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Πλάτωνος Ἡ Ἑβδόμη Ἐπιστολὴ

The Seventh Letter By Plato

Translated by J. Harward


Ταὐτὸν δὴ περί τε εὐθέος ἅμα καὶ περιφεροῦς σχήματος καὶ χρόας, περί τε ἀγαθοῦ καὶ καλοῦ καὶ δικαίου, καὶ περὶ σώματος ἅπαντος σκευαστοῦ τε καὶ κατὰ φύσιν γεγονότος, πυρὸς ὕδατός τε καὶ τῶν τοιούτων πάντων, καὶ ζῴου σύμπαντος πέρι καὶ ἐν ψυχαῖς ἤθους, καὶ περὶ ποιήματα καὶ παθήματα σύμπαντα· (41) The same applies to straight as well as to circular form, to colours, to the good, the, beautiful, the just, to all bodies whether manufactured or coming into being in the course of nature, to fire, water, and all such things, to every living being, to character in souls, and to all things done and suffered.
οὐ γὰρ ἂν τούτων [7.342e] μή τις τὰ τέτταρα λάβῃ ἁμῶς γέ πως, οὔποτε τελέως ἐπιστήμης τοῦ πέμπτου μέτοχος ἔσται. For in the case of all these, no one, if he has not some how or other got hold of the four things first mentioned, can ever be completely a partaker of knowledge of the fifth.
Πρὸς γὰρ τούτοις ταῦτα οὐχ ἧττον ἐπιχειρεῖ τὸ ποῖόν τι περὶ ἕκαστον δηλοῦν[7.343a] ἢ τὸ ὂν ἑκάστου διὰ τὸ τῶν λόγων ἀσθενές· Further, on account of the weakness of language, these (i.e., the four) attempt to show what each thing is like, not less than what each thing is.
ὧν ἕνεκα νοῦν ἔχων οὐδεὶς τολμήσει ποτὲ εἰς αὐτὸ τιθέναι τὰ νενοημένα ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ταῦτα εἰς ἀμετακίνητον, ὃ δὴ πάσχει τὰ γεγραμμένα τύποις. For this reason no man of intelligence will venture to express his philosophical views in language, especially not in language that is unchangeable, which is true of that which is set down in written characters.
Τοῦτο δὲ πάλιν αὖ τὸ νῦν λεγόμενον δεῖ μαθεῖν. (42) Again you must learn the point which comes next.
Κύκλος ἕκαστος τῶν ἐν ταῖς πράξεσι γραφομένων ἢ καὶ τορνευθέντων μεστὸς τοῦ ἐναντίου ἐστὶν τῷ πέμπτῳ--τοῦ γὰρ εὐθέος ἐφάπτεται πάντῃ--αὐτὸς δέ, φαμέν, ὁ κύκλος οὔτε τι σμικρότερον οὔτε μεῖζον τῆς ἐναντίας ἔχει ἐν αὑτῷ φύσεως. Every circle, of those which are by the act of man drawn or even turned on a lathe, is full of that which is opposite to the fifth thing. For everywhere it has contact with the straight. But the circle itself, we say, has nothing in either smaller or greater, of that which is its opposite.
Ὄνομά τε αὐτῶν φαμεν οὐδὲν οὐδενὶ [7.343b] βέβαιον εἶναι, κωλύειν δ᾽ οὐδὲν τὰ νῦν στρογγύλα καλούμενα εὐθέα κεκλῆσθαι τά τε εὐθέα δὴ στρογγύλα, καὶ οὐδὲν ἧττον βεβαίως ἕξειν τοῖς μεταθεμένοις καὶ ἐναντίως καλοῦσιν. We say also that the name is not a thing of permanence for any of them, and that nothing prevents the things now called round from being called straight, and the straight things round; for those who make changes and call things by opposite names, nothing will be less permanent (than a name).
