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Socrates begins his story. Hippocrates called on him at an early hour and entreated him to apply to Protagoras on his behalf.

1. ἔτι βαθέος ὄρθρου. ὄρθρος βαθύς is the period just before daybreak: ὄρθρος is the morning twilight, and βαθύς implies that it was more dark than light: Crito, 43A. A similar use of βαθύς is seen in the expressions βαθεῖα νύξ and βαθεῖα ἑσπέρα.

2. ἹπποκράτηςΦάσωνος δὲ ἀδελφός. Hippocrates is known only from this dialogue. δέ without preceding μέν is regular in such twofold descriptions of a person: Sauppe refers to Aesch. Pers. 151 μήτηρ βασιλέως, βασίλεια δ᾽ ἐμή and Hdt. VII. 10 πατρὶ τῷ σῷ, ἀδελφεῷ δὲ ἐμῷ Δαρείῳ, ἠγόρευον. The use of δέ in μᾶλλον δέ=‘vel potius’ is the same.

4. ᾔει ἐπειγόμενος. So BT: neither in the 3rd singular of such forms nor elsewhere do Plato's MSS. always avoid hiatus. Schanz (vol. XII, p. XV) would insert the ν ἐφελκυστικόν in such forms before a vowel, unless a pause follows.

7. Ἱπποκράτης, ἔφην, οὗτος. We have followed Heindorf in printing a full stop after οὗτος. Heindorf (following Ficinus) correctly takes the words as an aside; Socrates recognises Hippocrates by his voice. The neuter comparative of νέος regularly implies that the new is worse than the old: see on Euthyphr. 2A.

8. εἰ μὴ ἀγαθά γε. Compare Ar. Knights, 186 μῶν ἐκ καλῶν εἶ κἀγαθῶν; μὰ τοὺς θεούς, εἰ μὴ 'κ πονηρῶν γε and Blaydes in loc. The idiom originally meant ‘unless by νεώτερα you mean ἀγαθά’, which would be a contradiction in terms, since νεώτερον is κακόν. Preceded by οὐδέν it has come to mean little more than ‘except good’.

11. πρῴην: see 309Dτρίτην γε ἤδη ἡμέραν.

12. ἑσπέρας γε: χθές is unnecessary, as the Athenians counted the interval between two sunsets as one day (Kroschel, referring to Varro, ap. Gell. Noct. Att. III. 2. 4).

ἐπιψηλαφήσας τοῦ σκίμποδος. The σκίμπους was a low stool or bed. According to a scholiast on Ar. Clouds, 254, the word means properly a ‘lame stool’ (χωλὸν κραββάτιον) and is connected with σκιμπάζειν = χωλαίνειν. ἐπιψηλαφῶ is followed by the accusative where it does not (as here) contain the idea of search for, e.g. in Rep. II. 360A (ἐπιψηλαφῶντα τὸν δακτύλιον).

14. Οἰνόης. Oenoe (probably = the Wine-country) was a δῆμος in the φυλὴ Ἱπποθοωντίς, near Eleutherae, on the road to Thebes. The slave had endeavoured to escape across the frontier into Boeotia. There was another δῆμος of the same name near Marathon, belonging to the φυλὴ Αἰαντίς.

17. ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἦλθον. For this sense of ἔρχομαι (‘come back’) Heindorf quotes Lysias ὑπὲρ Μαντιθέου § 4 ἀλλ᾽ ἤλθομεν πρὶν τοὺς ἀπὸ Φυλῆς εἰς τὸν Πειραιᾶ κατελθεῖν πρότερον πένθ᾽ ἡμέραις.

18. ἀδελφός. So (not ἁδελφός) the MSS. The article is not rarely omitted with names denoting relation, as we usually omit it with ‘father’ and ‘mother’. See Kühner's Griechische Grammatik, 11, 522. The force of ἔτι is ‘late though it was’. δέ is commonly omitted after ἔπειτα and εἶτα: so below, 350Dπρῶτον μὲν γάρἔπειτα; Symp. 211A πρῶτον μὲν ἀεὶ ὄνἔπειτα οὐ τῇ μὲν καλόν, τῇ δ᾽ αἰσχρόν.

20. πόρρω τῶν νυκτῶν. The plural is idiomatic: cf. Symp. 217D διελεγόμην ἀεὶ πόρρω τῶν νυκτῶν; Ar. Clouds, 2 Ζεῦ βασιλεῦ τὸ χρῆμα τῶν νυκτῶν ὅσον. So μέσαι νύκτες for ‘midnight’. In quibus loquendi formulis remarks Heindorf ‘νύκτες horas nocturnas denotant’.

21. ὕπνος ἀνῆκεν is modelled on Homer (e.g. Il. II. 71 ἐμὲ δὲ γλυκὺς ὕπνος ἀνῆκεν), but Plato gives a different turn to ἀνῆκεν by adding ἐκ τοῦ κόπου, where ἐκ is ‘from’, not ‘after’ (as Stallbaum thinks). Note presently that οὕτω to introduce the apodosis after participles is especially common in Plato: cf. below, 314C 326D

23. ἀνδρείαν. ἀνδρεῖος occurs in much the same sense in Meno, 81D οὐδὲν κωλύειτἄλλα πάντα αὐτὸν ἀνευρεῖν, ἐάν τις ἀνδρεῖος καὶ μὴ ἀποκάμνῃ ζητῶν. σοί is emphatic and should therefore be accented, like σέ in l. 28.

