Why Kephalos? A Significant Name in Plato’s Republic - VOX - философский журнал
VOX - философский журнал
DOI prefix: 10.37769 / Эл № ФС 77-27570 / ISSN 2077-6608
Поиск: Поиск
Выпуск №36 март, 2022 ОТКЛИКИ-ОКЛИКИ

Why Kephalos? A Significant Name in Plato’s Republic

Konstan D.

New York University, david_konstan@brown.edu

Abstract: As is well known, the conversation that is recorded in Plato’s Republic takes place in the home of Kephalos, the father of Polemarchus, who contributes to the discussion, and the orator Lysias. Kephalos was a wealthy metic, who owned an arms factory manned by numerous slaves (metics were not permitted to own land in Athens). In the charming preface to the dialogue, Socrates recounts how he was waylaid by Polemarchus and some others as he was heading back to town from Piraeus, and compelled to accompany him to his place. It is a well-wrought preface, and Plato is said to have revised the opening sentence several times before he was satisfied with it. The first word, κατέβην (“I went down”), while standard usage for heading in the direction of Piraeus, also suggests a kind of catabasis, a descent as though into the cave, as scholars have noted. But why Kephalos’ house? Why there?

Kew words: Plato, Kephalos, Republic

DOI: https:/doi.org/10.37769/2077-6608-2022-36-8