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Πυθαγόρειον τρόπον -- τοῦ βίου. The aim of the Πυθαγόρειος βίος was ἕπεσθαι θεῷ, and the rules of abstinence etc. by which its votaries sought to ‘follow God’ made them conspicuous (διαφανεῖς) and exceptional among the Greeks. See Rohde Psyche^{2} II pp. 159 —171.

γὰρ Κρεώφυλος κτλ. Κρεώφιλος was read before Ast on slight MS authority, and gives an excellent sense to τοῦ ὀνόματοςφανείη: but Κρεώφυ_λος is confirmed by all the best MSS, as well as by Callimachus (Epigr. 6 ap. Strabo XIV 638 Κρεωφύλου πόνος εἰμὶ κτλ.) and others: see Pape-Benseler s.v. Plato speaks of him as Homer's friend or disciple (for ἑταῖρος has this meaning here: cf. ἑταίρους in C and Soph. 216 A ἑταῖροντῶν ἀμφὶ Παρμενίδην κτλ. with Bonitz Ind. Arist. s.v.): others, including the Scholiast, say he was his son-in-law. The Epic poem Οἰχαλίας ἅλωσις was ascribed to Creophylus by Callimachus (l.c.): but according to another tradition, Creophylus received the poem from Homer himself in return for hospitality (Suidas s.v. Κρεώφυλος).

τοῦ ὀνόματος -- ἔζη. Cf. Cic. de repub. III Frag. 38 Nobbe Sardanapalus ille vitio multo quam nomine ipso deformior (as if Σαρδανό-φαλλος). Κρεώφυ_λος (from κρέας and φῦλον: ‘Carnigena’ ‘Fleischgeburt,’ suggests Schneider) is an ὄνομα γέλοιον πρὸς παιδείαν: for Beef suggests anything but culture. “I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wits” (Twelfth Night I 3. 90). The Greeks had the same feeling: cf. Plato's remarks on the effects of over-much feeding and athletics in III 411 C—E μισόλογος δή, οἶμαι, τοιοῦτος γίγνεται καὶ ἄμουσος, and Euripides Frag. 284 Dindorf, with the comic fragment παχεῖα γαστὴρ λεπτὸν οὐ τίκτει νόον. Plato means that the proof of the pudding is in the eating: Homer must have been a poor teacher if his disciples (including Creophylus) learnt so little. Had he taught them successfully they would have proved their παιδεία by treating their master more respectfully: cf. Gorg. 519 C, D, where we are told that if teachers of δικαιοσύνη do not get paid by their pupils, it only shews that they have failed to teach their subject and therefore deserve no fees. λέγεταιἔζη means ‘for it is said that he was much neglected even in his own age, when he was alive,’ whereas it is precisely during his lifetime that he would have been most respected if he had taught to any purpose: witness the enthusiasm aroused by Protagoras, Prodicus and other teachers! Thus understood, ὅτε ἔζη has a strong rhetorical emphasis and ought not to be discarded (with Cobet, Baiter, and Herwerden). For ἐκείνου after αὐτοῦ referring to the same person cf. VII 538 B and Riddell Digest of Platonic Idioms p. 143 § 49. If we adopt Ast's conjecture and read ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἐκείνου, the passage gains a little in point, because αὐτοῦ ἐκείνου will then refer to Creophylus: but it is difficult to make the subject of ἔζη different from the antecedent of αὐτοῦ ἐκείνου, and on the whole I no longer think there is any good reason for deserting the MSS.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Sophist, 216a
    • Plato, Gorgias, 519c
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