ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

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Stephen Hughes
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 8th, 2014, 9:11 pm

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4 - Reply to feedback Reply
Wes Wood wrote:
Wesley Wood Rigid Translation wrote:“Socrates said, “Is it-this trade in which the steward has been trained, even if he does not happen to have property himself-the one managing the estate of another just as also the one building the house μισθοφορεῖν.”
I believed the passage was dealing with whether the steward should be paid for his work like a builder. The only way that I could bring that out that idea was to add “worthy.” At the back of my mind I was thinking “is this something a slave could do for free?”
Rather than get bogged down in the subjectivity of an answer to that particular question, let me note the similarity between this distinction between the owner and the hired manager and the familiar one about the shepherd (ποιμήν, the owner caring for the sheep) and the hired hand (μισθωτός).
John 10:12, 13 wrote:μισθωτὸς δέ, καὶ οὐκ ὢν ποιμήν, οὗ οὐκ εἰσὶν τὰ πρόβατα ἴδια, θεωρεῖ τὸν λύκον ἐρχόμενον, καὶ ἀφίησιν τὰ πρόβατα, καὶ φεύγει· καὶ ὁ λύκος ἁρπάζει αὐτά, καὶ σκορπίζει τὰ πρόβατα. || Ὁ δὲ μισθωτὸς φεύγει, ὅτι μισθωτός ἐστιν, καὶ οὐ μέλει αὐτῷ περὶ τῶν προβάτων.
That is not to say that there couldn't have been a distinction between stewarding an estate on behalf of an owner as a slave or as a μισθωτός, but here in Xenophon the owner-manager / hired-manager distinction is the one being made.
Wes Wood wrote:For the first time ever, I am pleased with my handling of “τύχοι” here.
That is not surprising, actually. This use of τύχοι is the closest to the almost adverbial uses of εἰ τύχοι in the New Testament (1Corinthians 14:10, 1Corinthians 15:37). So perhaps this is a good starting point for you to start to come to terms with the optative...
Wes Wood wrote:
Wesley Wood Rigid Translation wrote:“Socrates said, “Is it-this trade in which the steward has been trained, even if he does not happen to have property himself-the one managing the estate of another just as also the one building the house μισθοφορεῖν.”
I believed the passage was dealing with whether the steward should be paid for his work like a builder.
I believe it is about whether it is permissible to do it for another. The question as to whether or how much he gets paid is perhaps another issue and would be dependent on the quality of his work, I think.

Where is ἔστιν in your translation?
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Wes Wood
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 8th, 2014, 10:10 pm

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4 - Reply to feedback Reply
Stephen Hughes wrote: Where is ἔστιν in your translation?
That was what I wrote down on my first read through. It wasn't my revised version. I can do another, but I believe I understand my mistakes now. I was trying to show how the "worthy" came to exist. It should have been taken as an infinitive meaning "is it possible," right?
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Wes Wood
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 9th, 2014, 4:52 pm

Wes Wood wrote: It should have been taken as an infinitive meaning "is it possible," right?
Let me try this again. I meant to say it should be read with an infinitive with the meaning "is it necessary." I may still be wrong, but at least I will have said what I intended to say. There is far more distance between ἔστιν and the corresponding infinitive than I have ever seen before. After looking at this again, I am much less comfortable. I will do a bit more digging and come at this section again. I will post a revision before I go to bed.
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Wes Wood
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 9th, 2014, 7:22 pm

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4a more literal revision

ἔστιν ἄρα, ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης, τὴν τέχνην ταύτην ἐπισταμένῳ, καὶ εἰ μὴ αὐτὸς τύχοι χρήματα ἔχων, τὸν ἄλλου οἶκον οἰκονομοῦντα ὥσπερ καὶ οἰκοδομοῦντα μισθοφορεῖν;

“Then is it possible,” Socrates was saying, “for the one who is trained in this skill, even if he does not happen to own property himself, while managing another person’s household-just as [he would] while building [another person’s house]-to receive wages?

Will the dative that may follow ἔστιν frequently be translated using “for” like I have rendered it in the passage above? In the passage below, is my translation passable?

“ἔστι μέν εὕδειν, ἔστι δέ τερπομένοισιν ἀκούειν” “indeed, it is possible to sleep, and it is possible for the ones who are enjoying themselves to listen”
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 9th, 2014, 11:38 pm

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4 - Reply to feedback Reply
Wes Wood wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote: Where is ἔστιν in your translation?
That was what I wrote down on my first read through. It wasn't my revised version. I can do another, but I believe I understand my mistakes now. I was trying to show how the "worthy" came to exist. It should have been taken as an infinitive meaning "is it possible," right?
How about a more in-depth look at how it works, rather than just looking at how to render it?
Wes Wood wrote:
Wes Wood wrote: It should have been taken as an infinitive meaning "is it possible," right?
Let me try this again. I meant to say it should be read with an infinitive with the meaning "is it necessary." I may still be wrong, but at least I will have said what I intended to say. There is far more distance between ἔστιν and the corresponding infinitive than I have ever seen before. After looking at this again, I am much less comfortable. I will do a bit more digging and come at this section again. I will post a revision before I go to bed.
It is the syntactical construction that adds value to the ἔστιν, rather than the verb in and of itself having more meaning.

