Xenophon, Oeconomicus, Chapter 4, Section 6 - Text and hints
Socrates continues to describe the Persian Emperor's defence strategy, talking about the maintenance and inspection of the armed forces.
Xenophon, Oeconomicus, Chapter 4, Section 6 wrote: ἀρήξουσι τῇ χώρᾳ, χωρὶς δὲ τούτων φύλακας ἐν ταῖς ἀκροπόλεσι τρέφει: καὶ τὴν μὲν τροφὴν τοῖς φρουροῖς δίδωσιν ὁ ἄρχων ᾧ τοῦτο προστέτακται, βασιλεὺς δὲ κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐξέτασιν ποιεῖται τῶν μισθοφόρων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων οἷς ὡπλίσθαι προστέτακται, καὶ πάντας ἅμα συνάγων πλὴν τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀκροπόλεσιν ἔνθα δὴ ὁ σύλλογος καλεῖται: καὶ τοὺς μὲν ἀμφὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ οἴκησιν αὐτὸς ἐφορᾷ, τοὺς δὲ πρόσω ἀποικοῦντας πιστοὺς πέμπει ἐπισκοπεῖν:
ἀρήξουσι τῇ χώρᾳ
- this phrase follows on from the καὶ ἂν πολέμιοι ἐπίωσιν "if enemy troops should attack the city" at the end of the previous section - the section break here is arbitrary.
- (+dat.) - aid
or succour in war
- (+gen.) - apart from
- often in the plural
- (+acc.) - maintain
- dative with δίδωσιν - watcher
- perfect passive of προστάσσειν - to place
at a place - προστάσσειν in the active voice is (+acc. of the person +dat. of the thing / place assigned to), but here in the passive - the passive voice slightly depersonalises (impersonalises) the situation - the perfect voice connotates that the order is one that is given once and doesn't need to be repeated each year - like a "standing order".
- nominative as the subject of the middle verb προστέτακται - τοῦτο refers to the immediately preceding action: τὸ τὴν μὲν τροφὴν τοῖς φρουροῖς διδόναι. That is to say the the τοῦτο is a summarised articular infinitive encapsulating the action and expressing it in a nominal-like role in the sentence.
καὶ τὴν μὲν τροφὴν τοῖς φρουροῖς δίδωσιν ὁ ἄρχων ᾧ τοῦτο προστέτακται
- expressing this the other way it would be ὁ μὲν ἄρχων δίδωσιν καὶ τὴν τοῖς φρουροῖς τροφὴν ὂ προστέτακται αὐτῷ, or the like which also picks up on an understood articular infinitive.
- a set phrase - every year
, year by year
- middle voice = personally
, for his own eyes
- carries out
- genitive following the noun ἐξέτασιν - one way of thinking of that is that objective genitive carries the verbal force cognate to the noun and applies it to the noun in the accusative ἐξήτασεν τοὺς μισθοφόρους.
οἷς ὡπλίσθαι προστέτακται
- cf. the note above, but here - προστάσσειν appears to be used in the pattern of (+dat. of the person who is commanded and +inf, of the thing they are told to do). - in the active that would be ὁ βασιλεὺς προστέταχε αὐτοῖς ὡπλίσθαι or the like - the middle construction depersonalises (impersonalises) or takes away the immediacy of the commanding / appointing here. - in using the middle the infinitive becomes nominative "to whom being under arms was appointed
- to be equipped, armed, trained and exercised
καὶ πάντας ἅμα συνάγων ... ἔνθα δὴ
cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 5:10 and the discussions on it Pleonastic
started by Scott Lawson, and Best Greek NT Commentaries
taken up by Evan Blackmore.
- "A Muster of Forces" - this is the name of the place
- (+acc.) - apart from
, with the exception of
καὶ τοὺς μὲν ..., τοὺς δὲ ...
- the basic structure is composed of this μὲν ..., δὲ ...
τοὺς μὲν ἀμφὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ οἴκησιν
- this is accusative with the verb ἐφορᾷ - to supply an accusative participle to go with the article, we could posit προστεταγμένους or οἰκοῦντας to inhabit, or perhaps more specifically ἐπιδημοῦντας "live at home" or if they were there more temporarily stationed στρατοπεδεύοντας.
ἀμφὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ οἴκησιν
- "nearby his residenz
" (as the Germans say).
- here αὐτὸς is put into contradistinction with someone who works on his behalf.
, look at
τοὺς δὲ πρόσω ἀποικοῦντας
- being away from home is stressed by the addition of πρόσω "far".
πιστοὺς πέμπει ἐπισκοπεῖν
- the two elements here are balanced over the verb πέμπει - the construction is πέμπει (+acc. of the person sent and + inf. of what they were sent to do).
πιστοὺς - trusted men
. This is a specific use of the word. - ἐπισκοπεῖν τὰς τάξεις "inspect the ranks", ἐπισκοπεῖν τὰ ὅπλα "inspect the arms".