Plato's Phaedrus / Edition 1

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This is an English translation of one of Plato’s least political dialogue of Socrates and Phaedrus discussing many theme: the art and practice of rhetoric, love, reincarnation, and the soul. It includes an introduction, notes, glossary, appendices, and an interpretive essay and introduction. Also included are rarely seen illustrations, stone carvings and vase paintings.

Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato’s immediate audience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is a fine translation, both fluent and accurate. It captures the range of tonalities of the original in elegant English that is neither stiffly formal nor cheaply colloquial….The supplementary matter is appropriate and useful. The introduction is crisp and clear, the interpretive essay illuminating…Scully has done a sound and serious job of translating and annotating for the general reader. Above all, his translation is excellent in respect to style and clarity: really a pleasure to read.

-- David Konstan, Brown University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780941051545
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: Focus Philosophical Library
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 158
  • Sales rank: 638,818
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Scully is an Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University. He is the author of "Homer and the Sacred City", as well as numerous essays and articles on Homer, Attic Tragedy, and Virgil.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
List of Abbreviations x
I Date of composition 3
II The dramatic date 8
III Subjects and purposes of the dialogue 8
IV The characters 12
V Lysias and his speech 16
Translation and Commentary
I 227A-230E: Introductory conversation. The scene on the bank of the Ilissus 21
II 230E-234C: The speech of Lysias 27
III 234C-237B: Criticism of Lysias's speech. Socrates is induced to treat the theme himself 32
IV 237B-238C: Socrates begins his speech. A definition of love 38
V 238C-241D: Socrates concludes his first speech 43
VI 241D-243E: Interlude, leading to Socrates's recantation 50
VII 243E-245C: Socrates begins his second speech. Three types of divine madness 56
VIII 245C-246A: The immortality of soul 63
IX 246A-247C: Myth of the soul. The charioteer and two horses. The procession of souls 69
X 247C-248E: The soul's vision of true Being. Its fall and incarnation 78
XI 248E-249D: Reincarnation and final liberation of the soul. The philosopher's privilege 85
XII 249D-250D: The soul's recollection of ideal Beauty 92
XIII 250E-252C: Love as the regrowing of the soul's wings 96
XIV 252C-253C: The various types of lover 99
XV 253C-256E: The subjugation of lust. Love and counter-love 103
XVI 256E-257B: The speech concluded. A prayer for Lysias and Phaedrus 110
XVII 257B-258E: Preliminary consideration of speech-writing 113
XVIII 258E-259D: Interlude. The myth of the cicadas 117
XIX 259E-261A: Rhetoric and knowledge 119
XX 261A-264E: Knowledge of resemblances and differences 123
XXI 264E-266B: Dialectic method as exhibited in preceding speeches 131
XXII 266C-269C: The technique of existing rhetoric 138
XXIII 269C-272B: Philosophy and rhetoric. Pericles's debt to Anaxagoras 145
XXIV 272B-274B: The true method of rhetoric. Its difficulty and its justification 152
XXV 274B-278B: The superiority of the spoken word. Myth of the invention of writing 156
XXVI 278B-279C: Messages to Lysias and Isocrates 165
Index of Names 171
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