To understand the dative side of things in this construction try these (overly convoluted ways of thinking) thinking... The dative requires something to come to it, it has a directionality towards which an action should happen. "The manager who oversees the estate of another expects to be paid for what he does." "It is that everyone expects that the one who manages the estate of another to be given wages." The passive voice in English is a little close to the infinitive in Greek, because it is a verb that doesn't have the power to act on the outside world (Greek has no subject), so make the verb into the passive. "It is that wages should be given to the one who looks after the estate of another." To understand the infinitive as a nominal, "Payment of wages is the thing that is for someone who manages the estate of another."
Wes Wood wrote:Will the dative that may follow ἔστιν frequently be translated using “for” like I have rendered it in the passage above?
That is one of the ways, especially if you want to express the "needful-ness" of the dative.

Of course, you could just look at North and Hillard page 128 (section 52)(pdf page 135 in that download) if you wanted to compose, but this is a construction that it is useful to understand as a working together of elements.
Wes Wood wrote:In the passage below, is my translation passable?

“ἔστι μέν εὕδειν, ἔστι δέ τερπομένοισιν ἀκούειν” ≈ “indeed, it is possible to sleep, and it is possible for the ones who are enjoying themselves to listen”
Yes.
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Wes Wood
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 10th, 2014, 6:31 am

You are, of course, correct about my needing to look at the construction again, and I intended to. Unfortunately, I did not have time to do so Wednesday. Yesterday, I spent time figuring out what was going on and looked for parallels to work through to gain familiarity with this usage. As I have said, I will do a better job going forward.
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 10th, 2014, 6:55 am

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4a more literal revision

Kritoboulos replied, “By Jupiter, he should be well paid if, after taking on the stewardship of a house, he fulfills his obligations both to pay the necessary bills for the household and to make its affluence increase.”

Is this any better. I am unsure how telei applies to the second item in the construction. Is this the sense of it?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 11th, 2014, 3:23 am

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 4b more literal revision - Moving along after a roadside stop to appreciate a scene in detail
Xenopon, Economics 1, 4b wrote:νὴ Δία καὶ πολύν γε μισθόν, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, φέροιτ᾽ ἄν, εἰ δύναιτο οἶκον παραλαβὼν τελεῖν τε ὅσα δεῖ καὶ περιουσίαν ποιῶν αὔξειν τὸν οἶκον.
Wes Wood (Earlier attempt) wrote:Kritoboulos replied, “By Jupiter, he should be paid and also* be given a reward if, after taking on the stewardship of a house, he was able to both pay the necessary bills for the household and to make its affluence increase.”
Wes Wood (More literal attempt) wrote:Kritoboulos replied, “By Jupiter, he should be well paid if, after taking on the stewardship of a house, he fulfills his obligations both to pay the necessary bills for the household and to make its affluence increase.”

Is this any better. I am unsure how telei applies to the second item in the construction. Is this the sense of it?
Let me begin by saying that the word "reward" has always been a strange one for me in the English versions of the Bible. I mean that it is one of those words that seems to have a "Biblical" meaning in English. Usually that indicates one of two things, either there is a special "Christian" sense of the word in Greek that has been transferred over to English by a literal translation with connotations, or that the word has a common sense in Greek, but functions obliquely in English. Seeing the word "reward" in your first rendering gives me the suspicion that you might perhaps have the same lack of depth in the meaning of this word in English.

I think the central issue is proportionality. And the next point is the nature of the agreement.
Matthew 20:8 wrote:Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης λέγει ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος τῷ ἐπιτρόπῳ αὐτοῦ, Κάλεσον τοὺς ἐργάτας, καὶ ἀπόδος αὐτοῖς τὸν μισθόν, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῶν ἐσχάτων ἕως τῶν πρώτων.
Here obviously there is a working relationship (contracted in one way or another) between individuals.
1 Corinthians 3:8 wrote:Ὁ φυτεύων δὲ καὶ ὁ ποτίζων ἕν εἰσιν· ἕκαστος δὲ τὸν ἴδιον μισθὸν λήψεται κατὰ τὸν ἴδιον κόπον.
Is a place where "reward" sort of stretches (or distorts my perception of) things. The κατὰ τὸν ἴδιον κόπον of course clearly states proportion, but the word "reward" seems out of place. Presumably μισθὸν λαμβάνεσθαι is the same action as μισθόν φέρειν, but seen in the focus of the hand, rather than the whole scene. [Like, "The parent grabbed their child's arm." vs. "The parent stopped their child from rolling off the sofa."] That makes it then more like a working agreement with a wage, rather than a gracious / bountiful reward that is factored up disproportionally to the work done.
Revelations 22:12 wrote:Ἰδού, ἔρχομαι ταχύ, καὶ ὁ μισθός μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ, ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ ὡς τὸ ἔργον ἔσται αὐτοῦ.
In this case too,it is Christ doing the paying in proportion to deeds.

