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It is certainly important to note that the place to which the souls of the virtuous go in the three Platonic Mythsvariously called “ Islands of the Blessed,” “True Surface of the Earth,” and oủpavós, “ Heaven”—is, for some of these souls at least, a temporary abode, a stage in their purgatorial course, just as Tartarus is a Purgatory for all except the utterly incorrigible.

In what part of the world are the Platonic “ Islands of the Blessed” or “ Altitudes of the True Surface of the Earth ” ? The Phaedo Myth does not say; but we are allowed to suppose that they are far away from our oikovuévn, in another part of the world, Perhaps Plato, in writing the Phaedo Myth, did not even imagine a definite locality for them. We are bound to allow for this possibility, but, in doing so, we need not scruple to consider some evidence which may be thought to point to the conclusion that he did localise them —and that, in the antipodes, where Dante's Mount of Purgatory stands. The Axiochus, a pseudo-Platonic Dialogue, identifies the world of the departed definitely with the antipodal hemisphere. The author of the Aciochus probably thought that the identification was in accordance with the geography and cosmography of Plato; at any rate, those who accepted the piece as written by Plato must have thought so. safely go the length of saying that the identification would not be impossible for Plato, so far as his view of the position and shape of the Earth is concerned. He holds, with the writer of the Axiochus, that the Earth is a sphere in the centre of the Cosmos. The passage in the Axiochus is as follows (371 A f.): την υπόγειον οίκησιν, εν η βασίλεια Πλούτωνος, ουχ ήττα της του Διός αύλης, άτε της μέν γης εχούσης τα μέσα του κόσμου, του δε πόλου όντος σφαιροειδούς· ου το μεν έτερον ημισφαίριον θεοί έλαχον ουράνιοι, το δε έτερον οι

We may

See Thiemann, Plat. Eschat. p. 26, and Rohde, Psyche, i. 314 ; ii. 247, n. 1, and 422. Rohde says that it can hardly be earlier than the third century B.C. It is a tapauvontLKOS Xbyos containing expressions which point to the direct influence of Orphic teaching and practice. Axiochus is described (371 D) as γεννήτης των θεών-i.e. as μεμυημένος, and therefore συγγενής των θεών κατά την Toinow—by adoption, with which uúnois was commonly identified.

For gevovotns in Philebus, 30 D (a passage on which, I think, Plut. de gen. Soc. 22– where rovás is said to be prior to volls-throws light), yervýtns, I think, ought to be read ; but see R. G. Bury's note ad loc. A pelt (zu Platons Philebus in Rhein. Mus. vol. 55, 1. p. 13, 1900) suggests that yevoúctns means “parent of volls," by a punning derivation !

ÉTÉVEpDevi.e. the “ Palace of Pluto,” in addition to its subterranean, or properly “infernal” parts, includes the whole antipodal hemisphere of the Earth, with its sky lighted by the sun, when it is night in our hemisphere,—toio. NÁUTTEL μέν μένος αελίου ταν ενθάδε νύκτα κάτω (Pindar, fragm. 129), -Λητογενές, συ δε παίδας εν ηρώεσσι φυλάσσοις, ευσεβέων aiei x@pov énePxóuevos (Kaibel, ep. lap. 228 b 7, 8).' To this “under world ” the dead go to be judged. Some are sent into the subterranean parts, while others enjoy the light of day, in a land of flowers and streams, apparently still in the hemisphere of oι υπένερθεν θεοί-of the antipodal gods, as we may call them. Among these blessed ones it is distinctly stated that the “initiated” take precedence- évtaula τοϊς μεμυημένους εστί τις προεδρία, 371 D.

Now, we may safely say that there is nothing in the Platonic doctrine of the shape and position of the Earth inconsistent with this “ under world” of the Axiochus. But can we say more? I venture to mention two points : First, Plato's judgment-seat in the Myth of Er, between the openings of “Heaven” and Tartarus, is above ground, and so is the region across which the pilgrims travel towards the pillar of light; and so (as I believe in all Greek accounts) is the river of Lethe. It is from the plain of Lethe, on the surface of the Earth, that the souls shoot up (ävw, Rep. 621 B) to be born again in terrestrial bodies—that is, I venture to suggest, up from the lower, antipodal hemisphere to our hemisphere. Secondly, the hollow or cave of Tartarus extends right through the globe of the Earth, as we have seenδιαμπερές τετρημένον δι' όλης της γης (Phaedo, 111 Ε)-1.e. has an opening in the lower hemisphere as well as in this. Without going the length of supposing that Plato's unseen world is mapped out with the definiteness of Dante's, we may take it that Plato, with his poet's faculty of visualisation, must have formed a clear mental picture of the opening of Tartarus in the “lower" or antipodal hemisphere, and of the country into which one comes on issuing from it. The anti

1

Quoted by Rohde, Psyche, ii. 210, n. 1. 2 See Thiemann, Plat. Esch. p. 18. I shall return to this subject in my observations on the Myth of Er. Virgil's Lethe is of uncertain position ; but Daute follows the universal Greek tradition in making Lethe a river of the surface of the Earth.

