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Socrates and Aesop in Plato's Phaedo.

I begin with a famous scene from the end of the Apology. Starting off at Apology 40c, Socrates attempts to console the 'friendly jurors' that death is not to be feared on the grounds that it is good. It is good because at death, the soul either enters a state akin to eternal dreamless sleep or, if certain ta legomena are true, death results in Socrates' soul migrating into a Hades, where his soul can interrogate the great and famous dead forever, without fear of any further fines or death penalties. Death appears to result in Socrates returning to an underworld agora for no divine revelations, but merely the rewards of more elenctic philosophizing. He will find there, at least, a more high-class set of interlocutors, including Orpheus, Museus, Hesiod and Homer, to name a few. This outcome, he affirms, would be an 'inconceivable happiness' (Apology 41c). Moreover, apart from applying his method to the claims of such gigantic figures, he also imagines having pleasurable conversations with others who are just as famous, thereby allowing him to compare his unjust verdict and fate with the various similar injustices these men have suffered; for example, Ajax and Palamedes (Ap 41a-b). (1)

So, then, let us take this last observation to establish the likelihood that in his last days in prison, Socrates was in a mood to compare his fate to those famous figures from the past who suffered in ways comparable to himself. What, then, does it allow us to say about the opening pages of the Phaedo? I think this means that when Socrates interprets the famous dream that commands him to make poetry as possibly not just encouraging him to keep on philosophizing, but as also commanding him to make popular poetry, since he is 'no myth maker himself' (Phaedo 61b), he will pick on an author to versify, whose works he knows and admires for their wisdom-bearing substance. After all, we are told that Socrates knows the tales of Aesop 'by heart', and so this may seem like the natural explanation for his attraction to such stories (Phd 61b). However, more importantly--and in line with my observations from the Apology--he will choose an author whose fate is strikingly similar to his own (Phd 60c-61b). Thus, Socrates will put into verse the fables of Aesop. We shall discuss more about this in a moment. For now, let us take note of the fact that Socrates has not chosen a lightweight; Aesop's fables have stood the test of time, so that even now as we speak, his 'sour grapes' still applies when people fail to obtain some desired good and so downgrade that good. Why, there was once even a series of cartoons entitled 'Aesop and Son' on the Bullwinkle and His Friends TV show (you may go to YouTube and enjoy).

For the details of Aesop's life, we have the Life of Aesop, a narrative dating from the first century CE, but which draws on a tradition that dates back at least as far as 500 BCE. This is a tradition that both Socrates and Plato may well have been acquainted with. However, since the oldest version of the Life (somewhere in the first century CE) antedated Plato's life by so many years, we cannot say with confidence that Plato was aware of it. 'There is contemporary evidence, however, that Aesop's story was known at the time Plato was writing. Aesop is mentioned in Herodotus' Histories ii 134.1-4, and in such a way that it is clear that Aesop was reasonably well known and that Herodotus believed that Aesop had actually existed,' (Clayton 2008, 315). I am indebted to Clayton 2008, 315317, and The Life of Aesop, Translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange, http:// for my account of Aesop's life. Note too that Aristophanes' play, Wasps (1446-1449), refers to the accusation of theft made by the Delphians against Aesop in such a way as to suggest that the story is familiar to his audience. Moreover, one of his characters in Birds (471-475)holds that another character who has not read Aesop is ignorant. Finally, Aristotle is aware of the name of Aesop's master, Xanthus, in the Constitution of the Samians (Fr 573 Rose) and even refers to Aesop's death in the Constitution of the Delphians (Fr 487 Rose). Thus, we may conclude that Socrates and Plato knew of the Life of Aesop in some form (written or oral) especially given the many similarities we can find between Aesop in Life and Socrates in Phaedo.

Aesop is presented in Life as resembling Socrates physically. He was snub-nosed, hunch-backed, big-lipped, potbellied, and bandy-legged with a long, misshapen head, who was generally ugly to behold; he was also clever just like Socrates. However, unlike Socrates, he was a slave who was mute. By employing his cleverness--despite his inability to speak--he performed a service for a priestess of the goddess Isis, helping her to return to the road after she had become lost. Later, while Aesop napped, the priestess called on Isis to reward Aesop with great wealth, or to at least grant him the power of speech. Isis and the nine Muses then appeared before the sleeping Aesop. Isis removed the impediment that prevented Aesop from speaking and 'persuade[d] the Muses as well to confer on him each something of her own endowment. They conferred on him the power to devise stories and the ability to conceive and elaborate tales in Greek', which was not his native tongue, since he was a Phrygian (Life of Aesop 7).

When his overseer learned that Aesop could speak, he became afraid because Aesop might then report his cruel treatment to their owner, and so he sold him to a slave trader for almost nothing. The slave trader then sold Aesop, again for almost nothing, to the philosopher Xanthus. The longest section of the Life portrays Aesop's time in Xanthus' service, and here Aesop repeatedly demonstrated his intellectual superiority to Xanthus, despite the latter's own self-estimates and the fact that he was a philosopher by training. Socrates thus remains true to form by picking on a somewhat genuine 'philosopher', as opposed to a fake one, to provide the substance of his versifying.

Although Aesop often made Xanthus look foolish, he also provided assistance to Xanthus in his bid to escape a number of problems that emerged because of his lack of intelligence and practical wisdom, with the constant goal of obtaining his own freedom. Finally, when Xanthus needed Aesop to interpret an omen for the people of Samos, Aesop forced Xanthus to free him. The omen signified that Croesus, king of the Lydians, intended to conquer the Samians. Here, Aesop employed his practical intelligence to get Croesus to make peace instead. For this, the Samians honored Aesop who, in turn, built a shrine to the Muses in acknowledgment of his debt to them; however, the shrine did not include a section for Apollo, which turned out to be a fatal move. Here, recall that Socrates too is skilled at the interpretation of oracles, particularly the one provided by Apollo, but unlike Aesop he honors and serves Apollo.

After some years Aesop, decided to travel and give lectures to audiences for a fee. His travels eventually brought him to Babylon, where Lycurgus was king. He served Lycurgus as an advisor and adopted a son, who betrayed him and eventually had Aesop sentenced to death. The man assigned to execute Aesop secretly imprisoned him instead, and later he was freed from imprisonment in order to help Lycurgus outsmart king Nectanabo of Egypt. Aesop chastised, but then forgave, his son and then resumed his travels, desiring to see Delphi. Soon, he demonstrated his intelligence to the people of Delphi, but they did not honor nor pay him. For this, he responded with abuse and insults. The people of Delphi then feared that he would spread his criticisms of them throughout Greece, and so hid a golden cup from the temple of Apollo in his baggage. Shortly thereafter, he was unjustly arrested for stealing the cup, was imprisoned, tried for impiety, and then sentenced to death. His reply to this was to tell them the fable of the Frog and the Mouse (see Number 4 below). When he attempted to escape his death, he was thrown over a cliff and was killed. No wonder, then, that according to Libanius, the death of Aesop seemed dreadful to Socrates (Ap 181). The Life concludes with a report that Delphi suffered a famine and was punished by the peoples of Greece, Babylon, and Samos for their treatment of Aesop.

The parallels and contrasts between the lives and deaths of Socrates and Aesop, much greater and more subtle than those I have indicated, have been explored by other scholars (Clayton 2008; cf. Compton 2006, Kurke 2006 and 2011). Instead, the task I undertake in this essay is to see if an examination of the vast Aesopian material can reveal likely candidates for Socratic versifying. As far as I can ascertain, no one has attempted this project, perhaps because even the most promising of results could remain highly speculative. Nonetheless, students often ask which of Aesop's fables Socrates might have been versifying, and so the task seems warranted on pedagogical grounds.

There are hundreds of fables credited to Aesop, and my criteria of selection are simple. (1) I include those fables that can be best interpreted as bearing on Socrates' own fate at the hands of the Athenians. I ground this criterion on the observation I drew from the Apology that Socrates is in a mood to reflect on his fate. Moreover, according to Diogenes Laertius, Socrates '...composed a fable of Aesop, not very skillfully, beginning "Judge not, ye men of Corinth," Aesop cried, "Of virtue as the jury courts decide"' (DL II.42). It is unfortunate that I cannot find the Aesopian fable which might have served as the inspiration for these two lines of verse, but from theses we can at least affirm that some of Socrates' versifying was done on the basis of fables bearing on unjust convictions and virtue in general. (2) Hence, (2) I also include those fables that make reasonable analogical contact with Socratic moral theory. In both cases, the fable must not be so long nor complicated as to resist versifying.

