Abstract

Xenophanes (fr. 2) and Euripides (fr. 282) disapprove of the pan-Hellenic custom of granting athletes conspicuous honors, and Xenophanes in particular, with that of publicly funded meals. Both contrast the uselessness of athletes with the civic contributions of σοφοί. Socrates echoes these sentiments in his counter-proposal that he is much more deserving of σίτησιϚ ἐν πρυτανείῳ than any Olympic athlete (Pl. Ap. 36b3-37a2). I suggest that Socrates deliberately evokes this topos, but does so with a twist: whereas the earlier passages base their claim to honors on σοφία, Socrates deliberately deprives σοφία of its popular meaning, imbuing it with a much more humble and Delphic connotation, thereby making his proposal all the more outrageous.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3168
Print ISSN
0002-9475
Pages
pp. 157-194
Launched on MUSE
2009-06-06
Open Access
No
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