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Headword: *(hgi/as
Adler number: eta,60
Translated headword: Hegias
Vetting Status: high
This man was better than his father[1] as regards the things that lead to virtue and the things that lead to eloquence. When still a young man he had hopes in himself and presented himself to everybody as in a sense not much inferior to the great Plutarch.[2] Accordingly Proclus considered him, even though still young, worthy of hearing his lecture-course of [= on] the Chaldean Oracles.[3] There was in him, by nature, a love of learning and a reasonableness. But apparently there was also wealth, that usual great evil for souls, furnishing the flatterers with an abundant supply not only of money (for this [is] not yet terrible) but also of a soul of a young man, easily devoured by such beasts, just like a freshly flowering plant. These people corrupted the life of Hegias in a way that he was no longer a philosopher. Otherwise he was eager to learn to interpret everything in relation to its nature; yet in accordance with his other habits there were times when he even deviated from correct reasoning. Wanting to be, above all else, holy,[4] he covertly celebrated the rites of in-laws in the Attic manner, without their consent, and he changed also, out of zeal, many other long-established things -- [whether] rather dangerously or rather piously.[5] Hence he became well-known in the civic community and attracted to himself those enemies who aimed to get the large fortune of which he was master and who were plotting [against him] with the support of the established order; for there was in Hegias something of Theagenes' magnanimous nature in his benefactions;[6] but [it was] more frugal than his to the extent of what he spent on friends and suppliants.
Greek Original:
*(hgi/as: ou(=tos a)mei/nw tou= patro\s h)=n ta\ pro\s a)reth\n h(/konta kai\ ta\ pro\s lo/gous. e)/ti mh\n meira/kion gegonw\s e)lpi/das e)/sxen e)f' e(autw=| kai\ pa=si pare/sxen w(s ou) polu/ ti a)poleipo/menos tou= mega/lou *plouta/rxou. toigarou=n o( *pro/klos h)ci/wsen au)to\n e)/ti ne/on o)/nta th=s tw=n *xaldai+kw=n logi/wn a)kroa/sews. filomaqi/a tis au)tw=| kai\ e)piei/keia prosh=n kata\ fu/sin. a)lla\ tou=to dh\ to\ ei)wqo\s o( plou=tos me/ga kako\n tai=s yuxai=s e)/oiken ei)=nai, nomh\n a)/fqonon toi=s ko/laci parexo/menos, ou) xrusi/ou mo/non [ou)/pw ga\r tou=to deino\n], a)lla\ ne/ou yuxh=s a(palh=s kai\ r(a|di/ws u(po\ tw=n toiou/twn qhri/wn kataboskome/nhs, w(/sper a)texnw=s a)/rti a)nqou/shs bota/nhs. ou(=toi die/fqeiran th\n *(hgi/ou zwh\n pro/s ge to\ mh\ gnhsi/ws filosofei=n. a)/llws de\ filomaqh\s o(/sa th\n fu/sin e)chgh/sasqai: e)pei\ kata\ th\n a)/llhn sunh/qeian e)/stin o(/ph kai\ diekpi/ptei tw=n o)rqw=n logismw=n. i(ero\s de\ ei)/per tis a)/llos ei)=nai boulo/menos ta/ te tw=n khdestw=n i(era\ laqw\n e)teleiw/sato kata\ th\n *)attikh/n, ou) pei/sas e)kei/nous, kai\ polla\ a)/lla tw=n keime/nwn te/ws e)k plei/stou xro/nou pa/lin e)ki/nhse parabolw/teron h)\ eu)sebe/steron th=| proqumi/a| xrhsa/menos. o(/qen e)n th=| politei/a| peribo/htos e)ge/neto kai\ xalepou\s e)f' e(autw=| tou\s e)xqrou\s e)pespa/sato tou/s te mega/lwn xrhma/twn o)regome/nous, w(=n ku/rios h)=n, kai\ a)po\ tw=n kaqestw/twn nomi/mwn e)pibouleu/ontas: e)nh=n ga/r ti tw=| *(hgi/a| kai\ th=s *qeage/nous megalo/fronos fu/sews e)n tai=s eu)ergesi/ais: a)kribe/steron de\ e)kei/nou tosou=ton o(/son e)s fi/lous kai\ deome/nous a)nali/skein.
Damascius, Life of Isidore fr.351 Zintzen (221 Asmus, 145B Athanassiadi) on Hegias, successor of Isidore as diadochus in the Athenian Academy.
[1] It is not clear who his father was. Martano (see bibliography below) follows Zumpt in believing that he was a relative of Plutarch of Athens. Zumpt believes Hegias was his grandson, and son of Archiadas (friend of Proclus); Martano states that he was his great-grandson, and son of Theagenes (see n.4 below). "Better" in the masculine nominative singular should be a)mei/nwn; at least one manuscript has corrected the spelling to this.
[2] The founder of the Athenian Neoplatonic school. Although it is not clear whether Hegias was a relative of Plutarch, it is attested by Marinus, Life of Proclus 26, that Hegias knew him personally.
[3] On the "Chaldean Oracles" see under pi 2098, chi 12, etc. For Proclus, see pi 2473.
[4] This special interest of Hegias' in i(eratikh\ pragmatei/a is attested also by fr. 227 Zintzen.
[5] According to Athanassiadi ad loc., what Hegias was restoring without his relatives' permission might have been either rites or shrines. She mentions, without accepting it, Alan Cameron's suggestion that Hegias' relatives may have disapproved because they were Christians.
[6] According to Martano, Theagenes (theta 78) was Hegias' father.
E. Zeller & R. Mondolfo, La filosofia dei greci nel suo sviluppo storico Volume VI: G. Martano, Giamblico e la Scuola di Atene, La Nuova Italia Editrice, Florence
P. Athanassiadi, Damascius: The Philosophical History. Athens 1999
Keywords: biography; botany; Christianity; economics; ethics; history; imagery; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Stefano Sanfilippo on 1 November 2005@04:15:14.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (began to modify translation; adjusted note numbers, added cross-reference) on 2 November 2005@00:46:26.
David Whitehead (more of same, in tr and notes) on 2 November 2005@03:36:37.
David Whitehead (more of same) on 3 November 2005@05:55:45.
Catharine Roth (modified translation and notes, added keywords, set status) on 19 November 2005@12:10:54.
Catharine Roth (modified note) on 19 November 2005@19:49:33.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 4 December 2005@09:12:41.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 3 December 2012@09:53:09.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 16 July 2018@22:55:56.


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