311 (English, original)

an original translation

“…So why don’t we walk to where he is and get a hold of him inside? He’s staying, or so I hear, with Callias, the son of Hipponicus. Let’s go.”
I said, “Let’s not go there yet. It’s early. No, let’s get up and head to the courtyard instead. We can pass the time with a stroll until it’s light and then go. Besides, Protagoras spends a lot of time inside, so don’t worry – most likely, we’ll catch him there.”
So we got up and walked round the courtyard. I wanted to test Hippocrates’ resolve, so I set to examining him and asked, “Tell me something, Hippocrates.
You’re all set to go to Protagoras and pay cash for his services. What sort of person do you think you’re going to and what sort of person do you think you’ll become if you do? Let’s say you were planning to go to your namesake Hippocrates of Cos, a devotee of Asclepius, and to pay him cash for his services, and someone asked you,
‘Tell me, Hippocrates, you’re going to pay Hippocrates – what sort of person do you think he is?’ What would you have answered?”
“I’d say that I thought he was a doctor.”
“‘What sort of person do you think you’d become?'”
“A doctor.”
“And if you planned on going to Polycleitus the Argive or Pheidias the Athenian and paying for their services, and then someone asked you, ‘You’re going to pay cash to Polycleitus and Pheidias – what sort of people do you think they are?’ What would you have answered?”
“I’d have said, ‘Sculptors.'”
“‘And what sort of person do you think you’ll become?'”
“Clearly, a sculptor.”
“Right. Now when we go, you and I, to Protagoras now, ready to pay him cash for his services, we’ll persuade him if we have enough money ourselves, and if not, we’ll spend up what our friends have. So if someone saw how eager we are about all this and asked us, ‘Tell me, Socrates and Hippocrates, what sort of person do you have Protagoras down as, that you plan to spend your money on him?’ What would we answer? What other word do we hear Protagoras called? Like ‘sculptor’ for Pheidias or ‘poet’ for Homer, what word of this kind do we hear for Protagoras?”
“Sophist – they call the man a sophist, Socrates.”
“So we’re going to spend our money on him because he’s a sophist.”
“That’s right.”

One Response to 311 (English, original)

  1. Dhananjay says:

    Some difficulties: The expression “τὸν τῶν Ἀσκληπιαδῶν” is tricky. Translating ‘physician’ as LSJ suggest preempts the question. Griffith (2009) renders it as ‘of the medical fraternity’, which strikes me as too contrived. ‘Devotee of Asclepius’ is less helpful to the reader, but the cultural reference may be clarified in a footnote, and the point of the text is itself clear.

    Adequately rendering Socrates refrain ‘ὡς τίς γενησόμενος;’ and the like in this passage demands some unwieldy locutions in English, but this perhaps cannot be avoided. These questions focus on the grounds for actions (expressed compactly in Greek by ὡς + future participle), as is made clear by the occasional use of the supplementary expression ‘ἐν νῷ ἔχειν’.

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