This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
ἐξαρεῖν κτλ. See cr. n. ἐξαρεῖν appears also in several MSS besides v. The present, though retained by Schneider, is very difficult after πληρωθήσεσθαι. For the interchange of αι and α cf. Introd. § 5. Alcibiades' φρόνημα was notorious: see for example Alc. I 104 A, Thuc. V 43. 2, VI 16 ff., Plut. Alc. 34. 6 and the highly characteristic anecdote in 23. 8. Plato's words appear to embody an extract from some tragic poet (probably Euripides), as may be inferred both from the rhythm (σχηματισμοῦ—κενοῦ) and the language. ἄνευ νοῦ is declared by van Prinsterer, Cobet and others to be a gloss on κενοῦ. Possibly they are right; but (as Schneider remarks) ὅτι νοῦς οὐκ ἔνεστιν αὐτῷ is in favour of retaining the words, and they occur in all the MSS. οὕτω διατιθεμένῳ: not “while he is in this frame of mind” (D. and V.), but ‘when he is sinking into this condition.’ ἐάν τις κτλ. As Socrates often did to Alcibiades: see VIII 560 D note and Symp. 215 D ff. “The two conversations with Alcibiades are an example of this” (Thomas Gray). τὸ δέ is not here the idiomatic τὸ δέ (as in IV 443 C), but ‘hoc autem’ i.e. νοῦς (Stallbaum). τὸ ξυγγενὲς κτλ.: i.e. the affinity of what is said with his nature, “weil die Reden mit ihm verwandt sind” (Schneider). D. and V.'s translation “an inborn taste for philosophic inquiry” is wrong. εἷς has often been doubted; but Schneider's explanation is certainly right, that τῷ οὕτω διατιθεμένῳ is the individual typifying a class, and that εἷς denotes one of the class. The idiom is analogous to the plural after a typical or generic singular: see on I 374 A. The emendations proposed (διαισθάνηται for εἷς αἰσθάνηται Stallbaum, εἰσαῦθις Richter, εἴσω Madvig, εἰσακούων or εἰσακούσας Richards) are not only superfluous, but indefensible in themselves. Plato hardly expects more than one such person to pause at all on his downward career. Here again we naturally think of Alcibiades, whose interviews with Socrates (according to Symp. 215 D) profoundly impressed him for the moment, but failed to effect a permanent reform in the midst of so many temptations (ib. 216 B). Perhaps Socrates once hoped that Alcibiades would be his ‘scientific ruler,’ and bring back true prosperity to Athens. A tone of sorrow for the ‘lost leader’ seems to make itself felt in Plato's words.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.