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POETRY AND HISTORY Bart A.

Mazzetti Introduction IN an earlier paper,1 I argued that a proper ordering of the text of the Poetics would require the placing of the final discrete section of Chapter 9 (cf. 1452a 2-11), on the combination of incidents most effective for producing pity and fear, at the end of what we know as Chapter 7 (following 1452a 11), which is then to be followed by the rest of Chapter 9 minus the second to last discrete section, which concerns episodic plots (cf. 1451b 341452a 1). Let us look at the two passages in the proposed order: Ch. 9 (1452a 2-11):
But since tragedy is not only the imitation of a perfect action, but also of things evoking fear and pity, but they become such to the greatest extent when, contrary to expectation, they are accomplished through each other, <it is evident that they ought to be made to happen in this way>. For then they will have more of the wonderful than if <they were brought about> by chance and luck, since even in things brought about by luck, these seem most wonderful whenever they appear to have been accomplished as though [10] by design, as, for instance, the statue of Mitys of Argo killed the man responsible for Mitys death, falling upon him while he was looking at it; for such things seem not to have happened at random. And so such plots of necessity are more beautiful.

Ch. 9 (1451a 361451b 31):


But it is also apparent from what has been said that the task of the poet is to relate, not what has happened, but the sort of thing that might happenthat is, what is possible in accordance with likelihood or necessity. For the historian and the poet differ not by [the one] speaking in verse [and the other] not, [1451b] (for Herodotus put in verse would be no less a historian in verse than not in verse), but they differ in this, namely, that the one relates what has happened [5], but the other the sort of thing that might happen. For this reason, poetry is more philosophical and more serious than history; for poetry relates rather the universal, whereas history, the particular. But universal, in fact, is the sort of thing a certain sort of man happens to say or do according to what is likely or necessary, and [10] poetry aims at this sort of thing when it assigns names; but particular is what Alcibiades did or suffered.
1

Perfect and Whole: Aristotles Poetics on the Structure of the Plot, p. 11: Inasmuch as the remainder of Chapter 9 has to do with the modality of the pragmata composing a plot; being concerned as it is with the sort of thing that might happen in accor-dance with either necessity or likelihood (1451a 36), that is, with what happens always and necessarily or for the most part; whereas the last thing mentioned in Section 7, concerning chance things which seem not to have happened at random, being things happening per accidens, or for the least part, also concerns that modality; these being the three ways in which things happen, as Aristotle explains (cf. Metaph., XI. 8, 1064b 361065a 2); that block of text would reasonably follow upon this. On the other hand, as I point out in a note appended to this paper, an additional passage may have stood between the two; a subject to which I have devoted a treatment of its own.

But in comedy this has already become clear. For, having constructed plots from things that are likely, they thus suppose any chance names and do not, like the composers of iambos, make them about a particular [15] man. But in tragedy they hold to names that have already occurred. The reason is that the possible is believable. Things that have not happened, in fact, we are not apt to believe possible; but it is obvious that what has already happened is possible; for if it were impossible it would not have happened. Now, although in tragedies one [20] or two names are more known [or famous], the others are made up; but in certain [works] none of them [are known,] as in the Antheus of Agathon. For in a like manner in this [work] the things done as well as the names are made up, and nevertheless they give pleasure. For this reason, one must not seek to adhere entirely to the traditional stories, which tragedies [25] are about. For it is ridiculous to seek this out since such known names are known to few, yet they give pleasure to everyone. So it is clear from these things that a poet [or maker] ought to be the poet [or maker] of plots rather than of verses, since he is a poet according to imitation, and what he imitates are actions. Therefore, although one fashion things that have occurred, [30] he is no less a poet; for nothing prevents certain things that have happened from being the sort of things that are likely to happen, and according to this he is their poet.

Two other passages in the Poetics are closely related to the foregoing remarks on the way in which things happen: Ch. 8 (1451a 16-30):
A plot <, however,> is not one, as some think, if it is about one man; for many indeed an infinite numberof things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results. For this reason all [20] the poets seem to have erred who have composed a Heracleid, a Theseid, and such like poems. For they think that since Heracles was one man, a story about him is one thing. But Homer, just as he excels in other things, appears to have grasped this point well, whether by art or by nature. For in [25] making the Odyssey, he did not compose everything that ever happened to him, for example, his being wounded on Parnassus, and his feigned madness at the gathering of the army, the one thing being done, it being neither necessary nor likely that the other come about; but he constructed the Odyssey around one action, of the sort of which we are speaking; and likewise the [30] Iliad.

Ch. 23 (1459a 1730):


As for the art imitative in narrative and in metre, it is clear that its plots should be constructed the way they are in tragedies, dramatically, and around one action, whole and complete, [20] having a beginning, middles, and an end, so that, like one whole living thing, it may produce its proper pleasureand not be like the compositions of histories where what is required is an exposition not of one action, but of one period of time, and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [incident] stands to the other just as it happens. For [25] as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results. But almost all of the poets [30] do this.

Some remarks on the relation of poetry to history Having considered the respective claims of the texts just cited, the student of the Poetics may find the following observations helpful. As we have seen, Aristotle considers history to consist in the setting forth [or exposition, ekthesis] not of one action, but of one [period of] time [chronou], and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [happening] stands to the other just as it chances [hos etuchen] (Poetics ch. 23, 1459a 23-24). For manyindeed an infinite numberof things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results (ibid., ch. 8, 1451a 16-19), and the same is true for things done or suffered by many men. In sum, Aristotle sees the incidents comprising such a narrative as having an accidental or fortuitous connection. Still, as is clear from Poetics Chapter 9, Aristotle recognized that nothing prevents certain things that have happened from being the sort of things that are likely to happen; and, one might add, some will certainly be necessary, these being the three ways in which things may happen: for, as Aristotle elsewhere explains:
We say that everything either is always and of necessity (necessity not in the sense of violence, but that which we appeal to in demonstrations), or is for the most part, or is neither for the most part, nor always and of necessity, but merely as it chances; e.g. there might be cold in the dogdays, but this occurs [1065a] neither always and of necessity, nor for the most part, though it might happen sometimes. The accidental, then, is what occurs, but not always nor of necessity, nor for the most part.1

Now certainly things happening always and of necessity (which is the necessary), as well as those happening for the most part (which is the likely or probable), will form some part of the subject matter of the historian, but they properly belong to the poetic art, as is clear from Poetics Chapter 9. But to the extent that such connections are known to him, the historian will be able to compose a work that approaches the unified action of a wellconstructed drama or epic poem, and such is the aim of the treatment of history described by Diodorus Siculus (for which, see below). Why, then, does Aristotle speak solely of the accidental as the subject matter of history? Presumably because what happens by chance predominates in it and so gives it its form. One may therefore recognize history as taking two forms, one in which the connection between events is primarily fortuitous, and one in which it is for the most part either likely or necessary. On this point, consider the following remarks:
By the term history we mean here, primarily, narratio. Historical personages, actions or events are, first of all, things that can be reported or narrated. It is true that these things may also reveal more or less rational connections that exist among them, and that the term history also serves to designate the kind of knowledge ordained to the discovery of such connections. Taken in this sense, History tends towards a certain universality and thus towards the estate of a science. And, in this sense, only significant facts enter into the realm of History: the kind of facts credited with historical importance. It is not with this second meaning of history that we are now concerned. Rather, taking the term in its more primitive sense, we call historical even such thingsnay, such above allas cannot form
1

Metaph., 11. 8, 1064b 361065a 2 (tr. W. D. Ross).

the object of any rationalization: the things that can at best be told, reported, narrated; in a word, things obscure, ineffable, incommunicable as to their essential meaning.1

In light of the distinctions Aristotle makes concerning the possible connections between events, we may say that the things which may also reveal more or less rational connections are those which happen always and of necessity, or those which happen for the most part, and hence are the sort of thing which are possible in accordance with likelihood or necessity, for which reason they will possess a kind of universality, and so tend towards the estate of science; and these will be such as are for the sake of something and are the result of nature or of deliberate intention, as will be explained further below.

Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Man and His Historical Being, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. 5, 1949, n. 2, p. 271.

Poetry and History According to Aristotle 1. On the relation of poetic imitation to the compositions of history. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 8 (1451a 16-35) (tr. B.A.M.):
A plot is not one, as some think, if it is about one man; for manyindeed an infinite number of things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises [lit. there is no one thing, ouden estin hen]. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results [ginetai]. For this reason all [20] the poets seem to have erred who have composed a Heracleid, a Theseid, and such like poems. For they think that since Heracles was one man, a story about him is one thing. But Homer, just as he excels in other things, appears to have grasped this point well, whether by art or by nature. For in [25] making the Odyssey, he did not compose everything that ever happened to him, for example, his being wounded on Parnassus, and his feigned madness at the gathering of the army, the one thing being done, it being neither necessary nor likely that the other come about; but he constructed the Odyssey around one action, of the sort of which we are speaking; and likewise the [30] Iliad.1 Accordingly, just as in the other imitative arts, one imitation must be of one thing, so also the plot, since it is the imitation of an action, must be of one thing, and this a whole, and the parts of the thing must be so constituted that when some one part is transposed or removed it makes a difference in the sense that the whole is changed; for what makes [35] no noticeable difference when it is present or not present is no part of the whole.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 23 (1459a 1730) (tr. B.A.M.):


As for the imitative art which is narrative and in verse, it is clear that its plots should be constructed the way they are in tragedies, dramatically, and around one action, whole and perfect, [20] having a beginning, middles, and an end, so that, like one whole living thing, it may produce its proper pleasureand not be like the compositions of histories where what is required is a setting forth [or exposition, ekthesis] not of one action, but of one [period of] time, and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [happening] stands to the other just as it chances [hos etuchen]. For [25] as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results. But almost all of the poets [30] do this.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 9 (1451b 1-11) (tr. B.A.M.):


But it is also apparent from what has been said that the job of the poet is to relate, not what has happened, but the sort of thing that might happenthat is, what is possible in accordance with likelihood or necessity. For the historian and the poet differ not by [the one] speaking in verse [and the other] not, [1451b] (for Herodotus put in verse would be no less a historian in verse than not in verse), but they differ in this, namely, that the one relates what has happened [5], but the other the sort of thing that might happen. For this reason, poetry is
1

For when the incidents composing the plot are so constructedthat is to say, some one thing being done, it is either necessary or likely that the other come about then such a plot will be both continuous and one; such a consequence making the limits of the prior and subsequent incidents touch, and hence become one and the same, such that the parts are held together; some such definition being required by Aristotles words at 1452a 14-15: But I call simple an action in which [15] (being, as defined, continuous and one), etc.

more philosophical and of more serious import than history; for poetry relates rather the universal, whereas history, the particular. But universal, in fact, is the sort of thing a certain sort of man happens to say or do according to what is likely or necessary, and [10] poetry aims at this sort of thing when it assigns names; but particular is what Alcibiades did or suffered.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 9 (1451b 27-32) (tr. B.A.M.):


So it is clear from these things that a poet [or maker] ought to be the poet [or maker] of plots rather than of verses, since he is a poet according to imitation, and what he imitates are actions. Therefore, although one fashion things that have occurred, [30] he is no less a poet; for nothing prevents certain things that have happened from being the sort of things that are likely to happen, and according to this he is their poet.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 10 (1452a 12-21) (tr. B.A.M.):


Of plots, however, some are simple, but others complex; for the actions of which the plots are the imitations are also such to begin with. But I call simple an action in which [15] (being, as defined, continuous and one) a change of fortune without reversal or recognition results; but complex, [one] from which there is a change of fortune involving recognition, or reversal, or both. These, however, should arise from the very way in which the plot is put together, so that from what has already taken place [20] it happen that the things mentioned come about either of necessity or in accordance with likelihood. For it makes a great difference whether these things1 come about because of these things2 [propter hoc] or [merely] after them [post hoc].

2. That the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time (480 b.c). Cf. Herodotus, The History, VII. 166 (tr. George Rawlinson):
They say too, that the victory of Gelo and Thero in Sicily over Hamilcar the Carthaginian fell out upon the very day that the Hellenes defeated the Persians at Salamis.

3. That these incidents did not tend to the same end because they happened at the same time by chance. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 23 (1459a 2530) (tr. B.A.M.):
For as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end, so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results. But almost all of the poets do this.3
1 2

Namely, recognition and reversal. Namely, the incidents which precede them in time. Aristotles view is that a plot which is continuous and unified will consist of incidents which do not merely precede a recognition or reversal, but which precipitate them. 3 In the text just prior to this, Aristotle has noted that the compositions of histories consist of parts of which each (happening) stands to the other just as it chances (1459a 24) from which it follows that their connection is fortuitous or by chance.

4. That these incidents did tend to the same end because they happened at the same time deliberately. Cf. Diodorus Siculus, Library 11. 1. 4 (tr. C. H. Oldfather):
[4] And Xerxes, being won over by him1 and desiring to drive all the Greeks from their homes, sent an embassy to the Carthaginians to urge them to join him in the undertaking and closed an agreement with them, to the effect that he would wage war upon the Greeks who lived in Greece, while the Carthaginians should at the same time gather great armaments and subdue those Greeks who lived in Sicily and Italy.

5. Some commentators on the foregoing matters. Cf. Ingram Bywater, Aristotle on the Art of Poetry, Commentary:
[1459]a 23 e(noj xro/nou : comp. b 1 peri\ e(/na xro/non. Aristotles conception of a history is that it is a sort of chronicle (see on 9, 1451a36) recording all the various occurrences within a certain period of time, however loose and separate they may have been in themselves. As an instance of such a disconnected event he cites Gelos defeat of the Carthaginians in 480; it happened about the same timeHerodotus 7, 166 says on the same dayas the Battle of Salamis, but it obviously had no connexion with that battle, or with the issue of the Persian War. And the same would have to be said, if it had taken place just before or after Salamis (e)n toi=j e)fec$j xro/noij a 27). In this way Aristotle reasserts the point on which he has insisted in the earlier chapters (8, 1451 a 27; 10 1452 a 20), that two events may come in succession without forming part of one single action.

Cf. D. W. Lucas, Aristotle: Poetics, Commentary, pp. 215-216:


59a25 h(/ t e)n Salami=ni . . . ma/xh : for A., as for us, Herodotus was the principal authority for the Persian Wars. According to Her. 7. 166 the two battles were fought on the same day. Himera has only slight relevance to Salamis in that Herodotus mentions the Syracusan claim that Gelon would have come to the help of the Greeks in spite of the dispute about the supreme command, had it not been for the Carthaginian threat. E. [= Gerald Else] suggests that A. is here contradicting Ephorus, who alleged (see Diodorus 11. 1. 4) that the Carthaginians co-operated with the Persians in the timing of their invasion. To establish the interest of A. in Ephorus E. quotes the interesting verbal parallels between this passage and the Introductions to Diodorus 16 and 17, though there is the possibility that Diodorus is himself using Peripatetic doctrine. The priority of Ephorus history to the P. is uncertain. Ideas occurring in the later part of this chapter make their appearance in Horaces Ars Poetica, transmitted probably through Theophrastus.

Cf. Gerald F. Else, Aristotles Poetics: The Argument, Chapter 23, 59a22-30, pp. 575-576:
One time is such a vague expression that one expects some explanation of it. And indeed the following sentence (w(/sper ga\r ktl.) does tell us something. It shows that the term is elastic and can cover shorter or longer periods; for kata\ tou\j au)tou\j xro/nouj implies contemporaneity, if not simultaneity, while e)n toi=j e)fech=j xro/noij appears to embrace a longer span. But again Aristotles language is deplorably vague. Herodotus reports (7. 166) a Sicilian tradition that the battles of Salamis and Himera took place on the same day. Is that what Aristotle is referring to? If so, why does he substitute something so
1

I.e. Mardonius the Persian, a cousin of Xerxes (cf. 11. 1. 3).

inexact as kata\ tou\j au)tou\j xro/nouj for Herodotuss precise th=j au)th=j h(me/rhj? Moreover Herodotus makes nothing of the coincidence, whereas Aristotles phrase ou)de\n pro\j to\ au)to\ suntei/nousai te/loj makes us suspect that he is speaking against somebody who did make something of it. Under these circumstances it is natural to think of Ephorus, for Ephorus did assert a causal connection between the attack of the Persians on Greece and that of the Carthaginians on Sicily, namely that Xerxes proposed to Carthage an alliance and a simultaneous preparation and attack. Diodorus 11. 1. 4: o( de\ Ce/rchj
peisqei\j au)tw=? kai\ boulo/menoj pa/ntaj tou\j (/Ellhnaj a)nasta/touj poih=sai, diepresbeu/sato pro\j Karxhdoni/ouj peri\ koinopragi/aj kai\ sune/qeto pro\j au)tou/j, w(/ste au)to\n me\n e)pi\ tou\j th\n (Ella/da katoikou=ntaj (/Ellhnaj strateu/ein, Karxhdoni/ouj de\ toi=j au)toi=j xro/noij mega/laj paraskeua/sasqai duna/meij kai\ katapolemh=sai tw=n (Ellh/nwn tou\j peri\ Sikeli/an kai\ )Itali/an oi)kou=ntaj. ibid. 20. 1 Karxhdo/nioi ga\r sunteqeime/noi pro\j Pe/rsaj toi=j au)toi=j

.16 Here we find not only a verbal parallel but a satisfactory background of meaning for Aristotles broad phrase kata\ tou\j au)tou\j xro/nouj; for in Diodoruss account toi=j au)toi=j xro/noij (kairoi=j) refers to the whole joint plan of campaign: the preparations (according to Diodorus [i.e., Ephorus], 11. 1. 5, they took three years) were to be synchronized as well as the attack.
kairoi=j kata\ th\n Sikeli/an (/Ellhnaj:

Thus Ephorus presented the perils of Greece in 480 as the result of a world-wide, coordinated pincer movement aimed at all the Greeks simultaneously: pro\j to\ au)to\ suntei/nousai te/loj.17 I suggest that this is what Aristotle refers to, and that for some reason not known to us he has taken this occasion to register a dissent against Ephorus combination.18
16

Schol. Pind. P. 1. 146b (= FGrHist 70F186) gives the same account, but with less detail and without the significant phrase toi=j au)toi=j xro/noij. 17 [Note omitted] 18 That he is replying to E. is stated as a fact by R. Hackforth, CAH 4. 378.

6. Diodorus Siculus on the nature of systematic historical treatises as treating of a complete action. Cf. Diodorus Siculus, Library 16. 1. 1-3 (ed. & tr. C. H. Oldfather):
I.[1] In all systematic historical treatises it behooves the historian to include in his books actions of states or of kings which are complete in themselves from beginning to end; for in this manner I conceive history to be most easy to remember and most intelligible to the reader. [2] Now incomplete actions, the conclusion of which is unconnected with the beginning, interrupt the interest of the curious reader, whereas if the actions embrace a continuity of development culminating naturally, the narrative of events will achieve a well-rounded perfection. Whenever the natural pattern of events itself harmonizes with the task of the historian, from that point on he must not deviate at all from this principle. [3] Consequently, now that I have reached the actions of Philip son of Amyntas, I shall endeavour to include the deeds performed by this king within the compass of the present Book. For Philip was king over the Macedonians for twenty-four years, and having started from the most insignificant beginnings built up his kingdom to be the greatest of the dominions in Europe, and having taken over Macedonia when she was a slave to the Illyrians, made her mistress of many powerful tribes and states.

Cf. Diodorus Siculus, Library 17. 1. 1-2 (ed. & tr. C. H. Oldfather):
I.[1] The preceding book, which was the sixteenth of the Histories, began with the coronation of Philip the son of Amyntas and included his whole career down to his death, together with those events connected with other kings, peoples and cities which occurred in the years of his reign, twenty-four in number. [2] In this book we shall continue the systematic narrative beginning with the accession of Alexander, and include both the history of this king down to his death as well as contemporary events in the known parts of the world. This is the best method, I think, of ensuring that events will be remembered, for thus the material is arranged topically, and each story is told without interruption.

7. On the historical method outlined by Diodorus and its relation to Aristotles remarks on the practice of historians in comparison to that of (artistically correct) epic poets. Cf. Gerald F. Else, Aristotles Poetics: The Argument, Chapter 23, 59a22-30, pp. 577-578:
Another parallel, this time with e)n toi=j e)fech=j xro/noij, makes it arguable that Aristotle has Ephorus in mind here too. The prologue to the 16th book of Diodorus makes an elaborate and self-conscious proclamation of method, which unfortunately we shall have to quote at length:
e)n pa/saij me\n tai=j i(storikai=j pragmatei/ai kaqh/kei tou\j suggrafei=j perilamba/nein e)n tai=j bi/bloij h)\ po/lewn [= peri\ plei/ouj!] h)\ basile/wn [= peri\ e)/na] pra/ceij au)totelei=j a)p a)rxh=j me/xri tou= te/louj: ou(/twj ga\r ma/lista dialamba/nomen th\n i(stori/an eu)mnhmo/neuton kai\ safh= gene/sqai toi=j a)naginw/skousin. (2) ai( me\n ga\r h(mitelei=j pra/ceij ou)k e)/xousai sunexe\j tai=j a)rxai=j to\ pe/raj mesolabou=si th\n e)piqumi/an tw=n filanagnwstou/ntwn, ai( de\ to\ th=j dihgh/sewj sunexe\j perilamba/nousai me/xri th=j teleuth=j a)phrtisme/nhn th\n tw=n pra/cewn e)/xousin a)paggeli/an... (3) dio/per kai\ h(mei=j par<i?>o/ntej e)pi\ ta\j Fili/ppou tou= )Amu/ntou pra/ceij peiraso/meqa tou/tw? tw=? basilei= ta\ praxqe/nta perilabei=n e)n tau/th? th=? bi/blw?.

In the prooemium to book 17 the idea and its execution are alluded to again: h( me\n pro\
tau/thj bu/bloj, ou)=sa th=j o(/lhj sunta/cewj e(ckaideka/th, th\n a)rxh\n e)/sxen a)po\ th=j Fili/ppou tou= )Amu/ntou basilei/aj: perielh/fqhsan d e)n au)th=? pra/ceij ai( me\n tou= Fili/ppou pa=sai me/xri th=j teleuth=j, ai( de\ tw=n a)/llwn basile/wn te kai\ e)qnw=n kai\ po/lewn o(/sai gego/nasi kata\ tou\j th=j basilei/aj tau/thj xro/nouj.

Laquer has shown21 that at least the first of these proeemia (that of 17 may be a rchauffe by Diodorus out of the other) is from Ephorus, and22 that it contains a self-justification by Ephorus of his new principle of arrangement, against the annalistic principle of Thucydides (and, we can add, of the continuators of Thucydides: Xenophon, Oxyrhynchus historian, Theopompus). For Ephorus did consciously adopt a new principle, not absolutely disregarding chronology but subordinating it to a thematic treatment of history, giving each book so far as possible a single main theme as well as a separate preface.23 The idea that Aristotle is referring to Ephorus thematic method, through which larger sequences of events could be told continuously, gives for the first time some point to e)n toi=j e)fech=j xro/noij, and to the antithesis between it and kata\ tou\j au)tou\j

xro/nouj. The burden of Aristotles critique is then not so much that Ephorus method is

wrong as that no historiographical method, whether synchronistic (annalistic) or thematic, can get around the arbitrariness of chronology. History must tell all that happened in a given time, to one man or many. Whether that time is the relatively short frame of a year (or Thucydides winters and summers) or the long one of a great war25 or of a great mans career,26 the historian must still relate many events that have no causal connection with each other.
21 22

