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2 Ἀδράστειαν: practically equivalent to Nemesis. Cf. our “knock on wood.” Cf. Posnansky in Breslauer Phil. Abhandl. v. 2, “Nemesis und Adrasteia”: Herodotus i. 35, Aeschylus Prom. 936, Euripides Rhesus 342, Demosthenes xxv. 37καὶ Ἀδράστειαν μὲν ἄνθρωπος ὢν ἐγὼ προσκυνῶ. For the moral earnestness of what follows cf. 336 E, Gorgias 458 A, and Joubert apudArnold, Essays in Crit. p. 29 “Ignorance . . . is in itself in intellectual matters a crime of the first order.”
4 Almost proverbial. Cf. my note on Horace, Odes iii. 27. 21. Plato is speaking here from the point of view of the ordinary man, and not from that of his “Sermon on the Mount ethics.” Cf. Philebus 49 D and Gorgias 480 E, where Gomperz, Greek Thinkers, ii. pp. 332 and 350, goes astray. Cf. Class. Phil. vol. i. p. 297.
5 ὥσπερ marks the legal metaphor to which ἐκεῖ below refers. Cf. Laws 869 E, and Euripides Hippolytus 1433 and 1448-1450, with Hirzel,Δίκη etc. p. 191, n. 1, Demosthenes xxxvii. 58-59. Plato transfers the idea to the other world in Phaedo 114 A-B, where the pardon of their victims is required for the release of sinners. The passage is used by the older critics in the comparison of Plato with Christianity.
7 For the use of analogies drawn from animals cf. 375-376, 422 D, 466 D, 467 B, 491 D-E, 537 A, 546 A-B, 564 A. Plato is only pretending to deduce his conclusions from his imagery. Aristotle's literal-minded criticism objects that animals have no “economy,”Politics 1264 b 4-6.
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