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The previous entry in this series can be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/translation-and-notes-plutarchs-marriage-advice-7/

Women who’d rather rule morons than hear sensible men are like those who’d rather drag about a blind man than follow those who can think and see.

αἱ βουλόμεναι μᾶλλον ἀνοήτων κρατεῖν ἀνδρῶν ἢ φρονίμων ἀκούειν ἐοίκασι τοῖς ἐν ὁδῷ βουλομένοις μᾶλλον ὁδηγεῖν τυφλοὺς; ἢ τοῖς γιγνώσκουσιν ἀκολουθεῖν καὶ βλέπουσι.


Translation notes:

αἱ βουλόμεναι μᾶλλον ἀνοήτων κρατεῖν ἀνδρῶν ἢ φρονίμων ἀκούειν


Women who would rather rule idiots than listen to sensible men

αἱ βουλόμεναι: Those desiring (feminine, plural, nominative)

Substantive use of the participle: the verbal aspect of the participle places the emphasis upon the nature of their action: desiring.

ἀνοήτων κρατεῖν ἀνδρῶν ἢ φρονίμων: of the mindless to rule of men; or, the prudent

The genitive (mindless men or the prudent): The genitive is used after verbs of ruling: Example, Luke 22:25: [they] “lord it over them”, over them is genitive. Romans 15;12, “to rule over them”; “over them” is in the genitive.

ἀνοήτων: no mind; noema, thought, purpose, intention, mind, understanding with a privative alpha: no thought, purpose, intention, mind.

ἀνοήτων κρατεῖν ἀνδρῶν: By splitting up the “mindless” and “men” with the infinitive “to rule”, Plutarch gives a touch of emphasis to the stupidity of  the men – almost as if he wished to not use the word,  Andros – which typically has all positive connotations.

ἀνδρῶν:  Men. It is often used of “husband”.


κρατεῖν:  This is a complementary infinitive: it answers the question “Desiring what?”

φρονίμων: the adjective as a substantive: the exact opposite of the mindless.


φρονίμων ἀκούειν:  to hear the prudent.

The infinitive, “to hear” is the alternative complement to the participle, desiring.

ἐοίκασι τοῖς ἐν ὁδῷ βουλομένοις μᾶλλον ὁδηγεῖν τυφλοὺς

they are like those who desire to please lead the blind in the way

ἐοίκασι:  This is the principle verb of the sentence: They are like (perfect: an action established in the past with present effect).

τοῖς ἐν ὁδῷ βουλομένοις: Those in the way desiring.

The article with the participle being used as a substantive.

ἐν ὁδῷ: The “way” does not need an article to be definitive, because it is governed by a preposition, “in”.

μᾶλλον :  Rather. This anticipates the contrast which will come in the next clause.

ὁδηγεῖν τυφλοὺς: to lead the blind.  The infinitive is again complementary to the participle: they desire to lead.

ἢ τοῖς γιγνώσκουσιν ἀκολουθεῖν καὶ βλέπουσι

Rather follow those who know and see.

τοῖς: Pronoun. It is in the dative since it is governed by the infinitive, “to follow”.

ἀκολουθεῖν: To follow. It is the alternative complement to the participle.


τοῖς γιγνώσκουσιν  καὶ βλέπουσι: Those who know and see.