by
Bill Weintraub




Chaire Macheta!

Hail Warrior!

Welcome to Biblion Pempton -- Book V -- of Manhood: A Lexicon.

My name is Bill Weintraub, and I'm the creator of The Man2Man Alliance and Ares is Lord websites, and the author of Manhood: A Lexicon.

Manhood: A Lexicon is, basically, a book -- masquerading as a webpage.

And, like any book, it's best read from the beginning.

So -- I strongly encourage you to read, if you haven't already, the Prefatory Note and Prolegomena to Manhood: A Lexicon ;

And then Biblion Proton ;

Followed by Biblion Deuteron, Biblion Triton, Biblion Tetarton and, finally, Biblion Pempton.

It's important that you read that material, and in this order:





Prefatory Note -- please read this first.

Prolegomena: Men, Manhood, and Fighting -- please read this next.

MANHOOD -- A LEXICON
After reading the Prolegomena, please read these Penta Biblia -- these Five Books -- in the order given:


Again, it's important that you read all the material, and in the order given:

Doing so will not only greatly aid your understanding of the material you encounter in Biblion Pempton and the rest of Manhood: A Lexicon -- but is essential to your understanding that material.

Translation :

You won't be able to understand Biblion Pempton -- Book V -- without having first read the Prolegomena and the first four books.

Similarly, if you've already read that material -- but it's been a long time since you re-read it -- you'll need to review it.

For example :

Can you explain the difference between the world of becoming and the World of Being?

You have to be able to.

Can you tell me who Shorey, Jaeger, Jowett, and Lendon are?

Or Xenophon?

Or Arrian?

Or Aristonicus?

You have to be able to.

The material in Biblion Deuteron regarding being vs becoming is particularly important.

But so is your ability to explain the difference between the definition of Manhood in ancient Greece and its definition in contemporary America.

So :

You need to read -- and if you've already read once -- to review.

Now :

Biblion Pempton -- Book V -- which is titled Warrior Kosmos, Warrior Sanction / Ares is Lord : Manhood is God -- is divided into ten chapters, of which the first two were published in 2014, and the third, titled III ARES : Adventus through Askesis, was published December 10, 2015.

The fourth, titled IV ARES : On Equal Terms, was published December 24, 2015.

And the fifth, titled V ARES : Warlike and Wise, was published December 30, 2015.

While the sixth, titled VI ARES : Scenes from a Munus, was published January 15, 2016.

And the seventh, titled VII ARES : Nude Fight Free Fight was published February 1, 2016.

And the eighth, titled VIII ARES : Warrior Virtue, was published March 23, 2016.

And the ninth, titled IX ARES : Warrior Communion, was published April 10, 2016.

While the tenth and final chapter, titled X ARES : Warrior Theourgia, is being published in sections, the third of which was published today, November 30, 2016.

Again, the eight NEW chapters are Chapter III ARES : Adventus through Askesis, which was published December 10, 2015 ;

Chapter IV ARES : On Equal Terms, which was published December 24, 2015 ;

Chapter V ARES : Warlike and Wise, which was published December 30, 2015 ;

Chapter VI ARES : Scenes from a Munus, which was published January 15, 2016 ;

Chapter VII ARES : Nude Fight Free Fight, which was published February 1, 2016 ;

Chapter VIII ARES : Warrior Virtue, which was published March 23, 2016 ;

Chapter IX ARES : Warrior Communion, which was published April 10, 2016 ; and,

Chapter X ARES : Warrior Theourgia, which is being published in sections, the third of which was published today, November 30, 2016.

Future chapters will be announced on this page, and on The Man2Man Alliance Personal Stories message board.

Again, it's important that you read all ten chapters, and in the order given, starting with the first two, and then moving on first to Chapter III ARES: Adventus through Askesis ; and then to Chapter IV ARES: On Equal Terms ; and then to Chapter V ARES: Warlike and Wise ; and then to Chapter VI ARES: Scenes from a Munus ; and then to Chapter VII ARES: Nude Fight Free Fight ; and then to Chapter VIII ARES : Warrior Virtue ; and then to Chapter IX ARES : Warrior Communion ; and then to Chapter X ARES : Warrior Theourgia :

And Please Note :

Of chapters III through IX, Chapter III ARES : Adventus through Askesis -- is by far the most important.

It's vital that you read and re-read Chapter III until you're sure you understand it -- before moving on to Chapter IV.

Again, it's vital and absolutely necessary that you read and re-read Chapter III ARES: Adventus through Askesis -- until you're sure you understand it and are confident you can explain its main points in your own words -- before starting Chapter IV.




How to Read the Lexicon

Throughout all five books of the Lexicon, there appear translations of ancient Greek texts.

Certain words within the texts are indicated with brackets and a link, thus :

[andreia]

Whenever you see a bracketed link of that nature, it's *important* that you click on it and read the definition given.

But -- whenever you see a bracketed link which refers to some aspect of Manhood and/or the Warrior's Being and Life, such as Manliness, Honour, Valour, Worth, Moral Beauty, Virtue, Courage, Bravery, Glory, Strife, Struggle, Combat, Battle, Fight, War, Agony, Athletics, Contention, Obedience, Boxing, Weaponry, Wrestling, Spearmen, Pankration, Martial Order, Righteous Erectness, Love, etc. -- as well as words which are specific to the Greeks and/or Romans -- such as Doric, Lakedaimon, Lakon, Honestum, Pugna, Purus -- it's essential that you click on it and read the definition given.

I repeat :

Not once, but every time you see the word, until you are 100% absolutely and without a doubt confident that you know exactly and precisely what the word means, you MUST click on and read the link.

Doing so is particularly important for the words we discussed in Parts II and III of Biblion Proton : The Alphas of Male, including Andreia, Arren, Aristos, Areté / Areta, etc ; and Men of Honor : The Morally Beautiful, the Righteously Erect, and the Warrior Worthy : Kalos-Kalon-Kala, Orthos, and Timé / Tima.

However, every word in the Lexicon is important -- and all bracketed links should be read.

Here's an example of why -- from Plato's Symposion :

Sokrates :
Wherefore I tell you now that every man should honor [timao] Love [Eros -- Romantic, Passionate Love between Men], as I myself do honor all love-matters with especial devotion, and exhort all other men to do the same ; both now and always do I glorify [enkomiazo] Love's power [dynamis] and valor [andreia] as far as I am able.

~Plato. Symposion. 212b, translated by Fowler.

The first bracketed link is of [timao] -- a word which greatly matters because it's derived from Timé -- Worth.

Warrior Worth.

So -- the first sentence should read "I tell you now that every Man should deem Love Worthy" ; and the word "Worthy" is important because it's a Warrior Word which, in this context, connects Romantic, Passionate Love between Men -- with the Warrior Worth -- the Timé -- Men earn through their Prowess on the Battlefield -- through their Prowess in Fight.

Again :

The first sentence should read "I tell you now that every Man should deem Romantic, Passionate Love between Men -- Worthy" ; and the word "Worthy" is important because it's a Warrior Word which, in this context, connects Romantic, Passionate Love between Men -- with the Warrior Worth -- the Timé -- Men earn through their Prowess on the Battlefield -- through their Prowess in Fight.

In other words, Sokrates' use of the word Worth -- Warrior Worth -- very explicitly connects Romantic, Passionate Love between Men -- with -- FIGHTING.

And in so doing, connects that Love with the Warrior Worlds of both Warriordom and Warrior Kosmos.

In short, timao matters.

But the other words matter too -- a LOT.

Why?

Here's Fowler's translation of the second clause :

both now and always do I glorify [enkomiazo] Love's power [dynamis] and valor [andreia] as far as I am able.

And here's the actual meaning of that second clause :

both now and always do I praise as one would a conquering hero [enkomiazo -- see enkomios], the Might [dynamis] and Manliness [andreia] of Romantic, Passionate Love between Men [Eros] -- as far as I am able.

Hopefully you can see the difference between Lamb's translation and the actual meaning of the second clause, and understand therefore why it matters that you learn the actual meaning of ancient Greek words.

Here's another example :

The ancient Greek word athletes.

It looks like our modern English word "athlete," and certainly that's where we get our word from.

But the ancient Greek word doesn't refer to just any athlete.

Its definition, according to Liddell and Scott, is a combatant, champion, prizefighter.

So its first meaning is combatant ;

and its second meaning is champion ;

while its third is prizefighter.

So :

An athletes is either a combatant in wrestling-boxing-pankration -- or on the battlefield.

The ancient Greek word athletes is about fighting and combat.

Yet two different translations of Pindar's Victory Ode known as Isthmian 6, For Phylakidas of Aigina, Winner, Pankration, render the ancient Greek word athletes -- as our word modern English word "athletes."

And that's both misleading -- and wrong.

The context is that Pindar is complimenting a Man named Lampon, who has two sons (and a brother-in-law and grandfather) who've been victors at the various Crown Games -- in Pankration :

You might say that for athletes he is like the bronze-mastering Naxian whetstone among other stones.

~Pindar I 6.72, translated by Svarlien.

You would say that among athletes the man is a bronze-taming whetstone from Naxos compared to other stones.

~Pindar I 6.72, translated by Race.

That's not what Pindar's saying.

He's saying that "for combatants and prizefighters, Lampon is a bronze-taming whetstone from Naxos compared to other stones."

In other words, he produces a superior Combatant -- a superior Fighter.

A Champion.

Because, again, Lampon has two sons (and a brother-in-law and grandfather), who are Winners in Pankration.

Not in a foot race, not in throwing the discus, but in the roughest and toughest Agonia around.

Pindar's remark -- and his ode -- is about Fighters and Fighting.

So :

In another ode, Pindar uses the word thego -- to sharpen, whet.

Like the best whetstone, the Naxian whetstone, superior for sharpening swords and spear-points, Lampon has sharpened his sons into superior Pankratiasts.

And, by implication, superior Warriors.

Indeed, what Lampon has really sharpened is their Areta -- their Manly Excellence, their Fighting Manhood.

But to understand that, you have to understand the actual meaning of the ancient Greek word athletes ; and not be fooled by its superficial resemblance to a modern English word.

And to do that -- to have that understanding and not be fooled -- you have to CLICK ON THE LINK.

Until you know what the word -- actually means.

So --

You may not like that I tell you to click on a link.

Repeatedly.

But if you want to be liberated -- you're going to have to do some work.

Just like you're going to have to learn to Fight.

You can't get there -- by doing nothing.

That's been your strategy your entire life.

And it's gotten you nowhere.

If you want to be liberated --

If you want to be a Man --

You're going to have to do the work.

I said that, in another ode Pindar uses the verb thego -- to sharpen, whet.

It's in Olympian 10, for Hagesidamos of Western Lokri, Winner, Boys' Boxing :

With the help of a God [syn Theos], one man can sharpen [thego] another who is born [phua] for excellence [areta -- Manly Excellence], and encourage him to tremendous achievement. Without toil [a-ponos] only a few have attained joy, a light of life above all labors.

~Translated by Wm Race.

"Without toil, only a few have attained joy"

Hagesidamos of Western Lokri was the winner in Boys' Boxing in 476 BC.

Boys' Boxing.

Most of you are middle-aged -- and you've never thrown a punch.

You're pathetic.

You need to do the work.

You have to do the work.


How to Read
Liddell and Scott's
Definitions
of
Ancient Greek Words

Given that it's important -- very important -- that you learn the actual meaning of ancient Greek words, particularly when those words refer to some aspect of Manhood and/or the Warrior's Being and Life, such as Manliness, Honour, Valour, Worth, Moral Beauty, Virtue, Courage, Bravery, Glory, Strife, Struggle, Combat, Battle, Fight, War, Agony, Athletics, Contention, Obedience, Boxing, Weaponry, Wrestling, Spearmen, Pankration, Martial Order, Righteous Erectness, Love, etc. -- as well as words which are specific to the Greeks and/or Romans -- such as Doric, Lakedaimon, Lakon, Honestum, Pugna, Purus -- you need to know how to read the Liddell and Scott definitions that you'll see when you click on a bracketed link.

So :

In Liddell and Scott's definitions of ancient Greek words, the words in italic type are the actual definitions of the Greek word, while the words in roman type are explanatory and/or serve to link several words.

For example, in this entry on

  • Aidos : reverence, awe, respect for the feeling or opinion of others or for one's own conscience, and so shame, self-respect, sense of honour

reverence, awe, respect and shame, self-respect, sense of honour are the actual translations of the word ; that is, Aidos can mean and can be translated as reverence, awe, respect, shame, self-respect or sense of honour.

The last three definitions derive from the first three in the way that Liddell and Scott explain in roman type :

reverence, awe, respect for the feeling or opinion of others or for one's own conscience, and so shame, self-respect, sense of honour

In other words, because the Warrior has reverence, awe and/or respect for the feeling and opinion of others or for his own conscience, he may feel shame, self-respect, or a sense of honour.

So -- to take a specific instance -- in Sparta, the young Warriors were taught to always give up their seat to an elder Warrior.

A young Warrior, seeing an elder Warrior who needs a place to sit, will give up his seat to that elder because of the reverence, awe, or respect he has for the opinion of his peers or the promptings of his own conscience.

If he does not give up his seat, he'll feel shame.

While if he does offer his seat to the elder, he'll experience self-respect and a sense of honour.

Same with keeping his place in the Hoplite formation.

The Warrior would feel shame if he broke ranks and ran away.

While he feels honour when he stays at his post.

Thus aidos can mean both shame and honour or self-respect, and it derives from the sense of reverence, awe, and respect which the Warrior feels for the opinion of his elders, his peers, and his own conscience.

And -- if you go to the definition of aidos as it appears in our Lexicon, you'll see that I've written an explanation under Liddell and Scott's definition -- which expands upon what I've just said.

Here's another example :

  • Areté / Areta : goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess (like Lat. virtus, from vir)

So -- areté / areta (the Doric form of the word) -- can be translated as goodness or excellence of any kind, but especially of manly qualities -- qualities such as goodness, excellence, and virtue -- thus areté / areta can be translated as Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Manly Virtue -- or just plain Manhood, which is really what the word means when referring to a human male -- and Liddell and Scott add, valour, prowess --

Which makes perfect sense, because valour is the Willingness to Fight, and prowess is the Ability to Fight ; and Areté / Areta is Manhood, which, at its most basic, is The Willingness and Ability to Fight.

And, Liddell and Scott say, under their entry for Ares,

From the same root [ARES] come areté, ari-, areion [better -- stronger, braver, more Manly], aristos [best -- strongest, bravest, most Manly], the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war ; cf. Lat. virtus

So they repeat the word goodness, saying "the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war."

And in both definitions they refer the reader -- and this is a VERY IMPORTANT POINT -- with the words "cf." = confer = compare Lat. = Latin -- virtus.

They tell the reader to compare the Greek word areté / areta with the Latin, that is, Roman, word, virtus.

Why?

Because, and again this is a VERY IMPORTANT POINT, from the Renaissance forward, boys were taught Latin FIRST -- and then ancient Greek.

Again, kids learned Latin BEFORE they learned Greek.

That was the standard pedagogy for centuries -- and until very recently.

Therefore, Liddell and Scott FREQUENTLY make reference to Latin words -- assuming that their readers, most of whom are students, have already learned some Latin -- and perhaps a lot.

And those students certainly would have learned the Roman words vir -- man -- and virtus -- which is usually translated as "virtue," but which really means, according to Charlton Lewis, another 19th-century scholar, "manliness, manhood, i. e. the sum of all the corporeal or mental excellences of man, strength, vigor; bravery, courage; aptness, capacity; worth, excellence, virtue, etc."

So :

Both Areté / Areta and Virtus mean Manliness, Manhood, i. e. the sum of all the corporeal or mental excellences of man, strength, vigor; bravery, courage; aptness, capacity; worth, excellence, virtue.

Which is something I explain in three places in our Lexicon, Understanding the Core Position and Actual Meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood ; Fowler's Translator's Note ; and The Attributes and Qualities of Fighting Manhood.

Which is that Areté / Areta / Andreia -- and Virtus -- mean and are essentially the same thing or, if you prefer, set of attributes.

Of which *the most important*, consistently, in both cultures, both of which are Warriordoms, is Fighting Manhood, which is The Ardent Willingness and Requisite Ability, to Fight.

Again :

Liddell and Scott expect the average student of Greek, who in their day would have been an adolescent boy, or perhaps younger, to have already encountered the Latin / Roman word Virtus, and know what it means.

They also expect the boy's teacher, who's a classicist and who knows both Latin and ancient Greek -- to make the comparison for the boy.

Which means that when you read a Liddell and Scott definition, and see a reference to a Latin word which, on the Perseus website, is always a clickable link -- you should click on it -- and see what the word means.

Because, again, Liddell and Scott expect, and not without reason, that you know what it means.

So :

That's how to read a Liddell and Scott definition.

The words in italic are the actual translation, the words in roman are explanatory, and the comparisons to Latin words, indicated by the notation "cf. Lat." -- matter.


The Ancient Greek
and Roman Culture
of
Andreia-Areté-Virtus

Now :

Let's look again at our earlier discussion of Prof Fowler's translation of a few lines in Plato's Symposion :

Sokrates :
Wherefore I tell you now that every man should honor [timao] Love [Eros -- Romantic, Passionate Love between Men], as I myself do honor all love-matters with especial devotion, and exhort all other men to do the same ; both now and always do I glorify [enkomiazo] Love's power [dynamis] and valor [andreia] as far as I am able.

~Plato. Symposion. 212b, translated by Fowler.

Here's Fowler's translation of the second clause :

both now and always do I glorify [enkomiazo] Love's power [dynamis] and valor [andreia] as far as I am able.

And here's the actual meaning of that second clause :

both now and always do I praise as one would a conquering hero [enkomiazo -- see enkomios], the Might [dynamis] and Manliness [andreia] of Romantic, Passionate Love between Men [Eros] -- as far as I am able.

You'll notice that Fowler has translated andreia as "valor," when its actual meaning is Manliness, Manhood, Manly Spirit.

Does that mean Fowler has done something bad or wrong?

No -- not within the context of when he was writing -- ca 1925 -- and the Men he was writing for.



But he has, inadvertently, done something injurious to males like yourselves, who not only don't know how to Fight, but are completely ignorant of the ancient Greek and Roman, Fighting-Manhood-based, Ethical System.

We'll discuss that system throughout Biblion Pempton.

In the first two chapters of Biblion Pempton, we examine, among other matters, two variants of the system :

In Chapter One, the Involved or Integral Virtues of Manhood, Piety, Temperance, and Manly Moral Order ;

and, in Chapter Two, the more common variant, which puts MANHOOD and its attributes at the center and core of that system.

It's essential that you understand BOTH variants.

The idea of the Four Integral Virtues is simple : There are Four Virtues -- Manhood, Piety, Temperance, and Moral Order -- and you can't have one without having the other three.

The Manly Man is Pious, Temperate, and Morally Ordered ;

The Pious Man is Manly, Temperate, and Morally Ordered -- etc.

In the Manhood System, which, again, was more common in ancient thought, Manhood, Fighting Manhood, is at the Moral Center of Society -- the Warriordom -- and of the Kosmos -- both created -- Fight is the Father of All -- and eternal -- the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

Fighting Manhood has attributes -- one classicist names fifteen -- which every Man Struggles to Attain -- so as to Perfect his Manhood.

Put differently, the Perfect Man, the Man every male should strive to be, has all of the positive and active attributes of Fighting Manhood :

  • Vigor -- Strength, Might, Power, Mastery, Potency ;

  • Valour -- Gallantry, Fortitude ;

  • Virtue -- Manly Goodness, Moral Perfection, High Character ; and,

  • Value -- Martial Merit, Warrior Worth.

You should memorize both the Four Integral Virtues and what we can call the Four V's of Fighting Manhood -- Vigor, Valour, Virtue, and Value -- along with all their attributes of Strength, Gallantry, Manly Goodness, Martial Merit, etc. ;

And then, as you read, keep the two systems constantly in mind.

And to help you better understand the second of the systems, which again we call the Manhood System, I've written a small article with a long title, Understanding the core position and actual meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood, which I encourage you to read.

Again, these ethical models of Integral Virtue and the Manhood System are discussed in the first two chapters of Biblion Pempton.

Now :

In Chapter III, we'll begin to look at the word "Good," and it's big brother, "Virtue," and start to understand what these words actually meant to ancient Men -- ancient Warriors.

Because they don't even remotely mean the same to us -- living in a Christian, effeminized, and heterosexualized society -- as they meant to Men living in a Warriordom -- a pagan, patriarchal, phallo-centric, very pugnacious, and totally Masculinist culture.

So -- the ancient Greek word agathos, usually translated as "Good," actually means "Excellent," and when referring to a Man, 99.99% of the time, actually means Manly -- that is, Willing and Able to Fight.

And even when not referring to a Man directly, because almost everything in a Masculinist society exists in relationship to Men, the word is colored by its frequent reference to Men -- so that, for example, and as we'll see, many objects, such as drinking cups, are considered "good" or excellent because they have a "Manly" use -- that's to say, Fighting Men benefit from their existence.

Similarly, the ancient Greek word areté / areta, often translated as "Virtue," actually means "Excellence," and as we'll see in Chapter III, when referring to a Man, actually means, and 99.99% of the time, Manly Excellence, which is Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- which is the same as Manliness, which is the same as Manly Goodness, which is the same as Manly Virtue, which is the same as Manly Spirit -- which is the same as Fighting Spirit.

Manly Excellence aka Manhood is the Man's Ardent Willingness -- and Requisite Ability -- to Fight.

And that form of Manhood, that Fighting Manhood, is, to the ancient Greeks and Romans, the best thing in the world.

Just as its lack -- an-andria -- the want of Manhood -- is the worst.

So :

This is a little ditty by Plautus, a Roman playwright of the middle Republic :

Virtus is the greatest prize,
Virtus comes before everything, that's for sure!
Freedom, safety, life, property and parents, fatherland and children, it guards and keeps safe.
Virtus has everything in it ; He who has Virtus has everything good!

~translated by Lendon.

And, adds Prof Lendon, quoting the Roman poet and tragedian Quintus Ennius,

Compared to the display of Virtus, "everything is subordinate and hides in dark night."

So :

Plautus says that Virtus -- which is Andreia -- which is Areté / Areta -- which is Manly Excellence which is Manliness which is Fighting Manhood --

"has everything in it!"

And that's true -- if by everything is meant all things Masculine and Manly.

As 19th-century scholar Charlton Lewis tells us in his definition of Virtus :

manliness, manhood, i. e. the sum of all the corporeal or mental excellences of man, strength, vigor; bravery, courage; aptness, capacity; worth, excellence, virtue, etc.

But -- as another historian of Rome, Thomas Wiedemann, demonstrated in his award-winning book Emperors and Gladiators, there's one element or attribute of Virtus / Areté / Areta / Andreia which is more important than the others :

Single combat was the context in which a Roman had to prove that he possessed the most important constituent of 'virtue' [that is, Virtus, which is Fighting Manhood].

. . .

It was this same quality, the courage to confront an opponent coupled with the technical ability to maim and/or kill him, which the gladiator instantiated [made concrete].

So :

Single combat was the context in which a Roman had to prove that he possessed the most important constituent of Virtus, which is Fighting Manhood : the courage to confront an opponent coupled with the technical ability to maim and/or kill him.

"the courage to confront an opponent" is Willingness

"the technical ability to maim and/or kill" is Ability

And what's true for the gladiator is true of the ordinary -- that is to say, Free -- Warrior in both Rome and ancient Greece :

Virtus-Areté-Areta-Andreia is the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

That's to say, the Willingness to Confront an Opponent coupled with the Ability to Defeat Him.

F I G H T I N GxxM A N H O O D
IS
THE ARDENT WILLINGNESS
AND
REQUISITE ABILITY
TO FIGHT

And in both Rome and Greece, that Willingness and Ability was without question the single most important component, the most important constituent, as Wiedemann says, of Virtus, which is Areté / Areta, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

Which brings us back to Ennius.

The Roman poet Ennius, who lived from 239 to 169 BC, and was fluent in Greek, Latin, and Oscan, promoted Greek literature and Greek ways among the Romans, and was well-regarded, being, at different times, the friend of such luminaries as Cato the Elder and Scipio Africanus, and was therefore very influential too.

And if you click on the link, you can read Harry Thurston Peck's really sweet 1898 -- that is to say, pre-heterosexualized -- biography of Ennius, which ends with this encomium :

Ennius was filled with a proud and noble self-consciousness. He entered Rome

  1. as a missionary of culture and free-thought ; and

  2. as a consecrator of ancient tradition.

He gave to Latin literature an impulse it never quite lost. In nearly every field he led the van. To him, more than to any one, it owes its predominant tone of sober directness and moral strength. In him Greek culture, grafted on an Oscan or Messapian stock, combined with Roman patriotism to form for the first time that special intellectual type, enthusiastic but disciplined, imitative yet independent, Hellenic in source but in development intensely national, which we can trace all through the subsequent course of Roman letters, and most conspicuously in their best and most illustrious representatives.

Ennius gave to Latin literature, says Peck, "its predominant tone of sober directness and moral strength."

Sober Directness and Moral Strength -- indeed.

These are the lines in Latin which Prof Lendon quotes -- they're spoken by Phoenix in Ennius' tragedy of that name :

Phoenix

Sed virum vera virtute vivere animatum addecet
fortiterque innoxium stare adversum adversaries,
ea libertas est qui pectus purum et firmum gestitat ;
aliae res obnoxiosae nocte in obscura latent.

And this is the translation :

Phoenix

But it behooves a man [vir] of true [verus] Virtus -- of true Manliness, true Manly Excellence, true Fighting Manhood --
To live a life [vivo] inspired [animo], to stand steadfast [sto]
With guiltless [innoxius] bravery [fortitudo] in the face of [adversus -- face-to-face with] foes [adversarius].
The man who bears himself both pure [purus -- clean, pure, unstained, free from sensuality] and staunch [firmus -- strong, steadfast, stable, enduring, powerful] --
That is true liberty. All conduct else
Lies lurking [lateo] in dim [obscurus] darkness [nox], fraught with guilt [obnoxiosus].

Ennius Phoenix 311, translated by Warmington and myself.

True Virtus -- True Manhood, says Ennius, which is True Liberty -- resides in standing with innocent bravery in the face of foes, keeping oneself pure and steadfast.

That's True Liberty, which is True Manhood.

All other conduct lurks in darkness, fraught with guilt.

And notice the emphasis on innocence and purity, on freedom from sensuality and luxury, which is not just Roman, but Spartan as well.

And which we'll examine in Chapter V of Biblion Pempton, when we look closely at the Apophthegmata Lakonika, The Terse and Pointed Sayings of the Spartans.

So again, both Sparta and Rome, like all Warriordoms, encourage innocence and purity among their Warriors, putting a premium on freedom from sensuality and luxury.

Indeed, Joseph Campbell, the great mythographer and student of mythic heroism, says, in The Masks of God, that the Hero is "the uncorrupted son of nature, pure in the yearning of his heart."

Because that's how Warriordoms -- Masculine and Martial Phallo-Centric Cultures -- conceive of the Hero.

For now, what you can see, hopefully, is how close in thought the fragment from Ennius, written in Latin ca 200 BC, is to Plato's "In Union with Valour -- that is, Fighting Manhood" speech -- from the Menexenus, written in Greek ca 400 BC, and which we first examined in Biblion Tetarton :

Whatever else you practice you must practice it In Union with Fighting Manhood, being well assured that when divorced from this all possessions and pursuits are base and ignoble. For neither does wealth bring honor to its possessor if combined with an-andria -- want of manhood and UN-manliness -- for such an one is rich for another rather than for himself -- nor do beauty and strength appear comely, but rather uncomely, when they are attached to one that is cowardly and base, since they make their possessor more conspicuous and show up his cowardice ; and every form of knowledge when sundered from that which is just, right, lawful, and Manfully well-ordered [dikaios] and the rest of Areté -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- is seen to be plain roguery rather than wisdom.

~Plat. Menex. 246d

So first Plato, the Greek philosopher, and then Ennius, the Roman poet, are saying that the lack of Areté - Virtus -- of Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- is fatal to anything else a male might attempt to do.

"Everything else is subordinate and hides in dark night," says Lendon ; "All conduct else lies lurking in dim darkness, fraught with guilt," says Warmington -- and it's the same deal as Plato :

[W]hatsoever else you practice you must practice it In Union with Fighting Manhood, being well assured that when divorced from this all possessions and pursuits are base and ignoble. For neither does wealth bring honor to its possessor if combined with want of manhood and unmanliness -- for such an one is rich for another rather than for himself -- nor do beauty and strength appear comely, but rather uncomely, when they are attached to one that is cowardly and base, since they make their possessor more conspicuous and show up his cowardice ; and every form of knowledge when sundered from that which is just, right, lawful, and Manfully well-ordered [dikaios] and the rest of Areté -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- is seen to be plain roguery rather than wisdom.

So :

Manly Excellence aka Manhood is the Man's Ardent Willingness -- and Requisite Ability -- to Fight.

And that form of Manhood, that Fighting Manhood, is, to the ancient Greeks and Romans, the best thing in the world.

Just as its lack -- an-andria -- the want of Manhood -- is the worst.

Again, we'll look closely at this in Chapter III.

In the context of understanding the way Men achieve the Adventus -- the arrival and realization of their Manhood -- through Askesis -- the discipline of Fight -- Mache -- and of self-control -- Enkrateia.

For now, however, those interested can read an extended discussion of Ennius, Plato, and the Guileless Purity of the Warrior by visiting our exploration of Warrior culture -- Warriordom.


Why
Fighting
Manhood?

Throughout our Lexicon I use the term Fighting Manhood.

Why?

To make clear that the Manhood I'm talking about is the Manhood which equips a Man with that which he needs to be a Man, the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

Why?

Because, although that definition of Manhood was clearly understood to be the definition of Manhood for literally thousands of years, in the latter part of the 20th century and on into the 21st, and as I discuss in Biblion Proton, the word manhood came to be associated with sex, rather than Fighting.

That association is dead wrong.

But it's extremely widespread, and what that means is that I have to constantly clarify, in my writing, that I'm talking about Fighting Manhood, and not some sort of sexual "manhood."

It's tedious to have to constantly do that, but I have to be realistic about what the larger and dominant heterosexualized culture is saying, over and over and over again, to the Men who read my work.

And I have to counter those constant cultural messages from the dominant hedonist and ethically-nihilist cultures which rule our contemporary world in such matters.

So -- and to give an example :

In her 1978 book, The Nude Male, feminist Margaret Walters says

The continuing centrality of the male nude [in Greek and Roman art] is a product of the religious and cultural reverence accorded the phallus, the symbol of arete [sic] and manly strength.

That's completely wrong.

First of all, as anyone who's looked at my work, and the pictures which illustrate that work, knows, the male nude in Greek and Roman art doesn't commonly display a phallus, that is, an erect penis.

Instead, the penis is, to our eyes, small and decidely not erect ; and the testicles are emphasized.

For example, here's a bronze copy of the statue known as the Doryphoros, the Spear-Bearer :


The Doryphoros, by Polykleitos,
portrays the Perfect Warrior
and thus the Ideal Man

In the ancient world, the Doryphoros was considered to be canonical, that is, it set the standard for the physical proportions which should be displayed by the Ideal Man.

And you can see what those standards are.


The shoulders are broad and well-developed, as is the chest, the abs are well-defined --

While the penis is small and detumescent, and the testicles clearly and lovingly modeled.


There are a great many sculptures like the Doryphoros.

Unfortunately, many are missing their penises, because those were destroyed by Christian mobs.

But there remain to us a fair number of sculptures which are genitally complete because they were lost at sea or were buried by ancient Men to protect them :








As you can see, in none of these sculptures -- and this is equally true of vase paintings --







In none are the penises erect or phallic ; to the contrary, they're small and detumescent.

So that what the feminist Ms Walters and we are seeing are not phalloi -- to use the Greek word -- but the aidoia, the genitals, which are indeed objects of religious and cultural reverence among the Greeks.

As you can see when you click on the link, for the word aidoia is related to aidoios -- regarded with reverence, august, venerable -- and aidos -- reverence, awe, respect -- and aidios, meaning everlasting, eternal -- to aidion is the eternal.

So -- the genitals are to be treated with reverence, awe, and respect, they're to be venerated, which means treated as something sacred, because they partake, in some way, of the Eternal.

And aidoia is the common word for genitals.

Here, for example, are two accounts by the Spartan poet Tyrtaios, who lived ca 650 BC, of hoplite warfare and its aftermath:

Let him fight toe to toe and shield against shield hard driven,
crest against crest and helmet on helmet, chest against chest;
Let him close hard and fight it out with his opposite foeman,
holding tight to the hilt of his sword, or his long spear.

. . .

At the very forefront an older man falls and lies down in front of the younger,
his hair white and his beard grey,
breathing out his last strong spirit amidst the dust,
holding in his hands his testicles [aidoia] all bloody.

So why does Margaret Walters, who's obviously not un-intelligent, make this patently absurd statement :

The continuing centrality of the male nude [in Greek and Roman art] is a product of the religious and cultural reverence accorded the phallus, the symbol of arete [sic] and manly strength.

Well, the ideological answer would be that as a feminist, she doesn't like Manhood, that is Fighting Manhood, or the phallus, and wants to confuse them.

While a simpler answer might be that as a resident of the 20th-century, she's addled about phallus and manhood -- that is, she thinks that the phallus *is* manhood.

But it isn't.

At least not 99.99%, as I like to say, of the time.

The Greeks have two words for Manhood, Fighting Manhood : Areté / Areta and Andreia.

Areté / Areta, when referring to a Man, always means Fighting Manhood and its synonyms, Manliness, Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue, etc.

But Andreia, which derives from the genitive form of the word for Man, andros, is used, once in a very great while, to refer, as Liddell and Scott put it, to the membrum virile, the virile member, the penis and/or phallus.

But that genital use of the word Andreia is very very very rare.

Again, 99.99% of the time, Andreia means Fighting Manhood.

And contrary to what Walters says, the phallus is NEVER "the symbol of arete and manly strength."

First of all because Areté is what Liddell and Scott say it is,

goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess, Hom., Hdt. (like Lat. vir-tus, from vir).

To which they add

From the same root [ARES] comes areté ... the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus.

Manhood.

Manhood is Goodness, and not just any goodness, but the first notion of goodness --

"the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war"

Manhood, Bravery in War.

"goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess"

Manhood, valour, prowess, that is, Fighting Manhood, the Man's Eager Willingness and Requisite Ability -- to Fight.

That's what Areté / Areta -- is.

Nowhere do Liddell and Scott say that Areté is Phallos or that phallus is the symbol of Areté.

Because the phallus is most certainly NOT "the symbol of" Areté / Areta.

Areté / Areta is what Liddell and Scott and we ourselves say it is : Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue, Fighting Manhood.

FIGHTING MANHOOD.

That's what it is.

So :

Given that Areta is Fighting Manhood, if Areta had a symbol, it would be of Men Fighting -- like this :

And, again, as anyone who's read my work and looked at the illustrations knows, there were a gazillion such "symbols" in ancient Greece and Rome, which properly speaking aren't symbols, but are cultural messages about the Excellence of Areta, which is Fighting Manhood, and the Excellence of Fight, which is, in its essence, about Men Struggling to Bring Their Manhood, their Areta, to Perfection.

For, really and truly, that's what the Greek ethos was about -- an entire Masculinist and Martial culture communally dedicated to Men Struggling to Bring Their Manhood, their Areta, to Perfection :



Pindar speaks, in the context of Boxing -- Pugme -- and of Pankration -- of one Man helping another to sharpen [thego] his Areta.

Think about, in that regard, Xenophon, and his ecstatic account of the Erin Peri Aretes, the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood, which is found in his Lakedaimonian Republic 4.5 :

Here then you find that kind of strife that is Dearest to, Most Beloved of, the Gods [Theophilestatos], and in the highest sense political -- the strife that sets the standard of a brave man's [agathos -- a Manly Man's] conduct ; and in which either party exerts itself [askeo -- either party practices, exercises, trains itself] to the end that it may never fall below its best [kratistos -- its strongest, its mightiest, its most powerful], and that, when the time comes, every member of it may support the state with all his might [sthenos -- strength, might and power].

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.5

And they are bound, too, to keep themselves fit [euexia], for one effect of the strife is that they fight [pukteuo -- strike with the fist] whenever they meet [symballo -- to bring men together in hostile sense, to set them together, match them : to join in fight, come to blows] ; but anyone present has a right to part the combatants.

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.6

Xenophon is talking about Communal Fights among Spartan Young Men, whose purpose it is to make the Spartans the MOST MANLY -- that is to say, the MOST MANFULLY EXCELLENT -- MEN, among all the Greeks ; and he says that this kind of Struggle, this kind of Fight, is in the Highest -- that is, best -- sense, Political [politikotatos], that is, of Benefit to the Polis, the City-State, in this case the Spartan City-State, the Lakedaimonian Commune ; and is Dearest to and Most Beloved of -- the Gods.

Whom Xenophon greatly reverences.

So he's speaking of a Communal Struggle, a Communal Fight, to fully Realize, to fully achieve, Areta -- Fighting Manhood -- for the benefit of the state, Sparta ; and, Xenophon says, the Gods Smile Upon Such Struggle and Fight.

For : neikeon symphytos tekton

νεικεων συμφυτος τεκτων
Fight is Natural to the Race of Men






What about the phallus being a symbol of "manly strength"?

Absolutely NOT.

Because the Warrior's Manly Strength derives not from his phallus, which is most of the time, after all, an instrument of sensuality, but from his askesis, his practice and discipline -- which is, to some degree, ascetic.

Indeed, our word English word ascetic derives from from the ancient Greek word askesis.

Although the Sokratic ideal of askesis honors the body in a way that Christian asceticism doesn't.

Nevertheless, Warrior thinkers, like Ennius and Plato, routinely say that the Ideal Warrior should be free of sensuality.

So : Walters is wrong.

Phallus is not the symbol of areté ; nor is it a symbol of manly strength.

Again, if manly strength had a symbol, it would be of Men Fighting.

That said -- are there representations of Phallus in Greek art and Greek life?

Yes.

What's their role?

They have two different roles, only one of which Margaret Walters gets right.

Walters :

The abstract symbols [phalloi] turn up everywhere in ancient folklore, cult, and art. They range from comic personifications of virility, like Silenus and his satyrs, to great abstract shapes like the enormous phallus and testicles placed on a high pillar in the theater at Delos. Enormous phalli were often carried in Dionysiac processions and actors [in Satyr plays] often wore big artifical members strapped to their bodies. . . . Herms, pillars with human heads and [erect] genitals, were placed at doorways and crossroads to bring luck . . .

Walters says that phallic symbols "turn up everywhere in ancient folklore, cult, and art."

But we just saw that isn't true.

They're not everywhere.

They're where the ancients want them to be, and for two specific purposes.

One of those purposes has to do with what Walters calls "comic personifications of virility," except that once again she's wrong about what's being depicted, or in this case, personified.

Walters no doubt thinks that virility is or should be comic, and she and other feminists have come a long way in convincing everyone, including most males, that virility is comically out-of-date.

The Greeks don't think that way -- to put it mildly.

Virilitas -- Andreia -- Areta -- is something they take very seriously.

So :

Phalloi to the Greeks are often "comic personifications" NOT of virility, but -- of lack of self-control.

Satyrs, for example, are figures of fun because they can't control themselves, and most especially their erections.

Whereas Self-Control -- Sophrosyne -- is the pivotal Greek Civic Virtue.

Sophrosyne -- and Moderation (metron, kairos) -- along with, per Pindarist Wm Race, "the aristocratic ("Doric") values of order (eunomia), civic concord (hesychia), and reverence for the Gods (eusebeia)" are what matter.

Walters then conflates two different functions of phalloi -- as symbols of an animalistic lack of control -- and as fertility symbols :

Enormous phalli were often carried in Dionysiac processions and actors [in Satyr plays] often wore big artifical members strapped to their bodies. . . . Herms, pillars with human heads and [erect] genitals, were placed at doorways and crossroads to bring luck . . .

What Walters says is so confused that is has to be broken down :

"Enormous phalli were often carried in Dionysiac processions"

The phalloi in Dionysiac processions are FERTILITY symbols, symbols of the creative power of nature.

"actors [in Satyr plays] often wore big artifical members strapped to their bodies"

Those actors are portraying Satyrs -- they're comic figures, again, because of their LACK OF SELF-CONTROL.

So -- I said that the ancients had two specific purposes in presenting phalloi.

One is to make fun of those who lack sexual and other self-control ;

While the other is to celebrate and venerate Male Creative Power.

Herms, pillars with human heads and [erect] genitals, were placed at doorways and crossroads to bring luck . . .

"to bring luck" is to belittle what Herms were about.

They were highly sacred symbols of Male Creative Power.

They were always found in palaistrai, and the athletes there worshipped them.


A Victorious Athlete and the Goddess Nike
Worship a Herm
Note the difference
between the Herm's erect phallos
and the athlete's detumescent penis

So :

What Walters says about representations of the male genitals in Greek and Roman art is mostly wrong -- and often fatally confused.

She does better, however, when she sticks with the idea that the phallus, "was the most sacred fertility symbol [in ancient Greece and Rome], summing up all the procreative powers of nature" :

The phallus, rather than the vulva, was the most sacred fertility symbol [in ancient Greece and Rome], summing up all the procreative powers of nature. This aspect was hinted in the satyrs, but personified most clearly in the God Priapus, whose cult originated in Lampascus [an ancient Greek city on the Hellespont], but spread all other the ancient world. He was the God of gardens and vineyards and orchards ; early bronzes showing him pouring oil on to his large erect penis probably refer to ancient rituals to ensure the growth of the crops. . . . [Priapus] never loses his magical powers. He, or his phallus, attracts good fortune and wards off the powers of evil.

Phallic symbols were almost as important to the Romans. The genius worshipped on the hearth of every home "represented the virile potency of the master of the house" [and, in one Roman myth, it's Martial Genius in the form of the disembodied Phallus of the God Mars, floating about the hearth, which impregnates the maiden Rhea, mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome] ; the God Fascinus, who ensured fertility and warded off the evil eye, was a personification of the phallus. Phalli were often worn as good-luck charms around the neck. The image occurs with remarkable frequency in the remains of Pompeii . . . The most ordinary domestic objects in Pompeii -- lamps, vases, handles, and lids -- are decorated with phallic figures . . . [while] animated phalli, some ridden by dwarfs and hung with bells, were placed outside buildings for luck. The local casino advertised itself with a bas-relief showing a vase set between two phalli.

Phallic symbols were sometimes placed in the grave to symbolize man's hope for an after life. "Hic habitat felicitas" runs the roughly printed legend above another Pompeian relief showing phallus and testicles : happiness dwells here. Phallic symbols are carved everywhere -- on shops, on public buildings, on private houses. They were the most powerful of charms, designed to propitiate the Gods and ensure good fortune.

~Walters, The Nude Male, 1978.

And what Walters says in her last three paragraphs is, even if a bit over-simplified, actually useful, because she details how, in a Warriordom like that of ancient Rome, a Martial, Masculinist, Pagan, Patriarchal, Phallo-Centric, and very Pugnacious Culture, not the vulva but the Phallus, is "the most sacred fertility symbol, summing up all the procreative powers of nature."

But where she's wrong, and dangerously and destructively so for Men, is where she confuses the phallus or the male genitals in general with Manhood, which, again, is Fighting Manhood, the Man's Ardent Willingness and Requisite Ability, to Fight.

Yes, the Greeks might occasionally use the word Andreia and the Romans Virilitas to mean their genitalia, just as 19th-century Men might occasionally refer to their genitals as their Manhood.

But that doesn't mean that Manhood is about fucking.

It's not.

It's about Fighting.

Manhood is Fighting Manhood.

And because Manhood exists in and emanates from the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, it is Eternally and Immutably Fighting Manhood.

Again, the Manhood which exists in the World of Being is an eternal and immutable paradeigm, changeless in and of itself and impervious to any and all mutations in the constantly shifting world of becoming.

It was Fighting Manhood twenty-four hundred years ago, it's Fighting Manhood now, and it will be Fighting Manhood forever.

Indeed, it was Fighting Manhood twenty-four thousand years ago, it was Fighting Manhood two hundred thousand years ago, and it will be Fighting Manhood -- FOREVER.

Men Fought before the Holocene -- and they will Fight -- and long to Fight -- after the Holocene.

That will never change.

Again, the Ideas, Forms, Essences, Models, Concepts -- which exist in the World of Being -- are changeless and cannot be changed.

That's the whole point of their existence.

Which means that those who think that Manhood -- or anything else of that ilk -- such as Honour and Worth --

Those who think that Manhood today is somehow different from what it was to ancient Men -- are deceived.

Manhood will NEVER change.

It has always been, and it will always be, Fighting Manhood.

The Love of Fighting Manhood is Agapenor, it was put into the Male Soul by Lord Ares when he created Men -- and it will be there forever.

For that reason, attempts by males to deny that Love of Manhood will always be both futile -- and dreadfully painful to the attempting denier.

Because ultimately such denial is a terrible and profound betrayal of the male's most primal, most inmost, and indeed most intimate need -- to attain the ultimate object of desire -- Fighting Manhood.


Finally, I should say that very occasionally one comes across, in Greek vase paintings, a sexual scene, whether male-male or male-female, in which the Man is erect.

The erection in such a case is, by our standards, proportional to the Man's size.

In other words, the erection is, to our eyes, a normally-sized phallus.

Why then are the penises in classical Greek art so, to our eyes, small?

Because the cultural ideal of Sophrosyne, of Temperance, Moderation, and Self-Control, can be summed up in this phrase :

Neither Fear Nor Passion

The penis is small because the cultural ideal is that the person -- and his penis -- show no sign of sexual passion.

Nor fear.

And obviously, to the Greeks, those detumescent penises show neither fear nor passion.

As such, to the Greek eye, and like the rest of the Man, they're Perfect.


The Doryphoros, by Polykleitos,
portrays the Perfect Warrior
and thus the Ideal Man






Two last notes :

  1. Although I have said that the Word List, is just a list of words -- which is so -- this time around, while working on Chapter III, I created, within the Word List, a number of free-standing articles, which are well worth a look, including articles on

    The last two of these are particularly important, and should probably be read first, starting with Warriordom.

  2. Once again, it's important that you read the entire Lexicon, beginning with the Prefatory Remarks and Prolegomena, and ending with this Biblion Pempton, and in the order given.

Bill Weintraub

December 10, 2015

30 November, 2016









MANHOOD: A LEXICON

BIBLION PEMPTON
WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

By Bill Weintraub

Chapter List :








BIBLION PEMPTON
WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

ARES: Manliness is Godliness
To Be Like to God as Far as May Be

By Bill Weintraub

ωe begin with a new word and phrase, and a very important one for our subsequent discussion:

  • Homoiosis : a being made like, "Θεω" [God] Pl.Tht. 176b.

    ομοιωσις

    So:

    Liddell and Scott define Homoiosis as "a being made like" and then add, immediately, "Theo" -- that is, God -- referring the reader to Plato's Theaitetos 176b, in which the phrase Homoiosis Theo means:

    to become like God

    ομοιωσις Θεω

    ~Plat. Theaet. 176b, translated by Fowler.

    And that, according to Plato, is the goal of ALL philosophy -- that the individual, as much as possible, become like God.

But what, then, is God like?

Plato :

to become like God, so far as this is possible; and to become like God is to become righteous [dikaios] and holy [hosios -- pious and hallowed] and wise [phronesis -- the quality of thoughtfulness, prudence, temperance]

"to become like God, so far as this is possible," says Fowler ;

"Become like to God as far as may be" -- says Shorey.

To become like to God is to become "Dikaios" -- which, as we saw in Biblion Tetarton, means righteously well-ordered -- that is, well-ordered in a Manly way: the word refers, de facto, to a Manly Moral Order -- which means that to be Manly, according to Plato, and as I said at the end of Biblion Tetarton -- is to be like to God ;

And then there's

"Hosios" -- holy and pious -- and readers of the discussion of hybris in this Lexicon know that Greek Warriors, and in particular the Spartans, who were without question the Manliest of the Greek Warriors, were very pious ;

And,

"Phronesis" -- again, Phronesis is actually defined as purpose, intention, thoughtfulness, prudence -- Fowler says "wise," and that's fine in context, but the word is obviously related to sophrosyne -- which is the distinctly Manly quality of temperance, prudence, moderation, sensible and purposeful living -- in short, Manly Self-Control.

So:

Virtue, as we saw in the last section of Biblion Tetarton, In Union With Valour -- Virtue, canonically and to the Greeks, has four components, each of which is "involved," as Paul Shorey puts it, with the other three:





And you'll notice, first off, that each of the virtues has at least two words which characterize it, eg Piety / Wisdom.

Piety / Wisdom is actually one virtue -- Plato sometimes uses one word or the other, but clearly, given that Plato has said that we should seek to become like God, he's very religious -- indeed, he was far more religious than most of the philosophers who'd preceded him --

Which means that to him, Wisdom and Piety are virtually the same thing.

And that's so with the other three as well:

    Self-Control / Temperance -- they're the same deal ;

    Justice and Moral Order -- if you've read Biblion Tetarton, you understand that Justice is the result of a Moral Order, indeed of a Manly Moral Order, a Moral Order suffused with Fighting Manhood -- and that within such a Manly Moral Order, Justice is a given ;

    And, of course, that Manliness is Fighting Manhood.


These Boxers are demonstrating Self-Control, Manly Moral Order, and Fighting Manhood ;
And, because the Contest they've undertaken is Sanctioned and Supervised by the Gods,
and because, before their Fight, they've Prayed and Sacrificed to the Gods,
they're expressing Piety as well.


Sanctioned and Supervised by the Gods:
In the original vase painting, there are four figures --
On the left is the ephedros --
He'll Fight the Victor of this Bout ;
And on the right is a winged Goddess, possibly Nike,
possibly Olympia, personification of the Sacred Games.
The Fight is not secular, nor in any way profane ; it is, rather,
Sacred, Sanctioned and Supervised by the Gods.


A similar scene with Boxers or Pankratiasts
The Goddess, Olympias, who, among other Deities,
is Sanctioning and Supervising the Bout,
is on the left

So -- those nine or ten words signifying Piety, Temperance, Moral Order, and Manhood, make up the Four Canonical Greek Virtues.

And the "involvement" works like this:

You can't have one -- without the other three.

So:

The Manly Man is Pious ; the Pious Man is Manly.

And Just -- Morally Ordered -- and Temperate.

The Morally Ordered Man is Manly ; the Manly Man is Morally Ordered.

And Pious -- and Self-Controlled.

For example :

I have a friend who has a co-worker who claims he used to be a Fighter.

And my friend therefore thinks of him as Manly.

But Plato -- and most of the other Greeks -- would NOT have agreed.

Because this alleged former fighter is NOT self-controlled -- anything but ;

he claims to be pious, but his actions do not remotely support his words ; and, of course,

he's not morally ordered -- his life is NOT a morally-ordered place.

Rather, it's an amoral, hedonistic, greedy, mess.

By Greek standards, then, of what we can call Integral or Involved Virtue, he's not manly.

He's not anything.

So, and once again :

Piety, Temperance, Moral Order, and Manhood, make up the Four Canonical or Integral Greek Virtues.

And the "integral" part works like this :

You can't have one -- without the other three.

So :

The Manly Man is Pious ; the Pious Man is Manly.

And Just -- Morally Ordered -- and Temperate.

The Morally Ordered Man is Manly ; the Manly Man is Morally Ordered.

And Pious -- and Self-Controlled.

And, you know, Fowler, the translator, doesn't have it quite right.

What Plato actually says is

to become like God, so far as this is possible; and to become like God is to become righteous [dikaios] and holy [hosios -- pious and hallowed] in union with thoughtfulness -- prudence [phronesis]

And that's a very clear statement of what we might call Integral Virtue : Righteousness [Manly Moral Order] and Holiness [Manly Piety] in union with Thoughtfulness -- Manly Temperance.

What about Manliness aka Fighting Manhood?

Hang on for a moment.

Because in the Laws, Plato says that Wisdom and Temperance, when combined with Fighting Manhood -- yields perfect "Justice" -- that is, Perfect Order, a Manly and Moral Perfect Order :

Wisdom + Temperance + Fighting Manhood Manly Moral Order -- Perfect Moral Order.

Again, Plato states that Wisdom and Temperance, when combined with Fighting Manhood -- yield perfect Moral Order.

And the reason Plato says that is because, as we'll see, in his view, a Wise and Temperate Manly Moral Order is dependent upon -- the Fighting Manhood -- of Men.







In ancient myth, Manly Moral Order is first established by Heroes, including Herakles and Theseus among the Greeks,
and Hercules among the Romans, who travel the world, ridding it of criminals and monsters.
In this painting, Herakles kills Antaios, who forced every passerby into a fatal
wrestling match, by wrestling him and lifting him off his mother, the earth,
from which he derived his strength, and then crushing his ribs.

Now :

So far, in this particular passage from the Theaitetos, Plato hasn't mentioned Manliness per se.

Though we heard a lot about the Manliness of Theaitetos himself -- his Andreia -- both as a boy and a Man -- a Warrior -- at the beginning of the dialogue.

We saw that Theaitetos' conduct in battle was imbued with both kalon -- Manly Moral Beauty ; and agathon -- Manly Goodness -- both of which reduce, as you'll know if you've read Biblion Proton, to Fighting Manhood ;

And that as a youth, Theaitetos was characterized by his teacher, the geometrician Theodorus, as "brave [andreios -- that is, Manly] beyond any other."

And that, too, we discuss in In Union With Valour.

Because Valour too is Manhood.

Fighting Manhood.

And now, in the Theaitetos, and after much dialectic, Plato's about to speak of Fighting Manhood again -- and with a vengeance:

For Plato, through his spokesman Sokrates, goes on to say that

God is in no wise and in no manner unrighteous [adikos], but utterly and perfectly righteous [dikaiotatos = most righteous = superlative of dikaios], and there is nothing so like him as that one of us who in turn becomes most nearly perfect in righteousness [that is to say, no one of us is so like unto God as the one who becomes most nearly perfect in the expression of Manly Moral Order -- which is Manly Moral Righteousness.]

It is herein that the true cleverness [deinotes = terribleness -- "cleverness" here is highly perjorative] of a male is found and also his worthlessness [oudenia = worthlessness, nothingness] and cowardice [an-andria -- want of manhood, UN-manliness] ; for the knowledge of this is wisdom [sophia] or true [alethinos = true, real] virtue [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence], and ignorance [agnoia = want of perception, ignorance] of it is folly [a-mathia = stupidity, willful blindness] or manifest wickedness [kakia = wickedness, vice, cowardice, etc -- derives from kakke = human ordure] ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

That's a really strong statement.

To put it mildly.

And by using the term an-andria -- want of Manhood, UN-manliness -- Plato goes unequivocally to the heart of the matter :

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

Like I say, a strong and unequivocal statement.

And notice that Plato links worthlessness -- want of WORTH -- with want of MANHOOD.

Worth is Manhood ; Manhood is Worth.

And that's the Warrior and the Warriordom and the Warrior Kosmos within Plato -- speaking.

Again, Plato cannot escape the postulates of his own culture and its World of Being.

His fellow Athenians may wish to -- but he cannot and moreover will not.

Plato then continues :

Two patterns [paradeigma], my friend, are set up in the world, the divine [Godly, theios], which is most blessed [happy, fortunate], and the godless [atheos], which is most wretched. But these males do not see that this is the case, and their silliness and extreme foolishness blind them to the fact that through their unrighteous acts they are made like the one and unlike the other. They therefore pay the penalty for this by living a life that conforms to the pattern they resemble ; and if we tell them that, unless they depart from their "cleverness," the blessed place that is pure of all things evil will not receive them after death, and here on earth they will always live the life like themselves -- evil men associating with evil [kakoi kakois synontes = evil with evil joined] -- when they hear this, they will be so confident in their unscrupulous cleverness [terrible wickedness] that they will think our words the talk of fools.

So you can see that to be like God is to be Manly, to be possessed of Manhood, which man-ifests as Manly Righteousness, Manly Moral Order, and which includes Manly Self-Control ; while the worthless and wicked are characterized as exhibiting -- literally -- an-andria

-- UN-manliness, which Liddell and Scott define, and beautifully, as "want of manhood."

The Manly are blessed through full possession of their Manhood ; the UN-manly are wicked through want of manhood.

There are then, in this Platonic Warriordom informed by a Warrior Kosmos, two paradigms :

The Godly, which is, due to Manly Virtue, most happy and most fortunate ;

and the un-godly, which is, due to un-manly vice, most wretched.

And just as the word for UN-manly is an-andria -- want of Manhood -- so the word for UN-godly is a-theos -- want of God.

So:

The Manly are blessed, fortunate, and happy in their Manhood -- their Andreia ; the wicked are wretched through their an-andria -- their want of Manhood.

And a parallel is made between andreios -- Manliness ; and theios -- Godliness ;

and between an-andria -- UN-manliness ; and a-theotes -- UN-godliness.

That's presented with crystalline clarity in the Greek text ; you're free to disagree, but the words speak for themselves :

Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is Godliness.

Goodness.

And the Sum of All the Excellences of Man.











Now:

The idea of homoiosis Theo -- to be like to God, or, to be like to a God -- and since Greek lacks the indefinite articles "a" and "an," it's up to the translator, or the reader, if he reads Greek, to decide if Plato or anyone else means God -- or a God --

and please note in this regard that Plato was not a nascent Judeo-Christian monotheist -- he was a polytheist :

He frequently refers to "the Gods" -- hoi Theoi -- and says the most important human activity is to commune with those Gods :

And wise men tell us, Callicles, that Heaven and Earth and Gods and Men are held together by Communion and Friendship, by Orderliness, Temperance, and Justice ; and that is the reason, my friend, why they call the whole of this world by the name of Kosmos [order], not of disorder or dissoluteness. Now you, as it seems to me, do not give proper attention to this, for all your cleverness, but have failed to observe the great power of geometrical equality amongst both Gods and Men : you hold that self-advantage is what one ought to practice, because you neglect geometry.

~Plato. Gorg. 508a, translated by Lamb.


Members of a victorious Torch Race team, wearing diadems made of spear-shaped leaves, stand by an altar ;
a priest is on the right, the winged Goddess Victory on the left.
The goal of the Torch Race [lampadedromia], a relay race,
was to swiftly carry Sacred Fire from one altar to another.




[O]f all rules this is the noblest [kalos] and truest [aletheia] -- that to engage in Sacrifice and Communion with the Gods continually, by prayers and offerings and devotions of every kind, is a thing most Noble [kalos] and Good [aristos] and helpful towards the happy life, and superlatively fitting also, for the Good [agathos] Man ; but for the wicked [kakos], the very opposite.

For the wicked man [ho kakos] is unclean [akathartos = uncleansed, unclean, impure ακαθαρτος] of soul, whereas the Good Man [enantios = opposing, facing in fight εναντιος] is clean [katharos = clear of dirt, clean, spotless, unsoiled, clear, open, free, in moral sense, clear from shame or pollution, pure καθαρος] ; and from him that is defiled [miaros = defiled, polluted, unclean μιαρος] no Good Man, nor God, can ever rightly receive gifts.

~Plato. Laws 4.716, translated by Bury.


A nude youth, probably an athletic victor and bearing the entrails of a victim, takes part in a sacrifice ;
to do so, he must be pure : "clear from shame or pollution."




[T]radition tells us how blissful was the life of men in the age [of the God Kronos], furnished with everything in abundance, and of spontaneous growth. And the cause thereof is said to have been this : Kronos was aware of the fact that no human being (as we have explained) is capable of having irresponsible control of all human affairs without becoming filled with pride [hybris] and injustice [adikia]; so, pondering this fact, he then appointed as kings and rulers for our cities, not men, but beings of a race that was nobler and more divine, namely, Daimons (Daimones).

  • Daimon : a God, Goddess, Deity, or Divine Power

    Δαιμων

He acted just as we now do in the case of sheep and herds of tame animals : we do not set oxen as rulers over oxen, or goats over goats, but we, who are of a nobler race, ourselves rule over them. In like manner the God, in his love for humanity, set over us at that time the nobler race of Daimones who, with much comfort to themselves and much to us, took charge of us and furnished peace and modesty and orderliness and justice without stint, and thus made the tribes of men free from feud and happy.

And even today this tale has a truth to tell, namely, that wherever a State has a mortal, and no God, for ruler, there the people have no rest from ills and toils ; and it deems that we ought by every means to imitate the life of the age of Kronos, as tradition paints it, and order both our homes and our States in obedience to the immortal element within us, giving to reason's ordering the name of "law."[1] But if an individual man or an oligarchy or a democracy, possessed of a soul which strives after pleasures and lusts and seeks to surfeit itself therewith, having no continence and being the victim of a plague that is endless and insatiate of evil -- if such an one shall rule over a State or an individual by trampling on the laws, then there is no means of salvation.

[Footnote 1] A double word-play: nous [mind] νους = nomos [law] νομος, and dianoia [thought, intelligence] διανοια = daimones [daimons]. Laws, being "the dispensation of reason," take the place of the "daimons" of the age of Kronos : the divine element in man (το δαιμονιον), which claims obedience, is reason (nous νους).

~Plato. Laws 4.713, translated by Bury

So -- Plato makes frequent reference to the GODS -- plural -- and the importance of Continual Communion, through prayer and sacrifice, with Them.


An athletic victor crowns an ithyphallic Herm ;
the winged Goddess Nike holds a woolen band.
Herms were present in every Palaistra ; and,
Religious rites were common in Palaistrai ;
All athletics had religious connotations :


An athletic victor wears woolen bands and holds
a wreath. The bands or fillets "signify the
consecration of the victor to the God."
(Sansone) -- Or, I would say, to the
Gods, eg Nike and Hermes.

So -- Plato -- and the ceramic record -- makes frequent reference to the GODS -- plural -- and the importance of Continual Communion, through prayer and sacrifice, with Them.

And Plato says that the City-State -- like the individual -- must have a God -- or a God in the form of the Divine Element in Man, which is Reason -- for its ruler.

Again:

Plato says that the City-State -- like the individual -- must have a God -- not a mortal -- for its ruler.

So -- the GODS -- and the various individual Gods -- matter.

Each has His or Her own Temple, own rites, etc.

And Plato is very clear about that.

For example, he says, in the Laws, that in the city-state he's there proposing, a race in armor -- a hoplites dromos -- will be run to a Temple of Ares -- hieron Areos.

It's true that in the Timaeus, Plato hypothesizes a single creator God or Spirit -- the Demiurgos [Δημιουργος = the Craftsman, the Maker of the World ] -- who imposes Order, copied from the World of Being, upon the chaos of the world of becoming -- to the limited extent that that's possible, since there's always an intractable or incorrigible element in the world of becoming which defies ordering --

and that the Demiurgos then creates the other Gods, to whom He promises Immortality -- and whom He taxes with, among other things, designing human beings.

But just because those other Gods were secondarily created, doesn't mean They're unimportant, or, more to the point, not Gods ; the Demiurgos addresses Them with the intensively honorific Gods of Gods -- Θεοι Θεων -- making clear that They're Gods, Divine Beings, who, as Plato repeatedly makes plain, and as you've just seen, human beings must commune with -- continually.

It's also true that later interpreters of Plato -- particularly the intellectuals known as the Neo-Platonists, who lived many hundreds of years after Plato had died, and re-interpreted Plato to meet their own needs and purposes --

the Hellenist Neo-Platonists -- that is, the anti-Christian Neo-Platonists -- said that the Gods were Eternal -- that they could neither be created nor destroyed.

Thus obviating that passage in the Timaeus.

And they said that as part of their polemic against Christianity and the Christian Neo-Platonists.

Because, Yes, Virginia, there were Christian Neo-Platonists too.

By the third and fourth centuries AD, virtually all intellectuals were Neo-Platonists -- or in reaction to Neo-Platonism.

The fight between Christianity and what the non-Christians called Hellenism -- was a fight between two (or more) schools of Neo-Platonism.

Which had very little, if anything, to do -- and why mince words, it actually had nothing to do -- with a Jewish rabbi who may or may not have been crucified in Palestine sometime during the reign of Tiberius.

Be all that as it may -- for now --

The idea of homoiosis Theo -- to be like to God, or to a God -- occurs in a number of places in Plato, including in the concluding lines of Book II of the Republic, where Plato says the goal of

education [paideia] of the young [hoi veoi] [in the Republic will be to produce] Guardians [phulax -- Warriors] [who] are to be God-fearing [theosebes] Men and God-like [theios] in so far as that is possible for humanity.

~Plat. Rep. 2.383C, translated by Shorey.

Again :

The Warrior-and-Governing Elite of the ideal Republic will be so educated as to be God-fearing and GOD-LIKE Men -- in so far as that's possible.

"To be like to God -- as far as may be"

"To be God-like Men -- as far as may be"

It's the same idea and the same goal -- for humanity and for Mankind.

And notice that these are Warriors who are to be God-like :

The goal of education in the Republic will be to produce Warriors who are "God-fearing [theosebes] Men and God-like [theios] -- in so far as that is possible for humanity."

The Warriors will be God-fearing and God-like Men.

Manliness is Godliness ; Godliness is Manliness.

Indeed, that educational goal is so important to Plato -- that paidei-ic goal of raising the young Warriors to be not just God-fearing but God-like Men --

that he devotes much of Books II and III of the Republic to setting forth, and demonstrating, through dialectic, just what God and the Gods are like --

and why, therefore, much of the poetry of Homer and Hesiod et alia, the glorious heritage of the Greek people, needs, for educational purposes at least, to be expurgated, re-written, and/or censored.

That's a shocking idea to us today, who think of poetry and art in general as sacred --

But so did Plato, himself a poet, who says unabashedly in Book X of the Republic that "a certain love and reverence for Homer has possessed me from boyhood" ; and then adds, "Yet all the same we must not honor a man above truth."

And, in point of fact, many Greek intellectuals of the fourth century BC thought as Plato did.

Why?

Because in Homer, in particular, the Gods are depicted, often, as both very powerful and very petty -- they get into arguments with each other, they play dirty tricks on each other, etc -- and worst of all, from Plato's point of view, they do things which are to the detriment of Humanity.

That, to Plato -- and remembering that he was a philosopher -- was logically simply not possible.

God -- and the Gods -- are Good -- and They never, therefore, harm human beings.

They are Beneficent Beings whose actions are always attuned to and augment the Well-Being of Men and of Mankind.

The argument that Plato makes in that regard is very important.

It's sometimes dismissed as being of little interest to the people of our modern and oh-so-enlightened world.

That's not true.

Plato's argument, and in particular his dialectic, his reasoning-through of the Why of this matter -- is both very important and highly germane to Men like ourselves.

And for that reason, we're going to look at it, and analyze what it says.

We'll start with Book II of the Republic.

The expositor is Sokrates, his concern, once again, is with the education of the Warrior-Ruler Elite -- the Guardians -- in the Republic -- and he's discussing that education with Adeimantus, one of Plato's brothers :

Sokrates
"[The Goddess] Hera's fetterings by her son and the hurling out of heaven of [the God] Hephaestus by his father when he was trying to save his mother from a beating, and the battles of the Gods in Homer's verse are things that we must not admit into our city either wrought in allegory or without allegory. For the young are not able to distinguish what is and what is not allegory, but whatever opinions are taken into the mind at that age are wont to prove indelible and unalterable. For which reason, maybe, we should do our utmost that the first stories that they hear should be so composed as to bring the fairest [kalos -- most noble, most morally beautiful] lessons of virtue [areté -- Manly Goodness] to their ears."

"Yes, that is reasonable," Adeimantus said; "but if again someone should ask us to be specific and say what these compositions may be and what are the tales, what could we name?"

And I replied, "Adeimantus, we are not poets, you and I at present, but founders of a state. And to founders it pertains to know the patterns on which poets must compose their fables and from which their poems must not be allowed to deviate; but the founders are not required themselves to compose fables."

"Right," he said; "but this very thing -- the patterns or norms of right speech about the Gods, what would they be?"

"Something like this," I said. "The true quality of God we must always surely attribute to Him whether we compose in epic, melic, or tragic verse."

"We must."

"And is not God of course good [agathos] in reality and always to be spoken of as such?"

"Certainly."

"But further, no good thing is harmful, is it?"

"I think not."

"Can what is not harmful harm?"

"By no means."

"Can that which does not harm do any evil [kakos]?"

"Not that either."

"But that which does no evil would not be cause of any evil either?"

"How could it?"

"Once more, is the good [to agathon -- the Supreme Good] beneficent [ophelimos]?"

"Yes."

"It is the cause, then, of welfare [eupragia -- well-being]?"

"Yes."

"Then the good [to agathon -- the Supreme Good] is not the cause [aitia] of all things, but of things that are well [eu] it's the cause -- of things that are ill [kakos] it is blameless."

"Entirely so," he said.

"Neither, then, could God," said I, "since he is good, be, as the multitude say, the cause of all things, but for mankind he is the cause of few things, but of many things not the cause. For good things are far fewer with us than evil, and for the good we must assume no other cause than God, but the cause of evil we must look for in other things and not in God."

"What you say seems to me most true," he replied.

"Then," said I, "we must not accept from Homer or any other poet the folly of such error as this about the Gods when he says

Two urns stand on the floor of the palace of Zeus and are filled with
Dooms he allots, one of blessings, the other of gifts that are evil,
[Hom. Il. 24.527-8]

and to whomsoever Zeus gives of both commingled --
Now upon evil he chances and now again good is his portion,
[Hom. Il. 24.530]

but the man for whom he does not blend the lots, but to whom he gives unmixed evil --
Hunger devouring drives him, a wanderer over the wide world
[Hom. Il. 24.532]

nor will we tolerate the saying that 'Zeus is dispenser alike of good and of evil to mortals.'

"But as to the violation of the oaths and the truce by Pandarus, if anyone affirms it to have been brought about by the action of Athena and Zeus, we will not approve, nor that the strife and contention of the Gods was the doing of Themis and Zeus; nor again must we permit our youth to hear what Aeschylus says --

A God implants the guilty cause in men
When he would utterly destroy a house

but if any poets compose a 'Sorrows of Niobe,' the poem that contains these iambics, or a tale of the Pelopidae or of Troy, or anything else of the kind, we must either forbid them to say that these woes are the work of God, or they must devise some such interpretation as we now require, and must declare that what God did was righteous [dikaios] and good [agathos], and they were benefited by their chastisement. [Shorey: "Plato's doctrine that punishment is remedial must apply to punishments inflicted by the Gods. . . . Yet there are some incurables."] But that they were miserable who paid the penalty, and that the doer of this was God, is a thing that the poet must not be suffered to say ; if on the other hand he should say that for needing chastisement the wicked [hoi kakoi] were miserable and that in paying the penalty they were benefited by God, that we must allow. But as to saying that God, who is good, becomes the cause of evil [kakon de aition] to anyone, we must contend in every way that neither should anyone assert this in his own city if it is to be well governed, nor anyone hear it, neither younger nor older, neither telling a story in meter or without meter ; for neither would the saying of such things, if they are said, be holy [hosios], nor would they be profitable to us or concordant with [symphonos] themselves."

"I cast my vote with yours for this law," he said, "and am well pleased with it."

"This, then," said I, "will be one of the laws and patterns concerning the Gods to which speakers and poets will be required to conform, that God is not the cause of all things, but only of the good."

"And an entirely satisfactory one," he said.

Bill Weintraub:

So, first off, God -- and the Gods -- are Good, and they cannot therefore be the authors of bad events or human suffering, etc. -- The Gods' actions towards human beings are always beneficial and always enhance the well-being, the welfare, of humanity :

  • The Good [to agathon -- the Supreme Good] is not the cause [aitia] of all things, but of things that are well [eu] it's the cause -- of things that are ill [kakos] it is blameless

  • God is not the cause of all things, but only of the Good

And notice please that "The Good" -- which is really the Idea of Good -- and God -- are two different entities.

To you, as to the Neo-Platonists, they may appear identical -- but they aren't to Plato.

They're two distinct entities.

And that matters not least because of the functional definition of the Idea of Good --

The Good Purpose in some controlling Mind able to achieve that Purpose

Once again, for Plato, God and that Good Purpose -- are two distinct entities.

But, you may say, if "The Good [to agathon -- the Supreme Good] is not the cause of all things, but of things that are well it's the cause" ; and if "God is not the cause of all things, but only of the Good" -- doesn't it appear they'd have to be identical -- or at least virtually identical?

Yes, it does, but for ontological reasons, and for now, at least, you need to understand that to Plato, they're not.

And that's because Plato is Plato, and he's just smart enough to figure out that if, as the Neo-Platonists did, you make them identical, things become, philosophically speaking, very messy -- and in very short order too.

So, and that said :

What you need to be clear about for now is that --

God, the Gods, and the Good -- are themselves good and the cause of all that's well and good ; They're capable only of acts of well-being and beneficence ; and to humanity in particular, They do no harm.

Plato then attacks the notion of God and the Gods as shape-shifters and wizards :

Sokrates
"And what of this, the second. Do you think that God is a wizard and capable of manifesting himself by design, now in one aspect, now in another, at one time himself changing and altering his shape in many transformations and at another deceiving us and causing us to believe such things about him; or that he is simple and less likely than anything else to depart from his own form?"

"I cannot say offhand," he replied.

"But what of this: If anything went out from its own form, would it not be displaced and changed, either by itself or by something else?"

"Necessarily."

"Is it not true that to be altered and moved by something else happens least to things that are in the best condition, as, for example, a body by food and drink and toil, and plants by the heat of the sun and winds and similar influences -- is it not true that the healthiest and strongest is least altered?"

"Certainly."

"And is it not the soul that is bravest [andreios = Manly, andreiotatos = most Manly] and most intelligent [phronimos = wise, sensible, phronimotatos = wisest, most sensible], that would be least disturbed and altered by any external affection [pathos -- a complex word -- Shorey translates it as "affection," Jowett, as "incident," but what Plato means is clear enough -- pathos here is anything external to the Self -- be it an incident or accident or calamity or passion or emotion -- and Plato's rheorical question to Adeimantus is -- Will not the Soul -- or God -- which is Most Manly and Most Wise -- be least disturbed and altered by any such external event]?

"Yes."

Bill Weintraub:

So :

Plato is here saying that the Soul -- the God -- which is Most Manly and Most Wise -- and in later chapters we'll hear a Spartan king talk of being Warlike and Wise -- the God which is Most Manly and Most Wise -- would be least disturbed and altered by any external "affection" -- pathos -- and as you can see from the definitions of pathos, these are world of becoming incidents, accidents, sufferings, misfortunes, etc.

Clearly, a God is not subject to such incidents, accidents, etc.

Because, basically, the Gods are outside and independent of the world of becoming -- like the entities in the World of Being, they're immortal and immutable.

Plato:

"And, again, it is surely true of all composite implements, edifices, and habiliments, by parity of reasoning, that those which are well made and in good condition are least liable to be changed by time and other influences."

"That is so."

"It is universally true, then, that that which is in the best state by nature or art or both admits least alteration by something else."

"So it seems."

"But God, surely, and everything that belongs to God is in every way in the best [aristos -- best, Most Manly] possible state."

"Of course."

"From this point of view, then, it would be least of all likely that there would be many forms in God."

"Least indeed."

"But would he transform and alter himself?"

"Obviously," he said, "if he is altered."

"Then does he change himself for the better and to something fairer [kalos], or for the worse and to something uglier than himself?"

"It must necessarily," said he, "be for the worse if he is changed. For we surely will not say that God is deficient in either beauty [kalon -- Moral Beauty] or excellence [areté -- Manly Goodness]."

"Most rightly [orthotatos] spoken," said I.

"And if that were his condition, do you think, Adeimantus, that any one God or Man would of his own will worsen himself in any way?"

"Impossible," he replied.

"It is impossible then," said I, "even for a God to wish to alter himself, but, as it appears, each of them being the fairest and best [kalos kai aristos -- Most Noble and Most Manly] possible abides for ever simply in his own form."

"An absolutely necessary conclusion to my thinking."

"No poet then," I said, "my good friend, must be allowed to tell us that

The gods, in the likeness of strangers,
Many disguises assume as they visit the cities of mortals.
[Hom. Od. 17.485-4861]

Nor must anyone tell falsehoods about Proteus and Thetis, nor in any tragedy or in other poems bring in Hera disguised as a priestess collecting alms 'for the life-giving sons of Inachus, the Argive stream.'

And many similar falsehoods they must not tell. Nor again must mothers under the influence of such poets terrify their children with harmful tales, how that there are certain Gods whose apparitions haunt the night in the likeness of many strangers from all manner of lands, lest while they speak evil of the Gods they at the same time make cowards of children."

"They must not," he said.

Bill Weintraub:

  • A God, being Most Manly and Most Wise, would of all entities be least disturbed and altered by any external sufferings, misfortunes, etc

  • God and everything that belongs to God is in every way in the best possible state

  • God is deficient neither in Moral Beauty nor Manly Goodness -- Fighting Manhood

  • A God will not wish to alter Himself, but, as it appears, each God already being the most Noble and most Manly possible, abides for ever and simply in His own form

Why does this matter?

Plato:

"But," said I, "may we suppose that while the Gods themselves are incapable of change they cause us to fancy that they appear in many shapes deceiving and practising magic upon us?"

"Perhaps," said he.

"Consider, would a God wish to deceive, or lie, by presenting in either word or action what is only appearance?"

"I don't know," said he.

"Don't you know," said I, "that the veritable lie, if the expression is permissible, is a thing that all Gods and Men abhor?"

"What do you mean?" he said.

"This," said I, "that falsehood in the most vital part of themselves, and about their most vital concerns, is something that no one willingly accepts, but it is there above all that everyone fears it."

"I don't understand yet either."

"That is because you suspect me of some grand meaning," I said; "but what I mean is, that deception in the soul about realities, to have been deceived and to be blindly ignorant and to have and hold the falsehood there, is what all men would least of all accept, and it is in that case that they loathe it most of all."

"Quite so," he said.

"But surely it would be most wholly right, as I was just now saying, to describe this as in very truth falsehood -- ignorance namely in the soul of the man deceived. For the falsehood in words is a copy of the affection [pathema παθημα = anything that befals one, a suffering, calamity, misfortune ; a passive emotion or condition ; in pl incidents, occurences] in the soul, an after-rising image of it and not an altogether unmixed falsehood. Is not that so?"

"By all means."

"Essential falsehood, then, is hated not only by Gods but by Men."

"I agree."

"But what of the falsehood in words, when and for whom is it serviceable so as not to merit abhorrence? Will it not be against enemies? And when any of those whom we call friends owing to madness or folly attempts to do some wrong, does it not then become useful to avert the evil -- as a medicine? And also in the fables of which we were just now speaking owing to our ignorance of the truth about antiquity, we liken the false to the true as far as we may and so make it edifying."

"We most certainly do," he said.

"Tell me, then, on which of these grounds falsehood would be serviceable to God. Would he because of his ignorance of antiquity make false likenesses of it?"

"An absurd supposition, that," he said.

"Then there is no lying poet in God."

"I think not."

"Well then, would it be through fear of his enemies that he would lie?"

"Far from it."

"Would it be because of the folly or madness of his friends?"

"Nay, no fool or madman is a friend of God."

"Then there is no motive for God to deceive."

"None."

"From every point of view the divine and the divinity are free from falsehood."

"By all means."

"Then God is altogether simple and true in deed and word, and neither changes himself nor deceives others by visions or words or the sending of signs in waking or in dreams."

"I myself think so," he said, "when I hear you say it."

"You concur then," I said, "this as our second norm or canon for speech and poetry about the Gods -- that they are neither wizards in shape-shifting nor do they mislead us by falsehoods in words or deed?"

"I concur."

"Then, though there are many other things that we praise in Homer, this we will not applaud, the sending of the dream by Zeus to Agamemnon, nor shall we approve of Aeschylus when his Thetis avers that Apollo singing at her wedding,

'foretold the happy fortunes of her issue' Hom. Il. 2.1 --

Their days prolonged, from pain and sickness free,
And rounding out the tale of heaven's blessings,
Raised the proud paean, making glad my heart.
And I believed that Phoebus' mouth divine,
Filled with the breath of prophecy, could not lie.
But he himself, the singer, himself who sat
At meat with us, himself who promised all,
Is now himself the slayer of my son.

"When anyone says that sort of thing about the Gods, we shall be wroth with him, we will refuse him a chorus, neither will we allow teachers to use him for the education [paideia] of the young [hoi veoi] if our Guardians [phulax -- Warriors] are to be God-fearing [theosebes] Men and God-like [theios] in so far as that is possible for humanity."

"By all means," he said, "I accept these norms and would use them as canons and laws."

~Plat. Rep. 2.379a - 383C, translated by Shorey.

Bill Weintraub:

Again, what we see here is a view common to many fourth-century BC intellectuals, that the Iliad, and Homer and the other poets, as wonderful as their work may be -- must be expurgated -- censored, we would say -- if they are to be fit educators for the young.

For, says Plato -- Boys, Youth, and Young Men must be taught the plain truth :

  • That the Gods don't lie ;

  • That both Gods and Men hate falsehood ;

  • That there is no lying poet in God or a God ;

  • That there is no motive for God or a God to deceive ;

  • That "From every point of view the divine and the divinity are free from falsehood" ;

  • That "God is altogether simple and true in deed and word" ; and,

  • That these norms and canons must be accepted "for the education [paideia] of the young [hoi veoi] if our Guardians [Warriors] are to be God-fearing Men [theosebes] and God-like [theios] in so far as that is possible for humanity."

    So -- "our Warriors are to be God-fearing Men and God-like -- in so far as that is possible for humanity," says Plato --

    And we're back to the Theaitetos and Plato's homoiosis theo -- "to be like to God -- as far as may"

So -- Plato's goal, from at least the Republic forward is homoiosis theo -- that Men "be like to God, be God-like, so far as that's possible" --

And for that to occur, says Plato in Books II and III of the Republic, the old Greek myths, as charming and poetic as they are, must be reformed.

Re-written.

Expurgated.

For, unlike the way the Gods are depicted in Homer and other poets :

The Gods are profoundly Moral -- that is to say, Good.

They hate falsehood and lies.

They Love Manliness.

And for hoi neoi -- the youth -- to become, to grow up to be, Manly Men, Warriors -- they must be told, as boys, those Truths -- and, the Truth about Death as well -- that Death is nothing to fear, for the afterlife, too, is not to be feared, but is worthy of praise.

So -- in setting out his educational reforms, Plato, in the Republic, also presents his reformed view of the Gods -- again, a view common among the intellectuals of his day --

That the Gods are Godly -- we would say "good" -- that They hate falsehood and lies and deceit, and are simple and true in word and deed -- and that They love Manliness, and that for a Man and a Warrior, the noblest goal, therefore, is to be a "God-fearing Man [theosebes] and God-like [theios] -- in so far as that is possible for humanity."

And that's why Plato's view of Ares, as presented in the Kratylos, is not of some fiend-like destroyer spirit insatiate of blood --

but of a God who's Virile because He's possessed of Fighting Manhood and the requisite Hardness to express that Fighting Manhood:

Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Manliness [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

~Plato. Krat. 407d

So :

In his magesterial What Plato Said, famed Platonist Paul Shorey offers this precis of Plato's view of the Gods :

Such tales as Homer and Hesiod tell about the Gods must never be told to [the] alumni [of our Republic's Warrior training program], says Sokrates ; and in pursuance of his criticism he lays down three canons of sound theology :

  1. that God (the Gods) is the author of good only,

  2. that God never deceives,

  3. that he never changes.

That view of the Gods -- Plato's view of the Gods -- asserted ca 380 BC -- is the one that subsequently prevailed in the ancient world -- as we can see from this excerpt from the Neo-Platonist and Hellenist Sallustius' fourth-century AD book, Concerning the Gods and the Universe, written more than 700 years after the Republic :

The Gods are always good and help us ; they never harm us. We, when we are good, are by our likeness given union with them ; if we become bad, we are separated from them. Our sins prevent the divine brightness from shining on us and subject us to chastising spirits : it is as false to say that the Gods shun the evil as it is to say that the sun hides himself from the blind. If by prayers and sacrifices we find release from our sins, the explanation is that by our acts and by turning to the divine, we cure our evil and enjoy the Goodness of the Gods again ; we do not effect any change in them.

These considerations decide the problem of worship. The Gods need nothing ; the honours we pay them are for our own benefit. Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

Fitness is obtained by imitation, and imitation is the basis of all cult : the shrines correspond to the sky, the altars to the earth, the images to life (that is why they are made in the likeness of living beings), prayers to the intellectual element, the magic vowels to the unspeakable powers of the sky, plants and stones to matter, and the animals sacrificed to the unreasonable life in us. From all this the Gods gain no benefit, but we gain union with them.

~Sallustius, Concerning the Gods and the Universe, translated and epitomized by Arthur Darby Nock.

Now -- what does all this have to do with Lord Ares?

A lot.

Because, if you click on the link for Liddell and Scott's definition of Ares, you get "god of war and slaughter, strife and pestilence, destruction"

To Plato, that's not acceptable, and more to the point, cannot logically be true, since God and the Gods are always Good and Beneficent ; They don't deceive or lie ; They're deficient neither in Moral Beauty nor in Manly Goodness.

For that reason, a God couldn't possibly wish to bring about mass slaughter, pestilence, and destruction -- at least not destruction which is harmful to the Good.

Those are evils -- and says Plato, in the Theaitetos,

it is impossible that evils should be done away with, Theodorus, for there must always be something opposed to the good ; and they cannot have their place among the Gods, but must inevitably hover about mortal nature and this earth. Therefore we ought to try to escape from earth to the Dwelling of the Gods as quickly as we can ; and to escape is to become like God, so far as this is possible ; and to become like God is to become righteous and holy and wise.

So :

Evils cannot be done away with ;

but neither can they have their place among the Gods.

Rather, they hover about mortal nature and this earth -- the world of becoming.

Which means that Liddell and Scott's definition, while it may be "true" of a character in Homer's poem, is not true to the Gods, to the Divine, to the very structure, the moral structure, of the Kosmos.

And, as Plato says, "We must not honor a man -- above Truth."

Who, then, and Truly, is Ares?

As I said, Plato tells us, quite clearly, in the Kratylos :

Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Manliness [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

~Plato. Krat. 407d

Ares is the God of Fighting Manhood.

And Fighting Manhood is beneficent -- and necessary -- in a world of becoming whose denizens are far from perfect :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plato. Laws 5.731

We'll be discussing this quote from Plato and his Laws at length in the next chapter of Biblion Pempton.

But what you can hear Plato saying quite clearly in the Theaitetos is that

it is impossible that evils should be done away with, Theodorus, for there must always be something opposed to the good ; and they cannot have their place among the Gods, but must inevitably hover about mortal nature and this earth. Therefore we ought to try to escape from earth to the Dwelling of the Gods as quickly as we can ; and to escape is to become like God [homoiosis Theo], so far as this is possible ; and to become like God is to become righteous and holy and wise.

And that in turn takes us back to Liddell and Scott's somewhat schizoid definition of Ares, for in it they also say

The Root ΑΡ [ΑΡΗΣ], appears also in αρετη, the first notion of goodness (virtus) being that of manhood, bravery in war.

Ares, then, far from being a force for ill, is the Divine Source of the First Notion of Goodness (Virtus) -- which is Manhood, FIGHTING Manhood.

Fighting Manhood : "the First Notion of Goodness (Virtus)," say Liddell and Scott.

And what is Virtus?

We're going to look at Virtus in depth in Chapter VI of Biblion Pempton, but we can here note that in 1890, Lewis defined Virtus as

Manhood, manliness : Strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value.

Ares is the God of Fight, Ares is the God of Manhood, Ares is the God of Fighting Manhood.

And Ares is the God therefore of Goodness, the Manly Goodness of Andreia and Areté and Virtus -- and all that's apprehended therein :

Manhood, manliness : Strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Warrior worth, martial merit, virile value.

And those are boons to Mankind, they're beneficent, they contribute to and make possible the well-being of humanity and the flourishing of Men -- in the chaotic environment of the world of becoming.

And in the succeeding chapters of Biblion Pempton, we'll see just how a Warrior Culture and a Warrior Kosmos ruled by Lord Ares and informed by the Divine Gift of Fighting Manhood -- functions to benefit, celebrate, and exalt -- the Lives of Men.

Because :

Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is Godliness.

Goodness.

And the Sum of All the Excellences of Man.

Which is why -- to be possessed of Fighting Manhood --

Is to be like to -- a God.






The Root ΑΡ [ΑΡΗΣ], appears also in αρετε, the first notion of goodness (virtus)
being that of manhood, bravery in war.

~Liddell and Scott. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon.
Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1889.





















Bill Weintraub
January 30, 2014


























MANHOOD: A LEXICON

BIBLION PEMPTON
WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

ARES : High-Minded Passion and Noble Anger
To Seethe and Grow Fierce

By Bill Weintraub

Chapter II Section List






Let's begin by returning, for a moment, to Plato and the Theaitetos :

God is in no wise and in no manner unrighteous, but utterly and perfectly righteous, and there is nothing so like him as that one of us who in turn becomes most nearly perfect in righteousness -- for no one of us is so like unto God as the one who becomes most nearly perfect in the expression of Manly Moral Order -- which is Manly Moral Righteousness.

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

Question :

Where before have we seen Plato make such a strong condemnation of an-andria -- want of manhood, UN-manliness -- and link it with evil and that which is un-Godly?

While saying that Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is essential to Virtue -- and thus Godliness?

Answer :

It was in the Menexenus, which we discussed in Biblion Tetarton, in the section titled In Union With Valour.

Second Question :

Is it common for Plato to say one thing in one dialogue -- and then what is essentially the same thing -- in another?

Answer :

YES.

And this is a very important point.

In The Unity of Plato's Thought, published in 1903, Paul Shorey demonstrated, quite conclusively, that Plato, unlike those thinkers whose opinions change over the years, was extremely consistent in what he said and therefore believed for a period of about fifty years -- that is, from about the age of thirty, when he first, we think, "published" -- to the age of eighty -- when he died.

Which means that if Plato says something once -- chances are he'll say it again.

His emphasis and focus change from dialogue to dialogue -- as we discussed in Biblion Tetarton.

BUT HIS ESSENTIAL BELIEFS DO NOT.

And what he thinks about Manliness -- Fighting Manhood -- and its opposite -- UN-manliness -- does not change, and it is this :

Men who lack Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- are worthless ; and that worthlessness poisons the society in which they live :

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

~Plat. Theaet. 176c

[W]hatsoever else you practice you must practice it in union with Fighting Manhood, being well assured that when divorced from this all possessions and pursuits are base and ignoble. For neither does wealth bring honor to its possessor if combined with want of manhood and unmanliness -- for such an one is rich for another rather than for himself -- nor do beauty and strength appear comely, but rather uncomely, when they are attached to one that is cowardly and base, since they make their possessor more conspicuous and show up his cowardice ; and every form of knowledge when sundered from that which is just, right, lawful, and well-ordered [dikaios] and the rest of virtue [areté -- Manhood] is seen to be plain roguery rather than wisdom.

~Plat. Menex. 246d

Now :

Why does Plato believe what he believes and say what he says?

Because --

and this is not to take anything away from Plato, which can't be done in any case because he was and remains the World's greatest and most humane Thinker --

But Plato believes what he believes and says what he says because he's a Warrior, living in a Warriordom, which is informed by a Warrior World of Being -- a Warrior Kosmos.

And that too takes nothing away from Plato because what it says is that Plato had the Wisdom, the great and overwhelming Wisdom, to accept and to promulgate -- that Warrior Wisdom, that great and overwhelming Warrior Wisdom -- of his Warriordom and his Warrior World of Being.

So :

As we discussed in Biblion Tetarton, and as Shorey and Jaeger make clear, to Plato the world -- the Kosmos -- is and must be -- a morally-ordered place.

And it is so-ordered by God and the Gods.

And what I'm saying in this Lexicon is that to Plato -- Manliness, Manhood, Manly Spirit -- Fighting Manhood -- is Integral to that Godly Moral Order, which is a Manly Moral Order.

Again :

To Plato, Fighting Manhood is Integral to the Godly, Manly, Moral Order -- of the Kosmos.

As it was to the Greeks who preceded him -- and to the Greco-Roman world, as we'll see, which succeeded him.

Fighting Manhood is Integral to the Kosmos.

Fighting Manhood is Integral to the Moral Universe.

Which is Ordered by the Gods.

So :

Manliness -- Fighting Manliness -- is Godliness.

Ancient civilization -- both Greek and Roman -- understood and believed that.

Fervently.

Our "civilization" -- has forgotten it.

It needs to be UN-forgotten.

Now :

That great and overwhelming Warrior Wisdom, that Wisdom of a Godly Moral Order which is intrinsically Manly and intrinsically Warrior -- that's to say, a Moral Order based upon FIGHTING Manhood -- is core to who Plato is.

And what he believes.

For example --

In the Republic, Plato presents his own, per Paul Shorey, "distinctively Platonic sense of [the ancient Greek word] Thumos Θυμος" -- which means Spirit -- but which, in Plato's thinking, indicates "the power of noble wrath and righteous indignation," which is allied to Reason -- Manly Reason :

Sokrates:
"These two forms [the rational and the appetitive, that is, reason and desire], then, let us assume to have been marked off as actually existing in the soul. But now the Thumos [1] or principle of high spirit, that with which we feel anger [thumuo], is it a third, or would it be identical in nature with one of these?"

Footnote from Paul Shorey:

[1] We now approach the distinctively Platonic sense of Thumos Θυμος as the power of noble wrath, which, unless perverted by a bad education, is naturally the ally of the reason, though as mere angry passion it might seem to belong to the irrational part of the soul, and so, as Glaucon suggests, be akin to appetite, with which it is associated in the mortal soul of the Timaeus 69 D. In Laws 731 B-C Plato tells us again that the soul cannot combat injustice without the capacity for righteous indignation.

  • Thumos : the soul, like Latin anima, breath, life, spirit ; also mind, temper, will, fighting spirit, courage.

    Θυμος

    For Plato, Thumos is, per Shorey, the power of noble wrath, the capacity for righteous indignation, without which the soul -- and the Man -- cannot combat injustice.

    Which injustice is an inescapable aspect of the world of becoming.

    And which injustice is, much of the time, per Lendon, hybris, an arrogant insult to Timé.

    Which is Manhood.

    Which means that Plato's concept of Thumos is another aspect of his essentially Warriordom and Warrior World of Being -- way of thinking.

    Plato, like most ancient Greeks, thinks like a Warrior.

    And, artist that he is, Plato uses the word Thumos in a variety of ways, of which one of the most striking is

    Thumos gennaios : noble or high-minded passion.

    Related:

    Thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous (Plato), hot-tempered (Xenophon)

    Θυμοειδης

    Related:

    Thumuo : to make angry, to be angry

    θυμοω

    And guys, if you click on the link, you'll see that Thumos -- spirit, courage, anger -- is the root of Thumuo -- to be angry -- ; just as Ares is the root of Areté -- and Aristos.

    Also related -- conceptually -- are

    Phuché : breath, life, spirit, the soul or spirit of man ; and

    eupsychia : good courage, high spirit

    The Soul and Spirit of Man, then, to the Greeks, is innately courageous and high-spirited.

    And as we'll see -- a Spartan king uses eupsychia to refer -- to Spartan bravery.

    Translation, and once again :

    While the particular expression of these ideas belongs to Plato, the ideas are not his alone -- they are part of his Warriordom and his Warrior Kosmos, and so are found among Men -- Warriors -- who not only had no contact with Plato and his works, but who lived before he was born, or long after he'd died, and so forth.

    Put differently, Plato often gives voice to a Warrior Ethos which was widespread among the Greeks and particularly prominent among the Spartans.

    That said, let's get back to Plato's Principle of High Spirit, and the conversation between Sokrates and Glaukon, one of Plato's brothers :

Sokrates :
"These two forms [the rational and the appetitive, that is, reason and desire], then, let us assume to have been marked off as actually existing in the soul. But now the Thumos or principle of high spirit, that with which we feel anger [thumuo], is it a third, or would it be identical in nature with one of these?"

Glaukon :
"Perhaps," he said, "with one of these, the appetitive."

"But," I said, "I once heard a story which I believe, that Leontius the son of Aglaion, on his way up from the Peiraeus under the outer side of the northern wall, becoming aware of dead bodies that lay at the place of public execution at the same time felt a desire to see them and a repugnance and aversion, and that for a time he resisted and veiled his head, but overpowered in despite of all by his desire, with wide staring eyes he rushed up to the corpses and cried, 'There, ye wretches, take your fill of the fine spectacle!' "

"I too," he said, "have heard the story."

"Yet, surely, this anecdote," I said, "signifies that the principle of anger sometimes fights against desires as an alien thing against an alien."

"Yes, it does," he said.

"And do we not," said I, "on many other occasions observe when his desires constrain a man contrary to his reason that he reviles himself and is angry with that within which masters him and that as it were in a faction of two parties the high spirit of such a man becomes the ally of his reason? But its making common cause with the desires against the reason when reason whispers low 'Thou must not' -- that, I think, is a kind of thing you would not affirm ever to have perceived in yourself, nor, I fancy, in anybody else either."

"No, by heaven," he said.

"Again, when a man thinks himself to be in the wrong, is it not true that the nobler he is the less is he capable of anger though suffering hunger and cold and whatsoever else at the hands of him whom he believes to be acting justly therein, and as I say his spirit refuses to be aroused against such a one?"

"True," he said.

"But what when a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit in that case seethe and grow fierce (and also because of his suffering hunger, cold and the like) and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go until either it achieves its purpose, or death ends all, or, as a dog is called back by a shepherd, it is called back by the reason within and calmed."

"Your similitude is perfect," he said, "and it confirms our former statements that the helpers [epikouros -- assisters, allies επικουρος -- warriors] are as it were dogs subject to the rulers who are as it were the shepherds of the city."

"You apprehend my meaning excellently," said I. "But do you also take note of this? -- That what we now think about the spirited element is just the opposite of our recent surmise. For then we supposed it to be a part of the appetitive, but now, far from that, we say that, in the factions of the soul, it much rather marshals itself on the side of the reason."

"By all means," he said.

"Is it then distinct from this too, or is it a form of the rational, so that there are not three but two kinds in the soul, the rational [logistikos] and the appetitive, or just as in the city there were three existing kinds that composed its structure, the moneymakers, the helpers [warriors], the counsellors, so also in the soul there exists a third kind, this principle of high spirit [thumoeides], which is the helper of reason by nature unless it is corrupted by evil nurture?"

"We have to assume it as a third," he said.

"Yes," said I, "provided it shall have been shown to be something different from the rational, as it has been shown to be other than the appetitive."

"That is not hard to be shown," he said; "for that much one can see in children, that they are from their very birth chock-full of rage and high spirit, but as for reason, some of them, to my thinking, never participate in it, and the majority quite late."

~Plat. Rep. 4.439e, translated by Shorey.

So, and just for starters :

Plato's saying that the Principle of High Spirit, that is, the Spirit of Just Indignation -- of Anger at a Wrong -- is allied with Reason -- Manly Reason -- provided that it has been properly nurtured -- provided, I would say, that the proper Structure has been present for its nurturing -- as it was at Sparta.

And that this is the Spirit which enables a Man to Fight -- Injustice.

And given that to Plato, Fighting Manhood is Moral Manhood -- Pious, Temperate, and Morally-Ordered -- Thumos is virtually identical to -- Fighting Spirit.

Of which, by the way, Ares is Guardian.

And we can see that particularly well in the adjectival form of Thumos, Thumoeides, which means high-spirited, courageous.

In other words, imbued with Fighting Spirit.

Which is Fighting Manhood.

Of which Ares is God.

Just as the adjectival form of eupsychia, which is eupsychos, means high-spirited, courageous.

In other words, imbued with Fighting Spirit.

Which is Fighting Manhood.

Of which Ares is God.

So -- in the "city," the city-state, the Republic, there are three classes : the money-makers ; the Warriors -- for whom Plato here uses the wonderful word epikouros ; and the counsellors -- the wise men.

While in the individual soul, there's desire or appetite ; Fighting Spirit ; and Reason.

And, given the proper education, Fighting Spirit -- which is Manliness -- and Reason -- which is Manly -- are naturally allied -- they work together.

Plato thus sets out for us a Warrior Conception -- of Man's Inner Nature.

In which the Principle of High Spirit -- Fighting Spirit -- is one-third of the Man ;

and Manly Reason is the second third.

And Manly Reason and Fighting Spirit work together to govern the remaining third -- which is desire.

Which means that the two highest faculties of Man -- are his Manly Reason -- and his Fighting Spirit.

Further, that Fighting Spirit must be understood for what it is -- as an aspect of Lord Ares -- which is to say, a Divine Expression of the Warrior God, the God of High-Minded Passion and Noble Anger -- within the human soul.

Properly nurtured and welcomed, the God is within us.

And He's the God of High-Minded Passion and Noble Anger.

Which goes back to what we discussed in Chapter I -- the Gods, including Ares, are Good and Beneficent -- High-Minded and Noble.

And Noble, I remind you, means SELFLESS.

Unlike human beings, the Gods are not inherently selfish, nor are they controlled by their appetites.

Just the opposite.

By their very nature, the Gods are Selfless -- in part, because They need nothing.

Which is why what Sallustius says is True :

The Gods need nothing ; the honours we pay them are for our own benefit. Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

Which means that for a human being To Become Like to a God -- so far as may be -- entails becoming Selfless.

Which is why a male's attitude towards money matters.

And why this one observation by Arrian--

Spending but little on his own pleasures, he poured out his money without stint for the benefit of his friends.

tells us so much about Alexander the Great.

And about you.

Because, with just one exception, there's not a one of you to whom Arrian's words could even remotely be applied.

You're truly disgusting.

The only reason I put up with you is that the so-called gay community's continuing embrace of the act which killed my Lover disgusts me more.

But only by so much.

In all but that one department, you have nothing to recommend you.

Nothing.

So --

Ares, unlike you, but like all the Gods, is Selfless.

His Passion is High-Minded ; his Anger is Noble and thus Selfless.

I've tried explaining that to some of you and found that not only that you do not, but that you cannot, understand it.

How could you?

All you've known -- and want to know -- is selfishness.

That's all that interests you.

Sallustius says of the Gods, correctly -- it's what any religious teacher would say --

Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

And how do you become fit?

Fitness is obtained by imitation, and imitation is the basis of all cult

And that's a problem.

Because you're not capable of imitation.

Imitation of the Gods would require that you become Selfless -- just for starters -- and you're not capable of that.

Which means that you'll spend your lives permanently divorced -- from the Divine.

Forever separated -- from the Sacred.

Sallustius :

The Gods are always good and help us ; they never harm us. We, when we are good, are by our likeness given union with them ; if we become bad, we are separated from them.

You are for now, and for ever, separated from the Gods.

And I can't change that.

Only you can change it.

And you give no sign -- and have not for fifteen years -- of being able to change it -- or being even ever-so-slightly interested -- in changing it.

So -- it won't change.

Nevertheless, and to get back to the matter obstensibly at hand :

Ares, as the God of Fight and Fighting Manhood, is the God of High-Minded Passion and Noble Anger.

Which goes back to what we discussed in Chapter I -- the Gods, including Ares, are Good and Beneficent -- High-Minded and Noble.

Moreover :

In his footnote to Plato's introduction of Thumos, the Principle of High Spirit which is Fighting Spirit, Shorey refers us to Plato's Laws 731 B-C :

Let every one of us be ambitious [philonikia] to gain excellence [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence], but without jealousy. For a man of this character enlarges a State [polis -- city-state], since he strives hard himself and does not thwart the others by calumny [false accusation, slander] ; but the jealous man, thinking that calumny of others is the best way to secure his own superiority, makes less effort himself to win true excellence [which, again, is areté -- Manhood], and disheartens his rivals by getting them unjustly blamed ; whereby he causes the whole city-state to be ill-trained for competing in Manliness, and renders it, for his part, less large in fair repute.

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other men's wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plat. Laws 5.731

So, in a very strong statement in the Laws, and one in which he clearly had Sparta in mind, Plato first urges that the citizens of a city-state -- and please remember that in a Greek city-state, the citizens were Men --

Plato first urges that the citizens of a city-state contend -- compete -- to attain the highest degree of Manliness and Manhood, but without jealousy and the slander which accompanies it.

Which is exactly and precisely what the Spartans did :

Charillus
Eighth-century Eurypontid [Spartan] king, also called Charilaus

When someone asked him what type of government he considered to be the best [aristos -- the most manly], he said, 'The one in which the largest number of citizens are willing to compete [agonizomai -- contend, fight, struggle] with each other in virtue [areté -- Fighting Manhood], and without civil discord.'

~ Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans, 68.4, translated by Talbert.

That system was very effective.

The "citizens," who at Sparta were the Warriors, were encouraged, from their earliest moments in the agogé, to compete in both aggression -- Manliness, Manhood, Fighting Spirit -- and obedience.

Lendon :

Sparta was supreme in andreia.

Sparta was supreme in Manhood -- Fighting Manhood.

The Spartan Homoioi [homoios ομοιος -- hoi homoioi = the equals] -- the Equals -- strove to create, through their uniquely Spartan institutions, which prized and rewarded both aggression and obedience aka harmony -- a Homonoia -- a Concord of Equals -- while year after year churning out the Manliest Warriors -- in Greece.

We can see those institutions and that Homonoia in action in this paragraph from Plutarch's Life of the Spartan king Agesilaus :

During the year that he spent in one of the companies [boua -- herds] of boys who were brought together under the Spartan system [the agogé], he had as his lover [the great Spartan general] Lysander, who was especially struck by his natural modesty and discretion [kosmios -- decorum, good order, moderation]. Agesilaus was more aggressive [philoneikos -- strife-loving] and hot-tempered [thumoeides -- courageous, full of fighting spirit] than his companions. He longed to be first in all things, and he had in him a vehemence [sphodros] and impetuosity [actually, fury -- ragdaios] which were inexhaustible [and none would contend with], and carried him over all obstacles ; yet at the same time he was so gentle and ready to obey authority [eupeitheo] that he did whatever was demanded of him. He acted in this way from a sense of honour, not of fear, and he was far more sensitive to rebuke than to any amount of hardship [ponos]. He was lame in one leg, but the beauty of his physique in the prime of his youth made the deformity pass almost unnoticed, and the ease and light-heartedness with which he endured it went far to compensate for the disability, since he was the first to joke and make fun of himself on this subject. In fact his lameness served to reveal his ambition [PhiloTimia -- his Love of Worth] even more clearly, since he never allowed it to deter him from any enterprise, however arduous it might turn out. . . .

~Plut. Ages. 2.1-2, translated by Scott-Kilvert.

So : Agesilaus is aggressive -- philoneikos, he has a love of strife and contention -- and "hot-tempered" -- and the word is Plato's, thumoeides, courageous, full of fighting spirit ; as a consequence, Agesilaus longs to be first in all things -- just as Plato says he should -- with a vehemence and impetuosity -- the latter word in Greek is actually "fury" -- and in Chapter VI we'll discuss the Latin word furor -- a hallmark of the young Warrior -- which are inexhaustible and which none want to contend with, and which, as a consequence, carry him over all obstacles ;

while, at the same time, Agesilaus is ready to obey authority and do whatever is demanded of him, not out of fear, but from a sense of honour ;

and he's far more sensitive to rebuke than to any amount of hardship.

In other words, Agesilaus advances in Manly Excellence, in Fighting Manhood, not through calumny, not through slandering his fellow boys, but through a combination of Aggression -- Fighting Spirit -- Plato's thumos -- and Obedience -- which is really an expression of Harmony with both his fellows in the agogé and the Spartan "system" -- Ta Kala -- The Noble Way -- in general.

So :

Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is the goal ; and it's best achieved in a society which values and creates order, harmony, discipline, and restraint.

And notice, in Plutarch's account of Agesilaus, the many words we see which we frequently encounter in discussions of Greek Warrior Culture -- and in Plato :

  • kosmios -- decorum, good order, moderation ;

  • philoneikos -- strife-loving, contentious ;

  • thumoeides -- courageous, full of fighting spirit ;

  • ponos -- toil, labor, physical hardship ;

  • PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth, of Honor

Greek Warrior Culture, and particularly Spartan Warrior Culture, is consistent -- it wants its Youth and Men to be strife-loving and contentious, courageous and full of fighting spirit ; to never shirk from toil, physical labor, or the hardship of battle --

While pursuing Worth and Honor within a system which encourages decorum, modesty, good order, restraint, discipline, and harmony.

That's why the Spartan king, Charillus, says, The best State is 'The one in which the largest number of Warriors are willing to compete, contend, fight, and struggle with each other in Fighting Manhood -- and without civil discord -- without disrupting the Good Order and Good Harmony of the State.'

And that in turn is why, in the Laws, albeit four centuries later, Plato says,

Let every one of us be ambitious [philonikia - victory-loving] to gain excellence [areté -- Manhood, Manly Excellence], but without jealousy. For a man of this character enlarges a State [polis -- city-state], since he strives hard himself and does not thwart the others by calumny [false accusation, slander] . . .

And, Plato then says, no doubt thinking of his beloved Dion, that every man should be both passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree ; and,

That Thumos gennaios -- high-minded passion, noble anger -- which again, is an expression of Fighting Spirit -- is what enables and indeed is necessary for a Man to escape from other males' wrongdoing -- through victorious Fighting and Self-Defense -- which includes rigorous punishment of the wrong-doer.

Again, this is a strong statement by a strong Man and a Warrior, and one with an eye on the Homeric past, calling upon Men to strive -- essentially, to compete, but without jealousy or rancour -- for Manhood -- Morally Just Fighting Manhood -- and saying that you can't, in this chaotic world of becoming, escape the wrongdoing of others -- other than through Victorious Fighting and Self-Defense -- and by rigorous punishment of malefactors -- and that no soul can achieve this without high-minded passion, noble anger, righteous indignation, fighting spirit.

And remember, please, that Thumos means spirit, and that Thumos gennaios -- that noble anger which leads to noble deeds -- is a SPIRITUAL quality.

That's what it is.

It's spiritual.

So that in terms of Unitary Virtue, it can be thought of as Hallowed Fighting Manhood in the service of Restraint, Discipline, and Manly Moral Order.

Thumos gennaios -- noble anger, righteous indignation -- is a spiritual quality, a quality of the Warrior's Soul, originating of necessity in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, and mediated by Lord Ares so as to enable the Warrior's actions in the world of becoming.

Sallustius :

The Gods are always good and help us ; they never harm us.

The God -- in this case, Ares -- exists to help the human being -- in this case the Warrior -- to overcome the chaos of embodiment in the world of becoming.

How?

In part, through imitation :

We, when we are good, are by our likeness given union with them ; if we become bad, we are separated from them.

. . .

These considerations decide the problem of worship. The Gods need nothing ; the honours we pay them are for our own benefit. Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

Fitness is obtained by imitation.

Which is why Plato says homoiosis Theo -- to be like to God -- or to a God.

And when Plato says "homoiosis Theo," he's talking about, in part, Thumos gennaios -- a very Militant and Manly Warrior Righteousness :

God is in no wise and in no manner unrighteous [adikos], but utterly and perfectly righteous [dikaiotatos = most righteous = superlative of dikaios], and there is nothing so like him as that one of us who in turn becomes most nearly perfect in righteousness [that is to say, no one of us is so like unto God as the one who becomes most nearly perfect in the expression of Manly Moral Order -- which is Manly Moral Righteousness.]

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

And then we come back to Plato's statement in the Laws :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

And having read that statement by Plato in the Laws, we can better understand his earlier statement in the Republic, that the Guardians of his ideal city -- his Republic -- will settle their personal disputes -- through fist-fights.

So :

In Book V of the Republic, Plato is discussing how the "Guardians" -- the Warrior Caste of his ideal city-state -- and ideal Men -- will possess nothing, not even wives or children -- and that this will keep them free of dissensions and disputes :

"Then will not law-suits and accusations against one another vanish, one may say, from among them, because they have nothing in private possession but their bodies, but all else in common? So that we can count on their being free from the dissensions that arise among men from the possession of property, children, and kin."

"They will necessarily be quit of these," he said.

"And again, there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For as between age-fellows [men of the same age, comrades] we shall say that self-defence [to defend oneself, to repel an assault] is honorable [kalon -- morally beautiful] and just [dikaios]

  • Dikaios : right, lawful, just ; well-ordered, observant of custom and social rule, civilised ; observant of right, righteous, in accordance with right, decent

    δικαιος

"And again, there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For as between age-fellows [men of the same age, comrades] we shall say that self-defence [to defend oneself, to repel an assault] is morally beautiful [kalon] and just, well-ordered, and righteous [dikaios], thereby compelling them to keep their bodies in condition."

"Right," he said.

"And there will be the further advantage in such a law that an angry man, satisfying his anger in such wise, would be less likely to carry the quarrel to further extremes."

"Assuredly."

"As for an older man, he will always have the charge of ruling and chastising the younger."

~Plat. Rep. 5.464e, translated by Shorey

Let's play that again.

Plato, the greatest thinker of his age, and many believe, any age, is saying that among the Warriors in his ideal state,

there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For between age-fellows[1] and comrades we shall say that to defend oneself, to repel an assault is morally beautiful and just, well-ordered, and righteous, thereby compelling them to keep their bodies in condition.

And you'll notice that the translator, Paul Shorey, has a footnote after the word for age-mate/comrade -- which reads as follows :

[1] Cf. [compare] A.J.P. vol. xiii. p. 364, Aeschines iii. 255, Xenophon Rep. Lac. 4. 5, Laws 880 A.

So, Shorey refers us back to Xenophon's account of the Strife of Valour, the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood, in "Rep. Lac. 4.5" [ = Lakedaimonian Republic 4.5] :

Here then you find that kind of strife that is dearest to the Gods, and in the highest sense political -- the strife that sets the standard of a brave man's conduct ; and in which either party exerts itself to the end that it may never fall below its best, and that, when the time comes, every member of it may support the state with all his might.

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.5

And they are bound, too, to keep themselves fit, for one effect of the strife is that they fight whenever they meet ; but anyone present has a right to part the combatants.

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.6

So -- what both Plato and Xenophon are saying -- and it's truly eye-opening for Men like ourselves, living in the times we do --

is that Fist Fights -- and these are Fist Fights -- in Laws 880 A, which Shorey also refers us to, Plato says explicitly that "the man attacked shall defend himself with bare hands, as nature dictates, and without a weapon" ;

So -- what both Plato and Xenophon are saying -- and it's truly eye-opening for Men like ourselves, living in the times we do --

is that Fist Fights to settle disputes -- are both Morally Beautiful -- and Just, Well-Ordered, and Righteous.

Why?

Because in a Warriordom powered by a Warrior World of Being, a Warrior Kosmos, such Fights express Thumos gennaios -- high-minded passion and noble anger -- which are spiritual qualities :

when a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit in that case seethe and grow fierce and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios -- high-minded] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go

So that Plato is envisioning -- as is Xenophon -- FIGHTS -- between two (or more) guys -- equally NOBLE and HIGH-MINDED -- whose spirits -- Fighting Spirits -- have seethed and grown fierce -- because they believe themselves to have been wronged -- in the case of Plato ; or,

In the case of Xenophon -- because they believe they are right -- their spirits have seethed and grown fierce because they believe they have more Timé, and that they're more capable of ta kala -- acts of moral beauty -- acts of Fighting Moral Beauty -- than their opponents.

So :

Plato's view of Fighting -- *like Xenophon's* -- is, at least in this instance -- that it's an essentially NOBLE and HIGH-MINDED pursuit.

Which of course makes such Fighting -- Morally Beautiful.

And -- Plato's use of the word dikaios says that such Fighting isn't just Morally Beautiful, but Socially Beautiful -- that it's well-ordered, civilized, observant of right, and righteous.

And when, as he very often does, Plato uses the word "just," that is, dikaios, to mean well-ordered, what he's referencing, once again, is a Manly Moral Order, which is, ultimately, a Form or Ideal in the Warrior Kosmos, the Warrior World of Being.

A Manly Moral Order --

A Warrior Moral Order.

Plato's view -- his conception -- of FIGHTING -- is WARRIOR.

Because, to the Warrior, Fighting, which originates from and is the gift of Lord Ares, isn't just physical -- it's SPIRITUAL.











βefore leaving our discussion of Thumos -- Fighting Spirit -- a core attribute of Lord Ares -- and its High-Minded Anger and Noble Passion -- also attributes of Lord Ares -- I want to re-iterate Plato's view of the tripartite division of the soul into appetite, Reason, and Fighting Spirit, and emphasize how consistent he is in using this idea and this image in his thought.

So, for example, in Book IX of the Republic, we encounter this discussion between Sokrates and Glaukon :

"Is it not also true," I [Sokrates] said, "that the ruling principle of men's souls is in some cases this faculty [Reason] and in others one of the other two [Fighting Spirit or appetite], as it may happen?"

"That is so," Glaukon said.

"And that is why we say that the primary classes of men also are three, the philosopher or lover of wisdom [philosophos], the lover of victory [philonikos] and the greedy of gain [philokerdes] ."

"Precisely so."

"And also that there are three forms of pleasure, corresponding respectively to each?"

"By all means."

"Are you aware, then" said I, "that if you should choose to ask men of these three classes, each in turn, which is the most pleasurable of these lives, each will chiefly commend his own? The financier will affirm that in comparison with profit the pleasures of honor or of learning are of no value except in so far as they produce money."

"True," he said.

"And what of the lover of honor [philotimos -- lover of Worth -- Timé] ?" I said; "does he not regard the pleasure that comes from money as vulgar [phortikos] and low, and again that of learning, save in so far as the knowledge confers honor, mere fume [kapnos -- smoke] and moonshine?"

"It is so," he said.

"And what," said I, "are we to suppose the philosopher thinks of the other pleasures compared with the delight of knowing the truth and the reality, and being always occupied with that while he learns? Will he not think them far removed from true pleasure, and call them literally the pleasures of necessity [ananke -- force, constraint, necessity αναγκη], since he would have no use for them if necessity were not laid upon him?"

"We may be sure of that," he said.

~Plat. Rep. 9.581c-e, translated by Shorey.

. . .

"There being, then, three kinds of pleasure, the pleasure of that part of the soul whereby we learn is the sweetest, and the life of the man in whom that part dominates is the most pleasurable."

"How could it be otherwise?" he said. "At any rate the man of intelligence speaks with authority when he commends his own life."

"And to what life and to what pleasure," I said, "does the judge assign the second place?"

"Obviously to that of the warrior [polemikos -- warlike] and honor-loving [philotimos -- Worth-loving] type, for it is nearer to the first than is the life of the money-maker."

"And so the last place belongs to the greedy of gain [philokerdes], as it seems."

"Surely," said he.

~Plat. Rep. 9.583a, translated by Shorey.

Now :

It's critical that you see, and understand, that Plato says that the life -- and pleasure -- of the Warrior is far closer to that of the Philosopher -- than it is to that of the money-loving greedy of gain.

Just as he says, that Fighting Spirit is the natural ally of Manly Reason.

Why does he say that?

First off, of course, because there's a huge difference between the sensual pleasures of those who are greedy for gain, and the Good of the Honor-Loving, which is Timé -- Honor or Worth.

And the difference is that you can't eat honor, you can't fuck it, nor can you wrap it around yourself in the winter to keep warm.

Honor, like the Wisdom of the philosopher, is an Idea and an Ideal -- which exists in the World of Being.

It's true that in theory, the degree of Honor -- Worth -- is a function of kala -- acts of moral beauty and noble deeds -- usually performed on a battlefield, usually in a Fight, usually with weapons.

And the battlefield itself exists in the world of becoming.

Whereas the Wisdom of the philosopher is gained through Intellect and Thought -- through which the philosopher rises to contemplation of the World of Being.

However, the Wisdom of the philosopher can and should, says Plato, be used in the world of becoming to make that world, in effect, a better, more orderly -- that is, just -- and thus more humane -- because more God-like -- place.

Similarly -- and it's a similarity which is obvious to Plato and which he is far too intellectually honest to ignore -- what's motivating the morally beautiful and nobly accomplished deeds of the Warrior in the world of becoming -- are Ideals -- which are, not just semantically, but in fact -- part of the Wisdom of the World of Being.

The Warrior World of Being.

The Warrior Kosmos.

Which means -- that there's an Eternal Aspect to Fighting.

Something every Fighter -- every Warrior -- knows.

How, when you're Fighting, the world disappears -- and all that matters is the Fight.

For when you're Fighting, all that matters is the Fight -- the Fight is your entire consciousness.

In that respect the Fight is a moment out of time -- out of the world of becoming, and into another place.

That other place is the Warrior Kosmos.

Changeless, Timeless, Eternal and Immutable.

Not surprisingly, Fighters will tell you that they remember every moment of every Fight -- many many years later.

That's not anything like a sensuous pleasure -- it's an altered state, higher consciousness, World of Being experience.

It explains the Passion for Fighting of someone like Alexander the Great -- each Battle would have been, for Alexander, a piece of Eternity.

Plato either didn't know that or declined to speak of it, since it got in the way of his advocacy of the contemplative life.

But it's true nevertheless, and it may be, on the other hand, why he consistently puts the warrior and his love of warrior worth, just beneath the philosopher in -- life ranking.

Futhermore, PhiloTimia, Love of Worth, is sometimes translated as ambition -- but in Plato, it's often ambition for a higher state -- as in the Sympsion, when Phaidros says,

What shall I call this power [of Love Eros]? The shame that we feel for shameful things, and ambition [PhiloTimia] for what is noble [kalon -- επι δε καλοις φιλοτιμιαν] ; without which it is impossible for city or person to perform any high and noble [kala] deeds.

~Plato. Sym. 178d, translated by Fowler.

Indeed, that entire section of the Symposion -- the speech or oration of Phaidros -- beginning at Plat. Sym. 178a and ending at Plat. Sym. 180b --

That entire section of the Symposion is concerned with the Intersection, the Interface, between the Eternal Aspect of Fighting -- and Eternal Love -- that is, between Romantic, Passionate, Male-Male Love -- which is built upon Honor and the Love of Worth --

And what classicist Werner Jaeger calls the Moral Nobility of Worth -- the Morally Noble Worth earned through Fighting.

Plato, via Phaidros :

[Love -- Eros] is the cause of all our highest blessings. I for my part am at a loss to say what greater blessing a man can have in earliest youth than an honorable [chrestos -- good, honest, worthy, true] lover, or a lover than an honorable [chrestos] favorite. For the guiding principle we should choose for all our days, if we are minded to live a comely [kalos -- morally beautiful] life, cannot be acquired either by kinship or office or wealth or anything so well as by Love.

Phaidros continues :

What shall I call this power [of Love Eros]? The shame [aischros] that we feel for shameful things [aischyne], and ambition [PhiloTimia] for what is noble [kalon -- morally beautiful] ; without which it is impossible for city or person to perform any high [megas] and noble [kala] deeds [erga -- deeds of war, action, battle, fight].

Let me then say that a man in love, should he be detected in some shameful act or in a cowardly submission to shameful treatment at another's hands, would not feel half so much distress at anyone observing it, whether father or comrade or anyone in the world, as when his favorite [paidika] did ; and in the selfsame way we see how the beloved is especially ashamed before his lover when he is observed to be about some shameful business.

So that if we could somewise contrive to have a city or an army composed of lovers [erastai] and their favorites [paidika -- a male lover, darling, favorite, mostly of a boy] [which both Xenophon and JE Lendon say Sparta was], they could not be better citizens of their country than by thus refraining from all that is base [aischros] in a mutual rivalry for honor [PhiloTiméomai -- in rivalry for honour and worth] ; and such men as these, when fighting side by side, one might almost consider able to make even a little band victorious [nikao] over all the world.

For a man in love [erao] would surely choose to have all the rest of the host [army] rather than his favorite [paidika] see him forsaking his station [taxis] or flinging away his arms [hopla] ; sooner than this, he would prefer to die many deaths : while, as for leaving his favorite [paidika] in the lurch [enkataleipo], or not succoring [bontheo --coming to aid] him in his peril, no man is such a craven [kakos -- coward] that Love's own influence cannot inspire him with a Manhood [Areté -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness] that makes him equal to the Manliest [aristos] born ; [179b] and without doubt what Homer calls a "fury inspired [menos -- rage, passion] [empneo -- breathed into]" by a God [Father-Ares-Eros-Son] in certain Heroes is the effect produced on lovers by Love's power.

~Plato. Sym. 179b, translated by Fowler.

And you begin to see, I hope, how Love of Worth intersects with Nobility -- which is Selflessness -- in both Eros and Polemos -- in both Love and War.

Jaeger :

[E]ven in the age of [ancient Greek] democracy we can see that love of honour [PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth] was often held to be justifiable in the intercourse of both individuals and states. We can best understand the moral nobility of this idea by considering Aristotle's description of the megalopsychos, the proud or high-minded man. In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece . . . . The class limitations of the old ideals were removed when they were sublimated and universalised by philosophy: while their permanent truth and their indestructible ideality were confirmed and strengthened by that process.

[emphases mine]

Three points :

  • PhiloTimia -- the Honorable Love of Warrior Worth -- was held by the Greeks to be morally noble.

    As it should be by us.

  • "The ethical doctrines of Plato" -- what I call his Warrior Wisdom -- "were founded on the aristocratic morality" -- that is, the Warrior Morality, the Warrior Code -- "of early Greece" ; of which Sparta's Ta Kala -- The Noble Way -- was, in Plato's day, the most complete and comprehensive survival -- thus, Plato's oft-stated admiration for and frequent borrowing from Spartan practice :

    • Should you choose, again, to look at the self-control and orderliness, the fortitude and good temper, the magnanimity and discipline, the courage and endurance, and the toil-loving, success-loving [philonikia -- love of victory, rivalry, contentiousness], honor-loving [PhiloTimos -- Worth-Loving] spirit of the Spartans, you would count yourself but a child in all these things.

      ~Plat. Alc. 1 122c, translated by Lamb.

    • In the first place, none [of the Guardians, the Warrior Caste of the Republic,] must possess any private property save the indispensable. Secondly, none must have any habitation or treasure-house which is not open for all to enter at will. Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes of war sober [sophron] and brave [andreios -- Manly], they must receive as an agreed stipend from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship, so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack. And resorting to a common mess like soldiers on campaign they will live together.

      Gold and silver, we will tell them, they have of the divine quality from the Gods always in their souls, and they have no need of the metal of men nor does holiness suffer them to mingle and contaminate that heavenly possession with the acquisition of mortal gold, since many impious deeds have been done about the coin of the multitude, while that which dwells within them is unsullied. But for these only of all the dwellers in the city it is not lawful to handle gold and silver and to touch them nor yet to come under the same roof with them, nor to hang them as ornaments on their limbs nor to drink from silver and gold.

      So living they would save themselves and save their city.

      ~Plat. Rep. 3.416d-417a, translated by Shorey.

  • These aristocratic -- that is, Warrior -- ethical doctrines, Jaeger says, possessed and possess permanent truth and indescructible ideality -- which means they emanate from and belong to the World of Being -- the Realm of Permanent Truth and Indestructible Ideals -- the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

So -- I called this section of Chapter II, Manly Reason, Fighting Spirit and the Honorable Love of Warrior Worth ; but I could have just as easily called it the Noble Love of Warrior Worth ; or the Heroic Love of Warrior Worth.

Because, as with so many other words which we've looked at in the Lexicon, words like Areté and Andreia and Virtus -- words like Timé and PhiloTimia mean far more than their English translations ordinarily indicate.

So, if it's Honorable, chances are it's Noble ; if it's Noble, it's probably Selfless ; and if it's Selfless, it's probably Heroic too.

Which means that to a Greek, this section of Chapter II would be titled Manly Reason, Fighting Spirit and the Honorable, Noble, and Heroic Love of Warrior Worth.

Which means in turn that Warrior Worth is Worth -- and is Worthy : It merits and deserves -- that Honorable, Noble, and Heroic Love.


So :

All that is by way of saying that I do not agree with, and take strong exception to, Plato's placing of Love of Worth on a necessarily lower plane -- than Love of Wisdom.

In my view, and as I will make clear, Plato's argument is a straw man argument.

Because, most of the time, and among the people -- the Warriors -- who matter -- Worth and Wisdom are, and as you've just seen, intimately and inextricably connected.

Both being aspects of and residing in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

For example :

In Plato's work, both the Warrior and the Philosopher spend much of their time engaged in battle -- intellectual battle for the latter to be sure, but battle nevertheless.

Indeed, Sokrates, Plato's spokesman, frequently uses Fight metaphors -- usually taken from Wrestling -- to describe what he does :


Theodorus
It is not easy, Socrates, for anyone to sit beside you and not be forced to give an account of himself and it was foolish of me just now to say you would excuse me and would not oblige me, as the Lacedaemonians do, to strip [apoduo]; you seem to me to take rather after Sciron. For the Lacedaemonians tell people to go away or else strip, but you seem to me to play rather the role of Antaeus; for you do not let anyone go who approaches you until you have forced him to strip and wrestle [prospalaio] with you in argument.

Socrates
Your comparison with Sciron and Antaeus pictures my complaint admirably; only I am a more stubborn combatant than they; for many a Heracles and many a Theseus, strong men of words, have fallen in with me and belabored me mightily, but still I do not desist, such a terrible love of this kind of exercise [gymnastika -- nude exercise] has taken hold on me. So, now that it is your turn, do not refuse to try a bout with me; it will be good for both of us.

Translator's note:
Sciron was a mighty man who attacked all who came near him and threw them from a cliff. He was overcome by Theseus. Antaeus, a terrible giant, forced all passersby to wrestle with him. He was invincible until Heracles crushed him in his arms.

~Plat. Theaet. 169a, translated by Fowler.


So :

It's not just that many of Plato's dialogues, and thus Sokrates' conversations, take place at the Palaistra, where Men Strip and Wrestle.

It's that Sokrates himself, in his own words and in his own mind and the minds of those with whom he engages, Strips and Wrestles too.

Plato's dialectic demands that -- it demands that the interlocutors Strip, that they abandon all their world of becoming props -- which in reality are fetters -- and engage in Nude Combat -- Naked Fight :

Socrates
If you went to Sparta, Theodorus, and visited the wrestling-schools, would you think it fair to look on at other people naked, some of whom were of poor physique, without stripping and showing your own form, too?

~Plat. Theaet. 162b

Obviously, it's not fair.

Everyone must STRIP, and Everyone must FIGHT.

That FIGHTING, that Naked Fighting, is vitally important to Plato -- and anyone who thinks or says it isn't, is living in some sort of 20th/21st-century denial of who Plato was, where he lived, and how he thought.

It's clear, in that regard, that Shorey isn't super-comfortable with Plato's Thumos -- his Principle of High Spirit, which is Fighting Spirit, and which emerges when the Spirit Seethes and Grows Fierce in order to Right a wrong -- an injustice.

Too bad.

It's the High-Minded Passion and Noble Anger of Thumos, acting in concert with Manly Reason -- Wisdom -- which gives Man the ability to attack the innumerable evils of the world of becoming.

And if it's High-Minded and Noble, isn't it too Wisdom?

Yes -- under Plato's ethical system, which is, as Jaeger says, and as I've long said, derived from and often identical to the Warrior Code of ancient Greece -- it has to be.

Once again, because, in my very strongly held view, and as I will make abundantly clear in Chapter IV, and in which, as you've just seen, I'm not alone -- Plato's idea of and model for Wisdom -- is Warrior.

Plato's Wisdom -- is a Warrior Wisdom.

He's correct -- and no one would argue with him -- in saying that Wisdom should lead a Man through Life.

But his conception of that Wisdom -- is Warrior.

His disdain for the lower, sensual pleasures of food, sex, and luxury ; his intense dislike of what he terms "lust for wealth" and its attendant focus on private property rather than public good ; his oft-stated concern for the upbringing and welfare of the Warrior Caste, and, in that regard, his advocacy of communal living characterized by austerity and equality both for his Warriors and for the commune in general ; his constant putting forward of sobriety, temperance, and self-control ; his celebration of societal harmony, discipline, and restraint ; and most of all, his understanding that the abstract values of Manhood, Selflessness, Communion, Righteousness, Freedom, and Moral Order -- are both infinitely more important and infinitely more real than the material values of money and that which money can buy -- are pure Warrior -- and Spartan Warrior to boot.

While his contempt for the "Greedy of Gain" -- is almost infinite :

those who have no experience of wisdom [phronesis -- thoughtfulness, intention, prudence] and virtue [Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence] but are ever devoted to feastings and that sort of thing are swept downward, it seems, and back again to the center, and so sway and roam to and fro throughout their lives, but they have never transcended all this and turned their eyes to the true upper region [the World of Being] nor been wafted there, nor ever been really filled with real things, nor ever tasted stable and pure [katharos -- clear from shame or pollution, pure] pleasure, but with eyes ever bent upon the earth and heads bowed down over their tables they feast like cattle, grazing and copulating [οχευω -- ocheuo -- denotes animal copulation], ever greedy for more of these delights; and in their greed kicking and butting one another with horns and hooves of iron they slay one another in sateless avidity [insatiable lust], because they are vainly striving to satisfy with things that are not real the unreal and incontinent part of their souls.

~Plato. Rep. 9.586a-b, translated by Shorey.

That's a strong statement -- to put it mildly.

Those who have no experience of Manhood and Wisdom -- of a Being which is both Warlike and Wise -- but are ever devoted to the lowest forms of pleasure -- never transcend the world of becoming, because they've never turned their eyes to the Truth -- the Truth of the World of Being -- ; nor been taken, by dint of effort, there, nor ever experienced the immutable and changeless pleasure of the World of Being --

but instead live like cattle, their eyes bent upon the earth and heads bowed down, grazing and copulating, ever greedy --

and in their greed kicking and butting one another with horns and hooves of iron they slay one another in sateless avidity [insatiable lust], because they are vainly striving to satisfy with things that are not real the unreal and incontinent part of their souls.

"they slay one another in sateless avidity [insatiable lust],] vainly striving to satisfy with things that are not real the unreal and incontinent part of their souls"

Plato's condemnation is harsh, and biting, and undeniable.

And could we not apply it to analists, anal, and HIV?

Yes, we could.

Analists slay one another in sateless avidity [insatiable lust],] vainly striving to satisfy with things that are not real [anal "sex"] the unreal and incontinent part of their souls.

AIDS activist Larry Kramer, speaking in 2004 :

Does it occur to you that we brought this plague of aids upon ourselves? I know I am getting into dangerous waters here but it is time. With the cabal breathing even more murderously down our backs it is time. And you are still doing it. You are still murdering each other. Please stop with all the generalizations and avoidance excuses gays have used since the beginning to ditch this responsibility for this fact. From the very first moment we were told in 1981 that the suspected cause was a virus, gay men have refused to accept our responsibility for choosing not to listen, and, starting in 1984, when we were told it definitely was a virus, this behavior turned murderous. Make whatever excuses you can to carry on living in your state of denial but this is the fact of the matter. I wish we could understand and take some responsibility for the fact that for some 30 years we have been murdering each other with great facility and that down deep inside of us, we knew what we were doing. Don't tell me you have never had sex without thinking down deep that there was more involved in what you were doing than just maintaining a hard-on.

I have recently gone through my diaries of the worst of the plague years. I saw day after day a notation of another friend's death. I listed all the ones I'd slept with. There were a couple hundred. Was it my sperm that killed them, that did the trick? It is no longer possible for me to avoid this question of myself. Have you ever wondered how many men you killed? I know I murdered some of them. I just know.

Does it ever bother, I don't know, maybe just one of you, that someone like Larry Kramer, who in this speech confesses to both murder and murderous intent, is not only not jailed, but is instead lionized, while someone like myself, who's killed no one, nor ever sought to, and whose only "crime" has been to attempt to point the way to a better and safer form of male-male sex, is constantly defamed and ultimately defeated?

Tell ya what.

If it bothers you, send an email to BillWeintraub@Man2ManAlliance.org with the subject line "bothered."

And tell me what -- precisely -- you intend to do about this small injustice.

Which has such large repercussions for yourselves.

For, and as I said, Plato's condemnation is harsh, and biting -- and undeniable.

In addition, when Plato says, of the Warrior, that the Warlike and Worth-loving type takes second place to the Lover of Wisdom -- he's being critical of those Men who consider War and Worth more important than Wisdom.

To which I respond, Okay, but of how many Warriors, in Plato's own day, or our own, was and is that true?

Because, first off, when, in Chapter Four, you read, as I have, from the Apophthegmata Lakonika -- The Sayings of the Spartans -- you'll see that Wisdom was very important to the Spartans.

And that their idea of Wisdom -- and Plato's -- is virtually identical.

And that often their formulation of that Wisdom occurred Centuries before Plato was born.

Charillus
Eighth-century Eurypontid [Spartan] king, also called Charilaus

When someone asked him what type of government he considered to be the best [aristos -- the most manly], he said, 'The one in which the largest number of citizens are willing to compete [agonizomai -- contend, fight, struggle] with each other in virtue [areté -- Fighting Manhood], and without civil discord.'

~ Plut. Apoph. 68.4, translated by Talbert.

Second off, Shorey points to Xenophon, a contemporary of Plato's, as the typical philotimic, we might say, type.

That is, the Worth-loving Warrior who has little use for philosophy.

And I suspect it's true that Xenophon didn't much like Plato.

Not least because Plato, who, in his Republic and other works, took and took and took from Sparta, was also critical of Sparta.

And Xenophon didn't like people who were critical of Sparta.

But that doesn't mean Xenophon disliked or had no use for Wisdom.

He published, after all, an entire book of his own Memorabilia of Sokrates and his Wisdom -- as Xenophon understood it.

That book contains beautiful and elegiac passages, such as this one:

[T]he deepest secrets of [certain] matters the Gods[, said Sokrates,] reserved to themselves ; they were dark to men.

You may plant a field well, but you know not who shall gather the fruits ; you may build a house well, but you know not who shall dwell in it ; able to command, you cannot know whether it is profitable to command ; versed in statecraft, you know not whether it is profitable to guide the state ; though, for your delight, you marry a pretty woman, you cannot tell whether she will bring you sorrow ; though you form a party among men mighty in the state, you know not whether they will cause you to be driven from the state.

If any man thinks that these matters are wholly within the grasp of the human mind and nothing in them is beyond our reason, that man, [Sokrates] said, is irrational. But it is no less irrational to seek the guidance of heaven in matters which men are permitted by the Gods to decide for themselves by study : to ask, for instance, Is it better to get an experienced coachman to drive my carriage or a man without experience? Is it better to get an experienced seaman to steer my ship or a man without experience? So too with what we may know by reckoning, measurement or weighing. To put such questions to the Gods seemed to his mind profane. In short, what the Gods have granted us to do by help of learning, we must learn ; what is hidden from mortals we should try to find out from the Gods by divination : for to him that is in their grace the Gods grant a sign.

~Xen. Mem. 1.1.8-9, translated by Marchant.

That's the sort of Wisdom, of philosophy if you will, which Sokrates conveyed to Xenophon and which Xenophon understood.

Did Xenophon's understanding include Plato's use of dialectic to access and contemplate the World of Being and the True Forms, Essences, and Ideas which reside therein?

If so, there's no sign of it.

So what?

Xenophon was certainly not so profound a thinker as Plato -- No one was, and No one is -- but, again, that doesn't mean Xenophon despised Wisdom.

It just means he lacked Plato's brilliance -- as do we all.

Despite that, in many areas -- I would think most -- including contempt for pleasure, disdain for money, admiration for societal austerity, social harmony, and individual self-restraint, and so forth as I discussed above, and in particular regarding the involved Virile Virtues of Fighting Manhood, Noble Selflessness, Manly Self-Control, Masculine Moral Order, Upstanding Righteousness, and Manful Piety, he and Plato are reading from the exact same page.

Which is why no less an intellect than John Milton could say that Plato and Xenophon were the two ancient authors he found most congenial -- and equal:

Thus from the Laureat fraternity of Poets, riper yeares, and the ceaselesse round of study and reading led me to the shady spaces of philosophy, but chiefly to the divine volumes of Plato, and his equall Xenophon. Where if I should tell ye what I learnt, of chastity and love, I meane that which is truly so, whose charming cup is only vertue which she bears in her hand to those who are worthy.

~An Apology against a Pamphlet

And, I must say, I agree with Milton.

To me, Plato and Xenophon complement each other.

Which is not surprising, because thirdly, and as I've said, Plato's Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom.

As is Xenophon's -- and that of the Spartans.

For just those reasons, Plato's Worth-loving Warrior -- who thinks only of Worth and not at all of Wisdom -- seems, and as I said, more than a bit of a straw man to me.

It's not that such men didn't and don't exist.

But clearly Warrior and Wisdom were not and are not antithetical.

Which is why Plato says that in the human soul, Fighting Spirit and Reason are allied ; and that the Warrior's way of life and assessment of value is far closer to that of the philosopher than that of the greedy.

And, in point of fact, it's Plato's plan in the Republic that it will be from among the Guardians -- those trained as Warriors -- that the Rulers of the State -- the Philosopher-Kings -- will be selected and recruited.

As in the Soul, so in the City : the appetites will be held down, kept at bay, and governed by Reason and Fighting Spirit.

Moreover, and also in point of fact, in Chapter Three of Biblion Pempton of our Lexicon, we'll look, in depth, at a speech by the real, not fictional but real, Spartan king Archidamus, a Warrior who was renowned for his Wisdom, and who does indeed make a very wise speech, recorded by Thukydides, counseling his fellow Spartans not to rush into war against Athens :

We are both warlike [polemikos] and wise [euboulos], and it is our sense of order [eukosmos] that makes us so. We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honor [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honor bravery [eupsychia]. And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

~Thuc. 1.84.3, translated by Crawley.

As I said, we'll look at this speech at more length and in more depth in the next chapter.

But -- if ever there was a philosopher-king, it was Archidamus -- who, as it happens, died the year Plato was born.

And, unfortunately for Sparta, Athens, Greece, and, arguably, the rest of the world, the Spartans ignored their king's moderate and wise advice, and voted -- yes, the Spartans voted -- to go to war -- to rush to war -- against Athens.

Which war became the first ten years of the Peloponessian War, and which ten years were, eventually, called, by the Greeks, the Archidamian War.

Go figure.

The Athenians provoked it and Archidamus was against it, but the Greeks gave it his name.

Sounds like an Athenian plot to me.

In any case, why did the Spartans rush to war?

Why?

Because they lived in a Timocracy and were eager for the chance to garner more Timé?

Well, according to Prof Lendon, and in a sense, all of Greece was a Timocracy:

[Greeks] competed primarily not for money but rather for honor or glory; "worth," they called it, timé being the Greek word. Timé was how the Greeks ranked themselves against each other; to be the best was to possess the most timé, which consisted of esteem by others and others' confirmation of one's lofty impression of one's own merits. Still, timé was not merely soap bubble popularity or gaseous celebrity; timé was glory made palpable and somehow separate from its possessor. Timé was thought to have a real, almost physical existence, in the world: it could, for example, be taken from one man by another; it could be captured in war.

The quest for timé drove or touched much of what we think of as characteristic of ancient Greece. Competition in athletics was propelled by lust for timé, for games had been a source of glory since the days of Homer. Rivalry powered literature too; the dignified writer of Athenian tragedies waited anxiously to hear whether his was judged the best play of the festival. And, of course, Greeks from the age of Homer down sought timé especially in battle, for combat always remained the special arena "where men win glory."

But, according to Thukydides, the Spartans voted for war not because they wanted an opportunity to win more Timé, but because they believed that Athens had egregiously and outrageously violated the rights of their allies -- who'd come to Sparta asking for help.

And that's not the act of Timocrats.

It's something that Plato himself might have recommended :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plato. Laws 5.731

If after all, Plato in the Laws not merely recommends but mandates victorious fighting and self-defence as the only means of escape from other males' cruel wrongdoings, and says in the Republic that such fighting is an expression of thumos gennaios -- Noble and High-Minded Fighting Spirit --

and further says in the Timaeus that the best test of his own fictional Republic would be to see it go to War :

[S]uppose, for instance, that on seeing beautiful creatures, whether works of art or actually alive but in repose, a man should be moved with desire to behold them in motion and vigorously engaged in some such exercise as seemed suitable to their physique ; well, that is the very feeling I have regarding the State we have described. Gladly would I listen to anyone who should depict in words our State contending against others in those struggles which States wage ; in how proper a spirit it enters upon war, and how in its warring it exhibits qualities such as befit its education and training in its dealings with each several State whether in respect of military actions or in respect of verbal negotiations.

~Plat. Tim. 19b

If Plato says what he says -- which he does --

He's not really in a position to take the Spartans or anyone else to task when they go to war in order to remedy wrongdoing through the expression of their own thumos gennaios -- their own Noble and High-Minded Fighting Spirit.

Nor is he in a position to criticize Timé -- or PhiloTimia -- per se.

Because Timé is gained most especially in Fighting -- in, per Lendon, "competition in athletics," and "especially in battle," for combat is the special arena "where men win glory."

Now -- how do they win that glory?

Through Prowess -- that is, Ability.

Valour is the Willingness to Fight ; Prowess is the Ability to Fight -- and whether in the Games or in Armed Battle, the Warrior needs both in order to Fight and Win.

And Plato, repeatedly, throughout his work, and particularly in the Republic and in the Laws -- insists that the Men whom he calls "Athletes of War" receive training in skills -- abilities -- specific to Warfare.

Indeed, in his last work, the Laws, Plato says that most athletic competition should be replaced by War Games -- mock battles, but with potentially deadly weapons, races in armor to a Temple of Ares, etc.

Why?

Because --

Every man should be valiant [thumoeides], but he should also be gentle. From the cruel, or hardly curable, or altogther incurable acts of injustice done to him by others, a man can only escape by fighting and defending himself and conquering, and by never ceasing to punish them ; and no man who is not of a noble spirit [thumos gennaios] is able to accomplish this.

~Plato, Laws, translated by Jowett.

"From the cruel, or hardly curable, or altogther incurable acts of injustice done to him by others, a man can only escape by fighting and defending himself and conquering, and by never ceasing to punish them ; and no man who is not of a noble spirit is able to accomplish this."

And if a Man is, inevitably, to be engaged in "fighting and defending himself and conquering," -- he has to know HOW to Fight and Defend and Conquer.

Noble Spirit and High-Minded Passion is fine -- and I, like Plato, am all for it ; but, Plato recognizes, as do I, that Noble Passion alone isn't enough -- if a Man is to defend himself and conquer -- that is, defend himself successfully -- he has to know HOW to Fight.

And that HOW is -- Prowess.

Ability.

And also inevitably, in human societies, particularly Warrior Societies, but I daresay all human societies, Men of Ability, Men who know HOW to Fight and Defend and Conquer -- will gain Worth -- Timé -- by so doing and thus so protecting both themselves and their fellow citizens, Warriors, etc, from "the cruel, or hardly curable, or altogther incurable acts of injustice done to them by others."

In short, the Warrior protects ; he does so through his Prowess, his Ability to Protect ; and the act of protecting combined with the Ability to protect earns him Timé -- Worth -- in the eyes and estimation of his fellows.

And there's NOTHING wrong with that.

To the contrary, it's necessary if "Just," that is, Morally-Ordered, Societies -- are to survive in the chaos of the world of becoming.

Plato himself says so -- and knows, from his own bitter life-experience, that such is so.

What about the Fighting in "athletic" competitions -- what about ancient Greek wrestling, boxing, and pankration, and their modern counterparts, particulary MMA?

Is it wrong for a Man to seek to gain Timé -- Worth -- through his Ability and consequent Victories in those competitions?

No.

And is it therefore right for a Man to to seek to gain Timé -- Worth -- through his Ability and consequent Victories in those competitions?

Yes!


Moreover, it's clear to me that Timé is not the only motivator in modern or ancient Fight "Sport" -- which is better called Agonia, because that's what it is -- one man's strenuous and agonizing physical attempt to overcome another and thus perfect -- his Manhood.

Men Fight because they NEED to Fight ;

And because Fight provides those Men with Communion --

Communion with their own Manhood and that of their opponent ;

Communion with Lord Ares during the Fight, during which the Fighters become Lord Ares in his kinetic aspect -- that is to say, they become Fight ;

Communion with their fellow Fighter after the Fight, when Lord Ares departs and Lord Eros takes his place -- and all is Masculine Peace and Loving Manly Order between the two Fighters ; and,

Communion, as we've discussed, with Eternity -- Changeless and Immutable.

The Fight is Eternal ; the Fight is a Moment out of Time.

And Communion with Eternity and the Eternal Gods -- is Ecstasy.

So again, there's nothing wrong with Men seeking to gain Timé through Fighting.

To the contrary -- Timé -- Worth -- Warrior Worth -- is an integral part of Manhood and Fighting Manhood --

It's in, in some form, for example, every extended definition of Latin and Greek terms for Manhood, as in this definition of Virtus :

  • Virtus : Manhood, Manliness: Strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value.

    And that's what Andreia, Areté, and Virtus all mean -- Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- and all the Noble Excellences and Virile Virtues which Fighting Manhood brings to those Men who, in their own lives, celebrate and exalt it : Strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value.

    virtus

"Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value."

Does Plato think that "Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value" -- which are, ultimately, World of Being attributes -- aren't worth -- as it were -- having or striving for?

No -- of course not.

So :

It's vital that you, dear reader, dear would-be Manly reader, understand that Worth is, particularly in terms of Fighting Manhood, a Good, and it's something that every Man should have --

but which 99.99999999999% of you lack because you have no Prowess, no Ability -- because you resolutely refuse to learn how to Fight.

Which means you'll never be Worthy.

Never.

Not ever.

So, and again, Worth is a Good, and it's something that every Man should seek.

But -- it's not all there is to Man -- or to Warrior.

Which Plato knows perfectly well.

Which is why his Worth-loving, Wisdom-despising, Warrior seems a straw man to me.

Because there's more to Warrior -- than Worth and the ceaseless seeking of Worth.

What Plato's saying, nevertheless, in separating the philo-sophos from the philo-timos, is that the ceaseless seeking of Worth is as futile as the ceaseless seeking of sensual pleasure.

Neither, in Plato's view, have real value, and, as Shorey says, "to seek our true life in them is to weave and unweave the futile web of Penelope."

Do I agree with Plato in this instance?

No.

Not even the tiniest bit.

First of all because I don't think that the seeking of Warrior Worth through Fighting -- is even remotely like the ceaseless and futile seeking of sensual pleasure.

It can't be.

Because Worth is a spiritual quality.

It emanates from the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, and, in effect, returns there.

That's why Warrior Worth and the Honorable, Noble, and Heroic Love of Worth can be said to have, per Jaeger, Moral Nobility.

If Worth were a sensual pleasure, particularly given the particular meaning and use of the Greek word hedone, which is low, sensual pleasure, it couldn't possibly be Noble.

If such pleasure were necessary "for our human estate," as Shorey puts it, it might well be morally neutral.

But it would not and could not be Morally Noble.

Because Noble means Selfless -- and sensual pleasure is never selfless.

But Nobility is.

Nobility is Selflessness.

And as we'll soon see, such Selflessness is a core Warrior trait.

Moreover, Plato understands very well that Timé is not a sensual pleasure -- nor anything like it.

Plato :

The life and pleasure of the warrior [polemikos -- warlike] and honor-loving [philotimos -- Worth-loving] type is nearer to that of the lover of wisdom than it is to that of the greedy for gain.

Again, Plato says that because he understands that Timé is not a sensual pleasure -- nor anything like it.

Timé is, ultimately, an Ideal which is based upon both Valour -- an aspect and component of both Areté and Andreia -- both of which Plato greatly values -- and Ability -- Training, and Hard Training, Hard Work, Toil, the Toil of Battle -- Maches Ponos -- at that.

That's very different from eating and copulating and dressing in silks and satins.

It's a completely different level of human life and endeavor.

Because it is, above all, moral.

As Werner Jaeger says :

an insatiable thirst for honour [Timé] [is] a moral quality of heroes

An insatiable thirst for Honour is a Moral Quality of Heroes.

One wouldn't say the same of an insatiable thirst for wine or money or women.

A thirst for Honor -- the Honorable Love of Warrior Worth -- even an insatiable thirst -- is MORAL.

A thirst for pleasure and the money which buys pleasure -- is not.

Which is, and again, why Plato separates the Warlike Lover of Worth -- from the greedy for gain.










Νevertheless, a Platonist like Paul Shorey might, for example, point to a Warrior like Alexander the Great, whom I greatly admire, as someone who spent his life in ceaseless rivalry with Achilles -- a mythic being, though Alexander didn't know or believe that -- and who drove his troops, as a consequence, almost to distraction, since the last conquest was never enough or as good -- as the conquests to come.

Alexander, in other words, had, it would appear, a ceaseless need to excel -- to find, if you wish, Worth -- in conquest after conquest, battle after battle.

For, as Arrian puts it,

Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his passion was for glory only, and in that he was insatiable.

And -- Hero that he was -- that's what we would expect of Alexander :

an insatiable thirst for honour [Timé] [is] a moral quality of heroes --

says Werner Jaeger.

And Alexander's Passion for Honor, his Insatiable Thirst for Timé was indeed a moral quality -- of the World's Greatest and All-Conquering Hero.

Who, it should be said, was extraordinarily good at what he did -- Alexander was not only extraordinarily brave and extraordinarily gifted as a Warrior, but an extraordinary leader of Men and a brilliant strategist.

Who Fought and Won -- battle after battle.

Battles which in his view -- and that of many Greeks -- had to be Fought, because unless Asia was conquered and tamed, it would continue to do what it had done for hundreds of years : interfere, for ill, in the affairs of the Greeks and other Europeans, and, ultimately, seek to conquer them.

And that's a rationale which Plato would have understood.

Nevertheless, and that said, what are we to make of Alexander's ceaseless war-making?

Interestingly, Alexander came face-to-face with Plato's view in India, when he asked some of the local people the Greeks called Naked Wise Men -- Gymnoi Sophistai -- the native Sages of India -- what they thought of him.

Their response was blunt -- You're wasting your time, they told him.

You're traipsing all over the earth, killing and getting your own Men killed, while accomplishing nothing.

Because, ultimately, you can only occupy that much of the earth on which you're currently standing, and after you die, your corpse will be put in the ground, where it will molder away.

Characteristically, Alexander greatly admired these Men both for the candor of their words -- and the words themselves ; and Alexander even took one of the Naked Wise Men, who volunteered to go, with him on his further travels.

But, and also characteristically, Alexander did not cease his Fighting -- nor his conquering.

What are we to make of that?

Arrian says of Alexander that Fighting was his Passion.

Something I understand, and endorse -- in my view, Fighting should be every Man's Passion.

But that Fighting can be characterized as a passion -- just as Sokrates' love of dialectic can be characterized as a passion -- Sokrates refers to that passion as a "terrible love" [Eros deinos] --

That Fighting can be characterized as a passion -- just as Sokrates' love of dialectic can be characterized as a passion -- doesn't mean that either are in any way shape or form the same as the low sensual pleasures of the hedonists.

Something which, again, Plato clearly understands.

Which is why he separates the Martial Lover of Worth -- from the greedy for gain.

But Plato also separates the Martial Lover of Worth -- from the Lover of Wisdom.

While Arrian, who was a Stoic, and a student of the leading Stoic of his day, finds, and regarding his book as a whole, no fault whatsoever -- with Alexander's passion for the Worth accrued through Fighting.

I repeat, because it's correct :

Arrian, who was a Stoic, and a student of the leading Stoic of his day, finds no fault whatsoever with Alexander's passion for the Worth accrued through Fighting.

Arrian does say, on a few occasions, that Alexander's "ambition" -- (which, regardless of the Greek word used, is always, in effect, PhiloTimia -- "Love of Worth") -- was "excessive."

And some -- classicists and others -- have seized upon those statements -- to criticize Alexander.

It's clear to me, however, that Arrian says what he does -- only because, as a Stoic, he feels he should.

Because it's very much at variance with the praise he lavishes on Alexander -- for those very actions which were inspired by Alexander's Love of Worth ;

And because it's also at variance -- again very much at variance -- with what Arrian, as a Greek aristocrat, which is what he was -- would have been taught and would have believed about the relationship between Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence -- and PhiloTimia -- the Love of Manly Worth -- beliefs which had not changed since Homer and before.

And this is the core belief, set out in the Iliad, not once, but twice, which shaped the character of every Greek boy from the time of the Iliad forward, which was ceaselessly inculcated into those boys, and which says -- dictates, really -- and with crystal clarity what a boy, youth, and Man should strive to be and to do throughout his life :

Always to be best [aristeuo -- to be most Manly] and to excel [hyperochos] above all others

~Glaukos to Diomedes, Homer. Iliad. 6.208
~Peleus to Achilles, Homer. Iliad. 11.784

Always to be best, always to be most Manly, always to excel, in Manly Excellence, above all others

The great classicist Werner Jaeger says of these lines, and others like them, that

The hero's whole life and effort are a race for the first prize, an unceasing strife for supremacy over his peers . . .

And that's what Alexander was -- a Greek hero, steeped, like all the Men of his class, in the Iliad, and who believed what the Iliad taught -- that life should be an unceasing struggle for supremacy -- supremacy in Timé -- over his peers ;

That a Man should strive always to be the Best -- and to Excel, to Excel in Manly Excellence, above all others.

And that's what Alexander did -- and that's the source of his "ambition" -- his PhiloTimia -- his intense Love of and Passion for Manly Worth -- which is Fighting Manhood.

Here's more Werner Jaeger -- and it's worth keeping in mind, in reading what follows, that Alexander was a Macedonian, and that the Macedonian aristocracy, it's said, was closer, in its way of life, to that of the Homeric aristocracy -- than were the aristocracies of the Greek city-states.

Nevertheless, the belief-system described by Jaeger applies to both Macedonians and Greeks.

Jaeger:

The Greek nobles believed that the real test of manly virtue [Areté] was victory in battle -- a victory which was not merely the physical conquest of an enemy, but the proof of hard-won areté.

. . .

The hero's whole life and effort are a race for the first prize, an unceasing strife for supremacy over his peers . . .

Always to be best [aristeuo -- most Manly] and to excel above all others

Into that one sentence the poet [Homer] has condensed the whole educational outlook of the nobility.

(This motto, which teachers of all ages have quoted to their pupils, modern educational 'levelers,' have now [ca 1932], for the first time, abandoned.)

. . .

[Areté is not just warlike prowess ; the] ideal of human perfection was that which united nobility of action with nobility of mind.

. . .

Achilles [was] the pattern-hero of Greece [that is, Achilles was the model -- the pattern -- the form, essence, or idea -- on which the young Man setting out to be a hero -- modelled himself.]

Bill Weintraub:

Hopefully, that's all clear enough:

  • Always to be best, to excel above all others -- was the goal ;

  • Which is why the Hero's Life was an unceasing struggle for supremacy over his peers ;

  • Areté was not just martial prowess ; the ideal of human perfection was that which united nobility of action with nobility of mind -- that's why the attributes of Fighting Manhood I discussed in the Preface to Biblion Pempton and the related article matter ; and,

  • Achilles, the Greatest Warrior at Troy and the Greatest Mythic Warrior, the Greatest Warrior of the Age of Heroes -- was the model -- the "pattern-hero" -- on which the young Man modeled himself.

    And this is important because, as we'll see, Arrian tells us that from boyhood forward, Alexander believed himself to be in rivalry with Achilles ; Alexander's life-goal, in other words, was to equal and if possible surpass Achilles -- in Worth.

Jaeger:

Homer and the aristocracy of his time believed that the denial of honour [the denial of Timé -- Worth] due was the greatest of human tragedies. The heroes treat each other with constant respect, since their whole social system depends on such respect. They have all an insatiable thirst for honour [Timé], a thirst which is itself a moral quality of individual heroes. When the Homeric man does a great deed, he never hesitates to claim the honour which is its fit reward.

. . .

Christian sentiment will regard any claim to honour, any self-advancement, as an expression of sinful vanity. The Greeks, however, believed such ambition [PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth] to be the aspiration of the individual towards that ideal and supra-personal sphere in which he alone can have real value. Thus it is true in some sense to say that the areté of a hero is completed only in his death. Areté exists in mortal man. Areté is mortal man. But it survives the mortal, and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his areté which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.

. . .

Bill Weintraub:

Again, hopefully, this is clear:

  • The whole social system of the Homeric Greeks -- and, as Prof Lendon points out in his own discussion of Timé, this was still true in the fifth and fourth centuries BC -- depended upon Timé -- Worth ;

  • The Homeric Heroes have all an insatiable thirst, a ceaseless passion, as Plato might put it, for honour [Timé -- Worth] ; and,

  • That thirst is itself a moral quality of individual heroes.

    And this is extremely important : PhiloTimia, the insatiable thirst for Worth, is itself a moral quality of individual heroes : Timé -- Worth, which, ultimately, is Manhood, is moral ; and PhiloTimia, the Love of Worth, the ceaseless passion for Worth, is itself a moral quality.

    That's what it is to the Greeks -- and that's what it would have been -- to Alexander.

    And can one be too moral, "excessively" moral?

    No -- and certainly not to Alexander -- who rejected his father's libertinism in favor of a life which, by his lights, was highly moral :

    Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his passion was for glory only, and in that he was insatiable.

    Again -- to Alexander -- and I truly believe, Arrian too -- Alexander's passion for glory was a moral quality.

  • The Greeks believed ambition [PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth] to be the aspiration of the individual towards that ideal and supra-personal sphere in which he alone can have real value.

    Again, that's important -- indeed, very important :

    Love of Worth is, in effect, a pathway to an ideal and supra-personal sphere.

    Love of Worth is a pathway to an ideal and supra-personal sphere.

    Which, of course, is the Warrior Kosmos -- the Warrior World of Being.

    And it's only in that ideal and supra-personal sphere, that the Hero has real Value.

    And "Value" of course doesn't mean money ; Value is Virile Value, Manly Value, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood, Areté.

    And Jaeger quite purposefully uses the word "real" :

    Only in the ideal and supra-personal sphere of the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, can the Hero have real Value.

    And that of course is because only the Essences, Ideas, Forms, and Ideals of the World of Being -- are real.

    What we experience in the world of becoming are copies or shadows of those Perfect and Immutable Forms -- and those copies are imperfect, and changeable, all too subject to decay and dissolution.

    PhiloTimia, then, far from being of little worth, says Jaeger, is "the aspiration of the individual towards that ideal and supra-personal sphere in which he alone can have real value."

    These are "Platonic" ideas -- but they're being put forth by Homer and his Heroes minimally 400 years before Plato lived and probably 800 years before Plato lived.

    Which means that the Greeks were thinking, long before Plato, in terms of a world of becoming and a World of Being --

    And their thinking was that the Warrior strives in the world of becoming so that he may, in some way, enter or partake of the World of Being -- the Warrior World of Being.

  • Areté exists in mortal man. Areté is mortal man. But it survives the mortal, and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his areté which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.

    In other words, and in Platonic terms, Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence -- exists in the World of Being.

    The Warrior World of Being.

    The Warrior Kosmos.

Jaeger:

[E]ven in the age of [ancient Greek] democracy we can see that love of honour [PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth] was often held to be justifiable in the intercourse of both individuals and states. We can best understand the moral nobility of this idea by considering Aristotle's description of the megalopsychos, the proud or high-minded man. In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece . . . . The class limitations of the old ideals were removed when they were sublimated and universalised by philosophy: while their permanent truth and their indestructible ideality were confirmed and strengthened by that process. . . . [I]n many respects Aristotle, like the Greeks of all ages, has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters, and he develops his ideals after the heroic patterns. That is enough to show that he was far better able to understand early Greek ideas than we are.

It is initially surprising for us to find that pride [Timé] or high-mindedness is considered as a virtue. And it is also notable that Aristotle does not believe it to be an independent virtue like the others, but one which presupposes them and is 'in a way an ornament to them'. We cannot understand this unless we recognise that Aristotle is here trying to assign the correct place in his analysis of the moral consciousness to the high-minded areté of old aristocratic morality. In another connexion he says that he considers Achilles and Ajax to be the ideal patterns of this quality. High-mindedness is in itself morally worthless, and even ridiculous, unless it is backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia.

[emphases mine]

Bill Weintraub:

  • High-mindedness is in itself morally worthless, and even ridiculous, unless it is backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia -- nobility and goodness.

    In Alexander, what Jaeger is calling "high-mindedness" is indeed "backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia."

  • While PhiloTimia itself has, says Jaeger, Moral Nobility.

    Love of Worth -- has Moral Nobility.

    If it has Moral Nobility -- if it's an attribute of the World of Being -- how can struggling and striving to attain it -- and as much of it as possible -- be bad?

    It can't be.

  • In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece . . . . The class limitations of the old ideals were removed when they were sublimated and universalised by philosophy: while their permanent truth and their indestructible ideality were confirmed and strengthened by that process.

    Jaeger and I, then, agree -- Plato's Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom, "founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece," with its ethics of "permanent truth and indestructible ideality" -- and Jaeger is here, of course, referring to Plato's World of Being, which is a Warrior World of Being -- and which is where those ethical truths and ideals, the ethical truths and ideals of the Warrior Aristocracy of Dorian Greece, dwell, permanently and indestructibly.

    So -- it's not clear, to say the least, that, based on the moral ideals of the Iliad, which still held sway in Alexander's day and in Arrian's --

    that Alexander's ambition -- was "excessive."

    Even if Arrian thought that, as a good Stoic, he ought occasionally to censure Alexander for its sweep and breadth.

    But clearly, without that sweeping and world-encompassing ambition, Alexander wouldn't have been Alexander, he wouldn't have been the all-conquering hero for whom Arrian had, in his own words, such "ungrudging admiration."

And that's not all.

Because in this passage, Jaeger talks about *Aristotle*'s description of the megalopsychos, the "big-souled" or high-minded man.

Plato died when Alexander was just five years old.

But when Alexander was thirteen, his father, Philip, hired Aristotle, Plato's most famous pupil, to be his tutor.

Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great, and in his crucial and formative adolescence.

Aristotle had a big impact on Alexander.

And if Aristotle taught that PhiloTimia had moral nobility -- which he did -- Alexander would have learned that lesson, and well.

Moreover, Jaeger also says that "Aristotle, like the Greeks of all ages, has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters."

Which helps explain why Alexander has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters, and on Achilles and Patroclus in particular.

So -- the link between Aristotle and Alexander is important -- it's another link which forged the chain of Alexander's "passion for glory" -- for Manly Worth.

Jaeger:

[Aristotle] explains that human effort after complete areté is the product of an ennobled self-love (φιλαυτια) [philautia]. This doctrine is not a mere caprice of abstract speculation -- if it were, it would be misleading to compare it with early conceptions of areté. Aristotle is defending the ideal of fully justified self-love as against the current beliefs of his own enlightened and 'altruistic' age; and in doing so he has laid bare one of the foundations of Greek ethical thought. In fact, he admires self-love, just as he prizes high-mindedness and the desire for honour [Timé -- Worth], because his philosophy is deeply rooted in the old aristocratic code of morality. We must understand that the Self is not the physical self, but the ideal which inspires us, the ideal which every nobleman strives to realise in his own life. If we grasp that, we shall see that it is the highest kind of love which makes man reach out towards the highest areté: through which he 'takes possession of the beautiful'.

The last phrase is so entirely Greek that it is hard to translate. For the Greeks, beauty meant nobility also [kalos]. To lay claim to the beautiful, to take possession of it, means to overlook no opportunity of winning the prize of the highest areté.

But what did Aristotle mean by the beautiful? Our thoughts turn at once to the sophisticated views of later ages -- the cult of the individual, the humanism of the eighteenth century, with its aspirations towards aesthetic and spiritual self-development. But Aristotle's own words are quite clear. They show that he was thinking chiefly of acts of moral heroism. A man who loves himself will (he thought) always be ready to sacrifice himself for his friends or his country, to abandon possessions and honours in order to 'take possession of the beautiful'. The strange phrase is repeated: and we can now see why Aristotle should think that the utmost sacrifice to an ideal is a proof of a highly developed self-love. 'For,' he says, 'such a man would prefer short intense pleasures to long quiet ones; would choose to live nobly for a year rather than to pass many years of ordinary life; would rather do one great and noble deed than many small ones.'

These sentences reveal the very heart of the Greek view of life -- the sense of heroism through which we feel them most closely akin to ourselves. By this clue we can understand the whole of Hellenic history -- it is the psychological explanation of the short but glorious aristeia of the Greek spirit. The basic motive of Greek areté is contained in the words 'to take possession of the beautiful'. The courage of a Homeric nobleman is superior to a mad berserk contempt of death in this -- that he subordinates his physical self to the demands of a higher aim, the beautiful. And so the man who gives up his life to win the beautiful, will find that his natural instinct for self-assertion finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice. The speech of Diotima in Plato's Symposium draws a parallel between the struggles of law-giver and poet to build their spiritual monuments, and the willingness of the great heroes of antiquity to sacrifice their all and to bear hardship, struggle, and death, in order to win the prize of imperishable fame. Both these efforts are explained in the speech as examples of the powerful instinct which drives mortal man to wish for self-perpetuation. That instinct is described as the metaphysical ground of the paradoxes of human ambition.

Aristotle himself wrote a hymn to the immortal areté of his friend Hermias, the prince of Atarneus, who died to keep faith with his philosophical and moral ideals; and in that hymn he expressly connects his own philosophical conception of areté with that found in Homer, and with its Homeric ideals Achilles and Ajax. And it is clear that many features in his description of self-love are drawn from the character of Achilles. The Homeric poems and the great Athenian philosophers are bound together by the continuing life of the Hellenic ideal of areté [-- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence].

[emphases mine]

Bill Weintraub:

  • Aristotle prizes an ennobled self-love [philautia] because his philosophy is deeply rooted in the old aristocratic code of morality ;

  • The Self is not the physical self, but the ideal which inspires us, the ideal which every nobleman strives to realise in his own life ;

    The Self is an Ideal -- which resides in the World of Being.

  • If we grasp that, we shall see that it is the highest kind of love -- an en-NOBLED SELF-love -- which makes man reach out towards the highest areté: through which he 'takes possession of the beautiful' ;

  • But what did Aristotle mean by the beautiful? Aristotle's own words are quite clear. They show that he was thinking chiefly of acts of moral heroism. A man who loves himself will (he thought) always be ready to sacrifice himself for his friends or his country, to abandon possessions and honours in order to 'take possession of the beautiful' ;

    And this of course is Alexander -- Alexander, who possessing an en-NOBLED -- that is, SELF-LESS -- SELF-love -- a SELF-LESS SELF-LOVE -- is always ready to sacrifice himself for his friends or his country -- so as to take possession of the beautiful.

  • The strange phrase is repeated: and we can now see why Aristotle should think that the utmost sacrifice to an ideal is a proof of a highly developed self-love. 'For,' he says, 'such a man would prefer short intense pleasures to long quiet ones; would choose to live nobly for a year rather than to pass many years of ordinary life; would rather do one great and noble deed than many small ones.'

    "the utmost sacrifice to an ideal is a proof of a highly developed self-love"

    And that too is Alexander, and part of the old Warrior Code -- as Leonidas of Sparta and the Three Hundred said, the Best Men [hoi aristoi] will always choose a Glorious Death over an inglorious life -- and Alexander agreed -- he like Achilles -- and Leonidas -- traded length of days -- for Glory -- for Timé -- for the Moral Nobility of Worth.

  • A Homeric nobleman is superior because he subordinates his physical self to the demands of a higher aim, the beautiful. And so the man who gives up his life to win the beautiful, will find that his natural instinct for self-assertion finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice ;

    Again, this is important :

    The Noble Man, by subordinating his physical self to the demands of the "beautiful," finds that his natural instinct for self-assertion -- that is, his natural male instinct for Aggression -- finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice.

    And that's Alexander -- he's constantly sacrificing himself -- as in the Gedrosian Desert -- for his Men.

    And they know it :

    Alexander's Noblest Deed

    At this point in my story I must not leave unrecorded one of the finest things Alexander ever did. . . . The army was crossing a desert of sand ; and the sun was already blazing down upon them, but they were struggling on under the necessity of reaching water, which was still far away. Alexander, like everyone else, was tormented by thirst, but he was none the less marching on foot at the head of his men. It was all he could do to keep going, but he did so, and the result (as always) was that the men were better able to endure their misery when they saw that it was equally shared. As they toiled on, a party of light infantry, which had gone off looking for water, found some -- just a wretched little trickle collected in a shallow gully. They scooped up with difficulty what they could and hurried back, with their priceless treasure, to Alexander ; then, just before they reached him, they tipped the water into a helmet and gave it to him. Alexander, with a word of thanks for the gift, took the helmet and, in full view of his troops, poured the water on the ground. So extraordinary was the effect of this action that the water wasted by Alexander was as good as a drink for every man in the army. I cannot praise this act too highly ; it was proof, if anything was, not only of his power of endurance [karteria], but also of his genius for leadership [strategos].

    ~Arrian. An. 6.26.1-2, translated by de Selincourt.

    Bill Weintraub:

    Two brief asides :

    1. This anecdote is, obviously, an illustration of Warrior Altruism -- of which Alexander was a master.

      Alexander repeatedly uses Warrior Altruism to, in effect, make his Men -- better than they are.

      As Arrian says :

      Noble indeed was his power of inspiring his men, of filling them with confidence, and, in the moment of danger, of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness.

      Warrior Altruism is very much about fearlessness -- and the intense bonds between Men at War.

      And, again, Alexander was a master of Warrior Altruism, and clearly, that mastery was instinctive.

      Instinctively Male.

      Which brings me to my second point :

    2. The Men we encounter in the world of becoming, like everything else we encounter here, are copies -- imperfect, fallible, and mortal copies -- of Man as he exists, perfect, immutable, and immortal, in the World of Being.

      Alexander, in my opinion, is the closest we will ever see, in this sensible realm, of Man as he exists in the World of Being -- the Warrior Kosmos.

      Alexander was and is the truest personification of Men and Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- that the phenomenal world will ever know.

      Warrior Altruism of course still exists -- just read this NY Times obit for a description of a remarkable instance of Warrior Altruism.

      But -- for most guys, Warrior Altruism is a one-time deal.

      Not for Alexander -- he displayed Warrior Altruism over and over again :

      Noble indeed was his power of inspiring his men, of filling them with confidence, and, in the moment of danger, of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness.

      "Noble indeed."

      As I say in our Lexicon discussion of the word Kalos -- Noble and Beautiful -- Noble most often means -- Selfless.

      Alexander was Selfless.

      And it's that Selflessness which gives his Love of Worth -- its Moral Nobility.

      the man who gives up his life to win the beautiful, will find that his natural instinct for self-assertion finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice

      Aristotle's point also explains why you -- yes, that's you, dear reader -- are so weak.

      You don't love yourself.

      You think you do, but you don't.

      Only the Man who LOVES HIMSELF -- is capable of SACRIFICING HIMSELF -- for others.

      You're NOT capable of that.

      Taken as a group, you're the sorriest excuse for human beings I've ever seen.

      And whatever else you may be, you're NOT men.

      That's not hyperbole -- it's not even diatribe.

      Look at the list of the fifteen attributes of Manhood.

      You don't have even one of them.

  • The speech of Diotima in Plato's Symposium draws a parallel between the struggles of law-giver and poet to build their spiritual monuments, and the willingness of the great heroes of antiquity to sacrifice their all and to bear hardship, struggle, and death, in order to win the prize of imperishable fame ;

    Alexander has modeled himself on the great heroes of antiquity, who sacrifice their all and bear hardship, struggle, and death, in order to win the prize of imperishable fame -- of Timé.

  • Aristotle himself wrote a hymn to the immortal areté of his friend Hermias, the prince of Atarneus, who died to keep faith with his philosophical and moral ideals; and in that hymn he expressly connects his own philosophical conception of areté with that found in Homer, and with its Homeric ideals Achilles and Ajax. And it is clear that many features in his description of self-love are drawn from the character of Achilles. The Homeric poems and the great Athenian philosophers are bound together by the continuing life of the Hellenic ideal of areté [-- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence].

    "The Homeric poems and the great Athenian philosophers are bound together by the continuing life of the Hellenic ideal of areté [-- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence]."

    And I could not agree more.

    What's important for you to see is -- that if Aristotle, Alexander's teacher, expressly connects his own philosophical conception of areté with that found in Homer, and with its Homeric ideals Achilles and Ajax -- so does Alexander.

    And that --

  • It is clear that many features in his description of self-love are drawn from the character of Achilles.

    With whom Alexander is in constant rivalry -- ceaseless rivalry -- throughout his life.

  • The Homeric poems and the great Athenian philosophers are bound together by the continuing life of the Hellenic ideal of areté [-- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence].

    And Alexander is part of that mix -- the Homeric poems, the Athenian philosophers, and Alexander -- are all bound together by the continuing life of the Hellenic ideal of areté [-- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence].

All of which means --

That Alexander's allegedly excessive passion for glory is not -- not in any way shape or form -- UN-philosophical.

To the contrary, it comes out of the deepest and most fervent expressions of Greek and Athenian philosophy -- which is based upon, ethically, and in my phrase, Warrior Wisdom, and in Jaeger's phrase, the "aristocratic morality of early Greece."


So :

A Man -- a Warrior -- is supposed to excel ; he can't be, in effect -- too excellent.

Because the Warrior seeks Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence --

His entire life.

And he can't have too much of it.

And that core Greek belief is reflected in the praise -- and we'll look at just a *bit* of it -- that Arrian showers upon Alexander :

  • [T]here has never been another man in all the world, of Greek or any other blood, who by his own hand succeeded in so many brilliant enterprises. And that is the reason I have embarked upon the project of writing this history, in the belief that I am not unworthy to set clear before men's eyes the story of Alexander's life. No matter who I am that make this claim. I need not declare my name -- though it is by no means unheard of in the world ; I need not specify my country and family, or any official position I may have held. Rather, let me say this : that this book of mine is, and has been from my youth, more precious than country and kin and public advancement -- indeed, for me, it is these things. And that is why I venture to claim the first place in Greek literature, since Alexander, about whom I write, held first place in the profession of arms.

    ~Arrian, I, 12, translated by de Selincourt.

  • [Regarding Alexander's future plans, having conquered Persia and part of India : ]

    Personally, I have no data from which to infer precisely what Alexander had in mind, and I do not care to make guesses ; one thing, however, I feel I can say without fear of contradiction, and that is that his plans, whatever they were, had no lack of grandeur or ambition : he would never have remained idle in the enjoyment of any of his conquests, even if he had extended his empire from Asia to Europe, and from Europe to the British Isles. On the contrary, he would have continued to seek beyond them for unknown lands, as it was ever his nature, if he had no rival, to strive [erizo -- to strive, to rival, to contend with] to better his own best.

    ~Arrian, VII, 2, translated by de Selincourt.

    Another translator, Robson, writing for Harvard's Loeb Classical Library, renders that passage thus:

    Alexander had no small or mean conceptions, nor would ever have remained contented with any of his possessions so far . . . but would always have searched far beyond for something unknown, being always the rival, if of no other, yet of himself.

  • Arrian, translated by de Selincourt :

    Anyone who wants to belittle Alexander has no right to do so only on the evidence of what merits censure in him ; he must base his criticism on a comprehensive view of his whole life and career. But let such a person, if blackguard Alexander he must, first compare himself with the object of his abuse ; himself, so mean and obscure, and, confronting him, the great King with his unparalleled wordly success, the undisputed monarch of two continents, who spread the power of his name all over the earth. Will he dare to criticize him then, when he knows his own unworthiness, and the triviality of his own pursuits, which even so, prove too much for his ability?

    It is my belief that there was in those days, no nation, no city, no single individual beyond the reach of Alexander's name ; never in all the world was there another like him, and therefore I cannot but feel that some power more than human was concerned in his birth ; indications of this were, moreover, said to be provided at the time of his death by oracles ; many people saw visions and had prophetic dreams ; and there is the further evidence of the extraordinary way in which he is held, as no mere man could be, in honour and remembrance. Even today, when so many years have passed, there have been oracles, all tending to his glory, delivered to the people of Macedon.

    In the course of this book I have, admittedly, found fault with some of the things Alexander did, but of the man himself I am not ashamed to express ungrudging admiration. Where I have criticized unfavourably, I have done so because I wished to tell the truth as I saw it, and to enable my readers to profit thereby. Such was the motive which led me to embark upon this History ; and I, too, have had God's help in my work.

    ~Arrian, VII, 30

And in addition to these words, Arrian wrote a famous encomium of Alexander, which we looked at in the Prolegomena, and which we'll look at again a bit later in this chapter.

So the first thing you can see is that Arrian has a tremendous admiration for Alexander, an ungrudging admiration, as he puts it, and that any faults he may have found with Alexander have to be seen in the context of that ungrudging admiration for the Man, for the Man's unique place in the history of Humanity, and for the Man's seeming Divinity.

You can also see -- and this is quite important, and again, we'll be looking at it in more depth just a bit later in this chapter, that Alexander was, according to Arrian, his own greatest rival :

it was ever Alexander's nature, if he had no rival, to strive [erizo] to better his own best.

~translated by de Selincourt

Alexander had no small or mean conceptions, nor would ever have remained contented with any of his possessions so far . . . but would always have searched far beyond for something unknown, being always the rival, if of no other, yet of himself.

~translated by Robson

As we've discussed, this was a core belief among Greeks and in Greek Warrior Culture, and had been since at least the Iliad -- a Youth and then Man was to seek continually to excel, to be best beyond all others.

Always to be best [aristeuo -- most Manly] and to excel above all others

Those words -- that one line in particular -- was taught to boys and guided Youth and Men for literally thousands of years, starting in the ancient world and resuming in the Renaissance.

So :

The idea of constantly being the rival of others, and if no others are left, yourself -- of constantly seeking to better your own best, is not, to the Greeks, excessive ambition --

It's what a Man and a Warrior is supposed to do, and throughout his life.

And throughout the history of the ancient world.

And let's just, in that regard, repeat this bit from Werner Jaeger :

[E]ven in the age of [ancient Greek] democracy we can see that love of honour [PhiloTimia] was often held to be justifiable in the intercourse of both individuals and states. We can best understand the moral nobility of this idea by considering Aristotle's description of the megalopsychos, the proud or high-minded man. In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece . . . . The class limitations of the old ideals were removed when they were sublimated and universalised by philosophy: while their permanent truth and their indestructible ideality were confirmed and strengthened by that process. Of course the thought of the fourth century is more highly detailed and elaborated than that of Homeric times. We cannot expect to find its ideas, or even their exact equivalents, in Homer. But in many respects Aristotle, like the Greeks of all ages, has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters, and he develops his ideals after the heroic patterns. That is enough to show that he was far better able to understand early Greek ideas than we are.

It is initially surprising for us to find that pride [Timé] or high-mindedness is considered as a virtue. And it is also notable that Aristotle does not believe it to be an independent virtue like the others, but one which presupposes them and is 'in a way an ornament to them'. We cannot understand this unless we recognise that Aristotle is here trying to assign the correct place in his analysis of the moral consciousness to the high-minded areté of old aristocratic morality. In another connexion he says that he considers Achilles and Ajax to be the ideal patterns of this quality. High-mindedness is in itself morally worthless, and even ridiculous, unless it is backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia.

[emphases mine]

"High-mindedness is in itself morally worthless, and even ridiculous, unless it is backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia."

In Alexander, what Jaeger is calling "high-mindedness" is indeed "backed by full areté, the highest unity of all excellences, which neither Aristotle nor Plato shrinks from describing as kalokagathia."

While PhiloTimia itself has, says Jaeger, Moral Nobility.

Love of Worth -- has Moral Nobility.

Jaeger and I, then, agree -- Plato's Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom, "founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece," with its ethics of "permanent truth and indestructible ideality" -- and Jaeger is here, of course, referring to Plato's World of Being, which is a Warrior World of Being -- and which is where those ethical truths and ideals, the ethical truths and ideals of the Warrior Aristocracy of Dorian Greece, dwell, permanently and indestructibly.

So -- it's not clear, to say the least, that, based on the moral ideals of the Iliad, which still held sway in Alexander's day and in Arrian's --

that Alexander's ambition -- was "excessive."

Even if Arrian thought that, as a good Stoic, he ought occasionally to censure Alexander for its sweep and breadth.

But clearly, without that sweeping and world-encompassing ambition, Alexander wouldn't have been Alexander, he wouldn't have been the all-conquering hero for whom Arrian had such ungrudging admiration.

That said, and as to Arrian himself --

Arrian's ambition may not have been as ceaseless -- or as great as Alexander's -- but he was, by any reasonable standard, an ambitious, worth-loving, guy.

A Greek, no matter how good his family and his connections, did not become the governor and military commander of Cappadocia, a critical border province, under the Roman Empire -- and later a Consul at Rome and an Archon at Athens -- by leaving either his brains or his ambition -- under the pillow when he got up in the morning.

Arrian himself was ambitious -- Worth-Loving.

He may not have been as ambitious as Alexander -- but he rose to the very top -- he rose as far as he could go -- within his own society.

And he wrote a number of books -- some of which are still extant -- and very valuable.

And, like Alexander, Arrian -- whose full name, scholars now agree, was Lucius Flavius Arrianus Xenophon -- had an antique rival -- whom he strove to emulate and outdo :

That was his namesake, Xenophon of Athens, who died ca 350 BC, and who, like Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia, was a military Man, a commander of Men, and a writer about military affairs and tactics, and other matters.

And the one Man emulated the other.

For example :

Xenophon of Athens wrote several memoirs of his teacher Sokrates.

Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia recorded eight books of Discourses by his teacher Epictetus -- and then published a Handbook of the same.

Xenophon of Athens wrote a history of his actions against the Persians and other barbarians.

Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia wrote a history of his actions against the Alani -- and other barbarians.

Xenophon of Athens wrote a book about calvary tactics.

So did Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia.

Xenophon of Athens wrote a book about hunting.

So did Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia.

Xenophon of Athens wrote an Anabasis.

So did Arrianus Xenophon of Bithynia.

Etc.

But the latter's book was about the Anabasis of Alexander.

In short, Arrian, like Alexander, strove to excel.

He was an impressive -- and ambitious -- Man.

Both for himself -- and for his book and its subject, which he says, stirringly and unequivocally, "is, and has been from my youth, more precious than country and kin and public advancement -- indeed, for me, it is these things."


So :

Plato separates the Martial Lover of Worth -- from the Lover of Wisdom.

While Arrian, who was a Stoic, and a student of the leading Stoic of his day, finds no fault whatsoever with Alexander's passion for the Worth accrued through Fighting.

Why the difference?

Well, in part, because the two Men lived in and through very different times.

Plato, who lived from about 427 to 348 BC, spent his life in a country -- Greece -- which was locked in seemingly perpetual war with itself.

And not to good effect.

He was born in the opening years of the Peloponessian War, and came of age in the dismal closing years of that war -- when Athens, which should have won the war and become the undisputed leader of the Greeks, instead, due to democratic bungling, lost.

Plato then lived through the Spartan occupation, the bloodthirsty reign and overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants, two of whom were his relatives and were killed by the resurgent Athenian democracy, and the execution, four years later, and by that same democracy, of his teacher Sokrates.

In the years following, he witnessed the failure of Sparta to govern, let alone in any way unify, the Greeks ; and the subsequent failure of Thebes, which effectively destroyed Spartan power at the Battle of Leuktra in 371 BC, to do the same.

Because the Thebans, who after defeating Sparta, held the de facto hegemony of Greece, were, like the Spartans, unable to exploit their success in a way that was good for Greece.

Instead, and whatever the Theban intent, both their leaders, Pelopidas and Epaminondas, were soon killed, and Thebes simply drifted ;

Making virtually inevitable the conquest of Greece by the Macedonians ten years after Plato's death -- a conquest which was clearly coming.

It was the failure of Sparta, however, which was particularly significant to most Greek intellectuals, and particularly Plato, given that Plato, an Athenian, came from an aristocratic and pro-Spartan family, and that he obviously found much to like in Sparta, borrowing heavily from and/or citing Spartan practice in three major works, the Republic, the Statesman aka Politicus, and the Laws, and numerous minor ones as well.

The fact that Sparta had not been designed, as Plutarch wisely said, to be an imperial power or state, did not, it would appear, excuse that failure from Plato's point of view.

Nevertheless, Plutarch's words are worth hearing :

For to a civil polity best arranged for peace and virtue [Areté] and unanimity [homonoia] they [the Spartans] had attached empires and sovereignties won by force, not one of which Lykourgos [the Spartan law-giver] thought needful for a city that was to live in happiness [eudaimonia] ; and therefore they fell.

~Plut. Ages. 33.2

It was not, however, the chief design of Lykourgos then to leave his city in command over a great many others, but he thought that the happiness [eudaimonia] of an entire city, like that of a single individual, depended on the prevalence of virtue [Areté] and concord [homonoia] within its own borders. The aim, therefore, of all his arrangements and adjustments was to make his people free-minded [eleutherios], self-sufficing [autarkes], and moderate [sophron -- sober, self-controlled] in all their ways, and to keep them so as long as possible. His design for a civil polity was adopted by Plato, Diogenes, Zeno, and by all those who have won approval for their treatises on the subject, although they left behind them only writings and words. Lykourgos, on the other hand, produced not only writings and words, but an actual polity which was beyond imitation, and because he gave, to those who maintain that the much talked of natural disposition to wisdom [sophos] exists only in theory, an example of an entire city given to the love of wisdom [philosophia], his family rightly transcended that of all who ever founded polities among the Greeks.

~Plut. Lyc. 31.1

Sparta fell, says Plutarch, because, instead of focusing on virtue [Areté -- Manhood] and unanimity [homonoia -- the Concord of Like-Minded Warrior Equals] they [the Spartans] had attached empires and sovereignties won by force, not one of which Lykourgos [the Spartan law-giver] thought needful for a city that was to live in happiness [eudaimonia].

Plato would say that attaching those empires etc, wasn't wise.

And clearly, it wasn't.

But King Archidamus -- also clearly -- understood that, and told the Spartans so, in a speech which emphasizes Wisdom and Good Order :

We are both warlike [polemikos] and wise [euboulos], and it is our sense of order [eukosmos] that makes us so. We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honor [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honor bravery [eupsychia]. And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

~Thuc. 1.84.3, translated by Crawley.

His *wisdom* was over-ruled by the voters, who felt, and not without reason, that if they didn't go to war, Athens would eventually be so strong that it would simply gobble up Sparta.

Having gone to war, spent thirty years at war, and won that war, the Spartans then attempted to defend what they'd won.

Was that un-wise?

Wasn't it reasonable of the Spartans to think that if they didn't hold on, in some fashion, to what they'd won -- they'd have to fight -- again and again and again?

Those are questions I'd ask Plato -- if I could.

Because :

Plato himself says that even the Best Republics -- those ruled by the Best -- hoi aristoi -- inevitably decay.

Why?

Because they're mired in the world of becoming.

Which is a chaotic world of continual change -- of birth, flourishing, dissolution, and death.

Repeated -- ad infinitum.

Man's task is to defeat -- that chaotic and continual change.

To impose Order upon it.

Order -- which is Honorable.

And Sparta did both -- for a good long time.

It not only beat back the chaos -- but imposed its Own Honorable Order upon it.

So Sparta's problem wasn't Sparta -- or its Timokratia -- its Rule of Worth.

Which as you'll see, in Chapter IV, and just heard from the Spartan king Archidamus, was more than accompanied by Wisdom.

Sparta's problem wasn't a surfeit of Worth -- or a lack of Wisdom.

Fact is, Sparta lasted hundreds of years -- and in a state of inner peace :

Lykourgos thought that the happiness [eudaimonia] of an entire city, like that of a single individual, depended on the prevalence of virtue [Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness] and concord [homonoia -- likeness of mind] within its own borders.

The aim, therefore, of all his arrangements and adjustments was to make his people free-minded [eleutherios], self-sufficing [autarkes], and moderate [sophron -- sober, temperate, self-controlled] in all their ways, and to keep them so as long as possible.

"To keep them so -- as long as possible."

Lykourgos understood the problem.

Which was neither Worth nor Wisdom.

Sparta's problem was the world -- and all those imperfect copies masquerading as men.

Which no polity, in the history of the human race, has -- thus far -- been able to defeat.

In addition, Plato had, if the Seventh Epistle can be believed, a very unpleasant upclose and personal encounter with the Syracusan tyrant, Dionysius I, who though a monster as a ruler -- was, at it happens, a very successful military leader.

In short, and despite Sparta's more than apparent and many noble excellences, Plato felt that neither the Love of Worth nor the Rule of Worth had given the Greeks the government they needed.

That wasn't true of Arrian -- who lived from about 87 to 173 AD, under the benevolent and very pro-Greek rule of the five adoptive Roman emperors, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Atoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius.

These Men were both military leaders and phil-Hellenes -- Greek-Lovers -- and under their benign governance, both Rome and Greece experienced a Golden Age.

So, like Plutarch, who was a bit older than Arrian -- ca 50 - 120 AD -- Arrian could say, and given that he was a Greek aristocrat who served Rome as both a governor and military commander, that under the Rule of Warrior Wisdom and Worth, life had become steadily better.

Arrian was, after all, a personal friend of the emperor Hadrian, without question a Military Man -- a Warrior -- Hadrian had even undertaken gladiatorial training to improve his prowess with weapons -- but who, like Archidamus and Lykourgos and others I'll later name, was also as close to a philosopher-king as this earth will ever see.


Hadrian

He was extraordinarily gifted -- as was Arrian.

Hadrian beautified the Empire ; the Pantheon --

with its great Oculus --

was just one of his buildings.

And when his beloved Antinous, who, like Arrian, was from Bithynia, died, Hadrian had him deified, and erected temples and statues to his Lover -- everywhere.

So that Arrian, it would appear, had good reason to genuinely appreciate Rome and its military might -- Rome as the bringer and guarantor of order -- and the protector of Greek culture.

At Arrian's birth, the Roman conquest of Greece was more than 250 years in the past -- about as far distant as 1750 is for us.

And Greeks no longer resented what had happened.

Particularly not Greeks like Arrian, who was born not in mainland Greece, but in the ancient Greek kingdom of Bithynia, in northwest Anatolia, and was for that reason very aware of the constant barbarian threat to Greek culture and freedom.

So -- the difference between Plato's time and Arrian's, is simply that in Plato's era, the Warrior Code of Worth -- even though, as we've seen and will continue to see, Plato believed both Worth and Warriors were absolutely necessary to the survival of a city-state ;

Nevertheless, in Plato's time, and to Plato, the Warrior Code of Worth had failed to bring Greece what it needed -- which was some sort of unity under some sort of "Wise" government.

Arrian, by contrast, who lived about 500 years later, had a very different experience of Worth.

He saw Rome -- and we'll come to understand this better when we look more closely at Rome in Chapter V -- Arrian saw Rome as doing what Men should do -- that is, imposing Order on the chaos of what Plato called the world of becoming.

And by so doing, defending civilization -- the life of cities -- and human achievement.

Defending that achievement through Might -- Military Might -- Prowess in which, generated Worth.

And of course Arrian himself was a Military Man -- a Roman commander and governor, and of a crucial province.

That was very unusual, perhaps unique, for a Greek in that era -- and because it was under Hadrian, a very careful and competent administrator who left nothing to chance, we can assume that Arrian received those appointments on the basis of ability.

So Arrian, unlike Plato, didn't withdraw from the world -- because, obviously, he felt no need to.

Instead he became both a Roman consul and an Athenian archon -- the two highest positions open to him in the political and military capital of his world, Rome, and the intellectual capital -- Athens.

While carrying on a very active life as an author, primarily on military matters.

And of course on Alexander's Campaigns -- which to Arrian was not just a book, but the work he considered the most important of his life.

And that's because of the extremely high regard he had for Alexander, whose Nobility and Heroism, Selflessness and Courage, virtually pour off of every page, as in this, famous, Arrianic, encomium :

Alexander died in the 114th Olympiad, in the archonship of Hegesias at Athens. He lived, as Aristobulus tells us, thirty-two years and eight months, and reigned twelve years and eight months. He had great personal beauty [kallistos -- superlative of kalos], invincible power of endurance [philoponotatos -- superlative of philoponos], and a keen intellect; he was brave [andreiotatos, superlative of andreios = Most Manly], strict in the observance of his religious duties, and hungry for fame [philotimotatos = superlative of philotimos] [philokindunotatos = superlative of philokindunos = danger-loving, adventurous]. Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his passion was for glory only, and in that he was insatiable. He had an uncanny instinct for the right course in a difficult and complex situation, and was most happy in his deductions from observed facts. In arming and equipping troops, and in his military dispositions, he was always masterly. Noble indeed was his power of inspiring his men, of filling them with confidence, and, in the moment of danger, of sweeping away their fear by the spectacle of his own fearlessness. When risks had to be taken, he took them with the utmost boldness, and his ability to seize the moment for a swift blow, before his enemy had any idea of what was coming, was beyond praise. No cheat or liar ever caught him off his guard, and both his word and his bond were inviolable. Spending but little on his own pleasures, he poured out his money without stint for the benefit of his friends.

~Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, 7.28.1, translated by Aubrey de Selincourt.

So -- Arrian, who was a Stoic, and who doesn't hesitate to criticize -- or praise -- Alexander -- from a Stoic perspective when such is, in Arrian's view, merited -- Arrian obviously saw no problem in Alexander's "passion for glory."

And let me just say that de Selincourt has separated some superlative descriptive phrases in his translation, which reads like this in Arrian's original Greek :

andreiotatos -- Most Manly -- kai philotimotatos -- and Most Worth-Loving -- kai philokindunotatos -- and Most Adventuresome -- kai epmelestatos tou Theiou -- and Most Attentive to the Gods

So what Arrian presents in describing Alexander are four core Masculine and Warrior traits linked together -- Most Manly, Most Worth-Loving, Most Adventuresome, and Most Attentive to the Gods.

And he follows up that ringing affirmation with this famous observation :

Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his passion was for glory only, and in that he was insatiable.

And although the word Arrian uses for "glory" isn't Timé -- that's clearly what he means.

"Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his only passion was for the Worth won by Fighting, and in that he was insatiable."

To Plato, that's a lower way of life than that of the philosopher.

To Plato, a Man should be insatiable for Wisdom, and Wisdom alone.

But Alexander, who, Arrian tells us, had a "keen intellect," had been educated by Aristotle, Plato's greatest pupil, and obviously Alexander -- who didn't disdain Wisdom -- didn't agree that Wisdom should be the sole goal of life.

The problem is difficult, because Plato is, well, Plato, and disagreeing with him isn't easy.

When he says, Wisdom should be the goal -- my response is, Yes, it should be.

But the fact is that just as Plato never defines the Good, he never defines Wisdom either.

Yet there's no question, as again, you'll see very clearly in Chapter IV, and as Jaeger said, that Plato's Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom.

And Worth -- is part of Warrior Wisdom.

Moreover, because Plato lives in and comes out of a Warrior Society informed by the Warrior Wisdom of the Warrior World of Being, filled with permanent truth and indestructible ideality, he well understands the need for Worth and its moral nobility.

We can see that quite clearly by coming back to the question of rivalry and ceaseless competition for Worth.

Alexander had, according to Arrian, felt himself to be Achilles' rival for Worth, which is Manhood, "ever since he was a boy" :

[When Alexander's own Philtatos Hetairos, his own Most Beloved Comrade, Hephaestion, died,]

Alexander cut his hair short in mourning for his friend . . . in emulation [zelos = eager rivalry, zealous imitation, emulation, a noble passion] of Achilles [zelon ton Achilleos], whose rival in PhiloTimia [= Love of Timé = Love of Worth = Love of Manhood] he'd felt himself to be ever since he was a boy. . . .

~Arr. An. 7.14.4

Is Plato opposed to that sort of rivalry?

No.

He distinctly says, in the Laws, as you saw earlier in this chapter, and in emulation of the Spartans, that Men should be ambitious -- "victory-loving, rivalry-loving" -- "to gain Manhood" :

Let every one of us be ambitious [philonikia -- victory-loving, loving rivalry] to gain excellence [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence], but without jealousy. For a man of this character enlarges a State [polis -- city-state], since he strives hard himself and does not thwart the others by calumny [false accusation, slander] . . .

~Plato. Laws 5.731

Within the city-state, as in athletics and war, Men should compete to gain, should be rivals in, Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood ; "but without jealousy" -- that is, as Charillus of Sparta says, without causing civic discord.

And indeed, in Warrior Societies, in Warriordoms, that sort of "eager rivalry, zealous imitation, emulation, noble passion" -- is common and encouraged.

In ancient Greek it's called Zelos ; in Latin, Aemulatio.

Eager Rivalry and Zealous Emulation is encouraged in Warrior Cultures to spur Boys, Youth, and Young Men -- to develop and hone their Fighting Manhood.

Again, it's common.

And Plato himself, in the Republic, speaks openly of using sex, in its various forms, as a driver of that rivalry and emulation :

"And don't you agree that the soldier who [in battle] wins the prize of valor [aristeuo] and distinguishes himself shall first be crowned by his fellows in the campaign, by the lads and boys each in turn?"

"I do."

"And be greeted with the right hand?"

"That, too."

"But I presume you wouldn't go as far as this?"

"What?"

"That he should kiss and be kissed by everyone?"

"By all means," he said, "and I add to the law the provision that during that campaign none whom he wishes to kiss be allowed to refuse, so that if one [he] is in love with anyone, male [arren] or female, he may be the more eager to win the prize."

"Excellent [kalos -- noble and beautiful]," said I, "and we have already said that the opportunity of marriage will be more readily provided for the good [agathos -- Manly] man, and that he will be more frequently selected than the others for participation in that sort of thing, in order that as many children as possible may be born from such stock."

"We have," he replied.

"But, furthermore, we may cite Homer too for the justice of honoring in such ways the valiant [agathos -- Manly] among our youth [neoi]. For Homer says that Ajax, who had distinguished himself in the war, was honored with the long chine, assuming that the most fitting meed for a brave man [andreios] in the prime of his youth [hebe] is that from which both honor [Timé] and strength [ischus] will accrue to him."

~Plat. Rep. 5.468b,c,d, translated by Shorey.

Jowett's translation -- which is earlier than Shorey's -- is actually, I think, a bit better, in this crucial, gender-neutral, passage:

Let no one whom he has a mind to kiss refuse to be kissed by him while the expedition lasts. So that if there be a lover in the army, whether his love be youth or maiden, he may be more eager to win the prize of valour.

"whether his love be youth or maiden"

That says it all.

The promise of a "kiss" makes the Warrior more eager to win the "prize of valour" -- which is, by the way, aristeia -- "whether his love be youth or maiden."

Plus! -- such a Warrior will be given more opportunities to, shall we say, reproduce -- Plato says, euphemistically, "marriage," but that's in the context of the communal marriages which Plato envisions for his Republic.

Which means, and to make it country simple, that some guys -- because they're Manlier -- will get to fuck more women than other guys -- "in order that as many children as possible may be born from such stock."

Which is yet another borrowing, as we'll see later in Biblion Pempton, from Spartan practice.

And I must say, and with all due respect to Plato, that if you're planning on breeding your Warriors like dogs or horses so as to obtain the most Valiant and Able -- that's to say, gifted with Prowess -- children from among them -- you're not in a position to complain about the emphasis upon Worth among Warriors -- since you're going to be fostering, through selective breeding -- a selective breeding that, no matter how hard you try to conceal it, will not be lost upon those Men who benefit from it and those males who don't --

If you're going to do that, you're not in a position to complain about the emphasis upon Worth among Warriors -- since you yourself will be fostering that sense of and competition for Worth among your own Fighters.

And really -- what choice do you have?

If you don't do all you can to develop the best Warriors you can -- you won't have the Force you need to defend and protect the State you plan to create.

So :

Plato himself intends on using both Love and Sex as a means of fostering Zelos and Aemulatio --

Eager Rivalry and Zealous Emulation -- among his Warriors.

And that's not surprising.

Eager Rivalry and Zealous Emulation is encouraged in Warrior Cultures in general to spur Boys, Youth, and Young Men -- to develop and hone their Fighting Manhood.

Again, it's common -- and necessary -- if those societies are to be successful, as Plato says they should be, in Fighting and Victoriously Defending themselves against the innumerable injustices and wrongdoers of the world of becoming:

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by Victorious [nikao] Fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plato. Laws 5.731

Nevertheless, and in order to beat the drum more loudly in favor of Wisdom over Worth, a false dichotomy in my view, Plato insists that ceaseless seeking after the Worth gained by Prowess -- Skill -- in Fighting -- the sort of seeking seen in Alexander, and, again, which is common and encouraged in Warriordoms and by Plato himself --

Plato insists that such ceaseless seeking after the Worth gained by Fighting -- is as futile as the ceaseless seeking of sensuality -- because neither leads to the Higher Wisdom and Serenity of the World of Being.

In the case of Fighting, I don't agree.

Because in my experience of Fighting -- and that of many other Men, and as I said earlier -- Fighting produces what we today call an altered or higher state of consciousness -- an ecstatic state, which is, in effect, a taste -- of Eternity.

Of the Warrior Kosmos.

And were Plato here, I would seek to explain that to him.

Now, and that said --

Of course there are males who go to war for what are essentially criminal reasons -- because they want to shed blood, they want to kill, they want to rape, they want to loot.

But that's not the Honorable Love of Warrior Worth.

That's criminality, against which the Honorable Love of Warrior Worth -- is the only bulwark and the sole defense.

As Plato says.

Further, to me, those criminal males, those, in Plato's words, cruel wrongdoers, aren't Warriors -- and have no idea what the Warrior's Life is actually about.

To me, the Warrior spends his life in devotion to certain Ideals -- all of which are contained in the Ideal of Manhood, and which include Selflessness, Austerity, and Piety ; Valour, Fortitude, and Excellence ; Prowess, Merit, and Worth ; Manly Goodness, Virile Virtue, and Moral Beauty ; Loyalty to one's Fellow Warriors ; and Intense Love for one other Warrior, one's Philtatos Hetairos, Most Beloved Comrade, Love which is Lifelong and Exclusive and Eternal.

And the Warrior attempts -- also an Ideal -- to improve this world, this chaotic world of becoming, into which he's been born and embodied, and make it more like the Warrior World of Being -- the Orderly and Honorable Warrior Kosmos.

And I admire Alexander not for his seemingly compulsive need to conquer, but because he followed those Ideals consistently and throughout his life.

And, in point of fact, his behavior, at times, was better than that recommended by his tutor, the leading Greek philosopher, Plato's student Aristotle.

Alexander was born in 353 BC ; Plato died in 348 -- when Alexander was only five years old.

But when he was thirteen, his father hired Aristotle, Plato's greatest pupil, as his tutor.

The temple complex in which they studied, from 340 to 337 BC or so, was still around in 360 AD, seven hundred years later, when Julian visited.

But in some ways Alexander surpassed Aristotle.

Aristotle believed, for example, that Alexander should treat the Persians he conquered, as barbarians -- others, who could never be civilized -- that is, Hellenized -- and should be, instead, enslaved.

Alexander didn't agree.

He attempted instead to in some way merge Hellenic and Persian culture.

Alexander's vision, then, whether it was truly, as some have claimed, of "one world," or merely of a united Middle East -- was much greater than Aristotle's.

Or Plato's, for that matter, who said in the Laws that Greek should make war much more gently against Greek -- than against barbarian.

Alexander didn't see it that way.

He went beyond a sense of Greek superiority -- to look for something else -- what we might call universal goods, or virtues, which might be found among many peoples.

Xenophon, by the way, had done something similar -- said, to his fellow Greeks, that the Persians too had their good points.

Which for Xenophon came down to the correspondences between the Warrior Wisdom of the Greeks and that of the Persians.

So again, and as I said, I admire Alexander for his devotion to certain Ideals contained within the Ideal of Manhood, and which include Selflessness, Austerity, and Piety ; Valour, Fortitude, and Excellence ; Prowess, Merit, and Worth ; Manly Goodness, Virile Virtue, and Moral Beauty ; Loyalty to one's Fellow Warriors ; and Intense Love for one other Warrior, one's Philtatos Hetairos, Most Beloved Comrade, Love which is Lifelong and Exclusive and Eternal -- and for his attempt to improve the world into which he was born.

Plato, after all, doesn't say we should withdraw from this world -- though that's what he, by and large, did.

Rather, he says that philosophers should become kings -- and both formulate and then adopt policies which educate their subjects in True Virtue -- the True Virtue of the World of Being.

That's what Alexander did -- or at least tried to do -- in his brief life.

And that too is what Sparta was about.

Lykourgos was Sparta's philosopher-king ; and Plato himself not only frequently praises Lykourgos, but as Jaeger says, sees himself as one of Lykourgos' spiritual descendants.

Further, the Structure which Lykourgos put into place was consciously and carefully administered and maintained by the Spartan Warriors who succeeded him -- for hundreds of years.

The Spartan Homonoia, the Spartan collective mind, then, functioned as its own philosopher-king -- again, for hundreds of years.

Giving Sparta a stable, austere, and equal government -- a Eunomia -- for centuries.

A huge achievement.

It should be remembered too that many Warriors have been philosophers, including Arrian, the biographer of Alexander, and Marcus Aurelius -- both of whom were Stoics, a philosophy even more austere than Platonism.

Men such as Lykourgos, Charillus, Polydorus, Archidamus, Kleomenes, and all the other tens of thousands of Spartan Warriors who over the centuries made up the Spartan Homonoia -- plus Alexander, Arrian, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Julian -- represent a type intermediate between Plato's ivory-tower philosophos -- Lover of Wisdom -- and his philotimos -- Lover of Worth -- whom we might call the Philosophos Polemikos -- the Warlike and Martial Lover of Wisdom.

And, as I said, if Plato believes, as he repeatedly says he does, that every Man must be passionate (thumoeides) -- that is, Full of Fighting Spirit -- in battling irremediable injustice and wrong-doing -- then every Man must be Warlike and Martial.

Meaning, that every Man -- must be a Warrior.

Which, of course, is what Plato's culture -- believed.

So :

There's more to Warrior than Worth.

Which is why I said, and I here repeat, that Plato's Worth-loving, Wisdom-despising, Warrior seems a straw man to me.

Not because such doesn't and didn't exist.

But because it's clear there also existed and exists not just Wise Warriors, but a tremendous Warrior Wisdom -- upon which Plato himself relied -- in all his work.

Bill Weintraub

January 30, 2014




Gymnazousi Pugmachoi hup Aulou







Finally :

Ρlato's school, located in a grove in which there was a shrine to the hero Academus, is known to us as the Academy -- in Greek, the Akademeia.

But the Akademeia, according to Liddell and Scott, was actually "a gymnasion near Athens, where Plato taught."

So, in the Grove Academus, there was a Gymnasion -- a Gymnasion, a "place of nude exercise," was just a slightly more elaborate Palaistra -- a "wrestling school" -- and that's where Plato taught.

He taught in a Palaistra / Gymnasion -- a Place of Naked Fighting.

This is what such a place looked like :

That's why I said that Fighting, that Naked Fighting, was vitally important to Plato -- and anyone who thinks or says it wasn't, is living in some sort of 20th/21st-century denial of who Plato was, where he lived, and how he thought.

Because it's in Palaistrai like the one pictured that Sokrates taught.

Plato would have studied with Sokrates in just such a setting.

Which is why a number of Platonic dialogues -- such as the Lysis and the Charmides -- take place in Palaistrai -- again, like the one pictured.

What you can see in these pictures is how integrated Fighting was into daily life -- how it was accompanied by music -- Harmonia kai Rhythmos -- and courtship -- and philosophic discourse.

You can also see, in both the artist's illustrations, and in these original vase paintings, how communal -- even in an individualistic and relatively an-archic place like Athens -- life was :


Gymnazo : Harmonia kai Rhythmos
Athletes train Naked and Together to the Rhythms and Harmonies of the Flute and Tambour


A trainer supervises the massaging of his student


Three Youths Prepare to Wrestle
On the left, Hippomedon's foot is massaged by Tranion ;
Hegesias is pouring oil which he'll use to anoint his body ;
Lykon removes his cloak, which he'll hand to the boy on the right ;
And Hippomedon, Tranion, Hegesias, and Lykon are all wearing wreaths.
Activity is communal and shared.


One youth prepares to throw the discus, encouraged by a comrade standing next to a pickaxe used to soften the surface of the Fight Pit


The Agonothetes Αγωνοθετης crowns a Young Victor


A Younger and Older Boxer -- possibly Lovers -- Train Naked and Together to the sound of the Flute


Athletes bathe each other in the loutron

Notice that the word Loutron -- a bath, bathing place ; is derived from Louo -- to wash another, properly, to wash his body.

The Athletes didn't just bathe together -- they bathed each other's bodies.

They bathed each other after -- in the self-loving self-less pursuit of the perfection of their mutual Manhood -- they had beaten each other up.

Remember that all these Men were Warriors.

They may -- or may not -- look it in these paintings.

But they were.

They trained not just in Wrestling and Boxing and Pankration, but did their Military Training at the Palaistra too.

And their comportment in war, as you would know if you bothered to read a Platonic dialogue like the Theaitetos, was vital to them, both personally, and to their standing in society.

It determined their Worth -- which was, as I've emphasized in this chapter, a moral quality.

Again, their standing -- both to themselves as individuals and in society -- depended upon their comportment -- their SELFLESSNESS -- in war.


Sarpedon has died selflessly in battle ;
Fighting for friends and country, he's
sacrificed length of days for Areté --
Fighting Manhood, Manly Goodness

Moreover, the Palaistra and the Naked Fighting which was practiced at the Palaistra wasn't relegated to a slummy neighborhood occupied solely by the disadvantaged.

The Youths and Men you see in pics like these were the Kaloi Kagathoi -- the upper crust of Greek society.

Not necessarily in terms of money, but in terms of being, as Liddell's definition correctly says, "Perfect Men, Men as They Should Be."

And the word "perfect" is telling.

Because, as Prof Fowler explains in his translator's note, both the Latin and ancient Greek words for Manhood, virtus and andreia,

embrace all qualities which are desirable in a perfect man, especially the more active and positive virtues.

And what are those Virile Virtues, those Noble Excellences of Fighting Manhood?

Fighting Manhood : Strength, vigor, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Goodness, moral perfection, high character, virtue ; Worth, merit, value.

That list was created by Prof Lewis in the nineteenth century, when Fighting Manhood was less of an abstraction and more of a concrete and indeed daily reality than it is today.


Again, that list of Virile Virtues was created by Prof Lewis in the nineteenth century, when Fighting Manhood was less of an abstraction and more of a concrete and indeed daily reality than it is today.

And when, because of gender segregation, and the absence of notions of "sexual orientation," male nudity in athleticism was more commonplace.



As it was among the Greeks.

Although it should be said that among the Greeks, such nudity wasn't merely commonplace, but societally-mandated :

[I]t is not long since the Greeks thought it disgraceful and ridiculous, as most of the barbarians do now, for men to be seen naked [gymnos]. And when the practice of athletics [gymnazo] = nude athletics] began, first with the Cretans and then with the Lakedaemonians [Spartans], it was open to the wits of that time to make fun of these practices, don't you think so?

I do.

But when, I take it, experience showed that it is better [comparative of agathos = more Manly] to strip [apoduo] than to veil all things of this sort, then the laughter of the eyes faded away before that which reason [logos] revealed to be best [aristos = most Manly], and this made it plain that he talks idly who deems anything else ridiculous but evil [kakos], and who tries to raise a laugh by looking to any other pattern of absurdity than that of folly [aphron] and wrong [kakos] or sets up any other standard of the beautiful [kalos -- morally beautiful] as a mark for his seriousness than the good [to agathon -- the Supreme Good, Manhood].

~Plat. Rep. 5.452d, translated by Shorey


Pankratiasts are reprimanded for eye-gouging


An athletic victor stands nude and garlanded
Banners indicate his consecration to the Gods
The hare is a courting-gift from a male admirer

Now :

If you study Prof Lewis' list and even choose to memorize it, which I strongly recommend you do, you'll notice that there are four categories of active and positive attributes, virtues, within Fighting Manhood, and that each of those can be charactized by a word beginning with the letter "V" : Vigor, Valour, Virtue, Value.

In the Vigor category falls Strength and other Excellences of the Body, including, in Lewis' formulation, Bravery and Courage ;



While Valour, which connotes Ardent Willingness, has as its companions Gallantry -- Nobility of Spirit and Action -- and Fortitude -- the Manliness shown in undertaking and enduring hardship ;



Virtue is Manly Goodness, High Character, and Moral Perfection ;



And Value refers to Ability, which is Martial Merit and Warrior Worth.



Those, then, are the Virile Virtues, the Noble Excellences of Fighting Manhood :

Vigor, strength, bravery, courage, excellence ; Valour, gallantry, fortitude ; Virtue, goodness, moral perfection, high character ; Value, merit, worth.

And that's how the Kaloi Kagathoi thought of themselves :

As Men who were training and educating themselves to be Perfect, to be Men as They Should Be, both Physically and Mentally -- Men Struggling to Perfect their Manhood.

And so those Perfect Men Boxed, and Wrestled, and did Pankration ; and Discussed and Debated the Nobilities and Beauties of the Soul ; and did their Military Training ; and were Courted -- Courted for Passionate Male-Male Romances -- all in this one place -- this Palaistra / Gymnasion, this School of Naked Fighting.

Naked Fighting was vitally important to Plato -- as it was to every other Greek.

These youths are throwing the javelin and the discus :

But the Warrior aspect of what they're doing -- is unmistakeable and cannot be missed :

And that's the way I feel about Plato's Wisdom and his attempt to separate it from Worth -- which is, as he himself makes plain, a Warrior Trait.

The Warrior aspect of Plato's Wisdom -- is also unmistakeable -- and cannot be missed.

Bill Weintraub

January 30, 2014



















































MANHOOD: A LEXICON

BIBLION PEMPTON
WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

III ARES : Adventus through Askesis
To Achieve Manhood through a Martial Order and
Combative Erectness and Aggressive Art
That is Proper and Apportioned to Men

By Bill Weintraub

Chapter III Section List
















ωelcome to Chapter Three of Biblion Pempton of our Reductional, Functional, Teleological, Incantational, and, above all, Sanctional Lexicon of Manhood.

Chapter Three, like some of our other chapters, is divided into parts, and Part One of Chapter Three is titled Manliness, Godliness, and Fighting Manhood ;

And it's both a review of *some* of the material in Chapters One and Two of Biblion Pempton -- and an introduction to NEW material.

What that means is that even if you recently re-read Chapters One and Two -- as I've asked you to do -- you still have to read Part One of Chapter Three.

Otherwise you'll miss out on some really important and critical NEW INFORMATION -- without which, you won't be able to understand the rest of Chapter Three.

So please don't skip Part One, and please try to understand, that this Lexicon, like the rest of the material on The Man2Man Alliance and Ares is Lord sites, is not a comic book, or a TV show, or a youtube video.

The articles on our sites are dense with ideas, complex ideas, and the only way to truly understand them, is to read slowly and repeatedly.

Which means that even if you recently reviewed Chapters One and Two, reading Part One of Chapter Three won't hurt you -- it can only help you, and it will.

Now :

In Chapter One of our Biblion Pempton, we looked at the nature of God and the Gods.

And we saw that the Gods are good -- that They hate falsehood and lies and deceit, and are simple and true in word and deed -- that They're beneficent, that They're interested in human welfare, and that They never act to the detriment of the human race --

And that They love Manliness, and that for a Man and a Warrior, the highest goal, therefore, is to be a "God-fearing Man [theosebes] and God-like [theios] -- in so far as that is possible for humanity."

That the Ideal Man will be both Godly -- Theios -- and Manly -- Andreios.

Theios and Andreios, Andreios and Theios -- is what a Man should be.

Because, again, the Gods are Beneficent, and Just, and Kind.

And that's why Plato's view of Ares, as presented in the Kratylos, is not of some fiend-like destroyer spirit insatiate of blood --

but of a God who's Virile because He's possessed of Fighting Manhood and the requisite Hardness to express that Fighting Manhood :

Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Manliness [arren] and Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

~Plato. Krat. 407d

We then saw that Platonist Paul Shorey summarized Plato's canons of sound theology thus :

  1. that God (the Gods) is the author of good only,

  2. that God never deceives,

  3. that he never changes.

That view of the Gods -- Plato's view of the Gods -- asserted ca 380 BC -- is the one that subsequently prevailed in the ancient world -- as we can see from this excerpt from the Neo-Platonist and Hellenist Sallustius' fourth-century AD book, Concerning the Gods and the Universe, written more than 700 years after the Republic :

The Gods are always good and help us ; they never harm us. We, when we are good, are by our likeness given union with them ; if we become bad, we are separated from them. Our sins prevent the divine brightness from shining on us and subject us to chastising spirits : it is as false to say that the Gods shun the evil as it is to say that the sun hides himself from the blind. If by prayers and sacrifices we find release from our sins, the explanation is that by our acts and by turning to the divine, we cure our evil and enjoy the Goodness of the Gods again ; we do not effect any change in them.

These considerations decide the problem of worship. The Gods need nothing ; the honours we pay them are for our own benefit. Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

Fitness is obtained by imitation, and imitation is the basis of all cult : the shrines correspond to the sky, the altars to the earth, the images to life (that is why they are made in the likeness of living beings), prayers to the intellectual element, the magic vowels to the unspeakable powers of the sky, plants and stones to matter, and the animals sacrificed to the unreasonable life in us. From all this the Gods gain no benefit, but we gain union with them.

~Sallustius, Concerning the Gods and the Universe, translated and epitomized by Arthur Darby Nock.

Two key points :

  • We, when we are good, are by our like-ness given union with them [the Gods] ; if we become bad, we are separated from them.

  • Fitness is obtained by imitation, and imitation is the basis of all cult.

Like-ness and Imitation are essential to Communion :

It is by our like-ness that we're given Union with the Gods ; and,

Fitness is obtained by imitation, and imitation is the basis of all cult.

We'll return to these facts -- in later chapters.

We also, in Chapter I, saw that Plato is a polytheist : that he makes frequent reference to the Gods -- plural ; and to individual Gods --

As in this passage in the Laws, in which he says

A God, who watched over Sparta,

meaning Apollo, whose oracle at Delphi approved Sparta's government.

Both Bury and Jowett translate the passage as a God -- "there was a God watching over you," says Bury -- even though Greek lacks the indefinite article and the passage could just as well read -- God was watching over you.

Indeed, Sallustius says the Gods are in constant contact with each other -- in which case the Gods constitute, at the least, a collective mind -- a God.

That Plato nevertheless refers to the Gods -- plural -- says that he sees value, as do I, in a system in which there are many Gods, from among whom human beings can choose the God or Gods who are most congenial.

Thus, if you value arren and andreia and areté and arratos, you become an acolyte of Ares, whose Virility and Manliness and Manhood's Hard and Unbending Nature -- speak to you.

In Chapter I, we also looked at the Four Integral Virtues of Fighting Manhood, Piety, Self-Control, and Manly Moral Order.

And I said that the four are all involved and thus integrated with each other :

You can't have one -- without the other three.

So:

The Manly Man is Pious ; the Pious Man is Manly.

And Just -- Morally Ordered -- and Temperate.

The Morally Ordered Man is Manly ; the Manly Man is Morally Ordered.

And Pious -- and Self-Controlled.

So :

We began Chapter One with a discussion of Plato's famous "homoiosis Theo" from the Theaeteus 176b -- "to become like God, so far as this is possible."

And we saw that what Plato actually says is

to become like God, so far as this is possible ; and to become like God is to become righteous [dikaios] and holy [hosios -- pious and hallowed] in union with thoughtfulness -- prudence [phronesis]

And that's a very clear statement of what we might call Integral Virtue : Righteousness [Manly Moral Order] and Holiness [Manly Piety] in union with Thoughtfulness -- Manly Temperance.

What about Manliness aka Fighting Manhood?

Hang on for a moment.

Because in the Laws, Plato says that Wisdom and Temperance, when combined with Fighting Manhood -- yields perfect "Justice" -- that is, Perfect Order, a Manly and Moral Perfect Order :

Wisdom + Temperance + Fighting Manhood Manly Moral Order -- Perfect Moral Order.

Again, Plato states that Wisdom and Temperance, when combined with Fighting Manhood -- yield perfect Moral Order.

And the reason Plato says that is because, as we'll see, in his view, a Wise and Temperate Manly Moral Order is dependent upon -- the Fighting Manhood -- of Men.







In ancient myth, Manly Moral Order is first established by Heroes, including Herakles and Theseus among the Greeks,
and Hercules among the Romans, who travel the world, ridding it of criminals and monsters.
In this painting, Herakles kills Antaios, who forced every passerby into a fatal
wrestling match, by wrestling him and lifting him off his mother, the earth,
from which he derived his strength, and then crushing his ribs.

Now :

So far, in this particular passage from the Theaitetos, Plato hasn't mentioned Manliness per se.

Though we heard a lot about the Manliness of Theaitetos himself -- his Andreia -- both as a boy and a Man -- a Warrior -- at the beginning of the dialogue.

We saw that Theaitetos' conduct in battle was imbued with both kalon -- Manly Moral Beauty ; and agathon -- Manly Goodness -- both of which reduce, as you'll know if you've read Biblion Proton, to Fighting Manhood ;

And that as a youth, Theaitetos was characterized by his teacher, the geometrician Theodorus, as "brave [andreios -- that is, Manly] beyond any other."

And that we discuss in the last section of Biblion Tetarton, In Union With Valour.

Because Valour -- the Eager and Ardent Willingness to Fight -- Valour too is Manhood.

Fighting Manhood.

And now, in the Theaitetos, and after much dialectic, Plato's about to speak of Fighting Manhood again -- and with a vengeance:

For Plato, through his spokesman Sokrates, goes on to say that

God is in no wise and in no manner unrighteous [adikos], but utterly and perfectly righteous [dikaiotatos = most righteous = superlative of dikaios], and there is nothing so like him as that one of us who in turn becomes most nearly perfect in righteousness [that is to say, no one of us is so like unto God as the one who becomes most nearly perfect in the expression of Manly Moral Order -- which is Manly Moral Righteousness.]

It is herein that the true cleverness [deinotes = terribleness -- "cleverness" here is highly perjorative] of a male is found and also his worthlessness [oudenia = worthlessness, nothingness] and cowardice [an-andria -- want of manhood, UN-manliness] ; for the knowledge of this is wisdom [sophia] or true [alethinos = true, real] virtue [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence], and ignorance [agnoia = want of perception, ignorance] of it is folly [a-mathia = stupidity, willful blindness] or manifest wickedness [kakia = wickedness, vice, cowardice, etc -- derives from kakke = human ordure] ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

That's a really strong statement.

To put it mildly.

And by using the term an-andria -- want of Manhood, UN-manliness -- Plato goes unequivocally to the heart of the matter :

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

Like I say, a strong and unequivocal statement.

And notice that Plato links worthlessness -- want of WORTH -- with want of MANHOOD.

Worth is Manhood ; Manhood is Worth.

And that's the Warrior and the Warriordom and the Warrior Kosmos within Plato -- speaking.

Again, Plato cannot escape the postulates of his own culture and its World of Being.

His fellow Athenians may wish to -- but he cannot and moreover will not.

Plato then continues :

Two patterns [paradeigma], my friend, are set up in the world, the divine [Godly, theios], which is most blessed [happy, fortunate], and the godless [atheos], which is most wretched. But these males do not see that this is the case, and their silliness and extreme foolishness blind them to the fact that through their unrighteous acts they are made like the one and unlike the other. They therefore pay the penalty for this by living a life that conforms to the pattern they resemble ; and if we tell them that, unless they depart from their "cleverness," the blessed place that is pure of all things evil will not receive them after death, and here on earth they will always live the life like themselves -- evil men associating with evil [kakoi kakois synontes = evil with evil joined] -- when they hear this, they will be so confident in their unscrupulous cleverness [terrible wickedness] that they will think our words the talk of fools.

So you can see that to be like God is to be Manly, to be possessed of Manhood, which man-ifests as Manly Righteousness, Manly Moral Order, and which includes Manly Self-Control ; while the worthless and wicked are characterized as exhibiting -- literally -- an-andria

-- UN-manliness, which Liddell and Scott define, and beautifully, as "want of manhood."

The Manly are blessed through full possession of their Manhood ; the UN-manly are wicked through want of manhood.

There are then, in this Platonic Warriordom informed by a Warrior Kosmos, two paradigms :

The Godly, which is, due to Manly Virtue, most happy and most fortunate ;

and the un-godly, which is, due to un-manly vice, most wretched.

And just as the word for UN-manly is an-andria -- want of Manhood -- so the word for UN-godly is a-theos -- want of God.

So:

The Manly are blessed, fortunate, and happy in their Manhood -- their Andreia ; the wicked are wretched through their an-andria -- their want of Manhood.

And a parallel is made between andreios -- Manliness ; and theios -- Godliness ;

and between an-andria -- UN-manliness ; and a-theotes -- UN-godliness.

That's presented with crystalline clarity in the Greek text ; you're free to disagree, but the words speak for themselves :

Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is Godliness.

Goodness.

And the Sum of All the Excellences of Man.












Now :

That's just some of what was covered in Chapter One of this Biblion Pempton.

It's vital, as I said in the Preface, that you go back and read all of the Lexicon from the beginning, from the Prefatory Remarks and the Prolegomena which precede Biblion Proton right through to Chapter Two of Biblion Pempton -- before you read any further.

Otherwise, you won't understand what's being said, and you'll get no benefit -- from what little reading you do.

You must read and re-read.


In Chapter Two of Biblion Pempton, we encountered Thumos, Plato's Principle of High Spirit, which is Manly Spirit, which is Fighting Spirit.

And please be clear that Manly Spirit and Fighting Spirit are the same thing.

Just as Manhood, Manliness, and Manly Spirit -- are the same thing.

And Manhood, Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, and Manly Virtue -- are all the same thing.

So :

Manly Excellence = Manly Spirit = Manly Goodness = Manliness = Manly Virtue = Manly Spirit = Fighting Spirit =

Manhood =

Fighting Manhood.

That is to say, that the core definitions of Andreia, Areté / Areta, and, for that matter, Anorea as well -- which is defined as Manhood, Prowess, Manly Beauty, its Strength and Force --

That those core definitions all equate to each other ;

And all REDUCE -- to Fighting Manhood.

Thus, in Chapter II we encountered Plato's Principle of High Spirit, Thumos, which is Fighting Spirit, and which makes up one-third of the tripartite human soul :

  • Appetite

  • Manly Reason

  • Fighting Spirit

And we saw how important Fighting Spirit aka Fighting Manhood, which is a function of the God Ares, is in Plato's conception of the Ideal Man, whose soul seethes and grows fierce when he must -- and he inevitably, in the world of becoming, must -- Fight Injustice :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other men's wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plat. Laws 5.731

And as it happens, I'm writing this on the very same day that two American servicemen, one trained in Martial Arts, the very same Martial Arts which I have urged you for fifteen years and without success -- to train in --

I'm writing on the very same day that that serviceman in particular, Spencer Stone, demonstrated the highest degree of courage imaginable, by taking out a terrorist.

Plato:

it is impossible to escape from other men's wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

And the phrase he uses for noble passion is "thumos gennaios" which means, simply, Noble Fighting Spirit -- which is Selfless Fighting Manhood.

And you can see, in the case of the two servicemen and the terrorist, that Plato is speaking the truth :

that it's impossible to escape from other men's wrongdoings, when they are cruel, hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, other than by victorious fighting and self-defence, and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion -- which is Selfless Fighting Manhood.

And you can see, again, that Plato's speaking the plain truth.

This was a terrorist armed with an assault weapon and other weapons ; had these Men not fought him to the bitter end -- which involved "punishing most rigorously" by one soldier choking him to unconsciousness while the other hit him repeatedly in the head with his own weapon -- that terrorist would have killed them and everyone else he could have -- on the train.

He would have killed and killed and killed.

Fortunately, he was stopped.

By two Men who allowed their Thumos -- their Fighting Spirit -- to seethe and grow fierce -- and who then unleashed that spirit in effective action -- action which was effective in no small part because they'd been trained -- in how to take effective action.

A sort of training which is readily available -- but which none of you will undertake.

Do you wonder that I'm so disgusted with you?

Do you?

Because by any objective standard, you're disgusting.

One of the many ways you're disgusting is in how selfish you are.

And yet the two servicemen who took on the terrorist and the two other Men who helped them acted SELFLESSLY.

I know that all four guys said they felt what they were doing was necessary if they were to survive.

And that's fine so far as it goes.

But there were other people who ran away or who cowered in their seats.

The two servicemen got up and out of their seats and ran TOWARDS the danger -- not away from it.

The New York Times :

"Mr. Stone was unarmed; his target was visibly bristling with weapons."

"visibly bristling with weapons"

"visibly"

They put themselves knowingly and consciously directly in harm's way.

In other to prevent an atrocity.

Which is why they and the other two Men were made Knights of the Legion of Honor.

A reward they richly deserved.

In looking at your own puny and miserable lives, you cannot escape either what Plato said -- or what those Men did.

You cannot escape either.

Now :

Having looked at Thumos, we then took up the question of Worth --

That is to say, Timé --

That is to say, the Worth which accrues to a Man though his Prowess in Fighting.

For though Plato says that Manly Reason and Fighting Spirit work together to govern the appetites, the irrational desires which threaten always to overwhelm and submerge the Human Spirit --

He also says that the Lovers of Wisdom -- the philosophers --

Rank higher than the Warriors -- the Lovers of Worth ;

Who are however much above the lowest category of human being, that of the greedy for gain.

I part company with Plato on this question of Worth, for several reasons.

Firstly, because, as I've long understood, and as eminent historians like Werner Jaeger point out, both Plato and Aristotle's ethical systems -- their Ethical Wisdom -- is based on the Warrior Code -- that is the Warrior Wisdom -- of the Greek Warrior Aristocracy, going back at least to Homer.

And Worth, according to classicists like Jaeger and Bowra, and the Love of Worth, are Moral.

Highly Moral.

Jaeger :

An insatiable thirst for Honour -- Timé -- is a Moral Quality of Heroes.

Love of Honour -- PhiloTimia -- is Morally Noble.

To understand why, and to understand why the question of Worth so matters, we need to be clear about what Worth actually is -- to both the ancient Greeks, and to contemporary Americans.

To do that, we need to go back to a crucial distinction made in the Prolegomena about how Manhood itself is defined.

So :

In the Prolegomena, we saw that to the ancient Greeks, Manhood was defined by Fighting.

Whereas to contemporary Americans, it's defined by fucking.

Think about that.

Manhood -- for Millenia the Most Exalted Essence of the Male -- has been, in contemporary America, reduced to the level of a low, sensual, pleasure.

Similarly, Worth -- which means what it sounds like -- that is, being at its simplest, what a Man is worth to his society --

Worth is very differently defined by our society and that of the ancient Greeks.

To contemporary Americans, worth is defined by money.

The more money a male has, the greater his "worth."

And yet, the ancient Greeks could not disagree more.

For to the ancient Greeks, Worth, like Manhood, is defined by Fighting.

Jaeger :

An essential concomitant of areté [Fighting Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence] is honour [Timé -- Worth]. In a primitive community [sic -- better : In a Warrior Society, a Warriordom], it is inseparable from merit and ability.

So :

An essential concomitant of Fighting Manhood's Manly Excellence is Worth. In a Warriordom, it's inseparable from merit and ability.

While money, more often than not, confers "negative worth" -- that is, it takes away from worth.

Thus this famous saying by the Spartan general Pausanias :

When amongst the spoils [taken from the defeated Persians at Plataia], some people were amazed at the extravagance of the Persians' clothing, he said: 'Better for them to be men of great worth rather than have possessions of great worth.'

~Plut. Apoph. 58.5, translated by Talbert and Babbitt.

Better for them to be Men of Great Fighting Ability -- than to have expensive possessions which, in a Fight, are worthless.

That's what Pausanias says -- as any Spartan would.

So :

To the ancient Greeks, both Worth and Manhood are defined by Fighting.

Which means that Worth -- is Fighting Manhood.

While to contemporary Americans, manhood is reduced to fucking ; and worth -- to money -- greed.

The contrast could not be more stark.
MANHOOD WORTH
ANCIENT GREECE FIGHTING FIGHTING
Modern America fucking greed

From the beginning, Manhood has been understood to be, as I said, the Most Exalted Essence of the Male.

The Highest Expression of the Manly Spirit.

And the Master of the World.

But now it's been reduced -- trivialized -- into being the plaything -- the mistress -- of hedonism and greed.

The two most destructive forces in society.

Now :

I quoted from the great classicist Werner Jaeger.

I'm going to augment his words with those of another classicist, CM Bowra, writing ca 1960, who tells us more about Worth, Fighting, and Manhood in ancient Greece :

Where the kings were deprived of their power, authority passed to the local aristocracy. Thus the great step forward was made from government by a single ruler to government by a group of men. The new rulers were the descendants of Warriors who had seized land and established estates during the Dark Age. Initially, only landowners could be aristocrats ; later, some wealthy merchants and manufacturers were admitted to the class.

They were men of leisure, active in sports and outdoor pursuits, if only as part of their military training.

They were accustomed to country life, but not afraid to put to sea.

They were versed in the social skills demanded by life in a small community.

Taught from childhood to take part in singing and dancing, they shared a common interest in music and the art of the spoken and sung word.

And they subscribed to a strict code of conduct that required them to be truthful, trustworthy, courteous (even to enemies), courageous, respectful of the rights of others, generous with their possessions, immune to the temptation to cheat, and proud of the code itself.

These aristocrats . . . had a splendid energy. They excelled in many graces but were not in the least effete. Unlike members of some aristocracies, they did not enjoy a position secure enough to allow them to become over-refined.

. . .

The political and geographical center of Greek life was the polis, or city-state. The polis came to mean, and to be, much more than merely the seat of government. It included the lands around it, and was the meeting-place of people who lived inside and outside its walls. In it business was transacted, manufacturing was carried on, ceremonies and rites were conducted, public affairs discussed and decided on. Although the number of people who actually lived within the walls of the polis was small, its total population included townsmen and countrymen, and in maritime centers like Corinth and Athens, seafaring men as well. Farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen and sailors mingled freely. Life was at once varied and intimate, full of various kinds of civic activity, including that one to which the term "politics" now refers.

. . .

Under the aristocrats the polis acquired a more stable system of government and the rich civic life that came to differentiate the Greeks from their foreign neighbors. Long after the aristocrats had lost their power, the polis remained the focus of Greek life because of its inspired view of what a man's existence ought to be. Because their superiority supposedly came from the favor of the Gods, the aristocrats considered that they were "good" men.

Bill Weintraub:

I have to interrupt Prof Bowra here so as to explain that what he's just said is a half-truth.

The superiority of the Warrior Aristocracy came from the plain fact that they or their ancestors were better Fighters than other Men.

That ability to Fight was in part, it's true, a gift of the Gods -- but also the result of the individual Warrior's hard work and training.

This is made abundantly clear in the great Greek poet Pindar's Victory Odes, his epinikia, written by an aristocrat, about aristocrats, and for aristocrats.

The victors in Pindar's Odes are victorious because of a combination of inborn ability -- phua, syngonos, syngenes -- and hard work -- ponos -- guided and informed by training.

Twentieth-century American classicist and Pindar translator Wm Race :

In lines 20-22 [of Olympian 10], Pindar adumbrates four elements required for success : natural ability, training, divine assistance, and effort.

These are lines 20-22 :

With the help of a God [syn Theos], one man can sharpen [thego] another who is born [phua] for excellence [areta -- Manly Excellence], and encourage him to tremendous achievement. Without toil [a-ponos] only a few have attained joy, a light of life above all labors.

Nineteenth-century American classicist Basil Gildersleeve's version :

Native valor [areta], training sharp [thego], and a God's favor can raise a mortal to great fame. Only some few reach joy without toil [a-ponos], light without darkness.

So : Inborn ability -- which comes from the Gods -- and a God's help -- are absolutely necessary ; but so is training, and hard work.

And Pindar uses the word thego, meaning to sharpen, to describe what the trainer does ; the image, Race tells us, is taken from a whetstone.

The more usual word for training is paidotribeo -- to train, -- which come from paidotribes -- a trainer.

So, and once again : Inborn ability -- which comes from the Gods -- and a God's help -- are absolutely necessary ; but so is training, and hard work.

Inborn ability often runs in families and clans, some of whom can claim as many as sixty victories in the various Crown Games and other athletic festivals throughout Greece -- and comes without question from the Gods -- many of these families and clans, after all, claim descent from a God or semi-divine Hero.

But the ponos, the hard work, belongs to the athletes -- the Fighter, the Combatant, the Champion -- himself.

As the Spartan king Archidamus himself said in a famous speech :

We are both warlike [polemikos] and wise [euboulos], and it is our sense of order [eukosmos] that makes us so. We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honor [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honor bravery [eupsychia]. And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

~Thuc. 1.84.3, translated by Crawley.

"Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school."

The superiority lies with him who is reared -- trained -- in the severest school -- thus the agogé.

It's said that the Spartans were the first among the Greek aristocrats to acknowledge the value of training in military affairs, and that may well be true ;

but the importance of training among athletes is recognized and stressed by Pindar, who goes back to the sixth-century BC, to "archaic" Greece.

To Pindar, it's a combination of phua -- inborn ability, which is a gift of the Gods -- and ponos -- hard work -- which wins the day.

And, as we'll see later in this chapter, Pindar's idea that "one Man can sharpen or train another who is born for Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood" -- is virtually identical to Plato's formulation of Adventus through Askesis -- that is, the realization of Manhood through Disciplined Training -- which of course, is taken from the Spartans, and Archidamus' statement, which originates with Lykourgos, the Spartan nomothetes or Law-Giver, that "the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school."

Among the Greeks, and especially among the Spartans, but not among the Spartans alone by any means, it's clearly the duty and responsiblity of one Man to sharpen another, often a youth, who is born for Areta just by virtue of being male, but who cannot and will not realize and achieve that Areta -- without the help of his Fellow Man.

Then Prof Bowra gets into the question of "good," and what the word meant to the Greeks, and he quite properly puts our English word "good" in quotation marks -- because what we mean by "good" and what the Greeks mean by "good" are not necessarily the same thing.

Bowra:

Because their superiority supposedly came from the favor of the Gods, the aristocrats considered that they were "good" men.

Bill Weintraub:

Again, the word "good" is quite properly in quotation marks.

One very cogent reason for that is that our word "good" has been Christianized and feminized and thus totally divorced from Fighting -- which is considered "bad."

To the pagan and patriarchal Greeks, by contrast and to the contrary, Goodness and Fighting were inextricably intertwined -- as Prof Bowra is about to tell us :

Bowra:

But for them [the Greeks] "good" was by no means an exclusively or even predominantly ethical concept. Goodness, or areté, was an intrinsic excellence that existed in all things.

Bill Weintraub:

That's so, and I'll be spending a great deal of the rest of Chapter Three explaining what exactly it means.

And there's a corollary from Werner Jaeger, as follows :

Remember that the Greek for 'good' [agathos] does not merely have the narrow ethical sense we give it, but is the adjective corresponding to the noun areté, and so means 'excellent' in any way. From that point of view ethics is only a special case of the effort made by all things to achieve perfection.

[emphasis mine]

And we'll be discussing Jaeger's corollary at length in Chapter X.

For now, I'll just say that to the Greeks, everything has its own intrinsic or inherent excellence, which, however, is latent until such time as it is, and ideally, realized, arrives, or becomes present [paragignomai].

So -- an implement -- such as a drinking cup -- has its own areté.

And so does a body part -- such as an eye.

And so does a Man -- and a Man's soul.

To take an easy example, the excellence of an eye is vision, and when the eye sees well, that excellence is present.

Socrates
[I]f an eye [ophthalmos] is to see [eidon] itself [autos] it must look at an eye, and at that region [topos] of the eye in which the areté [excellence] of an eye is found to occur ; and this, I presume, is sight [opsis -- eyesight, vision].

~Plat. Alc. 1 133b, translated by Lamb.

The areté -- excellence -- of an eye [ophthalmos] is sight, eyesight, vision [opsis] ; when that excellence is present or realized, the eye is capable of and experiences good vision.

But -- suppose that excellence is not there ?

Socrates
[I]f, again, you asked me, "What becomes present in a better [ameinon -- irr. comp. of agathos, which is the adjectival form of Areté -- thus, more excellent] condition of the eyes?" -- I should answer in just the same way, "Sight [opsis] becomes present, and blindness [tuphlotes] absent." So, in the case of the ears [ous], deafness [kophotes] is caused to be absent [apo-gignomai], and hearing [akoe] to be present [para-gignomai], when they are improved [beltio-o] and getting better treatment.

~Plat. Alc. 1 126b, translated by Lamb.

So : the presence of areté, of excellence, in an eye, is vision -- good vision ; the absence of excellence is blindness.

Similarly for an ear -- the presence or realization of an ear's areté is good hearing ; its absence is deafness.

That being the case, for the human male, excellence -- Areté / Areta -- is Manly Excellence, which is Manhood, which is Fighting Manhood.

Which Liddell and Scott make plain in their definition of Areté / Areta ; Areté, they say, is

goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess, Hom., Hdt. (like Lat. vir-tus, from vir).

Let's take a look -- word by word :

goodness, excellence

"excellence" we already know from Prof Bowra -- areté is an intrinsic excellence which exists in all things, he says ; but what about "goodness," which Bowra de facto warns us against?

The difference is that Bowra is writing in the 1960s, while Liddell and Scott are writing in 1889 -- or earlier -- and the concept of goodness, although Christianized, hadn't yet been effeminized and heterosexualized to the extent it was by the 1960s --

so "goodness" -- provided we think of it in its ancient Greek sense, in which it's intertwined with and derives from Fighting -- and in its martial and masculinist 19th-century sense -- which is also about Fighting -- is fine.

esp. of manly qualities

manly

Also fine and more than fine.

But -- what does Manly mean?

It means Willing and Able to Fight.

That's what Manly means.

Manly means Willing and Able to Fight.

That's what it means.

Again, in 1889, the word Manly hadn't been under attack by, belittled by, made the butt of jokes by, feminists, both women and their male fellow-travelers -- for more than a hundred years.

Manly still meant Manly -- and Men were PROUD to be Manly -- Men were Proud to be Willing and Able to Fight.

Aside :

I find that some guys, and despite what I've said so far, still have trouble with the idea of Manly, the definition of Manly, etc.

But "Manly," like any other word, doesn't have an infinite number of meanings, nor does it have an infinite number of definitions.

So, for example, here's what Manly does NOT mean :

It doesn't mean to walk with a bipedal posture ; nor to have external genitalia.

Even though human males do walk with a bipedal posture -- and have external genitalia.

But that's not what Manly means.

It means one thing and one thing only :

It means Willing and Able to Fight.

Which Liddell and Scott make abundantly clear in their definition.

Manly means Willing and Able to Fight.

Here's another area in which some guys have problems :

Liddell and Scott say : goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess

What do they mean by qualities ?

Qualities are attributes, such as are listed by Lewis and Short in their various definitions of the Latin word Virtus :

Vigour, strength, excellence, courage, valour, value, virtue, etc.

And that includes Spirit.

Spirit is a quality or attribute.

And Manly Spirit means Spirit that's Willing and Able to Fight.

Most guys don't have a problem with that because they're used to the term Fighting Spirit -- which has the same meaning and definition as Manly Spirit.

Fighting Spirit is Spirit that's Willing and Able to Fight ; and so is Manly Spirit.

Manly Spirit is Spirit that's Willing and Able to Fight.

What, then, about Manly Virtue -- what does that mean?

It means Virtue that's Willing and Able to Fight.

That's what it means.

As opposed to -- Virtue that's UN-willing and UN-able to Fight -- Virtue that, shall we say, always and consistently turns the other cheek.

Does that mean an ancient Greek would never turn the other cheek?

Well, here's what Plato says in the Republic :

[W]hen a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit [Thumos -- Fighting Spirit] in that case seethe and grow fierce (and also because of his suffering hunger, cold and the like) and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go . . .

~Plat. Rep. 4.439e, translated by Shorey.

And here's what Plato says in the Laws :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plato. Laws 5.731, translated by Bury.

In the Laws, Plato does add that

[I]t is permissible to show pity to the man that has evils that are remediable, and to abate one's passion and treat him gently, and not to keep on raging like a scolding wife ; but in dealing with the man who is totally and obstinately perverse and wicked one must give free course to wrath.

And "give free course to wrath" means what he says : "victorious fighting and self-defence, and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios]."

And what Plato means by punishing most rigorously is -- killing.

While what Bury translates as "noble passion" is really Noble Fighting Spirit.

Because that's what Thumos is -- it's Fighting Spirit, which, like so many other words, reduces, ultimately, to Fighting Manhood.

And that makes sense :

"It is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious fighting and self-defence, and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without Fighting Manhood."

So Plato -- isn't a turn-the-other-cheek sort of guy.

Nor are his fellow ancient Greeks.

He's not unreasonable.

He does say that if you can work with a person to remedy a wrong -- you should.

But -- "in dealing with the man who is totally and obstinately perverse and wicked one must give free course to wrath."

And that's what the Greeks believed.

So :

The Greek concept of Virtue is inextricably intertwined with the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

As is the Greek concept of Manhood.

Which is why we can confidently say that --

Manly Virtue is Virtue that's Willing and Able to Fight ; and

Manly Goodness is Goodness that's Willing and Able to Fight ; and

Manly Excellence is Excellence that's Willing and Able to Fight --

And so on and so forth.

Again, Manly Virtue isn't Virtue which walks with a bipedal posture ; nor is it Virtue that has external genitalia.

It's Virtue that's Willing and Able to Fight.

And Manly Goodness and Excellence and Vigour and Value -- are Goodness and Excellence and Vigour and Value that are Willing and Able to Fight.

That's what they are.

And I hope that's clear.

Let's get back to Liddell and Scott's definition -- word-by-word :

manhood, valour, prowess

Manhood of course is absolutely right, provided, also of course, that we remember Liddell and Scott mean Fighting Manhood -- which is how Manhood was defined in 1889 and had been so defined for literally millenia.

So -- just as Areté is the noun and agathos is the adjective, so is Manhood the noun, and Manly the adjective :

Manhood is the Willingness and Ability to Fight, Manly means Willing and Able to Fight.

It's that simple.

Now -- what about valour and prowess?

Well, remember that I said, in How to Read Liddell and Scott's Definitions of Ancient Greek Words, that the words in italics are legitimate translations.

And in the 19th century and on into the early years of the 20th century, Valour and Prowess were still legitimate translations -- that's why we see Marchant's Strife of Valour for Xenophon's Erin Peri Aretes -- A Struggle of, for, and about Manhood -- and Bury's In Union with Valour, for Plato's Met' Aretes -- In Union with Manhood.

The problem is, as I explain in Understanding the Core Position and Actual Meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood, the Translator's Note, and the Lexicon entry for the Attributes and Qualities of Fighting Manhood -- the problem is that Valour is just one attribute of Manhood among many -- and obviously Xenophon and Plato mean more than just Valour.

Which is why Liddell and Scott then say

(like Lat. vir-tus, from vir)

And when you click on the link, as again, you're supposed to, you see manliness, manhood, and a long list of attributes, including vigour and strength, valour, gallantry, and fortitude, virtue, moral perfection, and high character, and value, merit, and worth -- "the sum of all the corporeal and mental excellences of Man," says Charlton Lewis in another version of the same definition.

And what we need to understand is that Lewis is right -- and that it's natural for a Masculinist and Martial culture to wax ecstatic about Manhood -- as the Roman playwright Plautus does, when he says, Manhood is Everything, Manhood is the Best Thing in the World.

Because in a Masculinist and Martial culture, in a Warriordom, Fighting Manhood is Everything, Fighting Manhood is the Best Thing in the World.

And if you're not clear about that, it's important that you read our article about Warriordoms -- what they're about, and what they believe.

But we need to also remember Thomas Wiedemann and his book Emperors and Gladiators, in which he says, regarding *armed* combat, that without question the most important constituent of Manhood is the Willingness to Confront an Opponent, coupled with the Ability to Maim and/or Kill Him.

Again, that's in *armed* combat.

Where the combat isn't intended to be lethal, Manhood is the Willingness to Confront an Opponent, coupled with the Ability to Defeat Him.

And that's absolutely correct, and it's true in EVERY WARRIOR CULTURE.

All those attributes we discuss are fine, and they matter.

But ultimately, the most important, and which indeed is light years ahead of the others in degree of importance, is The Willingness to Confront, coupled with the Ability to Defeat.

So :

This is a picture of Fighting Manhood -- of Fighting Manhood "instantiated" -- made concrete :

F I G H T I N Gxx M A N H O O D

The Fighter's Willingness to Confront his Opponent, the Courage he needs to Confront his Opponent,
is instantiated by his battered and bloody face ; while his raised arms instantiate his Ability --
the martial merit, virile value, and warrior worth, he needs -- to Defeat his Opponent.

Fighting Manhood is the Ardent Willingness, and Requisite Ability, to Fight.

So :

Areté is goodness or excellence of any kind, but especially of manly, that is to say Fighterly and Warrior, qualities, manhood, valour, prowess.

Which means that the areté of a Man is Manhood, Fighting Manhood, whose two constituents are Valour -- Willingness ; and Prowess -- Ability.

Manhood is the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

And, Liddell and Scott say, areté is excellence, "esp. of manly qualities," which means that the areté, the excellence, of a Man is Manly Excellence, a unique excellence which belongs to the Man precisely because he's Willing and Able -- to Fight.

And Liddell and Scott reinforce what they've said by adding :

From the same root [ARES] come areté, ari-, areion [better -- stronger, braver, more Manly], aristos [best -- strongest, bravest, most Manly], the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus

Manhood, Bravery in War

Lord Ares -- the God of Battle, Fight, War -- is the source of Areté / Areta -- Excellence, which, in the human male, is Manhood, Bravery in War, Courage in Combat, Fortitude in Fight -- Manly qualities which encompass Willingness and Ability.

Fighting -- Man2Man and Hand2Hand -- is the root and source of Areta -- Manly Excellence, which is Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood.

To make this as clear as possible, then, the areté of an eye is sight, vision ; and we can, if we wish, call that Ocular Excellence.

While the areté of an ear is hearing -- which we can call Aural Excellence.

But the Excellence of a Man is Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- which we call Manly Excellence because it derives from and is inextricably intertwined with Manhood, the Man's Ardent Willingness and Requisite Ability to Fight.

Again, Manhood is the Willingness and Ability to Fight ; and

the Man is Manly *precisely because* he's Willing and Able -- to Fight.

That's what the words mean, and you should learn and know those definitions :

Manhood is the Willingness and Ability to Fight

and

The Man is Manly precisely because he's Willing and Able -- to Fight

So that when speaking of Man, and of Man's Soul, there's no question that to the Greeks, as to us, the Areta of a Man -- is Manhood.

The presence or realization of Manly Excellence is the Adventus -- the arrival -- of Manhood, Fighting Manhood ; its absence is, in Greek, an-andria -- the want or lack of Manhood, UN-manliness.

And un-manliness is as devastating to the human male as blindness to the eye, and deafness to the ear.

Nevertheless, and no matter how many times I say that, the vast majority of you remain willfully deaf and blind.

And willfully UN-manly.

And will for all your lives.

Let's get back to Prof Bowra :

Bowra:

A good man, the poet Simonides wrote, was "truly noble, in hands and feet and mind, fashioned foursquare without blemish."

According to this Ideal of Manhood, public honor [Worth -- Timé] and private honor [also Worth -- Timé] were intimately related. A man owed it to himself to display his best qualities and be recognized for them, and the praise he received for his actions was a mark of his success. But success was not only a personal reward : it was an obligation he owed his city. If a man died [in battle, died Fighting] for his city's honor, he was a "good" man. And during his lifetime he was expected to keep its laws, do nothing to disgrace it, maintain a certain sobriety of behavior among his fellows, and be worthy of his ancestry and his upbringing. In this view of "goodness," what are now considered strictly moral virtues were less important than the social ones, and mattered only when moral failure brought shame upon a man and his class.

Notice that Prof Bowra once again puts the words "good" and "goodness" in quotation marks.

That's because, as I said before, of the disconnect between our view of goodness, and that of the Greeks.

To us, good and goodness exclude Fighting and that which relates to Fighting, because Fighting is "bad."

To the Greeks, Good and Goodness were inextricably intertwined with Fighting, which, in the form of Fighting Manhood (along with Worth, which reduces to Fighting Manhood), was at the core of their ethical system, as Prof Bowra makes clear just a bit further on.

Prof Bowra:

If a man died [in battle, died Fighting] for his city's honor, he was a "good" man. And during his lifetime he was expected to keep its laws, do nothing to disgrace it, maintain a certain sobriety of behavior among his fellows, and be worthy of his ancestry and his upbringing. In this view of "goodness," what are now considered strictly moral virtues were less important than the social ones, and mattered only when moral failure brought shame upon a man and his class. The aristocratic Ideal of Manhood was wide and generous. It did not limit "goodness" to a specific field of behavior, but simply expected a Man to be in every sense a Man.

Let's repeat that, because it sure bears repeating :

The aristocratic Ideal of Manhood was wide and generous. It did not limit goodness to a specific field of behavior, but simply expected a Man to be in every sense a Man.

However, and having repeated those lines, it must be said that while "The aristocratic Ideal of Manhood . . . didn't limit goodness to a specific field of behavior," it did most certainly link Manly Goodness to a specific field of behavior, and that was Fighting.

As Liddell and Scott say :

Αρετη Αρης

From the same root [ARES] come areté, ari-, areion [better -- stronger, braver, more Manly], aristos [best -- strongest, bravest, most Manly], the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus

So, and to repeat, Lord Ares -- the God of Battle, Fight, War -- is the source of Areté / Areta -- Excellence, which, in the human male, is Manhood.

Fighting -- Man2Man and Hand2Hand -- is the root and source of Areta -- Manly Excellence, which is Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood.

Which is why "the first notion of goodness is that of manhood, bravery in war.

And, Liddell and Scott re-inforce that point by saying that areté is

goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess, Hom., Hdt. (like Lat. vir-tus, from vir).

So :

The First Notion of Goodness is that of Manhood, Bravery in War, which is Fighting ; thus The First Notion of Goodness is Fighting Manhood.

While areté when used by the ancient Greeks means goodness, excellence, of any kind, but esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess -- Prowess being Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability -- in Combat.

Again, Areté, that Manly Goodness which constitutes the Excellence of a Man, is Fighting Manhood.

So : among the Greeks and the Greek Warrior Aristocracy, for a Man to be in every sense a Man required above all that he Fight -- as Prof Bowra makes abundantly clear in this next passage.

And remember as you read it that what Prof Bowra calls "honor" is more properly defined as Worth -- Timé -- the Worth which accrues to a Man through Prowess -- which, again, is Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability -- in Combat.

Prof Bowra:

When civic and personal honor were this closely connected, an affront to one was an affront to the other. The city's interests were identified with personal interests. This helps to explain the Greek propensity for war. Although Men went to war initially because their cities' reputations were at stake, they also did so for personal gain and for personal satisfaction. The Fighting was essentially hand-to-hand, taxing a Man to his utmost, physically and mentally. Thus war gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows. His prowess not only gained him their admiration [Worth -- Timé] but also brought honor [Worth -- Timé] to his city and was in equal measure a source of pride [Worth -- Timé] to himself and his family. Some idea of the intensity of this public pridefulness can be gotten from an epitaph on a stone slab in a tomb, dating from about 600 B.C., found on the island of Corcyra. It honors the courage in battle of a warrior felled by Ares, the God of War :

This is the tomb of Arniadas. Him flashing-eyed Ares destroyed as he fought by the ships at the streams of Aratthus, displaying the highest valor [aristeia] amid the groans and shouts of War.

To die in battle was regarded as a fitting end to life, the right way to defy life's brevity. And when a Greek died in the defense of his city's honor, his name gained even greater dignity [Worth -- Timé]. He was mourned by his fellowmen, commemorated by a public memorial and thenceforth held in the highest esteem. Greeks in general thought only vaguely about life after death, and most men seemed doubtful that any existed. It was not for hope of heaven that they died so willingly in battle, but rather because death in this form was ennobling in itself.

CM Bowra:

"The Fighting was essentially hand-to-hand, taxing a Man to his utmost, physically and mentally. Thus war gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows. His prowess not only gained him their admiration [Worth -- Timé] but also brought honor [Worth -- Timé] to his city and was in equal measure a source of pride [Worth -- Timé] to himself and his family."

Bill Weintraub:

The ultimate test of Manly Goodness -- Manhood -- is always to be found in Fighting -- as, and to repeat, Liddell and Scott say :

Αρετη Αρης

[Areté is] goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess (like Lat. virtus, from vir)

. . .

From the same root [ARES] come areté, ari-, areion [better], aristos [best], the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus.

"like Lat. virtus," they say ; cf. (compare to) Latin virtus.

Andreia, Areté, Virtus.

Fighting Manhood : Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Manly Virtue.

Jaeger :

The Greek nobles believed that the real test of manly virtue [Areté] was victory in battle -- a victory which was not merely the physical conquest of an enemy, but the proof of hard-won areté.

Bowra :

Although men went to war initially because their cities' reputations were at stake, they also did so for personal gain and for personal satisfaction. The Fighting was essentially hand-to-hand, taxing a Man to his utmost, physically and mentally. Thus war gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows. His prowess not only gained him their admiration [Worth -- Timé] but also brought honor [also Worth -- Timé] to his city and was in equal measure a source of pride [Worth -- Timé] to himself and his family. Some idea of the intensity of this public pridefulness can be gotten from an epitaph on a stone slab in a tomb, dating from about 600 B.C., found on the island of Corcyra. It honors the courage in battle of a warrior felled by Ares, the God of War:
This is the tomb of Arniadas. Him flashing-eyed Ares destroyed as he fought by the ships at the streams of Aratthus, displaying the highest valor [aristeia] amid the groans and shouts of war.

Jaeger :

[T]he areté of a hero is completed only in his death. Areté exists in mortal man. Areté is mortal man. But it survives the mortal, and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his areté which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.

Translation :

[T]he Manly Excellence, Goodness, and Virtue of a hero is completed only in his death. Manly Virtue exists in mortal man. Manly Virtue is mortal man. But it survives the mortal, and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his Fighting Manhood which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.

Arniadas' Manly Virtue, his Manly Goodness and Manly Excellence, was completed only in this death, when he displayed "the highest valor -- the hightest aristeia -- amid the groans and shouts of war."

Arniadas' physical form was destroyed as he fought by the streams of Arrathus ;

But his Manly Virtue survives the mortal, and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his Fighting Manhood which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.

And that's what his grave stele is about.

And you can see a picture of the stele of Arniadas here.

I have my own favorite among such epitaphs, and it's this one, from Gerber's Greek Elegiac Poetry, dated to the 3rd century BC :

Stranger, the dust that brings glory to men conceals here in its bosom Timocritus [Timé - critos = Worth Chosen], honoured [timao -- deemed Worthy] by the Muses. For when the brave man [agathos] came into conflict with the sons of the Aetolians on behalf of his homeland, it was his desire either to be victorious [nikao] or to die. He fell among the front ranks [promachos] and left his father with pain beyond measure, but he did not lose sight of his noble [kala] upbringing [paideia]. Taking to heart the Spartan declaration of Tyrtaios, he chose valour [areta -- Fighting Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence] ahead of life [bios].

So again, it's Timocritus, the Worth Chosen, who chooses Worth by putting Fighting Manhood and its Manly Goodness and Manly Excellence, ahead of Life.

Having prayed for Victory or Death, He Fights and Falls in the Front Ranks, thus honoring his Noble -- that is, Selfless -- Upbringing.

There are many inscriptions like this one, including, as we'll see, among Fight "Sport" Athletes, Agonists, and they speak to the ubiquity, as well as longevity, of the Dominant Masculinist Culture of Fighting Manhood, which consistently taught Men, both Greek and Roman, to choose Manhood, Glory, Worth, and Honor -- over sensual pleasure, over money, and over length of days.

That culture was highly idealistic, its idealism rooted in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

Which is why Werner Jaeger refers, correctly, to its "permanent truth and indestructible ideality."

The Truth and Ideals of the Warrior Kosmos are permanent -- and indestructible.


Now :

Before getting into the meat of Chapter Three, which is an extended discussion of Areté / Areta, and just how it is a Man realizes his Areta, that is, just how it is a male becomes a Man -- let's return to Plato's Thumos -- the great philosopher's own vision, and described in his usual exquisite prose, of that Fighting Spirit which, in tandem with Manly Reason, rules the Male Soul :

"[W]hen a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit [Thumos -- Fighting Spirit] in that case seethe and grow fierce (and also because of his suffering hunger, cold and the like) and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go until either it achieves its purpose, or death ends all, or, as a dog is called back by a shepherd, it is called back by the reason within and calmed."

"Your similitude is perfect," he said, "and it confirms our former statements that the helpers [epikouros -- assisters, allies επικουρος -- warriors] are as it were dogs subject to the rulers who are as it were the shepherds of the city."

"You apprehend my meaning excellently," said I. "But do you also take note of this? -- That what we now think about the spirited element is just the opposite of our recent surmise. For then we supposed it to be a part of the appetitive, but now, far from that, we say that, in the factions of the soul, it much rather marshals itself on the side of the reason."

"By all means," he said.

"Is it then distinct from this too, or is it a form of the rational, so that there are not three but two kinds in the soul, the rational [logistikos] and the appetitive, or just as in the city there were three existing kinds that composed its structure, the moneymakers, the helpers [warriors], the counsellors, so also in the soul there exists a third kind, this principle of high spirit [thumoeides], which is the helper of reason by nature unless it is corrupted by evil nurture?"

"We have to assume it as a third," he said.

"Yes," said I, "provided it shall have been shown to be something different from the rational, as it has been shown to be other than the appetitive."

"That is not hard to be shown," he said; "for that much one can see in children, that they are from their very birth chock-full of rage and high spirit, but as for reason, some of them, to my thinking, never participate in it, and the majority quite late."

~Plat. Rep. 4.439e, translated by Shorey.

This, of course, is the critical passage :

[W]hen a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit [Thumos -- Fighting Spirit] in that case seethe and grow fierce and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go until either it achieves its purpose, or death ends all.

If we apply those lines to the serviceman, Spencer Stone, who attacked and neutralized the terrorist, we can see very plainly that, having seen the terrorist with an assault weapon, Spencer allowed his thumos, his fighting spirit, to seethe and grow fierce, and make itself the ally of what he knew to be just, and attacked the terrorist.

Plato : "and in noble [gennaios] souls Fighting Spirit endures and wins the victory and will not let go until either it achieves its purpose, or death ends all."

And indeed, Stone told the press that "He [the terrorist] seemed like he was ready to fight to the end, and so were we."

"In noble souls Fighting Spirit endures and wins the victory and will not let go until it achieves its purpose."

That's what Mr Stone and his friends did.

They endured and won the victory.

And they couldn't have done that without Thumos -- without Manly Fighting Spirit.

As Paul Shorey himself says : Thumos is the power of noble wrath, the capacity for righteous indignation, without which the soul -- and the Man -- cannot combat injustice.

And you're born with it.

As Glaucon observes -- "children . . .are from their very birth chock-full of rage and high spirit"

But it's probably the case that if you suppress that rage and high spirit often enough -- as you guys do -- it eventually atrophies and withers.

And, just by the by, for all of you still cowering out there, the 62-year-old Englishman who went to the aid of the three young Americans said, "Once you start moving, you're not afraid anymore."

You just have to start moving.

Now :

In his footnote to Plato's introduction of Thumos, the Principle of High Spirit which is Fighting Spirit, Platonist Paul Shorey refers us to Plato's Laws 731 B-C :

Let every one of us be ambitious [philonikia] to gain excellence [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence], but without jealousy. For a man of this character enlarges a State [polis -- city-state], since he strives hard himself and does not thwart the others by calumny [false accusation, slander] ; but the jealous man, thinking that calumny of others is the best way to secure his own superiority, makes less effort himself to win true excellence [which, again, is areté -- Manhood], and disheartens his rivals by getting them unjustly blamed ; whereby he causes the whole city-state to be ill-trained for competing in Manliness, and renders it, for his part, less large in fair repute.

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other men's wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

~Plat. Laws 5.731

So, in a very strong statement in the Laws, and one in which he clearly had Sparta in mind, Plato first urges that the citizens of a city-state -- and please remember that in a Greek city-state, the citizens were Men --

Plato first urges that the citizens of a city-state contend -- compete -- to attain the highest degree of Manliness and Manhood, but without jealousy and the slander which accompanies it.

Which is exactly and precisely what the Spartans did :

Charillus
Eighth-century Eurypontid [Spartan] king, also called Charilaus

When someone asked him what type of government he considered to be the best [aristos -- the most Manly], he said, 'The one in which the largest number of citizens are willing to compete [agonizomai -- contend, fight, struggle] with each other in Areté -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- and without civil discord.'

~ Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans, 68.4, translated by Talbert.

That system was very effective.

The "citizens," who at Sparta were the Warriors, were encouraged, from their earliest moments in the agogé, to compete in both aggression -- Manliness, Manhood, Fighting Spirit -- and obedience.

Lendon :

Sparta was supreme in andreia.

Sparta was supreme in Manhood -- Fighting Manhood.

The Spartan Homoioi [from homoios] -- the Equals -- strove to create, through their uniquely Spartan institutions, which prized and rewarded both aggression and obedience aka harmony -- a Homonoia -- a Concord of Equals -- while year after year churning out the Manliest Warriors -- in Greece.

We can see those institutions and that Homonoia in action in this paragraph from Plutarch's Life of the Spartan king Agesilaus :

During the year that he spent in one of the companies [boua -- herds] of boys who were brought together under the Spartan system [the agogé], he had as his lover [the great Spartan general] Lysander, who was especially struck by his natural modesty and discretion [kosmios -- decorum, good order, moderation]. Agesilaus was more aggressive [philoneikos -- strife-loving] and hot-tempered [thumoeides -- courageous, full of fighting spirit] than his companions. He longed to be first in all things, and he had in him a vehemence [sphodros] and impetuosity [actually, fury -- ragdaios] which were inexhaustible [and none would contend with], and carried him over all obstacles ; yet at the same time he was so gentle and ready to obey authority [eupeitheo] that he did whatever was demanded of him. He acted in this way from a sense of honour, not of fear, and he was far more sensitive to rebuke than to any amount of hardship [ponos]. He was lame in one leg, but the beauty of his physique in the prime of his youth made the deformity pass almost unnoticed, and the ease and light-heartedness with which he endured it went far to compensate for the disability, since he was the first to joke and make fun of himself on this subject. In fact his lameness served to reveal his ambition [PhiloTimia -- his Love of Worth] even more clearly, since he never allowed it to deter him from any enterprise, however arduous it might turn out. . . .

~Plut. Ages. 2.1-2, translated by Scott-Kilvert.

So : Agesilaus is aggressive -- philoneikos, he has a love of strife and contention -- and "hot-tempered" -- and the word is Plato's, thumoeides, courageous, full of fighting spirit ; as a consequence, Agesilaus longs to be first in all things -- just as Plato says he should -- with a vehemence and impetuosity -- the latter word in Greek is actually "fury" -- and in Chapter VI we'll discuss the Latin word furor -- a hallmark of the young Warrior -- which are inexhaustible and which none want to contend with, and which, as a consequence, carry him over all obstacles ;

while, at the same time, Agesilaus is ready to obey authority and do whatever is demanded of him, not out of fear, but from a sense of honour ;

and he's far more sensitive to rebuke than to any amount of hardship.

In other words, Agesilaus advances in Manly Excellence, in Fighting Manhood, not through calumny, not through slandering his fellow boys, but through a combination of Aggression -- Fighting Spirit -- Plato's thumos -- and Obedience -- which is really an expression of Harmony with both his fellows in the agogé and the Spartan "system" -- Ta Kala -- The Noble Way -- in general.

So :

Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is the goal ; and it's best achieved in a society which values and creates order, harmony, discipline, and restraint.

And notice, in Plutarch's account of Agesilaus, the many words we see which we frequently encounter in discussions of Spartan Warrior Culture -- and in Plato :

Greek Warrior Culture, and particularly Spartan Warrior Culture, is consistent -- it wants its Youth and Men to be strife-loving and contentious, courageous and full of fighting spirit ; to never shirk from toil, physical labor, or the hardship of battle --

While pursuing Worth and Honor within a system which encourages decorum, modesty, good order, restraint, discipline, and harmony.

So : The Spartans want their boys -- and their Men -- to be

  • PhiloNeikos -- strife-loving ;

  • PhiloNikos -- contention- and rivalry-loving ;

  • PhiloTimos -- Worth -- the Worth which accrues to a Man or boy through Prowess -- Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability in Combat -- Worth-Loving ; as well as

  • philoponos -- labor-loving ; and,

  • eupeitheo -- always ready to obey.

Because if you're going to have so much aggression, you also have to have ready obedience -- as a means of curbing that aggression.

That's why the Spartan king, Charillus, says, The best State is 'The one in which the largest number of Warriors are willing to compete, contend, fight, and struggle with each other in Fighting Manhood -- and without civil discord -- without disrupting the Good Order and Good Harmony of the State.'

And that in turn is why, in the Laws, albeit four centuries later, Plato says,

Let every one of us be ambitious [philonikia - victory-loving] to gain excellence [areté -- Manhood, Manly Excellence], but without jealousy. For a man of this character enlarges a State [polis -- city-state], since he strives hard himself and does not thwart the others by calumny [false accusation, slander] . . .

And, Plato then says, no doubt thinking of his beloved Dion, that every man should be both passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree ; and,

That Thumos gennaios -- high-minded passion, noble anger -- which again, is an expression of Fighting Spirit -- is what enables and indeed is necessary for a Man to escape from other males' wrongdoing -- through victorious Fighting and Self-Defense -- which includes rigorous punishment of the wrong-doer.

Again, this is a strong statement by a strong Man and a Warrior, and one with an eye on the Homeric past, calling upon Men to strive -- essentially, to compete, but without jealousy or rancour -- for Manhood -- Morally Just Fighting Manhood -- and saying that you can't, in this chaotic world of becoming, escape the wrongdoing of others -- other than through Victorious Fighting and Self-Defense -- and by rigorous punishment of malefactors -- and that no soul can achieve this without high-minded passion, noble anger, righteous indignation, fighting spirit.

And remember, please, that Thumos means spirit, and that Thumos gennaios -- that noble anger which leads to noble deeds -- is a SPIRITUAL quality.

That's what it is.

It's spiritual.

So that in terms of Unitary Virtue, it can be thought of as Hallowed Fighting Manhood in the service of Restraint, Discipline, and Manly Moral Order.

Thumos gennaios -- noble anger, righteous indignation -- is a spiritual quality, a quality of the Warrior's Soul, originating of necessity in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, and mediated by Lord Ares so as to enable the Warrior's actions in the world of becoming.

Sallustius :

The Gods are always good and help us ; they never harm us.

The God -- in this case, Ares -- exists to help the human being -- in this case the Warrior -- to overcome the chaos of embodiment in the world of becoming.

How?

In part, through imitation :

We, when we are good, are by our likeness given union with them ; if we become bad, we are separated from them.

. . .

These considerations decide the problem of worship. The Gods need nothing ; the honours we pay them are for our own benefit. Their providence extends everywhere, and all who are fit may enjoy it.

Fitness is obtained by imitation.

Which is why Plato says homoiosis Theo -- to be like to God -- or to a God.

And when Plato says "homoiosis Theo," he's talking about, in part, Thumos gennaios -- a very Militant and Manly Warrior Righteousness :

God is in no wise and in no manner unrighteous [adikos], but utterly and perfectly righteous [dikaiotatos = most righteous = superlative of dikaios], and there is nothing so like him as that one of us who in turn becomes most nearly perfect in righteousness [that is to say, no one of us is so like unto God as the one who becomes most nearly perfect in the expression of Manly Moral Order -- which is Manly Moral Righteousness.]

It's here that the superficiality of a male -- his worthlessness, his nothingness, his complete want of Manhood -- is found ; for the Knowledge of Righteousness, of Manly Moral Order, is Wisdom -- that is, True Manhood ; and ignorance of it is willful blindness and manifest and excremental wickedness ; and all the other kinds of seeming cleverness and wisdom are paltry when they appear in public affairs and vulgar in the arts.

And then we come back to Plato's statement in the Laws :

Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

And having read that statement by Plato in the Laws, we can better understand his earlier statement in the Republic, that the Guardians of his ideal city -- his Republic -- will settle their personal disputes -- through fist-fights.

Π Υ Γ Μ Α Χ Ι Α

F i s t - F i g h t s

Pugmachia

So :

In Book V of the Republic, Plato is discussing how the "Guardians" -- the Warrior Caste of his ideal city-state -- and ideal Men -- will possess nothing, not even wives or children -- and that this will keep them free of dissensions and disputes :

"Then will not law-suits and accusations against one another vanish, one may say, from among them, because they have nothing in private possession but their bodies, but all else in common? So that we can count on their being free from the dissensions that arise among men from the possession of property, children, and kin."

"They will necessarily be quit of these," he said.

"And again, there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For as between age-fellows [helix -- men of the same age, comrades] we shall say that self-defence [amuno -- to defend oneself, to repel an assault] is honorable [kalon -- morally beautiful] and just [dikaios]

  • Dikaios : right, lawful, just ; well-ordered, observant of custom and social rule, civilised ; observant of right, righteous, in accordance with right, decent

    δικαιος

"And again, there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For as between age-fellows [men of the same age, comrades] we shall say that self-defence [to defend oneself, to repel an assault] is morally beautiful [kalon] and just, well-ordered, and righteous [dikaios], thereby compelling them to keep their bodies in condition."

"Right," he said.

"And there will be the further advantage in such a law that an angry man, satisfying his anger in such wise, would be less likely to carry the quarrel to further extremes."

"Assuredly."

"As for an older man, he will always have the charge of ruling and chastising the younger."

~Plat. Rep. 5.464e, translated by Shorey

Let's play that again.

Plato, the greatest thinker of his age, and many believe, any age, is saying that among the Warriors in his ideal state,

there could not rightly arise among them any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For between age-fellows[1] and comrades we shall say that to defend oneself, to repel an assault is morally beautiful and just, well-ordered, and righteous, thereby compelling them to keep their bodies in condition.

And you'll notice that the translator, Paul Shorey, has a footnote after the word for age-mate/comrade -- which reads as follows :

[1] Cf. [compare] A.J.P. vol. xiii. p. 364, Aeschines iii. 255, Xenophon Rep. Lac. 4. 5, Laws 880 A.

So, Shorey refers us back to Xenophon's account of the Strife of Valour, erin peri aretes;, the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood, in "Rep. Lac. 4.5" [ = Lakedaimonian Republic 4.5] :

Here then you find that kind of strife that is Dearest to, Most Beloved of, the Gods [Theophilestatos], and in the highest sense political -- the strife that sets the standard of a brave man's conduct ; and in which either party exerts itself [askeo -- either party practices, exercises, trains itself] to the end that it may never fall below its best [kratistos -- its strongest, its mightiest, its most powerful], and that, when the time comes, every member of it may support the state with all his might [sthenos -- strength, might and power].

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.5

And they are bound, too, to keep themselves fit [euexia], for one effect of the strife is that they fight [pukteuo -- strike with the fist] whenever they meet [symballo -- to bring men together in hostile sense, to set them together, match them : to join in fight, come to blows] ; but anyone present has a right to part the combatants.

~Xen. Const. Lac. 4.6

So -- what both Plato and Xenophon are saying -- and it's truly eye-opening for Men like ourselves, living in the times we do --

is that Fist Fights -- and these are Fist Fights -- Xenephon tells us so by his use of the word pukteuo -- strike with the fist -- which derives from puktes boxer, fist-fighter --

and there's a bunch of similar, very similar words among the Romans, including pugil, pugillor, pugna, pugnator, pugnax, pugno, and pugnus -- so you can see how common and socially-sanctioned fist-fighting was --

and in Laws 880 A, which Shorey also refers us to, Plato says explicitly that "the man attacked shall defend himself with bare hands, as nature dictates, and without a weapon" ;

So -- what both Plato and Xenophon are saying -- and it's truly eye-opening for Men like ourselves, living in the times we do --

is that Fist Fights to settle disputes -- are both Morally Beautiful -- and Just, Well-Ordered, and Righteous -- and Dearest to the Gods, and in the Highest Sense, Political.

Why?

Because in a Warriordom powered by a Warrior World of Being, a Warrior Kosmos, such Fights express Thumos gennaios -- high-minded passion and noble anger -- which are spiritual qualities :

when a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit in that case seethe and grow fierce and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios -- high-minded] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go

So that Plato is envisioning -- as is Xenophon -- FIGHTS -- between two (or more) guys -- equally NOBLE and HIGH-MINDED -- whose spirits -- Fighting Spirits -- have seethed and grown fierce -- because they believe themselves to have been wronged -- in the case of Plato ; or,

In the case of Xenophon -- because they believe they are right -- their spirits have seethed and grown fierce because they believe they have more Timé, and that they're more capable of ta kala -- acts of moral beauty -- acts of Fighting Moral Beauty -- than their opponents --

and that therefore it's right and politic and above all Dearest to, Most Beloved of, the Gods that these Men be Thrown Together, Matched Together, in Fight and decide the issue with their Fists.

To Xenophon, this sort of Fighting isn't simply loved by the Gods, but is Most Beloved by the Gods.

And when Xenophon, who's very religious, says something like that in reference to the Gods, he most emphatically means it.

He couldn't be more sincere or more devout in what he says and what he believes.

So :

Plato's view of Fighting -- *like Xenophon's* -- is, at least in this instance -- that it's an essentially NOBLE and HIGH-MINDED pursuit.

Which of course makes such Fighting -- Morally Beautiful.

And -- Plato's use of the word dikaios says that such Fighting isn't just Morally Beautiful, but Socially Beautiful -- that it's well-ordered, civilized, observant of right, and righteous.

And when, as he very often does, Plato uses the word "just," that is, dikaios, to mean well-ordered, what he's referencing, once again, is a Manly Moral Order, which is, ultimately, a Form or Ideal in the Warrior Kosmos, the Warrior World of Being.

A Manly Moral Order --

A Warrior Moral Order.

Both Plato's and Xenophon's view -- their conception -- of FIGHTING -- is WARRIOR.

Because, to the Warrior, Fighting, which originates from and is the gift of Lord Ares, isn't just physical -- it's SPIRITUAL.



There's a lot more material and information in Chapter 2, particularly about Alexander the Great, and again, it's vital that you review it.

The chapter ends with a discussion of the Attributes of Fighting Manhood.

This is an updated version of the discussion as it appears in the Word List :

  • Attributes : The Attributes and Qualities of Fighting Manhood

    Writing in 1890, classicist Charlton Lewis defined Manhood in a list of fifteen attributes of the Ideal Man.

    In 1921, Prof Fowler, also a classicist, said, in a Translator's Note, that the Greek word Andreia, that is, Manhood,

    embraces all qualities which are desirable in a perfect man, especially the more active and positive virtues.

    We can, then, easily and comfortably combine what Lewis and Fowler said, in a list of the Attributes of Manhood, the Qualities of the Ideal Man, the Perfect Warrior, grouped under four categories : Vigour, Valour, Virtue, and Value :

    • Vigour :

      Strength

      Might

      Power

      Mastery

      Potency

    • Valour :

      Ardent and Eager Willingness to Fight

      Gallantry : Nobility -- that is to say, Selflessness -- of Spirit and Action

      Fortitude : The Manliness needed to Undertake and Endure Hardship

    • Virtue :

      Manly Goodness -- which is Fighting Manhood

      High Moral Character

      Manfully Moral Perfection, including Moral Self-Control [Enkrateia] and Manly Temperance [Sophrosyne].

    • Value :

      Martial Merit

      Virile Value

      Warrior Worth : Timé -- Worth which accrues to a Man through his Prowess, his Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability in Combat.

    So -- in the last of the categories, we see Ability or Skill, which is what gives a Warrior a significant part of his Value, Merit, and Worth, in a Fight.

    While Valour is about the Willingness, the Ardent Eagerness, to Fight.

    In between are Vigour -- the Excellence of the Manly Body ;

    And Virtue -- the Excellence of the Manly Soul.

    When, in an ancient text you see the Greek words Andreia Ανδρεια or Areté / Areta Αρετη / Αρετα, the latter used in the context of a human male ; or the Latin word Virtus -- you need to understand that all three mean Manhood in all its attributes, and that any other translation -- be it valour, virtue, courage, esteem, etc -- is inadequate and misleading.

    For, as Prof Fowler says,

    The word andreia has a much wider meaning than the English "courage."

    And a much wider meaning than the words "valour, virtue, esteem," etc

    Andreia embraces all the Qualities which are desirable in a Perfect Man, especially the more Active and Positive Virile Virtues and Noble Excellences.

    Finally, we should be clear that in a Warrior Society, and indeed in any society, the core attribute of Manliness will always be the Willingness and Ability to Fight :

    That is, the Willingness to Physically Confront an Opponent, and the Ability to Physically Defeat Him, in a One-on-One, Skin-on-Skin, Face-to-Face, Man2Man Fight.

  • True MANLINESS is the ability and willingness to FIGHT.























    ωe're now at Chapter III Part II of Book V -- Biblion Pempton -- of our Lexicon of Manhood.

    Once again, it's important that you read Chapter III Part I -- before reading Part II.

    Because there's new information in Part I -- from classicist CM Bowra and Pindarist Wm Race -- which you need to know.

    That said, we're now ready to examine in-depth Areté / Areta -- which, for a human male, is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood --

    And to do that, we're going to look at a passage from Plato's Gorgias, one of the two most important books -- the other is the Republic -- which Plato wrote about Ethics.

    About Virtue.

    Goodness.

    Which is, as we'll see, Manly Goodness --

    Which is Manly Excellence --

    Which is Manly Virtue --

    Which is Fighting Manhood.

    The First Notion of Goodness, as Liddell and Scott say.

    And when speaking of that First Notion of Goodness in relationship to Plato, the primary thing to remember is that Plato's ethics are Warrior Ethics, his Ethical Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom -- as eminent classicist and historian Werner Jaeger confirms :

    In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece.

    "In many details," says Prof Jaeger -- not just the broad outlines, but in the details -- Plato and Aristotle's ethical doctrines are "founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece."

    That is to say, on the Homeric aristocracy of Greece -- the Warrior Aristocracy of the Iliad, the ancient epic whose battles were fought perhaps 800 years before Plato lived ; which served as a model for all subsequent Greeks ; and whose greatest Warrior was Achilles, Beloved of Patroklos.

    So :

    "The ethical doctrines of Plato" -- what I call his Warrior Wisdom -- "were founded on the aristocratic morality" -- that is, the Warrior Morality, the Warrior Code -- "of early" -- that is, Homeric -- "Greece" ; of which Sparta's Ta Kala -- The Noble Way, The Noble Spartan Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty -- was, in Plato's day, the most complete and comprehensive survival -- thus, Plato's oft-stated admiration for and frequent borrowing from Spartan practice :

    • Should you choose, again, to look at the self-control [sophrosyne] and orderliness [kosmiotes], the fortitude [euchereia] and good temper [eukolia], the magnanimity [megalophrosyne] and discipline [eutaxia], the courage [andreia -- Manhood, Perfect Manhood -- and please review the translator's note if you still don't understand why "courage" is an inadequate translation of andreia] and endurance [karteria], and the toil-loving [philoponia], success-loving [philonikia -- love of victory, rivalry, contentiousness], honor-loving [PhiloTimia -- Worth-Loving] spirit of the Spartans, you would count yourself but a child in all these things.

      ~Plat. Alc. 1 122c, translated by Lamb.

    • In the first place, none [of the Guardians, the Warrior Caste of the Republic,] must possess any private property save the indispensable. Secondly, none must have any habitation or treasure-house which is not open for all to enter at will. Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes [andres -- men -- athletai -- prizefighters, combatants, champions] of war, sober [sophron] and brave [andreios -- Manly], they must receive as an agreed stipend from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship, so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack. And resorting to a common mess like soldiers on campaign they will live together.

      Gold and silver, we will tell them, they have of the divine quality from the Gods always in their souls, and they have no need of the metal of men nor does holiness suffer them to mingle and contaminate that heavenly possession with the acquisition of mortal gold, since many impious deeds have been done about the coin of the multitude, while that which dwells within them is unsullied. But for these only of all the dwellers in the city it is not lawful to handle gold and silver and to touch them nor yet to come under the same roof with them, nor to hang them as ornaments on their limbs nor to drink from silver and gold.

      So living they would save themselves and save their city.

      ~Plat. Rep. 3.416d-417a, translated by Shorey.

    Those ethical doctrines, says Jaeger, have

    permanent truth and indestructible ideality

    And, he adds,

    [I]n many respects Aristotle, like the Greeks of all ages [including his teacher Plato and his student Alexander the Great], has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters, and he develops his ideals after the heroic patterns.

    Aristotle "has his gaze fixed on Homer's characters, and he develops his ideals" -- ideals of permanent truth and indestructible ideality -- "after the heroic patterns."

    Heroic -- Warrior -- Patterns.

    Which express Ethical Standards of Permanent Truth and Indestructible Ideality --

    Permanently True and Indestructibly Ideal --

    Because they reside in and emanate from the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, which is the purest of all the Worlds of Being.

    And the purest of those Ideals --

    is the Ideal of Manhood.

    Which is the Sanction :

    the consideration, principle, or influence which impels to moral action and determines moral judgment

    In order to understand that Ideal of Manhood -- which some Greeks called Areté and others, the Dorian Greeks, called Areta --

    and in order to understand how it is that Men realize that Ideal of Manhood --

    we're going to, in this Third Chapter of Book V of our Lexicon of Manhood, take a very close look, as I said, at a critical passage in the Gorgias, which, as I'm sure you all remember, features a fierce debate between Sokrates, the proponent of Virtue and Temperance, and Kallikles, a hot-headed hedonist and ethical-nihilist -- who believes in licentiousness -- and power.

    But before looking at the Gorgias, which was written in the 4th century BC, we're going to examine some passages from the Life of the Spartan Law-giver known in English as Lycurgus -- in ancient Greek as Lykourgos -- a Life which was written in the 1st century AD by Plutarch, a very devoted student and follower of Plato.

    And we're going to start in medias res, in the middle of the Life, Chapter 13, where Plutarch discusses Lykourgos' rhetras, his unwritten laws which were so important to the Spartans :



    ΒΙΟΣ ΛΥΚΟΥΡΓΟΥ

    Plutarch:

    None of his laws were put into writing by Lykourgos, indeed, one of the so-called rhetras forbids it. For he thought that if the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity [eudaimonia -- happiness] and virtue [Areté -- Manliness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood ; if you still don't understand why "virtue" is an inadequate translation of Areté, please review the article on Understanding the Core Position and Actual Meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood, the Translator's Note, and the Lexicon entry for the Attributes and Qualities of Fighting Manhood] --

    None of his laws were put into writing by Lykourgos, indeed, one of the so-called rhetras forbids it. For he thought that if the most important [megistos] and binding [kuriotatos -- having the most power, being the most dominant, being supreme] principles which conduce to the Happiness and Manliness of a city were implanted in the habits [ethos] and training [agogé] of its citizens [polites -- all citizens were male], they would remain unchanged [akinetos] and secure [bebaios], having a stronger [ischyros] bond [desmos] than compulsion [ananke -- necessity, constraint] in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by education [paideusis -- training and discipline], which performs the office of a law-giver [nomothetes] for every one of them.

    ~Plut. Lyc. 13.1, translated by Perrin.

    Bill Weintraub:

    This is a very important paragraph from Plutarch's Life of Lykourgos, important because it gives us insight into how Warrior Societies think about the training and upbringing of the young Warrior, and because too, as you'll see, Plato, whose ethics are Warrior ethics, strongly agrees with and indeed echoes, as he often does, Spartan practice.

    That said, some commentators have trouble with this paragraph, thinking that Plutarch somehow contradicts himself in the last clause of the second sentence.

    He does not.

    What Plutarch is saying is quite clear :

    Lykourgos didn't put his laws, his rhetrai, into writing, and indeed one of the rhetrai forbids doing so.

    For Lykourgos thought that if those principles which were the most important, the strongest, and the most powerful in bringing about the Happiness and Manliness of a city-state were implanted in the habits and training -- the agogé -- which is defined by Liddell and Scott as the "direction, training, esp. of the public education of the Spartan youth, Λακωνικη αγωγη" --

    So -- if those principles which were the most important, the strongest, and the most powerful in bringing about the Happiness and Manliness of a city-state were implanted in the habits, direction, and agogic training, that is, the public education, of the Spartan youth -- which was primarily physical and oral, that is, spoken, rather than written -- those principles would remain unchanged and secure in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by paideusis -- which can mean education in any and all of its aspects, including book-learning, but which here clearly means education as training, direction, and discipline -- the agogé -- which, Plutarch adds, performs the office of a law-giver [nomothetes] for every one of the youthful and someday-to-be-adult Warriors.

    So :

    Lykourgos didn't put his laws, his rhetrai, into writing, and indeed one of the rhetrai forbids doing so.

    For Lykourgos thought that if those principles which were the most important, the strongest, and the most powerful in bringing about the Happiness and Manliness of a city-state were implanted in the habits, direction, and agogic training of the Spartan youth -- which was primarily physical and spoken rather than written -- those principles would remain unchanged and secure in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by the agogic training, discipline, and education, which is stronger than compulsion, and which performs the office of a law-giver [nomothetes] for every one of the Warriors, both those who are youthful and those who are adults.

    And while I don't want to belabor the point, I do want to make clear that Plutarch commonly uses the word for education -- paideusis -- and its opposite, want of education -- a-paideutos -- when referring to the agogé and Spartan devotion to the agogé :

    After the defeat [hessa -- derives from hesson] of Agis [the Spartan King Agis III, who wasn't just defeated, but was killed by the Macedonians in 331 BC], Antipater [,the Macedonian in charge of Greece while Alexander was in Asia,] demanded fifty boys [pentekonta paides] as hostages [homeros], but Eteocles, who was Ephor, said they would not give boys, lest the boys should turn out to be uneducated [apaideutos] through missing the traditional [patrios -- derived from one's fathers, hereditary] discipline [agogé -- discipline and upbringing, that being the public education, say Liddell and Scott, of the Spartan youth] ; and they would not be fitted for citizenship [polites -- only Warriors who'd been through the agogé could vote in the ekklesia and hold public office] either. But the Spartans would give, if he so desired, either old men or women to double the number. And when Antipater made dire [deinos] threats if he should not get the boys, the Spartans made answer [apokrino] with one consent [koinos -- in common, that is, shared, language], 'If the orders [epitasso] you lay upon us are harsher [chalepoteros] than death [thanatos], we shall find it easier [eukoloteros] to die [apothnesko].'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 69.54, translated by Babbitt.

    So :

    Sparta can't survive without its boys -- and the traditional, patristic, education of those boys -- tes patriou agoges της πατριου αγωγης -- for it's that which makes them Spartans.

    We would rather die than have that taken away from us, says Eteocles the Ephor ; and, he warns Antipater, if we do choose to die, we're going to take as many of your guys with us -- as we can.

    Training and education -- a certain sort of training and education, which is uniquely Spartan, and which is known to us as the agogé -- really matters.

    Which returns us to Lykourgos, who's the founder of this particular feast :

    Lykourgos didn't put his laws, his rhetrai, into writing, and indeed one of the rhetrai forbids doing so.

    For Lykourgos thought that if those principles which were the most important, the strongest, and the most powerful in bringing about the Happiness and Manliness of a city-state were implanted in the habits, direction, and agogic training of the Spartan youth -- which was primarily physical and spoken rather than written -- those principles would remain unchanged and secure in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by that agogic training, discipline, and education, which is stronger than compulsion, and which performs the office of a law-giver [nomothetes] for every one of the Warriors, both those who are youthful and those who are adults.

    And, we can very clearly see what Plutarch's saying by looking at a quote from Zeuxidamas, the son of a Spartan king who lived about three hundred years after Lykourgos had given the Spartans their rhetrai :

  • Zeuxidamus, probably son of Leotychidas II, Eurypontid King, ruled 491 - ca. 469 BC :

    When someone inquired why the Spartans kept the laws [nomoi] in regard to bravery [andreia -- Manhood -- once again, if you're not clear about why "bravery" is not an adequate translation of "andreia," you need to review the article on Understanding the Core Position and Actual Meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood, the Translator's Note, and the Lexicon entry for the Attributes and Qualities of Fighting Manhood] --

    When someone inquired why the Spartans kept the laws [nomoi] in regard to Andreia -- Manhood -- unwritten [agraphos], and did not have them written down and thus give them to the young men [neoi] to read, Zeuxidamus said, 'Because the young ought to accustom themselves to deeds of manly valour [andragathia -- (deeds of) Manliness and Manly Excellence], a better [kreisson -- stronger, mightier] thing than to apply their mind to writings.'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 34.1, translated by Babbitt.

  • So -- this is what Zeuxidamus says :

    When someone inquired why the Spartans kept the laws in regard to Manhood unwritten, and did not have them written down and thus give them to the young Men to read, Zeuxidamus said, 'Because the young ought to accustom themselves to Deeds of Manliness and Manly Excellence, a stronger and more powerful thing by far than to apply their mind to writings.'

    And Zeuxidamus would have known whereof he spoke, given that his father, Leotychidas, was one of the two Spartan kings -- the other being Leonidas -- who took on the Persians in 480 and thereafter.

    What's interesting is that Plato too believed that it was vital that his Warriors and Guardians have a very practical, and, as it were, hands-on education in Warfare, going so far as to say that if some soldiers get killed in training exercises, that's not a big deal -- what matters is the Welfare of the Warriors Communally.

    In general, Plato believes, as do the Spartans, that the well-being of the "commune" -- of the commonality -- determines the well-being of the individual, and vice-versa -- the city and the citizen mirror each other.

    In addition, Plato, although he wrote more than a few books, was dubious, like the Spartans, about the value of the written word.

    He sets out his mis-givings in a charming passage of the Phaidros, which begins with an Egyptian myth, and then comes to this point :

    Sokrates
    Writing, Phaidros, has this strange quality, and is very like painting ; for the creatures of painting stand like living beings, but if one asks them a question, they preserve a solemn silence. And so it is with written words ; you might think they spoke as if they had intelligence, but if you question them, wishing to know about their sayings, they always say only one and the same thing. And every word, when once it is written, is bandied about, alike among those who understand and those who have no interest in it, and it knows not to whom to speak or not to speak ; when ill-treated or unjustly reviled it always needs its father to help it ; for it has no power to protect or help itself.

    Phaidros
    You are quite right about that, too.

    Sokrates
    Now tell me; is there not another kind of speech, or word, which shows itself to be the legitimate brother of this bastard one, both in the manner of its begetting and in its better and more powerful nature?

    Phaidros
    What is this word and how is it begotten, as you say?

    Sokrates
    The word which is written with intelligence in the mind of the learner, which is able to defend itself and knows to whom it should speak, and before whom to be silent.

    Phaidros
    You mean the living and breathing word of him who knows, of which the written word may justly be called the image [eidolon].

    Sokrates
    Exactly.

    "And every word, when once it is written, is bandied about, alike among those who understand and those who have no interest in it, and it knows not to whom to speak or not to speak ; when ill-treated or unjustly reviled it always needs its father to help it ; for it has no power to protect or help itself."

    This, in my experience as a writer, is true.

    Readers have a seemingly limitless ability to, first, mis-read, and then, mis-interpret -- that is to say, ill-treat and, often, unjustly revile -- what I've written, no matter how clearly I try to write it.

    That's why Lykourgos, the Spartan law-giver, and the Spartans who came after him, believed that oral teaching was superior to the written word.

    Of course Plato can't resist putting that written-spoken dichotomy into a world-of-becoming-world-of-being matrix, which is why he has Phaidros say "You mean the living and breathing word of him who knows, of which the written word may justly be called the image [eidolon -- phantom or copy]."

    The living and breathing word of him who knows is the Idea in the World of Being ; the written word its image, shadow, phantom, copy, in the realm of the senses ; a "material copy which," as Paul Shorey says, "men mistake for the reality."

    Copies are never as good -- that is, Real -- as the original, and inevitably and over time they deteriorate and become distorted.

    So :

    Centuries before Plato put the concepts behind Spartan practice into very beautiful and precise prose, Lykourgos and his Spartans were no less precise in understanding what had to be done to produce the best -- that is, the most Manly -- citizens and city-state :

    Plutarch:

    Lykourgos didn't put his laws, his rhetrai, into writing, and indeed one of the rhetrai forbids doing so.

    For Lykourgos thought that if those principles which were the most important, the strongest, and the most powerful in bringing about the Happiness and Manliness of a city-state were implanted in the habits, direction, and agogic training of the Spartan youth -- which was primarily physical and spoken rather than written -- those principles would remain unchanged and secure in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by the agogic training and discipline, which is stronger than compulsion, and which performs the office of a law-giver [nomothetes] for every one of the Warriors, both those who are youthful and those who are adults.

    Bill Weintraub:

    It's worth noting that Plutarch, a Platonist who lived more than four hundred years after Plato's death, regards a spiritually-gifted Nomothetes, a spiritually-gifted law-giver like Lykourgos as being, in effect, an agent of the World of Being, in this case the Warrior World of Being.

    Put differently, Lykourgos is divinely-inspired, and so are his educational practices, which are intended to awaken and thus permanently inculcate the Warrior Ways of the World of Being into the Spartan Warrior Citizenry.

    Plutarch makes a similar point when he describes the Nomothetes -- Lykourgos -- as freeing up the energies of the Lakedaimonian Demiourgoi -- the Lakonikan artisans -- to create necessary and therefore virtuous objects such as the Kothon, the Spartan drinking cup which filters the often muddy water soldiers must drink while on campaign :

    [Under the Lykurgan reforms,] luxury [truphe], thus gradually deprived of that which stimulated and supported it, died away of itself, and men of large possessions had no advantage over the poor, because their wealth found no public outlet, but had to be stored up at home in idleness. In this way it came about that such common [procheiros] and necessary [ananke] utensils [skeuoi] as bedsteads, chairs, and tables were most excellently [beltistos] made among them, and the Lakonikan kothon, or drinking-cup, was in very high repute [eudokimos] for usefulness among soldiers in active service [strateia], as Critias [Plato's notoriously PhiloLakon cousin] tells us.

    For its colour concealed the disagreeable appearance of the water which they were often compelled to drink, and its curving lips caught the muddy sediment and held it inside, so that only the purer part reached the mouth of the drinker. For all this they had to thank their lawgiver [nomothetes] ; since their artisans [demiourgoi] were now freed from useless [achrestos] tasks, and displayed the beauty of their workmanship [kallitechnia] in objects of constant and necessary [ananke] use.

    ~Plut. Lyc. 9.4-5, translated by Perrin.

    The idea is that the Nomothetes acts as the World of Being or at least the agent of the World of Being -- the Aidion, the Eternal -- in pointing the way towards and providing a Virtuous, that is to say, Manly, model or paradigm which the Demiourgos copies to produce, in this case, the Kothon.

    There's a paradigm in the Warrior World of Being ; under the benevolent agency of a Nomothetes, a Law-Giver, a Demiourgos, an Artisan / Handicraftsman, copies that paradigm in the world of becoming to produce an, again, necessary and Virtuous -- that is, Manly -- object such as a Kothon, a drinking cup ; or, even, a human being, such as a Warrior.

    To be a bit fanciful --

    There's a Demi-ourgos -- a crafts-worker, who gives us drinking cups ;

    and there's a Lyko-urgos -- a Wolf-Worker, who gives us -- Warriors.

    So :

    Everything -- whether it's an object or implement like a drinking-cup, a Kothon, a body part such as an Eye, or a complete male human being, a Warrior, possesses Areté / Areta -- an intrinsic Excellence.

    That Excellence is put there by its Maker -- its Demiourgos.

    In the case of a Kothon, a drinking-cup, the Demiourgos is a human being -- an artisan or craftsman.

    In the case of a Human Being, a Warrior, the Demiourgos is God or, more properly speaking, a God -- a Divine Being, a Maker and Molder of Men, Manly Men, Fighting Men -- Lord Ares.

    In both cases -- indeed, in all cases -- Areta -- Excellence -- is a capacity that's within the object or subject, inherent but latent ;

    In other words, it's a potentiality -- a potential for action, for kinesis.

    But until certain conditions are met, it cannot be realized or experienced.

    So :

    Both Kothon and Warrior-to-be possess Areta, that is, an inherent but latent Excellence, a potential Excellence.

    But for that Excellence to be realized, to be actualized, for that Excellence to have an adventus, an arrival, is more complicated for the Warrior-to-be than for the drinking cup.

    The drinking cup needs only to be used as intended -- in the case of the Kothon, to be used to filter muddy water -- for its excellence to be realized and revealed.

    The Warrior, born, embodied as, a male infant, has to be raised -- he has to be reared, brought up, and educated -- within the proper structure, that is, a structure which encourages and enables him to UN-forget his Manhood and thus realize his true Manly Areta, his Manly Excellence.

    And that structure has to be assembled by a Nomothetes, a Law-Giver, who understands the importance of training guided by an oral tradition and actual acts of Areta, not mere reading.

    And, if I may get back to my bit of fancy, what's required is a Nomothetes who's also a Lyko-urgos, a Wolf-Worker, who takes the polis, the city-state, which is, as he finds it, weak because divided, and re-crafts it into a Lean, Mean, Fighting-Machine, a Wolf Pack -- in Human, that is, Warrior, Form.

    Such a Nomothetes, such a Lyko-urgos, would be the Mantis Areos, the Prophet of Lord Ares, here on earth -- whose reforms and teachings are such as to produce the Ideal Man, who is by definition the Ideal Warrior.

    So :

    The Warrior is born, embodied as, a male infant, into the perpetual chaos of the world of becoming.

    That chaos causes the young male to forget the pure and absolute Manhood he experienced in the Warrior World of Being as a male soul between embodiments.

    That being the case, he now has to be raised, to be reared, brought up, and educated -- within the proper structure, that is, a structure which encourages and enables him to UN-forget his Manhood and thus realize his true Manly Areta, his Manly Excellence.

    And that structure has to be assembled by a Nomothetes, a Law-Giver, who's also a Lyko-urgos, a Prophet and Wolf-Worker, and who understands the importance of training guided by an oral tradition and actual acts of Areta, not mere reading.

    In his Life of Lykourgos, Plutarch looks at that training in depth.

    For example, he discusses how a young Man called an Eiren -- a Lakedaemonian youth who had completed his 20th year, when he was entrusted with authority over his juniors, say Liddell and Scott -- would take charge of a herd or boua of Spartan boys and both "command them in their fights" and train them intellectually as well :

    The Eiren, as he reclined after supper, would order one of the boys to sing a song, and to another would put a question requiring a careful and deliberate answer, as, for instance, 'Who is the best [aristos -- most Manly] man in the city?' or, 'What do you think of this man's conduct [praxis]?' In this way the boys were accustomed to pass right judgements [ta kala -- to understand what is Morally Beautiful, what constitutes a Noble Achievement, what contributes to Manly Moral Order, etc] and interest themselves at the very outset in the conduct of the citizens [polites]. For if one of them was asked who was a good citizen [polites agathos -- Manly and Good], or who an infamous one [ouk -- NOT eudokimos -- of good repute], and had no answer to make, he was judged to have a torpid [nothros] spirit [psyche], and one that would not aspire [aphilotimos -- not loving honour, lacking that love of Worth which inspires and leads a youth --] to excellence [Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 18.2, translated by Perrin.

    Bill Weintraub:

    First off, we see the use of the words "ta kala" -- which reference Ta Kala -- The Noble Spartan Warrior Way :

    In this way the boys were accustomed to pass right judgements [ta kala -- to understand what is Morally Beautiful, what constitutes a Noble Achievement, what contributes to Manly Moral Order, etc] and interest themselves at the very outset in the conduct of the citizens [polites].

    So -- by asking questions regarding "the conduct of the citizens" -- that is to say, of the Spartan Warriors -- the Eiren was testing and shaping the boys' understanding of Ta Kala, the Kala : The Noble Spartan Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty.

    The Spartan Warrior Code.

    The Eiren might have asked, for example, about Anaxibios : When he chose to stay and die at his post -- was that kala? And what about his Beloved's decision to stay with him -- was that too kala?

    An aside :

    We know the story of the Spartan general Anaxibios and his Beloved because of Xenophon -- who recorded it in his Hellenika, and who, being an Athenian, and speaking the Athenian Attic dialect, refers to the Beloved as Anaxibios' paidika -- which is an Athenian term.

    But there's a specifically Doric aka Spartan term for a Beloved Youth -- and that's aitas.

    Was there a difference between a paidika and an aitas?

    Hard to say, since there were cultural norms which governed their conduct, and those norms *might* have differed slightly in Athens -- from what they were in Sparta.

    But Xenophon, who was thoroughly familiar with both places, having grown up in one and raised his two sons in the other, clearly thought that a paidika was the equivalent of an aitas.

    That said, what about Areté / Areta?

    Areté is Athenian, Attic, Ionic, etc.

    Areta is Doric -- click on the link to understand what Doric means -- and if it's Doric, it's also Spartan.

    So -- do the two words mean the same?

    Well, the great poet Pindar, who lived, it's thought, from 518 to 438 BC, who was a Theban aristocrat and very well-traveled, and who consistently uses Areta rather than Areté -- Pindar certainly intends for Areta to mean the same as Areté.

    And I think they did.

    At the same time, because our work in this Lexicon looks so closely at Sparta and Spartan practice ; and given Lendon's observation that to the Greeks, Sparta was supreme in Andreia -- that is, Manhood ; and given that this Lexicon *is* a Lexicon of Manhood -- it makes sense to me, from this point forward, to use the term Areta.

    Which is what the Spartans would have done.

    And which, in Spartan hands, is very close in meaning to another Doric word, Anorea :

    Manhood, Prowess, Manly Beauty, its Strength and Force

    Let's get back to the Eiren, and Plutarch's account of his questioning of the boys in the boua :

    The Eiren, as he reclined after supper, would order one of the boys to sing a song, and to another would put a question requiring a careful and deliberate answer, as, for instance, 'Who is the best [aristos -- most Manly] man in the city?' or, 'What do you think of this man's conduct [praxis]?' In this way the boys were accustomed to pass right judgements [ta kala -- to understand what is Morally Beautiful, what constitutes a Noble Achievement, what contributes to Manly Moral Order, etc] and interest themselves at the very outset in the conduct of the citizens [polites]. For if one of them was asked who was a good citizen [polites agathos -- Manly and Good], or who an infamous one [ouk -- NOT eudokimos -- of good repute], and had no answer to make, he was judged to have a torpid [nothros] spirit [psyche], and one that would not aspire [aphilotimos -- not loving honour, lacking that love of Worth which inspires and leads a youth --] to excellence [Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 18.2, translated by Perrin.

    Bill Weintraub:

    First off, we see the use of the words "ta kala" -- which reference Ta Kala -- The Noble Spartan Warrior Way :

    In this way the boys were accustomed to pass right judgements [ta kala -- to understand what is Morally Beautiful, what constitutes a Noble Achievement, what contributes to Manly Moral Order, etc] and interest themselves at the very outset in the conduct of the citizens [polites].

    So -- by asking questions regarding "the conduct of the citizens" -- that is to say, of the Spartan Warriors -- the Eiren was testing and shaping the boys' understanding of Ta Kala, the Kala : The Noble Spartan Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty.

    The Spartan Warrior Code.

    The Eiren might have asked, for example, about Anaxibios : When he chose to stay and die at his post -- was that kala? And what about the decision of his aitas to stay with him -- was that too kala?

    The Eiren's questions, in other words, constituted cultural messages about Spartan norms -- the norms of Manly behavior, as defined by the Spartans, who, the other Greeks agreed and acknowledged, were Supreme in Andreia -- in Manhood, Manliness, Fighting Spirit.

    Second off, Plutarch juxtaposes, and properly so, PhiloTimia -- the Love of and Ambition for Worth -- with Areta -- Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood :

    For if one of the boys was asked who was a good citizen [polites agathos -- Manly and Good], or who an infamous one [ouk -- NOT eudokimos -- of good repute], and had no answer to make, he was judged to have a torpid [nothros] spirit [psyche], and one that would not aspire [aphilotimos -- not loving honour, lacking that love of Worth which inspires and leads a youth --] to excellence [Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood].

    So :

    Plutarch uses the word "a-philo-timos" = UN or NOT - loving (philos) - Worth (Timé).

    Liddell and Scott define the word as without due ambition -- and it's the due which matters :

  • Aphilotimos : without due ambition -- that is to say, lacking that desire for Honour and Worth which leads a Man to perform Good, that is Manly -- and Noble -- that is, Selfless -- deeds [kala] and thus bring about the adventus -- the arrival and realization -- of his Areta -- his Manly Excellence, which is his Fighting Manhood.

    Both Worth -- Timé -- the Love of which classicist Werner Jaeger assures us is Morally Noble -- and Areta -- reside in and emanate from the World of Being.

    Where the Warrior's soul first encounters them and learns of them.

    But in the chaos of embodiment, they're forgotten.

    The Spartans understand that they must be UN-forgotten.

    And that that unforgetting cannot be separated from due ambition.

    That the Spartan elders must constantly seek to awaken the Boy-Warrior's latent desire for Honour and Worth --

    A desire, a Love, which will lead him to perform Good -- that is, Manly -- and Noble -- that is, Selfless -- deeds [ta kala] and thus bring about the adventus -- the arrival, through recollection, and the realization -- of his Areta -- his Manly Excellence, which is his Fighting Manhood.

    Thus the Eiren's after-supper questioning of the boys, their logos, their discourse -- is a continuation of what the elders have done during the day :

    [16.5] Moreover as they exercised boys were constantly watched by their elders, who were always spurring them on [macha-o] to fight [euballo] and contend [philoneikia -- love of strife, eager rivalry, contentiousness] with one another : in this their chief object was to get to know each boy's character, in particular how bold [tolma, tolmao] he was, and how far he was likely to stand his ground in combat [hamilla -- in his struggles].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 16.5, translated by Perrin and Talbert.

    So :

    We have two "philo's" -- philoneikia -- love of strife, love of eager rivalry -- and philonikia -- love of victory, rivalry, contentiousness -- which are essential concomitants of a third -- PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth -- Love of that Worth which accrues to a Man through his Prowess -- his Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability -- in Combat.

    Which means that at Sparta, UN-forgetting -- AN-amnesis -- is both a physical and intellectual process.

    Designed to awaken Areta -- through the due Love of Worth -- PhiloTimia.

    Plutarch doesn't fear that process -- nor does he fear Worth or the Love of Worth.

    He sees both as necessary adjuncts -- to Areta.

    As do I.

    Of course structure is essential.

    And the Spartans have that structure -- in spades :

    [25.3] In a word, Lykourgos trained his fellow-citizens to have neither the wish nor the ability to live for themselves [idios] ; but like bees [melissa] they were to make themselves always integral parts [symphuo] of the whole community [koinos], clustering together about their leader [archon], almost beside themselves with enthusiasm [enthousiasmos] and noble ambition [PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth], and to belong wholly to their country [patris].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 25.3, translated by Perrin.

    Compare Plutarch's description of the Spartan state as a hive-like whole, whose citizens are besides themselves with God-given enthusiasm and noble ambition -- that is, PhiloTimia, Love of Worth -- for Sparta ; and who live not for themselves but for their country --

    that is, not for their private welfare or private property but for the common good --

    with Plato's description of the ideal state in Book V of the Republic :

    "Is not the logical first step towards such an agreement to ask ourselves what we could name as the greatest good for the constitution of a state and the proper aim of a lawgiver in his legislation, and what would be the greatest evil, and then to consider whether the proposals we have just set forth fit into the footprints of the good and do not suit those of the evil?"

    "By all means," he said.

    "Do we know of any greater evil for a state than the thing that distracts it and makes it many instead of one, or a greater good than that which binds it together and makes it one?"

    "We do not."

    "Is not, then, the community of pleasure and pain the tie that binds, when, so far as may be, all the citizens rejoice and grieve alike at the same births and deaths?"

    "By all means," he said.

    "But the individualization of these feelings is a dissolvent, when some grieve exceedingly and others rejoice at the same happenings to the city and its inhabitants?"

    "Of course."

    "And the chief cause of this is when the citizens do not utter in unison such words as 'mine' and 'not mine,' and similarly with regard to the word 'alien'?"

    "Precisely so."

    "That city, then, is best ordered in which the greatest number use the expression 'mine' and 'not mine' of the same things in the same way."

    "Much the best."

    "And the city whose state is most like that of an individual man. For example, if the finger of one of us is wounded, the entire community of bodily connections stretching to the soul for 'integration' with the dominant part is made aware, and all of it feels the pain as a whole, though it is a part that suffers, and that is how we come to say that the man has a pain in his finger. And for any other member of the man the same statement holds, alike for a part that labors in pain or is eased by pleasure."

    "The same," he said, "and, to return to your question, the best governed state most nearly resembles such an organism."

    "That is the kind of a state, then, I presume, that, when anyone of the citizens suffers aught of good or evil, will be most likely to speak of the part that suffers as its own and will share the pleasure or the pain as a whole."

    "Inevitably," he said, "if it is well governed."

    Footnote from Paul Shorey : Cf. 423 B, Aristotle Politics 1261 b 16 ff., "Plato's Laws and the Unity of Plato's Thought," Class. Phil. ix. (1914) p. 358, Laws 664 A, 739 C-E, Julian (Teubner) ii. 459, Teichmuller, Lit. Fehden, vol. i. p. 19, Mill, Utilitarianism, iii. 345 : "In an improving state of the human mind the influences are constantly on the increase which tend to generate in each individual a feeling of unity with all the rest, which, if perfect, would make him never think of or desire any beneficial condition for himself in the benefits of which they are not included;" Spinoza, paraphrased by Hoffding, Hist. of Mod. Phil. i. p. 325: "It would be best, since they seek a common good, if all could be like one mind and one body."

    ~Plato, Republic, Book V, Sections 462a-d, translated by Shorey.

    Plato:

    • "Do we know of any greater evil for a state than the thing that distracts it and makes it many instead of one, or a greater good than that which binds it together and makes it one?"

    • "But the individualization of these feelings is a dissolvent, when some grieve exceedingly and others rejoice at the same happenings to the city and its inhabitants?"

    • "And the chief cause of this is when the citizens do not utter in unison such words as 'mine' and 'not mine,' and similarly with regard to the word 'alien'?"

    • "That city, then, is best ordered in which the greatest number use the expression 'mine' and 'not mine' of the same things in the same way."

    • "And the city whose state is most like that of an individual man. For example, if the finger of one of us is wounded, the entire community of bodily connections stretching to the soul for 'integration' with the dominant part is made aware, and all of it feels the pain as a whole, though it is a part that suffers, and that is how we come to say that the man has a pain in his finger. And for any other member of the man the same statement holds, alike for a part that labors in pain or is eased by pleasure."

    • "That is the kind of a state, then, I presume, that, when anyone of the citizens suffers aught of good or evil, will be most likely to speak of the part that suffers as its own and will share the pleasure or the pain as a whole."

    Bill Weintraub:

    What Plato's saying, and what it would mean in practice in a contemporary state, is that if one citizen suffered from lack of healthcare, or from homelessness, ALL the citizens would feel his or her pain instantly, and would IMMEDIATELY take steps to end that pain by providing the citizen with healthcare and a home.

    Not complicated.

    John Stuart Mill :

    "In an improving state of the human mind the influences are constantly on the increase which tend to generate in each individual a feeling of unity with all the rest, which, if perfect, would make him never think of or desire any beneficial condition for himself in the benefits of which they are not included."

    Not complicated either.

    And that "feeling of unity with all the rest" is what, as the Apophthegmata Lakonika -- The Terse and Pointed Sayings of the Spartans demonstrate -- the Spartans had :

    Argileonis, mother of the Spartan Warrior Brasidas, who has died in battle, and is being praised by visitors as the Best of the Spartans :

    'Say not so, Strangers [Xene] ; Brasidas was noble [kalos -- selfless] and brave [agathos -- Manly], but Sparta has many better men than he.'

    ~Plut. Lyc. 25.5, translated by Perrin.

    Argileonis, to lightly paraphrase Mill, "would make never think of or desire any beneficial condition for herself in the benefits of which her fellow citizens are not included."

    And that includes the Manliness of her son :

    Sparta has many better -- [karron, which is Dorian for kreisson, which is a comparative of agathos] -- more Manly -- Men -- than he.

    Because without question, the most beneficial condition for a Man -- is to live in the full realization of his Fighting Manhood.

    Thus the questioning, by the Eirens, of the Spartan youth :

    For if one of the boys was asked who was a good citizen [polites agathos -- Manly and Good], or who an infamous one [ouk -- NOT eudokimos -- of good repute], and had no answer to make, he was judged to have a torpid [nothros] spirit [psyche], and one that was aphilotimos -- one that lacked that Love of Honour and Love of Worth which inspires and leads a youth to Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood.

    And that questioning of the Spartan youth, that very structured education -- paideusis -- and askesis -- exercise, practice, training, discipline -- of the Spartan youth in those behaviors and habits of thought which lead to Areta, was one of the ways the Spartans created and maintained Mill's and Plato's "feeling of unity with all the rest" -- that is to say, their Homonoia, their Concord of Equals, which Plato tells us, correctly, is so desirable.

    That's why it's irritating when Plato, having so heavily, if only literarily, borrowed from Sparta's very successful paradigm and practice, complains about Sparta's PhiloTimia and TimoKratia, and says it should be replaced by a PhiloSophia -- without *ever* saying what that Sophia -- would be.

    The Spartans were clear, as Plato says we all must be, about their Idea of Good -- their Idea of Good was Manhood, Fighting Manhood, Areta and Andreia -- and Sparta was, Prof Lendon tells us, supreme in it.

    Sparta was supreme in Andreia and Areta.

    But that doesn't mean they weren't wise.

    Or didn't love Wisdom.

    Because Manhood doesn't exclude Wisdom.

    To the contrary.

    Manhood is Wisdom -- Warrior Wisdom.

    As King Archidamus of Sparta says :

    We are both Warlike and Wise.

    Put differently, a Man can Love and Value both Fighting and Thinking -- can he not?

    So :

    As Plutarch says, and more than once, Sparta was "an example of an entire city given to the love of wisdom [philosophia]," noting that "The character of their apophthegms [apophthegmata] was such as to justify the remark that love of wisdom [philosopheo] rather than love of bodily exercise [philogymnasteo] was the special characteristic of a Spartan."

    Plutarch took what he just said from -- once again, Plato -- this time, something Sokrates says in the Protagoras :

    There is a very ancient and abundant [palaiotatos kai pleistos] philosophy which is more cultivated in Crete and Lakedaimon [Sparta -- both Crete and Sparta had been settled by Dorian Greeks] than in any other part of Hellas, and there are more philosophers in those countries than anywhere else in the world. This, however, is a secret which the Lakedaimonians deny; and they pretend to be ignorant, just because they do not wish to have it thought that they rule the world by wisdom, like the Sophists of whom Protagoras was speaking, and not by fighting and valour [machesthai kai andreia -- Fighting and Manhood] ; considering that if the reason of their superiority were disclosed, all men would be practising [askeo] their wisdom. And this secret of theirs has never been discovered by the imitators of Lacedaemonian fashions [Lakonizo] in other cities, who go about with their ears bruised [ous katagnumi] in imitation of them, and have the himantes bound on their arms, and are always in training [philogymnasteo -- love nude physical exercise], and wear short cloaks ; for they imagine that these are the practices which have enabled the Lakedaimonians to conquer [krateo] the other Hellenes.

    Now when the Lakedaimonians want to unbend and hold free conversation [syngignomai] with their wise men, and are no longer satisfied with mere secret intercourse, they drive out all these laconizers [Lakonizo], and any other foreigners who may happen to be in their country [xenelasia], and they hold a philosophical seance unknown to strangers ; and they themselves forbid their young men [hoi neoi] to go out into other cities -- in this they are like the Cretans -- in order that they may not unlearn [apomanthano] the lessons which they have taught them.

    And in Lakedaimon and Crete not only men but also women have a pride in their high education -- megas paideusis. And hereby you may know that I am right in attributing to the Lakedaimonians this excellence in philosophy and speculation : If a man converses with the most ordinary Lakedaimonian, he will find him seldom good for much in general conversation, but at any point in the discourse he will be darting out some notable saying, terse and full of meaning, with unerring aim [deinos akontistes -- like a mighty javelin-man] ; and the person with whom he is talking seems to be like a child in his hands.

    And many of our own age and of former ages have noted that the true Lakedaimonian type of character has the love of philosophy [philosopheo] even stronger than the love of nude physical exercise [philogymnasteo] ; they are conscious that only a perfectly educated man is capable of uttering such expressions. Such were Thales of Miletus, and Pittacus of Mitylene, and Bias of Priene, and our own Solon, and Cleobulus the Lindian, and Myson the Chenian; and seventh in the catalogue of wise men was the Lakedaimonian Chilon. All these were emulators and lovers and disciples of the culture of the Lakedaimonians [zelotai kai erastai kai mathetai paideias Lakedaimonion], and any one may perceive that their wisdom was of this character ; consisting of short memorable sentences, which they severally uttered. And they met together [synerchomai] and dedicated in the temple [naos] of Apollo at Delphi, as the first-fruits [aparche] of their wisdom, the far-famed inscriptions, which are in all men's mouths -- "Know thyself," and "Nothing too much" : gnothi sauton kai meden agan :

    ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ
    και
    ΜΗΔΕΝ ΑΓΑΝ

    ~Plat. Prot. 343b

    So :

    As Plutarch says, and more than once, Sparta was "an example of an entire city given to the love of wisdom [philosophia]," noting that "The character of their apophthegms [apophthegmata] was such as to justify the remark that love of wisdom [philosopheo] rather than love of bodily exercise [philogymnasteo] was the special characteristic of a Spartan."

    Those "apophthegms" are difficult to translate into English, without losing their pungent, graceful, and at the same time terse quality.

    But, as we'll see in Chapter V, they amply demonstrate the Warrior Wisdom of the Spartans -- a Warrior Wisdom which Plato shared and borrowed heavily from.

    In short, until the Lykurgan Eunomia was mucked up by the personally -- as in idios and idiotic -- by the personally ambitious general Lysander -- Sparta functioned beautifully.

    And was admired and envied, and with good reason, by the other Greeks.


    Plutarch:

    In Lykourgos' view it was also better that minor financial agreements where needs change from time to time should not be bound by written constraints and fixed conventions, but that additions and deletions to be made as circumstances require should be allowed for, subject to the approval of experts. In fact he made his whole legislative endeavour altogether depend upon education [paideia].

    [By paideia, Plutarch means the agogé and other elements of Ta Kala, The, per Prof Lendon, Noble Way, the Spartan Code, which seems to have governed virtually all aspects of Spartan life -- n.b, in that regard, how many times Xenophon uses the term "kala" in his brief discussion of Archidamus and Kleonymus.]

    Plutarch :

    Thus, as has been explained, one of the rhetras prohibited the use of written laws. . . .

    Ordinances such as these then, Lykourgos called rhetras, because they were considered to come from the God and to be oracles [chresmoi].

    ~Plutarch, Life of Lykourgos, 13.1

    So for educational and other purposes, Lykourgos preferred, as did Plato, "the word which is written with intelligence in the mind of the learner . . . the living and breathing word of him who knows."

    It's just that, once again, the Spartan, Lykourgos, came to his conclusion centuries -- before Plato was born.

    And we have to assume, then, that much of what happened in Sparta, educationally and otherwise, happened as the result of oral traditions -- which endured for hundreds of years.

    And we can see that in the statement of the Spartan king Archidamus in 432 BC, at least 300 years after Lykourgos had lived, and five before Plato was born, that "we are wise, because we are educated [paideuo -- to bring up, rear, train, and educate a child] with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control [sophron] to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters . . ."

    So:

    Archidamus says "we are educated" -- brought up, reared, trained -- and, of course, he's talking about the Agogé -- "with too little learning to despise the laws" and "not to be too knowing in useless matters".

    When Archidamus says "too little learning," he means book learning, and when he says, "not to be too knowing in useless matters," he's talking about the sort of sophistry which both Sokrates and Plato condemn as being particularly damaging to "hoi neoi" -- the young -- and which was all too prevalent in fifth- and fourth-century BC Greece -- and still is in our own society.


    Finally, and before leaving Plutarch's and our own discussion of Lykourgos the Wolf-Worker and his shaping of Spartan society and its psyche, we need to revisit the vital subjects of PhiloTimia -- the Love of that Worth which accrues to a Man through his Prowess -- his Exceptional Valour, Bravery, and Ability -- in Combat -- and Aphilotimos -- the lack of due ambition -- for just that worth --

    And see how those two forces still function in those few areas of the modern world which haven't been completely corrupted by effeminization and heterosexualization.

    So :

    One of our guys, NW, was, in the late 1970s, a wrestler on his collegiate wrestling team, at a place we'll call State University.

    Here's how the team worked :

    Wrestlers compete at a given weight-class -- for example, 135 lbs.

    Within the State U Wrestling Team, there were ten guys who wrestled at 135 lbs.

    But -- at any given competition, at any one "meet" against a wrestling team from another university, ONLY ONE of those ten could wrestle at 135 lbs.

    In other words, on the State U team, there was only one slot for a 135 pounder.

    So -- the ten guys on the team who wrestled at 135 lbs were in CONSTANT COMPETITION for the right to compete at a meet.

    They were in a state of constant PhiloNeikia and PhiloNikia -- constant rivarly, constant contention -- which were essential concomitants of the PhiloTimia -- of the Love of Worth -- which had been inculcated into them by their Coach at State U and other coaches they'd had earlier in life.

    So -- every one of the ten guys, boys, youths, was filled with PhiloTimia, with a Love of that Worth in Combat which would win them the ONE coveted spot on the team where they could actually compete for the team and for their university against an athlete from an opposing team and university.

    I've discussed this dynamic with NW repeatedly, and I've asked him each time if that said dynamic of PhiloNeikia - PhiloNikia - PhiloTimia created on the team by the Coach had led to the advent, the realization -- of NW's own Areta.

    And his answer has always been -- YES.

    It was the competition for Worth -- coupled with the extreme physical training, which includes a lot of wrestling, that is, Fighting, which every wrestler must go through -- which led to the Adventus, the arrival and realization, of NW's Areta -- his Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    Now -- notice that it was the Coach who was both in charge of the team and who taught the boys to wrestle, and that NONE of that -- was book-learning.

    The instruction was all oral.

    Notice also that although the focus was on Fighting Manhood -- that is, the Willingness and Ability to Fight, in this case Wrestle -- other Attributes of Manhood mattered to the coach and came into play.

    For those of you who don't remember, we can think of those Attributes as Vigour, Valour, Virtue, and Value.

    Valour is Willingness and Value is Ability -- so those are already spoken for.

    And obviously the boys needed to be Vigorous -- they needed to be strong and healthy.

    But they also needed to be Virtuous -- in relatively small things, like never missing practice and never being late for practice ; and too in being good team players, that is, having the good of the team at heart ; and in the much larger sense of being of good moral character in general.

    That mattered.

