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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : SELF-KNOWLEDGE

from Alcibiades I, * 128e-129a, 132.b-133.c, translated by B. Jowett.

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SO. Practise yourself, sweet friend, in learning what you ought to know, before you enter on politics; and then you will have an antidote which will keep you out of harm's way.

AL. Good advice, Socrates, but I wish that you would explain to me in what way I am to take care of myself.

SO. Have we not made an advance? for we are at any rate tolerably well agreed as to what we are, and there is no longer any danger, as we once feared, that we might be taking care not of ourselves, but of something which is not ourselves.

AL. That is true.

ΣΩ. Γύμνασαι πρῶτον͵ ὦ μακάριε͵ καὶ μάθε ἃ δεῖ μαθόντα ἰέναι ἐπὶ τὰ τῆς πόλεως͵ πρότερον δὲ μή͵ ἵν΄ ἀλεξιφάρμακα ἔχων ἴῃς καὶ μηδὲν πάθῃς δεινόν.

ΑΛ. Εὖ μοι δοκεῖς λέγειν͵ ὦ Σώκρατες· ἀλλὰ πειρῶ ἐξηγεῖσθαι ὅντιν΄ ἂν τρόπον ἐπιμεληθεῖμεν ἡμῶν αὐτῶν.

ΣΩ. Οὐκοῦν τοσοῦτον μὲν ἡμῖν εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν πεπέρανται ὃ γὰρ ἐσμέν͵ ἐπιεικῶς ὡμολόγηται - ἐφοβούμεθα δὲ μὴ τούτου σφαλέντες λάθωμεν ἑτέρου τινὸς ἐπιμελόμενοι ἀλλ΄ οὐχ ἡμῶν.

ΑΛ. Ἔστι ταῦτα.

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