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καλὰς φωνὰς κτλ. τὰς τῶν ὑποκριτῶν (Schol.). With this whole sentence should be compared Laws 817 C, where Plato addresses tragic poets in these words: μὴ δὴ δόξητε ἡμᾶς ῥᾳδίως γε οὕτως ὑμᾶς ποτε παρ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐάσειν σκηνάς τε πήξαντας κατ᾽ ἀγορὰν καὶ καλλιφώνους ὑποκριτὰς εἰσαγαγομένους, μεῖζον φθεγγομένους ἡμῶν, ἐπιτρέψειν ὑμῖν δημηγορεῖν πρὸς παῖδάς τε καὶ γυναῖκας καὶ τὸν πολὺν ὄχλον κτλ.

τυραννίδας τε καὶ δημοκρατίας. Democracy is next door to tyranny: in fact, δημοκρατία τελευταία τυραννίς ἐστιν (Arist. Pol. E 10. 1312^{b} 5). Attic tragedy, of course, praises Democracy more often than Tyranny. On the political influence of poetry see Laws 817 C ff., Gorg. 501 E ff. and other passages in Reber Platon u. die Poesie pp. 55—59.

μισθοὺς κτλ. We may recall Pindar's ἀργυρωθεῖσαι πρόσωπα μαλθακόφωνοι ἀοιδαί (Isthm. 2. 8).

τιμῶνται κτλ. “For good and evil,” says Bosanquet, “Plato's assertion is true on the whole.” But as far as concerns Greece, at any rate, we may doubt whether tragic poets were not more honoured in the democracy of Athens than in imperial courts.

ὑπὸ τυράννων: e.g. Hiero, Archelaus, and such like patrons of poetry and the drama.

ὅσῳ δ᾽ ἂν κτλ. The honour paid to Poetry varies inversely with the merit of the constitution. This is perhaps the severest thing which Plato has yet said against Poetry. The striking metaphor in ὥσπερ ὑπὸ ἄσθματος κτλ. is curiously like Dante, as Bosanquet points out.

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