Tautēi

prison-of-socrates
Prison of Socrates, Athens

[ΣΩΚΡΑΤΗΣ. ΚΡΙΤΩΝ]

ΣΩΚΡ. Καὶ γὰρ ἄν, ὦ Κρίτων, πλημμελὲς εἴη ἀγανακτεῖν τηλικοῦτον ὄντα εἰ δεῖ ἤδη τελευτᾶν.
ΚΡΙΤ. καὶ ἄλλοι, ὦ Σώκρατες, τηλικοῦτοι ἐν τοιαύταις συμφοραῖς ἁλίσκονται, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδὲν αὐτοὺς ἐπιλύεται ἡ ἡλικία τὸ μὴ οὐχὶ ἀγανακτεῖν τῇ παρούσῃ τύχῃ.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἔστι ταῦτα. ἀλλὰ τί δὴ οὕτω πρῲ ἀφῖξαι;
ΚΡΙΤ. ἀγγελίαν, ὦ Σώκρατες, φέρων χαλεπήν, οὐ σοί, ὡς ἐμοὶ φαίνεται, ἀλλ’ ἐμοὶ καὶ τοῖς σοῖς ἐπιτηδείοις πᾶσιν καὶ χαλεπὴν καὶ βαρεῖαν, ἣν ἐγώ, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκῶ, ἐν τοῖς βαρύτατ’ ἂν ἐνέγκαιμι.
ΣΩΚΡ. τίνα ταύτην; ἢ τὸ πλοῖον ἀφῖκται ἐκ Δήλου, οὗ δεῖ ἀφικομένου τεθνάναι με;
ΚΡΙΤ. οὔτοι δὴ ἀφῖκται, ἀλλὰ δοκεῖν μέν μοι ἥξει τήμερον ἐξ ὧν ἀπαγγέλλουσιν ἥκοντές τινες ἀπὸ Σουνίου καὶ καταλιπόντες ἐκεῖ αὐτό. δῆλον οὖν ἐκ τούτων τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅτι ἥξει τήμερον, καὶ ἀνάγκη δὴ εἰς αὔριον ἔσται, ὦ Σώκρατες, τὸν βίον σε τελευτᾶν.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἀλλ’, ὦ Κρίτων, τύχῃ ἀγαθῇ, εἰ ταύτῃ τοῖς θεοῖς φίλον, ταύτῃ ἔστω· οὐ μέντοι οἶμαι ἥξειν αὐτὸ τήμερον.
ΚΡΙΤ. πόθεν τοῦτο τεκμαίρῃ;
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐγώ σοι ἐρῶ. τῇ γάρ που ὑστεραίᾳ δεῖ με ἀποθνῄσκειν ἢ ᾗ ἂν ἔλθῃ τὸ πλοῖον.
ΚΡΙΤ. φασί γέ τοι δὴ οἱ τούτων κύριοι.
ΣΩΚΡ. οὐ τοίνυν τῆς ἐπιούσης ἡμέρας οἶμαι αὐτὸ ἥξειν ἀλλὰ τῆς ἑτέρας. τεκμαίρομαι δὲ ἔκ τινος ἐνυπνίου ὃ ἑώρακα ὀλίγον πρότερον ταύτης τῆς νυκτός· καὶ κινδυνεύεις ἐν καιρῷ τινι οὐκ ἐγεῖραί με.
ΚΡΙΤ. ἦν δὲ δὴ τί τὸ ἐνύπνιον;
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐδόκει τίς μοι γυνὴ προσελθοῦσα καλὴ καὶ εὐειδής, λευκὰ ἱμάτια ἔχουσα, καλέσαι με καὶ εἰπεῖν· “ὦ Σώκρατες,
ἤματί κεν τριτάτῳ Φθίην ἐρίβωλον ἵκοιο”. [Homer, Il. 9.363]
ΚΡΙΤ. ἄτοπον τὸ ἐνύπνιον, ὦ Σώκρατες.
ΣΩΚΡ. ἐναργὲς μὲν οὖν, ὥς γέ μοι δοκεῖ, ὦ Κρίτων.
ΚΡΙΤ. λίαν γε, ὡς ἔοικεν. ἀλλ’, ὦ δαιμόνιε Σώκρατες, ἔτι καὶ νῦν ἐμοὶ πιθοῦ καὶ σώθητι· ὡς ἐμοί, ἐὰν σὺ ἀποθάνῃς, οὐ μία συμφορά ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ χωρὶς μὲν τοῦ ἐστερῆσθαι τοιούτου ἐπιτηδείου οἷον ἐγὼ οὐδένα μή ποτε εὑρήσω, ἔτι δὲ καὶ πολλοῖς δόξω, οἳ ἐμὲ καὶ σὲ μὴ σαφῶς ἴσασιν, ὡς οἷός τ’ ὤν σε σῴζειν εἰ ἤθελον ἀναλίσκειν χρήματα, ἀμελῆσαι. καίτοι τίς ἂν αἰσχίων εἴη ταύτης δόξα ἢ δοκεῖν χρήματα περὶ πλείονος ποιεῖσθαι ἢ φίλους; οὐ γὰρ πείσονται οἱ πολλοὶ ὡς σὺ αὐτὸς οὐκ ἠθέλησας ἀπιέναι ἐνθένδε ἡμῶν προθυμουμένων.
(Plato, Crito 43b-44c)

