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who was nicknamed the filial for his devotion to his father, for he was thought to carry it to the point of infatuation—) : well then, there cannot be any actual Vice in relation to these things, because, as has been said, each of them is in itself desirable by nature, although excessive devotion to them is bad and to be avoided. [6] And similarly there cannot be Unrestraint either, since that is not merely to be avoided, but actually blameworthy; though people do use the term in these matters with a qualification— ‘unrestraint in’ whatever it may be—because the affection does resemble Unrestraint proper; just as they speak of someone as a bad doctor or bad actor whom they would not call simply ‘bad.’ As therefore we do not call bad doctors and actors bad men, because neither kind of incapacity is actually a vice, but only resembles Vice by analogy, so in the former case it is clear that only self-restraint and lack of restraint in regard to the same things as are the objects of Temperance and Profligacy are to be deemed Self-restraint and Unrestraint proper, and that these terms are applied to anger only by analogy; and so we add a qualification, ‘unrestrained in anger,’ just as we say ‘unrestrained in the pursuit of honor’ or ‘gain.’ 5.

Besides those things however which are naturally pleasant, of which some are pleasant generally and others pleasant to particular races of animals and of men, there are other things, not naturally pleasant, which become pleasant either as a result of arrested development or from habit, or in some cases owing to natural depravity. Now corresponding to each of these kinds of unnatural pleasures we may observe a related disposition of character. [2] I mean bestial characters, like the creature in woman's form1 that is said to rip up pregnant females and devour their offspring, or certain savage tribes on the coasts of the Black Sea, who are alleged to delight in raw meat or in human flesh, and others among whom each in turn provides a child for the common banquet2; or the reported depravity of Phalaris.3 [3] These are instances of Bestiality. Other unnatural propensities are due to disease, and sometimes to insanity, as in the case of the madman that offered up his mother to the gods and partook of the sacrifice, or the one that ate his fellow slave's liver. Other morbid propensities are acquired by habit, for instance, plucking out the hair, biting the nails, eating cinders and earth, and also sexual perversion. These practices result in some cases from natural disposition, and in others from habit, as with those who have been abused from childhood. [4] When nature is responsible, no one would describe such persons as showing Unrestraint, any more than one would apply that term to women because they are passive and not active in sexual intercourse; nor should we class as Unrestraint a morbid state brought about by habitual indulgence. [5]

Now these various morbid dispositions in themselves

1 So Peters. Perhaps there is a reference to the Lamia of folk-lore.

2 The version follows Williams, and seems to require the emendation given in the critical note. The mss. give ‘who lend their children to each other for feasting.’

3 See below, 5.7, note.

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    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 4.106
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