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πολὺ πλείω τῶν παρόντων. Cf. 619 B, 620 C. The combination of κλήρωσις and αἵρεσις, which appears also in Phaedr. 249 B, is according to Thompson “a mythical mode of reconciling freedom and necessity—choice being left free under limiting conditions.” I think the introduction of the lot is rather intended to account for the conspicuous inequalities between different men in respect of accidents of birth, fortune and the other ἀδιάφορα προηγμένα (to use a Stoic term). Ceteris paribus, a soul would presumably select a μετρίως κεχορηγημένον βίον: where it does not, we may suppose, in general, that the κλήρωσις compelled it to choose late. Cf. Plot. Ennead. II 3. 15 οἱ κλῆροι τίνες; τὸ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τόδε τὸ σῶμα καὶ τῶνδε γονέων καὶ ἐν τούτοις τόποις γίνεσθαι, καὶ ὅλως, ὡς εἴπομεν, τὰ ἔξω. This interpretation is supported also by the case of Odysseus below (620 C). See also on 619 D.

ζῴων τε γὰρ κτλ. Did Plato seriously believe in the transmigration of the soul? Teichmüller summarily dismisses the entire theory as unplatonic (Die Plat. Frage pp. 1—20), while Susemihl, in harmony with certain ancient writers (see the references in Simson Der Begriff d. Seele bei Platon p. 152 note), takes Plato at his word so far as concerns the passage of the soul into new human bodies, but refuses to allow that he could have believed in transmigration into the forms of the lower animals (Genet. Entwick. II p. 272). Plato's language is however quite explicit, and there is the less reason for resorting to an allegorical interpretation, because the doctrine was already familiar in Greek philosophical and religious thought (see F. Laudowicz Wesen u. Ursprung d. Lehre v. d. Präexistenz d. Seele etc. pp. 12—29 and Rohde Psyche^{2} II pp. 162 ff.), and is itself in general conformity with Plato's own conception of immortality. The doctrine of transmigration meets us frequently in Plato's dialogues, e.g. in Men. 81 A ff.; Phaed. 81 E ff., 113 A; Phaedr. 249 B; Tim. 42 B ff.: cf. 91 D ff. Most if not all of these passages have a mythical colouring, and should therefore be read in the light of the caveat which Plato subjoins to the eschatological myth of the Phaedo: τὸ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα διισχυρίσασθαι οὕτως ἔχειν, ὡς ἐγὼ διελήλυθα, οὐ πρέπει νοῦν ἔχοντι ἀνδρί: ὅτι μέντοι ταῦτ᾽ ἐστιν τοιαῦτ᾽ ἄττα περὶ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶνἐπείπερ ἀθάνατόν γε ψυχὴ φαίνεται οὖσα, τοῦτο καὶ πρέπειν μοι δοκεῖ καὶ ἄξιον κινδυνεῦσαι οἰομένῳ οὕτως ἔχειν (114 D). That soul is immortal, Plato is firmly convinced: and transmigration he regards as probable, to say the least. Cf. 608 D note

διατελεῖς. This word, for which Cobet proposes διὰ τέλους, is extremely rare in classical Greek, occurring only here and in Soph. O. C. 1514.

εἰς πενίας κτλ.. “Expectes εἰς φυγάς τε καὶ πενίας καὶ εἰς πτωχείας κτλ.” (Herwerden). The text may well stand. Plato contrasts poverty and exile (πενίας τε καὶ φυγάς) with beggary, presumably at home (καὶ εἰς πτωχείας).

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 81e
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 249b
    • Plato, Meno, 81a
    • Plato, Timaeus, 42b
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1514
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