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Headword: Φύσει
Adler number: phi,858
Translated headword: by nature
Vetting Status: high
[Note] that the ancients used to say that nothing of what [exists] by nature is in vain.[1] But the figures of syllogisms do not exist by nature. It is not necessary to say that these are useful, or that such [figures] themselves arise on account of the fact that something useful which is external happens in addition. But syllogisms are not in accordance with nature for us like food and beverage. For their standards -- customs, laws, and public pursuits -- are different, both each [of them] and depending on the person on one’s own account. At any rate it is possible to change these things and, if someone wanted it, to change towards the most opposite lifestyle. Hence the things that appear [to exist] by nature did seem harmful to some people who have conveyed [the view] that [some] meals [are] destructive and [some] drugs noxious. At any rate they maintain that the Attic woman consumes hemlock as [if it were] vegetables,[2] and that the Pontic beast, which that Mithridates once was,[3] when drinking a noble cup of a noxious drug, was not destroyed (due to the fact that [his] body was strengthened,[4] just like iron by the dipping)[5] because of opposite feelings that he frequently conveyed; the loathsome man had suspicions of all human beings, starting from his [own] children, as if people were plotting against himself alone because of his fine tyranny.
Greek Original:
Φύσει: ὅτι οἱ παλαιοὶ ἔλεγον μηδὲν τῶν φύσει μάτην εἶναι. τὰ σχήματα δὲ τὰ τῶν συλλογισμῶν μὴ εἶναι φύσει. οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον δὲ ταῦτα λέγειν χρήσιμα: τὸ δὲ χρησίμου τινὸς χάριν ἔξωθεν ἐπισυμβαίνειν αὐτὰ γινόμενα. οἱ δὲ συλλογισμοὶ οὐχ ὡς σιτία καὶ ποτὰ κατὰ φύσιν ἡμῖν. ἕτεροι γὰρ οἱ τούτων κανόνες, ἔθη, νόμοι καὶ ἐπιτηδεύματα δημόσια, καὶ καθέκαστον, καὶ κατ' ἄνδρα ἰδίᾳ. μεταθέσθαι γοῦν ἔξεστιν αὐτὰ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἐναντιωτάτην μεταβαλεῖν, ὡς ἄν τις ἐθέλοι, δίαιταν. ὅθεν ἐνίοις οὐδὲ τὰ φύσει δοκοῦντα φθαρτικὰ σιτία καὶ δηλητήρια φάρμακα προσενεγκαμένοις ἐφάνη λυπηρά. φασὶ γοῦν τὴν Ἀττικὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ κωνείου καθάπερ λαχάνων ἐσθίειν, καὶ τὸ Ποντικὸν θηρίον, ὅστις ποτὲ ἦν ὁ Μιθριδάτης ἐκεῖνος, ἐκπιόντα γενναίαν κύλικα δηλητηρίου φαρμάκου μὴ διαφθαρῆναι, τῷ κατισχῆσθαι τὸ σῶμα, καθάπερ σίδηρον τῇ βαφῇ, παρὰ τῶν ἀντιπαθῶν, ἃ προσεφέρετο πολλάκις: ὑποπτεύων ὁ βδελυρός, ἀπὸ τῶν υἱῶν ἀρξάμενος, ἅπαντας ἀνθρώπους, ὡς ἐπιβουλεύοντας αὐτῷ μόνῳ διὰ τὴν καλὴν τυραννίδα.
Material tentatively attributed by Adler to either Aelian or Damascius; now Damascius, Life of Isidore fr. 403 Zintzen.
[1] See Aristotle, De anima 432b20; 434a30. De caelo 271a32; 291b13; De generatione animalium 741b3-4 and passim.
[2] cf. Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhoniae hypotyposes 1.81 (who specifies one old, but unnamed, 'Attic woman').
[3] For Mithridates/Mithradates see mu 1044.
[4] The editio princeps of Demetrius Chalcocondyles (1499) reads κατισχῦσθαι "to have been strengthened." The reading κατισχῆσθαι of the Suda manuscripts seems meaningless.
[5] That is, tempering of red-hot iron by dipping in water; cf. Sophocles, Ajax 651.
P. Athanassiadi, Damascius. The Philosophical History. Text with translation and notes, Athens 1999.
Keywords: biography; children; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; food; philosophy; politics; science and technology; tragedy; women
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 9 July 2009@20:55:11.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 10 July 2009@00:23:59.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 July 2009@04:13:20.
Catharine Roth (more tweaks, new note 2) on 10 July 2009@20:34:55.
Catharine Roth (added new note 4) on 10 July 2009@22:25:25.
David Whitehead (augmented n.2; another keyword; raised status) on 12 July 2009@04:55:10.
David Whitehead on 18 December 2013@08:28:41.
Catharine Roth (my typo) on 19 May 2015@01:23:58.


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