Now, someone could present an objection that these criteria would have to be jettisoned if we gave full weight to Socrates' breezy claim that the fables he versified were the 'first that' he 'came upon' among those that were 'ready to hand' and 'familiar' to him (Phd 61b). This remark, if not ironic and playful, suggests a procedure that is a good deal less deliberate on Socrates' part than my criteria assume. (3) However, note that Socrates also tells us that he knows (epistamen) the tales of Aesop 'by heart'. If Socrates had the entire range of Aesopian fables at his ready disposal, and he was there in prison with his unjust death looming, then in view of the evidence of the Apology I provided, we can fairly assume that Socrates' choice of fables was unlikely to be a random affair. In addition, my criteria are warranted by the Diogenes Laertius quote we just saw above. In short, we may affirm that the first verses Socrates 'came across' were of the kind I uncovered. Moreover, he would surely expect that his only written work would be revered by his circle, and so he would wish to leave them not with idle tales exemplifying irrelevant morals, but with verses reflective of Socratic philosophy and the price it cost. (4)

The chosen fables based on the abovementioned criteria are listed below:

1. The Wolf and the Lamb (Perry 1952, 155; cf.Perry 16 for the same story with a cat and a rooster; in Gagarin and Woodruff 1995, 146).

Watching a lamb drink from a river, a wolf wanted a reasonable excuse (aitia) to dine upon him. So he stood upstream and accused the lamb of muddying the water and not letting him drink. The lamb answered that he drank only with the tip of his lips and that he would not have disturbed the water upstream as he was drinking downstream. Since this excuse failed, the wolf said, 'But last year you slandered my father.' When the lamb answered that he was not even born yet at that time, the wolf said to him, 'Even though you have a good supply of answers, shall I not eat you up?'

The story shows that even a just defense has no strength against those whose purpose is to do injustice. This fable would appeal to Socrates insofar as he might, first, compare the wolf to Meletus, a man who wishes to 'dine upon him' for a reasonable, legal excuse. The lamb is then analogous to Socrates, representing the kind of comparison he himself once used before in the Charmides, when he likened himself to an innocent fawn sitting beside a ravenous lion (Charmides 155d). The accusation of 'muddying the water' can then be taken to be symbolic of the informal charges of teaching sophistic and natural science as well as Meletus' charge of corrupting the youth. Socrates' defense against those charges was an attempt to deny that his lips had uttered such things or that he had 'muddied' the moral waters of the Athenian polis by harming its youth. He claims to have stood aloof from the high-sounding 'upstream' things studied by the natural scientists. Next, the 'slandered my father' charge is analogous to the formal charge that Socrates teaches the youth to not recognize the gods of the Athenian state, which is akin to slandering the 'fathers' of Athens. As with the lamb, Socrates takes himself to have been unjustly convicted of this charge by accusers who are determined to do him unjust harm. Although it is difficult to imagine what this story would look like in poetic verse, it is not at all difficult to imagine Socrates as having had the ingenuity and poetic ability to do so.

2. The Farmer and the Stork (Perry 1965, 23)

In the furrows of his field, a farmer fixed a thinspun net and caught the cranes, those enemies of new-sown land. A limping stork besought him thus (for with the cranes a stork too had been taken): 'I'm not a crane, I don't destroy the seed, I'm a stork, my color plainly marks me out, and storks are the most loyal and dutiful of all winged creatures; I nurse my father and care for him when he is ill.' The man replied: 'Sir Stork, what way of life you're pleased to live I do not know, but this I do know: I caught you with those who lay waste to my work; die, therefore, you shall in their company, for in their company I caught you.'

