313 (Greek)

June 29, 2010

[313a] καὶ ἐγὼ εἶπον μετὰ τοῦτο· τί οὖν; οἶσθα εἰς οἷόν τινα κίνδυνον ἔρχῃ ὑποθήσων τὴν ψυχήν; ἢ εἰ μὲν τὸ σῶμα ἐπιτρέπειν σε ἔδει τῳ διακινδυνεύοντα ἢ χρηστὸν αὐτὸ γενέσθαι ἢ πονηρόν, πολλὰ ἂν περιεσκέψω εἴτ’ ἐπιτρεπτέον εἴτε οὔ, καὶ εἰς συμβουλὴν τούς τε φίλους ἂν παρεκάλεις καὶ τοὺς οἰκείους σκοπούμενος ἡμέρας συχνάς· ὃ δὲ περὶ πλείονος τοῦ σώματος ἡγῇ, τὴν ψυχήν, καὶ ἐν ᾧ πάντ’ ἐστὶν τὰ σὰ ἢ εὖ ἢ κακῶς πράττειν, χρηστοῦ ἢ πονηροῦ αὐτοῦ γενομένου, περὶ δὲ τούτου οὔτε τῷ πατρὶ οὔτε τῷ ἀδελφῷ [313b] ἐπεκοινώσω οὔτε ἡμῶν τῶν ἑταίρων οὐδενί, εἴτ’ ἐπιτρεπτέον εἴτε καὶ οὐ τῷ ἀφικομένῳ τούτῳ ξένῳ τὴν σὴν ψυχήν, ἀλλ’ ἑσπέρας ἀκούσας, ὡς φῄς, ὄρθριος ἥκων περὶ μὲν τούτου οὐδένα λόγον οὐδὲ συμβουλὴν ποιῇ, εἴτε χρὴ ἐπιτρέπειν σαυτὸν αὐτῷ εἴτε μή, ἕτοιμος δ’ εἶ ἀναλίσκειν τά τε σαυτοῦ καὶ τὰ τῶν φίλων χρήματα, ὡς ἤδη διεγνωκὼς ὅτι πάντως συνεστέον Πρωταγόρᾳ, ὃν οὔτε γιγνώσκεις, ὡς φῄς, οὔτε [313c] διείλεξαι οὐδεπώποτε, σοφιστὴν δ’ ὀνομάζεις, τὸν δὲ σοφιστὴν ὅτι ποτ’ ἔστιν φαίνῃ ἀγνοῶν, ᾧ μέλλεις σαυτὸν ἐπιτρέπειν;
καὶ ὃς ἀκούσας, ἔοικεν, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἐξ ὧν σὺ λέγεις.
ἆρ’ οὖν, ὦ Ἱππόκρατες, ὁ σοφιστὴς τυγχάνει ὢν ἔμπορός τις ἢ κάπηλος τῶν ἀγωγίμων, ἀφ’ ὧν ψυχὴ τρέφεται; φαίνεται γὰρ ἔμοιγε τοιοῦτός τις.
τρέφεται δέ, ὦ Σώκρατες, ψυχὴ τίνι;
μαθήμασιν δήπου, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ. καὶ ὅπως γε μή, ὦ ἑταῖρε, ὁ σοφιστὴς ἐπαινῶν ἃ πωλεῖ ἐξαπατήσῃ ἡμᾶς, ὥσπερ οἱ περὶ τὴν τοῦ σώματος τροφήν, ὁ [313d] ἔμπορός τε καὶ κάπηλος. καὶ γὰρ οὗτοί που ὧν ἄγουσιν ἀγωγίμων οὔτε αὐτοὶ ἴσασιν ὅτι χρηστὸν ἢ πονηρὸν περὶ τὸ σῶμα, ἐπαινοῦσιν δὲ πάντα πωλοῦντες, οὔτε οἱ ὠνούμενοι παρ’ αὐτῶν, ἐὰν μή τις τύχῃ γυμναστικὸς ἢ ἰατρὸς ὤν. οὕτω δὲ καὶ οἱ τὰ μαθήματα περιάγοντες κατὰ τὰς πόλεις καὶ πωλοῦντες καὶ καπηλεύοντες τῷ ἀεὶ ἐπιθυμοῦντι ἐπαινοῦσιν μὲν πάντα ἃ πωλοῦσιν, τάχα δ’ ἄν τινες, ὦ ἄριστε, καὶ τούτων ἀγνοοῖεν ὧν πωλοῦσιν ὅτι χρηστὸν ἢ πονηρὸν [313e] πρὸς τὴν ψυχήν· ὡς δ’ αὕτως καὶ οἱ ὠνούμενοι παρ’ αὐτῶν, ἐὰν μή τις τύχῃ περὶ τὴν ψυχὴν αὖ ἰατρικὸς ὤν. εἰ μὲν οὖν σὺ τυγχάνεις ἐπιστήμων τούτων τί χρηστὸν καὶ πονηρόν, ἀσφαλές σοι ὠνεῖσθαι μαθήματα καὶ παρὰ Πρωταγόρου καὶ παρ’ ἄλλου ὁτουοῦν·

