[23] Although, like his teacher, he preferred contemplative (theoretical), to active (practical) life,[86] he preferred to set the latter free from the restraints of family life, etc. JAMES DIGGLE Professor of Greek and Latin Cambridge University. Theophrastus, the pupil and successor of Aristotle, shared all the latter’s interests, and produced a large number of works on the same topics. Most of the biographical information about Theophrastus was provided by Diogenes Laërtius' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, written more than four hundred years after Theophrastus' time. Theophrastus seems, generally speaking, where the investigation overstepped the limits of experience, to have preferred to develop the difficulties rather than solve them, as is especially apparent in his Metaphysics. [5] He was a native of Eresos in Lesbos. [f] Christian Wimmer identified two manuscripts of first quality, the Codex Urbinas in the Vatican Library, which was not made known to J. G. Schneider, who made the first modern critical edition, 1818–21, and the excerpts in the Codex Parisiensis in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. If a friend is raising a subscription, and has spoken to him about it, he will turn out of the street when he descries him approaching, and will go home by a roundabout way. For a long time, Polycles, I have been a student of human nature; I have lived ninety years and nine; I have associated, too, with many and diverse natures; and, having observed side by side, with great closeness, both the good and the worthless among men, I conceived that I ought to write a book about the practices in life of either sort. The book has been regarded by some as an independent work; others incline to the view that the sketches were written from time to time by Theophrastus, and collected and edited after his death; others, again, regard the Characters as part of a larger systematic work, but the style of the book is against this. I flatter myself that I can treat you to some news’; and he has a soldier, or a slave of Asteius the fluteplayer, or Lycon the contractor, just arrived from the field of battle, from whom he says that he has heard of it. Theophrastus describes different marbles; mentions coal, which he says is used for heating by metal-workers; describes the various metal ores; and knew that pumice-stones had a volcanic origin. In fact the authorities for his statements are always such that no one can possibly lay hold upon them. After receiving instruction in philosophy in Lesbos from one Alcippus, he moved to Athens, where he may have studied under Plato. Again, when the trumpeter has sounded the signal for battle, he will cry, as he sits in the tent, ‘Bother! [11], The Metaphysics (anachronistic Greek title: Θεοφράστου τῶν μετὰ τὰ φυσικά),[48] in nine chapters (also known as On First Principles), was considered a fragment of a larger work by Usener in his edition (Theophrastos, Metaphysica, Bonn, 1890), but according to Ross and Fobes in their edition (Theophrastus, Metaphysica, Oxford, 1929), the treatise is complete (p. X) and this opinion is now widely accepted. Then he will say that a letter has come from Antipater — ‘this is the third’ — requiring his presence in Macedonia; and that, though he was offered the privilege of exporting timber free of duty, he has declined it, that no person whatever may be able to traduce him further for being more friendly than is becoming with Macedonia. He will carry his money himself, and sit down every two-hundred yards to count it. A New Introduction. And he will borrow from his acquaintances things of a kind that no one would ask back, — or readily take back, if it were proposed to restore them. Here is proof — he allows his wife, who brought him six talents of dowry and has borne him a child, three copper coins for the luxuries of the table; and makes her wash with cold water on Poseidon’s day.’ When he is sitting with others, he loves to criticise one who has just left the circle; nay, if he has found an occasion, he will not abstain from abusing his own relations. Everyone mentioned you first, and ended by coming back to your name.’ With these and the like words, he will remove a morsel of wool from his patron’s coat; or, if a speck of chaff has been laid on the other’s hair by the wind, he will pick it off; adding with a laugh, ‘Do you see? Well certainly these are glorious tidings!’ Then, without allowing the other to answer, he will go on — ‘What say you? If he is present at the flogging of a slave, he will relate how a slave of his own was once beaten in the same way — and hanged himself; or, assisting at an arbitration, he will persist in embroiling the parties when they both wish to be reconciled. DOI link for Theophrastus' Characters. He will sweep out his house when he gets up, and polish the sofas; and, in sitting down, he will twist aside the coarse cloak which he wears himself. )botany, mineralogy, philosophy.Theophrastus was associated with Aristotle for more than two decades and succeeded him as head of what came to be known as the Peripatetic school. Oxford University Press. It is possible to link to a specific ‘Character’ by clicking on the relevant title. in a manner of which Aristotle would not have approved. Also he will go up to his commanding officer, and ask when he means to give battle, and what is to be his order for the day after tomorrow. After his death, the Athenians honoured him with a public funeral. [42], Many of his surviving works exist only in fragmentary form. [11] Thus Theophrastus, like Aristotle, had composed a first and second Analytic (Ἀναλυτικῶν προτέρων and Ἀναλυτικῶν ὑστέρων). When he is anointing himself at the bath, he will say to the slave-boy, ‘Why, this oil that you have bought is rancid’ — and will use someone else’s. [a] He became friends with Aristotle, and when Plato died (348/7 BC) Theophrastus may have joined Aristotle in his self-imposed exile from Athens. Pliny the Elder makes clear references to his use of On Stones in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD, while updating and making much new information available on minerals himself. The Grumbler is one who, when his friend has sent him a present from his table, will say to the bearer, ‘You grudged me my soup and my poor wine, or you would have asked me to dinner.’ He will annoyed with Zeus, not for not raining, but for raining too late; and, if he finds a purse on the road, ‘Ah,’ he will say, ‘but I have never found a treasure!’ When he has bought a slave cheap after much coaxing of the seller, ‘It is strange,’ he will remark, ‘if I have got a sound lot such a bargain.’ To one who brings him good news, ‘A son is born to you,’ he will reply, ‘If you add that I have lost half my property, you will speak the truth.’ When he has won a lawsuit by a unanimous verdict, he will find fault with the composer of his speech for having left out several points in his case. What news have you to give me about this affair?’ And then he will reiterate the question — ‘Is anything fresh rumoured? Towards the end of the fifth century the output fell, partly owing to the Spartan occupation of Decelea. [44], On the Causes of Plants was originally eight books, of which six survive. If he is cooking a leek himself in the country, he will put salt into the pot twice, and make it uneatable. Entertaining his clansmen, he will beg a dish from the common table for his own servants; and will register the half-radishes left over from the repast, in order that the attendants may not get them. If he has anything to sell, he will dispose of it at such a price that the buyer shall have no profit. When he is at table with others, he will count how many cups each of them has drunk; and will pour a smaller libation to Artemis than any of the company. It is just like him, too, when a club-dinner is held at his house, to secrete some of the fire-wood, lentils, vinegar, salt, and lamp-oil placed at his disposal. His writing probably differed little from Aristotle's treatment of the same themes, though supplementary in details. He will attend you a little way, and ask when he is to see you, and will take his leave with a compliment upon his lips. By Sonia Pertsinidis. What porch is there, what workshop, what part of the market-place which they do not haunt all day long, exhausting the patience of their hearers in this way, and wearying them to death with their fictions?]. When he feasts the men of his deme, the cutlets set before them will be small; when he markets, he will come in having bought nothing. When he is celebrating his daughter’s marriage, he will sell the flesh of the animal sacrificed, except the parts due to the priest; and will hire the attendants at the marriage festival on condition that they attend their own board. When Aristotle moved to Mytilene on Lesbos in 345/4, it is very likely that he did so at the urging of Theophrastus. Speaking of honest men, he will add ‘so-so,’ and will remark that no one is honest, — all men are alike; indeed, one of his sarcasms is, ‘What an honest fellow!’ Again, he will say that the rascal is ‘a frank man, if one will look fairly at the matter.’ ‘Most of the things that people say of him,’ he admits, ‘are true; but some things’ (he adds) ‘they do not know; namely that he is a clever fellow, and fond of his friends, and a man of tact’; and he will contend in his behalf that he has ‘never met with an abler man.’ He will show him favour, also, when he speaks in the Ecclesia or is at the bar of a court; he is fond, too, of remarking to the bench, ‘The question is of the cause, not the person.’ ‘The defendant,’ he will say, ‘is the watch-dog of the people, — he keeps an eye on evil-doers. He is not likely to admit a visitor when he is anointing himself, or bathing, or at table. Written by Jerome from his personal perspective as a man, Theophrastus’ Golden Book on Marriage inconceivably tells women what men want. He loves, also, to impose upon his companion by the road with a story of how he served with Alexander, and on what terms he was with him, and what a number of gemmed cups he brought home; contending, too, that the Asiatic artists are superior to those of Europe; and all this when he has never been out of Attica. Theophrastus' Characters book. He will take lessons from his son in ‘Right Wheel,’ ‘Left Wheel,’ ‘Right-about-face.’ At the festivals of heroes he will match himself against boys for a torch-race; nay, it is just like him, if haply he is invited to a temple of Heracles, to throw off his cloak and seize the ox in order to bend its neck back. [citation needed] In ethics, he regarded happiness as depending on external influences as well as on virtue. The Penurious man is one who, while the month is current, will come to one’s house and ask for a half-obol. "[11][18] He was succeeded as head of the Lyceum by Strato of Lampsacus. A Greek text is freely available; cf. He will be careful, too, that his attendant shall be an Aethiopian: and, when he pays a mina, he will case the slave to pay the sum in new coin. Our friend himself, as might be expected from his parentage, is — a rascally scoundrel.’ He is very fond, also, of saying to one: ‘Of course — I understand that sort of thing; you do not err in your way of describing it to our friends and me. You have heard nothing? 371 b.c.;d. Their manner of life is indeed most miserable. Or if his little Melitean dog has died, he will put up a little memorial slab, with the inscription, a scion of Melita. A translation of the Characters, with useful explanatory notes and an introductory essay on the development of the “character” as a literary genre. [71] Denying the substance of space, he seems to have regarded it, in opposition to Aristotle, as the mere arrangement and position (taxis and thesis) of bodies. Aristotle in his will made him guardian of his children, including Nicomachus, with whom he was close. Also on the fourth and seventh days of each month he will order his servants to mull wine, and go out and buy myrtle-wreaths, frankincense, and smilax; and, on coming in, will spend the day in crowning the Hermaphrodites. Theophrastus' Characters. He will have a little court provided with an arena for wrestling and a ball-alley, and will go about lending it to philosophers, sophists, drill-sergeants, musicians, for their displays; at which he himself will appear upon the scene rather late, in order that the spectators might say one to another, ‘This is the owner of the palaestra.’. Besides his books on the State (Πολιτικῶν and Πολιτικοῦ), we find quoted various treatises on Education (Περὶ παιδείας βασιλέως and Περὶ παιδείας),[30] on Royalty (Περὶ βασιλείας, Περὶ παιδείας βασιλέως and Πρὸς Κάσανδρον περὶ βασιλείας),[31] on the Best State (Περὶ τῆς ἀρίστης πολιτείας), on Political Morals (Πολιτικῶν ἐθῶν), and particularly his works on the Laws (Νόμων κατὰ στοιχεῖον, Νόμων ἐπιτομῆς and Περὶ νόμων), one of which, containing a recapitulation of the laws of various barbarian as well as Greek states, was intended to be a companion to Aristotle's outline of Politics, and must have been similar to it. It is just like him, too, to obtain from the prytaneis by private arrangement the privilege of reporting the sacrifice to the people; when, having provided himself with a smart white cloak and put on a wreath, he will come forward and say: ‘Athenians! Theophrastus. 1909. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. When anyone secures a good bargain, he will ask to be given part in it. Those who send him presents with their compliments at feast-tide are told that he ‘will not touch’ their offerings. The Ironical Man is one who goes up to his enemies, and volunteers to chat with them, instead of showing hatred. Also he will inscribe upon a deceased woman’s tombstone the name of her husband, of her father, and of her mother, as well as her own, with the place of her birth; recording further that ‘All these were Estimable Persons.’ And when he is about to take an oath he will say to the bystanders, ‘This is by no means the first that I have undertaken.’. Hermann Diels. Hearing shouts and seeing men falling, he will remark to those who stand by him that he has forgotten in his haste to bring his sword, and will run to the tent; where, having sent his slave out to reconnoitre the position of the enemy, he will hide the sword under his pillow, and then spend a long time in pretending to look for it. He recognised no activity without motion,[78] and so referred all activities of the soul to motion: the desires and emotions to corporeal motion, judgment (kriseis) and contemplation to spiritual motion. Aye, and when he has prostrated a few lonely stragglers, he is apt to march next upon large, compact bodies, and to rout them in the midst of their occupations. Stanford Libraries' official online search tool for books, media, journals, databases, government documents and more. The Garrulous Man is one who will sit down beside a person whom he does not know, and first pronounce a panegyric on his own wife; then relate his dream of last night; then go through in detail what he has had for dinner. [44] With this type of work we may connect the fragments on Smells, on Fatigue, on Dizziness, on Sweat, on Swooning, on Palsy, and on Honey. These, again, are traits of his. Theophrastus' Characters. [8] Around 335 BC, Theophrastus moved with Aristotle to Athens, where Aristotle began teaching in the Lyceum. And he will forbid his wife to lend salt, or a lamp-wick, or cumin, or verjuice, or meal for sacrifice, or garlands, or cakes; saying that these trifles come to much in the year. These women snatch the passers-by out of the very street…That is a house which has not the best of characters…Really there is something in that proverb about the women…In short, they have a trick of gossiping with men, — and they answer the hall-door themselves.’. The man of Petty Ambition is one who, when asked to dinner, will be anxious to be placed next to the host at table. Poor fellow! Oxford. Arrogance is a certain scorn for all the world beside oneself. As he saunters in the streets, he will decide cases for those who have made him their referee. And seeing from the tent a wounded comrade being carried in, he will run towards him and cry ‘Cheer up!’; he will take him into his arms and carry him; he will tend and sponge him; he will sit by him and keep the flies off his wound — in short, he will do anything rather than fight with the enemy. The Arrogant man is one who will say to a person who is in a hurry that he will see him after dinner when he is taking his walk. When he has sacrificed an ox, he will nail up the skin of the forehead, wreathed with large garlands, opposite the entrance, in order that those who come in may see that he has sacrificed an ox. Translated by M. van Raalte, 1993, Brill. divine expression).[7]. A paraphrase and commentary on this work was written by Priscian of Lydia in the sixth century. In politics, also, he seems to have trodden in the footsteps of Aristotle. He is not likely to let one eat a fig from his garden, or walk through his land, or pick up one of the olives or dates that lie on the ground; and he will inspect his boundaries day by day to see if they remain the same. Moreover he will lean towards his ear and whisper with him; or will glance at him as he talks to the rest of the company. [13][d] He will not endure to wait long for anyone; nor will he consent to sing, or to recite, or to dance. When Aristotle was forced to retire from Athens in 323, Theophrastus became the head of the Lyceum, the academy Aristotle had founded. This, he will say, was what he contributed in the way of charities; adding that he does not count any of the trierarchies or public services which he has performed. [33] Theophrastus, without doubt, departed further from Aristotle in his ethical writings,[34] as also in his metaphysical investigations of motion, the soul, and God. His mother, I may add, is a noble damsel of Thrace — at least she is called “my life” in the language of Corinth — and they say that such ladies are esteemed noble in their own country. 1992. If he has dedicated a brass ring in the temple of Asclepius, he will wear it to a wire with daily burnishings and oilings. It is just like him, too, when others are speaking evil, to join in: — ‘And I hate that man above all men. you will not allow the man to get a wink of sleep with your perpetual bugling!’ Then, covered with blood from the other’s wound, he will meet those who are returning from the fight, and announce to them, ‘I have run some risk to save one of our fellows’; and he will bring in the men of his deme and of his tribe to see his patient, at the same time explaining to each of them that he carried him with his own hands to the tent. Edmonds, J. M., Theophrastus: Characters, Loeb, ed. Indeed, he will say all manner of injurious things of his friends and relatives, and of the dead; misnaming slander ‘plain speaking,’ ‘democratic,’ ‘independence,’ and making it the chief pleasure of his life. He will do his own marketing, and hire flute-players; moreover, he will show to everyone who meets him the provisions that he has bought, with an invitation to come and eat them; and will explain, as he stands at the door of a barber’s or perfumer’s shop, that