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THE scene of this dialogue is the prison to which Socrates was committed, previous to the execution of his sentence. Crito, his friend and disciple, enters for the purpose of persuading him to take advantage of the means provided for his escape. He finds Socrates in a tranquil slumber, and gazes for a while with wonder upon so calm a rest, unbroken by any dread of impending death. The philosopher awaking, expresses his surprise at the unusual earliness of his friend's customary visit; and learns that he came as the harbinger of dismal tidings, the sacred galley, whose return was the signal for the death of Socrates, having been that day expected to arrive from Delos. He implores his master, in terms of the strongest affection, to secure his safety by immediate flight, and seeks to shew by arguments of no ordinary weight, that Socrates was called upon by the obligations due to his friends, his family, and himself, not to reject this favourable chance, which devoted affection had laboured to procure. But the efforts of the most sincere attachment, and most tender expostulation, proved as ineffectual as the dread of positive and instant danger, the noble firmness of Socrates could not be undermined, and by the example of his death, he gave the last great lesson in that wisdom and virtue which he had inculcated by precept during life.
He opposes the arguments of Crito upon the following grounds:
That the opinions of men should be disregarded in comparison with the judgment of the Deity.
That not life, but to live virtuously, should be the object of our desires.
That justice is the life, and injustice the death of the soul.
That we should not requite evil for evil, or resent the wrongs we may receive.
That it is better to die than live unrighteously.
That we must obey the laws of our country, which the injustice of man fornishes no pretext for treating with disrespect. And that the laws of this world have kindred laws in that to come, which revenge the insults put upon them here.
Stallbaum supposes Plato to have composed this dialogue for a double purpose: one, and his primary design, being to defend Socrates from the charge of corrupting the Athenian youth; and the other, his secondary, to teach, from the precedent of Socrates, that a good man, under any circumstances, should render implicit obedience to the dictates of established law.
Crito is eventually overco ercome by the cogency and truth of the philosopher's objections, and abandons his design as untenable, when brought to the test of a strict and unyielding morality.
§. 1. Τί τηνικάδε ἀφῖξαι, ὦ Κρίτων; ἢ οὐ πρῷ
ἔτι ἐστίν ;
ΚΡ. Πάνυ μὲν οὖν.
σημβρίαν, ὀρθῶς ερεῖς.—Τηνίκα, in its ordinary usage, signifies then, this, or that time. Πρῷ, before day.
ΚΡΙΤΩΝ.] This dialogue is also entitled Κρίτων, ἢ περὶ πρακτέου in several editions ; in others, ἢ περὶ δοξης ἀληθοῦς καὶ δικαίου, for which Thra-Πηνίκα μάλιστα.] Quota hora est syllus is adduced as authority, quoted quum maxime. STALL. μάλιστα being by Laertius, iii. 57. διπλαῖς δὲ χρῆ- used here in the same sense as when ται ταῖς ἐπιγραφαῖς ἑκάστου τῶν βι- adjoined to numerals, of nearly, pretty βλίων· τῇ μὲν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὀνόματος· τῇ nearly, almost exactly. Seag. Viger. vii. δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ πράγματος. RAABE. 8. 7. Aristoph. Ran. 659. πηνίκα ἐστὶ cording to Idomeneus, Diog. Laert. iii. τῆς ἡμέρας, quodnam diei tempus est, 35, the part imputed to Crito in this seu, quænam hora. Scap. Lex. in voc. dialogue belonged in reality to Eschines, but as the latter was the friend of Aristippus, who was Plato's enemy, it
was inscribed as above.
§. 1. Τί τηνικάδε.] Why have you arrived so very early.- Τηνίκα and πηνίκα are used properly, and by the Attic writers, to signify a certain time of the day, as the morning, noon, or evening. Cf. Phrynic. p. 14. s. Πηνίκα μὴ εἴπης ἀντὶ τοῦ πότε· ἔστι γὰρ ὥρας δηλωτικόν· οἷον, εἰπόντος τινὸς, πηνίκα ἀποδημήσεις; ἐὰν εἴπης, μετὰ δύο, ἢ, τρεῖς, ἡμέρας, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἐρεῖς· ἐὰν δὲ εἴπης, ἕωθεν, ἢ περὶ με
*Ορθρος βαθύς.] Early dawn. Crito answers more accurately the general question of Socrates, ἢ οὐ πρὼ ἐτι ἐστι; supr., for πρῳ, like the Latin mane, signifies any period of the early morn, ὄρθρος, the very point of day break, primum diluculi punctum. Scap. Lex. “Ubi nox abiit, nec tamen orta dies." Ovid. Amat. 1. 5. 6. Cf. Phrynic. p. 120. Οἱ δὲ ἀρχαῖοι ὄρθρον, καὶ ὀρθρεύεσθαι, τὸ πρὸ ἀρχομένης ἡμέρας, ἐν ᾧ ἔτι λύχνῳ δύναταί τις χρῆσθαι.—ὄρθρος βαθύς, primum diluculum, as in Luke, xxiv. 1. Fisch.
ΣΩ. Θαυμάζω ὅπως ἠθέλησέ σοι ὁ τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου φύλαξ ὑπακοῦσαι.
KP. Ξυνήθης ἤδη μοί ἐστιν, ὦ Σώκρατες, διὰ τὸ πολλάκις δεῦρο φοιτᾷν, καί τι καὶ εὐεργέτηται ὑπ ̓
ΣΩ. ̓́Αρτι δὲ ἥκεις ἢ πάλαι ;
ΚΡ. Ἐπιεικῶς πάλαι,
ΣΩ. Εἶτα πῶς οὐκ εὐθὺς ἐπήγειράς με, ἀλλὰ σιγῇν παρακάθησαι ;
ΚΡ. Οὐ μὰ τὸν Δί ̓, ὦ Σώκρατες, οὐδ ̓ ἂν αὐτὸς ἤθελον ἐν τοσαύτῃ τε ἀγρυπνίᾳ καὶ λύπῃ εἶναι. ἀλλὰ καὶ σοῦ πάλαι θαυμάζω αἰσθανόμενος ὡς ἡδέως και
θαυμάζω ὅπως ἠθέλ.] Miror qui factum sit ut. STALL. Cf. Χen. Μem. I. 1. 20. θαυμάζω οὖν, ὅπως ποτὲ ἐπείσθησαν οἱ ̓Αθηναῖοι. Eurip. Med. 51. πῶς λείπεσθαι θέλει.
Socrates expresses his surprise at Crito having obtained admission into the prison so early; cf. in Phædon. c. 3. ἀνεῴγνυτο γὰρ οὐ πρῴ.--Ὑπακούειν, which in its primary sense means, to listen to those knocking, τοῖς κρούουσιν, signifies thence to open the doors, and admit them. Buttmann reads ἤθελε for ηθέλησε, but the imperfect denotes a custom of doing any thing, and it was not usual for the gaoler to open the doors so early; he made the exception in favour of Crito, as appears
Τοῦ δεσμωτηρίου.] At Athens there were three public prisons; the first was in the vicinity of the forum, and was designed for debtors and such as were guilty of minor offences; the second was called σωφρονιστήριον, or house of correction ; the third was situated in a wild and uninhabited place, and was designed for malefactors guilty of capital crimes;
ὅπη περ ἂν ἔρημός τε καὶ ὡς ὅτι μάλιστα ἀγριώτατος ᾖ τόπος, τιμωρίας ἔχων ἐπωνυμίαν φήμην τινά. Plat. de Legg. x. c. 15.; in the last of which it is probable that Socrates was imprisoned. He was fettered also, as appears in Phædon. c. 3. but whether with the χοινιξ or ποδοκάκη, a wooden instrument in which the feet and legs were placed and fastened with cords; the ξύ
λον, N. T. Acts, xxvi. 24., which Luther correctly renders the stocks; or with the πέδη, a chain which confined the legs, is not sufficiently clear. RAABE.
Φύλαξ.] Phædon. c. 3. θυρωρὸς.
Φοιτᾷν.] This verb, which answers to the Latin itare, ventitare, is used especially of scholars frequenting a school, thence called φοιτηταί. It is also used to express the recurrence of a dream in Phædon. c. 4. πολλάκις μοι φοιτῶν τὸ αὐτὸ ἐνύπνιον, &c. LOEWE.
Καί τι καὶ.] The latter καὶ signifies even or too. Cf. Pausan. in Lacon. p. 168. οὐ παρίει σείων ὁ θεὸς, καί τινες καὶ ἀπώλοντο τῶν στρατιωτῶν κεραυνωθέντες.--Εὐεργέτηται—εὐηργέτ. is the common form: Buttmann prefers εὐεργετεῖται.
̓Επιεικῶς πάλαι.] Pretty long since. Seag. Viger. vii. 6. Cf. in Phædon. c. 29. ἀλλ ̓ ἐπιεικῶς συχνὸν ἐπιμένει χρόνον.
Εἶτα.] See Apolog. Socr. c. 16. Εἶτ ̓ οὐκ αἰσχύνει. n.
_ Οὐδ ̓ ἂν αὐτὸς ἤθελον, κ. τ. λ.] h. e. neque ipse vellem tamdiu insomnis esse in Crito al
tanto quidem marore. Fisch. leges as his motive for not havingawakened Socrates, that he should not himself have wished, were he in so great affliction, to be also deprived of rest.
θαυμάζω.] See Matthiæ Gr. s. 317.
Ως ἡδέως.] i. q. ὅτι οὕτως ἡδέως καθ. Cf. infr. ὡς ῥᾳδίως αὐτὴν, κ. τ. λ. in Phædon. c. 2. a med. ὡς ἀδεῶς καὶ