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When Theano showed her arm while putting on her cloak, some guy said, “Nice arm!” “But not for the public,” she said. A wise wife, not only protects her body but also her words. For her voice discloses her, and so she must be modest and guard her words with those outside. For in her speaking, she discloses her passions and customs and disposition.
Greek Text & Notes:
Section 31 ἡ Θεανὼ παρέφηνε τὴν χεῖρα περιβαλλομένη τὸ ἱμάτιον. εἰπόντος δέ τινος ‘ καλὸς ὁ πῆχυς, ‘’ ἀλλʼ ουʼ δημόσιος’ ἔφη. δεῖ δὲ μὴ μόνον τὸν πῆχυν ἀλλὰ μηδὲ τὸν λόγον δημόσιον εἶναι τῆς σώφρονος, καὶ τὴν φωνὴν ὡς ἀπογύμνωσιν αἰδεῖσθαι καὶ φυλάσσεσθαι πρὸς τοὺς ἐκτός· ἐνορᾶται γὰρ αὐτῇ καὶ πάθος καὶ ἦθος καὶ διάθεσις λαλούσης.
ἡ Θεανὼ παρέφηνε τὴν χεῖρα
Theanos exposed her hand/arm
The article means “that Theano” – the wife of Pythagoras.
The article in “the hand” marks possession – her hand. Babbitt translates “cheir” as “arm”. The most common usage is “hand” but the reference to exposure & to the pechus appear to mean something more than a hand.
περιβαλλομένη τὸ ἱμάτι
when she was putting on her cloak
The participle marks time: it took place when she exposed; it was the means of exposure.
εἰπόντος δέ τινος ‘ καλὸς ὁ πῆχυς,
‘ Someone said, Beautiful arm
Then, someone (tinos) was saying: these events all took place together.
Beautiful arm, literally, “beautiful measurement of length/cubit”. ’
ἀλλʼ ουʼ δημόσιος’ ἔφη
But not for the public, she said
The dative of interest: not for the benefit of the demos.
δεῖ δὲ μὴ μόνον τὸν πῆχυν
Thus, it is necessary not only for arm
The “de” is not a hard “but” but rather a change in storyline. Plutarch has moved from the story to his comment on the story.
ἀλλὰ μηδὲ τὸν λόγον δημόσιον εἶναι τῆς σώφρονος
but also the word not for the public to be of the wise/prudent woman
alla mede: An emphatic negative: it is not limited to her body but even her words are not for the public. The word is singular, but in context obviously applies to everything she says.
The genitive marks source: the words from the wise woman.
καὶ τὴν φωνὴν ὡς ἀπογύμνωσιν
and her voice as stripped naked
apogumnosin: Babbitt has “exposure” – which makes good English sense. Plutarch is referring back to the exposed arm (although he uses a far stronger word here, for effect).
αἰδεῖσθαι καὶ φυλάσσεσθαι πρὸς τοὺς ἐκτός
to be modest and to be protected/guarded with those outside
ἐνορᾶται γὰρ αὐτῇ καὶ πάθος καὶ ἦθος καὶ διάθεσις λαλούσης
For it may be seen in her and her passions and customs and disposition of her speaking
Her speech exposes who she is.
ἐνορ-άω , fut. A.“ἐνόψομαι” Iamb. in Nic.p.38P.: aor. ἐνεῖδον (q.v.): aor. 1 Pass. “ἐνώφθην” Theol.Ar.30:—see, remark, observe something in a person or thing, “τί τινι” Th.3.30, X.Cyr.1.4.27, etc.; “τι ἔν τινι” Hdt.1.89, Th.1.95, Lys. 33.9 codd.; ἐν γὰρ τῷ οὐκ ἐνεώρα (sc. τὸ τυραννικόν) Hdt.3.53; “ἐν τῷ χαλκίῳ ἐνορῶ γέροντα δειλίας φευξούμενον” Ar.Ach.1129: c. acc. et fut. part., ἐνεώρα τιμωρίην ἐσομένην he saw that vengeance would come, Hdt.1.123, al.: c. dat. pers. et part., “ἐνορῶ ὑμῖν οὐκ οἵοισί τε ἐσομένοισι πολεμεῖν” Id.8.140.β᾽:—Pass., Iamb. in Nic.p.43P. II. look at, behold, Arist.Fr.153; “δεινὸν ἐ. τοῖς παισί” Plu.Publ.6; “ἐνορῶντες ἐς ἀλλήλους δεινόν” Paus.4.8.2.