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249 Plato’s Animals Index Aesop’s Fables: Socrates recalls the myth (or fable) of the lion and the fox (Alcibiades I 122e–123a; see Aesop fable 147); Socrates says that during his time in prison he has been setting Aesop’s myths to music (Phaedo 61b). Animals (ζῷα) and painting (ἡ ζωγραφία): the beauty of animals or painting (Philebus 51c); speech organized as a living being (Phaedrus 264c, 265d–266b, 276a–b, 277e–278b); speech, writing, and painting (Phaedrus 275d–e); speech, writing, and husbandry (Phaedrus 276b–277a); portraying living beings by speech or by painting (Statesman 277c–d). Animals as property: Spartans called wealthy because of their slaves (or helots), horses, flocks, and herds (Alcibiades I 122d); ox or sheep as property to be sold or sacrificed (Euthydemus 301e–302a); owning bees (Laws 843d–e); how to treat animals or lifeless objects that kill or “murder” (Laws 873e); owners are responsible for what their slaves or animals—mules, horses, or dogs—do to the property of others (Laws 936d–e); dogs, horses, quails, and cocks as examples of coveted possessions (Lysis 211d). Animals and virtue: boars as courageous (Euthydemus 294d); animals as courageous —lion, leopard, boar, stag, bull, monkey (Laches 196e–197c); natural virtue of children and animals (Laws 710a); animals and children have a courage that comes naturally and without reason (Laws 963e); question raised by Solon’s poem of whether humans can be friends with dogs or horses (Lysis 212e); in the myth told by Protagoras (Protagoras 320d–323a) every animal (save humans) is said to have been given a certain virtue or power (a dynamis)—swiftness or thick skin, etc.—as well as its own food and power of generation to help it survive; humans are compensated by fire (321d) and, later, “respect and right” (322c); on the specific virtue or aretē of a dog or horse (Republic 335b); on the horse and dog as high-spirited, courageous animals (Republic 375a); the spirited part of soul can be seen in both animals and children (Republic 441a–b); animal part of humans bound with laws (Statesman 309c–310a); all animals, according to Erixymachus, experience love (Symposium 186a, 188a); all animals, according to Diotima, love and procreate with a view to immortality (Symposium 207a–b). Ant (ὁ μύρμηξ): those who practice civil virtues are reincarnated into some “social [πολιτικόν] and gentle [ἥμερον]” species, such as bees, ants, or wasps, or back into the human species (Phaedo 82b); the earth is large and humans living around the Mediterranean are like ants or frogs around a pond (Phaedo 109a–b). Ape/Monkey (ὁ πίθηκος): Socrates mockingly proposes a hierarchy of beauty that runs from pots to mares, monkeys, and maidens to gods (Hippias Major 288e–289b); animals as courageous—lion, leopard, boar, stag, bull, monkey (Laches 196e–197c); in the transition from timocracy to plutocracy men become more like apes than lions (Republic 590b); in the myth of Er, Thersites, the ugliest of men, chooses the life of an ape (Republic 620c). Bee (ἡ μέλιττα): there are mountains with food only for bees (Critias 111c); poets are like bees culling honey (Ion 534b); like a swarm (ὁ ἑσμός) of bees that migrates (Laws 708b); legislating for beekeepers (Laws 842d); attracting bees by rattling pans (Laws 843d–e); on the essence or being of bees (Meno 72a–c); those who practice civil virtues reincarnated as bees, ants, or wasps (Phaedo 82b); Socrates compared to a stinging bee (Phaedo 91c); quote from Homer (Republic 363b); philosopher as leader or king bees or leaders of the hive (τὸ σμῆνος) (Republic 520c); ὁ κηφήν: on the drones—some stinging (malefactors) and some stingless (beggars)—that help turn the oligarchy into a democracy (Republic 552c–d, 554b–c, 554d, 555e) and a democracy 250 | Plato’s Animals Index into a tyranny (563e–564b, 572e–573b); ὁ μελιττουργός: the prudent beekeeper knows how to cut out diseased cells (Republic 564c); colonies are like bees that create new hives elsewhere (Statesman 293d); there is no naturally born statesman who would be like the ruler of a swarm of bees (τὸ σμῆνος) (Statesman 301d–e). Bird (ὁ/ἡ ὄρνις): on the correct names of birds (Cratylus 392a–b); interlocutors compared to children trying to catch birds (Euthydemus 291b); the family is like a flock of birds, patriarchal government resembles rulership in a covey of birds (Laws 680d–e); in Athens game birds are trained by being carried around by their owners (Laws 789b); mother birds protect their young (Laws 813e–814c); birds as sacrificial animals (Laws 956a); on the superiority of prophetic madness to augury or the reading of bird signs...


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