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This webpage reproduces a portion of the
De Genio Socratis

by
Plutarch

published in Vol. VII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1959

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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588B‑594A

(Vol. VII) Plutarch, Moralia

p373 De Genio Socratis
(beginning)

(The persons who take part in the dialogue are Archedamus, an Athenian, and Caphisias, a Theban.)

575B 1 1 I recall, Caphisias, that a painter once gave me, in the form of a comparison, no bad description of those who view pictures. Spectators who are laymen and without instruction in the art resemble, he said, those who greet a large company with a single salutation, whereas cultivated and artistic spectators resemble men who have a private word of welcome for everyone they meet; for the general impression that the first obtain of the performance is inaccurate and as it were a mere sketch; whereas the others use their critical judgement for a separate scrutiny of each detail, and thus allow nothing well or poorly executed to pass without a look or word of recognition. I think the same is true of real events: Cduller minds are content with history if they learn the mere general drift and upshot of the matter, whereas the spectator fired with emulation and the love of noble conduct, when he views the works which virtue, like a great art, has executed, is more delighted with the particulars, feeling that in the outcome much is due p375to chance, whereas in the actions themselves and in their causes he observes the details of the struggles of virtue pitted against fortune, and the sober acts of daring in peril that come of reason blended with the stress and passion of the moment.1 Take us to be spectators of this sort; Dtell us of your enterprise from the beginning, and impart to us the discussion that we hear was held at the time in your presence; for you may rest assured that to hear the story I should not have shrunk from journeying all way to Thebes, except that the Athenians consider me unduly pro-Boeotian as it is.

— Indeed, Archedamus, seeing this friendly eagerness of yours to know what happened, I, for my part, should have been obliged to hold it a duty "transcending any business," as Pindar2 says, to come here to tell the story; as it is, when I am already here on an embassy and at leisure until the assembly delivers its reply, Eto refuse and be uncivil with one so sympathetic and friendly, would be enough, I think, to revive the ancient reproach against Boeotians of hostility to discussion,3 just when that reproach was dying out. . . .4 Yet consider whether the p377company is disposed to hear a narrative involving so much history and philosophy combined; it will not be short in the telling, as you would have me include the discussions with the rest.

— You are unacquainted, Caphisias, with these gentlemen. I assure you that they are well worth knowing: their fathers were excellent men and good friends of your country. This is Lysitheides,5 nephew of Thrasybulus;6 Fthis, Timotheüs,7 son of Conon; these are the sons of Archinus;8 and the rest, like these, are all men of our society. Your narrative, then, will have a friendly and interested audience.

— Excellent. But at what point would it suit you for me to begin the tale so as to connect it with the events you already know?

— We know pretty well, Caphisias, how matters stood at Thebes before the exiles' return. Thus, the news that after inducing Phoebidas to seize the Cadmeia in time of peace,9 Archias and Leontiades had expelled some of your countrymen and were holding the rest in terrified submission, 576 exercising authority themselves in defiance of the laws and by p379the use of force, reached us here,10 as we had opened our homes to Melon and Pelopidas, as you know, and for the duration of their exile were constantly in their company. Again, we have heard that although the Lacedaemonians fined Phoebidas for seizing the Cadmeia and relieved him of the command against Olynthus,11 they nevertheless sent in his place Lysanoridas with two others12 and strengthened the garrison in the citadel; we have also learned that Hismenias, immediately after his trial, met death not in its noblest form; all this Gorgidas reported in letters to the exiles here. BSo all that remains for you to tell is the story how your friends returned and overthrew the tyrants.13

2 1 — In those days, Archedamus, all who were in the plot used to forgather at the house of Simmias, who was recovering from a wound in the leg. Our real purpose was to see each other as the need arose, but ostensibly we met for philosophical discussion; often, to avoid suspicion, we brought Archias and Leontiades along, who were not entire strangers to such pursuits. CIndeed, after a long stay abroad and much travel among strange peoples, Simmias had but recently returned to Thebes with a great store of all manner p381of foreign legends and information; to this Archias delighted to listen in his leisure moments, mingling affably with the youthful company and preferring that we should spend our time in talk rather than attend to what he and his party were doing.

On the day when the exiles were to come secretly to the walls after dark, a messenger from Pherenicus,14 known to none of us except Charon, arrived from here with word that the youngest exiles, twelve in number, had taken hounds and gone out to hunt on Cithaeron,15 intending to reach Thebes that evening;16 Dhe had been sent, he said, to give notice of this and to learn who would provide a house for their concealment when they slipped into the city, so that with this information they could proceed to it among other things. In the midst of our hesitation and perplexity, Charon offered to provide his own house.17 The messenger, then, determined to rejoin the exiles with all speed.

3 1 Grasping my hand firmly, with his eyes on Charon, who was going on before,18 Theocritus19 the soothsayer said: "This man, Caphisias, is no philosopher, nor has he, like your brother Epameinondas, had any schooling of a distinguished and exceptional kind; Eyet you observe that he is naturally guided to noble conduct by the laws, and willingly assumes the gravest risks for his country's sake. Whereas p383Epameinondas, who feels that by reason of his schooling he is superior in virtue to all other Boeotians, is not keen or eager20 to help the men who are braving danger for their country. Yet what better occasion can he desire than this for putting himself to use, splendidly equipped as he is by nature and training?"

FI replied: "We, my eager friend, are carrying out our own decisions, whereas Epameinondas has been unsuccessful in his endeavour to persuade us to drop them, as he believes would be for the best. It is hardly surprising, then, that he refuses our invitation to proceedings that run counter to his nature and his judgement. Suppose a physician promised to cure a disease without recourse to the knife or cautery: here too it would be unreasonable of you, I think, to compel him to cut or sear the diseased member." Theocritus admitted this was true, and I pursued: "And is not Epameinondas in the same case? He asserts, does he not? that unless driven to it by extreme necessity, he will put no countryman to death untried, but will gladly join forces with all who endeavour without resorting to civil bloodshed and slaughter to set our city free.21 But since the majority are against him, and we are already engaged in this course, he would have us allow him to await the favourable moment for intervention, remaining innocent and guiltless of bloodshed. 577Thus interest p385as well as justice will be served. For, he contends, no distinction will be drawn in the actual fighting; Pherenicus perhaps and Pelopidas will turn their arms against those most deep in guilt and crime, but Eumolpidas and Samidas,22 men white-hot in anger and passionate in temper, once they get a free hand in the night, will not lay their swords aside until they have filled the entire city with slaughter and destroyed many of their personal enemies."

