦτο ἀξιῶ παθεῖν.

ἡδὺς γὰρ εἶ, ἔφη· ἀλλὰ πρὸς τῷ μαθεῖν καὶ ἀπότεισον ἀργύριον.

οὐκοῦν ἐπειδάν μοι γένηται, εἶπον.

ἀλλ' ἔστιν, ἔφη ὁ Γλαύκων. ἀλλ' ἕνεκα ἀργυρίου, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, λέγε· πάντες γὰρ ἡμεῖς Σωκράτει εἰσοίσομεν.

πάνυ γε οἶμαι, ἦ δ' ὅς· ἵνα Σωκράτης τὸ εἰωθὸς διαπράξηται· αὐτὸς μὲν μὴ ἀποκρίνηται, ἄλλου δ' ἀποκρινομένου λαμβάνῃ λόγον καὶ ἐλέγχῃ.

πῶς γὰρ ἄν, ἔφην ἐγώ, ὦ βέλτιστε, τὶς ἀποκρίναιτο πρῶτον μὲν μὴ εἰδὼς μηδὲ φάσκων εἰδέναι, ἔπειτα, εἴ τι καὶ οἴεται, περὶ τούτων ἀπειρημένον αὐτῷ εἴη ὅπως μηδὲν ἐρεῖ ὧν ἡγεῖται ὑπ' ἀνδρὸς οὐ φαύλου; ἀλλὰ σὲ δὴ μᾶλλον εἰκὸς λέγειν· σὺ γὰρ δὴ φῂς εἰδέναι καὶ ἔχειν εἰπεῖν. μὴ οὖν ἄλλως ποίει, ἀλλὰ ἐμοί τε χαρίζου ἀποκρινόμενος καὶ μὴ φθονήσῃς καὶ Γλαύκωνα τόνδε διδάξαι καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους.

εἰπόντος δέ μου ταῦτα, ὅ τε Γλαύκων καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι ἐδέοντο αὐτοῦ μὴ ἄλλως ποιεῖν. καὶ ὁ Θρασύμαχος φανερὸς μὲν ἦν ἐπιθυμῶν εἰπεῖν ἵν' εὐδοκιμήσειεν, ἡγούμενος ἔχειν ἀπόκρισιν παγκάλην· προσεποιεῖτο δὲ φιλονικεῖν πρὸς τὸ ἐμὲ εἶναι τὸν ἀποκρινόμενον. τελευτῶν δὲ συνεχώρησεν, κἄπειτα, αὕτη δή, ἔφη, ἡ Σωκράτους σοφία· αὐτὸν μὲν μὴ ἐθέλειν διδάσκειν, παρὰ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων περιιόντα μανθάνειν καὶ τούτων μηδὲ χάριν ἀποδιδόναι.

ὅτι μέν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, μανθάνω παρὰ τῶν ἄλλων, ἀληθῆ εἶπες, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ὅτι δὲ οὔ με φῂς χάριν ἐκτίνειν, ψεύδῃ· ἐκτίνω γὰρ ὅσην δύναμαι. δύναμαι δὲ ἐπαινεῖν μόνον· χρήματα γὰρ οὐκ ἔχω. ὡς δὲ προθύμως τοῦτο δρῶ, ἐάν τίς μοι δοκῇ εὖ λέγειν, εὖ εἴσῃ αὐτίκα δὴ μάλα, ἐπειδὰν ἀποκρίνῃ· οἶμαι γάρ σε εὖ ἐρεῖν.

ἄκουε δή, ἦ δ' ὅς. φημὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ εἶναι τὸ δίκαιον οὐκ ἄλλο τι ἢ τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον. ἀλλὰ τί οὐκ ἐπαινεῖς; ἀλλ' οὐκ ἐθελήσεις.

ἐὰν μάθω γε πρῶτον, ἔφην, τί λέγεις· νῦν γὰρ οὔπω οἶδα. τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος φῂς συμφέρον δίκαιον εἶναι. καὶ τοῦτο, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, τί ποτε λέγεις; οὐ γάρ που τό γε τοιόνδε φῄς· εἰ Πουλυδάμας ἡμῶν κρείττων ὁ παγκρατιαστὴς καὶ αὐτῷ συμφέρει τὰ βόεια κρέα πρὸς τὸ σῶμα, τοῦτο τὸ σιτίον εἶναι καὶ ἡμῖν τοῖς ἥττοσιν ἐκείνου συμφέρον ἅμα καὶ δίκαιον.

βδελυρὸς γὰρ εἶ, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ ταύτῃ ὑπολαμβάνεις ᾗ ἂν κακουργήσαις μάλιστα τὸν λόγον.

οὐδαμῶς, ὦ ἄριστε, ἦν δ' ἐγώ· ἀλλὰ σαφέστερον εἰπὲ τί λέγεις.

εἶτ' οὐκ οἶσθ', ἔφη, ὅτι τῶν πόλεων αἱ μὲν τυραννοῦνται, αἱ δὲ δημοκρατοῦνται, αἱ δὲ ἀριστοκρατοῦνται;

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

οὐκοῦν τοῦτο κρατεῖ ἐν ἑκάστῃ πόλει, τὸ ἄρχον;

πάνυ γε.

τίθεται δέ γε τοὺς νόμους ἑκάστη ἡ ἀρχὴ πρὸς τὸ αὑτῇ συμφέρον, δημοκρατία μὲν δημοκρατικούς, τυραννὶς δὲ τυραννικούς, καὶ αἱ ἄλλαι οὕτως· θέμεναι δὲ ἀπέφηναν τοῦτο δίκαιον τοῖς ἀρχομένοις εἶναι, τὸ σφίσι συμφέρον, καὶ τὸν τούτου ἐκβαίνοντα κολάζουσιν ὡς παρανομοῦντά τε καὶ ἀδικοῦντα. τοῦτ' οὖν ἐστιν, ὦ βέλτιστε, ὃ λέγω ἐν ἁπάσαις ταῖς πόλεσιν ταὐτὸν εἶναι δίκαιον, τὸ τῆς καθεστηκυίας ἀρχῆς συμφέρον· αὕτη δέ που κρατεῖ, ὥστε συμβαίνει τῷ ὀρθῶς λογιζομένῳ πανταχοῦ εἶναι τὸ αὐτὸ δίκαιον, τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον.

νῦν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἔμαθον ὃ λέγεις· εἰ δὲ ἀληθὲς ἢ μή, πειράσομαι μαθεῖν. τὸ συμφέρον μὲν οὖν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, καὶ σὺ ἀπεκρίνω δίκαιον εἶναι--καίτοι ἔμοιγε ἀπηγόρευες ὅπως μὴ τοῦτο ἀποκρινοίμην--πρόσεστιν δὲ δὴ αὐτόθι τὸ “τοῦ κρείττονος.”

σμικρά γε ἴσως, ἔφη, προσθήκη.

οὔπω δῆλον οὐδ' εἰ μεγάλη· ἀλλ' ὅτι μὲν τοῦτο σκεπτέον εἰ ἀληθῆ λέγεις, δῆλον. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ συμφέρον γέ τι εἶναι καὶ ἐγὼ ὁμολογῶ τὸ δίκαιον, σὺ δὲ προστιθεῖς καὶ αὐτὸ φῂς εἶναι τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος, ἐγὼ δὲ ἀγνοῶ, σκεπτέον δή.

σκόπει, ἔφη.

ταῦτ' ἔσται, ἦν δ' ἐγώ. καί μοι εἰπέ· οὐ καὶ πείθεσθαι μέντοι τοῖς ἄρχουσιν δίκαιον φῂς εἶναι;

ἔγωγε.

πότερον δὲ ἀναμάρτητοί εἰσιν οἱ ἄρχοντες ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν ἑκάσταις ἢ οἷοί τι καὶ ἁμαρτεῖν;

πάντως που, ἔφη, οἷοί τι καὶ ἁμαρτεῖν.

οὐκοῦν ἐπιχειροῦντες νόμους τιθέναι τοὺς μὲν ὀρθῶς τιθέασιν, τοὺς δέ τινας οὐκ ὀρθῶς;

οἶμαι ἔγωγε.

τὸ δὲ ὀρθῶς ἆρα τὸ τὰ συμφέροντά ἐστι τίθεσθαι ἑαυτοῖς, τὸ δὲ μὴ ὀρθῶς ἀσύμφορα; ἢ πῶς λέγεις;

οὕτως.

ἃ δ' ἂν θῶνται ποιητέον τοῖς ἀρχομένοις, καὶ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ δίκαιον;

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

οὐ μόνον ἄρα δίκαιόν ἐστιν κατὰ τὸν σὸν λόγον τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον ποιεῖν ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὐναντίον, τὸ μὴ συμφέρον.

τί λέγεις σύ; ἔφη.

ἃ σὺ λέγεις, ἔμοιγε δοκῶ· σκοπῶμεν δὲ βέλτιον. οὐχ ὡμολόγηται τοὺς ἄρχοντας τοῖς ἀρχομένοις προστάττοντας ποιεῖν ἄττα ἐνίοτε διαμαρτάνειν τοῦ ἑαυτοῖς βελτίστου, ἃ δ' ἂν προστάττωσιν οἱ ἄρχοντες δίκαιον εἶναι τοῖς ἀρχομένοις ποιεῖν; ταῦτ' οὐχ ὡμολόγηται;

οἶμαι ἔγωγε, ἔφη.

οἴου τοίνυν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, καὶ τὸ ἀσύμφορα ποιεῖν τοῖς ἄρχουσί τε καὶ κρείττοσι δίκαιον εἶναι ὡμολογῆσθαί σοι, ὅταν οἱ μὲν ἄρχοντες ἄκοντες κακὰ αὑτοῖς προστάττωσιν, τοῖς δὲ δίκαιον εἶναι φῇς ταῦτα ποιεῖν ἃ ἐκεῖνοι προσέταξαν --ἆρα τότε, ὦ σοφώτατε Θρασύμαχε, οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον συμβαίνειν αὐτὸ οὑτωσί, δίκαιον εἶναι ποιεῖν τοὐναντίον ἢ ὃ σὺ λέγεις; τὸ γὰρ τοῦ κρείττονος ἀσύμφορον δήπου προστάττεται τοῖς ἥττοσιν ποιεῖν.

ναὶ μὰ Δί', ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὁ Πολέμαρχος, σαφέστατά γε.

ἐὰν σύ γ', ἔφη, αὐτῷ μαρτυρήσῃς, ὁ Κλειτοφῶν ὑπολαβών.

καὶ τί, ἔφη, δεῖται μάρτυρος; αὐτὸς γὰρ Θρασύμαχος ὁμολογεῖ τοὺς μὲν ἄρχοντας ἐνίοτε ἑαυτοῖς κακὰ προστάττειν, τοῖς δὲ δίκαιον εἶναι ταῦτα ποιεῖν.

τὸ γὰρ τὰ κελευόμενα ποιεῖν, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, ὑπὸ τῶν ἀρχόντων δίκαιον εἶναι ἔθετο Θρασύμαχος.

καὶ γὰρ τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος, ὦ Κλειτοφῶν, συμφέρον δίκαιον εἶναι ἔθετο. ταῦτα δὲ ἀμφότερα θέμενος ὡμολόγησεν αὖ ἐνίοτε τοὺς κρείττους τὰ αὑτοῖς ἀσύμφορα κελεύειν τοὺς ἥττους τε καὶ ἀρχομένους ποιεῖν. ἐκ δὲ τούτων τῶν ὁμολογιῶν οὐδὲν μᾶλλον τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον δίκαιον ἂν εἴη ἢ τὸ μὴ συμφέρον.

ἀλλ', ἔφη ὁ Κλειτοφῶν, τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον ἔλεγεν ὃ ἡγοῖτο ὁ κρείττων αὑτῷ συμφέρειν· τοῦτο ποιητέον εἶναι τῷ ἥττονι, καὶ τὸ δίκαιον τοῦτο ἐτίθετο.

ἀλλ' οὐχ οὕτως, ἦ δ' ὃς ὁ Πολέμαρχος, ἐλέγετο.

οὐδέν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Πολέμαρχε, διαφέρει, ἀλλ' εἰ νῦν οὕτω λέγει Θρασύμαχος, οὕτως αὐτοῦ ἀποδεχώμεθα. καί μοι εἰπέ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε· τοῦτο ἦν ὃ ἐβούλου λέγειν τὸ δίκαιον, τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον δοκοῦν εἶναι τῷ κρείττονι, ἐάντε συμφέρῃ ἐάντε μή; οὕτω σε φῶμεν λέγειν;

ἥκιστά γε, ἔφη· ἀλλὰ κρείττω με οἴει καλεῖν τὸν ἐξαμαρτάνοντα ὅταν ἐξαμαρτάνῃ;

ἔγωγε, εἶπον, ᾤμην σε τοῦτο λέγειν ὅτε τοὺς ἄρχοντας ὡμολόγεις οὐκ ἀναμαρτήτους εἶναι ἀλλά τι καὶ ἐξαμαρτάνειν.

συκοφάντης γὰρ εἶ, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἐν τοῖς λόγοις· ἐπεὶ αὐτίκα ἰατρὸν καλεῖς σὺ τὸν ἐξαμαρτάνοντα περὶ τοὺς κάμνοντας κατ' αὐτὸ τοῦτο ὃ ἐξαμαρτάνει; ἢ λογιστικόν, ὃς ἂν ἐν λογισμῷ ἁμαρτάνῃ, τότε ὅταν ἁμαρτάνῃ, κατὰ ταύτην τὴν ἁμαρτίαν; ἀλλ' οἶμαι λέγομεν τῷ ῥήματι οὕτως, ὅτι ὁ ἰατρὸς ἐξήμαρτεν καὶ ὁ λογιστὴς ἐξήμαρτεν καὶ ὁ γραμματιστής· τὸ δ' οἶμαι ἕκαστος τούτων, καθ' ὅσον τοῦτ' ἔστιν ὃ προσαγορεύομεν αὐτόν, οὐδέποτε ἁμαρτάνει· ὥστε κατὰ τὸν ἀκριβῆ λόγον, ἐπειδὴ καὶ σὺ ἀκριβολογῇ, οὐδεὶς τῶν δημιουργῶν ἁμαρτάνει. ἐπιλειπούσης γὰρ ἐπιστήμης ὁ ἁμαρτάνων ἁμαρτάνει, ἐν ᾧ οὐκ ἔστι δημιουργός· ὥστε δημιουργὸς ἢ σοφὸς ἢ ἄρχων οὐδεὶς ἁμαρτάνει τότε ὅταν ἄρχων ᾖ, ἀλλὰ πᾶς γ' ἂν εἴποι ὅτι ὁ ἰατρὸς ἥμαρτεν καὶ ὁ ἄρχων ἥμαρτεν. τοιοῦτον οὖν δή σοι καὶ ἐμὲ ὑπόλαβε νυνδὴ ἀποκρίνεσθαι· τὸ δὲ ἀκριβέστατον ἐκεῖνο τυγχάνει ὄν, τὸν ἄρχοντα, καθ' ὅσον ἄρχων ἐστίν, μὴ ἁμαρτάνειν, μὴ ἁμαρτάνοντα δὲ τὸ αὑτῷ βέλτιστον τίθεσθαι, τοῦτο δὲ τῷ ἀρχομένῳ ποιητέον. ὥστε ὅπερ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἔλεγον δίκαιον λέγω, τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος ποιεῖν συμφέρον.

εἶεν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε· δοκῶ σοι συκοφαντεῖν;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη.

οἴει γάρ με ἐξ ἐπιβουλῆς ἐν τοῖς λόγοις κακουργοῦντά σε ἐρέσθαι ὡς ἠρόμην;

εὖ μὲν οὖν οἶδα, ἔφη. καὶ οὐδέν γέ σοι πλέον ἔσται· οὔτε γὰρ ἄν με λάθοις κακουργῶν, οὔτε μὴ λαθὼν βιάσασθαι τῷ λόγῳ δύναιο.

οὐδέ γ' ἂν ἐπιχειρήσαιμι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ μακάριε. ἀλλ' ἵνα μὴ αὖθις ἡμῖν τοιοῦτον ἐγγένηται, διόρισαι ποτέρως λέγεις τὸν ἄρχοντά τε καὶ τὸν κρείττονα, τὸν ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν ἢ τὸν ἀκριβεῖ λόγῳ, ὃ νυνδὴ ἔλεγες, οὗ τὸ συμφέρον κρείττονος ὄντος δίκαιον ἔσται τῷ ἥττονι ποιεῖν.

τὸν τῷ ἀκριβεστάτῳ, ἔφη, λόγῳ ἄρχοντα ὄντα. πρὸς ταῦτα κακούργει καὶ συκοφάντει, εἴ τι δύνασαι--οὐδέν σου παρίεμαι--ἀλλ' οὐ μὴ οἷός τ' ᾖς.

οἴει γὰρ ἄν με, εἶπον, οὕτω μανῆναι ὥστε ξυρεῖν ἐπιχειρεῖν λέοντα καὶ συκοφαντεῖν Θρασύμαχον;

νῦν γοῦν, ἔφη, ἐπεχείρησας, οὐδὲν ὢν καὶ ταῦτα.

ἅδην, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, τῶν τοιούτων. ἀλλ' εἰπέ μοι· ὁ τῷ ἀκριβεῖ λόγῳ ἰατρός, ὃν ἄρτι ἔλεγες, πότερον χρηματιστής ἐστιν ἢ τῶν καμνόντων θεραπευτής; καὶ λέγε τὸν τῷ ὄντι ἰατρὸν ὄντα.

τῶν καμνόντων, ἔφη, θεραπευτής.

τί δὲ κυβερνήτης; ὁ ὀρθῶς κυβερνήτης ναυτῶν ἄρχων ἐστὶν ἢ ναύτης;

ναυτῶν ἄρχων.

οὐδὲν οἶμαι τοῦτο ὑπολογιστέον, ὅτι πλεῖ ἐν τῇ νηί, οὐδ' ἐστὶν κλητέος ναύτης· οὐ γὰρ κατὰ τὸ πλεῖν κυβερνήτης καλεῖται, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν τέχνην καὶ τὴν τῶν ναυτῶν ἀρχήν.

ἀληθῆ, ἔφη.

οὐκοῦν ἑκάστῳ τούτων ἔστιν τι συμφέρον;

πάνυ γε.

οὐ καὶ ἡ τέχνη, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἐπὶ τούτῳ πέφυκεν, ἐπὶ τῷ τὸ συμφέρον ἑκάστῳ ζητεῖν τε καὶ ἐκπορίζειν;

ἐπὶ τούτῳ, ἔφη.

ἆρ' οὖν καὶ ἑκάστῃ τῶν τεχνῶν ἔστιν τι συμφέρον ἄλλο ἢ ὅτι μάλιστα τελέαν εἶναι;

πῶς τοῦτο ἐρωτᾷς;

ὥσπερ, ἔφην ἐγώ, εἴ με ἔροιο εἰ ἐξαρκεῖ σώματι εἶναι σώματι ἢ προσδεῖταί τινος, εἴποιμ' ἂν ὅτι “παντάπασι μὲν οὖν προσδεῖται. διὰ ταῦτα καὶ ἡ τέχνη ἐστὶν ἡ ἰατρικὴ νῦν ηὑρημένη, ὅτι σῶμά ἐστιν πονηρὸν καὶ οὐκ ἐξαρκεῖ αὐτῷ τοιούτῳ εἶναι. τούτῳ οὖν ὅπως ἐκπορίζῃ τὰ συμφέροντα, ἐπὶ τούτῳ παρεσκευάσθη ἡ τέχνη.” ἦ ὀρθῶς σοι δοκῶ, ἔφην, ἂν εἰπεῖν οὕτω λέγων, ἢ οὔ;

ὀρθῶς, ἔφη.

τί δὲ δή; αὐτὴ ἡ ἰατρική ἐστιν πονηρά, ἢ ἄλλη τις τέχνη ἔσθ' ὅτι προσδεῖταί τινος ἀρετῆς--ὥσπερ ὀφθαλμοὶ ὄψεως καὶ ὦτα ἀκοῆς καὶ διὰ ταῦτα ἐπ' αὐτοῖς δεῖ τινος τέχνης τῆς τὸ συμφέρον εἰς αὐτὰ ταῦτα σκεψομένης τε καὶ ἐκποριούσης-- ἆρα καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ τέχνῃ ἔνι τις πονηρία, καὶ δεῖ ἑκάστῃ τέχνῃ ἄλλης τέχνης ἥτις αὐτῇ τὸ συμφέρον σκέψεται, καὶ τῇ σκοπουμένῃ ἑτέρας αὖ τοιαύτης, καὶ τοῦτ' ἔστιν ἀπέραντον; ἢ αὐτὴ αὑτῇ τὸ συμφέρον σκέψεται; ἢ οὔτε αὑτῆς οὔτε ἄλλης προσδεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν αὑτῆς πονηρίαν τὸ συμφέρον σκοπεῖν· οὔτε γὰρ πονηρία οὔτε ἁμαρτία οὐδεμία οὐδεμιᾷ τέχνῃ πάρεστιν, οὐδὲ προσήκει τέχνῃ ἄλλῳ τὸ συμφέρον ζητεῖν ἢ ἐκείνῳ οὗ τέχνη ἐστίν, αὐτὴ δὲ ἀβλαβὴς καὶ ἀκέραιός ἐστιν ὀρθὴ οὖσα, ἕωσπερ ἂν ᾖ ἑκάστη ἀκριβὴς ὅλη ἥπερ ἐστίν; καὶ σκόπει ἐκείνῳ τῷ ἀκριβεῖ λόγῳ· οὕτως ἢ ἄλλως ἔχει;

οὕτως, ἔφη, φαίνεται.

οὐκ ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἰατρικὴ ἰατρικῇ τὸ συμφέρον σκοπεῖ ἀλλὰ σώματι.

ναί, ἔφη.

οὐδὲ ἱππικὴ ἱππικῇ ἀλλ' ἵπποις· οὐδὲ ἄλλη τέχνη οὐδεμία ἑαυτῇ--οὐδὲ γὰρ προσδεῖται--ἀλλ' ἐκείνῳ οὗ τέχνη ἐστίν.

φαίνεται, ἔφη, οὕτως.

ἀλλὰ μήν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἄρχουσί γε αἱ τέχναι καὶ κρατοῦσιν ἐκείνου οὗπέρ εἰσιν τέχναι.

συνεχώρησεν ἐνταῦθα καὶ μάλα μόγις.

οὐκ ἄρα ἐπιστήμη γε οὐδεμία τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον σκοπεῖ οὐδ' ἐπιτάττει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τοῦ ἥττονός τε καὶ ἀρχομένου ὑπὸ ἑαυτῆς.

συνωμολόγησε μὲν καὶ ταῦτα τελευτῶν, ἐπεχείρει δὲ περὶ αὐτὰ μάχεσθαι· ἐπειδὴ δὲ ὡμολόγησεν, ἄλλο τι οὖν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, οὐδὲ ἰατρὸς οὐδείς, καθ' ὅσον ἰατρός, τὸ τῷ ἰατρῷ συμφέρον σκοπεῖ οὐδ' ἐπιτάττει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τῷ κάμνοντι; ὡμολόγηται γὰρ ὁ ἀκριβὴς ἰατρὸς σωμάτων εἶναι ἄρχων ἀλλ' οὐ χρηματιστής. ἢ οὐχ ὡμολόγηται;

συνέφη.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ὁ κυβερνήτης ὁ ἀκριβὴς ναυτῶν εἶναι ἄρχων ἀλλ' οὐ ναύτης;

ὡμολόγηται.

οὐκ ἄρα ὅ γε τοιοῦτος κυβερνήτης τε καὶ ἄρχων τὸ τῷ κυβερνήτῃ συμφέρον σκέψεταί τε καὶ προστάξει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τῷ ναύτῃ τε καὶ ἀρχομένῳ.

συνέφησε μόγις.

οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, οὐδὲ ἄλλος οὐδεὶς ἐν οὐδεμιᾷ ἀρχῇ, καθ' ὅσον ἄρχων ἐστίν, τὸ αὑτῷ συμφέρον σκοπεῖ οὐδ' ἐπιτάττει, ἀλλὰ τὸ τῷ ἀρχομένῳ καὶ ᾧ ἂν αὐτὸς δημιουργῇ, καὶ πρὸς ἐκεῖνο βλέπων καὶ τὸ ἐκείνῳ συμφέρον καὶ πρέπον, καὶ λέγει ἃ λέγει καὶ ποιεῖ ἃ ποιεῖ ἅπαντα.

ἐπειδὴ οὖν ἐνταῦθα ἦμεν τοῦ λόγου καὶ πᾶσι καταφανὲς ἦν ὅτι ὁ τοῦ δικαίου λόγος εἰς τοὐναντίον περιειστήκει, ὁ Θρασύμαχος ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀποκρίνεσθαι, εἰπέ μοι, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, τίτθη σοι ἔστιν;

τί δέ; ἦν δ' ἐγώ· οὐκ ἀποκρίνεσθαι χρῆν μᾶλλον ἢ τοιαῦτα ἐρωτᾶν;

ὅτι τοί σε, ἔφη, κορυζῶντα περιορᾷ καὶ οὐκ ἀπομύττει δεόμενον, ὅς γε αὐτῇ οὐδὲ πρόβατα οὐδὲ ποιμένα γιγνώσκεις.

ὅτι δὴ τί μάλιστα; ἦν δ' ἐγώ.

ὅτι οἴει τοὺς ποιμένας ἢ τοὺς βουκόλους τὸ τῶν προβάτων ἢ τὸ τῶν βοῶν ἀγαθὸν σκοπεῖν καὶ παχύνειν αὐτοὺς καὶ θεραπεύειν πρὸς ἄλλο τι βλέποντας ἢ τὸ τῶν δεσποτῶν ἀγαθὸν καὶ τὸ αὑτῶν, καὶ δὴ καὶ τοὺς ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν ἄρχοντας, οἳ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἄρχουσιν, ἄλλως πως ἡγῇ διανοεῖσθαι πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχομένους ἢ ὥσπερ ἄν τις πρὸς πρόβατα διατεθείη, καὶ ἄλλο τι σκοπεῖν αὐτοὺς διὰ νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἢ τοῦτο, ὅθεν αὐτοὶ ὠφελήσονται. καὶ οὕτω πόρρω εἶ περί τε τοῦ δικαίου καὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ ἀδίκου τε καὶ ἀδικίας, ὥστε ἀγνοεῖς ὅτι ἡ μὲν δικαιοσύνη καὶ τὸ δίκαιον ἀλλότριον ἀγαθὸν τῷ ὄντι, τοῦ κρείττονός τε καὶ ἄρχοντος συμφέρον, οἰκεία δὲ τοῦ πειθομένου τε καὶ ὑπηρετοῦντος βλάβη, ἡ δὲ ἀδικία τοὐναντίον, καὶ ἄρχει τῶν ὡς ἀληθῶς εὐηθικῶν τε καὶ δικαίων, οἱ δ' ἀρχόμενοι ποιοῦσιν τὸ ἐκείνου συμφέρον κρείττονος ὄντος, καὶ εὐδαίμονα ἐκεῖνον ποιοῦσιν ὑπηρετοῦντες αὐτῷ, ἑαυτοὺς δὲ οὐδ' ὁπωστιοῦν. σκοπεῖσθαι δέ, ὦ εὐηθέστατε Σώκρατες, οὑτωσὶ χρή, ὅτι δίκαιος ἀνὴρ ἀδίκου πανταχοῦ ἔλαττον ἔχει. πρῶτον μὲν ἐν τοῖς πρὸς ἀλλήλους συμβολαίοις, ὅπου ἂν ὁ τοιοῦτος τῷ τοιούτῳ κοινωνήσῃ, οὐδαμοῦ ἂν εὕροις ἐν τῇ διαλύσει τῆς κοινωνίας πλέον ἔχοντα τὸν δίκαιον τοῦ ἀδίκου ἀλλ' ἔλαττον· ἔπειτα ἐν τοῖς πρὸς τὴν πόλιν, ὅταν τέ τινες εἰσφοραὶ ὦσιν, ὁ μὲν δίκαιος ἀπὸ τῶν ἴσων πλέον εἰσφέρει, ὁ δ' ἔλαττον, ὅταν τε λήψεις, ὁ μὲν οὐδέν, ὁ δὲ πολλὰ κερδαίνει. καὶ γὰρ ὅταν ἀρχήν τινα ἄρχῃ ἑκάτερος, τῷ μὲν δικαίῳ ὑπάρχει, καὶ εἰ μηδεμία ἄλλη ζημία, τά γε οἰκεῖα δι' ἀμέλειαν μοχθηροτέρως ἔχειν, ἐκ δὲ τοῦ δημοσίου μηδὲν ὠφελεῖσθαι διὰ τὸ δίκαιον εἶναι, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἀπεχθέσθαι τοῖς τε οἰκείοις καὶ τοῖς γνωρίμοις, ὅταν μηδὲν ἐθέλῃ αὐτοῖς ὑπηρετεῖν παρὰ τὸ δίκαιον· τῷ δὲ ἀδίκῳ πάντα τούτων τἀναντία ὑπάρχει. λέγω γὰρ ὅνπερ νυνδὴ ἔλεγον, τὸν μεγάλα δυνάμενον πλεονεκτεῖν· τοῦτον οὖν σκόπει, εἴπερ βούλει κρίνειν ὅσῳ μᾶλλον συμφέρει ἰδίᾳ αὑτῷ ἄδικον εἶναι ἢ τὸ δίκαιον. πάντων δὲ ῥᾷστα μαθήσῃ, ἐὰν ἐπὶ τὴν τελεωτάτην ἀδικίαν ἔλθῃς, ἣ τὸν μὲν ἀδικήσαντα εὐδαιμονέστατον ποιεῖ, τοὺς δὲ ἀδικηθέντας καὶ ἀδικῆσαι οὐκ ἂν ἐθέλοντας ἀθλιωτάτους. ἔστιν δὲ τοῦτο τυραννίς, ἣ οὐ κατὰ σμικρὸν τἀλλότρια καὶ λάθρᾳ καὶ βίᾳ ἀφαιρεῖται, καὶ ἱερὰ καὶ ὅσια καὶ ἴδια καὶ δημόσια, ἀλλὰ συλλήβδην· ὧν ἐφ' ἑκάστῳ μέρει ὅταν τις ἀδικήσας μὴ λάθῃ, ζημιοῦταί τε καὶ ὀνείδη ἔχει τὰ μέγιστα--καὶ γὰρ ἱερόσυλοι καὶ ἀνδραποδισταὶ καὶ τοιχωρύχοι καὶ ἀποστερηταὶ καὶ κλέπται οἱ κατὰ μέρη ἀδικοῦντες τῶν τοιούτων κακουργημάτων καλοῦνται--ἐπειδὰν δέ τις πρὸς τοῖς τῶν πολιτῶν χρήμασιν καὶ αὐτοὺς ἀνδραποδισάμενος δουλώσηται, ἀντὶ τούτων τῶν αἰσχρῶν ὀνομάτων εὐδαίμονες καὶ μακάριοι κέκληνται, οὐ μόνον ὑπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων ὅσοι ἂν πύθωνται αὐτὸν τὴν ὅλην ἀδικίαν ἠδικηκότα· οὐ γὰρ τὸ ποιεῖν τὰ ἄδικα ἀλλὰ τὸ πάσχειν φοβούμενοι ὀνειδίζουσιν οἱ ὀνειδίζοντες τὴν ἀδικίαν. οὕτως, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ ἰσχυρότερον καὶ ἐλευθεριώτερον καὶ δεσποτικώτερον ἀδικία δικαιοσύνης ἐστὶν ἱκανῶς γιγνομένη, καὶ ὅπερ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἔλεγον, τὸ μὲν τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον τὸ δίκαιον τυγχάνει ὄν, τὸ δ' ἄδικον ἑαυτῷ λυσιτελοῦν τε καὶ συμφέρον.

ταῦτα εἰπὼν ὁ Θρασύμαχος ἐν νῷ εἶχεν ἀπιέναι, ὥσπερ βαλανεὺς ἡμῶν καταντλήσας κατὰ τῶν ὤτων ἁθρόον καὶ πολὺν τὸν λόγον· οὐ μὴν εἴασάν γε αὐτὸν οἱ παρόντες, ἀλλ' ἠνάγκασαν ὑπομεῖναί τε καὶ παρασχεῖν τῶν εἰρημένων λόγον. καὶ δὴ ἔγωγε καὶ αὐτὸς πάνυ ἐδεόμην τε καὶ εἶπον· ὦ δαιμόνιε Θρασύμαχε, οἷον ἐμβαλὼν λόγον ἐν νῷ ἔχεις ἀπιέναι πρὶν διδάξαι ἱκανῶς ἢ μαθεῖν εἴτε οὕτως εἴτε ἄλλως ἔχει; ἢ σμικρὸν οἴει ἐπιχειρεῖν πρᾶγμα διορίζεσθαι ὅλου βίου διαγωγήν, ᾗ ἂν διαγόμενος ἕκαστος ἡμῶν λυσιτελεστάτην ζωὴν ζῴη;

ἐγὼ γὰρ οἶμαι, ἔφη ὁ Θρασύμαχος, τουτὶ ἄλλως ἔχειν;

ἔοικας, ἦν δ' ἐγώ--ἤτοι ἡμῶν γε οὐδὲν κήδεσθαι, οὐδέ τι φροντίζειν εἴτε χεῖρον εἴτε βέλτιον βιωσόμεθα ἀγνοοῦντες ὃ σὺ φῂς εἰδέναι. ἀλλ', ὠγαθέ, προθυμοῦ καὶ ἡμῖν ἐνδείξασθαι--οὔτοι κακῶς σοι κείσεται ὅτι ἂν ἡμᾶς τοσούσδε ὄντας εὐεργετήσῃς--ἐγὼ γὰρ δή σοι λέγω τό γ' ἐμόν, ὅτι οὐ πείθομαι οὐδ' οἶμαι ἀδικίαν δικαιοσύνης κερδαλεώτερον εἶναι, οὐδ' ἐὰν ἐᾷ τις αὐτὴν καὶ μὴ διακωλύῃ πράττειν ἃ βούλεται. ἀλλ', ὠγαθέ, ἔστω μὲν ἄδικος, δυνάσθω δὲ ἀδικεῖν ἢ τῷ λανθάνειν ἢ τῷ διαμάχεσθαι, ὅμως ἐμέ γε οὐ πείθει ὡς ἔστι τῆς δικαιοσύνης κερδαλεώτερον. ταῦτ' οὖν καὶ ἕτερος ἴσως τις ἡμῶν πέπονθεν, οὐ μόνος ἐγώ· πεῖσον οὖν, ὦ μακάριε, ἱκανῶς ἡμᾶς ὅτι οὐκ ὀρθῶς βουλευόμεθα δικαιοσύνην ἀδικίας περὶ πλείονος ποιούμενοι.

