Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

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Wes Wood
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Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by Wes Wood » October 27th, 2015, 5:58 pm

κατιδὼν οὖν πόρρωθεν ἡμᾶς οἴκαδε ὡρμημένους Πολέμαρχος ὁ Κεφάλου ἐκέλευσε [δραμόντα τὸν παῖδα περιμεῖναί ἑ κελεῦσαι.]
I need some help understanding the bracketed part of this sentence, but I'm afraid I need more help than I know to ask. I don’t truly understand how the infinitives are functioning. Here is how I have it: "Then when Polemarchos the son of Kephalos looked down from afar he saw us as we started home and ordered the child to run down and urge us to wait on him." Does this treat the infinitives appropriately?
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

cwconrad
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by cwconrad » October 27th, 2015, 7:20 pm

Wes Wood wrote:
κατιδὼν οὖν πόρρωθεν ἡμᾶς οἴκαδε ὡρμημένους Πολέμαρχος ὁ Κεφάλου ἐκέλευσε [δραμόντα τὸν παῖδα περιμεῖναί ἑ κελεῦσαι.]
I need some help understanding the bracketed part of this sentence, but I'm afraid I need more help than I know to ask. I don’t truly understand how the infinitives are functioning. Here is how I have it: "Then when Polemarchos the son of Kephalos looked down from afar he saw us as we started home and ordered the child to run down and urge us to wait on him." Does this treat the infinitives appropriately?
I think you've hit the nail pretty square on the head, except that τὸν παῖδα indicates a slave rather than a child (LSJ s.v. παῖς III, BDAG s.v. παῖς, 3.). "When he noticed us from a distance heading homewards, he bade his servant to run after us and insist that we wait for him."
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Wes Wood
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by Wes Wood » October 27th, 2015, 8:35 pm

Thank you! I expect there will be many more questions along this vein in the days to come.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by Stephen Carlson » October 28th, 2015, 2:21 am

cwconrad wrote:I think you've hit the nail pretty square on the head, except that τὸν παῖδα indicates a slave rather than a child (LSJ s.v. παῖς III, BDAG s.v. παῖς, 3.). "When he noticed us from a distance heading homewards, he bade his servant to run after us and insist that we wait for him."
Depending on one's translation philosophy, I would suggest "boy" as a way to capture both these possibilities inherent in the term.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 28th, 2015, 4:05 am

Plato wrote:δραμόντα
Stephen's comment about different places that people have in society reminds me of what Trevor Evans pointed out to us, when I read this 20 years ago now; that the aorist = and be sure and catch up with them first, and not call out from behind. (Don't make them stop for your convenience of not having to run to them by calling out as you run).
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

cwconrad
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by cwconrad » October 28th, 2015, 5:28 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
cwconrad wrote:I think you've hit the nail pretty square on the head, except that τὸν παῖδα indicates a slave rather than a child (LSJ s.v. παῖς III, BDAG s.v. παῖς, 3.). "When he noticed us from a distance heading homewards, he bade his servant to run after us and insist that we wait for him."
Depending on one's translation philosophy, I would suggest "boy" as a way to capture both these possibilities inherent in the term.
While I do think there's something charming about Jowett's Victorian diction for translation of Plato, I've sometimes wondered whether it's really altogether apt. And yes, we are amused by usage of garçon for a waiter in a French restaurant, but, having grown up in New Orleans in an earlier era, I cringe at the implicit down-putting tone in that usage of "boy." Maybe it is a matter of translation philosophy, but it does seem distasteful to me.
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

cwconrad
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Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
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Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by cwconrad » October 28th, 2015, 5:36 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Plato wrote:δραμόντα
Stephen's comment about different places that people have in society reminds me of what Trevor Evans pointed out to us, when I read this 20 years ago now; that the aorist = and be sure and catch up with them first, and not call out from behind. (Don't make them stop for your convenience of not having to run to them by calling out as you run).
That may possibly be implied, but the aorist participle employed to indicate prior action in sequence is standard in any case: "Go after those men and tell them to wait for me." It is true and worth noting just how meticulous Plato is in his formulation. Some commentator once noted how long he worked on the opening of this book, "κατέβην χθὲς εἰς τὴν Πειραιᾶ ... "
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Wes Wood
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Joined: September 20th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Re: Plato's Republic Book 1 Question

Post by Wes Wood » October 28th, 2015, 5:45 pm

The picture that the phrase brought to my mind was that of a young boy/man delivering messages as a courier, and this made me wonder if the entire phrase meant something more than I understood. However, it was also one of the many moments where an idea enters my mind, arouses an interest, and is shown the exit without further reflection.
cwconrad wrote:And yes, we are amused by usage of garçon for a waiter in a French restaurant, but, having grown up in New Orleans in an earlier era, I cringe at the implicit down-putting tone in that usage of "boy." Maybe it is a matter of translation philosophy, but it does seem distasteful to me.
There is more substance in this comment than I can easily write about, but I will say something about the less interesting part. I share your feelings about the word 'boy' in certain contexts. Unfortunately, the earlier era is still the current era in some regions.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

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