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all these take from wrong sources, and more than their due. 1. [41] The common characteristic of all these seems to be sordid greed, since they all endure reproach for gain, and for a small gain. 1. [42] Those who make improper gains from improper sources on a great scale, for instance princes who sack cities and rob temples, are not termed mean, but rather wicked or impious or unjust. 1. [43] But the dicer and the foot-pad or brigand are to be classed as mean, as showing sordid greed, for both ply their trade and endure reproach for gain, the robber risking his life for plunder, and the dicer making gain out of his friends, to whom one ought to give; hence both are guilty of sordid greed, trying as they do to get gain from wrong sources. And all similar modes of getting wealth are mean for the same reasons.1. [44]

Meanness is naturally spoken of as the opposite of Liberality; for not only is it a greater evil than Prodigality, but also men more often err on the side of Meanness than on that of Prodigality as we defined it.1 1. [45]

Let this suffice as an account of Liberality and of the vices which are opposed to it.2.

Next it would seem proper to discuss Magnificence,2 for this also appears to be a virtue concerned with wealth.

1 See 1.5.

2 μεγαλοπρέπεια denotes Munificence of a magnificent kind, the spending of money on a grand scale from the motive of public spirit. In discussing it Aristotle is thinking especially of the λῃτουργίαι or public services discharged at Athens, and in other Greek cities, by wealthy individuals; such as the refitting of a naval trireme, the equipment of a dramatic chorus, and the defraying of the cost of a θεωρία or delegation representing the State at one of the great Hellenic festivals. The word literally means ‘great conspicuousness’ or splendor, but in eliciting its connotation Aristotle brings in another meaning of the verb πρέπειν, viz. ‘to be fitting,’ and takes the noun to signify ‘suitability on a great scale’; and also he feels that the element ‘great’ denotes grandeur as well as mere magnitude.

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