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Laches of Courage

“Laches” - Plato
At their request, Nicias and Laches have accom-
panied them to see a man named Stesilaus fighting
in heavy armour. The two fathers ask the two gen-
erals what they think of this exhibition, and whether
they would advise that their sons should acquire
the accomplishment. Nicias and Laches are quite
willing to give their opinion; but they suggest that
Socrates should be invited to take part in the con-
sultation. He is a stranger to Lysimachus, but is
afterwards recognised as the son of his old friend
Sophroniscus, with whom he never had a difference
to the hour of his death. Socrates is also known to
Nicias, to whom he had introduced the excellent
Damon, musician and sophist, as a tutor for his
son, and to Laches, who had witnessed his heroic
behaviour at the battle of Delium (compare Symp.).
Socrates, as he is younger than either Nicias or
Laches, prefers to wait until they have delivered their
opinions, which they give in a characteristic man-
ner. Nicias, the tactician, is very much in favour of
the new art, which he describes as the gymnastics
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
Lysimachus, the son of Aristides the Just, and
Melesias, the son of the elder Thucydides, two aged
men who live together, are desirous of educating their
sons in the best manner. Their own education, as
often happens with the sons of great men, has been
neglected; and they are resolved that their children
shall have more care taken of them, than they re-
ceived themselves at the hands of their fathers.