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In a conversation with Aristodemus, Socrates shows that there are gods: they have given to man powers of mind and body admirably adapted to his needs: and they will care for his welfare, if he will only honor them. Whoever is thoroughly convinced of this is lastingly won to virtue. So Socrates understood not only τὸ προτρέπειν, but also τὸ προάγειν ἐπ᾽ ἀρετήν.


τεκμαιρόμενοι: “conjecturing, on superficial observation,” without obj., as in Cyr. i. 3. 5.

προτρέψασθαι: that Socrates regarded the most important step as taken when enthusiasm for virtue had been aroused, is stated by several writers, e.g., Plut. Mor. p. 798 B, Plato Rep. i. 336. Cf. “ut Socratem illum solitum aiunt dicere, perfectum sibi opus esse, si quis satis esset concitatus cohortatione sua ad studium cognoscendae percipiendaeque virtutis: quibus enim id persuasum esset, ut nihil mallent se esse quam bonos viros, iis reliquam facilem esse doctrinamCic. de Or. i. 47.

σκεψάμενοι, δοκιμαζόντων: “let them first examine, and then decide.”

μή: instead of οὐ, as the participle is subordinated to the imv. δοκιμαζόντων. G. 1614; H. 1027.

ἐρωτῶν ἤλεγχεν: the questions by which he used to refute, e.g., iii. 6, iv. 2.

συνδιατρίβουσι: see on τῶν συνόντων i. 1. 4.

εἰ ἦν: for the mode, see G. 1487; H. 932.


ποτε αὐτοῦ ἤκουσα διαλεγομένου: a conversation of his that I once heard. For the supplementary participle, see on i.1.11.

τοῦ δαιμονίου: the Deity, as manifested to men.

Ἀριστόδημον: afterward a warm friend of Socrates; cf. Ἀριστόδημος ἦν τις, Κυδαθηναιεύς, σμικρός, ἀνυπόδητος ἀεί, Σωκράτους ἐραστὴς ὢν ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα τῶν τότε Plato Sym. 173 B.

θύοντα: for the supplementary participle in indirect discourse, cf. i.2.14.

ἀλλὰ καί: but even.

τῶν ποιούντων: for the gen., cf. τῶν ἄλλων i. 3. 4.

ἔστιν οὕστινας: equivalent to ἆρα ἐνίους. G. 1029; H. 998 c.

τεθαύμακας: admire, i.e. “have come to admire.”

σοφίᾳ: genius.


καὶ ὅς: and he. For the rel. in its original dem. meaning, see G. 1023, 2; H. 275 b.

τοίνυν: well then.

ἐπῶν ποιήσει: epic poetry.

διθυράμβῳ: often in pl., like ἴαμβοι, ἀνάπαιστοι, hence some editors read ἐπὶ δὲ διθυράμβων (sc. ποιήσει).

Μελανιππίδην: there were two lyric poets of this name, grandfather and grandson, both of the island Melos. The younger was a contemporary of Socrates, and is prob. the one here meant.

Σοφοκλέα: the famous tragic poet of Athens, 495-406 B.C.

Πολύκλειτον: the sculptor, of Sicyon, who flourished about 430 B.C. and was celebrated for his statues of athletes.

Ζεῦξιν: the painter, of Heraclea in Magna Graecia, of about the same date. For an account of these artists, see Tarbell's History of Greek Art.


πότερα, : for the use of particles in alternative questions, see G. 1606; H. 1017. πότερα is omitted in translation.

εἴπερ γε: an emphatic if indeed, intimating that Aristodemus reserves decision on this point. Cf. καὶ εἴπερ γέ τινας δέοι, περὶ τῆς ἀναιρέσεως οὐδένα μᾶλλον ἔχειν αὐτοὺς αἰτιάσασθαι τούτους, οἷς προσετάχθη and if blame should attach to any one with regard to the failure to rescue (the shipwrecked crews, after the battle of the Arginusae), they could hold no one more responsible than those to whom this duty had been assigned Hell. i. 7. 6.

τύχῃ τινί: obs. the difference between the dat. of means and ἀπὸ γνώμης, which suggests a creative agency.

τῶν ... ἐχόντων ... ἔστι: of those things which afford no indication of the purpose for which they exist. Cf. ἀδήλων ὅπως ἀποβήσοιτο i. 1. 6. The gens. τῶν ἐχόντων and τῶν ὄντων depend respectively upon the pronominal adjs. πότερα, πότερα.

πρέπει μέν: it certainly stands to reason, with the inf. εἶναι as subj. of πρέπει. For μέν with the force of μήν, see H. 1037, 12.


οὔκουν: nonne igitur. For the distinction between οὔκουν and οὐκοῦν, see on ii.1.3.

ἐπ᾽ ὠφελείᾳ προσθεῖναι αὐτοῖς: bestowed upon them for a useful purpose.

δἰ ὧν αἰσθάνονται ἕκαστα: the organs through which they perceive different objects. For the omission of the antec., see on i.2.19.

ὀφθαλμούς, ὦτα: for the partitive appos., see on i.2.60.

ὀσμῶν: subjective gen. with ὄφελος. G. 1085, 2; H. 729 b.

γὲ μήν: further, employed here to avoid the monotony of a too frequent repetition of δέ.

εἰ μὴ προσετέθησαν: for the supposition contrary to fact, see G. 1397; H. 895.

ὄφελος: for defective nouns, see G. 289; H. 215 b.

τῶν διὰ στόματος ἡδέων: “things pleasant to the taste.”

γνώμων: a critic (not to be confused with γνωμῶν). Cf. Eng. ‘gnomon’ of a sundial. For the pred. nom., see G. 907; H. 614.


οὐ δοκεῖ σοι κτλ.: do you not think that the following things also resemble works of design? τάδε introduces the infs. with τό as far as ἀπογεισῶσαι, and the remaining infs., beginning with τὸ δέχεσθαι, are summed up in ταῦτα οὕτω πεπραγμένα.

τὸ βλεφάροις αὐτὴν θυρῶσαι: the providing it with a door of eyelids, lit. dooring it with eyelids. Similarly ἀπογεισῶσαι below. For the denominative verbs, cf. φυτευσαμένῳ i. 1. 8.

αὐτῇ χρῆσθαί τι: to use it for any purpose. For the neut. pron. with χράομαι and the dat. of means, see H. 777 a.

ὡς ἄν: for ἄν in final clauses, see G. 1367; H. 882.

ἡθμόν: as a screen, pred. accusative.

ζῴοις: dat. of possessor. H. 768 b.

οἵους: i.e. τοιούτους, ὥστε. For οἷος alone with the inf., see G. 1526, last example; H. 1000.

τοὺς γομφίους: the molars.

παρὰ τούτων δεξαμένους λεαίνειν: to receive it (the food) from these, and masticate it.

καταθεῖναι: placing, with resumption of the subj. of θυρῶσαι and ἀπογεισῶσαι. Here, as in 11, the Creator is thought of as an artist who arranges at will the materials before him.

ἐπεὶ δυσχερῆ: sc. ἐστί.

ἀποστρέψαι καὶ ἀπενεγκεῖν: turning away and removing.

δυνατόν προσωτάτω: quantum fieri potest remotissime.


οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία: sc. ἀπορῶ. For the particles of swearing, cf. i.2.9.

οὕτω γε σκοπουμένῳ (sc. τινί): to any one considering it from that point of view. For the dat. of relation, see on τῇ πόλει i. 1. 1.

τεχνήμασι: contrivances.

τὸ δὲ ἐμφῦσαι: the omitted pred. (τίνι ταῦτα ἔοικε;) of this sent. may be readily anticipated from the answer.

ἀμέλει: originally an imv. equivalent to feel no anxiety, hence, as adv., assuredly.

μηχανήμασι: not essentially different from τεχνήμασι.

τινὸς ζῷα κτλ.: of one who has determined the existence of living beings.


Aristodemus has now conceded the existence of a being who, with wise forethought, has provided men with admirably contrived bodies and the impulse toward propagation and support of offspring. In this section, he is shown that the existence of gods may also be inferred from the intellectual nature of man. As the component elements (γῆ and ὑγρόν) of our bodies have been obtained from an external material universe, so our reason may be supposed to be a part of a Reason to be sought beyond ourselves; in default of whose presence and power the world of order could owe its existence to blind chance only. In opening this line of thought, Socrates begins with the abrupt question σὺ δὲ σαυτὸν δοκεῖς τι φρόνιμον ἔχειν; to which Aristodemus, not seeing the connection of this with the preceding discussion, cautiously answers: ‘Well, ask on, and I will answer.’ The substance of the passage is given by Cicero, Pro Mil. 31. 84. Cf. also his De Nat. Deor. ii. 6, Plato Philebus 30 A.

καὶ ταῦτα, εἰδώς: and that too, although you know. For the participle, see on κεκτημένος i. 2. 1.—νοῦν δὲ μόνον κτλ.: but mind alone then, which does not exist elsewhere, you think that you have caught up by some lucky chance? Cf. “unde enim hanc mentem homo arripuit? ut ait apud Xenophontem SocratesCic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 6. 18.


