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socrates

A.

1. Socrates is about to go on with the investigation of the unjust cities when he is again restrained, as once before on his way up to Athens (327), by a conspiracy of Polemarchus and Adeimantus (499). After some whispering, a vote is taken and the decree that has been passed is announced by Thrasymachus (450a3). Thrasymachus represents that “force” (Phaedrus 267c8) which boasts of its ability to rouse and soothe the multitude (and which is itself so easily managed by Socrates) and now speaks for them: Socrates must expand and defend that principle, mentioned before with conspicuous brevity (424a1), which is to give the city unanimity or, better, a perfectly public character: “Friends own what is common” (499c5). Here is a new political reading of a current phrase (cf. Lysis 207c10, Phaedrus 279c6, Laws 739c2), which may mean, significantly, two things: “What a friend owns is at the service of his friends,” or “What friends own insofar as they are friends is communal by nature.” They particularly want to know about the equality of education for men and women (451b) and the community of wives and children (457b). Socrates reluctantly complies and faces the first two of the three waves threatening to overwhelm him (473b6).

When he has faced them, and gone on to describe such a city’s relation to other Greek cities, Glaucon erupts: “But it seems to me, Socrates, that if one were to allow you to talk about such matters you would never remember what it is you pushed aside in saying all this, namely this question: Is such a constitution capable of coming into being and in what way is it possible” (471c)? And he insists on this question even though Socrates stalls by getting him to admit that the object of their discourse was the discovery of justice and injustice and their respective merits, and that the “city in speech,” having served that purpose, is none the worse for being impractical (473a1). But since Glaucon does insist (understandably, we can­ not help feeling) on trying out their just constitution as a practical political pattern, he must not, Socrates stipulates, force him to show that “what they went through in speech can completely be in deed;” Glaucon must content himself with as close an approximation as is possible (a5). This approximation will be reached by making the least possible number of changes to improve things now done badly in cities, changes that will amount to a re-founding of the city according to the constitution just discussed. There may be one or two or more such changes, but in any case there should be as few as possible (b4).

Odysseus

Odysseus

So Socrates, like Odysseus, meets that third wave which will carry him to his Phaeacia (Odyssey V, 313, 425). The one thing that must be changed, he announces solemnly (c2) is this: “Unless either philosophers rule in the cities, or those who are now called kings and dynasts philosophize genuinely and sufficiently, and these two—namely political power and philosophy—coincide, and the many natures of those who now pursue either way separately have been excluded by necessity, there can be no end of evils, my dear Glaucon, in cities, or, in my opinion, in the human race” (c11). He adds that he cannot see how any other city can be happy in public or in private.

Together with Glaucon he now prepares the ground for a new, a fourth, city. It is necessary to show why this “one change” may be said to produce a new city; is it not merely the third, the guardian constitution, put into effect? Both Socrates and Glaucon, at least, do seem to regard these two as different; Socrates calls the guardian city, as opposed to the fourth city, “the first selection” merely (536c8), and Glaucon refers to the new city as the better of the two (543d1). And rightly so, for as Socrates himself says, an actual city is never the same as its pattern, its paradeigma (472d9, 473a). The guardian city and the philosopher city differ, then, as does a realization from its plan. The discourse on the possible city will be, among other things, a subtle consideration of the relation of pattern to product, of “theory” to “practice.” In its course that which makes the pattern possible will prove to be that which makes it superfluous: The fourth or philosophers’ city will have no constitution separable from its very life.

Aristophanes

Aristophanes

2. The philosopher kings, to pursue the difference between the cities further, can certainly not be regarded as part of the constitution of that just city which must have been known generally as “Socrates’ city.” Aristotle, in his critique of what “Socrates says” in the Republic, mentions the warrior class and the community of women, children, and goods, but omits all mention of the philosopher kings (Politics 1291a20, 1261a4). Aristophanes, too, in The Female Parliament (427), where the community of goods and women becomes the law of Athens, fails to seize the comic opportunity inherent in the subject of female philosophers. It is likely that this play was written before the Republic, and we may infer that people—Socrates in particular—had long been talking about such a city. In the dialogue there are enough passages parallel to the play[1] to constitute an acknowledgment to posterity that Aristophanes’ women’s city is a parody of Socrates’ already notorious city. In fact, the nod to the comedian is explicit, for, in facing his first wave, Socrates remarks that after the men’s part has been played out it is only right to recite “the women’s drama” (451c2); moreover, in going to meet his third wave he says, as if speaking from a familiar experience, that “it might overwhelm him with laughter and disrepute” (473c8).

3. Last and most weighty is the account Socrates himself gives of his city in the Timaeus when he recapitulates the constitution that he had presented to his friends in a discourse on the previous day. There is no reason whatever to conclude that the Republic is that discourse. In fact, while the Republic is recounted on the day after the Bendideia, the Timaeus, quite appropriately, takes place on the Lesser Panathenaea, a festival that occurred two months later, also in the Peiraeus (26e); during the festival a gown was sent up to Athena “on which the Athenians, her nurslings, could be seen winning the war against the people of Atlantis” (scholiast on Republic 327a). Furthermore, the dramatic year of the Timaeus seems to be earlier than that of the Republic.[2] The city Socrates recapitulates in the Timaeus is, in any case, not the city of the central books of the Republic, for, although his account is said to be complete (19a7), the philosopher kings are omitted; it is rather the “third city” with all its notorious features. We may infer that Socrates proposed this city on various occasions and that it was known as “his.”

SocratesThis guardian city, therefore, differs from the philosopher city as the best pattern differs from its realization, and, it has now turned out, as the impossible differs from the possible. Socrates himself explains to Adeimantus, when he asks whether this guardian city they have founded is the city suited to philosophy, that it is that city in many ways but that in addition there “would always be needed someone understanding the reasoning [logos] behind the constitution—that same one who guided you when as a law-giver you laid down the laws” (497c8). The difference between the cities is therefore not constitutional, for the older guardians will still rule, and rule so as to achieve the most harmonious community possible. The difference is rather in the rulers themselves, in what they know and in what  they will look to, in their education. We shall see whether this may not outweigh any more externally obvious formal difference.

B.

1. However, the claim is not that the fourth city is a possible city but something more dramatic: That it is actual, that it comes into being while Glaucon and Socrates converse, that it is a city “in deed,” ergõi. According to what has been said, this could happen only if one paradoxical condition were fulfilled: If there were some one adult who actually lives in the just city, and who, as a living citizen of the city, can bring up another within it and so begin the accelerating “cycle” (424a5) of the reciprocating interplay between the citizens’ education and their nature. This founder must be a first citizen not only in the sense that he possesses what Socrates calls “the constitution within himself” (591e1, 608b1) but also in the sense that he has such external relations—natural, as we shall see, to any truly educated human being (423e4)—as correspond with the constitution of the third, the fully differentiated just city, and its working counterpart, the fourth or the “possible” city.[3] What would such a life and such a man look like?

Socrates

Socrates

To begin with, he would have to be brave and a soldier proven in battle, who put the safety of his comrades before his own (Apology 28e, Symposium 220d5), past the age of fighting and over fifty years old (cf. Republic 540a4; Socrates is about sixty), but still spirited in the defense of philosophy (Republic 536c4), which he had steadily pursued from an apt youth (Parmenides 130b) to old age. He would have no private possessions (Republic 337d8, Apology 31c2), but would live with his friends as if all their goods were held in common (Apology 38b6, Crito 44e, Republic 337d10) .He would regard all promising young men as his sons to the neglect of his private family, and they would regard him as a father (Apology 31b4, Phaedo 60a7, 116a6). When he wished he would possess the persuasiveness to make gentler the enemies of philosophy so that they would accept its rule.(Republic 354) He would be able to ascend in thought above the city, leaving his body behind (Symposium 174d5, 220c3). He would be willing, though not eager, to undertake political tasks (Republic 327, Apology 31c). He would regard it as part of his charge to select and educate the best among the young for future rule, and he would prevent them from reaching too high too fast (Republic 506d7, 533a1). Finally, he would possess some special quality that would hold him to philosophy and protect him from corruption.(496c4) Such a man would fulfill Socrates’ last words concerning the possibility of the city, for, without caring in the least whether she is or ever will be in fact, “he will do her business and that of no other” (592b3).

The Nicomachean EthicsThe references after each statement above give passages in the Platonic dialogues where Socrates is so described. He is a man, the dialogues assert, who is here and now doing the business of the just city. Thus we see that the sum of Aristotle’s criticism of Socrates’ city, that its communality is really not the bond uniting a multitude, but rather the bond of each good man with every other (Politics 1263a29), is deeply accurate, and what is more, that Aristotle’s politics are ultimately not so very different—”and friendship seems to hold cities together; and lawgivers care more for it than for justice.” (Nicomachean Ethics 1155a23) The reason that the corporate genesis of the third, the guardian city, is presented as an insurmountable dilemma is that that city was never meant to be a self-sufficient body politic, nor, for that matter, a single soul writ large, but something between these—­that set of relations, correctly called friendship, which is essentially political, as we shall see, and which a philosopher institutes between himself and his fellow-citizens whenever he is able. And when this kind of man comes to power, “our constitution, which we have told as a myth in speech, will achieve its consummation in deed.” (501e4) As we shall see, Socrates is in power.

2. In the same way, we must look at the nature and condition of the youth, whom he will educate to be a helper and auxiliary first and later a successor and ruler. He will be a young man of twenty (537b8), markedly spirited (357a3, 441a2, 548d9), and with some experience in soldiering, open to the influence of music and with a strong bent toward mathematics. Now this is a picture of Glaucon, “erotic” like Socrates himself (474d4; cf. Symposium 177d8), a young man of about twenty, whose manly courage and desire for victory are emphasized together with his receptivity to music (548e5); he has already distinguished himself in battle (368a3), is delighted by mathematics (528e7, 531a3), and is the son of the “Best” of fathers. He is, therefore, quite right to offer himself as a “helper” (474b1; cf. the “helpers” of the guardian city, 414b5) and to say that “perhaps I could answer more fitly than another,” for he is the reason why Socrates is taking so much trouble on himself (474a5); he is “responsible” (509c3) for Socrates’ overcoming his reluctance to speak on the highest matters. And we must not forget that as the dialogue closes Socrates speaks to Glaucon—and him alone—of the “upward road” as if they were again all by themselves, as they had been when they “came down” at the beginning. There is some additional evidence in favor of Glaucon as a prospective ruler. Xenophon (Memorabilia III, vi) recounts a conversation in which Socrates persuades Glaucon, who is less than twenty years old and wants to become head of state immediately, that he knows nothing of statecraft, nothing of revenues, and nothing of military management, and that he should perhaps first learn something about these subjects. Socrates, Xenophon says, took an interest in Glaucon “for the sake of Plato and Charmides;” he alone succeeded where everyone had failed, and persuaded Glaucon to restrain his ambitions until he should have become competent enough not to make a fool of himself. We see that Glaucon must, in fact, have been very interested in politics and that Socrates was known to have been interested in him. The Republic even contains the counterpart in the Platonic mode of the Xenophontic dissuasion: Glaucon is persuaded that the mark of the true ruler is that he has no ambition to rule and despises the “political life”—the subtlest possible deterrent for a proud young man (520e4 ff.). Beyond this Glaucon’s name had for Plato the tremendous advantage that unlike that of Critias and Charmides it was not tainted with political crimes. He may have died young, for scarcely anything is known of him, except that he wrote dialogues (Diogenes Laertius II, 124)—and was Plato’s brother.

3. The philosopher’s city is coming into being while Socrates and Glaucon converse: the primary political act is the “conversion” to a philosophical education of one youth by one man. Because he engages in this kind of activity, Socrates can maintain in one and the same dialogue (Gorgias 473e6, 521d6) that he is not one of the “political men” and that he alone in Athens practices the “truly political art.” (Plato’s own activities were in accordance with this principle, Seventh Letter 326b ff.) The contrived bodily community of the guardian city (416d) is here converted into a natural dialogic community. This is, by nature, a community of two; throughout the dialogue Socrates has one interlocutor, and when another enters, it is by way of interruption (e.g., 449b1, 487bl; cf. Gorgias 474a). But minimal as it is, it is a true community as opposed to the artificial unity of the guardian city. For the latter is an artificially composed harmony of “one out of many” (423d6, 443e1), in musical terminology a diapason (cf. the dia panton as a characteristic of “otherness,” Sophist 253e1), an “all-encompassing consonance,” but it has no one natural source and no discernible end beyond subsisting as a unity. There is, as we shall see, no eidos, no idea of a city, while the community that underlies dialogic communication is, on the contrary, precisely eidetic and, unlike the guardians’ community of bodily goods (416d), indestructible. For the eidos that underlies speech is not a delicate adjustment of “one out of many” in which the many constitute and enter into the unity, but an indivisible one “by itself” and opposed to all multiplicity (e.g., 479; contrast the preposition used for the community of eide: “one idea through many” [Sophist 253d9] with that used for the relation of many sensible things to their eidos: “many…under one idea” [Republic 507b6]). The eidos is the “common thing,” the thing public by nature that belongs to friends. The foundation of the fourth city, the establishment of that Politeia which is indeed rightly translated by Republic—that is, Commonwealth—consists in beginning that dialogue with which any Western education, an education that is the making of a free citizen, begins. We shall see exactly how Socrates goes about this founding act. As Rousseau half-truly observes in his Emile, “Plato’s Republic…is not a political treatise, as those who merely judge books by their titles think. It is the finest treatise on education ever written.”

C.

But first, it is necessary to see where and under what circumstances his foundation takes place.

Peiraeus - AthensThe conversation of the Republic is held on the day of the Bendideia in the Piraeus, the harbor of Athens, which was united with the upper city by the Themistoclean walls (Thucydides I, 93), so that the dialogue may be said to take place within Athens. In the mythical dimension this place is revealed as Hades; in fact, it is a turbulent center of Athenian democracy. The cult of Bendis, a new Thracian import, is itself a symptom of dissolution, “a new workshop of turbulent revelry,” as a comic writer[4] seems to have described it. Its celebration is to culminate that night in a torch-race and an “all-nighter” (328a8), an orgiastic affair which the young men are clearly waiting to join.

Socrates and Glaucon, both citizens of this democracy, will conduct their conversation, which occupies the central books of the Republic, within this setting. It is, in a strange way, the right setting, as the dialogue itself intimates. To show this let us look at the degenerating cities and citizen souls of Books VIII and IX.

There are four of them, in downward order: timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny (544c). But exactly as in the case of the just city, the monarchy and aristocracy are regarded as being two names for one constitution (445d4); so a case may be made for taking democracy and its inevitable degenerate consequence, tyranny, together (cf. Politics 1292a18, where democracy is said to be analogous to tyranny; also 1286b17). For not only do they in fact alternate with each other in Athens at this time, but within Socrates’ scheme they have this important trait in common: that they are both less than cities, almost non-constitutions, to which no definite kind of soul corresponds (557c1). This bracketing of the two gives us the following scheme:

Music of the Republic

 

which conveys a kind of inverse correspondence between the best and worst. The correspondence of opposites is evident in a number of ways: the just rulers, especially when the elders of the third city become the philosophers of the fourth, make no distinction between their own and the public business (497a5), and in a perverted way neither does the tyrant, whose rule is a private nightmare publicly staged (573, 576b5)—for in private the tyrant is himself, like his city, almost absolutely tyrannized. Like the just constitution, the democracy contains three classes, which again correspond inversely: the have-nots in the democracy form the lowest and largest class, the class most eager for revolution, while in the just city they are in highest and least class (428e7), the unpropertied class most devoted to the preservation of the city. And again: the ruling class in the democracy cannot fight because of its luxuriousness (556c8), while those who have that strength and should be the watchdogs become wolves to the human fold (415e2, 566a4). These cities then are related by Socrates as extreme opposites which meet (576d); he even describes them by the same term: The just city is called “the city of beauty” or “fair-city” (kallipolis, 527c2), and so is the democracy called, bitterly, the “fairest” of constitutions (557c4; the same of tyranny, 562a4) for the colorful variety of constitutions to be found within it. All the other characteristics contribute toward putting the citizen of a democracy into a perverse and yet peculiarly intimate relation to the just city, but it is this last that makes democracy practically the best base of Socrates’ enterprise. (The ordering of constitutions in the Republic is made in abstraction from considerations of legitimacy; contrast the classification of the Statesman, 291d ff., where democracy is “the best of all lawless constitutions;” also 303a8; cf. Politics 1289b9. From this point of view, incidentally, such sub-political democracy is the degenerate counter­ part of that Cyclopean pre-political self-sufficiency which must have preceded the cooperation of the craftsmen’s city; cf. Odyssey IX, 187 ff.) For, as he tells Adeimantus, it plays host to so many constitutions that “he who happens to want to found a city, as we are now doing, must go to a democratic city;” having picked a constitution he likes he may then proceed to settle his own city (557d). This is precisely what Socrates does, who, as he himself points out, even while sitting in an Athenian prison, never considered leaving a perverse Athenian democracy for a dully decent timocracy like that of Sparta or Crete (Crito 52e5); in fact, the perverse excellence of Athens is epitomized in this—that Socrates is taken seriously enough to become the center of a public scandal. Socrates’ dialogic community is one of the many Athenian constitutions.

