Die beste Staatsverfassung zwischen Komik und Ernst


The chapter, while exploring the interconnections between Plato’s Republic and Aristophanes’ Ecclesiazusae, postulates the existence of a third common source, which was presumably Hippodamus’ project of the best constitution. Hippodamus embraced the Pythagorean idea that the leading role in the polis should pertain to a group of morally and intellectually perfect philosophers who live on a communist basis; on this background, he proposed a tripartite functional division of the city. Aristophanes had adopted this model and reformulated it comically by identifying the ruling group with women. This comical travesty then successfully manifested the fundamental connection between nourishing, sexuality and ruling. In the Republic, Plato integrates all these impulses into the dialectical context and develops a theory of naturalness of the political community

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This paper was published in PhilPapers.

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