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Plato : HIPPIAS (major)

Persons of the dialogue: Socrates - Hippias
Translated by Benjamin Jowett - 37 Pages - Greek fonts
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Page 2

Soc.: Then, Hippias, if Bias were to come to life again now, he would be a laughing-stock in comparison with you, just as the sculptors say that Daedalus, if he were to be born now and were to create such works as those from which he got his reputation, would be ridiculous.

Hip.: That, Socrates, is exactly as you say. I, however, am in the habit of praising the ancients and our predecessors rather than the men of the present day, and more greatly, as a precaution against the envy of the living and through fear of the wrath of those who are dead.

Soc.: Yours, Hippias, is a most excellent way, at any rate, of speaking about them and of thinking, it seems to me and I can bear you witness that you speak the truth, and that your art really has progressed in the direction of ability to carry on public together with private affairs. For this man Gorgias, the sophist from Leontini, came here from home in the public capacity of envoy, as being best able of all the citizens of Leontini to attend to the interests of the community, and it was the general opinion that he spoke excellently in the public assembly, and in his private capacity, by giving exhibitions and associating with the young, he earned and received a great deal of money from this city ; or, if you like, our friend here, Prodicus, often went to other places in a public capacity, and the last time, just lately, when he came here in a public capacity from Ceos, he gained great reputation by his speaking before the Council, and in his private capacity, by giving exhibitions and associating with the young, he received a marvellous sum of money ; but none of those ancients ever thought fit to exact the money as payment for his wisdom or to give exhibitions among people of various places ; so simple-minded were they, and so unconscious of the fact that money is of the greatest value. But either of these two has earned more money from his wisdom than any artisan from his art. And even before these Protagoras did so.

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