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[114] θεμιστεύει, ‘is lord and master over.’ Cp. Aristot. Eth.10. 10. 13, where he is speaking of the freedom that law does not reach, “καὶ ζῇ ἕκαστος ὡς βούλεται κυκλωπικῶς θεμιστεύων παίδων ἠδ᾽ ἄλοχου”. The reading “ἀλόχου” there is remarkable as a v. l.; probably the common reading ἀλόχων does not intentionally express the notion of polygamy, but is assimilated in number and sound to “παίδων”. Cp. also Plat. Pol.1. 2.§ 7πᾶσα γὰρ οἰκία βασιλεύεται ὑπὸ τοῦ πρεσβυτάτου . . καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν λέγει Ὅμηροςθεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος παίδων ἠδ᾽ ἀλόχων”.’ Plato, de Legg. 680, quotes this description of the Cyclopes as an illustration of the earliest form of family government, in which men were “πατρονομούμενοι καὶ βασιλείαν πασῶν δικαιοτάτην βασιλευόμενοι”. There is a sort of irony in describing the Cyclopes as knowing no “θέμιστες”, but “θεμιστεύει ἕκαστος”. Laws imply Society: the Cyclopes are a law to themselves.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1180a
    • Plato, Laws, 680
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