Καὶ μὴν περὶ λόγου γε ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος, εἴπερ ἐξ ὀνομάτων καὶ ῥημάτων σύγκειται, μηδὲν ἱκανῶς βεβαίως εἶναι βέβαιον· Again with regard to the definition, if it is made up of names and verbal forms, the same remark holds that there is no sufficiently durable permanence in it.
μυρίος δὲ λόγος αὖ περὶ ἑκάστου τῶν τεττάρων ὡς ἀσαφές, τὸ δὲ μέγιστον, ὅπερ εἴπομεν ὀλίγον ἔμπροσθεν, ὅτι δυοῖν ὄντοιν, τοῦ τε ὄντος καὶ τοῦ ποιοῦ τινος, οὐ τὸ [7.343c] ποιόν τι, τὸ δὲ τί, ζητούσης εἰδέναι τῆς ψυχῆς, τὸ μὴ ζητούμενον ἕκαστον τῶν τεττάρων προτεῖνον τῇ ψυχῇ λόγῳ τε καὶ κατ᾽ ἔργα, αἰσθήσεσιν εὐέλεγκτον τό τε λεγόμενον καὶ δεικνύμενον ἀεὶ παρεχόμενον ἕκαστον, ἀπορίας τε καὶ ἀσαφείας ἐμπίμπλησι πάσης ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν πάντ᾽ ἄνδρα. And there is no end to the instances of the ambiguity from which each of the four suffers; but the greatest of them is that which we mentioned a little earlier, that, whereas there are two things, that which has real being, and that which is only a quality, when the soul is seeking to know, not the quality, but the essence, each of the four, presenting to the soul by word and in act that which it is not seeking (i.e., the quality), a thing open to refutation by the senses, being merely the thing presented to the soul in each particular case whether by statement or the act of showing, fills, one may say, every man with puzzlement and perplexity.
Ἐν οἷσι μὲν οὖν μηδ᾽ εἰθισμένοι τὸ ἀληθὲς ζητεῖν ἐσμεν ὑπὸ πονηρᾶς τροφῆς, ἐξαρκεῖ δὲ τὸ προταθὲν τῶν εἰδώλων, οὐ καταγέλαστοι γιγνόμεθα ὑπ᾽ ἀλλήλων, οἱ ἐρωτώμενοι ὑπὸ [7.343d] τῶν ἐρωτώντων, δυναμένων δὲ τὰ τέτταρα διαρρίπτειν τε καὶ ἐλέγχειν· (43) Now in subjects in which, by reason of our defective education, we have not been accustomed even to search for the truth, but are satisfied with whatever images are presented to us, we are not held up to ridicule by one another, the questioned by questioners, who can pull to pieces and criticise the four things.
ἐν οἷς δ᾽ ἂν τὸ πέμπτον ἀποκρίνασθαι καὶ δηλοῦν ἀναγκάζωμεν, ὁ βουλόμενος τῶν δυναμένων ἀνατρέπειν κρατεῖ. But in subjects where we try to compel a man to give a clear answer about the fifth, any one of those who are capable of overthrowing an antagonist gets the better of us,
Καὶ ποιεῖ τὸν ἐξηγούμενον ἐν λόγοις ἢ γράμμασιν ἢ ἀποκρίσεσιν τοῖς πολλοῖς τῶν ἀκουόντων δοκεῖν μηδὲν γιγνώσκειν ὧν ἂν ἐπιχειρῇ γράφειν ἢ λέγειν, ἀγνοούντων ἐνίοτε ὡς οὐχ ἡ ψυχὴ τοῦ γράψαντος ἢ λέξαντος ἐλέγχεται, ἀλλ᾽ ἡ τῶν τεττάρων φύσις ἑκάστου, πεφυκυῖα [7.343e] φαύλως. and makes the man, who gives an exposition in speech or writing or in replies to questions, appear to most of his hearers to know nothing of the things on which he is attempting to write or speak; for they are sometimes not aware that it is not the mind of the writer or speaker which is proved to be at fault, but the defective nature of each of the four instruments. 
