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Top. XXIII. The title of this topic ‘in scripto quodam libro’ apud Victorium, is ἀπὸ τοῦ λεγομένης τῆς αἰτίας λύεσθαι διαβολήν.

‘Another, for’ (the benefit of; the dative seems to follow λέγειν;) ‘those that have been previously brought into suspicion or odium, (whether by actual calumny) or suspected’ (thought to be, having the appearance of being, δοκοῦσι, guilty of something wrong, for some other reason —so Vater, reading δοκοῦσι), ‘both men and things, is to state the reason for the (otherwise) unaccountable circumstance: for there must be some reason (δἰ is the αἰτία,) for this appearance (of guilt)’. MS A^{c} has μὴ δοκοῦσι, which Victorius adopts and defends. All the recent edd. have . Victorius understands by μὴ δοκοῦσι a qualification of προδιαβεβλημένοις, to express the unexpected, apparently unreasonable, nature of the calumny or suspicion, which seems to be quite unsuitable to the character and circumstances of the object of it: “quae tamen nullo modo haerere ipsis videatur, quod alienae ab ea sint.” This agrees extremely well with the παραδόξου following, and this reading and explanation is deserving at all events of consideration. It supposes only one case to be contemplated, that of unjust suspicion and consequent calumny. Vater on the contrary thinks that there are two cases intended, direct calumny, and suspicion for any other reason; and that this requires δοκοῦσι. His transl. is, “Homines significantur, qui propter calumniam vel alia de caussa videantur aliquo modo affecti esse.” This is not very clear; but I suppose his meaning to be what I have said. In this case we must understand ἀδικῆσαι, or something equivalent, after δοκοῦσι. Spengel, in his recent edition, says that Victorius' reading and interpretation is refuted by the sense of the passage—which I cannot agree with—and that διαβεβλῆσθαι must be understood after δοκοῦσιν. But what is the meaning of ‘apparent’ calumny? and how is it distinguished from the other?

There is another point which has hitherto escaped observation, viz. the interpretation of καὶ ἀνθρώποις καὶ πράγμασι. Victorius interprets it as in apposition to τοῖς διαβεβλημένοις, ‘qui valet ad purgandas aliquas et personas et res,’ which at first sight seems the most natural and obvious explanation, and I have adopted it in my translation. But then, what are the things that can be calumniated or brought under suspicion? One might suppose that it means human actions: but Victorius renders it res; and in fact actions are necessarily included in τοῖς διαβεβλημένοις; they are the things that are subject to misinterpretation; and therefore there is no ground for a distinction between men and their actions, so far at least as they are subject to calumny. I will venture to suggest, though not with complete confidence, that we might give the words a different construction, and understand them thus, “for the benefit of those who have been unjustly—we must in this case read μὴ δοκοῦσιν, unlikely to be guilty—subjected to suspicion, by men (by human agency, directly) or by circumstances” (indirectly; which would be equivalent to Vater's second case). At all events it makes very good sense.

We now come to a still greater difficulty, the interpretation of ὑποβεβλημένης in the example. A^{c} reads διαβεβλημένης τινὸς πρὸς τὸν υἱόν ‘when a certain woman had been brought into suspicion with respect to (i. e. as to her conduct or dealings with) her son’, which gives a very sufficient sense, but is rejected by Victorius as well as Bekker and Spengel and modern editors in general.

Victorius' rendering—and no other Commentary that I have seen has a word on the subject—is as follows; I must give it in his own words as it will hardly bear translation. “Ceu cum mater quaedam filium subiisset, corporique ipsius corpus suum supposuisset, ut commode eum osculari posset, in eo habitu corporis spectata visa est stuprum cum adolescente exercere.” ὑποβεβλημένης is translated literally.

I see no other meaning that can be attached to the words as the text at present stands, but it must be observed that ὑποβεβλημένης τὸν αὑτῆς ϝἱόν is very strange Greek for supposuisse filium corpori suo, and I do not see how it can be justified. The accus after ὑποβάλλειν represents not the thing under which you throw something, but the thing that you throw under something else: and the passive ὑποβεβλημένης meaning ‘throwing herself under’, is possible perhaps, but by no means usual, Greek. The ordinary construction of ὑποβάλλειν with two objects, appears in these examples. The object thrown is in the accus.; the object under which it is thrown is either in the dat. or has a prepos. introduced before it. ὑποβάλλειν πλευροῖς πλευρά, Eur. Or. 223, ὑποβ. ἀμφὶ μαστὸν σποδόν, Suppl. 1160. Xen. Oecon. 18. 5, ὑπ. τὰ ἄτριπτα ὑπὸ τοὺς πὀδας. Plut. Brut. 31, ὑπ. τοῖς ξίφεσιν τὰς σφαγάς, and similarly in the metaph. applications of it (from Rost and Palm's Lex.) On the genit. ὑποβεβλημένης see note on II 8. 10.

The general meaning of the whole is, that a mother had been seen in this position which she had assumed for the purpose of embracing her own son—which was not known to the witness—was accordingly subjected to the suspicion of illicit intercourse with him: and we are to suppose further, that her character hitherto had been unimpeachable: when the true reason was explained or stated, the calumny was at once quashed (dissolved or unloosed as a knot). On this sense of λύειν, διαλύειν, &c. see note in Introd. on II 25, p. 267, note 1.

A second example is taken from the argument between Ajax and Ulysses in the contest for the arms of Achilles, in Theodectes' tragedy ‘the Ajax’, already referred to § 20 supra. where Ulysses tells Ajax ‘why (the reason, which explains the paradox), though he is really braver than Ajax, he is not thought to be so.’ What the reason was we are not told; nor does Ovid. Met. XIII supply the deficiency.

On διότι and its three senses, see note on I 1.11.

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