New doubt about Ion

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hmederos22
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New doubt about Ion

Post by hmederos22 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:22 am

Good morning to all of you,

A new question has raised about syntax in a later passage of Plato's dialogue Ion, but this time is harder for my mind than the first doubt that I had posted before this one. When Ion has recited Socrates a fragment from the Iliad, the philosopher asks Ion about who would understand it best: either a doctor or a charioteer. Here's the fragment about which I have already spoken:

[537β]

“ἦκ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀριστερὰ τοῖιν: ἀτὰρ τὸν δεξιὸν ἵππον
κένσαι ὁμοκλήσας, εἶξαί τέ οἱ ἡνία χερσίν.
ἐν νύσσῃ δέ τοι ἵππος ἀριστερὸς ἐγχριμφθήτω,
ὡς ἄν τοι πλήμνη γε δοάσσεται ἄκρον ἱκέσθαι
κύκλου ποιητοῖο: λίθου δ᾽ ἀλέασθαι ἐπαυρεῖν.


Σωκράτης
ἀρκεῖ. ταῦτα δή, ὦ Ἴων, τὰ ἔπη εἴτε ὀρθῶς λέγει Ὅμηρος εἴτε μή, πότερος ἂν γνοίη ἄμεινον, ἰατρὸς ἢ ἡνίοχος;

Ἴων
Ἡνίοχος δήπου.

Σωκράτης
πότερον ὅτι τέχνην ταύτην ἔχει ἢ κατ᾽ ἄλλο τι;

Ἴων
οὔκ, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι τέχνην.

Σωκράτης
οὐκοῦν ἑκάστῃ τῶν τεχνῶν ἀποδέδοταί τι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἔργον οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν; οὐ γάρ που ἃ κυβερνητικῇ γιγνώσκομεν, γνωσόμεθα καὶ ἰατρικῇ.


The problem is that οἵᾳ, which -as far as I know- is related to ἑκάστῃ, but I cannot understand why that very pronoun keeps on being in dative. On the other hand, by the way, I suposse that γιγνώσκειν depends on ἔργον.

Thanks again for your help!

Constantinus Philo
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:57 pm

First is dativus proper to which, second is dativus instrumentalis by which. To each science God appoint it's work by which (the schience) it can είναι be known.
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by Hylander » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:41 pm

οἵᾳ τε means "capable of". See LSJ οἷος A.III.2:
2. more freq. οἷός τε c. inf., fit or able to do, “λιποίμην οἷός τ᾽ . . ἀέθλια κάλ᾽ ἀνελέσθαι” Od.21.117 (preceded by τοῖον ib.173), Hdt.1.29, 67,91 ; “λέγειν οἷός τε κἀγώ” Ar.Eq.343, cf. Th.3.16, Isoc.8.69, etc. ; inclined to . . , Plb.3.90.5, J.AJ4.6.3 : most freq. in neut. sg. and pl., οἷόν τε [ἐστί] it is possible to . . , Th.1.80, etc. ; “οἷά τε [ἐστί]” Hdt.1.194, etc. ; a dat. is sts. added, “μὴ οἷόν τε εἶναι ἐμοὶ κωλῦσαι” Th.7.14.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... 3Doi(%3Dos

I think the syntax is a little loose here -- maybe an anacolouthon again -- and I'm not sure I'm right about this, but I think it goes something like this:

"To each of the arts being able to understand some matter has been given by the god."

In other words: "The abiliity to understand a particular matter has been given by the god to each of the arts."

οἵᾳ τε is dative in agreement with ἑκάστῃ. He has already started with dative ἑκάστῃ, so he has to put οἵᾳ τε in the dative.

τι . . . ἔργον seems to be the subject, but that would leave οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν without a syntactic function in the sentence. I think he has shifted mid-sentence, so that the infinitive phrase τι . . . ἔργον οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν turns out to be the subject.
Last edited by Hylander on Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by Hylander » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:47 pm

To each science God appoint it's work by which (the schience) it can είναι be known.
I'm not sure that's correct. The next sentence, I think, shows that he's not talking about recognizing an art/science by its subject-matter, but rather about understanding the subject-matter by means of the science. "What we know by/through horsemanship, we won't also know by medicine."

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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by Constantinus Philo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:39 pm

I think your explanation is better, and then the dative of οια instead of οίον as subject of the infinitive fits Smyth 1061 I guess or 1978.
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by mwh » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:51 pm

This is difficult, though the overall sense is clear enough. I think τι …. ἔργον is usually taken as the object of γινώσκειν, “So to each of the technai it’s been assigned by God to be able to know a particular ergon,” i.e. God has assigned to each techne the ability to know its ergon. This makes sense (of a kind), but puts great strain on the word order, and I think it’s better to take it as it comes and to read τι ἔργον as the subject of ἀποδέδοται: “So to each of the technai a particular ergon has been assigned by God so that it’s able to know (its ergon).” Then οἵᾳ τε εἶναι (γιγνώσκειν) is a final-consecutive infinitive, completing the sense. Either way, each techne knows its particular job (and no other’s).

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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by jeidsath » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:21 pm

οὐκοῦν ἑκάστῃ τῶν τεχνῶν ἀποδέδοταί τι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἔργον οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν;

So I read it as: "Has not to each of the arts that is fit to exist a work been given by god for it to know?"

If the οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν are taken together, I don't understand it, even after mwh's explanation. Is that supposed to be something like "which is able to exist in order to know"?
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by mwh » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:44 pm

οἵᾳ τε predicative with εἶναι, οἵᾳ τε εἶναι to be able, οἵᾳ τε εἶναι γιγνώσκειν to be able to know. There’s no problem about any of that, cf. oios t' eimi legein I am able to speak. οἵᾳ τε dative as agreeing with (or attracted to case of) ἑκάστῃ.

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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by jeidsath » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:59 pm

Ah, I see. Here's something similar from Herodotus with εἶναι in the middle of a οἷός τε <infinitive> phrase:

ὑψηλὸν δὲ οὕτω δή τι λέγεται ὡς τὰς κορυφὰς αὐτοῦ οὐκ οἷά τε εἶναι ἰδέσθαι

In direct speech, that would be οὐκ οἷα τέ ἐστιν ἰδέσθαι.

And I had to look for examples of "final-consecutive infinitives." I find:

τούτοις παρέδωκαν τὴν Πύλον φρουρεῖν
τοῖς ἐκπεπτωκόσιν Αἰγινήταις ἔδωκαν οἰκεῖν τὰς καλουμένας Θυρέας

So I think that almost everything makes sense now. But is ἔργον or ἑκάστῃ the subject of εἶναι?
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by mwh » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:31 pm

There οἷά τε is neut.pl. used like the singular, and without a subject, “so high that it’s not possible to see its peaks” (ὡς used like ὡστε).

ἑκάστῃ τῶν τεχνῶν ἀποδέδοται οἵᾳ τε εἶναι To each of the technai is it given to be (εἶναι) able (οἵᾳ τε). Infin. as regularly with (-)didwmi, epitrepw and such, e.g. dos moi pinein, or to teknon epitrepw soi trefein. ἔργον is the subject of ἀποδέδοται and/or the object of γιγνώσκειν, as I tried to explain.

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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by jeidsath » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:29 am

Thank you for the in depth explanation. (I had wondered about the neuter plural in H., but was insufficiently curious.)
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Re: New doubt about ION

Post by Constantinus Philo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:15 am

Ok I have checked a commented edition concerning this passage which says that the construction is ungrammatical due to a fatal error in the manuscripts, it being impossible to retrieve the original details.
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Re: New doubt about Ion

Post by mwh » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:55 am

No there's no reason to suspect the given text. As I've tried to show, the construction is not ungrammatical, and even if it were that wouldn't necessarily be fatal.

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