Works by Philo : Table of Contents
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I. (1) Having previously said all that appeared to be necessary about justice, and those precepts which are closely connected with it, I now proceed in regular order to speak of courage, not meaning by courage that warlike and frantic delirium, under the influence of passion as its counsellor, which the generality of men take for it, but knowledge; {1}{this seems to be an imitation of what Plato says in the Protagoras. “We must not look upon all bold (tharraleous) men as courageous (andreious), for boldness is derived from human skill, or from anger, or from madness; but courage arises only from nature, and from a good disposition of the soul.”–P. 350.} (2) for some persons, being elated by boldness when they have bodily strength to assist them, array themselves in the ranks of war, in complete armour, and slay innumerable hosts of the enemy to a man, gaining by their exploits the unseemly but fine sounding name of preeminent valour, being accounted by the multitude which judges of such matters exceedingly glorious in their victory, though in fact they have been savage and brutal both in nature and practice, having thirsted for human blood. (3) But then as some men who, always remaining in their own houses, while their bodies have been worn away either by long sickness or by painful old age, still being healthy and vigorous in the better part of their soul, and being full of high thoughts, and inspired with a braver and happier fortitude, never, not even in their dreams, meddling with warlike weapons, nevertheless by their exposition and advocacy of wise counsels for the common advantage, have often re-established both the private affairs of individuals, and the common prosperity of their country when it was in danger, putting forth unyielding and inflexible reasonings concerning what has been really expedient. (4) These men, then, are they who practise real courage, being studiers and practisers of wisdom; but those other men have only what does not deserve to be so called though it assumes the name, as they live in that incurable disease, ignorance, which one may very fitly and properly call audacity, just as people say that in coins base metal often bears the same impression as the real stamp and money.