Plato:
TIMAEUS
tr. Benjamin Jowett

 

 Form & Matter, Med'l illum. MS


The Collected Dialogues of Plato Including the Letters ed. E. Hamilton and H. Cairns, Bollingen ser. 71, (Pantheon-Random House: New York 1963.  Timaeus pp. 1153-1211.  Greek text: Plato, Timeaus , ed. J. Burnet, Platonis opera,  vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901, repr.1967), (cit.Stephanus) selections


 

 

 

 

 

 

47. Vision, Music, and Harmony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47. VISION is in my opinion the source of the greatest benefit to us, for had we never seen the stars, and the sun, and the heaven, none of the words which we have spoken about the universe would ever have been uttered.

47.α.1 δεδώρηται, μετὰ τοῦτο ῥητέον. ὄψις δὴ κατὰ τὸν ἐμὸν λόγον αἰτία τῆς μεγίστης ὠφελίας γέγονεν ἡμῖν, ὅτι τῶν νῦν λόγων περὶ τοῦ παντὸς λεγομένων οὐδεὶς ἄν ποτε ἐρρήθη μήτε ἄστρα μήτε ἥλιον μήτε οὐρανὸν ἰδόντων.

But now the sight of day and night, and the months and the revolutions of the years, have created number, and have given us a conception of time, and the power of enquiring about the nature of the universe; and from this 47b source we have derived philosophy, than which no greater good ever was or will be given by the gods to mortal man.

νῦν δ' ἡμέρα τε καὶ νὺξ ὀφθεῖσαι μῆνές τε καὶ ἐνιαυτῶν περίοδοι καὶ ἰσημερίαι καὶ τροπαὶ μεμηχάνηνται μὲν ἀριθμόν, χρόνου δὲ ἔννοιαν περί τε τῆς τοῦ παντὸς φύσεως ζήτησιν ἔδοσαν· ἐξ ὧν ἐπορισάμεθα φιλοσοφίας γένος, οὗ μεῖζον ἀγαθὸν οὔτ' ἦλθεν οὔτε ἥξει ποτὲ τῷ θνητῷ γένει δωρηθὲν ἐκ θεῶν.

This is the greatest good of vision: and of the lesser benefits why should I speak? even the ordinary man if he were deprived of them would bewail his loss, but in vain. Thus much let me say however: God invented and gave us sight to the end that we might behold the courses of intelligence in the heaven, and apply them to the courses of our own intelligence which are akin to them, the 47c unperturbed to the perturbed; and that we, learning them and partaking of the natural truth of reason, might imitate the absolutely unerring courses of God and regulate our own vagaries.

λέγω δὴ τοῦτο ὀμμάτων μέγιστον ἀγαθόν· τἆλλα δὲ ὅσα ἐλάττω τί ἂν ὑμνοῖμεν, ὧν ὁ μὴ φιλόσοφος τυφλωθεὶς ὀδυρόμενος ἂν θρηνοῖ μάτην; ἀλλὰ τούτου λεγέσθω παρ' ἡμῶν αὕτη ἐπὶ ταῦτα αἰτία, θεὸν ἡμῖν ἀνευρεῖν δωρήσασθαί τε ὄψιν, ἵνα τὰς ἐν οὐρανῷ τοῦ νοῦ κατιδόντες περιόδους χρησαίμεθα ἐπὶ τὰς περιφορὰς τὰς τῆς παρ' ἡμῖν διανοήσεως, συγγενεῖς ἐκείναις οὔσας, ἀταράκτοις τεταραγμένας, ἐκμαθόντες δὲ καὶ λογισμῶν κατὰ φύσιν ὀρθότητος μετασχόντες, μιμούμενοι τὰς τοῦ θεοῦ πάντως ἀπλανεῖς οὔσας, τὰς ἐν ἡμῖν πεπλανημένας καταστησαίμεθα.

        The same may be affirmed of speech and hearing: they have been given by the gods to the same end and for a like reason. For this is the principal end of speech, whereto it most contributes.

φωνῆς τε δὴ καὶ ἀκοῆς πέρι πάλιν ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος, ἐπὶ ταὐτὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἕνεκα παρὰ θεῶν δεδωρῆσθαι. λόγος τε γὰρ ἐπ' αὐτὰ ταῦτα τέτακται, τὴν μεγίστην συμβαλλόμενος εἰς αὐτὰ μοῖραν,

Moreover, so much of music as is adapted to the sound of the voice and to the sense of hearing is granted to us for the sake of harmony;

ὅσον τ' αὖ μουσικῆς φωνῇ χρήσιμον πρὸς ἀκοὴν ἕνεκα ἁρμονίας ἐστὶ δοθέν.

47d and harmony, which has motions akin to the revolutions of our souls, is not regarded by the intelligent votary of the Muses as given by them with a view to irrational pleasure, which is deemed to be the purpose of it in our day, but as meant to correct any discord which may have arisen in the courses of the soul, and to be our ally in bringing her into harmony and agreement with herself;

ἡ δὲ ἁρμονία, συγγενεῖς ἔχουσα φορὰς ταῖς ἐν ἡμῖν τῆς ψυχῆς περιόδοις, τῷ μετὰ νοῦ προσχρωμένῳ Μούσαις οὐκ ἐφ' ἡδονὴν ἄλογον καθάπερ νῦν εἶναι δοκεῖ χρήσιμος, ἀλλ' ἐπὶ τὴν γεγονυῖαν ἐν ἡμῖν ἀνάρμοστον ψυχῆς περίοδον εἰς κατακόσμησιν καὶ συμφωνίαν ἑαυτῇ σύμμαχος ὑπὸ Μουσῶν δέδοται·

 and rhythm too was given by them for the same reason, on account of the irregular and 47egraceless ways which prevail among mankind generally, and to help us against them.

καὶ ῥυθμὸς αὖ διὰ τὴν ἄμετρον ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ χαρίτων ἐπιδεᾶ γιγνομένην ἐν τοῖς πλείστοις ἕξιν ἐπίκουρος ἐπὶ ταὐτὰ ὑπὸ τῶν αὐτῶν ἐδόθη.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

68e.  The Elements and Creation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[68e] These are the elements, thus of necessity then subsisting, which the creator of the fairest and best of created things associated with himself, when he made the self-sufficing and most perfect God, using the necessary causes as his ministers in the accomplishment of his work, but himself contriving the good in all his creations.

                Ταῦτα δὴ πάντα τότε ταύτῃ πεφυκότα ἐξ ἀνάγκης ὁ τοῦ καλλίστου τε καὶ ἀρίστου δημιουργὸς ἐν τοῖς γιγνομένοις παρελάμβανεν, ἡνίκα τὸν αὐτάρκη τε καὶ τὸν τελεώτατον θεὸν ἐγέννα, χρώμενος μὲν ταῖς περὶ ταῦτα αἰτίαις ὑπηρετούσαις, τὸ δὲ εὖ τεκταινόμενος ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς γιγνομένοις αὐτός.

Wherefore we may distinguish two sorts of causes, the one divine and the other necessary, and may seek for the divine in all things, as far as [69] our nature admits, with a view to the blessed life; but the necessary kind only for the sake of the divine, considering that without them and when isolated from them, these higher things for which we look cannot be apprehended or received or in any way shared by us.

διὸ δὴ χρὴ δύ' αἰτίας εἴδη διορίζεσθαι, τὸ μὲν ἀναγκαῖον, τὸ δὲ θεῖον, καὶ τὸ μὲν θεῖον ἐν ἅπασιν ζητεῖν κτήσεως ἕνεκα εὐδαίμονος βίου, καθ' ὅσον ἡμῶν ἡ φύσις ἐνδέχεται, τὸ δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ἐκείνων χάριν, λογιζόμενον ὡς ἄνευ τούτων οὐ δυνατὰ αὐτὰ ἐκεῖνα ἐφ' οἷς σπουδάζομεν μόνα κατανοεῖν οὐδ' αὖ λαβεῖν οὐδ' ἄλλως πως μετασχεῖν.

        Seeing, then, that we have now prepared for our use the various classes of causes which are the material out of which the remainder of our discourse must be woven, just as wood is the material of the carpenter, let us revert in a few words to the point at which we began, and then [69b] endeavour to add on a suitable ending to the beginning of our tale.

                ̔́Οτ' οὖν δὴ τὰ νῦν οἷα τέκτοσιν ἡμῖν ὕλη παράκειται τὰ τῶν αἰτίων γένη διυλισμένα, ἐξ ὧν τὸν ἐπίλοιπον λόγον δεῖ συνυφανθῆναι, πάλιν ἐπ' ἀρχὴν ἐπανέλθωμεν διὰ βραχέων, ταχύ τε εἰς ταὐτὸν πορευθῶμεν ὅθεν δεῦρο ἀφικόμεθα, καὶ τελευτὴν ἤδη κεφαλήν τε τῷ μύθῳ πειρώμεθα ἁρμόττουσαν ἐπιθεῖναι τοῖς πρόσθεν.

        As I said at first, when all things were in disorder God created in each thing in relation to itself, and in all things in relation to each other, all the measures and harmonies which they could possibly receive. For in those days nothing had any proportion except by accident; nor did any of the things which now have names deserve to be named at all-as, for example, fire, water, and the rest of the [69c] elements. All these the creator first set in order, and out of them he constructed the universe, which was a single animal comprehending in itself all other animals, mortal and immortal.

ὥσπερ γὰρ οὖν καὶ κατ' ἀρχὰς ἐλέχθη, ταῦτα ἀτάκτως ἔχοντα ὁ θεὸς ἐν ἑκάστῳ τε αὐτῷ πρὸς αὑτὸ καὶ πρὸς ἄλληλα συμμετρίας ἐνεποίησεν, ὅσας τε καὶ ὅπῃ δυνατὸν ἦν ἀνάλογα καὶ σύμμετρα εἶναι. τότε γὰρ οὔτε τούτων, ὅσον μὴ τύχῃ, τι μετεῖχεν, οὔτε τὸ παράπαν ὀνομάσαι τῶν νῦν ὀνομαζομένων ἀξιόλογον ἦν οὐδέν, οἷον πῦρ καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ εἴ τι τῶν ἄλλων· ἀλλὰ πάντα ταῦτα πρῶτον διεκόσμησεν, ἔπειτ' ἐκ τούτων πᾶν τόδε συνεστήσατο, ζῷον ἓν ζῷα ἔχον τὰ πάντα ἐν ἑαυτῷ θνητὰ ἀθάνατά τε.

Now of the divinities, he was himself the creator [demiurge], but the creation of the mortal he committed to his offspring. And they, imitating him, received from him the immortal principle of the soul; and around this they proceeded to fashion a mortal body, and. made it to be the vehicle of the so and constructed within the body a soul of another nature which was mortal, [69d] subject to terrible and irresistible affections-first of all, pleasure, the greatest incitement to evil; then, pain, which deters from good; also rashness and fear, two foolish counsellors, anger hard to be appeased, and hope easily led astray-these they mingled with irrational sense and with all-daring love according to necessary laws, and so framed man.

καὶ τῶν μὲν θείων αὐτὸς γίγνεται δημιουργός, τῶν δὲ θνητῶν τὴν γένεσιν τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ γεννήμασιν δημιουργεῖν προσέταξεν. οἱ δὲ μιμούμενοι, παραλαβόντες ἀρχὴν ψυχῆς ἀθάνατον, τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο θνητὸν σῶμα αὐτῇ περιετόρνευσαν ὄχημά τε πᾶν τὸ σῶμα ἔδοσαν ἄλλο τε εἶδος ἐν αὐτῷ ψυχῆς προσῳκοδόμουν τὸ θνητόν, δεινὰ καὶ ἀναγκαῖα ἐν ἑαυτῷ παθήματα ἔχον, πρῶτον μὲν ἡδονήν, μέγιστον κακοῦ δέλεαρ, ἔπειτα λύπας, ἀγαθῶν φυγάς, ἔτι δ' αὖ θάρρος καὶ φόβον, ἄφρονε συμβούλω, θυμὸν δὲ δυσπαραμύθητον, ἐλπίδα δ' εὐπαράγωγον· αἰσθήσει δὲ ἀλόγῳ καὶ ἐπιχειρητῇ παντὸς ἔρωτι συγκερασάμενοι ταῦτα, ἀναγκαίως τὸ θνητὸν γένος συνέθεσαν.

