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III.

CHAP. and certainly soon gave up. Considering it to be

his special calling to labour for the moral and intellectual improvement of himself and others, this conviction forced itself so strongly upon him, as to appear to him in the light of a divine revelation.2 He was, moreover, confirmed therein by a Delphic oracle, which, of course, must not be regarded as the cause of, but rather as an additional support to, his reforming zeal.3 How and when this conviction first

A. Plato (Rep. vi. 496, B.) writers, the matter stands thus: seems to have had the case of Chærephon had asked at Delphi Socrates in view.

if there were a wiser man than ' Porphyry leaves it open Socrates, and the priestess had whether Socrates or his father answered in the

negative. practised sculpture; nor is any. The lambics which purport to thing proved by the story that contain the answer in Diog. the Graces on the Acropolis ii. 37, and Suid. oooós belong were his work (Diog. Paus. i. of course to a much later 22). No allusions are found in period. Whereupon, says SoAristophanes, Plato, and Xeno- crates, he had thought over phon to the sculptor's art. the sense of the oracle, and, in Hence we may conclude that the hope of finding it, he had if Socrates ever practised it, he conversed with all who made gave it up long before the play pretensions to knowledge. At of the Clouds was acted. Duris last he has found that neither and Demetrius of Byzantium he himself nor any other man (in Diog. ii. 19), in stating that was wise, but that others behe was a slave, and that Crito lieved themselves to be wise, removed him from a workshop whilst he was conscious of his and cared for his education, want of wisdom.

He conappear to confound him with sidered himself therefore Phædo.

pledged in the service of 2 Plato, Apol. 33, C.: ¢uoi dè Apollo to a similar sifting of τούτο.

προστέτακται υπό men, to save the honour of the του θεού πράττειν και εκ μαντείων Oracle, which declared him, alκαι εξ ενυπνίων και παντί τρόπω, though one so wanting in wisόπερ τίς ποτε και άλλη θεία μοίρα dom, to be the wisest of men. ανθρώπων και ότιoύν προσέταξε Allowing that Socrates really ποιείν. .

said this—and there is no 3 According to the well. doubt that he uttered it in known story in the Apol. 20, substance—it by no means fol. E., which has been repeated lows that his philosophical countless times by succeeding activity dated from the time

CHAP.
III.

1

2

dawned on him, cannot be determined. Most probably it grew gradually in proportion as he gained more knowledge of the moral and intellectual circumstances of his time, and soon after the beginning of the Peloponnesian war he had found in the main his philosophical centre of gravity.

From that time forward he devoted himself to the mission he had assumed, regardless of everything else. His means of support were extremely scanty, and his domestic life, in company with Xanthippe, was far from happy.3

Yet neither her passionate of the Pythian oracle. Else (Plut. Gen. Socr. c. 20) is alwhat should have led Chære- together a fiction. phon to put the question, or i This is proved by the part the oracle to give the answer which Aristophanes assigns to it did ? So that if in the apo- Socrates in the Clouds. If at logy he speaks as though the that time, 424 B.C., he could be Delphic oracle had first aroused described as the chief of the him to sift men, it must be a new learning, he must have figure of speech. Without worked for years according to going so far as Colotes (in a definite method, and have Plut. adv. Col. 17, 1), and gathered about him a circle of Atheneus (v. 218) and many friends. In the Connus of modern writers (Brucker, Hist. Ameipsias, which seems to have Phil. i. 534, Van Dalen and been acted at the same time as Heumann), and denying the the Clouds, he likewise appears historical character of the as a well-known person, and Io oracle altogether-and certain in his travelling memorials had ly it cannot be very rigidly previously alluded to him. See proved--we must at least at- p. 56, 1; 57, 3. tach no great importance to it. 2 See p. 54, 1. It may have done a similar 3 The name of Xanthippe is service to Socrates as his doc- not only proverbial now. Later tor's degree did to Luther, as- writers of antiquity (Teles. in suring him of his inward call, Stob. Flor. 5, 64; Seneca De but it had just as little to do Const. 18, 5, Epist. 104, 177 ; with making him a philosophi- Porphyry (in Theod. Cur. Gr. cal reformer as the doctor's de- Aff. xii. 65); Diogenes (ii. 36); gree had with making Luther a Plutarch (Coh. Ira, 13, 461), religious reformer. The story who however tells the same of of the response given to his the wife of Pittacus, Tranq. An. father when he was a boy ii. 471; Ælian (V. H. xi. 12);

