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[598c] though he himself has no expertness in any of these arts,1 but nevertheless if he were a good painter, by exhibiting at a distance his picture of a carpenter he would deceive children and foolish men,2 and make them believe it to be a real carpenter.” “Why not?” “But for all that, my friend, this, I take it, is what we ought to bear in mind in all such cases: When anyone reports to us of someone, that he has met a man who knows all the crafts and everything else3 that men severally know,

1 Commentators sometimes miss the illogical idiom. So Adam once proposed to emend τεχνῶν to τεχνίτων, but later withdrew this suggestion in his note on the passage. Cf. 373 C, Critias 111 E, and my paper in T.A.P.A. xlvii. (1916) pp. 205-234.

2 Cf. Soph. 234 B.

3 So Dryden, Essay on Satire: “Shakespeare . . . Homer . . . in either of whom we find all arts and sciences, all moral and natural philosophy without knowing that they ever studied them,” and the beautiful rhapsody of Andrew Lang, Letters to Dead Authors, p. 238: “They believe not that one human soul has known every art, and all the thoughts of women as of men,” etc. Pope, pref. to his translation of the Iliad: “If we reflect upon those innumerable knowledges, those secrets of nature and physical philosophy which Homer is generally supposed to have wrapped up in his allegories, what a new and ample scene of wonder may this consideration afford us.” Cf. Xen.Symp. 4. 6. Brunetière, Epoques, p. 105, says: “Corneille . . . se piquait de connaître à fond l'art de la politique et celui de la guerre.” For the impossibility of universal knowledge Cf. Soph. 233 A, Charm. 170 B, Friedländer, Platon, ii. p. 146 on Hipp. Min. 366 C ff. Cf. also Ion 536 E, 541 B, 540 B, and Tim. 19 D. Tate, “Plato and Allegorical Interpretation,”Class. Quarterly,Jan. 1930, p. 2 says: “The true poet is for Plato philosopher as well as poet. He must know the truth.” This ignores the ἄρα in 598 E. Plato there is not stating his own opinion but giving the arguments of those who claim omniscience for the poet. Wilamowitz, Platon, ii. p. 313 n. 1 completely misunderstands and misinterprets the passage. Cf. Class. Phil. xxvii. (1932) p. 85. E.E. Sikes, The Greek View of Poetry, p. 175, says Rymer held that “a poet is obliged to know all arts and sciences.” Aristotle from a different point of view says we expect the wise man to know everything in the sense in which that is possible, Met. 982 a 8.

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