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περὶ νομοθεσίας ἐπαΐειν] ‘to understand the subject of legislation’.

In this section occur several points in common between the Rhetoric and Politics, which, though they may not be direct references from one to the other, yet serve to illustrate the relation between them. They are noticed by Brandis, in Schneidewin's Philologus, u. s. p. 33. I will compare them in the order in which they stand.

ἐν γὰρ τοῖς νόμοις ἐστὶν σωτηρία τῆς πόλεως] On legislation comp. I 1, 7. That the laws ought to be supreme in a state, and not any one or several, or the entire body of citizens, is argued and concluded in Polit. III 15, 1286 a 7 seq. and again c. 16, 1287 a 18, τὸν ἄρα νόμον ἄρχειν αἱρετώτερον μᾶλλον τῶν πολιτῶν ἕνα τινά κ.τ.λ. The different forms of constitutions, and what is salutary and conservative or destructive of each of them, are treated, for instance, in Pol. III 6, and VIII (V) 1 et seq. And not only is the substance of the next sentence, λέγω δὲ τὸ ὑπὸ οἰκείων φθείρεσθαι κ.τ.λ., found in the discussions of the Politics VIII (V) 1, but the very same metaphor, from the tightening and relaxation of the strings of the lyre, is employed there, 1301 b 17, as here; and in c. 9, 1309 b 18, the same illustration, derived from the flat and aquiline nose, is used to represent the excessive exaggeration and intensification, or depression and relaxation of the constitution, as of the feature, which altogether effaces its true character.

ἀνιέμεναι καὶ ἐπιτεινόμεναι] This metaphor from the screwing up or relaxation of the strings of the lyre, producing a difference of musical pitch or tone, which it raises or lowers, is a very favourite one both with Plato and Aristotle, and is used to represent, as I have already said, exaggeration or intensification on the one hand, (exactly as we speak of ‘screwing up our courage’ Macbeth I 7, 60), and depression or relaxation on the other. If for example the nose is lowered or depressed to excess in the way of flatness as a snub-nose, or exaggerated in the other direction to excessive sharpness and prominence as an aquiline nose, it ends by losing the character of a nose altogether, and is either altogether effaced or becomes a beak: and so with the constitutions of states.

τὸ ὑπὸ οἰκείων φθείρεσθαι therefore means that forms of government are destroyed or change their character by the exaggeration or relaxation of their own proper and peculiar institutions, and it is in the ‘mean’ state alone between these two excesses that the constitution can be said to maintain its true character. For instance the ὅρος, definition or principle, of a democracy is equality; if this be intensified or exaggerated, or carried to excess, if the thing be logically carried out, and everybody actually becomes equal, the government degenerates into mob-rule or anarchy and thus loses its true democratic character; if it be relaxed and the equality diminished, the democratic principle and its institutions become so enfeebled, that the inequalities increase until at last it becomes an oligarchy, ἀνιεμένη ἀσθενεστέρα γίνεται ὥστε τέλος ἥξει εἰς ὀλιγαρχίαν.

Plat. Lys. 209 B, Rep. IV 441 E, τὸ μὲν ἐπιτείνουσα καὶ τρέφουσα...τὸ δὲ ἀνιεῖσα παραμυθουμένη, VI 498 B, ἐπιτείνειν τὰ ἐκείνης γυμνάσια, III 412 A, ἐπιτεινομένω καὶ ἀνιεμένω, ib. 410 D, μᾶλλον δ᾽ ἐπιταθὲν τοῦ δέοντος σκληρόν τε καὶ χαλεπὸν γίγνοιτ̓ ἄν...μᾶλλον ἀνεθέντος αὐτοῦ μαλακώτερον κ.τ.λ. Phaedo 98 C, οἷα ἐπιτείνεσθαι καὶ ἀνίεσθαι, 86 C, 94 C and elsewhere.

This was transmitted by the master to his disciple. In Aristotle it occurs, Pol. VIII (V) 1, 1301 b 16, ἵνα ἐπιταθῶσιν ἀνεθῶσιν. Ib. c. 8, 1308 b 2, τὰ τιμήματα ἐπιτείνειν ἀνιέναι, ἐὰν μὲν ὑπερβάλλῃ ἐπιτείνοντας...ἐὰν δὲ ἐλλείπῃ ἀνιέντας, ib. c. 9, 1309 b 18, u. s., VII (VI) 6, 1320 b 30, VI (IV) 6, 1293 a 26 and 30 ὑπερτείνειν, Eth. Nic. VI 1, 1138 b 23, ἔστι τις σκοπὸς πρὸς ὃν ἀποβλέπων τὸν λόγον ἔχων ἐπιτείνει καὶ ἀνίησιν. In Pol. V (VIII) 7 1341 b ult., he says of music as a ‘relaxation’ πρὸς διαγωγήν, that it is πρὸς ἄνεσίν τε καὶ πρὸς τὴν τῆς συντονίας (overstraining or exertion) ἀνάπαυσιν. Comp. Pol. VI (IV) 3, ult. ἁρμονίας συντονωτέρας and ἀνειμένας; whence ἔντονος (intense), σύντονος, ἀνειμένος, ἀνειμένως, are applied, the two first to braced nerves, vigorous exertion or character; the latter to relaxation or dissoluteness of life and manners, or to slackness, laxity, and effeminacy. In Pol. IV (VII) 17, 1336 a 30, it is said that children's sports should be neither ἐπιπόνους nor ἀνειμένας; and c. 4, 1326 a 26, that no well-constituted state should be ἀνειμένην, uncontrolled, slack, loose, relaxed, i. e. allowed to run to excess, in its numbers. Eth. Nic. II 4 sub. init. ὀργισθῆναι σφοδρῶς ἀνειμένως, ib. III 7, 1114 a 5, ἀνειμένως ζῆν, open, easy, careless, dissolute life. Comp. Thuc. I 6, II 39 ἀνειμένῃ τῇ διαίτῃ, ἀνειμένως διαιτώμενοι. The corresponding Latin terms are intendere and remittere, Cic. Orat. § 59, Quint. X 3, 24, doubtless borrowed from the Greek.

οὕτω διατίθεται ὥστε κ.τ.λ.] ‘it assumes such a condition or shape that it seems to be no nose at all’.

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