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near five years; when Dionysius, returning from Locri, (see Plutarch in the life of Timoleon,) became once more master of Syracuse, and, as it seems, put Nysæus to death.
Who were the friends of Dion to whom Plato writes, is hard to enumerate: the principal were his son Hipparinus, and his sister's son, likewise called Hipparinus, and his brother, Megacles, if living, though I rather imagine he had been killed in the course of the war before the death of Dion; and Hicetas, who afterwards was tyrant of the Leontines.
Plato was about forty years of age, when first he came to Syracuse. His fortieth year was Ol. 97. 4.
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Ρ. 323. Σχεδον ετη τετταράκοντα γεγονως.] Plato was about forty years of age, when he first came to Syracuse his fortieth year was Olymp. 97. 4. Archonte Antipatro. Diodorus mentions the same fact three years later, but does not expressly say when it happened; and Dion was then in his twentieth year: consequently Hipparinus was now about twenty. But whether the son of Dion, or his nephew, be here meant, is hard to distinguish; if it could be proved to be the former, Plutarch would be convicted of a mistake. (See the next Epistle.) We must read here, συμφωνον ποιησειε, as Serranus observes.
1 I call him by the name of Hipparinus, because Timonides the Leucadian, a principal friend of Dion, assures us of it (ap. Plutarch.), and his testimony must doubtless be preferred to that of Timæus, who gives this youth the name of Aretæus. See Plato's eighth Epistle.
Ρ. 324. Μεταβολη γιγνεται.] This great change in the Athenian constitution took place, when Plato was in his twenty-fifth year.
Ib. Ενδεκα μεν εν Αστει, δεκα δ' εν Πειραιεῖ.] The 'Evdekα were a magistracy, to whom persons condemned to death were consigned, and who presided over the prisons and executions. Those who bore this office under the Thirty were their creatures, and at the head of them was Satyrus, whom Xenophon calls, & Opaσvτατος αυτων και αναιδέστατος. (See Xen. Hist. Græc. L. 2. p. 470. Ed. Leunclavii. 1625.) He seems upon some vacancy (possibly on the death of Theramenes) to have been afterwards elected one of the Thirty. (See Lysias in Nichomachum, p. 476. Ed. Taylori, and Palmerius ad locum.) The Ten, who commanded in the Piraeus, were appointed by the authority of the Thirty, and were probably the accomplices of their guilt, (Xenoph. Hist. Græc. L. 2. p. 474 and 478.) being with them and the Eleven, were excepted out of the general amnesty.
Ib. Oikeιol Kaι yvwpiμo.] Critias, a man as remarkable for the brightness of his parts as for the depravity of his manners and for the hardness of his heart, was Plato's second cousin by the mother's side; and Charmides, the son of Glauco, was his uncle, brother to his mother, Perictione. The first was one of the Thirty, the latter one of the Ten, and both were slain in the same action. Plato's family were deeply engaged in the oligarchy; for Callæschrus, (See Lysias in Eratosthenem, p. 215.) his great-uncle, had been a principal man in the Council of Four hundred. (Ol,
92. 1.) It is a strong proof of Plato's honesty and resolution, that his nearest relations could not seduce him to share in their power, or in their crimes at that age. (Xenoph. Apomnemon. L. 3. c. 6 and 7, and in Symposio.) His uncle, though a great friend of Socrates and of a very amiable character, had not the same strength of mind.
P. 324. Eπ Tivα TWV TOλITOV.] The Thirty, during the short time of their magistracy, which was less than a year, put fifteen hundred persons to death, (Isocr. Orat. Areopagitic. Ed. A. Steph. 1593, p. 153.) most of whom were innocent, and they obliged about five thousand more to fly. The prisoner here meant was Leo, the Salaminian. (See Apolog. p. 32.)
Ρ. 326. Λεγειν τε ηναγκασθην.] These are the sentiments which he has explained at large in his Пoλireial, (L. 5. p. 472, &c.) and one would thence imagine that he had written, and perhaps published that celebrated work before his first voyage to Sicily, and consequently before he was forty years old. It is certain, that there are some scenes in the ЕккλYOTAgovora of Aristophanes, (ver. 568 &c. Ed. Kusteri.) which seem intended to ridicule the system of Plato, and the Scholia affirm that it was written with that view. If so, he must have finished it, when he was thirty-five years of age, or earlier, for that comedy was played Ol. 96. 4.
Ρ. 327. Εις Συρακουσας ότι ταχιστα ελθειν εμε.] Hence, and from Plutarch, it is certain that Plato was invited into Sicily immediately after the death of the elder Dionysius, which happened Ol. 103. 1. so that
we must necessarily place his second voyage to Syracuse that very year, or the next at farthest; and it is as sure, that, four months after his arrival, happened the quarrel between Dionysius and Dion, and the banishment of the latter. I cannot but observe the inaccuracy of Diodorus, who says that this last event happened Ol. 105. 3. which is a mistake of at least ten years. See also Aulus Gellius, L. 17. c. 21. who is likewise mistaken in placing this voyage of Plato after the year 400 of Rome, and after the birth of Alexander.— Hence we see the folly of trusting to compilers where we might recur to original authors.
Ρ. 328. Ουκ ᾗ τινες εδοξαζον.] Plato had been most severely reflected upon for passing his time at the court of Dionysius. Athenæus (a very contemptible writer, though his book is highly valuable for the numberless fragments of excellent authors, now lost, of which it is composed) has taken care to preserve abundance of scandal on this head. L. 11. p. 507. and see Laertius in his life. This and the third Epistle are his justification of himself, and are written with a design to clear his character.
Ib. Ελθοι παρ' ὑμας φευγων.] Read παρ' ἡμᾶς.
Ρ. 330. Μετα δε τουτο απεδήμησα.] We are not informed how long Plato staid, after Dion was sent away, but probably many months; the preceding account of Dionysius's treatment of him implies as much.
Ρ. 331. Πατερα δε ουκ όσιον.] Cicero alludes to this sentiment, and to that of the same in the 5th Epistle, in his Letter to Lentulus, L. 1. ad Familiares, Ep. 1. "Id enim jubet idem ille Plato, quem ego
vehementer auctorem sequor," &c., where he expresses the thought, but not the words.
Ρ. 331. Πολιτειας μεταβολης.] Insert περι, οι ένεκα. Ρ. 332. Αδελφων, ους εθρεψε.] Leptines and Thearides.
Ib. Του Μηδου και Ευνούχου.] He follows some history, in this transaction,' seemingly different from Herodotus and Ctesias. The Mede is Smerdis, one of the Magi, which was an order of men instituted in Media; and to carry on so strange a cheat as that usurpation, it is sure that the concurrence of the eunuchs of the palace must have been necessary; but what particular eunuch he means is hard to say. Ctesias says, that the counterfeit Tanyoxarces was betrayed to the conspirators by his eunuchs.
Ρ. 333. Ὁ πατηρ αυτον φορον εταξατο φερειν τοις βαρβαροις.] The elder Dionysius being defeated by the Carthaginians at Cronium, in a great battle, Ol. 99. 2. was forced to make peace on their terms, and engaged to pay them one thousand talents. Fifteen years afterwards he engaged with them in another war, and lost one hundred and thirty of his best ships, which they surprised, and took or destroyed in the bay of Eryx or Drepanum: he died the same year, and left his son with this war upon his hands. Thus far Diodorus, L. 15, c. 17 and 73. Whether the Carthaginians had offered peace on condition of a new tribute, or had never been paid the old one, we can only guess from this expression of Plato; yet I am inclined to think, both from the third Epistle and from this, that Dionysius the father had agreed to a peace before his death, and