[SOCRATES. CRITO.]

SOCR. Well, Crito, it would be absurd if at my age I were disturbed because I must die now.
CRIT. Other men as old, Socrates, become involved in similar misfortunes, but their age does not in the least prevent them from being disturbed by their fate.
SOCR. That is true. But why have you come so early?
CRIT. To bring news, Socrates, sad news, though apparently not sad to you, but sad and grievous me and all your friends, and to few of them, I think, so grievous as to me.
SOCR. What is this news? Has the ship come from Delos, at the arrival of which I am to die?
CRIT. It has not exactly come, but I think it will come today from the reports of some men who have come from Sunium and left it there. Now it is clear from what they say that it will come today, and so tomorrow, Socrates, your life must end.
SOCR. Well, Crito, good luck be with us! If this is the will of the gods, so be it. However, I do not think it will come today.
CRIT. What is your reason for not thinking so?
SOCR. I will tell you. I must die on the day after the ship comes in, must I not?
CRIT. So those say who have charge of these matters.
SOCR. Well, I think it will not come in today, but tomorrow. And my reason for this is a dream which I had a little while ago in the course of this night. And perhaps you let me sleep just at the right time.
CRIT. What was the dream?
SOCR. I dreamed that a beautiful, fair woman, clothed in white raiment, came to me and called me and said, “Socrates,
on the third day thou wouldst come to fertile Phthia.”
CRIT. A strange dream, Socrates.
SOCR. No, a clear one, at any rate, I think, Crito.
CRIT. Too clear, apparently. But, my dear Socrates, even now listen to me and save yourself. Since, if you die, it will be no mere single misfortune to me, but I shall lose a friend such as I can never find again, and besides, many persons who do not know you and me well will think I could have saved you if I had been willing to spend money, but that I would not take the trouble. And yet what reputation could be more disgraceful than that of considering one’s money of more importance than one’s friends? For most people will not believe that we were eager to help you to go away from here, but you refused.
(tr. Harold North Fowler)

