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ξυμφέρον ἅμα καὶ δίκαιον. The sophistry is undisguised. If βόεια κρέα is Polydamas' συμφέρον and δίκαιον, and δίκαιον is assumed to be everywhere identical with itself, it follows that βόεια κρέα is our δίκαιον, but not our ξυμφέρον, otherwise we are also κρείττονες. To avoid this, Wohlrab ingeniously takes ἐκείνου not with ἥττοσιν but with ξυμφέρον ἅμα καὶ δίκαιον, as if the meaning were ‘Polydamas' συμφέρον καὶ δίκαιον is also δίκαιον for us.’ This explanation is however linguistically harsh and comparatively pointless. On βδελυρὸς γὰρ εἶ Tucker aptly reminds us that the prevailing feature in Theophrastus' description of the βδελυρός (Char. c. 11) is παιδιὰ ἐπιφανὴς καὶ ἐπονείδιστος (‘obtrusive and objectionable pleasantry’ Jebb).

κακουργήσαις. Cope observes that the word is used “of the knavish tricks and fallacies which may be employed in rhetorical and dialectical reasoning” (Aristotle's Rhetoric Vol. 1 p. 17). Cf. Gorg. 483 A (cited by Tucker).

εἶτ᾽ οὐκ οἶσθα κτλ. ‘Do you mean to say you don't know’ etc. The division of constitutions into Monarchy, Oligarchy (for which Aristocracy is here substituted) and Democracy was familiar to everybody: see Aeschin. Ctes. 6, Tim. 4 ὁμολογοῦνται γὰρ τρεῖς εἶναι πολιτεῖαι παρὰ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις, τυραννὶς καὶ ὀλιγαρχία καὶ δημοκρατία. Cf. Whibley Greek Oligarchies pp. 17, 24. Thrasymachus proceeds to define κρείττων as κρατῶν (not ἰσχυρότερος, as Socrates had insinuated): -κρατοῦνται in δημοκρατοῦνται and ἀριστοκ ρατοῦνται well brings out his meaning. Cf. Laws 714 B νόμων εἴδη τινές φασιν εἶναι τοσαῦτα ὅσαπερ πολιτειῶν, and C οὔτε γὰρ πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον οὔτε πρὸς ἀρετὴν ὅλην βλέπειν δεῖν φασι τοὺς νόμους, ἀλλ̓ ἥτις ἂν καθεστηκυῖα πολιτεία, ταύτῃ δεῖν τὸ ξυμφέρον ὅπως ἄρξει τε ἀεὶ καὶ μὴ καταλυθήσεται, καὶ τὸν φύσει ὅρον τοῦ δικαίου λέγεσθαι κάλλισθ̓ οὕτως. Πῶς; Ὅτι τὸ τοῦ κρείττονος ξυμφέρον ἐστί.

τίθεται δέ γε: Laws l. c. τίθεται δήπου, φασί, τοὺς νόμους ἐν τῇ πόλει ἑκάστοτε τὸ κρατοῦν. γάρ; Ἀληθῆ λέγεις. Ἆῤ οὖν οἴει, φασί, ποτὲ δῆμον νικήσαντα τινα πολιτείαν ἄλλην καὶ τύραννον θήσεσθαι ἑκόντα πρὸς ἄλλο τι πρῶτον νόμους <*> τὸ συμφέρον ἑαυτῷ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ μένειν; Πῶς γὰρ ἄν; Aristotle makes it the distinguishing mark of his three perverted forms (παρεκβάσεις) of constitution (τυραννίς, ὀλιγαρχία, δημοκρατία) that they seek their own and not τὸ κοινῇ συμφέρον: Pol. Γ 7. 1279^{b} 4 ff.

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    • Plato, Gorgias, 483a
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