Xenophon (Ancient Greek Ξενοφῶν, Modern Greek "Ξενοφών", "Ξενοφώντας"; ca. 431 – 355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates. He is known for his writings on the history of his own times, preserving the sayings of Socrates, and the life of ancient Greece.Historical and biographical worksAnabasis (or The Persian Expedition) Cyropaedia Hellenica Agesilaus Socratic works and dialoguesMemorabilia Oeconomicus Symposium Apology Hiero Short treatisesOn Horsemanship The Cavalry General Hunting with Dogs Ways and Means Constitution of Sparta




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A Treatise on the Science of the Household in the form of a Dialogue


Socrates and Critobulus

At Chapter VII. a prior discussion held between Socrates and Ischomachus is introduced: On the life of a "beautiful and good" man.
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these chapters (vii.-xxi.) Socrates is represented by the author as repeating for the benefit of Critobulus and the rest certain conversations which he had once held with the beautiful and good Ischomachus on the essentials of economy. It was a tete-a-tete discussion, and in the original Greek the remarks of the two speakers are denoted by such phrases as {ephe o 'Iskhomakhos—ephen egio}—"said (he) Ischomachus," "said I." (Socrates) To save the repetition of expressions tedious in English, I have, whenever it seemed help to do so, ventured to throw parts of the reported conversations into dramatic form, inserting "Isch." "Soc." in the customary way to designate the speakers; but these, it must be borne in mind, are merely "asides" to the reader, who will not forget that Socrates is the narrator throughout—speaking of himself as "I," and of Ischomachus as "he," or by his name.—Translator's note, addressed to the English reader.
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I once heard him (2) discuss the topic of economy (3) after the following manner. Addressing Critobulus, (4) he said: Tell me, Critobulus, is "economy," like the words "medicine," "carpentry," "building," "smithying," "metal-working," and so forth, the name of a particular kind of knowledge or science?

(1) By "economist" we now generally understand "political economist,"

but the use of the word as referring to domestic economy, the

subject matter of the treatise, would seem to be legitimate.

(2) "The master."

(3) Lit. "the management of a household and estate." See Plat. "Rep."

407 B; Aristot. "Eth. N." v. 6; "Pol." i. 3.

(4) See "Mem." I. iii. 8; "Symp." p. 292.
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