pedal opening was not, we may assume, imagined by Plato in vain. Those souls which, after being judged (whether above or under ground does not appear in the Phaedo—but probably underground), go, not to the Islands of the Blessed, but down the river Acheron to the Acherusian Lake (which is certainly subterranean), have entered the infernal regions, we may fairly suppose, by the opening in our hemisphere, and will come out, after their penance, by the other—the antipodal — opening, and will start thence on their journey-always above ground--to the river of Lethe. That Plato actually thought of the souls as going into Tartarus, and coming out of it, by distinct openings, we know from the Myth of Er. But while the entrance and exit are antipodally placed in the Phaedo Myth, which takes careful account of cosmographical and geological conditions, in the Myth of Er the purpose of pictorial composition is served by placing them side by side, opposite the entrance and exit of "Heaven"; the “ Meadow," at once the place of judgment and the starting-place for the plain of Lethe, lying between Tartarus and “Heaven.” It would be easy to give examples, from Greek vase-painting, of similar compression in pictorial composition. I call attention to this discrepancy between the Phaedo Myth and the Myth of Er, to show how absurd it would be to attempt to construct one topographical scheme for Plato's Eschatological Myths, as rigid as the one scheme to which Dante is so faithful in the Divina Commedia. What I venture to suggest, however, is that, in the Phaedo Myth, Plato is possibly-or shall I say “probably”?-thinking of the world of the departed, so far as it is not subterranean, or celestial, as somewhere in the other hemisphere of the terrestrial globe,somewhere, but as in a dream, in which inconsistencies are accepted as natural; for the “True Surface of the Earth," though somewhere in the antipodal hemisphere, beneath us, is yet a region above us, whence gems have found their way down to our hollow !

I have dwelt on the parallel between the geography of the Phaedo Myth and that of the Divina Commedia with the view, not of clearing up particular difficulties in mythological geography, but of suggesting a method by which the function of Myth in the Platonic philosophy may be better understood —the method of sealing the impression made on us by the Myth of one great master by study of the Myth of another great master with whom we may happen to be in closer sympathy. The service which Myth, and poetical treatment generally, can render to the faith on which conduct and science ultimately rest is, I think, more easily and finely appreciated by us in Dante than in Plato; for we live, though in late days, in the same Christian epoch with the medieval poet.

III

Let me close these observations on the Phaedo Myth by calling attention to what Socrates says at the end of the narrative (114 D),—that, while it would not be sensible to maintain that all about the Soul and the next world contained in the Myth is absolutely true, yet, since the Soul is plainly immortal, one ought to hazard the pious belief that, if not absolutely true, this Myth, or some other like it, is not far from being true, and sing it over oneself” as if it were an enchanter's song:-το μεν ούν ταύτα διισχυρίσασθαι ούτως έχειν, ώς εγώ διελήλυθα, ου πρέπει νoυν έχοντι ανδρί: ότι μέντοι ή ταύτ' έστιν ή τοιαύτ' άττα περί τας ψυχάς ημών και τας οικήσεις, επείπερ αθάνατόν γε η ψυχή φαίνεται ούσα, τούτο και πρέπειν μοι δοκεί και άξιον κινδυνεύσαι οιoμένω ούτως έχειν· καλός γάρ ο κίνδυνος και χρή τα τοιαύτα ώσπερ επάδειν εαυτω, διό δη έγωγε και πάλαι μηκύνω τον μύθον. The distinction between Dogma and Myth is carefully insisted on here, and also the practical value of Myth as an expression of moral and religious feeling. Myth, it is suggested, may be put into such form that it will react favourably on the feeling expressed, and make it a surer guide to what is good. The reaction of expression on that which it expresses-of style on the man—is a matter about which Plato had reflected deeply, as is apparent from his whole scheme of education, mental, moral, and physical, in the Republic. If, then, the sense of responsibility, and the attendant sense of being a continuously existent Self, naturally express themselves, as Plato holds, dià uvdoroylas, pictorially, in visions of an immortal life, it follows from the general law of the reaction of expression on feeling, that, by refining and ennobling uvdoloryla, we shall be able to

refine and ennoble morals and faith. This is the “use to which mübos is put by Plato, not only in the education of young children, but in dialogues offered to mature readers as models on which they may mould their own conversations about the highest things. This is the "use” of great poetry, like Dante's Commedia, or of great painting, like the fresco on the left-hand wall of the Spanish Chapel" the most noble piece of pictorial philosophy and divinity in Italy.”? As philosophy and pictorial composition are blended together in that fresco-the philosophy is seen as a whole, in all the beauty of its pérybos kai &is—so are philosophy and poetry blended together where Plato is at his highest—in his Myths. In the Phaedo Myth the poet-philosopher has taken moral responsibility as the motif of his piece. Moral responsibility cannot, he knows, be explained in scientific terms, as a phenomenon is explained by being put into its proper place among other phenomena; for moral responsibility attaches immediately to the subject of all phenomena—the continuously existing Self. But if it cannot be explained, moral responsibility may be pictured-pictured in a Myth representing the continuity of the responsible Self in terms of Pre-existence, Reminiscence, Judgment, Penance, Free Choice, Re-incarnation

-a Myth not to be taken literally, but to be dwelt on (xpi τα τοιαύτα ώσπερ επάδειν εαυτό), till the charm of it touches one deeply—so deeply that, when the “uninitiated ” say “it is not true,” one is able to answer by acting as if it were true.

Ruskin's Mornings in Florence, chap. iv., “The Vaulted Book "; cf. Renan, Averroes et l'Averroïsme, pp. 245, 246.

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