A newer edition of this work is available: 2022

Plato, Phaedrus

LCL 36: 416-417

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πολλοῦ γε δέω· καί τοι ἐβουλόμην γ᾿ ἂν μᾶλλον ἤ μοι πολὺ χρυσίον γενέσθαι.


Ὦ Φαῖδρε, εἰ ἐγὼ Φαῖδρον ἀγνοῶ, καὶ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐπιλέλησμαι. ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὐδέτερά ἐστι τούτων· εὖ οἶδα ὅτι Λυσίου λόγον ἀκούων ἐκεῖνος οὐ μόνον ἅπαξ ἤκουσεν, ἀλλὰ πολλάκις ἐπαναλαμβάνων ἐκέλευέν οἱ λέγειν· ὁ δὲ Bἐπείθετο προθύμως. τῷ δὲ οὐδὲ ταῦτα ἦν ἱκανά, ἀλλὰ τελευτῶν παραλαβὼν τὸ βιβλίον ἃ μάλιστα ἐπεθύμει ἐπεσκόπει, καὶ τοῦτο δρῶν, ἐξ ἑωθινοῦ καθήμενος, ἀπειπὼν εἰς περίπατον ᾔει, ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ οἶμαι, νὴ τὸν κύνα, ἐξεπιστάμενος τὸν λόγον, εἰ μὴ πάνυ τις1 ἦν μακρός. ἐπορεύετο δ᾿ ἐκτὸς τείχους, ἵνα μελετῴη. ἀπαντήσας δὲ τῷ νοσοῦντι περὶ λόγων ἀκοήν, ἰδὼν μὲν ἥσθη, ὅτι ἕξοι τὸν Cσυγκορυβαντιῶντα, καὶ προάγειν ἐκέλευε· δεομένου δὲ λέγειν τοῦ τῶν λόγων ἐραστοῦ, ἐθρύπτετο ὡς δὴ οὐκ ἐπιθυμῶν λέγειν· τελευτῶν δὲ ἔμελλε, καὶ εἰ μή τις ἑκὼν ἀκούοι, βίᾳ ἐρεῖν. σὺ οὖν, ὦ Φαῖδρε, αὐτοῦ δεήθητι, ὅπερ τάχα πάντως ποιήσει, νῦν ἤδη ποιεῖν.


Ἐμοὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς πολὺ κράτιστόν ἐστιν οὕτως ὅπως δύναμαι λέγειν. ὥς μοι δοκεῖς σὺ οὐδαμῶς με ἀφήσειν, πρὶν ἂν εἴπω ἁμῶς γέ πως.


Πάνυ γάρ σοι ἀληθῆ δοκῶ.


Οὑτωσὶ τοίνυν ποιήσω. τῷ ὄντι γάρ, ὦ Σώκρατες, παντὸς μᾶλλον τά γε ῥήματα οὐκ ἐξέμαθον· τὴν μέντοι διάνοιαν σχεδὸν ἁπάντων, οἷς ἔφη διαφέρειν τὰ τοῦ ἐρῶντος ἢ τὰ τοῦ μή, ἐν κεφαλαίοις ἐφεξῆς δίειμι, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τοῦ πρώτου.



Far from it; and yet I would rather have that ability than a good sum of money.


O Phaedrus! If I don’t know Phaedrus, I have forgotten myself. But since neither of these things is true, I know very well that when listening to Lysias he did not hear once only, but often urged him to repeat; and he gladly obeyed. Yet even that was not enough for Phaedrus, but at last he borrowed the book and read what he especially wished, and doing this he sat from early morning. Then, when he grew tired, he went for a walk, with the speech, as I believe, by the Dog, learned by heart, unless it was very long. And he was going outside the wall to practise it. And meeting the man who is sick with the love of discourse, he was glad when he saw him, because he would have someone to share his revel, and told him to lead on. But when the lover of discourse asked him to speak, he feigned coyness, as if he did not yearn to speak; at last, however, even if no one would listen willingly, he was bound to speak whether or no. So, Phaedrus, ask him to do now what he will presently do anyway.


Truly it is best for me to speak as I may; since it is clear that you will not let me go until I speak somehow or other.


You have a very correct idea about me.


Then this is what I will do. Really, Socrates, I have not at all learned the words by heart; but I will repeat the general sense of the whole, the points in which he said the lover was superior to the non-lover, giving them in summary, one after the other, beginning with the first.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plato_philosopher-phaedrus.1914