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392

PLATO.

corrupt persons of his age ; for he is charged-by Dio Chrysostom with vituperation (Orat. xxxiii. p. 4, Reiske), a curious charge truly to bring against a professed satirist! Among the chief objects of his attacks were the demagogues Oleon, Hyperbolus, Cleophon, and Agyrrhius, the dithy-r<imbic poet Cinesias, the general Leagrus, and the orators Cephalus and Archinus ; for, like Aristo­phanes, he esteemed the art of rhetoric one of the worst sources of mischief to the common­wealth.

The mutual attacks of Plato and Aristophanes must be taken as a proof of the real respect which they felt for each other's talents. As an example of one of these attacks, Plato, like Eu-polis, cast great ridicule upon Aristophanes's colossal image of Peace. (Schol. Plat. p. 331, Bekker.)

PJato seems to have been one of the most dili­gent of the old comic poets. The number of his dramas is stated at 28 by the anonymous writer on Comedy (p. xxxiv.), and by Suidas, who, how­ever, proceeds to enumerate 30 titles. Of these, the Aa/ccoj/es and MojUjUafcu0os-\vere only editions of the same play, Avhich reduces the number to 29. There is, however, one to be added, which is not mentioned by Suidas, the 'A/^ta/jecos. The following is the list of Suidas, as corrected by Meineke: "AScom, At aft lepav, 'A^cptdpews (Schol. ad Aristoph. Pint. 174), Tpvires, Acu'SaAos, 'EAAas fj Nijffoi, 'Eopral, Evpwirri, Zeus KaKovucvos, 'Ico, KA600a>v, Ad'ios, Aa/ca^es •$ TIoirjTai (second edition, Ma/^ua/cuflos), Me*'6Aea>9, Meroi/foz, Mup-^u.7)K6S (of this there are no fragments), n?k:cu, Ni)| poMpa., zdvrpiat r) Ksptuaires, Tloufidpiov, Uei-(ravo'pos, TlepiaXyijs, rionjTTy?, TlpecrSfis, 2/ceuaf, ^ocpiffrai. Su.Ujuaxia, 2iV</>a£, 'YirtpgoXos, Qdvuv. The folio wing~dates of his plays are known: the Cleophon gained the third prize in 01. 93. 4, b. c. 405, when Aristophanes was first with the Frogs, and Phrynichus second with the Muses; the Phaon was exhibited in 01. 97. 2, b. c. 391 (Schol. in Aristoph. Plut. 179); the Peisander about 01. 89, B. c. 423 ; the Perialges a little later ; the Hyperbolus about 01. 91, b.c. 415 ; the Presbeis about 01. 97, B. o. 392. The Laius seems to have been one of the latest of his plays.

It has been already stated that some gramma­rians assign Plato to the Middle Comedy ; and it is evident that several of the above titles belong to that species. Some even mention Plato as a poet of the New Comedy. (Athen. iii. p. 103, c., vii. p. 279, a.) Hence a few modern scholars have supposed a second Plato, a poet of the New Co­medy, who lived after Epicurus. But Diogenes Laertius only mentions one comic poet of the name, and there is no good evidence that there was any other. The ancient grammarians also frequently make a confusion, in their references, between Plato, the comic poet, and Plato the phi­losopher. (Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 160—196, vol. ii. pp 615 — 697; Editio Mi­nor, 1847, 1 vol. in 2 pts. 8vo., pp. 357—401 ; Bergk, Comment, de Reliq. Com. Att. Ant. lib. ii. c. 6, pp. 381, &c. ; C. G. Cobet, Observations Cri-ticae in Platonis Comici Reliquias, Amst. 1840, 8vo.)

Several other literary persons of this name are mentioned by Fabricius (Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p. 57, note), but none of them are of sufficient import­ ance to require mention here. [P. S.]

PLATO. PLATO (HAaTwy), the philosopher.

I. life op plato.

The spirit of Plato is expressed in his works in a manner the more lively and personal in propor­tion to the intimacy with which art and science are blended in them. And yet of the history of his life and education we have only very unsatis­factory accounts. He mentions his own name only twice (Phaedon, p. 59, b., Apolog. p. 58, b.), and then it is for the purpose of indicating the close relation in which he stood to Socrates; and, in passing, he speaks of his brothers, Adeimantus and Glaucon, as sons of Ariston (de Rep. i. p. 327, comp. Xenoph. Mem. iii. 6 ; Diog. Laert. iii. 4).* The writer of the dialogues retires completely behind Socrates, who conducts the investigations in them. Moreover Plato's friends and disciples, as Speusippus in his eulogium (Diog. Lae'rt. iii. 2, with the note of Menage ; Plut. Quaest. Sympos. viii. 2, &c.), appear to have communicated only some few biographical particulars respecting their great teacher ; and Alexandrian scholars seem to have filled up these accounts from sources which are, to a great extent, untrustworthy. Even Aristoxenus, the disciple of Aristotle, must have proceeded in a very careless manner in his notices respecting Plato, \vhen he made him take part in the battles at Tanagra, b. c. 426, and Delium, b. c. 424. (Diog, Lae'rt. iii. 8 ; comp. Aelian, V. PI. ii. 30.)

Plato is said to have been the son of Ariston and Perictione or Potone, and to have been born at Athens on the 7th day of the month Thargelion (21st May), 01. 87. 2, b.c. 430 ; or, according to the statement of Apollodorus, which we find con­firmed in various way s, in 01.88.1, b. c. 428, that is, in the (Olympic) year in which Pericles died ; ac­cording to others, he was born in the neighbouring island of Aegina. (Diog. Lae'rt. iii. 1, 3 ; comp. v. 9, iii.2, 3 ; Corsini,Fast.Attici, iii.230 ; Clinton,Fasti Hell, sub anno 429, &c.) His paternal family boasted of being descended from Codrus ; his ma­ternal ancestors of a relationship with Solon (Diog. Lae'rt. iii. 1.) Plato mentions the relationship of Critias, his maternal uncle, with Solon. (Charm. p. 155, 159. Comp.-Tim. 20.) Originally, we are told, he was named after his grandfather Aristocles, but in consequence of the fluency of his speech, or, as others have it, the breadth of his chest, he ac­quired that name under which alone we know him. (Diog. Lae'rt. iii. 4 ; Vita Platonis, p. 6, b; Tychsen, Bibliothek der alien Literatur und Kunst, v.) Ac­cording to one story, of which Speusippus (see above) had already made mention, he was the son of Apollo ; another related that bees settled upon the lips of the sleeping child. (Cic. deDivin. i. 36.) He is also said to have contended, when a youth, in the Isthmian and other games, as well as to have made attempts in epic, lyric, and dithyrambic poetry, and not to have devoted himself to philo­sophy till later, probably after Socrates had drawn him within the magic circle of his influence. (Diog. Lae'rt. iii. 4, 5 ; Aelian. V. H. ii. 30 ; Plat. Epist. vi.) His love for Polymnia had brightened into love for the muse Urania (Plat. Symp, 187). Plato

* An older pair of brothers of the same name, mentioned in the Parmenides, p. 126, appear to belong to a previous generation of the family. See Hermann, in the Allgemeine Schulzeitung, 183], ii. p. 653.

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