Monday, November 25, 2013

Lays of Ancient Rome, Thomas Babington Macaulay

These “Lays” are Roman styled ballads composed by Macaulay in the 1830’s and first published in 1842.  The became standard assignments for reading in the upper class “public” schools of Britain, and were often memorized and recited by the students.  Winston Churchill memorized them, and I see there effect in the remarkable speaking talent which set him apart in greatness.  It seems that Macaulay felt the loss of the ancient, pre-Greek, oral tradition of Rome and set himself the task of restoring some of it.  Like J. R. R. Tolkien, Thomas Macaulay determined to fill a hole in world literature with a plausible patch of his own creation.  Macaulay’s creation provides a wonderful window into Roman history, and an understanding of the ethos that drove western dominance through the twentieth Century and into the future.

I have read Horatius at the Bridge to my classes and Camp Staffs for decades, albeit in an abridged version.  A couple of years ago I bought my 1947 American printed edition of the book at Sam Wells Book Store.  I am ashamed to admit that it remained unread until this month.  I was rather surprised to find several of the pages still folded, rather than cut, at their outside edge – proof that I was not the first to own it without reading it.  I am very glad I cut the pages and released their wonder. 

I was also pleasantly surprised at how closely my appreciation of Livy and other chroniclers of Rome matched that of Macaulay.  He celebrates the same heroes and heroines I have long extoled. 


Gauls destroy Roman Records:

It is certain that, more than three hundred and sixty years after the date ordinarily assigned for the foundation of the city, the public records were, with scarcely an exception, destroyed by the Gauls. p. ix

Surviving Latin Literature Based on Greek Models:

 The Latin literature which has come down to us is of later date than the commencement of the Second Punic War, and consists almost exclusively of works fashioned on Greek models.  The best Latin metres, heroic, elegiac, lyric, and dramatic, are of Greek origin.   The best Latin epic poetry [Vergil’s Aeneid] is the feeble echo of the Iliad and Odyssey.   p. xiii

Poetry to Help Memory: 

Metrical composition, therefore which, in a highly civilized nation, is a mere luxury, is, in nations imperfectly civilized, almost a necessary of life, and is valued less on account of the pleasure which it gives to the ear, than on account of the help which it gives to the memory.  p. xiv

Only the Greeks Preserved Their Poetry:

In truth, the only people who, through their whole passage from simplicity to the highest civilization, never for a moment ceased to love and admire their old ballads, were the Greeks.  p. xvii – xviii

Romulus and Remus Were Not Like Swine Herds: 

(Quoting Dionysius)  “Even in the hut of Faustulus,” – so these old lays appear to have run, -- “ the children of Rhea and Mars were, in port and in spirit, not like unto swineherds or cowherds, but such that men might well guess them to be of the blood of Kings and Gods.” p. xix

Value of Old Ballads in Education: 

Valerius Maximus give us exactly similar information, without mentioning his authority, and observes that the ancient Roman ballads were probably of more benefit to the young than all the lectures of the Athenian schools, and that to the influence of the national poetry were to be ascribed the virtues of such men as Camillus and Fabricius.  p. xxii

The Genius of Rome and Greece:  The conquered, says Horace, led captive the conquerors.  It was precisely at the time at which the Roman people rose to unrivalled political ascendency that they stooped to pass under the intellectual yoke.  It was precisely at the time at which the sceptre departed from Greece that the empire of her language and of her arts became universal and despotic.   p. xxiv

Triumph of Greek Literature: The victory of the foreign taste was decisive; and indeed we can hardly blame the Romans for turning away with contempt from the rude lays which had delighted their fathers, and giving their whole admiration to the immortal productions of Greece.  p. xxvii

Macaulay on His Poems: In the following poems the author speaks, not in his own person, but in the persons of ancient minstrels who know only what a Roman citizen, born three or four hundred years before the Christian aera, may be supposed to have known, and who are in nowise above the passions and prejudices of their age and nation.  p. xxxv


Duty – the best way to die: 


Then out spake brave Horatius,

The Captain of the Gate;

‘To every man upon this Earth

Death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better

Than facing fearful odds,

For the ashes of his father,

And the temples of his Gods,


‘And for the tender mother

 Who dandled him to rest,

And for the wife who nurses

His baby at her breast,

And for the holy maidens

Who feed the eternal flame,

To save them for false Sextus

That wrought the deed of shame?  p. 21

Sacrifices for Rome:


For Romans in Rome’s quarrel

Spared neither land nor gold,

Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,

In the brave days of old. pp. 22 – 23


The good old days:


Then none was for a party;

Then all were for the state;

Then the great man helped the poor,

And the poor man loved the great:

Then lands were fairly portioned;

The spoils were fairly sold:

The Romans were like brothers

In the brave days of old.

The evil present:


Now Romans is to Roman

More hateful than a foe,

And the Tribunes beard the high,

And the Fathers grind the low.

As we wax hot in faction,

In battle we wax cold:

Wherefore men fight not as they fought

In the brave days of old. p. 23

The Battle of Lake Regillus

Machiavelli – Roman Style:

Livy and Dionysius tells us that, when Tarquin the Proud was asked what was the best mode of governing a conquered city, he replied only by beating down with his staff all the tallest poppies in his garden.  p. 46

On Roman History – the Stories I Use:

Then the character of the narrative changes.  From the first mention of Lucretia to the retreat of Porsena nothing seems to be borrowed from foreign sources.  The villainy of Sextus, the suicide of his victim, the revolution the death of the sons of Brutus, the defense of the bridge, Mucius burning his hand, Cloelia swimming through Tiber, seem to all be strictly Roman.  p. 47

Forgotten Warriors:


The fisher baits his angle;

The hunter twangs his bow;

Little they think of those strong limbs

That moulder deep below.

Little they think how sternly

That day the trumpets pealed;

How in the slippery swamp of blood

Warrior and war-horse reeled;

How wolves came with fierce gallop,

And crows on eager wings,

To tear the flesh of captains,

And peck the eyes of kings;

How thick the dead lay scattered

Under the Porcian height;

How through the gates of Tusculum

Raved the wild stream of flight;

And how the Lake Regillus

Bubbled with crimson foam,

What time the Thirty Cities

Came forth to war with Rome.  p. 61

How the Jays Called the Eagle to fight:


‘Once the jays sent a message

Unto the eagle’s nest:-- 

Now yield thou up thine eyrie

Unto the carrion-kite,

Or come forth valiantly, and face

The jays in deadly fight.—

Forth looked in wrath the eagle;

And carrion-kite and jay,

Soon as they saw his beak and claw

Fled screaming far away.’ p. 63

On Choosing a Dictator:


In seasons of great peril

‘Tis good that one bear sway;

Then choose we a Dictator,

Whom al men shall obey. p. 64

On the Death of the Sacred King:


Those trees in whose dim shadow

The ghastly priest doth reign,

The priest who slew the slayer,

And shall himself be slain;  p. 66

The Ghost of Lucretia:


A woman fair and stately,

But pale as are the dead,

Oft through the watches of the night

Sat spinning by his [Sextus] bed.

And as she plied the distaff,

In a sweet voice and low,

She sang of the great old houses,

And fights fought long ago.

So spun she, and so sang she,

Until the east was grey,

Then pointed to her bleeding breast,

And shrieked, and fled away. p. 68

Win or Die:


‘Romans, stand firm!’ quoth Aulus,

‘And win this fight or die!’ p. 77


Grievances of the Plebes:

They were excluded from the highest magistracies; They were excluded from all share in the public lands; and they were ground down to the dust by partial and barbarous legislation touching pecuniary contracts.  The ruling class is Rome was a monied class; and it made and administered the laws with a view solely to its own interest. p. 100

On the rights of the Plebes:

From the early period they had been admitted to some share of political power.  They were enrolled each in his century, and were allowed a share, considerable though not proportioned to their numerical strength, in the disposal of those high dignities from which they were themselves excluded.  p. 101

The Tribunes:

The Plebeians had also the privilege of annually appointing officers, named Tribunes, who had no active share in the government of the Commonwealth, but who, by degrees, acquired a power formidable even to the ablest and most resolute Consuls and Dictators.  The person of the Tribune was inviolable; and, though he could directly effect little, he could obstruct everything. pp 101-102

On Roman Respect for Law:

But, even in the paroxysms of faction, the Roman retained his gravity, his respect for law, and his tenderness for the lives of his fellow-citizens. P. 102

Roman Filibuster (The Tribunes at Work):

Year after year Licinius and Sextius were re-elected Tribunes.  Year after year, if the narrative which has come down to us is to be trusted, they continued to exert, to the full extent, their power of stopping the whole machine of government.  No curule magistrates could be chosen; no military muster could be held.  We now too little of the state of Rome in those days to be able to conjecture how during that long anarchy, the peace was kept, and ordinary justice administered between man and man.  The animosity of both parties rose to the greatest height.  The excitement, we may well suppose, would have been peculiarly intense at the annual elections of Tribunes.  On such occasions there can be little doubt that the great families did all that could be done, by threats and caresses, to break the union of the Plebeians.  That union, however, proved indissoluble.  At length the good cause triumphed.  The Licinian laws were carried.  Lucius Sextius was the first Plebeian Consul, Caius Licinius the third.

The results of this great change were singularly happy and glorious.  Two centuries of prosperity, harmony, and victory followed the reconciliation of the orders.  pp. 102-103

The Story of the Downfall of the Council of Ten:

The immediate cause of the downfall of this execrable government was said to have been an attempt made by Appius Claudius upon the chastity of a beautiful young girl of humble birth.  The story ran that the Decemvir, unable to succeed by bribes and solicitations, resorted to an outrageous act of tyranny.  A vile dependent of Claudian house laid claim to the damsel as his slave.  The cause was brought before the tribunal of Appius.  The wicked magistrate, in defiance of the clearest proofs, gave judgment for the claimant.  But the girl’s father, a brave soldier, saved her from servitude and dishonor by stabbing her to the heart in the sight of the whole Forum.  That blow was the signal for a general explosion.  Camp and city rose at once; the Ten were pulled down; the Tribuneship was re-established; and Appius escaped the hands of the executioner only by a voluntary death.  p. 107-108

Late Night Comedians & MSNBC:

Such varlets pimp and jest for hire among the lying Greeks;

Such Varlets still are paid to hoot when brave Licinius speaks.. 112

When There Were No Tribunes:

For then there was not Tribune to speak the word of might,

Which makes the rich man tremble, and guards the poor man’s right.  p.118

History as inspiration for great acts:

Be men to-day, Quirites, or be for ever slaves!

For this did Servius give us laws?  For this did Lucrece bleed?

For this was the great vengeance wrought on Tarquin’s evil seed?

For this did those false sons make red the axes of their sire?

 For this did Scaevola’s right had his in the Tuscan fire?

Shall we, who could not brook one lord, crouch to the wicked Ten?

Oh for that ancient spirit which curbed the Senate’s will!

Oh for the tents which in old time whitened the Sacred Hill!  p. 119

The Value of Good Women:

Then leave the poor Plebeian his single tie to life—

The sweet, sweet love of daughter, of sister, and of wife.

The gentle speech, the balm for all that his vexed soul endures,

The kiss, in which he half forgets even such a yoke as yours.

Still let the maiden’s beauty swell the father’s breast with pride;

Still let the bridegroom’s arms infold an unpolluted bride. pp. 121-122

The Prophecy of Capys

On the Roman Army:

Their arms, their gradations of rank, their order of battle, their method of intrenchment, were all of Latin origin, and had all been gradually brought near to perfection, not by study of foreign models, but by the genius and experience of many generations of great native commanders.  The first words which broke from the king [Pyrrhus], when his practiced eye had surveyed the Roman encampment, were full of meaning;-- ‘These barbarians,’ he said, ‘hae nothing barbarous in their military arrangements.’ p. 140

On the defeat of Pyrrhus:

The conquerors had a good right to exult in their success; for their glory was all their own.  They had not learned from their enemy how to conquer him.  It was with their own national arms, and in their own national battle-array, that they had overcome weapons and tactics long believed to be invincible.  The pilum and the broadsword had vanquished the Macedonian spear.  The legion had broken the Macedonian phalanx.  Even the elephants, when the surprise produced by their first appearance was over, could cause no disorder in the steady yet flexible battalions of Rome. p. 141

Mother Wolf:


The ravening she-wolf knew them,

And licked them o’er and o’er,

And gave them of her own fierce milk,

Rich with raw flesh and gore. p.147

The Fate of Rome Reveled to Romulus:


. . . Thou, that art sprung from the War-god’s loins,

And hast tugged at the she-wolf’s breast.

