previous next
[528d] and it would not surprise us if the truth about them were made apparent.” “It is true,” he said, “that they do possess an extraordinary attractiveness and charm. But explain more clearly what you were just speaking of. The investigation1 of plane surfaces, I presume, you took to be geometry?” “Yes,” said I. “And then,” he said, “at first you took astronomy next and then you drew back.” “Yes,” I said, “for in my haste to be done I was making less speed.2 For, while the next thing in order is the study3 of the third dimension or solids, I passed it over because of our absurd neglect4 to investigate it, and mentioned next after geometry astronomy,5

1 πραγματείαν: interesting is the development of this word from its use in Phaedo 63 A (“interest,” “zeal,” “inquiring spirit.” Cf. Aristot.Top. 100 a 18, Eth. Nic. 1103 b 26, Polyb. i. 1. 4, etc.

2 An obvious allusion to the proverb found in many forms in many languages. Cf. also Polit. 277 A-B, 264 B, Soph.Antig. 231σχολῇ ταχύς, Theognis 335, 401μηδὲν ἄγαν σπεύδειν, Suetonius, Augustus 25, Aulus Gellius x. 11. 4, Macrob.Sat. vi. 8. 9, “festina lente,” “hâtez-vous lentement” (Boileau, Art poétique, i. 171), “Chi va piano va sano e va lontano” (Goldoni, I volponi,I. ii.), “Eile mit Weile” and similar expressions; Franklin's “Great haste makes great waste,” etc.

3 μέθοδον: this word, like πραγματεία came to mean “treatise.”

4 This is the meaning. Neither Stallbaum's explanation, “quia ita est comparata, ut de ea quaerere ridiculum sit,” nor that accepted by Adam, “quia ridicule tractatur,” is correct, and 529 E and 521 A are not in point. Cf. 528 B p. 176, note a.

5 Cf. Laws 822 A ff.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1103 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: