The uses of Homer in Plato's Philebus

Bernat Torres


The paper presents a study on the presence of Homer in Plato’s Philebus. After a brief summary of the dialogue and after indicating a couple of implicit references to Homer to be found in the Platonic text (like the figure of Aphrodite and the image of the journey of Ulysses), the work focuses on analysing the two single explicit appearances of Homer in Plato’s Philebus. The first one in Philebus 47e, corresponding to the 18th book of the Iliad (108-109); the second one in Philebus 62d corresponding to the fourth book of the Iliad (450-456). The paper analyses these references in detail, examining Platoʹs use of the Homeric poems and analysing their significance, often hidden, in the dialogue as a whole. The analysis also shows the importance of the equivalences between Homer and Plato, that is, the similar or dissimilar treatment that they make of some important issues, like the description of human emotions, the confrontation between gods and men or the search for truth.

Paraules clau

Plato, Homer; Socrates; Philebus; Odyssey; Iliad

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