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[370a] that Odysseus the wily is nowhere found to have spoken falsely, but Achilles is found to be a wily sort of person, according to your argument; at any rate, he speaks falsely. For he begins by speaking these lines which you just quoted: “For hateful to me as the gates of Hades is he who hides one thing in his heart and says another,
Hom. Il. 9.312 ff. [370b] and a little later says that he would not be persuaded by Odysseus and Agamemnon and would not stay at Troy at all, but,—“Tomorrow, after sacrificing to Zeus and all the gods, (he says), I will load my ships well and drag them into the sea; then you shall see, if you like and if it interests you, early in the morning my ships sailing the fishy Hellespont
” [370c] “and my men eagerly rowing in them; and if the glorious Earthshaker should grant me a fair voyage, on the third day I should come to fertile Phthia.” Hom. Il. 9.357 ff.And even before that, when he was reviling Agamemnon, he said:“And now I shall go to Phthia, since it is far better to go home with my beaked ships, and I do not intend to stay here without honor,
” [370d] “and heap up wealth and riches for you.” Hom. Il. 1.169 ff.After he has said these things, at one time in the presence of the whole army and at another before his own comrades, he is nowhere found to have either prepared or attempted to drag down his ships to sail home, but he shows quite superb disregard of truthspeaking. Now I, Hippias, asked my question in the first place because I was perplexed as to which of the two men is represented as better by the poet, [370e] and because I thought both were very good, and it was hard to decide which was better, both in regard to falsehood and truth and to virtue in general; for both are similar in this matter.

Hippias
That is because you do not look at it aright, Socrates. For the falsehoods that Achilles utters, he utters evidently not by design, but against his will, since he is forced by the misfortune of the army to remain and give assistance; but Odysseus utters his falsehoods voluntarily and by design.

Socrates
You are deceiving me, beloved Hippias, and are yourself imitating Odysseus.


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