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Socrates impresses on his followers the necessity of σωφροσύνη in our relations with the gods as well as with men. He convinces Euthydemus that the gods, who have given to mortals all that they have, exercise over them a constant providential care. All other creatures are subject to man, who enjoys the immense advantages of reason and speech. The gods are visible, not in their persons but in their works. Moreover, man can ascertain from the gods what is best for him, if he will only reverence, honor, and trust them. See Introd. § 20.

This chapter forms the sequel to i. 4, and serves to refute a charge against Socrates which was only touched in i. 2. 17 (οὐκ ἀντιλέγω).


λεκτικούς, πρακτικούς, μηχανικούς: the development of these three qualities will be discussed in chaps. 6, 5, and 7 respectively.

πρότερον, ἐγγενέσθαι: see on i.2.17.

σωφροσύνην: lit. soundness of soul; in this chapter, a right attitude of mind. See Introd. § 20.

ταῦτα δυναμένους: sc. λέγειν καὶ πράττειν, briefly indicated in τὰ πολιτικά in i. 2. 17.

ἀδικωτέρους, δυνατωτέρους: sc. than they were before acquiring the above-mentioned qualities (ταῦτα).

πρῶτον, περὶ θεοὺς: cf. ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’


οὕτως ὁμιλοῦντι: when conversing in this manner, i.e. preaching σωφροσύνη.

ἐγὼ δέ: Xenophon gives to this conversation the authority of an earwitness.


σοὶ ἐπῆλθεν: tibi in mentem venit. Cf. iv.2.4.

ὡς: how.

ὧν: i.e. ταῦτα, ὧν.

καὶ ὅς: see on i.4.3.

γ᾽ εἰ μὴ εἴχομεν: the rel. repeats with force the rel. of the previous sentence.

ἕνεκά γε τῶν ἡμετέρων ὀφθαλμῶν: so far as it depends on our eyes, i.e. in spite of having eyes. Cf. ἀλλ᾽ ἐξέσται ἡμῖν, ἐκείνου ἕνεκα, πρὸς τὸ ἡμέτερον συμφέρον πάντα τίθεσθαι but it will be in our power, for anything that he can do, to arrange everything to our own advantage Cyr. iii. 2. 30.


ἐπειδή: inasmuch as.

μὲν ἥλιος, δὲ νύξ: while the sum, yet the night. Both clauses are grammatically equivalent parts of the general reason introduced by ἐπειδή, but the weight of the reason lies in δὲ νὺξ κτλ.

τάς τε ὥρας τῆς ἡμέρας: for the divisions of the day, see on i.1.10.

διὰ τὸ σκοτεινὴ εἶναι: change in form of expression from φωτεινὸς ὤν above. For the case of σκοτεινή, see on αὐτός ii. 3. 11.

ἀνέφηναν: caused to shine.

τῆς νυκτὸς τὰς ὥρας: the Greeks divided the night into three watches (φυλακαί), the Romans into four (vigiliae).

διὰ τοῦτο: by means of this, refers to ἄστρα ... ἀνέφηναν.

πολλὰ πράττομεν: sc. which we could not do but for the help of moonlight and starlight.

τοῦ μηνὸς τὰ μέρη: the month had three divisions, the first and last of which were called ἱσταμένου and φθίνοντος (μηνός), the days of the middle division being reckoned as πρώτη ἐπὶ δέκα etc. The average length of a lunar month is a little over twenty-nine and a half days; the Greeks took it at exactly twentynine and a half days, and avoided the fraction by making one month of twenty-nine days and the next of thirty. See Gow, Companion to School Classics, p. 79.


τὸ δ᾽ ἀναδιδόναι: sc. as subj. τοὺς θεούς. The unexpressed question may be translated “what say you of that?” Cf. i.4.7.

ὥρας: seasons, of the year.


τὸ ὕδωρ: obj. of παρέχειν.

συμφύειν κτλ.: unites with the earth and the seasons in causing to spring up and grow. καί before συμφύειν corresponds to καί before μειγνύμενον, and καί before ἐπειδή connects ἀφθονέστατον παρέχειν with καὶ ὕδωρ παρέχειν at the beginning of the sentence.

πᾶσι τοῖς τρέφουσιν: neuter.

