Euthydemus and the riddle of the silent Socrates


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

Various scholars, most of them from Continental Europe, contributed to answering basic questions about Plato’s very latest writings, even those he was working on on his death-bed.  The Epinomis and the Peri Kosmou (now found in the Bekker edition of Aristotle) have been left uncertain in respect to their authorship.  Consider this mark-up of the final column of the work P. Kosmou, which may well trace its authorship, like that of the ps.-Plato Epinomis, to the man in many ways halfway between Plato and Aristotle.

Evidences will be assembled at this website which point to the identification, of Philip (who is credited with a work ‘On the Gods’, but also with a man at the Early Academy making use of any of the three nicknames, ‘Socrates Alternate’ or ‘Younger Socrates’, or Amphinomus.  Here you will find a 19th Century scholar

Philip, a.k.a. Amphinomus as author of De Mundo, ‘Epinomis’ ‘p. Thewn’

Here you will see material from the final lines of the work we can describe as ‘the province of Zeus — whether on Earth or in the Heavens with their embedded stars ( =asteroenton):



In certain of Plato’s dialogues, — some with good evidence of lateness in his writing or editing — we encounter a curiously high frequency of diphthongal variants, where his standard preference goes to the monophthongs.  It was an older Attic [sometimes named At-thidic] spelling that the late Plato appears to favor.  Leon Robin fastened upon the diphthongal spelling of one of his favorite words “αἰεὶ” .  He edited Symposium and Phaedrus in a way to give ample apparatus criticus notices of this variant “αἰεὶ”, especially prevalent in the #2 family of Plato’s mss.  These are often traceable to the lead ms. of the family, the ms. central to this website’s research results, the one called T.   Some 5 centuries earlier than our scribe’s work in T, we have a concise discussion by Marcellinus of exactly this mannerism.   It manifests under the curious rubric ‘at-thidic’: ἀτθίδι instead of ‘attic’ in this early source.    From a phonetic viewpoint we have a diphthong in mid-word.  Our biographer is describing a shared mannerism, shared amongst 3 writers, Thucydides, Plato and himself.     Do have a look at the Marcellinus excerpt here:

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

[In this particular text of Plato, the diphthong is recorded curiously —  first half on the line, second half above-line !   [Disclaimer:  I deliberately do my own little lexical dither by repeating use of an archaic anglicism, “curiously”.  As in ‘curious peach’, title of a recent book of poems by Denise Provost — whose pattern in English is clearly deliberately archaic.  I know this last because she told me so.   At a meeting of Bagel Bards in Somerville, Mass. 8-10-19.]

What precisely is this riddle of the  “Silent” Socrates ?   A serious tradition in the later Academy  has it that Socrates “remained silent at his trial”.      It is shocking, of course.  It could not stand in sharper contrast to both Plato’s and Xenophon’s reporting — where we have the characteristically talkative Socrates, not the least bit silent.   The “irony” for which Socrates was famous in fact derives its name directly from  ‘eirwn’,  which means talking or speaking.    This famous Ironist was perhaps over-talkative.   Doubles entendres are understandings we get from listening to the speaker speaking so to say ‘with forked tongue’ , or doubly , over-talking his audiences to the point of irritating them.   Maximus of Tyre is aligning himself with this story when he depicts a Socrates with tongue cut out.

It is a noteworthy fact about the platonic corpus:  the noun ‘eirwneia’ [ εἰρωνεία ] makes just a single appearance in Plato.    It is Socrates being described, in Book 1 of Republic.   The adjectival form eirwnikos [εἰρωνικὸς ] is a rarity in describing anyone else — but it is applied to Socrates in Ch.  28 of Euthydemus.   This chapter forms part of the final third of the dialogue, Chapts. 22-31, Chapt 22 being the one with record-setting occurrences of the older Attic form αἰεὶ.   [Thucydides preferred this older form to its twin ‘aei’ by a ratio of 128:0.  Plato, if we adhere to the OCT preferences, mainly prefers the shorter form, Chapt 22 of Euthydemus , in the present ms., from the hand of Ephraim being our source, strongly differs from this OCT pattern, rather adheres to one of the old Attic form , “αἰεὶ” ] Here in Euthydemus 28  Socrates is reporting on his own speaking ‘ironically’, taking the part of the young sophistic verbal gymnast Dionysodorus, himself a master of speaking, especially speaking in a sophistic gymnast’s tricky manner.   (This occurs in Chapt 28 of Euthydemus, a chapter very near the end of this 31-chapter work,  thus likelier to attract Plato’s own editorial work).

Other ancient authorities point the same way, to an extremely talkative Socrates, even speaking to a largish audience in his Apology — not at all remaining silent at his trial.    Yet Maximus of Tyre, himself squarely in the Socratic-Platonic tradition, takes pains to explain and justify what he believes to have been Socrates’s silence at his trial:  the sage Socrates had good reason to maintain his silence; Maximus makes this the central point of in one of his better known little essays.    A whole book of scholarly analysis has been assembled in recent years, exactly to unriddle this notion:   the book’s title  “The Unknown Socrates”.   All of the Maximus material is included in this book.

Two possible explanations can be ventured here, one based on a suggestion in Plato’s Symposium, one based on Euthydemus.   [A third possibility, suggested by the Socrates in Xenophon need not be counted as another alternative here — Socrates saying he had no need to prepare any defense, given that his entire life was a kind of anticipatory defense, a life of pure righteousness. ] His deeds sufficed, words becoming unnecessary.   Therefore, if we follow up the suggestion here, one might so to speak ‘shave off’ both Plato’s reported ‘apologia’ and Xenophon’s also, — along with later echoes of these — under the ockhamite rule, ‘nothing beyond the necessary’.   But we needn’t range so far from the original scene immediately around Plato.  R.G. Bury lets us reply from within the Platonic Socrates.  Bury brings up a point of specialist language from Athenian lawcourt jargon, to comment on the particular term in Plato’s Symposium:    diadikasometha [ διαδικασόμεθα . . .  [Symp. 175e] .   Here in the opening chapters of Symp. much is said about a variety of social protocols for this ritualised and ceremonious ‘banquet’ Plato is describing, a banquet such as is about to take place, Socrates present and prepared to speak.

Plutarch is later to use the academicised word ‘sumposiaka’ to refer to such social forms.  and to explain what is involved in preparing for a ‘Symposium’.   Plutarch here makes use of a rare word, a peculiar inflection not at all common in attic Greek except in reference to geographical or ethnic boundaries  ‘-iakos’.    Philologists have found almost none of these endings prior to Plato’s time.    It is a striking fact, then, that Philip of Opus should name one of his main works, Κυκλίακα, using this rarity, this specialist suffix.   Scholars have puzzled over it, but not with any satisfactory explanation having emerged.

Research has not found many comparable titles given to works in Attica of the late-4th  Century.   Philip’s title remains a special coinage.  Perhaps the meaning is:  ‘Things Cyclical’ or ‘Cyclicals’:  ‘Kukliaka‘  [  Κυκλίακα ].    An interesting vein of examples, however, survives in titles of very early tracts in what we may call Earth Science, or Alchemy.    One result of the recent French editions of  ‘alchemy’ is to put it all under a surviving early title, ‘Lithiaka‘  [ λιθίακα ].    As to pinning down the origins of this early work on Alchemy and works about stones — not all of these would give any emphasis to ‘magical forces’ sometimes hinted at in alchemical writings, even those as late as Isaac Newton (who indulged in some of this in work “after hours”, according to reliable reports.)  We need only project about one shortened generation back from Theophrastus and his tract  ‘On stones’ to get to Plato’s scientists and their writing.

It is likely a sign of the earliness of this source material published and given French translations:  the fact that some of it has remaned in verse form.   The names of a pair of authors  has some promise of echoing scientific work advancing within Plato’s early circle.     Halieux gives this pair of authors his abbreviated name ‘SD’, or in his French rendition ‘Socrate et Denys’.   In English, we would render this ‘Socrates and Dionysius’.  [an etymological analysis of this name, in Plato’s Cratylus makes both of our names, Dennis and Denise, curiously traceable:  to the Greek of Dionysius.    Our ‘silenced’ Socrates, perhaps not accidentally, had his mouth effectively closed down by a pair of youngsters, one of whose names is ‘Gift from Dionysus’.   Is it deployed by Plato, likely sensing its special echoes of names near to his inner circle of researchers, and the names of the two parents of Dionysius (sc. Dionysius and Doris)?   One of the rare cases of this pair of people, incidentally historical grandparents to the son of Dionysius, namely Plato’s namesake Apollokrates.

