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Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

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Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

Postby Banana tree » Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:50 pm

Hi all. I have problems with translating the following sentence: οὐκ οἶσθ᾽ ὅτι οἱ φύσει ἀσθενέστατοι τῷ σώματι μελετήσαντες τῶν ἰσχυροτάτων ἀμελησάντων κρείττους τε γίγνονται πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι καὶ ῥᾷον αὐτὰ φέρουσιν;

This is my try: "don't you know that the weak regarding the body ("those with weak bodies", maybe I'm not entirely sure as to how you express this in english) by nature becomes stronger than those who neglect (their bodies)" and I'm not entirely sure that I got that bit right but I think I did more or less at least, it's the last bit "πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι καὶ ῥᾷον αὐτὰ φέρουσιν" which confuses me the most.I don't know what I shall do with "πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι" the rest is something like they carry <something> light. I would be very thankful if someone could help me out with this sentence.
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Re: Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:44 pm

Banana tree wrote:This is my try: "don't you know that the weak regarding the body ("those with weak bodies", maybe I'm not entirely sure as to how you express this in english) by nature becomes stronger than those who neglect (their bodies)" and I'm not entirely sure that I got that bit right but I think I did more or less at least,

You missed μελετήσαντες and ἰσχυροτάτων, so something like "..the weak... by practicing become stronger than those exceedingly strong who neglect..."

it's the last bit "πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι καὶ ῥᾷον αὐτὰ φέρουσιν" which confuses me the most.I don't know what I shall do with "πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι" the rest is something like they carry <something> light. I would be very thankful if someone could help me out with this sentence.

πρὸς [ταῦτα] ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι goes with κρείττους, "become stronger at whatever they practice". ῥᾷον here is the adverb "more easily" and φέρουσιν here means "bear" or "endure", so "both become strong... and endure those things [what they practice] more easily."
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Re: Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

Postby Alatius » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:17 pm

Banana tree, whoever you are, I'm 99% certain we are actually in the same class. :) (I'm Johan.)

I would guess that φύσει should be read together with ἀσθενέστατοι, so "weak by nature", "naturally weak".

As for τῷ σώματι, I wonder... The commentaries in our book wants to group it with ἀσθενέστατοι, but couldn't it just as well belong to μελετήσαντες, so that the translation would be "...after having trained (with regards to) the body..."? At least, unless I'm mistaken, that is how it is used in the following sentence: "...τῷ σώματι ἀεὶ τὰ συντυγχάνοντα μελετῶντα καρτερεῖν...", which I read as "...always training 'with regards to the body' to endure that which happen...". Or maybe τῷ σώματι here should be taken together with καρτερεῖν? Or even συντυγχάνοντα?!
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Re: Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

Postby NateD26 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:19 pm

Alatius wrote:As for τῷ σώματι, I wonder... The commentaries in our book wants to group it with ἀσθενέστατοι, but couldn't it just as well belong to μελετήσαντες, so that the translation would be "...after having trained (with regards to) the body..."?

EDIT: I think that's possible. Although it is probably an extension of φύσει, because they could be just as well
naturally weak in their soul, mind, etc.
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Re: Xen. Mem. 1.6.7, problems with understanding a sentence

Postby ximo » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:02 am

οὐκ οἶσθ᾽ ὅτι οἱ φύσει ἀσθενέστατοι τῷ σώματι μελετήσαντες τῶν ἰσχυροτάτων ἀμελησάντων κρείττους τε γίγνονται πρὸς ἃ ἂν μελετῶσι καὶ ῥᾷον αὐτὰ φέρουσιν;

Don't you know that the weakest by nature, if they exercise their bodies, become better than the strongest that don't do for the activity they exercise and they bear it more easily?

It's a question of exercise and effort more than origin or birth. If you have less abilities or capacities but you work hard, you can superate the people who have originally more possibilities.
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