“But have you failed to observe,” questioned Antisthenes, “that the rhapsodes,1 too, all know these poems?”“How could I,” he replied, “when I listen to their recitations nearly every day?”“Well, do you know any tribe of men,” went on the other, “more stupid than the rhapsodes?”“No, indeed,” answered Niceratus; “not I, I am sure.”“No,” said Socrates; “and the reason is clear: they do not know the inner meaning of the poems. But you have paid a good deal of money to Stesimbrotus, Anaximander, and many other Homeric critics, so that nothing of their valuable teaching can have escaped your knowledge.
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1 These professional reciters of epic poetry are represented as being criticized by Socrates, in much the same way as here, in Xenophon's Memorabilia, IV. ii. 10 and in Plato's Ion.
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