This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
ἐκ τῶν παρεληλυθότων θεωροῦντι] ‘by studying out of’, i. e. ‘drawing conclusions or deriving observations from the study of the past’. ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις κ.τ.λ.] Aristotle had already probably, when this was written, supplied the deliberative orators of his time with the means of acquainting themselves with this branch of political study, by his work called Πολιτεῖαι, a collection of the constitutions of 158 states existing at that period, and serving apparently as an appendix to the extant Politics. It is included in the lists both of Diogenes, V 27, and of the Anonymus in Buhle, Arist. Vol. I p. 65. Diogenes' title, which is more descriptive than the other, runs thus: Πολιτεῖαι πόλεων δυοῖν δεούσαιν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἑκατὸν, καὶ ἰδίᾳ δημοκρατικαί, ὀλιγαρχικαί, ἀριστοκρατικαί, καὶ τυραννικαί. The extant fragments of this work are collected in Rose's Arist. Pseudepigraphus, Pt. 2, p. 391—537 (this collection is much more complete than that of Neumann, which is printed in the Oxf. ed. of Bekker's text, Vol. X p. 234, as an appendix to the Politics). The latest results of the researches on this subject are given by Heitz, Verlor. Schrift. Arist. p. 230, seq. αἱ τῆς γῆς περίοδοι] ‘Travels round the world’, ‘survey of the earth’. These were books of Geography physical and descriptive, containing not only an account of the relative position of cities and countries, but also observations upon the manners and customs of the inhabitants. Hence they are recommended to the study of the Politician. These were founded either upon personal observation, or upon the reports of travellers; whence the name περίοδοι. Ar. Meteor. I 13, 13, δῆλον δ᾽ ἐστὶ τοῦτο θεωμένοις τὰς τῆς γῆς περιόδους: ταύτας γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ πυνθάνεσθαι παῤ ἑκάστων οὕτως ἀνέγραψαν, ὅσων μὴ συμβέβηκεν αὐτόπτας γενέσθαι τοὺς λέγοντας (quoted by Victorius). For a similar reason books of the same kind were called περίπλοι, ‘circumnavigations or nautical surveys’, as those of Scylax, Hanno, &c. or περιηγήσεις. (Διονύσιος ὁ περιηγητής. Διόδωρος ὁ περιηγητής, Athen. XIII 591 E. Πολέμων ὁ περιηγ., ib. IX 372 A, XXI 552 B.) One of the earliest and best known of them was that of Hecataeus, referred to by Herodotus, IV 36 γελῶ δὲ ὁρέων Γῆς περιόδους γράψαντας πολλοὺς ἤδη...οἱ Ὠκεανόν τε ῥεόντα γράφουσι πέριξ τὴν γῆν ἐοῦσαν κυκλοτερέα ὡς ἀπὸ τόρνου, καὶ τὴν Ἀσίην τῇ Εὐρώπῃ ποιεῦντας ἴσην. In V 49 the term is applied to Aristagoras of Miletus' famous map, (by Strabo assigned to Anaximander), πίνακα ἐν τῷ γῆς ἁπάσης περίοδος ἐνετέτμητο, καὶ θάλασσά τε πᾶσα, καὶ ποταμοὶ πάντες. From the hints in Herod. IV. 36, Ar. Meteor. II 5, διὸ καὶ γελοίως γράφουσι νῦν τὰς περιόδους τῆς γῆς: κ.τ.λ. (where the author proceeds to say, following Herodotus, that the circular shape of the earth assigned to it by these writers is impossible), and from Pol. II 3, 1262 a 12, sub fin., the general nature of the contents of these works may be gathered. Eudoxus, the mathematician and astronomer, of Cnidos, was the author of one of these works, referred to by Athen. VII 288 C, ἐν ἕκτῳ γῆς περίοδου (Victorius), also Ctesias, Dionysius, Diodorus, Polemo. An account of Hecataeus' περίοδος is given by Mure, Hist. Gk. Lit. IV 144, Bk. IV ch. 3 § 3. αἱ τῶν περὶ τὰς πράξεις γραφόντων ἱστορίαι] See note on ἱστορίαι, § 7. The addition ‘about men's actions’ is still required to define the kind of ‘inquiries’ in which ‘history’ engages: ἱστορία has not yet become technical, indicating a special department of study. ἔχειν] ‘to be informed or furnished’. ‘The information’ which he must ‘have’ is left to be supplied. Understand τὰς προτάσεις, which generally stands in Aristotle for the ‘materials’ of Rhetoric which the speaker must have at his command. λέγωμεν πάλιν] ‘let us go back, begin again, take a fresh start as it were, and proceed to state...’ Compare the end of the first chapter. This form of expression and use of πάλιν are very familiar to Aristotle in commencing a new subject. See, for example, de Anima II 1 init., c. 2 init.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.