4 1 As I was thus conversing with Theocritus Galaxidorus23 interrupted us to announce that Archias and Lysanoridas the Spartan were close at hand, hastening from the Cadmeia as if bent on meeting us. BWe, then, broke off; and Archias, summoning Theocritus and taking him to Lysanoridas, talked privately for a long time, withdrawing a short distance from the street to the foot of the Amphion,24 so that we were in an agony of fear that some suspicion or intelligence had reached them and they were interrogating Theocritus about it.

Meanwhile Phyllidas25 — you know the man, Archedamus, at that time secretary to Archias and the other polemarchs,26 who was in the secret of the exiles' intended return and one of the conspiracy, took my p387hand and made a show of twitting me in his usual fashion about my fondness for exercise and wrestling; then, when he had drawn me aside from the rest, he asked if the exiles were keeping to the appointed day. CWhen I answered that they were, he said: "I did well, then, to prepare for to‑day the entertainment in which I am to receive Archias into my house and make him an easy prey for our men at a drunken banquet."

"Well done indeed, Phyllidas," I answered; "and endeavour to bring all or most of our enemies together."

"That is no easy matter," he said; "or rather it is impossible, as Archias, who expects a visit at that very time from a certain lady of rank, does not desire Leontiades to be present. You must therefore split forces and take the houses separately; for with Archias and Leontiades both disposed of DI imagine the rest will take to flight and be out of the way, or make no trouble if they remain, only too glad to be offered safety."

"That we will do," I said. "But what business have these men with Theocritus that they are talking about?"

Phyllidas answered: "I cannot tell you definitely and do not speak from knowledge, but I have heard that disquieting and ominous portents and prophecies bode ill for Sparta."

Meantime Theocritus rejoined us and we proceeded to Simmias' house, where27 we were met by Pheidolaüs28 of Haliartus. "Simmias," he said, "asks you p389to await him here a moment; he is conferring in private with Leontiades about Amphitheüs,29 entreating him to wait until he can arrange Efor a sentence of banishment instead of death."

5 1 "You come most opportunely and as if by design," said Theocritus. "I had been desiring to hear what objects were found and what was the general appearance of Alcmena's tomb when it was opened up in your country — that is, if you were present when the remains were removed to Sparta on orders received from Agesilaüs."30

"I was not present," Pheidolaüs replied; "and although I expressed to my countrymen my strong indignation and exasperation at the outrage, they left me helpless. Be that as it may, in the tomb itself no remains were found, but only a stone,31 Ftogether with a bronze bracelet of no great size and two pottery urns containing earth which had by then, through the passage of time, become a petrified and solid mass. Before the tomb, however, lay a bronze tablet with a long inscription of such amazing antiquity that nothing could be made of it, although it came out clear when the bronze was washed; but p391the characters had a peculiar and foreign conformation, greatly resembling that of Egyptian writing. Agesilaüs accordingly, it was said, dispatched copies to the king,32 with the request to submit them to the priests for possible interpretation. But about these matters Simmias might perhaps have something to tell us, 578 as at that time he saw a good deal of the priests in Egypt in the pursuit of his philosophical inquiries. At Haliartus the great failure of crops and encroachment of the lake33 are held to have been no mere accident, but a judgement on us for having allowed the excavation of the tomb."

After a short pause Theocritus replied: "No more do the Lacedaemonians themselves appear to have escaped the wrath of heaven, as is evinced by the portents about which Lysanoridas was consulting me just now; indeed he is now leaving for Haliartus to close up the tomb Band pour libations to Alcmena and Aleüs,34 in obedience to some oracle — though quite in the dark as to who this Aleüs was —; and on his return he intends to search out the tomb of Dircê, which is unknown to any Theban who has not served as hipparch. For the retiring hipparch takes his successor and shows him the tomb in private and p393at dnight; and upon performing certain rites there in which no fire is used, they rub out and destroy all trace of them and return their separate ways in the darkness. Now I commend our opponents' zeal, Pheidolaüs, for the performance of the rites, but they will not, I think, find it easy to discover the place of the tomb, as most of those who have legally held the office of hipparch are in exile, or rather all of them except Gorgidas and Platon35Cand from these they would not even attempt to secure the information, so greatly do they fear them — whereas the present magistrates on the Cadmeia take over the spear and the seal in utter ignorance of both the ritual and the tomb."

6 1 While Theocritus spoke Leontiades and his friends left. We entered and greeted Simmias, who was sitting up on his couch, very downcast and distressed, doubtless because his petition had failed. Looking up at all of us, Dhe exclaimed "Good God! What cruel and barbarous natures! Was that not a most excellent answer of Thales of old, when asked by his friends on his return from a long absence abroad for the greatest curiosity he had discovered: 'a tyrant in old age'?36 For even if a man happens to have endured no personal injury, yet his disgust at the offensive and brutal society of such men is in p395itself enough to make him an enemy to lawless and irresponsible domination. But these matters Heaven will perhaps attend to. Does your family, Caphisias, know who the stranger is that has come to see them?"

"I do not know whom you mean," I replied.

"Yet Leontiades," said he, "asserts that a man making an imposing figure Ewith a numerous and splendid retinue has been seen breaking camp before dawn at the tomb of Lysis, where he had lodged on rude beds, couches of chaste tree and tamarisk being found there — and traces of burnt offerings and libations of milk as well —; and that this morning he had asked passers‑by whether he should find the sons of Polymnis in town."

"Who indeed could the stranger be?" I said. "From your description he seems to be of some consequence and not a private person."

7 1 "He does indeed," said Pheidolaüs; "and we shall make him welcome when he comes. But at present, Simmias, to return to the inscription we were wondering about just now, give us what further information you may have; Ffor it is said that the priests in Egypt were able to read the inscription which was written on the tablet and which Agesilaüs took from us at Haliartus when he dismantled Alcmena's tomb."

Simmias at once recollected: "Of your tablet, Pheidolaüs, I know nothing. But Agetoridas37 the Spartan came to Memphis with a long document from Agesilaüs for the spokesman of the god, Chonuphis,38 p397with whom Plato, Ellopion39 of Peparethos and I had many philosophical discussions in those days. He brought orders from the king that Chonuphis should translate the writing, if he could make anything of it, and send the translation to him at once. Chonuphis shut himself up for three days, conning scripts of all kinds in the ancient books, 579 and then wrote his answer to the king, of which he also informed us. The document, he said, ordered the celebration of a contest in honour of the Muses; the characters had the forms of the script current in the time of King Proteus, which Heracles, the son of Amphitryon, had learned; and the god was using the inscription to instruct and urge the Greeks to live in the enjoyment of leisure and peace by always taking philosophy as their field of contention, laying their arms aside and settling their disputes about right and wrong by an appeal to the Muses and discussion. As for ourselves, we felt at the time that Chonuphis was right; we felt so yet more when our return from Egypt a party of Delians met us in Caria and Brequested Plato, as a geometer, to solve a problem set them by the god in a strange oracle. The oracle was to this effect: the present troubles of the Delians and the rest of the Greeks would be at an end when they had doubled the altar at Delos.40 As p399they not only were unable to penetrate its meaning, but failed absurdly in constructing the altar (for upon doubling all four sides they discovered to their surprise that in their ignorance of the progression from which the linear double41 is obtained they had produced by this increase a solid eight times as large), Cthey called on Plato for help in their difficulty. Plato, recalling the Egyptian, replied that the god was rallying the Greeks for their neglect of education, deriding, as it were, our ignorance and bidding us engage in no perfunctory study of geometry; for no ordinary or near-sighted intelligence, but one well versed in the subject, was required to find two mean proportionals, that being the only way in which a body cubical in shape can be doubled with a similar increment in all dimensions. This would be done for them by Eudoxus of Cnidus or Helicon42 of Cyzicus; they were not, however, to suppose that it was this the god desired, Dbut rather that he was ordering the entire Greek nation to give up war and its miseries and cultivate the Muses, and by calming their passions through the practice of discussion and study of mathematics, so to live with one that their intercourse should be not injurious, but profitable."

8 1 While Simmias was speaking my father Polymnis entered. Sitting down beside Simmias he said: "Epameinondas entreats you and the whole company, p401unless you have some pressing business, to await him here, as he wishes to acquaint you with the stranger, a man of generous spirit who has been sent on a generous and noble errand by the Pythagoreans in Italy. He comes to offer libations at the grave of the aged Lysis, Ein consequence, he says, of certain vivid dreams and apparitions; and he brings with him a large sum of gold, thinking it proper to repay Epameinondas for the support of Lysis in his old age. This he is very intent on doing, although we neither ask nor desire him to relieve our poverty."

Simmias exclaimed, in great delight, "An admirable man, and worthy of philosophy! But why does he not join us directly?"

FAs he had, I believe, spent the night at Lysis' grave," my father replied, "Epameinondas was first taking him to the Hismerus to wash himself clean; they will then join us here. His motive in encamping at the tomb before meeting us was to take up the remains and remove them to Italy, unless some sign from heaven should appear in the night to forbid it." With this my father fell silent.

9 1 "Good God!" exclaimed Galaxidorus. "How hard it is to find a man untainted with humbug and superstition! Some, through no desire of their own, succumb to these disorders from ignorance or weakness, whereas others, to be reputed the favourites of heaven and above the common sort, invest their doings with a character of sanctity, hiding what p403occurs to their intelligence behind a pretence of dreams and apparitions and the like mummery. 580For men engaged in public affairs and compelled to live at the caprice of a self-willed and licentious mob this may have its use — to treat the superstition of the populace as a bridle,43 and thereby pull them back to the profitable course and set them right; but for Philosophy such outward seeming appears not only unseemly but in open conflict with her claims. Professing to teach the whole of the good and the profitable by the sole use of reason, she nevertheless withdraws from the government of conduct to take refuge with the gods, as if holding reason in contempt, and scorning demonstration, where her chief excellence is supposed to lie, resorts to divination and the visions seen in dreams, Bwherein the least of men is often no less rewarded with success than the greatest. For this reason, Simmias, I think your friend Socrates embraced a manner of teaching and prospecting that had more of the true philosophic stamp, choosing that simplicity and sincerity of his for its manliness and great affinity to truth; as for humbug, the mere vapour as it were of philosophy, he sent it flying to the sophists."

"What is this, Galaxidorus?" Theocritus broke in. "Has Meletus convinced you too that Socrates had no use for things divine? That was the charge Meletus Cbrought against him before the Athenians."

"Things really divine," he answered, "he by no means ignored; but he took philosophy, left by Pythagoras and his company a prey to phantoms, p405fables, and superstition, and by Empedocles in a wild state of exaltation, and trained her to face reality with steadfast understanding,44 as it were, and to rely on sober reason in the pursuit of truth."

10 1 "Very well," said Theocritus; 'but what, my dear sir, do we call Socrates' sign?45 An imposture? For my part, nothing reported of Pythagoras' skill in divination has struck me as so great or so divine; for exactly as Homer46 has represented Athena as 'standing at' Odysseus' 'side in all his labours,' so Heaven seems to have attached to Socrates from his earliest years as his guide in life a vision of this kind, which alone

DShowed him the way, illuminating his path47

in matters dark and inscrutable to human wisdom, through the frequent concordance of the sign with his own decisions, to which it lent a divine sanction. For further and greater instances you must ask Simmias and Socrates' other friends; but I was myself present (I had come to visit Euthyphron the soothsayer) when Socrates — you recall the incident, Simmias — happened to be making the ascent toward the Symbolon48 and the house of Andocides,49 putting some question to Euthyphron the while and sounding p407him out playfully. ESuddenly he stopped short and fell silent, lost for a good time in thought; at last he turned back, taking the way through the street of the cabinetmakers, and called out to the friends who had already gone onward to return, saying that the sign had come to him. Most turned back with him, I with the rest, clinging close to Euthyphron; but certain young fellows went straight ahead, imagining that they would discredit Socrates' sign, and drew along Charillus50 the flute-player, who had also come to Athens with me to visit Cebes. As they were walking along the street of the statuaries past the law-courts, they were met by a drove of swine, Fcovered with mud and so numerous that they pressed against one another; and as there was nowhere to step aside, the swine ran into some and knocked them down, and befouled the rest. Charillus came home like the others, his legs and clothes covered with mud; so that we always mentioned Socrates' sign with laughter, at the same time marvelling that Heaven never deserted or neglected him."

11 1 "You suppose, then, Theocritus," replied Galaxidorus, "that Socrates' sign had some peculiar and extraordinary power, and that he did not, upon verifying from experience some rule of ordinary divination, let it turn the scale in matters dark and beyond the reach of reason? For just as a single p409drachm does not by itself tip the beam, but when joined to a weight in equilibrium with another inclines the whole mass in the direction of its own pull, 581 so too a sneeze or chance remark or any such omen cannot, being trivial and light, incline a weighty mind to action; but when it is joined to one of two opposing reasons, it solves the dilemma by destroying the balance, and thus allows a movement and propulsion to arise."51

"Just so, Galaxidorus," my father broke in. "I have it from one of the Megarian school, who had it from Terpsion, that Socrates' sign was a sneeze, his own and others'; Bthus, when another sneezed at his right, whether behind or in front, he proceeded to act, but if at his left, desisted; while of his own sneezes the one that occurred when he was on the point of acting confirmed him in how he had set out to do, whereas the one occurring after he had already begun checked and prevented his movement. But what astonishes me is that, supposing he relied on sneezes, he did not speak to his friends of being prompted or deterred by these, but by a sign from Heaven; for here again, my dear friend, we have a form of hollow affectation and boasting, and not the sincerity and simplicity that made him to our feeling truly great and superior to the generality of men — to be upset at odd moments by such external matters as a voice or sneeze, and thus be diverted from his actions and abandon his decisions. CNay, Socrates' p411movements are observed to have had an indeflectible force and intensity in all he did, which implies that they were launched forth from a correct and powerful judgement and foundation; for of his own free will to have remained poor throughout his life when he could have had money which the donors would have been delighted and thankful to see him accept, and not to have forsaken philosophy despite so many obstacles, and in the end, although his followers had spared no efforts to save his life and had contrived a perfectly feasible means of escape, neither to have yielded to their entreaties nor to have flinched at the approach of death, Dbut to have faced its terrors with reasoning unshaken, are not acts of a man whose views are at the mercy of voices or sneezes, but of one guided by a higher authority and principle to noble conduct.

"I also hear that he foretold to some of his friends the loss of the Athenian forces in Sicily.52 And still earlier, when Pyrilampes,53 the son of Antiphon, who had been wounded with a javelin and was taken prisoner by us in the pursuit at Delion, was told by the commissioners that came from Athens to negotiate a truce that Socrates had reached the coast at Oropus54 with Alcibiades and Laches55 and come home safe, Ehe often invoked the name of Socrates, and of p413those of certain friends and members of his company who had fled with him toward Mount Parnes and been killed by our cavalry, as they had (he said) disregarded Socrates' sign and taken a different way, not following where Socrates led, in their retreat from the battle.56 Simmias too has heard of this I think."

"Many times," said Simmias, "and from many persons; for these events led to no little talk at Athens about Socrates' sign."

12 1 "Are we, then, Simmias," said Pheidolaüs, "to let Galaxidorus in sport reduce so mighty a work of divination to sneezes and chance remarks? FEven the ignorant multitude rely on these in trivial matters and in playful moods, but when graver dangers and actions of greater moment confront them, the words of Euripides57 come true:

None talks such folly when the fray impends."

"I am ready, Pheidolaüs," rejoined Galaxidorus, "to listen to what Simmias has to say about these matters, if he has himself heard Socrates talk of them, and to share your forbearance; but what you and Polymnis have said is not hard to refute. For as in medicine a rapid pulse or a blister, trifling in itself, is a sign of something by no means trifling, and as for a skipper the cry of a marine bird or the passing of a wisp of yellow cloud 582 betokens wind and a rising sea, so for a mind expert in divination a sneeze or random utterance, in itself no great matter, may yet p415be a sign of some great event;58 for in no art is the prediction of great things from small, or of many things from few, neglected. No; if a man ignorant of the significance of writing, on seeing letters few in number and mean in appearance, should doubt that a literate person59 could gather from them the story of great wars that happened to men in the past, of foundations of cities, and of acts and sufferings of kings, Band should then assert that what revealed and recounted all this to that student of history was something divine, you would, my friend, be moved to hearty laughter at the fellow's simplicity; so here too take heed lest it be simplicity in us, in our ignorance of the significance for the future of the various signs interpreted by the art of divination, to resent the notion that a man of intelligence can draw from them some statement about things hidden from view — and that too when it is the man himself who says that it is no sneeze or utterance that guides his acts, but something divine. For I shall now deal with you, Polymnis, who are astonished that Socrates, a man who by his freedom from humbug and affectation had more than any other made philosophy human, should have termed his token not a 'sneeze' or 'omen' Cbut in high tragic style 'the sign from Heaven.'60 I, on the contrary, should have been astonished if a master of dialectic and the use of words, like Socrates, had spoken of receiving intimations not from 'Heaven' p417but from the 'Sneeze': it is as if a man should say that the arrow wounded him, and not the archer with the arrow, or that the scales, and not the weigher with the scales, measured the weight. For the act does not belong to the instrument, but to the person to whom the instrument itself belongs, who uses it for the act; and the sign used by the power that signals is an instrument like any other. But, as I said, if Simmias should have anything to say, we must listen to him, as he is better informed."

13 1 "First," said Theocritus, D"we must see who the persons are that are entering the room — but I see it is Epameinondas, who is apparently bringing the stranger to meet us."

We looked toward the door and saw Epameinondas in the lead, with Hismenodorus, Bacchyllidas,61 and Melissus the fluteplayer among our friends in the plot, while the stranger came last, a man of no ignoble presence, but showing gentleness and kindness in his demeanour and in person magnificently attired. When the stranger had taken his place beside Simmias, my brother beside me, and the rest as they happened to find seats, and all had fallen silent, Simmias called out to my brother: "Well, Epameinondas, Ewhat name and title are we to give the stranger, and what is his country? Such inquiries are the usual preliminaries to intercourse and acquaintance."

Epameinondas answered: "His name, Simmias, p419is Theanor; he is a native of Croton, one of philosophers of that region, and reflects no dishonour on the great fame of Pythagoras; indeed, he has come here at present on a long journey from Italy, confirming noble doctrines by noble works."

Here the stranger spoke: "Are not you, Epameinondas, preventing the noblest of those works? FFor if it is a noble act to benefit friends, it is no disgrace to be benefited by them; for the favour, requiring a recipient no less than a giver, needs both to be made perfect in nobility. He who refuses to accept the favour, like the man who refuses to catch a well-directed ball, disgraces it, allowing it to fall to the ground without achieving its end.62 For what target is so delightful to hit and so painful to miss, as a man deserving kindness at whom we aim a favour? Yet in the case of the target the man who misses has only himself to blame, as the mark is fixed; whereas with favours, the man who declines and moves aside is guilty of an offence against the favour, allowing it to fall short of its goal. To you I have already recounted the motives of my voyage hither; 583 but I desire to recount them to these others as well and let them judge between us.

"After the Pythagorean societies throughout the different cities had been defeated by the revolutionaries and driven out, and after partisans of Cylon,63 heaping fuel about the house where the society that still held together at Metapontum64 was in session, and setting fire to it, had destroyed them p421all in the conflagration except Philolaüs and Lysis,65 who were still young and forced a way through the flames by strength and agility, Philolaüs escaped to Lucania and from there reached in safety our remaining adherents, who had once more begun to assemble and prevail over Cylon's party, but for a long time no one knew what had become of Lysis; Bat last Gorgias of Leontini, on his return from Greece to Sicily,66 brought definite word, and told Aresas67 of meeting Lysis, who was living in Thebes. Aresas so felt his absence that he proposed with no more ado to make the voyage himself, but from age and infirmity proving quite unequal to the effort, he charged us to bring Lysis back to Italy alive if possible, or his remains if dead. The intervening wars, seditions and usurpations, however, kept his friends from carrying out the task for him during his lifetime. But when the daemon of Lysis — who had died in the interval — clearly revealed to us his death, and reports from men well acquainted with the circumstances told, Polymnis, Chow he had been cared for by your family and lived with you — that in the poverty of your household he had received rich provision for his age and departed in felicity, enrolled as father of your sons — I was sent, young and uncompanied, by a company numerous and advanced in years, offering money, of which they have provision, to you who have p423none in return for great favour and friendship. Lysis has had from you a fitting burial, and better in his sight than a fitting burial is favour requited to friends by friends and fellows."68

14 1 While the stranger spoke my father wept a long time at the memory of Lysis. DMy brother said, smiling gently at me, as is his wont: "What are you doing, Caphisias? Are we yielding up our poverty to riches without a word?"

