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A second kind of ὀλιγωρία is ἐπηρεασμός, spiteful opposition to, wanton interference with, the plans and wishes (ταις βουλήσεσι) of others, in order to thwart them, where you gain no advantage to yourself by doing so; where the motive is the mere malicious pleasure of disconcerting some one, and thereby shewing your power over them: which is the root of the wanton love of mischief inherent in human nature: comp. § 6. ‘This is an inclination to thwart or interfere with the wishes of another, not for any advantage that you expect to derive from it yourself, but merely for the mischievous satisfaction of depriving him of it. The slight regard therefore is shewn in the wantonness of the offence; for it is plain that there is no intention (lit. supposition) of injury in a slight— that would imply fear, not merely indifference—nor of doing him any service, none at least worth speaking of’ (ὀλιγωρία excludes the notion of good as well as bad, it is mere indifference; § 3, καὶ γὰρ τὰ κακὰ καὶ τἀγαθὰ ἄξια οἰόμεθα σπουδῆς εἶναι κ.τ.λ.); ‘for this (doing him service) would imply care for him, solicitude for his welfare, and that again friendship,’ lit. ‘for (in that case) he would have shewn that he cared for him, and therefore (so that ὥστε. it would follow) that he was his friend’. The argument of ἐπεὶ οὖν—φίλος εἶναι is this. The wantonness of the mischief which is the effect of ἐπηρεασμός, (spiteful interference with your neighbour's inclinations,) shews that ὀλιγωρία enters into it in this, that it must proceed from a contemptuous indifference as to the person and character of the victim; for the very wantonness of the act, that it is done for mere amusement, and without any prospect of advantage, shews the slight regard that the perpetrator has for the sufferer; that he neither fears him as he must have done if he wished to hurt or injure him by thwarting his schemes, nor esteems and respects him as a friend, as would necessarily be the case if he intended to interfere with and oppose his plans and inclinations for the other's benefit: and therefore the indifference that he does manifest must be indicative of contempt. ἐπηρεασμός] appears to be almost a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον; only two examples are given in Steph. Lex., one from Diodorus and the other from Pollux—no great authorities. [It is also found infra c. 4 § 30.] The usual form of it in the ordinary language is ἐπήρεια, which occurs in much the same sense; as also ἐπηρεάζειν frequently in Demosthenes, and less frequently elsewhere, as in Xenophon and the Comic Poets. Thucyd. I 26 is a good instance as a commentary upon Aristotle's text, and illustrative of his interpretation: of the Corcyreans, during their war with the Corinthians, it is said that after the surrender of their colony Epidamnus to the Corinthians, they took this to heart, and despatched a force of 25 ships, to demand amongst other things the restitution of the Epidamnian exiles; and this they did κατ᾽ ἐπήρειαν, ‘they bade them out of mere spite and wantonness’ without any prospect of benefit to themselves, merely for the purpose of annoying the others. Comp. ἐπηρεάζειν, Dem. c. Mid. p. 519, of Midias' vexatious annoyance, ἐπήρεια ib. p. 522 ult. where it is distinguished from ὕβρις, the wanton outrage on the sacred person of the choragus. See also de Cor. p. 229, lines 8, 14 in both of which it is applied to spiteful, wantonly offensive language; whereas in Aristotle it is ἐμποδισμὸς ταῖς βουλήσεσιν, and in Plut. Reip. Ger. Praec. p. 816 C, it is applied to acts of this character, ἢ πράξεσιν ἐχούσαις φιλοτιμίαν ἐπηρεάζων; as in Ar. Pol. III 16, 1287 a 38, πολλὰ πρὸς ἐπήρειαν καὶ χάριν εἰώθασι πράττειν; which also marks the ‘wantonness’ characteristic of it by the addition of πρὸς χάριν. In Plut. Coriol. 334 D, οὐκ ἐπὶ κέρδεσιν ἀλλὰ δἰ ὕβριν καὶ περιφρόνησιν τοῖς πένησιν ἐπηρεάζων, which marks the wanton character of the acts of oppression. These passages from Plutarch with some others from the same author are to be found in Wyttenbach's note on Plutarch, p. 135 D. He renders it vexantes, infestantes, per invidiam et contumeliam. The only other instance that I will refer to, occurs in Herod. VI 9, where the word seems at first sight to bear a different meaning, ‘threatening’: τάδε σφι λέγετε ἐπηρεάζοντες τά περ σφέας κατέξει, (and so Schweighäuser's Lexicon ‘minitari’). But by comparing the word as here used with its use and explanation in other authors, we see that the sense of the threat is only implied, and that the prominent and characteristic signification is, as elsewhere, ‘insult or spite them by telling them the fate that will overtake them’. ὥστε φίλος εἶναι] is an instance of a not unfrequent attraction of a substantive or adjective, ordinarily in the accusative, within a grammatical bracket, as it were, to the subject of the verb without it—here ἐφρόντιζε—and hence expressed in the nominative. Plat. Euthyd. 273 A, ὑβριστὴς διὰ τὸ νέος εἶναι. Arist. de part. Anim. IV 8. 2, χρήσιμαι πρὸς τὸ λαβοῦσαι προσφέρεσθαι τὴν τροφήν. Plat. Phaedo 83 D, ὥστε...καὶ ὥσπερ σπειρομένη ἐμφύεσθαι, καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἄμοιρος εἶναι κ.τ.λ.
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