Wherefore, fearing to pollute the divine any more than was absolutely unavoidable, they gave to the mortal nature a [69e] separate habitation in another part of the body, placing the neck between them to be the isthmus and boundary, which they constructed between the head and breast, to keep them apart. And in the breast, and in what is termed the thorax, they encased the mortal soul; and as the one part of this was superior and the other inferior they [70a] divided the cavity of the thorax into two parts, as the women’s and men’s apartments are divided in houses, and placed the midriff to be a wall of partition between them.

καὶ διὰ ταῦτα δὴ σεβόμενοι μιαίνειν τὸ θεῖον, ὅτι μὴ πᾶσα ἦν ἀνάγκη, χωρὶς ἐκείνου κατοικίζουσιν εἰς ἄλλην τοῦ σώματος οἴκησιν τὸ θνητόν, ἰσθμὸν καὶ ὅρον διοικοδομήσαντες τῆς τε κεφαλῆς καὶ τοῦ στήθους, αὐχένα μεταξὺ τιθέντες, ἵν' εἴη χωρίς. ἐν δὴ τοῖς στήθεσιν καὶ τῷ καλουμένῳ θώρακι τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς θνητὸν γένος ἐνέδουν. καὶ ἐπειδὴ τὸ μὲν ἄμεινον αὐτῆς, τὸ δὲ χεῖρον ἐπεφύκει, διοικοδομοῦσι τοῦ θώρακος αὖ τὸ κύτος, διορίζοντες οἷον γυναικῶν, τὴν δὲ ἀνδρῶν χωρὶς οἴκησιν, τὰς φρένας διάφραγμα εἰς τὸ μέσον αὐτῶν τιθέντες.

That part of the inferior soul which is endowed with courage and passion and loves contention they settled nearer the head, midway between the midriff and the neck, in order that it might be under the rule of reason and might join with it in controlling and restraining the desires when they are no longer willing of their own accord to obey the word of command issuing from the citadel.

τὸ μετέχον οὖν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀνδρείας καὶ θυμοῦ, φιλόνικον ὄν, κατῴκισαν ἐγγυτέρω τῆς κεφαλῆς μεταξὺ τῶν φρενῶν τε καὶ αὐχένος, ἵνα τοῦ λόγου κατήκοον ὂν κοινῇ μετ' ἐκείνου βίᾳ τὸ τῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν κατέχοι γένος, ὁπότ' ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλεως τῷ τ' ἐπιτάγματι καὶ λόγῳ μηδαμῇ πείθεσθαι ἑκὸν ἐθέλοι·

        [70b]The heart, the knot of the veins and the fountain of the blood which races through all the limbs was set in the place of guard, that when the might of passion was roused by reason making proclamation of any wrong assailing them from without or being perpetrated by the desires within, quickly the whole power of feeling in the body, perceiving these commands and threats, might obey and follow through every turn and alley, and thus allow the principle of the best to have the [70c] command in all of them.

τὴν δὲ δὴ καρδίαν ἅμμα τῶν φλεβῶν καὶ πηγὴν τοῦ περιφερομένου κατὰ πάντα τὰ μέλη σφοδρῶς αἵματος εἰς τὴν δορυφορικὴν οἴκησιν κατέστησαν, ἵνα, ὅτε ζέσειεν τὸ τοῦ θυμοῦ μένος, τοῦ λόγου παραγγείλαντος ὥς τις ἄδικος περὶ αὐτὰ γίγνεται πρᾶξις ἔξωθεν ἢ καί τις ἀπὸ τῶν ἔνδοθεν ἐπιθυμιῶν, ὀξέως διὰ πάντων τῶν στενωπῶν πᾶν ὅσον αἰσθητικὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι, τῶν τε παρακελεύσεων καὶ ἀπειλῶν αἰσθανόμενον, γίγνοιτο ἐπήκοον καὶ ἕποιτο πάντῃ, καὶ τὸ βέλτιστον οὕτως ἐν αὐτοῖς πᾶσιν ἡγεμονεῖν ἐ͂.

But the gods, foreknowing that the palpitation of the heart in the expectation of danger and the swelling and excitement of passion was caused by fire, formed and implanted as a supporter to the heart the lung, which was, in the first place, soft and bloodless, and also had within hollows like the pores of a sponge, in order that by receiving the breath and the drink, it might give coolness and the power of respiration and alleviate the heat.

τῇ δὲ δὴ πηδήσει τῆς καρδίας ἐν τῇ τῶν δεινῶν προσδοκίᾳ καὶ τῇ τοῦ θυμοῦ ἐγέρσει, προγιγνώσκοντες ὅτι διὰ πυρὸς ἡ τοιαύτη πᾶσα ἔμελλεν οἴδησις γίγνεσθαι τῶν θυμουμένων, ἐπικουρίαν αὐτῇ μηχανώμενοι τὴν τοῦ πλεύμονος ἰδέαν ἐνεφύτευσαν, πρῶτον μὲν μαλακὴν καὶ ἄναιμον, εἶτα σήραγγας ἐντὸς ἔχουσαν οἷον σπόγγου κατατετρημένας, ἵνα τό τε πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ πῶμα δεχομένη, ψύχουσα,

Wherefore they cut the air-channels leading to the lung, and placed the lung about the heart as a soft spring, that, when passion [p.1194] was rife within, the heart, beating against a yielding body, might be cooled and suffer less, and might thus become more ready to join with passion in the service of reason.