"Let us by no means yield up," said I, "that dear and 'goodly nurse of youth':69 fly to her defence; it is for you to speak."

"Well, my dear father," he said, "I had feared that in the defences of our household against money there was but this one vulnerable spot: Caphisias' person, which requires fine dress that he may display himself to advantage to his numerous admirers, and unstinted and abundant food to sustain him in his exercises and his bouts on the wrestling grounds; Ebut now that we see him refusing to surrender his ancestral poverty or let its tempered edge be taken off, but instead, for all his youth, displaying himself in frugality70 and content with what he has, how could we lay the money out and use it? Are we to gild our arms and like Nicias of Athens71 decorate our shields with a blend of purple and gold? Are we, father, to buy you a Milesian mantle and our mother a tunic bordered with purple?? For surely we shall not expend p425the bounty on our belly to treating ourselves to more sumptuous fare, as if we had admitted wealth to our house as a burdensome guest."

"Heaven forbid, my son," said my father; F"may I never live to see our way of life so changed!"

"Nor yet," Epameinondas pursued, "shall we sit at home to guard a wealth that remains idle; for then the favour would be no favour and our ownership without honour."

"Of course we shall not," said my father.

"Lately," Epameinondas went on, "when Jason, the prince of Thessaly,72 sent me a great sum of gold and begged me to accept it, I was openly rude, was I not? when I replied that he was the assailant in a hand-to‑hand affair,73 since to gratify his lust for royal power, he was tempting with money a common citizen of a free and independent state.74 584 As for you, sir, I welcome your kind thought and am delighted with it — it was generous and worthy a philosopher — but you come with medicine to friends who are not ill. If you had heard that we were under hostile attack and sailed to our aid with arms and missiles, but found on arrival that all was friendliness and peace, you would not have felt called upon to offer and leave those provisions with men who had no use for them. Just so you have come to help us against Poverty, supposing us molested by her; whereas we find her most companionable and a friendly member p427of our household; no armament of riches, then, is needed against her who gives us no offence. BNo; report to your comrades abroad that while they put riches to the best of uses themselves, they here have friends who make good use of poverty; and that Lysis has repaid us himself for the cost of his keeping and burial by teaching us, among other lessons, to feel no disgust at poverty."

15 1 Theanor rejoined: "Is it vulgar to feel disgust at poverty, and yet not absurd to dread and shun wealth?"

"It is absurd," replied Epameinondas, "if what moves a man to reject it is not reason, but a pose arising from coarseness or a kind of vanity."

"Indeed! And what reason, Epameinondas," he said, "would forbid its acquisition by noble and honest means? Or rather tell me this (for I beg you to show me a milder temper Cthan you did the Thessalian in your answers on this point): do you think it sometimes proper to give money, but never to accept it, or do you think that under all circumstances givers are at fault as well as takers?"

"Not at all," said Epameinondas; "but in wealth as in other things I hold that the conferring and acceptance of a favour are sometimes shameful and sometimes honourable."

"Does not," Theanor went on, "the man who pays his debt willingly and cheerfully, do well in giving?"

Epameinondas agreed.

"And does not he who accepts a gift well given do p429well in receiving? DOr how could money be more honestly accepted than by accepting it from one who gives it honestly?"

"In no other way," was the reply.

"Therefore, Epameinondas," he went on, "if of two friends the one ought to give, the other surely ought to accept; in battles one should elude the enemy who casts well, but in the matter of favours it is not right either to evade or to repulse the friend who gives well; for granting poverty no burden, no more is wealth in its turn so valueless and undesirable as all that."

"True," said Epameinondas; "yet there is a case where the rightly offered gift is more valuable and honourable if not accepted. Consider the point with me in the light of the following considerations.

"There are, I take it, many desires, and these have many objects. Some desires, called innate, spring up in the body with the necessary pleasures as objects. EOthers are adventitious,75 and seek to gratify mere empty fancies. Yet when a man has had a poor upbringing, long habit makes them strong and violent, and often they drag the soul along and humble it more forcibly than do the necessary desires. Habit and practice, however, have been known to enable reason to abate much of even the innate passions; and one must apply the whole might of a strict course of training, my dear friend, to the intrusive and superfluous desires and wear them down and cut them off by letting reason chasten them with repeated repression and restraint. For if thirst and hunger Fare overpowered by the resistance of reason p431to food and drink, it is surely far easier to check the appetites for wealth and fame and break their power in the end by abstaining from what they desire and holding them back. Do you not agree?"

The stranger assented.

"Do you observe," he asked, "a difference between a course of training and the goal such training serves; and as you would say that in athletics the goal is to compete with one's opponent for the crown, whereas the training is the preparation of the body for that end through exercise, so do you agree that in virtue as well the goal is one thing and the training another?"

When the stranger had agreed, Epameinondas continued: "First take the case of continence: do you regard abstention from shameful and unlawful pleasures as training 585 or rather as the goal and evidence of training?"

"The goal and evidence," he replied.

"And do you not consider it as training and practice in continence to achieve it as you have all achieved it to this day? Exercising till your appetites, like so many animals, have been stirred up, you place yourself for some time before splendid tables and varied meats; then, relinquishing to your slaves enjoyment of the feast, you partake yourself of plain and simple fare with desires which by that time have been chastened.76 For abstention from pleasure in what is allowed is a training of the soul to resist what is forbidden."

p433 "Assuredly," he said.

"For justice too, my dear friend, a mode of training exists, whereby we resist the appetite for riches and money. BIt does not lie in abstention from going about at night to steal our neighbour's goods or strip men of their cloaks; nor yet does the man who refuses to betray country and friends for gold train himself to resist the passion for money (here, actually, it is perhaps the law and fear that keeps his cupidity from crime); it is instead the man who of his own free will repeatedly holds back from profits honourable and conceded by the law, that trains and accustoms himself to keep well aloof from all dishonest and unlawful gain.77 For neither in the midst of great but unseemly and harmful pleasures can the mind remain unmoved, Cunless it has often, while free to enjoy it, held pleasure in contempt; nor yet is it easy to forgo sordid profits and lucrative but dishonest gains, when they come within our power, if a man's avarice, instead of being subdued well in advance and chastened, has been bred to profit without stint where profit is legitimate, and so is all agog for fraud and crime, held back just barely and with difficulty from unrightful gain. He, on the other hand, who does not yield himself up to the favours of friends or the bounty of kings, but rejects even the windfalls of fortune, and on discovering hidden treasure, calls off the cupidity that leaps at it, finds that his cupidity does not rise in p435rebellion against him at the prospect of wrongdoing nor throw his thoughts into turmoil; Dinstead, he readily disposes of himself for all good ends, holding his head high and conscious of the presence in his soul of nothing but the noblest thoughts. In our admiration for such men, dear Simmias, Caphisias and I entreat this grace of the stranger — to allow us practice enough in our poverty to achieve that excellence."

16 1 When my brother had done, Simmias nodded some two or three times in assent, and said: "Epameinondas is a great man, great indeed, and his greatness is due to Polymnis here, who from their early years provided his sons with the best upbringing, schooling them in philosophy. But this dispute, sir, you must settle with them yourself. ETo return to Lysis: if it is lawful for us to be told, are you going to remove him from his grave and take him to Italy, or will you permit him to remain here with us? He will find us good and friendly neighbours when we join him there."

Theanor smiled at this and said: "It would appear, Simmias, that Lysis is attached to his present abode, since, thanks to Epameinondas, he lacks no honourable provision. For a certain special rite78 is performed at the burials of Pythagoreans, and without it we do not feel in full possession of the blessed end that is proper to our sect. And so, when we learned from our dreams of Lysis' death F(we tell by a certain p437token appearing in our sleep whether the apparition is of the dead or of the living)79 it occurred to many that Lysis had been improperly buried in a foreign land and that we must remove him so that over there80 he might have the benefit of our customary rites. It was with this in mind that I came here; and as soon as the people of the country had led me to the grave (it was evening by then) I poured libations, summoning the soul of Lysis to return and reveal what course I should take. As the night advanced I saw no vision, but seemed to hear a voice that said 'touch not the inviolable,'81 as Lysis's friends had given his body consecrated burial, while his soul, already judged, had been joined by lot to another daemon82 and released for another birth. Moreover, on meeting Epameinondas this morning 586 and hearing how he had buried Lysis, I recognized that he had been well instructed by that other,83 even in the secrets, and that he had the same daemon for his life, if I have any skill to judge of the skipper by the navigation. For while the paths of life are numberless, yet those are few on which men are guided by daemons." On saying this Theanor looked at Epameinondas as though in renewed study of his character and appearance.

17 1 Meanwhile the physician approached Simmias p439and removed the bandage, preparing to dress the wound. BBut Phyllidas entered with Hippostheneidas, and calling Charon, Theocritus, and myself aside, led us to a corner of the peristyle, in great agitation as his face revealed.84 When I asked: "Has something unexpected occurred, Phyllidas?" he replied: "nothing I had not expected, Caphisias; I knew and forewarned you that Hippostheneidas was a weakling and begged you not to inform him of our plans or include him in the execution."

We were alarmed at these words; and Hippostheneidas said: "In the name of the gods, Phyllidas, do not say that; do not, mistaking rashness for courage, bring ruin on ourselves and our country, but allow the exiles to return C(if such is their fate) in safety."

Phyllidas said in exasperation: "Tell me, Hippostheneidas, how many do you think are in the secret of our enterprise?"

"For my part," he answered, "I know of not less than thirty."

"Then why," he asked, "when the number is so great, have you, acting alone, ruined and thwarted the plans agreed upon by all? Sending a mounted messenger to the exiles, already on the way, you told them to turn back and not press on to‑day — to‑day when mere luck has helped to bring about most of the conditions favourable to their return."

At these words of Phyllidas we were all dismayed, Dand Charon said, with a cold stare at Hippostheneidas, "Wretch! What have you done to us?"

"Nothing terrible," said Hippostheneidas, "if you p441will soften the harshness of your voice and listen to the reasons of a man of your own age with white hairs like yourself. If we are resolved to show our countrymen an example of undaunted courage and of a high spirit that holds life cheap, Phyllidas, much of the day still remains; let us not wait for nightfall, but at once set out against the tyrants, sword in hand; let us slay and be slain and be prodigal of our lives. But slaying or being slain is not difficult, whereas it is no easy task Eto capture Thebes when hostile arms beset us in such numbers and to repel the Spartan garrison at the cost of but two or three dead; for the store of unmixed wine laid in by Phyllidas for his banquets and entertainments is not enough to make the fifteen hundred men in Archias' bodyguard drunk, and even if we succeed in killing Archias, we still have Herippidas and Arcesus,85 sober men, to face in the morning. Why then this haste to bring friends and kinsmen home to certain destruction, and that too when our foes are not entirely unaware of their coming? FWhy have the Thespians had orders these past two days to stand under arms and hold themselves ready for the summons of the Spartan commanders? They are going to interrogate Amphitheüs to‑day, I hear, and on Archias' return86 put him to death. Is not all this strong evidence that our plot is known? Is it not best to wait a little, just long enough to propitiate Heaven? For when they p443sacrificed the ox to Demeter the diviners say that the flesh burnt on the altar portended great tumult and danger to the state. And for you, Charon, here is something that requires the greatest caution. Yesterday I came in from the country with Hypatodorus, son of Erianthes, an excellent person and a kinsman of mine, but quite unaware of what is afoot. 587 'Charon,' he said, 'is a close friend of yours, Hippostheneidas, but not well known to me; you must put him on his guard, then, if you will, against a danger portended by a most ominous and extraordinary dream. Last night I dreamed that his house was in labour, as with child, and that as he and his friends in their anxiety were offering prayers and gathered around it, it groaned and gave utterance to certain inarticulate sounds; at last a great and terrible fire flared up from within, so that most of the city was in flames, though the Cadmeia was only veiled in smoke, as the fire enveloping it did not rise so high.' BSuch, Charon, was the vision he recounted. For my part, I was alarmed even at the time, and on hearing to‑day that it is at your house the exiles intend to stay, I have become much more apprehensive, for fear that we may involve ourselves in disaster and yet do the enemy no serious injury, but merely give them a fright. For I take the city to stand for ourselves, and the Cadmeia to be on their side, as indeed it is."

18 1 Theocritus interposed, checking Charon, who desired to say something to Hippostheneidas. "But as for myself, Hippostheneidas," he said, nothing p445has ever so encouraged me in our venture as this vision, Calthough my sacrifices have always augured well for exiles — if as you say a great and brilliant light arose in the city from a friendly house, while the habitation of the enemy was darkened with smoke (which never leads to anything better than tears and confusion), and indistinct sounds got abroad from our side, so that even if an attempt is made to denounce us, our enterprise, attended with but indistinct rumours and blind suspicion, will be revealed only by its triumph. As for their sacrifice, it was of course unfavourable. The official and the victim do not represent the state but the faction in power."

While Theocritus was still speaking I asked Hippostheneidas: D"Whom did you send with the message? If you have given him no great start, we will set out in pursuit."

He replied: "I am afraid, Caphisias (I must tell you and others the truth), that you cannot overtake him, as he has the best mount in Thebes. You all know the man: he is overseer of Melon's charioteers and through Melon has been aware of the plot from the beginning."

And I, who had caught sight of the man, remarked: "It must be Chlidon you mean, Hippostheneidas, who won the horse-race at the games of Heracles last year."

"The very man," he replied.

"And who," I asked, "is this? He has been standing for some time at the outer door looking our way."

p447 EHippostheneidas turned and exclaimed: "Good heavens! It is Chlidon. Dear me, has anything serious happened?"

Seeing our eyes on him, Chlidon slowly advanced from the door. When Hippostheneidas had nodded to him and told him to speak out before all of us, as all were in the plot, he said: "I know the gentlemen well, Hippostheneidas. Not finding you either at home or in the market-place, FI guessed that you had joined them here and came as fast as I could, so that you might all know everything that has happened.

"On receiving your order to ride at full speed and meet the men on the mountain87 I went home for my horse. I called for the bridle but my wife didn't have it, and spent a long time in the storeroom, rummaging through the contents as if looking for it. When she had had enough of making a fool of me she at last admitted lending it the evening before to our neighbour at his wife's request. In my exasperation I railed at her; she then resorted to ominous and appalling language, cursing me with an unlucky journey and an unlucky return; 588 by Heaven! may the gods send all of it on her own head. Finally I got so furious I beat her. Then neighbours and women came running up and a crowd collected; and it was all I could do to get here to you gentlemen, after the shameful way I had acted and been treated, so that p449you might send someone else to meet the men, as I am just now in a thoroughly distracted and wretched state."

19 1 As for ourselves, our feelings suffered an odd reversal; a little before we had been disappointed at the failure of our plans, while now, with the decision at hand and the need for immediate action upon us (postponement being impossible), we were yielding to anxiety and fear. Nevertheless, I spoke to Hippostheneidas Band gave him my hand, encouraging him with the thought that the very gods were calling on us to act.

Thereupon Phyllidas left to prepare his entertainment and lure Archias at once to his cups, and Charon to make the necessary preparations in his house for receiving the exiles. Theocritus and I returned to Simmias for an opportunity to confer with Epameinondas.


The Editor's Notes:

1 A desperate and much-emended sentence. The meaning is uncertain.

2 Isthmian Odes, I.2.

3 Cf. Mor. 864D.

4 The Greek is corrupt. The sense was possibly: "now that Simmias and Cebes have distinguished themselves by their zeal for philosophy through their association with your countryman Socrates, and we [that is, Caphisias and Epameinondas] through ours with the holy Lysis."

5 Cf. Kirchner, Prosop. Att. no. 9392.

6 The celebrated Athenian statesman: cf. Kirchner, ibid. no. 7305.

7 The celebrated Athenian admiral: cf. Kirchner, ibid. no. 13700.

8 An Athenian statesman: cf. Kirchner, ibid. no. 2526.

9 The "King's Peace" or Peace of Antalcidas of 386 B.C. is meant. The Cadmeia was seized in 382.

10 At Athens.

11 The army sent against Olynthus had seized the Cadmeia on the way.

12 That is, Arcesus and Herippidas: cf. 598F, infra.

13 The oligarchic usurpers in Thebes are meant: Leontiades, Archias, Philippus, and Hypates.

14 A Theban exile at Athens: cf. Life of Pelopidas, chap. v.3 (280C) and chap. viii.1 (281C).

15 A mountain ridge between Attica and Boeotia.

16 Cf. Nepos, Pelopidas, chap. ii.5. Xenophon, Hell. V.4.3, sets the number at seven.

17 Cf. Life of Pelopidas, chap. vii.4 (281B).

18 We are not told where the messenger found the conspirators; no doubt it was at Charon's house, as Charon alone was known to him. At all events the conspirators now leave and meet Archias and his party on the way; they then proceed to Simmias' house. Cf. G. M. Lattanzi, Il "De genio Socratis" di Plutarco, p19 note 4.

19 Mentioned in the Life of Pelopidas, chap. xxii.3 (289C).

20 There is a long lacuna in the text here; we translate a conjectural supplement.

21 In the Greek text rendered by these three sentences are three considerable lacunas. The translation is conjectural.

22 The correct form is possibly Samiadas.

23 Mentioned in Xenophon, Hell. III.5.1.

24 The Amphion or Ampheion was taken by Plutarch to be a hill in the neighbourhood of the Cadmeia: cf. F. Schober in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. "Thebai" (vol. V.A, col. 1446.34‑62).

25 Cf. Life of Pelopidas, chap. vii.4 (281B); Xenophon, Hell. v.4.2.

26 There were probably three polemarchs. The names of two, Archias and Philippus, are known.

27 The words "Meantime . . . where" are a guess at the sense of words that have been lost in a long lacuna.

28 Otherwise unknown.

29 A leader of the anti-Spartan party, now in prison: cf. 598B, infra.

30 This act is elsewhere unrecorded.

31 For the disappearance of Alcmena's body at her burial and the substitution for it of a stone cf. Life of Romulus, chap. xxviii.7 (35E); Pherecydes, Frag. 84 (ed. Jacoby); and Pausanias, IX.16.7.

32 The king of Egypt is meant, doubtless Nektanebis, whose reign began about 380 (cf. M. Pieper in Pauly-Wissowa, XVI, col. 2234; Beloch, Griech. Gesch. III.2, pp123 f.). On his visit to Egypt Eudoxus carried a letter of introduction from Agesilaüs to Nektanebis (cf. Diogenes Laert. VIII.87).

33 These events are not recorded elsewhere. In modern times the Copaic lake reached its greatest height in February or March (cf. J. G. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece, V, p112). This would be at the latest in the opening months of 379, as the Cadmeia was freed in the December of that year.

34 The people of Haliartus identified Aleüs with Rhadamanthys, whom Alcmena married after Amphitryon's death; cf. Life of Lysander, chap. xxviii.8 (499D).

