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ἁλουργά=‘purple’: see Tim. 68 B, with Archer-Hind's note. Herwerden cuts out ὥστ᾽ εἶναι, but without these words the wool which we are dyeing would be purple, whereas it is white, and we are making it purple. See on ἐάν τε καὶ ταῦτα in E.

πρῶτον μὲν κτλ. As far as concerns the language and grammatical construction of this passage it is clear that the object of ἐκλέγονται should be the same as that of προπαρασκευάζουσιν, θεραπεύσαντες, and βάπτουσι, and identical with the subject of δέζεται. Now the object of βάπτουσι is the wool selected to be dyed; it is therefore the wool which is subjected to προπαρασκευή, and consequently white substances of wool are meant by μίαν φύσιν τὴν τῶν λευκῶν (so also Blümner Technologie etc. I pp. 221 ff.). That this interpretation is right, appears also from the application of the simile. The guardians are the white woollen substances specially selected (note ἐξελεγόμεθα 429 E), their education is the προπαρασκευή; and the δόξα περὶ δεινῶν κτλ. is the dye. This is expressly pointed out in 429 E—430 A. τοσούτων is strictly in point, for woollen substances may be of any colour, since they may have been already dyed. Plato informs us that dyers selected white woollen substances when they wished to impart a lasting purple hue. Cf. Tim. 50 D, E. The προπαρασκευή included the process called στύψις, i.e. steeping the wool in an astringent solution (πρόστυμμα) to make it take the dye better (Arist. de Col. 4. 794^{a} 29 and Probl. XXII 11. 931^{a} 13 ff. προβρέχουσιν ἐν τοῖς στρυφνοῖς τῷ διεργασθὲν μᾶλλον δέχεσθαι τὴν βαφήν: cf. also Theoph. de Odor. 17 ὑποστύφουσι γὰρ πᾶν εἰς τὸ δέξασθαι μᾶλλον τὴν ὀσμὴν ὥσπερ τὰ ἔρια εἰς τὴν βαφήν). Aristotle uses a metaphor from dyeing in a similar way in Eth. Nic. II 2. 1105^{a} 3. Cf. also Cicero Hortens. Fr. 62 ed. Nobbe “ut ei qui combibi purpuream volunt, sufficiunt prius lanam medicamentis quibusdam, sic litteris talibusque doctrinis ante excoli animos et ad sapientiam concipiendam imbui et praeparari decet,” and see on the whole subject Blümner l. c. I pp. 221 ff., 238 ff.

θεραπεύσαντες. If the text is sound, we must suppose either that two processes of preparation are alluded to, viz. θεραπεία and προπαρασκευή; or else that θεραπεύσαντες is used for θεραπεύοντες. The first alternative is inadmissible: for προθεραπεύσας in E shews that the θεραπεία and προπαρασκευή are identical. As for the second, Schneider remarks “aoristum ipsum pro praesenti positum vix credo.” There are some instances in which “an aorist participle denoting that in which the action of a verb of past time consists may express time coincident with that of the verb, when the actions of the verb and the participle are practically one” (Goodwin MT. p. 52: cf. Kühner Gr. Gr. II pp. 161 ff.), but as προπαρασκευάζουσιν is a verb of present or universal time, Goodwin's rule is inapplicable here. Hartman ejects the participle, and Schneider is anxious to read θεραπεύοντες. In my edition of the Text, I had recourse to transposition, and placed θεραπεύσαντες before οὕτω δή (‘and they do not dip the wool till they have finished dressing it’). It is, however, safer to adhere to the MSS and regard θεραπεύσαντες as one of those ‘timeless aorists,’ of which many examples are quoted by F. Carter in Cl. Rev. V pp. 4 ff. The MS reading is supported not only by Stobaeus (Flor. 43. 97), but also (as Jackson has pointed out to me) by Theo Smyrnaeus de utilit. math. p. 13 ed. Hiller.

τὸ ἄνθος: the colour, as appears from Arist. de Col. l. c. 794^{a} 34 et al. Though it is used of purple here, it was not confined to purple: see on VIII 557 C.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Timaeus, 50d
    • Plato, Timaeus, 68b
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