Friday, October 16, 2015


A Topsy-Turvy World

Plato, Republic 8.14 (562e-563b; tr. Paul Shorey):
"Just what do we mean by that?" he said.

"Why," I said, "the father habitually tries to resemble the child and is afraid of his sons, and the son likens himself to the father and feels no awe or fear of his parents, so that he may be forsooth a free man. And the resident alien feels himself equal to the citizen and the citizen to him, and the foreigner likewise."

"Yes, these things do happen," he said.

"They do," said I, "and such other trifles as these. The teacher in such case fears and fawns upon the pupils, and the pupils pay no heed to the teacher or to their overseers either. And in general the young ape their elders and vie with them in speech and action, while the old, accommodating themselves to the young, are full of pleasantry and graciousness, imitating the young for fear they may be thought disagreeable and authoritative."

πῶς, ἦ δ' ὅς, τὸ τοιοῦτον λέγομεν;

οἷον, ἔφην, πατέρα μὲν ἐθίζεσθαι παιδὶ ὅμοιον γίγνεσθαι καὶ φοβεῖσθαι τοὺς ὑεῖς, ὑὸν δὲ πατρί, καὶ μήτε αἰσχύνεσθαι μήτε δεδιέναι τοὺς γονέας, ἵνα δὴ ἐλεύθερος ᾖ· μέτοικον δὲ ἀστῷ καὶ ἀστὸν μετοίκῳ ἐξισοῦσθαι, καὶ ξένον ὡσαύτως.

γίγνεται γὰρ οὕτως, ἔφη.

ταῦτά τε, ἦν δ' ἐγώ, καὶ σμικρὰ τοιάδε ἄλλα γίγνεται· διδάσκαλός τε ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ φοιτητὰς φοβεῖται καὶ θωπεύει, φοιτηταί τε διδασκάλων ὀλιγωροῦσιν, οὕτω δὲ καὶ παιδαγωγῶν· καὶ ὅλως οἱ μὲν νέοι πρεσβυτέροις ἀπεικάζονται καὶ διαμιλλῶνται καὶ ἐν λόγοις καὶ ἐν ἔργοις, οἱ δὲ γέροντες συγκαθιέντες τοῖς νέοις εὐτραπελίας τε καὶ χαριεντισμοῦ ἐμπίμπλανται, μιμούμενοι τοὺς νέους, ἵνα δὴ μὴ δοκῶσιν ἀηδεῖς εἶναι μηδὲ δεσποτικοί.

In Plato's Republic I also noticed a series of asyndetic privative adjectives at 9.6 (580a): ἀπίστῳ, ἀδίκῳ, ἀφίλῳ, ἀνοσίῳ. And here is another example, from Seneca, On the Firmness of the Wise Man 5.4: inviolabilis, immota, inconcussa.


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