Φιλοσοφια ἅφθονοσ

Classical Quarterly 48 (2):404-410 (1998)

Authors
Susan B. Levin
Smith College
Abstract
Near the climax of the ascent passage of the Symposium, Plato describes how the lover turns to gaze at the great sea of the beautiful and. While the phrase has been variously interpreted by commentators and translators, none has regarded it as particularly significant. In what follows we examine the contribution that the immediate context makes to the meaning of the phrase and take note of the link between the adjective φθονος and two subsequent uses of φθονω, both with reference to Alcibiades. We conclude that in the two final scenes of the dialogue the repetition of φθονος and φθονω has the same effect as the repetition of the well-studied adverb ξαφνης. By virtue of these contextual associations, we suggest, the prepositional phrase acquires a new significance. Furthermore, on the interpretation developed here the dialogue's two final scenes encapsulate the view of the incompatibility of jealousy and philosophy that Plato sets forth more explicitly and at greater length in the Phaedrus and Republic.
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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cq/48.2.404
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