For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Memorabilia. Oeconomicus. Symposium. Apology

by Xenophon (1997)

Key Passage

(Memorabilia)“And have you considered how to make the men obey you? Because without that horses and men, however good and gallant, are of no use.”“True, but what is the best way of encouraging them to obey, Socrates?”“Well, I suppose you know that under all conditions human beings are most willing to obey those whom they believe to be the best.8 Thus in sickness they most readily obey the doctor, on board ship the pilot, on a farm the farmer whom they think to be most capable at farming.”“Yes, certainly.”“Then it is likely that in horsemanship too, one who clearly knows best what ought to be done will most easily gain the obedience of the others.”“If then, Socrates, I am plainly the best horseman among them, will that suffice to gain their obedience?”“Yes, if you also show them that it will be safer and more honorable for them to obey you.” (p.191)


Xenophon, Ancient Greece, Obedience, Socrates


Xenophon Citations, Ancient Greece

Links to Reference


E. C. Marchant and O. J. Todd



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