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or who form them in line with a trench or some other obstacle in the rear; all these are using compulsion. A man ought not to be brave because he is compelled to be, but because courage is noble. [6]

(2) Again, experience of some particular form of danger is taken for a sort of Courage; hence arose Socrates' notion that Courage is Knowledge.1 This type of bravery is displayed in various circumstances, and particularly in war by professional soldiers.2 For war (as the saying is) is full of false alarms, a fact which these men have had most opportunity of observing; thus they appear courageous owing to others' ignorance of the true situation. [7] Also experience renders them the most efficient in inflicting loss on the enemy without sustaining it themselves, as they are skilled in the use of arms, and equipped with the best ones both for attack and defence. [8] So that they are like armed men fighting against unarmed, or trained athletes against amateurs; for even in athletic contests it is not the bravest men who are the best fighters, but those who are strongest and in the best training. [9] But professional soldiers prove cowards when the danger imposes too great a strain, and when they are at a disadvantage in numbers and equipment; for they are the first to run away, while citizen troops stand their ground and die fighting, as happened in the battle at the temple of Hermes.3 This is because citizens think it disgraceful to run away, and prefer death to safety so procured; whereas professional soldiers were relying from the outset on superior strength, and when they discover they are outnumbered they take to flight, fearing death more than disgrace. But this is not true courage. [10]

(3) Spirit or anger4 is also classed with Courage. Men emboldened by anger, like wild beasts which rush upon the hunter that has wounded them, are supposed to be courageous, because the courageous also are high-spirited; for spirit is very impetuous in encountering danger. Hence Homer writes,5 ‘he put strength in their spirit,’ and ‘roused their might and their spirit,’ and ‘bitter wrath up through his nostrils welled,’ and ‘his blood boiled’; for all such symptoms seem to indicate an excitement and impulse of the spirit. [11] Thus the real motive of courageous men is the nobility of courage, although spirit operates in them as well; but wild animals are emboldened by pain, for they turn to bay because they are wounded, or frightened—since if they are in a forest or a swamp6 they do not attack. Therefore they are not to be considered courageous for rushing upon danger when spurred by pain and anger, and blind to the dangers that await them; since on that reckoning even asses would be brave, when they are hungry, for no blows will make them stop grazing!7

1 i.e., knowledge of what is truly formidable and what is not (cf. note on 8.1); but Socrates went on to show that this depended on knowledge of the good, with which he identified all virtue: see Plato's Laches.

2 i.e., ξένοι, foreign mercenary troops, much employed in Greek warfare in Aristotle's time.

3 In Coronea, 353 B.C.; the Acropolis had been seized by Onomarchus the Phocian, and mercenaries, brought in by the Boeotarchs to aid the citizens, ran away at the beginning of the battle (schol.).

4 θυμός means both ‘spirit’ or ‘high spirit’ and also its manifestation in anger.

5 i.e., in describing courageous men, Hom. Il. 14.151 or Hom. Il. 16.529, Hom. Il.5.470, Hom. Od. 24.318. The fourth phrase is not in our Homer, but occurs in Theocritus 20.15.

6 i.e., in a place where they can escape. The words ‘or a swamp,’ are probably interpolated.

7 See Hom. Il. 11.558.

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