ἀναπνοὴν καὶ ῥᾳστώνην ἐν τῷ καύματι παρέχοι· διὸ δὴ τῆς ἀρτηρίας ὀχετοὺς ἐπὶ τὸν πλεύμονα ἔτεμον, καὶ περὶ τὴν καρδίαν αὐτὸν περιέστησαν οἷον μάλαγμα, ἵν' ὁ θυμὸς ἡνίκα ἐν αὐτῇ ἀκμάζοι, πηδῶσα εἰς ὑπεῖκον καὶ ἀναψυχομένη, πονοῦσα ἧττον, μᾶλλον τῷ λόγῳ μετὰ θυμοῦ δύναιτο ὑπηρετεῖν.

        The part of the soul which desires meats and drinks and the other things of which it has need by reason of the bodily nature, they [70e] placed between the midriff and the boundary of the navel, contriving in all this region a sort of manger for the food of the body; and there they bound it down like a wild animal which was chained up with man, and must be nourished if man was to exist.

                Τὸ δὲ δὴ σίτων τε καὶ ποτῶν ἐπιθυμητικὸν τῆς ψυχῆς καὶ ὅσων ἔνδειαν διὰ τὴν τοῦ σώματος ἴσχει φύσιν, τοῦτο εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ τῶν τε φρενῶν καὶ τοῦ πρὸς τὸν ὀμφαλὸν ὅρου κατῴκισαν, οἷον φάτνην ἐν ἅπαντι τούτῳ τῷ τόπῳ τῇ τοῦ σώματος τροφῇ τεκτηνάμενοι· καὶ κατέδησαν δὴ τὸ τοιοῦτον ἐνταῦθα ὡς θρέμμα ἄγριον, τρέφειν δὲ συνημμένον ἀναγκαῖον, εἴπερ τι μέλλοι ποτὲ θνητὸν ἔσεσθαι γένος.

They appointed this lower creation his place here in order that he might be always feeding at the manger, and have his dwelling as far as might be from the [71a] council-chamber, making as little noise and disturbance as possible, and permitting the best part to advise quietly for the good of the whole.

ἵν' οὖν ἀεὶ νεμόμενον πρὸς φάτνῃ καὶ ὅτι πορρωτάτω τοῦ βουλευομένου κατοικοῦν, θόρυβον καὶ βοὴν ὡς ἐλαχίστην παρέχον, τὸ κράτιστον καθ' ἡσυχίαν περὶ τοῦ πᾶσι κοινῇ καὶ ἰδίᾳ συμφέροντος ἐ͂ βουλεύεσθαι, διὰ ταῦτα ἐνταῦθ' ἔδοσαν αὐτῷ τὴν τάξιν.

And knowing that this lower principle in man would not comprehend reason, and even if attaining to some degree of perception would never naturally care for rational notions, but that it would be led away by phantoms and visions night and day-to be a remedy for this, God combined [71b] with it the liver, and placed it in the house of the lower nature, contriving that it should be solid and smooth, and bright and sweet, and should also have a bitter quality,

εἰδότες δὲ αὐτὸ ὡς λόγου μὲν οὔτε συνήσειν ἔμελλεν, εἴ τέ πῃ καὶ μεταλαμβάνοι τινὸς αὐτῶν αἰσθήσεως, οὐκ ἔμφυτον αὐτῷ τὸ μέλειν τινῶν ἔσοιτο λόγων, ὑπὸ δὲ εἰδώλων καὶ φαντασμάτων νυκτός τε καὶ μεθ' ἡμέραν μάλιστα ψυχαγωγήσοιτο, τούτῳ δὴ θεὸς ἐπιβουλεύσας αὐτῷ τὴν ἥπατος ἰδέαν συνέστησε καὶ ἔθηκεν εἰς τὴν ἐκείνου κατοίκησιν, πυκνὸν καὶ λεῖον καὶ λαμπρὸν καὶ γλυκὺ καὶ πικρότητα ἔχον μηχανησάμενος,

in order that the power of thought, which proceeds from the mind, might be reflected as in a mirror which receives likenesses of objects and gives back images of them to the sight; and so might strike terror into the desires, when, making use of the bitter part of the liver, to which it is akin, it comes threatening and invading, and diffusing this bitter element swiftly through the whole liver produces colours like bile, and contracting every part [71c] makes it wrinkled and rough; and twisting out of its right place and contorting the lobe and closing and shutting up the vessels and gates, causes pain and loathing.

ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ τῶν διανοημάτων ἡ ἐκ τοῦ νοῦ φερομένη δύναμις, οἷον ἐν κατόπτρῳ δεχομένῳ τύπους καὶ κατιδεῖν εἴδωλα παρέχοντι, φοβοῖ μὲν αὐτό, ὁπότε μέρει τῆς πικρότητος χρωμένη συγγενεῖ, χαλεπὴ προσενεχθεῖσα ἀπειλῇ, κατὰ πᾶν ὑπομειγνῦσα ὀξέως τὸ ἧπαρ, χολώδη χρώματα ἐμφαίνοι, συνάγουσά τε πᾶν ῥυσὸν καὶ τραχὺ ποιοῖ, λοβὸν δὲ καὶ δοχὰς πύλας τε τὸ μὲν ἐξ ὀρθοῦ κατακάμπτουσα καὶ συσπῶσα, τὰ δὲ ἐμφράττουσα συγκλείουσά τε, λύπας καὶ ἄσας παρέχοι,

And the converse happens when some gentle inspiration of the understanding pictures images of an opposite character, and allays the bile and bitterness by refusing to stir or touch the nature opposed to itself, but by making use of the natural sweetness of the liver, corrects all things and makes them to be right [71d] and smooth and free, and renders the portion of the soul which resides about the liver happy and joyful, enabling it to pass the night in peace, and to practise divination in sleep, inasmuch as it has no share in mind and reason.

καὶ ὅτ' αὖ τἀναντία φαντάσματα ἀποζωγραφοῖ πρᾳότητός τις ἐκ διανοίας ἐπίπνοια, τῆς μὲν πικρότητος ἡσυχίαν παρέχουσα τῷ μήτε κινεῖν μήτε προσάπτεσθαι τῆς ἐναντίας ἑαυτῇ φύσεως ἐθέλειν, γλυκύτητι δὲ τῇ κατ' ἐκεῖνο συμφύτῳ πρὸς αὐτὸ χρωμένη καὶ πάντα ὀρθὰ καὶ λεῖα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐλεύθερα ἀπευθύνουσα, ἵλεών τε καὶ εὐήμερον ποιοῖ τὴν περὶ τὸ ἧπαρ ψυχῆς μοῖραν κατῳκισμένην, ἔν τε τῇ νυκτὶ διαγωγὴν ἔχουσαν μετρίαν, μαντείᾳ χρωμένην καθ' ὕπνον, ἐπειδὴ λόγου καὶ φρονήσεως οὐ μετεῖχε.

For the authors of our being, remembering the command of their father when he bade them create the human race as good as they could, that they might correct our inferior parts and [71e] make them to attain a measure of truth, placed in the liver the seat of divination. And herein is a proof that God has given the art of divination not to the wisdom, but to the foolishness of man.

                 μεμνημένοι γὰρ τῆς τοῦ πατρὸς ἐπιστολῆς οἱ συστήσαντες ἡμᾶς, ὅτε τὸ θνητὸν ἐπέστελλεν γένος ὡς ἄριστον εἰς δύναμιν ποιεῖν, οὕτω δὴ κατορθοῦντες καὶ τὸ φαῦλον ἡμῶν, ἵνα ἀληθείας πῃ προσάπτοιτο, κατέστησαν ἐν τούτῳ τὸ μαντεῖον. ἱκανὸν δὲ σημεῖον ὡς μαντικὴν ἀφροσύνῃ θεὸς ἀνθρωπίνῃ δέδωκεν·

No man, when in his wits, attains prophetic truth and inspiration; but when he receives the inspired word, either his intelligence is enthralled in sleep, or he is demented by some distemper or possession. And he who would [p.1195] understand what he remembers to have been said, whether in a dream [72a] or when he was awake, by the prophetic and inspired nature, or would determine by reason the meaning of the apparitions which he has seen, and what indications they afford to this man or that, of past, present or future good and evil, must first recover his wits.

οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἔννους ἐφάπτεται μαντικῆς ἐνθέου καὶ ἀληθοῦς, ἀλλ' ἢ καθ' ὕπνον τὴν τῆς φρονήσεως πεδηθεὶς δύναμιν ἢ διὰ νόσον, ἢ διά τινα ἐνθουσιασμὸν παραλλάξας. ἀλλὰ συννοῆσαι μὲν ἔμφρονος τά τε ῥηθέντα ἀναμνησθέντα ὄναρ ἢ ὕπαρ ὑπὸ τῆς μαντικῆς τε καὶ ἐνθουσιαστικῆς φύσεως, καὶ ὅσα ἂν φαντάσματα ὀφθῇ, πάντα λογισμῷ διελέσθαι ὅπῃ τι σημαίνει καὶ ὅτῳ μέλλοντος ἢ παρελθόντος ἢ παρόντος κακοῦ ἢ ἀγαθοῦ·

But, while he continues demented, he cannot judge of the visions which he sees or the words which he utters; the ancient saying is very true, that “only a man who has his wits can act or judge about himself and his own affairs.” And for this reason it is customary to appoint interpreters [72b] to be judges of the true inspiration. Some persons call them prophets; they are quite unaware that they are only the expositors of dark sayings and visions, and are not to be called prophets at all, but only interpreters of prophecy.

τοῦ δὲ μανέντος ἔτι τε ἐν τούτῳ μένοντος οὐκ ἔργον τὰ φανέντα καὶ φωνηθέντα ὑφ' ἑαυτοῦ κρίνειν, ἀλλ' εὖ καὶ πάλαι λέγεται τὸ πράττειν καὶ γνῶναι τά τε αὑτοῦ καὶ ἑαυτὸν σώφρονι μόνῳ προσήκειν. ὅθεν δὴ καὶ τὸ τῶν προφητῶν γένος ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐνθέοις μαντείαις κριτὰς ἐπικαθιστάναι νόμος· οὓς μάντεις αὐτοὺς ὀνομάζουσίν τινες, τὸ πᾶν ἠγνοηκότες ὅτι τῆς δι' αἰνιγμῶν οὗτοι φήμης καὶ φαντάσεως ὑποκριταί, καὶ οὔτι μάντεις, προφῆται δὲ μαντευομένων δικαιότατα ὀνομάζοιντ' ἄν.

        Such is the nature of the liver, which is placed as we have described in order that it may give prophetic intimations. During the life of each individual these intimations are plainer, but after his death the liver becomes blind, and delivers oracles too obscure to be intelligible. [72c] The neighbouring organ [the spleen] is situated on the left-hand side, and is constructed with a view of keeping the liver bright and pure-like a napkin, always ready prepared and at hand to clean the mirror.

                 ̔Η μὲν οὖν φύσις ἥπατος διὰ ταῦτα τοιαύτη τε καὶ ἐν τόπῳ ᾧ λέγομεν πέφυκε, χάριν μαντικῆς· καὶ ἔτι μὲν δὴ ζῶντος ἑκάστου τὸ τοιοῦτον σημεῖα ἐναργέστερα ἔχει, στερηθὲν δὲ τοῦ ζῆν γέγονε τυφλὸν καὶ τὰ μαντεῖα ἀμυδρότερα ἔσχεν τοῦ τι σαφὲς σημαίνειν. ἡ δ' αὖ τοῦ γείτονος αὐτῷ σύστασις καὶ ἕδρα σπλάγχνου γέγονεν ἐξ ἀριστερᾶς χάριν ἐκείνου, τοῦ παρέχειν αὐτὸ λαμπρὸν ἀεὶ καὶ καθαρόν, οἷον κατόπτρῳ παρεσκευασμένον καὶ ἕτοιμον ἀεὶ παρακείμενον ἐκμαγεῖον.

And hence, when any impurities arise in the region of the liver by reason of disorders of the body, the loose nature of the spleen, which is composed of a hollow and bloodless tissue, receives them all [72d] and clears them away, and when filled with the unclean matter, swells and festers, but, again, when the body is purged, settles down into the same place as before, and is humbled.

διὸ δὴ καὶ ὅταν τινὲς ἀκαθαρσίαι γίγνωνται διὰ νόσους σώματος περὶ τὸ ἧπαρ, πάντα ἡ σπληνὸς καθαίρουσα αὐτὰ δέχεται μανότης, ἅτε κοίλου καὶ ἀναίμου ὑφανθέντος· ὅθεν πληρούμενος τῶν ἀποκαθαιρομένων μέγας καὶ ὕπουλος αὐξάνεται, καὶ πάλιν, ὅταν καθαρθῇ τὸ σῶμα, ταπεινούμενος εἰς ταὐτὸν συνίζει.

        Concerning the soul, as to which part is mortal and which divine, and how and why they are separated, and where located, if God acknowledges that we have spoken the truth, then, and then only, can we be confident; still, we may venture to assert that what has been said by us is probable, and will be rendered more probable by investigation. Let us assume thus much.

                Τὰ μὲν οὖν περὶ ψυχῆς, ὅσον θνητὸν ἔχει καὶ ὅσον θεῖον, καὶ ὅπῃ καὶ μεθ' ὧν καὶ δι' ἃ χωρὶς ᾠκίσθη, τὸ μὲν ἀληθὲς ὡς εἴρηται, θεοῦ συμφήσαντος τότ' ἂν οὕτως μόνως διισχυριζοίμεθα· τό γε μὴν εἰκὸς ἡμῖν εἰρῆσθαι, καὶ νῦν καὶ ἔτι μᾶλλον ἀνασκοποῦσι διακινδυνευτέον τὸ φάναι καὶ πεφάσθω.

        [72e] The creation of the rest of follows next in order, and this we may investigate in a similar manner. And it appears to be very meet that the body should be framed on the following principles:-

τὸ δ' ἑξῆς δὴ τούτοισιν κατὰ ταὐτὰ μεταδιωκτέον· ἦν δὲ τὸ τοῦ σώματος ἐπίλοιπον ᾗ γέγονεν. ἐκ δὴ λογισμοῦ τοιοῦδε συνίστασθαι μάλιστ' ἂν αὐτὸ πάντων πρέποι.

        The authors of our race were aware that we should be intemperate in eating and drinking, and take a good deal more than was necessary or proper, by reason of gluttony. In order then that disease might not quickly destroy us, and lest our mortal race should perish [73] without fulfilling its end-intending to provide against this, the gods made what is called the lower belly, to be a receptacle for the superfluous meat and drink, and formed the convolution of the bowels, so that the food might be prevented from passing quickly through and compelling the body to require more food, thus producing insatiable gluttony, and making the whole race an enemy to philosophy and music, and rebellious against the divinest element within us.

τὴν ἐσομένην ἐν ἡμῖν ποτῶν καὶ ἐδεστῶν ἀκολασίαν ᾔδεσαν οἱ συντιθέντες ἡμῶν τὸ γένος, καὶ ὅτι τοῦ μετρίου καὶ ἀναγκαίου διὰ μαργότητα πολλῷ χρησοίμεθα πλέονι· ἵν' οὖν μὴ φθορὰ διὰ νόσους ὀξεῖα γίγνοιτο καὶ ἀτελὲς τὸ γένος εὐθὺς τὸ θνητὸν τελευτῷ, ταῦτα προορώμενοι τῇ τοῦ περιγενησομένου πώματος ἐδέσματός τε ἕξει τὴν ὀνομαζομένην κάτω κοιλίαν ὑποδοχὴν ἔθεσαν, εἵλιξάν τε πέριξ τὴν τῶν ἐντέρων γένεσιν, ὅπως μὴ ταχὺ διεκπερῶσα ἡ τροφὴ ταχὺ πάλιν τροφῆς ἑτέρας δεῖσθαι τὸ σῶμα ἀναγκάζοι, καὶ παρέχουσα ἀπληστίαν, διὰ γαστριμαργίαν ἀφιλόσοφον καὶ ἄμουσον πᾶν ἀποτελοῖ τὸ γένος, ἀνυπήκοον τοῦ θειοτάτου τῶν παρ' ἡμῖν.

 

 

 

 

 

 

86b. Disease and Intemperance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

86b Such is the manner in which diseases of the body arise; the disorders of the soul, which depend upon the body, originate as follows. We must acknowledge disease of the mind to be a want of intelligence; and of this there are two kinds; to wit, madness and ignorance.

86.β.1 Καὶ τὰ μὲν περὶ τὸ σῶμα νοσήματα ταύτῃ συμβαίνει γιγνόμενα, τὰ δὲ περὶ ψυχὴν διὰ σώματος ἕξιν τῇδε. νόσον μὲν δὴ ψυχῆς ἄνοιαν συγχωρητέον, δύο δ' ἀνοίας γένη, τὸ μὲν μανίαν, τὸ δὲ ἀμαθίαν.

In whatever state a man experiences either of them, that state may be called disease; and excessive pains and pleasures are justly to be regarded as the greatest diseases to which the soul is liable. For a man who is in great joy or in great pain, in his unseasonable eagerness to attain the one and to avoid the other, is not able to see or to hear anything rightly; but he is mad, and is at the time utterly incapable of any participation in reason.

