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Headword: *)ampla/khma
Adler number: alpha,1654
Translated headword: failure
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a sc. moral] mistake.[1]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] a)mplaki/ais ["with failures"], [meaning] with [sc. moral] mistakes.[2]
The Stoics believe[3] that all [sc. moral] mistakes should be regarded as equal. For if [something which is] true is no more true [than another true thing] and [something which is] false is no more false [than another false thing] either, so too [one] deceit is no more a deceit [than another], or a [sc. moral] mistake [is no more] a [sc. moral] mistake [than another]. For he who is 100 stades away from Canopus[4] and he who is one [stade away] are equally not in Canopus; so too a greater or a lesser [sc. moral] mistake is equally not in the domain of right action.[5] But some people, among whom [is numbered] even Heraclides of Tarsus,[6] maintain that [sc. moral] mistakes are unequal.
Also [sc. attested is] a)mplakw/n ["failing"], [meaning] having made a [sc. moral] mistake.
"But Ibycus' verse came against him: "not to receive honour among men in exchange for failing with the gods". This little Ibycean saying was sung against priesthood."[7]
Greek Original:
*)ampla/khma: a(ma/rthma. kai\ *)amplaki/ais, a(marti/ais. o(/ti a)re/skei toi=s *stwi+koi=s i)=sa h(gei=sqai ta\ a(marth/mata. ei) ga\r a)lhqe\s a)lhqou=s ma=llon ou)k e)/stin, ou)de\ yeude\s yeudou=s: ou(/tws ou)de\ a)pa/th a)pa/ths, ou)de\ a(ma/rthma a(marth/matos. kai\ ga\r o( r# stadi/ous a)pe/xwn *kanw/bou kai\ o( e(/na e)pi/shs ou)k ei)si\n e)n *kanw/bw|: ou(/tw kai\ ple/on kai\ e)/latton a(ma/rthma e)pi/shs ou)k ei)si\n e)n tw=| katorqou=n. oi( de/ fasin, w(=n kai\ *(hraklei/dhs o( *tarseu/s, a)/nisa ei)=nai ta\ a(marth/mata. kai\ *)amplakw/n, a(marth/sas. a)lla\ to\ *)ibu/kou e)/pos au)to\n e)ph/|ei: mh/ti para\ qeoi=s a)mplakw\n tima\n pro\s a)nqrw/pwn a)mei/yein. e)/sti de\ pro\s i(erwsu/nhn suna=|don to\ *)ibu/keion touti\ r(hsei/dion.
[1] This neuter noun has the same or similar glossing in other lexica. Latte on Hesychius s.v. considers it quoted from Euripides, Phoenician Women 23; it is certainly tragedic vocabulary.
[2] Again, same equivalence in other lexica, including Photius. The noun in question has now become feminine a)mplaki/a and the glossing noun a(marti/a -- both indicating propensities rather than acts. This dative plural a)mplaki/ais is probably quoted from Euripides, Hippolytus 146.
[3] This passage is taken (with minor changes) from Diogenes Laertius 7.120-1, where the Stoic thesis that all faults or moral mistakes are equal (cf. alpha 2479, end; kappa 320, end) is quoted and discussed. According to Diogenes' report, this is what Chrysippus said, in the fourth book of his treatise Ethical Investigations, as well as Perseus and Zeno himself, the founder of the school.
[4] On the coast of Egypt, east of Alexandria.
[5] The sense of the assertion (repeated in part at kappa 320) is explained, to some extent, in the Diogenes Laertius text and in a passage contained in Stobaeus (Eclogae, 2. 106, 21-107, 9, ed. Wachsmuth): he who makes a larger moral error and he who makes a smaller one are both acting incorrectly. All moral mistakes are equal (isa) but are not similar (homoia), i.e. they are not qualitatively similar. Just as there are no degrees of falsehood, so too there are no degrees of incorrect acts. For a detailed treatment of the issue see Rist (below) 81-96, and Annas (below) 407-411.
[6] Disciple of the Stoic Antipater of Tarsus (second century BCE), successor to Diogenes of Babylon as head of the Stoic school. The thesis that not all the moral mistakes are equal was maintained both by Heraclides of Tarsus and Athenodorus (see Diogenes Laertius, 7.121).
[7] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.253 Zintzen (150 Asmus); cf. iota 78, mu 994. For Ibycus (lyric poet of the C6 BCE) see generally iota 80. This is an approximation of his fr.29 Page: "I fear that, failing with the gods, I will receive honour among men in exchange."
Annas, J. The Morality of Happiness, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1993
Rist, J.M. Stoic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1969
Keywords: biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; geography; philosophy; poetry; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 21 December 2000@16:13:52.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 18 July 2002@04:53:23.
David Whitehead (another keyword; cosmetics) on 20 November 2005@09:22:26.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr) on 19 April 2006@10:19:13.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 23 April 2006@20:13:58.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, added cross-reference) on 8 August 2007@23:10:51.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 16 February 2012@07:02:05.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 23 February 2012@01:37:10.
David Whitehead on 19 June 2015@09:05:54.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation and note) on 18 February 2019@01:15:34.


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