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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.


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 cen 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 πολιτε και 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.



Ol. 87. 2 or


Platon. Op. Serrani, Vol. 1. p. 153. The subject of this dialogue is 'H Ew posuvn: 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 ιερου.] 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. Maxn cyeyovel.] I take the particular action here mentioned to be the attack made on the city, soon after the arrival of Agno and Cleopompus with fresh troops. Thucyd. L. 2. p. 116. If we consider the purport of the narration, we shall find that these words, Φορμιων δε και οι εξακοσιοι και χιλιοι ουκετι ησαν περι Xalkideas, mean, that Phormio and his troops (among which were Socrates and Alcibiades,) were returned from their expedition into Chalcidice (mentioned p. 36.) and had joined the army newly arrived from Potidea.

Ρ. 154. Λευκη σταθμη.] The line used by carpenters and masons to mark out their dimensions with, after it had been tinged with minium, or with some other colour : it is used proverbially for a mind susceptible of any impression which may be given to it. So Philippus in Anthol. L. 6. cap. ult.

Μιλτοφυρήτε Σχοινον, υπ' ακρονυχω ψαλλομενην κανονι. . Ρ. 155. Δοκει αλλοις τε και εαυτω.] Perhaps εμαυτω, or emot, for Critias was an excellent poet. Athenæus has preserved several fine fragments of his writings.

Ib. Eodwvos.] Solon's poetry is well known. From the birth of Solon to that of Plato was 210 years, which takes in five generations of that family. Diogenes Laertius reckons six generations, making Glauco (as it seems) the brother, and not the uncle of Critias. Proclus, in his comment on the Timæus, observes that Theon the Platonick had been guilty of the same mistake, and corrects it on the authority of this very dialogue. VOL. IV.


P. 155. Evlaseco bar.] This seems part of an hexa. meter, and an iambick.

Ib. Tyv Erov.] Horace alludes to these incantations, and perhaps to this very passage, Lib. 1. Epist. 1.

P. 156. Aratavaricelv.] Zamolxis, (Herodot. L. 4. c. 94.) (by some said to have been a slave of Pythagoras, but affirmed by Herodotus to have been of much greater antiquity) the king and prophet of the Getes, who were at first only a clan of the Thracians, but afterwards, having passed the Danube, became a great and powerful nation. It is very remarkable, that they had a succession of these high priests, (Strabo, L. 7. p. 297.) who lived sequestered from mankind in a grotto, and had communication only with the king, in whose power they had a great share from Zamolxis down to the time of Augustus, and possibly long after.

P. 157. The family of Dropides, celebrated by Anacreon.

P. 158. Pyrilampes, the great-uncle of Plato, ambassador in Persia, and elsewhere, admired as the tallest and handsomest man of his time: he was a great friend of Pericles, and father to Demus, a youth remarkable for his beauty.

P. 173. Ala Kepatwv.] See Hom. Odyss. T. 565. The only reason of this fable, which has puzzled so many people, seems to be a similitude of sounds between Ελεφας and ελεφαιρεσθαι (to delude) and Κερας and kpalvelv (to perform or accomplish), as one of the Scholiasts has observed.

P. 167. To Tpitov TW Ewrnp.] A proverbial expression frequent with Plato, as in the Philebus, p, 66.

10. De to TPLTov tw Ewrnpi, &c. and in Epist. 7, speaking of his third voyage to Sicily, Eλθων δ' ουν το τριτον, &c. I imagine it alludes to the Athenian custom (see Athenæus from Philochorus, L. 2. p. 38.) which was to serve round after supper a little pure wine, with these words, Ayado Aaipovi, and afterwards as much wine and water as every one called for, with the form of Ali Ewrnpi. See Erasmi Adag. Servatori, and Plato de Republ. L. 9. p. 583.

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