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νόμῳ -- παράγεται. The language is perhaps suggested by the lines of Pindar cited in Gorg. 484 B νόμος πάντων βασιλεὺς θνατῶν τε καὶ ἀθανάτωνἄγει δικαιῶν τὸ βιαιότατον ὑπερτάτᾳ χειρί κτλ. (cf. Prot. 337 D). but the preposition in παράγεται adds the further notion that equality is not Nature's highway. For βίᾳ i.q. βιαἴως in conjunction with another dative Schneider cites VIII 552 E οὓς ἐπιμελείᾳ βίᾳ κατέχουσιν αἱ ἀρχαί. In the next line it is better to regard τοιάδε as explained by εἰγενέσθαι, than as balancing οἴαν, in which case εἰ αὐτοῖς γένοιτο would be superfluous. The opportunity (ἐξουσία) of working their will comes from the possession (εἰ αὐτοῖς γένοιτο) of a certain active faculty (δύναμις) like that of Gyges.

τῷ Γύγου κτλ. Cf. X 612 B τὸν Γύγου δακτύλιον. In Appendix I I have given reasons for believing that the Gyges of the proverbial ‘Gyges' ring’ was not “Gyges the Lydian”—the hero of Herodotus' story (I 7), but a homonymous ancestor of his. If so, we must (on the hypothesis that the text is sound) suppose that Plato here omits the name of the original Gyges either because he wishes tacitly to contradict a prevalent misconception, or (more probably) because his readers might be presumed to know or to be capable of inferring that the ancestor of Gyges the Lydian was also called Gyges. The MS reading is supported by Proclus (τῷ κατὰ τὸν Γύγου πρόγονον διηγήματι in Schöll Procli Comm. in Remp. Pl. part. ined. p. 60. 30). For other views of this passage see App. I.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Gorgias, 484b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 337d
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