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521C - 523A We have next to consider how we can lead our guardians up into the light. The studies which we re- quire are such as will tend to draw the soul from Becoming to Being, and are at the same time of some practical utility in war. Our earlier training in gymnastic and music will not serve the purpose; nor yet will the mechanical arts. What do you say to Number and Calculation, which enter into every art and science? Their importance in strategy is obvious, and we shall find that they do emphatically, if rightly used, lead the soul towards Intelligence and Being. ff. For Plato's theory of the higher education see Appendix II on ‘The Propaedeutic Studies of the Republic’ and Appendix III on ‘Dialectic.’ λέγονται δή τινες κτλ. With εἰς θεοὺς ἀνελθεῖν cf. Plut. de ser. num. vind. 566 A ἔλεγε δὲ ταύτῃ τὸν Διόνυσον εἰς θεοὺς ἀνελθεῖν. If Plato's words are to be taken in their full significance, we can hardly (with J. and C.) suppose that the allusion is to Heracles, Pollux etc., for Heracles' descent to Hades was an incident which happened long before his ascent to Heaven; and Pollux's life among the gods was intermittent. Cf. Schneider in his translation p. 304 note 187. Schneider himself suggests that Plato is thinking of legends about e.g. Aesculapius' deliverance from Hades, after Zeus had smitten him (cf. III 408 C and Roscher's Lexicon d. Mythologie I p. 620), and others have thought of Briareos and the ἑκατόγχειροι: see Il. I 402—405 and cf. Hes. Theog. 617—721. Mr Walter Headlam has pointed out to me that Semele was also raised from Hades to Heaven, citing Paus. II 31. 2 and ib. 37. 5: cf. also Plut. l.c. Διόνυσον εἰς θεοὺς ἀνελθεῖν καὶ τὴν Σεμέλην ἀνάγειν ὕστερον. These examples are certainly more to the point. It is worthy of remark that Justin Martyr in a remarkable passage of his Apologia pro Christianis speaks of the ascent of Asclepius and others into Heaven as Pagan parallels to the Christian doctrine of the Ascension: Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν—σταυρωθέντα καὶ ἀποθανόντα καὶ ἀναστάντα ἀνεληλυθέναι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, οὐ παρὰ τοὺς παρ᾽ ὑμῖν λεγομένους υἱοὺς τῷ Διῒ καινόν τι φέρομεν. πόσους γὰρ υἱοὺς φάσκουσι τοῦ Διὸς οἱ παρ᾽ ὑμῖν τιμώμενοι συγγραφεῖς ἐπίστασθε, Ἑρμῆν μὲν λόγον τὸν ἑρμηνευτικὸν καὶ πάντων διδάσκαλον: Ἀσκληπιὸν δὲ καὶ θεραπευτὴν γενόμενον, κεραυνωθέντα, ἀνεληλυθέναι εἰς οὐρανόν: Διόνυσον δὲ διασπαραχθέντα κτλ. (l.c. I 21: cf. also Dialogus cum Tryphone 69). I was once half inclined to suspect that the clause ὥσπερ ἐξ Αἵδου —ἀνελθεῖν (although it appears in all MSS) might be an early satirical adscript by some Pagan scribe on the doctrine of our Lord's descent into Hell, and subsequent resurrection and ascent into Heaven. τινες might well be a specific allusion (518 B note), and there is more than a suspicion of satire in δή. But I have no longer any doubt that the text is sound. ὀστράκου -- περιστροφή. On the different interpretations given by the ancients of this proverb see App. VI. The proverb is derived from the game of ὀστρακίνδα, the authorities for which are cited by Grasberger Erziehung u. Unterricht I pp. 57—60. The players were divided into two parties, separated by a line. A shell, black on one side, and white on the other, was thrown on the ground by one of the boys, who shouted νὺξ ἡμέρα or νὺξ ἢ ἡμέρα, ‘Heads or Tails,’ as he threw it. According as the white or black fell uppermost, one side ran away and the other gave chase. Plato means that education is not, like the ‘spinning of a coin,’ an affair of no consequence, to be settled off-hand, and by chance, but a slow and laborious scientific process, dealing with the gravest of all possible issues. See also App. VI. ψυχῆς περιαγωγὴ κτλ.: ‘the turning round of a soul from a day which is as night into the true day, that is, the ascent into Being’ (not the tarrying in γιγνόμενον, which is the νυκτερινὴ ἡμέρα). In νυκτερινῆς τινος ἡμέρας (for which see 520 C notes) Plato, more suo, plays on the exclamation ‘νὺξ ἡμέρα’: cf. IV 422 D, E notes (It may be noted that Plato's adaptation is from νὺξ ἡμέρα rather than from νὺξ ἢ ἡμέρα.) The words τοῦ ὄντος—ἐπάνοδον explain the figure, οὖσαν ‘that is’ being used as in φορὰν οὖσαν βάθους 528 D. The daylight in which the ἀπαίδευτος lives is darkness; the true day is the ascent of the soul out of the ὁρατόν and δοξαστόν into the νοητόν: cf. 517 B τὴν δὲ ἄνω ἀνάβασιν καὶ θέαν τῶν ἄνω τὴν εἰς τὸν νοητὸν τόπον τῆς ψυχῆς ἄνοδον τιθεὶς οὐχ ἁμαρτήσει τῆς γ᾽ ἐμῆς ἐλπἰδος. This and this alone is true philosophy. The phrase τὴν τοῦ ὄντος ἐπάνοδον is copied by Alcinous from Plato (Isag. p. 7 ed. Hermann). Cf. also Clement Strom. V 14 p. 196 Migne ψυχῆς περιαγωγὴ ἐκ νυκτερινῆς τινος ἡμέρας εἰς ἀληθινὴν τοῦ ὄντος (vv. ll. ὄντος and ὄντως ὄντος) οὖσαν ἐπάνοδον κτλ. Other views on the text and interpretation of this passage are discussed in App. VI.
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