previous next
that of wasting one's substance; for he who is ruined by his own agency is a hopeless case indeed,1 and to waste one's substance seems to be in a way to ruin oneself, inasmuch as wealth is the means of life. This then is the sense in which the term Prodigality is here understood.1. [6]

Now riches are an article of use; but articles of use can be used either well or ill, and he who uses a thing best is he who possesses the virtue related to that thing; therefore that man will use riches best who possesses the virtue related to wealth; and this is the liberal man. 1. [7] But the use of wealth seems to consist in spending and in giving; getting wealth and keeping it are modes of acquisition rather than of use. Hence the liberal man is more concerned with giving to the right recipients than with getting wealth from the right sources and not getting it from the wrong ones. Virtue is displayed in doing good rather than in having good done to one, and in performing noble acts rather than in avoiding base ones; 1. [8] but manifestly doing good and acting nobly go with giving, while having good done to one and avoiding base actions go with getting. Again, gratitude is bestowed on a giver, not on one who refrains from taking; and still more is this true of praise. 1. [9] Also it is easier not to take than to give: men are more reluctant to give away what belongs to them than to refrain from taking what belongs to someone else. 1. [10] Again, it is those who give whom we call liberal; those who refrain from taking2 are not

1 ἄσωτος, ‘prodigal,’ means literally ‘not saved,’ ‘in desperate case.’

2 i.e., those who refrain from taking more than their due.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: