ὥσπερ οἱ τέλεοι σοφισταί. We might render “in true professorial style.” The reference may be partly (as Wolf and Hommel suggest) to the fact that the sophistic, as contrasted with the Socratic, method was that of didactic monologue (δόλιχον κατατείνουσι τοῦ λόγου Prot. 329 A）—the lecture rather than the conversation. Thus in the sequel (208 C—212 A) Diotima developes her own doctrine without the aid of further question-and-answer. Stallb., however, explains the phrase as intended to ridicule the pretended omniscience of the sophists; Rettig sees in it an indication that what follows is meant, in part, as a parody of the earlier speeches; and by Ast and Schleierm. it is taken to refer only to the dogmatic tone of εὖ ἴσθι. For τέλεος σοφιστής, cp. Crat. 403 E (applied to Hades); σοφιστής applied to Eros, 203 D; οἱ χρηστοὶ σοφισταί, 177 B; οἱ σοφοί, 185 C. It is possible also that in τέλεος there may be a hint at the mystery-element in D.'s speech (cp. 210 A and πρὸς τέλος 210 E). εἰ ἐθέλεις κτλ. For φιλοτιμία, cp. 178 D. The thought here recalls Milton's “Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise” etc. θαυμάζοις ἂν κτλ. Stallb., defending περὶ, says “ad ἐννοεῖς facillime e superioribus intelligitur αὐτά.” But we may justly complain here, as Badham does at Phileb. 49 A, of “the dunce who inserted περὶ.” καὶ κλέος...καταθέσθαι. “Ex poeta aliquo petita esse ipse verborum numerus declarat” (Stallb.): but it is just as probable that Diotima herself is the authoress—rivalling Agathon. Cp. Tyrtaeus 12. 31—2 οὐδέ ποτε κλέος ἐσθλὸν ἀπόλλυται οὐδ᾽ ὄνομ᾽ αὐτοῦ | ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὸ γῆς περ ἐὼν γίγνεται ἀθάνατος: Theogn. 245—6 οὐδὲ τότ᾽ οὐδὲ θανὼν ἀπολεῖς κλέος, ἀλλὰ μελήσεις | ἄφθιτον ἀνθρώποις αἰὲν ἔχων ὄνομα: Simon. 99. 1 ἄσβεστον κλέος...θέντες. For the thought, see also Cic. Tusc. I. p. 303; Cat. Mai. 22. 3.
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