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διατελοῦντα: is sometimes joined with an adj. without ὤν (Isocr. II. 4, Isae. VIII. 44, not so elsewhere in Plato). Here, however, after εἶναι ἀγαθόν, the ἀγαθόν is simply repeated, in order to add the further limitation διατελοῦντα (that is, permanently good). Hence ὄντα would be out of place.

ἐπὶ πλεῖστον: contrasted with διατελοῦντα means for the longest time. Cf. Thuc. i. 2. 2 τὴν γοῦν Ἀττικὴν ἐκ τοῦ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον (from the remotest period) ἄνθρωποι ᾤκουν οἱ αὐτοὶ ἀεί, vi. 54. 5 καὶ ἐπετήδευσαν ἐπὶ πλεῖστον δὴ τύραννοι οὗτοι ἀρετήν and these for the longest time as (i.e. longer than any other) tyrants practised virtue. So frequently in Thucydides ἐπὶ πολύ is long. Cf. 328 d above.—That the words belong to the poet is evident from the loose connection with the preceding context and the abandon ing of the dependent form.

καί: connects ἐπὶ πλεῖστον and ἄριστοι.

δηλοῖ: sc. πρὸς τὸν Πιττακὸν εἰρημένα. δηλόω is often const. like δῆλός εἰμι, taking the nom. of the partic. This case is similar, the partic. being supplied. Cf. Soph. Ant. 20 δηλοῖς γάρ τι καλχαίνουσ᾽ ἔπος for you are evidently distressed at something, ib. 242 δηλοῖς δ᾽ ὥς τι σημανῶν νέον you plainly have some ill news to tell, Eur. Med. 548 δείξω σοφὸς γεγώς, Isocr. XV. 5 ἐδήλωσαν δ᾽ οὕτω διακείμενοι. See G. 280; H. 981.

κενεάν: belongs by prolepsis to μοῖραν αἰῶνος (like μοῖραν βίου Soph. Ant. 896, the allotted portion of life).

ἐς ἄπρακτον ἐλπίδα βαλέω: set upon the vain hope. Cf. Soph. Tr. 940 ὥς νιν ματαίως αἰτίᾳ βάλοι κακῇ that without ground he had laid a grievous charge upon her, Pind. P. ii. 35 εὐναὶ δὲ παράτροποι ἐς κακότατ᾽ ἀθρόαν | ἔβαλον lawless unions plunge men into a sea of troubles.

πανάμωμον ἄνθρωπον: in appos. with τὸ μὴ γενέσθαι δυνατόν. Similar is the thought of Phaedra's nurse, Eur. Hipp. 471 f. ἀλλ᾽ εἰ τὰ πλείω χρηστὰ τῶν κακῶν ἔχεις, | ἄνθρωπος οὖσα κάρτα γ᾽ εὖ πράξειας ἄν but if you have more things good than bad, mortal as you are, you surely must be well off. What follows is like Hom. Z 142 εἰ δέ τίς ἐσσι βροτῶν, οἳ ἀρούρης καρπὸν ἔδουσιν, Hor. Od. ii. 14. 10 quicumque terrae munere vescimur.

ἐπὶ δή μιν εὑρών: (i.e. ἐφευρὼν δή μιν) added humorously. Cf. 346 d.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Protagoras, 328d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 346d
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