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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : STUDYING DEATH II - WAYS TO HADES

from Phaedo, * 107.c-108.c, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept

Page 2

For after death, as they say, the genius of each individual, to whom he belonged in life, leads him to a certain place in which the dead are gathered together for judgment, whence they go into the world below, following the guide who is appointed to conduct them from this world to the other: and when they have there received their due and remained their time, another guide brings them back again after many revolutions of ages. Now this journey to the other world is not, as Aeschylus says in the "Telephus," a single and straight path-no guide would be wanted for that, and no one could miss a single path; but there are many partings of the road, and windings, as I must infer from the rites and sacrifices which are offered to the gods below in places where three ways meet on earth.

λέγεται δὲ οὕτως͵ ὡς ἄρα τελευτήσαντα ἕκαστον ὁ ἑκάστου δαίμων͵ ὅσπερ ζῶντα εἰλήχει͵ οὗτος ἄγειν ἐπιχειρεῖ εἰς δή τινα τόπον͵ οἷ δεῖ τοὺς συλλεγέντας διαδικασαμένους εἰς Ἅιδου πορεύεσθαι μετὰ ἡγεμόνος ἐκείνου ᾧ δὴ προστέτακται τοὺς ἐνθένδε ἐκεῖσε πορεῦσαι· τυχόντας δὲ ἐκεῖ ὧν δὴ τυχεῖν καὶ μείναντας ὃν χρὴ χρόνον ἄλλος δεῦρο πάλιν ἡγεμὼν κομίζει ἐν πολλαῖς χρόνου καὶ μακραῖς περιόδοις. ἔστι δὲ ἄρα ἡ πορεία οὐχ ὡς ὁ Αἰσχύλου Τήλεφος λέγει· ἐκεῖνος μὲν γὰρ ἁπλῆν οἶμόν φησιν εἰς Ἅιδου φέρειν͵ ἡ δ΄ οὔτε ἁπλῆ οὔτε μία φαίνεταί μοι εἶναι. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἂν ἡγεμόνων ἔδει· οὐ γάρ πού τις ἂν διαμάρτοι οὐδαμόσε μιᾶς ὁδοῦ οὔσης. νῦν δὲ ἔοικε σχίσεις τε καὶ τριόδους πολλὰς ἔχειν· ἀπὸ τῶν θυσιῶν τε καὶ νομίμων τῶν ἐνθάδε τεκμαιρόμενος λέγω.

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