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Ξενοφώντος Συμπόσιον Ε

THE SYMPOSIUM or The Banquet by Xenofon,
Translation by H. G. Dakyns

῾Ο δὲ Καλλίας ἔφη· Σὺ δὲ δή, ὦ Κριτόβουλε, εἰς τὸν περὶ τοῦ κάλλους ἀγῶνα πρὸς Σωκράτην οὐκ ἀνθίστασαι; Then Callias: Our eyes are on you, Critobulus. Yours to enter the lists1 against the champion Socrates, who claims the prize of beauty. Do you hesitate?
Νὴ Δί᾿, ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης, ἴσως γὰρ εὐδοκιμοῦντα τὸν μαστροπὸν παρὰ τοῖς κριταῖς ὁρᾷ. Soc. Likely enough he does, for possibly he sees Sir Pandarus stands high in their esteem who are the judges of the contest.
᾿Αλλ᾿ ὅμως, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, οὐκ ἀναδύομαι· ἀλλὰ δίδασκε, εἴ τι ἔχεις σοφόν, ὡς καλλίων εἶ ἐμοῦ. Μόνον, ἔφη, τὸν λαμπτῆρα ἐγγὺς προσενεγκάτω. In spite of which (retorted Critobulus), I am not for drawing back.2 I am ready; so come on, and if you have any subtle argument to prove that you are handsomer than I am, now's your time, instruct us. But just stop one minute; have the goodness, please, to bring the lamp a little closer.
Εἰς ἀνάκρισιν τοίνυν σε, ἔφη, πρῶτον τῆς δίκης καλοῦμαι· ἀλλ᾿ ἀποκρίνου. Soc. Well then, I call upon you first of all, as party to this suit, to undergo the preliminary examination.3 Attend to what I say, and please be good enough to answer.
Σὺ δέ γε ἐρώτα. Crit. Do you be good enough yourself to put your questions.
Πότερον οὖν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ μόνον νομίζεις τὸ καλὸν εἶναι ἢ καὶ ἐν ἄλλῳ τινί; Soc. Do you consider that the quality of beauty is confined to man, or is it to be found in other objects also? What is your belief on this point?
᾿Εγὼ μὲν ναὶ μὰ Δί᾿, ἔφη, καὶ ἐν ἵππῳ καὶ βοὶ καὶ ἐν ἀψύχοις πολλοῖς. Οἶδα γοῦν οὖσαν καὶ ἀσπίδα καλὴν καὶ ξίφος καὶ δόρυ. Crit. For my part, I consider it belongs alike to animals--the horse, the ox--and to many things inanimate: that is to say, a shield, a sword, a spear are often beautiful.
Καὶ πῶς, ἔφη, οἷόν τε ταῦτα μηδὲν ὅμοια ὄντα ἀλλήλοις πάντα καλὰ εἶναι; Soc. How is it possible that things, in no respect resembling one another, should each and all be beautiful?4
῍Αν νὴ Δί᾿, ἔφη, πρὸς τὰ ἔργα ὧν ἕνεκα ἕκαστα κτώμεθα εὖ εἰργασμένα ᾖ ἢ εὖ πεφυκότα πρὸς ἃ ἂν δεώμεθα, καὶ ταῦτ᾿, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, καλά. Crit. Of course it is, God bless me! if well constructed by the hand of man to suit the sort of work for which we got them, or if naturally adapted to satisfy some want, the things in either case are beautiful.
Οἶσθα οὖν, ἔφη, ὀφθαλμῶν τίνος ἕνεκα δεόμεθα; Soc. Can you tell me, then, what need is satisfied by our eyes?
Δῆλον, ἔφη, ὅτι τοῦ ὁρᾶν. Crit. Clearly, the need of vision.
Οὕτω μὲν τοίνυν ἤδη οἱ ἐμοὶ ὀφθαλμοὶ καλλίονες ἂν τῶν σῶν εἴησαν. Soc. If so, my eyes are proved at once to be more beautiful than yours.
Πῶς δή; Crit. How so?
῞Οτι οἱ μὲν σοὶ τὸ κατ᾿ εὐθὺ μόνον ὁρῶσιν, οἱ δὲ ἐμοὶ καὶ τὸ ἐκ πλαγίου διὰ τὸ ἐπιπόλαιοι εἶναι. Soc. Because yours can only see just straight in front of them, whereas mine are prominent and so projecting, they can see aslant.5
Λέγεις σύ, ἔφη, καρκίνον εὐοφθαλμότατον εἶναι τῶν ζῴων; Crit. And amongst all animals, you will tell us that the crab has loveliest eyes?6 Is that your statement?
