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Ring of Gyges summary story from Plato’s Republic

Ring of Gyges-like image

The Ring of Gyges is considered to be a legendary ring because it is said to be able to hide itself at will.

It is said to be a ring of legend because it is said to be able to hide itself at will.

It is said that a man named Gyges of Lydia (present-day Turkey) obtained it and became king with its power.

There is also a discussion based on the ring of Gyges in Plato's work "Republic".

Anonymous image

The owner of the ring can become invisible at any time, so even if he commits an injustice, his crime will never be discovered, right? People don't say anything about it, but can one really do justice in it?

This is what is being examined in the case.

I would like to explain the synopsis of the Ring of Gyges in detail.

Synopsis of the Ring of Gyges

In Plato's "Republic," there is a brief synopsis of the Ring of Gyges.

One day, a shepherd named Gyges entered a cave opened by an earthquake and found a bronze horse.

In the cavities of the horse's body was a corpse with a gold ring attached.

This ring had the mysterious power that when turned inward, it made the figure invisible to those around it, and when turned outward, it became visible.

Now, having obtained such the ring, Gyges then became the king's envoy.

He then entered the palace, approached the queen, and had an affair with her.

From there, he and the queen secretly planned to kill the king, and Gyges took the throne.

Gyges as described by Herodotus

In Herodotus' "Histories," there is no mention of the invisible ring mentioned earlier.

However, it does tell the story of this Gyges.

The Boast of King Candaules' Wife

One day, Candaules, the last king of the kingdom of Lydia said

King image

My wife will be the most beautiful of women, ho ho ho!

He believed so and tried to brag to others.

And Gyges was one of those who were made to boast.

Ancient male image

Your Majesty, is she really that beautiful? I have never seen the queen, so I cannot say anything.

To Candaules, it seemed as if Gyges did not believe in its beauty.

King image

Very well, Gyges. If you insist so much, go and sneak into my wife's bedroom and see her naked body. Then you will see for yourself how beautiful she is.

He forced Gyges to take a peek at his own wife.

Ancient male image

Yes, Your Majesty, are you sure? It's your own wife! Well, if Your Majesty says so, I cannot refuse.

He said so and peeked in on the king's wife, who was said to be beautiful as instructed.

Gyges' peeping is discovered

As Gyges peeks in on the king's wife,

Queen image

What, is there someone there?

Gyges is found by her trying to get out of her bedroom.

Ancient male image

I'm sorry, my queen...!

Queen image

No, it's okay. It's not your fault. It must have been Candaules' instructions, right?

The wife quickly realized that this peeking was her husband's order.

Queen image

What is Candaules thinking, directing you to do this? What does he think I am? I'm getting kind of angry thinking about it!

And she began to feel a desire for revenge against Candaules.

Assassination plot against King Candaules

Then, the wife told Gyges this,

Queen image

Hey, you peeps. Shall we assassinate Candaules with me? And together we will rule Lydia.

At first, Gyges hesitated.

Queen image

You will either die for your crime of peeping, or you will rule the country with me. Which would be better for you?

So threatened by her, Gyges finally carried out the assassination of Candaules.

With his wife as his consort, Gyges became king of Lydia.

Some say that he was successful in obtaining the ring of Gyges at this time.

Gyges becomes the rightful king

When it became known to those around him that the assassination of Candaules was in fact the work of Gyges,

People image

We cannot accept such the false king!

The Lydians disagreed with it.

But Gyges proposes this to the people.

Ancient male image

All right, people! How about this? If the oracle confirms my kingship, I shall be King of Lydia. If not, I will return the throne. What do you think, people?

The people who had opposed the proposal accepted it, and as a result of the oracle, the throne of Gyges was recognized.

From there, it is said that the throne was transferred to the family of Gyges.

So much for the history of Lydia in Herodotus' "Histories".

This is the only comprehensive record of early Lydia.

To learn more about Herodotus' "Histories",

A summary of five ideas that can be gleaned from the contents of Herodotus' book, "History

Please also read this article.

There is much more to the history of Mesopotamian civilization.

To learn more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

What is the Mesopotamian Civilization?

Please also read this article.