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Headword: Phaion
Adler number: phi,179
Translated headword: gray, grey
Vetting Status: high
[Note that][1] among the colors, some are simple[2] -- these are the contrary ones, such as black and white --, while others are compounded, like the colors between these, for they are the result of a precise mixture of the contrary colors with each other. Some of them [are] closer to white, like yellow; others [are] closer to black, like dark-blue. All the remaining ones [are] intermediate between these, such as grey, red. It is the same for flavors: "simple" are the opposite ones, that is, "sweet" and "bitter"; the others are mixed and intermediate, but closer to sweet is "unctuous",[3] while "salty"[4] is closer to bitter and all the remaining are between these. But the intermediate flavors are by no means mixed too: for the mixed ones are also intermediate, but the inverse relation is not true. An example is colors: for gray, being mixed, is an intermediate [color], yet red or green are not at all originated by the mixture of the opposite colors, but are called intermediate because they are not composed of any part of the extreme colors. The same relation is valid for flavors, since "salty" is a mixed flavor, as is the salt, which draws its taste from the bitterness and sweetness of marine water; on the other hand, "pungent", "harsh",[5] and "acid", since they contain no part of the two extremes, are for this reason intermediate. And if there is some other flavor close to these, it is tasteless, like "insipid" or anything similar. So Aristotle, in his classification of the eight species of flavors,[6] classifies two of them as extreme, that is, sweet and bitter, then six as intermediate: close to sweet [he puts] unctuous, close to bitter, [he puts] salty, and in between are astringent,[7] harsh, pungent, acid. But Galen[8] includes among the simple, extreme [flavors] not sweet and bitter, but pungent and acid: anyway, the two [authors] are not in disagreement, for one of them [i.e. Galen], being a physician, called these [flavors] extreme, looking at their effective qualities [sc. for the body], since "astringent" is extreme in reference to the warmth, "acid" is extreme in reference to the chill.[9] The other [i.e. Aristotle], by contrast, as a philosopher established the opposition in the following way, not looking at the effective qualities, but at the qualities one can feel by tasting, for among the sensible flavours the extremes are bitter and sweet. In addition, Plato[10] has used such a classification: he speaks of seven flavors; for he associates unctuous and sweet, saying that unctuous if coupled with a pleasant sensation produces sweet, but if separated from any pleasant sensation produces bitter. We mean for "sweet" e.g. [the taste of] honey, for "unctuous" oily foods, for "acid" vinegar, for "astringent" wild pears, for "harsh" wine, for "salty" salt, for "bitter" wormwood, for "pungent" pepper. [Plato] says that the extreme ones are acid and pungent, and close to the extremes are astringent (close to acid) and bitter (close to pungent); in the middle are salty (close to bitter) and harsh (close to astringent). Sweet occupies the central position. Plato also connects these flavors with the seven planets: acid to Mercury, astringent to Mars, bitter to the Moon, sweet to the Sun, salty to Venus, harsh to Jupiter, acid to Saturn; but let us overlook the reason behind that, as nonsense.
Greek Original:
Phaion: hoti tôn chrômatôn ta men hapla esti ta enantia, hôs to leukon kai to melan, ta de suntheta, hoion ta metaxu toutôn. kai gar tauta têi poiai mixei pros allêla tôn enantiôn apotelountai. kai estin autôn ta men enguterô tou leukou, hôs to xanthon, ta de enguterô tou melanos, hôs to kuanoun, ta de loipa metaxu toutôn, hoion to phaion, to eruthron. houtô kai epi tôn chumôn: hapla men ta enantia, to gluku kai to pikron, ta de alla mikta kai metaxu: alla tou men glukeos enguterô to liparon, to de halmuron tou pikrou, ta de loipa toutôn metaxu. ou pantôs de ta metaxu kai mikta: ta men gar mikta kai metaxu, ouketi de anapalin: hoion epi chrômatôn: to men gar phaion mikton on metaxu esti: to mentoi eruthron ê prasinon ou pantôs ek tês mixeôs tôn enantiôn ginetai, alla metaxu legontai hôs mêdeterou tôn akrôn metechonta. houtô kai epi chumôn: mikton men to halmuron, hôs hoi hales: ek gar pikrou tou thalattiou hudatos kai glukeos tên geusin echousi: to de drimu kai austêron kai oxu tôi mêdeterou tôn akrôn metechein houtôs eisi metaxu. ei ti de allo engus esti toutôn, touto achumon einai, hoion to pladaron ê ti toiouton. ho men oun Aristotelês oktô katalegôn eidê chumôn, duo kataleipei akrous, ton glukun kai pikron, kai hex mesous: engus men tou glukeos ton liparon, tou de pikrou ton halmuron, en mesôi de struphnon, austêron, drimun, oxun. ho de Galênos en tois haplois akrous men legei ou ton glukun kai pikron, alla ton drimun kai oxun. kai ou diaphônousin: ho men gar hôs iatros pros tas haptas apidôn poiotêtas toutous ekalesen akrous: akron gar esti kata men thermotêta to drimu, kata de psuxin to oxu. ho de hoia philosophos ouketi pros tas haptas, alla pros tas geustas apheôrakôs, houtôs epoiêsato tên antithesin: akron gar estin en tois geustois to gluku kai pikron. ho de Platôn kechrêtai toiaide taxei: hepta legei chumous: to gar liparon hama tôi glukei sunaptei, legôn hoti to hupaleiphon, ei men meta hêdutêtos esti, poiei to gluku: ei de aneu hêdutêtos, liparon. gluku de legomen hoion to meli, liparon de ta elaiôdê, oxu to oxos, struphnon hoion achrades, austêron ton oinon, halmuron tous halas, pikron to apsinthion, drimu to peperi. akra de legei oxu kai drimu, parakra de engus men tou oxeos to struphnon, engus de tou drimeos to pikron: paramesa de engus men tou pikrou to halmuron, engus de tou struphnou to austêron, meson de to gluku. anatithêsi de tauta tois hepta planêtais, to men oxu tôi Hermêi, to drimu tôi Areï, to pikron têi Selênêi, to gluku tôi Hêliôi, to halmuron têi Aphroditêi, to austêron tôi Diï, to struphnon tôi Kronôi. tên de aitian hôs phluarian paridômen.
See already phi 178 for a simple definition of 'gray'.
[1] The whole gloss stems from John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 406.25-407.7 Hayduck (on Aristotle, de anima 422b10). Philoponus, like Aristotle, focuses here on flavors more than colors, but the association of this excerpt with the entry is determined by Aristotle's comparison between the two classifications.
[2] cf. Aristotle, de sensu 442a12: "Again, just as the colors [sc. are the result of the mixture of black and white], so the flavors are the result of the mixture of sweet and bitter and depend on the quantitative relation between the components".
[3] cf. lambda 586 (without reference to the flavor).
[4] See alpha 4462.
[5] See sigma 1233.
[6] See alpha 1304.
[7] cf. Aristotle, de anima 422b10.
[8] In Galen's work, the notion of xumo\s is sometimes problematic, since it encompasses many different meanings. The idea of flavor is closely related to humors and fluids of the body. *xumo\s means definitely "flavor" in de alimentorum facultatibus 6.455 Kuhn, as xulo\s in a quotation from Diocles of Carystus' first book of Hygiene for Pleistarchus (C4 BCE). This work seems to be the source referred to by Philoponus.
[9] cf. Galen, de alimentorum facultatibus I.6.475 Kuhn: "as a result of each food being composed by so much warm, so much cold, dry and moist, one of them seems sweet, another bitter, salty, astringent, harsh or pungent".
[10] See Plato, Timaeus 64E-66A.
Galen, On the Properties of Foodstuffs, with introduction, translation and commentary by O. Powell, Cambridge University Press 2003
Keywords: daily life; definition; food; medicine; philosophy; science and technology
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 8 September 2005@23:14:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (another headword; some tweaks to translation; cosmetics) on 9 September 2005@03:34:26.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 9 September 2005@15:45:53.
Catharine Roth (more betacode) on 9 September 2005@15:47:20.
David Whitehead (cosmetics; raised status) on 5 December 2013@05:13:10.
David Whitehead (codings) on 30 May 2016@10:59:15.


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