This story shows that when you consort with bad men, you will be hated just as they are, even though you yourself do no injury to those about you. In his defense against the informal charges of engaging in sophistic and natural science, Socrates protests that he is a victim of mistaken identity; that he is being lumped in with men who teach things that he does not teach and who are suspected of atheistic belief (Ap 18a-20c). He does not take fees as the Sophists do, and he has no part in the teachings of the natural scientists. As for the charge of corrupting the youth, Socrates deploys an argument that holds that one would never knowingly associate with bad men, since one would then risk being harmed by them (24c-26a). As it turns out, Meletus cannot even offer up any witness to his having corrupted the youth; not a single one of them or their relatives (33c-34b). Socrates sees himself as our crane, a swan of Apollo, in fact (Phd 84d-85b), one who does not destroy the 'seed' of Athens (i.e., its youth) but one who has been loyal to Athens and a dutiful, winged creature in the service of Apollo. Furthermore, even though he has consorted with bad men, such as Alcibiades, Critias and Charmides, he has been confused with such cranes and unfairly held responsible for their corruption.

3. Dr. Heron's Fee (Perry 1965, 115)

Once a wolf had a bone lodged in his throat. e promised a heron that he would give him a suitable fee if the latter would let his neck down inside and draw out the bone, thus providing a remedy for his suffering. The heron drew out the bone and forthwith demanded his pay. The wolf grinned at him, baring his sharp teeth, and said, 'It's enough pay for your medical services to have taken your neck out of a wolf's mouth safe and sound.'

This story shows that you will get no good in return for giving aid to scoundrels; in fact, you will do well not to suffer some injury yourself in the process. As with the preceding analysis, this story might serve as the basis for versification on the grounds that Socrates was unjustly convicted for performing a valuable service to Athens in service to Apollo. He was a gift to Athens, trying to offer a service analogous to that of a physician in order to heal the souls of its citizens above and beyond the call of normal civic responsibility (30d-31c). For this risky mode of conduct, he must now pay the ultimate penalty, as proposed by the wolf-like Meletus.

4. The Frog and the Mouse (Gibbs 2002) (5)

A mouse asked a frog to help her get across the river. The frog tied the mouse's front leg to her own back leg using a piece of string and they swam out to the middle of the stream. The frog then turned traitor and plunged down into the water, dragging the mouse along with her. The mouse's dead body floated up to the surface and was drifting along when a kite flew by and noticed something he could snatch. When he grabbed the mouse he also carried off her friend the frog. Thus the treacherous frog who had betrayed the mouse's life was likewise killed and eaten.

People who do harm to others destroy themselves in the bargain. In the Apology, after Socrates' counter-penalty to the death penalty is defeated, he chastises his prosecutor as well as the jurors who voted for his death; he then offers a prophecy to the effect that they will now suffer even more from being examined and chastised by harsher, younger critics than he (38c-39d). Hence, this fable would appeal to Socrates as encapsulating the sort of lesson of instant karma he himself outlined in this section of his defence speech.The fact that this fable was offered by Aesop to the Delphians after he was unjustly condemned to death for impiety (see above) would make it even more appealing.

5. The Fir Tree and the Bramble (Perry 1965, 81)

The fir tree and the bramble fought against each other. The fir tree praised himself in many ways: 'I'm handsome, tall, and well-proportioned. I grow straight up, with my top grazing the clouds. I am the main pillar of the house and the keel of the ship. How can you, a lowly thistle, compare yourself with so great a tree?' The bramble answered her and said: 'If you will call to mind the axes that are always cleaving you, to be a bramble will seem better even in your reckoning.'

Indeed, a distinguished man may have greater fame than a lesser man, but he also faces greater danger. As with the preceding fable, this story emphasizes the danger of engaging in useful activities in the public arena. Socrates could have found this an attractive story because he could use it to make the point he made in the Apology about the dangers of engaging in public partisan politics. There, he says that his daimonion's constant opposition to his trying to engage in politics seemed to him rational on reflection, since if he had managed to do so, he would have perished long before and benefited no one (Ap 31d).

6. The North Wind and the Sun (Perry 1952, 46; in Gagarin and Woodruff 1995, 147)

The North Wind and the Sun were quarreling over who had the greater power. Thus, they decided to let whichever of them could strip the clothes off a man who was traveling by be the victor. The North Wind went first and blew violently; he blew harder when the man pulled his clothes around him. However, the man became distressed by the cold and put on an outer garment. Hence, the North Wind became tired and allowed the Sun to take his turn. The Sun first shone moderately; when the man removed his outer cloak, he increased the heat until the man was unable to bear it, took off his clothes, and went for a swim in a river that was flowing by.

This story shows that persuasion is often more effective than resorting to violence. This fable is good grist for Socrates' versifying in relation to his fondness for argumentation as opposed to coercion, which is a constant theme of the dialogues and in Xenophon (e.g., the end of the Charmides, Mem. 3.11). His clearest praise comes at Crito 46b, when he tells Crito that 'Not now for the first time, but always, I am the sort of man who is persuaded by nothing except the argument (to logo) that seems best to me when I reason (logizomeno) about the matter.'

7. Heracles and the Ox-Driver (Perry 1965, 31)

An ox-driver was bringing his wagon home from the village when it fell into a deep ravine. Instead of doing something about it, as the situation required, he stood by idly and prayed for help to Heracles, the god whom he really worshipped and held in honor. Suddenly Heracles appeared in person beside him and said: 'Take hold of the wheels. Lay the whip on your oxen. Pray to the gods only when you are doing something to help yourself. Otherwise your prayers will be useless.'

In Book I of his Memorabilia, Xenophon discusses Socrates' attitude towards divination. According to his account, Socrates advised his students to act on their own judgment when there was no doubt about the most prudent course of action, and only then consult an oracle in cases of uncertainty. If the issue was the subject of some craft such as carpentry, then the expert should be listened to; otherwise, divination might be rightly employed. It is irrational to think that all matters are suitable for merely human judgment, but 'it is no less irrational to seek the guidance of heaven in matters which men are permitted by the gods to decide for themselves by study' (I.1.6-9).This fable makes the same point, making it a suitable Socratic material for versifying.

8. The Butcher and the Ape (Perry 1965, 265)

Someone saw an ape hanging in a butcher's shop among the other commodities and viands, and asked what the flavor was like; whereupon the butcher replied in jest: 'It tastes as bad as it looks.' This, I suppose, has been told more for the sake of a laugh than with regards the truth; for I have often met with handsome persons who were scoundrels, and have known many with ugly features to be the best of men.

This fable would have been dear to Socrates for the same reason Aesop was drawn to compose it for both men were intelligent and lovers of wisdom, but not physically attractive in the least. Socrates constantly emphasizes the soul-body distinction, to the advantage of the former and at the expense of the latter, finding the soul vastly superior in value (e.g., Cr 47e-48a). In the Theaetetus, Socrates and Theodorus find Theaetetus 'amazingly gifted', even though he resembles Socrates (143e-144b), and in the Symposium's encomium of Socrates (214a-222c), we hear of his resemblance to a Silenus, but are told that he possesses god-like features.

9. Preposterous Leadership (Perry 1965, 175)

Once a snake's tail decided that the head ought no longer to go first and refused to follow its lead in creeping along. 'Let it be my turn now,' it said, 'to lead the way.' 'Keep still,' said the other members, 'how can you lead us, poor wretch, without any eyes or nose, the means by which all living creatures move on their way and guide each limb?' However, they could not dissuade the tail from its purpose, and the rational part of the body succumbed to the irrational. Thereafter, the hinder parts ruled the foremost ones; the tail became the leader, dragging the whole body along in blind motion. When it fell into a hollow pit and bruised its spine on the sharp rocks, the tail, which had been so self-willed before, became submissive and turned to supplication saying: 'Mistress head, save us, if you will. It was an evil strife that I ventured on, and evil has been the consequence. If you'll put me where I was at first I'll be more obedient and you'll not worry about getting into trouble again under my leadership.'

This fable would appeal to Socrates for the obvious reason that he constantly emphasized the need for the mind to rule the lower appetites of the body, and not vice versa.

10. From Cobbler to Physician (Perry 1965, 209-210)

A bungling cobbler, desperately in want, had resorted to practicing medicine in a strange locality. Peddling what he falsely called an 'antidote', he established a reputation for himself using verbal advertising tricks. It so happened that when the king's minister lay gravely ill and all but gone, our physician was called in, whereupon, the king of the city, to test his skill, called for a cup. He poured water into it, but pretended to mix poison with the 'antidote'. He then ordered the man to drink it off himself, for a reward that he displayed. In mortal fear, the cobbler then confessed that his high standing as a physician was not due to any knowledge of the art but to the gullibility of the crowd. The king then summoned an assembly and said to the people: 'How crazy you are, you may judge for yourselves. You have no hesitation about putting your lives at the mercy of a man to whose care no one in want of shoes ever trusted his feet.'

