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γυμναστικὴ. The curative value of physical training is said to have been emphasized especially by Iccos of Tarentum and Herodicus of Selymbria, both 5th century experts in dieting. For the latter as an advocate of walking exercise see Phaedrus 227 D (with Schol. ad loc.); cp. Rep. 406 A: for the former, as an example of abstinence, see Laws 839 E. That Plato himself recognizes the connexion between ἰατρική and γυμναστική is shown by such passages as Gorg. 452 A ff., 464 B ff., Soph. 228 E, Polit. 295 C.

καὶ γεωργία. The appositeness of γεωργία is not so evident as that of γυμναστική, but the use of the word here is defended by 186 A (τοῖς ἐν τῇ γῇ φυομένοις) and by other exx. of a similar collocation, such as Lach. 198 D, Laws 889 D (cp. also Protag. 334 A f.). The art which deals with φυτά is regarded as analogous to that which deals with ζῷα, involving a similar command of the permutations and combinations, the attractions and repulsions (τὰ ἐρωτικά), of the fundamental qualities.

τὸ ἓν γάρ φησι κτλ. The words of Heraclitus (Fr. 45) are given in Hippol. refut. haer. IX. 9 thus: οὐ ξυνίασιν ὅκως διαφερόμενον ἑωυτῷ ὁμολογέει: παλίντροπος ἁρμονίη ὅκωσπερ τόξου καὶ λύρης: cp. Plut. de Is. 45 παλίντονος γὰρ ἁρμονίη κόσμου ὅκωσπερ λύρης καὶ τόξου καθ᾽ Ἡράκλειτον: Soph. 242 E. Probably, as Burnet holds, the original word used by H. was παλίντονος, not παλίντροπος, and ἁρμονίη combines the original sense of “structure” with the musical sense “octave,” the point of the simile being (see Campbell, Theaet. p. 244) “as the arrow leaves the string the hands are pulling opposite ways to each other, and to the different parts of the bow (cf. Plato, Rep. 4. 439); and the sweet note of the lyre is due to a similar tension and retention. The secret of the universe is the same.” That is to say, the world, both as a whole and in its parts, is maintained by the equilibrium resultant from opposite tensions. For more detailed discussion of the theory see Burnet, Early Gk. Phil. pp. 158 ff., Zeller, Pre-Socr. (E. T.) vol. II. pp. 33 ff. The τόξον H. had in mind is probably, as Bernays suggested, the Scythian bow— the φόρμιγξ ἄχορδος of Arist. Rhet. III. 1412^{b} 35 (see the woodcut in Smith, D. A. s.v. “arcus”).

ἀλλ̓ ἴσως κτλ. Eryximachus argues that H.'s dictum is defensible only if we understand the opposites to be not co-existent: the discordant cannot be simultaneously concordant, though it may be capable of becoming so in lapse of time (πρότερον...ὕστερον). For τὸ ὀξὺ καὶ βαρύ as matter for ἁρμονία cp. Heraclit. Fr. 43 (R. and P. § 27) οὐ γὰρ ἂν εἶναι ἁρμονίαν μὴ ὄντος ὀξέος καὶ βαρέος, οὐδὲ τὰ ζῷα ἄνευ θηλέος καὶ ἄρρενος, ἐναντίων ὄντων: Soph. 253 A; Phileb. 17 C, 26 A; Laws 665 B.


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hide References (12 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (12):
    • Plato, Laws, 665b
    • Plato, Laws, 839e
    • Plato, Laws, 889d
    • Plato, Sophist, 228e
    • Plato, Sophist, 242e
    • Plato, Sophist, 253a
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 227d
    • Plato, Philebus, 17c
    • Plato, Symposium, 186a
    • Plato, Laches, 198d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 452a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 334a
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