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Headword: *)ek periousi/as
Adler number: epsilon,563
Translated headword: superfluously, advantageously
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] uselessly.[1]
Aristotle says superflously.[2]
"[They] having sent, superfluously, for Pamprepius too."[3]
So ek periousias means from great substance.[4]
"[The concept] 'superfluous' differs from 'necessary'. Now, necessary are those things without which it is impossible to exist. By contrast, superfluous are those things whose presence is not necessary and, as Aristotle says, [there is superfluity] when, the necessary things [for life] existing, one provides for himself some other things of value. For example, life is something necessary and good life is superfluous.[5] For due to the presence of 'good', which is not necessary for existence, the necessary life is adorned. However, he says, the superfluities are better than necessities, for good life is better than life, and speaking well better than [merely] speaking. [But] the better things are not always preferable, even though they are preferable without qualification. For those things that are impossible for us, even though they are better than the possible things, are nevertheless not preferable. For immortality is better than longevity, but it is not preferable for us. Among the superfluities, some are clearly better, that is, preferable (such as speaking well is preferable to [merely] speaking); others are better, although they certainly are not preferable. For both to deal with philosophy and with theoretical activity is better than to make money, although they are not preferable for those who lack [what is necessary for life] and cannot exist in another way. Indeed this is the sense in which for a sick person to become healthy is preferable to dealing with philosophy."[6]
And Demosthenes in the [speech] On behalf of Ctesiphon [says]: myself, I am risking the ultimate, "but this man is prosecuting [me] ek periousias." Meaning from great substance.[7]
Greek Original:
*)ek periousi/as: e)k perittou=. e)k periousi/as le/gei o( *)aristote/lhs. metapemya/menoi e)k periousi/as kai\ *pampre/pion. e)k periousi/as ou)=n a)nti\ tou= e)k pollou= tou= perio/ntos. e)k periousi/as tou= a)nagkai/ou diafe/rei. a)nagkai=a me\n ou)=n e)stin w(=n xwri\s a)du/naton ei)=nai: e)k periousi/as de\ w(=n h( parousi/a ou)k ou)=sa a)nagkai/a, kai\ w(s *)aristote/lhs le/gei, o(/tan u(parxo/ntwn tw=n a)nagkai/wn a)/lla tina\ proskataskeua/zhtai tw=n kalw=n. oi(=on to\ me\n zh=n a)nagkai=on, e)k periousi/as de\ to\ eu)= zh=n: th=| ga\r tou= eu)= parousi/a|, ou)k ou)/sh| pro\s to\ ei)=nai a)nagkai/a|, e)pikosmei=tai to\ zh=n a)nagkai=on. belti/w de\ ta\ e)k periousi/as tw=n a)nagkai/wn fhsi/: be/ltion ga\r to\ eu)= zh=n tou= zh=n, to\ de\ eu)= le/gein tou= le/gein. ou)k a)ei\ me\n ai(retw/tera ta\ belti/w, ei) kai\ a(plw=s ai(retw/tera: ta\ gou=n h(mi=n a)du/nata, ei) kai\ belti/w ei)/h tw=n dunatw=n, a)ll' ou)x ai(retw/tera: be/ltion me\n ga\r a)qanasi/a makrobio/thtos, a)ll' h(mi=n ou)x ai(retwte/ra. kai\ tw=n e)k periousi/as dh\ ta\ me\n pro\s tw=| belti/w ei)=nai kai\ ai(retw/tera/ e)stin, w(/sper tou= le/gein to\ eu)= le/gein, ta\ de\ belti/w e)sti/n, ou) mh\n kai\ ai(retw/tera. to\ ga\r filosofei=n te kai\ qewrei=n be/ltion me/n e)sti tou= xrhmati/zesqai, ou) mh\n kai\ ai(retw/teron toi=s e)n e)ndei/a| ou)=si kai\ mh\ duname/nois a)/llws ei)=nai. ou(/tw dh\ kai\ to\ u(giai/nein tou= filosofei=n tw=| nosou=nti ai(retw/teron. kai\ *dhmosqe/nhs e)n tw=| u(pe\r *kthsifw=ntos: e)gw\ me\n peri\ tw=n e)sxa/twn kinduneu/w, ou(=tos de\ e)k periousi/as kathgorei=. a)nti\ tou= e)k pollou= tou= perio/ntos.
On the headword phrase ek periousias see generally LSJ s.v. periousia ('that which is over and above, surplus, abundance'), II. As the Suda's illustrations show, it can mean, depending on the context, either "superfluously" or "from a position of abundance/advantage". Cf. pi 1225.
The entry eventually cites one of the best-known examples of the phrase, from Demosthenes (see below), but first there is a miscellany of other material, notably quotations (with minor variations) of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentary on Aristotle's Topica 257.23-258.9; he is commenting on Topica 118a6-15.
[1] Likewise in Lexica Segueriana epsilon214.6. (The corresponding entry in ps.-Zonaras, oddly, continues for three more words, i.e. it includes e)k periousi/as le/gei but omits the subject of that verb; cf. next note.)
[2] See Topica 118a6 ff.
[3] Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 291 Zintzen (168 Asmus).
[4] This comment, badly placed here (and lacking, Adler reports, in mss FV), belongs with the Demosthenes passage: see below, at n. 7.
[5] This is Aristotle's example; see Topica 118a7-8.
[6] See primary note above.
[7] Demosthenes 18.3 (cited from Harpokration s.v.) The conventional English translation of ek periousias in this celebrated passage is 'at an advantage'. Demosthenes' claim is that Aeschines has the advantage over him because it would be catastrophic for him, Demosthenes, to lose the people's goodwill (whereas Aeschines has no such position to forfeit).
Keywords: biography; definition; ethics; law; philosophy; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 5 May 2002@18:56:21.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (minor rearrangement, cosmetics) on 5 May 2002@22:50:52.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 5 May 2002@22:53:02.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keyword; cosmetics) on 6 May 2002@03:50:25.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 8 February 2007@08:25:07.
David Whitehead (modifications to headword and tr; augmented notes) on 6 July 2011@09:14:21.
David Whitehead on 6 July 2011@09:14:35.
David Whitehead on 8 August 2012@04:04:04.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaks and cosmetics) on 9 December 2015@10:37:14.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 24 December 2016@01:44:10.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 7 August 2021@16:06:34.


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