    And all that was part of their training -- their training in what it means not just to Wrestle, but to be a Man.

    That's what Plutarch is talking about -- put in modern terms.

    Was this as intensive as Sparta or the Athenian palaistra?

    No.

    Wrestling at State U was just an extracurricular activity.

    And nowadays Wrestling has been written out of the Olympics and of the NCAA.

    And yet Wrestling -- Boxing -- Pankration -- when properly structured -- is how boys -- become Men.

    This is NW's description of the experience :

    ruthless and brutal

    What was tough about the wrestling team in college was that I came to the realization that because I hadn't wrestled in high school, that I was not going to "succeed" in wrestling at the University.

    That's not defeatism.

    It was reality.

    You can't learn the Muscle Smart part of wrestling that comes from YEARS of wrestling. College wrestlers don't "learn" wrestling in college. They already know just about every move there is by the time they get there. College wrestling is a time of wrestlers refining what their minds AND their bodies already know. Their bodies react in counter-moves like you cannot believe. I was NO match for them.

    AND it was ruthless and brutal.

    I had NO credentials in the wrestling room. None. No State Titles, no trophies that I had in my memories of wrestling. The other guys did. They talked about it. They knew I was meat to beat up on ; it gave them confidence to beat up on me with. I knew it too.

    In a college wrestling team you really have no friends. There can only be ONE guy in each weight class. ONE. The wrestling room is divided into about 4 groups, based on weight. You don't want the little guys (no matter how fearless they are) to take on the big guys. They WILL get busted up. And then the coach will lose his best guys. The wrestling room is like a gladiator school. Sooner or later, you're going to have to fight the guys you're training with. And there is no love lost between wrestlers who want that weight class on the team, when they have challenge matches. The college wrestling room, because it eventually only allowed one guy in each weight class (we live in a numbers world), was a selfish place.

    I can remember sometimes in there, having no ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) left in my muscles. ATP is the last stage of the energy we get from glucose ; it is actually what the strands of cells in your muscles use to "fire" to make your muscles move. I'd be COVERED in sweat, and totally bruised up fighting for my life against some dude in a 2 minute takedown drill. And my body would suddenly NOT respond to commands from my brain. It truly was wrestling to exhaustion.

    Real battle.

    There was nothing erotic at that point. Just survival. And the opponent would throw me to the ground face first. The saying that, "All is fair in love and war," applied in that wrestling room. Brutal was putting it mildly. The college wrestling room system is designed to make you want to quit, WHILE you're getting beaten up.

    I have never known fighting to total exhaustion--TOTAL exhaustion--before or since that time in the University Wrestling Room.

    It's strange, but I have no buddies from college wrestling.

    But I loved every minute of it. I would not trade that experience --

    For anything.






    Bill Weintraub:

    Let's come back to the question and concept of Excellence -- Areta -- and its varying manifestations in a Lakonikan drinking cup, a Kothon ; a human Eye ; and a Warrior.

    To better understand the Greek idea of Excellence, we need to examine in depth an extremely important passage in Plato's Gorgias.

    And to understand that passage, we need to understand two Greek words which you've already heard a great deal about -- Areta, a noun, which, although it's variously translated, means, in general, Excellence ; and Agathos, an adjective, and indeed the adjectival form of the word Areta.

    Agathos is usually translated as "good" -- but because it's the adjectival form of the word for "excellence," clearly "excellent" would often be a better translation.

    So :

    Just as Strength is the noun and strong is the adjective -- The Man has Strength, the Man is Strong ;

    and just as Bravery is the noun and brave is the adjective -- The Warrior displays Bravery, the Warrior is Brave ;

    So Areta / Excellence is the noun and Agathos / Excellent is the adjective :

    The Warrior possesses Excellence, the Warrior is Excellent.

    Now, and as you already know :

    Areta means, in general, Excellence.

    But when referring to a Man, rather than a kothon, say, or an eye, it means Manly Excellence.

    Which is Manhood, which is Fighting Manhood, which is Manly Goodness and Manly Virtue and Manly Spirit.

    Liddell and Scott :

    [Areté / Areta is] goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess (like Lat. virtus, from vir)

    And, Liddell and Scott add,

    From the same root [ARES] come areté, ari-, areion [better], aristos [best], the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus.

    This is something we've gone over many, many, many times, and it should by now be clear to you.

    If it isn't, you need to re-read Biblion Proton.

    And Understanding the Core Position and Actual Meaning of Andreia-Areté-Virtus within the Culture of Fighting Manhood.

    Along with Prof Fowler's translator's note.

    But you should probably start with reading and re-reading our Discussion of Areté / Areta, which includes a word-by-word dissection of Liddell and Scott's definition, in Chapter III Part I of this Biblion Pempton.

    So, and again, when referring to Men, Areta means Manhood, Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness.

    Which is Fighting Manhood.

    All that being so, we now need to expand our understanding of Areta, of Excellence, and how it is a Man can take possession of and realize his Manhood, his Fighting Manhood, which is his Manly Excellence --

    By looking at Plato's Gorgias.



    Here's Plato, and his spokesman Sokrates, in the Gorgias, sections 506c-d, as translated by classicist WRM Lamb :

    Sokrates
    Are the pleasant [hedus] and the good [agathos] the same thing? Not the same, as Kallikles and I agreed. Is the pleasant thing to be done [prakteos] for the sake [eneka] of the good, or the good for the sake of the pleasant? The pleasant for the sake of the good.

    And is that thing pleasant by whose advent we are pleased, and that thing good by whose presence we are good? Certainly. But further, both we and everything else that is good, are good by the advent [paragignomai -- arrival, realization] of some virtue [areté -- excellence].

    But surely the virtue [areté -- excellence] of each thing, whether of an implement [skeuos] or of a body [soma -- the body of a Man], or again of a soul [psyche -- a human soul, a Man's soul] or any live creature [zo-on], does not arrive [paragignomai] most properly [kallistos -- the superlative of Kalos, so most Nobly and Most Beautifully] by accident [eike -- without plan or purpose], but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to each.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 506c-d, translated by Lamb.

    Now :

    Hopefully, you remembered, as you were reading that, that Prof Bowra, when he used the word good in an ancient Greek context, put quotation marks around it :

    Because their superiority supposedly came from the favor of the Gods, the aristocrats considered that they were "good" men.

    And I commented, when we first saw that, that

    the word "good" is quite properly in quotation marks.

    One very cogent reason for that is that our word "good" has been Christianized and feminized and thus totally divorced from Fighting -- which is considered "bad."

    To the pagan and patriarchal Greeks, by contrast and to the contrary, Goodness and Fighting were inextricably intertwined -- as Prof Bowra goes on to tell us (and you can re-read what he said, starting here).

    But before Prof Bowra talked about the importance of Fighting to the Greeks, he said this regarding the word "good" :

    [F]or them [the Greeks] "good" was by no means an exclusively or even predominantly ethical concept. Goodness, or areté, was an intrinsic excellence that existed in all things.

    Prof Bowra is correct.

    Why then does Prof Lamb begin his translation of the Gorgias, sections 506c-d, in this manner :

    Sokrates
    Are the pleasant [hedus] and the good [agathos] the same thing?

    That is to say, why doesn't he put the word "good" in quotation marks?

    The reason, I think it's safe to say, is that Prof Lamb is translating the Gorgias for use as a textbook by professors of Greek and of Plato, and he knows that those professors will be discussing what the word "good" actually means.

    Moreover, Prof Lamb lived at a time when Greek and Latin, and Plato in particular, were still almost universally taught -- at colleges and universities.

    That's no longer the case -- but that's not something he could have foreseen.

    And again, hopefully, you see Plato's point, in the Phaidros, that words on the page cannot explain themselves.

    For that you need the spoken word -- and an oral tradition, of the sort the Spartans had and had nurtured for hundreds of years.

    All that's by way of saying that while Prof Lamb's translation isn't "wrong," for our purposes and really for most purposes, the actual meaning of the Greek words needs to be made plainer.

    So : we said that Areta is the noun, and Agathos the adjective.

    Which means that, given that Areta means, in general, Excellence, Agathos means, in general, -- Excellent :

    Sokrates
    Are the pleasant [hedus] and the excellent [agathos] the same thing? Not the same, as Kallikles and I agreed. Is the pleasant thing to be done [prakteos] for the sake [eneka] of the excellent, or the excellent for the sake of the pleasant? The pleasant for the sake of the excellent.

    And is that thing pleasant by whose advent we are pleased, and that thing excellent by whose presence we are excellent? Certainly. But further, both we and everything else that is excellent, are excellent by the advent [paragignomai -- arrival, realization] of some Excellence [Areté / Areta].

    But surely the Excellence [Areté / Areta] of each thing, whether of an implement [skeuos] or of a body [soma -- the body of a Man], or again of a soul [psyche -- a human soul, a Man's soul] or any live creature [zo-on], does not arrive [paragignomai] most properly [kallistos -- the superlative of Kalos, so most Nobly and Most Beautifully] by accident [eike -- without plan or purpose], but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to each.

    So -- as you can see from the third paragraph -- and it's the third paragraph which is crucial -- every thing has its own excellence -- an implement, such as a Kothon, has excellence, the Male body has excellence, the Male soul has excellence, as does any living creature.

    But -- says Sokrates -- and this is the tricky bit -- that Excellence is, as I said earlier, inherent and thus latent and only potential in the implement or body or Manly soul -- until its "arrival,", its Adventus, its coming and becoming, becoming present.

    So : a Kothon's excellence is incorporated into the structure of the Kothon by its demiourgos, its artisan, its maker, when he creates a Kothon using as his model the Ideal Form or Paradigm in the World of Being, which, because the Kothon is a military implement, is of course the Warrior World of Being.

    But that excellence is only inherent ; the Kothon has the potential to fulfill its purpose, the reason for its creation, of filtering the muddy water which Warriors must often drink when on campaign -- but that purpose can only be fulfilled if the Kothon is actually used -- not put up on a shelf somewhere and forgotten, but taken on campaign, dipped in a stream of muddy water, put between a soldier's lips, and tilted upwards, so that the rim of the Kothon can trap the dirt and other sediment, while the soldier drinks the water.


    A Spartan Hoplite drinks from a Kothon
    In this Osprey artist's reconstruction, note the absence of body armour, the crimson cloaks aka Tribon,
    the revealing Pilos helmets, the lean and muscular bodies, the dreadlocked hair, the bare feet, and, on
    the figure of the "junior officer," the broken nose and cauliflower ear, ikons, as Plutarch says, of Manhood.

    The only problem with the illustration is the cloaks.
    Because this is the vase painting the illustration was based on :

    So :

    A Spartan Hoplite, on campaign, drinks from a Kothon, and the muddy water in the Kothon is, to some degree, filtered.

    Using the Kothon in that way provides for the Adventus, the Arrival, the Realization, the Fulfillment, and the Becoming Present, of its Excellence, its Areta.

    Prof Lamb translates the Greek word paragignomai as "advent" -- and he's right to do so.

    And if you click on the link for paragignomai -- you'll understand why.

    Because the realization of Excellence is indeed an Advent.

    As we'll see very clearly when we talk about Man and the Advent of his Manly Soul.

    First, however, what about the human eye -- or almost any animal eye, certainly most mammalian eyes?

    What is the Excellence, the Areta -- of an Eye?

    The answer is simple -- Seeing, or Vision.

    Plato, through his spokesman Sokrates, says so :

    Sokrates
    Then if an eye [ophthalmos] is to see [eidon] itself [autos] it must look at an eye, and at that region [topos] of the eye in which the virtue [Areté -- Excellence] of an eye is found to occur ; and this, I presume, is sight [opsis -- eyesight, vision].

    ~Plat. Alk. 1 133b, translated by Lamb.

    And, of course, Good Vision.

    But again, and as with the Kothon, the Eye must be used for that purpose to realize its Excellence.

    If, as in Plato's great Parable of the Cave in Bk VII of the Republic, the eye and its owner are kept in a dimly lit cave all their lives, its excellence will not be fulfilled.


    In Plato's parable, the cave-dweller
    is shackled to the wall of the cave
    and can only see colorless shadows

    And I've been told that nowadays, many animals used for food production are reared in factory farms in which they're kept in the dark throughout their lives.

    The eyes of such animals never realize their Areta, their excellence, because they're never allowed to be used.

    They've been, in the great Greek poet Pindar's phrase, "suppressed in a hole" -- their entire lives.

    Pindar wrote what are called "Victory Odes" -- odes to athletic victors.

    This is something I said about one such ode in an article titled Excellence, Honor, and the Molding of Men :

    The next ode, Isthmian 8, is "For Kleandros of Aigina, Winner, Pankration."

    And it seems likely that Kleandros -- whose name means, as best I can tell, Glorious Man -- won in the youth division.

    The ode was written after the Persian defeat at Plataia, and as such has as its theme "deliverance."

    There's a lot of mythology in the ode, mainly references to Achilles, and a comparison between Achilles and Kleandros' cousin Nikokles, a successful boxer who apparently has died -- perhaps in the wars against the Persians.

    Pindar says that Nikokles too, in his day,

    conquered the men who lived around him,
    by driving them back with his inescapble hand.
    Upon him the offspring [Kleandros] of his father's noble brother
    casts no shame. Therefore, let one of his comrades,
    in honor of the pankration, weave for Kleandros
    a luxurious crown of myrtle,
    since the contest of Alkathoos [another competition] and the youth
    in Epidauros welcomed him before with good fortune.
    A good man [agathos -- a Manly Man, a Fighting Man] has the means to praise him,
    for he has not suppressed [damazo -- repressed] in a hole [cheia]
    a youth [heba] without experience of noble deeds [kalon].

    ~ Isthmian 8, translated by Wm Race

    "A good man has the means to praise him,
    for he has not suppressed in a hole
    a youth without experience of noble deeds."

    Pindar, to our ears, can be obscure -- but when he wants to be, he can be utterly and devastatingly blunt.

    Which is perhaps another way of saying that the Greeks understood all too well what was at stake as they put forth their ethical system based on areta, honour, worth, kalokagathia, moral heroism -- and the love of man for man.

    In the poem titled "To Theoxenos of Tenedos," Pindar warned that those who did not know the Love of Man for Man would spend their lives "in service to an utterly cold path" -- that is, the path of what we today would call "exclusive heterosexuality."

    The path dictated by our culture.

    And in Isthmian 8, Pindar says that a youth raised "without experience of noble deeds" has been "suppressed in a hole."

    Suppressed in a hole.

    Isn't that true of all of us?

    Isn't that how we've all been raised?

    And how our sons today continue to be raised?

    "suppressed in a hole" and "in service to an utterly cold path"

    It is that which I call upon you to change -- and which the life of our times calls upon you to change.

    You don't want to do it?

    You don't want to fight that fight?

    So be it.

    But without that fight -- you will NEVER live.

    You will spend your life as you spend it now -- in service to an utterly cold path -- because, even if you identify as "gay" or "homosexual," the form of "homosexuality" you follow is a heterosexualized form which has NOTHING to do with the True Love of Man for Man --

    You will spend your life in service to an utterly cold path --

    and suppressed in a hole.

    A hole which is deep and dank.

    And from which you'll never emerge.

    So --

    Let's talk about Men, and Areta, and how they realize that Areta.

    And because we're talking about the Areta not of an implement such as a Kothon, or of a body part, such as an eye, but of a Man, we can use the definition of Areta which applies to Men -- Manhood, Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood :

    Sokrates
    Are the pleasant [hedus] and the Manly [agathos] the same thing? Not the same, as Kallikles and I agreed. Is the pleasant thing to be done [prakteos] for the sake [eneka] of the Manly, or the Manly for the sake of the pleasant? The pleasant for the sake of the Manly.

    Bill Weintraub:

    This is a critical point, not just for Plato, but for the Warrior Culture which he here represents, and which we'll examine in depth :

    Pleasure must always serve Manhood.

    Manhood must never be the servant of pleasure.

    Sokrates
    And is that thing pleasant by whose advent we are pleased, and that thing Manly by whose presence we are Manly? Certainly. But further, every Male who is Manly becomes Manly through the advent [paragignomai -- the arrival, realization, and presence] of Manly Excellence [Areta -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood].

    But surely the Areta, the Excellence of a Man, which is Manhood, Fighting Manhood, and which confers Manly Goodness and Manly Virtue, does not arrive [paragignomai] most properly [kallistos -- the superlative of Kalos, so most Nobly and Most Beautifully] by accident [eike -- without plan or purpose], but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to the Male Soul.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 506d.

    Bill Weintraub:

    But surely the Areta, the Excellence of a Man, which is Manhood, Fighting Manhood, and which confers Manly Goodness and Manly Virtue, does not arrive [paragignomai], does not undergo its Adventus, most Nobly and Most Beautifully by accident [eike], that is, without plan or purpose, but rather by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to the Male Soul.

    The Excellence, of a Man, Fighting Manhood, does not arrive, does not undergo its Adventus, most Nobly and Most Beautifully without plan or purpose, but by a Martial Order [taxis] and Combative Erectness [orthotes] and Aggressive Art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to the Male Soul, the Male Psyche.

    And what is that Martial Order and Combative Erectness and Aggressive Art?

    It's Fighting -- in a Structured environment.

    That's why Plato speaks of a Taxis -- and please click on the link to see what Taxis means --

    Taxis is a Martial Order, a Battle Array, an Order of Battle ;

    and of an Orthotes, an Erectness -- again, click on the link so you see the definition -- an Upright, Righteous, and Combative Erectness known only to the Male ; while the phrase "orthioi hoi lochoi," is, like Taxis, Martial -- it means to form the lochoi, the companies, the regiments, the bodies of soldiers, in orthioi, in columns, straight and erect.

    So both Taxis and Orthotes refer to a distinctly Martial Manliness, a Military and Combative Erectness, a Preparedness to Fight ;

    To which Plato adds a Techne, a skill and art, which, given what has gone before, can only be an Aggressive Art --

    The Art of Fighting.

    Taught, again, in a Structured environment.

    Which is why every classicist agrees that the Twin Spartan Virtues were Aggression and Obedience.

    The Boys were taught to Fight -- and to Obey -- that is, to stop fighting the instant the word was given.

    There was no anarchia in Sparta -- only Order, Harmony, Discipline, and Restraint :

    • Order -- Kosmos -- Order characterized by both Honor and Decency ;

    • Harmony -- Harmonia through Homonoia -- the Concord of Like Minds ;

    • Discipline -- Peitho -- Obedience : Peitharchia -- Obedience to Command -- and Eupeitheia -- Ready Obedience ; and

    • Restraint -- Sophrosyne -- which is Temperance, Moderation, and Self-Control.

    And what you can see is that the language, Plato's language, Plato, whose ethics, the great classicist Werner Jaeger assures us, are Warrior Ethics, what you can see is that Plato's langauge is loaded with Martial and Masculinist and Phallo-centric and Pugnacious Warrior imagery :

    • Excellence = Areta -- Manhood, Fighting Manhood, which confers Manliness which is Manly Goodness which is Manly Virtue which is Manly Excellence ;

    • Order = Taxis -- a word rife with military and martial, combative and embattled -- connotations -- battle array, order of battle ; a single rank or line of soldiers ; body of soldiers, company ; post or place in the line of battle, etc ;

    • Rightness = Orthotes, from Orthos -- erectness, being erect, standing righteously erect ; and,

    • Art = Techne = an art or skill -- "that is apportioned and assigned to each" says Plato ; the art and skill, the techne, apportioned and assigned to Men is -- the Art and Skill of -- Fighting.

    So -- And hopefully you're all clear about this :

    Manhood, Fighting Manhood, is the goal -- it's the Excellence, the Manly Excellence, which every male must achieve in order to become a Man.

    Its achievement -- the realization and arrival of Manhood -- is called Adventus.

    Once Adventus has occurred, Manhood is present -- and the male has realized and actualized his Manly Excellence.

    And Adventus in turn is brought about through Askesis, which is the discipline and training in Fight -- and the spoken and un-spoken intangibles which are communicated by the trainers -- in the case of Sparta, the other Warriors, including the Eirens, the 20-year-olds who each head up a boua.

    And, having just mentioned Sparta, I can say that hopefully too you now understand why we looked at Plutarch's Life of Lykourgos first -- before looking at Plato.

    Because the Spartan practice which was the gift of the Law-giver and Prophet Lykourgos the Wolf-Worker -- had been in place for hundreds of years before Plato came along in the fourth-century BC and constructed a very elegant philosophic theory -- to support and explain that practice.

    Furthermore :

    Fighting Manhood is Areta, and as such, it's -- almost any superlative you can think of --

    the Supreme Good, the Primal Love, the First Cause -- and above all, the Idea of Good.

    It's the most important and powerful Idea -- in the Warrior Kosmos.

    As we discuss in our article on Warriordom, Fighting Manhood is the most important Form, Essence, Paradeigma in the Warrior World of Being -- it's Light and both the Father of Light -- and the Father of itself.

    While Fight is the Askesis -- the discipline which, practiced over many years, leads to the Adventus -- the Arrival -- of Areta -- which is Fighting Manhood.

    That said, Fight and Fighting Manhood are, as I discuss in our Lexicon definitions of Proten Aitian and Proton Philon, symbiotes.

    Obviously, you can't have Fighting Manhood without Fight -- and you can't have Fight, ManFight, without Fighting Manhood -- without Men, Manly Men, Men who are Willing and Able to Fight.

    Which means, once again, that Fight and Fighting Manhood are symbiotes, that their relationship is symbiotic, and we can't really say therefore that one precedes the other.

    BUT -- WITHOUT QUESTION, IN THE WARRIOR WORLD OF BEING, IT'S FIGHTING MANHOOD WHICH IS THE IDEA OF GOOD AND THE SANCTION.

    Not Fight.

    Because, ultimately, the Warrior World of Being is the Warrior World of Being, it's the World of Being of Fighting MEN.

    And for Fighting Men, Fighting Manhood has to be the Sanction and the Idea of Good.

    Fight, we can say, and provided it's disciplined Fight, is the PrimoGenitor which Fathers the Arrival, the Adventus, of that which makes the male -- a Man : MANHOOD.

    FIGHTING MANHOOD.

    And -- in the Warrior Kosmos, it's Fighting Manhood which is the Father of All -- including Fight.

    Lord Ares, remember, is the personification, the hypostatization of Fighting Manhood, and it's Fighting Manhood in the person of Lord Ares which generates the Fight without which Men cannot be Men.

    But Lord Ares is also Fight itself -- Lord Ares is Biatas Ares, Violent Ares -- Fight is Violent Lord Ares' Violent Gift -- the Gift of Manly Violent Bodily Force -- to Fighting Men.

    Again, Lord Ares *is* Fight -- so that when Men Fight, they commune with Lord Ares -- by becoming the Fight itself.

    So :

    In ancient Greek there's a word enTheos --

  • Entheos : full of the God, inspired, possessed, inspired by the God ; often translated just as "inspired," the word really means "in-Godded" -- or, per classicist WC Helmbold, "having a God within."

    And there's a related word :

    Enthousiazo : to be inspired or possessed by the God, be rapt, be in ecstasy

    Example :

    A Warrior and/or Fighter who is possessed by Ares and experiences the Ecstasy of Fight, is "enthousiazo" -- He too is In-Godded, He too has a God -- Lord Ares -- within.

    Putting him in intense Communion with, and experiencing Like-Ness with, the God.

    And that Communion, that Like-Ness, pleases the God :








    The Hero Herakles defeats and kills the criminal Antaios :

    So :

    The Manly Goodness -- which is Manhood -- of each male -- doesn't arrive by accident, or without plan or purpose, but by a Martial Order and Righteously Combative Erectness and Aggressive Art that's been apportioned and assigned -- to the Male Soul, the Male Psyche.

    Both Sokrates and Plato, then, are profoundly religious.

    But they're religious in a polytheistic, pre-Christian, sense.

    They're not proto-Christian or nascent Christians.

    They're polytheistic ancient Greeks.

    And they're saying that the Manly Goodness -- which is Manhood -- of the Male -- doesn't arrive by accident, or without plan or purpose, but by a Martial Order and Righteously Combative Erectness and Aggressive Art that's been apportioned and assigned -- to the Male, to the Masculine.

    Sokrates:

    Hence it is a certain order [kosmos] proper to each existent male that by its advent in each makes him Manly [agathos].

    Bill Weintraub:

    In the case of the male, that certain order is Manliness, Manhood, Fighting Manhood, which by its advent -- its coming into being, its arrival and realization, its presence and actualization -- makes the male -- Manly -- makes the male -- a MAN.

    And that's what Plutarch is talking about in his description of the Spartan system of rearing, upbringing, and training of its Warrior youth, the agogé, which is embedded in the Kala, the Noble Spartan Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty :

    During the day,

    As they exercised boys were constantly watched by their elders, who were always spurring them on [macha-o] to fight [euballo] and contend [philoneikia -- love of strife, eager rivalry, contentiousness] with one another : in this their chief object was to get to know each boy's character, in particular how bold [tolma, tolmao] he was, and how far he was likely to stand his ground in combat [hamilla -- in his struggles].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 16.5, translated by Perrin and Talbert.

    That Day of Fighting, of Eager Rivalry and Contentiousness, of Mache and Hamilla, of Agonia and Neikos and Athlos and Zelos, was followed by an Evening of Discourse, of Logos :

    The Eiren, as he reclined after supper, would order one of the boys to sing a [martial] song, and to another would put a question requiring a careful and deliberate answer, as, for instance, 'Who is the best [aristos -- most Manly] man in the city?' or, 'What do you think of this man's conduct [praxis]?' In this way the boys were accustomed to pass right judgements [ta kala -- to understand what is Morally Beautiful, what constitutes a Noble Achievement, what contributes to Manly Moral Order, etc] and interest themselves at the very outset in the conduct of the citizens [polites]. For if one of them was asked who was a good citizen [polites agathos -- Manly and Good], or who an infamous one [ouk -- NOT eudokimos -- of good repute], and had no answer to make, he was judged to have a torpid [nothros] spirit [psyche], and one that would not aspire [aphilotimos -- not loving honour, lacking that due ambition and love of Worth which inspires and leads a youth --] to excellence [Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 18.2, translated by Perrin.

    And this last paragraph is extraordinarily important because of its juxtaposition of aphilotimos -- the want of due ambition -- and anandria -- the want of Manhood, the want of Areta.

    For the youth who lacks PhiloTimia -- the Love of Timé, the Love of that Worth bestowed by Fighting Prowess, Plutarch tells us, can never aspire to the realization of his own Andreia, his own Areta, his own Fighting Manhood.

    Translation : The youth who won't Fight -- who won't engage in the Strenuous Physical Rivalry of Nude Agonia -- will never be a Man.

    Nor will you.

    Let's return to this :

    The Excellence, of a Man, Fighting Manhood, does not arrive, does not undergo its Adventus, most Nobly and Most Beautifully by accident, or without plan or purpose, but by a Martial Order [taxis] and Combative Erectness [orthotes] and Aggressive Art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to the Male Soul.

    If the Adventus of Manly Excellence does not occur by accident, if it is not without plan or purpose --

    Who is it who does the apportioning -- who is it that has designated Fighting -- to be the agent of the Adventus of Manhood -- in Men?

    Lord Ares.

    Lord Ares is a God who is one of many Sons of God.

    And He is in particular the God of Fight, the God of Manhood, the God of Fighting Manhood.




    It's Ares who, in the initial act of creation, puts Agapenor, the Manly Love of Manhood and Manliness, into the Male Soul.



    The Male Soul, then, during its sojourns in the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, constantly seeks out and seeks to remain in the presence of Pure, Immutable, Perfect and Eternal Manhood, which, in its perfect and ideal form, exists only in the Warrior World of Being.

    When that same male soul is born into a male body, in the chaos of embodiment, in the chaos of the world of becoming, that soul forgets Manhood -- at least consciously.

    But it takes relatively little for the process of the UN-forgetting of Manhood to begin.

    For Fighting Spirit, Plato tells us, is one-third of the Male Soul.

    And once that Fighting Spirit is aroused, once that Spirit seethes and grows fierce, the re-collection of Manhood -- has begun.

    That re-collection must be properly structured ; the boy and then youth must be imbued with all the Attributes of Manhood, not Fighting alone --

    But all the Attributes and Qualities which flow from Fighting and Fighting Manhood :

    • Vigour, Strength, Potency and Might ;

    • Valour, Selflessness, Gallantry and Fortitude ;

    • Virtue, Manly Excellence, High Character and Moral Perfection ;

    • Value, Virile Value, Martial Merit, and Warrior Worth.

    Nevertheless, Fighting is without question the most important element in the Askesis, the Practice and Discipline of Philoneikia, Philonikia, and PhiloTimia, which leads to Manhood's Adventus.

    Adventus is achieved through Askesis -- through the physical training, discipline, and structure of Fight.

    Further, because Ares is the God of Manhood, He's the Divinity of Manhood's Adventus, its Actualization.

    Manhood can only be fully actualized, realized, and arrive -- with His help.

    Which is why Communion with Lord Ares, particularly Communion with Lord Ares as the Fight itself, is so important.

    Which means that Lord Ares is present and essential for both the Fight -- Askesis ; and Manhood itself -- Adventus.

    Lord Ares is the God of Men -- and it's only through his agency that males can become Men.

    Lord Ares puts the Love of Manhood into the male soul ;

    He provides the Askesis, the practice and discipline, of Fight, whereby that Love is UN-forgotten ;

    and, when Adventus is achieved, He is present as its Manifestation.

    Lord Ares is Agapenor ; Lord Ares is Fight ; He's Mache and Neikos and Polemos and Hamilla and Athlos and Agonia and Agonisma ; He's Pale and Pankration and Pugme and Pugmachia and Pugillor and Pugna ; and Lord Ares is Andreia-Anorea-Areta itself.

    Lord Ares is Fighting Manhood.

    We Worship Him.







    Νow :

    Let's return to the Gorgias, and the seven points which Plato, in the person of Sokrates, and very logically, is making there about Askesis -- and Adventus.



    Here, first of all, and just to refresh your memory, is the original passage, in Lamb's original translation, from Plato's Gorgias :

    Sokrates
    Are the pleasant [hedus] and the good [agathos] the same thing? Not the same, as Kallikles and I agreed. Is the pleasant thing to be done [prakteos] for the sake [eneka] of the good, or the good for the sake of the pleasant? The pleasant for the sake of the good.

    And is that thing pleasant by whose advent we are pleased, and that thing good by whose presence we are good? Certainly. But further, both we and everything else that is good, are good by the advent [paragignomai -- arrival, realization] of some virtue [Areté -- Excellence].

    But surely the virtue [areté] of each thing, whether of an implement [skeuos] or of a body [soma -- the body of a Man], or again of a soul [psyche -- a human soul, a Man's soul] or any live creature [zo-on], does not arrive [paragignomai] most properly [kallistos -- the superlative of Kalos, so most Nobly and Most Beautifully] by accident [eike -- without plan or purpose], but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned [apodoteos -- apportioned or assigned] to each.

    Then the virtue [areté] of each thing is a matter of regular [taxis] and orderly [kosmios] arrangement? I at least should say so. Hence it is a certain order [kosmos] proper to each existent thing that by its advent in each makes it good [agathos -- Manly and Good] ? That is my view. So then a soul which has its own proper order [kosmos] is better than one which is unordered [akosmetos]? Necessarily. But further, one that has order [kosmos] is orderly [kosmios -- well-ordered, regular, moderate]? Of course it will be.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 506c-e, translated by Lamb.

    Now :

    You should all know by now that Lamb's translations of areté as "virtue" and agathos as "good" are not accurate.

    Areté means Excellence in general, and when referring to a Man, Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

    And agathos, the adjectival form of Areté, means Excellent in general and Manly -- Willing and Able to Fight -- when referring to a Man.

    With that in mind, here are the seven points Plato's making in that passage, as applied to the Areta, the Excellence, of a Man and a Man's Soul -- and the Adventus -- the Arrival and Realization -- of that Areta, that Manly Excellence, that Fighting Manhood :

    1. The pleasant -- in the sense of the sensually pleasurable -- and the Manly are not the same thing.

    2. The pleasant -- the hedonai -- the low, sensual pleasures -- are only to be experienced for the sake of that which is Excellent and Good -- that is, for the sake of Manhood.

      Manhood -- Manly Excellence and Manly Goodness -- must never serve pleasure ; pleasure must always serve Manly Excellence and Manly Virtue -- which is Fighting Manhood.

    3. All that is Manly -- is Manly by the advent, the arrival and realization in the male, of Manly Excellence -- which is Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue.

    4. Such Manly Virtue -- such Manly Goodness -- does not arrive by accident or without purpose or plan, but by a martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art that is proper and apportioned to Men.

    5. There's a certain Manly Order proper to the male -- that by its advent -- its arrival and realization -- in the male makes the male Excellent -- that is, makes the male Manly.

    6. A male who has his own proper Fighting Manliness, his own proper Fighting Manly Order, is far better than one who is unordered and thus UN-manly, wanting in Manhood -- an-andros.

    7. Moreover, the male who possesses Manliness, Fighting Manhood, is Orderly -- Manfully Ordered.





    Let us, then, go through Plato's Seven Points, as applied, once again, to the Areta, the Excellence, of a Man and a Man's Soul -- and the Adventus -- the Arrival and Realization -- of that Areta, that Manly Excellence, that Fighting Manhood -- through Askesis :

    1. The pleasant -- in the sense of the sensually pleasurable -- and the Manly are not the same thing.

    2. The pleasant -- the hedonai -- the low, sensual pleasures -- are only to be experienced for the sake of that which is Excellent and Good -- that is, for the sake of Manhood.

      Manhood -- Manly Excellence and Manly Goodness -- must never serve pleasure ; pleasure must always serve Manly Excellence and Manly Virtue -- which is Fighting Manhood.

      And the words Plato uses are

      • hedus -- the pleasant --

      • prakteos -- is to be done, practised --

      • eneka -- for the sake of, in service to, in obligation to --

      • to Agathon -- the Excellent -- the Supreme Good -- which is the Manly -- which is Manliness, Manhood, Fighting Manhood.

      The pleasant thing is to be done only in service to, in obligation to, the Manly -- Manhood.

      Manhood must never exist in service or obligation to pleasure ; pleasure must always serve Manhood.

      And Plato, a few paragraphs earlier in the Gorgias, presents a simple rule :

      Only those desires [epithumia] which make a man better [beltion -- attic comparative of agathos -- more Manly] by their satisfaction should be fulfilled, but those which make him worse should not.

      ~Plat. Gorg. 503d, translated by Lamb.

      So :

      Manhood must never serve pleasure ; pleasure must always serve Manhood.

      Which means that --

      Only those desires which make a Man more Manly by their satisfaction should be fulfilled, but those which make him less manly should not.

      This is a point I examine in an article titled Sexual Freedom, and you should read and re-read that article.

      Because reading it will help you.

      So : as we've much discussed, the word Greek word agathos is the adjectival form of Areta -- Manhood -- which means that agathos means Manly.

      And it does -- look, for example, at the entry for agathos in Georg Autenrieth's A Homeric Dictionary, dated 1891, and what you see is "brave, valiant."

      And, of course, brave and valiant mean --

      Manly -- Willing and Able to Fight.

      That's what they mean.

      That's what Manly means.

      Willing and Able to Fight.

      Which also means -- that the pleasant and the Good -- that is, the Excellent -- aren't the same thing ; but the Manly and the Good -- are.

      The Manly *is* the Good.

      The Manly *is* the Excellent.

      Which is why Liddell and Scott say the First Notion of Goodness is Manhood.

      And the pleasant must always serve that Goodness, that Excellence -- which is Manliness, Manhood -- Fighting Manhood.

      Which means that any time we experience a pleasure -- that pleasure and that experience must be in the service of Manly Goodness and Manly Excellence -- which is Fighting Manhood.

      So : pleasure must be, in effect, the slave of Manhood ; Manhood must NEVER be the slave of pleasure.

      Because the man whose manhood becomes the slave of pleasure, will himself become the slave of pleasure, and cease to be a man.

      He will be as one taken in war and sold as a slave, a captive -- both his freedom and his manhood -- forever lost.

      Whereas the Man who is master of his appetites through the discipline -- askesis -- both of Fight and of the Fighter's Moral Self-Control -- enkrateia -- strengthens and exalts his Manhood, his Fighting Manhood, his Warrior Manhood, and through an ennobled self-love -- the Manly Love of His Own Fighting Manhood -- achieves the Sacred Selflessness of the Hero.

      Which takes us to our next two points :

    3. All that is Manly -- is Manly by the advent, the arrival and realization in the male, of Manly Excellence -- which is Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue.

    4. Such Manly Virtue -- such Manly Goodness -- does not arrive by accident or without purpose or plan, but by a martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art that is proper and apportioned to Men.

      To understand points 3 and 4, we need to first consider them in the case of Areta, that is, Excellence, in general:

      1. Both we [that is, Men] and everything else that is excellent, are excellent by the advent -- adventus -- and paragignomai -- arrival, realization -- of some Areta, some Excellence.

      2. [And] the Areta, the Excellence, of each thing, whether of an implement or of a body, or again of a soul or any live creature, does not arrive most properly by accident or without purpose or plan, but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned to each.

      What does that mean?

      Well, and Yes, I know we've already discussed this several times.

      But, believe me, it won't do you any harm to hear it repeated -- nor to consider it from a slightly different angle.

      So :

      The Greeks believed that every one and every thing contained within it the seed and potential of its own Excellence -- its own fulfillment.

      Prof Bowra :

      Goodness, or areté, was an intrinsic excellence that existed in all things.

      Notice that Prof Bowra says "intrinsic."

      Areté / Areta -- Excellence -- is "intrinsic in all things" ; but it has to be brought out, to be realized, to be fulfilled.

      Which takes us back to a point made by famed classicist Werner Jaeger :

      Areté exists in mortal man. Areté is mortal man. But it survives the mortal and lives on in his glory, in that very ideal of his areté which accompanied and directed him throughout his life.[24]

      So, Jaeger says, the Ideal of His Areté -- His Excellence -- His Manly Goodness and Virile Virtue -- Accompanies and Directs the Greek Warrior throughout His Life.

      His Areté, says Jaeger.

      His Excellence, His Manly Goodness, His Fighting Manhood.

      And there's a footnote -- number 24 :

      24. This is especially manifest in the Greek system of proper names. They frequently were taken from the realm of social ideals and therefore often refer to such concepts as glory, reputation, fame, etc., and in addition were combined with some other word which expressed the degree of or reason for such fame or reputation (such as Pericles, Themistocles, etc.). The name was an anticipation of the future areté of its bearer; it set, as it were, the ideal pattern for his whole life.

      So -- those wonderful ancient Greek Warrior names -- names which were given at birth, remember -- names such as Thrasymachos -- Bold in Battle -- and Aristomachos -- Best in Battle -- are, as Jaeger says,

      an anticipation of the future -- that is to say, realized and fulfilled -- areté of its bearer; it sets, as it were, the Ideal Pattern for His Whole Life.

      Let's repeat that :

      An ancient Greek name like Protomachos -- Foremost in Battle -- or Nikomedes -- Victorious Virility -- is an anticipation of the future Areta -- that is to say, of the fully realized and fulfilled Martial Manliness and Fighting Manhood -- of its bearer ; it sets the Ideal Pattern for His Whole Life.

      And why am I capitalizing that last phrase, that Ideal Pattern for His Whole Life?

      Because that Ideal Pattern emanates from and forever exists in the World of Being.

      The Warrior World of Being.

      Again the Warrior's intrinsic Areta -- His Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Manly Virtue -- constitutes and sets the Ideal Pattern for His Whole Life.

      His Whole -- Complete, Entire, Realized, and Fulfilled -- Life.

      And then, because that Areta originates in and belongs to the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, it survives that Life.

      Jaeger :

      Areté exists in mortal man. Areté is mortal man. But it survives the mortal and lives on in his glory -- his honour -- his worth, in that very Ideal of His Areté which Accompanied and Directed Him throughout His Life. . . . [and which set] the Ideal Pattern for His Whole Life.

      Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness -- FIGHTING MANHOOD -- survives the mortal and lives on in the Warrior's Glory, Honour, and Worth, in the very Ideal of His Areta which Accompanied and Directed Him throughout His Life.

      Areta is in that sense the Ideal Pattern, the Indestructible and Perfect Pattern and Permanent Truth of a Man's -- a Warrior's -- existence.

      And I discuss that at more length in our article on Greek Warrior Names, which I strongly recommend you read.

      That said -- having gained the understanding offered by that brief excursus into Jaeger's fervent and heroic Hellenism -- into what he calls "the short but glorious aristeia of the Greek spirit" -- we come back to Bowra :

      Goodness, or areté, is an intrinsic excellence that exists in all things.

      In all things.

      Not just Warriors.

      Or Men.

      But all things.

      For example :

      An Eye -- human or otherwise.

      What is the areta of an eye?

      What makes an Eye -- Excellent?

      What gives an Eye -- Goodness, Virtue, Excellence?

      The answer is plain : Vision -- Seeing.

      Seeing is the both the Essence and the Excellence of the Eye.

      Thus, an Eye which sees, and sees well, is an Excellent Eye -- an Ocular Eye -- an Eye whose purpose has been fulfilled.

      While an Eye that can't see -- has failed, as an eye, and is fundamentally useless -- it's an UN-eye.

      So :

      1. Both we and everything else that is excellent, are excellent by the advent [paragignomai -- arrival, realization] of some Excellence.

      2. [And] the Excellence of each thing, whether of an implement or of a body, or again of a soul or any live creature, does not arrive most properly by accident or without purpose or plan, but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned to each.

      Everything that's good -- that is, excellent -- is excellent by the advent, the arrival, of some Excellence -- some Virtue.

      And the Excellence of each thing, whether Man or Eye, does not arrive by accident or without purpose or plan, but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned to each.

      In the case of an Eye, Excellence is Vision.

      Vision is Ocular Virtue, Ophthalmic Excellence.

      And that Vision doesn't arrive by accident, or without plan or purpose, but through an order, rightness, and art -- that's apportioned -- to the Eye.

      (And that apportioning, it's clear, is by the Gods.

      You, dear reader, might prefer that it be by the blind, as it were, forces of evolution, but that's not what Plato intends, nor does that intent stem, as I made clear in Biblion Tetarton, from Plato's ignorance of the general concept of evolution ; it stems, rather, from what Plato believes, based on his close and meticulously thought-through reasoning, about the nature of the Kosmos :

      The Apportioning is Divine.

      That's what Plato believed, that's what *most* of the Greeks believed, and that's what I believe.)

      So :

      Vision is the Excellence of the Eye.

      And its presence, its arrival, is not without plan or purpose, but the result of an order, rightness, and art -- that is apportioned, by the Gods -- to the Eye.

      Vision is the Eye's Goodness, its Excellence, its Virtue.

      Its Essence.

      What about Man?

      Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is Man's Virtue -- Man's Goodness, Man's Excellence.

      Fighting Manhood is the Essence -- of Man.

      That's not just my opinion -- that too is what the Greeks believe.

      Which Liddell and Scott repeatedly explain :

      Αρετη Αρης

      Areté Ares

      From the same root [ARES] comes areté ... the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus.

      And, they add, and just in case that isn't clear, that areté is

      goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess, Hom., Hdt. (like Lat. vir-tus, from vir).

      Manhood.

      "the first notion of goodness being that of manhood"

      Manhood.

      "goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess"

      Manhood.

      Fighting Manhood :

      The first notion of Goodness -- which remember is Excellence -- and not just any Excellence, but the Intrinsic and Inherent Excellence of the Male, that characteristic which distinguishes the human male from all other beings and things in the Universe, and which makes the Male Truly Male, that's to say, a Man --

      The first notion of Goodness and of Excellence, of Areta, is that of Manhood.

      Manhood.

      True Manhood, which is Fighting Manhood.

      Which means --

      That Manhood is to the Male ;

      As Seeing is to the Eye.

      Seeing is the Eye's Excellence.

      Manhood, Fighting Manhood, is the Male's Excellence.

      Seeing is the Eye's Excellence, Goodness, and Virtue.

      Fighting Manhood is the Male's Excellence, Goodness, and Virtue.

      And what is Fighting Manhood?

      It's the Man's Willingness and Ability to Fight.

      And just as the Eye which cannot see is not a realized or actualized eye --

      So the male who will not and cannot fight -- is not a realized or actualized male.

      Such a male is not a Man.

      He's an UN-man ; he's to an-andron -- the UN-manly.

      Can a Man have other attributes -- other qualities?

      Sure.

      But Plato's meaning is plain :

      There's ONE quality, ONE Excellence, whose Advent makes the Male -- Excellent, makes the Male -- a Man :

      1. Both we and everything else that is excellent, are excellent by the advent [paragignomai -- arrival, realization] of some Excellence.

      2. [And] the Excellence of each thing, whether of an implement or of a body, or again of a soul or any live creature, does not arrive most properly by accident or without purpose or plan, but by an order [taxis] and rightness [orthotes] and art [techne] that is apportioned to each.

      Translation :

      1. All that is Excellent -- that is Manly -- is Manly by the advent, the arrival and realization in the male, of Excellence -- Fighting Manhood, which is Manly Goodness and Manly Virtue.

      2. Such Virtue -- such Excellence -- such Manly Goodness -- does not arrive by accident or without purpose or plan, but by a martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art that is proper and apportioned to Men.

      So :

      Just as -- There's an order and erectness and art that is proper and apportioned to the Eye --

      So is there an order and erectness and art that is proper and apportioned to Men.

      And that order and erectness and art -- is Fighting.

      Fighting.

      Fighting is the Askesis -- the Physical Exercise, the Physical Practice, the Physical Discipline --

      Which brings about the Adventus, the Arrival and Presence -- of Manhood.

      Why does the Discipline have to be Physical ?

      Because it's taking place among the embodied souls -- of the world of becoming.

      Fighting is the Askesis.

      Fighting.

      Fighting is the Physical Practice --

      Which brings about the Spiritual Adventus -- of Manhood.

    So :

    There's a martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art that is proper and apportioned to Men.

    And that order and erectness and art -- is Fighting.

    Fighting is Man.

    That's what Plato believes -- and it's a belief he shares with all the Warriors in his Warriordom and Warrior Kosmos, past, present, future, eternal : that there's a martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art that is proper and apportioned to Men, and that martial order and combative erectness and aggressive art is Fighting.

    That's why Arrian, who lived half-a-millenium after Plato, could say that Aristonicus, who Died Fighting, died not like a harp-player, but like a Man.

    The Askesis of Fighting in Aristonicus' Life brought about his Adventus, his realization of a new state of being -- that of Man.

    Whose actualized Areta then survived his mortal form, and which was immortalized, so far as that's possible in the world of becoming, by Alexander the Great in the shape of a nude Male statue bearing both a lyre -- and an erect spear.

    Fighting is Man.

    Forever.



    Once that's clear, the next three points should be plain, so long as you remember that in the context of the debate between Sokrates, Plato's spokesman and the spokesman for Temperance and Order -- and Kallikles, the champion of licentiousness and thus dis-order --

    The word "Order" becomes, in Plato's language, and to some extent, a stand-in for the word "Virtue" -- which is Manly Excellence which is Manliness which is Fighting Manhood :

    1. There's a certain Manly Order proper to the male -- that by its advent -- its arrival and realization -- in the male makes the male Excellent -- makes the male Manly.

    2. A male who has his own proper Manliness, which is Manly Order, is far better than one who is unordered and thus UN-manly, wanting in Manhood -- an-andros.

    3. Moreover, the male who possesses Manliness, Fighting Manhood, is Orderly -- Manfully Ordered.

    So :

    There are males who exist a-theos, an-andria, and a-kosmia -- without God, without Manhood, and without Order ; and,

    There are Men -- Warriors -- who live and thrive because they're Theophiles, Andreios, and Kosmios -- Dear to the Gods, Manly, and Well-Ordered -- Manfully and Morally Ordered -- Morally Self-Controlled.

    Because Moral Self-Control [enkrateia] is an essential part and attribute of Fighting Manhood and its Manly Moral Order.

    So let's talk about enkrateia -- moral self-control.

    "Enkrateia", says famed classicist Werner Jaeger, "means moral self-control, moderation, and steadfastness."

    Enkrateia derives from enkrates, meaning having authority over, "but the noun [enkrateia] is found only in the meaning of moral self-mastery."

    Bill Weintraub:

    What's interesting about the word is its relationship to kratos, meaning strength, might, power, mastery, victory -- and which is often seen, in the form of krates, in Greek Warrior Names.

    So :

    Strength and other goods of the body are among the fifteen prime attributes of Fighting Manhood -- but now what we can see added is an inner strength -- enkrateia -- moral self-control.

    Jaeger credits that idea of moral self-control to Sokrates.

    But we can see quite clearly, in the Apophthegmata Lakonika, and which we'll examine closely in Chapter V of Biblion Pempton, that it predates Sokrates and his students Plato and Xenophon -- by hundreds of years.

    And that moral self-control contrasts with akrateia, which is incontinence, want of self-control, and which derives from akrates, powerless, IM-potent, without command over oneself, intemperate, incontinent, UN-strong, weak.

    So Enkrateia is moral strength through moral self-control and moral self-mastery.

    In his Memorabilia of Sokrates, Xenophon recounts this Sokratic conversation about strength -- and moral strength -- through moral self-mastery :

    [Sokrates] exhorted his companions to practise [askeo] self-control [enkrateia] in the matter of [epithumia -- the desire for] eating and drinking, and sexual indulgence [lagneia], and sleeping, and endurance of cold and heat and toil [ponos]. Aware that one of his companions was rather intemperate [akolastos -- undisciplined, licentious] in such matters, he said: "Tell me, Aristippus, if you were required to take charge of two youths and educate them so that the one would be fit to rule [archo] and the other would never think of putting himself forward, how would you educate them? Shall we consider it, beginning with the elementary question of food?"

    "Oh yes," replied Aristippus, "food does seem to come first ; for one can't live without food."

    "Well, now, will not a desire for food naturally arise in both at certain times?"

    "Yes, naturally."

    "Now which of the two should we train in the habit of transacting urgent business before he satisfies his hunger?"

    "The one who is being trained to rule, undoubtedly; else State business might be neglected during his tenure."

    "And must not the same one be given power [dynamai] to resist thirst when both want to drink?"

    "Certainly."

    "And to which shall we give the power of limiting his sleep so that he can go late to bed and get up early, and do without sleep if need be?"

    "To the same again."

    "And the power to control [enkrateo] his [sexual] passions [aphrodisios], so that he may not be hindered in doing necessary work?"

    "To the same again."

    "And to which shall we give the habit of not shirking a task, but undertaking it willingly?"

    "That too will go to the one who is being trained to rule."

    "And to which would the knowledge needful for overcoming [krateo] enemies [antipalos -- wrestling against] be more appropriately given?"

    "Without doubt to the one who is being trained to rule; for the other lessons would be useless without such knowledge."

    "Don't you think that with this education he will be less likely to be caught by his enemy than other creatures? Some of them, you know, are so greedy [gaster -- paunch, belly, greed], that in spite of extreme timidity in some cases, they are drawn irresistibly to the bait to get food, and are caught; and others are snared by drink."

    "Yes, certainly."

    "Others again -- quails and partridges, for instance -- are so amorous, that when they hear the cry of the female, they are carried away by desire and anticipation, throw caution to the winds and blunder into the nets. Is it not so?"

    He agreed again.

    "Now, don't you think it disgraceful that a man should be in the same plight as the silliest of wild creatures? Thus an adulterer enters the women's quarters, knowing that by committing adultery he is in danger of incurring the penalties threatened by the law, and that he may be trapped, caught and ill-treated. When such misery and disgrace hang over the adulterer's head, and there are many remedies to relieve him of his carnal desire without risk, is it not sheer lunacy to plunge headlong into danger?"

    "Yes, I think it is."

    "And considering that the great majority of essential occupations, warfare, agriculture and very many others, are carried on in the open air, don't you think it gross negligence that so many men are untrained to withstand cold and heat?"

    He agreed again.

    "Don't you think then, that one who is going to rule must adapt himself to bear them lightly?"

    "Certainly."

    "If then we classify those who control themselves in all these matters as 'fit to rule,' shall we not classify those who cannot behave so as men with no claim to be rulers?"

    He agreed again.

    ~Xen. Mem. 2.1.1-7, translated by Marchant.

    Bill Weintraub:

    When we look at this passage, we see that first off, and once again, Sokrates is using a Spartan model of upbringing and training -- as we can see from this anecdote about the Spartan king Agesilaus :

    The mode of living which he followed personally was in no wise better than that of his associates. He refrained always from overeating and from heavy drinking. Sleep he treated, not as a master, but as governed at all times by what he had to do ; and such was his attitude towards heat and cold that he alone was able to make good use of the different seasons ; and in his tent, which was in the midst of his soldiers, he had no better bed than anybody else.

    ~Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, 2.18, translated by Babbitt.

    That's the Spartan king Agesilaus' way of life -- the result of centuries of Warrior Askesis -- of Warrior Discipline and Training.

    Compare that with what Sokrates says :

    [Sokrates] exhorted his companions to practise [askeo -- the word askesis derives from askeo ] self-control [enkrateia] in the matter of [epithumia -- the desire for] eating and drinking, and sexual indulgence [lagneia], and sleeping, and endurance of cold and heat and toil [ponos]. Aware that one of his companions was rather intemperate [akolastos -- undisciplined, licentious] in such matters, he said: "Tell me, Aristippus, if you were required to take charge of two youths and educate them so that the one would be fit to rule [archo] and the other would never think of putting himself forward, how would you educate them? Shall we consider it, beginning with the elementary question of food?"

    And just look at the language which Sokrates, as reported by the very pro-Spartan Xenophon, is using :

    If a Man is to archo -- lead, be best, excel -- to be best and excel above all others -- and krateo -- be strong, mighty, powerful -- against his antipaloi -- his adversaries and antagonists -- he must EN-krateo -- be master of, exercise control over -- his appetite epithumia for eating and drinking, and his sexual lust aphrodisiazo --

    Through the discipline -- askesis -- of moral self control -- EN-krateia.

    So we see many words which derive from Kratos -- strength, might, power, mastery, victory -- a key Warrior Word -- Kratos -- which is the source and father of krateo, enkrateo, and enkrateia.

    The last being moral self-control, moral self-mastery, which, again, is an askesis, a Warrior practice, a Warrior Discipline.

    An askesis which frees the Warrior from the tyranny of embodied appetite -- and thus connects him with the spiritual World of Being, the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

    Which is home to Lord Ares, the God of Warrior Askesis and of Warrior Adventus -- the Discipline needed for the Realization of Manhood.

    Lord Ares -- God of Fight, God of Manhood, God of Fighting Manhood.




























    And Fighting is without question the most important element in the Askesis, the Practice and Discipline of Philoneikia, Philonikia, PhiloTimia, and Enkrateia -- which leads to Fighting Manhood's Adventus.

    Adventus is achieved through Askesis -- through the physical training, discipline, and structure of Fight.

    And the mental discipline of Enkrateia -- of Manfully Moral Self-Control.

    Further, because Ares is the God of Manhood, He's the Divinity of Manhood's Adventus, its Actualization.

    Manhood can only be fully actualized, realized, and arrive -- with His help.

    Which is why Communion with Lord Ares, particularly Communion with Lord Ares as the Fight itself, is so important.

    Which means that Lord Ares is present and essential for both the Fight -- Askesis ; and Manhood itself -- Adventus.

    Lord Ares is the God of Men -- and it's only through his agency that males can become Men.

    Lord Ares puts the Love of Manhood into the male soul ;

    He provides the Askesis, the practice and discipline, of Fight, whereby that Love is UN-forgotten ;

    And He provides the Askesis, the practice and discipline, of Enkrateia --

    For He's the God of Kratos -- of strength, might, power, mastery, victory -- and so the source and father of krateo, enkrateo, and enkrateia.

    As well as the God of Menos -- might, force, strength, prowess, courage ; Sthenos -- might and strength of all kinds, moral as well as physical ; and Bia -- bodily strength, force, power, might, including manly violent bodily force.

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Πολεμιστης

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Οβριμος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Θουρος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Χαλκεος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Βαθυπολεμος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Πολεμαδοκος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Βιατας


    Warrior Ares

    Mighty Ares

    Furious Ares

    Brazen Ares
    Stout and Strong

    Ares
    Plunged Deep in War

    Ares
    Fight-Sustaining

    Violent Ares

    Lord Ares is Agapenor ; Lord Ares is Fight ; He's Strength and Power, Might and Force, the Violent Bodily Force of Men ; He's Mache and Neikos and Polemos and Hamilla and Athlos and Agonia and Agonisma ; He's Pale and Pankration and Pugme and Pugmachia and Pugillor and Pugna and Luctor and Luctatus and Luctito and Luctatio ; and Lord Ares is Andreia-Anorea-Areta itself.

    And, when Adventus is achieved, Lord Ares is present as its Manifestation.

    Lord Ares is Fighting Manhood.

    We Worship Him.





    To Review -- and guys, these are attributes and aspects of Lord Ares which you should learn and know :

    The Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, is home to Lord Ares, the God of Warrior Askesis and of Warrior Adventus -- Askesis being the Discipline needed for the Adventus, the Realization, of Manhood.

    Lord Ares -- God of Fight, God of Manhood, God of Fighting Manhood.





























    And Fighting is without question the most important element in the Askesis, the Practice and Discipline of Philoneikia, Philonikia, PhiloTimia, and Enkrateia -- which leads to Fighting Manhood's Adventus.

    Adventus is achieved through Askesis -- through the physical training, discipline, and structure of Fight.

    And the mental discipline of Enkrateia -- of Manfully Moral Self-Control.

    Further, because Ares is the God of Manhood, He's the Divinity of Manhood's Adventus, its Actualization.

    Manhood can only be fully actualized, realized, and arrive -- with His help.

    Which is why Communion with Lord Ares, particularly Communion with Lord Ares as the Fight itself, is so important.

    Which means that Lord Ares is present and essential for both the Fight -- Askesis ; and Manhood itself -- Adventus.

    Lord Ares is the God of Men -- and it's only through his agency that males can become Men.

    Lord Ares puts the Love of Manhood into the male soul ;

    He provides the Askesis, the practice and discipline, of Fight, whereby that Love is UN-forgotten ;

    And He provides the Askesis, the practice and discipline, of Enkrateia --

    For He's the God of Kratos -- of strength, might, power, mastery, victory -- and so the source and father of krateo, enkrateo, and enkrateia.

    As well as the God of Menos -- might, force, strength, prowess, courage ; Sthenos -- might and strength of all kinds, moral as well as physical ; and Bia -- bodily strength, force, power, might, including manly violent bodily force.

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Πολεμιστης

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Οβριμος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Θουρος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Χαλκεος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Βαθυπολεμος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Πολεμαδοκος

    Α Ρ Η Σ
    Βιατας


    Warrior Ares

    Mighty Ares

    Furious Ares

    Brazen Ares
    Stout and Strong

    Ares
    Plunged Deep in War

    Ares
    Fight-Sustaining

    Violent Ares

    Lord Ares is Agapenor ; Lord Ares is Fight ; He's Strength and Power, Might and Force, the Violent Bodily Force of Men ; He's Mache and Neikos and Polemos and Hamilla and Athlos and Agonia and Agonisma ; He's Pale and Pankration and Pugme and Pugmachia and Pugillor and Pugna and Luctor and Luctatus and Luctito and Luctatio ; and Lord Ares is Andreia-Anorea-Areta itself.

    And, when Adventus is achieved, Lord Ares is present as its Manifestation.

    Lord Ares is Fighting Manhood.

    We Worship Him.














    Νow :

    A question for you all :

    What two elements are necessary for the "advent" -- the arrival and realization -- of the Manly in the male?

    Here's a hint from Plato :

    "[O]ur view of these matters must be this, that education [paideia] is not in reality what some people [ie, the sophists] proclaim it to be in their professions. [518c] What they [the sophists] aver is that they can put true knowledge into a soul that does not possess it, as if they were inserting vision [opsis -- eyesight, vision -- from orao -- to have sight] into blind [tuphlos] eyes [ophthalmos]."

    "They do indeed," he said.

    "But our present argument indicates," said I, "that the true analogy for this indwelling power in the soul and the instrument whereby each of us apprehends is that of an eye that could not be converted to the light [phanos] from the darkness [skotodes] except by turning the whole body."

    ~Plat. Rep. 7.518b-c, translated by Shorey.

    Please send your response with the word Advent in the subject field to BillWeintraub@Man2ManAlliance.org.


    Αnother question, this one rhetorical :

    Why are the appetites or desires -- and that's what Sokrates means by "the pleasant" -- the low sensual pleasures -- hedonai -- which exist in service to the appetites and desires --

    Why are the appetites -- primarily for food, sex, and material possessions -- and their pleasures -- a problem?

    Part of the answer is that our attachment to those pleasures confines us to the ever-shifting shadows and corrupted copies of the world of becoming and thus leaves us ignorant of the Permanent Truths and Indestructible Ideals -- of the World of Being.

    The Warrior World of Being.

    And, because of that ignorance, liable to do harm.

    Plato :

    "[T]he excellence of thought [phronesis], it seems, is certainly of a more divine [Theios] quality, a thing that never loses its potency [dynamis], but, according to the direction of its conversion, becomes useful [chresimos] and beneficent [ophelimos], or, again, useless [achrestos] and harmful [blaberos]. Have you never observed in those who are popularly spoken of as bad [poneros], but smart [sophos = clever, like the sophists] men, how keen is the vision of the little soul, how quick it is to discern the things that interest it, a proof that it is not a poor vision which it has, but one forcibly enlisted in the service of evil [kakia], so that the sharper its sight the more mischief [kaka] it accomplishes?"

    "I certainly have," he said.

    "Observe then," said I, "that this part of such a soul, if it had been hammered from childhood [ek paidos -- from a child], and had thus been struck free of the leaden weights, so to speak, of our birth and becoming [genesis kai syngenes], which attaching themselves to it by food and similar pleasures [hedonai] and gluttonies [lichneia] turn downwards the vision of the soul -- If, I say, freed from these, it had suffered a conversion towards the things that are real and true [alethes], that same faculty of the same men would have been most keen in its vision of the higher things, just as it is for the things toward which it is now turned."

    "It is likely," he said.

    ~Plat. Rep. 7.518e-519b, translated by Shorey.

    So it matters where and how the mind, and in particular the intelligent mind, is focused.

    The acts of a mind focused on the world of becoming are useless at best and harmful at worst ;

    Whereas if the mind's focus is the World of Being, its actions become useful and beneficent.

    Being determines consciousness.

    Consciousness matters.

    And, then, there's the problem of excess.

    For human beings, unlike other animals, have the ability to manipulate their environment so as to produce an excess -- which they usually think of as an "abundance" -- of material goods.

    But in so doing, they rarely give any thought as to how to equitably distribute those goods ; nor do they often consider how the techniques they use to produce those goods will affect both their culture and their environment over the long term.

    Which means that some people have too much -- and are corrupted by that excess ; while most people have too little -- and are demoralized and demeaned by their deprivation.

    So what Plato is often looking at, and from a Warrior perspective, is the problem of excess.

    Which was well-known to the Greeks.

    The temple of Apollo at Delphi, for example, had inscribed upon it the words, Know Thyself (γνωθι σαυτον) and Nothing in Excess (μηδεν αγαν).

    (And you can find a discussion of those inscriptions by Plato's very philolakon cousin Critias in Plato's dialogue Charmides, starting here.)

    While the Greeks also believed that koros -- another word for satiety, surfeit and excess -- led inevitably to hybris -- wanton and insolent attacks on Timé / Tima -- the Worth accrued to a Man through his Prowess in battle.

    Indeed, one interpretation of the outbreak of the Peloponessian War was that Athenian koros -- the excess which the city had acquired through its empire aka protection racket -- led to its hybristic attacks on Sparta -- and in particular, on Spartan Andreia -- Spartan MANHOOD, Fighting Manhood.

    And, as we'll see, both to the Warrior Greeks in general, and to the Spartans and Plato in particular, excess was clearly a threat to Manhood, to Fighting Manhood.

    So : Nothing in Excess -- Not too much (μηδεν αγαν) of any thing, say Liddell and Scott -- -- was the goal.

    As was metron and kairos -- due measure, proportion.

    And that goal, that goal of Nothing in Excess, of Moderation and Proportion, was, as Critias says, intimately related to sophrosyne -- self-control, temperance -- one of the four Integral Virtues.

    So -- this culture, this Masculinist, Warrior Culture, this Warriordom informed by a Warrior World of Being, was coherent and consistent, very consistent, in what it taught.

    Temperance [sophron], moderation, self-control was one of the Integral Virtues -- the Manly Man is Temperate, the Temperate Man is Manly -- while Nothing in Excess was carved over the entrance to Apollo's temple at Delphi, site of the most important Greek oracle.

    Warrior Culture was coherent and consistent :

    The Manly Man is temperate -- the Manly Man is master of his appetites --

    Pleasure serves the Good.

    Pleasure serves Manhood.

    Manhood never serves pleasure.

    Manhood can never be the slave of pleasure.

    Manhood can never serve nor be the slave of pleasure.

    Thus this famous remark by the Spartan general Pausanias :

  • When amongst the spoils [taken from the defeated Persians at Plataia], some people were amazed at the extravagance of the Persians' clothing, he said: 'Better for them to be men of great worth rather than have possessions of great worth.'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 58.5, translated by Talbert and Babbitt.

  • Better for them to be Men of Great Fighting Ability -- than to have expensive possessions which, in a Fight, are worthless at best and an impediment, a fatal impediment, at worst.

    Again, Manhood must not and cannot serve pleasure.

    Manhood put to the service of pleasure is Manhood squandered and soon lost.

    Here's another famous quote from Pausanias, commander of the united Greeks at the Battle of Plataia :

  • After his victory at Plataia over the Persians [479 BC], the Spartan general Pausanias ordered that the dinner which had been prepared for the Persians should be served to himself and his officers. As this had a wondrous sumptuousness, he said, 'By the Gods, with a spread like this, what greedy [lichnos] characters the Persians were to chase after our barley-bread [maza].'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 58.6, translated by Talbert and Babbitt.

  • From the Greek point of view, the original Persians -- the Men who defeated the Assyrians and established the Persian Empire -- were like the Greeks -- they were Warriors from a hard-scrabble land who practiced a rule of Austerity -- and, to some degree -- Equality.

    But their descendants were ruined by their ancestors' success.

    For as those descendants became increasingly wealthy and at first accustomed to and then ensnared by luxury, Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- became less important to them than the power and material possessions which Manhood had brought them.

    At which point, pleasure no longer existed to serve Manhood, but Manhood to serve pleasure.

    But Manhood cannot long serve pleasure.

    For Manhood in the service of pleasure quickly dissipates and disappears, leaving behind it not Men -- but weak and effeminate creatures in the vague semblance of males.

    Thus the sumptuous feast which the Persians were no longer capable of defending ; taken from them by the Spartans whose Manhood was nurtured both physically and spiritually by communal meals of austere and frugal barley-bread.

    And it's worth noting in that regard that the ancient Greek work trophe means both nurturance in the sense of food and nurturance in the sense of upbringing and education.

    Both forms of nurturance must be correct and in accord.

    Plato has a discussion of the Persians, and nurturance, and communion, in the Laws.

    It's well worth reading :

    Athenian
    When the Persians, under Cyrus [the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire], maintained the due balance between slavery and freedom, they became, first of all, free themselves, and, after that, masters of many others. For when the rulers gave a share of freedom to their subjects and advanced them to a position of equality [isos], the soldiers were more friendly towards their officers and showed their devotion in times of danger ; and if there was any wise man amongst them, able to give counsel, since the king was not jealous but allowed free speech and respected those who could help at all by their counsel -- such a man had the opportunity of contributing to the common stock the fruit of his wisdom. Consequently, at that time all their affairs made progress, owing to their freedom [eleutheria], friendliness [philia] and mutual interchange of reason [koinonia -- communion].

    Kleinias
    Probably that is pretty much the way in which the matters you speak of took place.

    Athenian
    How came it, then, that they were ruined in Cambyses' reign, and nearly restored again under Darius? Shall I use a kind of divination to picture this?

    Kleinias
    Yes, that certainly will help us to gain a view of the object of our search.

    Athenian
    What I now divine regarding Cyrus is this -- that, although otherwise a good and patriotic commander, he was entirely without a right [orthos -- erect, upright] education [paideia] , and had paid no attention to household management [oikonomia].

    Kleinias
    What makes you say this?

    Athenian
    Probably he spent all his life from boyhood in soldiering, and entrusted his children to the women folk to rear up; and they brought them up from earliest childhood as though they had already attained to Heaven's favour and felicity, and were lacking in no celestial gift ; and so by treating them as the special favorites of Heaven, and forbidding anyone to oppose them, in anything, and compelling everyone to praise their every word and deed, they reared them up into what they were.

    Kleinias
    A fine rearing, I should say!

    Athenian
    Say rather, a womanish rearing by royal women lately grown rich, who, while the men were absent, detained by many dangers and wars, reared up the children.

    Kleinias
    That sounds reasonable.

    Athenian
    And their father, while gaining flocks and sheep and plenty of herds, both of men and of many other chattels, yet knew not that the children to whom he should bequeath them were without training in their father's craft, which was a hard one, fit to turn out shepherds of great strength, able to camp out in the open and to keep watch and, if need be, to go campaigning. He overlooked the fact that his sons were trained by women and eunuchs [eunouchos ευνουχος -- eunen = bed ; the eunuchs were originally in charge of the women's sleeping quarters] and that the indulgence shown them as "Heaven's darlings" had ruined their training, whereby they became such as they were likely to become when reared with a rearing that "spared the rod." So when, at the death of Cyrus, his sons took over the kingdom, over-pampered [truphe -- sated with softness, luxuriousness, wantoness, insolence] and undisciplined [anepiplexia -- impunity, licentiousness] as they were, first, the one [Cambyses] killed the other [Smerdis], through annoyance at his being put on an equality with himself, and presently, being mad with drink and debauchery, he lost his own throne at the hands of the Medes, under the man then called the Eunuch, who despised the stupidity of Cambyses.

    Kleinias
    That, certainly, is the story, and probably it is near to the truth.

    Athenian
    Further, the story tells how the kingdom was restored to the Persians through Darius and the Seven.

    Kleinias
    It does.

    Athenian
    Let us follow the story and see how things went. Darius was not a king's son, nor was he reared luxuriously [truphe]. When he came and seized the kingdom, with his six companions, he divided it into seven parts, of which some small vestiges remain even to this day ; and he thought good to manage it by enacting laws into which he introduced some measure of political equality, and also incorporated in the law regulations about the tribute-money which Cyrus had promised the Persians, whereby he secured friendliness [philia] and fellowship [koinonia -- communion] amongst all classes of the Persians, and won over the populace by money and gifts ; and because of this, the devotion [eunoia] of his armies won for him as much more land as Cyrus had originally bequeathed. After Darius came Xerxes, and he again was brought up with the luxurious rearing of a royal house : "O Darius" -- for it is thus one may rightly address the father -- "how is it that you have ignored the blunder of Cyrus, and have reared up Xerxes in just the same habits of life in which Cyrus reared Cambyses?" And Xerxes, being the product of the same training, ended by repeating almost exactly the misfortunes of Cambyses.

    Since then there has hardly ever been a single Persian king who was really, as well as nominally, "Great." And, as our argument asserts, the cause of this does not lie in luck [tyche], but in the evil life [kakos bios] which is usually lived by the sons of excessively rich monarchs; for such an upbringing can never produce either boy or man or greybeard of surpassing goodness [Areté -- Manly Excellence, Manliness, Fighting Manhood]. To this, we say, the lawgiver [nomothetes] must give heed -- as must we ourselves on the present occasion. It is proper, however, my Lacedaemonian friends, to give your State [Sparta] credit for this at least -- that you assign no different honor [timé -- Worth] or training [trophe -- nurture both in the sense of nourishment -- food -- and in the sense of upbringing and education] whatsoever to poverty or wealth, to the commoner or the king, beyond what your original oracle [Lykourgos] declared at the bidding of some God. Nor indeed is it right that pre-eminent honors [timé -- Worth] in a State should be conferred on a man because he is specially wealthy, any more than it is right to confer them because he is swift or comely or strong without any virtue [Areté -- Manhood], or with a virtue [Manhood] devoid of temperance [sophrosyne].

    ~Plat. Laws 3.694, translated by Bury.

    So Plato -- and the Greeks who preceded him -- understood very early on that it was structure -- the traditions and institutions which shaped the way a boy was raised -- which determined whether, in his life, pleasure served Manhood, or the reverse.

    And understand :

    When Manhood is forced to serve pleasure, that Manhood swiftly disappears, and the male is left bereft and in want -- of manliness ; manliness which he can never regain --

    Or which, as we'll see in Chapter VI, he can attempt to regain only through the most desperate of measures.

    Notice also the importance Plato places upon philia kai koinonia -- friendship and communion -- among Men.

    Indeed, in a famous passage in the Gorgias, he says,

    And wise men tell us, Kallikles, that Heaven [ouranos] and Earth [Ge] and Gods and Men are held together by Communion and Friendship [koinonia kai philia], by Orderliness [kosmiotes], Temperance [sophrosyne], and Justice [dikaiosyne] ; and that is the reason, my friend, why they call the whole of this world by the name of order [kosmos], not of disorder [akosmia] or dissoluteness [akolasia]. Now you, as it seems to me, do not give proper attention to this, for all your cleverness [sophos], but have failed to observe the great power of geometrical [geometrikos] equality [isotes] amongst both Gods and Men : you hold that self-advantage [pleonexia] is what one ought to practice, because you neglect geometry.

    And, returning to the Laws, we again hear Plato emphasizing the importance of Friendship and Fellowship, Friendship and Communion, and attacking, as he consistently does, self-aggrandizement and a societal emphasis on private property and money -- rather than on the common good, Warrior Selflessness, and Warrior Worth :

    Athenian
    It was our investigation of the polity of the Persians that caused us to discuss these matters at greater length. We find that they grew still worse, the reason being, as we say, that by robbing the commons unduly of their liberty and introducing despotism in excess, they destroyed in the State the bonds of friendliness [philia] and fellowship [koinonia]. And when these are destroyed, the policy of the rulers no longer consults for the good of the subjects and the commons, but solely for the maintenance of their own power ; if they think that it will profit them in the least degree, they are ready at any time to overturn States and to overturn and burn up friendly nations ; and thus they both hate and are hated with a fierce and ruthless hatred. And when they come to need the commons, to fight in their support, they find in them no patriotism or readiness to endanger their lives in battle ; so that, although they possess countless myriads of men, they are all useless for war, and they hire soldiers from abroad as though they were short of men, and imagine that their safety will be secured by hirelings and aliens. And besides all this, they inevitably display their ignorance [amathes], inasmuch as by their acts they declare that the things reputed to be honorable [timios = Worthy] and noble [kalos -- morally beautiful] in a State are never anything but dross compared to silver and gold.

    ~Plat. Laws 3.698, translated by Bury.


    Now :

    Both the Greeks and the Romans -- and like many other ancient peoples -- thought their present age had been preceded by a Golden Age in which Men had enough -- but not too much.

    And that during that age, what Men had, had been equally distributed.

    But that this age had been succeeded by their own, in which the distribution of -- almost everything, and except for a place like Sparta -- was constantly out of whack.

    The ancient ideal, then, was "neither rich nor poor" ; but again, and except in a place like Sparta, which had, through the good offices of its Nomothetes and Wolf-Worker Lykourgos, carried out a radical land re-distribution early in its history, and had introduced other equalizing measures, such as communal messes and a ban on gold and silver -- except in such a place, that ancient ideal was rarely realized.

    Which meant that some people had too much -- and were corrupted by that excess ; while most people had too little -- and were demoralized and demeaned by their deprivation.

    In Book III of the Laws, Plato describes the state of primitive Men, living in a Golden Age which followed a great flood, and which was without gold, silver, or iron :

    In the first place, the desolation of these primitive men would create in them a feeling of affection and good-will towards one another ; and, secondly, they would have no occasion to quarrel about their subsistence, for they would have pasture in abundance . . . ; and from their pasture-land they would obtain the greater part of their food in a primitive age, having plenty of milk and flesh ; moreover they would procure other food by the chase, not to be despised either in quantity or quality. They would also have abundance of clothing, and bedding, and dwellings, and utensils either capable of standing on the fire or not ; for the moulding and weaving arts do not require any use of iron : and God has given these two arts to man in order to provide him with all such things, that, when reduced to the last extremity, the human race may still grow and increase. Hence in those days mankind were not very poor [penes] ; nor was poverty a cause of difference among them ; and rich [plousios] they could not have been, having neither gold nor silver : such at that time was their condition.

    And the community which has neither poverty [penia] nor riches [ploutos] is generally the one in which the noblest [gennaios] principles and characters [ethos -- customs, principles, or characters] will be formed ; in it there is no insolence [hybris] or injustice [adikia], nor, again, are there any rivalries [zelos] or jealousies [phthonos].

    And therefore they were good [agathos -- Manly], and also because they were what is called simple-minded [euethes -- guileless] ; and when they were told about good [kalon -- moral beauty] and evil [aischros -- shame, that which is base], they in their simplicity [euetheia -- guilessness, goodness of heart] believed what they heard to be very truth and practised it. No one had the wit to suspect another of a falsehood, as men do now ; but what they heard about Gods and Men they believed to be true, and lived accordingly.

    . . .

    [The Men] of such a community were simpler [euethes -- guileless] and more Manly [andreios], and also more temperate [sophron] and altogether more just [dikaios] -- than the males of today.

    ~Plat. Laws 3.679, translated by Jowett.

    Notice the word euethes -- guileless.

    In our article on Warriordom, we discuss the shared Greek and Roman view that the Warrior should be essentially innocent and without guile.

    This is a VERY COMMON BELIEF in Warriordoms and among Warriors, and it's not surprising that Plato says that the Men of the past were guileless, and thus more Manly, more temperate, and more just -- more Manfully well-ordered -- than the males of his day.

    Again, the guilelessness, the innocence, the simplicity of the Warrior, who is purus, who keeps himself, as much as possible, free from sensuality, is well understood by Warriors and Warriordoms.

    As the great mythographer Joseph Campbell says of the Warrior-Hero whom we find in a thousand cultures, he's "the uncorrupted son of nature, pure in the yearning of his heart."

    And the absence of corruption is clearly, for Plato, the heart of the matter :

    And the community which has neither poverty [penia] nor riches [ploutos] is generally the one in which the noblest [gennaios] principles and characters [ethos -- customs, principles, or characters] will be formed ; in it there is no insolence [hybris] or injustice [adikia], nor, again, are there any rivalries [zelos] or jealousies [phthonos].

    [The Men] of such a community were simpler [euethes -- guileless] and more Manly [andreios], and also more temperate [sophron] and altogether more just [dikaios] -- than the males of today.

    The development of Manliness, then, is in part a function of Equality -- neither poverty nor riches, neither rich nor poor ;

    And of Austerity -- Nothing in Excess --

    In a society which prizes and deems Manhood and the other Integral Virtues worthy -- and despises and dishonours money.

    Plato :

    We maintain, then, that a State [polis -- city-state] which would be safe and happy, as far as the nature of man allows, must and ought to distribute honour [Timé -- Worth] and dishonour [a-timia -- UN-worth] in the right way. And the right way is this : it shall be laid down that the goods [agathoi = excellences] of the soul [manliness, moral order, piety, and self-control] are highest in honour [most worthy] and come first, provided that the soul possesses temperance [sophron] ; second come the good and fair things of the body [health, strength, and beauty] ; and the third place to money and property. And if any legislator or state departs from this rule by giving money the place of honour, or in any way preferring that which is really last, may we not say that he or the state is doing an unholy and unpatriotic thing?

    ~Plat. Laws 3.697, translated by Jowett.

    So :

    In the well-ordered -- that is to say, just -- state, Worth goes first to the Goods -- the Integral Virtues -- of the Soul -- Manliness, Moral Order, Piety, and Self-Control ; second to the goods of the body ; and only last to money and property.

    And he who would give money the place of honour, is unholy and unpatriotic.

    Because :

    Where money is prized
    Manhood is despised


    Some four hundred and fifty years later, the Roman writer Tacitus, having, also clearly, read Plato, takes up his theme :

    Primitive man had no evil desires. Being blameless and innocent, his life was free of compulsions or penalties. He also needed no rewards, for he was naturally good. Likewise, where no wrong desires existed, fear imposed no prohibitions. But when men ceased to be equal, egotism replaced fellow-feeling and decency succumbed to violence.

    ~Tac. Ann. 3.26, translated by Michael Grant.

    So :

    When Men -- Warriors -- cease to be equal, egotism replaces fellow-feeling, which is Warrior Altruism ; and Decency -- which, remember, is an expression and extension of Manly Moral Order -- succumbs to violence.

    Which is why the Spartans put so much emphasis on the Equality of their real-world Warriors ; and why Plato did the same for the imagined Warriors of his fictional Republic.

    It's also why first the Spartans and then Plato voiced disdain for pleasure ; why they openly despised those in thrall to pleasure and money ; and why they admired Men whose lives exemplified the victory of self-control -- over excess :

    • When somebody asked King Agesilaus of Sparta [ca 399 - 360 BC] what advantage the laws of Lykourgos had brought to Sparta, he said, 'Contempt for pleasures' [kataphronein ton hedonon].

      ~Plut. Apoph. 2.20, translated by Babbitt.

    • After his victory at Plataia over the Persians [479 BC], the Spartan general Pausanias ordered that the dinner which had been prepared for the Persians should be served to himself and his officers. As this had a wondrous sumptuousness, he said, 'By the Gods, with a spread like this, what greedy [lichnos] characters the Persians were to chase after our barley-bread [maza].'

      ~Plut. Apoph. 58.6, translated by Talbert and Babbitt.

    • When someone remarked that the Spartan king Alkamenes [ca 779 - 742 BC] lived frugally although possessing adequate means, he said : 'Yes, for it is a noble thing [kalon -- an Act of Moral Beauty] for one who possesses much to live according to reason [logistikos] and not according to his desires [epithumia].'

      ~Plut. Apoph. 9.3, translated by Talbert and Babbitt.

    • Teleklos (Eighth-century Agiad king) :

      When someone asked him how much property he owned, he said: 'No more than enough [hikanos].'

      ~Plut. Apoph. 67.4, translated by Talbert.

    So :

    The Warrior practices a martial discipline -- which too, and like Fighting, is part of his askesis -- and in so doing, puts the Eternal Realities of the World of Being, the Permanent Truths and Indestructible Ideals of the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, ahead, far ahead, of the illusory pleasures of the world of becoming.

    Agesilaus of Sparta, a commander and king, owns but one threadbare cloak, which he wears summer and winter.

    Neither his bed nor his food is any different or better than that of the Men who serve with him.

    His food, his bed, his cloak are all part of his askesis, and they all express the same : contempt for pleasures.

    Pausanias of Sparta, eats, like every other Spartan, barley-bread.

    Wheat is the grain of the rich, barley the grain of the poor, and Pausanias, a general, could easily obtain wheat.

    But he doesn't because to do so would violate his askesis -- which is part of his code, the Spartan code, the Kala, the Noble Way.

    Being True to the Noble Way -- the Noble Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty -- is more important to Pausanias -- than the grain he eats.

    His askesis -- and the code of which it's part -- is what gives him the strength first to control his appetites -- for food, for sex, for material possessions ; and thereby to overcome his enemies, who are often, as was the case at Plataia, far greater in number than are he and his Men.

    And Pausanias' askesis is one he's inherited from generations of Spartan Warriors, going all the way back to the eighth century BC Spartan Warrior King Alkamenes -- his name means Valiant Strength -- who says that "It's Morally Beautiful for one who possesses much to live according to Manly Reason and not according to his desires and appetites."

    While King Teleklos says of his own property that he has "No more than enough" -- that is, Nothing in Excess, Not Too Much -- meden agan μηδεν αγαν, ne quid nimis -- not too much of any thing.

    And in Chapter V, you'll meet many examples of this martial askesis, taken from the Apophthegmata Lakonika -- The Terse and Pointed Sayings of the Spartans.

    Now :

    As we saw earlier, Plato presents a simple rule :

    Only those desires which make a Man more Manly by their satisfaction should be fulfilled, but those which make him less manly -- should not.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 503d.

    And Plato also speaks of "the pleasures of necessity."

    Meaning that some pleasures are necessary -- for, as Platonist Paul Shorey says, "our human estate" -- our embodied condition.

    We have to eat, for example.

    But why we eat, what we eat, how much we eat, and where we eat -- matters.

    Let's start with the Spartan law-giver Lykourgos, who lived perhaps four hundred years before Plato, and who laid down regulations regarding why, what, where, and how much -- his Spartans would eat.

    Lykourgos was a social leveler, and he began his reforms by creating a senate or council of elders -- the Gerousia -- consisting of twenty-eight Men over the age of 60, who were elected to their posts, and the two Spartan kings ; and an assembly -- an ekklesia -- consisting of all the full-blooded Spartan Warriors.

    So he took the government of Sparta away from the kings alone, and gave it to all the Warriors.

    Here's Plutarch with more of the story :

    [8.1] A second, and a very bold political measure of Lykourgos, is his redistribution of the land [anadasmos]. For there was a dreadful inequality in this regard, the city was heavily burdened with indigent [aktemon] and helpless [aporos] people, and wealth was wholly concentrated in the hands of a few. Determined, therefore, to banish insolence [hybris] and envy [phthonos] and crime [kakourgia] and luxury [truphe], and those yet more deep-seated and afflictive diseases of the state, wealth [ploutos] and poverty [penia],

    [2] he persuaded his fellow-citizens to make one parcel of all their territory and divide it up anew, and to live with one another on a basis of entire uniformity [homales] and equality in the means of subsistence [isokleros], seeking pre-eminence [proteion] through Areta -- Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood -- alone, assured that there was no other difference or inequality between man and man than that which was established by blame [psogos] for base [aischros] actions and praise [epainos] for good [kalos -- morally beautiful, noble, selfless] ones.

    Bill Weintraub:

    So :

    The purpose of the land redistribution was to remove wealth as a social divider, and to establish a society in which only Manliness -- Fighting Manhood -- mattered, the citizenry, now limited to Warriors and Warriors only,

    seeking pre-eminence [proteion] through Manly Excellence alone, assured that there was no other difference or inequality between man and man than that which was established by blame for aischros -- base -- actions and praise for kalos -- morally beautiful and selfless -- ones.

    Plutarch:

    [3] Suiting the deed to the word, he distributed the rest of the Lakonikan land among the perioikoi, or free provincials, in thirty thousand lots, and that which belonged to the city of Sparta, in nine thousand lots, to as many genuine Spartans. But some say that Lykourgos distributed only six thousand lots among the Spartans, and that three thousand were afterwards added by Polydorus ; others still, that Polydorus added half of the nine thousand to the half distributed by Lykourgos.

    [4] The lot of each was large enough to produce annually seventy bushels of barley for a man and twelve for his wife, with a proportionate amount of wine and oil. Lykourgos thought that a lot of this size would be sufficient [hikanos] for them, since they needed sustenance [trophe] enough to promote vigour [euexia] and health [hygieia] of body, and nothing else. And it is said that on returning from a journey some time afterwards, as he traversed the land just after the harvest, and saw the heaps of grain standing parallel and equal [homales] to one another, he smiled, and said to them that were by: 'All Lakonika looks like a family estate newly divided among many brothers.'

    ~Plut. Lyc. 8.1-4, translated by Perrin.




    [9.1] Next, he undertook to divide up their movable property also, in order that every vestige of unevenness [anhomalos] and inequality [anisos] might be removed ; and when he saw that they could not bear to have it taken from them directly, he took another course, and overcame their avarice [pleonexia] by political devices [katapoliteuomai]. In the first place, he withdrew all gold and silver money from currency, and ordained the use of iron [sideros] money only. Then to a great weight and mass of this he gave a trifling value, so that ten minas' worth [Perrin, writing in 1914, gives ten minas a value of $200, which would be about $5000 today] required a large store-room in the house, and a yoke of cattle to transport it.

    [2] When this money obtained currency [kuro-o], many sorts of iniquity [adikema] went into exile from Lakedaimon. For who would steal, or receive as a bribe, or rob, or plunder that which could neither be concealed, nor possessed with satisfaction, nay, nor even cut to pieces with any profit? For vinegar was used, as we are told, to quench the red-hot iron, robbing it of its temper and making it worthless for any other purpose, when once it had become brittle and hard to work.

    [3] In the next place, he banished [xenelasia] the unnecessary [achrestos] and superfluous [perissos] arts. And even without such banishment most of them would have departed with the old coinage, since there was no sale for their products. For the iron money could not be carried into the rest of Greece, nor had it any value there, but was rather held in ridicule. It was not possible, therefore, to buy any foreign wares or bric-a-brac; no merchant-seamen brought freight into their harbours [limne]; no rhetoric teacher set foot on Lakonikan soil, no vagabond soothsayer, no keeper of harlots, no gold- or silver-smith, since there was no money there.

    [4] But luxury [truphe], thus gradually deprived of that which stimulated and supported it, died away of itself, and men of large possessions had no advantage over the poor, because their wealth found no public outlet, but had to be stored up at home in idleness. In this way it came about that such common [procheiros] and necessary [ananke] utensils [skeuoi] as bedsteads, chairs, and tables were most excellently [beltistos] made among them, and the Lakonikan kothon, or drinking-cup, was in very high repute [eudokimos] for usefulness among soldiers in active service [strateia], as Critias [Plato's notoriously PhiloLakon cousin] tells us.

    [5] For its colour concealed the disagreeable appearance of the water which they were often compelled to drink, and its curving lips caught the muddy sediment and held it inside, so that only the purer part reached the mouth of the drinker. For all this they had to thank their lawgiver [nomothetes]; since their artisans [demiourgoi] were now freed from useless [achrestos] tasks, and displayed the beauty of their workmanship [kallitechnia] in objects of constant and necessary [ananke] use.

    ~Plut. Lyc. 9.1-5, translated by Perrin.

    Bill Weintraub:

    Note the resemblance to the Shakers and their simplicity of design -- 'tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free' ;

    And then note that Plutarch is a Platonist, and fully believes what he's saying -- which is that there are necessary pleasures, which are beneficent, and unnecessary pleasures, which are useless and malign.

    Which is why he keeps repeating the word ananke -- a word Plato often uses to denote necessary pleasures -- hedonai anankaias -- pleasures of necessity -- those pleasures which and again, as Shorey puts it, "our human estate" requires.

    Those pleasures and those pleasures alone were permitted by the Spartans, and were to be allowed for the Warriors in Plato's fictional Republic -- which is why the Spartan king Agesilaus, when asked what advantage the laws of Lykourgos had brought the Spartans, replied, "contempt for pleasures." [kataphronein ton hedonon]

    And he was and is right.

    The Warrior has to be contemptuous not just of the UN-necessary pleasures, which are, virtually by definition, not just useless, but maleficent and malign --

    Why?

    Because pleasure qua pleasure doesn't exist -- there are always, as Shorey tells us, inseparable accompaniments and consequences to pleasure --

    for example, HIV and AIDS --

    the first an accompaniment, the second a consequence to the alleged pleasure of anal penetration, an inherently vicious practice which exemplifies the plain fact that UN-necessary, useless, and indeed illusory "pleasures" are indeed maleficent and malign --

    So :

    The Warrior has to be contemptuous not just of the UN-necessary pleasures, which are, virtually by definition, maleficent and malign --

    but of the necessary pleasures too -- he must be, as we'll see further on in this section, aphilopsychos, contemptuous of mere life as well as of death.

    Otherwise his philopsychos, his love of life and life's pleasures, will render him cowardly and, inevitably, UN-free.

    Only the Man who has contempt for life and its pleasures, can remain Free -- not free to be a slave of his appetites, but Free to Strive for Warrior Worth and thus live in the full realization of his Manly Excellence, his Fighting Manhood.

    This is something Tyrtaios, the great Spartan national poet, well understood :

    Come, take courage, for you are of the unconquered [aniketos] blood [genos] of Herakles -- and do not fear throngs of men or run in flight, but let a man hold his shield straight toward the front ranks [promachoi], despising life and loving the black death-spirits no less than the rays of the sun.

    The Warrior must despise life and love the black death-spirits no less than the rays of the sun.

    Because, Tyrtaios says, for a Man, nothing matters -- except that Furious Valour -- which is Manly Excellence, which is Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood :

    I would not mention or take account of a man for his prowess in running or wrestling, not even if he had the size and strength of the Cyclopes and outstripped Thracian Boreas in the race, nor if he were more handsome than Tithonus in form and richer than Midas and Cinyras, nor if he were more kingly than Pelops, son of Tantalus, and had a tongue that spoke as winningly as Adrastus', nor if he had a reputation for anything -- save furious [thouros] valour [alke].

    For no man is good in war unless he can endure the sight of bloody slaughter and, standing close, can lunge at the enemy.

    This is excellence [areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood], this the best [aristos -- most Manly] human prize and the fairest [kallistos -- most noble and most morally beautiful] for a young man to win.

    This is a common benefit for the state and all the people, whenever a man with firm stance among the front ranks [promachos] never ceases to hold his ground, is utterly unmindful of shameful [aischros] flight, risking his life and displaying a steadfast spirit [thumos -- Fighting Spirit], and standing by the man next to him speaks encouragingly.

    This man is good [agathos -- Manly] in war. He quickly routs the bristling ranks of the enemy and by his zeal stems the tide of battle.

    And if he falls among the front ranks, pierced many times through his chest and bossed shield and corselet from the front, he loses his own dear life but brings glory to his city, to his people, and to his father. Young and old alike mourn him, all the city is distressed by the painful loss, and his tomb and children are pointed out among the people, and his children's children and his line after them. Never do his name and good fame perish, but even though he is beneath the earth he is immortal, whoever it is that furious [thouros] Ares slays as he displays his prowess [aristeuo -- to be best, to be most Manly, not just in courage, but in prowess] by standing fast and fighting for land and children.

    And if he escapes the doom of death that brings long sorrow and by his victory makes good his spear's splendid boast, he is honoured [timao] by all, young and old alike, many are the joys he experiences before he goes to Hades, and in his old age he stands out among the townsmen ; no one seeks to deprive him of respect [aidos] and his just rights [dike], but all men at the benches yield their place to him, the young, those of his own age, and the elders.

    Let everyone strive now with all his heart to reach the pinnacle [akros] of this excellence [areta -- this Manly Excellence, this Fighting Manhood], with no slackening in war.

    ~Translated by Douglas Gerber for the Loeb Classical Library's Greek Elegiac Poetry.

    So :

    You'll notice first off that Tyrtaios begins by dismissing one attribute of both Andreia and Areta -- prowess or ability, in this case in athletics, that is, wrestling and running -- by saying he'll take no account of a Man who has a reputation for anything -- save furious valor.

    So :

    Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- has attributes.

    One classicist, Charlton Lewis, writing in 1890, lists fifteen.

    And those fifteen can be put into Four Groups -- Vigour, Valour, Virtue, Value.

    Vigour refers to the Excellences of the Male Body -- Strength, Might, Power, Potency, etc.

    Valour is Ardent and Eager Willingness, and is accompanied by

    Gallantry -- Nobility of Spirit and Action ; and

    Fortitude -- The Manliness needed to undertake and endure Hardship -- ponos.

    Virtue actually means Excellence, and, again, because we're referring to Men, it means Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Manly Moral Perfection and Self-Control -- Enkrateia -- and High Moral Character.

    And Value is Worth -- Timé / Tima -- for it's Worth, Warrior Worth, which makes a Man Valuable in Battle -- in Fight.

    So the Value is Virile -- Virile Value, and Martial Merit, and Warrior Worth.

    But -- in this instance, the poet, Tyrtaios, whose task is to rally Spartan Youth to War -- is not concerned with Value.

    Or Prowess.

    He's after one thing and one thing only.

    And that is Valour.

    And the word he uses for Valour is alke -- which means -- valour.

    Tyrtatios doesn't use Andreia or Areta -- because he wants to be specific.

    He's looking for one aspect, one attribute of Andreia / Areta -- and that is, the ability to "endure the sight of bloody slaughter and, standing close, [to] lunge at the enemy."

    This, he proclaims, is -- "excellence," says Prof Gerber -- and the Greek word is Areta ; but what Areta actually is, what excellence actually is when applied to a Man, is what Liddell and Scott say it is --

    From the same root [ARES] comes areté ... the first notion of goodness being that of manhood, bravery in war; cf. Lat. virtus.

    And, they add, and just in case that isn't clear, that areté is

    goodness, excellence, of any kind, esp. of manly qualities, manhood, valour, prowess, Hom., Hdt. (like Lat. vir-tus, from vir).

    Manly Excellence -- which is --

    Fighting Manhood -- "the best [most Manly] prize and the fairest [most noble and most morally beautiful] for a young man to win."

    And that's absolutely true : Within the Dominant Masculinist and Warrior Culture of Fighting Manhood, it's Fighting Manhood which is the Most Manly prize and therefore the Most Noble and Morally Beautiful -- for a Young Man -- a Young Warrior -- to win.

    Such a Fighting Man, Tyrtaios says, is good in war -- and the word for good is agathos, which, you'll remember, is the adjectival form of Areta, and which therefore, like Areta, partakes of all the attributes of the Perfect Man, the Ideal Warrior.

    Which Prof Gerber confirms in a footnote, in which he says,

    areté . . . encompasses the qualities of excellence deemed necessary for one to be an ideal soldier

    So : Such a Fighting Man, says Tyrtaios, is Good / Excellent, that is, Manly, in War -- routing the enemy -- specifically, by breaking the enemy's phalanx -- and through his zeal -- stemming the tide of battle.

    And, within the context of this poem, that's what was necessary.

    Sparta was engaged in a 20-year-long life-and-death struggle with a neighboring city-state, Messenia.

    The Winning City would Win ; the losing city would be razed to the ground and its inhabitants and their descendants enslaved in perpetuity.

    When this poem was written, Sparta was losing ; Tyrtaios had been brought in, from Athens, and on the advice of the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, to turn that around.

    And he did, by telling the Youth of Sparta that the only thing which mattered -- was Fighting Manhood.

    The sort of Fighting Manhood -- Furious Valour, Fierce and Ferocious Ardent and Eager Willingness -- which can "endure the sight of bloody slaughter and, standing close, lunge at the enemy."

    What a Man musn't do, says Tyrtaios, is

    fear throngs of men or run in flight,

    Instead, and remembering that he's of the unconquered [aniketatos] blood [genos] of Herakles,

    let a man hold his shield straight toward the front ranks [promachoi], despising life and loving the black death-spirits no less than the rays of the sun.

    Despising life -- A-philopsychos.

    So :

    All these guys -- Plutarch, Plato, Tyrtaios, Lykourgos, Agesilaus -- share the same culture, the same Masculinist and Warrior Culture -- and therefore the same beliefs, and therefore think in the same ways.

    What we call Virtue is for them Excellence, Manly Excellence ; Manly Excellence is Goodness, Manly Goodness ; and Manly Goodness is Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    Which has nothing to do with pleasure except to the extent that pleasure is necessary to keep the Man in health and in good fighting trim.

    There are pleasures of necessity, which by definition are beneficent, but all other pleasures are not only unnecessary and thus useless, but both by definition and in fact, maleficent and malign.

    That's how these guys, these Men, these Warriors, think.

    And that's why when Plutarch is speaking of the effects of Lykourgos' ban on money, he waxes so eloquent in describing its many benefits in ridding the country of that which was useless and un-necessary -- and not just useless and un-necessary, but ridden with vice -- vicious -- pimps and harlots and sophists and rhetoricians and vagabond soothsayers -- and replacing them with useful objects such as the Kothon, the Spartan Warrior's drinking cup, which had so many necessary virtues, so many beneficent excellences :

    For its colour concealed the disagreeable appearance of the water which they were often compelled to drink, and its curving lips caught the muddy sediment and held it inside, so that only the purer part reached the mouth of the drinker. For all this they had to thank their lawgiver [nomothetes]; since their artisans [demiourgoi] were now freed from useless [achrestos] tasks, and displayed the beauty of their workmanship [kallitechnia] in objects of constant and necessary [ananke] use.

    The Kothon is Virtuous both as a Drinking-Cup, and because it helps the Warrior achieve what Tyrtaios says he should achieve :

    Let everyone strive now with all his heart to reach the pinnacle [akros] of Areta, of Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood, with no slackening in war.

    And indeed, that's what Lykourgos wanted and was the purpose of the paideusis and politeia he put into place :

    That every Spartan would strive with all his heart to reach the pinnacle of Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood.

    Finally, it's important to note and understand the way Plutarch uses the terms nomothetes -- lawgiver -- and demiourgos -- craftsman, artisan.

    Because in Plato's great creation myth, the Timaeus, and remembering that Plutarch was a Platonist, Plato uses the term demiourgos to denote God -- the Craftsman and Maker of All :

    [28a] Everything which becomes must of necessity [ananke] become owing to some Cause [aitia] ; for without a cause it is impossible [adynatos] for anything to attain becoming. But when the artificer [demiourgos] of any object, in forming its shape [idea] and quality [dynamis], keeps his gaze fixed on that which is uniform [tautos], using a model [paradeigma] of this kind, that object, executed in this way, must of necessity [ananke]

    [28b] be beautiful [kalos -- noble and beautiful -- morally beautiful] ; but whenever he gazes at that which has come into existence and uses a created model, the object thus executed is not beautiful. Now the whole Heaven [Ouranos], or Cosmos [Kosmos], or if there is any other name which it specially prefers, by that let us call it, -- so, be its name what it may, we must first investigate concerning it that primary question which has to be investigated at the outset in every case, -- namely, whether it has existed always, having no beginning of generation, or whether it has come into existence, having begun from some beginning. It has come into existence ; for it is visible [horatos] and tangible [haptos] and possessed of a body [soma] ; and all such things are sensible [aisthetos],

    [28c] and things sensible, being apprehensible by opinion [doxa] with the aid of sensation, come into existence, as we saw, and are generated. And that which has come into existence must necessarily, as we say, have come into existence by reason of some Cause [aitia]. Now to discover the Maker [poietes] and Father [pater] of this Universe [pas] were a task indeed ; and having discovered Him, to declare Him unto all [pas] men were a thing impossible. [To discover the Maker and Father of All [pas] were a task indeed ; and having discovered Him, to declare Him unto All [pas] were a thing impossible.] However, let us return and inquire further concerning the Cosmos, -- after which of the Models [paradeigma] did its Architect [ho tektainomenos] construct it?

    [29a] Was it after that which is self-identical [tautos] and uniform [hosautos], or after that which has come into existence? Now if so be that this Cosmos [Kosmos] is beautiful [kalos -- noble and morally beautiful] and its Constructor [Demiourgos] good [agathos -- Manly and good], it is plain that he fixed his gaze on the Eternal [to Aidion] ; but if otherwise (which is an impious supposition), his gaze was on that which has come into existence. But it is clear to everyone that his gaze was on the Eternal ; for the Cosmos is the fairest of all that has come into existence, and He the best of all the Causes [aristos -- the best, most Manly -- ton Aition -- of all the Causes]. So having in this wise come into existence, it has been constructed after the pattern of that which is apprehensible by reason [logos] and thought [phronesis] and is self-identical [tautos].

    [29b] Again, if these premisses be granted, it is wholly necessary that this Cosmos should be a Copy [eikon] of something. Now in regard to every matter it is most important to begin at the natural beginning. Accordingly, in dealing with a copy [eikon] and its model [paradeigma], we must affirm that the accounts given will themselves be akin to the diverse objects which they serve to explain ; those which deal with what is abiding [monimos] and firm [bebaios] and discernible by the aid of thought [kataphanes] will be abiding [monimos] and unshakable [ameta-ptotos] ; and in so far as it is possible and fitting for statements [logoi] to be irrefutable [anelenktos] and invincible [aniketos],

    [29c] they must in no wise fall short thereof ; whereas the accounts of that which is copied after the likeness of that Model, and is itself a likeness, will be analogous thereto and possess likelihood ; for as Being [ousia] is to Becoming [genesis], so is Truth [aletheia] to Belief [pistis -- derives from peitho = to persuade, to be persuaded]. Wherefore, Sokrates, if in our treatment of a great host of matters regarding the Gods and the generation of the Universe we prove unable to give accounts that are always in all respects self-consistent and perfectly exact, be not thou surprised ; rather we should be content if we can furnish accounts that are inferior to none in likelihood, remembering that both I who speak

    [29d] and you who judge are but human creatures, so that it becomes us to accept the likely account of these matters and forbear to search beyond it.

    ~Plat. Tim. 28a-29d, translated by Bury.

    Bill Weintraub:

    First off, if you had trouble understanding that passage, it's probably because you aren't clear about world of becoming vs World of Being ; so you need to read and re-read Biblion Deuteron, which explains those two vital concepts.

    Now :

    If the Demiourgos is God, the Maker, the Craftsman, then the Nomothetes is or represents the World of Being -- in other words, the Nomothetes is providing the True, Eternal, and Immutable Paradeigmata -- Models -- which the Demiourgos -- the Craftsman -- copies.

    Which means, in this instance, that is, in the instance of Sparta and of Sparta's Politeia, its Eunomia, its Kala, its Agogé, etc -- that Lykourgos is, in effect, operating from, or, if you prefer, is inspired by, in-Godded by, the World of Being -- to Aidion -- the Eternal ; thus his endorsement by Apollo and the other Gods.

    Who were themselves created by the Demiourgos and given immortality ; and then taxed by the Demiourgos with creating beings with a finite lifespan, including human beings.

    Jesse Chapman writing on Perseus :

    The idea of an omnipotent creator designing the Gods, and in turn the Gods constructing all animals with similar attributes to both themselves and the creator, represents a methodical generation and joining of all conscious beings in the universe. This deliberate connection is elaborated in Timaeus' continued quote of the creator, who commands that mortals be made from "residue of the previous material" used to create the Gods. The rest of their mold is "second and third in degree of purity," since they are to be endowed with lesser powers than the Gods. The ultimate connection between mortals, the Gods, and the rest of the universe is conjured in the image of the Creator mixing this in the same bowl in which "He had blended and mixed the Soul of the Universe."

    The notion that entities of the earth, who are so detached from the divine realm, were created in literally the same place and manner as Gods inherently connects the two kinds of beings. Thus Gods and mortals were believed to be purposefully made from the same material, but of varying degrees and ingredients, and therefore are separate entities that, together, constitute the essence of the universe.

    [[Plat. Tim. 40e-41e, translated by Bury.]]

    So : Gods and mortals are

    purposefully made from the same material, but of varying degrees and ingredients, and therefore are separate entities that, together, constitute the essence of the universe.

    Which helps explain why they can, to some degree, communicate.

    So, when we look at this little paragraph about the kothon and its many excellences, its many virtues :

    For its colour concealed the disagreeable appearance of the water which they were often compelled to drink, and its curving lips caught the muddy sediment and held it inside, so that only the purer part reached the mouth of the drinker. For all this they had to thank their lawgiver [nomothetes]; since their artisans [demiourgoi] were now freed from useless [achrestos] tasks, and displayed the beauty of their workmanship [kallitechnia] in objects of constant and necessary [ananke] use.

    When we look at that paragraph, we can see that because the Nomothetes, the Lawgiver, understands and is, in effect, operating from the World of Being, he's able to free the demiourgoi from their dependence on generated models, that is, copies, the copies that litter the world of becoming -- and enable them to instead contemplate eternal and immutable models [paradeigmata], which "must of necessity [ananke] be beautiful [kalos -- noble and beautiful -- morally beautiful]."

    So that by eliminating, from Sparta, that which is un-necessary, useless, and vicious -- the Lawgiver has freed the artisans to consider and create that which is necessary, useful, and virtuous.

    Another way of understanding this is to go back to what Platonist Paul Shorey said about the Idea of Good -- that it's the Good Purpose in some Controlling Mind Able and Eager to Achieve that Purpose.

    At Sparta, the Controlling Mind was that of its Nomothetes, its Lawgiver, Lykourgos, and of all the tens of thousands of Spartan Warriors who'd followed in his footsteps and who constituted the Spartan Homonoia -- the Spartan Concord, the Spartan Oneness-of-Mind.

    And the Good Purpose in that Spartan Controlling Mind was one thing and one thing only -- Fighting Manhood.

    In the Warrior World of Being, in the Warrior Kosmos, Fighting Manhood -- Andreia, Areté / Areta, Virtus -- is the Sanction, the First Cause, the Primal Love, and the Idea of Good.

    So :

    The objects produced in Sparta after the Lykurgan reforms had a certain Warrior-World-of-Being Immutability and Simplicity, a Rigor and Austerity, because they'd been designed to benefit a Society in which Warrior-World-of-Being Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- was Supreme.

    They were, to use the language of the Timaeus, and like the Warriors they served, Abiding, Steadfast, and Unyielding.

    To Tyrtaios and his Spartans, then, the only thing a Man should strive for is Areta -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    Nothing else, says Tyrtaios, is worth having.

    Because nothing else is as Powerful, or as Real.

    And as you'll see, as you read further in this chapter and succeeding chapters, that's the commmon belief in the Warriordoms of the ancient world --

    that Fighting Manhood is both the best thing in that world -- and the only thing truly worth having.

    Nothing in the world of becoming is as important -- as the Manly Virtue, the Fighting Manhood, of the World of Being.

    It's Achilles, the great and unyielding Achilles, who establishes that belief.

    Forever.

    Let's get back to Plutarch's Life of Lykourgos :

    [10.1] With the aim of stepping up the attack on luxury [truphe -- softness, wantonness, effeminacy] and removing the passion [zelos] for wealth [ploutos], Lykourgos introduced his third and finest reform, the establishment of common messes [syssitia -- all-male messes], so that they might eat with one another in companies, of common [koinos -- notice the relationship between koinos -- common -- and koinonia -- communion] and specified meat-sauces and grains. This prevented them from spending the time at home, lying at table on expensive couches, being waited upon by confectioners and chefs, fattened up in the dark like gluttonous animals, and ruining themselves physically as well as morally, and by giving free rein to every craving [epithumia -- desire] and excess [plesmone] which demanded lengthy slumbers, warm baths, plenty of rest, and, in a sense, daily nursing.

    [10.2] This, then, was indeed a great achievement, yet, as Theophrastus says, it was an even greater one to have made wealth [ploutos] undesirable and to have produced 'non-wealth' [a-ploutos = UN-wealth] by meals taken in common [koinotes] and by the frugality [euteleia -- from euteles -- frugal -- from telos -- fulfillment, perfection] of the diet. When the rich man would go to the same meal as the poor one, he could have no use nor pleasure from lavish table settings, let alone view them or display them. Thus in Sparta alone of all the states under the sun was seen that proverbial blind Plutus [ploutos -- Plutus, God of Riches] lying inanimate and inert, as if in a picture. It was not even possible for the rich to dine at home first and then to proceed to their messes on a full stomach. Rather, the rest were on the look-out for whoever would not eat and drink along with them, and they would abuse him for being a weakling [akrates -- a weakling, UN-strong, impotent, powerless, without command over oneself] and too effeminate [apomalakizomai -- effeminate, weak, cowardly] to consume the common [koinos] fare.

    ~Plut. Lyk. 10.1-2, translated by Talbert and Perrin.

    Bill Weintraub:

    So :

    I said that Lykourgos had laid down regulations regarding the why, what, where, and how -- his Spartans would eat.

    • WHY :

      To attack luxury and effeminacy -- that is, UN-manliness -- and not only remove any passion for wealth, but make wealth itself UN-desirable by associating it with effeminacy, weakness, and lack of self-control -- a-krateia.

      In other words, to establish a firm and uncontested rule of Manly Equality and Austerity -- among the Warriors of Sparta.

    • WHERE and HOW :

      In common messes, together -- and notice the relationship between the word for common -- koinos -- and the word for communion koinonia ; the Warriors not only ate in common messes, but communed in those messes.

    • WHAT :

      Specified meat-sauces and grains -- that is to say, they all ate the exact same thing :

      Mainly barley-bread, along with cheese, figs, vegetables in season, one assumes, and not much meat or fish.

      Meat and fish were relatively rare in ancient Greece.

      Although they did eat, as you'll read, a pork dish called "Black Broth" :

      Plutarch :

      Each member of the mess would contribute every month a medimnus of barley-meal, eight choes of wine, five minas of cheese, five half-minas of figs, and in addition just a small sum of money for fish or meat. Besides, anyone who had made an offering of first fruits or had been hunting sent a share to the mess.

      Boys also used to come to these public messes, as if they were attending schools of self-discipline [sophrosyne -- temperance, self-control] ; there they would listen to political discussions and witnessed the kinds of entertainment appropriate for free Men [eleutheros]. There they themselves also became accustomed to sport and jest without scurrility [bomolochia -- indecency, obscenity, abuse, and slander], and to endure jesting without displeasure. Indeed, it seems to have been especially characteristic of a Spartan to endure jesting ; but if any one could not bear up under it, he had only to ask it, and the jester ceased.

      As each one came in, the eldest of the company pointed to the door and said to him: "Through that door no word goes forth outside." And they say that a candidate for membership in one of these messes was vetted in the following way. Each of the mess-mates took in his hand a bit of soft bread, and when a servant came along with a bowl upon his head, then they cast it into this without a word, like a ballot, leaving it just as it was if he approved of the candidate, but if he disapproved, squeezing it tight in his hand first. For the flattened piece of bread had the force of a perforated, or negative, ballot. And if one such is found in the bowl, the candidate is not admitted to the mess, because it's the mess-mates' wish that all should be happy in each other's company. The candidate thus rejected is said to have been "caddished," for the bowl into which they throw the pieces of bread is called a "caddichos."

      Of their dishes, the black broth [melas zomos -- μελας ζωμος -- pork cooked in its own blood and seasoned with salt and vinegar] is held in the highest esteem, so that the elderly men do not even ask for a bit of meat, but leave it for the young men, while they themselves have the broth poured out for their meals. And it is said that one of the kings of Pontus actually bought a Spartan cook for the sake of having this broth, and then, when he tasted it, disliked it ; whereupon the cook said: "O King, those who relish this broth must first have bathed in the river Eurotas." After drinking moderately, they go off home without a torch ; for they are not allowed to walk with a light, either on this or any other occasion, that they may accustom themselves to marching boldly and without fear in the darkness of night.

      This, then, is how the messes are organized.

      ~Plut. Lyc. 12.2-7, translated by Perrin and Talbert.

    Hundreds of years later, after generations of Spartan Warriors and Sparta itself had flourished under the Lykurgan rules, Plato adopted them, unaltered, but presented in characteristically gorgeous prose, for the fictional Warriors of his fictional Republic :

    In the first place, none [of the Guardians, the Warrior Caste of the Republic,] must possess any private property save the indispensable. Secondly, none must have any habitation or treasure-house which is not open for all to enter at will. Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes of war [athletai polemou -- prize-fighters, combatants, champions of war] sober [sophron] and brave [andreios -- Manly], they must receive as an agreed stipend from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship, so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack. And resorting to a common mess like soldiers on campaign they will live together.

    Gold and silver, we will tell them, they have of the divine quality from the Gods always in their souls, and they have no need of the metal of men nor does holiness suffer them to mingle and contaminate that heavenly possession with the acquisition of mortal gold, since many impious deeds have been done about the coin of the multitude, while that which dwells within them is unsullied. But for these only of all the dwellers in the city it is not lawful to handle gold and silver and to touch them nor yet to come under the same roof with them, nor to hang them as ornaments on their limbs nor to drink from silver and gold.

    So living they would save themselves and save their city.

    ~Plato. Rep. 3.416d-417a, translated by Shorey.

    Notice :

    • Their food, in such quantities as are needful for athletes of war [athletai polemou -- prize-fighters of war] sober [sophron] and brave [andreios -- Manly], they must receive as an agreed stipend from the other citizens as the wages of their guardianship,

    • so measured that there shall be neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack.

    • And resorting to a common mess like soldiers on campaign they will live together.

    • So living they would save themselves and save their city.
    So :

    • WHY :

      The Men are eating because they're "warrior combatants," charged with protecting the city.

    • HOW MUCH :

      They're eating in "such quantities as are needful for such combatants," with "neither superfluity at the end of the year nor any lack" -- neither excess nor want, neither poverty nor riches.

    • WHERE :

      They're eating in "a common mess, like soldiers on campaign," and living together.

    Plato doesn't specify what they eat, but we can reasonably assume, from all else he's said, that their diet is -- Spartan.

    And like Spartan Warriors, they're to have no contact with mortal gold or silver.

    Such a life, temperate and Manly, sober and brave, will, Plato assures us, save themselves and save their city.

    And that's why the Spartans ate barley-bread and not wheat -- and why every Spartan Warrior ate the same food.

    To be sure that the pleasure of eating served the Manhood -- the Sacred Manhood -- of Sparta and the Spartan State.

    In that sense, the eating of barley-bread was both necessary and beneficent.

    While the eating of wheat would have been neither.

    So :

    Plato tells us that some pleasures are necessary and some aren't ;

    that some are benign and beneficent ; and others malign and malignant.

    Which is clearly true.

    And he presents a simple rule, which you would all do well to memorize and remember :

    Only those desires which make a Man more Manly by their satisfaction should be fulfilled, but those which make him less manly should not.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 503d.

    The eating of barley-bread nourished -- and thus ensured the Spartan Warrior's continued existence in the world of becoming -- while it re-inforced the Indestructible Ideals, Ideals of Austerity and Equality, of the Warrior's World of Being, his Warrior Kosmos.

    From which all Reality -- ultimately stems.

    It may seem strange to say that a code -- the Kala -- and a discipline -- askesis -- required that all Spartan Warriors ate barley-bread and none wheat ;

    but think about it.

    Requiring all the Warriors to eat the same food, ensured that both Austerity and Equality would reign among them ;

    while differences in diet based upon differences in income -- would have promoted inequality and luxury -- that is to say, differences based upon the ability to afford more expensive, though not necessarily more nutritious, food.

    So :

    Classicist Paul Shorey, commenting on the Platonic critique of pleasure :

    The issue thus raised is really the old question of a distinction of quality and value in pleasure. No one can judge or prescribe another's pleasure, it is argued ; pleasure qua pleasure admits no differences [footnote -- Gorgias 494e]. But is there any such thing as pleasure qua pleasure? Are there not always inseparable accompaniments and consequences?

    ~Introduction to Vol II of Plato's Republic

    And the answer, obviously, is Yes.

    And in a footnote Shorey refers us to Gorgias 494e, which is, surprise, surprise, the anal debate :

    Sokrates
    Is it so if he only wants to scratch his head? Or what more am I to ask you? See, Kallikles, what your answer will be, if you are asked everything in succession that links on to that statement; and the culmination of the case, as stated -- the life of kinaidoi -- those who engage in anal penetration -- is not that terrible [deinos], shameful [aischros], and wretched [athlios]? Or will you dare to assert that these are happy if they can freely indulge their wants?

    Kallikles
    Are you not ashamed, Sokrates, to lead the discussion into such topics?

    Socrates
    What, is it I who am leading it there, noble sir, or the person who says outright that those who enjoy themselves, with whatever kind of enjoyment, are happy [eudaimon -- eudaimon has a religious sense that our word "happy" does not -- eudaimon means blessed with a good (eu) guardian spirit (daimon) -- a tutelary deity], and draws no distinction between the good [agathos -- good, Manly] and bad [kakos -- bad, shitty] sorts of pleasure? But come, try again now and tell me whether you say that pleasant and good are the same thing, or that there is some pleasure which is not good.

    So, Plato's question is, according to Shorey,

    [I]s there any such thing as pleasure qua pleasure? Are there not always inseparable accompaniments and consequences?

    And Plato's answer is -- No, there's no such thing as pleasure qua pleasure -- there are ALWAYS inseparable accompaniments and consequences.

    And since Shorey has brought up anal in his footnote, we can, and of course, as I said above, apply this to HIV and AIDS --

    the first an accompaniment, the second a consequence to the alleged pleasure of anal penetration, an inherently vicious practice which exemplifies the plain fact that UN-necessary, useless, and indeed illusory "pleasures" are indeed maleficent and malign.

    And we need to understand in that regard that AIDS was and is, as we have MUCH discussed on The Man2Man Alliance site, a disease of affluence or relative affluence, of abundance, of excess -- both in the West among "homosexuals" and in Africa, among men and women who were and are part of an emerging middle class.

    So the AIDS epidemic was a consequence of excess -- sexual and material.

    Yet, as Plato demonstrates, pleasure -- in this case, sexual pleasure and sexuality in general -- must serve Manhood ; and not vice-versa, not manhood serve pleasure -- which is always, and as my generation learned, fatal.

    "The pleasures of necessity," says Plato :

    In so-called primitive Warrior societies, the male's need for affection, intimacy, sex and love with another male -- was satisfied by his being in a relationship with just one other male -- sometimes assigned at birth -- and which was lifelong.

    But by the 1970s, and after more than a hundred years of wholesale heterosexualization -- see Sex Between Men : An Activity, Not a Condition -- males forced into the effeminized "gay" slot by the relentless rules of sexual orientation could and indeed were encouraged to jet to Thailand or Rio and be degraded anally with five guys in a night -- and then return to NYC or SF or LA and be anally degraded with another ten guys on the following night.

    Thus -- the epidemic, which so swiftly became worldwide, and which was most devastating among the affluent in the West and relatively affluent in Africa.

    Again, this is something we have MUCH discussed on the Alliance site, and I'm not going to repeat that discussion here.

    Those interested are directed to the Alliance's Personal Stories board, where a great many articles can be found relating to every aspect of HIV-AIDS.




    Now :

    Intimately related to the Problem of Excess is the question of the Pleasures of Necessity.

    Indeed, we can say that a proper understanding of the Pleasures of Necessity -- will alleviate forever the problems of excess.

    And that the enemies of such an understanding are hedonism and ethical nihilism.

    And that in particular, it is the inability and unwillingness to recognize the difference between kalon -- moral beauty -- and aischron -- moral ugliness ; between honestum et turpe, virtue and vice, Manhood and its absence -- which constitutes both the method and the intended madness of ethical nihilism : the destruction of Manhood, and with it, Man.

    Plato examines this process many times and in many places in his work.

    For example, in Book VIII of the Republic, he says,

    "[W]hen wealth [ploutos] and the wealthy [plousios] are honored [timao -- deemed worthy] in a state [polis -- city-state], Virtue [areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood] and the Good [to agathon -- the Manly] are dishonored [atimos -- UN-honored, deemed UN-worthy]."

    "And that which men at any time honor [timao -- deem worthy] they practise [askeo], and what is not honored [atimazo -- not deemed worthy] is neglected [ameleo]."

    ~Plato. Rep. 8.551a.

    When wealth and the wealthy are deemed worthy in a state,
    Fighting Manhood and the Manly are deemed UN-worthy.

    -and-

    That which men deem worthy they practise,
    that which they don't is neglected.

    -or-

    Where money is prized
    Manhood is despised

    A bit further on in Book VIII, Plato tells us, through his spokesman Sokrates, that some world-of-becoming desires are necessary -- anankaios -- and beneficent, and some harmful and malign :

    Sokrates :
    "Then we shall rightly use the word 'necessary' [anankaios] of them?"

    "Rightly."

    "And what of the desires from which a man could free himself by discipline [meletao] from youth [neos] up, and whose presence in the soul does no good and in some cases harm? Should we not fairly call all such unnecessary?"

    "Fairly indeed."

    "Let us select an example of either kind, so that we may apprehend the type."

    "Let us do so."

    "Would not the desire of eating to keep in health and condition and the appetite for mere bread and relishes [opson -- meat or other cooked food] be necessary?"

    "I think so."

    "The appetite for bread is necessary in both respects, in that it is beneficial [ophelimos] and in that if it fails we die."

    "Yes."

    "And the desire for relishes, so far as it conduces to fitness [euexia -- vigour] ?"

    "By all means."

    "And should we not rightly pronounce unnecessary the appetite that exceeds these and seeks other varieties of food, and that by correction [kolazo] and training [paideuo] from youth up can be got rid of in most cases and is harmful to the body and a hindrance to the soul's attainment of intelligence [phronesis] and sobriety [sophron] ?"

    "Nay, most rightly."

    "And may we not call the one group the spendthrift [analotikos -- wasteful] desires and the other the profitable [chresimos -- useful, serviceable, apt], because they help production [erga] ?"

    Bill Weintraub:

    Shorey, the translator, says "production," as in work, but Plato says ta erga τα εργα, the plural of ergon, which most often means deeds of war, action, battle, Fight.

    Again, erga means deeds of war, action, battle, Fight.

    So that the necessary appetites are those which are useful for, exist in service to, deeds of war, action, battle, Fight.

    That's what Plato says :

    "And may we not call the one group the wasteful desires and the other the useful, because they serve to produce erga, deeds of war, of action, battle, Fight?"

    Now :

    Is my interpretation of ergon here some sort of Weintraubian over-reach?

    By which I mean --

    Is my assertion that the words ergon and erga don't simply mean "work," but most often the work of battle, the work of Fight --

    Is that an over-reach, a going-too-far -- on my part?

    No -- of course not.

    Deeds of War, Action, Battle, Fight -- is the most common use of the terms ergon /erga in both the Iliad and in the leading literature of the fourth century BC, as in this excerpt from a hortatory speech made to his fellow soldiers by Xenophon, Plato's contemporary and a fellow student of Sokrates, in the Anabasis :

    And now, since it may be that others also have these same thoughts in mind, let us not, in the name of the Gods, wait for others to come to us and summon us to the noblest deeds [kallista erga -- noblest, most fair, most selfless -- erga -- deeds of war, battle, action, Fight], but let us take the lead ourselves and arouse the rest to valour [Areté -- Manhood]. Show yourselves the best [aristos -- most Manly] of the captains, and more worthy to be generals than the generals themselves.

    ~Xen. Anab. 3.2.24, translated by Brownson.

    So Xenophon exhorts his fellow Men, heroic Greek hoplitai stranded in the hostile hinterlands of barbaric Mesopotamia :

    Let us not, in the name of the Gods, wait for others to come to us and summon us to the most Heroically Selfless Deeds of Battle, but let us take the lead ourselves and arouse the rest to Manhood. Show yourselves the most Manly of the captains, and more worthy to be generals than the generals themselves.

    Again, this is a common use of the word ergon (singular), erga (plural) -- deed or deeds of war, battle, action, Fight.

    And that's how Plato means it :

    "And may we not call the one group the wasteful desires and the other the useful, because they serve to produce erga, deeds of war, of action, battle, Fight?"

    For, Plato is about to say, just as the alimentary appetites must serve euexia -- Vigor -- one of the Attributes of Fighting Manhood ; so must the sexual appetites be brought to the service of deeds of action -- kinesis -- as the old Boiotian soldier says to Alexander, "Action is a Man's job, my lord" -- deeds of action, of battle, Fight, and war -- erga :


    ΕΡΓΑ
    In polychromed scenes from the Alexander Sarcophagus
    Nude Heroic Greeks Fight Clothed Persians


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    Plato:

    "And may we not call the one group the wasteful desires and the other the useful, because they serve to produce erga, deeds of war, of action, battle, Fight?"

    "Surely."

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    Bill Weintraub:

    It's critical that we understand that what Plato says applies equally to alimentary appetite as well as sexual appetite.

    He is, remember, a philosopher, and he chooses his words and develops his argument with great care :

    "The appetite for bread is necessary in both respects, in that it is beneficial [ophelimos] and in that if it fails we die."

    "Yes."

    "And the desire for relishes [opson -- meat], so far as it conduces to fitness [euexia -- vigor] ?"

    "By all means."

    "And should we not rightly pronounce unnecessary the appetite that exceeds these and seeks other varieties of food, and that by correction [kolazo] and training [paideuo] from youth up can be got rid of in most cases and is harmful to the body and a hindrance to the soul's attainment of intelligence [phronesis] and sobriety [sophron -- self-control] ?"

    "Nay, most rightly."

    "And may we not call the one group the spendthrift [analotikos -- wasteful] desires and the other the profitable [chresimos -- useful, serviceable, apt], because they help ta erga -- deeds of war, action, battle, Fight?"

    "Surely."

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    So : The appetites for certain foods are necessary and beneficial and useful, "because they help erga" -- which are defined as "deeds of war", "action, battle" -- that is, Fight.

    Again :

    The appetites for certain foods are both necessary and beneficial "because they help erga" -- deeds of war, action, battle, Fight.

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    The same standard can and should be applied, says Plato, to sexual appetites.

    Such appetites are both necessary and beneficial when they aid in and promote Fight.

    Male-female aids Fight by producing Warriors and the females who give birth to Warriors.

    Male-Male aids Fight by producing an unbreakable bond between two Men which, through Aidos, Honor and Shame, prevents shameful deeds in battle and promotes Honorable -- that is, Selflessly Heroic -- deeds.

    But -- to function in that way, such Male-Male must be absolutely Faithful.

    No Man would be willing to die for the sake of a casual sexual partner -- a "hook-up."

    But he will die for the sake of a Male Lover with whom he has a sexually exclusive and thus emotionally intense bond.

    One of the many reasons modern-day "gay" male life is so vicious -- Vice-ious -- is that it promotes hook-ups while denigrating -- Fidelity.

    It should do the opposite.

    Now :

    Is it yet another over-reach -- on my part -- to say that for Plato, sexual appetite, like the appetite for food, must serve ergon -- deeds of war, action, battle, Fight?

    No.

    Remember that Plato's ethics are Warrior Ethics, his Ethical Wisdom is a Warrior Wisdom -- as eminent classicist and historian Werner Jaeger confirms :

    In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece.

    "In many details," says Prof Jaeger -- not just the broad outlines, but in the details -- Plato and Aristotle's ethical doctrines are "founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece."

    That is to say, on the Homeric aristocracy of Greece -- the Warrior Aristocracy of the Iliad, the ancient epic whose battles were fought perhaps 800 years before Plato lived ; which served as a model for all subsequent Greeks ; and whose greatest Warrior was Achilles, Beloved of Patroklos.

    So --

    Abraham Lincoln described democracy as government of the people, by the people, for the people.

    By the same token, in Ancient Greece, not just the government, but the entire culture -- and Ancient Greece was a Warrior Culture --

    A Warriordom --

    That entire culture, like that of all Warriordoms, was of, by, and for the Warriors.

    Warriors called the shots, Warriors determined the cultural norms, and those norms were always to the benefit of Warriors.

    For in a Warriordom, it is Warrior norms, Warrior standards of behavior and belief, which matter and hold absolute sway.

    Again, Ancient Greece was a Warrior Culture -- of, by, and for Warriors -- Fighting Men.

    In addition, among the ancient Greeks, there were no "divine prohibitions" against same-sex -- though there was a divine prohibition against anal.

    Translation : The Fighting Men -- the Warriors -- who ran the culture and created its institutions were free to do what they wanted to do and what they found beneficial in the matter of sex.

    And what they found beneficial was the sequestering of women, and the promotion of intensely passionate and romantic male-male Love -- Eros -- in the service of Fight -- Ares.

    Again, the Fighting Men of the Warriordoms promoted intensely passionate and romantic male-male Love -- Eros, the Son -- in the service of Fight -- Ares, the Father, who's both Fight and Fighting Manhood.

    And if there's a Father and a Son, is there a Holy Spirit?

    Yes, of course.

    The Holy Spirit is Manly Spirit.

    Fighting Manhood is the Father of All Manly Moral Order -- which includes Eros, Passionately Romantic Love between Fighting Men.

    And Father and Son are bathed continually in the Radiance of Manly Spirit, of Manhood, which emanates from the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos -- the Warrior Order.

    Which is why Plato says what he does :

    "And may we not call the one group the spendthrift [analotikos -- wasteful] desires and the other the profitable [chresimos -- useful, serviceable, apt], because they help ta erga -- deeds of war, action, battle, Fight ?"

    "Surely."

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    Again, it's important that you understand and be absolutely clear that the Fighting Men -- the Warriors -- who ran Greek culture and created its institutions were free to do what they wanted to do and what they found beneficial in the matter of sex.

    And what they found beneficial was not anal, promiscuity, and effeminacy, but the promotion of intensely Passionate and Romantic -- that is, Faithful -- Male-Male Love -- Eros -- among Martial Men -- Warriors -- who Lived in the service of Fight -- Lord Ares.

    For a man in love [erao] would surely choose to have all the rest of the host [army] rather than his favorite [paidika] see him forsaking his station [taxis] or flinging away his arms [hopla] ; sooner than this, he would prefer to die many deaths : while, as for leaving his favorite [paidika] in the lurch [enkataleipo], or not succoring [bontheo --coming to aid] him in his peril, no man is such a craven [kakos -- coward] that Love's own influence cannot inspire him with a Manhood [Areté -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness] that makes him equal to the Manliest [aristos] born ; [179b] and without doubt what Homer calls a "fury inspired [menos -- rage, passion] [empneo -- breathed into]" by a God [Father-Ares-Eros-Son] in certain Heroes is the effect produced on lovers by Love's power.

    ~Plato. Sym. 179b, translated by Fowler.

    The most important representative of this Martial Manly Love is Achilles, the greatest mythic Warrior who was, in Jaeger's words, the "pattern-hero" for all subsequent Greek and Roman Men :

    Achilles, son of [the Goddess] Thetis, the Gods honored and sent to his place in the Isles of the Blest [nesoi makaron -- "It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, / And see the great Achilles, whom we knew" -- Tennyson, Ulysses], because having learnt from his mother that he would die as surely as he slew Hector, but if he slew him not, would return home and end his days an aged man, he had the courage and grace [tolmao] to go and succour [bontheo] his lover Patroclus, avenged [timoreo] him, and sought death not merely in his behalf [hyper-apothnesko -- to die for] but in haste to be joined with him whom death had taken [ep-apothnesko -- to die after]. For this the Gods so highly admired him that they gave him distinguished honor [Timé -- Worth], since he set so great a value on his lover. . . . For in truth, there is no sort of Areté [Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence] deemed more Worthy of Honor [timao] by the Gods than this which comes of Love [Eros].

    ~Plat. Sym. 180a.

    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    Plutarch, writing some 500 years later, takes up Plato's theme in his brilliant Essay on Love, Erotikos :

    Plutarch:

    [A] band that is held together by the friendship between lovers [erotikos philia] is indissoluble and not to be broken, since the lovers are ashamed to play the coward before their beloved, and the beloved before their lovers, and both stand firm in danger to protect each other.

    Nor is this a wonder, since men have more regard for their lovers even when absent than for others who are present, as was true of him who, when his enemy was about to slay him where he lay, earnestly besought him to run his sword through his breast, 'in order,' as he said, 'that my beloved may not have to blush at sight of my body with a wound in the back.'

    Plutarch then reinfoces his point by saying that it's the most Warlike of Men -- and the cultures which produce them -- which evidence the Greatest Romantic Passion -- in their Love of Men :

    The most Warlike Men [machimotatos], including the Thebans, Spartans, and Cretans, are the most Romantically Passionate [erotikotatos] in their Male Love Affairs.

    And Men who Love Men are, he tells us, the most unyielding of their Love, the least likely to let it be used for political or other gain, even under the most extreme pressure.

    He speaks of those famous Lovers whose handsome and happy young Beloveds, glowing with the full bloom of radiant youth, were advidly and persisently sought after by tyrants for the most vicious of sexual purposes -- and how those Lovers Died, Fighting, rather than let their Virtuous Beloveds be violated by those lords of vice :

    You know the tales of Aristogeiton of Athens and Antileon of Metapontum and Melanippus of Agrigentum : they had at first no quarrel with their tyrants, though they saw that these were acting like drunkards and disfiguring the state ; but when the tyrants tried to seduce their beloveds, they spared not even their own lives in defending their loves, holy [athiktos], as it were, and inviolable [asylos] shrines [hieron].

    "Holy and inviolable shrines," says Plutarch, in Helmbold's admirable translation.


    Aristogeiton and Harmodius
    Warrior-Lovers and Tyrannicides

    And then Plutarch once again contrasts the often adulterated nature of male-female with the purity of male-male.

    For, having described several famous cases of males proffering their wives for political gain, Plutarch asks,

    On the other hand, of all the throngs of [male-male] lovers [erastes] past and present, do you know of a single one who sold the favours of his beloved [eromenos] even to gain the honours [Timé] of Zeus himself ? I think not.

    After which Plutarch returns to what is de facto a world of becoming vs World of Being dichotomy :

    It is a fact that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children ; but lover and beloved, when their God is present [entheos -- when they're in-Godded, filled with their God, have their God within], no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through.

    "It is a fact, says Plutarch, "that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children" ; "but Lover and Beloved, when their God is present," that is, when they're in-Godded and filled with Eros, "no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through."

    Although that may sound like hyperbole to you, it's not -- it is, rather, a clear statement of what is both a Masculinist and Warrior Cultural Value and a Societal Fact ; and it's also a cultural message.

    Which is followed by this :

    In some cases, even when there is no need for it, Lovers -- Erastai -- are moved to exhibit their love of danger [philokindunos], their disregard for mere life [aphilopsychos].

    "Their disregard for mere life."

    As we discussed, Men will disregard mere life because it's the mere life of the world of becoming.

    Just as -- "men will desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children" -- because they too are linked to the world of becoming.

    But not Lover and Beloved.

    They cannot, says Plutarch, be parted, they cannot be separated.

    Because they partake of the World of Being -- the Warrior World of Being.

    And their bond, as a consequence, is too powerful.

    Why?

    Because the Idea of Good in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, is Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    And that Idea, that Form, that Essence -- is too Powerful -- to be betrayed.


    Now :

    Let's look at a couple of anecdotes about the Pleasures of Necessity -- and the problem of excess :

    So :

    You remember, hopefully, that Plato makes the following two points :

    1. The pleasant -- in the sense of the sensually pleasurable -- and the Manly are not the same thing.

    2. The pleasant -- the hedonai -- the low, sensual pleasures -- are only to be experienced for the sake of the Good -- that is, for the sake of Manhood.

      Manhood -- the Good -- must never serve pleasure ; pleasure must always serve the Good -- Manhood.

      And the words Plato uses are prakteos -- to be done, practised -- and eneka -- for the sake of, in service to, in obligation to.

      The pleasant thing is to be done only in service to, in obligation to, the Good -- Manhood.

      Manhood must never exist in service or obligation to pleasure ; pleasure must always serve Manhood.

      So : pleasure must be, in effect, the slave of Manhood ; Manhood must NEVER be the slave of pleasure.

    And, also hopefully, you recognize that implicit in what Plato has said and what the Greeks believe is that neither excess nor the UN-neccesary pleasures -- can be allowed to rule a Man's life, that is, to over-rule Manhood.

    Manhood dictates that there be no excess, no surfeit, of material "goods" ; and that no UN-necessary pleasures be experienced.

    As Xenophon, in a succinct statement of the Warrior Creed, says to the Great King's emissary :

    We have no other Agathoi "Goods" than Hopla -- Arms -- and Areta -- Manhood.

    WE HAVE NO OTHER GOODS SAVE ARMS AND MANHOOD



    And that's all the Warrior needs.

    Except of course for the pleasures of necessity, which is to say,

    • Food, of course, to preserve life and promote vigour ; and

    • Sex :

      Male-Female to produce children ; and

      Male-Male with ONE other Man to both thego -- sharpen, through mutual Struggle -- Manhood -- and to create an unbreakable because absolutely faithful Warrior Bond which can not be destroyed in Battle -- or anywhere else.

    Which is, for a Warrior, just another way of saying that

    WE HAVE NO OTHER GOOD SAVE ARMS AND MANHOOD

    So :

    The Warrior's Life, the Life of Fighting Manhood, must be Austere -- and Controlled.

    Which means, once again, that pleasure must be, in effect, the slave of Manhood ; Manhood must NEVER be the slave of pleasure.

    I can present many examples of this dictum in practice among the ancient Greeks, and I will in Chapter V.

    For now, let's look at a just a couple, both about King Agesilaus of Sparta.

    The first concerns food, and the typically Spartan attitude towards it :

    As Agesilaus was traversing the Thasians' territory with his army, they sent him barley-meal, geese, dried fruit, honey cakes, and all sorts of expensive things to eat and drink. He accepted just the barley-meal, but as for everything else, he instructed those who brought it to take it back, since his Men would have no use for it. Yet when they begged and pleaded with him to accept it all the same, he told them to give it to the slaves. When they asked why, he said, 'It's quite inappropriate for those who profess true Manly qualities [andragathia -- Manliness, which is Manly Virtue, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence] to accept such delicacies [lichneia -- gluttony]. Things which attract slavish [andrapododes -- males enslaved because they've been taken in battle] characters are alien to Free Men [eleutheros].'

    ~Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, 2.24, translated by Talbert.

    And let's look at it one more time :

    As Agesilaus was traversing the Thasians' territory with his army, they sent him barley-meal, geese, dried fruit, honey cakes, and all sorts of expensive things to eat and drink. He accepted just the barley-meal, but as for everything else, he instructed those who brought it to take it back, since his Men would have no use for it. Yet when they begged and pleaded with him to accept it all the same, he told them to give it to the slaves. When they asked why, he said, 'It's quite inappropriate for those who profess true Manliness to give in to such gluttony. Things which attract the sort of un-manly male who allows himself to be taken in battle and enslaved -- are alien to Free Men.

    Bill Weintraub:

    Here, in typically Spartan -- and Sokratic -- fashion, Agesilaus associates austerity with Manly Virtue and Freedom, and gluttony with UN-manly cowardice and slavery.

    Indeed, the word which is translated as "slavish" -- andrapododes -- derives from andrapodon -- one taken in war and sold as a slave, a captive.

    Those who are slaves to their appetites, says Agesilaus, are likely to be taken captive and enslaved -- in war.

    Very Spartan.

    And Sokratic.

    And Platonic.

    Here's another anecdote, this one about mastering sexual passion.

    This is the context :

    In 394 BC Agesilaus, recently raised to the dual Spartan kingship, was granted permission by the Spartan Assembly to take "thirty Spartans to act as commanders and advisors, a picked body of two thousand Helots, and a force of six thousand men drawn from Sparta's allies in Greece," to oppose the Persians on their home turf in Asia Minor.

    Why?

    Because, having been defeated in their attempt to invade Greece at Plataia in 479 BC, the Persians had spent the next eighty years using their money to meddle in Greek affairs and keep the Greeks divided.

    Agesilaus understood that that had to be stopped.

    In two years of campaigning he enjoyed great success in freeing the Greek cities of the region from Persian rule.

    He also made friends among some of the Persians, particularly commanders, whom he encouraged, sometimes successfully, to defect to the Greek side.

    But as you'll see, in at least one instance, that friendship led to a romantic complication :

    When [the Persian youth] Megabates, the son of Sphridates, who had a most handsome figure, came up to embrace Agesilaus and kiss him -- under the impression that he was extremely fond [phileo -- to love, to kiss, etc.] of him [which he was] -- Agesilaus recoiled. Since Megabates then ceased to approach him, Agesilaus asked after him. His friends told him that it was his own fault for being frightened of a kiss from the handsome youth, but that if he were willing and wouldn't flinch, then Megabates would return.

    Agesilaus thought this over in silence for a while and declared : 'You needn't try to persuade him, since my view is that I should prefer to be above such things than to take by storm [kratos] the best-manned city of my opponents. For it is better to maintain one's own freedom [eleutheria] than to deprive others of theirs.'

    ~Plutarch, Apophthegmata Laconica, 2.15, translated by Talbert.

    First off, notice how casually Plutarch recounts this incident of male-male romance among Warriors, and then try to imagine it in modern terms.

    Agesilaus was a hugely important king and commander who had charge of all Spartan and allied forces in Asia -- he's comparable to someone like Eisenhower or Patton.

    Yet try to imagine that a handsome youth had tried to kiss Eisenhower -- in public, in front of his officers -- and that Eisenhower had then to think over, also in public, whether to invite the youth back for a second kiss.

    But that's what happened.

    Here's another point :

    At the time of the attempted kiss, Agesilaus would have been about fifty years old.

    Although handsome as a youth, Plutarch tells us, he was quite plain as an adult, being short, lame, and altogether unprepossessing in physical appearance.

    He was probably in good shape for someone his age -- he didn't overeat, Lord knows, and he'd spent his life on campaign under rather rough circumstances -- but he simply wasn't handsome.

    No one thinks that.

    He was a fifty-year-old Man.

    And yet Megabates, who was an adolescent, and who's described as having "a most handsome figure," wanted not just to kiss him, but to be his Lover -- or Beloved -- his Aitas, in Doric.

    Gee.

    Gosh.

    And shucks.

    That sorta kinda suggests that sexual desire is controlled not by biology -- since, after all Agesilaus was not remotely "biologically attractive" -- but by -- culture !!!

    Yes, yes, culture -- that's the only possible explanation.

    But wait -- and Yes, I know, I know, that couldn't possibly be, because if it were, the categories of sexual orientation would have no validity -- nor would the transgendered.

    So, oh, I don't know, Megabates and Agesilaus must have just been freaks of nature.

    Except in that case so would have Alkibiades and Sokrates and Harmodius and Aristogeiton -- and -- oh -- I guess it's best I not get started -- not be allowed -- to ride that particular hobby horse, which would so disrupt our current and very hard won understanding of the inevitability and, of course, immutability, of "gay" and "straight."

    That said, and for whatever reason, clearly Agesilaus would have liked a second kiss from Megabates -- Xenophon, for example, who was a good friend of Agesilaus' and who was there, in Asia, on that occasion, says that Agesilaus "loved Megabates, the handsome son of Spithridates, with all the intensity of an ardent [sphodros -- violent and impetuous] nature" ; and it's my sense that Agesilaus did have some sort of affair with the youth -- the word used in the Apophthegmata to describe Agesilaus' feelings towards Megabates -- phileo -- means, basically, and after all, to love.

    But in this instance, he tells his friends not to encourage the youth, because Agesilaus doesn't want his own Manhood to be a slave to passion.

    And once again he uses a military image -- he says he'd rather

    be above such things than to take by storm [kratos] the best-manned city of my opponents. For it is better to maintain one's own freedom [eleutheria] than to deprive others of theirs.

    Translation :

    It's better to maintain your own psychological and spiritual freedom -- from appetite and desire -- than it is to deprive others of their physical freedom.

    A very striking thing for a military man to say.

    Again, the basic rule is that pleasure must serve Manhood ; not Manhood serve pleasure.

    And please be clear :

    It's not that Agesilaus was opposed to male-male ; he was, after all, as a youth, and as part of the agogé, the beloved of the Spartan general Lysander.

    While as an adult, it's well-known -- again Xenophon tells us -- that he engaged in male-male love affairs and that he had a bond with one of his co-kings, Agesipolis, who likewise engaged in such affairs --

    Specifically, it's said that Agesilaus, wanting to maintain good relations with his co-king, made a point of expressing an interest in and helping him with -- his own male-male affairs.

    And, Xenophon tells us, he was very supportive of his own son Achidamus' love-affair with the handsome and promising youth Kleonymus, the son of Sphodrias, a political opponent of Agesilaus.

    Indeed, and much to Xenophon's dismay, Agesilaus used his considerable power to acquit Sphodrias of a capital charge -- of which he was clearly guiilty.

    You can read about that here.

    So :

    Agesilaus, like other Spartans, was no stranger to male-male, and involved himself not just in his own Manly love-affairs, but in those of his friends, colleagues, and even children.

    But in this situation, in which Agesilaus is frequently leading Men into battle, and having constantly to think strategically, he's clear that his Manhood cannot and will not be a slave to his passion.

    Because austerity confers freedom.

    While those who are slaves to their appetites are forever imprisoned.

    So :

    Sokrates says that a leader must have

    the power to control [enkrateo] his [sexual] passions [aphrodisios], so that he may not be hindered in doing necessary work.

    And that's what Agesilaus is demonstrating.

    He has to think it over -- that is to say, struggle a bit with it internally -- because he's so attracted to Megabates.

    But his Warrior Training -- his Warrior Askesis -- discipline -- sees him through, and gives him the clarity he needs to recognize that what's essential is to preserve his own freedom from passion.

    As a consequence, he's successful in both freeing the Greek cities of Asia Minor and setting an example of austerity and equality that's in great contrast to the behavior of the former Persian overlords.

    Plutarch :

    Agesilaus was now nearing the end of the second year of his command in Asia. By this time his fame had spread far and wide within the Persian empire, and he gained an almost legendary reputation for self-discipline [sophrosyne], for frugality [euteleia], and for the simplicity [metriotes] of his way of life. Whenever he travelled, he made a point of taking up his quarters in the most sacred precincts [hieron -- temples] by himself, and in this way he made the Gods the witnesses of the most private details of his life. Among all the thousands of soldiers in his army, it would have been hard to find one who slept on a harder bed than the king, and in his resistance to the variations of heat and cold he seemed to be constituted as though nature had given him alone the power to endure whatever seasons or weather the Gods might send.

    In particular it delighted the Greek inhabitants of Asia to see their former tyrants, the Persian governors and generals, who had long been intolerably harsh and who had reveled in wealth [ploutos] and luxury [truphe], now bowing and trembling before a man who walked about in a coarse [litos] cloak [tribon], and to watch them obsequiously change their whole bearing and appearance in reponse to a single curt [brachus] and 'laconic' [lakonikos] speech from him. For many of them this sight called to mind the words of the poet Timotheus

    Ares is Lord ; Greece has no fear of gold.

    ~Plut. Ages. 14.1-2, translated by Talbert.

    And what those few lines of poetry tell us is that Agesilaus' actions, including his frugality, moderation, and self-control, which includes his sexual self-control, have imbued Agesilaus with both a divine and heroic quality among the Greeks he's come to liberate.

    Homoiosis Theo -- to be like to a God -- says Plato.

    That's what a Greek Hero strives to be.

    And I just want to say, and to emphasize, before leaving this pretty little story of Megabates and Agesilaus -- that we should not and indeed MUST NOT confuse Agesilaus' self-control -- his enkrateia -- with our homophobia.

    The Greeks were NOT homophobic.

    They had, thank the Gods, no notion of "sexual orientation," and they thought it natural and normal that one male would desire -- and love -- another.

    Indeed, such love played a huge role in their culture, and many institutions supported it, including the palaistrai and gymnasia and symposia -- and the military itself -- which was, ultimately, and in the global sense, the most important institution among the Greeks.

    Those of you who've read the Anabasis, which is available for free online -- will know that I'm speaking the Truth.

    Those who haven't read the Anabasis, because they had better things to do, like watching the latest episode of the Walking Dead in streaming video -- won't.

    I wonder which of you -- is better off ?


    Now :

    Here's another example, albeit fictional, that's much closer to us in time -- and place :

    In the modern American movie, The Maltese Falcon, a private detective named Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart, and his partner, a guy named Miles Archer, become embroiled with a disparate group of people, criminals, who are searching for an allegedly valuable artifact they call the Maltese Falcon.

    Early in the movie, Miles -- Bogart's partner -- is mysteriously shot and killed.

    No one knows by whom.

    As the movie progresses, Bogart's character becomes romantically involved with one of the criminals, Brigid, who's played by Mary Astor.

    She stays at his apartment, and it's assumed that the two are having sex.

    Eventually, Bogart figures out that it had to be Mary Astor -- that is, Brigid -- who killed Miles.

    And when he does figure that out he turns her over, much to her shock, to the police for prosecution, saying to her,

    When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it.

    And that's a good example of Manhood -- the Good -- refusing to be the slave of pleasure, because it knows that if it doesn't so refuse, it will be corrupted and destroyed by that pleasure.

    So :

    Bogart's character is enjoying a hedone, a low, sensual, pleasure, in this case penile-vaginal sex, with Mary Astor's character.

    That pleasure conflicts with Bogart's duty to bring his partner's killer -- to justice.

    Bogart has to choose between the Good -- Manhood -- and pleasure.

    He chooses Manhood.

    He chooses to avenge Miles.

    Not that he particularly liked Miles.

    Miles was his hetairos, his comrade, in a quasi-military, non-romantic sense, only.

    But as his hetairos, his comrade, Bogart has a duty to him and to society, which he carries out.

    The last scene of the movie shows Astor's character being taken away by the police in an elevator.

    As the inner door of the elevator closes, it looks as though she's behind bars.

    And that's what Bogart's character has done.

    Rather than sheathing his manhood in his girlfriend's vagina, he's liberated his Manhood by imprisoning the appetite for sexual pleasure she represents.

    And by honouring -- fulfilling -- his Manly duty toward his partner.

    Pleasure must serve Manhood.

    Manhood must never serve -- be the slave of -- pleasure.

    And that's something I've always believed.

    Which is why Bogart's line -- "When a Man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it" -- has long resonated for me.

    Indeed, in my mind, the line became slightly altered and more personal :

    When your partner's killed, you're supposed to do something about it.

    And that's not surprising.

    Because my own partner, Brett Averill, was my hetairos in both a martial and romantic sense.

    When he was killed by an anally-vectored disease, I felt, as I still do, that I needed to do something about it.

    "When your partner's killed, you're supposed to do something about it."

    That's right.

    You are.

    At the same time, we should remember that The Maltese Falcon is a fiction and that Bogart's character is a fiction -- in Platonic terms, a copy of a copy, a shadow of a shadow.

    In addition, The Maltese Falcon is what's called a film noir, which is another way of saying that it takes a bleak view of humanity.

    Bogart's character, for just that reason, isn't a Hero -- or at least not the sort of Hero in which ancient Greece abounded.

    He's not a Harmodius or Aristogeiton or Miltiades or Leonidas or Themistocles or Aristides or Kimon or Brasidas or Agesilaus or Pelopidas or Epaminondas or Kleonymus or Alexander the Great.

    He's not perfect, he's not ideal, he doesn't remotely possess the fifteen attributes of Fighting Manhood.

    But, at a critical moment, he does the right thing.

    He does what we, as human beings, expect our Heroes to do :

    To reject the blandishments of sex and money, and stand up -- for Virtue --

    For Manhood.













    Νow :

    I said that Bogart's character isn't a Hero -- or at least not the sort of Hero in which ancient Greece abounded.

    Having said that, I have to point out that the rationale for what Bogart does -- "When your partner's killed, you're supposed to do something about it" --

    That that rationale is what motivates the Most Heroic Act, without question, of the Greatest, par excellence et sans pareil, of the Great Greek Heroes -- the Greatest of the Great -- Achilles.

    Whose actions become the model -- and Achilles the "pattern-hero," in Jaeger's phrase -- for all subsequent Greek and other ancient Men -- and, as we've seen, reach far into the future, as far as a twentieth-century American literary creation like Sam Spade, who may or not, in his creator's mind, have ever read the Iliad ; but who still has, somewhere -- perhaps lodged in his bit of the Male Collective Unconscious -- that crucial and critical requirement of the Kala, the Warrior Code :

    When your partner's killed, you do something about it . . .



    Achilles' slaying of Hektor is the first and most important example of how a self-less self-love, when combined with
    the Warrior's natural instinct for aggression, leads to heroic self-sacrifice ; for Achilles knows that by choosing
    to slay Hektor and so avenge his Lover's death, he himself will die young -- as Plato explains :


    Achilles, son of [the Goddess] Thetis, the Gods honored and sent to his place in the Isles of the Blest, because having learnt from his mother that he would die as surely as he slew Hector, but if he slew him not, would return home and end his days an aged man, he bravely [tolmao] chose to go and rescue [bontheo -- succour] his lover Patroclus, avenged [timoreo] him, and sought death not merely in his behalf but in haste to be joined with him whom death had taken. For this the Gods so highly admired him that they gave him distinguished honor [Timé -- Worth], since he set so great a value on his lover. . . . For in truth, there is no sort of valor [Areté -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Fighting Manhood] more respected [timao = honored, deemed Worthy of Honor] by the Gods than this which comes of love [Eros] .

    ~Plat. Sym. 180a, translated by Fowler.

    Is this a case of Manhood taking precedence over pleasure?

    Of course.

    The choice for Achilles is to go home, freely fuck his wife and any slave girls who might be available, take a pretty if not necessarily promising youth as his paidika, have kids and grandkids, and enjoy the pleasures, into old age, including sex, food, drink, and all the comforts of home, of a clan chief and country squire who rules his petty domain as an absolute monarch.

    Or to stay at Troy, living the austere and dangerous life of a soldier, and die violently and young because he's chosen to do that which is both Manly and Worthy : to avenge the life of his "partner."

    Now, in Achilles' case, as in mine, the partner in question is, the Greeks of the sixth, fifth, and fourth century BC believed, a romantic partner -- Achilles' philtatos hetairos, his most beloved companion or comrade.

    He's not just a partner or comrade in the military sense, or in a quasi-business sense, as in the case of Bogart's character, Sam Spade.

    He's Achilles' Lover.


    Patroclus and Achilles

    And in avenging the death of his Lover, Achilles is, in terms of the Honour Society which his Warriordom most certainly was -- in terms of that Honour Society -- Achilles is redressing an insult to Worth --

    To Timé.

    Which is why, in Phaidros' account of what happened, there are so many words derived from Timé, the most important of which is Timoreo :

    • Timoreo : to help, aid, succour ; to assist one who has suffered wrong, to avenge him, etc.

      τιμωρεω

      Derives from

    • Timoros : upholding honour ; and so, helping, aiding, succouring ; assisting one who has suffered wrong, avenging, etc.

      τιμωρος

    As you can see when you click on the link, Timoreo derives from Timoros :

    Τιμωρεω ← Τιμωρος

    So that when Achilles avenges [timoreo] Patroclus, he's "upholding honour" [timoros], which is Worth -- Achilles is upholding, and in essence, restoring, Worth.

    And because he's restoring Worth, he's also easing [bontheo] Patroclus' pain.

    But at great cost to himself.

    Phaidros says that Achilles

    bravely [tolmao] chose to go and rescue [bontheo -- succour] his lover Patroclus . . .

    But the word Prof Fowler translates as "bravely," tolmao, means far more than that -- it means "to undertake, to take heart, to do or bear anything terrible or difficult -- to have the courage and grace to do a thing in spite of any natural feeling" --

    and that's what Achilles is doing.

    Achilles is not only facing in naked battle the mightiest of the Trojan Warriors, but he's facing him knowing that by Fighting and Killing him, he himself will die, and not long thereafter.

    And that's not like any other duel Achilles has Fought.

    For this time, he's knows that by winning -- he will, ultimately, die.

    So that Achilles has the courage and grace to Fight and Kill Hector -- in spite of the natural fear he must have of the death which he knows will now inevitably and quickly come to him.

    And that's why the picture caption reads as it does :


    Achilles' slaying of Hektor is the first and most important example of how a self-less self-love, when combined with
    the Warrior's natural instinct for aggression, leads to heroic self-sacrifice ; for Achilles knows that by choosing
    to slay Hektor and so avenge his Lover's death, he himself will die.

    Classicist Werner Jaeger insists that PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth -- has its own moral nobility.

    And clearly that's true.

    Because an en-nobled -- that is, self-less -- self-love [philautia] --

    A self-less self-love, when combined with the Warrior's natural instinct for aggression, leads to heroic self-sacrifice ; for, and again, Achilles knows that by choosing to slay Hektor and so avenge his Lover's death, he himself will die.

    Put differently, PhiloTimia -- Love of Warrior Worth -- leads to Morally Noble and Heroic Self-Sacrifice -- Moral Heroism.

    Hektor's slaying of Patroclus -- a slaying aided and abetted by the God Apollo -- is both an injury and an insult to the Timé of both Achilles and Patroclus.

    It must be redressed and the Warrior World -- the Manly Realm, the Dominion of Manhood, the Sovereignty of Lord Ares -- brought back into balance.

    And that's what Achilles does --

    Even though doing so will ultimately cost Achilles his life.

    When your partner's killed, you're supposed to do something about it

    People no longer believe that, because both Honour and Shame -- Aidos -- have been cast down.

    And replaced with hedonism and ethical-nihilism -- dis-honour and shamelessness.

    But for thousands of years, starting with the great Achilles and the Iliad, and as late as Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, Men believed just that --

    When your partner's killed, you're supposed to do something about it

    Or, if you prefer,

    When a Man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it

    That belief is one which puts MANHOOD above pleasure, and says that pleasure must serve Manhood -- not the opposite.

    It was core to a culture which taught Men

    Always to be best [aristeuo -- most Manly] and to excel above all others

    The two beliefs -- the two dicta -- are intertwined.

    Because they're intrinsic to Manhood --


    Before leaving the story of Achilles and Patroclus, I want to say a bit more about this brilliant vase painting, which occupies just part of the neck of a krater, a vessel used for mixing wine and water at a Symposion.

    I first encountered this minor masterpiece in a book on Greek mythology published in 1972, and it has stayed with me ever since because, from the moment I saw it, I understood that it expressed the very essence of Manhood --

    Which the Greeks called, after Lord Ares, Areta --

    Which is Manly Excellence, which is Manly Virtue, which is Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood.

    And thus, the very Essence of Man.

    In addition, the painting represents, in iconic fashion, a crucial relational dichotomy in the ancient world : that between male-female marriage, and male-male Eros -- Romantic, Passionate Love.

    Historian John Boswell neatly sums up that dichotomy in his classic Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by saying that in the ancient, Greco-Roman, world, Marriage was for Family and Country, while a Male Lover was a Friend Inspired by God.

    A brief aside :

    While I like Boswell's turn of phrase regarding a Male Lover, it's important that we understand its history :

    A Male Lover [erastes], says Plato, "filled as he is with a God [entheos], surpasses his favorite [paidika, beloved] in Divinity" [Plato. Sym. 180b] ; while Plutarch, in his Life of Pelopidas, and no doubt quoting from memory, says, in Perrin's translation, that "even Plato calls the Lover a friend 'inspired of God' "[entheos philos] [Plut. Pel. 18.4] ; and that latter phrase was undoubtedly picked up by Boswell.

    But properly speaking, what Plato says is that an Erastes -- a Male Lover of another Male -- is Entheos -- that he has a God within and is in-Godded or filled with that God.

    Why does that matter?

    Because there's a significant difference in degree between saying that something has inspired you, and saying that you have a God within you, that you're filled with that God.

    And what Plato's saying is that a Male Lover has a God within and is filled with that God.

    So :

    Marriage in the ancient world was arranged, and it was a financial and dynastic arrangement -- as well as a patriotic duty.

    The State -- which in ancient Greece was the City-State -- needed its Men to marry and produce children -- children who would grow up to be either Warriors or the Mothers of Warriors.

    For without Warriors, the State could not exist.

    The basic division, in the ancient world, was between slave and Free.

    And Freedom was a function, as you saw in the Agesilaus-marching-through-Thasia anecdote -- of Fighting.

    Heraclitus :



    So it was critical that Men marry and reproduce.

    They didn't have to love their wives, though no doubt some did, nor did they have to love their children, about whom they were not, or at least not necessarily, by modern standards, particularly sentimental.

    But they had to have children -- the Warrior had to re-produce -- and reproduce, in effect, himself, or, preferably, a more lethal version of himself.

    As the dead-Warrior-fathers tell their Warrior-to-be-sons in Plato's Athenian funeral oration in the Menexenus :

    [D]o you make it your endeavor, first and last and always, in every way to show all zeal that you may exceed, if possible, both us and those who went before us in renown [eukleia] ; but if not, be you well assured that if we vanquish you in virtue [Areté -- Fighting Manhood] our victory brings us shame [aischros], whereas, if we are defeated, our defeat brings happiness [eudaimonia]. And most of all would we be the vanquished, you the victors, if you are careful in your conduct not to trade upon the glory of your ancestors [progonos] nor yet to squander it, believing that for a man who holds himself of some account there is nothing more shameful than to find himself held in honor [timao] not for his own sake but because of the glory of his ancestors. In the honors [Timé -- Worth] which belong to their parents, the children truly possess a noble [kalos -- morally beautiful] and splendid treasure ; but to use up one's treasure, whether of wealth or of honor [Timé -- Worth], and bequeath none to one's children, is the base [aischros] and unmanly [anandros] act of one who lacks all wealth and distinctions of his own. And if you practise these precepts you will come unto us as friends unto friends whensoever the appointed doom shall convey you hither ; but if you neglect them and play the coward, you will be welcomed graciously by none.

    ~Plat. Menex. 247a-c, translated by Lamb.

    So :

    The killed-in-action Warrior fathers tell their sons to "make it your endeavor, first and last and always, in every way to show all zeal that you may exceed, if possible, both us and those who went before us in Fighting Manhood."

    And they also tell them that they must earn their own Worth -- their own Timé -- and not just live off the Timé of their fathers, for to do the latter is an-andros -- UN-manly.

    So -- what the Warrior, and his city-state, wanted -- was for him to produce children -- Sons -- who were more Manfully Excellent -- which in this and every case meant "more lethal in battle, more ardent and lethal in Fighting Manhood" -- than even he was.

    That was utterly crucial.

    The Sons had to be superior to their Fathers.

    Otherwise, a free-born Warrior might find himself spending his old age -- enslaved.

    And while Plato's funeral oration was Athenian, these were common sentiments throughout Greece.

    For example, Plutarch tells us that at Sparta,

    At festivals three choirs would be formed corresponding to the three age groups.

    The choir of old men would sing first :

    We were once valiant [alkimos] young men.

    Next the choir of men in their prime [akme] would respond with the words :

    But we are the valiant ones now ; put us to the test, if you wish.

    Then the third choir, that of the boys, would sing :

    But we shall be far mightier [karron].

    ~Plut. Lyc. 21.2, translated by Talbert.

    The Sons had to be Mightier than the Fathers.

    This was True in Ancient Greece.

    And in Ancient Rome, where, as JE Lendon points out, that expectation must have been a challenge, to say the least, to a Son whose Father might have as many as twenty-eights suits of armor in his home that he'd taken from enemies he'd killed in single combat.

    Yet that expectation was what enabled Rome to conquer the World.

