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[15] For instance, one cannot imagine the great-souled man running at full speed when retreating in battle,1 nor acting dishonestly; since what motive for base conduct has a man to whom nothing is great?2 Considering all the virtues in turn, we shall feel it quite ridiculous to picture the great-souled man as other than a good man. Moreover, if he were bad, he would not be worthy of honor, since honor is the prize of virtue, and the tribute that we pay to the good.

1 Literally, ‘fleeing swinging his arms at his side,’ i.e. deficient in the virtue of Courage. If this be the meaning, the phrase recalls by contrast the leisurely retirement of Socrates from the stricken field of Delium (Plato, Plat. Sym. 221a). But the words have been taken with what follows, as illustrating the lack of Justice or Honesty, and the whole translated either ‘outstripping an opponent in a race by flinging the arms backward [which was considered unsportsmanlike], nor fouling,’ or else ‘being prosecuted on a charge of blackmailing, nor cheating in business.’ Emendation would give a buried verse-quotation, ‘To swing his arms in flight, nor in pursuit.’

2 i.e., nothing is of much value in his eyes (cf. 3.30,34), so that gain, which is a motive to dishonesty with others, is no temptation to him.

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Delium (Greece) (1)

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