μὰ Δία: certainly, i.e. “I do not believe in an overruling intelligence.” μὰ Δία, instead of οὐ μὰ Δία, may be used when a neg. precedes (as here ἄλλοθι οὐδαμοῦ οὐδὲν εἶναι), or follows, or is implied in the context.

οὐδὲ γάρ: why, neither. γάρ, in an answer, generally refers to an assertion implied in the question or statement preceding, or readily supplied from the connection, as here οὐχ ὁρᾶς τοὺς κυρίους: οὐδὲ γὰρ κτλ. Cf. i.3.10, ii. 1. 2.

κατά γε τοῦτο: according to this reasoning, at least. For the position of γέ, see H. 1037, 1 a. Cf. ἤκουσεν οὐδεὶς ἔν γε τῷ φανερῷ An. i.3.21


τὸ δαιμόνιον: the Deity, as in 2.

ἐκεῖνο: expressing remoteness, hence chosen instead of αὐτό.

ὡς: equivalent to ὥστε, cf. iii.5.17. For ὡς and the inf. after the comparative with , see G. 1458; H. 954.

οὔκουν: as in 5.—ὅσῳ μεγαλοπρεπέστερον κτλ.: the more magnificent he is and yet deigns to care for you. The very sublimity of the Deity, taken with his benevolence, is an additional reason for honoring him, and not an excuse for ignoring him.


εἰ νομίζοιμι, οὐκ ἂν ἀμελοίην: for fut. conds. of the less vivid form, see G. 1408; H. 900.

φροντίζειν: the omitted subj. (αὐτούς) is unmistakably suggested by the preceding αὐτῶν.

οἵ: see on ὅς i. 2. 1.

μόνον τῶν ζῴων: alone among living beings.

ἀνέστησαν: 1 aor., the trans. use. For trans. and intr. senses in the same verb, see G. 1231; H. 500, and a.

πλέον: belongs to προορᾶν.

ἔπειτα: without δέ, as εἶτα in i. 2. 1.

ἑρπετοῖς: elsewhere used for ζῷα chiefly by the poets. Cf. ὅσσ᾽ ἐπὶ γαῖαν | ἑρπετὰ γίγνονται καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ θεσπιδαὲς πῦρ Hom. δ 418.

οἷς: for the dative of means, see G. 1181; H. 776.

ἐκείνων: i.e. τῶν ἑρπετῶν.


καὶ μήν: ac profecto, and further. See on ἀλλὰ μήν i. 1. 6.

οἵαν: capable. See on οἵους 6.— ἄλλοτε ἀλλαχῇ κτλ.: cf. “(lingua) sonos vocis distinctos et pressos efficit, cum et ad dentes et ad alias partes pellit orisCic. de Nat. Deor. ii. 59. 149.

στόματος: for the gen. with verbs of touching, see G. 1099; H. 738.

ἀρθροῦν φωνήν: to produce articulate speech.

καὶ σημαίνειν: i.e. καὶ ὥστε ἡμᾶς σημαίνειν, the subj. of the inf. being anticipated from ἀλλήλοις and βουλόμεθα.

τὸ δὲ δοῦναι κτλ.: sc. οὐ θαυμαστόν ἐστιν;

ταῦτα: refers to τὰς ἡδονάς, the neut. generalizing the conception. Cf. δεῖ πρὸς ταῦτα (sc. ἐπιθυμίας) οὐκ ἧττον διαμάχεσθαι Oec. i. 23.


τοίνυν: further. For τοίνυν as a particle of transition, see Kr. Spr. 69. 62.

μόνον: the usual position of μόνον belonging to the inf., when the latter is preceded by οὐκ ἀρκεῖ. Cf. Cyr. viii. 8. 16, 17.

κρατίστην: as supreme. For the pred. position of the adj., see G. 971; H. 670.

ἐνέφυσε: implanted, as in 7.

ψυχή: “intelligence.”

πρῶτα μέν: rarer than πρῶτον μέν, and followed here by δέ only, instead of ἔτι δέ, or ἔπειτα.

θεῶν ᾔσθηται, ὅτι εἰσί: has perceived that the gods exist, lit. has perceived the gods that they exist. For the ‘prolepsis,’ see on συνουσίαν i. 2. 13.

φῦλον: race.

θεραπεύουσι: for the pl. after a collective subj., see G. 900; H. 609.

ψύχη, θάλπη: pl. in abstract sense. H. 636.

ἱκανωτέρα ἐστί: the closing of a sent. with a question which recalls the beginning, and repeats its words, is common with Xenophon, e.g., ii. 1. 8; Hell. iv.4.12; Oec. ii. 15.


παρά: in comparison with. G. 1213, 3 d; H. 802, 3 c.

φύσει: by nature. For the dat. of manner, see reference on οἷς 11.