Autokrates

phallus4

Τῶν γενομένων ἀνδρῶν ὅσοι δειλοὶ καὶ τὸν βίον ἀδίκως διῆλθον, κατὰ λόγον τὸν εἰκότα γυναῖκες μετεφύοντο ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ γενέσει· καὶ κατ’ ἐκεῖνον δὴ τὸν χρόνον διὰ ταῦτα θεοὶ τὸν τῆς συνουσίας ἔρωτα ἐτεκτήναντο, ζῷον τὸ μὲν ἐν ἡμῖν, τὸ δ’ ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν συστήσαντες ἔμψυχον, τοιῷδε τρόπῳ ποιήσαντες ἑκάτερον. τὴν τοῦ ποτοῦ διέξοδον, ᾗ διὰ τοῦ πλεύμονος τὸ πῶμα ὑπὸ τοὺς νεφροὺς εἰς τὴν κύστιν ἐλθὸν καὶ τῷ πνεύματι θλιφθὲν συνεκπέμπει δεχομένη, συνέτρησαν εἰς τὸν ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς κατὰ τὸν αὐχένα καὶ διὰ τῆς ῥάχεως μυελὸν συμπεπηγότα, ὃν δὴ σπέρμα ἐν τοῖς πρόσθεν λόγοις εἴπομεν· ὁ δέ, ἅτ’ ἔμψυχος ὢν καὶ λαβὼν ἀναπνοήν, τοῦθ’ ᾗπερ ἀνέπνευσεν, τῆς ἐκροῆς ζωτικὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἐμποιήσας αὐτῷ, τοῦ γεννᾶν ἔρωτα ἀπετέλεσεν. διὸ δὴ τῶν μὲν ἀνδρῶν τὸ περὶ τὴν τῶν αἰδοίων φύσιν ἀπειθές τε καὶ αὐτοκρατὲς γεγονός, οἷον ζῷον ἀνυπήκοον τοῦ λόγου, πάντων δι’ ἐπιθυμίας οἰστρώδεις ἐπιχειρεῖ κρατεῖν· αἱ δ’ ἐν ταῖς γυναιξὶν αὖ μῆτραί τε καὶ ὑστέραι λεγόμεναι διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ταῦτα, ζῷον ἐπιθυμητικὸν ἐνὸν τῆς παιδοποιίας, ὅταν ἄκαρπον παρὰ τὴν ὥραν χρόνον πολὺν γίγνηται, χαλεπῶς ἀγανακτοῦν φέρει, καὶ πλανώμενον πάντῃ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα, τὰς τοῦ πνεύματος διεξόδους ἀποφράττον, ἀναπνεῖν οὐκ ἐῶν εἰς ἀπορίας τὰς ἐσχάτας ἐμβάλλει καὶ νόσους παντοδαπὰς ἄλλας παρέχει, μέχριπερ ἂν ἑκατέρων ἡ ἐπιθυμία καὶ ὁ ἔρως συναγαγόντες, οἷον ἀπὸ δένδρων καρπὸν καταδρέψαντες, ὡς εἰς ἄρουραν τὴν μήτραν ἀόρατα ὑπὸ σμικρότητος καὶ ἀδιάπλαστα ζῷα κατασπείραντες καὶ πάλιν διακρίναντες μεγάλα ἐντὸς ἐκθρέψωνται καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο εἰς φῶς ἀγαγόντες ζῴων ἀποτελέσωσι γένεσιν. γυναῖκες μὲν οὖν καὶ τὸ θῆλυ πᾶν οὕτω γέγονεν…
(Plato, Timaeus 90e-91d)

Some men, once they had been incarnated, lived unmanly or immoral lives, and it’s plausible to suggest that they were reborn in their next incarnation as women. That, therefore, was when the gods invented sexual desire,* a living being that they formed, though different in men and in women, and endowed with a soul. Here’s how they made each of these creatures. At the point where the channel for drink receives liquid (once it has passed through the lung, behind the kidneys, and into the bladder) and discharges it under pressure from air, they bored a channel into the marrow they had constructed, that extends from the head, down through the neck, and through the spine — that is, the marrow we described earlier as seed. The marrow, as something endowed with soul and now granted an outlet, generated, in the part where the outlet is, a lively appetite for emission and the result was the male yearning for procreation. And this is why men’s sex organs, like a creature which is incapable of listening to reason, are disobedient and headstrong, and, goaded by their frantic appetites, try to have everything their way. To turn to women and the ‘womb’ or ‘uterus’ they possess: there exists inside the womb, for the same purpose, a living being with an appetite for child-making, and so if it remains unproductive long past puberty, it gets irritated and fretful. It takes to wandering all around the body and generating all sorts of ailments, including potentially fatal problems, if it blocks up the air-channels and makes breathing impossible. This goes on until a woman’s appetite for childbearing and a man’s yearning for procreation bring the two of them together and they strip the fruit from the tree, so to speak. They sow in the field of the womb tiny creatures, too small to be seen. At first not fully formed, these creatures then become articulated, while the womb nourishes them until they’ve grown enough to emerge into the light of day. The result of this process, then, is the creation of living creatures. So this is how women and females of any species were created. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Kuoun

preggers

“Κυοῦσιν γάρ,” ἔφη, “ὦ Σώκρατες, πάντες ἄνθρωποι καὶ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα καὶ κατὰ τὴν ψυχήν, καὶ ἐπειδὰν ἔν τινι ἡλικίᾳ γένωνται, τίκτειν ἐπιθυμεῖ ἡμῶν ἡ φύσις. τίκτειν δὲ ἐν μὲν αἰσχρῷ οὐ δύναται, ἐν δὲ τῷ καλῷ. ἡ γὰρ ἀνδρὸς καὶ γυναικὸς συνουσία τόκος ἐστίν. ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο θεῖον τὸ πρᾶγμα, καὶ τοῦτο ἐν θνητῷ ὄντι τῷ ζῴῳ ἀθάνατον ἔνεστιν, ἡ κύησις καὶ ἡ γέννησις. τὰ δὲ ἐν τῷ ἀναρμόστῳ ἀδύνατον γενέσθαι. ἀνάρμοστον δ’ ἐστὶ τὸ αἰσχρὸν παντὶ τῷ θείῳ, τὸ δὲ καλὸν ἁρμόττον. Μοῖρα οὖν καὶ Εἰλείθυια ἡ Καλλονή ἐστι τῇ γενέσει. διὰ ταῦτα ὅταν μὲν καλῷ προσπελάζῃ τὸ κυοῦν, ἵλεών τε γίγνεται καὶ εὐφραινόμενον διαχεῖται καὶ τίκτει τε καὶ γεννᾷ· ὅταν δὲ αἰσχρῷ, σκυθρωπόν τε καὶ λυπούμενον συσπειρᾶται καὶ ἀποτρέπεται καὶ ἀνείλλεται καὶ οὐ γεννᾷ, ἀλλὰ ἴσχον τὸ κύημα χαλεπῶς φέρει. ὅθεν δὴ τῷ κυοῦντί τε καὶ ἤδη σπαργῶντι πολλὴ ἡ πτοίησις γέγονε
περὶ τὸ καλὸν διὰ τὸ μεγάλης ὠδῖνος ἀπολύειν τὸν ἔχοντα. ἔστιν γάρ, ὦ Σώκρατες,” ἔφη, “οὐ τοῦ καλοῦ ὁ ἔρως, ὡς σὺ οἴει.”
“ἀλλὰ τί μήν;”
“τῆς γεννήσεως καὶ τοῦ τόκου ἐν τῷ καλῷ.”
“εἶεν,” ἦν δ’ ἐγώ.
“πάνυ μὲν οὖν,” ἔφη. “τί δὴ οὖν τῆς γεννήσεως; ὅτι ἀειγενές ἐστι καὶ ἀθάνατον ὡς θνητῷ ἡ γέννησις. ἀθανασίας δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ἐπιθυμεῖν μετὰ ἀγαθοῦ ἐκ τῶν ὡμολογημένων, εἴπερ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἑαυτῷ εἶναι ἀεὶ ἔρως ἐστίν. ἀναγκαῖον δὴ ἐκ τούτου τοῦ λόγου καὶ τῆς ἀθανασίας τὸν ἔρωτα εἶναι.”
(Plato, Symp. 206c-207a)

