Praising Plato, by the Poet Aristotle

Olympiodorus on Plato, Gorgias 215

“Aristotle doesn’t merely praise Plate in the piece he wrote about him, but he also delivers praise in the elegies he composed for Eudemus, writing as follows:

[missing line of dactylic hexameter]

“Once he came to Kekrops’ famous plain
He reverently built an altar for the sacred friendship
Of a man whom it is not right for the evil to praise
Who alone or first of mortals demonstrated clearly
Through his own life and the practices of his words
That the good person and the happy person are the same.

And now there is no way for anyone to do the same things again.”

οὐ μόνον δὲ ἐγκώμιον ποιήσας αὐτοῦ ἐπαινεῖ αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἐλεγείοις τοῖς πρὸς Εὔδημον αὐτὸν ἐπαινῶν Πλάτωνα ἐγκωμιάζει, γράφων οὕτως·

ἐλθὼν δ᾿ ἐς κλεινὸν Κεκροπίης δάπεδον
εὐσεβέως σεμνῆς φιλίης ἱδρύσατο βωμὸν
ἀνδρὸς ὅν οὐδ᾿ αἰνεῖν τοῖσι κακοῖσι θέμις,
ὃς μόνος ἢ πρῶτος θνητῶν κατέδειξεν ἐναργῶς
οἰκείῳ τε βίῳ καὶ μεθόδοισι λόγων
ὡς ἀγαθός τε καὶ εὐδαίμων ἅμα γίνεται ἀνήρ·
οὐ νῦν δ᾿ ἔστι λαβεῖν οὐδενὶ ταῦτά ποτε.

fresco depicting the School of Aristotle by Gustav Adolph Spangenberg, ca 1883-1888

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