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ἦν δέ που λεγόμενον. The reference is to II 361 A ff. For αὐτῷ C. Schmidt conjectured αὖ οὕτω, which I too hastily adopted in my edition of the text. Glauco and Adimantus are careful in Book II to disclaim the views which they expound; and after ἦν δέ που λεγόμενον it is easy to refer αὐτῷ to the hypothetical person (not necessarily Thrasymachus in particular: see II 358 C and 367 A) for whom they speak: cf. ἐκεῖνα λέγων presently and περὶ τοῦ τοιούτου λόγου λέγων (II 360 D), as well as φήσει λογιζόμενος (ib. 366 A). See also on 590 A.

εἰκόνα πλάσαντες κτλ. Cf. Tim. 69 D—70 E and the picture of the soul in Phaedr. 246 A, 253 D ff. We are told by Clement (Strom. II 20, 1058 C Migne) that Basilides compared man to a wooden horse, peopled by a host of different spirits. The underlying idea of Plato's similitude is that man is a compound of the mortal and the immortal, standing midway between corruptibility and incorruptibility: θνητῆς καὶ ἀθανάτου φύσεως μεθόριον (Philo de mund. opif. 46). In the noble lines of George Herbert:

“To this life things of sense

Make their pretence:

In th' other Angels have a right by birth:

Man ties them both alone,

And makes them one,

With th' one hand touching heav'n, with th' other earth.

In soul he mounts and flies,

In flesh he dies.

He wears a stuffe whose thread is coarse and round,

But trimm'd with curious lace,

And should take place

After the trimming, not the stuffe and ground.

Nettleship (Lect. and Rem. II p. 333) justly observes “that it was no mere figure of speech with Plato to represent these psychical tendencies in man as animals, for he clearly believed that there was continuity between the different forms in which life appears; that somehow or other souls rose and fell in the scale of being according as they behaved in each form in which they were embodied; and that there was a real identity between certain elements in man's soul and certain elements in other organic creatures.” See X 618 B ff., Phaed. 81 E ff.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 81e
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 246a
    • Plato, Timaeus, 69d
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