Δοκῶμοικτλ. The speaker, Apollodorus (see
Introd. § II. A), is replying to certain unnamed ἑταῖροι who had been questioning him concerning the
incidents and speeches which took place at Agathon's banquet. The plural πυνθάνεσθε (and ὑμῖν,
ὑμεῖς 173 C, D below) indicates that there were several ἑταῖροι present: the traditional heading of the dialogue,
ΕΤΑΙΡΟΣ, is due to the fact that all but one
οὐκἀμελέτητος. μελέτη and μελετᾶν
are regular terms for the “conning over” of a speech or
“part”: cp. Phaedrus
καὶγὰρἐτύγχανον. These words explain
the preceding statement δοκῶ... οὐκἀμελέτητοςεἶναι, and serve to introduce not only the sentence immediately following
but the whole of the succeeding passage down to 173 B
where the initial statement is resumed by the words ὥστε...οὐκἀμελετήτωςἔχω.
Φαληρόθεν. Phalerum, the old port of
Athens, was about 20 stadia (2 1/2 miles) distant from the city on the S.E.
καὶπαίζων...περιμενεῖς; Where does the
joke come in?
(1) Ast, Hommel, Stallbaum and Jowett look for it in the word Φαληρεύς, which they take to be a play on φαλαρὸς (“bald-headed,” so Jowett) or φαλαρίς (“bald-coot”) in allusion to the
bald crown or the peculiar gait of Apollodorus. But what evidence is there to show
that A. either was bald or walked like a coot?
(2) Another suggestion of Hommel's is to write (with the vulgate) ὁἈπολλόδωρος and assume an etymological allusion to the
opportuneness of the meeting (as “Apollo-given”). This also is
(3) Schütz, followed by Wolf and Hug, finds the παιδιά in the playfully official style of the address, in
which the person is designated by the name of his deme, this being the regular
practice in legal and formal proceedings (cp. Gorg. 495 DΚαλλικλῆςἔφηἈχαρνεύς...Σωκράτης...ὁἈλωπεκῆθεν: Ar. Nub. 134); but (as Stallb. objected) the
order of the words in that case should be rather ὦοὗτοςἈ. ὁΦαληρεύς. Hug also finds παιδιά
in the hendecasyllabic rhythm (ὦΦαλ. οὗτοςἈπ.), and the poetic combination ὦοὗτος (Soph. O. C. 1627,
(4) Rettig, reading ὁΦαληρεύς, omits (with
Badham) the proper name Ἀπολλόδωρος as an adscript.
This seems, on the whole, the best and simplest solution. Glaucon, at a distance
behind, feigns ignorance of the identity of “the Phalerian,” and
shouts after Apollodorus “Ho there! you Phalerian, halt,” in a
“stop thief!” tone. It is plausible to suppose also that a certain
contempt is conveyed in the description Φαληρεύς
(“Wapping-ite”): porttowns are often places of unsavoury repute:
cp. Phaedrus 243 Cἐνναύταιςπουτεθραμμένον: Juv.
Sat. VIII. 174 “permixtum nautis et furibus ac
For the summons to halt cp. Ar. Plut. 440 οὗτος, τίδρᾷς;ὦδειλότατονσὺθηρίον,
Thesm. 689 ποῖποῖσὺφεύγεις;οὗτος, οὗτος, οὐμενεῖς; also Eq. 240, 1354. These
passages support the future περιμενεῖς rather than
the present: “futurum est fortius imperantis; praesens modeste cohortantis
aut lenius postulantis” (Stallb.). For the future as a lively imperative cp.
175 A, 212 D.
The Symposium of Plato. R. G. Bury. 1909. Cambridge. W. Heffer and Sons.
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