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φιλόνικον. For the spelling of this word see VIII 548 C note and my note on Prot. 336 E. The present passage and also 586 C, D below conclusively prove that Plato connected the word with νίκη and not with νεῖκος, from which indeed it could not be derived without doing violence to the laws of the Greek language (cf. Schanz Vol. VI p. x). Now Plato certainly did not write νείκη, but νίκη: and it is therefore highly improbable that he wrote φιλόνεικος. φιλόνικος has also considerable support from the inferior MSS of the Republic. The substitution of ει for long ι became extremely common in imperial times, especially in proper names derived from νίκη (Meisterhans^{3} p. 49), and even ἐνείκων and the like are also found on late inscriptions (e.g. CIG 1585). In the case of φιλόνεικος the error was apparently established by Plutarch's time: see his Ages. 5. 4. The meaning ‘lover of strife’ is often unsuitable in Plato; where it suits, it is secondary and derivative, for the lover of victory must also love strife: non sine pulvere palma. For an exhaustive discussion of the question the student may be referred to Schmidt Ethik d. alten Griechen I pp. 386—391. While admitting that ‘φιλόνικος and its derivatives are far more frequent in Attic writers,’ Schmidt is inclined to admit the existence of φιλόνεικος as a separate word, connected with νείκη as a byeform—so he thinks—of νεῖκος: but νείκη, at least in classical Greek, is only a conjecture on Aeschylus Ag. 1378 and Eum. 903: and in Plato, at all events, there is, I believe, no case in which φιλόνικος does not give the meaning required by the context.

ἥκιστα τούτων: ‘less than any of them,’ lit. ‘least of these’ three εἴδη of soul. There is no good reason for suspecting the text; for although strictly speaking the φιλόσοφον can only care for σοφία, the φιλόσοφος, who presently (581 C ff.) takes the place of the φιλόσοφον, is not wholly indifferent to either (582 B, C): he merely cares much less for them than the φιλόνικος and φιλοχρήματος do. τούτων is necessary to bring out the contrast: ἥκιστα alone, proposed by Baiter, or ἥκιστα πάντων (W. H. Thompson) would express too much.

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