Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : SEARCHING FOR THE THINGS' REASON

from Politicus, * 285.d-286.b, Theaetetus * 155.d, 173c-176a, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept

Page 4

SOC. I will illustrate my meaning, Theodorus, by the jest which the clever witty Thracian handmaid is said to have made about Thales, when he fell into a well as he was looking up at the stars. She said, that he was so eager to know what was going on in heaven, that he could not see what was before his feet. This is a jest which is equally applicable to all philosophers. For the philosopher is wholly unacquainted with his next-door neighbour; he is ignorant, not only of what he is doing, but he hardly knows whether he is a man or an animal; he is searching into the essence of man, and busy in enquiring what belongs to such a nature to do or suffer different from any other;-I think that you understand me, Theodorus?

THEOD. I do, and what you say is true.

ΣΩ. Ὥσπερ καὶ Θαλῆν ἀστρονομοῦντα͵ ὦ Θεόδωρε͵ καὶ ἄνω βλέποντα͵ πεσόντα εἰς φρέαρ͵ Θρᾷττά τις ἐμμελὴς καὶ χαρίεσσα θεραπαινὶς ἀποσκῶψαι λέγεται ὡς τὰ μὲν ἐν οὐρανῷ προθυμοῖτο εἰδέναι͵ τὰ δ΄ ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ καὶ παρὰ πόδας λανθάνοι αὐτόν. ταὐτὸν δὲ ἀρκεῖ σκῶμμα ἐπὶ πάντας ὅσοι ἐν φιλοσοφίᾳ διάγουσι. τῷ γὰρ ὄντι τὸν τοιοῦτον ὁ μὲν πλησίον καὶ ὁ γείτων λέληθεν͵ οὐ μόνον ὅτι πράττει͵ ἀλλ΄ ὀλίγου καὶ εἰ ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν ἤ τι ἄλλο θρέμμα· τί δέ ποτ΄ ἐστὶν ἄνθρωπος καὶ τί τῇ τοιαύτῃ φύσει προσήκει διάφορον τῶν ἄλλων ποιεῖν ἢ πάσχειν͵ ζητεῖ τε καὶ πράγματ΄ ἔχει διερευνώμενος. μανθάνεις γάρ που͵ ὦ Θεόδωρε· ἢ οὔ;

ΘΕΟ. Ἔγωγε· καὶ ἀληθῆ λέγεις.

Previous Page ||| Next Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

Learned Freeware

Reference address :