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In every respect then the philosophers tell lies; and they are not aware that they commit numbers of anachronisms in the accounts which they give. And even the admirable Xenophon is not free from this error. For he in his Banquet introduces Callias, the son of Hipponicus, as the lover of Autolycus, the son of Lycon, and making an entertainment in his honour when he gained the victory in the Pancratium. And he represents himself as being present with the rest of the guests, when he perhaps was either not born, or at all events not out of childhood. And this is the time when Aristion was archon. For it was in his archonship that Eupolis exhibited the comedy Autolycus, in which, in the character of Demostratus, he ridicules the victory of Autolycus. And again Xenophon makes Socrates say at this Banquet—“And Pausanias, indeed, the lover of Agathon the poet, when speaking in excuse of those who allow themselves to indulge in intemperance, said that a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers; for that of all the men in the world they would be the most ashamed to desert one another. Saying a very strange thing,—if men who are accustomed utterly to disregard all blame, and to behave with utter shamelessness to one another, would be the men above all others ashamed to do anything disgraceful.” But that Pausanias never said anything of the sort we may see from the Banquet of Plato. For I know of no book at all which is written by Pausanias. Nor is he introduced by any one else as speaking of lovers and boys, but only by Plato. But whether Xenophon has absolutely invented this story, or whether he fell in with any edition of Plato's Banquet which reports what happened in a different manner, is of no importance; still we must take notice of the blunder as far as the [p. 345] time is concerned. Aristion, in whose time this banquet is represented as having taken place, was archon four years before Euphemus, in whose archonship Plato places the banquet given in honour of the victory of Agathon, at which banquet Pausanias said these things about lovers. So that it is a marvellous and incredible thing that Socrates w hen supping with Callias should find fault with things as having been said erroneously, which had not yet been said at all, and which were not said till four years afterwards at the banquet of Agathon.
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