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Μοίρας, λευχειμονούσας. Ettig l.c. p. 309 note 3 thinks this an Orphic trait, comparing Frag. 253 Abel Μοίραςλευκοστόλους.

ἐπὶ τῶν κεφαλῶν. These words are bracketed by Herwerden, on the ground that περὶ τὰς κεφαλάς would alone be good Greek, an opinion which few scholars will share.

Λάχεσιν μὲν κτλ. Lachesis is the Fate of the Past, Clotho of the Present, and Atropos of the Future: cf. Laws 960 C, where Plato approves of the ancient tradition Λάχεσιν μὲν τὴν πρώτην εἶναι, Κλωθὼ δὲ τὴν δευτέραν, τὴν Ἄτροπον δὲ τρίτην and Proclus l.c. 244. 20 ff. The positions of Lachesis and Atropos were sometimes interchanged, as for example in [Arist.] de mundo 7. 401^{b} 18 ff. τέτακται δὲ κατὰ μὲν τὸ γεγονὸς μία τῶν Μοιρῶν, Ἄτροπος, ἐπεὶ τὰ παρελθόντα πάντα ἄτρεπτά ἐστιν, κατὰ δὲ τὸ μέλλον Λάχεσις (εἰς πάντα γὰρ κατὰ φύσιν μένει λῆξις), κατὰ δὲ τὸ ἐνεστὸς Κλωθώ, συμπεραίνουσά τε καὶ κλώθουσα ἑκάστῳ τὰ οἰκεῖα: cf. also Proclus l.c. 244.

τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρί. The right hand is reserved for the outermost whorl, or circle of the Same, which is the more honourable, and itself, according to Tim. 36 C, moves ἐπὶ δεξιά: the left for the less honourable circle of the Other, which moves ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερά (ib.). Pythagorean influence is doubtless at work again here: cf. 614 C note

συνεπιστρέφειν: “cum matre simul vertere” (Ficinus).

τὴν ἔξω περιφορὰν κτλ. The circle of the Same may be taken as the type of that which ‘is’: hence it is entrusted to Clotho, the Fate of τὰ ὄντα. The courses of the Planets or ‘wandering’ stars are symbolical of the unknown and (as it seems to us) uncertain Future, so that they are appropriately given to the Fate of the Future, i.e. Atropos. διαλείπουσαν χρόνον means ‘leaving intervals’ i.e. ‘from time to time.’ Clotho leaves off occasionally to make room for Lachesis, as Plato explains in τὴν δὲ Λάχεσιν below. Similarly also Proclus l.c. 252. 8.

ὡσαύτως: i.e. διαλείπουσαν χρόνον.

, D 21 τὴν δὲ Λάχεσιν κτλ.: ‘while Lachesis lays hold of either in turn, the one with the one hand, the other with the other’ (“abwechselnd den einen mit der einen, den andern mit der andern angreifend” Schneider). She turns the circle of the Same with her right hand, the others—here treated as a single περιφορά as in Tim. 36 C—with her left. The translation “laying hold of either in turn, first with one hand and then with the other” (Jowett) is not, I think, what Plato means: for it would seem from what is said of Clotho and Lachesis that the right hand is appropriated to the circle of the Same, the left to that of the Other: see on 617 C. The words ἐν μέρει—if my view is right— belong only to ἑκατέρας ἐφάπτεσθαι and not also to ἑκατέρᾳ τῇ χειρί. As the fate Past, Lachesis fitly contributes to both revolutions: for on the Past depends both the Present and the Future. A similar lesson is conveyed by representing the lots and samples of lives as lying in the lap of Lachesis: cf. also 620 A κατὰ συνήθειαναἱρεῖσθαι and 620 E note

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