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‘Good’ and ‘beautiful’ are relative terms. The same thing can be good or bad, beautiful or ugly, according as it answers its purpose. Houses, temples, and altars are most beautiful when they best serve the end for which they were constructed.
Ἀριστίππου: see on i.2.60, and ii. 1. 1. ἠλέγχετο: the impf. may mean that Xenophon here had in mind other conversations than the one recorded in ii. 1.—οὐχ ὥσπερ κτλ.: not like those who are on their guard lest their words be perverted. ὡς ἂν πεπεισμένοι (sc. ἀποκρίναιντο) κτλ.: as they would answer if persuaded that they are above all things doing what is right. Cf. ὁ τὰ δέοντα πράττων οὐ σωφρονεῖ; Plato Charm. 164 B. Socrates's method of discussion, which aimed at the discovery of truth, is contrasted with the ways of the Sophists, who were chiefly concerned with wresting the victory from an opponent by rhetorical artifice.
δεικνύοι δή: for δή, see on iii.7.2.—ἐάν τι ἐνοχλῇ ἡμᾶς κτλ.: Socrates, knowing well that if anything annoys us, we seek the remedy, felt that the word ἀγαθόν could best be explained as a relative term by applying it to special cases, as, e.g., ‘good for a fever,’ ‘good for hunger,’ etc. It should be remembered that the Platonic Socrates held a very different view. Cf. Plato Alc. I, 116 A ff. See Introd. § 20 ff. τοῦ παύσοντος (sc. τὸ ἐνοχλοῦν): something to check it. ποιεῖν: i.e. ἀποκρίνεσθαι. Like facere in Lat. and ‘do’ in Eng., ποιεῖν is often made to do duty for another verb, to avoid repetition. κράτιστον: sc. ἦν.
ἐρωτᾷς: do you mean to ask. πυρετοῦ: for a fever, obj. genitive. ἀλλὰ μήν: at vero, introduces the conclusive statement. δέομαι: sc. εἰδέναι.
καὶ πολλά: aye, many things. ὡς οἷόν τε (sc. ἐστί) ἀνομοιότατα: as unlike as it is possible to be. ὡς ἔνι (equivalent to ἔνεστι): like ὡς οἷόν τε above. ἔστι: for the accent, see G. 144, 5; H. 480. For the thought of the passage, cf. iv.6.9.
ἢ ὅτε: than (you did) when. πρὸς ταὐτά: with reference to the same objects. τὸ αὐτό: in the same way.—πρὸς ἅπερ κτλ.: added in explanation of πρὸς ταὐτά, “with reference to their usefulness.”
καί, γε: and even. τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἔργα: “their respective uses.” τὰ αὐτά: subj., with καλά and αἰσχρά for preds. in this sent., and ἀγαθά and κακά in the next.
λιμοῦ, πυρετοῦ: as in 3. Food is good for hunger, but we must ‘starve a fever.’ τὸ πρὸς δρόμον καλόν: what is admirable for running. εὖ ἔχῃ: are well adapted.
παιδεύειν: to be giving us a lesson. οἵας χρὴ οἰκοδομεῖσθαι: obj. of παιδεύειν, what kind of houses we ought to build. τοῦτο: see on ii.4.1. ἡδίστη ἐνδιαιτᾶσθαι: for the inf. act. or mid. with adjs., see GMT. 763; H. 952, and a.
ἐπειδὴ συμφαῖεν: see on ἐπεὶ διομολογήσαιτο i. 2. 57. The subj. is the persons who on each occasion were conversing with Socrates. This sent. shows, too, that τούτου ὁμολογουμένου above is equivalent to ὁπότε ὁμολογοῖεν (sc. οἱ παρόντες). πρὸς μεσημβρίαν βλεπούσαις: so we say ‘looking toward the south.’ Cf. Oec. ix. 4. The house should be built high and open toward the south, so that the slanting rays of the sun in winter may enter the portico (παστάς) at the front of the open court in the center of the dwelling. Toward the north it should be low and protected against storms.
ὡς συνελόντι εἰπεῖν: to sum it up in a word. For the dat., see G. 1172, 2; H. 771 b, and, for the abs. inf., G. 1534; H. 956. αὐτός: the owner, in distinction from his property (τὰ ὄντα). ἂν καταφεύγοι: potential opt. in cond. rel. clause. See GMT. 557. γραφαὶ καὶ ποικιλίαι: paintings and walldecorations. It is not clear whether Socrates objects to these because so much money is ‘locked up’ in them, or on the ground that they ‘are more trouble than they are worth.’ ναοῖς: instead of the ‘Attic’ form νεῴς. So ναόν An. v.3.9 χώραν: a situation. ἐμφανεστάτη: most conspicuous, being on high ground. οὖσα: concessive. ἀστιβεστάτη: lit. most untrodden, ‘far from the madding crowd.’ ἰδόντας: sc. from a distance. ἁγνῶς ἔχοντας προσιέναι: helps to explain ἀστιβεστάτη, “to approach it unsullied” sc. by contact with the throng.
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