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Here begins Socrates' criticism of Protagoras' speech. The question is first raised—Is Virtue one, or many? The connection between this question and the speech of Protagoras is that if Virtue has a unity in knowledge, it is teachable, otherwise not: see Introduction, p. xviii.

2. ἐπιδειξάμενος. ἐπιδείκνυσθαι and ἐπίδειξις are regularly used of a Sophistic display: e.g. Gorg. 447A πολλὰ γὰρ καὶ καλὰ Γοργίας ἡμῖν ὀλίγον πρότερον ἐπεδείξατο, Crat. 384B τὴν πεντηκοντάδραχμον ἐπίδειξιν. ἐπιδείκνυμι is also sometimes used in the same way, e.g. Euthyd. 274D and below, 347B in 320Cabove ἀλλ᾽ ἐπίδειξον is intended to suggest this meaning, which comes out more clearly in ἐπιδείξω two lines below.

2. ἐπὶ μὲν πολὺν χρόνον goes with ἔβλεπον and ἔτι with κεκηλημένος.

7. παῖ Ἀπολλοδώρου: with mock solemnity: so 335D παῖ Ἱππονίκου, Rep. II. 368A παῖδες ἐκείνου τἀνδρός.

8. ὦδε in the sense of δεῦρο is noted as a Platonic idiom by the lexicographers. The usage is found in tragedy, but no other example is quoted from Plato.

10. ἀνθρωπίνην ἐπιμέλειαν: cf. Meno, 99E ἀρετὴ ἂν εἴη οὔτε φύσει οὔτε διδακτόν, ἀλλὰ θείᾳ μοίρᾳ παραγιγνομένη ἄνευ νοῦ.

13. ἐπεκδιδάξειἐξεδίδαξεν: see on 311A

16. τάχ᾽ ἂν καὶ τοιούτους λόγους: καί goes with τοιούτους —‘even such’, ‘just such’: τούτου should not be inserted (with Sauppe, Schanz, Kral) before τοιούτους.

18. ὥσπερ βιβλία. Hermann wished to read οὐχ ὥσπερ βιβλία, since the orators do make a speech when spoken to: but the point is that like books they do not answer the questions asked, or put questions themselves, as the true dialectician does: cf. Phaedr. 275D δεινὸν γάρ πουτοῦτ᾽ ἔχει γραφή, καὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς ὅμοιον ζωγπαφίᾳ. καὶ γὰπ τὰ ἐκείνης ἔκγονα ἕστηκε μὲν ὡς ζῶντα, ἐὰν δ᾽ ἀνέπῃ τι, σεμνῶς ράνυ σιγᾷ. ταὐτὸν δὲ καὶ οἱ λόγοι: δόξαις μὲν ἂν ὥς τι φπονοῦντας αὐτοὺς λέγειν, ἐὰν δέ τι ἔπῃ τῶν λεγομένων βουλόμενος μαθεῖν, ἔν τι σημαίνει μόνον ταὐτὸν ἀεί: below, 347E and Hipp. Min. 365Dτὸν μὲν Ὅμηρονἐάσωμεν, ἐρειδὴ καὶ ἀδύνατον ἐρανεπέσθαι, τί ροτε νοῶν ταῦτα ἐροίησε τὰ ἔπη. A similar objection applies to laws: see Polit. 294A (quoted above on 326D.

20. ὥσπερ τὰ χαλκία. The MSS. have χαλκεῖα, but (as Kroschel points out) in Crat. 430A εἴ τι χαλκίον κινήσειε κρούσας. χαλκεῖα would mean ‘smithies’.

21. μακρὸν ἠχεῖ καὶ ἀποτείνει: ἀποτείνει is used absolutely as in Gorg. 458B καὶ νῦν ἴσως πόρρω ἀποτενοῦμεν. Cf. Euthyd. 300Bὅταν οὖν λίθους λέγῃς καὶ ξύλα καὶ σιδήρια, οὐ σιγῶντα λέγεις; οὔκουν γε ἐγώ, ἔφη, παρέρχομαι ἐν τοῖς χαλκείοις (MSS. χαλκίοις), ἀλλὰ φθεγγόμενα καὶ βοῶντα μέγιστον τὰ σιδήρια λέγει.

23. δόλιχον κατατείνουσι τοῦλόγου. δολιχόν is the reading of B and T, but (1) the adjective δολιχός seems to be exclusively poetic, the word surviving in Plato's time only in the form δόλιχος for δολιχὸς δρόμος (cf. for the change of accent κάκη and κακή, Φαῖδρος and φαιδρός and the like); (2) δολιχὸς τοῦ λόγου would be a rare construction, though not without parallels, e.g. πολλὴν τῆς χώρας in Xen. Cyrop. III. 2. 2 and τής μαρίλης συχνήν in Ar. Ach. 350: ἀμήχανον τῆς εὐδαιμονίας of Apol. 41C is different; (3) after the expressive simile which we have had, ‘a long speech’ sounds very weak. On the other hand δόλιχος τοῦ λόγου, the suggestion of Stephanus, is strongly supported by 335E where Socrates compares Protagoras, because he plays the ῥήτωρ and not the dialectician, to a δολιχοδρόμος: νῦν δ᾽ ἐστὶν ὥσρεπ ἂν εἰ δέοιό μου Κπίσωνι τῷ Ἱμεπαίῳ δπομεῖ ἀκμάζοντι ἕρεσθαι τῶν δολιχοδπόμων τῳ τῶν ἡμεποδπόμων διαθεῖν τε καὶ ἕπεσθαι, and the editors quote a number of parallels to the metaphor, such as Plut. Phoc. 23. 3 καλῶς ἔφη πρὸς τὸ στάδιον, τὸν δὲ δόλιχον τοῦ πολέμου φοβοῦμαι; Epicrates in Kock's Com. Att. Frag. II, 283 ἐπεὶ δὲ δόλιχον τοῖς ἔτεσιν ἤδη τρέχει, Ar. Clouds, 430 τῶν Ἑλλήνων εἶναί με λέγειν ἑκατὸν σταδίοισιν ἄριστον and Frogs, 91 πλεῖν σταδίῳ λαλίστερα, Eupolis (Kock, I, 281) (of Pericles) ὁπότε παρέλθοι δ᾽ ὥσπερ ἁγαθοὶ δρομῆς ἐκ δέκα ποδῶν ᾕρει λέγων τοὺς ῥήτορας. Dropping the sporting metaphor we may say ‘spin out a league of verbiage against you’. The δόλιχος was 24 στάδια, the στάδιον being covered 12 times both ways: cf. Pind. Ol. III. 33.

25. ὡς αὐτὰ δηλοῖ. The MSS. read αὐτά, which most recent editors change to αὐτό with Stephanus, regarding the idiom as analogous to that in 324Aαὐτό σε διδάξει, but in this idiomatic use of αὐτό the verb is generally, if not always, in the future. αὐτό που λέγει in Ar. Eq. 204 and the cases quoted by Blaydes in loc. are different, since in each case αὐτό has a definite antecedent expressed. ὡς αὐτὰ δηλοῖ is simply ‘as things themselves’, i.e. ‘as facts show’: the reference is to the speech which Protagoras has just delivered. Cf. Ar. Pol. IV. 12. 1331a. 21 δῆλον ὡς αὐτὰ προκαλεῖται κτλ. and (with Heindorf) Xen. Cyr. VI. 1. 7 οὐκ οἶδα μὲν ἔγωγε, εἴ τι δεῖ λόγων, ὅπου αὐτὰ τὰ ἔργα δείκνυσι τὸ κράτιστον.

29. εἴ μοι ἀποκρίναιο τόδε. The optative follows σμικροῦ τινὸς ἐνδεής εἰμι πάντ᾽ ἔχειν as virtually equivalent to πάντ᾽ ἂν ἔχοιμι (Heindorf).

30. εἴπερ ἄλλῳ τῳ ἀνθρώπων πειθοίμην ἄν, καὶ σοὶ πείθομαι. The fullness of expression is no doubt intentional: Socrates politely dwells upon his compliment. The objections to the syntax are twofold: (1) ἄν with the optative in protasis; (2) εἴπερ (in clauses of this kind) with its verb expressed. Cases of the potential optative in the protasis are given by Goodwin, M.T. p. 192 (e.g. Xen. Mem. I. 5. 3 εἴ γε μηδὲ δοῦλον ἀκρατῆ δεξαίμεθ᾽ ἄν, πῶς οὐκ ἄξιον αὐτόν γε φυλάξασθαι τοιοῦτον γενέσθαι;): for εἴπερ with verb expressed Heindorf cites Meno, 98B ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ τι ἄλλο φαίην ἂν εἰδέναι (ὀλίγα δ᾽ ἂν φαίην) ἓν δ᾽ οὖν καὶ τοῦτο ἐκείνων θείην ἂν ὧν οἶδα. Socrates' νῦν δὲ πέπεισμαι (hardly serious) in 328Eis not inconsistent with πειθοίμην ἄν, since he at once qualifies his assent by πλὴν σμικρόν τί μοι ἐμποδών: it is sufficiently represented here by καὶ σοὶ πείθομαι. We therefore agree with Heindorf, Wayte, and Turner in retaining the MSS. reading: other editors mostly read either εἴπερ ἄλλω̣ τῳ ἀνθρώπων πειθοίμην ἂν καὶ σοί, or drop πειθοίμην ἄν and retain καὶ σοὶ πείθομαι.

33. ἔλεγες γάρ: 332Cδικαιοσύνη and αἰδώς are looked on as two distinct virtues.

34. πολλαχοῦ: 324E325A cf. 323Aand E.

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hide References (28 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (28):
    • Aristophanes, Acharnians, 350
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 430
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 204
    • Plato, Republic, 368a
    • Plato, Apology, 41c
    • Plato, Cratylus, 384b
    • Plato, Cratylus, 430a
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 275d
    • Plato, Meno, 98b
    • Plato, Meno, 99e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 326d
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 274d
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 300b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 447a
    • Plato, Gorgias, 458b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 311a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 320c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 323a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 324a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 324e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 325a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 328e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 332c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 335d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 335e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 347b
    • Plato, Protagoras, 347e
    • Plato, Lesser Hippias, 365d
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