Ἡ δὲ διὰ πάντων αὐτῶν διαγωγή, ἄνω καὶ κάτω μεταβαίνουσα ἐφ᾽ ἕκαστον, μόγις ἐπιστήμην ἐνέτεκεν εὖ πεφυκότος εὖ πεφυκότι· The process however of dealing with all of these, as the mind moves up and down to each in turn, does after much effort give birth in a well-constituted mind to knowledge of that which is well constituted.
κακῶς δὲ ἂν φυῇ, ὡς ἡ τῶν πολλῶν ἕξις τῆς ψυχῆς εἴς τε τὸ μαθεῖν εἴς τε τὰ λεγόμενα ἤθη [7.344a] πέφυκεν, τὰ δὲ διέφθαρται, οὐδ᾽ ἂν ὁ Λυγκεὺς ἰδεῖν ποιήσειεν τοὺς τοιούτους. But if a man is ill-constituted by nature (as the state of the soul is naturally in the majority both in its capacity for learning and in what is called moral character)-or it may have become so by deterioration-not even Lynceus could endow such men with the power of sight. 
Ἑνὶ δὲ λόγῳ, τὸν μὴ συγγενῆ τοῦ πράγματος οὔτ᾽ ἂν εὐμάθεια ποιήσειέν ποτε οὔτε μνήμη-- τὴν ἀρχὴν γὰρ ἐν ἀλλοτρίαις ἕξεσιν οὐκ ἐγγίγνεται--ὥστε ὁπόσοι τῶν δικαίων τε καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὅσα καλὰ μὴ προσφυεῖς εἰσιν καὶ συγγενεῖς, ἄλλοι δὲ ἄλλων εὐμαθεῖς ἅμα καὶ μνήμονες, οὐδ᾽ ὅσοι συγγενεῖς, δυσμαθεῖς δὲ καὶ ἀμνήμονες, οὐδένες τούτων μήποτε μάθωσιν ἀλήθειαν ἀρετῆς εἰς [7.344b] τὸ δυνατὸν οὐδὲ κακίας. (44) In one word, the man who has no natural kinship with this matter cannot be made akin to it by quickness of learning or memory; for it cannot be engendered at all in natures which are foreign to it. Therefore, if men are not by nature kinship allied to justice and all other things that are honourable, though they may be good at learning and remembering other knowledge of various kinds-or if they have the kinship but are slow learners and have no memory-none of all these will ever learn to the full the truth about virtue and vice.
Ἅμα γὰρ αὐτὰ ἀνάγκη μανθάνειν καὶ τὸ ψεῦδος ἅμα καὶ ἀληθὲς τῆς ὅλης οὐσίας, μετὰ τριβῆς πάσης καὶ χρόνου πολλοῦ, ὅπερ ἐν ἀρχαῖς εἶπον· For both must be learnt together; and together also must be learnt, by complete and long continued study, as I said at the beginning, the true and the false about all that has real being.
μόγις δὲ τριβόμενα πρὸς ἄλληλα αὐτῶν ἕκαστα, ὀνόματα καὶ λόγοι ὄψεις τε καὶ αἰσθήσεις, ἐν εὐμενέσιν ἐλέγχοις ἐλεγχόμενα καὶ ἄνευ φθόνων ἐρωτήσεσιν καὶ ἀποκρίσεσιν χρωμένων, ἐξέλαμψε φρόνησις περὶ ἕκαστον καὶ νοῦς, συντείνων ὅτι [7.344c] μάλιστ᾽ εἰς δύναμιν ἀνθρωπίνην. After much effort, as names, definitions, sights, and other data of sense, are brought into contact and friction one with another, in the course of scrutiny and kindly testing by men who proceed by question and answer without ill will, with a sudden flash there shines forth understanding about every problem, and an intelligence whose efforts reach the furthest limits of human powers.
Διὸ δὴ πᾶς ἀνὴρ σπουδαῖος τῶν ὄντων σπουδαίων πέρι πολλοῦ δεῖ μὴ γράψας ποτὲ ἐν ἀνθρώποις εἰς φθόνον καὶ ἀπορίαν καταβαλεῖ. Therefore every man of worth, when dealing with matters of worth, will be far from exposing them to ill feeling and misunderstanding among men by committing them to writing.
Ἑνὶ δὴ ἐκ τούτων δεῖ γιγνώσκειν λόγῳ, ὅταν ἴδῃ τίς του συγγράμματα γεγραμμένα εἴτε ἐν νόμοις νομοθέτου εἴτε ἐν ἄλλοις τισὶν ἅττ᾽ οὖν, ὡς οὐκ ἦν τούτῳ ταῦτα σπουδαιότατα, εἴπερ ἔστ᾽ αὐτὸς σπουδαῖος, κεῖται δέ που ἐν χώρᾳ τῇ καλλίστῃ τῶν τούτου· εἰ δὲ ὄντως αὐτῷ ταῦτ᾽ ἐσπουδασμένα ἐν γράμμασιν [7.344d] ἐτέθη, "ἐξ ἄρα δή τοι ἔπειτα," θεοὶ μὲν οὔ, βροτοὶ δὲ "φρένας ὤλεσαν αὐτοί." In one word, then, it may be known from this that, if one sees written treatises composed by anyone, either the laws of a lawgiver, or in any other form whatever, these are not for that man the things of most worth, if he is a man of worth, but that his treasures are laid up in the fairest spot that he possesses. But if these things were worked at by him as things of real worth, and committed to writing, then surely, not gods, but men "have themselves bereft him of his wits."
Τούτῳ δὴ τῷ μύθῳ τε καὶ πλάνῳ ὁ συνεπισπόμενος εὖ εἴσεται, εἴτ᾽ οὖν Διονύσιος ἔγραψέν τι τῶν περὶ φύσεως ἄκρων καὶ πρώτων εἴτε τις ἐλάττων εἴτε μείζων, ὡς οὐδὲν ἀκηκοὼς οὐδὲ μεμαθηκὼς ἦν ὑγιὲς ὧν ἔγραψεν κατὰ τὸν ἐμὸν λόγον· ὁμοίως γὰρ ἂν αὐτὰ ἐσέβετο ἐμοί, καὶ οὐκ ἂν αὐτὰ ἐτόλμησεν εἰς ἀναρμοστίαν καὶ ἀπρέπειαν ἐκβάλλειν. (45) Anyone who has followed this discourse and digression will know well that, if Dionysios or anyone else, great or small, has written a treatise on the highest matters and the first principles of things, he has, so I say, neither heard nor learnt any sound teaching about the subject of his treatise; otherwise, he would have had the same reverence for it, which I have, and would have shrunk from putting it forth into a world of discord and uncomeliness.
Οὔτε γὰρ ὑπομνημάτων χάριν ἔγραψεν--οὐδὲν γὰρ [7.344e] δεινὸν μή τις αὐτὸ ἐπιλάθηται, ἐὰν ἅπαξ τῇ ψυχῇ περιλάβῃ· πάντων γὰρ ἐν βραχυτάτοις κεῖται--φιλοτιμίας δὲ αἰσχρᾶς, εἴπερ, ἕνεκα, εἴθ᾽ ὡς αὑτοῦ τιθέμενος εἴθ᾽ ὡς παιδείας δὴ μέτοχος ὤν, ἧς οὐκ ἄξιος ἦν ἀγαπῶν δόξαν τὴν [7.345a] τῆς μετοχῆς γενομένης. For he wrote it, not as an aid to memory-since there is no risk of forgetting it, if a man's soul has once laid hold of it; for it is expressed in the shortest of statements-but if he wrote it at all, it was from a mean craving for honour, either putting it forth as his own invention, or to figure as a man possessed of culture, of which he was not worthy, if his heart was set on the credit of possessing it.
Εἰ μὲν οὖν ἐκ τῆς μιᾶς συνουσίας Διονυσίῳ τοῦτο γέγονεν, τάχ᾽ ἂν εἴη, γέγονεν δ᾽ οὖν ὅπως, "ἴττω Ζεύς," φησὶν ὁ Θηβαῖος· διεξῆλθον μὲν γὰρ ὡς εἶπόν τε ἐγὼ καὶ ἅπαξ μόνον, ὕστερον δὲ οὐ πώποτε ἔτι. If then Dionysios gained this culture from the one lesson which he had from me, we may perhaps grant him the possession of it, though how he acquired it-God wot, as the Theban says; for I gave him the teaching, which I have described, on that one occasion and never again.
Ἐννοεῖν δὴ δεῖ τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο, ὅτῳ μέλει τὸ περὶ αὐτὰ γεγονὸς εὑρεῖν ὅπῃ ποτὲ γέγονεν, τίνι πότ᾽ αἰτίᾳ τὸ δεύτερον καὶ τὸ τρίτον, πλεονάκις τε οὐ διεξῇμεν· (46) The next point which requires to be made clear to anyone who wishes to discover how things really happened, is the reason why it came about that I did not continue my teaching in a second and third lesson and yet oftener.
πότερον Διονύσιος ἀκούσας μόνον [7.345b] ἅπαξ, οὕτως εἰδέναι τε οἴεται καὶ ἱκανῶς οἶδεν, εἴτε αὐτὸς εὑρὼν ἢ καὶ μαθὼν ἔμπροσθεν παρ᾽ ἑτέρων, ἢ φαῦλα εἶναι τὰ λεχθέντα, ἢ τὸ τρίτον οὐ καθ᾽ αὑτόν, μείζονα δέ, καὶ ὄντως οὐκ ἂν δυνατὸς εἶναι φρονήσεώς τε καὶ ἀρετῆς ζῆν ἐπιμελούμενος. Does Dionysios, after a single lesson, believe himself to know the matter, and has he an adequate knowledge of it, either as having discovered it for himself or learnt it before from others, or does he believe my teaching to be worthless, or, thirdly, to be beyond his range and too great for him, and himself to be really unable to live as one who gives his mind to wisdom and virtue? 
Εἰ μὲν γὰρ φαῦλα, πολλοῖς μάρτυσι μαχεῖται τὰ ἐναντία λέγουσιν, οἳ περὶ τῶν τοιούτων πάμπολυ Διονυσίου κυριώτεροι ἂν εἶεν κριταί· εἰ δὲ ηὑρηκέναι ἢ μεμαθηκέναι, ἄξια δ᾽ οὖν εἶναι πρὸς παιδείαν ψυχῆς ἐλευθέρας, [7.345c] πῶς ἄν, μὴ θαυμαστὸς ὢν ἄνθρωπος, τὸν ἡγεμόνα τούτων καὶ κύριον οὕτως εὐχερῶς ἠτίμασέν ποτ᾽ ἄν; For if he thinks it worthless, he will have to contend with many who say the opposite, and who would be held in far higher repute as judges than Dionysios, if on the other hand, he thinks he has discovered or learnt the things and that they are worth having as part of a liberal education, how could he, unless he is an extraordinary person, have so recklessly dishonoured the master who has led the way in these subjects?
Πῶς δ᾽ ἠτίμασεν, ἐγὼ φράζοιμ᾽ ἄν. How he dishonoured him, I will now state.
Οὐ πολὺν χρόνον διαλιπὼν τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο, ἐν τῷ πρόσθεν Δίωνα ἐῶν τὰ ἑαυτοῦ κεκτῆσθαι καὶ καρποῦσθαι χρήματα, τότε οὐκέτ᾽ εἴα τοὺς ἐπιτρόπους αὐτοῦ πέμπειν εἰς Πελοπόννησον, καθάπερ ἐπιλελησμένος τῆς ἐπιστολῆς παντάπασιν· εἶναι γὰρ αὐτὰ οὐ Δίωνος ἀλλὰ τοῦ ὑέος, ὄντος μὲν ἀδελφιδοῦ [7.345d] αὐτοῦ κατὰ νόμους ἐπιτροπεύοντος. (47) Up to this time he had allowed Dion to remain in possession of his property and to receive the income from it. But not long after the foregoing events, as if he had entirely forgotten his letter to that effect, he no longer allowed Dion's trustees to send him remittances to the Peloponnese, on the pretence that the owner of the property was not Dion but Dion's son, his own nephew, of whom he himself was legally the trustee.
Τὰ μὲν δὴ πεπραγμένα μέχρι τούτου ταῦτ᾽ ἦν ἐν τῷ τότε χρόνῳ, τούτων δὲ οὕτω γενομένων, ἑωράκη τε ἐγὼ ἀκριβῶς τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν τὴν Διονυσίου φιλοσοφίας, ἀγανακτεῖν τε ἐξῆν εἴτε βουλοίμην εἴτε μή. These were the actual facts which occurred up to the point which we have reached. They had opened my eyes as to the value of Dionysios' desire for philosophy, and I had every right to complain, whether I wished to do so or not.
Ἦν γὰρ θέρος ἤδη τότε καὶ ἔκπλοι τῶν νεῶν· Now by this time it was summer and the season for sea voyages;
ἐδόκει δὴ χαλεπαίνειν μὲν οὐ δεῖν ἐμὲ Διονυσίῳ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐμαυτῷ τε καὶ τοῖς βιασαμένοις ἐλθεῖν ἐμὲ τὸ [7.345e] τρίτον εἰς τὸν πορθμὸν τὸν περὶ τὴν Σκύλλαν, therefore I decided that I must not be vexed with Dionysios rather than with myself and those who had forced me to come for the third time into the strait of Scylla, 
ὄφρ᾽ ἔτι τὴν ὀλοὴν ἀναμετρήσαιμι Χάρυβδιν, λέγειν δὲ πρὸς Διονύσιον ὅτι μοι μένειν ἀδύνατον εἴη Δίωνος οὕτω προπεπηλακισμένου. that once again I might to fell Charybdis measure back my course, but must tell Dionysios that it was impossible for me to remain after this outrage had been put upon Dion.
Ὁ δὲ παρεμυθεῖτό τε καὶ ἐδεῖτο μένειν, οὐκ οἰόμενός οἱ καλῶς ἔχειν ἐμὲ ἄγγελον αὐτὸν τῶν τοιούτων ἐλθεῖν ὅτι τάχος·  He tried to soothe me and begged me to remain, not thinking it desirable for himself that I should arrive post haste in person as the bearer of such tidings.
οὐ πείθων δὲ αὐτός μοι πομπὴν [7.346a] παρασκευάσειν ἔφη. When his entreaties produced no effect, he promised that he himself would provide me with transport.
Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πλοίοις ἐμβὰς διενοούμην πλεῖν, τεθυμωμένος, πάσχειν τε οἰόμενος δεῖν, εἰ διακωλυοίμην, ὁτιοῦν, ἐπειδὴ περιφανῶς ἠδίκουν μὲν οὐδέν, ἠδικούμην δέ·  For my intention was to embark on one of the trading ships and sail away, being indignant and thinking it my duty to face all dangers, in case I was prevented from going-since plainly and obviously I was doing no wrong, but was the party wronged.
ὁ δὲ οὐδέν με τοῦ καταμένειν προσιέμενον ὁρῶν, μηχανὴν τοῦ μεῖναι τὸν τότε ἔκπλουν μηχανᾶται τοιάνδε τινά. (48) Seeing me not at all inclined to stay, he devised the following scheme to make me stay during that sading season.
Τῇ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐλθὼν ἡμέρᾳ λέγει πρός με πιθανὸν λόγον· "ἐμοὶ καὶ σοὶ Δίων," ἔφη, "καὶ τὰ Δίωνος [7.346b] ἐκποδὼν ἀπαλλαχθήτω τοῦ περὶ αὐτὰ πολλάκις διαφέρεσθαι· ποιήσω γὰρ διὰ σέ, ἔφη, Δίωνι τάδε. On the next day he came to me and made a plausible proposal: "Let us put an end," he said, "to these constant quarrels between you and me about Dion and his affairs. For your sake I will do this for Dion.
Ἀξιῶ ἐκεῖνον ἀπολαβόντα τὰ ἑαυτοῦ οἰκεῖν μὲν ἐν Πελοποννήσῳ, μὴ ὡς φυγάδα δέ, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς αὐτῷ καὶ δεῦρο ἐξὸν ἀποδημεῖν, ὅταν ἐκείνῳ τε καὶ ἐμοὶ καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς φίλοις κοινῇ συνδοκῇ· I require him to take his own property and reside in the Peloponnese, not as an exile, but on the understanding that it is open for him to migrate here, when this step has the joint approval of himself, me, and you his friends; 
ταῦτα δ᾽ εἶναι μὴ ἐπιβουλεύοντος ἐμοί, τούτων δὲ ἐγγυητὰς γίγνεσθαι σέ τε καὶ τοὺς σοὺς οἰκείους καὶ τοὺς ἐνθάδε Δίωνος, ὑμῖν δὲ τὸ βέβαιον ἐκεῖνος παρεχέτω. and this shall be open to him on the understanding that he does not plot against me. You and your friends and Dion's friends here must be sureties for him in this, and he must give you security.
Τὰ χρήματα δὲ ἃ ἂν λάβῃ, [7.346c] κατὰ Πελοπόννησον μὲν καὶ Ἀθήνας κείσθω παρ᾽ οἷστισιν ἂν ὑμῖν δοκῇ, καρπούσθω δὲ δίων, μὴ κύριος δὲ ἄνευ ὑμῶν γιγνέσθω ἀνελέσθαι. Let the funds which he receives be deposited in the Peloponnese and at Athens, with persons approved by you, and let Dion enjoy the income from them but have no power to take them out of deposit without the approval of you and your friends.
Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐκείνῳ μὲν οὐ σφόδρα πιστεύω τούτοις χρώμενον ἂν τοῖς χρήμασιν δίκαιον γίγνεσθαι περὶ ἐμέ--οὐ γὰρ ὀλίγα ἔσται--σοὶ δὲ καὶ τοῖς σοῖς μᾶλλον πεπίστευκα. For I have no great confidence in him, that, if he has this property at his disposal, he will act justly towards me, for it will be no small amount; but I have more confidence in you and your friends.
Ὅρα δὴ ταῦτα εἴ σοι ἀρέσκει, καὶ μένε ἐπὶ τούτοις τὸν ἐνιαυτὸν τοῦτον, εἰς δὲ ὥρας ἄπιθι [7.346d] λαβὼν τὰ χρήματα ταῦτα· καὶ δίων εὖ οἶδ᾽ ὅτι πολλὴν χάριν ἕξει σοι διαπραξαμένῳ ταῦτα ὑπὲρ ἐκείνου." See if this satisfies you; and on these conditions remain for the present year, and at the next season you shall depart taking the property with you. I am quite sure that Dion will be grateful to you, if you accomplish so much on his behalf."
Τοῦτον δὴ ἐγὼ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσας ἐδυσχέραινον μέν, ὅμως δὲ βουλευσάμενος ἔφην εἰς τὴν ὑστεραίαν αὐτῷ περὶ τούτων τὰ δόξαντα ἀπαγγελεῖν. (49) When I heard this proposal I was vexed, but after reflection said I would let him know my view of it on the following day.
Ταῦτα συνεθέμεθα τότε. Ἐβουλευόμην δὴ τὸ μετὰ ταῦτα κατ᾽ ἐμαυτὸν γενόμενος, μάλα συγκεχυμένος· πρῶτος δ᾽ ἦν μοι τῆς βουλῆς ἡγούμενος ὅδε [7.346e] λόγος. We agreed to that effect for the moment, and afterwards when I was by myself I pondered the matter in much distress. The first reflection that came up, leading the way in my self-communing, was this:
"Φέρε, εἰ διανοεῖται τούτων μηδὲν ποιεῖν Διονύσιος ὧν φησιν, ἀπελθόντος δ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐὰν ἐπιστέλλῃ Δίωνι πιθανῶς, αὐτός τε καὶ ἄλλοις πολλοῖς τῶν αὐτοῦ διακελευόμενος, ἃ νῦν πρὸς ἐμὲ λέγει, ὡς αὐτοῦ μὲν ἐθέλοντος, ἐμοῦ δὲ οὐκ ἐθελήσαντος ἃ προυκαλεῖτό με δρᾶν, ἀλλ᾽ ὀλιγωρήσαντος τῶν ἐκείνου τὸ παράπαν πραγμάτων, "Come suppose that Dionysios intends to do none of the things which he has mentioned, but that, after my departure, he writes a plausible letter to Dion, and orders several of his creatures to write to the same effect, telling him of the proposal which he has now made to me, making out that he was willing to do what he proposed, but that I refused and completely neglected Dion's interests.
πρὸς δὲ καὶ τούτοισιν ἔτι μηδ᾽ ἐθέλῃ με ἐκπέμπειν, αὐτὸς τῶν ναυκλήρων [7.347a] μηδενὶ προστάττων, ἐνδείξηται δὲ πᾶσιν ῥᾳδίως ὡς ἀβουλῶν ἐμὲ ἐκπλεῖν, ἆρά τις ἐθελήσει με ἄγειν ναύτην ὁρμώμενον ἐκ τῆς Διονυσίου οἰκίας;" Further, suppose that he is not willing to allow my departure, and without giving personal orders to any of the merchants, makes it clear, as he easily can, to all that he not wish me to sail, will anyone consent to take me as a passenger, when I leave the house: of Dionysios?" 
--ᾤκουν γὰρ πρὸς τοῖς ἄλλοισιν κακοῖς ἐν τῷ κήπῳ τῷ περὶ τὴν οἰκίαν, ὅθεν οὐδ᾽ ἂν ὁ θυρωρὸς ἤθελέν με ἀφεῖναι μὴ πεμφθείσης αὐτῷ τινος ἐντολῆς παρὰ Διονυσίου-- (50) For in addition to my other troubles, I was lodging at that time in the garden which surround his house, from which even the gatekeeper would have refused to let me go, unless an order had been sent to him from Dionysios.
"ἂν δὲ περιμείνω τὸν ἐνιαυτόν, ἕξω μὲν Δίωνι ταῦτα ἐπιστέλλειν, ἐν οἷς τ᾽ αὖτ᾽ εἰμὶ καὶ ἃ πράττω· "Suppose however that I wait for the year, I shall be able to write word of these things to Dion, stating the position in which I am, and the steps which I am trying to take.
καὶ ἐὰν μὲν δὴ ποιῇ τι Διονύσιος ὧν φησιν, οὐ [7.347b] παντάπασιν ἔσται μοι καταγελάστως πεπραγμένα--τάλαντα γὰρ ἴσως ἐστὶν οὐκ ἔλαττον, ἂν ἐκτιμᾷ τις ὀρθῶς, ἑκατὸν ἡ Δίωνος οὐσία--ἂν δ᾽ οὖν γίγνηται τὰ νῦν ὑποφαίνοντα οἷα εἰκὸς αὐτὰ γίγνεσθαι, ἀπορῶ μὲν ὅτι χρήσομαι ἐμαυτῷ, ὅμως δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ἴσως ἐνιαυτόν γ᾽ ἔτι πονῆσαι καὶ ἔργοις ἐλέγξαι πειρᾶσθαι τὰς Διονυσίου μηχανάς." And if Dionysios does any of the things which he says, I shall have accomplished something that is not altogether to be sneered at; for Dion's property is, at a fair estimate, perhaps not less than a hundred talents. If however the prospect which I see looming in the future takes the course which may reasonably be expected, I know not what I shall do with myself. Still it is perhaps necessary to go on working for a year, and to attempt to prove by actual fact the machinations of Dionysios."


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Ιανουάριος 2001