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[596c] what name you would give to this craftsman.” “What one?” “Him who makes all the things1 that all handicraftsmen severally produce.” “A truly clever and wondrous man you tell of.” “Ah, but wait,2 and you will say so indeed, for this same handicraftsman is not only able to make all implements, but he produces all plants and animals, including himself,3 and thereto earth and heaven and the gods and all things in heaven and in Hades under the earth.” “A most marvellous sophist,4

1 Cf. Emerson, The Poet: “and therefore the rich poets—as Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare and Raphael—have no limits to their riches except the limits of their lifetime, and resemble a mirror carried through the streets ready to render an image of every created thing.” (Cf. 596 D-Eκάτοπτρον περιφέρειν and Julian, Or. v. 163 D.) Empedocles, fr. 23 (Diels i.3 pp. 234-235): ὡς δ᾽ ὁπόταν γραφέες . . . δένδρεά τε κτίζοντε καὶ ἀνέρας ἠδὲ γυναῖκας . . .

2 Climax beyond climax. Cf. on 508 E p. 104, note c.

3 It is a tempting error to refer this to God, as I once did, and as Wilamowitz, Platon. i. p. 604 does. So Cudworth, True Intel. System of the Universe, vol. ii. p. 70: “Lastly, he is called ὃς πάντα τά τε ἄλλα ἐργάζεται, καὶ ἑαυτόν, ‘he that causeth or produceth both all other things, and even himself.'” But the producer of everything, including himself, is the imitator generalized and then exemplified by the painter and the poet. Cf. Soph. 234 A-B.

4 Eurip.Hippol. 921δεινὸν σοφιστὴν εἶπας.

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