The names of these two young teachers of dialectic are:  Ktesippus and Dionysodorus.   In Seventh Letter a wayward student of Plato’s  is named after Plato’s political ally, Dionysius I.     A tyrant who was also a Bard — he wrote verses.  The young pupil went by the name ‘Dionysius II’ — the very man who, if we rely on Plutarch’s report, named his own son ‘Apollokrates’ in honor of Plato.   But Plato is vexed and troubled by the half-maturity of the young man’s learning, — he writes to this effect in his Seventh Letter — about the curiosity of someone’s putting into writing the doctrines of Plato himself — as Dionysius II partly understood these anyway.  The trouble comes from the poor understanding the youngster was satisfied with as good enough understanding.

R.G. Bury reminds us of a truth we may find counter-intuitive, if we make the mistake of judging by the customs of our own time.   Bury’s point is that an author around Plato’s time might not count a work ‘published’ until after it had been polished metrically, even rendered into a fully versified or ‘poetic’ form.     Philip’s colleague Eudoxus may have done something similar with his astronomical writing.   Thus the poet Aratus will not have single-handedly versified Eudoxus.   Rather, even before Aratus set his hand to the writing, Eudoxus will have been ‘dressing up’ his reports on the stars and the zones of Earth in verse form.   He was reported in antiquity as an adept at crafting language, not just abstract treatises in astronomy, writing prose or ‘katalogadEn’.

Proclus, relaying material from Eudemus of Rhodes (and commenting on Euclid’s definitions of ‘angle’), now and then injects a note of what we might call pythagorean mysteriousness or encryption.   Their work defining the Angle is a case in point.  It has about it strong hints of the esoteric doctrines, particularly those we often associate with mathematics at and before Plato’s time.    These were from the close-knit brotherhood which took pains to differentiate between ‘mathematikoi’ and ‘akousmatikoi, only the former being true initiates.    Thus only the mathematikoi would be capable of penetrating to the core of the brotherhood’s arcane doctrines.   In a suitably sober reconstructing of Isaac Newton’s dabblings in alchemy we might have a less-sober passage in which Newton coins the word ‘mathematiaka’, and hides his arcane discoveries as ‘viewable by the profane eyes of you Acousmatics and historical researchers’.

A case of highly sophisticated “antilogikE” comes to the fore here at the late part of Euthydemus:  ἢ ἐγὼ λέγω μὲν τὸ πρᾶγμα, σὺ δὲ οὐδὲ λέγεις τὸ παράπαν...[Euthyd. 286 b5].    You will notice how this phrasing opens the door to another rendition of our ‘silent Socrates’.   If Socrates were to speak ‘unpragmatically’, or ‘not factually’  he would here count as ‘not speaking at all’.   Plato’s Sophist leaves logical room for interchanging ‘to parapan’ [ τὸ παραπὰν ] for ‘everything whatever.   But this would make the substitution have the value (in negative clauses, such as here: ‘oude to parapan legeis’) equivalent to ‘you are saying altogether nothing’.   Rendered still more paradoxically, by noun-forms, one has ‘facts’ on one side, ‘nothingness’ on the other.   But this allows the interchange  ‘Socrates speaks falsely’ with ‘Socrates is saying nothing at all’    In a specialist meaning, then this is  Socrates the silent one.    And if we recall the Epistle II context of a Younger Socrates, posing as a ‘new and handsome man’, author of the entire platonic canon (this is an enigma someone has encoded in the Ps-Platonic Epistle II)   This would allow to emerge a Socrates who — unlike Elder Socrates — is ‘silent at his trial’.     But we must specify that it will’ve not been the adversarial trial reported by Plato and Xenophon.  The one whose per-judicial verdict is awaited.   Verdict about what issue ?   As it is presented in Epistle II:  “this corpus of writings, is it the property of Plato or of (Alternate) Socrates (=the man no longer ugly and no longer talkative ”

There are no doubt plenty of ironies here in some form alluded to in Euclid’s marginalum, some of acousmatic flavor, some perhaps less superficial.  These euclidean margins may have inherited some scholia from at or before the time of Philip of Opus   Here in the margins of Euclid I, Def. 9 we find an explicit pointer to ‘the hidden teachings’ [τὰ λόγια] (Scholium 6).  According to these mathematicians we  have the Angle symbolically hinting at a ‘yoking together of things divine’ as our marginalium has it: [συζεύξεις τῶν θείων] Some of this material has come down to us via Proclus on Euclid I, (Friedlein edn., p. 129, line 9).    Just two lines above Proclus had used the uncommon and provocative phrasing  ‘the gOniac symbols’  τὰς γωνιακὰς συμβολὰς  (line 7).   Here again the little lexical touch, the ‘-iakos‘ ending, whose illustration most prominent at the Academy is closely tied to in Philip   κυκλίακα.

Yet another close parallel to our early scientific material (we might name this theo-philosophical to point to the ‘divinity’ behind its divinatory meaning) : the specialist term ‘Ornithiaka’.     This exhibits yet again the rare ‘-iakos‘ ending, not widely used except near the Academy.   As with stones and  λιθίακα, so with circles and ‘kukliaka’  and so further with birds and Ὀρνιθίακα, we are bordering on esoteric or ‘hermetic’ encoded learning and lore.   The distance  between these various quasi-scientific approximations to science may be slight — distance to ‘prognostication’, or other forms of divining hidden meanings (birds often hid meanings in their entrails).    But this is the right location to look for fortune telling, foretelling future events.  The so-named ‘prognostica Socratis basilei‘ fits comfortably into this pattern.   It is a work of fortunetelling.  The now standard medieval sketch of Plato admonishing a ‘Socrates’ figure belongs in this context.  The quite special particular about Plato’s facial expression, — expressing attitude of consternation or anxiety or even irritation at his student’s work — is plainly exhibited in this picture.    Campbell had an appropriate phrase to describe some of these ‘sophoi’, pointed to in Republic Book 9:   ‘pythagorean preachers’.    Capable of hinting at their mathematical meanings in various ways, some of them suggestive of theology.   Some of the arts to which we owe the transmission of these precious tidbits may have had their meanings deliberately left half-clarified by their hidden authors.

This will have been a context congenial to Philip, a master of astronomy (book on lunar eclipses), on the gods (p. Thewn) and on the geometry of circles.     Much here suggestive of the ‘pythagorean’ ancestry of men Plato will have attracted to the early Academy.   An example of such work is the construction appended to Book 4 of Elements.  This ‘problem’ was clearly to be tackled by a man whose wisdom was firmly geometrical, but also reached towards astronomy:  the 15-sided polygon into The Circle.  It came to stand isolated within Euclid’s compilation, fastened at the end of Book 4, but then is never used or referred to by Euclid in his remaining 9 books.

Historians of science have made it an academic construction of the angle of obliquity, celestial equator obliquely placed towards the ecliptic circle (thus all the paths of the fixed stars will be marked out at roughly this angle measured against the ‘wandering’ stars such as sun and moon.)   Only the initiates would be likely to see any linkages between such matters and theological points about Zeus and the polygon dedicated to him, the ‘duodecagon’.    The same commentary on Euclid I may have different sources to draw upon here.   In fact two variant spellings of the twelve-sided figure are here relayed one with monophthongal ‘dw-‘ the other with the diphthong ‘duw-‘ in the prefix.    This by itself suggests that the sources of what we are now reading incorporate some variety within.

The ‘stonecutters’ referred to at Epistle II (314e), — OCT texts soon to be improved, with help from Brandwood’s p. 535.    All this is derived from a time perhaps slightly before Theophrastus’s work ‘p. Lithwn‘.  These were the late-4th century times of the pre-natal Lyceum, — and of Socrates Alternate, whom we suspect of a proclivity towards mystery religion and a proclivity for enigma or deliberate encryption.   More insight into the late 4th century history of these scientific matters is available, from passages referring to the definition of ‘rectilineal angle’, i.e. Euclid I, Def. 9.   Alongside such early science we may search out the original use of Proclus’s unusual term  ‘gwniaka’.   Eudemus’s tract ‘p. gwnias’ may have similar lexical relation to ‘gOniaka’ that this scholion has to the Elements tracts of Plato’s day.

Let us resume the work on the first chapters of Symp.    We are struck by Socrates’s uncharacteristic behavior , mismatching what Athenians expect in the way of ceremonious behavior.    This introductory material is not without comic touches:  shoelessness is an issue, as is the oddity of Socrates dressing in fine clothes and stooping to wearing some shoes to the event.    There is much banter about whether or not one has been directly invited to a given party.   Or do we party-goers feel free to be inventive about this matter ?   We invite ourselves to someone else’s party — or even invite yet others ?

