This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Charmides, a man who is thoroughly acquainted with public affairs, but has yet, by reason of excessive modesty, never ventured to speak in public, is urged by Socrates no longer to withhold his services from the state. As he has not hesitated in private to give advice which was accepted by the most experienced statesmen, he will be able to speak in the presence of the less intelligent multitude in a manner which will redound to his own credit and the welfare of the commonwealth.
Χαρμίδην: brother-in-law of Aristo, who had married his sister Perictione, and hence uncle of Plato and the younger Glauco. (See on iii. 6. 1.) His kinsman and guardian Critias had introduced him to Socrates after the siege of Potidaea (432 B.C.); cf. Plato Charm. 154. Together with Critias he fought on the side of the oligarchy, and fell in the fight at the Piraeus (403 B.C.). Cf. Hell. ii. 4. 19. δυνατώτερον: sc. πράττειν τὰ πολιτικά. προσιέναι τῷ δήμῳ: to come forward as speaker in the popular assembly. τοὺς στεφανίτας ἀγῶνας νικᾶν: for the acc. with νικᾶν, see on ii.6.26. The ἀγῶνες were of two kinds, χρηματῖται and στεφανῖται, the former offering a prize of money value, the latter (and more distinguished) the coveted wreath of olive, bay, or parsley. ποῖόν τινα: see on τοιάδε τις i. 1. 1. δῆλον ὅτι: was generally regarded as one word, hence the position of ἔφη after ὅτι, as in iv. 2. 14, 4. 23. Cf. iv.2.39.
ἐπιμελόμενος: by giving attention, modifies αὔξειν. ὀκνοίη δή: should then hesitate. δή glances back to the words δυνατὸς ὢν κτλ. καὶ ταῦτα: and that too, sc. τούτων ἐπιμελεῖσθαι. G. 1573; H. 612 a. πολίτῃ γε ὄντι: as a citizen.
ταῦτά μου καταγιγνώσκεις: do you pass this criticism on me. Cf. i. 3. 10. αἷς: equivalent to ἐν αἷς. See on ii. 1. 32. ἀνακοινῶνταί σοι: consult with you. So Xenophon (An. iii.1.5) referred (ἀνακοινοῦται) the invitation of Proxenus to Socrates, for his advice. ὀρθῶς ἐπιτιμῶντα: rightly assigning the blame.
τέ, καί: as in iii. 4. 3. κατὰ μόνας (sc. μοίρας or δυνάμεις): “by themselves.” Cf. αὐτοὶ κατὰ μόνας ἀπεωσάμεθα Κορινθίους we by ourselves repulsed the Corinthians Thuc. i. 32. κρατιστεύουσι: excel. For a different meaning, cf. i.4.14; ii. 6. 26.
ἐν τοῖς ὄχλοις: i.e. in public meetings, but with a depreciatory added meaning. Cf. ἐν δικαστηρίοις τε καὶ ἄλλοις ὄχλοις Plato Gorg. 454 E. —καὶ σέ γε διδάξων κτλ.: Charmides has just said that bashfulness in speaking before a public audience has a rational ground in the nature of man. Socrates retorts, “Not so; for you, who do not hesitate to speak before the most intelligent individuals, yet shrink from addressing the unintelligent populace,”—which is not nature, but perversity. διδάξων ὥρμημαι: I desire to show, lit. I have set out with the intention of showing. For the fut. participle of intention, see G. 1563, 4; H. 969 c. αἰσχύνῃ λέγειν: see on iii.1.11.
τοὺς μεταβαλλομένους (sc. τὰ ὤνια): shopkeepers, opposed to ἐμπόρους merchants (i.e. importers). See on ἔμποροι iii. 4. 2. Cf. the distinction made in England (but not in America) between ‘tradesmen’ and ‘merchants.’ For this and the other accs. with αἰσχύνῃ, see G. 1049; H. 712.
τί δὲ οἴει διαφέρειν κτλ.: and how do you suppose your behavior is any wiser than that of the athlete who, when proved superior to trained opponents, yet fears the untrained? Cf. ἀσκηταὶ ὄντες τῶν καλῶν κἀγαθῶν ἔργων ἴωμεν ἐπὶ τοὺς πολεμίους, ἰδιώτας ὄντας Cyr. i. 5. 11. The Olympic victors are contrasted with ἰδιῶται in iii. 12. 1. ἐν τῇ πόλει: “in public life.” φροντίσασι, μηδὲ κατεφρονηκόσι: note the difference between the aor. and the pf. participle, men who never gave a thought, and have conceived no contempt for you.
οἱ ἕτεροι: the others, sc. in private circles, mentioned in 3. θαυμάζω σου εἰ: see on ἐθαύμαζε εἰ i. 1. 13. ἐκείνους: refers to οἱ ἕτεροι, nearest mentioned, but farther from the speaker's thought. τούτοις: i.e. the people in the public assembly. προσενεχθῆναι: “to face.”
μὴ ἀγνόει σεαυτόν: do not underestimate your own powers. Cf. cessator esse noli (μὴ ἀπορρᾳθύμει) et illud γνῶθι σεαυτόν noli putare ad arrogantiam minuendam solum esse dictum, verum etiam, ut bona nostra norimus Cic. Ep. ad Quint. iii. 6. τούτου: gen. of separation with ἀπορρᾳθύμει. ὠφελήσῃ: middle as passive, as in i. 6. 14; iii. 3. 15.
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.