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Next it would seem proper to discuss Magnificence,1 for this also appears to be a virtue concerned with wealth. It does not however, like Liberality, extend to all actions dealing with wealth, but only refers to the spending of wealth; and in this sphere it surpasses Liberality in point of magnitude, for, as its name itself implies, it consists in suitable expenditure on a great scale.

1 μεγαλοπρέπεια denotes Munificence of a magnificent kind, the spending of money on a grand scale from the motive of public spirit. In discussing it Aristotle is thinking especially of the λῃτουργίαι or public services discharged at Athens, and in other Greek cities, by wealthy individuals; such as the refitting of a naval trireme, the equipment of a dramatic chorus, and the defraying of the cost of a θεωρία or delegation representing the State at one of the great Hellenic festivals. The word literally means ‘great conspicuousness’ or splendor, but in eliciting its connotation Aristotle brings in another meaning of the verb πρέπειν, viz. ‘to be fitting,’ and takes the noun to signify ‘suitability on a great scale’; and also he feels that the element ‘great’ denotes grandeur as well as mere magnitude.

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