Plato and his views on Rome

Essay by Keri8680College, Undergraduate May 2005

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Plato's ideal society was certainly not Rome. Rome's leaders were too selfish to be anywhere close to perfect. Excessive power, control and injustices could be seen with any and all of it's leaders. Plato felt state leaders should be well-educated philosophers, in order to make wise decisions for the benefit of the state. Plato's next ideal was a strong and fearless military whose prime motivation was to serve and protect. The army of Rome was mainly lower-class men trying to climb the social ladder. The last of Plato's ideals had to do with happiness and a higher power or goodness. The spirituality of the Romans was fickle and not too convincing, their morale was headed downhill. All these factors contributed to the fall of the Empire, in turn, proving Plato's ideals completely wrong.

The first ideal discussed by Plato is for the leaders of the country to be well-educated philosophers.

He believes they will make wise decisions that will help to ameliorate the society. Plato also says the best leader is the one that doesn't want to be. Julius Caesar would not live up to Plato's ideals because he was too obsessed with power. Although he was given the opportunity to be king during the period of the Republic, Caesar declined knowing that he already had more influence over the citizens of Rome than a king would. He did not need this formal title to solidify his power. "He was unwilling to take the title of king, which was intensely disliked by the Roman upper classes, but he had no intention of giving up his control" (Spielvogel 140). Julius Caesar may have been respected, but a longing for power and control motivated him. The next heir was Octavian, an unjust leader that Plato would have despised. He...