The following quotations are from:

Plato, The Republic, Book III, pp. 60-93. Trans. G.M.A. Grube, Hackett Publishing, 1992.

“Moreover, we have to be concerned about truth as well, for if what we said just now is correct, and falsehood, though of no use to the gods, is useful to people as a form of drug, clearly we must allow only doctors to use it, not private citizens.


            Then if it is appropriate for anyone to use falsehoods for the good of the city, because of the actions of either enemies or citizens, it is the rulers. But everyone else must keep away from them, because for a private citizen to lie to a ruler is just as bad a mistake as for a sick person or athlete not to tell the truth to his doctor or trainer about his physical condition or for a sailor not to tell the captain the facts about his own condition or that of the ship and the rest of its crew—indeed it is a worse mistake than either of these.

            That’s completely true.

            And if the ruler catches someone else telling falsehoods in the city… he’ll punish him for introducing something as subversive and destructive to a city as it would be to a ship.” 64-65.

“I don’t know all the musical modes. Just leave me the mode that would suitably imitate the tone and rhythm of a courageous person who is active in battle or doing other violent deeds, or who is failing and facing wounds, death, or some other misfortune, and who, in all these circumstances, is fighting off his fate steadily and with self-control. Leave me also another mode, that of someone engaged in a peaceful, unforced, voluntary action, persuading someone or asking a favor of a god in prayer or of a human being through teaching and exhortation, or, on the other hand, of someone submitting to the supplications of another who is teaching him and trying to get him to change his mind, and who, in all these circumstances, is acting with moderation and self-control, not with arrogance but with understanding, and is content with the outcome. Leave me, then, these two modes, which will best imitate the violent or voluntary tones of voice of those who are moderate and courageous, whether in good fortune or in bad.” 75

“Well, we certainly aren’t doing anything new in preferring Apollo and his instruments to Marsyas and his.” 76

“[W]e should try to discover what are the rhythms of someone who leads an ordered and courageous life…” 76

“Aren’t these the reasons, Glaucon, that education in music and poetry is most important? First, because rhythm and harmony permeate the inner part of the soul more than anything else, affecting it most strongly and bringing it grace, so that if someone is properly educated in music and poetery, it makes him graceful, but if not, then the opposite. Second, because anyone who has been properly educated in music and poetry will sense it acutely when something has been omitted from a thing and when it hasn’t been finely crafted or finely made by nature. And since he has the right distastes, he’ll praise fine things, be pleased by them, receive them into his soul, and, being nurtured by them, become fine and good. He’ll rightly object to what is shameful, hating it while he’s still young and unable to grasp the reason, but, having been educated in this way, he will welcome the reason when it comes and recognize it easily because of his kinship with himself.” 78

“He’ll work at physical exercises in order to arouse the spirited part of his nature, rather than to acquire the physical strength for which other athletes diet and labor.” 86

“Haven’t you noticed the effect that lifelong physical training, unaccompanied by any training in music and poetry, has on the mind, or the effect of the opposite, music and poetry without physical training?

            What effects are you talking about?

            Savagery and toughness in the one case and softness and overcultivation in the other.

            I get the point. You mean that those who devote themselves exclusively to physical training turn out to be more savage than they should, while those who devote themselves to music and poetry turn out to be softer than is good for them?

            Moreover, the source of the savageness is the spirited part of one’s nature. Rightly nurtured, it becomes courageous, but if it’s overstrained, it’s likely to become hard and harsh.” 87

“Therefore, when someone gives music an opportunity to charm his soul with the flute and to pour those sweet, soft, and plaintive tunes we mentioned through his ear, as through a funnel, when he spends his whole life humming them and delighting in them, then, at first, whatever spirit he has is softened, just as iron is tempered, and from being hard and useless, it is made useful. But if he keeps at it unrelentingly and is beguiled by the music, after a time his spirit is melted and dissolved until it vanishes, and the very sinews of his soul are cut out and he becomes a ‘feeble warrior.’” 87

“It seems, then, that a god has given music and physical training to human beings not, except incidentally, for the body and the soul but for the spirited and wisdom-loving parts of the soul itself, in order that these might be in harmony with one another…” 88

Guardians: “First, none of them should possess any private property beyond what is wholly necessary. Second, none of them should have a house or storeroom that isn’t open for all to enter at will. Third, whatever sustenance moderate and courageous warrior-athletes require in order to have neither shortfall nor surplus in a given year they’ll receive by taxation on the other citizens as a salary for their guardianship. Fourth, they’ll have common messes and live together like soldiers in a camp. We’ll tell them that they always have gold and silver of a divine sort in their souls as a gift from the gods and so have no further need of human gold. Indeed, we’ll tell them that it’s impious for them to defile this divine possession by any admixture of such gold, because many impious deeds have been done that involve the currency used by ordinary people, while their own is pure. Hence, for them alone, among the city’s population, it is unlawful to touch or handle gold or silver. They mustn’t be under the same roof as it, wear it as jewelry, or drink from gold or silver goblets. In this way they’d save both themselves and the city. But if they acquire private land, houses, and currency themselves, they’ll be household managers and farmers instead of guardians—hostile masters of the other citizens instead of their allies. They’ll spend their whole lives hating and being hated, plotting and being plotted against, more afraid of internal than of external enemies, and they’ll hasten both themselves and the whole city to almost immediate ruin.” 93