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dentally met with? No, by Zeus, said he. For I suppose, said the other, you do not conceive that it is right to find fault with a person on this account, but because he gives credence to those, who state what is not credible. I do so, said he. Whether then, said (the other), do you think it is not right to find fault with him for giving credence slowly even to those not accidentally met with, but right (to do so) for giving credence quickly even to those accidentally met with? Not I indeed, said he. Why then do you find fault with him? said (the other). Because he errs in giving credence to persons accidentally met with, previous to making an inquiry. But if he had slowly given credence, previous to making an inquiry, he would not have erred. Not so, by Zeus, said he; but he would have erred even thus not the less; but I think one ought not to give credence to persons accidentally met with. But if, said (the other), you think one ought not to give credence to persons accidentally met with, how is it fitting to give credence quickly to persons unknown? and do you think that it is requisite to make an inquiry, whether they are speaking the truth? I think so,1 said he. Say then, said (the other), is it not requisite to make inquiry about familiar friends and acquaintances, whether they are speaking the truth? I should say so, said he. For perhaps, said (the other), some of these state what is not credible. And very much so, said he. Why then, said (the other), is it more reasonable to give credence to familiar friends and acquaintances than to persons accidentally met with? I cannot tell, said he. What then, if it is requisite (not)2 to give more credence to familiar friends than to persons accidentally met with, is it not requisite to consider them less trustworthy than persons accidentally met with? How not? said he. If then there are familiar friends to some persons, and persons unknown to others, how will it not be necessary to consider the same persons more trustworthy than the same? For it is requisite to consider familiar friends and persons unknown, as not
1I have translated, as if the Greek were EiVs, jrtpi— not 'Exit — which I cannot understand.
2 This negative, wanting in all the MSS., is found only in the Latin version of Corradus.
1 I have adopted Tsiv avrdv, suggested by Stephens, in lieu of atiriji, which is unintelligible.
equally trustworthy, as you say yourself. This does not please me, said he. Equally, said (the former), do some believe what is stated by them, but others disbelieve? And this too is strange, said he. If then, said (the other), both familiar friends and persons accidentally met with state the same things, would not all things stated equally to all be credible or incredible (equally)? Necessarily so, said he. Must we not give credence then equally to those who state the same things ? 2 It is probable, said he.
On their conversing in this way, I was at a loss to whom one ought to give credence and to whom not, and whether to the trust-worthy and those who know what they are speaking about, or to familiar friends and acquaintances. Upon these matters then how think you?
1—1 I have translated, as if the Greek were uiravra—iram, not iiruTa —Traic, where lizura seems quite inadmissible.
s The Greek is at present role Xtyovmv avra—\kyovaiv aura — where Stephens was the first to suggest Xkyovai—ravrd, and to reject \iyovaiv aura— But those words are not to be rejected entirely. They ought to be inserted after yvwp/juotc just below, and thus corrected, Xiyovaiv, 3 oiuvrat tiSivat, i. e. " say, what they think they know—" for thus the parties, who think they know, are properly opposed to those, who really know.
INTRODUCTION TO THE DEFINITIONS.
Of these Definitions, which are appended to all the complete editions of Plato, and found likewise in eleven MSS. collated by Bekker, the authorship is attributed in the Vienna MS. to Speusippus. (*.) But since the writing relied upon, as the authority for this statement, is more modern than the rest of the Manuscript, the remark is probably due to Sambucus, once the possessor of it; who, says Menage, on Diogen. L. iv. 5, asserted that the "Opoi, mentioned in the Life of Speusippus, had been falsely attributed to Plato; and he might have added, that although the Definitions are attributed to Plato by Casaubon, they are distinctly assigned to Speusippus by Ficinus; whose version of them is to be found towards the end of a volume in folio, containing his translation of " Iamblichus de Mysteriis," and other Greek treatises of a similar character, printed by Aldus in 1497. Stobasus, however, found the Definitions at the end of his MS. of Plato; to whom he says they were attributed, in iii. p. 49, 35. But instead of Speusippus being the author of these Definitions, internal evidence would rather lead to the supposition of their being the production of some more recent philosopher of Alexandria. For we find io/ia twice used in the sense of a "gift," a word first met with in Holy Writ, and subsequently in Plutarch, as remarked by H. Stephens; and while its compound np6So/xa is found in Hesych. 'Appaf&v, as duly noticed by Lobeck on Phrynichus, p. 249, the simple iojun is reckoned amongst irregular formations by Herodian, n«pi Movijpouc Ae&wj, p. 30, 5, where Lehr refers to Lobeck's Uapakuir&niva, p. 424.
But granting even that from this fact no inference could be fairly drawn against the supposed authorship and antiquity of the Definitions, yet the matter of them is such as to disprove their being written by a disciple of Plato, and suggests rather that they are the production of some philosopher, who concocted them from a faithless representation of the doctrines promulgated in the Socratic, Stoic, Academic, and Peripatetic schools; and this too with so little judgment, as frequently to give an unintelligible definition, when he might have found an intelligible one elsewhere, as I have shown on various occasions in the notes. Socrates, it is true, as remarked by Menage on Diogenes L. vii. 60, is said by Aristotle in Metaphys. i. 6, and xiii. 4, and Theopompus the rhetorician, quoted by Arrian on Epictetus ii. 17, to have paid considerable attention to Definitions; and this may be inferred from some instances furnished by Xenophon in Memorab. iv. 6. But it is to Zeno and his followers that we must refer the practice of laying down Definitions, as the basis of subsequent discussions. For they were accustomed to apply to moral philosophy the principle they had learnt from the Pythagoreans, as the groundwork of physical philosophy, developed by mathematics, as may be inferred from the Life of Pythagoras by Diogenes; who appeals to Phavorinus to prove that " Pythagoras made use of definitions through his ' Mathematical Woodand still more so did Socrates and his followers; and so did Aristotle and the Stoics." Menage too, on Diogen. L. vii. 60, remarks that a mass of such definitions are to be found in the Life of Zeno alone.
To the preceding proofs that the author of the Definitions was some philosopher of Alexandria, may be added those which Cousin has adduced. He remarks that 'Atu»atg, in the sense of " dignity" or " majesty," does not belong to the period of Plato, nor even to any age of good Greek; and neither does Aoyiafibe aiiivoraroe. So too 'Ayairijaig is not a word of Plato or his time; while on the unintelligible definition of the word 'Ovo/ta, "a noun," he observes that "the language used there is altogether of the Alexandrine school, and is better suited to a treatise by Dionysius the Areopagite than to one attributed to Plato."