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Headword: *dikai/wma
Adler number: delta,1080
Translated headword: act of justice
Vetting Status: high
[It is said] that no act of justice [is] stronger than weapons; for everyone having an advantage in power is always reputed to act and to speak more justly.[1]
[It is said] that Archelaus, called "the physicist"[2] due to his philosophical school,[3] held the opinion that the just and the shameful did not exist by nature, but by convention.[4]
Greek Original:
*dikai/wma: o(/ti ou)de\n dikai/wma tw=n o(/plwn i)sxuro/teron: pa=s ga\r o( duna/mei prou)/xwn dikaio/tera a)ei\ kai\ pra/ttein kai\ le/gein dokei=. o(/ti *)arxe/laos, o( *fusiko\s th\n ai(/resin e)piklhqei/s, e)do/case to\ di/kaion kai\ ai)sxro\n ou) fu/sei ei)=nai, a)lla\ no/mw|.
For this headword cf. generally delta 1081, delta 1082.
[1] Cassius Dio 61.1.2, already at gamma 340.
[2] See generally Diogenes Laertius 2.16-17 (and alpha 4084).
[3] The Greek ai(/resis means both “choice” and “school” (alphaiota 286; also, later, "heresy", cf. alphaiota 288, alpha 3834, alpha 3835). In this context it is probably better to render the word by "philosophical school", insofar as Archelaus, after being a disciple of the natural philosopher Anaxagoras (Simplicius, In Phys., 27, 23-24), seems to have become a head of Anaxagoras’ school. Cf. alpha 4084, from which this material is taken.
[4] On the thesis of the conventionality of justice, see the sophistic position (underlying Archelaus’ remark) argued for by Antiphon (Frag. 44, Column I, DK), Thrasymachus (in Plato, Republic I) and Callicles (in Plato, Gorgias 482E-483D, 484A-C, 491A-492C).
Keywords: biography; definition; ethics; historiography; history; law; military affairs; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 10 June 2003@12:10:14.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (added x-refs to hairesis, keywords, cosmetics) on 11 June 2003@02:33:51.
David Whitehead (added x-refs and keyword; corrected footnote number; other cosmetics) on 11 June 2003@03:05:12.
David Whitehead (corrected my own typo) on 11 June 2003@03:50:29.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 July 2012@04:07:41.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 15 October 2014@18:42:24.


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