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More from Graeber's book, on Plato:
Not seven years before, he had taken an ill-fated sea cruise and wound up being captured and [...] offered for sale on the auc­tion block at Aegina. [...] A Libyan philosopher of the Epicurean school, one Annikeris, happened to be in the market at the time. He recognized Plato and ransomed him. Plato felt honor-bound to try to repay him, and his Athenian friends assembled twenty minas in silver with which to do so, but Annikeris refused to accept the money, insisting that it was his honor to be able to benefit a fellow lover of wisdom. As indeed it was: Annikeris has been remem­bered, and celebrated, for his generosity ever since. Plato went on to use the twenty minas to buy land for a school, the famous Academy. [...] even Plato wasn't especially happy about the fact that his subsequent career was, in a sense, made pos­sible by his debt to a man who he probably considered an extremely minor philosopher - and Annikeris wasn't even Greek! At least this would help explain why Plato, otherwise the inveterate name-dropper, never mentioned Annikeris.
Fact check
by das monde on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 02:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bad link (503) not in service.

There is this though.

So yeah. My go-to (online) to validate any of the various characters, rarely the famous and always the obscure, resurrected from European antiquity by modern public intellectuals with designs usually is Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The site supplies succinct biographical and epistemological information, a narrative index of terms, if you will.


In this case --being handicapped by literacy in only one language --I needed to collect additional reference points to triangulate my inquiry. yahoo! dumps Anniceris in the Free Dictionary article Cyrenaics. I read this, glibly conclude, Ah! Plato fanboyz; note with interest association with Plutarch, arch-enemy of Herodutus! and the article's primary source, in particular, Aristippi et Cyrenaicorum fragmenta* ; *so begins Athenian Constitution; and return to Stanford Encyclopedia search engine.

Then I will read each of the results returned as time permits. For the articles typically cross-reference biographical details in context of the philosophical critique as in the case of Plato, "An Athenian citizen of high status...", who eventually hit the skids too late to redeem his haughty airs.

In the case of Annikeris/Anniceris, the obscure, samaritan, emancipator, had the term obtained I would attenuate my Standford bibliography by opening each file and performing a simple keyword search "Annikeris", "Anniceris", then bookmarking only those articles obtaining the lengthiest related passages preferably containing quoted matter (concerning slavery or debt, perhaps) with citations.

Alas. I turn to my primary source go-to Annikeris,OOPS.


Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Anniceris >> Book I, fn. 12;

Book II, Ch.8, "... Slavery and freedom, nobility and low birth, honour and dishonour, are alike indifferent in a calculation of pleasure..."
Book III, Ch.1, debt? BWAH!

on this occasion Dionysius, the son of Hermocrates, being on the throne, forced him to become intimate with him. But when Plato held forth on tyranny and maintained that the interest of the ruler alone was not the best end, unless he were also pre-eminent in virtue, he offended Dionysius, who in his anger exclaimed, "You talk like an old dotard." "And you like a tyrant," rejoined Plato. [19] At this the tyrant grew furious and at first was bent on putting him to death; then, when he had been dissuaded from this by Dion and Aristomenes, he did not indeed go so far but handed him over to Pollis the Lacedaemonian, who had just then arrived on an embassy, with orders to sell him into slavery. [...] And then Charmandrus, the son of Charmandrides, indicted him on a capital charge according to the law in force among the Aeginetans, to the effect that the first Athenian who set foot upon the island should be put to death without a trial. ... There is another version to the effect that he was brought before the assembly and, being kept under close scrutiny, he maintained an absolute silence and awaited the issue with confidence. The assembly decided not to put him to death but to sell him just as if he were a prisoner of war. [...]  Anniceris the Cyrenaic happened to be present and ransomed him for twenty minae--according to others the sum was thirty minae--and dispatched him to Athens to his friends, who immediately remitted the money. But Anniceris declined it, saying that the Athenians were not the only people worthy of the privilege of providing for Plato. Others assert that Dion sent the money and that Anniceris would not take it, but bought for Plato the little garden which is in the Academy....


3 Points 4 Me

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 02:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In conclusion, neither Aristotle nor Plato objected much to the virtue or moral value of debt and slavery for others. They would quibble details of the conditions applicable for each element of the social hierarchy that described their ideals of the "unity" or "constitution" of polity; Athens being center of the universe.

This attitude is obvious in the body of work left by each to posterity. One ought read these manuscripts in their entirety in order to apprehend better moderne um interpretations of classical politics. Anachronism abounds.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 02:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
noun: anachronism; plural noun: anachronisms

    a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.

How very odd, in a piece about a fifth century BC philosopher!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 03:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I refer to the faults of modern translators. Consider for instance this passage in Athenian Constitution as its is also pertinent to the discussion here about the alleged calumny and greed of lawyers needing remedy.
This then was the nature of his reforms in regard to the offices of state. And the three most democratic [!] features in Solon's constitution seem to be these: first and most important the prohibition of loans secured upon the person, secondly the liberty allowed to anybody who wished to exact redress on behalf of injured persons, and third, what is said to have been the chief basis of the powers of the multitude, the right of appeal to the jury-court--for the people, having the power of the vote, becomes sovereign in the government. [2] And also, since the laws are not drafted simply nor clearly, but like the law about inheritances and heiresses, it inevitably results that many disputes take place and that the jury-court is the umpire in all business both public and private. Therefore some people think that Solon purposely made his laws obscure, in order that the people might be sovereign over the verdict. But this is unlikely--probably it was due to his not being able to define the ideal in general terms; for it is not fair to study his intention in the light of what happens at the present day, but to judge it from the rest of his constitution.

Of course there are more! but none more memorable to me than the one in "Ethics", iirc,  where gods is rendered "God".

Returning to Graeber: A spurious characterization of Plato's predicament and relation to debt is an "translation" error of greater magnitude. Read Plato, Letter Seven, wherein the proto-pauline [ANACHRONISM ALERT?!] issues with excruciating omissions how he did not temporarily become a slave, or prisoner of war (according to diogenene legend). Some familiarity with historical antipathy among Athens, Corinth, Syracuse, and Sparta is needed to appreciate Plato's boasting.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 10:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regime change is tricky!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 10:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it appears that only the editors of the online OED translate the prefix ana- as "backwards". How novel.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 9th, 2017 at 11:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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