Ideal Commonwealths: Plutarch's Lycurgus, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and a Fragment of Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem

Ideal Commonwealths: Plutarch's Lycurgus, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and a Fragment of Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem

Read FREE!

Ideal Commonwealths: Plutarch's Lycurgus, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and a Fragment of Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem

Ideal Commonwealths: Plutarch's Lycurgus, More's Utopia, Bacon's New Atlantis, Campanella's City of the Sun and a Fragment of Hall's Mundus Alter et Idem

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Plato in his "Republic" argues that it is the aim of Individual Man as of the State to be wise, brave and temperate. In a State, he says, there are three orders, the Guardians, the Auxiliaries, the Producers. Wisdom should be the special virtue of the Guardians; Courage of the Auxiliaries; and Temperance of all. These three virtues belong respectively to the Individual Man, Wisdom to his Rational part; Courage to his Spirit7ed; and Temperance to his Appetitive; while in the State as in the Man it is Injustice that disturbs their harmony.

Because the character of Man appears in the State unchanged, but in a larger form, Plato represented Socrates as studying the ideal man himself through an Ideal Commonwealth.

In another of his dialogues, "Critias," of which we have only the beginning, Socrates wishes that he could see how such a commonwealth would work, if it were set moving. Critias undertakes to tell him. For he has received tradition of events that happened more than nine thousand years ago, when the Athenians themselves were such ideal citizens. Critias has received this tradition, he says, from a ninety- year-old grandfather, whose father, Dropides, was the friend of Solon. Solon, lawgiver and poet, had heard it from the priests of the goddess Neïth or Athene at Sais, and had begun to shape it into a heroic poem.

This was the tradition: -- Nine thousand years before the time of Solon, the goddess Athene, who was worshipped also in Sais, had given to her Athenians a healthy climate, a fertile soil, and temperate people strong in wisdom and courage. Their Republic was like that which Socrates imagined, and it had to bear the shock of a great invasion by the people of the vast island Atlantis. This island, larger than all Libya and Asia put together, was once in the sea westward beyond the Atlantic waves, -- thus America was dreamed of long before it was discovered. Atlantis had . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.