There is an extra nuance,  that goes a good bit deeper than all this bantering preliminary talk.    What this particular term (focussed on by Bury) points to is a non-standard use of a lawcourt.   The text in fact does not have the standard word for a lawcourt (i.e. words like our ‘judicial’).   Thus its specialist meaning might be rendered ‘a perjudicial’ proceeding.    Plato’s Greek has the prefix ‘dia-‘ in front of its standard word for ‘judicial’, and Bury makes a point of explaining this nuance.      This is how Cicero standardly renders this Greek prefix into Latin with his own ‘per-‘   —   in such terminology we have later Latin has the word ‘perabsurdum’.  

This identical term reappears in LAWS XII, ch 6.  This passage [952d4] comes just a few chapters short of the place where Philip appears to  be taking on full authorship (that is to say just short of the beginning of what some have called ‘Bk XIII of Plato’s twelve-book work’ — the beginning of Epinomis).   Does it occur elsewhere in the Corpus Platonicum, perhaps remotely from any signs of Philip’s presence ?  The answer is “not really, no, not elsewhere”.   For there are no occurrences of the closely related noun ‘diadikasia‘  [there are two cases, both in LAWS Book XI, the later of these being in the last chapter of this book  near the end of the overall work (i.e. Chapt 14 of Book XI].    Just by itself (independently of further evidences, and there are many of these), this specialist term’s chosen location is deserving of our attention.  We will later be giving close attention to some signs of Polyaenus of Lampsacus, affecting the text of XII, 6.

The text’s more complete statement proceeds to add a serious note by bringing in the topic of ‘wisdom’ and  putting the event’s judgment under the judgment of  the god Dionysus.    The Dionysus part is of course easy to explain — drinking wine is the basic social activity of the day, and when wisdom (about Love) is the topic for the required speeches, a judgment is fittingly put under the the wine-god.

Here in Plato’s more nuanced description he backs off to the standard  term for an Athenian ‘court’, the unprefixed ‘δικασ-‘  with various endings.   The contrast stands out, in that the same 175e sentence includes both standard and nuanced words: . . . .  διαδικασόμεθα ἐγώ τε καὶ σὺ περὶ τῆς σοφίας, δικαστῇ χρώμενοι τῷ Διονύσῳ  [175e]    The subspecies is distinct in its that there will standardly be — its format being preserved, —  an absence of any Apologia.  In this case, no speaking role for Socrates.   This means the non-speaking of the defence party.   This in turn translates into a court scene in which our Socrates remains silent.   Which was to be found (Q.E.I., or quod erat inveniendum).

Bury’s note to 175e explains all of this.   The roles of Plaintiff and Defendant are not ranged (in the perjudicial subspecial case) into the standard plaintiff-defendant stand-off.   Co-ordinate suitors are here bringing the action to adjudicate their respective claims, for example to a piece of property.  The goal is not to achieve a judgment against the defendant (or an exoneration), though it remains similar in being a court case.   Thus a Socrates (or a ‘Younger Socrates’) need not play the role of defendant.   A ‘silent’ Socrates is therefore quite in order, and in our case still more so, the immediate background not being the ‘older accuser’ Aristophanes and his Clouds, but rather a judicious resolution of a more localised ‘Battle of Titans versus Younger Gods’, or Friends of Forms and Friends of Earth.

Back in the time of Elder Socrates and the early performances of Clouds, the issues were to those surrounding Gorgias, Protagoras, Hippias and Prodicus.  Now, some two generations later, and with the Academy as background, we need a per-judicial settlement, not a judicial one.    There might be various local reasons why (including the absence of the ‘defendant’ role) one or another of the Friends of Earth would be kept silent.   This Symposium-based silence remains at the cultural and social (or rhetorical) surface of things.  A somewhat deeper explanation can be presented, however, which drills down to the logic of ‘not-saying’, in the way it associates itself with the logically contradictory.    He whose own speech refutes itself, is a manner self-silenced.    This explanation can be derived from Chapt. 28 of the Euthydemus.  Socrates is made to say of himself, I am a-phonwn (no speech, no sound from me, so fully have I been refuted: [᾿Εγὼ]. . . ἐκείμην ἄφωνος  Euthyd. 303 a5).

This deeper level involves the more Academy-tinged feature, the ‘peirastic’ exercises that leave themselves open to logical hazards of a more perplexing sort.   Again comedians can make sport of academicians, whom they picture as unreasonably busy about their seemingly ‘trivial’ or ‘academic’ topics.   Say struggling to sort out pumpkins so they achieve logical distinctness from cucumbers.   But these same peirastic exercises are soon to get major attention from young.  Aristotle is soon to clarify how syllogisms more naturally move forward, when our academic debaters have finished their methodical pro-syllogistic ‘tentative explorations’, probing for just the right middle terms, or causes .  In both directions, this will have been the robust exercising of what academicians will certainly have called ‘dialectic’ — likely echoing all three of the pre-Aristotle debaters, h.e. both Young and Elder Socrates and also the aging Plato himself.   Will this not have been standard usage, for all 3 of these, and likely for Menaechmus, Eudoxus, Theophrastus and Dicaeiarchus ?   Likely so.

The subject of self-silencing may seem distant from that of ‘doing nuanced distinctions’ amongst garden products — but what of the deeper and universal topics, where the terms under debate are ‘Same’ or ‘Other’?  ‘Yours’ and ‘mine’ ?    Euthydemus presents an exercise by young peirastic dialecticians (significantly named Dionysodorus and Ctesippus).   Like the nuanced debates over ‘One’ and ‘Many’ in the exercises of Parmenides (we are here premissing a chronology which puts ‘Late Theban Hegemony’ as the right time for both Parmenides and Euthyd.   This premiss  is plausible for various reasons, [incidentally we ought to include in the same group the Symposium — especially its ‘Alcibiades’ chapters (Chs. 32-28 of this 29-chapter work].   These late chapters of Symp. will likely have undergone Plato’s “comb and curl” form of editing, likely at precisely this period of the Academy’s early days, when Dodds has him rewriting Gorgias, and Owen has Plato drafting or finishing Timaeus.   These scholars had the required intimacy with Plato’s manners and mannerisms as a writer. and his manner(s) of writing.    Further writings which may well belong to this Olymp 102-104 period are Micro-Timaeus (=Tim. Locrus), De Mundo (= π. κοσμοῦ)  and early drafts of De Caelo .are being composed.  Bravo Owen, pace Cherniss. ]

Our special ‘Ephraim’ ms. of Symp. and Alcibiades I adds one more motivation for holding that this pair of works stem from the same time and place (Academy-Athens, Olymp. 103).   It is hard to imagine a more striking mismatch between the Ephraim ms. (Venetus T) orthography in this pair of dialogues — mismatch Venetus T and the standard OCT text, which carries not a single example of  the older form  αἰεὶ.   As against the 42 consecutive openings in this dialogue-pair, all being filled in OCT with the standardised form  ἀεὶ Ephraim writes 42 consecutive tokens of the αἰεὶ form.  [there are a number of style-statistic curiosities here.   We may here pause to take the long speculative look, and pose the thought-experimental question:  what if each of these 42 decisions in Ephraim’s part had an antecedent probability of 50%, treating the two variant possibility with pure mathematical disinterestedness — it will have been more than a billion times less likely to find 42 cases all falling in the same one of the two directions.  Equally curiously, Burnet relented at Alc II 144 and accepted a single token of the 4-letter variety into his OCT text.]    However we may end up explaining this (I am assuming we refuse simply not to offer any explanation), Ephraim’s preference is truly striking.  Leon Robin’s editions of Symp. and Phdr. manfully preserved the 4-letter variants, mostly due to Ephraim, but Burnet resolutely resisted them in his OCT, not so much as registering the variations in his notes.

The forthcoming edition of OCT’s Symp.  will likely do better.   Which improvement will mean showing full respect to Family II of our ms. evidence.     (Venetus T may come into its own in the course of this new round of OCT editing, the old-attic   αἰεὶ  Thucydides preference [128:0] spelling holding its own and LRobin’s Presses de France being vindicated against the Burnet edition)   TLG has Thucycides favoring this older spelling by a 128:0 ratio.    Our obstreperous young explorers of dialectic here long after the time of Thucydides give something of a background.   The Euthydemus figure of the academicised Socrates hard:  this ‘Same’, is it [or is it not?] always Same?  And ‘Other’ is [or is it not?] always Other?   As if they had both read Plato’s Sophist.