As to whether "reward" could be either good or bad, I think there is a difference between μισθὸν ἀποδοῦναι which is positive and ἀνταποδίδωμι which could be either positive or negative. So I think μισθός is always going to be positive.

The word "reward" in English, goes outside that strict proportionality. In some cases that is clearly the case, but the question then is whether that is a feature of the broader Greek language, or Christian adaptation of the language to express God's grace?
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Stephen Hughes » October 11th, 2014, 10:31 am

Xenophon, Oeconomicus Chapter 1, section 5
Xenophon, Economics 1.5 wrote:οἶκος δὲ δὴ τί δοκεῖ ἡμῖν εἶναι; ἆρα ὅπερ οἰκία, ἢ καὶ ὅσα τις ἔξω τῆς οἰκίας κέκτηται, πάντα τοῦ οἴκου ταῦτά ἐστιν; ἐμοὶ γοῦν, ἔφη ὁ Κριτόβουλος, δοκεῖ, καὶ εἰ μηδ᾽ ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ πόλει εἴη τῷ κεκτημένῳ, πάντα τοῦ οἴκου εἶναι ὅσα τις κέκτηται.
Wes Wood wrote:“But what exactly [1] do we think an estate is? Are all these things, the house and the things that have been acquired outside of the house, part of stewardship also?” [2]

“It certainly seems so to me.” Kritoboulus replied, “And if all of the things that have been acquired are not in this city, they are still a part of the household to be managed. [3]


[1] Equal parts “informed” decision and stylistic smoothing. I am not 100% on δὴ τί, even if I did happen to come close to the correct sense.
δὴ - "exactly"? - actually not such a precise meaning, just like an extra force added. Good use of this particle make prose more beautiful, flowing and speech like.

τί - I would be patronising is I told you this is the question word "what?" or "why?", wouldn't I?
[2] I am not sure if I have treated ὅπερ appropriately. Would it be “for stewardship...is [involves] all of these things? I will apologize now in case this question makes absolutely no sense.
It makes sense enough, you are asking for a yes / no answer. That type of question is fairly easy to make sense of. Perhaps you are feeling your questioning is too vague.

If it were ὅ and you supplied the sense of a verb "to be", it would be something like "which is ...". Add the περ as a mark of emphasis. Another way to consider that is to say, "is for all intents and purposes". Another way is to incorporate it into your vocabulary is to introduce it as a pseudo-English word. Make sentences as, "I think that a restaurant ὅπερ food", or "A forest ὅπερ trees", or "Summer sport ὅπερ cricket, and winter sport ὅπερ rugby", or "Beer ὅπερ <substitute your favourite brand>", and so on... That method of grammatical mastery - element by element incorporation in another language context seems to be most popular with 11 - 12 (maybe 13) year old boys, but that doesn't mean you can't try it too.

In this case, we could ask, "I wonder whether an οἶκος ὅπερ an οἰκία?" if you don't mind that sort of hybrid.

Consider this pattern ἆρα A, ἢ B? This is an either / or question, not a yes / no one.

I think you have jumped tracks at high speed here, and confused "stewardship" with "estate".
[3] I am not very sure about this at all. I am going to be a little bit more literal here to try to make sure I am understanding this correctly. At the very least, maybe it will help you see where I was coming from “and if not in this city exists what has been acquired, all these things are a part of the household to be managed, as many things as the owner has.”
Why is τῷ κεκτημένῳ dative?
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Wes Wood
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Re: ὁ Οἰκονομικὸς τοῦ Ξενοφῶντος (ἀναγιγνώσκωμεν)

Post by Wes Wood » October 11th, 2014, 12:56 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:The word "reward" in English, goes outside that strict proportionality. In some cases that is clearly the case, but the question then is whether that is a feature of the broader Greek language, or Christian adaptation of the language to express God's grace?
So, am I correct in concluding that the greek "μισθον" is usually a proportional relationship and that "reward" in English generally lies outside of that scope?

I think my confusion here comes from several of these factors being at play. I understood/understand the initial "μισθοφορεῖν" as "to receive wages." When the transition occurred, I could understand the phrase as though the second speaker agreed with what had already been said and was adding something else to it. I brought this out by repeating what I believed him to be agreeing with "he should be paid and...." In this case, keeping the household running (what I correctly or incorrectly assumed to be the minimum function of the job) did not necessarily involve increasing the wealth of the household. A steward who did the latter, according to the second speaker in this scenario, would be deserving of a "reward" but it would not be an obligation on the part of the estate owner.

Depending upon what I understand the obligations of the steward to be (the irony is not wasted here), I can understand this stretch of text just about any way I wish. Is there a "right" way of looking at it?
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