Every Good Man is Free. On the Contemplative Life. On the Eternity of the World. Against Flaccus. Apology for the Jews. On Providence,
LCL 363: 509
Appendix to Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit
§ 2. “Walk not on the highways.” The form given here is almost the same as that in the latest edition of Diogenes Laertius, viz. τὰς λεωφόρους μὴ βαδίζειν. But another reading is ἐκτὸς λεωφόρου μὴ βαδίζειν. This has been emended to ἐντὸς, but does it not rather point to a variant assigning a quite different and more obvious meaning to the maxim?
§ 3. Super-law. Or “divine ordinance.” Cf. De Op. 143 νόμος ὁ τῆς φύσεως ὀρθὸς λόγος, ὃς κυριωτέρᾳ κλήσει προσονομάζεται θεσμός, νόμος θεῖος ὤν. In the same way the Ten Commandments are in a true sense θεσμοί, Quis Rerum 168. Besides being more divine the θεσμός has a wider scope and is like a general principle. So the Ten are θεσμοὶ τῶν κατὰ μέρος ἀπείρων νόμων γενικὰ κεφάλαια, De Cong. 120. It is a pity that these examples from Philo have not been used in the lexica. For though L. & S. remarks that θεσμός properly applies to ancient laws supposed to be sanctioned by the gods, it cites no examples which bring out the distinction from νόμος. Stephanus too after quoting the θεσμοί of Draco and the νόμοι of Solon, which may be merely traditional titles, only cites Plato, Ep viii. 355 b, where after an exhortation to set the ἀρετή of the soul above that of the body, and that again above money, he says ὁ ταῦτα ἀπεργαζόμενος θεσμὸς νόμος ἂν ὀρθῶς ὑμῖν εἴη κείμενος, which points to a sort of distinction as that quoted above from De Cong.
§ 5. The puppet show. Though probably this is suggested by the words quoted in the footnote, those do not mean what is stated here. Plato does not mean that the prisoners in the cave mistake the realities for θαύματα. The phrase comes in incidentally to indicate that the wall behind which move the persons who carry the objects the shadows of which are reflected is like the screen behind which the θαυματοποιοί