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Περὶ μὲν οὖν...περὶ δὲ κτλ. Cp. Isocr. Pan. 47 C περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ μεγίστου...ταῦτ᾽ εἰπεῖν ἔχομεν. περὶ δὲ τοὺς αὐτοὺς χρόνους κτλ.: Phaedrus 246 A.

περὶ δὲ ἀρετῆς. In drawing out this part of his theme Agathon follows the customary four-fold division of ἀρετή into δικαιοσύνη, σωφροσύνη, ἀνδρεία, σοφία. Adam (on Rep. 427 E) writes “There is no evidence to shew that these four virtues and no others were regarded as the essential elements of a perfect character before Plato.” Yet it certainly seems probable that these four were commonly recognized as leading ἀρεταί at an earlier date (see the rest of the evidence cited by Adam), and a peculiarly Platonic tenet would hardly be put into the mouth of Agathon. Cp. Protag. 329 C ff.; and for a similar use made of this classification in encomiastic oratory, see Isocr. Hel. 31 ff., Nicocl. 31 ff., 36 ff. (cp. n. on 184 C).

οὔτ᾽ ἀδικεῖ οὔτ᾽ ἀδικεῖται. The maxims “love your enemies, do good to them which despitefully treat you” formed no part of current Greek ethics: cp. Meno 71 E αὕτη ἐστὶν ἀνδρὸς ἀρετή,...τοὺς μὲν φίλους εὖ ποιεῖν, τοὺς δ᾽ ἐχθροὺς κακῶς: Crito 49 B: Xen. Mem. II. 3. 14; and other passages cited by Adam on Rep. 331 E. See also Dobbs, Philos. etc. pp. 39, 127, 243. Notice the chiasmus ἀδικεῖ...ἀδικεῖται...ὑπὸ θεοῦ...θεόν.

βίᾳ πάσχει. These words form one notion and are put as a substitute for ἀδικεῖται, just as ποιεῖ (sc. βίᾳ) below is a substitute for ἀδικεῖ. Cp. Polit. 280 D τὰς βίᾳ πράξεις. There may be a ref. here to the ἔρωτος ἀνάγκαι of Gorgias Hel. 19.

πᾶς γὰρ κτλ. With but slight modification this would form an iambic trimeter. Cp. Gorgias ap. Phileb. 58 A τοῦ πείθειν πολὺ διαφέρει πασῶν τεχνῶν: πάντα γὰρ ὑφ᾽ αὐτῇ δοῦλα δἰ ἑκόντων ἀλλ᾽ οὐ διὰ βίας, of which our passage may be a reminiscence.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Plato, Republic, 331e
    • Plato, Republic, 427e
    • Plato, Crito, 49b
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 246a
    • Plato, Symposium, 184c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 329c
    • Plato, Meno, 71e
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