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φθονερόν. The thought is as old as Homer; cf. Od. v. 118 “σχέτλιοί ἐστε, θεοί, ζηλήμονες ἔξοχον ἄλλων”. Other instances in H. beside the story of Croesus are that of Polycrates and the whole account of Xerxes (iii. 39 seq.). It is one of the main motives of his history (cf. Intr. pp. 49-50), as being the cause of the changes of fortune (i. 207. 2) which he has to record. Since the Greeks conceived their gods in their own likeness, it was natural that they should make them tyrants; cf. φιλέει ὁ θεὸς τὰ ὑπερέχοντα κολούειν (vii. 10 ε) with the τοὺς ὑπερόχους τῶν ἀστῶν φονεύειν of the tyrant (v. 92 η). For other parallels cf. Hesiod, W. and D. 6 ῥεῖα δ᾽ ἀρίζηλον μινύθει καὶ ἄδηλον ἀέξει, and Aesop's answer to Chilon (Diog. Laert. i. 3. 69) that Zeus was τὰ μὲν ὑψηλὰ ταπεινῶν τὰ δὲ ταπεινὰ ὑψῶν; also S. Luke i. 52, and Hor. Odes, i. 35. 2-4. The idea gradually became purified and moralized, so that it is no longer mere prosperity, but the pride bred of it, which the god hates. This form of the belief is found in H. (34. 1), but it occurs even earlier in the tragedians; cf. the magnificent lines of Aeschylus (Pers. 821-2） “ὕβρις γὰρ ἐξανθοῦς᾿ ἐκάρπωσε στάχυν
ἄτης ὅθεν πάγκλαυτον ἐξαμᾷ θέρος.
” In this form it may be compared to the teaching of the Hebrew prophets, e. g. Isa. x. 12 ‘I will punish the glory of his high looks’. Plato, Phaedr. 247 A excludes φθόνος from the θεῖος χορός; so too Arist. Metaph. i. 2 “οὔτε τὸ θεῖον φθονερὸν ἐνδέχεται εἶναι, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν πολλὰ ψεύδονται ἀοιδοί”. φθόνος originally included all the πάθη λυπηρά excited by prosperity in others; Aristotle (Eth. ii. 7. 14) distinguished them into φθόνος, νέμεσις, and ἐπιχαιρεκακία, cf. Intr. p. 49 and Rhet. ii. cc. 9 and 10 (with Cope's notes).
τῷ μακρῷ χρόνῳ, ‘the whole duration of human life’ (cf. v. 9. 3 for a different sense). The Greek ‘limit’, like that of Psalm xc. 10, varied from seventy to eighty years (cf. iii. 22 for the latter, and Solon frag. 27 (l. 17) and 20 ὀγδωκονταέτη μοῖρα κίχοι θανάτου for the two limits respectively).
ἐνιαυτός (v. L. & S. s. v.) is any season of time (cf. Od. i. 16 “ἔτος ἦλθε περιπλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν”); here it is made 360 days, a rough average between the solar and the lunar year (for the length of these and for the Calendar generally cf. ii. 4 nn.). H. makes a mistake as to ‘intercalary months’; if they were ever inserted every other year, then the ordinary months were strictly lunar (i. e. 29 1/2 days), and made up only 354 days (not 360, v. s.): it is more probable, however, that there were only three intercalary months in eight years. H.'s calculation would give an average of 375 days a year.
συμφορή. Tr. ‘man is altogether a thing of chance’; cf. vii. 49. 3 for the sentiment, and Heraclitus' famous πάντα ρεῖ, οὐδὲν μένει.
This Solonian paradox is discussed by Aristotle (Eth. i. 11). Cf. Soph. O. T. 1528 seq. for an almost verbal repetition and Intr. p. 7; but the idea is a commonplace of Greek thought. Join μετρίως ἔχοντες βίου (partitive genitive): the contrast between the ‘wealthy unhappy men’ and ‘the lucky men of moderate means’ is forced and not consistent with the omnipotence of chance; if H. meant that wealth is not εὐδαιμονία (as Aristotle, in Eth. x. 8. 9-11, where he refers to this passage), he certainly fails to say so; if he means that a man may be unlucky (ἀτυχής) though wealthy, he is elaborately stating the obvious. ἄπηρος κτλ.: for some of these conditions (ὧν οὐκ ἄνευ) necessary to happiness cf. Arist. Eth. i. 8. 16; τὸ εὖ ζῆν combined for a Greek the two ideas of ‘good life’ and ‘good living’ (i. e. prosperity).
The insufficiency of man causes the formation of the πόλις (Plat. Rep. ii. 369 seq.); the πόλις is to be αὐτάρκης, Arist. Pol. vii. 4. 14 seq., 1326 B; but Plato (Rep. 370 E) sees (as Solon here) that no πόλις can supply all it needs.
προρρίζους. Cf. vii. 46. 4 for the sentiment, and iii. 40. 3, where πρόρριζος is again used.
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