D.

1. A consideration of the guardian city, as it appears in the Timaeus, will bring out the full force of Socrates’ founding act. As we have shown, two things are required to bring the best city into being as an actual political body: that the breeding of the citizens should be founded in nature and that the vicious circle by which the established order makes citizens in its own image should somehow be broken. These very conditions are fulfilled in the Timaeus in a way totally different from that of the Republic.

Although the guardian city and its institutions are said at various times to be according to nature (e.g., Republic 428e9, 456c1), it is the nature of the soul that is really meant—a most unnatural nature, as we shall see. The consequence of this unnatural psychic base is that the city no sooner ceases to be regarded as a mere pattern and begins to have corporeal life, than it enters its road of dissolution. For it, change or “motion” (kinesis) is always “discord” (stasis, 545d), since “a constitution in agreement with itself cannot be changed” (d3); for it also, motion is unintelligible, since the question “how…then does our city come to have changed?” (d5) is answered only by the inaccessible mystery of the mathematics of birth­ governing celestial cycles (546). Now in the Timaeus Socrates expresses precisely this wish: to see his city “put into motion” (19b8), like a person who sees some fine animals painted or resting and feels a desire to stir them. His hosts, therefore, must find a way to move his city without dissolving it. The entertainment that Timaeus, Critias, and Hermocrates provide for Socrates on the Panathenaea (17a1, 26e2), unlike the bitter feast Thrasymachus serves him on the Bendideia (354a10, 357a2), is truly amusing for him. They present to him the frame of his picture, as it were, by providing a mathematical hypothesis (see below IV D 3 a), a “supposed eidos” (48e6), which will serve as a pattern for that mathematically moving macrocosm into which the harmony of his animated city will fit consonantly. In the Republic the largest context (and that one of strife) had been Hellas (470e4); now it is the numbered heavens. Whereas in the Republic the city was a soul writ large, in the Timaeus the city and the soul is a cosmos writ small (24c, 27b, 30d, 42e ff., 69b). The rulers of such a city would not need to do any intricate geometrizing—contrast the forced, unnatural imitation of celestial circular geometry in Atlantis with the natural layout of Athens (Critias 111, 113d). Obviously, in this setting the main political virtue would not be what might be called the “substantial” virtue of justice, which makes each man true to himself, but rather the “relational” virtue of temperance, which keeps him in balance, “sound­ minded” (sophron)—“sane.” This virtue is understandably dim in the local context of the Republic, for as Socrates says there (430e6), “temperance is a sort of cosmos”—an interior adjustment in tune with an outer order (cf. Theon, Mathematical Matters Useful for Reading Plato, Introduction: “For the harmony of the cosmos, the good order of the city, and temperance in private affairs are one and the same”).

Hephaestus and Athena2. The city itself they animate by translating it into history. Its citizens are indeed earth-born, sown by the twin gods Hephaestus and Athena, she the goddess of wisdom and war and he the patron of the craftsmen of the city. To this natural genesis corresponds a natural end: The city sinks out of sight in a cataclysmic earthquake (Timaeus 25c7). Socrates had presented them with a theoretical myth (26b4, c8), and a factual myth, a tale of antiquity, is the gift they return.

The city of the Republic, on the other hand, is only as old as “yesterday.” It too has a source beyond itself, but this source is not within nature, visible or intelligible, but beyond nature itself (540a8). The true ruler must be in touch with this source—thus the love of attainable wisdom is what is meant in this dialogue by philosophy (cf. Sixth Letter 323d); Glaucon’s question about the genesis of the best city turns into a question about the genesis of a philosopher (504b). Socrates is going to answer this question with a practical demonstration.

3. Socrates’ city, it is necessary to note, is mentioned once more, briefly, in a dialogue from which Socrates is absent, the Laws (cf. also Diogenes LaertiusIll, 52). There an old man, an Athenian stranger of Solonic—as opposed to philosophic—wisdom (cf. Republic 536dl), sets up, in the course of a walk through Crete, a “constitution.” It is a constitution not only in the first sense of the word, in which it means the institution of rulers and ruled as in the Republic but also in the second sense, namely as a code of laws for the rulers to administer (Laws 751a). He mentions the guard­ian city of the Republic in which “friends have all things in common” as a city inhabited by gods, a “pattern” for his own (739el)—he clearly means an unattainable and impracticable pattern. The cities he can undertake to build are only the second and the third best (e5; cf. Republic 445c5, where the best city is said to be unique, while the degenerate forms are several). The constitution that is then given, a conflation of monarchy and democracy (Laws 693d), is meant as a practical political model for actual cities, and it was in fact so used. This city differs from the best city in its essential characteristics: property, women, and children are no longer held in common (740), and a concomitant adjustment is made in the citizens’ and rulers’ education, which is no longer “eidetic” but rather “aisthetic,” based on sense experience (817e ff., 967)—it is often observed that the word “philosophy” does not occur in the dialogue at all.

StatesmanNow the city of law is discussed in the Statesman, a dialogue where Socrates is present, and it is evidently discussed in his spirit. There it is called the “second sailing” (300c2), i.e., that laborious rowing by which boats are moved when the wind fails (scholion on Phaedo 99c); the phrase means not “second best,” but rather “least worst” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1109b1). The city of law is said to be merely the best of all those cities which are not true and genuine cities at all but only copies (Statesman 293e3); the “only constitution” is that in which the rulers are men of knowledge (c6). The Eleatic Stranger, the chief interlocutor, mentions one aspect of the rule of law that particularly bears on the education of such men, that is, of philosopher kings, as it is set out in the Republic: Whatever, he asks, would be the meaning of a mathematics studied according to a “code of law” (299e4)—clearly the liberal study of mathematics set out in the Republic is not appropriate to the rulers in the Statesman. Moreover, the one hope for the rule of law is, the Stranger says, its meticulous preservation under all circumstances (300c), a demand totally incompatible with the radical excellence demanded of Socrates’ foundation (Republic 501a). The practical city, the city of law, is therefore essentially opposed to the philosopher city. One might say that the former is firmly founded in the “Cretan” realm of the underworld judges Minos and Rhadamanthus (Laws 624b) while the latter leads ever beyond it.

One more remark on the significance of Socrates’ absence in the Laws. In the Politics, Aristotle gives a critique of the Republic, in his usual way cutting through Socratic “brilliance” and “originality” (1265a12, 1291a11) to reach the sober political content of the dialogue, and consequently stripping away the “extraneous arguments and those about education” (1264b39), until he finally reduces the Socratic foundation to one law: “that the guardians shall not farm” (1264a9)—and the Spartans have already thought of that! Thus, the Republic is made to emerge as an insufficiently detailed forerunner of the Laws, while the Laws are regarded as a Republic made practical (1264b26 ff.). And Aristotle proceeds to underwrite this interpretation by pretending that Socrates, the man who never left Athens except on a campaign, is the much-traveled (Laws 639d9) Athenian stranger! It seems that for him the presence or absence of Socrates determines the mode of dialogue.

The first essay in this series may be found here and the second here. Books by Eva Brann may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. This essay originally appeared in the St. John’s Review (Volume 39, Number 1 and 2, 1989 – 1990) and is republished here with gracious permission of the author. Miss Brann welcomes questions/comments via mail: Dr. Eva Brann, St. John’s College, 60 College Avenue, Annapolis, MD, 21401-1655 (she does not use computers).

Notes:

[1] See Adams op. cit. (supra, I) I, pp. 345 ff.

[2] See M. Cornford, Plato’s Cosmology (London 1937), pp. 4-5. For a totally different point of view and concomitantly different years for the dramatic date of the Republic, see A. E. Taylor, A Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus (Oxford 1928), pp. 15-16, 45.

[3] A similar case is found in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and is expressed in the apparent lack of a niatch between the title, which seems to pro­ mise an account of Cyrus’s upbringing by the Persians (I, ii, 2), and the content, which turns out to be instead the education Cyrus gave the Persians. This is because Cyrus, whose name means the “Lord,” is at once the beneficiary and the source of Persian customs; Cyropaedia therefore means “The Lord’s Education” both in the objective and the subjective sense of the genitive.

[4] Cratinus, from a lost play, The Thracian Women. The cult of Bendis evidently was good for comedy; it seems to have been the subject of Aristophanes’ lost Lemnian Women.

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