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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

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Page 3

The wise and orderly soul is conscious of her situation and follows in the path; but the soul which desires the body, and which, as I was relating before, has long been fluttering about the lifeless frame and the world of sight, is after many struggles and many sufferings hardly and with violence carried away by her attendant genius, and when she arrives at the place where the other souls are gathered, if she be impure and have done impure deeds, or been concerned in foul murders or other crimes which are the brothers of these, and the works of brothers in crime-from that soul everyone flees and turns away; no one will be her companion, no one her guide, but alone she wanders in extremity of evil until certain times are fulfilled, and when they are fulfilled, she is borne irresistibly to her own fitting habitation; as every pure and just soul which has passed through life in the company and under the guidance of the gods has also her own proper home. Now the earth has divers wonderful regions, and is indeed in nature and extent very unlike the notions of geographers, as I believe on the authority of one who shall be nameless.

ἡ μὲν οὖν κοσμία τε καὶ φρόνιμος ψυχὴ ἕπεταί τε καὶ οὐκ ἀγνοεῖ τὰ παρόντα· ἡ δ΄ ἐπιθυμητικῶς τοῦ σώματος ἔχουσα͵ ὅπερ ἐν τῷ ἔμπροσθεν εἶπον͵ περὶ ἐκεῖνο πολὺν χρόνον ἐπτοημένη καὶ περὶ τὸν ὁρατὸν τόπον͵ πολλὰ ἀντιτείνασα καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα͵ βίᾳ καὶ μόγις ὑπὸ τοῦ προστεταγμένου δαίμονος οἴχεται ἀγομένη. ἀφικομένην δὲ ὅθιπερ αἱ ἄλλαι͵ τὴν μὲν ἀκάθαρτον καί τι πεποιηκυῖαν τοιοῦτον͵ ἢ φόνων ἀδίκων ἡμμένην ἢ ἄλλ΄ ἄττα τοιαῦτα εἰργασμένην͵ ἃ τούτων ἀδελφά τε καὶ ἀδελφῶν ψυχῶν ἔργα τυγχάνει ὄντα͵ ταύτην μὲν ἅπας φεύγει τε καὶ ὑπεκτρέπεται καὶ οὔτε συνέμπορος οὔτε ἡγεμὼν ἐθέλει γίγνεσθαι͵ αὐτὴ δὲ πλανᾶται ἐν πάσῃ ἐχομένη ἀπορίᾳ ἕως ἂν δή τινες χρόνοι γένωνται͵ ὧν ἐλθόντων ὑπ΄ ἀνάγκης φέρεται εἰς τὴν αὐτῇ πρέπουσαν οἴκησιν· ἡ δὲ καθαρῶς τε καὶ μετρίως τὸν βίον διεξελθοῦσα͵ καὶ συνεμπόρων καὶ ἡγεμόνων θεῶν τυχοῦσα͵ ᾤκησεν τὸν αὐτῇ ἑκάστη τόπον προσήκοντα. εἰσὶν δὲ πολλοὶ καὶ θαυμαστοὶ τῆς γῆς τόποι͵ καὶ αὐτὴ οὔτε οἵα οὔτε ὅση δοξάζεται ὑπὸ τῶν περὶ γῆς εἰωθότων λέγειν͵ ὡς ἐγὼ ὑπό τινος πέπεισμαι. 

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