The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/plutarchs-marriage-advice-section-32-a-quiet-wife/
When the wealthy or rulers give honor to philosophers, they at the same time honor themselves. But when philosophers pay homage to the rich; they do not give themselves any glory, but rather dishonor themselves.
It’s the same with wives.
Those wives who willingly give deference to their husbands make themselves praiseworthy. But if they determine to be in charge rather than to be directed, they bring disgrace upon themselves.
Now husbands, do not rule your wife as if she were property; rather, treat her as the soul does the body, in sympathy, growing together in goodwill – that is best. Just as the body is cared for without being enslaved to the body’s desires & passions; even so, wives should be governed in joy and grace.
Greek Text & Notes:
οἱ πλούσιοι καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς τιμῶντες τοὺς φιλοσόφους αὑτούς τε, κοσμοῦσι κἀκείνους, οἱ δὲ φιλόσοφοι τοὺς πλουσίους θεραπεύοντες οὐκ ἐκείνους ποιοῦσιν ἐνδόξους ἀλλʼ αὑτοὺς ἀδοξοτέρους. τοῦτο συμβαίνει καὶ περὶ τὰς γυναῖκας. ὑποτάττουσαι μὲν γὰρ ἑαυτὰς τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐπαινοῦνται, κρατεῖν δὲ βουλόμεναι μᾶλλον τῶν κρατουμένων ἀσχημονοῦσι. κρατεῖν δὲ τὸν ἄνδρα τῆς γυναικὸς οὐχ ὡς δεσπότην κτήματος ἀλλʼ ὡς ψυχὴν σώματος, συμπαθοῦντα καὶ συμπεφυκότα τῇ εὐνοίᾳ δίκαιόν ἑστιν. ὥσπερ οὖν σώματος ἔστι κήδεσθαι μὴ δουλεύοντα ταῖς ἡδοναῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις, οὕτω γυναικὸς ἄρχειν εὐφραίνοντα καὶ χαριζόμενον.
οἱ πλούσιοι καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς τιμῶντες τοὺς φιλοσόφους
The rich and the rulers when they honor philosophers
The participle timontes, indicates the situation in which the principle verb (adorn, make orderly). Honoring connotes honoring with wealth.
αὑτούς τε, κοσμοῦσι κἀκείνους
them and they honor themselves
they honor both them (the philosophers) and themselves
οἱ δὲ φιλόσοφοι τοὺς πλουσίους θεραπεύοντες
But when philosophers the rich pay homage
The participle again sets out circumstance in which the principle verb takes place. Therapeuein means to either heal or to pay homage as to a god. Thus, the wealthy honor with money; the philosopher honors with respect. Babbitt has “paying court” which currently has the feel of irony: it sounds like a sycophant, not one giving honest respect.
οὐκ ἐκείνους ποιοῦσιν ἐνδόξους ἀλλʼ αὑτοὺς ἀδοξοτέρους
do not them they do honor but to themselves they [make] more dishonored
Here, the word for “honor” is doxa, which derives ultimately from the concept of opinion. It is an honor not of money but of reputation: “glory”.
τοῦτο συμβαίνει καὶ περὶ τὰς γυναῖκας
This goes together with and concerns the women/wives
Idiomatic: It is the same with wives
ὑποτάττουσαι μὲν γὰρ ἑαυτὰς τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐπαινοῦνται
For subjecting themselves to their own husbands they are to be praised
The first participle may be either conditional or a participle of means. “If they subject themselves” or “by means of subjecting themselves”. The second participle shows the result of such conduct.
The second verb along with the men throw the attention forward toward the “they disgrace themselves” at the end of the sentence. The entire reason for such conduct is to obtain praise rather than blame. In a honor/shame society, such consideration would have great force.
κρατεῖν δὲ βουλόμεναι μᾶλλον τῶν κρατουμένων ἀσχημονοῦσι
But desiring to control/rule rather than being controlled/ruled they disgrace [themselves]
The first participle hereβουλόμεναι is again either conditional or means. The infinitive is supplementary, it answers the incomplete thought of desiring/determining what?
The “de” answers to the proceeding “men”.
Kraptein has the idea of exercising power. It can mean attain or control or even support. Plutarch has chosen a word with some ambiguity, therefore, he makes clear the nature of the control in the following clause.
κρατεῖν δὲ τὸν ἄνδρα τῆς γυναικὸς οὐχ ὡς δεσπότην κτήματος
But the husband should rule of his wife not as a despot [ruling] property
Ktematos means property, such as a field. Ktenos means a pack animal.
The infinitive seems to function as a imperative.
The accusatives marks “husband” as the subject of the infinitive verb.
ἀλλʼ ὡς ψυχὴν σώματος
rather as the soul [rules] the body.
The soul is accusative as the subject of the implied verb “to rule”. Somatos is genitive as the object of the verb.
συμπαθοῦντα καὶ συμπεφυκότα τῇ εὐνοίᾳ δίκαιόν ἑστιν
by means of sympathy and growing together in good will which is right/just
ὥσπερ οὖν σώματος ἔστι κήδεσθαι
therefore just as the body is to be cared for
μὴ δουλεύοντα ταῖς ἡδοναῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις
not being made a slave/enslaved to its pleasures and to strong desires/lusts.
The kai coordinates two equal phrases. Epithumia is generally a negative term in the NT.
οὕτω γυναικὸς ἄρχειν εὐφραίνοντα καὶ χαριζόμενον
Thus to govern a wife cheerfully and graciously.
Here is Goodwin’s translation of the passage:
Princes and kings honor themselves in giving honor to philosophers and learned men. On the other side, great personages admired and courted by philosophers are no way honored by their flatteries, which are rather a prejudice and stain to the reputation of those that use them. Thus it is with women, who in honoring and submitting to their husbands win for themselves honor and respect, but when they strive to get the mastery, they become a greater reproach to themselves than to those that are so ignominiously henpecked. But then again, it behooves a husband to control his wife, not as a master does his vassal, but as the soul governs the body, with the gentle hand of mutual friendship and reciprocal affection. For as the soul commands the body, without being subject to its pleasures and inordinate desires, in like manner should a man so exercise his authority over his wife, as to soften it with complaisance and kind requital of her loving submission.
Plutarch, Plutarch’s Morals., ed. Goodwin, vol. 2 (Medford, MA: Little, Brown, and Company, 1874), 498.