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[1529] The use of ἐπισκοποῦντα is peculiar. I take the exact sense to be: —“fixing one's eye on the final day (as on a point towards which one is moving), that one should see it,” i.e. “until one shall have had experience of it.” Thus ἐπισκοπεῖν is used in a sense closely akin to its common sense of “attentively considering” a thing: and the whole phrase is virtually equivalent to, “waiting meditatively to see the final day.” For the added infin., cp. Thuc. 3.2νεῶν ποίησιν ἐπέμενον τελεσθῆναι, καὶ ὅσα ἐκ τοῦ Πόντου ἔδει ἀφικέσθαι.” Cp. Plin. NH 7.132 alius de alio iudicat dies, et tamen supremus de omnibus, ideoque nullis credendum est. Hartung proposed to replace ἰδεῖν by γε δεῖ (where γε would be intolerable); Stanley by ἔδει, Seyffert by δέον, and Nauck by χρεών. Kennedy, keeping ἰδεῖν, changes ἐκείνην into ἄμεινον. But the infin. ὀλβίζειν as a “sententious” imperative (see on 462) is appropriate in this γνώμη. The accus. θνητὸν ὄντ᾽, ἐπισκοποῦντα stands with the infin. when, as here, the infin. represents an imperat. of the third person; cp. Hom. Il. 3.284εἰ δέ κ᾽ Ἀλέξανδρον κτείνῃ ξανθὸς Μενέλαος, Τρῶας ἔπειθ᾽ Ἑλένην καὶ κτήματα πάντ᾽ ἀποδοῦναι,” with Leaf's note: and Madvig Gr. sect. 546. When the infin. = an imperat. of the second pers., the case is regularly the nom. (Hom. Od. 11.441), rarely the acc. (Hes. WD 389). The view that ὀλβίζειν depends on ὥστε requires a shorter pause at ἐλήλυθεν, and thus weakens the effect of v. 1527. μηδέν᾽ ὀλβίζειν. Eur. Andr. 100 ff. partly reproduces the language of this passage: χρὴ δ᾽ οὔποτ᾽ εἰπεῖν οὐδέν᾽ ὄλβιον βροτῶν, πρὶν ἂν θανόντος τὴν τελευταίαν ἴδῃς ὅπως περάσας ἡμέραν ἥξει κάτω. He has the thought also in Eur. Tro. 510, Eur. Her. 866, Eur. IA 161, as Soph. in Soph. Tr. 1 and fr. 588. The maxim, “Call no man happy before death,” first appears in Greek literature as a set γνώμη in Aesch. Ag. 928ὀλβίσαι δὲ χρὴ βίον τελευτήσαντ᾽ ἐν εὐεστοῖ φίλῃ”: but Aristotle recognises the popular tradition which ascribed it to Solon. In Hdt. 1.32 Solon says that a man may be called εὐτυχής in life, but ὄλβιος only after a life exempt from reverse. Cp. Iuv. 10.274 ff. Et Croesum, quem vox iusti facunda Solonis Respicere ad longae iussit spatia ultima vitae, where Mayor refers to the proverbs Λυδὸς (Croesus) ἀποθνήσκει σοφὸς ἀνήρ, and τέλος ὅρα βίου (Parmoemiogr. 11. 187, I. 315 n.), and to notices of the saying in Cic. (De Fin. 2.87, 3.76), Diog. Laert. ( Diog. Laert. 1.50τά θρυλούμενα”), Ovid (Ovid Met. 3.135), Seneca (De Tranq. An. 11.12), Josephus (Bell. Iud. 1.5.11=29.3), Arrian (7 sect. 16.7), Lucian (Charon 10): cp. Ecclus. 11. 28. Does Solon mean, Aristotle asks, (1) that a man is happy when he is dead? Or (2) that, after death, he may be said to have been happy? If (1), Arist. declines to allow that the dead are positively happy; and popular opinion, he says, denies that they are always negatively so, i.e. free from unhapppiness. If (2), then is it not absurd that at the time when he ishappy we are not to call him so? The fallacy, he concludes, consists in treating “happiness” as dependant on bright fortunes: οὐ γάρ ἐν ταύταις τὸ εὖ κακῶς ἀλλὰ προσδεῖται τούτων ἀνθρωπος βίος, καθάπερ εἴπαμεν, κύριαι δ᾽ εἰσὶν αἱ κατ᾽ ἀρετὴν ἐνέργειαι τῆς εὐδαιμονιας, αἱ δ᾽ ἐναντίαι τοῦ ἐναντίου.Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1.11

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