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The Berkeley PlatoFrom Neglected Relic to Ancient Treasure, An Archaeological Detective Story$
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Stephen Miller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258334

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258334.001.0001

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The Inscription

The Inscription

The Inscription
The Berkeley Plato

Stephen G. Miller

University of California Press

This chapter examines the authenticity of the inscription, which has been described as a modern addition to an ancient herm shaft. It is in eight lines, divided into three distinct units. The first unit announces that the portrait is of Plato, the son of Ariston, the Athenian. The second unit is a quotation from Plato's Republic (617E). The third unit of text, located below the phallus socket, is also a quotation, this time from Plato's Phaedrus. The differences between the quotations and the received texts of Plato would suggest that the inscription was not copied from any text known in recent times. There is also another indication that the Berkeley Plato with its ribbons falls outside the mainstream of modern forgeries.

Keywords:   ancient herm shaft, Plato, Republic, Phaedrus, modern forgeries, Berkeley Plato

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