Plato levede 427 til 347 f. Kr. og var således tidsmæssigt mellem Sokrates og Aristoteles, hvor den førstnævnte blev hans læremester og den sidstnævnte hans elev. Han hørte til den lavere byadel, moderen var Perictione og faderen Ariston og Plato blev navngivet Aristocles, men fik i sportskredse øgenavnet Plato, der betyder »bred«.
Plato oprettede Akademiet, og undervisningen der var præget af Pythagoras' matematik. Platos naturvidenskab går ud fra et heliocentreret univers, hvilket er meget avanceret for den tid. Plato overværede retssagen mod Sokrates, hvilket gjorde et dybt indtryk på ham og i hans efterfølgende skrifter vender han gentagne gane tilbage til Sokrates' filosofi og liv. Det er således omkring Sokrates' person, at de fleste af Platos dialoger er skabt.
Det kendteste af Platos værker er nok Republikken, hvor han udvikler retningslinjer for den fuldendte statsdannelse. Hans filosofi har haft betydning for en lang række af moderne tænkere. Her er der kun plads til at bringe den tekst, som helene Hanff ønskede sig. Jeg har fundet den i to forskellige oversættelser, som jeg bringer prøver af.
|Prøve på oversætter 1||
How you, Athenian men, have been affected by my accusers,
I do not know;
but even I myself have almost forgotten myself,
so persuasively did they speak;
yet they have spoken hardly anything of the truth.
But of the many lies they told,
I was especially surprised by this one
in which they said you need to be on guard
so that you will not be deceived by me,
because I am a clever speaker.
For they ought to be ashamed
because this will be immediately refuted by me in fact,
when I do not show myself to be a clever speaker at all;
this seemed to me to be their most shameless statement,
unless they call those speakers clever who speak the truth;
for if they mean this, then I would agree,
not in their way, that I am an orator.
Thus they, as I say, have spoken little or no truth;
but you shall hear from me the whole truth.
Yet not by Zeus, Athenian men,
embellished meanings like theirs,
nor carefully arranged phrases and words,
but you will hear random meanings as the words occur;
for I believe that my plea is just,
and none of you should expect anything else.
For surely it is not fitting, men, for me at my age
to come before you like a youth making up words.
Yes, and sincerely, Athenian men,
I ask and request of you this:
if you hear me defending myself with the same words
that I am accustomed to saying
both in the marketplace and at the tables,
where many of you have heard me, and elsewhere,
do not be surprised nor interrupt on this account.
For the fact is, being seventy years old,
now is the first time I have come up before the court;
thus I am completely a stranger to the speech here.
Therefore as if I happened actually to be a stranger,
you would surely excuse me
if I spoke in that dialect and manner
in which I had been brought up,
and so now I ask you this,
a fair request as it seems to me,
that you disregard the manner of my speech--
for perhaps it might be worse, perhaps better--
but observe only this and consider this:
whether I say what is just or not;
for that is the virtue of the judge,
and the orator's is to say the truth.
First then, it is right that I defend myself, Athenian men,
against the first false accusations against me
and the first accusers,
and then against those of the later ones.
For many accusers have come against me before you,
and long ago, for many years now, and saying nothing true;
I fear them more than those around Anytus,
although these also are dangerous;
but those are more dangerous, men,
who, educating many of you from childhood,
were persuading you and accusing me with no truth,
"There is a certain Socrates, a wise man,
who thinks about heavenly things
and examines everything under the earth
and makes the worse argument better."
These, Athenian men, who spread about this report
are my dangerous accusers.
For those hearing them believe
that such seekers do not acknowledge the gods.
|Prøve på oversætter 2||
How you have felt, O men of Athens,
at hearing the speeches of my accusers,
I cannot tell;
but I know that their persuasive words
almost made me forget who I was --
such was the effect of them;
and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth.
But many as their falsehoods were,
there was one of them which quite amazed me; --
I mean when they told you to be upon your guard,
and not to let yourselves be deceived
by the force of my eloquence.
They ought to have been ashamed of saying this,
because they were sure to be detected
as soon as I opened my lips
and displayed my deficiency;
they certainly did appear
to be most shameless in saying this,
unless by the force of eloquence
they mean the force of truth;
for then I do indeed admit
that I am eloquent.
But in how different a way from theirs!
Well, as I was saying,
they have hardly uttered a word,
or not more than a word, of truth;
but you shall hear from me the whole truth:
not, however, delivered after their manner,
in a set oration duly ornamented with words and phrases.
No indeed! but I shall use the words and arguments
which occur to me at the moment;
for I am certain that this is right,
and that at my time of life
I ought not to be appearing before you,
O men of Athens,
in the character of a juvenile orator --
let no one expect this of me.
And I must beg of you to grant me one favor, which is this --
If you hear me using the same words in my defence
which I have been in the habit of using,
and which most of you may have heard in the a gora,
and at the tables of the money-changers,
or anywhere else,
I would ask you not to be surprised at this,
and not to interrupt me.
For I am more than seventy years of age,
and this is the first time
that I have ever appeared in a court of law,
and I am quite a stranger to the ways of the place;
and therefore I would have you regard me
as if I were really a stranger,
whom you would excuse
if he spoke in his native tongue,
and after the fashion of his country; --
that I think is not an unfair request.
Never mind the manner,
which may or may not be good;
but think only of the justice of my cause,
and give heed to that:
let the judge decide justly
and the speaker speak truly.
Strofedelingen er mn, i det sidste eksempel, da det ikke var opdelt i den forlægget.
|Opdateret: 29.08.2003||Retur til: Programmet|
|Retur til: Læsegruppeforside|