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Aristophanes, Clouds (ed. William James Hickie), line 180 (search)
dmire Thales? Open open quickly the thinking-shop, and show to me Socrates as quickly as possible. For I desire to be a disciple. Come, open the door.
The door of the thinking-shop opens and the pupils of Socrates are seen all with their heads fixed on the ground, while Socrates himself is seen suspended in the air in a basket.
O Hercules, from what country are these wild beasts?
Dis. What do you wonder at? To what do they seem to you to be like?
Strep. To the Spartans who were taken at Pylos. But why in the world do these look upon the ground?
Dis. They are in search of the things below the earth.
Strep. Then they are searching for roots. Do not, then, trouble yourselves about this; for I know where there are large and fine ones. Why, what are these doing, who are bent down so much?
Dis. These are groping about in darkness under Tartarus.
Strep. Why then does their rump look toward heaven?
Dis. It is getting taught astronomy alone by itself.
Turning to the pupils.