μαλθακὸν αἰχμητήν. “A craven spearman.” Il. XVII. 587 οἷον δὴ Μενέλαον ὑπετρέσας, ὃς τὸ πάρος περ | μαλθακὸς αἰχμητής. μαλθακός, as a variant for μαλακός, is used by P. also in 195 D, Phaedrus 239 C. Both forms, Μενέλεως and Μενέλαος, are found in Attic prose; the latter, e.g., in Euthyd. 288 C. In Athenaeus V. 3, 188 B we have a criticism of this treatment of Menelaus. ἄκλητον ἐποίησεν ἐλθόντα. See Il. II. 408 αὐτόματος δέ οἱ ἦλθε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Μενέλαος: cp. Athen. V. 178 A. Thus the ὕβρις with which Homer is charged consists in making not an ἀγαθός but a μαλθακός (=δειλός） come ἄκλητος ἀγαθῶν ἐπὶ δαῖτας. ἐπὶ σοφοῦ ἀνδρὸς . σοφός, “accomplished,” was “a fashionable epithet of praise in Plato's time, especially applied to poets” (see Rep. 331 E, 489 B, with Adam's notes). ὅρα οὖν κτλ. This correction of the traditional ἆρα...τι is certain. Cp. 189 A ὅρα τί ποιεῖς: Phaedo 86 D ὅρα οὖν...τί φήσομεν. For the dangers of violating etiquette on such occasions, see Ar. Av. 983 ff. αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν ἄκλητος ἰὼν ἄνθρωπος ἀλαζὼν | λυπῇ θύοντας καὶ σπλαγχνεύειν ἐπιθυμῇ, | δὴ τότε χρὴ τύπτειν αὐτὸν πλευρῶν τὸ μεταξύ.
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