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CHAPTER XXIX

Socrates develops his theory of the poem and applies it to the first two lines, not without much sophistry.

3. μανικόν. Notice the extreme dogmatism of Socrates, suggesting a weak case: cf. οὐδὲ πρὸς ἕνα λόγον (l. 5).

5. οὐδὲ πρὸς ἕνα λόγον: see on 335D πρὸς λόγον = εὔλογον or εὐλόγως is frequent in Plato: see on 351E

6. ἐὰν μή τις ὑπολάβῃ κτλ. The natural interpretation of the μέν (since it follows ἀγαθόν, not γενέσθαι) is this. While it is difficult ‘γενέσθαι’ truly good, it is yet possible to reach a fair standard of ἀρετή. The antithesis is implied if not actually expressed in the sequel: see 345Dand 346C Cf. Introduction, p. xxiv.

8. λέγοντος τοῦ Πιττακοῦ: a fresh start is made, to explain ὥσπερ ἐρίζοντα λέγειν.

9. εἰπεῖν but λέγειν in l. 7: the past tense is used because Socrates is about to put Simonides' meaning in the form of an actual address in past time to Pittacus.

10. ὡς ἀληθῶς to be taken with χαλεπόν ἐστιν: see below, 344A(l. 22). Here again Socrates' interpretation is opposed to the natural sense of the passage, according to which ἀλαθέως in the poem goes with ἀγαθόν, and has nothing to do with χαλεπόν.

11. ἐπὶ τούτῳτὴν ἀλήθειαν. τούτῳ is τῷ ἀγαθῷ, and τὴν ἀλήθειαν = τὸἀλαθέως’.

13. εὔηθεςΣιμωνίδου. As well might Socrates say it is εὔηθες to use the word ἄριστος.

14. ὑπερβατόν is used in its technical grammatical sense, Heindorf quotes Long. de Sublim. 22 ἔστιν δὲ (sc. τὰ ὑπ ερβατὰλέξεων νοήσεων ἐκ τοῦ κατ᾽ ἀκολουθίαν κεκινημένη τάξις καὶ οἱονεὶ χαρακτὴρ ἐναγωνίου πάθους ἀληθέστατος.

15. ὑπειπόντα. There is no need to explain ὑπειπόντα here as ‘interpreting’ (a sense for which no exact parallel is quoted). ὑπειπεῖν is used here in its regular sense ‘to say before’, ‘to say first’, as in Ar. Wasps, 54-5 φέρε νυν κατείπω τοῖς θεαταῖς τὸν λόγον, ὀλίγ᾽ ἄτθ᾽ ὑπειπὼν πρῶτον αὐτοῖσιν ταδί. The meaning is: if we would arrive at Simonides' meaning, we must regard the adverb ἀλαθέως as transposed, and speak the words of Pittacus first (ὑπειπόντα τὸ τοῦ Πιττακοῦ): i.e. instead of saying ἄνδρ᾽ ἀγαθὸν μὲν ἀλαθέως γενέσθαι χαλεπόν first, and quoting Pittacus' saying afterwards, we should begin with χαλεπὸν ἐσθλὸν ἔμμεναι (line 18 εἰπόντα ἄνθρωποι, χαλεπὸν ἐσθλὸν ἔμμεναι), and make ἄνδρ᾽ ἀγαθόν etc. follow as Simonides' answer (ll. 19-22), putting ἀλαθέως last. οὑτωσί πως shows that ὑπειπόντα is to be explained in the sequel, viz. from ὥσπερ ἄν to ἀλαθέως in l. 22.

18. εἰπόντα: i.q. τὸν μὲν εἰπόντα: see on 330A Note the precision in the use of the tenses (εἰπόντα, but ἀποκρινόμενον).

20. οὐ γὰρ εἶναι ἀλλὰ γενέσθαι μέν. Cf. Crito, 43D οὔτοι δὴ ἀφῖκται ἀλλὰ δοκεῖ μέν μοι ἤξειν κτλ. μέν without following δέ is frequent in a clause introduced by ἀλλά, the antithesis being contained in the preceding negative clause.

22. οὕτω φαίνεται. After φαίνεται the MSS. have τό: ‘vel expungendum vel in τοι mutandum hoc τό’ says Heindorf. For πρὸς λόγον see on 351E

24. τὰ ἐπιόντα: see Appendix I, p. 214.

29. τύπον. Socrates' criticism of the poem so far has been δι᾽ ἀκριβείας: cf. Rep. II. 414A ὡς ἐν τύπῳ, μὴ δι᾽ ἀκριβείας εἰρῆσθαι. See also note on ὑπογράψαντες γραμμὰς τῇ γραφίδι in 326Dabove.

30. παντὸς μᾶλλον is frequent in Plato for ‘assuredly’: cf. Crito, 49B.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Aristophanes, Wasps, 54
    • Plato, Republic, 414a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 330a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 346c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 326d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 335d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 344a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 345d
    • Plato, Protagoras, 351e
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