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Headword: Λῆρος
Adler number: lambda,470
Translated headword: dementia, delirium
Vetting Status: high
[Note] that the mind in old age, taken over by dementia, does not take on suffering in itself — something which might allow it to be considered corruptible and mortal. With the organ mutated, and incapable out of unfitness to receive energy from the mind, it [merely] seems that the suffering of the organ is also the suffering of the mind animating it. For when the eye goes bleary, or is rendered unfit from old age, the sense [of sight] remains no less active; but the sensory organ becomes either passive, or totally useless and idle. And the reason why the sensory organ and the sensory capacity are not corrupted together is that the sensory capacity does not have its existence in this body, but in the spirit. So too when old peoples' eyes are weakened by time, with their membranes becoming thicker, wrinkly in a way, and not as transparent, and moreover when the fluids inside are made drier by time, congealed, and unable to transport the sensations of perceptions through the optic nerve — that is when it happens that old people see less well.[1] Also in reference to the demented it is not the mind that is demented; the organ's change for the worse and unfitness is what suffers, and produces [dementia] in the demented — not only in old age, but even in youth, when the body is taken over by certain brain-inflaming or lethargic illnesses. Or: that intense damage to the mind is called derangement; moderate damage is called delirium; and subdued damage is called raving.[2]
But liros [is] someone impudent; from "looking a lot" (lian oran); it is spelled with an iota.[3]
Greek Original:
Λῆρος: ὅτι ὁ νοῦς ἐν τῷ γήρᾳ λήροις καταληφθεὶς οὐκ αὐτὸς εἰς ἑαυτὸν τὸ πάθος ἀνεδέξατο, ἵνα καὶ φθαρτὸς καὶ θνητὸς νομισθῇ: τοῦ δὲ ὀργάνου ἀλλοιωθέντος καὶ τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ νοῦ ἐνέργειαν δι' ἀνεπιτηδειότητα μὴ δυναμένου δέξασθαι, τὸ πάθος τοῦ ὀργάνου πάθος ἔδοξεν εἶναι καὶ τοῦ κινοῦντος αὐτὸ νοῦ. καὶ γὰρ τοῦ ὄμματος λημῶντος ἢ καὶ τῷ γήρᾳ πρὸς ἀνεπιτηδειότητα μεταβαλόντος, ἡ μὲν αἴσθησις οὐδὲν ἧττον μένει ἀπαθής: τὸ δὲ αἰσθητήριον ἐμπαθὲς ἢ ὅλως ἄχρηστον γίνεται καὶ ἀργόν. τὸ δὲ αἴτιον τοῦ μὴ συνδιαφθείρεσθαι τῷ αἰσθητηρίῳ καὶ τὴν αἰσθητικὴν δύναμιν τὸ μηδὲ ἐν τούτῳ τῷ σώματι ἔχειν τὸ εἶναι τὴν αἰσθητικὴν δύναμιν, ἀλλ' ἐν τῷ πνεύματι. οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὰ τῶν γερόντων ὄμματα ὑπὸ τοῦ χρόνου ἐξασθενήσαντα καὶ τῶν χιτώνων παχυτέρων γενομένων καὶ οἷον ἐρρυτιδωμένων καὶ οὐχ οὕτω διαφανῶν, ἔτι τε καὶ τῶν ἐντὸς ὑγρῶν ξηροτέρων ὑπὸ τοῦ χρόνου καὶ πεπηγότων καὶ οὐ δυναμένων τὰ ἀπὸ τῶν αἰσθητῶν πάθη διαπορθμεύειν ἐπὶ τὸ ὀπτικὸν πνεῦμα, συμβαίνει τοὺς γέροντας ἧττον ὁρᾶν. καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν λήρων οὐχ ὁ νοῦς ληρεῖ, ἀλλ' ἡ τοῦ ὀργάνου πρὸς τὸ χεῖρον μεταβολὴ καὶ ἀνεπιτηδειότης πάσχει τε καὶ τοὺς λήρους ἐμποιεῖ, οὐκ ἐν τῷ γήρᾳ μόνον, ἀλλὰ κἀν τῇ νεότητι, νοσημάτων τινῶν φρενιτικῶν ἢ ληθαργικῶν τὸ σῶμα κατειληφότων. ἢ ὅτι ἡ ἐπιτεταμένη βλάβη τοῦ νοῦ παραφροσύνη λέγεται, ἡ δὲ μέση λῆρος, ἡ δὲ ὑφειμένη παράληρος. Λιρὸς δὲ ὁ ἀναιδής: παρὰ τὸ λίαν ὁρᾶν: διὰ τοῦ ι.
For this headword see also lambda 469.
[1] From John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima 161.4-15 and 19-26 Hayduck. The Aristotle passage in question is 408B: "The case of mind is different; it seems to be an independent substance implanted within the soul and to be incapable of being destroyed. If it could be destroyed at all, it would be under the blunting influence of old age. What really happens in respect of mind in old age is, however, exactly parallel to what happens in the case of the sense organs; if the old man could recover the proper kind of eye, he would see just as well as the young man. The incapacity of old age is due to an affection not of the soul but of its vehicle, as occurs in drunkenness or disease. Thus it is that in old age the activity of mind or intellectual apprehension declines only through the decay of some other inward part; mind itself is impassible." (J.A. Smith translation: web address 1)
[2] Otherwise unattested definitions. Ironically, given the pains of the Aristotelian commentator to differentiate damage to the mind from damage to the brain, this definition identifies dementia precisely as damage to the mind.
[3] cf. lambda 596. Common definition in the lexica, and the folk etymology appears in the various Etymologica. By contrast Suetonius, Περὶ βλασφημιῶν 4.84, derives it from λίαν ῥῶ "talk a lot".
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; medicine; philosophy
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 6 April 2009@21:20:26.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified n.1; another keyword; cosmetics) on 7 April 2009@04:21:13.
David Whitehead (x-refs; tweaking) on 18 April 2013@06:18:41.
David Whitehead (coding) on 16 May 2016@11:26:57.


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