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Here Socrates, taking a fresh start, endeavours to make Protagoras assent to the doctrine that pleasure is good. Protagoras desires to have the question examined. He allows that wherever knowledge is present, it must rule, but this is inconsistent with the view that one can know the better and do the worse. It is agreed to examine this popular view, in case the inquiry should throw light on the relation between courage and the rest of virtue. On the ethical doctrine of this and the following chapters see Introduction, p. xxvi.

3. εὖ ζῆν εἰ ἀνιώμενοςζῴη. There is the usual ambiguity in εὖ ζῆν: see on 344Eabove.

5. οὐκ εὖ ἄν σοι δοκεῖ. The MSS. have δοκοῖ, which all the editors (except Heindorf) retain. The meaning required is: ‘would he not, think you, have lived well?’ (to which Protagoras replies ἔμοιγε sc. δοκεῖ), not ‘would you not think he has lived well?’ and δοκεῖ is as necessary here as in ἆρ᾽ οὖν δοκεῖ σοι ἄνθρωπος ἂν εὖ ζῆν εἰζῴη above. The idiom is attested by abundant examples, e.g. Ar. Plut. 380 καὶ μὴν φίλως γ᾽ ἄν μοι δοκεῖς, νὴ τοὺς θεούς, τρεῖς μνᾶς ἀναλώσας λογίσασθαι δώδεκα, Wasps, 1404-5 εἰ νὴ Δί᾽ ἀντὶ τῆς κακῆς γλώττης ποθὲν πυροὺς πρίαιο σωφρονεῖν ἄν μοι δοκεῖς: in Plato it is extremely frequent, e.g. Rep. 1. 335Bπάνυ μὲν οὖν οὕτως ἄν μοι δοκεῖ καλῶς λέγεσθαι, Alc. I, 105C εἰ αὖ σοι εἴποιοὐκ ἂν αὖ μοι δοκεῖς ἐθέλειν, Gorg. 514E, cf. Euthyd. 294B, 306B Gorg. 522A, and below 357A The corruption is natural: it occurs also in the MSS. of Ar. Wasps, loc. cit.

10. ἐγὼ γὰρ λέγω: i.e. ‘I mean’ not ‘I say’: cf. below, l. 23 in E. Socrates puts his question in a different form inviting an affirmative answer. After the ἡδέα following Heindorf would insert τὰ ἡδέα, but the subject is easily supplied.

11. μὴ εἴ τιἄλλο. So B and the first hand in T. The clause εἴ τιἄλλο defines negatively the meaning of κατὰ τοῦτο, as καθ᾽ ἡδέα ἐστίν defined it positively. μή deprecates or forbids the possible misunderstanding: its use in the idiomatic μὴ ὅτι is the same in kind: see above on 319D To read εἰ μή τι (with the second hand in T) would be to beg the whole question—that step is not reached till 353D

18. ἔστι μὲν κτλ. See on ἀνθρώποις μὲνὠφέλιμα in 334A

26. ἐὰν μὲν πρὸς λόγον κτλ. πρὸς λόγον does not (except per accidens) mean ‘relevant’ but is equivalent to εὔλογον: compare the phrases μετὰ λόγου, κατὰ λόγον; and, for the use of πρός, πρὸς ὀργήν, πρὸς βίαν and the like. So in 343D 344A Here the meaning is further explained by the clause καὶ τὸ αὐτὸἀγαθόν. τὸ σκέμμα is quite different from σκέψις: it is not the inquiry itself, but the proposition to be inquired into, viz. that Pleasure is good: if this proposition is reasonable, says Protagoras, we shall accept it, if not, we shall dispute it. The sentiment does not deserve the scorn which Heindorf pours upon it, if only we catch the force of πρὸς λόγον, σκέμμα and ἀμφισβητήσομεν.

31. δίκαιοςσύ. Plato very frequently omits the copula ἐστίν; εἶ and ἐσμέν more rarely, εἶναι often, ἦν rarely, parts of the conjunctive and optative very rarely. Schanz, Novae Commentationes Platonicae, 31-5.