πᾶν οὖν ὅτι πάσχων τις πάθος ὁπότερον αὐτῶν ἴσχει, νόσον προσρητέον, ἡδονὰς δὲ καὶ λύπας ὑπερβαλλούσας τῶν νόσων μεγίστας θετέον τῇ ψυχῇ· περιχαρὴς γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ὢν ἢ καὶ τἀναντία ὑπὸ λύπης πάσχων, σπεύδων τὸ μὲν ἑλεῖν ἀκαίρως, τὸ δὲ φυγεῖν, οὔθ' ὁρᾶν οὔτε ἀκούειν ὀρθὸν οὐδὲν δύναται, λυττᾷ δὲ καὶ λογισμοῦ μετασχεῖν ἥκιστα τότε δὴ δυνατός.

He who has the seed about the spinal marrow too plentiful and overflowing, like a tree overladen with fruit, has many throes, and also obtains many pleasures in his desires and their offspring, and is for the most part of his life deranged, because his pleasures and pains are so very great; his soul is rendered foolish and disordered by his body; yet he is regarded not as one diseased, but as one who is voluntarily bad, which is a mistake.

τὸ δὲ σπέρμα ὅτῳ πολὺ καὶ ῥυῶδες περὶ τὸν μυελὸν γίγνεται καὶ καθαπερεὶ δένδρον πολυκαρπότερον τοῦ συμμέτρου πεφυκὸς ᾖ, πολλὰς μὲν καθ' ἕκαστον ὠδῖνας, πολλὰς δ' ἡδονὰς κτώμενος ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις καὶ τοῖς περὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα τόκοις, ἐμμανὴς τὸ πλεῖστον γιγνόμενος τοῦ βίου διὰ τὰς μεγίστας ἡδονὰς καὶ λύπας, νοσοῦσαν καὶ ἄφρονα ἴσχων ὑπὸ τοῦ σώματος τὴν ψυχήν, οὐχ ὡς νοσῶν ἀλλ' ὡς ἑκὼν κακὸς δοξάζεται·

The truth is that the intemperance of love is a disease of the soul due chiefly to the moisture and fluidity which is produced in one of the elements by the loose consistency of the bones. And in general, all that which is termed the incontinence of pleasure and is deemed a reproach under the idea that the wicked voluntarily do wrong is not justly a matter for reproach.

τὸ δὲ ἀληθὲς ἡ περὶ τὰ ἀφροδίσια ἀκολασία κατὰ τὸ πολὺ μέρος διὰ τὴν ἑνὸς γένους ἕξιν ὑπὸ μανότητος ὀστῶν ἐν σώματι ῥυώδη καὶ ὑγραίνουσαν νόσος ψυχῆς γέγονεν. καὶ σχεδὸν δὴ πάντα ὁπόσα ἡδονῶν ἀκράτεια καὶ ὄνειδος ὡς ἑκόντων λέγεται τῶν κακῶν, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ὀνειδίζεται·

For no man is voluntarily bad; but the bad become bad by reason of an ill disposition of the body and bad education, things which are hateful to every man and happen to him against his will. And in the case of pain too in like manner the soul suffers much evil from the body.

κακὸς μὲν γὰρ ἑκὼν οὐδείς, διὰ δὲ πονηρὰν ἕξιν τινὰ τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἀπαίδευτον τροφὴν ὁ κακὸς γίγνεται κακός, παντὶ δὲ ταῦτα ἐχθρὰ καὶ ἄκοντι προσγίγνεται. καὶ πάλιν δὴ τὸ περὶ τὰς λύπας ἡ ψυχὴ κατὰ ταὐτὰ διὰ σῶμα πολλὴν ἴσχει κακίαν.

For where the acid and briny phlegm and other bitter and bilious humours wander about in the body, and find no exit or escape, but are pent up within and mingle their own vapours with the motions of  the soul, and are blended, with them, they produce all sorts of  diseases, more or fewer, and in every degree of intensity; and being  carried to the three places of the soul, whichever they may severally assail, they create infinite varieties of ill-temper and melancholy, of rashness and cowardice, and also of forgetfulness and stupidity.

ὅτου γὰρ ἂν ἢ τῶν ὀξέων καὶ τῶν ἁλυκῶν φλεγμάτων καὶ ὅσοι πικροὶ καὶ χολώδεις χυμοὶ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα πλανηθέντες ἔξω μὲν μὴ λάβωσιν ἀναπνοήν, ἐντὸς δὲ εἱλλόμενοι τὴν ἀφ' αὑτῶν ἀτμίδα τῇ τῆς ψυχῆς φορᾷ συμμείξαντες ἀνακερασθῶσι, παντοδαπὰ νοσήματα ψυχῆς ἐμποιοῦσι μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον καὶ ἐλάττω καὶ πλείω, πρός τε τοὺς τρεῖς τόπους ἐνεχθέντα τῆς ψυχῆς, πρὸς ὃν ἂν ἕκαστ' αὐτῶν προσπίπτῃ, ποικίλλει μὲν εἴδη δυσκολίας καὶ δυσθυμίας παντοδαπά, ποικίλλει δὲ θρασύτητός τε καὶ δειλίας, ἔτι δὲ λήθης ἅμα καὶ δυσμαθίας.

Further, when to this evil constitution of body evil forms of government are added and evil discourses are uttered in private as well as in public, and no sort of instruction is given in youth to cure these evils, then all of us who are bad become bad from two causes which are entirely beyond our control.

πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, ὅταν οὕτως κακῶς παγέντων πολιτεῖαι κακαὶ καὶ λόγοι κατὰ πόλεις ἰδίᾳ τε καὶ δημοσίᾳ λεχθῶσιν, ἔτι δὲ μαθήματα μηδαμῇ τούτων ἰατικὰ ἐκ νέων μανθάνηται, ταύτῃ κακοὶ πάντες οἱ κακοὶ διὰ δύο ἀκουσιώτατα γιγνόμεθα·

In such cases the planters are to blame rather than the plants, the educators rather than the educated. But however that may be, we should endeavour as far as we can by education, and studies, and learning, to avoid vice and attain virtue.  This, however, is part of another subject.

