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[31] Now Critias bore a grudge against Socrates for this; and when he was one of the Thirty and was drafting laws with Charicles, he bore it in mind. He inserted a clause which made it illegal “to teach the art of words.” It was a calculated insult to Socrates, whom he saw no means of attacking, except by imputing to him the practice constantly attributed to philosophers,1 and so making him unpopular. For I myself never heard Socrates indulge in the practice, nor knew of anyone who professed to have heard him do so. The truth came out.

1 i.e. the practice of “making the worse appear the better argument.” In Plato, Apol. 19b, Socrates makes Aristophanes (Clouds) author of this charge against him. Aristotle in the Rhetoric (B 24, 11) associates the practice with the name of Protagoras: cp. Diog. Laert. ix. 51.

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