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Glauco, a brother of Plato, a youth of less than twenty years, is eager to take a leading part in public affairs. Socrates shows him that he is unacquainted with any of the details of government, and earnestly warns him against taking up, for public speech or action, matters on which he has not first informed himself thoroughly.

In this and the succeeding chapter, we have a pair of contrasted pictures: first, of the conceited stripling, whose zeal is without knowledge; and second, of the modest man of abilities, who withholds his valuable services from the state. Socrates performs a public duty in showing each of these men his mistake.


Γλαύκωνα: a brother of Plato. The Glauco mentioned just below was the father of Perictione, Aristo's wife, and of Charmides, uncle of Plato and Glauco.

οὐδέπω εἴκοσιν ἔτη: at eighteen an Athenian youth attained the rights of citizenship, but from eighteen to twenty military service claimed most of his time. To some offices, like the senatorship and the judgeship (cf. i.1.1), he was not eligible before the age of thirty.

ἑλκόμενον ἀπὸ τοῦ βήματος: unpopular or intolerable speakers were occasionally hooted from the bema, or led away by the police (τοξόται). Cf. Aristophanes Knights 665; Acharnians 45 ff.; Plato Prot. 319 c. For the supplementary participle with παῦσαι, see G. 1580; H. 981. Cf. τοὺς βαρβάρους ἔπαυσεν ὑβρίζοντας Isocrates xii. 83.

καταγέλαστον ὄντα: being a laughing-stock.

Χαρμίδην: see on iii.7.1.

Πλάτωνα: the only mention of Plato in Xenophon's writings. In the Republic, Plato gives a very different representation of his brother Glauco.


πρῶτον μέν: corresponds to μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα 3.

εἰς τὸ ἐθελῆσαι ἀκούειν: “in order to make him willing to hear,” the purpose of λέξας. For εἰς with the articular inf., cf. εἰς τὸ φοβεῖσθαι An. vii.8.20

κατέσχεν (sc. αὐτόν): he checked him.

ἡμῖν: ethical dative. G. 1171; H. 770.

εἴπερ τι καὶ ἄλλο (sc. ἐστίν): so in iv. 3. 14. Cf. also Cyr. iii. 3. 42.

ἐν ἀνθρώποις: in the world. Cf. εὖ ἴσθι, πάντων τῶν ἐν ἀνθρώποις κάλλιστον καὶ μακαριώτατον κτῆμα κεκτήσῃ Hiero xi. 15.

Θεμιστοκλῆς: see on ii.6.13; iv. 2. 2.

περίβλεπτος: ‘the observed of all observers.’


ἐμεγαλύνετο: was greatly elated.

ὠφελητέα: for the pers. const. of the verbal in -τέος, see G. 1595; H. 989.

ἀποκρύψῃ: for the aor. subjv. in prohibitions, see G. 1346; H. 874. On the use of the mid., Kühner remarks, ἀποκρύπτειν τι refertur ad res extra nos positas (occulere aliquid); ἀποκρύπτεσθαι contra ad id, quod in nobis est (celare aliquid).

εἶπον: first aor. imv. active. See on ii. 2. 8.


διεσιώπησεν: lapsed into silence.

ὡς ἂν τότε σκοπῶν: sc. διασιωπήσειε. τότε is equivalent to tum demum then for the first time. Cf. καὶ τὸν Κῦρον ἐπερέσθαι προπετῶς, ὡς ἂν παῖς μηδέπω ὑποπτήσσων and Cyrus asked eagerly, as a child (would) who had not yet learned to be shy Cyr. i. 3. 8.

αὐτόν: i.e. τὸν οἶκον.

πειράσῃ: fut. indic. middle.


οὐκοῦν: see on ii.1.2.

εἰκός: sc. ἐστί.

πόσαι τινές: see on i.1.1.

αὐτῶν: depends on τινές.

ἐνδεῶς ἔχουσιν: are insufficient.

παραλείπονται: are being neglected.


ἀφαιρεῖν: retrench.

ἐσχόλασα: found time.

ἀναβαλούμεθα: we will postpone.

μὴ εἰδότα: see on πιστεύων i. 1. 5.


σφόδρα: sc. πλουτίζειν.

καὶ τὰ ὄντα: even what he had, to say nothing of what he had hoped to win from the enemy.


ἥττων: sc. τῆς πόλεως δύναμις τῆς τῶν ἐναντίων. For a similar instance of ‘brachylogy,’ cf. iii.5.4.


ἀπὸ στόματος: by word of mouth, i.e. from memory. Cf. ἔχοις ἂν διηγήσασθαι (repeat them); Οὐ μὰ τὸν Δία οὔκουν οὕτω γε ἀπὸ στόματος Plato Theaet. 142 D.

