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CHAPTER IV

Socrates continues his cross-examination, and reduces Hippocrates to ἀπορία.

3. παρασχεῖν θεραπεῦσαι ἀνδρἱ σοφιστῇ. The word παρέχω is often used of putting oneself in the hands of a doctor: cf. Gorg. 456B φάρμακον πιεῖν τεμεῖν καῦσαι παρασχεῖν τῶ̣ ἰατρῷ. ἀνήρ is regularly used (mostly in a complimentary sense, real or feigned) with words which denote one's profession, standing or the like, e.g. ἀνὴρ μάντις, ἀνὴρ νομεύς, ἄνδρες δικασταί; cf. Euthyphr. 15D. For παρασχεῖν Cobet reads παρέχειν, but if MSS. can be trusted, Plato used the aorist infinitive with μέλλω tolerably often: see Schanz, Preface to Symposium, p. vii.

6. οὔτ᾽ εἰ ἀγαθῷ οὔτ᾽ εἰ κακῷ πράγματι. So in Gorgias 520B οὐκ ἐγχωρεῖν μέμφεσθαι τούτῳ τῷ πράγματι (their pupils) αὐτοὶ παιδεύουσιν. Here Socrates uses the most general form of expression because ex hypothesi nothing is yet known as to the sophist: cf. below, 330C δικαιοσύνη πρᾶγμά τί ἐστιν οὐδὲν πρᾶγμα; Cases like Crito, 53D οὐκ οἴει ἄσχημον ἂν φανεῖσθαι τὸ τοῦ Σωκράτους πρᾶγμα; are somewhat different and contain a slight admixture of contempt: see the Editor's note in loc.

7. οἶμαί γ᾽ εἰδέναι. Hippocrates οἴεται εἰδέναι μὴ εἰδώς: he is thus, according to Socrates, in the worst of all states: cf. Apol. ch. VI ff. Socrates now proceeds to convict him of ignorance.

8. ὥσπερ τοὔνομα λέγειτῶν σοφῶν ἐπιστήμονα. Hippocrates derives σοφιστής from σοφός and (ἐπίσταμαι) ‘quasi sit τῶν σοφῶν ἴστης’ (Heindorf, comparing the derivation of Ἥφαιστος in Crat. 407C from Φάεος ἵστωρ). The correct derivation is perhaps given by Suidas s.v.: σοφιστὴς καὶ διδάσκαλος ὡς σοφίζων (cf. σωφρονίζω=make σώφρων), but -ίζω is very elastic in meaning, and σοφίζω may very well mean ‘play the σοφός’.

12. τῶν τί σοφῶν. τῶν πρὸς τί σοφῶν would be more precise, but the accusative of reference is preferred for brevity. For the construction Kroschel compares Theages, 125C τῶν τί σοφῶν συνουσίᾳ φῂς σοφοὺς εἶναι τοὺς τυράννους, where, however, σοφῶν is masculine. The neuter of σοφός is not here used ironically as in Theaet. 157C παρατίθημι ἑκάστων τῶν σοφῶν ἀπογεύσασθαι.

15. δὲ σοφιστὴς τῶν τί σοφῶν ἐστιν. Heusde suggested ἐπιστήμων after ἐστιν, but the sense can be supplied out of the -ιστής of σοφιστής, according to the derivation of the word just given: the full sense is as it were δὲ σοφιστὴς τῶν τί σοφῶν ἐστιν (σοφιστής.

16. τί ἂν ἀποκρινοίμεθα αὐτῷ. There is no need to change the verb to ἀποκριναίμεθα, as was done by Bekker to suit ἔροιτο: cf. below, 354Aεἰ ἐροίμεθαφαῖεν ἄν and Phaedr. 259A εἰ οὖν ἴδοιενδικαίως ἂν καταγελῷεν.

17. ποίας ἐργασίας ἐπιστάτης. These words are not of course part of the imaginary questioner's interrogation, but are spoken by Socrates to help out Hippocrates' answer. Socrates suggests that Hippocrates should say that the sophist is ἐπιστάτης of some sort of ἐργασία, but in order that the answer should come from Hippocrates himself, he substitutes for the desired answer: ‘(The sophist is) ἐπιστάτης—of what kind of ἐργασία?’ Hippocrates then replies by explaining the ἐργασία, viz. τὸ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν. The full grammatical construction would be ποίας ἐργασίας ἐπιστάτης (ὅτι ἐστὶν ἀποκριναίμεθα ἂν αὐτῷ; If we take this view, it is not necessary to insert ἐστίν after ἐπιστάτης (with Hirschig).