Πάντως δήπου, ἔφη· ἐπεὶ καὶ πρὸς ἰσχὺν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἄριστα πεφυκότας ἔχει. Soc. Decidedly, the creature has. And all the more so, since for strength and toughness its eyes by nature are the best constructed.
Εἶεν, ἔφη, τῶν δὲ ῥινῶν ποτέρα καλλίων, ἡ σὴ ἢ ἡ ἐμή; Crit. Well, let that pass. To come to our two noses, which is the more handsome, yours or mine?
᾿Εγὼ μέν, ἔφη, οἶμαι τὴν ἐμήν, εἴπερ γε τοῦ ὀσφραίνεσθαι ἕνεκεν ἐποίησαν ἡμῖν ῥῖνας οἱ θεοί. Οἱ μὲν γὰρ σοὶ μυκτῆρες εἰς γῆν ὁρῶσιν, οἱ δὲ ἐμοὶ ἀναπέπτανται, ὥστε τὰς πάντοθεν ὀσμὰς προσδέχεσθαι. Soc. Mine, I imagine, if, that is, the gods presented us with noses for the sake of smelling. Your nostrils point to earth; but mine are spread out wide and flat, as if to welcome scents from every quarter.
Τὸ δὲ δὴ σιμὸν τῆς ῥινὸς πῶς τοῦ ὀρθοῦ κάλλιον; Crit. But consider, a snubness of the nose, how is that more beautiful than straightness?7
῞Οτι, ἔφη, οὐκ ἀντιφράττει, ἀλλ᾿ ἐᾷ εὐθὺς τὰς ὄψεις ὁρᾶν ἃ ἂν βούλωνται· ἡ δὲ ὑψηλὴ ῥὶς ὥσπερ ἐπηρεάζουσα διατετείχικε τὰ ὄμματα. Soc. For this good reason, that a snub nose does not discharge the office of a barrier;8 it allows the orbs of sight free range of vision: whilst your towering nose looks like an insulting wall of partition to shut off the two eyes.9
Τοῦ γε μὴν στόματος, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, ὑφίεμαι. Εἰ γὰρ τοῦ ἀποδάκνειν ἕνεκα πεποίηται, πολὺ ἂν σὺ μεῖζον ἢ ἐγὼ ἀποδάκοις. As to the mouth (proceeded Critobulus), I give in at once; for, given mouths are made for purposes of biting, you could doubtless bite off a much larger mouthful with your mouth than I with mine.
Διὰ δὲ τὸ παχέα ἔχειν τὰ χείλη οὐκ οἴει καὶ μαλακώτερόν σου ἔχειν τὸ φίλημα; Soc. Yes, and you will admit, perhaps, that I can give a softer kiss than you can, thanks to my thick lips.
῎Εοικα, ἔφη, ἐγὼ κατὰ τὸν σὸν λόγον καὶ τῶν ὄνων αἴσχιον τὸ στόμα ἔχειν. Crit. It seems I have an uglier mouth than any ass.
᾿Εκεῖνο δὲ οὐδὲν τεκμήριον λογίζῃ, ὡς ἐγὼ σοῦ καλλίων εἰμί, ὅτι καὶ Ναΐδες θεοὶ οὖσαι τοὺς Σειληνοὺς ἐμοὶ ὁμοιοτέρους τίκτουσιν ἢ σοί; Soc. And here is a fact which you will have to reckon with, if further evidence be needed to prove that I am handsomer than you. The naiads, nymphs, divine, have as their progeny Sileni, who are much more like myself, I take it, than like you. Is that conclusive?
Καὶ ὁ Κριτόβουλος, Οὐκέτι, ἔφη, ἔχω πρὸς σὲ ἀντιλέγειν, ἀλλὰ διαφερόντων, ἔφη, τὰς ψήφους, ἵνα ὡς τάχιστα εἰδῶ ὅ τι με χρὴ παθεῖν ἢ ἀποτεῖσαι. Μόνον, ἔφη, κρυφῇ φερόντων· δέδοικα γὰρ τὸν σὸν καὶ ᾿Αντισθένους πλοῦτον μή με καταδυναστεύσῃ. Nay, I give it up (cried Critobulus), I have not a word to say in answer. I am silenced. Let them record the votes. I fain would know at once what I must suffer or must pay.10 Only (he added) let them vote in secret.11 I am afraid your wealth and his (Antisthenes') combined may overpower me.
ἡ μὲν δὴ παῖς καὶ ὁ παῖς κρύφα ἀνέφερον. ῾Ο δὲ Σωκράτης ἐν τούτῳ διέπραττε τόν τε λύχνον ἀντιπροσενεγκεῖν τῷ Κριτοβούλῳ, ὡς μὴ ἐξαπατηθείησαν οἱ κριταί, καὶ τῷ νικήσαντι μὴ ταινίας ἀλλὰ φιλήματα ἀναδήματα παρὰ τῶν κριτῶν γενέσθαι. ᾿Επεὶ δὲ ἐξέπεσον αἱ ψῆφοι καὶ ἐγένοντο πᾶσαι σὺν Κριτοβούλῳ, Accordingly the boy and girl began to register the votes in secret, while Socrates directed the proceedings. He would have the lamp- stand12 this time brought close up to Critobulus; the judges must on no account be taken in; the victor in the suit would get from the two judges, not a wreath of ribands13 for a chaplet, but some kisses.

When the urns were emptied, it was found that every vote, without exception, had been cast for Critobulus.14
Παπαῖ, ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης, οὐχ ὅμοιον ἔοικε τὸ σὸν ἀργύριον, ὦ Κριτόβουλε, τῷ Καλλίου εἶναι. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ τούτου δικαιοτέρους ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ σὸν ὥσπερ τὸ πλεῖστον διαφθείρειν ἱκανόν ἐστι καὶ δικαστὰς καὶ κριτάς. Whereat Socrates: Bless me! you don't say so? The coin you deal in, Critobulus, is not at all like that of Callias. His makes people just; whilst yours, like other filthy lucre, can corrupt both judge and jury.15
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[1] Soph. "Fr." 234; Thuc. i. 93.

[2] Or, "I do; but all the same, I am not for shirking." Cf. Aristoph. "Frogs," 860, {etiomos eum egoge, kouk anaduomai, daknein}: "I'm up to it; I am resolved" (Frere); Dem. "de F. Leg." 406 20: "His resolution never reached that point, but shrank back, for his conscience checked it" (Kennedy).

[3] The {anakrisis}, or "previous inquiry" (before one of the archons) of parties concerned in a suit, to see whether the action lay. Cf. Plat. "Charm." 176 C. See Gow, "Companion," xiv. 74.

[4] See "Mem." III. viii. 5, quoted by Galen, "de Usu Part." i. 370.

[5] Or, "squint sideways and command the flanks."

[6] Or, "is best provided in respect of eyeballs."

[7] Or, "your straight nose." Cf. Plat. "Theaet." 209 C: Soc. "Or, if I had further known you not only as having nose and eyes, but as having a snub nose and prominent eyes, should I have any more notion of you than myself and others who resemble me?" Cf. also Aristot. "Pol." v. 9, 7: "A nose which varies from the ideal of straightness to a hook or snub may still be a good shape and agreeable to the eye; but if the excess be very great, all symmetry is lost, and the nose at last ceases to be a nose at all on account of some excess in one direction or defect in the other; and this is true of every other part of the human body. The same law of proportion holds in states."--Jowett.

[8] Or, "the humble snub is not a screen or barricade."

[9] Cf. "Love's Labour Lost," v. 2. 568: Boyet. "Your nose says no, you are not, for it stands too right"; also "The Song of Solomon," vii. 4: "Thy nose is the tower of Lebanon, which looketh toward Damascus."

[10] For this formula see "Dict. Ant." {timema}. Cf. "Econ." xi. 25; Plat. "Apol." 36 B; "Statesm." 299 A; "Laws," freq.; Dem. 529. 23; 533. 2.

[11] And not as in the case described (Thuc. iv. 74), where the people (at Megara) were compelled to give sentence on the political opponents of the oligarchs by an open vote. Cf. Lysias, 133, 12, {ten de psephon ouk eis kadiskous, alla phaneran epi tas trapezas tautas dei tithenai}.

[12] {ton lukhnon} here, above, S. 2, {ton lamptera}. Both, I take it, are oil-lamps, and differ merely as "light" and "lamp."

[13] Cf. Plat. "Symp." 213; "Hell." V. i. 3.

[14] Lit. "When the pebbles were turned out and proved to be with Critobulus, Socrates remarked, 'Papae!'" which is as much to say, "Od's pity!"

[15] {kai dikastas kai kritas}, "both jury and presiding judges," i.e. the company and the boy and girl.

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