previous next

πεποίηται is passive, not middle, as J. and C. strangely imagine. Cf. 605 A δὴ μιμητικὸς ποιητὴςοὐ πρὸς τὸ τοιοῦτον τῆς ψυχῆς πέφυκέ τε καὶ σοφία αὐτοῦ τούτῳ ἀρέσκειν πέπηγεν.

τὸ ὄν: not of course in the metaphysical sense, but in the sense in which e.g. the material bed ‘is’ as opposed to its φάντασμα, which only φαίνεται, and which is all that the painter copies. An apologist of Art might fairly reply to Plato that in another and profounder sense it is just because Art does ‘imitate’ the φάντασμα and not the material reality that her creations frequently possess a measure of ideality and truth beyond and above what Plato assigns to them here. Cf. Butcher, Aristotle's Theory of Poetry etc. pp. 127 ff., 157—162. For the construction see on III 407 B.

μιμητική. In this particular instance the inference from Painting to the whole of imitative art is hardly to be justified: for Sculpture, which is certainly, in the Greek way of thinking, a branch of μιμητική, cannot be said to copy only a φάντασμα of the material object to the same extent that Painting does. See however Soph. 235 E, 236 A.

διὰ τοῦτο -- εἴδωλον: ‘what enables it to manufacture all things is that it lays hold of but a little part of each, and even that is unsubstantial.’ πάντα ἀπεργάζεται recalls 596 C—E, while preparing us at the same time for πάσας ἐπισταμένῳ τὰς δημιουργίας κτλ. below in C. In σμικρόν τι ἑκάστου ἐφάπτεται the construction is like μεταλαμβάνουσιτούτων τῶν τῆς ἀρετῆς μορίων οἱ μὲν ἄλλο, οἱ δὲ ἄλλο (Prot. 329 E). For εἴδωλον Herwerden conjectures εἰδώλου: but the word refers to φαντάσματος above and must therefore be in apposition to the part and not the whole. The particular ‘appearance’ of a bed which a painter copies is properly regarded as only a little ‘part’ of it.

περὶ οὐδενὸς -- τῶν τεχνῶν: ‘although he does not understand about the arts of any one of them.’ According to this explanation, which is that of Prantl, περί governs τῶν τεχνῶν and τούτων has for its antecedent σκυτοτόμον, τέκτονα κτλ. The plural τῶν τεχνῶν is a trifling irregularity, due to the introduction of τοὺς ἄλλους δημιουργούς, in the absence of which Plato would doubtless have written περὶ οὐδετέρου τούτων ἐπαΐων τῆς τέχνης. For the distance between περί and its noun cf. VIII 551 C περὶ ἄλλου οὕτως ὁτουοῦν ἀρχῆς, Prot. 319 D περὶ τῶν τῆς πόλεως διοικήσεως (if Sauppe is right in construing περί with διοικήσεως), Laws 859 A οὕτω διανοώμεθα περὶ νόμων δεῖν γραφῆς γίγνεσθαι ταῖς πόλεσιν, Tim. 40 D τὰ περὶ θεῶν ὁρατῶν καὶ γεννητῶν εἰρημένα φύσεως ἐχέτω τέλος, and other examples in Lina de praepos. usu Plat. pp. 17 f. It is certainly wrong to translate the text by ‘without knowing anything about these arts,’ and we have no right to resort to such emendations as οὐδὲν τούτων ἐπαΐων τῶν τεχνῶν (Ast) or οὐδὲν περὶ τούτων (or τούτων πέρι οὐδὲν) ἐπαΐων τῶν τεχνῶν (Richards). I now believe that Prantl's view, with which Stallbaum also agrees, is correct, and therefore withdraw my former conjecture τεχνιτῶν. That τεχνῶν is sound appears also from αὐτός τε οὐκ ἐπαΐων περὶ σκυτοτομίας in 601 A.

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 References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Plato, Sophist, 235e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 319d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 329e
    • Plato, Timaeus, 40d
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: