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Now, any one who considers these expressions of the accomplished Xenophon, may understand how it as that the brilliant Plato displayed such jealousy of him. But perhaps the fact may partly be because these men did from the very [p. 808] beginning feel a spirit of rivalry towards one another, each being aware of his own powers; and perhaps they began very early to contend for the preeminence, as we may conjecture not only from what they have both written about Cyrus, but also from other writings of theirs on similar subjects. For they have both written a piece called the Banquet; and in these two pieces, one of them turns out the female flute-players, and the other introduces them; and one, as has been already said, refuses to drink out of large cups, but the other represents Socrates as drinking out of a psycter till morning. And in his treatise concerning the Soul, Plato, reckoning up all who were present, does not make even the slightest mention of Xenophon. And concerning Cyrus, the one says that from his earliest youth he was trained up in all the national practices of his country; but Plato, as if in the express spirit of contradiction, says, in the third book of his Laws,—“But with respect to Cyrus, I consider that, as to other things, he was indeed a skilful and careful general, but that he had never had the very least particle of a proper education, and that he had never turned his mind the least in the world to the administration of affairs. But he appears from his earliest youth to have been engaged in war, and to have given his children to his wives to bring up.” And again, Xenophon, who joined Cyrus with the Ten Thousand Greeks, in his expedition into Persia, and who was thoroughly acquainted with the treachery of Meno the Thessalian, and knew that he was the cause of the murder of Clearchus by Tissaphernes, and who knew also the disposition of the man, how morose and debauched he was,—has given us a full account of everything concerning him. But the exquisite Plato, who all but says, “All this is not true,” goes through a long panegyric on him, who was incessantly calumniating every one else. And in his Polity, he banishes Homer from his city, and all poetry of the theatrical kind; and yet he himself wrote dialogues in a theatrical style,—a manner of writing of which he himself was not the inventor; for Alexamenus the Teian had, before him, invented this style of dialogue, as Nicias of Nicæa and Sotion both agree in relating. And Aristotle, in his treatise on Poets, writes thus:—“Let us not then call those Mimes, as they are called, of Sophron, which are written in metre, Discourses and Imitations; or those Dialogues of Alexamenus [p. 809] of Teos, which were written before the Scratic Dialogues;” — Aristotle, the most learned of all men, stating here most expressly that Alexamenus composed his Dialogues before Plato. And Plato also calumniates Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, saying that he was a sophist in a way consistent with his name.1 And he also attacks Hippias, and Gorgias, and Parmenides; and in one dialogue, called Protagoras, he attacks a great many;—a man who in his Republic has said, “When, as I think, a city which has been governed by a democracy, feels a thirst far liberty, and meets with bad cupbearers, and so it gets intoxicated by too untempered a draught . . .”
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