εἰ γέγραπταί σοι: if you have it written down.


τήν γε πρώτην (sc. ὥραν or ὁδόν): for the present. For the omission of the noun, see G. 932, 2; H. 621 c; and, for the adv. acc., G. 1060; H. 719.

αὐτῶν: i.e. τῶν τοῦ πολέμου implied in πολέμου.

ἐξήτακας: from ἐξετάζω.

οἶδ̓ ὅτι: a formula of assurance, here (as in 13) ironical.

ὁπόσαι φυλακαὶ ἐπίκαιροί εἰσι: how many outposts are advantageously placed.

φρουροί: garrisons.


ἁπάσας: sc. ἀφαιρεῖν συμβουλεύσω.

τὰ ἐκ τῆς χώρας: condensed form of τὰ ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ ἐξ αὐτῆς. H. 788 a. Cf. ἁρπασόμενοι τὰ ἐκ τῶν οἰκιῶν Cyr. vii. 2. 5.

ἁρπάζειν: to rob openly, contrasted with κλέπτειν to steal.

ἔφη: he continued.ἐλθὼν αὐτὸς κτλ.: have you gone in person and investigated this?

εἰκάζωμεν, εἰδῶμεν: the use of the first pers. pl., and perhaps the assonance of the verbs, serve to heighten the playful irony of the passage.

βέλτιον: sc. ἂν εἴη.


τἀργύρεια: the silver mines, at Laurium. See on ii. 5. 2.

οὐ γὰρ οὖν: certainly not. For οὖν adding emphasis to an affirmative, see on iii.3.2.

καὶ γάρ: and with good reason, for.

λέγεται βαρὺ τὸ χωρίον εἶναι: the district is said to be unhealthy.

αὕτη σοι πρόφασις ἀρκέσει: this will serve you as an excuse.

σκώπτομαι: you are mocking me. Cf. οἴμοι γελῶμαι Soph. Ant. 832, ὑβριζόμεθα Aristophanes Peace 1264. Glauco is as earnest as he is foolish, and Socrates now adopts a more serious tone.


προσδεῖται (sc. πόλις): requires in addition, i.e. by importation.

ἵνα μὴ τοῦτό γε ... γενομένη: “in order that the city may never run short of grain through your oversight.”

εἰδὼς ἔχῃς συμβουλεύων: you may be able, by giving advice based on knowledge.

παμμέγεθες πρᾶγμα: an enormous task.


οὐδ᾽ ἂν οἰκήσειεν, εἰ μὴ εἴσεται: for the ‘mixed form’ of cond. sent., see on i.2.45.

μυρίων: a similar approximate estimate of the number of houses in Athens is given by Ischomachus, Oec. viii. 22.

οἰκιῶν, οἴκων, houses, households.

τοῦ θείου: mother'sbrother, uncle. Charmides is meant. The Greek was much more exact in terms of relationship than the English.

δεῖται δέ: for the use of δέ where the Eng. would employ a conj. of cause or reason, cf. ἦρχον δέ An. vi.6.9 It is freq. in Homer, cf. βίηφι δὲ φέρτεροι ἦσαν ζ 6.

ἓν τάλαντον: about 57 lbs. For Greek weights, see Gow, Companion to School Classics, p. 88.


μετὰ τοῦ θείου: uncle and all.

δυνήσεσθαι ποιῆσαι πείθεσθαι: an accumulation of infs. contrasting awkwardly with Xenophon's usual well-balanced arrangement.


ὅπως μὴ ἔλθῃς: for obj. clauses after φυλάττομαι, see GMT. 370; H. 885 b.

μὴ οἶδέ τις: for the rel. cond. assumed as real, see G. 1430; H. 914 A.

ἐνθυμοῦ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων: const. with πότερά σοι δοκοῦσιν. See on αὐτῶν ἐσκόπει, πότερα i. 1. 12. Socrates says τῶν ἄλλων, reckoning Glauco among those who would seem to know what they do not know.


ἐνθυμοῦ, καὶ εὑρήσεις: see on ἐγχείρει, καὶ ὑπακούσεται ii. 3. 16. The obj. of εὑρήσεις (the fact that everywhere the well-informed are respected, and the ignorant are despised) is felt also, as obj., with ἐνθυμοῦ.

ἐκ, ὄντας: consist of.


τῶν ἄλλων: i.e. your fellowcitizens.

οὐκ ἂν θαυμάσαιμι: apod. to εἰ τύχοις.

εἰ τύχοις: a true fut. cond. of the ‘less vivid’ form, not (as freq. after θαυμάζω) causal.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 6.6.9
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 7.8.20
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.1.1
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.5.4
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