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This is the final section of Plutarch’s Marriage Advice. The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/plutarchs-marriage-advice-section-47-battles/

Section 48:

Eurydice, when it comes to love for decorations, I implore you to read and remember what Aristylla wrote by Timoxena.

Pollianus, don’t dare suppose that your wife will leave off with needless luxuries unless she should see you despising these things in others; this will be especially the case if you are seen rejoicing in gold-covered cups and wall murals and trappings for mules or necklaces for horses.

No, she won’t reject excess in her rooms if she sees that excess has taken over your rooms.

You have already demonstrated that you are  prepared to engage with philosophy, so adorn your character by receiving and considering profitable ideas.  Like a honeybee, look everywhere and bring to your wife whatever would be useful.  Show her the best things and explain them to her in such a way a will be pleasing and understandable.

A father you are to her, and a dear mother

Even a brother

It does not lessen your dignity for your wife to say

A husband

You, now are to me

a guide, philosopher, teacher of the best and divine.

 When women learn such things first, they will reject the needless. A wife would be ashamed to be a dancer when she has learned geometry. She won’t buy into magic spells made from the words of Plato or Xenophon.

When she hears someone promise to bring down the moon, she’ll laugh at the ignorance and silliness of such stories which have tricked so many other women: she not unwillingly learned astronomy – and knows about Aglaonice the daughter of Hegetor of Thessaly, who had thorough knowledge of eclipses and everything concerning the moon and knew before the time in which moon would be caught in the earth’s shadow, deceived and took-in all the women with the idea that she herself pulled down the moon.

Now they say that no woman ever conceived a child without the cooperation of a man, yet there are deformed embryos, fleshy and solid which spring from corruption: these are called “moles”.  Thus, care should be taken to guard against this happening with women’s minds. For if they do not receive the seed of useful words and do not undertake education with their husband, but rather are left to themselves, they will end up with rotten ideas and pathetic conceits.

Yet, you, Eurydice, I sincerely urge to be conversant with the saying of the wise and the good—that voice always have ready, which you have known since you a young girl with us. This will bring joy to your husband and the respect of other women, since you will be adorned with that which is precious and respectable—and nothing else.

For you will not get the expensive pearls of that woman or the rare rubies of another unless you pay the exacting price.  But the adornments of Theano, Cleobulina, Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, Timocleia, the sister of Theagenes, Claudia of old, Cornelia, daughter of Scipio, as many as have become admired and acclaimed, these things are rightfully laid about as a gift, adorning them gloriously in both life and happiess.

For if Sappho thought well of her of elegantly written verses for a certain rich woman:

Death, you lie there; no memory of you

There shall be: for you do not share in the roses

From Piera

Why then should you not allow yourself to think great-brilliant thoughts of yourself? For you do not only share in the roses but even share the fruits the Muses graciously bear to those who wonder at education and philosophy.

Greek Text and Notes

SECTION 48

περὶ δὲ φιλοκοσμίας σὺ μέν, ὦ Εὐρυδίκη, τὰ πρὸς Ἀρίστυλλαν ὑπὸ Τιμοξένας γεγραμμένα ἀναγνοῦσα πειρῶ διαμνημονεύειν σὺ δέ, ὦ Πολλιανέ, μὴ νόμιζε περιεργίας ἀφέξεσθαι τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ πολυτελείας, ἂν ὁρᾷ σε μὴ καταφρονοῦντα τούτων ἐν ἑτέροις, ἀλλὰ καὶ χαίροντα χρυσώσεσιν ἐκπωμάτων καὶ γραφαῖς οἰκηματίων καὶ χλίδωσιν ἡμιόνων καὶ ἵππων περιδεραίοις. ουʼ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐξελάσαι τῆς γυναικωνίτιδος ἐν μέσῃ τῇ ἀνδρωνίτιδι τὴν πολυτέλειαν ἀναστρεφομένην. καὶ σὺ μὲν ὥραν ἔχων ἤδη φιλοσοφεῖν τοῖς μετʼ ἀποδείξεως καὶ κατασκευῆς λεγομένοις ἐπικόσμει τὸ ἦθος, ἐντυγχάνων καὶ πλησιάζων τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι· τῇ γυναικὶ πανταχόθεν τὸ χρήσιμον συνάγων ὥσπερ αἱ μέλιτται καὶ φέρων αὐτὸς ἐν σεαυτῷ μεταδίδου καὶ προσδιαλέγου, φίλους αὐτῇ ποιῶν καὶ συνήθεις τῶν λόγων τοὺς ἀρίστους.

‘ πατὴρ’ μὲν γάρ ‘ἐσσι’ αὐτῇ ‘ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ ἠδὲ κασίγνητος ’ οὐχ ἧττον σεμνὸν ἀκοῦσαι γαμετῆς λεγούσης ‘ ἄνερ, ‘ ἀτὰρ σὺ μοί ἐσσι’ καθηγητὴς καὶ φιλόσοφος καὶ διδάσκαλος τῶν καλλίστων καὶ θειοτάτων,’ τὰ τοιαῦτα μαθήματα πρῶτον ἀφίστησι τῶν ἀτόπων τὰς γυναῖκας· αἰσχυνθήσεται γὰρ ὀρχεῖσθαι γυνὴ γεωμετρεῖν μανθάνουσα, καὶ φαρμάκων ἐπῳδὰς ουʼ προσδέξεται τοῖς Πλάτωνος ἐπᾳδομένη λόγοις καὶ τοῖς Ξενοφῶντος. ἂν δέ τις ἐπαγγέλληται καθαιρεῖν τὴν σελήνην, γελάσεται τὴν ἀμαθίαν καὶ τὴν ἀβελτερίαν τῶν ταῦτα πειθομένων γυναικῶν, ἀστρολογίας ἀνηκόως ἔχουσα καὶ περὶ Ἀγλαονίκης ἀκηκουῖα τῆς Ἡγήτορος τοῦ Θεσσαλοῦ θυγατρὸς ὅτι τῶν ἐκλειπτικῶν ἔμπειρος οὖσα πανσελήνων καὶ προειδυῖα τὸν χρόνον, ἐν ᾧ συμβαίνει τὴν σελήνην ὑπὸ τῆς σκιᾶς ἁλίσκεσθαι, παρεκρούετο καὶ συνέπειθε τὰς γυναῖκας ὡς αὐτὴ καθαιροῦσα τὴν σελήνην. παιδίον μὲν γὰρ οὐδεμία ποτὲ γυνὴ λέγεται ποιῆσαι δίχα κοινωνίας ἀνδρός, τὰ δʼ ἄμορφα κυήματα καὶ σαρκοειδῆ καὶ σύστασιν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἐκ διαφθορᾶς λαμβάνοντα μύλας καλοῦσι. τοῦτο δὴ φυλακτέον ἐν ταῖς ψυχαῖς γίγνεσθαι τῶν γυναικῶν. ἂν γὰρ λόγων χρηστῶν σπέρματα μὴ δέχωνται μηδὲ κοινωνῶσι παιδείας· τοῖς ἀνδράσιν, αὐταὶ καθʼ αὑτὰς ἄτοπα πολλὰ καὶ φαῦλα βουλεύματα καὶ πάθη κυοῦσι. σὺ δʼ ὦ Εὐρυδίκη μάλιστα πειρῶ τοῖς τῶν σοφῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἀποφθέγμασιν ὁμιλεῖν καὶ διὰ στόματος ἀεὶ τὰς φωνὰς ἔχειν ἐκείνας ὧν καὶ παρθένος οὖσα παρʼ ἡμῖν ἀνελάμβανες, ὅπως εὐφραίνῃς μὲν τὸν ἄνδρα, θαυμάζῃ δʼ ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων γυναικῶν, οὕτω κοσμουμένη περιττῶς καὶ σεμνῶς ἀπὸ μηδενός. τοὺς μὲν γὰρ τῆσδε τῆς πλουσίας μαργαρίτας καὶ τὰ τῆσδε τῆς ξένης σηρικὰ λαβεῖν οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδὲ περιθέσθαι μὴ πολλοῦ πριαμένην, τὰ δὲ Θεανοῦς κόσμια καὶ Κλεοβουλίνης καὶ Γοργοῦς τῆς Λεωνίδου γυναικὸς καὶ Τιμοκλείας τῆς Θεαγένους ἀδελφῆς καὶ Κλαυδίας τῆς παλαιᾶς, καὶ Κορνηλίας τῆς Σκιπίωνος καὶ ὅσαι ἐγένοντο θαυμασταὶ καὶ περιβόητοι, ταῦτα δʼ ἔξεστι περικειμένην προῖκα καὶ κοσμουμένην αὐτοῖς ἐνδόξως ἅμα βιοῦν καὶ μακαρίως. ειʼ γὰρ ἡ Σαπφὼ διὰ τὴν ἐν τοῖς μέλεσι καλλιγραφίαν ἐφρόνει τηλικοῦτον ὥστε γράψαι πρός τινα πλουσίαν

κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσεαι, οὐδέ τις μναμοσύνα σέθεν

ἔσεται· ουʼ γὰρ πεδέχεις ῥόδων

τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας

, πῶς οὐχί σοι μᾶλλον ἐξέσται μέγα φρονεῖν ἐφʼ ἑαυτῇ καὶ λαμπρόν, ἂν μὴ τῶν ῥόδων ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν καρπῶν μετέχῃς, ὧν αἱ Μοῦσαι φέρουσι καὶ χαρίζονται τοῖς παιδείαν καὶ φιλοσοφίαν θαυμάζουσιν;

Plutarch, Moralia, ed. Gregorius N. Bernardakis, vol. 1 (Medford, MA: Teubner, 1888), 354–357.

περὶ δὲ φιλοκοσμίας σὺ μέν, ὦ Εὐρυδίκη,

Now concerning love of adornment, you, O Eurydice

The “de” marks a transition to a new topic. The manner of presentation has also changed from third person to second: Plutarch is now speaking directly to his addressees.

Philokosmias: means love of kosmos: order, beauty, arrangement (depending upon circumstance).

The “men” points forward to the contrast, which will be an address to the husband.

“O” is not emphatic here, but rather is a classical usage (see, Wallace, 69).

τὰ πρὸς Ἀρίστυλλαν ὑπὸ Τιμοξένας γεγραμμένα

the things of Aristylla by Timoxena  having been written.

Babbitt’s footnote, “Plutarch’s wife presumably; who Aristylla was we do not know.”

ἀναγνοῦσα πειρῶ διαμνημονεύειν σὺ δέ, ὦ Πολλιανέ,

reading I urge to call mind you, O Pollianus

δια-μνημονεύω, f. σω, to call to mind, remember, Hdt.; c. gen., Plat.; c. acc., Xen., etc.

2. to record, mention, Thuc.: Pass., διαμνημονεύεται ἔχειν he is mentioned as having, Xen.

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

The “de” here completes the anticipation of the previous “men”.

The main verb is to urge/try/test, peirazo. The participle indicates means. The infinitive completes the concept.

μὴ νόμιζε περιεργίας ἀφέξεσθαι τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ πολυτελείας,

not to suppose excesses to be abstained from your and luxuries

περιεργία, ἡ, over-exactness in doing anything, Luc.

II. intermeddling, officiousness, Theophr., Luc. From περίεργος

περί-εργος, ον, (*ἔργω) careful overmuch, Lys., etc.

2. busy about other folks affairs, meddling, a busybody, Xen.

II. pass. done with especial care, elaborate, Aeschin., etc.

2. superfluous, Plat., etc.

