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τί οὖν δή: see on 453 b and 497 d. The reply of Socrates shows that he intends Callicles himself to draw the necessary inference from what he proceeds to bring forward.

ἀργοὺς κτἑ.: this accusation is based upon a suspicion that Pericles, in order to bring about certain desirable measures in the government, employed bribery disguised under the names of μισθὸς στρατιωτικός, δικαστικός, ἐκκλησιαστικός, and θεωρικός, of which, however, only the first two can be ascribed to Pericles. On this dole the Athenian citizens could live in a poor way at the expense of the state, and they lost perhaps some of that energy which was characteristic of them in earlier times.

δειλούς: the Athenians became timid, as a natural consequence of their inactivity, in that they (much later however) withdrew from personal war service, and depended on mercenaries exclusively.

λάλους: to activity in the real service of the state, principally of course in the assembly, was soon joined a desire to seek entertainment in public. For here their curiosity, a natural failing, was nourished by continual gossip and talk. This was the case in the time of Demosthenes (Phil. i. 10), of Paul (Acts xvii. 18), and is the case at the present day. See on 461 e.

φιλαργύρους: the desire to obtain money from the public treasury became continually stronger and more universal, and wrought great damage to the government. At the time of Demosthenes the continuance of the θεωρικόν was especially injurious, because the means for military purposes were thereby greatly curtailed. Plato's criticism of Pericles was always unfavorable, which, however, is not to be wondered at, since his youth fell during the years of Athenian depression, which the oligarchy ascribed to the mistakes of the great democratical leader.—

μισθοφορίαν: on the growth and effects of this policy at Athens and elsewhere, see Grote, Hist. xi. 281 (c. lxxxvii.).

τῶν τὰ ὦτα κατεαγότων: the Laconian imitators (λακωνίζοντες, λακωνομανοῦντες) in Athens were thus named from having their ears often broken in the πυγμή by the straps with which the hands were covered (see Herm. Gr. Alter. iv.^{3} § 37, p. 347). They formed a party, hostile to the democracy, which saw in Lacedaemon the model of a noble state, and looked to her for help. They practised Lacedaemonian severity in all external matters; hence they wore mustaches, short mantles, etc., and practised gymnastics very diligently. To harden the body, they even engaged in boxing, which was forbidden in Sparta. They became naturally, therefore, butts for ridicule. Cf. Prot. 342 b.—By this remark Callicles here accuses Socrates of partisanship.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Gorgias, 453b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 461e
    • Plato, Gorgias, 497d
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