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οὐ γὰρ εὐκόλῳ κτλ. The MS reading has been defended in two ways. Schneider prints a colon after ἔφη, and explains οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία as “minime, per Jovem, <temere tu et sine causa hanc rem tractare dubitabas>”; but it is exceedingly difficult to supply the words in brackets. This difficulty induced Apelt (Obs. Crit. p. 12) to suggest οὐ <μάτην> μὰ τὸν Δία, ἔφη: οὐ γὰρ κτλ. Others explain the oath as emphasizing οὐ γὰρ εὐκόλῳ ἔοικεν, and compare X 605 E οὐ μὰ τὸν Δἴ, ἔφη, οὐκ εὐλόγῳ ἔοικεν and Parm. 131 E οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, φάναι, οὔ μοι δοκεῖ εὔκολον εἶναι τὸ τοιοῦτον διορίσασθαι. But the whole difficulty centres round γάρ, and γάρ is absent from each of these passages. Hartman strangely explains γάρ as ‘profecto’; while Stallbaum inclines to cut it out. Groen van Prinsterer (Prosop. Plat. p. 209) proposed to read οὐ γὰρ εὐκόλῳ ἔοικεν. Οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, ἔφη. Οὐ γάρ, εἶπον. It appears to me that the emphatic οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία is more appropriate in the mouth of Socrates, who is continually dwelling on the difficulty of his task, and I therefore think that Plato wrote Οὐ γὰρ εὐκόλῳ ἔοικεν, ἔφη. Οὐ γάρ, εἶπον, οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία, although I have not ventured to change the text. εὐκόλῳ is of course neuter, not masculine, as Richter supposed (Fl. Jahrb. 1867 p. 143). κολυμβήθραν: a swimming tank. See Blümner Privatalt. p. 210 note 2. In what follows we have the first suggestion of the wave metaphor, which dominates nearly the whole of Book V: see on 449 A. ἄπορον. As ἄλλην here means ‘other’ and not ‘else,’ the epithet ἄπορον (‘difficult to procure,’ cf. II 378 A) must be applicable to the dolphin also. The Platonic litotes seems delicately to suggest that the miraculous story of Arion and the dolphin is not above suspicion. Herwerden conjectured ἄτοπον, but no change is necessary.
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