ὥσπερ οἱ τέττιγες. This is not merely a piece of natural history; it contains also an allusion to the cicada as the symbol of Athenian autochthony: cp. Polit. 271 A τὸ μὲν ἐξ ἀλλήλων οὐκ ἦν ἐν τῇ τότε φύσει γεννώμενον, τὸ δὲ δὴ γηγενὲς εἶναί ποτε γένος λεχθέν κτλ.: Thuc. I. 6, Ar. Eq. 1331. For the mode of propagation of cicadae, cp. Ael. H. A. II. 22 ταῖς ἀφύαις ὁ πηλὸς γένεσίς ἐστι: δἰ ἀλλήλων δὲ οὐ τίκτουσιν οὐδὲ ἐπιγίνονται κτλ.: the female lays her eggs in the sand, where the young are hatched out by the sun's heat. Cp. also Plut. amat. 767 C. οὕτω...πρόσθεν. Hommel explains οὕτω by hac ratione, qua dixi; Rückert by uti nunc posita sunt, which seems preferable. αὐτῶν (sc. τὰ αἰδοῖα) by itself reads rather awkwardly; but, as Vögelin points out, a glossator would certainly have added the missing words. It is, perhaps, just possible that τὰ αἰδοῖα fell out before καὶ διὰ, owing to similarity of letters; but the insertion of ταῦτ̓ is a simpler change. γίγνοιτο τὸ γένος, i.e. τὸ ἀνθρώπινον γένος, cp. 190 D τὸ γένος...ἅνθρωποι. There is no reason to tamper with the text: the present tense secures the notion of continuance without need of supplements such as Rückert's σῶν or ἔτι. (A neater change would be τείνοιτο.) ἐπὶ τὰ ἔργα. In contrast to their former ἀργία (191 B). Cp. Hesiod's title ἔργα καὶ ἡμέραι. βίος is here practically equiv. to ἡ τοῦ βίου κατασκευή (Laws 842 C); and the phrase means “husbandry and other means of subsistence.” ἔστι δὴ οὖν. Here at last we come to the point of the whole tale—the function and value of Eros. ἐκ τόσου. “From such early times,” tam longo ex tempore: the only other ex. in Plato is Laws 642 E, but the phrase is common in Hdt., e.g. V. 88, VI. 84.
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