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Ancient Greeks


Plato (cont'd)

Plato believed that all constitutions and laws were inherently bad in that they did not meet the constantly changing events of modern life.  He believed that states were not stable in that they relied on laws that could not keep up with the needs of the society.  To him what was needed were men with a godlike insight that could lead the state.  These wise leaders would be able to rule the state as they would use their intellect rather then outdated laws.

Out of his idea of what a state should be he wrote "The Republic".  To him a perfect state would consist of the Guardians, the Auxiliaries, and the rest of society.  That is the wise leaders, the military, and the rest of society.  

In his perfect society no social or economic classifications would be allowed, nor would there be differences between the rich and the poor. The rulers in this society would be strictly forbidden to have property, marry or have a family, in this manner they would constantly have their mind on the state. 

There would be no discrimination based on sex in the perfect society.  However, discrimination would occur  in aptitude with the highest educational training being given to the brightest boys or girls, either of which could eventually become guardians of the state.  To foster unity within the society the children would be taken care of by all in the society and no one would know who was in fact their own child.  All children would be children of the state and taken care of by all.

Plato's idea of a perfect society was never realized.  He became so disillusioned with mankind that he decided that mankind could not be governed by reason.  He then created a model by which he felt mankind  could co-exist.  This model of co-existence was a state that was governed by solid unyielding laws that had to be followed rigidly by its population.  In these second class states laws would be formed by the "experts" and would be followed by its population to the letter.  

To Plato the second class societies were drastically different from first class societies, as first class societies were based on free choice, whereas in second class societies there existed no choice. Plato passed away in 347 B.C. with his dream of a "perfect state" never being realized.

Directly Related:

Take a look at an ancient quote from Plato: Ancient Quote from Plato.


Other Ancient Greeks:


  • Socrates Famous ancient Greek Philosopher that was put to death as a result of his beliefs.
  • Epictetus Famous ancient Greek stoic Philosopher.
  • Phidias A great ancient Greek sculptor.  He designed the Parthenon, and created some of the most beautiful sculptures of the ancient world.  He is by far the most famous ancient Greek sculptor.
  • Aristotle Famous ancient Greek Philosopher, and teacher of Alexander the Great.
  • Hippocrates Considered the father of modern medicine. His oath is read till this day.  Take a look at his oath!

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