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Editor’s Note by Allan Bloom New, literal translation of the Oeconomicus by Carnes Lord, 220 pages, 6” x 9”, foreword, introduction, footnotes, index
Xenophon’s Socratic Discourse
An Interpretation of the Oeconomicus
Xenophon’s only true Socratic discourse, the Oeconomicus, is a dialogue between Socrates and a gentleman-farmer on the art of household management and the art of farming as practiced on a gentleman’s estate. It is generally acknowledged to be the oldest surviving work devoted to “economics,” and it constitutes the classic statement of “economic” thought in ancient Greece. The dialogue examines the roles of husband and wife in the household and the division of labor between them, and considers the duties of the farm steward and the housekeeper. It discusses the goals of efficient management and the means for attaining these goals.
”A sufficient understanding of Strauss’ interpretation would necessitate a capacity for both the Socratic life and a careful reading of the Oeconomicus and Xenophon’s other works. No contemporary scholar meets these requirements so well as Mr. Strauss.” – Harry Neumann,Journal of the History of Philosophy