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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


UT THEN, O my friends, he said, if the soul is really immortal, what care should be taken of her, not only in respect of the portion of time which is called life, but of eternity! And the danger of neglecting her from this point of view does indeed appear to be awful. If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would have had a good bargain in dying, for they would have been happily quit not only of their body, but of their own evil together with their souls. But now, as the soul plainly appears to be immortal, there is no release or salvation from evil except the attainment of the highest virtue and wisdom. For the soul when on her progress to the world below takes nothing with her but nurture and education; which are indeed said greatly to benefit or greatly to injure the departed, at the very beginning of its pilgrimage in the other world.


εἰς Ἅιδου πορεῖαι

Ἀλλὰ τόδε γ΄͵ ἔφη͵ ὦ ἄνδρες͵ δίκαιον διανοηθῆναι͵ ὅτι͵ εἴπερ ἡ ψυχὴ ἀθάνατος͵ ἐπιμελείας δὴ δεῖται οὐχ ὑπὲρ τοῦ χρόνου τούτου μόνον ἐν ᾧ καλοῦμεν τὸ ζῆν͵ ἀλλ΄ ὑπὲρ τοῦ παντός͵ καὶ ὁ κίνδυνος νῦν δὴ καὶ δόξειεν ἂν δεινὸς εἶναι͵ εἴ τις αὐτῆς ἀμελήσει. εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἦν ὁ θάνατος τοῦ παντὸς ἀπαλλαγή͵ ἕρμαιον ἂν ἦν τοῖς κακοῖς ἀποθανοῦσι τοῦ τε σώματος ἅμ΄ ἀπηλλάχθαι καὶ τῆς αὑτῶν κακίας μετὰ τῆς ψυχῆς· νῦν δ΄ ἐπειδὴ ἀθάνατος φαίνεται οὖσα͵ οὐδεμία ἂν εἴη αὐτῇ ἄλλη ἀποφυγὴ κακῶν οὐδὲ σωτηρία πλὴν τοῦ ὡς βελτίστην τε καὶ φρονιμωτάτην γενέσθαι. οὐδὲν γὰρ ἄλλο ἔχουσα εἰς Ἅιδου ἡ ψυχὴ ἔρχεται πλὴν τῆς παιδείας τε καὶ τροφῆς͵ ἃ δὴ καὶ μέγιστα λέγεται ὠφελεῖν ἢ βλάπτειν τὸν τελευτήσαντα εὐθὺς ἐν ἀρχῇ τῆς ἐκεῖσε πορείας.

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