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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History

Current Research Students

Miss Marta Antola

Contact Miss Marta Antola

Research Project: A Commentary on Plato's Charmides

My project focuses on Plato’s Charmides, one of the so-called aporetic dialogues commonly ascribed to the beginnings of Plato’s literary production, and aims to provide the first full-scale commentary on the dialogue.

The Charmides has been the focus of many monographs in recent years, and was at the core of the V Symposium Platonicum. Yet, the lack of a solid philological ground has negatively affected most of the relevant bibliography. I intend to reverse this tendency by re-examining John Burnet’s Greek text (1903) prior to delving into literary, philosophical and historical perspectives. Unlike previous commentators, I will analyse the dialogue section-by-section and then word-by-word, with a focus on language and semantics that will shed new light on the dialogue’s dramatic composition and, in turn, on its philosophical significance. Last but not least, two articles will tackle broader related issues, which cannot be adequately discussed within the constraints of the commentary format. The first one will explore the dialogue’s eulogistic motives in light of Solonian encomia, while the second one will explore the Platonic notion of riddle, the relevant Greek word (αἴνιγμα) being integral to the Charmides, with three out of seven overall instances in the Platonic corpus.

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