3. curious, superstitious, Plut.

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

The accusative is the subject of the infinitive, don’t suppose your wife will refrain. The two objects of the infinitive are split for emphasis.

Goodwin has “toys”.

πολυτέλεια, ας, ἡ (τέλος; Hdt. et al.; Diod S 5, 42, 6; ins [OGI 383, 69: I B.C.]; EpArist 80; Philo; Jos., Ant. 11, 200, C. Ap. 2, 234) expenditure in maintaining a life style that far exceeds what is considered normal, extravagance, luxury, richness.

William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 850.

 ἂν ὁρᾷ σε μὴ καταφρονοῦντα τούτων ἐν ἑτέροις,

If she should see not see despising these thing in others

Opens a third class conditional: Plutarch doesn’t actually expect this behavior, but if it happens, this will be the result. Notice also that the apodosis comes last: If she should not see this in you, then don’t suppose she’ll ….

ἀλλὰ καὶ χαίροντα χρυσώσεσιν ἐκπωμάτων καὶ γραφαῖς οἰκηματίων καὶ χλίδωσιν ἡμιόνων καὶ ἵππων περιδεραίοις.

But instead delighting/gracing golded (gilded) drinking cups and written upon houses and decorations on mules and horses with necklasses

ἔκπωμα, ατος, τό, (ἐκπίνω) a drinking-cup, beaker, Hdt., Soph., etc.

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

περι-δέραιος , ον, (δέρη)

A.passed round the neck, “ὁ π. κόσμος” Plu.Galb. 17; “οἱ π. τῶν στεφάνων” Id.2.647f.

Subst. περιδέραιον, τό, necklace, Ar.Fr.320.5, Com.Adesp.146, Arist.Po.1454b24, Plu.Sert.14, Luc.Pisc.12, etc.

2. collar of a pillory, Id.Lex.10. LSJ

ουʼ γὰρ ἔστιν ἐξελάσαι τῆς γυναικωνίτιδος ἐν μέσῃ τῇ ἀνδρωνίτιδι τὴν πολυτέλειαν ἀναστρεφομένην.

For not is it to drive away from the wife’s rooms when in the middle of the husband’s rooms such luxuries live

Interesting that “luxury” was a negative. That is an almost incomprehensible idea in present culture.

γυ^ναικ-ωνῖτις , ιδος , ἡ,

A.women’s apartments in a house, opp. ἀνδρών (cf. γυναικών), Lys.1.9, Men.519, Ph.1.107, etc.; harem of an eastern prince, i.e. the women, Plu.Cat.Mi.30,2.819d; at Jerusalem, the women’s court in the Temple, J.BJ5.5.2.

2. as Adj., ἡ γ. αὐλή the court of the women’s apartments, D.S.17.50; “ἑστία” Ph.1.312.

ἀνδρ-ωνῖτις , ιδος, ἡ,

A.= ἀνδρών, opp. γυναικωνῖτις, Lys.1.9, X.Oec.9.6, IG11(2).158 A18 (Delos, iii B. C.): as Adj., “ἀ. ἑστία” Ph.1.312, al.

II. among the Romans, passage between two courts of a house, Vitr.6.7.5.

Interesting of anastrepho for a inanimate objects.

καὶ σὺ μὲν ὥραν ἔχων ἤδη φιλοσοφεῖν τοῖς μετʼ ἀποδείξεως καὶ κατασκευῆς λεγομένοις ἐπικόσμει τὸ ἦθος,

and you now having already to philosophize by words with sufficient proof and preparations you adorn the custom/character.

There is a pun here on eip-kosmos. Philo-kosmos, love of arrangement has been discounted above. Here, eip-kosmos, to add on adornment is praise. Rather than adorn your walls, adorn your mind.

ἐντυγχάνων καὶ πλησιάζων τοῖς ὠφελοῦσι·

encountering and drawing near to those things which are profitable.

