Republic, Book 2
You can inspect directly Ephraim’s lettering just before 357a1, where he abbreviates either ‘peri’ [or is it rather ‘epi’?] in his title ‘epi dikaiou B‘:
PREFACE to Ephraim’s text of Rep. 2 [10.ix.17]
A curious outcropping of a variant reading comes directly from Ephraim’s hand, in his ENTITLING of Republic Book 2. I do not refer to the often noted point that the plural form ‘politeiai‘ here in T mismatches our customary title ‘politeia‘. No, this variation is more nuanced, and holds some promise of forming a cross link between Ephraim’s codex and the Vatican library’s ‘Palatinus #173’, in whose margins there appears a similar oddity in the manner of relaying a title of Plato’s work. It is my opinion that certain points about historical personages at the Old Academy are likely to be linked to this item of puzzling orthography, — or rather co-orthography — in both ‘P’ and ‘T’. In an oblique way we may see something here helpful in decoding ‘Socrates the King’. Do consider closely this image of Ephraim’s red-ink title:
Certainly one unresolved puzzle was very troubling to the late Prof. Jacques Brunschwig of the Sorbonne, a careful scholar who focussed on the very early Academy. Rather recently, but years before his all-too-early death Brunschvig had done the Bude edition of Aristotle’s Topics. This involved his hunting down the source of the “dialectic” attributed to earlier sources by various philosophers of late antiquity (the logicians in question are really quite early — at and before the time of Chrysippus.) Brunschvig’s scholarly issue was over attributing a special amalgam of ‘dialectic’ to someone — the texts indicate that he was post-Aristotle, but early enough for Chrysippus and Plutarch to refer confidently to him. Brunschvig marveled that this dialectician was called by the name ‘Socrates’. The logic, however, fits badly on the logic we know from Elder Socrates. All the same, a knowledgeable Plutarch lists such a Socrates AFTER Plato, not before him, and puts him into a list of Plato’s followers. The concept of dialectic under review by Chrysippus in his “Dialectic, Bk III” is strongly incompatible with the logic of our familiar Socrates. He may have been looking at a work entitled Ἐπὶ Διαλεκτικῆς. Author: Socrates. This title is listed alongside Plato’s works by Palatinus #173.
So severe is the incompatibility between the two forms of ‘Socratic’ dialectics that Prof. Brunschwig was provoked to call Chrysippus’s report “scandaleux”. Now a Sorbonne scholar is not easily scandalised (less easily, for example, than the ex-Oxonian Jonathan Barnes, an admirer of Chrysippus and Socrates, less so of Plutarch ). But why, asked Brunschwig, how can Chrysippus, in Book III of his “On Dialectic” have things so wrong about ‘Socrates’ ? After all, Chrysippus was in a fine position to know his Old Academy intimately, and to know intimately many of its patterns of “Dialectic” — quite some of the nuances of the history are likely now lost. Chrysippus may have known several variants of the practice of “dialectic” within the Academy, of which we today have almost no remaining trace. But our Palatine ms. #173, with its reported title Ἐπὶ Διαλεκτικῆς seems to be an idiosyncratic title (or subtitle), appearing in a reputable Vatican ms. of Plato’s works . Certainly many of the writings of some latter-day Socrates (yet a man living before Chrysippus’s time) may have gone lost in then-preceding centuries. These well-read scholars of late antiquity do not often misrepresent their academic predecessors. Chrysippus might naturally assue assume that his readers would have their own copies of Plato’s works, and also works then reasonably called ‘epi DialektikEs’, and listed alongside works of Plato. Easy enough for a Chrysippus-era scholar to dis-ambiguate their various ‘Socrates’es. Not so easy for us.
One quite special item in evidence: a tract from near Plato makes a ghostly appearance in the Palatine ms. now called “P”. It is a work entitled Ἐπὶ Διαλεκτικῆς . this title is relayed in the margins of a curiously complex Plato ms. now held by the Vatican [they call it Vaticanus Palatinus Gr. 173], from the hand of a Tenth Century scribe, likely writing at or before the time of our Ephraim was writing his title to “Republic Book 2”. Alongside various complete dialogues, Palatine #173 also contains excerpts from Plato and paraphrases of his writing. With help from the Leonard Polonsky Foundation of London, this ms. may achieve its digitally-archived format, available to scholars from Oxford or London, Paris or Rome — or Hull, Massachusetts in the coming year or two. The Cufalo collection of Scholia can be rationally hoped to benefit, as will the rest of us. Our tribe is sometimes called Textnaehe. According to a full feature story on the BBC in early 2012, the coming 4 years ought to see a major outpouring of digitally processed mss., some from the Bodleian, some from the Vatican. With luck, this will include this very Vatican ms. It may possibly give some new insight into some of our seek-whence questions. Thus the BAV may help clarify a special kind of apostolic succession — the one leading back to Aristotle, Philip-Diadochus and to Plato himself. One thing much to be wished, is precisely how (if it is abbreviated, especially) the P ms. contains the title word ἘΠ[Ὶ] . A quite universal way of abbreviating ‘peri’ is with the single letter ‘p’. His doubleton of letters, an ‘E’ atop a ‘P’ is equally suggestive of an ‘Epi’.
