The Symposium is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet; the men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, the comic playwright Aristophanes. The speeches are to be given in praise of Eros, the god of love and desire, the son of Aphrodite. In the Symposium, Eros is recognized both as erotic love and as a phenomenon capable of inspiring courage, great deeds and works, vanquishing man's natural fear of death, it is seen as transcending its earthly origins, attaining spiritual heights. This extraordinary elevation of the concept of love raises a question of whether some of the most extreme extents of meaning might be intended as humor or farce. Eros is always translated as “love”, the English word has its own varieties and ambiguities that provide additional challenges to the effort to understand the Eros of ancient Athens; the event depicted in the Symposium is a banquet attended by a group of men, who have come to the symposium, which was, in ancient Greece, a traditional part of the same banquet that took place after the meal, when drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, recitals, or conversation.
The setting means that the participants will be drinking wine, meaning that the men might be induced to say things they wouldn't say elsewhere or when sober. They might speak more frankly, or take more risks, or else be prone to hubris — they might be inspired to make speeches that are heartfelt and noble; the host has challenged the men to deliver, each in an encomium -- a speech in praise of Love. Though other participants comply with this challenge, Socrates notably refuses to participate in such an act of praise, instead takes a different approach to the topic; the party takes place at the house of the tragedian Agathon in Athens. This dialogue is one of Plato's major works, is appreciated for both its philosophical content and its literary qualities; the Symposium is considered a dialogue – a form used by Plato in more than thirty works – but in fact it is predominantly a series of essay-like speeches from differing points of view. So dialogue plays a smaller role in the Symposium. Socrates is renowned for his dialectic approach to knowledge, which involves posing questions that encourage others to think about what they care about, articulate their ideas.
In the Symposium, the dialectic exists among the speeches: in seeing how the ideas conflict from speech-to-speech, in the effort to resolve the contradictions and see the philosophy that underlies them all. It is important to understand; the characters and the settings are to some degree based on history, but they are not reports of events that occurred or words that were spoken. There is no reason to think they were not composed by Plato; the reader, understanding that Plato was not governed by the historical record, can read the Symposium, ask why the author, arranged the story the way he did, what he meant by including the various aspects of setting, composition and theme, etc. For a long time it was believed that Socrates was presented in the dialogues by his admiring disciple, Plato, as an ideal philosopher and ideal human being, it was approved of. In the late 20th Century another interpretation began to challenge that idea; this new idea considers that the Symposium is intended to criticize Socrates, his philosophy, to reject certain aspects of his behavior.
It considers that Socratic philosophy may have lost touch with the actual individual as it devoted itself to abstract principles. The above view, attributed to Martha Nussbaum, can however be challenged in favor of the traditional one; the portrayal of Socrates in the Symposium is consistent with the account of Socrates put forward by Xenophon and the theories that Socrates defends throughout the platonic corpus. Plato shows off his master as a man of high moral standards, unwavered by baser urges and committed to the study and practice of proper self-government in both individuals and communities; the dialogue's ending contrasts Socrates’ intellectual and emotional self-mastery with Alcibiades’ debauchery and lack of moderation to explain the latter's reckless political career, disastrous military campaigns and eventual demise. Alcibiades is corrupted by the advantages thereof. One critic, James Arieti, considers that the Symposium resembles a drama, with emotional and dramatic events occurring when Alcibiades crashes the banquet.
Arieti suggests that it should be studied more as a drama, with a focus on character and actions, less as an exploration of philosophical ideas. This suggests that the characters speak, as in a play, not as themselves; this theory, Arieti has found, reveals how much each of the speakers of the Symposium resembles the god, that they each are describing. It may be Plato's point to suggest that when humankind talks about god, they are drawn towards creating that god in their own image. Andrew Dalby considers the opening pages of the Symposium the best depiction in any ancient Greek source of the way texts are transmitted by oral tradition without writing, it shows how an oral text may have no simple origin, ho
Euthyphro, by Plato, is a Socratic dialogue whose events occur in the weeks before the trial of Socrates, between Socrates and Euthyphro. The dialogue covers subjects such as the meaning of justice; the Euthyphro dialogue occurs near the court of the archon basileus, where Socrates and Euthyphro encounter each other. Euthyphro has come to present charges of murder against his own father who, after arresting one of his workers for killing a slave from the family estate on Naxos Island, tied him and threw him in a ditch where he died of exposure to the elements without proper care and attention while Euthyphro's father awaited to hear from the exegetes about how to proceed. Socrates is astonished by Euthyphro's confidence in being able to prosecute his own father for the serious charge of manslaughter, despite the fact that Athenian Law allows only relatives of the dead man to file suit for murder. Euthyphro dismisses the astonishment of Socrates, which confirms his overconfidence in his own critical judgment of matters religious and ethical.
In an example of Socratic irony, Socrates says that Euthyphro has a clear understanding of what is pious or holy and impious or unholy. Because he is facing a formal charge of impiety, Socrates expresses the hope to learn from Euthyphro, all the better to defend himself in the trial, as he himself is being accused of religious transgressions. Euthyphro says that what lies behind the charge of impiety presented against Socrates, by Meletus and the others, is Socrates' claim that he is subjected to a daimon, which warns him of various courses of action. From the perspective of some Athenians, Socrates expressed scepticism of the accounts about the Greek gods, which he and Euthyphro discuss, before proceeding to the main argument of their dialogue: the definition of "piety". Moreover, Socrates further expresses critical reservations about such divine accounts that emphasise the cruelty and inconsistent behaviour of the Greek gods, such as the castration of the early sky-god Uranus, by his son Cronus.
After claiming to know and be able to tell more astonishing divine stories, Euthyphro spends little time and effort defending the conventional, Greek view of the gods. Instead, he is led to the true task at hand, as Socrates forces him to confront his ignorance, by pressing Euthyphro for a definition of "piety". At the dialogue's conclusion, Euthyphro is compelled to admit that each of his definitions of "piety" has failed, rather than correct his faulty logic, he says that it is time for him to leave, excuses himself from their dialogue. To that end, Socrates concludes the dialogue with Socratic irony: Since Euthyphro was unable to define "piety", Euthyphro has failed to teach Socrates about piety. Therefore, from his dialogue with Euthyphro, Socrates received nothing helpful to his defense against a formal charge of impiety. Socrates asks Euthyphro to offer him a definition of piety or holiness; the purpose of establishing a clear definition is to provide a basis for Euthyphro to teach Socrates the answer to the question: "What is piety?"
Ostensibly, the purpose of the dialogue is to provide Socrates with a definitive meaning of "piety", with which he can defend against the charge of impiety in the pending trial. Socrates seeks a definition of "piety", a universal, against which all actions can be measured to determine whether or not the actions are pious. That, to be universal, the definition of "piety" must express the essence of the thing defined, be defined in terms of genus and the differentiae. Hence, the Euthyphro dialogue is technically important for the dialectics of theology, ethics and metaphysics. Indeed, Plato's approach in this dialogue is anachronistic, because it is unlikely that Socrates was a master metaphysician. Ostensibly in order to better defend himself in an upcoming trial for being an impious citizen of Athens, Socrates asks Euthyphro for a clear definition of piety. Euthyphro's first definition of piety is what he is doing now, that is, prosecuting his father for manslaughter. Socrates rejects Euthyphro's action, because it is not a definition of piety, is only an example of piety, does not provide the essential characteristic that makes pious actions pious.
Euthyphro's second definition: Piety is what is pleasing to the gods. Socrates applauds this definition, because it is expressed in a general form, but criticizes it saying that the gods disagree among themselves as to what is pleasing; this means that a given action, disputed by the gods, would be both pious and impious at the same time – a logical impossibility. Euthyphro argues against Socrates' criticism, by noting that not the gods would disagree, among themselves, that someone who kills without justification should be punished, yet Socrates argues that disputes would still arise – over just how much justification existed. To overcome Socrates' objection to his second definition of piety, Euthyphro amends his definition. Euthyphro's third definition of piety is: "What all the gods love is pious, what they all hate is i
The Republic is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 380 BC, concerning justice, the order and character of the just city-state, the just man. It is Plato's best-known work, has proven to be one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically. In the dialogue, Socrates discusses with various Athenians and foreigners about the meaning of justice and whether the just man is happier than the unjust man, they consider the natures of existing regimes and propose a series of different, hypothetical cities in comparison, culminating in Kallipolis, a city-state ruled by a philosopher king. They discuss the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, the role of the philosopher and of poetry in society; the dialogue's setting seems to be during the Peloponnesian War. While visiting the Piraeus with Glaucon, Polemarchus asks Socrates to join him for a celebration. Socrates asks Cephalus and Thrasymachus their definitions of justice.
