Intra-Socratic Polemics: The Symposia of Plato and Xenophon

Gabriel Danzig ebooks/ english

Σωκρατική διελκυστίνδα ανάμεσα στα “Συμπόσια” του Πλάτωνα και του Ξενοφώντα

from introduction: Ιn this paper I review the relationship between the two Symposia of Plato and Xenophon, supporting H. Thesleff’s hypothesis that Xenophon wrote his Symposium first, and adducing new evidence for it. The more widely accepted position, that Plato wrote first, implies that Xenophon modeled Critobulus’ speech on the one speech in the Platonic corpus (Phaedrus’ speech) which he disliked so much that he attacked it openly, in chapter eight of his own Symposium. While one cannot rule out this possibility, no one has explained why Xenophon would have had such divergent responses to a single speech. The other possibility is that Xenophon wrote first and that Plato modeled Phaedrus’ speech on that of Critobulus. On this account, Phaedrus’ speech is attacked by Socrates precisely because it is modeled on the speech of Critobulus and contains an offensive and distorted version of Critobulus’ suggestion concerning the role of homosexual affection in the military. ebooks