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διαφθείρειν: cf. 360 a, Symp. 174 b ἵνα καὶ τὴν παροιμίαν διαφθείρωμεν μεταβάλλοντες that we may spoil the proverb by changing it.

ἐδόκει πᾶσιν: they offered a facile acquiescence, cf. ταῦτα ἤρεσε κτἑ. above.

ἡγοῦμαι κτἑ.: the sophists were the first to make language the object of scientific examination and discussion. This was occasioned by, and in its turn promoted, the exegesis and criticism of the poets, who thus became the favorite theme of conversation in cultivated circles. This appears in Socrates's remarks in 347 c, and in the amusing scenes in Ar. Ran. 1099 ff. It was often, however, the sole aim of the sophists, through the pointing out of faults in form or contents, to exhibit their own superiority to these writers. Thus Protagoras censured the imv. in μῆνιν ἄειδε θεά, and the fem. form οὐλομένην (cf. Arist. Poet. 19, Soph. El. 14), and Hippias boasted his knowledge of the poets (cf. 347 a, Cic. de Or. iii. 127); see the dialogue Hipp. Mi. and Introd. p. 16 f. Isocrates says XII. 18 τινές μοι τῶν ἐπιτηδείων ἔλεγον ὡς ἐν τῷ Λυκείῳ συγκαθεζόμενοι τρεῖς τέτταρες τῶν ἀγελαίων (common sort of) σοφιστῶν καὶ πάντα φασκόντων εἰδέναι διαλέγοιντο περί τε τῶν ἄλλων ποιητῶν καὶ τῆς Ἡσιόδου καὶ τῆς Ὁμήρου ποιήσεως.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Protagoras, 347a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 347c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 360a
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