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fT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

t E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. t W. H. D. ROUSE, Lrrr.D. 

L. A. POST, M^. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.b.hist.soc. 








W. R. M. LAMB, M.A. 







First printed 1924 
Bevised and reprinted 1937, 1952 


MN 2 s 

Printed in Great Britain 


The Greek text in this volume is based on the 
recension of Schanz : a certain number- of emenda- 
tions by other scholars have been adopted, and 
these are noted as they occur. 

The special introductions are intended merely to 
prepare the reader for the general character and 
purpose of each dialogue. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 





LACHES ....... 




MENO ....... 

. 259 


. 373 

INDEX ....... 

. 506 



Plato was born in 427 B.C. of Athenian parents who 
could provide him with the best education of the 
day, and ample means and leisure throughout his life. 
He came to manhood in the dismal close of the 
Peloponnesian War, when Aristophanes was at the 
height of his success, and Sophocles and Euripides 
had produced their last plays. As a boy he doubtless 
heard the lectures of Gorgias, Protagoras, and other 
sophists, and his early bent seems to have been 
towards poetry. But his intelUgence was too pro- 
gressive to rest in the agnostic position on which 
the sophistic culture was based. A century before, 
Heracleitus had declared knowledge to be impossible, 
because the objects of sense are continually changing ; 
yet now a certain Cratylus was trying to build a 
theory of knowledge over the assertion of flux, by 
developing some hints let fall by its oracular author 
about the truth contained in names. From this 
influence Plato passed into contact with Socrates, 
whose character and gifts have left a singular impress 
on the thought of mankind. This effect is almost 
wholly due to Plato's applications and extensions of 
VOL. IV A 2 ix 


his master's thought ; since, fortunately for us, the 
pupil not only became a teacher in his turn, but 
brought his artistic genius into play, and composed 
the memorials of philosophic talk which we know 
as the Dialogues. Xenophon, Antisthenes, and 
Aeschines were other disciples of Socrates who drew 
similar sketches of his teaching : the suggestion 
came from the " mimes " of the Syracusan Sophron, 
— realistic studies of conversation between ordinary 
types of character. As Plato became more engrossed 
in the Socratic speculations, this artistic impulse 
was strengthened by the desire of recording each 
definite stage of thought as a basis for new discussion 
and advance. 

When Plato was twenty years old, Socrates was 
over sixty, and had long been notorious in Athens 
for his peculiar kind of sophistry. In the Pkaedo he 
tells how he tried, in his youth, the current scientific 
explanations of the universe, and found them full of 
puzzles. He then met with the theory of Anax- 
agoras, — that the cause of everything is " mind." 
This was more promising : but it led nowhere after 
all, since it failed to rise above the conception of 
physical energy ; this " mind " showed no intelligent 
aim. Disappointed of an assurance that the universe 
works for the best, Socrates betook himself to the 
plan of making definitions of " beautiful," " good," 
" large," and so on, as qualities observed in the several 
classes of beautiful, good and large material things, 
and then employing these propositions, if they 



appeared to be sound, for the erection of higher 
hypotheses. The point is that he made a new science 
out of a recognized theory of " ideas " or " forms," 
which had come of reflecting on the quahty predicated 
when we say " this man is good," and which postu- 
lates some sure reahty behind the fleeting objects 
of sense. His " hypothetical " method, familiar to 
mathematicians, attains its full reach and significance 
in the Republic. 

The Pythagoreans who appear in the intimate 
scene of the Phaedo were accustomed to the theory 
of ideas, and were a fit audience for the highest 
reasonings of Socrates on the true nature of life and 
the soul. For some years before the master's death 
(399 B-c.) Plato, if not a member of their circle, was 
often a spell-bound hearer of the " satyr." But 
ordinary Athenians had other views of Socrates, which 
varied according to their age and the extent of their 
acquaintance with him. Aristophanes' burlesque in 
the Clouds (423 b.c.) had left a common impression 
not unhke what we have of the King of Laputa. Yet 
the young men who had any frequent speech with 
him in his later years, while they felt there was 
something uncanny about him, found an irresistible 
attraction in his simple manner, his humorous insight 
into their ways and thoughts, and his fervent elo- 
quence on the principles of their actions and careers. 
He kept no school, and took no fees ; he distrusted 
the pretensions of the regular sophists, with whom 
he was carelessly confounded ; moreover, he professed 



to have no knowledge himself, except so far as to 
know that he was ignorant. The earliest Dialogues, 
such as the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Charmides, 
Laches and Lysis, show the manner in which he 
performed his ministry. In rousing men, especially 
those whose minds were fresh, to the need of knowing 
themselves, he promoted the authority of the intellect, 
the law of definite individual knowledge, above all 
reason of state or tie of party ; and it is not sur- 
prising that his city, in the effort of recovering her 
political strength, decided to hush such an in- 
convenient voice. He must have foreseen his fate, 
but he continued his work undeterred. 

Though he seems, in his usual talk, to have 
professed no positive doctrine, there were one or 
two beliefs which he frequently declared. Virtue, 
he said, is knowledge ; for each man's good is his 
happiness, and once he knows it clearly, he needs 
must choose to ensue it. Further, this knowledge 
is innate in our minds, and we only need to have it 
awakened and exercised by " dialectic," or a system- 
atic coui-se of question and answer. He also be- 
lieved his mission to be divinely ordained, and 
asserted that his own actions were guided at times 
by the prohibitions of a " spiritual sign." He was 
capable, as we find in the Symposium, of standing in 
rapt meditation at any moment for some time, and 
once for as long as twenty-four hours. 

It is clear that, if he claimed no comprehensive 
theory of existence, and although his ethical reUance 


on knowledge, if he never analysed it, leaves him in 
a very crude stage of psychology, his logical and 
mystical suggestions must have led his favourite 
pupils a good way towards a new system of meta- 
physics. These intimates learnt, as they steeped 
their minds in his, and felt the growth of a imique 
affection amid the glow of enlightenment, that 
happiness may be elsewhere than in our dealings 
with the material world, and that the mind has 
prerogatives and duties far above the sphere of civic 

After the death of Socrates in 399> Plato spent 
some twelve years in study and travel. For the 
first part of this time he was perhaps at Megara, 
where Eucleides, his fellow-student and friend, was 
forming a school of dialectic. Here he may have 
composed some of the six Dialogues already men- 
tioned as recording Socrates' activity in Athens. 
Towards and probably beyond the end of this period, 
in order to present the Socratic method in bolder 
conflict with sophistic education, he -wrote the 
Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus, and Gorgias. These 
works show a much greater command of dramatic 
and literarv' art, and a deeper interest in logic. The 
last of them may well be later than 387, the year in 
which, after an all but disastrous attempt to better 
the mind of Dionysius of Syracuse, he returned to 
Athens, and, now forty years of age, founded the 
Academy ; where the memory of his master was to 
be perpetuated by continuing and expanding the 


Socratic discussions among the elect of the new 
generation. The rivalry of this private college with 
the professional school of Isocrates is discernible 
in the subject and tone of the Gorgias. Plato 
carried on the direction of the Academy till his 
death, at eighty-one, in 346 ; save that half-way 
through this period (367) he accepted the invitation 
of his friend Dion to undertake the instruction of the 
younger Dionysius at Syracuse. The elder tyrant 
had been annoyed by the Socratic freedom of Plato's 
talk : now it was a wayward youth who refused the 
yoke of a systematic training. What that training 
was like we see in the Republic, where true political 
wisdom is approached by an arduous ascent through 
mathematics, logic, and metaphysics. Plato returned, 
with less hopes of obtaining the ideal ruler, to make 
wonderful conquests in the realm of thought. 

The Meno and Gorgias set forth the doctrine that 
knowledge of right is latent in our minds : dialectic, 
not the rhetoric of the schools, is the means of 
eliciting it. The method, as Plato soon perceived, 
must be long and difficult : but he felt a mystical 
rapture over its certainty, which led him to picture 
the immutable " forms " as existing in a world of 
their own. This feeling, and the conviction whence 
it springs — that knowledge is somehow possible, had 
come to the front of his mind when he began to 
know Socrates. Two briUiant compositions, the 
Cratylus and Symposium, display the strength of the 
conviction, and then, the noble fervour of the 


feeling. In the latter of these works, the highest 
powers of imaginative sympathy and eloquence are 
summoned to unveil the sacred \ision of absolute 
beauty. The Phaedo turns the logical theory upon 
the soul, which is seen to enjoy, when freed from 
the body, famihar cognition of the eternal types 
of being. Here Orphic dogma lends its aid to the 
Socratic search for knowledge, while we behold an 
inspiring picture of the philosopher in his hour of 

With increasing confidence in himself as the 
successor of Socrates, Plato next undertook, in the 
Republic, to show the master meeting his own un- 
satisfied queries on education and politics. We read 
now of a " form " of good to which all thought and 
action aspire, and which, contemplated in itself, will 
explain not merely why justice is better than in- 
justice, but the meaning and aim of everything. 
In order that man may be fully understood, we are 
to view him " vrrit large " in the organization of an 
ideal state. The scheme of description opens out 
into many subsidiary topics, including three great 
proposals already known to Greece, — the abolition of 
private property, the community of women and 
children, and the civic equality of the sexes. But 
the central subject is the preparation of the philo- 
sopher, through a series of ancillary sciences, for 
dialectic ; so that, once possessed of the supreme 
truth, he may have light for directing his fellow-men. 
As in the Phaedo, the spell of mythical revelation is 


brought to enhance the discourse of reason. The 
Phaedrus takes up the subject of rhetoric, to lead us 
allegorically into the realm of" ideas," and thence to 
point out a new rhetoric, worthy of the well-trained 
dialectician. We get also a glimpse of the philo- 
sopher's duty of investigating the mutual relations 
of the " forms " to which his study of particular 
things has led him. 

A closer interest in logical method, appearing 
through his delight in imaginative construction, is 
one distinctive mark of this middle stage in Plato's 
teaching. As he passes to the next two Dialogues, 
the Theaetetus and Parmenides, he puts off the 
aesthetic rapture, and considers the ideas as cate- 
gories of thought which require co-ordination. The 
discussion of knowledge in the former makes it 
evident that the Academy was now the meeting- 
place of vigorous minds, some of which were eager 
to urge or hear refuted the doctrines they had 
learnt from other schools of thought ; while the 
arguments are conducted with a critical caution 
very different from the brilliant and often hasty 
zeal of Socrates. The Parmenides corrects an actual 
or possible misconception of the theory of ideas in 
the domain of logic, showing perhaps how Aristotle, 
now a youthful disciple of Plato, found fault with 
the theory as he understood it. The forms are 
viewed in the light of the necessities of thought : 
knowledge is to be attained by a careful practice 
which will raise our minds to the vision of all parti- 


culars in their rightly distinguished and connected 

Plato is here at work on his own great problem : — 
If what we know is a single permanent law under 
which a multitude of things are ranged, what is the 
link between the one and the many ? The Sophist 
contains some of his ripest thought on this increas- 
ingly urgent question : his confident advance beyond 
Socratic teaching is indicated by the literary form, 
which hardly disguises the continuous exposition of 
a lecture. We observe an attention to physical 
science, the association of soul, motion, and existence, 
and the comparative study of being and not-being. 
The Politicus returns to the topic of state-government, 
and carries on the process of acquiring perfect 
notions of reality by the classification of things. 
Perhaps we should see in the absolute " mean " 
which is posited as the standard of all arts, business, 
and conduct, a contribution from Aristotle. The 
Philebus, in dealing with pleasure and knowledge, 
dwells further on the correct division and classifica- 
tion required if our reason, as it surely must, is to 
apprehend truth. The method is becommg more 
thorough and more complex, and Plato's hope of 
bringing it to completion is more remote. But he is 
gaining a clearer insight into the problem of unity 
and plurality. 

The magnificent myth of the Timaeus, related 
by a Pythagorean, describes the structure of the 
universe, so as to show how the One manifests 



itself as the Many. We have here the latest 
reflections of Plato on space, time, soul, and many 
physical matters. In the lengthy treatise of the 
Laws, he addresses himself to the final duty of the 
philosopher as announced in the Republic : a long 
habituation to abstract thought will qualify rather 
than disqualify him for the practical regulation of 
public and private affairs. Attention is fixed once 
more on soul, as the energy of the world and the 
vehicle of our sovereign reason. 

Thus Plato maintains the fixity of the objects of 
knowledge in a great variety of studies, which enlarge 
the compass of Socrates' teaching till it embraces 
enough material for complete systems of logic and 
metaphysics. How far these systems were actually 
worked out in the discussions of the Academy we can 
only surmise from the Dialogues themselves and 
a careful comparison of Aristotle ; whose writings, 
however, have come down to us in a much less 
perfect state. But it seems probable that, to the 
end, Plato was too fertile in thought to rest content 
with one authoritative body of doctrine. We may 
be able to detect in the Timaeus a tendency to 
view numbers as the real principles of things ; and 
we may conjecture a late-found interest in the 
physical complexion of the world. As a true artist, 
with a keen sense of the beauty and stir of life, 
Plato had this interest, in a notable degree, through- 
out : but in speaking of his enthusiasm for science 
we must regard him rather as a great inventor of 


sciences than as what we should now call a scientist. 
This is giving him a splendid name, which few men 
have earned. Some of his inventions may be un- 
reahzable, but it is hard to find one that is certainly 
futile. There are flaws in his arguments : to state 
them clearly and fairly is to \vin the privilege of 
taking part in a discussion at the Academy. 

W. R. M. Lamb. 

[Note. — Each of the IHalof/ves is a self-contained whole. 
The order in jrhich they hare been mentioned in this Introduc- 
tion is that which agrees best in the main teith modem rieirs 
of Plato's mental progress, though the succession in some 
instances is uncertain.] 



The following give useful accounts of Socratic and 
Platonic thought :— 

T. Gomperz : The Greek Thinkers, vols. ii. and iii. Murray, 

W. Lutoslawski : The Oriffin and Groioth of Plato's Logic. 

Longmans, 1897. 
R. L. Nettleship : Philosophic Lectures and Remains. 2 vols. 

Macmillan, 2nd ed., 1901, 

D. G. Ritchie: Pluto. T. and T. Clark, 1902. 

J. A. Stewart : The Myths of Plato. Macmillan, 1905. 
„ ,, Plato's Doctrine of Ideas. Clarendon Press, 

A. E. Taylor: Plato. Constable, 1911. 
A. M. Adam : Plato : Moral and Political Ideals. Camb. 

Univ Press, 1913. 
H. Jackson : Presocratics, Socrates and the Minor Socratics, 

Plato and the Old Academy (Cambridge Companion to 

Greek Studies). Camb. Univ. Press, 1905. 
J. Burnet: Greek Philosophy : Thales to Plato. Macmillan, 

F. M. Cornford : Before and after Socrates. Camb. Univ. 

Press, 1932. ' 

The following are important editions : — 

J. Adam : The Republic. 2 vols. Camb. Univ. Press, 1902 
W. H.Thompson: The Phaedrus. Bell, 1868. 

The Gorc/ias. Bell, 1871. 
R. D. Archer-Hind : The Phaedo. Macmillan, 2nd ed., 189k 

,, ,, The Timaeus. Macmillan, 1888. 

J.Burnet: The Phaedo. Clarendon Press, 1911. 
L. Campbell : The The'aetetus. Clarendon Press, 1883. 
„ ,, The Sojthistes aTid Politicus. Clarendon Press, 


E. S. Thompson: The Meno. Macmillan, 1901. 

E. B. England : The Laws. 2 vols. Manchester Univ. Pres.s, 



This dialogue is so simple and clear that it requires 
but little preparatory comment, and indeed is in 
itself an excellent introduction to the Socratic 
method of probing the primary difficulties of any 
moral question. Two eminent generals, Nicias and 
Laches, are consulted by two old men, Lysimachus 
and Melesias, who, though their own fathers were 
Aristeides the Just and the elder Thucydides,^ are at 
a loss to know what is the best education for their 
sons. The four friends have just witnessed an ex- 
hibition of fighting in armour, and the immediate 
question is whether the boys ought to learn this 
new accomplishment. Socrates, now about fifty years 
old, is invited to join in the discussion ; and after 
modestly disclaiming, in his usual manner, any 
knowledge of the subject, he turns the talk into an 
investigation of the nature of courage (190). Hence- 
forward the argument is between Nicias, Laches, and 
Socrates : it soon passes from military to moral 
courage (192) ; and Nicias, working from a defini- 
tion which he has previously heard from Socrates, 
suggests that courage is knowledge of what is to be 
dreaded (191)- But this excludes animals and chil- 
dren, and Socrates points out that what is required 

' The aristocratic opponent of Pericles : see Meno 91 c 



is a knowledge of good and evil alike in the past, the 
present, and the future, — in fact, an equivalent of all 
the moral virtues together (199)- Thus they find 
themselves as far as ever from knowing what courage 
may be, and there is nothing for it but to go to school 
themselves with the boys. 

The supposed time of the conversation is about 
420 B.C., and Plato's main purpose in composing the 
piece seems to have been to show Socrates' manner 
of dealing with distinguished men who are older 
than himself, and who soon recognize in him an 
intellectual acuteness at least equal to the steadfast 
courage that has already won the admiration of 
Laches. The characters of the two generals are 
lightly but firmly drawn : Nicias is interested in the 
military possibilities of the new mode of fighting, 
and wishes to have some reasoned discussion upOn 
it ; Laches is less intelligent, and bluntly dismisses 
it as a fashion evidently rejected by the Lacedae- 
monians. His gradual conversion from this state of 
impatient prejudice to a more philosophic attitude 
is admirably presented. On the artistic side we 
may also notice the charming dramatic touches by 
which Lysimachus's recognition of Socrates as a friend 
of his family is contrived (180-1) ; the humorous 
story told by Laches of the sad plight of Stesilaus 
in a naval engagement (183-4) ; and Nicias's friendly 
sketch of Socrates' artful way of conducting an 
argument (187-8). Philosophically, the result of 
the discussion appears to be nil ; but the emphasis 
throughout is rather on the process of the Socratic 
" midwifery " or assistance in bringing correct notions 
to birth. In particular we should observe the care 
bestowed on evolving the general notion of a quality. 


as distinct from its various concrete instances (191-2), 
and the insistence on the universaUty of knowledge, 
which must somehow embrace all the virtues, and 
can suffer no limitation in point of time. The way 
is thus prepared for the doctrine of the permanence 
and invariability of the true objects of knowledge. 






p. 178 AT. TeOeaade fiev top avhpa iJLa)(6[ji€VOV iv onXois, 
w Nt/cta re /cat Adx'rjS' ov S' eVe/ca vfjids e/ceAeu- 
aafiev avvdedaaadai lyoi re Kal MeATycrtas' oSe, 
rore /xev ovk emofiev, vvv S' epoviiev. rjyovfieda 
yap )(prjvat irpos ye vfids TTapprjaid^ecrdaL. eial 
yap rives ot rwv roiovrcov KarayeXcoai, Kal edv ris 
avroZs avu^ovXevarirai, ovk dv emoiev a voovcriv, 
B aAAa aroxat^opievoL rov au/ji^ovXevopLevov dXXa 
Xeyovai -napd rrjv avrwv So^av vpbds 8e rjpLeis 
Tjyrjcranevoi Kal Ikouovs yvcovai Kal yvovras aTrXdis 
dv emeiv d SoKeZ vpbiv, ovrco rrapeXd^opLev inl 
Tr)V (TVpi^ovXrjv nepl (Lv pLeXXop,ev dvaKoivovadai. 
ear IV oSv rovro, irepl ov TrdXat roaavra Trpooi- 

179 pLid^ofxai, roSe. r]pt.iv elalv vlels ovrou, oSe piev 
rovSe, Trdmrov e^oiv ovopLa SovkvSlStjs, epios 8e 
av oSe' TraTTTTwov Be Kal ovros ovopi' e^ei rovpLOV 
6 . ' 


[or on COURAGE: "obstetric"] 


Lysimachus, Melesias, NiciAs, Laches, Sons of 
Lysimachus and Melesias, Socrates 

LYS. You have seen the performance of the man 
fighting in armour, Nicias and Laches ; but my friend 
Melesias and I did not tell you at the time our reason 
for requesting you to come and see it with us. How- 
ever, we -will tell you now ; for we think we should 
speak our minds freely to friends like you. Some 
people, of course, pour ridicule on such appeals, and 
when consulted for their ad\4ce will not say what 
they think, but something different, making the 
inquirer's wishes their aim, and speaking against 
their own judgement. But you, we consider, not 
merely have the necessary discernment but will give 
us the benefit of it in telling us just what is in your 
minds ; and hence we have enlisted your counsel 
on the question which we are about to lay before 
you. Now the matter about which I have made all 
this long preamble is this : we have two sons here, 
my friend that one, called Thucydides after his 
grandfather, and I this one ; he also is named in 



TTarpos' ^ A.pi,areihriv yap avTov KaXovfjiev. rj/xlv 
ovv rovTOJV SeSo/crat eTTLneXrjdrjvai, a»S" olov re 
fidXiara, /cat fjirj TTOirjcraL oirep ol iroXXoi, eTreiSr) 
fxeipaKia yeyovev, ai^etvat avrovs o ri ^ovXovrai 
7TOL€LV, dXXa vvv hrj Kal dpxecrdac avTcbv eVi^txe- 

B XelaOat KaO' oaov oloi t' iafiev elSores ovv /cat 
Vfiiv vleis ovras rjyrjadjxeda /Lte^eAi^/ceVat irepl 
avrcov, eiTrep ricrlv aAAot?, Trots' dv deparrevdevTes 
yevoLVTO dpiaroi' el 8' dpa TroAAa/ct? fxr] irpoa- 
eaxrjKare tov vovv tco tolovtw, VTTOiivr]aovres on 
ov 'x.P'h '^VTOV dfJieXelv, Kal irapaKaXovvres vp,ds 
eiTL TO eTTifxeXeidv nva TToiriaaadai rcov vUcov 
KoiVTJ fxed* rjixwv. 

"Odev 8e rjfxlv raur' eSo^ev, c5 Nt/cia re /cat 
AdxTjS, XPV dKovaat, Kav rj dXiyco p^aKpoTepa. 
avaaLTovp^ev yap Srj eyco re /cat MeAryaias' oSe, 

C Kal rjp,Lv rd /xetpa/cia Txapaatret. oVep ovv Kal 
apxopevos cittov tov Xoyov, Trapp-qataaopieOa rrpos 
vp,ds. rjp,cJov yap CKarepos Trepl rod eavrov irarpos 
TToXXd Kal KaXd epya e;^et Xeyeiv rrpos rovs veavi- 
OKOvs, /cat ooa iv TroAe/xoi elpydaavro /cat oaa ev 
etp'qvr], BtocKovvres rd re tcDv <7vp.p,dxcov Kal rd 
rrjaSe rrjs TToXecos' 'qp.erepa 8' avrdjv epya ovS- 
erepos e^ei Xeyeiv. ravra Srj vnaiaxwop^edd re 
rovaSe Kal alrLa)p,eda rovs Trarepag rjp.cov, on 
D r]p,ds p-ev etcov rpv(f)av, eTrecSrj pceipdKLa iyevopieda, 
rd he rdjv dXXojv TTpdypcara errparrov Kal rolcrhe 
rots veavlaKOLS avrd ravra iv8eLKVvp.e6a, Xeyovres 
on, el p,ev dpLeXr^aovaiv eavrdJv Kal p,7] rreiaovrai 
r}puv, d/cAeets' yevrjaovrai, el S' eTnpeXrjaovrai, 



the same way, after my father; we call him Aristeides. 
Well, we have resolved to give them our most con- 
stant care, and not — as most fathers do when their 
boys begin to be young men ^^et them run loose as 
their fancy leads them, but begin forth\\ith taking 
every possible care of them. Now, knowing that 
you too have sons, we thought that you above all 
men must have concerned yourselves with the ques- 
tion of the kind of upbringing that would make the 
best of them ; and if by any chance you have not 
given your attention to the subject, we would re- 
mind' you that it ought not to be neglected, and we 
in\ite you to join us in arranging some way of taking 
care of our sons. 

How we formed this resolve, Nicias and Laches, 
is worth hearing, even though the story be some- 
what long. My friend Melesias and I take our meals 
together, and our boys share our table. Now, as I 
said at the beginning of my remarks, we are going 
to speak quite freely to you. Each of us has many 
noble deeds of his own father to relate to these 
young fellows — their numerous achievements both 
in war and in peace, when they were managing the 
affairs either of the allies or of this city ; but neither 
of us has any deeds of his own to tell. We cannot 
help feeling ashamed that our boys should observe 
this, and we blame our fathers for leaving us to 
indulge ourselves when we began to be young men, 
while they looked after other folks' affairs ; and we 
point the moral of it all to these young people, 
telHng them that if they are careless of themselves 
and will not take our advice they will win no reputa- 
tion, but if they take due pains they may very likely 

* fiupdKiov is applied to youths from 15 to 21. 


ra^ av rajv ovofxarajv d^tot, yevoiVTO d €)(ovaiv. 
ovTOL fxev ovv <j)aal Treiaecrdai.' rjnel? 8e 817 tovto 
aK07T0VfX€V , TL dv OVTOi fXa96vT€9 T^ eTTtTTySeucTavTes' 
OTt apiOTOi yevotVTO. etarrjyijaaTO ovv tls rjfiTu 

E Kol TOVTO TO fxddrjfxa, otl kuXov ett] tu) vico fxadelv 
€V ottXois ^d^eadav /cat eirjiveL tovtov ov vvv \^ 
Vfieis idedaaade eTnSetKvvfievov, ko-t^ e/ce'Aeue 
dedaaadai. eSo^e 87) XPW^'' tturous- re iXdelv 
CTTL deav TavSpog /cat u/xa? crvfXTTapaXa^elv a/xa fiev 
avvdeaTds, dfia 8e avfx^ovXovs re /cat kolvcjvov?, 
eav ^ovX'qade, Trepl Trjg tcov vlioiv eTri/xeAetas'. 
180 tuvt' ioTiv d i^ovXofieda vp^Zv dvaKoivcLaaadai. 
7J8r) ovv v/xeTepov p,epos avp^^ovXeveiv /cat Trept 
TOVTOV Tov fiad-qfiaTO?, etre So/cet )(prjvaL {xavOd- 
V€LV eLTC pL-q, /cat nepl tcov dXXcov, ei ti ex^TC 
CTratveaai piddiqp.a vicp dvhpl rf iTTCT-qSevfia, /cat 
7T€pl Trjg KOLVcovias Xeyeiv otto tov ti TTOLrjaeTe. 

Nl. 'Ey6i> fX€v, c5 AvalpLaxe /cat MeXrjala, in- 
aivco re vpucov ttiv Sidvoiav /cat KOLVCovelv CTOi/iO?, 
ot/xai 8e /cat Adx^jra TovSe. 

B AA. ^AXfjOrj yap ol€i, cv Nt/cta. ci? o ye eXeyev 
6 Avalpiaxos dpTL rrepl tov naTpos tov avTOV re 
/cat Toy MeAi^CTtou, Trdvv p.oi. 8ok€l €V elpfjaOai Kal 
els eKeivovs /cat els "qp-ds /cat els drravTas oaoi to. 
TCOV TToXecov TrpdTTOvaiv , otl avTots axeBov tl raura 
avpL^aivei, d ovtos Xeyei, /cat Trepl TratSa? /cat nepL 
ToAAa, Ttt tSia dAtya>petCT^at re /cat d/ieAcDs' Sta- 
Tideadai. TavTa p.ev ovv KaXdjs Xeyeis, co AvaC- 

C p-ax^' oTi 8' r)pids p-ev avii^ovXovs Trapa/caAeis 



come to be worthy of the names they bear. Now 
they, for their part, say they will do as we bid ; so 
we are now considering what lessons or pursuits will 
lead them to the highest attainable excellence. 
Someone directed us to this particular accomplish- 
ment of fighting in armour, as being an admirable 
one for a young man to learn ; and he praised that 
man whose performance you were just watching, 
and then urged us to go and see him. So we decided 
that it would be well to go and see the man our- 
selves, and to take you along \srith. us not merely as 
companions at the show, but also as counsellors and 
co-partners, if you will be so good, in the matter of 
looking after our sons. That is the question which 
we wanted to discuss with you. And we look to you 
now, on your part, to give us your advice, first as 
to whether you think this accomplishment should be 
learnt or not, and then as to any other such art or 
pursuit that you can recommend for a young man ; 
and also, how you feel inchned as regards our 

NIC. For myself, Lysimachus and Melesias, I highly 
approve of your purpose, and am ready to lend a 
hand ; and I may say the same, I think, for Laches 

LACH, Yes, you think truly, Nicias. For that re- 
mark which Lysimachus made just now about his 
father and the father of Melesias was very apposite, 
in my opinion, not only to them but to us and to 
all who deal >nth pubhc affairs : it is practically the 
rule with them, as he says, to treat their private 
concerns, whether connected with children or any- 
thing else, in a slighting, careless spirit. You are 
quite right in saying that, Lysimachus ; but to invite 



€771 TTjU Tcov veavLaKcxjv TTaiSeiav, TicoKpaTrj oi 
Tovhe ov TTapaKoXeZs , QavixdiC,ui, rrpcoTOV /jlcv ovra 
hrjiJi,6T7]v, eTTecra ivravda del rds Siarpt^d? noiov- 
fxevov, OTTOV ri eari rcbv tolovtcov (Lv crv t,rjr€ls 
TTepl.TOVs veovs rj pidOrjfia 'q eTTLT-qSevfia KaXov. 
AT. Ooj? Aeyets", c5 Adx^}?; TicoKpdrrjs yap oBe 


AA. Udvv jxev ovv, u) Avaip-ax^- 

Ni. TovTo [X€V CToi Koiv iyd) exoifMi eiTretv ov 
X^lpov Adx'f]Tog' Kal yap avTco /AOt evayxos 
D dvhpa 7Tpov^€vr]a€ tco vlel SSdcrKaXov p-ovaLKrjs, 
'Aya^o/cAeou? ixadrjTrjv Aa/i-cova, dvSpcov X^P*'^'" 
OTaTov ov p,6vov T7)v p,ovat.KT]v, dXXd /cat TdAAa 
oTTocrov ^ovXei d^iov crvvSiaTpt^ecv TrjXiKOVTOis 
veavLOKOis • 

AT. OuTOt, cS JlwKpaTes re koI Ni/cia Kai 
AdxrjS, ol rjXlKoi eyd) €TL yLyv(x}aKop.€V tovs 
vecoTepovg, CLTe kot oiKiav to, iroXXd SiaTpCpovTes 
V7t6 TTJs rjXiKLag- dAA' et ti Kal crv, cS Tral TtOJ^po- 
VLOKov, e^et? TcoSe tco aavTov Brfp^oTj] dyaOov 
E crvp,^ovX€vaaL, XPV (^p^^ovXevetv. St'/cato? 8 et" 
/cat yap iraTpiKos r)p,lv ^t'Ao? Tvyxavecs cov act 
yap iyd) /cat o aos naT-qp CTaipco t€ /cat cpiXco 
rjp^ev, Kal irpoTepov eKeZvog eTeXevT-qae, npuv ti 
€p.ol StevexOrjvat. Trepi^ipei he tls fJ-e Kal p^vqixr] 
dpTL TtovSe XeyovTCov to. yap )Ltetpd/cta rdSe npos 
oAAt^Aou? ot/cot StaAeyp/Ltep-oi dap,d €Tn,p,€p,viqvTai 
ScD/cpdrou? /cat achoSpa eTraLVovaiv ov p,evTOL 
■najTTOTe avTOvg avrjpcoT'qaa, et tov ZjCOcppovLOKOV 
181 Ae'yotei'. dAA', cS TratSe?, XeycTe /xot, 6B' iaTi 
^cxJKpdTTjS, Trepl ov eKacxTOTe p.ip.vqaoe; 

nAi2. I\.dvv p.kv odv, Jt iraTep, outos* 


us to be your advisers for the education of your 
boys, and not to invite Socrates here, is to me very 
strange, when, to begin with, he is of your district, 
and then he is always spending his time wherever 
there is any such excellent study or pursuit for young 
men as you are seeking. 

LYS. How do you mean. Laches ? Has Socrates 
here given his attention to anything of this sort ? 

LACH. To be sure he has, Lysimachus. 

NIC. I too might perhaps be in as good a position 
as Laches to inform you about that ; for quite re- 
cently he introduced to myself a music-teacher for 
my son — Damon, pupil of Agathocles, who is not 
only the most exquisitely skilled of musicians, but 
in every other way as profitable a companion as you 
could wish for young men of that age. 

Lvs. It is not possible, Socrates, Nicias, and Laches, 
for men of my years to continue to know our juniors, 
because old age makes us spend most of our time 
at home ; but if you, son of Sophroniscus, have any 
good advice for our friend, who belongs to your own 
district, you ought to let him have it. And it is only 
right that you should : for you happen to be our 
friend through your father ; he and I were constant 
companions and friends, and he died without ever 
having a single difference with me. And a certain 
recollection comes back to me on hearing what has 
just been said : for these boys, in talking with each 
other at home, frequently mention Socrates in terms 
of high praise ; but I have never asked them whether 
they meant the son of Soplironiscus. Now tell me, 
my boys, is this the Socrates whose name you have 
mentioned so often ? 

SON. To be sure, father, it is he. 

VOL. IV B 13 


AT. Ey ye inj ttjv "Hpav, <x> TicoKpares, on 
opOoXs Tov TTarepa, apiarov dvSpaJv ovra, Kal 
d'AAo*? Kal St) Kal on ot/ceta rd re ad rjfiiv inrdp^eL 
Kal aol rd rjfierepa. 

AA. Kat {Ji'qv, (5 Avaifxax^, jjurj d(f)Ua6 ye rdvSpos' 
COS eyo) Kal aXXoOi ye avrov ideaad/Jbrjv ov p,6vov 
B TOV TTarepa dXXd Kal rrjv Trarpiha opdovvra- ev 
yap rfj aTTo ArjXlov 4>vyfj fxer* efxov avvavexciopeL, 
Kayoi ooi Xeycx) on el ol aXXoi rjOeXov roiovroi 
CLvai,, opOr] dv Tjjjicov rj ttoXis 'tJv Kal ovk av eireae 
Tore roLovTOV Trrajfjua. 

AT. ^Q. TiCxjKpares, oSros fxevroi 6 enaivos ean 
KaXos, ov av vvv eTratvij utt' dvSpa>v d^lcov TTiareve- 
adat Kal els ravra els d ovroi eTraivovaiv. ev 
ovv tad I, on eyui ravra dKovojv -xP-ipa) on evho- 
KLfxeis, Kal av Se riyov fie ev roXs y' evvovararov 
C aoi etvai. XPW P'^^ ^^^ '^'^'- ^rporepov ye ^oirav 
avrov Trap rjpids Kal olKeiovs rjyeXadai, coairep rd 
hiKaiov vvv S' ovv aTro rrjahe rrjs rjjxepas, eireihr) 
dveyvajpiaapLev dXX-^Xovs, firj dXXcos TToiei, dXXd 
avviadi re Kal yvwpL^e Kal "q/juds Kal rovaSe rovs 
veiorepovs, ottcos av Stacrco^Tjre /cat i5/xets" rrjv 
TjfJLerepav (f)tXtav. ravra jjiev ovv Kal ai) TTOiiqaeis 
Kal rjfieXs ae Kal avOts V7Top,vrjaop.ev rrepl Se (Lv 
rjp^dpLeda n ^are; ri hoKeX; rd fiddrjfia roXs 
fxeLpaKtots eTTirrjSeLOV etvai t) ov, rd puadeXv ev 
ottXols pLax^adai; 
D 2X1. 'AAAd Kal rovroiv TrdpL, c5 Avalfiaxe, eyoiye 
TTeipdaofiai avpifiovXevetv dv n SvvojpLai, Kal av 

1 On the coast just north of Attica, where the Athenians 
were severely defeated by the Boeotians in 424 b.c. 



i.\"3. On my soul, Socrates, it is good to know that 
vuu keep up your father's name, which Mas a most 
honourable one, both on general grounds and par- 
ticularly because of the intimate relation in which 
you and we shall equally feel ourselves to be. 

LACH. Indeed, Lysimachus, he is a person you 
nmst not lose hold of; for I have observed him 
elsewhere too keeping up not merely his father's but 
his country's name. He accompanied me in the 
retreat from Delium,^ and I assure you that if the 
rest had chosen to be like him, our city would be 
holding up her head and would not then have had 
such a terrible fall. 

Lvs. Socrates, this is indeed splendid praise which 
you are now receiving from men whose word is of 
great weight, and for such conduct as wins their 
praise. So let me tell you that I rejoice to hear 
this and to know you have such a good reputa- 
tion ; and you in return must count me as one of 
your warmest well-wishers. You ought indeed, on 
your own part, to have visited us before, and treated 
us on intimate terms, as you have a right to do : now, 
however, that we have discovered each other, from 
to-day onwards you must make a point of sharing 
our thoughts and getting to know us and our young 
people also, that you and they may in your turn 
preserve the friendship of our houses. That, how- 
ever, you will do yourself, and we will remind you 
of it another time : but what do you say of the 
matter on which we began to speak ? What is your 
view ? Is the accomplishment of fighting in armour 
a suitable one for our boys to learn or not ? 

soc. On that matter, Lysimachus, I will do my 
best to advise you, so far as I can, and also to do all 


a TrpoKaXfj Trdvra Troielv. biKaioTarov fievrot fxoi 
ooKel CLvai, ifjLe vecorepov ovra rihvhe koI olttci- 


fiavOdveiv Trap* avrcbv edv 8' ex(JO ri a'AAo Trapa to. 
VTTO TOVTCOV Xeyofieva, tot ■^'§7^ SiSaa/cetv koX 
TTeidew KOI ere /cat tovtovs. dAA', cS ^iKia, 
TL ov Aeyet TTOTcpos vficov; 

Ni. AAA' ovBev KcoXvet, co Scu/cpaTes". Sokci 
E yap Kal ifiol TOVTO to fiddrjfjLa Tot? veois (h^eXipuov 
€Lvai eTTiaTaadaL TToXXaxfj- Kal yap to fxr) aXXodi 
hiaTpl^eiv iv ots Srj (f)iXovaiv ol veoi tols ScaTpi^as 
TTOieladai, oTav axoXrjv dycoaiv, aAA' iv tovtw, 
€v €^€1, odev /cat to acijfia PcXtlov lox^lv dvdyKT] 
182 -dovSevos yap twv yvpivamcov (f)avX6T€pov ovB^ 
eXaTTco TTovov e^eiT— /cat ajtxa TTpourjKei pidXiuT 
eXevdepo) tovto t€ to yvfxvdaiov /cat -q t7r7rt/<;i)- 
ov yap dyajvog dOXrjTai icrfiev Kal iv ots rjfilv 6 
dychv rrpoKeLTai, /jlovol ovtol yvfxvd^ovTat ol iv 
TOVTOis TOLS TTepl Tov TToXcfiov opydvoLS yvp,va- 
^o/JievoL. eVetra ovrjcrei fiev tl tovto to fiddrj/jia 
Kal iv TTJ p-dxi} o-VTjj, otov iv ra^ei Sery fidx^odac 
fxeTo. TToXXcov dXXoyv fxiyictTov fidvTOL avTov 
otfieXos, OTav Au^cDcrtP' at rafet? /cat rjSr) tl Serj 
fiovov TTpos fiovov -^ SicoKOVTa d[xvvopievcp Tivl im- 
B diadat, ^ Kal iv (f)vyr] iTnTtdefxivov dXXov djxvvaodat 
avTov OVT* dv VTTO ye ivog et? o tovt iTTiGTafxevos 
ovSev dv TrddoL, Icrcog 8' ovBe vtto TrXeiovajv y dXXd 
rravTaxJ] dv TavTrj TrXeoveKToi. ert 8e /cat ei? 
dXXov KaXov ixadrip^aTOS iindvixiav vrapa/caAet to 

^ i.e. in regular warfare. 


the rest that you so kindly ask. It seems to me, 
however, most proper that I, being so much younger 
and less experienced than you and your friends, 
should first hear what they have to say, and learn 
of them ; and then, if I have anything else to suggest 
as against their remarks, I might try to explain it 
and persuade you and them to take my view. Come, 
Nicias, let one or other of you speak. 

NIC. There is no difficulty about that, Socrates. 
For in my opinion this accomplishment is in many 
ways a useful thing for young men to possess. It is 
good for them, instead of spending their time on the 
ordinary things to which young men usually give 
their hours of leisure, to spend it on this, jwhich not 
only has the necessary effect of improving their 
bodily health-4^since it is as good and strenuous as 
any physical exercise^but is also a form of exercise 
which, w-jth riding, is particularly fitting for a free 
citizen ; (jor only the men trained in the use of these 
warlike implements can claim to be trained in the 
contest whereof we are athletes and in the affairs 
wherein we are called upon to contend.^ Further, this 
accomphshment will be of some benefit also in actual 
battle, when it comes to fighting in line with a 
number of other men ; but its greatest advantage 
will be felt when the ranks are broken, and you find 
you must fight man to man, either in pursuing some- 
one who is trying to beat off your attack, or in 
retreating yourself and beating off the attack of 
another. Whoever possessed this accomplishment 
could come to no harm so long as he had but one 
to deal with, nor yet, perhaps, if he had several ; 
it would give him an advantage in any situation. 
Moreover, it is a thing which impels one to desire 



Totovrov TTctS" yap av fxaSojv iv ottXois fJidx^adai 
iTnOvfi-qaeLe /cat rov .e^rjs fxadrn-iaros tov TTepl 
ras razees, koL ravra Xa^cbv Kal (f)i,Xorifir)9eU 

C €V avTols €7tI Trdv av to nepl ras arparirjyias opfi-q- 
aei€' /cat rjSi] SrjXov on ra rovroiv e;\;d/xera /cat 
IxadripLara Trdvra /cat iTnrrjdevpiaTa /cat K«.Xd /cat 
TToXXov d^ca dvSpl fiadelv re /cat eTTiT'qSevaai, cov 
Kadr]YTqaair^ dv rovro ro p,ddrjij,a. Trpoadrjaofiei' 
S' avra> ov apuKpav TrpoaOrJKTjV, otl Trdvra dvhpa 
€v TToXepbcp /cat dappaXecorepov /cat avSpeiorepov 
dv TTOirjaeiev avrov avrov ovk oXtyo) avrt] r] ctti- 
(TTTjfjLT]. /XT^ dTip.dacop.ev 8e etTretv, et /cat rep 
ap,LKp6r€pov 8o/cet elvai, on /cat €.va)(r]pov€ar€pov 

D ivravOa oS XP"^ "^ov dvSpa ei5o';^7^^ov€crTepoi/ (fialve- 
adaL, ov dpLa Kal Setvorepo? rocs i^dpols <f>aveXraL 
8ta rr^v evax^poavvrjv . e'/xot /xev ovv, co Avm- 
paxe, oiOTiep Xiyo), So/cet re XPW^'' StSaa/cett' tous 
veaviUKOvs ravra /cat St' a So/cet €ipr]Ka' Adxr]TOS 
S', et Tt Trapa ravra Aeyet, /cav auTo? rjSeojs dKov- 

A A. 'AAA' eari p,dv, a> Nt/ct'a, ;:^aAe776r Xeyetv 
TTepl orovovv p.adrjpiarog , cos ov XPV pavddveiv 
Trdvra yap eTriaraadai dyaddv SoKel eivai. Kal 

E 8yj Kal ro OTrXirLKOv rovro, el p,ev ion p,d6r]pba, 
onep (f)aalv ol SiSdaKovreg, Kal otov Nt/cta? Aeyet, 
Xpr] avro p,av6dv€LV el S ean p,ev p,r] piadrjpia, 
dAA' i^aTrarcbatv ol VTTiaxyovpievoL, rj p,d9rjp,a p,€V 
rvyxdvei ov, p,r] pevroi Trdvv aTTOvSatov, ri Kal 
BeoL dv avro p.avddveiv ; Xeyco Se ravra Trepl avrov 
els rdSe aTTO^Xe^as , on otfiat, eyoj rovro, el rl rjv, 



another noble accomplishment ; for everyone -who 
has learnt how to fight in armour will desire to learn 
the accomplishment which comes next, the manage- 
ment of troops ; and when he has got that and once 
taken a pride in his work he will push on to attain 
the whole art of generalship. Lit is evident already 
that all accomplishments and pursuits in the mihtary 
sphere are both honourable and valuable to a man, 
either in acquisition or in practice ; and this par- 
ticular one may well be an introduction to them. 
And we can make this addition — no slight one — to 
its claims, that this science will make any man in- 

Jvidually a great deal bolder and braver in war. 
or let us disdain to mention, even though some 
may think it a rather slight matter, that it will give 
him a smarter appearance in the place where a man 
should look smartest, and where at the same time 
he will appear more terrible to the enemy because 
of his smartness. So my opinion is, Lysimachus, as 
I say, that we ought to teach this skill to our young 
men, and I have told you my reasons for so thinking. 
But if Laches has a different view to state, I shall 
be as glad as anyone to hear it. 

LACH. Well, Nicias, I am loth to say of any sort of 
accomphshment that it ought not to be learnt ; for 
it seems good to know all things. And besides, if 
this skill in arms is an accomphshment, as they say 
who teach it, and as Nicias terms it, it ought to be 
, learnt ; while if it is not an accomphshment, and 
those who promise to give it are deceiving us, or if 
it is an accomplishment, but not a very important 
one, what can be the good of learning it ? I speak 
of it in this way from the following point of view : 
1 conceive that if there were anything in it, it would 



OVK av XcXqdivai AaKehaifxoviovs , of? ovhev aAAo 
fieXet ev tw ^ico -q rovro t,r]r€lu /cat einrrjheveiv , 
183 o TL av fxadovres Kal eTTtrrjSevcravres TrXeoveKToXev 
ra}V dXXwv Trepl rov TToXefxov. el 8' eKeivovs 
eXeX-qdei, dXX' ov tovtovs ye rovs SiSacr/caAoys' 
avrov XeXrjdev avro rovro, on eKelvoi ^dXiara rG)v 
CjKXr^voiv OTTOvhaXovaiv inl rots roiovrois Kal 
on Trap* eKeivois av ns nfxrjdels els ravra Kal 
vapa rdjv dXXojv TiXeZar* av ipyd^otro xp-qp,ara, 
wdTTep ye Kal rpaycphias TroLrjrrjs Trap' r]p,LV rLpur]- 
deis. rocydproi os dv oirjraL rpaytphiav KaXcog 

B TTOieiv, OVK e^coOev kvkXco Trepl rrjv ^ArriKrjv Kara 
rds aAAas" TToXets eTnheiKVVfievos Trepiepxer at, oAA' 
evdvs 8evpo <f)epera(, Kal ToicrS' eTnSetKvvcrcv eiKorcos. 
rovs 8e iv ottXois ixaxofxevovs eyd) rovrovs 6pd> 
rrjV fiev AaKeSaLfxova rjyovfjievovs etvat d^arov 
lepov Kol ovSe dKpo) ttoSI eTn^aivovras , kvkXco 
he TTepuovras avrrjv Kal Trdai fidXXov emheiKW- 
fievovs, Kal fidXtara rovroig ot Kav avrol ofioXoyq- 
aeiav TroXXovg acf)d)V Trporepovs elvai Tipog rd rov 
TToXefjLOV. erreira, & Kvoi\xaye, ov rrdvv oXiyois eydi 

C rovroiv Trapayeyova ev avro) rd) epyco, Kal opd) oloi 
elaiv. €^€(xn 8e Kal avroOev rj/xLV OKeifjaadai. 
ojOTrep yap €7nrr]8es ovSels ttcuttot' evSoKifios ye- 
yovev ev rd) TroXepbcp dvrjp rd>v rd OTrAiri/ca errt- 
rrjhevadvroiv . Kairot els ye rdXXa rrdvra €K rovrcjv 
ol ovopbaarol yiyvovrai, ck rdJv eTnrrjSevcrdvrcov 
eKaara' ovroi 8 , d)s eoiKe, irapd rovs dXXovs 
ovro) a(f)6Spa els rovro SeSvarvxTJKaaLV. inel 
Kal rovrov rov JlrrjaiXecov, ov vfiels p-er* ifiov ev 
Tocrovrcp d)(Xcp ededaaaOe €7n8eiKvvp,evov Kal rd 



not have been overlooked by the Lacedaemonians, 
whose only concern in life is to seek out and practise 
whatever study or pursuit will give them an advan- 
tage over others in war. And if they have over- 
looked it, at any rate these teachers of it cannot 
have overlooked the obvious fact that the Lacedae- 
monians are more intent on such matters than any 
of the Greeks, and that anybody who won honour 
among them for this art would amass great riches 
elsewhere, just as a tragic poet does who has won 
honour among us. And for this reasoji he who 
thinks himself a good writer of tragedy does not 
tour round with his show in a circuit of the outlying 
Attic towns, but makes a straight line for this place 
and exhibits to our people, as one might expect. 
But I notice that these fighters in armour regard 
Lacedaemon as holy ground where none may tread, 
and do not step on it even with the tips of their 
toes, but circle round it and prefer to exhibit to any 
other people, especially to those who would them- 
selves admit that they were inferior to many in the 
arts of war. Furthermore, Lysimachus, I have come 
across more than a few of these persons in actual 
operations, and I can see their quality. Indeed, we 
can estimate it offhand : for, as though it were of 
set purpose, not one of these experts in arms has 
ever yet distinguished himself in war. And yet in 
all the other arts, the men who have made a name 
are to be found among those who have specially 
pursued one or other of them ; while these persons, 
apparently, stand out from the rest in this particu- 
larly hapless fate of their profession. Why, this 
man Stesilaus, whom you watched with me in that 
great crowd as he gave his performance and spoke in 

VOL. IV B 2 21 


D fxeydXa irepX avrov Xiyovra a eXeyev, cTcpojdi iyo) 
KoXXiov ideacrdfxriv [iv rrj dX-qOeiaY cog dX-qdaJs 
iTrLdeiKvvjJievov ov)( eKovra. Trpocr^aXovcrrjg yap 
rrjs vecos e^' ^ eVe^areue Trpog oA/caSa nvd, if^dxero 
ex<JOV SopvSpeTravov, hia^epov S'q ottXov are koI 
avrog twv dXXcov Siacfiepcov. rd fxev ovv dXXa 
ovK d^ta Xeyeiv irepl rdvSpos, to Se a6(j)iapia to 
Tov SpeTrdvov tov Trpds Tjj Xoyxj) olov aTre^rj. 

E fia)(OpL€Pov yap avTOV ei^eap^erd ttov iv Tolg Trjs 
veojs oKCveai. koI dvTeXd^eTo- cIXkcv ovv 6 UTrjal- 
Xccos ^ovXonevos aTToXvaai, Kal ovx oios" r' rjv 
rj 8e vav? ttjv vavv Traprjei. reo)? pL€V ovv Tvap- 
edei €v TTJ vql avTexofievog tov Soparos' errel Se 
h-q TTaprjpieL^eTO rj vavs ttjv vavv Kal ineaTra avTov 
TOV SopaTOS ixdpi€vov, e(^tei to Sopv Sid Trjg ;\;et/)o?, 
184 ^ojg aKpov tov OTvpaKos dvTeXd^eTO. rjv Se 
yeXcos Kal KpoTog vrrd tcov €k Trjg oXKdSog em re 
TO) o^Ty/xart avTOV, Kal eTretSi^ ^aXovrog Tivdg 
XlOco rrapd Tovg rrohag avTOV irrl to KaTdaTpcofia 
d(f>UTaL TOV SopaTog, tot rjSr] Kal ol ck Trjg Tpirj- 
povg ovKCTL OLOL T rjaov TOV yiXoiTa KaTex^iv, 
opdJvTeg alojpovixevov e/c Trjg oA/caSo? to Sopv- 
Sperravov eKeZvo. tacog fxev ovv gItj dv tl TavTa, 
warrep Ni/cta? Xeyef olg S' ovv iyoj ivTeTvx'qKa, 
TOLavT* arra ecrriv. o ovv Kal i^ dpx^g ecTTOv, otl 

B €LT€ OVTO) ajXLKpdg ch(f)eXeiag ex^L pidd-qfxa 6v, etre p.r] 
ov <f)aal Kal TrpoaTTOiovvTai avTo elvai /judOrj/jia, ovk 
d^LOV imx^Lpetv fxavdaveiv Kal yap ovv [xol hoKel, et 
pi,kv SetAo? Tig tov o'ioiTO avTO^ erriaTaadai, dpaav- 
Tepog dv Si' avTO yevo/jievog em^aveaTepog ydvoiTO 

' iv TTJ dXrjdeig. seel. Schanz. 
* atV6 Burnet: aiirbv, airbv deif mss. 



those high terms of himself before us, I have watched 
elsewhere giving a finer entertainment in the form 
of a very real display that he made against his will. 
The ship on which he was serving struck a transport 
vessel, and he was using in the fight a combination 
of a scythe and a spear — a remarkable weapon that 
suited so remarkable a man. Well, the story of this 
fellow's doings is hardly of enough interest in the 
main, but you must hear the upshot of his device of 
a scythe fixed to a spear. As he was fighting, it 
stuck somehow in the other ship's rigging, and held 
fast ; so Stesilaus pulled at it in the hope of getting 
it free, but he could not, and the ships were passing 
by each other. For the first moments he ran along 
in his ship holding on to his spear ; but as the other 
ship sheered off from his and drew him after, still 
holding the spear, he let it slip through his hand 
until he gripped the butt-end of the shaft. From 
the crew of the transport there came laughter and 
clapping at his posture, and when someone aimed 
a stone at him which hit the deck near his feet, and 
he let go the spear, the troops on the warship in 
their turn could no longer restrain their laughter, as 
they saw the notable scythe-spear danghng from the 
transport. Now, there may perhaps be something 
in th^ art of theirs, as Nicias argues, but at any rate 
that is my impression of it, in the cases I have met 
with. Hence, as I said at the beginning, whether it 
be an accomplishment, and one of but Uttle use, or 
not an accomplishment, but only supposed and pre- 
tended to be such, it is not worth the trouble of 
learning it. For indeed I hold that if a man who 
was a coward beheved that he possessed it, his only 
gain would be in rashness, which would make his 



olos T^P' el Se dvBpetos, <j>vXaTr6iievos av vtto 
raJv dv6pa>Trcov, el /cat a/xiKpov i^ayidpToi, [xeydXas 
av Sia^oAds" taxetv i7TL(f>9ovog yap r) TrpoaTroLrjais 

C TTJ? TOiaVTTjg €TTL(yT7]p,rjS , COOT €L /JLT] Tl BaVfiaGTOV 

oaov Siacfiepet rfj dperfj rcov dXXcov, ovk ea^' ottcos 
dv TLS (f)vyo(, TO KarayeXaaros yeveadai, <j)daKCov 
exeiv TarjTTjV rriv eTnarrjpiriv . roiavrr) ris e/xotye 
SoK€i, c5 Avaifiaxe, rj Trepl tovto to fiddrjfxa elvai 
aTTOvS-q- XPV ^' ovep aoi i$ '^PXV^ eXeyov, Kai 
"EiOjKpdTTj TOvSe fir] dcjaivai, dXXd heladat ctv/jL^ov- 
Xeveiv OTTTj 8o/cet avTO) irepl tov TrpoKeLfxivov. 

AT. 'AAAa Seofxai eycoye, c5 TicoKpaTes' Kal 
yap axTTTep [irrl]^ tov SLaKpivovvTos Sokcl /xot 
D Sett' rjfMLV rj ^ovXrj. el fiev yap avve^epiadrjv rcoSe, 
rJTTOv dv tov tolovtov eSei* vvv Se — Trjv ivavTiav 
yap, COS dpas, h.dx'rjS NtKt'a eOeTO — ev Sr) exei 
d/couaat /cat aov, iroTepo) Tolv dvSpoLV avpi,ijJ7](f>os el. 

2n. Tt Sat, c5 AvcTifiaxe ; drroTep dv ol TrXeiovs 
eTTaivwaiv rjfidiv, TovToig /xe'AAei? ;\;p7^CT^ai; 

AT. Tt yap dv TLS Kal ttoloZ, c5 HojKpaTes ; 

2fl. *H /cat av, c3 MeAi7crta, ovtojs dv ttoloZs; 

E Kov el TLS irepl dycovias tov vlios aoi ^ovXrj elrj 

Tt XP^ doKeiv, dpa toIs irXeioaiv dv rj/jicov Treidoio, 

ri e/cetVo) ocrrt? Tvyxdvoi^ vtto TraLSoTpt^r] dyado) 

TTf-TTaidev/JLevos Kal rjOKrjKcos; 

MEA. 'E/c6tVa> cIkos ye, c5 TiWKpaTes. 

2n. AvTcp dp* dv fxdXXov rreidoio 7} TeTTapatv 
oZaiv rjfxlv; 

^ irrl seel. Ast : ^tl Heindorf. 
* ru7X'i''<" Bekker : jvyx'^^^'' ^'s^* 



true nature the more conspicuous ; while if he were 
brave, people would be on the look-out for even the 
slightest mistake on his part, and he would incur 
much grievous slander ; for the pretension to such 
skill arouses jealousy, so that unless a man be pro- 
digiously superior to the rest in valour he cannot by 
any means escape being made a laughing-stock 
through professing to be so skilled. Such is my 
opinion, Lysimachus, of the interest taken in this 
accomphshment ; but do as I told you at the be- 
ginning ; you are not to let our friend Socrates go, 
but must request him to advise us according to his 
judgement on the matter in hand. 

LYS. Well, I ask it of you, Socrates : for indeed 
our members of council, as it were, seem to me to 
need someone who will decide between them. Had 
these two agreed, we should not have required this 
help so much ; but as it is — for Laches, you see, has 
voted on the opposite side to Nicias — it is as well 
that we should hear your view and see on which side 
you cast your vote. 

soc. W hat, Lysimachus ? Are you going to join 
the side which gets the approval of the majority of 
us ? 

LYS. Why, what can one do, Socrates ? 

soc. And you too, Melesias, would do the same ? 
Suppose you had a consultation as to what your 
son's exercise should be for a coming contest, would 
you be guided by the majority of us, or by the one 
who happened to have trained and exercised under 
a good master ? 

MEL. By the latter, naturally, Socrates. 

soc. Would you be guided by him alone rather 
than the four of us ? 



MEA. "laws. 

2n. ^FiTTLaTrjfjbr) yap, otfiai, Set Kptveadau aAA' ov 
TrXrjdeL ro /xeXXov /caAcD? Kptdrjaeadai. 

MEA. Ylws yap ov; 

2n. OvKovv /cat vvv XPV t^P^jtov avro tovto ct/cc- 
185 ifjaadai, et earn rt? r}p,cbv rexviKos Trepl ov ^ov- 
XevojJieda, t] ov- /cat et /Ltei/ ecrriv, e/cetVo) Treideadai 
evl ovTi, Tovs S aAAous" eat'' et Se fM-q, dXXov riva 
tj-qrclv. ■^ TTcpl apbiKpov oteade vvvl KLvSvveveiv 
KaL (TV /cat Avatp,a)(os, aAA' ov Trepi rovrov rod 
KT'qixaTos, o Tcov vfxerepcov /xeyicTTov ov Tvy^avei; 
vcecov yap ttov t] ^(^piqaTcbv •^ rdvavria yevofxevoiv 
Kal Trds 6 oiKog 6 rov jrarpos ovtojs ot/cT^aerai, 
OTTotot dv TLves ol TratSe? yevcovrai. 

MEA. ^AXrjd-q Ae'yets". 

2n. IIoAAt^v dpa Set irpopi'qdLav avTOV execv. 

MEA. Hai^u ye. 
B 2n. IlcDs" ovu, o iyd) dpn eXeyov, ea/coTrou/xev dv, 
et i^ovXofJieda aKeifjaaOai ris rjixcov nepl dycovlav 
re)(i'LKd>TaTos ; dp ovx o fj,a6d)v /cat emrr^Sevaag, 
w /cat StSctCT/caAoi dya^ot yeyovores "^aav avrov 

MEA. "E/Ltotye So/cet. 

2n. Oj)/cow eVt Trporepov, rivos ovros rovrov [oSy 
l,'t]rovix€V rovs StSacr/caAous"; 

MEA. Ylcos Xeyeis ; 

2n. '^nSe tcro;? iJidXXov KardSrjXov earai. ov /xot 
So/cet i^ '^PXV^ rjfiiv dj/jioXoyfjadai, ri nor eon 
TTepl ov ^ovXevofieda [/cat aKerrrofxeda],^ oarcs rj/Jicbv 

' oS seel. Jacobs. 
' Kal (TKewTOfieda seel. Ast. 



MEL. Very likely. 

soc. Yes, for a question must be decided by know- 
ledge, and not by numbers, if it is to have a right 

MEL. To be sure. 

soc. Then in this case also we must first consider, 
in particular, whether anyone among us has expert 
skill in the subject of our consultation, or not ; 
and if here is one who has, we must be guided by 
him, though he be but one, and pass over the rest ; 
while if there is not, we must look for somebody else. 
Or do you think it a shght matter that you and Lysi- 
machus have now at stake, and not that which is 
really yovu- greatest possession ? For I take it that 
according as the sons turn out well or the opposite 
will the whole life of their father's house be aifected, 
depending for better or worse on their character. 

MEL. Truly spoken. 

soc. So it demands much forethought from us. 

MEL. Certainly. 

soc. How then — to take the case I suggested just 
now — should we set to work if we wanted to con- 
sider which of us was the most expert in regard to 
a contest ? Should we not pick him who had learnt 
and practised, and had also had good teachers of 
this particular skill ? 

MEL. I think so. 

soc. And even before that, we should ask what 
was this skill of which we are looking for the teachers ? 

MEL. How do you mean ? 

soc. Perhaps it will be more easily grasped in this 
form. I think we have not started with an agree- 
ment between us as to what the thing is about 
which we are consulting, in this question of who 



r€)(yiKos Koi tovtov evcKa SiSacrKaiXovs eKT-qaaro, 

C Kal OCTTig ^Tj. 

NI. Ov yap, Cxi HcoKpares, Trepl rov iv ottXols fJid- 
X^aOaL GKOTTovfiev, eire XPV '^^'^^ tovs veaviaKovs 
fiav6dv€LV etre fiij; 

20.. Hdvv fxkv ovv, CO NiACia. aAA' orav rrepl 
<f>apixdKov Tts Tov TTpos oi^daXfxous aKOTTTJTat, eire 
Xpy] avTO V7TaX€L<^e<jdai e'lre fx-q, irorepov o'Ui rore 
etvai TTjv ^ovXrjv irepi rod <f>apixdKOV rj Trepl tcou 
6(f>daXpLOJV ; 

Ni. YlepL Tcbv 6(f>daXijL6jv. 
J) 2n. OvKovv /cat orav ltttto) x'^Xtvov aKOTrrJTai ns 
€t TTpoaroLorreov rj fxrj, Kai ottotc, t6t€ ttov Trepl rov 
iTTTTOV fiovXeverai dAA' ov Trepl rov p^aAti'ou; 

Nl. AXrjd-q. 

2n. OvKovv evi X6y(x), orav rts ri evcKd rov 
aKoirfj, 7T€pl €K€LVov 7) ^ovXtj rvyxdv€L ovcra ov 
eveKa eaKoiret, dXX ov Trepl rov o eVe/ca- aAAoy 

NI. *AvdyKr]. 

2n. Act dpa Kal rov avfx^ovXov aKOTreZv, dpa 
rexvLKos eanv els eKeivov depaTreiav, ov eVe/ca 
aKOTTOVfiev o^ aKOTrovfxev. 

NI. Yidvv ye. 

2n. OvKovv vvv (jjafxev Trepl fxadTJ/Jiaros GKorrelv 
E rrjs ^vx'fjs eveKa rrj? rojv veaviaKOJV ; 

NI. Nat. 

2fl. Et Tt? dpa Tjfjicbv rexviKog Trepl ifjvxrj? depa- 
Treiav Kal otos re KaXoJS rovro depanevaaL, Kal 
oroj hihdaKaXoi dyadol yeyovaai, rovro OKeTrreov. 

AA. Ti he, at HiCjKpares; ovttco eco/aa/ca? dvev 
^ aKOTTodfiev 8 Cron : aKOTroO/ievoi MSS. 


among us is an expert and to this end has resorted 
to teachers, and who not. 

NIC. Why, Socrates, is it not fighting in armour 
that we are considering, and whether it is a thing 
to be learnt by young men or not ? 

soc. Of course, Nicias ; but when someone con- 
siders whether a medicine is to be used as an eye- 
salve or not, do you think that this consultation is 
about the medicine or about the eyes ? 

xic. About the eyes. 

soc. And when one considers whether a horse is 
to be bridled or not, and at what time, I presume 
one takes counsel about the horse, and not about the 
bridle ? 

NIC. True. 

soc. And in a word, when one considers a thing 
for any purpose, the consulting is in fact about the 
end one had in view to start with, and not about 
the means to be used for such end. 

NIC. Necessarily. 

soc. So we must consider ovu: adviser too, and ask 
ourselves whether he is a skilled expert in the treat- 
ment required for the end which is the subject of 
our consideration. 

NIC. Certainly. 

soc. And we say that our present subject is an 
accomplishment studied for the sake of young men's 
souls f 

NIC. Yes. 

soc. So what we have to consider is whether one 
of us is skilled in treatment of the soul, and is able 
to treat it rightly, and which of us has had good 

LACH. But I say, Socrates, have you never noticed 



StSacTKoiXcov rexi^iKOJTepovs yeyovoTas els evia r^ 
{xera hihauKoXoyv ; 

2n. "Eycuye, c5 Adxy]S' ots ye av ovk av ideXois 
Tnarevaai, el (fiaXev dyadol elvai SrjfxiovpyoL, el fxtj 
ri aoL rrjs avTcov rexvrjs epyov exoiev einhel^aL ev 
186 elpyaajxevov , /cat ev /cat TrXeici}. 

AA. TovTO fiev dXrjdrj Xeyeis. 

2n. Kat T^/Lia? apa Set, c5 Adx'r)S re /cat Ni/ct'a, 
eTTeiSrj Avcrtpiaxos /cat MeAr^crtas' et? crvp.^ovXr]v 
TTapeKoXeadrrjv rjfids irepl tolv vleoiv, 7rpodvp,ov- 
fievoL avTOLV on dpiarag yeviadai rds i/jv^ds, el 
fiev (f>aiiev ex^iv, CTrtSet^at avrots /cat StSaa/caAous" 
oirtres" TjfxcJov yeyovaaiv , <ot>^ aurot Trpcorov^ dyadol 
ovres /cat TroXXdJv vecov redeparrevKOTes tpv^ds 
B eVetra /cat ly/xa? StSa^avre? (f>aivovrai.' rj et ris 
rjfjicov avTcbv eavro) StBdoKaXov pbev ov <f>r]oi yeyo- 
vevai, dXX ovv epya avros avrov e^Gi elTreZv /cat 
CTTtSet^at, TtVes" *Adrjvaio}v 7] rcov ^evcov, tj SovXol 
7) eXevdepoi, St eKelvov ofJioXoyovpLevcos dyadol 
yeyovaoLV ei he fxr^Sev rjpiZv tovtcov virapxei, 
aXXovs KeXeveiv ^rjretv /cat /x'q ev eralpcov dvSpcuv 
vleai Kivhvveveiv Si,a(f>9€tpovTas ttjv ixeyioTiqv alriav 
€X€tv VTTO Tcov olKeLordrcov . iyd) fjLev ovv, cS 
AvalfMaxe re /cat MeAy^cria, npaJTOs vepl efiavTOV 
C Xeyoi OTL hihdaKoXos [moi ov yeyove rovrov irepL. 
Kairoi eTTt^u/xcD ye rov Trpdyfiaros e/c veov dp^d/xe- 
vos. dXXd rols p-ev ao(f)LaraZg ovk exco reXelv 
fiiadovs, OLTTep pLOVOi eirriyyeXXovro pie oToi t' 
ctj^ai TTOiTJaai KaXov re Kdyadov avros S av 

^ ot add. Bekker. 
' irpQjTov Stephanus : npuiToi mss, 



how some people have become more skilled in certain 
things without teachers than others with them ? 

soc. Yes, I have, Laches ; people, that is, whom 
you would not care to trust on their mere statement 
that they were good practitioners, unless they could 
put forward some example of their personal skill — 
some work well carried out — not in one only, but 
several cases. 

LACK. That is truly spoken. 

soc. We also, therefore. Laches and Nicias — since 
Lysimachus and Melesias have invited us to a con- 
sultation on their sons, whose souls they are anxious 
to have as good as possible — should bring to their 
notice what teachers we have had, if we say that we 
have any to mention, who being themselves good to 
begin with, and ha\ing treated the souls of many 
young people, taught us also in due course and are 
kno^vn to have done so. Or if any of ourselves says 
he has had no teacher, but has however some works 
of his own to speak of, and can point out to us what 
Athenians or strangers, either slaves or freemen, are 
acknowledged to owe their goodness to him, let him 
do so. But if there is nothing of the sort to be found 
amongst us, let us bid them look elsewhere ; for we 
cannot run a risk with our good friends' children 
where we may ruin them, and so bring upon us the 
most grievous of accusations from our nearest and 
dearest. Now I, Lysimachus and Melesias, am the 
first to avow that I have had no teacher in this 
respect ; and yet I have longed for such lessons 
from my youth up. But I have not the means to 
pay fees to the sophists, who were the only persons 
that professed to be able to make me a complete 
gentleman ; and to this moment I remain powerless 



cvpetv rrjv re-xyr]v a^vvaTw en vvvi. el 8e Ni/ctas 
r) Adxr]S evprjKev rj fxefxddrjKev, ovk av Oav/JLoicraifii' 
Kal yap )(prip,aa(.v ifiov hwaranepoi, oiare jjiadelv 
Trap* dXXojv, Kal dfxa Trpeo^viepoi, coare 7]Sr] 
evprjKevai. Sokovgl Sij /xoi Svvarol elvai TraiSevaai 
D dvdpoiTTOV ov yap dv irore dSecDs' a.7Tecf)aivovTO 
TTepl eTTiTTySeu/xctTCDV veo) xpr^oTiiov re Kal TTOvrjpaJv, 
ei fjuT] avTOL^ eiricrrevov iKovois etSeVat. ra fxev 
ovv dXXa eyojye tovtols TTiarevco' on Be Sta- 
<f)epeadov aXXrjXoLV, edavfiaaa. rovro ovv aov iyu) 
dvnheoiiai, & Kvalixaye, Kaddrrep dpri Adx'f}9 p-r) 
d(f)L€a6ai ae ifiov Ste/ceAeuero aAAa epwrav, /cai 
eyco vvv TrapaKeXevop^ai aoi p.rj d^ieadai Ad^riros 
p^TjSe Nlklov, aAA' epcorav Xeyovra, on 6 p,ev Soj- 
E Kpdrrjs ov <f)rjaLV eTrateiv Trepl rov TrpdyjxaTOS, ovo 
iKavos elvai StaKplvai OTTorepos vp^cov dXYjdrj Xeyei' 
ovre yap evperrjs ovre p-aO-qTrjs ovSevog Ttepi raJv 
TOLOvriov yeyovevaf av S', a) Adx^JS koI Nt/cta, 
etireTov rjp,lv CKdrepo?, rivL 8r] SeLvordro) avy- 
yeyovarov Trepl rrjs riov vecnv Tpo(f)rjg, Kal rrorepa 
pLaOovre Trapd tov eTriaraadov rj avro) e^evpovre, 
Kal el p,€v piaOovre, ns 6 StSctcr/caAos" eKareptp Kal 
187 TLves dXXoi, opLorexyoL avrots, tv , dv p,7] vpblv 
axoXrj rj vtto rwv ttjs rroXecDS npaypiaTCov, en 
eKeivovs LCop,ev Kal TreidojpLev rj hcjpois rj ;^a/Diati' rj 
dpL(j)6repa eTTLpLeXrjdijvat Kal rdjv rjpt^eTepojv Kai tcov 
vjieTepojv TTaiSojv, ottcos p-rj KaraiaxiivojaL rovs 
avTcov TTpoyovovs (f)avXoL yevop^evoi' el 8 avrol 
evperaX yeyovore tov tolovtov, Sore Trapdheiyjia, 


to discover the art myself. But I should not be 
surprised if Nicias or Laches has discovered or learnt 
it : for they have more means at their command to 
enable them to learn from others, and they are also 
older, and have had time to discover it. Indeed, I 
regard them as able to educate a man : for they 
would never declare their minds so freely on pursuits 
that are beneficial or harmful to a youth unless they 
felt confident that they had the requisite knowledge. 
And I have entire confidence in them myself, except 
that I wondered at their differing from each other. 
I therefore make this counter-request of you, Lysi- 
machus : just as Laches urged you a moment ago 
not to release me but to ask me questions, so I now 
call upon you not to release Laches or Nicias, but 
to question them in these terms : " Socrates says that 
he has no understanding of the matter, and that he 
is not competent to decide which of your statements 
is true ; that he has never been either a discoverer 
or a learner of anything of the sort. But you, 
Laches and Nicias, are each to tell us who is the 
cleverest person you have heard on the upbringing 
of youth ; whether you have knowledge of it by 
learning from someone or by discovering it your- 
selves ; and if you learnt it, who were your teachers 
respectively, and what other colleagues they had : 
in order that, if you are not at leisure through the 
demands of pubUc business, we may go to them and 
induce them either vrith gifts or good turns or with 
both to undertake the care of our and your children 
together, and so prevent them from turning out 
knaves and disgracing their ancestors. But if you 
have made the grand discovery yourselves, give us 
an instance to show what other persons you have 



TLi'cov tJStj dXXcov iTTifjieXrjdevTes €K <f>avXoiv KaXovs 
Tc KayaOovs eTTOi-qaaT^ . el yap vvv TrpwTOv ap- 

B i^ade TTaiSeveLv, aKonetv XPV H'V ^^'^ ^^ "^^ Kapt 
v^ilv 6 KLvSvvos Kii'BvvevTjTai,, dAA' iv rots vleai t€ 
Kai ev TO IS" TcDv <f)iXaiv Traial, koL a.rexvix)S to Aeyo- 
fievov Kara rrjv Trapoi/jLtav vfxlv ov/jL^aLvrj iv TTido) 
rj Kepajxeia yiyvofievrj. Xeyere ovv, rl tovtcov t] 
<f)aT€ iifxlv V7Tdpx€Lv TC Kal TTpoarjKeiv, rj ov (j^are. 
ravT* , a> Avaip^ax^, Trap* avrajv Trvvddvov re Kal 
jjLTj piediei Tovs dvSpas. 

C AT. KaXcos p-ev epoLye So/cei, c3 dvSpes, Sco- 
KpaTrj? Xeyew el he ^ovXopivots vp-Zv earl Trepl 
Tcov TOLovTcov epojTaadal re Kal StSdfai Xoyov, 
avTovs Sr] XP^ yiyvoiCKeiv, c5 KiKia re Kal Adxr]9. 
epbol p.ev yap Kal MeAT^cria ToiSe St^Aov on rjSopevois 
av etr), el Trdvra, a Soj/cparT^S" epiora, edeXon'e 
Xoycp hie^iivaf Kal yap e^ dpx'^S evrevdev rjpx6p,7]u 
Xeycov, OTL elg avpi^ovXrjv Sia ravra vp,ds rrapaKaXe- 
aaipiev, on p-epLeXr^Kevai vp^Zv rjyovp.eda, cos elKos, 
Trepl Twv TOLOVTCOV, Kal aAAct)? Kal eTreihrj ol iraZ- 

D heg vp,Zv oXlyov ojcnrep ol rip.eTepoi r^XiKiav exovai 
TTacheveadai. el ovv vp.Zv p,r] n hia^epei, eirraTe 
Kal KOivjj p,eTa ^ojKpdTovs aKeijjaade, hihovTes re 
Kal hexopievoL Xoyov Trap dXXr]Xoiv ev yap Kal 
rovTO Xeyei o8e, on Trepl rov pLeyiarov vvv fiov- 
Xev6p.e6a rcov rjp.eT€pcov. dAA' opdre el hoKeZ 
XP'fjvai ovTco TTOieZv. 

Nl, 'Q Avaip,axe, hoKeZs pot chg dXrjdcos HcoKpaTTj 

E TTarpodev yLyvcooKeiv p,6vov, avro) S' ov avyyeyo- 

^ Lit. " on the Carian slave." 

* i.e. on a large instead of a small piece of work, in 



succeeded in changing, by your care of them, from 
knaves to honest gentlemen. For if you are now 
going to make your first attempt at educating, you 
must beware lest you try your experiment, not on 
a corpus vile,^ but on your sons and the children of 
your friends, and you prove to be a mere case, as 
the proverbial saying has it, of starting pottery on 
a wine-jar.2 So tell us what you claim, or do not 
claim, as your resources and acquirements in this 
kind." There, Lysimachus, demand that from these 
good persons, and do not let them off. 

LYS. To my mind, good sirs, these remarks of 
Socrates are excellent : but it is for you, Nicias and 
Laches, to decide for yourselves whether it suits 
you to be questioned and offer some explanation on 
such points. For I and Melesias here would cer- 
tainly be delighted if you would consent to expound 
in detail all that Socrates puts to you in his ques- 
tions : as I began by saying at the outset, we invited 
you to consult with us just because we thought, very 
naturallv, that you had given serious consideration 
to this "kind of thing, especially as your boys, like 
ours, are almost of an age to be educated. Accord- 
ingly, if it is all the same to you, discuss it now by 
joint inquiry with Socrates, exchanging views with 
him in turn : for it is a particularly good remark of 
his that we are consulting now about the greatest 
of all our concerns. Come, see if you consider that 
this is the proper course to take. 

NIC. Lysimachus, it looks to me, in very truth, as 
though you only knew Socrates at second hand — 
through his father — and had not conversed with him 

-which a beginner's mistake would be less costly. Cf. Gorg. 
514 E. 



V€vaL aAA' -^ TraiSt ovri, et ttov iv rols Srjfxoraig 
jxera rov Trarpos olkoXovOcov iirXriaiacre aoi 7} ev 
Upip rj iv aXXo) tco avWoyco rcov Srj/jiOTcjv iTreiSr) 
8e TTpea^vrepos yeyovev, ovk lvTervxf]Ka)s rw 
avSpl SrjXos €L. 

AY. Tt pLoXiara, o) Nt/cta; 

NI. Ov p.01 8oK€LS elSevai, on, os a.v iyyvrara 
^ojKpdrovs rj [Adyo) coanep yeVet]^ /cat TrXrjaidl^r] 
StaXeyopbevos, dvdyKrj avrcp, edv dpa /cat Trepc 
dXXov rov TTporepov dp^rfrai hiaXeyeadai, pnq 
TTaveadat vtto tovtov TrepLayo/jievov tco Xoyco, Trptv 
dv ipuTTearj et? to StSdvat Trepl avrov Xoyov, ovriva 
188 TpoTTov vvv re ^fj /cat oVrtva rov TrapeXrjXvdora ^iov 
^e^LCOKCv eTretSav 8' ipbTreaj), on ov irporepov 
avrov d(f)T^a€i Ha>Kpdr7]S, Trplv dv ^aaavtaj] ravra 
ev re /cat KaXdJs aTtavra. iyd) Se avv-qO-qg re 
elfiL raJSe /cat otS' orL dvdyKrj vtto rovrov Traaxecv 
ravra, /cat en ye avros on 7reicro/xat ravra ev 
otSa- x^ipct} ydp, o) Avalpuaxe, rw dvSpl rrXr^aia^cov , 
/cat ovSev ot/xat /ca/cdv etvat to VTTopLip.vrjaKea9ai 
B o Tt p,rj KaXdJg 'q rreTTOir]Kap,ev r] rroiovp,ev, dXX eis 
rov eneira ^iov 7Tpop,r)decyrepov dvdyKr] elvat rov 
ravra pbrj <^evyovra, dXX ideXovra Kara ro rov 
HoXoiVOS Kal d^iovvra p,avddvet,v ecoairep dv t,fj, 
/cat /Lti7 olopievov avrcp ro yrjpas vovv e^ov Trpoa- 
leVat. e^ot /xet- ovv ovhev drjdeg ouS av arjoes 
VTTO TiCOKpdrovs ^aaavit^ecrdaL, dXXd Kal TraAat 
cr)(eh6v n '^viardp.rjv , on ov Trept rdJv pueipaKicov 
rifiLV 6 Xoyos eaoiro llcoKpdrovs Trapovros, aAAa 

* \&y(p ucirep yivei seel. Cron. 



personally except in his childhood, when you may 
have chanced to meet him among the people of his 
district, accompanying his father at the temple or 
at some local gathering. But you have evidently 
not yet had to do with him since he has reached 
maturer years. 

Lvs. How are you so sure of that, Nicias ? 

NIC. You strike me as not being aware that, who- 
ever comes into close contact ^\^th Socrates and has 
any talk with him face to face, is bound to be drawn 
round and round by him in the course of the argu- 
ment — though it may have started at first on a quite 
different theme — and cannot stop until he is led into 
giving an account of himself, of the manner in which 
he now spends his days, and of the kind of life he has 
lived hitherto ; and when once he has been led into 
that, Socrates >vill never let him go until he has 
thoroughly and properly put all his ways to the test. 
Now I am accustomed to him, and so I know that 
one is bound to be thus treated by him, and further, 
that I myself shall certainly get the same treatment 
also. For I dehght, Lysimachus, in conversing with 
the man, and see no harm in our being reminded of 
any past or present misdoing : nay, one must needs 
take more careful thought for the rest of one's life, 
if one does not fly from his words but is mlUng, as 
Solon said,^ and zealous to learn as long as one hves, 
•and does not expect to get good sense by the mere 
arrival of old age. So to me there is nothing unusual, 
or unpleasant either, in being tried and tested by 
Socrates ; in fact, I knew pretty well all the time 
that our argument would not be about the boys if 

^ Fr. 10 yrjpdaKw 5* aUi iroWa diSacTKopLfvoi, " I grow old 
learning ever more and more " ; see below, 189 a. 



C Trept -qficbv avTcijv. onep ovv Xlyoi, ro fxkv ifiou 
ovSev KcoXvei Soj/cparei ovvhiarpi^eiv ottcd? ovros 
jSoJAeraf Ad^rjra he Tovhe opa ottcos €)(€l irepl rov 

AA. 'AttAow to y' epLov, c5 NiKia, rrepl Xoycov 
eoTLV el he ^ovXei, ov)( drrXovu, dXXd hnrXovv. 
/cat yap dv So^at/zt rep (f)i.X6Xoyos elvai /cat av 
piLcroXoyos. orav p-ev yap d/couco dvhpos Trepl 
aperrjs hiaXeyopievov 7} Trepi tlvos ao(j>ias d)s dXrjdios 
ovros avhpos /cat d^iov rcov Xoycov Sv Xeyei, -x^aipca 

D VTTepcjjvws, Oecofievos dfxa rov re Xeyovra /cat to. 
Xey6p,eva on TrpeTVOvra aAAT^Aot? /cat dppiorrovrd 
earf /cat Kopuhfj p,OL So/cet pLOvaiKos 6 tolovtos 
elvai, dpfioviav KaXXiaTqv rjpp,oap,evos ov Xvpav 
ovSe vaiSids dpyava, dAAa rw ovri [tfjv -^ppboapievos 
oSy avTos avTov rov ^iov avp,<j>a>vov toXs Xoyois 
TTpos rd epya, dre)(v6js hcDpiarl dXX ovk laari, 
OLopLai 8e ovSe <f)pvyLaTi ovhe Xyhiari, dAA' rjTrep 
fjiovr] '^XXrjviK'q eariv dpfiovia. 6 p,ev ovv tolovtos 

E -x^aipeLV pie Troiet <f>deyy6pbevos /cat hoKeZv otcoovv 
(fiiXoXoyov elvai' ovtcx) a^ohpa dnoSexopiaL Trap* 
avTov rd Xeyopieva- 6 he rdvavTia tovtov irpaTTOiV 
XvTTeZ pie, oao) dv hoKrj dpieivov Xeyeiv, ToaovTcp 
pidXXov, /cat TTOtet av hoKelv elvai piiaoXoyov. Soj- 
KpaTOVS 8' eyd) tcov p,€v X6ya)v ovk ep,TTeip6s elpa, 
dXXd TTpoTepov, (hs eoLKe, twv epycov eTretpdOrjv, ■ 
Kat, e/cet avTov evpov d^tov ovTa Xoyojv KoXdJv /cat 

^ tv" vpfioa/j-^vos o5 seel. Baclham. 

* Laches plays with the two meanings of aTrXoDv — " I am 
single-minded (simple, straightforward) in such matters, 
that is, T should rather say, double-minded." 

* The different modes or scales in Greek music were 


Socrates were present, but about ourselves. Let me 
therefore repeat that tliere is no objection on my 
part to holding a debate with Socrates after the 
fashion that he likes ; but you must see how Laches 
here feels on the matter. 

LACH. I have but a single mind,^ Nicias, in regard 
to discussions, or if you hke, a double rather than a 
single one. For you might think me a lover, and yet 
also a hater, of discussions : for when I hear a man 
discussing virtue or any kind of wisdom, one who is 
truly a man and worthy of his argument, I am ex- 
ceedingly delighted ; I take the speaker and his 
speech together, and observe how they sort and 
harmonize with each other. Such a man is exactly 
what I understand by " musical," — he has tuned 
himself with the fairest harmony, not that of a lyre 
or other entertaining instrument, but has made a 
true concord of his own life between his words and 
his deeds, not in the Ionian, no, nor in the Phrygian 
nor in the Lydian, but simply in the Dorian mode,- 
which is the sole Hellenic harmony. Such a man 
makes me rejoice with his utterance, and anyone 
would judge me then a lover of discussion, so eagerly 
do I take in what he says : but a man who shows the 
opposite character gives me pain, and the better he 
seems to speak, the more I am pained, with the 
result, in this case, that I am judged a hater of 
discussion. Now of Socrates' words I have no ex- 
perience, but formerly, I fancy, I have made trial of 
his deeds ; and there I found him hving up to any 

associated with different moral feelings. The Dorian was 
most favoured, as having a manly, stately character : the 
Ionian was more passionate and contentious. The Phrygian 
and Lydian were foreign modes, on the character of which 
there were various opinions. Cf. Rep. 398-99. 




TTaarjs TTapprjaias . ei ovv /cat rovro ex^L, avfj,- 
(SovXo/jLaL TOLvSpi, Kal -qSiar* av c^era^oifxrjv vrro 
rov TOLOVTov, Kal ovK av dxdoifjLrjv fxavddvcov, dXXd 
Kai eyo) rw SdAwvi, ev [jlovov TrpocrXa^cov, avyx<^poJ' 
yrjpdaKcvv yap TToXXd StSacr/cecr^at eOeXo) vtto XPV' 
crrwv fiovov. tovto ydp fioi cruyxcopeiTO), dyadov 
/cat avrov etvat rov 8i,SdcrKaXov, iva fxr) SvapLadrjs 
(fialvcvfiai dr]Scos fJ-avOdvcov el he vecvrepos 6 8t8a- 
B oKcov karat rj /xt^ttcj iv 86^r} cov rj ri dXXo rojv 
TOLovTOiv exojv, ovSev p.oL fxeXei. aol ovv, co 
TiOiKpares, eyd) eVayyeAAo/xat /cat StSacr/cetv /cat 
eXeyx^iv ifie 6 ri av ^ovXr], /cat jxavOdveLV ye 6 tl 
av eyd) otSa- ovroi av irap' epLol Sta/cetcrat dir^ 
eKeivrjs Trjs rjfiepag, fj /mct' ep.ov avvhieKLvhvvevaas 
/cat eScoKas aavrov ireZpav dperrjs, rjv XPV hcSovai, 
rov pLeXXovra hiKaioiS hcoaeiv. Xey* ovv 6 ri aoi 
(/)iXov, fMTjSev rrjv r^jxerepav rjXiKLav inroXoyov 


2n. Ov rd vjxerepa, cos eoiKev, alrtaaofxeda fxr) 
ovx eroLfia elvai Kal avfi^ovXeveiv Kal avaKOTreZv. 

AT. AAA' rj/xerepov 8r] epyov, co HcoKpares' eva 
yap ae eycoye rjfxcjv riOiqixi' aKonei ovv avr efxov 
virep rdJv veaviaKOJV, d ri SeofxeOa Trapd rwvhe 
TWvddveadaL, Kal avfx^ovXeve SiaXeyofievos rovrotg. 
eyd) fiev ydp Kal emXavddvojJLai rjSr} rd TToXXd Sid 
rrjv 7)XLKiav (Lv av Scavo-qOoJ epeadat /cat av a av 
dKovaa>- edv Se fxera^v d'AAot Aoyoi yevcovrai, ov 
iravv fxefMVTjfxat. Vfxels ovv Xeyere Kal Ste^tre 
D TTpos vfids avrovs irepl Sv 7rpovdep,eda- eydi S' 

^ This instance of Socrates' intrepidity (at Delium, cf. 
above, 181 b) is more fully described by Alcibiades in the 
Symposium (221). 


fine words however freely spoken. So if he has 
that gift as well, his wish is mine, and I should be 
very glad to be cross-examined by such a man, and 
should not chafe at learning ; but I too agree %vith 
Solon, while adding just one word to his saying : I 
should like, as I. grow old, to learn more and more, 
but only from honest folk. Let him concede to me 
that my teacher is himself good — else I shall disUke 
my lessons and be judged a dunce — but if you say 
that my teacher is to be a younger man, or one who 
so far has no reputation, or anything of that sort, 
I care not a jot. I therefore invite you, Socrates, 
both to teach and to refute me as much as you 
please, and to learn too what I on my part know ; 
such is the position you hold in my eyes since 
that day on which you came through the same 
danger with me,^ and gave a proof of your own 
valour which is to be expected of anyone who 
hopes to justify his good name. So say whatever 
you like, leaving out of account the difference of 
our ages. 

soc. You two, it seems, will give us no ground for 
complaint on the score of your not being ready 
to join both in advising and in inquiring. 

LYS. No, but the matter now rests with us, Socrates; 
for I venture to count you as one of us. So take my 
place in inquiring on behalf of the young men ; 
make out what it is that we want our friends here 
to tell us, and be our ad\iser by discussing it with 
them. For I find that o\A'ing to my age I forget the 
questions I intend to put, and also the answers I 
receive ; and if the discussion changes in the middle, 
my memory goes altogether. Do you therefore dis- 
cuss and elucidate our problem among yourselves ; 



aKovaofxai koI aKovcras aS [xera M.eXrjalov touSc 
TTOi-qao) Tovro 6 ri av /cat Vfjblv SoKrj. 

2n. Heicrreov, co NiKta re /cat Adxt]?, Kvaiixaxoi 
Koi MeXTjorta. d fiev ovv vvv Sr] irrex^i-pT^cranev 
(JKOTTeZv, Ttves" ot StSacr/caAot rjixiv TrJ9 roLaurrj^ 
TratSeta? yeyovaacv t] rivas aXXovs ^eXrtovs ttc- 
voi-^Kanev, lacos jxkv ov KaKcos e;\;et i^erd^CLV /cat 
E TO. TOiavra rjfjids avrovs' aAA' otfjuai /cat rj rotaSe 
(TKeifjis els Tavrov <f>epei, crxedov 8e rt /cat /LtaAAov 
€^ d-pxrjs etr] dv. el yap Tvyxdvojjiev eTTicrrdfievoi 
oTovovi' TTepi, OTt TTapayevofxcvov tco ^eXriov 
TTOiel eKelvo &■ Ttapeyevero, /cat Trpoaert oloi re 
eafjiev avro Troielv TrapayiyveaOai e/cetVa», hr]Xov 
on avro ye 'iap,ev rovro, ov nepi, avp,^ovXoi dv 
yevoipieda cos dv ris avro pdara Kal dpiar' dv 
Krrjaairo. tacos ovv ov pbavddvere puov 6 ri Xeyco, 
dXX' d)8e paov piaOrjaeode. el rvy^dvopiev eTn- 
190 ardpLevoL, on oiJjls Trapayevopievr] 6(f)daXpt,ols ^eX- 
riovs TTOtet eKeivovs ols Trapeyevero, /cat Trpoaen 
oloi re eapt.ev TTOieZv avrrjv TrapayiyveaQaL o^/xacrt, 
hfiXov on difjiv ye 'iapiev avrrjv 6 ri iror eanv, rjs 
TTepi avpi^ovXoi dv yevoipLeda (hs dv ti? avrr)v 
pdara /cat dpiara Kriqaairo. el yap pLrjS^ avro 
rovro elSelpiev, o ri vor' earnv oipts rj 6 n eanv 
a/co7^, crxoXfj dv avpi^ovXoi ye d'^tot Xoyov yevoip,eda 
/cat larpol rj rrepl 6(f)daXp,cov r) nepl (vrcxjv, ovnva 
B rpoTTOV aKOTjv rj oi/jlv /caAAtcrr' dv Kr^qaairo ns. 

AA. *AXr]9rj Xeyeis, c5 HwKpares. 

5ft. OvKOVv, o) Adxy]S, Kal vvv rjpLas rc68e irapaKa- 
Xeirov els avp.^ovXrjv, riv' dv rpoirov rols vleatv 
avrojv dperr) napayevopievr] rats ilivxaZs dpceivovs 
7roLT]aeLev ; 


and I will listen, and then with my friend Melesias 
I will act at once upon whatever may be your 

soc. Let us do, Nicias and Laches, as Lysimachus 
and Melesias bid us. Now the questions that we 
attempted to consider a while ago — " Who have been 
our teachers in this sort of training ? What other 
persons have we made better?" — are perhaps of 
a kind on which we might well examine ourselves : 
but I believe this other way of inquiring leads to the 
same thing, and will probably also start more from 
the beginning. For if we happen to know of such 
and such a thing that by being joined to another 
thing it makes this thing better, and further, if we 
are able to get the one joined to the other, we 
obviously know the thing itself on which we might 
be consulting as to how it might be best and most 
easily acquired. Now I daresay you do not grasp 
my meaning. Well, you will grasp it more easily 
in this way. If we happen to know that sight joined 
to eyes makes those eyes the better for it, and further 
if we are able to get it joined to eyes, we obviously 
know what this faculty of sight is, on which we might 
be consulting as to how it might be best and most 
easily acquired. For if we did not know first of all 
what sight or hearing is, we should hardly prove 
ourselves consultants or physicians of credit in the 
matter of eyes or ears, and the best way of acquiring 
sight or hearing. 

LACH. Truly spoken, Socrates. 

soc. And you know, Laches, at this moment our 
two friends are inviting us to a consultation as to the 
way in which virtue may be joined to their sons' 
souls, and so make them better ? 



AA. Hdvv ye. 

2n. *A/o' ovv rovTO y inrapx^iv Set, to elScvai 

o Tt TTOT eariv aperrj; el yap ttov ftr^S' dperr)V 

elSetfxev to TrapaTrav o ri TTore Tvy)(dveL 6v, riv^dv 

C rpoTTOV TOVTOV avfx^ovXoi yevoLfxeOa orcoovv, ottcos 

dv avro KoXXiara KT'qaaLTo; 

AA. OvSeva, efjMiye So/cet, c5 TicoKpares. 

5fl. Oa/Ltev dpa, <L Adx^jS, etSeVat avro o ri ecrriv. 

AA. ^afxev fxevTOL. 

2n. OvKow o ye lafiev, kov eLTTOLfiev B-qnov ri 

AA. Tiios yap ov; 

2n. M-)7 roLVVv, c3 dpiare, Trepl oXt]? dperijs ev- 

Oecog aKOTTcofieda' ttXcov yap tacos epyov dXXd 

jjbepovs Tivo? 7T€pi TTpdJTOV tSojfxev, el iKavibs exo/xev 

D npos TO etSeVat* /cat rjfiXv, d)S to elKos, pdcov rj 

OKeipi's eoTai. 

AA. 'AAA' ovTio TTOLcijpLev, CO HwKpaTcg, d)S crv 

2X1. Tt ovv dv TTpoeXoLfxeda tcov ttjs dpeTrjg 
fjiepaJv; r] SrjXov Srj otl tovto els o Teiveiv SoKel 
rj ev Tolg ottAoi? fxdd-qaLs; SoKel 8e ttov tols 
TToXXoLS els dvhpeiav. rj ydp; 

iVA. Kat jjidXa Srj ovroj SoKeX. 

2X1. TovTO Toivvv TTpdJTOv emxeiprja(jjp,ev , a> 
Aa)(r}s, elirelv, dvhpeia tl ttot* eaTLV eireiTa fxeTa 
TOVTO aKeijjojxeda /cat otco dv TpoTTCo tols veaviaKois 
E TTapayevoiTO , Kad^ oaov olov t€ e^ iTnTrjSev/JLaTCDV 
re /cat {xadrjixaTcov Trapayeveadai. dXXd Treipd) 
ehreZv o Xeyoj, tl cgtlv dvhpeia. 

AA. Ov jxd Tov Ala, o) HojKpaTes, ov x^XeTTov 
emelv el ydp tis edeXoi ev ttj Td^et fjievcov dfxvve- 


LACH. Yes, indeed. 

soc. Then our first requisite is to know what ^^rtue ^ 
is ? For surely, if we had no idea at all what virtue 
actually is, we could not possibly consult with any- 
one as to how he might best acquire it ? 

LACH. I certainly think not, Socrates. 

soc. Then we say, Laches, that we know what it is. 

LACH. I suppose we must. 

soc. And of that which we know, I presume, we 
can also say what it is. 

LACK. To be sure. 

soc. Let us not, therefore, my good friend, inquire 
forthwith about the whole of \irtue, since that may 
well be too much for us ; but let us first see if we are 
sufficiently provided with knowledge about some part 
of it. In all hkelihood this will make our inquiry 

LACH. Yes, let us do as you propose, Socrates. 

soc. Then which of the parts of \-irtue shall we 
choose ? Clearly, I think, that which the art of 
fighting in armour is supposed to promote ; and 
that, of course, is generally supposed to be courage, 
is it not ? 

LACH. Yes, it generally is, to be sure. 

soc. Then let our first endeavour be. Laches, to 
say what courage is : after that we can proceed to 
inquire in what way our young men may obtain it, 
in so far as it is to be obtained by means of pursuits 
and studies. Come, try and tell me, as I suggest, 
what is courage. 

LACK. On my word, Socrates, that is nothing diffi- 
cult : anyone who is willing to stay at his post and 

* Here, and in what follows, " virtue " embraces the 
accomplishments and excellences of a good citizen. 

VOL. IV C 45 


adai Tovs TToXefjLLovs /cat fj,r] (f)€vyoL, ev ladi on 
dvSpetos av e'irj. 

sn. Eu fiev Aeyet?, w AdxrjS' aXX' taios iyco 
aiTiog, ov aa(f)(jog eiTTCov, to ae anTOKpivaadaL /xr] 
rovTO o Stavoovfievos 'qpofx-qv, oAA' erepov. 

AA. Ylcbs TOVTO XeyeLS, a> SaJ/cpaTe?; 
191 2n. 'Eyo) <f>pdaa>, edv ofd? re yevco/xaL. dv- 
Spelos 7TOV ovTos, ov Kal ai) Xeyeig, o? dv ev rfj rd^ei 
fievcDV fidx^jTat rots TToXefiioig. 

AA. 'Eyco yovv ^rjp,i. 

2n. Kat yap eyd>. aXXd tL av dhe, o? dv <j)evyoiv 
fidx^jTat, roLS TToAe/Ltt'ot?, aAAa pir] p,evcov; 

AA. Udjs (f)evycov; 

2n. "Q.GTTep 7TOV Kal JjKvdai Xeyovrai ovx "^ttov 
<f)evyovres r} SicoKovres fxdxeadai, /cat "Opirjpos ttov 
€7Taii'djv Tovs rod Alveiov lttttovs Kpatrrvd p-dX 
B evda Kal ev6a €(f)7] avrovs eTTLaraadat, SicoKeLV rjSe 
<j>e^eaOaL' Kal avrov tov Alveiav Kara rovr* ev- 
eKcopiiaae, Kara rr]v rod (f)6^ov €7ncrr'qp,r)v, Kal emev 
avrov elvai pL'qcrrojpa (j)6^oLo. 

AA. Kat KoXcbg ye, c3 Saj/cpares" Ttepl dppidrcov 
yap eXeye- /cat ai) ro rojv HkvOcov iTnrecuv Trepi 
Xeyeis. ro p.ev yap lttttlkov [ro eKeivcov] ovtco 
fidx^rat,, ro 8e OTrXiriKov [ro ye rcov 'EAAt^vcov],^ 
cos iyd) Xeyco. 

2n. nX-^v y' tacos, CO AdxrjS, ro AaKeBatpLOVLOJV . 

C AaKeSaipLOVLOvs ydp <j)aaLV ev JlAaratats', eTreiSr] 

TTpos rots yeppo(f)6pois eyevovro, ovk edeXetv pLevov- 

^ TO sKeivuv, t6 ye tQv 'EW^^vuv om. papyr. Arsin. 

* II. viii. 107-108. Socrates pretends to take the hero's 
epithet "prompter of fright" (in the enemy) as meaning 



face the enemy, and does not run away, you may be 
sure, is courageous. 

soc. Rightly spoken. Laches; but I fear I am to 
blame, by not putting it clearly, for your having 
answered not the intention of my question, but 
something else. 

LACH. What do you mean by that, Socrates ? 

soc. I \\i\\ explain, so far as I can : let us take that 
man to be courageous who, as you describe him 
yourself, stays at his post and fights the enemy. 

LACH. I, for one, agree to that. 

soc. Yes, and I do too. But what of this other 
kind of man, who fights the enemy while fleeing, 
and not staying ? 

LACH. How fleeing ? 

soc. Well, as the Scythians are said to fight, as 
much fleeing as pursuing ; and as you know Homer 
says in praise of Aeneas' horses, that they knew 
" how to pursue and to flee in fright full s\viftly 
this way and that way ; " and he glorifies Aeneas 
himself for this very knowledge of fright, calDng 
him " prompter of fright."^ 

LACH. And very properly too, Socrates ; for he 
was speaking of chariots ; and so are you speaking 
of the mode of the Scythian horsemen. That is the 
way of cavalry fighting ; but with men-at-arms it is 
as I state it.^ 

soc. Except, perhaps, Laches, in the case of the 
Spartans. For they say that at Plataea, when the 
Spartans came up to the men with wicker shields, 

that he prompted fright in himself and his side, and so knew 
all about the feeling. 

* i.e. they stand fast at their posts in the ranks (above, 
191 a). 



Ttt? irpos avTovs fidxecrdaL, dXXa (f)€vy€i,v, iTreiBrj 
B* iXydrjuav alra^eis twv YlepaaJv, a.vaarpe<f)OiJLivovs 
coairep tTTTrea? fidx^aOai /cat ovtoj VLKrjaai rriv 
€K€l fjLaxrjv. 

AA. ^AXrjOrj Aeyet?. 

2n. TovTO Toivvv dprt, eXeyov, otl iyo) atrio^ 
fiT] KaXciJs ere dvoKpLvaaOaL, on ov koAcD? 'qpop.rjv. 
D ^ovXofievos ydp aov irvdeadai firj fiovov tovs ev 
TO) ottXltikw dvBpelovs, dXXd /cat rovs ev roJ 
iTTTTLKCp /cat ev arvjjLTTavTL TO) TToXepnKO) €tSet, /cat 
//,i7 fiovov Toiis €v ru) TToXefxco, dXXd /cat roiis ev 
rols TTpos TTjv ddXarrav kivSvvols dvhpeiovs ovrag, 
/cat oaoi ye irpos voaovs /cat ocrot Trpos irevias i) 
Kal TTpos rd TToAiTt/ca dvhpeloi clat, /cat ert av fir] 
fjLovov ocroi rrpos XvTras dvSpetoC eicriv 7} <j>6^ovs, 
dXXd /cat TTpds CTTtdv/jLLas rj rjSovds Setvoi p,dx€&daL, 
E /cat pi€vovT€S rj dvaaTp€(f>ovT€S — etcri ydp ttov rives, 
<L Adx'QS, Kal €v rots roiovroig dvSpeioi. 

AA. Kat a(f)6Spa, o) Sco/c/Dare?. 

2G. OvKOVv dvBpeioi fxkv irdwes ovtol claiv, 
oAA ot /xev ev rjoovais, ot o ev Avrrais, 01 o ev 
emdvp^iaLS ol S' ev ^o^ols rrjv avSpetav KeKTrjvTaf 
ot Se y\ ot/zat, SetAiat' ev rols avrols Tovrofs. 

AA. Yidvv ye. 

2fl. Ti TTOTe ov eKdrepov tovtcdv, tovto irrvvda- 
vofjirjv. TrdXiv ovv TretpcD eiTrelv dvhpeiav Trpajrov, 
ri ov ev Trdat rovrois rainov ecrnv ^ ovttoj /cara- 
fiavOdveig o Xeyco; 

AA. Ov rrdvv ti. 

^ In the final struggle at Plataea (479 b.c.) the Spartans 
at first hesitated before the barrier of wicker shields opposed 



they were not willing to stand and fight against 
these, but fled ; when, however, the Persian ranks 
were broken, the Spartans kept turning round and 
fighting like cavalry, and so won that great battle.^ 

LACH. What you say is true. 

soc. And so this is what I meant just now by 
saying that I was to blame for your ^\Tong answer, 
by putting my question \^Tongly. For I wanted to 
have your \iew not only of brave men-at-arms, but 
also of courage in cavalry and in the entire warrior 
class ; and of the courageous not only in war but in 
the perils of the sea, and all who in disease and 
poverty, or again in pubUc affairs, are courageous ; 
and further, all who are not merely courageous 
against pain or fear, but doughty fighters against 
desires and pleasures, whether standing their ground 
or turning back upon the foe — for I take it. Laches, 
there are courageous people in all these kinds. 

LACH. Very much so, Socrates. 

soc. Then all these are courageous, only some have 
acquired courage in pleasures, some in pains, some 
in desires and some in fears, while others, I conceive, 
have acquired cowardice in these same things. 

LACH. To be sure. 

soc. What either of them^ is — that is what I 
wanted to know. So try again, and tell me first 
what is this thing, courage, which is the same in all 
of these cases ; or do you still not comprehend my 
meaning ? 

LACH. Not very well. 

to them by the Persians ; but by a supreme effort they broke 
through and defeated the Persians by turning on them in 
man-to-man combat. Cf. Herod, ix. 61-2. 
* i.e. courage and cowardice. 



192 2Jl. AAA' c5Se Ae'ycu, coarrep av el ra^os rjpa)- 
Tcov TL TTOT eoTLV , o Kal iv Tip Tpex^Lv Tvy)(dveL ov 
r]fiXv Kal iv rep KidapiH^eiv /cat ev rep Xeyecv Kal iv 
TO) [xavdavcLV Kal iv aAAot? ttoXXols, Kal crxeSov ri 
avTO K€KT'qpt,eda, oS /cat Trept a^iov Xiyeiv, ■^ iv 
Tat? Tcjv x^i'P^v TTpd^eaiv rj arKeXcov rj oro/xaros' 
T€ Kai (f)a)vrjg ^ Siavoias' ^ ovx ovro) Kal ai) Xiyetg; 

AA. ria^'y ye. 

2fl. El roLvvv ris /xe epoiro' c5 Sctj/cpare?, tl 
AeyeLS tovto, o iv irdaiv ovofxa^eis raxvTrjra 
B etvai; enroLpt, dv avrcp, on rrjv iv dXtycp XP^^V 
TToXXd hLaTTparropLev-qv hvvap.LV raxvrrJTa eywye 
KaXdj Kal Trept (fxoinjv Kal nepl hp6p,ov Kal Trept 
raAAa Trdvra. 

AA. Opdcos ye av Xeywv. 

2n. Heipw 817 /cat crv, cS Adx^]?, rrjv dvBpeiav 
ovrois elTTelv, ris ovaa SvvapLis rj avrrj iv rjSovfj 
KaL iv XvTTT) Kal iv aTTaaiv of? vvv Srj iXeyojxev 
avrrjv eivai, eVetra dvSpeia K€KXr]rai. 

AA. AoKel roivvv p.oL Kaprepia rt? efv'at ttjs 
ifjvxrjs, el TO ye hid Trdvroiv [irepl avSpeta?]*^ Trecfiv- 
Kos Set eiTTetv. 
C Sn. 'AAAa p,r]v Set, et ye to ipcorcopievov a-noKpi- 
vovpLeOa rjpbZv avrols. tovto toIvvv epboiye <^ai- 
V€Tai, OTC ovTt irdad ye, cu? iycpp,at, Kaprepia 
dvhpeia crot ^atVeraf re/c/zatpo/xat 8e ivdevSe' <yx^' 
86v yap TL otSa, cL Adx'QS, otl rdjv ttovv koXcov 
TTpaypbarcov rjyfj av dvhpeiav elvai, 

^ Trept dvdpeias secl. Badham. 


soc. I mean in this way : suppose, for instance, 1 
were asking you what is quickness, as we find it in 
running and harping, in speaking and learning, and 
in many other activities, and as possessed by us 
practically in any action worth mentioning, whether 
of arms or legs, or mouth or voice, or mind : or do 
you not use the word so ? 
LACH. Yes, to be sure. 

soc. Well then, suppose someone asked me : 
Socrates, what do you mean by this thing which 
in all cases you term quickness ? My reply 
would be : The faculty that gets a great deal 
done in a little time is what I call quickness, whether 
in a voice or in a race or in any of the other 

LACH. Your statement would be quite correct, 
soc. So now try and tell me on your part, Laches, 
about courage in the same way : what faculty is it, 
the same whether in pleasure or in pain or in any 
of the things in which we said just now it was to be 
found, that has been singled out by the name of 
courage ? 

LACH. Well then, I take it to be a certain en- 
durance of the soul, if I am to speak of the natural 
quality that appears in them all. 

soc. Why, of course we must, if we are each to 
answer the other's actual question. Now it appears 
to me that by no means all endurance, as I conceive 
it, can appear to you to be courage. And my 
grounds for thinking so are these : I am almost 
certain. Laches, that you rank courage among the 
nobler qualities. 



AA. E5 fj,€v ovv tadi on rcbv /caAAtWcov. 

Sfl. OvKOVu 7] ix€v ixera (fipovqaecDS /ca/arcpta 
KoXrj Kayad-q; 

AA. Udvv ye. 
D 2n. Tt S' rj fier* a^pocr6v7]s ; ov rovvavrlov 
TavTTj pXa^epa Kal KaKovpyos; 

AA. Nat. 

sn. KoAoi/ ow Tt <j)riaeLs oi) etvai to tolovtov, 
ov KaKovpyov re Kal ^Xa^epov ; 

AA. OvKovv BiKaiov ye, cb Sca/c/oare?. 

2n. OvK dpa r-qv ye roLavTTjv Kapreplav avhpeiav 
ofjioXoyrjaeis eluai, eTTeiSrjTTep ov koXtj eanv, t] 
he avhpeia koXov eanv. 

AA. *AXr]6rj Aeyei?. 

2fl. *H (f)p6vL[jbos dpa Kaprepia Kara rov aov 
Xoyov dvhpeia dv etr]. 

AA. "Eoi/cei/. 
E 2n. "IScofxev St], 17 els ri ^povijxos; tj rj els 
drravra Kal rd pueydXa Kal rd ap-iKpa; olov et ns 
KaprepeZ dvaXtcTKCDV dpyvptov ^povipnos , elhojs 
OTL dvaXcoaas TvXeov eKT-^aeraL, tovtov dvSpelov 
KaXoLS dv; 

AA. Ma At" OVK eycoye. 

2n. 'AAA' OLOV et ns larpos cov, TTepnrXevfiovLa rov 
vleos exopievov rj dXXov tlvos Kal Seofievov Trielv 
■^ (f}ayeZv hovvai, pLrj KapiTTTOiTO dXXd KaprepoZ; 
193 AA. Oi5S' oTTcoanovv ouS' av-rq. 

sn. 'AAA' ev TToXe/JLcp Kaprepovvra dvSpa Kal 
iOeXovra pidx^oOaL, (fipovipicos Xoyilopievov, elSora 
fxev on ^OTjd'qaovaiv aAAoi avTip, Trpos eXdrrovs he 




LACH. Nay, among the noblest, you may be quite 

soc. And endurance joined with wisdom is noble 
and good ? 

LACH, Very much so. 

soc. But what of it when joined with folly } Is it 
not, on the contrary, hurtful and mischievous ? 

LACH. Yes. 

soc. And can you say that such a thing is noble, 
when it is both mischievous and hurtful ? 

LACK. Not \sith any justice, Socrates. 

soc. Then you will not admit that such an en- 
durance is courage, seeing that it is not noble, 
whereas courage is a noble quahty. 

L.\CH. That is true. 

soc. So, by your account, wise endurance will be 

LACH. Apparently. 

soc. Now let us see in what it is wise. In all 
things, whether great or small ? For instance, if a 
man endures in spending money wisely, because he 
knows that by spending he will gain more, would 
you call him courageous .'' 

LACH. On my word, not I. 

soc. Or what do you call it in the case of a 
doctor who, when his son or anyone else is 
suffering from inflanunation of the lungs and begs 
for something to drink or eat, inflexibly and endur- 
ingly refuses .'' 

LACH. That is no case of it, in any sense, 

soc. Well now, when a man endures in war, and is 
willing to fight, on a wise calculation whereby he knows 
that others will come to his aid, and that the forces 

VOL. IV c 2 53 


Kal <f)avXoT€povs fxaxelrai rj fxed^ (Lv auro? iariv, 
€Ti, Se )(copLa e)(€L Kpeirrco, tovtov tov fiera rijg 
ToiavTTjs (fypovqaecos /cat TrapaaKevrjs Kaprepovvra 
avSpeiorepov av (f)aLrjs rj tov iv rw evavrico 
arparoTTeSo) ideXovra VTrofieveiv t€ koI Kap- 
B AA. Tov ivTcp evavTLO), e/xotye So/cet, w HcoKpares. 

2n. 'AAAo. fiTjv a(f>povear4pa ye rj tovtov rj rj 
TOV €T€pov KapTepia. 

AA. 'AXrjdrj Xeyeis. 

2n. Kat TOV fM€T^ cTTLaT'qpLrjg apa mTnKrjs KapTC- 
povvTa iv L7T7TOfx,axi'0. '^TTOV <f>rja€ts dvSpelov etvai 
7j TOV avev iTnaTijjjLrjs . 

AA. "E/Lioiye So/cet. 
C 2n. Kat TOV /Ltero, a(f>€vSovrjTt.K'rjs rj TO^CKrjs r] 
aAA?^? Tivos Te)(vr]g KapTepovvTa. 

AA. Hdvv ye. 

2n. Kat oCTOt dv edeXcoaiv els <f>peap KaTa^aivov- 
Tes Kat KoXv/Ji^aJVTes KapTepeiv iv tovtco tco epyw, 
firj ovT€s ScLVOL, rj ev tivi dXXcp toiovtco, dvSpetoTe- 
povs ^Tjaeis tCov to-vto. SeivcDf . 

AA. Tt ydp dv Tis dXXo <f>aLrj, w HcoKpaTes; 

2fl. OvSiv, etrrep oIolto ye ovtojs. 

AA. 'AAAo, ixrjv OLfiaL ye. 

2n. Kat fxrjv ttov d(f>poveaT€paJS ye, c5 Adxr)9, 
at ToiovTOL KLvSwevoval re /cat KapTepovaiv rj ol 
/LieTct TexyrjS avTO rrpaTTOVTes. 

AA. OatVovTttt. 
D 2n. OvKovv alcrxpd rj d(f)pa)v ToXjxa tc /cat 
KapTeprjats iv tco Trpoadev i<f)dv7j rjjxlv ovaa /cai 

AA. Ilavy ye. 


against him will be fewer and feebler than those 
who are wth him, and when he has besides the 
advantage of position, — would you say of this man, 
if he endures with such wisdom and preparation, 
that he, or a man in the opposing army who is 
wilUng to stand up against him and endure, is the 
more courageous ? 

LACH. The man opposed to him, I should say, 

see. But yet his endurance is more foolish than 
that of the first man. 

LACH. That is true. 

soc. So you would say that he who in a cavalry 
fight endures with a knowledge of horsemanship is 
less courageous than he who endures without it. 

LACH. Yes, I think so. 

soc. And he who endures vnih a skill in slinging 
or shooting or other such art. 

LACH. To be sure. 

soc. And anyone who agrees to descend into a 
well, and to dive, and to endure in this or other such 
action, without being an adept in these things, you 
would say is more courageous than the adepts. 

LACH. Yes, for what else can one say, Socrates ? 

soc. Nothing, pro^ided one thinks so. 

LACH. But I do think it. 

soc. And you observe, I suppose, Laches, that 
persons of this sort are more foolish in their risks 
and endurances than those who do it with proper 

LACH. Evidently. 

soc. Now, we found before that foolish boldness 
and endurance are base and hurtful ? 

LACK. Quite so. 



2n. *H Be ye avSpela (hfioXoyeZro koXov ti 

AA. ' Q-fMoXoyetro yap. 

2n. Nw 8' aS vaXiv (l)aiJ.€V eKeivo to alaxpov, 
rrjv d(f)pova Kapreprjacv, dvSpelav elvai. 

AA. 'EotVa/xev'. 

2fl. KaXa>s ovv aoi SoKov/xev Xiyeiv; 

AA. Ma rov Hi , oj IjioKpares, efxoL fiev ov. 

2n. OvK dpa TTOV Kara rov aov Xoyov hcopiOTi 
E rjpfJLocTfieda iyo) re Kal av, c5 AdxrjS' rd yap epya 
ov crvfji(f>a>v€l rj/jiLV rols XoyoLS. epycp jxev yap, 
(Ls €OLK€, (fiaiTj dv ris rjfjids dvSpeias pLerexeiv, 
Xoycp 8', (hs eyoi/xat, ovK dv, el vvv rjfMcov aKOvoeie 

AA. ' AX-qOearrara Xeyets. 

2n. Ti ovv; SoKel koXov etvat ovtcds "qfidg 8ta- 

AA. Oi)8' oTTCoariovv . 

2n. BouAet ovv a> Xeyofxev 7Tet.da)/xeda to ye to- 


194 2n. Toj Xoycx) OS Kaprepelv KeXevei. el ovv 
^ovXei, /cat rjfJiels errl ttj ^rjT'qaei eTTifxetvajfiev re 
/cat KapTep'qacofiev, Iva Kal fjirj rj/jicov avTTj rj dvSpeta 
KaTayeXdcrr] , oTt ovk dvhpeiojs avrrjv t,T)Toviiev, el 
dpa TToAAa/cts" avTrj rj Kaprep-qals ecmv dvhpeia. 

AA. 'Eyco p,ev eroLfios, co ^coKpares, ^ir] Trpoadti- 

araaOaf Kairoi d-rjdrjs y' elpX r&v roiovroiv Xoytuv 

oAAa ris /x€ /cat (jyiXoviKia etXr](f)e Trpos rd elprjfxeva, 

B /cat d>s dXrjddJs dyavaKrd), el ovrcoal d vou) firj 



soc. But courage was admitted to be something 

LACH. Yes, it was. 

soc. WTiereas now, on the contrary, we say that 
this base thing — fooUsh endurance — is courage. 

LACH. Apparently. 

soc. Then do you think our statement is correct ? 

LACH. On my word, Socrates, not I. 

soc. Hence I presume that, on your showing, you 
and I, Laches, are not tuned to the Dorian harmony : 
for our deeds do not accord with our words. By 
our deeds, most likely, the world might judge us 
to have our share of courage, but not by our words, 
I fancy, if they should hear the way we are talking 

LACH. That is very true. 

soc. Well now, does it seem right that we should 
be in such a condition ? 

LACH. Not by any means. 

soc. Then do you mind if we accept our statement 
to a certain point ? 

LACH. To what point do you mean, and what 
statement ? 

soc. That which enjoins endurance. And, if you 
please, let us too be steadfast and enduring in our 
inquiry, so as not to be ridiculed by courage herself 
for faihng to be courageous in our search for her, 
when we might perchance find after all that this 
very endurance is courage. 

LACH. For my part I am ready, Socrates, to con- 
tinue without faltering ; and yet I am unaccustomed 
to discussions of this sort. But a certain ambitious 
ardour has got hold of me at hearing what has been 
said, and I am truly vexed at finding myself unable 



OLOS T €LfjLL €LTT€lv . voeZv fjih' yap e/xotye Sokw 
irepL avSpelas o n eartv, ovk oiSa 8' ottj] /xe apri 
hL€(f)vyGV, ware pbrj avXXa^eZv raJ Xoyco avTTjv /cat 
enrelv o ri eariv. 

2fl. OvKovv, CO (j>lXe, Tov dyadov Kvvriyiriqv 
fieradetv XP"^ '<'cit fir) dvievai. 

AA. HavrdnaaL fxev ovv. 

2n. BouAet ovp Kal NiKiav rovSe TrapaKaXoJfjiev 
6771 TO KVVTjyeaiov, et Ti rj/xaJv evTTopcLrepog iartv; 
C AA. BovAofiaf TTcog yap ov; 

2n. "Wl hrj, (L Nt/cta, dvSpdcri, (fyiXois ;\;€i/xa^o/xe- 
vois iv Xoyo) Kal dTropovac ^orjdrjoov , et nva €\€ls 
Svva/jiLV. rd p,kv yap Srj rjixirepa opas (os dnopa' 
ai) 8' €L7T(hv o Ti rjyfj dvSpeiav etvai, rjfids re rijg 
aTTopias e/cAucrat /cat avTos d voelg ro) Xoyip ^e- 

Nl. Ao/cetre roivvv /xot TraAat ov KaXcvg, co 
HcoKpare'S , opi^eudai rrjv dv^peiav o yap iyd> aov 
tJSt] KoXdJs XeyovTOS dK-^Koa, rovrcp ov XPV^^^- 

2n. Ilotaj §7^, a> NiKta; 
D Nl. YloXXaKig aKrjKod aov Xeyovros, on ravra 
ayaOos eKaaros rjficov, dnep aocfyo^, d 8e aiiadrjs, 
ravra 8e /ca/cds". 

2n. *AXrjdrj fjL€vroL vrj Ata Aeyet?, tS NtKta. 

Nl. OvKOVV etVep o dvhpeZos dyaOos, SrjXov on 
ao(f)6s eanv. 

2n. "H/couo-a?, c5 Ad-)(y]s ; 

AA. "Eycoye, Kat oi) a(j>68pa ye ixavddvco o Ae'yet. 


to express offhand what I think. For I feel that I 
conceive in thought what courage is, but somehow or 
other she has given me the shp for the moment, so 
that I fail to lay hold of her in speech and state what 
she is. 

soc. Well, my dear sir, the good huntsman must 
follow the hounds and not give up the chase. 

LACH. Yes, indeed, by all means. 

soc. Then do you agree to our inviting Nicias here 
to join. in our hunt ? He may be more resourceful 
than we are. 

LACH. I agree, of course. 

soc. Come now, Nicias, and use what powers you 
have to assist your friends, who are caught in a 
storm of argument and are quite perplexed. You 
see the perplexity of our case ; you must now tell us 
what you think courage is, and so at once set us free 
from our perplexity and give your own thoughts the 
stabihty of speech. 

NIC Well, for some time I have been thinking, 
Socrates, that you two are not defining courage in 
the right way ; for you are not acting upon an 
admirable remark which I have formerly heard you 

soc. What is that, Nicias ? 

NIC I have often heard you say that every man 
is good in that wherein he is wise, and bad in that 
wherein he is unlearned. 

soc. Well, that is true, Nicias, I must say. 

NIC And hence, if the brave man is good, clearly 
he must be wise. 

soc. Do you hear him. Laches ? 

LACH. I do, without understanding very well what 
he says. 



sn. 'AAA' iycb Sokco iiavddveiv, /cat jxol BoKel 
dvTjp ao<j)iav tlvo. rrjv dvhpeiav Xeyeiv. 

AA. lioiav, d) "EicoKpaTes, ao^iav ; 
E 2X1. OvKovv Tovhe rovro ipcords; 

AA "Kycoye. 

2n. "Wl St^, ayroj etTre, a) Ni/ct'a, TTOta ao(f>La 
dvSpeia dv etr] Kara tov aov Xoyov. ov ydp ttov rj 
ye avXr^riKri. 

NI. Ovhapidjs. 

Sfl. Oi5Se jU.T^i' r^ KidapiaTiKri. 

NI. Ou S^ra. 

2n. 'AAAd rts S17 auTT7 7} rtVo? €Tnarrjp,rj ; 

AA. riavy /xev ow opdw? avrov ipcuras, oJ 
HcoKpares, /cat eiTTeTO) ye riva <f)rjalv avrrjv elvac. 

NI. TavT7]v eycoye, c5 Aa;^?^?, tt^v tcop heivdjv 
195 Kttt dappaXeoiv iTnaTqfMTjv /cat ev TroAe/Lto) koI iv 
roLS aAAoi? aTracrtv. 

AA. 'Q? droTTa Xeyei, c3 TicoKpares. 

2n. ri/ao? Tt Tovr* eiTres" ^Xeiftas, cS Kdyr^s; 

AA. Dpo? o Tt; ;^wpts' St^ttou ao(f)ia iarlv dv- 

2n. Oy/cow ^T^ai ye Nt/cta?. 

AA. Oi) fjt,evTOt fxa Ata* ravra rot /cat Xrjpet. 

2n. Oj3/cow SiSdaKcofJLev avrov, dXXd pL-fj A0180- 

NI. Ou/c, aAAa /Liot 80/cei, 60 HcoKpares, Adx^js 
eTTidvpielv /cd/xe <f)aurjvat, pbrjSev Xeyovra, otl /cat 
B ai^TO? dprt TOLOVTOS e(f)dv'r). 

AA. ndt'U /xev ow, a) Ni/cta, /cat TTeLpdao/xai 
ye d7TO(f>rjvai. ovSev ydp Xeyeis' inel avriKa iv 
Tats voaois ovx ol larpol rd 8etm imcTTavTaL ; 



soc. But I think I understand it : our friend 
appears to me to mean that courage is a kind of 

LACH. What kind of wisdom, Socrates ? 

soc. Well, will you put that question to your friend 

LACH. I do. 

soc. Come now, tell him, Nicias, what kind of 
wisdom courage may be, by your account. Not that, 
I presume, of flute-playing. 

NIC. Not at all. 

soc. Nor yet that of harping. 

NIC. Oh, no. 

soc. But what is this knowledge then, or of what ? 

LACH. I must say you question him quite correctly, 
Socrates, so let him just tell us what he thinks it is. 

NIC I say. Laches, that it is this — the knowledge 
of what is to be dreaded or dared, either in war or 
in anything else. 

LACH. How strangely he talks, Socrates ! 

soc. What is it that makes you say that, Laches ? 

LACH. What is it ? Why, surely wdsdom is distinct 
from courage. 

soc. Well, Nicias denies that. 

LACH. He does indeed, to be sure : that is where 
he just babbles. 

soc. Then let us instruct and not abuse him. 

NIC. No, it seems to me, Socrates, that Laches 
wants to have it proved that I am talking nonsense, 
because he was proved a moment ago to be in the 
same case himself. 

LACH. Quite so, Nicias, and I will try to make it 
evident. You are talking nonsense : for instance, 
do not doctors know what is to be dreaded in dis- 



7] ot avSpetoi hoKovai aoi i-niaTaadaL; "q rovs 
larpovs crv dvSpeiovs KaXets; 

Nl. Oj58' oTTCoartovv. 

AA. Ovhi ye Toijs yecopyovs otp-aL. /caiVot rd 

ye ev rfj yeoipyia heuvd ovtoi St^ttov eTTiaravrai, 

Kai OL aAAot hr]pLiovpyol aTravres rd iv rat? avTcov 

rexvats Seivd re /cat dappaXea taacnv aAA' ovhev 

C Tt yuaAAov oStoc dvhpeloi elaiv. 

2n. Tt So/cei AdxrjS Xeyeiv, c5 Nt/cta; eoLKe 
fievToi Xeyeiv ti. 

Nl. Kat yap Xeyet, ye tl, ov jxevroi dXrjdeg ye. 

5fi. IlaJS' St^; 

Nl. "On oierat rovs larpovs TrXeov ri elSevat 
TTepl rovs Kapuvovras rj ro vyieivov eiTreZv otov re 
/cat voatohes. oi 8e Stjttou roaovrov p,6vov 'iaaaiv 
el Se Seivov T(p rovro ecrrt ro vyiaiveiv p,dXXov r] 
ro Kdpiveiv, riyfj av rovri, c5 Adx'f]?, rovs larpovs 
eTriaraadai; t) ov ttoXXoIs o'let e/c rrjs vocrov dp,eLvov 
J) elvaL fir) dvaarrjvai ^ dvaarijvai; rovro yap elire- 
av Trdat, (f>rjs dpieivov etvai l,fjv /cat ov ttoXXoIs 
Kpelrrov redvdvai; 

AA. Olp^ai eycoye rovro ye. 

til. Ot? ovv reOvdvai XvaireXei, ravrd otet Seivd 
elvai, /cat ots ^fjvi 

AA. OvK eycoye. 

Ni. 'AAAo. rovro Srj av St'So*? rots' larpoZs yiyva>- 
aKeiv ^ aAAa> rivt 8r]p,Lovpycp ttXtjv rw rdjv Seivojv 
Kat p.r) Seivcov eTTLar-qpiovi, ov eyd) dvSpeiov /caAcD; 

2n. Karavoeis, oi Adx^jS, o ti Xeyet; 


ease ? Or do you suppose that the courageous know 
this ? Or do you call doctors courageous ? 

NIC. No, not at all. 

LACH. Nor, I fancy, farmers either. And yet they, 
I presume, know what is to be dreaded in farming, 
and every other skilled worker knows what is to be 
dreaded and dared in his own craft ; but they are 
none the more courageous for that. 

soc. What is Laches saying, in your opinion, 
Nicias ? There does seem to be something in it. 

NIC. Yes, there is something, only it is not true. 

soc. How so ? 

NIC Because he thinks that doctors know some- 
thing more, in treating sick persons, than how to 
tell what is healthy and what diseased. This, I 
imagine, is all that they know : but to tell whether 
health itself is to be dreaded by anyone rather than 
sickness, — do you suppose. Laches, that this is 
within a doctor's knowledge ? Do you not think 
that for many it is better that they should never 
arise from their bed of sickness ? Pray tell me, do 
you say that in every case it is better to Uve ? Is 
it not often preferable to be dead ? 

LACH. I do think that is so. 

NIC. And do you think that the same things are 
to be dreaded by those who were better dead, as by 
those who had better Uve ? 

LACH. No, I do not. 

NIC Well, do you attribute the judgement of this 
matter to doctors or to any other skilled worker 
except him who has knowledge of what is to be 
dreaded and what is not — the man whom I call 
courageous ? 

soc. Do you comprehend his meaning, Laches ? 



E AA. "Eyojye, on ye rovs [xdvTets KaXeZ tovs 
dvSpelovs' Ti? yap 817 aAAo? etaerai oto) d{xeivov 
l,fjv ri redvdvai; Kairoi av, c5 Nt/fta, TTorepov ofjio- 
Xoyels p-avris etvat 7) ovre fidvTis ovre dvBpeio?; 

Nl. Tt Sat; fjbdvTei, av otei irpocrfjKei, to. Seivd 
yiyvcoaKeiv /cat rd dappaXea; 

AA. "Eycoyc tlvl yap aAAo); 

NI. *"Qt iyd) Xeyo) ttoXv fxdXXov, c5 jSeArtcrre- 
errei ixdvriv ye rd crrjfxela fxovov Set yiyvaxxKeiv tojv 
eaofxevcov, etre ro) ddvaros etre voaos etre dtTo^oXri 
196 XPVH'^'^^^ eorat, etre rt/oy etre •^rra iq TToXefxov 
T] /cat (iAAtjs" tlvos dy covlas' o re Se rtp dfieivov 
Tovrcov 1} TTaOelv r^ pbrj Tiadelv, ri jxdXXov [lavTei 
TTpocrqKet KpZvai 7) dXXo) ortpovv; 

AA. 'AAA' eyd) rovTOV ov /jLavddvo), co Sco/c/oare?, 

Tt ^ovXerai Xeyeiv ovre ydp fidvTiv ovre larpov 
ovre dXXov ovBeva hrjXol ovriva Xeyei rov dvhpelov, 
el jxrj el deov riva XeyeL avrov etvat. efxai fiev 

B ovv (f)aLverat, Nt/cta? ovk edeXeiv yevvaicos ofioXoyelv 
on ovSev Xeyei, dXXd crrpe(f)erai dvco /cat Kdrw 
eTnKpvTrrofjievos, r'^v avrov aTTopiav. Kairoi Kav 
rjfiels oXoi re rjpiev dpri eyoi re /cat av rotavra 
arpe(f)eadat,, el e^ovXo/xeda fir) SoKetv evavria rjfxXv 
avrots Xeyeiv. el p,ev ovv ev hLKaarrjpicp rjfXLV 

01 Xoyot ricrav, etx^v dv riva Xoyov ravra TTOielv 
vvv Se Tt dv ns ev awovaia roiaSe fidrrjv Kevolg 
XoyoLS avros avrov Koapuol; 

2n. Oi)Sej/ ouS' e/xot SoKet, w Aa^T^j* oAA 


LACH. I do : it seems to be the seers whom he 
calls the courageous : for who else can know for 
which of us it is better to be aUve than dead ? And 
yet, Nicias, do you avow yourself to be a seer, or to 
be neither a seer nor courageous ? 

NIC. What ! Is it now a seer, think you, who has 
the gift of judging what is to be dreaded and what 
to be dared ? 

LACH. That is my view : who else could it be ? 

NIC. Much rather the man of whom I speak, my 
dear sir : for the seer's business is to judge only the 
signs of what is yet to come — whether a man is to 
meet with death or disease or loss of property, or 
victory or defeat in war or some other contest ; but 
what is better among these things for a man to 
suflFer or avoid suffering, can surely be no more 
for a seer to decide than for anyone else in the 

LACH. Well, I fail to follow him, Socrates, or to 
see what he is driving at ; for he points out that 
neither a seer nor a doctor nor anybody else is the 
man he refers to as the courageous, unless perchance 
he means it is some god. Now it appears to me that 
Nicias is unwilling to admit honestly that he has no 
meaning at all, but dodges this way and that in the 
hope of conceahng his own perplexity. Why, you 
and I could have dodged in the same way just now, 
if we wished to avoid the appearance of contra- 
dicting ourselves. Of course, if we were arguing 
in a law-court, there would be some reason for 
so doing ; but here, in a meeting like this of ours, 
why waste time in adorning oneself with empty 
words ? 

soc. I agree that it is out of place. Laches : but let 



C opconev fj,rj Nt^ias' oteral rt Xeyeiv kol ov Xoyov 
€V€Ka ravra Xeyei,. avrov ovv aa^iarepov ttvOco- 
fieda TL TTore voel' Kal idv rt (f)aiv'r]rai Xeycov, 
avyxioprjaojJieOa, el 8e pb-q, StSd^opev. 

AA. 2u TOLVVV, a> TiCOKpares, et ^ovXei irvvOdve- 
aQai, TTVvddvov iycb 8' 'iacDS LKavaJs Trevvcrpai,. 

2n. AAA ovSev pLe KcoXvec Koivrj yap ear ai rj 
TTVcrris vnep epuov re Kal aov. 

AA. Yidvv puev ovv. 

2n. Aeye St^ pot,, cb Ntwi'a, pdXXov S' rjptv koi- 
vovpeda yap eycL re /cat AdxrjS rov Xoyov rrju 
I) dvhpeiav e7TLar-^p.r)v <f)7js Setvoiv re /cat dappaXecov 

NI. "Eycuye. 

2n. Tovro Se ov -navros Srj elvai, dvSpos yvdJvat, 
OTTore ye p.'qre larpog p'qre pdvris avro yvcoaerai 
pr)Se dvSpeXos earai, edv prj avrrjv ravrrjv rrjv 
eTnariqpirjV TrpoaXa^rj' ov)( ovrcog eXeyes; 

NI. Ovrco pev ovv. 

2n. Kara rr^v TrapoLpiav dpa ra> ovn ovk av Trdaa 
5s yvoLT) oj)S' av dvSpeta yevoiro. 

NI. Ov pLOt SoKeZ. 
E 2fl. AiyAov Sij, c5 Ni/ci'a, oTt ovSe rrjv K-poppvco- 
viav vv TTiareveis av ye dvhpeiav yeyovevai. rovro 
Se Xeyco ov Trai^cov, aXX dvayKaiov otpai ro) ravra 
Xeyovri prjhevog drjpiov dnoSexeadai dvSpelav, rj 
avyxoipeZv Orjpiov n ovrco aocjyov elvat, ware a 
oXiyoL dvdpa)7T(x)v laaai Sta ro ^^aAcTra efi'at yvcovat, 
ravra Xeovra rj TrdpSaXiv tj riva Kdirpov ^dvai elSe- 

^ The fierce monster slain by Theseus in the region be- 
tween Corinth and Megara before he became the hero of 



us see : perhaps Nicias thinks he does mean some- 
thing, and is not talking just for the sake of talking. 
So let us ask him to explain more clearly what is in 
his mind ; and if we find that he means something, 
we will agree with him ; if not, we will instruct him. 

LACH. Then, Socrates, if you would like to ask him, 
please do so : I daresay I have done enough asking. 

soc. Well, I see no objection, since the question 
will be on behalf of us both. 

LACH. Very well, then. 

soc. Now tell me, Nicias, or rather, tell us — for 
Laches and I are sharing the argument between us — 
do you say that courage is knowledge of what is to 
be dreaded or dared ? 

NIC I do. 

soc. And that it is not every man that knows it, 
since neither a doctor nor a seer can know it, and 
cannot be courageous unless he add this particular 
knowledge to his own ? This was your statement, 
was it not ? 

NIC. Yes, it was. 

soc. And so in fact this is not a thing which, as 
the proverb says, " any pig would know " ; and thus 
a pig cannot be courageous. 

NIC I think not. 

soc. Indeed it is obvious, Nicias, that you at least 
do not believe that even the Crommyonian sow ^ 
could have been courageous. I say this not in jest, 
but because I conceive it is necessary for him who 
states this theory to refuse courage to any wild 
beast, or else to admit that a beast like a lion or a 
leopard or even a boar is so wise as to know what 
only a few men know because it is so hard to per- 
ceive. Why, he who subscribes to your account of 



vai* aAA avdyKf] ofxoicos Xeovra Kat eXa<f)ov Kal 
ravpov Kat, TndrjKov Trpos avBpeiav <f>dvaL 7T€<f>vKevai 
Tov Tide/jLevov dvhpeiav rovd^ 07T€p av rldeaai. 
197 AA. Nrj Tovs Oeovs, koL €v ye Aeyets", c5 JliJOKpares. 
Kal ripuv (hs aXiqda)? tovto OLTTOKpLvai, cb Nt/cta, 
TTorepov ao(f>(x)T€pa cf>rjg rjfiojv ravra elvai rd drjpia, 
a TTavreg ofjioXoyovfiev dvSpeia elvat, ri Trdaiv evav- 
TiovfjLevos roXjjias firjSe dvSpela avrd KoXeZv; 

Nl. Oi) ydp Ti, Jj Ad^r)?, eycoye dvSpeta KaXdj 
ovre drjpia ovre dXXo ovhkv ro Ta Seim vtto dvoias 
fiT] (jjo^ovjjLevov, dAA' d(f)o^ov Kal fxcopov ■^ Kal rd 

g TratSta Trdvra ot'ei jxe dvSpela KaXeZv, a 8t' dvotav 
ovSev heSoLKev; aXX olfiai, ro dif)o^ov Kal to 
dvSpelov ov ravTov icmv. iyd) Se dvSpeiag puev 
Kal TTpofiTjdlag ttovv rialv oXiyois ot/xat p,erelvaL, 
dpaavTTqros Se /cat ToXpi-qs Kal rov d(f)6^ov p,erd 
dTTpopLTjOias Trdvv ttoXXoZs Kal dvSpcov Kal yvvaiKcov 
Kal TraiScov /cat drjpicov. ravr' ovv a crv KaXels 
dvSpela Kat ol ttoXXoL, iyd> Opaaea KaXw, dvSpela 

C Se Ta (f>p6vLpia Trepl Sv Xeyoj. 

AA. Qeaaai, cL HcoKpaTes, co? cS oSe eaurw 
St^, (hs oterat, Koap,€L rco Xoycp' ovs Se 7rdvT€s 
ofioXoyovaiv dvBpeiovs clvai, tovtovs aTToarepeZv 

€7TL)(€Lp€L TaVTrjS TTJg rLp,T]S. 

Nl . OvKovv ae ye,^ cL Adxr)?, oAAa ddppet • <f>iqpX ydp 
ae etvai ao(l>6v, Kal AdpLa^dv ye, etVep ecrre av'Spetot, 
Kal dXXovs ye crvx^'ous ' Adrjvauov . 

AA. OvSev ipctj TTpos ravra, excov etVetv, Iva 
fjLT) fie (f)fjg U)S dXrjOdJs Al^covea etvai. 

^ (yi ye papyr. Oxyr. : h/brye siss. 

^ A deme or district of Attica, noted for the abusive 
wit of its people. 


courage must needs agree that a lion, a stag, a bull, 
and a monkey have all an equal share of courage in 
their nature. 

LACH. Heavens, Socrates, how admirably you argue ! 
Now answer us sincerely, Nicias, and say whether 
those animals, which we all admit to be covirageous, 
are wiser than we are ; or whether you dare, in 
contradiction of ever}'one else, describe them as not 
even courageous. 

NIC. No, Laches, I do not describe animals, or 
anything else that from thoughtlessness has no fear 
of the dreadful, as courageous, but rather as fearless 
and foolish. Or do you suppose I describe all 
children as courageous, that have no fear because 
they are thoughtless .'' I rather hold that the fearless 
and the courageous are not the same thing. In my 
opinion very few people are endowed with courage 
and forethought, while rashness, boldness, and fear- 
lessness, with no forethought to guide it, are found 
in a great number of men, women, children, and 
animals. So you see, the acts that you and most 
people call courageous, I call rash, and it is the 
prudent acts which I speak of that are courageous. 

LACH. Mark you, Socrates, how finely, as he 
fancies, my friend decks liimself out ^\^th his 
words ! And how he attempts to deprive of the 
distinction of courage those whom everyone admits 
to be courageous ! 

NIC. I am not referring to you. Laches, so do not 
be frightened : for I grant that you, and Lamachus 
also, are wise, since you are courageous, and I say 
the same of numerous other Athenians. 

LACH. I ^\-ill not say what I could say in answer 
to that, lest you call me a true son of Aexone.^ 



D Sn. MrjSe ye eiTrrjS, cS Adxris' koI yap /jloi 
So/cets" ovhe [p-'fjY jjadrjadaL on ravT'qv ttjv ao^lav 
irapa Aa/xoji^os' rov rjfxerepov eraipov TrapelXrjcfiev, o 
he AdfMCov Tcp TlpoBLKCp TToXXd 7TXr](nd^€L, OS ^rj 
SoK€L rojp ao(j><jbv KoXXiara rd Toiavra ovofiara 

AA. Kat yap TrpeTrei, oj HcoKpares, (Jo<f>Larfj ra 
TOLavra [xdXXov KOfjufjeveadai 7J dvSpl ov rj ttoXis 
d^ioL avrrjs TrpoLcrrdvat,. 
E 2n. YlpeTTei p,€v ttov/ c5 /xa/capie, rcbv [xeyLarcov 
TTpoararovvri p,€yLarr]s (ftpovi^aecDS fxerex^i-v' So/cet 
he fjioi. NiKtas d^Los elvai eTTicrKetfjecos , ottol iroTe 
^XeiTcov Tovvofia tovto rCdrjaL rrjv dvhpeiav. 

AA. Auto? tolvvv aKonei, co HcoKpareS' 

2fl. Tovto p^eXXco TTOteTv, tS dpiare- firj fxevroi 
OLOV fxe dcfiTjaeLv ae rrjs Kocvcovlas rov Xoyov, oAAa 
Trpoaex^ rov vovv /cat avaKOTrei ra Xeyopueva, 

AA. Tavra 8r] earco, el SoKei XPW^'" 

2n. 'AAAa SoKel. ai) 8e, Ni/ct'a, Xeye -qpt-lv TrdXiv 

198 ^^ ^PXl^' otcr^' on ttjv dvhpeiav /car' dpxds rov 

Xoyov ecTKOTTovp^ev d)S pepos dperrjs OKOTTovvres ; 

Nl. Wdvv ye. 

sn. OvKovv /cat ai) tovto aTreKpivco d)S popiov, 
ovTCov Br] /cat ctAAojt' pepcov, d avpuravTa apeT-q 

Ni. IldJs yap ov; 

2fi. 'A/a' ovv drrep iyd> /cat ov ravra Xeyeig; eyd) 

he KaXd) TTpos dvhpela aw(f>poavvr)v /cat hiKaiocrwrjV 

/cat aAA' aVra rotaura. ov /cat av; 

^ /XT] om. papyr. Oxyr. 
^ TTov Stob. : Toi Mss. 

1 Of. 190 c. 


80C. No, say nothing, Laches : for in fact you 
seem to me to have failed to perceive that he has 
acquired his wisdom from Damon, our good friend ; 
and Damon constantly associates with Prodicus, who 
is supposed to be the cleverest of the sophists at 
distinguishing terms like these. 

LACH. Yes, for it is more suitable, Socrates, for a 
sophist to make a show of such refinements than for 
a man whom the State thinks worthy to govern her. 

soc. Indeed it is suitable, I presume, my amiable 
friend, for a man in the highest seat of government 
to be gifted with the highest degree of wisdom. 
But it seems to me that Nicias is worthy of further 
attention, so that we may learn in what connexion 
he uses this word " courage." 

LACH. Then attend to him yourself, Socrates. 

soc. That is what I propose to do, my good sir : 
still, you are not to think that I will release you 
from your due share of the argument. No, you must 
put your mind to it and join in weighing well what 
is said. 

LACH. Well, so be it, if you think that I ought. 

soc. Indeed I do. Now, Nicias, please go back to 
the beginning ^ and answer us : you know we started 
our discussion by considering courage as a part of 
virtue ? 

NIC. Quite so. 

soc. And you joined in this answer, — that it is 
a part, there being also other parts, which taken all 
together have received the name of virtue ? 

NIC Why, of course. 

soc. Now, do you mean the same as I do by these ? 
Besides courage, I refer to temperance, justice, and 
other similar qualities. And you also, do you not ? 



B Nl. Udvv fjLev ovv. 

2n. "Ep^e St]' ravra fiev yap ofioXoyovfxev, 
rrepl Be rcjv heivcLv /cat dappaXecov CTKei/fcu/ze^a, 
OTTCOS fMTj cri) pLev aAA' arra rjyfj, "qpels Se oAAa. a 
pb€V ovv "^peis r)yovpeda, (J>pdaopev croi* cry Be av 
pLT] opoXoyfjs, StSafet?. 'qyovpeda B* rjpelg Beiva 
pLev eti'ai a /cat Beos Trapexet, BappaXea Be d p,rj 
Beos TTape^eL' Beos Be Trape^et ov rd yeyovora 
ovBe rd irapovra rcov KaKcov, dXXd rd TrpoaSoKO)- 
pLeva' Beos ydp elvai TrpoaBoKtav p,eXXovTOS /ca/cou" 
T] ovx ovTco /cat avvBoK€i,^ CO Adx^js; 
C AA. Udvv ye a(f)6Bpa, S TicoKpares. 

2n. To. piev YjpeTepa tolvvv, c5 Ni/cta, d/couei?, 
oTt Setva pev rd peXXovra KaKd </)apev etvai, 
dappaXea Be rd prj /ca/ca ^ dyadd peXXovra' av 
Be ravrj) t) aAA^y Tre pi rovrcov Xeyeis; 

Ni. Tavrr^ eycoye. 

2n. Tovrcov Be ye rrjv iTnarT]pLT]V dvBpeiav Trpoa- 
ayopevets ; 

NI. J^opiBfj ye. 

2n. "Ert Brj rd rplrov OKeijscjpeBa el avvBoKet 
aoL re /cat rjpbtv. 
D NI. To TTolov Bt] rovro; 

2n. 'Eyca Si] <f)pdaoj. So/cet ydp Brj epoi re 
Kal ripBe, rrepl ocrcov earlv eTTiar-^pr), ovk uAAt^ 
piev eti/at Trepl yeyovoros elBevai ottt] yeyovev, 
dXXr] Be TTepl yiyvopevcov ottt) yiyverai, dXXr) Be 
orrrj dv /caAAtora yevotro /cat yevqaerat rd p,rj7TCO 
yeyovos, dXX rj avr-q. olov Trepl rd vycetvdv els 
aTTavras rovs ;^/ooroi'S' ovk dXXr] ris '^ larpiKrj, 
pLia ovaa, e(^opS. /cat yiyvopeva /cat yeyovora Kal 

1 avvSoKil Burnet : ai doKei, doKci Kal aii mss. 


NIC. Certainly I do. 

soc. So much for that ; thus far we agree : but 
let us pass on to what is to be dreaded and what to 
be dared, and make sure that you and we do not 
take two different views of these. Let me tell you our 
view of them, and if you do not agree with it, you 
shall instruct us. We hold that the dreadful are 
things that cause fear, and the safely ventured are 
those that do not ; and fear is caused not by past 
or present, but by expected evils : for fear is ex- 
pectation of coming evil. You are of the same mind 
with us in this, are you not, Laches ? 

LACH. Yes, entirely so, Socrates. 

soc. So there you have our view, Nicias, — that 
coming evils are to be dreaded, and things not evil, 
or good things, that are to come are to be safely 
dared. Would you describe them in this way, or in 
some other ? 

NIC. I would describe them in this way. 

soc. And the knowledge of these things is what 
you term courage ? 

NIC. Precisely. 

soc. There is still a third point on which we must 
see if you are in agreement with us. 

NIC. What point is that ? 

SOC. I will tell you. It seems to your friend and 
me that, to take the various subjects of knowledge, 
there is not one knowledge of how a thing has 
happened in the past, another of how things are 
happening in the present, and another of how a 
thing that has not yet happened might or will 
happen most favourably in the future, but it is the 
same knowledge throughout. For example, in the 
case of health, it is medicine always and alone that 



E yevTjaofieva ottt) yevqaerai' /cat Trepl ra e/c rrjs 
yrjs av <f>v6fjL€va rj yecopyCa cbaavrcos ^X^^' '^°-^ 
hrjTTOV TO. Trepi tov ttoXc/xov avrol av iiaprvprjuaire 
on iq arpaT'qyia KaXXiara 7Tpop,rjdeLrai, rd re aAAa 
Kai TTCpi, TO fxeXXov eaeadai, ovhk rfj [xavTLKfj oterai 
ScLU V7Trjp€T€LV ttAAo. dpx^tv, tt)? elSvia kolXXlov to. 
199 TTepL TOV TToXefiov Kal yiyvofieva /cai yevqaofieva' 
/cat d vofxos ovTOj rdrrei, jxr] tov fxavTiv tov oTpa- 
TTjyov a,px€LV, dXXd tov OTpaTTjyov tov pbdvTecos. 
(f>'i^(jOfi€v TavTa, (h Adxr]S; 

AA. ^rjaofjbev. 

2n, Tt 8e; ov r^puv, u) Nt/cta, avp,<j>r]? irepl tcov 
avTOJV TTjv avTTjV iTTLcrT-qfjLrjv /cat eaofjuevcov /cat 
yLyvop,€vwv Kal yeyovoTOJV irrateLv; 

Ni. "Eycoye- So/cet ydp fxot, ovtcos, c5 HiOKpaTeg. 

2n. OvKovv, CO dpiGTe, /cat ij dvhpeia tcov Setvwv 
B iinaTrjfjir} eaTi Kal dappaXewv, a>? <f>'^S' rj ydp; 

NI. Nat. 

2fl. To, 8e Seiva (LpioXoyrjTat Kal ra OappaXea to. 
[xev fxeXXovTa dyaOd, to. Se fieXXovTa /ca/ca elvai. 

NI. Hdvv ye. 

2n. 'H 8e y' avTT) eTTLGTi^fir) tcov avTcbv /cat 
fieXXovTcov Kal TrdvTcos ixovTwv etvai. 

NI. "Eart TOVTa. 

Sn. Oy iiovov dpa tcjv hetvcov /cat dappaXecov 
■q dvSpeta i7naTi]iMrj ianv ov ydp fieXXovTOiv 
fiovov TTepi TCOV dyada>v re /cat KaKcov eTratei, oAAa 
C /cat yiyvofjievcov Kal yeyovoTojv Kal rrdvTcos ixdvTcov, 
warrep at oAAat iTnaTrjfiai. 


surveys present, past, and future processes alike ; 
and farming is in the same position as regards the 
productions of the earth. And in matters of war I 
am sure you yourselves will bear me out when I say 
that here generalship makes the best forecasts on the 
whole, and particularly of future results, and is the 
mistress rather than the servant of the seer's art, 
because it knows better what is happening or about 
to happen in the operations of war ; whence the law 
ordains that the general shall give orders to the seer, 
and not the seer to the general. May we say this, 
Laches ? 

LACH. We may. 

soc. Well now, do you agree with us, Nicias, that 
the same knowledge has comprehension of the same 
things, whether future, present, or past ? 

NIC. I do, for that is my own opinion, Socrates. 

soc. And courage, my good friend, is knowledge 
of what is to be dreaded and dared, as you say, do 
you not ? 

Mc. Yes. 

soc. And things to be dreaded and things to be 
dared have been admitted to be either future goods 
or future evils ? 

NIC. Certainly. 

soc. And the same knowledge is concerned with 
the same things, whether in the future or in any 
particular stage ? 

NIC. That is so. 

soc. Then courage is knowledge not merely of 
what is to be dreaded and what dared, for it com- 
prehends goods and evils not merely in the future, 
but also in the present and the past and in any stage, 
like the other kinds of knowledge. 



Ni. "Eoiwe ye. 

2n. Me/Jos' apa avSpetas '^/J-'iv, aj NtKta, drr- 
CKpivoj cr)(eh6v ri rpirov Kairoi "qixel? ■qpcoTa>^€v 
6Xr)v avSpeiav o tl etr). /cat vvv Srj, cus" eoiKe, Kara 
Tov aov Xoyov ov fiovov SeLvcov re /cat dappaXecov 
eTnaTTjfJbrj rj avSpeia eariv, aAAa ax^^ov ri, rj Trepl 
iravrwv ayaOwv re /cat KaKcov /cat ttolvtcos e)(ovr(x}v, 
D (hs vvv a5 6 aos Xoyos, dvSpeia dv elr)' ovtcjs aS 
fierarWeaOai rj ttojs Aeyets", to Ni/cia; 

NI. "E/iotye So/cet, cS HdS/cpares'. 

5fl. Ao/c€t ow crot, 60 Saifiovic, dTToXeiveiv dv ti 
o roLovTos dperrjg, elirep elheirj rd re dya^a Trdvra 
/cat TTavraTTaaLV cos ytyverai Kal yevijaerai /cat 
yiyove, /cat to. /ca/ca (haavrcos; /cat tovtov oici ov 
ot) evSca eivat crcij(f>po<Jvvrjg iq St/catocn/j/Ty? t6 /cat 
oaLOTTjTos, CO ye fjiovco TrpoarjKei Kal irepl deovs 
E /cat Trept dvdpiorrovs e^evXa^eladal re to. Setva /cat 
ra jLtiy, /cat rdya^d TTopi^eadai, iTTLarafievo) dp6a>s 
TTpoaofitXetv ; 

NI. Aeyetv rt ciS HcvKpareg p-oi, So/cets-. 

Sfl. Oi)/c dpa, c5 Nt/cta, pLopiov dpeTrjs dv cltj to 
vvv aoL Xeyofievov, dXXd avfnraaa dperq. 

NI. "Eot/cev. 

2n. Kat jLtT^v €(f)aiJiev ye ttji' dv8/)etW p,6piov elvai 
ev rcov rijs dperrjs. 

NI. "Ecfiafiev yap. 

211. To Se ye vw Aeyo/xevov ov ^atverai. 

NI. Ou/C €OLK€V. 



NIC. Apparently. 

soc. So the answer that you gave us, Nicias, covers 
only about a third part of courage ; whereas our 
question was of what courage is as a whole. And 
now it appears, on your own showing, that courage 
is knowledge not merely of what is to be dreaded 
and what dared, but practically a knowledge con- 
cerning all goods and evils at every stage ; such is 
your present account of what courage must be. 
VVhat do you say to this new version, Nicias ? 

NIC. I accept it, Socrates. 

soc. Now do you think, my excellent friend, there 
could be anything wanting to the \'irtue of a man 
who knew all good things, and all about their pro- 
duction in the present, the future, and the past, 
and all about evil things likewise ? Do you suppose 
that such a man could be lacking in temperance, 
or justice, and holiness, when he alone has the gift 
of taking due precaution, in his deaUngs with gods 
and men, as regards what is to be dreaded and 
what is not, and of procuring good things, owing 
to his knowledge of the right behaviour towards 
them ? 

NIC. I think, Socrates, there is something in what 
you say. 

soc. Hence what you now describe, Nicias, will be 
not a part but the whole of virtue. 

NIC. Apparently. 

soc. But, you know, we said that courage is one 
of the parts of virtue. 

NIC. Yes, we did. 

soc. And what we now describe is seen to be 

NIC. So it seems. 

VOL. IV D 77 


2n. OvK apa 7]vp-qKaix€v, c5 Ni/ct'a, avSpeta o ri 
ear IV. 

Nl. Ov <f>aLv6fj,€6a. 

AA. Kat fji7]v eycoye, o) ^lAe Ntarta, aj/^iyv (re 
200 evprjaeiv, eVetSi^ e/xou Karecfjpovqaas Saj/cparei 
arroKpivapLevov ttolvv Stj fieydXrjv eATrtSa er\;oj^, to? 
T^ TTapa Tov AdficDvos ao(j)ia avrrjv dvevpijaeLS. 

Nl. EiJ ye, w Adxris, on ovSeu otet av en Trpdyixa 
elvai, on avros dpn ecjidvrjs dvSpetas Trepi ovhev 
clBcos, dAA' et /cat iyoj erepos tolovtos dva^avrj- 
aofiai, TTpos TOVTO /SAerreis", Kal ovBev en hioiaei, 
dig eoiKe, aol fxer ifiov jx-qhev elSevai (Lv TTpoarjKei 
eTTLar-qiJL-qv exeiv dvSpl olop^evcp n elvai. av fxev 
B ovv fiot SoKeXs d)s dXrjdws dvdpcoTretov Trpa^fia 
ipyd^eadai, ovSev irpos avrov ^Xeireiv aAAa irpos 
Tovs dXXovs' iyd) 8' olpbai efxol Trepl Sv eXeyofxev 
vvv re eTTiet/coj? ecprjadaL, Kal et n avrojv pcrj iKavcos 
eipiqraL, varepov eTTOvopdcoaeadai /cat p,erd Ad- 
fxcovos, ov av ttov otet KarayeXav, /cat ravra 
ouSe ISojv TTOJTTore tov Aap,a)va, Kal /xer' dXXcov 
Kal erreihav ^e^atcLaco/jLau avrd, StSa^o) /cat ae, 
C /cat ov (f>dovrjaoi' So/cet? ydp /xoi Kal //.oAa a(f)68pa 
Setadai fxaOelv. 

AA. TiO(j)6s ydp rot av et, w Nt/ci'a. aAA' 
oficos eyd) AvaijJidxip rcpSe Kat MeATjaig, avpi^ov- 
Xevo), ae fxev Kal ijjbe Trepl rrjs TratSetas" tcov veavi- 
OKOiV p^at/aetv eav, HcoKpdTr) Se tovtovl, onep e^ 
dpXT]S eXeyov, fxr] d^tevai' el Se /cat e/ioi ev rjXiKca 
"qaav oi rralSes, ravrd dv ravr eiroiovv. 


soc. Thus we have failed to discover, Nicias, what 
courage really is. 

NIC. Evidently. 

LACH. And I, in fact, supposed, my dear Nicias, 
that you were going to discover it, when you showed 
such contempt for the answers I made to Socrates : 
indeed I had very great hopes that the wisdom you 
derived from Damon would avail you for the dis- 

NIC. That is all very fine. Laches ; you think you 
can now make light of the fact that you were your- 
self shown just now to know nothing about courage ; 
when my turn comes to be shown up in the same light, 
that is all you care, and now it will not matter to 
you at all, it seems, if I share your ignorance of things 
whereof any self-respecting man ought to have know- 
ledge. You really strike me, indeed, as following the 
average man's practice of keeping an eye on others 
rather than on oneself : but I fancy that for the 
present I have said as much as could be expected 
on the subject of our discussion, and that later on 
I must make good any defects in my statement upon 
it with the help of Damon — whom I know you choose 
to ridicule, and that without ever having seen the 
actual Damon — and with others' help besides. And 
when I have settled the matter I will enlighten you, 
in no grudging spirit : for I think you are in very 
great need of instruction. 

LACH. You are a man of wisdom, I know, Nicias. 
But still I advise Lysimachus here and Melesias to 
dismiss you and me, and to retain our friend Socrates 
as I said at first, for the education of your boys : 
were my own sons old enough, I should do the same 
thing too. 




Nl. Taura fiev Kayoj cruy;^aj/!)ca, iavnep ideXr] 
HoiKparrjs rdv fjietpaKLCov err Lp,eXeZad at, fJirjSeva 

D dXXov ^TjreXv eTret kolv eyoj tov NiK'qpaTOV tovtco 
rjSLcrra eTrtrpeTroi/it, el eOeXot oStos' aAAa yap 
aAAou? /A06 eKaaroTe avvianqaiv , orav tl avrco rrepl 
Tovrov fJivqaOcb, avrog Se ovk ideXei. dAA' opa, at 
AfCTt/xap^e, et Tl aov dv /xaXXov inraKovoL HcoKpdrrjs- 
AT. AiKaiov ye rot,, w Ni/cta, inel /cat e'ycu tovtco 
TToAAa dv eOeXijaaLfiL TToieZv, d ovk dv aAAot? irdvv 
TtoXXolg edeXoLpii. ttcjs ovv <f)r}S, (L l^wKpares ; 
VTraKOvarj tl /cat avfiTTpodvjji'qcrr) d)S ^eXTiaTOLs 
yeveaO at to is /Ltetpa/ctot?; 

E 2n. Kat yap dv Seivov elrj, c5 Avcri/JLaxe, tovto 
ye, fxrj edeXeiv tco av/jLTrpoOvfielaOai (Lg ^eXrlara) 
yeveadai. el puev ovv ev Toig StaAoyot? rot? aprt 
eyd) p,ev e^dvqv elScos, TcoSe Se fir] elSoTe, St/catov' 
dv -^v ep,e fMaXicrra inl Tovro to epyov rrapaKaXelv 
vvv 8', o/xoiojs" yap TTavTeg ev aTTopia eyevofieda' 
Tl ovv dv Tig rj/jicov Tivd TrpoaipoiTO ; ejxoi jxev ovv 
St] avTO) hoKel ovheva' aXX eTreihrj raura ovtcos 
201 ^X^^i OKei/jaaOe dv rt Bo^co avp^ovXeveiv vfxiv. 
eyd) ydp (j>rjixL xp^vai, c5 dvSpes — ovSeig ydp eK(f)Opos 
Xoyos — KOivfj ndvTas rjp.ds ^rjTeZv /xaAtara piev rjfiiv 
avTois SiSdaKaXov dis dpioTov — heojxeda ydp — 
eveiTa /cat tols /Ltetpa/ct'ots", fi-QTe p^pTy/xarcov <^€tSo- 
fxevovs /XTjre aAAou p,rjhev6s' edv Se i^/xa? avTovg 
ex'^f'V, d)s vvv exofxev, ov crujx^ovXevoi. el Se tis 
rjpidJv KaTayeXdaeTai, oti rryAt/cotSe ovTes els StSa- 

B GKdXcov d^iovfjiev (f>oiTav, tov "Op-ripov SoKeX jjloi 
Xp'TJvai Trpo^dXXeadai, os €(f)rj ovk dyadr]v ett'at 
aiScD K€XP'r]P'^vcp dvSpt irapeivai. /cat rjfjieis odv 

» Od. xvii. 347. 


NIC. For my part I agree ; if Socrates ^Nnll consent 
to take charge of these young people. I vnM seek for 
no one else. I should be only too glad to entrust 
him -with Niceratiis, if he should consent : but when 
I begin to mention the matter to him, he always 
recommends other men to me and refuses himself. 
Just see, Lysimachus, if Socrates will give you a 
more favourable hearing. 

LYS. It is only right that he should, Nicias, for 
indeed I would be willing to do many things for 
him which I would not do for a great many others. 
Well, what do you say, Socrates ? Will you comply, 
and lend your endeavours for the highest improve- 
ment of these boys ? 

soc. \Miy, how strange it would be, Lysimachus, 
to refuse to lend one's endeavours for the highest 
improvement of anybody ! Now if in the debates 
that we have just held I had been found to know 
what our two friends did not know, it would be right 
to make a point of inviting me to take up this work : 
but as it is, we have all got into the same difficulty, 
so why should one of us be preferred to another ? 
In my ovvn opinion, none of us should ; and this 
being so, perhaps you vvill allow me to give you a 
piece of advice. I tell you, gentlemen — and this is 
confidential — that we ought all alike to seek out 
the best teacher we can find, firet for ourselves — for 
we need one — and then for our boys, sparing neither 
expense nor anything else we can do : but to leave 
ourselves as we now are, this I do not advise. And 
if anyone makes fun of us for seeing fit to go to 
school at our time of life, I think we should appeal 
to Homer, who said that " shame is no good mate 
for a needy man." ^ So let us not mind what any- 



eacravre? p^at'/aeti' et rt? rt ipel, Koivfj rjficov avrwv 
Kat Twv ybeipaKLOiV eTrifieXeiav TTOLrjcrcofiida. 

AT. 'E/xot /xev dpeaKei, d) TiCoKpares, a Ae'yei?' 
fcai ideXco, oacoTvep yepairaros et/xt, roaovrcp 
TTpodv/jLoraTa jxavdaveLV fxera riJbv veaviaKcav . dAAa 
C /-toi ouTcucrt 7TOL7](Tov avpiov eojdev a.(f)LKOv ot/caSe, 
/cat /xt) aAAtos" '7TOLT]crrjs, tva jSouAeucrco/xe^a Trept 
auTcDv Toi^cuv TO Se vw etvat t))v avvovaiav Sia- 

2n. 'AAAa 7Ton7cra>, c5 AvaL/xax^, ravra, /cat 17^0) 
Trapa ae avpiov, iav deos iOeXrj. 



one may say, but join together in arranging for our 
own and the boys' tuition. 

LYS. I gladly approve of your suggestion, Socrates ; 
and as I am the oldest, so I am the most eager to 
have lessons with the young ones. Now this is what 
I ask you to do : come to my house to-morrow at 
daybreak ; be sure not to fail, and then we shall 
consult on this very matter. For the present, let us 
break up our meeting. 

SCO, I will not fail, Lysimachus, to come to you 
to-morrow, God wilUng. 




D 2 



The masterly powers of description, characteriza- 
tion, rhetoric, and reasoning, which conspire in the 
Protagoras to produce, with such apparent ease, one 
rapid and luminous effect, have earned it a very high 
— with some judges the highest — place among Plato's 
achievements in philosophic drama. After an intro- 
ductory scene, in which the excitement of ardent 
young spirits over the arrival of a great intellectual 
personage leads quickly to the setting of the stage 
for the main business of the plot, we are shown 
Socrates in respectful but keenly critical contact 
with the first and most eminent of the itinerant 
professors of a new culture or enlightenment. On 
the other side we see the old and celebrated teacher 
displaying his various abilities with weight and 
credit, but with limitations which increasingly 
suggest that his light is waning before the fresh and 
more searching flame of Socratic inquiry. The 
drama is philosophic in the fullest sense, not merely 
owing to this animated controversy and its develop- 
ment of a great moral theme, — the acquisition of 
virtue, but because we are made to feel that behind 
or above the actual human disputants are certain 
principles and modes of thought, which hold a high 
and shadowy debate, as it were, of their own in the 
dimness of what is as yet unexamined and un- 
explained. Of this larger argument the human 


scene gives but fitful glimpses ; but in the end it 
is suggested and impressed in sufficiently definite 
outline to become the further object of our roused 
and refined curiosity. 

This dialogue is, indeed, a work of profoundly 
suggestive art, and our first duty is to observe and 
comprehend as clearly as may be the persons in the 
play and the interaction of their salient thoughts 
and feelings. Protagoras was the founder of a 
popular culture which aimed at presenting the highest 
lessons of the poets, thinkers, and artists of the 
preceding age in a convenient form for the needs 
of the rising generation of Greek statesmen, — a form 
also that should be marketable, for he invented the 
trade of the professional educator, and was the first 
to charge a regular fee for the wisdom or skill that 
he imparted. His own chief accomplishment was 
impressive declamation on moral and political 
themes : he was prone, as we find in this interview, 
to a somewhat lengthy style of exposition, and 
correspondingly loth to undergo the mental strain 
of being cross-examined by Socrates. No attempt 
is made here to tease or bait him. It is clear enough, 
without the express statement made in the Republic 
(x. 600), that he had attained a most honourable 
position in Greece through his earnest zeal for 
educational progress. But he did not stop to think 
out the bases of his teaching ; and the immediate 
interest of the dialogue consists largely in watching 
the succession of strokes by which Socrates, a 
younger '^ and subtler advocate of the same cause, 

1 At the time of this meeting (just before the Pelopon- 
nesian War, in 432 b.c.) Socrates would be 36 years old, and 
AJcibiades 19. 



exposes and undermines the fine but unsound 
fabric of his fame. 

In the stately myth (320-328) by wliich Protagoras 
unfolds his theory of the origin of human society 
and morals, Plato gives us a carefully wrought 
imitation of the professor's favourite method and 
style. It is an eloquent substantiation of the 
common -sense view that virtue can be taught; 
and fidelity in characterization seems to have 
prompted Plato to attribute to the old sophist 
some principles which are more than ordinarily 
enlightened. In particular we may notice his 
account of the beginning of governments (322), 
and his appeal for the curative and preventive use 
of punishment (324). And later on, while he totters 
defenceless under the force and acuteness of Socrates' 
questions, we find him objecting — and it was soon to 
be Plato's own opinion — that it is rash to regard all 
pleasure as good (351). Plato, in fact, appears to 
be more intent on exhibiting the impetuous energy 
and superior skill with which Socrates could on 
occasion upset an experienced teacher and famous 
scholar, than on impressing us with the correctness of 
this or that theory which the younger man may 
snatch up and fling at the professor's head in the 
momentary sport or heat of the contest. The ex- 
planation which Socrates propounds of the poem of 
Simonides (343-347) is obviously a mocking satire on 
certain sophistic performances ; but he is no less 
obviously serious, for the purpose in hand, when he 
makes his statement on the relation of virtue to 
pleasure. The unsatisfactory effect which this leaves 
upon our minds must be referred to the main object 
of the dialogue, which is to prove the power of the 




new science of dialectic in disturbing our settled 
habits of thought and in stimulating fresh inquiiy 
into problems of the highest import to mankind. 

Among the many minor interests attaching to 
this vivid picture of the intellectual life of Athens 
in the latter part of the fifth century, the appropriate 
style given in each case to the utterances of Prot- 
agoras, Prodicus, and Hippias deserves attention for 
the evidence thus afforded of a dehberate cultivation 
of prose-form at that time. Plato has left us a less 
sympathetic but similarly interesting study of 
Protagoras' manner of speech in his later work, the 

The following brief outline of the discussion may 
be useful : — 

I. 309 A-316 A. Socrates tells his (unnamed) 
friend that he and Alcibiades have just been con- 
versing with Protagoras, and describes how his 
young friend Hippocrates had announced to him 
the great sophist's arrival in Athens, and how, after 
questioning Hippocrates on his design of learning 
from the sophist, he proceeded with him to the 
house of Callias, with whom Protagoras was staying. 
They found there not only Protagoras but the 
learned Hippias and Prodicus also, and many 
followers and disciples who had assembled to hear 
their discourses. 

II. 316 A-320 c. Protagoras explains the purpose 
of his teaching : he will educate Hippocrates in 
politics and citizenship. Socrates raises the question 
whether virtue can be taught. 

III. 320 c-328 D. Protagoras deUvers a char- 
acteristic speech, in which he relates a fable of the 



origin of man. It illustrates his doctrine that 
virtue can be taught, both by individuals and by 
the State. 

IV. 328 D-334 c. Socrates cross - examines Prot- 
agoras : (1) Is each of the virtues a part of virtue, 
or only a different name for the same thing ? 
(2) Protagoras replies that the several virtues differ 
like the parts of the face. (3) In answer to an ob- 
jection from Socrates, Protagoras allows that justice 
and holiness must be like each other. (4) Socrates 
then urges that temperance and wisdom must 
be the same, and would argue likewise of temper- 
ance and justice ; but (5) Protagoras, impatient 
of being questioned, reverts to his favourite 
method of declamation on the notions of " good " 
and " beneficial." 

V. 334 c-338 e. Socrates makes as if to go : he 
will only stay if Protagoras will keep to the method 
of question and answer. At the request of Callias, 
Alcibiades, Critias, Prodicus and Hippias he agrees 
to stay and be questioned by Protagoras, after 
which Protagoras will be questioned by him. 

VI. 338 E-347 A. Socrates is cross-examined by 
Protagoras on the meaning of a poem of Simonides, 
and tries to save the consistency of the poet, which 
Protagoras impugns, by distinguishing between 
" being good " and " becoming good " ; he also sug- 
gests a peculiar significance of words in Ceos (the 
native place of the poet and of Prodicus, whose 
verbal learning he satirizes with some pedantic 
nonsense). He then gives his own explanation of 
the poem, which he holds to have been written to 
refute a saying of Pittacus (an Ionian sage of the 
latter part of the seventh century b.c.) that " it is 



hard to be good " : to become good, said the poet, is 
hard ; to be good is impossible ; he looked for no 
perfect virtue on earth. 

VII. 347 A-360 E. Alcibiades and Callias prevail 
on Protagoras, rather against his will, to be 
questioned by Socrates as to whether wisdom, tem- 
perance, courage, justice and hoUness are all the 
same thing, or different parts of virtue. Protagoras 
singles out courage as distinct from the rest. When 
Socrates argues that it is the same as wisdom, 
Protagoras objects to his reasoning, and Socrates 
starts on a new line : Is not pleasure, viewed apart 
from its consequences, the same as the good ? To 
be overcome by pleasure is merely to choose the 
less instead of the greater good, through ignorance ; 
and pleasure being good, every action must be good 
that has pleasure as its object. The coward who 
will not fight when he ought is suffering from an 
ignorant misconception of what lies before him, so 
that courage must be knowledge. 

VIII. 360 E-362 A. It is shown, in conclusion, 
that Socrates and Protagoras have each been led 
into a position opposite to that which they held at 
the beginning : Socrates' identification of virtue 
with knowledge brings him to the view that virtue 
must be teachable, which he at first denied ; while 
Protagoras, who held that it is teachable, now 
declares that it is not knowledge, thus denying it 
the sole means of being taught. 

A good modern edition of the Protagoras is that 
by J. Adam, Cambridge University Press, 1905. 




ETAIP02, 2nKPATH2, innoKPATH2, npnTAroPA2, 


^'309 ^^* no^et', J) HiCJKpares, (j>aivrj; -q SryAa hr] 
on aTTO KVVT]yeaiov rod Trepl rrjv AA/ciptaoou 
wpav; Kal /xi^v /xot Kal 7Tpa)7]v ISovrt, KaXos /i.ev 
€(/)aiv€TO avrjp en, avrjp p^evroi, cS Sdj/cpare?, 
CO? y' ei^ ai^Tot? '>7)U.rv' elprjadai, Kal Trcoycovos r]8r) 
VTroTTLHTrXdfjievos . 

2n. Etra Ti rovro; ov av fxevrot 'Opb-qpov 
B eTTaiverrjs et, os €(f>r) ■)(apieardT'qv rj^-qv elvai 
Tov VTTrjvqrov, rjv vvv 'AA/ct^taSr^S" ex^'» 

ET. Tt ovv TO. vvv; ^ Tra/s' eKeivov (f)aivr}; 
Koi TTcos TTpos a€ 6 vcavlas Sta/cetrat; 

2n. Eu, efxaiye eSo^ev, ovx rjKiara Se /cat t^ 
vw r)p,€pa- Kal yap TroAAa virep i/xov €L7T€, ^otj- 
du)v ifxol, Kol ovv Kal dpri an* eKeivov epxofiai. 
droTTOV fievTOt ri aoi idcXo) eiTTelv napovTos yap 


[or sophists : AX arraignment] 

A Frievd, Socrates, Hippocrates, Protagoras, 


FR. Where have you been now, Socrates ? Ah, but 
of course you have been in chase of Alcibiades and his 
youthful beauty ! Well, only the other day, as I 
looked at him, I thought him still handsome as a 
man — for a man he is, Socrates, between you and 
me, and with quite a growth of beard. 

soc. And what of that ? Do you mean to say you 
do not approve of Homer, ^ who said that youth has 
highest grace in him whose beard is appearing, as 
now in the case of Alcibiades ? 

FR. Then how is the affair at present ? Have you 
been with him just now ? And how is the young 
man treating you ? 

soc. Quite well, I considered, and especially so to- 
day : for he spoke a good deal on my side, supporting 
me in a discussion — in fact I have only just left him. 
However, there is a strange thing I have to tell you : 

1 Jliad, xxiv. 348. 



€K€LVov, ovT€ TTpooelxov Tov vovv, iveXavOavofiTjV 
T€ avTov Oafjbd. 
C ET. Kat TL av yeyovog eir) vepl ak KaKetvov 
ToaovTov TTpdyfjua; ov yap StjTrov rivl koXXLovl 
€V€TVX€S (xAAoj €v ye rfjSe rij ttoXcl. 

5n. Kat TToXv ye. 

ET. Ti <f>'ps; daTU) r) ievo); 

2fl. SeVo). 

ET. IloSaTTU); 

2n. A^S-qptTj). 

ET. Kat ovTco KaXos Tt? o ^evos eSo^e aoi 
eivat, ojcrre rov KXetviov vleos KoXXicov aoL (f)a- 

2n. Ilais' 8 ov fxeXXei, w puaKapie, ro aocfxorarov 
KoXXiov <f>aiveadaL; 

ET. AAA' rj ao(f)(p TLVi rjixlv, c5 JlcoKpare?, 
€vrvxd}V Trdpei; 
J) 2fl. JjO(f)cordTa) p,ev ovv St^ttou rcov ye vvv, et 
aoi hoKel ao<j)Ci}Taros elvai Ylpiorayopa's. 

ET. *Q. ri Xeyeis; Tlpoirayopag eTTiSeST^fi'qKev; 

2X1. TpirrjV ye rjSrj rjp.€pav. 

ET. Kat aprt apa eKeivco avyyeyovcbs rjKeis; 
310 2n. Udvv ye ttoAAo, /cat elnajv Kat aKOVcras. 

ET. Tt oSv ov StT^yT^CTCo rjfjLLV TTjv ^vvovaiav, 
ei p.rj ue ri KcoXvei, Kadit^ofxevog evravdi, i^ava- 
arrjaas rov nalSa rovrovi; 

2n. Udvv fjLev o5v' /cat X^P'-^ 7^ etaojxai, eav 

* The Friend had an attendant who was sitting by him, 


although he was present, I not merely paid him no 
attention, but at times forgot him altogether. 

FR. Why, what can have happened between you 
and him ? Something serious ! For surely you did 
not find anyone else of greater beauty there, — no, 
not in our city. 

see. Yes, of far greater. 

FR. What do you say ? One of our people, or a 
foreigner ? 

soc. A foreigner. 

FR. Of what city ? 

soc. Abdera. 

FR. And you found this foreigner so beautiful that 
he appeared to you of greater beauty than the son 
of Cleinias ? 

soc. WTiy, my good sir, must not the wisest 
appear more beautiful ? 

FR. Do you mean it was some wise man that you 
met just now ? 

soc. Nay, rather the wisest of our generation, I 
may tell you, if " wisest " is what you agree to call 

FR. Ah, what a piece of news ! Protagoras come 
to town ! 

soc. Yes, two days ago. 

FR. And it was his company that you left just 
now ? 

soc. Yes, and a great deal I said to him, and he 
to me. 

FR. Then do let us hear your account of the con- 
versation at once, if you are disengaged : take my 
boy's place,^ and sit here. 

soc. Very good ; indeed, I shall be obliged to 
you, if you will listen. 



ET. Kat ixrjv Kol rjfji€LS aoi, iav AeyTy?. 

2n. AittAt^ ai' €L-q rj ■)(dpL^. dAA' ovv OLKOvere. 

Trjs TTapeXOovcrrjs vvKTog ravrrjcri, eVi ^aOdog 
OpdpOV, 'iTTTTOKpdrrj^ 6 'ATToAAoSdjpou uio?, Oa- 
auivos Se dSeA^o?, rrjv Ovpav rrj ^aKr-qpia ttovv 
B a(f)6Spa €Kpov€, /cat iTreiSrj avro) dveco^e rt?, 
€vdvg etcro) i^ei €7r€Ly6p,€VOS, Kal rfj (jicovfj fieya 
Xeycov, 'Q, TicoKpare^, ^^V> ^ypi^yopas rj KadeuSei? ; 
Kai eyo) rrjv <f>(x)V7]v yvovs avrov, iTTTTOKpdrrjg, 
€<f>rjv, ovTOS' fMrj ri vecorepov dyyeXXcis; OvSev 
y , rj o OS, €L fxij ayava ye. EjV av Aeyot?, tjv 
8' eycL' ecrri 8e tl, /cat rod eveKa rrjvLKdSe dcf)LKov; 
Upcorayopas, e<j>rj, rjKei, ards Trap* lp,oi. Ylpiprjv, 
€(^rjv eyd)' av 8e dprt TreTTvaai; Ni^ rov's Oeovg, 
Q €^rj, ecrnepas ye. /cat dpia i7Tnpr]Xa(f>-^aas rov 
aKL/JLTToSog CKade^ero irapd rovs TroSa? /xoy, /cat 
€L7T€V 'EcTTre'/oa? S^ra, fxdXa ye oifte d(j)iK6p.evos 
e^ Olvorjs. 6 ydp rot Trals fie o Harvpos drreSpa' 
/cat Sijra fxeXXcov ctol <j)pdl,eiv, on hico^oipirjv 
avrov, VTTo rivog dXXov iTTeXadofirjv erretSrj 8e 
"^Xdov /cat heSeiTTV-qKOTes r^p^ev /cat e/xe'AAo/iev 
dvarraveadai,, rore p,oi dSeA^o? Xeyec, ore rJKei 
Upcorayopas. /cat ert pi,ev evexelprjcra evdvs 
napd ae levai, CTretrd piot Xiav rroppco eSo^e rdjv 
D vvKrdJv etvai- eTrei,Srj Se rdxi'Ord pie e/c rov kottov 
6 V7TVOS dvrJKev, evdvs dvaarrds ovrco Sevpo irro- 
pevopL-qv. /cat eyoj ytyvcoaKCov avrov rrjV dvSpelav 
/cat rrjV Trrot-qcriv, Tt ovv aoi, -qv 8' eyo), rovro; 
pLOJV ri ae dSt/cet Wpcorayopas ; /cat o? yeActaa?, 
Nt7 rovs deovg, e(f)7], c5 Hco/cpares", on ye piovos 
earl ao(f)6s, epik he ov TTOiei. 'AAAd vai pid At'a, 
echriv eyu), dv avro) 8t8a)j dpyvpiov /cat Treldrjs 


FR. And we also to you, I assure you, if you will 
tell us. 

sec. A twofold obligation. Well now, listen. 

During this night just past, in the small hours, 
Hippocrates, son of Apollodorus and brother of 
Phason, knocked violently at my door with his stick, 
and when they opened to him he came hurrying in 
at once and calling to me in a loud voice : Socrates, 
are you awake, or sleeping ? Then I, recognizing 
his voice, said : Hippocrates, hallo ! Some news to 
break to me ? Only good news, he replied. Tell 
it, and welcome, I said : what is it, and what business 
brings you here at such an hour ? Protagoras has 
come, he said, standing at my side. Yes, two days 
ago, I said : have you only just heard ? Yes, by 
Heaven ! he replied, last evening. /With this he 
groped about for the bedstead, and sitting down by 
my feet he said : It was in the evening, after I had 
got in very late from Oenoe. My boy Satyrus, you 
see, had run away : I meant to let you know I was 
going in chase of him, but some other matter put it 
out of my head. On my return, when we had finished 
dinner and were about to retire, my brother told me, 
only then, that Protagoras had come. I made an 
effort, even at that hour, to get to you at once, but 
came to the conclusion that it was too late at night. 
But as soon as I had slept off my fatigue I got up 
at once and made my way straight here. Then I, 
noting the man's gallant spirit and the flutter he 
was in, remarked : Well, what is that to you ? Has 
Protagoras wronged you ? At this he laughed and. 
Yes, by the gods ! he said, by being the only wise 
man, and not making me one. But, by Zeus ! I 
said, if you give him a fee and win him over he will 



€K€lvov, voi'qaet /cat ae ao(f)6v. Et yap, "^ S' o?, 
E cS Zcu /cat deoi, iv rovrco etr)' ws out* av tcov 
efxcijv eTnXnroLjxi ovhev ovre rcx)v ^iXutv dAA' 
a73Ta ravra /cat vvv tJkco irapa ere, Iva inrep epiov 
hiaXexdfjS avTcp. iyco yap d/xa jxkv /cat vecorepos" 
et/xt, a/ia 8e ovhe icopaKa Upcorayopav TrcuTrore 
ovS* OLKrjKoa ovSev en yap Trals 'q, ore to 
TTporepov €TT€hrjpi.rjaev . dAAo. yap, J) Sco/cpares', 
navres tov dvSpa eTraivovai Kai ^acrt aocfxoTaTov 
etvai Aeyetv dAAd rt oi) ^aSti^ofj,€v Trap* avrov, 
311 tva evSov KaraXd^co/jLev ; /caroAuet 8', co? eycu 
TjKOvaa, TTapa KaAAta to) iTTTroi/t/cou* dAA' tco/xev. 
/cat eyco elrTOv Mt^ttcd, (hyade, iKeXcre Icop-ev, rrpo) 
yap iarriv, dAAd Sevpo i^avaarco/jicv et? tt^v auAi^v, 
/cat TTCpuovres avrov hLarpiipcopLev, ecos dv (I>6js 
yevr]Tai' elra toipLev. /cat ydp rd noXXa IlpojT- 
ayopas evSov Biarpl^eu, coare, ddppei, KaraX-rj^o- 
fjLeda avrov, a»? ro elKog, evSov. 

MeTa TauTa dv'acrTdv'Tes' et? rrjv avXr)v TrepLrjfjiev 
B /cat iyd) d7T07T€Lpco[X€Vos rov 'YrrrroKpdrovs rrjs 
poip,y]s hieaKOTtovv avrov /cat rjpcorcov, EtTre fxoi, 
e(f)r]v iyto, c3 'ImroKpares, napd Upwrayopav 
vvv e7rt;^etpet? livai, dpyvpiov reXcbv e/cetVo; [xiadov 
VTTcp aeavrov, cu? rrapd riva d(l>L^6p.evos /cat Tt? 
y€V7]a6fievog ; ajairep dv et eTrewet? Trapd rov 
aavrov 6p,u)vvp,ov iXddjv 'iTnroKpdrr] rov Kwov, 
rov rcov *AaKXr]7naSa)v, dpyvpiov reXelv VTrep 
aavrov fiiaOov eKelvcp, et Tt? ere rjpero, EtTre /xot,, 
C /Lte'AAet? TeAetv, c5 'iTnroKpares, 'lirTTOKpareL fiiaOov 
(OS tIvl ovri; ri dv dTTCKpivai; Eittov dv, €<fyrj, ori 



make you wise too. Would to Zeus and all the 
gods, he exclaimed, only that were needed ! I 
should not spare either my own pocket or those of 
my friends. But it is on this very account I have 
come to you now, to see if you will have a talk with 
him on my behalf: for one thing, I am too young 
to do it myself; and for another, I have never yet 
seen Protagoras nor heard him speak a word- — I was 
but a child when he paid us his previous visit. You 
know, Socrates, how everyone praises the man and 
tells of his mastery of speech : let us step over to 
him at once, to make sure of finding him in ; he is 
staying, so I was told, with CalUas, son of Hipponicus. 
Now, let us be going. To this I replied : We had 
better not go there yet, my good friend, it is so 
very early : let us rise and turn into the court here, 
and spend the time strolling there till daylight 
comes ; after that we can go. Protagoras, you see, 
spends most of his time indoors, so have no fear, we 
shall find him in all right, most likely. 

So then we got up and strolled in the court ; and 
I, to test Hippocrates' grit, began examining him 
with a few questions. Tell me, Hippocrates, I said, 
in your present design of going to Protagoras and 
paying him money as a fee for his services to your- 
self, to whom do you consider you are resorting, and 
what is it that you are to become ? Suppose, for 
example, you had taken it into your head to call on 
your namesake Hippocrates of Cos, the Asclepiad, 
and pay him money as your personal fee, and suppose 
someone asked you — Tell me, Hippocrates, in pur- 
posing to pay a fee to Hippocrates, what do you 
consider him to be ? How would you answer that ? 

A doctor, I would say. 



(OS Larpo). Q,g tls yevrjao/jievos ; '0.g larpos, 
€<pir}. Et Se TTapa YioXvKXeiTov rov ^Apyelov r) 
<Petoiai' TOP * Adrjvalou irrevoeLs d(f)LK6p,evos fjnadov 
imep aavTov reXelv e/cetVoi?, et tls ore rjpero' 
reXelv rovro to apyvpiov <hs tLvi ovti ev vcp e^et? 
YloXuKXeiTcp Te /cat OetSt'a; tl av oLTTeKpivw ; 
Kivov dv d)s dyaXfjbaTOTTOLols. 'H? tls Se yevrj- 
aofievos avTos; ArjXov otl dyaXpLaTOTTOLos . Etev, 
Tjv o eyixi' TTapa. Se 817 W^poiTayopav vvv d^LKO- 

D pevoL eya> Te /cat cry dpyvpcov eKeivcp piaOov eTOLpoL 
icropeOa TeXelv VTrep aov, dv pev e^LKvrJTaL Ta 
T]p€Tepa ;^p7^|U.ara /cat tovtols TceiOaipev avTov, 
el Se pL-q, /cat to. tcov ^lXcov TrpoaavaXiaKOVTes . 
et ovv TLS rjpds rrepl TavTa ovtco a(f)6Spa ottov- 
Sd^ovTas epoiTO' etVe' poL, a» Sco/cpareV re /cat 
'iTTTrd/c/aares", to? rtVt ovtl Ta> IlpwTayopa ev vo) 
exeTC ;(/37y)U.aTa reAetv; ti dv avTcp diroKpLvaipeda ; 

E Tt ovopa dXXo ye Xeyopevov irepl YipoiTayopov 
aKOvopev ; warrep -nepL OetStou dyaXpaToiroLov /cat 
Trepi 'Op'qpov TTOLrjTrjv, ti tolovtov irepl WpoiT- 
ayopov dKovopev ; 'EiO(f>iaTr)v St] tol 6vopdt,ovai 
ye, o) HcoKpaTes, tov dvSpa etvaL, e(j)rj. 'Q.s 
aocf>iaTfj dpa epxdpeda TeXovvTes to. ;^/0i7)LtaTa; 
MaAtcrra. Et ovv /cat tovto tls ere TrporrepoLTO' 
312 avTos Se Srj to? tls yevrjcropevos epxfj Trapd tov 
IlpojTayopav; /cat o? etTrev epvdpidaas — tJSt] yap 
V7Te(f>aLve tl rjpepas, cocttc KaTa(f>av7J avTov yeveadai 



And what would you intend to become ? 

A doctor, he replied. 

And suppose you had a mind to approach Polycleitus 
the Argive or Pheidias the Athenian and pay them a 
personal fee, and somebody asked you — What is it 
that you consider Polycleitus or Pheidias to be, that 
you are minded to pay them this money ? What 
would your answer be to that ? 

Sculptors, I would reply. 

And what would you intend to become ? 

Obviously, a sculptor. 

Very well then, I said ; you and I will go now to 
Protagoras, prepared to pay him money as your fee, 
from our own means if they are adequate for the 
purpose of prevailing on him, but if not, then dramng 
on our friends' resources to make up the sum. Now 
if anyone, observing our extreme earnestness in the 
matter, should ask us, — Pray, Socrates and Hippo- 
crates, what is it that you take Protagoras to be, 
when you purpose to pay him money ? What should 
we reply to him ? What is the other name that we 
commonly hear attached to Protagoras ? They call 
Pheidias a sculptor and Homer a poet : what title 
do they give Protagoras ? 

A sophist, to be sure, Socrates, is what they call 

Then we go to him and pay him the money as a 
sophist ? 


Now suppose someone asked you this further 
question : And what is it that you yourself hope to 
become when you go to Protagoras ? 

To this he replied with a blush — for by then there 
was a glimmer of daylight by which I could see him 



— Et ^liv Ti rols efiTTpoadev eoiKe, SrjXov on ao' 
<f>icrrrjs yevrjaofxevos . Su 8e, ■^v 8' iyu), vrpo? 
Oecov, ovK dv alaxvvoLo els rovg "EAAr^va? aavrov 
ao(f)LGTrjv TTapexoiv; Nr) rov Ata, c5 Sctj/cpare?, 
€LTT€p ye d Siavoovfiat XP'^ XeyeLV. 'AAA' dpa, a) 
iTTTTOKpares, firj ov roiavr-qv inroXafM^dveis crov ttjv 
TTapd Upcorayopov fMadrjaLV eaeaOai, dAA' olaiTep 
B r} TTapd Tov ypap,p,ariaTov eyevero Koi KiQapicrTov 
Kol TTaiSorpi^ov ; tovtcov yap av eKaaTTjv ovk 
€7tI Texyrj 'ep,ades, cos hi)jxiovpyds e(j6p,evos, aAA' 
CTTi TratSeia, <hs tov ISLiorrjv koI tov eXevdepov 

TTpeTTei. Wdw fieV OVV fJ.OL SoKCI, €(f)7j, TOiaVTTj 

fidXXov etvat, rj irapd UpcoTayopov fiddrjais. 

Olcrda OVV o pueXXets vvv TTpaTTeiv, tj ae Xav- 
Odvei; -^v S' iyo). Tov Trepi; "Otl p^eXXeis ttjv 
C ^vx'Tjv T7]v aavTov Trapaax^Xv OepaTrevaai dvSpt, 
COS <j>XjS, cro(f)i,aTfj' o tl Se rroTe 6 ao(f)i(JTr]s eoTi, 
davpidt,oipJ dv el olada. /catVot et tovt ayvoels, 
ovhe OTO) TTapaSlScos ttjv ifjvx'^v olada, ovt ei 
dyado) OVT* el KaKU) 7Tpdyp,aTt. Oi/xai y', ecfyr), 
elSevai. Aeye S-q.^ ri rjy^ etvat, tov a'0(f)i(TT'qv ; 
'Elya> /xeV, ■^ 8' os, (Zarrep Tovvofia Xeyei, tovtov 
etvai TOV Tcov ao(f)d)v imaT-qpiOva. Ovkovv, tjv 
8' iya>, TOVTO p,ev e^eaTi Xeyeiv /cat irepl t,o)ypa(f>a)V 



quite clearly — If it is like the previous cases, ob- 
viously, to become a sophist. 

In Heaven's name, I said, would you not be 
ashamed to present yourself before the Greeks as 
a sophist ? 

Yes, on my soul I should, Socrates, if I am to 
speak my real thoughts. 

Yet after all, Hippocrates, perhaps it is not this 
sort of learning that you expect to get from Prot- 
agoras, but rather the sort you had from your 
language-master, your harp-teacher, and your sports- 
instructor ; for when you took your lessons from 
each of these it was not in the technical way, with 
a view to becoming a professional, but for education, 
as befits a private gentleman. 

I quite agree, he said ; it is rather this kind of 
learning that one gets from Protagoras. 

Then are you aware what you are now about to 
do, or is it not clear to you ? I asked. 

To what do you refer ? 

I mean your intention of submitting your soul to 
the treatment of a man who, as you say, is a sophist ; 
and as to what a sophist really is, I shall be surprised 
if you can tell me. And yet, if you are ignorant of 
this, you cannot know to whom you are entrusting 
your soul, — whether it is to something good or to 
something evil. 

I really think, he said, that I know. 

Then tell me, please, what you consider a sophist 
to be. 

I should say, he replied, from what the name 
impUes, that he is one who has knowledge of wise 

Well, I went on, we are able to say this of painters 



Kai rrepi rcKrovcov, on ovtol elaiv ol rcov ao(j>ix)v 
D €TnaTrjjj,oves' aAA' ei rt? cpoiro rjp.ds, rcov tl 
(JO(f}cx)v elalv ol ^a)ypd(f)0(, eTTLanqfioves, etTTOt/xev 
av 7TOV avTcp, on rcjv irpos rrjv diTepyamav rrjv 
rcov eiKovcov, Kal rdXXa ovrcos. el Se ns iKclvo 
epoiro, 6 Se ao(f)iar'r]s rcov rl ao<j><j)v icrrl; rl dv 
aTTOKpLvolfieOa avrco; TTolas epyaalag iTnardrrjs ; 
Tt dv eLTTOLfxev avrov elvat, c5 TicoKpares, t] im- 
ardrrjv rov iroLrjaai heivov Xeyeiv ; "Icrco? dv, rjv 
8 eyciS, dXrjdrj Xdyoifxev, ov /xeVroi iKavcos ye' 
ipcorT](T€cos ydp en t) dTTOKpiaig rjpLLV Selrai, Trepl 
orov o cro(f)LcrTrjg Setvov TTOiel Xeyeiv cLanep a 
E Ktdapiarr^s heivov hrjTTOV TTOiel Xeyeiv Trepl ovirep 
Kal €7narT]fjLOva, Trepl Kidapiaecos' ^ y^P> Nai. 
Efep'* o 8e 877 (70(f)Larrjs Trepl rivos heivov TTOiel 
Xeyeiv; AijXov on rrepl ovTrep Kal eTriaraadai} ; 
Et/co? ye. ri 8rJ icm rovro, Trepl oS avros re 
eTTicrrripicov earlv 6 ao(f)iarr)g Kal rov /jLad-qrrjv 
TTOieZ; Ma At", e^i], ovKeri exco aoi Xeyeiv. 
3J3 Kat eyci) eiTTOv pierd rovro ' Tt ovv; olada eh 
olov riva kivSvvov epxj] vrrodrjacxiv rrjV fjjvxrjv; rj et 
piev rd acopia eTTirpeTieiv ae eSei rep, SiaKivSuvevovra 
"q ;^/37j<TTOv avro yeveaOai t] TTOvrjpov, TroXXd dv 
TTepieaKeiJjco, eir* eTTirpeTrreov e'lre ov, /cat els 

' iiriaraffdai Stahl : ^iria-raTai MSS. 


also, and of carpenters, — that they are the persons 
who have knowledge of wise matters ; and if some- 
one asked us for what those matters are wise, of 
which painters have knowledge, I suppose we should 
tell him that they are wise for the production of 
likenesses, and similarly with the rest. But if he 
should ask for what the matters of the sophist are 
wise, how should we answer him ? What sort of 
workmanship is he master of ? 

How should we describe him, Socrates, — as a 
master of making one a clever speaker ? 

Perhaps, I replied, we should be speaking the 
truth, but yet not all the truth ; for our answer still 
calls for a question, as to the subject on which the 
sophist makes one a clever speaker : just as the harp- 
player makes one clever, I presume, at speaking on 
the matter of which he gives one knowledge, namely 
harp-playing, — you agree to that ? 


Well, about what does the sophist make one a 
clever speaker ? 

Clearly it must be the same thing as that of which 
he gives one knowledge. 

So it would seem : now what is this thing, of which 
the sophist himself has knowledge and gives know- 
ledge to his pupil ? 

Ah, there, in good faith, he said, I fail to find 
you an answer. 

I then went on to say : Now tell me, are you 
aware upon what sort of hazard you are going to 
stake your soul ? If you had to entrust your body to 
someone, taking the risk of its being made better or 
worse, you would first consider most carefully whether 
you ought to entrust it or not, and would seek the 



avu^ovXrjv rovs re <f>lXovs av irapeKoXeig koX rovs 
oiKCLOVs, aKOTTOVfievos rjfiepas crv)(yds' o Be ircpi 
ttXclovos tov Gcofxaros rjyel, rr)v ^v)(rjv, /cat ev w 
iravr iarl to. aa tj ev tj KaKcbs TrpdrreLv, -x^priarov 
7] TTOvrjpov avTov yevofjLevov, ncpl 8e tovtov ovre 
B rw irarpl ovt€ rev a8eA(^a» €TT€KOtva)croj ovre rjiJicbv 
rojv iraipcuv ovSevi, etr inLTpeTTTeov etre /cat ov 

TCp d(f>LKOfJ,€V(p TOVTO) $€V(x) TTjV Crr]V ifjVX'TjV , oAA' 

iajTcpas UKOvaas, ws <^7JS", opdpios tJkcov Trepl fiev 
TOVTOV ovSeva Xoyov ovSk avfx^ovXrjv ttoltj, etre 
XP'f) €TnTpe7T€Lv aavTov avTip etre [X'q, cTOLfios S 
€t dvaAiCT/cetv ra re aavrov /cat to, tcDv ^iAcdv 
^T^fjiora, (x)S 'tjSrj hieyvoiK(x>s , otl ttovtcos avvecrreov 
WpuiTayopa, ov ovtc yiyvcxyaKeis, (hs 4*TI^> ovt€ 

C StetAe^at ouSeTrcoTrore, oo<f>LaTriv S' 6vopLdt,eLS , tov 
Se ao(l)icrrrjv, 6 tL ttotc eaTi, ^aivei dyvocov, o) 
fieXXets aavTov eTrnpirreiv ; /cat os aKovcras, 
"Eot/cev, e(f)r], cS Sdj/cpare?, i^ d)V av Xiyeis. 
*Ap* ovv, <L 'iTTTTOKpares, 6 ao(f)iaTrjS Tvyxdvei wv 
e/JiTTopos TLS ^ Kd7Tf]Xos Tcov dycoyifjiojv, d(f>* uJv 
*f'^XV T/)e(^eTat; ^atVerat yap efxotye tolovtos rtj. 
Tpe(f)eTai Se, c5 Sdj/cpare?, ^'^XH t^vl; ^ladrjfxaai 
hrjTtov, rjv S' eyd). /cat OTroj? ye /xi), c5 eVatpe, o 
ao<f)i,aTr)9 inaivcov d TrcoAet e^anaT-qcrri r]nds, 
wcnrep ol Trepl ttjv tov o-dS/xaTo? Tpo^rjv, 6 epiTTopos 

D Te /cat KCtTrr^Aos'. /cat ya/j ovToi ttov (Sv dyovaiv 
dyoiyipioiv ovTe avTol tcracrtv o rt XPV^'^°^ r] no- 
vnpov TTcpl TO acjjxa, eTraivovai Se iravTa ttcuXovvtcs, 



advice of your friends and relations and ponder it 
for a number of days : but in the case of your soul, 
which you value much more highly than your body, 
and on which depends the good or ill condition of 
all your affairs, according as it is made better or 
worse, would you omit to consult first with either 
your father or your brother or one of us your com- 
rades, — as to whether or no you should entrust your 
very soul to this newly-arrived foreigner ; but choose 
rather, having heard of him in the evening, as you 
say, and coming to me at dawn, to make no mention 
of this question, and take no counsel upon it — 
whether you ought to entrust yourself to him or not ; 
and are ready to spend your own substance and that 
of your friends, in the settled conviction that at all 
costs you must converse with Protagoras, whom you 
neither know, as you tell me, nor have ever met in 
argument before, and whom you call " sophist," in 
patent ignorance of what this sophist may be to 
whom you are about to entrust yourself ? 

WTien he heard this he said : It seems so, Socrates, 
by what you say. 

Then can it be, Hippocrates, that the sophist is 
really a sort of merchant or dealer in provisions on 
which a soul is nourished ? For such is the view I 
take of him. 

With what, Socrates, is a soul nourished ? 

With doctrines, presumably, I rephed. And we 
must take care, my good friend, that the sophist, in 
commending his wares, does not deceive us, as both 
merchant and dealer do in the case of our bodily 
food. For among the provisions, you know, in which 
these men deal, not only are they themselves ignorant 
what is good or bad for the body, since in selling they 



ovT€ ol d)vovfi€VOL Trap* avTcHv, iav fi-q ris TvxTf) 
yvfMvacrTLKos r^ larpos c3v. ovtco 8e /cai ol ra 
fiad-^fxaTa Treptdyovres Kara rag ttoXcls kol ttco- 
Xovvres Kal KairrjXevovres Ta> del cTrt^u/xowTi 
67ratvouCTi iiev irdura d ttcoXovcfl, rd-)(a 8' dv rives, 
c5 dpicrre, Kal rovrcov dyvootev cov TTCoXovatv o ri 

E XPV^^^^ V '^ov-qpov TTpos rrjv ^vx^^v' (hg S' avrois 
Kal ol (hvovfievot. Trap" avrutv, idv /X17 ti? tvxT) 
TTepl rrjv i/ivxrjv av larptKog a>v. el fjuev ovv crv 
rvyxdvei? emcrrripiaiv rovrcov rl XPV^'^^^ '^^•^ 
7TOV7]p6v, da(j)aXes aoi (LveZadai ixad-qp-ara Kai 
TTapd Ylpayrayopov Kal Trap' dXXov orovovv ei 8e 
fxri, opa, (h fjuaKapce, [mtj Trepl rots (f)iXraroLS 
314 Kv^evjjs re Kal KLvbvvevrjS' Kal yap Brj Kal ttoXv 
fiei^cov KLvSvvos ev rrj rcov fiadrjfjidrcov oivfj rj ev 
rfj rojv airicjov. airia fxev yap kol irord TrpidpLevov 
TTapd rov KaTn^Xou Kal ifXTTopov e^eariv ev dXXois 
dyyeioLS diro^epeiv, kol Trplv he^aoQai avrd els 
ro acofia Triovra r^ ^ayovra, Karadepievov ot/caSe 
e^eari avp.^ovXevaaaBai, trapaKaXeaavra rov 
eiratovra, ri re eSeareov tj iroreov /cat o ri fi'q, 
Kal oTToaov Kai oTTore' ojare ev rfj ojvfj ov fxeyas 

B o KLvSvvos- p-ad-qfjiara 8e ouk eariv ev aXXco 
dyyelcp drreveyKelv, aXX dvdyK-q, KaraOevra rrjv 
rifi-qv, TO fidd7jp.a ev avrfj rrj fpvxfj Xa^ovra Kal 
p,a96vra dTTievai rj ^ePXap,p,evov rj (x)(f)eXr]p,evov. 
ravra ovv OKOTTOijieda Kal jierd rcov Trpea^vrepojv 
rjjxivv' rjjiels ydp en veoi ojare roaovrov Trpdyjia 
SteXeaOai. vvv jxevroi, wairep cbpfi-qaajxev, tcofiev 



commend them all, but the people who buy from 
them are so too, unless one happens to be a trainer 
or a doctor. And in the same way, those who take 
their doctrines the round of our cities, hawking them 
about to any odd purchaser who desires them, com- 
mend everything that they sell, and there may well 
be some of these too, my good sir, who are ignorant 
which of their wares is good or bad for the soul ; 
and in just the same case are the people who buy 
from them, unless one happens to have a doctor's 
knowledge here also, but of the soul. So then, if 
you are well informed as to what is good or bad 
among these wares, it will be safe for you to buy 
doctrines from Protagoras or from anyone else you 
please : but if not, take care, my dear fellow, that 
you do not risk your greatest treasure on a toss of 
the dice. For I tell you there is far more serious 
risk in the purchase of doctrines than in that of 
eatables. When you buy victuals and liquors you 
can carry them off from the dealer or merchant in 
separate vessels, and before you take them into 
your body by drinking or eating you can lay them 
by in your house and take the advice of an expert 
whom you can call in, as to what is fit to eat or 
drink and what is not, and how much you should 
take and when ; so that in this purchase the risk is 
not serious. But you cannot carry away doctrines 
in a separate vessel : you are compelled, when you 
have handed over the price, to take the doctrine in 
your ver}^ soul by learning it, and so to depart either 
an injured or a benefited man. These, then, are ques- 
tions which we have to consider with the aid of our 
elders, since we ourselves are still rather young to 
unravel so great a matter. For the moment, how- 
voL. IV E 109 


KaL OLKovaayfiev rov dvSpos, eneira OLKOvaavres 
/cat dXXoLs dvaKOLVcoacofxeda- /cai yap ov fxovos 
IlpojTayopas avrodi iariv, dAAa /cat 'iTTTrta? o 

C HAetos" oi/xat Se /cat YVpohiKov rov Ketov /cat 
aAAot TToAAot /cat ao(f)oi. 

Ao^av rjixlv ravra eiropevofxeda' eTTeiSrj 8e iv 
Tw TTpodupo) iyevofjieda, €7nardvT€s ncpi rivog 
Xoyov SieXeyofxeda, os rjfxZv Kara rrjv ohov cvcTTcaev 
IV* ovv fXT) dreXrjs yevoiro, dAAa hiaTrepavdp.evoi 
ovrcos iatoLfjLev, aravres iv ro) Trpodvpco SteAeyo- 
fxeda, €Ct)S crvvcofioXoyrjaafJiev dAATjAots". So/cet ovv 
fjbOL, 6 Ovpcopos, evvovxos rts", Kar-qKOvev rj/Jiwv, klv- 

J) Svvevet, Be Sid ro TrXrjdog ratv ao(f>iara)v dxdeadai 
rots (f>o(,ra)aLV els rrjv ot/ctav eTTeiSr) yovv eKpov- 
aa/xev rrjv Ovpav, dvoi^ag /cat tScov r)p,dg, "Ea, e^?^, 
ao(f)Larai rives' ov axoXrj avrcp- /cat d'/xa dp,(f)oXv 
roTv ')(epoiv rr]v dvpav ttouv TrpoOvficos co? otd? r 
^v eTT-qpa^e. /cat r]p,€LS TrdXtv eKpovofxev, /cat os 
€yKeKXr]p,evr]s rrjs dvpas dnoKpLvofievos etTrev, 
*n dvOpoJTTOi, e(f)rj, ovk dKTjKoare, ore ov axoXrj 
avrw; 'AAA' co 'yaOe, e(f)r]V eyco, ovre napd KaXXiav 

W •n/co/xev ovre aocfucrrat eafiev dXXd ddppev Yipcor- 
ayopav ydp roi Sed/xevot Ihelv 7]X6ofxev' ela- 
dyyeiXov ovv. /xdyt? ovv rrore rjp.iv dv9pa>7Tos 
dvecj^e rrjv Ovpav eTTeiSrj Be elarjXdopev , KareXd- 
jSojLtev Upojrayopav iv rep 7rpoara)cp Trepiirarovvra, 
e^rjs S' avro) crvp.TTepieTrdrovv iK /xev rov im 



ever, let us pursue our design and go and hear this 
person ; and when we have heard him we shall 
proceed to consult others : for Protagoras is not the 
only one there ; we shall find Hippias of Elis and, 
I believe, Prodicus of Ceos, and numerous other men 
of wisdom besides. 

This we resolved on, and set forth ; and when we 
arrived at the doorway, we stood discussing some 
question or other that had occurred to us by the 
way : so, not to leave it unfinished, but to get it 
settled before we went in, we stood there and dis- 
cussed in front of the door, until we had come to an 
agreement with each other. Now, I fancy the door- 
keeper, who was a eunuch, overheard us ; very hkely 
the great number of sophists has made him annoyed 
with callers at the house : at any rate, when we had 
knocked on the door, he opened it and, on seeing us, 
— Hullo, he said, sophists there ! Master is engaged. 
So saying, he seized the door with both hands and 
very smartly clapped it to with all his might. We 
tried knocking again, and then he spoke in answer 
through the closed door, — Sirs, have you not heard, 
he is engaged ? But, my good fellow, I said, we 
have not come to see Callias, nor are we sophists. 
Have no fear : I tell you, we have come to ask if 
we may see Protagoras ; so go and announce us. 
Then with much hesitation the fellow opened the 
door to us ; and when we had entered, we came 
upon Protagoras as he was walking round in the 
cloister,^ and close behind him two companies were 
walking round also ; on the one side Callias, son of 

* The passage from the front door led into a cloister which 
surrounded an open court and gave access to the various 
rooms of the house. 



darepa KaAAta? o 'Ittttovlkov /cat o dSeA^o? 
315 avTov 6 ofioixTJrpLog, IlapaAos' o Ilept/cAeous', Kal 
^apixlSrjs 6 TXavKCovos, e/c Se tou ctti darepa 6 
erepog rcou YlepiKXeovs "EolvOlttttos Kal OtAtTTTriST^s' 
o <l>tAo/X7^Aoi; /cat ^ Avripbotpos 6 MevSatos", oairep 
evSoKLfxel jxdX(,crTa tcov Upcorayopov fxadrjrcov Kal 
em rexi'l) fiavOdvet, cos ao(f)t(TTr]s icrofxevos. rov- 
TO)v Be ot OTTiadev rjKoXovdovv eTvaKovovTes ra>v 
Xeyofievajv, to fiev ttoXv ^evoi e^aivovro , ovs dyei 
e^ eKaoTcov tcov TToXecov 6 TlpajTayopas, St' Jjv 
Sie^epxcrai,, ktjXcJov rfj (f)ojvfj axTTrep *0p<f>ev9, ot 

B 8e Kara rrjv ^covrjv eirovrai KeK-qXrjpievoi,' rjaav 
8e TLves /cat rajv inLxcopi^ov ev ra> X^P^' tovtov 
rov xppov ixdXiara eytoye ISwv rjad-qv, cos KaXcos 
rjvXa^ouvTo jX'qSeTTore epiTToScbv ev Tip rrpocrdev 
elvat Upcorayopov, oAA' eirechrj avros dvacrrpe(f>ot 
/cat ot fjier eKeivov, ev ttcos Kal ev /coct/xo) rrepi- 
ecrxi^ovTO ovroc ot eTrrjKooi evOev Kal evdev, /cat ev ■, 
kvkXo) TTepuovres del els to o-madev KaOiaravTo 

Tov 8e pier etaevorjaa, €(f>T] "OpLtjpos, 'iTTTrtavj 

C rov 'HAetov, Kad-qpuevov ev rep /car' dvriKpv Trpo- 
arwcp ev dpovcp' rrepl avrov 8' eKdd-qvro em 
^dOpoiv ^Yipv^ip,ax6s re 6 ^ AKOvpuevov Kal ^alBpos 
6 MvppLvovaios Kal ^AvSpcov 6 *Av8porLC0vos /cat 
TCOV ^evcov TToXZrai re avrov Kal aXXoi rives, 
e^aivovro he nepl <^vcrecos re Kal rcbv pLerecopcov 
darpovopuKa drra Scepcorav rov 'ImrLav, 6 S' ev 
dpovcp KaQrjpievos eKdarois avrcov hieKpive /cat 
Sie^27et rd epcorcopieva. Kal p-ev Srj Kal TdvraXov 

1 Od. xi. 601. 


Hipponicus and his brother on the mother's side, 
Paralus, son of Pericles, and Charmides, son of 
Glaucon, while the other troop consisted of Pericles' 
other son Xanthippus, Philippides, son of Philomelas, 
and Antimoerus of Mende, who is the most highly 
reputed of Protagoras' disciples and is taking the 
course professionally with a view to becoming a 
sophist. The persons who followed in their rear, 
listening to what they could of the talk, seemed to 
be mostly strangers, brought by the great Protagoras 
from the several cities which he traverses, enchant- 
ing them with his voice like Orpheus, while they 
follow where the voice sounds, enchanted ; and 
some of our own inhabitants were also dancing 
attendance. As for me, when I saw their evolu- 
tions I was dehghted with the admirable care 
they took not to hinder Protagoras at any 
moment by getting in front ; but whenever the 
master turned about and those with him, it was 
fine to see the orderly manner in which his train of 
listeners spHt up into two parties on this side and 
on that, and wheeling round formed up again each 
time in his rear most admirably. 

" And next did I mark," as Homer^ says, Hippias of 
Elis, seated high on a chair in the doorway opposite ; 
and sitting around him on benches were Eryximachus, 
son of Acumenus, Phaedrus of Myrrhinous, Andron 
son of Androtion and a number of strangers, — 
fellow-citizens of Hippias and some others. They 
seemed to be asking him a series of astronomical 
questions on nature and the heavenly bodies, while 
he, seated in his chair, was distinguishing and ex- 
pounding to each in turn the subjects of their 
questions. " Nay more, Tantalus also did I there 



ye CLaelSov eireh-qfiet yap dpa /cat YlpoSiKO^ 6 
D Ketos" rjv 8e iv olKrjp,ari tlvl, cS Trpo rov fxev co? 
rapLLeio) ixPW^ 'Yttttovlko'S, vvv Se vtto rod rrXiqOov^ 
raJu KaTaXvovrojv 6 KaAAi'a? /cai tovto CKKevcoaa? 
^euoig KaraXvaLV TTCTToi-qKev . 6 fxev ovv Ylpo- 
St/co? eri KareKeiTo, iyKeKaXvfxp^evog iv KOjStot? 
TiCTt /cat (Trpcofiaat /cat jxdXa ttoXXols, cos et^atVero" 
TTapeKad-qvTO Se ayroi eVt ratS" TrXrjaiov /cAtVat? 
Oauaai'ta? re o e/c Kepa/xe'oji^ /cat //.era Ilauorai/tou 
ve'oi' Tt ert /jbeipaKLov, co? /zei' iycLfiai, KaXov re 
E Kayadov rrjv (f)vaiv, rrjv 8' ow tSe'av' Trai'y /caAd?. 
eSofa d/coycrat 6vop.a avro) etvai 'AydOcova, /cat 
oi)/c at* davfid^oipii, et TratSt/ca Hayaat'toy rvyxdueu 
Sv. rovro t' ■i^p' to fi€t,pdKtov, /cat to/ 'ASet/xavrco 
a/Jb^orepco, 6 re KT^TrtSo? /cat o AevKoXocfytSov, /cat 
aAAot Ttre? €(f)aivovro- Trepl 8e c5j^ SteAe'yot'TO ou/c 
iSvvd/jirjV eycoye fxadelv e^codev, /catTre/a AtTra/acDs' 
k-)(<x)v aKOveiv rov YlpoSlKov 7Tdacro(f)og yap /xol 
316 8o/cet dvr)p etvai /cat Oelos' dXXd 8ta tt^i^ ^apvrrjra 
rfjs (jxovrjs ^ofi^og Tt? ei^ to) olKijfMari, yiyv6p,evog 
daa<j)ri eTTOiet to,'a. 

Kat rjfiels p-ev dpri €la€Xr)Xvd€ip.€V, Karomv 8e 
rjpi,d)v €7TeL(TrjXdov * AXKL^idS-qs re o /caAd?, co? (^t)? 
av /cat eyco TreidopLai, /cat K/atrta? d KaAAaicr;(/30i;. 
rjpi€LS ovv d)S elurjXdopiev , ert ap^LKp' drra 8ta- 
rpupavres /cat ravra Siadeaadp-evoi 7Tpoafjp,€V 
B Trpd? rov npa>rayd/3ai', /cat eyco elirov *D Ilpcur- 
ayopa, npos ae rot. rjXdopiev lydi re /cat 'iTnroKpdrrjs 
ovrog. Uorepov, e(f)r], p,6v(x) ^ovXap^evoi 8ta- 
Xexdrjvai 7^ /cat ^era rcDt' aAAojt'; 'H/xtv' ^tev, ■jyi' 8' 

^ Od. xi. 5S2. A touch of epic dignity is humorously 


behold,"^ — for you know Prodicus of Ceos is in 
Athens too : he was in a certain apartment formerly 
used bv Hipponicus as a strong-room, but now cleared 
out by Callias to make more space for his numerous 
visitors, and turned into a guest-chamber. Well, 
Prodicus was still abed, wrapped up in sundry fleeces 
and rugs, and plenty of them too, it seemed ; and 
near him on the beds hard by lay Pausanias from 
Cerames, and with Pausanias a lad who was still quite 
young, — of good birth and breeding, I should say, and 
at all events a very good-looking person. I fancied I 
heard his name was Agathon, and I should not be 
surprised to find he is Pausanias' favourite. Besides 
this youth there were the two Adeimantuses, sons of 
Cepis and Leucolophidas, and there seemed to be 
some others. The subjects of their conversation I 
was unable to gather from outside, despite my 
longing to hear Prodicus ; for I regard the man 
as all- wise and divine : but owing to the depth 
of his voice the room was filled with a booming 
sound which made the talk indistinct. 

We had only just come in, when close on our heels 
entered Alcibiades the good-looking, as you call him 
and I agree that he is, and Critias, son of Cal- 
laeschrus. So, when we had entered, after some 
more Uttle delays over certain points we had to 
examine, we went up to Protagoras, and I said : 
Protagoras, you see we have come to you, Hippocrates 
and I. 

Is it your wish, he askecl, to converse with me alone, 
or in company with others ? 

It is all the same to us, I replied : let me first 

given to the mention of the two famous sophists, Hippias 
and Prodicus. 



iyoi, ovhev Sta^epet- aKovaag hi, ov eveKa '^XOo/xev, 
avTOS (TK€i/jaL. Tt ovv Srj lariv, €(f>y), o5 eve/ca 
TjKere; '\7T7TOKpdrr^s oSe iarl /xev rcbv eTTLXcopicov, 
A77oAAoSa>poy vlos, oiKias {xeydXrjs re /cat euSaC- 
fjLovos, avTos 8e rrjv (f)va(,v So/cet eVa/xiAAos" etv'at 

C Tot? ■jJAtKriwTats'. €7ndvfji€LV 8e /xot So/cet eA- 
Adyt/xo? yevdadat iv rfj TroXet., tovto Se olerai 
OL fidXiar' dv yeveadai, el aol crvyyevoLTO' ravr^ 
ovv rjSr] cru OKonei, rrorepov rrepl avTcov /xovos oiei 
helv hiaXlyeodai irpos fiovovs, ">} jLter' aAAa>v. 
'Opdojs, €(/}r], Trpofirjdfj, c5 JjiOKpares, VTrep ifMov. 
^evov yap dvSpa /cat tovra et? TrdAet? fieydXas, /cat 
ev ravrais ireidovTa rd)v veojv rovs ^eXnarovs 
aTToXeLTTOvrag rds rcbv dXXoiv avvovaias, /cat 
OLKeiojv /cat odveiojv, /cat Trpea^vrepcov /cat veU)- 
repcov, iavro) avveZvai dis ^eXriovs iaofievovg 8td 

D TJ^v eavrov crvvovaiav , XP'^ evXa^eZaOai rov ravra 
TTpdrrovra' ov yap ap,LKpol Trepl avrd (f)d6voL re 
yiyvovTai /cat aAAat Bvajxeveiai re /cat em^ovXai. 
iyd) Se Trjv ao(f>icm,Krjv rexvrjv ij)T]{xl fxev elvai 
TTaXatdv, rovs Se {xerax^f-pt-^opbevovs avrrju rcov 
TTaXatdJv dvhpcov, ^o^ovpievovs ro irraxd^g avrrjg, 
irpoax'^P'O. TTOLcZadai /cat TTpoKaXvTrreadat, rovg 
piev TTOLTjaiv, olov Opirjpov re /cat 'YiaioSov /cat 
HtpLCOVLS-qv , rovs 8e av reXerdg re /cat ;\;/>7^CT/>ta)8ia?, 
TOWS' a/x^t re 'Opcf)ea /cat Mouaatov eviovg 8e 
Tiva? rjudrjpaL /cat yvpuvaariK-qv, olov "I/c/cos" re o 
Tapai'Ttvo? /cat d vvv en wv ovSevos TJrrcov ao- 

E (f)Lcrrf)S 'HpoSiKog 6 HrjXvpi^piavog, ro Be dpxalov 
Meyapeus" pLovacKrjv 8e ^AyaOoKXrjg re 6 vpLerepos 




tell you our object in coining, and then you must 

Well, what is your object ? he asked. 

My friend Hippocrates is a native of the city, a 
son of Apollodorus and one of a great and prosperous 
family, while his own natural powers seem to make 
him a match for anyone of his age. I fancy he is 
anxious to gain consideration in our city, and he 
believes he can best gain it by consorting with you. 
So now it is for you to judge whether it will be 
fittest for you to converse on this matter privately 
with us alone, or in company with others. 

You do right, Socrates, he said, to be so thoughtful 
on my behalf. For when one goes as a stranger into 
great cities, and there tries to persuade the best of 
the young men to drop their other connexions, either 
with their own folk or with foreigners, both old and 
young, and to join one's own circle, with the promise 
of improving them by this connexion with oneself, 
such a proceeding requires great caution ; since very 
considerable jealousies are apt to ensue, and numer- 
ous enmities and intrigues. Now I tell you that 
sophistry is an ancient art, and those men of ancient 
times who practised it, fearing the odium it involved, 
disguised it in a decent dress, sometimes of poetry, as 
in the case of Hoiner, Hesiod, and Simonides ; some- 
times of mystic rites and soothsay ings, as did Orpheus, 
Musaeus and their sects ; and sometimes too, I have 
observed, of athletics, as with Iccus^ of Tarentum 
and another still li\-ing — as great a sophist as any 
— Herodicus^ of Selymbria, originally of Megara; 
and music was the disguise employed by yoiur own 

1 A famous athlete and traiuer. 
* A trainer who also practised medicine. 
VOL. IV E 2 117 


7rp6ax'r}fio. iiroi'^aaTo, fieyas cov ao(f>iaTTJs, Kal 
TlvdoKXetSr]^ 6 Keto? /cat aAAoi ttoXXoL ovtol 
TTOLVTes, CiiGTTep Xiycx), (f)0^'qd€vres rov (fidovov rals 
317 ri-xyais ravrai? TrapaTreraafJiaaiv ixpT^crcLvro' eyoj 
Se TOVTOLS drraaL Kara rovro elvai ov ^vp,(f)€pofiaL- 
Tjyovfiai yap avrovs ov n SLaTrpd^aadat o i^ovXrj- 
drjctav ov yap Xadelv rdv dv6pa)7Tcov rovs Sup'a- 
fxevovs ev Tat? "noXeai Trpdrreiv, Svnep eveKa ravT 
earl ra TTpocrx'^P'Oira- eTret ot ye ttoXXoI co? enos 
enTetv ovSev aladdvovrai, aXX drr av ovroi 
Stayye'AAojcrt, ravra vfivovac. ro ovv aTroStSpa- 
CTKOvra p,rj SvvaaOat aTToSpdvai,, dXXd Karacfiavrj 

B etvai, ttoXXt] p,copia /cat rov eTTLxeLprjixarog, /cat 
TToXv Svafievearepovs Trapex^adaL dvdyK-q rovs 
dvOpcoTTOVs' rjyovvrai yap rov roLovrov Trpo^ rot's 
dXXoLS /cat TTOvovpyov elvai. eych ovv rovrcov rrjv 
evavrtav diraaav ohov iX-qXvda, /cat ofioXoydj re 
ao(f)iGrr]g etvat /cat TratSeuett' avdpcoTTOVs, /cat 
evXd^etav ravrrjv otfiai ^eXrico eKeLvqg etvai, ro 
ofjLoXoyelv fxaXXov rj e^apvov elvar /cat ctAAa? 
Trpo? ravrr] eaKe/jifiai, ware, avv dew enrelv, 

C firjSev Seivov Trdax^iv 8ta ro ofioXoyelv ao(j)Larrjs 
elvai. Kairoi rroXXd ye er-q TJSr] et/x.t ev rfj rexvrj- 
Kal yap Kal ra ^vfinavra iroXXd pbOi eariv ovhevo? 
orov ov TTovrajv av vp,a)v /ca^' rjXiKiav Trar-qp elrjv 
ware ttoXv /xot 'qSiarov eartv, et rt ^ovXeade, Tvepi 
rovrwv aTTOvrwv evavriov rwv evSov ovrwv rov 
Xoyov TTOielaOai. Kal eyw — VTrwrrrevaa yap ^ov- 
Xeadai avrov rw re WpohiKw Kal rw 'iTTTria 
evSel^aadat, Kal KaXXwTTtaaadai, on epaaral avrov 

D d<j)Lyp,evoL etrjfiev — Tt ovv, e^-qv eyw, ov Kal Y\.p6- 



Agathocles,^ a great sophist, Pythocleides^ of Ceos, 
and many more. All these, as I say, from fear of ill- 
will made use of these arts as outer coverings. But I 
do not conform to the method of all these persons, 
since I beheve they did not accomplish any of their 
designs : for the purpose of all this disguise could 
not escape the able men of affairs in each city ; the 
multitude, of course, perceive practically nothing, 
but merely echo this or that pronouncement of their 
leaders. Now to try to run away, and to fail through 
being caught in the act, shows sad folly in the mere 
attempt, and must needs make people far more 
hostile ; for they regard such an one, whatever else 
he may be, as a rogue. Hence the road I have taken 
is one entirely opposite to theirs : I admit that I am 
a sophist and that I educate men ; and I consider 
this precaution, of admitting rather than denying, 
the better of the two. There are others besides that 
I have meditated, so as to avoid, under Heaven, any 
harm that may come of admitting that I am a sophist. 
And yet many long years have I now been in the 
profession, for many in total number are those that 
I have lived : not one of you all, but in age I might 
be his father .2 Hence it suits me by far the best, 
in meeting your wishes, to make my discourse on 
these matters in the presence of all who are in the 

On this, as I suspected that he •wished to make a 
display before Prodicus and Hippias, and give him- 
self airs on the personal attachment shown by our 
coming to him, I remarked : Then surely we must call 

* A music-teacher. 

** In the Meno (91 e) we are told that Protagoras lived 
Dearly seventy years, forty of which he spent in teaching. 



Slkov KOI '^TTTTLav eKaXeaafMcv kol rovs fier' 
avra>v, Iva eTraKovarwaiv -qficbv; Udvv fxev ovv, 
e<f)r] 6 Ylpcorayopas. BovXecrOe ovi>, 6 KaAAta? 
€.<j)rj, (TDveSpiov KaTaaK€udao)p,€V, tva Kade^ofievoL 
6t,aXeyrja9e ; ESo/cec xprjvac acr/xevot Se ttovtcs 
r)p,€LS, cos OLKOvaofievoi, dvSpa>v aocficov, /cat avroi 
T€ dvTiXa^ojxevoi rwv ^ddpcov kol tcov kXcvcov 
KaT€aK€vdt,opL€v napd Tip 'iTnria' eKet yap Trpo- 
V7rfjpx€ rd ^ddpa. iv 8e rovrcp KaAAta? re /cat 

E 'AA/ctjStaST^S' rjKerrjV dyovre rov YipoSiKov, dva- 
aT-qaavres ck rrjs kXcvtjs, /cat rovs fxerd rov 

'Evret 8e irdvres crvv€Kad€t,6p,€9a, 6 Ylpcorayopas, 
Nw 817 dv, e<j)rj, XeyoL?, c5 Soj/cpare?, 6776187) Kat 
0186 Trdpetari, Trepl Sv oXiyov vporepov p.veiav 
CTTOtou Trpos €p.€ VTT€p Tov veavLGKOv. /cttt iydj 
318 etnov on *H avrrj jjlol dp^rj icrriv, d) Upcorayopa, 
■qTTep dpri, TTcpl <Lv d(f)LK6ixrjv . 'iTnroKpdrrjs yap 
ohe TvyxdveL iv eTnQvpiia (x)V rrjs aijg avvovaias' 
6 TL ovv avTcp dTTO^-qaeraL, edv aoi crvvfj, TySecu? 
dv (jyrjai TcvdeaOai. roaovTOS o ye rjfJ,€T€pos Xoyos. 
V7ToXa^d)v ovv 6 Ylpcorayopas elTrev ^Q. veaviaKe, 
earat roivvv aot, idv ifMol avvfjs, fj dv ■qp.epa ip^ol 
avyyevTj, dTnevai ot/caSe ^eXriovi yeyovoTi, /cat ev 
rfj varepala ravrd ravra- /cat €KdGrr]s rj/jcepas 

B aet CTTt TO /Se'Artov eVtStSoi^at. /cat eyco aKOvaas 
€t7TOV ^Q. IlpcoTayopa, tovto jxkv ovhev davfiaarov 
XeycLS, aAAa et/co?, eVet Kav av, /catVep ttjXlkovtos 



Prodicus and Hippias and their followers to come and 
listen to us ! 

By all means, said Protagoras. 

Then do you agree, said Callias, to our making 
a session of it, so that we may sit at ease for our 
conversation ? 

The proposal was accepted ; and all of us, dehghted 
at the prospect of hstening to ^nse men, took hold 
of the benches and couches ourselves and arranged 
them where Hippias was, since the benches were 
there already. Sleanwhile Callias and Alcibiades 
came, bringing with them Prodicus, whom thev had 
induced to rise from his couch, and Prodicus' circle 

When we had all taken our seats, — So now, 
Socrates, said Protagoras, since these gentlemen are 
also present, be so good as to tell what you were 
mentioning to me a little while before on the young 
man's behalf. 

To which I repUed : The same point, Protagoras, 
will serve me for a beginning as a moment ago, in 
regard to the object of my \isit. My friend Hippo- 
crates finds himself desirous of joining your classes ; 
and therefore he says he would be glad to know 
what result he will get from joining them. That is 
all the speech we have to make. 

Then Protagoras answered at once, saying : Young 
man, you will gain this by coming to my classes, 
that on the day when you join them you will go 
home a better man, and on the day after it will be 
the same ; every day you will constantly improve 
more and more. 

When I heard this I said : Protagoras, what you 
say is not at all surprising, but quite likely, since even 



Oiv Kai ovTio ao(f)6s, et rig ae SiSd^eiev o fxr) rvy- 
Xavois eTTLardixevos , f^eXriojv av yivoio' dXXd fir] 
ovrojs, aAA' wdTTep dv el avriKa fxdXa fxera^aXcov 
T7]v emdvfLLav 'iTTTTOKpdTrjs o8e eTrt^u/xr^crete rrjg 
avvovaias rovrov tov veavioKov rod vvv vecoarl 
eTTih-qiiovvros , Tjev^imrov rod ' Hpa/cAecoToy, Koi 
a(f)LK6fJievos nap' avrov, oiOTrep irapd ae vvv, 

C aKovaeiev avrov ravrd ravra, direp aov, on 
eKdarrjs rjfxepas ^vvdjv avrco ^eXrioiv earai Kai 
imScoaei' el avrov enavepoiro' rl S-q (f)r]s ^eXrico 
eaeaOai Kai els re emScocreiv ; etrtoi dv avrco 6 
"Zev^LTTTTOS, on TTpds ypa^LKrjv kov el ^OpOayopa 
ra> Qrj^aLco avyyevofievos , aKOvaag eKeivov ravrd 
ravra, dnep aov, erravepoiro avrov els d n ^eXrlojv 
Kad" rijxepav earai avyyiyvofMevos eKeivco, e'iTToi 
dv, on els avXrjaiv ovro) 8rj Kai av elire rw veavi- 

D aKco Kai ifiol virep rovrov epojrdjvn, 'ImroKpdrrjs 
oSe Upcorayopa avyyevofievos, fj dv avrw rjfiepa 
avyyevrfrai, ^eXriojv ctTretcrt yevofievos Kai rcbv 
dXXcov TjfiepdJv eKdarrjS ovrcos einhayaei els ri, c5 
Yipoirayopa, /cat irepl rod; /cat o Wpojrayopas 
efiov ravra aKovaas, 2u re /caAcD? epcoras, e<^^, 
d> HwKpares, Kai eyd) rois /caAo)? epojrioaL ;(atpa> 
dTTOKpivofievos- 'IvTroKparrfs yap Trap ifie dcf)- 
iKOfievos ov TTeiaerai, d-nep dv enadev dXXo) rto 
avyyevofievos rcov ao^iardyv ol fxev yap aAAot 
Xco^d)vrai rovs veovs' rds ydp rexvas avrovs 

E 7Te(f)evy6ras aKovras ndXiv av dyovres efi^dXXovaiv 
els rexvas, Xoyiafiovs re Kai darpovofiiav /cat 



you, though so old and so wise, would be made better 
if someone taught you what you happen not to 
know. But let me put it another way : suppose 
Hippocrates here should change his desire all at once, 
and become desirous of this young fellow's lessons 
who has just recently come to town, Zeuxippus of 
Heraclea, and should approach him, as he now does 
you, and should hear the very same thing from him 
as from you, — how on each day that he spent with 
him he would be better and make constant progress ; 
and suppose he were to question him on this and 
ask : In what shall I become better as you say, and 
to what will my progress be ? Zeuxippus 's reply 
would be, to painting. Then suppose he came to 
the lessons of Orthagoras the Theban, and heard 
the same thing from him as from you, and then 
inquired of him for what he would be better each 
day through attending his classes, the answer would 
be, for fluting. In the same way you also must 
satisfy this youth and me on this point, and tell us 
for what, Protagoras, and in what connexion my 
friend Hippocrates, on any day of attendance at the 
classes of Protagoras, will go away a better man, 
and on each of the succeeding days will make a like 

When Protagoras heard my words, — You do right, 
he said, to ask that, while I am only too glad to 
answer those who ask the right question. For 
Hippocrates, if he comes to me, will not be 
treated as he would have been if he had joined 
the classes of an ordinary sophist. The generality 
of them maltreat the young ; for when they have 
escaped from the arts they bring them back against 
their will and force them into arts, teaching them 



yeconerptav koI fiovcTLKrjv SiSdaKovres — koI ap,a 
els Tov iTTTTLav OLTTe^Xeipe — Trapa 8' e/xe at^iKojxevos 
fxaO'qaerai ov Trepc aAAoy tov ^ Trepl ov ij/cet. to 
8e p,d9r]iJid cotlv ev^ovXia Trepi re Ta)v oIk€lcov 
OTTCOS civ dpicTTa TTjv avTOV oIkIov Slolkol, /cat TTepl 

319 TCOV TTJS TToAeCOS", OTTCOS" TO, TTjg TToXecos SuvaTcoTaTos 
dv eXrj /cat TrpaTTeiv /cat Xeyet-v. 

^Ap\ €(f}7]v iyo), eTTO/jbai aov tm Xoycp; So/cet? ydp 
pLOi XeyeLV tt^v ttoXltlkt^v Texvrjy /cat vincj-xyelad ai 
TTOielv dvSpas dyadovs TToXcTag. 

AvTo fMev ovv TOVTo ecTTtv, 6^17, a> Sco/cpares', ro 
eTTdyyeX/jia, o enayyeXXofjiai. , • 

*H KaXov, "^v S' eyco, Texvqpia dpa KeKTiqaai, 
etTTep KeKTTjaaL' ov yap tl dXXo rrpos ye ere elprj- 
acTai rj direp voco. iyoj ydp tovto, c5 YipajTayopa, 

B ovK a)fJLr]v SiSaKTOv elvat, aol Se XeyovTi ovk e;!^a> 
OTTOJS [dvY dTTLOTW. odev Se avTO rjyovfjiai ov 
StSaKTOv elvai /x-qS* vtt* dvdpcoTTtov TrapaoKevaaTov 
dvdpojTTOts, St/catd? et/xt etVetv. iyd) ydp ^Adrj- 
vaiovs, waTTep /cat ol dXXoL "KXXrjves, (f>rjixl ao- 
(f>ovs elvai. opdj ovv, oTav avXXeyw/xev et? ttjv 
eKKXrjaiav, CTretSar p.ev Txepl oiKoBopiLas tl herj 
irpd^at T'qv ttoXlv, tovs oiKoSofxovg pLeTaTrejXTTO- 
fxevovs (JVfx^ovXovs Trepi tcov OLKoSofMr]fx,dTOJV, OTav 
Se TTepl vavTTrjylag, tovs vavTTTjyovs , /cat raAAa 

C TrdvTa ovTOJS, dcra 'qyovvTai jjLadrjTa re /cat SiSa/cra 
ett'af edv Se' tls aAAo? eTTi)(eLpfj avTols avp,- 
^ovXevecv, ov eKeXvoi /jlt] otovrat h-qfXLOvpydv elvai, 
Kav Tzdvv KaXog fj /cat irXovaios /cat tcov yevvaioiv, 
ovSev Ti /LtaAAoi^ dTToSexovTai, dXXd KaTayeXcoat 

' Slv seel. Heindorf. 


arithmetic and astronomy and geometry and music 
(and here he glanced at Hippias) ; whereas, if he 
appUes to me, he will learn precisely and solely that 
for which he has come. That learning consists of 
good judgement in his own affairs, showing how best 
to order his own home ; and in the affairs of his 
city, showing how he may have most influence on 
pubUc affairs both in speech and in action. 

I wonder, I said, whether I follow what you are 
saying ; for you appear to be speaking of the civic 
science, and undertaking to make men good citizens. 

That, Socrates, he rephed, is exactly the purport 
of *vhat I profess. 

Then it is a goodly accomplishment that you have 
acquired, to be sure, I remarked, if indeed you have 
acquired it — to such a man as you I may say sincerely 
what I think. For this is a thing, Protagoras, that 
I did not suppose to be teachable ; but when you 
say it is, I do not see how I am to disbeheve it. 
How I came to think that it cannot be taught, or 
provided by men for men, I may be allowed to ex- 
plain. I say, in common with the rest of the Greeks, 
that the Athenians are >\ise. Now I observe, when 
we are collected for the Assembly, and the city has 
to deal with an affair of building, we send for builders 
to adxise us on what is proposed to be built ; and 
when it is a case of laying do^^■n a ship, we send for 
shipwrights ; and so in all other matters which are 
considered learnable and teachable : but if anyone 
else, whom the people do not regard as a craftsman, 
attempts to advise them, no matter how hand- 
some and wealthy and well-born he may be, not one 
^ of these things induces them to accept him ; they 
merely laugh him to scorn and shout him down, 



/cai Oopv^ovaiv, ecus dv r) auTO? (XTToaTfj 6 eTri- 
X^tpoJv Xeyeiv Karadopv^-qdeis , rj ol ro^orai avTov 
a<f)€\KvacjL)aLV r^ i^dpojvrai KeXevovrcov rcbv rrpv- 
ravecov. Trepl jxev ovv a>v olovrai iv TexvQ etvai, 
ovTO) SLaTTpdrrovraf iTTetSdv Se rt Trepl rrj^ TToAect)? 

D Stot/cTjcrecD? herj ^ovXevaaaOai, crun^ovXeveL av- 
Tots avL(jTdp.evo9 Trepl rovrcov o/xoico? p.ev reKrwv, 
ofioLcos Se ;!^aA/ceys', aKinoropLog, efXTTopos, vav- 
KXrjpo<s, TrXovaios, Trevr]^, yevvalo?, dyevvrjg, /cat 
rovTOLs ovSelg rovro eTnTrXijTrei oiOTrep rot? 
TTporepov, oTi ovSafiodev fiadcvv, ouSe ovrog 8t- 
Sacr/caAou ovdevog avrco, eVetra av/x^ovXeveLV 
eTrL-)(eipei' SrjXov ydp, on ovx r^yovvTai SiBaKTov 
elvai. jj,r) roivvv on to kolvov rijs TToXeoj? 

E ovTcos ^x^L, dXXd tSt'a rjfjiLV ol ao<j)coraroi /cat 
apiOTOi rcbv ttoXctcov ravrr^v rrjv dperrjv t^v e^ovaiv 
ovx ^'^'^ "^^ aAAot? TTapaBiSouaL- errel HepiKXrjg, 
6 Tomojvl rcbv veaviaKcov Trarrjp, rovrovg d p,ev 
BiSaaKdXcov etx^TO KoXcbs Kal ed eTralSevaev, a Se 
320 avros cro(f)6s eariv, ovre avros TratSeyet ovre rep 
dXXcp TTapahiScocnv , dAA' avrol Trepuovres vep^ovrai 
(Zarrep d(f)eroi, edv ttov avr6p,aroi Trepirvx^JOUL rfj 
dperfj. el Se ^ovXei, KAetvtav, rdv 'AA/ct^taSou 
rovrovt vecorepov dSeX(f>6v, eTnrpovevcjDV 6 avrog 
ovrog dvTjp HepiKXrjg, SeStco? Trepl avrov fxrj 
Siacfidapfj Srj vtto 'AXKt^tdSov, aTTOcrTrdaas (xtto 
rovrov, Karadep,evog ev ^Apic^povog eTralSeve- Kal 
TTplv e^ firjvag yeyovevai, dveScvKe rovrco ovk 

B exoiv d ri ;^7^CTatTO avrcb. /cat dXXov? aot Trapi.- 



until either the speaker retires from his attempt, 
overborne by the clamour, or the tipstaves pull him 
from his place or turn him out altogether by order 
of the chair. Such is their procedure in matters 
which they consider professional. But when they 
have to deliberate on something connected with the 
administration of the State, the man who rises to 
advise them on this may equally well be a smith, a 
shoemaker, a merchant, a sea-captain, a rich man, a 
poor man, of good family or of none, and nobody 
thinks of casting in his teeth, as one would in the 
former case, that his attempt to give advice is justified 
by no instruction obtained in any quarter, no guid- 
ance of any master ; and ob\iously it is because 
they hold that here the thing cannot be taught. 
Nay further, it is not only so with the ser\ice of the 
State, but in private life our best and wisest citizens 
are unable to transmit this excellence of theirs to 
others ; for Pericles, the father of these young fellows 
here, gave them a first-rate training in the subjects for 
which he found teachers, but in those of which he is 
himself a master he neither trains them personally 
nor commits them to another's guidance, and so they 
go about grazing at will like sacred oxen, on the 
chance of their picking up excellence here or there 
for themselves. Or, if you like, there is Cleinias, 
the younger brother of Alcibiades here, whom this 
same Pericles, acting as his guardian, and fearing he 
might be corrupted, I suppose, by Alcibiades, car- 
ried off from his brother and placed in Ariphron's 
family to be educated : but before six months had 
passed he handed him back to Alcibiades, at a 
loss what to do ^vith him. And there are a great 
many others whom I could mention to you as having 



TToXXovs €Xio Ae'yetv, ot avrol dyadol ovres ovSeva 
TTcoTTore ^eXrioj eTroirjaav ovre tcl>v OLKeicov ovre 
rujv aXXoTpicjv. iyoj ovu, <x> Upcorayopa, els 
ravra aTTO^XeTTcav ov^ rjyoviJLai SiSaKTOv etvai 
aperrjv ineiBrj Se aov d/couo) ravra Xeyovrog, 
KaixTTTOfiai /cat olfiai. ri ere Xeyeiv 8ta ro rjyeiadai 
ae TToXXojv fxev ejXTreipov yeyovevat, noXXa Se 
IxepLadrjKivai, to. Se avTov i^evprjKevai. el ovv 
e;;^eis" evapyearepov rjpilv eTriSet^at, cu? hihaKrov 

C ear IV rj dpenj, fir) <f)dovrjcrr]?, oAA' eTrihet^ov. 'AAA*, 
a> HcoK pares, e(f)rj, ov (jyOovrjacn' aAAa irorepov 
v/jLLV, <I)S TTpeapvrepos vecarepois, p.vOov Xeycov 
eVtSei'^ct) Tj Xoyo) Sce^eXdcov ; ttoXXoI ovv avrco 
VTTeXa^ov rwv 7TapaKadr]fX€Vcov , onorepcog ^ovXoiro, 
ovrco Si€^L€vai. Ao/cet roivvv /xoi, €^17, X'^/aie- 
arepov etvai fjivdov vfxlv Xeyeiv. 
^Hv yap TTore xpovos, ore deol {xev rjaav, dvrjrd 

D Se yevri ovk "qv. eTrecSr] Se /cat rovroig XP^^°^ 
rjXdev elfxapfjiivos yeveaeojs, rvrrovGLV avra deoi 
yrjs evSov eK yrjg /cat TTvpos /Ltt^avre? /cat rcbv oaa 
TTvpl /cat yfj Kepavvvrai. eTTeiSrj^S^ dyeiv avra 
TTpos (fjcos efJieXXov, rrpoaera^av Ylpofir^Oel /cat 
*E7n/XT7^et KoafirjaaL re /cat veX/xaL Svvdfieis e/ca- 
aroLS ws TTpeTTei. Upofjurjdea Se TTapaireZrai 
'KTTifiTqdevs avros vet/xat, veipiavrog S' efxov, e(f)rj, 

E eTTLaKetpaL- /cat ovrco Treiaag ve/xei. vepicov Se 
rots p.ev Icrxyv dvev rdxovg Trpoarjirre, rovg S 
daOevearepovg rd^ei eKocrfxei' rovg Se cuT/At^e, 



never succeeded, though virtuous themselves, in 
making anyone else better, either of their own or 
of other families. I therefore, Protagoras, in \aew 
of these facts, believe that virtue is not teachable : 
but when I hear you speak thus, I am swayed over, 
and suppose there is something in what you say, 
because I consider you to have gained experience 
in many things and to have learnt many, besides 
finding out some for yourself. So if you can demon- 
strate to us more explicitly that virtue is teachable, 
do not grudge us your demonstration. 

No, Socrates, I will not grudge it you ; but shall 
I, as an old man speaking to his juniors, put my 
demonstration in the form of a fable, or of a regular 
exposition ? 

Many of the company sitting by him instantly 
bade him treat his subject whichever way he pleased. 

Well then, he said, I fancy the more agreeable 
way is for me to tell you a fable. 

There was once a time when there were gods, but 
no mortal creatures. And when to these also came 
their destined time to be created, the gods moulded 
their forms within the earth, of a mixture made of 
earth and fire and all substances that are compounded 
with fire and earth. When they were about to bring 
these creatures to light, they charged Prometheus 
and Epimetheus to deal to each the equipment of 
his proper faculty. Epimetheus besought Pro- 
metheus that he might do the dealing himself ; 
" And when I have dealt," he said, " you shall 
examine." Having thus persuaded him he dealt ; 
and in dealing he attached strength without speed 
to some, while the weaker he equipped with speed ; 
and some he armed, while devising for others, along 



rots' S' doirXov SlSovs <f>vaiv dXX-qv tlv* avrols 
ifj,r]XO-vdro Svvafitv elg acorrjplav. d fxev yap 
avrdjv aixiKpoTTjTL rjixTncrxe, TTTrjVov (f)vy7]v •)} 
Kardyetov oiKrjaLV evepuev d 8e rjv^e fieyedei, 
321 TcpSe avTcp avrd ecrco^e' koI rdXXa ovtcos iTravicrcov 
evefie. ravra 8e €p,-qxo-vdro evXd^eiav exojv [i-q 
TL yevog d'Ccrrojdetrj' erretSi^ 8e avrols dXXrjXo- 
(f)doptd)v Sta^uya? eTT-qpKeae, TTpos ras e/c Ato? 
atpas evjJidpeLav epbrjxo-vdro dfx(f)ievvvs avrd ttv- 
KvaZs re dpi^l /cat arepeols Bepfiaaiv, Ikovols fJieu 
dfxvvai, x^'-f^djva, Swarols 8e Kal Kavfiara, /cat 
els evvds lovaiv ottcos virdpxoi ra avra ravra 
arpoipLVT] OLKela re /cat avro(f>vrjg eKdcrro)' /cat 
B V7t6 ttoBwv rd fxev oTrXals, rd Se ovv^t,^ /cat Sep/xaat 
arepeols /cat dvaifxoLS- rovvrevdev rpo(f>as dXXots 
dXXas i^€7T6pLl,€, rots p-ev e/c yrjs ^ordvrjv, aAAot? 
8e SevSpcov Kapirovs, rots 8e pit,as' eari 8' ot? 
eScDKev etvai rpo(f)rjV l,(x)cov dXXcov ^opdv /cat roZs 
p,ev oXiyoyoviav TTpocr-qifje, rols 8 dvaXiaKopievois 
VTTo rovrojv TroXvyovtav, acorrjplav ra> yevei tto- 
pi^cov. are 8r] ovv ov ttovv ri ao(f)os cov 6 ETTt^Ty- 
C devs eXaOev avrov KaravaXojaas rds hvvdp,eis els 
rd dXoya' Xoittov 8rj dKoofirjrov en avra> rjv ro 
dvdpd)7TCOv yevos, Kal -^TTopei 6 ri ;)^/0T7o-atTo. 
dvopovvrL 8e avrcp epx^r ai Ilpop,7]6eus eTTiaKe- 
ipop-evos rr)v vop.rjV, /cat opa rd p^ev dXXa i^dja 
e/xjLteAoj? TTavrojv exovra, rov 8e dvOpcoTTOV yvp-vov 
re /cat dvviT6hr]rov /cat darpojrov /cat do-nXov 
TJSr) Se /cat tj elpLappLevT] rjp-epa Traprjv, ev fj ehet koX 
dvdpcoTTOV e^teVat e/c yrjs els (f)d)s. airopia o5v 

' duv^L Baiter : dpi^lv mss. 


with an unarmed condition, some different faculty 
for preservation. To those which he invested with 
smallness he dealt a winged escape or an under- 
ground habitation ; those which he increased in 
largeness he preserved by this very means ; and he 
dealt all the other properties on this plan of com- 
pensation. In contriving all this he was taking pre- 
caution that no kind should be extinguished ; and 
when he had equipped them with avoidances of 
mutual destruction, he devised a provision against 
the seasons ordained by Heaven, in clothing them 
about with thick-set hair and solid hides, sufficient to 
ward off winter yet able to shield them also from 
the heats, and so that on going to their lairs they 
might find in these same things a bedding of their 
own that was native to each ; and some he shod 
with hoofs, others with claws and solid, bloodless 
hides. Then he proceeded to furnish each of them 
with its proper food, some with pasture of the earth, 
others with fruits of trees, and others again with 
roots ; and to a certain number for food he gave 
other creatures to devour : to some he attached a 
paucity in breeding, and to others, which were being 
consumed by these, a plenteous brood, and so pro- 
cured survival of their kind. Now Epimetheus, being 
not so wise as he might be, heedlessly squandered 
his stock of properties on the brutes ; he still had 
left unequipped the race of men, and was at a 
loss what to do with it. As he was casting about, 
Prometheus arrived to examine his distribution, and 
saw that whereas the other creatures were fully and 
suitably provided, man was naked, unshod, unbedded, 
unarmed ; and already the destined day was come, 
whereon man like the rest should emerge from earth 



ixofxevos 6 Ylpo/jLTjdevs, -rjvTLva aorr-qpiav ra) 
dvdpcoTTCp evpOL, /cAeTrrei ' H(f)al,aTov /cat ^Adrjvdg 

D TTjv evrexvov ao(j)iav avv TTvpL — apirixcLVOv yap tjv 
avev TTVpos avrrjv KTT]r-qv to) rj XPV^^H'W y^v^~ 
aQai — Kal ovtcv 8rj Scope trat dvdpwTTU). rrjv fxev 
ovv TTepL rov piov ao(j)iav avdpoiTTOs ravrr) etrp^e, 
rrjv 8e ttoXitikt^v ovk el)(€v r^v yap Trapd rep Atr 
TO) he Ylpo/jLiqdeL els fiev ttjv aKpoTToXiv rrjV rov 
Ato? OLKrjGLV ovKeri eVe^olpet elaeXdeZv Trpos Se 
Kal at Ato? (f>vXaKal (f)o^€pal rjoav els Se to rijs 

E ^Adrjvas Kal ' }i(f)aLcrrov OLKrjfjua to koivov, iv (L 
e(f)L\oTexveiTr]v , Xadojv elaepxerai, /cat /cAe'i/ra? rrjv 
re efiTTvpov rexvrjv rrjv rov 'H^atCTTOU /cat rrju 
dXXrjv rrjv ryjs ^ Adrjvds hihcoaiv dvdpoiTTCp, /cat e/c 
322 rovrov evrropia /xev dvOpcLrro) rod ^iov ylyverat,, 
Ylpo/jiTjdea Se St' 'ETTt/xTj^ea varepov, fffrep Xeyerai, 
kXotttjs Slkt) fierrjXdev. 

'KTreiBrj Se 6 dvdpcoTTog deiag jxereax^ yioipas, 
npdjrov fjiev Sta rrjv rov deov ovyyeueiav t,(X)(jjv 
jjiovov deovs evopLiae, Kal eTrexctpet ^oipuovs re 
ISpveadaL /cat aydXp,ara decov eireira (f)covrjv Kal 
ovofxara raxv hiiqpdpoiaaro rfj rexvf), Kal oiKijacLs 
Kal iaOijras Kal vrroSecxeis Kal arpcvpuvas Kal rds 
e/c yrjs rpo^ds rjvpero. ovrco 8r) rrapecrKevaGfievoL 
icar' dpxds dvOpajnot cokovv aTTopdSrjv, TToXeis Se 

B OVK ■^aav dTTCoXXvvro ovv vtto rcbv drjpicov Sta ro 
TTavraxfj avrwv dcrdevearrepoL elvai, Kal rj 8rjjj,Lovp- 
yLKTj rexvr) avrolg Trpos p.ev rpo(f>r]v LKavrj ^orjdos 
rjv, Trpos Se rov rwv dripia>v TToXefiov ivSe'qs' 
TToXLriKTjv yap rexvrjv ovttco etxov, -^s" p-epos ttoXc- 
piiK-q. et^-qrovv hrj ddpoit^eadai Kal aa)t,eaOai 

' i.e. of arts originally apportioned to gods alone. 


to light. Then Prometheus, in his perplexity as to 
what preservation he could devise for man, stole 
from Hephaestus and Athena wisdom in the arts 
together with fire — since by no means without fire 
could it be acquired or helpfully used by any — and 
he handed it there and then as a gift to man. Now 
although man acquired in this way the wisdom of 
daily life, civic wisdom he had not, since this was in 
the possession of Zeus ; Prometheus could not make 
so free as to enter the citadel which is the dwelling- 
place of Zeus, and moreover the guards of Zeus were 
terrible : but he entered unobserved the building 
shared by Athena and Hephaestus for the pursuit 
of their arts, and stealing Hephaestus's fiery art and 
all Athena's also he gave them to man, and hence it 
is that man gets facility for his livelihood, but 
Prometheus, through Epimetheus' fault, later on 
(the story goes) stood his trial for theft. 

And now that man was partaker of a divine 
portion,^ he, in the first place, by his nearness of 
kin to deity, was the only creature that worshipped 
gods, and set himself to establish altars and holy 
images ; and secondly, he soon was enabled by his 
skill to articulate speech and words, and to invent 
dwellings, clothes, sandals, beds, and the foods that 
are of the earth. Thus far provided, men dwelt 
separately in the beginning, and cities there were 
none ; so that they were being destroyed by the 
wild beasts, since these were in all ways stronger 
than they ; and although their skill in handiwork 
was a sufficient aid in respect of food, in their warfare 
with the beasts it was defective ; for as yet they 
had no civic art, which includes the art of war. So 
they sought to band themselves together and secure 



Krit,ovr€g TroAets" ot ovv ddpoLadetev, rjSLKovv 

aAAijXovs are ovk exovres rrjv ttoXltckt^v Te)(VT]v, 

C ojGTe iraXiv aKehavvvfxevoL hL€(f)deipovro. Zey? ovv 

oeiaas rrepl r<x> yivei 'q/xajv, fxrj aTroAotro Trdv, 

Kpfiijv TTepLTtei ayovra els dvdpcoTTovs alScj re /cat 

BlKTjV, tv* €L€U TToXcCjOV KOCTfJbOL TC Kal SeCT/XOt ^tAttt? 

avuaycoyoL. ipcora ovv 'Eip/jirjs Ala, rlva ovv 
TpoTTOv BoLT} SIk7)v Kal alSco dvdpCOTTOtS' TTOTepOV 
(I)S at rexvai vevejjirjvTai, ovroi kol ravras velfiu); 
vevefiTjvrai 8e cuSe* et? excov laTpLKrjv ttoXXols 
LKavos IStioratg, Kal ot aAAot SrjfjiLovpyol' Kal 
81kt]v St] Kal atScD ovtco dco iv rolg dvdpcoTTOLS, t] 
D inl Trdvras veifioj; im iravras, e<f>rj 6 ZeJ?, Kal 
TTOvreg fxerexovToyv ov yap dv yevoLvro TrdAetj, et 
oAtyot avra}v pLerexoiev oiairep dXKoiv rexydv /cat 
vofiov ye deg irap^ efiov, tov firj Swafxevov alSovs 
Kal SiKTjg fierex^i-v KreiveLV (hs voaov TroAecus". 
oirrco hrj, d> HcvKpare?, Kal Sta ravra ot re aAAot 
/cat 'Adr^vaioi, orav fiev rrepl dperrjs TCKTOviK-fjs fj 
Xoyos 7] dXXr]s rivos SrjfjuovpyLKrjs, oAtyot? otovrai 
E ixerelvai avfx^ovXrjg, Kal edv rts cktos (x}v tcov 
oXiyoiV avfi^ovXevj] , ovk dvexovrai, oi? av ^17? * 
elKOTOJS, a>? iyo) (f)r]fXL' orav 8e els crvfM^ovXrjv 
323 TToAiTt/CT^? dpeTrjs tcoaiv, rjv Set Std SiKaioavvr]^ 
TTaaav levat, Kal aoj(f)poavv-qs, elKorcos diravTOs dv- 
Spos dvexovrai, d>s Travrl TTpocrfJKov ravrris ye 
fji€T€X€tv TTJs dperfjs, ri /xrj elvai TToXeis. avrr], c5 
JjcoKpares, tovtov atria* tt'a Se /xrj oir) aTrardarOai, 
(Ls TO) ovri rjyovvTai Trdvres dvdpoiTrot Tiavra dvSpa 


their lives by founding cities. Now as often as they 
were banded together they did WTong to one another 
through the lack of civic art, and thus they began 
to be scattered again and to perish. So Zeus, fearing 
that our race was in danger of utter destruction, 
sent Hermes to bring respect and right among men, 
to the end that there should be regulation of cities and 
friendly ties to draw them together. Then Hermes 
asked Zeus in what manner then was he to give 
men right and respect : " Am I to deal them out 
as the arts have been dealt ? That dealing was 
done in such wise that one man possessing medical 
art is able to treat many ordinary men, and so with 
the other craftsmen. Am I to place among men 
right and respect in this way also, or deal them out 
to all ? " " To all," rephed Zeus ; " let all have 
their share ; for cities cannot be formed if only a 
few have a share of these as of other arts. And 
make thereto a law of my ordaining, that he who 
cannot partake of respect and right shall die the 
death as a public pest." Hence it comes about, 
Socrates, that people in cities, and especially in 
Athens, consider it the concern of a few to advise 
on cases of artistic excellence or good craftsmanship, 
and if anyone outside the few gives advice they 
disallow it, as you say, and not without reason, as I 
think : but when they meet for a consultation on 
civic art, where they should be guided throughout 
by justice and good sense, they naturally allow advice 
from everybody, since it is held that everyone 
should partake of this excellence, or else that states 
cannot be. This, Socrates, is the explanation of 
it. And that you may not think you are mistaken, 
to show how all men verily believe that everyone 



fxerex^iv SiKaLoavv-qg re /cat rrjg dXXrj^ TToXiTiKTJg 
dperrjs, roSe au Xa^e reKfJLifjpLov . iv yap rats 
oAAats" aperat?, coaTTep av X4yeis, idv rL<; (f)fj 
dyados avXr]T7)g eivai, rj dXXrjv rjVTLVovv r€)(yi^v, 
7]v jxrj iariv, 7] KarayeXcoatu rj ;!^aAe7ra6Voi;o-i, /cat 
ol OLKCLOL TTpoaiovres vovderovaiv cLs fxaLvofMevov 

B ei' Se SLKaLocrvvfi /cat iv rfj dXXr) TToXiriKfj dperfj, 
idv Tcva /cat elScoaiv on aSt/cd? iariv, idv ovtos 
avros Kad^ avrov TdXrjdrj Xiyrj ivavriov ttoXXcjv, o 
iK€L aco(f)po<Tvvrjv Tjyovvro elvai, rdiX-qOfj Xiyeiv, 
ivravda piavlav, /cat (f)aaiv Trdvras Setv ^dvai elvai 
SiKaiovs, idv re wglv idv re fi-q, t] p.aiveadaL 
Tov fxri TTpooTTOiovfievov SiKaioavvqv cos dvayKalov 

C ovSiva ovTLv* oy;^t ajxcos yi ttws /xcrixeiv avrrjs, "^ 
fx,7] etvai iv dvdpcoTTois. 

"On fxev oSv irdvT dvSpa elKorcos dnoSixovrat 
TTcpl rarjTTjs tt]S dpeTrjs avfJi^ovXov Sta ro 'qyeZadai 
iravrl fx^reZvai avTrjs, ravra Xiyoj' ort 8e avrrjv 
ov cf)va€i rjyovvraL etvai ov8' dno tov avrofidrov, 
dXXd SiSaKTov T€ /cat i^ impLeXeias Trapayiyveadai 
a> dv TTapayLyvr^raL, rovro aoi p,era tovto ttci- 

D pdaop,aL aTToSet^at. ocra yap riyovvrai dXXriXovs 
/ca/ca e;)(etv dvdpcoiTOL (fyvaei rj rvxj), ouSeis" 6vp,ovTai 
ovSe vovderel ouSe StSaa/cet ouSe /coAa^et rovs 
ravra exovras, Iva fir) roiovroi (haw, aXX iXeov- 
aiv otov rovs alaxpovs rj a/jiLKpovs '^ dadevets ris 
ovrojs dv6r]ros, uxire ri rovrcov imx^Lpelv ttoiclv; 
ravra p,ev ydp, olpai, laaaiv on </>y(7et re /cat 
rvxjl Tols dvdpojTTOis yiyverai, rd /caAd /cat rdvav- 


partakes of justice and the rest of civic virtue, I can 
offer yet a further proof. In all other excellences, 
as you say, when a man professes to be good at 
flute-playing or any other art in which he has no 
such skill, they either laugh him to scorn or are 
annoyed with him, and his people come and reprove 
him for being so mad : but where justice or any 
other civic virtue is involved, and they happen to 
know that a certain person is unjust, if he confesses 
the truth about his conduct before the public, that 
truthfulness which in the former arts they would 
regard as good sense they here call madness. Every- 
one, they say, should profess to be just, whether he 
is so or not, and whoever does not make some pre- 
tension to justice is mad ; since it is held that all 
without exception must needs partake of it in some 
way or other, or else not be of human kind. 

Take my word for it, then, that they have good 
reason for admitting everybody as adviser on this 
virtue, owing to their belief that everyone has some 
of it ; and next, that they do not regard it as 
natural or spontaneous, but as something taught 
and acquired after careful preparation by those who 
acquire it, — of this I will now endeavour to convince 
you. In all cases of evils which men deem to have 
befallen their neighbours by nature or fortune, 
nobody is wroth with them or reproves or lectures 
or punishes them, when so afflicted, with a view to 
their being other than they are ; one merely pities 
them. Who, for instance, is such a fool as to try 
to do anything of the sort to the ugly, the puny, 
or the weak ? Because, I presume, men know that 
it is by nature and fortune that people get these 
things, the graces of life and their opposites. But 



Tia rouTois" oaa Be e^ eTrt/xeAeia? /cat do-KTycrecos 
/cat BiSaxrjS olovrat yiyveadai dyaOa dvOpcoTroi?, 

E idv Tts" ravra fxrj exjj, aAAo. ravavrta ToJrcot' /ca/cct, 
e77t TOUTOt? TTOU ot Tc dv/xol yiyvovTai Kol at 
woActCTets' Kat at vovder-qaeis • cov iarlv ev /cat rj 
aSt/cta /cat rj aae^eia /cat avXXy^^Sr^v irdv to 
324 ivavTiov rrjs ttoXitlktjs dperrjs' evda 8rj nds ■navrl 
dvjjiovTai /cat vovOeTci, SrjXov on cos e^ eTrt/xeAeta? 
/cat jjLadt^aecog Krrjrrjs ova-qs. el yap edeXei? 
evvorjaai ro KoXd^etv, c5 Sco/cpare?, rovg aSt/cow- 
ra? Tt TTore Swarat, avro ae StSafei, oVt ot ye 
dvdpcoTTOi rjyovvrai, TrapacrKevaarov elvai dperrjv. 
ovhels ydp /coAa^et rovg dSt/cowra? Trpo? rovrco rov 

B I'ow e;(a;v /cat toutou eVe/ca, ort rj^LKYjaev, oaris 
fiT) (ZaTTep drfpiov dXoyiarcos TLfMcopelraL- 6 Se 
fierd Xoyov eTn^^eipcbv KoXd^eiv ov rov nap- 
eXrjXvdoros eve/ca dSt/CT^yuaros" rt^ajpetrat — ov ydp 
dv TO ye Trpax^ev dyevrjrov deirj — dAAd rov [xeX- 
XovTOS ;\;dpti/, tva /jltj avQis dSiKijar) pL-iqre avros 
ovros p^rjre dXXos 6 rovrov IBdiv KoXaadevra' /cat 
TOtavrrjv ScdvoLav exojv Stavoelrat Traihevrriv elvai 
dpeTrjV dTTorpoTrrjs yovv eVe/ca /coAd^ct. Tavrrjv 

C ovv rrjv Bo^av navres exovaiv, daonrep rip^copovvrai 
/cat tSta /cat Srj/xoaLa' TLjxcupovvrai Se /cat KoXd- 
^ovTat ot re d'AAot dvOpcuTTOi ovs dv oicovraL 
dBiKeiv, /cat ovx rjKiara 'AOrjvaioi, ot aot TToXirat' 
Oiare Kard rovrov rov Xoyov koX KQr\vaioi eloi 
rGiv rfyovp-evoiv napaaKevaardv elvai /cat StSa/cTov 
dperrjv. co? p.ev ovv elKortos dTroSexovrat ot ctoi 
TToAtTat /cat ;;^aA/cea)S" /cat aKvrorojxov avfi^ov- 
XevovTos rd TroAtTt/cd, /cat oTt StSa/CTov /cat napa- 



as to all the good things that people are supposed 
to get by application and practice and teaching, 
where these are lacking in anyone and only their 
opposite evils are found, here surely are the occasions 
for wrath and punishment and reproof. One of them 
is injustice, and impiety, and in short all that is 
opposed to civic virtue ; in such case anyone will 
be wroth with his neighbour and reprove him, clearly 
because the virtue is to be acquired by application 
and learning. For if you will consider punishment, 
Socrates, and what control it has over ^vrong-doers, 
the facts will inform you that men agree in regarding 
virtue as procured. No one punishes a wrong-doer 
from the mere contemplation or on account of his 
wrong-doing, unless one takes unreasoning vengeance 
like a wild beast. But he who undertakes to punish 
with reason does not avenge himself for the past 
offence, since he cannot make what was done as 
though it had not come to pass ; he looks rather to 
the future, and aims at preventing that particular 
person and others who see him punished from doing 
wrong again. And being so minded he must have 
in mind that virtue comes by training : for you 
observe that he punishes to deter. This then is the 
accepted \^ew of all who seek requital in either 
private or public life ; and while men in general 
exact requital and punishment from those whom 
they suppose to have wronged them, this is especially 
the case with the Athenians, your fellow-citizens, 
so that by our argument the Athenians also share 
the view that virtue is procured and taught. Thus 
I have shown that your fellow-citizens have good 
reason for admitting a smith's or cobbler's counsel 
in pubUc affairs, and that they hold virtue to be 



D OKevaarov rjyovvTai, dper-qv, dTroSeSeiKTaC aoi, w 

"Ert 817 XoiTTT) aTTopia iaTLv, rjv dTTopeis trepi 
rcov dvSpojv Tcbv dyadcov, ri h-qTTore ol dvSpes ol 
ayadol rd fiev a'AAa rovg avrcov vlel'S StSaCT/coyatr, a 
BSaaKaXcov e;^eTat, /cat ao^ovg ttolovctlv, tjv Se 
avroL dperrjv dyadoi, ovSevog ^cXtLovs ttolovol. 
Tovrov hr) rripL, cL YiCOKpares, ovkctl fxvdov aoi 
ipco, aAAa Xoyov. tSSe yap ivvoriaov TTorepov 

E ecTTt Ti eV, Tj ovK €<7TLV, ov dvayKalov Travrag tovs 
TToXiras fJi€r€X€tv, eiirep /xeAAet ttoAi? etvai; ev 
TOVTcp yap avTTj Xverai rj dTTopca, t^v av aTTopeXs, f] 
dXXoOi ovSafxov. 61 fJi€V yap earL /cat tovto eari 
TO ev ov reKTOVLKrj ov8e ;!^aA/ceta ovde /cepa/xeta, 
aAAa hLKaLoavvT) /cat acocf)poavvr] /cat to ocriov 
325 eivat, /cat avXXij^Brjv €v avro Trpoaayopevco elvai 
dvSpog dperi^v el tout' eariv, ov Set TravTa? 
fxerexeLV /cat fxerd rovrov Travr dvSpa, idv n /cat 
aAAo ^ovXrjrat jxavdaveiv r^ Trpdrreiv, ovto) Trpar- 
reiv, dvev Se tovtov fitj, ^ rov p.'q p.erexovTa /cat 
SiSaor/ceti' /cat KoXd^etv, /cat TratSa /cat dvhpa /cat 
yvvaiKa, eojanep dv KoXat,6[xevos ^eXrimv y€vr]Tai, 
OS S' dv fXTj inraKOvrj KoXal,6p,evos /cat StSaor/co/xevos", 

B <Ls dviarov ovra tovtov eK^dXXeiv e/c Tibv TToXecov 
7] diTOKTeiveLV el ovtoj fiev exei, ovrco 8 avrov 
TTetpvKOTOS ol dyaOol dvSpeg el rd fiev dXXa ot- 
SdcrKovraL rovs vlels, tovto 8e fi-q, OKeipai cos 
OavfjidaioL^ yiyvovrai ol dyadoi. on fxev yap 
SiBaKTOV avro rjyovvrai /cat t8ia /cat 87^/i.oota, 
direhei^apiev 8t8a/cTo{; 8e ovros /cat deparrevTov ra 
[lev aAAa apa rovs vlels ScBdaKovrat., e(f>' ols ovK 

^ davfidffioi Kroschel : Oavfxaalws Mss. 


taught and procured : of this I have given you 
satisfactory demonstration, Socrates, as it appears 
to me. 
j% I have yet to deal with your remaining problem 
— about good men, why it is that these good men have 
their sons taught the subjects in the regular teachers' 
courses, and so far make them wise, but do not make 
them excel in that virtue wherein consists their own 
goodness. On this point, Socrates, I shall give you 
argument instead of fable. Now consider : is there, 
or is there not, some one thing whereof all the 
citizens must needs partake, if there is to be a city ? 
Here, and nowhere if not here, is the solution of this 
problem of yours. For if there is such a thing, and 
that one thing, instead of being the joiner's or 
smith's or potter's art, is rather justice and temper- 
ance and holiness — in short, what I may put 
together and call a man's virtue ; and if it is this 
whereof all should partake and wherewith everyone 
should proceed to any further knowledge or action, 
but should not if he lacks it ; if we should instruct and 
punish such as do not partake of it, whether child 
or husband or wife, until the punishment of such 
persons has made them better, and should cast forth 
from our cities or put to death as incurable whoever 
fails to respond to such punishment and instruction ; 
— if it is like this, and yet, its nature being so, good 
men have their sons instructed in everything else but 
this, what very surprising folk the good are found to 
be ! For we have proved that they regard this thing 
as teachable both in private and in public life, and 
then, though it may be taught and fostered, are we 
to say that they have their sons taught everything 

VOL. IV F 141 


CCTTt ddvaros rj ^r^/xia, iav /j-rj inLaTOiVTai, i(f)^ (L 
8c rj re t,'t]iJiia ddvaros avrcov rots Traial /cat 

C (f>v'yal jJiTj fiadovai fjirjSe depaTrevdelaLv els dpeT-qv, 
/cat Trpos rip davdrcp ;^/37^/xaTaj>' re Syj/jievaeis /cat 
(x)S eTTOS etTTelv av?0^'q^Sr]v rcov olkcov dvarpo-nai, 
ravra 8 apa ov SiSaCT/corrat ov8' eTn/jieXovvrat 
TToiaav eTTifieXeLav ; o'Uadai ye XPV> ^ ^coKpares. 

E/c TratSojv afiiKptov dp^dfievot, p-expi ovirep 
av ^cDcrt, /cat SiSacr/coucrt /cat vovOerovaiv. eneiSdv 
Odrrov ovvifj ri? rd Xeyofieva, /cat rpo(f>6s /cat 
fjLT^rrjp /cat TzatSaycayos' /cat auro? o Trarrjp nepl 

D rovrov Bia/xdxovrai, oncos (hs ^eXricrros earai. 
6 TTois, nap eKaarov kox epyov /cat Xoyov 8t8a- 
aKovres kox ' evSeLKvvfievoi, on ro p.ev hiKaiov, ro 
he o-Slkov, /cat roBe fxev KaXov, roSe Se alaxpov, 
/cat ToSe p,ev ocnov, roSe Se dvoaiov, /cat rd fxeu 
TToiei, rd he fir) noiei' /cat edv fxev eKcov Tretdrjrat' 
el he fxrj, wairep ^vXov hLaarpe(j>6pLevov /cat /ca/Lt- 
TTrofxevov evOvvovatv dTretXals /cat TrXrjyals. p,erd 
he ravra els StSacr/caAwv TrifXTTovres ttoXv udXXov 
evreXXovrai empieXeladai evKoapiias rcov iraihwu 

E yj ypajjcp-droiv re Kal KidapiaeoiS' ol he hihd- 
CT/caAot rovriov re eTnpLeXovvrai, /cat eirethdv av 
ypdfxpara fj,d6coaL /cat pLeXXa>ai crvvqaetv rd 
yeypa/jLfjLeva, wanep rore rrjv ^(ovqv, napa- 
rt-deaaiv avrols eVt ribv ^ddpcuv dvayiyvwaKeiv 
7roi't]rcbv dyadibv TTonjuara Kal eK/xavdaveLv avay- 
326 Ka^ovatv, ev ols TToXXal puev vovder-qaeis eveuai, 
TToXXal he hie^ohoi Kal erraivoi /cat eyKOipaa 
vaXaLcov dvhpcov dyaOcov, tva 6 Trai? l,riX6jv /xt- 
fxijrai Kal opey-qrai, roiovros yeveaOai. ot r 
aS Kidapiaral, erepa roiavra, aco(f>pocrvvr]s re 


in which the penalty for ignorance is not death, but 
in a matter where the death-penalty or exile awaits 
their children if not instructed and cultivated in 
virtue — and not merely death, but confiscation of 
property and practically the entire subversion of their 
house — here they do not have them taught or take 
the utmost care of them ? So at any rate we must 
conclude, Socrates. 

They teach and admonish them from earliest child- 
hood till the last day of their lives. As soon as one 
of them grasps what is said to him, the nurse, the 
mother, the tutor, and the father himself strive hard 
that the child may excel, and as each act and word 
occurs they teach and impress upon him that this is 
just, and that unjust, one thing noble, another base, 
one holy, another unholy, and that he is to do this, 
and not do that. If he readily obeys, — so ; but if not, 
they treat him as a bent and twisted piece of wood 
and straighten him with threats and blows. After 
this they send them to school and charge the master 
to take far more pains over their children's good 
behaviour than over their letters and harp-playing. 
The masters take pains accordingly, and the children, 
when they have learnt their letters and are getting 
to understand the written word as before they did 
only the spoken, are furnished with works of good 
poets to read as they sit in class, and are made to 
learn them off by heart : here they meet with many 
admonitions, many descriptions and praises and 
eulogies of good men in times past, that the boy in 
envy may imitate them and yearn to become even 
as they. Then also the music-masters, in a similar 



CTTi/LieAouvTat Kal ottcos av oi vioi fi-qSev KaKovp- 
yojaf 77/30? 8e rovTOfs, cTretSav' K(.dapit,€iv /xa- 
dcoaiv, aXXcov av TTOi-qrcov dyadcov TTOir^jxara 

B SiSctCT/^ouCTt jjieXoTTOiojv, €LS Ttt Kidapiaixara ev- 
T€LVOvT€s, Kal Tovg pvOfiovs re Kal rag app.oviag 
avayKat^ovaiv oiKeLOvadai rats ipv^oits ra>v Traihcov, 
Iva r)iJL€pa)T€poL re coat, /cat evpvd/JiOTepoi Kat 
evapfiocrrorepoL yi,yv6fj,€voL ;^/37ycri/xoi cScrti' els ro 
Xeyeiv re Kal TTpdrreiv' irds ydp 6 j8to? rod av- 
dpwTTOV evpvdfiias re Kal evapfjiocrrlag Setrai. en 
roivvv trpos rovrois els TraiSorpi^ov TrefXTTOvcnv, 
tva rd (Tiofxara ^eXrioi e^ovres VTTrjpercbcn rfj 

Q Stavoia XRV^''"!} o^^7]> '^^^ H'V dvayKa^covrai, 
OLTTO^eiXLav Sid rrjv TTOvr^piav rcov acofidrcov Kat 
ev rols TToXefiois Kal ev rals aAAai? irpd^eai' 
Kal ravra TroLovaiv ol fidXiara hvvdp,evoi' p,dXtara 
he Svvavrai ol TrXovaitoraroi' Kal ol rovrcov viels, 
TTpco'Cairara els SiSacrKaXcov ri]s rjXiKLas dp^d/xevoi 
(l>OLrdv, oxpiairara aTraXXdrrovrai . eirethdv Se eK 
hihaaKoXuiv dTraXXaychaiv , r] ttoXis av rovs re 
vofiovs dvayKa^ei fiavddveLV Kal /card rovrovs CtJv 

D Kaddirep^ 7ra/)dSety/xa, ti'a fXT] avrol e(^' avrcou 
elKfj TTpdrrojGLV, dAA' drexvdJs (Zanep ol ypafxp^a- 
riaral rols ixrJTTCo heLVols ypd^eiv rdv Traiooiv 
vnoypdi/javres ypajxjxds rjj ypa<j>ihi, ovro) ro 
ypafjifxarelov StSoaai Kal dvayKat^ovai ypd(f>eiv 
/caret rriv v(f)'qyriaLv ru)v ypa/xficov, oj? Se /cat 
7) TToXis vofxovs VTToypdi/jaaa, dyadojv Kal TraXaicou 
vofiodercov evprjiiara, /caret rovrovs dvay/cct^et 
/cat dpx^i'V Kal apx^adai' os 8' av eKros ^aLvrf 
rovrcov, KoXd^ei, Kal ovofjba ri] KoXdaei ravrr) 

^ Kaddirep Heindorf : Kara M33. 


sort, take pains for their self-restraint, and see that 
their young charges do not go A^Tong : moreover, 
when they learn to play the harp, they are taught 
the works of another set of good poets, the song- 
makers, while the master accompanies them on the 
harp ; and they insist on famiUarizing the boys' souls 
with the rhythms and scales, that they may gain in 
gentleness, and by advancing in rhythmic and har- 
monic grace may be efficient in speech and action ; 
for the whole of man's Ufe requires the graces of 
rhythm and harmony. Again, over and above 
all this, people send their sons to a trainer, that 
having improved their bodies they may perform 
the orders of their minds, which are now in 
fit condition, and that they may not be forced by 
bodily faults to play the coward in wars and other 
duties. This is what people do, who are most able ; 
and the most able are the wealthiest. Their sons 
begin school at the earhest age, and are freed from 
it at the latest. And when they are released from 
their schoohng the city next compels them to learn 
the laws and to live according to them as after a 
pattern, that their conduct may not be swayed by 
their own light fancies, but just as writing-masters 
first draw letters in faint outhne with the pen for 
their less advanced pupils, and then give them the 
copy-book and make them write according to the 
guidance of their hnes, so the city sketches out for 
them the laws de\'ised by good lawgivers of yore, and 
constrains them to govern and be governed according 
to these. She punishes anyone who steps outside 
these borders, and this punishment among you and 



E /cat Trap v\iXv koX dXXodi TToXXaxov, cos evdv- 
vovoTjs rrjs SiKrjg, evdvvai. roaavTTjg ovv tt]s 
imixeXelas ovarjs Trepl dpcrrjs tSt'a /cat S-qnoata, 
Oavfjid^eis, c5 TicoKpares, /cat aTTopeis, et StSa/crdv 
eoTLV dperrj; aAA' ov XPV davp,d!l,€LV, aAAa ttoXv 
fjidXXov, et ^17 StSa/CToi'. 

Atd Tt ovv Tojv dyaddjv Trarepcov ttoXXoI vUls 
(fyavXoL yiyvovTat; rovro av fidOe' ovdev yap 
davfjiaarov, ctnep dXr]drj eyoi iv tols efXTTpoadev 
eXcyov, on rovrov rov Trpdynaros, rijs dperrjs, 
327 ^l /Lte'AAet TToXis elvai, ovSeva Set iStcDTeuetv. 
et yap Srj o Xeyco ovrws e;)^et — €)(€t Se ixaXiara 
TrdvTiov ovTOJS — iv6vp,'qdrjTL dXXo rcov iTTLrrjBevjxa- 
Tcov oTiovv /cat fiadrjfxdrcov TrpoeXofxevos. et put] 
olov t' "qv ttoXlv elvai, et [Mrj Trdvres avX-qral rjpiev, 
oTTotos Tt? iSvvaro €Kaaros, /cat rovro /cat iSta 
/cat Srjpioola Trds Trdvra /cat eStSacr/ce /cat CTre'- 
TrXrjrre rov fir] KaXd>s avXovvra, /cat p,r) i<f)dov€i 
rovrov, ojaTrep vvv rwv htKalcov /cat rdiv vopiip^cov 

B oySet? (f)9ov€l ovS* dTTOKpvTrrerai, woTrep rcov 
aAAcov rexvqfJidrcov AuatreAei ydp, otyttat, i^/Att' 
rf dXX'qXcov hiKaiocrvvrj /cat dperrj' Sia ravra Trds 
TTOvrl TTpodvficos. Xfyei /cat StSaa/cet /cat to. St/cata 
/cat Ta vofjLiiJia' et oft' omo) /cat ev auAi^crei 
Trdaav TTpodvfMLav /cat d^Soviav e'lxofJLCv dXXijXovs 
SiSdaKCLv, otei ai' Tt, e07^, fidAXov, a> HcoKpares, 
T&v dyaOiov avXrjrdiv dyaOovs avXrjrds rovg 
vtets" yiyveadai rj rctjv (j>avXo}v; //olpuai fieu ov, 

C dAAct orov ervx^v 6 vlos €V(f)V€crraros yevofxevos 
et? avXrjaLV, ovrog dv eAAdyt/iO? "qv^rjOr], orov 



in many other cities, from the corrective purpose of 
the prosecution, is called a Correction.'^ Seeing then 
that so much care is taken in the matter of both 
private and public virtue, do you wonder, Socrates, 
and make it a great difficulty, that virtue may be 
taught ? Surely there is no reason to wonder at that: 
you would have far greater reason, if it were not so. 
Then why is it that many sons of good fathers turn 
out so meanly ? Let me explain this also : it is no 
wonder, granted that I was right in stating just now 
that no one, if we are to have a city, must be a mere 
layman in this affair of virtue. For if what I say is 
the case — and it is supremely true — reflect on the 
nature of any other pursuit or study that you choose 
to mention. Suppose that there could be no state 
unless we were all flute-players, in such sort as each 
was able, and suppose that everyone were gi\ing his 
neighbour both private and public lessons in the art, 
and rebuked him too, if he failed to do it well, without 
grudging him the trouble — even as no one now thinks 
of grudging or reserving his skill in what is just and 
lawful as he does in other expert knowledge ; for 
our neighbours' justice and virtue, I take it, is to our 
advantage, and consequently we all tell and teach 
one another what is just and la^-ful — well, if we 
made the same zealous and ungrudging efforts to 
instruct each other in flute-playing, do you think, 
Socrates, that the good flute-players would be more 
likely than the bad to have sons who were good flute- 
players ? I do not think they would : no, wherever 
the son had happened to be bom with a nature most 
apt for flute-playing, he would be found to have 

* The public inquiry to which a magistrate was liable after 
his term of office. 



Be d(f)Vt]s, d/cAei^s" Kal TToAAa/ct? fiev dyadov 
avXrjrov (f)avXos av OLTre^-q, TroAAa/ctS' 8' o.v (f)avXov 
dyoLdos' aAA' ovv avXr^ral y a.v^ Trdvres rjarav 
IkovoI cos TTpos rovs iStajxa? /cat fxrjSev avX-qaecJS 
€7TatovTas. ovTios oXov /cat vvv, ocrns aoi dSt- 
Kwrdtos (jiaiverai, dvdpcoTTOS rG)v ev vofxois /cat 
dvdpcjTTois reO pajxpbivojv , hiKaiov avrov elvai /cat 

D hripLiovpyov rovrov rov TTpdyp,aros, et Seoi avrov 
Kpiveadat rrpog dvOpionovs, ols fJL'qTe TratSet'a 
earl p,rjT€ SiKaar-^pia ixrjre v6p,oi /at^Sc dvdyKT] 
fir jiPefiLa §ta Tra vros dvayKdCovcra dpei-^s iT Ttfie' 
Xeiadoij dXX' etev dypioi rives, oloiTTep ovs Trepvcr i^^^ 
' 9epeKpdr7js 6 TTOirjrrjs iStSa^ev eirl Ar)vaicp. //-q '^T^ 
a(f)6Spa ev rots roLovrois dvdpwTTOis y€v6p.evos, 
warrep ol ev eKeivco rco X^PV P'i'CrdvdpcoTTOL, dya- 
TTTjCTats" dv, el evrvxois ^vpv^drco /cat ^pvvcovSa, 

E /cat dvoXo<f>vpaC dv TTodcbv ttjv rcov evddhe dvdpcoTrojv 
TTOVTjpLav' vvv Se rpv(f)as, cS TicoKpares, Stori 
TTavres StSdcr/coAot elaiv dperijs, Kad' oaov 8u- 
vavrat eKacrros, Kal ovSets ool (f)aiver ai' eld*, 
axnrep dv el ^rjrols rls SiSda/caAo? rov eXX-qvl^eiv, 
328 oi)S' dv els <f>aveir], ov8e y dv, olfiat, el ^rjrols 
ris dv Tj/jLLv StSd^ete rovs rcJov ;(et/3ore;^i'a>i' uiets' 
avrrjv ravrrjv rrjv rexvrjv, rjv Srj irapd rov narpos 
fiep,adT]KaaL, Kad oaov olos t' -^v 6 irarrjp /cat 
ol rov TTarpos <f)tXoi ovres 6p,6rexyoi, rovrovs en 
ris dv hSd^eiev , ov pdStov olp-ai elvac, cL HcoKpares, 
rovrcov SiSdoKaXov (l )avrjvai . rrdjv 8e direipcjjv 
"navrdrraac pdSiov, ovro) Se dperrjs Kal rcov dXXoiv 

' 7* Siu Shilleto: 70C1' mss. 


advanced to distinction, and where unapt, to ob- 
scurity. Often the son of a good player would turn 
out a bad one, and often of a bad, a good. But, at 
any rate, all would be capable players as compared 
with ordinary persons who had no inkling of the art. 
Likewise in the present case you must regard any 
man who appears to you the most unjust person 
ever reared among human laws and society as a just 
man and a craftsman of justice, if he had to stand 
comparison with people who lacked education and 
law courts and laws and any constant compulsion to 
the pursuit of virtue, but were a kind of wild folk such 
as Pherecrates the poet brought on the scene at last 
year's Lenaeum.^ Sure enough, if you found your- 
self among such people, as did the misanthropes 
among his chorus, you would be very glad to meet 
with Eurybatus and Phrj'nondas,^ and would bewail 
yourself with longing for the wickedness of the people 
here. Instead of that you give yourself dainty airs, 
Socrates, because everyone is a teacher of virtue to 
the extent of his powers, and you think there is no 
teacher. Why, you might as well ask who is a teacher 
of Greek ; you would find none anywhere ; and I 
suppose you might ask, who can teach the sons of our 
artisans the very crafts which of course they have 
learnt from their fathers, as far as the father was 
competent in each case, and his friends who followed 
the same trade, — I say if you asked who is to give 
these further instruction, I imagine it would be hard, 
Socrates, to find them a teacher, but easy enough in 
the case of those starting with no skill at all. And 
so it must be with virtue and everything else ; if 

^ A dramatic festival, chiefly for comedies, held about 

the end of January. '^ Two notorious rogues. 

VOL. IV F 2 149 


TTOLVTcov dXXa Koiv el oXlyov eart, tls ootls 8ta- 
B (f>€p€i rj/xcov TTpo^L^daaL elg dper-qv, dyarrrjrov. 
(x}V St] iyo) otfiat els eivai, /cat 8cacf)€p6vT(x)g du 
Tcov aAAcui' dvQpojTTCxiV ovriaai^ riva Trpog to KaXov 
/cat dyaOov yeviadai, /cat dft'co? rov fiiadov ov 
Trpdrrofiai, /cat eVt TrXeiovof, axTre /cat avrco 
BoKelv rcx) fjLadovTL. 8ta ravra /cat rov rpoTTov 
TTj^ Trpd^eojs rov fjnadov roiovrov TreTTOL-qfiai' 
evretSai' ydp ns Trap' ipLOV fxddr), edv fiev ^ovX-qrai, 
dnoBeScoKev o iyoj 7rpdrrop.aL dpyvpiov idv 8e 
Q fiT], iXdd)V els lepov, djxoaas, oaov dv (f>fj a^ta 
eii^at rd pLaSrjpLara, roaovrov KardO-qKev. tolov- 
rov aoi, €(f)7], c5 HcoKpares, eyd> /cat fxvdov /cat 
Xoyov eLprjKa, cos StSa/cror dperr) /cat ^AdrjvaloL 
ovTOJS TjyovvTai, /cat on ovhev dav/Jbaarov tcov 
dyadcov Trarepcov (jiavXovs vlels yiyveadai /cat 
ra)V (f>avXcov dyaOovs, evret /cat ol IloAy/cAetTou 
vUtg, IlapdXov /cat "EavdiTnrov TovSe i^At/ctoiTat, 
ovSev TTpos Tov TTarepa eLcn, \/cat aAAot ctAAoji' 
Brjp,Lovpycov. rZJvSe Se ovttco d^Lov rovro KaTrj- 
J) yopeiv ert ydp iv avTols elalv iXTTiSes' veot 

UpcoTayopas fxev roaavra /cat roiaura em,- 
hei^dfxevos dTreTravaaro rov Xoyov. /cat iyco 
CTTL fj,ev TToXvv \p6vovJ K€Kr}Xr]fi€Vos eri, irpos avrov 
e^XeTTov co£ ipovvrdjrt,, iTnOvficbv dKoveiv eVei 
Se Srj rjaOofJLTjv on m-cd ovrt j77€7ray^eVo? e'lr], pLoyig 
TTCos ifiavrov o^airepel avJayeipas elrrov , '^ ^Xe^as 
TTpos rov 'iTTTTOKpdrrj' 'Q, mat AttoXaoocopov, 
d)S X^P"^ ^'^'' ^X^ ^'^'' rrpov^opds p-exLhe d^iKcadaf 
E TToXXov ydp TTOioCfxai d/C7^/coeVai a aKTjKoa IlpcoT' 
I dpTjaai Dobree : voijaai Mss. 


there is somebody who excels us ever so httle in 
showing the way to virtue, we must be thankful. 
Such an one I take myself to be, excelling all other 
men in the gift of assisting people to become good 
and true, and giving full value for the fee that I 
charge — nay, so much more than full, that the learner 
himself admits it. For this reason I have arranged 
my charges on a particular plan : when anyone has 
had lessons from me, if he likes he pays the sum that 
I ask ; if not, he goes to a temple, states on oath the 
value he sets on what he has learnt, and disburses 
that amount. So now, Socrates, I have shown you 
by both fable and argument that virtue is teachable 
and is so deemed by the Athenians, and that it is no 
wonder that bad sons are born of good fathers and 
good of bad, since even the sons of Polycleitus, com- 
panions of Paralus and Xanthippus here, are not 
to be compared with their father, and the same is 
the case in other craftsmen's families. As for these 
two, it is not fair to make this complaint of them yet ; 
there is still hope in their case, for they are young. 

After this great and fine performance Protagoras 
ceased from speaking. As for me, for a good while I 
was still under his spell and kept on looking at him 
as though he were going to say more, such was my 
eagerness to hear : ^ but when I perceived that he 
had really come to a stop, I pulled myself together, 
as it were, with an effort, andWooking at Hippocrates 
I said : Son of Apollodorus/ I am very grateful to 
you for inducing me to come hither ; for it is a great 
treat to have heard what I have heard from Prot- 

' Or in Milton's version. Par. Lost, viii. 1-3 : 

in [my] eare 
So charming left his voice, that [I] the while 
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixt to bear. 



ayopov. iyco yap iv fxev rep efXTrpoaOev ^povto 

rjyovfirjv ovk elvai dvdpcoTTLvrjv eTTLfxeXeiav, fj aya- 

6ol ol dyadol yiyvovrai' vvv 8e TreTreicr/xat, ttXtjv 

<7 V auLLKpov tL ixoi i/JLTToSco v, o SrjXov OTi Upojrayopas 

^ "^ paolcDS €7re/cSt8a^et, eireLSr) koI to. ttoAAo, ravra 

cfeStSa^c. Koi yap et fiev ris irepl avraJv tovtcov 

329 cnryyevoiro otojow tcov h-qp^-qyopoiv , rd^ av /cat 

TOiovrovs \6yovs aKovGeiev rf HepiKAeovs t] 

dX\ov Tivos rtov iKavcov elnelv el Se eTravepoiTo 

Tivd TL, axTTTcp jSt^Attt ovScv e^ovaiv ovre aTTOKpt- 

vaadai ovre avrol ipeadai, dAA' edv ris /cat apuKpov 

eTTepajT-qcrp ri rcov p-qOevrcov, cSasrep to. vaA/cta^ 

TTA-qyevra fxaKpov rjx^i'/ kcu aTTOTeirei, eav fjLrj 

eTnXd^-qrai ris, /cat 61 p-qropes ovro) ajxiKpd 

B epa)T7)d€VT€s SoXlxov KaTareivovai rov Xoyov. 

Upayrayopas 8e oSe Ikovos p,ev /xaKpovs Xoyoug 

/cat KoAovs eiTTelv, cos avrd SrjXol, iKavos Se 

/cat epcoTqdels dnoKpivaadai Kara ^pa^v /cat 

epofjLevos TTepijxelvai re /cat dnoSe^aa&aL rrjv 

aTToKpiaiv, d dXiyois earl irapeaKevaap^eva. vvv 

ovv, c5 Ylpoirayopa, arfiLKpov rivos ivSeTjs elfiL 

rrdvr ex^iv, et fxot anoKpLvaio roBe. rrjv dperrjv 

(f>rjs StSa/CTW elvaL, /cat eyoj elirep aAAa> toj 

dvdpiOTTOiv TTeLdoL/xrjv dv, /cat aol Treldofiai' o 

C S' idavfjiaad aov Xeyovros, rovro /xot iv rfj ^xfl 

dTTonX-qpcoaov. eXeyes yap on 6 Zeu? rrjv 

SiKaiocrwTjv /cat rrjv atSco Trepbifieie rots dvdpa>7TOLs, 

/cat av TToXXaxov ev rots Xoyois eXeyero vtto aov 

7] BiKatoavvT] /cat aa>(f>poavv7] /cat oaiorris koa 

^ Xa^Kia Cobet : x(<^c<a Hss. 


agoras. I used formerly to think that there was no 
human treatment by which the good were made good, 
but now I am convinced that there is. Only I find 
one shght difficulty, which Protagoras will of course 
easily explain away, since he has explained so many 
puzzles already. If one should be present when any 
of the public speakers were dealing with these same 
subjects, one could probably hear similar discourses 
from Pericles or some other able speaker : but 
suppose you put a question to one of them — ^they 
are just like books, incapable of either answering you 
or putting a question of their own ; if you question 
even a small point in what has been said, just as 
brazen vessels ring a long time after they have been 
struck and prolong the note unless you put your hand 
on them, these orators too, on being asked a little 
question, extend their speech over a full-length 
course.^ But Protagoras here, while able to deliver, 
as events have shown, a long and excellent speech, 
is also able when questioned to reply briefly, and 
after asking a question to await and accept the 
answer — accomplishments that few can claim. And 
now, Protagoras, there is one little thing wanting to 
the completeness of what I have got, so please 
answer me this. You say that \irtue may be taught, 
and if there is anybody in the world who could 
convince me, you are the man : but there was a 
point in your speech at which I wondered, and on 
which my spirit would fain be satisfied. You said 
that Zeus had sent justice and respect to mankind, 
and furthermore it was frequently stated in your 
discourse that justice, temperance, hoUness and the 

^ The metaphor is of a long-distance race of about -ij 



navra ravra cos €v ri eXr] crvXXij^S-qv, apeTTf 
ravT ovv aura SUXde fioi, oiKpi^aJs rco Adyoj, 
TTorepov ev fxev ri iariv rj apcTTJ, fxopia 8e avrfjs 
icTTLV 7) SLKaLoavvT] /cat (TO)<f>poavvq /cat oaiorrjs, 
D iq ravr* iarlv a vvu St) iyoj eXeyov Trdvra ovojxara 
Tov avTov ivos ovtos' tovt iarlv o en eTmrodu). 

'AAAa pahiov rovTo y , c^t;, c5 St/j/c/jare?, 
aTTOKplvaardat,, ort ivos ovtos ttjs dperijs fiopLo. 
eariv d epcor as. Uorepov, €(f>r)v, wajrep Trpoaco- 
7TOV rd {xopia fxoptd eari, arofxa re /cat pis /cat 
o(j>daXpLol /cat cora, rj ojartep rd rov ■)(pvaov fxopia 
ovhev Sta^epet rd erepa rcbv erepcuv, dXXriXoiv 
Kat rod oXov, aXX' tj pueyedei /cat afMiKpor-qrt; 
'E/cctVo)? /Aot <j>aiverai, c5 l^cjKpares , ojairep rd 
E rov TTpoad)TTOv fiopta e;^et rrpos ro oXov TrpoacoTTov. 
Uorepov ovv, rjv S' eyoj, /cat neraXafM^dvovaiv 
oi dvdpcDTTOi rovroiv \cov rrjs dperrjs fiopicov ol 
fiev dXXo, ol he dXXo, rj dvdyKrj, edvirep rts ev 
Xd^jj, drravr ex^iv; OvSafjLots, e^ry, eVet ttoXXoI 
dvSpeioi elaiv, dSiKoi 8e, /cat St/catot av, ao(f)ol 
8e ov. "Eart ydp ovv /cat raura yuopia rijs 
330 dperrjs, e<j>rjv eyo), ao(f>ia re /cat dvSpeia; Ildvrcov 
fjidXicrra h'qTrov, e(f>rj' /cat jieycarov ye rj ao^ta 
rcov jxopicov^ "l^Kaarov he avra)v eariv, rjV 8 eycL, 
dXXo, TO 8e dXXo; Nat. '^H /cat Swa/xtv avrcbv 
eKaarov iStoi^ ^x^i; (Zarrep rd rov rrpoacoTTov, 
ovK eariv d^OaXfxos otov rd mra, ovh rj hvvajxis 
dvfbv rj avrtj' ovhe ra>v dXXcov ovSev eariv otov 
ro erepov ovre Kard rrjv Svvafiiv ovre Kard rd 
.aAAa' dp" ovv ovroi /cat rd rrjs dperrjs jxopia ovK 



rest were all but one single thing, virtue : pray, now 
proceed to deal with these in more precise exposition, 
stating whether virtue is a single thing, of which 
justice and temperance and hohness are parts, or 
whether the quahties I have just mentioned are all 
names of the same single thing. This is what I am 
still hankering after. 

Why, the answer to that is easy, Socrates, he 
replied : it is that \-irtue is a single thing and the 
qualities in question are parts of it. 

Do you mean parts, I asked, in the sense of the 
parts of a face, as mouth, nose, eyes, and ears ; or, as 
in the parts of gold, is there no difference among the 
pieces, either between the parts or between a part 
and the whole, except in greatness and smallness ? 

In the former sense, I think, Socrates ; as the parts 
of the face are to the whole face. 

Well then, I continued, when men partake of these 
portions of virtue, do some have one, and some an- 
other, or if you get one, must you have them all ? 

By no means, he replied, since many are brave but 
unjust, and many again are just but not wise. 

Then are these also parts of virtue, I asked — 
wisdom and courage ? 

Most certainly, I should say, he repUed ; and of the 
parts, wisdom is the greatest. 

Each of them, I proceeded, is distinct from any 
other ? 


Does each also have its particular function ? Just 
as, in the parts of the face, the eye is not Uke the 
ears, nor is its function the same ; nor is any of the 
other parts like another, in its function or in any 
other respect : in the same way, are the parts of 



B eoTi TO erepov olov ro erepov, ovre avTo ovre 
Tj SvvafXLS avTov; jq SrjXa Srj otl ovtcds ^xeu, 
€L7T€p TO) TTapaSeLy/xaTi ye eoiKev ; 'AAA' ovrtos, 
€(f)rj, €X€i, to Uto/cpare?.// /cat iyoj cIttov OvSev 
apa earl rcov rrjs dperijs fjuopicov dXXo olov Itti- 
arrjjXT), ovh olov StKatoavvrj, ouS' 0101^ avSpela, 
ol^S' olov aa)(f)poavvr] , ovS* olov daioTTj?. Ovk 
€(f>T]. Ocpe 817, €(f)r]v cyco, Koivfj CT/ce^co/xe^a 
TTolov Tt avTa)v iarlv eKaarov, rrpwrov jiev 

C TO roiovhc 71 StKaiocrvvT) Trpdy/Jid ri iariv rj 
dvSev TTpdyfia; ifiol fiev yap So/cet* ri 8e aot; 
Kat ifioL, e<f>r]. Tt ovv; et Tt? epoiro ifxe re 
Kal ai' CO Yipojrayopa t€ /cat Sco/cpare?, etTreror 
87) fioi, Tovro TO 7Tpdyp,a, o covo/xaaaTe apTt, 
i^ St,Kaioavvr] , avTO tovto SiKaiov iartv ^ dStKov ; 
iyoj fJL€V dv avTO) dTT^KpLvatfi-qv on Slkoiov av 
8e TtV dv t/j7J(f>ov deto;jrr]V avTrjv ipuol t] dXXrjv; 
Trjv avTT^v, €(/)rj. "EcrTtv dpa tolovtov rj 8t/cato- 

D avvT] olov hiKaiov elvai, (fjaLrjv dv eycoye dno- 
Kptvo/Jievos rep ipojT&vrt,' ovkovv /cat aru; Nat, 
€(f)r]. Et ovv fxerd rovro rjfid? epoiro' ovkovv 
/cat ocrtoTT^Ta Ttm ^aTe elvai; (f>aip,€v dv, cos 
eya> Nat, rj 8' o?. Ovkovv ^are /cat 
rovro TTpdyjxd ri elvat; (f)aLfj.€v dv ■^ ov; Kat 
rovro avv€(f)r}. Ilorepov 8e rovro avro ro npd- 
yixd (f)are roiovrov 7T€cf>VK€vaL olov dvoaiov elvai 
TJ olov OGLOv; dyavaKTT^craLjj.^ dv €yo)y\ '^<t>'i)v, 
ro) ipcorrjfiarL, /cat et7rot/x' dv evtjirjfxei, to 

E dvdpcoTTe' oxoXfj p.evr dv rt ctAAo oolov gIt], et 



virtue unlike each other, both in themselves and in 
their functions ? Are they not evidently so, if the 
analogy holds ? 

Yes, they are so, Socrates, he said. 

So then, I went on, among the parts of virtue, 
no other part is like knowledge, or like justice, or 
like courage, or like temperance, or Uke holiness. 

He agreed. 

Come now, I said, let us consider together what 
sort of thing is each of these parts. First let us ask, 
is justice something, or not a thing at all ? I think 
it is ; what do you say ? 

So do I, he replied. 

Well then, suppose someone should ask you and 
me : Protagoras and Socrates, pray tell me this — 
the thing you named just now, justice, is that itself 
just or unjust ? I should reply, it is just : what 
would your verdict be ? The same as mine or 
different ? 

The same, he said. 

Then justice, I should say in reply to our questioner, 
is of a kind that is just : would you also ? 

Yes, he said. 

Now suppose he proceeded to ask us : Do you also 
speak of a " holiness " ? We should say we do, I 

Yes, he said. 

Then do you call this a thing also ? We should 
say we do, should we not ? 

He assented again. 

Do you say this thing itself is of such nature as to 
be unholy, or holy ? For my part I should be 
annoyed at this question, I said, and should answer : 
Hush, my good sir ! It is hard to see how anything 



fit] avTTj ye rj oaLorrjs oaiov earai. rl Se av; ovx 
ovrois ov OLTTOKpivaio ; Yidvv fxev ovv, €<f)r]. 
yi. Et ovv fxcTa rovr clttol ipcjTCJV rj/xag' vcog 
ovv oXiyov TTpoTcpov iXdyere; ap* ovk opOchs 
Vfiwv KarrJKOvaa; e'So^are fxot (f>dvai rd rrjg 
aperrjg fiopLa elvat ovrcos e^ovra irpos dX\r]\a, 
<os OVK etvai to erepov avrcov olov ro erepov 
CLTToi/j, dv eycoye on rd fxev dXXa 6pdd)s rJKovaag, 
on 8e Kat cfxe otet emelv rovro, napi^Kovaa?' 
331 Upcorayopas ydp oSe ravra diTGKpivaTo, iyaj 
8e rjpcoTCOV. el ovv eiiTOi' dXr^d-q oSe Ae'yet, tS 
Ilpojrayopa; av (f)f)g ovk etvai ro erepov fxopiov 
OLOV ro erepov rdjv rrjg dperrjs; cro? ovrog 6 
Aoyos eari; ri dv avrco aTTOKpivaio; ^AvdyKrj, 
e(f)7), c5 HcoKpares, o/jioXoyeLV. Tt ovv, cS Ilpo)r- 
ayopa, aTTOKpivovfjieda avrco, ravra oixoXoyq- 
aavres, eav "qpids eTravep-qraL- ovk dpa earlv 
ooLorr^S OLOV SiKaiov etvai TTpdyjxa, ouSe St/cato- 
avvrj OLOV oolov, dXX' olov firj oolov t] S* oaLorrjg 
OLOV fiTj SLKaLov, dAA' d^LKov dpa, ro Se dvooLov; 
B n avrcp dTTOKpivov/xeda; eyd) p,ev ydp avros 
VTTep ye ejxavrov (j)aL7]v dv /cat rr^v SLKaLoovvrjv 
OGLOV eti/ai /cat rrjv ooLorrjra 8i/catov /cat vTrep 
aov Se, et pie ecp-qg, ravrd dv ravra aTTOKpLVOLpLrfv, 
on rjTOL ravrov y earL SLKaLor-qg oaLorrjrL rj orL 
opbOLorarov, /cat fidXiara Travrcov rj re St/catocrwTy 
OLOV oaLorrjs /cat rj ooLorrjg olov StKaLoavvrj. 
aXX dpa, el Sta/ccoAuei? dTTOKpiveadaL, rj /cat aol 
crvvhoKeZ ovrcos. Ov ttovv jxol hoKet, e(f)rj, w 
C Scu/c/jares", ovrcos dTrXovv elvaL, oicrre avyx^i- 
prjaai rrjV re SLKaLoavvrjv oolov elvai /cat rrjv 



could be holy, if holiness itself is not to be holy 1 
And you — would you not make the same reply ? 

Certainly I would, he said. 

Now suppose he went on to ask us : Well, and 
what of your statement a little while since ? Perhaps 
I did not hear you aright, but I understood you two 
to say that the parts of virtue are in such a relation 
to each other that one of them is not like another. 
Here my answer would be : As to the substance of 
it, you heard aright, but you made a mistake in 
thinking that I had any share in that statement. It 
was Protagoras here who made that answer ; I was 
only the questioner. Then suppose he were to ask : 
Is our friend telling the truth, Protagoras ? Is it 
you who say that one part of virtue is not like an- 
other ? Is this statement yours ? What answer 
would you give him ? 

I must needs admit it, Socrates, he said. 

Well now, Protagoras, after that admission, what 
answer shall we give him, if he goes on to ask this 
question : Is not holiness something of such nature 
as to be just, and justice such as to be holy, or can 
it be unholy ? Can holiness be not just, and therefore 
unjust, and justice unholy ? What is to be our 
reply ? I should say myself, on my own behalf, that 
both justice is holy and holiness just, and with your 
permission I would make this same reply for you 
also ; since justness is either the same thing as 
holiness or extremely like it, and above all, justice is 
of the same kind as holiness, and holiness as justice. 
Are you minded to forbid this answer, or are you in 
agreement with it ? 

I do not take quite so simple a view of it, Socrates, 
as to grant that justice is holy and holiness just. I 



oaioTrjTa hiKaiov, aAAa ri jxoi SoKet iv aurai 
8id(f)opov elvai. dAAa tl rovro Sia^epet; €(f)-q- 
€t yap ^ovXet, earcj TjfXLV Kal SiKaiocrvm) oaiov 
Kai oaLOTr]s hiKaiov. Mt^ /xoi, rjv 8' eyoS* ovhev 
yap oeofxat, ro el ^ovXei rovro /cat ei crot So/<ret 
€Aey;i^ecr^ai, dAA' e/xe re /cai ae* to 8' eju.e re /cat 
ae rovro Xeyco, olofxevos ovroj rov Xoyov ^iXnctr* 
D o-v iXeyxeardac, et ns ro et dcf)€XoL avrov. 'AAAd 
fievroL, r) 8 o?, TrpoaeoiKe ri StKaioavvq ocriorrjri,' 
Kai yap oriovv orcpovv ajjufj ye tttj Trpocreot/ce. 
ro yap XevKov rep fxeXavt ecrriv onrj npoaeoLKe, 
Kai ro aKXrjpov rep fxaXaKcp, Kal rdXXa a So/cet 
evavriu)rara etvai dAAT^Aots" Kat d rore €(f}afxev 
dXXrjv Swa/XLV ex^tv /cat ovk etvaL ro erepov olov 
ro erepov, rd rov TrpoacoTTOv fxopca, dfxj] ye tttj 
TTpoaeoLKe Kat eari ro erepov olov rd erepov 
coare rovro) ye rep rponcp kov ravra eXey)(ois, 
E ft ^ovXoLO, (hs dnavrd eariv o/iota dAArJAot?. 
aAA ov^} rd ofioiov ri, e^pvra o/xota 8t/catov 
KaXelv, ovhe rd dvofxoiov n exovra dv6p,oi,a, kov 
TTavv ajjiiKpdv exj) rd o/Jboiov. Kal eyoj 6avp,daas 
eiTTOv TTpds avrov, *H ydp ovrco aoi rd hiKaiov 
Kat ro oatov Trpds dXXrjXa ex^i, oiare ofioiov ri 
ap.LKpdv ex^LV d?^X-^XoLs; Ov ttovv, €<f>r], ovrois, 
332 ov pievroL ovBe av cos cry fxoi SoKelg oteadai. 
AAAd /X7yv, eefyrjv eyoi, eTreihy] Svax^pdJs 8o/cet9 
poi ex^iv TTpds rovro, rovro p,ev edcrcopev, roSe 
Se dAAo a)v eXeyes CTrta/cei/'co/xe^a. 

A(f)poavv'qv ri KaXeZs; "E^Ty. Tovrcp rip 
V pay par I ov redv rovvavriov earlv rj ao<j)La; 



think we^have to make a distinction here. Yet what 
difference does it make ? he said : if you hke, let us 
assume that justice is holy and hoUness just. 

No, no, I said ; I do not want this " if you like " or 
" if you agree " sort of thing^ to be put to the proof, 
but you and me together ; and when I say " you 
and me " I mean that our statement will be most 
properly tested if we take away the " if." 

Well, at any rate, he said, justice has some resem- 
blance to holiness ; for anything in the world has 
some sort of resemblance to any other thing. Thus 
there is a point in which white resembles black, and 
hard soft, and so with all the other things which are 
regarded as most opposed to each other ; and the 
things which we spoke of before as having different 
faculties and not being of the same kind as each 
other — the parts of the face — these in some sense 
resemble one another and are of like sort. In this 
way therefore you could prove, if you chose, that even 
these things are all like one another. But it is not 
fair to describe things as like which have some point 
aUke, however small, or as unlike that have some 
point unlike. 

This surprised me, and I said to him : What, do 
you regard just and holy as so related to each other 
that they have only some small point of likeness ? 

Not so, he replied, at all, nor yet, on the other 
hand, as I believe you regard them. 

Well then, I said, since I find you chafe at this 
suggestion, we \vill let it pass, and consider another 
instance that you gave. Is there a thing you call folly ? 

Yes, he said. 

Is not the direct opposite to that thing wisdom ? 

» Cf. below. 333 c. 



Kfioiye So/cei, e(f>r). IloTepov 8^ orav Trpar- 
rwaiv dvdpcoTTOL 6pda>s re Kal dx/jeXifxcos , rore 
a(0(ppov€iv aoL Sokovglv ovrco Trpdrrovres, t] 
[el] rovvavriov [enparTovY ; Haxfjpoveiv, €(f>r]. 

B OvKovv a(x)(f)poavvri acj^povovaiv ; ^AvdyKi). Ovk- 
ovv OL fiTj opdcos TTpoLTTOvres d^povois TTpdrTovai 
KoX ov ao}<j>povovaLv ovrco Trpdrrovres ; SwSo/cci 
/ioi, e^T^. Tovvavriov dpa earl ro d<j)p6viiis 
rrpdrrew rep acii(f)p6vcos ; ''K(f)'q. Ovkovv rd 
fiev d^povcxis TTparrofieva d(f)poarvvrj irpdrrerai , 
rd he aco(j)p6vois arcocfipocrvvr] ; 'D/xoAoyei. Ovk- 
ovv et Ti LcrxvC irpdrrerai, laxvpdis rrpdrrerai, 
Kal et re dadeveia, dadevcos ; 'ESo/cei. Kai el 
Tt pierd rdxovs, rax^cos, koI et rt p.erd ^paSvrrjros, 

C PpaSecDs; "E^rj. Kal et Tt 8r} coaavrcos Trpdr- 

rerai, inro rod avrov npdrrerat, Kal el ri evav' 

rlcos, VTTO rov evavriov; Hvve^iq. Oepe h-q, ^v 

8' eyoi, earl ri koXov; llvvex<Jopei. Tovru) 

eoTL Tt evavriov ttXtjv rd alaxpdv; Ovk eariv. 

Tt 84; ear I re dyadov; *E,arLV. Tovrcp eari 

^ el et ivparrov seel. Stallbaum. 


I think so, he said. 

And when men behave rightly and usefully, do you 
consider them temperate in so behaving, or the 
opposite ? 

Temperate, he said. 

Then is it by temperance that they are temperate ? 


Now those who do not behave rightly behave 
foolishly, and are not temperate in so behaving ? 

I agree, he said. 

And behaving foolishly is the opposite to behaving 
temperately ? 

Yes, he said. 

Now foohsh behaviour is due to folly, and tem- 
perate behaviour to temperance ? 

He assented. 

And whatever is done by strength is done strongly, 
and whatever by weakness, weakly ? 

He agreed. 

And whatever with swiftness, swiftly, and what- 
ever with slowness, slowly ? 

Yes, he said. 

And so whatever is done in a certain way is done 
by that kind of faculty, and whatever in an opposite 
way, by the opposite kind ? 

He agreed. 

Pray now, I proceeded, is there such a thing as the 
beautiful ? 

He granted it. 

Has this any opposite except the ugly ? 


Well, is there such a thing as the good ? 

There is. 

Has it any opposite but the evil ? 



Tt evavriov nXriv ro KaKov; Ovk earnv. Ti Be; 
earn, ti 6$v ev (fxovfj; "E^t^. Toutoj firj ecni 
Ti evavTLOV dXXo vXrjv ro ^apv; Ovk e<f)7]. Ovk- 
ovu, "qv 8' eyo), evl eKaarco rwv evavrlcov ev 

J) fiovov ecrrlv evavriov koL ov TroAAct; IjVVCOfJLoXoyei. 
"Wi Bij, ^v S' eyo), dvaXoyiacofieda rd (b/xoXo- 
yqfxeva rj/jLtv. (ofioXoyrjKafjiev ev evl fiovov evav- 
riov elvai, TrXeioi Be fi-q; 'QfioXoy^Ka/xev. To 
Se evavriws Trparrofievov vno evavricov nparreadai ; 
"E^T^. 'Q.fioXoyqKaiJLev Se evavrccos Trpdrreadai 
o dv d<f>p6vois TTpdrrrjrai ro) aoi^povojs irparro- 
pLevip; "E^T^. To 8e aco(f>p6vcos Trparro/xevov 
V7t6 aui<f)poavv7)s Trpdrreadai, ro Se d<f)p6vix}s 

j^ VTTO d(f)poavvr)s ; Tivvex(^pec. Ovkovv etrrep evav- 
riojs TTpdrrerai, vtto evavriov Trpdrroir dv; 
Nai. Wpdrrerai Se ro jxev vtto aa}(f)poavvr}g, 
TO Se VTTO d(f>poavvrjs ; Nai. ^E^vavricos ; Ildvv 
ye. OvKovv vtto evavricov ovrcov; Nat. Evar- 
TLOV dp* ear IV d(f)poavvrj aoj(f>poavvrjs ; ^aiverai. 



Tell me, is there such a thing as " shrill " in the 
voice ? 

Yes, he said. 

Has it any other opposite than " deep." 

No, he said. 

Now, I went on, each single opposite has but one 
opposite, not many ? 

He admitted this. 

Come now, I said, let us reckon up our^points of 
agreement. We have agreed that one thing has but 
one opposite, and no more ? 

We have. 

And that what is done in an opposite way is done 
by opposites ? 

Yes, he said. 

And we have agreed that what is done foohshly is 
done in an opposite way to what is done temperately ? 

Yes, he said. 

And that what is done temperately is done by 
temperance, and what foohshly by folly ? 

He assented. 

Now if it is done in an opposite way, it must be 
done by an opposite ? 


And one is done by temperance, and the other by 
folly ? 


In an opposite way ? 


And by opposite faculties ? 


Then folly is opposite to temperance ? 




Mefivrjarai ovv on iv tols e^irpoadev (LfioXoyTjrat 
"fjfitv d<f>pocrvvq ao(f)ia evavriov elvai; Hvvcofio- 
Xoyet. "Ev Se evt /jlovov ivavriov elvai; ^rjfxi. 
333 Tlorepov ovv, cS Upcorayopa, Xvcrojfxev rcov Xoycov; 
TO €V evi [xovov ivavTiov etvai, •^ eKeivov ev (h 
iXeyero erepov elvat aa)(j)po<jvv7]s ao<j>ia, fxopLov 
§€ eKOTepov dperfjs, Kal Trpos rep erepov elvat 
Kol dvofioia Kal avra /cat at Svvdfxeis avrojv, 
warrep rd rov Trpoo-coTTOv fiopua; Trorepov ovv 
817 Xvacofiev; odrot yap ol Xoyoi dpi<^6repoi ov 
Trdvv fiovaiKcbs Xeyovrar ov yap avvaSovatv 
ovSe crvvapfjioTrovaLV d?^X^Xois. ttcos yap dv 

J} avvahoLev, c'lTrep ye dvdyKTj cvl fiev ev puovov 
ivavriov elvai, TrXeioaiv he fi-q, rfj Se d(f)po<jvvr) 
evl ovri ao(j>ia evavria koX aoi^poavvr] av ^aiverar 
7) yap, J) Yipoirayopa, e(f>r)V eyo), rj dXXcos ttcos; 
*Q.fxoX6yrjae Kal jxaK dKovrcos. Ovkovv ev dv 
€L7] rj Ga)(f}poavvrj Kal rj ao^ia; ro he irporepov 
av i<f>dv'q rjfjilv rj StKaLoavvr) Kal .17 oaLorrjs axehou 
Tt ravrov ov. lui or], rjv o eyoj, o) iipiorayopa, 
firj drroKafMCOfiev, dXXd /cat rd Xonrd Stao-/ce- 
i/jcofxeda. dpa Tt? crot So/cet ahtKcov dvOpconos 

C (TO}<j>poveiv , on dhiKeZ; AlcrxvvoLfirjV dv eycoy', 
€(/)r], c5 TicoKpares, rovro ofioXoyelv, enel ttoXXoI 
ye <f>aaL rct)v dvOpcLiraiV. YioTepov ovv rrpos 
eKeivovs rov Xoyov 7rot7^cro/xat, e(f>r]v, t] rrpog ere; 
Et ^ovXei, e<f)r], 77/30? rovrov rrpCbrov rov Xoyov 
SiaXexOrjn rov rwv ttoXXcov. 'AAA' ovhev fjuoi 
hia<j>epei, edv fjiovov av ye dvoKpivQ, e'ir ovv 



Now do you recollect that in the previovis stage 
we have agreed that folly is opposite to wisdom ? 

He admitted this. 

And that one thing has but one opposite ? 


Then which, Protagoras, of our propositions are 
we to reject — the statement that one thing has but 
one opposite ; or the other, that wisdom is different 
from temperance, and each is a part of virtue, and 
moreover, a different part, and that the two are as 
unlike, both in themselves and in their faculties, 
as the parts of the face ? Which are we to upset ? 
The two of them together are not quite in tune ; 
they do not chime in harmony. How could they, 
if one thing must needs have but one opposite and 
no more, while wisdom, and temperance likewise, 
appear both to be opposite to folly, which is a single 
thing ? Such is the position, Protagoras, I said ; 
or is it otherwise ? 

He admitted it was so, much against his will. 

Then temperance and wisdom must be one thing ? 
And indeed we found before that justice and holiness 
were almost the same thing. Come, Protagoras, I 
said, let us not falter, but carry out our inquiry to 
the end. Tell me, does a man who acts unjustly 
seem to you to be temperate in so acting ? 

I should be ashamed, Socrates, he rephed, to admit 
that, in spite of what many people say. 

Then shall I address my argument to them, I 
asked, or to you ? 

If you please, he answered, debate first against 
that popular theory. 

It is all the same to me, I said, so long as you 
make answer, whether it be your own opinion or 



ooKei aoi ravra, etre nrj. rov yap \6yov eycoye 
fiaXiara efera^oj, avfjL^aiveL fxevroL tcrco? /cat 
€/x€ rov ipcoTojvTa /cai rov aTTOKpivofievov efe- 

D To fxev ovv TTpciJTov e/caAAcDTTt^eTO rjfjilv 6 Upcor- 
ayopas' rov yap Xoyov fjTtdTO Svcrx^pij eti/af 
€7T€iTa jxevToi cruvcx^cLprjaev a/noKpiveadai. "Wi 
hrj, €(f>r}v iyo), i^ ^PXV^ f^^'' drroKpivai. hoKovai 
TLves croi acocf)pov€lv dStKovvres; "Kotoj, ecfyf]. 
To 8e (ja)<j)poveZv Aeyet? ev <f>pov€Lv; "E^t^. To 
8 €v <f)pov€Zv €v ^ovXeveadai, oti, dhiKouaLv; 
'EoTTW, €(f)rj. Uorepov, -^v 8' iyco, el ev TTpdrrov- 
aiv dSiKovvres 7] el KaKws; Et eS. Ae'yei? 
ovu dyadd drra elvai; Xeyco. ^Ap* ovv, "qv 
8' eyci), ravr* earlv dyadd, d eariv <l)<j>eXt,p.a roZs 

E dvdpojTTOLs; Kat vat ^a At", ^j>f], kov firj rot? 
dvdpa)7TOLs co^e'At/xa i?* eycoye KaXco dyaOd. Kat 
fioL e8o/cet o Upcorayopas tJSt) rerpax^vdai re 
/cat dywvidv Kal 7rapaTera;^^ai rrpos ro airo- 
Kpiveadaf eTreihr] ovv icopcov avrov ovrcos exovra, 
evXa^ov/Jievos rjpefia 'r]p6yLrjv. Yiorepov, r^v 8 
334 eyoi, Xeyeis, cL Upcorayopa, d /jiYjBevl dvOpcovcuv 
th(f>€XifJid ear IV, ^ d fMTjSe ro Trapdirav co^eAijua; 
/cat rd roiavra av dyadd KaXels; OvSaficog, 
ecjiTj' dXX eycoye ttoAAo, otS' a dvdpcoTTOis fiep 


not. For although my first object is to test the 
argument, the result perhaps \vill be that both I, 
the questioner, and my respondent are brought to 
the test. 

At first Protagoras appeared to be coy, alleging 
that the argument was too disconcerting : however 
he consented at length to make answer. Well now, 
I said, begin at the beginning, and tell me, do you 
consider people to be temperate when they are 
unjust ? 

Let us suppose so, he said. 

And by being temperate you mean being sensible ? 


And being sensible is being well-advised in their 
injustice ? 

Let us grant it, he said. 

Does this mean, I asked, if they fare well by their 
injustice, or if they fare ill ? 

If they fare well. 

Now do you say there are things that are good ? 

I do. 

Then, I asked, are those things good which are 
profitable to men ? 

Oh yes, to be sure, he replied, and also when they 
are not profitable to men I call them good. 

Here Protagoras seemed to me to be in a 
thoroughly provoked and harassed state, and to 
have set his face against answering : so when I 
saw him in this mood I grew wary and went gently 
with my questions. Do you mean, Protagoras, I 
asked, things that are profitable to no human being, 
or things not profitable in any way at all ? Can you 
call such things as these good ? 

By no means, he replied ; but I know a number of 



ava)(f>€Xrj iarl^ /cat atrta Kal ttoto. /cat (jxipjJLaKa 
/cat aAAa /xvpta, ra 8e ye ax^eAi/xa* ra 8e avdpco- 
7TOIS fJiev ovSdrepa, tTTTrot? 8e* ra 8e ^oval [jlovov, 
ra 8e Kvm' ra 8e ye ToyTcov fiev oj)8evt, 8ev8pot? 
8e* TO, 8e Tou 8eV8poy rat? ju.ei' pt^atj dyadd, 
rats Se ^Aacrrat? 7T0vr)pd, olov /cat 17 KOTrpos, 

B TTavTOiv rGiv <f)VTcov rats fj.€v pt^ats dyaOov irapa- 
paXXojjievq, el 8' iOeXois eirt tou? irropdovs /cat 
Tous" veovs KXcbvag eTn^dXXeiv, Trdvra aTToXXvcrLV 
CTTet /cat TO eXaiov rolg p,€V ^vtols diraaiv ian 
TTayKaKov /cat rat? ^/atft TToXepucjoTarov rat? 
TcDi/ aAAojv ^cocDV TrXrjv rat? tou dvOpconov, rats 
8e To£» dv6pa)7TOV dpcoyov /cat to) aAAa> aiofiart. 
ovTco 8e ttoiklXov ri can ro dyadov /cat Travro- 
8a7rov, cucre /cat evravda roZg fxkv e^codev rov 

C crcofxaros dyadov icrri rep dvOpaynco, rols 8' ivros 
ravTo Tovro KaKiarov /cat 8td rovro ol larpol 
Trdvres dnayopevovcrt rots dadevovai fxyj ■)(prjaOai 
eAato) dAA' 7) oTt apuKpordnx) iv Tovrotg ols 
fxeXXcL eSeadai, ocrov fxovov rrjv Svcrxepeiav /cara- 
a^iaai ttjv ctti rat? aladT^crecrc rat? 8ta rcov pivGiV 
yiyvopi,€vr)v iv rols airioig re /cat oi/jol^. 

KIttovtos ovv ravra avrov ol irapovres dv- 
edopv^-qaav (hg eu Xeyoi' /cat iyoj etTTOv' ^Q. 
IlpcoTayopa, eycb rvyxdvco eTTLXijafiajv rtg cov 

D dvdpojTTOS, /cat eav rls fioo /xa/cpa Xeyrj, cttl- 
Xavddvofiai rrepl oS dv j] 6 Xoyos. wanep ovv, 
el irvyxdvov V'tt6ko)<^09 (j!)V, Sov dv ;^p>]i/at, 
elirep e/xeAAe'? ju.ot hiaXi^eadai, jjuet^ov <f)9€yy€a6at 
7] TTpos Tovs dXXovs, ovroi Kol vvv, eTTeiBrj em.' 



things that are unprofitable to men, namely, foods, 
drinks, drugs, and countless others, and some that 
are profitable ; some that are neither one nor the 
other to men, but are one or the other to horses ; 
and some that are profitable only to cattle, or again 
to dogs ; some also that are not profitable to any 
of those, but are to trees ; and some that are good 
for the roots of a tree, but bad for its shoots — such 
as dung, which is a good thing when applied to the 
roots of all plants, whereas if you chose to cast it 
on the young twigs and branches, it will ruin all. 
And oil too is utterly bad for all plants, and most 
deadly for the hair of all animals save that of man, 
while to the hair of man it is helpful, as also to the 
rest of his body. The good is such an elusive and 
diverse thing that in this instance it is good for the 
outward parts of man's body, but at the same time 
as bad as can be for the inward ; and for this reason 
all doctors forbid the sick to take oil, except the 
smallest possible quantity, in what one is going to 
eat — ^just enough to quench the loathing that 
arises in the sensations of one's nostrils from food 
and its dressings.^ 

When he had thus spoken, the company acclaimed 
it as an excellent answer ; and then I remarked : 
Protagoras, I find I am a forgetful sort of person, 
and if someone addresses me at any length I forget 
the subject on which he is talking. So, just as you, 
in entering on a discussion with me, would think 
fit to speak louder to me than to others if I happened 
to be hard of hearing, please bear in mind now that 
you have to deal with a forgetful person, and there- 

^ Probably such oil had a specially appetizing flavour or 



XiqaflOVl €V€TV)(€S, (TVVT€fJLvd fMOl TOLS ULTTOKpLaeiS 

Kai Ppaxvrepag ttoUl, el /xeAAcD croi eTreadat. 
TlaJs ovv KeXeveis /le ^pa)(€a aTTOKpiveadai; rj 
^paxvTepd aoL, €cf)r], oLTTOKpLvcopLai iq Set; Mi^- 
Sajxajs, rjv S' eyc6. 'AAA' oaa Set; e^t]. Nat, 
'■^ Tjv o eyo). lloTepa ovv oaa efxoL oo/cet oeiv 
aTTOKpiveadai, roaavra aoi a.7TOKplv<x)p,ai, rj oaa 
aoi; AK-qKoa yovv, rjv S' eyco, ori av ofo? t 
ef /cat avTos fat aAAoi' StSa^at Trepi tojv avTcov 
Kal fiaKpa Xeyeiv, iav ^ovXt], ovtco^, cjotc tov 
Xoyov firjSeTTore eTrtAtTretv, /cat aS ^pa^^a ovtco's, 
335 cSore jtxrySeva aov iv ^pa^vrepois etTretv et ovv 
/AeAAei? e/Ltot StaAe'fecr^ai, to) erepcp XP'^ rponip 
TTpos p.e, rfj ^paxvXoyia. *Q. TicoKpares, €<fyr), eyco 
TToXXots rjSrj et? aycova Xoycov dcfuKOjxrjv avdpoj- 
TTOig, Kal el rovro erroLOVv o av /ceAeuet?, cos o 
dvTiXeycov e/ceAeue pie SiaXeyeadai, ovroi SteAe- 
yofiTjv, ovSevos dv ^eXricov i(f>aLv6p,'rjv ovS dv 
eyevero Xlpoirayopov ovofia iv rots "EiXXrjatv . 
Kal eyco — eyvcov yap on ovk rjpeaev avros avrut 
rat? dnoKplaeai rats epLirpoaOev, /cat on ovk 
ideX-qaoL eKcbv elvai dTTOKpivopLevos SiaXeyeaOai — 
rjyqadfxevos ovKen ipLov epyov eJvai TrapeZvai ev 
rats avvovaiais , 'AAAa rot, 6^171^, t5 lipcorayopa, 
ouS' eyd) XiTTapaJs exoj irapd rd aoi hoKovvra 
rrjv avvovaiav rjp,lv ylyveadai, dXX eTretSai' av 
^ovXt) SiaXeyeaOat, d)s eyd) SuVa/xat eireadai, 
rore aot SiaAe'^o/xai. av fxev yap, cos Xeyerai 


fore cut up your answers into shorter pieces, that 
I may be able to follow you. 

Well, what do you mean by short answers ? he 
asked : do you want me to make them shorter than 
they should be ? 

Not at all, I said. 

As long as they should be ? he asked. 

Yes, I said. 

Then are my answers to be as long as I think they 
should be, or as you think they should be ? 

Well, for instance, I have heard, I said, that you 
yourself are able, in treating one and the same 
subject, not only to instruct another person in it 
but to speak on it at length, if you choose, without 
ever being at a loss for matter ; or again briefly, 
so as to yield to no one in brevity of expression. 
So, if you are going to argue with me, employ with 
me the latter method, that of bre\aty. 

Socrates, he said, I have undertaken in my time 
many contests of speech, and if I were to do what 
you demand, and argue just in the way that my 
opponent demanded, I should not be held superior 
to anyone nor would Protagoras have made a name 
among the Greeks. 

Then, as I saw that he had not been quite satisfied 
with himself in making his former answers, and that 
he would not readily accept the part of answerer 
in debate, I considered it was not my business 
to attend his meetings further, and remarked : 
But you know, Protagoras, I too feel uncomfortable 
about our having this discussion against your 
inclination ; but when you agree to argue in such a 
way that I can follow, then I will argue vith you. 
For you — as people relate of you, and you yourself 

\OL. IV G 173 


Trepl aov, <f)fjs 8e /cat avros, Kal iv fxaKpoXoyia 
Kol iv ^pa)(yXoyia olos r el avvovaias iroieladai,- 

C cro(f)6s yap el' eyw 8e ra [xaKpa ravra ahvvaros, 
enel e^ovXofirjv av olos r* elvai. aAAa ae ixPV^ 
'qfxlv crvyxiiip^^v rov aficfiOTepa SvvdfjLevov , tva 
■fj avvovaia eyiyvero- vvv he eTreihr) ovk edeXeis 
/cat ifiOL Tt? dap^oAta earl /cat ovk dv olos t et-qv 
aoL TTapafielvai, dTToreivovn fiaKpovs Xoyovs — 
iXOeXv yap Trot /xe Set — elfir eirel /cat ravr dv 
tactis OVK drjScbs crov tJkovov. Kal a/xa ravr 
eiTToov dviardixriv d)S aTTLcov /cat [jlov dvLara- 

D iievov eTTLXafx^dverai, 6 KaAAia? rrjs ;(€i/)o? rij 
Se^La, rfj 8' dpiarepa dvreXd^ero rov rpt^covos 
rovrovt, Kal elirev Ovk acfirjaofxev ae, a> HcoKpa- 
res' idv yap av i^eXOrjs, ovx o/xotcD? rjfilv eaovrai 
oi StctAoyot. heofxai ovv aov TTapafieivaL tj/jllv 
<Ls eyd) oi)8' av evos rjSiov d/coucrat^txt t] dov 
re Kal Ilpcorayopov hiaXeyopievoiV' dXXd ;\;d/Jtaat 
rjjxZv TTaaiv. Kal eycb elnov — 'r]hr] 8e aveiarrjKrj 
<I)S e^Lcov — ^Cl TTai 'Ittttovlkov, del fiev eycoye 
aov rrjv (^iXoao<j)iav dyafxaiy drdp /cat vvv eTratroi 

E /cat (f)iXdJ, ware ^ovXoLfirjv dv ;!^a/3t^ecr^at aoL, 

el fjiov 8ut'aTd 8eQto' vvv 8' iarlv ojarrep dv el 

8eoto /xou Y%.plaoivi rco 'Ifiepaio) Spofiel dKfid^ovn 

eveadaL, ^ rwv SoXixoSpo/jiOJV rco r^ rcov r]fjLepo- 

hpofxcov StaOelv re Kal eneadai, elTTOipn dv aoi 

336 oTt TToXi) aov fjidXXov eyd) e/xavrov 8eo/xat deovai 

rovrois dKoXovdelv, dAA' ov yap Svvafiat, dXX 

€1 Tt 8€et dedaaadai ev rco avro) ifxe re /cat 

K-placova deovras, rovrov Seov avyKadetvar eyd) 

' See 329 b, note. 
* Cf. Pheidippides in Herodotus, vi. 105. 



assert — are able to hold a discussion in the form of 
either long or short speeches ; you are a man of 
knowledge : but I have no ability for these long 
speeches, though I could ^\ish that I had it. Surely 
you, who are proficient in both ways, ought to have 
made us this concession, that so we might have had 
our debate. But now that you refuse, and I am some- 
what pressed for time and could not stay to hear you 
expatiate at any length — for I have an appointment; — 
I ^\^ll be off; though I daresay I should be happy 
enough to hear your \iews. 

With these words I rose as if to go away ; but, as 
I was getting up, Callias laid hold of my arm vrith 
his right hand, and grasped this cloak of mine with 
his left, and said : We will not let you go, Socrates ; 
for if you leave us our discussions will not go so welL 
I beg you therefore to stay with us, for there is 
nothing I would rather hear than an argument 
between you and Protagoras. Come, you must 
oblige us all. 

Then I said (I was now standing up as though to 
go out) : Son of Hipponicus, I always admire your 
love of knowledge, but especially do I commend 
and love it now, so that I should be very glad to 
oblige you if you asked of me something that I 
could do : but I am afraid it is as though you asked 
me to keep pace with Criso the runner of Himera 
in his prime, or to keep up in a match with one 
of the long-distance ^ or day-course ^ racers, and 7 
could only tell you that I wish that of myself, without 
your asking, I could keep pace ^^•ith such runners, 
but of course I cannot. If you want to have the 
spectacle of Criso and me running together, you 
must ask liim to adapt his pace ; for whereas I 



fxev yap ov SvvafJLat, ra^v delv, ovto? Se Swarat 
^paheojs. et ovv eTTidvjxels ifJiou /cat IIptoT- 
ayopov OLKOveiv, rovrov Seov, cooTrep ro npcorov 
fioi drreKpLvaTO 8id ^pa^ecxiv t€ /cat avra ra 
ipcordopieva, ovrco Kal vvv aTTOKpiveaOai' el Se 

B fiT], TLS 6 rpoTTOs earai rajv SiaXoycov ; ;^ct>pts' 
yap cyojy' a)[j.r)v clvai ro avveZvai re dAAT^Aot? 
SiaAeyojueVou? /cat ro hrjpL-r^yopeZv. 'AAA' dpa?, 
6^17, cS HcoKpares' St/cata 80/cet Ae'yeti' II/jajT- 
aydpa? a^LCov avra> re e^eZvai hiaXeyeadat. ottcos 
jSovAerat /cat ctj) ottcos aip av ai) ^ovXt). 

'YTToXa^ojv ovv 6 'AA/ct^tdST^S", Ou KaXws 
Xdyeis, ^(f>f]> t5 KaAAta* TicoKpdrrjs fxev yap o8e 
opLoXoyeL [MTj jLieretvat ot jxaKpoXoyia? /cat Trapa- 

C xcopet IlpcoTayopa, tou Se StaAeyea^at olos r* 
elvai Kal iiTLaraaOai, Xoyov re. hovvai, /cat he^aadat 
davixdt,oLii dv et rep dvdpioTTOiv 7Tapax(op€X. et 
fiev ovv /cat Upcvrayopas o/jLoXoyel (f)avX6r€pos 
elvai YiWKpdrovs SiaXexdyjvai, efap/cet Soj/cpdref 
ei Se dvriTTOLelrai, StaAeyecr0a> ipcorcov re /cat 
aTTOKpivopbevos, p-ri e0' eKdarrj epcjOTqcrei, jxaKpov 
Xoyov dnorelvajv , eKKpovcov tou? Aoyou? /<at 
ou/c ideXcov StSovat Aoyov, dAA' dTTOfjbrjKvvcov 

D eojs dv eTTiXdduivrai Trepl drov ro epconqp^a -qv 
ot TToAAot rcov dKovovrcov cTret HojKpdrr) ye 
ey<h iyyvdJ/jLai fxr) eTTiX-queadaL, ovx on Trat^et 
/cat (f)r]aLv eTnXqafxcov elvai. ifiol p.ev ovv 80/cet 
emeLKearepa HcoKpdriqs Xeyetv XPV V^P ^xaorov 
rrjv iavrov yva>p,r]v dTTOt^aiveadai. puerd Se rov 
'AA/ctjStdSi7V, CO? eyu>p,ai, Kptrta? rjv 6 el-nwv 
*^ IlpdSt/ce /cat 'iTnrla, KaAAta? piev So/cet /xot 
/LtoAa Trpd? Upcorayopov elvai, AXKi^idSrjs 8^ 


cannot run fast, he can run slowly. So if you desire 
to hear Protagoras and me, ask him to resume the 
method of answering which he used at first — in 
short sentences and keeping to the point raised. 
Otherwise what is to be our mode of discussion ? 
For I thought that to hold a joint discussion and to 
make a harangue were two distinct things. 

Ah, but you see, Socrates, he said, Protagoras 
thinks it only fair to claim that he be allowed to 
discuss in his chosen style, in return for your claim 
that it should be in yours. 

At this Alcibiades intervened, saying : You 
do not state it quite philosophically, Callias,^ for 
Socrates here confesses he is no hand at long dis- 
courses, and yields therein to Protagoras ; but I 
should be surprised if he yields to any man in abihty 
to argue, or in understanding the interchange of 
reason. Now if Protagoras confesses himself inferior 
to Socrates in argumentation, Socrates has no more 
to ask : but if he challenges him, let him discuss by 
question and answer ; not spinning out a lecture 
on each question — beating off the arguments, re- 
fusing to give a reason, and so dilating until most 
of his hearers have forgotten the point at issue. 
For Socrates, I warrant you, will not forget, despite 
his jesting way of calhng himself forgetful. Now 
I think Socrates' proposal is the more equitable — 
for each of us should declare his personal opinion. 

After Alcibiades, the next, I beheve, to speak 
was Critias : Prodicus and Hippias, he said, it seems 
to me that Callias is all for supporting Protagoras, 
while Alcibiades is always for a contest in anything 

^ The translation attempts to follow the jingle of koXws . . . 



E aei (piAovLKog eart, Trpos o av opfirjcrr)' rjfxag oe 
ovSkv Set avfi(f)LXoviK€Xv ovre Sco/cpaTet oure 
Ylpcorayopa, dXXa kolvtj api(j)orepcDV Seladat jxtj 
337 fjiera^v SiaAucrat t')7V ^vvovaiav eLTTovros Se 
aurou ravra, 6 UpoSiKos, KaAoi? ^oi, €^17, So/eels' 
Xeyeiv, c5 Kptrta* ;;^/>i7 yap rovs iv roioXaSe 
Xoyois TTapayiyvofievovs Koivovg jjiev etvat d/x^otv 
Tolv SiaXeyo/jievoLv aKpoards, 'iaovs Se /xt^. eari 
ya/> ou rauTOj'" KOLvfj fxev yap aKovaai Set diJi(f)0- 
ripcov, firj laov Se velfiat eKarepw, dXXd rco [mcv 
uocjicorepcp ttXcov, ro) Se dpiadeaTepcp eXarrov. 
iycb fxev /cat avros, & ITpcoraydpa re /cat Sa>- 
Kpares, d^Lcb Vfidg avyxcopelv /cat dXX-qXois vre/at 

B TcDv Adyojv dfMcjiia^rjrelv fxev, epit^eiv Se /Lti^* dfxcf)i,- 
u^r]rovaL fxev yap /cat St' evvotav ot (j)iXot rots 
(jiiXois, iptt,ovai Se ot hidcfiopoi re /cat e)(dpoi 
aAATjAots". /cat oiircos av KaXXiarrj r]p,Xv rj avv- 
ovaia yiyvoiro' voxels re yap ot Xeyovreg fidXicrr 
dv ovrcos iv i^/xtv rols dKovovaiv evSoKtfioXre 
/cat ovK eTratvoXaOe' evSoKLfMeXv p,€V yap eari 
Trapd rals i/jvxals rcbv dKovovrcov dvev dTrarrjs, 
eTTaiveladai, Se iv Xoyw 7roAAa/ci? Trapa Sd^ap' 

C iff€vSopL€va)V' 'qfJieXs r av ol dKovovres fiaXtar 
dv ovrcos ev(f>paivoLfj,e9a, ovx ^Soifieda' ev^pai- 
veadai fxev yap eon fxavddvovrd ri /cat (f>pov'iqa eojs 
fieraXafM^dvovra avrfj rfj hiavoia, yjSeadaL Se 
iaSiovrd ri 7] dXXo rjSv Tvaaxovra avra> ra> acofjuarL. 
Taura ovv ecTTovros rod ITpoSt/cou ttoXXol 
TTOVV rcbv rrapovrcov aTreSi^avro' jxerd Se rov 
YipohiKov 'iTTTTtas 6 ao(f)6s eiTrer, *0 dvdpes, ^(f>'Q, 

^ Prodicus was specially expert in nice verbal distinctions. 


he takes up. It is not for us to contend on either 
side for Socrates or for Protagoras, but jointly to 
request them both not to break off our conference 

When he had said this, Prodicus ^ remarked : I 
think you are right, Critias : those who attend this 
sort of discussion ought to be joint, but not equal, 
hearers of both disputants. For there is a diiference : 
we should hsten jointly to them both, yet not give 
equal heed to each, but more to the wiser and less 
to the less intelligent. I on my part also, Protagoras 
and Socrates, call upon you to accede to our request, 
and to dispute, but not \\Tangle, ^vith each other 
over your arguments : for friends dispute with 
friends, just from good feeling ; whereas wTangling 
is between those . who are at variance and erunity 
with one another. In this way our meeting \n\\ 
have highest success, since you the speakers will 
thus earn the greatest measure of good repute, 
not praise, from us who hear you. For good repute 
is present in the hearers' souls without deception, 
but praise is too often in the words of liars who 
hide what they really think. Again, we hsteners 
would thus be most comforted, not pleased ; for 
he is comforted who learns something and gets a 
share of good sense in his mind alone, whereas he 
is pleased who eats something or has some other 
pleasant sensation only in his body. 

When Prodicus had thus spoken, quite a number 
of the company showed their approval : then after 
Prodicus the learned Hippias ^ spoke : Gentlemen, 

^ Hippias professed to teach a great variety of subjects. 
His frequent metaphors were evidently designed to display 
his wide range of knowledge. 



ol TTapovres, r]yovp,ai eyoi vfids crvyyeveig re 
Kal olKeiovs /cat TToXiras dnavrag elvat. (f)v<yei, 

D ov vofxcp- TO yap ofioiov ro) ajjioiip (f)vcT€L avy- 
yevis iuTLv, 6 8e vofios, rvpavvos iov rojv avdpco- 
7TOJV, TToXXa TTapa rrjv <j)vaiv ^td^erai. rjpids 
ovv ala)(p6v rrjV piev ^vaiv rdJu TrpaypLarcov elSevai, 
ao(f)a>Tdrovs 8e ovras rcov 'EAAi^vcoi', /cat /car 
avTo TOVTO vvv crvvcXrjXvdoTas rrjs re 'EAAaSoj 
els avTO TO TrpvraveZov rrjs ao(f>ias /cat avrrjs 
rfjs TToXeojs els top pLeyiarov /cat oX^Liorarov 
oiKov Tovhe, pirjhev tovtov tov d^icopiaros d^iov 

E d7TO(f)'^vaadai, dAA' wanep rovg <j)avXorarovs rd)V 
dvdpcoTTOJV hia^epeadai dXXrjXois. eyu> p,ev ovu 
/cat SeopLai /cat avpi^ovXevco, cb Ylpcorayopa re 
/cat HcoKpares, avpL^ijvat, vpLas oiOTrep vtto Siat- 
rrjTcov Tjpucov avpi^i^a^ovrcov els ro pieaov, /cat 
338 P''^re ae ro dnpi^es rovro elhos rwv SiaXoycov 
^rjrelv ro Kara $paxv Xiav, el p,r) rjSv Upcorayopa, 
dAA' e(f>elvat /cat ■)(aXdaai, rds rjvlas rols Xoyois, 
ii^a pbeyaXoTTpenearepoL /cat evax^P'Ovearepoi ■f]p,iv 
<f)aLvajvrai, pi-qr* ad Upojrayopav iravra koXcov 
eKreivavra, ovpia e(f>evra, (l)evyeLV els ro rreXayos 
rwv Xoycov, drroKpyipavra yrjv, aAAa pueaov ri 
dpicf)orepovs repbeiv. d)S ovv iroiijaere, /cat Tret- 
deade /xot pa^Sov^ov Kal eTTiardr-qv Kai, Trpvraviv 

B eXeaOai, o? vpiLv <j>vXd^ei ro pt.erpiov purJKOs rcov 
Xoycov eKarepov. 

Taura rjpeae rols rrapovai, /cat rravres eir- 
rjveaav, Kal ep-i re 6 KoAAta? ovk e<f)T] d(f)r^aeiv 
Kal eXeadat iSeovro emcrrdrrjv. elirov ovv eyoj 
on alaxpov eirj ^pa^evrrjv eXeadai rcov XoycDV. 
etre yap x^tpojv ecrrat rjpbdjv 6 alpedeis, ovk opOws 


he said, who are here present, I regard you all as 
kinsmen and intimates and fellow-citizens by nature, 
not by law : for like is akin to like by nature, whereas 
law, despot of mankind, often constrains us against 
nature. Hence it would be shameful if we, while 
knowing the nature of things, should yet — being the 
wisest of the Greeks, and having met together for 
the very purpose in the very sanctuary of the wisdom 
of Greece, and in this the greatest and most aus- 
picious house of the city of cities — display no worthy 
sign of this dignity, but should quarrel \vith each 
other like low churls. Now let me beg and advise 
you, Protagoras and Socrates, to come to terms 
arranged, as it were, under our arbitration : you, 
Socrates, must not require that precise form of 
discussion with its extreme brevity, if it is disagree- 
able to Protagoras, but let the speeches have their 
head with a loose rein, that they may give us a more 
splendid and elegant impression ; nor must you, 
Protagoras, let out full sail, as you run before the 
breeze, and so escape into the ocean of speech 
leaving the land nowhere in sight ; rather, both of 
you must take a middle course. So you shall do as 
I say, and I strongly urge you to choose an umpire 
or supervisor or chairman w^ho will keep watch for 
you over the due measure of cither's speeches. 

His proposal was approved by the company, and 
they all applauded it : Callias said he would not 
let me go, and they requested me to choose a super- 
visor. To this I replied that it would be a shame 
to choose an arbiter for our discussion ; for if he 
who is chosen, said I, is to be our inferior, it would 

VOL. IV G U 181 


ai' exoi TOP X^^P^ '''^^ ^eXrtovcov iTnararetv, 
€LT€ ofioLos, ou8' ovTOis 6pda)s' 6 yap Op,OLOS 
-qpuv ofxoLa /cat TTOi-qaei, ware ck Trepirrov rjpi^- 

C crerat. dAAo. 817 ^eXriova rjficov atp-qaeade . rfj 
fiev dXrjdeia, cos eywfiai, dSvparov vjjlXv coare 
Ylpcorayopov rovSe ao(f)a)rep6v riva eXeadai- ei 
he alprjcreaOe p,€V jxiqhev ^eXricn, ^r^aere he, ai- 
crxpov KOI rovro rwhe yiyverai, oio-nep (f)avXu) 
dvOpcoTTO) eTTLardrriv alpeZaQai, eTrel ro y ep,ov 
ovhev fjioi, hiacjyepeL. dXX ovTcoal eOeXo) TTOtrjcraL, 
tv* o TrpodvpLeZcrde crvvovata re /cat StaAoyot rjiilv 
yiyv(x)VTav el fxr^ ^ovXerai X\po}Tay6pas arro/cpt- 

D veadai, ovTos fxev epcordro), eyd) he aTTOKpLvoOfxai, 
/cat a/xa TTeipdaopbai avrco hel^ai, ivs eyco <prip,i 
XpfjvaL Tov d-noKpivofxevov dTTOKpLvecrdaL- eirethau 
he eyd) dTTOKpivcofxai oiroa dv oSrog ^ovX-qfai 
epojTav, TrdXtv ovrog ipLol Xoyov UTrocrp^erca ojxoLUis. 
edv ovv /jLTj hoK-fj vpoOufMos elvaL irpos avro ro 
epiorcofxevou dTTOKptvecrdai, /cat eycu /cat vfxets 
Kotvfj her]a6fieda avrov direp vp.el'S ep,ov, p,yj 
hia(j)deipeiv rrjv avvovaiav /cat ovhev Set rovrov 

E eVe/ca eva eTTiardrrjv yeveadai, dXXd Trdvres Koivfj 
eTTLorrar-qaere . eSd/cei Trdatv ovrcu TToirjreov elvaf 
/cat o Yipoirayopas irdw jxev ovk rjdeXev, o[j,aJS 
he rjvayKdodr) ojJioXoyrjaai, ipcorrjcreLV , /cat eTrechav 
cKavcos epoirrjari, irdXiv hcoaeiv Xoyov Kara a-fxi- 
Kpov dnoKpivopLevos. 

"Hp^aro ovv ipcorav ovrcDoi ttcos' 'Hyovfiai, 

e(f)r}, c5 TicoKpares, eyd) dvhpl TratSeta? ixeyiarov 

339 fxepos elvai irepl eTTwv heivov etvac eari he rovro 



not be right to have the inferior overseeing the 
superior ; while if he is our equal, that will be just 
as WTong, for our equal will only do very much as 
we do, and it will be superfluous to choose him. 
You may say you will choose one who is our superior. 
This, in very truth, I hold to be impossible — to choose 
someone who is wiser than our friend Protagoras ; 
and if you choose one who is not his superior, though 
you may say he is, that again would cast a slur 
on him, as if he were some paltry fellow requiring 
a supervisor ; for, as far as I am concerned, the 
matter is indifferent. But let me tell you how I 
would have the thing done, so that your eagerness 
for a conference and a discussion may be satisfied. 
If Protagoras does not wish to answer, let him ask 
questions, and I will answer : at the same time 
I will try to show him how the answerer, in my 
view, ought to answer ; and when I have answered 
all the questions that he wishes to ask, in his turn 
he shall render account in like manner to me. So 
if he does not seem very ready to answer the 
particular question put to him, you and I will join 
in beseeching him, as you have besought me, not 
to upset our conference. And for this plan there is 
no need to have one man as supervisor ; you will all 
supervise it together. 

They all resolved that it should be done in this 
way : Protagoras, though very unwilling, was 
obliged after all to agree to ask questions and then, 
when he had asked a sufficient number, to take his 
turn at making due response in short answers. 

And so he began to put questions in this sort of 
way : I consider, Socrates, that the greatest part of 
a man's education is to be skilled in the matter of 



TO. VTTO rcov TTOLrjTcov Xeyoficva olov t etvai avv- 
levai a re opdaJs 7Te7T0L7]Tai Kal a fJL-q, Kal em- 
araadai SteAetr re Kal ipcorcofxevov Xoyov Sovvai. 
Kal 8r] Kal vvv ecrrai to epuyr-qjxa Trepl rov avrov 
fxev, TTcpl ovTTep lyoi re koX av vvv StaAeyo/ue^a, 
Trepl dperrjs, fierevrjveyfjievov Se elg rroirjaLV 
roaovrov p,6vov hioiaei. Xeyei yap ttov St/xa>- 
vlBrjs TTpos TiKOTTOV, rov KpeovTO? vlov rov Qer- 
raXov, on 

B avSp' dyaOov fxev aXadecos yeveadat p^oAeTroi', 
Xepaiv re Kal TToal Kal vocp rerpdya>vov, dvev 
ifjoyov rervyixevov . 

rovro eTriaraaai ro aajxa, rf ttov croi Ste^eXOco; 
Kal eyoj elTTOv on OvSev Set' eTnarapLai re yap, 
Kal TTOvv [XOL rvyxdvet fxefieXrjKos rov aapiaros. 
Ey, ecjiT], Xeyeis- vorepov ovv KaXco? aoL So/cet 
■neTToirjadai Kal opdcos, ?) ov; Yldvv, €(f)r]v eyco, 
<KaXa)s > ^ re Kal opdcos. Ao/cei 8e aoc KaXws 
■neTTOiTjudai, el evavria Xeyei avro? avro) 6 ttoitj- 
rrjS ; Ov KaXcbs, -^v 8' eyco. "Opa 817, €(^17, 
C ^eXrcov. 'AAA', cS 'yade, eoKepLp^ai iKavaJg. 01- 
ada ovv, e<l>'q, on irpo'Covros rov aafiaros Xeyei 


ovBe fioi ifXfMeXecos ro YlirraKeiov vepierai, 
KaLroL ao^ov Trapd ^a>r6s elpr^pievov ;^aA€7rov <j>dT 
eadXov ep,p.evai. 

ivvoels on 6 avros ovros Kal rdSe Xeyei KdKelva 

^ xaXwt add. Bekker. 


verses ; that is, to be able to apprehend, in the 
utterances of the poets, what has been rightly and 
what wTongly composed, and to know how to dis- 
tinguish them and account for them when questioned. 
Accordingly my question now \\-ill be on the same 
subject that you and I are now debating, namely 
virtue, but taken in connexion with poetry : that 
will be the only difference. Now, Simonides, I 
think, somewhere remarks to Scopas, the son of 
Creon of Thessaly — 

For a man, indeed, to become good truly is hard. 
In hands and feet and mind foursquare. 
Fashioned without reproach. 

Do you know the ode, or shall I recite the whole ? 

To this I rephed : There is no need, for I know it ; 
it happens that I have especially studied that ode. 

I am glad to hear it, he said. Now do you regard 
it as finely and correctly composed or not r 

Very finely and correctly, I replied. 

And do you regard it as finely composed, if the 
poet contradicts himself ? 

No, I replied. 

Then observe it more closely, he said. 

My good sir, I have given it ample attention. 

Are you aware, then, he asked, that as the ode 
proceeds he says at one point — 

Nor ringeth true to me 

That word of Pittacus ' — 

And yet 'twas a sage who spake — 

Hard, quoth he, to be good. 

Do you note that this and the former are statements 
of the same person ? 

' Pittacus, ruler of Mytilene, despaired of ruling well on 
the ground here stated. 



Ta cfiTTpoadev; OtSa, -^v S' iyco. Ao/cei oSv 
aoi, €(f>rj, ravra cKeivois ofxoXoyeiadaL ; Oat- 
veraL cfMoiye (/cai a/xa fievroi lj>o^ov^7]v fir] 
Tt Xeyoi). drdp, ecfiTjv iyco, aol ov <f>aiveraL; 

D ncu? yap dv ^aivoiro ofioXoyeiv avTos eavrco 6 
ravra dfi(f>6r€pa Xeycov, o? ye to fxev Trpwrov 
avros VTredero X'^X^ttov etvai dvSpa dyaOov yeve- 
aOai dXr^Oeta, oXiyov 8e rov iroLrjpLaros els ro 
TTpoaOev TTpoeXdcjv eTreXddero, /cat YiirraKov rov 
ravra Xeyovra eavrw, on yaXeTTOV iadXov e/x- 
/Jbevai, rovrov p.epi<f>€rai re /cat ov (f}7jaiv drro- 
Se^eaOaL avrov rd avrd eavrw Xeyovro?. Kairoi 
OTTore rov ravra Xeyovra avrco fxep.(f)er ai, SrjXov 
on Kat eavrov /xe/LK^erat, a)are TJroi ro irporepov 
Tj varepov ovk opdws Xeyei. 

EtVcov ovv ravra ttoXXoZs dopv^ov rrapeaxe 

E /cat enaivov rtJbv dKovovrcov /cat eydi ro jxev 
TTpcorov, (vaTTepel vtto dyadov TTVKrov -nXriyeis, 
eaKorajdrjV re /cat IXiyyiaaa eiTTovros avrov 
ravra /cat rcbv d?<Xojv eTndopv^rjadvrcov eVetra, 
CO? ye 77/30S" ere elpfjadai raX-qdrj, Iva puot, ^povos 
eyyevrjrai rfj a/cei/ret Tt Xeyoi 6 TTOLrjr'qs, rpe- 
TTo/xat TTpos rov YipoStKov, /cat /caAecra? avrov, 
^Q. UpoScKe, ecfy-qv eyw, ads fxevroi St/xojvtSy^? 
TToXirris' St/cato? ei ^orjOelv rep dvhpi. Sokoj 
340 ovv fxoi eyoj TrapaKoXelv ae, cooTrep ecjir) "Op,r]pos 
rov TtKdjjiavSpov TToXtopKovfievov vtto rov A;^iA- 
Ae'oJS" rov TiLjjioevra irapaKaXetv, eiTTOvra' 

(j)lXe KaaiyvTjre, adevog dvepos dpLtftorepoi rrep 

1 Iliad xxi. 308 foil. 


I know that, I said. 

Then do you think the second agrees with the 

So far as I can see, it does, I repHed (at the same 
time, though, I was afraid there was something in 
what he said). Why, I asked, does it not seem so 
to you ? 

How can anyone, he rephed, be thought con- 
sistent, who says both of these things ? First he 
laid it down himself that it is hard for a man to 
become good in truth, and then a little further on 
in his poem he forgot, and he proceeds to blame 
Pittacus for saying the same as he did — that it is 
hard to be good, and refuses to accept from him 
the same statement that he made himself. Yet, 
as often as he blames the man for saying the same 
as himself he obviously blames himself too, so that in 
either the former or the latter place his statement 
is wrong. 

This speech of his won a clamorous approval 
from many of his hearers ; and at first I felt as though 
I had been struck by a skilful boxer, and was quite 
blind and dizzy with the effect of his words and the 
noise of their applause. Then — to tell you the 
honest truth — in order to gain time for considering 
the poet's meaning, I turned to Prodicus and 
calling him — Prodicus, I said, surely Simonides was 
your townsman : it behoves you to come to the 
man's rescue. Accordingly I allow myself to call 
for your assistance — ^just as Scamander, in Homer,^ 
when besieged by Achilles, called Simois to his aid, 
saying — 

Dear brother, let us both together stay this warrior's might. 


PLATO • . 

drap Kai eycu ae TrapaKoXui, fjurj rjfj,lv 6 IlpcDT- 
ayopas rov HtjjicovLSrjv CKTreparj. /cat yap ovu 
Kal Setrai to VTvep J^ificovlBov eTTavopOcofia Trjs 

B crrjs fJiovaLKTJs, fj ro re ^ovXeadai Kal eTndv/xeLV 
Statpet? CO? ov ravrov 6v, Kal a vvu Srj etTre? 
TToAAct T€ Kal KaXd. Kal vvv OKOTTei,, €L aoi 
avvhoKel onep ifjuoi. ov yap (f)aiv€rai evavria 
Xiyeiv avros avra> StjucuvtSTj?. cry ydp, cS ITpo- 
SiKe, TTpoaTTOcfirjvaL rrjv o-qv yvcLfx-qv ravrov 
uoL hoKel elvai ro yeveadai Kal ro elvai, iq aAAo; 
"AAAo ^7 At', €(f)r) 6 UpoBiKos. Ovkovv, e(f>rjv 
iycoy €V fx,€v rois irpoirois avros 6 TiLfxcovtBrjs rrjv 
iavrov yva)ixrjv aTrec/jT^varo , on dvSpa dyadov 

C dXrjdeia yeveaOai x^XeTTOV etr]; 'AX7]d7J Xeyeis, 
'i<f>ri 6 YipohiKos. Tov Se ye IltrraKov, fjv 8' 
eyio, fie iJi(f>€r ai, ovx o^s oterai Ilpcorayopas, 
ravrov eavrcp Xeyovra, dXX* aAAo. ov yap 
rovro 6 HirraKos eXeye ro ;^aAe7roi', yeveaO ai 
eadXov, warrep 6 StyuajviSTj?, dAAo. ro efx/jLevai' 
can Be ov ravrov, c5 Upcorayopa, cS? (f>r]aL Ilpo- 
Slkos oBe, ro elvai Kal ro yeveadac el Be firj 
ro avro eari ro eivai rep yeveadai, ovk evavria 
Xeyei 6 TiifxcovlB-qs avros avrco. Kal laojs ai^ 

D (f)alrj ITpoSt/cos' oBe Kal dXXoi ttoXXoI, Kad* 'Hat'o- 
Bov, yeveadai fxev ayadov ;^aAe7roi' eiv-af ttjs 
yap dperfjs ejXTrpoadev rovs deov^ IBpcbra OeZvaf 
orav Be Tt? avrrjs elg aKpov LKiqrai, p-qCBlrfv Brj- 
TTeira neXeiv, ;^aAe7r7^v' nep eovaav, eKrrjadai. 

*0 p^ev oSv YlpoBiKos dKovaas ravra eTrrjveae 
fi€' 6 Be Ilpcorayopas, To eTTav6pda>p,d act, 
€(f>rj, u) HcoKpares, piel^ov dp^dprr^ixa e^ei r} o 



In the same way I call upon you, lest Protagoras 
lay Simonides in ruins. For indeed to rehabilitate 
Simonides requires your artistry, by which you can 
discriminate between wishing and desiring as two 
distinct things in the fine and ample manner of 
your statement just now. So please consider if 
you agree ^ith my view. For it is not clear that 
Simonides does contradict himself. Now you, Pro- 
dicus, shall declare your verdict first : do you consider 
becoming and being to be the same or different ? 

Different, to be sure, said Prodicus. 

Now in the first passage, I said, Simonides gave 
it as his own opinion that it is hard for a man to 
become good in truth. 

Quite true, said Prodicus. 

And he blames Pittacus, I went on, for saying 
not, as Protagoras holds, the same as himself, but 
something different. For what Pittacus said was 
not, as Simonides said, that it is hard " to become " 
but " to be " good. Now being and becoming, 
Protagoras, as our friend Prodicus says, are not the 
same thing ; and if being and becoming are not 
the same thing, Simonides does not contradict 
himself. Perhaps Prodicus and many others might 
say with Hesiod that to become good is hard, " for 
Heaven hath set hard travail on the way to virtue ; 
and when one reacheth the summit thereof, 'tis an 
easy thing to possess, though hard before."^ 

When Prodicus heard this he gave me his approval : 
but Protagoras observed : Your correction, Socrates, 
contains an error greater than that which you are 

^ A not quite exact quotation of Hesiod, Warks and DaySy 
289 folL 



€7Tavop9ols. Kal iyd) etnov, KaKroi/ apa p,oi 

elpyaarai, cog eoiKev, c5 WpojTayopa, Kal elfii. 

E Tt? yeXoios larpos' Icofxevos fxeXS^ov to voarjixa 

TTOLW. 'AAA' OVTCOS €X€L, €(f)r) . 11 CO? StJ," rjv 

S iya>. UoXXtj dv, €(j)T], dp,adia ctr] rov TTOirjTOV, 
et ovTO) ^avXov tl (f)rjcnv elvai, rrjv dpCTrjv eKTrj- 
adaiy 6 eart. iravTOiV ;)^aA67rcoTaroi', a>? drraaL 
8o/cet dvdpcoTTOts. Kal iycb elirov, Ni7 rov Ala, 
€LS Kaipov ye TraparervxrjKev r^pAV iv rols Xoyois 
TlpoSiKos oSe. KtvSvveveL yap roi, co Upcor- 
ayopa, rj UpoSiKov ao(f>La Oela res etvat, ndXai, 
311 '^Toi dTTo TiLfjicovlSov dp^ap,€vrj, ^ Kal €Tl TraAato- 
repa. cri) Se aAAcoi' voXXojv efXTTetpos <jl)v ravriqs 
aTTCLpos elvai ^atVet, ovx axTvep eyd) efjcrretpos 
8id TO /jbadr]T7)s etvat, UpoStKov rovTovt- Kal 
vvv fxoL SoK€LS ov /xavddveLv , on Kal to x^Xerrov 
TOVTo tacos ovx owTo; HLfjuajviS-qg vneXafx^avev , 
(joa-nep av VTroXafx^dveis, aAA' coairep irepl rov 
Seivov UpoSiKos fM€ ovTocrl vovdereZ CKaarore, 
orav €7Tatva>v eyd) rj ae t^ dXXov rivd Xeyco otl 
B Yipoirayopa? ao(f)6s Kal Seuvos eariv dvijp, epcora 
el ovK alaxvvoixai rdy add Seivd KaXdJv. ro 
yap Seivov, <f)r]Gl, KaKov eariv ouSet? yovv Xeyei 
eKaarore hetvov nXovrov ovSe ScLvrjg eip-rjvqg 
ov8e Seivrjs vyielas, dXXd Secvrjs vocrov Kal Seivov 
TToXefxov Kal Seivrjs irevlas, ai? rov Seivov KaKov 
ovros. tacos ovv Kal ro ;^aAe7rop' av ol Ketoi 
Kal 6 HifxojvlSrjs rj KaKov vTToXafx^avovaiv 7) 
dXXo ri o av ov piavddveis' epiopieda ovv lipo- 
BiKOV Si/catov yap rrjv HifxcovlSov (f)covrjv rovrov 



To which I answered : then it is a bad piece of 
work I have done, it would seem, Protagoras, and I 
am an absurd sort of physician ; my treatment 
increases the malady. 

Just so, he said. 

How is that ? I asked. 

Great, he replied, would be the ignorance of the 
poet, if he calls it such a slight matter to possess 
virtue, which is the hardest thing in the world, as 
all men agree. 

Then I remarked : Upon my word, how oppor- 
tunely it has happened that Prodicus is here to join 
in our discussion ! For it is very likely, Protagoras, 
that Prodicus' wisdom is a gift of long ago from 
heaven, beginning either in the time of Simonides 
or even earlier. But you, so skilled in many other 
things, appear to be unskilled in this, and lack the 
skill that I can boast because I am a disciple of the 
great Prodicus ; and so now I find you do not under- 
stand that perhaps Simonides did not conceive 
"hard" in the way that you conceive it — just 
as, in the case of " awful," Prodicus here corrects 
me each time I use the word in praising you or 
someone else ; when I say, for instance, that 
Protagoras is an awfully wise man, he asks if I am 
not ashamed to call good things awful. For awful, 
he says, is bad ; thus no one on this or that occasion 
speaks of " awful wealth " or " awful peace " or 
" awful health," but we say " awful disease," 
" awful war " or " awful poverty," taking " a^vful " 
to be " bad." So perhaps " hard " also was intended 
by the Ceans and Simonides as either " bad " or 
something else that you do not understand : let us 
therefore ask Prodicus, for it is fair to question him 



C epcoTaw ri eXeyev, to ITpoSt/ce, to ;)^aAe7rov Si- 
ficoviSrjg; Ka/cdv, ^4'V- ^'■'^ raur dpa Kal 
/ze/x^erai, ryv 8' iyco, a> DpoSt/ce, tw FltTra/cov 
Xdyovra ^aXerrov eadXov ejjbfxevai, axmep av el 
-qKovev avTov Xdyovros on icrrl KaKov iadXov 
efifievaL. 'AAAa tl otet, €(f)rj, Xeyeiv, co Sco- 
Kpares, Yiijxcovih-qv dXXo iq Tovro, /cat ovetSt^eiv 
r(x> YliTTaKO), on, rd ovofiara ovk r^Triararo 
opdcos BiaipeXv are Aecr^to? wv Kal ev <j>aivfj 
^ap^dpcp reOpafifxevos ; 'A/coyet? S-q, ecfyrjv iyd), 

D (L Ylpcorayopa, YlpoSiKov rouSe. ^^cls ti Trpos 
ravra Xeyetv; Kal 6 Upcorayopas, HoXXov ye 
Set, ^(f>f], ovTixi'S ^x^iv, CO Ilp68t,K€' aXX iyd) ev 
ofS' on Kal TitficovlSrjg ro ;\;aAe7r6v eXeyev oirep 
Tj/jLeis ol dXXoL, ov TO KaKov, dXX' o av fxrj paSiov 
fj, dXXd 8ta TToAAcDv TTpay/jbdrcov yiyv-qrai. 'AAAa 
Kal iyd) olpiai, €(f)r]v, 3) X\.p<jiray6pa, rovro Xiyeiv 
IjtficovlSrjv, Kal UpoSiKov ye rovde elSevai, dXXd 
TTait,eiv /cat aov hoKeZv dTTOTreipdad at, el old? t' 
eaei rip aavrov Xoyo) ^orjOeiv inel on, ye 2t- 

E ficovlSrjs ov Xeyei rd yaXeTTOV KaKov, jxeya re- 
Kp.'iqpiov ianv evdvs rd fierd rovro prjjxa' Xeyei. 
ydp on 

deos dv fjLovos rovr exoi yepas. 

ov Si^TTov rovro ye Xeycov, KaKov iadXov efxjxevai, 
elra rov deov (firjoi /jlovov rovro dv e^eiv Kal rw 
Bed) rovro yepas dneveipLe pLovo)- d/coAaorov ydp 
dv rLva Xeyoi luipLOJvihriv d IlpoSt/cos" /cat ovhapid)? 
Ketov. dAA' d /xot So/cet Stav'oeto^at HipicovLSrjs 
iv rovrcp rip aapLan, ideXco aoi elTrelv, el ^ovXei 
342 Xa^elv fxov TTclpav ottcds ^xco, o av Xeyeis rovro, 


on the dialect of Simonides. What did Simonides 
mean, Prodicus, by " hard " ? 

" Bad," he replied. 

Then it is on this account, Prodicus, I said, that he 
blames Pittacus for saying it is hard to be good, 
just as though he heard him say it is bad to be good. 

Well, Socrates, he said, what else do you think 
Simonides meant ? Was he not reproaching Pittacus 
for not knowing how to distinguish words correctly, 
Lesbian as he was, and nurtured in a foreign tongue ? 

You hear, Protagoras, I said, what Prodicus here 
suggests : have you anything to say upon it ? 

The case, said Protagoras, is far otherwise, 
Prodicus : I am quite sure that Simonides meant by 
" hard " the same as we generally do — not " bad," 
but whatever is not easy and involves a great 
amount of trouble. 

Ah, I agree with you, Protagoras, I said, that 
this is Simonides* meaning, and that our friend 
Prodicus knows it, but is joking and chooses to 
experiment on you to see if you will be able to 
support your o^vn statement. For that Simonides 
does not mean that " hard " is " bad " we have 
clear proof forthwith in the next phrase, where he 
says — 

God alone can have this privilege. 
Surely he cannot mean that it is bad to be good, 
if he proceeds here to say that God alone can have 
this thing, and attributes this privilege to God only : 
otherwise Prodicus would call Simonides a rake, and 
no true Cean. But I should Hke to tell you what I 
take to be Simonides' intention in this ode, if you 
care to test my powers, as you put it,^ in the matter 
» Cf. 339 A above. 



nepi, eiTcov iav Se ^ovXr), aov dKovaofJiai. o jxev 
ovv YlpixiTayopas aKovaas fiov ravra Xiyovros, 
El ai) fiovXei, €(f>7j, c5 SoJ/cpares" o Se TipoSiKos 
T€ Kal 6 'iTTTTtas" eKeXcveTrjv ttolvv, Kal ol aXXoi. 

Eyco TOLVVV, rjv 8' iy(^, o. ye pLOi SoKel Trepi 
Tov aa/jLaros rovrov, ireipdaoixai vpiLV Ste^eXdelv. 
(f)LXoao(f)La yap iari iraXaLordrri re /cat TrXeicm) 
tGxv 'EAAt^vcuv Iv Kprjrr) re /cat iv AaKeBalfxovi, 

B KaL ao(f)Larat TrXelaroL yrjg eKel elaiv dXX i^- 
apvovvrai Kal axf]P'0.rit,ovTai dpbadels elvat, Iva 
fiT] KardSrjXoi coaiv on ao(j>ia rcov 'KXXrjvajv 
Tiepieiaiv, ojairep ous Ylpcorayopas eXeye rovs 
ao(f)LaTds, dXXd SoKcoai rw fidx^crdai /cat dvhpeia 
TTepietvai, ^yovfievoi, el yvcoadelev co Trepieiai, 
navra's rovro daK-qaeiv, rrjv aocjtiav. vvv Se 
aTTOKpvi/jdfievoi eKeZvo i^-qTraTiJKaaL rovs ev rats 
TToXeai XaKO}vit,ovras , Kal ol fxev cord re Kar- 

C dyvvvrai fiifioviJievoi avrovs, /cat Ijxdvras nepi- 
ecXtrrovrai Kal (f^iXoyvixvaarovai /cat ^pa^elas dva- 
^oXds (jyopovaiv, to? St) rovrois Kparovvras rcov 
'ISiXX-^voiv rovs AaKeSaifiovLovs' ol Se Aa/ce- 
SaifiovLOL eTretSav ^ovXcjvrai dveSrjV rols Trap' 
avrois avyyeveadai ao^iaraZs, Kal tJStj axdcovrai 
Xddpa ^vyyiyvofievoi, ^evrjXaaias 7TOLovp,evoL rcov 
re XaKcovL^ovrcov rovrcov Kal edv ris aAAo? ^evos 
cov emhrjixricrQ y avyyiyvovrai rols ao^iGrals Xav- 
ddvovres rovs ^evovs, Kal avroi ovSeva icoai 

D riov vecov els rds dXXas TToXeis e^ievai, cooTTep 

* Cf. 316 D. This whole passage is a mocking answer to 
Protagoras's eulogy of sophistry. 

* Short cloaks or capes worn in a fashion imitated from 
the Spartans. 



of verses ; though if you would rather, I will hear 
your account. 

\Mien Protagoras heard me say this — As you 
please, Socrates, he said ; then Prodicus and 
Hippias strongly urged me, and the rest of them also. 

Well then, I said, I will try to explain to you 
my o\vn feeUng about this poem. Now philosophy 
is of more ancient and abundant growth in Crete and 
Lacedaemon than in any other part of Greece, 
and sophists are more numerous in those regions : 
but the people there deny it and make pretence 
of ignorance, in order to prevent the discovery that 
it is by wisdom that they have ascendancy over the 
rest of the Greeks, hke those sophists of whom 
Protagoras was speaking ^ ; they prefer it to be 
thought that they owe their superiority to fighting 
and valour, conceiving that the revelation of its real 
cause would lead everyone to practise this wisdom. 
So well have they kept their secret that they have 
deceived the followers of the Spartan cult in our 
cities, with the result that some get broken ears 
by imitating them, bind their knuckles with thongs, 
go in for muscular exercises, and wear dashing little 
cloaks,^ as though it were by these means that the 
Spartans were the masters of Greece. And when 
the Spartans wish to converse unrestrainedly with 
their sophists, and begin to chafe at the secrecy 
of their meetings, they pass alien acts against the 
laconizing set ^ and any other strangers within their 
gates, and have meetings with the sophists unknown 
to the foreigners ; while on their part they do not 
permit any of their young men to travel abroad 

' t.#. people who have come to acquire the Spartan way 
of hfe, in order to spread it in other cities. 



ovoe l^prjres, ti'a firj aTTOfxavOdvcoaiv a avrol 
SLSdcTKovGLV . clal Se iv ravraig rai? TToXeaiv 
ov fxovou dvSpe? iwl TratSeucret fieya ^povovvres, 
aXkd Koi yvvaiKes. yvolre 8* dv, on iyoj raura 
aXr^Orj Xeyco /cat AaKeSatfjUoVLOt, Trpog (j>i\oao(j)iav 
Kai Xoyovs dptara TreTTaihevvraL, aiSe" et yap 
ideXcL TLS AaKeSaLfioviojv to) ^ayXordrcp avy- 
E yeveadai, rd fiev Trpcora iv rots XoyoLS evp-qaei 
avTov <f)avX6v riva (f)aLv6fjL€Vov , eTretra, ottov dv 
Tvxfj rcjv Xeyojxevoiv, ive^aXe prjfjLa d^Lov Xoyov 
ppa^v Koi cruvearpajxixevov aiOTrep heivds aKovri- 
arrj'S, mare (^aiveadai rov irpoahLoXeyopLevov Trat- 
Sos" firjSev ^eXriiij. rovTO ovv avro /cat rchv 
vvv elalv ot Karavevo-qKaai Kai Tciiv irdXai, otl 
TO XaKcovil^eiv ttoXv fj,dXX6v iari <l>LXoao^eZv tj 
(f)i,XoyviJLvaaT€tv, etSore? on rotavra olov t\ 
343 etvai pruxara (jideyyeadai reAe'co? TreTraiSev ixevov 
eanv avdpcoTrov. rovrcov -^v /cat QaXrjs 6 Mt- 
X-qariog /cat Ulttukos 6 MvnXrjvalo? /cat Bta? 
o UpiTjvevs /cat TioXcjov 6 rjfjieTepos /cat KAeo/8ouAo? 
o AlvSlos Kai ^Ivacov 6 \rjv€vs, /cat e^So/xo? 
€V TovroLs iXeyero Aa/ceSat/xoi'ios' Xt'Aoji'. ovtol 
Travres ^r^Acorat /cat ipaaral /cat fxaOrjTai rjaav 
TTJs AaKedacfiovLcov TzaiSetas" /cat KarajxddoL av 
ng avTcbv rrjv (jo(f)iav roLavrrjv ovaav, p-qfiara 
^pa)(€a d^LOfjii'rjfxovevra iKaano elprjfMeva, <d>^ 
B ovroi Kai KOLvi] ^vveXdovres aTrapx^jv rrjs ao(j)ia<s 
dvedeaav tw ^AttoXXcovc els tov vecjv rov iv AeA- 
0019, ypdi/javT€s ravra, d 8r] Trdvres vfivovai, 
yvcodi aavTov Kai firjSev dyav. rov Srj evcKa 
ravra Xeyco; on ovros 6 rponog rjv rcbv TraXaLOJv 
rrjs <f)iXoao(f)Las, ^paxvXoyla ns AaKcoviK'q' Kai 817 


to the other cities — in this rule they resemble the 
Cretans — lest they unlearn what they are taught at 
home. In those two states there are not only men 
but women also who pride themselves on their 
education ; and you can tell that what I say is 
true and that the Spartans have the best education 
in philosophy and argument by this : if you choose 
to consort with the meanest of Spartans, at first 
you will find him making a poor show in the conversa- 
tion ; but soon, at some point or other in the 
discussion, he gets home with a notable remark, 
short and compressed — a deadly shot that makes 
his interlocutor seem hke a helpless child. Hence 
this very truth has been observed by certain persons 
both in our day and in former times — that the 
Spartan cult is much more the pursuit of wisdom 
than of athletics ; for they know that a man's 
ability to utter such remarks is to be ascribed to 
his perfect education. Such men were Thales of 
Miletus, Pittacus of Mytilene, Bias of Priene, Solon 
of our city, Cleobulus of Lindus, Myson of Chen, and, 
last of the traditional seven, Chilon of Sparta. All 
these were enthusiasts, lovers and disciples of the 
Spartan culture ; and you can recognize that char- 
acter in their wisdom by the short, memorable 
sayings that fell from each of them : they assembled 
together and dedicated these as the first-fruits of 
their lore to Apollo in his Delphic temple, inscribing 
there those maxims which are on every tongue — 
"Know thyself" and "Nothing overmuch." To 
what intent do I say this ? To show how the ancient 
philosophy had this style of laconic brevity ; and 

^ d add. Hermann. 



ffai rov YlirraKov tSta TTepie<ji4pero rovro ro 
prjfx,a €yKix}fXLat,6jjL€Vov vtto rwv ao(f)a)V, ro x'^^^'^ov 

C iadXov efjifjueuat. 6 ovv St/xtuvtST^?, are <J)l\6- 
TLfxos cov inl ao<f)ia, eyuco on, el KadeXoi tovto 
ro prjfia coanep evhoKifiovvra a.dXr]rr}v /cat irepi- 
yevoiro avrov, avrog evSoKifx-qaet iv rot? rare 
avdpa)7TOLs. els rovro ovv ro prj/xa /cat rovrov 
eveKa rovro) em^ovXevoiv KoXovaai avro d-rrav 
ro dafia TreTTOLrjKev, cS? jxoi. (f>aLverai. 

YiTTKjKe^cLjxeda hr] avro Koivfj dnavres, el 
apa eyoj aXrjdrj Xeyco. evOiig yap ro rrpajrov 
rov acr/zaro? fxaviKov dv (f>aveiT), el ^ovX6p,evos 

D Xeyeiv, ort dvSpa dyaOov yeveadat xP-Xeirov, 
enetra eve^aXe ro fxev. rovro yap ovhe rrpos 
eva Xoyov ^aiverai ifx^e^Xijadai, idv fi-q ris 
VTToXa^r) TTpog ro rov Ut,rraKov prj[j,a warrep 
epc^ovra Xeyeiv rov HifxcovL^rjv Xeyovros rov 
TlirraKov on xP-XeTrov eadXov efifxevai,, d/x^i- 
a^-qrovvra elrreZv on ovk, dXXd yeveaOat, p.ev 
XO-Xenov dvhpa dyadov eanv, c3 HirraKe, (Ls 
dXrjdojs, OVK dXrideia dyadov, ovk errl rovrcp 

E Xeyei rrjv dX-qdeiav, (Lg dpa ovrcov nvwv rd>v 
p,ev (x)s aXrjddjg dyadcov, rd>v Se dyadcov [M€V, 
ov fxevroL dX-q9dJg' evrjdeg yap rovro ye ^aveir) 
dv /cat ov YiLfxcDvihov aAA' inrep^arov Set deZvai 
ev rep aafxan ro dXadea)s, ovrcoai ttcjs vtt- 
eiTTOvra ro rov UtrraKov, axnrep dv el detpuev 
avrov Xeyovra rov YiirraKov /cat luipuxjvih-qv 
dTTOKpiv6p,evov , elnovra c5 dvdpojrroi, ;!^aAe7roi' 
eadXov ep-p-evai, rov he aTTOKpLvopievov on, a) 

^ In this view of the purpose of the poem (which is to 
show that there is no lasting perfection in human hfe), and 


so it was that the saying of Pittacus was privately 
handed about -nith high approbation among the 
sages — that it is hard to be good. Then Simonides, 
ambitious to get a name for -wisdom, perceived that 
if he could overthrow this saying, as one might 
some famous athlete, and become its conqueror, 
he would win fame himself amongst men of that 
day. Accordingly it was against this saying, and 
with this aim, that he composed the whole poem 
as a means of covertly assaihng and abasing this 
maxim, as it seems to me.^ 

Now let us all combine in considering whether 
my account is really true. The opening of the ode 
must at once appear crazy if, while intending to 
say that it is hard for a man to become good, he 
inserted " indeed." There is no sort of sense, I 
imagine, in this insertion, unless we suppose that 
Simonides is addressing himself to the saying of 
Pittacus as a disputant : Pittacus says — It is hard 
to be good ; and the poet controverts this by observ- 
ing — No, but to become good, indeed, is hard for a 
man, Pittacus, truly — not truly good ; he does not 
mention truth in this connexion, or imply that some 
things are truly good, while others are good but 
not truly so : this would seem silly and unhke 
Simonides. We must rather take the " truly " as a 
poetical transposition, and first quote the saying of 
Pittacus in some such way as this : let us suppose 
Pittacus himself to be speaking and Simonides reply- 
ing, as thus— Good people, he says, it is hard to be 
good ; and the poet answers — Pittacus, what you 

in the detailed commentary that follows, Socrates is aping 
the disquisitions of the more literary sophists {e.g. Hippias, 
who warmly approves, 347 a). 



344 TliTTaKC, ovK dXTjdrj Ae'yet?* ov yap etvat aXXa 
yeveadai fxev icrrtv avhpa ayaSov X^P^^ '''^ '^^'■ 
TToal Koi vow rerpdyoivov, dvev ifjoyov rervyiiivov, 
Xo-X^TTov dXaOecos- ovrco (f>aiverai [roy- Trpog 
Xoyov TO /LteV ipL^e^Xrjjxivov /cat ro dXadioJS 
opOcbs ctt' iaxdrcp Keifxevov Kai ra CTrtovra 
■ndvra tovtco fxaprvpeZ, otl ovtcos eip-qrai. ttoX- 
Xd fi€V yap eoTL /cai Trepl eKdarov tcov ev rep 

B aa/jLari elprjfjievwv aTroSet^at ws ev TreTTOiTyraf 
TTavv yap ;^apievTa>S' Kal {MefieXTjuevajs e;\;et' dAAa 
fiaKpov dv evT] avro ovrcx) hieXdelv aAAa rov 
rvTTov avrov rov oXov hie^eXdcojxev Kal ttjv ^ov- 
X-qoLV, ore rravros /xaAAoi' e'Aeyp^ds' ecrrt rov Uir- 
raKelov prjpbaros 8ta 7701^x0? rod aafxarog. 

Aeyei ydp p,€rd rovro oXiya SlcXOcov, to? av 
el Xeyot Xoyov, ori yeveadai /xev dvhpa dyadou 
Xo-Xerrov dXadecDS, olov re fievroL em ye XP^^^^ 
rivd' yevopievov Se Sta/xeVeiv ev ravrrj rfj e^et 

C Kal etvai dvhpa dyadov, cos av Xeyeis, a) IlLrraKe, 
dbvvarov Kal ovk dvdpcoireiov, dAAa deos av pLovos 
rovro exot ro yepas, 

dvSpa 8' OVK eari pbr) ov KaKov €/x/x€vai, 
ov dv dpi,rixo.vos avp,(f)opd KaQeXrj. 
riva ovv dpLrjxo.vos avp-cfjopd KadaipeZ ev itXolov 
dpxfji 8rjXov on ov rov ISiconqv o p-ev yap 
ihiiorrjs del Kadrjprjrai.' coairep ovv ov rov Kei- 
p,ev6v Tt? dv Kara^dXot, dXXd rov p,ev eardjra 
TTore Kara^dXoL dv ri9, ware Kelpcevov TTOirjaai, 

D rov 8e Keipevov ov, ovrco Kal rov evpL-qxf^vov ovra 
TTore dp,rjXO'Vos dv avp.(j)opd KadeXot, rov Se dei 

* TO seel. Heindorf. 


say is not true, for it is not being but becoming good, 
Indeed — in hands and feet and mind foursquare, 
fashioned without reproach — that is truly hard. 
In this way we see a purpose in the insertion of 
" indeed," and that the " truly " is correctly placed 
at the end ; and all that comes after corroborates 
this view of his meaning. There are many points 
in the various expressions of the poem which might 
be instanced to show its fine composition, for it is a 
work of very elegant and elaborate art ; but it would 
take too long to detail all its beauties. However, 
let us go over its general outline and intention, 
which is assuredly to refute Pittacus' saying, through- 
out the ode. 

Proceeding a little way on from our passage, just 
as though he were making a speech, he says to 
become, indeed, a good man is truly hard (not but 
what it is possible for a certain space of time) ; 
" but to continue in this state of what one has 
become, and to be a good man is, as you say, Pittacus, 
impossible, superhuman : God alone can have this 
privilege — 

For that man cannot help but be bad 
Whom irresistible mischance has overthrown. 

Now who is it that an irresistible mischance over- 
throws in the command of a ship ? Clearly not the 
ordinary man, for he may be overcome at any time ; 
just as you cannot knock over one who is lying 
doAvn, but one who is standing ; you might knock 
over a standing man so as to make him lie do\vn, 
not one who is lying down already. So it is a man 
apt to resist that an irresistible mischance would 
overthrow, and not one who could never resist 



afirj)(avov ovra ov' kol rov KV^epvT^rrjV /ueya? 
X^tfxojv eTTLTTecTOiV aiir]-)(avov av -noi-qaeie, /cat 
yecopyov x'^^^'^ wpa eTreXdovcra afxrjxo-vov av 
deirj, Kol larpov ravra ravra. rco fxev yap 
eadXcp iyxcopeZ KaKa> yevladai, cjcttt^p /cai Trap' 
oAAou TTOirjTov pbapTvpeXraL rov elnomos 

avrap dvrjp ayaOos Tore p.kv KaKos, oAAore 
8' eadXos' 

rep he KaKO) ovk iyxcopel yeviaQai, aXX ael 
E eivai avayKTj' coare rov p,kv evpLT^xo-vov Kal ao(f)6v 
/cat ayadov eTreiSar djLt7^;^avos' avp,(^opa KaddXrj, 
OVK eari p,r] ov KaKov epLpLevaL' crv Se ^17?, a) 
DtTra/ce, ;;^aAe7r6v iadXov efxpuevai' ro S' earl 
yeveo-dai p.€v ;)(aAe7rof, Svvarov 8e, eadXov, cfifxe- 
vaL Se dSvvarov 

TTpd^as fiev yap ev nag dvrjp dyados, 
KaKos 8 et KaKcos- 

Tt? odv els ypafjifxara dyaOrj irpd^ig earn, /cat 
345 Tt? dvSpa dyaOov Trotet et? ypafipLara ; SrjXov 
ort rj rovrcov uddrjais. ris 8e evirpayia dyadov 
Larpov TTOtet; hriXov on rj rwv Kap,v6vrcov rTJs 
depaTTeias /xdOrjais. /ca/co? 8e KaKa>s' ris ovv 
av KaKos larpos ylvoiro; SrjXov on, a> Trpcorov 
fxev VTTapxet larpco etvat, eneLra dyado) larpa>- 
odros yap av Kal KaKos yevoiro' rj/jLeXs 8e oi 
larpiKTJs ISiiorai ovk av TTore yevotfieOa KaKcbs 
TTpd^avres ovre larpol ovre reKroves ovre dXXo 
B ovhkv rcov roiovrojv oang 8e p,T] larpos av yi- 
voiro KaKcos Trpd^as, SrjXov on ovSe /ca/co? larpos. 
ovroj Kal 6 fxkv dyaOos dvrjp yevoir av irore Kal 


anything. A great storm breaking over a steersman 
will render him helpless, and a severe season will 
leave a farmer helpless, and a doctor \vill be in the 
same case. For the good has the capacity of 
becoming bad, as we have witness in another poet * 
who said — 

Nay more, the virtuous man is at one time bad, at another 

whereas the bad man has no capacity for becoming, 
but must ever be, what he is ; so that when an 
irresistible mischance overthrows him who is re- 
sourceful, wise, and good, he cannot but be bad ; 
and you say, Pittacus, that it is hard to be good — 
that is, to become good, indeed, is hard, though 
jjossible, but to be good is impossible : for — * 

If he hath fared well, every man is good ; 
Bad, if ill. 

Now what is good faring in letters — the thing that 
makes a man good at them ? Clearly, the study of 
letters. What welfare makes a good doctor ? 
Clearly, the study of the cure of the ailing. " Bad,' 
if ill " : who could become a bad doctor ? Clearly, 
he who in the first place is a doctor, and in the 
second, a good doctor ; for he could become a bad 
one also : whereas we, who are laymen in respect 
of medicine, could never by faring ill become either 
doctors or joiners or anything else of that sort ; 
and if one cannot become a doctor by faring ill, 
clearly one cannot become a bad one either. In 
the same way the good man may one day become 

^ Unknown. 

^ The quotation of Simonides' poem is resumed (from 



Kra/co? r] vno ^povov t] vtto ttovov -^ vtto voaov 
■^ VTTO aXXov Tivos TTeptTTTWfjiaTos' avTTj yap 
fiovT) care KaKr) Trpd^is, eTricrrrjiirjs (Treprjdijvai' 
o 8^ KaKos dvrjp ovk av rrore yivoiro KaKos' 
ean yap aei' dAA' el /xeAAet KaKos yeviaQai, 
Set avTov TTporepov ayadov yeveod ai. ware /cat 
C TOVTO rov aafxaros Trpos tovto retVet, on elvai 
jxev dvSpa ayaOov ovx olov re SiareXovvra aya- 
dov, yeviadai 8e ayaQov olov re, /cat KaKov ye 
rov avrov rovrov evri TrXetarov Se /cat dpiarol 
elaw ovs av ol 6eol (fjiXaJatv. 

Tavrd re ovv Trdvra Tipos rov UcrraKov ei- 
pr)rai, /cat rd emovra ye rov aap,aro? en p.aX\ov 
hrjXol. (f)7jal ydp- 

rovvcKev ov TTor eyd) ro firj yeveaOai Svvarov 
Si^'qfievos Kevedv e? dirpaKrov eAvrtSa fxolpav 

alcbvog ^aXecj, 
7ravdfjiO}p,ov dvdpcoTrov, evpveSovs oaoi KapTTOv 

alvvfieOa xdovos' 
D em 0'^ vyiZv evpojv aTrayyeXeco, 

(f)rjmv' ovroi a^ohpa /cat St' oXov rov aafiaros 
irre^epxerai rep rov IliTTa/coLi p-^fian' 

Trdvras S* eTraLvrjpLL /cat (f)iXeci> 

eKwv oans ^p^lj 

jxrjSev alaxpov' dvdyKr) 8' ouSe ^eoi fidxovrai' 

/cat rovr* earl Trpos ro avro rovro elpr]fj,evov. 
ov yap ovrojs aTraihevros rjv Hipiajv ih-qs , inare 
rovrovs (f)dvat evaLvelv, os dv eKd>v fxrjSev Kah")v 
TTOifj, COS ovrcov nvcov ol CKOvres /ca/ca ttolovoiv. 
iyd) yap ap^eSov n otfxai, rovro, on ouSet? riov 


bad through the effect either of time or work or 
illness or some other accident ; for there is only 
one sort of ill fare — the deprivation of knowledge. 
But the bad man can never become bad : he is that 
always. If he is to become bad, he must previously 
become good. Hence the upshot of this part of the 
poem is that it is impossible to be a good man, 
continuing to be good, but possible to become 
good, and bad also, in the case of the same person. 
And then — 

Best also for the longest space are they whom the gods love.* 

All this has been said with reference to Pittacus, 
as is made still plainer by the ensuing verses, in 
which he says — 

Therefore never shall I, in quest of what cannot corae to 
pass, vainly cast my life's lot upon a hope impracticable — 
of finding a man wholly blameless amongst us who partake 
of the fruit of the broad-based earth. If I light upon him, 
be sure I will report it — 

says he ; and in this vehement tone he pursues the 
saying of Pittacus all through the poem : 

But I praise and love everyone willingly committing no 
baseness; for against necessity not even the gods make 

This also is spoken -with the same intent. For 
Simonides was not so ill-educated as to say that he 
praised a person who ^vilhngly did no evil, as though 
there were some who did evil willingly. I am 
fair ly sure of this — that none of the wise men con - 

' Probably a loose quotation of a line of the poem which 
was Kal rb trXeiaTov apicrroi, roui k€ deal fpiKQiaiv (Aars). 

^ «iri 0' Adam : (irl 5' vfifu)/ Bergk : fireid' mss. 
VOL. IV 11 205 


ao(f)(x)v avSpcov rjyeXTai, ovSeva dvdpa>7TCOV CKOura 
E i^afiaprdveLV ovSe ataxpd t€ Kal KaKo. CKOvra 
€pydt,€ad at, aXX ev icracnv on vavres oi rd 
alaxpd Kal rd /ca/ca ttolovvtcs aKovres TToiovcrt,' 
/cat br) Kal o ^Lp,a)vi.8r]g ov^ os dv fi-q /ca/ca ttoltj 
€K(x}v, rovTcov (f)r]alv eTTaLveTrjs elvaL, oAAa rrepl 
iavTOv XeyeL rovro to e/ccov. rjyelTO ydp dv- 
hpa KoXov Kdyadov TroAAa/cts' avrov cTravay/ca^eiv 
346 <f)iXov rivl yiyveadai /cat iTTaiverrjv [(^lAetv /cat 
CTratvetv]/ olov dvSpl TToXXaKis avfi^rjvai fMTjrepa 
7] TTarepa oXXokotov tj Trarpiha ri dXko ti rwv 
roiovrcov. tovs fxkv ovv TTovrjpovs, orav tolovtov 
Ti avrols avfji^fj, axnrep dajxevovs opav Kal ifjd- 
yovras eTnBeLKvvvat Kal Karrjyopelv ttjv TTOvqpiav 
Tcjv yovecov ^ TrarplSos, Iva avrols dfxeXovaiv 
avrdjv firj iyKoXdJaiv ol avSpconoL (Mrjh* ovclSl- 
t,oiaiv oTi dfieXovcTLV, coare en fiaXXov ipeyeiv 
B re avrovs Kal exdpo-S eKOvmovs Trpos rat? avay- 
Kaiais^ TTpoarldeadaf rovs 8 dyadovs eTTiKpv- 
TTreadai re Kal erraLvelv dvayKd^eadai, Kal dv n 
opyiaddxTL rots yovevaiv t] Trarpihi dBiKrjdevres, 
avrovs eavrovs Trapapivdeladai Kal SiaXXdrreadat 
7TpoaavayKdt,ovras eavrovs (fx^Xetv roiis eavrdJv 
Kal eTTaivelv. TToXXdKLs Se, ot/Ltai, /cat 2t/x6u- 
vlStjs r)y^aaro Kal avros t] rvpawov •^ aAAov 
TiP'o. rcbv roiovrcDV eTratveaat Kal eyKcopudaaL 
C ovx eKOiV, dAA' dvayKat,6ixevos . ravra Stj Kal 
TO) YlirraKO) Xeyet on eyco, c5 IltTTa/ce, ov 8id 
ravrd ae ifieya) ^ on et/xt (jjiXo^oyos, eirel 

e/xoLy^ e^apKel os dv fir) /ca/coy ?j 

* (piXelv Kal (Traive'iv secl. Grou. 


siders that anybody ever willingly errs or >>i^^i"g^y fi^ 
"does base and evil deed g ; they are well awa^'^ \\\st.\. 
'^all who do base and e\il things do them u n\^-iningly ; 
arid so Simonides does not say he gives his praise 
to the person who willingly does no e\al, but uses the 
word " willingly " of himself. For he considered , 
that a man of sense and honour often constrains , 
himself to become a friend and approver of some 
person, as when a man chances to have an un- 
congenial mother or father or country or other such 
connexion. Now when this sort of thing befalls 
the wicked, they seem glad to see their parents' 
or country's faults, and complainingly point them 
out and inveigh against them, in order that their o^^"^l 
neglect of them may not be denounced by their 
neighbours, who might otherwise reproach them for 
being so neglectful ; and hence they multiply their 
complaints and add voluntary to unavoidable feuds. 
But good men, he knew, conceal the trouble and 
constrain themselves to praise, and if they have any 
reason to be angered against their parents or country 
for some wrong done to them they pacify and 
conciUate their feeUngs, compelling themselves to 
love and praise their o^vn people. And many a 
time, I think, Simonides was conscious that he had 
praised and eulogized some tyrant or other such 
person, not wilhngly, but under compulsion. So he 
proceeds to tell Pittacus — I, Pittacus, do not reproach 
you merely because I am apt to reproach, since — 

For my part I am content with whosoever is not evil or 

' di'a7Ka^cut Heusde : Mir^Kon.'i jiss. 



/LtTjS' ayav dTrdXafxvo?, clScos t' ovrjaLTroXiv^ St/cav 

vy 1.7)9 dv-qp- 
ov fjLLv^ iyoj 
ov yap et/Ltt (fytXofxcofjLOS' 
Tojv yap rjXidioov aTrelpcov yevedXa, 

cuCTT et TLs )(aLp€L ipiycjv , ipLTrXriadeirj dv CKelvovg 

fji€IJ.(f)6fjL€VOS . 

Trdvra toi KoXd, rolai r* ala^pd firj fidniKrai. 

ov TOVTO Xeyei, cooTrep dv el eAeye TravTa rot 

D XevKa, otg jxiXava firj ficfjiiKTai' yeXolov yap dv 

€LT] TToXXaxfj' dXX OT6 avTos /cat rd jxeaa arro- 

Sexcrai ware fir] tpeyeiv /cat ov ^rjTw, ^4>ti, 

7Tavdfioip,ov dvdpcoTTOV, evpveSovg daoi Kapnov 

alvv/xeOa x^ovos, em v/xlv evpojv dirayyeXeco' 

oiare rovrov y eVe/ca ovbeva eTTaive(yo\iai, oAAa 

/Ltot e^apKCL, dv fj pieao? /cat firjSev KaKov ttoltj, 

0)S eyd) iravras (f>i,Xe(o /cat eTraiVrj/xt — /cat rfj (f>ojvfj 

evravda /ce^pTjrat rfj rdjv MvrtXrjvatcov , d)s Trpog 

E HiTTaKov Xeyojv ro iravras Be eTraivrjfii /cat 

^iXeui eKOiv {evravda Set ev rat ckcjv SiaXa^elv 

Xeyovra) oaris ^pBrj fjLrjSev alaxpdv, aKOJV 8' 

eariv ovs iyd) inaLVcb Kai (j)iXcx). ae ovv, /cat 

et fjieaojs eXeyes eTneLKrj /cat dXr^drj, c5 UtrraKe, 

347 ovK dv TTore eifieyov. vvv Se — atfyohpa yap /cat 

rrepl rcbv /xeyLcrrajv ipevSofievos So/cet? dXrjdrj 

Xeyeiv, 8td ravrd ae eyd) ipeyio. 

Taura /xot So/cet, cS UpoSiKe /cat Ylpcorayopa, 

"qv 8' eyco, HLpLcoviSrjs SiavoovpLevos TrcTrotT^/ceVat 

rovro ro aap,a. /cat o 'iTTTrta?, Ey /xei/ /iot 8o' 

^ T ovrjffiTToXLv G. Hermann : 7e ovrjaei wdXii' mss. 
* fuv Schleiermacher : fi^v mss. 



too intractable. He who knows Right, the support of a 
city, is a healthy man ; him I shall never blame, for to 
blame I am not apt. Infinite is the race of fools. 

So that whoever delights in reproaching would have 
his fill of blaming them : 

Verily, all things are fair that have in them no admixture 
of base. 

By this he does not mean to say, as it were, that 
all things are white that have no admixture of 
black ; that would be ridiculous in many ways ; but 
that he himself accepts the average sort without 
reproaching them. " I do not seek," said he, " a 
man wholly blameless amongst us who partake of 
the fruit of the broad-based earth : if I light upon 
him, be sure I will report it " — meaning, " If I wait 
for that, I shall never find anyone to praise. No, I 
am content if a man be average and do nothing 
evil, since I love and praise all " — and there he has 
used a Mytilenaean word,^ for his " I praise and 
love all willingly " is addressed to Pittacus (here at 
" wilUngly " one should make a pause) ; — " all who 
commit nothing base, but some there are whom I 
praise and love unwillingly. Hence I should never 
reproach you, Pittacus, if you would only speak 
what is moderately reasonable and true. But as it 
is, since you lie so grievously about the greatest 
matters with an air of speaking the truth, on this 
score I reproach you." 

Such is my view, Prodicus and Protagoras, I said, 
of Simonides' intention in composing this ode. 

Then Hippias remarked : It certainly seems to 

* The form of the word iralyrifu is pedantically adduced 
to emphfisize the poet's censure of Pittacus. 



K€is, €<j)y], a) HwKpareg, /cat av rrepl rod aajxaros 
BieXrjXvOevai- eari fxevrot, €(f)r], /cat i/jiol Aoyo? 

B TTcpl avTOV €V excov, ov VfMLV eTTihei^o), av ^ovXr]- 
ade. Kal 6 'AA/ct^iaSTj?, Nat, e(f)r], <L 'iTnria, 
eiaavdls ye* vvv Se ScKaiov eariv, d cofJioXoyr]- 
aarrfv irpos aXXriXoi Ylpoirayopas koX TiOJKpaT'qg, 
Tlpcorayopas pi€v ei en ^ouAerat epcorav, drro- 
Kpiveadai TtCOKpaT-q, ei 8e St) ^ovXerai iLcoKparei 
aTTOKpiveadai, ipcorav rov erepov. /cat eyco €L7tov 
ETTtTpeTTCo fiev eycoye IlpcDTayopa orrorepov avTcp 

C ^8lov el Se ^ovXer at, rrepl fxev aapbdrcov re /cat 
eTTcov eaaoj/Jiev, Tiepl Se ojv to rrpcoTov eyu> ae 
r]pa>rr](ja, d) Upajrayopa, rjSecog dv evl reXos 
eXdoifii, jxerd aov aKOTrovfievog . Kal yap So/cei 
fjLoi TO TTepi TTOLrjaews SiaXeyeaOat o/jioioTarov 
eivat, rols (JVfXTToalois rots tcjv (f)auXa)V Kal dyo- 
paicov dvOpdiTTCov. Kal yap ovrot, Sta ro fi-q 
Svvaadat, aAAr^Aots' St' iavTcJov avvelvai, ev rat 
TTorcp pLTjhe Sta tt^? eavrwv (fxjovrjs /cat rcov Xoyojv 

D TOJv eavTOJv vtto aTratSeyCTta?, rifxias ttolovol 
ras avX-qrpihas, ttoXXov /JLiaOovfievoi dXXorpiav 
^wvrjv TTjv ra>v avXdJv, Kal Std ttjs eKelvcov (f)0}vrjs 
aXXi^Xoig avveiaiv ottov Se /caAot Kdyadol avfi- 
TToraL /cat vreTratSey^evot elaiv, ovk dv tSot? 
OVT avXr^rplSas ovre 6p)(riaTpihas ovre ipaXrpLag , 
aXX avTovs avroLs LKavovs ovras cruvelvai dvev 
rcjv Xiqpojv re /cat TratStcov toutcuv Std rrj? avrdjv 
(jjcovrjg, Xeyovrds re Kal dKovovras ev fxepei eavrwv 

E Kocr/JLLCDS, Kav Trdvv ttoXvv olvov ttLojolv. ovrco 
Se /cat at rotatSe OT;voi;CTtat, edv fiev Xd^covrai 
avSpdJv, oloiTTep -^/xcov ol ttoXXol ^aaiv elvai, 
ovSev heovrai, dXXorpias <f)0)V7Js ouSe TTonjrcbv, 


me, Socrates, that you have given a good exposition 
of the poem ; but I also have an elegant discourse 
upon it, which I will perform for you if you wish. 

Yes, Hippias, said Alcibiades, but some other 
time : for the moment the proper thing, according 
to the agreement which Protagoras and Socrates 
made between them, will be for Socrates to answer 
any questions that Protagoras may still wish to put 
to him, but if he prefers to answer Socrates, then it 
^^^ll be for Socrates to ask. 

On this I remarked : For my part I place it in 
Protagoras's hands to do whichever he likes best. 
But if he does not mind, let us talk no more of poems 
and verses, but consider the points on which I 
questioned you at first, Protagoras, and on which 
I should be glad to reach, with your help, a conclusion. 
For it seems to me that arguing about poetry is 
comparable to the \\ine-parties of common market- 
folk. These people, owing to their inability to carry 
on a familiar conversation over their wine by means 
of their own voices and discussions — such .is their 
lack of education — put a premium on flute-girls by 
hiring the extraneous voice of the flute at a high 
price, and carry on their intercourse by means of 
its utterance. But where the party consists of 
thorough gentlemen who have had a proper educa- 
tion, you will see neither flute-girls nor dancing-girls 
nor harp-girls, but only the company contenting 
themselves with their own conversation, and none 
of these fooleries and frolics — each speaking and 
listening decently in his turn, even though they 
may drink a great deal of wine. And so a gathering 
like this of ours, when it includes such men as most 
of us claim to be, requires no extraneous voices, 



ovs ovT€ avepeadai olov r earl ncpl cov Xcyovcnv, 
enayofievoi re avrovs ol ttoXXoI ev rots Xoyots 
ol fiev ravra (f)aai rov TTOirjTrjv voetv, ol S erepa, 
TTepl TTpdyjjLaTog SLaXeyojJievoL o aSvuarovaiv i^- 
eXey^ai' dXXa rds p-ev roiavra<; avvovaias ecoai 
348 ^at'peti', avrol 8' iavTois avveicri 8i' eavrcov, ev 
Tot? eavT<jov Xoyoig irelpau olXX'^Xcdv Xap^^dvovreg 
Kal SiSovre?. tou^ tolovtovs pt-oi SoKel ^^prfvai 
pbdXXov pupieladai ep.e re /cat ere, Karadepiivovs 
roijs TTOirjrd? avTOvg St 'qp.djv avrcbv irpos (xAAtjAou? 
rov? Xoyovs TTOieladai, rrjs dX7]Qeias Kal -qpLoyv 
avrwv TTCLpav Xap,^dvovras' Kav p,ev ^ovXjj en 
epcorav, eroipLos elpii aoi Trapex^iv d7TOKpLv6p,e- 
vos' edv 8e ^ovXrj, crv ep,ol rrapdax^?, Trepl Sy 
p.era^v eTvavadpieda hie^iovres, rovrois reXos eVt- 

B OeZvac. Xeyovros ovv ipiou ravra Kal roiavra 
dXXa ovSet^ aTrecra^et o Yipcorayopas oTTorepa 
TTonqaoi, elrrev ovv 6 ^AXKi^idSrjs -npog rov 
KaAAtW ^Xeijjas, ^Q. KaAAta, SoKel crot, €<^r), Kal 
vvv KaXcbs Upcjorayopas TTOielv, ovk edeXcov etre 
Scocxei Xoyov etre p^rj hiaoa^elv; ep,OL yap ov 
So/cet* dAA' -rjrot, hiaXeyeodo) rj etTreroj on ovk 
ideXeu SiaXeyeadai, Iva rovro) /xev ravra avvei- 
Sd>p,ev, JjCOKpdrr]? Se aAAoj rep hiaXiyrjraL rj dXXos 

Q OCTTt? dv ^ovXiqrai dXXcp. Kal 6 Upcorayopas 
alaxvvdeis, cu? ye pioi eSo^e, rov re 'AA/ct^tctSou 
ravra Xeyovros Kal rov KaAAtoy 8eop,evov Kal 
rcov dXXa)v cr^^eSov ri rdjv Trapovrcov, pLoyLs npov- 



not even of the poets, whom one cannot question 
on the sense of what they say ; when they are 
adduced in discussion we are generally told by 
some that the poet thought so and so, and by others, 
something different, and they go on arguing about a 
matter which they are powerless to determine. No, 
this sort of meeting is avoided by men of culture, who 
prefer to converse directly with each other, and to 
use their own way of speech in putting one another 
by turns to the test. It is this sort of person that 
I think you and I ought rather to imitate ; putting 
the poets aside, let us hold our discussion together 
in our own persons, making trial of the truth and of 
ourselves. So if you wish to question me further, 
I am at your service as answerer ; but if you like, 
put yourself at my service, so that we may clear 
up the several points of the inquiry in which we 
stopped half-way. 

On my saying this and something more of the sort, 
Protagoras gave no indication as to which course he 
would take. So Alcibiades, looking at Callias, said : 
Do you consider, Callias, that Protagoras is behaving 
properly now in refusing to signify whether he will 
or will not answer ? I do not think he is. Let 
him either debate or say that he does not want to 
debate, so that we may have this understanding 
with him ; then Socrates can debate with someone 
else, or another of us with some other, as may be 

Then Protagoras was ashamed, as it seemed to 
me, at these words of Alcibiades, and the more so 
when CalUas requested him, together with almost 
the whole of the company ; and so he reluctantly 
prevailed on himself to take up the debate, and 

VOL. IV H 2 213 


Tpdrrero els to hiaXiyeadai /cat eKeXevev epcorav 
avTov d)S aTTOKptvoufxevos . 

EtTTOV Srj iyco, 'Q. Hpiorayopa, firj otov 8ta- 
Aeyeadat p.e aoL aXKo rt, ^ovX6p,€Vov ^ d avrog 
arropo) eKaarore, ravra SLaaKcifjaadaL. rjyov/JLai 
yap Trdvv Xeyeiv ri rov "Ofxrjpov to 

D avv re Sv' epxofievco, /cat re npo o tov evorjaev. 

evTTopcLrepoi yap ttcos dnavTes ecrp,ev ol dvOpcoTTot 
TTpos dirav epyov /cat Xoyov /cat Siavorjfxa' pLOVvos 
8' e'lTTep Te voi^ajj, auri/ca Trepucov l,rjT€L otco 
€7rt8et^7]Tai /cat /u,e0' otov ^e^atajcn^rat, eco? 
dv evTvxi)- (Lairep /cat eycb eVe/ca rovrov aoi 
■fjSecos 8iaXeyop,ai p.dXXov i^ aAAo) tlvl, rjyov- 
fMevos ere ^eXriar* dv eniaKeilfaodai /cat nepl 
E TCiJi' dXXcov irepl d>v eiKOS aKOTreZadai tov emeiKrj, 
/cat S-q /cat Trept aperrjs. rtVa yap dXXov t] ae; 
OS ye ov p,6vov avTos otet /caAo? Kayados elvaL, 
wcTTTep TLves aAAot ayrot fiev eTrtet/cet? elaiv, 
dXXovs Se ov SvvavTat TTOielv ai) 8e /cat ainds 
ay ados et /cat dXXovs otos t el TToielv dyadovs. 
/cat ovTO) TTeTTiaTevKas aavTO), ware Kal dXXu>v 
ravTTjv Tr]v Texvqv dTTOKpvTTTOfievaiv av y dva- 
349 <j)avh6v aeavTov inTOK-qpv^dp.€vos els TrdvTas tovs 
"^XXrjvas, aoi^iarrjv e7TOvop,daas, aeavTov dne- 
(f)r)vas TraiSevaecos /cat dpeTrjs SiSdcrKaXov, -npcoros 
TOVTOV pLiaddv d^Lcoaas dpvvadai. ttcos ovv ov 
ae XPW TTO-paKoXeZv errl rr^v tovtcov oKeipiv /cat 
epcorav Kal dvaKOivovadai; ovk ead^ ottcos ov. 
Kal vvv Srj iyd) CKelva, direp to TrpcoTov rjpcorcov 

1 Iliad, X, 224, 


asked to have questions put to him, since he was 
ready to answer. 

So I proceeded to say — Protagoras, do not suppose 
that I have any other desire in debating with you 
than to examine the difficulties which occur to 
myself at each point. For I hold that there is a 
good deal in what Homer ^ says — 

When two go together, one observes before the other ; 

for somehow it makes all of us human beings more 
resourceful in every deed or word or thought ; but 
if one observes something alone, forthwith one has to 
go about searching until one discovers somebody to 
whom one can show it off and who can corroborate it. 
And I also have my reason for being glad to debate 
with you rather than with anyone else ; it is that 
I regard you as the best person to investigate in 
general any matters that a sensible man may be 
expected to examine, and virtue in particular. 
Whom else should I choose but you ? Not only 
do you consider yourself a worthy gentleman, like 
sundry other people, who are sensible enough 
themselves, but cannot make others so ; but you 
are both good yourself and have the gift of making 
others good. And you are so confident of yourself 
that, while others make a secret of this art, you 
have had yourself publicly proclaimed to all the 
Greeks with the title of sophist, and have appointed 
yourself preceptor of culture and virtue, and are 
the first who has ever demanded a regular fee for 
such work. What then could I do but call upon 
you to deal with our problem both by question 
and communication ? I had no other course. So 
now with regard to those points which I have raised 



Trepl Tovrcov, TrdXiv €7ndvfj,co e^ ^PXV^ '''^ /"•^^ 

B dvafivrjadrjvai rrapd aov, rd Se cruvSiaaKeipaadaL. 
-qv 84, ws iycpfiat, to ipiorrjixa rdSe* ao(f)La /cat 
aco(f)po(Tvvr) /cat dvSpeia Kal SuKaioavvrj /cat oaioTrjg 
TTorepov ravra, irevTe ovra ovofiaTa, iirl ivl irpdy- 
jjLari ioTLV, ^ eKdarcp rwv ovofidTcov rovrcov 
UTTG/cetTat Tt? t'Stoj ovaia /cat Trpdyfia €)(ov iavrov 
hvvafxiv eKaarov, ovk ov olou to €T€pov avTOJV to 
€T€pov; €<f)rjada ovv av ovk ovofxaTa cttI evl etvai, 

C aAAa cKaoTov tSto) rrpdyp.aTL tcov ovofiaTcov tovtcov 
eTTiKeladai, irdvTa 8e raura fiopia etvai dperrjs, 
ovx ios rd Tov -/^pvaov fxopia djxoid iaTiv dXX-qXois 

■^ Kal TO) oXto ov fxopia ioTiv, oAA' eels' to, tov rrpo- 
awTTov fxopia /cat to) oAo) ov jxopid icrnv /cat oAAt^- 
XoLs dvofioia, tStai/ e/cacrra Svvap,iv e^ovra. raura 
€1 fM€v aoL So/cet €Tt cooTTep t6t€, <f)d6i' el Se oAAoj? 
77COS, TOVTO Stdpicrat, ajj eycoye ovSev aoi VTToXoyov 
TidefjuaL, idv ttj] dXXr) vvv (f>T^arjS' ov yap dv davfid- 

D ^oLfJii, et t6t€ dTTOTTeipaypievos jxov raura eXeyes. 
'AAA' eyu) aoi, €(f>rj, Xiyoi, & TicoKpaTes, ort 
raCra TrdvTa p^opia fiev icrnv dpcTrjs, /cat Ta fiev 
TCTTapa avTcov eTneiKCJS TTapaTrXrjaia oAAi^Aot? 
ioTiv, 17 Se dvhpeia iravv ttoXv hia^ipov TrdvTOiv 
TOVTCOV. cSSe Se yvcoaei ort eyoj dXr]9i] Xeyoj' 

€Vpi]G€lS ydp TToXXovg tcov dvdpCOTTOJV d8LKa>TdTOVS 

fjLev ovTas Kal dvoGLcoTaTovs Kal dKoXaaTOTaTovs 
Kal dixadeoTaTov^, dvhpeioTdTovs Se Sta^e/DovTaj?. 
E "^x^ ^V> '^4'W ^y^' d^Lov ydp rot eTrtcr/ce^acr^at 
o Ae'yet?. TTOTepov tovs dvSpeLOvg dappaXeovs 
Ae'yet? rj dXXo rt; Kat ira? ye, ecftr], e<f> d ol ttoXXol 

» Cf. 329 c foU. 


on the subject in my opening questions, I desire 
to be reminded of some by you and to have your 
help in investigating others. The question, I 
believe, was this : ^ Are the five names of wisdom , 
temperance, courage. Justice, and holiness attached 
to one thing, or underlying each ot tliese names /y ^e 
is tftere a distinct existence or thing that has its 
own particula r function, each thing being different 
f rom lh6 others f And your answer was that tKe y 
are not nam es iittached to one thing, but that each 
ot these names applies to a distinct thing, and tha t 
all these are parts ol \irtue ; not like the p ^ ifts o f 
gold, which are similar to each other and to the 
whole (it which they are parts, but like the parts of 
t ne tace- rlis'^imil ar to the ^vhr>1p »f ^^-hinh th^y orf» 
p arts and to each other, and ear ]] ftn\nr\g a rlistinrt 
function. If you still hold the same opinion of them, 
say so ; if you have a new one, define what it is, 
for I make no objection to your replying now on 
other lines. Indeed I should not be surprised if you 
were merely experimenting upon me when you 
spoke before. 

Well, Socrates, he replied, I say that all these 
are parts of virtue, and that while four of them are 
fairly on a par with each other, courage is something 
vastly different from all the rest. You may perceive 
the truth of what I say from this : you will find many 
people extremely unjust, unholy, dissolute, and 
ignorant, and yet pre-eminently courageous. 

Stop now, I said : we must duly examine what 
you say. Do you call courageous men bold, or 
something else ? 

Yes, and impetuous also, he rephed, where most 
men fear to tread. 



(jiopovvrai, levai. Oe'pe 8ij, ttjv aperrjv KaXov ri 
(f>7]£ elvai, Kal ws KaXov ovtos avTov crv hihaaKoKov 
aavTov rrapex^Ls; KaAAtaroi' fiev oSv, €(f)r], et 
fiT] fxalvofial ye. Uorepov ovv, rjv S' eyco, to puiv 
Ti avrov alaxpov, ro 8e rt KaXov, iq oXov koXov; 

OXov 7TOV KaXov CVS olov re pidXiaTa. Otada ovv 
350 TLV€S els TO. (f>p€ara KoXvfi^coai dappaXeojs ; 

Eycoye, ori ol KoXvpL^-qraL. Yiorepov Stort em- 
aravrai •>) 8t' aAAo ti; "On emcrTavTat. Tives 8e 
ttTTO rCbv iTTTTCJV TToXepbelv dappaXeoi elai; TTorepov 

ol LTTTTLKol iq Ol acfuTTTTOL ; Ot ItTTTLKOL. Tlv€S Se 

TTcXras exovres; ol TreXraariKol rj ol pufj; Ot 
TTeXraariKoL /cat ra aAAa ye iravra, et rovro 
^■qrels, ^(f>f]} ol eTnar-q (Moves tcov p,rj eTTLarafjievcov 
OappaXecorepol elai, /cat auTot eafTcDi', e77etSaj^ 

B fJiddcoaLV, T] TTplv fjLaOelv. "HSrj 8e Tiva? ecopa/caj, 
€(f)'r]v, Trdvrojv rovrcov dvemarripiovas ovras, dap- 
povvras 8e irpos eKacrra rovrcov; "Etycoye, ■^ 8' os, 
Koi Xiav ye dappovvras. Ovkovv ol dappaXeoi 
ovroi /cat dvhpeZoL elaiv ; Alcrxpov puivr dv, e(f>7], 
€17) r] dvhpeia' errel oSroi ye fiaivofievot elaiv. IT a)? 
ovv, e<^7]V eyco, Xeyeis rovs dvhpeiovs; ovx} rovs 

C dappaXeovs elvai; Kat vvv y , e(f>r]. Ovkovv 



Well now, do you say that virtue is a good thing, 
and of this good thing offer yourself as teacher ? 

Nay, it is the best of things, he said, unless I am 
out of my senses. 

Then is one part of it base and another good, 
or is the whole good ? 

Surely the whole is good in the highest possible 

Now do you know who dive boldly into wells ? 

I do ; divers. 

Is this because they have knowledge, or for some 
other reason ? 

Because they have knowledge. 

And who are bold in going to war on horseback — 
those who are practised horsemen, or those who are 

Practised horsemen. 

And who with bucklers — buckler-men, or those 
who are not ? 

Buckler-men : and so with all other cases, he went 
on, if that is your point ; those who have knowledge 
are bolder than those who lack it, and individually 
they are bolder when they have learnt than before 

But you must have seen at times, I said, persons 
who are without knowledge of any of these affairs, 
yet behaving boldly in each of them. 

I have, he said, and very boldly too. 

Then are these bold ones courageous also ? 

Nay, that would make courage a base thing, he 
replied ; for those you speak of are out of their senses. 

What then, I asked, do you mean by courageous 
men ? Surely the same as bold men ? 

Yes, I do still, he said. 



ovToi, "^v S i'y<o, ol ovTCt) dappaXioi ovreg ovk 
avhpeloL aAAa fiaivofxevoi (f)aLvovrai; koI e/cet av 
ol ao<j)(x)raroL ovroi /cat dappaXeuiraroi elai, dappa- 
AeceJTaTOt 8e ovres dvSpeLorarot ; Kal Kara rovrov 
TOP Xoyov 7) ao(f)La av avhpeia e'lrj; Ov KaXibg, €(f)T], 
fMvrjfioveveis, t5 YiUiKpares , a eAeyov re Kal dneKpi- 
vofxrjv aoL. eytoye ipajrrjdels vno aov, el ol avSpetot 
OappaXeoi elaiv, ojfioXoyrjcra' el 8e /cat ol dappaXeoi 
dvhpeZoi, OVK rjpcDT-qdrjv el yap fie rore rjpov, 
D eiTTov dv on ov iravTes' tovs Se dvhpeiovs cos ov 
OappaXeoL etcrt, to e/xov ofMoXoyqfjLa ouSafiov 
eirdSei^as ws ovk opdcos cofjLoXoyrjaa. eneiTa rovs 
eTTiarajxevovs avrovs eavrojv OappaXecorepov? 
ovras (XTTO^atVet? /cat ^17 eTTiarafievcov dXXojv, Kal 
ev rovTcp oiet rr]v avSpeiav Kal rrjv ao(f>iav ravrov 
etvai' rovrcp Se ro) rpoirq) jxerLoyv Kal rrjV la^vv 
olrideirjs av elvai (jO(f>Lav. Trpcbrov p,ev yap el ovto) 
jierid)v epoLo pue ei ot taxvpoi Swaroi elai, cfyairjv av 
E eVetra, et ot eTTLorap^evoL TraXaieiv Swarcorepoi elai 
ra)V piT] eTTiarapievcov TraXaieLV Kal avrol avTciJv, 
evretSav piddcoaLV, t) Trplv p^adelv, <l)airiv av ravra 
8e ipbov opLoXoy-qaavTos e^eir] dv oot, ;^/3a)/xeva) rot? 
auTot? TeKp,7]pLots rovTois, Xeyeiv cos Kara ttjv epurjv 
opLoXoyiav rj ao(j)ia earlv laxvs- eyd) Se ovSapbov 
ouS' evravda 6p.oXoya) Tovg Svvarovs la^vpovs 
elvai, TOVS pievTOi lax^povs SvvaTovs' ov yap 
351 ravTov elvai Swa/utV re /cat la^vv, dXXd to pLev 
Kal dno eTnaTTjpbrjs ylyveadaL, ttjv hvvapnv, Kal 
0,776 pLovias ye Kal Ovp-ov, la^vv Se drro (f)va€cos 
Kal evTpo<f)Las tcov acopLaTcov. ovtco Se /cd/cei ov 



Then these men, I went on, who are so brave, are 
found to be not courageous but mad ? And in those 
former cases our wisest men are boldest too, and 
being boldest are most courageous ? And on this 
reasoning, wisdom will be courage ? 

You do not rightly recall, Socrates, what I stated 
in replying to you. When you asked me whether 
courageous men are bold, I admitted it : I was not 
asked whether bold men are courageous. Had you 
asked me this before, I should have said — " Not all." 
And as to proving that courageous men are not 
bold, you have nowhere pointed out that I was 
\vrong in my admission that they are. Next you 
show that such persons individually are bolder 
when they have knowledge, and bolder than others 
who lack it, and therewith you take courage and 
veisdom to be the same : proceeding in this manner 
you might even take strength to be wisdom. On 
this method you might begin by asking me whether 
the strong are powerful, and I should say " Yes " ; 
and then, whether those who know how to WTCStle 
are more powerful than those who do not know how 
to wrestle, and whether individually they are more 
powerful when they have learnt than before learning, 
and I should say " Yes." And on my admitting 
these points it would be open to you to say, by the 
same token, that according to my admission wisdom 
is strength. But neither there nor elsewhere do I 
admit that the powerful are strong, only that the 
strong are powerful ; for I hold that power and 
strength are not the same, but that one of them., 
power, comes from knowledge, or from madness or 
rage, whereas strength comes from constitution and 
fit nurture of the body. So, in the other instance, 



ravTov cti'ai ddpaos re /cat dvSpetav u)aT€ avfj,' 
paivet, rovg ^xev dvSpeiov? dappaXeovs elvai, fxrj 
fievTOt Tovs ye dappaXiovs dvSpetovs Travra?* ddpaos 
fx.€V yap KOi diTO rexvrjg yiyverai dv9pa)7Tots Kal 

B aTTO dvjxov ye koX dirb fxavtag, oiairep rj Svvafjug, 
avopeca 8e dvo (fyvaecos Kal evrpotjiias twv ipv)(a)v 

Ae'yet? Se riva^y e(f)7]Vy c5 ITpcurayd/oa, ra>v 
av$pco7Tcov €v t,fjv, TOVS 8e /ca/ccD? ; ''l^<j>r]. *Ap 
ovv 8o/cet aoi dvdpojTros dv €v ^yjv, el dvLcofievos re 
Kal oSvva)fxevos t,a)r] ; Ovk e^rj. Tt S', et rjSecos 
^Lovs TOP ^iov reXevrrjaeiev , ovk eS dv aoi hoKel 
ovTOis ^e^tcoKevat ; "E/xoiy', e(f>r]. To fxev dpa 

C TjSecos t,fjv dyadov, ro S' aT^ScDs" KaKov ; Et7re/3 rots 
KaXoZs y , ^^V> ^VV rjSofxevos. Tt 817, db Ilpcor- 
ayopa; firj Kal av, wairep ol ttoXXoL, rjhea drra 
KaXels /ca/ca /cat at'iaioa. dyadd; iyd) yap Xeyco, 
Kad o rjhia eariv, dpa Kara rovro ovk dyadd, fxif] 
et ri drr* avrcbv dTTO^rjaerai dXXo; Kal au^t? av 
ra aviapd (haavrois ovrcos ov Kad^ oaov ai'tapa, 
KaKd; Ovk olSa, c5 HcoKpares, €(f)r], dTrAa*? ovrcDs, 

J) d)S (TV epcoras, el ifjuol diroKpLreov eariv, (vs ra rjSea 
re dyadd eariv dnavra Kal ra dviapd KaKd' dXXa 
fxoi 80/cet ov fiovov TTpos rrjv vvv dTTOKpiaiv ejtxot 
da(f)aXearepov elvai dTTOKpivaadai, dXXa /cat rrpos 
Trdvra rov dXXov ^iov rov ifiov, on eari fiev a rcov 
rjS€a>v OVK eariv dyadd, eari 8' ai5 /cat a tcDv 



boldness and courage are not the same, and therefore 
it results that the courageous are bold, but not that 
the bold are courageous ; for boldness comes to a 
man from art, or from rage or madness, like power, 
whereas courage comes from constitution and fit 
nurture of the soul. 

Do you speak of some men, Protagoras, I asked, as 
living well, and others ill ? 


Then do you consider that a man would live well 
if he lived in distress and anguish ? 

No, he said. 

Well now, if he lived pleasantly and so ended his 
Hfe, would you not consider he had thus contrived 
to live well ? 

I would, he said. 

And, I suppose, to live pleasantly is good, and 
unpleasantly, bad ? 

Yes, he said, if one Uved in the enjoyment of 
honourable things. 

But, Protagoras, will you tell me you agree with 
the majority in calling some pleasant things bad 
and some painful ones good ? I mean to say — Are 
not things good in so far as they are pleasant, putting 
aside any other result they may have ; and again, 
are not painful things in just the same sense bad — 
in so far as they are painful ? 

I cannot tell, Socrates, he replied, whether I am to 
answer, in such absolute fashion as that of your 
question, that all pleasant things are good and 
painful things bad : I rather think it safer for me 
to reply, with a view not merely to my present 
answer but to all the rest of my hfe, that some 
pleasant things are not good, and also that some 



dviapcov OVK €.ari /ca/ca, eari S' a can, koI rpirov 
a ovSerepa, ovre /ca/ca ovt* dyadd. *H8ea 8c 
KaXels, "^v S' iyo), ov rd rjSovrjs fierexovra ^ 
E TTOiovvra 7)8ovi]v; Yldvv y , €(f>rj. Tovto roivvv 
Xeyco, Kad" oaov i^Sea i.Griv, el ovk dyadd, rrjv 
rjSovfjv avrrjv epojTcijv el ovk dyaOov eariv. "Qcnrep 
av XeyeLS, 'i<t>'r], eKaaTore, (L Sco/c/oare?, aKOTTOip,eda 
avTo, /cat idv /Ltei^TT/aos" Xoyov Sokt] etvai, to aKefJLjxa 
Kal TO avTo <f)aLvrjTai -qSv re /cai dyadov, avyxoipf]- 
ao/jLeda' el 8e /xij, t6t€ rjSrj dfjL(f)La^r]T'qaojj,ev . 
YloTepov ovv, rjv 8' iya>, av ^ovXei rjyepLoveveiv rfjs 
OKeipecDS, •»} iyoj rjycbfiai, ; At/caio?, ^<l>'^> o''^ 
Tjyeladai,' av yap /cat KaTdpyei^ tov Xoyov. *Ap' 
352 ovv, "^v 8* eyco, TfjSe Ttj) KaTa<f)aves dv rjfiZv yevono; 
wairep et rt? dvdpcoTTov aKoircbv e/c tov ethovs rj 
TTpos vyieiav •^ Trpos dXXo rt twv tov acofiaTos 
epyoiv, lSd)V TO irpoawTTOV /cat Ta? ^J^Zpas aKpas 
eiTTOL- Wl Sri pLOi, dnoKaXvipas Kal ra aTrjOr) /cat to 
[jLeTd<f)pevov eTrihei^ov, Iva eTTLaKei/jcofiai aa^eoTepov 
/cat iyd} ToiovTov tl ttoOco Trpos ttjv aKCipw deaad- 
pLevos OTt ovTco? ex^'^ Trpog to dyadov /cat to rjSv, 
ojs <^?7?j 8eo/xat tolovtov tl elTreZv Wl hrj fxoL, co 
Tlpa)Tay6pa, /cat roSe Ti]s 8tavota? diroKoXvifiov 
B Tra)? ^X^''^ 77/30? e7TLaTT^p,r]v ; iroTepov /cat tovto aoL 
hoKeZ oia-nep toZs ttoXXoZs dvdpcoTTOLs, t] dXXcos; 

BoKct 8e TOZS TToAAotS' TTepi €7TiaT-qp,r]£ TOLOVTOV TL, 

OVK laxvpov oi58' rjyepovtKov oyS' dp^LKOv etvat- 


painful things are not bad, and some are, while a 
third class of them are indifferent — neither bad nor 

You call pleasant, do you not, I asked, things that 
partake of pleasure or cause pleasure ? 

Certainly, he said. 

So when I put it to you, whether things are not 
good in so far as they are pleasant, I am asking 
whether pleasure itself is not a good thing. 

Let us examine the matter, Socrates, he said, 
in the form in which you put it at each point, and if 
the proposition seems to be reasonable, and pleasant 
and good are found to be the same, we shall agree 
upon it ; if not, we shall dispute it there and then. 

And would you like, I asked, to be leader in the 
inquiry, or am I to lead ? 

You ought to lead, he replied, since you are the 
inaugurator of this discussion. 

Well then, I proceeded, will the following example 
give us the light we need ? Just as, in estimating a 
man's health or bodily efficiency by his appearance, 
one might look at his face and the lower part of his 
arms and say : Come now, uncover your chest too 
and your back and show them, that I may examine 
you thoroughly — so the same sort of desire comes 
over me in regard to our inquiry. Observing your 
condition to be as you describe in respect of the 
good and the pleasant, I am fain to say something 
like this : Come, my good Protagoras, uncover 
some more of your thoughts : how are you in regard 
to knowledge ? Do you share the view that most 
people take of this, or have you some other ? The 
opinion generally held of knowledge is something 
of this sort — that it is no strong or gmding or govem- 



ovoe cos Trepl tolovtov avrov ovros hiavoovvrai, dAA' 
evovcrqs 77oAAa/<"t? dvOpdoTTO) eTTtaTijfMTjs ov rrjv cttl- 
aTT]jji,r)v avTov dpx^t-v, aAA' aAAo n. Tore jxkv dvpiov, 
rork 8e r^hovrjv, rore he XvTTrjv, eviore he epcora, 
TroAAa/ct? he (l)6^ov, dTe)(ya)s hiavoovixevoi Trepl rrjs 

C eTTLaTTqpLTjs , ojaiTep Trepl dvhpaTroSov, TrepLeXKOfMevrjs 
VTTO Tcov dXXtov aTTavTcov. dp' ovv Kal aol toiovtov 
Tt nepl avrrjs hoKeZ, r^ koXov re elvai rj eTnGrrjix-q koL 
OLOv dpxeiv rov dvdpcoTTOv, Kal eavrrep ytyvioaKj) 
ris rdyadd Kal rd KaKa, fxr) dv Kparrjdrjvai vtto 
p,r]hev6s, ojcrre d'AA' drra rrpdrreiv r] dv -^ e7narrjp.rj 
KeXevT], oAA' iKavrjv elvai rrjv (^povrjcrLV ^or^delv rw 
dvdpojTTcp; Kat hoKeZ, e(f)r], axnrep cri) Xeyecs, (3 

D HtcoKpareSy Kal d/xa, elrrep ra> dXXw, alaxpdv eari 
Kat, e/jLOL ao(f)Lav Kal eTnari]p,rjv firj ov^l Travrcov 
Kpdriarov (fidvai elvai rcov dvdpojTreia)v Trpayjxdrcov. 
KaAcD? ye, e(j)r]v iyco, av Xeycov Kal dXrjdrj. olada 
ovv on oc TToXXoL rojv dvdpdiTTcov ep.oi re Kal aol ov 
TTeidovrat, dXXd ttoXXovs cf)aai yiyvcdaKovras rd 
^eXriara ovk ideXeiv rrpdrreiv, e^dv avrois, dAAd 
dAAa TTparreiv Kal daovs hrj eyd) rjpo/jLrjv 6 ri 
TTore a'lriov eari rovrov, vtto rjhovijg ^acnv Tjrroj- 

E fxevovs ^ XvTT-qg -^ cov vvv hrj eyd) eXeyov vtto rivos 
rovrcov Kparovfievovs ravra TToieiv rovs TTOiovvras . 
IloAAd ydp oipiai, e(^y}, co HcoKpares, Kal dXXa ovk 
opdojs Xeyovaiv oi dvdptoTTOi. "Wi hrj fier^ ifxov 
eTTix^iprjaov Treideiv rovs dvdpojTTOVS Kal hihdoKeiv 
d ear IV avrois rovro rd TTddos, d <j)aaiv vtto ra>v 
353 'f]hovd}v rirrdadai Kal ov Trpdrreiv Sid ravra rd 


ing thing ; it is not regarded as anything of that 
kind, but people think that, while a m an often 
has knowledge in him, he is not gover ned J^X -it»--j^^ 
'b nt~l5y~ somethmg else — now by passion, now b y /K^ 
pleasure, now by pain, at times by love, and often 
trrfear ; their feel mg aPout knowledge is just wh at 
they h£ rv:e-ab6ut a siave, that it may be dragge d 
abuul by any <J fff^r^orc'e. JNow do you agree with 
this vierr of it, or do you consider that knowledge 
is something noble and able to govern man, and 
that whoever learns what is good and what is bad 
mil never be swayed by anything to act otherwise 
than as knowledge bids, and that intelligence is a 
sufficient succouf for mankind ? 

My view, Socrates, he replied, is precisely that 
which you express, and what is more, it would be a 
disgrace for me above all men to assert that wisdom 
and knowledge were aught but the highest of all 
human things. 

Well and truly spoken, I said. Now you know 
that most people vnW not listen to you and me, 
but say that many, while knowing what is best, refuse 
to perform it, though they have the power, and do 
other things instead. And whenever I have asked 
them to tell me what can be the reason of this, they 
say that those who act so are acting under the 
influence of pleasure or pain, or under the control 
of one of the things I have just mentioned. 

Yes, Socrates, he replied, I regard this as but 
one of the many erroneous sayings of mankind. 

Come then, and join me in the endeavour to 
persuade the world and explain what is this 
experience of theirs, which they call " being over- 
come by pleasure," and which they give as the 



jSeArtara, CTret yiyviiyoKeiv ye avrd. tacos yap av 
XeyovTcov 'Qficbv on ovk opdcos Xeyere, a) dudpajTroi, 
dXXa i/jevSeaOe, epoivr av rjfids' cL Ylpcorayopa re 
KOL TicoK pares, el p,rj eari rovro ro 7Tddrjp,a rjSo- 
vrjs TjrrdaOai, dAAo, ri ttot' eari, /cat re vjxels avro 
<f)are elvai; etnarov rjfjLLV. Tt Se, c5 HioKpares, 
Set Tj/' OKorteladai rr)v rcjv ttoXXcov ho^av 

B dv6pco7ro)V, ot 6 ri av Ty;^a»CTt rovro Xeyovaiv ; Ql- 
fiai, r^v 8' ey(x}, elvai ri rjp.iv rovro irpos ro e^evpeZv 
TTepl dvSpeias, rrpos raAAa pLopia rd rrjs dperrjs rrcog 
TTor ex^'* ^^ ^^^^ ^°^ So/cei epp.eveLV olg dpri 
eSo^ev rjpZv, ep.e rjyqoaadaL, fj olpat av eycoye 
KaXXiara (jjavepov yeveadai, e-nov el 8e p-q ^ovXet,, 
el aoi <f>iXov, eco ;^at/)ett'. 'AAA', e<^^, dpdcog 
Xeyets' Kal irepaive coanep rjp^o). 

Q YldXLV roivvv, e(f)rjv eyo), el epoivro rjp.ds' ri ovv 
^are rovro elvai, o -^pbeXs TJrra) elvai rojv rjSovojv 
eXeyopev ; eiTToip' av eyutye irpos avrovs c68t* 
dKovere S-q' TreipaGop.eda yap vplv eym re Kal 
Upcorayopas <^pdaai. ctAAo ri ydp, tS dvdpcDTToi, 
<f>are vpZv rovro yiyveadai ev roZahe, olov ttoX- 
XaKis VTTO aircov /cat TTorcov /cat d(f)poSLaicov Kparov- 
pevoi TjSecvv ovrcov, yiyvcoaKovres on 7TOV7]pd iariv 
opa)s avrd rrpdrreiv; Oatei' dv. Ovkovv epoLp,ed' 
av avrovs eyco re /cat ai) TrdXiv Trovrjpd Se aura 

J) TTT] <f>are elvai; norepov on rrfv tjSovtjv ravrrjv ev 
rep TTapaxprjpa Trapex^i /cat rjSv eariv eKaarov 
avrcov, rj on eis rov varepov )(p6vov voaovs re 
TTOiel /cat TTCvias /cat aAAa roiavra TToXXd napa- 


reason why they fail to do what is best though 
they have knowledge of it. For perhaps if we said 
to them : What you assert, good people, is not 
correct, but quite untrue — they might ask us : 
Protagoras and Socrates, if this experience is not 
" being overcome by pleasure " what on earth is it, 
and what do you call it ? Tell us that. 

Why, Socrates, must we consider the opinion of 
the mass of mankind, who say just what occurs to 
them ? 

Lfa ncy, I re plied, that t his will be a step towa rds 
disc overing ho w courage is related to the other par ts 
o f virtue. So if you think fit to abide by the arrange- 
ment we made a while ago — that I should lead in 
the direction which seems best for elucidating the 
matter — you must now follow ; but if you would 
rather not, to suit your wishes I will let it pass. 

No, he said, your plan is quite right : go on to the 
end as you began. 

Once more then, I proceeded, suppose they should 
ask us : Then what do you call this thing which we 
described as " being overcome by pleasures " ? 
The answer I should give them would be this : 
Please attend ; Protagoras and I will try to explain 
it to you. Do you not say that this thing occurs, 
good people, in the common case of a man being 
overpowered by the pleasantness of food or drink 
or sexual acts, and doing what he does though he 
knows it to be wicked ? They would admit it. 
Then you and I would ask them again : In what 
sense do you call such deeds wicked ? Is it that 
they produce those pleasures and are themselves 
pleasant at the moment, or that later on they cause 
diseases and poverty, and have many more such ills 



aKevd^ci; rj Kav et rt tovtcjov ei? to varepov fXTjoev 
7Tapa(TK€vd^€i,, \aipeLv Se p,6vov Troiet, opiOig 8' av 
KaKo. riv, on [xadovra ;\;aipett' TTOtet /cat otttjovu; 
dp^ olofied^ av avTOV?, co Ylpcorayopa, dXXo ti 
OLTTOKpivaadat, rj on ov Kara rrju avTrjs rrjg rjSovrjs 
E TTJ^ 7Tapaxpy}P'0' ipyamav KaKO. eanv, dAAa hid ra 
varepov yiyvop^eva, voaov; re /cat raAAa. Kyco 
p-kv otp,ai, e(f>-q 6 Upcorayopas, rovg ttoXXov? dv 
ravra diroKpivaaQat. Ovkovv voaovg rroLovuTa 
dvias TTOiet, /cat irevia^ TToiovvra at'ia? TToiel; 
354 opLoXoyolev dv, cos eyoi/xat. Yivve(j)r) 6 ITpajr- 
ayopas. Ovkovv (^atVerat, w dvdpcoTTOt, vpXv, cus" 
(f)ap,€v iyo) re /cat npcurayopas', St' ovbev aAAo 
rayra /ca/ca ovra, •>} Stori et? arta? re dTToreXevra 
/cat ctAAoji' i^Soi^cut' aTToarepei; opoXoyolev av; 
HvveSoKeL rjpilv dp<f)OLV. Ovkovv TrdXiv dv avrovs 
ro evavrlov el epoip,eQa- d) dvdpa)TTOL ol Xeyovres 
av dyaOd dviapd elvai, dpa ov rd roiaSe Xeyire, 
olov rd re yvp,vdaLa /cat rds arpareias /cat ra? 
VTTO rd)v larpdjv OepaTveias rds Sta Kavaecvv re /cat 
rop^djv /cat (f)app,aK€LdJv /cat XipoKroviwv ytyvo- 
p,evas, on ravra dy add p,ev eanv, dviapd 8e; 
B <j)alev dv; HvvehoKei. Ylorepov ovv Kard roSe 
aya^ct aura KoXeZre, on ev ro) Trapaxp^p-o. dhvvas 
rds iaxdras irapex^t' kol dXyrihova's, rj on, et? rov 
varepov xpovov vyieiai re an avrdjv ycyvovrai /cat 
eve^lai rcov ao)p,dra)v /cat rcov TToXeayv acor-qpLai 
Kal dXXcDV dpxcd /cat nXovroi; (f>aLev dv, cu? iycppai. 


in store for us ? Or, even though they have none 
of these things in store for a later day, and cause 
us only enjoyment, would they still be evil just 
because, forsooth, they cause enjoyment in some way 
or other ? Can we suppose, Protagoras, that they 
will make any other answer than that these things 
are evil, not according to the operation of the actual 
pleasure of the moment, but owing to the later 
results in disease and those other ills ? 

I think, said Protagoras, that most people would 
answer thus. 

Then in causing diseases they cause pains ? And 
in causing poverty they cause pains ? They would 
admit this, I imagine. 

Protagoras agreed. 

Then does it seem to you, my friends, as Protagoras 
and I assert, that the only reason why these things 
are evil is that they end at last in pains, and deprive 
us of other pleasures ? Would they admit this ? 

We both agreed that they would. 

Then again, suppose we should ask them the 
opposite : You, sirs, who tell us on the other 
hand that good things are painful — do you not give 
such instances as physical training, military service, 
and medical treatment conducted by cautery, 
incision, drugs, or starvation, and say that these are 
good, but painful ? Would they not grant it ? 

He agreed that they would. 

Then do you call them good because they produce 
extreme pangs and anguish for the moment, or 
because later on they result in health and good 
bodily condition, the deliverance of cities, dominion 
over others, and wealth ? They would assent to 
this, I suppose. 



HvvcSoKci. Tayra 8e dyaOd iari. Si' aAAo rt, rj 
on els TjSovds dTToreXevra Kai Xvttojv aTraXXayds 
re Koi diTOTpoTrds ; ■>} e;\;eTe n dXXo reXog Xeyeiv, 

C els o dTTO^XeipavTes avrd dyadd KaXelre, dAA' <7}>f 
rjbovds re koI XvTras; ovk dv <^aZev, cos eyw/jLai. 
Ou8' enol So/cet, e(f)7] 6 Upojrayopas. Ovkovv 
rrjv fjLev rjSovrju hiojKere (hs dyadov 6v, rrjv Se 
XvTTTjv <j>evyere cos KaKov; HvveSoKei. Tout' dpa 
"qyelad^ elvat KaKov, rrjV Xv7T7]v, koI dyadov rrjv 
-^Sov-qv, 67761 Kol avro ro ;(atpeiv rore Xeyere 
KaKov elvai, orav fxei^ovcov rjSovcov dTToarepfj rj 
oaas avro ex^i, rj Ayvra? ^leit^ovs TrapacrKevd^rj rcov 

D ev avrco rjSovcov' eTrel el Kar dXXo ri avro ro 
XaipeLV KaKov KoXelre Koi els aAAo n reXos arro- 
^Xeifjavres, exoire dv /cat Ty/ztv elTreiv aAA' ovx 
e^ere. OuS' epiol SoKovatv, e^n] 6 Ylpcorayopas- 
"AAAo Tt ovv ttoXlv /cat irepl avrov rov XvTretadai 6 
avros rpoTTos; rore KaXeZre avro ro XvireZcrdaL 
dyadov, orav -^ fxel^ovs XvTras rcov ev avrco ovachv 
dTTaXXdrrj) iq p.eit,ovs rjhovds rotv Xvttojv napa- 
aKevdt,rj; eirel el Trpos aAAo ri reXos drro^XeTrere, 

E orav KaXrjre avro ro XvTreZadai dyadov, rf npos o 
iych Xeyco, e^ere tjijlZv elTreZv oAA' ovx ^i^'^^- 
^AXT]6rj, 6017, Ae'yet?, o Ilpcorayopas. HdXiv 
roLVVV, e(j)T)v eyci), el fie dvepotaOe, aj dvOpcoTTOi, 
rivos OVV hrjTTore ere/ca ttoAAo. Trept rovrov Ae'yet? 
/cat TToXXaxfi; avyyiyvcLaKere /ioi, <f>aLr]v dv eycoye. 

* rj add. Stephanus. 


He agreed. 

And are these things good for any other reason 
than that they end at last in pleasures and relief 
and riddance of pains ? Or have you some other 
end to mention, with respect to which you call them 
good, apart from pleasures and pains ? They could 
not find one, I fancy. 

I too think they could not, said Protagoras. 

Then do you pursue pleasure as being a good 
thing, and shun pain as being a bad one ? 

He agreed that we do. 

So one thing you hold to be bad — pain ; and 
. pleasure you hold to be good, since the very act of 
enjoying you call bad as soon as it deprives us of 
greater pleasures than it has in itself, or leads to 
greater pains than the pleasxu-es it contains. For 
if it is with reference to something else that you 
call the act of enjoyment bad, and with a view to 
some other end, you might be able to tell it us ; 
but this you will be unable to do. 

I too think that they cannot, said Protagoras. 

Then is not the same thing repeated in regard to 
the state of being pained ? You call being pained 
a good thing as soon as it either rids us of greater 
pains than those it comprises, or leads to greater 
pleasures than its pains. Now if you have in view 
some other end than those which I mention when 
you call being pained good, you can tell it us ; but 
you never can. 

Truly spoken, said Protagoras. 

Once more then, I proceeded ; if you were to 
ask me, my friends, Now why on earth do you 
speak at such length on this point, and in so many 
ways ? I should reply, Forgive me : in the first 



TTpcorov fxev yap ov paSiov avoSeL^ai, rt ioTL rrore 
TovTo, o v/xeis KaXetre rcov rjBovcov rJTTOj elvar 
€7T€iTa €v Tovro) clal TTaaai at aTroSetfets". oAA' 
€Tt Ktti vvv dvadeadai e^eariv, el ttj] e^^re aXXo tl 
355 (f)dvaL etvai ro dyadov -q rrjv rjSov^v, 7) to KaKov 
ctAAo Tl 7) rrjv dviav, r^ dpKel Vfxiv ro rjSeojg Kara- 
^LoJvaL Tov ^iov dv€v XvTTibv; el 8e dpKeZ kol 
/jLrj ex€T€ jJLTjSev dXXo <f)dvaL etvat dyadov rj KaKov, 
o ^7) €LS ravra reXevTa, ro /xerd rovro dKovere. 
(f)r}fxl yap vplv rovrov ovrcog e^ovro^ yeXolov rov 
Xoyov yiyveadaL, orav Xlyiqre, on TroAAa/cts" yiyviL- 
CKOjv rd KaKa dvdpcoTTOS, on Ka/ca ianv, ofia)? 
TTparrec avrd, i^ov jxrj rrpdrreiv, vtto rcjbv -qhovcov 
B ayop.evo's Kal iKTrXrjrrofievos . Kal avdis av Xeyere, 
on, yiyvcxjGKCov 6 dvOpconos rdyadd rrpdrreiv ovk 
edeXei Sia rds 7Tapa)(^prjiJ,a rjSovds, vtto rovrcov 
'qmLpievos . 

Q.S Se ravra yeXold ean, KardSrjXov eqrai, eav 
jjiT] TToXXolg ovojJLaai ;^p6u/ie^a a/ta, T^Set re /cai 
aviapco Kal dyaOo) Kal KaKw, dAA' eTretSr) 8vo 
€(f)dv7j ravra, Svotv Kal ovofiaat, Trpoaayopevcvfi^v 
avrd, TTpdirov fiev dyadw Kal KaKO), eTreira avdis 
ijSet T€ Kal dviapo). defievoi 8r) ovrco Xeycofiev, 
C on yiyvcjoKOiv 6 dvdpanros rd KaKa on /ca/ca 
eanv, o/xaj? avrd TroieZ. eav ovv n^ rj/JLas ep-qrai, 
hid ri, rjrrcL)p,evos , ^rjaop^ev vird rov; eKelvos 
eprjaerai ripbds' 8e vtto p-ev rjSovrjs ovKen 
e^eanv etTTetv dXXo ydp 6vop,a p,ereLXr)(f)ev dvn 
rrjs 'qSovrjg ro dyaOov eKeivcp Srj dTTOKptvcop^eda Kai 
Xeywpev, on 7)rra)p,evos. vtto rlvos; (fyiqaeL' rov 
dyadov, ^rjaop,ev vrj At'a. av ovv rvxij d ep6p.evos 
•^fxas v^pt(jrr]s oiV, yeXdaerai /cat epeZ' ri yeXoZov 


place, it is not easy to conclude what it is that you 
mean when you say " overcome by pleasures " ; 
and secondly, on this point hang all our conclusions 
But it is still quite possible to retract, if you can 
somehow contrive to say that the good is different 
from pleasure, or the bad from pain. Is it enough 
for you to live out your life pleasantly, without 
pain ? If it is, and you are unable to tell us of any 
other good or e\il that does not end in pleasure or 
pain, listen to what I have to say next. I tell you 
that if this is so, the argument becomes absurd, 
when you say that it is often the case that a man , 
kn owing tne e\'11 to be evil, nevertheless comm its 
it, when he might avoid it, because he is driven 
and dazed by nis pleasures ; while on the othe r 
h ^d you say that a man, knowing the good, refuses 
t o~do good because of the momentary pleasures Ey 
which he is overcome. 

Ihe absurdity of all this will be manifest if we 
refrain from using a number of terms at once, such 
as pleasant, painful, good, and bad ; and as there 
appeared to be two things, let us call them by 
two names — first, good and evil, and then later on, 
pleasant and painful. Let us then lay it down as 
our statement, that a man does evil in spite of 
knowing the evil of it. Now if someone asks us : 
Why ? we shall answer : Because he is overcome. 
By what ? the questioner will ask us ; and this time 
we shall be unable to reply : By pleasure — for this 
has exchanged its name for " the good." So we 
must answer only with the words : Because he is 
overcome. By what ? says the questioner. The 
good — must surely be our reply. Now if our ques- 
tioner chance to be an arrogant person he will laugh 



D Xeyerc Trpdyfia, el TTpdrrei rig KaKO,, yLyvaxjKCov 
on, KaKa eariv, ov 8eov avrov mpdrreiv, ^rrcofxevos 
VTTO Tcov dyadcbv. dpa, ^rjaei, ovk d^ioiv ovTiov 
viKov iv vp,lv rcbv dyadojv rd KaKa, rj d^icov; 
(f)rj(70iJiev SrjXov on dTTOKpivoficvoL, on ovk d^icov 
ovroiv. o^u yap dv e^r^pLdpravev ov (f)ap,€v tJtto) 
elvat TCOV rjSovcov. Kara n Se, (ftiqaei tacos, 
dvd^td icrn rdyadd twv KaKcov -^ rd KaKa tojv 
dyadojv; ^ /car' aAAo n t] orav rd /xev fjLetl^co, rd 
8e apLLKporepa rj; rj TrXeio), rd Se iXdrroj fj; ov)( 

E e^ofiev eiTTelv aAAo •^ rovro. Si]Xov dpa, <f>'qaeL, on. 
rd Tjrrdadat rovro Xeyere, dvrl iXarrovwv dyaddjv 
jxeL^o) KaKd Xafi^dveiv. ravra jxev ovv ovrco. 
fjLcraXd^cofxev Srj rd ovopuara TrdXtv rd rjSv re koI 
dvLapov inl rots avrols rovrois, Kal Xeyaj/xev on 
dvdpcoTTos TTpdrr^L, rare fxev iXeyojxev rd KaKa, 
vvv Se Aeyco/xev rd dviapd, yiyvayaKOiv on aviapa 
icrriv, rjrrcvfievos vrrd rwv rjheuyv, SrjXov on 
356 dva^iiov ovrcov vlkov. Kal rls dXXrj dva^ia TjSovfj 
■npds XvTTTjv eariv, aAA' 7) VTrep^oXrj aXXt^Xcov /cat 
eXXeLipis; ravra S' earl p,eit,a> re /cat a/xiKpo- 
repa yiyvopieva oAAt^Aoji' /cat TrXeio) Kal eXdrrco 
Kal pidXXov Kal rjrrov. ei yap rt? Xdyot on aXXa 
TToXv Sia(f)€p€i,, (Z YiixiKpares , rd TTapaxprjp-Oi tjSv 
rov els rdv varepov xpovov Kal rjSeog Kal XvTrrjpov, 
/xcDv aAAo) ru), <f>air]v dv eycoye, t] rjSovfj Kal Xvtttj; 

B ov ydp eaO^ drco dXXco. dAA woTrep ay ados 
lardvai dvdpcoTTOs, ovvdels rd rjSea Kal crvvdeLS 
rd XvTT'qpd, Kal rd iyyvs Kal rd rroppco arrjoras ev 


and exclaim : What a ridiculous statement, that a 
man does evil, knowing it to be evil, and not having 
to do it, because he is overcome by the good ! Is 
this, he will ask, because the good is not worthy 
of conquering the evil in you, or because it is worthy ? 
Cleariy we must reply : Because it is not worthy ; 
otherwise he whom we speak of as overcome by 
pleasures would not have offended. But in what 
sense, he might ask us, is the good unworthy of the 
bad, or the bad of the good ? This can only be when 
the one is greater and the other smaller, or when 
there are more on the one side and fewer on the 
other. We shall not find any other reason to give. 
So it is clear, he will say, that-by " being overcome " 
you mean getting the greater evil in exchange for 
the lesser good. That must be agreed. Then let 
us apply the terms " pleasant " and " painful " 
to these things instead, and say that a man does 
what we previously called evil, but now call painful, 
knowing it to be painful, because he is overcome 
by the pleasant, which is obviously unworthy to 
conquer. What unworthiness can there be in 
pleasure as against pain, save an excess or defect 
of one compared with the other ? That is, when 
one becomes greater and the other smaller, or when 
there are more on one side and fewer on the other, 
or here a greater degree and there a less. For if 
you should say : But, Socrates, the immediately 
pleasant differs widely from the subsequently 
pleasant or painful, I should reply : Do they differ 
in anything but pleasure and pain ? That is the 
only distinction. Like a practised weigher, put 
pleasant things and painful in the scales, and with 
them the nearness and the remoteness, and tell me 

VOL. IV I 237 


Tip ^vytv, €L7T€ TTOTcpa TrXelo) iariv. eav fiev yap 
'qSea Trpos rjSea larfj?, to. fxel^co del /cat TrAeto) 
Ar]7TT€a' iav 8e XvTrrjpa. Trpog XvTrrjpd, rd iXdrrco 
Kal afiiKporepa' idv 8e T^Se'a Trpos Xv7rr]pd, edv 
fiev ra dviapd VTTep^dXXrjraL vtto rcov rjSecov, idv 
re ra eyyvs vtto tcov Troppco edv re rd voppu} vtto 
ToJv eyyvs, ravrrjv rrjv Trpd^iv TvpaKreov ev fj dv 

C ravr evfj- edv 8e rd r)hea vtto rGiv dviapdJv, ov 
TTpaKrea- fi-q ttt] aAA?^ ^X^''> ^ct^''?*' dv, ravra, c5 
dvdpcoTTOi; oi8' on, ovk dv €)(OLev dXXa>s Xeyeiv. 
YiVvehoKei /cat e/cetVo). "Ore hrj rovro ovrojs 
ex^i, roSe fxoc aTTOKpivaode, (f>rja(x). (jtaiverai 
VfxZv rfj oifjei rd avrd fieyedr] eyyvdev fjiev fxei^co, 
TToppoidev he eXdrrto' r^ ov; ^rjaovaiv. Kat ra 
TTaxea /cat rd TToXXd (haavruis ; /cat at (f)coval 
<al>^ icrai eyyvdev fxev fxel^ovs, TToppcodev he 

J) a^xiKporepai; Oaiev dv. Et ovv ev rovrcp -qpilv 
rjv rd ev TTpdrreiv, ev ro) rd fiev fieydXa fxrjKrj 
/cat TTpdrreiv /cat Xafx^dveiv, rd 8e afiiKpd Kat 
<f)evyeLv /cat fjirj TTpdrreiv, ris dv ■f]puv aojrrjpia 
e(f)dvri rod fiiov ; dpa rj nerprjriKT) rexyrj t) t] rov 
<j)aivofxevov hvvapus; rj avrrj fjiev rjfids eTTXava 
Kal eTToiei dvcj re Kal Kara) TToXXaKis pieraXajj,- 
^dveiv ravrd Kal fierafxeXeiv Kal ev raig TTpd^eai 
Kal ev rais alpeaeai rdv fxeydXcov re Kal crfiiKpcov, 
rj 8e p,erp'qriKr) aKvpov fiev dv evoirjae rovro ro 

E (fidvraapia, SrjXdxjaaa Be rd dXrjdes rjavxioLV dv 
eTToirjoev e^eiv rrjv iJjvx'tjv p-evovaav evi rep aXiquei 
Kal eacoaev dv rdv ^iov ; dp' dv oyioXoyoiev oi 

^ 0,1 add. Heindorf. 


which count for more. For if you weigh pleasant 
things against pleasant, the greater and the more are 
always to be preferred : if painful against painful, then 
always the fewer and smaller. If you weigh pleasant 
against painful, and find that the painful are out- 
balanced by the pleasant — whether the near by the 
remote or the remote by the near — you must take 
that course of action to which the pleasant are 
attached ; but not that course if the pleasant are 
outweighed by the painful. Can the case be other- 
wise, I should ask, than thus, my friends ? I am 
certain they could state no alternative. 

To this he too assented. 

Since that is the case, then, I shall say, please 
answer me this : Does not the same size appear 
larger to your sight when near, and smaller when 
distant ? They will admit this. And it is the same 
with thickness and number ? And sounds of equal 
strength are greater when near, and smaller when 
distant ? They would agree to this. Now if our 
welfare consisted in doing and choosing things of 
large dimensions, and avoiding and not doing those 
of small, what would be our salvation in life ? Would 
it be the art of measurement, or the power of appear- 
ance ? Is it not the latter that leads us astray, as 
we saw, and many a time causes us to take things 
topsy-tvu-vy and to have to change our minds both 
in our conduct and in our choice of great or small ? 
Whereas the art of measurement would have made 
this appearance ineffective, and by showing us the 
truth would have brought our soul into the repose 
of abiding by the truth, and so would have saved our 
life. Would men acknowledge, in view of all this. 



dvdpcoTTOL rrpos ravra -qfjbds T-qv fieTpr^TiKr^v aco^civ 
av rexvTjv, ■^ dW'qv; Tr)v fjLeTprjTLK-qv, wfxoXoyei. 
Ti 8 , el €V rrj rov TTepirrov /cat dpriov alpiaei 
rjixiv rjv rj acorrjpia rov ^iov, onore to ttXcov 
opocos eoet eAeaUai Kai ovore to eAaTTov, rj avro 
TTpos iavTo rj ro erepov rrpos ro erepov, clt* iyyvs 

357 €LT€ TTOppCO €L7], Tl dv €aCo!^€V rjflLV TOV ^LOV ; dp 

dv OVK iTTiGT-^fir] ; koI dp* dv ov fierp-qTiKT] tis, 
iTTeiSrjTTcp vnep^oXrjs re /cai ivSeias iarlv rj rixvr]; 
iTTeiSr) Be TrepiTTOV re koL dpriov, dpa dXXrj ti? 
^ dpidjJLrjrLK'q ; ofxoXoyoZev dv rjixlv ot dvdpoiTTOL, 
^ ov; ^KSoKOVV dv /cat ra> Upcorayopa o/xoXoyelv . 
Etei/, c5 dvOpcoTTOL- €7rel Se Srj^ rjSovijs re /cat 
XvTTTjs ev opdfj rfj alpeaei i(f)dvr] rfixlv rj acorr]pLa 
rov ^Lov ovaa, rov re TrXeovos /cat iXdrrovog Kai 

B fieil^ovos /cat apuKporepov koX rroppcorepoi /cat ey- 
yvrepcx), dpa Trpwrov jxev ov nerp-qriKr) ^aiverat, 
VTTep^oXrjs re /cat evSelas ovaa /cat IcrorTjros irpos 
oAAT^Aa? OKeijus; 'AAA' dray/crj. 'Ettci 8e nerpr)- 
TiKTi, dvayKT) S-qTTOV re)(vr) /cat eTnar-qjxrj. Hv/jl- 
^riaovaiv. "HTt? piev roivvv re^vrj Kai emar-^pir] 
earlv avrrj, elaavdig aKei/jopieOa' on Se eTnar-qpLT) 
earl, roaovrov e^apKei Trpos rrjv aTrdSetftv, 171' 

C €fi€ Set /cat Ylpoirayopav (ZTroSet^at Trepi, cdv 
TJpead* 7jp,ds. rjpeade Se, el fiepLvrjade, Tyvt/ca 
rjpLeXs oAAT^Aotj d)fi,oXoyovfj,ev eTTLcrrrjpLrjs firjSev 

^ inel Se S^ Adam : em Si B^ . . . eVetS^ 8^ MS9. 

* The intellectual control of our sense-perceptions, which 
differ as to the size or number of the same things when near 
and when distant, etc., has an important part in the educa- 



that the art which saves our life is measurement, 
or some other ? 

It is measurement, he agreed. 
Well now, if the saving of our life depended on 
the choice of odd or even, and on knowing when 
to make a right choice of the greater and when of 
the less — taking each by itself or comparing it with 
the other, and whether near or distant — what would 
save our life ? Would it not be knowledge ; a 
knowledge of measurement, since the art here is 
concerned with excess and defect, and of numeration, 
as it has to do with odd and even ? People would 
admit this, would they not ? 
, Protagoras agreed that they would. 
J Well then, my friends, since we have found that 
the salvation of our life depends on making a right 
choice of pleasure and pain — of the more and the 
fewer, the greater and the smaller, and the nearer 
and the remoter — is it not evident, in the first place, 
that measurement is a study of their excess and 
defect and equality in relation to each other ? 

This must needs be so. 

And being measurement, I presume it must be an 
art or science ? 

They will assent to this. 

Well, the nature of this art or science we shall 
consider some other time ^ ; but the mere fact of its 
being a science will suffice for the proof which 
Protagoras and I are required to give in answer to 
the question you have put to us. You asked it, 
if you remember, when we were agreeing ^ that 
there is nothing stronger than knowledge, and 

tional scheme of the Rf public. The measuring art is further 
considered in the Politicus (283 foil.). » Cf. 352 b foil. 



etvai Kpelrrov, dAAa rovro aet Kparelv, ottov civ 
ivfj, Kal rjSovrjs Kat rajv aAAajp' aTravroiv u/u,et? 
8e 817 €(f)aTe rrjv rjSovrjv TToXXaKig Kparelv Kal 
rov eiSoTO? dvOpcoTTOV, iTTeidrj Se Vfxlv ovx (OfXoXo- 
yovfiev, ixerd rovro rjpecrde rjp,ds' (L Upcorayopa 
re Kal HcoKpares, el firj eari rovro ro rrddrjfMa 
D TjSovrjs rjrrdadat, dAAa rt ttot* earl Kal ri vfiels 
avro (f)are elvai; et-nare rjfjilv. el fxev ovv rore 
evOiis vp.LV eliTop^ev on dp^adia, KareyeXdre dv 
'qficav vvv 8e dv r^pLcbv KarayeXdre, Kal vpLtov 
avrwv KarayeXdaeade. Kal yap u/xet? d)p,o- 
Xoyr^Kare eTnarrjpurjS ev^eia e^apaprdveiv rrepl 
rrjv rtbv rjSovcbv alpeaiv Kal XvndJv rovs e^ap,ap- 
rdvovras' ravra 8e ecrrtv dyadd re Kal KaKd- 
Kai ov p,6vov e7TLcrr'^p,r)s, dXXd Kal ■^^ ro irpoadev 
en wp^oXoyqKare on p,erpr]nKrjs' 17 8e e^ap,ap- 
E ravop^evT] Trpd^is dvev €7TLar7]p,rjs tare ttov /cat 
avroL on ap,adia irparrerai. ayare rovr* eon 
ro 'f]hovi)£ rjrrco elvat,, dp.adia rj pieyiarrj' ^s 
Upcorayopas oSe (fyrjalv larpos elvat Kal TlpoSiKos 
Kal 'iTTTTias' vp,€L? 8e 8id ro oleaOai dXXo n -rj 
dp,adiav elvai ovre avrol <ire>^ ovre rovs vp,e- 
repovs 7rat8as' irapd rovs rovrcov SiSaaKaXovs 
rovaSe rovs cro(f)Lards TrepbTrere, d)S ov StSa/crou 
ovros, dXXd KiqhopievoL rov dpyvpLov Kal ov StSw- 
358 Te? rovrois KaKcos npdrrere /cat t8ta /cat Srjpioarla. 
Tavra pt,ev rois ttoXXols d7TOK€KpLp,€voi dv rjpev 
vpbds Se S-q p.erd Yipcorayopov eparrd), <c5>' 
'lirma re Kal YlpoSiKe — KOtvos yap 817 earco vp.iv 
6 Xoyos — TTorepov 80/cd) vpilv dXTjdrj Xeyeiv r\ 

^ fre add. Madvig. • & add. Ruckert 



that knowledge, wherever it may be found, has 
always the upper hand of pleasure or anything else ; 
and then you said that pleasure often masters even 
the man of knowledge, and on our refusing to agree 
with you, you went on to ask us : Protagoras and 
Socrates, if this experience is not " being overcome 
b y pleasure." whatever can it be. and w hpt dn ynn 
call it ? Tell us. If on the spur of the moment we 
had rep lied, " Ignorance," you would have laughed 
us to scorn : Put now it you laugh at us you will 
be laughing at yourselves as well. For you have 
admitted that it is from defect of knowledge that 
men err, when they do err, in their choice of pleasures 
and pains — that is, in the choice of good and evil ; 
and from defect not merely of knowledge but of the 
knowledge which you have now admitted also to be 
that of measurement. And surely you know well 
enough for yourselves that the erring act committed 
without knowledge is done through ignorance. 
Accordingly " to be overcome by pleasure " means 
just this — ignorance in the highest degree, which 
Protagoras here and Prodicus and Hippias profess 
to cure. But you, through supjxising it to be some- 
thing else than ignorance, will neither go yourselves 
nor send your children to these sophists, who are the 
teachers of those things — you say it cannot be 
taught ; you are chary of your money and will 
give them none, and so you fare badly both in 
private and in public life. 

Such would have been our answer to the world at 
large. And I ask you now, Hippias and Prodicus, 
as well as Protagoras — for I would have you make a 
joint reply — whether you think what I say is true 
or false. 



*jf€vhea6ai. 'Y7T€p(f)Vco<; eSoKn aTracnv dXr]6rj elvai 
TO. elprjfieva. 'O/noAoyetre dpa, rjv 8' iyio, to 
fjiev rjSv dyadov elvai, to Se dviapou KaKov. rr)v 
8e ripoSiVou TouSe hiaipeaiv rcov ovofxaTOiv nap- 

B aiTovfiai,' ctre yap rjSv etre repTTVov Aeyei? etre 
XCLpTov, ctre orrodev Kal ottcu? ■)(a.ip€is rd roiavra 
6vop.dt,cov , a> ^eXriare UpoStKe, rovro p,OL irpos 
o ^ovXoixai dTTOKpLvai. VeXdoas ovv 6 YlpohiKog 
avvojfjioXoYqae , Kal ol dXXot,. Tt Se S'q, c3 dvSpes, 
€(f)T]v iyu), TO TOLovSe ; at em rovrov irpd^et,? 
diraaai, cttI rov dXvTTCog ^i]V Kal i^SecDS', dp^ ov 
KaXai [/cai <Z»^eAt/Ltoi^ ] ; /cat ro koXov epyov 
dyadov re Kal (x>(f)iXip,ov ; ^vvehoKCi. Et dpa, 
€(f)r]v eyo), ro rjSi) dyadov iariv, oySets" oirre eiSco? 

C ovre olojJievos dXXa ^eXricD etvai,, t] a ttolcZ,^ /cat 
Suvara,^ eVetTa ttolel ravra, i^ov rd ^eXrioj' ovhk 
ro TJrroj elvau avrov dXXo ri rovr iarlv t] dp.adia, 
ovhe Kpeirroj iavrov dXXo ri ■^ ao^ia. lavv- 
eSd/cet TTaaiv. Tt 8e 817; dfiadiav dpa ro roiovSe 
Xeyere, ro ipevhi) ex^iv So^av Kal iipevodai Trepl 
rdjv TTpayfjidrcov rd>v ttoAAou d^icov; Kat rovro 
Trdai crureSd/cet. "AAAo ri ovv, €<f)rjv iyd), em 
ye rd /ca/ca oj}8eis' €Kd)v epxerat ovSe ein a oterat 

D /ca/ca eit'at, ovS^ ecrri rovro, co? eoiKev, ev avdpojTTOV 
^vaei, eirl d oterat /ca/ca eit'at edeXeiv levai avri 
rdJv dyadcov orav re dvayKaadfj Svolv tcaKolv ro 

^ Kai ilxpiXifjioi seel. Schleiermacher. 

2 TToie? Heindorf : eVoiet mss. 

^ Sward Schleiermacher : 5 warai mss. 

^ "Yielding to oneself" and "mastery of oneself" are 
here put instead of " being overcome by pleasure " and 



They all thought what I had said was absolutely 

Then you agree, I continued, that the pleasant is 
good and the painful bad. And let me entreat 
my friend Prodicus to spare me his distinction of 
terms : for whether you say pleasant or dehghtful 
or enjoyable, my excellent Prodicus, or in whatever 
style or manner you may be pleased to name these 
things, pray reply to the sense of my question. 

At this Prodicus laughed and consented, as did the 

Well now, my friends, I said, what of this ? All 
actions aimed at living painlessly and pleasantly 
are honourable, are they not ? And the honourable 
work is both good and useful ? 

They agreed. 

Then if, I proceeded, the pleasant is good, no one 
who has knowledge or thought of other actions as 
better than those he is doing, and as possible, will 
do as he proposes if he is free to do the better ones ; 
and this yielding to oneself is nothing but ignorance, 
and mastery of "^ oneself is as certainly wisdom. 

They all agreed. 

Well then, by ignorance do you mean having a 
false opinion and being deceived about matters of 
importance ? 

They all agreed to this also. 

Then surely, I went on, no one wilhngly goes 
after evil or what he thinks to be evil ; it is not 
in human nature, apparently, to do so — to wish to 
go after what one thinks to be evil in preference 
to the good ; and when compelled to choose one of 

the opposite state. The conflict betw^een the better and 
worse self is discussed in R«p. iv. 430 e foil. 

VOL. IV I 2 245 


erepov alpeZadai,, ovhels to iielt,ov aiprjaerai e^op 
TO eXarrov. "Anavra ravra crvveSoKei aTraoLV 
rjfiLV. Tt oSv; e(f>r]v eyiL, KaXelri <Ti>^ Seos 
/cat (f)6^ov; Kai apa onep iyco; npos ak Xeyoj, 
Il/ooSt/ce. npoaSoKtav tlvcl Xeyco KaKOV tovto, 
elre (fjo^ov etre Seo? /caAetre. 'ESoAcei Ilpa^T- 

E ayopa fxev /cat 'iTTTTLa Se'o? re /cat ^o^os elvat 
TOVTO, YlpoBiKO) 8e Seog, cf>6^os S' ov. 'AAA' 
ovSev, e(f}rjv iyco, DpoSt/ce, 8ta(^€/3ef aAAa roSe. 
€1 dXr]dfj TO. efiTTpoadev ioTLV, dpd Tig dvdpd)TTCxiv 
ec/eAi^CTet e77t raura terat a oeooiKev, egou em a 
/LtTJ; ■^ dSwaTOi/ ck tcDj/ wixoXoyqfievcov ; a yap 
8e8oi/cev, chfxoXoyrjTai, -qyeladai /ca/ca ctvat* a 8e 
i^yetrat /ca/ca, ou8eva oure levat eTrt raura oure 
359 Xajx^dveiv eKovTa. 'E8o/cet /cat raura Trdatv. 

Ovra> 8^7 TouTOii' VTroK€Lp,€va)v, rjv 8' eyoS, 
IlpoSt/ce re /cat 'iTTTrt'a, diroXoyeiadco r) YlpojT- 
ayopas ohe, d to TrpaJTov aTre/cptVaro, ttcDs" opdojg 
ex^i'y P''f} d TO 7Tpix)TOV iravTaTTaai' t6t€ p.ev yap 
8r] TT€VTe ovTcov piopicov TTJg dpeT-qg ovSev ecfyrj 
etvai TO €T€pou olov TO €Tepov, ISiav 8e avTov 
CKaoTOV ex^iv SvvafMLV dAA' ov ravra Aeya>, dAA' 
a TO vaTepou etrre. to yap vaTepov €<f>r] ret /xeu 
TeTTapa eTTtet/ccD? TrapaTrXrjcna dAA>yAot? elvai, 

B TO 8e tv Trdvv ttoXv hiacfiipeiv tojv dXXojv, ttju 
dvSpeiav, yvcoaeadat, 8e /x' e^T^ T€Kp,rjpi,cp TwBe' 
ivp-qaeis ydp, t5 Sco/cpaTe?, dvOpionovs avoaioiTd- 

* Tt add. Heindorf. 


two evils, nobody will choose the greater when he 
may the lesser. 

AH this met with the assent of everyone. 

Well, I said, is there something you call dread, or 
fear ? And is it — I address myself to you, Prodicus 
— the same as I have in mind — something I describe 
as an expectation of evil, whether you call it fear 
or dread ? 

Protagoras and Hippias agreed to this description 
of dread or fear ; but Prodicus thought this was 
dread, not fear. 

No matter, Prodicus, I said, but my point is this : 
if our former statements are true, will any man 
wish to go after what he dreads, when he may 
pursue what he does not ? Surely this is impossible 
after what we have admitted — that he regards as 
evil that which he dreads ? And what is regarded 
as evil is neither pursued nor accepted willingly, 
we saw, by anyone. 

Here also they were all in agreement. 

So much, then, being granted, Prodicus and 
Hippias, I said, let our friend Protagoras vindicate 
the correctness of the answer he made at first — 
not that which he made at the very beginning, ^ 
when he said that, while there were five parts of 
virtue, none of them was hke any other, but each 
had its particular function : I do not refer to that, 
but the statement he made afterwards,^ when he 
proceeded to say that four of them had a consider- 
able resemblance to each other, but one was quite 
different from the rest — courage ; and he told me I 
should perceive this by the following token : You 
will find, Socrates, said he, that men may be most 

» C/. 330 A foil. Cf. 349 d foil. 



Toys' fiev ovrag /cat dSiKcoTOLTovs Kal aKoXaato- 
rdrovs Kal diiadeardrov^, avSpeioTdrovs 84' a) 
yvcoaei on ttoXv Sta^epei rj dvSpeia rcov dXXcov fio- 
piojv rrjs dperrjs. /cat iyo) evdvs rore irdw 
iOavfiaaa rrjv d'TTOKpiaiv, /cat en fxdXXov eTreiSi^ 
rayra /xe0' vfidiv Sie^rjXOov. -qpofjirjv S' ovv 
TOVTOV, et Tovs dvSpelovs Ae'yoi dappaXiovs' 6 he, 

C Kol Iras y', e^'i?- fidfivr^aaL, -qv 8' eyco, c5 ITpajT- 
ayopa, ravra dnoKpLvofJievos ; 'D/ioAoyet. "I^t St^, 
€cf>rjv iy(o, elrre r]p,LV, inl ri Xeyeis tras elvai, tovs 
dvBpeiovs ; ^ i(f>* dnep ol SeiAot; Ou/c e(f}rj. Ovk- 
ovv icf)' erepa. Nat, -^ S' os. Ilorepov ol p,€v 
SetAot eTTt rd dappaXea ep^ovrai, ol 8e dfS/aetot eTri 
Ta Setm; Aeyerat §17, c5 UtoKpares, ovtcds vtto 
Tcbv dvQpojTTOiV. 'AXrjdrj, €(f)r)v eyco, Aeyets" oAA' 01) 

X) TOVTO epojTO), dXXd av im ri (^fjs tras elvat rovs 
dvSpelovs; dp* em Ta Seivd, rjyovjxdvovs Seivd 
etvat, 7] CTTt TO. fiij; AAAa rovro y', e^^y, cv ols av 
eXeyes toZs Xoyois aTreSeixdr] apTL otc aSvvarov. 
Kat TOVTO, €(f>rjv eyco, dX-qdes Ae'yets" cSctt' et tovto 
opdojs dTTeheixGr], eTrl fxev d Setvd rjyelTai etvat 
ouSet? epx^Tat,, iTTeiST) to t^tto) eti^at eavTov rjvpedrj 
dp,adia ovaa. 'QfxoXoyeL. 'AAAa ixrjv iirl d ye 
dappovai TrdvTes av epxovTai, Kal SetAot /cat 
dvSpetot, /cat TavTT) ye cttl Ta airra epxovTai ol 

E SetAot re /cat ot dvBpeioi. 'AAAct /LteVrot, €(f)7], Jt 
Scu/cpares', irdv ye Tovvavriov eartv e77t a 01 re 


unholy, most unjust, most dissolute, and most 
ignorant, yet most courageous ; whence you may 
judge that courage is very different from the other 
parts of \irtue. His answer caused me great sur- 
prise at the moment, and still more when I went 
into the matter with your help. But anyhow, I 
asked him whether by the brave he meant " bold." 
Yes, he replied, and impetuous. Protagoras, I 
said, do you remember making this answer ? 
He admitted he did. 

Well now, I said, tell us, towards what do you 
mean they are impetuous when they are courageous ? 
Towards the same things as cowards ? 
No, he said. 

Then towards other things ? 
Yes, he said. 

Do cowards go after things that allow boldness, 
and the courageous after dreadful things ? 
So people say, Socrates. 

Quite true, I said. But my point is rather, 
towards what, according to you, are the brave 
impetuous ? Dreadful things, in the belief that 
they are dreadful, or towards what is not dreadful ? 
No, he said ; the former has just been shown, by 
the arguments you put forward, to be impossible. 

Quite true again, I said ; so that if this proof 
was correct, no one goes to meet what he regards 
as dreadful, since to be overcome by oneself was 
found to be ignorance. 
He admitted this. 

And yet all men go also to meet what they can face 
boldly, whether cowardly or brave, and in this respect 
cowardly and brave go to meet the same things. 
But still, Socrates, he said, what cowards go to 



SetAoi epxovrai koI ol dvSpeloi. avTiKa els top 
TToXefiov OL ijuev ideXovariv Uvai, ol Se ovk idiXovaiv. 
Ylorepov, e<f>7]V eyco, koXov ov teVai rj alaxpov; 
KaXov, €(f)r). OvKovv ciTrep KaXov, /cat dyadov 
(vp^oXoyqaafieu ev rots efXTrpoadev. rds yap KaXds 
TTpd^eis dndaas dyad as cvfioXoyqaafxev. ^AX-qOrj 
Xeyeis, /cat aet efMOLye So/cet ovtcos. ^OpOoJs ye, 
360 €(f)r)v iyco. dXXd TTorepovs (f)r]s els rov TToXefxov 
OVK eOeXeiv levat, KaXov ov /cat dya^w; Tovs 
SeiXovs, ^ 8' OS. OvKovv, '^v 8' iyco, eivep KaXov 
Kal dyadov, /cat -qSv; 'Q.fjioX6yrjTat. yovv, e(f)7]. 
*Ap' ovv yiyvcoaKovres ol SetAot ovk edeXovmv 
levai eTTL to KaXXiov^ re /cat dpLeivov /cat tJSlov; 
'AAAa /cat TOVTO edv onoXoycofjiev, e(f)r), 8ta- 
(f)d€povp,ev rds efnrpocrdev ofMoXoylas. Tt S' d 
dvBpelos; OVK enl to koXXiov tc /cat dpieivov Kal 
B -qSiov epx^rat,; 'Amy/cr^, €(f>'r], 6/xoXoyelv. Ovkouv 
oXcos ol dvhpetoL OVK aiaxpovs (f)6^ovs (jio^ovvTaL, 
OTOV (fio^tovTai, ovSe alaxpd ddppr] dappovaiv; 
'AXrjdrj, €(f)r]. Ei Be fxrj alaxpd, dp* ov KaXd; 
'Q.[xoX6yeL. El 8e KoXd, Kal dyadd; Nat. Oi5/c- 
ovv Kal ol SeiAot /cat ot dpaaels /cat ot fxaivofievoL 
TOVvavTiov alaxpovs t€ <j)6^ovs cf)o^ovvTai Kal 

* KdWiov Stephanus ; Ka\6v mss. 


meet is the very opposite of what the courageous 
go to meet. For instance, the latter are willing 
to go to war, but the former are not. 

Is going to war an honourable thing, I asked, or a 
base thing ? 

Honourable, he replied. 

Then if it is honourable, we have admitted, by 
our former argument, that it is also good ; for we 
agreed that all honourable actions were good. 

True, and I abide by that decision. 

You are right to do so, I said. But which sort of 
men do you say are not willing to go to war, that 
being an honourable and good thing to do ? 

The cowardly, he rephed. 

Then, I went on, if it is honourable and good, is it 
also pleasant ? 

That certainly has been admitted, he said. 

Now do the cowards wittingly refuse to go to what 
is more honourable, better, and pleasanter ? 

Well, if we admit that too, he repHed, we shall 
undo our previous admissions. 

But what of the courageous man ? Does he not go 
to the more honourable and better and pleasanter ? 

I am forced to admit that, he said. 

Now. in general, courageous men do not feel base 
fears, when they fear, nor is there anything base in 
their boldness ? 

True, he said. 

And if not base, then it must be honourable ? 

He admitted this. 

And if honourable, then good ? 


And the cowardly and the bold and the mad, on 
the contrary, feel base fears and base boldness ? 



aiaxpa Oapp-q dappovaiv; 'Q.p,o\6y€L. Qappovai 
oe TO. alaxpa. Kal /ca/ca 8i' aAAo rt, t] Si* ayvoiav 
C KaldfiaOlav; Ovrco? ej^et, e^ry. Tlovv; tovto 8l' 
o oeiXoL CLGLV ol SciXoL, SeiAiW Tj dvSpeiav KaXels; 
AeuXlav eyojy*, ^<f>r]. AetAot 8e ov hid rrjv ratv 
heivibv dfiadiav i(}>dvriaav ovres; lldw y , e^rj. 
Aio. TavTTjv dpa ttjv dfiaOiav SetAot elcriv; 'H/xoAoyet. 
At o oe SetAoi etcrt, SeiAia o/ioAoyciTat irapd aov; 

JlvV€(f)7]. OvKOVV 71 tG)V SetVOJV Kal fXTj Seivuiv 

dfjiadia SetAi'a ai^ eirj; 'ETrereuaer. 'AAAa /xt^v, 
D T^r S eycti, ivavTiov dvSpeia SeiAca. "Kcfyrj. 
OvKovv rj rcov Seivcov Kal [j.rj Scivcov ao^ia evavria 
rfj TOVTOJV dfiaOia iariv; Kai ivravda ert iirevev- 
aev. 'H 8e TOVTCov dixadiaBetXia; Ildvv fioy is iv- 
Tavda €7Tev€vaev. *H ao(f>ia dpa rGiv heivGiv Kal 
fi7) Seivwv dvSpeia iariv, evavria ovaa r^ rovrcov 
dfjiadia; OvKeri evravda ovr* eTrivevaai -^deXr^aev 
eaiya re' Kal iydi ehrov Ti Sry, c5 Wp(x)ray6pa, 


He agreed. 

Do they feel base and evil boldness solely through 
stupidity and ignorance ? 

Just so, he said. 

Well now, the cause of cowards being cowardly, 
do you call this cowardice or courage ? 

Cowardice, I call it, he replied. 

And were they not found to be cowards through 
ignorance of what is dreadful ? 

Certainly, he said. 

And so they are cowards because of that 
ignorance ? 

He agreed. 

And the cause of their being cowards is admitted 
by you to be cowardice ? 

He assented. 

Then ignorance of what is dreadful and not 
dreadful will be cowardice ? 

He nodded assent. 

But surely courage, I went on, is the opposite of 


Then the wisdom that knows what is and what is not 
dreadful is opposed to the ignorance of these things ? 

To this he could still nod assent. 

And the ignorance of them is cowardice ? 

To this he nodded very reluctantly. 

So the wisdom that knows what is and what is 
not dreadful is courage, being opposed to the 
ignorance of these things ? 

Here he could no longer bring himself to nod 
agreement, and remained silent. Then I proceeded : 
Why is it, Protagoras, that you neither aflBrm nor 
deny what I ask you } 



cure cry (fyfjg a ipcoTOJ ovre d7T6(f)r]s; Avtos, €(f)7j, 
E "nipavov. "Ei/ y', €(f>7]v iyo), [xovov ipofxeuos 
ert ae, et aoi coanep ro Trpcorov en Sokovctlv elvai 
TLves dvdpcoTTOi dp^adiararoL p.€V, avSpeLoraroi Be. 
^iXovLKelv p,oi, €(f>r], SoKels, c3 HcoKpares, to 
€/xe eiuai top aTTOKpivopevov ;!^a/3iou/Aat ovv aoi, 
Kttt Ae'yo) OTL CK TOiv cvpoXoyrjpevojv dSvvarou p,OL 
So/cet elvai. 

OvTOL, ■^v 8' eyco, dXXov eveKa ipajTo) iravTa 
ravTa, tj aKeipaadai ^ovXo/xevos , ttcos ttot' €;^et to. 
Trepi TTJs aperrjs Kal ri ttot* earlv avro, rj dper-q. 
361 otSa yap on tovtov (f)avepov yevop,evov fidXiaT 
dv KaraSrjXov yevoiro eKelvo, nepl ov eyco re Kal 
av jxaKpov Xoyov eKdrepos aTrereiVa/xei/, eyd) p,ev 
Xeycov (Ls ov SiSaKTOu dperrj, av 8' (hs SiSaKToy. 
Kal p,oi SoKel rji-idtv rj dpn e^oSo? tcou Xoyojv 
coaTTep dvdpwTTos Karr^yopelv re Kal KarayeXau, 
Kal ei (fxvvrjv Xd^oL, elireZv dv on droTToi y icrre, 
c5 HwKpaTes re Kal Ylpcorayopa- av p,ev Xeyoiv 
on ov SiBaKrov eanv dperrj ev rots epLTrpoadev, 
B vvv aeavTcp rdvavria aTrevSeis, eTnx^ipcov dTToSel^ai 
CVS TTavra xpT]po.ra earlv eTTLar'qp^r], Kal rj SiKaLoavvr) 
/cat 7] ao)<f)poavvrj Kal rj dvhpeia, a> rpoTTcp p^dXiar 
dv SiSaKrov ^aveirj rj dperrj- el jiev yap dXXo n 
rjv rj eTTLarrjjxrj rj dperrj, coarrep Yipwrayopas 
eTTex^ipet Xeyeiv, aacfxjjs ovk dv -^v SiSaKrov vvv 
8e el <f>avrjaeraL eTTLarrjp,rj dXov, co? av aTrevSeis, a> 
Ha>Kpares, davjxdaLov earai firj BiSaKrov ov. Ylpa)T- 
ayopas 8' av BtSaKrov rare vTTodefxevos vvv 
C rovvavnov eoiKe arrevBovn, oXiyov iravra p,dXXov 
^avrjvai avro rj e7n.arrjpLr]v . Kal ovrcos dv rJKLara 



Finish it, he said, by yourself. 

I must first ask you, I said, just one more question: 
Do you still think, as at the beginning, that there 
are any people who are most ignorant and yet most 
courageous ? 

I see, Socrates, you have set yotir heart on making 
me your answerer ; so, to obhge you, I will say that 
by what we have admitted I consider it impossible. 

My only motive, I then said, in asking all 
questionshas been a desire to examine the vario us 
relations ot virtue and its own special nature. F or I 
^ now that, were it once made plain, that othe r >^;^ 
question on which you and I have argued at su ch ^^ 
le ngth on either sid e— von maintAining- Im^ T 
d enying that virtue can be taught — wo^^lf^ Hp r^lpar^ rl 
up satisfactorily. Our discussion, in its present 
re'sulL, seems to me as though it accused and mocked 
us Hke some human person ; if it were given a 
voice it would say : " What strange creatures you 
are, Socrates and Protagoras ! You on the one hand, 
after ha\-ing said at first that virtue cannot be taught, 
are now hot in opposition to yourself, endeavnnrin g 
to prove that all things are Icnou-lpHgP— ju^itice, 
temperance, and courage — which is the best way fn 
"make virtue appear teachable : for if \-irtue were 
anything else tn an knowledge, as Trotagoras tripH 
t o ma ke out, ob dously it would not be teachable : 
but if as a matter of fact it turns out to be entirely 
knowledge, as you urge, Socrates, I shall be surprised 
if it is not teachable. Protagoras, on the other hand, 
though at first he claimed that it was teachable, 
now seems as eager for the opposite, declaring that 
it has been found to be almost anything but know- 
ledge, which would make it quite unteachable ! " 



etrj SiSaKTov eyco ovv, cS Uptorayopa, navra 

ravra KaOopoJv avo) Karoi raparTOfieva Scivo)?, 

irdaav TTpodvp,iav ej^ct) Kara(^avrj avTO. yeveadat, 

Koi ^ovXoCfxrjv av ravra Ste^eXdovrag -qpidg i$eX- 

deZv /cat 6771 rrjv dperrjv 6 ri can, /cai rraAiv etriaKe- 

ijjaadai rrepl avrov, etre SiSaKrov etre fxr) StSa/crdr, 

fX7) TToXXoLKLS rjfj,ds 6 'FiTn/xrjdevs e/cetvos Kal iv rfj 

D aK€i/j€t a(j)rjXrj i^aTrar-qaas , axTTrep /cat iv rfj 8ia- 

vonjj rjfjLeXrjaev "qpLcov, co? <f>fig av. rjpeaev ovv /xot 

/cat iv rw p,vd(x) 6 Ylpopiyjdevs p.dXXov rov Fittl- 

fjLTjdeoJS' 4* XP^f^^^^^ ^y^^ '^^'' 'n'pofjirjdov[xevos vrrep 

rov ^Lov rov ifiavrov navros Trdvra ravra rrpay- 

/xareuo/Ltat, /cat €i av ideXois, oirep /cat /car apxo-S 

eXeyov, fierd aov av -qSiara ravra avvSLaaKOTTOLrjv . 

Kal 6 Ilpa)ray6pas, 'Eyco /xeV, e^rj, co Sto/cpare?, 

iTTaivo) aov rrjV irpodvpiiav /cat r7]v hU^ohov ra>v 

E Xoycov. /cat yap ovre rdXXa oljxaL /ca/co? etvat 

dvdpcoTTOS, (f)6ovep69 re T^/ctCTT* dvOpioiriov, CTret /cat 

TTepi aov rrpos ttoXXovs St) elpr^Ka, ori c5v ivrvyxo-vo) 

TToXv iiaXiara dyafxai ae, ra>v p,kv rrijXiKOvrcxiV /cat 

TTOVV' KoX Xeyoj ye on ovk av ^au/xa^ot/xt, et rcov 

iXXoyifiiov yevoLO dvSpcbv irrl ao(f)ia. /cat rrept 

rovrcov 8e elaavdtg, orav ^ovXr), Sie^Lfxev vvv S' 

362 wpa rjB-n Kal in dXXo ri rpineadai. 'AAA', rjv 8' 

iyu), ovrui XPV "'oteti', et aot So/cet. /cat yap e/iot 

olirep eSvv levai TraAat c5pa, oAAd KaAAta rco KaXw 

XapLL,oii€vo9 TTapep.eiva. ravr enrovres /cat a/cou- 

aavres aTrfjuev. 



Now I, Protagoras, observing the extraordinary 
tangle into which we have managed to get the whole 
matter, am most anxious to have it thoroughly 
cleared up. And I should like to work our way 
through it until at last we reach what virtue is, 
and then go back and consider whether it is teach- 
able or not, lest perchance your Epimetheus beguile 
and trip us up in our investigation as he overlooked 
us in your account of his distribution.^ I hke the 
Prometheus of your fable better than the Epime- 
theus ; for he is of use to me, and I take Promethean 
thought continually for my own life when I am 
occupied >vith all these questions ; so, with your 
consent, as I said at the beginning, I should be 
dehghted to have your aid in the inquiry. 

I approve your zeal, Socrates, said Protagoras, 
and the way you develop your arguments ; for I 
think I am not ill-natured, and I am the last person 
on earth to be envious. Indeed I have told many 
people how I regard you — as the man I admire far 
above any that I meet, and as quite an exception 
to men of your age ; and I say I should not be 
surprised if you won high repute for wisdom. We 
shall pursue the subject on some other occasion, at 
your pleasure : for the present, it is time to turn to 
another affair. 

I quite agree, said I, if you think so : for I was long 
ago due to be where I told you I was going ; I 
stayed merely to oblige our excellent Callias. 

Here our colloquy ended, and each went his way. 
» cy. 321 c 




The Meno takes up the question which the Prot- 
agoras left waiting for an answer — Can virtue be 
taught ? This dialogue proceeds in the direct 
dramatic form, without descriptive introduction or 
connecting narrative, and in a series of five scenes we 
are shown the various resources of Socratic method 
in a determined attempt to solve that important 
problem. Thus (1) (70 a-80 d) we find that the first 
requisite for progress in the search is a definition of, 
virtue ; (2) (80 d-86 c) the inquiry is shifted to the 
origin of knowledge, which is demonstrated, by an 
experiment on one of Meno's young attendants, to 
be latent in us, and recoverable by the proper stimu- 
lation of our memory ; (3) (86 c-QO b) we return to 
the question of what virtue is, and while it appears 
to be teachable we are faced with the awkward 
fact that it has no real teachers — it is not taught ; 
(4) (90 B-95 a) Anytus, the typical man of affairs, is 
convicted of error in his reliance on convention and 
common sense ; and lastly (5) (95 a-100 b) Socrates 
discusses with Meno the relation of knowledge, in 
which virtue must somehow consist, to the true 
opinion which guides practical men along the right 
path in everyday life. 

The first two of these scenes are preparatory : 
they point out that by some means or other we must 


obtain a definition of the thing itself — ^virtue — on 
which our inquiry is bent, and then we are given a 
specimen of the method by which we are most Ukely 
to acquire such a piece of real knowledge. With 
these two lessons in mind, we return to the question 
as it stood at the end of the Protagoras, and come to 
grips once more with that great defaulter — the 
received system of education. The only hope of 
finding our way to the truth for which we are grop- 
ing seems to lie in a study of the instinctive opinion 
which occasionally guides men of superior character 
to the right course of action, and in a comparison 
of this " inspired " thought — which has helped us 
already (81) towards the educational principle of 
"recollection" — with the reasoned knowledge 
which we may look to as an abiding and unfailing 
support to ourselves and as a power that we can 
transmit to others. 

The sane and profound wisdom which moves 
beneath the whole discussion is as remarkable as 
the clearness and acuteness of its argumentation. 
The detection of insufficiency in existing modes of 
instruction, and the recognition of rightness in 
certain high examples of conduct, are marked by a 
gentle humour and a breadth of vision and sympathy 
which doubtless distinguished the actual Socrates : 
the purpose to which those points are applied — of 
turning our gaze to a higher level of education and 
a surer basis of all thought and action — is derived 
indeed from the Master, but brought into full 
flower, with promise of later fruit, by the personal 
ardour and art of Plato. We feel the splendid 
determination of a new master-mind ; and although 
his attempt at a deeper probing of the question has 



to be given up for the present without an answer, 
we are subtly prepared for the ambitious elaboration 
and demonstration of the Republic and the Phaedo. 

Besides this main impression, the Meno has many 
subsidiary interests. The sophists Protagoras and 
Gorgias are referred to with respect, though their 
teaching is proved to be seriously defective. We 
find here (81) perhaps the first, because so tentative 
and diffident, statement in Plato of the soul's 
experience of previous existence, and its present 
possession of a sort of latent or suppressed knowledge 
of general notions, which has to be elicited and 
revived by methodical inquiry. We have also (79) 
an account of the effect of Socrates' conversations 
upon his disciples, which is a useful counterpart 
and complement to the excited rhapsody of Alci- 
biades in the Symposium (215) ; while the humorous, 
mystifying modesty of Socrates in ascribing his 
highest beliefs to converse with poets, priests, and 
priestesses (81) is of a piece with his manner in the 
Symposium and elsewhere. Finally we should notice 
the suddenness of Anytus' appearance on the scene, 
and his abrupt exit : remembering that he was 
afterwards the accuser of Socrates, and observing 
the language and tone of his warning to that reckless 
critic of the democracy, we must conclude that 
Plato contrived the episode with the deliberate 
purpose of showing that he did not blame any 
single person for his beloved Master's death, but 
cherished a nobler grudge against a world that was 
politically and intellectually out of joint. He thus 
brings us almost unawares to the edge of the rift 
which was opening in his mind between philosophy 
and the ordinary life of affairs : we see it gaping 



wide and grim in the Gorgias ; when we come to 
the Republic, it is a well-known gulf, to be carefully 
measured and mapped. 

Meno was a young Thessalian of noble and 
wealthy family. He is supposed here to be on a 
visit to Athens about 402 B.C., three years before 
the death of Socrates. He has acquired some 
literary and scientific knowledge by association with 
Gorgias, who spent his last few years in Thessaly. 
He took part as a general in the great march of the 
Ten Thousand with Cyrus in 401 B.C. Xenophon 
depicts him in the Anabasis as greedy, self-seeking 
and treacherous. Plato shows us his pleasanter 
side, though we find here that he is rather conceited 
and lacking in self-control (76 a, 80 b, c, 86 d). 

The Meno has been edited, with ample introduc- 
tion and notes, by E S. Thompson (Macmillan, 



[h nEPI APETH2 • nEIPA2TIK02] 

MENflN, 2nKPATH2, nAI2 MENnN02, ANTT02 

8t II. MEN. "Ex^LS fxoL elTTctv, <L HcoKpares, apa StSa- 

p. 70 » »> / ■« ><>o « >\\»' ' ■* 

KTOV 7j aperrj; rj ov oioaKTOV aAA aoK-qrov; i) 

ovre daKTjTov ovre, dAAa ^vaei Trapa- 

yiyveraL tols avOpcoTTOis rj aXXco nvl rpoTrcp; 

2n. ^Q. Mevcov, 77/30 rov fxkv ©erraAot euSo/cijUoi 

Tjaav iv rots "EAAiyai /cat idavixd^ovro i(f)^ lttttlkt] 

B T€ Kol irXovTcp, vvv 8e, cos ifiol So/cet, /cat errt 

ao(f)La, /cat ovx rJKiara ol rov aov iraipov 'Api- 


atTtds" ecTTt Fopyias"- d(f)iK6p,€vos yap els ttjv 
TToXiv ipaards ctti ao<f>ia eiXr](f)€V 'AAeuaScav' re 
Tou? TTpcoTovs, cov 6 aos ipacTTTjs lariv 'Aptar- 
LTTTTOs, /cat rcov dXX(x)v QeTToXayv /cat hr] /cat 
rovTo TO e'^o? y/xa? eWiKev, d(f)6^ojs re /cat /xeyaAo- 
TTpeTTcbs aTTOKpiveadat,, idv ris tl epr^Tai, coaTrep 
C et/co? Tous" etSoTa?, are /cat auro? Trape^OiV avTOV 
epcoTav rojv 'EAAt^vcdv to) ^ovXafievu) 6 rt dv rts 
PovXrjrai, /cat ovSevl oro) ovk dTTOKpivo/jievos. ev- 


[or on VIRTUE: testing] 

Meno, Socrates, Meno's Boy, Anytus 

MEN. Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue 
can be taught, or is acquired by practice, not teach- 
ing ? Or if neither by practice nor by learning, 
whether it comes to mankind by nature or in some 
other way ? 

soc. Meno, of old the Thessalians were famous 
and admired among the Greeks for their riding and 
their riches ; but now they have a name, I believe, 
for wisdom also, especially your friend Aristippus's 
people, the Larisaeans. For this you have to thank 
Gorgias ; for when he came to that city he made 
the leading men of the Aleuadae — among them 
your lover Aristippus — and the ThessaUans generally 
enamoured of wisdom. Nay more, he has given 
you the regular habit of answering any chance 
question in a fearless, magnificent manner, as befits 
those who know : for he sets the example of offering 
himself to be questioned by any Greek who chooses, 
and on any point one likes, and he has an answer 
for everybody. Now in this place, my dear Meno, 



uaoe 8e, co ^iXe yievoiv, to ivavrtov TrepiearrjKev 
71 axTTTcp avxfJ'OS rt? rrjs ao<j)ias yeyovev, /cat Kiv- 
Svv€V€L e/c TcovSe Twv roTTcov Trap' vfids otx^adat 
7] ao(f)la' el yovv riva ediXeis ovrcos ipeadai rcov 
evddSe, ovSelg o'crris" ov yeXdaerai /cat ipel' c5 
$dv€, KivSvvevco aoi hoKeZv jxaKapLos ris elvai, 
dperrjv yovv etre StSa/crot' et^' oro) rpoTTcp Trapa- 
ytyverat etSeVat' iyoj Se roaovrov Seco etre 
LoaKTOv etre /u.i) oioaKrov eLoevai, coot oyoe auro, 
o Ti TTor' ecTTt TO TTapaTTOv dperrj, rvyxdvco elSios. 
B 'Kyd) ovv /cat aurds", cS MeVcuv, ovrcos e;;^a>* ctu//.- 
TrevoyLtat rot? TroAiVat? tovtov rod Trpay/xaros", /cat 
ifiavrov /caTa/xe/x<^o/xat cu? oi5/c etSco? Txept dperrj's 
to TTapaTTav o Se ^mt) oiSa rt ecTt, ttoj? av otto 101/ 
ye Tt eiSelrjv; ■^ So/cet croi otdv re clvac, octtls 
MeVctJi'a /i'17 ytyvtocr/cei to Trapdnav oaris iari; 
Tovrov elhevai etre /caAos" etre TrXovaios elre /cat 
yevt'atds' iariv, etre /cat rdvavria tovtcov; 80/cet 
CTOt oidv T etvai; 

MEN. Oj)/c efioiye. dXXd av, c5 HcoKpareg, 
C dXrjdcos ou8' o Tt dpeTry eo-Tiv olada, dXXd ravra 
TTepl aov /cat ot/caSe aTrayyeXXcofiev ; 

2n. Mt) fxovov ye, c5 iralpe, dXXd /cat ori ou8* 
aAAo) TTCO everv)(ov eiSoTi, co? e/xot 80/cco. 

MEN. Tt 8e; Fo/jyta ou/c ivervx^s ore ivddBe 

2n. "Eycoye. 

MEN. Etra ou/c eSd/cei crot eiSerat; 

2X1. Ov TTCtvy ei/xt fxvqfxajv, co MeVcov, toore 

oy/c e;)(Co eiTretf «' toj Trapovri, ttojs p.01 rore 

cbo^ev. dXX tCTco? e/cetvds' t€ oiSe, /cat cry a 

D e'/cetj/os eAeyei'* dvdfjivrjaov ovv /xe, ttcoj eAeyev. 



we have a contrary state of things : a drought of 
wisdom, as it were, has come on ; and it seems as 
though wisdom had deserted our borders in favour of 
yours. You have only to ask one of our people a 
question such as that, and he will be sure to laugh 
and say : Stranger, you must think me a specially 
favoured mortal, to be able to tell whether virtue 
can be taught, or in what way it comes to one : so 
far am I from knowing whether it can be taught or 
not, that I actually do not even know what the 
thing itself, virtue, is at all. 

And I myself, Meno, am in the same case ; I 
share my townsmen's poverty in this matter : I 
have to reproach myself with an utter ignorance about 
virtue ; and if I do not know what a thing is, how 
can I know what its nature may be ? Or do you 
imagine it possible, if one has no cognisance at all 
of Meno, that one could know whether he is hand- 
some or rich or noble, or the reverse of these ? 
Do you suppose that one could ? 

MEN. Not I. But is it true, Socrates, that you 
do not even know what virtue is ? Are we to return 
home with this report of you ? 

soc. Not only this, my friend, but also that I 
never yet came across anybody who did know, in 
my opinion. 

MEX. What ? You did not meet Gorgias when 
he was here ? 

soc. I did. 

MEN. And you didn't consider that he knew? 

soc. I have not a very good memory, Meno, so I 
cannot tell at the moment how he struck me then. 
It may be that he did know, and that you know 
what he said : remind me therefore how he expressed 



el 8e jSouAet, avros etVe'' So/cei yap S^ttov aot 
direp iKeivo). 

MEN. "E/Liotye. 

5n. 'E/cetv'ov' jLtev roivvv eco/xev, €7T€cS-f] /cat 
aneaTiv' av Se auro?, oi Trpo? dewv, MeVa>v, Ti 
^27? dperrjv elvau; clttov Kal jjurj (ftdovT^ar^g, tva 
evrvx^araTOv j/reucr/xa eipevafievos a), av (f>av7Js 
crv p.kv etSo)? /cat ro/ayia?, eyci; 8e elprjKcbs p.rjBevi 
TTcoTTore eiSoTt evrervxf]KevaL. 
E MEN. 'AAA' ou p^aAeTTot', c5 HcoKpares, eiTretv. 
TTpcjTov fxev, el ^ovXet avhpos dper-qv, paSiov, on 
avTT) icrrlv dvhpos dpeTi], Ikovov elvai ra rrj? 
TToXeoiS TTpdrreiv, Kal Trpdrrovra rovs fiev ^iXov; 
eS TTOielv, Tovs S' ixdpovs KaKcos, /cat avrov 
evXa^etadai p,r]S€V roiovrov Tradetv. el Se ^ovXei 
yvvacKos dper'qv, ov ^P-XeTTOv hieXdeZv, on Set 
avTrjv TTjv olKiav eS oIk€lv, aco^ovcrdv re ra evSov 
/cat KaT'qKOov ovaav rov dvSpog. /cat dXXr] earc 
TTaiSos dpeTT], /cat O' /cat dppevos, /cat Ttpe- 
a^vrepov dvSpos, el fxev ^ovXei, eXevdepov, el Se 
72 ^ovXei, hovXov. /cat aAAat TTCt/XTroAAai dperai 
elaiv, oiore ovk dTTopla elnetv dperrjv Trepi o n 
eon' Kad^ eKdarrjv yap twv Trpd^eoiv Kat rGiV 
•r]XiKioiv TTpos eKaarov epyov eKaano r/jjicov rj aper-q 
ecrnv cbaavrcos Be, ot/xai, d) ljd)Kpares, Kat rj 

2n. YloXXfj ye nvL evrvx^o- eot/ca Kexpyjodai, 

CO MeVcoi/, el fxlav ^rjrojv dperrjv ap,rjv6s n dv- 

rjvpyjKa dperibv napd aol KeifievcDV. arap, d) 

MeVojv, Kara ravrrjv rrjv elKova rriv irepL ra 

B op-iQViq, el p,ov epop,evov fieXirrrjs Trepi ovaias 



it ; or if you like, make your own statement, for I 
expect you share his views. 

MEN. I do. 

soc. Then let us pass him over, since in fact he 
is not present, and do you tell me, in heaven's 
name, what is your own account of virtue. Speak 
out frankly, that I may find myself the victim of a 
most fortunate falsehood, if you and Gorgias prove to 
have knowledge of it, while I have said that I never 
yet came across anyone who had. 

MEN. Why, there is no difficulty, Socrates, in 
telling. First of all, if you take the virtue of a man, 
it is easily stated that a man's virtue is this — that 
he be competent to manage the affairs of his city, 
and to manage them so as to benefit his friends and 
harm his enemies, and to take care to avoid suffering 
harm himself. Or take a woman's virtue : there 
is no difficulty in describing it as the duty of ordering 
the house well, looking after the property indoors, 
and obeying her husband. And the child has 
another virtue — one for the female, and one for the 
male ; and there is another for elderly men — one, 
if you like, for freemen, and yet another for slaves. 
And there are very many other virtues besides, so 
that one cannot be at a loss to explain what virtue 
is ; for it is according to each activity and age that 
every one of us, in whatever we do, has his virtue ; 
and the same, I take it, Socrates, will hold also of 

soc. I seem to be in a most lucky way, Meno ; 
for in seeking one virtue I have discovered a whole 
swarm of virtues there in your keeping. Now, 
Meno, to follow this figure of a swarm, suppose I 
should ask you what is the real nature of the bee, 

VOL. IV K 269 


o Tt TTOT ecTTi, TToAAo,? /fttt TravToSaTToLs' eAeye5 
aura? elvai, tL av aTreKpivoj (jlol, ei ae -qpofi-qv 
apa rovrcp ^fjs TToXkas kol TravrohaTras etuai 
Kal hia^epovaas dAAT^Aoji', rep p,eXLTTas eii^ai; 
T] rovrcp p,kv ovhev Sta^epouatv, aAAa> Se r(p, 
OLOV 7) /caAAet iq fxeyedei •^ ctAAoj rep rcov roiovrtov ; 
61776, Tt av a7T€KpLva) ovrojs epiorrjdeis ; 

MEN. Tout' eycoye, ori ovSev Sta(f)€povai,v, 
Tj fxeXirrai elaiv, rj irlpa rrjs erepag. 
^ 2n. Et ovv eliTov pier a ravra' rovro roivvv 
pLOL avro €L7t4, o) MeVcov a) ovhkv 8t,acf)€povat,v 
oAAo. ravrov claiv aTTaaai, ri rovro (f>rjs elvai; 
et^es" ^rjTTov av ri pLOL elTreZv; 

MEN. "Eycoye. 

2n. Ovroi 8rj Kal Trepl ru)V dpercov kSlv el 
TToXXal Koi TTOvrohaTTai elaiv, iv ye rt elSos ravrov 
aTTacrai exovai, 8t' o elalv aperai, els o koKojs 
7TOV e^ei ano^Xeipavra rov aTTOKpivopievov rep 
epcorrjaavri eKeZvo SrjXaxrat,, o riry)(avei ovaa 
D aperrj' ri ov puavOaveis 6 ri Xeyoi; 

MEN. AoKw ye pLoi pt,av9dvet,v' ov pLcvrot a>? 
^ovXopiai ye tto) Kare^o) ro epojrcopLevov. 

2n. Uorepov Se Trepl dperijs p-ovov aoL ovrcu 
SoKel, (L MeVojv, ciAAt^ p,ev dvhpos elvai, dXXr] Se 
yvvaLKOs Kal rcov dXXa>v, ^ Kal Trepl uyieta? Kai 
rrepl pceyedovs Kal Trepl laxvos coaavnos; aXXir] 
pt,ev dvSpos hoKel aot, elvai vyieia, dXXr] 8e yvvai- 
Kos; 7} ravrov Travraxov elSos eariv, edvTrep 
E vyieia 7], edvre ev dvSpl idvre ev dXXco orcpovv 'fj; 


and you replied that there are many different kinds 
of bees, and I rejoined : Do you say it is by being 
bees that they are of many and various kinds and 
differ from each other, or does their difference lie 
not in that, but in something else — for example, 
in their beauty or size or some other quality ? Tell 
me, what would be your answer to this question ? 

MEN. WTiy, this — that they do not differ, as bees, 
the one from the other. 

see. And if I went on to say : Well now, there 
is this that I want you to tell me, Meno : what do 
you call the quality by which they do not differ, 
but are all alike ? You could find me an answer, 
I presume ? 

MEN. I could. 

soc. And likewise also with the virtues, however 
many and various they may be, they all have one 
common character whereby they are virtues, and 
on which one would of course be wise to keep an 
eye when one is giving a definitive answer to the 
question of what virtue really is. You take my 
meaning, do you not ? 

MEN. My impression is that I do ; but still I 
do not yet grasp the meaning of the question as I 
could \vish. 

soc. Is it only in the case of \irtue, do you think, 
Meno, that one can say there is one kind belonging 
to a man, another to a woman, and so on with the 
rest, or is it just the same, too, in the case of health 
and size and strength ? Do you consider that 
there is one health for a man, and another for a 
woman ? Or, wherever we find health, is it of 
the same character universally, in a man or in 
anyone else ? 



MEN. *H avr-q fxoi SoKel vyieLo. ye elvai Ka\ 
dvSpos Kal yvvaLKos. 

sn. OvKovv Kal fieyeOos Kal Igxvs; edwep 
laxvpa yvvrj rj, ra> avro) e'lhei Kal rfj avrfj IcrxvC 
laxypo- ecrrat; ro yap rfj avrfj rovro Aeyco* ovhev 
Sta^epet Tvpos ro lax^s elvat rj Icrxvs, idvre iv 
dvBpl rj Idvre iv yvvaiKL' •^ So/cet ri aoi Sia^e'/aetP'; 

MEN. OvK efjbotye. 
73 2n. 'H Se dperrj Trpos to dperrj eivai Stotcret ri, 
idvre iv TratSt rj idvre iv rrpea^vrrj, idvre iv 
yvvaLKl idvre iv dvSpi; 

MEN. "EjLtotye TTCDS SoKet, u) HwKpares, rovro 
ovKeri, ofjLOiov elvai rols dXXois rovroLS. 

2n. Tt 8e; OVK dvSpos p-ev dperrjv eXeyes 
TToXiv ev StotKeXv, yvvaiKos Se olKiav; 

MEN. "Eycuye. 

2n. *Ap' ovv olov re ev StotKelv t] ttoXlv rj 
OLKLav iq dXXo otlovv, pLrj CFa)(f)p6va)s Kal Si/cato)? 
B MEN. Ov Sijra. 

2fl. OvKovv dvrrep St/cat'o)? Kal a(o(f)p6va)s 
SioLKoJai, BiKaioavvr] Kal aco(/)poavvrj StoiK'qcrovatv ; 

MEN. 'Amy/cr^. 

5n. Tcov avrcov dpa€poL heovrat, enrep 
fieXXovaiv dyadol elvat, Kal r) yvvrj Kal 6 dvqp, 
BcKaiocTvvrjs Kal aa)<j>poavvrjs . 

MEN. ^aivovrai. 

2X1. Ti Se TTals Kal rrpea^vrrjs ; p-cov d/co- 
Xaarot ovres kol aSt/cot dyadol dv rrore yevotvro; 

MEN. Oi5 Srjra. 

2X1. 'AAAa adxjjpoves /cat Si/catoi; 



MEff. I think that health is the same, both in 
man and in woman. 

soc. Then is it not so with size and strength 
also ? If a woman is strong, she v,i\\ be strong by 
reason of the same form and the same strength ; 
by " the same " I mean that strength does not 
differ as strength, whether it be in a man or in a 
woman. Or do you think there is any difference ? 

MEN. I do not. 

soc. And will virtue, as virtue, differ at all whether 
it be in a child or in an elderly person, in a woman 
or in a man ? 

MEN. I feel somehow, Socrates, that here we cease 
to be on the same ground as in those other cases. 

soc. Why ? Were you not saying that a man's 
virtue is to manage a state well, and a woman's 
a house ? 

MEN. I was. 

soc. And is it possible to manage a state well, 
or a house, or anything at all, if you do not manage 
it temperately and justly ? 

MEN. Surely not. 

soc. Then whoever manages temperately and 
justly will manage with temperance and justice ? 

MEN. That must be. 

soc. Then both the woman and the man require 
the same qualities of justice and temperance, if 
they are to be good. 

MEN. Evidently. 

soc. And what of a child or an old man ? Can 
they ever hope to be good if they are intemperate 
and unjust ? 

MEN. Surely not. 

soc. Only if they are temperate and just ? 



MEN. Nai. 
C 2n. YldvTes ap* avdpcoTToi rut avrcp rpoino 
dyadoi elai' rcov avrcbv yap Tvxdvres dyadol 

MEN. "Eot/cer. 

2n. OvK dv Stjttou, ei ye fxr] 'q avrrj dperrj 
r/P avTcov, rw avrco dv rpoircx) dyaOol rjaav. 

MEN. Ov Srjra. 

2n. 'EttciSt^ roivvv rj avrrj dperrj ndvrcjv 
eari, Treipo) eirrelv Kat avajjLvrjadfjvai, ri avro 
^Tjai Vopyias etvai /cat av jier* eKeivov. 

MEN. Tt (xAAo y rj apx^i-v olov r etvai ra>v 
J) dvdp(i}TT(x)v; e'Lirep ev ye ri t^yjrels Kara Trdvrcov. 

xn. 'AAAo. fi-qv ^rjrco ye. aAA' dpa /cat 
TratSo? rj avrrj dperrj, cS MeVcoi/, /cat SouAoy, dp^eiv 
OLcp re elvai rod Secnrorov, /cat So/cet aoi en dv 
SovXos elvai 6 dp^cov; 

MEN. Ov rrdvv jxoi hoKeZ, tS HiOKpares. 

2n. Ov ydp €lk6s, c5 dpiare. eri, yap /cat 
ToSe OKOTTef dpx^iv (f)fjs olov r elvai' ov Trpoa- 
drjaojiev avroae ro St/catcoj, dSt'/co;? 8e \jJj; 

MEN. Oljiai eyoiye' rj ydp SiKaioavvrj , c5 
JlcoKpares, dperrj eartv. 
E 2n. Ilorepov dperrj, u) yievojv, rj dperrj rts; 

MEN. Hcbs rovro Xeyeis; 

2n. 'Q? TTepl dXKov orovovv. olov, el fiovXei, 
arpoyyvXorrjros Trepi etVot^u. ai' eycoye, on a^rjl^a 
Tt ear IV, ovx ovrcos ctTrAcDs' on ax'fjp-a.. 8id 
ravra Be ovrcog dv etVot/xt, on /cat aAAa can 

MEN. ^Opdcbs ye Xeyojv av, CTrel /caj eyo) Aeytu 
ov jjLovov SiKaioavvTjv aAAa /cat aAAa? eivat dperds. 


MEN. Yes. 

soc. So all mankind are good in the same way ; 
for they become good when they acquire the same 

MEN. So it seems. 

soc. And I presume, if they had not the same 
virtue, they would not be good in the same way. 

MEN. No, indeed. 

soc. Seeing then that it is the same \irtue in all 
cases, try and tell me, if you can recollect, what 
Gorgias — and you in agreement with him — say it is. 

MEN. Simply that it is the power of governing 
mankind — if you want some single description to 
cover all cases. 

soc. That is just what I am after. But is virtue 
the same in a child, Meno, and in a slave — an ability 
to govern each his master ? And do you think he 
who governed would still be a slave ? 

MEN. I should say certainly not, Socrates. 

soc. No, indeed, it would be unlikely, my excellent 
friend. And again, consider this further point : 
you say it is " to be able to govern " ; shall we 
not add to that — " justly, not unjustly " ? 

MEN. Yes, I think so ; for justice, Socrates, is 

soc. Virtue, Meno, or a virtue ? 

MEN. What do you mean by that ? 

soc. WTiat I would in any other case. To take 
roundness, for instance ; I should call it a figure, 
and not figure pure and simple. And I should 
name it so because there are other figures as well. 

MEN. You would be quite right — ^just as I say there 
are other virtues besides justice. 



74 sn. TtVa? ravrag; etVe- olov Kal iyw aoi 
eiTTOLfXi av Kal d'AAa axr}ixara, et jxe /ceAeuots" 
/cat crj) ovv ifxol eiTre aAAa? dperds. 

MEN. H dvhpeia roivvv e/Ltoiye 8o/cet dperrj 
eiv-at /cat aoi(j>poavvrj /cat ao(j)ia /cat fieyaXoTTpe-jre la 
/cat d'AAat TrdfiTToXXai. 

2n. IlaAti^, c5 Met'toi', rauToi' TreTTovdafiev 
TroAAd? au rjvp-qKafiev dperds /itav ^rjTOVvres, 
dXXov rpoTTOV -^ vi't'Si^- TT^v' 8e ju.tat', -^ Std TrdvTwv 
rovTcov lariv, oi) Swdfjueda dvevpelv. 
B MEN. Oi) yd/3 hvvaiiai ttco, cS Sco/c/aares-, co? 
CTi) i,7]r€is, fJitav dperrjv Aa^etv /card Trdi^Tcui/, 
(vaTTep iv Tolg dAAoiS". 

2n. Et/cdrcDS' ye* dAA' eyo) TTpodvixrjaop,ai, 
eav OLOS r c5, i^/zd? Trpo^L^daai. p,avddv€is 
yap 7TOV, on ovrojOL €)(€l Trept Travros' et rt's" ce 
avepoLTO rovro, o vvvhrj iyd) eXeyov, tl eoTi ax'rjP'O-, 
w Mev'cov; et avrco eiires otl arpoyyvXorrjs, ei! 
aoL €L7T€V ttTTe/j eyco, TTorepov a)(fjpLa rj arpoy- 
yvXorrjs icrriv t] axrjP'd tl; etnes St^ttov av on 
axrjiid TL. 

MEN. Wdvv ye. 
Q, 2n. Ou/cow Std TavTa, otl kol dXXa ecrri 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. Kat et ye TrpoaavrjpcoTa cre oTrota, eAeye? av; 

MEN. "Eyoiye. 

2n. Kat av et 7re/oi ;^/oa)/xaTOS' (LaavToy? dv- 
rjpeTo o TL kari, /cat etVdvTOS" croy, ort to Aeu/cdv, 
/Ltera raura vneXa^ev 6 ipcoroJv, rrorepov to 
XevKov xP^H'd ioTLV rj xP^f^d tl; etTre? av OTi 
XpoJp,d TL, SioTi KOL dXXa TvyxdvcL ovTa; 


soc. What are they ? Tell me. In the same way 
as I can tell you of other figures, if you request me, 
so do you tell me of other virtues. 

MEN, Well then, courage, I consider, is a virtue, 
and temperance, and wisdom, and loftiness of mind ; 
and there are a great many others. 

soc. Once more, Meno, we are in the same 
plight : again we have found a number of virtues 
when we were looking for one, though not in the 
same way as we did just now ; but the one that 
runs through them all, this we are not able to find. 

MEN. No, for I am not yet able, Socrates, to follow 
your line of search, and find a single virtue common 
to all, as one can in other cases. 

soc. And no wonder ; but I will make an effort, 
so far as I can, to help us onward. You understand, 
of course, that this principle of mine applies to 
everything : if someone asked you the question I 
put to you just now : What is figure, Meno ? and 
you replied : Roundness ; and then he said, as I did : 
Is roundness figure or a figure ? I suppose you would 
answer : A figure. 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And for this reason — that there are other 
figures as well ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And if he went on to ask you of what sort 
they were, you would tell him ? 

MEN. I would. 

soc. And if he asked likewise what colour is, 
and on your answering " white " your questioner 
then rejoined : Is " white " colour or a colour ? 
your reply would be : A colour ; because there are 
other colours besides. 

VOL. IV K 2 277 


MEN. "Eycuye. 

2n. Kat et yi ae eVe'Aeue Ae'yeiv aAAa xpf^H-o-ra, 
D e'Aeye? av a'AAa, a ovhev rJTTOv rvyxdvei, ovra XP^' 
fxara rod XevKOv; 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. Et ovv cooTTep iyw /nerTyet tov Xoyov, 
Kal eXeyev on del els ttoXXo, d(f>LKVovfi,€6a, dAAd 
/LIT] /xot ovrcos, aAA eireihr] rd ttoAAo. ravra ivi 
rivi vpocrayopeveis dvojxaTi, Kal (^r^s ovSev avrcov 
o TL ov ax^P'O. etvaL, /cat ravra Kal evavria ovra 
dXXiqXoLS, 6 rt kart rovro, o ovSev y^rrov Karexei 
ro arpoyyvXov ^ ro evdv, o hrj ovofxa^eis ax^jp-a 
E 'cat ovSev fxaXXov (f>fjs ro arpoyyvXov ax^jpo. elvai 
7^ ro evdv; tj ovx ovrco Xeyeis; 

MEN. "Eycoye. 

2n. ^A/)' ovv, orav ovrco Xeyrjs, rore ouSev 
fidXXov (f>f)S ro arpoyyvXov etvai arpoyyvXov rj 
evdv, ovhe ro evdv evdv -^ arpoyyvXov ; 

MEN. Ov StJttov, (5 TiOiKpares. 

2n. 'AAAct /iTyi' ax'fjP'd ye ovSev p,dXXov <j)fj^ 
etvat ro arpoyyvXov rod evdeos, ov8e ro erepov 
rov erepov. 

MEN. 'AXrjdi] Xeyeis. 

2X1. Tt TTore ovv rovro, ov rovro ovofxd ecrrt, 
TO ax^p-o.; TTeipo) Xeyeiv. et ovv ra> epojrdJvrL 
75 ovruis Tj TTepl axrjP'aros rj XP^P'^^°^ etnes on 
dAA' ovSe fxavddvo) eycoye o n ^ovXei, c5 dvdpcDne, 
ovSe ol8a 6 n Xeyets' laois dv edavfiaae Kal 
eiTTev ov fiavdaveLs , on ^rjrcb ro enl irdai rovrois 
ravrov; t) ovSe enl TOUTOt?, ci) MevoiV, ep^ot? dv 



MEN. It would. 

soc. And if he bade you mention other colours, 
you would tell him of others that are colours just as 
much as white ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. Now suppose that, like me, he pursued the 
argument and said : We are always arri\ing at a 
variety of things, but let me have no more of that : 
since you call these many things by one single 
name, and say they are figures, every one of them, 
even when they are opposed to one another, tell 
me what is that which comprises round and straight 
aUke, and which you call figure — including straight 
equally with round under that term. For that is 
your statement, is it not ? 

MEN. It is. 

soc. And in making it, do you mean to say that 
round is no more round than straight, or straight 
no more straight than round ? 

MEN. No, to be sure, Socrates. 

soc. What you mean is that the round shape is 
no more a figure than the straight, or the straight 
than the round. 

ME\. Quite right. 

soc. Then what can this thing be, which bears the 
name of figure ? Try and tell me. Suppose that, 
on being asked this question by someone, either 
about figure or about colour, you had replied : Why, 
I don't so much as understand what you want, 
sir, or even know what you are saying : he might 
well have shown surprise, and said : Do you not 
understand that I am looking for that which is the 
same common element in all these things ? Or 
would you still be unable to reply, Meno, if you were 



> \ 

eiTTeiv, et ti? epcorcor]' tl eanv em rep arpoy- 
yvXcp /cat evdel Kal eirl rols dXXoLs, a S-q axripiara 
KaXels, ravrov ctti Trdac; TreLpw enrelv, Iva koL 
yevqrat, croi ixeXerr) npos r-qv Trepc ttjs aperrjs 
B MEN. M77, dXkd av, (3 TicoKpares, etVe. 

2fl. BouAei aoi ^(apiaoipiai ; 

MEN. Yldvv ye. 

2n. 'E^eATyCTCt? ovv Kal av ep,ol elirelv nepl 
rfjs dperijs; 

MEN. "l^iyojye. 

2n. Upodv/JLTjreov roivvv d^iov yap, 

MEN. Yldvv fxev ovv. 

2n. ^epe Sij, TreipcofieOd aoi emetv, tl eart 
ax^P'O.. aKorrei ovv el roSe dTTohexjj avro eli'ai- 
earo) yap Srj ' rovro ax'fjp-a, o p,6vov tcov 
ovroiV Tvyxdvei ;^pci>/xaTt del eirop^evov. iKavaJs 
aoi, "q dXXcos ttojs t.rjTels; eydi yap Kav ovrojs 
dyaTTwrjV el p,oi, dper-qv etTrois". 
C MEN. 'AAXa rovTO ye eirqdes, c5 HcoKpares. 

2n. HdJs Xeyeis; 

MEN. "On ax'qp-d ttov eari Kara rov aov 
Xoyov, o del XPoa eTrerai. elev el he Srj r-qu 
Xpdav Tis P''q <j>airi elhevai, aXXd (Laavrojs dTTopol 
warrep irepl rov axTJp-o-Tos, ri av olei aoi aTTO- 
KeKpiadai ; 

2ri. TdXridrj eyojye' Kal el p,ev ye rcov ao(f)cov 
ns eiT^ Kal epiariKaJv re Kai aycoviaTiKiov 6 
D ep6p,evos, et770t/x' dv avrcp on ep,ol p^ev etp-qrai' 
el 8e p,rj opdcbs Xeyo), aov epyov Xap-^dveiv Xoyov 
Kal eXeyx^iv. el Se cjoTrep eyco re /cat av vvvl 
<j)iXoi ovres ^ovXolvto dXXiqXois SiaXeyeaOai, Set 


approached on other terms, and were asked : What 
is it that is common to the round and the straight 
and everything else that you call figures — the same 
in all ? Try and tell me ; it will be good practice 
for your answer about virtue. 

MEX. No, it is you who must answer, Socrates. 

soc. You wish me to do you the favour ? 

MEN. By all means. 

soc. And then you will agree to take your turn 
and answer me on virtue ? 

MEN. I will. 

soc. Well then, I must make the effort, for it is 
worth our while. 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Come now, let me try and tell you what 
figure is. Just consider if you accept this description 
of it : figure, let us say, is the only existing thing that 
is found always following colour. Are you satisfied, 
or are you looking for something different ? I am 
sure I should be content vnth a similar account of 
virtue from you. 

MEN. But it is such a silly one, Socrates. 

soc. How do you mean ? 

MEN. Well, figure, as I understand by your account, 
is what always follows colour. Very good ; but if 
some one said he did not know colour, and was in the 
same difficulty about it as about figure, what answer 
do you suppose would have come from you ? 

soc. The truth, from me ; and if my questioner 
were a professor of the eristic and contentious sort, 
I should say to him : I have made my statement ; 
if it is wrong, your business is to examine and refute 
it. But if, like you and me on this occasion, we were 
friends and chose to have a discussion together, I 



^rj TTpaorepov ttojs koL StaXeKTiKcorepov oltto- 
Kpiveadai. eari 8e taws to SiaXeKriKcorepov firj 
fjLovov rdXrjdrj aTTOKpiveudai, aXka koL hi eKeivwv 
<hv av Trpoao/jioXoyfj eiSeVat o ipajrcu/xevos. Tret- 
pdcrofiau St] /cat iyco aoi ovtojs etVeit'. Aeye 
yap fMOi' TeXevTrjv KaXeZs ri; roiovSe Xeyco olov 
E TTepas Kol eaxo-rov Trdvra ravra ravrov tc Xeyw 
tacos S' dv r][XLV YlpoSiKos hia^epoLTO' dXXd av 
yi 7TOV KaXels TreTTepdvdai tl Kal TereXevrrjKevaf 
TO TOLOVTOv ^ovXojjiaL Xiyeiv, ovhev ttolklXov. 

MEN. 'AAAd KaXw, Kal olfjLai p,avddv€iv 6 
7(5 2X1. Tl S'; iTTLTreSov KaXeis rt,, Kal erepov 
av arepeov, olov ravra rd ev yeojyLerpiais ; 

MEN. "Eycuye /caAcD. 

2n. "HStj roivvv dv piddois p-ov eV rovrcov, 
CT;)^r^/xa o Xeyco. Kara yap Travros axT^p-o-Tos 
rovro Xeyco, els o to arepedv rrepalvei, rovr^ 
elvai ax^P'O.' drrep dv avXXa^div eLTTOtp.t arepeov 
TTepas axrjP'O- elvai. 

MEN. To 8e XP^H''^ ''"^ Xeyeis, d> HcoKpares ; 

2n. 'Y^piarijs y' et, c5 Mevcov dvSpl rrpea^vrrj 
Trpdyp,ara Trpoararreis arroKpiveadai, avros Se 
]3 ovK e^e'AetS" dvap,vr)adeis elireiu, 6 rl TTore Xeyei 
Vopylas dperrjv elvai. 

MEN. 'AAA' eTTeiSdv p,oi av rovr' eiTTjjs, w 
ILwKpares, epd) ooi. 

2Xi. Kai' KaraKeKaXvp.p.€vos ris yvoir], Jj 
Mevcov, SiaXeyopevov aov, on KaXos el koi epaarai 
aoi en eiaiv. 



should have to reply in some milder tone more suited 
to dialectic. The more dialectical way, I suppose, 
is not merely to answer what is true, but also to 
make use of those points which the questioned 
person acknowledges he knows. And this is the 
way in which I shall now try to argue with you. 
Tell me, is there something you call an end ? Such 
a thing, I mean, as a limit, or extremity — I use all 
these terms in the same sense, though I daresay 
Prodicus ^ might quarrel with us. But you, I am. 
sure, refer to a thing as terminated or ended ; 
something of that sort is what I mean — nothing 

MEN. Yes, I do, and I think I grasp your meaning. 

SCO. Well then, you speak of a surface, and also 
of a solid — the terms employed in geometrical 
problems ? 

MEX. I do. 

soc. So now you are able to comprehend from all 
this what I mean by figure. In every instance of 
figxire I call that figure in which the sohd ends ; 
and I may put that more succinctly by saying that 
figure is " limit of sohd." 

MEN. And what do you say of colour, Socrates ? 

soc. How overbearing of you, Meno, to press an 
old man with demands for answers, when you >vill 
not trouble yourself to recollect and tell me what 
account Gorgias gives of virtue ! 

MEN. WTien you have answered my question, 
Socrates, I will answer yours. 

soc. One might tell even blindfolded, Meno, by 
the way you discuss, that you are handsome and 
still have lovers. 

1 Cf. Protag. 337 a. 



MEN. Ti S-q; 

2fl. "On ovSev dAA' 7] eTTirdrTeig iv rols 

Xoyois' OTtep TTOLOvaiv ol rpv^covres, are rvpav- 

vevovres, eos av iv wpa (Lai. /cat ap,a e/xov 

C tcrcog KareyvojKas, on elpl rjrrwv rcov KaXCJv. 

XO'pi'OV[xat, ovv (TOL Kal a-noKpivovjxai. 

MEN. W.dvv fiev ovv ;)^a/3iaat. 

2n. BovXet ovp aoL Kara. Vopyiau diroKpi- 
vojfxai, -^ av av fidXicrTa aKoXovdi^aacs ; 

MEN. BovXofxai- TTCJs yap ov; 

2n. OvKovv Aeyere aTToppods nvas rd>v ovrwv 
Kara 'E/XTreSo/cAea; 

MEN. ll<f>6bpa ye. 

2n. Kai TTopovs, els ovs Kal 8t' wv at aTToppoal 

MEN. YVdvv ye. 

2n. Kat Tcbv aTToppoajv rag fiev dppiOTreiv 
D ivLois Tcov TTopcov, TOLS 8e iXdrTovs 7] fxei^ovs 

MEN. "Eart ravra. 

2n. OvKovv Kal otpiv KaXels rt; 

MEN. "Eycoye. 

2n. 'E/c Tovrcov Srj ^vves o rot Xeyco, e<j)-q 
T{ivhapo<5. eart yap XP'^^ aTTopporj axrip-driov 
oipei avjJip.erpos Kal alaOrjTos. 

MEN, "ApLord fioL boKels, c5 JjcoKpares, ravrrjv 
rrjv aTTOKpLoiv elprjKevat. 

2n. "laws ydp aot Kara avvt^deiav etpT^rai' 

^ There is something of Gorgias's stately style in the 
definition that follows ; but the implication seems mainly to 
be that the substance of it will be familiar to Meno because 


MEN. Why so ? 

soc. Because you invariably speak in a peremptory 
tone, after the fashion of spoilt beauties, holding as 
they do a despotic power so long as their bloom is 
on them. You have also, I daresay, made a note of 
my weakness for handsome people. So I will indulge 
you, and answer. 

MEN. You must certainly indulge me. 

soc. Then would you like me to answer you in 
the manner of Gorgias,^ which you would find easiest 
to follow ? 

MEN. I should like that, of course. 

soc. Do not both of you say there are certain 
effluences ^ of existent things, as Empedocles held ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And passages into which and through which 
the effluences pass ? 

MEN. To be sure. 

soc. And some of the effluences fit into various 
passages, while some are too small or too large ? 

MEN. That is so. 

soc. And further, there is what you call sight ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. So now " conceive my meaning," as Pindar' 
says : colour is an effluence of figures, commensurate 
with sight and sensible. 

MEN. Your answer, Socrates, seems to me excel- 
lently put. 

soc. Yes, for I expect you find its terms familiar ; 

he was a pupil of Gorgias, who had learnt his science from 


* Empedocles taught that material objects are known to 
us by means of effluences or films given off by them and 
suited in various ways to our sense-organs. 

» Fr. 82 (Bergk) ; c/. Aristoph. Birdg, 939. 



Kal afxa, offJLai, ivvoelg, on e^ois av €^ avrrjs 
etVetv /cat ^covrjv, o eari., koL oafjirjv Kal oAAa 


MEN. riaVU fl€V ovv. 

2n. TpayLKT] yap iariv, c5 Mevcov, rj aTTOKpiais , 
ware apecKet aoi jxdXXov rj rj Trepl rod axTjixarog. 

MEN. "E/xoiye. 

2n. 'AAA' OVK eoTiv, c5 iral 'AAe^tSrjjLtou, (hs 
iyo) ijjLavTov Treido), aAA' eKelvr] ^eXrlcov oifJLai. 
Se oyS' av aol So^ai, el firj, (Zcnrep x^^^ eXeyes, 
avayKalov ctol amevai Tcpo twv fxvarrjpiwv, dAA 
et TrepLfielvaig re /cat jxvqdeL-rjs. 
77 MEN. 'AAAo. 7re/>t/ieVot/x' av, w JjcoKpares, et 
jLtot TToAAd roLavra Xiyois. 

2n. 'AAAo, /XT^v TTpodvpbia? ye ovhev aTroAeti/'a), 
/cat crou eVe/ca /cat e/jLavTOV, Xeyojv roiavTa- oAA' 
OTTOJS pur] ovx Old? T ecrojLtat rroAAd roiavra Xeyeiv. 
dAA' t^t St) TTeipco /cat cti) e/xot ri^t' U7rdcr;i^eo-tv' 
dTToSowat, Kara oAou elTTcbv dpeTrjs Trept, 6 ri eart, 
/cat navaai ttoXXol ttoiojv e/c tou et'd?, OTrep ^acrt 
TOWS" avvTpifiovrds rt eKaarore ol aKcoTTTOvres, dAA' 
B edaas oXrjv /cat vyirj etVe rt eariv dpeTiq. rd Se 
ye TTapaheiypiara Trap' ip,ov eXXT](^as. 

MEN. AoKel roLVVv /Ltot, 65 JlcoKpares, dperrj 
eivai, Kaddnep 6 TroirjTrjs Xeyei, xp-ipeiv re KaXotai 
Kal SvvacrdaL' Kal eyoj rovro Xeyco dperrjv, CTrt- 
Ov/JLOvvra rwv KaXcov Svvarov etvai TTopi^eadai. 

211. ^Apa Xeyeis rov rcov KaXcov e7nOvp,ovvra 
ayaOcov eTTLdupLrjrrjv elvai; 

MEN. MdAtCTrd ye. 

2n. *Apa d)s ovrcDV rLvcov ot rojv KaKa>v iiri.- 

^ Perhaps from Simonides. 



and at the same time I fancy you observe that it 
enables you to tell what sound and smell are, and 
numerous other things of the kind. 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. It is an answer in the high poetic style, 
Meno, and so more agreeable to you than that about 

MEN. Yes, it is. 

soc. But yet, son of Alexidemus, f am inclined 
to think the other was the better of the two ; and 
I believe you also would prefer it, if you were not 
compelled, as you were saying yesterday, to go 
away before the mysteries, and could stay awhile 
and be initiated. 

MEN. But I should stay, Socrates, if you would 
give me many such answers. 

soc. Well then, I will spare no endeavour, both 
for your sake and for my own, to continue in that 
style ; but I fear I may not succeed in keeping for 
long on that level. But come now, you in your 
turn must try and fulfil your promise by telling me 
what virtue is in a general way ; and you must stop 
producing a plural from the singular, as the wags 
say whenever one breaks something, but leave 
virtue whole and sound, and tell me what it is. 
The pattern you have now got from me. 

MEN. Well, in my view, Socrates, virtue is, in the 
poet's words, " to rejoice in things honourable and 
be able for them " ^ ; and that, I say, is virtue — to 
desire what is honourable and be able to procure it. 

soc. Do you say that he who desires the honour- 
able is desirous of the good ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Implying that there are some who desire 



9vfxov<7LV, irepcov Be ot rcbv dyadcov; ov Travres, 
C wptare, boKoval aot raJv dyadajv emdviielv ; 

MEN. OvK e/xotye. 

2X1. 'AAAa TLves Tcbv KaKcov; 

MEN. Nat. 

2Xi. Olofievoi rd Ka/ca dyadd eivai, Xeyeis, ^ 
Kol yiyvcoaKovres , ori. /ca/ca iariv, oficos ctti- 
dvfiovatv avrcbv; 

MEN. *AfJi(f)6T€pa €fJiOt,y€ SoKcl. 

2n. *H yap So/cei tls crot, c5 Mevcov, yiyvaxTKcov 
rd /ca/ca ort /ca/ca iart,v o/aoj? eTTidvp^eZv avrix>v; 

MEN. MaAiorra. 

2n. Tt iTndvfieLV Xiyeis ; rj yeveadai avrco; 
D MEN. TeveaBai' ri ydp aXXo; 

2n. XVorepov -qyovfjievos rd KaKd co^eAeti' 
eKCLVov CO dv yevrfrai, 7] yiyvcoGKCOV rd Ka/cd otl 
jSActTrret S dv Trapfj; ■ 

MEN. Etai /Ltev ot riyovjJievoi rd KaKd (h^eXelv, 
elal 8e Acat ot yiyvcoaKovres on ^ActTrret. 

2n. '^H /cat SoKToyat crot yiyi^djcr/cetv rd /ca/ca, 
on /ca/ca iartv, ol 'qyovfievot, rd KaKd dxfieXelv; 

MEN. Ov iravv [XOL So/cet rovro ye. 

2n. Oj5/cow STyAov oTt ovrot p,ev ov rtov KaKcov 

iTTiOvfjiovcriv, ot dyvoovvres avrd, dAAd eKeivoiv, d 

E wovro dyadd etvai, eari 8e ravrd ye /ca/cd* ware 

ot dyvoovvres avrd /cat olofievoi, dyadd etvai SijXov 

on rcbv dyadcov eTnOvp-ovaiv rj ov; 

MEN. YiivhvvevovaLV ovrol ye. 

2n. Tt 8e; ot rcov KaKcov p,ev eTTidv/xovvreg, 
ws (f)fjs ov, 'qyovfievoL 8e rd KaKd ^Xdrrreiv eKclvov, 
<L dv ytyvrjrat, yiyvcoaKOvai SrjTTOV on ^Xa^njaovrai 
VTT* avTcov; 


the evil, and others the good ? Do not all men, 
in your opinion, my dear sir, desire the good ? 

MEX. I think not. 

soc. There are some who desire the evil ? 

MEX. Yes. 

soc. Thinking the evil to be good, do you mean, 
or actually recognizing it to be evil, and desiring 
it nevertheless ? 

MEN. Both, I believe. 

soc. Do you really believe, Meno, that a man 
knows the evil to be evil, and still desires it ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. What do you mean by " desires " ? Desires 
the possession of it ? 

MEN, Yes ; what else could it be ? 

soc. And does he think the evil benefits him who 
gets it, or does he know that it harms him who 
has it ? 

MEN. There are some who think the evil is a 
benefit, and others who know that it does harm. 

soc. And, in your opinion, do those who think 
the evil a benefit know that it is evil ? 

MEN. I do not think that at all. 

soc. Obviously those who are ignorant of the evil 
do not desire it, but only what they supposed to 
be good, though it is really evil ; so that those 
who are ignorant of it and think it good are really 
desiring the good. Is not that so ? 

MEN. It would seem to be so in their case. 

soc. Well now, I presume those who, as you say, 
desire the evil, and consider that the evil harms him 
who gets it, know that they will be harmed by it ? 



MEN. ^AvdyKT). 
78 2n. 'AAAa rovs ^Xanrofxevovs oSroi ovk oiovrat 
ddXiovs elvai /ca^' oaov ^XdrrTovrai ; 

MEN. Kai rovro dvdyKH). 

2n. Toy? Se ddXiovs ov KaKoSaifiovag ; 

MEN. Olfiat eycoye. 

Sn. "Eartv ovv 00x19 jSouAerat ddXiog /cat /ca/co- 
haijxtov elvai; 

MEN. Ou /xot So/cet, c5 HcoKpares. 

2n. Oy/c apa ^ovXerac, c5 MeVwr, ra /ca/ca 
ouSet?, e'lTTep fjurj ^ovXerai tolovtos elvai. ri yap 
dXXo icrrlv ddXiov elvai, tj emdvfieZv re twv KaKcov 
/cat KrdaQai; 
B MEN. KtvSuveueis' diXrjdrj Xeyeiv, oJ Sco/cpare?- 
/cat ouSet? ^ovXeadat, rd /ca/ca. 

2n. Ou/cow vw St) eAeye?, on earLV rj dperij 
^ovXeadai re rdyadd /cat hvvaadat; 

MEN. EtTTOi' ydp. 

5n. Oi3/cow rou^ XexBevros ro jxev ^ovXeadai 
irdaiv VTrdpx^t, /cat ravrrj ye ovhev 6 erepos rod 
erepov ^eXricxiv ; 

MEN. OatWrat. 

2n. 'AAAa SrjXov on, elirep earl ^eXrimv 
aXXos dXXov, Kara ro hvvaadai dv etrj dfieivcDv. 

MEN. Yldvv ye. 

2n. Tout' eanv dpa, (Ls eoiKe, /caret rdv adv 
C Adyov dperrj, Svvafiis rod rropL^eadat, rdyadd. 

MEN. IlavTaTraCTt jjlol So/cet, c5 llcoKpares, 
ovrcos ^x^LV, cos aru vvv VTToXa/x^dveLs . 

2n. "IScoiJiev 8rj /cat rovro el dXrjdes Xeyeis- 
io-a)s ydp dv ev Xeyois. rdyadd (f)fjs olov r eXvoL 
TTopl^eaOai dperrjv elvai; 


MEN. They needs must. 

soc. But do they not hold that those who are 
harmed are miserable in proportion to the harm 
they suffer ? 

MEN. That too must be. 

soc. And are not the miserable ill-starred ? 

MEN. I think so. 

soc. Then is there anyone who wishes to be 
miserable and ill-starred ? 

MEN. I do not suppose there is, Socrates. 

soc. No one, then, Meno, desires evil, if no one 
desires to be such an one : for what is being miserable 
but desiring evil and obtaining it ? 

MEN. It seems that what you say is true, Socrates, 
and that nobody desires evil. 

soc. Well now, you were saying a moment ago 
that virtue is the desire and abihty for good ? 

MEN. Yes, I was. 

soc. One part of the statement — the desire — 
belongs to our common nature, and in this respect 
one man is no better than another ? 

MEN. Apparently. 

soc. But it is plain that if one man is not better 
than another in this, he must be superior in the 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Then virtue, it seems by your account, is 
ability to procure goods. 

MEN. I entirely agree, Socrates, with the \iew 
which you now take of the matter. 

soc. Then let us see whether your statement is 
true in another respect ; for very likely you may be 
right. You say virtue is the ability to procure goods ? 

* TOV Ast : TOVTOV M39. 



MEN. "Eycoye. 

2fl. 'Aya^a 8e KaXeis ov^l olov vyUidv t€ kol 
ttXovtov ; 

MEN. Kat p^puCTiW Aeyct) /cat apyvpiov Kraadai 
Koi TLfias €v 77oAet /cat dpxds. 

2n. Ml) aAA arra Aeyei? rdya^a •^ rd roiavra; 

MEN. Oy/c, dAAd TTOLVTa Xeyco rd roiavra. 
D sn. Etev ;!(/oucrtov Se Si^ Kat apyvpiov TTopi- 
^cadai dper'q iariv, a)s (ftrjcri Mevojv 6 rov fieyaXov 
^aaiXecos rrarpiKos ^evos. irorepov TrpoariOeis 
rovrcp rep TTopcp, c5 MeVcov, to SiKaicos /cat dcrto)?, 
7] ovSev CTOt Sia(f)€pei, dXXd kov dSiKcos ris avrd 
TTopi^Tjrai, ofioiojs <jv avrd dperrjv /caAet?; 

MEN. Oj5 S'qTTOV, u) ^coKpares. 

2n. 'AAAd KaKiav. 

MEN. Hdvrojs Sr^TToy. 

2n. Act dpa, <x)s eot/ce, rovrcp rep iropcp St/caio- 
avvqv T] aco(j)pocrvvr]v •^ oaiorrjra Trpoaeivai, rj aXXo 
E Tt popiov dperfjs' et 8e /xt^, ovk earai dper-q, /cat- 
Trep eKTropi^ovaa rdyaOd. 

MEN. Hois' yci/D dvev rovrcov dperrj yivoir dv; 

2n. To Se /xt) €K7Topi^€iv ;^pi'o-tov' /cat dpyvpiov, 
orav p,rj St'/catov Ty, /xTyre aura) /iT^re dXXtp, ovk 
dperrj /cat auTT^ iariv 7] diropia; 

MEN. OatVerat. 

2n. OuSev dpa pdXXov 6 iropos rcov roiovrcov 
ayaddjv r} r] airopia dperrj dv etr^, dAAd, d)S eoiKcv, 
o pikv dv fJiera SiKaioavvrjs yiyvrjrai, dper'q earai, 
79 o S' dv dvev Trdvrcov rdjv roiovrcov, /ca/cia. 


MEN. I do, 

soc. And do you not mean by goods such things 
as health and wealth ? 

MEN. Yes, and I include the acquisition of gold 
and silver, and of state honours and offices. 

soc. Are there any things besides this sort, that 
you class as goods ? 

MEN. No, I refer only to everything of that sort. 

soc. Very well : procuring gold and silver is 
virtue, according to Meno, the ancestral friend of 
the Great King. Tell me, do you add to such procur- 
ing, Meno, that it is to be done justly and piously, 
or is this indifferent to you, but even though a man 
procures these things unjustly, do you call them 
virtue all the same ? 

MEN. Surely not, Socrates. 

soc. Rather, vice. 

MEN. Yes, of course. 

soc. Then it seems that justice or temperance 
or holiness or some other part of virtue must ac- 
company the procuring of these things ; otherwise 
it will not be \irtue, though it provides one with 

MEN. Yes, for how, without these, could it be 
virtue ? 

soc. And not to procure gold and silver, when it 
would be unjust — what we call the want of such 
things — is virtue, is it not ? 

MEN. Apparently. 

soc. So the procuring of this sort of goods will be 
no more virtue than the want of them ; but it 
seems that whatever comes accompanied by justice 
will be virtue, and whatever comes without any such 
quality, vice. 



MEN. AoKct fioi dvayKalov etvai (I)s Aeyet?. 

sn. OvKOVv rovTCov eKaurov oXiyov irporepov 
fxopiov dpeTTJg e^a/xev' elvai, rrjv SiKaioavvrjv Kal 
aco(f)poavvr]v /cat TTovra rd roiavra; 

MEN. Nai. 

2n. EiTtt, c5 M.€V(xiv, Trai^et? Trpo? /ue; 

MEN. Tt 817, 60 HcoKpares ; 

2n. "On aprt e/zou SerjdevTos aov fjirj Kar- 
ayvvvat {xrjSe K€piiarit,eLv ttjv dperrjv, Kal Sovtos 
TTapaheiyiiara Kad^ d Scot dTTOKptvecrdai, tovtov 
fj,€V rjfjieXrjaas, Aeyet? Se jjlol, otl dperi] icrnv olov 
B t' elvai rdyadd Tropi^eadai fierd SiKaioavvrjS' 
TOVTO Se (f)f)s fMopiov dperfjg elvai; 

MEN. "Eycoye. 

2n. OvKovv cwix^aivei €$ a)v av o/xoXoyets, ro 
fierd fxopiov dper-qs TrpdrTCiv, o re dv TTparri], 
TOVTO dpeTTjV elvai' ttjv yap SiKaioavvrjP pLopiov 
(f>fjg dpcTTJs elvai,, Kal eKaara roxrroiv. Tt ovv Srj 
TOVTO Xeyoi; ore ifMOV Serjdevros oXov elvelv rqv 
dperrjv, avrrjv fiev ttoXXov Set? etTretv o Tt eort, 
TTaaav 8e (f)fjg irpd^iv dperrjv elvat, iavrrep fxera 
C fiopiov dperrjs TTpdrrrjraL, oxnrep etpr^Kdjg o ri 
dperrj eari to dXov /cat rjhrj yucoaofievov efjiov, /cat 
edv av KaraKepixaTit,rjS avrrjv Kara /JLopta. Selrai 
ovv aoi TrdXiv i^ dpXTjS, d>S ifiol 80/cet, tt^S" avrrjs 
ipcor-qaeojg, c5 ^lAe Mevujv, ri iariv dperrj, el fierd 
/jLopiov dperrjg irdoa Trpd^ig dperrj av e'lrj; rovro 
yap eari Xeyeiv, drav Xeyr) Tt?, OTt Trao-a rj /xera 
SiKaioavvrjs irpd^is dperrj ecrriv. 'q ov 80/cet crot 
ndXiv 8etcr0at T'^S' avrrjs epayrrjaeois, oAA otet Ttva 
tlSevai fiopiov dperrjs 6 ti eariv, avrrjv fxrj etSora; 



MEN. I agree that it must be as you say. 

soc. And were we saying a little while ago that 
each of these things was a part of virtue — justice 
and temperance and the rest of them ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And here you are, Meno, making fun of me ? 

MEN. How so, Socrates ? 

soc. Because after my begging you not to break 
up \irtue into small change, and gi\ing you a pattern 
on which you should answer, you have ignored all 
this, and^ now tell me that \-irtue is the abihty to 
procure good things with justice ; and this, you teU 
me, is a part of virtue ? 

MEN. I do. 

soc. Then it follows from your own admission 
that doing whatever one does with a part of \-irtue is 
itself \irtue ; for you say that justice is a part of 
virtue, and so is each of such quahties. You ask the 
meaning of my remark. It is that after my request- 
ing you to speak of virtue as a whole, you say not a 
word as to what it is in itself, but tell me that every 
action is virtue provided that it is done with a part 
of virtue ; as though you had told me what virtue 
is in the whole, and I must understand it forthwith 
— when you are really sphtting it up into fragments ! 
I think therefore that you must face the same 
question all over again, my dear Meno — What is 
virtue ? — if we are to be told that every action 
accompanied by a part of virtue is virtue ; for that 
is the meaning of the statement that every action 
accompanied by justice is virtue. Or do you not 
agree that you have to meet the same question 
afresh ? Do you suppose that anyone can know a 
part of virtue when he does not know virtue itself ? 



MEN. OvK ejxoiye So/cet. 
D 2n. El yap koX [xefjivrjcrai, or eyco aoi apri 
OLTTeKpivdfxrjv irepl rod ax^P' , aTre^aAAo/xeV 
TTov Trjv ToiavTTjv aTTOKptaiv rrjv Sia rchv en 1,7]- 
Tovfieviov /cat [xi^ttco (hp^oXoyiqixivoiv eTTLX^Lpovaaf 

MEN, Kai opdcos y€ aTTe^aXXofiev, a) ^coKparcs. 

Sn. M.r) TOivvv, CO dpiare, jjLTjSe av en t,rjTOV- 
fxevrjs dpeTTJs oAtjs" o n eo'TLV olov Sia ra)v ravriqs 
fxoplcov diTOKpivopLevos BrjXd)aei,v avrrjv orwovv, ■^ 
E d'AAo oTLOvv TovTCo TO) avTcp TpoTTCp Xeycov, dXXd 
TTaXiV ri]g avTTJs herjaeadai epcoT-qaecos, rivos 
ovros dperrjg Xeyeus a Ae'yeis" t] ovhev aoi Bokoj 
Xeyeiv ; 

MEN. "E/xotye SoKet? opdcos Xeyeiv. 

2n. ^ ATTOKpLvai roivvv ttoXlv e^ dpxyj?' tl <f)fis 
dperrjv elvai Kal av /cat o eraZpo's aov; 

MEN. ^Q. HcoKpares, tJkovov piev eycuye Trplv 
80 /cat avyyeveaQai aoi, on av ovBev dXXo rj avros 
re diTopeZs /cat Toys' aAAou? TTOieis diropeiv /cat 
vvv, ws ye jLtot 8o/cet?, yorjreveis /u.e /cat ^app^drreig 
/cat drexyois KareTraSeis, ware piearov avopias ye- 
yovevai' koX 8o/cet? /xot TravreXcos , el Set ri /cat 
aKcoi/jai, 6p,oi6raros eivai ro re etSo? /cat rdAAa 
ravrrj rfj TrXareia vdpKT) rfj OaXarria. /cat yap 
avrT] rov del 7rXr]aidl,ovra /cat aTrropievov vapKav 
voiei' Kal av So/cets" P'Oi vvv ip,e roiovrov ri 
TTeTTOirjKevai {yapKav^} dXrjdws ydp eyojye /cat 
R r7]v ^v)(y]V Kal ro arofxa vapKco, Kal ovk e)(Oi o n 
dTTOKpivcopiaL aoi. /catVot pivpiaKis ye Tiepi aperrjs 

^ yapKav seel. Dobree. 


MEN. No, I do not. 

soc. And I daresay you remember, when I 
answered you a while ago about figure, how we 
rejected the sort of answer that attempts to proceed 
in terms which are still under inquiry and has 
not yet been admitted. 

AiEX. Yes, and we were right in rejecting it, 

soc. Well then, my good sir, you must not in 
your turn suppose that while the nature of virtue 
as a whole is still under inquiry you will explain 
it to anyone by replying in terms of its parts, or by 
any other statement on the same lines : you will 
only have to face the same question over again — 
What is this virtue, of which you are speaking all 
the time ? Or do you see no force in what I say ? 

MEN. I think what you say is right. 

soc. Then answer me again from the beginning : 
what do both you and your associate say that 
virtue is ? 

MEN. Socrates, I used to be told, before I began 
to meet you, that yours was just a case of being 
in doubt yourself and making others doubt also ; 
and so now I find you are merely bewitching me 
with your spells and incantations, which have reduced 
me to utter perplexity. And if I am indeed to have 
my jest, I consider that both in your appearance 
and in other respects you are extremely like the 
flat torpedo sea-fish ; for it benumbs anyone who 
approaches and touches it, and something of the sort 
is what I find you have done to me now. For in 
truth I feel my soul and my tongue quite benumbed, 
and I am at a loss what answer to give you. And 
yet on countless occasions I have made abundant 



TrafjLTToXXovs Xoyovs etprjKa koI irpos ttoAAous", koX 
TTavv €v, oj? ye ijxavTco iSoKovv vvv 8e oi)S' o ri 
ecrrt ro TrapaTrav ej^o) eiTretv. /<rai /x.o6 So/cet? eu 
^ovXeveaOai ovk CKTrXecov ivdevhe ouS' OLTToSrjiJiCJV' 
el yap feVo? eV aAATy TrdAet rotavra TTOtolg, rd^ 
dv COS yorjs d.7Ta^Qeirj£. 

2n. liavovpyog ef, c5 MeVcav, /cat oAi'you e^- 
TjiraTrjads fie. 

MEN. Tt fidXiara, cu Soj/cpares"; 
C 2n. riyva»cr/c6o ou eveKd fxe et/cacra?. 

MEN. TtVo? 817 otei; 

2n. "Iva ae dvretKdaoj. eyco 8e toOto '^ otSa 
7re/3t TravTojv rcov koXcov, on ^(^aipovaiv et/ca^d^evoi. 
AuortreAet yap auroi?* KaXai ydp, olfMac, roJv 
KaXoJv /cat at euKoveg. dXX ovk avreiKdaofxai ae. 
iyd) Se, et /xev rj vdpKrj avrrj vapKcoaa ovrco /cat 
Tovs dXXovs TTOiet vapKav, eot/ca avrfj' et 8e /xt), 
ou. 01) ya/3 evTTopcbv avTos tovs dXXovs ttolco dno- 
petv, dXXa TTavTos fJidXXov avros aTTopajv ovrojs /cat 
D TOWS" aAAou? TTOLCO aTTopelv. /cat vvv Trepl dperrjs, 
o eoTLV, iycb p.kv ovk otSa, av puevroL tacos Trporepov 
pi€V jjSiqada rrpiv efiov dipaadaL, vvv fMevTOi opiotos 
et OVK et8drt. opLcos 8e ideXco //.era aov aKetJiaadai 
/cat av^rjrrjaat, 6 ri ttotg icmv. 

MEN. Kat TtVa rpoTTov iC,ii)TriaeLS , co TicoKpares, 
TOVTO, o p,7] olada ro Trapdrrav 6 n earn; ttoZov ydp 
Sv OVK olada Trpodepievos l,r]rriaeis ; ^ et /cat on 
pLoXiara evrv^ois avrut, ttcos ctarj on rovro ianv, 
o av OVK rjSrjada; 


speeches on virtue to various people — and very good 
speeches they were, so I thought — but now I cannot 
say one word as to what it is. You are well advised, 
I consider, in not voyaging or taking a trip away 
from home ; for if you went on Uke this as a stranger 
in any other city you would very likely be taken up 
for a wizard. 

see. You are a rogue, Meno, and had almost 
deceived me. 

MEX. How is that, Socrates ? 

soc. I perceive your aim in thus comparing me. 

MEN'. What was it ? 

soc. That I might compare you in return. One 
thing I know about all handsome people is this — 
they delight in being compared to something. 
They do well over it, since fine features, I suppose, 
must have fine similes. But I am not for playing 
your game. As for me, if the torpedo is torpid 
itself while causing others to be torpid, I am like 
it, but not othervvise. For it is not from any sure- 
ness in myself that I cause others to doubt : it is 
from being in more doubt than anyone else that I 
cause doubt in others. So now, for my part, I 
have no idea what virtue is, whilst you, though 
perhaps you may have known before you came in 
touch with me, are now as good as ignorant of it 
also. But none the less I am willing to join you in 
examining it and inquiring into its nature, 

MEN. Why, on what lines will you look, Socrates, 
for a thing of whose nature you know nothing at all ? 
Pray, what sort of thing, amongst those that you know 
not, will you treat us to as the object of your search ? 
Or even supposing, at the best, that you hit upon it, 
how will you know it is the thing you did not know ? 



2n. MavddvcD otov ^ovXcl Xeyeiv, co Mevcov. 
■fc' opSg TOVTOV (x)s epLCTTLKOv Xoyov Kardyeis, cos ovk 
apa eari ^rjrelv dvOpcoTTO) ovt€ o olSev ovre o fir) 
oiSev; ovre yap dv 6 ye olhe ^rjTot' otSe ydp, kol 
ovhev Set r(x> ye tolovtco ^rjrrjaecos' ovre o firj 
olSev ovSe ydp olSev 6 rt, ^rjrt^aeL. 
"1 MEN. OvKovv /caAcD? aoi So/cei Xeyecrdai 6 
Xoyos oStos, CO HcvKpares; 

2n. Ovk epiOLye. 

MEN. "Yi-x^ets Xeyeiv 07777; 

2n. Eycoye* aKrjKoa ydp dvSpcov re /cat yvvat,- 
Kcov ao(f)d)v TTepl rd dela Trpay/xara — 

MEN. TtP'a Xoyov Xeyovrcov; 

2n. AXrjOi], epLOiye SoKelv, Kal KaXou. 

MEN. TiVa rovrov, /cat rtves oi Xeyovres; 

2n. Ot pLev Xeyovres elai ra>v lepecov re Kal 
lepeicbv oaoig pLepLeXrjKe Trepl wv pier axe ipit,ovraL 
Xoyov otots" t' etvai SiSovai* Ae'yei 8e /cat HtvSapos 
B /cat aAAoi TToXXol rdjv rrotrjrcov, oaoi deioi elaiv. 
d he Xeyovai, ravrl eariv dXXd oKorrei, el aoi 
SoKOVOLV dXrjdrj Xeyeiv. (f>aal ydp rrjv i/ivx^v 
rov dvdpcoiTov etvai dOdvarov, Kal rore p,ev 
reXevrav, o Srj dTroOvrjaKeiv KaXovai, rore he 
TTaXiv yiyveadai, dTToXXvadai 8' ovSeTTore' Selv 
Srj 8id ravra oj? oaicorara SiapcaJvaL rov ^lov 
otCTi ydp dv — 

^epae^ova Troivdv TraAaiou nevdeos 

he^erai, els rov vnepOev dXiov Kelvcov ivdrcp ere'C 

dvBiSoL t/jvxds ttoXlv, 


soc. I understand the point you would make, 

Meno. Do you see what a captious argument 
you are introducing — that, forsooth, a man cannot 
inquire either about what he knows or about what 
he does not know ? For he cannot inquire about 
what he knows, because he knows it, and in that 
case is in no need of inquiry ; nor again can he 
inquire about what he does not know, since he 
does not know about what he is to inquire. 

MEX. Now does it seem to you to be a good 
argument, Socrates ? 

soc. It does not. 

MEN. Can you explain how not ? 

soc. I can ; for I have heard from wise men and 
women who told of things divine that — 

MEN. What was it they said ? 

soc. Something true, as I thought, and admirable. 

MEN. What was it ? And who were the speakers ? 

soc. They were certain priests and priestesses 
who have studied so as to be able to give a reasoned 
account of their ministry ; and Pindar also and 
many another poet of heavenly gifts. As to their 
words, they are these : mark now, if you judge 
them to be true. They say that the soul of man is 
immortal, and at one time comes to an end, which 
is called dying, and at another is bom again, but 
never perishes. Consequently one ought to live 
all one's Ufe in the utmost hoUness. 

For from whomsoever Persephone shall accept requital 
for ancient wrong,^ the souls of these she restores in the 
ninth year to the upper sun again ; from them arise glorious 

1 vivOoi (" afiSiction ") in mystic language means some- 
thing like "fall" or "sin." These lines are probably from 
one of Pindar's Jjiryes (Bergk, fr. 133). 

VOL. IV L 301 


C e/c rdv ^aaiXrjes dyavol 

/cat adevei Kpanrvol ao(f)La re fj-eyiaroi 

dvSpeg av^ovT* } is Se rov Xolttov xpovov TJpcoes 

dyvot TTpos avdpwTTOiv KaXevvrai. 
"Are ovv 7} ipvxrj dddvaros re ovaa Kal TroAAa/ct? 
yeyovvla, /cat ecopaKvla Kal id evddSe /cat rd 
iv "AlSov Koi Trdvra ;^p7^/xaTa, ovk ecrrtv 6 ri 
ov fJLeixddrjKev ware ovhev dav/jLacrrov /cat Trepl 
dperrjg /cat nepl dXXcov olov re elvai avrrjv dva- 
fivqadrjvai, a ye /cat Trporepov rjTTLararo. are ydp 
D rrjs (j>vaeo}s aTrdcr-qs avyyevovs ovcrrjs, /cat /xe/xa- 
drjKvlas rrjs 'pvx'rjs drravra, ovSev KcoXvet, ev fxovov 
dvafivqadevra, o 8r] /xdOrjaLv koXovolv dvdpcoTTOL, 
rdXXa Trdvra avrov dvevpeZv, edv rt? dvhpeZos fj /cat 
fjLT] dTTOKdfxvr) ^TjrdJv' ro ydp ^rjrelv dpa /cat ro 
fjbavddveiv dvdfivqcrcs oXov eariv. ovkovv Set 
ireideadai rovrio rw epiariKw Xoyui' ovros jxev 
ydp dv rjfxds dpyovg TTOi-qaeie /cat eari rots fiaXa- 
Kols rdjv dvdpdiTTiov i^Sy? d/coycrat, oSe Se epya- 
E (jriKOVs re /cat ^rjriqrLKovs rroieZ' co eyoj Tnarevcov 
dXrjdel elvai ideXco fierd aov ^rjrelv dperrj 6 ri eariv. 
MEN. Nat, c5 HcoKpares' aAAa ttcos Xiyecs 
rovro, on ov p,avddvopiev, dXXd -qv KaXovfiev 
uddrjcTLV dvdpLvrjais eariv; €X€is p-e rovro StSa^at 
cos ovrois e'x^i; 

2n. Kat dpri, cIttov, oj Mevcov, on, iravovpyos 
el, /cat vvv epooras el exo) ae StSa^at, os ov (f)-qjXL 
82 StSap^T^v etvat dXX dvdfivrjaiv , tva Stj evdvs (f)aiv(x)- 
/^tat avros e/JLavrcp rdvavria Xeycov. 

MEN. Ov p,d rov Ata, cS TiCOKpares, ov Trpos 
rovro ^Xeifjas eiTTov, dXX^ vtto rov edovs' dXX' e'i 

^ aO^ovr' Boeckh : aC^ovrai mss. 


kings and men of splendid might and surpassing wisdom, 
and for all remaining time are they called hoh' heroes 
amongst mankind. 

Seeing then that the soul is immortal and has been 
born many times, and has beheld all things both in 
this world and in the nether realms, she has acquired 
knowledge of all and everj^thing ; so that it is no 
wonder that she should be able to recollect all 
that she knew before about virtue and other things. 
For as all nature is akin, and the soul has learned all 
things, there is no reason why we should not, by 
remembering but one single thing — an act which 
men call learning — discover everything else, if we 
have courage and faint not in the search ; since, 
it would seem, research and learning are wholly 
recollection. So we must not hearken to that 
captious argument : it would make us idle, and is 
pleasing only to the indolent ear, whereas the other 
makes us energetic and inquiring. Putting my trust 
in its truth, I am ready to inquire >\ith you into the 
nature of virtue. 

MEX. Yes, Socrates, but what do you mean by 
saying that we do not learn, and that what we call 
learning is recollection ? Can you instruct me that 
this is so ? 

soc. I remarked just now, Meno, that you are a 
rogue ; and so here you are asking if I can instruct 
you, when I say there is no teaching but only 
recollection : you hope that I may be caught 
contradicting myself forthwith. 

MEN. I assure you, Socrates, that was not my 
intention ; I only spoke from habit. But if you can 



■ncLg fioi €X€LS evSei^aadaL, on e;^ei cucrTre/a Aeyet?, 

2n. 'AAA' eoTt /Ltev ov paSiov, ofjbojg Se ideXco 
TTpodvfxrjdrjvai aov eveKa. dXXd jxoi TrpoaKoXeaov 
rajv TToXXaJv aKoXovdcov rovrcovl rojv cravTOV eva, 
B ovTLva ^ovXeL, tva ev Tovrcp crot eTriSei'fcu/xai. 

MEN. Wdw ye. Sevpo irpoaeXde. 

2n. "KXXrjV fiev ian /cat iXXrjvl^ei; 

MEN. Ilai^y ye a(f)68pa, oiKoyev-qs ye. 

2n. Ilp6ae)(e brj rov vovv, orrorep' dv aoi <f>aLvr]- 
rai, iq dvantpLvqaKoijievos rj p,avddv(x)v Trap* ifiov. 

MEN. 'AAAa TTpoae^co. 

2n. EtTTC St] fioi, o) TTal, yiyvcoaKeis rerpd- 
yiovov )(Uipiov on tolovtov eanv; 

nAi2. "Eycoye. 
C 2fl. "Kariv ovv rerpdyajvov ^(^oopiov laas ^X'^^ 
Ttt? ypa/xpuds ravras irdaas, rerrapa^ ovaas ; 

nAi2. Xidvv ye. 

ici. Ov /cat ravraal rds 8ta jxeaov earlv laas 

HAIS. Nat. 

10.. OvKovv etr) dv tolovtov ycop^^^ '^^^ fiel^ov 
Kal eXaTTOv; 

nAi2. Hdvv ye. 

2n. Et ovv etrj avTT] -q irXevpd Svolv ttoSolv /cat 
avTT] Svotv, TToacov dv etrj ttoBcjv to oXov; SSe 
8e GKonet.' el ■^v TavTjj Svolv ttoSoXv, TavTj] Se evos 

TToSo? flOVUV, dXXo TL UTTa^ dv "qv Svolv TToSoiV TO 


nAl2. Nat. 
D 2n. 'ETretSi^ he hvolv rrohoiv /cat TavTTj, dXXo 
TL rj his hvoZv yiyveTai; 


somehow prove to me that it is as yoti say, pray 
do so. 

soc. It is no easy matter, but still I am willing 
to try my best for your sake. Just call one of your 
own troop of attendants there, whichever one you 
please, that he may serve for my demonstration. 

MEN. Certainly. You, I say, come here. 

soc. He is a Greek, I suppose, and speaks Greek ? 

MEX. Oh yes, to be sure — born in the house. 

soc. Now observe closely whether he strikes you 
as recollecting or as learning from me. 

MEN. I will. 

soc. Tell me, boy, do you know that a square 
figure is like this ? ^ 

BOY. I do. 

soc. Now, a square figure has these lines, four in 
number, all equal ? 

BOY. Certainly. 

soc. And these, drawn through the middle,^ are 
equal too, are they not ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. And a figure of this sort may be larger or 
smaller ? 

BOY. To be sure. 

soc. Now if this side were two feet and that also 
two, how many feet would the whole be ? Or let 
me put it thus : if one way it were two feet, and 
only one foot the other, of course the space would 
be two feet taken once ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. But as it is two feet also on that side, it must 
be twice two feet ? 

^ Socrates draws in the sand. 
• i.e. the middle of each side of the square. 



nAI2. Ftyverai. 

2X1. AvoLV dpa Sis yiyverai ttoScov; 
nAi2. Nat. 

2n. Uoaoi ovv elalv ol Suo his TToSes; Xoyi- 
adjxevos eliri. 

nAl2. Terr apes, a> ^coKpares. 
2n. OvKovv yevoir' dv rovrov rov ^cupiou 
erepov SiTrXdaiov, rotovrov Se, teas' e;\;ot' Trdaas 
rds ypa/jL/jLas cSaTrep rovro; 
nAi2. Nat. 

2n. IToCTcoi/ oi;j/ earai 77o8ct>v; 
nAi2. 'O/cTO). 

2n. Oepe hrj, Treipdj p,OL eliTelv ttt^Xikt] ris earai 
E e/cetVou T^ ypa^jjbrj eKdarrj. rj pLcv yap rovSe Svotv 
TToSoLV ri Se rj €K€lvov rov hnrXaaiov ; 

nAi2. A-^Aov hrj, (L HcoKpares, ore StTrAaata. 
2n. Opas, c5 Mevcuv, co? eyco rovrov ovSev 
OLoaaKO), dAA' epcordj irdvra; /cat I'w ouro? oterat 
etSei'at, onota iarlv d(f}' tjs ro oKrcjirovv xixjpiov 
yevqaerai' •^ ou So/cet aoi; 
MEN. "EjLtoiye. 
20. OtSev ow; 
MEN. Ov Sfjra. 

2n. Oterat 8e ye avro r^? StTrAacrta?; 
MEN. Nat. 

2n. ©ecD St) avrov dvafXLfjbVTjoKOfxevov €(f)€^rjs, 

d)S Set avafxifJivt^aKeadaL. av Se //.ot Aeyc (ztto 

83 TT^S StTrAacrta? ypap.ixrjs (f>rjs ro StTrActcrtoj^ )((joplov 

ylyveadai; roiovSe Xeyco, fir} ravrrj pukv fxaKpov, 

rfj Se ^pax", dXXd 'laov -navraxj] earco djairep rovri, 



BOY. It is. 

soc. Then the space is twice two feet ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Well, how many are twice two feet ? Count 
and tell me. 

BOY. Four, Socrates. 

soc. And might there not be another figure twice 
the size of this, but of the same sort, with all its sides 
equal like this one ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Then how many feet will it be ? 

BOY. Eight. 

soc. Come now, try and tell me how long will 
each side of that figure be. This one is two feet 
long : what will be the side of the other, which is 
double in size ? 

BOY. Clearly, Socrates, double. 

soc. Do you observe, Meno, that I am not teach- 
ing the boy anything, but merely asking him each 
time ? And now he supposes that he knows about 
the hne required to make a figure of eight square 
feet ; or do you not think he does } 

MEN. I do. 

soc. Well, does he know ? 

MEN. Certainly not. 

soc. He just supposes it, from the double size 
required ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. Now watch his progress in recollecting, by 
the proper use of memory. Tell me, boy, do you 
say we get the double space from the double line ? 
The space I speak of is not long one way and short 
the other, but must be equal each way hke this one, 



StTrAacriov Se rovrov, oktcottovv aAA opa, et ert 
CTOt OLTTO rrjs StTrAacria? So/cet eaeadat. 

nAi2. "EjMoiye. 

2n. Ot5/cow StTrAacrta auxT^ ravriqs yiyverai, 
av irepav rocravTrjv TrpoaOM/Jiev ivdevSe; 

nAi2. Oavu ye. 

2n. 'Atto ravrt]? Stj, ^J^?, ecrrai to oKTOiTTOvv 
)(copi.ov, av rerrapeg roaavraL yevcovrai; 

nAi2. Nat. 
B 2n. ^AvaypaifjcopieOa Sr] a.'n avrrjs taag rer- 
rapas. aAAo rt, rj tovtI dv etrj o (f)7js to oktcottovv 

nAi2. Wdw ye. 

2n. OvKOVV €V aVTU> eCTTt TOVtI T€TTapa, OiV 

CKaaTOV taov tovtco eoTi tco TeTpaTToSi; 

nAi2. Nat. 

2n. Yloaov ovv ytyverai; ov tctpolkls tooov- 

nAi2. ricD? S' ov; 

2n. AnrXdaiov ovv eVrt to TCTpaKis tooovtov; 

nAl2. Ov (Jid Aia. 

2n. *AAAa TToaaTrXdaiov ; 

nAI2. Ter/jaTrAacrtov. 
C 2X1. 'Atto tt^? StTzAaata? apa, tS Trai, ov Si- 
TrAaatov dAAa TeTpaTrXdcriov yiyveTai ■)(UipLOV. 

nAI2. 'AXrjdrj Aeyet?. 

2n. TiTTapa^v yap Terpa/cts' eCTTiv eKKalSeKa. 

nAi2. Nat. 

2n. *0ktco7tovv S' ttTTo TTOtaj ypafifirjg; ovxl 
OLTTO fj,€V TavT7]s T€Tpa7rXaaiov ; 

nAi2. ^rj/JiL 


while being double its size — eight square feet. Now 
see if you still think we get this from a double length 
of line. 

BOY. I do. 

soc. Well, this line is doubled, if we add here 
another of the same length ? 

BOY. Certainly. 

soc. And you say we shall get our eight-foot space 
from four lines of this length ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Then let us describe the square, drawing 
four equal lines of that length. This will be what 
you say is the eight-foot figure, will it not ? 

BOY. Certainly. 

soc. And here, contained in it, have we not four 
squares, each of which is equal to this space of four 

BOY, Yes. 

soc. Then how large is the whole ? Four times 
that space, is it not ? 

BOY. It must be. 

soc. And is four times equal to double ? 

BOY. No, to be sure. 

soc. But how much is it ? 

BOY. Fourfold. 

soc. Thus, from the double-sized line, boy, we get 
a space, not of double, but of fourfold size. 

BOY. That is true. 

soc. And if it is four times four it is sixteen, is it 
not ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. What line will give us a space of eight feet ? 
This one gives us a fourfold space, does it not ? 

BOY. It does. 

VOL. IV L 2 309 


2n. TerpaTTOvv Se drro rrj? rjfjiLcreas ravT7]al 

DAIS. Nat. 

'ZCl. "EileV TO 8e OKTCOTTOVV OV TOvSe fJ,€V 8l- 

irXdaiov iaTL, tovtov Se rjixiav; 

nAl2. <Nat>^. 

2n. OvK ttTTo fjiev ixeitjOvos earai iq roaavrrjg 
D ypo-iJ-fJirjs , ttTTO eAciTTOvos 8e ■^ roarjaSi; •^ ou; 

nAi2. "EjLiotye So/cet ovtcos. 

2n. KaAcDs" TO ya/3 ctoi So/cow tovto aTTOKpivov . 
Kai jJLOL Aeye* ou;)^ rjSe jxev Svotv TToholv -qv, 'q he 
reTTapojv ; 

nAi2. Nat, 

2n. Act apa Tf]v rov oktcottoSos ;^a)ptou 
ypafxixTjv pL€it,cxj fxev etvai rijabe rrjs SlttoSos, 
iXoLTTOi Se Trjs TerpcxTToSos. 

nAi2. Aet. 
E 2n. UcLpco 8'q Xeyetv vtjXlktjv tlvo, (f)fjs avrrjv 

nAi2. T/otTToSa, 
. 2n. OvKovv dvnep rpiTTOVs fj, ro -fjniav ravrrjs 
TTpoaXrjifjojJLeOa Kal ecrrai rpi-nov?; hvo {xev yap 
otSe, o 8e els' /cat ivOevhe coaavrcos Svo fxev oiSe, 
d 8e ets" /cat yiyverai tovto to ^(^(opLOV o (j>rJ9' 

nAl2. Nat. 

2n. OvKovv dv f) TrjSe Tpicov Kal TrjSe Tpicbv, to 
oXov x<^P^ov Tpicbv Tpls TToScjv yiyveTai; 

nAi2. OatVerat. 

2n. Tpet? Se Tpls TToaot elal ttoScs; 

hais. 'Ei^e'a. 

2n. 'ESet Se TO SinXdaLov Ttoaoiv elvai ttoScov; 
^ Nai ora. MS3. 


soc. And a space of four feet is made from this 
line of half the length ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Very well ; and is not a space of eight feet 
double the size of this one, and half the size of this 
other ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Will it not be made from a line longer than 
the one of these, and shorter than the other ? 

BOY. I think so. 

soc. Excellent : always answer just what you 
think. Now tell me, did we not draw this Une two 
feet, and that four ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Then the line on the side of the eight-foot 
figure should be more than this of two feet, and 
less than the other of four ? 

BOY. It should. 

soc. Try and tell me how much you would say it is. 

BOY. Three feet. 

soc. Then if it is to be three feet, we shall add 
on a half to this one, and so make it three feet ? 
For here we have two, and here one more, and so 
again on that side there are two, and another one ; 
and that makes the figure of which you speak. 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. Now if it be three this way and three that 
way, the whole space will be thrice three feet, will 
it not ? 

BOY. So it seems. 

soc. And thrice three feet are how many ? 

BOY. Nine. 

soc. And how many feet was that double one to 



riAis. Oktcx). 

2n. Oi5S' apa OLTTO ttjs rpiTToSos ttco to oktojttovp 
XiopLOV yiyverai. 

riAIS. Ov Brjra. 

2n. 'AAA' dvo TToias ; Treipco rjfitv eLTretv aKpi- 
64 fiws' Kal el firj ^ovXei dpiOfMelv, oAAa Sel^ov (xtto 

nAl2. 'AAAct fxd rov Ata, a> JlcoKpares, eycuye 
OVK otSa. 

2n. 'Ewoet? OLV, c5 MeVcoi/, ov iarlv rjSr) ^ahil,(x)V 
oSe Tov dvap^ipLvrjaKeadai; on ro fiev irpoiTOV 
^Sei pikv ov, rj tis" eariv rj rov oKr(x)TToSos ;^aj/3tou 
ypajxpLTi, ojanep ouSe vvv ttoj otSev, oAA' o^ aiero y 
avTTjv t6t€ elSevai,, /cat dappaXeojs aTreKpivero cu? 
elScos, Kal ovx rjyetro aTTopeiv vvv 8e rjyeLraL 
aTTopetv '^Stj, Kal warrep ovk olSev, ovS oterai 
B eiSeVai. 

MEN. ^AXrjOfj Aeyei?. 

2n. OwKow i^w ^eXriov ex^i rrepl to TTpdyfia o 
OVK rjSeL; 

MEN. Kat TOVrO fXOL SoKcl. 

2n. ^Arropelv ovv avrov TTon^aavres Kai vapKav 
oiOTTep 7] vdpKTj, fidJv TL i^Xdifiaficv ; 

MEN. Ovk ejJLOiye hoKeZ. 

2n. Ylpovpyov yovv tl TreTTOiT^Kafiev, co? colkc, 
TTpos TO i^evpelv otttj ex^c vvv p^ev yap /cat t,rjTrj- 
aeiev dv rjSecos ovk elScos, Tore Se pahicos dv Kat 
TTpos TToXXovs Kal TroAAa/ct? ip€T* dv €v Xeyeiv Trepl 
C TOV hnrXaaiov ;^a)/3toy, cu? Set SiTrAaaiav n^v ypap,- 
flTjV €X€VV fJ.'qKei. 



BOY. Eight. 

soc. So we fail to get our eight-foot figure from 
this three-foot line. 

BOY. Yes, indeed. 

soc. But from what line shall we get it ? Try 
and tell ns exactly ; and if you would rather not 
reckon it out, just show what line it is. 

BOY. Well, on my word, Socrates, I for one do 
not know. 

soc. There now, Meno, do you observe what 
progress he has already made in his recollection ? 
At first he did not know what is the line that forms 
the figure of eight feet, and he does not know even 
now : but at any rate he thought he knew then, 
and confidently answered as though he knew, and 
was aware of no difficulty ; whereas now he feels the 
difficulty he is in, and besides not knowing does not 
think he knows. 

MEN. That is true. 

soc. And is he not better off in respect of the 
matter which he did not know ? 

MEN. I think that too is so. 

soc. Now, by causing him to doubt and giving 
him the torpedo's shock, have we done him any 
harm ? 

MEN. I think not. 

soc. And we have certainly given him some 
assistance, it would seem, towards finding out the 
truth of the matter : for now he will push on in the 
search gladly, as lacking knowledge ; whereas then 
he would have been only too ready to suppose he 
was right in saying, before any number of people 
any number of times, that the double space must 
have a Une of double the length for its side. 



MEN. "Eoi/cev. 

2Xi. Otet ovv dv avTov Trporepov eTn-)(<eiprjaai 
tjiTeZv ri fiavddveiv tovto, o a>eTO elSevai ovk 
etScas", TTplv els aTTopiav KareTreaev rjyrjadiJ.evos fi^ 
etSeVat, /cat eTTodrjae ro etSeVat; 

MEN. Ov fxoi SoK€L, CO TicvKpares* 

5il. 'Q.vrjTO dpa vapKiqaas ; 

MEN. Ao/cei /xot. 

2n. TiKeipai Srj e/c ravr-qs ri]s aTTopias o tl /cat 

dyevpriaei t,T]ru)v p^er ip.ov, ovhev dAA' -^ ipcoTwvTOS 

D e/zou /cat ou StSdaKOVTOS' ^vAarrc 8e av ttou 

€vpr)s fx,e StSacr/covra /cat Sie^iovra avrco, dX\d 

fjLrj rds rovTOV So^as dvepcorcovra. 

Aeye ydp /xot cru' ov to fxev TeTparrovu tovto 
rj[xXv e'cTTi ;!^6u/3toi/; p^avddveis ; 

nAi2. *'Eya>ye. 

2n. "Y/repov 8e aura) TrpoaOelfiev dv tovtl 

riAiS. Nat. 

2X1. Kat TpiTov ToSe iffoi' cKaTepcp tovtcov; 

nAi2. Nat. 

2n. Oi)/cow 7TpoaavaTTXr]p(jDaalp,€d^ dv to iv 
Tjj ycovia roSe; 

nAi2. Hdw ye. 

2n. "AAAo Tt out' yivoiT dv TeTTapa laa xaypia 
E nAi2. Nat. 


MEN. It seems so. 

soc. Now do you imagine he would have attempted 
to inquire or leam what he thought he knew, when 
he did not know it, until he had been reduced to the 
perplexity of realizing that he did not know, and had 
felt a craving to know ? 

MEN. I think not, Socrates. 

soc. Then the torpedo's shock was of advantage 
to him ? 

MEN. I think so. 

soc. Now you should note how, as a result of this 
perplexity, he will go on and discover something by 
joint inquiry with me, while I merely ask questions 
and do not teach him ; and be on the watch to see 
if at any point you find me teaching him or ex- 
pounding to him, instead of questioning him on his 

Tell me, boy : here we have a square of four feet,^ 
have we not ? You understand ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. And here we add another square ^ equal to it ? 

Bov. Yes. 

soc. And here a third,^ equal to either of them ? 

BOV. Yes. 

soc. Now shall we fill up this vacant space * in the 
comer ? 

BOY. By all means. 

soc. So here we must have four equal spaces ? 

BOY. Yes. 

» ABCD. « DCFE. 

» CHGF. ♦ BIHC. 




sn. Ti ovv; TO oXov ToSe iroaaTrXaaiov touSc 

nAi2. TeTpanXdaiov. 

2n. "ESet 8e Si.7rXdaiov 'qfilv yeviadai' ■^ ov 

nAi2. Yidvv ye. 

2n. OvKovv icTLV avni) ypafXfM-r) e/c yojvias els 
85 ycoi'tai' Teivovaa, refivovaa Slxcl eKaarov tovtcov tcov 

nAl2. Nat. 

2ri. OvKovv rerrapes avrac yiyvomai ypafifjuai 
taaL, TTepiexovaaL rourl to x^^P^ov; 

nAi2. TiyvovTat yap. 



nAl2. Ov fxavdavo). 

2n. Ovxji TeTTapcov ovtcov tovtojv -rjfiLav Iko.- 
OTov eKaarrj -q ypafifjirj d7TOT€Tfir]Kev evTos; t] ov; 

nAI2. Nat. 

2n. Hocra ovv T7]XtKavTa iv tovtco evecmv; 

nAi2. TeVrapa. 

2n. Hocra Se ev TwBe; 

nAi2. Avo. 

2fl. Ta Se TCTTapa tolv Svolv tl eoTiv; 

nAi2. AtTrAacTta. 
B 2Xi. ToSe ouv TToadTTOvv yiyveTai; 

nAl2. ^Oktcottovv. 

2n. 'Atto TToias ypap,p,rjs ; 

nAi2. 'Atto Tavrrjs. 

2n. 'Atto ri^? e/< ycovias els ycovlav TCLVovcrqs 
Tov TeTpd-nohos ; 

nAi2. Nat. 


soc. Well now, how many times larger is this 
whole space than this other ? 

BOY. Four times. 

soc. But it was to have been only twice, you 
remember ? 

BOY. To be sure, 

soc. And does this line,i drawn from comer to 
corner, cut in two each of these spaces } 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. And have we here four equal lines ' contain- 
ing this space ^ ? 

BOY. We have. 

soc. Now consider how large this space ^ is. 

BOY. I do not understand. 

soc. Has not each of the inside lines cut off half 
of each of these four spaces ? 

BOY. Yes. 

soc. And how many spaces of that size are there 
in this part ? 

BOY. Four. 

soc. And how many in this * ? 

BOY. Two. 

soc. And four is how many times two ? 

BOY. Twice. 

soc. And how many feet is this space ^ ? 

BOY. Eight feet. 

soc. From what line do we get this figure ? 

BOY. From this. 

soc. From the line drawn comer-wise across the 
four-foot figure ? 

BOY. Yes. 

» BD. » BD, DF, FH. HB. » BDFH. 

* ABCD. • BDFH. 



2n. KaAoucrt 8e ye ravT-qv Siafxerpov ol ao(f)i- 
arai' ojctt et ravrr) hiajxerpo's ovo/jia, airo ttjs 
Siafji€Tpov dv, (hs (TV </>J]S, CO Ttal Meron'os", yiyvoir' 
av TO SlttXolglov )(iopiov. 

nAi5. Udvv fxkv ovv, cS Hd)KpaT€S- 

2n. Tt aoL SoK€L, c5 Mevojv; eomv rjvTLva So^av 
ovx avTov ovTOs aTTeKpivaro ; 
C MEN. OvK, aAA' iavrov. 

2n. Kat )u,i7i' oy/c ^8et ye, cl>? e^a/zev' oAtyoi' 

MEN. ^AXrjdrj Aeyets". 

2n. 'Ei'Tycrav Se ye aura) aSrat at Sofat* ■^ ou; 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. la> oy/c etoort apa Trepi cuv ar /lit) etOT^ 
evetcriv dXr)6€LS So^at 7re/)t rovrcov <ov ovk otSev; 

MEN. OatVerat. 

2n. Kat vw jueV ye avro) warrep ovap dprt, 

dvaK€KiVT]VTai ai So^ai awraf et Se avrov rt? 

dvepT^aerai TroAAa/ct? to, aura ravra /cat TToXXaxJ], 

olad^ OTL reXevTcbv ovhevos ■^rrov dKpL^cjs eVi- 

D CTTT^aerat 7re/ot toutcov. 

MEN. "Eot/cev. 

2fl. Oj5/cow ouSevo? SiSa^avTO? dAA' ipiorrjaav- 
Tos eTTLarrjaerai, dvaXa^cbv avros ef aurou Tqv 
eTnaTr]pLT]v ; 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. To Se dvaXafjL^dv€Lv avrov iv avrcp eTnarr]- 
ixrjv OVK dvafxipLvrjaKeadai iartv; 

MEN. Udvv ye. 

2n. *Ap' ovv ov ry]v iTTiarrjpi,riv , tjv vvv ovtos 
e;(et, rjTOi eAape ttotc t] aei ei;^ei' 

MEN. Nat. 


soc. The professors call it the diagonal : so if the 
diagonal is its name, then according to you, Meno's 
boy, the double space is the square of the diagonal. 

BOY. Yes, certainly it is, Socrates. 

soc. What do you think, Meno ? Was there any 
opinion that he did not give as an answer of his 
own thought ? 

MEN. No, they were all his own. 

soc. But you see, he did not know, as we were 
saying a while since. 

MEN. That is true. 

soc. Yet he had in him these opinions, had he 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. So that he who does not know about any 
matters, whatever they be, may have true opinions 
on such matters, about which he knows nothing ? 

MEN. Apparently. 

soc. And at this moment those opinions have just 
been stirred up in him, like a dream ; but if he were 
repeatedly asked these same questions in a variety 
of forms, you know he will have in the end as exact 
an understanding of them as anyone. 

MEN. So it seems. 

soc. Without anyone having taught him, and only 
through questions put to him, he will understand, 
recovering the knowledge out of himself ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And is not this recovery of knowledge, in 
himself and by himself, recollection ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And must he not have either once acquired 
or always had the knowledge he now has ? 

MEN. Yes. 



2n. OvKovv €1 jxev ad ctxev, ad /cat ■^v linarri- 
fjLcov el 8e eAajSe ttotc, ovk av ev ye rep vvv ^io) 
E elXr]<f)cbs eX-q. rj SeStSaxe ris tovtov yecoiierpetv ; 
ovrog yap TTOiiquei -nepl TTaarjS yecofierpLa? ravra 
ravra, /cat rcoi' dXXcov fxadrjixdrcov a-navrcDV. 
ear IV ovv octti? tovtov vravra SeSt'Saxe; St/cato? 
yap 7TOV el etSeVat, aAAa>? re eTreihr] ev Tjj afj olklo. 
yeyove /cat TedparrTai. 

MEN. 'AAA' otSa eycoye oti. ovSelg irioTTOTe 

2n. "E^et 8e TavTag to,? So'la?, "^ ovxt-; 

MEN. 'Avay/crj, c5 Sto/cpare?, ^atverat. 

2n. Et 8e /XT7 eV Tot vw jSt'o; Xa^oiV, ovk TJSrj 
86 TOUTO STyAov, OTt e'l^ aAAco TW't XP^'^'f' ^*X^ '^^' 

MEN. OatVcrai. 

5n. Ou/cow ouTo? ye eartv o XP°^°^> °^' °"'^ '^*' 
dvdpcoTTos ; 

MEN. Nai. 

sn. Et oui/ ov t' av* ri vpwoi^ /cat ov av firj ^ 
avupcoTTog, eveaovrai avrtp aAiqveLS oog-atj. at epajT-q- 
aei eTTeyepdelaai e-maTijfMaL yiyvovTai, dp' ovv rov 
del XP^^°^ [xep,ad7]KVLa eWat ri ifjvxr) ^ avjov; 
hrjXov yap on tov TrdvTa xP^vov eoTLV rj ovk eaTiv 


MEN. OatVerat. 

2n. OvKovv el del rj dX-qdeia r]fxlv rdjv ovtojv 

B earlv ev rfj ^vxf}, dddvaTOS av rj tfjvxr]^ ^ir], ware 

dappovvTaxPV' ^ M rvyxdveis eTTtaTafievos vvv, 

TOVTO S' eaTLV o p,rj ixeixviqp.evog , eTTix^ipeiv t,r]Telv 

Kal dvapLiixvqaKeadai ; 

1 6v t' ftv Baiter : Srav, or &u Mss. 


soc. Now if he always had it, he was always in 
a state of knowing ; and if he acquired it at some 
time, he could not have acquired it in this life. 
Or has someone taught him geometry ? You see, 
he can do the same as this ^vith all geometry and 
every branch of knowledge. Now, can anyone have 
taught him all this ? You ought surely to know, 
especially as he was born and bred in your house. 

