[21d] ἐντεῦθεν ἐπ᾽ ἄλλον ᾖα τῶν ἐκείνου δοκούντων σοφωτέρων εἶναι καί
From there I went to another of those considered to be wiser than he, and
[21ε] μοι ταὐτὰ ταῦτα ἔδοξε, καὶ ἐνταῦθα κἀκείνῳ καὶ ἄλλοις πολλοῖς ἀπηχθόμην.
μετὰ ταῦτ᾽ οὖν ἤδη ἐφεξῆς ᾖα, αἰσθανόμενος μὲν καὶ λυπούμενος καὶ δεδιὼς ὅτι ἀπηχθανόμην, ὅμως δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ἐδόκει εἶναι τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ περὶ πλείστου ποιεῖσθαι—ἰτέον οὖν, σκοποῦντι τὸν χρησμὸν τί λέγει, ἐπὶ ἅπαντας τούς τι
these same things appeared to me, and from here to another one also, and I incurred hatred from many others.
So after these, forthwith I went on in order, both learning and being distressed, and despite having feared that I had incurred hatred, still it seemed to me to make the thing concerning the god the biggest - so I had to go, examining the oracle, what it said, to all those
[22α] δοκοῦντας εἰδέναι. καὶ νὴ τὸν κύνα, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι— δεῖ γὰρ πρὸς ὑμᾶς τἀληθῆ λέγειν—ἦ μὴν ἐγὼ ἔπαθόν τι τοιοῦτον: οἱ μὲν μάλιστα εὐδοκιμοῦντες ἔδοξάν μοι ὀλίγου δεῖν τοῦ πλείστου ἐνδεεῖς εἶναι ζητοῦντι κατὰ τὸν θεόν, ἄλλοι δὲ δοκοῦντες φαυλότεροι ἐπιεικέστεροι εἶναι ἄνδρες πρὸς τὸ φρονίμως ἔχειν. δεῖ δὴ ὑμῖν τὴν ἐμὴν πλάνην ἐπιδεῖξαι ὥσπερ πόνους τινὰς πονοῦντος ἵνα μοι καὶ ἀνέλεγκτος ἡ μαντεία γένοιτο. μετὰ γὰρ τοὺς πολιτικοὺς ᾖα ἐπὶ τοὺς ποιητὰς τούς τε τῶν τραγῳδιῶν καὶ τοὺς τῶν
who seemed to know something. And yes by the dog, O Athenian men - for it is necessary to speak the truth to you - which I experienced something of this kind: the men who were indeed of good repute seemed to me to be almost the most deficient, with [me] searching according to the god, while others who seemed to be commoner men were more capable men with respect to having presence of mind. It's necessary to show you my digression, even as I worked hard for some labours, in order that with respect to me also the oracle may come to be unquestionable. For after the political men, I went to the poets, both the ones who compose tragedy and the ones who
[22β] διθυράμβων καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους, ὡς ἐνταῦθα ἐπ᾽ αὐτοφώρῳ καταληψόμενος ἐμαυτὸν ἀμαθέστερον ἐκείνων ὄντα. ἀναλαμβάνων οὖν αὐτῶν τὰ ποιήματα ἅ μοι ἐδόκει μάλιστα πεπραγματεῦσθαι αὐτοῖς, διηρώτων ἂν αὐτοὺς τί λέγοιεν, ἵν᾽ ἅμα τι καὶ μανθάνοιμι παρ᾽ αὐτῶν. αἰσχύνομαι οὖν ὑμῖν εἰπεῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες, τἀληθῆ: ὅμως δὲ ῥητέον. ὡς ἔπος γὰρ εἰπεῖν ὀλίγου αὐτῶν ἅπαντες οἱ παρόντες ἂν βέλτιον ἔλεγον περὶ ὧν αὐτοὶ ἐπεποιήκεσαν. ἔγνων οὖν αὖ καὶ περὶ τῶν ποιητῶν ἐν ὀλίγῳ τοῦτο, ὅτι οὐ σοφίᾳ ποιοῖεν
compose dithyrambs and the others, so that there as though caught in the act of theft, I might prove myself more ignorant than they are. So, taking up their poems which seemed to me indeed by them to have been laboured at, I asked them continuously what they might say, in order that I might learn something from them. So I'm ashamed to tell you, O men, the truth: still, one must mention. For so as to say, hardly a man of all of those present might speak better concerning that which they had created. So once again I recognised this in a short time concerning the poets, that not by wisdom they composed
[22ξ] ἃ ποιοῖεν, ἀλλὰ φύσει τινὶ καὶ ἐνθουσιάζοντες ὥσπερ οἱ θεομάντεις καὶ οἱ χρησμῳδοί: καὶ γὰρ οὗτοι λέγουσι μὲν πολλὰ καὶ καλά, ἴσασιν δὲ οὐδὲν ὧν λέγουσι. τοιοῦτόν τί μοι ἐφάνησαν πάθος καὶ οἱ ποιηταὶ πεπονθότες, καὶ ἅμα ᾐσθόμην αὐτῶν διὰ τὴν ποίησιν οἰομένων καὶ τἆλλα σοφωτάτων εἶναι ἀνθρώπων ἃ οὐκ ἦσαν. ἀπῇα οὖν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν τῷ αὐτῷ οἰόμενος περιγεγονέναι ᾧπερ καὶ τῶν πολιτικῶν.
τελευτῶν οὖν ἐπὶ τοὺς χειροτέχνας ᾖα: ἐμαυτῷ γὰρ
what they composed, but being inspired by a kind of nature just like the prophets and the soothsayers: for they say also many and fine things, but they understand nothing of what they say. Some condition of this kind, it appeared to me, the poets suffered also, and at the same time I perceived they, because of the poetry, considered themselves to be wiser than other men - which they weren't. So I went away from there also, considering myself to be superior in the same thing in which [I was superior to] the politicians.
So at last I went to the craftsmen, for with myself
[22δ] συνῄδη οὐδὲν ἐπισταμένῳ ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν, τούτους δέ γ᾽ ᾔδη ὅτι εὑρήσοιμι πολλὰ καὶ καλὰ ἐπισταμένους. καὶ τούτου μὲν οὐκ ἐψεύσθην, ἀλλ᾽ ἠπίσταντο ἃ ἐγὼ οὐκ ἠπιστάμην καί μου ταύτῃ σοφώτεροι ἦσαν. ἀλλ᾽, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, ταὐτόν μοι ἔδοξαν ἔχειν ἁμάρτημα ὅπερ καὶ οἱ ποιηταὶ καὶ οἱ ἀγαθοὶ δημιουργοί—διὰ τὸ τὴν τέχνην καλῶς ἐξεργάζεσθαι ἕκαστος ἠξίου καὶ τἆλλα τὰ μέγιστα σοφώτατος εἶναι—καὶ αὐτῶν αὕτη ἡ πλημμέλεια ἐκείνην τὴν σοφίαν ἀποκρύπτειν:
being conscious I understand nothing, so as to speak, but already I'd discover them knowing many and fine things. And I was not disappointed in this, but they did understand what I did not understand and in this they were wiser than I. But, O Athenian men, they seemed to me have this flaw, just like the poets and the good demiurges also - because of practising the skill well, each deemed himself worthy and to be wiser also with respect to other important things - and this fault among them [seemed] to hide their wisdom:
[22ε] ὥστε με ἐμαυτὸν ἀνερωτᾶν ὑπὲρ τοῦ χρησμοῦ πότερα δεξαίμην ἂν οὕτως ὥσπερ ἔχω ἔχειν, μήτε τι σοφὸς ὢν τὴν ἐκείνων σοφίαν μήτε ἀμαθὴς τὴν ἀμαθίαν, ἢ ἀμφότερα ἃ ἐκεῖνοι ἔχουσιν ἔχειν. ἀπεκρινάμην οὖν ἐμαυτῷ καὶ τῷ χρησμῷ ὅτι μοι λυσιτελοῖ ὥσπερ ἔχω ἔχειν.
ἐκ ταυτησὶ δὴ τῆς ἐξετάσεως, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι,
so naturally I asked myself for this oracle, whether I'd accept to remain in this way just as I am, being someone neither wise in their wisdom nor ignorant in their ignorance, or to be in both ways what they are. So I answered myself and the oracle that it profited me better to remain just as I was.
So then, from this close scrutiny, O Athenian men,
[23α] πολλαὶ μὲν ἀπέχθειαί μοι γεγόνασι καὶ οἷαι χαλεπώταται καὶ βαρύταται, ὥστε πολλὰς διαβολὰς ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν γεγονέναι, ὄνομα δὲ τοῦτο λέγεσθαι, σοφὸς εἶναι: οἴονται γάρ με ἑκάστοτε οἱ παρόντες ταῦτα αὐτὸν εἶναι σοφὸν ἃ ἂν ἄλλον ἐξελέγξω. τὸ δὲ κινδυνεύει, ὦ ἄνδρες, τῷ ὄντι ὁ θεὸς σοφὸς εἶναι, καὶ ἐν τῷ χρησμῷ τούτῳ τοῦτο λέγειν, ὅτι ἡ ἀνθρωπίνη σοφία ὀλίγου τινὸς ἀξία ἐστὶν καὶ οὐδενός. καὶ φαίνεται τοῦτον λέγειν τὸν Σωκράτη, προσκεχρῆσθαι δὲ
much hatred has arisen with respect to me, and of such kinds very hard and very severe, so that many slanders have arised from them, so that I'm to be called by this name, wise: for on each occasion, the ones present think me to be wise with respect to these things, with respect to which I refuted another. But in fact it is likely, O men, that in reality the god is wise, and he says this in this oracle, that the human wisdom is worth some little thing or nothing. And he seems to say this with respect to Socrates, and to use in addition
[23β] τῷ ἐμῷ ὀνόματι, ἐμὲ παράδειγμα ποιούμενος, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ εἴποι ὅτι ‘οὗτος ὑμῶν, ὦ ἄνθρωποι, σοφώτατός ἐστιν, ὅστις ὥσπερ Σωκράτης ἔγνωκεν ὅτι οὐδενὸς ἄξιός ἐστι τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πρὸς σοφίαν.’
my name, making me an example, just as if he said, "This one of you, O humans, is wisest, whoever like Socrates knows that no one is in truth worthy with respect to wisdom."