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ἐπειδὴ -- εἴδη: viz. in Book IV and also throughout VIII and IX. The psychological theory of these books is laid under contribution in 602 C ff.: see note ad loc. It may seem strange that Plato makes no reference to the metaphysical doctrine of V—VII, since he derives his first argument (596 A— 601 B) from the theory of Ideas: but it was unnecessary for him to refer to it in this connexion, because the theory is itself expressly re-enunciated (εἷδος γάρ που κτλ. 596 A) before the argument begins. ὡς -- εἰρῆσθαι: ‘between ourselves.’ Cf. IV 430 E note αὐτά: viz. πάντα τὰ τοιαῦτα, tragedy and other forms of μιμητικὴ ποίησις: not (as Schleiermacher) “wie sich die Dinge in der Wirklichkeit verhalten.” A knowledge of the real character of dramatic Poetry is the only antidote against its evil influence. On τυγχάνει ὄντα see I 337 B note καίτοι φιλία γε -- λέγειν. Plato speaks with real feeling: no one who had so much of the poet in himself could be insensible to Homer's charm, and nearly every dialogue of Plato bears evidence of the affectionate admiration in which he held the ‘first of tragic poets.’ See Heine de rat. quae Platoni cum poetis Graec. intercedit pp. 8—15. The ancients classed Plato and Homer together: δύο γὰρ αὗται ψυχαὶ λέγονται γενέσθαι παναρμόνιοι, says Olympiodorus (vit. Pl. 6): and Longinus remarks that of all Greek writers Plato was Ὁμηρικώτατος—ἀπὸ τοῦ Ὁμηρικοῦ κείνου νάματος εἰς αὑτὸν μυρίας ὅσας παρατροπὰς ἀποχετευσάμενος (περὶ ὕψους 13. 3). See also the admirable remarks on Plato's imitation of Homer in James Geddes's essay On the Composition and Manner of Writing of the Ancients pp. 180—200, and Proclus' much less sound and instructive article ὅτι διὰ πάσης τῆς ἑαυτοῦ συγγραφῆς Ὁμήρου ζηλωτής ἐστιν ὁ Πλάτων ταῖς τε λεκτικαῖς ἀρεταῖς καὶ ταῖς πραγματικαῖς in his in remp. Kroll I pp. 163—177. There is a touch of something like filial love and piety in what Plato says of Homer in this passage, and we may well believe that he did not part company with the friend of his childhood without pain. From the way in which Plato here speaks, it looks as if he feared that his heart might after all get the better of his head (cf. infra 605 C, D, 606 B, 607 C ff.), and consequently tried by new and deeper arguments to provide an ‘antidote’ (φάρμακον, or ἐπῳδή 608 A) for himself as well as others (so also Hirmer l.c. p. 626).
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