MEN. Well, I know that no one has ever taught 

soc. And has he these opinions, or has he not ? 

MEN. He must have them, Socrates, evidently. 

soc. And if he did not acquire them in this present 
life, is it not obvious at once that he had them and 
learnt them during some other time ? 

MEN. Apparently. 

soc. And this must have been the time when he 
was not a human being ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. So if in both of these periods — when he was 
and was not a human being — he has had true opinions 
in him which have only to be awakened by question- 
ing to become knowledge, his soul must have had 
this cognisance throughout all time ? For clearly 
he has always either been or not been a human being. 

MEN. Evidently. 

soc. And if the truth of all things that are is 
always in our soul, then the soul must be immortal ; 
so that you should take heart and, whatever you do 
not happen to know at present — that is, what you 
do not remember— you must endeavour to search 
out and recollect ? 



MEN. Eu fjLoi 8oK€LS Xeyeiv, w TicoKpares, ovk 


2n. Kat yap iyui ifj-oi, a) MercDV. Kal ra fxeu 
ye dXXa ovk av ttolvv virep rov Xoyov Buaxvpiaaiix-qv 
OTL 8' ol6p.€Voi Seti' ^rjTCLV, d p,rj rt? otSe, ^cXtlovs 
dv elixGV /cat avhpiKOirepoi, Kal rjTTov apyoi rj ei 
oloLfieda, d /x-jy eTnaTOLfieOa, jJirjSe Svvarov eivat 
C evpetv jLtT^Se Selv ^rjTetv, Trepl rovrov irdw dv 8ia- 
[xaxoifXTjv, el otos re etrjv, /cat Xoyo) /cat kpycp. 

MEN. Kat TOVTO fiev ye So/cet? /not eiJ Aeyeiv', o) 

2n. BouAet 051/, eTTeiSri ofjiovooOfxev, otl ^rj- 
TTjreov TTepl ov fjL-q ns oiSev, ^TTix^iprjaoipiev Kotvfj 
l,r)Tslv tL ttot* ear IV dperrj; 

MEN. Wdvv fxev ovv. ov ixevTOL, & JjivKpares, 
aAA' eycoye eKeZvo dv T^Stcrra, oirep 7]p6p,r]v ro 
TTpu)TOV, /cat aKeipaifjLrjv /cat aKovaaipn, TTorepov 
cos StSa/cTo) ovTL avro) Set iTTtx^Lpelv, ^ cos (f>vaeL 
D rj cos TiVi TTore rpoTTCp TTapayiyvojxevrjs rots dvOpco- 
TTOLS rrjs dperrjs. 

2n. 'AAA' el fJbev eyco rjpxov, u) M.evcov, jxr] 
[xovov ifxavrov dXXd /cat aov, ovk dv iaKeipdjJLeoa 
TTporepov etre StSa/crov etre ov StSa/cror rj apertj, 
TTplv 6 Tt ear I Trpcorov el,rirrjaa}xev avro' eTreihrj oe 
av aavrov fxev ouS' eTrtxeipeis apx^t-v, tva Siy 
eXevdepos '§s, ifxov Se eTTixetpels re dpx^iv /cat 
dpx^is, avyxojp-qaofxai aov ri yap XPV rroielv; 
E eoiKev odv aKenreov etvai, votov ri eariv d ix-qnoi 

' Socrates characteristically pretends to be at the mercy 
of the wayward young man. 



MEN. What you say commends itself to me, 
Socrates, I know not how. 

soc. And so it does to me, Meno. Most of the 
points I have made in support of my argument are 
not such as I can confidently assert ; but that the 
belief in the duty of inquiring after what we do not 
know will make us better and braver and less help- 
less than the notion that there is not even a possi- 
bility of discovering what we do not know, nor any 
duty of inquiring after it — this is a point for which 
I am determined to do battle, so far as I am able, 
both in word and deed. 

MEN. There also I consider that you speak aright, 

soc. Then since we are of one mind as to the duty 
of inquiring into what one does not know, do you 
agree to our attempting a joint inquiry into the 
nature of virtue ? 

MEN. By all means. But still, Socrates, for my 
part I Avould Uke best of all to examine that question 
I asked at first, and hear your view as to whether 
in pursuing it we are to regard it as a thing to be 
taught, or as a gift of nature to mankind, or as 
arriving to them in some other way which I should 
be glad to know. 

soc. Had I control over you, Meno, as over 
myself, we should not have begun considering 
whether virtue can or cannot be taught until we 
had first inquired into the main question of what 
it is. But as you do not so much as attempt to 
control yourself — you are so fond of your liberty — 
and both attempt and hold control over me,^ I will 
yield to your request — what else am I to do ? So 
it seems we are to consider what sort of thing it is of 



tafiev 6 Ti. eariv. el fxt] tl ovv aXXa a/xcKpov ye 
fioL rrjs o-pxrjs xctActcrov, /cat avyxioprjaov e'f vtto- 
Oeaecos avro aKOTreladat, etre StSa/crov eariv eire 
OTTOjaovv. Xeyco 8e to i^ VTTodeaeoJS c58e, axnrep 
OL yeojfxerpai, TroAAa/cts' OKOTTovvrai, cTretSar ti? 
eprjTai avTovs, otov Trepl ;)(CL>/5toy, et otdt' re ej 

87 Tovhe Tov kvkXov roSe to x^P^ov Tpiyoivov ev- 
Tadrjvai, eiTTOt av rt? otl ovrroi ot'Sa et eart tovto 
TOLOVTOV, dAA' oiairep p.ev Tiva VTTodeaiv rrpovpyov 
oi/xat ^X^'-^ npos to Trpdy/Jia roi,dvSe. el p,iv 
eoTL tovto to ;^w/^lO^' tolovtov, olov rrapa ttjv 
hodetaav avrov ypafifirjv TrapaTeivavTa eXXetTreiv 
ToiovTcp x^P^V> o^ov dv avTo to TTapaTera/xevov 
^, aAAo Tl avpL^aiveiv p,OL So/cet, /cat dXXo av, el 
dSvvaTov ecTTt Taiha Tradelv VTrodefxevos oSv 
edeXo) elTTelv aoL to ovfji^alvov Trepl ttjs evTaaeco^ 

B avTOV els TOV kvkXov, etre dSvvaTov etre p,-q. 
OVTU) 8r] /cat Trept. apeTTJs rjfiets, eTTeihr) ovk tapiev 
ovd' 6 TL icTTLV ovd^ OTToZov Tl, V7To9ep.evoi aVTO 
OKOTTcopLev etre StSa/cror etre ov StSa/crov earii/, 
cSSe XeyovTes' el ttoIov tl eaTi tcov Trepl ttjv 
*P^XW ^VTCov dpeTiq, hihaKTov dv eir] ■^ ov StSa/croj/; 
rrpcvTOV pev el eoTiv dXXolov rj olov eTTiaTijpi'n, 


which we do not yet know what it is ! Well, the 
least you can do is to relax just a little of your 
authority, and allow the question — whether virtue 
comes by teaching or some other way — to be 
examined by means of h}^othesis. I mean by hypo- 
thesis what the geometricians often do in deaUng 
with a question put to them ; for example, whether 
a certain area is capable of being inscribed as a 
triangular space in a given circle : they reply — 
" I cannot yet tell whether it has that capability ; 
but I think, if I may put it so, that I have a certain 
helpful hypothesis for the problem, and it is as 
follows : If this area ^ is such that when you apply 
it to the given line ^ of the circle you find it falls 
short ^ by a space similar to that which you have 
just applied, then I take it you have one conse- 
quence, and if it is impossible for it to fall so, then 
some other. Accordingly I wish to put a hypothesis, 
before I state our conclusion as regards inscribing 
this figure in the circle by saying whether it is im- 
possible or not." In the same way with regard to our 
question about virtue, since we do not know either 
what it is or what kind of thing it may be, we had 
best make use of a hypothesis in considering whether 
it can be taught or not, as thus : what kind of thing 
must virtue be in the class of mental properties, so 
as to be teachable or not ? In 
^ the first place, if it is something 

' The problem seems to be that 
of inscribing in a circle a triangle 
(BDG) equal in area to a given 
rectangle (ABCD). 

2 i.e. the diameter (BF). 

' i.e. falls short of the rectangle on 
the diameter (ABFE). 



S,pa 8i8a/CTOv -^ ov, t] o vvv St] iXeyojJLev, dvafxvrjaTov 
hta(f)€p€Ta) Be fxrjSev rj/jLiv oTTorepco av ra> ovofxaTi 
C ;^pajju-e^a* aXX dpa SiSaKTov; 'q rovro ye Travri 
BrjXov, on ovhev aAAo StSaa/cerat dvdpojiros t] 
iTTLcrrrjfxrjV ; 

MEN. "E/Ltotye So/cei. 

2n. Et 8e y' ecrrtt' eTnarrj^T] tls rj dper'q, SfjXov 
on SiSaKTov av eLt]. 

MEN. licjs yap ov; 

2n. ToTjTOV fjiev dpa raxv dTrrjXXdyfxeOa, on 
TOiouSe fJiev ovros hihaKTOv , roiovSe S ov. 

MEN, Haw ye. 

2n. To Srj fierd tovto, to? colkc, Set aKeipaadai, 
TTorepov iariv eTnoT'qfnj rj dperr) iq d^olov eTTi- 
D MEN. "E/xoiye hoKeZ tovto [jceTa tovto aKeiTTeov 

2n. Tt Se 817; aAAo Tt ■^ dya^or ayrd (fja/xev 
elvai TTjV dpeT-qv, Kal awTT^ 17 VTTodeai'S fMevei rjfXLV, 
dyadov avTo elvai; 

MEN. ndvu jLtev oui/. 

2n. OuKow et fxev tl ecmv dyadov /cat dAAo 
XOJpt^op^evov eTTLaTrjixris , Ta^ dv etr, rj dpeTiq ovk 
eTnaTTjfMT] tis' et 8e fxrjSev eoTW dyadov, o ovk 

iTTLOT-^fXTj TTepteX^l, eTTLOTTjliriV dv TLV aVTO VTT- 

OTTTevovTe^ eXvai opddj? inroTTTevoifxev . 

MEN. "EoTt TavTa. 

2fi. Kat jjbrjv dpeTjj y iafxev dyaOol; 

MEN. Nat. 
E sn. Et Se dyadoi, ci^e'Ai/iOf TravTa yap dyadd 
cu^eAt/xa. ov-)(i; 

MEN. Nat. 


dissimilar or similar to knowledge, is it taught or 
not — or, as we were saying just now, remembered ? 
Let us have no disputing about the choice of a name : 
is it taught ? Or Is not this fact plain to everyone 
— that the one and only thing taught to men is 
knowledge ? 

MEN. I agree to that. 

soc. Then if virtue is a kind of knowledge, clearly 
it must be taught ? 

MEX. Certainly. 

soc. So you see we have made short work of this 
question — if virtue belongs to one class of things it 
is teachable, and if to another, it is not. 

MEN. To be sure. 

soc. The next question, it would seem, that we 
have to consider is whether virtue is knowledge, 
or of another kind than knowledge. 

MEN. I should say that is the next thing we have 
to consider. 

soc. Well now, surely we call virtue a good thing, 
do we not, and our hypothesis stands, that it is 
good ? 

MEN. Certainly we do. 

soc. Then if there is some good apart and separable 
from knowledge, it may be that virtue is not a kind 
of knowledge ; but if there is nothing good that is 
not embraced by knowledge, our suspicion that 
virtue is a kind of knowledge would be well founded. 

MEN. Quite so. 

soc. Now it is by virtue that we are good ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And if good, profitable ; for all good things 
are profitable, are they not ? 

MEN. Yes. 



2fl. Kat 7] aperrj Sr) (LcfyeXifjiov €(ttlv; 

MEN. 'AvdyK-q e/c tcov (LfxoXoyqfjbeuojv . 

2n. HKeipwfieda 8rj Kad^ eKaarov dvaXafX- 
^dvovTeg, nold iariv d rji^ds cu^eAet. vyieia, 
(pa/xev, /cat laxvs Kal /cctAAos" Kal ttXovtos S-q 
ravra Xeyofiev /cat rd roiavra ctt^eAi/xa. ov)(t; 

MEN. Nat. 
68 2n, TauTO. 8e ravrd ^a/xei' eviore /cat ^XdrrTetv 
•q av dXXois (br]S rj ovrcos ; 


2n. S/coTret 8?y, orat' ti eKacrrov rovrcov 
TjyrjraL, cu^eAet rjfJLds, Kal orav rt, ^AaTrrei; dp' o?5;^ 
orav /xei' op^i^ XP^^^^> ti^eAet, orav 8e ^t^, ^Xdnrei; 

MEN. riap'i; ye. 

2n. "Ext roivvv /cat to, Kara n^v 4'^XW 0''^^" 
tfjcLfieda. aax^poavvrjv ti /caAet? /cat SiKaioavvrjv 
Kal avSpeiav Kal evixadiav Kal /JLVijiJLrjv Kat fxeyaXo- 
TTpeTTeiav Kal Trdvra rd roiavra; 
B MEN. "Eycjye. 

2n. TiKOTTCL Si], rovrcov drra crot So/cet /at; 
iTTiar-qfjir] etvat dAA' aAAo emar-qfjirjs, el ovxl rork 
fxkv ^XdnreL, rore 8e (l)(j)eXel; olov dvhpeia, et fxr] 
ecrri, <f)p6vrjcng r) dvSpeia aAA' otov Qappos rt' ovx 
orav [JL€V dveu vov dapprj dvdpwTTOS, ^Xdnrerai, 
orav 8e crvv vco, (l}(f)eXeZrai ; 

MEN. Nat. 

2fl. OvKovv Kal a'0)(f}poavvr) (haavrojs /cat €V- 
fxaOta' fx,€rd fiev vov Kal p,avdav6p.€va /cat /car- 
aprvofxeva a»<^eAt/xa, dvev 8e voiJ ^Xa^epa; 


soc. So virtue is profitable ? 

MEN. That must follow from what has been 

soc. Then let us see, in particular instances, 
what sort of things they are that profit us. Health, 
let us say, and strength, and beauty, and wealth — 
these and their like we call profitable, do we not ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. But these same things, we admit, actually 
harm us at times ; or do you dispute that statement ? 

MEX. No, I agree. 

soc. Consider now, what is the guiding condition 
in each case that makes them at one time profitable, 
and at another harmful. Are they not profitable 
when the use of them is right, and harmful when it 
is not ? 

MEN. To be sure, 

soc. Then let us consider next the goods of the 
soul : by these you understand temperance, justice, 
courage, intelligence, memory, magnanimity, and 
so forth ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. Now tell me ; such of these as you think are 
not knowledge, but different from knowledge — do 
they not sometimes harm us, and sometimes profit us ? 
For example, courage, if it is courage apart from 
prudence, and only a sort of boldness : when a man 
is bold \\ithout sense, he is harmed ; but when he 
has sense at the same time, he is profited, is he not ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And the same holds of temperance and 
intelligence : things learnt and co-ordinated with 
the aid of sense are profitable, but without sense they 
are harmful ? 



C MEN. Ilavi; a(f>6Spa. 

2n. OvKovv avXXT]^Sr]v Travra ra rrj? ^'^XV^ 
eTTixeLp-q/jLara Kal Kapreprjfiara 'qyovfjLevrjg fxev 
(f)pov'qa€cos els evhaipioviav TeXevra, d(f>poavv'r]g 
S etV Tovvavrlov; 

MEN. "Eot/cev. 

2n. Et dpa dperr} tcov ev rfj tffvxf] tL iari Kal 
avayKalov avTco (h<i>eXipi,cp etvai, ^p6vrj(TLv avro 
del etvaL, eTreihrjTrep Trdvra rd Kara rrjv ifwx'fjv 
avra jxev Kad' avrd ovre ci^e'Ai/xa ovre ^Xa^epd 
ecTTt, TTpoayevofievrjs Se (ftpovrjaeois rf d(fipoavvr]s 
D ^Xa^epd re koX (LcfidXcfxa yiyverai. Kara Brj 
rovrov rov Xoyov <h(f)eXLp,6v ye ovaav rrjv dperrjv 
(f)p6vrjaiv Set riv* elvai. 

MEN. "EijjLOiye SoKet. 

Sn. Kat jxev hrj Kal rdXXa, a vvv Srj eXeyofxev, 
rrXovrov re Kal rd roiavra, rore /xev dyadd rore 
he pXa^epd elvai, dp* ovx axTTrep rfj aAATy if^vxj] "^ 
<l>p6vri(jLS rjyovfjLevT) axfjeXifxa rd rrjs ^vx^j'S erroieL, 
E 7y Se d<f>po(jvvrj ^Xa^epd, ovrcos av Kal rovrois rj 
ipvxr) opdcos fxev XP^I^^^I '^'^^ rjyovnevr] ci^eAi/xa 
aura TTOtel, firj opdcos Se ^Xa^epd; 

MEN. Yldvv ye. 

2n. *Opddjs Be ye tJ eyi^puiv "qyelrai, "qfiaprq- 
fxevcos S' 7] d(f>pa)v; 

MEN. "Ectti ravra. 

2n. OvKovv ovrco Br) Kard Trdvrcov elrTelv 
earn, ra> dvdpcoTTCp rd p,ev aAAa vdvra els rr)V 
tpvxrjv dv7]prrjadat., rd Be rrjs ^vx'fjs avrrjs els 
89 (^povrjOLV, el pueXXei dyadd etvaf Kal rovrcp rep 
Xoycp (f)p6vrjais dv etrj ro <x>^eXt,p,ov ^ap.ev Be rrjV 
dperrjv a)(j)eXipiov elvai; 


MEN. Most certainly. 

soc. And in brief, all the undertakings and 
endurances of the soul, when guided by wisdom, 
end in happiness, but when foUy guides, in the 
opposite ? 

MEx. So it seems. 

soc. Then if \-irtue is something that is in the 
soul, and must needs be profitable, it ought to be 
\visdom, seeing that all the properties of the soul 
are in themselves neither profitable nor harmful, 
but are made either one or the other by the addition 
of wisdom or folly ; and hence, by this argument, 
virtue being profitable must be a sort of wisdom. 

MEN. I agree. 

soc. Then as to the other things, wealth and the 
like, that we mentioned just now as being some- 
times good and sometimes harmful — are not these 
also made profitable or harmful by the soul accord- 
ing as she uses and guides them rightly or wrongly : 
just as, in the case of the soul generally, we found 
that the guidance of wisdom makes profitable the 
properties of the soul, while that of folly makes 
them harmful ? 

MEX. Certainly. 

soc. And the wise soul guides rightly, and the 
foohsh erroneously ? 

MEX. That is so. 

soc. Then may we assert this as a universal 
rule, that in man all other things depend upon the 
soul, while the things of the soul herself depend 
upon wsdom, if they are to be good ; and so by 
this account the profitable will be wisdom, and 
virtue, we say, is profitable ? 



MEN. Haw ye. 

2n. ^povrjatv dpa ^a/ter aperrju eTvaL, rjroi 
avfXTTaaav iq /xepos rt; 

MEN. Ao/cei fioi KoAoj? Xeyeadai, cS Sco/cpare?, 
rd Aeyo/xeva. 

2n. OvKovv el ravra ovrojg ^x^i, ovk av eiev 
(f>va€i ol dyadoL. 

MEN. Ov fXOI, SoKel. 
B 2n. Kat yap dv ttov kol toS' rjv et (f)va€i ol dya- 
dot iytyvovTO, "^adv ttov dv rjjjitv ot iylyvoiaKov 
Tcov V€(x)v Tovs dyadovs ras (f)vaei.g, ovs rjfieXg av 
TTapaXa^ovres €K€ivcov dTTO<f>r]vdvrcov e^vXdrrojxev 
ev aKpoTToXei, KaraarjfMrjvdixeuoL ttoXv fxaXXov 7} to 
Xpvalov, tva /x.TjSetS' avTovs hUcjydetpev, dXX €7761817 
d(f)lKOLVTO els Trjv rjXLKiav, "xpriaiijioi yiyvoivro raZs 
TToXecriv . 

MEN. EiAro? yd rot, a> HcoKpareg. 

2n. ^Ap' ovi> €7761817 ^'^ (f)Vcr€L ol dyadol ayadoi 
C yiyvovTai, dpa iiaQiqaeL; 

MEN. AoK€i fioL rjSrj dvayKatov etvai- Kal SfjXov, 
c5 HcoKpares, Kara ttjv virodeaiv, etrrep eTTLaTrjpir] 
iarlv dpeTTjy on 8i8a/CTOv ioriv. 

2n. "Icro)? vr] Ala' dXXd jxr} tovto ov KaXcog 
(ofjioXoy-qaafiev ; 

MEN. Kat pi-qv e8oK6i ye dpri KaXws Xeyeadai. 

2n. AAAd ptrj OVK iv rep dpri pt-ovov Ber) avro 
So/cetv KaXoJs XeyeaOat, dXXd Kal iv rep vvv /cai 
ev ro) eTTCLra, el pceXXet rt, avrov i5yte? etvat. 
D MEN. Tt ovv 817; 77/30? Tt ^XcTTOJV hvoxepalveis 
avro Kal dmareZs per] ovk eTnar'qpir] rj 17 dperrj; 



MEN. Certainly, 

soc. Hence we conclude that virtue is either 
wholly or partly wisdom ? 

MEN. It seems to me that your statement, 
Socrates, is excellent. 

soc. Then if this is so, good men cannot be good 
by nature. 

MEN. I think not. 

soc. No, for then, I presume, we should have had 
this result : if good men were so by nature, we 
surely should have had men able to discern who of 
the young were good by nature, and on their point- 
ing them out we should have taken them over and 
kept them safe in the citadel, ha\ing set our mark 
on them far rather than on our gold treasure, in 
order that none might have tampered with them, 
and that when they came to be of age, they might be 
useful to their country. 

MEN. Yes, most likely, Socrates. 

soc. So since it is not by nature that the good 
become good, is it by education ? 

MEN. We must now conclude, I think, that it is ; 
and plainly, Socrates, on our hypothesis that virtue 
is knowledge, it must be taught. 

soc. Yes, I daresay ; but what if we were not 
right in agreeing to that ? 

MEX. Well, it seemed to be a correct statement 
a moment ago. 

soc. Yes, but not only a moment ago must it seem 
correct, but now also and hereafter, if it is to be at 
all sound. 

MEN. Why, what reason have you to make a 
difficulty about it, and feel a doubt as to virtue being 
knowledge ? 

VOL. IV M .S33 


2ri. 'Eycu aoL ipco, c5 Meva>r. to /xev yap 
SiBaKTOv avro elvai, eiTrep eTTLCTT'qfxrj iarlv, ovk 
avaTidejxai. jxr] ov KaXcog Xeyeadai' on 8' ovk 
eoTiv iinaTqjxrj , tr/cej/rat cdv aoL Sokw clkotcos 
aTnarelv. roSe yap fioi el-ne' el eart SiSa/crov 
OTiovp TTpdyfia, fir) fxovov dper-q, ovk dvayKaiov 
avTOV /cat StSaCT/caAou? Kal {xaOrjrds elvai; 
E MEN. "KjjiOLye SoKret. 

2n. Ov/fow TovvavTLOV av, ov jx-qre StSaa/caAoi 
/x'^TC fiad-qral etev, KaXcos dv avro eiKa^ovres 
elKdl^oifxev p,rj SiSa/crov ctvai; 

MEN. "EcTt raura- oAA' dperrjs StSacr/caAot ou 
hoKovai croi elvai; 

2n. IIoAAa/ft? yow t,rird)V, et rtve? ctev avrrjs 
SiSdaKaXoi, irdvTa ttolcjv ov Svvap,at, evpeZv. 
KairoL fierd ttoXXojv ye ^rjTco, Kal tovtcov /xaAtcTa, 
ovs dv OLcofxat, einreipordrovs elvai rov Trpdyfiaros. 
Kal St) Kal vvv, c5 MeVa;v, et? KaXov r^p.Zv "Avvros 
90 oSe TTapeKadet,ero, o) fxeTaSw/xei' rfjs t,rjTT]aeo)S • 
eLKOTCDs 8' ai' fxeraSoliJLev "Avvros yap o8e Trpdjrov 
fiev eoTL TTarpos nXovalov re /cat ao<j)OV *Av6efjLLOJ- 
vos, OS eyevero irXovaios ovk dTTO rov avrofidrov 
ovhe hovros rivos, wcnrep 6 vvv vecoarl elX-qcfxhs 
TO. HoXvKpdrovs XPVH'^'''^ ^lafxrjVLag 6 Grj^aTos, 
dXXd rfj avrov ao^ia Kmrjcrdfievos Kal eTTifxeXeLa, 
eireira Kal rd dXXa ov^ V7Tepi]<f)avos Sokcov eivai 
B 'TToXir7]s ovhe dyKcoSrjs re Kal eTTa)(drjS, oAAa 
KoofjiLos Kal evaraXrjg dvqp' erreira rovrov ev 
edpeifse /cat e-naihevaev , ws SoKel *Adr)vala)v ru) 

1 A democratic leader at Thebes who assisted Anytus 
and the other exiled Athenian democrats in 403 B.C., shortly 



soc. I will tell you, Meno. I do not withdraw 
as incorrect the statement that it is taught, if it is 
knowledge ; but as to its being knowledge, consider 
if you think I have grounds for misgiving. For tell me 
now : if anything at all, not merely virtue, is teach- 
able, must there not be teachers and learners of it ? 

MEN. I think so. 

soc. Then also conversely, if a thing had neither 
teachers nor learners, we should be right in surmising 
that it could not be taught ? 

MEN. That is so : but do you think there are no 
teachers of virtue ? 

soc. I must say I have often inquired whether 
there were any, but for all my pains I cannot find 
one. And yet many have shared the search with 
me, and particularly those persons whom I regard 
as best qualified for the task. But look, Meno : 
here, at the very moment when he was wanted, we 
have Anytus sitting down beside us, to take his 
share in our quest. And we may well ask his 
assistance ; for our friend Anytus, in the first place, 
is the son of a wise and wealthy father, Anthemion, 
who became rich not by a fluke or a gift — like that 
man the other day, Ismenias ^ the Theban, who 
has come into the fortune of a Poly crates ^ — but as the 
product of his own skill and industry ^ ; and secondly, 
he has the name of being in general a well-conducted, 
mannerly person, np^ insolent towards his fellow- 
citizens or arrogant jnd annoying ; and further, 
he gave his son a good upbringing and education, 
as the Athenian people think, for they choose him 
before their return to Athens and the supposed time of this 
dialojrue (about 403 b.c). Cf. Rep. i. 336 a. 

■^ Tyrant of Samoa about 530 b.c. Cf. Herodot. iii. 
39 foU. » As a tanner. 



irXi^deL' alpovvrai yovv avTov irrl ras fxcyicrrag 
dpxds. hcKaiov Srj fxerd rotovrcov ^rjrelv dpeTrjg 
TTepi StSaaKciXovs, etr' elarlv eire /xiy, /cai oitlvcs. 
av ovv, cS "Avvre, (w^'qTT]aov, i/jboi re /cai to) 
aavrov ^evo) M.€VCt)VL rwSe, Tvepl tovtov rov Trpdy- 
fxaro's, TLves av etev SiSacTKaAot. cSSe 8e aKei/jaf 
el ^ovXoLjjLeda Mevoira rwSe dyadov larpov yeveadat, 
C TTapd TLvas dv avrov TrefnToip^ev SiSaaKaXovs ; 
dp^ ov TTapd Tou? larpovs; 

AN. Yidvv ye. 

2n. Tt S' el aKvroTOjxov dyaOov ^ovXoijxeda 
yeveadai, dp* ov rrapd tovs aKVTOTopLOVs ; 

AN. Nat. 

2fi. Kat ToAAa ovTCDs; 

AN. Ildvv ye. 

2n. ^D8e 8-q fjiOL ttoXlv TTepl rtov avrcov etTre. 
TTapd TOVS larpovs, (pa/xev, TTCfiTTovres rovSe 
KaXcos av eTTep.TTop.ev, ^ovX6p,evoi larpov yeveadaf 
D dp^ orav rovro Xeycop-ev, roSe Xeyop.ev, on TTapd 
rovrovs rrepLTTovres avrov aoi<^povoZp.ev dv, rovs 
dvrLTTOiovp,evovs re rrjs re)(yrjs pbdXXov ■^ rovs 
{xrj, KoX rovs p.iaQdv TTparrop,evovs ctt' avro) 
rovrcp, dTTO(f)-qvavras avrovs SSaoKaXovs rov 
^ovXop^evov levat re /cat p,avddveiv ; dp* ov Trpos 
ravra ^Xetpavres KaXdJs dv Trep^TTOiixev ; 

AN. Nat. 

2n. OvKOVv /cat Trepl avXrioeois /cat rwv dXXojv 
rd avrd ravra; ttoXXt] avoid eon ^ovXop,evovs 
E avXrjrrjv rtva TTOcrjoai, TTapd p,ev rovs VTTiaxvovpe- 
vovs SiSd^etv rrjv rexvrjv /cat p^iadov Trparrop,evovs 
fir) edeXeiv TrefjuTTeiv, dXXots 8e rtcrt rrpdyfiara 
trapexeiv, ^rjrovvra p,avddv€iv Trapd rovrwv, oi 


for the highest offices. This is the sort of man to 
whom one may look for help in the inquiry as to 
whether there are teachers of virtue or not, and 
who they may be. So please, Anytus, join ^ith 
me and your family -friend Meno in our inquiry 
about this matter — who can be the teachers. Con- 
sider ^ thus : if we wanted Meno here to be a good 
doctor, to whom should we send him for instruction ? 
Would it not be to the doctors ? 

AX. Certainly. 

soc. And if we wanted him to become a good 
cobbler, should we not send him to the cobblers ? 

AN. Yes. 

soc. And in the same way with every other 
trade ? 

AN. Certainly. 

soc. Now let me ask you something more about 
these same instances. We should be right, we say, 
in sending him to the doctors if we wanted him 
to be a doctor. When we say this, do we mean 
that we should be wise in sending him to those 
who profess the art rather than those who do 
not, and to those who charge a fee for the particular 
thing they do, as avowed teachers of anyone who 
-wishes to come and learn of them ? If these 
were our reasons, should we not be right in sending 
him ? 

AN. Yes. 

soc. And the same would hold in the case of flute- 
playing, and so on with the rest ? \\Tiat folly, when 
we wanted to make someone a flute-player, to refuse 
to send him to the professed teachers of the art, 
who charge a regular fee, and to bother mth requests 
for instruction other people who neither set up to 



fi'qre trpoaTTOiovvrai SiSaa/caAoi efj'ai iirjr' 
avrihv fiadrjTTjs /xr^Set? rovTOV rov ^adi]ixaro^, 
o rjfxeis d^Lovfiei' fiavddveiv Trap* avrojv ov av 
TTefnTOJ/Jiev . ov ttoAAt^ crot SoKet aAoyta eti'at; 

AN. Nat fjid Ata efiotye, /cat dpLaOia ye irpos. 

2n. KaAoi? Aeyetj. vw roivvv e^eari ae 
91 /xer* e/xoy Koivfj ^ovXevecrOai Trepl rov ^evov 
TOVTOvt Mevcovos. ovTOS yd-p, to "Avvre, TraAat 
Aeyei Trpd? /u.e, on eTndvp,el Tavrrjs rrjs cro^t'a? 
/cat dpeTrjs, ^ oi dv9pa>7TOt rds re ot/cta? /cat 
ra? TToAet? /caAcDs' Stot/couCTi, /cat revs yoveas 
Tovg avrcov depanevovai, /cat TToXlras /cat ^ivovs 
VTTohe^aaBai re /cat dTTonefii/jai, eTriaravrai d^Lcos 
B di'Spos" dyadov. ravrrjv ovv r-qv dperrjv <p,adria6- 
fxevov>^ OKOTTei Trapd. rivas dv Tre/xTTOvres avroi^ 
dpdojs irefXTTOinev. t] SijXov 8r) Kara rov dpri 
Xoyov, oTt Trapo. rovrovs rovs VTTiaxyovfjLevovs 
dperrjs StSacr/caAoy? etrat Kat dTTO(f)r]vavras avrovs 
KOLVOvs rcbv 'EAAt^vojv rep ^ovAofievcp p,avddveiv, 
fitadov rovrov ra^ap,evovs re /cat Trparrofievovs ; 

AN. Kat TtVaj Aeyetj rovrovs, c5 Jla)Kpares; 

Sn. OtaOa S'qvov /cat crv, on ovroi eloLV 
ovs ol dvdpcoTTOi KoXovuL cjo(f)i,ards . 
C AN. 'Hpa/cAets", ev(j)ripLeL, c5 XcoKpareS' /xrjSeva 
rcov y' efxiov^ fi-qre OLKeiojv /ju-qre (f)iXcov, pLrjre 
darov fjLrjre ^evov, roiavrr] fiavca Xd^oi, coare 
Trapd rovrovs eXOovra Xa}^T]6rjvai, eTvel ovroi ye 
^avepd ecrri Xio^rj re Kal 8(,a<f>dopd rGiV avy- 
yiyvofievojv . 

2n. riois" Xeyets, co "Avvre; ovroi dpa [xouoi. 

^ fiaOrjffdfxei'ov intercidisse coni. Cobet. 
* y' i/jL&v Burnet : yefiwi/, avyyevCiv mss. 



be teachers nor have a single pupil in that sort of 
study which we expect him, when sent, to pursue ! 
Do you not consider this would be grossly 
unreasonable ? 

AN. Yes, on my word, I do, and stupid to boot. 

see. Quite right. And now there is an oppor- 
tunity of your joining me in a consultation on my 
friend Meno here. He has been declaring to me 
ever so long, Anytus, that he desires to have that 
wisdom and virtue whereby men keep their house 
or their city in good order, and honour their parents, 
and know when to welcome and when to speed 
citizens and strangers as befits a good man. Now 
tell me, to whom ought we properly to send him 
for lessons in this virtue ? Or is it clear enough, 
from our argument just now, that he should go to 
these men who profess to be teachers of virtue and 
advertise themselves as the common teachers of 
the Greeks, and are ready to instruct anyone 
who chooses in return for fees charged on a fixed 
scale ? 

AN. To whom are you referring, Socrates ? 

sec. Surely you know as well as anyone ; they 
are the men whom people call sophists. 

AN. For heaven's sake hold your tongue, Socrates ! 
May no kinsman or friend of mine, whether of this 
city or another, be seized with such madness as to 
let himself be infected with the company of those 
men ; for they are a manifest plague and corrup- 
tion to those who frequent them.'^ 

soc. What is this, Anytus ? Of all the people 

' Anytus' vehemence expresses the hostility of the 
ordinary practical democrat, after the restoration of 403 b.c., 
towards any novel movement in the state. 



rcbv avTiTTOtov/jLevcov ri emaraaQai evepyereiu 
roaovTOV rajv aXXiov 8ia(f)€povat,v, oaov ov fxovov 
ovK u)(f)eXova(,v , axnrep ol dXXoL, o ri av ns avroZg 

D TTapahoj, dAAa /cat to ivavriov hLa(j)deipovaL; 
K<XL rovrcov (f>avep6jg )(pijp,aTa ol^lovcl TrpaTTeadai; 
eyd) jxev ovv ovk ex^o ottcos aoi Tnarevcrco' olba 
yap avSpa eva Upcorayopav TrXeico XPVI^^'''^ 
Krr]fjap,evov airo ravrr]? rfjg ao(f>ias rj ^eihiav re, 
o? ovrui 7T€pL(f)avwg KaXa epya €ipydt,€TO, /cat 
dXXovg 8e/ca rcov dvSpLavTOTTOLcov /catVoi repas 
Aeyet?, et ot fiev rd inroS-qfiara ipya^ofxevoi rd 
TTaXaia /cat ra lixaria e^aKOVfievoi ovk dv Svvaivro 

E XaQelv rpidKovd^ rjfiepas fioxOr^porepa aTToStSot'Tes' 
rj vapeXa^ov ra l/jbdrid re /cat vTroSyj/xaTa, dXX' el 
roiavra TToioZev, ra^v dv rep XipLco diroddvoiev, 
Upcorayopas Se dpa dXrjV rrjv 'EAActSa iXdvddve 
8tacf)deLpa)v rovs avyytyvofievovs /cat p-oxdiqpore- 
povs dTTOTTefXTTOJV t) TTapeXdfi^ave irXeov rj rerra- 
paKOvra err)- otfiaL ydp avrov drrodaveZv iyyvs 
/cat e^SofMT^Kovra err] yeyovora, rerrapaKovra 
Se ev rfj rexyrj ovra- /cat ev dnavri rco xP^vcp 
rovrcp en els ttjv r]p,€pav ravrrjvl evSoKLficov 
ovSev TTerravrai' /cat ov p,6vov Uporrayopas, 
92 dAAa /cat ctAAot 7rd/x7ToAAot, ot /xev Trporepov yeyo- 
vores eKelvov, ol Se /cat vvp en ovreg. TTorepov 
Sr) ovv (f)(OfJiev /card rov aov Xoyov elSoras avrovs 
e^anardv /cat Xoi^dadai rovs veovs, rj XeXrjOevaL 
/cat eavrovs; /cat ovrco fialveadai d^iioaofxev 
TotJTOvs, ovs evioi (f>aat ao(f)cordrovs dvdpconcov 

AN. HoXXov ye heovai /xatVecr^at, c5 HwKpares, 
dXXd TToXv /xdXXov ol rovrois SiSovres dpyvpiov 


who set up to understand how to do us good, do you 
mean to single out these as conveying not merely 
no benefit, such as the rest can give, but actually 
corruption to anyone placed in their hands ? And 
is it for doing this that they openly claim the pay- 
ment of fees ? For my part I cannot bring myself 
to believe you ; for I know of one man, Protagoras, 
who amassed more money by his craft than Pheidias 
— so famous for the noble works he produced — or 
any ten other sculptors. And yet how surprising 
that menders of old shoes and furbishers of clothes 
should not be able to go undetected thirty days if 
they should return the clothes or shoes in worse 
condition than they received them, and that such 
doings on their part would quickly starve them to 
death, while for more than forty years all Greece 
failed to notice that Protagoras was corrupting his 
classes and sending his pupils away in a worse state 
than when he took charge of them ! For I believe 
he died about seventy years old, forty of which he 
spent in the practice of his art ; and he retains un- 
diminished to this day the high reputation he has 
enjoyed all that time — and not only Protagoras, 
but a multitude of others too : some who lived 
before him, and others still living. Now are we to 
take it, according to you, that they wittingly 
deceived and corrupted the youth, or that they were 
themselves unconscious of it ? Are we to conclude 
those w ho are frequently termed the wisest of man- 
kind to have been so demented as that ? 

AN, Demented ! Not they, Socrates : far rather 
the young men who pay them money, and still 

VOL, IV M 2 341 


Ttov vioiv Tovroiv S en fxaXXov ol rovrois iin- 
B rpetrovTes, ol TTpocrT]KOvr€g' ttoXv 8e ixaXicrra ttolvtcov 
at TToAei?, ecoCTttt avrovs elaacfiLKveLadai /cat ovk 
e^eXavvovaaL, etre tls $€vos iTn^eipel rotovrov 
Ti TTOLcXv etre aoros". 

2n. Horepov 8e, a» "Avin-e, rjSLKrjKi ri'S ae 
Tcbv ao(f)iara)v , 7) ri ovtcos avrols xctAeTro? et; 

AN. Oi)8e fia Ata eycoye avyyiyova. TTioTTOTe 
avTU)V ovSevL, ovS* dv aAAoj/ idaaipn ra)v ifxajv 

211. "Anecpos a.p el TravrdTracn tcov dvhpihv; 
C AN. Kat etrjv ye. 

2n. ncD? ovv dv, c5 Saifjiovte, elSelrjg jrepl 
TOVTOV Tov TTpdy/juaTos, eire ri dyadov e;^ei ev 
eavTcp etre (f)Xavpov, ov iravrdTraaiv aTreipos 

AN. 'PaSlcos' Tovrovs yovv oiSa ot elaiv, 
ciT* ovv dneipos avrcJov elfil elre pu-q. 

2n. mavTts et ktco?, co Avvre' errei ottcos ye 
dXXojs olada rovroiv rrepi, ef c5v avros Xeyeig 
6avfJidt,oLpi dv. aXXd yap ov rovTovg eTTL^rjTovfjLeu 
D TLVes elai, Trap' ovg dv Mevcov dcfuKoixevos pboxd-qpos 
yevoiro' ovtoi jxev ydp, el ot) ^ovXei, earcov ol 
oro^iorrar dXXd 8r] eKeivovs elire rjijitv, /cat rov 
TTOTpiKov Tovhe eraZpov evepyer-qaov , (f)pdaa<; avro), 
TTapd rlvas d(f>LK6fX€vos ev roaavrrj TToXei rr)v 
dpeTTjV 7]V vvvSrj eydi SirjXdov yevoiT dv d^ios 

AN. Tt he avTcp ov av e(f)paaas; 

2X1. 'AAA' ovs p-ev iyd) wfirjv SiSaa/caAoys' 
TOVTOJV elvai, elTTOv, oAAo. rvyxdvo} ovSev Xeycov, 
E dis (TV <f>'!^S' Kol taojs Tt Xeyeis. dXXd aii 8rj ev 


more the relations who let the young men have their 
way ; and most of all the cities that allow them to 
enter, and do not expel them, whether such attempt 
be made by stranger or citizen. 

soc. Tell me, Anytus, has any of the sophists 
WTonged you ? What makes you so hard on them.? 

AN. No, heaven knows I have never in my life 
had dealings with any of them, nor would I let any 
of my people have to do with them either. 

soc. Then you have absolutely no experience of 
those persons ? 

AN. And trust I never may. 

soc. How then, my good sir, can you tell whether 
a thing has any good or evil in it, if you are quite 
without experience of it ? 

AN. Easily : the fact is, I know what these people 
are, whether I have experience of them or not. 

soc. You are a wizard, perhaps, Anytus ; for I 
really cannot see, from what you say yourself, how 
else you can know anything about them. But we 
are not inquiring now who the teachers are whose 
lessons would make Meno wicked ; let us grant, if 
vou will, that they are the sophists : I only ask you to 
tell us, and do Meno a service as a friend of your 
family by letting him know, to whom in all this 
great city he should apply in order to become 
eminent in the virtue which I described just now. 

AN. Why not tell him yourself ? 

soc. I did mention to him the men whom I 
supposed to be teachers of these things ; but I 
find, from what you say, that I am quite oif the 
track, and I daresay you are on it. Now you take 



rep fiepei avro) cIttc napa rlvas cXOrj *A9rjvalo}V' 
eiTre ovofia otov jSouAet. 

AN, Tt 8e ivos avdpoiiTov 6vop,a Set aKovaai; 
OTCi) yap av ivrvxi) 'AdrjvaLcov rcov koKcov Kaya- 
6<jov, ovSels eoTLV os ov ^eXria} avrov voci^aet, rj 
o'l ao^iaraiy eavrrep ideXrj ireideadai. 

2n. Yiorepov 8e ovtoi ol /caAot Kayadol oltto 
Tov avTOfidrov iyevovro toiovtol, Trap* ovhevo? 
fxadovres opucos pLevroi dXXovs SiSdaKeiv oloi re 
93 ovres ravTa, a avrol ovk €p,adov; 

AN. Kat TOVTovs eywye d^LOj rrapd tcov Trpori- 
pcov padeZv, ovrtov koXwv Kdyada>v' tj ov hoKovai 
aoL TToAAot /cat dyadol yeyovevai iv rfjhe rij TrdAet 

2n. "EjLtotye, c5 "Avvre, koI etj/ai Sokovglv 
ivddSe dyadol rd TroAtrt/ca, /cat yeyovevai, eri, 
ovx '^TTOv 7] elvat,' oAAo. fxcov /cat StSaa/caAot 
aya^ot yeyovacri rrjs avrcov dperrjs; tovto ydp 
ear I Trepl o5 6 Aoyo? r/fitu rvy^dvei, cov ovk el 
B elalv dyaOol t) p,rj dvSpes evddhe, ouS' el yeyovaaiv 
€V ra> TTpoadev, aAA' et StSa/crot' iartv dperrj TraAat 
OKOTTovpLev. rovro Se (jKOTTovvres rohe gkottov- 
fiev, dpa ol dyadol dvSpeg /cat rcov vvv /cat rcjv 
TTporepcov ravrrjv rrjv aperrjv, 7]v avrol dyadol 
"qaav, rjTTLaravro /cat dXXo) TrapaSovvai, ^ ov 
TTapaSorov rovro dvdpconip ovSe TrapaXrjTrrov dXXo) 
Trap' dXXov. rovr^ eariv o TrdXai ^7]rovpev eyu) re 
/cat MeVojr. coSe ovv OKOTret e/c rov aavrov Xoyov 
C QepLiaroKXea ovk dyadov av (f>airjs dvSpa yeyovevai ; 

AN. "Eyojye, Trdvrcuv ye pLdXtara. 



your turn, and tell him to whom of the Athenians 
he is to go. Give us a name — anyone you please. 

AN. Why mention a particular one ? Any 
Athenian gentleman he comes across, without 
exception, viiW do him more good, if he will do as 
he is bid, than the sophists. 

soc. And did those gentlemen grow spontaneously 
into what they are, and ^Wthout learning from 
anybody are they able, nevertheless, to teach 
others what they did not learn themselves ? 

AN. I expect they must have learnt in their turn 
from the older generation, who were gentlemen : or 
does it not seem to you that we have had many 
good men in this city ? 

soc. Yes, I agree, Anytus ; we have also many 
who are good at politics, and have had them in the 
past as well as now. But I want to know whether 
they have proved good teachers besides of their own 
virtue : that is the question with which our dis- 
cussion is actually concerned ; not whether there 
are, or formerly have been, good men here amongst 
us or not, but whether \irtue is teachable ; this has 
been our problem all the time. And our inquiry into 
this problem resolves itself into the question : Did 
the good men of our own and of former times know 
how to transmit to another man the virtue in 
respect of which they were good, or is it something 
not to be transmitted or taken over from one 
human being to another ? That is the question I 
and Meno have been discussing all this time. 
Well, just consider it in your own way of speak- 
ing : would you not say that Themistocles was a 
good man ? 

AN. I would, particularly so. 



2X1. OvKovv Kal SiSdcTKaXov ayadov, eiTrep 
ris oAAo? TTJs avTOV dperrjg SiSdaKaXos "qv, /ca- 
Kelvov etvai; 

AN. Of/xat eyojye, elirep i^ovXero ye. 

2n. 'AAA', oUl, ovk dv e^ovX-qdrj dXXovs 
re Tivas KaXovs Kdyadovs yeveaOat, /LtaAtcrra 84 

TTOV TOV vloV TOV aVTOV ; •>) o'Ul aVTOV (f)doV€LV 

avTCp Kal i^eTTLTTjSes ov TrapaStSovai ttjv dper-qv, 
D r]v avTos dyados rjv; tq ovk dK-qKoas, on Oe/xt- 
aroKXrjg KAeo</>av'TOV rov vlov iTTTrea jjiev eSiSa^aro 
dyadov; ivefjieve yovv inl tcov lttttcjv opdos 
iarrjKcos, Kal rjKOVTL^ev arro rcvv lttttcov opdos, 
Kal dXXa TToXXd Kal davixaard elpyd^ero, a eKelvos 
avrov iTTatBevaaro Kal iiroirjae ao^ov, daa StSa- 
GKdXujv dyaddJv etx^ro- t] ravra ovk dKT]Koas 
Tcbv TTpea^vrepcov ; 

AN. 'A/c7^/coa. 

2n. Ovk dv dpa rtjv ye <jivaiv rov vUos avrov 
rjTidaar* dv ti? eii^ai KaKrjV. 
E AN. "Yaois OVK dv. 

2n. Ti 8e ToSe; co? KAeot^avroj o 0e/xt- 
otokXIovs dvrjp dyados Kal cro(f)6g iyevero drrep 
6 TTarrip avrov, rjh-q rov dKiJKoas "^ vecorepov r) 
TTpea^vrepov ; 

AN. Ov hrjra. 

2n. *Ap' ovv ravra pikv olo/Jieda ^ovXeaOac 
avrov TOV avrov vlov TraiSevaai, tJv Se avros 
ao(f)Lav "^v ao(f)6s, ovSev rdjv yeirovcov jSeAricu 
7T0LT]aai, eirrep rjv ye SiSaKrov r) dperr]; 

AN. "Ictoj? /xa At" ov. 

2n. OuTO? /xei^ S17 crot rotouro? 8iSacr«-aAos 



soc. And if any man ever was a teacher of his own 
virtue, he especially was a good teacher of his ? 

AN. In my opinion, yes, assuming that he wished 
to be so. 

soc. But can you suppose he would not have 
wished that other people should become good, 
honourable men — above all, I presume, his own son ? 
Or do you think he was jealous of him, and deliber- 
ately refused to impart the virtue of his own goodness 
to him ? Have you never heard how Themistocles 
had his son Cleophantus taught to be a good horse- 
man ? Why, he could keep his balance standing 
upright on horseback, and hurl the javelin while so 
standing, and perform many other wonderful feats 
in which his father had had him trained, so as to 
make him skilled in all that could be learnt from 
good masters. Surely you must have heard all this 
from your elders } 

AN. I have. 

soc. Then there could be no complaints of badness 
in his son's nature ? 

AN. I daresay not. 

soc. But I ask you — did you ever hear anybody, 
old or young, say that Cleophantus, son of Themis- 
tocles, had the same goodness and accomplishments 
as his father ? 

AN. Certainly not. 

soc. And can we believe that his father chose to 
train his own son in those feats, and yet made him 
no better than his neighbours in his own particular 
accomplishments — if virtue, as alleged, was to be 
taught ? 

AN. On my word, I think not. 

soc. Well, there you have a fine teacher of virtue 



aperrjs, ov Kat av o/xoAoyet? €v rols apLarov twv 
94 TTporepcov elvai' dXXov 8e Sr] (TKeipcofieda, 'Apt- 
aTeihrjv tov Avaipidxov rj tovtov ovx o/xoAoyeis 
ayadov yeyovevai; 

AN. Eyojye, TrdvTOJS hiqirov. 


Avaip-axov, oara fjbev SSacrKaXcov ei;(eTo, KaXXiara 
^Adrjvatcov eTralSevaev , dvhpa he ^eXrioi 8ok€l 
aoL OTOVOvv 7Te7TOirjK€vai; rovrcp yap ttov Kal 
avyyeyovas Kal opas otos eariv. el Se ^ovXei, 
B XiepiKXea, ovtco fieyaXoTrpeTTOJs ao(^6v dvSpa, 
olad* on Suo vlels edpeipe, UdpaXov Kal advd- 


AN. "Eyojye. 

2fl. Tovrovg /Jievroi, ofS" olada Kal av, LTTTrla^ 
fjiev eSiSa^ev ovSevos ;^etpoi;s' 'Adrjvalcou, Kal 
fjLovaLKTjv Kal dycxiviav /cat raAAa eTraiSevaev, oaa 
rexyrfs ex^rai, ovhevos ;(et/3ous'* dyadovg Se dpa 
dvhpag ovk e^ovXero TTOLrJGai; So/ecu fJiev, e^ovXero, 
dXXd firj OVK rj hihaKTOv. tva he [J,rj oXlyovg 
oirj Kal Tovs (fiavXordrovs ^ Adrfvaiajv dhwdrovs 
Q yeyoi'eVat rovro to Trpdyfia, evdvfi-qOrjTL oti Qovkv- 
hihrjs av hvo utei? edpeipe, MeXrjatav Kal YiTe(f)avov , 
Kal tovtov; eTraihevae Td re aAAa ev Kal eTrdXataav 
KoXXioTa ^ASr]vaiit)v tov p,ev yap Savdia ehcoKe, 
TOV he Eu8a>/3a>* ovtol he ttov ehoKOVV tcov TOTe 
KoAAtCTxa TTaXaietv rj ov /xe/xvTjaat; 

AN. "Eycoye, aKofj. 

^ Thucydides (son of Melesias, and no relation of the 
historian) was an aristocrat of high principle and con- 


who, you admit, was one of the best men of past 
times. Let us take another, Aristeides, son of 
Lysimachus : do you not admit that he was a good 
man ? 

AN. I do, absolutely, of course. 

soc. Well, did he not train his son Lysimachus 
better than any other Athenian in all that masters 
could teach him ? And in the result, do you consider 
he has turned out better than anyone else ? You 
have been in his company, I know, and you see what 
he is like. Or take another example — ^the splendidly 
accomplished Pericles : he, as you are aware, brought 
up two sons, Paralus and Xanthippus. 

AN. Yes. 

soc. And, you know as well as I, he taught them 
to be the foremost horsemen of Athens, and trained 
them to excel in music and gymnastics and all 
else that comes under the head of the arts ; and 
with all that, had he no desire to make them good 
men ? He wished to, I imagine, but presumably 
it is not a thing one can be taught. And that 
you may not suppose it was only a few of the meanest 
sort of Athenians who failed in this matter, let me 
remind you that Thucydides ^ also brought up two 
sons, Melesias and Stephanus, and that besides 
giving them a good general education he made them 
the best WTCstlers in Athens : one he placed with 
Xanthias, and the other with Eudorus — masters 
who, I should think, had the name of being the 
best exponents of the art. You remember them, 
do you not ? 

AN. Yes, by hearsay. 

servative views who opposed the plans of Pericles for 
enriching and adorning Athens. 




ov ix€v eSet haTravoijxevov hihdaKeiv, ravra fxev 

D eSiSa^e rovs nalSas tovs avrov, ov Se ovSev 

eSet dvaXcoaavra dyadovs dvSpas TTOirjoai,, ravra 

0€ OVK iSiSa^ev, el SiSaKTOv rjv; dXXd yap tacos 

o QovKvblSr^s (f)avXos '^v, Kal ovK ■^aav avro) 

TrXeiaroL ^t'Aot ^Adrjvaioiv Kal tcov avfifidxojv ; 

/cat oLKLas /JieydXrjs rjv kol eSwaro fieya iv rfj 

TToXei Kal €V Tols dXXois "EAAtjctiv, ware eiTrep 

rjv rovro SiSa/CTov", i^evpelv dv oaris efieXXev 

avTov TOVS vUls dyadovs TTOi-qaeLV, -^ rcov CTnxojpicov 

E TLs y} Twv ^evcov, el avros p^r) eaxdXa^e 8id ttjv 

TTJs TToXecos eTn/xeXeiav . dXXd ydp, c5 eraipe 

Avvre, p,rj ovk rj StSa/CTOv d/aexTy. 

AN. *n YiCJoKpares, paStco? /moi hoKels KaKcbs 
Xeyeiv dvOpcLvovs. iyd) p-ev ovv dv aoi avp,- 
f^ovXevcraipn, , el eOeXeis ep,ol TrelOeadai, evXa- 
^eladat- chs tcro)? p,ev Kal ev aAAr^ TToAet paov^ 
iari KaKa>s TTOieiv dvOpcoTTOVs ■^ ed, ev rfjSe Se 
95 Kal irdw olp,ai 8e ae koI avrov elSevai. 

2X1. *n MeVojv, "AvvTos /i.eV /xoi 8o/cet ;^a- 
XcTTaivetv Kal ovSev davp,dl^o)' oterat, ydp p,€ 
TTpcoTov p,€v KaKTjyopelv rovrovs rovs dvSpas, 
eVetTa rjyelrai Kal avros elvai. els rovrcov. oAA 
ovros p-ev edv Trore yvo), olov eart ro KaKCJS 
Xeyeiv, iravaerai ;^aAe7raiVa;t', vvv 8e dyvoeZ' av 
Se p,oi eme, ov Kal Trap' vp,lv elal KaXol Kayadol 


^ pq.6v Buttmann : pg.5i.6v mss. 

^ Anytus goes away. His parting words show that (in 
Plato's view) he regarded Socrates as an enemy of the 
restored democracy which, he hints, has popular juries only 
too ready to condemn such an awkward critic. 


soc. Well, is it not ob\ious that this father would 
never have spent his money on ha\ing his children 
taught all those things, and then have omitted to 
teach them at no expense the others that would 
have made them good men, if virtue was to be 
taught ? Will you say that perhaps Thucydides 
was one of the meaner sort, and had no great number 
of friends among the Athenians and allies? He, 
who was of a great house and had much influence 
in our city and all over Greece, so that if \irtue were 
to be taught he would have found out the man who 
was likely to make his sons good, whether one of 
our own people or a foreigner, were he himself too 
busy owing to the cares of state ! Ah no, my dear 
Anytus, it looks as though virtue were not a teach- 
able thing. 

AN. Socrates, I consider you are too apt to speak 
ill of people. I, for one, if you will take my advice, 
would warn you to be careful : in most cities it is 
probably easier to do people harm than good, and 
particularly in this one ; I think you know that 

soc. Meno, I think Anytus is angry, and I am not 
at all surprised : for he conceives, in the first place, 
that I am speaking ill of these gentlemen ; and in the 
second place, he considers, he is one of them himself. 
Yet, should the day come when he knows what 
"speaking ill" means, his anger will cease ; at present 
he does not know.^ Now you must answer me : are 
there not good and honoiu-able men among your 
people also ? 

- This is probably not a reference to a prosecution of 
Anytus himself, but a suggestion that what he needs is a 
Socratic discussion on "speaking ill," for "ill" may mean 
" maliciously," " untruthfully," " ignorantly," etc. 



MEN. Ildvv ye. 
B 2fl. Tt ovv; edeXovaiv ovtoi Trapex^iv avrov? 
StSacTKaAous' Tots" viois, Kal o^oXoyeZv hihaoKaXoi 
re €Lvai. /cai hihaKrov dper-qv; 

MEN. Ov fjid rov Ala, c5 TicoKpares, dAAa 
Tore jxev dv avTU>v aKovaais cos StSa/crov, rore 
e ct)? ou. 

2n. Oco/xei' ow Touroys' SiSacr/faAoi;? etvat 
Tovrov rov Trpdyfjbaros, ots fMrjSe avro rovro 
ojxoXoyelrai ; 

MEN. Ov pLOL SoK€L, J) HcoKpareS' 

2n. Tt 8e Si]; ol aocf)Larai aoi ovroi, OLirep 
C piovoL enayyeXXovraL, SoKovat Si8acr/<:aAot eluai 

MEN. Kai Fopyiou ptdXicrra, cS llcoKpares, 
ravra dyapuai, on, ovk dv TTore avrov rovro 
aKovaais vmcrxvovpievov, dXXd Kai ra>v dXXojv 
KarayeXa, orav dKovaj] VTTia-)(yovpievoiv dAAa 
Xeyeiv o'ierai heZv TToieZv heLVovs. 

2n. Oi5S' dpa aol Sokovclv ol aocjuaral 8i- 
SdaKaXoL elvai; 

MEN. Ovk €)((jo XeyeLV, c5 HcoKpares. Kal 
yap avros orrep ol ttoXXoI Trerrovda' rore p,ev 
pLOt, SoKovai, rore 8e ov. 

2n. Olada 8e ort ov pLovov aoi re Kal rots 
D dXXoLS rols TToXtriKolg rovro So/cet rore puev 
elvai BiSaKTOv, rore 8' ov, dAAct Kal Oeoyviv rov 
TTOtrjrrjv otad* on ravrd ravra Xeyei; 

MEN. Ev TTOLOLS erreaiv ; 

2n. 'Ev rots' eXeyeioLS, oS Xeyei — 

Kal rrapd rolaiv rrZve Kal eadte, Kal pt,era rolaiv 
t^e, /cat av8ai'e rot?, (Lv pieydXrj Svvapas. 


MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Well then, are they willing to put themselves 
forward as teachers of the young, and avow that they 
are teachers and that virtue is to be taught ? 

MEN. No, no, Socrates, I assure you : sometimes 
you may hear them refer to it as teachable, but 
sometimes as not. 

soc. Then are we to call those persons teachers 
of this thing, when they do not even agree on that 
great question ? 

MEN. I should say not, Socrates. 

soc. Well, and what of the sophists ? Do you 
consider these, its only professors, to be teachers of 
\irtue ? 

MEN. That is a point, Socrates, for which I admire 
Gorgias : you will never hear him promising this, 
and he ridicules the others when he hears them 
promise it. Skill in speaking is what he takes it 
to be their business to produce. 

soc. Then you do not think the sophists are 
teachers of virtue ? 

MEN. I cannot say, Socrates. I am in the same 
plight as the rest of the world : sometimes I think 
that they are, sometimes that they are not. 

soc. And are you aware that not only you and 
other political folk are in two minds as to whether 
virtue is to be taught, but Theognis the poet al§o 
says, you remember, the very same thing ? 

MEN. In which part of his poems ? 

soc. In those elegiac lines where he says — 

*' ELat and drink with these men ; sit with them, and be 
pleasing unto them, who wield great power ; for from the 



eadXcov fi,€V yap cltt' eaOXa StSd^eai' t]v 8e 
E KaKoZaiv 

avixfiLayrjs, oLTToXe ts Kal rov iovra voov. 

olad^ on iv tovtols fiev co? StSa/croiJ ovarjs ttjs 
dpeTTJs Xeyei; 

MEN. OatVerat ye, 

2X1. Ei^ aAAoi? Se ye oXiyov juerajSa?, 

€t 8 ■^V TTOlTjTOV, (fiTjai, KOL CvdcTOV dvSpl VOTjfjta, 

Ae'yei ttcos on 

TToXXovs dv fiiadovs Kal fieydXovs €(f)€pov 

ol SvvdflCVOl TOVTO TTOielv, Kal 

ov 7TOT dv €^ dyaOov Trarpog eyevro KaKos, 
96 TTeidofievos jxvdoLaL aa6<f)poaLV. dXXd hihaoKOiv 
ov TTore TTOi-qaecs tov KaKov divSp* dyadov. 

iwoets OTL avTos avrio irdXiv Trepi rdjv avrcov 
rdvavTia Xiyei; 

MEN. OatVerai. 

2n. ''E;^ets' ovv elireiv dXXov otovovv Trpdyjxarog, 
oS ol fiev (f)daKovT€s StSacr/caAoi elvai ovx ottojs 
dXXcov SiSdaKaXoi o/JLoXoyovvrat, aAA' oySe avrol 
B eTTiaraadai, dXXd irovqpoL elvai Trepl avro rovro 
TO TTpdyfia oS <j)aal StSdaKaXoi etvai, ol 8e o/xoAo- 
yovjjievoL avrol koXoI Kdyadol Tore fiev ^aaiv 
avro SiSa/CTOv elvai,, rore Se ov; rovs ovv ovrco 
rerapay/xevovs nepl orovovv Satrjs dv av Kvplcos 
hihaaKdXovs elvai; 

MEN. Ma A" ovK eycoye. 

2fl. OvKovv el fXTQre ol ao^iarai [xrjre ol avrol 

1 Bergk, 33-36. « Bergk, 434-438. 



good wilt thou win thee lessons in the good; but mingle 
with the bad, and thou wilt lose even the sense that thou 
hast." ^ 

Do you observe how in these words he implies that 
virtue is to be taught ? 

MEN. He does, e\idently. 

soc. But in some other lines he shifts his ground 
a little, saying — 

" Could understanding be created and put into a man " 
(I think it runs thus) " many high rewards would they 
obtain " (that is, the men who were able to do such a thing) : 
and again — 

" Never would a bad son have sprung from a good father, 
for he would have followed the precepts of wisdom : but not 
by teaching wilt thou ever make the bad man good."* 

You notice how in the second passage he contradicts 
himself on the same point ? 

MEN. Apparently. 

soc. Well, can you name any other subject in 
which the professing teachers are not only refused 
recognition as teachers of others, but regarded as 
not even understanding it themselves, and indeed 
as inferior in the very quality of which they claim 
to be teachers ; while those who are themselves 
recognized as men of worth and honour say at one 
time that it is teachable, and at another that it is 
not ? When people are so confused about this or 
that matter, can you say they are teachers in any 
proper sense of the word ? 

MEN. No, indeed, I cannot. 

soc. Well, if neither the sophists nor the men 



KaXol Kayadol ovres SiSdcrKaXoL elai rov Trpdyfxaro?, 
BrjXov on ovK av dXXoi ye; 

MEN. Ov flOL 8oK€L. 

C 2n. Et 8e ye {jlt} SiSdaKaXot, oi3Se /xa^Tyrat; 

MEN. Ao/cet /xoL ex^LV (Ls Xeyeis. 

2n. 'Q/xoXoyT^Kanev 8e ye, Trpdyfiaros ov fxrJTe 
Si8aa/caAo6 yuiyre fj,adrjTal elev, rovro firjhe 8i- 
SaKTov etvat,; 

MEN. 'Q.fjLoXoyqKafxev. 

2n. Ou/cow dpeTTJs ovSafjiov <f>aLVOvrai SiSa- 

MEN. "Ecrrt Tttura. 

Sn. Et Se' ye /at) StSaa/caAot, oi58e fiaO-qrai; 

MEN. OatVerat ovrcus. 

2n. ^Aperrj dpa ovk dv eh] StBaKTOv; 
D MEN. Oy/c eoiKev, eiTrep opdcbs r}fJ.€LS iaKepL- 
/xeda. axrre /cat davfid^o) 87^, cS Scu/cpare?, 
TTorepov TTore 01)8' etcrtv dya^oi ai'8/3es', '^ riV ai/ 
et?^ rpoTTOS TTJs yevdaecDS tcov dyaOdJv yiyvofievcov . 

2n. KivSwevofiev, c5 Mei'aiv', eya> re Kal av 
(f)avXoL TLves etvat dvBpes, Kal ere re Fopy ta? ov^ 
LKavcos TTeTTaiBevKevai /cat e/xe YlpoBiKos. Travros 
fiaXXov ovv TTpoaeKT€ov rov vovu rjplv avrols, /cat 
tpTjrririov oans i^/xa? evt ye tco rpoTTO) ^eXnovs 
E TTOtT^cref Ae'yoj Be ravra d-no^Xeipas Trpog rrjv 
dpri t^rinqaiv, d>s ripids eXade KarayeXdcrrcos , 
OTL ov fj,6vov eTnarrjyLrjs rjyovfxevrjs opOcbs re /cat 
ev TOis dvOpcoTTOis TTpdrreraL rd TrpdypLara, fj^ 
tacDS Kal Bia^evyei rjfjLds to yvdjvai, Tiva irore 
TpoTTOV yiyvovrai ol dyadol dvBpes. 

MEN. IlcDs" rovro Xeyets, c5 IjcoKpares ; 
^ iQ Madvig : i) mss. 


who are themselves good and honourable are teachers 
of the subject, clearly no others can be ? 

MEN. I agree. 

soc. And if there are no teachers, there can be 
no disciples either ? 

MEN. I think that statement is true. 

soc. And we have admitted that a thing of which 
there are neither teachers nor disciples cannot be 
taught ? 

MEN. We have. 

soc. So nowhere are any teachers of virtue to be 
found ? 

MEN. That is so. 

soc. And if no teachers, then no disciples ? 

MEN. So it appears. 

soc. Hence virtue cannot be taught ? 

MEN. It seems likely, if our investigation is 
correct. And that makes me wonder, I must say, 
Socrates, whether perhaps there are no good men 
at all, or by what possible sort of process good people 
can come to exist ? 

soc. I fear, Meno, you and I are but poor creatures, 
and Gorgias has been as faulty an educator of you 
as Prodicus of me. So our first duty is to look to 
ourselves, and try to find somebody who will have 
some means or other of making us better. I say 
this with special reference to our recent inquiry, 
in which I see that we absurdly failed to note that 
it is not only through the guidance of knowledge that 
human conduct is right and good ; and it is probably 
owing to this that we fail to perceive by what 
means good men can be produced. 

MEN. To what are you alluding, Socrates ? 



3n, *Q8€" oTi fjiev Tovs dyaOovs avhpa^ Set 
(h(f>eXiiiovs elvai, opdcbs (LixoXoyi^Kaficv tovto 
97 ye, OTi ovK av oAAcos' ^xor 17 ydp; 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. Kat OTt ye wcfieXifioi, eaovrai, av opOoJs 
rifiZv TjycovTai rcbv TrpaynaTCov, /cai tovto ttov 
/caAcDs" cofioXoyoOfxev ; 

MEN. Nai. 

2n. "On S' OVK eaTiv opOcbs rjyeladaL, eav 

[MT] (fjpOVlflOS flj TOVTO OfXOLOL €(TfJI,€V OVK OpdoiS 

wfioXoyrjKoaLV . 

MEN. ncD? S17 [op^cD?] Xiyeis ; 

2n. 'Eya> epcD. et tis elhcjs ttjv 6S6i> ttjv 
els Adptaav t] ottol ^ovXei dXXoae ^ahit,OL koI 
dXXoLS -qyoLTO, dXXo tl opOcos dv Kal ev rjyoLTo; 

MEN. Udvv ye. 
B 2n. Tl 8' €1 Tl? opddJs fxev Sofa^cov, t^ti? 
eoTLV 7) ooos, eArjAvocDS oe {Jbij fj,7]o eTTiaTafxevos , 
ov Kal ovTOS av opdcos "qyolTo; 

MEN. Ilai'y ye. 

2n. Kat eojs y av ttov 6p9rjv So^av exj) Trepl 
(OV 6 eTepos eTTLaTTipLriv , ovhev ;^ei/36t)V rfyepicbv 
ecrrat, oio/xevo? fxev dXrjdi], <j>pova)v Se ii-q, tov 


MEN. OvSev ydp. 

2n. Ao^a apa dXrjdrjs trpos opdoTrjTa Trpd^ecos 
ovSev ;^etpajv T]yefxd)v (fjpov^aecos' Kal tovto eoTLV 
o vvvSrj TTapeXeLTTOfiev ev ttj irepl rfjs dpeTrjs 
C OKeifjei, OTTOLOV Tt €117, XeyovTes on (f)p6v7]aLs 
fiovov rjyelTaL tov opdcJbs TrpaTTeiv to Be dpa 
Kal So^a ^v oAi^^t;?. 



soc. I mean that good men must be useful : we 
■were right, were we not, in admitting that this 
must needs be so ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And in thinking that they will be useful if 
they give us right guidance in conduct : here also, 
I suppose, our admission was correct ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. But our assertion that it is impossible to give 
right guidance unless one has knowledge looks very 
like a mistake. 

MEN. What do you mean by that ? 

soc. I will tell you. If a man knew the way to 
Larisa, or any other place you please, and walked 
there and led others, would he not give right and 
good guidance ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Well, and a person who had a right opinion 
as to which was the way, but had never been there 
and did not really know, might give right guidance, 
might he not ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And so long, I presume, as he has right 
opinion about that which the other man really knows, 
he will be just as good a guide — if he thinks the 
truth instead of knowing it — as the man who has the 

MEN. Just as good. 

soc. Hence true opinion is as good a guide to 
Tightness of action as knowledge ; and this is a 
point we omitted just now in our consideration of 
the nature of virtue, when we stated that knowledge 
is the only guide of right action ; whereas we find 
there is also true opinion. 



MEN. "EotKe ye. 

2n. OvBev apa rjrrov w^eXu/xov iariv opdr) 
So^a €7n(mjp,r)s . 

MEN. ToaovTO) ye, cS Ticok pares, on 6 pikv 
rrjv eTTLarrjpirjv ex<Ji>v del av eTnrvy)(dvoL, 6 8e 
rriv opdrjv So^av rore fxev av rvyyavoi, rore 8' 


2n. Ylws Xeyeis; 6 del exojv opdrjv So^av 
ovK del rvyxdvoi, eojarrep opdd So^d^oi; 

MEN. AvdyKT] jxoL (f)aiveraL' coare davfid^oj, 
D c5 TtcoKpareg, rovrov ovrois exovrog, on B-q TTore 
TToXi) nfiicorepa rj eTnarrjjJir] rrjs opdrjv So^rjs, /cat 
St o n TO jxev erepov, to 8e erepov eanv avTcbv. 

2n. OlaOa oSv St' o rt 6avfidt,€is, 7] iyw croi 
e LTTO) ; 

MEN. WdvV y' 61776. 

2n. "On rot? AatSaAoy dydXpLaaiv ov Trpoa- 
eax^Kas rov vovv taojs Se ouS' eart Trap' Vfxtv. 

MEN. Ylpog n Se 817 TOVTO Xeyeis ; 

2n. 'Ort /cat raura, eat* /xev /ii^ SeSe/xeVa i), 
aTToStSpaa/cet /cat hpanerevei, eav Se SeSe/xeVa, 
E MEN. Ti ow Sry; 

2n. Tcoi' eKeivov TroirjpLarcov XeXvfxevov p,ev 
eKTrjadai ov ttoXXtjs nvos d^iov ecrn TLfxrjs, oiairep 
Spanerrjv dvOpcoTTOV ov yap Trapafievef SeSefxe- 
vov Se TToXXov d^iov ttovv yap KoXd to, epya 
eari. 77/30$" ri ovv 8r) Xeyco ravra; Trpos rds 
So^as rds dXrjdets. Kal yap at Sofat at dAr^^ets', 

* Cf. Euthyphro 1 1 . Socrates pretends to believe the old 
legend according to which Daedalus, the first sculptor, con- 


MEX. So it seems. 

soc. Then right opinion is just as useful as 

MEN. With this difference, Socrates, that he who 
has knowledge will always hit on the right way, 
whereas he who has right opinion will sometimes 
do so, but sometimes not. 

soc. How do you mean ? Will not he who always 
has right opinion be always right, so long as he 
opines rightly ? 

MEX. It appears to me that he must ; and there- 
fore I wonder, Socrates, this being the case, that 
knowledge should ever be more prized than right 
opinion, and why they should be two distinct and 
separate things. 

soc. Well, do you know why it is that you wonder, 
or shall I tell you ? 

MEN. Please tell me. 

soc. It is because you have not observed with 
attention the images of Daedalus.^ But perhaps 
there are none in your country. 

MEN. What is the point of your remark ? 

soc. That if they are not fastened up they play 
truant and run away ; but, if fastened, they stay 
where they are. 

MEN. Well, what of that ? 

soc. To possess one of his works which is let 
loose does not count for much in value ; it will not 
stay with you any more than a runaway slave : 
but when fastened up it is worth a great deal, 
for his productions are very fine things And to 
what am I referring in all this ? To true opinions. 

trived a wonderful mechanism in his statues by which they 
could move. 



oaov jxev av -^povov Trapaixevoiai, koXov to xPVH''^ 
98 /cat TTavra rayada ipydt^ovrai,' ttoXvv Se XP'^^^^ 
OVK iOeXovoL Trapa/xeVetv, dAAa hpaTrerevovaiv ck 
rrjs 'pvxrjs rov dvdpa)TTOv, ware ov ttoXXov d^iai 
CLGLv, eojs av tls avrds S-qarj alrias Aoy tCT/xa) . 
TOVTO 8' iariv, ^'iivcov eTolpe, dvdfxvrjGLs, cos ev 
Tols TTpoadev TjULV ihfjLoXoyrjTai. ineLSdu 8e Se- 
ucoaL, TTpoJTov fxcv eTTiaTrjjxai yiyvovrai, eVetTa 
fxovtfxof Kal Sta ravra Sr] TLfMicorepov eTnarT^fir] 
opdrjs So^Tjs icTTL, /cat Sta^epet Sea/ioi 
opdrjs 86^r]s. 

MEN. N17 TOP Ala, J) Sco/cpare?, eoi/ce roiovro) 
B 5n. Kai fXTjv /cat iyoj co? oj3/c eiSco? Aeyco, 
aAA' eLKa^cuv otl 8e cctti Tt dAAotoi' dp^T) 8d^a 
/cat eTTiaTTJu-q, ov irdw jxol So/cdi rovro et/cd^eiv', 
dAA' €L7T€p Tt dAAo (f>aLr)v dv et8eVai, oAtya 8' dt" 
(f)aLT]v, ev 8' ow Kat tovto eKeivoiv detrjv dv cov 

MEN. Kat opdtbs ye, c5 Sco/cpaTej, Aeyei?. 

2n. Tt 8e; Td86 ou/c opdcos, on dXrjdrjS 8d^a 
T^yovfJievr) to epyov eKdaTrjg tyjs irpd^ecos ovSev 
X^tpov aTTepyd^erai r) eTnar-qixr) ; 

MEN. Kat rovro hoKels fioi dXrjdrj Xeyeiv. 
C 2n. Ou8ei' dpa dp^T^ 8d^a iTnar-q[xr]s ^^eipov 
ovSe rjrrov wcfteXifir] ecrrat et? rag Trpd^ety, ou8e 
dn^p d €x<jov dpdr^v ho^av -q 6 imar-qix-qv . 

MEN. "Eari TaiJra. 

5fl. Kat fxrjv o ye dyados dvrjp tti0eAtp,os 
•f]p,iv (LfxoXoyrjrai elvai. 



For these, so long as they stay with us, are a 
fine possession, and effect all that is good ; but 
they do not care to stay for long, and run away 
out of the human soul, and thus are of no great value 
until one makes them fast with causal reasoning. 
And this process, friend Meno, is recollection, as 
in our previous talk we have agreed. But when 
once they are fastened, in the first place they turn 
into knowledge, and in the second, are abiding. 
And this is why knowledge is more prized than 
right opinion : the one transcends the other by its 

MEN. Upon my word, Socrates, it seems to be 
very much as you say. 

soc. And indeed I too speak as one who does not 
know but only conjectures : yet that there is a differ- 
ence between right opinion and knowledge is not at 
all a conjecture with me but something I would 
particularly assert that I knew : there are not 
many things of which I would say that, but this one, 
at any rate, I will include among those that I know. 

ME\. Yes, and you are right, Socrates, in so saying. 

soc. Well, then, am I not right also in saying that 
true opinion leading the way renders the effect of 
each action as good as knowledge does ? 

MEN. There again, Socrates, I think you speak the 

soc. So that right opinion will be no whit inferior 
to knowledge in worth or usefulness as regards our 
actions, nor will the man who has right opinion be 
inferior to him who has knowledge. 

MEN. That is so. 

soc. And you know that the good man has been 
admitted by us to be useful. 



MEN. Nai. 

5n. lETreiSTj roivvv ov jxovov Si* eTTtaTT^ixiqv 
ayadol avSpeg av etev /cat ox^eXiiioi Tat? iroXeaiv, 
e'lTTep eiev, dXXa Kal St' opdrjv So^av, tovtolv Se 
ovBerepov (f)va€L earl rots dvOpconoLS, ovTe ini- 
D anqpLT) ovre Sd^a dXrjd-qs, ovr^^ €7TLKT7]ra — 7J So/cet 
aoL (f)va€t. oTTorepovovv avrolv evtau; 

MEN. OvK efMotye. 

2n. OvKovv e7T€t,Srj ov ^vaei, ovSe ol dyadol 
<j)va€i elev dv. 

MEN. Ov hrJTa. 

2n. 'ETretS?) §e ye ov <j>vaei, iaKorrovfiev to 
fierd TOVTo, ei StBaKTov iariv. 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. OvKovv StSa/cTOJ/ eSo^ev elvai, el <j>p6vT]aL9 
rj dpeTiq; 

MEN. Nat. 

2n. Kav et ye StSa/croi' et?^, (ftpovqaig dv elvai; 

MEN. riavK ye. 

2n. Kai et jiteV ye StSaa/caAoi etev, BtSaKTov 
E ai' ett'at, p.r) ovtcov Se oi) StSa/crdv; 


2n. 'AAAd /A7)v (hfxoXoyiJKafiev firj etvai avrov 
SiSaaKaXovs ; 

MEN. "EcTTi ravra. 

2n. 'QfMoXoyqKafxev dpa /xi^re StSaKTOV ayro 
/xT^re (f)p6vr)aLv elvai; 

MEN. Ilai'i; ye. 

2n. 'AAAo. /LtT^v dya^dv ye auro o/xoXoyovfjiev 

MEN. Nat. 

^ CvT"' Apelt : oCt' MS9. 


MEN. Yes. 

soc. Since then it is not only because of know- 
ledge that men will be good and useful to their 
country, where such men are to be found, but also 
on account of right opinion ; and since neither of 
these two things — knowledge and true opinion — 
is a natural property of mankind, being acquired — 
or do you think that either of them is natural ? 

MEN. Not I. 

soc. Then if they are not natural, good people 
cannot be good by nature either. 

MEN. Of course not. 

soc. And since they are not an effect of nature, 
we next considered whether virtue can be taught. 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And we thought it teachable if virtue is 
wisdom ? 

MEN. Yes. 

soc. And if teachable, it must be wisdom ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And if there were teachers, it could be 
taught, but if there were none, it could not } 

MEN. Quite so. 

soc. But surely we acknowledged that it had no 
teachers ? 

MEN. That is true. 

soc. Then we acknowledged it neither was taught 
nor was wisdom ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. But yet we admitted it was a good ? 

MEN. Yes. 

VOL. IV N S65 


2n. ^Q.(j>e.\inov Se /cat ayadov elvai to opdcbs 
Tjyovfjievov ; 

MEN. Udvv ye. 

2n. ^Opdcos §€ ye 'qyeladai 8vo ovra ravra 
99 fJiova, S6^ai> re dXr]drj /cat eTnariqixrjv , d exoiv 
dvdpcoTTOS opdcog rjy eiTai. rd yap diro rvx^S 
yiyvofjueva ovk dvdpojTTLvr] 'qye/xovLa yiyveraf cov 8e 
dvOpojTTOs rfyepLcov eariv eirl to dpdov, Svo raura, 
8o^a dXrjdrjg Kal imaTT^fir}. 

MEN. Ao/Cet p,0(. OVTCOS. 

2n. OvKovv eTreihrj ov StSa/crov eoTiv, ouS' 
eTTLaTTjfxr) Brj ert yiyveTai rj dpeTifj; 

MEN. Oj) ^aiveTai. 
B 5n. Ayoiv' d'pa ovtolv dyadoZv koL (h(f)eXifXOiv to 
[jL€V eTepov aTToAeAyrat, /cat oi5/<r dv etr) ev tto- 
XiTiK-fj Trpd^ei eTTLaTTifXT] rjyejxcov. 

MEN. Ov fXOl 8oK€L. 

2n. Ovk dpa ao(j)ia Tivl oj)8e ao(f)ol ovTeg ot 
ToiovTOL dvhpes rjyovvTO rats' TToXeaiv, ol dp,(f)L 
Oe/xtCTTOKAea re Kal ovg dpTi "AvvTog dSe eXeye- 
8to Kal ovx OLOL re a'AAous' TTOteXv toiovtovs o'lol 
avTOL etatv, S/re ov St' €7naTT]ixr]v 6vt€s tolovtoi. 

MEN. "Eot/cer OVTCOS ^X^''^> ^ ^coKpaTeSy cos 

2n. OvKOvv el fir] eTnaTijp.r), evSo^ta Sr] to 
C XoLTTOv yiyveTai- fj ol ttoXltlkoI dvhpes ;)(/>a>/xevot 
Tas TToXeis dpOovaiv, ovhev SLa(f)ep6vTOJS exovTes 
vpos TO ^poveZv T] ol ;)^/37^o'jLt6j8ot T6 /cat ot deo- 
fiavTeis' Kal yap ovtol Xeyovai fiev dXrjdi] Kal 
TToXXd, taaai 8e ovSev Sv Xeyovaiv. 



soc. And that which guides rightly is useful and 
good ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. And that there are only two things — true 
opinion and knowledge — that guide rightly and a 
man guides rightly if he have these ; for things that 
come about by chance do not occur through human 
guidance ; but where a man is a guide to what is 
right we find these two things — true opinion and 

MEN, I agree. 

soc. Well now, since virtue is not taught, we no 
longer take it to be knowledge ? 

MEN. Apparently not. 

soc. So of two good and useful things one has 
been rejected: knowledge cannot be our guide in 
political conduct. 

MEN. I think not. 

soc. Therefore it was not by any wisdom, nor 
because they were wise, that the sort of men we 
spoke of controlled their states — Themistocles and 
the rest of them, to whom our friend Anytus was 
referring a moment ago. For this reason it was 
that they were unable to make others like unto 
themselves — because their qualities were not an 
effect of knowledge. 

MEN. The case is probably as you say, Socrates. 

soc. And if not by knowledge, as the only alter- 
native it must have been by good opinion. This is 
the means which statesmen employ for their direc- 
tion of states, and they have nothing more to do 
with wisdom than soothsayers and diviners ; for 
these people utter many a true thing when inspired, 
but have no knowledge of anything they say. 



MEN. }^lvSvV€V€L OWTCO? €X€LV. 

2n. OvKOVv, a> yLeviov, d^Lov rovrovs Oetovs Ka- 
Xetv Tovs dv^pas, OLTcves vouv fxrj exovres ttoWo, /cat 
/xeyaAa Karopdovaiv oJv TrpdrrovaL /cat Xeyovaiv; 

MEN. Udvv ye. 

2n. 'Opdcos dp* dv KaXoLfxev delovs re, ovs 
D vvvS-q iXeyofjiev xPV^f^V^^^^ '^"^ fxavreis /cat tovs 
7TOi7]TiKov? aTTavras' Kal rovg ttoXltikovs ovx 
TjKLara rovrcov (patfxev dv deiovs re elvai /cat 
€vdovaidt,€LV, eTTLTTVOvg dvras /cat Karexop-ivovs 
e/c rov deov, orav Karopdcbai Xeyovres troXXd 
/cat jLteyaAa 7Tpdyp,ara, p,rjB€v elBores (Jiv Xeyovaiv. 

MEN. Yidvv ye. 

tCi. Kat at ye yvvaiKes S-qnov, co Mei^cup', rov? 
ayadous dvSpag deiovs KoXovof /cat ol Aa/cojve? 
OTOV TLvd iyKOJ/jitd^ojaLV dyadov dvSpa, Oelos 
dvrjp, (f)aaLV, ovrog. 
E MEN. Kat <j>aivovrai ye, a> HcoKpares, opdcog 
Xeyecv. /catVot tacos "Avvros obe aoi dxderai 

2n. OuSet' pLeXei e/xotye. rovrcp fiev, co Me- 
vcov, /cat avdis BiaXe^op^eOa' el Se vvv rjpels ev 
TTOvrl rep Xoycp rovrco /caAcDs" e^rjr-qoapev re Kat 
IXeyopiev, dperr] dv €lt] ovre ^vaet ovre StSa/crov, 
aAAa ^eto. p,oipa 7Tapayiyvop,evr] dvev vov, ols 
100 dv TTapayiyvrjr at, el p^ij ris etrj rotovros rd>v 
TToXirtKajv dvBpdJv, otos /cat aAAoi' TTOirjaai ttoAi- 
riKOV. el Se etr^, axeSov dv ti ovros Xeyoiro 
TOLOvros ev rots ^dJcnv, olov €(f>r) "Op,rjpos ev 
rots redvedjai rov Teipeaiav elvai, Xeycov Trept 
avrov, on olos TreTTVvraL rd>v ev "AtSoy, at Se 
a/ctat dtaaovai. r avrov dv /cat evddSe 6 roiovros 


MEN, I daresay that is so. 

soc. And may we, Meno, rightly call those men 
divine who, having no understanding, yet succeed 
in many a great deed and word ? 

MEN. Certainly. 

soc. Then we shall be right in calling those di\-ine 
of whom we spoke just now as soothsayers and 
prophets and all of the poetic turn ; and especially 
we can say of the statesmen that they are divine 
and enraptured, as being inspired and possessed of 
God when they succeed in speaking many great 
things, while knowing nought of what they say. 

HEX. Certainly. 

soc. And the women too, I presume, Meno, call 
good men divine ; and the Spartans, when they 
eulogize a good man, say — " He is a divine person." 

MEN'. And to all appearance, Socrates, they are 
right ; though perhaps our friend Anytus may be 
annoyed at your statement. 

soc. For my part, I care not. As for him, Meno, 
we will converse with him some other time. At 
the moment, if through all this discussion our queries 
and statements have been correct, virtue is found to 
be neither natural nor taught, but is imparted to us 
by a divine dispensation without understanding in 
those who receive it, unless there should be some- 
body among the statesmen capable of making a 
statesman of another. And if there should be 
any such, he might fairly be said to be among the 
living what Homer says Teiresias was among the 
dead — " He alone has comprehension ; the rest are 
flitting shades."^ In the same way he on earth, in 

> Od. X. +94. 



cScTTrep TTapa aKLa<; dXrjdeg av Trpdyfia etrj irpos 
B MEN. KaAAiara SoKclg fxot Xeyeiv, w HtxyKpares. 

2n. 'E/C fM€U ToivVV TOVTOV TOV XoyiajJLOV , (L 

MeVo)!', deia fxoipa rjfjilv (jyaiverai TrapayLyvofxevr) 
Tj dperrj olg TrapayiyveTaf ro 8e aa(f)eg nepi 
avTov elaofjieda t6t€, orav rtplv cotlvl rpoTTU) rots 
dvdpcoTTOis TTapayiyverai dperrj, rrpoTepov CTn)(€i- 
p-qacoyiev avro Kad" avro t,7]relv ri ttot eariv 
dpeTq. vvv 8' e/iot yckv ojpa ttol livai, av 8e 
ravra direp avros TreVeiaat ireWe Kal rov ^evov 
TovSe "Avvrov, tva -n-paoTepo? fj' ct)? eav TretoTys 
TOVTOV, eoTLV 6 TL Kal * Adrjvaiovs dvryaeis. 



respect of virtue, will be a real substance among 

MEN. I think you put it excellently, Socrates. 

soc. Then the result of our reasoning, Meno, is 
found to be that virtue comes to us by a divine 
dispensation, when it does come. But the certainty 
of this we shall only know when, before asking in 
what way virtue comes to mankind, we set about 
inquiring what virtue is, in and by itself. It is 
time now for me to go my way, but do you per- 
suade our friend Anytus of that whereof you are now 
yourself persuaded, so as to put him in a gentler 
mood ; for if you can persuade him, you will do a 
good turn to the people of Athens also. 






This dialogue is remarkable amongst Plato's writ- 
ings for the keenness and brilliance of its comic satire. 
In the main it is a relentless exposure of the 
" eristic " or disputatious side of the higher educa- 
tion which was fashionable at Athens towards the 
end of Socrates' life : the plot of the Uttle drama 
is designed to ridicule the mischievous quibbles of 
two professors who are trying to captivate the mind 
of a handsome and promising youth. But at the 
same time it is plainly the work of an ardent teacher 
of philosophy, who is clearing the ground for the 
construction of what we now call a system of logic. 
The spurious argumentation of certain popular 
sophists had to be demolished before the Socratic 
method of " dialectic " could be exhibited in its full 
dignity and value. 

There are good reasons for believing that the 
Euthydemus was written and published after the 
Protagoras and Meno, about 390 b.c. — some ten 
years after the death of Socrates, and not long 
before Plato founded the Academy in 387. Beneath 
all its mockery and laughter runs an eager tone of 
protest, which is only half muffled by the genial 
banter of Socrates. His manner towards the 
professors is throughout deferential and diffident, 
but the famous " irony " only serves to bring out 



in sharper relief the unscrupulous audacity of these 
sham philosophers. After allowing for some artistic 
selection and intensification, we may probably take 
it as a truthful picture of the actual Socrates in 
contrast with two attractive and successful educators 
of the day : but we cannot help perceiving also the 
zeal for true education which is steadily impelling 
Plato himself towards his high and responsible 
position in the intellectual world. 

The form of the dialogue is notable in itself, 
for it is the only instance in Plato of a narrated 
conversation which is broken by remarks of the 
hearer (Crito) upon the story as told by Socrates, 
who discusses it with him. The account of the 
contest with the two sophists is moreover followed 
by some serious talk between Socrates and his 
friend about a person who stands half-way between 
philosophy and politics, and who has hastily spurned 
the former of these pursuits after listening to Euthy- 
demus and Dionysodorus. Whether (as seems prob- 
able) the reference is to Isocrates, or to someone 
else, this epilogue serves to point the important moral 
that, despite the unworthiness of her ministers, 
Philosophy abides, ever undefiled, august and 
supreme. In relation to her, the half-way men are 
as worthless as her showy professors. It seems likely 
that Plato felt some apprehension lest the dramatic 
and literary skill with which he had represented, 
through the mouth of Socrates, the verbal antics 
of the two sophists had endangered the impression 
which he wished to leave of his master's and his own 
great interest in life — the right education of able 
and aspiring youth. Thus the whole piece is to 
be regarded as a comedy annotated, as it were, 



with a \-iew to serious instruction, or an educational 
manifesto half concealed by lively scenes of satirical 
drama. Its art is entertaining in itself, and significant 
also for an understanding of the Aristophanic side 
of Plato's nature. Its real meaning, however, shows 
him treading in the steps of Socrates, and especially 
developing for his o^vn ends his departed master's 
views on rhetoric and politics. 

A useful modern edition of the Euthydemus by 
E. H. Gilford was published by the Clarendon Press, 
Oxford, in 1905. 




KAEINIA2, KTH2inn02 

St. J. KPI. Tls 'qv, c5 TicoKpares, (S X^^^ ^^ AvKcico 
SieAeyou; rj ttoXvs vfzds ox^os TrepieLar-qKei, coctt' 
eycoye ^ovXopLevos a.Kov€i,v TrpoaeXdojv ovSeu otos t' 
■^ OLKOvaai aa(f)€S' vrrepKui/jas pbevroi KareZhov, Kai 
fjiot cBo^ev elvai ^evos rig, a> SteAe'yoy. tls '^v; 

2n. Horepov kol ipcoras, (v K^plrcov; ov yap 
els, dXXa Sy' -qarrjv. 

KPI. "Ov fJi€V eyoj Xeyoj, €K Se^tds rpiTOs oltto 
B (Jov Kadrjaro' iv fieaco 8' vficov to 'A^to;^ou fxeipd- 
KLov rjv. Kai fidXa ttoXv, co HcoKpaTes, eTrtSeSoi/ceVat 
fioi eho^ev, Kai tov rjjjieTepov ov noXv Ti ttjv -qXiKLav 
Sia(f)€p€i,v J^pLTO^ovXov. ttAA eKGLVOS ficv okXt]- 
(f>p6s, ovTOS Se 7Tpo(f)epris /cat KaXos /cat aya^os" ttjv 


2n. EivdvSrjfxos oStos eoTLV, cL KptTcov, ov 
cpcoTas' 6 8e Trap e'/xe Kadi)pevos e^ dpcaTepds 
dSeA^o? TOVTOv, AiovvGoSwpos' pL€T4)(jei Se /cat 



[or on DISPUTATION: refutative] 


Chito, Socrates, Eothydemus, Diontsodobus, 
Cleinias, Ctesippus 

cRi. Who was it, Socrates, that you were talking 
with yesterday at the Lyceum ? Why, there was 
such a crowd standing about you that when I came 
up in the hope of hstening I could hear nothing 
distinctly : still, by craning over I got a glimpse, 
and it appeared to me that it was a stranger with 
whom you were talking. Who was he ? 

soc. About which are you asking, Crito ? There 
were two of them, not one. 

CRI. The man whom I mean was sitting next but 
one to you, on your right : between you was 
Axiochus' boy : and he, Socrates, seemed to me to 
have grown a great deal, so as to look almost the 
^ame age as my Critobulus, who is rather puny ; 
whereas this boy has come on finely, and has a 
noble air about him. 

soc. Euthydemus is the person to whom you 
refer, Crito, and the one sitting on my left was his 
brother, Dionysodorus. He too takes part in our 



KPl. OvSerepov yiyvcjaKoj, cS TicoKpares. Kawol 
C TlVeS O-V OVTOL, OJS €OLK€, oo(f)i,aTai' TToSaTTOi; Kal 
ris rj ao(f}La; 

2n. OvToi TO fi€v yevos, <bs €y<LfxaL, ivrevdev 
TTodev eluLV e/c Xtou, dTTWKrjaav 8e is Qovpiovs, 
^evyovres 8e eKeWev ttoAA' ^'St^ errj Trepl Tovabe rovs 
TOTTOUS" SiaTpL^ovatv o Se cry epcoTas ttjv ao(f>iav 
avTOLV, davfxaaia, w KptVcov TraaaocfiOi drexi^cbs t(o 
ye, ovS rjSrj Trpo rov, 6 Ti eiev ol Tray k par laoTaL 
TovTco yap iarov KOfxihfj TrajM/xct^^co ov Kara, ru) 
'AKapvdve iyeveadrju toj TrayKpaTiaaTa dSeA<^co* 
D eKeivo) fiev yap ro) aanxari. fiovov oto) re iid)(^eadaL' 


ioTOV Kal fJidxi), '§ rrdvrcDV eari KpareZv eV 
ottXois yap avroi re ao(f)d) iravv fxdx^adai Kal 
272 dXXov, OS dv StScp fxiadov, olio re TTOirjaaf eiretTa 
T7]v iv TOLS hiKaarripiois fjbax'fjv KparioTOi Kal 
dyiDviaaaOai Kal dXXov SiSa^at Aeyetv re Kal 
avyypd<^eadai Xoyovs otovs els Tct hiKaoTiqpLa. 
npo rov ixev ovv ravra Seivci) rjar-qv fxovov, vvv Se 
reXos eTTiredrjKarov rrayKpariaariKfj rixvrj. fj yap 
rjv XoiTTT] avrolv p^d^f] dpyos, raijrrjv vvv e^eipya- 
adov, oiare p.r^^ dv eva avrols olov r elvai /mt^S' 
dvrdpai,' ovrct) Seivoj yeyovarov iv rots Xoyois 
fj,dx€adal. re Kal i^eXeyxciv to del Xeyofievov, 6p.oiu}s 
B idv re tpevSos idv re dXrjdes rj- iyd) p.ev ovv, cS 
\{.piTajv, iv vo) exoi rolv dvBpolv jrapaSovvai ijxavrov 
Kal ydp <f>arov iv oXiycp XP^^V TTOLrjaai dv Kal 

1 The phrase refers especially to a very vigorous sport 
which combined wrestling and boxing. 



CRi. Neither of them is known to me, Socrates. 
A pair of fresh additions, I suppose, to our sophists. 
Where do they hail from, and what science do they 
profess ? 

soc. By birth I believe they belong to these parts, 
that is to say, Chios ; they went out as colonists to 
Thurii, but have been exiled thence and have spent 
a good many years now in various parts of this 
country. As to what you ask of their profession, 
it is a wonderful one, Crito. These two men are 
absolutely omniscient : I never knew before what 
" all-round sportsmen "^ were. They are a pair of 
regular all-round fighters — not in the style of the 
famous all-round athletes, the two brothers of 
Acamania ; they could fight with their bodies only. 
But these two, in the first place, are most formidable 
in body and in fight against all comers — for they are 
not only well skilled themselves in fighting under 
arms, but are able to impart that skill, for a fee, to 
another ; and further, they are most competent 
also to fight the battle of the law-courts and teach 
others how to speak, or to have composed for them, 
such speeches as may win their suits. Formerly 
they had merely some ability for this ; but now they 
have put the finishing touch to their skill as all- 
round sportsmen. The one feat of fighting yet 
unperformed by them they have now accomplished, 
so that nobody dares stand up to them for a moment ; 
such a faculty they have acquired for ^^•ielding words 
as their weapons and confuting any argument as 
readily if it be true as if it be false. And so I, Crito, 
am minded to place myself in these two gentlemen's 
hands ; for they say it would take them but a little 
while to make anyone else clever in just the same way. 



KPi. Tt Se, (L HcoK pares; ov <^o^rj ttjv -qXiKLav, 
fxrj rjS-q Trpea^vrepog fj<s ; 

2n. H/cicrTCt ye, c5 Vs^pircov iKavov reKixiqpLOV 
e^co /cat TTapafxvdtou rod fxrj (fyo^eladai. avrcb 
yap rovro), (hs erros etTreli', yepovre ovre rjpid- 
adrjv ravrrjg rrjs ao(f)ias, ■^s eycoye eTndujxa), rrjg 
C epiariKrjg' irepvaiv 7) Trpoirepvaiv ovSenco TJarrjv 
ao<j>(x). dAA' eyoi ev fiovov (j)o^ovpiai, /xr) aS 
oveiSos roLv ^evoiu TrepLaiJjco, ojorrep YJ)Vvij^ rep 
Mr^rpo^Lov, ro) Kidapiarfj, os ifxe StSaa/cet eVt Kal 
vvv Kidapit^eiv' opwvres ovv ol TratSe? ol aviJi<f)OL- 
rr^ral fiov epLOV re KarayeXcom Kal rov }^6vvov 
KaXovai yepovroSiSdcrKaXov . firj ovv /cat rolv 
^evoiv Ti? ravro rovro oveiSlarj' ol 8' avro rovro 
taaJ9 c/)oPovfievoi rd^a fxe ovk av ideXoLev Trpoa- 
Se^aadat. eyco 8', cu Kplrcou, eKelae fxev dX- 
Xov? TTeneiKa avfjLfxaOrjrds p.oL <f>oirav Trpea^vras, 
D evravda Be ye erepovs Tretpacro/xat rreldeiv. Kal 
(TV ri ov avjjL^oLrag ; cos"' 8e hiXeap avrolg d^o^ev 
rovg GOVS vie Is ' e^iefxevoi yap eKeivoiv otS' on 
Kal rjfids TTatSevGovcTLv . 

KPI. 'AAA' ovSev KO)Xv€L, CO JjcoKpares, edv ye 
aol hoKjj. TTpaJrov Se jxoi SiijyrjaaL rrjv ao(j)iav 
roLV dvSpoLV ris eariv, tva etSco o ri Kal jJiadrj- 
aofxeda . 

2n. Ovk dv <l>9dvois aKovcov d)s ovk av ej^ot/xi 

ye eLTTeZv, on ov repoaelxov rov vovv avrolv, dXXd 

rrdvv Kal TTpoaei-)(ov Kal jxejxvripLai, Kai aoi veipa- 

E aojxaL e^ dpxrjs drravra Sir^yqaaaOai. Kara deov 

* So Winckelmann : aii tL ttov o-uM^oiVa t(rais iiss. 


CRI. What, Socrates ! Are you not afraid, at 
your time of life, that you may be too old for that 
now ? 

soc. Not at all, Crito : I have enough proof and 
reassurance to the contrary. These same two 
persons were little less than old men at the time of 
their taking up this science, which I desire to have, 
of disputation. Last year, or the year before, 
they were as yet without their science. The only 
thing I am afraid of is that I may bring the same 
disgrace upon our two visitors as upon Connus, son 
of Metrobius, the harper, who is still trying to 
teach me the harp ; so that the boys who go to his 
lessons with me make fun of me and call Connus 
" the gaffers' master." This makes me fear that 
someone may make the same reproach to the two 
strangers ; and, for aught I know, their dread of 
this very thing may make them unwilling to accept 
me. So, Crito, just as in the other case I have 
persuaded some elderly men to come and have 
lessons with me, in this affair I am going to try and 
persuade another set. Now you, I am sure, will 
come with me to school ; and we will take your sons 
as a bait to entice them, for I have no doubt that 
the attraction of these young fellows will make them 
include us also in the class. 

CRI. I have no objection, Socrates, if you think 
fit to do so. But first you must explain to me what 
is the science these men profess, that I may know 
what it is we are going to learn. 

soc. You shall be told at once ; for I cannot 
plead that I did not give them my attention, since 
I not only attended closely but remember and will 
try to expound the whole thing from the beginning, 



yap Tiva erv^ov Kad-qixevos evravOa, oSrrep av fie 
cfSes", iv TO) aTTohvrrjpicp puovog, Kac r]8rj iv va> 
elxov dvaarrjvaL- dvLarafievov Se fiov iyevero to 
elcodos arip^elov to haipLoviov . ttoXlv ovv e/ca- 
273 deS^ofxrjv, Kal oXlycp varepov elaepx^adov tovtco, 
6 t' KvOvSrjjjios Kai 6 AiovvcroSajpos, Kai aAAoi 
fiadrjTal dpua av ttoXXol i/xol Sokclw elaeXdovre 
8e TTepieTTareirrjV iv rep Karaareytp Spojxcp. Kal 


rjaTrjv, Kal claepx^rat KXetvias, ov av (j)r]s ttoXv 
eTTtSeSoj/ceVai, dXrjdri Xeycov omadev Se avTOV 
epaoTal ttovv ttoXXoI t€ dXXoL Kal RrT^criTrTro?, 
veaviaKos ti? Yiaiavievg, fxdXa KaXos re KayaOos 
TTjV (f)vaiv, oaov firj vPpiaTrjs Sid to veos CLvai. 

B ISwv ovv /xe o K.XeivLas dno Tjjg eiaoSov puovov 
Ka6-qpL€VOV , dvTiKpvs ld)v TTapcKade^eTO e/c Se^ids, 
cooTTep Kal av (f>^S' lSovtc 8e auroi^ o re Aiovv- 
aoScopos Kal 6 lS,vdvST]p,og rrpwTOV fiev emaTavTe 
hteXeyead-qv dXX'qXoiv, dXXr]v /cat dXXrjv drro- 
^XeTTOVTC els 'qp^ds' Kal yap rrdvv avTolv Trpoa- 
eZ^ov Tov vovv eneiTa lovTe o p,ev Trapa to 
pLeipaKiov eKade^eTO, 6 EivdvSrjpios, 6 Se Trap 
avTov efxk iv dpiarepd' oi S' aAAot cus eKaaTos 
iTvyx^-vev . 

C 'HcTTra^o/LtTyv ovv avTih are Sia XP^^*^^ icopaKms' 
pbeTa Se Tovro elirov Trpog tov KAetrtW, ^Q. KAeivia, 
TCuSe pievTOi TO) dvhpe aocfxx}, ^vdvhrjpios re /cat 
^Lovvaohcopos , ov rd a/xLKpd, dXXd rd p^eydXa' Ta 

^ This gymnasium (the Lyceum) was a pubhc one, open 
to persons of all ages, and was a common resort of Socrates 
and the sophists. 

^ Socrates believed that his conduct was occasionally 



By some providence I chanced to be sitting in the 
place where you saw me, in the undressing-room ,i 
alone, and was just intending to get up and go ; but 
the moment I did so, there came mv wonted spiritual 
sign.2 So I sat down again, and after a little while 
these two persons entered — Euthydemus and Dionv- 
sodorus — and accompanying them, quite a nimnber, 
as it seemed to me, of their pupils : the two men 
came in and began walking round inside the cloister.^ 
Hardly had they taken two or three turns, when 
in stepped Cleinias, who you say has come on so 
much, and you are right : behind him was a whole 
troop of lovers, and among them Ctesippus, a young 
fellow from Paeania, of gentle birth and breeding, 
except for a certain insolence of youth. So when 
Cleinias as he entered caught sight of me sitting there 
alone, he came straight across and sat beside me on 
my right, just as you say. Dionysodorus and Euthy- 
demus, when they saw him, stood at first talking with 
each other, and casting an occasional glance at us— 
for my attention was fixed on them — but then one 
of them, Euthydemus, took a seat by the youth, 
and the other next to me on my left ; the rest, 
where each happened to find one. 

So I greeted the two brothers, as not having seen 
them for some time ; after that I said to Cleinias : 
My dear Cleinias, these two men, you know, are 
skilled not in httle things, but in great. For they 

guided by a spiritual voice or sign peculiar to himself. Bv 
lato's account it was always negative, but the present 
instance shows how Xenophon might have some reason for 
saying that it was sometimes positive. 

^ The cloister ran round the central open court, and was 
reached by passing through the imdressing-roora. 



yap TTcpi Tov TToXe^xov Trdvra inLaTaadov, oaa Set 
Tov fieXXovra arparr^yov eaeaOai, ra? re ra^eis" 
Kai ras rjyefxoviag tcov cFrparoTreScov koI oaa ip 
ottAoi? /Jidxeadai StSa/creov otco re Se Kai iroirjaai 
Svvarov elvai avrov avTw ^orjOeXv ev rols St/ca- 
aTiqpLOLs, dv rij avrov dSiKjj. €l7TU)V ovv ravTa 

D KaTe(f)povr]drjV vtt' avrocv eyeXaadrrjv ovv dfx,<f)CO 
^Xeifjovre etV aAAi^Ao;, /cat o Eu^ySTj/xo? eiTTev' 
OvToi en ravra, to HcoKpares, CTTrouSa^o/Ltev, aAAa 
TTapepyoLS avTols ;)(/366/xe0a. /cdycu Oavfidaag 
eiTTOv KaAot' dv rt ro epyov vp,djv €irj, ei nqXi- 
Kavra Trpay/jbara ndpepya v/jlIv rvyxdvei ovra, kol 
77/00? ^ecDp' etTrerov ^ot, ri eari rovro to KaXov. 
ApeTiqv, €(j)rj, o) HcoKpares, olofxeOa otco t' etrat 
TTapaSovvai /caAAtCTr' dvdpcoTTCov /cat Tdxtora. 

E Q Zeu, otoi', -^i/ S' eycti, Xeyerov Trpdyfia- TTodev 
TOVTO ro epfiaiov evperrjv; iyco 8e Trept Vfxdjv 
Sievoovfirjv en, otairep vvv Sr) eXeyov, d)s ro ttoXv 
rovro Seivolv ovroiv, ev oirXots p-d^eadai, /cat ravr* 
eXeyov irepl ct^ojv ore yap ro rrporepov ineSr)- 
p,r]aar7]v, rovro fMefxvrjixat a(f)d) eTrayyeXXofxevoj . 
et oe vvv dXT]6d)s ravrrjv rrjv eTTiarrnxr^v e^^TOV, 
lAeo) etfjrov drexvcos yap eycoye a<j>d) voairep decj 
TTpoaayopevo), avyyva)ixr]v Seo/xevos ^X^''^ /^°'' '''^^ 
274 e/jLTrpoadev elprjfxevojv . aAA' opdrov, <L Eu^yST^/xe 
re /cat f^iovvaohcupe, el dXrjdrj eXiyerov vtto yap 
rod fxeyedovs rov eTrayyeXfiaros ovSev davp,aar6v 

AAA ev 'ladi, u) TicoKpares, e^arov, rovro 
ovrcos ^xov. 

Ma/ca/)t^6L» a/a' vfids eycoye rov KT^fxaros voXv 



understand all about war, that is, as much as is 
needful for him who is to be a good general ; both 
the tactics and the strategy of armies, and all the 
teaching of troops under arms ; and they can also 
enable one to get redress in the law courts for a 
wrong that one may have suffered. 

When I had said this, I saw they despised me for 
it, and they both laughed, looking at each other ; 
then Euthydemus said : No, no, Socrates, we do 
not make those matters our business now ; we deal 
with them as diversions. 

At this I wondered and said : Your business must 
be a fine one, if such great matters are indeed 
diversions to you ; so I beseech you, tell me what 
this fine business is. 

Virtue, Socrates, he replied, is what we deem 
ourselves able to purvey in a pre-eminently excellent 
and speedy manner. 

Good heavens, I exclaimed, a mighty affair 
indeed ! Where did you have the luck to pick it 
up ? I was still considering you, as I remarked 
just now, to be chiefly skilled in fighting under arms, 
and so spoke of you in those terms : for when you 
visited our city before, this, I recollect, was the 
profession you made. But if you now in truth 
possess this other knowledge, have mercy — you see 
I address you just as though you were a couple of 
gods, beseeching you to forgive my former remarks. 
But make sure, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, 
that you spoke the truth : for the vastness of your 
promise gives me some excuse for disbelieving. 

You may be sure, Socrates, they replied, it is as 
we say. 

Then I congratulate you on your acquisition far 



fidXXov rj jiiyav ^aaiXea rrj? dpxrjs' roaovSe 8e' 
fxoi €L7T€Tov, el €v vcp cx^Tov CTnSeiKvvvai, Tavrr]v 
rrjv ao(f)[av, iq TraJS" a(f)cpv ^e^ovXevrai. 

'Ett' avro ye rovro Trdpeafxev, <L HcoKpares, co? 

B eTTiSec^ovTe /cat SiSd^ovre, edv Tt? eOeXr] p^avddveiv. 
'AAA' on fxev edeX-qaovaiv diravTes ol firj exovres, 
iyd) vfilv eyyvaJ/jLat,, Trpcoros" /xev eyco, eTretra 8e 
KAetvta? ovTooi, rrpos 8' rjfilv Kr-qaLTnTos re oBe 
Kal ol aAAot ovroL, rjv 8' eyco SeLKvvs avrco tovs 
epacrrds rovs KXeLvtov ol 8e ervyxdvov rj/jids rjSrj 
TTepLiardfievoL. 6 yap KxTycriTrTro? ervx^ TToppoj 
Kadel,6fMevos rov K.XeLvtov, e/xol SoKeiv ws 8' 
irvyxo-vev 6 ^vdvSrjfios efxol SiaXeyofievos TTpo- 

Q vevevKd>s els to TrpoaOev, ev jxeao) ovrog -q/xdiv tov 
KXeivLov erreaKOTei rto K.Tr}orL7T7r(x) rrjs ^ea?" ^ov- 
Xofxevos Te ovv dedcraadai 6 Krr^crtTrTros" to, TraiStKo. 
Kal dpua (f)iXi]KOOS d)V dvaTrrjS-qaas npajros rrpoa- 
eoTi-] ev ra> KaravriKpv' ovtcos ovv Kal ol 
dXXoL eKeivov Ihovres TrepLearrjcrav r]p,ds, ol re rod 
KAetvtou epaaral Kal ol tov Kvdv8-qp,ov re Kal 
AiovvaoScopov iralpoi,. rovrovs Srj iyd) Sei/ci^u? 
eXeyov tcu KvOvS-q/xo), on Trdvres eroLp.oi elev 
p,av6dveLV 6 re ovv Kr-qaLTTTTog (jvve<j)rj pdXa 

D TTpodvfxcos Kal ol aAAot, Kal eKeXevov avrdy KOLvfj 
Trdvres emhei^aadaL ttjv 8vvap,t,v rrjs ao(f)las. 

E 17701^ ovv eyco, ^Q. E,vdvSr]p,€ Kal AtovvcroScope, 
Tidvv p.ev ovv TTOvrl rpoTTU) Kal tovtols ;;^a/3tcracr^oj^ 
Kal epLOV eveKa eTTihei^aTov. rd pev ovv TtXeZara 
hrjXov on ovK oXlyov epyov eTTihel^aL' Td8e he p.oi 
CLTreTOV, TTorepov TreTreiapevov rjS-q, d)s XPV "^^9 
vp,d)v fjLavddvetv, SvvaLod^ dv dyadov TTOifiaai dvSpa 

E fiovov, iq Kal eKelvov rov pnqiroi TreTretapLevov 8td to 


more than I do the great king on his empire : 
only tell me whether you intend to exhibit this 
science of yours, or what you have determined to 

We are here for the very purpose, Socrates, of 
exhibiting and expounding it to anyone who wishes 
to learn. 

Well, I guarantee that all who do not possess it 
will ^vish to — myself to begin with, then Cleinias 
here and, besides us, Ctesippus and all these 
others, I said, showing him the lovers of Cleinias, 
who were by this time standing about us. For 
Ctesippus, as it happened, was sitting some way 
from Cleinias, I noticed ; and by chance, as Euthy- 
demus leant forward in talking to me he obscured 
Ctesippus 's view of Cleinias, who was between us. 
Then Ctesippus, desiring to gaze on his favourite 
and being also an eager listener, led the way by 
jumping up and placing himself opposite us ; and 
this made the others, on seeing what he did, stand 
around us, both Cleinias 's lovers and the followers of 
Euthydemus and Dionysodorus. Pointing to these, 
I told Euthydemus that they were all ready to leam ; 
to which Ctesippus assented with great eagerness, and 
so did the rest ; and they all joined in urging the 
two men to exhibit the power of their wisdom. 

On this I remarked : My good Euthydemus and 
Dionysodorus, you must do your very best to gratify 
my friends and, for my sake also, to give us an 
exhibition. To do it in full, of course, would ob\-iously 
be a lengthy performance : but tell me one thing — 
vriW you be able to make a good man of him only who 
is already convinced that he should leam of you, or 
of him also who is not yet so con\'inced, owing to 



/Jbrj oieadai oAco? to Trpdyixa Trjv apeTrjV ixaBrjTov 
eivat ri fxrj cr^cu elvaL avTrjg StSaaKraAo); (f)€pe, Kai 
rov ovTcog e^ovra rrjs avrrj^ rex^r}? epyov Trelaai, 
cos /cat SiSaKTOV rj dperr] Kal ovTOt Vfiels eore. 
Trap CUV civ KaXXiaTa tls avTO fiddoi, ^ aXXr^g; 

TavTTjg jxev ovv, €(f)rj, ttjs avrijs, c5 2to/c/oare?, o 
AiovvaoScvpos . 

'Y/xet? dpa, -^v S' iyo), o) AtovucrdScope, twv 
vvv dvdpcoTTOJV /caAAtcrr' dv TrpoTpeifjaire els (f)i\o- 
275 (jo^iav /cat dperrjs eTTLfieXeiav ; 

Oio/Jieda ye 8-q, a) HcoKpares. 

Tcl>v fjiev roivvv dXXojv rr]v eirlhei^iv rifuv, e(f)r)V, 
elaavdis drrodeadov, tovto 8' avro eTrihei^aadov 
TovTovl TOP veavLGKOv TTeiaarov, d)s XPV ^tAocro- 
(f)eLV Kol dperijs eTTifMeXeladai, Kal p^apteta^op' ep-oi 
re /cat rovToial Trdai. avfjL^e^rjKe yap tl toiovtov 
TO) fieipaKio) rovro)' eyd> re /cat otSe iravres 
rvyxdvojjiev eTndvfiovvTes <jos ^eXrioTOV avrov 
yevecrdai. eari 8e ovros ^A^loxov puev vlos rov 
B 'AA/ct^ta8oy Tov TraAatou, avraveifjcos 8e rov 
vvv ovros ' AA/ct^taSou • 6vop.a 8' avro) KAetvta?. 
eari 8e veos' <f>o^ovp,e9a Br] Trepl avrcp, olov et/co? 
TTepl vicp, jxrj ris <I>6tj rjp,ds evr' d'AAo tl eTTiTriSevixa 
rpeiffas ttjv SidvoLav Kal hiacfideipr]. a(f)d) ovv -fJKe- 
rov els KaXXiaTov dAA' et fXT] tl hia<j)epeL vfxlv, 
Xd^erov Trelpav tov p.eipaKiov /cat SiaXexdTQTOv 
ivavrlov rjfxcbv. 

EtTTovTos" ovv ejxov axeSov ri avra ravra o 
KvdvSrjfjios dfxa dvSpeicDs re Kal dappaXecos, 'AAA' 


an absolute disbelief that virtue is a thing that 
can be learnt or that you are teachers of it ? 
Come now, is it the business of this same art to 
persuade such a man that \irtue is teachable and 
that you are the men of whom one may best learn 
it, or does this need some other art ? 

No, this same one can do it, Socrates, said Dionyso- 

Then you two, Dionysodorus, I said, would be the 
best persons now on earth to incite one to the pursuit 
of knowledge and the practice of virtue ? 

We think so, at least, Socrates. 

Well then, please defer the display of all the rest 
to some other occasion, I said, and exhibit this one 
thing. You are to persuade this young fellow here 
that he ought to ensue ^\^sdom and practise virtue, 
and so you will oblige both me and all these present. 
This youth happens to be in just the sort of con- 
dition I speak of ; and I and all of us here are at 
this moment anxious for him to become as good as 
possible. He is the son of Axiochus, son of the former 
Alcibiades,^ and is own cousin to the Alcibiades that 
now is : his name is Cleinias. He is young ; and so 
we have fears for him, as well one may for a young 
man, lest someone forestall us and turn his inclina- 
tion to some other course of Ufe, and so corrupt 
him. Hence your arrival now is most happy. 
Come now, if it is all the same to you, make trial of 
the lad and talk with him in our presence. 

When I had thus spoken, in almost these very 
words, Euthydemus answered in a tone both manly 

^ i.e. the famous Alcibiades, who died in 404 b.c. at the 
age of 44. The supposed time of this discussion must be a 
year or two before Socrates' death (399 b.c). 



C ovSev 8ia(f)ep€i, a) HcoKpares, ^<f>'^> ^o-v fxovov 
ideXrj aiTOKpiveadai 6 veaviaKOS. 

'AAAct ixkv 817, €^7]v ly<x>, TovTo ye Kal eWicrraL' 
dajxa yap avrw otSe Trpocnovreg ttoAAo, ipojTcoai. 
T€ Kal StaAeyovrat, ware eTneiKcos Oappet to 

Td Srj fiera ravra, c5 Kplrojv, ttcos av koXcos 
aoL SirjyrjaaLfjL-qv ; ov yap afXLKpov to epyov, Svva- 
adai dvaXa^elv Ste^iovTa ao(j>iav afxrj-)(avov oar]V' 

D oj(jT eycoye, Kaddirep at TTOi-qTai, heofxai o.pX^' 
fievos TTJs Bir)y^a€cos Movaag re Kal Mv/nx-qv 
eTTiKoXeladaf rjp^aTO S' ovv ivdevSe TTodev 6 
^vdvS-qfjios , (x)s iycLfxat.- ^Q, KAetrt'a, noTepoL elai 

TOJV dvdpCOTTCOV ol fiav6dv0VT€S, ol aO(f)ol 7] OL 


Kat TO ixeipdKLov, are /xeyoAoy ovTog rov epco- 
TrlfiaTos, rjpvdpiaae re Kal diroprjaa? e^Xerrev eis 
i/xe' Kal iyd) yvoiig avTOV TeOopv^rjixevov , Qdppei., 
rjv S' eyo), c5 KXeivLa, Kol dTTOKptvai dvSpeioJS, 
E oTTOTcpd aoi <f>aiv€Tai.' lacos ydp tol co^eAet ttjv 
fieyiaTrjv (I)cf)eXetav . 

