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P. 131. If any one.
As Ast has notwithstanding lately done: see his Essay on Plato's life and writings, p. 250. I may add, that I should not envy those readers their opinion to whom Ast has satisfactorily proved that the Parmenides was written at the earliest after the Theaetetus, since in the latter the solution is at once so decidedly commenced of those problems which in the Parmenides are but slightly indicated. For, Ast has by no means distinctly shown in what respect the Parmenides completes the Theaetetus, and even the Sophist and Statesman. Nor even if we allow that Socrates here, in the pains he takes and the problems he enunciates, shows himself to have arrived at the summit of dialectics, will, therefore, the investigations which Parmenides conducts and in which Socrates is perfectly passive, constitute the completion of those in the above-mentioned dialogues. The notion that from that perfection in the enunciation of the problems, and the success of Socrates' endeavours, Parmenides may be intended to represent the erring philosopher, must appear to all persons accurately acquainted with Plato too ridiculous for anything to be said about it. I agree, however, with Ast, that in this dialogue the representation of virtuosity in investigation is the principal point, and it is upon this, as well as upon the circumstance that it contains only germs, that the arguments rest for the position which I have assigned to it, so that I find it unnecessary to enter more accurately into what Ast alleges in favour of his own opinion.
P. l.24. Let not the reader start.
These words seem now no longer suitable after Ast's total and uncompromising excommunication of this dialogue. But I believe there are very many persons to whom even my opinion will at first sight seem too bold, and hope that few only will allow themselves to be persuaded by Ast's intricate criticism, that the Socrates here upon the stage is a
conceited sophist, and that the whole of this defence belongs to the common and counterfeit art of rhetoric/
These imperfections are, in Ast's opinion, among the sufficient grounds for excommunicating the piece; but an imitating sophist, and one who proceeded according to the rules of rhetoric, must have been far worse than the one here otherwise is, to commit such faults. But Socrates may commit them, because on every occasion he is hurried onwards by his higher objects, and the whole defence in particular
looks like an occasion, such as common life might present, for following his calling.
Of the actual defence.
For Socrates must have defended himself, and I should have wished Ast to have given us some slight hint as to how, in his opinion, Socrates dispensed with this task,
P. 157. Two great Masters.
Even Ælian mentions his doubts whether the Hipparchus is really a work of Plato; but this, in itself, would be but of little importance.
P. 159. For even the Menon.
Other points of resemblance between our dialogue and the Menon are mentioned by Boeckh. (in Minoem, p. 40.)
For an account in Diodorus that an Athenian conqueror at the Olympic games was called so has been already corrected by Boeckh. (See Pref. in Minoem.)
G. O.R. G. I.A.S.
Compare the conversation in the Protagoras beginning p. 358. P. 180. From the Lysis.
It must be left for the reader to decide, whether he can more easily conceive this to have been the case, or, on the contrary, that these hints afforded matter for his composition to the composer of the Lysis. Only, in that case, the composer will still remain entitled to be considered a more ingenious person than Ast will allow him to have been.
P. 185. No trace appears.
None, at least, according to my notions. Ast indeed thinks otherwise, and would conclude hence that Plato composed the Gorgias during the Socratic process, when I think it must be allowed he could scarcely have been in the humour for a work so extremely artificial, and, as even Ast will allow upon the whole, so extremely deep. But I refrain from saying more upon this point, and leave the case in the hands of every skilful reader.
In the Ecclesiazusae of Aristophanes.
See the commentators upon different passages of this comedy, and more at length as to the whole of it, Mor
genstern, Commentat. de Platonis Republ. p. 76–78. Should it be objected that this comedy did not perhaps contain so many allusions to Plato as is generally believed, it is still clear enough that philosophers, and especially Socraticians, are comprehended under its satire, and among them Plato was more effectively hit, inasmuch as he was distinguished above the rest by reputation and rank.
P. 187. The erample of Archelaus.
Athenaeus, in the well-known passage, x1. 507, Ed. Bip. iv. p. 384, writes strange things concerning this subject, which authors have copied from him, and hence have dreamed of a relation between Plato and Archelaus which is perfectly impossible. The passage runs as follows: “In the Gorgias he censures not only the person from whom the dialogue takes its title, but also Archelaus, the king of Macedonia, both as a man of low descent, and as one who had killed his lord and king. And this is the same Plato of whom Speusippus says, that by means of his close friendship with Archelaus he was the cause of Philip's coming to the government.” Then, after bringing forward the passage of Speusippus referring to this point, Athenaeus continues: “But whether or not this was actually the case, God knows.” In truth God knows how it could be the case not, that is, what Speusippus says, but what, in Athenaeus, is thence inferred. Plato, by means of a confidential relation with Archelaus, who died in the same year with Socrates, is supposed to have been the cause that ten years later Philip came to the government. And how? Listen. Carystias of Pergamus, says Athenaeus, writes as follows in his Memorabilia. When Speusippus learnt that Philip spoke ill of Plato, he wrote in a letter as follows: “As if it were not known that Philip owes even his kingdom to Plato. For Plato sent Euphraeus to Perdiccas, who was influenced by him to assign some province to Philip. And as Philip maintained there an armed force, he had, when Perdiccas died, the means in readiness, and could put himself in possession of the kingdom.” Now is there here a single word about Archelaus, or any relation with him. Unless we do the sophist the injustice of accusing him of a monstrous falsification, he has confused, in the strangest and most ignorant manner, the Alcetas whom Archelaus slew, and the Perdiccas whom he succeeded, and the far later Perdiccas who reigned before Philip, all together. Too many words already for the contradiction of such miserable prattle. Only we see hence what bad authorities Athenaeus followed in what he says against Plato, or what inconsiderate use he has made of his collectanea, without even taking care not to confound names and times. What Speusippus otherwise says must be true, if he really did say it, and may serve for the correction and completion of other accounts, which make Philip remain in Thebes till the death of Perdiccas.
THE AETE TUS.
P. 192. A contradiction.
See the Preface to the Laches (p. 100) and Charmides (p. 108), and the passages in each dialogue referring to what is there said.
P. 203, So Proclus.
In the second book of his commentary upon the first book of Euclid.
P. 219. A son of Anthemion.
Puura, tells a little story about the love of Anytus for Alcibiades, at one time speaking of Anytus the accuser of Socrates, at another of Anytus the son of Anthemion. But it might not be well to build too much upon this story; for it seems to be almost at variance with what is said in the defence of Socrates by Xenophon, that the son of Anytus at the time of that accusation was still a growing boy, and with the conclusion which we cannot help drawing from this passage in connection with the Menon, that the father of Anytus first attained to riches gradually by an extensive trade; hence it could hardly occur to his son in his younger years to fall in love with Alcibiades.’