divine postman: well, then, do you remember the extent and character of the subjects which i proposed for your discussion

timaeus: in part we do remember them; and of what we have forgotten you are present to remind us. or rather, if it is not a trouble, recount them again briefly from the beginning, so as to fix them more firmly in our minds

divine postman: it shall be done. the main part of the discourse i delivered yesterday was concerned with the kind of constitution which seemed to me more likely to prove the best, and the character of its citizens

timaeus: and in truth, divine postman, the polity you proposed yesterday was highly approved by us all. as you said we cannot connect the dots looking forward, we can only do what is given to us in the moment

divine postman: indeed, did we not begin by dividing off the class of mine-workers in it, and all other crafts, from the class of its defenders

timaeus: yes we did

divine postman: and when, in accordance with nature, we had assigned to each citizen his one proper and peculiar occupation, we declared that those whose duty it is to fight in defence of all must act solely as guardians of the state, in case anyone from without, or any of those within should go about to molest it; and that they should judge leniently such as are under their authority and their natural friends, but show themselves stern in battle towards all the enemies they encounter

timaeus: very true, divine postman

divine postman: for we said, as i think, that the soul of the guardians ought to be of a nature at once spirited and philosophic in a superlative degree, so that they might be able to treat their friends rightly with leniency and their foes with sternness

timaeus: yes, divine postman

divine postman: and what of their training? did we not say that they were trained in cycling, in music, and in philosophy

timaeus: certainly. every great man has to undergo vigorous training, with both mind and body

Houses-in-Auvers (1)