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The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/plutarchs-marriage-advice-section-39-protecting-the-bed/

 Hermione seems to speak the truth when she says,

My destruction came through evil women

Yet, it does not come about quite this simply. It happens when fights and jealousies with her husband opens her door – and not only her door, but her ears to such women.  It is then – especially when things are difficult – that the wife must close up her ears and guard against these whisperers; otherwise, fire will be heaped upon fire. Before this happens, she needs to remember a saying of Philip: For when his friends were provoking him against the Greeks on the ground that he was good them but they were speaking evil of him, he said, “What would happen if I were to do them evil?”

Thus, when the slanderers say to a wife, “Your husband is hurting such a loving and virtuous wife!” she should return, “What would happen if I were to begin to hate and mistreat him?”

 

Greek Text and Notes:

SECTION 40

ἡ Ἑρμιόνη δοκεῖ τι λέγειν ἀληθὲς λέγουσα

ουʼ κόσμοσκακῶν γυναικῶν εἴσοδοὶ μʼ ἀπώλεσαν

τοῦτο δʼ οὐχ ἁπλῶς γιγνόμενόν ἐστιν, ἀλλʼ ὅταν αἱ πρὸς τοὺς ἄνδρας διαφοραὶ καὶ ζηλοτυπίαι ταῖς τοιαύταις γυναιξὶ μὴ τὰς θύρας μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς ἀκοὰς ἀνοίγωσι τότʼ οὖν δεῖ μάλιστα τὴν νοῦν ἔχουσαν ἀποκλείειν τὰ ὦτα καὶ φυλάττεσθαι τὸν ψιθυρισμόν, ἵνα πῦρ ἐπὶ πῦρ γένηται, καὶ πρόχειρον ἔχειν τὸ τοῦ Φιλίππου. λέγεται γὰρ ἐκεῖνος ὑπὸ τῶν φίλων παροξυνόμενος ἐπὶ τοὺς Ἕλληνας ὡς εὖ πάσχοντας καὶ κακῶς αὐτὸν λέγοντας εἰπεῖν ‘τί οὖν, ἂν καὶ κακῶς ποιῶμεν αὐτούσ;ʼ’ ὅταν οὖν αἱ διαβάλλουσαι λέγωσιν ὅτι ‘λυπεῖ σε φιλοῦσαν ὁ ἀνὴρ καὶ σωφρονοῦσαν, ‘’ τί οὖν, ἂν καὶ μισεῖν αὐτὸν ἄρξωμαι καὶ ἀδικεῖν; ’

 

ἡ Ἑρμιόνη δοκεῖ τι λέγειν ἀληθὲς λέγουσα

Hermione seems to speak truly when she says

Hermione in Andromache by Euripides, 930.

ουʼ κόσμοσκακῶν γυναικῶν εἴσοδοὶ μʼ ἀπώλεσαν

through the evil ordering of women came to me this destruction

τοῦτο δʼ οὐχ ἁπλῶς γιγνόμενόν ἐστιν,

this yet not simply becoming is

This does not happen so simply

ἀλλʼ ὅταν αἱ πρὸς τοὺς ἄνδρας διαφοραὶ καὶ ζηλοτυπίαι

But when with their husbands separatings and jealousies

Pros + accusative is a very strong connection, it has the feel of “face-to-face”

αἱ ….. διαφοραὶ καὶ ζηλοτυπίαι

There is a plain relationship between the contentions and the jealousies:

In Greek , when two nouns are connected by kaiv and the article precedes only the first noun , there is a close connection between the two . That connection always indicates at least some sort of unity . At a higher level , it may connote equality . At the highest level it may indicate identity . When the construction meets three specific demands , then the two nouns always refer to the same person . When the construction does not meet these requirements , the nouns may or may not refer to the same person(s)/object(s)

Wallace, Beyond the Basics. However, these do not refer to precisely the same events and the Granville Sharp Rule does not apply.

ταῖς τοιαύταις γυναιξὶ μὴ τὰς θύρας μόνον

in/by these very things to women/wives not the doors alone

The doors is accusative and thus the direct object of the verb in the next section: they open. The difficulty here is the dative plural women: does this refer to the wives or other other women. In context, the wife must avoid the women who encourage such discontentment in the marriage.

ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς ἀκοὰς ἀνοίγωσι

but also the things heard they open

These very things open not only the doors for the wives, but also the things they hear.

Babbitt has, “This, however, does not come about so simply, but only when marital disagreements and jealousies open not only a wife’s doors but also her hearing to such women.” Goodwin, “However, these mischiefs rarely happen but where women at variance and jealous of their husbands open not only their door but their ears to whole swarms of twattling gossips, that widen the difference.”

τότʼ οὖν δεῖ μάλιστα τὴν νοῦν ἔχουσαν ἀποκλείειν τὰ ὦτα καὶ φυλάττεσθαι τὸν ψιθυρισμόν

Therefore, it especially necessary that a wife/woman having sense to close and ears and to guard against whispering

τὴν νοῦν ἔχουσαν feminine, the [one] the mind having: a woman who has sense.

ἀποκλείειν τὰ ὦτα to close up tight her ears. The article indicates possession: her ears. The infinitive what is necessary.

ψι^θυ^ρ-ισμός , ὁ,

A.whispering, Phld.Ir.p.55 W., Luc.Am.15; “πρός τινα” Plu.2.45d, etc.

 

2. slandering, ib.143f, 2 Ep.Cor.12.20 (pl.).

 

3. whistle of a snake-charmer, LXX Ec.10.11.

 

4. crepitation, Dsc.5.159.

 

ἵνα πῦρ ἐπὶ πῦρ γένηται

so that fire upon fire does not become

So as not to heap fire upon fire.

καὶ πρόχειρον ἔχειν τὸ τοῦ Φιλίππου.

And to before have in hand the [saying] of Philip.

Πρόχειρον: beforehand

λέγεται γὰρ ἐκεῖνος

for he says that

ὑπὸ τῶν φίλων παροξυνόμενος ἐπὶ τοὺς Ἕλληνας

by means of friends he was being provoked against the Greeks

hupo + genitive: agency

ὡς εὖ πάσχοντας καὶ κακῶς αὐτὸν λέγοντας

as well suffering and evilly they were speaking against him

Babbitt, “well-treated”.

εἰπεῖν ‘τί οὖν, ἂν καὶ κακῶς ποιῶμεν αὐτούσ;

He said, what then if we should evilly treat them?

ὅταν οὖν αἱ διαβάλλουσαι λέγωσιν

Therefore when those slandering they say

ὅτι ‘λυπεῖ σε φιλοῦσαν ὁ ἀνὴρ καὶ σωφρονοῦσαν

that he causes pain to you the loving woman the husband and prudent

Hoti marks the beginning of the

ὁ ἀνὴρ: the subject of the sentence

λυπεῖ σε the verb and direct object

φιλοῦσαν … σωφρονοῦσαν: participles used as adjectives
’ τί οὖν, ἂν καὶ μισεῖν αὐτὸν ἄρξωμαι καὶ ἀδικεῖν

What then, if even to hate him I would begin and to wrong?

The primary verb is ἄρξωμαι: a subjunctive: if I were to begin?

The infinitives complete the thought: what she might begin