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39. Θαλῆς Μιλήσιος κτλ. This list of the seven wise men is remarkable as excluding Periander, who was canonised later (Diog. Laert. I. 13). Plato refused to allow that a tyrant could be truly σοφός (Rep. IX. 587D) or even (in the true sense of the term) powerful: see Rep. I. 336A οἶμαι αὐτὸ (sc. the view that justice is doing good to friends and evil to enemies) Περιάνδρου εἶναι Ρεπδίκκου Ξέπξου Ἰσμηνίου τοῦ Θηβαίου τινος ἄλλου μέγα οἰομένου δύνασθαι πλουσίου ἀνδρός.

Myson (the least known of the seven) figures as early as Hipponax (Frag. 45, quoted by Sauppe) καὶ Μύσων ὃν Ὡπόλλων ἀνεῖπεν ἀνδρῶν σωφρονέστατον πάντων. According to a tradition preserved in Diog. Laert. I. 106 the Pythian priestess, being asked by Anacharsis to say if there was any man wiser than himself, replied Οἰταῖόν τινά φημι Μύσων᾽ ἐνὶ Χηνὶ γενέσθαι σοῦ μᾶλλον πραπίδεσσιν ἀρηρότα πευκαλίμη̣σι: but another account placed his birthplace in Chen in Laconia, and a third (reading Ἠτεῖόν τινά φημι for Οἰταῖόν τινά φημι in the oracle) in Etea, which was variously placed in Laconia and in Crete. Sauppe remarks that the presence of Λακεδαιμόνιος with Χίλων seems to show that Plato did not regard Laconia as Myson's birthplace, but favoured the view which made him a native of Chenae by Mount Oeta. Thales (fl. ca. 585 B.C., the eclipse of which year he is said to have predicted) is mentioned in two other passages in Plato (in neither of which is his philosophical teaching—that the ἀρχή is ὕδωρ—referred to), once as an author of useful inventions (Rep. X. 600A), and once as the hero of an anecdote illustrating the philosopher's want of worldly wisdom (Theaet. 174A). Pittacus (fl. ca. 612 B.C.) and Bias of Priene in Ionia (contemporary with or earlier than Hipponax, who refers to him in Diog. Laert. I. 84) are mentioned together again in Rep. I. 335E Βίαντα Πιττακὸν τιν᾽ ἄλλον τῶν σοφῶν τε καὶ μακαρίων ἀνδρῶν. Cleobulus of Lindus in Rhodes and Chilon of Sparta (both about the beginning of the 6th cent. B.C.) are not again referred to by Plato.

The traditions relating to the wise men and many of the aphorisms with which they are credited are given in Diog. Laert. I. 22-122: for the authorities for their lives, and for their sayings, see Mullach's Fragmenta Philos. Graec. II, 203-34. This passage of the Protagoras, apparently the earliest in which seven are named together, probably contributed in large measure to the canonisation of the wise men.

42. Λακεδαιμόνιος: Heindorf would read Λακεδαιμόνιος, but Plato may well have said ‘a Lacedaemonian, Chilon’.

46. εἰρημένα: οὗτοι. The sentence beginning with οὗτοι shows how one is to learn αὐτῶν τὴν σοφίαν τοιαύτην οὖσαν; the asyndeton (as Heindorf observes) resembles that after σημεῖον δέ, τεκμήριον δέ and the like. Here οὗτοι καὶ κτλ. is so far removed from καὶ καταμάθοιοὖσαν that we might have expected οὗτοι γὰρ καί or (as Kroschel reads) ὅτι for οὗτοι, but the emphatic οὗτοι (parallel to οὗτοι in l. 43 above) renders the explanatory particle unnecessary. Hermann's correction εἰρημένα for εἰρημένα—adopted by Sauppe—gives a wrong meaning; for ἀπαρχή ‘first-fruits’ (l. 47) coming after καὶ κοινῇ ξυνελθόντες, in marked antithesis to ἑκάστῳ εἰρημένα, cannot mean merely the sayings of each individual—as it will have to mean if is read, being then in apposition to ἀπαρχήν. Kral's ῥήματα βραχέα ἀξιομνημόνευτα <σκοπῶν> ἑκάστῳ εἰρημένα, οὗτοι κτλ. suffers from the same fault, besides that it is very unlikely that σκοπῶν should have fallen out.

47. κοινῇ ξυνελθόντεςἀνέθεσαν. The editors cite Pausanias, X. 24. I ἐν δὲ τῷ προνάῳ τῷ ἐν Δελφοῖς γεγραμμένα ἐστὶν ὠφελήματα ἀνθπώροις εἰς βίονοὗτοι οὖν οἱ ἄνδπες ἀφικόμενοι ἐς Δελφοὺς ἀνέθεσαν τῷ Ἀρόλλωνι τὰ ἀ̣δόμενα Γνῶθι σαυτὸν καὶ Μηδὲν ἄγαν. The same explanation of the presence of these maxims on the temple at Delphi meets us in other authors; but in each case the author is obviously borrowing the story from Plato. Plato states that these two maxims were the cream of the wisdom of the wise men: it would be hardly too much to say that upon them the whole structure of Greek ethical philosophy was based. For the construction, and for the practice of thus dedicating wisdom to a god, Kroschel aptly quotes Diog. Laert. IX. 6 ἀνέθηκε (sc. Ἡράκλειτος) δ᾽ αὐτὸ (sc. τὸ περὶ φύσεως βιβλίον) εἰς τὸ τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος ἱερόν.

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