Both Babbitt & Goodwin give very free translation of this sentence:

Since then thou art arrived at those years which are proper for the study of such sciences as are attained by reason and demonstration, endeavor to complete this knowledge by conversing with persons that may be serviceable to thee in such a generous design.Goodwin.

Besides, Pollianus, you already possess sufficient maturity to study philosophy, and I beg that you will beautify your character with the aid of discourses which are attended by logical demonstration and mature deliberation, seeking the company and instruction of teachers who will help you. Babbitt.

Here is a reason why careless use of a lexicon could cause damage:

πλησιάζω      V 0-0-0-0-1=1

2 Mc 6,4

to have sexual intercourse with [τινι]

Cf. HELBING 1928, 30

Johan Lust, Erik Eynikel, and Katrin Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint : Revised Edition (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart, 2003).

τῇ γυναικὶ πανταχόθεν τὸ χρήσιμον συνάγων

Your wife from everything which is useful drawing together

ὥσπερ αἱ μέλιτται καὶ φέρων αὐτὸς ἐν σεαυτῷ

just as the bees also bearing it in yourself

Melitta for messlia:  bees.

μεταδίδου καὶ προσδιαλέγου,

giving and explaining

προσδια-λέγομαι ,

A.answer in conversation or disputation, “διαλεγομένῳ οὐ προσδιελέγετο” Hdt.3.50, cf. 52, Pl.Tht.161b, Eus.Mynd.1; “ὁ προσδιαλεγόμενος” Pl.Prt.342e, Sph.218a, Arist.SE165b15.

2. simply, hold converse with, “θεοῖς π. εὐχαῖς” Pl.Lg.887e; negotiate with, “τοῖς ἀνθρώποις” PSI4.344.3,7 (iii B.C.).

φίλους αὐτῇ ποιῶν καὶ συνήθεις τῶν λόγων τοὺς ἀρίστους.

Dear to her making and customary/familiar of the words the best

‘ πατὴρ’ μὲν γάρ ‘ἐσσι’ αὐτῇ ‘ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ ἠδὲ κασίγνητος ’

For a father you are to her and a precious mother, even a brother

κᾰσί-γνητος, ὁ, (κάσις, γίγνομαι), a brother, Hom., etc.:—in more general sense, a cousin, Il.

II. as Adj., κασίγνητος, η, ον, brotherly, sisterly, Soph., Eur.

H.G. Liddell, A Lexicon: Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon 402.

οὐχ ἧττον σεμνὸν ἀκοῦσαι γαμετῆς λεγούσης

not less noble to be heard from one’s wife saying

ἄνερ, ‘ ἀτὰρ σὺ μοί ἐσσι’ καθηγητὴς καὶ φιλόσοφος καὶ διδάσκαλος τῶν καλλίστων καὶ θειοτάτων,’

A husband now to me you are, a guide and philosopher and teacher of the best and divine.

τὰ τοιαῦτα μαθήματα πρῶτον ἀφίστησι τῶν ἀτόπων τὰς γυναῖκας·

These sort the things learned first rejecting the unusuals the wives

Women learning just things first, reject the unnecessary

αἰσχυνθήσεται γὰρ ὀρχεῖσθαι γυνὴ γεωμετρεῖν μανθάνουσα,

She will be ashamed to be a dancer when she is learning geometry

καὶ φαρμάκων ἐπῳδὰς ουʼ προσδέξεται τοῖς Πλάτωνος ἐπᾳδομένη λόγοις καὶ τοῖς Ξενοφῶντος.

And magic charms she will not take up/receive/believe by Plato’s magic words or by Xenophone.

ἐπᾳδομένη: a charm or enchantment. Here is it wholly negative, but charming or enchanting, which would the correct translation, have the wrong connotation.