35 Gorgidas was boeotarch in 379 and founded the Sacred Band; Platon is otherwise unknown.

36 Cf. Mor. 147B, Gnomologium Vaticanum, 321E (ed. Sternbach) and Philodemus, On Death, xxxviii.29‑31.

37 Otherwise unknown.

38 Chonuphis of Memphis taught Eudoxus: cf. Mor. 354E and Clement, Strom. I.15.69.1.

39 Otherwise unknown.

40 Cf. Mor. 386E. For the "Delian problem," that of constructing a cube with twice the volume of a given cube, cf. Theon of Smyrna, p2 (ed. Hiller). Cf. also Mor. 718E‑F; E. Hiller, Eratosthenis Carminum Rel. pp122‑137; M. Cantor, Vorlesungen über Gesch. d. Math.3, vol. I, pp211, 226‑234; Sir T. Heath, A Hist. of Greek Math. vol. I, pp244‑270; I. Thomas, Selections Illustrating the Hist. of Greek Math. vol. I, pp256‑308 (in the L. C. L.).

41 The progression is a : x :: x : y :: y : 2a, where a is the volume of the given cube, 2a that of its double; x then is the cube root of 2a, and the three ratios are each equal to the ratio 1 : ∛2. The square root of 2 was called "double in power" of 1; and a similar expression was doubtless used for the cube root of 2. The "linear" double of 1 is 2.

42 Helicon is mentioned in the Life of Dion, chap. xix.6 (966A).

43 Cf. Life of Numa, chap. iv.12 (62E).

44 Cf. Homer, Od. X.494 f. of Teiresias:

To him alone, though dead, Persephonê

Gave steadfast wit; the rest are fleeting shades.

45 Daimonion, here rendered "sign" or "sign from Heaven," is literally "the divine thing" or (pressing the etymology) "the daemonic thing."

46 Od. XIII.301 (cf. Il. X.279); cf. also Apuleius, De Deo Socratis, 165 ff.

47 Homer, Il. XX.95; cf. Od. XIX.34.

48 Otherwise unknown; perhaps it was a city square — D‑shaped to judge by its name: cf. W. Judeich, Topographie von Athen2, p178.

49 Cf. W. Judeich, ibid. p353; Life of Alcibiades, chap. xxi.2 (201F).

50 Otherwise unknown.

51 Plutarch's statics may be at fault. If so, he inferred the physical process from the mental: cf. Mor. 1045B‑C.

52 Cf. Life of Nicias, chap. xiii.9 (532B); Life of Alcibiades, chap. xvii.5 (199F); [Plato], Theages, 129C‑D.

53 Pyrilampes was Plato's stepfather.

54 "At Oropus" translates a conjecture. Thucydides (IV.96.7) mentions three routes taken by the defeated Athenians: to Delion and the sea, to Oropus, and toward Parnes. The corruption in the Greek text doubtless conceals a reference to one of the former two.

55 Cf. Plato, Symposium, 221A, and Laches, 181E.

56 The story is also found in Cicero, De Div. I.54 (123), and Pseudo-Socrates, Ep. 1.9.

57 From the Autolycus: Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Eur. 282.22; quoted also in Mor. 803B.

58 Cf. Mor. 410D.

59 For a comparison of divination to reading cf. Plotinus, Enn. III.1.6.

60 Cf. the words of Polymnis, 581B, supra.

61 Perhaps one of the seven boeotarchs who commanded at Leuctra: cf. Pausanias, IX.13.7.

62 For the comparison of the ball cf. Chrysippus, quoted in Seneca, De Beneficiis, II.17.3, and Plutarch, Comm. in Hesiodum, 32 (vol. VII, p68.11‑16 Bern.).

63 The head of the anti-Pythagorean faction.

64 Most ancient authorities agree that Pythagoras died at Metapontum, but put the conflagration at Croton: cf. Diogenes Laert. VIII.39 f. with the passages adduced by A. Delatte (La Vie de Pythagore de Diogène Laërce, Brussels, 1922, pp136 f.).

65 Archippus is usually mentioned as escaping with Lysis: cf. Zeller, Die Philos. d. Griechen, I.16, p419, note. Olympiodorus (In Plat. Phaedon. Comm. p9.16‑20 Norvin) says that Lysis and Hipparchus were the two that escaped, and that Philolaüs went to Thebes to offer libations at the grave of Lysis, his teacher.

66 Perhaps on the return from his embassy to Athens in 427.

67 The head of the Pythagorean societies: cf. Iamblichus, De Vita Pythagorica, 266F.

68 Theanor's style is as elaborate as his dress.

69 Homer, Od. IX.27; cf. Plutarch, Contra Divitias, Frag. 4 (vol. VII, p124.3‑6 Bern.).

70 For the phrase cf. Mor. 406D.

71 Cf. Life of Nicias, chap. xxviii.6 (542B).

72 Jason of Pherae: cf. Mor. 193B; Aelian, Var. Hist. XI.9.

73 A play on the phrase ἄρχειν χειρῶν ἀδίκων, literally "to begin unrighteous hands," that is, to strike the first blow in a case of assault and battery. Hands are also the donors and recipients of bribes.

74 This incident is doubtless here placed too early in Epameinondas' career. Jason was not elected prince until some years after the liberation of Thebes (cf. Busolt, Griech. Gesch. III.2, pp237 f.)

75 Cf. Mor. 989B‑C and Aristoxenus, quoted by Stobaeus, vol. III, p424.15‑18 (ed. Hense).

76 For this practice of the Pythagoreans cf. Diodorus, X.5.2, and Iamblichus, De Vita Pythagorica, chap. xxi. 187.

77 Cf. Mor. 522B.

78 The rite is unknown. For the funeral observances of the Pythagoreans cf. F. Cumont, "A propos des dernières paroles de Socrate" in Comptes-Rendus, Ac. des Inscr. et Belles-Lettres (1943), pp114 f.

79 G. Méautis, Recherches sur le pythagorisme (Neuchâtel, 1922), pp34 f., compares Mor. 564D and 300C to show that if the apparition blinked its eyes or cast a shadow it was taken to belong to a living person.

80 Probably "in Italy"; but possibly the meaning is "in the other world."

81 Literally "not to move (or disturb) what may not be moved (or disturbed)."

82 For theories about the daemon of the Pythagoreans cf. P. C. van der Horst, Les Vers d'or pythagoriciens (Leyden, 1932), pp49‑53.

83 Literally "that man," an expression of respect among the Pythagoreans. Cf. P. Shorey in Classical Philology, XII (1917), p436.

84 The story of Hippostheneidas and Chlidon is also told in the Life of Pelopidas, chap. viii.5‑9 (281D‑282A).

85 Herippidas and Arcesus were the Spartan commanders still remaining in Thebes. Lysanoridas, the third, had gone to Haliartus: cf. 578A, supra.

86 Archias had left to escort Lysanoridas on the way to Haliartus: cf. 594, infra.

87 Cithaeron, a mountain ridge on the Attic border.


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