καὶ πῶς, ἔφη, σὲ πείσω; εἰ γὰρ οἷς νυνδὴ ἔλεγον μὴ πέπεισαι, τί σοι ἔτι ποιήσω; ἢ εἰς τὴν ψυχὴν φέρων ἐνθῶ τὸν λόγον;

μὰ Δί', ἦν δ' ἐγώ, μὴ σύ γε· ἀλλὰ πρῶτον μέν, ἃ ἂν εἴπῃς, ἔμμενε τούτοις, ἢ ἐὰν μετατιθῇ, φανερῶς μετατίθεσο καὶ ἡμᾶς μὴ ἐξαπάτα. νῦν δὲ ὁρᾷς, ὦ Θρασύμαχε--ἔτι γὰρ τὰ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπισκεψώμεθα--ὅτι τὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς ἰατρὸν τὸ πρῶτον ὁριζόμενος τὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς ποιμένα οὐκέτι ᾤου δεῖν ὕστερον ἀκριβῶς φυλάξαι, ἀλλὰ πιαίνειν οἴει αὐτὸν τὰ πρόβατα, καθ' ὅσον ποιμήν ἐστιν, οὐ πρὸς τὸ τῶν προβάτων βέλτιστον βλέποντα ἀλλ', ὥσπερ δαιτυμόνα τινὰ καὶ μέλλοντα ἑστιάσεσθαι, πρὸς τὴν εὐωχίαν, ἢ αὖ πρὸς τὸ ἀποδόσθαι, ὥσπερ χρηματιστὴν ἀλλ' οὐ ποιμένα. τῇ δὲ ποιμενικῇ οὐ δήπου ἄλλου του μέλει ἢ ἐφ' ᾧ τέτακται, ὅπως τούτῳ τὸ βέλτιστον ἐκποριεῖ--ἐπεὶ τά γε αὑτῆς ὥστ' εἶναι βελτίστη ἱκανῶς δήπου ἐκπεπόρισται, ἕως γ' ἂν μηδὲν ἐνδέῃ τοῦ ποιμενικὴ εἶναι--οὕτω δὲ ᾤμην ἔγωγε νυνδὴ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι ἡμῖν ὁμολογεῖν πᾶσαν ἀρχήν, καθ' ὅσον ἀρχή, μηδενὶ ἄλλῳ τὸ βέλτιστον σκοπεῖσθαι ἢ ἐκείνῳ, τῷ ἀρχομένῳ τε καὶ θεραπευομένῳ, ἔν τε πολιτικῇ καὶ ἰδιωτικῇ ἀρχῇ. σὺ δὲ τοὺς ἄρχοντας ἐν ταῖς πόλεσιν, τοὺς ὡς ἀληθῶς ἄρχοντας, ἑκόντας οἴει ἄρχειν;

μὰ Δί' οὔκ, ἔφη, ἀλλ' εὖ οἶδα.

τί δέ, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε; τὰς ἄλλας ἀρχὰς οὐκ ἐννοεῖς ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἐθέλει ἄρχειν ἑκών, ἀλλὰ μισθὸν αἰτοῦσιν, ὡς οὐχὶ αὐτοῖσιν ὠφελίαν ἐσομένην ἐκ τοῦ ἄρχειν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀρχομένοις; ἐπεὶ τοσόνδε εἰπέ· οὐχὶ ἑκάστην μέντοι φαμὲν ἑκάστοτε τῶν τεχνῶν τούτῳ ἑτέραν εἶναι, τῷ ἑτέραν τὴν δύναμιν ἔχειν; καί, ὦ μακάριε, μὴ παρὰ δόξαν ἀποκρίνου, ἵνα τι καὶ περαίνωμεν.

ἀλλὰ τούτῳ, ἔφη, ἑτέρα.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ὠφελίαν ἑκάστη τούτων ἰδίαν τινὰ ἡμῖν παρέχεται ἀλλ' οὐ κοινήν, οἷον ἰατρικὴ μὲν ὑγίειαν, κυβερνητικὴ δὲ σωτηρίαν ἐν τῷ πλεῖν, καὶ αἱ ἄλλαι οὕτω;

πάνυ γε.

οὐκοῦν καὶ μισθωτικὴ μισθόν; αὕτη γὰρ αὐτῆς ἡ δύναμις· ἢ τὴν ἰατρικὴν σὺ καὶ τὴν κυβερνητικὴν τὴν αὐτὴν καλεῖς; ἢ ἐάνπερ βούλῃ ἀκριβῶς διορίζειν, ὥσπερ ὑπέθου, οὐδέν τι μᾶλλον, ἐάν τις κυβερνῶν ὑγιὴς γίγνηται διὰ τὸ συμφέρον αὐτῷ πλεῖν ἐν τῇ θαλάττῃ, ἕνεκα τούτου καλεῖς μᾶλλον αὐτὴν ἰατρικήν;

οὐ δῆτα, ἔφη.

οὐδέ γ', οἶμαι, τὴν μισθωτικήν, ἐὰν ὑγιαίνῃ τις μισθαρνῶν.

οὐ δῆτα.

τί δέ; τὴν ἰατρικὴν μισθαρνητικήν, ἐὰν ἰώμενός τις μισθαρνῇ;

οὐκ ἔφη.

οὐκοῦν τήν γε ὠφελίαν ἑκάστης τῆς τέχνης ἰδίαν ὡμολογήσαμεν εἶναι;

ἔστω, ἔφη.

ἥντινα ἄρα ὠφελίαν κοινῇ ὠφελοῦνται πάντες οἱ δημιουργοί, δῆλον ὅτι κοινῇ τινι τῷ αὐτῷ προσχρώμενοι ἀπ' ἐκείνου ὠφελοῦνται.

ἔοικεν, ἔφη.

φαμὲν δέ γε τὸ μισθὸν ἀρνυμένους ὠφελεῖσθαι τοὺς δημιουργοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ προσχρῆσθαι τῇ μισθωτικῇ τέχνῃ γίγνεσθαι αὐτοῖς.

συνέφη μόγις.

οὐκ ἄρα ἀπὸ τῆς αὑτοῦ τέχνης ἑκάστῳ αὕτη ἡ ὠφελία ἐστίν, ἡ τοῦ μισθοῦ λῆψις, ἀλλ', εἰ δεῖ ἀκριβῶς σκοπεῖσθαι, ἡ μὲν ἰατρικὴ ὑγίειαν ποιεῖ, ἡ δὲ μισθαρνητικὴ μισθόν, καὶ ἡ μὲν οἰκοδομικὴ οἰκίαν, ἡ δὲ μισθαρνητικὴ αὐτῇ ἑπομένη μισθόν, καὶ αἱ ἄλλαι πᾶσαι οὕτως τὸ αὑτῆς ἑκάστη ἔργον ἐργάζεται καὶ ὠφελεῖ ἐκεῖνο ἐφ' ᾧ τέτακται. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ μισθὸς αὐτῇ προσγίγνηται, ἔσθ' ὅτι ὠφελεῖται ὁ δημιουργὸς ἀπὸ τῆς τέχνης;

οὐ φαίνεται, ἔφη.

ἆρ' οὖν οὐδ' ὠφελεῖ τότε, ὅταν προῖκα ἐργάζηται;

οἶμαι ἔγωγε.

οὐκοῦν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, τοῦτο ἤδη δῆλον, ὅτι οὐδεμία τέχνη οὐδὲ ἀρχὴ τὸ αὑτῇ ὠφέλιμον παρασκευάζει, ἀλλ', ὅπερ πάλαι ἐλέγομεν, τὸ τῷ ἀρχομένῳ καὶ παρασκευάζει καὶ ἐπιτάττει, τὸ ἐκείνου συμφέρον ἥττονος ὄντος σκοποῦσα, ἀλλ' οὐ τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος. διὰ δὴ ταῦτα ἔγωγε, ὦ φίλε Θρασύμαχε, καὶ ἄρτι ἔλεγον μηδένα ἐθέλειν ἑκόντα ἄρχειν καὶ τὰ ἀλλότρια κακὰ μεταχειρίζεσθαι ἀνορθοῦντα, ἀλλὰ μισθὸν αἰτεῖν, ὅτι ὁ μέλλων καλῶς τῇ τέχνῃ πράξειν οὐδέποτε αὑτῷ τὸ βέλτιστον πράττει οὐδ' ἐπιτάττει κατὰ τὴν τέχνην ἐπιτάττων, ἀλλὰ τῷ ἀρχομένῳ· ὧν δὴ ἕνεκα, ὡς ἔοικε, μισθὸν δεῖν ὑπάρχειν τοῖς μέλλουσιν ἐθελήσειν ἄρχειν, ἢ ἀργύριον ἢ τιμήν, ἢ ζημίαν ἐὰν μὴ ἄρχῃ.

πῶς τοῦτο λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες; ἔφη ὁ Γλαύκων· τοὺς μὲν γὰρ δύο μισθοὺς γιγνώσκω, τὴν δὲ ζημίαν ἥντινα λέγεις καὶ ὡς ἐν μισθοῦ μέρει εἴρηκας, οὐ συνῆκα.

τὸν τῶν βελτίστων ἄρα μισθόν, ἔφην, οὐ συνιεῖς, δι' ὃν ἄρχουσιν οἱ ἐπιεικέστατοι, ὅταν ἐθέλωσιν ἄρχειν. ἢ οὐκ οἶσθα ὅτι τὸ φιλότιμόν τε καὶ φιλάργυρον εἶναι ὄνειδος λέγεταί τε καὶ ἔστιν;

ἔγωγε, ἔφη.

διὰ ταῦτα τοίνυν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, οὔτε χρημάτων ἕνεκα ἐθέλουσιν ἄρχειν οἱ ἀγαθοὶ οὔτε τιμῆς· οὔτε γὰρ φανερῶς πραττόμενοι τῆς ἀρχῆς ἕνεκα μισθὸν μισθωτοὶ βούλονται κεκλῆσθαι, οὔτε λάθρᾳ αὐτοὶ ἐκ τῆς ἀρχῆς λαμβάνοντες κλέπται. οὐδ' αὖ τιμῆς ἕνεκα· οὐ γάρ εἰσι φιλότιμοι. δεῖ δὴ αὐτοῖς ἀνάγκην προσεῖναι καὶ ζημίαν, εἰ μέλλουσιν ἐθέλειν ἄρχειν--ὅθεν κινδυνεύει τὸ ἑκόντα ἐπὶ τὸ ἄρχειν ἰέναι ἀλλὰ μὴ ἀνάγκην περιμένειν αἰσχρὸν νενομίσθαι--τῆς δὲ ζημίας μεγίστη τὸ ὑπὸ πονηροτέρου ἄρχεσθαι, ἐὰν μὴ αὐτὸς ἐθέλῃ ἄρχειν· ἣν δείσαντές μοι φαίνονται ἄρχειν, ὅταν ἄρχωσιν, οἱ ἐπιεικεῖς, καὶ τότε ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ ἄρχειν οὐχ ὡς ἐπ' ἀγαθόν τι ἰόντες οὐδ' ὡς εὐπαθήσοντες ἐν αὐτῷ, ἀλλ' ὡς ἐπ' ἀναγκαῖον καὶ οὐκ ἔχοντες ἑαυτῶν βελτίοσιν ἐπιτρέψαι οὐδὲ ὁμοίοις. ἐπεὶ κινδυνεύει πόλις ἀνδρῶν ἀγαθῶν εἰ γένοιτο, περιμάχητον ἂν εἶναι τὸ μὴ ἄρχειν ὥσπερ νυνὶ τὸ ἄρχειν, καὶ ἐνταῦθ' ἂν καταφανὲς γενέσθαι ὅτι τῷ ὄντι ἀληθινὸς ἄρχων οὐ πέφυκε τὸ αὑτῷ συμφέρον σκοπεῖσθαι ἀλλὰ τὸ τῷ ἀρχομένῳ· ὥστε πᾶς ἂν ὁ γιγνώσκων τὸ ὠφελεῖσθαι μᾶλλον ἕλοιτο ὑπ' ἄλλου ἢ ἄλλον ὠφελῶν πράγματα ἔχειν. τοῦτο μὲν οὖν ἔγωγε οὐδαμῇ συγχωρῶ Θρασυμάχῳ, ὡς τὸ δίκαιόν ἐστιν τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος συμφέρον. ἀλλὰ τοῦτο μὲν δὴ καὶ εἰς αὖθις σκεψόμεθα· πολὺ δέ μοι δοκεῖ μεῖζον εἶναι ὃ νῦν λέγει Θρασύμαχος, τὸν τοῦ ἀδίκου βίον φάσκων εἶναι κρείττω ἢ τὸν τοῦ δικαίου. σὺ οὖν ποτέρως, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Γλαύκων, αἱρῇ; καὶ πότερον ἀληθεστέρως δοκεῖ σοι λέγεσθαι;

τὸν τοῦ δικαίου ἔγωγε λυσιτελέστερον βίον εἶναι.

ἤκουσας, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὅσα ἄρτι Θρασύμαχος ἀγαθὰ διῆλθεν τῷ τοῦ ἀδίκου;

ἤκουσα, ἔφη, ἀλλ' οὐ πείθομαι.

βούλει οὖν αὐτὸν πείθωμεν, ἂν δυνώμεθά πῃ ἐξευρεῖν, ὡς οὐκ ἀληθῆ λέγει;

πῶς γὰρ οὐ βούλομαι; ἦ δ' ὅς.

ἂν μὲν τοίνυν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἀντικατατείναντες λέγωμεν αὐτῷ λόγον παρὰ λόγον, ὅσα αὖ ἀγαθὰ ἔχει τὸ δίκαιον εἶναι, καὶ αὖθις οὗτος, καὶ ἄλλον ἡμεῖς, ἀριθμεῖν δεήσει τἀγαθὰ καὶ μετρεῖν ὅσα ἑκάτεροι ἐν ἑκατέρῳ λέγομεν, καὶ ἤδη δικαστῶν τινων τῶν διακρινούντων δεησόμεθα· ἂν δὲ ὥσπερ ἄρτι ἀνομολογούμενοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους σκοπῶμεν, ἅμα αὐτοί τε δικασταὶ καὶ ῥήτορες ἐσόμεθα.

πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη.

ὁποτέρως οὖν σοι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἀρέσκει.

οὕτως, ἔφη.

ἴθι δή, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἀπόκριναι ἡμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς. τὴν τελέαν ἀδικίαν τελέας οὔσης δικαιοσύνης λυσιτελεστέραν φῂς εἶναι;

πάνυ μὲν οὖν καὶ φημί, ἔφη, καὶ δι' ἅ, εἴρηκα.

φέρε δή, τὸ τοιόνδε περὶ αὐτῶν πῶς λέγεις; τὸ μέν που ἀρετὴν αὐτοῖν καλεῖς, τὸ δὲ κακίαν;

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

οὐκοῦν τὴν μὲν δικαιοσύνην ἀρετήν, τὴν δὲ ἀδικίαν κακίαν;

εἰκός γ', ἔφη, ὦ ἥδιστε, ἐπειδή γε καὶ λέγω ἀδικίαν μὲν λυσιτελεῖν, δικαιοσύνην δ' οὔ.

ἀλλὰ τί μήν;

τοὐναντίον, ἦ δ' ὅς.

ἦ τὴν δικαιοσύνην κακίαν;

οὔκ, ἀλλὰ πάνυ γενναίαν εὐήθειαν.

τὴν ἀδικίαν ἄρα κακοήθειαν καλεῖς;

οὔκ, ἀλλ' εὐβουλίαν, ἔφη.

ἦ καὶ φρόνιμοί σοι, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, δοκοῦσιν εἶναι καὶ ἀγαθοὶ οἱ ἄδικοι;

οἵ γε τελέως, ἔφη, οἷοί τε ἀδικεῖν, πόλεις τε καὶ ἔθνη δυνάμενοι ἀνθρώπων ὑφ' ἑαυτοὺς ποιεῖσθαι· σὺ δὲ οἴει με ἴσως τοὺς τὰ βαλλάντια ἀποτέμνοντας λέγειν. λυσιτελεῖ μὲν οὖν, ἦ δ' ὅς, καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα, ἐάνπερ λανθάνῃ· ἔστι δὲ οὐκ ἄξια λόγου, ἀλλ' ἃ νυνδὴ ἔλεγον.

τοῦτο μέν, ἔφην, οὐκ ἀγνοῶ ὃ βούλει λέγειν, ἀλλὰ τόδε ἐθαύμασα, εἰ ἐν ἀρετῆς καὶ σοφίας τιθεῖς μέρει τὴν ἀδικίαν, τὴν δὲ δικαιοσύνην ἐν τοῖς ἐναντίοις.

ἀλλὰ πάνυ οὕτω τίθημι.

τοῦτο, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἤδη στερεώτερον, ὦ ἑταῖρε, καὶ οὐκέτι ῥᾴδιον ἔχειν ὅτι τις εἴπῃ. εἰ γὰρ λυσιτελεῖν μὲν τὴν ἀδικίαν ἐτίθεσο, κακίαν μέντοι ἢ αἰσχρὸν αὐτὸ ὡμολόγεις εἶναι ὥσπερ ἄλλοι τινές, εἴχομεν ἄν τι λέγειν κατὰ τὰ νομιζόμενα λέγοντες· νῦν δὲ δῆλος εἶ ὅτι φήσεις αὐτὸ καὶ καλὸν καὶ ἰσχυρὸν εἶναι καὶ τἆλλα αὐτῷ πάντα προσθήσεις ἃ ἡμεῖς τῷ δικαίῳ προσετίθεμεν, ἐπειδή γε καὶ ἐν ἀρετῇ αὐτὸ καὶ σοφίᾳ ἐτόλμησας θεῖναι.

ἀληθέστατα, ἔφη, μαντεύῃ.

ἀλλ' οὐ μέντοι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἀποκνητέον γε τῷ λόγῳ ἐπεξελθεῖν σκοπούμενον, ἕως ἄν σε ὑπολαμβάνω λέγειν ἅπερ διανοῇ. ἐμοὶ γὰρ δοκεῖς σύ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἀτεχνῶς νῦν οὐ σκώπτειν, ἀλλὰ τὰ δοκοῦντα περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας λέγειν.

τί δέ σοι, ἔφη, τοῦτο διαφέρει, εἴτε μοι δοκεῖ εἴτε μή, ἀλλ' οὐ τὸν λόγον ἐλέγχεις;

οὐδέν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ. ἀλλὰ τόδε μοι πειρῶ ἔτι πρὸς τούτοις ἀποκρίνασθαι· ὁ δίκαιος τοῦ δικαίου δοκεῖ τί σοι ἂν ἐθέλειν πλέον ἔχειν;

οὐδαμῶς, ἔφη· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἦν ἀστεῖος, ὥσπερ νῦν, καὶ εὐήθης.

τί δέ; τῆς δικαίας πράξεως;

οὐδὲ τῆς δικαίας, ἔφη.

τοῦ δὲ ἀδίκου πότερον ἀξιοῖ ἂν πλεονεκτεῖν καὶ ἡγοῖτο δίκαιον εἶναι, ἢ οὐκ ἂν ἡγοῖτο;

ἡγοῖτ' ἄν, ἦ δ' ὅς, καὶ ἀξιοῖ, ἀλλ' οὐκ ἂν δύναιτο.

ἀλλ' οὐ τοῦτο, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἐρωτῶ, ἀλλ' εἰ τοῦ μὲν δικαίου μὴ ἀξιοῖ πλέον ἔχειν μηδὲ βούλεται ὁ δίκαιος, τοῦ δὲ ἀδίκου;

ἀλλ' οὕτως, ἔφη, ἔχει.

τί δὲ δὴ ὁ ἄδικος; ἆρα ἀξιοῖ τοῦ δικαίου πλεονεκτεῖν καὶ τῆς δικαίας πράξεως;

πῶς γὰρ οὔκ; ἔφη, ὅς γε πάντων πλέον ἔχειν ἀξιοῖ;

οὐκοῦν καὶ ἀδίκου γε ἀνθρώπου τε καὶ πράξεως ὁ ἄδικος πλεονεκτήσει καὶ ἁμιλλήσεται ὡς ἁπάντων πλεῖστον αὐτὸς λάβῃ;

ἔστι ταῦτα.

ὧδε δὴ λέγωμεν, ἔφην· ὁ δίκαιος τοῦ μὲν ὁμοίου οὐ πλεονεκτεῖ, τοῦ δὲ ἀνομοίου, ὁ δὲ ἄδικος τοῦ τε ὁμοίου καὶ τοῦ ἀνομοίου;

ἄριστα, ἔφη, εἴρηκας.

ἔστιν δέ γε, ἔφην, φρόνιμός τε καὶ ἀγαθὸς ὁ ἄδικος, ὁ δὲ δίκαιος οὐδέτερα;

καὶ τοῦτ', ἔφη, εὖ.

οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, καὶ ἔοικε τῷ φρονίμῳ καὶ τῷ ἀγαθῷ ὁ ἄδικος, ὁ δὲ δίκαιος οὐκ ἔοικεν;

πῶς γὰρ οὐ μέλλει, ἔφη, ὁ τοιοῦτος ὢν καὶ ἐοικέναι τοῖς τοιούτοις, ὁ δὲ μὴ ἐοικέναι;

καλῶς. τοιοῦτος ἄρα ἐστὶν ἑκάτερος αὐτῶν οἷσπερ ἔοικεν;

ἀλλὰ τί μέλλει; ἔφη.

εἶεν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε· μουσικὸν δέ τινα λέγεις, ἕτερον δὲ ἄμουσον;

ἔγωγε.

πότερον φρόνιμον καὶ πότερον ἄφρονα;

τὸν μὲν μουσικὸν δήπου φρόνιμον, τὸν δὲ ἄμουσον ἄφρονα.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ἅπερ φρόνιμον, ἀγαθόν, ἃ δὲ ἄφρονα, κακόν;

ναί.

τί δὲ ἰατρικόν; οὐχ οὕτως;

οὕτως.

δοκεῖ ἂν οὖν τίς σοι, ὦ ἄριστε, μουσικὸς ἀνὴρ ἁρμοττόμενος λύραν ἐθέλειν μουσικοῦ ἀνδρὸς ἐν τῇ ἐπιτάσει καὶ ἀνέσει τῶν χορδῶν πλεονεκτεῖν ἢ ἀξιοῦν πλέον ἔχειν;

οὐκ ἔμοιγε.

τί δέ; ἀμούσου;

ἀνάγκη, ἔφη.

τί δὲ ἰατρικός; ἐν τῇ ἐδωδῇ ἢ πόσει ἐθέλειν ἄν τι ἰατρικοῦ πλεονεκτεῖν ἢ ἀνδρὸς ἢ πράγματος;

οὐ δῆτα.

μὴ ἰατρικοῦ δέ;

ναί.

περὶ πάσης δὴ ὅρα ἐπιστήμης τε καὶ ἀνεπιστημοσύνης εἴ τίς σοι δοκεῖ ἐπιστήμων ὁστισοῦν πλείω ἂν ἐθέλειν αἱρεῖσθαι ἢ ὅσα ἄλλος ἐπιστήμων ἢ πράττειν ἢ λέγειν, καὶ οὐ ταὐτὰ τῷ ὁμοίῳ ἑαυτῷ εἰς τὴν αὐτὴν πρᾶξιν.

ἀλλ' ἴσως, ἔφη, ἀνάγκη τοῦτό γε οὕτως ἔχειν.

τί δὲ ὁ ἀνεπιστήμων; οὐχὶ ὁμοίως μὲν ἐπιστήμονος πλεονεκτήσειεν ἄν, ὁμοίως δὲ ἀνεπιστήμονος;

ἴσως.

ὁ δὲ ἐπιστήμων σοφός;

φημί.

ὁ δὲ σοφὸς ἀγαθός;

φημί.

ὁ ἄρα ἀγαθός τε καὶ σοφὸς τοῦ μὲν ὁμοίου οὐκ ἐθελήσει πλεονεκτεῖν, τοῦ δὲ ἀνομοίου τε καὶ ἐναντίου.

ἔοικεν, ἔφη.

ὁ δὲ κακός τε καὶ ἀμαθὴς τοῦ τε ὁμοίου καὶ τοῦ ἐναντίου.

φαίνεται.

οὐκοῦν, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὁ ἄδικος ἡμῖν τοῦ ἀνομοίου τε καὶ ὁμοίου πλεονεκτεῖ; ἢ οὐχ οὕτως ἔλεγες;

ἔγωγε, ἔφη.

ὁ δέ γε δίκαιος τοῦ μὲν ὁμοίου οὐ πλεονεκτήσει, τοῦ δὲ ἀνομοίου;

ναί.

ἔοικεν ἄρα, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὁ μὲν δίκαιος τῷ σοφῷ καὶ ἀγαθῷ, ὁ δὲ ἄδικος τῷ κακῷ καὶ ἀμαθεῖ.

κινδυνεύει.

ἀλλὰ μὴν ὡμολογοῦμεν, ᾧ γε ὅμοιος ἑκάτερος εἴη, τοιοῦτον καὶ ἑκάτερον εἶναι.

ὡμολογοῦμεν γάρ.

ὁ μὲν ἄρα δίκαιος ἡμῖν ἀναπέφανται ὢν ἀγαθός τε καὶ σοφός, ὁ δὲ ἄδικος ἀμαθής τε καὶ κακός.

ὁ δὴ Θρασύμαχος ὡμολόγησε μὲν πάντα ταῦτα, οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ νῦν ῥᾳδίως λέγω, ἀλλ' ἑλκόμενος καὶ μόγις, μετὰ ἱδρῶτος θαυμαστοῦ ὅσου, ἅτε καὶ θέρους ὄντος--τότε καὶ εἶδον ἐγώ, πρότερον δὲ οὔπω, Θρασύμαχον ἐρυθριῶντα-- ἐπειδὴ δὲ οὖν διωμολογησάμεθα τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἀρετὴν εἶναι καὶ σοφίαν, τὴν δὲ ἀδικίαν κακίαν τε καὶ ἀμαθίαν, εἶεν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, τοῦτο μὲν ἡμῖν οὕτω κείσθω, ἔφαμεν δὲ δὴ καὶ ἰσχυρὸν εἶναι τὴν ἀδικίαν. ἢ οὐ μέμνησαι, ὦ Θρασύμαχε;

μέμνημαι, ἔφη· ἀλλ' ἔμοιγε οὐδὲ ἃ νῦν λέγεις ἀρέσκει, καὶ ἔχω περὶ αὐτῶν λέγειν. εἰ οὖν λέγοιμι, εὖ οἶδ' ὅτι δημηγορεῖν ἄν με φαίης. ἢ οὖν ἔα με εἰπεῖν ὅσα βούλομαι, ἤ, εἰ βούλει ἐρωτᾶν, ἐρώτα· ἐγὼ δέ σοι, ὥσπερ ταῖς γραυσὶν ταῖς τοὺς μύθους λεγούσαις, “εἶεν” ἐρῶ καὶ κατανεύσομαι καὶ ἀνανεύσομαι.

μηδαμῶς, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, παρά γε τὴν σαυτοῦ δόξαν.

ὥστε σοί, ἔφη, ἀρέσκειν, ἐπειδήπερ οὐκ ἐᾷς λέγειν. καίτοι τί ἄλλο βούλει;

οὐδὲν μὰ Δία, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ἀλλ' εἴπερ τοῦτο ποιήσεις, ποίει· ἐγὼ δὲ ἐρωτήσω.

ἐρώτα δή.

τοῦτο τοίνυν ἐρωτῶ, ὅπερ ἄρτι, ἵνα καὶ ἑξῆς διασκεψώμεθα τὸν λόγον, ὁποῖόν τι τυγχάνει ὂν δικαιοσύνη πρὸς ἀδικίαν. ἐλέχθη γάρ που ὅτι καὶ δυνατώτερον καὶ ἰσχυρότερον εἴη ἀδικία δικαιοσύνης· νῦν δέ γ', ἔφην, εἴπερ σοφία τε καὶ ἀρετή ἐστιν δικαιοσύνη, ῥᾳδίως οἶμαι φανήσεται καὶ ἰσχυρότερον ἀδικίας, ἐπειδήπερ ἐστὶν ἀμαθία ἡ ἀδικία-- οὐδεὶς ἂν ἔτι τοῦτο ἀγνοήσειεν--ἀλλ' οὔ τι οὕτως ἁπλῶς, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἔγωγε ἐπιθυμῶ, ἀλλὰ τῇδέ πῃ σκέψασθαι· πόλιν φαίης ἂν ἄδικον εἶναι καὶ ἄλλας πόλεις ἐπιχειρεῖν δουλοῦσθαι ἀδίκως καὶ καταδεδουλῶσθαι, πολλὰς δὲ καὶ ὑφ' ἑαυτῇ ἔχειν δουλωσαμένην;

πῶς γὰρ οὔκ; ἔφη. καὶ τοῦτό γε ἡ ἀρίστη μάλιστα ποιήσει καὶ τελεώτατα οὖσα ἄδικος.

μανθάνω, ἔφην, ὅτι σὸς οὗτος ἦν ὁ λόγος. ἀλλὰ τόδε περὶ αὐτοῦ σκοπῶ· πότερον ἡ κρείττων γιγνομένη πόλις πόλεως ἄνευ δικαιοσύνης τὴν δύναμιν ταύτην ἕξει, ἢ ἀνάγκη αὐτῇ μετὰ δικαιοσύνης;

εἰ μέν, ἔφη, ὡς σὺ ἄρτι ἔλεγες ἔχει--ἡ δικαιοσύνη σοφία--μετὰ δικαιοσύνης· εἰ δ' ὡς ἐγὼ ἔλεγον, μετὰ ἀδικίας.

πάνυ ἄγαμαι, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ὅτι οὐκ ἐπινεύεις μόνον καὶ ἀνανεύεις, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποκρίνῃ πάνυ καλῶς.

σοὶ γάρ, ἔφη, χαρίζομαι.

εὖ γε σὺ ποιῶν· ἀλλὰ δὴ καὶ τόδε μοι χάρισαι καὶ λέγε· δοκεῖς ἂν ἢ πόλιν ἢ στρατόπεδον ἢ λῃστὰς ἢ κλέπτας ἢ ἄλλο τι ἔθνος, ὅσα κοινῇ ἐπί τι ἔρχεται ἀδίκως, πρᾶξαι ἄν τι δύνασθαι, εἰ ἀδικοῖεν ἀλλήλους;

οὐ δῆτα, ἦ δ' ὅς.

τί δ' εἰ μὴ ἀδικοῖεν; οὐ μᾶλλον;

πάνυ γε.

στάσεις γάρ που, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἥ γε ἀδικία καὶ μίση καὶ μάχας ἐν ἀλλήλοις παρέχει, ἡ δὲ δικαιοσύνη ὁμόνοιαν καὶ φιλίαν· ἦ γάρ;

ἔστω, ἦ δ' ὅς, ἵνα σοι μὴ διαφέρωμαι.

ἀλλ' εὖ γε σὺ ποιῶν, ὦ ἄριστε. τόδε δέ μοι λέγε· ἆρα εἰ τοῦτο ἔργον ἀδικίας, μῖσος ἐμποιεῖν ὅπου ἂν ἐνῇ, οὐ καὶ ἐν ἐλευθέροις τε καὶ δούλοις ἐγγιγνομένη μισεῖν ποιήσει ἀλλήλους καὶ στασιάζειν καὶ ἀδυνάτους εἶναι κοινῇ μετ' ἀλλήλων πράττειν;

πάνυ γε.

τί δὲ ἂν ἐν δυοῖν ἐγγένηται; οὐ διοίσονται καὶ μισήσουσιν καὶ ἐχθροὶ ἔσονται ἀλλήλοις τε καὶ τοῖς δικαίοις;

ἔσονται, ἔφη.

ἐὰν δὲ δή, ὦ θαυμάσιε, ἐν ἑνὶ ἐγγένηται ἀδικία, μῶν μὴ ἀπολεῖ τὴν αὑτῆς δύναμιν, ἢ οὐδὲν ἧττον ἕξει;

μηδὲν ἧττον ἐχέτω, ἔφη.

οὐκοῦν τοιάνδε τινὰ φαίνεται ἔχουσα τὴν δύναμιν, οἵαν, ᾧ ἂν ἐγγένηται, εἴτε πόλει τινὶ εἴτε γένει εἴτε στρατοπέδῳ εἴτε ἄλλῳ ὁτῳοῦν, πρῶτον μὲν ἀδύνατον αὐτὸ ποιεῖν πράττειν μεθ' αὑτοῦ διὰ τὸ στασιάζειν καὶ διαφέρεσθαι, ἔτι δ' ἐχθρὸν εἶναι ἑαυτῷ τε καὶ τῷ ἐναντίῳ παντὶ καὶ τῷ δικαίῳ; οὐχ οὕτως;

πάνυ γε.

καὶ ἐν ἑνὶ δὴ οἶμαι ἐνοῦσα ταὐτὰ ταῦτα ποιήσει ἅπερ πέφυκεν ἐργάζεσθαι· πρῶτον μὲν ἀδύνατον αὐτὸν πράττειν ποιήσει στασιάζοντα καὶ οὐχ ὁμονοοῦντα αὐτὸν ἑαυτῷ, ἔπειτα ἐχθρὸν καὶ ἑαυτῷ καὶ τοῖς δικαίοις· ἦ γάρ;

ναί.

δίκαιοι δέ γ' εἰσίν, ὦ φίλε, καὶ οἱ θεοί;

ἔστω, ἔφη.

καὶ θεοῖς ἄρα ἐχθρὸς ἔσται ὁ ἄδικος, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ὁ δὲ δίκαιος φίλος.

εὐωχοῦ τοῦ λόγου, ἔφη, θαρρῶν· οὐ γὰρ ἔγωγέ σοι ἐναντιώσομαι, ἵνα μὴ τοῖσδε ἀπέχθωμαι.

ἴθι δή, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, καὶ τὰ λοιπά μοι τῆς ἑστιάσεως ἀποπλήρωσον ἀποκρινόμενος ὥσπερ καὶ νῦν. ὅτι μὲν γὰρ καὶ σοφώτεροι καὶ ἀμείνους καὶ δυνατώτεροι πράττειν οἱ δίκαιοι φαίνονται, οἱ δὲ ἄδικοι οὐδὲ πράττειν μετ' ἀλλήλων οἷοί τε--ἀλλὰ δὴ καὶ οὕς φαμεν ἐρρωμένως πώποτέ τι μετ' ἀλλήλων κοινῇ πρᾶξαι ἀδίκους ὄντας, τοῦτο οὐ παντάπασιν ἀληθὲς λέγομεν· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἀπείχοντο ἀλλήλων κομιδῇ ὄντες ἄδικοι, ἀλλὰ δῆλον ὅτι ἐνῆν τις αὐτοῖς δικαιοσύνη, ἣ αὐτοὺς ἐποίει μήτοι καὶ ἀλλήλους γε καὶ ἐφ' οὓς ᾖσαν ἅμα ἀδικεῖν, δι' ἣν ἔπραξαν ἃ ἔπραξαν, ὥρμησαν δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ ἄδικα ἀδικίᾳ ἡμιμόχθηροι ὄντες, ἐπεὶ οἵ γε παμπόνηροι καὶ τελέως ἄδικοι τελέως εἰσὶ καὶ πράττειν ἀδύνατοι--ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ὅτι οὕτως ἔχει μανθάνω, ἀλλ' οὐχ ὡς σὺ τὸ πρῶτον ἐτίθεσο· εἰ δὲ καὶ ἄμεινον ζῶσιν οἱ δίκαιοι τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ εὐδαιμονέστεροί εἰσιν, ὅπερ τὸ ὕστερον προυθέμεθα σκέψασθαι, σκεπτέον. φαίνονται μὲν οὖν καὶ νῦν, ὥς γέ μοι δοκεῖ, ἐξ ὧν εἰρήκαμεν· ὅμως δ' ἔτι βέλτιον σκεπτέον. οὐ γὰρ περὶ τοῦ ἐπιτυχόντος ὁ λόγος, ἀλλὰ περὶ τοῦ ὅντινα τρόπον χρὴ ζῆν.

