1.2.3 Sophist



Please give it the necessary close look, this snapshot of the TLG text of Euthydemus.   In particular please look closely at that dialogue’s cluster of  the key term aei/aiei,   

Now in Chapt. 22, which runs to only 32 lines, it is given a striking emphasis by being put inside quotation marks by the always-careful Oxford editor John Burnet.  

Such ‘encrustation’ is of course open to a reasonable reader’s scepticism.  John Cooper inaugurated this point of criticism in his Complete Plato,  (Hackett, Indianapolis 1997).  On the other hand this is Plato’s way of writing our ‘eternal’ or ‘always’.   

This is clearly a term Plato puts much emphasis on.   Further, it is a concept close to the heart of Amphinomus, who is well known to Proclus and other commentators on Euclid.   It is likely he to whom we owe Scholion #18 to Euclid I, which complains about the opening proposition.   What complaint, exactly ?   Well it is not a Theorem proper, but rather a construction.   Thus its product appears to be one of those hitherto-non-existent items, just ‘at this moment’ built by our geometer.   He is scornful toward the ‘tote=trigwnon’,  i.e. the ‘then-triangle’.   It is as if Triangle weren’t an eternal object !     

Plato had used the term in many of the centrally platonic contexts — well over 700 specimens  of this occur corpus-wide — either in its 3-letter or its 4-letter variant.   

This seemingly small variation of spelling has a very direct bearing on the report in Dionysius of Halicarnassus — the remark that Plato was fond of and preferential towards a diphthongal pair of letters, ahead of using the simpler monophongal variant.   This latter variant, == which I have echoed here just a dozen or so lines below this — harks back to an earlier, Pre-Plato Attic.   

Quite possibly young Theaetetus grew up writing this older style of Attic in Sunium, as witness the 70% preference shown at the beginning of Euclid X, where it very likely to be his authorship.   This is exactly where potentially infinite ongoing  processes come over the mathematical horizon in early Greek mathematics.  the Theaetetus 

On the literary side a chief model of that centenary=earlier writing is Thucydides, who favors it by a 128:0 ratio over the simpler form   ἀεὶ  .

Here is the snapshot of our ‘flock’ of  αἰεὶ

AIEI, clustering in Ch 22 of Euthyd


Euthyd chapt. 16, pansophos — split-line reading in Col B r2


216a1-216 d3 Sophist begins, col. B, l. 25 (56v)

216 d3 – 8b2 – 219 c3 (57r)

219 c3 – 0d9 – 222 a3 (57v)

222a4-223c1-224d6 (58r)

224 d6 – 6a3 – 227 b4 (58v)

227 d6 – 8d10 – 230 a6 (59r)

230 a6 – 1b6 – 232 c9 (59v)

232 c9 – 3e2 – 235 a2 (60r)

235 a2 – 6a8 – 237 c2 (60v)

237 c2 – 8d6 – 239 e7 (61r)

239 e7 – 1b4 – 242 c8 (61v)

242 c8 – 3e1 – 245 a1 (62r)

245 a1 – 6b1 – 247 b9 (62v)

247 c1 – 8c8 – 249 d6 (63r)

249 d6 – 1a5 – 252 b2 (63v)

252 b2 – 3c3 – 254 d1 (64r)

254 d1 – 5e4 – 257 a4 (64v)

257 a4 – 8b3 -259 c3 (65r)

259 c3 – 0e1 – 262 a7 (65v)

262 a7 – 3c2 – 264 d3 (66r)

264 d3 – 5e4 – 267 a7 (66v)

267 a7 – 8b2 – 268 d5 (67r) end of Sophist, only 23 ll. in col. B