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The Seventh and Eighth Platonic Epistles

  • J. Harward (a1)

It is now generally agreed that the 7th and 8th Platonic Epistles are genuine. There may still be a lingering doubt, here or there, about the philosophical digression in the 7th; but with this exception both letters may be said to have established their claim to be regarded as the work of Plato.

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page 146 note 1 It is worth noting that Aristotle in his passing reference to the murder (Rhet. I. 12, 1373a 19) treats it as justifiable, on the ground that Dion was actually a tyrant.

page 147 note 1 Plato's envoys may have been suggested to him by the fictitious envoy in the first sentence of the Epistle of Isokrates to the children of Jason ofPherae, which was published about three years before the 3rd Platonic Epistle.

page 148 note 1 See Biedenweg, W., Plutarchs Quellen in den Lebensbeschreibungen des Dion und Timoleon. Leipzig, 1884. There is much that is still valuable in this monograph, but for the Life of Dion the writer was much hampered by adopting the views current at the moment about the Platonic Epistles, and this part of the work ought to be done again.

page 149 note 1 Holm, (Gesch. Sic. II. 463) gives the date as August 354 B.C. on thegrounds stated above. August is too late for the Sicilian harvest, which would take place in June. Bury, (Gk. Hist. 672, Ed. 1902) and Freeman, (Sicily, Vol. IV. 285) give June 354 B.C. as the date of the murder. If we are to bring it into Ol. 106, 3 and the archonship of Diotimos, it must have been towards the close of the month, after the summer solstice.

page 149 note 2 For the bearing of this date on the relations between the 7th Epistle and the Speech of Isokrates on the Antidosis see note at the end of If this paper.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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