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‘And the more brutal the crime is, the worse’; that is, the nearer approach it makes to the conduct and instincts of a mere animal or brute, who is incapable of virtue and self-control; and the more cruel, savage, ‘inhuman’ it is, more degraded below the level of humanity. There are three degrees in the scale of natures, moral and intellectual, (1) the beast, (2) the man, and (3) the god. Thus, Pol. I 2, 1253 a 27, it is said of a man that is incapable of society, or is in want of nothing, being all-sufficient to himself, that he is ἢ θηρίον ἢ θεός: in respect of this complete independence he is either below or above all the various wants, instincts, affections, desires, aims, and aspirations that characterize humanity. Precisely the same view appears in the little disquisition on θηριότης at the opening of Book VII of the Nicom. Ethics, except that here the distinction between the three natures is made to rest solely upon intellectual and moral virtue: this is human, whereas the beast and the god are alike incapable of it, the beast, from the defects already stated, being below the human standard, the gods above it. On this superiority of the gods to the practice of moral or human virtue and their entire independence of it, see Eth. Nic. X 8. A fine fragment of Cicero's lost dialogue de Philosophia sive Hortensius, quoted by Augustine, de Trinitate XIV c. 9, is manifestly borrowed, not translated, from this passage of Aristotle. It is printed in Nobbe's edition of Cicero, p. 1171, fragm. 35. Here therefore ‘brutality’ consists in the absence of all capacity for virtue, moral and intellectual, and is consequently opposed to τὴν ὑπὲρ ἡμᾶς ἀρετήν, ἡρωικήν τινα καὶ θείαν. This brutal nature, like the divine, is extremely rate amongst mankind. (This statement is qualified in Pol. III 11, 1281 b 19, καίτοι τί διαφέρουσιν ἔνιοι τῶν θηρίων ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν; ἀλλὰ περί τι πλῆθος οὐδὲν εἶναι ἀληθὲς κωλύει τὸ λεχθέν). It is found chiefly in ‘barbarians’. ‘Barbarous’ and ‘barbarity’ in fact express pretty nearly the same notion of character.) Again, the absence of all moderation in the indulgence of our desires and emotions and general want of selfcontrol is characteristic of the ‘brutal’ nature; lb. c. 6, 1148 b 34, τὸ μὲν οὖν ἔχειν ἕκαστα τούτων ἔξω τῶν ὅρων ἐστὶ τῆς κακίας, καθάπερ καὶ ἡ θηριότης. And again, 1149 a 4, πᾶσα ὑπερβάλλουσα καὶ ἀφροσύνη καὶ δειλία καὶ ἀκολασία καὶ χαλεπότης αἱ μὲν θηριώδεις αἱ δὲ νοσηματώδεις εἰσιν. And these are then illustrated, ὁ μὲν γὰρ φύσει τοιοῦτος οἷος δεδιέναι πάντα, κἂν ψοφήσῃ μῦς, θηριώδη δειλίαν δειλός:...καὶ τῶν ἀφρόνων οἱ μὲν ἐκ φύσεως ἀλόγιστοι καὶ μόνον αἰσθήσει ζῶντες θηριώδεις. (αἴσθησις is the characteristic of ‘animal life’ in general; that which distinguishes animals from plants. de Anima.) Brutal ‘tastes’ or instincts are illustrated a little earlier in the same chapter, 1048 b 20 seq. Brutal (or animal) pleasures are those which we have in common with the lower animals, the pleasures of feeling and taste; in the over-indulgence of which, this form of bestiality lies, III 13, 1118 a 23—b 4. Gaisford refers to Magna Moralia II 5 init., ἔστι δὲ ἡ θηριότης ὑπερβάλλουσά τις κακία: ὅταν γάρ τινα παντελῶς ἴδωμεν φαῦλον οὐδ᾽ ἄνθρωπόν φαμεν εἶναι ἀλλὰ θηρίον, ὡς οὖσάν τινα κακίαν θηριότητα. ἡ δ̓ ἀντικειμένη ἀρετὴ ταύτῃ ἐστὶν ἀνώνυμος, ἔστι δὲ ἡ τοιαύτη ὑπὲρ ἄνθρωπον οὖσα, οἷον ἡρωική τις καὶ θεία: expressions directly taken from the passages of Eth. N. VII just quoted. Finally, the instinctive ὀρέξεις (θυμός and ἐπιθυμία) belong to this animal part of our nature, and are therefore not always under our control; Pol. III 16, 1267 a 28; where the divine part of our nature, the controlling, regulating, intelligent νοῦς, is contrasted with the lower instincts of the brute elements of our nature, the emotional and appetitive. ‘And when it arises from or is due to malice aforethought’. προνοία is the ‘forethought’, the deliberate vicious purpose which constitutes ‘malice prepense’, aggravates a wrong act in proportion to its intensity and the length of time during which the evil intent has been nursed; and converts an act otherwise innocent into a crime. The προνοία is that which distinguishes murder from homicide. It is in fact the moral προαίρεσις, distinctive of vice and virtue, of which an account has been already given in the first note on this chapter. See the passage of Eth. Nic. V 10, there quoted. Comp. Rhet. I 13. 