previous next

Socrates loved the companionship of young men, but of those only in whom he discerned natural abilities and an enthusiasm for what was noble. These, he held, stood especially in need of instruction; for enthusiasm and force, when misdirected, may lead to the most disastrous consequences. On the other hand, those who thought themselves able to dispense with instruction because they were rich, he regarded as the greatest of fools.


καὶ μετρίως αἰσθανομένῳ: concessive, even of moderate discernment. For αἰσθάνομαι in the sense of general intelligence, cf. οὐδὲ πρὸς ἀνθρώπων τῶν αἰσθανομένων Thuc. i. 71.

ὁπουοῦν, ὁτῳοῦν: see on ὁπωστιοῦν i. 6. 11.

ἀποδεχομένους ἐκεῖνον: “receiving and accepting his teachings.” Cf. τοὺς ἀποδεξαμένους ἅπερ αὐτὸς ἐδοκίμαζεν i. 2. 8.

παίζων, σπουδάζων: cf. ἔπαιζεν ἅμα σπουδάζων i. 3. 8. An instance of the playfulness is found in the ἐρᾶν of 2, a word usually directed toward physical attractions. Another is the amusing προοίμιον of 2. 4 and 5.


ἔφη, ἄν: sc. as often as occasion arose. For the iterative ἄν, see on ἂν ἔδωκε ii. 9. 4, and cf. iv.6.13.

τῶν, τῶν: const. with εὖ πεφυκότων those who were well endowed by nature.

ὥραν, ἀρετήν: without the art., see on i.2.23.

ἐτεκμαίρετο: he used to infer.

τοῦ μανθάνειν: sc. αὐτούς as subject.

οἷς προσέχοιεν: for οἷς ἂν προσέχωσι of direct discourse. G. 1431, 1497, 2; H. 914, 934.

οἰκίαν: we might expect οἶκον, after the analogy of i. 1. 7, 2. 64; ii. 1. 19.

τὸ ὅλον: omnino.

τοὺς γὰρ τοιούτους παιδευθέντας: for such natures when trained. This sent. contains the reason for the preceding τῶν εὖ πεφυκότων ἐφιέμενος.


οὐ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον: like St. Paul, Socrates could be ‘all things to all men.’ This variety in his methods is ridiculed by Aristophanes Clouds 478-480.

τοὺς μέν: corresponds to τοὺς δέ in 5.

εἰ δαμασθεῖεν: if they should be broken in.

οὐσῶν: when hounds are meant, κυών is generally grammatically feminine. Cf. iii.11.8.

ἐπιθετικῶν: eager to attack.

ἀχθείσας (ἄγω): the usual term for training hunting dogs.

γίγνεσθαι: note the change from the participle (γιγνομένους) to the inf., permissible from the fact that ἐπιδεικνύειν is a verbum declarandi.

ἀναγώγους δὲ γιγνομένας: but if they should remain untrained, a slight ‘anacoluthon,’ since τὰς μέν preceded.


ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων κτλ.: the thought that the very worst of characters are developed from the most richly endowed natures is frequent in Plato. Cf. Rep. 491; Gorg. 526A.

ὧν ἂν ἐγχειρῶσι: equivalent to τούτων, ἂν ἐγχειρῶσιν ἐξεργάζεσθαι. For the gen., see on τῶν εἰς τὸν πόλεμον iii. 1. 6.

ἐργάζεσθαι: for the inf., see on ὧν οὐδὲν εἶναι i. 1. 8.


ἐφρένου: he tried to bring to reason. Cf. ii. 6. 1.

εἴη: the subj. is to be supplied from the following clause.

εἴ τις οἴεται: for the indic. in subord. clauses of indirect discourse, see G. 1497, 2; H. 933.

τά τε, καὶ τά, διαγνώσεσθαι: for τέ and καί with words of discrimination, see on iii.4.3.

πράττειν εὖ τε πράττειν: for a similar play on words, cf. i.6.8.

εὐδοκιμήσειν: will win esteem.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.6.8
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.11.8
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.6.13
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: