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[404a] when the soul is pure of all the evils and desires of the body. Do you not think this shows him to be a philosopher and to understand perfectly that under these conditions he could restrain them by binding them with the desire of virtue, but that so long as they are infected with the unrest and madness of the body, not even his father Cronus could hold them to himself, though he bound them with his famous chains?

There seems to be something in that, Socrates. [404b]

And the name “Hades” is not in the least derived from the invisible (ἀειδές), but far more probably from knowing (εἰδέναι) all noble things, and for that reason he was called Hades by the lawgiver.

Very well; what shall we say of Demeter, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Hephaestus, Ares, and the other gods

Demeter appears to have been called Demeter, because like a mother (μήτηρ) she gives the gift of food, [404c] and Hera is a lovely one (ἐρατή), as indeed, Zeus is said to have married her for love. But perhaps the lawgiver had natural phenomena in mind, and called her Hera (Ἥρα) as a disguise for ἀήρ (air), putting the beginning at the end. You would understand, if you were to repeat the name Hera over and over. And Pherephatta!—How many people fear this name, and also Apollo! I imagine it is because they do not know about correctness of names. You see they change the name to Phersephone and its aspect frightens them. But really the name indicates that the goddess is wise; [404d] for since things are in motion (φερόμενα), that which grasps (ἐφαπτόμενον) and touches (ἐπαφῶν) and is able to follow them is wisdom. Pherepapha, or something of that sort, would therefore be the correct name of the goddess, because she is wise and touches that which is in motion (ἐπαφὴ τοῦ φερομένου)—and this is the reason why Hades, who is wise, consorts with her, because she is wise—but people have altered her name, attaching more importance to euphony than to truth, and they call her Pherephatta. Likewise in the case of Apollo, [404e] as I say, many people are afraid because of the name of the god, thinking that it has some terrible meaning. Have you not noticed that?

Certainly; what you say is true.

But really the name is admirably appropriate to the power of the god.

How is that?

I will try to tell you what I think about it;

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 893
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