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[2] Now, a maxim is a statement, not however concerning particulars, as, for instance, what sort of a man Iphicrates was, but general; it does not even deal with all general things, as for instance that the straight is the opposite of the crooked, but with the objects of human actions, and with what should be chosen or avoided with reference to them. And as the enthymeme is, we may say,1 the syllogism dealing with such things, maxims are the premises or conclusions of enthymemes without the syllogism. For example: “ No man who is sensible ought to have his children taught to be excessively clever,2

” is a maxim; but when the why and the wherefore are added, the whole makes an enthymeme; for instance, “ for, not to speak of the charge of idleness brought against them,3 they earn jealous hostility from the citizens.


Another example: “ There is no man who is happy in everything;4

” or, “ There is no man who is really free.

” The latter is a maxim, but taken with the next verse it is an enthymeme: “ for he is the slave of either wealth or fortune.5

1 Putting the comma after σχεδόν.

2 Eur. Med. 294-297.

3 “The idle habits which they contract” (Cope).

4 Euripides, Stheneboea (frag. 661, T.G.F.).

5 Eur. Hec. 864-865.

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