Tags

, , , , ,

The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/plutarchs-marriage-advice-section-45-1-peter-31-6/

While was Philip was dragging off a woman, she was heard to say, “Let me go! Every girl is the same when the lights are out!” Now, this might be true of adulterers and slatterns, but not wives. When the light is out and her body is not seen, she should shine with wisdom for her own husband, and devotion & sweet affection.

 

Greek Text & Notes:

Section 46

γυνή τις πρὸς τὸν Φίλιππον ἄκουσαν ἐφελκόμενον αὐτὴν ‘ ἄφες μʼ ’ εἶπε· ‘ πᾶσα γυνὴ τοῦ λύχνου ἀρθέντος ἡ αὐτή ἐστι.ʼ’ τοῦτο πρὸς τοὺς μοιχικοὺς καὶ ἀκολάστους εἴρηται καλῶς, τὴν δὲ γαμετὴν δεῖ μάλιστα τοῦ φωτὸς ἀρθέντος εἶναι μὴ τὴν αὐτὴν ταῖς τυχούσαις γυναιξίν, ἀλλὰ φαίνεσθαι τοῦ σώματος μὴ βλεπομένου τὸ σῶφρον αὐτῆς καὶ ἴδιον τῷ ἀνδρὶ καὶ τεταγμένον καὶ φιλόστοργον.

γυνή τις πρὸς τὸν Φίλιππον

A certain woman with Philip

Pros + accusative: face-to-face with Philip.

γυνή τις

It was a particular woman, but her identity is irrelevant.

ἄκουσαν ἐφελκόμενον αὐτὴν

heard while he was dragging her off

ἄκουσαν: is potentially a problem: It is best to take it as a participle rather than a finite verb. Eipe, she said, is plainly a finite verb in the following phrase. The dragging off & hearing take place while the woman is speaking. Babbitt & Goodwin both translate it as speaking: Goodwin, What was said a woman. Babbitt, A woman once said to Philip.

ἐφ-έλκω, Ion. ἐπ-: f. ἐφέλξω: but the aor. I in use is ἐφείλῠσα (cf. ἕλκω):—to draw on, drag or trail after one, ἐπ. τὰς οὐράς, of long-tailed sheep, Hdt.; ἵππον ἐκ τοῦ βραχίονος ἐπ. to lead a horse by a rein upon the arm, Id.; ναῦς ὡς ἐφέλξω will take in tow, Eur.

2. to bring on, bring in its train, Id.

3. to drink off, Id.

H.G. Liddell, A Lexicon: Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon

 

‘ ἄφες μʼ ’ εἶπε

Release me, she said

‘ πᾶσα γυνὴ τοῦ λύχνου ἀρθέντος ἡ αὐτή ἐστι.ʼ’

Each/every woman when the light is taken away the same is

τοῦτο πρὸς τοὺς μοιχικοὺς καὶ ἀκολάστους εἴρηται καλῶς

This [proposition] with adulterers and licentious it may be well said

Pros + accusative: concerning

ἀ-κόλαστος, ον, (κολάζω) Lat. non castigatus, unchastised, undisciplined, unbridled, Hdt., Att., etc.

2. licentious, intemperate, opp. to σώφρων, Soph., etc.:—so in Adv., ἀκολάστως ἔχειν Plat.; Comp., ἀκολαστοτέρως ἔχειν πρός τι to be too intemperate in a thing, Xen.

εἴρηται: subjunctive: it may be said

καλῶς: adverb modifying “it may be said”

 

τὴν δὲ γαμετὴν

But concerning the lawful wife

De creates the contrast with the preceding clause. The accusative is adverbial: with respect to.

δεῖ μάλιστα τοῦ φωτὸς ἀρθέντος

it is especially necessary when the light is taken away

εἶναι μὴ τὴν αὐτὴν ταῖς τυχούσαις γυναιξίν

to be not like those women a man might “meet”

The clause is fairly simple: the infinitive completes “dei”. The adverb intensifies. Translating “tais” as “those” is fair, because it emphasizes the contrast with wives. The difficulty lies with tugchano: The verb means something which happens. Sometimes the emphasis is on that which is obtained, such as success. Sometimes the emphasis is on the event just taking place, such as meeting people. “Those women” are the women a man might just happen to meet. Babbitt translates it “ordinary”; Goodwin, “all other”. Both of them seem to be more delicate in their language than Plutarch. Plutarch is especially contrasting “those women” with the wife’s virtue.

 

ἀλλὰ φαίνεσθαι τοῦ σώματος μὴ βλεπομένου

but to be manifested/shown her body not being seen

The participle is temporal: the genitive is of the direct object; the infinitive shows purpose.

τὸ σῶφρον αὐτῆς καὶ ἴδιον τῷ ἀνδρὶ

the wisdom/prudence of her to her own husband

Idion may be her own, adjective. One possibility is that idiom means “sweat” – which is unlikely.

καὶ τεταγμένον καὶ φιλόστοργον.

And devotion and dear affection

Τεταγμένονhaving been ordered.  Babbitt has “constancy”. Goodwin has “modesty”.