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1 The play on the Greek word recalls Shakespeare's “If you do take a thief . . . let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company,”Much Ado, III. iii.
2 The qualified assent here marks the speaker's perception that something is wrong. But often it expresses modesty or is a mere mannerism. Cf. 399 D, 401 D, 409 C, 410 A, 553 E, etc.
3 Plato playfully follows the fashion of tracing all modern wisdom to Homer. Cf. Theaetetus 152 E.
4 “A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles” (Winter's Tale, IV. iii. 26), whom Homer celebrates (Hom. Od. 19.395). The naivete of Homer's “amoral” standpoint (Cf. Odyssey xiii. 290 ff.) tickles Plato's sense of humor, and he amuses himself by showing that the popular rule “help friends and harm enemies” is on the same ethical plane. So in the Euthyphro, popular piety is gravely reduced to a kind of καπηλεία or retail trade in prayer and blessings. Cf. also Dio Chrys.Or. xi. 315 R., and modern laments over the “Decay of Lying.”
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