APPENDIX ON CHAPTER XX, p. 54.
οἰνος ἄκρητος πολλὸς2 ποθεὶσ2 διατίθης1ί πως2 τὸν ἄνθρωπον: καὶ
πάντες2 ἄν αἱ εἰδότες2 τοῦτο γνοίης1αν, ὅτι αὕτη δύναμις2 οἲνου καὶ
So A ; other MSS. have ἀσθενέα after ἄνθρωπον, ἰδόντες2 for
οἱ εἰδότες2, ἡ after αὕτη and ἐς1τιν after αὐτός2.
This passage contradicts the general argument, which is
that in medicine statements about foods must not be made
ἁπλῶς2. Cheese is not bad food ; it is only bad in certain
conditions, and in certain ways, and at certain times. In
these circumstances cheese has a δύναμις which does not
belong to cheese in itself, but is latent until certain conditions
call it forth. The error, says the writer, is not made in the
case of wine. Everybody knows that in itself wine is not
bad ; it is drinking to excess, or at wrong times, which is
Now the reading of A (in fact any MS. reading) makes the
writer say that wine itself is to blame (αὐτὸς2 αἴτιος2)--an
obvious contradiction of the general argument. My colleague
the Rev. H. J. Chaytor most ingeniously suggests that αὐτός2
refers not to wine but to the man. He would therefore
translate "this δύναμις of wine and the man himself are to
blame." But not only is it more natural for αὐτός2 to refer to
wine, but the writer's whole point is that in and by itself no
food is αἴτιος2. A food is a cause only in certain conditions,
or, rather, certain conditions call forth certain δυνάμεις2.
I think, therefore, that the right reading is ὅτι τοιαύτη
δύναμις2 οἵνου καὶ οὐκ αὐτὸς2 αἵτιοσ2. "Such and such a δύναμις
of wine (i. e. a δύναμις2 caused by excess of wine acting upon
the human φύσιισ2) is to blame and not mere wine by itself."
ὅτι τοιαύτη might easily turn into ὅτι αὕτη, and the omission
of οὐ by scribes is not uncommon.
There is an attractive vigour about the reading ἰδόντες2 for
οἱ εἰδότες2, and it may be correct. "Anybody can see at a
glance that in the case of wine it is excess, etc., and not
merely wine itself which is to blame."
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