previous next

[337a] our conference unconcluded.

When he had said this, Prodicus1 remarked: I think you are right, Critias: those who attend this sort of discussion ought to be joint, but not equal, hearers of both disputants. For there is a difference: we should listen jointly to them both, yet not give equal heed to each, but more to the wiser and less to the less intelligent. I on my part also, Protagoras and Socrates, call upon you to accede to our request, and to dispute, [337b] but not wrangle, with each other over your arguments: for friends dispute with friends, just from good feeling; whereas wrangling is between those who are at variance and enmity with one another. In this way our meeting will have highest success, since you the speakers will thus earn the greatest measure of good repute, not praise, from us who hear you. For good repute is present in the hearers' souls without deception, but praise is too often in the words of liars who hide what they really think. [337c] Again, we listeners would thus be most comforted, not pleased; for he is comforted who learns something and gets a share of good sense in his mind alone, whereas he is pleased who eats something or has some other pleasant sensation only in his body.

When Prodicus had thus spoken, quite a number of the company showed their approval then after Prodicus the learned Hippias2 spoke: Gentlemen, he said, who are here present, I regard you all as kinsmen and intimates and fellow-citizens by nature, not by law: [337d] for like is akin to like by nature, whereas law, despot of mankind, often constrains us against nature. Hence it would be shameful if we, while knowing the nature of things, should yet—being the wisest of the Greeks, and having met together for the very purpose in the very sanctuary of the wisdom of Greece, and in this the greatest and most auspicious house of the city of cities—display no worthy sign of this dignity, [337e] but should quarrel with each other like low churls. Now let me beg and advise you, Protagoras and Socrates, to come to terms arranged, as it were, under our arbitration: you, Socrates, must, not require that precise form

1 Prodicus was specially expert in nice verbal distinctions

2 Hippias professed to teach a great variety of subjects. His frequent metaphors were evidently designed to display his wide range of knowledge.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Greece (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2, 2.41
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: