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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Persons of the dialogue: Socrates - Alcibiades
Translated by Benjamin Jowett - 50 Pages - Greek fonts
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Page 4

Soc.: And would you have ever learned or discovered anything, if you had not been willing either to learn of others or to examine yourself?

Alc.: I should not.

Soc.: And would you have been willing to learn or to examine what you supposed that you knew?

Alc.: Certainly not.

Soc.: Then there was a time when you thought that you did not know what you are now supposed to know?

Alc.: Certainly.

Soc.: I think that I know tolerably well the extent of your acquirements; and you must tell me if I forget any of them: according to my recollection, you learned the arts of writing, of playing on the lyre, and of wrestling; the flute you never would learn; this is the sum of your accomplishments, unless there were some which you acquired in secret; and I think that secrecy was hardly possible, as you could not have come out of your door, either by day or night, without my seeing you.

Alc.: Yes, that was the whole of my schooling.

Soc.: And are you going to get up in the Athenian assembly, and give them advice about writing?

Alc.: No, indeed.

Soc.: Or about the touch of the lyre?

Alc.: Certainly not.

Soc.: And they are not in the habit of deliberating about wrestling, in the assembly?

Alc.: Hardly.

Soc.: Then what are the deliberations in which you propose to advise them? Surely not about building?

Alc.: No.

Soc.: For the builder will advise better than you will about that?

Alc.: He will.

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