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Notes on the Legend of Aristotle

  • C. M. Mulvany (a1)

That Hermias, the despot of Atarneus, was a barbarian as alleged by Theopompus, fr. 242, Oxf., Letter to Philip, in Didymus in Dem., col. 5, 24, has been denied by Jaeger, Aristoteles, p. 113 n., on the ground that in Aristotle's hymn and epigram he is put forward as a Hellene; cf. ibid., p. 119, on Callisthenes and Hermias. In confirmation may be added that, had he been a barbarian, he could hardly have induced the Eleans to declare the Olympic truce to him as Theopompus says they did, Did. 5, 29. Demetrius the Magnesian, Diog. L. V. 3, said he was a Bithynian; and possibly Theopompus said the same in the defective passage in fr. 210, Did. 4, 69. He may have been in fact a Bithynian by place of birth, yet not by blood: at such Greeks the taunt ‘barbarian’ was readily cast; cf. Birds 1700 on Gorgias, and Aeschines on Demosthenes. But we may go much further in scepticism.

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page 155 note 1 Add perhaps Isocrates' Epist. IX., Archid., § 8 (about 356 B.C.).

page 155 note 2 Grote's ‘bodily hurt when a child,’ Aristotle I., p. 6, seems due to confusion with Philetaerus, Str. 623.—When Aristippus, Diog.L.V. 3, talks of a παλλακίς of Hermias, this is not incompatible with his alleged condition; see Burton, , Arabian Nights, Vol. V. 46 n., and Pilgrimage II., c. 17, p. 157 (1855).

page 156 note 1 With the general structure of this passage cf. D.L, X. 3 (Diotimus …) -9.

page 156 note 2 The death may have been much later: see Callisthenes in Did. 5, 66 sqq.

page 157 note 1 Gaisford, Poet. Min. Gr., is not accessible; and I depend for this fragment on Ménage on D.L. V. 1, and a copy made by a friend from Müller, , F.H.G. I., p. 211.

page 157 note 2 Timaeus and Aristocles give us two conflicting stories about Herpyllis, and we should not try to combine them. The apologist says she was a woman from Aristotle's own city, and he married her; the enemy says she was a hand-maid, with whom he cohabited.

page 158 note 1 So, according to Bywater, B.L.; ⋯νάξιος cf. pp. 113, 46, and 114, 17 of Cobet's text. Cobet's ⋯ναξίῳ ⋯μ⋯ν is still less compatible with her being Aristotle's concubine at the time.

page 158 note 3 Evidence for any more direct connexion between him and Stagira there is none. Wimmer gives only two references to the place (Hist. Pl. III. 11, 1, and IV. 16, 3), and these he might easily have got from Aristotle. For proof of his following Aristotle into Macedonia Gomperz, Gk. Thinkers, E. Tr., IV. 566, refers also to Tusc. III. 10, 21, Theophrastus interitum deploans Callisthenis sodalis sui. But Callisthenes and Theophrastus could have known one another when Callisthenes was working with Aristotle—see Dittenb. Syll.3 275—on the list of Pythian Victors D.L., No. 131, Rose). Also Callisthenes may not have accompanied Alexander from Europe, but have joined him later; ⋯νέβη πρός Ὰλέξανδρον, says Plut, Alex., c. 53.

page 159 note 1 If Nicomachus the father really died when Aristotle was young and this is not merely inference from his being described as physician to Amyntas, who died 370, then the memorial to him must have been completed long before: the statue of the brother is already made. By naming his boy after his father Aristotle showed his filial regard.—To understand the significance of the father for the philosopher's development, we must remember that the father wrote both on medicine and on physics; he cultivated his art ϕιλοσοϕωτέρως (cf. Parv. Nat. 436a 20).

page 159 note 2 Nico-machus as son of Machaon is popular etymology if Machaon is really connected with μ⋯Χος (F.-B. l.l., p. 198); but the warlike name is appropriate to a healing deity who must fight and overcome the demons of sickness.—The worship of Nicomachus at Pharae in Messenia, Paus. IV. 30, 3, shows nothing as to the origin of Aristotle's family. The Messenians made Asclepius child of a Messenian mother, and worshipped him at their Leuctra, Paus. III. 26, 4; in Gerenia, ibid, 9 and 10, they had the bones, brought from Asia by Nestor, of Machaon; and they located in Messenia all the three places of II. II. 729–730—Oechalia and Tricca, Paus. IV. 2, 2; 3, 2, as well as Ithome. The name Ithome no doubt suggested these misappropriations.