This is the same encounter, we are approaching the moment where Socrates falls silent.    It is perhaps not a co-incidence that in this dialogue, the name of young Ctesippus might suggest an implicit reference to Homer, and more pointedly to that little band of obstreperous suitors, the theme something of a ‘diadikastic’ sorting out of inheritances and wealths of one sort or another.    One of our young dialecticians here bears the name Ctesippus (associated in Plato’s time with riches), another Amphinomus (associated with moderation and justice, h.e. wanting the inheritance to flow to the rightful heir, not to some impostor.     This is also where a sacrilegious set of thoughts surfaces and is (perhaps playfully only) evaluated.    Sophistic arguments can explore an ‘academic’ theoretical point about gods, more radical than anything countenanced in Euthyphro.  It is the following sequence:  being ‘ensouled’ and thus ‘animals’ gods might conceivably be ‘owned’ by a human owner ‘like other animals’.     Inside such perverse or playful exercises in logic, we may even conceive a god’s being sold, — or sacrificed to some [other?!] god of our citizen’s choosing !  Passing over the point that gods are here called the ‘despots’ or ‘lords’ of a given human, the status of these individual gods as ‘animal’ and even ‘your animal’ leads to such dumbfounding, or mouth-stopping conclusions.   As if an academician had turned the tables on Socrates, playing the ‘sting-ray’ and forcing him to close his mouth.   Socrates the Silent !   Which was to be found (QuemEratInveniendum).

Many gods and much theology of an obscure pythagorean variety are at issue in the margins of Euclid — material likely drawn originally from mathematicians at the Academy.   This is notably the case at JLHeiberg’s edition of Euclid, its Vol V p. 105.    Quasi-popular religious practices and lore seem under reference, reminiscent of Pythagoras sacrificing an ox, or Philolaos contemplating and analysing the ‘duodecagram’ sacred to Zeus.     Also very much in point here are the ‘pempas kai hexas’ discoveries, as is the lively urging of ‘making a sacrifice to Hermes’ upon ‘sixth and fifth’ being discovered.    More detailed discussion of this, and of its relation to Euclid IV, 16, the inscribed 15-sided polygon in the circle.   The little excursus we find in the margins of Euclid’s defining the Circle is also in point.   It brings in another of the themes which we always struggle to make clear from within that group of admired ancestors, the ones J. Adam refers to as ‘the Orphic-Pythagorean brotherhood of moral preachers’:  this is the ‘reincarnation’ theme.   This excursus is published by Heiberg in his Vol V collection of the scholia (Euclid, Vol V, at p. 95.   The comments start to be of a geometrical and mathematical nature on ‘circle’, but the excursus kept by Heiberg manages to lift its gaze upwards, to develop topics about the cosmic ‘all’ and topics like the (ungenerated and arguably unending) cycling of ‘the heavens’.

These mind-numbing and mouth-stopping conclusions (Stallbaum’s discussion disparages them as conlusiacula) are more deeply dumbfounding (silencing) than a formal rule in a quasi-judicial proceeding.    Such sophisticated theodicy can be traced to an Early Academy, replacing a naive Euthyphro with an academicised young jester — call him ‘gift of Dionysus’ or Dionysodorus, we move from the pre-Academy scene to the one very near in date of composition Aristotle’s  De Sophisticis Elenchis.      Recall:   Euthyphro had not been allowed to reach any real result in the eponymous dialogue with Elder Socrates.   He was stymied by a series of ‘aporiai’.     Here in Euthydemus the tone is diametrically opposite.  A confidently asserted theological doctrine is put forward, someone other than Socrates doing the analogy or ‘parabolE’ by an elenctic that is ‘poristic’ or ‘finding an opening, or finding a way’.

Porismata is what academic mathematicians called these (we have good scholia to Euclid to add detail to our explanation here).   Such inventively discovered truths are rightly put midway between mathematical ‘theorem’ and a ‘construction’.   Philip of Opus and Amphinomus (assuming this last-named man was in truth someone other than Philip himself) debated the topic of theorems, problems and porisms.

Further, the parable is shocking and sacrilegious.   Neither an Elder Socrates nor a Euthyphro will have advanced a jolting bit of theology as the one jauntily put forard here:   an individual god, sophistically put on a par with an animal, — even an animal owned and claimed to be marketable) ?      But suppose we supply an arrogant and insurrectionary astronomer (we will later see a reason to think of a ‘theurgist’).    Imagine this hybristic and sophisticated man inside the Academy, vaunting over his ‘discoveries’ about Zeus’s celestial number (h.e. 12), or a polygon saddled with an archaic-sounding name (‘duodecagon’).   Again, we will be able to cite a few ancient pointers — from scholia to Euclid on the definition of   σχῆμα [JLH Euclid, Vol V, p. 92] — to support these seemingly over-bold hypotheses.  I mean about the Academy’s having played host to such a man, a personal intimate of Plato’s.   Thus somewhat remote from Elder Socrates.   But well positioned to be in direct contact, didactic contact, with Aristotle.  Even the explicit reference to ‘theurgy’ found there may turn out to be traceable back to an origin in the Early Academy.

Can there be something here which stands as ancestor to later ‘Theurgy’ behind the scholia applied to ‘SchEma’ and ‘Kuklos’, when some ‘discoverer’ wants to bring a Hermeia sacrifice ?   I believe we have a reasonably good grade of evidence to say Yes, despite the considerable authority of Dodds on this subject (appendix to his 1959 edition of Gorgias).

Let us follow these thoughts a few steps further.  We could think of some human offering up a ‘sacrificial animal’ named ‘Apollo’ or ‘Apollokrates’ — offering this animal in a sacrifice to Hermes ?     There is a certain ferocity of attack, on the Homeric gods, and Hermes in particular, in Plato’s sermonising rebukes of Hermes, those of early in Book XII of Laws.    This ferocity might find its explanation here in some intra-mural academic debate.    There is room to think Philip’s tract “p. Thewn” would contain some such pretentious neo-Euthyphrontic theology.    We should also recall the welcome ventures by J. Adam, working on Rep. 9, Chapt The new Euthyphro would “find a way” where Elder Socrates and old Euthyphro got stymied by “aporia”.   [Consider the ‘anaphoric’ figure at the opening of Lysis, where the first words are    A Younger Euthyphro urged on to such sacrilegious thoughts as ‘sacrificing one of the various ‘owned’ animals, including perhaps a god even, — to Hermes.

It is a lexical marker of much interest which adds to the interest of this comment.  I mean the little two-particle phrase common to Philip of Opus and the late Plato,  γε μὴν .    Much is made of this very marker, by acute linguists such as Denniston and Dover, and also by Plato’s special stylometrist C. Ritter, who takes it as a strong marker of lateness in Plato’s chronology.  Many mutually independent indicators have this little mannerism (perhaps both of them borrowing this from Xenophon, who helped cause its prominence in Attic prose according to Denniston).   In any case we will see elsewhere on this site reasons for taking this particle-pair as pointing strongly at the late Plato and at his amanuensis, Philip, author of Epinomis and copyist of Plato’s LAWS.   It makes a special appearance in the otherwise distinctive Chapter 2 of Epinomis.   Among the losses suffered from B. Einarson’s death in the 1970s was his partly completed Commentary on Epinomis.   If someday Einarson’s efforts with this dialogue are published, it will be of great interest to see how he handles its Chapters 1 and 2.   Already in Chapter 1, just a single Stephanus page into the work, he has deployed his first γε μὴν.   Its other occurrence is used to help open Ch. 10.    Aristotle has only a grand total of 9 (apart from De Mundo) corpuswide.

Drawing on a few details of text-criticism, and what H. Thesleff has called “over-attentive reading”:  Does the reader have any plausible explanation of the outcropping of DUAL FORMS on pp. 182-183 of Heiberg’s Euclid,Vol V? (to I, 32), or of the deviation into the Attic spelling ‘elatton’ in that same scholion ?  [=#112], — a dual form is echoed in a ms. of Proclus’s (Friedlein) commentary, its p. 381, line 8 .   Thesleff told me privately that forms such as ‘duein’ may signal an early provenance, earlier than Euclid in any case and likely earlier than Plato with his preference for ‘duoin’.

