previous next

‘Of those which have the supplement (these are the two kinds of the second division), some are part of an enthymeme, as “no man of sound mind ought,” (the commencement of the verses of Euripides in § 2), and the rest have an enthymematic character, but are not part of an enthymeme: which (the latter) are in fact the most popular’. αἱ μὲν ἐνθυμήματος μέρος may be thought to be a careless expression, contradictory to the description of enthymeme in I 2. 13: since it is characteristic of the enthymeme that it omits at least one of the premisses (see on the enthymeme Introd. p. 104), and therefore a γνώμη with the reason appended represents a conclusion with one premiss, which is an enthymeme. The explanation seems to be that an enthymeme is an assumed syllogism: the inference which it draws rests upon the possibility of constructing a syllogism out of it: if that cannot be done, the inference is not valid. So that in one sense the enthymeme is a true and complete syllogism, in another, in so far as it expresses only one premiss, it may be called a part of it, and incomplete. And this serves to explain the statement of I 2. 13, τὸ δ᾽ ἐνθύμημα συλλογισμόν (i. e. a mode of syllogistic reasoning), καὶ ἐξ ὀλίγων τε καὶ πολλάκις ἐλαττόνων ἐξ ὧν πρῶτος συλλογισμός.

‘And all those have this (latter) character in which the reason of the (general) statement is made to appear, as in this, “mortal as thou art, guard, keep (cherish), not immortal anger;” for, to say “that a man ought not to keep his anger for ever” is a γνώμη; but the addition, “as a mortal” (because he is a mortal), states the (reason) why. And like it again is this, “Mortal thoughts” (or a mortal spirit—that is, one which confines its aims and aspirations within the limits of its mortal condition), “not immortal, become a mortal man.”’

The first of these two quotations is used by Bentley in his Dissertation on Phalaris, p. 247 [p. 229 ed. Wagner], and foll. He does not attempt to fix the authorship of it, but contents himself with saying “this, though the author of it be not named, was probably...borrowed from the stage,” p. 247, but afterwards, p. 249 [231], “and even that one (the verse in question) is very likely to be taken from the same place” (viz. Euripides). Subsequently, p. 262 [243], he speaks of it as from “a poet cited by Aristotle,” and “Aristotle's poet.” He quotes from Euripides' Philoctetes, Fragm. IX (Dind.), XII (Wagner), a parallel passage as having been borrowed by the author of Phalaris, ὥσπερ δὲ θνητὸν καὶ τὸ σῶμ᾽ ἡμῶν ἔφυ, οὕτω προσήκει μηδὲ τὴν ὀργὴν ἔχειν ἀθάνατον, ὅστις σωφρονεῖν ἐπίσταται. The same verse, with ἔχθραν for ὀργήν, occurs also in Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι, line 4, ap. Meineke Fragm. Comm. Gr. 340. Wagner, Incert. Trag. Fragm. p. 185, “Auctor versus, quisquis fuit, imitatus est Eurip. Fragm. 790 (sc. Philoct.);” and to this also he ascribes the γνώμη attributed to Menander, ἔχθραν being “sive calami errore, sive imitatione.”

The second verse, θνατὰ χρή κ.τ.λ., is ascribed by Bentley to Epicharmus; a supposition with which the dialect and metre agree. Müllach, Fragm. Philos. Gr. p. 144, Fr. Epicharm. line 260. This maxim is alluded to, but condemned, in the exulting description of perfect happiness, Eth. Nic. X 7, 1177 b 32, οὐ χρὴ δὲ κατὰ τοὺς παραινοῦντας ἀνθρώπινα φρονεῖν ἄνθρωπον ὄντα οὐδὲ θνητὰ τὸν θνητόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐφ̓ ὅσον ἐνδέχεται ἀθανατίζειν κ.τ.λ. Buhle quotes Horace, Od. II 11. 11, quid aeternis minorem consiliis animum fatigas?

For the use of the article in τὸν θνητόν, indicating a member of a certain class, see notes on I 7. 13, II 4. 31.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: