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[493d] that it is wisdom to have learned to know the moods and the pleasures of the motley multitude in their assembly, whether about painting or music or, for that matter, politics? For if a man associates with these and offers and exhibits to them his poetry1 or any other product of his craft or any political. service,2 and grants the mob authority over himself more than is unavoidable,3 the proverbial necessity of Diomede4 will compel him to give the public what it likes, but that what it likes is really good and honorable, have you ever heard an attempted proof of this that is not simply ridiculous5?”

1 Cf. Laws 659 B, 701 A, Gorg. 502 B.

2 Cf. 371 C, Gorg. 517 B, 518 B.

3 Plato likes to qualify sweeping statements and allow something to necessity and the weakness of human nature. Cf. Phaedo 64 Eκαθ᾽ ὅσον μὴ πολλὴ ἀνάγκη, 558 D-E, 500 D, 383 C.

4 The scholiast derives this expression from Diomedes' binding Odysseus and driving him back to camp after the latter had attempted to kill him. The schol. on Aristoph.Eccl. 1029 gives a more ingenious explanation. See Frazer, Pausanias, ii. p. 264.

5 καταγέλαστον is a strong word. “Make the very jack-asses laugh” would give the tone. Cf. Carlyle, Past and Present, iv. “impartial persons have to say with a sigh that . . . they have heard no argument advanced for it but such as might make the angels and almost the very jack-asses weep. Cf. also Isoc.Panegyr. 14, Phil. 84, 101, Antid. 247, Peace 36, and καταγέλαστος in Plato passim, e.g.Symp. 189 B.”

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