Greek text courtesy of the Perseus Project from J. Burnet (1903), ed., Platonis Opera, vol. 3, Oxford Classical Text (Oxford).
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313 (English, original)

June 29, 2010

An original translation

Here I said, “What? Do you know the sort of risk you’re running by gambling your soul? Look, if you had to hand over your body to someone and run the risk for better or worse, you’d look long and hard into whether you should do it or not. You’d call your friends and family together for advice for days on end to figure it out. But as for what you rate higher than your body – your soul – on which your success or failure entirely depends, as it turns to better or worse – about this, do you bother to consult your father or your brother or a single one of your friends about whether you should hand over your soul or not to this stranger who just turned up? No, as you say, you only found out last night and you’ve come this morning, without hearing argument or advice about it, ready to spend your own money and your friends’ money, since you’ve already figured out that you absolutely have to spend time with Protagoras, whom you don’t know and haven’t ever spoken to, as you admit. And you call the person you’re about to hand over your soul to a sophist, but you clearly don’t know what that is.”
When he heard this, he replied, “Well, it seems to be as you say, Socrates.”
“So, Hippocrates, maybe the sophist is a kind of shopkeeper or a retailer of stuff which keeps the soul fed? Because that’s the kind of person he seems to me.”
“But what does the soul feed on, Socrates?”
“On lessons, I suppose. But watch out, so the sophist won’t deceive us when he praises what he sells, just like a shopkeeper or a peddler who sells food for the body might. In fact, these people don’t even know themselves which of their products is better or worse for the body, but they praise everything they sell. And their customers don’t know either, unless they happen to be a fitness or medical expert. The same goes for those who go city to city, selling and hawking their lessons to anyone who’s interested. While they praise everything they sell, my friend, some of them probably don’t know whether their stuff is good or bad for the soul. Their customers are also ignorant unless, again, they happen to be doctors for the soul. So, if you somehow know which of their lessons is good or bad for you, it’s safe for you to buy from Protagoras or anyone else.


313 (English, Jowett)

June 29, 2010

trans. Jowett (1871)

Then I proceeded to say: Well, but are you aware of the danger which you are incurring? If you were going to commit your body to some one, who might do good or harm to it, would you not carefully consider and ask the opinion of your friends and kindred, and deliberate many days as to whether you should give him the care of your body? But when the soul is in question, which you hold to be of far more value than the body, and upon the good or evil of which depends the well-being of your all,-about this never consulted either with your father or with your brother or with any one of us who are your companions. But no sooner does this foreigner appear, than you instantly commit your soul to his keeping. In the evening, as you say, you hear of him, and in the morning you go to him, never deliberating or taking the opinion of any one as to whether you ought to intrust yourself to him or not;-you have quite made up your mind that you will at all hazards be a pupil of Protagoras, and are prepared to expend all the property of yourself and of your friends in carrying out at any price this determination, although, as you admit, you do not know him, and have never spoken with him: and you call him a Sophist, but are manifestly ignorant of what a Sophist is; and yet you are going to commit yourself to his keeping.
When he heard me say this, he replied: No other inference, Socrates, can be drawn from your words.
I proceeded: Is not a Sophist, Hippocrates, one who deals wholesale or retail in the food of the soul? To me that appears to be his nature.
And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul?
Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul; and we must take care, my friend, that the Sophist does not deceive us when he praises what he sells, like the dealers wholesale or retail who sell the food of the body; for they praise indiscriminately all their goods, without knowing what are really beneficial or hurtful: neither do their customers know, with the exception of any trainer or physician who may happen to buy of them. In like manner those who carry about the wares of knowledge, and make the round of the cities, and sell or retail them to any customer who is in want of them, praise them all alike; though I should not wonder, O my friend, if many of them were really ignorant of their effect upon the soul; and their customers equally ignorant, unless he who buys of them happens to be a physician of the soul. If, therefore, you have understanding of what is good and evil, you may safely buy knowledge of Protagoras or of any one.


312 (English, Jowett)

June 27, 2010

trans. Jowett (1871)

But suppose a person were to ask this further question: And how about yourself? What will Protagoras make of you, if you go to see him?
He answered, with a blush upon his face (for the day was just beginning to dawn, so that I could see him): Unless this differs in some way from the former instances, I suppose that he will make a Sophist of me.
By the gods, I said, and are you not ashamed at having to appear before the Hellenes in the character of a Sophist?
Indeed, Socrates, to confess the truth, I am.
But you should not assume, Hippocrates, that the instruction of Protagoras is of this nature: may you not learn of him in the same way that you learned the arts of the grammarian, musician, or trainer, not with the view of making any of them a profession, but only as a part of education, and because a private gentleman and freeman ought to know them?
Just so, he said; and that, in my opinion, is a far truer account of the teaching of Protagoras.
I said: I wonder whether you know what you are doing?
And what am I doing?
You are going to commit your soul to the care of a man whom you call a Sophist. And yet I hardly think that you know what a Sophist is; and if not, then you do not even know to whom you are committing your soul and whether the thing to which you commit yourself be good or evil.
I certainly think that I do know, he replied.
Then tell me, what do you imagine that he is?
I take him to be one who knows wise things, he replied, as his name implies.
And might you not, I said, affirm this of the painter and of the carpenter also: Do not they, too, know wise things? But suppose a person were to ask us: In what are the painters wise? We should answer: In what relates to the making of likenesses, and similarly of other things. And if he were further to ask: What is the wisdom of the Sophist, and what is the manufacture over which he presides?-how should we answer him?
How should we answer him, Socrates? What other answer could there be but that he presides over the art which makes men eloquent?
Yes, I replied, that is very likely true, but not enough; for in the answer a further question is involved: Of what does the Sophist make a man talk eloquently? The player on the lyre may be supposed to make a man talk eloquently about that which he makes him understand, that is about playing the lyre. Is not that true?
Yes.
Then about what does the Sophist make him eloquent? Must not he make him eloquent in that which he understands?
Yes, that may be assumed.
And what is that which the Sophist knows and makes his disciple know?
Indeed, he said, I cannot tell.


312 (English, original)

June 27, 2010

An original translation

“And what if someone went on to ask, ‘Well, what sort of person do you think you’ll
become if you go to Protagoras?'”
Hippocrates blushed (by that point there was enough daylight that I could see him) and said, “If it’s like the previous ones, it’s clear that I would be planning to become a sophist.”
“And wouldn’t you be ashamed, for heavens’ sake, to present yourself to the Greeks as a sophist?”
“By god, Socrates, yes I would – if I should say what I think, anyway.”
“But you don’t really think that the kind of education you’ll get from Protagoras
is any different from the kind you get from the writing tutor or the music teacher
or the gymnastics coach, do you? You didn’t learn any of these things to go into a
trade, but just for your education, since you’re a private citizen and a free man.”
“Oh. That‘s definitely how I think studying with Protagoras is.”
“So, do you realize what you’re about to do, or haven’t you noticed?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re about to hand over care of your soul to a man who is as you say a sophist.
But I’d be surprised if you even knew what a sophist was. And if you don’t know this
much, then you can’t know whether it’s a good or a bad idea to surrender your
soul to him.”
“I think I know.”
“Tell me, then, what you think a sophist is.”
“I’d say a sophist is, as the name implies, someone who knows about clever things.”
“But then, couldn’t you also say that painters and builders know about clever
things? If someone asked us, ‘What kind of clever things do painters know about?’
I suppose I’d tell him that they know how to make images. Likewise for the others. But if someone asked, ‘What kind of clever things do sophists know about?’ what would
we answer? What sort of work are they in charge of?”
“We’d have to answer that a sophist is in charge of making people clever at speaking, wouldn’t we?”
“Maybe that’s right, but it isn’t enough by itself. Our answer to the question has
to say what the sophist makes someone clever at speaking about. For example, the music teacher makes you clever, I guess, at speaking about the same thing which you then know about, namely music. Right?”
“Yes.”
“All right. And the sophist, what does he make you clever at speaking about?”
“It’s clear that it would be the same thing he knows.”
“That’s reasonable. But then what is it that the sophist himself knows about and makes his student know about?”
“I swear, I don’t know what to tell you any more.”