CHAP.
IU.

character would be allow to ruffle his philosophic

un

Athenæus (v. 219); Synesius, ing to Plut.), and in modern
&c.), tell so many little stories times most thoroughly by Luzac
and disgraceful traits of her (Lectiones Atticæ, Leyden,
that one almost fee inclined 1809). Not only is such a
to take up the cudgels in her thing incompatible with the
behalf, as Heumann has actu- character of Socrates, but
ally done (Acta Phil. i. 103). amongst his cotemporaries,
What Xenophon (Mem. ii. 2; foes and friends, Xenophon,
Sym. 2, 10) and Plato (Phædo, Plato, Aristophanes, and other
60, A.) say of her, shows that comic poets, including Timon,
she cannot have been altogether there is no allusion to a rela-
badly disposed. At least she tion, which would most
was solicitous about her family, doubtedly have, had it existed,
though at the same time she caused a great sensation and
was extremely violent, over- have provoked attack and de-
bearing, and hard to deal with. fence, and derision in the high-
It is remarkable that Aristo- est degree. The laws of Athens
phanes in the Clouds says no- never allowed bigamy, and the
thing of the married life of decree purporting to be in
Socrates, which might have af- favour of it, by which Hie.
forded him material for many a ronymus attempts to give pro-
joke. Probably Socrates was not bability to his story (the same
then married. His eldest son is to which reference is made by
called twenty-five years later Gell. N. A. xv. 20, 6, from the
(Plato, Apol. 34, D. ; Phædo, 60, supposed bigamy of Euripides)
A.) MELPáklov ñon, and there are

either never was passed, or two young children.

Besides must bear a different meaning. Xanthippe, Socrates is said to The only question is, whether have had another wife, Myrto, there can be any foundation a daughter or grand-daughter for the story, and how its rise of Aristides: after Xanthippe can be explained. Shall the according to Aristotle (in Diog. Pseudo-Aristotle be believed, ii. 26; conf. Stob. Floril 86, 25, who says that Myrto was his Posidon in Ps. Plut. De Nob. second wife, and the two 18, 3 ; less accurate is Plutarch's younger sons her children ? Aristid. 27 which Athen. xiii. But this cannot be reconciled 555 follows); before her accord- with the Phædo 60, A., let alone ing to another view (also in the fact that Myrto, as Diog.); and at the same time daughter of Aristides, must have with her according to Aris- been older than Socrates (whose toxenus, Demetrius Phaler., father in Laches, 180, D, is menHieronymus Rhod., Satyrus, tioned as a school companion of and Porphyry, in Cyril. c. Jul., her brother), and far too old then vi. 186, D. ; so that he had two to bear children. Or shall it, on wives at once. The fallacy of the contrary, be conceded (with the last view has been already Luzac) that Myrto was Socrates' exposed by Panætius (accord- first wife, and that he married

a

composure,' nor could domestic cares hinder the oc

CHAP.
III.

con

son

Xanthippe after her death ? 13), the genuineness of which
This, too, is highly improbable. was doubted by Plutarch, and
For, in the first place, neither certainly cannot be allowed,
Xenophon nor Plato know any- that this dialogue was
thing about two wives of So- cerned with the question,
crates, although the Symposium whether nobility belonged to
would have invited some men- those whose parents were vir-
tion of them. In the second tuous. Now none were more
place, all the biographers (a celebrated for their spotless
few unknown ones in Diogenes virtue and their voluntary
excepted), and particularly the poverty than Aristides and So-
Pseudo-Aristotle, from whom crates. Accordingly the writer
all the rest appear to have taken brought the two into connec-
the story, say that he married tion. Socrates was made to
Myrto after Xanthippe, and marry a daughter of Aristides,
that Sophroniscus and Menex- and since Xanthippe was
enus were her children. Thirdly, known to be his wife, Myrto
Socrates cannot possibly have was made to be his second
married the sister or the niece wife and the mother of his
of Lysimachus, the

of younger

children. Others, Aristides, before the battle of however, remembered that Delium, since at the time of Xanthippe survived her husthe battle (Lach. 180, D.) he band. They thought it undid not know Lysimachus per- likely that Socrates should be sonally. Nor can his first mar- the son-in-law of a man dead riage have been contracted before he was born, and they after that date, since Xan- tried to surmount these diffithippe's eldest son was grown culties in various ways. As up at the time of his death. regards the first difficulty, And lastly, in Plato's Theætet. either it was maintained that 150, E., shortly before his Myrto was his second wife and death, Socrates mentions this that the younger children were Aristides, as one of those who hers, in which case it was had withdrawn from his intel. necessary to place her side by lectual influence without detri- side with Xanthippe, as Hierment to his relationship as a onymus actually did, and inkinsman.

vented a decree of the people Thus the connection between to make it probable; or to Socrates and Myrto seems to avoid romance, this supposition belong altogether to the re- was given up, and Myrto was gion of fable. The most pro- made to be his first wife, who bable account of the origin then can have borne him no of the story is the following children, since Lamprocles, his We gather from the remains eldest son, according to Xenoof the treatise nepl evyevelas phon, was a child of Xanthippe. (Stob. Flor. 86, 24, 25; 88, The second difficulty could be

For note see next page.

CHAP.
III.

cupation which he recognised to be the business of his life. His own concerns were neglected lest he should omit anything in the service of God. To be independent, he tried, like the Gods, to rise superior to wants ;3 and by an uncommon degree of self-denial and abstemiousness,' he so far succeeded that he could boast of living more pleasantly and more free from troubles than any one else. It was thus possible for him to devote his whole powers to the service of others without asking or taking reward ; 6 and this got over either by making 6 Xen. Mem. i. 2, 5; i. 5, 6; Myrto a grand-daughter in- i. 6, 3; Plato, Apol. 19, D. 31; stead of a daughter of Aris B.; 33, A.; Euthypro, 3, D.; tides, the grandson of Aristi- Symp. 219, E. In the face of des the Just. Plato, Lach. 179, these distinct testimonies, the A.; Theæt., &c. The former statement of Aristoxenus (Diog. was the usual way. The latter ii. 20) that from time to time is the view of Athenæus. he collected money from his

See Xenophon 1. c., not to pupils, can only be regarded as mention later anecdotes re- a slander. It is possible that specting this subject.

he did not always refuse the ? Plato, Apol. 23, B. ; 31, B. presents of opulent friends

3 Conf. Xen. Mem. i. 6, 1-10, (Diog. ii. 74, 121, 34; Sen. de where he argues against Anti- Benef. i. 8; vii. 24; Quintil. phon, that his is a thoroughly Inst. xii. 7, 9). Questionable happy mode of life, ending anecdotes (Diog. ii. 24, 31, 65; with the celebrated words: Stob. Flor. 3, 61; 17, 17) would mèv undevos décolai Belov elval, prove nothing, to the contrary, το δε ώς ελαχίστων εγγυτάτω του but no dependence can be θείου. .

placed on these authorities. 4 The contentment of So. He is said to have refused the crates, the simplicity of his splendid offers of the Macelife, his abstinence from sen- donian Archelaus and the Thessual pleasures of every kind, salian Scopas (Diog. ii. 25; his scanty clothing, his walk- Sen. Benef. v. 6; Arrian or ing bare-foot, his endurance of Plut. in Stob. Floril. 97, 28; hunger and thirst, of heat and Dio Chrys. Or. xiii. 30), and cold, of deprivations and hard- this tale is confirmed as far as ships, are well known. Conf. the first-named individual is Xen. Mem. i. 2, 1; 3, 5; Plato, concerned by Aristotle, Rhet. Symp. 174, A., 219, B.; Phæd. ii. 23, in a passage which Bayle, rus, 229, A.; Aristoph. Clouds, Dict. Archelaus Rem. D. dis103, 361, 409, 828, Birds 1282. putes without reason.

5 Xen. Mem. i. 6, 4; iv. 8, 6.

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