    Now :

    Eros -- Male-Male Romantic, Passionate Love -- also had a martial role to play.

    But unlike marriage, which was strictly arranged by parents so as to benefit the families, rather than the spouses, involved, Eros -- Romantic, Passionate Love between Men -- was freely chosen by its Male participants, and its sole purpose, in theory, was to better both Men by making both more Excellent, which is to say more Virtuous, which is to say more Martial, which is say to more Manly, which is to say more Nobly Manly -- more SELFLESSLY Manly, more SELFLESSLY Warlike, more SELFLESSLY Eager and Able to FIGHT.

    Classicist JE Lendon:

    At Sparta lover and beloved stood beside each other in the hoplite line ; before battle the Spartans sacrificed to Eros, to love.

    Such relationships were institutionalized, played a large role in the training of boys, and were thought to contribute to bravery in combat.

    Classicist Werner Jaeger:

    It is, after all, easy to understand how a passionate admiration of noble bodies and balanced souls could spring up in a race which for countless years had prized physical prowess and spiritual harmony as the highest good attainable by man, and which had striven by grave and ceaseless rivalry, by exertion involving the utmost energies of mind and body alike, to bring those qualities to the greatest possible perfection.

    Men who loved the possessors of those enviable qualities were moved by an ideal, the love for areté. Lovers who were bound by the male Eros were guarded by a deeper sense of honour from committing any base action, and were driven by a nobler impulse in attempting any honourable deed.

    The Spartan state deliberately made Eros [Male-Male Love] a factor, and an important factor, in its agogé.

    Lendon:

    [male-male] relationships were institutionalized, played a large role in the training of boys, and were thought to contribute to bravery in combat. . . . before battle the Spartans sacrificed to Eros, to [the God of Male-Male] love.

    Jaeger:

    Lovers who were bound by the male Eros were guarded by a deeper sense of honour from committing any base action, and were driven by a nobler impulse in attempting any honourable deed.

    The Spartan state deliberately made Eros a factor, and an important factor, in its agogé.

    Ares is the Father of Eros.

    War is the Father of Martial and Manly Love.

    So :

    In the painting, as well as in the Iliad, one Man, Hektor, Fights for family and country -- the other, Achilles, to avenge his dead Lover -- his Lover Inspired of God, his erastes en-Theos, "in-Godded," "having a God within," "filled with a God."

    And you can't beat that, can you?

    You can't beat having a Lover who's inspired of and filled with a God, who has a God within.

    The notion, the idea, the ideation, is too powerful -- it can't be overcome.

    Which is why Achilles looks as he does -- and triumphs -- as he does :

    Both Achilles and Hektor are Noble -- that is, Self-Less.

    Neither Fight for material gain.

    But, to the archaic and classical Greeks, Achilles is the Nobler.

    Because he's motivated by Eros -- Romantic, Passionate Love -- which to them was, in effect, by far Nobler, than marriage.

    Marriage, ultimately, was about money.

    Eros was about Love -- and Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood -- which is Manly Excellence.

    Which is Areta.

    Boswell :

    Most ancient writers -- in striking opposition to their modern counterparts -- generally entertained higher expectations of the fidelity and permanence of homosexual [sic] passions than of heterosexual [sic] feelings.

    Plutarch adduces with evident disapproval cases of husbands who allowed their wives to be unfaithful to gain some advantage, and then notes, "By contrast, of all the many [same-sex] lovers there were and have been, do you know of a single one who surrendered his beloved, even to gain favor from Zeus? I do not." (Erotikos 760B).

    The proponent of same-sex passion in the Hellenistic Affairs of the Heart says that wisdom and experience teach that love between males is the most stable of loves. This prejudice [sic] was doubtless influenced by the Symposium of Plato, in which heterosexual relationships and feelings are characterized as "vulgar," and their same-sex equivalents as "heavenly."

    This contrast exercised wide influence on subsequent discussions of love.

    ~ Boswell, 74.

    And Boswell's quote from Plutarch's Erotikos, written ca 100 AD, just stratches the surface of the dominant Masculinist and Warrior Culture's belief in the superiority of Male Eros, of Male-Male Love -- there's a lot more said about it in the Erotikos -- a lot more :








    Protogenes said, "So you think that I'm at war with Love [Eros] now, do you, and not fighting on his side against lechery and insolence when they try to force the foulest acts and passions into the company of the most honourable and dignified of names ?"

    "When you say foulest," asked Daphnaios, "are you referring to marriage, the union of man and wife, than which there has not existed, now or ever, a fellowship more sacred ?"

    "Why, of course," said Protogenes, "since it's necessary for producing children, there's no harm in legislators talking it up and singing its praises to the masses [hoi polloi -- the many]. But genuine Love has no connexion whatsoever with the women's quarters. I deny that it is love that you have felt for women and girls -- any more than flies feel love for milk or bees for honey or than caterers and cooks have tender emotions for the calves and fowls they fatten in the dark.

    "In a normal state one's desire for bread and meat is moderate, yet sufficient ; but abnormal indulgence of this desire creates the vicious habit called gluttony and gormandizing. In just the same way there normally exists in men and women a need for the pleasure derived from each other ; but when the impulse that drives us to this goal is so vigorous and powerful that it becomes torrential and almost out of control, it is a mistake to give the name Love to it. Love, in fact, it is that attaches himself to a young and talented soul and through friendship brings it to a state of virtue [Areté -- Manhood, which is Manly Excellence] ; but the appetite for women we are speaking of, however well it turns out, has for net gain only an accrual of pleasure in the enjoyment of a ripe physical beauty. To this Aristippus [a well-known hedonist] bore witness when he replied to the man who denounced Lais [a famous courtesan -- that is, an expensive prostitute or porne] to him for not loving him : He didn't imagine, he said, that wine or fish loved him either, yet he partook of both with pleasure. The object of desire is, in fact, pleasure and enjoyment ; while Love, if he loses the hope of inspiring friendship, has no wish to remain cultivating a deficient plant which has come to its prime, if the plant cannot yield the proper fruit of character to produce friendship and virtue [philia kai Areté = Friendship and Manhood, Brotherhood and Manhood].

    "You know the husband in the tragedy who says to his wife :

    You hate me ? I can lightly bear your hate
    And make a windfall of my slighted state.

    Yet the man who, not for gain, but for lust and intercourse, endures an evil, unloving woman is no more in love than the husband in the play. Such was the orator Stratocles whom the comic poet Philippides ridiculed :

    She turns away : you barely get her braids to kiss.

    "If, however, such a passion must also be called Love, let it at least be qualified as an effeminate and bastard love that takes its exercise in the women's quarters as bastards do in the Cynosarges [translator's note : The gymnasion at Cynosarges was the only one in Athens which residents of illegitimate birth or born of a foreign mother could frequent : Life of Themistocles, i (112 a)]. Or rather, just as there is one eagle, called the true or mountain eagle, which Homer qualifies as 'black' and 'the hunter,' though there are other bastard varieties which catch fish and slow-flying birds in marshes ; when they grow hungry, as they often do, they give a famished and plaintive scream -- just so : there is only one genuine Love, the love of boys [paidika -- actually, a Male Lover -- not necessarily a boy]. It is not 'flashing with desire,' as Anacreon says of the love of maidens, or 'drenched with unguents, shining bright.' No, its aspect is simple and unspoiled. You will see it in the schools of philosophy, or perhaps in the gymnasia and palaistrai, searching for young men whom it cheers on with a clear and noble cry to the pursuit of virtue [Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness] when they are found worthy of its attention.

    "But that other lax and housebound love, that spends its time in the bosoms and beds of women, ever pursuing a soft life, enervated amid pleasure devoid of manliness [an-andros] and friendship and inspiration -- it should be proscribed, as in fact Solon [the Athenian law-giver] did proscribe it. He forbade slaves to make love to boys or to have a rubdown, but he did not restrict their intercourse with women. For friendship is a beautiful [kalos -- morally beautiful] and courteous relationship, but mere pleasure is base and unworthy of a free man [aneleutheros]. For this reason also it is not gentlemanly [eleutherios -- fit for a free man] or urbane [asteios -- civilized] to make love to slave boys : such a love is mere copulation, like the love of women."

    ~Plut. Erotikos 751b

    Bill Weintraub:

    So what we see in this first excerpt is that ancient Men didn't hesitate to attack male-female marriage, and to condemn it as "mere copulation, devoid of manliness -- that is, an-andros -- and friendship and inspiration."

    Notice also how that argument fits into the general Masculinist and Warrior cultural bias against "pleasure" and in favor of the Ideals of the Warrior World of Being -- in this case, Friendship and Virtue.

    Friendship and Fighting Manhood.

    So, the speaker, Protogenes, whose name, made up of protos -- first -- and genos -- race, stock, family, offspring -- means at its simplest "first-born" or primeval -- Protogenes contrasts the low hedonai -- the low and effeminate sensual pleasures of male-female copulation -- with the high societal value of Eros -- Love -- attaching itself to a young and talented Male soul and through Friendship bringing that soul to a state of Areté -- "Virtue" -- which is Manhood, which is Manly Goodness, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    And which makes sense.

    Because from the point of view of a Masculinist, Warrior, Society -- if it doesn't lead to the Development, Enhancement, and indeed Exaltation of Fighting Manhood and its attributes, including Vigour, Might, Valour, Gallantry, Fortitude, High Moral Character, Moral Self-Control, Martial Merit, Virile Value, and Warrior Worth -- it's -- worthless -- not worth doing or pursuing.

    It's true that later in the dialogue, Plutarch, who was himself happily married, mounts a spirited defense of marriage -- but always in terms that are either gender-neutral or compare it with the best aspects of male-male love.

    So it is as Boswell says -- Male-Male is, in a sense, the gold standard, to which all other relationships which claim to be informed by Eros -- must rise.

    And as I said, and as I've stressed since the Prolegomena, Plutarch, like most ancient writers, is always gender-neutral ; never does he suggest that male-male is inferior simply because both partners are male -- nor does he say that the mixed-gender aspect of marriage renders it superior.

    He doesn't and wouldn't say that because he doesn't believe it.

    Nor does his society.

    Not even remotely.

    Which we can better understand if we look at the physical setting of Plutarch's dialogue, of the Erotikos, and the ramifications of that setting :

    The dialogue takes place, Plutarch tells us, "on [Mount] Helicon in the shrine of the Muses while the people of Thespiae [a near-by city-state] are celebrating the Erotidia. This they do every four years in honour of Eros as well as the Muses, with great zeal and splendour."

    So the Erotidia is a major festival, held every four years, in honour of Eros -- the God of Love.

    And, there's a helpful translator's note :

    "See also Frazer's Pausanias, v, pp. 140 ff."

    Here's what first Pausanias, writing ca 170 AD, and then Frazer, writing in 1898 AD, have to say :

    Pausanias :

    [H]ere [on Mount Helicon] the Thespians celebrate a festival, and also games called the Museia. They celebrate other games in honor of Love [Eros], offering prizes not only for music but also for athletic events.

    ~Paus. 9.31.3

    Frazer :

    31. 3. games in honour of Love. These games were called Erotidia or Erotica and were held by the Thespians every fourth year. See Athenaeus, .xiii. p. 561 e; Plutarch, Amatorius [Erotikos], i. As Pausanias mentions them in connexion with the games in honour of the Muses which were held in the sanctuary of the Muses on Helicon, we might infer that the games in honour of Love were also celebrated in that sanctuary ; but from Plutarch (Amatorius, ii. 1-4) we gather that they were held in Thespiae ; for he tells how certain persons, who had come to Thespiae to be present at the festival, were bored by a musical competition and retreated from the city to the stillness and seclusion of the grove of the Muses on Helicon. The games in honour of Love are mentioned in a few inscriptions (C /. G. G. S. I. Nos. 48, 1857, 2517, 2518), from one of which we gather that they included boxing. This confirms the statement of Pausanias that the games included athletic as well as musical competitions. Hence the inscriptions containing lists of victors in athletic and equestrian contests which have been found in or near Thespiae (C. /. G. G. S. i. Nos. 1764, 1765, 1766, 1769, 1770, 1772 ; Bulletin de Corresp. Hellenique, 19 (1895), p. 369 sq.) probably refer to the games in honour of Love, since the games in honour of the Muses did not include athletic and equestrian competitions. The inscriptions in question mention the customary athletic contests -- running, wrestling, boxing, the pancratium, the pentathlum, the torch-race, etc., as well as horse-races and chariot-races. They are all, however, fragmentary, so that we cannot make up from them a complete list of the various contests in the Erotidia. In only one of them (C.I. G. G. S. i. No. 1772) is there mention of a poetical contest. . .

    [emphases mine]

    ~Pausanias' Description of Greece with a Commentary by JG Frazer.

    So :

    Eros was a very great God, He had, according to Cicero, a colossal statue in the City-State of Thespiai, and there was a major festival in His honor in that city, celebrated every four years "with great zeal and splendor," and called the Erotidia.

    The Erotidia included Games -- Agones -- that is, Athletic Games, which included Wrestling, Boxing, and Pankration.

    And that's not surprising.

    Because to the Greeks, there was a distinct link between Eros and Agon.

    And in both Biblion Proton and Biblion Triton, we talked about Eros and his twin and Lover Ant-Eros being "an important agonistic presence" in the gymnasion.

    That erotic and agonistic presence is worth looking at in more depth -- which we can do by considering Pausanias' account of



    Pausanias, Description of Greece. 6.23.1 :

    [1] One of the noteworthy things in Elis [site of the Olympic Games] is an old gymnasium. In this gymnasium the athletes are wont to go through the training through which they must pass before going to Olympia. High plane-trees grow between the tracks inside a wall. The whole of this enclosure is called Xystus, because an exercise of Heracles, the son of Amphitryo, was to scrape up (anaxuein) each day all the thistles that grew there.

    Paus. 6.23.2 :

    [2] The track for the competing runners, called by the natives the Sacred Track, is separate from that on which the runners and pentathletes practise. In the gymnasium is the place called Plethrium. In it the umpires match the competitors according to age and skill ; it is for wrestling that they match them.

    Paus. 6.23.3-4 :

    [3] There are also in the gymnasium altars of the Gods, of Idaean Heracles, surnamed Comrade, of Love [Eros], of the deity called by Eleans and Athenians alike Love Returned [Ant-Eros], of Demeter and of her daughter. Achilles has no altar, only a cenotaph raised to him because of an oracle. On an appointed day at the beginning of the festival, when the course of the sun is sinking towards the west, the Elean women do honor to Achilles, especially by bewailing him.

    [4] There is another enclosed gymnasium, but smaller, adjoining the larger one and called Square because of its shape. Here the athletes practise wrestling, and here, when they have no more wrestling to do, they are matched in contests with the softer gloves. There is also dedicated here one of the images made in honor of Zeus out of the fines imposed upon Sosander of Smyrna and upon Polyctor of Elis.

    Paus. 6.23.5-6 :

    [5] There is also a third enclosed gymnasium, called Maltho from the softness of its floor, and reserved for the youths [epheboi] for the whole time of the festival. In a corner of the Maltho is a bust of Heracles as far as the shoulders, and in one of the wrestling-schools is a relief showing Love and Love Returned [Eros and Ant-Eros], as he is called. Love holds a palm-branch, and Love Returned is trying to take the palm from him.

    [6] On each side of the entrance to the Maltho stands an image of a boy [pais] boxer [puktes]. He was by birth, so the Guardian of the Laws at Elis told me, from Alexandria over against the island Pharos, and his name was Sarapion ; arriving at Elis when the townsfolk were suffering from famine he supplied them with food. For this reason these honors were paid him here. The time of his crown at Olympia and of his benefaction to the Eleans was the two hundred and seventeenth Festival [88 AD].

    So :

    Pausanias, who was a physician by profession, and who wrote what we today might call a travelogue, but whose primary interest was religion, describes two instances of the Gods Eros and Ant-Eros being present in the gymnasion at Elis.

    In the first, there's simply an altar to each of the Gods, to Eros and to Ant-Eros -- which is interesting in and of itself.

    But in the second, in a room dedicated, apparently, to wrestling, boxing, and pankration, there's "a relief showing Love and Love Returned [Eros and Ant-Eros], as he is called. Love holds a palm-branch, and Love Returned is trying to take the palm from him."

    If Eros is Love, Romantic, Passionate, Love -- between, in this setting, Men -- who is Ant-Eros?

    Liddell and Scott :

    Ant-Eros Αντερως

    A. return-love, love-for-love, Pl.Phdr.255d, Ach.Tat. 1.9, Them.Or.24.305a.

    II. Anteros, personified as a god who avenged slighted love, Paus.1.30.1, etc.: -- but also (as it seems) a god who struggled against Eros, Paus.6.23.5.

    III. name of a gem, Plin. HN37.123 (pl.).

    Liddell and Scott's second point is not correct.

    Ant-Eros isn't struggling against Eros in the sense of rejecting Eros.

    The two are competing for the palm.

    The palm signifies honour or worth.

    In Latin: Palmam qui meruit ferat.

    "Let he who merits the palm, bear it."


    Palaistra Scene
    A Boxer holds a palm as a sign of Victory
    On the left is a Herm

    And that's what classicist JE Lendon says -- that Lover and Beloved competed for Worth -- Honour -- on the battlefield :

    Among the reported advantages of [male Eros] was that of exaggerating competition among the warriors : lovers competed with each other and dreaded to be shamed in the presence of those they loved.

    The Oxford Classical Dictionary says Eros and Ant-Eros are shown Wrestling.

    (And as you can see, they're nude, like any other Greek athletes.

    Their contest is a gymnikos agon -- a nude, athletic contest.

    Between Two Nude Men.)

    So -- by "Love Returned" Liddell and Scott really mean "Love Requited."

    If you love someone and he returns the love, we say the love is requited.

    If you love someone and he doesn't return the love, the love is unrequited.

    Think in terms of an Agon, or better, an Agonia -- for example, a wrestling match.

    In order to have an Agon or Agonia, such as a wrestling match, you need an agon-ist and an ant-agon-ist -- an antagonist.

    Indeed, in wrestling, the Greeks had a specific word -- antipalos -- meaning "wrestling against."

    To have an Agonia, then, you need an agonist and someone who "returns" or "requites" the agonia -- the agony -- the ant-agonist.

    It takes, in other words, two Men -- both willing -- to Wrestle.

    Same for Love.

    There's Eros, and there's Ant-Eros.

    Contest for Contest, Love for Love.

    Eros and Anteros -- Love and Love Requited.

    That's definitely the way it's used by Plato in the Phaedrus.

    And when the other is beside him, he shares his respite from anguish, and when he is absent, he likewise shares his longing and being longed for, since he possesses a counter-love (anteros), which is the image of love (eros).

    ~Pl.Phdr.255d, translated by C W Wright.

    And in the lover's presence, like him he [the beloved] ceases from his pain, and in his absence, like him he is filled with yearning such as he inspires, and love's image, requited love [anteros], dwells within him;

    ~Pl.Phdr.255d, translated by Fowler.

    Because Plato understands the ant-agon-ism which is at the heart of male Eros.

    "love's image [eidolon -- phantom], requited love [anteros], dwells within him;"

    And the word translated as "image" is ειδωλον = eidolon = image or phantom -- our word "idol."

    What dwells within the beloved is the image or phantom of his agonist -- the one whom he both Fights and Loves.

    It's what Mart Finn said in the Alliance years ago -- that fighting cocks become mating cocks.

    Men Fight -- and then Love.

    So :

    Let's revisit what Pausanias, writing, again, ca 170 AD, says about the image in the Gymnasion at Elis :

    [5] There is also a third enclosed gymnasion, called Maltho from the softness of its floor, and reserved for the youths for the whole time of the festival. In a corner of the Maltho is a bust of Heracles as far as the shoulders, and in one of the wrestling-schools is a relief showing Love [Eros] and Love Returned [Ant-Eros], as he is called. Love holds a palm-branch, and Love Returned is trying to take the palm from him.

    Classicist Thomas Scanlon :

    Here, as at Athens, Eros occupies a place of honor in the gymnasion, and, as at Athens, he stands as an important agonistic presence expressed in an artistic medium. At Elis, Eros is not just a guardian of friendship and a reminder of the important benefits of beauty and erotic relations that result from athletic participation ; he is also an active participant in the contest. He is a wrestler. As such, the God is a model for Olympic athletes. . . . Since Olympic wrestlers and pankratiasts are directly confronted with the image of Eros, the God is publically, if somewhat indirectly, acknowledged as an important force behind the Olympic Games.

    Let's go through what Prof Scanlon has said point by point :

    1. "Eros," he says, but really it's Eros Fighting Anteros -- it's the Eros of Agon -- the Eros of Aggression -- made explicit -- Eros/Anteros "occupies a place of honor in the gymnasion" ;

      and

    2. Eros/Anteros are "an important AGONISTIC presence."

      Eros/Anteros are Agonistic.

      They're Agonists.

      No question and no doubt about that.

    3. "Eros is not just a guardian of friendship and a reminder of the important benefits of beauty and erotic relations that result from athletic participation ; he is also an active participant in the contest. He is a wrestler."

      Eros is a Wrestler.

      And really, as you can see from the vase paintings, both Eros and Anteros are Wrestlers.

      Love is about Wrestling.

      Wrestling is about Love.

      Wrestling is an Agon.

      Love is an Agon.

      Agonist vs Ant-Agonist.

      Eros vs Ant-Eros.

    4. "As such, [and I'm interpolating a bit here] the Gods are a model for Olympic athletes. . . . Since Olympic wrestlers and pankratiasts are directly confronted with the image of Eros Wrestling Anteros, the Gods are publically, if somewhat indirectly, acknowledged as an important force behind the Olympic Games."

      And that would have been obvious to the Olympic athletes.

      They would have known perfectly well that Eros / Anteros were "an important force" -- an understatement if ever there was one -- shaping not just the Olympics, but ALL Agon.

      And Agon -- shapes everything.

      Heraclitus :

      And -- in back of Fight -- is Eros.

    So :

    The Three Gods -- Ares, Agon, Eros -- are inter-related and constantly interact :

    Ares Agon

    Agon Eros

    Ares Eros

    Ares Agon Eros

    Ares Eros Agon

    Eros Ares Agon

    And so forth.

    The Three Gods cannot be separated or parted.

    Nor can Eros and Ant-Eros.

    Eros and Anteros.

    When the Neo-Platonist philosopher Iamblichos "materialized" Eros and Anteros at the hot springs in Gadara, ca 320 AD, they were youths, both were nude, and one was fair-haired and the other dark-haired.

    Those were, and are, Archetypes.

    Divine Models -- Mythic Forms.

    You can think of the myth as existing in the World of Being -- what the German philosopher Immanuel Kant calls the noumenal realm --

    and being repeated or played out over and over again in the world of becoming -- the phenomenal realm.

    So:

    Eros and Anteros are Wrestlers -- Agonist and Antagonist -- and Lovers -- Eros and Anteros -- in the World of Being.

    Indeed :

    Eros and Anteros are *Ideal* Wrestlers -- Agonist and Antagonist -- and *Ideal* Lovers -- Eros and Anteros -- in the World of Being.

    In the World of Mind -- the Noumenal World.

    In the world of becoming -- the phenomenal world -- that myth plays out over and over again with "real" Men.

    But -- in the World of Being -- the myth is perfect and eternal.

    It never ends.

    Eros and Anteros Wrestle and Love -- Forever.

    And for just that reason we are deeply indebted to the physician and travel-writer Pausanias, who preserved, in words at least, the immortal image of the God Eros and his twin, brother, and Lover Anteros -- Wrestling -- in the Gymnasion -- at Elis.

    So :

    Eros was a hugely important God -- and living presence -- to the Men of the ancient world.

    As was Lord Ares -- Lord of Manhood, Lord of Fight, Lord of Fighting Manhood.

    And Eros was connected explicitly both to Agon -- and to Lord Ares.

    You'll see that clearly expressed in the next excerpt from Plutarch's Erotikos, as the conversation continues, with Plutarch himself now doing the talking.

    Before going forward, however, two points :

    1. Helmbold translates the word Areté / Areta as "Virtue."

      Which begs the question --

      What, in 100 AD, which is about when Plutarch is writing, does "Virtue" mean ?

      The answer is simple, and particularly given that a significant portion of what we today would call Plutarch's "target audience" are Romans.

      Upper-crust Romans, to be sure -- Romans who read Greek -- but still Romans.

      So, and like I said, the answer is simple :

      In 100 AD, Virtue still means what Virtus meant and what Areté / Areta meant -- in 400 BC -- five hundred years earlier.

      It still means, as Charlton Lewis tells us, Manliness, Manhood : the sum of all the corporeal and mental excellences of Man -- with, as Thomas Wiedemann demonstrates, Fighting Manhood still leading the list.

      And, for those of you who have forgotten, this is our earlier discussion of Wiedemann from the Preface, where I'd referenced the Roman playwright Plautus, who said that Virtus -- that is, Fighting Manhood -- was the best thing in the world :

      As another historian of Rome, Thomas Wiedemann, demonstrated in his award-winning book Emperors and Gladiators, there's one element or attribute of Virtus / Areté / Areta / Andreia which is more important than the others :

      Single combat was the context in which a Roman had to prove that he possessed the most important constituent of 'virtue' [that is, Virtus, which is Fighting Manhood].

      . . .

      It was this same quality, the courage to confront an opponent coupled with the technical ability to maim and/or kill him, which the gladiator instantiated [made concrete].

      So :

      Single combat was the context in which a Roman had to prove that he possessed the most important constituent of Virtus, which is Fighting Manhood : the courage to confront an opponent coupled with the technical ability to maim and/or kill him.

      "the courage to confront an opponent" is Willingness

      "the technical ability to maim and/or kill" is Ability

      And what's true for the gladiator is true of the ordinary -- that is to say, Free -- Warrior in both Rome and ancient Greece :

      Virtus-Areté-Areta-Andreia is the Willingness and Ability to Fight.

      That's to say, the Willingness to Confront an Opponent coupled with the Ability to Defeat Him.

      F I G H T I N GxxM A N H O O D
      IS
      THE ARDENT WILLINGNESS
      AND
      REQUISITE ABILITY
      TO FIGHT

      And in both Rome and Greece, that Willingness and Ability was without question the single most important component, the most important constituent, as Wiedemann says, of Virtus, which is Areté / Areta, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

      F I G H T I N Gxx M A N H O O D

      The Fighter's Willingness to Confront his Opponent, the Courage he needs to Confront his Opponent,
      is instantiated by his battered and bloody face ; while his raised arms instantiate his Ability --
      the martial merit, virile value, and warrior worth, he needs -- to Defeat his Opponent.

      So :

      In 100 AD, Virtue still means what Virtus meant and what Areté / Areta meant -- in 400 BC -- five hundred years earlier.

      It still means, as Charlton Lewis tells us, Manliness, Manhood : the sum of all the corporeal and mental excellences of Man -- with, as Thomas Wiedemann demonstrates, Fighting Manhood still leading the list.

      Let's talk about that a bit more.

      First of all I said that a significant portion of Plutarch's readers were Romans.

      And in 100 AD, the Romans, though ruled by an emperor, were still what they'd been in the Republic -- to use JE Lendon's phrase, "a martial people governed by a warrior aristocracy."

      To be sure, not every Roman went to War ; but Romans still thought like Warriors, and Rome was still a Warriordom, and indeed, the ruffest and tuffest Warriordom not just in the neighborhood, but in the World.

      What about Greece ?

      In 100 AD, Greece, by contrast, and which had been conquered by the Romans more than 250 years earlier, was no longer in any way a military power.

      Indeed, Plutarch himself tells us that in his day, mainland Greece could not have fielded more than 3000 spears.

      In part because Greece had become to some degree de-populated, with many Greeks migrating to Greco-Roman cities like Alexandria, where there was more opportunity.

      And also in part because the Romans didn't want the Greeks to possess anything resembling a national army which might, someday, function as a nucleus of resistance to Roman rule.

      Nevertheless, Manhood still meant what it had always meant -- Fighting Manhood --

      And Greeks both on the mainland and throughout the cities of the Empire still Struggled to bring that Manhood to Perfection --

      They still trained in Fight "Sport" -- that is, Fight Agonia -- at the palaistrai and gymnasia, and, as we'll see in Chapter VII, even in adulthood maintained "post-ephebic" clubs where they both socialized and trained and fought.

      There were, as again we'll see in Chapter VII, a huge number of Festivals and Games, like the Erotidia, throughout the Empire, and some Greeks became professional and *free* athletes -- Fighting Nude in the Agones of Pale, Pugme, and Pankration.

      There were also Greeks, as we'll see in Chapter VI, who fought voluntarily as gladiators.

      Indeed, the Greek East, despite what some people think, embraced gladiatorial games -- and gladiators.

      Because the Greeks liked Fighting -- and Fighters.

      And there were other Greeks, like Arrian, a near contemporary of Plutarch, who sought out professional careers in the Roman bureacracy, including military administration.

      And Arrian was spectacularly successful, having command of a critical Roman border province, which he very ably defended, and being twice named Consul by the Romans -- the highest political honor to which he could aspire.

      So there were Greeks who had military careers within the Roman army -- as well as, no doubt, being mercenaries in other armies.

      Greece itself, then, was no longer a military power ; but the Greeks still trained as Fighters from a very early age, and some of those who trained had professional careers as Free Fighters in Nude Fight Agonia -- while others served in various armies, no doubt at all levels.

      And the meaning, therefore of Areté / Areta -- like that of Virtus -- had simply not changed.

      Areté / Areta was and is Fighting Manhood, which is Manly Virtue.

      Of course, Men like Protogenes want the possessors of Areté / Areta to have High Moral Character, including, as we've talked about Enkrateia and Sophrosyne -- Moral Self-Control.

      But, as we've discussed, and as Thomas Wiedemann makes very plain, in a Warriordom, while Areté / Areta and Virtus may well mean all the corporeal and mental excellences of Man -- the most important of those excellences by far, and by a factor of many many many ten's -- is Fighting Manhood -- the Ardent Willingness and Requisite Ability to Fight.

      That was as true in 100 AD -- as it was in 400 and 500 and 600 and 700 BC.

      Now :

      If you're a Platonist and Pagan like myself, you'll say that's because Areta emanates from the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, where it dwells in Permanent Truth and Indestructible Ideality.

      If you're a more mundane materialist, you'll say that's because the material conditions of life -- had not significantly changed from 400 BC to 100 AD.

      Regardless, Areté / Areta still means Manly Virtue which is Manly Excellence which is Fighting Manhood.

      And that's what Protogenes and Pemptides and the other speakers, including Plutarch himself -- are talking about.

      Manly Virtue.

      Which is

      Fighting Manhood.

      So -- that answers the question of what "Virtue" means.

      But here's a second question :

    2. Why do the various speakers in Plutarch's Erotikos keep interjecting quotes, like this one --

      Unhonoured and without a friend.

      from other authors ?

      The simple answer is -- to demonstrate that they're educated Men who've memorized, as was necessary in a culture in which books themselves were relatively rare, the works of a number of poets, historians, playwrights, etc.

      In short, they're showing off their erudition.

      In addition, these quotes are usually a lot more interesting and, we'd say today, snappy, than they are in English translation.

      For example, this phrase from a play by the great Greek dramatist Aeschylus,

      Unhonoured and without a friend

      in ancient Greek is

      atimon kaphilon

      And the accent in both words is on the first syllable :

      Atimon KAphilon

      So the phrase has a ring.

      And neither word should be difficult for the readers of this Lexicon, since both are simply inflected forms of words you already know.

      atimos = a-Timé = not deemed worthy, UN-worthy, UN-honoured ; and

      aphilos = a-philos = UN-friended, friendless, without a friend

      So the use of quotes like these added spice and, really, fun, to the conversation.

      And that needs to be understood -- these sorts of discussions or debates or dialogues were -- fun!

      It was one of the ways that educated Men amused themselves.

      By debating, in a learned manner, and for example, the nature of Eros -- Love -- with quotes from famous authors dropped into the conversation.

      And we too can learn from those quotes.

      For example, atimos also means unrevenged, unavenged.

      Had Achilles chosen to NOT avenge Patroklos, Patroklos would have been atimos -- unavenged -- and thus, of far less worth.

      His Timé -- would have been done yet another injury.

      And Patroklos would have felt "atimon kaphilon" -- unavenged and unloved.

      Which is another reason why Achilles had to do -- what he did.

      By slaying Hektor, Achilles affirmed that Patroklos was both entimos and philos.

    Now :

    Getting back to the Erotikos --

    As the dialogue resumes, Plutarch himself is doing the talking.

    The context is that he wants to establish that Love -- Eros -- isn't merely an emotion, but a true and existent God.

    And, as you'll see, he very purposefully links Ares and Eros :








    . . .

    My father [Plutarch] addressed Pemptides by name. "Pemptides," he said, "it is, I believe, a grave and dangerous matter that you are broaching ; or rather, you are altogether violating our inviolable belief in the Gods when you demand an account and proof of each of them. Our ancient traditional faith is good enough. It is impossible to assert or discover evidence more palpable than this faith,

    Whatever subtle twist's invented by keen wit.

    "This faith is a basis, as it were, a common foundation, of religion ; if confidence and settled usage are disturbed or shaken at a single point, the whole edifice is enfeebled and discredited.

    "You have no doubt heard what an uproar burst upon Euripides when he began his Melanippe with this verse :

    Zeus, whoever he is, for I know him only by report.

    "Well, he got another chorus (for he had confidence in the play, it seems, since it was composed in an elevated and elaborate style) and changed the verse to the present text :

    Zeus, as the voice of truth declares.

    "So what is to be gained by the use of argument to make our belief in Zeus or Athena or Eros debatable or uncertain ? Love is not now requesting his first altar and sacrifice. He is no alien intruder from some barbaric superstition like certain Attises and Adonises, as they are called. He does not, assisted by hermaphrodites and women, smuggle himself in to reap a harvest of honours [Timé] to which he has no right, which would make him liable to indictment for illegal registration as a God, and bastardy. On the contrary, my friend, when you hear Empedocles declaring,

    Among them Love is equal, far and wide ;
    Use the mind's eye ; sit not with staring gaze --

    you must suppose that his verses apply also to Eros ; for though He is not visibly among the most ancient divinities, He is there conceptually. If you are going to demand a proof of each one of them, probing every temple and attacking each altar with sophistic assault, not a God will you exempt from malicious prosecution and inquisition.

    Not to go farther,

    Do you not see how mighty is the Goddess Aphrodite ? She sows and gives that love from which all we upon this earth are born.

    "Empedocles has called her 'giver of life' and Sophocles 'fruitful' ; both epithets being perfectly just and apt. And yet this great and wonderful primary function of Aphrodite becomes only a secondary task of Eros when he accompanies the Goddess. If He is not present, what occurs is precisely a dreary residue and becomes

    Unhonoured and without a friend.

    "For intercourse [homilia] without Eros is like hunger and thirst, which can be sated, but never achieve a noble [kalos -- morally beautiful] end. It is by means of Eros that the Goddess removes the cloying effect of pleasure and creates affection [philotes] and fusion [synkrasis]. This is the reason why Parmenides declares that Eros is the most ancient work of Aphrodite ; his words in the Cosmogony are

    And first of all the Gods she framed was Love.

    "But Hesiod, in my opinion, was more scientific when he depicted Eros as the first-born of them all, in order to make him indispensable for the generation of all things.

    "If, then, we strip from Love any of his customary honours, even those given to Aphrodite will not remain undisturbed. Nor is it in fact possible to affirm that there are some who rail at Eros without disparaging Aphrodite. Rather on the selfsame stage we hear

    Love is Idle and born God for idle men ;

    and again

    My children, Cypris [Aphrodite] is not Cypris alone.
    But she is called by very many names :
    Hades she is and everlasting life.
    And she can be a raging Fury.

    In the same way practically none of the other Gods has escaped unscathed the stupidity of those ready to slander. Look at the case of Ares who occupies a position diametrically opposite to that of Eros, as it were, on a design etched in bronze. Observe how great are the honours men give him [timao] and again how numerous are the invectives hurled against him :

    Ladies, Ares is blind and cannot see ;
    With swinish snout he churns up every evil.

    Homer calls him 'bloodstained' and 'turn-coat' Chrysippus' explanation of the name is an accusation and an indictment of the God. He declares that Ares means Anaires (assassin), which gives an opening to those who believe that the contentious [machetikos -- inclined to Fight], argumentative [diaphoros -- adversarial], and spirited [thumoeides -- courageous, possessing fighting spirit] quality inside us is called 'Ares.' Others [especially, says Prof Helmbold, the Stoics, to whom Plutarch was opposed] in their turn will state that Aphrodite is merely desire and Hermes eloquence and the Muses the arts and Athena wisdom. You surely perceive the abyss of atheism [buthon atheotetos] that engulfs us if we list each several God on a roster of emotions, functions, and virtues."

    "Yes, I do perceive it," said Pemptides. "But if it is impious to identify the Gods with our passions, it is equally so, on the other hand, to consider our passions as Gods."

    "Well now," my father [Plutarch] asked, "do you believe Ares to be a God or an emotion of ours ?"

    Pemptides replied that he believed Ares to be a God who ordered [kosmeo -- order, arrange, honour, pay honour to] the spirited [thumoeides -- Fighting Spirit] and courageous [andreios -- Manly, that is, Willing and Able to Fight] element within us.

    ~Plut. Erotikos 757c

    Bill Weintraub:

    And of course Pemptides is right :

    Lord Ares is the God who helps us to both Order and Honour our Fighting Spirit and our Manhood.

    And Pemptides is taking that description of Lord Ares from Plato's Kratylos :

    Plato :

    Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Manliness [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

    ~Plato. Krat. 407d

    Moreover, Plutarch criticizes those who would turn Ares into just a collection of qualities within a Man, qualities like machetikos, diaphoros, and thumoeides -- that is, being Inclined to Fight, Adversarial, and Full of Fighting Spirit.

    NO -- says Plutarch.

    Ares, like Eros and Hermes and Athena and Aphrodite, is a God.

    And those qualities of machetikos, diaphoros, and thumoeides may well exist inside of us because of Lord Ares -- but both He and they exist INDEPENDENT of us.

    That's a core Platonic idea or formulation, or, if you will, postulate.

    The entities of the World of Being -- in this case, the Warrior World of Being -- exist INDEPENDENT of any human existence or thought.

    Plutarch, as a Platonist, understands that.

    And he understands that if we think of Ares in any other way, what opens before us is the abyss of atheism.

    Which is true.

    Plutarch also notes that Aphrodite, who, properly speaking, is the Goddess not of Love, but of Sex, and as such the "giver of life," and "fruitful," is nevertheless lacking if not accompanied by Eros -- by Love.

    And his words are easily understood :

    For intercourse [homilia] without Eros [Love] is like hunger and thirst, which can be sated, but never achieve a noble [kalos -- morally beautiful] end. It is by means of Eros that the Goddess removes the cloying effect of pleasure and creates affection [philotes] and fusion [synkrasis].

    And we all know that too to be true.

    There's a huge difference between empty and meaningless "recreational" sex, which is constantly -- and ruinously -- put forward by the hedonists -- and Sex as an expression of Love -- which creates genuine affection and fusion -- the merging of one soul with another.

    That said, I want to say something about Plutarch's very humane attack on soulless sex, meaningless materialism, and the abyss, as he properly calls it, of atheism, and contrast it with the way our present-day culture supports atheism and materialism and hedonism and ethical nihilism.

    Because while I was working on incorporating Plutarch's words into this section of the Lexicon, there appeared two NY Times articles.

    The first was on some new evidence of the "Big Bang," by which the materialists' universe allegedly came into existence.

    The Times reporter said that some time after the Big Bang, and as the universe expanded, "the laws of physics evolved."

    The statement was so nonsensical -- from my point of view, and Plato's, and Plutarch's -- that it reminded me of a phrase from the great American writer Flannery O'Connor :

    an evil incantation in gibberish

    Gibberish.

    How did the laws of physics evolve?

    Why did the laws of physics evolve?

    And out of what?

    Thin air, I suppose, except there wasn't any air at that point, thin or otherwise.

    The Times reporter was so eager to avoid any imputation of agency -- which of necessity would be Divinity -- behind the laws of physics -- that what he or she said was de facto gibberish.

    "the laws of physics evolved"

    Around the same time that that article appeared, there was another, with a title on the order of "Bisexuals seek scientific proof of their existence."

    They sought that proof, according to the article, by subjecting themselves to "scientific experiments."

    The "experiments" described were suggestive of the sorts of "experiments" the Nazis carried out on Jews and captured Allied soldiers :

    Let's see if we can get the Jew sexually aroused by both a man and a woman -- and then we'll shoot him or gas him or inject him full of poison and cut off his head and boil it and use the skull as a paperweight and evidence of his sub-humanity.

    Because sub-humanity is always the sub-text in that sort of study.

    There are "gays" -- who are human ; and there are "straights" -- who are human ; and then there are "bisexuals" -- who are grotesque and sub-human.

    Truly, I don't know who's more degraded -- those who plan and carry out such "experiments" or those who voluntarily submit to their procedures because they lack the courage of their own convictions --

    but I do know that Plutarch -- nevermind Plato, who's the world's greatest thinker -- but a far lesser light, Plutarch --

    I do know that Plutarch's view of both the universe -- the Kosmos -- and sexual desire -- is both far more humane and, yes, broad-minded and liberal, than that put forth by, in this instance, The New York Times.

    Indeed, compared to almost any 21st-century "intellectual," Plutarch, who was a priest of Apollo at Delphi, is a genuine free-thinker -- and a far freer thinker.

    On two counts :

    First off, it doesn't occur to him to torture anyone -- and that's what our society does, and worldwide -- it tortures literally billions of men -- on the basis of a cultural -- not biological but cultural -- will o' the wisp we call "sexual orientation" to which we assign enormous importance -- but which to Plutarch and his friends -- who are educated, intelligent, experienced sexually and otherwise, and above all thoughtful human beings -- simply doesn't exist -- note in that regard the casual mention of what we would call Admetus' "bisexuality" -- Admetus, who loved his wife, Plutarch tells us, but was also the beloved of both Herakles and Apollo.

    And second off, he doesn't rip away profound religious faith -- and suggest replacing it with materialist nothingness.

    Paul Shorey says that in Plato's work,

    Heaven and hell are symbols of the most vital of all divisions, that which separates the virtuous from the vicious will.

    Plutarch's will is always Virtuous -- and never vicious.

    Of how many moderns can we say the same?

    Basically -- none.

    And that's because modern culture, a bizarre mix of Christianity, hedonism, materialism aka insatiable avarice, and ethical nihilism -- is fundamentally vicious.

    Ancient culture was not.

    It supported, encouraged, and indeed exalted -- VIRTUE -- at every turn.

    Bill Weintraub


    Plutarch:

    . . .

    "Well now," my father [Plutarch] asked, "do you believe Ares to be a God or an emotion of ours ?"

    Pemptides replied that he believed Ares to be a God who ordered [kosmeo -- order, arrange, honour, pay honour to] the spirited [thumoeides -- Fighting Spirit] and courageous [andreios -- Manly, that is, Willing and Able to Fight] element within us. "What is this, Pemptides ?" cried my father. "So the warlike [machetikos], inimical [polemikos], and antagonistic [antipalos -- literally, wrestling against] element has a divinity, while the affectionate [philetikos], sociable [koinonikos], coupling [syneleutikos] impulse is to be left without a God ? When men slay and are slain, is there a God, Enyalios or Stratios, overseeing and presiding over their arms and arrows, their storming of towns and their driving off of booty, but when they desire marriage and an affection [philotes] that will lead to concord [homophrosyne] and co-operation [koinonia], is there no God to witness and direct, to lead and help us ?

    Bill Weintraub:

    Notice first off and once again that Pemptides' response to the question of whether Ares is a God, is taken almost verbatim from Plato's characterization, often repeated in this Lexicon, of Ares in the Kratylos.

    Plato :

    Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Manliness [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

    ~Plato. Krat. 407d

    Plutarch :

    Ares is the God who helps Men to both Order and Honour [kosmeo] their Fighting Spirit [thumos] and Manhood [andreia].

    Which is correct.

    Why do Plato and Plutarch agree?

    Because Plutarch was a Platonist -- living about five hundred years after Plato, and though a Greek who spoke little Latin, he spent fifteen years in Rome lecturing on Platonism, in Greek ; and because Plato's view of Ares and the Gods in general had, as I said earlier in Biblion Pempton, prevailed throughout the ancient world.

    Plutarch then matches three characteristics of Ares -- machetikos, polemikos, antipalos -- combative, warlike, and antagonistic ; with three of Eros' -- philetikos, koinonikos, syneleutikos -- affectionate, sociable, and affiliative -- disposed to couple.

    Ares, Plutarch will say a bit further on, "leads us to combat evil and ugliness," and is "fundamentally and from the beginning present in our soul" ; as is Eros -- who leads us to love and beauty.

    The two Gods, Father and Son, are two sides of a single coin : combative and sociable, warlike and affectionate, antagonistic and affiliative, the one leading us to Fight that which is evil and morally ugly, the other leading us to Love that which is morally beautiful.

    Plutarch:

    "When men hunt roebucks and hare and deer, have they a goddess, Artemis Agrotera, to urge and help them on ? Do those who trap wolves and bears with pits and nets pray to Aristaios,

    Who first set snares for beasts ?

    When Heracles makes ready his bow to shoot at the bird, does he invoke another God to help him, as Aeschylus says,

    May Hunter Apollo guide my shaft aright ?

    "But when a man sets out to catch the fairest prey, namely affection, does no God or spirit lead him straight and second his efforts ?

    "As for me, no oak nor sacred olive nor that vine which Homer exalts with the epithet 'cultivated' seems to me a growth superior in beauty and value to the human plant, dear Daphnaios, since its vital force of growth reveals a youthful beauty that belongs to soul and body alike."

    "In heaven's name," said Daphnaios," who could think otherwise ? "

    "Why, in heaven's name," said my father, "just these very men, all of them believe that agriculture -- ploughing, sowing, planting -- merits the Gods' attention. Don't they have certain tree nymphs, to whom is

    Allotted a term of life as long as the years of a tree --
    Dionysus exultant gives increase to the orchard.
    Holy light of the fruit-time,

    as Pindar says ?

    But the case is otherwise, of course, with boys and striplings [meirakion -- youths, adolescents] : when they are at the ripening and flowering season and are being shaped and educated, it is the office of not a single God or Divinity to sustain and promote their progress ; nor is there a God whose care it is that a man grows straight [orthos -- erect] in the direction of Virtue [Areté -- Manhood] with no deviation or crushing of the main stem of excellence through lack of a protector or by the viciousness of those he encounters.

    "Is it not, moreover, shocking and ungrateful of them to say such things, especially as they continue to profit by Divinity's Love for Man, which is everywhere dispensed and at no point fails him in his needs, even though some services are necessary rather than decorous ? For example, there is the service connected with parturition which -- with its accompaniment of blood and travail is no lovely thing, yet enjoys the divine supervision of Eileithyia and Locheia. It might, in fact, be better not to be born at all than to be born defective for lack of a good guardian and protector. Deity does not abandon man even when he is sick : there is a special God [Asclepius] whose mission it is to bring help and strength at such a time. Not even when a man dies is he forsaken : there is a God [Hermes] who cares for him and leads him to the other world, who is for the dead a lord of repose, an escort of souls [psychopompos] to Hades' realm :

    Night did not bear me lord of the lyre
    Nor yet seer or physician, but to be a guide
    Of souls.

    "These matters, too, involve many disagreeable features.

    "Love, on the other hand, has a function as holy [hieros] as any you could mention, nor is there any contest [hamilla] or competition [agon] more fitting for a God to preside over and inspire than the pursuit and tendance by lovers [eron] of handsome young men. Here there is no ignoble compulsion ; instead persuasion and favour, prompting truly

    A labour sweet, a toil that is no toil,

    leads the way to virtuous friendship [literally, Areté kai philia -- Manly Virtue and Friendship, Manly Goodness and Brotherhood, Manly Excellence and Warriorhood, etc]. Not

    Without a God

    does such friendship attain its proper goal, nor is the guide to it, to whose dominion it belongs, any other God than Eros, companion of the Muses, the Graces and Aphrodite. For it is he who, in the words of Melanippides,

    Sows secretly a delightful harvest
    In the desire of man's heart,

    mingling what is most pleasant with what is best [kallistos -- most noble].

    "Well, Zeuxippus," he said, "is this what we mean ? "

    "Heavens, yes," said the other. "Exactly right. The contrary would be quite absurd."

    "And would not this also be absurd," asked my father, "if in the four classes of friendship that the ancients distinguished : blood kinship, hospitality, comradeship, and love, the first three of these should have as their patron a God, of comrades or guests or clan or family, and that only love should be ignored as though it were profane and unsuitable for a God's protection -- and this when above all others it needs surveillance and guidance ?"

    "Yes," said Zeuxippus, "that would be very illogical."

    "But," my father said, "Plato's doctrine might help in the discussion at this point, though it is a digression. There is one form of madness that rises from the body to the soul : when a noxious exhalation is put into circulation as a result of distempers or commixtures of a certain sort, a madness ensues that is savage, harsh, and diseased. There is a second kind, however, which does not exist without divine inspiration. It is not intrinsically generated but is, rather, an extrinsic afflatus that displaces the faculty of rational inference ; it is created and set in motion by a higher power. This sort of madness bears the general name of 'enthusiasm.' For just as what possesses breath within it is called 'breathing' and what has sense is called 'sensible,' just so this kind of agitation in the soul has been named 'enthusiasm' because it shares in and participates in a power that is divine." [Translator's note : En-thusiasm is derived from enTheos, "having a God within."]

    "There are several kinds of enthusiasm : the prophetic comes from the inspiration and possession of Apollo ; the Bacchic from Dionysus --

    Dance after the Corybantes,

    says Sophocles, for the festivals of Cybele and Pan have much in common with the Bacchic revels.

    "The third kind comes from the Muses. It takes a pure and virgin soul, strikes a spark in it and fans it into a blaze of poetic and musical creation.

    "As for that kind which is called 'mad with Ares' [Areimanes] and is concerned with war, everyone knows which of the Gods it honours in its frenzied inspiration :

    ~Plut. Erotikos 758f

    It calls Ares to arms [ex-opli-zo], the stranger to dance and lyre,
    The sower of tears ; it rouses cries of civil war.

    "There remains within the class of mutations and aberrations that man is subject to yet another kind, Daphnios, that is neither inconspicuous nor quiescent. I have a question about it to put to Pemptides here . . [there's a short lacuna in the manuscript here]

    Which God shakes the thyrsus of fair fruits

    this enthusiasm which arouses affection [philetikos] for virtuous [agathos -- Manly and Good] boys and chaste [sophron] women, which is much the fiercest and warmest of all our enthusiasms ?

    "You have observed, have you not, that as soon as the soldier [stratiotes] lays down his arms [hopla] he is relieved from the madness of war --

    And then his joyful servants
    Stripped the armour from his shoulders

    he sits still, an unwarlike spectator of everything else. Likewise in Bacchic orgies and Corybantic revels the dance grows milder and comes to rest when the musicians switch from the trochaic rhythm and the Phrygian mode. In the same way the Pythia regains calm and tranquillity once she has left her tripod and its exhalations. In erotic madness, however, when once it has really seized upon a man and set him on fire, there is no reading of literature, no 'magic incantation' no change of environment, that restores him to calm. He loves when present and longs when absent, pursues by day and haunts the door by night, summons his lad when sober and sings his praises while he drinks.

    "Someone has said that the images entertained by the poetic imagination, because they impose themselves so vividly, are dreams of those wide awake ; but this is much more true of the images entertained by the imagination of lovers who speak to the beloved and embrace him or chide him as though he were present. For our sight seems to paint its other pictures on wet plaster : they fade away quickly and slip from mind ; the images [eikon] of the beloved, however, burned into the mind by sight, as if using encaustic technique, leave behind in the memory shapes [eidolon] that move and live and speak and remain forever and ever.

    "Roman Cato declared that the soul of the lover is ever present in that of the beloved . . . form,

    Translator's note :

    There is a lacuna at this point, though it is not indicated in the mss.

    Rabinowitz thinks that this corrupt passage has conceptual affinities with Plato, Phaedrus, 252 e -- 253 b, and has somewhat the following meaning :

    "That is to say, the form (to eidos) or character of the beloved -- his way of life, his actions -- affect (note tou pathous below [759d]) the soul of the lover and lead him to achieve a lengthy journey in swift compass. As the Cynics [a school of philosophy] say, he comes to discover that the passage to virtue [Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood] is 'strenuous and short at the same time.' For the soul of the lover proceeds first to friendship [philia] and then to virtue [Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood], moving swiftly, as it were, on the wave of affection [kumatos = wave, tou pathous = of affection] with the God's [Eros'] help."

    [end of lacuna]

    "To sum up : it is clear that neither is the lover's [erastes] enthusiasm [en-thusiasm] without divine assistance, nor does it have as director and charioteer any God [Eros] other than Him whose festival and sacrifice [Erotidia] we are now engaged in celebrating.

    "It is, however, principally in respect to power and benefits that we distinguish between the Gods, just as there are two human goods [agathoi -- excellences], kingship and Virtue [Basileia kai Areté -- Manhood, Manly Goodness, Manly Excellence, Fighting Manhood], that are held and said to be the most divine [theiotatos -- superlative of theios]. Let us first, then, see whether Love yields to any other God in power. Though

    Mighty the victory which the Cyprian [Aphrodite] bears away,

    as Sophocles says ; yet the strength [ischus] of Ares is also mighty. Indeed we see the two-way distribution of the power [dynamis] of all the other Gods illustrated in the case of these two. For the one power, which makes us receptive to beauty [kalon -- physical and moral beauty], and the other, which leads us to combat [antitaktikos] evil and ugliness [aischros], are fundamentally and from the beginning present in our souls as, I dare say, Plato [another lacuna in the text -- the translator suggests it may have referred to Republic 440a, where Plato discusses Thumos, the Principle of High Spirit, that is, Fighting Spirit, which is also present from the beginning in our souls] also . . . the kinds.

    "For example, then, let us recognize that the work of Aphrodite, if Love is not present, can be bought for a drachma [that is, from a prostitute -- again, Aphrodite is the Goddess of Sex] and that no one not in love ever endured pain or danger merely for the sake of Aphrodite's pleasures. This is not the place to mention Phryne, my friend, while some girl [porne -- prostitute] like Lais or Gnathaenion

    Kindles at evening the gleam of her lamp ;

    though they welcome and solicit, their doors are often passed by.

    But suddenly the wind will rise

    and bring with it love and desire in all its force : at once to this same activity it gives a worth equal to the fabulous wealth of Tantalus and the kingdom of Gyges. So weak and quickly sated are the favours of Aphrodite if Love [Eros] has not inspired them.

    "You will find this even more clearly indicated by the fact that many have shared their pleasure with others, playing the pander not merely to their mistresses, but even to their wives. An example, my friend, is that notorious Roman, Gabba. He was, they say, giving a dinner to Maecenas and observed the latter toying amorously [diaplektizomai -- sparring] with his wife when given the signal to do so ; so he let his head nod gently as if he were sound asleep. But meanwhile one of his slaves glided into the dining room and started to steal wine. 'Damn you !' cried Gabba, glaring. 'Don't you know that it's only for Maecenas that I'm asleep.' This, perhaps, is not so shocking, for Gabba was a buffoon.

    "But at Argos Nicostratus was the political opponent of Phayllus. When King Philip came to town, everyone thought that Phayllus, who had a wife of great beauty, would obtain a dominant position for himself if his wife should become intimate with Philip. Nicostratus' party got wind of this and patrolled the street before Phayllus' door. The latter, however, put soldiers' boots on his wife and a cape and a Macedonian hat and got her undetected to Philip, since she passed for one of the royal pages.

    "On the other hand, of all the throngs of [male-male] lovers [erastes] past and present, do you know of a single one who sold the favours of his beloved [eromenos] even to gain the honours [Timé] of Zeus himself ? I think not. How could this happen, when even tyrants, whom no one dares to contradict, whose policies no one dares to oppose, have had many rivals in love, many competitors for the friendship of handsome young lads [horaios -- lads in the bloom of youth]? You know the tales of Aristogeiton of Athens and Antileon of Metapontum and Melanippus of Agrigentum : they had at first no quarrel with their tyrants, though they saw that these were acting like drunkards and disfiguring the state ; but when the tyrants tried to seduce their beloveds, they spared not even their own lives in defending their loves, holy [athiktos], as it were, and inviolable [asylos] shrines [hieron].

    . . .

    ~Plut. Erotikos 760D

    "And now consider," he [Plutarch] said, "the extent of Eros' superiority in the sphere of battle, in Ares' [areios] sphere [ergon -- deeds of war]. [Cf Plato Symposion 179a.] He is not idle, as Euripides said ; he has seen service in the field ; he does not

    Spend his nights on the soft cheeks of girls.

    A man filled with Love has no need of Ares to fight [machomai] his enemies [polemios] ; if he has his own God with him, he is

    Ready to cross fire and sea, the air itself,

    on behalf of his friend [philos -- beloved, lover], wherever the friend may bid him. When the sons of Niobe in Sophocles' play are being shot at and about to die, one of them calls for help -- and for no other helper or ally [symmachos] than his lover [erastes] :

    O . . . place about me . . .

    "You know, of course, the story of Cleomachus [Kleos + Machos = Glory in Fight -- cf Aristo-machos = Most Manly in Fight] of Pharsalia and the reason for his death in battle."

    "No, we don't," said Pemptides and his party.

    "But we should be glad to hear it told."

    "It's worth hearing," said my father. "Cleomachus came to help the Chalcidians when the Lelantine War against the Eretrians was at its height. The Chalcidian infantry was thought to have considerable strength, but they found it difficult to resist the enemy cavalry. Accordingly his allies requested Cleomachus, a man of splendid courage, to be the first to charge the horse. His beloved [eromenos] was there and Cleomachus asked him if he was going to witness the battle. The youth [neaniskos] said that he was, embraced Cleomachus tenderly, and put on his helmet [kranos] for him. Filled with ardour, Cleomachus assembled the bravest of the Thessalians about himself, made a fine charge, and fell upon the enemy with such vigour that their cavalry was thrown into confusion and was thoroughly routed. When subsequently their hoplites also fled, the Chalcidians had a decisive victory. It was, however, Cleomachus' bad fortune to be killed in the battle. The Chalcidians point out his tomb [taphos] in the market-place with the great pillar [kion] standing on it to this day. Formerly they had frowned on paederasty [paiderastia], but now they accepted it and honoured [timao] it more than others did.

    "Now Aristotle says that the circumstances of Cleomachus' death in victorious battle with the Eretrians were different and that the lover embraced by his friend was one of the Chalcidians from Thrace sent as an ally to the Chalcidians of Euboea. And this, he says, is the reason for the Chalcidian popular song :

    Ye lads of grace [charis] and sprung from worthy [esthlos] stock.
    Grudge not to brave [agathos -- Manly and Good] men converse with your beauty :
    In cities of Chalcis, Love [Eros], looser of limbs,
    Thrives side by side with Courage [andreia -- Manhood].

    "Anton was the name of the lover and Philistus was his beloved, as the poet Dionysius relates in his Origins.

    "In your city, Thebes, Pemptides, isn't it true that the lover made his beloved a present of a complete suit of armour [pan-oplia] when the boy was registered [engrapho] as a man ?

    Bill Weintraub:

    In Athens -- not in Thebes, but in Athens -- we know that at age 18 a youth was registered, not precisely as a Man, but as a Youth of Fighting Age -- an ephebos. He was registered in his deme -- his township -- and once his identity was verified by the officials of the deme, he was subject to two years of compulsory military training and service.

    Something similar happened in Sparta, although there the youth of Fighting Age were called, we think, paidiskoi.

    If Thebes followed the same pattern, it would make perfect sense that the Erastes, the Lover, present his Beloved, his Eromenos, with a full suit of armour -- that is, the hoplite panoply -- at the time of his registration.

    And it's worth noting that at the Beloved's age of 18, the Lover and his Beloved were still bonded and united in Love.

    Since, as you'll soon hear, these two Men were expected to Fight side by side, or, as Plutarch puts it, "Lover beside Beloved," in the hieros lochos, the Sacred Band of Thebes, it's reasonable to assume that they remained so bonded for many years thereafter.

    Plutarch:

    "Pammenes, a man versed in love, changed the order of battle-line [taxis] for the hoplites [hoplites], censuring Homer as knowing nothing about love, because he arranged the companies of Achaeans by tribes and clans and did not station lover beside beloved, in order to bring it about that

    Shield supported shield and helmet helmet,

    for he considered that Love is the only invincible general [strategos]. It is a fact that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children ; but lover and beloved, when their God is present [entheos -- when they're in-Godded, filled with their God, have their God within], no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through.

    Bill Weintraub:

    Plutarch's words --

    It is a fact that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children ; but lover and beloved, when their God is present [entheos -- when they're in-Godded, filled with their God, have their God within], no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through.

    constitute one of the strongest statements in the Erotikos -- or anywhere else -- of the extraordinary Martial and Military Might this ancient, Masculinist, Warrior, Culture -- attributed -- and justly so -- to the Romantic Passion of Male Eros.

    It's a statement we'll revisit --

    Because it tells us a lot about Men -- and how and where -- they thrive.

    Plutarch:

    "In some cases, even when there is no need for it, Erastai are moved to exhibit their love of danger [philokindunos], their disregard for mere life [aphilopsychos].

    Bill Weintraub:

  • Aphilopsychos : not cowardly ; having a disregard for life -- Plu.2.761c

    αφιλοψυχος

    This word has to be understood within the context of a "Victory or Death" Masculinist and Warrior Culture in which Men are taught to despise death and to regard a "glorious death" -- that is, a death in battle -- as globally redemptive and the height of honour -- which is Worth.

    The opposite of a-philopsychos is :

    Philopsychos : loving one's life, cowardly, dastardly, faint-hearted -- Euripides

    φιλοψυχος

    In other words, loving one's life to the point of a cowardly and faint-hearted fear of death -- is dastardly and dishonourable ; it's both an-andros -- UN-manly ; and a-timetos -- UN-worthy.

    And the last thing you want to be in a Warrior Society -- is UN-manly and UN-worthy.

    The pattern-hero, to use classicist Werner Jaeger's term, the mythic model, for all of the ancient world is Achilles, who chooses to die young so as to avenge his Lover Patroklos' death, thus demonstrating, through his disregard for the mere life and low pleasures of the world of becoming -- his fierce-hearted and brave contempt for death -- unequivocal proof that that he's both Manly and Worthy, Worthy of the true Areta of the Warrior World of Being.

    Plutarch:

    "This was what prompted Theron of Thessaly to place his left hand on the wall, draw his sword, and cut off the thumb, challenging his rival [ant-erastes] to do the same.

    "When another man had fallen in battle on his face and an enemy was about to kill him, he begged the latter to wait for a moment in order that his beloved might not see him wounded from behind.

    [Alternate version, also by Plutarch :]

    [A] band that is held together by the friendship between lovers [erotikos philia] is indissoluble and not to be broken, since the lovers are ashamed to play the coward before their beloved, and the beloved before their lovers, and both stand firm in danger to protect each other.

    Nor is this a wonder, since men have more regard for their lovers even when absent than for others who are present, as was true of him who, when his enemy was about to slay him where he lay, earnestly besought him to run his sword through his breast, 'in order,' as he said, 'that my beloved may not have to blush at sight of my body with a wound in the back.'

    ~Plut. Pel. 18.2-3, translated by Perrin.

    "It is not only the most warlike [machimotatos] peoples, Boeotians, Spartans, Cretans, who are the most susceptible to love [erotikotatos], but also the great heroes of old, Meleager, Achilles, Aristomenes, Cimon, Epaminondas.

    Bill Weintraub:

    I like Prof Helmbold's translation of the Erotikos, but he stumbles in this paragraph.

    First of all, Plutarch is making a strong parallel between the superlatives of machimos -- warlike -- and erotikos -- loving.

    And he's saying that the most warlike ethnoi -- Bodies, per Liddell and Scott, of Men -- including the Thebans, Spartans, and Cretans -- are the most romantically passionate in their male love affairs.

    That's an important point by a major ancient writer, and it's one, therefore, that we'll frequently re-visit :

    The most WARLIKE MEN, including the Thebans, Spartans, and Cretans, are the most ROMANTICALLY PASSIONATE in their MALE LOVE AFFAIRS.

    Regarding Plutarch's list of "great heroes of old, Meleager, Achilles, Aristomenes, Cimon, and Epaminondas," Helmbold, in a footnote, says that "Meleager and Cimon were inspired by the love of women, so far as we know. In literature, Achilles is sometimes bisexual ; Epaminondas is not." And he says that we know nothing of "Aristomenes' proclivities," but that Plutarch, who wrote lives of both Epaminondas and Aristomenes, undoubtedly did.

    Is Helmbold correct about Meleager, Cimon, and Achilles ?

    NO NO and NO.

    This section of the Erotikos is plainly and clearly dedicated to the power and might of the Male Eros, and in "Ares' sphere" -- that of Battle, of Fight.

    And it's about Male Lovers.

    As Plutarch says :

    A man filled with Love has no need of Ares to fight [machomai] his enemies [polemios] ; if he has his own God with him, he is

    Ready to cross fire and sea, the air itself,

    on behalf of his friend [tou philou -- his male beloved or lover], wherever the friend may bid him.

    The Men in the list that's given, therefore, like virtually EVERY OTHER ANCIENT GREEK MAN we know of, would all have had MALE LOVERS.

    So -- let's look at what the professor said.

    His statement that Achilles is "sometimes bisexual" is ludicrous on its face.

    As devised by the forces of heterosexualization, the categories of sexual orientation are plain -- bisexual is bisexual -- and it's not "sometimes," nor are "homosexual" and "heterosexual."

    They are, according to the categories, immutable and always.

    And, on that basis, ALL GREEK MEN -- are bisexual.

    All the time.

    Meleager is mythic -- and Plutarch -- and his audience -- would have known versions of Meleager myths that have long since disappeared -- but in which, clearly, he had at least one Male Lover or Beloved.

    Cimon is *not* mythic ; he was a real and very famous Athenian general and statesman of the period between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars.

    But -- the only reason we know anything about his personal life is that Plutarch wrote a Life of Cimon.

    It's true that in that Life, there's no mention of a male love affair.

    But that doesn't mean there was none.

    Again, ALL the Greek Men Plutarch wrote about had Male Love Affairs.

    Moreover, Cimon was famously philolakon -- pro-Spartan -- in both his public and personal life :

    He named his twin sons Lakedaimonios and Eleios -- that is, "Spartan" and "Elis-ian" ; and he was often heard to remark, when Athens faced some crisis or other and a, to his mind, feckless proposal had been made for a way out -- "But this is not what the Spartans would do."

    Plutarch adds that

    he lacked entirely the Attic [Athenian] cleverness [deinotes] and fluency of speech ; in his outward bearing there was much nobility [gennaios] and truthfulness [alethes] ; the fashion of the man's spirit [psyche] was rather Peloponnesian [that is, Spartan],
    Plain, unadorned, in a great crisis brave and true [agathos -- Manly and True]

    And goes on to say of Cimon, in Perrin's translation, that

    he made his home in the city a general public residence for his fellow citizens, and on his estates in the country allowed even the stranger to take and use the choicest of the ripened fruits, with all the fair things which the seasons bring. Thus, in a certain fashion, he restored to human life the fabled communism [sic -- the actual word is koinonia -- communion and fellowship] of the age of Cronus -- the mythical golden age [-- and with it the sort of communalism practised at Sparta].

    While in a court case brought against him, Cimon characterized himself as

    lovingly imitating the frugality [euteleia] and temperance [sophrosyne] of the Lakedaimonians.

    Now :

    Given that Plutarch has just said that "the most warlike bodies of men," including the Spartans, "are most susceptible to Love" -- by which he means the Military and Martial Love of Men -- and then inserted Cimon's name into a list of such Men -- it's ridiculous to think that Cimon didn't, like other Athenian aristocrats, follow a Spartan model -- and have at least one Male Lover.

    Why then is that Lover not mentioned in Plutarch's life ?

    Because Plutarch, as he himself tells us -- most famously in his Life of Alexander -- did not write his Lives to be complete and thorough histories.

    Rather, he wrote them to ELUCIDATE CHARACTER.

    That's what they're about -- CHARACTER -- and that's why they've had such tremendous staying power over the centuries.

    If *nothing* about Cimon's Male Lover or Lovers was remarkable or would serve to tell us more about Cimon's character -- it's *entirely* in keeping with Plutarch's system and with his worldview -- to omit any mention of a Male Lover.

    Plutarch is not us.

    He's not a modern.

    He doesn't think that having a Male Lover is titillating.

    To the contrary -- he thinks it's natural and ordinary.

    And he only talks about it, therefore, when he thinks there's something remarkable to report, something which, again, ELUCIDATES CHARACTER -- as he does in his tale of Theron, who cut off his thumb before going into battle -- to demonstrate his Martial and Masculine Romantic Ardor.

    So -- Prof Helmbold is wrong.

    Plutarch's list is meant to be a list of Men, "great heroes of old," who had Male Lovers.

    As his very next sentence -- and the ones which follow -- so clearly demonstrate :

    Plutarch:

    "Epaminondas, in fact, loved two young men, Asopichus and Caphisodorus. The latter died with him at Mantineia and is buried close to him ; while Asopichos showed himself a most formidable [phoberos] warrior and so redoubtable to his foes that the first man who stood up to him and struck back, Eucnamus of Amphissa, received heroic [heroikos] honours [timé] among the Phocians.

    "As for Heracles, it would be difficult to list all his loves [Erotas -- Loves], they are so numerous. For example, believing Iolaos to have been beloved by him, to this very day lovers worship [sebouai] and honour [timao] Iolaos, exchanging vows [horko-o] and pledges [pistis] with their beloved at his tomb [taphos].*

    *Translator's note : See also Life of Pelopidas xviii :

    It is related, too, that Iolaos, who shared the labours of Heracles and fought by his side, was beloved of him. And Aristotle says that even down to his day the tomb of Iolaos was a place where lovers and beloved plighted mutual faith. It was natural, then, that the [Theban] Band [lochos] should also be called Sacred [hieros], because even Plato calls the lover a friend 'inspired of God' [philos entheos -- literally, a friend or lover or beloved "filled with a God, having a God within"].

    ~Plut. Pel. 18.4, translated by Perrin.

    Translator's note : The shrine was still standing in Pausanias' day (ix. 23. 1), shortly after Plutarch's :

    In front of the Proetidian gate at Thebes is the gymnasion called the Gymnasion of Iolaos and also a race-course, a bank of earth like those at Olympia and Epidaurus. Here there is also shown a hero-shrine [hero-on] of Iolaos.

    ~Paus. 9.23.1, translated by Jones and Ormerod.

    Translator's note : For another and more miraculous shrine of Iolaos see Diodorus, iv. 24. 4 :

    [4.24.4] To Iolaos, his nephew, who was his companion on the expedition, Herakles likewise dedicated a notable sacred precinct, and ordained that annual honours and sacrifices should be offered to him, as is done even to this day; for all the inhabitants of this city let the hair of their heads grow from their birth in honour of Iolaos, until they have obtained good omens in costly sacrifices and have rendered the God propitious.

    [4.24.5] And such a holiness and majesty pervade the sacred precinct that the boys who fail to perform the customary rites lose their power of speech and become like dead men. But so soon as anyone of them who is suffering from this malady takes a vow that he will pay the sacrifice and vouchsafes to the God a pledge to that effect, at once, they say, he is restored to health.

    ~translated by Oldfather.

    Translator's note : And for the connexions of Iolaos and Thespiae Diodorus, iv. 29. 4 :

    Thespius was by birth a distinguished man of Athens and son of Erechtheus, and he was king of the land which bears his name and begot by his wives, of whom he had a great number, fifty daughters.

    [4.29.3] And when Heracles was still a boy, but already of extraordinary strength of body, the king strongly desired that his daughters should bear children by him. Consequently he invited Heracles to a sacrifice, and after entertaining him in brilliant fashion he sent his daughters one by one in to him; and Heracles lay with them all, brought them all with child, and so became the father of fifty sons. These sons all took the same name after the daughters of Thespius, and when they had arrived at Manhood Heracles decided to send them to Sardinia to found a colony, as the oracle had commanded.

    IOLAOS & THE COLONY OF SARDINIA

    [4.29.4] And since the expedition was under the general command of Iolaos, who had accompanied Heracles on practically all of his campaigns, the latter entrusted him with the care of the Thespiadai and the planting of the colony. Of the fifty boys, two continued to dwell in Thebes, their descendants, they say, being honoured even to the present day, and seven in Thespiai, where they are called demouchi [protector of the people], and where their descendants, they say, were the chief men of the city until recent times.

    ~translated by Oldfather.

    Plutarch:

    "It is also related that Heracles exhibited his talent for healing by rescuing Alcestis[, the wife of Admetus,] from a mortal disease to please Admetus, who was not only in love with his wife, but had also been Heracles' beloved.

    "In fact, Apollo also was Admetus' lover according to the tale :

    He served Admetus for a mighty year.

    . . .

    ~Plutarch, Erotikos, translated by Helmbold.


    Bill Weintraub:

    There's a tremendous amount of information in the Erotikos, but what's most striking is the denigration of male-female forms of relationship, and the extravagant praise lavished on Manly Love :

    Love, in fact, [says Protogenes,] it is that attaches himself to a young and talented soul and through friendship brings it to a state of virtue [Areté -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood] ; but the appetite for women we are speaking of, however well it turns out, has for net gain only an accrual of pleasure in the enjoyment of a ripe physical beauty. . . .

    "[T]here is only one genuine Love, the love of males. It is not 'flashing with desire,' as Anacreon says of the love of maidens, or 'drenched with unguents, shining bright.' No, its aspect is simple and unspoiled. You will see it in the schools of philosophy, or perhaps in the gymnasia and palaistrai, searching for young men whom it cheers on with a clear and noble cry to the pursuit of virtue [Areté -- Manly Goodness, which is Fighting Manhood] when they are found worthy of its attention.

    "But that other lax and housebound love, that spends its time in the bosoms and beds of women, ever pursuing a soft life, enervated amid pleasure devoid of manliness [andreia] and friendship and inspiration -- it should be proscribed, as in fact Solon [the Athenian law-giver] did proscribe it. He forbade slaves to make love to boys or to have a rubdown, but he did not restrict their intercourse with women. For friendship is a beautiful [kalos -- morally beautiful] and courteous relationship, but mere pleasure is base and unworthy of a free man [aneleutheros]. For this reason also it is not gentlemanly [eleutherios -- fit for a free man] or urbane to make love to slave boys : such a love is mere copulation, like the love of women."

    Bill Weintraub:

    Pindar, ca 400 BC :

    With the help of a God [syn Theos], one man can sharpen [thego] another who is born [phua] for Areta -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    Protogenes, aka Plutarch, ca 100 AD :

    Love, in fact, it is that attaches himself to a young and talented soul and through friendship brings it to a state of Areta -- Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    The thought hasn't changed -- in 500 years.

    Pindar says syn Theos -- with the help of a God -- without specifying which God.

    Plutarch would say Eros.

    I'd say Ares.

    But they're actually two sides of the same coin, as Plutarch himself says they are.

    Now :

    Protogenes :

    'Friendship -- that species of Friendship in which one male helps bring another to a state of Areta -- of Full and Fighting Manly Excellence and Masculine Virtue -- is morally beautiful ; but the mere, the low, pleasure of male-female is base and unworthy [atimetos] of a free Man.'

    Notice how, in Protogenes' speech, Plutarch has him link male-female with the low pleasures, the hedonai, of the world of becoming, while he continually associates male-male with the Noble Ideals, the Areta, the Philia, and, by implication, the Koinonia -- that is, the Manhood, Fellowship, and Communion -- of the Warrior World of Being.

    That association of Male Eros with a higher order of being was first put forward -- philosophically -- by Plato in his Symposion, five hundred years earlier.

    But that philosophic statement by Plato would not, alone, have given that association the staying power it clearly had -- and has.

    It is rather the nature of Men within Warrior Societies to promote and exalt what the Greeks called Eros -- Passionate, Romantic, Love -- between Men.

    Because that Eros in return promotes an extraordinarily powerful dyadic bond, and with it, the Martial Values most cherished by Warriors :

    Honour, Strength, Valour, Gallantry, Fortitude, Moral Beauty, Manly Goodness, Virile Value, and Warrior Worth.

    All of them informed by that Masculine Selflessness which leads to Heroic Acts of Self-Sacrifice.

    Thus the story of Cleomachus -- Glory-in-Fight -- with which Plutarch begins his discussion of Eros in what he calls the "sphere of battle, Ares' sphere" --

    Cleomachus -- Glory-in-Fight -- who, "filled with ardour" by his beloved's presence, leads his Men to victory, even as he loses his own life.

    His allies award him a tomb topped with a kion -- a columnar, that is, phallic, grave-stone ; and henceforth give great honour -- Worth -- to the Love of Youths.

    While in Thebes, Plutarch tells us, the lover presents his beloved with a complete suit of armour when "the boy is registered as a Man" -- that is, when he makes the transition from child to Youth of Fighting Age ; and lover and beloved swear undying faith and fidelity at the tomb and hero-shrine of Iolaos, beloved of Herakles.

    Plutarch then speaks of the Sacred Band of Thebes -- a Theban military unit of 150 pairs of Erotically-bonded Lovers -- though he doesn't use that exact term, instead making somewhat veiled reference to a band [lochos] which is sacred [hieros].

    But his readers would have known to whom and what he referred, since it was the Sacred Band which broke the Spartan line at Leuktra in 371 BC, and then Died Fighting, to a Man, at Chaeronea -- Plutarch's home town -- in 338 BC, when Philip II of Macedon conquered the Greeks.

    Plutarch:

    [A] band that is held together by the friendship between lovers [erotikos philia] is indissoluble and not to be broken, since the lovers are ashamed to play the coward before their beloved, and the beloved before their lovers, and both stand firm in danger to protect each other.

    Nor is this a wonder, since men have more regard for their lovers even when absent than for others who are present, as was true of him who, when his enemy was about to slay him where he lay, earnestly besought him to run his sword through his breast, 'in order,' as he said, 'that my beloved may not have to blush at sight of my body with a wound in the back.'

    Plutarch then reinfoces his point by saying that it's the most Warlike of Men -- and the cultures which produce them -- which evidence the Greatest Romantic Passion -- in their Love of Men :

    The most Warlike Men [machimotatos], including the Thebans, Spartans, and Cretans, are the most Romantically Passionate [erotikotatos] in their Male Love Affairs.

    And Men who Love Men are, he tells us, the most unyielding of their Love, the least likely to let it be used for political or other gain, even under the most extreme pressure.

    He speaks of those famous Lovers whose handsome and happy young Beloveds, glowing with the full bloom of radiant youth, were advidly and persisently sought after by tyrants for the most vicious of sexual purposes -- and how those Lovers Died, Fighting, rather than let their Virtuous Beloveds be violated by those lords of vice :

    You know the tales of Aristogeiton of Athens and Antileon of Metapontum and Melanippus of Agrigentum : they had at first no quarrel with their tyrants, though they saw that these were acting like drunkards and disfiguring the state ; but when the tyrants tried to seduce their beloveds, they spared not even their own lives in defending their loves, holy [athiktos], as it were, and inviolable [asylos] shrines [hieron].

    "Holy and inviolable shrines," says Plutarch, in Helmbold's admirable translation.


    Aristogeiton and Harmodius
    Warrior-Lovers and Tyrannicides

    And then Plutarch once again contrasts the often adulterated nature of male-female with the purity of male-male.

    For, having described several famous cases of males proffering their wives for political gain, Plutarch asks,

    On the other hand, of all the throngs of [male-male] lovers [erastes] past and present, do you know of a single one who sold the favours of his beloved [eromenos] even to gain the honours [Timé] of Zeus himself ? I think not.

    After which Plutarch returns to what is de facto a world of becoming vs World of Being dichotomy :

    It is a fact that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children ; but lover and beloved, when their God is present [entheos -- when they're in-Godded, filled with their God, have their God within], no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through.

    "It is a fact, says Plutarch, "that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children" ; "but Lover and Beloved, when their God is present," that is, when they're in-Godded and filled with Eros, "no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through."

    Although that may sound like hyperbole to you, it's not -- it is, rather, a clear statement of what is both a Masculinist and Warrior Cultural Value and a Societal Fact ; and it's also a cultural message.

    Which is followed by this :

    In some cases, even when there is no need for it, Lovers -- Erastai -- are moved to exhibit their love of danger [philokindunos], their disregard for mere life [aphilopsychos].

    "Their disregard for mere life."

    As we discussed, Men will disregard mere life because it's the mere life of the world of becoming.

    Just as -- "men will desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children" -- because they too are linked to the world of becoming.

    But not Lover and Beloved.

    They cannot, says Plutarch, be parted, they cannot be separated.

    Because they partake of the World of Being -- the Warrior World of Being.

    And their bond, as a consequence, is too powerful.

    Why?

    Because the Idea of Good in the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos, is Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    And that Idea, that Form, that Essence -- is too Powerful -- to be betrayed.

    "It is a fact, says Plutarch, "that men desert their fellow tribesmen and relatives and even (God knows) their parents and children" ; "but Lover and Beloved, when their God is present," that is, when they're in-Godded and filled with Eros, "no enemy has ever encountered and forced his way through."

    And as I said, although Plutarch's dictum may sound like hyperbole to you, it's not -- it is, rather, a clear statement of what is both a Masculinist and Warrior Cultural Value and a Societal Fact ; and it's also a cultural message.

    And not the only one of its kind.

    Here, for example, is a story by Lucian, who was roughly contemporaneous with Plutarch, in which a Man abandons his wife and children in a fire in order to save his male lover :

    Abauchas once arrived in the capital of the Borysthenians, with his wife, of whom he was extremely fond, and two children; one, a boy, was still at the breast, the other was a girl of seven. With him also was his friend [hetairos] Gyndanes, who was still suffering from the effects of a wound he had received on the journey : they had been attacked by some robbers, and Gyndanes in resisting them had been stabbed in the thigh, and was still unable to stand on account of the pain.

    One night they were all asleep in the upper story, when a tremendous fire broke out ; the whole building was wrapped in flames, and every means of exit blocked. Abauchas started up, and leaving his sobbing children, and shaking off his wife, who clung to him and implored him to save her, he caught up his friend [hetairos] in his arms, and just managed to force his way down without being utterly consumed by the flames. His wife followed, carrying the boy, and bade the girl come after her ; but, scorched almost to a cinder, she was compelled to drop the child from her arms, and barely succeeded in leaping through the flames ; the little girl too only just escaped with her life.

    Abauchas was afterwards reproached with having abandoned his own wife and children to rescue Gyndanes. 'I can beget other children easily enough,' said he: 'nor was it certain how these would turn out : but it would be long before I got such another friend [philos -- beloved] as Gyndanes ; of his affection [eunoia -- good-will] I have been abundantly satisfied by experience.'

    ~Luc. Tox. 59 ff, translated by Harmon.

    This story may be distasteful to us and our modern, heterosexualized, taste.

    But we shouldn't ignore what Abauchas says about the relative value of family and lover :

    'I can beget other children easily enough,' said he: 'nor was it certain how these would turn out : but it would be long before I got such another beloved as Gyndanes ; of his affection and good-will I have been abundantly satisfied by experience.'

    In short, a wife and kids are easy to come by -- which is true in the ancient world, because marriages are arranged by families for financial gain ;

    But a Male Lover is, in effect, a pearl, not of great price, but priceless -- not something or someone ever to be tossed aside.

    Which is also true because a Male Lover has to be fought for and won -- Men compete for Lovers, and young Men compete to be Beloveds.

    And once a Lover has demonstrated his Fidelity and Affection -- by, for example, Manfully Fighting Off a band of robbers even though wounded, thus showing disregard for mere life and contempt for death -- you must and will keep him -- forever.

    As Boswell says, this ancient view is at "striking" variance with that of the moderns :

    Most ancient writers -- in striking opposition to their modern counterparts -- generally entertained higher expectations of the fidelity and permanence of homosexual [sic] passions than of heterosexual [sic] feelings.

    Yet that was the view which prevailed for more than a thousand years.

    And which inspired innumerable acts of valour.

    Indeed, in Chapter VI, we'll look at another account by Lucian in which a Lover voluntarily Fights as a gladiator -- a Fight which is to the Death -- in order to earn money he and his beloved desperately need.

    So this is, as I said, both a Cultural Value and a Societal Fact :

    Men do not desert their Male Lovers ; rather, they stay beside them, and Fight, unto Death.

    In the Age of Homer and Hesiod, Lykourgos and Lucian, Plato and Plutarch, Male Love is Manly and Martial -- Phallic, Faithful, and Heroic.

    It's not a pale imitation of male-female ; Male Eros is, rather, a uniquely Male creation and institution, designed to meet the Passionate and Romantic needs of Martial Men living in Warriordoms, Men whose primary values are those of their Warrior Kosmos : Selflessness, Manliness, and Warrior Worth.

    So, after what even I admit was a long digression, a long but necessary digression into the divergent natures of male-female and male-male in the ancient world -- we return to Achilles and his righteous slaying of Hektor.

    Righteous because absent that slaying, his Lover, Patroklos, would have been unavenged and unloved.

    But he wasn't.

    Achilles avenged his death, and in so doing demonstrated his own immortal contempt for mere life -- and its pleasures.

    He chose the Moral Beauty of Fighting Manhood -- over the sensual pleasures of a long life.

    He Fought, unhesitatingly, for Victory -- or Death.

    And in Fighting gave his late lover, Patroklos, the Gifts of Worth and Love.

    The Greatest Gifts, and Bestowed by Fighting, any Warrior -- can Give.

    Bill Weintraub

    December 10, 2015























    MANHOOD: A LEXICON

    BIBLION PEMPTON
    WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
    ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

    IV ARES : On Equal Terms
    To Fight and Conquer

    By Bill Weintraub

    Ιn Chapter III, we talked a great deal about Areta, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    And we talked about the Adventus -- the arrival -- of Areta in the male soul through the Askesis -- the discipline -- of Fight and of Enkrateia -- Manfully Moral Self-Control.

    Before reading further, you need to be clear about that process, and the essential and indeed pre-eminent role which Lord Ares plays in it, since Lord Ares is the God of Fight, of Manhood, and of Fighting Manhood, as well as the God of Adventus -- Manhood's Realization -- and of both Kratos -- potency, power, mastery, and might -- and Enkrateia -- that moral self-control which comes from both physical and spiritual strength.

    Again, you need to be clear about the process of Adventus through Askesis -- you should be able to explain it -- and you should check out, in that regard, the definition of Asketes -- "a Practitioner of Fight" -- Disciplined Fight which is learned through Askesis.

    You should also be clear about the problem of excess and the pleasures of necessity --

    And how all of the above come together in the person of Achilles as the Exemplar and Pattern-Hero of Self-less Self-Love and Heroic Self-Sacrifice in the Sacred Precincts of Lord Ares and his Son Eros.

    Again, you need to understand and be able to explain -- all of that.

    Now :

    In Chapter III we also reviewed what we first talked about in Chapter II --

    Which is that for a philosopher like Plato, who's a brilliant and often original thinker but whose thoughts are nevertheless informed by his Warriordom which in turn is powered by the Ideals of the Warrior Kosmos --

    Fighting is a noble and high-minded activity -- which is, in its essence, morally beautiful because spiritual :

    [W]hen a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit in that case seethe and grow fierce and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios -- high-minded] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go

    ~Plat. Rep. 4.440c.

    And again, there could not rightly arise among them [the Guardians, the Warrior-Caste of Plato's utopian Republic] any law-suit for assault or bodily injury. For as between age-fellows [men of the same age, comrades] we shall say that self-defence [to defend oneself, to repel an assault] is morally beautiful [kalon] and just, well-ordered, and righteous [dikaios], thereby compelling them to keep their bodies in condition."

    ~Plat. Rep. 5.464e.

    Again, to Plato, Fighting is a noble, righteous, morally beautiful, and high-minded activity -- which is, in its essence, spiritual.

    Which it must be because it's a reflection of the Permanent Truth and Indestructible Ideality of the Supreme and Immutable Fighting Manhood -- as well as the Perfect and Never-Ending Fight Itself -- of the Warrior World of Being, the Warrior Kosmos.

    And, as you'll see, the essentially spiritual nature of the Fight -- is, in the Warriordoms of ancient Greece, understood both by Men in Combat -- and by Men in what we call Combat "Sport," but would be better called Combat or Fight Agonia -- because it entails one Man's Strenuous and indeed Agonizing Physical Struggle to Overcome Another --

    So, as you'll see, the essentially spiritual nature of the Fight is understood both by Men in Combat -- and by Men in Combat Agonia.

    We'll start with Men in Combat :

    Polydorus of Sparta
    Seventh century Agiad king :

    After the pitched Battle of the Three Hundred, when the Argives in full force had again suffered a defeat, the allies were urging Polydorus not to pass up the chance of assaulting the enemy's wall and taking their city, which would be very easy to do with the men now dead and only the women left.

    So he said to them, 'While it's honourable [kalon -- morally beautiful] in my view to defeat one's opponents when fighting [machomai] on equal [isos ισος = equal] terms, I do not consider it just [dikaios -- morally well-ordered], to want to capture their city after having fought over land boundaries ; for I came to recover territory, not to seize a city.'

    ~Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans (Apophthegmata Lakonika), 63.3, translated by Talbert.

    Let's play that again without the annoying brackets, because it speaks volumes about the Spartan view of War and Fighting :

    Polydorus of Sparta
    Seventh century Agiad king :

    After the pitched Battle of the Three Hundred, when the Argives in full force had again suffered a defeat, the allies were urging Polydorus not to pass up the chance of assaulting the enemy's wall and taking their city, which would be very easy to do with the men now dead and only the women left.

    So he said to them, 'While it's morally beautiful, in my view, to defeat one's opponents when fighting on equal terms, I do not consider it morally well-ordered, to want to capture their city after having fought over land boundaries ; for I came to recover territory, not to seize a city.'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 63.3

    To the Spartans, Warfare was, basically, a Noble and High-Minded pursuit.

    Because it was an expression of Andreia and of Areta -- of Manly Excellence, which is Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    Which, by definition, and to the Spartans, was and is Noble and High-Minded.

    But in order for it to be Noble and High-Minded, it had to be, as Polydorus says, Fought on equal terms.

    On EQUAL terms.

    That's the operative phrase -- and word.

    It had to be a Combat of Equals -- an Erin Peri Aretes -- a Struggle, per the very philolakon Xenophon, of, for, and about -- Manhood.

    Which means that it had to be, at this point in history, and for both sides, Hoplite Warfare, each side having the same armament and panoply, and Fought at very close quarters, Hand-to-Hand and Man-to-Man.

    Let's think back to Biblion Proton, and what was there said about the Spartan Way of War :

    To the Spartans, the true test of a Man -- was hoplite battle.

    As Prof Lendon says,

    Greek customs of warfare made fighting a test of personal excellence.

    Heavy-armed were supposed to match their courage against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    Archers and javelin throwers were not supposed to take a decisive part, let alone stone throwers.

    So -- what Lendon's saying is that to the Greeks, and especially the Spartans, "Fighting [was] a test of Personal Excellence."

    And what is "Personal Excellence?"

    It's Areta.

    And what is Areta?

    It's Manly Excellence.

    Which is Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    Fighting was and is a test of Fighting Manhood.

    Lendon:

    Heavy-armed [hoplitai] were supposed to match their courage against other heavy-armed [hoplitai] in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    So :

    Hoplitai fought face-to-face -- the word for that in Greek is enantios --

    • Enantios : opposite, opposing, facing in fight, fronting, face to face, against

      εναντιος

      Cf Latin adversus opposite, in opposition, facing, face to face with, against, in opposition to ; thus, an enemy, an opponent

    Hoplitai fought face-to-face -- and hand-to-hand.

    And to the Spartans, as to most of the other Greeks, that form of Fighting was the true test of Courage, and thus of Andreia -- Manliness, Manhood, Manly Spirit.

    So -- let's look at some pix we saw in the course of this discussion in Biblion Proton :

    The Man in the center is a Hoplites.

    He is, by the standards of his time, heavily armed, with a helmet, heavy shield, and a sword.

    And he's genitally nude -- which may not have been true at all times in warfare, but was often the case.

    To understand more about that, please see the discussion of Timé / Tima in Biblion Proton.

    So -- the Man in the center is a Hoplites --

    Hoplites is singular ; Hoplitai is plural --

    And the Man in the center is a Hoplites --

    And he Fights, whenever he can, Face-to-Face.

    He usually carries a spear as well, but the spear is NOT for throwing.

    It's for stabbing the enemy -- at close quarters.

    Face-to-Face.

    The person on the left is a psilos, and hoi psiloi οι ψιλοι were soldiers without heavy armour, light troops, such as archers and slingers.

    So a psilos doesn't Fight face-to-face -- he throws things -- from a distance.

    The person on the right is either a Persian calvaryman or an Amazon.

    Doesn't matter.

    To the Spartans, for the Fight, the Battle, to be truly *equal*, it must be Hoplites vs Hoplites.

    Not Hoplites vs psilos or calvaryman -- but Hoplites vs Hoplites.


    UN-equal
    In the Dexileo grave stele
    an Athenian calvaryman rides down
    a nude Spartan Hoplites

    Lendon:

    Heavy-armed [hoplitai] were supposed to match their courage -- their Manhood -- against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    And notice the word "grind."

    The Men ground against each other, shield again shield, helm against helm, chest against chest, groin against groin.

    So here's another pic from Biblion Proton of a typical Hoplites, possibly Spartan :

    These Men Fought, most of the time, in what's called the Hoplite Formation, in which they stood shoulder-to-shoulder, the shield of one Man overlapping that of the Man next to him.

    Here are two images that may help you better visualize the formation :

    the hoplite formation
    an aerial view

    In this schematic aerial or bird's-eye view of the hoplite formation, the soldiers' spears are in attack position, pointing toward the bottom of your computer screen. The top five rows of soldiers are grouped relatively loosely so that they can advance. The bottom four rows have come together in a tight formation to make or withstand an attack.

    As you can see, so long as the soldiers stand tightly shoulder-to-shoulder and shield-to-shield, the line is impenetrable -- there's simply no way to get through it, and any individual who attempts to stop it will be killed.

    Conversely, if the line begins to give way -- if just one soldier wavers -- the opposing line can force its way into the gap, gaining a tremendous advantage, and can then easily crush the opposition.

    This formation was so formidable that very often battles didn't happen -- if one line of soldiers judged its opposition unbeatable, they would just abandon the field.

    It was the hoplite formation that stopped the Persians in 490 at Marathon and then again in 480 BC at Thermopylai. The Achaemenids weren't prepared for it, and though they vastly outnumbered the Greeks, they couldn't beat it.

    Similarly, it was Sparta, more than any other Greek city-state, which perfected the use of the hoplite formation, and so held supremacy in land warfare for 200 years. The Spartans drilled incessantly. And in addition, the Spartan system of warrior training, called the agogé, inculcated a shared warrior mentality and created an atmosphere of fervid m2m eroticism that kept the hoplite bonds at a level of ferocious intensity

    the hoplite formation
    spartan battle drill

    In this second illustration, an artist's conception based upon a passage in Xenophon's Hellenika, we see the Spartans drilling.

    The men on the far right are in a tight hoplite-formation phalanx -- they need only lower their spears to be ready to receive an enemy attack.

    The men on the left are also in formation, but placed more loosely, so that they have greater freedom of movement.

    Through incessant drill, the Spartans gained the ability to modify their formations quickly. That's what made them so dangerous.

    That, and the strength of the erotic bonds between warriors, which meant that the lines simply would not give way. When, in 371 BC, the Spartan line was finally broken, it was by another erotically bonded military unit, the Sacred Band of Thebes.

    It's important to understand, in considering the hoplite formation and the terrain of Greece, just how ritualized Greek warfare actually was. Greece is a mountainous country, well-suited to guerilla tactics -- but the formation only worked on open plains.

    Yet the Greeks stuck to it doggedly. And though they did use ambush and other guerilla methods on occasion, to them the ideal test of strength -- of Manhood -- between two armies was the clash of phalanxes.

    So -- here's what happened, again from an aerial view :

    The two opposing armies marched or ran towards each other, shields overlapping and with spears at the ready.

    The two frontlines met with great force, often causing the shields to buckle.

    XXX

    And as they met, the Men in the frontlines stabbled vigorously and repeatedly at each other with their spears.

    So -- when Lendon says,

    Heavy-armed [hoplitai] were supposed to match their courage against other heavy-armed [hoplitai] in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    -- this is what he means:

    XXX

    The Men in back were often literally pushing the Men in front forward, and there was a brutal "storm of spears" where the two sides met.

    And, within that meeting place, virtually anything could go.

    For example, if you could wrench the shield of the Man facing you from his grasp, and, using your wrestling skills, throw him down, you could step over him or on him while stabbing him with either end of your spear or with your sword, and breach the enemy line.

    So the Fighting was hand-to-hand, as Lendon says it was.

    It was a ritualized and brutal test of Manhood, Fought face-to-face and hand-to-hand.

    And that ritualized and brutal test of Manhood was for the participants, says classicist CM Bowra, personally very satisfying :

    Although Men went to war initially because their cities' reputations were at stake, they also did so for personal gain and for personal satisfaction. The Fighting was essentially hand-to-hand, taxing a Man to his utmost, physically and mentally. Thus war gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows. His prowess not only gained him their admiration [Worth -- Timé] but also brought honor [Worth -- Timé] to his city and was in equal measure a source of pride [Worth -- Timé] to himself and his family.

    [emphasis mine]

    What Bowra says --

    War gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows --

    Is, of course, both significant and true.

    War gave a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired by his fellows.

    And what were those MOST admired qualities?

    The Supreme Attributes, the Most Manly Excellences, of Fighting Manhood -- Willingness and Ability.

    The Willingness to Confront the Enemy ; the Ability to Defeat Him.

    That, reductionally, and in action, is Areta.

    And Areta -- in action -- is what confers Tima -- Worth.

    Tima is the Worth which accrues to a Man through Prowess in Battle.

    And Prowess is defined as Exceptional Valour -- that is, Willingness ; Exceptional Bravery ; and Exceptional Ability -- in Combat.

    And those are indeed the qualities *most* admired by a Man's Fellow Men.

    Men admire Fighting Manhood.

    Men aspire to achieve Fighting Manhood.

    Every Man yearns for that Askesis which will lead to the Adventus of Areta -- which is his Fighting Manhood.

    To any ancient writer about Men and Fighting, this is self-evident.

    For example, in an early book, the Kynegetikos, a treatise On Hunting with Hounds, Xenophon says

    [9] For they whose toils [ponoi] root out whatever is base [aischros] and froward [hybristikos -- insolent, wanton] from mind and body and make desire for Areta, which is Manly Excellence and Fighting Manhood, to flourish in their place -- they are the best [aristos -- the Most Manly, that is, the Most Willing and Able to Fight], since they will not brook injustice to their own city nor injury to its soil.

    . . .

    [12] But many of those who are critical of hunting, blinded by jealousy [phthonos], choose to be ruined through their own evil [kakia] rather than be saved by other men's virtue [Areta -- which is Manly Virtue, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood]. For most pleasures [hedonai] are evil [kakai], and by yielding to these they are encouraged either to say or to do what is wrong.

    ~Xen. Kyne. 12.9, 12.

    Bill Weintraub:

    Those Men are Most Manly, that is, Most Willing and Able to Fight, whose toils root out whatever is base and insolent from mind and body and make desire for Areta, for Fighting Manhood, to flourish in its place.

    Such Men are possessed of what Plato calls Thumos, Fighting Spirit, and in the highest degree, since they will not brook injustice to their own city nor injury to its soil.

    Moreover, those unmanly males who are critical of hunting and blinded by jealousy, choose to be ruined through their own excremental evil rather than *saved* by other Men's Areta, which is Manly Virtue, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood.

    For, warns Xenophon, most pleasures are evil [kakai], and by yielding to these males are encouraged either to say or to do what is wrong.

    And as we saw in Chapter III, Section III of Biblion Pempton of our Lexicon, Plato heartily agrees :

    There are the pleasures of necessity, which are benign -- and all the rest, which are not.

    Which are malign.

    So -- remember first off that Plato, in the Gorgias, presents a simple rule :

    Only those desires which make a Man more Manly by their satisfaction should be fulfilled, but those which make him less manly -- should not.

    ~Plat. Gorg. 503d.

    And that then, in Book VIII of the Republic, Plato tells us, through his spokesman Sokrates, that some world-of-becoming desires are necessary -- anankaios -- and beneficent ; while the rest, which are UN-necessary, are harmful and malign :

    Sokrates :
    "Then we shall rightly use the word 'necessary' [anankaios] of them?"

    "Rightly."

    "And what of the desires from which a man could free himself by discipline [meletao] from youth [neos] up, and whose presence in the soul does no good and in some cases harm? Should we not fairly call all such unnecessary?"

    "Fairly indeed."

    "Let us select an example of either kind, so that we may apprehend the type."

    "Let us do so."

    "Would not the desire of eating to keep in health and condition and the appetite for mere bread and relishes [opson -- meat or other cooked food] be necessary?"

    "I think so."

    "The appetite for bread is necessary in both respects, in that it is beneficial [ophelimos] and in that if it fails we die."

    "Yes."

    "And the desire for relishes, so far as it conduces to fitness [euexia -- vigour] ?"

    "By all means."

    "And should we not rightly pronounce unnecessary the appetite that exceeds these and seeks other varieties of food, and that by correction [kolazo] and training [paideuo] from youth up can be got rid of in most cases and is harmful to the body and a hindrance to the soul's attainment of intelligence [phronesis] and sobriety [sophron] ?"

    "Nay, most rightly."

    "And may we not call the one group the wasteful [analotikos] desires and the other the useful [chresimos], because they serve to produce erga, Deeds of War, of Action, Battle, and Fight?"

    And hopefully you all remember our discussion of the term erga in Chapter III, Part III of this Biblion Pempton.

    If not, you may need to review it.

    For, Plato is about to say, just as the alimentary appetites must serve euexia -- Vigour -- one of the Attributes of Fighting Manhood ; so must the sexual appetites be brought to the service of deeds of action -- kinesis -- as the old Boiotian soldier says to Alexander, "Action is a Man's job, my lord" -- Deeds of War, of Action, Battle, and Fight -- erga :


    ΕΡΓΑ
    In polychromed scenes from the Alexander Sarcophagus
    Nude Heroic Greeks Fight Clothed Persians


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    Plato:

    "And may we not call the one group the wasteful desires and the other the useful, because they serve to produce erga, Deeds of War, of Action, Battle, and Fight?"

    "Surely."

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    Bill Weintraub:

    It's critical that we understand that what Plato says applies equally to alimentary appetite as well as sexual appetite.

    He is, remember, a philosopher, and he chooses his words and develops his argument with great care :

    "The appetite for bread is necessary in both respects, in that it is beneficial [ophelimos] and in that if it fails we die."

    "Yes."

    "And the desire for relishes [opson -- meat], so far as it conduces to fitness [euexia -- vigour] ?"

    "By all means."

    "And should we not rightly pronounce unnecessary the appetite that exceeds these and seeks other varieties of food, and that by correction [kolazo] and training [paideuo] from youth up can be got rid of in most cases and is harmful to the body and a hindrance to the soul's attainment of intelligence [phronesis] and sobriety [sophron -- self-control] ?"

    "Nay, most rightly."

    "And may we not call the one group the spendthrift [analotikos -- wasteful] desires and the other the profitable [chresimos -- useful, serviceable, apt], because they help ta erga -- Deeds of War, of Action, Battle, and Fight?"

    "Surely."

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    So : The appetites for certain foods are necessary and beneficial and useful, "because they help erga" -- which are defined as "Deeds of War", "Action, Battle" -- that is, Fight.

    Again :

    The appetites for certain foods are both necessary and beneficial "because they help erga" -- Deeds of War, Action, Battle, and Fight.

    "And we shall say the same of sexual [aphrodisios] and other appetites?"

    "The same."

    The same standard can and should be applied, says Plato, to sexual appetites.

    Such appetites are both necessary and beneficial when they aid in and promote Fight.

    Male-female aids Fight by producing Warriors and the females who give birth to Warriors.

    Male-Male aids Fight by producing an unbreakable bond between two Men which, through Aidos, Honour and Shame, prevents shameful deeds in battle and promotes Honorable -- that is, Selflessly Heroic -- deeds.

    And it's clear that Xenophon agrees -- very clear in the way, for example, he relates the Story of Kleonymus and Archidamus, saying of the two Lovers that the heroic and noble -- because selfless -- death of Kleonymus in battle brought Archidamus not just "extreme grief" -- but also, Honour.

    Manly Honour.

    Manly Virtue.

    And that Manly Excellence, thus conferred, strengthened Archidamus.

    As it did every ancient Man who was so honored.

    So, says Xenophon,

    [some males], blinded by jealousy [phthonos], choose to be ruined through their own evil [kakia] rather than be saved by other Men's Areta -- their Manly Virtue and Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood. For most pleasures [hedonai] are evil [kakai], and by yielding to these they are encouraged either to say or to do what is wrong.

    Men can only be Saved through other Men's Manly Excellence, their Fighting Manhood.

    Which is to say that

    A Man's Manhood can only be Saved -- Realized and Augmented -- through the Experience of another Man's Manhood

    A point Xenophon repeats frequently, as he does in his Lakedaimonian Constitution, where he says that All Men Want to Ally Themselves with the Brave.

    All Men Want to Ally Themselves with the Brave

    Which they do -- and which, again, is self-evident.

    And Xenophon also says that the purpose of the Spartan Erin Peri Aretes, the Spartan Struggle of, for, and about Manhood -- Fighting Manhood -- is, for each Man involved, to reach the highest possible level of Manliness -- which is Manly Excellence -- which is Fighting Manhood -- which is Areta.

    And of course that's a typically Masculinist and Martial incantational use of the words Manhood and Manliness and Manly Excellence, etc.

    Which mirrors, in language, the Ecstasy -- that is, the Altered and Higher State of Consciousness, of Warrior Consciousness -- achieved by the Warrior -- when He Fights.

    So -- we can paraphrase what Bowra says in this way :

    Fighting gives a Man an opportunity to display those qualities most admired -- and most desired -- by his Fellow Men.

    Which it does.

    Even today.

    Because that's what Lord Ares intends Fighting to do --

    To awaken agapenor and thus deepen the male desire -- for Manhood --

    Fighting Manhood.

    Now :

    To get back to the Hoplite Formation :

    When we look at ancient Combat Agonia, later on this page, we'll hear one writer say that

    Wrestling test[ed] an array of martial virtues : boldness, courage, self-reliance, and perseverance.

    And you can see how, with the vital addition of teamwork and the dogged refusal to leave one's position in the line, that description would apply to Hoplite Warfare as well -- that it tested "boldness, courage, self-reliance, and perseverance."

    Perseverance -- again, perserverance being in this case eutaxia -- good order, discipline -- eutaxia is, above all, keeping one's position in the hoplite formation no matter what -- never breaking the line, the shield wall.

    So :

    This next scene, which portrays the Fight over Patroclus' armor and body, gives a rough approximation of how hoplitai would have stood, though it's only an approximation, since the scene is from the Trojan War, sometime in the distant and mythic past, and thus an anachronism.

    For one thing, the hoplite line would, of course, have been longer and deeper.

    Nevertheless, you can see the Men standing shoulder to shoulder :

    And that it's three against three.

    Not three against ten.

    Again, they're Fighting on Equal Terms.

    And that's the Spartan conception of Warfare in the archaic and classical periods in Greece :

    Heavy-armed Men -- Hoplitai -- standing shoulder-to-shoulder -- and matching their courage -- their Manhood -- "against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat."

    Again :

    Heavy-armed were supposed to match their courage against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    And what is "courage?"

    Once again, it's Areta and Andreia -- Manliness, Manhood, Manly Spirit.

    Heavy-armed were supposed to match their Manhood against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    So :

    The cultural ideal in this Masculinist Society was a match, a contest, a struggle and strife, of Manhood -- Fought Face-to-Face -- in the close Grind of Hand-to-Hand Combat.

    And to the Spartans, such a contest, Fought on *equal terms*, was, of its essence, Noble and High-Minded.

    In other words, Morally Beautiful.

    But for it to be Morally Beautiful, it had to be, as the Spartan king Polydorus said -- EQUAL :

    [H]e said to them, 'While it's morally beautiful, in my view, to defeat one's opponents when fighting on equal terms, I do not consider it morally well-ordered, to want to capture their city after having fought over land boundaries ; for I came to recover territory, not to seize a city.'

    Polydorus -- King Polydorus -- is essentially interested in the Fight itself.

    What he wants to do, is, as Werner Jaeger explains, "take possession of the beautiful," the kalon, the morally beautiful, by Fighting and defeating his opponents on EQUAL terms.

    He wants not only to Win the Fight -- but to occupy the Moral High Ground.

    That's what he wants.

    Offered the opportunity to seize someone else's city because he's killed most of their fighting men, he refuses, again, on what are essentially MORAL grounds :

    I do not consider it just, that is, morally well-ordered, to want to capture their city after having fought over land boundaries ; for I came to recover territory, not to seize a city.

    Polydorus doesn't say that siezing the city from its women wouldn't be honorable -- though I'm sure that occurred to him ;

    but the more important point is that the Fight was about *land-boundaries* -- NOT the city.

    Polydorus "came to recover territory," and having achieved that goal, he and his Spartans are ready to turn around and go home.

    The allies propose the morally UN-beautiful -- and if it's morally UN-beautiful, guys, by now you should understand that it's also UN-manly --

    The allies propose the morally UN-beautiful and UN-manly act of siezing the city -- from a bunch of no-doubt terrified women, afraid, and with good reason, that they're about to be raped and then sold into slavery -- but Polydorus refuses :

    The Fight was about land-boundaries -- we got our territory back -- we're leaving.

    So -- the Warfare is, from our somewhat less-than-high-minded point of view, not just ritualized, but extraordinarily high-minded and noble.

    It's as though two factory workers, two grunts, agree to Fight over an argument they've had at work.

    One ko's the other.

    His friends propose that he take the loser's wallet.

    The Winner refuses.

    I didn't Fight for money, his or anyone else's.

    I Fought to settle the argument.

    In both cases, what's involved is Virtue.

    Manly Virtue.

    The goal is not the hedonist and ethical-nihilist goal, against which Plato, Polydorus, and, as we'll see, Leonidas and many others Argued and Fought so strenuously, of gaining the most advantage from any situation ;

    it's the Manfully Virtuous goal of a Fair and Equal Fight to settle a particular dispute.

    And such a Fight is, without question, and in Plato's terms, Noble and High-Minded :

    when a man believes himself to be wronged, does not his spirit in that case seethe and grow fierce and make itself the ally of what he judges just [dikaios] ; and in noble [gennaios -- high-minded] souls it endures and wins the victory and will not let go

    What does this have to do with Lord Ares?

    A lot.

    A Fair and Equal Fight is Virtuous -- and therefore, Godly.

    A Noble and High-Minded Fight -- is also, Godly.

    Fights which are Fair, Equal, Noble, and High-Minded, are Manifestations of the God of Fight and Fighting Manhood -- Lord Ares.

    Who remember, because He's a God, is Beneficent.

    His Manifestations are intended to, and do, Benefit -- Men.

    Lord Ares doesn't harm -- He helps.

    Hedonism and ethical-nihilism, by contrast, are godless philosophies and endeavors -- which seek to gain the most advantage regardless of the harm thereby done.

    They, and not the God of Fighting Manhood, are what menace Mankind.

    Let's come back, in that regard, to Prof Lendon and his description of the Spartan Ideal of Warfare:

    Heavy-armed were supposed to match their Manhood against other heavy-armed in the close grind of hand-to-hand combat.

    Archers and javelin throwers were not supposed to take a decisive part, let alone stone throwers.

    Why?

    Because "fighting" from a distance -- by shooting an arrow, or throwing a stone -- was not manly.

    It wasn't virtuous.

    Because -- it didn't require the same degree of Andreia / Areta -- of Manhood -- that Fighting hand-to-hand did.

    And for the Greeks, and in particular and in this case, the Spartans, Virtue -- Manly Virtue -- and Fighting Man-to-Man and Hand-to-Hand -- are inextricably intertwined.

    You can't have one -- without the other.

    Because, as we discussed in Chapter III, Manly Virtue and Fighting Manhood are one and the same.

    That's why, in the Menexenus, Plato says, "Whatever else you do, it must be done In Union with Valour" -- that is, Manhood.

    Fighting Manhood.

    Whatever else you practice you must practice it In Union with Fighting Manhood, being well assured that when divorced from this all possessions and pursuits are base and ignoble. For neither does wealth bring honor to its possessor if combined with an-andria -- want of manhood and UN-manliness -- for such an one is rich for another rather than for himself -- nor do beauty and strength appear comely, but rather uncomely, when they are attached to one that is cowardly and base, since they make their possessor more conspicuous and show up his cowardice ; and every form of knowledge when sundered from that which is just, right, lawful, and Manfully well-ordered [dikaios] and the rest of Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood -- is seen to be plain roguery rather than wisdom.

    ~Plat. Menex. 246d

    But -- as Lendon explains, in the Peloponessian War, which pitted Athens and its allies against Sparta and its allies, the Athenians often violated Andreia and Areta -- they violated Manhood and the rules of Manhood -- by using stone-throwers and archers -- males who "fought" at a distance -- against Spartan hoplites.

    MEN who FOUGHT hand-to-hand.

    Yet the Athenians were successful.

    Often killing great numbers of Spartans in that way.

    In discussing the Spartan surrender at Sphakteria, in which a Spartan force of hoplitai was cut in two by archers and stone throwers, Lendon says,

    The battle for Sphacteria had not, in Spartan terms, been a "stand-up battle." It was as worthless for testing excellence as a football game would be in which one team was armed with revolvers. And if winning was not brave, then surely surrender was not cowardly -- for the whole structure of honor in warfare had been cast down.

    Let's play that again:

    The battle for Sphacteria had not, in Spartan terms, been a "stand-up battle."

    Nor were the Athenians "stand-up" guys.

    They weren't orthos -- they didn't stand erect to do battle.

    It was as worthless for testing excellence

    Again, what is excellence?

    It's Areta.

    And what is Areta?

    MANHOOD.

    It was as worthless for testing excellence as a football game would be in which one team was armed with revolvers.

    Which is what virtually all modern warfare is -- males shooting at each other, lobbing grenades at each other, dropping bombs, using drones -- from a distance.

    And Lendon is absolutely correct about the revulsion Spartans felt towards this sort of "combat" :

    When King Archidamus of Sparta [r. 360-338 BC] saw the missile shot by a catapult, which had been brought then for the first time from Sicily, he exclaimed, 'By Herakles! Man's Areta -- Man's Fighting Manhood -- is done for!'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 20.8, translated by Babbitt and myself.

    And please note that Prof Lendon's "excellence" is really Areta, which is Manly Excellence, which is Fighting Manhood --

    It was as worthless for testing Manhood as a football game would be in which one team was armed with revolvers.

    And Archidamus, who was the son of King Agesilaus, and the Lover of Kleonymus, and who'd engaged in a lot of Hand-to-Hand Fighting both before becoming King and as King, could plainly see that the use of weapons like catapults -- would destroy Manhood, Manhood which could only be shaped, sharpened, and tested -- by Hand-to-Hand Fighting.

    Prof Lendon:

    And if winning was not brave

    That is, imbued with the Moral Beauty which comes of Fighting Manhood locked in Manly Struggle with Fighting Manhood

    then surely surrender was not cowardly -- for the whole structure of honor in warfare had been cast down.

    "for the whole structure of honor in warfare had been cast down."

    The whole structure of Honor -- which is Tima and To Kalon and Ta Kala and Areta --

    Which is Manhood --

    Fighting Manhood --

    The whole structure of Manhood in Warfare -- had been cast down.

    Here's Thukydides -- Lendon's source :

    The Athenians would not let any of the [Spartans] go, but themselves called for heralds from the mainland, and after questions had been carried backwards and forwards two or three times, the last man that passed over from the Lakedaimonians on the continent brought this message: ' The Lakedaimonians bid you to decide for yourselves so long as you do nothing dishonourable [aischros = shameful -- αισχρος] ' ; upon which after consulting together they surrendered themselves and their arms.

    ~Thuk. 4.38.3

    . . .

    indeed people could scarcely believe that those [Spartans] who had surrendered were of the same stuff as the fallen ; and an Athenian ally, who some time after insultingly asked one of the prisoners from the island if those that had fallen were men of honor [kaloi kagathoi = noble and good men], received for answer that the atraktos -- that is, the arrow -- would be worth a great deal if it could tell men of honor from the rest ; in allusion to the fact that the killed were those whom the stones and the arrow happened to hit.

    ~Thuk. 4.40.2.

    happened to hit

    That really says it all.

    You didn't take the measure of the Man and then, in hand-to-hand Fight, try to defeat him and possibly kill him -- knowing that he might do the same to you ;

    instead, and from a safe distance, you shot an arrow in the air -- and it landed -- who knows where?

    Now -- the term translated as "men of honor" is "kaloi kagathoi" = kalos kai [and] agathos -- which is actually, in Greek, and as translated by Crawley in the nineteenth century -- and Crawley's translation of Thukydides is generally considered to be the best -- as "noble and good men."

    But Liddell and Scott, and as we saw in Part III of Chapter II, define Kaloi Kagathoi as Perfect Men, Men as they should be.

    And what makes them perfect?

    Many attributes.

    But we can say, in short, that they're Men who are characterized by

  • Kalokagathia : nobility and goodness -- which is Areta -- which is Manhood.

    καλοκαγαθια

    If you don't understand that, please review the discussion of kalos and agathos.

    Because kalos is nobility and beauty, nobility is selflessness, in particular the Warrior's selflessness in battle, the beauty is moral beauty -- that is, goodness -- and of course the first notion of goodness is Manhood ;

    while agathos is the adjectival form of Areta -- meaning Manhood.

    Again, that's how the words reduce and it's how they're used -- how they function, what they functionally mean.

    indeed people could scarcely believe that those [Spartans] who had surrendered were of the same stuff as the fallen ; and an Athenian ally, who some time after insultingly asked one of the prisoners from the island if those that had fallen were Noble Men of Manly Moral Beauty, Men of Fighting Manhood, received for answer that the atraktos -- that is, the arrow -- would be worth a great deal if it could tell such Noble and Good Men from the rest ; in allusion to the fact that the killed were those whom the stones and the arrow happened to hit.

    Oh, and by the way --

    The word the Spartan chose for "arrow" could also mean "spindle" -- the spindle used by women in spinning wool.

    The Spartans had great contempt for arrows and those who used them -- and it's not just Thukydides who tells us so :

    [A Spartan at the Battle of Plataia], mortally wounded by an arrow, said, as his life was ebbing away, 'I am not troubled because I must die, but because my death comes at the hands of a womanish archer, and before I have accomplished anything.'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 69.46, translated by Babbitt.

    [The word translated by Babbitt as "womanish" is gynnis, which actually means "a womanish male" ; the word "archer" is also present in the text, so that the Spartan's insult is compound -- he's been wounded by a womanish male whose idea of "fighting" is to shoot an arrow in the direction of a distant enemy.]

    And -- it's worth noting that the Spartan hoplite's retort to the insulting remark of the Athenian ally --

    an arrow would be worth a great deal if it could tell Noble and Good Men from the rest --

    Should put to rest the notion that the Spartans were dullards, made so by a lifetime spent in nothing but military drill.

    To the contrary, in Thukydides' account it is as Plutarch says, and as we saw in Chapter III of Biblion Pempton, that Sparta was "an example of an entire city given to the love of wisdom [philosophia]," noting that "The character of their apophthegms [apophthegmata -- terse, pointed sayings] was such as to justify the remark that love of wisdom [philosopheo] rather than love of bodily exercise [philogymnasteo] was the special characteristic of a Spartan."

    So :

    To the Spartans, who could not only Fight, but also Think -- Warfare could and should be Noble and High-Minded.

    But -- to be so, it had to be Fought -- in a certain way.

    If it wasn't, it was no longer kalos, it was no longer agathos, no longer orthos or kalon or expressive of ta kala.

    It was no longer honorable ; and as such -- not "worth," as we say, Fighting.

    And what is Worth?

    It's Tima -- it's the Worth which accrues to a Man through prowess in battle.

    That prowess is, ideally, Noble and High-Minded.

    And certainly the goal of that prowess MUST be Noble and High-Minded.

    Polydorus of Sparta
    Seventh century Agiad king :

    After the pitched Battle of the Three Hundred, when the Argives in full force had again suffered a defeat, the allies were urging Polydorus not to pass up the chance of assaulting the enemy's wall and taking their city, which would be very easy to do with the men now dead and only the women left.

    So he said to them, 'While it's morally beautiful, in my view, to defeat one's opponents when fighting on equal terms, I do not consider it morally well-ordered, to want to capture their city after having fought over land boundaries; for I came to recover territory, not to seize a city.'

    ~Plut. Apoph. 63.3


    Νow :

    Let's consider another aspect of Fighting on Equal Terms, and one the Spartans, like all other Men, would have known deep in their souls not just from birth, but from long before birth -- and, once embodied as Spartans, would most assuredly have been re-awakened to, from childhood onward.

    And that is, that in a Fight, and if the Fight is to be on Equal Terms, and certainly in a Fight without weapons, your opponent should be about your age, about your height and weight, and about your skill level.

    Again, if a Fight is to be a Fight on Equal Terms, the opponents need to be about equal in those three areas -- age, height and weight, and skill.

    And I'm speaking here not of Hoplite Warfare or any other Fight with weapons, but of ordinary one-on-one Fist Fights and Grappling.

    Just everyday All-In Fighting.

    And we know from accounts of Gang Fights in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Group Fights in which no weapons were involved, that a guy from one gang would naturally seek out an opponent from the other gang -- who was about his size, age, height, and weight.

    Depending upon how well the two gangs knew each other, one boy might be able to seek out another of about his own skill level as well.

    And this is what guys -- or, at least, properly socialized guys, that is, guys who with the help of their Warrior Male elders and a correctly-structured Warrior Male peer group have UN-forgotten their True and Fighting Manhood -- want.

    A Man wants to Fight another Man -- On Equal Terms.

    Just as a Youth and/or Boy wants to Fight another Youth or Boy -- on Equal Terms.

    A properly socialized fifteen-year-old doesn't want to kick the shit out of a ten-year-old.

    Indeed, to do so would be infra dig -- beneath worth.

    If he's going to be in a Fight, he wants that Fight to be with another fifteen-year-old.

    And if he's going to be in a Group Fight, he wants to be able to select an opponent with whom he can Fight on Equal Terms.

    Now :

    You can assume, if you wish, that the Longing to Fight on Equal Terms is very probably biological, inborn, that it resides at the very least somewhere on the XY chromosome.

    But, in Ares Is Lord, we understand that that Burning and Yearning to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT another and Equal MAN -- resides in and emanates from -- and this I assure and promise you is far more powerful than mere biology -- the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being.

    That it's an intrinsic part of Fighting Manhood, that it's absorbed by the un-embodied male soul as it basks in the radiance of Pure, Immutable, and Supreme Fighting Manhood in the Warrior Kosmos, and, that while it may be forgotten in the chaos of embodiment, it's readily re-called to mind, that is, UN-forgotten, when other boys and Men tell the growing boy --

    that to Fight on UN-equal terms is, as I just said, infra dig -- beneath worth.

    That no boy worth his salt, piss, or vinegar, would want to beat up a younger and smaller boy.

    That he should and would always seek an Equal Fight, a Fight on Equal Terms, with a Peer -- an Equal.

    And that only such a Fight can be a True Test of Manhood --

    And that only such a Fight and Fighting can Sharpen and Perfect Manhood.

    And this remains as True today as it was at Sparta.

    And it's why, at the beginning of a Bout of Boxing or an MMA Fight, there's always displayed to the spectators what's called The Tale of the Tape.

    Here's one such tale I found at random on youtube while viewing what are de facto amateur MMA Fights :

    And you can see that the two guys -- the two young Men -- are well-matched.

    Modern MMA : Tale of the Tape
    Cain Justin
    Age 19 23
    Height 5'9" 5'9"
    Weight 145 145
    Record 5 - 0 6 - 0

    They're about the same age, they're the same height and weight, and they have very similar records of wins and losses.

    And that's what guys want to do, and what guys want to see --

    It's how guys want to Fight -- and what they want to see in a Fight.

    And you know what ?

    It's what they've ALWAYS wanted to do and see.

    How can I say that ?

    Well, just look at these ancient Greek vase paintings, created, thank the Gods, long before our modern era of cages and hype and etiolated beer -- and look at how well-matched, how EQUAL, the agonists and ant-agonists are.

    Look at these two :

    And these two :

    And these two :

    And these :

    And these :

    And these :

    And these :

    This is the Manly Ideal.

    Just as every Man admires and desires FIGHTING MANHOOD --

    So does every Man want to test that MANHOOD against that of another Man -- in a FIGHT -- ON EQUAL TERMS.

    MAN AGAINST MAN.

    MANHOOD AGAINST MANHOOD.

    That's the Masculine and Manly Ideal, and that's what the Spartans understood, and what kept them Supreme in Greece for hundreds of years.

    Man Against Man.

    Manhood Against Manhood.

    Again, look at how well-matched, how EQUAL, this agonist and ant-agonist are :

    And these two :

    And these two :

    And these :

    And these :

    And these :

    And these :

    And these :

    Those vase paintings are about 2500 years old.

    And yet the hypostasis -- the essence, the underlying reality -- of what Men want to do and see in a Fight -- hasn't changed.

    Not a bit.

    This is the Manly Ideal :

    Once again :

    Just as every Man admires and desires FIGHTING MANHOOD --

    So does every Man want to test that MANHOOD against that of another Man -- in a FIGHT -- ON EQUAL TERMS.

    MAN AGAINST MAN.

    MANHOOD AGAINST MANHOOD.

    Because that too is part of Agapenor.

    To Love Manliness is also to Love Fighting a Manly Man.

    That's why Agapenor is an epithet of Homeric Heroes like Achilles and Patroklos and Diomedes -- Manly Men -- Men who are Willing and Able to Fight -- who Love Fighting Manly Men -- Men who are Willing and Able to Fight.

    Agapenor is the Love of Manhood and Manliness, the Love of Fighting Manhood and Manliness, and the Love of Fighting that Fighting Manhood and Manliness.

    AGAPENOR is CORE to what a MAN is.

    Again :

    Agapenor is a Gift of Lord Ares to the Warriorhood of Men -- and for just that reason,

    AGAPENOR is CORE to who and what a MAN is.

    And that too is what the Spartans were after -- to Possess and Own that Manfully and Morally Beautiful Heart and Core of Manhood.

    And by keeping their eyes on that prize -- the Spartans remained Supreme in Andreia and so Supreme in Greece -- for hundreds of years.

    Now -- and that being the case --

    Let's come back to our earlier observation that if a Fight is to be a Fight on Equal Terms, the opponents need to be about equal in the three areas of age, height and weight, and skill.

    And that we know from accounts of gang fights in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, group fights in which no weapons were involved, that a guy from one gang would naturally seek out an opponent from the other gang -- who was about his size, age, height, and weight.

    Depending upon how well the two gangs knew each other, one boy might be able to seek out another of about his own skill level as well.

    And this is what guys -- or, at least properly socialized guys, that is, guys who -- with the help of their Warrior Male elders and a correctly-structured Warrior Male peer group -- have UN-forgotten their Fighting Manhood -- want.

    A Man wants to Fight another Man -- On Equal Terms.

    Just as a Youth and/or Boy wants to Fight another Youth or Boy -- on Equal Terms.

    And this would certainly have applied at Sparta, where the boys in the agogé were regularly involved in gang fights, some, it would appear, improvised, but others institutionalized.

    The two institutionalized gang fights that we know about are the Plantanistas, the Battle at Plane-Tree Grove, described by writers as varied as Cicero, Lucian, and Pausanias ; and the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood, described by Xenophon.

    In the Plantanistas, the boys or youths are described by Pausanias as epheboi, an ambiguous and non-Spartan term which might mean they were eighteen, and thus "youths of fighting age" -- or younger -- lads, of some sort.

    Those boys are organized into teams, the Sons of Lykourgos against the Sons of Herakles, and though Pausanias doesn't say how many were on a team, the numbers probably weren't great -- perhaps ten or twenty boys to a side -- though it might have been as high as fifty.

    Because :

    In the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood, the guys are somewhat older -- they're young Men.

    And, according to Xenophon, the two teams consist of three hundred young Men each -- who get into fist fights whenever they meet.

    Potentially, that's 600 guys in a gang Fight.

    More than that we don't know.

    Other than that Xenophon tells us that any bystander -- by which he means any Citizen-Warrior -- could stop the Fight at any time -- just by saying -- Stop.

    And that any combatants who didn't stop would be fined by the ephoroi -- so that the young Men might learn to NEVER disobey a command.

    Aggression and Obedience were the twin Spartan Virtues.

    Regarding the Plantanistas, Pausanias, a Greek writer who lived in the second century AD, gives a relatively detailed account, starting with a description of other athletic and educational facilities extant at Sparta ca 170 AD :



    ΠΑΥΣΑΝΙΑΣ


    The Lakedaimonians [Spartans] give the name Dromos (Running Course) to the place where it is the custom even down to the present day to practice running. ... In the course are two Gymnasia, one being a votive gift of Eurykles, a Spartan. Outside the Course, over against the image of Herakles, there is a house now belonging to a private individual, but in olden times to Menelaus. Farther away from the course are sanctuaries of the Dioskouroi, of the Graces, of Eileithyia, of Apollo Karneios, and of Artemis Leader. ... At the beginning of the Dromos are the Dioskouroi Starters, and a little further on a hero-shrine of Alkon, who they say was a son of Hippokoon.

    Beside the shrine of Alkon there is a sanctuary of Poseidon, whom they surname "of the House." And there is a place called Plantanistas (Plane-tree Grove) from the unbroken ring of tall plane-trees growing around it. The place itself, where it is customary for the youths to fight, is surrounded by a moat just like an island in the sea ; you enter it by bridges. On each of the two bridges stand images ; on one side an image of Herakles, on the other a likeness of Lykourgos. Among the laws [nomoi] Lykourgos laid down for the constitution [politeia] are those regulating the fighting of the youths [ten machen ton ephebon -- Pausanias uses the Athenian term ephebos -- the corresponding Spartan term may have been paidiskos -- in both cases, a Youth of Fighting Age].

    There are other acts performed by the youths which I will now describe. Before fighting they sacrifice in the Phoibaion, which is outside the city, not far distant from Therapne. Here each company of youths sacrifices a puppy to Enyalios [Ares], holding that the most valiant of tame animals is an acceptable victim for the most valiant of the Gods. I know of no other Greeks who are accumstomed to sacrifice puppies other than the people of Colophon ; these too sacrifice a puppy, a black bitch, to the Wayside Goddess. Both the sacrifice of the Colophonians and the youth of Sparta are appointed to take place at night. At the sacrifice the youths set trained boars to fight ; the company whose boar happens to win generally gains the victory in Plane-tree Grove. Such are the performances in the Phoibaion. A little before the middle of the next day they enter by the bridges into the place I have mentioned. They cast lots during the night to decide by which entrance each band is to go in. In fighting they use their hands, kick with their feet, bite, and gouge out the eyes of their opponents. Man to man [aner pros andra] they fight in the way I have described, but in the mellay they charge violently and push one another into the water.

    ~Paus. 3.14.8-10, translated by Jones and Ormerod.

    In addition to the sacrifice in the Phoibaion, Pausanias notes further along in his description of Sparta and Lakonika that the youths sacrifice to Achilles in his sanctuary :

    Not far from Therapne is what is called Phoibaion, in which is a temple [naos] of the Dioskouroi. Here the [Spartan] youths sacrifice to Enyalios.

    ~Paus. 3.20.2

    [There's also a] sanctuary [hieron] of Achilles. This is not customary to open [to the public], but all the youths who are going to take part in the contest [agon] in Plane-tree Grove [Plantanistas] are wont to sacrifice to Achilles before the fight [pros tes maches]. The Spartans say that the sanctuary was made for them by Prax, a grandson of Pergamus, the son of Neoptolemus [who was Achilles' son].

    ~Paus. 3.20.8.



    That's Pausanias' account.

    And I must say that the first time I read about the Phoibaion, my eyes teared up -- both in sorrow and frustration.

    We have lost so much.

    And, at the same time, we don't really know what the Phoibaion was.

    Was it a single temple -- or a complex of temples and shrines within a sacred "precinct" -- a sacred space ?

    And does the name Phoibaion reflect a connection to Phoibos Apollo ?

    Or does it signify the brightness and radiance of Divinity ?

    We don't know.

    But we do know there was a temple of the Dioskouroi there -- two Great Spartan Male Heroes who became Gods ; and that boys and Men could sacrifice there to Enyalios / Ares.

    And that a bit further on, there was a sanctuary of Achilles -- the Greatest Mythic Hero -- where one could also worship and sacrifice.

    I don't know how many of you can understand this, but that's a lot of Heroic, Mythic, and Godly Manliness -- a lot of Sacred and Divine Fighting Manhood -- all in the same place :

    Lord Ares.

    Kastor and Polydeukes.

    Achilles.

    You should be angry that's been taken from you.

    Very angry.

    And you should be determined -- to get it back.

    Now :

    As you read, the Fighting in Plane-tree Grove was -- "pankrationic."

    It was all-in.

    Pausanias says of the young Warriors that "In fighting they use their hands, kick with their feet, bite, and gouge out the eyes of their opponents."

    Is that credible?

    Yes, because we know that pankratiasts fought that way.

    Here for example are two vase-paintings of pankratiasts kicking :


    Pankratiasts ca 490 BC

    What about eye-gouging?

    Yep.

    In this vase-painting, also ca 490 BC, the guys are eye-gouging, and it looks like it's against the rules, since the judge is about to whap one or both of them with his stick:

    While in the remains of this Hellenistic era (323 - 168 BC) statuary group, a pankratiast is attempting to pull his opponent's hand out of his eye :


    Note the battered ear
    An Ikon of Manhood

    Biting?

    I haven't come across any pictures of pankratiasts biting -- but, in the famous statuary group from Olympia of the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs, a centaur is biting a young man's arm -- and the man winces in pain.


    A Centaur battles a Lapith


    A Centaur bites a Lapith

    I should note that, properly speaking, biting and eye-gouging were not allowed in the sport of pankration -- like I said, in the vase-painting of the guys eye-gouging, we can see that the judge is about to whap them with his stick.

    But the Fighting in Plane-Tree Grove wasn't about sport.

    The Spartans weren't interested, on this occasion, in sport.

    They weren't training these kids to compete in the Olympics.

    They wanted them to learn what was necessary to win a fight.

    Remember what the great Spartan national poet Tyrtaios says in a poem we've often discussed -- most recently in Chapter III of Biblion Pempton -- I'm not interested, he says, in "prowess in running or wrestling," or whether a guy's good-looking or well-spoken.

    Only one thing concerns me, and it's this :

    Furious Valour.

    Courage in the Fight.

    "This is Areta, this is Fighting Manhood -- the best [aristos-- most Manly] human prize [anthropos aethlon -- male prize of a contest -- so, the most Manly Male Prize of the Contest] and the fairest [kallistos -- Most Noble and Most Beautiful] for a young man to win."

    This is Areta, this is Fighting Manhood -- the most Manly Male Prize of the Struggle
    and the Most Noble and Most Beautiful for a young Man to Win

    So : the point of these exercises, from the Spartan point of view, was to prepare their young men for war, and to win at war, and if that meant biting and eye-gouging -- they'd learn to do it and what to do about it -- that is, how to counter it.

    Now, I said that the hypostasis -- the essence and underlying reality of Man Fighting Man -- hasn't changed in almost three millenia.

    But, of course, there is one major difference between contemporary MMA and ancient Greek.

    And that is that such fighting as Pausanias describes would have been two things :

    1. Nude ; and

    2. Bloody

    Well, Fights are still Bloody -- but they're no longer Nude.

    But if the hypostasis hasn't changed, then MEN STILL WANT TO SEE NUDE FIGHTS.

    Because MEN NEED TO SEE -- and TO EXPERIENCE -- NUDE MALE FIGHT.

    And the time is ripe -- to give Men what they need.

    And we'll come back to the question of Nude Combat in a later chapter.

    For now, we'll just think about blood.

    And here we have a vase fragment of pankratiasts which you've seen before.

    And as you can see, not only are there bloody handprints on both men's bodies, but both are smeared and spattered with blood:

    There's a lot of blood, just as there sometimes is in modern-day mixed martial arts.

    Guys fight, guys bleed.

    And this little fragment, because it has a free-form feel, probably best reflects what the Spartan youth would have looked like during those Sacred Fights in Plane-tree Grove.

    Indeed, the smearing of the blood is represented very realistically, as we can see if we compare the vase fragment to this picture of contemporary mixed martial arts fighters:


    MMA
    Notice the blood smears on the standing fighter's body

    Now, as you know, even in the year 2015, and even in an elective fight, when guys bleed during a fight it rubs, as it were, a lot of folks the wrong way.

    But these were NUDE guys who were bleeding in their fights.

    And in 1968, a classicist named W G Forrest, who didn't much like Sparta, nonetheless wrote and published A History of Sparta.

    And, to be fair, some of the information he compiled -- is useful.

    But he also exhibits a lot of prejudice and bias, much of it rather crude, against the Spartans, and by extension, against Manhood.

    And, clearly, one of the aspects of Sparta that Forrest didn't like about Sparta was the prevalence of Fights -- involving nude guys and blood.

    He doesn't like either.

    Indeed, in his History of Sparta, he speaks sarcastically of this line from Xenophon's description of the Struggle of, for, and about Manhood -- "fall to fighting each other whenever they meet" :

    one effect of the struggle is that they fight [pukteuo -- strike with the fist] whenever they meet [symballo -- come together, are thrown together, come together in a hostile sense]

    Forrest says of that line, again, sarcastically, that it's "a nice touch."

    So Forrest was very dismissive of that team rivalry, which was instituted, as Xenophon tells us and makes plain, to awaken and develop the highest level of Manly Excellence, Manliness, and Fighting Manhood possible among the Warrior citizenry of the World's Greatest Warrior State.

    Moreover Fighting, as Forrest certainly knew, was for the ancient Greeks -- not just the Spartans -- the core element of a classical education -- an education designed to produce Areta -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue -- Fighting Manhood.


    The Palaistra at Miletus
    Classrooms where subjects such
    as grammar and rhetoric are taught
    are grouped around a central Fight Pit.
    The boys in the classrooms are so seated
    that they can see the Fight Pit at all times.

    Forrest knew that.

    He knew that the palaistra -- and its nude Fights -- was literally core to the way boys learned to be Men -- of culture.


    Schematic of the Palaistra at Olympia
    The Fight Pits are in the center of the building ;
    they're surrounded by classrooms for teaching philosophy, rhetoric, and other subjects.

    That's right -- culture.

    What the Greeks called Paideia.

    That's not news now and it wasn't news in 1968.

    Forrest just didn't want to acknowledge it.

    Why?

    Because the Fighting was skin-on-skin.

    And not just skin-on-skin but nude.

    "nudamque lacessere pugnam" says the Roman poet Statius.

    "and incites to nude combat"

    incite to nude fight

    It's a Latin phrase written by a Roman poet -- but it reflects a Greek -- and Roman -- reality.

    Nude, Man2Man, all-in Fighting.

    Forrest doesn't like that.

    Because it expresses not just aggression but attraction too.

    Phallus and Fighting.

    Forrest doesn't want to think about that.

    Most people don't want to think about it.

    But we do.

    And guys, for more on this point, please read or re-read AGOGE I: the spear-points of young men blossom there -- and specifically the section titled


    Νow :

    Let's come back to King Archidamus, and the revulsion which Spartans in general felt towards "combat" which didn't require Face-to-Face, Hand-to-Hand, Fighting.

    They felt as they did because they believed that Life was about, in their Dorian dialect, Areta -- Fighting Manhood, Fighting Manliness ;

    that such Manliness, though innate in the male child, had to be brought out, trained, and developed ;

    and that such training must be, perforce, Disciplined, Harsh, and Hard.

    So :

    In his history of the Peloponessian War, Thukydides quotes the Athenian politician and War Leader Perikles as follows :

    In regard to education, whereas our rivals [that is, the Spartans] from their very cradles by a painful [epiponos] discipline [askesis] seek after manliness [andreia], at Athens we live in a milder way, and yet are just as ready to encounter every reasonable danger.

    ~Thuk. 2.39.1, translated by Crawley.

    But that proved not to be true.

    Perikles' policies, policies which centered on cleverness [metis μητις = cunning] rather than Manliness, for a time appeared to put Athens on the road to victory.

    But then a plague, a plague which Perikles' policies had provoked, struck Athens, and killed thousands, including Perikles and his family.

    And ultimately, Sparta's painful discipline of Manliness, which Lykourgos, centuries earlier, had initiated -- proved successful -- Sparta Won the War.

    Why?

    Because, as King Archidamus of Sparta, according to Thukydides, said,

    Man differs little from man by nature, but he is best who trains in the hardest school.

    The hardest school.

    The hardest school -- is also the most Manly school.

    Here's more of what King Archidamus -- and please note that this King Archidamus is the grandfather of the Archidamus who was the Son of Agesilaus and the Lover of Kleonymus and who felt such disgust and dismay at the sight of the Sicilian catapults --

    Here's more of what King Archidamus said, in 432 BC, about Sparta and the Spartans, as translated by Richard Crawley :

    We are both warlike [polemikos] and wise [euboulos], and it is our sense of order [eukosmos] that makes us so. We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honour [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honour bravery [eupsychia]. And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

    In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

    ~Thuk. 1.84.3, translated by Crawley.

    Archidamus:

    We are both warlike and wise, and it's our sense of order -- our Eu-Kosmos, our Good Kosmos -- which makes us so.

    That's a wonderful and profound statement.

    Because Archidamus is saying that it's Order, Harmony, Discipline, and Restraint -- the Order, Harmony, Discipline, and Restraint of the Good Kosmos, which is the Warrior Kosmos -- which renders Men -- Warlike and Wise.

    He continues by saying,

    We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honour [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honour bravery [eupsychia].

    And that's just Warrior 101 : Self-control -- Temperance -- contains Honour -- which is Awe and Respect and Reverence -- and Honour -- Bravery.

    Which of course is Manliness.

    Again, it's a beautiful statement -- and gives you a sense of how the Spartans educated their kids.

    Which Thukydides, who reported this speech, may well have known, since he was exiled by the Athenians and lived for a time, we think, in Sparta.

    Self-Control contains Honour -- contains Awe and Respect and Reverence --

    And if you look at the definition of aidos -- Honour -- you'll see an anecdote about how the Spartan boys and young Warriors instantly gave up their seats for an elder.

    Because that's how they'd been trained, and because of the reasoning behind that training and that act :

    When you offer your seat, you're expressing Awe and Respect and Reverence for the Elder Warrior --

    And that expression of Awe and Respect and Reverence contains within it, in turn, Bravery and Manliness.

    Archidamus then attacks the "over-enlightened," as Shorey puts it, Athenians, whose "learning" has taught them only to despise their laws, without giving them the moral strength -- to obey those laws :

    And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

    So Archidamus understands that War is a chancy and inherently chaotic business.

    In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

    Lendon translates the last words as "he is best who trains in the hardest school" ; while Crawley says, "the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school."

    And both versions are fine.

    The point is that the severity -- the discipline -- the hardness and harshness of the training -- conveys Manly Excellence.

    And Noble Excellences.

    Prof Lendon:

    [O]ne thing that set the Spartans apart from the other Greeks was their belief that many noble excellences could be taught, and their public care to see to it that they were. At seven a Spartan boy was taken from his mother and raised in barracks, beneath the eyes of older boys. Boys were whipped to inculcate respect (aidos) and obedience ; they went ill-clad to make them tough ; and they were starved to make them resistant to hunger. They were schooled to silence and taught to look at the ground while walking to train them in the supreme Greek civic virtue of self-control (sophrosyne). The cruel Spartan regime was believed to make Spartans brave. In short, as a frantic Athenian admirer of Sparta put it, "more men are excellent [agathos, the Homeric term] from practice than from nature."

    Prof Lendon speaks first of "many noble excellences" which might be taught, describes how they were, and then, a few lines later says, "The cruel Spartan regime was believed to make Spartans brave."

    But they were brave.

    Extraordinarily so.

    Thermopylai, Plataia, and many other battles -- demonstrated that.

    And Lendon himself says so :

    Sparta was supreme in andreia.

    Andreia -- which is Manhood, Manliness, and Manly Spirit -- and which includes bravery.

    And the regime, so-called, was not, by ancient standards, "cruel."

    Our contemporary world, in my experience of 67 years, is cruel.

    And the ancient world, without question, was cruel.

    But was it crueller than our own?

    I doubt it.

    Nevertheless, here's one instance of cruelty in the ancient world :

    In 416-15 BC, in the midst of the Peloponessian War, the Athenians demanded that the tiny island city-state of Melos break its treaty obligations to Sparta.

    The Melosians, regarding the oath behind the treaty as sacred, refused.

    At which point, the, per one classicist, "subtle and sophisticated Athenians" invaded the island with a superior force, KILLED EVERY MAN, and sold the women and children into slavery.

    Having first, no doubt, raped the women.

    That's cruel.

    The Athenians had done the same thing to the city-state of Scione in 421 BC.

    That was cruel too.

    In the face of such a world, instituting a "regime" among your kids designed to make them tough, respectful, resistant to hunger, obedient, self-controlled, and, above all, brave -- that is, Manly -- that is, Willing and Able to Fight -- was not cruel.

    To the contrary :

    The Spartan regime gave its boys the Manliness needed to confront this world's cruelty -- in its many forms.

    Plato :

    Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios -- which is Fighting Spirit, which is Fighting Manhood].

    ~Plato. Laws 5.731

    Again :

    The Spartan regime gave its boys the Manliness -- which the Athenian Plato says is needed -- needed to confront this world's cruelty -- in its many forms.

    As such, that Spartan regime, known to us today as the agogé, was, ultimately, Loving.

    And the Athenian idea, voiced by Perikles, that such "painful discipline" in pursuit of Manliness wasn't necessary -- was proved false.

    Archidamus was right :

    Man differs little from man by nature, but he is best who trains in the hardest school.

    And remember that the word for best is aristos, that it derives from Ares, and that it means, therefore and ultimately, most Manly.

    He is most Manly -- who trains in the hardest school ; and

    The hardest school -- is the most Manly school.

    And hardness, by the way -- arratos -- is an attribute, Sokrates tells us, of Lord Ares :

    Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Virility [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

    ~Plat. Krat. 407d

    Hardness is an attribute of Lord Ares.

    As are Manliness and Virility.

    So :

    The Spartan regime gave its boys the Manliness and Virility needed to confront the cruelty of other males -- in its many forms.

    Which is exactly and precisely and, once again, what Plato, in the Laws, and just after de facto endorsing the Spartan Homonoia, says such "regimes" of upbringing and training, should do:

    Every man ought to be at once passionate [thumoeides : high-spirited, courageous] and gentle in the highest degree. For, on the one hand, it is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious [nikao] fighting [machomai] and self-defence [amuno], and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion [thumos gennaios].

    "It is impossible to escape from other males' wrongdoings, when they are cruel and hard to remedy, or even wholly irremediable, otherwise than by victorious fighting and self-defence, and by punishing most rigorously ; and this no soul can achieve without noble passion."

    Other males' wrongdoings are CRUEL and either hard or impossible to remedy, other than by Victorious Fighting in self-defence ; and by punishing most rigorously --

    and this no soul can achieve without NOBLE Passion.

    Lendon:

    The Spartans believed "that many NOBLE excellences could be taught," and took care to see that they were -- and to every -- EVERY -- child.

    Not just the boys.

    The girls too Wrestled Nude -- and ran and threw the discus and javelin -- and were taught martial dances, that they might have, as Plutarch puts it, a taste of masculine gallantry :

    There was nothing disreputable about the girls' nudity. It was altogether modest, and there was no hint of immorality. Instead it encouraged simple habits and an enthusiasm for physical fitness, as well as giving the female sex a taste of masculine gallantry, since it too was granted equal participation in both excellence and ambition [philotimia = love of worth].

    ~Plut. Life of Lycurgus 14, translated by Talbert.

    It is beyond me how that could be seen, particularly given the world that the Spartans and Melosians and Athenians, etc lived in, as "cruel."

    It was not.

    And as for our world :

    How many innocents were killed in terrorist acts this week?

    And how many by American and allied drone and other air strikes -- in response?

    How many Americans will die for lack of health care?

    How many homeless?

    How many people worldwide will die of starvation, or of treatable diseases?

    Or of the many other consequences of simple greed?

    People in the contemporary world should be careful of the word "cruel" -- when applied to the Spartans or anyone else in the ancient world --

    Who sought to inculcate a sense of Manly Moral Beauty and other Noble Excellences -- in their kids.

    Xenophon, a contemporary of Plato's, a close friend of the Spartan king Agesilaus, a professional soldier, and a student of Sokrates :

    I notice that as those who do not train [askeo] the body [soma] cannot perform the functions proper to the body, so those who do not train [askeo] the soul [psyche] cannot perform the functions of the soul : for they cannot do what they ought to do nor avoid what they ought not to do.

    . . .

    To me indeed it seems that whatever is honourable [ta kala -- {whatever adheres to} The Noble Warrior Way of Manly Moral Beauty], whatever is good [tagathon -- supremely excellent] in conduct is the result of training [askesis], and that this is especially true of prudence [sophrosyne -- self-control, temperance, sobriety]. For in the same body along with the soul are planted the pleasures which call to her : "Abandon prudence, and make haste to gratify us and the body."

    ~Memorobilia, 1.2.19, 23, translated by Marchant.

    So Xenophon, the military professional, extols askesis -- training, saying that the ability to engage in Noble Acts of Manly Moral Beauty, the ability to seek out the Supreme Excellence, which of course is Fighting Manhood, is the result of training, and in particular, the inculcation of sophrosyne, self-control.

    Which is needed to control desire.

    Plato's view of the soul is similar, but tripartite :

    • There are appetites and desires ;

    • Reason, Manly Reason, which must control them ; and,

    • The Principle of High Spirit, that is to say, the Power of Noble Wrath and Righteous Anger -- the Power of Fighting Manhood --

      Nobly exercised.

    And which brings us back to the Spartan king Polydorus, and what he said three centuries before Plato and his friends -- were born :

    It's Morally Beautiful, in my view, to defeat one's opponents when Fighting on Equal Terms

    So :

    In archaic and classical Greece, and among the Spartans, the Men of Lakedaimon, in particular, the idea of Warfare was essentially Noble and High-Minded.

    It was Morally Beautiful to defeat your opponent -- when Fighting on Equal Terms.

    And when inspired by Righteous Wrath and Noble Passion.

    To defeat your opponent by fighting on un-equal terms -- was not morally beautiful.

    Or anything else.

    It was, arguably, clever.

    But it wasn't Manly, and therefore, was neither noble nor morally beautiful.

    Or, in the most fundamental and primal sense, Good.

    Because -- the First Notion of Goodness -- is Manhood.




    Bill Weintraub

    December 24, 2015

























    MANHOOD: A LEXICON

    BIBLION PEMPTON
    WARRIOR KOSMOS WARRIOR SANCTION
    ARES is LORD : MANHOOD is GOD

    ARES : Warlike and Wise
    To Live According to Reason, Not Desire ;
    To be Rich, not in Money, But in Manhood

    By Bill Weintraub

    So :

    What we just saw, in Chapter IV of this Biblion Pempton, this Fifth Book, of our Lexicon of Manhood, and based on readings from Bowra, Jaeger, Lendon, Plato, Xenophon -- and Polydorus and Archidamus, both Spartan kings -- was that :

    In archaic and classical Greece, the Idea of Fighting and of Warfare in particular was essentially Noble and High-Minded.

    It was Morally Beautiful to defeat your opponent -- when Fighting on Equal Terms.

    And when inspired by Righteous Wrath and Noble Passion -- which are spiritual qualities.

    Whereas :

    To defeat your opponent by fighting on un-equal terms -- was not morally beautiful.

    Or anything else.

    It was, arguably, clever.

    But it wasn't Manly, and therefore, it wasn't Noble.

    Or, in the most fundamental and primal sense, Good -- or Godly.

    Because -- the First Notion of Goodness -- is Manhood.

    And Manhood -- Manliness -- is Godliness.

    Now :

    That notion of Noble and High-Minded applied to Warfare.

    Combat.

    Which of course is an arena dominated and informed by a God, Lord Ares, God of Virility and Fighting Manhood :

    Ares, then, if you like, would be named for his Virility [arren] and Fighting Manhood [andreion], and for his hard and unbending nature, which is called arratos ; so Ares would be in every way a fitting name for the God of Battle, Fight, War [polemikos Theos].

    ~Plat. Krat. 407d

    Before looking at Combat / Fight "Sport" -- which as readers of this Lexicon know, we refer to as Fight Agonia --

    Because the Greeks themselves didn't have a term like our "sport" -- to them, what we call "sport" *was* an Agonia -- a Struggle, One Man's Strenuous and indeed Agonizing Physical Struggle to Overcome Another --

    Before looking, then, at Agon, Athlos, and Agonia among the Greeks and Romans, I want to come back to the idea of Warrior Wisdom, so as to make clear that Plato, on whom much of our discussion so far in Biblion Pempton has centered --

    To make clear to you that Plato, as brilliant as he is both as a thinker and a writer, is, and as I've pointed out before, very often simply stating cultural values, that is, Warrior Norms, a Warrior Wisdom, which long preceded him.

    And, the great classicist Werner Jaeger, as we saw in Chapter II, agrees with me.

    Here are three critically important points Prof Jaeger makes in that regard :

    1. "In many details, the ethical doctrines of Plato and Aristotle were founded on the aristocratic morality of early Greece. . . "

    2. "[Aristotle] admires self-love [philautia;], just as he prizes high-mindedness and the desire for honour [Timé / Tima -- Worth], because his philosophy is deeply rooted in the old aristocratic code of morality."

      Bill Weintraub:

      "The aristocratic morality of early Greece" and "the old aristocratic code of morality" is the Warrior Code -- which I call Warrior Wisdom -- and which dates back to perhaps 1200 BC and remained in force during the lives of Plato and Aristotle in the fifth and fourth centuries BC -- and right through to the life of Julian -- who died in 363 AD.

      It's a code built upon and structured around Fighting Manhood -- Virtus, Andreia, Areta.

    3. Timé / Tima is moral, and Love of Timé / Tima "a moral quality" ; indeed, PhiloTimia has a "moral nobility" -- it's morally noble.

      Because :

      PhiloTimia -- Love of Worth -- is "an ennobled self-love" ; and it is an en-nobled self-love -- a self-less self-love -- which enables a Man "to take possession of the beautiful" -- that is, the morally beautiful. "And so the man who gives up his life to win the beautiful [the kalon, the noble, the self-less, the morally beautiful], will find that his natural instinct for self-assertion [aggression] finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice."

      Bill Weintraub:

      "An ennobled self-love" : Because noble -- kalos -- means self-less, an ennobled self-love is a self-less self-love.

      "to take possession of the beautiful" -- Kalos also means "beautiful" -- to take possession of the beautiful is to take possession of the Noble -- of Selflessness.

      Which is why :

      "The man who gives up his life to win the beautiful [the kalon, the noble, the self-less, the morally beautiful], will find that his natural instinct for self-assertion [aggression] finds its highest expression in self-sacrifice."

      These ideas, says Jaeger, have a "permanent truth" and "indestructible ideality" -- which means they're part of the World of Being, the Warrior World of Being.

      And which is why there exist in both myth and history :

      Achilles and Patroklos, Arrachion, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, Leonidas and the 300, Archidamus and Kleonymus, Alexander -- exemplars all of self-less self-love leading to heroic self-sacrifice.


    Achilles' slaying of Hektor is the first and most important example of how a self-less self-love, when combined with
    the Warrior's natural instinct for aggression, leads to heroic self-sacrifice ; for Achilles knows that by choosing
    to slay Hektor and so avenge his Lover's death, he himself will die young -- as Plato explains :


    Achilles, son of [the Goddess] Thetis, the Gods honored and sent to his place in the Isles of the Blest, because having learnt from his mother that he would die as surely as he slew Hector, but if he slew him not, would return home and end his days an aged man, he bravely chose to go and rescue his lover Patroclus, avenged [timoreo] him, and sought death not merely in his behalf but in haste to be joined with him whom death had taken. For this the Gods so highly admired him that they gave him distinguished honor [Timé -- Worth], since he set so great a value on his lover. . . . For in truth, there is no sort of Areté -- Manly Excellence, Manly Goodness, Manly Virtue, Fighting Manhood -- more respected [timao = honored, deemed Worthy of Honor] by the Gods than this which comes of love [Eros] .

    ~Plat. Sym. 180a, translated by Fowler.

    Now :

    I've just pointed out how, in three critical areas, Werner Jaeger and I are in agreement.

    And just to be fair to myself -- and I've learned, in sixteen years on the internet, that I have to be fair to myself, because no one else will be fair to me or for me -- to the contrary, I've learned that not only are there are lots of "people" who are eager to be unfair to me, but they waste no opportunity to be unfair.

    So, just to be fair to myself, as I must be, it's long been clear to me and was clear to me that what I call Plato's Warrior Wisdom was taken from his culture, his Warriordom, and was shaped by his Warrior Kosmos -- long before I read what Jaeger had to say.

    I first wrote about this in Mythic Identification and the Warrior Bond, published in 2001.

    Many people have written about it -- from Walter Pater to Thomas Mann to JE Lendon.

    Nevetheless, I'm grateful to have Prof Jaeger's agreement and confirmation.

    Particularly because it's a fact which tends to get forgotten or ignored by those who wish to turn Plato into a sort of proto-Christian and paleo-pacifist.

    He was neither.

    His ethical thinking was Warrior.

    So -- Plato, as brilliant as he is both as a thinker and a writer, and as I've pointed out before and in which Prof Jaeger concurs, is, very often, simply stating cultural values, that is, Warrior Norms, a Warrior Wisdom, which long preceded him.

    And which he grew up with in the Warriordom of ancient Athens, among his pro-Dorian -- pro-Spartan -- aristocratic family.

    For example :

    In Chapter III, and again towards the end of Chapter IV, I quoted a speech by King Archidamus of Sparta which begins, "We are both warlike and wise."

    King Archidamus died the year Plato was born.

    But Plato would have known of him, and of that particular speech, at the very least because Plato would have read Thukydides.

    Here's the extended passage from Archidamus :

    We are both warlike [polemikos] and wise [euboulos], and it is our sense of order [eukosmos] that makes us so. We are warlike, because self-control [sophrosyne] contains honour [aidos] as a chief constituent, and honour bravery [eupsychia]. And we are wise, because we are educated with too little learning to despise the laws [nomos], and with too severe a self-control to disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless matters -- such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal success in practice -- but are taught to consider that the schemes of our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of chance are not determinable by calculation.

    In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good ; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

    These practices, then, which our ancestors [pateres -- forefathers] have delivered to us, and by whose maintenance we have always profited, must not be given up. And we must not be hurried into deciding in a day's brief space a question [of whether to go to war against Athens] which concerns many lives and fortunes and many cities, and in which honour is deeply involved, -- but we must decide calmly. This our strength peculiarly enables us to do.

    As for the Athenians, send to them on the matter of Potidaea, send on the matter of the alleged wrongs of the allies, particularly as they are prepared with legal satisfaction ; and to proceed against one who offers arbitration as against a wrongdoer, law forbids. Meanwhile do not omit preparation for war. This decision will be the best for yourselves, the most terrible to your opponents.

    ~Thuk. 1.84.3 - 85.2, translated by Crawley.

    Thus Archidamus, sometime in 432 BC.

    Here's Plato, about eighty years later :

    Now, every man should be valiant [thumoeides], but he should also be gentle. From the cruel, or hardly curable, or altogther incurable acts of injustice done to him by others, a man can only escape by fighting and defending himself and conquering, and by never ceasing to punish them ; and no man who is not of a noble spirit is able to accomplish this.

    As to the actions of those who do evil, but whose evil is curable, in the first place, let us remember that the unjust man is not unjust of his own free will. For no man of his own free will would choose to possess the greatest of evils, and least of all in the most honourable [timiotatos, from Timé = most Worthy] part of himself. And the soul, as we said, is of a truth deemed by all men the most honourable [timiotatos -- most Worthy]. In the soul, then, which is the most honourable part of him, no one, if he could help, would admit, or allow to continue the greatest of evils. The unrighteous and vicious are always to be pitied in any case ; and one can afford to forgive as well as pity him who is curable, and refrain and calm one's anger, not getting into a passion, like a woman, and nursing ill-feeling. But upon him who is incapable of reformation and wholly evil, the vials of our wrath should be poured out ; wherefore I say that good men ought, when occasion demands, to be both gentle and passionate.

    ~Laws, translated by Jowett.

    In his first paragraph, and as we've seen, Plato is de facto supporting the Spartan agogé:

    Now, every man should be valiant, but he should also be gentle. From the cruel, or hardly curable, or altogther incurable acts of injustice done to him by others, a man can only escape by fighting and defending himself and conquering, and by never ceasing to punish them ; and no man who is not of a noble spirit is able to accomplish this.

    Plato's saying that you have to develop, in your boys, that Noble Spirit which makes it possible for a Man to Fight and Defend Himself and Conquer those who will assail him with cruel, hardly curable, or incurable acts of injustice.

    And that's plain enough.

    But in his second paragraph, Plato is echoing, in effect, what Archidamus has said about when to go to War -- when to Fight -- and when not.

    Archidamus :

    As for the Athenians, send to them on the matter of Potidaea, send on the matter of the alleged wrongs of the allies, particularly as they are prepared with legal satisfaction ; and to proceed against one who offers arbitration as against a wrongdoer, law forbids. Meanwhile do not omit preparation for war. This decision will be the best for yourselves, the most terrible to your opponents.

    "to proceed against one who offers arbitration as against a wrongdoer, law forbids."

    What law?

    Warrior Law.

    Which, in the preceding paragraph, Archidamus tells us, has come to the Spartans from their forefathers :

    These practices, then, which our ancestors [pateres -- forefathers] have delivered to us, and by whose maintenance we have always profited, must not be given up.

    Archidamus is enunciating a Warrior Norm -- an ancient Warrior Norm, no doubt handed down orally among the Spartans -- and which is still the Warrior norm as Plato nears the end of his own long life :

    As to the actions of those who do evil, but whose evil is curable, in the first place, let us remember that the unjust man is not unjust of his own free will. For no man of his own free will would choose to possess the greatest of evils, and least of all in the most honourable [timiotatos = from Timé = most Worthy] part of himself. And the soul, as we said, is of a truth deemed by all men the most honourable [timiotatos -- most Worthy]. In the soul, then, which is the most honourable part of him, no one, if he could help, would admit, or allow to continue the greatest of evils. The unrighteous and vicious are always to be pitied in any case ; and one can afford to forgive as well as pity him who is curable, and refrain and calm one's anger, not getting into a passion, like a woman, and nursing ill-feeling. But upon him who is incapable of reformation and wholly evil, the vials of our wrath should be poured out ; wherefore I say that good men ought, when occasion demands, to be both gentle and passionate.

    If someone does evil, but his evil is curable, we can afford to forgive, and refrain and calm our anger.

    But upon him who is incapable of reformation, the vials of our wrath should be poured out -- that is, we should go to war and never cease to punish the wrongdoer.

    Which is what Archidamus has said :

    You don't proceed against someone who's willing to accept arbitration -- that is, correction.

    In such a case, you forgive, and calm your anger.

    But you also "do not omit preparation for war."

    Because, to use Plato's language, if, as it turns out, the Athenians are incapable of reformation -- you'll need to punish them as wrongdoers.

    So -- these two Men, who never met, and who were raised in two different Warriordoms, nevertheless enunciate the same Warrior Norm :

    It is Noble and High-Minded to Fight -- when the Fight is necessary, and Morally Just.

    Plato :

    Every Man should be both Valiant and Gentle.

    Archidamus :

    Every Man should be both Warlike and Wise.

    Is there any difference between what these two Men are saying?

    No.

    But Archidamus -- the Spartan -- said it first.

    What I want to make clear then is that Plato -- often -- in his writing, and particularly in his ethical writings -- is functioning as a representative of the old Warrior Culture -- the old Dorian -- that is, Spartan -- Warrior Culture -- and its Warrior Wisdom.

    Plato, and with good reason, was strongly opposed -- as am I -- to the prevailing a-moralism and hedonism of his age.

    His Athenian age.

    He searched, says Shorey, for

    arguments that would convince, or at least confute, the ethical nihilism of a war-weary, cynical and over-enlightened generation -- for proof, in short, that virtue and happiness coincide.

    ~Introduction to Book II of Plato's Republic

    In seeking to confute that nihilism, and to demonstrate that Virtue -- which, as we've seen, and as a practical matter, is Manly Virtue, which is Fighting Manhood and its manifestations as Moral Beauty, Noble Deeds, Manfully Upstanding and Erect Righteousness, Masculine Temperance, Virile Worth, and Manly Moral Order --

    In seeking to confute that nihilism, and to demonstrate that Manly-Virtue-aka-Fighting-Manhood and Happiness coincide, there was no way, as I've said before, that Plato could escape the fundamental postulates of his own culture -- which was a Warriordom ; or of that culture's World of Being, a Warrior World of Being.

    Suffused -- with Fighting Manhood.









    Nor did he have any reason to wish t