Earlier today I posted some fragments from Plato the Comic poet. Here’s a bit from that other Plato, you know, the philosopher.
“We should not praise Achilles’ teacher Phoinix as speaking prudently when he advises him to take the gifts and defend the Achaeans, but not to give up on his rage without the gifts. Nor should we think it right that Achilles is so acquisitive or agree that he might take the gifts from Agamemnon, and then earn honor in turn for ransoming a corpse, when he isn’t willing to do so otherwise.”
οὐδὲ τὸν τοῦ ᾿Αχιλλέως παιδαγωγὸν Φοίνικα ἐπαινετέον ὡς μετρίως ἔλεγε συμβουλεύων αὐτῷ δῶρα μὲν λαβόντι ἐπαμύνειν τοῖς ᾿Αχαιοῖς, ἄνευ δὲ δώρων μὴ ἀπαλλάττεσθαι τῆς μήνιος. οὐδ’ αὐτὸν τὸν ᾿Αχιλλέα ἀξιώσομεν οὐδ’ ὁμολογήσομεν οὕτω φιλοχρήματον εἶναι, ὥστε παρὰ τοῦ ᾿Αγαμέμνονος δῶρα λαβεῖν, καὶ τιμὴν αὖ λαβόντα νεκροῦ ἀπολύειν, ἄλλως δὲ μὴ ‘θέλειν.
2 thoughts on “Taking Issue With Homer: We Shouldn’t Approve of Achilles (Plato, Republic 390e-391a)”
Surely the last bit means “and neither will we think it appropriate or concede that Achilles himself should be so acquisitive as to take gifts from Agamemnon or to release the body [i.e., of Hector] in return if he takes compensation for it [i.e., from Priam] but otherwise to be unwilling [to do this].”
That is better. Will revise! thanks.