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Top. XIX. The wording of this is also very obscure from the extreme brevity. The title of the topic in one of Victorius' MSS is ἐκ τοῦ παρὰ τὸν σκόπον τοῦ λαβόντος, συμβαίνειν, ‘inference, from the issue being contrary to the aim or intention of the receiver,’—i. e. a mistake on the part of the receiver of a gift, who takes it as offered with an intention different from the real motive. This however is only a single instance of the application of the topic, and derived solely from the illustration, οἷον εἰ δοίη κ.τ.λ. The true interpretation is, as Brandis expresses it, u. s., p. 20, the general one, “An inference from the possible, to the real, motive,” as appears from the examples. Two readings have to be considered: v. l. followed and explained by Victorius εἰ μὴ γένοιτο, which Bekker (ed. 3) has retained; and, Vater's conjecture, ἢ γένοιτο, following the Schol., οὕτινος ἕνεκα εἶναι, ἤτοι, διὸ δίδωμί σοι νομίσματα (this again refers exclusively to the first example). ἢ γένοιτο, ἤτοι ἔδωκα: which at all events seems to shew that he read ἢ γένοιτο: this is also expressed in Muretus' version, ‘cuius rei causa aliquid est, aut fieri potest,’ and adopted by Spengel in his recent edition. To this in what follows εἶναι ἢ γεγενῆσθαι properly corresponds. The translation will then be, ‘To say, that the possible reason for a fact (εἶναι) or motive for an action (γίγνεσθαι), (lit. that for which anything might be, or be done), that is the (true) reason or motive of the fact or action; as in the case of one giving another something, in order to cause him pain by afterwards taking it away (withdrawing it)’. Here is an ostensible motive—a gift being usually intended to cause pleasure—which conceals the real motive, which is to cause pain; and this is the inference, you infer from the apparent fact or possible motive to the real one; the object of the topic being to assign a motive which suits your argument. Such then is the general meaning of the topic: the examples are all of the possible concealed motive or intention—which may be bad or good as your argument requires—that being the form in which it is more likely to be of use in Rhetoric. οὗ ἕνεκ᾽ ἂν εἴη ἢ γένοιτο ‘that for which so and so would, could, or might be, or be done’, (would be naturally or generally, might be possibly,) expresses the conditionality or possibility of the fact, motive, or intention, a meaning which is confirmed by ἐνδέχεται γάρ κ.τ.λ., in the explanation of the third example. (I call it the third, οἷον εἰ δοίη ἄν—λυπήσῃ being an illustration.) On Victorius' interpretation of εἰ μὴ γένοιτο, ‘cuius rei caussa aliquid esse potest, quamvis factum non sit,’ Vater says, “sed hoc quamvis factum non sit, ad rem non satis facit, neque in exemplis quae sequuntur eo respicitur an haec caussa vera sit necne:” but whether that be so or not, I think that a still better reason may be given for rejecting it, that εἰ μὴ γένοιτο cannot be rendered quamvis &c., which would require εἰ καί, or καὶ εἰ (κεἰ) μὴ γένοιτο. Victorius seems to mean, though the Greek (even independently of εἰ for quamvis) would hardly I think bear such an interpretation, ‘to assert that what may be the cause of a thing (i. e. an act) really is so, although it has not been (or, were not) done at all’; in other words, ‘though it is not’: and this, though I cannot think it the right rendering, can scarcely be said to be altogether ‘beside the point.’ On εἰ δοίη ἄν, see Appendix on εἰ δύναιτ᾽ ἄν, c.20.5, ‘On ἄν with Optative after certain particles’ [printed at the end of the notes to this Book]. In conformity with the explanation there given, δοίη ἄν, the conditional, is joined with εἰ, just as the future might be, of which in fact the conditional (as the tense is in French and Italian) is a mere modification. The first example, from an unknown Tragic poet (Wagner, Fragm. Tragic. Gr. III 186), warns us that ‘Heaven bestows on many great successes or prosperity, which it offers not out of good will, with no kind or benevolent intent, but that the disasters that they (afterwards) meet with may be more marked and conspicuous’—a contrast of the apparent with the real intention, from which an inference may be drawn and applied to a parallel case. Victorius compares Caes. de B. G. I 14 (ad Helvet. legatum) Consuesse deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere. [Cf. Claudian's tolluntur in altum, ut lapsu graviore ruant (in Rufinum I. 22, 23).] ‘And another from Antiphon's Meleager’. Referred to above, II 2. 19, where some account is given of the author, and the story of his play. The author of the Meleager is Antiphon the Tragic poet. See also note on II 23. 5, where the lines quoted are probably from some play. Wagner, Fr. Tr. Gr. III 113. Antiph. Fr. 3. Conf. Meineke, Fragm. Com. Gr. I 315. He suggests κάνωσι for κτάνωσι (καίνειν is found several times in Soph., twice in Aesch., and once in Xen. Cyrop.): Gaisford, Not. Var. 327, with much less probability οὐχ ὡς κτάνωσι1. ‘(The intention is) not to slay the beast, but that Meleager may have witnesses of his valour in the eyes of all Greece’. “Qui locus,” says Meineke, l. c., “ex prologo fabulae petitus videtur. Fortissimi quique Graecorum heroes (ita fere apud poetam fuisse videtur) convenerunt, non quo ipsi aprum Calydonium interficiant, sed ut Meleagri virtutem Graecis testificentur.” A third from Theodectes' Ajax (Aj. Frag. 1, Wagner, u. s., p. 118); cited again § 24, and III 15. 10, where the same passage of the play is referred to. It is there employed in illustration of the interpretation of a fact or a motive, favourable or unfavourable according to the requirements of the argument; exactly as in the topic now under consideration. Ar. there explains in much plainer terms its use and application: κοινὸν δὲ τῷ διαβάλλοντι καὶ τῷ ἀπολυομένῳ, ἐπειδὴ τὸ αὐτὸ ἐνδέχεται πλειόνων ἕνεκα πραχθῆναι, τῷ μὲν διαβάλλοντι κακοηθιστέον ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον ἐκλαμβάνοντι (putting an unfavourable construction upon the act and its motive), τῷ δὲ ἀπολυομένῳ ἐπὶ τὸ βελτιον (the reverse). The same explanation will apply to both quotations alike. Theodectes' play contained no doubt a rhetorical contest—which would be quite in his manner, like Ovid's— between Ajax and Ulysses for the arms of Achilles, in which the argument from the construction of motives would be applied to the fact, by the competitors, in the two opposite senses. Ulysses would refer to the ‘preference’ (προείλετο occurs in both the passages), shewing a sense of his superior merit, implied by Diomede when he chose him out of all the Greeks to be his companion in the hazardous exploring expedition to Troy by night (Hom. Il. K. 227 seq. Ovid. Met. XIII 238 seq. Est aliquid de tot Graiorum millibus unum A Diomede legi, line 241); Ajax would retort that this was not the real motive of Diomede's choice, but it was that ‘the attendant might be inferior to himself’ (II 23. 20) or (as it is expressed in III 15. 10,) ‘because he alone was too mean to be his rival’, to compete with him in his achievements, and to share in the renown to be thereby acquired. Of ἐνδέχεται, as illustrating εἰ δοίη ἄν, I have already spoken.
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