When still callow and burdened with little understanding to distinguish between a Fact and a Popular Opinion, I was asked by my Professor the meaning of Xanthipee, I blurted with youthful effervescence that the word meant a “shrewish woman” and that the word derived its meaning from Socrates’ wife’s name, who was supposed to have been a shrew.After reading Xenophon, well into my forties, I realised that the name had assumed a meaning without any contemporary authority to back that ascription. Neither Plato nor Xenophon, ever say that Xanthipee was a shrew in any of their writings. However the line ‘after thunder comes the rain’ and the various paintings of Xanthipee emptying a chamber pot on to the head of Socrates, had to be explained to be consistent with the popular beliefs and consequently the idea that Xanthipee was a shrew, has come to stay.A maligning based on popularised beliefs!Facts do not stand alone, they network in a way that envelops the reader into a possibility. Socrates’ sayings and the writings of Xenophon lucidly show that Socrates was a reasonable and honourable man prone a little too much in explaining the lives of those who were living it.It sounded to many as a nice explanation of what their lives were, and how worthy they were.He built a consciousness of a human view of itself.Secondly Socrates showed the Virtuous side of it and named it Good.Thirdly, how Good was Desirable.Finally, how and why a man has to Strive for the desired goal.Socrates showed how a Man through observing and studying oneself, one would know, as much about the outer world, and function perfectly in the external world too!Three fifty years before salvation was brought by Jesus, Socrates brought the thought of making man look both inside and outside himself- Man got over a hunger based Life.The greatest thought Socrates left behind was social responsibility with honourable goodness through effort.
July 14, 2018