The Republic; The Statesman of Plato

The Republic; The Statesman of Plato

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The Republic; The Statesman of Plato

The Republic; The Statesman of Plato

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The mere fact that a publisher should venture at this day to place before the public a new edition of a work written twenty-three centuries ago ought to be itself a sufficient introduction. Words can scarcely add to the eloquence of that fact. So ancient a work, however, might be republished simply as an historical document or curiosity, to show what was thought and written and taught long ages ago, in order that the contrast between those times and our own, and the progress made in the intellectual development of humanity might be more manifest. Or, again, and still from an historical motive, it might be desirable and profitable to reproduce a work of antiquity which stands as the foundation of some particular science or branch of knowledge, but which is no longer of any other importance or value, even in its own field, than is the seed which long years ago fell into the ground and died that the great fruitbearing tree which our eyes now behold might grow and live. What is remarkable in the present instance is that ≪The Republic≫ of Plato can be put forth in a new edition to-day, not as a mere historical monument or document, not as a curiosity of barbarism or of infant civilization, not as the outgrown beginning of some line of intellectual development, but as a living, teaching reality, fitted to awaken in men's minds the highest thoughts and the noblest ideals, to direct men's conduct in the paths of justice and righteousness, to lead human civilization onward and upward to heights to which, even after twenty-three hundred years from the time when Plato first wrote this work, it has not yet reached.

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