 

ἂν δέ τις ἐπαγγέλληται καθαιρεῖν τὴν σελήνην,

If someone should promise to bring down the moon

γελάσεται τὴν ἀμαθίαν καὶ τὴν ἀβελτερίαν τῶν ταῦτα πειθομένων γυναικῶν,

She will laugh at the ignorance and silliness of these things – which have deceived so many women.

ἀστρολογίας ἀνηκόως ἔχουσα καὶ περὶ Ἀγλαονίκης ἀκηκουῖα τῆς Ἡγήτορος τοῦ Θεσσαλοῦ θυγατρὸς

astrology/astronomy not unwillingly having and concerning Aglaonice the daughter of Hegetor of Thessaly,

The participle demonstrates the wife’s condition when she hears about Aglaonice.

Babbitt’s footnote: The belief that Thessalian women had the power to draw down the moon was wide-spread in antiquity. It may suffice here to refer to Aristophanes, Clouds, 749, and for Aglaonice to Plutarch, Moralia 417 A.

ὅτι τῶν ἐκλειπτικῶν ἔμπειρος οὖσα πανσελήνων καὶ προειδυῖα τὸν χρόνον,

since of the eclipse tested knowledge having of all the moon’s and knowing before the time

 

ἐν ᾧ συμβαίνει τὴν σελήνην ὑπὸ τῆς σκιᾶς ἁλίσκεσθαι,

in which it comes together the moon with the shadow (of the earth) to be seized/overocme

παρεκρούετο καὶ συνέπειθε τὰς γυναῖκας ὡς αὐτὴ καθαιροῦσα τὴν σελήνην.

Deceived and quite convinced all the women that she herself pulled down the moon

παρα-κρούω, f. σω, to strike aside: to disappoint, mislead, Plat.:—Pass. to be led astray, go wrong, Id., Dem.:—so also in Med., Isocr.

II. in Med. also, to strike away from oneself, parry, Plut.

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

παιδίον μὲν γὰρ οὐδεμία ποτὲ γυνὴ λέγεται ποιῆσαι δίχα κοινωνίας ἀνδρός,

For a child never when a woman they say to make apart from the cooperation of a man

δι^χάζω , fut.

A.“-άσω” Plot.5.3.10:—divide in two, Pl.Plt.264d (of logical dichotomy):—Pass., Nonn.D.3.33, al.; αἴγειρος . . δισσοῖσι κλάδοις δεδιχασμένη ἑνὸς ἐκ στελέχους Lyr.inPhilol.80.334; “δεδιχασμένον διχασμῷ” Aq.De.14.6.

b. divide by two, Nicom.Ar.1.7, al. (Pass.).

2. δ. τινὰ κατά τινος divide one against another, Ev.Matt.10.35.

II. intr., to be divided, interpol. in X.An.4.8.18; διχαζούσης ἡμέρας at mid-day, Anon. ap. Suid. LSJ

τὰ δʼ ἄμορφα κυήματα καὶ σαρκοειδῆ καὶ σύστασιν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἐκ διαφθορᾶς λαμβάνοντα μύλας καλοῦσι.

But the misshapen embryos and fleshy and  close together in themselves from corruption receiving a mylas call.

κύημα, ατος, τό, (κυέω) that which is conceived, an embryo, foetus, Plat.

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

σαρκο-ειδής , ές,

A.flesh-like, fleshy, “φύσις” Pl.Ti.76a; “ς. ὢν τὴν φύσιν” Arist.HA495b22: Comp., “-ειδέστερα νεῦρα” Hp.Loc.Hom.4, cf. Aret.SA2.6: cf. σαρκώδης. LSJ

τοῦτο δὴ φυλακτέον ἐν ταῖς ψυχαῖς γίγνεσθαι τῶν γυναικῶν.

This since guarding-like for their souls to be of the womn

ἂν γὰρ λόγων χρηστῶν σπέρματα μὴ δέχωνται μηδὲ κοινωνῶσι παιδείας τοῖς ἀνδράσιν

For if of useful words seends are not received neither do they share education with their husbands

, αὐταὶ καθʼ αὑτὰς ἄτοπα πολλὰ καὶ φαῦλα βουλεύματα καὶ πάθη κυοῦσι.

