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τῶν καλῶν κτλ. καλῶν is of course ironical. For the sense cf. 598 D, 602 B, 607 A, Theaet. 152 E οἱ <*>κροι τῆς ποιήσεως ἑκατέρας, κωμῳδίας μὲν Ἐπίχαρμος, τραγῳδίας δὲ Ὅμηρος and ib. 153 A, with Arist. Poet. 4. 1448^{b} 35 ff., 5. 1449^{b} 16 ff. It will be remembered that Aeschylus called his dramas τεμάχη τῶν Ὁμήρου μεγάλων δείπνων (Athen. VIII 347 E). Herwerden, quite without reason, so far as I can see, brackets τῶν τραγικῶν. It is unkind of Aristotle to purloin this sentiment in order to introduce his attack on Plato's theory of Ideas in Eth. Nic. I 4. 1096^{a} 11 ff., and Plato might well complain, in the words of Aeschylus, τάδ᾽ οὐχ ὑπ᾽ ἄλλων, ἀλλὰ τοῖς αὑτῶν πτεροῖς. To read ἁνήρ for ἀνήρ, as has been proposed, would make a general statement particular, and spoil the antithesis between ἀνήρ and ἀληθείας. The reference in λέγω is to ῥητέον in line 11 above: cf. VII 541 B.

μίμησιν κτλ. In III 392 C ff., μίμησις, in its application to Poetry, was regarded primarily as a form of style or λέζις, viz. the imitative or dramatic )( the narrative, and in this sense it included tragedy, comedy, and the strictly dramatic parts of epic and other poetry (394 C). But even in Book III μίμησις and its cognate notions have sometimes a wider application (e.g. 401 B—402 C). The following discussion tries to define the essential meaning of μίμησις in general by its relation to the Theory of Ideas. It should be noted that Poetry and Art were admitted to be μιμήσεις in Plato's day: cf. Laws 668 B τοῦτό γε πᾶς ἂν ὁμολογοῖ περὶ τῆς μουσικῆς, ὅτι πάντα τὰ περὶ αὐτήν ἐστι ποιήματα μίμησίς τε καὶ ἀπεικασία, with Xen. Mem. III 10. 1—8, Plato Crat. 424 D, 430 B (τὰ ζῳγραφήματαμιμήματαπραγμάτων τινῶν, 434 A, Soph. 266 D), Prot. 312 D, Critias 107 B et al. See also on III 392 C and cf. Stählin Poesie in d. plat. Phil. p. 25. On the contrast between Plato's view of Imitation in Book X and that of Aristotle in his Poetics, see Butcher Theory of Poetry^{2} etc. pp. 115—152. Walter has justly remarked (Gesch. d. Aesthetik im Altertum p. 442) that μίμησις, with its question-begging connotation, was in many ways an unfortunate word by which to describe the essence of Art, though in view of what Aristotle made of it, I should not go so far as to say that ‘Imitation is an unproductive principle, and dries up aesthetic life’ (ib.). If Poetry, and not Painting and Statuary, had determined the Greek view of Art, we should probably hear more of Creation (ποίησις), and less of Imitation, in ancient discussions on aesthetics; and it is difficult not to regret that Plato did not select a new and more fruitful point of view. See also on 598 A, B.

ἐπεὶ πολλὰ κτλ. is neither arrogant nor rude, if we realise the situation: see on VII 532 E f.

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  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Cratylus, 424d
    • Plato, Sophist, 266d
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 152e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 312d
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.10.1
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