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particularly that part which is intended to explain the nature of existence, and of non-existence, which to me is obscure beyond all comprehension, partly perhaps from our ignorance of the opinions of those philosophers, which are here refuted; and partly from the abstracted nature of the subject, and not a little, I doubt, from Plato's manner of treating it.
The most remarkable things in this dialogue appear to be, his description of that disorder and want of symmetry in the soul, produced by ignorance, which puts
P. 237. Пapμevidns de å μeyas.] A fragment of Parmenides's Poem. See at large in Sextus Empiricus.
Ib. Αυτον τε καταχρησασθαι, used for χρησασθαι simply.
242. 's тpia та ovта.] Perhaps Anaxagoras, who thought the formation of animals was εξ ύγρου, και θερμου, και νεωδούς. Diog. Lasrt. L. 2. s. 9. See also Plutarch de Iside et Osiride. Παντων εκ μαχης και αντιπαθειας την γενεσιν εχοντων.
Ib. Δυω δε ετερος ειπων.] See Themistius in Physica Aristotelis, and D. Laert. L. 9. 22 and 29.
Ib. Απο Ξενοφανούς και ετι προσθεν.] Xenophanes the Colophonian, was master to Parmenides. We see there was an Eleatick school, even before Xenophanes's time.
Ib. Evos OVTOS тwv паvтшv.] This was a tenet of Parmenides, though far more ancient than he. See the Theaetetus, p. 180. Οιον ακινητον τελεθει, &c. : these Plato calls δι του Ολου στασιωται, and the opposite sect he calls δι ρέοντες, the followers of Heraclitus. (Theætetus, p. 181.) This tenet was continued from him to his scholars, Zeno and Melissus. D. Laert. L. 9. s. 29.
Ib. Ιαδες.] Which he calls αἱ συντονώτεραι των Μουσων· Ι imagine that he speaks of Heraclitus : Σικελικαι άι μαλακωτέραι· he means Empedocles; АXote μev piλotnti, &c. ap. Plutarch. 244. Fragment of Parmenides: Пavтolev EUкukλov, &c. read the last verse thus : Ουτε βεβαιοτερον πελειν χρεων εστι τῇ η τη.
it off its bias on its way to happiness, the great end of human actions: the distinction he makes between Αγνοια and Αμαθια; the first of which, Αγνοια, is simply our ignorance of a thing, the latter, Apafia, an ignorance which mistakes itself for knowledge, and which (as long as this sentiment attends it) is without hope of remedy: the explanation of the Socratick mode of instruction (adapted to this peculiar kind of ignorance) by drawing a person's errors gradually from his own mouth, ranging them together, and exposing to his own eyes their inconsistency and weakness: the comparison of that representation of things given us by the sophists, and pieces of painting, which placed at a
Ρ. 246. Γιγαντομαχια.] Between those whom he calls οι γηγε veɩs, the materialists, and the spiritualists, among which was Plato himself.
Ib. Пeтpas kaι dpus.] An allusion to the Giants' manner of fighting, armed with mountains and rocks; and also to that proverb, Απο δρυος ηδ' απο πέτρης.
249. See the opinions of Heraclitus apud Sext. Empiricum, and in Plato's Theætetus.
251. Tois opiμaleσ.] Either the sophists themselves, or such as admired their contests.
252. Εντος ὑποφθεγγόμενον, ὡς τον ατοπον Ευρυκλεα.] Eurycles was an Εγγαστρίμυθος, who could fetch a voice from the belly or the stomach, and set up for a prophet. Those who had the same faculty were called after him Euryclitæ. See Aristophanes Vespa, v. 1014. et Scholia. For such as are possessed of this faculty can manage their voice in so wonderful a manner, that it shall seem to come from what part they please, not of themselves only, but of any other person in the company, or even from the bottom of a well, down a chimney, from below stairs, &c. of which I myself have been witness.
certain distance, deceive the young and inexperienced into an opinion of their reality: and the total change of ideas in young men when they come into the world, and begin to be acquainted with it by their own sensations, and not by description. All these passages are extremely good.
P. 265. We see here that it was the common opinion, that the creation of things was the work of blind unintelligent nature, Την Φυσιν παντα γεννᾶν απο τινος αιτίας αυτοματης, και ανευ διανοιας φυούσης: whereas the contrary was the result of philosophical reflection and disquisition, believed by a few people only.
268. Tavтns Tηs yeveas.] See Hom. Il. Z et passim
Η, ΠΕΡΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΑΣ.
THIS dialogue is a continuation of the Sophist, as the Sophist is a continuation of the Theætetus; and they are accordingly ranged together by Thrasyllus in that order (Diog. Laert. in Platon. s. 58.); though Serranus in his edition has separated them. The persons are the same, only that here the younger Socrates is introduced, instead of Theætetus, carrying on the conversation with the stranger from Elea. The principal heads of it are the following:
P. 258. The division of the sciences into speculative and practical.
P. 259. The master, the œconomist, the politician, the king; which are taken as different names for men of the same profession.
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Platon. Op. Serrani. Vol. 2. p. 257.
P. 257. Tov Aμuwva.] Theodorus was of Cyrene.
264. Ταις εν τω Νείλω τιθασσειαις.] Probably in or near those cities of Egypt where the Lepidotus, Oxyrinchus, and other fish of the Nile were worshipped; those fish, by being unmolested and constantly fed, might be grown tame, as in the river Chalus in Syria, mentioned by Xenophon (Cyri Anab. L. 1. p. 254. ed. Leunclav.), where all fish were held sacred.
The private man, who can give lessons of government to such as publickly exercise this art, deserves the name of royal no less than they.
No difference between a great family and a small commonwealth.
The politician must command on his own judgment, and not by the suggestion of others. (aνTETITαKTOS.) 1 P. 262. The absurdity of the Greeks, who divided all mankind into Greeks and barbarians. The folly of
all distinction and division without a difference.
P. 269. The fable of the contrary revolutions in the universe at periodical times, with the alternate destruction and reproduction of all creatures.
P. 273. The disorder and the evil in the natural world, accounted for from the nature of 2 matter, while it was yet a chaos.
The former revolution, in which the Divinity himself immediately conducted every thing, is called the
1 Ρ. 261. Καν διαφυλαξης το μη σπουδαζειν επι τοις ονομασι, πλουσιώτερος εις το γηρας αναφανηση φρονησεως.
2 Plato, with the Pythagoreans, looked upon matter as coeternal with the Deity, but receiving its order and design entirely from him. (See Timæus, the Locrian, de Animâ Mundi.)
P. 266. Twν трos yeλwтα.] An allusion perhaps to the Aves of Aristophanes, or to some other comick writer, for Plato (as well as Socrates) had often been the subject of their ridicule.
Ib. Ev Tη περɩ TO σ.] V. Sophistam, p. 227.
268. IIеρ тη Aтρews.] See Euripid. Orest. v. 1001. and Electra v. 720.
269. Μητ' αν δυω τινε θεω. ] Alluding to the Persian doctrine of a good and of an evil principle.