This, I dare say exemplifies how gullibility provides an income for impostors. Again, this fable would appeal to Socrates because it is a constant theme of the Socratic dialogues (especially the Protagoras and Gorgias) that the Sophists falsely advertise themselves through 'verbal trickery' and false 'advertising' to have a techne of persuasion analogous to that of medicine, allowing them to appear to a physician before a 'gullible crowd' (Gorgias 449a-461b). However, as Socrates argues, it appears as though they have no techne, but only a 'knack'; moreover, students who 'put their lives at the mercy of such men' are making a potentially disastrous mistake.

At this point, readers might be thinking that almost any Aesopian fable could be grist for Socrates' moralizing mill, and hence, my selections are more a matter of personal taste than my criteria might make them seem. To meet this challenge I obviously cannot parade all the hundreds of fables I have not listed past the reader for comparison, but here is one:

11. War and His Bride (Perry 1965, 87).

When the gods were marrying and each had been joined with a mate, after all the others came War, whose turn to choose was last in the drawing of the lots. He married Insolence, who alone was left for him to take. The love he felt for her was most unusual, so they say, and even now he follows everywhere she goes. Thus, let not Insolence ever come among the nations or cities of men, finding favor with the crowd; for after her, straightway War will be at hand.

It is, of course, possible that Socrates might have put this fable to verse, but in view of my criteria, I find it much less likely than those I have chosen after a careful inspection of every available candidate. Hence, I feel confident that when at last the poems of Socrates are finally recovered from the bottom of some dusty amphora, at least one of them will turn out to have been based on one of the charming fables we have now examined, hopefully to our delight and edification. This paper is a revised version of one that was presented to the 4th West Coast Plato Workshop, Lewis & Clark College, May, 21-22, 2011. I would like to thank my commentator, John Ferarri, and my audience for their many helpful comments.


Hermes on Sale

A sculptor was trying to sell a marble statue of Hermes, which he had just carved. Two men came along and were thinking of buying it; one of them wanted it for a gravestone, since his son had recently died, and the other, an artisan, intended to set it up as an image of the god himself. It was late in the day, and the sculptor had not yet sold his statue, although he agreed to show it to the buyers again when they came in the morning. In his sleep that night, the sculptor saw Hermes himself at the gate of dreams, saying: 'So, then, my fate is being weighed in your balances: it remains to be seen whether you will make me a corpse or a god.'

I include this fable because of Socrates' interest in dreams of divine origin.

Surfeited at Last

A mouse fell into a pot of soup which had no lid. Choked by the grease and gasping for his life, he said: 'I've done my eating, and my drinking, I've had my fill of all delights; the time has come for me to die.' This shows that one can be like that gluttonous mouse among men if one fails to renounce what is sweet but injurious.

As with fable number 9, this story would appeal to Socrates in view of his constant emphasis on the need for the mind to rule the appetites of the body, and not vice versa.

DOI: 10.1515/apeiron-2011-0010


Layton, E. W. 'The Death of Socrates and the Life of Aesop', Ancient Philosophy 28 (2008) 311-328.

Compton, T. Victim ofthe Muses. Cambridge, MA: Center for Hellenic Studies, 2006.

Gagarin, M. and Woodruff, P. Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Gibbs, L. Aesop's Fables. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Kurke, L. 'Plato, Aesop, and the Beginnings of Mimetic Prose,' Representations 94 (2006) 6-52.

Kurke, L. Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention

of Greek Prose. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Perry, B. E. Babrius and Phaedrus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965.

(1) Ajax was driven mad by the injustice he suffered when he was cheated of the armor of Achilles in a competition with Odysseus. He consequently committed suicide. Palamedes was stoned to death after Achilles hid gold in his tent and had him accused of treason on the basis of a forged letter.

(2) Although the testimony of Diogenes Laertius is generally held to be unreliable and less than weighty, the fact that Diogenes is critical of Socrates' verses strongly suggests that he had a text before him or had seen and remembered a text. Certainly, it could also be possible that the text was spurious.

(3) Thanks to John Ferarri for raising this point.

(4) The Diogenes quote would indicate that Socrates' verses were written down, rather than just committed to what Socrates knew might be a very temporary memory.

(5) See


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Author:McPherran, Mark L.
Publication:APEIRON: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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