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τὸ μὲν κεφάλαιόν κτλ. Opinions are divided as to the construction of τὸ κεφάλαιον: it may be construed (1) as nominative and subject, “the generic concept (sc. τοῦ ἔρωτος) is—”; so Hommel, Vermehren, Hug, Prantl, comparing Gorg. 463 A καλῶ δὲ αὐτοῦ (sc. τῆς ῥητορικῆς) τὸ κεφάλαιον κολακείαν: or (2) as adverbial accus. (of respect), “in its generic aspect,” cp. Phileb. 48 C ἔστι δὴ πονηρία μέν τις τὸ κεφάλαιον: Euthyphr. 8 E. The latter is certainly the more natural mode of construing here, since no genitive (αὐτοῦ) is added. But other difficulties remain: what is the subject of ἐστι, if τὸ κεφάλαιον is adverbial? Should we a construe with Ficinus (followed by Stallb.^{2}, Lehrs, Zeller, Jowett and others) “nam summatim quidem omnis bonorum felicitatisque appetitio maximus et insidiator amor est cuique”? Or b should we rather, with Stallb.^{1} and Prantl, supply ἔρως as the subject of ἐστι and construe πᾶσα ...εὐδαιμονεῖν as the predicate? To my mind the latter is the more natural method. Next arises the question, how are we to deal with the last part of the sentence, μέγιστός...παντί? If with most edd. (except Rückert, Stallb.^{2} and Rettig) we regard δολερὸς as corrupt, the best plan is to excise the whole clause with Hug (and Stallb.^{1}), since none of the corrections of δολερὸς hitherto proposed (see crit. n.) are at all convincing. The chief objection to δολερὸς is, not so much the meaning of the word itself (which may be defended by 203 D), as rather (to quote Stallb.^{2}) “conjunctio superlativi μέγιστος cum δολερός positivo.” But even this objection is not, I think, insuperable; for if we construe παντί closely with δολερὸς as “all-ensnaring,” we get a superlative idea which balances μέγιστος, while in sense it is supported by 203 B, D and Sappho's δολοπλόκε Ἀφροδίτα. If, adopting this explanation, we retain the traditional text, it seems best to regard the clause μέγιστός...παντί as an appositional quotation and to construe, with Prantl, “nämlich jene grösste und für jeden verfängliche Liebe.” Hommel is singular in taking τοῦ εὐδαιμονεῖν (sc. ἐπιθυμία), as well as τὸ κεφάλαιον, as subject (“und das Streben nach dem höchsten Gute, d. i. nach Glückseligkeit, ist die grösste Liebe”).

ἔρωτα...ἐρασταί. This sequence is irregular. Usually with ὄνομα ἔχειν the name is in the nominative, in apposition with the subject, e.g. Laws 956 C διαιτηταὶ ὄνομα...ἔχοντες (so here ἐρασταί): but the accus. is also possible (in appos. with ὄνομα), as in Plut. Arist. 2. But the combination of the two constructions is certainly awkward, and the words may well be, as Schanz supposes, a gloss.

Καὶ λέγεται κτλ. An allusion to Aristophanes' speech, esp. 192 B, E ff.: cp. 212 C. For οὔθ᾽ ὅλου, below, cp. 192 E.


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hide References (8 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (8):
    • Plato, Euthyphro, 8e
    • Plato, Philebus, 48c
    • Plato, Symposium, 192b
    • Plato, Symposium, 192e
    • Plato, Symposium, 203b
    • Plato, Symposium, 203d
    • Plato, Symposium, 212c
    • Plato, Gorgias, 463a
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