1.2.1 Cratylus (31v – 42v)



In his early work, — perhaps written when Phililp was still helping Plato edit LAWS — Aristotle does ironic work with the front end of the name ‘Speusippos’, one of the ‘-ippos’ family, so the irony may be compounded, Speusippos and Philippos being rhetorically demoted together.   Proclus couples the two youngish platonists (neither one the young Aristotle).   He cleverly contrives to  call them ‘Speusippos kai Amphinomos’  [Friedlein edn  p. 77,15], and thus couples them, but avoids the overly clever punning on names.  Proclus manages thus to steer away from encoding the two names so as to make them both ‘-ippos’ men.

Eudoxus’s academic astronomer-colleague Kallippos fits under the same name-suffix.  Kallippus of course shares in many of the special facets with both Aristotle and Philip:   all 3 are adept at astronomy, so Aristotle in his Met. Lambda review of planetary motions and their causes.   It is surprising that Leonardo Taran, omits the pair Kallippos/Eudoxos in his tract on the famous phrase, from both Rep. X and from Aristotle elsewhere :  ‘amicus Plato, sed magis amica Veritas’.    Aristotle in Met Lambda works the variation we ma paraphrase as ‘amici sunt Kalippos et Eudoxos, sed magis amica akribeia’  “both Kalippos and Eudoxus are friends, but what lets me prefer one to the other is his closer approach to complete accuracy [sc. about the number of ‘spheres’ his theory requires for the cosmic orrery of the sky].

Diogenes Laertius is later to take sides with those who attribute to the ‘Socrates’ of Lives of Eminent Men II, 47, his writing on physical topics, following Anaxagoras  but also, continues DL, setting forth his own Ionian-like views, rather than echo those of Anaxagoras [the famous matter of ‘meteoroscopy and study of the earth beneath’.   Famously this was made part of what the Apology  refutes and disowns.  But that was another Socrates at issue, so says DL.  Do consider this set of pointers to a youngish Aristotle writing allusively about Amphinomus and Speusippus:


Speusippos, Arist’s ironic use of first syllable in his name EN IV,8 1125a14 r2



Aristotle uses an exotic word (once only, corpus-wide) which we may rightly call in English ‘dramatic’ ἐν παραδρομῇ   In our local language it is also a jump-up example, as  Stallbaum call such specimens ‘paradromic’ :

OED sub voce ‘paradromic’



It is likely to be non-apparent at first glance, my point here that this OED reference to ‘two knowledges’ has direct relevance to the writings of Eudoxus of Cnidos .   Eudoxus imposed a famous restriction — also a famously ambiguous restriction — on permitted ‘magnitudes’ allowed into an Eudoxan ‘logos’.   The restriction is that they must be ‘homogeneous’.   What is meant by ‘same genos’ here?   The restriction, now standardly called by the name of a successor to, also an admirer of, this same Eudoxus,  namely Archimedes.    Let all  allowed magnitudes be Archimedean.   It is brought to bear in texts of today at Def 3 of Euclid’s eudoxus-sourced Book Five.

Book Five contains nearly our earliest explicit foundational work on equalities among logoi, i.e. foundational work on proportion theory (ana-logia).   Archytas and his foundational work may have been a bit earlier, and work among what Plato and Philip called ‘the chaldeans’ is likely earlier.

Utterly unconnected to this ‘early work on foundations’, and much unconnected to the chaldeans, this following.   Kindly have a look at the exchange of letters from what seems long ago now, between Abraham Robinson and ‘Professor Brown’ of Brooklyn College;  they originated in early 1972, when I was an ‘assistant’ Professor there [I am now emeritus].  You wil perhaps pick up the little ‘typographical’ point — he thinks I was writing about Equality, not merely equality.   Plato’s ghost, or Robinsonian shadow, would be pleased.  As pleased as anything whose  true cosmic background is Fermi-bambino originated neutrinos.  What here at Youngersocrates. net we call, following Philip the progenitor, AETHER.  See now the paper of Graeme Heald on the ‘Cosmic Neutrino Background.’

Robinson-Brown letter June 1972

This gives that 29 May 1972 a wider context:

Robinson-Goedel letters & letterhead question

When are such things as magnitudes (we may ask of Robinson’s revered monad or halo) not of the same ‘genos’ ?    A scholion to Euclid’s first book on ‘stereometry’ clarifies this, saying things formerly thought to be from ‘two different knowleges’ (duain epistEmain) are henceforward seen to have all the needed ‘sameness’, i.e. the focal or flocked ‘familiarity’ GEOMETRY.   I believe the scholion originated in the time of Eudemus of Rhodes, pupil of Aristotle’s, but I got a letter casting reasoned doubts on this.   More on this if it interests you.   In any case, at a second glance you may tet the intuition that you have seen the countenance of Eudoxus of Cnidus [this  countenance has been newly reconstructed, its image soon to appear here alongside Younger Socrates, — from the Philosophenmosaik by David Dann of upstate New York, paradromically enough].

duain epistemain, OED made by English ‘two knowledges’ cite frm 1856 r2


homoiomereiai slide of Euclid 12,3


The recent writings and postings from Francesco Ademollo and David Sedley, particularly those touching on Plato’s individual reading of Heraclitus, are at issue here. Early in Aristotle’s little tract ‘On Ideas’ there is phrasing close to “Plato and other companions of Younger Socrates”    Please see my effort to de-anachronise Aristotle’s pair of names  ‘those around Socrates and Plato’, as the Cratylus indicates in its list.

One particular page within the present website was already “up” since 2017, and had carried the name “Plato and other companions of Younger Socrates”, when I came upon Aristotle’s mid-4th century BC phrasing covering this very group of Academy companions.   The two titles are of similar import if we repair the anachronism involved in taking Aristotle’s name for his teacher as pointing to the Elder Socrates .

Please look closely at this, particularly if you are conversant with the pair of dialogues Theaetetus and Cratylus.   Both dialogues have serious bulks of material useful in gaining fuller understanding of the Early Academy’s relation to Heraclitus and other Ionians — a key other being Anaxagoras, whose follower was Plato’s close companion Eudoxus of Cnidus.  Please look at the following slides:

P idewn 1078b12,f


rep 5, ch 20, Shorey r4



This below graphic image dealing with ‘Socrates Allos’ or Socrates Alternate, may present you with a few interpretive challenges.   All the same, it may be worth the effort to decode its less obvious parts:


Allos as a quasi-proper name, Rep V, 20 ad init


A directed here, in the manner of a blog, to F. Ademollo and D. Nails of ‘joint search dialectic’ scholarship concerning Plato:

Do both of you please see OED entry for ‘plumb bob’ ,and notice its applicability to the Napels Mosaic from First Century, showing Eudoxus, Younger Socrates and Plato:

OED s v ‘plumb bob, with my notations

A dissertation of nearly a centenary ago now spotlighted a habit of High Attic prose style, at least in its most highflown:   ‘Alliteration bei den Drei Tragikern’ the author called this.  It will have required an effort for the researcher to try to find a better case than this following in Philip of Opus, a kind of “fourth tragedian”.  Less flattering to Philip and likely more accurate given his grotesquely repetitive phrasing at Epinomis 973c8-d1 following close after another alliteration — also using the same consonant!   A more extended assonant alliteration is executed by Philip at De Mundo 399a14  words there being “akosmia/kosmos/akoloutheia/akolasia”.  It is as if he was purposely gathering an overabundance of word-plays:  Saturnian priests were apparently in  these same habits, some generations after Philip and Aristotle.

please look, especially if you think me to be exaggerating:

akosmia calling the Pan by the name ‘Mundo’ i e Kosmos v.20 r5


yellow circle zenith, plumb bob, paired _sticks of Eudoxus_, enlarged


broader view of astronomy lab and its practitioners here:

yellow circle zenith, plumb bob, sticks of Eudoxus r2




Causing a string of letters to come apart, but only at that word’s joints may be just one thing.  But it is quite another to ignore internal articulations, as Julian Barnes wrote recently in his book “Nothing[ness] to be Frightened of”.  It is a book about various ways of coming to terms with one’s own dying.   He has a dramatic flair, Julian does, and has an author busily doing his writing activity when, — FLASH — he dies at once.  In mid-word even:  it gets logged on his typescript at the word-torso  ‘wor’   The END, finis, that’s all he wrote, and was.  Prodicus the seductive would be proud of such a wordsmith, or (pardon the expression a wordsm  .

So would Philip of Opus, who wants to recite names, in his p. Kosmou , and to create clever variants on public or intra-academy schemes of naming, often drawn from the hypercleverness of Cratylus — which manages to decompose ‘swphrosyne’ into a pair, SWTERIA+PHRONESIS.  Or, equally overclever, decompose ‘noEsis’ into ‘tou neou+Hesis’    Amongst the various meanings of this last phrase is  this rather naughty one:  OF THE YOUNG MAN, A CRAVING (!).  Plato seems to have had a personal craving for a young man Aster, whom he nicknames as Iros in ILIAD is nicknamed too, after his expertise, i.e. Astronomy.    Philip appears to call himself the ’eminently wise, sophwtatos truly astronomer man’ in the final chapter of EPINOMIS.


In Philip’s account in p. Kosmou, some individual gods experience decay of consonants within their names, ‘Kronos’ decaying into ‘Chronos.’  One prominent individual is the chief sufferer under his own ‘polyonymy’ [this is a rare word in classical Greek],  Zeus SWTHR or Zeus HETAIRIOS/PHILIOS (Bekker 401).


(bis5) semi-Aeolic AIEI in final chapt. of Epinomis, at 992c1 length=3.5, rev6




If (as I believe true) this below quip about ‘akosmia’ was written by Plato’s student Philip during the lifetime of Plato, and if (as I also believe true) my friend and colleague from the Massif Centrale Jonathan Barnes has the right range of dates for ps.-Aristotle’s Peri Kosmou, namely -350 through -200,  many of us, myself included, will want to locate its date near the very earliest, the mid-4th century BC.

akosmia not so when I call the sum-Pan by the name ‘Mundo’ i e Kosmos v.20

This little pseudepigraphic  tract on the World or Cosmos has its author achieving his wordplay and his witty joke, but only after paying a high price.   I mean a price in the matter of logic theory:   He contrives a serious confusion of his mentions with his uses !   He mentions “akosmia” (ill-arranged) and “akolasia” (ill-disciplined), and yet deliberately omits any markers or hints that it is the signs, not the things-signified at issue.

There is an analogy to our little joke :   “sure I’ll help find the sympathy you’re seeking — You’ll find it very near the end of the ‘S’  section of our dictionary here’ [pointing to Timaeus-the-Sophist’s dictionary, or the SUDA, the letter ‘Sigma’ down here]”.    The seek-whence points back to what Philip of Opus, before that Timaeus, would know as “our alphabet”.   This of course puts the answer into an inconsistency or inconcinnity with anything so to speak ‘here’, like you or me or our lower world of winds and disturbances like those caused.   In other words we must return to the sub-lunar world that includes personal emotions, such as fellow-feeling, the sympathy which was the true quaesitum.

See if you can work through this following on “follow” and “furrow”, a little witticism more narrowly  limited to the English language:    my theories have it written  by Philip of Opus, in his tract   π. κοσμοῦ  , very near the date 5 years after Seventh Letter.  My date puts its writing while Plato is still alive, still adding some harmlessly distractive  anacoluthia to his Timaeus [please see webpage of Timaeus ]

A little harmless aside here, parallel to the main task: Jonathan Barnes is as hellenic in his lexical interests as is his twin-in-lexicography Julian Barnes.   Witness the famous never-ending END to Julian’s recent (yet ongoing) book on a subject we may call Barnesian slow-motion dying.   There is a causal sequence which takes the listener or reader back to Odysseus and the second of two logician-jokes he plays on one-eyed or no-eyed giant POLYPHEMUS.

Recall the first paradox from Odysseus :  it was perhaps prefiguring DeMorgan’s naming the editor for that singular edition of Thales.   It got prominence much earlier than the epic about the hunt for Thales (Itinerario  de trenes, 2002) — ‘2 volumes, Folio’ — of Thales’s quasi-complete works.   DeMorgan called him Prof. Niemand ( = call me ‘Nobody’).   Where was the location of the actual publication ( = call it ‘Nowhere’).   It is a set of expressions that do not truly refer, not at all.   But what about the #2 point, applicable after Polyphemus has had the poignant first encounter inside Homer’s cave:    I am deliberately making  you, O Nobody, my final meal, final for this little flood or flock of quasi-sheep, — comedians such as Mark Maron have since A.D. 2005 called us ‘sheeple’ — all of whom I intend, O Nobody, to devour !

I do not hold that the ‘incertus Auctor’ of the  π. κοσμοῦ    is to some low level of  confidence Plato’s amanuensis Philip of Opus.    After all many another tract fits comfortably under SUDA’s final phrase ‘…and many others [sc. works]’.   I hold, rather, this to be true, but at a reasonably high level of confidence.

Two main thoughts promote my own confidence here:  (1)  The little and syntactically bumpy anacoluthion Plato added to his Timaeus 28 b2-4 near writing Letters #7, #8 is aimed polemically against Philip and (2)  the multi-faceted joke about ‘akosmia’ and ‘akolasia’ and the alphabet is a snappy retort to the effect ‘I know how to entitle my DeMundo, thank you Dear Prominence here in our flock of academicians, and it’s a far better than the unCosmic name than your piece entitled ‘Timaeus’ !

Date of  composition of    π. κοσμοῦ  same Olympiad as the Year   -349

akosmia not so when I call the sum-Pan by the name ‘Mundo’ i e Kosmos v.20

  [anacoluthon aimed at my friend Julian:  have you recently met any ps.-Ar.  “de-occultations” try Bonitz s.v. ‘anaphainesthai’]

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

Now in Chapt. 22 of Euthydemus, 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


Epistle VIII, probably originally from Plato’s own hand, reveals a preference like that of Thucydides, for an earlier dialect of Attic, with diphthongal spellings preferred.   Marcellinus seems to confirm the point Plato makes in Cratylus 398b,ff, that even within a diphthong such as that of ‘daimwn‘, formerly ‘daEmwn‘.  The older versions of ‘our’ language can have manifested a seriously different pattern of the dialect.  Notably the earlier writers who had been experimenting with longer or shorter vowels, to cause differently diphthongal mannerisms.   All this was going alongside both evolution of Attic/At-thic, and Plato’s self-conscious work with his own dialect.   In addition to Epistle VIII, we have this self-conscious work here in his dialogue subtitled ‘On Correctness of Names’.   This is documenting the evolution within Attic about which Marcellilnus is to comment much later.   Some in Thucydides’s prose, and parallel events in Plato’s poetic prose.

Consider the evidences offered here, some from firm epigraphical sources:

Epistle VIII, six consecutive Marcellinus spellings, nrs 1,2 rev2

383a1-384a2, begin Cratylus (31v)

Chapt 1      383a1: Βούλει οὖν καὶ Σωκράτει…

383a1-384a2, begin Cratylus (31v)

Chapt 2     384 c10:  Καὶ μὴν ἔγωγε, ὦ Σώκρατες …

Chapt 3    385 b2:     Φέρε δή μοι τόδε εἰπέ …

Chapt 4     385 e4:    Φέρε δή, ἴδωμεν. . . 

Chapt 5      386 d3:    Ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ κατ’ Εὐθύδημόν γε….

384a2-385c4-386e7 (32r)

Chapt 6    387 b8:   Ἀρ’ οὖν οὐ καὶ τὸ λέγειν…

Chapt 7     387 d10:    Φέρε δή, ὃ ἔδει τέμνειν…

Chapt 8    388 b13:   Ὄνομα ἆρα διδασκαλικόν τί ἐστιν…

Chapt 9    389 a5:    Ἴθη δή, ἐπίσκεψαι…  [J. Cooper put the scholarly spotlight on ‘episkepsis’ in Plato, passim.  It is dominant in the ‘orphaned’ work by Philip, now Heiberg’s Euclid bk 12-alt]

386e7-388c6-389e3 (32v)7

Chapt 10   390 b1:    Τίς οὖν ὁ γνωσόμενος…

Chapt 11    391 b4     Οὐκοῦν τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο χρῆ ζητεῖν…

Chapt 12    392 c2  Ὡδε δὴ σκόπει.

389e3-391b6-392d4 (33r)7

Chapt 13   393 b7   Δίκαιόν γέ τοί ἐστιν…

Chapt 14   394 d5    Τί δὲ [δαὶ Stallb., Brandwood ] τοῖς παρὰ φύσιν…

392d4-394a1-395b4 (33v)

Chapt 15   396 d4     Καὶ αἰτιῶμαί γε, ὦ Ἑρμόγενες …

Chapt 16     397 c4    Ἆρ’ οὖν οὐ δίκαιον ἀπὸ…

395b4-396c3-397e2 (34r)

Chapt 17     398 e3    Ἀλλὰ οὐ τοῦτο χαλεπόν ἐστιν…

397e2-399a7-400c1 (34v)

Chapt 18    400 d1      Ταῦτα μέν μοι δοκεῖ ἱκανῶς ,…

Chapt 19      401 d7          καὶ ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ταύτῇ… [note: Burnet’s Oxf.Classical Text edition makes no paragraph break here, — still less a chapter break.  Stallbaum is better]

Chapt 20      403 b2      Πολλαχή ἔμοι δοκούσιν ἄνθρωποι…

400c1-401d5-403b5 (35r)

Chapt 21    404  b5    Εἶεν· τί δὲ Δήμετρά τε καὶ Ἤραν καὶ…

Chapt 22     405 a7   Εὐάρμοστον μὲν οὖν…

403b5-404d1-405e3 (35v)

Chapt 23   406 b7   Τί δαὶ [δὲ: Burnet, Duke et al.] ὁ “Διονυσός” τε καὶ ἡ “Ἀφροδίτη”·  [Duke et al. insert shudder quote markers around these 2 names, alas, following the Oxford CQ 1999 protocol]

Chapt 24        408 b7   Καὶ τό γε τὸν Πᾶνα του Ἑρμοῦ…

405e3-407b6-408d2 (36r)

Chapt 25      409 d9    Σκέψαι δὴ ὅ ἔγω ὑποπτεύω…[this chapter marker  went missing in Stallbaum’s 1859 edition]

Chapt 26     411 a2      Ἀλλὰ μετὰ τοῦτο τὸ εἰδος ἔγωγε…

408d2-410a5-411c1 (36v)

Chapt 27     412 c7    Δικαιοσύνη δέ, ὄτι μεν` ἐπὶ τῇ…

Chapt 28    413 d7     Ἄκουε δή· ἴσως …

411c1-412d3-413e6 (37r)

Chapt 29     414 e5     Καὶ ἐγώ σοι ξυμβούλομαι… [OCT has prefix συμ- ‘sum-‘, here and everywhere, owing to their editorial policy  T also has ξυμ- here]

Chapt 30     416 e1      Τί οὖν ἔτι ἡμῖν λοιπὸν…

413e6-415c2-416e2 (37v)

Chapt 31       417  d1   Τὰ δὲ δὴ τουτῶν…

Chapt 32      419 b5    Τί δὲ δὴ “ἡδον`” καὶ “λύπη”…

416e2-418b5-419c7 (38r)

Chapt 33     421 a1   Ἐρωτῶ δὴ τὰ μέγιστα…

419c7-420e4-422b3 (38v)

Chapt 34     422 c7   Ὅτι μὲν τοίνυν μία γέ…

Chapt 35     424 a7   Εἰ ἆρα τοῦτο ἀληθές ...

422b3-423c11-424d7 (39r)

Chapt 36     425 b6     Τί οὖν· σὺ πιστεύεις σαυτῷ…

Chapt 37    426  c1    Πρῶτον μὲν τοίνυν τὸ ῥῶ..

424d7-426a5-427b5 (39v)

Chapt 38    427  d4    Καὶ μὴν, ὦ Σώκρατες, πολλά γέ μοι…

427b5-428d2-430a2 (40r)

Chapt 39    430 a8     Φέρε δή, ἐὰν πῃ διαλλαχθῶμεν, …

430a2-431b3-432c1 (40v)

Chapt 40   432  c7   Ὁρᾷς οὖν, ὠ φίλε, ὅτι…

Chapt 41    434 b10     Ἤδη τοίνυν καὶ σὺ…

432c1-433c9-434e7 (41r)

Chapt 42   435  d4      Διδάσκειν ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ…

Chapt 43    437  d8     Οὐδ’ ὁπωστιοῦν, ὦ φίλε…

434e8-436b6-437c6 (41v)

Chapt 44   439  b10    Ἕτι τοίνυν τόδε σκεψώμεθα…

437c6-439a7-440c3 (42r)

440c3-440 e7 (42v) end of Cratylus, only 20 ll. in col. A consumed