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And in general, Typhon is the prevailing power, as both Plato and Aristotle insinuate. Moreover, the generative [p. 119] and salutary part of nature hath its motion towards him, in order to procure being; but the destroying and corruptive part hath its motion from him, in order to procure not-being. For which reason they call the former part Isis, from going (ἴεσθαι) and being borne-along with knowledge, she being a kind of a living and prudent motion. For her name is not of a barbarous original; but, as all the Gods have one name (θεός) in common, and that is derived from the two words, θέων (running) and θεατός (visible); so also this very Goddess is both from motion and science at once called Isis by us and Isis also by the Egyptians. So likewise Plato tells us, that the ancients called οὐσία (being) ἰσία (knowledge), as also that νόησις (intelligence) and φρόνησις (prudence) had their names given them for being a φορά (agitation) and motion of νοῦς (mind), which was then, as it were, ἱέμενος and φερόμενος (set in motion and borne-along); and the like he affirmeth of συνιέναι (to understand), that it was as much as to say ‘to be in commotion.’ 1 Nay he saith, moreover, that they attribute the very names of ἀγαθόν (good) and ἀρετή (virtue) to the ideas of running (θέω) and of ever-flowing (ἀεὶ ῥέω2 which they imply; as likewise, on the other hand again, they used terms opposite to motion by way of reproach; for they called what clogged, tied up, locked up, and confined nature from agitation and motion κακία (baseness or ill motion), ἀπορία (difficulty or difficult motion), δειλία (fearfulness or fearful motion) and ἀνία (sorrow or want of motion).

1 Most of the absurd etymologies proposed in this chapter are actually to be found in Plato's Cratylus, from p. 401 C to p. 415 E. (G.)

2 The usual emendation for εὑροῦσι (which the MSS. give) is εὐροοῦσι. But Plato (Crat. 415 D) derives ἀρετή from τὸ ἀσχέτως καὶ τὸ ἀκωλύτως ἀεὶ ῥέον, from which he supposes a form ἀειρέτη to come, afterwards contracted into ἀρετή. I have therefore adopted the reading ἀεὶ ῥέουσι, and translated accordingly. (G.)

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