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In January of 2000, I began a 10-week class on Plato’s Republic. The week before it started, I gave a bonus introductory lecture. Sadly, I loaned out the lectures on the Republic, and they were never returned. But this introductory lecture was meant to stand on its own, so I am presenting it in two parts. The sound quality at the beginning is somewhat muffled, but bear with it, because it gets much better. I would be most grateful for a transcript of this lecture, which pleases me a great deal.