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56-64. The charge that Socrates spread immoral and pernicious doctrines by perverting passages from the poets is refuted by citing two quotations on which Socrates put a quite different interpretation from that imputed to him by the accuser: and is also sufficiently disproved by his blameless, unselfish, and patriotic life. To sum up, this man of pure character, this promoter of all that was good, deserved from the state, not death, but the highest honor. 56. ἐκλεγόμενον ... διδάσκειν: for the basis of fact underlying this distorted assertion, cf. i.6.14. τῶν ἐνδοξοτάτων ποιητῶν: of the three divisions of instruction, γράμματα, μουσική, and γυμναστική, the first-named, as a rule, included most of the formal instruction in language and literature received by the Greek boy at school. As soon as a boy had learned to read and write, he was ‘encouraged or compelled to learn by heart great masses of poetry, especially of Homer or Simonides, or the gnomic poets. Many a Greek knew by heart the whole of the Iliad and Odyssey.’ Gardner and Jevons, Manual of Greek Antiq., pp. 307, 308. Cf. Sym. iii. 5, 6. τούτοις μαρτυρίοις χρώμενον: cf. τεκμηρίῳ τούτῳ χρώμενος 49.—ἔργον δ̓ οὐδὲν ὄνειδος κτλ.: from Hesiod's didactic poem Works and Days 311, where the reference is to agricultural labor only. The accuser seems to have perverted the sense of the verse by connecting οὐδέν with ἔργον, whereas it belongs to ὄνειδος. ἀεργίη: with long penult. So Hom. ω 251, κακοεργίης χ 374. δή: now, with resumptive force. So in 58; in both places δή has a somewhat fainter effect than, e.g., in 24.
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