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‘The term εὐγενές (well-born, come of a good stock, of noble race, or descent) is applied to mark distinction (excellence) of race; γενναῖος (of noble character) to the maintenance of the normal type of character’ (keeping up to, not degenerating from, the true family standard). The difference between εὐγενής and γενναῖος lies in this; that in the former the race or descent, γένος, is directly expressed as the prominent and leading idea; it indicates that the εὐγενής comes of a good breed, but says nothing of the individual character: in the latter it is the character, conformable to the excellence of the breed or race, that is put prominently forward. The account here given of εὐγένεια is illustrated by the definition of it in I 5. 5; it denotes in fact the excellences and distinctions of one's ancestors, as distinguished from one's own. See the passages there collected. In Hist. Anim. I 1, 488 b 18, these two words are defined and distinguished almost in the same terms; εὐγενὲς μὲν γάρ ἐστι τὸ ἐξ ἀγαθοῦ γένους, γενναῖον δὲ τὸ μὴ ἐξιστάμενον ἐκ τῆς αὑτοῦ φύσεως. Ar. is here characterising the dispositions of animals. Some are ἐλευθέρια καὶ ἀνδρεῖα καὶ εὐγενῆ οἷον λέων, τὰ δὲ γενναῖα καὶ ἄγρια καὶ ἐπίβουλα, οἷον λύκος: from which it appears that γενναιότης is strictly and properly only the maintenance of a certain type of character, which need not necessarily be a good one: though in ordinary usage it is invariably applied to denote good qualities. On εὐγένεια, see Herm. Pol. Ant. § 57.

ἐξίστασθαι] ‘to quit a previous state’; of a change in general, especially a change for the worse, degeneration. Plat. Rep. II 480 A, τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ἰδέας ἐκβαίνειν...εἴπερ τι ἐξίσταιτο τῆς αὑτοῦ ἰδέας: of God, changing his own proper form, and descending to a lower. Eth. Nic. VII 7, 1150 a 1, ἀλλ᾽ ἐξέστηκε τῆς φύσεως, ὥσπερ οἱ μαινόμενοι τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Pol. VIII (V) 6, sub fin., αἱ δημοκρατίαι καὶ ὀλιγαρχίαι ἐξίστανται ἐνίοτε οὐκ εἰς τὰς ἐναντίας πολιτείας κ.τ.λ. Ib. c. 9, 1309 b 32, ὀλιγαρχίαν καὶ δημοκρατίαν...ἐξεστηκυίας τῆς βελτίστης τάξεως.

On φύσις as the τέλος, the true nature, the normal or perfect state of anything, see Pol. I 2, 1252 b 32, δὲ φύσις τέλος ἐστίν: οἷον γὰρ ἕκαστόν ἐστι τῆς γενέσεως τελεσθείσης, ταύτην φαμὲν τὴν φύσιν εἶναι ἑκαστοῦ, ὥσπερ ἀνθρώπου, ἵππου, οἰκίας. Grant, on Eth. Nic. II 1. 3, distinguishes five different senses of φίσις in Aristotle, of which this is the last.

‘Which (the maintenance of the ancestral character) for the most part is not the lot of the well-born, but most of them (the members or descendants of an illustrious family) are good-for-nothing’1 (εὐτελής vilis, cheap. Fortes non semper creantur fortibus); ‘for there is a kind of crop in the families of men (φορά here implies an alternation of φορά and ἀφορία, of good and bad crops) just as there is in the produce of the soil (lit. the things that grow in the country places); for a certain time (διά with gen., along the course or channel of, during,) remarkable men (distinguished above their fellows, standing out from among them, περί,) grow up in them, and then (after an interval of unproductiveness) they begin again to produce them’. There are two ways of understanding ἀναδίδωσιν; either it is active, ‘to send up, produce’, as the earth yields her fruits, and this is the natural interpretation, and supported by the use of the word in other writers: or, as Rost and Palm in their Lex., zurückgehen, ‘to go back’, relapse into a state of barrenness, on the analogy of ἀναχωρεῖν et sim. [‘deficit’. Index Aristotelicus]. In this case διδόναι is neut. (by the suppression of the reflexive pronoun) as indeed both itself and its compounds frequently are—and may be either ‘to give (itself) back, to give way’, or perhaps rather, like ἀνιέναι, ἀνιέσθαι, to relax or slacken in production (ἀνῇ, Soph. Phil. 764). Victorius gives both renderings; I have adopted his second version [“posteaque rursus, intervallo aliquo temporis edit ac gignit industrios item atque insignes viros”], which seems to me the more natural interpretation of ἀναδίδωσιν.

φορά] proventus, the produce which the earth bears, φέρει, is either ‘a crop’ simply, or ‘a good crop’, opposed to ἀφορία—fertility, abundance, to barrenness, either absolute or comparative. Plat. Rep. VIII 546 A, οὐ μόνον φυτοῖς ἐγγείοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ἐπιγείοις ζῴοις φορὰ καὶ ἀφορία ψυχῆς τε καὶ σωμάτων γίγνονται. Ar. Hist. Anim. V 21. 1, ἐλαιῶν φορά, ‘a crop of olives’. Ib. 22. 3, ἐλαιῶν φ., de Gen. Anim. III 1. 15, τῶν δένδρων τὰ πολλὰ...ἐξαυαίνεται μετὰ τὴν φοράν (after the crop). And metaphorically in Dem. de Cor. § 61, φορὰν προδοτῶν καὶ δωροδόκων. Aesch. c. Ctes. § 234, φ. ῥητόρων πονηρῶν ἅμα καὶ τολμηρῶν. Dissen ad loc. Dem. cit. Plut. Platon. Quaest. I 1, 999 E, φ. σοφιστῶν. Diodor. XVI. 54, φ. προδοτῶν. “Sic Latine novorum proventum scelerum dixit Lucan. Phars. II 61, et similiter messem usurpat Plaut. Trinum. I 1. 11.” Dissen, l. c.

With the whole passage compare Pind. Nem. XI 48, ἀρχαῖαι δ᾽ ἀρεταὶ ἀμφέροντ̓ ἀλλασσόμεναι γενεαῖς ἀνδρῶν σθένος, ἐν σχέρῳ δ̓ οὔτ̓ ὦν μέλαιναι καρπὸν ἔδωκαν ἄρουραι: δένδρεά τ̓ οὔτ̓ ἐθέλει πάσαις ἐτέων περ ὁδοῖς [al. περόδοις] ἄνθος εὐῶδες φέρειν, πλούτῳ ἴσον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἀμείβοντι. καὶ θνατὸν οὕτω σθένος ἄγει Μοῖρα. Ib. VI 14 (Gaisford).

‘When clever families degenerate, their characters acquire a tendency to madness, as for instance the descendants of Alcibiades and Dionysius the elder (tyrant of Syracuse), whereas those of a steady (staid, stable) character degenerate into sluggishness or dulness’ (of which the stubborn ass is the type; ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ̓ ὄνος...ἐβιήσατο παῖδας νωθής, δὴ πολλὰ περὶ ῥόπαλ̓ ἀμφὶς ἐάγη [Il. XI 559]), as in the case of those of Conon and Pericles and Socrates'. We learn from Plato, Men. 93 B—94 E, that the son of Themistocles, Cleophantus; of Aristides, Lysimachus; the sons of Pericles, Paralus and Xanthippus; of Thucydides (the statesman and general, the opponent of Pericles and his policy), Melesias and Stephanus; all de generated from their fathers; and in spite of the advantages of their education turned out nevertheless either quite ordinary men, or altogether bad.

The alliance of quickness of wit or cleverness and madness is marked again in Poet. XVII 4, 1455 a 32, εὐφυοῦς ποιητική ἐστιν μανικοῦ (the poet's ‘fine frenzy’). Probl. XXX 1. 18, ὅσοις μὲν πολλὴ καὶ ψυχρὰ ἐνυπάρχει ( κρᾶσις τῆς μελαίνης χολῆς) νωθροὶ καὶ μωροί, ὅσοις δὲ λίαν πολλὴ καὶ θερμὴ μανικοὶ καὶ εὐφυεῖς κ.τ.λ. Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide. Dryden [Absalom and Achitophel, I 163].

στάσιμα] settled, steady characters, is illustrated by Thuc. II 36, ἐν τῇ καθεστηκυίᾳ ἡλικίᾳ (‘mature and vigorous age’), Soph. Aj. 306, ἔμφρων μόλις πως ξὺν χρόνῳ καθίσταται (‘settles down again into his senses’). Aesch. Pers. 300, λέξον καταστάς (‘first compose thyself, and then speak’). Blomfield, Gloss. ad loc., refers to Ar. Ran. 1044, πνεῦμα καθεστηκός, and Eurip. Orest. 1310, πάλιν κατάστηθ᾽ ἡσύχῳ μὲν ὄμματι. Theophr. ap. Plut. Symp. I 5, p. 623 B, μάλιστα δὲ ἐνθουσιασμὸς ἐξίστησι καὶ παρατρέπει τό τε σῶμα καὶ τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ καθεστηκότος. Victorius points out a similar opposition of the two characters here contrasted, in Probl. III (16. 1). What is here called ἀβελτερία and νωθρότης is there designated by τετυφωμένους, a term of similar import. διὰ τί οἶνος καὶ τετυφωμένους ποιεῖ καὶ μανικούς; ἐναντία γὰρ διάθεσις. (τετυφῶσθαι is explained by Harpocration and Suidas of one who has lost his wits in the shock of a violent storm; whether by the storm itself which has confounded him, or by the accompanying thunderbolt: Hesych. s. v. μεμηνέναι; and τετύφωται, ἀπόλωλεν. ἐμπέπρησται. ἐμβεβρόντηται. ἐπῄρθη. Hence, of one stup<*>fied, ἐμβρόντητος, παράπληξ, out of his wits; or of fatuity, dulness in general).

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