Nor should it be said within earshot of the young, that there is nothing out of the ordinary in acting unjustly in the extreme, nor again, in punishing a father for his unjust actions, in all sorts of ways, since in so doing he would be doing what the foremost and most important gods have done.

[. . .]

Nor, said I, should it be said that gods are at war with gods, and are scheming and fighting since this is not true either. Indeed if we want those who are to guard our city to consider it a disgrace to hate one another, easily, then we should not tell or depict stories of the battles of gods and giants, far from it, or stories of a whole variety of other enmities of gods and heroes with their kindred and family members. But if we are somehow going to persuade them that no citizen, so far, has hated another citizen, and that it is unholy to do so, then this sort of thing must indeed be said to the young, by old men and women, and as they get older, the poets should be compelled to compose speeches for them, making a similar point.

Stories of Hera being tied up by her son, and Hephaestus being flung out of heaven by his father for trying to defend his mother when she was being beaten, and any battles of the gods that Homer has made up, these should not be admitted into our city, whether they have a deeper meaning or not. For the young person is unable to distinguish what is a deeper meaning and what is not, and whatever he incorporates into his beliefs at that age, tends to become difficult to eradicate or undo. Surely then, for all these reasons we should ensure, above all, that the very first stories they hear, are the noblest stories they could possibly hear for the development of excellence.

Translation: David Horan