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διαφεύγων: “whoever remains unpunished.”

τυραννεύσας: “he who attains to the tyranny.” The more important idea precedes.

τί τοῦτο: what can this mean? The inappropriate laughter of Polus is probably in accordance with the precept of Gorgias that in serious things one must draw the audience to his own side by laughing. Arist. Rhet. iii. 18 (Rhet. Gr. ed. Sp. i. 160): δεῖν ἔφη Γοργίας τὴν μὲν σπουδὴν διαφθείρειν τῶν ἐναντίων γέλωτι, τὸν δὲ γέλωτα σπουδῇ.

καταγελᾶν: to laugh it down. Socrates' opinion of the ἄλλο εἶδος ἐλέγχου is shown by the addition, ἐλέγχειν δὲ μή.

14 f.

ἐροῦ τινα τουτωνί: by again having recourse unto the opinion of others, Polus again reverts, though in a different manner, to his ‘witnesses’ (469 e), and shows that the rhetorical method of proof is alone comprehensible to him. By inviting Socrates to put the question to those present, he reminds him of the analogous practice of ἐπιψηφίζειν (rogare populum), and gives him a chance to plead his own inaptitude as an excuse for not employing rhetorical methods. Socrates in his reply also shows that to accept the opinion of the majority —the method which the state had settled upon as the best way of establishing the truth—was as unsatisfactory, when employed by the individual, as the rhetorical methods. The fact to which Socrates alludes is the well-known trial of the generals who had won the battle of Arginusae and afterwards fell victims to political intrigue. The full proceedings are detailed by Xen. Hell. i. 6. 33 ff. and 7. Socrates was senator this year (Ol. 93. 3, 406 B.C.), and in the memorable assembly ἐπιστάτης τῶν πρυτάνεων. As such, he opposed the unlawful proceeding with an intrepid courage which he here humorously calls inaptitude in ἐπιψηφίζειν. Socrates mentions the circumstance also in Apol. 32 b, but in a different manner. On the chronological difficulty, see Introd. § 18.

φυλή: of course that to which Socrates belonged, Ἀντιοχίς.

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    • Plato, Gorgias, 469e
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