εὐκατεργαστότερα: easier of digestion.

αὐτά: i.e. πάντα τὰ τρέφοντα.

ἀφθονέστατον: pred., in the greatest profusion.


ἐπίκουρον ψύχους: a protection against cold. Cf. ἐπικούρημα τῆς χιόνος An. iv.5.13

ὡς συνελόντι εἰπεῖν: see on iii.8.10.

τῶν χρησίμων: depends on οὐδέν.

ὑπερβάλλει: intr., is preëminent.

φιλανθρωπίᾳ: dat. of respect.


ἐπειδὰν ἐν χειμῶνι τράπηται: sc. at the winter solstice, when the sun begins to move northward, or ‘toward us.’

ἁδρύνοντα: ripening.

ὧν καιρὸς διελήλυθεν: whose time of maturity has passed; e.g., hay or grain left standing in the fields.

ἀποτρέπεσθαι: sc. at the summer solstice.

γένηται ἔνθα: reaches that point, where.

εἰ ἄπεισιν: most vivid form of protasis. G. 1405; H. 899. This has the ‘minatory’ force suggested by Gildersleeve; see Trans. Am. Philol. Assn., vii. p. 13. For the pres. of εἶμι in fut. sense, see G. 1257; H. 828 a.

ἀποπαγησόμεθα: for the second fut. pass., see G. 715; H. 474.

καὶ ἐνταῦθα: refers to the position of the sun in both winter and summer. Xenophon's knowledge of astronomy was, of course, that of his time; but his description is fairly correct. Even modern astronomers conform to popular usage in speaking of the sun's ‘rising and setting,’ ‘approaching’ and ‘receding from’ the earth.

ἀναστρέφεσθαι: versari, stays, in its apparent daily circuit round the earth.

ἔοικε γιγνομένοις: “looks like something taking place.”


τὸ δέ: const. with προσιέναι τὸν ἥλιον.

εἰ γίγνοιτο: if it should come upon us.

οὕτω κατὰ μικρόν: thus, gradually. For the thought, cf. διδάσκει δὲ καὶ θεός, ἀπάγων ἡμᾶς κατὰ μικρὸν ἐκ τοῦ χειμῶνος εἰς τὸ ἀνέχεσθαι ἰσχυρὰ θάλπη (intense heat) ἔκ τε τοῦ θάλπους εἰς τὸν ἰσχυρὸν χειμῶνα Cyr. vi. 2. 29.

λανθάνειν: i.e. imperceptibly. For λανθάνω with supplementary participle, see on i.2.34.

εἰ ἄρα: see on ii.5.2.

τί ἐστι τοῖς θεοῖς ἔργον: “the gods have any (other) occupation.”

θεραπεύειν: to care for, as in i. 4. 10.

τούτων: these benefits.


ἀγαθά: advantages.

δοκεῖ: sc. ἀπολαύειν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, i.e. that men derive more advantage from animals than from plants.

τούτων: i.e. animals. The dem. οὗτος is used to denote the more important of two objects, as that which is nearer to the speaker's thought. See on i. 3. 13.

γένος, ζῶσι: for the pl. verb with sing. collective subj., see on ὡς παύσαντες ii. 2. 3.

συνεργοῖς χρῶνται(sc.αὐτοῖς): use them ashelpers. For the pred. dat., see H. 777 a.

τι: in whatever way, sc. χρῆσθαι. See on αὐτῇ χρῆσθαί τι i. 4. 6.


προσθεῖναι: sc. as subj. τοὺς θεούς.

ἀπολαύομεν: the subj. ἡμεῖς is readily supplied from ἀνθρώποις.

λογισμόν: reason.

πολλά: cognate accusative.

ἀλεξόμεθα: avert. On this and the next section, cf. i.4.5-14.


ἑρμηνείαν: faculty of speech. Hermes was messenger and interpreter for the gods; hence ἑρμηνεύς interpreter.

διδάσκοντες: by imparting.

προνοεῖσθαι ὑπέρ: instead of προνοεῖσθαι περί, the verb being one of caring for.

: in what way.

γίγνοιντο: pl. with neut. subj., either, as Kühner suggests, because τὰ ἀποβησόμενα is somewhat remote, or because Xenophon wished to emphasize the idea of separate actions. Cf. ἐνταῦθα ἦσαν τὰ Βελέσυος βασίλεια An. i.4.10, where the idea of a multitude of apartments in the palace is helped by the pl.; also καὶ τὰ ὑποδήματα περιεπήγνυντο An. iv.5.14, where the shoes of many individuals are meant.

εἴ γε προσημαίνουσι: cf. i.4.15, where Aristodemus makes the same remark.


ὅτι δέ γε ἀληθῆ λέγω: sc. that the δαιμόνιον (i. 1. 2) really gives me advice as to what I should and should not do, a point on which the preceding words of Euthydemus seem to cast doubt. The sense of the following passage is “I do not mean to say that the gods appear to me in bodily form. If you observe what they accomplish you will revere and honor them. The gods themselves give the hint that we must not expect to see them, but must be assured of their existence by the blessings which they bestow: they create and control,—that we see; but how they do it, we do not see.”

οἵ τε ἄλλοι: sc. θεοί. Socrates and those who followed him, Plato, the Stoics, Cicero, and others, supported the idea that besides one supreme God, there were other beings, far inferior to him, but immortal and endowed with great power. Cf., in i. 4., §§ 5 and 7 with 11, 16 and 18. The task of controlling the universe, here assigned to the supreme Deity, is elsewhere assigned τοῖς θεοῖς. Cf. τοὺς ἀεὶ ὄντας καὶ πάντα δυναμένους, οἳ καὶ τήνδε τῶν ὅλων τάξιν συνέχουσιν ἀτριβῆ καὶ ἀγήρατον καὶ ἀναμάρτητον (free from wear or age or error) Cyr. viii. 7. 22.

ὑπηρετοῦντα: doing his will.

τὰ μέγιστα πράττων ὁρᾶται: is perceived to be performing his mightiest works. For the supplementary participle with verbs of perceiving, see on ζῶντα i. 2. 16.

τάδε: them, i.e. τὰ μέγιστα, as present before the eyes of the speaker. H. 696 a.

οἰκονομῶν: circumstantial participle of time.


ἀκριβῶς: sharply.

καί, δέ: see on i.1.3.

ὑπηρέτας: ministers. Cf. ‘ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure’ Ps. ciii. 21.

κεραυνός τε: corresponds to καὶ ἄνεμος below.

ἐπιών: see on οἰκονομῶν 13.

ποιοῦσι: “their effects.”

ἀλλὰ μήν: iam vero.

εἴπερ τι καὶ ἄλλο: as in iii. 6. 2.

ὁρᾶται οὐδ᾽ αὐτή: for the thought, cf. i.4.9; Cyr. viii. 7. 17, 20.

χρή: see on τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα i. 1. 9.

τῶν ἀοράτων: neuter.

τὸ δαιμόνιον: here not the daemonium of i. 1. 2, but that which proceeds from the δαίμων. So in the following section. See on i. 1. 2.


οὐδὲ μικρόν: not even in the slightest degree.

ἐκεῖνο ἀθυμῶ: I am discouraged at this. ἐκεῖνο is cognate accusative. See on φροντίζοντας τὰ τοιαῦτα i. 1. 11.

οὐδ᾽ ἂν εἷς: see on i.6.2.

ἂν ἀμείβεσθαι: could requite.


νόμῳ πόλεως: cf. i.3.1.

ἀρέσκεσθαι: to propitiate, usually intr. except in Homer.—πῶς οὖν ἄν τις κτλ.: cf. ‘behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams’ 1 Sam. xv. 22.


τῆς μὲν δυνάμεως ὑφίεσθαι: for μέν, see on i.1.1. The implied opposite is “we may well, however, fall behind the offerings of our richer neighbors.”—χρὴ οὖν μηδὲν ἐλλείποντα κτλ.: the sense of the passage is simply “fear and honor God with all your might, and then be of good courage.”

οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἐλπίζων (equivalent to εἴ τις ἐλπίζοι) σωφρονοίη: “for no one could reasonably expect.”

οὐδ᾽ ἂν ἄλλως μᾶλλον: sc. ἐλπίζων σωφρονοίη.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.4.10
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 4.5.13
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 4.5.14
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.3.1
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.4.15
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.4.5
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.4.7
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.4.9
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.2.4
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