Xenophon, Economics 1.3 wrote:ἦ καὶ τὸν ἄλλου δὲ οἶκον, ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης, εἰ ἐπιτρέποι τις αὐτῷ, οὐκ ἂν δύναιτο, εἰ βούλοιτο, εὖ οἰκεῖν, ὥσπερ καὶ τὸν ἑαυτοῦ; ὁ μὲν γὰρ τεκτονικὴν ἐπιστάμενος ὁμοίως ἂν καὶ ἄλλῳ δύναιτο ἐργάζεσθαι ὅ τι περ καὶ ἑαυτῷ, καὶ ὁ οἰκονομικός γ᾽ ἂν ὡσαύτως. ἔμοιγε δοκεῖ, ὦ Σώκρατες.
Wes Wood wrote:“Is it not true that a steward, if he had a mind to, would be able to manage another person’s house well, if such a house were entrusted to him, just as he manages his own?”
“A skilled carpenter would indeed be able to build for another whatever he envisions for himself, and a steward certainly would be able to manage the affairs of others in the same way. This is how it seems to me, O Socrates.”
I whole-heartedly appreciate the attempt to make good English. If you do that sort of smoothing (into an English word order) for more than 4 elements in a sentence, you should manually check that you have included all elements of what you have worked with. Here you seemed to have missed ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης in that process.Wes Wood wrote:I have taken some liberties with the text, but only after I have given it much thought. I can say with confidence that I am not attempting to artificially smooth anything out,
It says ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης (nominative) in the first section, then says ὦ Σώκρατες (vocative) in the next. Nominative means Socrates is speaking, vocative means he is being spoken to. That "signals" a change of speaker between these two sections here.Wes Wood wrote: How do you know that a speaker change is being signaled here?
Have you used ἐπιστάμενος twice in different senses? Or twice from different verbs (first ἐπίσταμαι then later ἐφίστημι)? If you wanted to be loose about translation, you could take the phrase ὁ ... τεκτονικὴν ἐπιστάμενος refers to someone who has finished his "apprenticeship", that sort of loosely equates with "has mastered the skills of carpentry", doesn't it?Wes Wood wrote: I picture the project itself as being in view here and have loosely translated “ἐπιστάμενος” as “envisions” to bring this idea out. I felt that “after deciding what to build” was far too strong. Perhaps I am still incorrect...
The form ἐπιστάμενος, while derived from ἐπίσταμαι is related to the word ἐπιστήμη a field of knowledge, or ἐπιστήμων well-versed or acquainted with a thing. The LSJ entry for ἐπίσταμαι is a little difficult to follow, because you need to synthesise section IV where it mentions the present participle with section II where it talks about being well verse in a matter (in the accusative). In section II it mentions τὴν τέχνην, which as we read in section 1 of this first chapter of Xenophon is what ἡ οἰκονομία is also considered to be. τὴν ναυτικήν seamanship is also specifically mentioned there as coming by experience ἐμπειρίᾳ which is probably the case for all the manual trades.
The syntactic pattern in which to recognise ἐπίσταμαι is with the accusative, as we see here in this section we are reading, while ἐφίστημι is composed with the dative (in the VI sense that you may have been thinking of it) or an accusative with ἐπί plus either a genitive or dative.
It is not clear to me how you arrived at “after deciding what to build” that you wanted to make less strong.
To beef out the ὅ τι περ καὶ ἑαυτῷ without the changes for indirect speech, it would become ὅ καὶ δύναιται ἐργάζεσθαι ἑαυτῷ "what he can make for himself".Wes Wood wrote:I am still struggling with “ὅ τι περ καὶ ἑαυτῷ.” I didn’t want to spend more time on it, though, than I already have.
Because Classical Greek and English work in different ways to render indirect speech, it might be useful while you are getting used to it, to follow a two-step process until you get used to the Greek way. Let me explain. Classical Greek changes the mood (to the optative) from direct to indirect speech, while English changes the tense (one step further to the past). The first step then is to imagine what the Greek would have been in the direct speech then change it to English, then second step, apply the English rules of shifting the tense back one step. Another way is to see an optative in a situation like this and mentally note that it is indicating indirect speech, rather than one of the other functions of the optative.
The whole sentence as it would have been said might have been, ὁ ... τεκτονικὴν ἐπιστάμενος ὁμοίως καὶ ἄλλῳ δύναιται ἐργάζεσθαι ὅπερ καὶ ἑαυτῷ, καὶ ὁ οἰκονομικός γ᾽ ὡσαύτως. "The skilled woodworker is able to make for another exactly the same things as for himself." If you want to render that into good English that would require a change of tense not mood, "Socrates said that a skilled woodworker could make for another exactly the same as for himself."
The vagueness of the Greek mood and the distance in time of the English tense are of course quite similar, suggesting a common human reaction to indirect speech expressed in the best possible way within the confines of the language system. In the same way as the various cultures are different expressions of our shared humanity. If we consider "indirect speech" as a phenomenon and the mood / tense change as convenient or conventional way of expressing that then Greek and English don't seem so different and the optative in this usage is not so "foreign" to us.
You are right to take ἐπιτρέπω in the sense of entrust to another, rather than in the New Testament sense of allow or permit. It would have been prudent of me to mention that rather than simple pointing out it wasn't nominal (nominative plural). From the point of view of the one manager to the next, the new manager would receive (παραλαβεῖν) the estate from the previous one, but the appointment would be from the owner.