Philo, On the Giants

LCL 227: 446-447

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Philo

ΠΕΡΙ ΓΙΓΑΝΤΩΝ

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I. “Καὶ δὴ ἐγένετο, ἡνίκα ἤρξαντο οἱ ἄνθρωποι πολλοὶ γίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ θυγατέρες ἐγεννήθησαν αὐτοῖς” (Gen. vi. 1). ἄξιον οἶμαι διαπορῆσαι, διὰ τί μετὰ τὴν Νῶε καὶ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτοῦ γένεσιν εἰς πολυανθρωπίαν ἐπιδίδωσιν ἡμῶν τὸ γένος. ἀλλ᾿ ἴσως οὐ χαλεπὸν ἀποδοῦναι τὴν αἰτίαν· ἀεὶ γὰρ ἐπειδὰν τὸ σπάνιον φανῇ, πάμπολυ 2τὸ ἐναντίον εὑρίσκεται. ἑνὸς οὖν εὐφυΐα τὴν περὶ μυρίους διαδείκνυσιν ἀφυΐαν, καὶ τὰ τεχνικὰ μέντοι καὶ ἐπιστημονικὰ καὶ ἀγαθὰ καὶ καλὰ ὄντα ὀλίγα τὴν τῶν ἀτέχνων καὶ ἀνεπιστημόνων καὶ ἀδίκων καὶ συνόλως φαύλων ἄπειρον ὅσην1 πληθὺν ἐπεσκιασμένην 3ἀποφαίνει. οὐχ ὁρᾷς ὅτι καὶ ἐν τῷ παντὶ ἥλιος εἷς ὢν τὸ μυρίον καὶ βαθὺ σκότος κατὰ γῆν καὶ κατὰ θάλατταν κεχυμένον ἐπιλάμψας ἀνασκίδνησιν; εἰκότως οὖν καὶ ἡ τοῦ δικαίου Νῶε γένεσις καὶ τῶν υἱῶν αὐτοῦ τοὺς ἀδίκους πολλοὺς διασυνίστησι· τῷ γὰρ ἐναντίῳ τὰ ἐναντία πέφυκέ 4πως μάλιστα γνωρίζεσθαι. ἄδικος δὲ οὐδεὶς ἄρρενα γενεὰν ἐν ψυχῇ σπείρει τὸ παράπαν, ἀλλὰ θηλυγονοῦσιν ἐκ φύσεως ἄνανδροι καὶ κατεαγότες καὶ θηλυδρίαι τὰ φρονήματα, δένδρον οὐδὲν ἀρετῆς, οὗ καλοὺς καὶ γενναίους ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἔδει

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446

On the Giants

On the Giants

I. “And it came to pass when men began to wax many on the earth and daughters were born unto them” (Gen. vi. 1). It is, I think, a problem worth full examination, why our race began to grow so numerous after the birth of Noah and his sons. Yet perhaps it is not difficult to render a reason. For when the rarity appears, its opposite always is found in abundance. And therefore the ability of the individual shows up the absence of ability in the crowd, and examples of skill in any of the arts and sciences, or of goodness and excellence through this rarity bring out of their obscurity into the light the vast multitude of the unskilled in the arts and sciences, and of the unjust and worthless in general. Mark that in the universe too the sun is but one, yet it scatters with its rays the manifold and profound darkness which wraps sea and land. And so it is only natural that the birth of just Noah and his sons should make evident the abundance of the unjust. That is the nature of opposites; it is through the existence of the one that we chiefly recognize the existence of the other. Again, the spiritual offspring of the unjust is never in any case male: the offspring of men whose thoughts are unmanly, nerveless and emasculate by nature are female. Such do not plant a tree of virtue whose fruit must needs

447
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-giants.1929