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What Socrates thought of integrity (σωφροσύνη περὶ ἀνθρώπους) was sufficiently shown in his life, both private and public. We are here, however, more immediately concerned with his treatment of the subject in his discourses: and this may be learned from a conversation which he once held with the sophist Hippias. He there defines uprightness as obedience: on the one hand, to the laws of the state, on which rest all good order, all prosperity, and all security; on the other, to the unwritten divine laws, which are everywhere a necessary condition of man's social life, and whose violation nature herself punishes.


οὐκ ἀπεκρύπτετο γνώμην: directed at the criticism uttered by Hippias in 9. For the attraction of the antec. into the rel. clause, see on i.2.22.

ἣν εἶχε: here equivalent to the art. τήν in the unemphatic possessive use.

καὶ ἔργῳ: “in his very actions,” contrasted with καὶ ἔλεγε δέ in 5.

ἄρχουσί τε πειθόμενος: corresponds to καὶ ὅτε οὐκ ἐπέτρεψε in 2. Strict adherence to ‘concinnity’ would require καὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπων, but this would have occasioned an accumulation of participles.

οἱ νόμοι προστάττοιεν: in regard to matters which the laws enjoined. For the opt., see on νομίζοιεν i. 1. 6.

ὥστε εἶναι: for the inf., see on ὥστε ἔχειν i. 2. 1.

παρὰ τοὺς ἄλλους: beyond all others. See on i. 4. 14.


ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις κτλ.: for the events alluded to, see on i.1.18. ἐκκλησίαις should strictly be sing., as Socrates was ἐπιστάτης in only one of the two sessions mentioned in Hell. i. 7: but Xenophon is speaking loosely of an affair well known and already described.

παρὰ τοὺς νόμους: cf. i.1.18.

ὁρμῇ τοῦ δήμου: “a tide of popular feeling.”

ἥν: instead of the more usual οἵαν after τοιαύτῃ.


τοῖς τε γὰρ νέοις κτλ.: cf. i.2.35. Note the difference between the impf. ἀπαγορευόντων (cf. μηδὲ διαλέγου i. 2. 35) and the aor. προσταξάντων.

ἀγαγεῖν τινα κτλ.: Leon, a rich citizen, had fled to Salamis to escape death at the hands of the Thirty. Socrates, with four other citizens, was commanded to proceed to Salamis and arrest Leon: the others obeyed, but Socrates resolutely refused. Cf. Hell. ii. 3. 39; Plato Apol. 32C.

ἐπὶ θανάτῳ: to put him to death, see on ἐφ᾽ οἷς i. 3. 11.


Μελήτου: i.e. the chief accuser. See Introd. § 5.

γραφὴν ἔφευγε: was prosecuted, hence with ὑπό. The active meaning is expressed by διώκειν. G. 1241; H. 820. Cf. μή πως ἐγὼ ὑπὸ Μελήτου τοσαύτας δίκας φύγοιμι Plato Apol. 19C.—τῶν ἄλλων εἰωθότων κτλ.: these appeals to sympathy were a common device in the courts of Athens. Socrates regarded such entreaties, though not formally prohibited by law, as in themselves παρὰ τοὺς νόμους, and refused to use them. Cf. Plato Apol. 38D, E.

ἀλλὰ ῥᾳδίως ἂν ἀφεθείς: but although he would have been readily acquitted. For the participle with ἄν, representing the same tense of the indic., see G. 1308, 2; H. 987 b.

ἐμμένων, παρανομῶν: see on στήσαντας i. 1. 9.


οὕτως: in this strain.

Ἱππίαν: Hippias of Elis was one of the most famous sophists of his day, and was very popular as a teacher of rhetoric, although his charges were as high as those of Protagoras (see on i.2.5). He is a frequent figure in the Platonic dialogues, where he appears to better advantage than here.

διὰ χρόνου: as in ii. 8. 1.

παρεγένετο: happened upon.

διδάξασθαί τινα: to have any one trained. For the causative mid., see G. 1245; H. 815.

δικαίους: applied to persons or things that are as they should be (comme il faut); and especially appropriate here, the discussion being on δικαιοσύνη. Cf. οὔτε γὰρ ἅρμα γένοιτ᾽ ἂν δίκαιον ἀδίκων (ἵππων) συνεζευγμένων Cyr. ii. 2. 26.

τῶν διδαξόντων: const. like τῶν ἀπολυσόντων ii. 1. 5.


ὥσπερ ἐπισκώπτων: as mocking, with the accusative. For the intr. use of the verb, cf. i.3.7.—ἔτι γὰρ σὺ κτλ.: for γάρ, see on i.3.10, and for the thought, cf. ὡς ἀεὶ ταὐτὰ λέγεις, Σώκρατες. Οὐ μόνον γε, Καλλίκλεις, ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν Plato Gorg. 490 E. Cf., also, i. 2. 37.

διὰ τὸ πολυμαθὴς εἶναι: by reason of your being widely learned. For the case of the pred. adj., see on αὐτός ii. 3. 11.

ἀμέλει: as in i. 4. 7.


πότερον: sc. some alternative question like μή (or ἀεὶ) ταὐτὰ λέγεις, since the sent. ... ἀποκρίνῃ is a new question, not opposed to the first.

οἷον: velut, for example.

πόσα καὶ ποῖα Σωκράτους ἐστίν: how many and what letters are in (the word) Socrates. Cf. Oec. viii. 14.

περὶ ἀριθμῶν τοῖς ἐρωτῶσιν: for the position of the art., see on τὴν σοφίαν τοὺς πωλοῦντας i. 6. 13.

περὶ μέν, περὶ μέντοι: correlative.

ὥσπερ, καί: with omission of οὕτω, as in ii. 2. 2.


νὴ τὴν Ἥραν: see on i.5.5.

λέγεις: “you claim.”

ψηφιζόμενοι: for the supplementary participle, see on σκοπούμενος ii. 1. 24.— ὅπως ἂν ἀπολειφθείην σου κτλ.: how I could ever tear myself away from you until I have heard of so great a blessing, since you have discovered it.


πρὶν ἀποφήνῃ: for πρίν with the subjv., see G. 1471, 2; H. 924.

ἀρκεῖ, ὅτι τῶν ἄλλων καταγελᾷς: it is enough for you to laugh at the others, implying “you shall not laugh at me.”—ἐρωτῶν μὲν κτλ.: cf. ἵνα Σωκράτης τὸ εἰωθὸς διαπράξηται, αὐτὸς μὲν μὴ ἀποκρίνηται, ἄλλου δὲ ἀποκρινομένου λαμβάνῃ λόγον καὶ ἐλέγχῃ Plato Rep. 337 E.


τί δέ: “how so.”

οὐδέν: in no respect, i.e. never.—εἰ δὲ μὴ λόγῳ κτλ.: “you ask me for words; but suppose I show you deeds.”

οὐδ᾽ ἂν εἷς: as in i. 6. 2; iv. 3. 15.


γνώμην, τι νομίζεις: cf. ἀπόφηναι γνώμην τι σοι δοκεῖ An. i.6.9


ἐὰν τόδε κτλ.: if possibly this will please you better. See H. 907, 1016 c. Cf. σκέψαι ἐὰν καὶ σοὶ ξυνδοκῇ Plato Phaedo 64 C.

γάρ: as in i. 1. 6.

τὸ αὐτό: subj. of εἶναι.


σοῦ: for a similar ‘prolepsis,’ see on θεῶν ᾔσθηται i. 4. 13.

ὁποῖον, ποῖον: variation of form without difference in meaning. Cf. ὅπως, πῶς Cyr. i. 6. 43; τι, τί Cyr. vii. 3. 10.

... ἐγράψαντο: cf. i.2.42 ff.

ἄρα: then.


σπουδαῖον πρᾶγμα: a thing of any importance.

καὶ γάρ: “why, for that matter.”

διάφορον ποιεῖν: that you are acting otherwise.

: after διάφορον, as after διαφέρειν iii. 7. 7; iii. 11. 14.

προθύμως: “loyally.”


Λυκοῦργον καταμεμάθηκας, ὅτι κτλ.: Lycurgus was the famous lawgiver of Sparta; he is usually assigned to the eighth century B.C., but in reality nothing is known definitely of his date. As to his legislation, Holm (Hist. of Greece, i. 177) believes that ‘it is impossible to distinguish what belongs to Lycurgus, what is early Doric, and what is due to the times after Lycurgus. Only one point seems certain, that the work of Lycurgus was the consolidation of the supreme power of an aristocratic warrior caste.’—οὐδὲν διάφορον κτλ.: see on iii.5.15, and cf. σὺ δὲ οὔτε Λακεδαίμονα προῃροῦ οὔτε Κρήτην, ἃς δὴ ἑκάστοτε φῂς εὐνομεῖσθαι Plato Crito 52 E.

ἄριστα διάγει: “is most flourishing.”


The thought of the passage is, that harmony, which is considered the greatest good of a state, is the result of obedience to the laws.

τοὺς αὐτοὺς χοροὺς κρίνωσιν: decide on the same choruses, sc. as prize winners. So αἱρῶνται just below.

οὐδ᾽ ἵνα: “and, in general, not that.”


τίνι δ᾽ ἄν τις μᾶλλον πιστεύσειε παρακαταθέσθαι: “to whom would anybody more confidently intrust.”

τῶν δικαίων: their rights.

ἀνοχάς, σπονδάς, συνθήκας: cognate accs., after the analogy of πιστεύειν πίστιν. Cf. ταῦτα δὲ τίς ἂν ἄλλῳ πιστεύσειεν θεῷ i. 1. 5. The πιστεύσειαν below, however, is equivalent to intrust, like πιστεύσειε above.

τῷ: for the contr. form, see G. 416, 1; H. 277.


τὸ αὐτό: as in 12.

ἀποδείκνυμαι: affirm.


τούς γ̓ ἐν πάσῃ κτλ.: “you mean those which in every land are recognized as in force on the same points.” For νομιζομένους, see on i.1.1.

ἔθεντο: established for themselves. Note the force of the mid. as contrasted with the act. τεθεικέναι and θεῖναι following.

πῶς ἄν: sc. οἱ ἄνθρωποι θεῖντο.

οὔτε ὁμόφωνοί εἰσι: nor (granting that they could come together) are they of one speech.

τοὺς νόμους τούτους: obviously repeated for emphasis.

νομίζεται: i.e. νόμος ἐστίν.

σέβειν: ‘the most general expression for religious veneration’ (Classen), in prose a rare substitute for σέβεσθαι. Cf. θεοὺς σέβοιεν Ages. i. 27.


οὐκέτι: as in iii. 4. 10.

οὗτος (i.e. τὸ μὴ μείγνυσθαι): attracted into agreement with νόμος. H. 632 a.

τί δή: how so, expresses surprise.


καὶ γάρ: as in 14.

γέ τοι: assuredly.

κειμένους: equivalent to τεθειμένους.

οἱ μέν, οἱ δέ: partitive appos. with ἔνιοι.

λανθάνοντες by remaining undiscovered.


τοῦ κακῶς τεκνοποιεῖσθαι: i.e. producing imbecile or deformed children.


ὅτι νὴ Δία κτλ.: Hugo Grotius, the famous writer on international law, in his treatise De jure belli ac pacis expresses surprise at Socrates for condemning incestuous marriages on the ground only of disparity of age. But it has been well observed (by Winans) that Socrates is only attempting to set forth the physiological reason for the fact mentioned in 22.

δῆλον ὅτι, ἔφη: as in iii. 7. 1.

σπουδαῖα: vigorous.

οὕτω: i.e. by such intermarriages.

γὰρ οὖν: see on iii.3.2.


παραβαίνεται δέ: without a preceding μέν, a forcible opposition.

διώκειν: to seek the company of, as in ii. 8. 6.—διὰ δὲ τὸ λυσιτελεῖν κτλ.: yet on account of the special advantage of associating with such men, they constantly seek their company.

θεοῖς ταῦτα πάντα ἔοικε: all that seems very much like gods, by which Hippias confirms what he has already (19) in general admitted. The comparison is a condensed one (comparatio compendiaria); i.e. with the gods instead of with their works. See on πρὸς τοὺς Ἀθηναίους iii. 5. 4, and cf. ὁμοίαν ταῖς δούλαις εἶχε τὴν ἐσθῆτα Cyr. v. 1. 4.

τὸ τοὺς νόμους τὰς τιμωρίας ἔχειν: the fact that the laws carry with them their own penalties.


ἄλλα τῶν δικαίων: “something different from righteousness.” For the gen. of distinction, see on ὁδοῦ ii. 3. 16.

σχολῇ: as in iii. 14. 3.—καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς κτλ.: correlative to the thought of 18, which is here taken up and extended. In 18, men agree that τὸ αὐτὸ νόμιμόν τε καὶ δίκαιόν ἐστι, and here the gods too hold the same opinion.

τοὺς πλησιάζοντας: i.e. not only Hippias, but the circle of Socrates's friends, who eagerly listened to this and similar discussions.

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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Plato, Apology, 19c
    • Plato, Apology, 32c
    • Plato, Apology, 38d
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.6.9
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.18
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.35
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.42
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.3.7
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