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    A much more important factor in the social movement than those already mentioned was the ever-increasing influence of women. This probably stood at the lowest point to which it has ever fallen, during the classic age of Greek life and thought. In the history of Thucydides, so far as it forms a connected series of events, four times only during a period of nearly seventy years does a woman cross the scene. In each instance her apparition only lasts for a moment. In three of the four instances she is a queen or a princess, and belongs either to the half-barbarous kingdoms of northern Hellas or to wholly barbarous Thrace. In the one remaining instance208— that of the woman who helps some of the trapped Thebans to make their escape from Plataea—while her deed of mercy will live for ever, her name is for ever lost.319 But no sooner did philosophy abandon physics for ethics and religion than the importance of those subjects to women was perceived, first by Socrates, and after him by Xenophon and Plato. Women are said to have attended Plato’s lectures disguised as men. Women formed part of the circle which gathered round Epicurus in his suburban retreat. Others aspired not only to learn but to teach. Arêtê, the daughter of Aristippus, handed on the Cyrenaic doctrine to her son, the younger Aristippus. Hipparchia, the wife of Crates the Cynic, earned a place among the representatives of his school. But all these were exceptions; some of them belonged to the class of Hetaerae; and philosophy, although it might address itself to them, remained unaffected by their influence. The case was widely different in Rome, where women were far more highly honoured than in Greece;320 and even if the prominent part assigned to them in the legendary history of the city be a proof, among others, of its untrustworthiness, still that such stories should be thought worth inventing and preserving is an indirect proof of the extent to which feminine influence prevailed. With the loss of political liberty, their importance, as always happens at such a conjuncture, was considerably increased. Under a personal government there is far more scope for intrigue than where law is king; and as intriguers women are at least the209 equals of men. Moreover, they profited fully by the levelling tendencies of the age. One great service of the imperial jurisconsults was to remove some of the disabilities under which women formerly suffered. According to the old law, they were placed under male guardianship through their whole life, but this restraint was first reduced to a legal fiction by compelling the guardian to do what they wished, and at last it was entirely abolished. Their powers both of inheritance and bequest were extended; they frequently possessed immense wealth; and their wealth was sometimes expended for purposes of public munificence. Their social freedom seems to have been unlimited, and they formed combinations among themselves which probably served to increase their general influence.321112And after that Law bade entomb the dead

    V.A mortal soul: since neither man


    As a result of the preceding analysis, Plotinus at last identifies Matter with the Infinite—not an infinite something, but the Infinite pure and simple, apart from any subject of which it can be predicated. We started with what seemed a broad distinction between intelligible and sensible Matter. That distinction now disappears in a new and more comprehensive conception; and, at the same time, Plotinus begins to see his way towards a restatement of his whole system in clearer terms. ‘The Infinite is generated from the infinity or power or eternity of the One; not that there is infinity in the One, but that it is created by the One.’484 With the first outrush of energy from the primal fount of things, Matter begins to exist. But no sooner do movement and difference start into life, than they are restrained and bent back by the presence of the One; and this reflection of power or being on itself constitutes the supreme self-consciousness of Nous.485 Whether the subsequent creation of Soul involves a fresh production of energy, or whether a portion of the original stream, which was called into existence by the One, escapes from the restraining self-consciousness of Nous and continues its onward flow—this Plotinus does not say. What he does say is that Soul stands to Nous in the relation of Matter to Form, and is raised to perfection by gazing back on the Ideas contained in Nous, just as Nous itself had been perfected by returning to the One.486 But while the two higher principles remain stationary, the Soul, besides giving birth to a fresh stream of energy, turns towards her own creation and away from the fountain of her life. And, apparently, it is only by328 this condescension on her part that the visible world could have been formed.487 We can explain this by supposing that as the stream of Matter departs more and more from the One, its power of self-reflection continually diminishes, and at length ceases altogether. It is thus that the substratum of sensible objects must, as we have seen, be conceived under the aspect of a passive recipient for the forms imposed on it by the Soul; and just as those forms are a mere image of the noetic Ideas, so also, Plotinus tells us, is their Matter an image of the intelligible Matter which exists in the Nous itself; only the image realises the conception of a material principle more completely than the archetype, because of its more negative and indeterminate nature, a diminution of good being equivalent to an increase of evil.488

    【在线讲鬼故事=搜新网】In some respects, Aristotle began not only as a disciple but as a champion of Platonism. On the popular side, that doctrine was distinguished by its essentially religious character, and by its opposition to the rhetorical training then in vogue. Now, Aristotle’s dialogues, of which only a few fragments have been preserved, contained elegant arguments in favour of a creative First Cause, and of human immortality; although in the writings which embody his maturer views, the first of these theories is considerably modified, and the second is absolutely rejected. Further, we are informed that Aristotle expressed himself in terms of rather violent contempt for Isocrates, the greatest living professor of declamation; and284 opened an opposition school of his own. This step has, curiously enough, been adduced as a further proof of disagreement with Plato, who, it is said, objected to all rhetorical teaching whatever. It seems to us that what he condemned was rather the method and aim of the then fashionable rhetoric; and a considerable portion of his Phaedrus is devoted to proving how much more effectually persuasion might be produced by the combined application of dialectics and psychology to oratory. Now, this is precisely what Aristotle afterwards attempted to work out in the treatise on Rhetoric still preserved among his writings; and we may safely assume that his earlier lectures at Athens were composed on the same principle.



    【在线讲鬼故事=搜新网】So strong, however, was the theological reaction against Greek rationalism that Epicurus himself came under its influence. Instead of denying the existence of the gods altogether, or leaving it uncertain like Protagoras, he asserted it in the most emphatic manner. Their interference with Nature was all that he cared to dispute. The egoistic character of his whole system comes out once more in his conception of them as beings too much absorbed in their own placid enjoyments to be troubled with the work of creation and providence. He was, indeed, only repeating aloud what had long been whispered in the free-thinking circles of Athenian society. That the gods were indifferent to human interests81 was a heresy indignantly denounced by Aeschylus,159 maintained by Aristodêmus, the friend of Socrates, and singled out as a fit subject for punishment by Plato. Nor was the theology of Aristotle’s Metaphysics practically distinguishable from such a doctrine. Although essential to the continued existence of the cosmos, considered as a system of movements, the Prime Mover communicates the required impulse by the mere fact of his existence, and apparently without any consciousness of the effect he is producing. Active beneficence had, in truth, even less to do with the ideal of Aristotle than with the ideal of Epicurus, and each philosopher constructed a god after his own image; the one absorbed in perpetual thought, the other, or more properly the others, in perpetual enjoyment; for the Epicurean deities were necessarily conceived as a plurality, that they might not be without the pleasure of friendly conversation. Nevertheless, the part assigned by Aristotle to his god permitted him to offer a much stronger proof of the divine existence and attributes than was possible to Epicurus, who had nothing better to adduce than the universal belief of mankind,—an argument obviously proving too much, since it told, if anything, more powerfully for the interference than for the bare reality of supernatural agents.Eternal Law all-ruling.VI.