What was Socrates’ original word for marrying?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-19 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Did Socrates really say “if you get a bad wife, you’ll become a philosopher” in any original texts like Plato’s or Xenophon’s dialogue?

Two sources named:

John Uebersax’s answer to Did Socrates really say “if you get a bad wife, you’ll become a philosopher” in any original texts like Plato’s or Xenophon’s dialogue?

Diogenes Laertius, Life of Socrates XVII

And he used to say, that one ought to live with a restive woman, just as horsemen manage violent-tempered horses; “and as they,” said he, “when they have once mastered them, are easily able to manage all others; so I, after managing Xanthippe, can easily live with any one else whatever.”

Michael Kambas’ answer to Did Socrates really say “if you get a bad wife, you’ll become a philosopher” in any original texts like Plato’s or Xenophon’s dialogue?

Xenophon, Symposium (2.10)

“If that is your view, Socrates,” asked Antisthenes, “how does it come that you don’t practise what you preach by yourself educating Xanthippe, but live with a wife who is the hardest to get along with of all the women there are—yes, or all that ever were, I suspect, or ever will be?”

“Because,” he replied, “I observe that men who wish to become expert horsemen do not get the most docile horses but rather those that are high-mettled, believing that if they can manage this kind, they will easily handle any other. My course is similar. Mankind at large is what I wish to deal and associate with; and so I have got her, well assured that if I can endure her, I shall have no difficulty in my relations with all the rest of human kind.”

Diogenes Laertius had συνεῖναι τραχείᾳ γυναικὶ “to be with a rough woman”; Xenophon had χρῇ γυναικὶ “you are supplied with a woman”. Neither of them had an explicit word for marrying at all.

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