‘From sunrise unto sunset

All earth shall hear thy fame:

A glorious city thou shalt build,

And name in by thy name:

And there, unquenched through ages,

Like Vesta’s sacred fire,

Shall live the spirit of thy nurse,

The spirit of thy sire. p. 153

Prophesy to Rome:


‘Thine, Roman, is the pilum:

Roman, the sword is thine,

The even trench, the bristling mound,

The legion’s ordered line;

An thine the wheels of triumph,

Which with their laurelled train

Move slowly up the shouting streets

To Jove’s eternal fane.  p. 155

Roman Weapons Prove the Best:


‘Hurrah! For the good weapons

That keep the War-god’s land.

Hurrah! For Rome’s stout pilum

In a stout Roman hand.

Hurrah! For Rome’s short broadsword,

That through the thick array

Of leveled spears and serried shields

Hews deep its gory way. p. 157





Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Plato’s Parmenides

The majority of this recitation is a discussion between a venerable philosopher, Parmenides, his younger friend Zeno, a very young Socrates, and an even younger boy called Aristotle by Plato. The original narrator in the dialogue, Cephalus, says that he knows a fellow named Antiphon who can recite by heart the discussion.  The crew shows up at that fellow’s home and prevails on him to present the discussion.  After some coxing, he presents his masterpiece.   

I have fought my way through the 38 pages of the Parmenides.  The majority of the dialogue is a question/answer exercise between the aged and respected Parmenides and the youthful Aristotle on the subject of "the one".  The back and forth goes on for 27 pages through 524 questions.  

Some of these quotes are interesting points – others just give a taste of the arguments.

On the Recitation: . . . Antiphon . . . can recite from memory the discussion that Socrates and Zeno and Parmenides once had, since he heard it often from Pythodorus.  p 361

On Not Knowing:

Parmenides: So none of the forms is know by us, because we don’t partake of knowledge itself.

Socrates: It seems not.

Parmenides: Then the beautiful itself, what it is, cannot be known by us, nor can the good, nor, indeed, can any of the things we take to be characters themselves.

Socrates: It looks that way.

Parmenides: Here’s something even more shocking than that.

Socrates: What’s that?

Parmenides: Surely you would say that if in fact there is knowledge – a kind itself – it is much more precise than is knowledge that belongs to us.  And the same goes for beauty and all the others.

Socrates: Yes. p.368

On a Difficult task for an Old Man: Parmenides said: “I am obliged to go along with you.  And yet I feel like the horse in the poem by Ibycus.  Ibycus compares himself to a horse – a champion but no longer young, on the point of drawing a chariot in a race and trembling at what experience tells him is about to happen – and says that he himself, old man that he is, is being forced against his will to compete in Love’s game.  I too, when I think back, feel a good deal of anxiety as to how at my age I am to make my way across such a vast and formidable sea of words.  Even so, I’ll do it, since it is right for me to oblige you; and besides, we are, as Zeno says, by ourselves.” p. 371

On the One: Parmenides – Shall I hypothesize about the one itself and consider what the consequences must be, if it is one or if it is not one?  p. 371

On What?:
Parmenides: Therefore the one, as it seems, is both different from the others and itself, and the same as the others and itself.

Aristotle: It certainly looks that way from our argument. p. 380

On What the One Is:
Parmenides: Therefore the one is both equal to, and greater and less than, itself and the others. p. 384

On How the Young Catch Up with the Old in Age:
Parmenides: So the one’s difference in age in relation to the others will not be in the future just what it was at first.  On the contrary, by getting an increment of time equal to the others, it will differ from them in age always less than it did before.  Isn’t that so?

Aristotle: Yes.

Parmenides: Wouldn’t that which differs from anything in age less than before come to be younger than before in relation to those things it was previously older than?

Aristotle: Younger.

Parmenides: And if the one comes to be younger, don’t those others, in turn, come to be older than before in relation to it?

Aristotle: Certainly.

Parmenides: So what is younger comes to be older in relation to what has come to be earlier and is older, but it never is older. On the contrary, it always comes to be older than that thing.  For the older advances toward the younger, while the younger advances toward the older.  P 387

On the Instant:  Parmenides: The instant seems to signify something such that changing occurs from it to each of two states.  For a thing doesn’t change from rest while rest continues, or from motion while motion continues.  Rather, this queer creature, the instant, lurks between motion and rest – being in no time at all – and to it and from it the moving thing changes to resting and the resting thing changes to moving.

On Art:
 Parmenides: Just as, to someone standing at a distance, all things in the painting, appearing one, appear to have a property the same and to be like.

