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Φαῖδρε. Phaedrus is specially addressed because it is his thesis (ἐν τοῖς πρεσβύτατος Ἔρως 178 A, C) which is here challenged.

μέγα δὲ τεκμήριον. This serves to echo, and reply to, Phaedrus's τεκμήριον δὲ τούτου 178 B (cp. 192 A). For the attributes youth and beauty, cp. Callim. H. II. 36 καὶ μὲν ἀεὶ καλὸς καὶ ἀεὶ νέος (of Phoebus).

φεύγων φυγῇ. A poetical mode of giving emphasis. “φυγῇ φεύγειν nunquam sic legitur ut simplex φεύγειν de victis militibus, sed per translationem, fugientium modo, h. e. omni contentione aliquid defugere atque abhorrere” (Lobeck Parall. II. p. 524). Prose exx. are Epin. 974 B, Epist. viii. 354 C; Lucian adv. indoct. 16.

ταχὺ ὂν...προσέρχεται. Bast, “motus ἀτοπίᾳ sententiae,” condemned these words; but the presence of sophistical word-play is no reason for suspicion in A.'s speech. A. argues that Age, in spite of its “lean shrunk shanks,” is nimble, only too nimble indeed in its pursuit of men: therefore, à fortiori, the god who can elude its swift pursuit must be still more nimble. For the agility of Eros, cp. Orph. H. 58. 1, 2 (κικλῄσκω) Ἔρωτα...εὔδρομον ὁρμῇ.

ἐντὸς πολλοῦ. Cp. Thuc. II. 77 ἐντὸς γὰρ πολλοῦ χωρίου τῆς πόλεως οὐκ ἦν πελάσαι. For the sense (abhorrence of age), cp. Anacr. 14. 5 δὲ (νῆνις)...τὴν μὲν ἐμὴν κόμην, | λευκὴ γάρ, καταμέμφεται κτλ.

ἀεὶ ξύνεστί τε καὶ ἔστιν. Hug adopts Sauppe's addition <νέος>, but this spoils the ring of the clause and it is best to leave it to be mentally supplied: for the ellipse, cp. 213 C γελοῖος ἔστι τε καὶ βούλεται. For μετὰ...σύνεστι, cp. Laws 639 C; Plut. de Is. et Os. 352 A παρ᾽ αὐτῇ καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτῆς ὄντα καὶ συνόντα.

ὅμοιον ὁμοίῳ. The original of this is Hom. Od. XVII. 218 ὡς ἀεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει θεὸς ὡς τὸν ὁμοῖον. Cp. 186 B supra, Lysis 214 A, Rep. 329 A; Aristaen. Ep. I. 10: and for a Latin equivalent, Cic. de Senect. 3. 7 pares cum paribus, vetere proverbio, facillime congregantur: so Anglicè, “birds of a feather flock together.” Similar in sense is ἧλιξ ἥλικα τέρπει (Arist. Rhet. I. 11. 25).

Φαίδρῳ. The reference is to 178 B. Spenser (H. to Love) combines these opposite views,—“And yet a chyld, renewing still thy yeares, And yet the eldest of the heavenly Peares.”

Κρόνου καὶ Ἰαπετοῦ ἀρχαιότερός. A proverbial expression to denote the “ne plus ultra” of antiquity: cp. Moeris p. 200 Ἰαπετός: ἀντὶ τοῦ γέρων. καὶ Τίθωνος καὶ Κρόνος: ἐπὶ τῶν γερόντων: Lucian dial. deor. 2. 1; Ar. Nub. 398, Plut. 581. Cronus and Iapetus were both Titans, sons of Uranus and Gê (Hes. Th. 507), and imprisoned together in Tartarus (Il. VIII. 479). Iapetus was father of Prometheus, and grandfather of Deucalion, the Greek “Adam”: hence “older than Iapetus” might be rendered “ante-preadamite.”

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (7):
    • Plato, Laws, 639c
    • Plato, Republic, 329a
    • Plato, Symposium, 178b
    • Plato, Symposium, 186b
    • Plato, Symposium, 192a
    • Plato, Symposium, 213c
    • Plato, Epinomis, 974b
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