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rents taking him after his birth, and when he was still an infant, placed him on Mount Hymettus, intending to make a sacrifice to the deities there, namely, Pan, and the Nymphs, and Apollo, who presides over shepherds. But while he was lying there, bees came and filled his mouth with honey from the comb, in order that it might be said1 truly of him—
* From his mouth flow'd a voice than honey far
And he calls himself 3on every side and3 a fellow-slave with the swans, as if he had proceeded4 from Apollo; for the bird belongs to Apollo. In early life he first went as a pupil to Dionysius the grammar-master, to learn the common course of instruction, of whom he has made mention in the Rivals, in order that Dionysius might not be without a share of remembrance on the part of Plato. After him he made use of Ariston the Argive, as his master in gymnastics, by whom, as they say, his name was changed into Plato, having been previously called Aristocles, after his grandfather; and he was called Plato, from his having two parts of his body very wide, namely, his breast and forehead, as his likeness proves, put up every where with such a representation. But others assert that it was not for this reason his name was changed, but on account of the breadth, and diffuseness, and openness of the style adopted5 by him; just as they say that Theophrastus, who was previously called Tyrtamus, had his name changed to 6 Theophrastus on account of the divine nature of
1 In lieu of ■yevijrai, the sense evidently requires Xsyijj-at— what I have translated.
'—* This description is applied to Nestor in IX. A. 249.
*—* Since Plato, in the person of Socrates, calls himself only once in Phsedon, p. 85, B. § 78, o/ioSovXog—Tuiv Kvkviov, there is probably some error in wavro&iv— from which it would be easy to elicit 9epairovra Biov— and to confirm the correction by Phaedon, § 77, ol Kvkvoi—row 'AirdXXwvoc Bepairovrtg fiavTMoi r' elai— for so we must read in lieu of the unintelligible ovrtg, for Plato had a little before spoken of rdv Kvkvwv —ot yt-yijOorsj, ort ftiWovai irapd rbv 9ibv airuvai, ovirip tin 9ipa
4 Instead of irpoai\9uiv, Windet has suggested, what I have adopted, wpoe\9titv—
4 So I have translated avaKitp.ivov— although I know of no other passage where that verb has such a meaning.
*—q To understand this, the reader should know that Oeo^paoroc is compounded of Bt-bq, "god," and Qpaarbg, "spoken."
his language.6 For his music-master he had Dracon, the pupil of Damon,1 of whom he has made mention in the Republic. These were the three things the boys at Athens were taught, [I mean] 2 grammar, music, and wrestling, not simply for themselves; but grammar, to embellish the language, natural to them; music, to tame violent passions;3 and wrestling and gymnastics, to strengthen the relaxed state of desire.4 In these three points Alcibiades appears to have been instructed by him ;5 and hence Socrates says to him, 6" But to play on the pipe you were not willing," and what follows.6 (Plato) went likewise to painters,7 from whom he derived some benefit in the mixing of colours, of which he has made mention in the Timseus. Subsequently he received instructions from the writers of tragedy likewise, who were considered 8 to be the instructors of Greece; and he went to them for the sake of the moral and solemn style of tragedy, and the heroical nature of their subjects (selected by them); and he made an acquaintance with the dithyrambic poets, for the honour of Dionysus, who was said to be the Superintendent of generation ;9 for to that deity the Dithyramb is sacred, from whom likewise it had its name; for Dionysus is Dithy
1 Windet was the first to correct Aa/ifvoc into Aaituivoc: of whom, as Fischer observes, Plato has made frequent mention.
a The words fTifil Si appear to be interpolated. For after rp/a—ravra, the three things alluded to are elsewhere mentioned at once, without the intervention of it — answering to " scilicet" in Latin, and " to wit" in English.
'Of the power of music to allay violent feelings the most facetious proof is given in the Epigram—
Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast;
* In lieu of IviOvfitaQ one would prefer aroBv/iiat, " despondency," as better suited to xaXapov.
5 This trap avrtf has nothing to which it can be referred. Olympiodorus wrote, I suspect, irapavrUa, " straightway "—
'—* The passage alluded to is in Alcib. I. § 7.
'The same fact is told by Apuleius.
8 I have translated, as if the Greek were vopuZofuvois in lieu of <SvoliaZ,opkvoiQ— Compare Xenoph. K. II. i. 6,12, Toxq orparijyucoic avtyam vo/u£o/«voic elvai.
9 How Dionysus could be said to be topic rrjg ytviattac, I cannot understand, except with reference to the proverb —" Sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus." Perhaps the author wrote javvatwe—so Virgil— "Laetitise Bacchus dator."
rambus, as having proceeded from 'two doors, namely, Semele and the thigh of Jupiter.1 For the ancients were wont to call things caused by the names of the causing; as they call Dionysus2 likewise: and hence Proclus says on this subject—
Parents,' from what they see (and know),4
Now that Plato exercised himself in Dithyrambics is evident from the Phaedrus, a dialogue that breathes very much5 of a dithyrambic style; inasmuch as Plato wrote, as reported, that dialogue the first. He took likewise great delight in Aristophanes, the comic writer, and in Sophron; from whom he benefited in his imitation of the characters in his dialogues. And he is reported to have been so delighted, that, when he was dead, (copies of) Aristophanes and Sophron were found on his couch; and he made himself this epigram upon Aristophanes—
• The Graces, when they wish'd to find
A shrine, that should for ever live,
Of Aristophanes could give.8
And he made fun of Aristophanes in his dialogue (called) the Banquet, as having derived some benefit in the style of comedy. For after making him hymn the god of Love, he introduces him as seized 'during (the conversation)7 with hiccups, and unable to finish the hymn. He composed likewise Tragic and Dithyrambic poetry, and some other things;
1—1 So the Etymol. M. in Ai0upa/«/3oc—dirj Tov (Std) Svo Qvpag fiai"w, rijv Te KoiXiav njc fiTjrpdg Sc/xgXqc Kat Tov firjpdv Tov Atoc.
'This I confess I cannot understand. The sense seems to require KaSdnsp Tov olvov Aiovvoov Ka\oiitjL—" as they call wine Dionysus "— where wine would be the thing caused, and Dionysus the causer; as shown by Euripides, who says in Bacch. 278, 6 2epi\ric yovog Borptrac iypbv gran dpi—
I have adopted Windet's roirijec, required by the sense and syntax, in lieu of TOKtvoiv—
4 The words " and know " have been added for the rhyme.
5 As irvkav requires an accusative, it is evident that Ti has dropt out before irvkuev—
*—6 The literal translation of the original and another metrical version may be seen in the " Greek Anthology, Prose and Verse," p. 179.
'—' I have translated, as if Tov \6yov had dropt out between p.iTaZv and \vyyi— See the Banquet, § 13.
all of which he burnt, after he had made a trial of an intercourse with Socrates, and pronouncing a verse of this kind— 1 Come here, Hephaestus, Plato needs thy aid.1
And a certain Anatolius, a grammarian, on speaking (again)2 the verse, was in some repute with Hephaestus, who had been appointed governor of the city ;3 for he said to him4— Come here, Hephaestus, Pharos needs thy aid.
They say, moreover, that when Socrates was about to receive him (as a disciple), he saw, as a vision in a dream, that a swan without wings had settled on his knees ; and, becoming fledged on the instant, flew up to the sky, and sung something so sweet, that he enchanted all who heard it; and this indicated the future fame of the man. But after the death of Socrates, he again6 made use of Cratylus, one of the sect of Heracleitus, as his teacher; on whom he composed the dialogue of that name, inscribing it "Cratylus, or On the Correctness of Names." Afterwards6 he sailed to Italy; and finding that Archytas had established there a school of Pythagoreans, he again7 had as a teacher the Pythagorean of the same name;8 there9 he has made mention of Archytas.
But since it is requisite for a philosopher to be fond of seeing the works of Nature, he sailed to Sicily likewise, to view the craters of fire that are in JEtna, and not for the sake of a Sicilian table,10 as thou, noble" Aristides,12 sayest. And,
'—1 This is a parody of IX. 2. 392.
* In lieu of ivravQa, the sense requires either tiaavBiQ— what I have translated, or IvrtvQev—"in consequence of this"—which would perhaps be preferable.
* The city was Pharus, as shown by the quoted verse.
* I have adopted Etwall's correction, if ig aurov, in lieu of & aiirbv— 4 For Plato, according to Apuleius, had been a disciple of Cratylus,
previous to his attendance upon Socrates.
* I have translated, as if the Greek were ravra, not Tovtov—
7, s, s I cannot understand either traXiv, or o/i&vvfiov, or has — There is, no doubt, something wanting here, which may perhaps be supplied by the MSS. of this treatise hitherto uncollated; just as the Vienna MS. has filled up two gaps, as will be noticed in their proper places.
10 By "a Sicilian table" is meant a " luxurious one," as understood by Horace in his " Siculae dapes."
"This is a strange epithet applied to a person whose statement is called in question. Hence in lieu of ytvvaXt, one would have expected yt\ou, "ridiculous "—
"The passage of Aristides alluded to is in Orat. Platon. ii. p. 376, Cant. when he was at Syracuse with Dionysius the Great, he endeavoured to change the tyranny there into an aristocracy; for which purpose he had gone to him (Dionysius); and on the latter inquiring of him—Whom do you think amongst men is happy? fancying forsooth that the philosopher would, out of flattery, say that he was, Plato answered that (he thought) Socrates was. (And when) Dionysius asked him again—What do you consider as the business of a statesman? Plato replied—To make the citizens better. (And when) he asked a third time—What then? Does it seem to you a little thing to act the judge correctly ?—for Dionysius had a reputation for acting the judge correctly—Plato replied,1 not lowering his sail1 a jot—It is indeed a little thing, and of a statesman2 the farthest portion; for they, who act the judge correctly, are like the menders of cloth, who weave up again torn garments. (And when) he asked a fourth time—What is it, think you,3 to be a tyrant? Is it not a brave thing? Plato replied—Of all the most cowardly; since 4 he fears even the razor4 of the barber, lest he should lose his life by it. Whereupon Dionysius, being greatly annoyed, ordered him, while the sun was still above the earth, 6 to take himself off from Syracuse; and thus was Plato with dishonour5 driven out of Syracuse.
Of his second journey to Sicily the reason was this. After the death of Dionysius the Great, Dionysius, the son of Dionysius, succeeded to the kingdom, having Dion for his uncle, who had been a familiar acquaintance of Plato during his first journey. Dion therefore writes to him (saying) that —"If you were now present, there would be6 a hope of changing the tyranny into an aristocracy." For this purpose then, when he had made a second journey, he was falsely accused by the spear-bearing attendants upon Dionysius, how that he was plotting to make over the government to Dion,
1—1 Such is the exact meaning of )it\Slv wnwmXa/ievoc, similar to "vail his bonnet," in Shakspeare.
2 I have followed the suggestion of Hemsterhuis on Thorn. Mag. p. 27, who would insert here iroktriKov, preserved by Eusebius in Chronic, i. p. 56, ed. Scaliger.
3 I have translated, as if oiu had dropt out before iivai—
4—4 From /laxaipia SiaSeSowe Casaubon happily elicited fiaxaip'tha ciSowe. See Pierson on Moerid. p. 259. s—s The Vienna MS. has supplied all the words between the numerals. * I have translated, as if the Greek were Ittrai, not tan—