Aristotle: Certainly.

Parmenides: But when a person comes closer, they appear many and different and, by the appearance of the different, different in kind and unlike themselves. 

Aristotle: Just so.

Parmenides: So the masses must also appear both like and unlike themselves and each other.

Aristotle: Of course.  p. 396


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No One Makes It Alone

No One Makes It Alone by Andrew A. Valdez

Judge Valdez spoke at the Multicultural Leadership Conference held at Weber State University last month.  He was giving away copies of his book.  I was able to procure one and have just finished reading it.  It is autobiographical and tells of his growing up in the “bad part of town” and how he was mentored by a local small business man.  Much of the story is about his learning to play tennis – but the massage is that with hard work and someone to help, one can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.  Later in life Judge Valdez was able to serve the man who saved him – thus the title, No One Makes It Alone.

On A Kid Needs a Safe Place: Andy would rather work at the print shop where he felt safe.  It was his escape, a place to go and make some money.  p. 28

On Why One Should Play Sports:  Jack – “. . . I want you to play sports.  That’s hard work, too.”


“To get you off the streets.  To teach you how to behave, to follow rules, to get along with people.” p.29

On No One Makes It Alone: Jack – “. . . no one makes it alone Andy.  No one makes it alone . . . okay?” p. 32

On Practice: Jack – “It takes practice.  It takes a lot of practice.  This is a tough game.  You have to have a lot of practice.  Give it time.” p. 35

On the Need of One to Do Their Own Work:  Jack went on, “What’s left?  Tennis.  What you do in tennis, like bullfighting, is strictly up to you.  Nobody in the world can do anything to really help you but yourself.  All the coaching and advice and teaching won’t mean a damn.  The bullfighter, the boxer and the tennis player, they make it on their own.  If they’ve got the guts and the skill – they make it.

“That guy with the sword waiting for the bull, he’s on his own.  You’re out on the court alone.  No one can come in to take your place if you’re tired or sick or your arm hurts or you twist your ankle or the heat is getting you. It’s all yours.  Nobody on the bench.  You come out a winner – great.  Real great.  You lose, who cares.  You get all the credit.  You get all the blame.”  p. 50

On Learning by Losing: Jack – “Don’t ever forget, you learn to play by losing,” Jack reminded Andy. . . “You learn what you’re doing wrong and what the other guy is doing right.  That’s what you learn by losing. “pp. 58 – 59

On Machines: Jack – “. . . All Machines are antagonistic to people.  Printing presses hate anyone who makes them work.  They smash your finger and break your hand and cut you up every chance they get.  Look at the paper cutter.  It’s sitting there just waiting for a chance to cut my arm off one of these bad days. You’ve got to look out for machines.  You’ve got to have respect for them.  Don’t fool around or get careless.  They’re just waiting for the right time to grab you.” p. 68

On Feeling Needed and Wanting to Remember the Boy:  Jack looked at the boy.  He wanted to get the picture securely in his mind, so someday he would be able to remember it exactly as it was.  He would remember the feeling and how fine it was to be with the boy and watch him grow and help him when he needed help and be needed by him.  The best feeling of all was be needed.  Without that, you didn’t really have anything of value.  Without that, your whole time of living didn’t mean very much at all. p. 77

On Jinxing the One You Want to Win: . . . He wanted to be there and witness it.  It was something he would be able to taste and talk about all winter.  But, he was afraid to go.  He didn’t want to jinx the boy.  Whatever Andy was doing, it was one-hundred-percent right.   pp. 83 – 84

On That Prayer One Gives:  Jack – . . . Listen to me.  Ask what you will.  I will do it.  I will do it.  Anything.  Anything you ask.  Just this once.  And strike me dead if I don’t do what you ask, only now let him let him . . . let him . . .  pp. 85 – 86

On Practice: Mr. Trane – “Practice, that’s the big thing.  Practice, practice, practice.  It never ends.  Tell him I said to keep at it.” p. 91

On Summer Passes Quickly, Winter Slow: The summer had passed so quickly.  It wasn’t likely winter would hurry.  It never did.  p. 106

On Those Who Want the War Over, Winning It:  Jack – “It was the draftees that won the war, believe me.  Those regular Army guys didn’t care how long it lasted.  p. 116

On Their Troubles Bringing Them Together:  Jack - . . . He lives ten miles on the other side of town.  I’ll have to work something out.”

Brian – “He should live on the east side and have parents with money.  Then. He wouldn’t have any problems.”

Jack – “Brilliant observation.”

Brian – “One things for sure.  If Andy hadn’t had his troubles, and you hadn’t had yours, you would have never, met the boy.”

Jack – “Just dumb luck, I guess.” Jack smiled.  p. 130

On the Hard Is Good:  Jack – “Of course it’s hard.  If it was easy you wouldn’t have any problems.”  p. 131

On Earning the Right “to Swear”:  Jack – “I earned the right.  You get my age, you’ll have earned the right to swear.  You don’t get anything in this world without earning it.”  p. 149

On School Being for the Student:  Jack – “All right.  You don’t go to school for the benefit of the teachers.  The school was built at great expenses for you.  You’re the only reason they’ve got a job – to help you be somebody.  Get a good education and learn how to grow up and be somebody useful.  You’ve got to have a good education to get a good job.  You’ve got to have a good job to make good money.  You’ve got to have money to do the things you want to do and buy the things you want to buy.” P. 200

On Earning Success:  Jack – It’s all there for you.  You just have to want it real bad.  THer’s a saying by the Spanish, ‘In this life take what you want.  But pay for it.’  You get the point?”

Andy sighed, “Yeah, I get the point.  I can have anything I want, but first I have to do y lessons and get along with the teachers.”  p. 201

Monday, November 11, 2013

Plato's Statesman

I’ve run rivers.  One would think that floating down a river provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauties of nature.  However, if the river is fast flowing and filled with rapids, falls, and eddies there is little opportunity to enjoy that beauty; the challenge and the joy of such a river trip comes from staying afloat.  For me, reading Plato’s Statesman was just such a head long rush.  Sometimes, to get even a peek the truths through which the cascade of ideas dragged my mind, I had to claw my way back up stream, struggling back through the ideas to attempt a glimpse at their meaning.  It was a struggle but here are some glimpses of the good I found.  All quotes are form: Plato – Complete Works, Edited by John M. Cooper, Associate Editor, D. S. Hutchinson, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis/Cambridge, 1997.

From Statesman on the Divisions on Knowledge:

Visitor: Well, divided all cases of knowledge in this way, calling the one sort practical knowledge, the other purely theoretical.  p. 297

From Statesman on Creation & Spontaneous Generation:

Visitor: . . . From all these considerations, it follows that one must neither say that the cosmos is always itself responsible for its own turning, nor say at all that it is turned by god in a pair of opposed revolutions, nor again that it is turned by some pair of gods whose thoughts are opposed to each other; it is turned by what was said just now, which is the sole remaining possibility, that at times it is helped by the guidance of another, divine, cause, acquiring life once more and receiving a restored immortality from its craftsman, while at other times, when it is let go, it goes on its own way under its own power, having been let go at such a time as to travel backwards for many tens of thousands of revolutions because of the very fact that its movement combines the effects of its huge size, perfect balance, and its resting on the smallest of bases.  p. 311

From Statesman on a King – v – a Tyrant:

Visitor: I think we made a mistake before. . . We put king and tyrant into the same category, when both they themselves and the manner of their rule are very unlike one another.  p. 318  

From Statesman on the Relative and the Absolute:

Visitor: . . . and at the same time that greater and less are measured not only in relation to each other but also in relation to the coming into being of what is in due measure.  p. 327

From Statesman on the Types of Government:

Visitor: We recognize monarchy, don’t we, as one of the varieties of rule in cities?

Young Socrates*: Yes.

Visitor: After monarchy one would, I think, list the holding of power by the few.

Young Socrates: Of course.

Visitor: And isn’t a third type of constitution rule by the mass of the people, called by the name of ‘democracy’?

Young Socrates: Most certainly.

Visitor: So there are three of them – but don’t they in a certain way become five, giving birth from among them to two other names in addition to themselves?

Young Socrates: What are these?

Visitor: I think that as things are people refer to the aspects of force and consent, poverty and wealth, and law and lawlessness as they occur in them, and use these to divide each of the first two types into two.  So they call monarchy by two names, on the grounds that it exhibits two forms, the one ‘tyrannical’, the other ‘kingly’ monarchy.

Yong Socrates: Of course.

Visitor: And any city which has come to be controlled by a few people they call by the names of ‘aristocracy’ and ‘oligarchy’.

Young Socrates: Most certainly.

Visitor: With democracy, on the other hand, whether in fact it’s by force or with their consent that the mass rules over those who possess the wealth, and whether by accurately preserving the laws or no, in all these cases no one is in the habit of changing its name.

Young Socrates: True.

From Statesman on Just Government:

Visitor: . . . so long as they act to preserve it [the Constitution] on the basis of expert knowledge and what is just, making it better than it was so far as they can, this is the constitution which alone we must say is correct . . . p. 337

From Statesman on types of government and the “divisions” of democracy:

Visitor: Out of monarchy let’s make kingly and tyrannical rule; out of the sort that doesn’t involve many, we said there was the auspiciously named aristocracy [rule of quality], and oligarchy, while out of the sort that does involve many, there was democracy, which we then called single and put it down as such, but now in turn we must put this too down as double.

Young Socrates: How, then?  And divided by what criterion?

Visitor: By one that is not different from the other cases even if its name, ‘democracy’, is now double; but certainly ruling according to laws and contrary to laws belongs both to this and to the others.

Young Socrates: Yes, it does. p. 347

From Statesman on When a King Is Best (Constitutional Monarchy):

Visitor: Well then, when monarchy is yoked in good written rules, which we call laws, it is best of all six; but if it is without laws, it is difficult and heaviest to live with. p. 347

From Statesman on Comparing Just and Unjust Democracy to the Other Forms:

Visitor: For this reason, if all the types of constitution are law-abiding, it turns out to be the worst of them, but if all are contrary to law, the best; and if all are uncontrolled living in a democracy takes the prize, but if they are ordered, life in it is least livable, and in first place and best by far will be life in the first, (monarchy) . . .  p. 348

From Statesman on Traits of Good Kings:

Visitor: Among these, I think, are generalship, the art of the judge, and the part of rhetoric which in partnership with kingship persuades people of what is just and so helps in steering through the business of cities.  p. 349

From Statesman on Power of Rhetoric:

Visitor: Well then: to which sort of expert knowledge shall we assign what is capable of persuading mass and crowd, through the telling of stories, and not through teaching?

Young Socrates: This too is clear, I think: it must be given to rhetoric.

Visitor: And the matter of whether to do through persuasion whatever it may be in relation to some people or other, or else by the use of some sort of force, or indeed to do nothing at all: to what sort of expert knowledge shall we attach this?

Young Socrates: To the one that controls the art of persuasion and speaking.

Visitor: This would be none other, I think, than the capacity of the statesman.  p. 349

From Statesman on the Dangers of Pacifism:

Visitor: . . . For those who are especially orderly are always ready to live the quiet life, carrying on their private business on their own by themselves.  They both associate with everyone in their own city on this basis, and similarly with cities outside their own, being ready to preserve peace of some sort in any way they can.  As a result of this passion of theirs, which is less timely than it should be, when they do what they want nobody notices that they are being unwarlike and making the young men the same, and that they are perpetually at the mercy of those who attack them.  The consequence is that within a few years they themselves, their children, and the whole city together often become slaves instead of free men before they have noticed it.  p. 353

From Statesman on the Dangers of Militarism:

Visitor: But what about those who incline more towards courage?  Isn’t it the case that they are always drawing their cities into some war or other because of their desire for a life of this sort, which is more vigorous than it should be, and that they make enemies of people who are both numerous and powerful, and so either completely destroy their own fatherlands, or else make them slaves and subject of their enemies? p. 354

From Statesman on Education’s Importance in Maintaining Freedom through ‘Weaving’ together Pacifism and the Militarism:

Visitor: Then as for the others, whose nature are capable of becoming composed and stable in the direction of nobility, if they acquire education, and, with the help of expertise, of admitting commingling with each other—of these, it tries to bind together and intertwine the ones who strain more toward courage, its view being that their firm disposition is as it were like the warp, and the ones who incline toward the moderate, who produce an ample, soft, and—to continue the image—wooflike thread, two natures with opposite tendencies; and it does so in something like the following way.

Young Socrates: What way is that?

Visitor: I call divine, when it comes to be in souls, that opinion about what is fine, just and good, and the opposites of these, which is really true and is guaranteed; it belongs to the class of the more than human   p. 355

*This ‘Young Socrates’ is not ‘our Socrates’ as a young man, but a young man who also has the name of Socrates.