This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I1 went down yesterday to the Peiraeus2 with Glaucon, the son of Ariston, to pay my devotions3 to the Goddess,4 and also because I wished to see how they would conduct the festival since this was its inauguration.5 I thought the procession of the citizens very fine, but it was no better than the show, made by the marching of the Thracian contingent. [327b] After we had said our prayers and seen the spectacle we were starting for town when Polemarchus, the son of Cephalus, caught sight of us from a distance as we were hastening homeward6 and ordered his boy7 run and bid us to wait8 for him, and the boy caught hold9 of my himation from behind and said, “Polemarchus wants you to wait.” And I turned around and asked where his master10 was. “There he is,” he said, “behind you, coming this way. Wait for him.” “So we will,” said Glaucon, [327c] and shortly after Polemarchus came up and Adeimantus, the brother of Glaucon, and Niceratus, the son of Nicias, and a few others apparently from the procession. Whereupon Polemarchus said, “Socrates, you appear to have turned your faces townward and to be going to leave us.” “Not a bad guess,” said I. “But you see how many we are?” he said. “Surely.” “You must either then prove yourselves the better men11 or stay here.” “Why, is there not left,” said I, “the alternative of our persuading12 you that you ought to let us go?” “But could you persuade us,” said he, “if we refused to listen?” “Nohow,” said Glaucon. “Well, we won't listen, and you might as well make up your minds to it.” “Do you mean to say,” interposed Adeimantus,
1 Socrates narrates in the first person, as in the Charmides and Lysis; see Introduction p. vii, Hirzel, Der Dialog, i. p. 84. Demetrius, On Style, 205, cites this sentence as an example of “trimeter members.” Editors give references for the anecdote that it was found in Plato's tablets with many variations. For Plato's description of such painstaking Cf. Phaedrus 278 D. Cicero De sen.. 5. 13 “scribens est mortuus.”
2 Cf. 439 E; about a five-mile walk.
3 Plato and Xenophon represent Socrates as worshipping the gods,νόμῳ πόλεως. Athanasius, Contra gentes, 9, censures Plato for thus adoring an Artemis made with hands, and the fathers and medieval writers frequently cite the passage for Plato's regrettable concessions to polytheism—“persuasio civilis” as Minucius Felix styles it. Cf. Eusebius Praep. Evang. xiii. 13. 66.
5 See Introduction.
6 “Headed homeward” is more exact and perhaps better.
8 The “bounder” in Theophrastus, Char. xi. (xvii.), if he sees persons in a hurry will ask them to wait.
9 Charmides 153 B, Parmenides 126 A, 449 B.
10 “Ipse,” Cf. Protagoras 314 D; “ipse dixit;” “Now you are not ‘ipse,’ for I am he.”—Shakes.
12 For the characteristic Socratic contrast between force and persuasion cf. 411 D, and the anecdote in Diogenes Laertius vii. 24.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.