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2 The doctrine of the three Lives goes back to Pythagoras, who compared the three kinds of men to the three classes of strangers who went to the Games, traders, competitors, and spectators （Iamblichus, Vit. Pythag. 58）. This apologue brings out the metaphor underlying the phrase θεωρητικὸς βίος, lit. ‘the life of the spectator’ （ Burnet）.
3 The last two words of the Greek look like a verse passage loosely quoted. Sardanapallus was a mythical Assyrian king; two versions of his epitaph are recorded by Athenaeus （336, 530）, one containing the words ἔσθιε, πῖνε, παῖζε: ὡς τἆλλα τούτου οὐκ ἄξια τοῦ ἀποκροτήματος, ‘Eat, drink, play, since all else is not worth that snap of the fingers’; the other ends κεῖν᾽ ἔχω ὅσσ᾽ ἔφαγον καὶ ἐφύβρισα καὶ μετ᾽ ἔρωτος τέρπν᾽ ἔπαθον: τὰ δὲ καὶ ὄλβια πάντα λέλυνται, ‘I have what I ate; and the delightful deeds of wantonness and love which I did and suffered; whereas all my wealth is vanished.’
4 It is not certain whether this phrase refers to written treatises （whether Aristotle's own dialogues and other popular works, now lost, or those of other philosophers）, or to philosophical debates like those which Plato's dialogues purport to report （as did doubtless those of Aristotle）. Cf. De caelo 279a 30 ἐν τοῖς ἐγκυκλίοις φιλοσοφήμασι, ‘in the ordinary philosophical discussions,’ and De anima 407b 29 τοῖς ἐν κοινῷ γινομένοις λόγοις, ‘the discussions that go on in public’; and see 13.9 note for similar references to ‘extraneous discussions.’
5 Literally ‘violent’; the adjective is applied to the strict diet and and laborious exercises of athletes, and to physical phenomena such as motion, in the sense of ‘constrained’, ‘not natural’. The text here has been suspected.