σκόπει δή, ἔφη.

σκοπῶ, ἦν δ' ἐγώ. καί μοι λέγε· δοκεῖ τί σοι εἶναι ἵππου ἔργον;

ἔμοιγε.

ἆρ' οὖν τοῦτο ἂν θείης καὶ ἵππου καὶ ἄλλου ὁτουοῦν ἔργον, ὃ ἂν ἢ μόνῳ ἐκείνῳ ποιῇ τις ἢ ἄριστα;

οὐ μανθάνω, ἔφη.

ἀλλ' ὧδε· ἔσθ' ὅτῳ ἂν ἄλλῳ ἴδοις ἢ ὀφθαλμοῖς;

οὐ δῆτα.

τί δέ; ἀκούσαις ἄλλῳ ἢ ὠσίν;

οὐδαμῶς.

οὐκοῦν δικαίως ταῦτα τούτων φαμὲν ἔργα εἶναι;

πάνυ γε.

τί δέ; μαχαίρᾳ ἂν ἀμπέλου κλῆμα ἀποτέμοις καὶ σμίλῃ καὶ ἄλλοις πολλοῖς;

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

ἀλλ' οὐδενί γ' ἂν οἶμαι οὕτω καλῶς ὡς δρεπάνῳ τῷ ἐπὶ τούτῳ ἐργασθέντι.

ἀληθῆ.

ἆρ' οὖν οὐ τοῦτο τούτου ἔργον θήσομεν;

θήσομεν μὲν οὖν.

νῦν δὴ οἶμαι ἄμεινον ἂν μάθοις ὃ ἄρτι ἠρώτων, πυνθανόμενος εἰ οὐ τοῦτο ἑκάστου εἴη ἔργον ὃ ἂν ἢ μόνον τι ἢ κάλλιστα τῶν ἄλλων ἀπεργάζηται.

ἀλλά, ἔφη, μανθάνω τε καί μοι δοκεῖ τοῦτο ἑκάστου πράγματος ἔργον εἶναι.

εἶεν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ. οὐκοῦν καὶ ἀρετὴ δοκεῖ σοι εἶναι ἑκάστῳ ᾧπερ καὶ ἔργον τι προστέτακται; ἴωμεν δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ αὐτὰ πάλιν· ὀφθαλμῶν, φαμέν, ἔστι τι ἔργον;

ἔστιν.

ἆρ' οὖν καὶ ἀρετὴ ὀφθαλμῶν ἔστιν;

καὶ ἀρετή.

τί δέ; ὤτων ἦν τι ἔργον;

ναί.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ἀρετή;

καὶ ἀρετή.

τί δὲ πάντων πέρι τῶν ἄλλων; οὐχ οὕτω;

οὕτω.

῎Εχε δή· ἆρ’ ἄν ποτε ὄμματα τὸ αὑτῶν ἔργον καλῶς ἀπεργάσαιντο μὴ ἔχοντα τὴν αὑτῶν οἰκείαν ἀρετήν, ἀλλ' ἀντὶ τῆς ἀρετῆς κακίαν;

καὶ πῶς ἄν; ἔφη· τυφλότητα γὰρ ἴσως λέγεις ἀντὶ τῆς ὄψεως.

ἥτις, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, αὐτῶν ἡ ἀρετή· οὐ γάρ πω τοῦτο ἐρωτῶ, ἀλλ' εἰ τῇ οἰκείᾳ μὲν ἀρετῇ τὸ αὑτῶν ἔργον εὖ ἐργάσεται τὰ ἐργαζόμενα, κακίᾳ δὲ κακῶς.

ἀληθές, ἔφη, τοῦτό γε λέγεις.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ὦτα στερόμενα τῆς αὑτῶν ἀρετῆς κακῶς τὸ αὑτῶν ἔργον ἀπεργάσεται;

πάνυ γε.

τίθεμεν οὖν καὶ τἆλλα πάντα εἰς τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον;

ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ.

ἴθι δή, μετὰ ταῦτα τόδε σκέψαι. ψυχῆς ἔστιν τι ἔργον ὃ ἄλλῳ τῶν ὄντων οὐδ' ἂν ἑνὶ πράξαις, οἷον τὸ τοιόνδε· τὸ ἐπιμελεῖσθαι καὶ ἄρχειν καὶ βουλεύεσθαι καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα πάντα, ἔσθ' ὅτῳ ἄλλῳ ἢ ψυχῇ δικαίως ἂν αὐτὰ ἀποδοῖμεν καὶ φαῖμεν ἴδια ἐκείνης εἶναι;

οὐδενὶ ἄλλῳ.

τί δ' αὖ τὸ ζῆν; οὐ ψυχῆς φήσομεν ἔργον εἶναι;

μάλιστά γ', ἔφη.

οὐκοῦν καὶ ἀρετήν φαμέν τινα ψυχῆς εἶναι;

φαμέν.

ἆρ' οὖν ποτε, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ψυχὴ τὰ αὑτῆς ἔργα εὖ ἀπεργάσεται στερομένη τῆς οἰκείας ἀρετῆς, ἢ ἀδύνατον;

ἀδύνατον.

ἀνάγκη ἄρα κακῇ ψυχῇ κακῶς ἄρχειν καὶ ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, τῇ δὲ ἀγαθῇ πάντα ταῦτα εὖ πράττειν.

ἀνάγκη.

οὐκοῦν ἀρετήν γε συνεχωρήσαμεν ψυχῆς εἶναι δικαιοσύνην, κακίαν δὲ ἀδικίαν;

συνεχωρήσαμεν γάρ.

ἡ μὲν ἄρα δικαία ψυχὴ καὶ ὁ δίκαιος ἀνὴρ εὖ βιώσεται, κακῶς δὲ ὁ ἄδικος.

φαίνεται, ἔφη, κατὰ τὸν σὸν λόγον.

ἀλλὰ μὴν ὅ γε εὖ ζῶν μακάριός τε καὶ εὐδαίμων, ὁ δὲ μὴ τἀναντία.

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

ὁ μὲν δίκαιος ἄρα εὐδαίμων, ὁ δ' ἄδικος ἄθλιος.

ἔστω, ἔφη.

ἀλλὰ μὴν ἄθλιόν γε εἶναι οὐ λυσιτελεῖ, εὐδαίμονα δέ.

πῶς γὰρ οὔ;

οὐδέποτ' ἄρα, ὦ μακάριε Θρασύμαχε, λυσιτελέστερον ἀδικία δικαιοσύνης.

ταῦτα δή σοι, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, εἱστιάσθω ἐν τοῖς Βενδιδίοις.

ὑπὸ σοῦ γε, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ Θρασύμαχε, ἐπειδή μοι πρᾷος ἐγένου καὶ χαλεπαίνων ἐπαύσω. οὐ μέντοι καλῶς γε εἱστίαμαι, δι' ἐμαυτὸν ἀλλ' οὐ διὰ σέ· ἀλλ' ὥσπερ οἱ λίχνοι τοῦ ἀεὶ παραφερομένου ἀπογεύονται ἁρπάζοντες, πρὶν τοῦ προτέρου μετρίως ἀπολαῦσαι, καὶ ἐγώ μοι δοκῶ οὕτω, πρὶν ὃ τὸ πρῶτον ἐσκοποῦμεν εὑρεῖν, τὸ δίκαιον ὅτι ποτ' ἐστίν, ἀφέμενος ἐκείνου ὁρμῆσαι ἐπὶ τὸ σκέψασθαι περὶ αὐτοῦ εἴτε κακία ἐστὶν καὶ ἀμαθία, εἴτε σοφία καὶ ἀρετή, καὶ ἐμπεσόντος αὖ ὕστερον λόγου, ὅτι λυσιτελέστερον ἡ ἀδικία τῆς δικαιοσύνης, οὐκ ἀπεσχόμην τὸ μὴ οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἐλθεῖν ἀπ' ἐκείνου, ὥστε μοι νυνὶ γέγονεν ἐκ τοῦ διαλόγου μηδὲν εἰδέναι· ὁπότε γὰρ τὸ δίκαιον μὴ οἶδα ὅ ἐστιν, σχολῇ εἴσομαι εἴτε ἀρετή τις οὖσα τυγχάνει εἴτε καὶ οὔ, καὶ πότερον ὁ ἔχων αὐτὸ οὐκ εὐδαίμων ἐστὶν ἢ εὐδαίμων.




Persons of the dialogue.

Socrates, who is the narrator.

Glaucon.

Adeimantus.

Polemarchus.

Cephalus.

Thrasymachus.

Cleitophon.

And others who are mute auditors.

The scene is laid in the house of Cephalus at the Piraeus; and the whole dialogue is narrated by Socrates the day after it actually took place to Timaeus, Hermocrates, Critias, and a nameless person, who are introduced in the Timaeus.

I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess (Bendis, the Thracian Artemis.); and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would celebrate the festival, which was a new thing. I was delighted with the procession of the inhabitants; but that of the Thracians was equally, if not more, beautiful. When we had finished our prayers and viewed the spectacle, we turned in the direction of the city; and at that instant Polemarchus the son of Cephalus chanced to catch sight of us from a distance as we were starting on our way home, and told his servant to run and bid us wait for him. The servant took hold of me by the cloak behind, and said: Polemarchus desires you to wait.

I turned round, and asked him where his master was.

There he is, said the youth, coming after you, if you will only wait.

Certainly we will, said Glaucon; and in a few minutes Polemarchus appeared, and with him Adeimantus, Glaucon’s brother, Niceratus the son of Nicias, and several others who had been at the procession.

Polemarchus said to me: I perceive, Socrates, that you and your companion are already on your way to the city.

You are not far wrong, I said.

But do you see, he rejoined, how many we are?

Of course.

And are you stronger than all these? for if not, you will have to remain where you are.

May there not be the alternative, I said, that we may persuade you to let us go?

But can you persuade us, if we refuse to listen to you? he said.

Certainly not, replied Glaucon.

Then we are not going to listen; of that you may be assured.

Adeimantus added: Has no one told you of the torch-race on horseback in honour of the goddess which will take place in the evening?

With horses! I replied: That is a novelty. Will horsemen carry torches and pass them one to another during the race?

Yes, said Polemarchus, and not only so, but a festival will be celebrated at night, which you certainly ought to see. Let us rise soon after supper and see this festival; there will be a gathering of young men, and we will have a good talk. Stay then, and do not be perverse.

Glaucon said: I suppose, since you insist, that we must.

Very good, I replied.

Accordingly we went with Polemarchus to his house; and there we found his brothers Lysias and Euthydemus, and with them Thrasymachus the Chalcedonian, Charmantides the Paeanian, and Cleitophon the son of Aristonymus. There too was Cephalus the father of Polemarchus, whom I had not seen for a long time, and I thought him very much aged. He was seated on a cushioned chair, and had a garland on his head, for he had been sacrificing in the court; and there were some other chairs in the room arranged in a semicircle, upon which we sat down by him. He saluted me eagerly, and then he said:—

You don’t come to see me, Socrates, as often as you ought: If I were still able to go and see you I would not ask you to come to me. But at my age I can hardly get to the city, and therefore you should come oftener to the Piraeus. For let me tell you, that the more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation. Do not then deny my request, but make our house your resort and keep company with these young men; we are old friends, and you will be quite at home with us.

I replied: There is nothing which for my part I like better, Cephalus, than conversing with aged men; for I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom I ought to enquire, whether the way is smooth and easy, or rugged and difficult. And this is a question which I should like to ask of you who have arrived at that time which the poets call the ‘threshold of old age’—Is life harder towards the end, or what report do you give of it?

I will tell you, Socrates, he said, what my own feeling is. Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb says; and at our meetings the tale of my acquaintance commonly is—I cannot eat, I cannot drink; the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life. Some complain of the slights which are put upon them by relations, and they will tell you sadly of how many evils their old age is the cause. But to me, Socrates, these complainers seem to blame that which is not really in fault. For if old age were the cause, I too being old, and every other old man, would have felt as they do. But this is not my own experience, nor that of others whom I have known. How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, How does love suit with age, Sophocles,—are you still the man you were? Peace, he replied; most gladly have I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master. His words have often occurred to my mind since, and they seem as good to me now as at the time when he uttered them. For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many. The truth is, Socrates, that these regrets, and also the complaints about relations, are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men’s characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.

I listened in admiration, and wanting to draw him out, that he might go on—Yes, Cephalus, I said: but I rather suspect that people in general are not convinced by you when you speak thus; they think that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter.

You are right, he replied; they are not convinced: and there is something in what they say; not, however, so much as they imagine. I might answer them as Themistocles answered the Seriphian who was abusing him and saying that he was famous, not for his own merits but because he was an Athenian: ‘If you had been a native of my country or I of yours, neither of us would have been famous.’ And to those who are not rich and are impatient of old age, the same reply may be made; for to the good poor man old age cannot be a light burden, nor can a bad rich man ever have peace with himself.

May I ask, Cephalus, whether your fortune was for the most part inherited or acquired by you?

Acquired! Socrates; do you want to know how much I acquired? In the art of making money I have been midway between my father and grandfather: for my grandfather, whose name I bear, doubled and trebled the value of his patrimony, that which he inherited being much what I possess now; but my father Lysanias reduced the property below what it is at present: and I shall be satisfied if I leave to these my sons not less but a little more than I received.

That was why I asked you the question, I replied, because I see that you are indifferent about money, which is a characteristic rather of those who have inherited their fortunes than of those who have acquired them; the makers of fortunes have a second love of money as a creation of their own, resembling the affection of authors for their own poems, or of parents for their children, besides that natural love of it for the sake of use and profit which is common to them and all men. And hence they are very bad company, for they can talk about nothing but the praises of wealth.

That is true, he said.

Yes, that is very true, but may I ask another question?—What do you consider to be the greatest blessing which you have reaped from your wealth?

One, he said, of which I could not expect easily to convince others. For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself to be near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had before; the tales of a world below and the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here were once a laughing matter to him, but now he is tormented with the thought that they may be true: either from the weakness of age, or because he is now drawing nearer to that other place, he has a clearer view of these things; suspicions and alarms crowd thickly upon him, and he begins to reflect and consider what wrongs he has done to others. And when he finds that the sum of his transgressions is great he will many a time like a child start up in his sleep for fear, and he is filled with dark forebodings. But to him who is conscious of no sin, sweet hope, as Pindar charmingly says, is the kind nurse of his age:

‘Hope,’ he says, ‘cherishes the soul of him who lives in justice and holiness, and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his journey;—hope which is mightiest to sway the restless soul of man.’

How admirable are his words! And the great blessing of riches, I do not say to every man, but to a good man, is, that he has had no occasion to deceive or to defraud others, either intentionally or unintentionally; and when he departs to the world below he is not in any apprehension about offerings due to the gods or debts which he owes to men. Now to this peace of mind the possession of wealth greatly contributes; and therefore I say, that, setting one thing against another, of the many advantages which wealth has to give, to a man of sense this is in my opinion the greatest.

Well said, Cephalus, I replied; but as concerning justice, what is it?—to speak the truth and to pay your debts—no more than this? And even to this are there not exceptions? Suppose that a friend when in his right mind has deposited arms with me and he asks for them when he is not in his right mind, ought I to give them back to him? No one would say that I ought or that I should be right in doing so, any more than they would say that I ought always to speak the truth to one who is in his condition.

You are quite right, he replied.

But then, I said, speaking the truth and paying your debts is not a correct definition of justice.

Quite correct, Socrates, if Simonides is to be believed, said Polemarchus interposing.

I fear, said Cephalus, that I must go now, for I have to look after the sacrifices, and I hand over the argument to Polemarchus and the company.

Is not Polemarchus your heir? I said.

To be sure, he answered, and went away laughing to the sacrifices.

Tell me then, O thou heir of the argument, what did Simonides say, and according to you truly say, about justice?

He said that the repayment of a debt is just, and in saying so he appears to me to be right.

I should be sorry to doubt the word of such a wise and inspired man, but his meaning, though probably clear to you, is the reverse of clear to me. For he certainly does not mean, as we were just now saying, that I ought to return a deposit of arms or of anything else to one who asks for it when he is not in his right senses; and yet a deposit cannot be denied to be a debt.

True.

Then when the person who asks me is not in his right mind I am by no means to make the return?

Certainly not.

When Simonides said that the repayment of a debt was justice, he did not mean to include that case?

Certainly not; for he thinks that a friend ought always to do good to a friend and never evil.

You mean that the return of a deposit of gold which is to the injury of the receiver, if the two parties are friends, is not the repayment of a debt,—that is what you would imagine him to say?

Yes.

And are enemies also to receive what we owe to them?

To be sure, he said, they are to receive what we owe them, and an enemy, as I take it, owes to an enemy that which is due or proper to him—that is to say, evil.

Simonides, then, after the manner of poets, would seem to have spoken darkly of the nature of justice; for he really meant to say that justice is the giving to each man what is proper to him, and this he termed a debt.

That must have been his meaning, he said.

By heaven! I replied; and if we asked him what due or proper thing is given by medicine, and to whom, what answer do you think that he would make to us?

He would surely reply that medicine gives drugs and meat and drink to human bodies.

And what due or proper thing is given by cookery, and to what?

Seasoning to food.

And what is that which justice gives, and to whom?

If, Socrates, we are to be guided at all by the analogy of the preceding instances, then justice is the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies.

That is his meaning then?

I think so.

And who is best able to do good to his friends and evil to his enemies in time of sickness?

The physician.

Or when they are on a voyage, amid the perils of the sea?

The pilot.

And in what sort of actions or with a view to what result is the just man most able to do harm to his enemy and good to his friend?

In going to war against the one and in making alliances with the other.

But when a man is well, my dear Polemarchus, there is no need of a physician?

No.

And he who is not on a voyage has no need of a pilot?

No.

Then in time of peace justice will be of no use?

I am very far from thinking so.

You think that justice may be of use in peace as well as in war?

Yes.

Like husbandry for the acquisition of corn?

Yes.

Or like shoemaking for the acquisition of shoes,—that is what you mean?

Yes.

And what similar use or power of acquisition has justice in time of peace?

In contracts, Socrates, justice is of use.

And by contracts you mean partnerships?

Exactly.

But is the just man or the skilful player a more useful and better partner at a game of draughts?

The skilful player.

And in the laying of bricks and stones is the just man a more useful or better partner than the builder?

Quite the reverse.

Then in what sort of partnership is the just man a better partner than the harp-player, as in playing the harp the harp-player is certainly a better partner than the just man?

In a money partnership.

Yes, Polemarchus, but surely not in the use of money; for you do not want a just man to be your counsellor in the purchase or sale of a horse; a man who is knowing about horses would be better for that, would he not?

Certainly.

And when you want to buy a ship, the shipwright or the pilot would be better?

True.

Then what is that joint use of silver or gold in which the just man is to be preferred?

When you want a deposit to be kept safely.

You mean when money is not wanted, but allowed to lie?

Precisely.

That is to say, justice is useful when money is useless?

That is the inference.

And when you want to keep a pruning-hook safe, then justice is useful to the individual and to the state; but when you want to use it, then the art of the vine-dresser?

Clearly.

And when you want to keep a shield or a lyre, and not to use them, you would say that justice is useful; but when you want to use them, then the art of the soldier or of the musician?

Certainly.

And so of all other things;—justice is useful when they are useless, and useless when they are useful?

That is the inference.

Then justice is not good for much. But let us consider this further point: Is not he who can best strike a blow in a boxing match or in any kind of fighting best able to ward off a blow?

Certainly.

And he who is most skilful in preventing or escaping from a disease is best able to create one?

True.

And he is the best guard of a camp who is best able to steal a march upon the enemy?

Certainly.

Then he who is a good keeper of anything is also a good thief?

That, I suppose, is to be inferred.

Then if the just man is good at keeping money, he is good at stealing it.

That is implied in the argument.

Then after all the just man has turned out to be a thief. And this is a lesson which I suspect you must have learnt out of Homer; for he, speaking of Autolycus, the maternal grandfather of Odysseus, who is a favourite of his, affirms that

‘He was excellent above all men in theft and perjury.’

And so, you and Homer and Simonides are agreed that justice is an art of theft; to be practised however ‘for the good of friends and for the harm of enemies,’—that was what you were saying?

No, certainly not that, though I do not now know what I did say; but I still stand by the latter words.

Well, there is another question: By friends and enemies do we mean those who are so really, or only in seeming?

Surely, he said, a man may be expected to love those whom he thinks good, and to hate those whom he thinks evil.

Yes, but do not persons often err about good and evil: many who are not good seem to be so, and conversely?

That is true.

Then to them the good will be enemies and the evil will be their friends? True.

And in that case they will be right in doing good to the evil and evil to the good?

Clearly.

But the good are just and would not do an injustice?

True.

Then according to your argument it is just to injure those who do no wrong?

Nay, Socrates; the doctrine is immoral.

Then I suppose that we ought to do good to the just and harm to the unjust?

I like that better.

But see the consequence:—Many a man who is ignorant of human nature has friends who are bad friends, and in that case he ought to do harm to them; and he has good enemies whom he ought to benefit; but, if so, we shall be saying the very opposite of that which we affirmed to be the meaning of Simonides.

Very true, he said: and I think that we had better correct an error into which we seem to have fallen in the use of the words ‘friend’ and ‘enemy.’

What was the error, Polemarchus? I asked.

We assumed that he is a friend who seems to be or who is thought good.

And how is the error to be corrected?

We should rather say that he is a friend who is, as well as seems, good; and that he who seems only, and is not good, only seems to be and is not a friend; and of an enemy the same may be said.

You would argue that the good are our friends and the bad our enemies?

Yes.

And instead of saying simply as we did at first, that it is just to do good to our friends and harm to our enemies, we should further say: It is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil?

Yes, that appears to me to be the truth.

But ought the just to injure any one at all?

Undoubtedly he ought to injure those who are both wicked and his enemies.

When horses are injured, are they improved or deteriorated?

The latter.

Deteriorated, that is to say, in the good qualities of horses, not of dogs?

Yes, of horses.

And dogs are deteriorated in the good qualities of dogs, and not of horses?

Of course.

And will not men who are injured be deteriorated in that which is the proper virtue of man?

Certainly.

And that human virtue is justice?

To be sure.

Then men who are injured are of necessity made unjust?

That is the result.

But can the musician by his art make men unmusical?

Certainly not.

Or the horseman by his art make them bad horsemen?

Impossible.

And can the just by justice make men unjust, or speaking generally, can the good by virtue make them bad?

Assuredly not.

Any more than heat can produce cold?

It cannot.

Or drought moisture?

Clearly not.

Nor can the good harm any one?

Impossible.

And the just is the good?

Certainly.

Then to injure a friend or any one else is not the act of a just man, but of the opposite, who is the unjust?

I think that what you say is quite true, Socrates.

Then if a man says that justice consists in the repayment of debts, and that good is the debt which a just man owes to his friends, and evil the debt which he owes to his enemies,—to say this is not wise; for it is not true, if, as has been clearly shown, the injuring of another can be in no case just.

I agree with you, said Polemarchus.

Then you and I are prepared to take up arms against any one who attributes such a saying to Simonides or Bias or Pittacus, or any other wise man or seer?

I am quite ready to do battle at your side, he said.

Shall I tell you whose I believe the saying to be?

Whose?

I believe that Periander or Perdiccas or Xerxes or Ismenias the Theban, or some other rich and mighty man, who had a great opinion of his own power, was the first to say that justice is ‘doing good to your friends and harm to your enemies.’

Most true, he said.

Yes, I said; but if this definition of justice also breaks down, what other can be offered?

Several times in the course of the discussion Thrasymachus had made an attempt to get the argument into his own hands, and had been put down by the rest of the company, who wanted to hear the end. But when Polemarchus and I had done speaking and there was a pause, he could no longer hold his peace; and, gathering himself up, he came at us like a wild beast, seeking to devour us. We were quite panic-stricken at the sight of him.

He roared out to the whole company: What folly, Socrates, has taken possession of you all? And why, sillybillies, do you knock under to one another? I say that if you want really to know what justice is, you should not only ask but answer, and you should not seek honour to yourself from the refutation of an opponent, but have your own answer; for there is many a one who can ask and cannot answer. And now I will not have you say that justice is duty or advantage or profit or gain or interest, for this sort of nonsense will not do for me; I must have clearness and accuracy.

I was panic-stricken at his words, and could not look at him without trembling. Indeed I believe that if I had not fixed my eye upon him, I should have been struck dumb: but when I saw his fury rising, I looked at him first, and was therefore able to reply to him.

Thrasymachus, I said, with a quiver, don’t be hard upon us. Polemarchus and I may have been guilty of a little mistake in the argument, but I can assure you that the error was not intentional. If we were seeking for a piece of gold, you would not imagine that we were ‘knocking under to one another,’ and so losing our chance of finding it. And why, when we are seeking for justice, a thing more precious than many pieces of gold, do you say that we are weakly yielding to one another and not doing our utmost to get at the truth? Nay, my good friend, we are most willing and anxious to do so, but the fact is that we cannot. And if so, you people who know all things should pity us and not be angry with us.

How characteristic of Socrates! he replied, with a bitter laugh;—that’s your ironical style! Did I not foresee—have I not already told you, that whatever he was asked he would refuse to answer, and try irony or any other shuffle, in order that he might avoid answering?

You are a philosopher, Thrasymachus, I replied, and well know that if you ask a person what numbers make up twelve, taking care to prohibit him whom you ask from answering twice six, or three times four, or six times two, or four times three, ‘for this sort of nonsense will not do for me,’—then obviously, if that is your way of putting the question, no one can answer you. But suppose that he were to retort, ‘Thrasymachus, what do you mean? If one of these numbers which you interdict be the true answer to the question, am I falsely to say some other number which is not the right one?—is that your meaning?’—How would you answer him?

Just as if the two cases were at all alike! he said.

Why should they not be? I replied; and even if they are not, but only appear to be so to the person who is asked, ought he not to say what he thinks, whether you and I forbid him or not?

I presume then that you are going to make one of the interdicted answers?

I dare say that I may, notwithstanding the danger, if upon reflection I approve of any of them.

But what if I give you an answer about justice other and better, he said, than any of these? What do you deserve to have done to you?

Done to me!—as becomes the ignorant, I must learn from the wise—that is what I deserve to have done to me.

What, and no payment! a pleasant notion!

I will pay when I have the money, I replied.

But you have, Socrates, said Glaucon: and you, Thrasymachus, need be under no anxiety about money, for we will all make a contribution for Socrates.

Yes, he replied, and then Socrates will do as he always does—refuse to answer himself, but take and pull to pieces the answer of some one else.

Why, my good friend, I said, how can any one answer who knows, and says that he knows, just nothing; and who, even if he has some faint notions of his own, is told by a man of authority not to utter them? The natural thing is, that the speaker should be some one like yourself who professes to know and can tell what he knows. Will you then kindly answer, for the edification of the company and of myself?

Glaucon and the rest of the company joined in my request, and Thrasymachus, as any one might see, was in reality eager to speak; for he thought that he had an excellent answer, and would distinguish himself. But at first he affected to insist on my answering; at length he consented to begin. Behold, he said, the wisdom of Socrates; he refuses to teach himself, and goes about learning of others, to whom he never even says Thank you.

That I learn of others, I replied, is quite true; but that I am ungrateful I wholly deny. Money I have none, and therefore I pay in praise, which is all I have; and how ready I am to praise any one who appears to me to speak well you will very soon find out when you answer; for I expect that you will answer well.

Listen, then, he said; I proclaim that justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger. And now why do you not praise me? But of course you won’t.

Let me first understand you, I replied. Justice, as you say, is the interest of the stronger. What, Thrasymachus, is the meaning of this? You cannot mean to say that because Polydamas, the pancratiast, is stronger than we are, and finds the eating of beef conducive to his bodily strength, that to eat beef is therefore equally for our good who are weaker than he is, and right and just for us?

That’s abominable of you, Socrates; you take the words in the sense which is most damaging to the argument.

Not at all, my good sir, I said; I am trying to understand them; and I wish that you would be a little clearer.

Well, he said, have you never heard that forms of government differ; there are tyrannies, and there are democracies, and there are aristocracies?

Yes, I know.

And the government is the ruling power in each state?

Certainly.

And the different forms of government make laws democratical, aristocratical, tyrannical, with a view to their several interests; and these laws, which are made by them for their own interests, are the justice which they deliver to their subjects, and him who transgresses them they punish as a breaker of the law, and unjust. And that is what I mean when I say that in all states there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government; and as the government must be supposed to have power, the only reasonable conclusion is, that everywhere there is one principle of justice, which is the interest of the stronger.

Now I understand you, I said; and whether you are right or not I will try to discover. But let me remark, that in defining justice you have yourself used the word ‘interest’ which you forbade me to use. It is true, however, that in your definition the words ‘of the stronger’ are added.

A small addition, you must allow, he said.

Great or small, never mind about that: we must first enquire whether what you are saying is the truth. Now we are both agreed that justice is interest of some sort, but you go on to say ‘of the stronger’; about this addition I am not so sure, and must therefore consider further.

Proceed.

I will; and first tell me, Do you admit that it is just for subjects to obey their rulers?

I do.

But are the rulers of states absolutely infallible, or are they sometimes liable to err?

To be sure, he replied, they are liable to err.

Then in making their laws they may sometimes make them rightly, and sometimes not?

True.

When they make them rightly, they make them agreeably to their interest; when they are mistaken, contrary to their interest; you admit that?

Yes.

And the laws which they make must be obeyed by their subjects,—and that is what you call justice?

Doubtless.

Then justice, according to your argument, is not only obedience to the interest of the stronger but the reverse?

What is that you are saying? he asked.

I am only repeating what you are saying, I believe. But let us consider: Have we not admitted that the rulers may be mistaken about their own interest in what they command, and also that to obey them is justice? Has not that been admitted?

Yes.

Then you must also have acknowledged justice not to be for the interest of the stronger, when the rulers unintentionally command things to be done which are to their own injury. For if, as you say, justice is the obedience which the subject renders to their commands, in that case, O wisest of men, is there any escape from the conclusion that the weaker are commanded to do, not what is for the interest, but what is for the injury of the stronger?

Nothing can be clearer, Socrates, said Polemarchus.

Yes, said Cleitophon, interposing, if you are allowed to be his witness.

But there is no need of any witness, said Polemarchus, for Thrasymachus himself acknowledges that rulers may sometimes command what is not for their own interest, and that for subjects to obey them is justice.

Yes, Polemarchus,—Thrasymachus said that for subjects to do what was commanded by their rulers is just.

Yes, Cleitophon, but he also said that justice is the interest of the stronger, and, while admitting both these propositions, he further acknowledged that the stronger may command the weaker who are his subjects to do what is not for his own interest; whence follows that justice is the injury quite as much as the interest of the stronger.

But, said Cleitophon, he meant by the interest of the stronger what the stronger thought to be his interest,—this was what the weaker had to do; and this was affirmed by him to be justice.

Those were not his words, rejoined Polemarchus.

Never mind, I replied, if he now says that they are, let us accept his statement. Tell me, Thrasymachus, I said, did you mean by justice what the stronger thought to be his interest, whether really so or not?

Certainly not, he said. Do you suppose that I call him who is mistaken the stronger at the time when he is mistaken?

Yes, I said, my impression was that you did so, when you admitted that the ruler was not infallible but might be sometimes mistaken.

You argue like an informer, Socrates. Do you mean, for example, that he who is mistaken about the sick is a physician in that he is mistaken? or that he who errs in arithmetic or grammar is an arithmetician or grammarian at the time when he is making the mistake, in respect of the mistake? True, we say that the physician or arithmetician or grammarian has made a mistake, but this is only a way of speaking; for the fact is that neither the grammarian nor any other person of skill ever makes a mistake in so far as he is what his name implies; they none of them err unless their skill fails them, and then they cease to be skilled artists. No artist or sage or ruler errs at the time when he is what his name implies; though he is commonly said to err, and I adopted the common mode of speaking. But to be perfectly accurate, since you are such a lover of accuracy, we should say that the ruler, in so far as he is a ruler, is unerring, and, being unerring, always commands that which is for his own interest; and the subject is required to execute his commands; and therefore, as I said at first and now repeat, justice is the interest of the stronger.

Indeed, Thrasymachus, and do I really appear to you to argue like an informer?

Certainly, he replied.

And do you suppose that I ask these questions with any design of injuring you in the argument?

Nay, he replied, ‘suppose’ is not the word—I know it; but you will be found out, and by sheer force of argument you will never prevail.

I shall not make the attempt, my dear man; but to avoid any misunderstanding occurring between us in future, let me ask, in what sense do you speak of a ruler or stronger whose interest, as you were saying, he being the superior, it is just that the inferior should execute—is he a ruler in the popular or in the strict sense of the term?

In the strictest of all senses, he said. And now cheat and play the informer if you can; I ask no quarter at your hands. But you never will be able, never.

And do you imagine, I said, that I am such a madman as to try and cheat, Thrasymachus? I might as well shave a lion.

Why, he said, you made the attempt a minute ago, and you failed.

Enough, I said, of these civilities. It will be better that I should ask you a question: Is the physician, taken in that strict sense of which you are speaking, a healer of the sick or a maker of money? And remember that I am now speaking of the true physician.

A healer of the sick, he replied.

And the pilot—that is to say, the true pilot—is he a captain of sailors or a mere sailor?

A captain of sailors.

The circumstance that he sails in the ship is not to be taken into account; neither is he to be called a sailor; the name pilot by which he is distinguished has nothing to do with sailing, but is significant of his skill and of his authority over the sailors.

Very true, he said.

Now, I said, every art has an interest?

Certainly.

For which the art has to consider and provide?

Yes, that is the aim of art.

And the interest of any art is the perfection of it—this and nothing else?

What do you mean?

I mean what I may illustrate negatively by the example of the body. Suppose you were to ask me whether the body is self-sufficing or has wants, I should reply: Certainly the body has wants; for the body may be ill and require to be cured, and has therefore interests to which the art of medicine ministers; and this is the origin and intention of medicine, as you will acknowledge. Am I not right?

Quite right, he replied.

But is the art of medicine or any other art faulty or deficient in any quality in the same way that the eye may be deficient in sight or the ear fail of hearing, and therefore requires another art to provide for the interests of seeing and hearing—has art in itself, I say, any similar liability to fault or defect, and does every art require another supplementary art to provide for its interests, and that another and another without end? Or have the arts to look only after their own interests? Or have they no need either of themselves or of another?—having no faults or defects, they have no need to correct them, either by the exercise of their own art or of any other; they have only to consider the interest of their subject-matter. For every art remains pure and faultless while remaining true—that is to say, while perfect and unimpaired. Take the words in your precise sense, and tell me whether I am not right.

