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since he would the less accomplish what he wished. Now he wished to do what was wrong. And again, would you say that to be ill is an evil or a good? I would say an evil. Well then, do there seem to you to be some men, who are without self-control? Yes, to me at least. If then it were better for a person of this kind for the sake of his health to abstain from food and drink, and the rest of things that are thought to be pleasant, while he is unable (to do so) through his want of self-control, it would be better for that person, that there should not be from whence he could procure those things for himself, rather than have a great superfluity in the necessaries (of life); for thus there would not be the power for him to go astray, not even if he vehemently wished it.
[12.] So well and beautifully was Critias thought to have spoken, that had not Eryxias felt a respect for those, who were present, nothing would have prevented him from getting up and striking Critias; of so great a thing did he deem himself to have been deprived; since it was evident to him, that he had previously formed not a correct opinion on the subject of wealth. Perceiving then that Eryxias was in this state, and careful that abuse and opposition should not proceed too far, I remarked, that Prodicus, the wise man of Ceos, had, when detailing this very argument, seemed to those, who were present, to be such a trifler as to be unable to persuade a single person present that he was speaking what was true; and thereupon a lad very young and a clever talker, who was sitting by, laughed at and jeered him, and put him up, desirous to get at the reasons for what he was saying; and in truth he became in much higher repute amongst the auditors than Prodicus himself. Might you have it in your power, said Erasistratus, to tell us his reasons? Completely so, if indeed I remember it. For it was, I think, something to this effect. •
[13.] The lad asked him, in what way he conceived wealth to be an evil, and in what a good? when he taking up the discourse, observed—Just as you do likewise, that to persons beautiful in body and mind it is a good, and to such as know how to use it, to these likewise it is a good; but to the depraved and those who do not know, it is an evil. And all the rest of things, said he, are in this state. For of what kind are some of those, who make use of things, such to them it is necessary for the things to be; and prettily, said he, appears to have been put into verse the sentiment of Archilochus—
As the actions are men meet with, so the thoughts are, which they frame. Now then, said the lad, if any one should make me wise in that very wisdom, by which the good become wise men, it is necessary for him to make at the same time the rest of things good for me, without his troubling himself at all about those very things, because he has made me wise instead of being untaught; as if a person should make me now a grammarian, it is necessary for him to make the rest of things grammatical for me; and if a musician, musical; just as when he makes me good, (it is necessary) to have made things good at the same time for me. To the latter assertion Prodicus however did not assent; although he acknowledged the former. [14.] Does it seem to you, said he, that as it is1 the work of a man to make a dwelling, so it is to make things good? or is it necessary for things to continue to the end to be such, as they may have been at the commencement, whether evil or good? And Prodicus seemed to me to suspect to what point the argument was about to proceed in so2 very clever a manner; (and),3 in order that he might not appear before all present to be confuted by the lad—for he thought it would be a thing of indifference for him to suffer this when alone—he said it was the work of a man. Does 4 virtue, said (the lad), seem to you a thing to be taught,4 or is it innate? To be taught, he replied, at least by5 me. Would not then, said he, a person appear to be silly, if he thought that, by praying to the gods, he should become a grammarian or a musician, or obtain any other science, which it is necessary for a person to obtain by either learning from another or discovering himself? To
1 I have with Stephens followed Cornarius, who suggested Lot'iv for Mat, which is without regimen.
2 I have translated as if the Greek were otiraic a<p6Spa Travowpywc, not ahruv a<p6$pa wavovpytag: where Stephens, unable to understand avT&v, tacitly changed it into avrtf— On ovrta o<j>6dpa united to another adverb see my Poppo's Prolegom. p. 178.
1 I have added icai, what might easily have dropt out after wavovpyug, since Uq and xal are, as I have observed on § 9, frequently confounded. 1 On this doctrine see the Meno.
5 I have translated "by " instead of " to—" For Prodicus was probably the promulgator of that doctrine.
this too he assented. Do not you then, Prodicus, said the lad, when you pray to the gods to do well, and for good things to happen, pray at that time for nothing else but to become beautiful in body and mind; since to men beautiful in body and mind things likewise happen to be good, but bad to the depraved. If then virtue happens to be able to be taught, you would appear to be praying for nothing else than to be taught, what you do not know.
[15.] I said then to Prodicus, that he seemed to me to have suffered a thing of not a trifling kind, if he had happened to fail in this; at least if he conceived that, what we pray for from the gods, would take place 1 even at the same time.1 For should you go in haste on each occasion to a city,2 and in your prayers ask of the gods to give good things, you nevertheless would not know whether they are able to give you what you happen to ask for, as you would do, if you were to go to the doors of a grammar-master, and beg of him to impart the knowledge of grammar, and to trouble himself about nothing else but the science, which you can receive on the instant, and (by which) you will be able to do the works of the grammarmaster. On my saying this, Prodicus directed his course to the lad, as about to defend himself, and to make a display, as you have done just now, and taking it to heart should he appear to have prayed to the gods in vain. And thereupon the ruler of the Gymnasium advancing, bade him take himself away from the Gymnasium, as he was conversing upon subjects not suited to young persons; and if not suited, evidently wrong.
[16.] This account have I detailed for the sake of this, that you may see how situated are the persons engaged in philosophy. For if Prodicus had been present, and spoken thus, he would have appeared to those present to be so mad, 3 as to be ejected even from the Gymnasium.3 But you seem to have now talked so extremely well, as not only to have persuaded those present,4 but to cause likewise the speaker on the
1—1 I confess I scarcely understand Kai lifta.
2 This mention of a city seems very strange, where one would have expected that of a temple.
3—3 As the present conversation is feigned to take place in the Portico, and not at the Gymnasium, I suspect the author wrote, Hare Kal Ik/3\i/Qfjvai vvv, wc roTt Ik row yvjxvaaiov, "as to be ejected now, as he was then from the Gymnasium."
• Here again I should prefer dtropovvrae— See § 8, n. *.
opposite side to agree with you; (and)1 it is evident that, as in courts of law, if two persons happened to give the same evidence, one seeming to be correct in body and mind, but the other depraved (in both), the judges would, on account of the testimony of the depraved character, be not at all convinced; but, as it might happen, do even the reverse; but if the person, who seemed to be correct in body and mind, had so stated (alone),2 the statement would have seemed to be vehemently true. Perhaps then the parties are situated in some such manner with respect to yourself and Prodicus; and one they consider a sophist and a vain talker, but yourself a statesman and a man of much worth; and then they imagine that they ought not to look to the speech itself, but to the speakers, of what kind they may be. But nevertheless, said Erasistratus, although you are speaking in ridicule, Socrates, it seems to myself at least, that Critias appears to say something (well). Nay, said I, by Zeus, nothing whatever. But why, since you have conversed upon these matters well and beautifully, do you not finish what remains of your discourse? For there seems to me something still remaining of the inquiry, especially since this appears to be acknowledged, that (wealth) is to some a good, but to others an evil. There remains then to inquire what is wealth in the abstract. For if we do not know this first, we shall not be able to agree as to what portion is an evil, and what a good; and I am prepared, as far as I can, to make the inquiry with you. Let then the person, who asserts that to be wealthy is a good, say on this point how the case happens to be.
[17.] Nay, said he, I do not, Socrates, define wealth in any way more cleverly than the rest of mankind. For this is to be wealthy, to possess much money. And I conceive that Critias here does not think that to be wealthy is any thing else. Even thus, said I, there will be something still left to consider, of what kind is the money, in order that you may not shortly afterwards appear to be at variance on this point again. For instance, you know3 that the Carthaginians make use of money of this kind. In a small skin there is bound up as much as is
1 I have inserted Kai, which seems to have dropt out after aoi—
'The antithesis evidently requires ravra airbg— where avrbc might
Easily have been lost through ravra, which Orelli would change into ravra. I have translated, as if the Greek were tare on, not euros, which
Horreus changed into ovv oi, adopted by Boeckh.
the weight of a stater1 at most. But what is so bound up within, no one knows, except those who make it up. They then deem it a legal tender,2 when a seal has been put upon it; and he, who possesses the greatest number of these skins, is thought to possess the most money, and to be the wealthiest. But if any one amongst us were in possession of such things to the greatest amount, he would be not a whit more wealthy, than if he possessed many pebbles from the mountain ;3 but at Lacedaemon they deem a weight of iron a legal tender, and this when it is4 the useless part of iron; and he, who possesses a great weight of such kind of iron, is thought to be wealthy; but elsewhere its possession is worth nothing; while in Ethiopia they make use of engraved stones, of which a man of Laconia would not have the power to make any use. But amongst the nomade Scythians, if a person possessed the residence of Polytion, he would be thought to be not at all more wealthy, than if a person amongst us were the owner of the mountain Lycabettus. [18.] It is plain then that each of these things cannot be property; since some of those, who have possessed them, appear to have been not at all more wealthy on this account. But each of these, said I, exist in reality5 as property to some persons, and they who possess them are wealthy; but to others they are not property, nor are persons on this account more wealthy; just as the same things6 are neither honourable nor disgraceful to all, but different to different persons. If then we are willing to inquire why amongst the Scythians houses are not property, but are so with us; or why amongst the Carthaginians skins are so, but not with us; or why amongst the Lacedaemonians iron is property, but not with us, should we not discover 7 (the rea
1 The Attic stater was a coin of the value of four drachms. a This is the best translation of vofiiZovoi.
3 In rov opovg evidently lies hid the name of some mountain. The author wrote, I suspect, UapvriBog, a mountain near Athens.
4 Although xal ravra pkvroi is found in § 10 and 11, yet here I should prefer Kai ravra y' over, as I have translated.
* I have translated as if the Greek were overcome, not ovra, which cannot be united to tarry —
• Clericus was the first to suggest ravra for ra roiavra, answering to "eadem," in the versions of Pirckheimer and Corradus.
'—' In lieu of fiaXiora, the sense evidently requires icaWiora, as I have translated; the words are perpetually confounded, as I have frequently remarked; while airiag has as evidently dropt out before oirwcrt—