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Appendices to book 1

I 327 A. προσευξόμενός τε τῇ θεῷ καὶ ἅμα τὴν ἑορτὴν βουλόμενος θεάσασθαι τίνα τρόπον ποιήσουσιν, ἅτε νῦν πρῶτον ἄγοντες.

The question whether τῇ θεῷ here and in 328 A is Bendis or Athena is not so simple as it appears.

In favour of Athena it may be urged (1) that θεός regularly means Athena in Attic literature (see for example Ar. Eq. 656, 903 al., and Plato Laws 806 B): (2) that in view of the relation between the Republic and the Timaeus it is difficult to separate τῇ θεῷ here from τὴν θεόν and τῆς θεοῦ in Tim. 21 A and 26 E, where the goddess is certainly Athena, (3) that it is dramatically appropriate for an Athenian to dedicate his ideal city to the patron goddess of Athens. Plato's perfect city would thus become in a certain sense a βασιλεία τῆς θεοῦ.

On the other hand, the goddess and the festival are mentioned so closely together that (if we have regard to the Republic by itself) we are scarcely justified in interpreting τῇ θεῷ without reference to τὴν ἑορτήν, and it is quite in harmony with Socrates' principles that he should be among the first to pay his vows at the shrine of the new goddess as soon as the νόμος πόλεως received her. See Xen. Mem. I 3. I, IV 3. 16. It is therefore safer to accept the usual view that Plato is thinking of Bendis.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 656
    • Plato, Timaeus, 21a
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.3
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