κατάρχεις: a lofty word (here used with a touch of irony) with religious associations: the middle is used of beginning a sacrifice. Cf. Symp. 177E ἀλλὰ τύχῃ ἀγαθῆ̣ καταρχέτω Φαῖδρος καὶ ἐγκωμιαζέτω τὸν Ἔρωτα and ibid. 176A.

34. πρὸς ἄλλο τι. It is not of course implied that ὑγίεια is an ἔργον σώματος, i.e. something σῶμα ἐργάζεται. Examples of σώματος ἔργα would be different kinds of bodily labour. πρὸς ὑγίειαν κτλ. is equivalent to πῶς ἔχει πρὸς ὑγίειαν κτλ.: cf. below 352Bπῶς ἔχεις πρὸς ἐπιστήμην;

35. τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ τὰς χεῖρας ἄκρας: the rest being covered by clothes. χείρ is not hand here (otherwise χεῖρας ἄκρας would be the tips of the fingers), but the arm, as in Homer's φίλας περὶ χεῖρε βαλόντε (Od. XI. 211).

37. ἐπισκέψωμαι. The word is apt here, as it is often used of a medical inspection: cf. Phaedo, 117E ἐπεσκόπει τοὺς πόδας καὶ τὰ σκέλη. With the whole passage cf. Theaet. 162A ἆρα κἂν εἰς Λακεδαίμονα ἐλθὼνπρὸς τὰς παλαίστρας ἀξιοῖς ἂν ἄλλους θεώμενος γυμνούς, ἐνίους φαύλους, αὐτὸς μὴ ἀντεπιδεικνύναι τὸ εἶδος παραποδυόμενος;

39. θεασάμενος: with the usual asyndeton; see on 330A

42. καὶ τοῦτο: καί refers to 351CD.

45. ἡγεμονικόν: this word was afterwards selected by the Stoics to denote τὸ κυριώτατον τῆς ψυχῆς, ἐν αἱ φαντασίαι καὶ αἱ ὁρμαὶ γίνονται (Diog. Laert. VII. 159).

46. ὡς περὶ τοιούτου αὐτοῦ ὄντος: see on 337E

51. περὶ τῆς ἐπιστήμης ὥσπερ περί: see the reference in the last note. Aristotle alludes to this passage in Eth. Nic. VII. 2. 1145b. 23 δεινὸν γὰρ ἐπιστήμης ἐνούσης, ὡς ᾤετο Σωκράτης, ἄλλο τι κρατεῖν καὶ περιέλκειν αὐτὴν ὥσπερ ἀνδράποδον.

54. ἐάνπερ γιγνώσκῃμὴ ἂν κρατηθῆναι: a frequent theme in Plato, e.g. Meno, 77B ff., Gorg. 466D ff., two passages which contain much in common with the discussion in this and the next chapter.

56. ἂν : the reading of Stephanus; B has , T ἂν .

59. αἰσχρὸνμὴ οὐχί. Goodwin, M.T. p. 327, § 817. As a σοφιστής himself Protagoras must exalt σοφία.

62. καλῶς γε σὺ λέγων: sc. φῂς τοῦτο, to be supplied from φάναι.

64. γιγνώσκοντας τὰ βέλτιστα οὐκ ἐθέλειν πράττειν: ‘video meliora proboque: deteriora sequor.’

73. ὑπὸ τῶν ἡδονῶν ἡττᾶσθαι is virtually within inverted commas. With καὶ οὐ the sentence which started as a relative clause becomes independent: see note on 313A

80. τί δέ τι ἂν τύχωσι τοῦτο λέγουσιν; Cf. Crito, 44C ἀλλὰ τί ἡμῖν, μακάριε Κρίτων, οὕτω τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλει; and 44D ποιοῦσι δὲ τοῦτο τι ἂν τύχωσι (sc. ποιοῦντες).

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hide References (25 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (25):
    • Aristophanes, Plutus, 380
    • Aristophanes, Wasps
    • Homer, Odyssey, 11.211
    • Plato, Crito, 44c
    • Plato, Phaedo, 117e
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 162a
    • Plato, Symposium, 177e
    • Plato, Meno, 77b
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 294b
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 306b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 466d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 522a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 313a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 319d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 330a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 334a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 335b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 337e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 343d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 344a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 344e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 351c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 352b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 353d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 357a
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