previous next
14. κἂν εἴ: see note on 328Aabove.

16. ὅμως δ᾽ ἂν κακὰ ἦν. So the MSS.: most recent editors (except Kral) read εἴη. The imperfect is used because the answer ‘No’ is expected and desired: would they be evil just because they give us pleasure? Certainly not. See Goodwin, M.T. p. 190, § 503. Schleiermacher wrongly rejected δέ after ὅμως: the ‘apodotic δέ’ is frequent after ὅμως, ὡσαύτως, οὕτω and the like.

16. τι μαθόντα ποιεῖ κτλ. So the MSS. A variety of emendations have been proposed for μαθόντα, such as ἁμαρτόντα (Schleiermacher, followed by Heindorf), ἀμαθαίνοντα (Orelli), παρόντα (Hermann), παθόντα (Sauppe and others), while Kroschel doubts the entire passage ἦνὁπῃοῦν, saying ‘Totus autem locus ita comparatus est ut de eius emendatione desperandum esse videatur’. It would be natural to regard this particular passage as corrupt if this were an isolated example of the idiom in question; but—not to mention other authors—it occurs also in the following passages of Plato: Apol. 36B τί ἄξιός εἰμι παθεῖν ἀποτῖσαι, τι μαθὼν ἐν τῷ βίῳ οὐχ ἡσυχίαν ἦγον; Euthyd. 283E εἰ μὴ ἀγροικότερονἦν εἰπεῖν, εἶπον ἄν, σοὶ εἰς κεφαλήν, τι μαθὼν ἐμοῦκαταψεύδει κτλ.; ibid. 299A πολὺ μέντοιδικαιότεπον ἂν τὸν ὑμέτεπον ρατέπα τύρτοιμι, τι μαθὼν σοφοὺς υἱεῖς οὕτως ἔφυσεν. In each of these cases the MSS. reading μαθών (not παθών) should be retained. In the direct speech τί μαθών is used in an impatient question: τί μαθὼν τοῦτο ἐποίησας is ‘what ever made you think of doing this?’ (e.g. Ar. Clouds, 1506, Wasps, 251, Ach. 826): cf. the idiom τί ληρεῖς ἔχων; in which τί depends on ἔχων (see Kühner, Gr. Gr. II, 624). τί μαθών becomes in the indirect τι μαθών, but in every case in which this phrase occurs in Plato τι μαθών means not ‘why’ but ‘because’. The transition in meaning is sometimes explained as parallel to the use of οἶος, ὅσος, ὡς etc. for ὅτι τοιοῦτος, ὅτι τοσοῦτος, ὅτι οὕτως, so that τι μαθών = ὅτι τοῦτο μαθών; but a simpler explanation is perhaps possible (see my edition of the Apol. Appendix II, p. 123). τι μαθών is an impatient τι just as τί μαθών is an impatient τί; but as ὅτι and τι are in reality the same word (see on 333B, and ὅτι means ‘because’, τι μαθών comes also to mean ‘because’ (impatiently), the original interrogative force being lost. Similarly, in sentences like ληρεῖς ἔχων, the interrogation is dropped, and the participle alone survives, conveying the same sense of blame or impatience as in τί ληρεῖς ἔχων; which is probably the form of sentence in which this idiom originated. Here μαθόντα is of course the nom. plur.; if (as we suppose) the original force of the participle is no longer felt in this idiom, there is nothing harsh in finding it in agreement with a neuter subject.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: