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θεία: cf. 315 e, l. 26.

πάλαι: alludes ironically to Protagoras's claim that the sophist's art was of great antiquity, 316 d. Socrates says that Simonides, like Prodicus, had distinguished synonyms (γενέσθαι, ἔμμεναι).

ἔμπειρος: sc. εἰμί, for with οὐχ ὥσπερ (in the sense of while) the clause with ὥσπερ is always formed independently, preceded by simply οὐχ, while the pred. of the clause with οὐχ, (here ἔμπειρος εἶναι) is supplied from that with ὥσπερ. Cf. Symp. 179 e οὐχ (sc. ἐτίμησαν) ὥσπερ Ἀχιλλέα ἐτίμησαν καὶ εἰς μακάρων νήσους ἀπέπεμψαν, 189 c οὐχ (sc. οὐδὲν ἂν ἐγίγνετο) ὥσπερ νῦν τούτων οὐδὲν γίγνεται περὶ αὐτόν it would not be as now, when none of these things is done for him.—Socrates calls himself a pupil of Prodicus also in Crat. 384 b, Meno 96 d, Charm. 163 d, always with special reference to the synonymic art, yet never without implied ridicule of the consequential pedantry with which Prodicus treated his doctrine. Here Soccrates makes sport of him and his hobby, by first alluring him to the explanation of χαλεπόν by κακόν, and then suggesting that Prodicus did this in jest and for the sake of testing Protagoras.

ὥσπερ: should have been followed by οὕτω καὶ τὸ χαλεπὸν αὖ οἱ Κεῖοι κτἑ., but this is postponed by the intervention at some length of the views of Prodicus upon δεινός. Here the clause ὅταν . . . λέγω, as though its main verb (νουθετεῖ) had not already preceded, is followed by another principal verb (ἐρωτᾷ), and then, instead of the expected and postponed clause οὕτω καὶ τὸ χαλεπὸν κτἑ., the clause ἴσως οὖν κτἑ. is added with anacoluthon. This intervention of a dependent clause between two main clauses is found also in Homer. Cf. also Plato Theaet. 172 d τοὺς λόγους ἐπὶ σχολῆς ποιοῦνται, ὥσπερ ἡμεῖς νυνὶ τρίτον ἤδη λόγον ἐκ λόγου μεταλαμβάνομεν, οὕτω κἀκεῖνοι they follow out their reasonings at their leisure, just as we now have taken up a third point, one following naturally from another; so they, etc.

σοφὸς καὶ δεινός: cf. Theaet. 154 d εἰ μὲν δεινοὶ καὶ σοφοὶ ἐγώ τε καὶ σὺ ἦμεν, 173 b δεινοί τε καὶ σοφοὶ γεγονότες, ὡς οἴονται, Ar. Ran. 967 Θηραμένης; σοφός γ̓ ἀνὴρ καὶ δεινὸς εἰς τὰ πάντα, and frequently thus. On account of its derivation, Prodicus will not allow the use of δεινός as a word of commendation (cf. colloquial parallels in Eng.); but his theory makes itself ridiculous in thus opposing the living language.

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    • Plato, Protagoras, 315e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 316d
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