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Appendices to book 4

IV 421 A, B. εἰ μὲν οὖν ἡμεῖς μὲν φύλακας ὡς ἀληθῶς ποιοῦμεν, ἥκιστα κακούργους τῆς πόλεως, δ᾽ ἐκεῖνο λέγων γεωργούς τινας καὶ ὥσπερ ἐν πανηγύρει ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐν πόλει ἑστιάτορας εὐδαίμονας, ἄλλο ἄν τι πόλιν λέγοι.

I hope my note has proved that this sentence is sound in the main; but Madvig's emendation has obtained such a wide currency, owing to its adoption by Baiter, that the text has fallen under grave suspicion, and it may be well to record the different conjectures.

They are as follows:

(1) εἶεν οὖν: ἡμεῖς κτλ. (Orelli, cited by Schneider): (2) ἡμεῖς μὲν οὖν φύλακας κτλ. (Ast in his third edition): (3) μὲν οὖν ἡμεῖς <λέγο>μεν, φύλακας κτλ. (Herwerden, with whom Hartman agrees so far, although Hartman goes further and expunges καί before ὥσπερ as well as the entire clause ἄλλο ἄν τι πόλιν λέγοι): (4) εἰ μὲν οὖνἑστιάτορας, εὔδαιμον ἄλλο ἄν τι πόλιν λέγοι (Madvig): (5) εἰ [μὲν] οὖν ἡμεῖςλέγων ἀργούς (or κακούργους) τιναςεὐδαίμονας, ἄλλο δή τι πόλιν λέγει (Richards).

It should be mentioned also that Wyttenbach (quoted by Stallbaum) had conjectured ἑστιάτορας καὶ δαιτυμόνας instead of ἑστιάτορας εὐδαίμονας (ἑστιάτορας καὶ εὐδαίμονας in a few inferior MSS).

A glance at these proposals will shew that the difficulties felt have been chiefly in connexion with a εἰ μὲν οὖν ἡμεῖς μέν, b γεωργούς, c ἑστιάτορας εὐδαίμονας and d ἄλλο ἄν τι πόλιν λέγοι. I can see no reason for Richards' correction of d: ‘mixed’ conditional sentences of this kind are surely common enough.

For ἑστιάτορας εὐδαίμονας cf. III 420 A οἱ εὐδαίμονες δοκοῦντες εἶναι and especially X 612 A τῶν εὐδαιμόνων λεγομένων ἑστιάσεων. The μέν after εἰ is omitted in one Florentine MS, but μέν without δέ occurs tolerably often in Plato (cf. V 475 E note). Here it has the effect of italicising the preceding word by suggesting a possible antithesis. The only real difficulty is in γεωργούς, and in view of 419 A to which δ᾽ ἐκεῖνο λέγων refers, some may doubt whether even γεωργούς is not also genuine. For my own part I am inclined to think that Plato wrote λεωργούς.

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