These things according to themselves atypical/wrong much and false concepts and emotional conceptions

σὺ δʼ ὦ Εὐρυδίκη μάλιστα πειρῶ τοῖς τῶν σοφῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἀποφθέγμασιν ὁμιλεῖν

But you Eurydice especially I implore concerning those saying of wisdom an good to converse

καὶ διὰ στόματος ἀεὶ τὰς φωνὰς ἔχειν ἐκείνας ὧν καὶ παρθένος οὖσα παρʼ ἡμῖν ἀνελάμβανες,

And by means of your mouth always the sounds to have those being since being a virgin with us and you taking up

ὅπως εὐφραίνῃς μὲν τὸν ἄνδρα,

in order that by joy/praise with your husband

θαυμάζῃ δʼ ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων γυναικῶν,

and by amazement from the other wives

οὕτω κοσμουμένη περιττῶς καὶ σεμνῶς ἀπὸ μηδενός.

Thus beautifully extraordinary and dignified from nothing [without]

τοὺς μὲν γὰρ τῆσδε τῆς πλουσίας μαργαρίτας

For such therefore of the precious pearls

καὶ τὰ τῆσδε τῆς ξένης σηρικὰ λαβεῖν

and the such of strange rubies to receive

οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδὲ περιθέσθαι μὴ πολλοῦ πριαμένην,

not is neither to test not of much it was acquired

τὰ δὲ Θεανοῦς κόσμια καὶ Κλεοβουλίνης καὶ Γοργοῦς τῆς Λεωνίδου γυναικὸς καὶ Τιμοκλείας τῆς Θεαγένους ἀδελφῆς καὶ Κλαυδίας τῆς παλαιᾶς, καὶ Κορνηλίας τῆς Σκιπίωνος

But the adornments of Theano, Cleobulina, Gorgo, the wife of Leonidas, Timocleia, the sister of Theagenes, Claudia of old, Cornelia, daughter of Scipio,

καὶ ὅσαι ἐγένοντο θαυμασταὶ καὶ περιβόητοι,

and the same to have been admired and acclaimed

ταῦτα δʼ ἔξεστι περικειμένην προῖκα

for these things are possible to be worn about as a [marriage] gift

καὶ κοσμουμένην αὐτοῖς ἐνδόξως ἅμα βιοῦν καὶ μακαρίως.

And being adorned with these things glorious both in life and happiness

ειʼ γὰρ ἡ Σαπφὼ διὰ τὴν ἐν τοῖς μέλεσι καλλιγραφίαν ἐφρόνει τηλικοῦτον

For if Sappho through those verses beautifully written she thought of such worth

 ὥστε γράψαι πρός τινα πλουσίαν

so as to write to a certain rich woman

  κατθάνοισα δὲ κείσεαι, οὐδέ τις μναμοσύνα σέθεν

Yet death you shall lay down, no memory of you

  ἔσεται• ουʼ γὰρ πεδέχεις ῥόδων

shall be, for you do not share in the roses

μετέχω: partake, share in

πεδέχεις verb 2nd sg pres ind act doric aeolic meta_to_peda

τῶν ἐκ Πιερίας

those from Pierias

πῶς οὐχί σοι μᾶλλον ἐξέσται μέγα φρονεῖν ἐφʼ ἑαυτῇ καὶ λαμπρόν,

Why should you not rather all great to think of yourself and brilliam

ἂν μὴ τῶν ῥόδων ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν καρπῶν μετέχῃς,

if not of the roses but rather of the fruits share

ὧν αἱ Μοῦσαι φέρουσι

being the Muses they bear

καὶ χαρίζονται τοῖς παιδείαν καὶ φιλοσοφίαν θαυμάζουσιν;

and gracing those admiring education and philosophy