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Charmides

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The Charmides (; Greek: Χαρμίδης) is a dialogue of Plato, in which Socrates engages a handsome and popular boy named Charmides in a conversation about the meaning of sophrosyne, a Greek word usually translated into English as "temperance," "self-control," or "restraint." When the boy is unable to satisfy him with an answer, he next turns to the boy's mentor Critias. In the dialogue, Charmides and then later Critias champion that Temperance is "doing one's own work" but Socrates derides this as vague. The definition given next of "knowing oneself" seems promising but the question is then raised if something can even have the knowledge of itself as a base. As is typical with Platonic early dialogues, the two never arrive at a completely satisfactory definition, but the discussion nevertheless raises many important points. The Charmides is one of Plato's most homoerotic dialogues. Socrates admires Charmides' beauty at the beginning of the dialogue, saying "I saw inside his cloak and caught on fire and was quite beside myself."
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part of: Platonic dialogue
part of the series: Platonic dialogue
original title: Χαρμίδης
language: Ancient Greek
genre: dialogue
characters: Socrates

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