ὑπ᾽ ἄλλου ἄγεσθαι. This refers to the παιδαγωγός or μυσταγωγός of 210 E, not (as Wolf thought) to the operation of a δαίμων. ἐπαναβαθμοῖς. For the notion of a ladder of ascent cp. Rep. 510 B ff., 511 B τὰς ὑποθέσεις ποιούμενος οὐκ ἀρχὰς ἀλλὰ...οἷον ἐπιβάσεις τε καὶ ὁρμὰς ἵνα μέχρι τοῦ ἀνυποθέτου ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ παντὸς ἀρχὴν ἰὼν...οὕτως ἐπὶ τελευτὴν καταβαίνῃ κτλ. Cp. Tennyson's “the great world's altar-stairs”; the dream-ladder at Bethel; and the Titanic heaven-scaling of 190 B. Possibly a contrast is intended between the futile attempt of the Earth-born εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνάβασιν ποιεῖν, and the successful efforts of the Heaven-born lover ἐπὶ τὸ καλὸν ἐπανιέναι. For later parallels, see Plotin. de pulcr. 60 B (Cr.); Clem. Al. Strom. v. p. 611 D. καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν μαθημάτων κτλ. The reading and construction of this passage are uncertain. I follow Usener in changing τελευτήσῃ to the infinitive and in inserting ἵνα after μάθημα (retaining, however, καὶ before γνῷ which he needlessly deletes). The objection to Schanz's ὡς (for καὶ) ἀπὸ τῶν μ. is that ὡς, in the final use, occurs but once elsewhere in Plato, according to Weber's statistics (see Goodwin, G. M. T. p. 398), being very rare in all good prosewriters except Xenophon. Another possible expedient would be to read γνῶναι in place of γνῷ. ἔστ᾽ ἄν is a non-Platonic form. τελευτῆσαι...τελευτῶν. The repetition serves to emphasize the finality of the Idea. αὐτὸ...ὃ ἔστι. For this formula to express ideality, cp. Phaedo 74 B, 75 B οἷς ἐπισφραγιζόμεθα τοῦτο ὃ ἔστι: Theaet. 146 E.
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