καί, καί: correlative, and subordinating the two dats. σώματι and ψυχῇ to φύσει.

κρατιστεύοντες: “being lords of creation.”

ἂν ἔχων, ἐδύνατ᾽ ἄν: for the cond., see on εἰ προσετέθησαν 5, and, for the partic. containing a prot., on i. 1. 20. For the repetition of ἄν, see G. 1312; H. 864. Cf. λαβὼν δ᾽ ἂν τὸν ἵππον ἐκ τοῦ παραχρῆμα ἂν ἐστρατεύετο Hell. vi.4.11

ἐβούλετο: quae vellet (not volebat). For the assimilation of the mode in cond. rel. sents., see G. 1440; H. 919 b. Cf. iii.5.8.

ἔχει, ἐστί: ind., as Socrates is now speaking of animals that really exist, e.g., apes.

πλέον οὐδὲν ἔχει: have no advantage.

ἀμφοτέρων: i.e. σώματος and ψυχῆς.

ὅταν τί ποιήσωσι νομιεῖς: when they do what, will you think? i.e. “what must they do to make you think?” For the interr. depending on a dependent word, see H. 1012.


συμβούλους: Aristodemus is thinking of the δαιμόνιον of Socrates, of which he has no very clear conception, and uses συμβούλους, perhaps with a touch of irony, for the impersonal συμβουλήν, advisers instead of “advice.”— τι χρὴ ποιεῖν κτλ.: the clause may be taken as obj. of the verbal idea in συμβούλους.

Ἀθηναίοις, Ἕλλησι, πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις: an ascending climax.

πυνθανομένοις: inquiring.

ἀλλά ... κατατίθενται: the change from indirect to direct discourse adds to the sarcastic emphasis, “but they select you alone, do they, and leave you in neglect?”


ἂν ἐμφῦσαι: for examples of the inf. with ἄν in indirect discourse, see G. 1308; H. 964 b. Cf. iii.5.2.

ὡς: that, depends on δόξαν belief.

καί (before τοὺς ἀνθρώπους): or, since ἐξαπατωμένους suggests an alternative condition.

δυνατοί: sc. εὖ καὶ κακῶς ποιεῖν.

πολυχρονιώτατα: most time-honored.

θεῶν: for the gen., see references on γαστρός i. 2. 1.


ἔφη: he continued, the speaker remaining unchanged, Lat. inquit.

ἐνών: sc. ἐν τῷ σώματι. Cf. ἐνόν i. 2. 54.

ὅπως ἂν αὐτῇ ἡδὺ : as it pleases.

μεταχειρίζεται: administrat, manages.

οὖν: so, then, “in like manner.”

καὶ μή: sc. χρὴ οἴεσθαι, which is also to be supplied with the following μηδέ.

τὸ σὸν μὲν ὄμμα: that, while your eye. The neg. μή grammatically attaches to the whole of the following sent., but really belongs only to the second inf. in each pair (ὁρᾶν, ἐπιμελεῖσθαι), the μέν clauses being really subordinate; i.e. “you must not believe only in your own vision and intelligence, but must infer from them those of the Deity.” For a similar use of the a fortiori argument, cf. Plato Apol. 28D, E.


ἤν: introduces the subjv. λαμβάνῃς, the sent. from ὥσπερ to φρονίμους being parenthetical.

θεραπεύων: by serving.

θεῶν: obj. gen. with πεῖραν. G. 1085, 3; H. 729 c.

εἰ: whether. G. 1605; H. 1016. On the thought of the passage, cf. i.1.9.

τῶν ἀδήλων ἀνθρώποις: sc. ὄντων. Cf. i.1.6.

γνώσῃ τὸ θεῖον, ὅτι ἐστίν: ‘prolepsis.’ Cf. 13, and συνουσίαν i. 2. 13.


ἐμοὶ μὲν οὖν κτλ.: sums up the chapter, as in i. 1. 20, 2. 62, et al.

οὐ μόνον: belongs to ὁπότε ὁρῶντο. See on μόνον 13.

ἀπέχεσθαι: depends on ποιεῖν.

ἐπείπερ ἡγήσαιντο: since (as we have seen) they had come to believe. For the opt. in causal sents., see GMT. 714; H. 925 b. For the thought, cf. the injunctions of Christ against ostentatious almsgiving and praying ‘to be seen of men,’ Matt. vi. 1-18.

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hide References (16 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (16):
    • Plato, Apology, 28d
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.3.21
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.4.12
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.4.11
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.6
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.9
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.14
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.9
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.3.10
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.5.17
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.5.2
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.5.8
    • Cicero, For Milo, 31
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 1.47
    • Cicero, de Natura Deorum, 2.59
    • Cicero, de Natura Deorum, 2.6
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