This provocative title ‘epi dialektikEs’ [ Ἐπὶ Διαλεκτικῆς ] is tantalising both as to its content and in as to its syntax. In syntax, it is identical to another work listed in that same margin: ‘epi turannou’ ἐπὶ τυράννου . There is a reason for suspecting that this title was coined in the near-vicinity of Plato: two passages in Aristotle have similar “epi+genitive” X syntax, meaning “concerning X”; this is otherwise quite rare in classical Greek, according to LSJ s.v.]. This title, along with the one nearby it in this same Palatine ms., suffering from the same peculiarity of syntax — “Epi Tyrannou” — calls out for more detailed study. As to its authority, sometimes (as at Symp. 207 d2) it can perhaps claim the status of a primary witness to Plato. It is in any case in a stemma near to our Tenth Century ms. in Venice, Venetus T . P and T are often resembling in their readings, and often not distant from a third authoritative family of Plato mss., W. At Symp. there is a broad consensus (especially of the striking word AIEI [ αἰεὶ ] ) of B, T, W, P and the Oxy. papyrus. It is startling that it should include also this pair of titles with the two little “sprachliche Anstoesse” delivered by their surprising pair of “epi” locutions. Again, these may match some wordings now preserved in Euclid’s margins: variant spellings of a word Theaetetus may have originally authored, ‘AIEI’. (Seven of the 10 specimens of the word commonly manifesting as ‘AEI’ in Euclid here in Chapt. I of Euclid X with the old-Attic form perhaps preferred by Theaetetus himself: AIEI. Do you have an explanation more plausible than tracing it to Theaetetus’s preference ? Thucydides shows a strong preference for the 4-letter variant, and Plato also shows this (esp. in Symp., Phdr., Alcibiades I and Euthydemus. Some recent scholarship on Plato’s Cratylus invites us to follow Plato as he appeals to an ‘archaic’ mode of writing Attic words. This preference for diphthongal variants is in agreement with this scholarship. The two scholars prominent on these topics: D. Sedley and F. Ademollo.
Is P a surviving trace of a tract from the Old Academy, an excerpt from an ancestor to our Republic ? Manuscript transmissions are known to be complex, so such a pre-formed source of the ‘epi dialektikEs’ might have been available to Chrysippus and his readers, including Plutarch, — but may not be otherwise familiar to us . In any case this pair of works –our Venetus T and the palatine ms. P — seem to share twice the rare grammatical construction “epi+genitive-of X”, meaning “concerning X”, also found in Aristotle.
Vastly more standard was ‘Peri X’ as in the De Anima, De Caelo or De Ira. All of these titles come down from Aristotle’s time and before in “peri X” form . The LSJ article on “epi”, type III includes the sub-section on “epi+genitive”. Their two examples of this somewhat rare usage are drawn from the Rhetoric and Nicomachean Ethics — works from Aristotle’s early period. This agrees nicely with the theory that has Younger Socrates, one of Aristotle’s teachers, teaching the impressionable but also obstreperous young man. Such a teacher, whom Aristotle seems to have acquiesced in calling “Younger Socrates” (Met. Z, 11) may have contributed to creating this special way of using “epi”, to mean our “concerning”. Did this Socrates initiate this in Attic prose? The present viewpoint is entirely consistent with its coming from Aristotle, or “Socrates” or both.
One of the fragments preserved of Amphinomus (see the Lasserre collection of early academicians) brings out a similar point about ‘priority’. Which of the two men (Aristotle or Amhinomus) was FIRST to insist on a point about mathematicians, as such, NOT seeking out CAUSES ? The fuller story theory to be developed at http://www.youngersocrates.net will draw on a lengthy passage in Proclus on mathematics and will conclude that this poly-onymous man of Epinomis, DeMundo and Book XII-alt. of Elements, this very same man was the mathematician-astronomer-philosopher, Philip of Opus. No shame to him if he assumed a variety of names. This ‘polyonymy’ has a parallel, the so-called polyonymy which is belabored in DeMundo 7. This is a passage, written probably by Aristotle or a colleague, is freighted with literary learning. It is ostentatious in parading its author’s literary learning — a mannerism more likely attaching to another academician, not to Aristotle himself.
To resume the point on the text now lost work entitled “epi DialektikEs”. There will have been plenty of time for this work to have (a) had an influence on Chrysippus, but (b) not have found a solid place in the later tradition — except for its ghost of a title, surviving now in Vaticanus P. Both Plutarch and Chrysippus before him will have had a broad and deep acquaintance with the Old Academy (Sandbach’s skepticism on the transmission of Aristotle can reasonably be kept to the side here). Plutarch may have been willing to cite over-free versions of some of his texts, or been willing to paraphrase where we would prefer precise quotation. But he was fond of the proverbial: “let us begin from our own hearth”, meaning in Plutarch’s case that same Old Academy, Plato alongside personally. And Plutarch had a broad range of books to cite from or paraphrase from — books we sadly lack today.
We may follow down yet another nickname which originated at or near the Old Academy and involves the name “Socrates”. Epistle #2 riddlingly refers to a man it calls : “Socrates, born anew [neos gegonotos], but handsome this time”. The handsome man stage-right in the mosaic picture of Astronomers (the so-called ‘Philosophenmosaik in Neapel’) has many of the right characteristics and attitudes to match this Handsome Younger Socrates. See the feature image of this website, representing (as it seems) slightly differing opinions, between Astronomers (at the Academy) of one group, as against the other Astronomers there. Stage-right seems likely to be the ‘exempt from parenklisis‘ rectitude of Philip, whilst stage-left there is a downward inclination of the head, to form a non-erect posture and attitude. This inclination is incidentally the attitude severly disapproved in the final chapter of Timaeus.
The specialist term ‘parenklisis’, later to become the ‘swerve’ in Epicurus’s physics, then onward to the ‘clinamen’ in Lucretius, makes an appearance in the scholia to Euclid I, the definition of ‘right angle’. Its rectitude is ‘free from parenklisis’ in the language of this (pre-Epicurean ?) scholion. In any case, and returning to the ‘philosophenmosaik’ image of our ‘Socrates, new series’: in this mosaic image, the Socrates (Philip) figure is looking at us face-on. The physiognomy of Eudoxus can be extracted from the seated figure stage-left. Both men are not merely academic Astronomers, astronomers with publications in their hands. Not mere talkers, but authors. Each has a scroll in prominently on display in his hand. This point will be a focus of the analysis projected to appear on this website in the future. 14.i.18 -M. Brown
Here is another copy of the particulars, those of Ephraim’s hand (red ink), reporting the title of Book 2. Is he intending a ‘peri’ or an ‘epi’ with his 2-letter abbreviation ?
Chapt. 1 Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα εἰπὼν...
Chapt. 2 Οἶδα, ἠν δ' ἐγὼ, ὅτι δοκεῖ... Chapt. 3 Ὡς δὲ καὶ ἐπιτηδεύοντες ...
Chapt. 4 Τὴν δὲ κρίσιν αὐτὴν...
Chapt. 5 Βαβαί, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὦ φίλε Γλαύκων... Chapt. 6 Ταῦτ' εἰπόντος τοῦ Γλαύκωνος ... Chapt. 7 Πρὸς δὲ τούτοις σκέψαι...
Chapt. 8 Ταῦτα πάντα, ἔφη, ὦ φίλε Σώκρατες... Chapt. 9 Κατὰ τίνα οὖν ἔτι λόγον... Chapt. 10 Καὶ ἐγὼ ἀκούσας ἀεὶ μὲν δὴ τὴν φύσιν...
Chapt. 11 [369b7] Γίγνεται τοίνυν, ἦν δ'ἐγώ,... Chapt. 12 [371b5] Τί δὲ [δαὶ: Paris A (only) cf. Rep 7, Ch X, init., 527 d1] δή· ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ πόλει...
Chapt. 13 Καὶ ὁ Γλαύκων ὑπολαβών,... Chapt. 14 Καὶ ἡ χώρα που ἡ τότε... 372b3-373b4-374b6 (209v)
Chapt. 15 Οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, ὅσῳ μέγιστον... Chapt. 16 Ἆρ' οὖν σοι δοκεῖ ἔτι τοῦδε...
Chapt. 17 Τίς οὖν ἡ παιδεία· . . .
Chapt. 18 Ἔχει γάρ, ἔφη, λόγον. Chapt. 19 Τὴν δὲ τῶν ὅρκων. . .
Chapt. 20 Ἄλλ' ἀρα αὐτὸς αὑτὸν... Chapt. 21 Τὸ μὲν δὴ τῷ ὄντι ψεῦδος...
note: if the above image of 212r is in some way unsatisfactory, try this one: