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tact with the earth through the senses and hands is not, as Plato seems to have believed, a degradation to the soul, but is a spiritual necessity. (4.). We believe that Plato's conception of God and of man's relation to God, far as it is beyond that which is often found among Christians, falls far short of that shown to us by our Lord.

The translation used is that of Jowett (the Charles Scribner's Sons' Edition). In a few cases where Jowett uses a foreign phrase or an expression presenting special difficulty to those unread in the classics, slight alterations have been made.

In the preparation of the notes we have used the Greek text of Plato; Liddell and Scott's Greek Dictionary; * Harper's Classical Dictionary; Johnson's Cyclopædia; Smith's Classical Dictionary; Bulfinch's, Guerber's, and Gayley's Manuals of Mythology; Jowett's Introductions and Analyses; The Index to Jowett's Plato, third edition; Zeller's Plato and the Older Academy; Zeller's Socrates; Grote's History of Greece; Grote's Plato; Bosanquet's Companion to Plato's Republic; Socrates, Talks with Socrates about Life, Talks with Athenian Youth, A Day in Athens with Socrates, published by Charles Scribner's Sons; and Webster's Dictionary, on the pronunciation of proper names.

* Referred to in notes as L. & S.



PLATO was born at Athens about 427 B.C. His native city was then at the height of its prosperity. At the beginning of that century the Greek states, often at war with each other, and always jealous of each other, had been forced to unite in a fight for life against the innumerable hordes of the Persian Empire. Athens was foremost in this fight, and when the Persians were finally driven away, she succeeded in placing herself at the head of a powerful league of Greek cities. Accordingly, although the city had been captured and burned by the Persians, she presently became, under the direction of the statesman Pericles, far stronger politically and commercially than ever before. A variety of causes made this period also a golden age for many of the arts. The city had to be rebuilt. This was done. under direction of the sculptor Phidias, with a splendor and artistic perfection perhaps never elsewhere equalled. The democratic Athenian government, according to which questions of State were decided in a general assembly of all the people, gave occasion for the development of oratory of

the highest order. Finally, in this century, the drama which had gradually developed in connection with the worship of Dionysus, came to classic perfection in the comedies of Aristophanes and the tragedies of Eschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

Athens had yet another glory of which some of her citizens were not proud. She had become the principal seat of philosophy. In order to appreciate the state of philosophy at this time, and the feeling of the people toward it, we must give a brief account of the preceding history of philosophy.


The deliberate search after scientific or philosophic truth arose first, so far as we know, about two hundred years before the time of Plato, among the Greeks who lived on the western coast of Asia Minor. There were a dozen Greek cities on that coast and the adjacent islands of the Ægean archipelago, as far back as authentic history runs. These cities were fortunately placed. They had at their back a prosperous country and before them the sea. They developed a great trade all around the Ægean and Mediterranean Seas, with Tyre and Sidon, with Egypt, and with the widely scattered Greek colonies. They became very rich. But that was not all. By contact with new peoples, they acquired new ideas and the habit of looking out for new ideas. They were without doubt especially indebted to Egypt. Indirectly through Phoenicia, they got from Egypt the alphabet which is substantially the one we use to-day. Besides this invalu

able gift, they got from the Egyptians a first lesson in science. The study of the heavenly bodies had been from ancient times part of the religious duty of the Egyptian priests, who therefore had considerable knowledge of astronomy. On account of the yearly overflow of the Nile, it had been necessary to have some method of measuring land in order to re-establish boundary lines. The Egyptians had accordingly some knowledge of geometry. In the course of time Greek travelers acquired this learning. We find, for example, that Thales, a Greek of Miletus, predicted an eclipse of the sun which occurred in 585 B.C.

But, as I have said, these Greeks acquired by their travel, not only new ideas, but also an eager curiosity for more new ideas. They were not at all satisfied to accept the learning of Egypt and of Tyre and Sidon, as they found it. That learning helped to free them somewhat from faith in the myths by which their ancestors had explained all things in heaven and earth, but gave them no sufficient substitute for the old faith. It is, at any rate, certain that about 650 B.C., a few sages in the Ionic cities were beginning to grope toward a natural explanation of things. In the movements of the heavenly bodies, for example, where the superstitious saw only the caprice of the gods, they had learned to see an order such that future events could be predicted. This led some of the wiser men to believe that there is an order ruling in nature everywhere. They began to raise questions accordingly, not only about the true length of the year, and the means of measuring time, but also

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