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III.

2 ff. By way of preparing his young friend for the interview, Socrates wishes to awaken in his mind a question as to the real value of the costly instruction of Protagoras; a question which the vehement Hippocrates was in no mood to entertain. First, therefore, Socrates will elicit from him the vagueness of his quest; then, humbled by this discovery, Hippocrates is ready for the consideration of the main question.

ῥώμης: relates generally to physical strength, but here to strength of will, fixedness of purpose. Cf. Polit. 259 c πρὸς τὴν τῆς ψυχῆς σύνεσιν καὶ ῥώμην.

διεσκόπουν καὶ ἠρώτων: combining both in one act. Cf. Apol. 21 c διασκοπῶν οὖν τούτον καὶ διαλεγόμενος αὐτῷ, 18 b ὑμῶν τοὺς πολλοὺς ἔπειθόν τε καὶ κατηγόρουν ἐμοῦ.

τελῶν: fut., cf. τελοῦντες 311 e.—

παρὰ τίνα κτἑ.: for a similar questioning, cf. Gorg. 447 c f.

Illustrations of a general question or of an abstract principle by particular examples, introduced by ὥσπερ ἄν, belong in such a marked way to the peculiarities of the style of the Platonic Socrates, that one may reasonably see in them a practice of the actual Socrates. In these passages it is no rare thing to find several members with εἰ, inserted one into another, and ‘anacolutha,’ in which the ὥσπερ is forgotten. We have here a prot., εἰ . . . ἐκείνῳ, then the apod. consisting of εἰ . . . ἤρετο, . . . ἀπεκρίνω. —The Athenians generally classed together physicians, sculptors, painters, flute-players, and sophists, as men whose professions were mercenary and to be adopted only through necessity. — Cf. 312 b, Gorg. 512 d, Luc. Somn. 9 εἰ δὲ καὶ Φειδίας Πολύκλειτος γένοιο, τὴν μὲν τέχνην ἅπαντες ἐπαινέσονται, οὐκ ἔστι δὲ ὅστις τῶν ἰδόντων, εἰ νοῦν ἔχοι, εὔξαιτ᾽ ἄν σοι ὅμοιος γενέσθαι: οἷος γὰρ ἂν ᾖς, βάναυσος καὶ χειρῶναξ καὶ ἀποχειροβίωτος νομισθήσῃ (you will be considered a mechanic and an artisan, living by manual toil). Cf. Plutarch Pericles 2 for nearly identical language: δ᾽ αὐτουργία τῶν ταπεινῶν τῆς εἰς τὰ καλὰ ῥᾳθυμίας μάρτυρα τὸν ἐν τοῖς ἀχρήστοις πόνον παρέχεται καθ̓ αὑτῆς: καὶ οὐδεὶς εὐφυὴς νέος τὸν ἐν Πίσῃ θεασάμενος Δία γενέσθαι Φειδίας ἐπεθύμησεν τὴν Ἥραν τὴν ἐν Ἄργει Πολύκλειτος, οὐδ̓ Ἀνακρέων Φιλήμων Ἀρχίλοχος ἡσθεὶς αὐτῶν τοῖς ποιήμασιν.

Hippocrates of Cos, the founder of the science of medicine, belonged to the family of the Asclepiadae, in which family the priesthood of Asclepius and the practice of medicine were hereditary. See also Phaedr. 270 c εἰ μὲν Ἱπποκράτει γε τῷ τῶν Ἀσκληπιαδῶν δεῖ τι πιθέσθαι.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Protagoras, 311e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 312b
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