Dialogue on the Threshold

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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Plutonis Regia

Socrates. On this account, Hermogenes, let us say, that not one of those there is willing to come hither, not even the Syrens themselves; but that both they, and all others, are enchanted; such beautiful discourses does Pluto, it seems, know how to utter. And by this reasoning this god is both a perfect sophist, and a great benefactor to those with him; and who sends up to those here such good things; so many things does he have in superfluity; and from hence he has the name of Pluto. And on the other hand, through his unwillingness to associate with men invested with bodies, but only to have an intercourse with them, when the soul becomes cleansed from all the evils and desires which were around the body, does he not appear to you to be a philosopher, and to have well considered this, that he should thus detain them, by binding them with the desire for virture; but that if they possessed the flutterings and mad feelings of the body, not even his father Kronos would be able to detain them with him, in those bonds with which he was said to be bound.

Plato, Cratylus, 403d-404a

George Burges, The Works of Plato. A New and Literal Version, London: Henry G. Bohn, York Street, Covent Garden, 1850. Vol. 3, pp. 320-321