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Symposium 194c

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Symposium 194c

Postby jeidsath » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:56 am

I'm confused by "τάχ᾽ ἂν αἰσχύνοιο αὐτούς, εἴ τι ἴσως οἴοιο αἰσχρὸν ὂν ποιεῖν" (and perhaps other things). Here is my best attempt at a translation of the section.

ἀλλ᾽ εὖ οἶδα ὅτι εἴ τισιν ἐντύχοις οὓς ἡγοῖο σοφούς, μᾶλλον ἂν αὐτῶν φροντίζοις ἢ τῶν πολλῶν. ἀλλὰ μὴ οὐχ οὗτοι ἡμεῖς ὦμεν—ἡμεῖς μὲν γὰρ καὶ ἐκεῖ παρῆμεν καὶ ἦμεν τῶν πολλῶν—εἰ δὲ ἄλλοις ἐντύχοις σοφοῖς, τάχ᾽ ἂν αἰσχύνοιο αὐτούς, εἴ τι ἴσως οἴοιο αἰσχρὸν ὂν ποιεῖν: ἢ πῶς λέγεις;

ἀληθῆ λέγεις, φάναι.

τοὺς δὲ πολλοὺς οὐκ ἂν αἰσχύνοιο εἴ τι οἴοιο αἰσχρὸν ποιεῖν;


Yet I well know that should you encounter some that you think wise, you might consider them more than the crowd [in particular the audience of his play]. But maybe we are not thus [wise] -- for we were both present there alongside and part of the crowd -- though if should should encounter other wise people, perhaps you might shame them, if you should probably think something shameful to do? Or what do you mean?

You speak truly, he said.

Wouldn't you shame the crowd if you thought something shameful to do?
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
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Re: Symposium 194c

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:51 am

τάχ᾽ ἂν αἰσχύνοιο αὐτούς, εἴ τι ἴσως οἴοιο αἰσχρὸν ὂν ποιεῖν.
Not αισχύνοις but αισχύνοιο passive, be ashamed, or with αυτους “feel shame before them.” Then “if you thought you were doing something that was shameful.”

The follow-up question is Socrates at his most wicked!
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Re: Symposium 194c

Postby jeidsath » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:25 am

Thank you, that makes perfect sense. In addition to the active/passive error, I must have mentally expected οἴοιο to go with the participle rather than than infinitive.

The follow-up question is Socrates at his most wicked!


I like Socrates' humor here, but I am still reeling from Aristophanes. I had a vague memory of the parable of the divided soul from high school, but I felt like Aristophanes subverted my expectations and turned it all into a wicked joke:

We all long for our other half, our soul-mate, from before the gods split us into two. Some men or women were split from a male-female whole, and that is where adulterers and adulteresses come from. Some women come from a female-female whole, and that is where ἑταιρίστριαι*** come from. And some men come from a male-male whole, and that is where rent-boys come from. And we know that the rent-boys are the most manly of men, because they all grow up to become politicians.

On the other hand, Dover has a note on 191d8 where he claims that Aristophanes talks about "adultery rather than marriage, since for a man marriage is a matter of compliance with convention..." So Dover doesn't seem to think that any subversion of expectation is going on, and perhaps I am reading humor into this where there is none.

*** Here is the Onomasticon on ἑταιριζόμενος/ἑταιρίστης:

ἑταιριζόμενος—οὕτω γὰρ οἱ κωμικοὶ (III p 578 fg 1012 Ko) ὀνομάζουσιν τὸν περὶ τὰς ἑταίρας ἔχοντα—εἰς ἡδονὰς ἐκκεχυμένος, γυναιμανής, ἑταίραις συμβιούς, ἑταιριστής, περὶ τὰς τῶν ἑταιρῶν θύρας κεκυλινδημένος


This makes me think that ἑταιρίστρια implies more than our modern notion of lesbian. Was Aristophanes talking about women that used ἑταῖραι? Lucian though explains the word as simply meaning "lesbians."
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
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