Oeconomicus

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1994 - Social Science - 388 pages
The Oeconomicus is unique in Greek literature in combining a discussion of the proper management of an oikos ('family', 'household', or 'estate') and didactic material on agriculture within a Socratic dialogue. It is one of the richest primary sources for the social, economic, and intellectual history of classical Athens. It contains valuable information and raises questions of perennial interest on marriage; the innate moral, physical, and mental qualities of men and women; the functioning of domestic and public economies; rural and urban life; Greek slavery; popular religion; the role of education, and many other topics. Despite the current widespread interest in the subjects discussed in the Oeconomicus, this text has been largely ignored, and only a few European dissertations - none in English - have been written on it. In this book Professor Pomeroy provides a new translation to complement the Oxford Classical Text, as well as a comprehensive Introduction and Commentary, making the book readily accessible to those both with and without a knowledge of Greek. She covers a wide range of subjects, including agriculture, philosophy, and social, military, intellectual, and economic history. It should be of special interest to scholars and students of classics, history, and philosophy, as well as women's studies.

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Contents

Languge Style Structure and Dramatic Date
9
Xenophon and Socrates
21
The Family in Classical Greece
31
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (1994)

Xenophon's life and personality is better known to us, perhaps, than that of any other Greek who lived before Alexander the Great. Much of his considerable output of historical writing and essays is frankly or implicitly autobiographical. He reveals himself as one of those many Athenians and other Greeks who turned to autocratic political models, including admiration of Persia, after the excesses of the Athenian democracy led to disaster in the Peloponnesian War. He also reveals himself as much more than a literary man and a critic of his times. A gentleman adventurer and something of a professional soldier, he followed in turn the philosopher Socrates, the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger, and the Spartan king Agesilaus, all of whom he wrote about with an air of close personal knowledge. His works include the autobiographical Anabasis, an account of his service with a mercenary Greek army that marched from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea after the defeat and death of the younger Cyrus. It provides the most detailed single perspective on the military practices and military mentality of Xenophon's age. His Hellenica, by contrast, is an impersonal continuation to the end of the Peloponnesian War of the work of Thucydides and a patchy memoir that concentrates on Sparta's fortunes until the definitive end of its power in 362 b.c. Xenophon's other major works are the Cyropaedia and the rambling Socratic dialogues known as the Memorabilia. The Cyropaedia is a fictional idealization of the career of Cyrus the Great, the only great conqueror known to the Greeks before Alexander. Often regarded merely as a novel, it is a species of a priori historical reconstruction. A retrojection of the military science and political values of the day into a largely unknown Persia of the past, it is intended to explain Cyrus's success on rational principles. The Memorabilia and the Socratic Apology that comes down with them contain nothing of philosophical value but are thought by some scholars to offer a possible corrective to Plato's altogether too Platonic Socrates. Xenophon had a conventional and second-rate mind, but he is a valuable resource because of his mediocrity. He enables us to make contact with an ordinary intellect from a world that often seems dominated by geniuses.

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