“All human beings are pregnant, Socrates, in body and in soul, and when we reach maturity it is natural that we desire to give birth. It is not possible to give birth in what is ugly, only in the beautiful. I say that because the intercourse of a man and a woman is a kind of giving birth. It is something divine, this process of pregnancy and procreation. It is an aspect of immortality in the otherwise mortal creature, and it cannot take place in what is discordant. Now, the ugly is not in accord with anything divine, whereas the beautiful accords well. So at this birth Beauty takes on the roles of Fate and Eileithyia. For this reason,whenever the pregnant being approaches the beautiful, it is in favourable mood. It melts with joy, gives birth and procreates. In the face of ugliness, however, it frowns and contracts with pain, and shrivelling up it fails to procreate, and it holds back its offspring in great suffering. This is the reason why, for a pregnant being now ready to give birth, there is much excitement at the presence of the beautiful because its possessor will deliver the pregnant one from great pain. For the object of love, Socrates”, she said, “is not, as you think, simply the beautiful.”
“What, then?”
“It is procreating and giving birth in the beautiful.”
“All right”, I said.
“It certainly is”, she replied. “But why is the object of love procreation? Because procreation is a kind of everlastingness and immortality for the mortal creature, as far as anything can be. If the object of love is indeed everlasting possession of the good, as we have already agreed, it is immortality together with the good that must necessarily be desired. Hence it must follow that the object of love is also immortality.” (tr. Margaret C. Howatson)

Teleutēsantas

Gela_Painter_-_Black-Figure_Pinax_(Plaque)_-_Walters_48225

Ἀνδρὶ δὴ τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο γεννηθέντι καὶ ἐκτραφέντι, καὶ γεννήσαντι καὶ ἐκθρέψαντι τέκνα καὶ ξυμμίξαντι ξυμβόλαια μετρίως, διδόντι τε δίκας εἴ τινα ἠδικήκει καὶ παρ’ ἑτέρου ἐκλαβόντι, σὺν τοῖς νόμοις ἐν μοίρᾳ γηράσαντι τελευτὴ γίγνοιτ’ ἂν κατὰ φύσιν. περὶ τελευτήσαντας δή, εἴτε τις ἄρρην εἴτε τις θῆλυς ᾖ, τὰ μὲν περὶ τὰ θεῖα νόμιμα τῶν τε ὑπὸ γῆς θεῶν καὶ τῶν τῇδε, ὅσα προσήκει τελεῖσθαι, τοὺς ἐξηγητὰς γίγνεσθαι κυρίους φράζειν· τὰς θήκας δ’ εἶναι τῶν χωρίων ὁπόσα μὲν ἐργάσιμα μηδαμοῦ, μήτε τι μέγα μήτε τι σμικρὸν μνῆμα, ἃ δὲ ἡ χώρα πρὸς τοῦτ’ αὐτὸ μόνον φύσιν ἔχει, τὰ τῶν τετελευτηκότων σώματα μάλιστα ἀλυπήτως τοῖς ζῶσι δεχομένη κρύπτειν, ταῦτα ἐκπληροῦν· τοῖς δὲ ἀνθρώποις ὅσα τροφὴν μήτηρ οὖσα ἡ γῆ πρὸς ταῦτα πέφυκε βούλεσθαι φέρειν, μήτε ζῶν μήτε τις ἀποθανὼν στερείτω τὸν ζῶνθ’ ἡμῶν. χῶμα δὲ μὴ χοῦν ὑψηλότερον πέντε ἀνδρῶν ἔργον, ἐν πένθ’ ἡμέραις ἀποτελούμενον· λίθινα δὲ ἐπιστήματα μὴ μείζω ποιεῖν ἢ ὅσα δέχεσθαι τῶν τοῦ τετελευτηκότος ἐγκώμια βίου, μὴ πλείω τεττάρων ἡρωϊκῶν στίχων. τὰς δὲ προθέσεις πρῶτον μὲν μὴ μακρότερον χρόνον ἔνδον γίγνεσθαι τοῦ δηλοῦντος τόν τε ἐκτεθνεῶτα καὶ τὸν ὄντως τεθνηκότα, εἴη δ’ ἂν σχεδόν ὡς τἀνθρώπινα μέτρον ἔχουσα τριταία πρὸς τὸ μνῆμα ἐκφορά.
(Plato, Nomoi 12.958c-959a)