312 (Greek)

June 27, 2010

εἰ οὖν καὶ τοῦτό τίς σε προσέροιτο· [312a] “αὐτὸς δὲ δὴ ὡς τίς γενησόμενος ἔρχῃ παρὰ τὸν Πρωταγόραν;”
καὶ ὃς εἶπεν ἐρυθριάσας—ἤδη γὰρ ὑπέφαινέν τι ἡμέρας, ὥστε καταφανῆ αὐτὸν γενέσθαι— εἰ μέν τι τοῖς ἔμπροσθεν ἔοικεν, δῆλον ὅτι σοφιστὴς γενησόμενος.
σὺ δέ, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, πρὸς θεῶν, οὐκ ἂν αἰσχύνοιο εἰς τοὺς Ἕλληνας σαυτὸν σοφιστὴν παρέχων;
νὴ τὸν Δία, ὦ Σώκρατες, εἴπερ γε ἃ διανοοῦμαι χρὴ λέγειν.
ἀλλ’ ἄρα, ὦ Ἱππόκρατες, μὴ οὐ τοιαύτην ὑπολαμβάνεις σου τὴν παρὰ Πρωταγόρου μάθησιν [312b] ἔσεσθαι, ἀλλ’ οἵαπερ ἡ παρὰ τοῦ γραμματιστοῦ ἐγένετο καὶ κιθαριστοῦ καὶ παιδοτρίβου; τούτων γὰρ σὺ ἑκάστην οὐκ ἐπὶ τέχνῃ ἔμαθες, ὡς δημιουργὸς ἐσόμενος, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παιδείᾳ, ὡς τὸν ἰδιώτην καὶ τὸν ἐλεύθερον πρέπει.
πάνυ μὲν οὖν μοι δοκεῖ, ἔφη, τοιαύτη μᾶλλον εἶναι ἡ παρὰ Πρωταγόρου μάθησις.
οἶσθα οὖν ὃ μέλλεις νῦν πράττειν, ἤ σε λανθάνει; ἦν δ’ ἐγώ.
τοῦ πέρι;
ὅτι μέλλεις τὴν ψυχὴν τὴν σαυτοῦ παρασχεῖν [312c] θεραπεῦσαι ἀνδρί, ὡς φῄς, σοφιστῇ· ὅτι δέ ποτε ὁ σοφιστής ἐστιν, θαυμάζοιμ’ ἂν εἰ οἶσθα. καίτοι εἰ τοῦτ’ ἀγνοεῖς, οὐδὲ ὅτῳ παραδίδως τὴν ψυχὴν οἶσθα, οὔτ’ εἰ ἀγαθῷ οὔτ’ εἰ κακῷ πράγματι.
οἶμαί γ’, ἔφη, εἰδέναι.
λέγε δή, τί ἡγῇ εἶναι τὸν σοφιστήν;
ἐγὼ μέν, ἦ δ’ ὅς, ὥσπερ τοὔνομα λέγει, τοῦτον εἶναι τὸν τῶν σοφῶν ἐπιστήμονα.
οὐκοῦν, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, τοῦτο μὲν ἔξεστι λέγειν καὶ περὶ ζωγράφων καὶ περὶ τεκτόνων, ὅτι οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τῶν σοφῶν ἐπιστήμονες· ἀλλ’ [312d] εἴ τις ἔροιτο ἡμᾶς, “τῶν τί σοφῶν εἰσιν οἱ ζωγράφοι ἐπιστήμονες,” εἴποιμεν ἄν που αὐτῷ ὅτι τῶν πρὸς τὴν ἀπεργασίαν τὴν τῶν εἰκόνων, καὶ τἆλλα οὕτως. εἰ δέ τις ἐκεῖνο ἔροιτο, “ὁ δὲ σοφιστὴς τῶν τί σοφῶν ἐστιν;” τί ἂν ἀποκρινοίμεθα αὐτῷ; ποίας ἐργασίας ἐπιστάτης;
τί ἂν εἴποιμεν αὐτὸν εἶναι, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἢ ἐπιστάτην τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν;
ἴσως ἄν, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, ἀληθῆ λέγοιμεν, οὐ μέντοι ἱκανῶς γε· ἐρωτήσεως γὰρ ἔτι ἡ ἀπόκρισις ἡμῖν δεῖται, περὶ ὅτου ὁ σοφιστὴς δεινὸν ποιεῖ λέγειν· ὥσπερ ὁ κιθαριστὴς [312e] δεινὸν δήπου ποιεῖ λέγειν περὶ οὗπερ καὶ ἐπιστήμονα, περὶ κιθαρίσεως· ἦ γάρ;
ναί.
εἶεν· ὁ δὲ δὴ σοφιστὴς περὶ τίνος δεινὸν ποιεῖ λέγειν;
δῆλον ὅτι περὶ οὗπερ καὶ ἐπίστασθαι;
εἰκός γε. τί δή ἐστιν τοῦτο περὶ οὗ αὐτός τε ἐπιστήμων ἐστὶν ὁ σοφιστὴς καὶ τὸν μαθητὴν ποιεῖ;
μὰ Δί’, ἔφη, οὐκέτι ἔχω σοι λέγειν.

Greek text courtesy of the Perseus Project from J. Burnet (1903), ed., Platonis Opera, vol. 3, Oxford Classical Text (Oxford).

311 (English, Jowett)

June 24, 2010

trans. Jowett (1871)

There is no reason why we should not go to him at once, and then we shall find him at home. He lodges, as I hear, with Callias the son of Hipponicus: let us start.
I replied: Not yet, my good friend; the hour is too early. But let us rise and take a turn in the court and wait about there until daybreak; when the day breaks, then we will go. For Protagoras is generally at home, and we shall be sure to find him; never fear.
Upon this we got up and walked about in the court, and I thought that I would make trial of the strength of his resolution. So I examined him and put questions to him. Tell me, Hippocrates, I said, as you are going to Protagoras, and will be paying your money to him, what is he to whom you are going? and what will he make of you? If, for example, you had thought of going to Hippocrates of Cos, the Asclepiad, and were about to give him your money, and some one had said to you: You are paying money to your namesake Hippocrates, O Hippocrates; tell me, what is he that you give him money? how would you have answered?
I should say, he replied, that I gave money to him as a physician.
And what will he make of you?
A physician, he said.
And if you were resolved to go to Polycleitus the Argive, or Pheidias the Athenian, and were intending to give them money, and some one had asked you: What are Polycleitus and Pheidias? and why do you give them this money?-how would you have answered?
I should have answered, that they were statuaries.
And what will they make of you?
A statuary, of course.
Well now, I said, you and I are going to Protagoras, and we are ready to pay him money on your behalf. If our own means are sufficient, and we can gain him with these, we shall be only too glad; but if not, then we are to spend the money of your friends as well. Now suppose, that while we are thus enthusiastically pursuing our object some one were to say to us: Tell me, Socrates, and you Hippocrates, what is Protagoras, and why are you going to pay him money,-how should we answer? I know that Pheidias is a sculptor, and that Homer is a poet; but what appellation is given to Protagoras? how is he designated?
They call him a Sophist, Socrates, he replied.
Then we are going to pay our money to him in the character of a Sophist?
Certainly.