page 160 note 1 'ᾈταρνεύς means not only (1) the city, but also (2) the eponymous hero, Dittenb. Syll.3 229 (end), and (3), as here and Athen. 696A, also Steph. Byz. s.v. Ἀταρνα, a man of that place.

page 160 note 2 So the codex; but Rose emends to ‘during the time up to his death, which was twenty years.’ Either statement suits the chronology of the Vita, according to which Aristotle is twenty when he goes to Plato, and (429, 3) stays with him twenty years, See also Jacoby, , Apollodor, p. 324, 16.

page 160 note 3 Aristotle is here substituted for Anaximenes. Or for Anaxarchus: with Vita 431, 10, Aristotle declares sacrifices unfavourable, but Alexander disregards him and dies, contrast Justin XII., c. 13, Anaxarchus induces Alexander to enter Babylon against the advice of the Magi. What follows, vv. 12–15, answers Eubulides, P.E., § 5 Ar. quarrelled with Philip (Alexander ?, see D. L. V. 10), and Philodemus, , Rhet. II. 63, 9 Sudhaus Ar. never kept a friend.

page 161 note 1 Was a hint taken from Frogs 85, ‘Agathon has gone from Athens ές μακάρων εύωΧίαν?’

page 162 note 1 Comparing 436, 2, Vita Lat. 445, 1–3, read 429, 16: μέγα μέρος ὢν <τ⋯ς βασιλείας>, τ⋯ς ϕιλοσοϕίας όργάνῳ κτλ.

page 162 note 2 A now headless Herm at Athens is inscribed ‘Alexander set up divine Aristotle,’ etc.; but the lettering is of the time of Hadrian or later, Studniczka, , Bildnis des Aristoteles, p. 14.

page 162 note 3 Except that the embassy falls at a time, 339/8 (D.L. IV. 14), when according to the conventional Life Aristotle was tutor to Alexander, the chronology of this passage seems free from difficulty. Ἒπειτα in Cobet's text, p. 111, 25, continues the unorthodox account, which was interrupted, v. 13, to let pro-Aristotelian apology have its say.

page 163 note 1 In a note, p. 497, showing the exaggeration in Dem. Phil. III. 26, he seems doubtful whether Stagira really was destroyed: ‘Stagira is said no doubt (soll allerdings) to have been destroyed (Diod. XVI. 52, 9) and then restored … yet (doch) Aristotle in his Will, D.L. V. 14, mentions his paternal house there (seine dort stehtnde πατρῴαοìκία).’

page 165 note 1 Strabo seems to connect the invitation with the death of Eubulus when Hermias became sole ruler, διεδέξατο έκέȋνον καì μετεπέμΨατο τόν τε Ἀρ. καì Zεν.

page 165 note 2 Dicaearchus has also been put where he should not be by Themistius, Or. XXIII. (quoted by Grote, , Arist. I. 29 n.), Κηϕισοδώρους δ⋯ καì Εύβουλίδας καìΤιμαίους καì ΔικαιαάρΧους καì στρατòν δλον τ⋯ν έπιθεμένων 'Ἀριστοτέλει. Zeller's suggestion, II. ii. 889, 3, that Dicaearchus is here by mistake for Demochares seems proved by the remaining three assailants being like Demochares among the eight mentioned by Aristocles, P.E. XV. 2, 1–8. Themistius is merely repeating Aristocles.

page 165 note 3 Compare the similar change at Heracleia under Timotheus (reigned 345–337, Beloch), according to Memnon in Jebb, Att. Or. II. 246 n.

page 166 note 1 Ἐπί βήματος, sc. through the mouths of his pupils. At the end of col. LIV., p. 59, we seem to want something like ‘if he was guided by hope of the truth …<why did he not teach> the oratory that is considered to be like that of Isocrates (sc. epideictic oratory), which he ridiculed in divers ways, and not civil oratory, which he held to be different from that?’ The use here of διεμώκησατοsuggests that the μωκία on Aristotle's countenance, Ael. V.H. III. 19, was first discerned by some indignant Isocratean.

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