After this, for a man who has been born and brought up, and has begotten and brought up children, and has mingled in business transactions with due measure – paying judicial penalties if he has done someone an injustice and receiving the same from another – for a man who has aged according to destiny in the company of the laws, the end would come, according to nature. Now as regards those who have died, whether it be a male or a female, the legal customs concerning the divine things that belong to the gods beneath the earth and here – concerning whatever rites are appropriately celebrated – are to be authoritatively explained by the Interpreters. Graves, however, are not to be located on any land that is cultivable, whether the monument be great or small, but only where the nature of the land is suitable for this alone: to receive and hide, in a way that is the most painless to the living, the bodies of those who have died – these are the areas that should be filled. But with respect to those areas which Mother Earth by nature intends to produce food for human beings, no one either living or dead is to deprive those among us who are living of them. And they shall not heap up a mound higher than wat can be completed by the work of five men in five days; nor shall they make stone markers larger than are required to contain at most four heroic lines of encomia on the life of the deceased. As for the laying out, first, it is not to be for a longer time than that which shows whether a man has fallen into a death-like swoon or has really died, and in dealing with human beings, the third day would be just about a well-measured time to carry the body out to the monument. (tr. Thomas L. Pangle)

Megista

[ΣΩΚΡ.] Ἀλλὰ τί ἡμῖν, ὦ μακάριε Κρίτων, οὕτω τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλει; οἱ γὰρ ἐπιεικέστατοι, ὧν μᾶλλον ἄξιον φροντίζειν, ἡγήσονται αὐτὰ οὕτω πεπρᾶχθαι, ὥσπερ ἂν πραχθῇ.
[ΚΡΙΤ.] ἀλλ’ ὁρᾷς δή, ὅτι ἀνάγκη, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ τῆς τῶν πολλῶν δόξης μέλειν. αὐτὰ δὲ δῆλα τὰ παρόντα νυνί, ὅτι οἷοί τ’ εἰσὶν οἱ πολλοὶ οὐ τὰ σμικρότατα τῶν κακῶν ἐξεργάζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ τὰ μέγιστα σχεδόν, ἐάν τις ἐν αὐτοῖς διαβεβλημένος ᾖ.
[ΣΩΚΡ.] εἰ γὰρ ὤφελον, ὦ Κρίτων, οἷοί τ’ εἶναι οἱ πολλοὶ τὰ μέγιστα κακὰ ἐργάζεσθαι, ἵνα οἷοί τ’ ἦσαν καὶ τὰ μέγιστα ἀγαθά, καὶ καλῶς ἂν εἶχεν· νῦν δὲ οὐδέτερα οἷοί τε· οὔτε γὰρ φρόνιμον οὔτε ἄφρονα δυνατοὶ ποιῆσαι, ποιοῦσι δὲ τοῦτο ὅ τι ἂν τύχωσι.
(Plato, Crito 44c-d)

[SOCR.] But, my dear Crito, why do we care so much for what most people think? For the most reasonable men, whose opinion is more worth considering, will think that things were done as they really will be done.
[CRIT.] But you see it is necessary, Socrates, to care for the opinion of the public, for this very trouble we are in now shows that the public is able to accomplish not by any means the least, but almost the greatest of evils, if one has a bad reputation with it.
[SOCR.] I only wish, Crito, the people could accomplish the greatest evils, that they might be able to accomplish also the greatest good things. Then all would be well. But now they can do neither of the two; for they are not able to make a man wise or foolish, but they do whatever occurs to them.
(tr. Harold North Fowler)

Kubernan

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‘Νόησον γὰρ τοιουτονὶ γενόμενον εἴτε πολλῶν νεῶν πέρι εἴτε μιᾶς· ναύκληρον μεγέθει μὲν καὶ ῥώμῃ ὑπὲρ τοὺς ἐν τῇ νηῒ πάντας, ὑπόκωφον δὲ καὶ ὁρῶντα ὡσαύτως βραχύ τι καὶ γιγνώσκοντα περὶ ναυτικῶν ἕτερα τοιαῦτα, τοὺς δὲ ναύτας στασιάζοντας πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ τῆς κυβερνήσεως, ἕκαστον οἰόμενον δεῖν κυβερνᾶν, μήτε μαθόντα πώποτε τὴν τέχνην μήτε ἔχοντα ἀποδεῖξαι διδάσκαλον ἑαυτοῦ μηδὲ χρόνον ἐν ᾧ ἐμάνθανε, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις φάσκοντας μηδὲ διδακτὸν εἶναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν λέγοντα ὡς διδακτὸν ἑτοίμους κατατέμνειν, αὐτοὺς δὲ αὐτῷ ἀεὶ τῷ ναυκλήρῳ περικεχύσθαι δεομένους καὶ πάντα ποιοῦντας ὅπως ἂν σφίσι τὸ πηδάλιον ἐπιτρέψῃ, ἐνίοτε δ’ ἂν μὴ πείθωσιν ἀλλὰ ἄλλοι μᾶλλον, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἢ ἀποκτεινύντας ἢ ἐκβάλλοντας ἐκ τῆς νεώς, τὸν δὲ γενναῖον ναύκληρον μανδραγόρᾳ ἢ μέθῃ ἤ τινι ἄλλῳ ξυμποδίσαντας τῆς νεὼς ἄρχειν χρωμένους τοῖς ἐνοῦσι, καὶ πίνοντάς τε καὶ εὐωχουμένους πλεῖν ὡς τὸ εἰκὸς τοὺς τοιούτους, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἐπαινοῦντας ναυτικὸν μὲν καλοῦντας καὶ κυβερνητικὸν καὶ ἐπιστάμενον τὰ κατὰ ναῦν, ὃς ἂν ξυλλαμβάνειν δεινὸς ᾖ, ὅπως ἄρξουσιν ἢ πείθοντες ἢ βιαζόμενοι τὸν ναύκληρον, τὸν δὲ μὴ τοιοῦτον ψέγοντας ὡς ἄχρηστον, τοῦ δὲ ἀληθινοῦ κυβερνήτου πέρι μηδ’ ἐπαΐοντας, ὅτι ἀνάγκη αὐτῷ τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν ποιεῖσθαι ἐνιαυτοῦ καὶ ὡρῶν καὶ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἄστρων καὶ πνευμάτων καὶ πάντων τῶν τῇ τέχνῃ προσηκόντων, εἰ μέλλει τῷ ὄντι νεὼς ἀρχικὸς ἔσεσθαι, ὅπως δὲ κυβερνήσει ἐάν τέ τινες βούλωνται ἐάν τε μή, μήτε τέχνην τούτου μήτε μελέτην οἰόμενῳ δυνατὸν εἶναι λαβεῖν ἅμα καὶ τὴν κυβερνητικήν. τοιούτων δὴ περὶ τὰς ναῦς γιγνομένων τὸν ὡς ἀληθῶς κυβερνητικὸν οὐχ ἡγεῖ ἂν τῷ ὄντι μετεωροσκόπον τε καὶ ἀδολέσχην καὶ ἄχρηστόν σφισι καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν ταῖς οὕτω κατεσκευασμέναις ναυσὶ πλωτήρων;’
‘καὶ μάλα’, ἔφη ὁ ᾿Αδείμαντος.
(Plato, Politeia 488a-489a)

‘Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering—everyone is of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces anyone who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not—the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?’ – ‘Of course’, said Adeimantus. (tr. Benjamin Jowett)

Gumnasia

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῎Ισως δή, εἶπον, παρὰ τὸ ἔθος γελοῖα ἂν φαίνοιτο πολλὰ περὶ τὰ νῦν λεγόμενα, εἰ πράξεται ᾗ λέγεται.
καὶ μάλα, ἔφη.
τί, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, γελοιότατον αὐτῶν ὁρᾷς; ἢ δῆλα δὴ ὅτι γυμνὰς τὰς γυναῖκας ἐν ταῖς παλαίστραις γυμναζομένας μετὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν, οὐ μόνον τὰς νέας, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἤδη τὰς πρεσβυτέρας, ὥσπερ τοὺς γέροντας ἐν τοῖς γυμνασίοις, ὅταν ῥυσοὶ καὶ μὴ ἡδεῖς τὴν ὄψιν ὅμως φιλογυμναστῶσιν;
νὴ τὸν Δία, ἔφη· γελοῖον γὰρ ἄν, ὥς γε ἐν τῷ παρεστῶτι, φανείη.
οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, ἐπείπερ ὡρμήσαμεν λέγειν, οὐ φοβητέον τὰ τῶν χαριέντων σκώμματα, ὅσα καὶ οἷα ἂν εἴποιεν εἰς τὴν τοιαύτην μεταβολὴν γενομένην καὶ περὶ τὰ γυμνάσια καὶ περὶ μουσικὴν καὶ οὐκ ἐλάχιστα περὶ τὴν τῶν ὅπλων σχέσιν καὶ ἵππων ὀχήσεις.
ὀρθῶς, ἔφη, λέγεις.
ἀλλ’ ἐπείπερ λέγειν ἠρξάμεθα, πορευτέον πρὸς τὸ τραχὺ τοῦ νόμου, δεηθεῖσίν τε τούτων μὴ τὰ αὑτῶν πράττειν ἀλλὰ σπουδάζειν, καὶ ὑπομνήσασιν ὅτι οὐ πολὺς χρόνος ἐξ οὗ τοῖς ῞Ελλησιν ἐδόκει αἰσχρὰ εἶναι καὶ γελοῖα ἅπερ νῦν τοῖς πολλοῖς τῶν βαρβάρων, γυμνοὺς ἄνδρας ὁρᾶσθαι, καὶ ὅτε ἤρχοντο τῶν γυμνασίων πρῶτοι μὲν Κρῆτες, ἔπειτα Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ἐξῆν τοῖς τότε ἀστείοις πάντα ταῦτα κωμῳδεῖν. ἢ οὐκ οἴει;
ἔγωγε.
ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὴ, οἶμαι, χρωμένοις ἄμεινον τὸ ἀποδύεσθαι τοῦ συγκαλύπτειν πάντα τὰ τοιαῦτα ἐφάνη, καὶ τὸ ἐν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς δὴ γελοῖον ἐξερρύη ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐν τοῖς λόγοις μηνυθέντος ἀρίστου, καὶ τοῦτο ἐνεδείξατο, ὅτι μάταιος ὃς γελοῖον ἄλλο τι ἡγεῖται ἢ τὸ κακόν, καὶ ὁ γελωτοποιεῖν ἐπιχειρῶν πρὸς ἄλλην τινὰ ὄψιν ἀποβλέπων ὡς γελοίου ἢ τὴν τοῦ ἄφρονός τε καὶ κακοῦ, καὶ καλοῦ αὖ σπουδάζει πρὸς ἄλλον τινὰ σκοπὸν στησάμενος ἢ τὸν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ.
παντάπασι μὲν οὖν, ἔφη.
(Plato, Politeia 452a-e)

I should rather expect, I said, that several of our proposals, if they are carried out, being unusual, may appear ridiculous.
No doubt of it.
Yes, and the most ridiculous thing of all will be the sight of women naked in the palaestra, exercising with the men, especially when they are no longer young; they certainly will not be a vision of beauty, any more than the enthusiastic old men who, in spite of wrinkles and ugliness, continue to frequent the gymnasia.
Yes, indeed, he said: according to present notions the proposal would be thought ridiculous.
But then, I said, as we have determined to speak our minds, we must not fear the jests of the wits which will be directed against this sort of innovation; how they will talk of women’s attainments, both in music and gymnastics, and above all about their wearing armor and riding upon horseback!
Very true, he replied. Yet, having begun, we must go forward to the rough places of the law; at the same time begging of these gentlemen for once in their life to be serious. Not long ago, as we shall remind them, the Hellenes were of the opinion, which is still generally received among the barbarians, that the sight of a naked man was ridiculous and improper; and when first the Cretans, and then the Lacedaemonians, introduced the custom, the wits of that day might equally have ridiculed the innovation.
No doubt.
But when experience showed that to let all things be uncovered was far better than to cover them up, and the ludicrous effect to the outward eye had vanished before the better principle which reason asserted, then the man was perceived to be a fool who directs the shafts of his ridicule at any other sight but that of folly and vice, or seriously inclines to weigh the beautiful by any other standard but that of the good.
Very true, he replied.
(tr. Benjamin Jowett)