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Private individuals have the following advantages over princes: (1) they are schooled by the necessities of daily life, (2) the laws restrain them and their fellow men criticize them, (3) the poets have left them precepts by which to live. τὸ μὴ τρυφᾶν ἀλλ᾽ ἀναγκάζεσθαι: we should say, ‘the absence of luxury and the necessity,’ &c. τῶν ποιητῶν τινες: such as the Gnomic poets Hesiod, Theognis, and Phocylides, whom he mentions in § 42, where see notes. ὑποθήκας, ‘precepts.’ ὑποτιθέναι, lit. ‘place beneath’, ‘put down’, means in the middle voice (1) ‘to lay down as a foundation on principle’, so here ὑποθήκη means ‘a principle’, ‘precept’; (2) ‘to lay down as a presupposition’, ‘to presuppose’, as in § 13 οἷον ὑπεθέμεθα δεῖν εἶναι τὸν ὀρθῶς βασιλεύσοντα, hence ὑπόθεσις, ‘hypothesis’; (3) ‘to propose as a subject of discussion’, as in N. C. 14 ἐντεῦθεν ὑποτιθέμενος ἠρξάμην; cp. ὑπόθεσις, ‘subject’, ‘design’ (§ 7). In the active it has a technical legal meaning ‘to put down as a pledge’, so ‘mortgage’; cp. French hypothèque.
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