Sunday, October 10, 2004

Republic 327b1-4

After we had offered prayers and looked on, we turned toward the town. Then from afar, Polemarchus, son of Cephalus, recognizing us hastening home, ordered his slave boy to run and order us to wait for him.

[It may seem strange that Polemarchus would have his slave boy order Socrates and Glaucon to wait. Shorey translates the phrase as "bid us wait," and Grube "ask us to wait." But these translations seem to miss the fact that Plato uses the same word (keleuo) for the directions Polemarchus gives to the slave boy and the directions the slave boy gives to S. and G. Would Plato shift meaning in this close a proximity? I don't know for sure, but I doubt it. I think the repetition of the word indicates that Polemarchus considers S. and G. to be similar to his slave boy in an important way: he gives orders to them. However, the credentials of Shorey and Grube are much better than mine, so one should hold my translation loosely, though I think it the better one.]

No comments: