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τῷ αὑτῶν γὰρ ἤθει λεγομένων: as an illustration of the sentiment, cf. Dem. Ol. iii. 19 ἀλλ᾽ οἶμαι μέγα τοῖς τοιούτοις ὑπάρχει (“comes to the aid of”) λόγοις παρ᾽ ἑκάστου βούλησις.

φίλη κεφαλή: a humorously pathetic mode of address, borrowed from the Homeric usage (Θ 281 et al.). Cf. also Soph. O. R. 950 φίλτατον γυναικὸς Ἰοκάστης κάρα” etc. Our use of the word ‘heart’ in tender address is analogous. Cf. Shaks. Love's Labor Lost, v. 3: ‘Good heart, what grace hast thou thus to reprove?’ etc.

τὸ τῶν πολλῶν πάθος: namely that they listen gladly only to that which harmonizes with their opinions, and are very loath to offer on the altar of more perfect knowledge the views they have come to cherish; hence they remain unde cided, as Meno says, Meno 95 c ὅπερ οἱ πολλοὶ πέπονθα: τοτὲ μέν μοι δοκοῦσι, τοτὲ δὲ οὔ. The candor of Callicles here as compared with his earlier obstinacy is quite remarkable. For the asyndeton, see on 450 b.

ἴσως: this addition shows that the fulfilment of the condition is still very doubtful. Cf. Socrates' remarks on the necessity of time to convince, in Apol. 19 a, 37 a, b, quoted on 455 a.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Gorgias, 450b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 455a
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 950
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