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μήτε μαθόντα -- ἐμάνθανεν. See V 473 C note and Xen. Mem. IV 2. 4—7. Politics, according to both Socrates and Plato, is a science: see especially Mem. III 9. 11. The heaviest count in their indictment of Athenian democracy was its practical denial of this fact.

φάσκοντας κτλ. The thesis that ‘Politics cannot be taught’ was (in Plato's view) the theoretical basis of Athenian political life: see Prot. 319 A—320 D. We are here invited to suppose that it was actually maintained in so many words by sophists, demagogues, and others. Something of the sort is asserted by Isocrates adv. Soph. 14, 21; but it is unlikely that Plato is alluding to Isocrates in particular, as Teichmüller supposes (Lit. Fehd. I p. 104).

τὸν λέγοντα κτλ. as Socrates and Plato constantly did. ἑτοίμους κατατέμνειν admirably expresses the vindictive fury of the insulted demagogues, but should not be taken as an allusion to Socrates' fate. Plato felt his master's death too deeply to exaggerate on such a subject. See VII 517 A note

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Protagoras, 319a
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.2.4
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