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Headword: *swfrosu/nh
Adler number: sigma,891
Translated headword: moderation, self-control
Vetting Status: high
Another [virtue][1] compared to the virtue of citizenship,[2] and a greater one;[3] we use the same word for a kind of agreement and harmony of the desiring and the calculating faculties.[4]
'For in respect of moderation I myself [am] most righteous,[5] and I would rival Bellerophontes in moderation.'[6]
Aristotle says,[7] what we learn by doing, we do by learning; or rather, by learning mastery over pleasures we become moderate, and by becoming moderate, we overcome the pleasures.
Greek Original:
*swfrosu/nh: a)/llh para\ th\n politikh\n a)reth/n, mei/zwn: tw=| de\ au)tw=| o)no/mati xrw/meqa e)n o(mologi/a| tini\ kai\ sumfwni/a| e)piqumhtikou= pro\s logismo/n. to\ ga\r e)s swfrosu/nhn e)gw\ dikaio/taton ka)\n tw=| *bellerofo/nth| swfrosu/nhs a)mfisbhth/saimi. o(\ fhsi\n *)aristote/lhs: a(\ ga\r poiou=ntes manqa/nomen, tau=ta manqa/nontes poiou=men. h)/goun to\ kratei=n h(donw=n manqa/nontes sw/frones gino/meqa, kai\ geno/menoi sw/frones kratou=men tw=n h(donw=n.
[1] The second of the four cardinal virtues in the Socratic/Platonic and Stoic traditions: wisdom, moderation, courage, justice. See also sigma 890, sigma 892.
[2] Here and later in the entry, Aristotelian ideas are drawn on. Aristotle at Politics 3.2.1-11 (= 1276b16-1277b34) outlines his view of the difference between the goodness of a good man and the goodness of a good citizen.
[3] A signal that the background of this part of the entry is not Stoic, since for the Stoics all virtues were equal.
[4] Plotinus, Enneads (Henry p.157 n.2)
[5] Reading dikaio/tatos with Adler's apparatus criticus, from tau 8, instead of the manuscripts' dikaio/taton.
[6] For comment on this proverb/quotation and its source see tau 8.
[7] As Adler records, Thomas Gaisford put a marginal note in his copy of his 1834 edition of the Suda identifying Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics 2.2 as the source for this sentiment; but it is not a verbatim quotation, as the compiler signals by saying 'or rather ...', and repeating the idea in different words. Adler was harsh to add non est Aristot: it is in fact a fair, if simplified, paraphrase. Aristotle himself had said '... we both become moderate out of abstaining from pleasures, and, having become so, are particularly able to abstain from them' (Nicomachean Ethics 2.2.9 [= 1104a33-6]).
Henry, P. "Suidas, Le Larousse et le Littré de L'antiquité grecque." Les Etudes classiques (1937): 155-62
Keywords: daily life; definition; ethics; mythology; philosophy; proverbs
Translated by: Paul McKechnie on 30 October 2000@20:41:56.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added x-refs and keyword; cosmetics) on 2 March 2003@11:54:56.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 November 2005@10:21:23.
Catharine Roth (added note and bibliography) on 22 May 2008@15:43:59.
David Whitehead on 31 December 2013@05:11:24.


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