Inviting Socrates: The prologs of Republic and the two Symposia

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The prologs of the Platonic and Xenophontic dialogs foreshadow central issues that will be addressed later in the dialogs. The invitation-scenes in Plato’s Symposium and Republic illustrate the contrast between Socrates’ interest in erotic subjects and his disinterest in political subjects, and contain images of philosophical themes discussed later in the two compositions. The prolog of Republic reflects metaphysical doctrines and political realities that motivate the enactments Socrates institutes in his city-in-speech, while the prolog of his Symposium reflects doctrines of eros elucidated later in the composition. Having read both of these compositions, Xenophon produced an invitation-scene in his own Symposium that offers criticism of these scenes and provide a portrait of a Socrates closer to his own heart. His main concern is not with politics or eros, but with kalokagathia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationText and Intertext in Greek Epic and Drama
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honor of Margalit Finkelberg
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429658792
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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