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τῶν οἳ -- δούρων. Od. XVII 383, 384. κακῶν is of course neuter. If Schneider could shew that this quotation refers to a case in which a chieftain in Homer did or did not punish a δημιουργός for lying, he would make out a prima facie case for his view that Plato is here prescribing canons for poetical representations, but there is nothing of this in Homer; and we must suppose that Plato is speaking here of his own citizens. See App. I. ἐάν γε -- τελῆται does not mean ‘if our theory is carried out’ (J. and C.) or ‘if our ideal city is ever realised’ (Rettig). Such a remark would be frigid and superfluous. The meaning is merely that the ruler will first use words, but, if these fail, he will afterwards proceed to deeds i.e. κολάσει. The first γε assents: the second enters a caveat. ἔργα τελῆται=ἔργων τέλος γίγνηται. σωφροσύνης δὲ -- μέγιστα: ‘for the mass of men, are not the cardinal points of temperance such as these?’ (Jebb on Soph. O. C. 20 μακρὰν γὰρ ὡς γέροντι προὐστάλης ὁδόν—a precise parallel). There is no authority for interpreting these words (with Stallbaum, Hartman etc.) as ‘plerumque’ ‘in universum.’ Plato is warning us not to regard his account of σωφροσύνη here as scientifically accurate and complete. It is the most obvious and conspicuous aspects of self-control which poets should chiefly impress upon the multitude, and to these Plato confines his attention. On the Greek conception of σωφροσύνη see the passages collected by Nägelsbach, Nachhom. Theol. pp. 227 ff.
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