10. There ἐκ προνοίας is identified with the (in Ethics) more ordinary ἐκ προαιρέσεως. ὅταν δὲ ἐκ προαιρέσεως (ἡ βλάβη) ἄδικος καὶ μοχθηρός. διὸ καλῶς τὰ ἐκ θυμοῦ (actions which are done in a state of violent excitement, under the impulse of overpowering passion, are considered as involuntary, and exempted from the penalty of crimes) οὐκ ἐκ προνοίας κρίνεται. The case quoted by Schrader from Magna Moralia I 17, of a woman who had caused the death of her lover by a love-potion which she had sent him only with the view of inflaming his passion, and was consequently acquitted by the court of Areopagus on the charge of murder, because the act was done without deliberate malevolent intent, is a case of ἁμάρτημα (one of those in which the wrong done does not amount to a crime), in which the mischief is done without due knowledge of the circumstances of the case. In Demosth. c. Aristocr. p. 634, there is a similar distinction between two kinds of ἀνδροφονία: in one sense the name is applied ἐπ᾽ ἀκουσίῳ φόνῳ, and to acts of this kind ‘a wise and humane law’, νόμος ἀνθρωπίνως καὶ καλῶς κείμενος, does not apply the name of murder; from this are immediately afterwards distinguished οἱ ἐκ προνοίας (φονεύσαντες). Aeschines c. Ctesiph. § 212, εἴληφε τραύματος ἐκ προνοίας γραφὰς γραφόμενος. Dinarch. c. Demosth. § 6, τῶν ἐκ προνοίας φόνων. Compare Cic. de Off. I 8, sub fin. Sed in omni iniustitia permultum interest utrum perturbatione aliqua animi, quae plerumque brevis est et ad tempus, an consulto et cogitata fiat iniuria. Leviora enim sunt quae repentino aliquo motu accidunt quam ea quae meditata ac praeparata inferuntur. ‘And any act, or wrong done, which inspires the hearers rather with terror than compassion’. An act which tends to consequences which inspire terror, the stronger emotion, in those who may be exposed to the like treatment, must plainly be more striking in its character and important in its social effects, more noxious and prejudicial, and worse in general, than one which excites mere pity or sympathy with the sufferer, without raising alarm on account of what may follow to oneself. That which excites terror must be terrible; formidable and dangerous to the individual or society. An atrocious crime makes men tremble, and fear expels pity; the stronger emotion overpowers the weaker. Comp. Rhet. II 8. 5 and 12, ‘Amasis shed no tears when he saw his son led away to death, but wept when his friends asked an alms’: τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ἐλεεινόν, ἐκεῖνο δὲ δεινόν: τὸ γὰρ δεινὸν ἕτερον τοῦ ἐλεεινοῦ καὶ ἐκκρουστικὸν τοῦ ἐλέου καὶ πολλάκις τῷ ἐναντίῳ χρήσιμον. Victorius quotes Cic. Tusc. Qu. III 27, Constabat eos qui concidentem vulneribus Gn. Pompeium vidissent, quum in illo ipso acerbissimo miserrimoque spectaculo sibi timerent quod se classe hostium circumfusos viderent, nihil tum aliud egisse nisi ut remiges hortarentur, et ut salutem adipiscerentur fuga: posteaquam Tyrum venissent tum afflictari lamentarique coepisse. ‘And the rhetorical artifices or exaggerations’ (such as αὐξήσεις, δεινώσεις, rhetorical tricks for giving extra importance and interest to a subject; or for magnifying, exaggerating, intensifying the atrocity, enormity, of a crime), ‘for instance, that the accused (whose crime you desire to magnify) has subverted many principles (or obligations) of justice at once, or transgressed them; for instance, oaths, the right hand (pledge of faith, καὶ δεξιαὶ ᾗς ἐπέπιθμεν, Il. B 341), ‘all confidence or good faith, all the laws of intermarriage, and the rest; for this is an excess of many crimes over the one which has really been committed’; or ‘a multiplication of one crime into many’. The exaggeration of this rhetorical fallacy lies in the enumeration, and apparent accumulation, of offences by division of the single offence into its parts, or the repetition—as in the instance—of the same offence under different names, which seems thus to swell its bulk and magnify its enormity. This is the reverse application of the same rhetorical artifice of exaggeration as has been already referred to in I 7. 31 (see note), the methods of διαίρεσις εἰς τὰ μέρη, συντιθέναι, and ἐποικοδομεῖν applied to the ‘amplification’ of good things; the object and use of them being stated in nearly the same words, πλειόνων γὰρ ὑπερέχειν φαίνεται. ἀναιρεῖν, ‘to take up, so as to remove, annul, or destroy’; here tollere, subvertere. The simple verb, as well as the phrase ἀναιρεῖν ἐκ μέσου— comp. Lat. de medio, e medio tollere (Cic., Liv.) is common in Demosth., Aesch. and the Orators, and occurs occasionally in other writers, as Plato and Xenophon, with words like νόμους, τὸ δίκαιον, διαθήκην, ὑποθέσεις (Plato), or πόλιν, πολιτείαν, ὀλιγαρχίας (Xenoph.). Gaisford illustrates the various forms of pledges or guarantees here mentioned by a corresponding passage in Arist. Acharn. 306, πῶς δ᾽ ἔτ̓ ἂν καλῶς λέγοις ἄν, εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ̓ ἅπαξ οἷσιν οὔτε βωμὸς οὔτε πίστις οὔθ̓ ὅρκος μένει. ἐπιγαμία, ius connubii, the right of intermarriage between different states, together with the rules and obligations which it entails, which are here in question. On the ‘reciprocal’ ἐπι, ‘inter’, see note on ἐπεργάσασθαι I 13. 9, p. 251.
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