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‘And so, when we know what we ought to do in any given case, or to be in respect of character, we must then use the acquired knowledge (of the right course of action, and the right character) as suggestions, by changing and converting the language’ (twisting so as to adapt it to our purpose; lit. turning them by the language). The example, and probably the topic itself, is taken from Isocrates, who in Panath. § 32 employs it as a suggestion or piece of advice, and in Evag. § 45 converts it into a topic of laudation—‘Now when thus expressed, it amounts to (has the value of, may serve for,) a suggestion, but when thus, it becomes laudation, “Proud, not of the accidents of fortune, but of the distinctions due to himself alone”’.—The example in the laudatory form from the Evagoras runs thus in the original, οὐκ ἐπὶ τοῖς δὶ τύχην, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς δἰ αὑτὸν γιγνομένοις. Aristotle was probably quoting from memory, as seems to have been his common practice.

With the passages of Isocrates comp. Ovid. Met. XIII 140, Nam genus et proavos et quae non fecimus ipsi, vix ea nostra voco.

δύναται] Rhet. II 5. 1. δύνασθαι is often used in the sense of ‘having the value of, amounting to, equivalent to’, and is construed with the accusative. Herod. III 89, τὸ δὲ Βαβυλώνιον τάλαντον δύναται Εὐβοΐδας ἑβδομήκοντα μνέας. Xen. Anab. I 5. 6, σίγλος δύναται ἑπτὰ ὀβόλους, Thuc. VI 40, λόγοι ἔργα δυνάμενοι, Eur. Med. 128, τὰ δ᾽ ὑπερβάλλοντ̓ οὐδένα καιρὸν δύναται θνατοῖς (where Elmsley and Pflugk understand καιρόν as used adverbially); also of the power, force, import, ‘meaning’, of a word, Ar. Met. Γ 6, 1011 a 7, δύνανται δ᾽ αἱ ἀπορίαι αἱ τοιαῦται πᾶσαι τὸ αὐτό. Thuc. I 141, τὴν αὐτὴν δύναται (is equivalent to) δούλωσιν. Id. VI 36, τοῦτο δύνανται (mean) αἱ ἀγγελίαι, VII 58, δύναται δὲ τὸ Νεοδαμῶδες ἐλεύθερον ἤδη εἶναι. Ast's Lex. Plat. s. vv. δύναμαι, δύναμις. The power or force which is contained in the primary sense of δύνασθαι is expressed in the secondary sense in which it appears in the above passages as a particular kind of force, the value of anything, and hence the amount, (of which equality or equivalence is a species), or the import, or meaning (which again is a kind of equivalence) of it. And the accusative is nothing but a cognate accusative. That power or force is the original notion from which the secondary meanings are derived, is proved, if proof were needed, by the parallel use of ἰσχύειν to express precisely the same notion; Eth. Nic. II 3, 1105 b 2, τὸ μὲν εἰδέναι μικρὸν οὐδὲν ἰσχύει, τὰ δ᾽ ἄλλα οὐ μικρὸν ἀλλὰ τὸ πᾶν δύναται. As we say δύνασθαί τι for τινὰ δύναμιν, this construction is merely extended to the new kind of power which constitutes the secondary sense of the verb.

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