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[509d] he said. “Conceive then,” said I, “as we were saying, that there are these two entities, and that one of them is sovereign over the intelligible order and region and the other over the world of the eye-ball, not to say the sky-ball,1 but let that pass. You surely apprehend the two types, the visible and the intelligible.” “I do.” “Represent them then, as it were, by a line divided2 into two unequal3 sections and cut each section again in the same ratio (the section, that is, of the visible and that of the intelligible order), and then as an expression of the ratio of their comparative clearness and obscurity you will have, as one of the sections

1 Cf. the similar etymological pun in Cratyl. 396 B-C. Here, as often, the translator must choose between over-translating for some tastes, or not translating at all.

2 The meaning is given in the text. Too many commentators lose the meaning in their study of the imagery. Cf. the notes of Adam, Jowett, Campbell, and Apelt. See Introd. p. xxi for my interpretation of the passage.

3 Some modern and ancient critics prefer ἀν᾽ ἴσα. It is a little more plausible to make the sections unequal. But again there is doubt which shall be longer, the higher as the more honorable or the lower as the more multitudinous. Cf. Plut.Plat. Quest. 3.

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