Yes, clearly.

Then medicine does not consider the interest of medicine, but the interest of the body?

True, he said.

Nor does the art of horsemanship consider the interests of the art of horsemanship, but the interests of the horse; neither do any other arts care for themselves, for they have no needs; they care only for that which is the subject of their art?

True, he said.

But surely, Thrasymachus, the arts are the superiors and rulers of their own subjects?

To this he assented with a good deal of reluctance.

Then, I said, no science or art considers or enjoins the interest of the stronger or superior, but only the interest of the subject and weaker?

He made an attempt to contest this proposition also, but finally acquiesced.

Then, I continued, no physician, in so far as he is a physician, considers his own good in what he prescribes, but the good of his patient; for the true physician is also a ruler having the human body as a subject, and is not a mere money-maker; that has been admitted?

Yes.

And the pilot likewise, in the strict sense of the term, is a ruler of sailors and not a mere sailor?

That has been admitted.

And such a pilot and ruler will provide and prescribe for the interest of the sailor who is under him, and not for his own or the ruler’s interest?

He gave a reluctant ‘Yes.’

Then, I said, Thrasymachus, there is no one in any rule who, in so far as he is a ruler, considers or enjoins what is for his own interest, but always what is for the interest of his subject or suitable to his art; to that he looks, and that alone he considers in everything which he says and does.

When we had got to this point in the argument, and every one saw that the definition of justice had been completely upset, Thrasymachus, instead of replying to me, said: Tell me, Socrates, have you got a nurse?

Why do you ask such a question, I said, when you ought rather to be answering?

Because she leaves you to snivel, and never wipes your nose: she has not even taught you to know the shepherd from the sheep.

What makes you say that? I replied.

Because you fancy that the shepherd or neatherd fattens or tends the sheep or oxen with a view to their own good and not to the good of himself or his master; and you further imagine that the rulers of states, if they are true rulers, never think of their subjects as sheep, and that they are not studying their own advantage day and night. Oh, no; and so entirely astray are you in your ideas about the just and unjust as not even to know that justice and the just are in reality another’s good; that is to say, the interest of the ruler and stronger, and the loss of the subject and servant; and injustice the opposite; for the unjust is lord over the truly simple and just: he is the stronger, and his subjects do what is for his interest, and minister to his happiness, which is very far from being their own. Consider further, most foolish Socrates, that the just is always a loser in comparison with the unjust. First of all, in private contracts: wherever the unjust is the partner of the just you will find that, when the partnership is dissolved, the unjust man has always more and the just less. Secondly, in their dealings with the State: when there is an income-tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income; and when there is anything to be received the one gains nothing and the other much. Observe also what happens when they take an office; there is the just man neglecting his affairs and perhaps suffering other losses, and getting nothing out of the public, because he is just; moreover he is hated by his friends and acquaintance for refusing to serve them in unlawful ways. But all this is reversed in the case of the unjust man. I am speaking, as before, of injustice on a large scale in which the advantage of the unjust is most apparent; and my meaning will be most clearly seen if we turn to that highest form of injustice in which the criminal is the happiest of men, and the sufferers or those who refuse to do injustice are the most miserable—that is to say tyranny, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not little by little but wholesale; comprehending in one, things sacred as well as profane, private and public; for which acts of wrong, if he were detected perpetrating any one of them singly, he would be punished and incur great disgrace—they who do such wrong in particular cases are called robbers of temples, and man-stealers and burglars and swindlers and thieves. But when a man besides taking away the money of the citizens has made slaves of them, then, instead of these names of reproach, he is termed happy and blessed, not only by the citizens but by all who hear of his having achieved the consummation of injustice. For mankind censure injustice, fearing that they may be the victims of it and not because they shrink from committing it. And thus, as I have shown, Socrates, injustice, when on a sufficient scale, has more strength and freedom and mastery than justice; and, as I said at first, justice is the interest of the stronger, whereas injustice is a man’s own profit and interest.

Thrasymachus, when he had thus spoken, having, like a bath-man, deluged our ears with his words, had a mind to go away. But the company would not let him; they insisted that he should remain and defend his position; and I myself added my own humble request that he would not leave us. Thrasymachus, I said to him, excellent man, how suggestive are your remarks! And are you going to run away before you have fairly taught or learned whether they are true or not? Is the attempt to determine the way of man’s life so small a matter in your eyes—to determine how life may be passed by each one of us to the greatest advantage?

And do I differ from you, he said, as to the importance of the enquiry?

You appear rather, I replied, to have no care or thought about us, Thrasymachus—whether we live better or worse from not knowing what you say you know, is to you a matter of indifference. Prithee, friend, do not keep your knowledge to yourself; we are a large party; and any benefit which you confer upon us will be amply rewarded. For my own part I openly declare that I am not convinced, and that I do not believe injustice to be more gainful than justice, even if uncontrolled and allowed to have free play. For, granting that there may be an unjust man who is able to commit injustice either by fraud or force, still this does not convince me of the superior advantage of injustice, and there may be others who are in the same predicament with myself. Perhaps we may be wrong; if so, you in your wisdom should convince us that we are mistaken in preferring justice to injustice.

And how am I to convince you, he said, if you are not already convinced by what I have just said; what more can I do for you? Would you have me put the proof bodily into your souls?

Heaven forbid! I said; I would only ask you to be consistent; or, if you change, change openly and let there be no deception. For I must remark, Thrasymachus, if you will recall what was previously said, that although you began by defining the true physician in an exact sense, you did not observe a like exactness when speaking of the shepherd; you thought that the shepherd as a shepherd tends the sheep not with a view to their own good, but like a mere diner or banquetter with a view to the pleasures of the table; or, again, as a trader for sale in the market, and not as a shepherd. Yet surely the art of the shepherd is concerned only with the good of his subjects; he has only to provide the best for them, since the perfection of the art is already ensured whenever all the requirements of it are satisfied. And that was what I was saying just now about the ruler. I conceived that the art of the ruler, considered as ruler, whether in a state or in private life, could only regard the good of his flock or subjects; whereas you seem to think that the rulers in states, that is to say, the true rulers, like being in authority.

Think! Nay, I am sure of it.

Then why in the case of lesser offices do men never take them willingly without payment, unless under the idea that they govern for the advantage not of themselves but of others? Let me ask you a question: Are not the several arts different, by reason of their each having a separate function? And, my dear illustrious friend, do say what you think, that we may make a little progress.

Yes, that is the difference, he replied.

And each art gives us a particular good and not merely a general one—medicine, for example, gives us health; navigation, safety at sea, and so on?

Yes, he said.

And the art of payment has the special function of giving pay: but we do not confuse this with other arts, any more than the art of the pilot is to be confused with the art of medicine, because the health of the pilot may be improved by a sea voyage. You would not be inclined to say, would you, that navigation is the art of medicine, at least if we are to adopt your exact use of language?

Certainly not.

Or because a man is in good health when he receives pay you would not say that the art of payment is medicine?

I should not.

Nor would you say that medicine is the art of receiving pay because a man takes fees when he is engaged in healing?

Certainly not.

And we have admitted, I said, that the good of each art is specially confined to the art?

Yes.

Then, if there be any good which all artists have in common, that is to be attributed to something of which they all have the common use?

True, he replied.

And when the artist is benefited by receiving pay the advantage is gained by an additional use of the art of pay, which is not the art professed by him?

He gave a reluctant assent to this.

Then the pay is not derived by the several artists from their respective arts. But the truth is, that while the art of medicine gives health, and the art of the builder builds a house, another art attends them which is the art of pay. The various arts may be doing their own business and benefiting that over which they preside, but would the artist receive any benefit from his art unless he were paid as well?

I suppose not.

But does he therefore confer no benefit when he works for nothing?

Certainly, he confers a benefit.

Then now, Thrasymachus, there is no longer any doubt that neither arts nor governments provide for their own interests; but, as we were before saying, they rule and provide for the interests of their subjects who are the weaker and not the stronger—to their good they attend and not to the good of the superior. And this is the reason, my dear Thrasymachus, why, as I was just now saying, no one is willing to govern; because no one likes to take in hand the reformation of evils which are not his concern without remuneration. For, in the execution of his work, and in giving his orders to another, the true artist does not regard his own interest, but always that of his subjects; and therefore in order that rulers may be willing to rule, they must be paid in one of three modes of payment, money, or honour, or a penalty for refusing.

What do you mean, Socrates? said Glaucon. The first two modes of payment are intelligible enough, but what the penalty is I do not understand, or how a penalty can be a payment.

You mean that you do not understand the nature of this payment which to the best men is the great inducement to rule? Of course you know that ambition and avarice are held to be, as indeed they are, a disgrace?

Very true.

And for this reason, I said, money and honour have no attraction for them; good men do not wish to be openly demanding payment for governing and so to get the name of hirelings, nor by secretly helping themselves out of the public revenues to get the name of thieves. And not being ambitious they do not care about honour. Wherefore necessity must be laid upon them, and they must be induced to serve from the fear of punishment. And this, as I imagine, is the reason why the forwardness to take office, instead of waiting to be compelled, has been deemed dishonourable. Now the worst part of the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by one who is worse than himself. And the fear of this, as I conceive, induces the good to take office, not because they would, but because they cannot help—not under the idea that they are going to have any benefit or enjoyment themselves, but as a necessity, and because they are not able to commit the task of ruling to any one who is better than themselves, or indeed as good. For there is reason to think that if a city were composed entirely of good men, then to avoid office would be as much an object of contention as to obtain office is at present; then we should have plain proof that the true ruler is not meant by nature to regard his own interest, but that of his subjects; and every one who knew this would choose rather to receive a benefit from another than to have the trouble of conferring one. So far am I from agreeing with Thrasymachus that justice is the interest of the stronger. This latter question need not be further discussed at present; but when Thrasymachus says that the life of the unjust is more advantageous than that of the just, his new statement appears to me to be of a far more serious character. Which of us has spoken truly? And which sort of life, Glaucon, do you prefer?

I for my part deem the life of the just to be the more advantageous, he answered.

Did you hear all the advantages of the unjust which Thrasymachus was rehearsing?

Yes, I heard him, he replied, but he has not convinced me.

Then shall we try to find some way of convincing him, if we can, that he is saying what is not true?

Most certainly, he replied.

If, I said, he makes a set speech and we make another recounting all the advantages of being just, and he answers and we rejoin, there must be a numbering and measuring of the goods which are claimed on either side, and in the end we shall want judges to decide; but if we proceed in our enquiry as we lately did, by making admissions to one another, we shall unite the offices of judge and advocate in our own persons.

Very good, he said.

And which method do I understand you to prefer? I said.

That which you propose.

Well, then, Thrasymachus, I said, suppose you begin at the beginning and answer me. You say that perfect injustice is more gainful than perfect justice?

Yes, that is what I say, and I have given you my reasons.

And what is your view about them? Would you call one of them virtue and the other vice?

Certainly.

I suppose that you would call justice virtue and injustice vice?

What a charming notion! So likely too, seeing that I affirm injustice to be profitable and justice not.

What else then would you say?

The opposite, he replied.

And would you call justice vice?

No, I would rather say sublime simplicity.

Then would you call injustice malignity?

No; I would rather say discretion.

And do the unjust appear to you to be wise and good?

Yes, he said; at any rate those of them who are able to be perfectly unjust, and who have the power of subduing states and nations; but perhaps you imagine me to be talking of cutpurses. Even this profession if undetected has advantages, though they are not to be compared with those of which I was just now speaking.

I do not think that I misapprehend your meaning, Thrasymachus, I replied; but still I cannot hear without amazement that you class injustice with wisdom and virtue, and justice with the opposite.

Certainly I do so class them.

Now, I said, you are on more substantial and almost unanswerable ground; for if the injustice which you were maintaining to be profitable had been admitted by you as by others to be vice and deformity, an answer might have been given to you on received principles; but now I perceive that you will call injustice honourable and strong, and to the unjust you will attribute all the qualities which were attributed by us before to the just, seeing that you do not hesitate to rank injustice with wisdom and virtue.

You have guessed most infallibly, he replied.

Then I certainly ought not to shrink from going through with the argument so long as I have reason to think that you, Thrasymachus, are speaking your real mind; for I do believe that you are now in earnest and are not amusing yourself at our expense.

I may be in earnest or not, but what is that to you?—to refute the argument is your business.

Very true, I said; that is what I have to do: But will you be so good as answer yet one more question? Does the just man try to gain any advantage over the just?

Far otherwise; if he did he would not be the simple amusing creature which he is.

And would he try to go beyond just action?

He would not.

And how would he regard the attempt to gain an advantage over the unjust; would that be considered by him as just or unjust?

He would think it just, and would try to gain the advantage; but he would not be able.

Whether he would or would not be able, I said, is not to the point. My question is only whether the just man, while refusing to have more than another just man, would wish and claim to have more than the unjust?

Yes, he would.

And what of the unjust—does he claim to have more than the just man and to do more than is just?

Of course, he said, for he claims to have more than all men.

And the unjust man will strive and struggle to obtain more than the unjust man or action, in order that he may have more than all?

True.

We may put the matter thus, I said—the just does not desire more than his like but more than his unlike, whereas the unjust desires more than both his like and his unlike?

Nothing, he said, can be better than that statement.

And the unjust is good and wise, and the just is neither?

Good again, he said.

And is not the unjust like the wise and good and the just unlike them?

Of course, he said, he who is of a certain nature, is like those who are of a certain nature; he who is not, not.

Each of them, I said, is such as his like is?

Certainly, he replied.

Very good, Thrasymachus, I said; and now to take the case of the arts: you would admit that one man is a musician and another not a musician?

Yes.

And which is wise and which is foolish?

Clearly the musician is wise, and he who is not a musician is foolish.

And he is good in as far as he is wise, and bad in as far as he is foolish?

Yes.

And you would say the same sort of thing of the physician?

Yes.

And do you think, my excellent friend, that a musician when he adjusts the lyre would desire or claim to exceed or go beyond a musician in the tightening and loosening the strings?

I do not think that he would.

But he would claim to exceed the non-musician?

Of course.

And what would you say of the physician? In prescribing meats and drinks would he wish to go beyond another physician or beyond the practice of medicine?

He would not.

But he would wish to go beyond the non-physician?

Yes.

And about knowledge and ignorance in general; see whether you think that any man who has knowledge ever would wish to have the choice of saying or doing more than another man who has knowledge. Would he not rather say or do the same as his like in the same case?

That, I suppose, can hardly be denied.

And what of the ignorant? would he not desire to have more than either the knowing or the ignorant?

I dare say.

And the knowing is wise?

Yes.

And the wise is good?

True.

Then the wise and good will not desire to gain more than his like, but more than his unlike and opposite?

I suppose so.

Whereas the bad and ignorant will desire to gain more than both?

Yes.

But did we not say, Thrasymachus, that the unjust goes beyond both his like and unlike? Were not these your words?

They were.

And you also said that the just will not go beyond his like but his unlike?

Yes.

Then the just is like the wise and good, and the unjust like the evil and ignorant?

That is the inference.

And each of them is such as his like is?

That was admitted.

Then the just has turned out to be wise and good and the unjust evil and ignorant.

Thrasymachus made all these admissions, not fluently, as I repeat them, but with extreme reluctance; it was a hot summer’s day, and the perspiration poured from him in torrents; and then I saw what I had never seen before, Thrasymachus blushing. As we were now agreed that justice was virtue and wisdom, and injustice vice and ignorance, I proceeded to another point:

Well, I said, Thrasymachus, that matter is now settled; but were we not also saying that injustice had strength; do you remember?

Yes, I remember, he said, but do not suppose that I approve of what you are saying or have no answer; if however I were to answer, you would be quite certain to accuse me of haranguing; therefore either permit me to have my say out, or if you would rather ask, do so, and I will answer ‘Very good,’ as they say to story-telling old women, and will nod ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’

Certainly not, I said, if contrary to your real opinion.

Yes, he said, I will, to please you, since you will not let me speak. What else would you have?

Nothing in the world, I said; and if you are so disposed I will ask and you shall answer.

Proceed.

Then I will repeat the question which I asked before, in order that our examination of the relative nature of justice and injustice may be carried on regularly. A statement was made that injustice is stronger and more powerful than justice, but now justice, having been identified with wisdom and virtue, is easily shown to be stronger than injustice, if injustice is ignorance; this can no longer be questioned by any one. But I want to view the matter, Thrasymachus, in a different way: You would not deny that a state may be unjust and may be unjustly attempting to enslave other states, or may have already enslaved them, and may be holding many of them in subjection?

True, he replied; and I will add that the best and most perfectly unjust state will be most likely to do so.

I know, I said, that such was your position; but what I would further consider is, whether this power which is possessed by the superior state can exist or be exercised without justice or only with justice.

If you are right in your view, and justice is wisdom, then only with justice; but if I am right, then without justice.

I am delighted, Thrasymachus, to see you not only nodding assent and dissent, but making answers which are quite excellent.

That is out of civility to you, he replied.

You are very kind, I said; and would you have the goodness also to inform me, whether you think that a state, or an army, or a band of robbers and thieves, or any other gang of evil-doers could act at all if they injured one another?

No indeed, he said, they could not.

But if they abstained from injuring one another, then they might act together better?

Yes.

And this is because injustice creates divisions and hatreds and fighting, and justice imparts harmony and friendship; is not that true, Thrasymachus?

I agree, he said, because I do not wish to quarrel with you.

How good of you, I said; but I should like to know also whether injustice, having this tendency to arouse hatred, wherever existing, among slaves or among freemen, will not make them hate one another and set them at variance and render them incapable of common action?

Certainly.

And even if injustice be found in two only, will they not quarrel and fight, and become enemies to one another and to the just?

They will.

And suppose injustice abiding in a single person, would your wisdom say that she loses or that she retains her natural power?

Let us assume that she retains her power.

Yet is not the power which injustice exercises of such a nature that wherever she takes up her abode, whether in a city, in an army, in a family, or in any other body, that body is, to begin with, rendered incapable of united action by reason of sedition and distraction; and does it not become its own enemy and at variance with all that opposes it, and with the just? Is not this the case?

Yes, certainly.

And is not injustice equally fatal when existing in a single person; in the first place rendering him incapable of action because he is not at unity with himself, and in the second place making him an enemy to himself and the just? Is not that true, Thrasymachus?

Yes.

And O my friend, I said, surely the gods are just?

Granted that they are.

But if so, the unjust will be the enemy of the gods, and the just will be their friend?

Feast away in triumph, and take your fill of the argument; I will not oppose you, lest I should displease the company.

Well then, proceed with your answers, and let me have the remainder of my repast. For we have already shown that the just are clearly wiser and better and abler than the unjust, and that the unjust are incapable of common action; nay more, that to speak as we did of men who are evil acting at any time vigorously together, is not strictly true, for if they had been perfectly evil, they would have laid hands upon one another; but it is evident that there must have been some remnant of justice in them, which enabled them to combine; if there had not been they would have injured one another as well as their victims; they were but half-villains in their enterprises; for had they been whole villains, and utterly unjust, they would have been utterly incapable of action. That, as I believe, is the truth of the matter, and not what you said at first. But whether the just have a better and happier life than the unjust is a further question which we also proposed to consider. I think that they have, and for the reasons which I have given; but still I should like to examine further, for no light matter is at stake, nothing less than the rule of human life.

Proceed.

I will proceed by asking a question: Would you not say that a horse has some end?

I should.

And the end or use of a horse or of anything would be that which could not be accomplished, or not so well accomplished, by any other thing?

I do not understand, he said.

Let me explain: Can you see, except with the eye?

Certainly not.

Or hear, except with the ear?

No.

These then may be truly said to be the ends of these organs?

They may.

But you can cut off a vine-branch with a dagger or with a chisel, and in many other ways?

Of course.

And yet not so well as with a pruning-hook made for the purpose?

True.

May we not say that this is the end of a pruning-hook?

We may.

Then now I think you will have no difficulty in understanding my meaning when I asked the question whether the end of anything would be that which could not be accomplished, or not so well accomplished, by any other thing?

I understand your meaning, he said, and assent.

And that to which an end is appointed has also an excellence? Need I ask again whether the eye has an end?

It has.

And has not the eye an excellence?

Yes.

And the ear has an end and an excellence also?

True.

And the same is true of all other things; they have each of them an end and a special excellence?

That is so.

Well, and can the eyes fulfil their end if they are wanting in their own proper excellence and have a defect instead?

How can they, he said, if they are blind and cannot see?

You mean to say, if they have lost their proper excellence, which is sight; but I have not arrived at that point yet. I would rather ask the question more generally, and only enquire whether the things which fulfil their ends fulfil them by their own proper excellence, and fail of fulfilling them by their own defect?

Certainly, he replied.

I might say the same of the ears; when deprived of their own proper excellence they cannot fulfil their end?

True.

And the same observation will apply to all other things?

I agree.

Well; and has not the soul an end which nothing else can fulfil? for example, to superintend and command and deliberate and the like. Are not these functions proper to the soul, and can they rightly be assigned to any other?

To no other.

And is not life to be reckoned among the ends of the soul?

Assuredly, he said.

And has not the soul an excellence also?

Yes.

And can she or can she not fulfil her own ends when deprived of that excellence?

She cannot.

Then an evil soul must necessarily be an evil ruler and superintendent, and the good soul a good ruler?

Yes, necessarily.

And we have admitted that justice is the excellence of the soul, and injustice the defect of the soul?

That has been admitted.

Then the just soul and the just man will live well, and the unjust man will live ill?

That is what your argument proves.

And he who lives well is blessed and happy, and he who lives ill the reverse of happy?

Certainly.

Then the just is happy, and the unjust miserable?

So be it.

But happiness and not misery is profitable.

Of course.

Then, my blessed Thrasymachus, injustice can never be more profitable than justice.

Let this, Socrates, he said, be your entertainment at the Bendidea.

For which I am indebted to you, I said, now that you have grown gentle towards me and have left off scolding. Nevertheless, I have not been well entertained; but that was my own fault and not yours. As an epicure snatches a taste of every dish which is successively brought to table, he not having allowed himself time to enjoy the one before, so have I gone from one subject to another without having discovered what I sought at first, the nature of justice. I left that enquiry and turned away to consider whether justice is virtue and wisdom or evil and folly; and when there arose a further question about the comparative advantages of justice and injustice, I could not refrain from passing on to that. And the result of the whole discussion has been that I know nothing at all. For I know not what justice is, and therefore I am not likely to know whether it is or is not a virtue, nor can I say whether the just man is happy or unhappy.





  • agree: To agree is to say “yes” or to think the same way.
  • angry: When someone is angry, they may want to speak loudly or fight.
  • arrive: To arrive is to get to or reach some place.
  • finally: If something happens finally, it happens after a longtime or at the end.
  • lot: A lot means a large number or amount of people, animals, things, etc.
  • reply: To reply is to give an answer or say back to someone.
  • safe: When a person is safe, they are not in danger.
  • trick: A trick is something you do to fool another person.
  • well: You use well to say that something was done in a good way.
  • create: To create means to make something new.
  • evil: Evil describes something or someone bad or cruel, not good.
  • kill: To kill someone or something is to make them die.
  • laugh: Laugh is the sound made when someone is happy or a funny thing occurs
  • secret: A secret is something that you do not tell other people.
  • worse: If something is worse, it is of poorer quality than another thing.
  • among: If you are among certain things, they are all around you.
  • comprehend: To comprehend something is to understand it.
  • ever: Ever means at any time.
  • fail: To fail means you do not succeed in what you try to do.
  • instead: Instead means in place of.
  • report: A report is something students write for school.
  • several: Several is more than two but not many.
  • solve: To solve something is to find an answer to it.
  • suppose: To suppose is to guess.
  • view: To view is to look at something.
  • avoid: To avoid something is to stay away from it.
  • calm: When someone is calm, they do not get excited or upset.
  • concern: Concern is a feeling of worry.
  • content: To be content is to be happy and not want more.
  • expect: If you expect something to happen, you believe it will happen.
  • habit: A habit is a thing that you do often.
  • none: None means not any of someone or something.
  • patient: If a person is patient, they don’t become angry or upset easily.
  • punish: To punish means to make someone suffer for breaking the rules or laws.
  • continue: To continue something is to keep doing it.
  • error: An error is something you do wrong.
  • experience: An experience is something you have seen or done.
  • likely: If something likely happens, it will probably happen.
  • relax: To relax is to rest.
  • request: To request something is to ask for it.
  • reside: To reside means to live somewhere permanently or for a long time.
  • result: A result is something that happens because of something else.
  • roll: To roll is to move by turning over and over.
  • since: Since is used to talk about a past event still happening now.
  • wild: If something is wild, it is found in nature.
  • advantage: An advantage is something that helps you.
  • cause: To cause is to make something happen.
  • choice: A choice is the act or possibility of picking something.
  • distance: The distance between two things is how far it is between them.
  • escape: To escape is to run away from something bad.
  • follow: To follow means to go behind someone and go where they go.
  • individual: An individual is one person.
  • pet: A pet is an animal that lives with people.
  • return: To return is to go back to a place.
  • upset: To be upset is to be unhappy about something.
  • wise: To be wise is to use experience and intelligence to make good choices.
  • allow: To allow something to happen means to let it happen.
  • beside: When someone or something is beside you, they are next to you.
  • claim: To claim means to say that something is true.
  • condition: The condition of someone or something is the state that they are in.
  • contribute: To contribute to something means to do something to make it successful.
  • difference: A difference is a way that something is not like other things.
  • famous: If someone or something is famous, they are known to many people.
  • force: Force is a person’s strength or power.
  • harm: Harm is hurt or problems caused to someone or something.
  • lay: To lay means to put or place in a horizontal or flat position.
  • peace: Peace is a time without war.
  • sense: To sense something is to know about it without being told.
  • therefore: Therefore means for this reason.
  • accept: To accept something that is offered is to take it.
  • arrange: To arrange things is to put them in the right place.
  • attend: To attend something is to go to it.
  • hang: To hang something is to keep it above the ground.
  • propose: To propose something is to say that it should be done.
  • purpose: A purpose is the reason that you do something.
  • require: To require something is to say that it is necessary.
  • single: If something is single, then there is only one.
  • success: Success is doing something well that you choose to do.
  • against: To be against something is to be touching it or opposed to it.
  • discover: To discover something is to find it for the first time.
  • fix: To fix something is to make it work.
  • perhaps: Perhaps is used when you say that something could happen.
  • pleasant: If something is pleasant, you enjoy it.
  • prevent: To prevent something is to stop it from happening.
  • still: Still is used when you say that a situation keeps going on.
  • taste: A taste is the flavor something makes in your mouth.
  • benefit: A benefit is a good thing.
  • certain: If you are certain about something, you know it is true.
  • chance: A chance is an opportunity to do something.
  • far: If something is far, it is not close.
  • function: The function of something is what it does.
  • guard: To guard something is to take care of it.
  • remain: To remain somewhere is to stay there.
  • rest: To rest is to stop being active while the body gets back its strength.
  • separate: If two things are separate, they are not together.
  • site: A site is a place.
  • trouble: Trouble is a problem ora difficulty.
  • conversation: A conversation is a talk between people.
  • creature: A creature is any living thing.
  • either: Either is used with or to say there are two or more possibilities.
  • ground: The ground is the top part of the Earth that we walk on.
  • introduce: To introduce someone or something is to say who they are.
  • prepare: To prepare is to get ready for something.
  • sail: To sail is to move a boat on the water.
  • serious: When something is serious, it is bad or unsafe.
  • truth: The truth is a fact or something that is right.
  • alone: If someone is alone, they are not with another person.
  • artist: An artist is a person who paints, draws, or makes sculptures.
  • compare: To compare means to say how two things are the same and different.
  • judge: To judge something is to say if it is good or bad.
  • method: A method is the way to do something.
  • profit: A profit is the extra money you make when you sell something.
  • quality: The quality of something is how good it is.
  • thin: If someone or something is thin, they are not fat.
  • cell: A cell is a small room where a person is locked in.
  • correct: To be correct is to be right.
  • demand: To demand something is to say strongly that you want it.
  • equal: To be equal is to be the same.
  • hole: A hole is an opening in something.
  • lord: Long ago, a lord was a man in charge of a town.
  • owe: To owe is to have to pay or give back something received from another.
  • position: A position is the way something is placed.
  • raise: To raise something is to lift it up.
  • sight: A sight is something interesting to see.
  • whole: Whole means all of something.
  • control: To control something is to make it do what you want.
  • direct: If something is direct, it goes straight between two places.
  • exam: An exam is a test.
  • example: An example of something is a thing that is typical of it.
  • novel: A novel is a book that tells a story.
  • poet: A poet is a person who writes poems.
  • scene: A scene is one part of a book or movie.
  • silly: If someone or something is silly, they show a lack of thought.
  • suffer: To suffer is to feel pain.
  • characteristic: A characteristic is something that shows what a person or a thing is like.
  • extreme: If something is extreme, it is in a large amount or degree.
  • fear: Fear is the feeling of being afraid.
  • happen: If someone happens to do something, they do it by chance.
  • length: The length of something is how long it is from one end to the other.
  • mistake: A mistake is something you do wrong.
  • observe: To observe something is to watch it.
  • race: A race is a contest to see who is the fastest.
  • yet: Yet is used to say something has not happened up to now.
  • exist: To exist is to be real.
  • process: A process is the steps to take to do something.
  • wealth: Wealth is a large amount of money.
  • celebrate: To celebrate is to do something to show that an event is special.
  • determine: To determine means to choose or make a decision.
  • else: If you talk about something else, you talk about something different.
  • fair: Fair describes treating someone in a way that is reasonable or right.
  • forward: If you move forward, you move in the direction in front of you.
  • lone: If someone or something is lone, they are the only one of that kind.
  • whether: You use whether when you must choose between two things.
  • argue: To argue is to angrily speak to someone because you do not agree.
  • crowd: A crowd is a large group of people.
  • dish: A dish is a plate.
  • exact: If something is exact, it is just the right amount.
  • gather: To gather is to collect several things usually from different places.
  • offer: To offer is to present someone with something.
  • property: Property is something that someone owns.
  • purchase: To purchase something is to buy it.
  • captain: A captain is the person who leads a ship or airplane.
  • conclusion: The conclusion of something is the final part of it.
  • doubt: Doubt is a feeling of not being sure.
  • glad: If you are glad, you are happy.
  • however: However means despite or not being influenced by something.
  • injustice: Injustice is a lack of fairness or justice.
  • speech: A speech is something said to a group of people.
  • toward: If you go toward something, you go closer to it.
  • achieve: To achieve something is to successfully do it after trying hard.
  • already: If something happens already, it happens before a certain time.
  • bit: A bit is a small amount of something.
  • consider: To consider something means to think about it.
  • entertain: To entertain someone is to do something that they enjoy.
  • lie: To lie is to say or write something untrue to deceive someone.
  • meat: Meat is food made of animals.
  • opinion: An opinion is a thought about a person or a thing.
  • real: If something is real, it actually exists.
  • reflect: To reflect is when a surface sends back light, heat, sound or an image.
  • regard: To regard someone or something is to think of them in a certain way.
  • serve: To serve someone is to give them food or drinks.
  • war: A war is a big fight between two groups of people.
  • appear: To appear is to seem.
  • enter: To enter a place is to go into it.
  • excellent: When something is excellent, it is very good.
  • inform: To inform someone is to tell them about something.
  • leave: To leave means to go away from someone or something.
  • nurse: A nurse is a person who helps sick people in the hospital.
  • refuse: To refuse something is to say “ no” to it.
  • though: Though is used when the second idea makes the first seem surprising.
  • various: If something is various, there are many types of it.
  • actual: Actual means that something is real or true.
  • amaze: To amaze someone is to surprise them very much.
  • comfort: To comfort someone means to make them feel better.
  • deliver: To deliver something is to take it from one place to another.
  • earn: To earn means to get money for the work you do.
  • include: To include something means to have it as part of a group.
  • occur: To occur means to happen.
  • opposite: If A is the opposite of B, A is completely different from B.
  • receive: To receive something is to get it.
  • reward: A reward is something given in exchange for good behavior or work.
  • set: To set something is to put it somewhere.
  • steal: To steal is to take something that is not yours.
  • thief: A thief is someone who quietly takes things that do not belong to them.
  • behind: Behind means to be at the back of something.
  • course: A course is a class in school.
  • match: To match is to be the same or similar.
  • member: A member is a person who is part of a group.
  • poem: A poem is a short kind of writing.
  • safety: Safety means to be the condition of being safe and free from danger.
  • event: An event is something that happens, especially something important.
  • exercise: To exercise is to run or play sports so that you can be healthy.
  • fit: If something fits, it is small enough orthe right size to go there.
  • friendship: Friendship is the relationship between people who are friends.
  • guide: A guide is someone who shows you where to go.
  • pressure: Pressure is what you apply to make someone do something.
  • public: If something is public, it is meant for everyone to use.
  • strike: To strike someone or something is to hit them.
  • task: A task is work that someone has to do.
  • term: A term is a word for something.
  • unite: To unite is to get together to do something.
  • instance: An instance is an example of something.
  • medicine: Medicine is something you take to feel better or treat an illness.
  • produce: To produce something is to make or grow it.
  • range: A range is a number or a set of similar things.
  • regular: If something is regular, it happens often and in equal amounts of time.
  • sign: A sign is a notice giving information, directions, a warning, etc.
  • attract: To attract means to make a person or thing come closer or be interestested.
  • final: If something is final, it is the last part.
  • further: Further is used to say something is from a distance or time.
  • imply: To imply something is to suggest it without saying it.
  • maintain: To maintain means to make something stay the same.
  • neither: You use neither to connect two negative statements.
  • otherwise: Otherwise means different or in another way.
  • prove: To prove something is to show that it is true.
  • suggest: To suggest something means to give an idea or plan about it.
  • actually: Actually means in fact or really.
  • deal: A deal is an agreement that you have with another person.
  • examine: To examine something is to look at it carefully.
  • false: If something is false, it is not correct.
  • imagine: To imagine something is to think of it in your mind.
  • journey: A journey is a long trip.
  • quite: Quite is used to say that something is complete or very much.
  • rather: Rather is used when you want to do one thing but not the other.
  • value: If something has value, it is worth a lot of money.
  • band: A band is a group of people who play music.
  • list: A list is a record of information printed with an item on each line.
  • own: To own something means to have it. That thing belongs to you.
  • assign: To assign something to someone is to tell them to do it.
  • gain: If you gain something, you get more of it.
  • importance: Importance means the quality or condition of being needed or valued.
  • knowledge: Knowledge is information that you have about something.
  • mean: Mean describes someone who is unkind or cruel.
  • prefer: If you prefer something, you want it more than something else.
  • progress: Progress is the act of getting closer to doing or finishing something.
  • respect: Respect is a good opinion of someone because they are good.
  • rich: If you are rich, you have a lot of money.
  • skill: A skill is the knowledge and ability that allows you to do something well.
  • strength: Strength is the physical power that you have.
  • above: If something is above, it is at a higher level than something else.
  • amount: An amount is how much there is of something.
  • common: If something is common, it happens often or there is much of it.
  • different: Different describes someone or something that is not the same as others.
  • master: A master is a person who is very good at something.
  • proper: If something is proper, it is right.

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