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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


from Sophist, * 227d-228e, 230d, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept

Page 3

STR. And there is the other, which they call ignorance, and which, because existing only in the soul, they will not allow to be vice. THEAET. I certainly admit what I at first disputed-that there are two kinds of vice in the soul, and that we ought to consider cowardice, intemperance, and injustice to be alike forms of disease in the soul, and ignorance, of which there are all sorts of varieties, to be deformity.

... we must admit that refutation is the greatest and chiefest of purifications, and he who has not been refuted, though he be the Great King himself, is in an awful state of impurity; he is uninstructed and deformed in those things in which he who would be truly blessed ought to be fairest and purest.

ΞΕ. Τὸ δέ γε ἄγνοιαν μὲν καλοῦσι͵ κακίαν δὲ αὐτὸ ἐν ψυχῇ μόνον γιγνόμενον οὐκ ἐθέλουσιν ὁμολογεῖν. ΘΕΑΙ. Κομιδῇ συγχωρητέον͵ ὃ νυνδὴ λέξαντος ἠμφεγνόησά σου͵ τὸ δύο εἶναι γένη κακίας ἐν ψυχῇ͵ καὶ δειλίαν μὲν καὶ ἀκολασίαν καὶ ἀδικίαν σύμπαντα ἡγητέον νόσον ἐν ἡμῖν͵ τὸ δὲ τῆς πολλῆς καὶ παντοδαπῆς ἀγνοίας πάθος αἶσχος θετέον.

... τὸν ἔλεγχον λεκτέον ὡς ἄρα μεγίστη καὶ κυριωτάτη τῶν καθάρσεών ἐστι καὶ τὸν ἀνέλεγκτον αὖ νομιστέον͵ ἂν καὶ τυγχάνῃ βασιλεὺς ὁ μέγας ὤν͵ τὰ μέγιστα ἀκάθαρτον ὄντα͵ ἀπαίδευτόν τε καὶ αἰσχρὸν γεγονέναι ταῦτα ἃ καθαρώτατον καὶ κάλλιστον ἔπρεπε τὸν ὄντως ἐσόμενον εὐδαίμονα εἶναι.

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