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ὅτι τὸ μὲν ἄρρεν κτλ. Aristophanes too can pose as an erudite physicist. His astronomical lore may come partly from Parmenides, partly from the Pythagoreans. Cp. Arist. de gen. an. I. 2 ἄρρεν γὰρ λέγομεν ζῷον τὸ εἰς ἄλλο γεννῶν, θῆλυ δὲ τὸ εἰς αὑτό: διὸ καὶ ἐν τῷ ὅλῳ τὴν τῆς γῆς φύσιν ὡς θῆλυ καὶ μητέρα νομίζουσιν, οὐρανὸν δὲ καὶ ἥλιον...ὡς γεννῶντας καὶ πατέρας προσαγορεύουσιν. For the moon as bisexed, cp. Orph. Hymn. IX. 4 (θῆλύς τε καὶ ἄρσην); Macrob. III. 8 Philochorus affirmat Venerem esse lunam et ei sacrificium facere viros cum veste muliebri, mulieres cum virili, quod eadem et mas aestimetur et femina. Procl. in Tim. p. 326 C (οὕτω δὴ καὶ σεληνιακὴν ψυχὴν εἰς ἀνδρὸς κατιέναι φύσιν, καθὰ τὴν Μουσαίου φασί, καὶ ἀπολλωνιακὴν (ἡλιακὴν Jahn) εἰς γυναικός, καθάπερ ἱστοροῦσι τὴν Σίβυλλαν) shows that opinion on the matter was not uniform: see also Plutarch, Is. et Os. II. 368 C, 371 F ff.

ὅτι...μετέχει. Vögelin and others rightly defend this clause against athetizers like Jahn: it adds to the impression of “komische Gelehrsamkeit.”

περιφερῆ. “Globular” rather than “circular” (“kreisformig,” Ast, Schleierm.). For πορεία, incessus, cp. Tim. 45 A, Polit. 266 B.

τὰ φρονήματα μεγάλα εἶχον. They were “high minded” and had “proud looks”; they did not “refrain their soul and keep it low”: “μεγάλα φρονήματα dicuntur habere qui contra dominos conspirant, cp. 182 C” (Hommel).

λέγει Ὅμηρος. See Od. XI. 305 ff., Il. V. 385 ff. We may compare also Ps. ii. 2, “The kings of the earth set themselves...against the Lord”; and the Babel tradition (Gen. xi. 4 ff.; cp. Orig. c. Cels. IV. p. 515 A ff.).


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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Symposium, 182c
    • Plato, Timaeus, 45a
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