The just city is a larger version of the just man, with the three social classes (producers, warriors and guardians) working together as the three parts of the soul work together in the just man. Two key concepts for the city are the emphasis on specialization, so that each person is trained for a particular occupation, and the emphasis on education, which encourages specialization and trains the guardians and the philosopher-king to properly rule. The ultimate failure of the city is tied to the failure of the education system, when someone whose aptitudes and nature are not suited to being a guardian, is selected in childhood and educated as a guardian.
The City Quotes in The Republic
The The Republic quotes below all refer to the symbol of The City. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Republic published in 2000.).
Book 2 Quotes
And if so, we must infer that all things are produced more plentifully and easily and of a better quality when one man does one thing which is natural to him, and does it at the right time, and leaves other things.
The City Symbol Timeline in The Republic
The timeline below shows where the symbol The City appears in The Republic. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...gods committing impious actions, stories which might influence the citizens to act badly. Therefore, the city must only use stories depicting good behavior so as to influence the citizens of the... (full context)
...must protect the education system since it determines the quality of the citizens and the city. Wives and children of guardians are held in common. With properly educated citizens, and the... (full context)
...equivalent kinds of human soul for each government. Socrates imagines a gradual failure of the city as it passes through each government. Because the city is human, it is imperfect and... (full context)