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ὡς δὲ καὶ εἰπεῖν: not “according to Er's account” (D. and V.), but ‘as one might say,’ ‘broadly speaking,’ i.q. ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν. Cf. Laws 639 E (ξύμπανθ᾽ ὡς εἰπεῖν), 795 D, Soph. 220 E, Phaedr. 258 E, and [Epin.] 976 E. These examples are cited by Grünenwald in Schanz's Beiträge zur hist. Synt. d. Gr. Spr. II 3. pp. 21 ff.

καὶ διὰ -- τύχην ‘as well as by the fortune of the lot’ is doubted by Herwerden, while Richards calls for καὶ <οὐ> διά, relying on 619 B καὶ τελευταίῳἀθυμείτω and on ‘the drift of the whole passage.’ In point of fact, however, Plato nowhere denies that the fortune of the lot affects the issue. On the contrary, his whole theory supposes that it does, for those souls who choose late have fewer lives to choose from: see 617 E, 618 A, 620 C. τελευτῶν, it is true, need not despair (619 B), but none the less is the lot likely to produce μεταβολὴ τῶν κακῶν καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν. Cf. Procl. l.c. 302. 15 ff. τούτοιν χρεία δυεῖν, ἑνὸς μὲν τῆς ὀρθῆς κρίσεως περὶ τὸ ἄμεινον καὶ χεῖρον τῶν προτεινομένων βίων, ἑτέρου δὲ τοῦ τὸν κλῆρον μὴ ἐν τοῖς ἐσχάτοις πίπτειν: τί γὰρ εἰ καὶ αἱρούμενος εἴη περὶ κρίσιν ἀσφαλής, ἀλλ᾽ οἱ προτεινόμενοι βίοι διὰ δή τινας αἰτίας οἱ τυχόντες εἶεν; See also on 618 A and following note.

ἐπεὶ κτλ. The connexion of ideas is: The fortune of the lot, and our individual choice, are the two influences that affect our destiny: for if our lot is reasonably early and we choose as befits philosophers, it will be well with us. ἐπεί “reddit rationem ante dictorum” (Schneider). The sense is surely both plain and satisfactory, although Richards asserts that “ἐπεί has no meaning, unless there was an οὐ preceding.”

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Sophist, 220e
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 258e
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