Kat iv TOVTO) 6 AiovvaoScopos TrpoaKVipag fxoi, 
apLiKpov TTpos TO ovs, Trdvv fiecSidaas tco TrpoacoTTCo, 
Kat p-riv, ^4'V> ^^^> ^ ^coKpaT€s, TrpoXdyco, otl 
OTTOTep* dv dTTOKpivr]Tai to pbeipdKLOV, e^eXeyx^^- 

Kai avTov fxeTo^v raura XeyovTos 6 KAetvta? 
€tvx€V dTroKpivdfxevos , a>aT€ ovSe TrapaKeXevaaadai 
276 /iot e^€y€V€TO evXa^7]drjvat to) fieLpaKtco, dXX 
drreKpLvaTO, otl ol ao(f>ol etev ol fiavdavovTes . 

Kat o KvOvBrjfxos, KaAet? 8e rtva?, €(f)r], 8t8a- 
OKoAovs, ^ ov; 'Q,fjboX6y€L. Ovkovv tcov fiav- 


and dashing : Oh, it is all the same to us, Socrates, 
provided the youth is \\-ilhng to answer us. 

Why, in fact, I said, that is just what he is used to : 
these people here are constantly coming to him and 
asking him a number of questions and debating vrith 
him, so he is a fairly fearless answerer. 

WTiat ensued, Crito, how am I to relate in proper 
style ? For no shght matter it is to be able to 
recall in description such enormous knowledge as 
theirs. Consequently, like the poets, I must needs 
begin my narrative \A-ith an invocation of the Muses 
and Memory. Well, Euthydemus set to work, so 
far as I remember, in terms very much the same 
as these : Cleinias, which sort of men are the learners, 
the wise or the foohsh ? 

At this the young man, feeUng the embarrassment 
of the question, blushed and glanced at me in his 
helplessness. So I, perceiving his confusion, said : 
Have no fear, Cleinias ; answer bravely, whichever 
you think it is : for perchance he is doing you the 
greatest service in the world. 

Meanwhile Dionysodorus leant over a little to me, 
with a broad smile on his face, and whispered in my 
ear : Let me tell you, Socrates, beforehand that, 
M-hichever way the lad answers, he will be confuted. 

While he was saying this, Cleinias made his reply, 
so that I was unable even to advise the boy to be 
wary : he replied that it was the wise who were the 

Then Euthydemus asked : And are there persons 
whom you call teachers, or not ? 

He agreed that there were. 



davovrojv ol StSaa/caAoi StSacr/caAoi elcnv, cuaTrep 
o Kidapiarrjg /cat o ypaiiixaTtarrjS SiSctcr/caAoi 
St^ttou •i^crai' crou /cat tcDp' aAAoji/ TralScov, vfielg Se 
fjiaOrjTaL; Hvve^T). "AAAo rt ouv, rjVLKa i/xav- 
6dveT€, OV7TCH -^TrlaTaade ravra, a ifjiavdaveTG ; 

B OvK e(f)rj. ^Ap* ovv ao(f)ol rjT€, ot€ ravra ovk 
TjTTLaTaade ; Ov Srjra, rj 8' o?. Oukovv et jxrj 
ao(f)OL, dfjLaOeLs; Udvv ye. 'T/iet? apa /xavda- 
vovres a ovk r^TTiaraade, afxadels ovreg ijxav- 
ddvere. 'ETreVeucre to jxeipdKLov. Ot dpiadeZs 
dpa fxavOdvovatv, c5 KXetvia, dAA' oi);^ ot ao(f)OL, 
o)S av otet. 

TatJr' ow etTTOVTo? auToy, oiairep vtto StSaa/caAoy 
Xopog dnoarjfnjvavTos, a/xa dvedopv^rjadv re /cat 
eyeXacrav ot eTTOjxevoL eKelvoi fierd rod Aiovvcro- 

C Scopov re /cat Eu^uST^/zoy • /cat TT/ati' dvairvevaai 
KoXios re /cat ey to fieipdKiov, e/cSe^ct/xevo? o 
AtovyodScopos', Ti 8e, a» KAeti^ta, €(f)y], o-nore 
aTToarofjiarL^OL vfitv 6 ypafMfMartarTjs , norepoi, 
i/jidvdavov rcov TraiSiov rd dTTOcrrofMari^ofieva, ol 
ao(f)ol -^ ot dfiadels ; Ot cro(f)oi, e<j>'q 6 KAetvta?. 
Ot ao(j)oi dpa fxavddvovoLV, dAA' ovx ol dpuadeZs, 
/cat OVK ev av^ dpri KvdvS-qfio) aTre/c/otVoj . 

D 'Evrau^a Sr) /cat Trdvv eyeXaadv re /cat eOopv- 
^rjaav ot epaaral rolv dvSpolv, dyaadevre? rrj<; 
ao(f)ias avrolv ot 8' dAAot r^p,eZ? eKTTeTr\'r]yp,evoL 
iaicoTTCofiev . yvovs 8e 7)p,ds 6 lEivdvSrjfxos e/c- 

* e5 av Burnet : evdvs mss. 


And the teachers of the learners are teachers in 
the same way as your lute-master and your ^^Titing- 
master, I suppose, were teachers of you and the other 
boys, while you were pupils ? 

He assented. 

Now, of course, when you were learning, you did 
not yet know the things you were learning ? 

No, he said. 

So were you \vise, when you did not know those 
things ? 

No, to be sure, he said. 

Then if not wise, foolish ? 


So when you learnt what you did not know, you 
learnt while being foolish. 

To this the lad nodded assent. 

Hence it is the foolish who learn, Cleinias, and not 
the wise, as you suppose. 

When he "had thus spoken, all those followers of 
Dionysodorus and Euthydemus raised a cheer and a 
laugh, hke a chorus at the signal of their director ; 
and before the boy could fairly and fully recover 
his breath Dionysodorus took up the cudgels and 
said : Well now, Cleinias, whenever your writing- 
master dictated from memory, which of the boys 
learnt the piece recited, the wise or the foolish ? 

The wise, said Cleinias. 

So it is the wise who learn, and not the foolish : 
hence the answer you gave just now to Euthydemus 
was a bad one. 

Thereupon arose a great deal of laughter and loud 
applause from the pair's adorers, in admiration of 
their cleverness ; while we on our side were dismayed 
and held our peace. Then Euthydemus, observing 



TTeirXriyixevovs , Iv* ert fidXXov 9avfj,dl,oifj,€v avrov, 
ovK dvUi TO ixeipoLKiov , aAA' rjpcoTa, /cat uiOTrep oi 
ayadol 6p)(r](yraiy SlttXS, eaTp€<j>e rd epcorrjixara 
TTcpl Tov avrov, /cat e^ry Ylorepov yap ot jxavdd- 
vovres fiavddvovaiv d eTTiaravraL •^ a fXT) eTTt- 

Kat o AtovyadSoj/ao? ttoXlv puKpov npos fie tpi- 
E dvpicras, Kai tovt\ ^(f^t], io H(x)KpaT€s, erepov 
TOLOvrov, otov TO TTporepov. 

*D Zeu, €(/)'r]v iyco, 7y fjbrjv /cat to Trporepov ye 
KoXdv vfiLv €(f>dvr] to ipcoTtjua. 

rTarT , ^(f>y), a> TicoKpaTes, ToiauTa ry/xet? epcoToj- 
fxev d(f)VKra. 

ToiydpTOi, "^v 8' ey^' hoKeZri fioi evSoKtfielv 
rrapd to is p.ady]Tals. 

'Ev 8e rovTU) 6 fiev KAcivia? Toi Ew^uSt^/ao; 
d7T€Kpivaro, on p,avddvoi,€v ol p.avddvovT€S d ovk 
eTTLaTaiVTO' 6 8e rjpero avTov Sid tu>v avTtov 
277 diVTTep to TtpoTepov Tt hi; rj S' o?, oi5/c eTrtCTTaaai 
CTj) ypd/xfjiaTa; Nat, e^'*?- Ou/cow aTravTa; 
'Q/LtoAdyet. "OTav' ow Tt? dTTOcrTop,aTL^r) otiovv, 
ov ypdfMfxara dTToarofxaTL^eL; 'D/itoAdyet. Oy/c- 
ow a/v Ti ot) eTrioTaaai, e(f)ri, dTroaToixarit^ei, 
€L7T€p TrdvTa emCTTaoat; Kat tovto cofioXoycL. 
Tt ovv; rj 8' o?, apa av fiavdaveis aTT dv avo- 
OTOfiaTL^rj Tt?, d 8e jui) errtCTTa/xev'o? ypa/xfiaTa 
[xavOdvei,; Ovk, dAA', 7^ 8' d?, fxavddva). OvK- 
ovv d iTTLGTaaat, €<f>r], fiavddveis, ei irep ye dnavTa 


our dismay, and seeking to astonish us still further, 
would not let the boy go, but went on questioning him 
and, like a skilful dancer, gave a twofold t\vist to his 
questions on the same point : Now, do the learners 
learn what they know, he asked, or what they do 

Then Dionysodorus whispered to me again softly : 
Here comes a second one, Socrates, just hke the first. 

Heavens ! I replied : surely the first question served 
you well enough. 

All our questions, Socrates, he said, are like that ; 
they leave no escape. 

And consequently, as it seems to me, I remarked, 
you have this high repute among your disciples. 

Meanwhile Cleinias answered Euthydemus, that 
learners learnt what they did not know ; so he had 
to meet the same course of questions as before : 
Well then, asked the other, do you not know your 
letters ? 

Yes, he said. , 

All of them ? 

He admitted it. 

Now when anyone dictates some piece or other, 
does he not dictate letters ? 

He admitted it. 

And he dictates things of which you know some- 
thing, since you know all of them ? 

He admitted this too. 

Well now, said the other, surely you do not learn 
whatever such a person dictates ; it is rather he 
who does not know his letters that learns ? 

No, he replied ; I learn. 

Then you learn what you know, since you know 
all your letters. 

VOL. IV o 397 


B ra ypd/x/xara cVtWacrai . ' Q.ixoX6y7]cr€V . OvK 
apa opdcos oLTTeKpLvoj, e^rj. 

Kat ovTTOJ a(j>6hpa tl ravTa etprjro ro) Eu^u- 
orjfxcp, Kat 6 AiovvcroScopog (Zavep a^aipav eVSe^a- 
fxevos Tov Xoyov ttolXiv €aToxo.i^€TO rod pLeipaKiov, 
Kal emev 'E^aTrara ae E,vdvbr)fMos, cu KAetv'ta. 
eiTTe yap fioi, to p.avddv€iv ovk i7naTrjp,7]U ecrrt 
Aap,^dv€iv TOVTOV, ov dv ris p.avddvr}; 'ClfioXoyei 
o KXetvias. To S' imaTaadaL, ■J7 8' os, dXXo ri 
Tj €X€iv eTTLGT'qfirjv tJSt] iaTLV; Jlvv€(f>rj. To apa 
C p,7j imaraadac p,rjTTCi) ^xeiv iTnaTT^fxrjv icrriv; 
Q/xoXoyei, avTO). YioTepov ovv elalv ol Xafi^d- 
vovres OTiovv oi exoures rjSrj t] ot du p^rj; Qt dv 
p,7] exioaiv. OvKovv d)poX6yr]Kas etvai rovrcov 
Kat Tovs p,rj iiTiarapivovs , rd>v p,rj ixdvTcov; 
Karevevae. Tcov Xap,^av6vT(x}v dp* elalv ol p.av- 
ddvovres, dXX oi) tcov cxovtcdv; Hvvi(f>rj. 01 p,r) 
eTTLcrrdpevoi, dpa, e^ry, pavddvovatv, u> KAeiv'ta, 
aXX ovx ol iTnardpevot. 

Ert 8rj €771 TO rpirov Kara^aXcov wairep ira- 
Xaiapia <x)pp,a 6 Kvdv8r]pos tov veavloKov Kat 
D iyd) yvovs ^aTTTit,6pevov to p,€i,pdKLOV, ^ovXo- 
pevog dvaTTavaat avTo, prj "qpiv dnoSeiXidaeie, 
TTapapvdovpevos eiTTOV ^D KAetvta, p,r) davpal^e, 
€L CTOt (fyaivovTai di^deig ol XoyoL. taojs yap ovk 
aladdvec^ otov TTOieiTov tcu feVa» nepl ad' TToielTov 


He agreed. 

So your answer was not correct, he said. 

The last word was hardly out of Euthydemus' 
mouth when Dionysodorus caught, as it were, the 
ball of the argument and, aiming at the boy again, 
said : Euthydemus is deceiving you, Cleinias. Tell 
me, is not learning the reception of knowledge of 
that which one learns ? 

Cleinias agreed. 

And is not knowing, he went on, just having 
knowledge at the time ? 

He assented. 

So that not knowing is not yet having knowledge ? 

He agreed with him. 

Then are those who receive anything those who 
have it already, or those who have it not ? 

Those who have it not. 

And you have admitted that those who do not 
know belong also to this class of those who have it 

He nodded assent. 

And the learners belong to the class of the receiv- 
ing and not to that of the having ? 

He agreed. 

Hence it is those who do not know that learn, 
Cleinias, and not those who know. 

Euthydemus was proceeding to press the youth 
for the third fall, when I, perceiving the lad was 
going under, and wishing to give him some breathing- 
space lest he should shame us by losing heart, 
encouraged him with these words : Cleinias, do not 
be surprised that these arguments seem strange to 
you ; for perhaps you do not discern what our two 
visitors are doing to you. They are acting just Hke 



8e ravTov, onep ol iv rfj reXerfj tcov K-opv^avrcDV, 

OTOV TTjV dpOVOiaiV TTOLcbai, 7T€pl TOVTOV, OV aV 

fieXXcoaL reXeXv. /cat yap €K€l -xopeia rig iam 
Kai TraiSia, et dpa /cat TereXeaat' /cat vvv tovtoj 
E ovSev dXXo rj )(op€V€rov Trepl ere /cat olov opx^Xadov 
TTal^ovre, to? fierd tovto reXovvre. vvv ovv v6- 
/jLcaov TO. TTpcora rcbv Upcov olkovclv twv cro(f)i,- 
OTLKcov. npcoTOV yap, cS? (f)-qai YipohLKOs, Trepl 
ovopidrcov opdoTTjTOs fxadelv Set* o 81) /cat evhei- 
Kvvadov aoL rcb ^€vct), on ovk TjSeiaOa to fiavOdvctv 
on OL dvOpcoTTOi KaXovai fiev evrt to) rotoiSe, OTav 
TLS ii dpxfjs firjSefiiav €-)(OJV iTnaTT^fi'qv Trepl Trpdy- 
fxaros nvos eTreira varepov avrov Xafi^dvr] t^v 
278 eTTLGT-qfjLrjv, KaXovai Se ravro tovto /cat cTretSai' 
e^oiv rjSrj tyjv eTrtcTT'qixrjv Tavrr) Trj iTnaTrjfMr] Tav- 
Tov tovto TTpdyp,a iTTiaKOTrfj rj TrpaTTOfxevov iq 
Xeyofievov. fjudXXov fxev avTO ^vvievat, koXovolv 
rj fxavOdveiv, eari 8' ot€ Kal ixavOdveiv ae Se 
TOVTO, d)s ovToi ivSetKvvvTai, SiaXeXrjde, TavTo 
ovofia eTT* dv6pd)TTOis ivavTiwg e)(ovaL KeLfievov, eTn 
TO) re eiSoTi /cat ctti to) p,-^' TTapaTrXrjaiov Se 
TOVTOJ /cat TO ev to) SevTepcp epcoT-qp-aTt, ev (h 
B rjpwTcov ae, TTOTcpa fiavdavovacv ol dvdpcjTTOL d 
eTrtcTTavTai, rj d pirj. TavTa Srj tcov pLadrjpdTOJV 
TratSta eoTL' Sto /cat cf)r)p,L eyd) aoi tovtovs Trpoa- 
TTat^ew TratStai' Se Xeyo) Sia TavTa, otl, et /cat 
TToXXd TLS ■^ Kal TrdvTa ra rotaura piddoL, ra p,ev 
TTpdyp,aTa ovBev dv pidXXov elBelrj tttj e;(et, Trpoa- 


the celebrants of the Corybantic rites, when they per- 
form the enthronement of the person whom they 
are about to initiate. There, as you know, if you 
have been through it, they have dancing and merr}'- 
making : so here these two are merely dancing 
about you and performing their sportive gambols 
^vith a view to your subsequent initiation. You 
must now, accordingly, suppose you are hstening 
to the first part of the professorial mysteries. First 
of all, as Prodicus says, you have 'to learn about the 
correct use of words — the very point that our two 
visitors are making plain to you, namely, that you 
were unaware that learning is the name which 
people apply on the one hand to the case of a man 
who, having originallv no knowledge about some 
matter, in course of time receives such knowledge ; 
and on the other hand the same word is applied 
when, ha\ing the knowledge already, he uses that 
knowledge for the investigation of the same matter 
whether occurring in action or in speech. It is 
true that they tend rather to call it understanding than 
learning, but occasionally they call it learning too ; 
and this point, as our friends are demonstrating, 
has escaped your notice — how the same word is 
used for people who are in the opposite conditions 
of knowing and not knowing. A similar point 
underlay the second question, where they asked vou 
whether people learn what they knoM', or what they 
do not. Such things are the sport of the sciences — 
and that is why I tell you these men are making 
game of you ; I call it sport because, although one 
were to learn many or even all of such tricks, one 
would be not a whit the wiser as to the true state 
of the matters in hand, but only able to make game 



TTai^eiv Se otog r* av etrj rolg dvdpwTTOLS 8ia ttjv 
rajv ovofxaTcov Sta(f>opav VTroaKeXil^ajv /cat dva- 
rpeTTCov, warrep ol rd GKoXvdpia rwv fie^ovrcov 

C KadiS^-qaeadaL VTToaTTwvres xatpoucri kol y€X(x)aiv, 
eTTeihdv thoiaiv vtttiov dvareTpafifMevov. ravra 
fjicv ovv aoi TTapd rovrojv v6fx,i^€ TraiStav yeyovevaL' 
TO 8e //.era ravra SrjXov on rovro) yi aoi avrd) rd 
arrovhaZa ivSei^eadov , Kal iyw v^-qyTjaopLai, avrolv 
d fxoL VTTeaxovTO (XTroScocretv. €(f)drrjv yap em- 
h^i^eadaO' rrjv TrporpeTrrLKrjV ao(f>Lav vvv 8e, /u,oi 
SoK€L, (hrjd-^rr]v Trporepov hetv Tratcrat, Trpos ere. 
ravra /xev ovv, cb lEvdvBrjiJLe re Kal Aiovvo'oScope, 

D TTeTTaiado) re v/xlv, /cat tcroj? iKavais e;<€f ro 8e 817 
fiera ravra imhet^arov TrporpeTTOvre rd fxeipaKiov , 
OTTO)? ■)(^pr^ ao<f)ias re /cat dperijs eTTLfieXrjdrjvaL . 
Trporepov 8 eyoj (7(f)a)V evhei^ofxai, olov avrd vtto- 
XapL^dvoj /cat dlov avrov eTTLdv/xcv d/coucraf edv 
ovv S6^<o vfXLV IStcoriKcos re /cat yeAotaj? avrd 
TTOietv, yitiy fj,ov KarayeXdre' vtto TTpodvfjiLas yap 

E rov dKOvaat, rrjs vfxerepas ao<f)ias roXjxrjao} dir- 
avroa^eSLaaat evavriov vfiojv. dvdo'xeo'dov ovv 
dyeXaarl aKovovres avroi re /cat ol nadrjral v/jlcov 
av Be jjiOL, c5 Trat 'A^top^ou, dTTOKptvai. 

*Apd ye Trdvres dvdpiorroi ^ovXojxeda ev Trpdr- 
reiv ; "q rovro p.ev epwr-qfjua cov vvv Srj e(f)0^ov[xrjv 
ev rcov KarayeXdariov ; dvorjrov ydp St^ttov /cat ro 
epcordv rd roiavra- ris ydp ov ^ovXerai ev Tvpar- 
279 reiv ; Ovhels oaris ovk, €(f)r] 6 KAetj/ta?. Efer, 
171' 8 eyo)' rd Srj jxerd rovro, eTTetSrj ^ovXofxeda 
ev TTpdrreLV, ttcos dv ev Trpdrroifxev ; dp dv €t 

* iiriSei^affO ai mss. : iiridei^fffdai Stephanus. 


of people, thanks to the difference in the sense of 
the words, by tripping them up and overturning 
them ; just as those who slyly pull stools away 
from persons who are about to sit down make merry 
and laugh when they see one sprawling on one's back. 
So far, then, you are to regard these gentlemen's 
treatment of you as mere play : but after this they 
will doubtless display to you their o^vn serious object, 
while I shall keep them on the track and see that they 
fulfil the promise they gave me. They said they 
would exhibit their skill in exhortation ; but instead, 
I conceive, they thought fit to make sport with you 
first. So now, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, let 
us have done with your sport : I daresay you have 
had as much as you want. What you have next 
to do is to give us a display of exhorting this youth 
as to how he should devote himself to wisdom and 
\'irtue. But first I shall explain to you how I regard 
this matter and how I desire to hear it dealt with. 
If I strike you as treating it in a crude and ridiculous 
manner, do not laugh me to scorn ; for in my eager- 
ness to Usten to your \^isdom I shall venture to 
improvise in your presence. So both you and your 
disciples must restrain yourselves and listen without 
laughing ; and you, son of Axiochus, answer me 
this : 

Do all we human beings wish to prosper ? Or 
is this question one of the absurdities I was afraid 
of just now ? For I suppose it is stupid merely to 
ask such things, since every man must Avish to 

Everyone in the world, said Cleinias. 

Well then, I asked, as to the next step, since we 
wish to prosper, how can we prosper ? Will it be if 



"qfjbtv TToXXa Kayada €irj; ■») tovto €K€lvov €ti 
evrjOearepov ; SrjXov yap ttov /cat tovto otl ovtcos 
e;^ei. Hvve(f)r]. Oepe 817, dyada Se TTola dpa 
Ta)v ovTOJv Tvyxdvei rjfxlv ovTa; rj ov p^aAeTrov 
ovSe aefivov dvBpos ttovv ti ovhk tovto €oik€V elvat 
evTTopeZv; ttols yap dv rjfxlv emoi, on to rrXovTelv 
ayadov -q yap; Ildvv y , ^^f]- Ovkovv /cat to 
vyiaivetv /cat to KaXov etvai /cat roAAa /caret to 

B acjfia LKavcJbs TrapeoKevdadai ; Sui'eSo/cet. 'AAAa 
firiv euyevetat re /cat hwdfxeis Kai rt/xat iv ttj 
eavTov SrjXd ioTtv dyadd ovTa. 'QfioXoyei. Tt 
oSv, €(f>7]v, CTi rjfxlv AeiTrerat tcDv dyadojv; tL 
dpa eoTi TO aco<f)povd T€ elvai /cat St/catoi' /cat 
dvSpetov; TTOTCpov Trpos Ato?, cS KAeivta, ijyet av, 
lav TavTa rt^co/xev co? dyadd, opdojs rjfjbds d-qaeiv, 
-q idv fi-q; tacos ydp dv ti? rjixiv dfjL(f)Lcr^7]Ti](T€L€' 
aol Be 7TCOS So/cet; * Ay add, e(f>-q 6 KAetvta?. Etei/, 

C T^v 8' iyu)' Tr]v 8e ao(j)iav ttov ■)(opov Td^ofxev; iv 
Tols dyaOoLS, rj ttws Xcyeis; Ei' rot? ayadoig. 
*Eivdv[xov 817, pb-q Tt TTapaXeLTTCopLcv tiov dyaddjv, o 
Ti /cat a^tov' Aoyou. 'AAAa /xoi 8oKOvp,€V, €(f)r), 
ovBev, 6 KAeivta?. /cat e'yci; dvap,V7)ad€ls etnov 


we have many good things ? Or is this an even 
sillier question than the other ? For surely this 
too must obviously be so. 

He agreed. 

Come now, of things that are, what sort do we 
hold to be really good ? Or does it appear to be 
no difficult matter, and no problem for an important 
person, to find here too a ready answer ? Anyone 
will tell us that to be rich is good, surely ? 

Quite true, he said. 

Then it is the same ^vith being healthy and hand- 
some, and having the other bodily endowments in 
plenty ? 

He agreed. 

Again, it is surely clear that good birth and talents 
and distinctions in one's own country are good 

He admitted it. 

Then what have we still remaining, I asked, in 
the class of goods ? What of being temperate, and 
just, and brave ? I pray you tell me, Cleinias, do 
you think we shall be right in ranking these as 
goods, or in rejecting them ? For it may be that 
someone vriW dispute it. How does it strike you ? 

They are goods, said Cleinias. 

Very well, I went on, and where in the troupe 
shall we station wisdom ? Among the goods, or 
how ? 

Among the goods. 

Then take heed that we do not pass over any of 
the goods that may deserve mention. 

I do not think we are leaving any out, said 

Hereupon I recollected one and said : Yes, by 

VOL. IV o 2 -^05 


OTi Nat fia Ata KivSwevofiev ye to fjueyLarov twv 
dyadcov TTapaXiTTeZv . Tt rovro; t^ S' os. Trjv 
evTVxi'Oiv, <L KXcLvta' o Trdvreg (f>aai, koL ol ttolvv 
(f>avXoL, fxeytarov tcjv dyadcvu etvai. ^AXtjdrj 
X4y €is, €(l>r). Kol iyo) av ttoXlv fieravo'qcras etnov 

D OTt 'OAtyoy KarayeXaaroi iyevofieda vno tojv 
^eviov eyoj re kol av, c5 TraZ *A^l6xov. Tt 8t], 
€<f>ri, TOVTo; "On €VTVxio.v iv rotg efnrpoadev 
OefJievoi vvv Srj au^t? Trept rov avrov iXeyofxev. 
Tt ovv Srj TOVTO ; KarayeAaorov StJttov, o ndXai 
Trpo/cetrat, tovto TrdXtv TrpoTtdevai /cat St? rauTo. Ae- 
yeiv. Ylcbs, €(f>r), tovto Xeyeis; 'H ao(f>ia Sijirov, 
•qv 8* eycx), eurup^ta eoTi' tovto Se kom 77a t? yvoirj. 
/cat o? edavpbaaev ovtios €tl vios t€ /cat evijOrjg 
iaTL- Kdyd) yvoiis avTov davixd^ovTa, *Ap' ovk 

E olada, ecfyrjv, aj I^etvt'a, OTt Trepl avXrjfJbaTcov 
evirpayiav ol avXr^ral evTvxecrTaroi elaiv; Hvv- 
€(f>r]. OvKovv, -^v S' iyo), /cat Trepl ypafxfxdTOJv 
ypa(f)7Js T€ /cat dvayvcoaeojs ol ypaixfiaTioTai ; 
Yidvv ye. Tt 8e; irpos tovs ttjs OaXdTTrjs kiv- 
hvvovs fjicov o'tei evrvx^oTepovs Tivds etvai tcov 
aocfxjjv KV^epvqTOJv, d)s CTrt Trdv enreZv; Ov SrJTa. 
Tt 8e; oTpaTevofievos fierd TTOTepov dv tJSlov tov 

1 ypafifjMTiffTal were the schoolmasters who taught reading 
and writing and explained the difficulties of Homer in 
primary education. 



Heaven, we are on the verge of onutting the greatest 
of the goods. 

What is that ? he asked. 

Good fortune, Cleinias : a thing which all men, 
even the worst fools, refer to as the greatest of goods. 

You are right, he said. 

Once again I reconsidered and said : We have 
almost made ourselves laughing-stocks, you and I, 
son of Axiochus, for our visitors. 

What is wTong now ? he asked. 

Why, after putting good fortune in our former list, 
we have just been discussing the same thing again. 

What is the point ? 

Surely it is ridiculous, when a thing has been 
before us all the time, to set it forth again and go 
over the same ground twice. 

To what are you referring ? he asked. 

Wisdom, I replied, is presumably good fortune : 
even a child could see that. 

He wondered at this — he is still so young and 
simple-minded : then I, perceiAing his surprise, 
went on : Can you be unaware, Cleinias, that for 
success in flute-music it is the flute-players that 
have the best fortune ? 

He agreed to this. 

Then in writing and reading letters it will be the 


Well now, for the dangers of a sea- voyage, do you 
consider any pilots to be more fortunate, as a general 
rule, than the wise ones ? 

No, to be sure. 

Well, then, supp>ose you were on a campaign, 
with which kind of general would you prefer to 



KlvSvVOV T€ Kol rijs TV)(7]S fl€r€)(OLS, ^€Ta ao(f>ov 

arparrjyov rj fier* dfxadovs; Mera ao(f>ov. Tt 
8e; dadevcov fxerd TTorepov av TjSecu? KivSvvevois, 
fieTO. ao(f)OV larpov iq jx^t* dfjLaOovs; Mera ao<l)ov. 
JoO Ap ovv, Tjv o eyco, on evrvx^crrepov av otet 
TTpdrreiv nerd cro(f)ov TTpdrrcov rj pier* dfiadovg; 
"E-vve^ajpei. H ao(f)ia dpa Travra^^ov evrvx^lv 
TTOiel Tovs dvdpcoTTovs. ov yap SrJTTOv dp^apTavoi 
y* av 7TOT€ TLS ao(f)l.a dAA' dvdyKTj 6p6a>s TTpdrreiv 
/cat rvyxdveiv rj yap av ovKeri ao(f>ia eh], 

T,vva)fjioXoy7)adp,€da reXetrroivTes ovk otS' ottcos 
B iv Ke(f>aXaiq) ovrco rovro e)(€iv, ao^ias Trapovarjs , 
(L av TTapfj, p7]8ev TTpoaSelaOai evrvxi^as- eVetSi^ 8e 
rovro avviofjLoXoyrjardp,€da, ttoXiv irrvvdavofjLrjv av- 
rov rd rrporepov (hfjioXoyrjpieva ttu>s av rjp.Lv e^ot. 
' Q.poXoyrjaap€V ydp, e(j>7]v, el -qplv dyadd TToXXd 
TTapeirj, evSaLjjiovelv av /cat ei) nparreiv. lLvve(f)r]. 
*Ap' ovv evhaLp,ovolp.ev av Sia rd irapovra dyadd, 
el p,rjSev rjpds dx^eXoi -q el <h(f>eXoL; Et wcfieXoL, 
e<f)r]. '^Ap' ovv av ri ctx^eAot, et etr} p.6vov "qpiv, 
C ;(paj/xe^a 8' avroZs p-rj; olov air La el ■qpiiv e'lrj 
TToXXd, eadioipiev Se /xiy, tj rrorov, TTivoipiev 8e p-q, 
ead* 6 Tt d)(f>eXo ipied^ av; Ov Sijra, e(f>r]. Tt 8e; 
ol Srjp.iovpyoi navres, el avroig e'ir) ndvra rd 




share both the peril and the luck — a wise one, or 
an ignorant ? 

With a wise one. 

Well then, supposing you were, sick, with which 
kind of doctor would you like to venture yourself — 
a wise one, or an ignorant ? 

With a AAise one. 

And your reason, I said, is this, that you would 
fare with better fortune in the hands of a wise one 
than of an ignorant one ? 

He assented. 

So that wisdom everywhere causes men to be 
fortunate : since I presume she could never err, but 
must needs be right in act and result ; otherwise she 
could be no longer wisdom. 

W^e came to an agreement somehow or other in 
the end that the truth in general was this : when 
wisdom is present, he with whom it is present has no 
need of good fortune as well : and as we had agreed 
on this I began to inquire of him over again what 
we should think, in this case, of our previous agree- 
ments. For we agreed, said I, that if many goods 
were present to us we should be happy and prosper. 

Yes, he said. 

Then would we be happy because of our present 
goods, if they gave us no benefit, or if they gave us 
some ? 

If they gave us benefit, he said. 

And would a thing benefit us if we merely had it 
and did not use it ? For instance, if we had a lot 
of pro\-isions, but did not eat them, or liquor, and did 
not drink it, could we be said to be benefited ? 

Of course not, he answered. 

Well then, if every craftsman found the requisites 



€7TiTrj8(ia TTapeaKcvaancva eKaario els to iavrov 
epyov, xp<pVTo 8' avrols fM'q, ap* av ovroi ev irpdr- 
Totev 8kx T171' KTTJaiv, OTC K€KTr]fM€VOL etev TToivra d 
oel KCKTrjadai tov SrjfjLLovpyov; olov reKTOJV, el 
TTapeoKevacrfjievos etrj rd re opyava aTtavra /cat 
^vXa LKavd, reKTaivoiro he jxri, ead* 6 ri <h(j>e\oir^ 

D av ttTTo ri)£ KTrjoecos ; OvSa/xcu?, ^4''^- Tt 8e, 
ei Tt? KeKTrjjjLevos elr] ttXovtov re Kal a. vvv 817 
eAeyofjLev Trdvra to. dyadd, ■)(^pa)ro he avrois firj, 
ap dv evSaifiovol Bid ttjv tovtcov Krrjaiv tcov 
ayaQoJv ; Ov hrira, c5 TicJoKpares. Aelv dpa, 
e<f)rjv, cos eoiKe, p,r) fiovov KeKT-fjadai rd roiavra 
ayada tov fxeXXovTa evSalfiova eaeadai, dXXd Kal 
Xprjodai avTols' tos ovSev 6<f>eXos Trjs KTiqaews 
yiyverai. ^AXtjOt] Xeyeis. ^Ap* oSv, c5 KAeivta, 

E -^87^ TOVrcD LKavdi^ Trpos to evhaijxova TTOirjaai. riva, 
TO re KeKTTJadaL rdyadd Kal to xPV^^'^'- <^vtois ; 
"EfjLoiye 80/cet. IloTepov, -^v 8' eyw, edv opOcos 
XprJTaL Tis 1} Kal edv fJLiq; 'Eav opdcbs. KaAo)? 
he, Tjv 8 eya>, Xeyeis. irXeZov ydp ttov, ot/xat, 
ddrepov eoTiv, edv tls xPV'^^'' otcoovv jjut] opdcbs 
vpdyfxaTi "^ edv ea- to piev ydp KaKov, to he oVTe 
281 KaKov OVTe dyadov rj ovx ovrco (f)ap.ev; Zvv- 
exoipei. Tt ovv; ev ttj epyaaia re Kal ;^p7ycret rfj 
TTepl Td ^vXa pLCOV dXXo Tt ean to dTrepyat,6p,evov 
opdcbs XPV^^^'' V ^TrLaT'ii]p,rj rj reKTOVtKT]; Ov 

' TOVTU iKavih R. G. Bury : tovto iKavbv, tovtij) KaWiip, tovtu) 
KaWio} Mss. 


for his particular work all ready prepared for him, 
and then made no use of them, would he prosper 
because of these acquisitions, as ha\-ing acquired all 
the things necessary for a craftsman to have at hand ? 
For example, if a carpenter were furnished \\-ith 
all his tools and a good supply of wood, but did no 
carpentry, is it possible he could be benefited by 
what he had got ? 

By no means, he said. 

Well now, suppose a man had got wealth and all 
the goods that we mentioned just now, but made no 
use of them ; would he be happy because of his 
possessing these goods ? 

Surely not, Socrates. 

So it seems one must not merely have acquired 
such goods if one is to be happy, but use them too ; 
else there is no benefit gained from their possession. 


Then have we here enough means, Cleinias, for 
making a man happy — in the possession of these 
goods and using them ? 

I think so. 

Shall we say, I asked, if he uses them rightly, 
or just as much if he does not ? 

If rightly. 

Well answered, I said ; for I suppose there is 
more mischief when a man uses anything wrongly 
than when he lets it alone. In the one case there is 
evil ; in the other there is neither evil nor good. 
May we not state it so ? 

He agreed. 

To proceed then : in the working and use con- 
nected with wood, is there anything else that effects 
the right use than the knowledge of carpentry ? 



oijTa, €<pr). AAAa jjirjv ttov kul iv rfj nepl ra 
GKevT] epyaata to opdcog eTnaT-qfxrj icrrlv rj oltt- 
epya^o/jievrj. T,vv€(f)r]. '^Ap' ovv, ■^v S' iyto, Kal 
TTcpL rrjv xP^^'^v ^v iXeyo/jiev to vpwTOV Ta>v dya- 
doiv, ttAovtov t€ Kal vyieias Kal /caAAoys, to opdws 
TTaai Tols TOLovTOLs XRV^^^*- cvLaTrjfjLr] -^v rj^ rjyov- 

B jxevT] Kal KaTopdovaa ttjv irpd^iv, rj aXXo Ti; 'Evrt- 
aT-qp,r], -q 8' os. Ov fxovov dpa einvxt-cv, aAAa 
/cat evTTpayiav, to? €olk€v, t) eTTiaT-qixr) Trape'p^ei eV 
Trdarj KTtjaei re Kal Trpd^ei. 'Q/itoAoyet. ^Ap* 
ovv c5 TTpos Aios, ■^v 8 iyc^), o^eXo's Ti Tojv dXXcov 
KTTjpidTiov dvev (f>povqaecos /cai ao(f)ias; dpa ye ai' 
ovaiTo dvdpcoTTog ttoAAo. KCKTrji^evos Kal ttoAAcx 
TxpdTTOiv vouv fiT) e^wv, fJidXXov iq oXiya^; (hhe 
8e OKOTrei' ovk iXdTTCo TrpdTTCOV eAaxTW dv i^- 

C ap,apTdvoi, iXdTTco 8e dfiapTavojv '^ttov dv KaK(x>s 


dv eirj; Yldvv y\ ^(f>y]- HoTepov ovv dv /xaXXov 
eActTTOj Tis TTpaTTOL TTevT^s iov TTf TrXovoios ; Wivrjs, 
€(f)r]. lioTcpov 8e dadevrjs rj laxvpog; 'Aadevqg. 
IloTepov 8e evTifios •^ art/ios'; "Ari/Lio?. YloTcpov 
be dvBpelos cov Kal aa)cf>po)v cAcittcd dv rrpaTTOi ■^ 

' i) Badham. 
' waXXoi' ■^ dXlya lanibl. : rj fxaWov oKiya vovv ^x'^" MS3. 



Surely not, he said. 

Further, I presume that in the working connected 
with furniture it is knowledge that effects the right 

Yes, he said. 

Then similarly, I went on, in the use of the goods 
we mentioned at first — wealth and health and 
beauty — was it knowledge that showed the way to 
the right use of all those advantages and rectified 
their conduct, or was it something else ? 

Knowledge, he replied. 

So that knowledge, it would seem, supplies man- 
kind not only with good luck, but with welfare, in all 
that he either possesses or conducts. 

He agreed. 

Then can we, in Heaven's name, get any benefit 
from all the other possessions without understanding 
and wisdom ? Shall we say that a man will profit 
more by possessing much and doing much when he 
has no sense, than he will if he does and possesses 
little ? Consider it this way : would he not err less 
if he did less ; and so, erring less, do less ill ; and 
hence, doing less ill, be less miserable ? 

Certainly, he said. 

In which of the two cases, when one is poor or 
when one is rich, ^vill one be more likely to do 
less ? 

When one is poor, he said. 

And when one is weak, or when one is strong ? 


And when one has high position, or has none ? 


When one is brave and self-controlled, will one do 
less, or when one is a coward ? 



SeiAos-; AetAoj. Ovkovv /cat dpyos /xaAAov -q 
epyarrjs; Hvvexcopei. Kat ^paBvg {jidXXov rj 

D raxvs, /cat dfi^Xv opcov /cat olkovcov fiaXXov 7] of u; 
ITat'Ta Ta roiavra ^vvexojpovfiev aAATjAot?. 

Et* /ce^aAatoj 8', e(f)rjv, co KAetv't'a, /cirSuveuet 
av/xTTavra, d ro rrpcbrov e^a/xci' dya^a elvai, ov irepl 
TOVTOV 6 Xoyos avTOLS elvac, ottojs avrd ye ~kad^ 
avra ttc^vkcv dyadd, dAA' (1)9 colkcv c5S' €^€1' edv 
fiev avTCJV rjyrjraL dfxadia, fjuci^o) /ca/ca etvat rcov 
ivavTiCDV, ocro) hwarwrepa vnrjpeTelv to) rjyov- 
fjievo) /ca/coj ovtl' idv Be (f)p6vrjGLS re /cat ao(j>ia, 

E /xei'^o) dyadd' avrd he /ca^' aura ovSerepa avrcbv 
ovSevos d^ta elvat. OatVerat, 6^17, d)s eoiKev, 
ovTcos, COS cri) Xeyeis. Tt ovv -qpuv avpL^aivei e/c 
Tcbv elprjfievcov ; aAAo rt rj rcov fiev dXXcov ovSev 
ov ovre dyadov ovre KaKov, rovroiv 8e hvoXv ovtolv 
7} fiev ao(j>La dyadov, rj Se dfiaOia kukov; Q.fjt,o- 
282 Aoyei. 

"Eti roivvv, e<j)rjv, ro Xoittov eTnaKeifxofieOa. 
eTTeiBrj evSalfjLoves piev elvai Trpodvp,ovp,eda -ndvres, 
e(j)dv'qp,ev 8e roiovroi yiyv6p,evoi e/c rov ;!^/3T^cr^at re 
roXs TTpdyfiaai /cat opOcos XP1^^^''> '^^ ^^ opdo- 
rrjra /cat evrvx^av e7TLcrrt^p,r) rj irapexovaa. Set h-q, 
(OS eoiKev, eK rravros rpoTTOV dnavra dvSpa rovro 
TTapaoKevd^eadai, ottcos (os aocfxlyraros icrrai' rj 


A coward. 

So too, when idle rather than busy ? 

He agreed. 

And slow rather than quick, and dim of sight and 
hearing rather than sharp ? 

We agreed with each other as to these and all 
such cases. 

To sum up then, Cleinias, I proceeded, it seems 
that, as regards the whole lot of things which at 
first we termed goods, the discussion they demand 
is not on the question of how they are in themselves 
and by nature goods, but rather, I conceive, as 
follows : if they are guided by ignorance, they are 
greater evils than their opposites, according as they 
are more capable of ministering to their e\il guide ; 
whereas if understanding and wisdom guide them, 
they are greater goods ; but in themselves neither 
sort is of any worth. 

I think the case appears, he replied, to be as you 

Now what result do we get from our statements ? 
Is it not precisely that, of all the other things, not 
one is either good or bad, but of these two, wisdom 
is good and ignorance bad ? 

He agreed. 

Let us consider then, I said, the further conclusion 
that lies before us. Since we are all eager to be 
happy, and since we were found to become so by 
not only using things but using them aright, while 
knowledge, we saw, was that which provided the 
rightness and good fortune, it seems that every 
man must prepare himself by all available means 
so that he may be as wise as possible. Is it not 
so ? 



ov; Nat, €(f)r]. Kat Trapa irarpo^ ye 87^7701* tovto 
B ol6[X€vov Selv napaXafi^dveiv ttoXv fiaXXov 7] XPV' 
[jLara, Kal Tra/a' eTTirpoTTCov /cat j)iXcov rcjv re dXXcov 
Kat Tcov (fiaoKovTcov epaarojv elvai, Kal ^evoiv /cat 
TToXircjv, BeofjLcvov /cat LKerevovra ao^iag fiera- 
StSovat, ovSev alaxpdv, c5 KAeti'ta, ouSe vc/xecrqTOV 
€veKa TOVTOV VTr-qperelv /cat SovXeveLV Kal epaarfj 
Kal TTavrl dvdpcoTTO), otiovv iOeXovja VTTrjperelv rcov 
KaXtov VTTrjpeTrjfjLaTcov , TTpodvpiovfievov ao<j>6v yeve- 
adai' 1^ ov 80/cet aoi, €(f>'r]v iyo), ovTOiS ; Yidvv p.kv 
C ovv €v fioi So/cet? Xeyetv, rj S' os. Et eo-ri ye, to 
KAetvta, rjv 8' eya>, r) ao^ia StSa/crdr, aAAa jxr^ 
diTO Tavrojxdrov Trapayiyverai to 19 dvdpayTTOLs. 
TOVTO yap rjfXLV ert daKeTTTOV /cat ovttoj SicofioXo- 
yqfxevov efxoi re /cat aoi. AAA' e^otye, e^^y, c5 
Scu/cparej, SiSa/crov etvat 80/cet. /cat eyto rjadel's 
€L7Tov *H /caAcD? Ae'yets, to dpicrre dvSpuJv, Kal ev 
iTTOiTjcras (XTraAAa^a? jiie crKei/jecos ttoAAt^s' Tre/at 
TOVTOV avTOV, TTOTepov hihaKTOv Tj ov hlhaKTOV 
rj ao(f)ia. vvv oSv eTreihrj croc Kal Bi-SaKTOv So/cet 
D /cat /jLovov Twv ovTcov evSaiixova Kal evTVX^ ttolcIv 
TOP dvdpcoTTOV, dXXo Ti ^ (f>aL'r]g dv dvayKaZov elvai 
(f)LXoao<f)€LV Kal avros iv vw ex^is avro TToielv; 
Xidw /JLCV ovv, €(f}rj, c5 Scu/c/aarej, cos olov re 

Kdyd> TavTa dapievos aKOvaag, To piev ipiov, 
€<f)rjv, TTapdheiypua, at AtovvaoBcope re /cat Ei5^u- 
87^/xe, otcov imOvpicb Tcup' irpoTpeTTTiKdJv Xoycov 
etvai, ToiovTOV, tStajTt/cov tacoj /cat pioXis 8ta 


Yes, he said. 

And if a man thinks, as well he may, that he 
ought to get this endowment from his father much 
more than money, and also from his guardians and 
his ordinary friends, and from those who profess 
to be his lovers, whether strangers or fellow-citizens 
— praying and beseeching them to give him his share 
of wisdom ; there is no disgrace, Cleinias, or repro- 
bation in making this a reason for serving and being 
a slave to either one's lover or any man, and being 
ready to perform any service that is honourable 
in one's eagerness to become wise. Is not this your 
view ? I asked. 

I think you are perfectly right, he repHed. 

Yes, Cleinias, I went on, if wisdom is teachable, 
and does not present itself to mankind of its own 
accord — for this is a question that we have still to 
consider as not yet agreed on by you and me. 

For my part, Socrates, he said, I think it is 

At this I was glad, and said : Well spoken indeed, 
my excellent friend ! How good of you to relieve 
me of a long inquiry into this very point, whether 
wisdom is teachable or not teachable ! So now, 
since you think it is both teachable and the only 
thing in the world that makes man happy and 
fortunate, can you help saying that it is necessary to 
pursue wisdom or intending to pursue it yourself ? 

Why, said he, I do say so, Socrates, with all my 

So I, delighted to hear this, said : There, Dionyso- 
dorus and Euthydemus, is my illustration of what 
I desire a hortatory argument to be — rough and 
ready, perhaps, and expressed at laborious length : 



fiaKpcov Xeyofievov a^cov Se OTrorepos ^ovXerai, 
ravrov tovto rexi'j) Trpdrrcov evihet^drto rjfjLtv. el 

E Se fiTj TOVTO ^ovXeadov , odev iyoj dTreXiTTOV, to 
i^rjs €Tnhei^aTov tw /i.etpa/cia>, TTOTcpov Trdaav 
€TnaTi]fjirjv Set avTov KToiadai, rj ecrrt tls fxla, tjv 
Set Xa^ovTa evSaL/xoveiv t€ koL dyadov dvSpa 
clvat, /cat TtV auTT^, cos yap eXeyov dp)(6fievos, 
7T€pl TToXXov rjfxiv Tvyxdvei ov TovSe tov veaviaKov 
283 ao(f>6v re /cat ayadov yeviaOai. 

'Eya> pikv ovv Taiha clttov, c5 KpiTCDV to) Be 
ficTO. TOVTO eaofievo) ndw a(f)6Spa Trpoaetxov tov 
vovv, /cat eireaKOTTOVv , Ttva ttotc TpoTTov dtjjOLVTO 
TOV Xoyov /cat oTToOev dp^otvTO TrapaKeXevofxevoL to) 
veavioKO) ao<f)iav re /cat dpeTrjV doKelv. 6 ovv 
vpea^VTepos avTcov, 6 ALOvvaoSoipos , rrpoTepos 
tJpxcto tov Xoyov, /cat rjfxeZs TrdvTes e^Xenofiev 
TTpos avTov cos avTLKa pdXa aKOvaop^evoi dav- 
p,aaiovs Tivds Xoyovs' oirep ovv /cat avve^rj rjpuv 

B davfiacTTOv ydp Tiva, co KpLTOJV, dvrjp KaTrjpx^ 
Xoyov, ov aol d^iov aKovaai, cos TrapaKeXevaTiKos 6 
Xoyos Tjv ctt' dpeT-qv. 

EtVe pLOL, €(1)7), d) TicoKpaTes Te /cat vp,€Ls ol 
dXXoL, oaoL <f>aT€ €7ndvfj,€tv TovSe tov veaviaKov 
ao(^6v yeveadai, noTepov Trat'^cre raura XeyovTes 
iq cos dXrjdios iTndvfielTe /cat aTTOvSd^eTe ; 

Kdyo) SLevo-^drjv, ort ihrjdTyrqv dpa r]p,ds to 
TTpoTepov TTait,eLv, 'qviKa eKeXevojjiev SiaXex6fjvaL 
Tcp veavLCKU) avTco, /cat Sta raura TrpoaeTraiadTTjv 

C re /cat ovk eaTTovSaadTTjv Taiha ovv Siavor]dels €tl 
fidXXov eliTOv, oTi davfxaaTOis (TTTOvhdt^oLjxev . 

Kat o Aiovvaohcopos, S/coTret fti^j^, e0>?, c5 
HcoKpaTes, oTTOis fi'q e^apvos ecrei e vvv Xeyets. 


now let either of you who wishes to do so give us 
an example of an artist's handling of this same matter. 
If you do not wish to do that, let your display begin 
where I-left off, and show the lad whether he ought 
to acquire every kind of knowledge, or whether 
there is a single sort of it which one must obtain 
if one is to be both happy and a good man, and what 
it is. For as I was saying at the outset, it really 
is a matter of great moment to us that this youth 
should become wise and good. 

These were my words, Crito ; and I set about 
giving the closest attention to what should follow, 
and observing in what fashion they would deal \\'ith 
the question, and how they would start exhorting 
the youth to practise wisdom and virtue. So then 
the elder of them, Dionysodorus, entered first upon 
the discussion, and we all turned our eyes on him 
expecting to hear, there and then, some wonderful 
arguments. And this result we certainly got ; for 
wondrous, in a way, Crito, was the argument that the 
man then ushered forth, which is worth your hearing 
as a notable incitement to virtue. 

Tell me, Socrates, he said, and all you others who 
say you desire this youth to become wise, whether 
you say this in jest or truly and earnestly desire it. 

At this I reflected that previously, as it seemed, 
they took us to be jesting, when we urged them to 
converse with the youth, and hence they made a 
jest of it and did not take it seriously. This reflec- 
tion therefore made me insist all the more that we 
were in deadly earnest. 

Then Dionysodorus said : Yet be careful, Socrates, 
that you do not have to deny what you say now. 



Ea/ce/ti/Ltai, -^v 8' iyco' ov yap fxiq ttot e^apvos 
yevcofjLaL. Ti ovu; €(f>r)- (f>aTe ^ovXecrdai avrov 
ao(f)6v yeveaOai; Ilai'i' fxev ovv. Nw 8e, rj 8' 6s, 
KAeivta? TTorepov ao(f>6s eartv r^ ov; Ovkovv (f)rjaL 
ye TTco' eaTL 8e ovk dXat,(i)V. 'T/iet? 8e, e(f)-q, 

D ^ovXeade yeveaOai avrov ao<j)6v, dfiadrj 8e fxrj 
elvai; ' Q.p.oXoyovpi€v . Ovkovv o? /xe^' ovk eari, 
^ovXeade avrov yeveadat, o? 8' ecrrt vvv, fji,7]Keri 
elvac. Kal iyo) OLKovaag idopv^-qdriv 6 8e {xov 
Oopv^ov/xevov VTToXa^cov, "AXXo ti ovv, e<f)r], CTret 
^ovXeaOe avrov, os vvv earl, fi'qKcri elvai, ^ov- 
XeaOe avrov, coy eoiKev, aTToXuiXivai ; Kairoi ttoX- 
Xov av d^ioL ol roLovroL elev <j)iXoL re Kal epaarai, 
otrives TO. 7rat8t/ca. irepl iravros av 7Ton]aaLvro 

E Kat o Kr-^o-iTTTTOs OLKovcras rjyavaKrrjae re VTrep 
rcov TTaL^LKibv Kal eLTTev ^Q. ^eve Qovpie, el p,r) 
dypoiKorepov , €<fyrj, "^v elireLV, eiirov av, aol el^ 
Ke<^aXrjV, 6 ri /xadcov p,ov Kal rcov dXXcov Kara- 
xpevhei rotovro TTpdyfxa, o eyd) ol/jLai ovS oaiov 
' elvat, Xeyeiv, cos eydj rovSe ^ovXoljxtjv av e^oXco- 

Tt 8e, e<j)ri, c5 l^rrjanrTTe, 6 Eiv6vBr]p,os, ^ SoKel 
aoi olov r elvai ipevheadai; Nt^ Ai'a, e^^, el fxrj 
fxalvofxai ye. Ilorepov Xeyovra ro vpayfia, Trepl 
284 o5 av 6 Xoyos fj, •^ //.i^ Xeyovra; Keyovra, e(f)7]. 
Ovkovv etrrep Xeyei avro, ovk dXXo Xeyei rdiv 


I know wliat I am about, I said : I know I shall 
never deny it. 

Well now, he proceeded ; you tell me you wish 
him to become wise ? 


And at present, he asked, is Cleinias wise or not ? 

He says he is not yet so — he is no vain pretender. 

And you, he went on, wish him to become wise, 
and not to be ignorant ? 

We agreed. 

So you wish him to become what he is not, and to 
be no longer what he now is. 

When I heard this I was confused ; and he, 
striking in on my confusion, said : Of course then, 
since you wish him to be no longer what he now is, 
you wish him, apparently, to be dead. And yet 
what valuable friends and lovers they must be, who 
would give anything to know their darling was dead 
and gone ! 

Ctesippus, on hearing this, was annoyed on his 
favourite's account, and said : Stranger of Thurii, 
were it not rather a rude thing to say, I should tell 
you, ill betide your design of speaking so falsely 
of me and my friends as to make out — -what to me is 
almost too profane even to repeat — that I could 
wish this boy to be dead and gone ! 

Why, Ctesippus, said Euthydemus, do you think 
it possible to lie ? 

To be sure, I do, he replied : I should be mad 

Do you mean, when one tells the thing about 
wliich one is telling, or when one does not ? 

When one tells it, he said. 

Then if you tell it, you tell just that thing 



OVTCDV T] €K€Lvo 07T€p Aeyet; Ucos yap dv; €(f)ri o 
RTTycrtTTTTos'. "El' fir]v KOLKeZvo y' ecrrt rwv ovrcov, 
o Ae'yei, x^P^^^ "^^^ dXXojv. Hdvv ye. Ovkovv 
6 €K€lvo Xcyoiv TO 6v, €(f)rj, Xeyei; Nat. 'AAAa 
firjv o ye ro ov Xeyojv /cat to, ovra rdX-qdrj Xeyer 
(Zorre 6 A.LOvva6Sa)pos , eiirep Xeyei rd ovra, Xeyet 
rdX-qdfj Kal ovSev Kara aov i/jevSerat. Nat, e(f)r)' 

B dAA' o ravra Xeycov, e(f>7j 6 KxT^crtTTTros', c5 ISivdu- 
Sr]fjL€, ov rd ovra Xeyei. koX 6 EtJ^uStj/xos", To, he 
fjuT] ovra, e(j>r], dXXo ri rj ovk eariv; Ovk eariv. 
"AXXo Ti ovv ovSafxov rd ye firj ovra ovra ecrnv; 
OvSafjiov. "EcTTtr ovv OTTOJS TTepl ravra ra pur] 
ovra vpd^eiev dv ris ri, coare /cat eti^at^ TTOLriaeiev 
dv /cat oariaovv rd p,7]8apLov ovra; Ovk e/xotye 
So/cet, €<fyr) 6 Kr'qaLTTTTOS . Tt ovv; at prjropes 
orav XeycoGLV ev rd) S-q/xa), ovSev rrpdrrovaiv; 
Ylpdrrovai p^ev ovv, rj 8' oj. Ovkovv enrep 

C TTpdrrovcri, Kal ttoiovolv; Nat. To Xeyeiv dpa 
rrpdrreiv re Kal iroieZv eariv; 'ClpuoXoyrjaev. Ovk 
dpa rd ye pur] ovr , e(f)r], Xeyet. ouSet's" iroiol yap 
av rjoT] ri' av oe copioAoyrjKas ro pLrj ov pbrj olov r 

* Siffre Kal elvat Hermann : wo-t' dKecva, &s ye KXuvig. kt\. mss. 


which you tell, of all that are, and nothing else 
whatever ? 

Of course, said Ctesippus. 

Now the thing that you tell is a single one, distinct 
from all the others there are. 


Then the person who tells that thing tells that 
which is ? 


But yet, stirely he who tells what is, and things 
that are, tells the truth : so that Dionysodorus, 
if he tells things that are, tells the truth and speaks 
no lie about you. 

Yes, said Ctesippus ; but he who speaks as he did, 
Euthydemus, does not say things that are. 

Then Euthydemus asked him : And the things 
which are not, surely are not ? 

They are not. 

Then nowhere can the things that are not be ? 


Then is it possible for anyone whatever so to deal 
with these things that are not as to make them be 
when they are nowhere ? 

I think not, said Ctesippus. 

Well now, when orators speak before the people, 
do they do nothing ? 

No, they do something, he repUed. 

Then if they do, they also make ? 


Now, is speaking doing and making ? 

He agreed that it is. 

No one, I suppose, speaks what is not — for thereby 
he would be making something ; and vou have agreed 
that one cannot so much as make what is not — so 



elvai jLtr^Se TTOielv ware koto, tov aov Xoyov oySets 
i/jevSrj Aeyet, dAA' etnep Aeyei AiovvaoSojpos , 
raXrjdrj re Kai to. ovra Ae'yei. Nt) Ata, e^T^ d 
KTTjcnTTTTOS', c5 Eu^uSTj/xe* dAAd TO, dvra /xev 
rpoTTOv rtva Aeyet, oi) jxevTOt, cS? ye e^et. 

riciis' Aeyety, e^Ty d Aiovvaohcopos , co K.rt^ai7T7Te ; 

T) elal yap rives, ot Xeyovai ra TrpdypLara cos ^x^i; 
Etcrt fievrot,, €(f>r), ot /caAoi re Kayadol /cat ot ra- 
Xrjdfj Xeyovres. Ti ovv; -^ 8' ds" rdyada ovk ev, 
€(f)r}, €X€i, rd Se KaKo. KaKcos; 2we;\;cu/[)ei. Tovs 
Se /caAouj re Kayadovs ofioXoyels Xeyeiv at? e;^et 
rd TTpdy/jLara; *0/xoAoyd>. Ka/ccD? d/aa, e</)i7, 
XeyovGLV, a> K^n^aimrc, ol dyadol rd /ca/cd, ecrrep 
(x)s cx^i Xiyovai. Nat /id Ata, 17 8' ds", (7<f)6hpa ye, 
Tous" yow KaKovs dvOpconovs' ct)V ov, eav /zot 

E TTeidr], evXa^-qaei etvai, Iva fi-q ae ot ayadoi kclkcos 
Xeycocnv. cos €V tad* on KaKcos Xeyovaiv ol 
dyadol roiis KaKovs. *H /cat rovs p-eyaXovs, 
€(f)7] 6 ^vdvS-qfxos , peydXcos Xeyovai /cat rovs 
deppLOVs deppLws ; MdAtara hrjTTOv, e^-q 6 Kr'j^a- 
iTTTtos' rovs yovv i/jvxpovs ifjvxp<^S Xeyovai re /cat 
^aot 8taAe'yeo'^at. 2y p.ev, €cf)rj 6 ALovvaoScopos , 
XoiSopel, CO KTTjCTtTTTre, Aot8opet. Md At ovk 
eyojye, rj 8' os, c5 AtovyadScDpe, evret <^tAd> ae, 
dAAd vovdercb ct' (Ls eraZpov, /cat Tret/adi/xat Treideiv 
pbTjSevore evavriov ep.ov ovrois dypoiKCos Xeyeiv, 

^ The quibbling throughout this passage is a wilful con- 
fusion of the two very different uses of the verb "to be " 
(elvai), (a) in predication, where it has nothing to do with 
existence, and (6) by itself, as stating existence. 

"^ Euthyderaus seizes on the ambiguous use of /caKwj, 
which may mean either " badly " or " injuriously." 



that, by your account, no one speaks what is false, 
while if Dionysodorus speaks, he speaks what is 
true and is. 

Yes, in faith, Euthydemus, said Ctesippus ; but 
somehow or other he speaks what is, only not as it ^ 

How do you mean, Ctesippus ? said Dionyso- 
dorus. Are there persons who tell things as they 
are ? 

Why surely, he replied, there are gentlemen — 
people who speak the truth ? 

Well, he went on, good things are in good case, 
bad in bad, are they not ? 

He assented. 

And you admit that gentlemen tell things as they 

I do. 

Then, Ctesippus, good people speak evil of evil 
things, if they speak of them as they are. 

Yes, I can tell you, very much so, when for instance 
they speak of evil men ; among whom, if you take 
my ad\ice, you will beware of being included, that 
the good may not speak ill of you. For, I assure 
you, the good speak ill' of the evil. 

And they speak greatly of the great, asked 
Euthydemus, and hotly of the hot ? 

Certainly, I presume, said Ctesippus : I know 
they speak frigidly of the frigid, and call their 
way of arguing frigid. 

You are turning abusive, Ctesippus, said Dionyso- 
dorus, quite abusive ! 

Not I, on my soul, Dionysodorus, for I like you : 
I am only giving you a friendly hint, and endeavour- 
ing to persuade you never to say anything so tactless 



285 OTL iyoj TorjTovs /SouAo/xai i^oXcoXevai, ovg irepl 
TrXelcrrov TToiov^iat. 

Eya> ovv, €7T€LS-q fxoL eSoKovv dyptcoTepcog Trpog 
dXXrjXovs €X€iv, 'npoaeTTait,6v re rov IXTTJaL-mrov Kal 
€L7Tov OTL ' Q. Kri^cnTTTTe, c/xot fxkv So/cet XPW^'- 
rjfjid? irapa rcov ^evcov Se^ecr^ai a Xiyovatv, edv 
edeXojai SiSovai, Kal fiT) ovofiart hia^epeaOai. el 
yap eTTLaravraL ovtcos i^oXXvvai, dvdpioTTOVs, axrr 

€K TTOVTjpCOV TC Kttt d<f>p6vCOV XRV^^^^^ "^^ '^^'■ 

efxcfjpovas ttolcZv, Kal tovto ctre avroj evp-qKarov 
B etre Kal Trap' dXXov rov ifxaderrjp (j>d6pov rivd Kal 
oXedpov roLOVTov, aiare dnoXeaavTes TTOvrjpov ovra 
XpyjoTov ttoXlv aTTO(f)rjvai' el tovto eTriaTaadov — 
hrjXov Se, OTL eTTLCTTaadov' €(f)dTr]v yovv ttjv Te^rjv 
a(f)(jjv elvaL ttjv veoicrTl evprjfievrjv dyadovg TTOLetv 
Tovs avdpwTTOvs e/c TTOV-qpcov — -cruyp^ojpT^craj^ei/ bvu 
avTOLV avTO' dTToXeadvTOJV -qfjilv to fxeLpaKLOv Kal 
(jipovLpLOV TTOLTjadvTOJV , Kal dnavTas ye "qfids tovs 
dXXov£. el Se vfiels ol veoL ^o^elade, ioatrep ev 
C Kapt ev ifiol eoTco 6 klvSvvos' cos eyo), eireLSr] 
Kal TTpea^vTTjs elfxl, irapaKLvhvveveLV ctol^os Kal 
TTapahihiojxL ifiavTov ALOvvaoScJopcp tovto) uyairep 
Trj MrjSeLO. Trj KoXxco' dTToXXvTO) fxe, Kal el /xei' 
^ovXeTaL, eipeTOj, ei 8', o tl ^ovXeTaL, tovto TrotetTOi- 
fxovov j^^pTjcrrov dTTO(f)r]vdTOJ . Kal 6 J^ttJolttttos, 
'Eyoj fjiev, e(f)T], Kal avTos, c5 HcoKpaTes, eTOLp,6s 
elfiL TTapexeiv ep^avTov tols ^evoLS, Kal edv ^ov- 
Acot'Tai hepeLV ctl /xaAAot' •^ vvv hepovoLV, et p,OL rj 
D hopd put] els doKov TeXevTrjoeL woTrep T] tov Map- 

^ Lit. " a Carian slave." 

* This satyr was fabled to have challenged Apollo to a 
musical contest, and on his fluting being judged inferior to 

426 . 


in roy presence as that I wish these my most highly 
valued friends to be dead and gone. 

So then I, observing that they were getting rather 
savage with each other, began to poke fun at 
Ctesippus, saying : Ctesippus, my feeling is that we 
ought to accept from our visitors what they tell us, 
if they are so good as to give it, and should not 
quarrel over a word. For if they understand how 
to do away vrith people in such sort as to change 
them from wicked and witless to honest and intelli- 
gent, and that too whether they have discovered 
for themselves or learnt from somebody else this 
peculiar kind of destruction or undoing, which en- 
ables them to destroy a man in his wickedness and 
set him up again in honesty ; if they understand this 
— and obviously they do ; you know they said that 
their newly discovered art was to turn wicked 
men into good — let us then accord them this 
power ; let them destroy the lad for us, and make 
him sensible, and all the rest of us likewise. If you 
young fellows are afraid, let the experiment be 
made on me as a corpus vile ^ ; for I, being an elderly 
person, am ready to take the risk and put myself 
in the hands of Dionysodorus here, as if he were 
the famous Medea of Colchis. Let him destroy me, 
and if he hkes let him boil me down, or do to me 
whatever he pleases : only he must make me good. 

Then Ctesippus said : I too, Socrates, am ready 
to offer myself to be skinned by the strangers even 
more, if they choose, than they are doing now, if 
my hide is not to end by being made into a wine-skin, 
like that of Marsyas,^ but into the shape of virtue. 
Apollo's harping he was flayed alive by the god for his 
presumption, and his skin was hung up like a bag or bottle 
in a cave ; ef. Herod. vU. 26. 



avov, aAA els aper^v. Kairoi, fxe oterai Aiowao- 
ooipos ovToal -)(aX€TTaiv€iv avToj' eycu Se ov ;^aAe- 
TTaivoi, dAA' avriXeyoi irpos ravra, d jxol SokcZ 
TTpos fie fiT) /caAcD? Xeyeiv dXXa av to avTiXeyeiv, 
€(f)ir], cS yevvaie AtovvaoBcope, pbrj /caAet AotSopet- 
adai' erepov yap ri eari to XoihopeZadai. 

Kai o A.Lovv(j6Bojpos , 'n? 6vTO£, €(f)r], rov dvri- 
Xeyeiv, aj KTTycrtTTTre, Trotet rovs Xoyovs; Yldvrojs 
Stjttov, €(f>rj, Kol a(f)6hpa ye* rj av, cS AtovvcroScope, 
E ou/c oiet elvai dvTiXeyeiv; Ovkovv av rdv, e<f>ri, 
aTToSet'l'ai? ttcottotc dKovaag ovSevos dyriXeyovTOS 
erepov erepcp. AXr]drj XeycLs; e(f)r)' dXXd aKOVCo- 
fiev vvv, 61 croi aTToScLKW/Jit, dvTiXeyovros Kxr^cr- 
L7T7TOV Aiovvaohoipcp . H KoL V7T6a)(oi.s dv Torirov 

A' TT' "J T""? TO'" '* 

oyov; llav'y, ecpr^. It oui^; ■^ o os" eiatv 

iKaaTw rd>v ovroiv Xoyoi; Yidvv ye. Ovkovv d)s 

Job eoTiv eKaarov rj cos ovk eariv; Lis eariv. Hit 

yap fjieixvrjaat,, €<f)'q, <x> Yi.rr^ai'mte, koI dpri eirehei- 

^apLev p-iqheva Xeyovra <1)S ovk eari' ro yap p.r] ov 

ovoeLS ecpavr] Aeycov. It ovv orj tovto; tj o os o 

Kr-^CTtTTTros" rjTTOv TL dvTiXeyofiev iyo) re Kal av; 

Horepov OVV, "q S' os, dvTLXeyoipLev dv rov^ rod avTOV 

TTpdypiaTos Xoyov diJi(f)6r€poL Xeyovres, t] ovtoj p,ev 

dv BtJttov ravrd Xeyotp,ev; J!ivvex<x)p€i. 'AAA' 

1 rbv add. Heiudorf. 


And yet Dionysodorus here believes I am vexed 
with him. I am not vexed at all ; I only contradict 
the remarks which I think he has improperly aimed 
at me. Come now, my generous Dionysodorus, do 
not call contradiction abuse : abuse is quite another 

On this Dionysodorus said : As though there were 
such a thing as contradiction ! Is that the way you 
argue, Ctesippus ? 

Yes, to be sure, he replied, indeed I do ; and do 
you, Dionysodorus, hold that there is not ? 

Well, you at any rate, he said, could not prove 
that you had ever heard a single person contradicting 

Is that so ? he replied : well, let us hear now 
whether I can prove a case of it — Ctesippus contra- 
dicting Dionysodorus. 

Now, will you make that good ? 

Certainly, he said. 

Well then, proceeded the other, each thing that 
is has its own description ? 


Then do you mean, as each is, or as it is not ? 

As it is. 

Yes, he said, for if you recollect, Ctesippus, we 
showed just now that no one speaks of a thing as it 
is not ; since we saw that no one speaks what is not. 

Well, what of that ? asked Ctesippus : are you 
and I contradicting any the less ? 

Now tell me, he said, could we contradict if we 
both spoke the description of the same thing ? 
In this case should we not surely speak the same 
.vords ? 

He agreed. 

VOL. IV p 429 


orav /jLrjSerepos, €(f)rj, tov rov TrpdyfjiaTos Xoyov 
B X^yj], Tore avTiXeyoLfiev av ; rj ovrco ye to Trapdirav 
ovh dv jJieiJivrjfievos etrj tov TrpdyfiaTOS ovSerepog 
■q/JLcbv; Kat tovto cruvoJixoXoyeL. 'AAA' dpa, orav 
eyd) p,ev tov tov Trpdyp,aTos Xoyov Xeyoi, av 8e 
aAAou TLVos dXXov, TOTe avTiXeyofxev ; ■^ eyd) Xeyco 
fxev TO Trpdyiia, av Se ovhe XeyeLS to TrapdTTav 6 
Se fxrj Xeyiov tco XeyovTi ttcos dv avTiXeyoi; 

Kat o ixev KTriaiTTTros eaiyrjaev eyd) 8e dav- 
fzdaas tov Xoyov, Yicos, €(f>r)v, u) AiovvaoSiope , 
C Xeyeis; ov ydp toi dAAo, tovtov ye tov Xoyov 
■noXXdiv St) Kal TToXXdKLs dKTjKodjs del Oavfjidl^a) 
Kal ydp ol dfi(f)L UpcoTayopav a<f)6Spa expd)VTo 
avTcp /cat OL ert naXaioTepoi,' ep.ol Se aet davfjiaaTOS 
Tis SoKeX elvai Kal tovs re dXXov? dvaTpencov /cat 
avTog avTov — ot/xat Se avTov ttjv dXt^Oeiav irapa 
aov KoXXiOTa Trevaeadai. dXXo ri ifjevSi] Xeyeiv 
ovK eaTi; tovto ydp Swarai o Xoyog' rj yap; 
aAA T^ XeyovT* dXrjdrj Xeyeiv rj /jLTj Xeyeiv; Y^vv- 
D e^dypei. Yiorepov ovv iftevSrj fiev Xeyeiv ovk eari, 
ho^dl,eLV fxevToi, eariv; Ov8e So^dt,eLV, e^rj. OuS 
dpa ipevhrjs, rjv 8' eyd), So^a eari to TrapaTrav. 
Ovk e(f)rj. Oi)8' dpa dfxaOia ovh^ dpiaOels dvdpoi- 
TTOL- •^ ov rovr^ dv elrj dfiadia, eiTrep elvj, to ifjev- 
SeaOai Td)V 7rpay/j,dTa)V ; Ildvv ye, €(f)r). AAAa 

' The argument is that, if we cannot speak what is not, or 
falsely, of a thing (this assumption being based on the old 
confusion of being with existence), there can be only one 
description of a thing in any given relation, and so there is 
no room for contradiction. This argument is commonly 
ascribed to Antisthenes, the founder of the Cynic sect and 
opponent of Plato. It is not clear who exactly are meant 
by *' the followers of Protagoras " or the "others before his 



But when neither ot" us speaks the description of 
the thing, he asked, then we should contradict ? 
Or in this case shall we say that neither of us touched 
on the matter at all ? 

This also he admitted. 

Well now, when I for my part speak the description 
of the thing, while you give another of another thing, 
do we contradict then ? Or do I describe the thing, 
while you do not describe it at all ? How can he who 
does not describe contradict him who does ? ^ 

At this Ctesippus was silent ; but I, wondering 
at the argument, said : How do you mean, Dionyso- 
dorus ? For, to be plain -mth you, this argument, 
though I have heard it from many people on various 
occasions, never fails to set me wondering — you 
know the followers of Protagoras made great use 
of it, as did others even before his time, but to 
me it always seems to have a wonderful way of 
upsetting not merely other views but itself also — 
and I believe I shall learn the truth of it from you 
far better than from anyone else. There is no 
such thing as speaking false — that is the substance 
of your statement, is it not ? Either one must 
speak and speak the truth, or else not speak ? 

He agreed. 

Then shall we say that speaking false "is not," but 
thinking false "is ' ? 

No, it is the same with thinking, he said. 

So neither is there any false opinion, I said, at all. 

No, he said. 

Nor ignorance, nor ignorant men ; or must not 
ignorance occur, if it ever can, when we put things 
falsely ? 

Certainly, he said. 



TOVTO ovK earcv, ^v S' iyco. Ovk e(f>T). Aoyov 
evcKa, c5 AiovvaoSojpe, Xeyeis rov Xoyov, Iva hrj 
aroTTOv Xiyrjs, r^ ws dXrjOcos So/cet aoi ovSels elvai 

E afxadrjs dvdpcoTTOiv; 'AAAo. av, ^^y], eXey^ov. *H. 
/cat €CTTi TOVTO KaTo, Tov GOV Xoyov , i^eXey^aL, 
fiTjbevos iftevSofievov ; Ovk eamv, €<f)Y) 6 Eu^uSry/xo?. 
OuS' dpa cKeXevev, e^rjv eyu), vvv Srj ALOvvaoScupos 
i^eXiy^ai; To yap firj ov ttcos dv tis /ceAeucrai; ai) 
8e KeXeveis; "On, riv 8' iyo), c5 lEivdvSrjue, ret 
ao(f)d Tavra Kal to. ev exovTa ov irdvv ti [xavddvco, 
dXXd TTa')(io)s TTws ivvocb. tacos p.€V ovv (fyopTi- 
KcoTcpov Ti ip-qaofiai. aAAa avyyiyvcocrKe, Spa 
287 Se* ei yap jxt^Te i/jevSeaOat eoTi p^rfTe i//€vSrj So^d- 
^tiv /jb-qTC dfiaOrj elvai, aAAo tl oj)8' i^afiapTdvetv 
eoTiv, oTav tls ti TTpdTTT); TrpaTTOvra yap ovk 
eoTiv d/xapraveiv tovtov o TrpaTTei' ov^ ovtco 
XiyeTe; Wdvv y , e^rj. Touto iaTtv r]8r], rjv 8 
eyoi, TO (f)opTLK6v ipcoTTjiJia. el yap p,7j apiapTavofMev 
fiT^Te TTpdTTOvTes p^r^Te XeyovTeg p^rfTe Siavoov- 
p.€VOL, vfxeXs, c5 TTpos Alos, el TavTa ovtcos ex^'» 
TtVotf StSacTKaAoi rJKeTe; ■^ ovk dpTi e^aTe dpeTrjv 

B KaXXtoT^ dv irapahovvai dvdpcoucov Tip edeXovTi 
p,avddveLV ; 

Etr', e<^i7, cS HcoKpaTeg, 6 AiovvaoBcupos imo- 


But there is no such thing as this, I said. 

No, he said. 

Is it merely to save your statement, Dionysodorus, 
that you state it so — just to say something startling — 
or is it really and truly your view that there is no 
such thing as an ignorant man ? 

But you, he replied, are to refute me. 

Well, does your argument allow of such a thing 
as refutation, if there is nobody to speak false ? 

There is no such thing, said Euthydemus. 

So neither did Dionysodorus just now bid me 
refute him ? I asked. 

No, for how can one bid something that is not ? 
Do you bid such a thing ? 

Well, Euthydemus, I said, it is because I do not 
at all understand these clever devices and palpable 
hits : I am only a dull sort of thinker. And so I 
may perhaps be going to say something rather 
clownish ; but you must forgive me. Here it is : if 
there is no such thing as speaking false or think- 
ing false or being stupid, surely there can be no 
making a mistake either, when one does some- 
thing. For in doing it there is no mistaking the 
thing that is done. You will state it so, will you 
not ? 

Certainly, he said. 

My clownish question, I went on, is now already 
before you. If we make no mistake either in doing 
or saying or intending, I ask you what in Heaven's 
name, on that assumption, is the subject you two set 
up to teach. Or did you not say just now that your 
speciality was to put any man who wished in the 
way of learning virtue ? 

Now really, Socrates, interposed Dionysodorus, 



AajSwp', ovTcog et Kpovos, ware d to TrpcoTOV 
etTTo/xev vvv avafxifxvT^aKei, Kal ei,' rt TrepvGLV elrrov, 
vvv dvafivrjad-qaei., tols S' iv ru) Trapovn Aeyo/xeVot? 
ovx ^$€is o TL xpfl> ^oX yap, e<j>riv lyoi, xaXi.Tvol 
eiat TTavv, eiKOTCos' Trapa ao<f)a)V yap Xeyovrai' 
evret Kal rovrcp to) reXevraicp TrayxaXeTTov XP^^^~ 
aOai ear IV, co Xeyets. to yap ovk e^o) o ri 
Xpcofiai ri TTore XeyeLs, <L ALOvvaoScope ; t) Sr]Xov 

C on CO? OVK ex^i i^eXey^ai avrov; inel etTre, ri 
aoL aXXo voel rovro to prj/xa, to ovk e;^aj o ti 
XP'>]aa)fiai rots Xoyois; 'AAA' o av Xeyeis, €(f)r], 
rovrcp y^ov ^ Trdvv xaXenov xpT](^0aL- errel aTTOKpivai,. 
Ylplv ae oiTTOKpivaaOai, rjv 8' eyd), cS Aiovvaohojpe ; 
Ovk oLTTOKpivci; ^<f>'f)- *H /cat SiKacov; At- 
Kaiov fjLevrot,, €(f)r]. Kara rlva Xoyov; "qv 8' 
iyo)' rj SrjXov on Kara, rovSe, on ai) vvv 7Tdvao<f>6s 
ns "qfilv d(f)i^ai Trepl Xoyovs, Kal olad* ore Set 
d-noKpivaadai Kal ore firj; Kal vvv ovS^ av onovv 

D dTTOKpivei, are yiyvwaKcov otl ov Set; AaAet?, 
€(f)r], dpceXt^aas drroKpivaaOaL- dAA', w ^yadi, 
TTeidov Kal dTTOKpivov, eTreiS-^ Kal ofioXoyels pie 
ao<j)6v etvai. Heiareov roivvv, "^v 8' eyco, Kal 
dvdyKT], (Ls eoLKe- av yap dpxeis' dXX' epcora. 

Ilorepov ovv ^vx^v exovra voel rd voovvra, 
rj Kal rd dipvxa; Ta ^vx^jv exovra. Otada ovv 

1 y' oil Badharn : t(^ mss, 

* i.e. voe7, " intend." 


are you such an old dotard as to recollect now what we 
said at first, and will you now recollect what I may 
have said last year, and yet be at a loss how to deal 
with the arguments urged at the moment ? 

Well, you see, I replied, they are so very hard, 
and naturally so ; for they fall from the lips of wise 
men ; and this is further shown by the extreme 
difficulty of dealing with this last one you put forward. 
For what on earth do you mean, Dionysodorus, by 
saying I am at a loss how to deal with it ? Or is it 
clear that you mean I am at a loss how to refute it ? 
You must tell me what else your phrase can intend, 
" at a loss how to deal with the arguments." 

But it is not so very hard to deal with that phrase ^ 
of yours, he said. Just answer me. 

Before you answer me, Dionysodorus? I protested. 

You refuse to answer ? he said. 

Is it fair ? 

Oh yes, it is fair enough, he replied. 

On what principle ? I asked : or is it plainly on 
this one — that you present yourself to us at this 
moment as universally skilled in discussion, and thus 
can tell when an answer is to be given, and when 
not ? So now you wll not answer a word, because 
you discern that you ought not to 

What nonsense you talk, he said, instead of 
answering as you should. Come, good sir, do as I 
bid you and answer, since you confess to my wisdom. 

Well then, I must obey, I said, and of necessity, 
it seems ; for you are the master here. Now for 
your question. 

Then tell me, do things that " intend " have hfe 
when they intend, or do hfeless things do it too ? 

Only those that have life. 



Ti, €<f>r], prjfjLa fpvx^v exov; Ma At" ovk eyojye. 

E Tt ovv apri Tjpov, 6 ri jxoi vooZ to prjfxa; Ti ctAAo 
ye, rjv 8 eyto, •^ e^7]p,apTov Sto, rrjv ^XaKeiav; iq 
OVK €^iqp,apTov, dAAa /cat tovto opdoJs cIttov, 
elnoiv OTt voet ra puj/jiaTa; Trorepa (f>fjs e^ap,ap- 
rdveiv pie t] ov; el yap pirj i^rjpbaprov , ouSe cru 
f'^eAey^et?, KaiTrep ao<f)6g wv, oi38' €;^;ets o ti 
}-pfj to) Adyo)* et S' e^-qpLapTOV, ouS' ovtcos opOcos 
288 Aeyet?, <f)daKO)v ovk elvai €^ap,apTdv€t,v Kai 
TavTa ov TTpos a Trepvaiv eXeyes Aeyo). aAAd 
€otK€v, €(f)r)v eyo), a> AiovvaoScope re /cat Eu^i;8T7/Me, 
OUTO? /xep* d Adyo? ev rauTo) fieveLV, Kal eTL coaTrep 
TO TTaXaiov KaTa^aXwv 7TL7TT€lv, Kal (LaTe tovto 
fjir) 7Tdax€iv, oi'S' vtto ttjs u/ttrepas' ttco Texvr]? 
e^evprjadai, Kal Tavra ovtojoI davpLaoT-qs ovar]s 
els aKpi^eiav Xoyiav. 

Kat d YiTrjaiTTTTOs , Savpudaid ye Aeyer', €(f)r], 

B u) dvSpes QovpioL eire Xtot eW^ orroOev Kal ottt) 
XaipeTov ovopia^opLevoi' d)s ovSev vpXv /xeAet tov 

Kat eyo) (f)o^rj9eLS, pLrj XoiSopCa yevrjTat, TrdXtv 
KaTeirpdiivov tov l^TiqannTOV Kal eiTTOV Q. Ktt^ct- 
177776, Kal vvv Stj d 77pd? KAetvtav eXeyov, Kal 
TTpos ore TavTO. raura Xeyco, oti ov yiyvoiOKeis 
Tcbv ^evoiv TTjV ao<j)iav, oti davp.aaia ecrrtV* dAA' 
ovk edeXeTOV rjplu eTTihei^aadai OTTOvSd^ovTe , 
dXXd TOV YlpojTea pLipLeladov tov AlyvTTTLOv ao<j)i- 

1 Cf. above, 271 c. 

* Cf. Homer, Od. iv. 385 foil. Proteus was an ancient 
seer of the sea who, if one could catch him as he slept on 
the shore and hold him fast while he transformed himself 
into a variety of creatures, would tell one the intentions of 
the gods, the fate of absent friends, etc. 



Now do you know any phrase that has hfe ? 

Upon my soul, I do not. 

Why then did you ask just now what my phrase 
intended ? 

Of course I made a great mistake, I said ; I am 
such a dullard. Or perhaps it was not a mistake, 
and I was right in saying what I did, that phrases 
intend. Do you say I was mistaken or not ? If I 
was not, then you will not refute me, with all your 
skill, and you are at a loss how to deal with the argu- 
ment ; while if I was mistaken, you are in the wrong 
there, too, for you assert that there is no such thing 
as making a mistake ; and what I say is not aimed 
at what you said last year. But it seems, I went on, 
Dionysodorus and Euthydemus, that our argument 
remains just where it was, and still suffers from the 
old trouble of knocking others down and then falling 
itself, and even your art has not yet discovered a 
way of avoiding this failure — in spite, too, of the 
wonderful show it makes of accurate reasoning. 

Here Ctesippus exclaimed : Yes, your way of 
discussion is marvellous, you men of Thurii or Chios ^ 
or wherever or however it is you are pleased to get 
your names ; for you have no scruple about babbling 
like fools. 9 

At this I was afraid we might hear some abuse, 
so I soothed Ctesippus down once more, saying : 
Ctesippus, I repeat to you what I said to Cleinias 
just now, that you do not perceive the wonderful 
nature of our visitors' skill. Only they are unwilling 
to give us a display of it in real earnest, but treat 
us to jugglers' tricks in the style of Proteus ^ the 

VOL. IV p 2 437 


C arr^v yorjTevom'e i^/xa?. rjfjielg ovv rov MeveXaov 
fjLLfxcLfxeda, Kal fir) a^ito^e^a rolv dvBpolv, ecu? 
civ r]fxtv €K(f)avrJTov, i(f>' w avrco aTTOvSa^eTov 
olfiai yap ri avrolv TrdyKoXov <f)av€ladai, enei^dv 
dp^wvrai oTTovSal^eiv dXXd hecLfx^da Kal irapa- 
Hvdcofxeda Kal TrpoCTeup^co/xe^a avrolv €K(f>avrjvaL. 
lyu) ovv pLoi 8oK(o Kal avros TraAti' v^rjyrjcraadai., 
oloi TTpoaevxofiai avrd) <f)av7Jvai, ixoi- odev yap 

D TO TTporepov dTreXiiTOV, to e^^? rovroi? TTeipdao/jiai, 
oTTios dv Svvco/jiai, SieXdelv, idv ttcos cKKaXe- 
aojfMai Kal iXeijcravTe /Lie /cat olKTeipavre avv- 
reraixivov Kal aTTOvSd^ovra Kal avrd) aTTov8dar)Tov . 
Hv 8e, CO KAeti'ta, ecfyrjv, dvafivqaov /x,6, nodev 
ror (ZTTeAtTro/xev. c5? /xev ovv iyw/xai, evdivhe 
TTodev. (f)LXocrocl)TjT€OV cofioXoy-qaafiev reXevToJVTes' 
■q ydp; Nat, rj h og. 'H 8e ye <f)iXoao<f>ia KTrjaig 
iTTLaTijfxrjS' ovx ovtojs; €(f)r]v. Nat, ecf>r]. TiVa 
ttot' ovv dv KTrjodfievoi iTnaTT^firjv 6pda>s ktt)- 

E valfxeda; dp^ ov rovro [xev aTrXovv, tJtls rj/xag 
ov-qaec; Hdvv y*, €(f)rj. ^Ap* ovv dv tl -qp-ds 
ovrjoeiev, el iTnaraip^eda yiyvcoaKeiv vepiLovreg, 
OTTOV TTJs yrjg p^pyCTtov TrXeloTov KaropcopvKTai; 
"laojs, ^cl)'rj. 'AAAd to rrpoTepov, i^v S iycj 
rovTo ye i^7]Xey^afxev, otl ovSev ttXcov, ouS' et 
dvev irpaypLdraJv Kal tov dpvTTeiv ttjv yrjv to 
TTOv -qpuv ;)(puaiov yevoiTO' tooTe oj58' el ra? 
2S9 TTeTpas p^puaa? eTriorai/xe^a TTOtelv, ovSevos dv 

» Cf. Horn. Od. iv. 456. * Of. 282 d. 



Egyptian adept. So let us take our cue from 
Menelaus,^ and not leave hold of these gentlemen 
till they give us a sight of their own serious business. 
I believe something very fine will be found in them 
as soon as they begin to be serious. Come, let us 
beg and exhort and beseech them to let their light 
shine. For my part, then, I am minded to take the 
lead once more in showing what sort of persons I 
pray may be revealed in them : starting from where 
I left off before, I shall try, as best I can, to describe 
what follows on from that, to see if I can rouse them 
to action and make them, in merciful commiseration 
of my earnest endeavour, be earnest themselves. 

Will you, Cleinias. I asked, please remind me of the 
point at which we left off ? Now, as far as I can tell, 
it was something like this : we ended by agreeing 
that one ought to pursue wisdom, did we not ? ^ 

Yes, he said. 

And this pursuit — called philosophy — is an acquir- 
ing of knowledge. Is it not so ? I asked. 

Yes, he said. 

Then what knowledge should we acquire if we 
acquired it rightly ? Is it not absolutely clear that 
it must be that knowledge which will profit us ? 

Certainly, he said. 

Now will it profit us at all, if we know how to tell, 
as we go about, where the earth has most gold buried 
in it ? 

Perhaps, he said. 

But yet, I went on, we refuted that former pro- 
position, agreeing that even if without any trouble 
or digging the earth we got all the gold in the world, 
we should gain nothing, so that not if we knew how 
to turn the rocks into gold would our knowledge 



a^i'a rj eTnarrijxrj etr]' el yap fxr) Kal j^p'^cr^at 
€7TLaTr]a6[xeda tco ;^/?UCTta>, ovhev 6(f)eXos avTO 
€<f>dvr) 6v "q ov fiefivr^aaL ; ecfj-qv iyco, Flai-'U y , 
e(f>rj, fjL€fj,V7]fxaL. OuSe ye, a»? eoi/ce, rrjg dXXrjs 
eTTLarri^r^S ockeXog y iyver ai ovhev, ovre ;^/3r^/xa- 
TtaTLKrjg ovre larpLKrjg ovre dXXr]s ouSe/xia?, 
17x19 TTOieZv Tt eTTLaraTai, ;^/3^cr0ai 8e fxrj co av 
TTOi-qar)' ovx ovrcog ; Tivve(f)r]. OvSe ye el ris 

B eanv eTTiarrnxT], cuore ddavaTOV? TTOielv, dvev 
rov eTriaraadai tj] ddavaaia ■)(pr\adaL, oii^e ravrrjs 
eoLKev oSeXos ovSev elvai, el rotg rrpoadev (h/xoXo- 
yqixevois reKpLaipeadai Set. Sut-eSo/cet -qixlv 
TTovra ravra. Toiavrrjs rivog dpa rj/juu evi- 
aT7]fir)s Set, c5 KaXe TraZ, tjv S' eyu), ev fj avpLiri- 
TTTCOKev dp.a to re Trotett' kol to eTriaraaOai XP'^^^'^'- 
TOVTO), o dv TTOLjj. OatVcTat, €(f>rj. IloXXou 
dpa Set, a»s" eoiKev, rjfxds XvpoTToiovs Selv eii^at 

C Kal TOLavrrjg rtvos eTnaTrjjxrjs eTT-q^oXovg. ev- 
ravda yap 8rj x^P'-^ h^^ V "noLOvaa Texvrj, x^P'-^ 
Se 7] XP^H-^^V* Str^pTyrai 8e rov avrov irepf rj 
yap XvpoTTOUKT) /cat rj KidapLaTLKrj ttoXv Sta- 
(f)epeTOV dXXijXoLV' ovx ovrcos; Yivvet^rj. OuSe 
^rjv avXoTTOUKTJs ye SijXop ort he6p,e9a' /cat yap 
avTTj erepa TOLavrrj. TiVveBoKCi. 'AAAd Trpos 
dean', e<f>r]v eyoi, el ttjv XoyoirouKrjv Texvqv fiddoi/xey, 


be of any worth. For unless we know how to use the 
gold, we found no advantage in it. Do you not 
remember ? I asked. 

Certainly I do, he said. 

Nor, it seems, do we get any advantage from all 
other knowledge, whether of money-making or 
medicine or any other that knows how to make things, 
without knowing how to use the thing made. Is 
it not so ? 

He agreed. 

Nor again, if there is a knowledge enabling one 
to make men immortal, does this, if we lack the 
knowledge how to use immortality, seem to bring 
any advantage either, if we are to infer anything 
from our previous admissions. 

On all these points we agreed. 

Then the sort of knowledge we require, fair 
youth, I said, is that in which there happens to be a 
union of making and knowing how to use the thing 

Apparently, he said. 

So we ought, it seems, to aim at something far 
other than being lyre-makers or possessing that 
kind of knowledge. For in this case the art that 
makes and the art that uses are quite distinct, 
deahng in separation with the same thing ; since 
there is a wide difference between the art of 
making lyres and that of harp - playing. Is it 
not so ? 

He agreed. 

Nor again, obviously, do we require an art of flute- 
making ; for this is another of the same kind. 

He assented. 

Now in good earnest, I asked, if we were to learn 



apd iariv avrr}, fjv eSet K€KT7)ij,€vov9 rjfids evSai- 
/jLOvag eivai; Ovk oljxai, e(j)r], lyoi, 6 KAeivta? 
D VTToXafiwv. TivL T€Kixrjpii^, rjv 8' eyiv, XPf)'> 

*Opco, e(f)rj, Tim? XoyoTTOiovs, ot Tot? tStot? 
Xoyoig, 019 avTol ttolovglv, ovk eTnaravrai )(pr]adaL, 
woTTep ol XvpoTTOLol Tttt? Xvpais, aAAd Kal ivravda 
dXXoi Svvarol xprjodai ols €K€lvol elpydcravTo, ol 
XoyoTToielv avrol aSwaroi* hr]Xov ovv on kol 
776/31 Xoyovs X^P'S" y] rod noielv ri'xyri koL -q rov 

'iKavov fjioi 8oK€LS, ecfyrjv iy(6, TeKjxrjpiov XeyeLV, 
on ovx CLvrr) eanv rj tcDv' XoyoTTOiaiv re-xyq, rfv dv 
KTrjad/xevo? ng evSaijXOJV eir). fcatrot eyco w/x-qv 
iuTavdd 7TOV (l>avrja€adaL rrjv e7naTiqiJ.r]v, -qv 8rj 
E TTttAai ^rjTovncv. Kal ydp /xoi ot re duSpcs dvrol 
ol XoyoTTOioi, orav avyy€VO)p,aL avrols, vTr€pao(f)oi, 
io KA€t^'ta, SoKovoLV elvai, Kal avrr] tj rexvq avrcbv 
deaneala n? Kal vifs-qXn]. Kal fxivroi ovhkv 
davfxaarov eon ydp rfjs rdjv eircoBdju rexyqs 
290 P'Opiov ap-iKpo) re eKelvrjs viroSeearepa. rj p.ev 
ydp rdJv e7Ta)SdJi> exechv re Kal cfyaXayyiajv Kal 
aKOpTTLOJV Kal rd>v dXXcov diqpioiv re Kal voacov 
KrjX-qais eanv, rj 8e SLKaardJv re /cat eKKXrjaiaarihv 
Kal rdJv dXXcov 6xXa>v KtjXrjaLS re Kal TTapap.vdia 
rvyxdvei ovaa' rj aoi, e(f)rjv eyd), dXXcog ttco? SoKel; 
Ovk, dAA' ovro) /xot (f)aiverai, e(f>rj, cos crv Xeyetg. 
Hot ovv, e(f>'qv eyoi, rpaTTOLp.ed dv en; em iroiav 
rexvrjv; 'Eytu fiev ovk eimopd), €(f)r]. 'AAA', 
■qv 8' eyd), ep,e olfxat, evprjKevai. TtVa; e(f)rj o 


the art of speech-making, can that be the art we 
should acquire if we would be happy ? 

I for one think not, said Cleinias, interposing. 

On what proof do you rely ? I asked. 

I see, he said, certain speech-^\Titers who do not 
know how to use the special arguments composed 
by themselves, just as lyre-makers in regard to their 
lyres : in the former case also there are other persons 
able to use what the makers produced, while being 
themselves unable to make the written speech. 
Hence it is clear that in speech likewise there are two 
distinct arts, one of making and one of using. 

I think you give sufficient proof, I said, that this 
art of the speech-writers cannot be that whose acqui- 
sition would make one happy. And yet I fancied 
that somewhere about this point would appear 
the knowledge which we have been seeking all 
this while. For not only do these speech-writers 
themselves, when I am in their company, impress 
me as prodigiously clever, Cleinias, but their art 
itself seems so exalted as to be almost inspired. 
However, this is not surprising ; for it is a part of 
the sorcerer's art, and only slightly inferior to that. 
The sorcerer's art is the charming of snakes and 
tarantulas and scorpions and otlier beasts and 
diseases, while the other is just the charming and 
soothing of juries, assemblies, crowds, and so forth 
Or does it strike you differently ? I asked. 

No, it appears to me, he replied, to be as you sav. 

Which way then, said I, shall we turn now ? 
What kind of art shall we trj- ? 

For my part, he said, I have no suggestion. 

Why, I think I have found it myself, I said. 

What is it ? said Cleinias. 



B KAetwa?. *H aTpaT7)yLKT] fioi. SoKet, ecftrjv ky<ji 
ri'yvT] TxavTos [laXKov elvat, 7]^ av Tt? KTr]adfJL€VOS 
cvSaifjLOJV etrj. Ovk e/MOtye SoKel. Hcos; '^v 
S' iyo). QrjpevTiKTi ris i^Se yi iari T^xyi] dvOpco- 
vcov. Tt 8rj ovv; ecf)r]u iyo). Ov8ep.i,a, €(f)r], 

TTJS 6r]p€VTlKT]S aVTTJS €7tI TtXeOV €<JtIv Tf OOOV 

drjpevGai /cat ;^€tpa)craCT0ai* eVeiSav 8e x^'-P^' 
ocovrai rovro, o dv drjpevojvrat,, ov hvvavrai 
TOVTCp xprjodai, aAA' ot /xev KvvrjyeTai, Kal ol 
dXiCLS roLS oijjOTTOiOLS 7Tapa8L86aatv, ol S' av 
yewfierpaL Kal ol darpovofioi Kal ol XoyiarLKoi — 

C OrjpevTiKol ydp elai Kal ovTOf ov yap Tioiovai 
TO SiaypdfMixara iKaaroL rovrtov, dXXd rd ovra 
dvevpioKovatv — are ovv xpi^adaj. avTols ovk eVt- 
arajxevoL, dXXd drjpevaai fxovov, 7Tapa8i86aai Stjttov 
Toi? SiaXeKTiKOLS KaTaxp-fjadai avTcbv toIs (vp-q- 
jxaaiv, oaoi ye avTd)V fxr) TravrdTraaiv dvorjroi elaiv. 
tev, rjv o eyoj, w KaAAiaTe Kai ao<pajTare 
KAetvia* TovTO ovrco^ ^X^*' 

Hdvv fj,€v ovv Kal OL ye arpaTrjyol, ^(f>'Q, ovtoj 
Tov avrdv Tpoirov, eTreiSdv ^ noXiv riva drjpevauiv- 

D Ttti ■^ arparoTTehov, TrapahihoaoL tols ttoXltlkols 
dvhpdaiv avTol ydp ovk eTriaravTai XP"^^^^^ 
rovTOis, a edripevaav oiOTxep, oi/xat, ot oprvyo- 
drjpai TOLS dprvyorpo^ots TTapaSiSoaaiv. el ovv, 
"^ S' OS, Seofjieda €K€lvt]s rrjs Texvrjs, rjns <S dv 
KTT]<T7]Tai •^ TTOt-qaaaa t] dr]pevaap.€V7] avrr) Kai 
eTTLcrriqaeTaL ;(/37^CT^at, /cat 17 Toiavrrj -noi-qaei 
rjfjid? fiaKapiovs, dXXrjV S'q riva, €(f>r), ^T^rrjreov 
dvrl rrjs GTpar-qyiKrjs . 

^ i.e. geometers etc. are not to be regarded as mere 
makers of diagrams, these being only the necessary and 


Generalship, I replied, strikes me as the art whose 
acquisition above all others would make one happy. 
I do not think so. 
Why not ? I asked. 

In a sense, this is an art of hunting men. 
What then ? I said. 
• No part of actual hunting, he replied, covers more 
than the province of chasing and overcoming ; and 
when they have overcome the creature they are 
chasing, they are unable to use it : the huntsmen or 
the fishermen hand it over to the caterers, and so it 
is too A^ith the geometers, astronomers, and cal- 
culators — for these also are hunters in their way, 
since they are not in each case diagram-makers, but 
discover the realities of things ^ — and so, not knowing 
how to use their prey, but only how to hunt, I take 
it they hand over their discoveries to the dialecticians 
to use properly, those of them, at least, who are not 
utter blockheads. 

Very good, I said, most handsome and ingenious 
Cleinias ; and is this really so ? 

To be sure it is ; and so, in the same way, with the 
generals. When they have hunted either a city or 
an army, they hand it over to the politicians — since 
they themselves do not know how to use what they 
have hunted — ^just as quail-hunters, I suppose, hand 
over their birds to the quail-keepers. If, therefore, 
he went on, we are looking for that art which itself 
shall know how to use what it has acquired either in 
making or chasing, and if this is the sort that will 
make us blest, we must reject generalship, he said, 
and seek out some other. 

common machinery for their real business, the discovery of 
mathematical and other abstract truths. 



E KPI. Ti Aeyei? av, w Hcok pares , CKelvo to 
fietpoLKiov TOiaur' €<f>diy^aTo; 

2n. OvK o'Ui, o) Kptrcov; 

KPI. Ma A" ov fxevTOi. otfiai yap avrov 
cyo), el ravr* elrrev, ovr* YtvBvhr^pLov ovre aXKov 
ovhevos er' dvdpcoTTOV heladai els TratSet'ai'. 

2n, AAA' dpa, J} TTpos Aios, p-r] 6 Kr-qaiTTTTos 
•^v 6 ravr' elrrcov, eycb 8e ov p,ep,vrjp,aL; 
291 KPI. IloLos KrT^aiTTTTOS ; 

2n. 'AAAa p,7]v TO ye eS ol8a, on ovre Eivdv- 
Sry/xo? ovre AtovvaoSojpos ■?jv 6 elnojv ravTa- aAA , 
c5 ^aLp,6vie KpiTCDV, p,-q ris twp Kpetrroviov Trapojv 
avrd e^dey^aro ; on yap rJKOvad ye ravra, ev 

KPI. Nat p,d /S.ia, c5 Sto/cpare?* rcov KpeiTrovuyv 
fievTOL ris ep.OL hoKel, koI ttoXv ye. dXXd p^era 
rovTO en rivd et^rirriaare rexvy]v ; Kal rjvpere 
eKeivrjv ■^ ovx rjvpere, rjs evcKa etprjTelre; 
B 2n. Ylodev, c5 piaKapie, evpop,ev ; oAA r^piev 
TTovv yeAotoi, oiairep rd TraiSta rd rovs KopvSovs 
htajKOvra' del coop^eda eKdarrjv tojv eVcoTT^/xajv 
avTLKa XrjtjjeaOaL, at S' del V7Te^e(j)vyov . rd p,ev 
ovv TToXXd ri dv aoi Xeyoip,i ; IttI he 8r) rrjv ^aai- 
Xlktjv eXdovres rexvrjv Kal hiaaKOTTOvp,evoL avrrjv, 
el avTT] etr) rj rrjV evhaipoviav iTapexpvaa re 
Kal d7T€pya^op,evT] , evravda axnrep els Xa^vpivdov 
ipuTTeaovres, ol6p,evoi rjSr] em reXei etP'at, Trept- 
C Kdpipavres ttoAlv woTrep ev dpxfj rrjs Crjr-qaeios av- 
e(f)dvr)p,ev ovres Kal rod taov SeopevoL, ocrovnep 
ore TO vpcoTov e^r)rovp.ev. 

KPI. IldJs 817 rovro vplv avve^rj, a> HwKparesi 



CRi. What is this, Socrates ? Such a pronounce- 
ment from that striphng ! 

see. You do not believe it is his, Crito ? 

CRI. I should rather think not. For I am sure, 
if he spoke thus, he has no need of education from 
Euthydemus or anyone else. 

soc. But then. Heaven help me ! I wonder if it 
was Ctesippus who said it, and my memory fails 

CRI. Very like Ctesippus I 

soc. Well, of this at any rate I am certain, that 
it was neither Euthydemus nor Dionysodorus who 
said it. Tell me, mysterious Crito, was it some 
superior power that was there to speak it ? For that 
speech I heard, I am sure. 

CRI. Yes, I promise you, Socrates : I fancy it was 
indeed some superior power — very much so. But 
after that, did you go on looking for a suitable art ? 
Did you find the one which you had as the object 
of your search, or not ? 

soc. Find it, my good fellow ! No, we were in 
a most ridiculous state ; hke children who run after 
crested larks, we kept on beheving each moment we 
were just going to catch this or that one of the 
knowledges, while they as often shpped from our 
grasp. What need to tell you the story at length ? 
When we reached the kingly art, and were examining 
it to see if we had here what proxides and produces 
happiness, at this point we were involved in a 
lab}Tinth : when we supposed we had arrived at the 
end, we twisted about again and found ourselves 
practically at the beginning of our search, and just 
as sorely in want as when we first started on it. 

CRI. How did this happen to you, Socrates ? 



2n. Eyco ^pdaco. eSo^e yap Brj rijxZv -q ttoAi- 
TLKT] Koi 7] ^acnXiK-^ T€xvf] I? cLVTrj etvai. 

KPi. Tt ovv S-q; 

5fl. TavTT] r-fj re^vr) rj re aTparrjyiKrj /cat at 
aAAat TTapabiSovaL apxeiv TCt)V epycov, (Lv avral 
hrjjxiovpyoi elaiv, ws p-ovr) iTTiaTafxevrj y^priadaL. 
aa<l>ws ovv eSo/cet rjiiZv avrrj elvai, rjv i^rjrovfxev, 
D /cat rj airta rov opdibs TTpdrreiv ev rfj vroAet, /cat 
drexvoJS Kara to AlaxvXov lafji^elov p,6uT] iv 
Tjj TTpvjJivrj KadrjadaL ttjs ttoXccos, TTavra KV^ep- 
vcbaa /cat TrdvTiov dp^ovaa TrdvTa ;^/37jo't/xa 770tetv. 

KPI. OvKovv KaXws vfxlv eSo/cet, c5 HcLt/c/jarej; 

2n. 2u Kptvels, c5 K/atTo;!', eav ^ovAj] aKoveiv 
/cat TO, /x€Ta ravra aujx^dvra rjixtv. avdis ydp 
8r) -ndXiv iaKOTTOVfiev coSe ttojs' ^e'/ae, irduroiv 
dpxovaa rj ^acnXiKT] Texvrj rl tj/jlIv aTrepyd^eraL 
E epyov, T] ovhev ; Xldvrw? St^ttov, rjfiels €(f)afX€V 
rrpos oXXtjXovs. Ov /cat ctu av ravra (f)aLrjs, cS 


KPI. "Eiycoye. 

2n. Tt ow av ^airjs avrrjs epyov etvai; Oiaircp 
et ak iyd) epcorcLrjv, TrdvTOjv dpxovoa rj larpiKifj, cov 
dpx€i, rl epyov Trapex^rai ; ov rrjv vyUiav ^airjs; 

KPI. "Eyojye. 

2n. Tt hi; rj vfjierepa rexvrj rj yecopyta, Trdvrcov 
292 dpxovaa, wv apx^i, ri epyov anepyd^eraL ; ov 
rr)v rpocfyrjv dv (fjacrjg rrjv e/c rrjs yfjs napexeiv 

KPI. "Eycuye. 

^ Cf. Aesch. Septem, 2 " Whoso at helm of the state 
keeps watch upon affairs, guiding the tiller without resting 
his eyelids in sleep." 



soc. I will tell you. We took the view that the 
statesman's and the monarch's arts were one and the' 

CRi. Well, what then ? 

soc. To this art, we thought, generalship and the 
other arts handed over the management of the 
productions of their own trades, as this one alone 
knew how to use them. So it seemed clear to us 
that this was the one we were seeking, and was the 
cause of right conduct in the state, and precisely 
as Aeschylus' line ^ expresses it, is seated alone at 
the helm of the city, steering the whole, command- 
ing the whole, and making the whole useful. 

CRI. And surely your notion was a good one, 
Socrates ? 

soc. You shall judge of that, Crito, if you care 
to hear what befell us thereafter. For later 
on we reconsidered it somewhat in this manner : 
Look now, does the monarch's art, that rules over 
all, produce any effect or not ? Certainly it does, 
of course, we said to one another. Would you not 
say so too, Crito ? 

CRI. I would. 

soc. Then what would you say is its effect ? 
For instance, if I were to ask you whether medicine, 
in ruling over all that comes under its rule, has 
any effect to show ; would you not say : Yes, 
health ? 

CRI. I would. 

soc. And what about yoiu* art of agriculture ? 
In ruUng over all that comes under its rule, what 
effect does it produce ? Would you not say that it 
supplies us with food from the earth ? 

CRI. I would. 



sn. Ti Se; -q ^aaiXiKr^ Trdvrmv apxovaa, tSi^ 
^PX^'-' "^^ OLTrepyd^eraL; laojs ov Trdvv y evrropels. 
KPI. Ma Tov Ata, CO Scu/cpare?. 

2n. OvBe yap rjfMels, c5 Kplrcov dXXd roaovSe 
yi olada, on eLvep icrrlv avrrj r]v rjfiels ^r]TOvp.€v, 
(l}(f>eXLixov avTTjv Set elvai. 

KPi. Udvv ye. 

2n. OvKovv dyadov ye Ti. Set • avrrjv 
rrapaSiSovai ; 

KPI. ^AvdyKT], <L HicoKpares. 
B 2n. Ayadov Se ye ttov (L/jLoXoyqaa/jiev dXXqXoig 
eyoj T€ KttL KXeLvlas ouSev' etvai oAAo ■^ eTTLaT-qiJLrjv 

KPI. Nat, ovTcus eXeyes. 

2X1. OvKovv TO, fjLev dXXa epya, d ^airj dv rt? 
TToXiTiKrjs elvat — rroAAa Se ttov rayr' dv etrj, olov 
TrXovaiovg rovs TToXtras Trapexeiv /cat eXevdepovs 
/cat aaraatdcrTovg — navra ravra ovre /ca/ca ovre 
ayadd i(f)dvrj, eSet Se ao(f)Ovs TTOieZv /cat eTnGT-q/xrjg 
/xeraSiSdi'at, etTrep efxeXXev avrrj elvai 7] d}(f>eXovad 
C Te /cat evSaifjiovas iroiovaa. 

KPI. EcTTi ravra' rore yovv ovrcos VjxZv <hiio 
XoyT]drj, cos ai) rovs Xoyovs diT'qyyeLXas. 

5n. 'Ap ovv rj ^aaiXiKT] Gocf)ovs TTOiel rovs 
avdpcoTTovs /cat dyaOovs; 

KPI. Tt yap KcoXvei, c3 HcoKpares ; 

2n. AAA' dpa irdvras /cat ndvra dyadovs; /cat 
■ndaav eTnar-q/j.rjv, aKvrorofxiKqv re /cat reKro- 
vLKTjv Kai ras dXXas dirdaas, avrrj rj TrapaSiSovad 

KPI. OvK oi/xai eycoye, c5 HcoKpares. 
D' 2n. 'AAAa TiVa Brj errKTrrjjxrjv ; fj ri xP'rjcrdjieOa , 


soc. And what of the monarch's art ? In ruling 
over all that comes under its rule, what does it 
produce ? Perhaps you are not quite ready ydih. 
the answer. 

CRi. I am not indeed, Socrates. 

soc. Nor were we, Crito ; yet so much you know, 
that if this is really the one we are seeking, it must 
be beneficial. 

CRI. Certainly. 

soc. Then surely it must purvey something good ? 

CRI. Necessarily, Socrates. 

soc. And you know we agreed with each other, 
Cleinias and I, that nothing can be good but some 
sort of knowledge. 

CRI. Yes, so you told me. 

soc. And it was found that all effects in general 
that you may ascribe to statesmanship — and a great 
many of them there must be, presumably, if the 
citizens are to be made wealthy and free and immune 
from faction — all these things were neither bad nor 
good, while this art must make us wise and impart 
knowledge, if it really was to be the one which 
benefited us and made us happy. 

CRI. True : so at all events you agreed then, by 
your account of the discussion. 

soc. Then do you think that kingship makes men 
wise and good ? 

CRI. Why not, Socrates ? 

soc. But does it make all men good, and in all 
things ? And is this the art that confers every sort 
of knowledge — shoe-making and carpentry and so 

CRI. No, I think not, Socrates. 

soc. Well, what knowledge does it give ? What 



rcjv jjiev yap epycov ovSevos Set avrrjv SrjfiLOvpyov 
etvai Tcov fi-qre KaKCJV p,T]Te ayadcov, eTnarr'qiJ.rjv 
he TTapahiSovai [xr]8ep,Lav dXXrjv ^ avrrjv iavrrjv. 
Xeycofiev 8r) ovv, tls ttotc ecrriv avrrj, fj ri p^pTjcro- 
fxeda ; ^ovXet (^cD/xer, c5 Kpi'rcDi', t^ dXXovs dyadovs 


' KPi. W.dvv ye. 

Sn. Ot Tt eaovTai rjfuv ayadol Kai tL ■)(prjaip.o(, ; 
■^ en Xeycofiev, on dXXovg TTOt-qaovcrLV, ol Se aAAoi 
€K€LVOi dXXovs; 6 n 8e ttotc dyadoi elaiv, ovSa/xov 
E rj/jiXv (f)aivovrai, eTTeiS-qnep rd epya rd Xeyofieva 
elvai, TTJg TToXinKrjs rjnjjLaaafiev , dXX drexi^d)? 
TO Xeyofievov o Ato? Koptv^o? yiyverai, /cat oirep 
eXeyov, rov laov rip.iv ivSel "^ en rrXeovos TTpos 
TO elSevac, ns ttot eanv rj €7naTrjp,rj eKeivq, rj 
'qp.ds evhaip.ova? TTOiiqaeL; 

KPI. Nr) Tov At'a, cS Ti(x)Kpares, els ttoXXt^v ye 
aTTopiav, dis eoiKev, d^LKeade. 

2n. "Eyojye ovv kol avTos, c5 K/atVcDV, eTretSr) 
293 ev ravrrj rfj drropia €ve7Te7Trd)K7] , Trdaav TJSr] 
(f)iovr)v ri<f>i€iv, 8e6p,€VOS tolv ^evoiv (Zarrep Aioct- 
Kovpcov CTTLKaXovpievos adjaai rjp,ds, epue re kol 
TO p,eLpdKLOV, €K rrjs rpiKvpiias rov Xoyov, koI 
TTavrl rpoTTCp anouSdaai,, Kal aTTOvBdaavrag €7n- 
Sei^ai, Tt? ttot' earLV r] eTnarrjp,ri, rjs rv^ovres 
dv KaXd)? rov eTriXoLTTOv ^iov hieXdoip^ev . 

KPI. Tt ovv; rjdeXrjae n vplv eTnSei^aL 6 

^ Cf. Pindar, Nem. vn.Jin. Megara, a colony of Corinth, 
revolted, and when the Corinthians appealed to the sentiment 
attaching to Corinth us, the mythical founder of Megara, 



use can we make of it ? It is not to be a producer 
of any of the effects which are neither bad nor good, 
while it is to confer no other knowledge but itself. 
Shall we try and say what it is, and what use we shall 
make of it ? Do you mind if we describe it, Grito, as 
that whereby we shall make other men good ? 

CRi. I quite agree. 

soc. And in what respect are we going to have these 
men good, and in what useful ? Or shall we venture 
to say they are to make others so, and these again 
others ? In what respect they can possibly be good 
is nowhere evident to us, since we have discredited 
all the business commonly called politics, and it is 
merely a case of the proverbial " Corinthus Divine "^ ; 
and, as I was saying, we are equally or even worse at 
fault as to what that knowledge can be which is to 
make us happy. 

CRI. Upon my word, Socrates, you got yourselves 
there, it seems, into a pretty fix. 

soc. So then I myself, Crito, finding I had fallen 
into this perplexity, began to exclaim at the top of 
my voice, beseeching the two strangers as though 
I were calling upon the Heavenly Twins to save 
us, the lad and myself, from the mighty wave^ of the 
argument, and to give us the best of their efforts, 
and this done, to make plain to us what that know- 
ledge can be of which we must get hold if we 
are to spend the remainder of our lives in a proper 

CRI. Well, did Euthydemus consent to proj)ound 
anything for you ? 

the Megarians drove them off. taunting them with using a 
** vain repetition." 

* Lit. " the big wave that comes in every three.'" 



2n. Hats yap ov; /cai rjp^aro ye, a) iralpe, 
irdw fi€yaXo(f)p6v(x)s rov Xoyov cSSe* 

B Ylorepov 8-^ ae, ccfnj, cS TicoKpaTeg, ravrrjv rrjv 
€7TLaTT]iJ,7]v, 7T€pl Tjv TTCtAai OLTropelTe, 8i8a^a), rj 
eiTLhei^oi exovra; *Q. fiaKapie, rjv 8 *€ya>, cart 8e 
6771 aoi Tovro; Udvv p,€V ovv, €<f)r]. '^mSei^ov 
Toivvv lie VTj Ai*, €(f)'r)v iyo), exovra' ttoXv yap 
paov T] fj.avddv€iv rrjXiKovSe dvSpa. Oe'pe S-q 
fioi aTTOKpivai, €(j)7}' ear IV 6 ri eiriaraaai ; Wavv 
ye, ^v 8' eyo), Kal noXXd, apuKpd ye. ^ApKel, 
e(f)r]. dp* ovv SoKels olov re ti rdv ovrcov tovto, 
o Tvyxdvet ov, axrro rovro /xtj elvai; 'AAAct fxa 

C At" ovK eycoye. Ovkovv ov, e(f)rjs, eTriaraaai 
tl; "Eyojye. Ovkovv eTncrT-qficov el, eiTrep e-m- 
araaai, Ilai'i' ye, tovtov ye avrov. Ovhev 
8ta(f)€pei,' dAA' p'k dvdyKT) ae ex^i Trdvra eTTiara- 
adai eTnanjixovd ye ovra; Ma Ai", €(f)r]v eyw' 
eirel TroAAa aAA' ovk eTrt'crra/iai. Ovkovv el tl 
pur] emaraaai, ovk e-marrnioiv el. YiKeivov ye, 
a) <j>iXe, "^v 8' eyco. ^Httov oSv ti, e^t], ovk 
eTn<TTript,cx)v el; dpri he emaT-qfJicov e^-qcrOa etvai* 

D Kol ovTU) Tvyxdvets cov avros oiros, os el, Kal 



soc. Why, certainly ; and he began his discourse, 
my good friend, in this very lofty-minded fashion : 

Would you rather, Socrates, that I instructed you 
as to this knowledge which has baffled you all this 
while, or propound that you have it ? 

O gifted sir, I exclaimed, and have you the power 
to do this ? 

Certainly I have, he repHed. 

Then for Heaven's sake, I cried, propound that I 
have it ! This will be much easier than learning 
for a man of my age. 

Come then, answer me this, he said ; Do you 
know anything ? 

Yesj indeed, I replied, and many things, though 

That is enough, he said ; now do you think it 
possible that anything that is should not be just that 
which it actually is ? 

On my soul, not I. 

Now you, he said, know something r 


Then you are knowing, if you really know ? 

Certainly, in just that something. 

That makes no difference ; you are not under 
a necessity of knowing everj'thing, if you are 
knowing ? 

No, to be sure, I repHed ; for there are many other 
things which I do not know. 

Then if you do not know something, you are not 
knowing ? 

Not in that thing, my dear sir. I replied 

Are you therefore any the less unknowing ? Just 
now you said you were knowing ; so here you are, 
actually the very man that you are, and again, 



av TTaXiv OVK el, Kara ravTo. afxa. Efei', r^v S' 
^yoi, ^vOvhrjixe' to yap Xeyofxevov, KaXa 817 
TTavra Ae'yeis" ttcos ovv eVtara/naj €K€Lvr]v ttjv 
CTnaT-q/ji-qv, t^u et,r]rovix€v; d>s Sr] rovro aSvvaTov 
€(7TL TO avTo elvai re /cat fxrj' eiTrep ev eTrt'orajMai, 
airavTa eTnaTa^ai' ov yap av etayv (.TTiaTrip-oiV 
T€ Kai av€7ncn"qixcov a/Lta* irrel Se TrdvTa eTTtWa/iat, 

KaK€lVr}V St) TTjV iTTLCTTI^fJ.'qV €X(J0' apa OVTOJS 

Aeyeig, Kal tovto €gti to ao(j)6v; 
E Ai5t6? aavTov yc 87) i^eXeyx^i?, ^i'l' ^ Sca/cpares'. 
Tt 8e, ■:^p' 8' €yc6, (5 Eu^u87^/xe, ctu oy TTCTTOvdas 
TovTo TO avTO Ttddos ; iyo) yap toi /iera aov 
OTiovv av Trdaxcov Kal /xera AtovvaoSa)pov Tovoe, 
(fylXr^S K€(f)aXrjg, ovK av rravv dyavaKToirfV . etVe //.ot, 
cr^oj ov)(l TO. fxev eTricrraadov twv ovtcdv, to. Se 
OVK eTTLOTaaQov ; "WKiaTa. ye, e<^7j, t5 HoiKpaTes , 
6 AiovvaoBwpos. Ilcos XiyeTov; €(f>r]v iyo)- 
dXX* ovSev dpa eTriaraadov; Kai /xoAa, 77 8' oj. 
294 ITafT' dpa, €(f)r]v iyu>, eTriuTaadov, iTreiS-qTrep Kai 
oTLovv ; riai'T', e(f}rf Kal av ye irpos, eiTrep /cat 
ev €7TLaTaaai, ndvTa eTTiOTaaai. *Q Zeu, €(f>riv 
lyoi, d)s davjJLacFTOv Ae'yet? /cat dya^op' /xe'ya 
7r€(f)dv9aL. /Ltcot' /cat ot aAAot TrdvTes dvdpojTTOi 
TrdvT' iTTLOTavTai, rj ovhev; Ov yap S-qirov, €(f)r], 
ra fiev eTriaTavTai, to. 8' ovk eTrlaTavTai, Kai 
€imv dfjLa i7naT7]fjLov€s re Kat dveTTioT'qfJLOves. 


not that man, in regard to the same matter and at 
the same time ! 

Admitted, Euthydemus, I said : as the saying 
goes, " well said whate'er you say." How therefore 
do I know that knowledge which we were seeking ? 
Since forsooth it is impossible for the same thing 
to be so and not be so ; by knowing one thing I 
know all ; — for I could not be at once both knowing 
and unknowing ; — and as I know everything I have 
that knowledge to boot : is that your line of argu- 
ment ? Is this your wisdom ? 

Yes, you see, Socrates, he said, your own words 
refute you. 

Well, but, Euthydemus, I continued, are you 
not in the same plight ? I assure you, so long as I 
had you and this dear fellow Dionysodorus to share 
my lot, however hard, I should have nothing to com- 
plain of. Tell me, you both know some existent 
things, of course, and others you do not ? 

By no means, Socrates, said Dionysodorus. 

How do you mean ? I asked : do you then not 
know anything ? 

Oh yes, we do, he said. 

So you know everything, I asked, since you know 
anything ? 

Everything, he replied ; yes, and you too, if you 
know one thing, know all. 

Good Heavens, I cried, what a wonderful state- 
ment ! What a great blessing to boast of ! And 
the rest of mankind, do they know everything or 
nothing ? 

Surely, he said, they cannot know some things 
and not others, and so be at once knowing and 



AAAa Tt; ■^v 8' iyco. Hdvres, rj 8' 09, TtdvTa 
eTTLOTavTaL, eiTrep /cat ev. ^Q, irpos rcbv deujv, 
B '^v 8' iyu), CO Ai,ovv(j68o}p€' S-qXoi yap fjioi iarov 
7]8r] oTi aTTovSd^erov , Kal fioXts v[jLdg TrpovKoXe- 
aafjLTjv aTTOvSd^eiv avrd) roi ovtl Trdvra eTrlara- 
adov; olov T€KTOVLKr)V KOL CKVTLK'qv; Hdvv y , 
6^17. *H KoX v€vpoppa(f)€LV Bvvard) iarov; Kal 
val fid Ai'a KarrveLV, e^^. *H Kal rd roLavra, 
Tovs aarepas, ottoctoi elai, Kal Trjv dfi/xov; Ildvv 
ye, -^ 8' OS' etr' ovk dv otei ofjuoXoyrjaaL rjfxds ; 

Kai d KrrjdLTTTTO'S VTToXa^cLv Upog Aid?, 

C €0>?, AiovvaoSoipe, reKpLTjpiov ri fxoi rovrotv 

iinSeL^aTov roiovSe, ^ etaofxai, on dXqdrj Xeyefov. 

Ti eViSetfci); ^(f>rj. Otada ^vOvBrjfJiov, ottogovs 

oSovras €X€i, Kal 6 Kvdv8r]fj,os , onoaovs cni; 

OvK i^apKel aoi, ^4>ri, aKovaai, otl Tidvra 

MT^SayLict)?, rj 8' d?, dAAd. rovro €Ti 'qfitv [xovov 
etnaTov Kal eTTihei^arov, on dXrjdrj Xeyerov Kal 
idv €L7Tr)TOV, oTTocFovs cKaTepos ex^t, vfjidjv, Kai 
(f)aiv'qa9e yvovres rjixajv dpidp.'qadvTOJV, rjSrj Tretao- 
jjieda vfiLv Kal raAAa. 
D 'Yiyovfjcevo) ovv aKcoirreaQai ovk -qdeXeTTjv, dAA' 
(!}p,oXoyrjadT7]v irdvra XP'^IH'^'^^ eTriaraadai, Kad 
€V cKaarov ipcoratfievoL vtto K^rrjaLTTTTOU. 6 ydp 


But what then ? I asked. 

All men, he replied, know all things, if they know 

In the name of goodness, Dionysodorus, I said — 
for now I can see both of you are serious ; before, 
I could hardly prevail on you to be so — do you 
yourselves really know everything ? Carpentry, for 
instance, and shoe-making ? 

Certainly, he said. 

And you are good hands at leather-stitching ? 

Why yes, in faith, and cobbUng, he said. 

And are you good also at such things as counting 
the stars, and the sand ? 

Certainly, he said : can you think we would not 
admit that also ? 

Here Ctesippus broke in : Be so good, Diony- 
sodorus, he said, as to place some such evidence 
before me as will convince me that what you say 
is true. 

What shall I put forward ? he asked. 

Do you know how many teeth Euthydemus has, 
and does Euthydemus know how many you have ? 

Are you not content, he rejoined, to be told that 
we know everything ? 

No, do not say that, he rephed : only tell us this 
one thing more, and propound to us that you speak 
the truth. Then, if you tell us how many teeth each 
of you has, and you are found by our counting to 
have known it, we shall beheve you thenceforth in 
everything else likewise. 

Well, as they supposed we were making fun of 
them, they would not do it : only they agreed that 
they knew all subjects, when questioned on them, 
one after the other, by Ctesippus ; who, before he 



KxT^atTTTTO? vdw diTapaKaXvTTTiOS ovSev o ri 
ovK TjpwTa reXevTciJv, /cat rd ata-)(iaTa, el eTnarat- 
aOrjv T(h Se avSpetoTara ofxoae tJttjv toIs epcDTTj- 
pLaatv, 6pLo\oyovvT€S elhevai, atOTrep ol KaTTpot 
ol 77/30? TT^v 7TXr]'yr)v o/jioae (JodovfievoL, cucrr eycoye 
Kal avTos, c5 KpLTcov, V7T* aTTJOTia? 'rjva'YKda9r]v 
reXevTcov ipeadai [tov KvdvSrjijLov],^ el /cat o/3;^et- 
E a^at €7Ti(TTaiTo 6 AtovvaoScDpog' 6 Se, Haw, 
e<f>'r). Ov StJttov, rjv S' eyo), /cat es fxaxo-tpas 
ye Kv^tardv /cat enl rpoxov SiveiadaL ttjXikovtos 
cjv, OVTO) TToppoj ao<f)ias TJKets; OvSev, e(f)r], o 
Ti ov. Horepov Se, rjv S' eyat, Trdvra vvv /xovov 
eirlaTaadov t] /cat del; Kat del, e(f)r]. Kat ot€ 
TT-aiSia rjaTTjv /cat evdvg yeuofievoL -qTrlaraade ; 
IlavTa, €(f)dTr]v dp,a dpL^oTepto. 
295 Kat rjfjuv fxev aTnarov eSo/cet to Trpdyfxa eivai,' 
6 S' YjvOuhrjfMOS, 'ATrtcrTet?, e<f)r], w Sco/cpare? ; 
TIXt^v y or I, <rjv 8'>^ eyco, etKos vfids icrrl ao(f>ous 
elvat. 'AAA' rjv, ecfyrj, edeXiqar)? fiOL aTTOKplveadai, 
eyu) eTTtSel^oj /cat ae ravra rd OavfiaaTa ofioXo- 
yovvra. 'AAAct /at^v, rjv S' eyco, rjSiara ravra 
e^eXeyxofiai. el yap roi XeXr^da ifxavrov cro(f)6^ 
(jjv, av he rovro eVtSei'^et? d)S rravra eTTiara/jiat 
/cat aet, rl fxel^ov ep/xatov avrov av evpoipn iv 
rravri rw jSto); 

^AiTOKplvov Srj, e(f>rj. 'Q? drroKpLVOVfievov 

* rbv Ev6v8r)fj.ov seel. Hermann. 
• ^v S' add. Cornarius. 



had done v^nth them, asked them if they knew 
every kind of thing, even the most unseemly, with- 
out the least reserve ; while they most valiantly 
encountered his questions, agreeing that they had 
the knowledge in each case, like boars when driven 
up to face the spears : so that I for my part, Crito, 
became quite incredulous, and had to ask in the end 
if Dionysodorus knew also how to dance. To which 
he replied : Certainly. 

I do not suppose, I said, that you have attained 
such a degree of skill as to do sword-dancing, or be 
whirled about on a wheel, at your time of life ? 

There is nothing, he said, that I cannot do. 

Then tell me, I went on, do you know everything 
at present only, or for ever ? 

For ever too, he said. 

And when you were children, and were just bom, 
you knew ? 

Everything, they both replied together. 

Now, to us the thing seemed incredible : then 
Euthydemus said : You do not believe it, Socrates ? 

I will only say, I replied, that you must indeed 
be clever. 

Why, he said, if you will consent to answer me, I 
will propound that you too admit these surprising 

Oh, I am only too glad, I replied, to be refuted 
in the matter. For if I am not aware of my o^vn 
cleverness, and you are going to show me that I 
know everything always, what greater stroke of 
luck than this could befall me in all my li\ing 
days ? 

Then answer me, he said. 

Ask : I am ready to answer. 

VOL. IV O 461 


B cfjcora. *Ap ovv, ecftrj, c5 Ti(i)KpaT€S, imariqfxoyv 
Tov et 7] ov; "Kycoye. Uorepov ovu co eTncrrrnxoiV 
et, rovrcp /cat emCTxacrai, ■»} ctAAoj tco; ^Q.i ctti- 
arrj^ajv. ot/xai yap ae rr]v tpv^riv Xdyeiv iq ov 
TOVTo Xiyeis ; Ovk alaxvvrj, €<f)r], cu Scu/c/oaTes"; 
ipajTcofxeuos avrepajTas; Etet', rjv S' iyco- dXXa 
TTCJS TTOico; ovTio yap TTOL-qaco, ottcds civ av KeXevrjg. 
orav [XT] elSio 6 n epcoras, KeXeveis /xe o/jlcds 
aTTOKpLveadai, aAAa fjir) eTravepeadai; 'YiroXap.- 

C pdvcis yap S-qnov tl, €(f)rj, o Xiyco; "Eycoyc, rjv 
S' iyd). Ylpos TOVTO tolvvv diTOKpivov, o imo- 
Xafji^dveis . Ti ovv, €(f)r]v, av av pbkv dXXr) ipojTag 
8i,avoovjj,evos, iyo) Se dXXrj viroXd^co , eTretra npos 
TOVTO aTTOKpivcofxat,, €^apK€L aoL, idv fi-qSev vpos 
eTTos" dTroKptvojfiai; "E/zotye, rj S' 6s ' ov fievToi 
aoi ye, co? eyoi^ai. Ov tolvvv /xct Ata a.7ro- 
KptvovfjLai, rjv S' iyio, TrpoTcpov, Trplv dv TTvdcop,ai. 
Ovk aTTOKpivfj, €<f)r], irpos a dv del VTToXapi^dvris , 

D oTi ej^wi' <j)XvapeZs Kal dp^o-ioTepos el tov SeovTos. 
Kdyo) cyvcov avTov on fioi jj^aAeiratVoi 8ia- 
oreAAovTi ra Xeyop^eva, ^ovX6fj,€v6s /xe drjpevaai 
Ta ovofiaTa TTeptcrr-qaag. dvefivqadrjv ovv tov 
K.6vvov, OTL fioc KdK€Lvos ;^aAe7ratVei eKaoTOTe, 
oTav avTip fMTj VTretKOJ, CTretra jxov rJTTOV eVt- 


Well then, Socrates, he asked, have you know- 
ledge of something, or not ? 

I have. 

And tell me, do you know with that whereby you 
have knowledge, or with something else ? 

With that whereby I have knowledge : I think 
you mean the soul, or is not that your meaning ? 

Are you not ashamed, Socrates, he said, to ask a 
question on your side when you are being questioned ? 

Very well, I said : but how am I to proceed ? I 
will do just as you bid me. When I cannot tell 
what you are asking, is it your order that I answer 
all the same, without asking a question upon it ? 

Why, he replied, you surely conceive some meaning 
in what I say ? 

I do, I replied. 

Answer then to the meaning you conceive to be 
in my words. 

Well, I said, if you ask a question with a different 
meaning in your mind from that which I conceive, 
and I answer to the latter, are you content I should 
answer nothing to the point ? 

For my part, he replied, I shall be content : you, 
however, will not, so far as I can see. 

Then I declare I shall not answer, I said, before 
I get it right. 

You refuse to answer, he said, to the meaning you 
conceive in each case, because you will go on (Level- 
ling, you hopeless old dotard ! 

Here I perceived he was annoyed with me for 
distinguishing between the phrases used, when he 
wanted to entrap me in his verbal snares. So I 
remembered Connus, how he too is annoyed with 
me whenever I do not give in to him, with the 



fieXeLTat, cos dfjiadovs ovtos' CTret 8e ovv Bievcvo'qurjv 
/cat TTapa rovrov ^oirdv, (Lijdrjv Selv vireiKeiv, 
fi7] fi€ OKaiov rjyrjcrdjjLevos <f>OLT'r]Triv fxrj Trpoa- 
SexoiTO. CLTTOV ovv 'AAA' et SoKet aoi, Ei3^ySTj/xe, 

E ovroj TTOielv, TTOL-qreov orif yap ttolvtcos ttov koX- 
Aiov eTTLGTaaai, SiaXeyeaOai ^ iyco, re^vr^v ej^cov 
iBiiOTOV dvdpcoTTOV ipcoTa ovv tto-Xlv i^ dp)(rjs. 

Attokplvov Si], ^<f>rj, irdXiv, TTorepov eTriaraaai 
TO) d eTTtaracrai, rj ov; "Eycoye, €(f>7]v, rfj ye i/fvxfj- 
296 Ovtos av, e^^y, TTpoaaTroKptveTat, tols ipojTco- 
fievoiS' ov yap eycoye epcorco otco, oAA' et 
cmoraCTat ro). IlXeov av, €(f>T]v iyco, rov Sfe'ovro? 
dTTeKpLvdjj.'qv vtto dTraiSevcrlas' oAAa avy- 
yiyvcooKe fxor diroKpLVOvixai yap -qSr) aTrXcos on 
eTTiara/xat to) d eTrtarayuat. Uorepov, ^ S' 6s, 
Tcp avTcp Tovrcp y del, t^ ecrri fxev ore tovto), earn 
Se ore irepci); 'Aet, orav eTTLorcofjLai, ■^v 8' eyoJ, 
Tovrcp. OvK av, €(f>-q, Travaei irapa^OeyyopLevos; 

B 'AAA' OTTOJS p-ri Ti i^/xa? cr^aAei ro del rovro. 
OvKOVV rip,as ye, e(f)rj, aAA' etirep, ere. dAA 
dTTOKpivov ^ del rovrco evLcrraaai, ; 'Aet, -qv 8 
iyco, eTTetBrj Set d<f)eXeZv to orav. Ovkovv aet 
jjLev TOVTO) eTriaraaai' del 8' eTruTTdfievos norepov 


result that he now takes less trouble over me as 
being a stupid person. So being minded to take 
lessons from this new teacher, I decided that I 
had better give in, lest he should take me for a 
blockhead and not admit me to his classes. So I 
said : Well, if you think fit, Euthydemus, to proceed 
thus, we must do so ; in any case I suppose you 
understand debating better than I do — you are 
versed in the method, and I am but a layman. 
Begin your questions, then, over again. 

Now, answer me once more, he said : do you 
know what you know by means of something, or 

I do, I rephed ; by means of my soul. 

There he is again, he said, answering more than 
he is asked. For I am not asking what the means 
is, but only whether you know by some means. 

Yes, I did again answer more than I ought, I said, 
through lack of education. But forgive me, and I 
will now simply reply that I know what I know 
by some means. 

By one and the same means always, he asked, or 
sometimes by one and sometimes by another .'' 

Always, whenever I know, I replied, it is by this 

There again, he cried, you really must stop adding 
these qualifications. 

But I am so afraid this word " always " may 
bring us to grief. 

Not us, he rejoined, but, if anyone, you. Now 
answer : do you know by this means always ? 

Always, I replied, since I must withdraw the 
" whenever." 

Then you always know by this means : that being 



ra fxev tovtco eTTioracrai at eTTLoraaai, to. 8' aXXco, 
T] TOVTCO TTovTa; TovTM, €<f>r]v iyo), OLTTavra, a y 
eTTiCTTa/xat . Tout' eKeivo, €(f)7]' 'qKci to avTO 
7Tapd(f>d€yfjia. 'AAA' a^atpcD, €(f)r]v iycx), to d y 
e77t<TTa//,ai. 'AAAd /XTySe €V, €(f)r], d(f>€X'r]g' ov- 

C Se** yap GOV hiojxai.. oAAa fxoi diroKpivaf Svvaio 
av arravTa e-niaTaaOai, el fxr] irdvTa emaraLo; 
Tepa? yap dv eXrj, -^v 8' iyo). Kai os etTre* 
YlpoaTiOci Toivvv rjSrj o ti /Soi'Aef diravTa 
yap ofioXoyels iTrioTaadai. "Eot/ca, e<j)r]v lyoi, 
iTTeiS-qnep ye ovhep,iav e^^ei hvvap.iv to a 
eTTtCTTa/xai, iravTa he erriaTapiaL. Ovkovv /cat aet 
wfioXoyqKas eTTLOTaadat tovtco, (L emaTacraL, 
evre oTav eTrlaTrj etre ottcds jSouAef aet yap 
(hp,oX6yrjKas eTriaraaOai kol dp,a TrdvTa hrjXov 

D ovv, OTi Kal Trals cov TjTTLcrTa), Kai ot eyiyvov, 
/cat ot' €(f>vov' Kal irplv aino? yeveadai, /cat 
TTplv ovpavov Kal yrjv yeveadai, t^tticttcu dnavTa, 
eLTTep del eiriaTaaai. kol val /xd Ai'a, e<^77, 
avTOS del eTriaTrjaei Kal aTravTa, dv eydi /SouAa>//.at. 
'AAAd ^ovXrjdeirjs , "qv 8' eyco, c5 7ToXvTip,r}T€ 
^v6vhr)p,e, €1 817 TO) ovTi dXrjOrj Aeyet?. dAA* 
ov aoL TTOvv TTiarevco iKavco elvai,, ei p^rj aoi crvp,- 
^ovX-f]deirj 6 dheX<f>6s crov ovToal Aiovvaohcopos' 
ovTco Tdxa dv. eirreTov he p,oi, "^v 8' eya>' 


the case, do you know some things by this means 
of knowing, and some things by another means, or 
everything by this ? 

Everything by this, I replied ; everj'thing, that 
is, that I know. 

There it comes ^ again, he cried ; the same 
quahfication ! 

Well, I ^Wthdraw my " that is, that I know." 

No, do not withdraw a single word, he said : I 
ask you for no concession. Only answer me : could 
you know all things if you did not know everything ? 

It would be most surprising, I said. 

Then he went on : You may therefore add on 
now whatever you please : for you admit that you 
know all things. 

It seems I do, I replied, seeing that my " that I 
know " has no force, and I know everything. 

Now you have also admitted that you know 
always by the means whereby you know, whenever 
you know — or however you like to put it. For you 
have admitted that you always know and, at the 
same time, everything. Hence it is clear that even 
as a child you knew, both when you were being bom 
and when you were being conceived : and before 
you yoiu^elf came into being or heaven and earth 
existed, you knew all things, since you always know. 
Yes, and I declare, he said, you yourself will always 
know all things, if it be my pleasure. 

Oh, pray let it be your pleasure, I replied, most 
worshipful Euthydemus, if what you say is really 
true. Only I do not quite trust in your efficacy, 
if your pleasure is not to be also that of your brother 
here, Dionysodorus : if it is, you will probably 
prevail. And tell me, I w^ent on, since I cannot 



E Ta fxev yap ctAAa ovk exoj Vfxiu ttcjs d/x0ia/8ryToirjv, 
omcos ei? ao(f)Lav reparcoSeaLV avdpojTTOis, ottojs 
ov TTOLVTa eVt'crra/Liai, eVetSi] vfiels (jiarl- to. Se 
TotaSe TTcD? <f>io eTTiWacr^at, Eu0y87j/xe, 0)S ol 
ayadol dvSpes ahiKoi elai; <f>€pe elne, tovto 
€7TLGTafiai iq ovk eTTiarafxai, ; 'ETT-t'crracrai p,4vToi, 
etprj. Tt; "qv S' iyo). "On ovk aSi/cot elaiv 
Ol dyadot. Ilaru ye, ■qv S' iyu>, TraAai* aAA' 
297 oi^ TOVTO epcoTcb' aAA' co? dhiKoi elaiv ol dyadoi, 
TTov iyd) TOVTO efiadov; OvSafiov, €<f>r) 6 Aiovvao- 
Scopos. Ovk dpa iTTLaTa/xai,, €(j)rjv, tovto iyo). 
Ata^^etpeis", ^(f>'q, tov Xoyov, 6 ^vdv8r]fMos rrpos 
Tov t^Lovvaohcopov y Kol (ftavqaeTai ovToal ovk 
eTncTTOifMevog, /cat €7T(,crTrjfxcou dfxa cov /cat dv- 
emaT-qfiajv. /cat o AiovvaoScopog 'qpvdpiaaev. 
'AAAa cru, "^v 8' iyo), ttcos Aeyet?, c5 Eu^uSr^/Ae; 

B ov So/cet crot opOcljg dSeAt^o? Aeyetv o ndvTa elScos; 
'ASeA^o? ycip, ^"^^j ^y<^ ^^/^' Ei3^uS7^/x.ou, Ta;^y 
VTToXa^ojv 6 AiovvaoSojpos ; /cdyco elvov, "Eacrov, 
c5 *yad€, eco? av Eu^uSTy^Ltos' />te SiSd^r], co? €7rt- 
GTafxai Toiis dyadovs dvSpag otl dhiKoi elai, /cat 
/X17 /X.01 (f>dovqcrrjs tov fiad-qfiaTos . Oevyeis, €(f)r], 
c5 TicoKpaTes, 6 AiovvaoScopos , /cat ou/c ideXetg 
d-noKpiveaOai. Et/corco? y', eiTTOU iyco' rJTTOJv ydp 

C et/iAi /cat ToiJ cTepov vfxd)v, cScrre ttoAAoiJ Secu /X17 
ou 8uo ye (f)evyeiv. ttoXv ydp ttov el/xi (f)avX6- 
Tepos TOV 'H/aa/cAeou?, o? ovx olos re •j^i' tjj tc 
y8pa Siafidx^odai, aocfyicrTpia ovcrr] /cat 8td tt^v 


hope in a general way to dispute the statement that 
I know everything with persons so prodigiously 
clever — since it is your statement — how am I to say 
I know certain things, Euthydemus ; for instance, 
that good men are unjust ? Come, tell me, do I 
know this or not ? 

You know it certainly, he said. 

What ? I said. 

That the good are not unjust. 

Quite so, I said : I knew that all the time ; but 
that is not what I ask : tell me, where did I learn 
that the good are unjust ? 

Nowhere, said Dionysodorus. 

Then I do not know this, I said. 

You are spoiling the argument, said Euthydemus 
to Dionysodorus, and we shall find that this fellow 
does not know, and is at once both knowing and un- 

At this Dionysodorus reddened. But you, I said, 
what do you mean, Euthydemus. Do you find that 
your brother, who knows everything, has not spoken 
aright ? 

I a brother of Euthydemus ? quickly interposed 

Whereupon I said : Let me alone, good sir, till 
Euthydemus has taught me that I know that good 
men are unjust, and do not grudge me this lesson. 

You are running away, Socrates, said Dionyso- 
dorus ; you refuse to answer. 

Yes, and with good reason, 1 said : for I am 
weaker than either one of you, so I have no scruple 
about running away from the two together. You 
see, I am sadly inferior to Hercules, who was no 
match for the hydra — that she-professor who was 

VOL. IV « 2 469 


ao(f)iav dvtelar], ei filav K€(f)aXrjv rod Xoyov rts" 
OLTToreixoi, ttoAAo,? olvtI rrjs jMta?, /cat KapKivo) 
Ttvl erepcp aocjaarfj, e/c daXdrTrjs d^iyixivco, vecoari,, 
fJLOL hoKeZv, KaraTTeTrXevKOTL' os eTretSi^ avrov 
cXvTrei ovTcos e/c tov en dpLarepd Xeycov Kal 
SaKvcov, TOV 'loXeoiv rov dSeA^iSow ^o-qdov 

D eneKaXeaaro, 6 8e avro) iKava>s i^o-qOrjcrev. 6 
8 ijjios 'loXecos [YlarpoKXrjsY ^^ eXdot, ttXcov dv 
ddrepov TTOL-qareiev. 

^ATTOKpivat Sij, €<f)r) 6 AiovvcroSojpos, ottotc 
aoi Tavra vpLvrfrai' TTorepov 6 'loAeoj? tov *Hpa- 
kXcovs /xoAAoi' "qv dSeA^tSouj iq aos ; KpdriaTov 
roivvv fxOL, (L AiovvaoScope, rjv S' iyco, dnoKpLva- 
adai aoL. ov yap p,rj dvfjs ipcorcov, a;^eSov' tl 
iyd) TOVT e6 otSa, (f>dovu)v Kal SiaKaiXvcov, tva 
fj,r] BiSd^T) p,€ EivdvBr)ijios eKelvo to ao(l>6v. 'Atto- 
Kpivov hr^, €<f>rj. 'ATroKpLVOfxai 87^, einov, otl 
TOV 'YipaKXeovs rjv 6 'IdAeo*? dheX^ihovs, ifxos 

E 8', CO? ifiol BoK€L, ovS' oTTCoaTiovv. OV ydp 
IlaTpo/cA^S" "qv avTW TraT-qp, 6 ifios dSeXcfyos, 
dXXd TTapaTrX-qcrtov p,kv rowo/xa *I(f>LKXrjs, 6 'Hpa- 
kXcovs d8eA<^o?. IlaTpoKX-qs 84, rj 8' os, aos; 
Udvv y\ €(f>rjv lyoi, op.op.-qTpios ye, ov p.ivToi 
ofxoTrdTpios. ^AheX<f)6s dpa ioTL aoi Kal ovk 
dheXcjios. Oi5x ofiorrdTpLos ye, S /SeArtCTre, e(f)7]V' 
eKeivov p,ev ydp ^aLpeSrj/jLos rjv TraTTJp, efios Se 
YiOJ^povioKOS. YiaTTip he rjv, ecftrj, YiCo^poviaKos 
Kal ^aLpeSrjfxos ; Udvv y' , €<f)r]V' 6 p,ev ye efj,6s, 
298 o 8e eKeivov. Ovkovv, ■q 8' os, eTepos ^v Xat/ae- 
^ IlarpoKX^s seel. Heindorf. 

^ i.e. any kinsman or helper I might summon would only 
add to the number of your victims. 




so clever that she sent forth many heads of de- 
bate in place of each one that was cut off ; nor 
for another sort of crab-professor from the sea — 
freshly, I fancy, arrived on shore ; and, when the 
hero was so bothered \vith its leftward barks 
and bites, he summoned his nephew lolaus to the 
rescue, and he brought him eifective relief. But if 
my lolaus were to come, he would do more harm 
than good.^ 

Well, answer this, said Dionysodorus, now you 
have done your descanting : Was lolaus more 
Hercules' nephew than yours ? 

I see I had best answer you, Dionysodorus, I 
said. For you ^vill never cease putting questions — 
I think I may say I am sure of this — in a grudging, 
obstructing spirit, so that Euthydemus may not 
teach me that bit of cleverness. 

Then answer, he said. 

Well, I answer, I said, that lolaus was Hercules* 
nephew, but not mine, so far as I can see, in any 
way whatever. For Patrocles, my brother, was not 
his father ; only Hercules' brother Iphicles had a 
name somewhat similar to his. 

And Patrocles, he said, is your brother ? 

Certainly, I said : that is, by the same mother, 
but not by the same father. 

Then he is your brother and not your brother. 

Not by the same father, worthy sir, I repHed. His 
father was Chaeredemus, mine Sophroniscus. 

So Sophroniscus and Chaeredemus, he said, were 
" father " ? 

Certainly, I said : the former mine, the latter his. 

Then surely, he went on, Chaeredemus was other 
than " father " ? 



Srjfiog rod narpos; Tovfxov y', €(f)rjv lyoi. *Ap' 
ovv TTaTrjp "qv erepos u)V narpos; rj av el 6 avros 
Tip Xidcp; Ae'Sot/ca p,kv eycoy* , e<j>r)v, p.rj (^avcb 
VTTO aov o avTos' ov p^evroL poi So/co). Ovkovv 
erepos el, c^r], rov Xidov; "Ere/oo? p,€VTOi. "AAAo 
Ti ovu eTcpog, rj o os, cov Aloov ov AlUos et; Kai 
erepos wv y^pvaov ov y^pvcros el; "Ecrri ravra. 
Ovkovv /cat o Xat/aeSr^/xo?, e<^>7, erepos cov irarpos 

B ovK av TTarrjp eirj. "Kolkgv, rjv 8' iyu), ov TTarrjp 
eiP'at. Et yap S-^ttov, €(f)-q, TraTrjp iariv 6 Xat- 
pe8rjp,os, VTToXa^cov 6 l^vdvSrjpog, TrdXiv av 6 
lL(x>(j)povi(JKos €T€pos cov TTarpos ov rrar-qp iariv, 
oiore av, u) TicoKpares , aTrdroip et. 

Kat o KT-qaLTTTTOs CKSe^dp-evos, *0 8e vp^erepos, 
€<f)r), av TTaTrjp ov ravra ravra rreTTOvdev ; erepos 
iari rovp-ov Trarpos; YioXXov y , e(j)rj, Set, o 
l^vdvSrjpLOS. 'AAAa, 1^ S' OS, 6 avros; *0 avros 
pevroi. OvK av avp^ovXoi.p,r)v. dXXa TTorepov, 

C cS KvdvSrjpLC, €p,6s piovos iarl TTarrjp ^ /cat rcbv 
dXXcov dvdpcoTTCov; Kat rcov dXXcov, e<f>rj' rj otei 
rov avrov Trarepa ovra ov Trarepa etvai; "Q.ipLrjv 
Srjra, e<f)rj 6 l^rrjannTOS . Tt he; rj 8' oj" ;^pi'CTov 
ovra p.rj xpvaov elvai; rj dvOpcorrov ovra prj 
dvdpcoTTOv; Mrj ydp, e(f>rj 6 K^rijatTTTros, c5 Evdv- 

* Cf. Oorgias, 494 a, where " the life of a stone " is given 
as a proverbial example of a life without pleasure or pain. 



Than mine, at any rate, I said. 

Why then, he was father while being other than 
father. Or are you the same as " the stone " ? ^ 

I fear you may prove that of me, I said, though 
I do not feel like it. 

Then are you other than the stone ? 

Other, I must say. 

Then of course, he went on, if you are other than 
stone, you are not stone ? And if you are other 
than gold, you are not gold ? 

Quite so. 

Hence Chaeredemus, he said, being other than 
father, cannot be " father." 

It seems, I said, that he is not a father. 

No, for I presume, interposed Euthydemus, that 
if Chaeredemus is a father Sophroniscus in his turn, 
being other than a father, is not a father ; so that 
you, Socrates, are fatherless. 

Here Ctesippus took it up, observing : And your 
father too, is he not in just the same phght ? Is 
he other than my father ? 

Not in the slightest, said Euthydemus. 

What, asked the other, is he the same ? 

The same, to be sure. 

I should not like to think he was : but tell me, 
Euthydemus, is he my father only, or everybody 
else's too ? 

Everybody else's too, he rephed ; or do you 
suppose that the same man, being a father, can be 
no father ? 

I did suppose so, said Ctesippus. 

Well, said the other, and that a thing being gold 
could be not gold ? Or being a man, not man } 

Perhaps, Euthydemus, said Ctesippus, you are 



Srjfie, TO Xeyofievov, ov Xivov Xivco avvaiTTeis'- 
heivov yap Xeyeis TTpdyfj-a, el 6 aos Trarrjp iravriov 
iari TTarrjp. 'AAA' ecrrtv, e<^77. Yiorepov av- 
dpii)TT(i)v; ^ 8' o? o YirrjaiTTTTOS, rj Kol tmroiv; 

D ri /cat rcjv dXXcov ttolvtcov t,aia)v; YidvTwv, €(f)rj. 
^H /cat jJi-^Trjp 7) fiTjrrjp; Kat rj fi-qTrjp ye. Kat 
Tcov ext-vcov dpa, e^T], r) crrj f^'qTrjp fiTjTrjp earl rcbv 
OaXaTTtcov. Kat rj arj y* , e<j)rj. Kat ai) dpa 
dheX<j>6s et Ttov kco^icov koI Kvvapiayv /cat X^^P^' 
Sicov. Kat yap av, €(f>rj. Kairpos^ dpa aoc 
TTaTTjp eari /cat kvcov. Kat yap aoi, €<f)r). 

AvTtKa 8e ye, rj S* os 6 AiovuaoSojpos, av fioi 
aTTOKpivrj, c3 KrTjaLTnre, o/jLoXoyTjaets ravra. elire 
yap fioL, eoTL aoi kvojv ; Kat fjudXa rrovrjpos, e^r) 

Yj o KxT^crtTrTTOS". "EcTTti' ovv avTcp Kvvihia; Kat 
pLoX , e(f)rj, erepa roiavra. Ovkovv nar-qp eariv 
avTwv 6 kvcov; "Kyioye tol etSov, €(f>rj, avrov 
o^e'vovTa ttjv Kvva. Tt ovv; ov ao? iartv 6- 
KViov; riai'u y', ^'i^'']- Ovkovv rrarrjp cov cro? 
earw, ware aos Trarrjp yiyverai 6 kvcov /cat av 
Kvvapicov aSeA^d?; 

Kat avdis ra)(V vnoXa^cbv a Aiovvaohcopos, 

tva firj rrpoTepov ri etTroi d Kr-qacTTTTOs , Kai ert 

ye jiOL pLiKpov, e^rj, drTOKpivaL' rvrrreis rov Kvva 

^ Kawpos Badham : koX irpos mss. 

^ i.e. treating two different things as the same. 



knotting flax with cotton,* as they say : for it is a 
strange result that you state, if your fatlier is father 
of aU. 

He is, though, was the reply. 

Of all men, do you mean ? asked Ctesippus, or of 
horses too, and all other animals ? 

Of all, he said. 

And is your mother a mother in the same way ? 

My mother too. 

And is your mother a mother of sea-urchins ? 

Yes, and yours is also, he replied. 

So then you are a brother of the gudgeons and 
whelps and porkers. 

Yes, and so are you, he said. 

Then your father is a boar and a dog. 

And so is yours, he said. 

Yes, said Dionysodorus, and it will take you but 
a moment, if you ■«ill answer me, Ctesippus, to 
acknowledge all this. Just tell me, have you a dog ? 

Yes, a real rogue, said Ctesippus. 

Has he got puppies ? 

Yes, a set of rogues Uke him. 

Then is the dog their father ? 

Yes, indeed ; I saw him with my own eyes covering 
the bitch. 

Well now, is not the dog yours ? 

Certainly, he said. 

Thus he is a father, and yours, and accordingly 
the dog turns out to be your father, and you a 
brother of whelps. 

Hereupon Dionysodorus struck in again quicklv, 
lest Ctesippus should get a word in before him : 
Answer me just one more Uttle point : do you beat 
this dog ? 



rovrov; /cat o Kri^crtTrTros' •yeActcras', N17 rov? 
ueovs, €(f>rj' ov yap Swafxai ere. Ovkovv tov 
299 oavTov irarepa, e(f>rj, rvTrreis. HoXv fievToc, e(f)7j, 
oLKatorepov tov vfiercpov irarepa tvtttolixi, 6 tl 
ixadwv ao^oi)? vUis ovtojs €(f)vaev. dAA' 17 ttov, 
u) ^v9vSr)iJL€, €(l>rj 6 KTr^atTT-TT-o?, TToAA' dyada dno 
rrjs VfJieTepas ao<f)ias ravrrjs dnoXeXavKev 6 nar-qp 
o vfierepog re /cat o rcov kvviSlojv. 'AAA' ovSev 
oetrai ttoXXcov dyadcov, c5 KxryaiTTTre, ovt^ eKeZvos 
ovT€ (TV. OvSe av, ■^ S' o?, c5 ^vdv8rjp,€, avros; 
Oi58e aAAoj ye ovSels dvO pcoTTOJV . eiTre yap fxot, 

B CO Kn^CTiTTTre, el dyadov vofii^eis etvai daOevovvri 
(f)dpjxaKov TTielv ^ ovk dyadov etvat So/cet aoi, 
orav Serjrai,' t) els TroXepiov orav tr], oTrXa e^ovTa 
fiaXXov levat iq dvorrXov. "KfjLoiye, e(f)rj. KaCroi 
olfiai ri ae rdv KaXcov epeZv. Su dpiara eicrei, 
e<f)7]' dAA' dTTOKpivov. eTreiSrj yap chixoXoyeis 
dyadov elvai (f)dpixaKov , orav Sei^, iriveLV dvdpcjiTCp, 
dXXo TL TOVTo TO dyadov cos nXeZarov Set TLveiv, 
/cat KaXcos eKeZ e^ei, edv tcs avTcp Tpupas eyKepdcxr) 
eXXe^opov dfxa^av; /cat o K.T'qaiTnros elne, Ildvu 

C ye cr(f>68pa, cL ^vdvhrjfxe, edv fj ye 6 ttlvcov oaos 
6 dvhpids ev AeXcf)oZs. Ovkovv, e(f>r], /cat ev 
Tw TToXeficp CTTeiS-q dyadov iaTLV OTrXa e^etv, cos 
TrAeiCTTa Set ex^iv 86 para re /cat daTTi8as, e7Tei8'qiT€p 
dyadov eoTLv; MdAa StJttou, e(f)r] 6 KT-qannTos' 



Ctesippus laughed and said : My word, yes ; 
since I cannot beat you ! 

So you beat your own father ? he said. 

There would be much more justice, though, he 
replied, in my beating yours, for being so ill-advised 
as to beget clever sons like you. Yet I doubt, 
Ctesippus went on, if your father, Euthydemus — 
the puppies' father — has derived much good from 
this wisdom of yours. 

Why, he has no need of much good, Ctesippus, 
neither he nor you. 

And have you no need either, yourself, Euthy- 
demus ? he asked. 

No, nor has any other man. Just tell me, 
Ctesippus, whether you think it good for a sick 
man to drink physic when he wants it, or whether 
you consider it not good ; or for a man to go to the 
wars with arms rather than without them. 

With them, I think, he replied : and yet I believe 
you are about to utter one of your pleasantries. 

You will gather that well enough, he said : only 
answer me. Since you admit that physic is good 
for a man to drink when necessary, surely one ought 
to drink this good thing as much as possible ; and 
in such a case it will be well to pound and infuse in it 
a cart-load of hellebore ? 

To this Ctesippus replied : Quite so, to be sure, 
Euthydemus, at any rate if the drinker is as big as 
the Delphian statue. 

Then, further, since in war, he proceeded, it is 
good to have arms, one ought to have as many 
spears and shields as possible, if we agree that it is a 
good thing ? 

Yes, I suppose, said Ctesippus ; and you, Euthy- 



av o ouK o'Ut, w KvOvSr^/xe, dXXa fiiav Kal ev 
oopv; "Eycoye. *H koi rov Tiqpvovrjv dv, e^t), 
/cat Tov IBpidpecov ovro) ai) oTrXiaais ; eyd) 8e 
w/xr^v ae Setvorepov elvai, are oirXoixdx'QV ovra, koI 
Tovo€ TOV iraipov, 

Kai o jjiev EvOvSrjfjios eaiyrjaev 6 he Aiovvao- 
D Swpos TTpos rd Trporepop dTTOKeKpijxeva ra> Yirrja- 
LTTTTO) 7]peTo, OvKovv Kal xR^^^^ov, Tj S' OS, dyaOov 
So/cei (Toi elvai ex^tv; Udvv, Kal ravrd ye ttoXv, 
€<f)r) 6 KrriGi7T7Tos . Tt ovu; dyadd ov SoKel 
aoi XPW^''^ ^^^ '^' ^X^*^ '^^'' 'n'avraxov; ll(f)68pa 
y , €(f)7]. OvKovv Kai to ;fpyaioi' dyaOov ofioXo- 
yeis eivai; 'Q.pboXoyqKa [xev ovu, "^ 8 os. Ovkovv 
del. Set avTo exeiv Kal -navTaxov Kal to? fxaXiaTa ev 
E eavTcp; Kal evr] dv euSai/xoveWaro?, el exoi 
Xpvaiov fjiev Tpia TdXavTa ev Tjj yacTTpi, TdXavTov 
8 ev Tcp Kpavicp, aTaTrjpa 8e ;;^/>ucroi5 ev eKaTepcp 
T(h(f}daXpi(i) ; ^aai ye ovv, w ^vdvSrjfie, ecfir) 6 
K-T-qoLTTTTOs , TOVTOvs evhat/JioveardTOVS etvai TiKV- 
dd)v Kal dpioTovs dvSpas, oi ;^puCTtov re ev toXs 
KpavLOLS exovoL ttoXv tols eavToiv, oiairep av 
vvv Srj eXeyes tov Kvva tov iraTepa, Kal o dav- 
piaai(x)Tep6v ye €tl, otl koi ttlvovctlv €K tcov eavTtbv 
Kpavicov Kexpvaoipievoiv , Kal raura evTos KadopdJai, 
TTjV eavTcbv KopvcjjrjV ev rat? ;!^e/3(Ttv exovTeS' 
300 lloTepov Se opcoaLV, e(f)r] 6 KvdvSrjixos, Kal IjKvdat 
T€ Kal ol (xAAoi dv9p(x)7roi ra BvvaTa opdv rf Ta 

* Xpfivai Badham : xPWttra mss. 

* Two fabulous giants (Geryon had three, Briareus fifty, 
pairs of arms). 


demus, do you take the other view, that it should be 
one shield and one spear ? 

Yes, I do. 

What, he said, and would you arm Geryon also 
and Briareus ^ in this way ? I thought you more of an 
expert than that, considering you are a man-at-arms, 
and your comrade here too ! 

At this Euthydemus was silent ; then Dionyso- 
dorus asked some questions on Ctesippus' pre\ious 
answers, saying : Well now, gold is in your opinion 
a good thing to have ? 

Certainly, and — here I agree — plenty of it too, 
said Ctesippus. 

Well then, do you not think it right to have good 
things always and everywhere ? 

Assuredly, he said. 

Then do you admit that gold is also a good ? 

Why, I have admitted it, he repHed. 

Then we ought always to have it, and everywhere, 
and above all, in oneself ? And one will be happiest 
if one has three talents of gold in one's belly, a 
talent in one's skull, and a stater of gold in each 
eye ? 

Well, Euthydemus, replied Ctesippus, they say 
that among the Scythians those are the happiest 
and best men who have a lot of gold in their own 
skulls — somewhat as you were saying a moment ago 
that " dog " is " father " ; and a still more marvellous 
thing is told, how they drink out of their skulls 
when gilded, and gaze inside them, holding their 
own headpiece in their hands. 

Tell me, said Euthydemus, do the Scythians and 
men in general see things possible of sight, or things 
impossible ? 



aovvara; To, Svvara SrjTTOv. Ovkovp /cat av, 
€(f)r); Kdyu). 'Opas ovv ra rjixerepa i/xaria; 
^ai. Avvara ovv opav eVrt ravra. 'Yirep- 
^V(x}S, €(f>r] 6 Kr-qcTLTTTTOs . Tt Se; -q 8' o?, Mrjhev. 
av 8 tacog ovk otei avra opav ovrios rjSvg el. 
aAAa fjbOL So/eels', ^vdvSrjfxe, ov KadevSoju irrLKC- 
KOLfi-qadaL, Kal el olov re Xeyovra fxr^Sev Xeyeiv, 

B Kal av TOVTO TTOieZv. 

H yap OVK olov re, e^r; o AlOP'UCToSajpo?, ai- 
ycovra Xeyeiv ; Oj38' OTTOJCTTtow, 17 8' o? f) Ktt^ct- 
iTTTTOs. *Ap' ou8e Ae'yovra aiyav; "Ert tJttov, 
€(^77. "Orav ow XlOovs Xey-pg Kal ^vXa Kal 
aihrjpia, ov aiycbvra Xeyeis ; Ovkovv, et ye eyo), 
e(f)rj, TTapepxofiai ev rols ;^aA/cetoi?, dAAa (f)deyy6- 
fxeva Kal ^ocovra pLeyiarov ra aiS-qpca Xeyerai, edv 
rts diftrjrai- ware rovro piev vtto ao<f)ias eXades 
ovhev eLTTwv. dXX en fioi ro erepov emhei^arov , 

C OTTOJS av ean Xeyovra aiyav. Kal fiot, e8d/cet 
VTTepaycovLav 6 Kry^atmrog Sid ra TTaiSiKa. "Orav 
aiyag, e(f>-q 6 ^vdv8rjp,og, ov irdvra acyas; "Eycoye, 
■^8' 09. Ovkovv /cat ra Xeyovra aiyag, ecTrep rcbv 
diravrcov earl ra Xeyovra} Tt 8e; e^rj 6 Krr^a- 
177770S", ov aiya Trdvra; Ov St^ttou, e^T] 6 Eu^u- 
^ TO. XeyofTa Stephanas : to. XeyofjLeva mss. 

* The quibble is on the double meaning of dwaTo. opav 
— (a) " possible," and (6) " able to see." So in what follows, 
ai-yOivTa Xeyetv may mean both "the speaking of a silent 
person," or "speaking of silent things." 



Possible, I presume. 

And you do so too ? 

I too. 

Then you see our cloaks ? 


And have they power of sight ? ^ 

Quite extraordinarily, said Ctesippus. 

What do they see ? he asked. 

Nothing. Perhaps you do not think they see 
— you are such a sweet innocent. I should say, 
Euthydemus, that you have fallen asleep with your 
eyes open and, if it be possible to speak and at the 
same time say nothing, that this is what you are doing. 

Why, asked Dionysodorus, may there not be a 
speaking of the silent ? 

By no means whatever, replied Ctesippus. 

Nor a silence of speaking ? 

Still less, he said. 

Now, when you speak of stones and timbers and 
irons, are you not speaking of the silent ? 

Not if I walk by a smithy, for there, as they say, 
the irons speak and cry aloud, when they are touched ; 
so here your >visdom has seduced you into nonsense. 
But come, you have still to propound me your second 
point, how on the other hand there may be a silence 
of speaking. (It struck me that Ctesippus was speci- 
ally excited on account of his young friend's presence.) 

When you are silent, said Euthydemus, are you 
not making a silence of all things ? 

Yes, he replied. 

Then it is a silence of speaking things also, if the 
speaking are among all things. 

What, said Ctesippus, are not all things silent ? 

I presume not, said Euthydemus. 



Srifios. 'AAA' apa, c5 jSeArtoTe, Aeyei to, Trdvra; 
Ta ye St^ttou Xeyovra. 'AAAa, ^ 8' 09, ou touto 
c poor CO, dXXa rd Travra aiya "q Xeyet; OvSerepa 
D Kal dix(j)6Tepa, €(f)rj v(f>ap7Tdaas 6 ALovvaroStopog' 
€v yap otSa on rfj diroKpLaeL ov)( e^ei? o Ti XP??* 
Kal 6 KTTjCTtTTTros", coCTTTe/j elcodei, /jieya ndvv dva- 
Kayxdaas, ^Cl Eu^uSi^/xe, e'/'^> ° aSeA^os" crou 
i^rjfK^oTepLKC rov Xoyov, Kal aTToAoiAe re /cat 
rJTTTjTai. Kal 6 KAetvta? Trai^u t^ct^i^ «cat iyeXaaev, 
ware 6 KrT^crtTTTros' iyevero TrXelov ■^ Se/caTrAacrio?' 
d 8' olfxat,,^ Travovpyos o^v, 6 Y^Tr\annTO^ , Trap 
avTcbv TOVTCov avrd raura TraprjKrjKoei' ov ydp 
iartv dXXojv rotavrrj ao(j)ia tojv vvv avdpoiTTCOV. 
E Kdyo) eiTTOV, Tt yeAa?, co KAeii^ta, iirl arrov- 
BatoLs ovTO) TTpdyixaoL Kal KaXols ; Hi) ydp r]Br] ti 
TTcoTTore elhes, & 'LcoKpares, koXov Trpdyfia; e(/)r] 6 
AiovvcroScopos. "Eyojye, €(f)T]v, Kal iroXXa ye, a» 
ALovvaoBwpe. '^Apa eVepa ovra rod KaXov, €(f)r], 
301 fj Tavrd rip koXw; Kayco iv Travrl eyev6p,7]v vrrd 
aTTopias, Kol rjyovp.riv SiVata rreTTOvdevai,, on 
eypv^a, ofxcos Se erepa €(f)r)v avrov ye rod KaXov' 
Tidpeari pievroi eKdarco ainibv KdXXos ti. Edv 
ovv, etfj-q, TTapayevrjraC aoi ^ovs, ^ovs et, /cat oti 
vvv eyui aoi TidpeLpLt, Aiouvaobajpos el; EiV(f>-qp.€i 

^ 5' olfxai Badhaiu : 5i uoi >iss< 


But then, my good sir, do all things sp>eak ? 

Yes, I suppose, at least those that speak. 

But that is not what I ask, he said : are all things 
silent or do they speak ? 

Neither and both, said Dionysodorus, snatching 
the word from him : I am quit^ sure that is an 
answer that ^vill baffle you ! 

At this Ctesippus, as his manner was, gave a 
mighty guffaw, and said : Ah, Euthydemus, your 
brother has made the argimaent ambiguous with 
his " both," and is worsted and done for. 

Then Cleinias was greatly dehghted and laughed, 
so that Ctesippus felt his strength was as the strength 
of ten : but I fancy Ctesippus — he is such a rogue — 
had picked up these very words by overhearing the 
men themselves, since in nobody else of the present 
age is such wisdom to be found. 

So I remarked : WTiy are you laughing, Cleinias, 
at such serious and beautiful things ? 

What, have you, Socrates, ever yet seen a beauti- 
ful thing ? asked Dionysodorus. 

Yes, I have, I repUed, and many of them, Dionyso- 

Did you find them different from the beautiful, 
he said, or the same as the beautiful ? 

Here I was desperately perplexed, and felt that 
I had my deserts for the grunt I had made : how- 
ever, I replied that they were different from the 
beautiful itself, though each of them had some 
beauty present with it. 

So if an ox is present with you, he said, you are an 
ox, and since I am now present with you, you are 

Heavens, do not say that ! I cried. 



rovTo ye, rjv 8' iyco. 'AAAa riva rpotrov, €(f>r], 

erepov erepu) Trapayevofievov to erepov irepov av 

B €17] ; *A/3a rovTO, €(f)7]v eyo), aTTOpels; rjSr) 8e 

Tolv avSpoLV Tr)v aocfiiav eTrex^Lpovv jjufxetadat, 

are €Tn6v[xa)v avrrjg. Ho)? yap ovk airopa), €(f)r], 

/cat eycu /cat oi aAAoi a-navres dvdpajTTOc, o firj 

eariv; Tt Xeyeis, -qv S' iyco, w AiowaoSojpe ; ov 

TO KaXov KoXov €CTTt KOI TO oloxpov oioxpov; 'Eai' 

efioLye, e<f>-q, Soktj. Ovkovv So/cet; Haw ye, 

c<f>r]. Ovkovv /cat to ravrov ravrov /cat to CTepov 

eTepov ; oi) yap hrjTTov to ye eTepov TavTov, dAA' 

C eya>ye ovh av iralha (vfirjv tovto aTToprjaai, cu? ov 

TO eTepov eTepov eoTiv. dAA', cS ^lovvaohojpe, 

TOVTO fxev eKOJv TraprJKas, eVei to. dAAa fxot, So/cetre 

woTTep oi SrjpnovpyoL, ols eKaoTa Trpoa-qKeL oltt- 

epydt,eadai, /cat Vfxels to SiaXeyeadai Tray/cdAoj? 

aTTepyd^ecrOai. Olada ovv, €(f)r], 6 Tt TrpocjrjKei 

eKaoTOts Tcbv hiqpnovycjv ; TrpcoTov TtVa x'^XKeveLv 

TTpoa-qKei, olada; "Eyajye* OTt ;^aA/C€a. Tt Se 

Kepafieveiv ; Kepa/xea. Tt 8e a(f)dTTeLv Te Kal 

D eKhepetv /cat to. apuKpa Kpea KaTaKoiJ/avTa eif/ew 

Kal OTTTav; Mdyecpov, rjv S eyo). Ovkovv edv 

TiS, ^<i>f]i Tct TTpoarjKOVTa TTpaTTT), opddJs TTpd^ei; 


But in what wav can one thing, bv ha\'ing a differ- 
ent thing present with it, be itself different ? 

Are you at a loss there ? I asked : already I was 
attempting to imitate the cleverness of these men, 
I was so eager to get it. 

Can I help being at a loss, he said, I and likewise 
everybody else in the world, in face of what cannot 

What is that you say, Dionysodorus ? I asked : 
is not the beautiful beautiful, and the ugly ugly ? 

Yes, if it seems so to me, he replied. 

Then does it seem so ? 

Certainly, he said. 

Then the same also is the same, and the different 
different .'' For I presume the different cannot be 
the same ; nay, I thought not even a child would 
doubt that the different is different. But, Dionyso- 
dorus, you have deliberately passed over this one 
point ; though, on the whole, I feel that, like crafts- 
men finishing off each his special piece of work, 
you two are carrying out your disputation in excellent 

Well, he asked, do you know what is each 
craftsman's special piece of work ? First of all, 
whose proper task is it to forge brass ? Can you 

I can : a brazier's. 

Well, again, whose to make pots ? 

A potter's. 

Once more, whose to slaughter and skin, and after 
cutting up the joints to stew and roast ? 

A caterer's, I said. 

Now, if one does one's proper work, he said, one 
will do rightly ? 



MaAicrra. Tlpoa-qKei Se ye, to? ^7^?, tov fidyeipov 
KaraKOTTTCiv koL CKhepcLv; cojUoAoyrycra? ravra ■^ 
ov; 'QuoXoyqaa, e^rjv, dAAa (rvyyvcofjirjv /jloi 
€;^e. ArjXov tolvvv, -q 8 o?, on av ti? cr^d^as 
rov /xayeipov Kai KaraKoipas iip-qarj Kal OTrrtjarj, 
ra TTpoarjKovra TTOL-qaec Kal idv rov )(aXK€a ns 
avTov p^aA/ceJiy Kal rov Kcpapiia Kepafievrj, Kal 

OVTOS TO, TTpOarjKOVTa 7Tpd^€L. 

E Q, IloaetSov, -^v 8 iyco, rjSrj KoXocj)a)va iiTiTidrjs 
rfj ao<j>ia. dpd (xoi ttotc avrrj TrapayevT^aeraL, 
ojare fioi oiKeia yeviaOai; ^YiTTiyvoiris av avr-qv, 
CO YittiKpare'S , €(f)7], oiKeiav yevofievrjv ; 'Ea^' av ye 
^ovXr), €(f)r]v eyo), SrjXov on. Tt 8e', rj 8' o?) ra 
aavTov o'Ui yiyvcoaKeiv ; Et fji-q tl av dXXo Ae'yet?' 
ttTTo aov yap Set dpx^adai, reXevrav 8' els ^vdv- 
SrjfjLov TovSe. *Ap' ovv, €(f>rj, ravra rjyel ad 
€Lvai, cov dv dp^-QS Kal c^fj aoi avrois XPW^^^ ^ 
302 Tl dv ^ovXr); olov ^ovs Kal rrpo^arov, dp* dv 
riyoLO ravra ad etvai, d aoi e^etyy /cat dTTO^oadai 
Kal hovvak Kal dvaac drip ^ovXoio Oewv; a 8' dv 
fXTj ovrcos ^xj}) ov ad; Kdyco, rjSr] yap on ef 
avrcov KaXov n avaKvi/joiro rdJv ipcorrjfidrcov, 
Kal dfia ^ovXofievog rt ra^i'CTT aKovaat-, Haw 
p,kv ovv, €(f>rjv, ovrojs ^X^^' "^^ roiavra ion puova 

^ The Greek words follow a usual form of prayer or hymn 
to the gods. 


Yes, to be sure. 

And is it, as you say, the caterer's proper work to 
cut up and skin ? Did you admit this or not ? 

I did so, I replied, but pray forgive me. 

It is clear then, he proceeded, that if someone 
slaughters the caterer and cuts him up, and then stews 
or roasts him, he will be doing his proper work ; and if 
he hammers the brazier himself, and moulds the 
potter, he will be doing his business likewise. 

Poseidon ! I exclaimed, there you give the finishing- 
touch to your wisdom, I wonder if this skill could 
ever come to me in such manner as to be my very 

Would you recognize it, Socrates, he asked, if it 
came to be your own ? 

Yes, if only you are agreeable, I rephed, without 
a doubt. 

Why, he went on, do you imagine you perceive 
what is yours ? 

Yes, if I take your meaning aright : for all my 
hopes arise from you, and end in Euthydemus 

Then tell me, he asked, do you count those things 
yours which you control and are free to use as you 
please ? For instance, an ox or a sheep, — would 
you count these as yours, if you were free to sell or 
bestow them, or sacrifice them to any god you chose ? 
And things which you could not treat thus are not 
yours ? 

Hereupon, since I knew that some brilliant result 
was sure to bob up from the mere turn of the 
questions, and as I also wanted to hear it as quickly 
as possible, I said : It is precisely as you say ; only 
such things are mine. 



cfxa. Ti Se; ^oJa, €(f)rj, ov ravra /caAei?, a av 
B ^vxrjv ^XU> Nai, €(f>rjv. 'OfioXoyets o5v tcov 
t,a)cx>v ravra fxova etvat era, Trepl a av aoi i^ovma 
fj iravra ravra ttol€iv, a vvv Srj eyoj eXeyov; 'Ojxo- 
AoycD. Kal 6s, elptovLKibs ttolvv ima-)(^Li)V to? ri 
fxeya aKOTTovjx^vos, EiTre /xot, ^<f>'^, to YiWKpares, 
eari aoi Zei)? narpcoos ; Kal iych VTcorrrevaas 
Tj^eiv rov Xoyov fJTrep ireXevr-qaev , airopov rtva 
arpo(f>7)v e<f)€vy6v re Kal iarp€(f)6fJLr]V 17817 (Zanep 
iv SiKrvo) elXripi}X€VOS' Ovk eariv, riv 8' eyd>, a» 
^lovvaohaype. TaXaincopog apa ns av ye dvOpco- 
Q 7TOS el Kal oi58e 'A^i7i'aros', <5 fi-qre deol Trarpcoot 
elai {Ji'qre lepa fxt^re dXXo firjSev KaXou Kal dyadov. 
Ea, rjv 8 iyco, tS AcovvaoScope , ev(f)T]iJi,ei re /cat fir] 
XOiXeTTcos fxe TrpoStSacrKe . ean yap epLoiye Kal 
ficojxol Kal lepa ocKeZa Kal -narpcpa Kal rd dXXa 
oaaTTep roXs dXXois *A9-qvaLOLS r(x>v roiovrcov. 
Etra Tot? dXXoLS, e(f)rj, Adiqvaiois ovk ean Zey? o 
TTarpa)os ; Ovk earw, rjv 8' eyay, avrrj tj eTTCovvfXLa 
Iwviov ovhevi, ovd' oaoi e/c Ti7cr8e ti7S" TToXecos 
aTTtpKiafievoL elalv ovd* "QP-^v, dXXd 'AttoAAwv 
D TTarpa>os hid rr)v rov "Icovog yeveaiv Zei)? 8 
r^pZv TTarpcpos p,ev ov KaXelrai, epKeios 8e /cat 
(/)pdrpios, Kal * Kdiqvaia} (f)parpLa. 'AAA' dpKel 
ye, e(f)rj 6 ALovvaoSojpos . ean yap aoi, (hs eoiKev, 
'AttoAAcov re Kal Zei)? Kal ^Adrjvd. Davy, ^v 8' 

^ 'A^T/va/a Cobet : 'Ad-nvS. -mss. 

^ Zeus was the ancestral or tutelary god of the Dorians. 
* Cf. Eurip. Ion, 64-75. Apollo begot Ion upon Creusa, 
daughter of Erechtheus. 



Well now, he went on ; you call those things 
animals which have life ? 

Yes, I said. 

And you admit that only those animals are yours 
which you are at liberty to deal with in those various 
ways that I mentioned just now ? 

I admit that. 

Then — after a very ironical pause, as though he 
were pondering some great matter — he proceeded : 
Tell me, Socrates, have you an ancestral Zeus ^ ? 

Here I suspected the discussion was approaching 
the point at which it eventually ended, and so I 
tried what desperate wTiggle I could to escape 
from the net in which I now felt myself entangled. 
My answer was : I have not, Dionysodorus. 

What a miserable fellow you must be, he said, 
and no Athenian at all, if you have neither ancestral 
gods, nor shrines, nor anything else that denotes a 
gentleman ! 

Enough, Dionysodorus ; speak fair words, and 
don't browbeat your pupil ! For I have altars and 
shrines, domestic and ancestral, and ever>i:hing else 
of the sort that other Athenians have. 

Then have not other Athenians, he asked, their 
ancestral Zeus ? 

None of the lonians, I replied, give him this title, 
neither we nor those who have left this city to 
settle abroad : they have an ancestral Apollo, 
because of Ion's parentage.^ Among us the name 
" ancestral " is not given to Zeus, but that of" house- 
ward " and " tribal," and we have a tribal Athena. 

That will do, said Dionysodorus ; you have, it 
seems, Apollo and Zeus and Athena. 

Certainly, I said. 



iycxi. QvKOvv Kol ovroi aol deol av elev; €(f)rj. 
Ilpoyovoi, "^v S' iyio, /cai SecrTrdrai. 'AAA' oSv aol 
ye, €(f>rj- rj ov aovs (L/xoXoy-qKas avTov^ eivai; 
'Q.ljLoX6yr]Ka, €(f)7^v' tl yap Trddo); Ovkovv, €(/)rj, 
/cat ^cod elaiv ovtol ol 6eoi; (LfxoXoyqKag yd-p, 

E oaa ipvxyjv ^)(€L, ^cpa eivai. tj ovtol ol Oeol ovk 
exovai ipvx'qv; "Ep^oucrtv, '^v S' eyco. Ovkovv 
Kal ^cpd elaiv ; 'Lcoa, €(f>7jv. Tcov Se ye l,cocov, e^i], 
cofxoXoyr^Kas ravr* elvai ad, oaa dv aoi e^fj Kal 
So wat Kal aTToBoadai Kal dvaat av deco otoi ai' ^ovXr] . 
D.fioX6yr)Ka, €(f)r)v. ovk earc yap jxol dvdhvaig, c5 
Ei)0i;87j/i,e , "I^t hrj fxoi evdvs, "q 8' os, cIttc 
eVeiSi) aov ojLtoAoyet? clvat rov Ala Kal roiis 
dXXovs deovg, dpa e^earl aoi avrovs aTToSoadai 
303 7} Sovvai r) aAA' o ti dv ^ovXr) ;^/37^CT^a6 (Zairep rots 
dXXoig t,<i)o IS ; iydi fJ-ev ovv, cu Kplrcov, wairep 
TrAr^yetS" ^776 tov Xoyov, iKelfJuqv d(f>a)vog' 6 Se 
l^TrjaLTTTTos fjLOi Icov U)S PoT]d-^act)V , IluTrTra^ tS 
Hpa/cAets', ecJiT], KaXov Xoyov. Kal 6 AiovvaoScopos, 
Tlorepov ovv, e^Ty, o 'YipaKXrjg TrvTnrd^ iariv t) 
6 TTVTTTTa^ 'UpaKXrjs; Kal 6 l^r'qaLTnros , *Q Ho- 
aeiSov, €(f>r), SeivdJv Xoycov d(f>' djj-dxoj 
Toj dvBpe. 

B ^vravda /xevTOi, c5 ^t'Ae K.plTa)v, ovSels oarcs 
ov riov TTapovrctiv VTTepeTrrjveae rov Xoyov Kal rdi 
dvhpe, Kal yeXwvres Kal Kporovvres Kal ;!(at/3ov'T6?^ 
oXlyov TTaperddrjaav . errl fxkv yap rols efiTrpo- 

* 7eXcDi'r£j . . . KpoTovvres . . . xtt^povres Badham : ^eXuu'T* 
. , . KpoTOvvre , . . ;tai/)OVTe MSS. 



Then these must be your gods ? he said. 

My ancestors, I said, and lords. 

Well, at least, you have them, he said : or have 
you not admitted they are yours ? 

I have admitted it, I replied : what else could 
I do? 

And are not these gods animals ? he asked : 
you know you have admitted that whatever has life 
is an animal. Or have these gods no life ? 

They have, I replied. 

Then are they not animals ? 

Yes, animals, I said. 

And those animals, he went on, you have admitted 
to be yours, which you are free to bestow and sell 
and sacrifice to any god you please. 

I have admitted it, I replied ; there is no escape 
for me, Euthydemus. 

Come then, tell me straight off, he said ; since 
you admit that Zeus and the other gods are yours, 
are you free to sell or bestow them or treat them 
just as you please, like the other animals ? 

Well, Crito, here I must say I was knocked out, 
as it were, by the argument, and lay speechless ; 
then Ctesippus rushed to the rescue and — Bravo, 
Hercules ! he cried, a fine argument ! 

Whereat Dionysodorus asked : Now, do you mean 
that Hercules is a bravo, or that bravo is Hercules ? 

Ctesippus replied : Poseidon, what a frightful use 
of words ! I give up the fight : these two are 

Hereupon I confess, my dear Crito, that every- 
one present without exception wildly applauded the 
argument and the two men, till they all nearly died 
of laughing and clapping and rejoicing. For their 



adev €0' eKaaroig Trdcn TrayKoiXajs idopv^ovv fxovoi 
OL Tov ^vdvSrjjjLOV ipacTTat, evravda 8e oXtyov /cat 

OL KLOV€S OL €V TO) AvKCLO) idopV^Tjadv T 6771 Totv 

avSpolv Kal rjadrjuav. iycb /xev ovv Kal avTos 
ovrco hLeredrjV, ware. OfxoXoyeiV p.rjSei'as TxcoTTOTe 

Q avdpcoTTOVs ISelv ovrco ao(f)ovs, kol TravraTTaaL 
KaraSovXojdels vtto ri]s aocf)Las avrolv em to 
eTTaiveiv re /cai ey/cco/xta^eiv' avroj irpaTTOfirjv, /cat 
€LTrov Q, ixaKoipioi acfxl) rrjs davfxaarrjs (f)va€a}s, 
OL roaovrov TrpdypLa ovrco ra^v kol iv oXiycp xpovco 
i^eipyaadov . ttoXXo. p.ev ovv kol dXXa ol XoyoL 
vpLCJJv KoXd exovoLV, CO ^vdvSr}p,€ re Kal Aiovvcro- 
Scope' €v 8e rots /cat rovro pLeyaXoTrpeTricrrepov , 
on rojv TToXXcov dvdpcoTTCov /cat roJv aepLvcov Srj /cat 
SoKovvrcov Tt eti^at ovBev vfxlv /xeAet, dAAa rcov 
opLOLCjjv vpLLV pLovov . iyco yap ev oiSa, on rovrovs 

D rovg Xoyovs ttolvv p.kv dv oXiyoL dyaircoev dvOpconoL 
opLOLOL vpLLv, OL 8' ctAAot ouTOj voovcTLv avrovs, OiOr 
ev oi8 OTt alayyvQe'lev dv p^dXXov e^eXey^ovres 
roLovroLs XoyoLS rovg dXXovs ^ avrol e^eXeyxofievoi. 
/cat roSe av erepov Srjp,oriK6v rL /cat Trpaov ev 
Toi? Aoyots" OTTorav (f>rjre p^'Qre KaXov elvaL pirjSev 
fjL-qre dyaOov TTpdypua pirfre XevKov p>rjS* dXXo rcov 
roLovrcov p,rjSev, p,r]Se ro napdTrav erepcov erepov, 
drexvcos p^ev rep ovrL ^vppdirrere rd aropara rcov 

E dvdpcoTTCov, oiOTrep kcjX (f)are- orL 8 ov p,6vov rd 
rcjv dXXcov, dXXd ho^aLre dv /cat rd vp.erepa avrcL, 
rovro rravv ;!(aptei' re iarL /cat to erraxBes rcov Xo- 
ycov d<f>aLpelraL . ro 8e 817 peyLorov, on ravra 
ovrcos ex€L vp,lv /cat rexvLKcbs e^evprjrai, cxxrre ttovv 
oXiycp xpdvcx) ovrLvovv dv p.adelv dvdpcoTTcov, eyvcov 



previous successes had been highly acclaimed one 
by one, but only by the devotees of Euthydemus ; 
whereas now almost the very pillars of the Lyceum 
took part in the joyful acclamations in honour of 
the pair. For myself, I was quite disposed to 
admit that never had I set eyes on such clever 
people, and I was so utterly enthralled by their 
skill that I betook myself to praising and congratulat- 
ing them, and said : Ah, happy pair ! What amazing 
genius, to acquire such a great accomplishment so 
quickly and in so short a time ! Among the many 
fine points in your arguments, Euthydemus and 
Dionysodorus, there is one that stands out in 
particular magnificence — that you care not a jot 
for the multitude, or for any would-be important or 
famous people, but only for those of your own sort. 
And I am perfectly sure that there are but a few 
persons like yourselves who would be satisfied with 
these arguments : the rest of the world regard them 
only as arguments with which, I assure you, they 
would feel it a greater disgrace to refute others 
than to be refuted themselves. And fiuther, there 
is at the same time a popular and kindly featiu*e in 
your talk : when you say there is nothing either 
beautiful, or good, or white, and so on, and no 
difference of things at all, in truth you simply 
stitch up men's mouths, as you expressly say you 
do ; while as to your apparent power of stitching 
up your own mouths as well, this is a piece of agree- 
able manners that takes off any offence from your 
talk. But the greatest thing of all is, that this 
faculty of yours is such, and is so skilfully contrived, 
that anyone in the world may learn it of you in a 
very short time ; this fact I perceived myself by 

VOL. IV R 493 


tycoye /cat roi K.TrjmTTTTCp rov vovv 7rpocre;\;ajv, (hs 
ra)^v V[xds e/c tov Trapaxp'rjfJ-CL fiiixeladai olos t' 
r)v. TOVTO fxev ovv tov Trpdyixaros a(f>(I)v Trpo's p.kv 
304 TO Ta^v 7TapaSi86vai KaXov, ivavTiov 8' dvdpcoTrojv 
oiaXiyeadai ovk eTTtT-qSeLov, aAA' dv y i/Jiol irei- 
drjade, evXa^rjaecrde {jltj rroXXaJv ivavTiov Xiyeiv, tva 
H'V "TC-X^ eKfMadovTeg vplv /jLyj eiStucri ;\;a/)iv oAAd 
fjidXiGTa fxev avTO) Trpos dXXijXco fMovto SLaXeyeadov., 

€t Oe fXT^, €LTT€p CtAAoU TOV ivaVTLOV, CKelvOV fJLOVOV, 

OS dv vfXLV SiSoj dpyvpiov. rd avTa 8e raura, 

B €av au}(l>povrJT€ , /cat rots' [xadrjTats cwfi^ovXcvaeTe , 

fjLrjSeTTOTe fx-qSevl dvdpcoTTOjv SiaXeyeadat, dAA' t] 

v/juu t€ /cat avTOLs. to yap andviov, at ^vdvSrj/JLe, 

TLfjLLOV TO 8e vScDp CVCOVOTaTOV, dpiOTOV 6v, cu? 

€<j>rj Ylivhapos . oAA' dy€Te, "^v 8' iyco, ottcds Kafie 
Kat, K^CLvtav TovSe Trapahe^eadov . 

Tayra, c5 KptVcor, /cat dAAa ^pax^a 8taAe- 
X^^VTes aTT-rjfjLev. a/cdvret ovv, ottcos avijL(f>OLT'qaeLg 
C Trapd TO) dvSpe, cos e/cetVco ^aTov otuj t eivat StSctf at 
TOV IQiXovT dpyvpiov 8t8di'ai, /cat ovtc <f>vaiv ovd 
•f^XiKiav e^eipyeiv ovSefxiav — o 8e /cat croi /xaAtcrra 
TTpoai^Kei dKovaai, otl ovSe tov ;)(/)7j/LtaTt^ea^ai 
(f>aTov SiaKOjXveiv ovSev — fir] ov rrapaXa^elv ovtivovv 
€V7T€Tcos TTjv a(f)€T€pav ao(j>iav . 

KPI. Kat P''^^, c5 HcoKpaTes, (j)LXrjKOOS fiev 
eycoye /cat -^Seojs dv rt /xavdavoLp^i, KivSwevco 
fievTot Kdyd) els elvai tcjv ovx ofioicov EivdvBijp^a}, 
dAA' €K€LVCov, (x)v Bt] /Cat av eXeyes, rdjv rjSiov dv 
J) i^eXeyxofxevcov vtto tCov tolovtcov Xoycov t] e^- 
eXeyxdvTCov. drdp yeXolov fxev /xot 8o/cet €tvai 



watching Ctesippus and observing how quickly he 
was able to imitate you on the spot. Now, in so 
far as your accomplishment can be quickly imparted, 
it is excellent ; but for public discussions it is not 
suitable : if I may advise you, beware of talking 
before a number of people, lest they learn the whole 
thing in a trice and give you no credit for it. The 
best thing for you is to talk to each other by your- 
selves, in private ; failing that, if a third person is 
present, it must be someone who will pay you a 
good fee. And if you are prudent you will give 
this same counsel to your pupils also — that they 
are never to converse with anybody except you 
and each other. For it is the rare, Euthydemus, 
that is precious, while water is cheapest, though 
best, as Pindar ^ said. But come, I said, see if 
you can admit both me and Cleinias here to your 

This, Crito, was our conversation, and after ex- 
changing a few more words we went off. Now you 
must arrange to join us in taking lessons from the 
pair ; for they say they are able to teach anyone 
who is willing to pay good money, and that no sort 
of character or age — and it is well that you especially 
should be told that they promise that their art is 
no hindrance to money-making — need deter anyone 
from an easy acquisition of their wisdom. 

CRi. Indeed, Socrates, I love listening, and would 
be glad to learn from them ; but I am afraid I am 
one of the sort who are not like Euthydemus, but 
who, as you described them just now, would prefer 
being refuted to refuting with such arguments. 
Now, although I feel it is absurd to admonish you, 

^ Cf. Pindar, 01. i., which begins — ' kpuarov itkv vSup. 



TO vovdereXv ere, o/jlojs 8e, a y' tJkovov, iOeXco croi 
aTTayyetXai. tcov d<f>^ ufxaJv olttlovtcov tad^ oti 
TTpoaeXddyv rig fiot TrepnrarovvrL, dvrjp olofxevos 
TTovv elvai cro^os, tovtcov rt? rcou Trepl tovs Xoyovs 
Tovs els TO, BiKaar'qpt.a Seiviov, ^D. KptTcov, ^(f^V' 
ovSev (XKpoa rcovSe rcbv ao(f>a)v; Ov jxd rov Ata, ■^v 
S iyu)' ov yap olos r* rj Trpoaards KaraKovetv vtto 
rov o^Xov. Kat fji'qv, €(f>r], d^Lov y r^v aKovaai. 
11 oe; rjv o eyu). Iva TjKovcras avopoiv ota- 
Xeyofjcevcov , ot vvv aocfxoTaroL elai rcov Trepl tovs\ 
TOLOVTOvs Xoyovs. Kayo) eliTov, Tt ovv i<j)ai- 
vovro aoi; ll oe aAAo, rj o os, i] otanep aei av 
T19 Tcov TOiovro)v aKovaai Xrjpovvrcov /cat nepl 
ovSevos d^ioiv dva^iav airovSrjv notovfjievcov ; ov- 
Tcoal yap ttco? /cat elTre rots ovojxaai. /cat ly<x), 
'AAAd jLteWot, €^171^, x^P^^^ y^ '^^ irpdyfjid iartv 
rj (f)iXoaocf)la. Holov, ecj)-!), ^P-piev, cL /xa/ca/jte; 
305 ovhevos fJ-ev ovv d^tov, dXXd /cat et vvv -napeyivov, 
irdw dv arc otyLtat alcr)(wdrjvai vrrep rov aeavrov 
iraipov ovriag tjv droTTog, ideXcov iavrov Trap- 
ex^LV dvdpd>7Tois, OLS ovSev jxeXeL o ri dv Xeyaxrt, 
TTavros Se p-qpLaros dvrexovrat. /cat ovroi, drrep 
dpri eXeyov, ev rots KparicrroLs elal rcbv vvv. 
dXXd yap, 60 Y^piroiv, €(f>rj, ro Trpay/xa avro /cat 
ot dvdpcjTTOi ot eVt ru) TrpdyfxarL Scarpl^ovres 
(f)avXoL elac /cat KarayeXaaroi . €p,ol hi, c3 
HcoKpareg, ro Trpdyfia eSo/cet ovk op9d)s ifieyeiv 
B ovd^ oSros out' €1 ris dXXos ipeyec ro fxevroi 


I wish nevertheless to report to you what was told 
me just now. Do you know, one of the people who 
had left your discussion came up to me as I was 
taking a stroll — a man who thinks himself very 
wise, one of those who are so clever at turning 
out speeches for the law-courts ^ — and said : Crito, 
do you take no lessons from these wise men ? No, 
in truth, I replied : there was such a crowd that, 
though I stood quite close, I was unable to catch 
what was said. Well, let me tell you, he said, it 
was something worth hearing. What was it ? I 
asked. You would have heard the disputation of 
men who are the most accomplished of our day in 
that kind of speaking. To this I repUed : Well, 
what did they show forth to you ? Merely the sort 
of stuff, he said, that you may hear such people 
babbling about at any time — making an inconsequent 
ado about matters of no consequence (in some such 
parlance he expressed himself). WTiereupon — Well, 
all the same, I said, philosophy is a charming thing. 
Charming is it, my dear innocent ? he exclaimed : 
nay, a thing of no consequence. Why, had you been in 
that company just now, you would have been filled 
with shame, I fancy, for your particular friend : he 
was so strangely wilhng to lend himself to persons 
who care not a straw what they say, but merely 
fasten on any phrase that turns up. And these, as 
I said just now, are the heads of their profession 
to-day. But the fact is, Crito, he went on, the 
business itself and the people who follow it are 
worthless and ridiculous. Now, in my opinion, 
Socrates, he was not right in decrying the pursuit ; 
he is wrong, and so is anyone else who decries it : 
1 The allusion is probably to Isocrates. 



edcAeiv oiaXiyeoOai roiovrois ivavrtov ttoAAcuv 
avdpcoTTCov opOcos /xot eSd/cet /xe/x^ea^at. 

2n. Q. K^pLTiov, davfxdaioi elaiv ol roiovroi 
av8p€9. drap ovno) olSa 6 n /xe'AAo) ipeXv. 
TTorepcov r]v o TrpoaeXdcov aoi koI fi€fj,(f)6p,€vos ttjv 
<f)iXoao(f)Lav ; TTorepov rcbv dyojviaaadai heiVMV 
ev rols SiKaarrjpLOig, p-qrcop rig, -^ ru)V rovs tolov- 
Tovs eiaTTepiTTOvTCxiv , TTotiqTr^s tojv Xoyiov, ols ol 
ovTooes dyo)vit,ovrai ; 
KPi. "H/ctcTTa 1^17 Tov Ata prfoip, ou8e of/xat 
TTCxiTTOT avTov €7x1 hLKaaTTjpiov dva^€^r]K€vaf dAA' 
€7Tatetv avrov (f)aai nepl rov TTpdy/xarog vrj tov 
Ata Kal Setvov eluai /cat Setvovs Xoyovs avvTcdevai. 

2n. "HSrj jjLavddvu)' Trepl tovtcov Kal avros 
vvv 8rj e/xeAAov Xeyeiv. ovtoi, yap etcri /xev, lo 
KptVcov, ovs €(f)r) YlpoSiKog fiedopia (f>iXoa6(f)OV 

T€ dv8p6s KOI TToXlTLKOV, otoVTai 8' Ctl'at TTOVTOiV 

aocfxLraroi, dvdpcoTTCOv, vpos Se to) €tvai Kal 
8oK€iV TTOW Trapd ttoXXols, ojore irapd irdaiv 
D :v8oKLfX€lv epLTTohdyv a(f)Lcrt,v elvat ouSeVa? dXXovs 
r) rovs TTcpl (f)iXo(TO(f)iav avdpconovs. riyovvrai 
ovv, idv TOVTOVS els 86^av KaraarrjacocrL firjSevos 
SoKelv d^LOVS €Lvai, dvapL(jii(J^'qrrira)s tJStj Trapd 
TTaai TO, VLKTjT'qpta et? So^av otaeadaL ao(f)iag Tript. 
etvai fiev yap rfj dXr]deia a<j)ds ao(f)0)Tdrovs , ev 
8e rots' ISlols Xoyois orav aTToXei^dcjaiv , vtto rcov 
dp,^l ^vdvSrjfxov KoXoveadai. ao(f)ol 8e r^yovvrai 
elvai irdw cIkotcos' p^erpicos fJLev yap (f>LXoao(f)Las 
e;(eiv, fxerpiojs 8e ttoXltikcov, ttovv i^ cIkotos 



though I must say I felt he was right in blaming 
the readiness to engage in discussion with such 
people before a large company. 

soc. Crito, these people are very odd. But I 
do not yet know what answer I shall give you. Of 
which party was he who came up to you and blamed 
philosophy ? Was he one of those who excel in 
the contests of the courts, an orator ; or of those 
who equip the orators for the fray, a composer of 
the speeches they deliver in their contests ? 

CRi. Nothing of an orator, I dare swear, nor do I 
think he has ever appeared in court : only he is 
reputed to know about the business, so they declare, 
and to be a clever person, and compose clever 

soc. Now I understand : it was of these people 
that I was just now going to speak myself. They 
are the persons, Crito, whom Prodicus described as 
the border-ground between philosopher and poUti- 
cian, yet they fancy that they are the >visest of all 
mankind, and that they not merely are but are 
thought so by a great many people ; and accordingly 
they feel that none but the followers of philosophy 
stand in the way of their universal renoA^Ti. Hence 
they believe that, if they can reduce the latter 
to a status of no esteem, the prize of victory will by 
common consent be awarded to them, without dis- 
pute or delay, and their claim to wisdom will be won. 
For they consider themselves to be in very truth the 
wisest, but find that, when caught in private conversa- 
tion, they are cut off short by Euthydemus and his 
set. This conceit of their wisdom is very natural, 
since they regard themselves as moderately versed 
in philosophy, and moderately too in politics, on 



E Aoyov /xere^eiv yap aj.i(borepu)V oaov eSei, cktos 
8e ovfes Kivhvvojv /cat dycovcov Kapnovadat Tr)V 

KPi. Ti ovv ; hoKovai aoi rl, (L JjCOKpares, 
Xeyeiv; ov yap rot aAA' o ye Aoyo? e;\;ei tlvol ev- 
7Tp€7T€t,av raJv dvSpcbv. 

2n. Kai yap e;^et ovtcos, c5 KpiTcov, evTrpcTTeiav 
cOQ fxdXXov 7] dX^Oeiav. ov yap pahiov avrovs 
TTelaac, on Kal dvdpcoTTOi /cat rdAAa Trdvra, oaa 
fiera^v tlvolv Bvolv earl /cat dfX(f)or€poiv rvyxdvei 
IJi€T€Xovra, oaa jxev e/c /ca/cou /cat dya^oy, rod 
fxeu ^eXnco, rod 8e X^^P^ ylyverav oaa Be e/c 
Svotv dyadoLV fxrj irpos ravrov, dfx^olv ;(€tpa», 
TTpos o dp eKarepov fj XPV^'''^^ eKelvcov, e^ a)V 
avveredrj- oaa he e/c hvoiv KaKoZv avvredevra 
fxrj rrpos ro avro ovroiv ev rep pbiao) eari, ravra 

B fjuova ^eXrlcx) eKarepov eKeivoiv eariv, (hv dix(f>orepo}v 
p,€pos fierexovatv . et p,ev ovv rj (f)LXoao(jiia 
dyadov eari /cat t] TToXiriKr) Trpd^ts, rrpos dXXo 
he eKarepa, ovroi h afx^orepiov p^erexovres 
rovrojv ev fieaco elatv, ovSev Xeyovaiv ap^orepujv 
yap elai (f)avX6repoi' el he ayadov /cat KaKov, 
rojv fJbev ^eXriovs, rcov he ;!^etpous" et Se /ca/cct 
dp,(f)6repa, ovra>s dv n Xeyoiev dXrjdes, dXXcog 
8' ovhapa)S. ovk dv ovv olp,ai avrovs opoXo- 

Q yrjaai ovre KaKOi avroj dp<j)orepo} etvat ovre ro 
pev KaKov, ro he dyadov dXXd r<p ovrt, ovroi 
dp(l)orepaiV p.erexovres dp(f>orep(x)V -^rrovs elal 


quite reasonable grounds : for they have dipped 
into both as far as they needed, and, evading all 
risk and struggle, are content to gather the fruits 
of wisdom. 

CRi. Well, now, do you consider, Socrates, that 
there is anything in what they say ? It is not to 
be denied that these men have some colour for their 

see. Yes, that is so, Crito ; colour rather than 
truth. It is no easy matter to persuade them that 
either people or things, which are between two 
other things and have a certain share of both, if 
compounded of bad and good are found to be better 
than the one and worse than the other ; but if 
compounded of two good things which have not the 
same object, they are worse than either of their 
components in relation to the object to which each 
of them is adapted ; while if they are compounded 
of two bad things which have not the same object, 
and stand between them, this is the only case 
where they are better than either of the two things 
of which they have a share. Now if philosophy 
and the statesman's business are both good things, 
and each of them has a different object, and if these 
persons, partaking of both, are between them, their 
claims are nought ; for they are inferior to both : 
if one is good and the other bad, they are better 
than the one and worse than the other : while if 
both are bad, in this case there would be some truth 
in their statement, but in any other case there is 
none. Now I do not think they will admit either 
that both these things are bad, or that one is bad and 
the other good : the truth is that these people, 
partaking of both, are inferior to both in respect of 

VOL. IV R 2 301 


npos CKarepov, Trpos o 17 re ttoXltikti Kai 17 <^iAo- 
ao(f)ia a^luj Xoyov iarov, /cat rpcroi. ovres rfj 
dXrjdeLa t,rjTOvai Trpcorot, SoKelv elvai. ovyyi- 
yvcoGKCLv jxev ovv avTots XPV ""7^ eTTtdvjxias /cat 
1X7] ;(;aAe7ratVeiv, rjyeladai fievTOi, tolovtovs elvai 
oloi etcri- iravra yap dvSpa XPV osyaTrav, oar is 
/cat OTLOvv Ae'yet ixo/xevov (fjpovqcrecos Trpdyp.a 
D /cat dvhpeiojs eTre^icbv StaTroreirat. 

KPi. Kat ix-qv, (L Saj/cpaTC?, Kai avTos irepl 
rGiV viioiv, cocTTrep act Trpos ae Xeyoj, ev dTTopia 
elfiL, rl Set avrols XPV^^^^'^''- ^ H'^^ ^^^ vedi- 
repos €TL Kai apuKpos eart,, KpLTO^ovXog S 1787^ 
rjXiKLav e;^et /cat Setrat tlvos, oans avrov oviqaeL. 
iyoj iikv ovv orav aol ^vyyevcofiaL, ovrco Sta- 
TLdefiai, ware fxoi So/cetv fxavtav elvat ro evsKa 
rcjv TTaihoiV dXXojv fxev ttoXXcov aTTOvSrjv roiavrrjv 
E eax''^K€vai, Kat Trepl rov ydfiov, orruis e/c yev- 
vaiordrrjs eaovrat [xrjrpos, /cat Trepl rcbv xP'T)P'drojv , 
OTTOJS COS" TrXovanoraroL, avrdjv 8e Trepl TratSeta? 
dfieXijaai' orav Se ets riva drro^Xeipco rojv (f>a- 
aKovrcov dv TraiSevaaL dvdpcoTTOvs, eKTTeTrXrjyfMai, 
Kai fjLOL 80/cet els eKaaros avrcbv aKovovvri tto.vv 
307 dXXoKoros elvai, cu? ye Trpos ae rdXrjOrj elprjadat,' 
ware ovk exoj ottojs TrporpeTTOJ ro /xeipaKLov 
eVt ^LXoao(j)iav . 

2n. ^n ^t'Ae Kplroiv, OVK olada, on ev navrl 
eTTLrrjSevfAarL oi p-ev (f>avXoL ttoXXol Kai ov^evos 
d^LOL, ol 8e aTTOvSaXoL oXlyoi Kai Travros d^ioi; 
eTTel yvpivaariKTj ov KaXdv SoKel aoi eii^at, koX 
XprjiJiarLariKr} /cat prjropiKrj Kat arpar-qyia; 



the objects for which statesmanship and philosophy 
are important ; and while they are really in the 
third place they seek to be accorded the first. How- 
ever, we ought to be indulgent towards their 
ambition and not feel annoyed, while still judging 
them to be what they actually are. For we should 
be glad of anyone, whoever he may be, who says 
anything that verges on good sense, and labours 
steadily and manfully in its pursuit. 

CRi. Now I myself, Socrates, as 1 so often tell 
you, am in doubt about my sons, as to what I am to 
do with them. The younger is as yet quite small ; 
but Critobulus is already gro^vn up, and needs 
someone who ^vill be of ser\ice to him. WTien I 
am in your company, the effect on me is such as 
to make me feel it is mere madness to have taken 
ever so much pains in various directions for the good 
of my children — -first in so marrying that they 
should be of very good blood on their mother's side ; 
then in making money so that they might be as 
well off as possible ; while I have neglected the 
training of the boys themselves. But when I 
glance at one of the persons who profess to educate 
people, I am dismayed, and feel that each one of 
them, when I consider them, is wholly unsuitable — 
to tell you the truth between ourselves. So that I 
cannot see how I am to incline the lad towards 

soc. My dear Crito are you not aware that in 
every trade the duffers are many and worthless, 
whereas the good workers are few and worth any 
price ? Why, do you not hold athletics, and money- 
making, and rhetoric, and generalship, to be fine 
things ? 



KPl, "E/MOiye rrdvTCOs St^ttov. 
B 2n. Tt ovv iv cKaarr] rovrojv rovg ttoAAouj 
TTpos eKaarov to epyov ov KarayeXdoTovs 6pa,s; 

KPl. Nat /io, rov Ata, Koi fxdXa dX7]drj Xiyeis. 

sn. H ovv rovTov €V€Ka avTos re (f>€v^€L 
Trdvra rd iTTLTrjSevfiaTa koi to) vUX ovk iTnTpeifteis ; 

KPl. OvKovv StKaiov ye, c5 T,d>KpaTes. 

2n. Mi^ roivvv 6 ye ov XPV '^oUt, uj Kpircov, 
aAA idcras ;!^at/3eii' rovs inLTrjhevovTas (jiiXoao(f)iav , 
C eiTe XPV^'^'^^ elaiv etre TTOvrjpoi, avro ro Trpdyfxa 
paaaviaas KaXdJs re /cat ev, edv fiev aoi (fiaivr]Tai 
(f>avXov ov, TTavr dvBpa aTTorpeTre, fxr) fxovov tovs 
vleis' edv Se (f)aivrjTaL otov olfiai, avrd eyoj etvai, 
dappdjv SiojKe /cat doKei, ro Xeyo/xevov 8rj tovto 
avTos re /cat rd TratSta. 



CRi. Certainly I do, of course. 

soc. Well then, in each of these, do you not see 
most men making a ridiculous show at their respective 
tasks ? 

CRI. Yes, I know : what you say is perfectly true. 

soc. Then will you yourself on this account eschew 
all these pursuits, and not let your son have anything 
to do with them ? 

CRI. No, there would be no good reason for that, 

soc. Then avoid at least what is wrong, Crito : 
let those who practise philosophy have their way, 
whether they are helpful or mischievous ; and when 
you have tested the matter itself, well and truly, 
if you find it to be a poor affair, turn everyone 
you can away from it, not only your sons : but if 
vou find it to be such as I think it is, pursue and 
ply it without fear, both you, as they say, and yours. 



Abdera, birthplaceof Protagoras, 95 

Achilles, 187 

Acumenus, father of Eryximachus, 
physician, 113 

Adeimantus, (1) son of Cepis ; (2) 
Athenian admiral, son of Leu- 
colophidas, 115 

Aeneas, 47 

Aeschylus, Athenian dramatist 
(c. 525-456 B.C.), Septem, 449 n. 

Aexone, Attic deme or district, 
69 n. 

Agathocles, Athenian music- 
teacher, 119 n. 

Agathon, Athenian dramatist (c. 
447-400 B.C.), 115 

Alcibiades (c. 450-404 B.C.), 89-91, 
115 ff. ; the younger, cousin of 
Cleinias, 391 

Aleuadae, princes of Larisa in 
Thessaly, 265 

Alexidemus of Thessaly, father of 
Meno, 287 

Andron, son of Androtion, 113 

Anthemion, a tanner, father of 
Anytus, 335 

Antimoerus of Mende (in the 
Chalcidic peninsula Pallene), 

Antisthenes (c. 444-365 B.C.), dis- 
ciple of Socrates and founder of 
the Cynic philosopliy. 431 n. 

Anytus, son of Anthemion, tanner 
and democrat, accuser of So- 
crates, 262, 335 

Apollo, 197, 427 n., 477 n., 489 

ApoUodorus, father of Hippocrates 
and Phason, 97, 117 

Ariphron, brother of Pericles, 127 

Aristeides, " the Just," Athenian 
statesman (c. 530-468 B.C.), 3, 9, 


Aristippus, prince of Larisa in 
Thessaly, friend of Meno, 265 

Athena, 133, 489 

Axioohus, son of Alcibiades and 
father of Cleinias, 379, 391 

Bias of Priene (near Miletus), 

Ionian sage, 197 
Briareus, a hundred-armed giant, 

478 n. 

Callaeschrus, father of Critias, 115 
Callias, wealtliy patron of sophists, 

89-91, 111 tf. 
Carian slave, 35 n., 427 n. 
Cepis, father of Adeimantus, 115 
Chaeredemus, father of Patrocles 

the half-brother of Socrates, 

Charmides, son of Glaucon and 

maternal uncle of Plato, 113 
Chilon of Sparta, a sage, 197 
Chios, Greek island off the coast 

of Asia Minor, 381, 437 
Cleinias, (I) father of Alcibiades, 

95 ; (2) younger brother of Alci- 
biades, 127 ; (3) son of Axiochus, 

Cleobulus of Lindus in Rhodes, a 

sage of the time of Solon, 197 
Cleophantus, son of Themistocles, 

Colchis, on the east of the Black 

Sea, native land of Medea, 427 
Connus, .son of Metrobius, a harper, 

383, 463 
Corinthus, mythical founder of 

Corinth, 453 n. 
Oriso of Himera in Sicily, a runner, 

Critias (c. 455-404 B.C.), son ol 

Callaeschrus and pupil of So- 


crates ; afterwards oligarch, 90, 
115, 177 

Crito, wealthy Athenian and de- 
voted disciple of Soorates, 376 ff. 

Critobulos, son of Crito, 379, 50-2 

Crommyonian sow, 67 n. 

Ctesippus, of Paeania in Attica, 
385, 389 ff. 

Daedaliis, legendary inventor of 

sculpture, 361 
Damon, Athenian musician and 

sophist, friend of Pericles, 13, 

71, 79 
Delinm, battle at (424 B.C.), 15 n., 

41 n. 
Dionysodorus, sophist of Chios 

and Thurii, brother of Euthy- 

demns, 379 ff. 
Dioscuri, or Heavenly Twins 

(Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus), 

Dorian mode in music, 39 n., 57 
Dorians, 4S9 n. 

Empedocles, of Acragas in Sicily, 
philosopher (c. 475-415 B.C,), 
285 n. 

Epimetheus, brother of Prome- 
theus, 129 ff., 257 

Eryximachus, son of Acumenos, 
physician, 113 

Endorns, a wrestling-master, 849 

Eurybatns, a rogiv 149 n. 

Euthydemus, sophist of Chios and 
Thurii, brother of Dionysodorus, 
379 ff. 

Geryon, a three-headed and six- 
armed giant, 479 n. 

Glaucon, the elder, father of Plato's 
mother, 113 

Gorgias, of Leontini in Sicily, 
sophist (c. 490-395 RaX 265, 
285 n., 353, 367 

Hephaestus, eod of fire, 133 

Hercules, 469, 491 

Hermes, 135 

Hero<iicu3, of Sel)-mbria in Thrace 

(north of the Propontis), trainer 

and physician, 117 
Herodotus (c. 484-408 &a — ix. 

61-2), 49 
Hesiod, 117, 189 a. 

Hippias, of Ells, sophist, 89, 90, 

113 ff., 179 n. 
Hippocrates, of Cos, physician 

(c. 460-380 B.a), 99 
Hippocrates, son of Apollodorns, 

young friend of Socrates, 89, 

121 ff. 
Hipponicus, father of Callias, 99, 

113, 115 
Homer, 117; (II. viii. 107-8) 47; 

(x. 224) 215 ; (xxi. 305) 187; (xxiv. 

34S) 93 ; (Od. iv. 385) 437 n., (456) 

439 n ; (x. 494) 369 ; (xi. 582) 

114; (601)113; (xvii. 347)81 

Iccus of Tarentum, athlete and 

trainer, 117 n. 
lolaus, son of Iphicles and nephew 

of Hercules, 471 
Ion, son of Apollo and Creosa, 

489 n. 
Ionian mode in music, 39 n. 
lonians, 489 
Iphicles, half-brother of Hercules, 

Ismenias, democrat of Thebes, 

335 n. 
Lsocrates, Athenian rhetorician 

(436-338 B a), 376, 497 n. 

Laches, Athenian general (d. 418 
B.C.), 3, 4 ff. 

Larisa, town on the Peneus in 
Thessaly, 265 

Lenaeum, Atbenian dramatic festi- 
val, 149 n. 

Leucolophidas, father of Adeiman- 
tus, 115 

Lyceum, gymnasium dedicated to 
Apollo Lyceus, in an eastern 
suburb of Athens, 379, 385 n. 

Lydian mode in music, 39 n. 

Lysimachus, son of Aristeides, 8, 
4 ff., 349 

Marsyas, satyr flayed by Apollo, 
427 n. 

Medea, sorceress and wife of Jason, 

Melesias, 3 

Menelaus, king of Sparta, 439 

Meno, son of Alexidemus of Thes- 
saly, 263 

Metrobius, father of Connus, 383 

Musaeus, early bard, 117 



Myfon of Chen (? in Laconia), a 
sa-e, 197 

Kicias, Athenian general (c. 4Y5- 
413 B.C.), 3, 4 ff. 

Oenoe, Attic deme or district near 

the Boeotian border, 97 
Orpheus, legendary bard, 113, 117 
Orthagrras of Thebes, flute-player, 


raeania, in Attica, on the east side 

of Hymettus, 385 
Paralus, son of Pericles and half- 
brother of Callias, 113, 151, 349 
Patrocles, half-brother (on tlie 

mother's side) of Socrate.s, 471 
Pausanias, of Ceiames (Attic deme), 

Pericles (c. 490-429 B.C.), 3, 12(, 

153, 349 ; sons of, 113, 349 
Persephone, 301 
Persians, 49 
Phaedrus, of Myrrhinous (Attic 

deme), friend of Plato, 113 
Phason, brother of Hippocrates, 

Pheidias, Athenian sculptor (c. 490- 

432B.C.), 101, 341 
Pherecrates, Athenian comicdrama- 

tist(c. 460-390 B.C.), 149 
Philippides, son of Philomelus, 113 
Philomelus, father of Philippides, 

Phrygian mode in music, 39 n. 
Phrynondas, a rogi^ie, 149 n. 
Pindar, of Boeolia, lyric poet (c. 

520-440 B.C.), 285, 301, 4.i3 n., 

Pittacus, Ionian sage and ruler ot 

Mytiler.e in Lesbos (c. 630 b.c), 

90, 185 n., 197 
Plataea, battle at (479 b.c.), 47-8 
Polycleitus, of Argos, sculptor (c. 

480-412 B.C.), 101 ; .sons of, l-il 
Polycrates, tyrant of Samos (c. ')30 

B.C.), 335 
Poseidon, god of the sea and ol 

horses, 487, 491 
Prodicus, of Ceos, sophist, 71, 80, 

90, 115 f., 179 n., 357, 499 
Prometheus, son of the Titan 

lapetus, 129 f., 257 

Protagoras, of Abdera on the south 
coast of Thrace, sophist (c. 490- 
415 B.C.), 86 ff., 341, 431 n. 

Proteus, wizard of the sea, 437 n. 

Pythocleides, of Ceos, music- 
teacher, 119 n. 

Satyrus, slave of Hippocrates, 97 
Scamander, river-god in the Troad, 

Scopas, Thessalian prince, 185 
Scythians, 47, 479 
Simois, river-god in the Troad, 187 
Simonides, of Ceos, lyric poet (556- 

467 B.C.), 88, 90, 117, 185, 287 n. 
Solou, Athenian law-giver and poet 

(c. 638-555 a c), 37, 41, 197 
Sophroniscus, Athenian sculptor, 

father of Socrates, 13, 471 
Stephanus, son of Thucydides, 349 
Stesilaus, master-at-arms, 21-3 

Tantalus, a king who betrayed the 
secrets of the gods and was 
puni.-hed after death by having 
his appetites tempted but never 
gratified, 113-4 n. 

Teiresias, blind soothsayer of 
Thebes, 369 

Tliales, of Miletus, Ionian .sage, 197 

Themistocles, Athenian statesman 
(c. 514-449 B.C.), 349 

Theognis, of Megara, poet (c. 5(0- 
490 B.C.), 353 

Theseus, 66 n. 

Thucydides, son of Melesias, leader 
of the aristocratic party in Athens 
(c. 490-430 B.C.), 3, 7, 349 n., 351 

Thurii, Greek colony in South Italy: 
381, 437 

Xanthias, a wrestling-master, 349 
Xanthippus, son of Pericles and 

half-brother of Callias, 113, 151, 

Xenophon, son of Gryllus, Athenian 

soldier and writer (c. 444-356 

B.C.), 385 n. 

Zeus, 133 ff., 153, 489 

Zeuxippus (or Zeuxis), of Heraclea 

in South Italy, painter (c. 450- 

370 B.C.), 123 

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Cicero : Philippics. W. C. A. Ker. (3rd Imp.) 

Cicero : Pro Archia, Post Reditum, De Domo, De Hahus- 

picuM Responsis, Pro Plancio. N. H. Watts. {2nd Imp.) 
Cicero : Pro Caecina, Pro Lege Manilia, Pro Cluentio, 

Pro Rabirio. H. Grose Hodge. {3rd Imp.) 
Cicero: Pro Milone, In Pisonem, •Pro Scauro, Pro 

Fonteio, Pro Rabirio Postujio, Pro Mahcello, Pro 

Ligario, Pro Rege Deiotaro. N. H. Watts. {2nd Imp.) 
Cicero : Pro Quinctio, Pro Roscio Amerino, Pro Roscio 

Comoedo, Contra Rullum. J. H. Freese. {2nd Imp.) 
Cicero : Tusculan Disputations. J. E. King, {itk Imp.) 
Cicero : Verrine Orations. L. H. G. Greenwood. 2 Vols. 

(Vol. I 2nd Imp.) 
Claudian. M. Platnauer. 2 Vols. 
Columella : De Re Rustica. H. B. Ash. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 

Books I-IV. {2nd Imp.) 
CuRTius, Q. : History of Alexander. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. 
Florus. E. S. Forster ; and Cornelius Nepos. J. C. Rolfe. 

{2nd Imp.) 
Frontinus : Stratagems and Aqueducts. C. E. Bennett 

and M. B. McElwain. {2nd Imp.) 
Fronto: Correspondence. C. R. Haines. 2 Vols. {2nd Imp.) 
Gellius. J. C. Rolfe. 3 Vols. {2nd Imp.) 
Horace : Odes and Epodes. C. E. Bennett. {I3th Imp. 



HoBACE : Satibes, Epistues, Abs Poetica. H. R. F»irclough. 

{8th Imp. revised.) 
Jerome : Select Letters. F. A. Wright. 
JuvEKAL AND Pehsics. G. G. Ramsav. {7th Imp.) 
LivT. B. O. Foster, F. G. Moore, Evan T. Sage and A. C. 

Schlesinger. 13 Vols. (VoL I 3rd Imp., Vols. II-VII, 

IX-XII 2nd Imp. revised.) 
LucAX. J. D. Duff. (3rd Imp.) 
LccHETics, W. H. D. Rouse. {6th Imp. revised.) 
Martial. W, C. A. Ker. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 5?/i /mp.. Vol. II 

4th Imp. revised.) 
MnfOR Latin- Poets : from Pcblilius Strcs to Rctiuus 

Namatiasis, including Grattius, Calpursius Siculus, 

Kemesiaxls, Aviasus, with " Aetna," " Phoenix " and 

other poems. J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff. (2nd 

Ovid : The Art of Love axd otheb Poems. J. H, Mozley. 

(3rd Imp.) 
Ovid : Fasti. Sir James G. Frazer. (2nd Imp.) 
Ovid: Heroides AXD Amohes. Grant Showerman. {ithlmp.) 
Ovid : Metamorphoses. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 

lOth Imp., Vol. II Sth Imp.) 
Ovid : Thistia axd Ex Ponto. .\. L. \STieeler. {2nd Imp.) 
Petroxius. M. Heseltine ; Sexeca : Apocolocyxtosis. 

W. H. D. Rouse. {Sth Imp. revised.) 
Plautls. Paul Nixon. 5 Vols. (Vols. I and II 5th Imp., 

Vol. Ill 3rd Imp.. Vols. I\' and V 2nd Imp.) 
Plix-y : Letters. Melmoth's translation revised by 

W. M. L. Hutchinson. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 5th Imp., VoL II 

4th Imp.) 
Plixy : Natcbal Histoby. H. Rackham and W. H. S. 

Jones. 10 Vols. Vols. I-VI and IX. (Vol. I 3rd Imp., 

Vols. II-IV 2nd Imp.) 
Pbopertius. H. E. Butler. {5th Imp.) 
Prudextius. H. J. Thomson. 2 Vols. Vol. I. 
QuixTiLiAX. H. E. Butler. 4 Vols. (27id Imp.) 
Remaixs of Old Latix. E. H. Warmington. 4 Vols. 
Vol. I (Ennius and Caecilius). Vol. II (Livius. Naevius, 
Pacuvius, Accius). Vol. Ill (Lucilius, Laws of the XII 
Tables). VoL IV (Archaic Inscriptions). (VoL IV 2nd 
Sallcst. J. C. Rolfe. (3rd Imp. revised.) 


ScRiPTOHES HisToniAE AuGusTAE. D. Magic 3 Vols. 

(Vol. I 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Seveca : ApocoLocyNTOsis. C/. Pethonius. 
Seneca : Epistulae Morales. R. M. Gummere. 3 Vols. 

(Vol. I 3rd Imp., Vols. II and III 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Seneca : Moral Essays. J. W. Basore. 3 Vols. (Vol. II 

Srd Imp. revised. Vol. Ill 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Seneca : Tragedies. F. J. Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 3rd 

Imp., Vol. II 2nd Imp. revised.) 
SiDONius : Poems and Letters. W. B. Anderson. 2 Vols. 

Vol. I. 
SiLius Italicus. J. D. Duff. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd Imp., 

Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 
Statius. J. H. Mozley. 2 Vols. 
Suetonius. J. C. Rolfe. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 7th Imp., Vol. II 

6th Imp.) 
Tacitus : Dialogus. Sir Wm, Peterson ; and Agricola 

AND Germania. Maurice Hutton. {6th Imp.) 
Tacitus : Histories and Annals. C. H. Moore and J. 

Jackson, 4 Vols. (Vols. I and II Srd Imp., \ols. Ill and 

i\' 2nd Imp.) 
Terence. John Sargeaunt. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 6th Imp., Vol. 

II 5th Imp.) 
Tertullian: Apologia and De Spectaculis. T. R. Glover; 

MiNucius Felix. G. H, Rendull. 
Valerius Flaccus. J. H. Mozley. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Vahro : De Lingua Latina. R. G. Kent. 2 Vols. {2nd 

Imp. revised.) 
Velleius Paterculus and Res Gestae Divi Auoustl 

F. W. Shipley. 
Virgil. H. R. Fairclough. 2 Vols. (Vol. I nth Imp., Vol. 

II I3th Imp. revised.) 
ViTRUvius : De Ahchitectuha. F. Granger. 2 Vols. (Vol.1 

27id Imp.) 


Achilles Tatius. S. Gaselee. (2«d Imp.) 

Aeneas Tacticus, Asclepiodotus and Onasandeb. The 

Illinois Greek Club. {2nd Imp.) 
Aeschines. C. D. Adams. (2nd Lnp.) 


Aeschylus. H. Weir Smyth. 2 Vok. (Vol. I 5th Imp^ 

\o\. II 4//i Imp.) 
AixiPHBON, Aeliav and Philosthatus : Letters. A. R. 

Henner and F. H. Fobes. 
Apollodohus. Sir James G. Frazer. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Apollokius Rhodius. R. C. Seaton. {ith Imp.) 
The Apostolic Fathers. Kirsopp Lake. 2 Vols. (\'ol, I 

7 th Imp., \ol. II 6fh Imp.) 
Appian's Romav History. Horace WTiite. 4 Vols. (Vol. I 

3rd Imp., Vols. II, III and IV 2nd Imp.) 
Aratus. C/. Callimachus. 
Ahistophakes. Benjamin Bickley Rogers. 3 Vols. (Vols. 

I and II 5th Imp., Vol. Ill 4rth Imp.) Verse trans. 
Aristotle: Art of Rhetoric. J. H. Freese. (3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Athenian- Constitution, Eudemian Ethics, 

Virtues and \'ices. H. Rackham. (3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Generation of Animals. A. L. Peck. (2nd 

Aristotle: Metaphysics. H.Tredennick. 2Vols. {3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Meteorologica. H. D. P. Lee. 
Aristotle : Minor Works. W. S. Hett. " On Colours," 

" On Things Heard," " Physiognomies," " On Plants," 

" On Marvellous Things Heard," " Mechanical Problems," 

" On Indivisible Lines," " Situations and Names of 

Winds," " On Melissus, Xenophanes, and Gorgias." 
Aristotle : Nicomachean Ethics. H. Rackham. {5th 

Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Oeconomica and Magna Mohalia, G. C. 

Armstrong. (With Metaphysics, Vol. II.) (3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle: On the Heavens. W. K. C. Guthrie. (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle: On the Soul, Pahva Natuhalia, On Breath. 

W. S. Hett. (2nd Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle : Organon. H. P. Cooke and H. Tredennick. 

3 Vols. Vol. I. (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Parts of .Animals. A. L. Peck ; Motion and 

Progression of Animals. E. S. Forster. (3rd Imp.) 
Aristotle : Physics. Rev. P. Wicksteed and F. M. Corn- 
ford. 2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Aristotle: Poetics and Longinus. W. Hamilton Fyfe; 

Demetrius on Style. W. Rhys Roberts. (-Uh Imp, 

Aristotle : Politics. H. Rackham. {'Uh Imp.) 


Ahistotle : Problems. W. S. Hett. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd 

Imp. revised.) 
Aristotle: Rhetohica ad Alexandhum. H. Rackham. 

(With Problems, Vol. II.) 
Arrian : History of Alexander and Indica. Rev. E. 

Iliffe Robson. 2 Vols, (i^nd Imp.) 
Athenaeus : Deipnosophistae. C. B. Gulick. 7 Vols. 

(Vols. I, V and VI 2nd Imp.) 
St. Basil : Letters. R. J. Deferrari. 4 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Callimachus and Lycophhon. a. W. Mair ; Ahatus. 

G. R. Mair. 
Clement of Alexandria. Rev. G. W. Butterworth. {2nd 



Daphnis and Chloe. C/. Longus. 

Demosthenes I : Olynthiacs, Philippics and Minor 

Orations : I-XVII and XX. J. H. Vince. 
Demosthenes II : De Corona and De Falsa Legatione. 

C. A. Vince and J. H. Vince. {2nd Imp. revised.) 
Demosthenes III : Meidias, Androtion, Ahistochates, 

TiMOCRATES, Aristogeiton. J. H. Vincc. 
Demosthenes IV-VI : Private Orations and In Neaeham. 

A. T. Murray. (Vol. IV 2nd Imp.) 
Demosthenes VII : Funeral Speech, Erotic Essay, 

Exohdla and Letters. N. W. and N. J. DeWitt. 
Dio Cassius : Roman History. E. Cary. 9 Vols. (Vols. 

I and II 2nd Imp.) 
Dio Chrysostom. 5 Vols. \'^ols I and II. J. W. Cohoon. 

Vol. III. J. W. Cohoon and H. Lamar Crosby. Vols. IV 

and V. H. Lamar Crosby. (Vols. I-III 2nd Imp.) 
DioDOHUs SicuLus. 12 Vols. \ ols. I-V. C. H. Oldfather. 

Vol. VII. C. L. Sherman. Vol. IX. Russel M, Geer. 

(Vols. I-III 2nd Imp.) 
Diogenes Laertius. R. D. Hicks. 2 Vols. (Vol. I Uh 

Imp., Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 
DioNYSius OF Halicarnassus : Roman Antiquities. Spel- 

man's translation revised by E. Cary. 7 Vols. (Vols. 

I-IV 2nd hup.) 
Epictetus. W. a. Oldfather. 2 Vols. {2nd Imp.) 
Euripides. A. S. Way. 4 Vols. (Vol. I 7th Imp., Vols. 

IT and III 6th Imp., Vol. IV 5th Imp.) Verse trans. 
EusEBius : Ecclesiastical History. Kirsopp Lake and 


J. E. L. Oulton. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd Imp., Vol. II 3rd 

Galex: Ox the Natural Faculties. A.J. Brock. {3rd Imp.) 
The Greek Axthology. W. R. Paton. 5 Vols. (Vols. I 

and II 4th Imp., Vols. Ill and IV 3rd Imp., Vol. ^' 2nd 

The Greek Bucolic Poets (Theocritus, Biox, Moschus). 

J. M. Edmonds. {7th Imp. revised.) 
Greek Elegy and Iambus with the Axacreoxtea. J. M. 

Edmonds. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd Imp.) 
Greek Mathematical Works. Ivor Thomas. 2 Vols. 

{2nd Imp.) 
Herodes. Cf. Theophhastus : Characters. 
Herodotus. A. D. Godlev. 4 Vols. (Vols. I-III 4/A /mp.. 

Vol. IV 3rd Imp.) 
HEsroD ASD the Homeric Hyjiss. H, G. Evelyn WTiite. 

{7th Imp. revised and enlarged.) 
Hippocrates akd the Fhagmexts of Heracleitus. W. H. S. 

Jones and E. T. Withington. 4 Vols. (Vols. I and II 

3rd Imp., Vols. Ill and IV 2nd Imp.) 
HosrEH : Iliad. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. {6th Imp.) 
HosfER : Odyssey. A. T. Murray. 2 Vols. {7th Imp.) 
Isaeus. E. S. Forster. (2nd Imp.) 

IsocRATES. George Norlin and LaRue Van Hook. 3 Vols. 
St. Johs Damasceve : Barlaam and Ioasaph. Rev. G. R. 

Woodward and Harold Mattingly. {2nd Imp. revised.) 
JosEPHUs. H. St. J. Thackeray and Ralph Marcus. 9 Vols. 

Vols. I-VII. (Vol. V 3rd Imp., Vols. I and VI 2nd Imp.) 
JuLiAV. Wilmer Cave Wright. 3 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd Imp., 

Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 
LoxGus : Daphxis and Chloe. Thornley's translation 

revised by J. M. Edmonds ; and Pahthexius. S. Gaselee. 

(3rd Imp.) 
LuciAX. A. M. Harmon. 8 Vols. Vols. I-V. (Vols. I, II 

and IV 2nd Imp., Vol. Ill 3rd Imp.} 


Lyra Ghaeca. J. M. Edmonds. 3 Vols. (Vol. I 4th Imp., 

Vols. II and III 3rd Imp.) 
Lysias. W. R. M. Lamb. {2nd Imp.) 
Manetho. W. G. Waddell ; Ptolemy : Tetrabiblo3. F. E, 

Robbins. {2nd Imp.) 
Marcus Aubeuus. C. R. Haines. (3rd Imp. revised.) 


Menandeh. F. G. Allinson. {3rd Imp. revised.) 

Minor Attic Orators. 2 Vols. Vol. I (Antiphon, Ando- 

cides). K. J. Maidment. 
NoNNOs : DioNYSiACA. W. H. D. Rouse. 3 Vols. (Vol. 

Ill 2nd Imp.) 
Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodohus. a. W. Mair. 
Papyri. Non-Litehary Selections. A. S. Hunt and C. C. 

Edgar. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 2nd Imp.) Literary Selections. 

Vol. I (Poetry). D. L. Page. (3rd Imp.) 
Parthenius. C/. Longus. 
Pausanias : Description of Greece. \V. H. S. Jones. 5 

Vols, and Companion Vol. arranged by R. E. Wycherley. 

(Vols. I and III 2nd Imp.) 
PiHLo. 12 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. H. Colson and Rev. G. H. 

Whitaker ; Vols. VI-IX. F. H. Colson. (Vols. I, II, V, 

VI and VII 2nd Imp., Vol. IV 3rd Imp. revised.) 
Philostratus : The Life of Apollonius of Tyana. F. C. 

Conybeare. 2 Vols. (Vol. I -ith Imp., Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 
Philostratus: Imagines; Callisthatus : Descriptions. 

A. Fairbanks. 
Philostratus and Eunapius : Lives of the Sophists. 

Wilmer Cave Wright. {2nd Imp.) 
Pindar. Sir J. E. Sandys. {7th Imp. revised.) 
Plato I : Euthyphho, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedbos. 

H. N. Fowler. {9th Imp.) 
Plato II : Theaetetus and Sophist. H. N. Fowler. (4</i 

Plato III : Statesman, Philebus. H. N. Fowler ; Ion. 

W. R. M, Lamb. {4.(h Imp.) 
Plato I\' : Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus. 

W. R. M. Lamb. (3rd Imp. revised.) 
Plato V : Lysis, Symposium, Gohgias. W. R. M. Lamb. 

{4'th Imp. revised.) 
Plato VI : Cratylus, Parmenides, Greater Hippias, 

Lesser Hippias. H. N. Fowler. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato \'II : Timaeus, Critias, Clitopho, Menexenus, Epi- 

stulae. Rev. R. G. Bury. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato VI 1 1 : Charmides, Alcibiades, Hippahchus, The 

Lovers, Theages, Minos and Epinomis. W. R. M. Lamb. 
Plato : Laws. Rev. R. G. Bury. 2 Vols. (3rd Imp.) 
Plato : Republic. Paul Shorey. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 4,th Imp., 

Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 



Pldtabch : MoHALiA. 14 Vols. Vols. I-V. F. C. Babbitt : 

Vol. VI. W. C. Helmbold ; Vol. X. H. N. Fowler. (Vols. 

I, III and X 2nd Imp.) 
PuTTAHCH : The Parallel Lives. B. Perrin. 11 \'ols. 

(Vols. I, II, III and VII 3rd Imp., Vols. IV, VI, VIII-Xl 

2nd Imp.) 
PoLYBius. W. R. Paton. 6 Vols. 
Phocopius : History OF THE Wars. H. B. Dewing. 7 Vols. 

(Vol. I 2nd Imp.) 
Ptolemy : Tetbabiblos. C/. Manetho. 
QuixTUS Smyrxaeus. a. S. Way. {2nd Imp.) Verse trans. 
Sextus Empihicus. Rev. R. G. Bury. 4 Vols. (Vols. I and 

III 2nd Imp.) 
Sophocles. F. Storr. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 9th Imp., VoL II 6th 

Imp.) Verse trans. 
Strabo : Geography. Horace L. Jones. 8 Vols. (Vols. I 

and VIII 3rd Imp., Vols. II, V and VI 2nd Imp.) 
Theophhastus : Characters. J. M. Edmonds ; Hehodes, 

etc. A. D. Knox. (2nd Imp.) 
Theophrastus : Exquihy into Plants. Sir Arthur Hort, 

2 Vols. (2nd Imp.) 
Thucydides. C. F. Smith. 4 Vols. (Vol. I 3rd Imp., Vols. 

II-IV 2nd Imp. revised.) 
Tryphiodohus. Cf. Oppian. 
Xenophon : Cybopaedia. Walter Miller. 2 Vols. (Vol. I 

2nd Imp., Vol. II 3rd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Hellexica, Axabasis, Apology, and Syiupo- 

siuH. C. L. Brownson and O. J. Todd. 3 Vols. (\'ols. 1 

and III 3rd/fnp., Vol. II 4^/i /mp.) 
Xenophon : Memorabilia and Oeconomicus. E. C. Mar- 
chant. (2nd Imp.) 
Xenophon : Scbipta Minora. E. C. Marchant. {2nd Imp.) 



Aristotle : De Mundo, etc D. Furley and E. S. Forster. 
Aristotle : History of Animals. A. L. Peck. 
Flotixus. a. H. Armstrong. 




St. Augustine : City of God. 

[Cicero :] Ad Herevnium. H. Caplan. 

Cicero : Pro Sestio, In Vatinium, Pro Caelfo. De Pro- 

viNciis CoNSULARiBus, Pro Balbo. J. H. Frcesc and R. 

Phaedbus and other Fabulists. B. E. Perry. 




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