The ideas of Plato (c429347BC) have influenced Western philosophers for over two thousand years. Such is his importance that the twentiethcentury philosopher A.N. Whitehead described all subsequent developments within the subject as footnotes to Platos work. Beyond philosophy, he has exerted a major influence on the development of Western literature, politics and theology. The Republic deals with the great range of Platos thought, but is particularly concerned with what makes a wellbalanced society and individual. It combines argument and myth to advocate a life organized by reason rather than dominated by desires and appetites. Regarded by some as the foundation document of totalitarianism, by others as a call to develop the full potential of humanity, the Republic remains a challenging and intensely exciting work.