ὧν αἰτιατέον μὲν τοὺς φυτεύοντας ἀεὶ τῶν φυτευομένων μᾶλλον καὶ τοὺς τρέφοντας τῶν τρεφομένων, προθυμητέον μήν, ὅπῃ τις δύναται, καὶ διὰ τροφῆς καὶ δι' ἐπιτηδευμάτων μαθημάτων τε φυγεῖν μὲν κακίαν, τοὐναντίον δὲ ἑλεῖν. ταῦτα μὲν οὖν δὴ τρόπος ἄλλος λόγων.

 

 

 

 

 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Tripartite Soul

 90a And we should consider that God gave the sovereign part of the human soul to be the divinity of each one, being that part which, as we say, dwells at the top of the body, inasmuch as we are a plant not of an earthly but of a heavenly growth, raises us from earth to our kindred who are in heaven. And in this we say truly; for the divine power suspended the head and root of us from that place where the 90b generation of the soul first began, and thus made the whole body upright.

90.α.1 τον· διὸ φυλακτέον ὅπως ἂν ἔχωσιν τὰς κινήσεις πρὸς ἄλληλα συμμέτρους. τὸ δὲ δὴ περὶ τοῦ κυριωτάτου παρ' ἡμῖν ψυχῆς εἴδους διανοεῖσθαι δεῖ τῇδε, ὡς ἄρα αὐτὸ δαίμονα θεὸς ἑκάστῳ δέδωκεν, τοῦτο ὃ δή φαμεν οἰκεῖν μὲν ἡμῶν ἐπ' ἄκρῳ τῷ σώματι, πρὸς δὲ τὴν ἐν οὐρανῷ συγγένειαν ἀπὸ γῆς ἡμᾶς αἴρειν ὡς ὄντας φυτὸν οὐκ ἔγγειον ἀλλὰ οὐράνιον, ὀρθότατα λέγοντες· ἐκεῖθεν γάρ, ὅθεν ἡ πρώτη τῆς ψυχῆς γένεσις ἔφυ, τὸ θεῖον τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ ῥίζαν ἡμῶν ἀνακρεμαννὺν ὀρθοῖ πᾶν τὸ σῶμα.

When a man is always occupied with the cravings of desire and ambition, and is eagerly striving to satisfy them, all his thoughts must be mortal, and, as far as it is possible altogether to become such, he must be mortal every whit, because he has cherished his mortal part.

τῷ μὲν οὖν περὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας ἢ περὶ φιλονικίας τετευτακότι καὶ ταῦτα διαπονοῦντι σφόδρα πάντα τὰ δόγματα ἀνάγκη θνητὰ ἐγγεγονέναι, καὶ παντάπασιν καθ' ὅσον μάλιστα δυνατὸν θνητῷ γίγνεσθαι, τούτου μηδὲ σμικρὸν ἐλλείπειν, ἅτε τὸ τοιοῦτον ηὐξηκότι·

But he who has been earnest in the love of knowledge and of true wisdom, and has exercised his intellect more than any other part of him, must have 90c thoughts immortal and divine, if he attain truth, and in so far as human nature is capable of sharing in immortality, he must altogether be immortal; and since he is ever cherishing the divine power, and has the divinity within him in perfect order, he will be perfectly happy.

τῷ δὲ περὶ φιλομαθίαν καὶ περὶ τὰς ἀληθεῖς φρονήσεις ἐσπουδακότι καὶ ταῦτα μάλιστα τῶν αὑτοῦ γεγυμνασμένῳ φρονεῖν μὲν ἀθάνατα καὶ θεῖα, ἄνπερ ἀληθείας ἐφάπτηται, πᾶσα ἀνάγκη που, καθ' ὅσον δ' αὖ μετασχεῖν ἀνθρωπίνῃ φύσει ἀθανασίας ἐνδέχεται, τούτου μηδὲν μέρος ἀπολείπειν, ἅτε δὲ ἀεὶ θεραπεύοντα τὸ θεῖον ἔχοντά τε αὐτὸν εὖ κεκοσμημένον τὸν δαίμονα σύνοικον ἑαυτῷ, διαφερόντως εὐδαίμονα εἶναι.

Now there is only one way of taking care of things, and this is to give to each the food and motion which are natural to it. 90d And the motions which are naturally akin to the divine principle within us are the thoughts and revolutions of the universe.

θεραπεία δὲ δὴ παντὶ παντὸς μία, τὰς οἰκείας ἑκάστῳ τροφὰς καὶ κινήσεις ἀποδιδόναι. τῷ δ' ἐν ἡμῖν θείῳ συγγενεῖς εἰσιν κινήσεις αἱ τοῦ παντὸς διανοήσεις καὶ περιφοραί·

These each man should follow, and correct the courses of the head which were corrupted at our birth, and by learning the harmonies and revolutions of the universe, should assimilate the thinking being to the thought, renewing his original nature, and having assimilated them should attain to that perfect life which the gods have set before mankind, both for the present and the future.

ταύταις δὴ συνεπόμενον ἕκαστον δεῖ, τὰς περὶ τὴν γένεσιν ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ διεφθαρμένας ἡμῶν περιόδους ἐξορθοῦντα διὰ τὸ καταμανθάνειν τὰς τοῦ παντὸς ἁρμονίας τε καὶ περιφοράς, τῷ κατανοουμένῳ τὸ κατανοοῦν ἐξομοιῶσαι κατὰ τὴν ἀρχαίαν φύσιν, ὁμοιώσαντα δὲ τέλος ἔχειν τοῦ προτεθέντος ἀνθρώποις ὑπὸ θεῶν ἀρίστου βίου πρός τε τὸν παρόντα καὶ τὸν ἔπειτα χρόνον.

   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Second Speech of Socrates:
Divine Madness and the Immortality of the Soul

Phaedrus 6 (243e-246a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   

 

 


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