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ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις . ἐπί for ἐν is called for by Herwerden, but cf. Laws 834 B τὰς σπουδὰς—τάς τε ἐν τῇ τροφῇ καὶ τὰς περὶ ἀγωνίαν αὐτῶν. In ἔργοις there is combined the twofold sense of ‘deeds’ and ‘originals’ )( μιμήματα: the originals of dramatic μίμησις are actions (603 C note). καὶ εἶναι -- ἐγκωμιάζων. He would rather be Achilles than Homer. There is another side of the question, represented by Pindar's ῥῆμα δ᾽ ἑργμάτων χρονιώτερον βιοτεύει (Nem. 4. 6), and by Plato himself very forcibly in Symp. 209 D, and it is certainly unfair to insinuate that no one would write good poems if he were capable of doing great deeds. Some of Plato's expressions in this passage almost suggest the tone of a man of letters pining for a life of action: cf. VI 496 D notes ὠφελία: not simply to the agent himself: cf. σφᾶς ὠφεληκέναι 599 E.
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