Note that ἐπιστάτης is substituted here for ἐπιστήμων: it is clear from Crito, 47B, that Plato connected the two words— probably because both contain the syllable -ιστ- as in ἵστωρ: he frequently plays on the similarity of form between ἐπίσταμαι ἐπιστήμη and ἐπιστατεῖν: see the Editor's note on ἐπιστάτῃ καὶ ἐπαΐοντι in the Crito, loc. cit.

17. τί ἂν εἴποιμεν Σώκρατες; Hippocrates is on the verge of ἀπορία, and merely throws out his suggestion ἐπιστάτην τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν for what it is worth. The words ἐπιστάτην τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν are strictly speaking a reply to the question of Socrates ποίας ἐργασίας ἐπιστάτης; for τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν answers ποίας ἐργασίας, and but for the intervening clause (τί ἂν εἴποιμεν αὐτὸν εἶναι;) the word ἐπιστάτην would have been in the nominative.

Thus explained, the MSS. reading need not be changed. The next best view is to read (with Schanz) τί ἂν <εἰ> εἴποιμεν αὐτὸν εἶναι, Σώκρατες, ἐπιστάτην τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν;

22. ὥσπερ κιθαριστὴς κτλ. Cf. Gorg. 449E and 451A ff., where much the same reasoning is employed to discover τί ἐστι τοῦτο τῶν ὄντων, περὶ οὗ οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι εἰσίν, οἷς ῥητορικὴ χρῆται (Gorg. 451D). Rhetoric and Sophistic were regarded by Plato as sisters: cf. Gorg. 464B ff. The clause ὥσπερ κιθαριστὴς κτλ. is logically the protasis to εἶεν: δὲ δὴ σοφιστὴς κτλ.: see on 311Eabove.

24. εἶεν: δὲ δὴ σοφιστής. For εἶεν and δὲ δή see on 311Cabove.

25. δῆλον ὅτι περὶ οὗπερ καὶ ἐπίστασθαι. Stahl's emendation (ἐπίστασθαι for ἐπίσταται), which had occurred to us independently, seems to be certain. Most editions read δῆλον ὅτι περὶ οὗπερ καὶ ἐπίσταται; inserting before δῆλον (with Heindorf) and giving the words to Socrates, but it is surely more natural to regard them as giving Hippocrates' reply to Socrates' question, in which case δῆλον ὅτι is right. The MS. reading ἐπίσταται gives a non sequitur; for the harpist makes one δεινὸς λέγειν περὶ οὖπερ καὶ ἐπιστήμονα i.e. περὶ οὖπερ καὶ ἐπίστασθαι, not περὶ οὗπερ καὶ ἐπιστήμων-ἐστὶν i.q. ἐπίσταται. The next sentence τί δή ἐστι τοῦτο, περὶ οὗ αὐτός τε ἐπιστήμων ἐστὶν σοφιστὴς καὶ τὸν μαθητὴν ποιεῖ (sc. ἐπίστασθαι); in no way invalidates the reading ἐπίστασθαι: it is everywhere assumed in the Platonic writings that he who makes others know has knowledge himself: see for example Alcib. I, 111B οὐκ οἶσθ᾽ ὅτι χρὴ τοὺς μέλλοντας διδάσκειν ὁτιοῦν αὐτοὺς πρῶτον εἰδέναι; οὔ; πῶς γὰρ οὔ; and ibid. 113C, 118C.

27. οὐκέτι. See below on οὐκέτι in 321D

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hide References (15 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (15):
    • Plato, Crito, 47b
    • Plato, Crito, 53d
    • Plato, Euthyphro, 15d
    • Plato, Cratylus, 407c
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 157c
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 259a
    • Plato, Gorgias, 449e
    • Plato, Gorgias, 451d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 456b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 464b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 311c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 311e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 321d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 330c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 354a
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