24. ἀδικεῖ. ἀδικεῖν is often used of a past injury because the injury is regarded as continuing till atonement is made: see on Crito, 50C.

27. ἂν αὐτῷ διδῷς ἀργύριον καὶ πείθῃς ἐκεῖνον. For the variation of pronouns cf. Euthyphr. 14D ἀλλά μοι λέξον τίς αὕτη ὑρηπεσία ἐστί τοῖς θεοῖς; αἰτεῖν τε φῂς αὐτοὺς καὶ διδόναι ἐκείνοις; above, 309B and below, 318C The change is most frequent where the second pronoun is different in case from the first: cf. Classen on Thuc. I. 132. 5. Cobet ejects the words καὶ πείθῃς ἐκεῖνον, but they are supported by the parallel expression of 311Dἂν μὲν ἐξικνῆται τὰ ἡμέτερα χρήματα καὶ τούτοις πείθωμεν αὐτόν.

28. Ζεῦ καὶ θεοί: i.e. καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι θεοί. The exclamation is common: see Blaydes on Ar. Plutus, I.

29. ἐν τούτῳ εἴη. Cf. 354Eand 356Dεἰ οὖν ἐν τούτῳ ἡμῖν ἦν τὸ εὖ πράττειν.

30. οὔτε τῶν φίλων. The English idiom would lead us to expect οὔτε τῶν τῶν φίλων: but in Greek the double article is avoided by substituting ‘my friends’ for ‘my friends' property’. Analogous is the usage known as comparatio compendiaria, e.g. κόμαι Χαρίτεσσιν ὁμοῖαι (Il. XVII. 51), where ‘the Graces’ is put for ‘the Graces' hair’.

ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὰ ταῦτα. See on Apol. 23B. ταῦτα = διὰ ταῦτα is frequent in Plato and Aristophanes.

34. ὅτε τὸ πρότερον ἐπεδήμησεν. Probably about 445 B.C., if the date of action of the dialogue is 433-432. (See Introduction p. xxxiii.) Protagoras went to Thurii in 443 B.C., being charged by Pericles to draw up a code of laws for the new colony.

38. Καλλίᾳ τῷ Ἱππονίκου. Callias, son of Hipponicus, belonged to one of the richest families in Athens (below, 337Dαὐτῆς τῆς πόλεωςτὸν μέγιστον καὶ ὀλβιώτατον οἶκον τόνδε). His devotion to the ‘Sophists’ in general is remarked upon in Apol. 20A ἀνδρὶ ὃς τετέλεκε χρήματα σοφισταῖς πλείω ξύμπαντες οἱ ἄλλοι, Καλλίᾳ τῷ Ἱππονίκου (cf. Crat. 391B): but he seems to have been particularly attached to the doctrines of Protagoras: see Theaet. 164E οὐ γὰρ ἐγώ, Σώκρατες, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον Καλλίας Ἱππονίκου τῶν ἐκείνου (i.e. Πρωταγόρου λόγων) ἐπίτροπος. One of his two sons (Apol. 20A), Protarchus, appears as an interlocutor in the Philebus. In 393-392 Callias was associated with Iphicrates in the command of the Athenian forces at Corinth, and as late as 371 we find him acting as ambassador to Sparta (Xen. Hell. VI. 4). It appears that he spent all his money and died in actual want (Athenaeus, XII. 52).

39. μήπω, ὠγαθέ. The MSS. have μήπω ἀγαθέ: probably the archetype had μήπωγαθέ, by a natural mistake. Cobet rejects ἐκεῖσε ἴωμεν, reading μήπω γε, on the ground that with μήπω γε the Greek idiom does not repeat the verb: but there is no proof that the verb could not be expressed with μήπω (without γε).

40. δεῦρο ἐξαναστῶμεν εἰς τὴν αὐλήν. Herwerden needlessly suggests that ἐξαναστάντες should be read, or εἰς τὴν αὐλήν rejected: εἰς τὴν αὐλήν goes with ἐξαναστῶμεν: cf. ἐμὲ δὲ δεῖ ποι ἐξαναστῆναι in Theages, 129B. δεῦρο we should translate by ‘here’: ‘let us rise and go out into the court here’. Classic Greek does not admit of τῇδε in such a case: see Cobet's Novae Lectiones, p. 91.

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hide References (29 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (29):
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 151
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 2
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 254
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 186
    • Aristophanes, Plutus, 1
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.10
    • Plato, Republic, 360a
    • Plato, Apology, 20a
    • Plato, Apology, 23b
    • Plato, Crito, 43a
    • Plato, Crito, 50c
    • Plato, Euthyphro, 14d
    • Plato, Euthyphro, 2a
    • Plato, Cratylus, 391b
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 164e
    • Plato, Symposium, 211a
    • Plato, Meno, 81d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 309b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 309d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 311d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 314c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 318c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 326d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 337d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 350d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 354e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 356d
    • Homer, Iliad, 17.51
    • Homer, Iliad, 2.71
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