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πολλοῦ δεῖ -- ποικιλτέον . πολλοῦ δεῖ is not adverbial (like ἥκιστα), as J. and C assert: otherwise δεῖ would be δεῖν (so Herwerden would read Mnem. N. S. XI p. 339). The asyndeton is justified by emphasis and the ampliative character of the sentence. The verbals are best explained (with Stallbaum) by supposing an ellipse of εἶναι: cf. Schanz Nov. Comm. Pl. p. 33.

ποικιλτέον . ποικίλλειν is used of depicting in a variety of colours (VIII 557 C), not necessarily by embroidery. Cf. 373 A note There is probably a special reference here to the πέπλος. At the greater, if not also at the lesser, Panathenaic festival, a robe woven by Athenian maidens and representing the triumph of Athena and the Olympians over the giants, together with other celestial fights, was carried in procession to the Acropolis, and presented to the statue of the goddess in the Erechtheum: cf. Euthyph. 6 B, C and Mommsen Feste d. Stadt Athen pp. 107 ff. The subject was depicted on the Parthenon frieze: see Baumeister Denkm. d. kl. Alterth. II p. 1185. The allusion to the ceremony is the more appropriate in this connexion, if, as appears to be probable, the action of the dialogue takes place just before the great Panathenaea of 410 B.C. See Introd. § 3.

ὡς οὐδεὶς κτλ. Plato desires to obtain a religious sanction for his institutions, as in the myth III 414 B ff. The best δημηγόρος, according to Socrates, is στάσεις τε παύων καὶ ὁμόνοιαν ἐμποιῶν (Xen. Mem. IV 6. 14): and the Platonic State may from this point of view be regarded as “an attempt to determine the ways and means of securing political ὁμόνοια” (Krohn Pl. St. p. 369).

λεκτέα—see cr. n.—cannot be dispensed with. Madvig's suggestion, that μᾶλλον is corrupt for φατέον or ᾀστέον or the like, and Liebhold's μελητέον for μᾶλλον, are much less probable than the accidental omission of λεκτέα in A. See Introd. § 5. Vermehren (Pl. Stud. p. 92), rejecting λεκτέα, would carry on μυθολογητέον or the like; but this solution is much too difficult.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Euthyphro, 6b
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.6.14
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