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ὑπεραποθνῄσκειν. An obvious allusion to 180 A ff.: Diotima corrects Phaedrus by showing the motive for self-sacrifice to be not so much personal ἔρως as ἔρως for immortal fame. The use of the cognate accus. (κινδύνους, πόνους) is another poetical feature in this passage—reminiscent of Agathon's style.

Κόδρον. Schol.: πολέμου τοῖς Δωριεῦσιν ὄντος πρὸς Ἀθηναίους, ἔχρησεν θεὸς τοῖς Δωριεῦσιν αἱρήσειν τὰς Ἀθήνας, εἰ Κόδρον τὸν βασιλέα μὴ φονεύσουσιν. γνοὺς δὲ τοῦτο Κόδρος, στείλας ἑαυτὸν εὐτελεῖ σκεύῃ ὡς ξυλιστὴν καὶ δρέπανον λαβών, ἐπὶ τὸν χάρακα τῶν πολεμίων προῄει. δύο δὲ αὐτῷ ἀπαντησάντων πολεμίων τὸν μὲν ἕνα πατάξας κατέβαλεν, ὑπὸ δὲ τοῦ ἑτέρου ἀγνοηθεὶς ὅστις ἦν, πληγεὶς ἀπέθανε. This “popular story” is late: “according to the older tradition Codrus fell in battle” (see Bury Hist. Gr. p. 169): the traditional date of the event is about 1068 B.C. Notice the rare προαποθανεῖν (once each in Hdt., Antiphon, Xen.), and the “sophistic” jingle in προ-, ἐπ-, ἀποθανεῖν. For later allusions to Codrus, see Cic. Tusc. I. 48; Hor. C. III. 19. 2.

ἀθάνατον μνήμην κτλ. Cp. Simon. 123 μνῆμα δ᾽ ἀποφθιμένοισι πατὴρ Μεγάριστος ἔθηκεν | ἀθάνατον θνητοῖς παισὶ χαριζόμενος: id. 4. 8 (Λεωνίδας) ἀρετᾶς λελοιπὼς | κόσμον ἀέναον κλέος τε: id. 96. Observe how near ἀθάνατον ...ἔσεσθαι goes to forming a complete hexameter.

ἀρετῆς ἀθανάτου. Cp.

ὅσους πονήσας καὶ διεξελθὼν πόνους
ἀθάνατον ἀρετὴν ἔσχον

: Pind. Ol. VII. 163 ἄνδρα τε πὺξ ἀρετὰν εὑρόντα: id. Nem. X. 2 φλέγεται δ᾽ ἀρεταῖς μυρίαις ἔργων θρασέων ἕνεκεν (“countless monuments” J. B. Bury, see Append. A in his ed.): id. Isthm. IV. 17 (with Bury, App. F): Thuc. I. 33. 2: Rep. 618 B ἐπὶ γένεσι καὶ προγόνων ἀρεταῖς: Xen. Cyrop. VIII. 1. 29: Anth. Pal. VII. 252. These passages show that ἀρετή can denote not only “excellence” but its result, reward or token, “renown,” “distinction,” whether or not embodied in a concrete “monument.” For the thought cp. Spenser F. Q. III. iii. 1 “Most sacred fyre, that burnest mightily In living brests...which men call Love...Whence spring all noble deedes and never dying fame.”

εὐκλεοῦς. Cp. Simon. 95 εὐκλέας αἶα κέκευθε, Λεωνίδα, οἳ μετὰ σεῖο | τῇδ᾽ ἔθανον: Menex. 247 D. With the thought of this passage, cp. Sir T. Browne Hydriot. c. 5 “There is no antidote against the opium of time....But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity....In vain do individuals hope for immortality, or any patent from oblivion, in preservations below the moone.” Also Soph. Philoct. 1422ἐκ τῶν πόνων τῶνδ᾽ εὐκλεᾶ θέσθαι βίον” .


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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Republic, 618b
    • Plato, Symposium, 180a
    • Plato, Menexenus, 247d
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1419
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1422
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