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αὐτός -- ἐπιδείξασθαι: ‘anxious to shew himself off together with his poems.’ ἐπιδείξασθαι is intransitive—i. q. ἐπίδειξιν ποιήσασθαι, cf. Lach. 179 E—with αὐτός, but transitive with ποιήματα. This explanation, which is due to Schneider, gives a much better sense than if we regard αὐτός τε καὶ τὰ ποιήματα as subject to ἀφίκοιτο, or translate ‘himself, and wanting to shew his poems’ (J. and C.). A reference to αὐτός τε καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν παρακάλει in IV 427 D is therefore hardly to the point. προσκυνοῖμεν. The insertion of μέν, recommended by Shilleto (Dem. F. L. § 91) and Richards, is unnecessary: cf. I 340 D note For προσκυνεῖν ‘to kiss the hand’ (adorare), as to the image or shrine of a god, see Cope's Rhetoric of Aristotle Vol. I p. 86. οὔτ̓ ἔστιν -- οὔτε θέμις. It is perhaps better to correct οὐκ into οὔτ̓—see cr. n.—than the second οὔτε into οὐδέ (with Bekker and the other editors). μύρον -- στέψαντες. The idea suggested by προσκυνοῖμεν and ἱερόν, that the poet is a sort of θεός or θεῖος ἀνήρ, is now elaborated with ironical politeness. The images of the gods were anointed, and crowned with garlands, not only on great occasions (cf. Cic. Verr. IV 77), but also at other times, according to Proclus, who remarks on this passage μύρον αὐτῆς (sc. τῆς ποιητικῆς) καταχέας, ὡς τῶν ἐν τοῖς ἁγιωτάτοις ἱεροῖς ἀγαλμάτων θέμις, καὶ ὡς ἱερὰν στέψας αὐτήν, ὥσπερ καὶ ἐκεινα στέφειν ἦν νόμος (in remp. p. 42 ed. Kroll). Schneider aptly compares Paus. X 24. 6 τούτου (a sacred stone) καὶ ἔλαιον ὁσημέραι καταχέουσι καὶ κατὰ ἑορτὴν ἑκάστην ἔρια ἐπιτιθέασι τὰ ἀργά. For other illustrations see Frazer on Paus. l.c., and Munro on Lucr. v 1199. Apropos of the present passage, Dio Chrysostom and other ancient writers cited by Ast refer to the anointing of swallows by Greek women: καὶ κελεύει μάλα εἰρωνικῶς (so Ast: MSS εἰρηνικῶς) στέψαντας αὐτὸν ἐρίῳ καὶ μύρῳ καταχέαντας ἀφιέναι παρ᾽ ἄλλους: τοῦτο δὲ αἱ γυναῖκες ἐπὶ τῶν χελιδόν ων ποιοῦσι (Dio Chr. Or. 53 p. 276 ed. Reiske). To this custom Ast supposes that Plato is alluding, the poets being as it were faithless and garrulous swallows (cf. χελιδόνων μουσεῖα), as well as to the Pythagorean precept ‘not to admit swallows into the house’ (Plut. Symp. VIII 727 B ff.), on which see Frazer in Cl. Rev. V pp. 1—3. This explanation lends an additional point to ἀποπέμποιμεν: and προσκυνοῖμεν might fairly be interpreted of the joyful salutations with which the Greeks hailed the advent of the swallow in the spring (see e.g. Baumeister Denk. d. Kl. Alterth. p. 1985). G. B. Hussey (Proceedings of the American Philol. Association Vol. XXII pp. xliii ff.) thinks that Plato has in his mind the wellknown χελιδονισμός of which we read in Athenaeus (VIII 360 B ff.), remarking that in the swallow song ‘the custom seems to have been to carry some sort of symbolic swallow from house to house.’ It is perhaps more probable (as Mr J. G. Frazer suggests to me) that “the ceremony of anointing the swallows and crowning them with wool was performed on the children who went from door to door in spring, singing the swallow song and apparently personating the swallow.” But the tone of the whole passage, with its air of studiously exaggerated politeness and compliment, as well as the particular expressions προσκυνοῖμεν, ἱερόν, and θαυμαστόν, are strongly in favour of Proclus' interpretation, although Plato's thoughts may have dwelt for a moment on the practices connected with the χελιδονισμός when he wrote the words ἀποπέμποιμεν— στέψαντες.
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