Page images
PDF
EPUB

shews that Plato meant only to distinguish between the use of eloquence and its abuse; nor is he in earnest when he says, Ουδενα ημεις ισμεν ανδρα αγαθον γεγονότα

, Ta Tolitika, (for he afterwards himself names Aristides, as a man of uncommon probity) but only to shew that he had puzzled Callicles, who could not produce one example of a statesman who had abilities, or art, sufficient to preserve him from the fury of the people.

P. 517. Ovd'eyo yeyo.] Hence it appears that he only means to shew how much superiour the character of a real philosopher is to that of a statesman.

P. 518. Thearion, a famous baker, mentioned by Aristophanes (ap. Athenæum L. 3. p. 112. see also Casaubon. in locum) in Gerytade et Æolosicone, and by Antiphanes, another comick poet, (who lived fifty or sixty years afterwards) in his Omphale. We should read here Αρτοκοπος, not Αρτοποιος. The Oψαρευτικα of Mithæcus is a work often cited by Athenæus, L. 12.

The Sicilian and the Italian Greeks were noted for the luxury of the table. See Plato Epist. 7. p. 326 and 336.

Ρ. 519. Σου δε ισως επιληψονται.] I do not find what became of Callicles; but Alcibiades had already fled from his country, for fear of falling into the hands of the people.

Ρ. 521. Ει σοι Μυσον.] Perhaps, Ουκ ει σοι Μυσον ήδιον καλεισθαι, ως ει μη, &c. i.e. Not ; if you would choose to fall into that helpless condition, (before described by Callicles, p. 486,) which you must do, unless you practise the art which I recommend. The Mysians were proverbial, as objects of contempt. Mvov dela

p. 516.

.

2

was said of any poor-spirited people, who tamely submitted to every injury. Aristot. Rhetor. L. 1.

P. 525. IIpoonkeu de travai.] See Aulus Gellius, L. 6. 14. on this passage.

Ρ. 526. Εις δε και πανυ.] Plutarch takes notice that Aristides 1 was a favourite character with Plato. Mr. Hardion, who has written a life of Gorgias (collected with a good deal of industry from a variety of authors) and has given us a sketch of this dialogue of Plato, has yet been guilty of some mistakes, as where he fixes 3 the time of it to Ol. 95. 1, which is at least five years too late; and where he seems to say that Gorgias took Thessaly in his way to Olympia, which is a strange error in geography, &c. yet his performance, and particularly the analysis, is well worth reading.

3

1 In Vitâ Aristid, towards the end.

2 Dissertations sur l'origine et les progrès de la Rhétorique dans la Grèce : Mémoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, &c. V. 15. p. 167, and 176.

3 Ib. p. 175.

MINOS.

H, IIEPI NOMOT.

1

1

This dialogue takes its name, (as also does the Hipparchus,) not from either of the persons introduced in it, but from the Cretan Minos, whose character and laws are mentioned pretty much at large. Socrates, and another Athenian nearly of the same age (who is not named), are considering the nature of laws in it;

1

NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.

:

Plat. Op. Serrani, Vol. 2. p. 313. P. 315. Human sacrifice, and particularly of their children, to Saturn was in use among the Carthagintans: the sacrifices of the Lycians and of the descendants of Athamas, though people of Greek origin, were barbarous; the ancient Attick custom is mentioned of sacrificing victims near the bodies of dead persons, before they were carried out to burial, and hiring EYXUT PLOT piai, (Schol. ad Arist. Vesp. v. 288.) and the still more ancient one of interring them in the houses where they died : both long since disused.

318. Ex Kputns.] V. Herodot. and Plut. in Lycurgo, and Strabo. L. 10. p. 477.

Ib. Λυκουργον.] The time of this dialogue is no where marked : but we see from p. 321 that Socrates was now advanced in years ; supposing him then to be only sixty, it is three hundred and sixty-seven years from the first Olympiad of Coræbus ; but most criticks agree that Lycurgus lived one

and the intention of Plato is to shew, that there is a law of nature and of truth, common to all men, to which all truly legal institutions must be conformable, and which is the real foundation of them all.

Unfortunately the dialogue remains imperfect : it is indeed probable that it was never finished.

NOTES. hundred and eight years before that time, and Eratosthenes, with the most accurate chronologers, affirms, that he was still more ancient. Plato therefore places him half a century later than any one else has done. The computation of Thucydides, who reckons it something more than 400 years to the end of the Peloponnesian war, αφ' ου Λακεδαιμονιοι τη αυτη πολιτεια Xpwvtal, that is from the institution of Lycurgus's laws, comes nearest to that of Plato. The war ended Ol. 94. 1. so that, according to Thucydides, Lycurgus settled the constitution about 27 years before the first Olympiad of Corcebus.

P. 320. 'Holodos.] Probably in his Heroick Genealogies, a work now lost.

CHARMIDES.

H, ΠΕΡΙ ΣΩΦΡΟΣΥΝΗΣ.

Ol. 87. 2 or 3.

NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.

Platon. Op. Serrani, Vol. 1. p. 153. The subject of this dialogue is 'H Ewopoo uvn: and what was Plato's real opinion of that virtue, may be seen, De Republ. L. 4. p. 430. and De Legibus, L. 3. p. 696.

The dramatick part of it is very elegant.

Ρ. 153. Του της βασιλικης ξερου.] It seems to be the temple of Apollo in the Στοα βασιλειος. See Pausanias in Attic. p. 8.

Ib. Mανικος ων.] Of a warm eager temper; see the Symposium in the beginning of it.

Ib. Kpitiav.] It is extraordinary that Plato from a partiality to his own family should so often introduce into his writings the character of Critias, his cousin, whose very name (one should imagine) must be held in detestation at Athens even to remotest times, he being a monster of injustice and cruelty. Plato seems to have been not a little proud of his family. Vid. De Republic: L. 2. p. 368.

Ib. Maxy eyeyover.] I take the particular action

« PreviousContinue »