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Eu. As I was going down* to the harbour I met with Theaetetus being carried to Athens from the camp at Corinth.

Ter. Alive or dead ?

Eu. Alive, but only justo. Besides being very ill from wounds, he is more seriously affected by the malady which has broken out in the army.

Ter. You mean the dysentery?
Eu. Yes.
Ter. In danger, you say, such a man as that !

Eu. Ay, a gallant and good one', Terpsion. It was but just now I heard some people praising him highly for his behavioun in the battle.

Ter. Nothing strange in that. It were far more surprising if he had not behaved so. But how came he not to put up here at Megara"?

Eu. He was in haste to get home. For all my entreaties and advice, he would not stay. So after accompanying him some way, as I went back I bethought me of the marvellous divination shown by Socrates in so many cases, especially in that of Theaetetus. I think it was but a little

Καταβαίνων. The preposition κατά compounded with verbs of motion often implies coastward movement, the converse being ává. The harbour was Nisaea.

5 Kal vála. The intensive kai is largely used by Plato. 6 Aipei. A technical verb for morbid affection.

7 Καλόν τε και αγαθόν. Καλοκαγαθία is the Athenian term for the heroic ideal of a gentleman.

8 Máxn. What battle is here meant we cannot absolutely determine. The great battle near Corinth, in which the Lacedaemonians defeated the Athenians, was in July, 394 B.C. Grote, H. Gr. Part II. ch. lxxiv. Demosth. Lept. 41. But Plato may point to some other affair before 387.

9 Αυτού Μεγαροι, two local adverbs = εν αυτούς τους Μεγάροις, at Megara itself; at the very place he had reached, vz. Megara.



while before his own death that he met him, a mere lad at the time, and, after conversing and arguing with him, admired his genius greatly. When I went to Athens, he repeated to me the arguments he had held with him-well worth hearing they were--and said this youth must inevitably become distinguished, if he should reach man's estate.

Ter. He spoke the truth, manifestly. But what were the arguments ? Can you repeat them?

Eu. No indeed: not from mere recollection. But, having returned home immediately, I jotted down some notes at once, and, afterwards taxing my memory at leisure, I went on writing; and, every time I visited Athens, I used to ask Socrates anything I had not remembered, and to make corrections on my return here. So that I have got nearly the whole conversation in writing.

Ter. True: I heard you say so once before ; and I have always been meaning to bid you show it me, but have loitered till this moment. What hinders us from perusing it now? Especially as I am in real want of rest, after coming from the country.

Eu. Well, and I too escorted Theaetetus as far as Erineum"; so I should not dislike a siesta. Let us go then; and while we repose, the attendant shall read to us. Ter. A good suggestion.

[They go to Euclid's house.) Eu. Here is the manuscript, Terpsion. I must observe that I wrote out the conversation in my own way:—not in the narrative form as Socrates related it to me, but as a dialogue between him and his fellow-disputants, whom he

10 'Eypay áunu. The use of the middle voice here, as compared with cypapov afterwards, is notable : perhaps it implies the act of writing at the moment from recollection and for his own future revision.

11 Erineum: a locality on the way from Megara to Athens.

stated to be Theodorus the geometrician and Theaetetus. And, in order to escape the troublesome notices between the speeches in my manuscript (such as, when Socrates was speaker, 'I spoke,' 'I said,' and, in case of an answerer, ‘he agreed' or 'he disagreed') I wrote as if he were actually talking with them, and got rid of such interpolations.

Ter. Well, no harm in that, Euclid.
Eu. Now, boy, take the volume, and read.

[The slave reads aloud all that follows.]

2 [The interlocutors in the following dialogue are: Socrates, Theodorus the

geometrician of Cyrene, and Theaetetus. Two young friends of the latter are also present, one of whom is called Socrates; but neither of them is made to speak. Socrates, meeting Theodorus in a gymnasium at Athens, asks him if he has encountered any youths of promise. Theodorus names Theaetetus with high praise, adding that in some of his features he resembles Socrates. Theaetetus, then approaching with his two friends, is invited to sit beside Socrates, who engages him in a conversation about their personal resemblance. The purpose of it seems to be, partly to test the dialectic faculty of Theaetetus, partly to embolden him by relating the praise he has received from so competent a judge as Theodorus.]

So. If I had a peculiar interest in Cyrene and its affairs, Theodorus, I would ask you about things there, and about its people, whether any of the young men in those parts are studying geometry or other scientific subjects. But I really care for them less than I do for our youth here, and would rather know which of our own young men are expected to become scholars. This therefore I observe for myself as well as I can, and inquire about it from every body else, with whom I see the young men desirous to converse. Now the largest number of pupils attend your lectures; and justly : for you deserve it on many grounds, but especially for geometry. So I shall be glad to hear if you have met with any one worth naming.

Theo. Yes, Socrates; among your citizens I have met with a youth, whose character I can cite as well worthy of your attention. If he were handsome, I should be much afraid to mention him, lest any one should fancy I am in love with him. But in fact (don't be vexed with me) he is not handsome: he has a flat nose and protruding eyes


but less marked in his case than in yours.

I speak then without scruple. And I can assure you that of all the persons I ever met (and I have associated with a great number) I never found any of a nature so wonderfully excellent. Aptitude for learning such as few attain, combined with a temper singularly mild, and furthermore with unrivalled courage, I could never have expected to find, nor have I ever seen any similar instances. Those who, like him, are quick and ready-witted and gifted with a good memory, are liable to keen emotions; they rush impetuously like unballasted vessels, and grow up with more of madness in them than of valour: whilst others of more solid temperament usually approach studies in a somewhat sluggish mood, and laden' with forgetfulness. But he comes to all his studies and investigations with perfect gentleness, like a current of oil flowing without sound, so smoothly, firmly and successfully, that we marvel to see one of his age perform these things as he does.

So. Good news indeed. Pray whose son is he?

Theo. I have heard the name, but do not remember it. However, he is the middle one of those who are now approaching us. He and these friends of his were anointing

1 réuortes. A word properly applied to laden vessels, and here opposed to ανερμάτιστα πλοία.


themselves just now in the outer race-course. They have finished, I suppose, and are coming this way. So see if you know him. Sø. I do. He is the son of Sophronius of Sunium, just

. such a man, my friend, as you describe this one to be, of good repute generally, and, I can tell you, a man who left a considerable property. But I do not know the name of the youth.

Theo. Theaetetus is his name, Socrates: the property I fancy certain trustees have wasted: yet even in money matters he is wonderfully liberal.

So. A noble character you give him. Bid him come and sit down by me here.

Theo. I will. Theaetetus, come and sit here by Socrates. So. Do by all means, Theaetetus, that I


myself, and see what kind of face I have. Theodorus says it's like yours. Now if each of us held a lyre in his hand, and he said they were tuned to the same pitch, should we believe him at once, or should we have taken note whether he spoke as a musician?

Theae. We should have taken note.

So. And if we found him such, should we not believe him, if ignorant of music, we should disbelieve?

Theae. True.

So. And in the present case, I suppose, if we care at all for resemblance of faces, we must consider whether he speaks with a painter's skill or not. Theae.

I think so.
Is then Theodorus skilled in portrait-painting?
Theae. Not to my knowledge.
So. And is he not skilled in geometry?
Theae. Without doubt, Socrates.

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