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1 Cf. Parmen. 130 c, Tim. 51 B, 52 A, and my De Platonis Idearum doctrina, pp. 24-25; also E. Hoffmann in Wochenschrift f. klass. Phil. xxxvi. (1919) pp. 196-197. As we use the word tree of the trees we see, though the reality (αὐτὸ ὃ ἔστι) is the idea of a tree, so they would speak of the shadows as the world, though the real reference unknown to them would be to the objects that cause the shadows, and back of the objects to the things of the “real” world of which they are copies. The general meaning, which is quite certain, is that they wold suppose the shadows to be the realities. The text and the precise turn of expression are doubtful. See crit. note.παριόντα is intentionally ambiguous in its application to the shadows or to the objects which cast them. They suppose that the names refer to the passing shadows, but (as we know) they really apply to the objects. Ideas and particulars are homonymous. Assuming a slight illogicality we can get somewhat the same meaning from the text ταὐτά. “Do you not think that they would identify the passing objects (which strictly speaking they do not know) with what they saw?” Cf. also P. Corssen, Philologische Wochenschrift, 1913, p. 286. He prefers οὐκ αὐτά and renders: “Sie würden in dem, was sie sähen, das Vorübergehende selbst zu benennen glauben.”
2 The echo and the voices (515 A) merely complete the picture.
5 The entire passage is an obvious allegory of the painful experience of one whose false conceit of knowledge is tested by the Socratic elenchus. Cf. Soph. 230 B-D, and for ἀπορεῖνMeno 80 A, 84 B-C, Theaet. 149 A, Apol. 23 D. Cf. also What Plato Said, p. 5123 on Meno 80 A, Eurip.Hippol. 247τὸ γὰρ ὀρθοῦσθαι γνώμαν ὀδυνᾷ, “it is painful to have one's opinions set right,” and 517 A, 494 D.
6 Cf. Theaet. 175 B, Boethius, Cons. iii. 12 “quicunque in superum diem mentem ducere quaeritis”; 529 A, 521 C, and the Neoplatonists' use of ἀνάγειν and their “anagogical” virtue and interpretation. Cf. Leibniz, ed. Gerhardt, vii. 270.
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