previous next

Before choosing a man as friend, we should find out what he is, and how he treated his former associates: and if we still desire his friendship, the approval of the gods should be sought. He is then to be won by kind words and deeds; and only good men, who can add something to friendship, win friends. And although jealousy and strife arise even among such, still the virtue common to them all helps to reconcile and re-unite them. Sensual motives should have no place in forming a friendship. Its best motive is found in our wish to further the noble aims of another, and to rejoice with him in their attainment. All pretense is of course to be eschewed; and we should strive to be just what we wish to seem to our friends.


εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν: with regard to judging, to be connected with φρενοῦν.

ἄξιον: sc. ἐστί.

φρενοῦν (sc. τοὺς συνουσιαστάς): to give good advice to.

Κριτόβουλε: see on i.3.8.

ἆρα: like the Lat. ne, leaves it to the person addressed to determine the nature of the answer. Evidently Socrates expects an affirmative answer: and his use of ἆρα instead of ἆρα οὐ (nonne) is simply courtesy of expression. So in iii. 2. 1. See G. 1603; H. 1015.

οὐ δῆτα: the neg. assents to the statement in the preceding sent., as if that had been a question.


τί γάρ: “well, then,” used in lively transition. Less animated is the τί δέ in 4.

τῶν πλησίον δεῖται: “is borrowing” from his neighbors. For δέομαι with the gen. alone instead of gen. of pers. and acc. of thing, see Kr. Spr. 47. 16. 7. The ellipsis is common in Eng., e.g., ‘Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.’

μέντοι: vero.


δυσσύμβολος: hard to get on with. Cf. Plato Rep. 486 B.

λαμβάνων ἥδεται: is glad to get.

ἐμοὶ μὲν δοκεῖ: like ἐμοὶ μὲν ἐδόκει i. 2. 62.


σχολὴν ποιεῖται: finds leisure.

ὁπόθεν κερδανεῖ: than the occupation from which he hopes to gain.

παρέχειν: to raise up.

κακῶν: bad qualities.

εἰ ἔχοι, ἀνέχεται: the opt. supposes a case, the indic. then assumes it as real. So εἴη, τυγχάνει in 5. Cf. εἰ δέ τις τὸ παραυτίκα μὲν μὴ ἐθέλοι ξυμπλεῖν, μετέχειν δὲ βούλεται τῆς ἀποικίας but suppose a man should not care to sail at once (with the expedition) and yet desires a share in the colony Thuc. i. 27. For the indic. in first place, cf. εἰ διαβέβληνται, εἰ φόβοιντο Plato Phaedo 67 E.

εὖ πάσχων ἀνέχεται: lets himself receive favors. See on λαμβάνων 3. ἀνέχεται (lit. endures) is ironical. Cf. ἀνεξόμεθα ὑπὸ σοῦ εὐεργετούμενοι Cyr. v. 1. 26.


οἶμαι μέν: for μέν, see on i.1.1.

τἀναντία τούτων: as in i. 2. 60.

τῶν διὰ τοῦ σώματος ἡδονῶν: cf. τῶν διὰ στόματος ἡδέων i. 4. 5. Plato also (Rep. 328 D) has the expression αἱ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα ἡδοναί, which Aristotle (Eth. Nic. vii. 8. 4) condenses into σωματικαὶ ἡδοναί. Cf. also τῶν περὶ τὸ σῶμα ἡδονῶν Hell. vi.1.16

εὔνους: the appropriate contrast to the quality described in 2 (ὅστις ... μισεῖ).

ἐλλείπεσθαι: middle.

ποιῶν: supplementary participle, as in ii. 4. 7.

τοῖς χρωμένοις: his friends.


ταῦτα: the qualities mentioned in 5.

πρὸ τοῦ χρῆσθαι: “before we have tested them by experience.”

τούτῳ πιστεύομεν ποιήσειν: for the omission of the subj. of the inf. when it is the same as the obj. of the main verb, see G. 895, 2; H. 941, and cf. τί οὖν Ὁμήρῳ οὐ πιστεύεις καλῶς λέγειν Plato Charm. 161 A.


καὶ δή: so also.

ἄνδρα δῆλον εἶναι εὐεργετήσοντα: for the pers. const. with δῆλός εἰμι, see on i.1.2.

ἵπποις: emphatic position.

ὁρῶ: equivalent to οἶδα.

χρώμενον: represents an impf. indic. in direct discourse. Cf. οἶδα δὲ κἀκείνω σωφρονοῦντε ἔστε Σωκράτει συνήστην i. 2. 18. The context must determine whether the participle is pres. or imperfect. See GMT. 140, 119; H. 982.

κἄν: equivalent to καὶ ἄν.


εἶεν: very well, introduces a transition.

τὰ παρὰ τῶν θεῶν: the advice of the gods, to be obtained through divination. See on i. 1. 3.

εἰ συμβουλεύουσιν: indir. question, explaining τὰ παρὰ τῶν θεῶν. See on i. 5. 1.

ὃν ἂν ἡμῖν τε δοκῇ: sc. φίλον ποιεῖσθαι.

ὅπως: how.


μὰ Δία: introduces a neg. statement, but does not answer ἔχεις negatively.

κατὰ πόδας: cursu, by chasing them. Cf. iii. 11. 8; Cyr. i. 6. 40; Cyn. v. 29.

ὥσπερ οἱ ἐχθροί: we might expect another animal in the third place, as κάπροι (suggested by Ernesti). Perhaps οἱ ἐχθροί has strayed back from the following sentence. ἐχθρός and πολέμιος are properly distinguished, like inimicus and hostis in Latin; but occasionally confused, as here. Cf. οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν τὸν Μῆδον ἐχθρὸν ἔχοντες Thuc. vi. 17.


ἐπῳδάς, φίλτρα: spells, charms. Cf. iii. 2. 6; Plato Charm. 157 A.

ἐπᾴδοντες: cf. χρὴ τὰ τοιαῦτα ὥσπερ ἐπᾴδειν ἑαυτῷ Plato Phaedo 114 D.

οἷς ἄν: for τούτοις, οἷς ἄν.

φιλοῦνται ὑπ̓ αὐτῶν: “gain their affection.”


μὲν αἱ Σειρῆνες ἐπῇδον: Cf. ‘what songs the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among the women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond conjecture.’ Sir Thomas Browne, Urn Burial, c. iv. Acc. to Homer, there were two Sirens, whose song is given, μ 184-191. Later writers name three, Ligeia, Leucosia, Parthenope (or Aglaopheme, Molpe, Thelxiepeia). For a fuller account, see Seyffert, Dict. Class. Antiq., s.v. Sirens.

τοιάδε τις: as in i. 1. 1.— δεῦῤ ἄγε δὴ κτλ.: cf. Hom. μ 184, where the verse begins δεῦρ᾽ ἄγ̓ ἰών.

οὔκ: for the accent, see G. 138, 1; H. 112 a.

τοῖς ἐπ᾽ ἀρετῇ φιλοτιμουμένοις: those who prided themselves on their calor.


σχεδόν τι τοιαῦτα: talia fere.—οἷα μὴ νομιεῖ κτλ.: quae si audiat, a laudatore irridendi causa dici non existimabit. For μή with the fut. indic. in clauses of result, see G. 1447; H. 1021 b. For the ‘Attic’ fut. (νομιεῖ), see on ii.1.24.

ἐχθίων: hated rather (than a friend). The subj. of εἴη is, of course, the person who seeks to make friends.

ἀπελαύνοι: sc. ἄν.

εἰ ἐπαινοίη: explains οὕτω.


οὔκ: see on 11.

μέν: followed by no correlative; cf. πρῶτον μέν in 8, and μέν in 11. In this usage, it is a weak form of μήν indeed, truly. Kr. Spr. 69. 35. 1.

Περικλῆς: the most illustrious of Athenian statesmen, to whose wise and consistent policy Athens owed her growth to imperial power in the πεντηκονταετία or half-century between the Persian and the Peloponnesian wars. Cf. Thuc. i. 89-118.

ἐποίει: for dependent secondary tenses of the indic. in indirect discourse, see G. 1497, 2; H. 931.

Θεμιστοκλῆς: the famous leader of the Greeks at the battle of Salamis (480 B.C.). For an account of his brilliant and successful leadership on that occasion, see Hdt. viii. 56 ff., and, for later events in his checkered career, Thuc. i. 136-138. Pericles owed his fame and influence chiefly to the magic of his eloquence, while Themistocles became the popular favorite by his deeds. Cf. iv.2.2. That the Xenophontic Socrates had no intention of detracting from the glory of Pericles's services may be seen from Sym. viii. 39, σκεπτέον μέν σοι ποῖα ἐπιστάμενος Θεμιστοκλῆς ἱκανὸς ἐγένετο τὴν Ἑλλάδα ἐλευθεροῦν, σκεπτέον δὲ ποῖά ποτε εἰδὼς Περικλῆς κράτιστος ἐδόκει τῇ πατρίδι σύμβουλος εἶναι, ἀθρητέον δὲ καὶ πῶς ποτε Σόλων φιλοσοφήσας νόμους κρατίστους τῇ πόλει κατέθηκε— where the thought is, that Themistocles was great in action, Pericles in counsel, Solon in legislation. Here, Socrates is emphasizing the necessity of supplementing words with deeds. Both are essential to the winning of a worthy man's friendship.


εἰ μέλλοιμεν, δεῖ γενέσθαι: if we would succeed, we must become. The apod. to such a prot. as εἰ μέλλοιμι generally contains an idea of obligation, expressed by δεῖν or δεῖσθαι, as here, or by a verbal in -τέον. Cf. An. iii. 3. 16, Hell. iv.8.5

λέγειν τε καὶ πράττειν: these words may, as some editors think, refer to the eloquence of Pericles and the deeds of Themistocles; but the phrase is a common one, and serves to round the period.

σὺ δ᾽ ᾤου: see on τοὺς δὲ καλούς i. 3. 13.

καί: even.


ἑώρων γάρ: for γάρ, see on i.4.9.


καί: also, belongs to οἶσθά τινας.

περὶ οὗ διαλεγόμεθα: which is the point under discussion. “Poor speakers and good ones may indeed find friends etc.; it does not therefore follow that men who are wholly worthless can win friends: and that is the point at issue.”

φίλους (after ἀγαθούς): pred. acc., for friends.

ἐκεῖνο: that point, like Lat. illud, refers with emphasis to what follows.

εἰ ἔστιν: whether it is possible.

ἐξ ἑτοίμου: readily. Cf. ex facili Tacitus Agric. 15.


ταράττει σε (sc. τοῦτό ἐστιν), ὅτι: what puzzles you is the fact that. Cf. μὲν πάντων θαυμαστότατον ἀκοῦσαι, ὅτι ὧν ἐπῃνέσαμεν Plato Rep. 491 b.

χαλεπώτερον χρωμένους: sc. ἀλλήλοις.


ἰδιῶται: individuals.

προσιέμεναι: admitting to themselves. Cf. ἐγὼ γὰρ κακὸν οὐδὲν οὐδ᾽ αἰσχρὸν προσήσομαι Cyr. vii. 1. 13.

πολεμικῶς: hostiliter.


οὔτε γάρ: not followed by a correlative οὔτε, an irregularity easily explained by the vivacity of the conversation. Instead of a second οὔτε, we have (in 20) ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ᾽ ἄν, and, instead of a third οὔτε, the clauses beginning εἰ δὲ δή.

πεφυκέναι: to be by nature.


εἰ δὲ ... στασιάζουσι, καὶ μισοῦσιν: the third and strongest ground for Critobulus's discouragement. The cond. is assumed as real, if, as you say.

ἑαυτοῖς: for ἀλλήλοις, the refl. for the reciprocal. G. 996; H. 686 b. So in iii. 5. 16, where, as here, ἀλλήλοις immediately follows.

τίνες ἔτι: who then.

ἔσται: will abide.


ἔχει μὲν ποικίλως πως ταῦτα: these things (love and hate) have somewhat complicated relations.

τὰ φιλικά: dispositions toward friendship.

πολεμικόν: see on χρησιμώτερον ii. 3. 1.

δυσμενές: an element of discord.

μισητὸν δὲ φθόνος: and envy leads to hate. The verbal in -τός, usually passive, has here an active meaning.


ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως: corresponds to μέν in 21.

διαδυομένη: slipping through. Cf. “serpit enim nescio quo modo per omnium vitas amicitiaCic. de Am. xxiii. 87.

διὰ τὴν ἀρετήν: contrasted with φύσει 21. On the one hand, love and hate work as natural powers in men; on the other, the acquired and cultivated virtue in men controls their lives as it will.

αἱροῦνται μέν: followed by καὶ δύνανται instead of δύνανται δέ, the καί strengthening the statement somewhat.

τοῖς τῶν ὡραίων ἀφροδισίοις: see on i.3.8, 10.

ἡδόμενοι: concessive.

ἐγκαρτερεῖν: to control their desires, not to be joined with ἡδόμενοι.


δύνανται δὲ καί: see on ἀδικεῖ δὲ καί i. 1. 1.

χρημάτων: gen. with κοινωνεῖν.

νομίμως: equivalent to δικαίως, keeping within the law. Cf. δίκαιος, ὥστε βλάπτειν μὲν μηδὲ μικρὸν μηδένα κτλ., the closing words of the Memorabilia, iv. 8. 11.

διατίθεσθαι: to adjust.

εἰς τὸ μεταμελησόμενον: to an extent which they would regret.

προϊέναι: for the inf. with verbs of preventing, cf. i.6.6; ii. 1. 16.

ἀφαιροῦσι: exclude.

τὰ των φίλων: their friends' interests.

ἑαυτῶν: possessive gen. as predicate. G. 1095; H. 732 b.


τιμῶν: depends on κοινωνούς.

ὠφελίμους ἀλλήλοις: mutually serviceable.

ἂν εἶεν: potential optative.


τοῖς φίλοις τὰ δίκαια βοηθεῖν: to assist his friends in what is right.

ἄρξας: having become archon. See on βουλεύσας i. 1. 18.

ἧττον δυνήσεται, ἀδυνατώτερος ἔσται: rhetorical variation in expression.


ἀλλὰ καί: nay, even.

συνθεμένους: to agree and, i.e. with united powers. For the acc., see G. 928, 2; H. 941.

ἀγῶνας ἐνίκων: for the cognate acc., see G. 1052; H. 716 a.

ἐκεῖ: i.e. ἐν τοῖς γυμνικοῖς ἀγῶσι.

πολιτικοῖς: sc. ἀγῶσι.

τὴν πόλιν εὐεργετεῖν: sc. μετὰ τούτου.

λυσιτελεῖ: iuvat.

κτησάμενον: see on ἁπτόμενον i. 3. 8.

κοινωνοῖς: for the const., see on δούλοις ii. 1. 12.


ἀλλὰ μήν: but further. See on i. 1. 6.

κἀκεῖνο: see on 16.

καὶ μήν: strong transition, and again.οἱ συμμαχεῖν ἐθέλοντες κτλ.: i.e. you must win not merely their willingness, but also their readiness. Cf. i.4.18.

κρεῖττον (sc. ἐστί): better, i.e. more advantageous.

ἐλάττονας: sc. ὄντας, concessive.


ἀλλά: breaks off the argument.

ἔφη: he continued.

θηρᾶν: cf. i.2.24.

διὰ τὸ ἐρωτικὸς εἶναι: by being inclined to love.

ὧν ἄν: equivalent to ἐάν τινων.

ὅλος ὥρμημαι: I strice with all my being.

φιλῶν: diligendo.

καὶ ἀντεπιθυμεῖσθαι τῆς συνουσίας: and to have my companionship sought also in return, the obj. of the act. being retained with the passive. This unusual const. is prob. due to the desire to continue the parallelism of the preceding clauses.


τούτων: sc. τοῦ φιλεῖν, τοῦ ποθεῖν, τοῦ ἐπιθυμεῖν συνεῖναι. Critobulus also must win love by showing love.

δεῆσον: for the participle as a special form of antec. for a cond. rel. clause, see GMT. 552.

ἀποκρύπτου: for the double acc. with verbs of concealing, see G. 1069; H. 724.

οὐκ ἀπείρως ἔχειν: I have some experience.


πάλαι ἐπιθυμῶ: for the pres. with πάλαι, see G. 1258; H. 826.

ἄλλως τε καί: see on ἄλλως τε i. 2. 59.

ἐξαρκέσει: see on ἀξιώσεις ii. 1. 12.

ψυχάς, σώματα: accs. of specification.


τὸ τὰς χεῖρας κτλ.: const. τὸ ποιεῖν τοὺς καλοὺς ὑπομένειν τινὰ προσφέροντα τὰς χεῖρας. Socrates asserts that his art (ἐπιστήμη) does not include submitting to physical caresses.

Σκύλλης: cf. Homer's description of this monster (μ 85 ff.).

Σειρῆνας: see on 11.

ὑπομένειν (after φασίν): equivalent to non fugere. This and the other infs. (φεύγειν, κηλεῖσθαι) represent the impf. of direct discourse.


ὡς οὐ προσοίσοντος: sc. μοῦ, which is added to φιλήσοντος in 33. For ὡς with the gen. abs., see on ὡς σημαίνοντος i. 1. 4; GMT. 864; H. 978.

θάρρει: never fear.εὐθύς, σύ γε κτλ.: En, statim tu, Critobule, dixisti ea, quae inutilia tibi fore praedico (Schneider).

καλοί, αἰσχροί: Critobulus has been using the word καλός of outward beauty; Socrates now shifts its meaning to beauty of character, while retaining αἰσχροί (ugly) in its physical sense. Critobulus then, by distinguishing between καλούς and ἀγαθούς, removes the ambiguity, and the conversation proceeds.

καὶ ἡδέως: and that with pleasure.

καλεῖσθαι: we expect ὑπολαμβάνεσθαι or δοκεῖν εἶναι.


τῶν φίλων τὰ θηρατικά: the arts for winning friends.

κατειπεῖν σου: to say in disparagement of you, humorously used of a favorable utterance. Critobulus, appreciating the pleasantry, replies κατηγόρει go on with your accusation.

ἄγασαί τε αὐτοῦ: the gen. of the person with ἄγαμαι is very rare when the quality which occasions the admiration is omitted. Usually, when the gen. is used, the quality admired is expressed in an explanatory sent., as in iv. 2. 9, or by a participle added to the genitive. Cf. ἄγαμαι τοῦ καταμετρήσαντός (who has measured off) σοι καὶ διατάξαντος ἕκαστα τούτων Oec. iv. 21.

τοὺς ἐπαινοῦντας: the idea of praising is contained in ἄγασαι and ἐπιθυμεῖς φίλος αὐτοῦ εἶναι.


διαβάλλεσθαι: to be taken humorously, like κατειπεῖν and προσκατηγορήσω. The entire passage is a good example of one form of the Socratic method. Cf. ἔπαιζεν ἅμα σπουδάζων i. 3. 8. Its true meaning is “It is plain that the plan which I propose is the simplest and surest way to secure for yourself the friendship of others.” διαβάλλεσθαι is perhaps a heightening of κατειπεῖν, and εὐνοϊκῶς ἔχειν of ἄγασαι.

ἀλλὰ καί: nay, even, in spirited retort.

πρὸς οὕς: with omission of τούτους. So in the next section.


ἐπιμελὴς τῶν φίλων: obs. the gradation of feelings which help to establish friendship. First we have admiration (ἄγασαι), next good will (εὐνοϊκῶς ἔχειν), next desire to serve (ἐπιμελής) (Weiske).

οὐδενὶ οὕτω χαίρεις ὡς φίλοις ἀγαθοῖς: Socrates takes this position for himself in i. 6. 14.

τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ: equivalent to τοῖς σεαυτοῦ. See on ii. 1. 31.

μηχανώμενος: for the supplementary participle, see on ii.1.24.

ἔγνωκας: you recognize.

ἀνδρὸς ἀρετήν: a man's chief excellence.

τοὺς δ᾽ ἐχθροὺς κακῶς: the Socratic ethics here does not rise above the ordinary Greek standard. Cf. Xenophon's description of the character of Cyrus An. i.9.11 Cf. also iii. 9. 8, where Socrates explains what he understands by φθόνος.

εἶναί με: for the subj. of the principal verb expressed with the inf., see H. 940 b.

σύνθηρον: see on θηρώμενος i. 2. 24. So θηρατικά 33, θηρᾶν 39.


ὥσπερ οὐκ ἐπὶ σοὶ ὄν: as if it were not in your power. For the participle with ὥσπερ, expressing comparison, see G. 1576; H. 978 a.

Ἀσπασίας: the celebrated mistress of Pericles, famed for her beauty and intellect. Socrates, too, admired her brilliant gifts, but when he speaks of her as of a teacher, in Xenophon and Plato, the term must be accepted as ironical. It is obvious that no Aspasia was needed to teach Socrates the lessons here inculcated.

προμνηστρίδας: matchmakers.

οὐκ ἐθέλειν: “it was not their way.”

ἐπαινεῖν: join with ψευδομένας, to praise untruthfully.

ἀληθεύω: say with truth.


οἷος συλλαμβάνειν: see on οἵους τέμνειν i. 4. 6.

εἰ δὲ μή: otherwise. For the use of this phrase in alternatives, see GMT. 478; H. 906.

οὐκ ἂν ἐθέλοις: instead of continuing with the inf. (after οἷος), we have the opt., as a more independent construction.

πότερα δ᾽ ἄν: for δέ, see on i.3.13.


γάρ: that is.

τὴν ναῦν: his ship.

τινὰ ἐλπίδα: any idea.

μὴ ἀπολέσαι: for μή with the inf. of indirect discourse, see on μηδενί i. 2. 39.

ὡς ἂν ... πολιτικῷ: sc. ὄντι. With ὡς ἄν should be supplied the clause πείσαιμι ἑαυτὴν ἐπιτρέψαι. Cf. iii.6.4. In the following ὡς ὄντι (without ἄν), however, the meaning is on the ground that you are a man skilled etc.

σεαυτόν: see on εἶναί με 35.


συντομωτάτη κτλ.: cf. “quamquam praeclare Socrates hanc viam ad gloriam proximam et quasi compendiariam dicebat esse, si quis id ageret, ut qualis haberi vellet talis essetCic. de Off. ii. 12. Cf., also, i. 7. 1.

ἐν ἀνθρώποις: see on iii.6.2.

ἀρεταί: excellencies, skill in different matters.

οὕτως: i.e. in the manner described by me.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.9.11
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.8.5
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.1.16
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.2.24
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.4.18
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.6.6
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.6.4
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.2.2
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 23
    • Cicero, De Officiis, 2.12
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: