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ὀφλεῖν κτλ. The infinitive depends on φοβερόν, and is like the infinitive after φοβοῦμαι. In the antithetical clause Plato substitutes the more usual construction with μή. The future indicative (κείσομαι) is rare after words of fearing (Goodwin MT. p. 132), and represents the danger as imminent. To regard οὔ τι γέλωτα ὀφλεῖν as a reference to the Ecclesiazusae is rash and unjustifiable: see App. I.

προσκυνῶ κτλ. The apology looks forward, and not backward; whence δέ rather than δή (which Herwerden would read).

Ἀδράστειαν. Adrasteia was originally, perhaps, a personification of ἀνάγκη in its relation to humanity and the issues of human conduct. This meaning survived in the Orphic theology (Abel Orph. Fr. 36, 109—111) and appears in Phaedr. 248 C. Specifically, she was viewed as a variety of Nemesis, θεά τις τοὺς ὑπερηφάνους τιμωροῦσα (Schol. on Aesch. Prom. 936), and in this sense Aeschylus (l.c.) writes οἱ προσκυνοῦντες τὴν Ἀδράστειαν σοφοί (the first mention of Adrasteia in Greek literature). Adrasteia is in a still more special sense the punisher of proud words; so that προσκυνῶ Ἀδράστειαν becomes, as here, a sort of apologetic preface to a bold assertion or rash utterance: cf. Eur. Rhes. 342, 468 (ξὺν δ᾽ Ἀδραστείᾳ λέγω). See Nägelsbach Nachhom. Theol. p. 47 and Seymour in the Proceedings of the Amer. Philol. Assoc. for July 1891 pp. XLVIII ff.

ἐλπίζω κτλ. ἐλπίζω is ‘I fancy,’ not ‘I expect’: cf. II 383 B note The omission of εἶναι is curious: Madvig would restore it after ἁμάρτημα. I can find no parallel to its omission with ἐλπίζω, but οἴομαι, ἡγοῦμαι and other verbs of thinking often dispense with it. For examples see Schanz Nov. Comm. Pl. p. 34.

καλῶν κτλ.: “concerning noble and good and just institutions” (D. and V.), not “about the beautiful, the good, and the just, in the matter of laws” (J. and C.). The latter explanation gives a good sense, but it is harsh to separate δικαίων from νομίμων, and still harsher to take καλῶν as equivalent to περὶ καλῶν. Schneider was inclined to treat δικαίων as a gloss on νομίμων. But ‘about things beautiful and good and institutions’ is an anti-climax; and, besides, it is of institutions in conjunction with, not as distinct from, justice etc. that Plato is about to speak. In his translation Schneider takes the right view.

εὖ. q has οὐκ εὖ, an obvious but audacious correction, suggested, no doubt, by καλῶς εἶχεν παραμυθία in 450 D. εὖ is ironical. Glauco had comforted Socrates by saying inter alia that his hearers were friendly (οὔτε δύσνοι οἱ ἀκουσόμενοι 450 D). Excellent comfort! says Socrates: I had rather, in the circumstances, that they were enemies! Stallbaum and others read οὐκ εὖ, and Hermann οὐ, for εὖ, thinking the irony misplaced; but Glauco's smile (γελάσας) favours the ironical interpretation, and so does the ‘Socratic irony’ with which the whole sentence is overflowing. I agree with J. and C. in rejecting the pointless alternative rendering ‘you do well to comfort me.’

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 936
    • Euripides, Rhesus, 342
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 248c
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