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7. In the first place, you yourselves, too,34373437    So Gelenius, followed by Canterus and Orelli, reading primum et ipsi, by rejecting one word of the ms. (et quæ). Canterus plausibly combines both words into itaque—“therefore.” LB. reads ecquid—“do you at all,” etc., with which Orelli so far agrees, that he makes the whole sentence interrogative. see clearly that, if you ever discuss obscure subjects, and seek to lay bare the mysteries of nature, on the one hand you do not know the very things 436which you speak of, which you affirm, which you uphold very often with especial zeal, and that each one defends with obstinate resistance his own suppositions as though they were proved and ascertained truths. For how can we of ourselves know whether we34383438    So restored by Stewechius; in the first ed. perspiciam (instead of am-us) “if I perceive the truth,” etc. perceive the truth, even if all ages be employed in seeking out knowledge—we whom some envious power34393439    So the ms. very intelligibly and forcibly, res…invida, but the common reading is invid-i-a—“whom something…with envy.” The train of thought which is merely started here is pursued at some length a little later. brought forth, and formed so ignorant and proud, that, although we know nothing at all, we yet deceive ourselves, and are uplifted by pride and arrogance so as to suppose ourselves possessed of knowledge? For, to pass by divine things, and those plunged in natural obscurity, can any man explain that which in the Phædrus34403440    The ms. gives fedro, but all editions, except the first, Hildebrand, and Oehler, read Phædone, referring, however, to a passage in the first Alcibiades (st. p. 129), which is manifestly absurd, as in it, while Alcibiades “cannot tell what man is,” Socrates at once proceeds to lead him to the required knowledge by the usual dialectic. Nourry thinks that there is a general reference to Phædr., st. p. 230,—a passage in which Socrates says that he disregards mythological questions that he may study himself. [P. 447, note 2, infra.] the well-known Socrates cannot comprehend—what man is, or whence he is, uncertain, changeable, deceitful, manifold, of many kinds? for what purposes he was produced? by whose ingenuity he was devised? what he does in the world? (C) why he undergoes such countless ills? whether the earth gave life to him as to worms and mice, being affected with decay through the action of some moisture;34413441    Lit., “changed with the rottenness of some moisture.” The reference is probably to the statement by Socrates (Phædo, st. p. 96) of the questions with regard to the origin of life, its progress and development, which interested him as a young man. or whether he received34423442    So the ms., LB., and Oehler, but the other edd. make the verb plural, and thus break the connection. these outlines of body, and this cast of face, from the hand of some maker and framer? Can he, I say, know these things, which lie open to all, and are recognisable by34433443    Lit., “established in the common senses.” the senses common to all,—by what causes we are plunged into sleep, by what we awake? in what ways dreams are produced, in what they are seen? nay rather—as to which Plato in the Theætetus34443444    Arnobius overstates the fact here. In the passage referred to (Th., st. p. 158), Socrates is represented as developing the Protagorean theory from its author’s standpoint, not as stating his own opinions. is in doubt—whether we are ever awake, or whether that very state which is called waking is part of an unbroken slumber? and what we seem to do when we say that we see a dream? whether we see by means of rays of light proceeding towards the object,34453445    Lit., “by the stretching out of rays and of light.” This, the doctrine of the Stoics, is naturally contrasted in the next clause with that of Epicurus. or images of the objects fly to and alight on the pupils of our eyes? whether the flavour is in the things tasted, or arises from their touching the palate? from what causes hairs lay aside their natural darkness, and do not become gray all at once, but by adding little by little? why it is that all fluids, on mingling, form one whole; that oil, on the contrary, does not suffer the others to be poured into it,34463446    Lit., “oil refuses to suffer immersion into itself,” i.e., of other fluids. but is ever brought together clearly into its own impenetrable34473447    So LB., followed by Orelli, reading impenetrabil-em, for the ms. impenetrabil-is, which is corrected in both Roman edd. by Gelenius, Canterus, and Elmenhorst -e, to agree with the subject oleum—“being impenetrable is ever,” etc. substance? finally, why the soul also, which is said by you to be immortal and divine,34483448    Lit., “a god.” is sick in men who are sick, senseless in children, worn out in doting, silly,34493449    So the edd., generally reading fatua for the ms. futura, which is clearly corrupt. Hildebrand turns the three adjectives into corresponding verbs, and Heinsius emends deliret (ms. -ra) et fatue et insane—“dotes both sillily and crazily.” Arnobius here follows Lucr., iii. 445 sqq. and crazy old age? Now the weakness and wretched ignorance of these theories is greater on this account, that while it may happen that we at times say something which is true,34503450    Lit., “something of truth.” we cannot be sure even of this very thing, whether we have spoken the truth at all.


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