Of all geometric paradoxes coming down to us from Platonic or pre-Platonic pythagoreans, one is identified in the Scholia as ‘most  paradoxical.’   This is from a scholion to our best ms. of Euclid, and it draws on lines in a plane which fail to make contact ever, despite their doing a kind of mutual inclining, this inclining being just as ‘ever’ in its continuation.   The scholiast writes of the ostensible ‘Sunneusis of the un-Sunneus-able’ pair of lines:  this counts for him as geometry’s ‘most paradoxical’ statement [JLH #1, his Euclid V, p. 108].    Yet we can find in Euthydemus Chapt. 28 exemplifications of truly mind-numbing paradoxes, perhaps deeper in their incomprehensibility.   They reach a crescendo, and to (as it were) knock Socrates unconscious, or voiceless as the chapter ends ἐκείμην ἄφωνος  Euthyd. 303 a5 ].

There are several references in the late chapters of Euthydemus (Chapts. 22-31 of the 31-chapter work), references to operations of thought closely resembling those used by both Plato (in his ‘later dialectic’), what we may safely call the language of the “later dialectic”.   A good way of ‘collecting’ this material is as follows:  We may group the academicians involved in its use as ‘technical adepts’ or ‘experts’.   We might refer to them by an affiliation they would themselves likely recognise: ‘pythagoreans’ or ‘quadrivialists’ .    Their writings, to the extent they overlap with the mathematics of Meno and Theaetetus and Sophist (esp. 264e),  and Politicus  (esp. 266AB), come down to us via pathways  known under ‘geometrical algebra’ or the ‘application of areas’.  We have good quality reporting which traces this quadrivium research to pythagoreans at and before Plato’s time.    In the present website a main purpose is to spotlight this work on ‘exact science’ in Plato’s immediate vicinity.  The paths of the reporting often run via Eudemus of Rhodes, his largely lost works History of Geometry and History of Astronomy.

If we were to add to the list of quadrivial sciences the lead pair of the so-called Trivium — ‘logic’ or ‘rhetoric’ — we risk overstepping a serious boundary in that early timeline — assuming we can draw upon Aristotle, his Organon and Rhetoric.    No doubt it helps gain perspective to do look back from Aristotle.   To compare:  citing a rule ‘definitio per genus et differentiam‘ gives a valuable extra perspective on Aristotle, but obviously draws on a post-Aristotle period and a largely post-Aristotle logical lexicon.  To remain on firmer historical ground, this website’s ‘antiquarian’ point of view intends to bring in names and writings from men such as the sophist Gorgias or Prodicus or Hippias, or Empedocles or Democritus — names that will have been familiar reference points to these scientists themselves — and familiar, naturally, to Plato.    The rule is to restrict sources, so far as practicable, to Pre-Platonics and Plato.

This effort to restrict the range of sources will put on the website some extra work. Yet the project is worth a try;  by the time we have Aristotle writing, and especially his De sophisticis elenchis and Posterior Analytics we have polemics and variations of reasoning about foundations, in more intricate relations and cross-relations to one another.   If we can succeed in reconstructing more of the pre-Aristotle scientists and mathematicians, men whose dates put them so to speak ‘just before dawn’ as various sciences awakened and developed in full daylight, we can have a more direct look at the teachers of Aristotle, and a better chance to discern their outlines, separately from that of The Teacher Himself.

Logic and rhetoric were in rapid development — the trivium alongside the quadrivium — and prototypes such as Hippias, Prodicus and Gorgias will be eclipsed after Plato’s contributions have been made (but before Aristotle’s huge extra contributions).   Thus there will be something to gain by restricting ourselves, as best we can, to the time period ending soon after the Battle of Mantinea (362).     In just a few years Aristotle will hve been so great an addition (his Organon and Rhetoric) as to obscure and outshine his academic teachers.      Four special branches of ‘exact science’,   astronomy, music theory, optics and cosmology especially, benefited from major contributions either at Plato’s time or at a time earlier than Aristotle’s mature writings.    Contributions from men whom Plato consorted directly with at the Early Academy.   The idea is to continue the research, unriddling our various sources at this early period, and to keep to sources mostly pre-Aristotle.

A key technical concept is precisely that of ‘application’, or ‘parabolE’ in the then-current vocabulary.   Likely this was the technical background of the word Aristotle chose to describe the ‘parabolE twn zwiwn’ [ παραβολὴ τῶν ζῳων : Met. Z,11].  That was the parable, so-called, which he used to hear repeatedly, hearing this from the man he calls Younger Socrates.   It is present at Euthyd. 297 e 2 when the move in thought is factoring out the X from the X-klEs names, the two examples cited being Iphi- and Hera-.

Composition and decomposition, in logic or mathematics or elsewhere, is often pointed toward gaining clarity.    But we find that sometimes the thing under discussion is more familiar in its composite than in its components.   We don’t want to be about the futile task of ‘clarification via the intrinsically less clear (the problem of obscurum per obscurius).    Socrates’s nephew Patrocles or perhaps Heracles is more familiar (think for a moment of someone sharing the younger-generational factor with Patrocles with him, but has embedded in his name also a ‘Socrates’ factor.    Like nephew like nephew’s consort at the Academy, Younger Socrates as Aristotle re-composes his name.   The puzzling name ‘Neocles’ may be part of this same larger collection of X-cles.   

This larger collection needs room in its diairesis (or analysis) for an endpoint in ps.-Aristotle’s Problems, 6, 30.    There we find a materialised story of a certain opaquely-named man  Neocles, demanding that Plato ‘make answer’ to him.   As if Neocles were royalty and could issue EpiAcademic commands to Plato:  what is it about Humanity, which makes obedient-listening an attribute specific to humans ?   Neocles could focus his question precisely, based on the ” ὅταν “ mentioned at Burnet’s OCT 286 b3, this being roughly the same as the    ὅταν   used at Burnet’s 286 a.

I say roughly the same word;  it would require a committee of competent logicians — say Barnes and Wiggins — to pin down with full logical precision what is can be meant in the by same word     ὅταν     .    It functions as a discriminator, a differentia in the logical sense.   Burnet’s way of punctuating Plato’s text causes it to commit a number of use/mention mistakes in the passage Euthyd 295 e -286 d4 (this matches Stallbaum’s articulated segment entitled “Caput XXII”), but much more needs to be said, and more details factored in about how the new OCT is intended to improve upon Burnet — via the Classical Quarterly  policies of punctuating.    Understandably, none of these editorial nuances came up over Burnet’s horizon, working as he did before Russell’s “On Denoting” of 1909.     Still remoter were these issues at the time of our monk in Constantinople, who produced us our ‘Venetus T’, the 10th century monk named Ephraim.    But the CQ 1999 article by D.M. Robinson calls many of these points to attention for any editor aiming for logical clarity today.

Application-of-areas:  in our terms, this is an operation whose purpose is to remove a constant component  (the one in common) — or submultiplying it away.   One so to speak “lays side by side” the pair of compounded names.   To draw on the mathematical side, if we ‘apply’ a rectangle with the two factors 6 and 2 alongside another with factors 9 and 2, we are ‘factoring out’ the 2.   This example is not different from that expressed in Republic I, where the unfactored  12 is decomposed into either a 6 by 2 or a 4 by 3 (pictured as sides of a rectangle), if we are to remain alongside Books I-IV of the then evolving Elements.   JL Heiberg commonly refers to this pre-Euclid segment of time by naming the authors collectively, the antiquiores.

If we want to do our comparison with an undecomposed 18, we are moved to ‘apply’ a this-by-that rectangle to a line segment of known length.   This is to set up a second rectangle, but after taking control of one of its pair of ‘factors’ or ‘sides’.   Thus the second rectangle will be chosen in this example to have a base of length  2.    It is not hard to imagine someone for whom the number 18 has iconic familiarity, but who does not think of it (‘parabolically’) as decomposed into factors incluluding a 3.   Equally, we may think of a person for whom 12 has iconic familiarity, but who does not immediately think of its 4 component.   Comparably now with ‘applying’ one compound name to a single component, the intent to ‘factor it out’ and leave other factor(s) as the remaining dimension.

Let us test out this kind of rhetorico-dialectical work with components of some names.   The ‘application’ of three onomastically composite figures can well involve what Plato brings forward in Euthydemus, Chapt. 22.   We get a figure something like this:

Iphi-  cles 
Hera-  cles
The two brothers are bound by their ancestry, encoded in their or patr-onymic, 
a man also near to this scene (this is a nephew to Socrates; he bears the name 'Patro -cles').

If we think of each of these pairs of name-parts as if they 
were the lead- and follower-parts within Term Logic which forms pairs, 
we can see this schematising activity as a kind of Middle between Plato's 
Collection/Division logic and the Subject/Predicate pairings soon to emerge from young Aristotle.
HH Joachim, deeply versed in term logic, including that of Aristotle, asked us to
consider term-triples, such as 'Socrates-human-mortal'.  Geach wrote of
a rule 'dia triwn'[ διὰ τριῶν ], or 'via three'.  In the example of number terms 2,3,6
the '2' is the minor or lesser, '6' the major or greater.   Factoring out the 3 from
the 6 we are left with 2.  Similarly factoring out the Socrates from mortality, we
have prosyllogised or prosumplected his humanity, the cause of the two-factored term in
relation to the minor which we started from.
It is clear where to find the middle, the term that 'causes' major and minor term
to be woven together, sum-plecticised' if we may be permitted the barbarism.   Syl-logised as this will be called.
The minor term Socrates is caused to be  humanity.    
Each of the two two-part steps reveals, through a kind of isocolon 
-- specifically a homeoteleuton.   These were recognised
'figures of rhetoric' in the time of Prodicus, Gorgias and others.
H.H. Joachim wrote of a 'logos' in Aristotle as often hospitable to three 
terms, an example being Socrates-mortal-human.

Mortality belongs to Socrates due to the ancestral connection of the two 
pairs, Mortal-human and Socrates-Human.

In both cases it is the ‘parabolic’ or ‘paraplEsic’ [Plato also uses ‘para-phthegma’ at Euthyd. 296b8] placing of one pair to its closely matching other, allowing us to factor out the common element, and link the two remainders, in the concluding 2-term logos.

the soon to become canonical More needs to be done to co-ordinate and co-relate the logistico-logical schematisings here, to see if we can detect an early ‘resonance’ [Curtis A. Wilson had a formula for ‘resonance’ which made it something like a foretaste or foretaste of things intended.   These are optional entities, one might even call them subjunctives — undercut as mere not-yets (=mEpOtads, or units of not-yet’edness).   He used to chuckle to himself just tasting or whiffing such quasi-entities, or quasi-appreciable Entities, called by another C.A. Wilson disciple ‘onto-tonto quasi-entities’, avowedly drawing upon a light malapropism   ἡ τῷ ὄντως οὐσία .    Ephraim certifiably did write a composite word to_auto, where a Plato favorite word belongs, namely the word ‘tauto’, a point brought out in correspondence with Jonathan Barnes of Balliol and Ceaulmont in the 21st century.   But here we may have Plato’s effusiveness and “ear-filling” phrasings in a manner “going over the top”, or deviating into tragi-comedy:  he seems to be  making sport of himself, the way Diogenes of Sinope’s quip about “the absurdity of asking Plato to merely share a cluster of figs, without swallowing them as an Onto-tonto Whole”   Diogenes (born from Zeus) will be jeering at his nephew Plato Apollonides — “don’t ask a Plato to understand the concept, even as applied to eating figs,   μετέχειν “.    Is Plato caricaturing himself here — in these sputtering over-ontic phrasings ?   W.V. Quine’s playful ‘ontogeny recapitulates philology’ maxim captures the perverse humor, if so:  

 οὐχ ᾗ γένεσις πρόσεστι, οὐδ’ ἥ ἐστίν που ἑτέρα ἐν ἑτέρῷ οὖσα ὧν  ἡμεῖς νῦν ὄντων καλοῦμεν, — ἀλλὰ ὡσαύτως τῷ ὅ ἐστιν ὂν ὄντως ἐπιστήμην οὖσαν. [=Phdr. 247 d7-e2]

Can anyone other than Plato have crafted these words, including their underscored string of 4 words ?    No.  Not an Isocrates, surely, or a Demosthenes, proficient as these two men were at crafting high Hellenic prose.    C.A. Wilson resonates (present active) to these sub-phrasings of these quasi-appreciable micro-phrases.   All this can be made ‘clearer’ by descending to examples.    Iconic samples lend something of a ‘saphEneia’ of their own, a ‘secondary’ clarity, as marginalia to Euclid can be cited to prove.    This concept of ‘secondary clarity’ notion is introduced by a scholion to Euclid I in relation to Def. 15, The Circle.   A definition pointed forward to by Plato’s Seventh Letter.   Scholion # via the example of brass-materialised circles following on more primitive forms of Circle.   The latter are ‘secondary’, a few levels less idealised than Circle Itself as Philip will have heard directly from Plato.   Philip’s role in all this will be what W.G. Arnott writes of as writing a ‘didascalic notice’ [a term of art borrowed from W.G. Arnott’s and J. Henderson’s studies of early writings in Comedy; the specialist word ‘eisagwgE’ points in this same general direction, and likely towards some of the writings of Philip of Opus, ‘secretary’ to Plato]       This website will therefore aim to add detail and a kind of secondary_clarity to original works of which the then-contemporary student will have had only the title and a few defining phrases, compressing its contents severely.

There is a good sense of ‘halfway’ which permits us to say that “Halfway back to Plato, — if we began from Aristotle, — we have our filo-qeamw=n(“ PhilotheamOn”) adjacent to Aristotle’s chancing upon the etymology   fil[o]-ippoj  “Phil-ippos” of Plato’s student, Philip of Opus, Aristotle’s teacher in turn [see 1099 a 10 in the ‘E’ MS,  urged upon J. Barnes’s attention by myself in a letter to him, mine of early Feb 2010].  Plato’s triagi-comic prose in Phdr 247d6,ff (as here in Euthyd. Chapt 24)  is comparable to a move in thought which factors out the X in the name ‘Lover-of-X’, the intent to get clearer about what a Lover is, taken separately, or factored out from his ‘two-factored’ or ‘two-component’ name.   Aristotle is soon to coin a composite word ‘philo-toiouto’  or ‘Lover-of-Such‘.   He proceeds (as had Plato before him) to argue from iconic cases, by varying the Suches.   A lover of Horses, he remarks in the same passage of E.N. I, will go by the name Phil-Ippos after we have factored back the ‘-ippos’.  Or, also an iconic composite, a Philo-Theamata will be re-composed as a ‘philo-theamwn’.

It will have been natural to see comparabilities across various of the more ‘abstract’ or ‘parabolE-assisted’ disciplines.  Those disciplines aptly described as ‘awakening’ sciences in the Academy at Philip’s time.  This will have been close after the battle of Mantinea, thus immediately post-Theban Hegemony, and just an Olympiad or two before Aristotle’s early works were ready.

These operations of factoring-out or factoring-in are not remote from the diairesis-sunagogE pair characteristic of Plato’s later dialectic.    kind of common ‘ancestry’, as this surfaces in Chapter 24 of Euthydemus.   We may safely factor out the comedic tone here, search a little deeper for some serious messages, helpful in reflecting on the ‘trial and error’ logic — Aristotle is soon to call this ‘peirastic’ or ‘experimenting’ logic.    It comes forward in Chapt 24, and there is a further development in Chapt 31, the penultimate chapter as tradition has established these useful markers.

At the very end of Chapt 28 (303A) Plato contrives a lively dramatic exchange.  It is set off from all of the ‘verses’ of that same chapter with a colloquial outburst (analysed by ER Dodds with care in his Gorgias commentary).  This small unit of chapter-ender puts emphasis on Socrates’s being dumbfoundedness, or stunned, or speechless:  ‘afwnos’ [ἄφωνος  303 a5 ] (voiceless).     We may draw upon an otherwise jump-up little chapter of Laws, Book IV, namely its Chapt 3 to help refine the meanings and draw out a particular nuance here.  Laws IV,3 is a small chapter which addresses drawing stable lines of demarcation for a ‘single kindred’ [ ἕν τι εἶναι γένος ], to be sited geographically somewhere near Gortyn on Crete (fn2)  He begins with stability and consistency of ‘dialect’ [  φωνὴ ] .  In context, this is the nuanced meaning of this word :   γένος ὁμόφωνον καὶ ὁμονομον [708 c2] .   Now returning to the more common meaning of someone’s being ‘struck dumb’, or ‘made speechless’, we have the chapter-ending verses of Euthyd. Ch. 28.  

Now clearly as a commonsense matter, and likely in agreement with Plato’s intent, we are meant to disbelieve the ‘little conclusion’ drawn with panurgic mischief in Ch. 24, that Socrates is ‘fatherless’ or ‘apatwr’ [equally sportive is the conclusion that he is his dog’s father]).    But this ‘conclusiunculum’ in Chapt 28  has content, pointing to serious logical theory.  (I borrow the word conclusiunculum from Stallbaum , from his edition of Euthydemus; he may be imitating Plato’s uses of diminutives, like ‘little art’ [ τέχνιον , τεχνύδρια R. 495 d4, R. 475 e1]).     Speech which ‘says that which is not’ has been metaphorically equated with speech that is ‘silent’ or ‘silenced’.   Stones or metals in a blacksmith’s shop can be more speech-ful or song-ful than a so-called speaker, who undercuts himself by uttering either logical incoherences or falsehoods.

In the year 2016 A.D. there developed a whole industry, of ‘fact-checking’, the goal of which was to (a) take as input the ‘legonta’ or ‘utterances’ of political candidates in the November 2016 elections, and produce as output, at least so far as the input is logically incoherent or false (b) silence.  If Pericles lied to Athens in the 430s B.C., he was Euthydemus-wise the Silent Pericles (yet — if we may put it so: paradoxically and enigmatically and peirastically speaking —  speaker of the famous Funeral Oration);  we can construct a ‘Neo-Neocles’ for 2016 A.D. rightly called ‘Silent Neocles’ (parallel paradoxes:  speaker of the famous Apology of Socrates).   The Wm. Calder et al. book ‘The Unknown Socrates’ analyses a piece by Maximus of Tyre, coming to the defense of a truly paradoxical Socrates.  Maximus addresses the issue:  Why was Socrates right to remain Silent ?

There is already some allusiveness in Aristotle’s doing a wordplay on the name of the man between himself and Plato, Philip of Opus.   But we can find much more in the vicinity of this allusion if we include the point that the word   filoqeamw=n [‘philotheamOn’] is more likely what Aristotle wrote at 1099 a 10.    We need not follow I. Bywater, who not only does not read this word, but also declines to mention its having some ms. authority,  even in his apparatus criticus.    Certainly H.H. Joachim’s high admiration for Bywater and his other early ‘Aristotelian Society’ scholars was well founded [his preface to the 1922 edition of De Gen. et Corr.].    All the same we ought to follow the example of Slings (his Clitophon, p. 342,f) in keeping the door open to there being some ‘ancient tradition’ behind any of various manuscript peculiarities which have survived these dozens of centuries in the textual traditions of Plato and of Aristotle.  In any case the present Oxford edition has the [considerably less plausible] reading filo-qeorw=n  (‘philo-theorwn’).    And, alas, Bywater did not preserve the Bekker note listing the “philo-theamwn” varia lectio.    This imports a quite different meaning, a difference of substance.   It is as if we let a ‘theoretician’ be put in for a theater-goer.      A lover-of-abstract-knowledge  (qeorhmata) is remote from a lover-of-spectacles qea/mata  (‘theamata’), especially from Plato’s viewpoint .   A theater-goer settles for a doubly-removed imitation (images of images) of what Theory fastens upon (noetic truth)     ‘Theama’ is in fact the root word meant to be echoed in the Aristotle passage at  Bekker  1099 a10.     Therefore qeamw=n  has commensurate authority at  Bekker’s line a10.

Can Younger Socrates, or Socrates Alternate have had something more bilious, even choleric, about him, being more so than his elder namesake ?    He would have to have had considerable personal energy and a willingness to thrust himself forward there at the Academy, many talented rivals such as Eudoxus and Menaechmus and Helicon there and staking their competitive claims.  [David Konstan makes a point about the analysis of ‘envy’ ‘jealousy’, ‘spite’ and ‘hatred’ by asking us to imagine how boldly any of Aristotle’s young colleagues will have stepped out into the morning air, bringing an emotion-filled psychE naturally with him.]   A man nicknamed Younger Socrates will have been claiming  a position in a succession of eminent men beginning back at or before the time of his namesake (Socrates Simpliciter), and pointing ahead to such prominent men at the time of the Academy and the aging Plato.   Perhaps an arrogant claim, if it were to include such rivals as Eudoxus, Dikaiarchus, Aristotle and Theophrastus.    Again, as we have reliable evidence to inform us, Philip put himself forward as having opinions worth publishing on topics under vigorous debate, such as pleasure, passions such as anger, and’ On Writing’ (p. graphein).   This last title mighe well mean (more on this below) ‘On Bringing a defendant to Court.’    That also had the common name ‘graphein’

We must be methodical and sequential about the various possible meanings of ‘graphein’ in Philip’s title.  Several of the standard meanings of ‘graphein’ can be simultaneously at play, naturally, as is often true in Plato (Slings’s Clitophon displays a much-layered Socrates, in that little piece which is perhaps as authentically Plato as Epistle II is authentically his).  Here in Philip’s title.  Any of them make Philip a bold man:  (1) “On proving [as in geometry]” (2) On Writing [a major topic in Plato’s Phaedrus] or (3) a quite specialized meaning “On bringing a Lawsuit” [as in taking Socrates(n) to trial, and perhaps causing Athens to Sin Twice Against Philosophy] .    Meaning (3) is admittedly conjectural.  Yet it will be found to have a basis in Euthydemus, especially the in the part near the end, where some ‘panurgic’ misbehavior is on exhibit.  Much remains to be researched and developed here, conceivably in the manner of a ‘midrash’.   Thus spoke the caracters and caricatures of Homer’s stories, the ones Shorey’s translation has Plato say are ‘wooing’ him and his legacy [Republic V]. – and  where Penelope and Amphinomus and KtEsippus and young academicians slightly were doing ‘logically insurrectionary’ work before the De Sophisticis Elenchis.   Aristotle’s point about ‘silent’ having two meanings applies here.  One ‘silent’ means someone speaking [something self-nullifying], another referring to what he says (a logical sort of ‘net-silence’, one half of one’s utterance reducing the other to nothingnesss, or ‘silence’.    Euthydemus Chapt 28 at the end has such a net-silent Socrates, who uses this striking word on himself:   ‘aphwn’ [see especially  ἄφων at  303a5 ]

Let us make use of more of this e-space (liberally provided in this limited time since 2015 early days — days of net neutrality), to develop this theory a little further.   In today’s roomier surroundings, we need not fret over spaces being limited in the way Ephraim the Monk was limited to his parchments, [in the XXIst century there may well be fewer of the calamaties that befell L. Campbell at the beginning of the XXst — his Plato Lexicon being cut by Clarendon from 900 to 600 pages, by editors too illiberal with their allocation of printed printed pages.  Campbell’s work is an Unvolendetes, never appearing in print, sadly for scholars this past 100 years].        Back in Ephraim’s time — a few years away from 954 AD — the handwriting  of the monk abbreviated his Plato and his Aristotle, squeezing in an odd example or two of the “half-H” character such as with his word “hidion”, all in order to save space.     Ephraim also crafted ligatures to keep within his space limits.    He was the dutiful copyist of the now proud primary witness to Plato, Venetus  T, and also the space-conscious mansusript called Marcianus 201, Aristotle’s Organon.   Two treasures kept in safety and cloistered solitude there by Piazza San Marco.  This present theory wants to sketch the third Academician near Plato near in time to Olympiad 106,  (Plato+Aristotle+X).     The formula  is designed to leave room for an Old Academy man capable of wearing  several epithets simultaneously, even wear them proudly and almost regally.     The author naturally wants to emulate his immortal counterpart, even in his deliberately assumed polyonymity.   The figure of  Zeus as  described devotedly by the author of the DeMundo Chapt. 7.      That is where Zeus gets praised as ‘polyonymous’ .    

There are several further signs of the Old Academy’s habit of playing on names.  Simplicius echoes elaborate plays on the name “Eudoxus”.    “Theophrastus” was a nickname, not his birthname.  No shame therefore if our DeMundo Academician with an epi-anthropic scope of vision [do you have an opinion on who originally wrote the Scholion numbered 18 in JL Heiberg’s edition, to Euclid I, 1 ?    His attitudes have a deeply reactionary Platonism about them, like those of Amphinomus.  He is a reactionary devotee, writing prose that is “more Platonistic than Plato”, and alive during the final years of Plato’s own life.   This was when Aristotle was reaching maturity, but perhaps had not finished working on his  Analytics, or Topics.    Pamela Huby demonstrated that the latter work dates to near the year 360 [Olympiad 106].    [there will some day soon be more on this subject in “Lemma 1 on Philip of Opus and the angle-sum within the Triangle”.    The date of this coinage seems likely to be close to Huby’s date for Topics.    

In any case this scholiast — writer of Scholion #18 — creates the startling coinage “epi-dhmiourgesthai”.   He appears also to indulge in word-plays on  “epi” in other passages now following their paradromic-course in the transmission of our best mss. of Euclid.     Some kernels of gold (geldkorn as Heiberg put it) can be located and made clearer, derived from these marginalia to Euclid’s Elements.   This scholiast is leading up to the famous remarks on the  illustration of geometry’, — clearly famous at the Early Academy, appearing as it does so frequently in Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics.   This illustration is the famous one “internal angle sum of the triangle”, i.e.  I, 32.     Our scholiast would ideally be both a pupil of Plato’s and an immediate teacher of Aristotle’s.   Here the suggestion is the man known to be versed in various of the ‘exact sciences’:    geometry and astronomy to name two of these.    He will also have been receptive to the nickname “Socrates Junior”, or “Amphinomus”,  these being somewhat flattering names.    Amphinomus was a god-fearing man with some admirable loyalty to Odysseus’s legacy.   A less appealing name,  — will have been the character named in Lysis  and Euthydemus:  ‘Ctesippus’     (Easy to do a ‘homeoteleuton’ figure here, the one  outlined in the exercise on names in Euthydemus Ch 24.   In Euthydemus Ch. 24 the name-parsing separates out from prefixed names such as ‘Patro-‘ or ‘Hera-‘ or ‘Iphi-‘ the fuller names ‘PatroclEs’, ‘HeraclEs’ and ‘IphiclEs’.    These are all called ‘paraplEsia’, as if a technical operation like ‘application of areas’ and its ‘parabolE’ were the background method.    Clearly such name-surgery can easily transfer to parallel names ‘Speusippus’, ‘Calippus’ or ‘Philippus’  (all of these, and likely ‘CtEsippus’ also, are names familiar to Plato and Aristotle and the early Academicians).    

‘Ctesippus’, is both in epic story and in historical fact.   In our Euthydemus work, he is entrained in the ‘Socrates’ successions, thus taking on a quite special interest here.    The major background legend of Amphinomus, CtEsippus_and_Penelope will have been familiar to all Academicians.     In Euthydemus, the character Ctesippus is able to bring with him the addition of  ‘logistic and geometry and astronomy’ yet one further area of special competence — what Aristotle is soon to call the ‘peirastic’ variant of Logic.   In the older jargon for it, this will be a variant of Platonic ‘dialectic’, in which the Socrates(2) of the recently formed Academy replaces the Socrates(1) of the Socratic Elenctic dialogues.    One vivid picture of a ‘Socrates Basileus’, seeming to usurp Plato’s role as ‘writer’, comes via the medieval ms. of the Prognostica.

This medieval sketch can have Plato cautioning his scribe, Socrates Alternate  

My own picture of this Early Academy has this same man attaching to himself something like the ‘polyonymy’ we have illustrated in De Mundo, 7 naming himself “Amphinomus” as pretender to succeed Odysseus, or perhaps Ctesippus (a name easy to put alongside ‘Speusippus’, or ‘Philippus’.    [Some gestures toward etymologising the name ‘Phil-ippos’ appear in Lysis 212 de, in the course of logical factoring out ‘love of’  from forms of ‘the love of X’.     Additional parallels occur in Rep V, when the motivation is to narrow in on a definition of ‘philo-sophos’, and the parallel parsing in Aristotle’s Ethica Nicomachea I, 1099, aimed at clarifying the philo-theamwn or philo-theoron.]     After all Amphinomus and his doublet LeiodEs were heroes [B.  Fenik, “Studies in the Odyssey”, 1974, proves these two figures in Homer’s epic mutually dual].     Plato was soon to be called ‘divine’, Aristotle ‘daemonic’,  Theophrastus ‘divine in his phrasings’  [B. Einarson, in his Loeb edition of the De causis plantarum proves that the divinity of his prose style is only a notch below that of the divine Plato.  Einarson’s magisterial work deserves more attention.   He is on a par with Denniston,  Slings and Dover  Few today are on this same near-divine level].       We may speculate a bit further,  towards Old Academy nicknames like Hermogenes [Philip was a devoted follower of Hermes] or Kal-Ippos (a fellow astronomer,  familiar to young Aristotle, obliquely complimented in Metaphys. Lambda 8 ( 1073b) ?   “Amicus Calippus, sed…”    I once tried to interest Jonathan Barnes in this ‘Amicus Calippus, sed…’ formula, but not to any public effect.    Perhaps Barnes thought and thinks this topic treated to a finality by L. Taran. ).    If Plato did in truth compose a draft for his announced dialogue “The Philosopher,” this would have been near Olympiad 106 when all three men, — he, Younger Socrates” (if any),  Philip and the young Aristotle were hard at work.   If Plato were so inclined, he could weave material from it into Republic V, that draft might have been much the way Republic-scholar Campbell once imagined this.   

“Neocles” or “Neos SokratEs” [ Socrates-the-Younger] will be other suitable nicknames for this polyonymous man.   [Campbell was crafting a speculative note to his edition of “Politicus” 257]   There may also be an echo of the name of historical man, Epicurus’s father, Neocles.  I find myself unconvinced by Campbell’s suggestion here — that Plato plans to have as his central speaker  a repeat character :  young Theaetetus again.    We might do better to imagine a repeat of our astronomical expert, Younger Socrates himself.    It will only be a fuller credit to Plato’s play-on-the-word-epi if this same blood and bone man also wrote the (now-lost) pair of dialogues, entitled “epi DialektikEs” [ἐπὶ Διαλεκτικῆς ]  and “epi Tyrannou”, deploying these genitives surprisingly, perhaps ironicaly.      

Recall that these two are titles listed in Plato’s texts, as recorded in Vaticanus Palatinus #173.   Quite possibly these non-standard titles have reference to assemblages excerpts of Plato’s genuine writings.  The first three books of Plato’s Republic, for example, may have had their ‘didascalic notice’, or some assemblage of early books from Laws, perhaps fastened into a work alongside “Minos”.   Serving as prefaces or overviews or ‘preludes to the song itself’ — these might have attracted to themselves such titles, Epi+X (genitive).   Not much later, the man from Rhodes (Eudemus) seems to have done such ‘didaskalic’ publicising of Aristotle’s writings.  [see below, Lemma 2, “Philip’s startling uses of the prefix “epi-“followed by the genitive, as Hellenic prose was devolving donward, into Hellenistic prose”   This was a path charted by Denniston and Dover, in their book on prose style.   Not surprisingly, Aristotle sometimes uses this phrasing].  


  •   A case of highly sophisticated “antilogikE” comes to the fore here:  ἢ ἐγὼ λέγω μὲν τὸ πρᾶγμα, σὺ δὲ οὐδὲ λέγεις τὸ παράπαν...[Euthyd. 286 b5].    You will notice how this phrasing opens the door to another rendition of our ‘silent Socrates’.   If Socrates were to speak ‘unpragmatically’, or ‘not in an evidence-based mode’ he is here to count as ‘not speaking at all’.   Plato’s Sophist leaves logical room for interchanging ‘to parapan’ [ τὸ παραπὰν ] for ‘everything whatever’, thus leaves the door open for a substitution (in negative clauses) ‘oude to parapan legeis’  with ‘you are saying altogether nothing’.   Rendered by substances, one has ‘facts’ on one side, ‘nothingness’ on the other.   But this would allow an interchange between ‘Socrates speaks falsely’ and ‘Socrates is silent’.
  • [G. Morrow had emphasised Plato’s close attention to Gortyn, and urged archaeologists to use their spades energetically there; he also urged me personally to study Timaeus more carefully and to keep on with archaeo-linguistic spadework on the mathematicians near Plato at the time of his writing of Timaeus  and Laws.   This website may one day be worthy of dedicating to the memory of that gentle and noble scholar, or to someone similar.   Call them the Morrows of Gortyn.]
  • (text-critical footnote:  Aristotle’s Bekker text is somewhat vexed here, and Oxford’s editors (I. Bywater made a major contribution to these decisions) opts for the less valuable reading, ‘philo-theoron’.  I asked Jonathan Barnes in a letter some ten years ago about this point inside the Oxford text, but he did not reply.  From a ‘custodian’ perspective, hypersensitive to the least deviation from old-fashioned Platonism, there is a world of difference between the collection of ‘-theorwn’s and ‘-theoreamata’.    Lovers of spectacles are a world of difference, as to the objects of their loves, a world different from lovers of the  True Friend, Truth Herself.
  • stylometric evidence has a bearing here:  the Greek word “apokrinou” in the imperative mood occurs 6 times in the final third of the Euthydemus, —   yet only a grand total of 36 times elsewhere in the platonic corpus.   Of this total 36, only 24 occur anywhere outside both of this segment of Euthydemus and outside the Gorgias, — a work Dodds believed Plato re-edited near 354 BC.   This would put both Gorgias (this edition of it)  and Euthydemus somewhat later than the Battle of Mantinea, though Gorgias  will have been first composed decades earlier.

2 January 2019