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σπουδαῖον] As ἐπιεικής is transferred from the special sense of a particular kind of goodness, i.e. equity, or merciful consideration, to the sense of ‘good’ in general, (see ante, note on I 2, 4); so σπουδαῖος (serious, earnest, Xen. Cyrop. II 2. 9, 3. 8, as opposed to παίζων1 ‘in jest’), to levity and frivolity; and thence, in the sense of something solid and substantial, sound and true, to φαῦλος, light, empty, trifling and worthless) acquires a moral sense coextensive with ἀγαθός, and is opposed to φαῦλος, Plat. Rep. VII 519 D, Legg. VI 757 A, &c. as the sound and solid to the light, empty, and unsubstantial. This familiar application of the word is recognized (as in the parallel case of ἐπιεικής, Eth. N. v 14) by Aristotle, Categ. c. 8, 10 b 7, οἷον ἀπὸ τῆς ἀρετῆς σπουδαῖος: τῷ γὰρ ἀρετὴν ἔχειν σπουδαῖος λέγεται, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ παρωνύμως ἀπὸ τῆς ἀρετῆς (i. e. the notion is derived from ἀρετή, but not the word itself). Plat. ὅροι, p. 415 D (ed. Tur. p. 888) σπουδαῖος τελέως ἀγαθός.

There is however one point of difference between ἐπιεικής and σπουδαιος, that σπουδαῖος is extended to every kind of excellence, like ἀγαθός, whereas ἐπιεικής is confined to the expression of excellence in human character. Also σπουδαῖος has another sense distinguishable from the preceding, as opposed to γελοῖος, the ‘serious’ to the ‘jocose’ or ‘ridiculous’. Xen. Cyrop. II 3. 1, τοιαῦτα καὶ γελοῖα καὶ σπουδαῖα ἐλέγετο, and Symp. VIII 3, σπουδαῖαι ὄφρυες, ‘grave and serious’. σπουδή and παιδία ‘jest’ and ‘earnest’, ‘serious work’ and ‘play’ or ‘sport’, are constantly brought into contrast by Plato.

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