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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Plato Bilingual Anthology : BECOMING LIKE GOD

from Theaetetus, * 176a-177a, translated by B. Jowett

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SOC. There are two patterns eternally set before them; the one blessed and divine, the other godless and wretched: but they do not see them, or perceive that in their utter folly and infatuation they are growing like the one and unlike the other, by reason of their evil deeds; and the penalty is, that they lead a life answering to the pattern which they are growing like. And if we tell them, that unless they depart from their cunning, the place of innocence will not receive them after death; and that here on earth, they will live ever in the likeness of their own evil selves, and with evil friends-when they hear this they in their superior cunning will seem to be listening to the talk of idiots.

THEOD. Very true, Socrates.

ΣΩ. Παραδειγμάτων͵ ὦ φίλε͵ ἐν τῷ ὄντι ἑστώτων͵ τοῦ μὲν θείου εὐδαιμονεστάτου͵ τοῦ δὲ ἀθέου ἀθλιωτάτου͵ οὐχ ὁρῶντες ὅτι οὕτως ἔχει͵ ὑπὸ ἠλιθιότητός τε καὶ τῆς ἐσχάτης ἀνοίας λανθάνουσι τῷ μὲν ὁμοιούμενοι διὰ τὰς ἀδίκους πράξεις͵ τῷ δὲ ἀνομοιούμενοι. οὗ δὴ τίνουσι δίκην ζῶντες τὸν εἰκότα βίον ᾧ ὁμοιοῦνται· ἐὰν δ΄ εἴπωμεν ὅτι͵ ἂν μὴ ἀπαλλαγῶσι τῆς δεινότητος͵ καὶ τελευτήσαντας αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖνος μὲν ὁ τῶν κακῶν καθαρὸς τόπος οὐ δέξεται͵ ἐνθάδε δὲ τὴν αὑτοῖς ὁμοιότητα τῆς διαγωγῆς ἀεὶ ἕξουσι͵ κακοὶ κακοῖς συνόντες͵ ταῦτα δὴ καὶ παντάπασιν ὡς δεινοὶ καὶ πανοῦργοι ἀνοήτων τινῶν ἀκούσονται.

ΘΕΟ. Καὶ μάλα δή͵ ὦ Σώκρατες.

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