previous next
[536c] “I forgot,” said I, “that we were jesting,1 and I spoke with too great intensity.2 For, while speaking, I turned my eyes upon philosophy,3 and when I saw how she is undeservedly reviled, I was revolted, and, as if in anger, spoke too earnestly to those who are in fault.” “No, by Zeus, not too earnestly for me4 as a hearer.” “But too much so for me as a speaker,” I said. “But this we must not forget, that in our former selection we chose old men, but in this one that will not do. For we must not take Solon's5 word for it

1 Jest and earnest are never far apart in Plato. Fabling about justice is an old man's game, Laws 685 A, 769 A. Life itself is best treated as play, Laws 803 C. Science in Tim. 59 D is παιδιά, like literature in the Phaedrus 276 D-E, ibid. 278 B. Cf. Friedländer, Platon, i. pp. 38 and 160, and What Plato Said, pp. 553 and 601.

2 For similar self-checks Cf. Laws 804 B, 832 B, 907 B-C, Phaedr. 260 D, 279 B. For ἐντεινάμενος cf. Blaydes on Aristoph.Clouds 969.

3 Cf. Isoc.Busiris 49. Whatever the difficulties of the chronology it is hard to believe that this is not one of Isocrates' many endeavors to imitate Platonic effects.

4 Cf. Soph. 226 C, Sophocles, Ajax 397.

5 γηράσκω δ᾽ ἀεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος, “I grow old ever learning many things.” Cf. Laches 188 A-B; Otto, p. 317.

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 Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: