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Headword: *ko/smos
Adler number: kappa,2147
Translated headword: cosmos, kosmos; order, ornament, decorum, universe
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the system and the union [formed] from heaven and earth and those things in the middle.[1]
"[The entity] which is a totality of the forms. Since it was necessary that none of the forms be destroyed, lest the whole be imperfect, it was impossible for things to remain the same in number, since they were originate and perishable, but these things partake in eternity as they are able, because all things desire the eternity of the first [dawn] as their own beginning and each shares in this according to its own limits. And this is the most suitable work of nature, that each natural thing beget another such as itself. And since we require engendering, but genetic ability occurs in limited power, on account of this we require increase. Since increase occurs because of nourishment, we again require nourishing ability. On account of this, then, we have a share of natural abilities, both we and [creatures] without reason. So that whenever we operate according to these faculties, we act as plants do; whenever [we operate] according to inclination and desire, [we act] as animals without reason: we act as men when we use reason. Therefore, as Plotinus very wittily said, all those who act madly according to their nutritive faculties, run the risk of being turned into a tree".[2]
But kosmos means four things: decorum, this whole [sc. universe], order, the populace in Scripture.[3]
Aelian [writes]: "Cleopatra also did other things which possessed profaneness, which bring me a decorum as I keep silent"[4] That is, a seemliness.
Greek Original:
*ko/smos: to\ e)c ou)ranou= kai\ gh=s kai\ tw=n e)n me/sw| su/sthma/ te kai\ su/gkrima. o(\s plh/rwma/ e)sti tw=n ei)dw=n. e)pei\ de\ e)/dei mhde\n tw=n ei)dw=n fqei/resqai, i(/na mh\ a)tele\s h)=| to\ pa=n, a)du/naton de\ h)=n ta\ au)ta\ me/nein tw=| a)riqmw=|, genhta/ te o)/nta kai\ fqarta/, mete/xei kai\ tau=ta th=s a)i+dio/thtos w(s h)du/nato, dio/ti kai\ pa/nta e)fi/etai th=s tou= prw/tou a)i+dio/thtos w(s oi)kei/as a)rxh=s kai\ mete/xei tau/ths e(/kaston kata\ ta\ e(autou= me/tra. kai\ tou=to/ e)sti to\ skopimw/taton e)/rgon th=s fu/sews, to\ tw=n fusikw=n e(/kaston gennh=sai a)/llo, oi(=o/n e)stin au)to/. kai\ e)peidh\ deo/meqa gennh/sews, h( de\ gennhtikh\ du/namis e)n w(risme/nw| gi/netai mege/qei, dia\ tou=to deo/meqa th=s au)ch/sews. e)peidh\ de\ h( au)/chsis dia\ trofh=s gi/netai, th=s qreptikh=s pa/lin deo/meqa duna/mews. dia\ tou=to toi/nun mete/xomen tw=n fusikw=n duna/mewn kai\ h(mei=s kai\ ta\ a)/loga. w(/ste o(/tan me\n e)nergw=men kata\ ta\s duna/meis tau/tas, w(s futa\ e)nergou=men, o(/tan de\ kata\ qumo\n kai\ e)piqumi/an, w(s a)/loga zw=|a: w(s a)/nqrwpoi de\ e)nergou=men to/te, o(/te tw=| lo/gw| kexrh/meqa. dio\ kai\ a)stei/ws li/an o( *plwti=nos ei)=pen, w(s o(/soi e)mmanw=s kata\ ta\s qreptika\s duna/meis e)nergou=sin, ou(=toi kinduneu/ousin a)podendrwqh=nai. shmai/nei de\ o( ko/smos te/ssara: eu)pre/peian, to/de to\ pa=n, th\n ta/cin, to\ plh=qos para\ th=| grafh=|. *ai)liano/s: h( de\ *kleopa/tra kai\ a)/lla ei)rga/sato a)sebei/as e)xo/mena, a(/ moi sigw=nti ko/smon fe/rei. toute/stin eu)pre/peian.
See also kappa 2148.
[1] Likewise in Etymologicum Magnum 532.14.
[2] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 7.11-27 Hayduck. Rather than "wittily" (a)stei/ws), Philoponus says "very divinely" (pa/nu qei/ws). The reference seems to be to Plotinus, Enneads 3.4.2, where the verb is dendrwqh=nai without the prefix.
[3] The phrase 'in Scripture', though placed last, should possibly be understood with 'means four things'. Immediate source (if any) unidentifiable.
[4] Aelian fr. 58c Domingo-Forasté (55 Hercher).
Keywords: biography; botany; definition; ethics; philosophy; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 5 December 2000@23:48:47.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation, added notes and keyword) on 24 October 2003@00:56:24.
David Whitehead (modified first paragraph of translation; augmented notes and keywords) on 24 October 2003@03:42:33.
Catharine Roth (moved a phrase) on 24 October 2003@11:33:09.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 12 November 2007@00:51:05.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 24 March 2011@10:46:49.
Catharine Roth (updated reference in note 4) on 15 February 2012@01:07:37.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 13 March 2013@08:50:26.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 10 January 2020@18:35:24.
Catharine Roth (expanded note with reference) on 10 January 2020@18:44:55.


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