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Plato : CRATYLUS

Persons of the dialogue: Socrates - Hermogenes - Cratylus
Translated by Benjamin Jowett - 32 Pages (Part 2) - Greek fonts
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CRATYLUS part 2 of 2

Part 1

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Part 2 Page 3

Soc. Again, cherdaleon (gainful) is called from cherdos (gain), but you must alter the d into n if you want to get at the meaning; for this word also signifies good, but in another way; he who gave the name intended to express the power of admixture (kerannumenon) and universal penetration in the good; in forming the word, however, he inserted a d instead of an n, and so made kerdos.

Her. Well, but what is lusiteloun (profitable)?

Soc. I suppose, Hermogenes, that people do not mean by the profitable the gainful or that which pays (luei) the retailer, but they use the word in the sense of swift. You regard the profitable (lusitelou), as that which being the swiftest thing in existence, allows of no stay in things and no pause or end of motion, but always, if there begins to be any end, lets things go again (luei), and makes motion immortal and unceasing: and in this point of view, as appears to me, the good is happily denominated lusiteloun -  being that which looses (luon) the end (telos) of motion. Ophelimon (the advantageous) is derived from ophellein, meaning that which creates and increases; this latter is a common Homeric word, and has a foreign character.

Her. And what do you say of their opposites?

Soc. Of such as mere negatives I hardly think that I need speak.

Her. Which are they?

Soc. The words axumphoron (inexpedient), anopheles (unprofitable), alusiteles (unadvantageous), akerdes (ungainful).

Her. True.

Soc. I would rather take the words blaberon (harmful), zemiodes (hurtful).

Her. Good.

Soc. The word blaberon is that which is said to hinder or harm (blaptein) the stream (roun); blapton is boulomenon aptein (seeking to hold or bind); for aptein is the same as dein, and dein is always a term of censure; boulomenon aptein roun (wanting to bind the stream) would properly be boulapteroun, and this, as I imagine, is improved into blaberon.

Her. You bring out curious results, Socrates, in the use of names; and when I hear the word boulapteroun I cannot help imagining that you are making your mouth into a flute, and puffing away at some prelude to Athene.

Soc. That is the fault of the makers of the name, Hermogenes; not mine.

Her. Very true; but what is the derivation of zemiodes?

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