c. 378 bc: athens
Glaucon: i try to breed from the best.
Socrates: Our next task must be to make marriage
as sacred as possible. and the sacred marriages
will be those that are most beneficial.
Socrates: How, then, will they be most beneficial? tell me this, Glaucon: i see that you have
hunting dogs and quite a flock of noble fighting birds at home. Have you noticed anything
about their mating and breeding?
Socrates: and do you breed from the youngest
or the oldest or from those in their prime?
Glaucon: from those in their prime.
Socrates: and do you think that if they weren’t
bred in this way, your stock of birds and dogs
would get much worse?
Glaucon: i do.
Socrates: What about the horses and other animals? are things any different with them?
Glaucon: like what?
Socrates: in the first place, although they’re all
noble, aren’t there some that are the best and
prove themselves to be so?
Glaucon: There are.
Socrates: do you breed them all alike, or do you
try to breed from the best as much as possible?
Glaucon: it would be strange if they were.
Socrates: dear me! if this also holds true of
human beings, our need for excellent rulers is
Glaucon: it does hold of them. But what of it?
Socrates: Because our rulers will then have to
use a lot of drugs. and while an inferior doc-