Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

that this critic thought that the nameless uova ikos of our dialogue was Democritus. But the passage is probably not free from corruption, and Thrasyllus can scarcely have intended this piece of folly, but only meant to say that Democritus was a philosopher such as the other person alluded to in the passage had described him to be, who resembles an athlete (trévrabaos), something in every thing, good in nothing. Moreover the same passage contains the most ancient doubt on record of the genuineness of our dialogue, in the words, Estep of Avreparta IIAgrowds elow.

MENEX EN US.

P. 337. Which Thucydides.

But how does it happen that Plutarch, in his life of Pericles, does not mention this oration? thus tacitly giving us to understand that Thucydides only ascribed it supposititiously to Pericles, while on the other hand he celebrates another oration of the great statesman delivered at an earlier period, during the Samian war. Dionysius also says that in his opinion Plato here imitated Thucydides. But may not Plato, when he makes Socrates say that Aspasia supplied much that was omitted in the speech she made for Pericles, have had in his mind that earlier and more genuine one?

P. 340. When Socrates.

If Menexenus, as we must conclude from the beginning of the Phaedon, was one of Socrates' more intimate friends, it is scarcely possible that this should only appear so accidentally as it does; if he was not, then this is a stupid and pointless expression of respect.

But we must not overlook the fact, that even Aristotle (Rhet. III. 14, p. 376, Bipont.) quotes from the dialogue which surrounds the speech, under the head of 20kpárns év 'Ewiraq’so, the passage, that it is easy to praise Athenians before Athenians.

Exth Act from BoEckh's PHILoLAUs, referring to Schleiermacher's note on the PHEDRus, p. 72.

“But in determining the relation between the doctrine of Philolaus and the works of Plato, I come a second time upon a question, with regard to the solution of which our countryman Schleiermacher and myself have been many years at variance. It is whether traces of the system of Philolaus are or are not contained in the Phaedrus of Plato, and I cannot help a second time answering it in the affirmative, and defending my friend's opponent against him in a matter, from which, moreover, not the slightest inference can be drawn for or against Schleiermacher's arrangement or views of the Platonic works, with which I fully coincide. Now that, first of all, the possibility of Plato's acquaintance with the writings of Philolaus cannot be denied, appears from the above investigation; for the accounts as to the sale of the Philolaic books in Sicily have proved incredible, and it is more probable that he published in Thebes, where he taught, something which, considering the short distance of Athens from Thebes, might be early known in that mart of arts and sciences. But even supposing that he wrote nothing during his residence in Thebes, still it is scarcely conceivable, with the lively zeal for philosophizing, which Anaxagoras, Socrates and the Sophists had excited at Athens, that none of the ideas of the neighbouring philosopher should have penetrated to Athens from Boeotia; that the mental feast and the mental light should have remained among the sensual Boeotians, while Copaic eels for the Attic palate, and Boeotian wicks for the Attic lamps, came to Athens. And are we to suppose Simmias and Cebes to have retained nothing whatever of the doctrine of Philolaus, or to have mentioned nothing of it in Athens The only question, therefore, is, whether in the Phaedrus Philolaic echoes can actually be heard; a point which can only be made out by comparison with the fragments and extracts preserved; the spuriousness of which, I am firmly convinced, can never be hereafter proved. Now, in the Phaedrus, the souls, in their circuitous route through the universe, for the purpose of contemplation, start from the house of the gods, in which Hestia alone remains behind, and climb up, upon it, to the highest sub-celestial arch ; breaking through this, they come at last to the super-celestial region, where they contemplate the formless and pure essence of things, that is, the ideas here mythically represented. Not intending again to defend all particulars referring to this point, contained in an earlier essay, I am nevertheless compelled to recognise it as perfectly Philolaic; not, however, in such a sense as that Philolaus said exactly the same, but as grounded upon the Philolaic conception of the form of the universe. Hestia remains alone in the house of the gods: is not the Pythagorean Hestia, the house of Zeus, clearly enough indicated here—of that Zeus, I say, who in Plato leads the procession of the gods? Is not, on the other hand, the supracelestial region exactly the Olympus of Philolaus? Observe, moreover, that these conceptions are perfectly unplatonic. Plato himself considers the earth as the centre-point, as is said in the Timaeus; he knows nothing in his system of such a dwelling of the gods as we find in the Phaedrus; but that in the Phaedrus the earth is not the dwelling of the gods and the earth of the world he is clear at once from this, that those souls which cannot follow the gods in that procession, fall down upon the earth, which must therefore, certainly, be something different from the dwelling of the gods; and that this conception also may be explained without obscurity, and without confusion, out of the Philolaic system of the world, I have shown in the treatise de Platonico systemate callestium globorum et de verá indole astronomiae Philolaica, (p. 27–32). Then again the assumption of a super-celestial region is quite as little Platonic; for as Aristotle remarks, (Phys. 111. 4.) the developed Platonic doctrine places nothing nithout the heavens, not even the ideas, which are not indeed in space at all; some foreign matter, therefore, predominates in the Phaedrus, of which Plato availed himself for the purposes of a mythical composition; but, though foreign, not unsuitable. For in the Pythagorean super-celestial region is the Unlimited, a formless entity, the pure first origin; and it is precisely the formless, pure essence of things which, according to the Phaedrus, the souls contemplate there. But enough of this. Moreover, it appears from what has been said, that in the Timaeus no coincidence with the Philolaic doctrine is to be found ; and the only point they have in common is, that in the Timaeus the soul of the world proceeds from the centre, and the whole universe is again enveloped in it, and Philolaus also regards the central fire as the chief seat of the soul, or the divine principle, and represents the All as surrounded with the soul. It is not therefore my opinion that Philolaus, as, according to some authors quoted in Simplicius, was the case with certain Pythagoreans, considered the central fire as the formative power, situate in the centre of the earth, and nourishing it from thence, and the counter-earth (durix0ov) as the moon; which, when applied to Philolaus is perfectly unsuitable: but it can scarcely be overlooked, that the central fire has the same relation to the soul of the world, which, according to some physical conceptions, the brain, according to others, the heart, has to the human soul.”

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »