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607B - 608B The quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry is nothing new; but, for our own part, we are willing to let Poetry return, as soon as she is proved to be not merely pleasant, but profitable. Till then, we shall use our argument as a charm to protect ourselves against her fascinations; for the issue at stake is greater than it appears.

ἀπολελογήσθω κτλ. See cr. n. The reading ἀπολελογίσθωenumerata sunto or, according to Hermann, singulatim exputata sunto—though retained by Hermann and Baiter, is much less appropriate than ἀπολελογήσθω: for the whole of the preceding episode is an ἀπολογία or defence of Plato's attitude towards Poetry in Books II and III (595 A note). ἀπολελογήσθω is also more in accordance with ὅτι εἰκότως ἀπεστέλλομεν: and the words γὰρ λόγος ἡμᾶς ᾕρει “non tam eorum sunt, qui ius suum exsequi, quam qui excusare se valuerunt” (Schneider). The corruption, which recurs infra 607 D in Π, is by no means rare: see StephanusHase s.v. ἀπολογίζομαι. See also on VI 490 A. On γὰρ λόγος ἡμᾶς ᾕρει see 604 C note προσείπωμεν δὲ αὐτῇ=‘let us tell her also.’ With this use of προσειπεῖν cf. II 375 E note

παλαιὰ -- ποιητικῇ. There are few traces of this ‘ancient feud’ in the extant fragments of early Greek poetry. Pindar furnishes one, Fr. 209 ed. Bergk, ἀτελῆ σοφίας καρπὸν δρέπειν (said of the φυσιολογοῦντες: see above on V 457 B). The early philosophers on the other hand were constantly falling foul of Homer, Hesiod and the poets generally on theological and moral grounds: see for example Heraclitus Fr. 35, 43, 111, 119 Bywater, and Xenophanes and Empedocles in RP.^{7} §§ 82, 83, 140 A—140 D. The attitude of Pythagoras was equally hostile, if we may trust Hieronymus ap. D. L. VIII 21. Even those philosophers who defended Homer did not venture to take him at his word, but had resort to the allegorical method of interpretation (II 378 D note). The antagonism between Philosophy and Poetry—the latter “immortalising in imperishable creations the traditional faith, the former, just on account of that faith, condemning those creations” Krohn (Pl. St. p. 261)—was appreciated in its true historical significance by those Christian apologists who, like Clement, make philosophy a προπαιδεία to Christianity—ἐπαιδαγώγει γὰρ καὶ αὐτὴ τὸ Ἑλληνικόν, ὡς νόμος τοὺς Ἑβραίους, εἰς Χριστόν. προπαρασκευάζει τοίνυν φιλοσοφία, προοδοποιοῦσα κτλ. (Strom. I 5. 718 D, 720 A. Cf. Spiess Logos Spermatikos pp. 3—5).

καὶ γὰρ -- πένονται. The source of these quotations has not been discovered. They are all from poets, as Schneider holds; but we ought not to take παλαιά too strictly, and infer from it that all of them are very old. Plato's main object is to make out that his quarrel with Poetry is nothing new, for Poetry and Philosophy have quarrelled from the earliest times; and it is therefore inherently probable that the quotations are of very different dates. There is no a priori reason why some of them should not be from the contemporary drama; but some of them should be older; and those who refer them all to comedy, such as Ast, Prantl, and Heine (de rat. quae Pl. c. poet. Gr. intercedit p. 50 note 4), can hardly be right. Still less is Pfleiderer justified in citing them as expressions of the indignation which, according to his own chorizontic views, Books II and III had aroused in comic poets (Zur Lösung etc. p. 34).

λακέρυζα -- κραυγάζουσα. Cf. Laws 967 C, D καὶ δὴ καὶ λοιδορήσεις γε ἐπῆλθον ποιηταῖς, τοὺς φιλοσοφοῦντας κυσὶ ματαίαις ἀπεικάζοντας χρωμέναισιν ὑλακαῖς. The occasion which provoked this assault upon philosophy was—so Plato tells us—the atheistic teaching of Anaxagoras and his followers about the celestial bodies. Here the λακέρυζα κύων represents of course φιλοσοφία: but (in view of the passage in the Laws) it would be unsafe to identify δεσπόταν with Poetry. Probably the quotation is from some lyric poet.

μέγας -- κενεαγορίαισι is presumably also a lyrical fragment, directed against some notable philosopher, or less probably against some philosophical figment “cuius modi Δῖνος in Nubibus Aristophanis est” (Schneider).

-- κράτων: ‘the rabble-rout of alltoo-sapient heads.’ I have combined Herwerden's conjecture ΛΙ´Α_ for ΔΙ´Α with my own suggestion κράτων (from κράς) instead of κρατῶν (Cl. Rev. X p. 105). τῶν λίαν σοφῶν ὄχλος | κράτων looks like a tragic fragment, and a comparison with Med. 305 εἰμὶ δ᾽ οὐκ ἄγαν σοφή and Hipp. 518, El. 296 γνώμην ἐνεῖναι τοῖς σοφοῖς λίαν σοφήν, suggests that the author is Euripides: cf. also VIII 568 A note The head stands for the whole personality, as in the familiar use of κάρα and κεφαλή in Tragedy and elsewhere (πολλὰς ἰφθίμους κεφαλὰς Ἄιδι προίαψεν Il. 11. 55 μιαρὰ κεφαλὴ αὕτη Dem. Cor. 153 et al.: see Blaydes on Ar. Ach. 285); and a learned poet like Euripides might the more readily have described philosophers by this feature, because the head, and not the heart or midriff, was believed to be the seat of intelligence not only by Hippocrates, but also by many of the philosophers themselves, including Pythagoras, Alcmaeo, Democritus and Plato: see Diels Dox. Gr. pp. 391^{a} 3, 391^{b} 5, 392^{a} 2, 427^{a} 8, Zeller^{5} I p. 448 and Gomperz, Greek Thinkers I pp. 148, 313. There are also, I think, traces of a similar view even in popular beliefs: see for example Ar. Clouds 1275 f. οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὅπως σύ γ᾽ αὐτὸς ὑγιαίνεις. Τί δαί; | Τὸν ἐγκέφαλον ὥσπερ σεσεῖσθαί μοι δοκεῖς. For other views of this passage see App. IV.

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    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 285
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