Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Socratic view, that every soul, in the intervals between its appearance on earth is happy in the contemplation especially of these general mundine relations, and strengthens and recruits itself anew ; whence it follows that during life also that renewed recollection, which is likewise his leading principle, is most awakened when the mind is employed in speculations upon nature, and most powerfully enlivened by them, and on that account adepts in this science are best qualified to apply the all-pervading idea of the good to all human relations. It is clear, accordingly, from the way in which, as we have shewn, the subject-matter of the former series is interwoven with that of the new, that in the latter also the ethical element has the preponderance, as natural philosophy is itself ethicised by the idea of the good which is placed at the summit of it; and therefore the formation of the world, as an expression of the divine mode of acting, furnishes the model which, notwithstanding that creation, deliberation, and government constitute the proper business of every mind, can yet be followed but indistinctly in so contracted a sphere. The establishment, however, and conservation of general prescriptive regulations, such as the constitution of every state must include, is in the first degree a plenary and distinct imitation of the Deity. But what Critias undertook to say, as well as what Hermocrates would have said, was undoubtedly to have been ethical, only certainly, if Socrates' wish was to have been complied with in so doing, directed to a comparative application to political life. And from this point of view not only might the whole of the subject-matter contained in this work be intelligible, but it would also be an easy task for every one to make it clear to himself, how all previous works determine to this, and all the threads laid out in them centre in it. But at how early a period Plato designed the plan of this great and splendid structure, and whether or not out of many, especially of his juvenile works, several points were at a later period taken up, and a determinate reference given to them, which they had not before, to the philosophy of this, is a point which now probably it might not be very easy to decide. Only it can scarcely be doubted that when Plato wrote these books he had already

resolved to subjoin to them the Timaeus and the Critias.

NOTES.

PHAEDR U S.
Page 72. Several of the conceptions in this Myth.

I CANNot help maintaining what is here said, notwithstanding what Boeckh adduces (Heid. Jahrb. 1. 1). I can neither discover the coincidence with Philolaus, nor put such firm faith in the genuineness of the fragment ascribed to him. But this is a subject which can only be discussed in another place”.

P. 73. We are not to look for too much.

Ast, in his commentary, has construed this passage very literally. It is, however, too profound for my apprehension how the poetic life above is indeed removed from all real representation of the true and beautiful, when below it forms the fourth kind of real life, and thus appears coordinate with the poetical and gymnastic life. Again, I know not in what sense a higher conception of the true and beautiful can be said to belong to the Xpnuariatikós than to the yewpyikós. And thus I leave it to others to enjoy this philosophy.

L Y S I S.
P. 78. To have had the Lysis in his mind.

Whoever reads, with a view to comparing the passages with this dialogue, Eth. Nicom. v1.11. c. 1. 2. 10. (p. 59. A.D. p. 63. B.) Magn. Mor. II. c. 11. (p. 111. E. and 112. C.) and Eudem. VII. 2. 5. (p. 162. B. C. p. 165. B. Ed. Casaub. 1590.) will scarcely continue to doubt of this, although Aristotle neither names Plato nor the dialogue, and one might feel some suprise, if he really had it in view, that this is not done more frequently and thoroughly.

* But see the extract from Boeckh's Philolaus, p. 104, at the end of this volume. (Tr.)

PRO TA GORAS.

P. 82. Perished.

I learnt this from an investigation regularly instituted into this family by Heindorf out of the fourth speech of Andocides. Athenaeus, Deipnosophist. v. p. 218, does not adduce this authority, but only concludes from the comedy of Eupolis, brought forward Ol. 89. 3, and in which the extravagance of Callias is exposed, that Hipponicus must have died not very long before this time.

P. 83. To justify Plato.

See Bibl. of anc. Phil. v. 122. Every thing else that this author says about the chronology of the dialogue is very bad, and betrays but little study of the Protagoras, and some ignorance of the history.

P. 84. Absent abroad.

When it is said that Protagoras lodges with Callias, this does not make much against the supposition, as Callias was at an age to superintend his father's house. There is perhaps more difficulty in that subsequent passage which says that Hipponicus had formerly used the chamber as a store-room; which is intended certainly to give us to understand that Callias had introduced more liberal manners than his father. But, perhaps this too might be explained by supposing a somewhat long absence, which, at a time when there were always Athenian armies in the field, is not inconceivable/

P. 85. Banished from Athens.

This is clear from Diog. Laert. Ix. 54. where his accuser Pythodorus is called one of the four hundred, with whom

« EdellinenJatka »