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A TEXTUAL NOTE TO PLATO, GORGIAS 465a4*

  • Marco Romani Mistretta (a1)

Extract

Gorgias 465a2-7

τέχνην δὲ αὐτὴν οὔ φημι εἶναι ἀλλ’ ἐμπειρίαν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχει λόγον οὐδένα ᾧ προσφέρει ἃ προσφέρει ὁποῖ’ ἄττα τὴν φύσιν ἐστίν, ὥστε τὴν αἰτίαν ἑκάστου μὴ ἔχειν εἰπεῖν. ἐγὼ δὲ τέχνην οὐ καλῶ ὃ ἂν ᾖ ἄλογον πρᾶγμα· τούτων δὲ πέρι εἰ ἀμφισβητεῖς, ἐθέλω ὑποσχεῖν λόγον.

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My best thanks are due to Prof. Mark Schiefsky and to CQ's reader for constructive criticism and invaluable comments.

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1 Editions, commentaries and translations referred to in the apparatus criticus and elsewhere: F. Ast, Platonis quae exstant opera, vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1819); I. Bekker, Platonis Scripta Graece Omnia, vol. 3 (London, 1826); J. Burnet, Platonis Opera, vol. 3 (Oxford, 19092); I. Cornarius, Platonis Opera Omnia (Basel, 1561); A. Croiset, Platon. Œuvres Complètes, vol. 3.2 (Paris, 19352); E.R. Dodds, Plato Gorgias. A Revised Text with Introduction and Commentary (Oxford, 19902); M. Erler, Platon: Gorgias, Griechisch und Deutsch (Stuttgart, 2011); L.F. Heindorf, Platonis dialogi selecti, vol. 2 (Berlin, 1805); C.F. Hermann, Platonis Dialogi, vol. 3 (Leipzig, 1851); D.H.H. Hissink, Specimen literarium inaugurale continens animadversiones criticas in Platonis aliquot dialogos (Deventer, 1845); W. Nestle, Platons Ausgewählte Schriften, vol. 2: Gorgias, erklärt von C. Cron und J. Deutschle, neubearbeitet von W.N. (Leipzig, 19095); M. Schanz, Platonis Opera quae feruntur omnia, vol. 8 (Leipzig, 1881); R. Serrano Cantarín and M. Díaz de Cerio Díez, Platón. Gorgias (Madrid, 2000); G. Stallbaum, Platonis opera omnia, vol. 2 (Gotha, 18613); W. Theiler, Platonis Gorgias (Bern, 19652).

2 For the distinction between τέχνη and ἐμπειρία, cf. Dodds (n. 1), 229. See further e.g. G. Cambiano, Platone e le tecniche (Rome and Bari, 1991), 78–9; M.J. Schiefsky (ed.), Hippocrates. On Ancient Medicine (Leiden and Boston, 2005), 346.

3 Cf. H. Yunis (ed.), Plato Phaedrus (Cambridge, 2011), 210.

4 Dodds (n. 1), 229-30.

5 Grg. 500e4-501a3. See further Cambiano (n. 2), 69.

6 For the medical concept of explanatory knowledge as presented by Hippocrates see e.g. VM 20.1-3 (with Schiefsky [n. 2], ad loc.).

7 See e.g. Cambiano (n. 2), 185.

8 For a similar Platonic instance cf. Symp. 187e1-2. A significant Hippocratic parallel for the polyptoton of the verb is found at Epid. 1.3.10.1 (Littré 2.668-70), where the juxtaposition of the passive voice and the active voice differentiates between medical prescriptions and the physician who prescribes them.

9 Dodds (n. 1), 230.

10 For the use of οὐδέ as a negative addition to a negative sentence, see A.C. Moorhouse, Studies in the Greek Negatives (Cardiff, 1959), 15.

11 For the phenomenon see e.g. Kühner-Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache (Hanover, 1892-19043), 2.2.203; O. Jespersen, Negation in English and other Languages (Copenhagen, 1917), 64; J. Wackernagel, Lectures on Syntax, with Special Reference to Greek, Latin, and Germanic, edited with notes and bibliography by D. Langslow (Oxford, 2009), 787; J.D. Denniston, The Greek Particles (Oxford, 19752), 196–7; Moorhouse (n. 10), 132-3.

12 Cf. e.g. Ap. 19d8-e1; Grg. 508c5-7; Phd. 78d6-7; Prm. 166a1-3; Symp. 204a1-4, 211a5-8; Resp. 614a5-6; Leg. 808b5-6.

13 See further Schiefsky (n. 2), 347-8.

14 For scribal corrections with signal word, and their frequent misunderstandings, see e.g. G. Magnaldi, La forza dei segni. Parole-spia nella tradizione manoscritta dei prosatori latini (Amsterdam, 2000), 113–19.

* My best thanks are due to Prof. Mark Schiefsky and to CQ's reader for constructive criticism and invaluable comments.

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