Sôphrosunê and the Poets

Rival Interpretations in Plato’s Charmides

in Mnemosyne
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This paper considers the intertextual role of two citations in Plato’s Charmides. The first, from Homer, is introduced by Socrates. The second, from Hesiod, is introduced by Critias. I argue that these citations reveal their full meaning only when their original contexts are considered. In particular, the source context in Hesiod makes clear that Critias’ citation is meant as a response to Socrates’ quote. The dialectic between Critias and Socrates thus turns into a poetic rivalry. It is a rivalry with substantive implications about sôphrosunê and that raises larger questions about authority and interpretation.

Sôphrosunê and the Poets

Rival Interpretations in Plato’s Charmides

in Mnemosyne



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