ΑΡΙΣΤΟΤΕΛΟΥΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ
391 a 11. Πολλάκις μὲν ἔμοιγε θεῖόν τι καὶ δαιμόνιον ὄντως χρῆμα, ὦ Ἀλέξανδρε, ἡ φιλοσοφία ἔδοξεν εἶναι, μάλιστα δὲ ἐν οἷς μόνη διαραμένη πρὸς τὴν τῶν ὅλων θέαν ἐσπούδασε γνῶναι τὴν ἐν αὐτοῖς 5ἀλήθειαν, καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ταύτης ἀποστάντων διὰ τὸ ὕψος καὶ τὸ μέγεθος, αὕτη τὸ πρᾶγμα οὐκ ἔδεισεν οὐδ᾿ αὑτὴν τῶν καλλίστων ἀπηξίωσεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ συγγενεστάτην ἑαυτῇ καὶ μάλιστα πρέπουσαν ἐνόμισεν εἶναι τὴν ἐκείνων μάθησιν. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ οὐχ οἷόν τε ἦν τῷ σώματι εἰς τὸν οὐράνιον ἀφικέσθαι τόπον καὶ τὴν γῆν ἐκλιπόντα τὸν οὐράνιον 10ἐκεῖνον χῶρον κατοπτεῦσαι, καθάπερ οἱ ἀνόητοί ποτε ἐπενόουν Ἀλῳάδαι, ἡ γοῦν ψυχὴ διὰ φιλοσοφίας, λαβοῦσα ἡγεμόνα τὸν νοῦν, ἐπεραιώθη καὶ ἐξεδήμησεν, ἀκοπίατόν τινα ὁδὸν εὑροῦσα, καὶ τὰ πλεῖστον ἀλλήλων ἀφεστῶτα τοῖς τόποις τῇ διανοίᾳ συνεφρόνησε, ῥᾳδίως, οἶμαι, τὰ συγγενῆ 15γνωρίσασα, καὶ θείῳ ψυχῆς ὄμματι τὰ θεῖα καταλαβοῦσα,
Aristotle on the Cosmos
1. I have often thought, Alexander,a that philosophy is a divine and really god-like activity, particularly in those instances when it alone has exalted itself to the contemplation of the universe and sought to discover the truth that is in it; the other sciences shunned this field of inquiry because of its sublimity and extensiveness; philosophy has not feared the task or thought itself unworthy of the noblest things, but has judged that the study of these is by nature most closely related to it and most fitting. It was not possible by means of the body to reach the heavenly region or to leave the earth and explore that heavenly place, in the manner once attempted by the foolish Aloadaeb: so the soul, by means of philosophy, taking the mind as its guide, has crossed the frontier, and made the journey out of its own land by a path that does not tire the traveller. It has embraced in thought the things that are most widely separated from each other in place; for it had no difficulty, I think, in recognizing things that were related to it, and with “the soul’s divine eye”c it
- aSee Introduction, p. 338.
- bOtus and Ephialtes, the mythical Giants, who tried to reach heaven by piling Pelion on Ossa.
- cProbably a quotation: cf. the eye of the soul in Plato, Rep. 533 d.