Cephalus defines justice as giving. Polemarchus says justice is "the art which gives good to friends and evil to enemies." Thrasymachus proclaims "justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger." Socrates overturns their definitions and says that it is to your advantage to be just and disadvantage to be unjust. The first book ends in aporia concerning its essence. Socrates believes he is done with the discussion of justice. Socrates' young companions and Adeimantus, continue the argument of Thrasymachus for the sake of furthering the discussion. Glaucon gives a speech in which he argues first that the origin of justice was in social contracts aimed at preventing one from suffering injustice and being unable to take revenge, second that all those who practice justice do so unwillingly and out of fear of punishment, third that the life of the unjust man is far more blessed than that of the just man. Glaucon would like Socrates to prove that justice is not only desirable, but that it belongs to the highest class of desirable things: those desired both for their own sake and their consequences.
After Glaucon's speech, Adeimantus adds that, in this thought experiment, the unjust should not fear any sort of divine judgement in the afterlife, since the poets who wrote about such judgement wrote that the gods would grant forgiveness to those humans who made ample religious sacrifice. Adeimantus demonstrates his reason by drawing two detailed portraits, that the unjust man could grow wealthy by injustice, devoting a percentage of this gain to religious sacrifices, thus rendering him innocent in the eyes of the gods. Socrates suggests. After attributing the origin of society to the individual not being self-sufficient and having many needs which he cannot supply himself, they go on to describe the development of the city. Socrates first describes the "healthy state", but Glaucon asks him to describe "a city of pigs", as he finds little difference between the two, he goes on to describe the luxurious city, which he calls "a fevered state". This requires a guardian class to attack on its account.
This begins a discussion concerning the type of education that ought to be given to these guardians in their early years, including the topic of what kind of stories are appropriate. They conclude that stories that ascribe evil to the gods should not be taught. Socrates and his companions Adeimantus and Glaucon conclude their discussion concerning education. Socrates breaks the educational system into two, they suggest that guardians should be educated in these four virtues: wisdom, courage and temperance. They suggest that the second part of the guardians' education should be in gymnastics. With physical training they will be able to live without needing frequent medical attention: physical training will help prevent illness and weakness. Socrates asserts that both male and female guardians be given the same education, that all wives and children be shared, that they be prohibited from owning private property. Socrates and his companions conclude their discussion concerning the lifestyle of the guardians, thus concluding their initial assessment of the city as a whole.
Socrates assumes. If the city as a whole is happy individuals are happy. In the physical education and diet of the guardians, the emphasis is on moderation, since both poverty and excessive wealth will corrupt them. Without controlling their education, the city cannot control the future rulers. Socrates says that it is pointless to worry over specific laws, like those pertaining to contracts, since proper education ensures lawful behavior, poor education causes lawlessness. Socrates proceeds to search for wisdom and temperance in the city, on the grounds that justice will be easier to discern in what remains, they find wisdom among the guardian rulers, courage among the guardian warriors, temperance among all classes of the city in agreeing about who should rule and who should be ruled. Socrates defines justice in the city as the state in which each class performs only its own work, not meddling in the work of the other classes; the virtues discovered in the city are sought in the individual soul.
For this purpose, Socrates creates an analogy between the parts of the soul. He argues that psychological conflict points to a divided soul, since a unified soul could not behave in opposite ways towards the same object, at the same time, i
The Phaedrus, written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was composed around 370 BC, about the same time as Plato's Republic and Symposium. Although ostensibly about the topic of love, the discussion in the dialogue revolves around the art of rhetoric and how it should be practiced, dwells on subjects as diverse as metempsychosis and erotic love. Socrates runs into Phaedrus on the outskirts of Athens. Phaedrus has just come from the home of Epicrates of Athens, where Lysias, son of Cephalus, has given a speech on love. Socrates, stating that he is "sick with passion for hearing speeches", walks into the countryside with Phaedrus hoping that Phaedrus will repeat the speech, they sit by a stream under a plane tree and a chaste tree, the rest of the dialogue consists of oration and discussion. The dialogue, somewhat unusually, does not set itself as a re-telling of the day's events; the dialogue is given unmediated, in the direct words of Socrates and Phaedrus, without other interlocutors to introduce the story or give it to us.
This is in contrast to such dialogues as the Symposium, in which Plato sets up multiple layers between the day's events and our hearing of it, explicitly giving us an incomplete, fifth-hand account. Socrates Phaedrus Lysias Lysias was one of the three sons of Cephalus, the patriarch whose home is the setting for Plato's Republic. Lysias was the most famous logographos in Athens during the time of Plato. Lysias was a rhetorician and a sophist whose best-known extant work is a defense speech, "On the Murder of Eratosthenes." The speech is a masterpiece in which a man who murdered his wife's lover claims that the laws of Athens required him to do it. The outcome of this speech is unknown; the dialogue consists of a series of three speeches on the topic of love that serves as the subject to construct a discussion on the proper use of rhetoric. They encompass discussions of the soul, divine inspiration, the practice and mastery of an art; as they walk out into the countryside, Socrates tries to convince Phaedrus to repeat the speech of Lysias which he has just heard.
Phaedrus makes several excuses, but Socrates suspects that Phaedrus has a copy of the speech with him. Saying that while Lysias is present, he would never allow himself to be used as a training partner for Phaedrus to practice his own speech-making on, he asks Phaedrus to expose what he is holding under his cloak. Phaedrus agrees to perform Lysias' speech. Phaedrus and Socrates walk through a stream and find a seat in the shade, Phaedrus commences to repeat Lysias' speech. Beginning with "You understand my situation: I've told you how good it would be for us in my opinion, if this worked out", the speech proceeds to explain all the reasons why it is better to give your favor to a non-lover rather than a true lover. Friendship with a non-lover, he says, demonstrates prudence. You will not be giving your favor to someone, "more sick than sound in the head" and is not thinking straight, overcome by love, he explains that it is best to give your favor to one who can best return it, rather than one who needs it most.
He concludes by stating that he thinks the speech is long enough, the listener is welcome to ask any questions if something has been left out. Socrates, attempting to flatter Phaedrus, responds that he is in ecstasy and that it is all Phaedrus' doing. Socrates comments that as the speech seemed to make Phaedrus radiant, he is sure that Phaedrus understands these things better than he does himself, that he cannot help follow Phaedrus' lead into his Bacchic frenzy. Phaedrus asks Socrates not to joke. Socrates retorts that he is still in awe, claims to be able to make an better speech than Lysias on the same subject. Phaedrus and Socrates both note how anyone would consider Socrates a foreigner in the countryside, Socrates attributes this fault to his love of learning which "trees and open country won't teach," while "men in the town" will. Socrates proceeds to give Phaedrus credit for leading him out of his native land: "Yet you seem to have discovered a drug for getting me out. A hungry animal can be driven by dangling a bit of greenstuff in front of it.
When Phaedrus begs to hear it however, Socrates refuses to give the speech. Phaedrus warns him that he is younger and stronger, Socrates should "take his meaning" and "stop playing hard to get". After Phaedrus swears on the plane tree that he will never recite another speech for Socrates if Socrates refuses, covering his head, consents. Socrates, rather than listing reasons as Lysias had done, begins by explaining that while all men desire beauty, some are in love and some are not. We are all ruled, he says, by two principles: one is our inborn desire for pleasure, the other is our acquired judgment that pursues what is best. Following your judgment is "being in your right mind", while following desire towards pleasure without reason is "outrage". Following different desires leads to different things; the desire to take pleasure in beauty, reinforced by the
Cratylus is the name of a dialogue by Plato. Most modern scholars agree that it was written during Plato's so-called middle period. In the dialogue, Socrates is asked by two men and Hermogenes, to tell them whether names are "conventional" or "natural", that is, whether language is a system of arbitrary signs or whether words have an intrinsic relation to the things they signify; the individual Cratylus was the first intellectual influence on Plato. Aristotle states that Cratylus influenced Plato by introducing to him the teachings of Heraclitus, according to MW. Riley; the subject of Cratylus is the correctness of names, in other words, it is a critique on the subject of naming. When discussing a ὄνομα and how it would relate to its subject, Socrates compares the original creation of a word to the work of an artist. An artist uses color to express the essence of his subject in a painting. In much the same way, the creator of words uses letters containing certain sounds to express the essence of a word's subject.
There is a letter, best for soft things, one for liquid things, so on. He comments. One countering position, held by Hermogenes, is that names have come about due to custom and convention, they do not express the essence of their subject, so they can be swapped with something unrelated by the individuals or communities who use them. The line between the two perspectives is blurred. During more than half of the dialogue, Socrates makes guesses at Hermogenes' request as to where names and words have come from; these include the names of the Olympian gods, personified deities, many words that describe abstract concepts. He examines whether, for example, giving names of "streams" to Cronus and Rhea are purely accidental. Don't you think he who gave to the ancestors of the other gods the names “Rhea” and “Cronus” had the same thought as Heracleitus? Do you think he gave both of them the names of streams by chance? The Greek term "ῥεῦμα" may refer to the flow of any medium and is not restricted to the flow of water or liquids.
Many of the words which Socrates uses as examples may have come from an idea linked to the name, but have changed over time. Those of which he cannot find a link, he assumes have come from foreign origins or have changed so much as to lose all resemblance to the original word, he states, "names have been so twisted in all manner of ways, that I should not be surprised if the old language when compared with that now in use would appear to us to be a barbarous tongue."The final theory of relations between name and object named is posited by Cratylus, a disciple of Heraclitus, who believes that names arrive from divine origins, making them correct. Socrates rebukes this theory by reminding Cratylus of the imperfection of certain names in capturing the objects they seek to signify. From this point, Socrates rejects the study of language, believing it to be philosophically inferior to a study of things themselves. An extensive section of Plato's dialogue Cratylus is devoted to the etymology of the god's name, in which Socrates is arguing for a folk etymology not from "unseen" but from "his knowledge of all noble things".
The origin of Hades' name is uncertain, but has been seen as meaning "The Unseen One" since antiquity. Modern linguists have proposed the Proto-Greek form *Awides; the earliest attested form is Aḯdēs. West argues instead for an original meaning of "the one who presides over meeting up" from the universality of death; the /w/ sound was lost at various times in various dialects before the classical period. In Ionic, /w/ had disappeared before Homer's epics were written down, but its former presence can be detected in many cases because its omission left the meter defective. For example, the words ἄναξ " king, leader". Found in the Iliad, would have been ϝάναξ /wánaks/, οἶνος "wine" are sometimes used in the meter where a word starting with a consonant would be expected. Further evidence coupled with cognate-analysis shows that οἶνος was earlier ϝοῖνος /wóînos/. Ρ is a "tool for copying every sort of motion." Ι for imitating "all the small things that can most penetrate everything", φ, ψ. σ, ζ as "all these letters are pronounced with an expulsion of breath", they are most appropriate for imitating "blowing or hard breathing".
Δ and τ as both involve "compression and stopping of the power of the tongue" when pronounced, they are most appropriate for words indicating a lack or stopping of motion. Λ, as "the tongue glides most of all" when pronounced, it is most appropriate for words denoting a sort of gliding. Γ best used when imitating "something cloying", as the gliding of the tongue is stopped when pronounced. Ν best used when imitating inward things, as it is "sounded inwardly". Α, η best used when imitating large things, as they are both "pronounced long". Ο best used. Although these are clear examples of onomatopoeia, Socrates's statement that words are not musical imitations of the nature suggests that Plato didn't believe that language itself generates from sound words. Plato's theory of forms makes an appearance. For example, no ma
Timaeus is one of Plato's dialogues in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c. 360 BC. The work puts forward speculation on the nature of the physical world and human beings and is followed by the dialogue Critias. Participants in the dialogue include Socrates, Timaeus and Critias; some scholars believe that it is not the Critias of the Thirty Tyrants, appearing in this dialogue, but his grandfather, named Critias. It has been suggested; the dialogue takes place the day. In Plato's works such a discussion occurs in the Republic. Socrates feels that his description of the ideal state wasn't sufficient for the purposes of entertainment and that "I would be glad to hear some account of it engaging in transactions with other states". Hermocrates mentions that Critias knows just the account to do so. Critias proceeds to tell the story of Solon's journey to Egypt where he hears the story of Atlantis, how Athens used to be an ideal state that subsequently waged war against Atlantis.
Critias believes that he is getting ahead of himself, mentions that Timaeus will tell part of the account from the origin of the universe to man. Critias cites the Egyptian priest in Sais about long term factors on the fate of mankind:"There have been, will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes. There is a story that you have preserved, that once upon a time, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all, upon the earth, was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals." The history of Atlantis is postponed to Critias. The main content of the dialogue, the exposition by Timaeus, follows. Timaeus begins with a distinction between the physical world, the eternal world; the physical one is the world which changes and perishes: therefore it is the object of opinion and unreasoned sensation.
The eternal one never changes: therefore it is apprehended by reason. The speeches about the two worlds are conditioned by the different nature of their objects. Indeed, "a description of what is changeless and intelligible will be changeless and fixed,", while a description of what changes and is will change and be just likely. "As being is to becoming, so is truth to belief". Therefore, in a description of the physical world, one "should not look for anything more than a story". Timaeus suggests that since nothing "becomes or changes" without cause the cause of the universe must be a demiurge or a god, a figure Timaeus refers to as the father and maker of the universe, and since the universe is fair, the demiurge must have looked to the eternal model to make it, not to the perishable one. Hence, using the eternal and perfect world of "forms" or ideals as a template, he set about creating our world, which only existed in a state of disorder. Timaeus continues with an explanation of the creation of the universe, which he ascribes to the handiwork of a divine craftsman.
The demiurge, being good, wanted there to be as much good. The demiurge is said to bring order out of substance by imitating an eternal model; the ananke translated as'necessity', was the only other co-existent element or presence in Plato's cosmogony. Platonists clarified that the eternal model existed in the mind of the Demiurge. Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion. Considering that order is favourable over disorder, the essential act of the creator was to bring order and clarity to this substance. Therefore, all the properties of the world are to be explained by the demiurge's choice of what is fair and good. First of all, the world is a living creature. Since the unintelligent creatures are in their appearance less fair than intelligent creatures, since intelligence needs to be settled in a soul, the demiurge "put intelligence in soul, soul in body" in order to make a living and intelligent whole.
"Wherefore, using the language of probability, we may say that the world became a living creature endowed with soul and intelligence by the providence of God". Since the part is imperfect compared to the whole, the world had to be one and only. Therefore, the demiurge did not create a single unique world. Additionally, because the demiurge wanted his creation to be a perfect imitation of the Eternal "One", there was no need to create more than one world; the creator decided to make the perceptible body of the universe by four elements, in order to render it proportioned. Indeed, in addition to fire and earth, which make bodies visible and solid, a third element was required as a mean: "two things cannot be rightly put together without a third. Moreover, since the world is not a surface but a solid, a fourth mean was needed to reach harmony: therefore, the creator placed water and air between fire and ea
Eighteen Epigrams are attributed to Plato, most of them considered spurious. These are short poems suitable for dedicatory purposes written in the form of elegiac couplets. 1 You gaze at my Star. 2 Even as you shone once the Star of Morning among the living, so in death you shine now the Star of Evening among the dead. 3 The Fates decreed tears to the women of Troy right from their birth. And so in your spacious homeland you lie honored by your fellow citizens, O Dion, you who made my heart mad with love. 4 Now, when I have but whispered that Alexis is beautiful, he is the observed of all observers. O my heart, why show dogs a bone? You'll be sorry for it afterwards: was it not so that we lost Phaedrus? 5 My mistress is Archeanassa of Colophon, on whose wrinkles there is bitter love. Hapless are all you. 6 When I kiss Agathon my soul is on my lips. 7 I throw the apple at you, if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me. 8 I am an apple. Say yes, Xanthippe. 10 A man who found some gold left a noose, the one who did not find the gold he had left tied on the noose he found.
11 I, Laïs, who laughed so disdainfully at Greece and once kept a swarm of young lovers at my door, dedicate this mirror to the Paphian—for I do not wish to see me as I am, cannot see me as I was. 12 This man was pleasing to foreigners and dear to his fellow citizens—Pindar, servant of the melodious Muses. 13 We once left the sounding waves of the Aegean to lie here amidst the plains of Ecbatana. Fare thee well, renowned Eretria, our former country. Fare thee well, Euboea's neighbor. Fare thee well, dear Sea. 14 I am the tomb of a ship's captain. 15 Sailors, be safe, by sea and on land. 16 Some say. How thoughtless! Look at Sappho of Lesbos. 17 When Cypris saw Cypris at Cnidus, "Alas!" said she. 18 The Graces, seeking for themselves a shrine, found the soul of Aristophanes. Of ancient Greek literature, the Epigrams refer to historical personalities, various places in and around ancient Greece, specific characters of Greek mythology. Hecuba: queen of Troy; the Trojan loss of the Trojan war, as described in the Iliad, explains the decree of tears for Hecuba and the women of Troy at the hands of the Fates, who represent the harsher inevitabilities of the human condition, such as death and destiny.
Dion: the political figure of Syracuse whose campaign is discussed at length in the Platonic Epistles, or Letters. Alexis: one of a number of already-named ancient personalities, or else a new personality of the same name altogether. Phaedrus: Plato's contemporary. Archeanassa: a possible historical romantic interest of Plato's. Agathon: Athenian tragic poet, known for appearing in Plato's Symposium. Xanthippe: Socrates' wife; the pertinent epigram may therefore represent Socrates' courtship of Xanthippe. Laïs: A reference to either of the courtesans Lais of Corinth or Lais of Hyccara, the two being confused in ancient literature, therefore inextricably linked. Pindar: lyric poet, whose association with the muses is a compliment of his skill. Sappho: female lyric poet, whose skill is complimented by counting her as a tenth muse, a common appellation for Sappho in the ancient historical record. Praxiteles: sculptor; the epigram is a poetic compliment of his skill, as in its telling, the Aphrodite of Knidos is beheld by Aphrodite herself, is judged by her to be a perfect likeness.
Aristophanes: comic playwright. As the Graces represent the happier elements of the human condition, it is fitting that they would be associated with Aristophanes in epigram 18. Well-known place names mentioned in the Epigrams include Troy, Greece itself, the Aegean Sea, Athens. More specific references include: Colophon: a city of present day western Turkey. Euboea: a large island in central Greece, just off the mainland, near Athens. Eretria: a city in Euboea. Susa: a city of ancient Persia, present day western Iran. Ecbatana: another city of ancient Persia, present day western Iran. Lesbos: an island in Eastern Greece, near present-day Turkey, historical home of Sappho. Cnidus a Greek city in present-day southwestern Turkey, site of the aforementioned Aphrodite of Knidos sculpture; the Fates: in their capacity for terrible assignment of destiny to humans, the Fates are mentioned as decreeing tears to Trojan women. The Muses: mentioned twice, the Muses are associated with the creative efforts of Pindar and Sappho.
The Graces: representing the happier elements of the human condition, the Graces are associated with Aristophanes. "The Paphian" and "Cypris": both names refer to the goddess Aphrodite who, according to legend, rose from the sea at Paphos, southwestern Cyprus. The first "Cypris" of epigram 17 therefore refers to the goddess herself, while the second "Cypris" refers to the famous, lost statue of her li