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Headword: Ῥᾳδιουργός
Adler number: rho,20
Translated headword: easy-operator
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning a] forger; also a ne'er-do-well plain and simple. Also [sc. attested is the related noun] 'easy-operating', [meaning] an insoucience toward everything, and opportunism, and boldness. Xenophon used the word in reference to equanimity.[1]
But Polybius says concerning a treasonous household: "Why is it that we are unable to cease our foolishness though we are deceived in the same ways by the same people? For this type of easy-operating has already been practiced many times by many people. And while its occurrence among others is perhaps not surprising, it is surprising for it to occur to those among whom the source of this wrongdoing resides."[2]
And elsewhere: "injustice in private does not differ at all from the communal ones or those that happen in great number and on a large scale. In fact it is in private that the tribe of easy-operators and thieves is tripped up, most often in the following manner: by not acting justly toward one another and in general [through] their inconstancies toward one another."[3]
Greek Original:
Ῥᾳδιουργός: πλαστογράφος: καὶ ὁ κακοῦργος ἁπλῶς. καὶ ῥᾳδιουργία, ἡ περὶ πᾶν ὀλιγωρία, καὶ εὐκαιρία, καὶ θρασύτης. Ξενοφῶν δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ εὐκολίας ἐχρήσατο τῇ λέξει. Πολύβιος δέ φησι περὶ οἰκογενοῦς προδότου: τί δήποτ' ἐστὶν ὅτι τοῖς αὐτοῖς καὶ διὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἀπατώμενοι πάντες οὐ δυνάμεθα λῆξαι ἀνοίας; τοῦτο γὰρ τὸ γένος τῆς ῥᾳδιουργίας πολλάκις ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἤδη γέγονε. καὶ τὸ μὲν παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις διαχωρεῖν, ἴσως οὐ θαυμάσιον, τὸ δέ, παρ' οἷς ἡ πηγὴ τῆς τοιαύτης ὑπάρχει κακοπραγμοσύνης, θαυμαστόν. καὶ αὖθις: οὐδὲν διαφέρει τὸ κατ' ἰδίαν ἀδίκημα τῶν κοινῶν ἢ πλήθει καὶ μεγέθει τῶν συμβαινόντων. καὶ γὰρ κατ' ἰδίαν τὸ τῶν ῥᾳδιουργῶν καὶ κλεπτῶν φῦλον τούτῳ μάλιστα τῷ τρόπῳ σφάλλεται, τῷ μῆ ποιεῖν ἀλλήλοις τὰ δίκαια, καὶ συλλήβδην τὰς εἰς αὑτοὺς ἀθεσίας.
See also rho 19.
[1] Up to this point the entry closely resembles Aelius Dionysius rho2; cf. Synagoge rho4, Photius rho20 Theodoridis. As for the reference to Xenophon: Adler and Erbse connect it with Memorabilia 2.1.20 (plural), while LSJ refer to Cyropaedia 1.6.34 and suggest that 'self-indulgence' would be a better interpretation of the term in that context. (Theodoridis passes no comment.)
[2] Polybius 18.40.1-3, evidently in reference to negotiations between Flamininus and Philip V after the battle of Cynoscephalae. Possibly the commentator's reference to a 'traitorous household' is due to a misunderstanding of the word γένος which can mean either "family" or "kind". Here the latter meaning is clearly the appropriate one. Both this and the next quotation are drawn from the Excerpta of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.
[3] A somewhat garbled quotation of Polybius 4.29.4 (Polybius says "injustices in private do not differ from communal ones except in number and scale.")
Keywords: definition; ethics; historiography; history; law; politics
Translated by: William Hutton on 14 June 2009@16:31:44.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref; augmented n.1; tweaks and cosmetics) on 15 June 2009@04:01:16.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 October 2013@09:36:24.


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