1. Ἀριστοτέλης ὁ Νικομάχου, σοφὸς ἀνὴρ καὶ ὢν καὶ εἶναι δοκῶν, ἐπεί τις αὐτοῦ ἀφείλετο τὰς ψηφισθείσας αὐτῷ ἐν Δελφοῖς τιμάς, ἐπιστέλλων πρὸς Ἀντίπατρον περὶ τούτων φησίν· “ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐν Δελφοῖς ψηφισθέντων μοι καὶ ὧν ἀφῄρημαι νῦν οὕτως ἔχω ὡς μήτε μοι σφόδρα μέλειν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν μήτε μοι μηδὲν μέλειν.” οὐκ ἂν δὲ εἴη1 φιλοδοξία ταῦτα, οὐδ᾿ ἂν καταγνοίην ἔγωγε τοιοῦτόν τι Ἀριστοτέλους, ἀλλ᾿ εὖ φρονῶν ᾤετο μὴ ὅμοιον εἶναι ἀρχήν τινα2 μὴ λαβεῖν καὶ3 λαβόντα ἀφαιρεθῆναι. τὸ μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲν μέγα, τὸ μὴ τυχεῖν· τὸ δὲ ἀλγεινόν, τὸ τυχόντα εἶτα ἀποστερηθῆναι.
2. Ὅτι τοὺς παραβάντας ὅρκους τῶν βαρβάρων ἐπῄνεσεν Ἀγησίλαος, ὅτι τοὺς θεοὺς ἑαυτοῖς ἐχθροὺς ποιησάμενοι ταῖς ἐπιορκίαις, αὐτῷ φίλους καὶ συμμάχους κατεπράξαντο.
1. Aristotle, son of Nicomachus, a wise man in reality as well as by repute, was deprived of the privileges he had been granted at Delphi,1 and wrote to Antipater on the subject as follows [fr. 666 R.]: “About the privileges voted to me at Delphi and now taken away from me, my feeling is that I neither care about them very much nor disregard them entirely.” This is not the remark of a man anxious to be well known, and I would not accuse Aristotle of such sentiments; on the contrary, he sensibly thought there was a difference between not receiving in the first place and being stripped of what one had acquired. Not to receive was no great blow; but to acquire and then be deprived was painful.
2. Note that Agesilaus had kind words for the barbarians who broke their oaths, because they brought upon themselves the hostility of the gods by perjury, and so made the gods friends and allies of his cause.2
- 1These honours are recorded in a surviving inscription from Delphi dating from 334–332 b.c. (SIG3 275). Aristotle and Callis- thenes had published a work on the Pythian games, and the local authorities had gratefully ordered that the list of victors be inscribed on a stele. The quotation from Aristotle’s letter given in this ch. may well be genuine; see I. Düring, Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition (Gothenburg, 1957), p. 339.
- 2This story appears to concern Agesilaus’ dealings with the Persian Tissaphernes, narrated in Xenophon, Agesilaus 1.12.