War, Art, and Safety: "On Justice, Power, and Human Nature" and "Republic" The question has been raised: which is safer, the historical Hellas as articulated by Thucydides’ vision of the Peloponnesian War and of the human condition, or the other-world of Plato’s kallipolis ? Now, the answer appears to be, at first inspection, that Plato’s kallipolis must be the safer of the two. For Plato’s ideal city is just that – an ideal. Its foundations do not touch upon the earth, but instead are located in the illimitable expanses of the mind. Thucydides’ Hellas, conversely, reflects the ravages of the real: war, famine, and plague. However, as stated, considering the two cases in this way is dealing only with appearances. When considered deeply,...The end:
..... explicit layering of a story so that there are two meanings – is more important than Plato would admit. The importance of allegory is to found when the plague reduces Athens to a shell of its former self. The death and destruction reach such a level that there is no longer any meaning. Without meaning, the laws and customs of society break down. Such a collapse certainly does not bring safety for any part of society. The kallipolis , when seen through the perspective of Thucydides, fails to encourage stability. Ultimately, Plato’s kallipolis is not safer than Thucydides’ Hellas. Works Cited Plato. Republic. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992. Thucydides. On Justice, Power, and Human Nature. Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.