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οἱ πλεῖστοι: the great majority. φασίν: say, i.e. they so express themselves, and yet believe, like Socrates, that the omens come from the gods. τὸ δαιμόνιον σημαίνειν: the thought is, that Socrates said that he obeyed his δαιμόνιον, and thus did not really differ from the others, who obeyed the gods while saying that they were following the signs. To him, the inner voice was a sign from the gods. συνόντων: not μαθητῶν, since Socrates did not have pupils, in the ordinary sense of the term; he did not teach for money, like the Sophists. Both Xenophon and Plato sedulously avoid the use of the term μαθηταί for the followers of Socrates, employing, in its stead, συνόντες, συνουσιασταί, συνδιατρίβοντες, etc. Cf. i.2.3; i. 6.1; Plato Apol. 33A. τὰ μὲν ποιεῖν, τὰ δὲ μὴ ποιεῖν: acc. to Plato (Apol. 31D; Theag. 128 D), the δαιμόνιον confined its activity to restraining, and did not encourage or urge on. The apparent difference between this statement and that of Xenophon may be explained by assuming that to Socrates the silence of the divine monitor implied assent and even encouragement. Cf. Plato Apol. 40A ff. ὡς προσημαίνοντος: i.e. λέγων τὸ δαιμόνιον προσημαίνειν. The gen. or acc. abs. of a participle with ὡς or ὥσπερ assigns a reason on the part of the speaking or acting subject, without implying the truth or falsity of the statement expressed by the participle. Both cases (gen. and acc.) occur near each other in i. 6. 5. See G. 1574, 1593; H. 978. τοῖς πειθομένοις αὐτῷ: those who followed his counsel. μετέμελε: translate as if personal, “had cause for regret.”
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