prolificacy became the strongest recommendation for his successors upon his death. Given the almost sacred cult to their founder Plato, it is likely that the successors of the Academy moved in a climate of freedom that paid honor to their teacher and not only generated numerous contradictions in the correct exegesis of his written and unwritten doctrines43, but more importantly, a true and profound crisis of philosophical identity.
Hence, it is likely that in Arcesilaus’ time it was necessary to clarify this disconcerting panorama under the auspices of “indirect tradition.” According to Wilamowitz and Bickel44, a complete edition of Plato’s work ordered into tetralogies was authorized by the Academy in the third century BC; precisely at the time when Arcesilaus was a scholarch or immediately thereafter. It is quite possible, then, that it was Arcesilaus himself who ordered the works to be edited. Although it is true that the edition included several interpolations, spurious writings in the corpus of the tetralogies45, its authoritative character and excellence are not so much a result of its grammatical semantics, but the fact that Plato’s legacy was able to survive in the Academy for so long.
It is therefore likely that Arcesilaus referred solely and exclusively to the Books of Plato in his attempt to clarify what must have been a very confusing situation indeed. This would explain Diogenes’ curious and yet explicit reference to the fact that Arcesilaus possessed or had acquired (eképteto) his books. That Diogenes chose to use the verb eképteto, the pluperfect of the verb kta/omai, hints at Arcesilaus’ very personal relationship with Plato’s books. Whether Arcesilaus bought the books or had a copy
43 Cf. Cherniss, H., L'enigma dell'Accademia antica, Firenze, 1974, pp. 71 and ff. under the supervision of Margherita Isnardi Parente, Zeller-Mondolfo, La Filosofia dei Greci. (Platone e l'Accademia antica), part II, vol. III/2, Firenze, 1974, pp. 861-877, thoroughly examines the true character of the Old Academy in an extensive footnote, emphasizing the change that came about as a result of the close community of fi/loi, which was open to the possibility of participating in political affairs as a means of transforming political life into a profoundly philosophical community with generically impostaciones genéricamente estetizantes que intitucionaliza de forma «cultual» la fórmula del primitivo entusiasmo de la e)leuqe/ra fili/a y que olvida los programas políticos de renovación.
44 Cf. Wilamowitz-Moellendorf, U., Platon. Sein Leben und seine Werke, 2 vols., Berlin, 1920, pp. 324-370 and Bickel, E., "Das Platonische Schriftenkorpus der Tetralogien und die Interpolation in Platontext", Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, 92, (1943), pp. 94-96.
45 Bickel, Ibid, p. 94, contests the arguments by Jachmann, G., Der Platontext, Gott. Nachr., 1941, 7, against the Academic edition of Plato’s work due to the interpolations that he believes occurred in the text. Jachman argues that the spurious writings in the corpus of the tetralogies discredit the textual quality of the Corpus writings. However, Bickel reasonably demonstrates that the interpolations which are not strictly Platonic are authentically Academic, and form a normal part of the tetracorpus tradition of the Alexandrines.