he means to get drunk. The Officious man is one who will rise and promise things beyond his power; and who, when an arrangement is admitted to be just, will oppose it, and be refuted. He has a knack, also, of bringing a higher bidder to him who has already found his market. [85] That in the definition of pleasure, likewise, he did not coincide with Aristotle, seems to be indicated by the titles of two of his writings, one of which dealt with pleasure generally, the other with pleasure as Aristotle had defined it. The ancient workings, consisting of shafts and galleries for excavating the ore, and washing tables for extracting the metal, may still be seen. Some, like the extant botanical works, went far beyond Aristotle, and Theophrastus is known as the Father of Botany; others amplified and … He speaks also of having heard privately that the authorities have a man hid in a house who came just five days ago from Macedonia, and who knows it all. [43] He was doubtful of Aristotle's teleology and recommended that such ideas be used with caution: With regard to the view that all things are for the sake of an end and nothing is in vain, the assignation of ends is in general not easy, as it is usually stated to be ... we must set certain limits to purposiveness and to the effort after the best, and not assert it to exist in all cases without qualification. Also he will have his hair cut very frequently, and will keep his teeth white; he will change his clothes, too, while still good; and will anoint himself with unguent. When it is raining, he will observe ‘Well, the smell from the sky is delicious’ (when others of course say ‘from the earth’); or, if he is asked ‘How many corpses do you suppose have been carried out at the Sacred Gate?’ he will reply, ‘I only wish that you or I had as many.’. It is now in the Villa Albani, Rome (inv. A New Introduction. [Thus can the sting of ill temper produce in men the character of insanity and frenzy.]. [b] Aristotle likewise bequeathed to him his library and the originals of his works,[c] and designated him as his successor at the Lyceum. The extent to which Theophrastus followed Aristotle's doctrines, or defined them more accurately, or conceived them in a different form, and what additional structures of thought he placed upon them, can only be partially determined because of the loss of so many of his writings. [88], The marble herm figure with the bearded head of philosopher type, bearing the explicit inscription, must be taken as purely conventional. Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and pupil of Aristotle, was born around 372 BC, died around 287. He will pretend that he has ‘just arrived,’ or that he ‘was too late,’ or that he ‘was unwell.’ To applicants for a loan or a subscription he will say that he has no money; when he has anything for sale, he will deny that he means to sell; or, when he does not mean to sell, he will pretend that he does. Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères (1688) & Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century (1891). When, after the death of Alexander, anti-Macedonian feeling forced Aristotle to leave Athens, Theophrastus remained behind as head (scholarch) of the Peripatetic school,[8] a position he continued to hold after Aristotle's death in 322/1. Chattiness, if one should wish to define it, would seem to be an incontinence of talk. [11] George Eliot also took inspiration from Theophrastus' Characters, most notably in her book of caricatures, Impressions of Theophrastus Such. He came to Athens at a young age and initially studied in Plato's school. Theophrastus' Characters. Also he will go up to the sellers of the best horses, and pretend that he desires to buy; or, visiting the upholstery mart, he will ask to see draperies to the value of two talents, and quarrel with his slave for having come out without gold. Hermann Diels. [73] He attacked the doctrine of the four classical elements and challenged whether fire could be called a primary element when it appears to be compound, requiring, as it does, another material for its own nutriment.[74]. And he would seem, too, to be one of these persons who collect and call crowds about them, ranting in a loud cracked voice and haranguing them; meanwhile some will approach, and others go away without hearing him out; but to some he gives the first chapter of his story, to others and epitome, to others a fragment; and the time which he chooses for parading his recklessness is always when there is some public gathering. He will play at tableaux vivants with his footman; and will have matches of archery and javelin-throwing with his children’s attendant, whom he exhorts, at the same time, to learn from him, — as if the other knew nothing about it either. 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