Thucydides and Plato
Topic: In the beginning of Thucydides’ History, the Spartan King Archidamus offers an explanation of courage that emphasizes shame and self-control (see pp. 25-28 of the Woodruff translation, i.e. sections 1.80-85). First, analyze Archidamus’ conception of courage, by explaining the relation of his conception of courage to other Spartan ideals that Archidamus discusses, such as shame, self-control, good judgment, and moderation. Then compare and contrast Archidamus’ ideals with the ideals embodied in Socrates’ education of the future guardians in Republic Books 2-3, with specific attention to Socrates’ desire to cultivate self-control, a proper sense of shame, and moderation in his guardians. Do the citizens produced by Socratic education, as described in Books 2-3 of the Republic, seem likely to resemble the idealized Spartans described by King Archidamus? Why or why not? Be sure to support your views with specific examples and quotations from the texts.
Write a 1200 word essay on the following topic. Be sure to cite passages generously from the texts of Thucydides and Plato (in quotation marks, of course). Since we’re all using the same translation of Thucydides, you should cite by page number; since we’ve discussed Plato with reference to book and section number you should cite this way: Rep. 4.441e, to indicate “Republic Book 4, Section 441e”).
You should not do any secondary reading for this paper. Your work should be based on your own thinking, your own reading of the assigned texts, and your own comprehension of the class lectures.