Hermes 46 (1911) 161-206, esp. 196-200. Ibid. 321-354, esp. 339-342. 23 [note omitted] 25 The Persian War appears to have come in Ephorus tenth book, though the matter is not certain. 26 What has been said about Ephorus could be also applies, mutatis mutandis, to Theopompus Phillipica, in which o(/sa sune/bh peri\ e(/na was taken as the framework for the history of the whole period. But again there are no specific indications of a reference to Theopompus.

8. Luck and chance in relation to history. With respect to the question of a connection between the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily, the texts of Herodotus and Diodorus present no difficulty. If we assume that Aristotle was aware of Ephorus claim, he may have accepted Herodotus account as the most authoritative, and then it would provide a well-known example of simultaneous events having no relation to one another. On the other hand, the view of Ephorus, namely, that the attacks were coordinated, would have provided the student of poetics with an example of simultaneous events that did tend to the same end, but this would be for the sake of something as the result of thought. For as Aristotle explains when examining luck and chance:
Of things which come to be, some come to be for the sake of something and some do not. Of the former, some [come to be] according to choice, and some not according to choice; but both sorts are among those which are for the sake of [20] something. Whence it is clear that, even in those which are beyond the necessary and what is for the most part, there are some about which that for the sake of which can be present. Whatever could be done by thought or by nature is for the sake of something. Such things, then, when they come to be accidentally, we say are by luck. For just as what is exists either in virtue of itself or accidentally, so also can it [25] be a cause. For example, the art of house-building is the cause of the house in virtue of itself, but accidentally, white or musical is. What is a cause in virtue of itself, therefore, is determinate, but what is so accidentally is indeterminate, for infinite things may chance to be in one thing. As was said, therefore, when this comes to be among things which are [30] for the sake of something, then it is said to be by chance and by luck.1

In the foregoing text, Aristotle explains that when the sort of thing done for the sake of something as a result of nature or thought happens by accident, it is said to be by luck. For, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas (In II Phys., lect. 8, n. 10), luck is an accidental cause in things which come to be for the sake of a willed end and for the least part (fortuna est causa per accidens in his quae fiunt secundum propositum propter finem in minori parte, tr. Michael A. Augros). More explicitly, luck is an accidental cause in
1

Phys., II. 5, 196b 18-30 (tr. R. Glen Coughlin)

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something which acts on account of an end proposed by reason, and of other things, on account of which it does not act, which are nonetheless the kinds of things sought or avoided on account of an end proposed by reason, and which come about by it for the least part (Michael A. Augros, Unpublished Paper). But the simultaneous occurrence of the battles at Salamis and Himera is of this sort, since it is something that could have been done for the sake of something as a result of thought but was not (and this among those things which are for the least part). Consequently, just as the art of the house-builder is the per se cause of the house, but the white or the musical the incidental or per accidens cause insofar as the house-builder happens to be white or musical (here what is accidental being conjoined to the cause), so also the per se cause of the sea-fight at Salamis happening on the day that it did (let us say that it is the Athenian commander Themistocles) is also the incidental cause of the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily because the per se cause could have intended this result, even though he did not; the two events merely happening to occur on the same day (in this case the accidental being conjoined to the effect). And so their happening at the same time, or co-incidence, is said to be by luck, and it is Aristotles view that the recording of such a fact is proper to, as well as typical of, history; whereas their being due to deliberate intention would make a good story, and so be appropriate to the poetic art. 9. What Aristotle understands by coincidence: Regarding such things as are typical of history, they are, as Aristotle says, things not tend[ing] to the same end, whereas adaptation to an end is found in events that happen by nature or as the result of thought (Aristotle, Metaph., 11. 8, 1065a 25-26, tr. W. D. Ross); for things are either the result of coincidence or for an end (Aristotle, Phys., II. 8, 19a 3, tr. Hardie & Gaye). Now according to Aristotle (cf. Phys., IV. 10, 218a 25-29), coincidence in time means being neither prior nor posterior, but to be in one and the same now. Hence, a coincidence is the temporal property of two things happening at the same time. 1 Again, a coincidence is the happening of two things at the same time when the one is not due to the other.2 Again, Aristotle maintains that a coincidence is what does not take place according to a universal or general rule, and so is neither a token nor a cause of that with which it coincides or vice versa3that is to say, it is the taking place of two things at the same time by chance; a thing being by chance when, in things which come to be for the sake of something simply, they come to be not for the sake of what happens, the cause of which is extrinsic4, a form of which is luck. Thus to say that luck is a thing contrary to rule is correct. For rule applies to what is always true or true for the most part, whereas luck belongs to a third type of event;5 the third type being what happens for the least part, or is just as it chances (hos etuchen), i.e. the accidental; for [t]he accidentalis what occurs, but not always nor of necessity, nor for the most part.6 10. On the likelihood of the unlikely and the necessity of the unnecessary.
1 2

WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University. Cf. Post. An., I. 4 (73b 10-15), on which see further below. 3 Cf. On Prophesying by Dreams, ch. 1 (462b 33463a 2), also cited further below. 4 Phys., II. 6 (197b 19-22) (tr. R. Glen Coughlin). 5 Ibid., II. 5 (197a 17-19) (tr. Hardie & Gaye, slightly rev. B.A.M.). 6 Metaph., XI. 8 (1064a 3) (tr. W. D. Ross).

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It should be clear from the foregoing considerations that, just as Aristotle did not banish the necessary or likely from the compositions of history, so, too, he does not forbid the portrayal of the accidental in works of the poetic art, for the reason that even the unlikely may come under the rationale of the likely. The reason why this should be so may be gathered from the following observations:
Like Aristotle, Bohm is concerned initially with the fortuitous, i.e. with chance in human actions. Aristotle had observed that we are exposed to fortune, good or bad, because our knowledge of the circumstances amidst which we act is limited. It is therefore only natural that there be fortuitous events. The root of fortune is ignorance and the inevitable limitations due to it in our practical actions. Consequently, the relative frequency of individually unpredictable events will be nothing but a function of our lack of knowledge in the practical order. The fact that the latter could never be wholly removed provides in the end the very basis of a measure of predictability. Our ignorance in our actions is just as much a constant as our knowledge is; little wonder that the effects of these correlative constants should acquire a numerical value. That is why, conversely, the approximate number of predictable accidents over a long week-end in these United States, say, does not at all suppress the indetermination on the part of whoever incurs the accident. It is necessary that there be fortuitous events; but that does not make any of these particular events necessary.1

Now to say that [o]ur ignorance in our actions is just as much a constant as our knowledge is, and [t]he fact that the latter [i.e. our ignorance] could never be wholly removed provides in the end the very basis of a measure of predictability, warrants our judging that even what is unlikely has a likelihood of happening; for to reckon the predictability of something happening is tantamount to reckoning its likelihood. Moreover, [i]t is necessary that there be fortuitous events. For further elaboration of this matter, consider also the following remarks by C. S. Lewis:2
It will be noticed that most of my examples of presentational realism, though I did not select them for that purpose, occur in the telling of stories which are not themselves at all realistic in the sense of being probable or even possible. This should clear up once and for all a very elementary confusion which I have sometimes detected between realism of presentation and what I call realism of content. A fiction is realistic in content when it is probable or true to life. We see realism of content, isolated from the slightest realism of presentation and therefore chemically pure, in a work like Constants Adolphe. There a passion, and the sort of passion that is not very rare in the real world, is pursued through all its windings to its death. We never doubt that this is just what might happen. But while there is much to be felt and analysed, there is nothing to be seen or heard or touched. There are no close-ups, no details. There are no minor characters and even no places worthy of the name. Except in one short passage, for a special purpose, there is no weather and no countryside. So in Racine, given the situation, all is probable, even inevitable. The realism of content is great, but there is no realism of presentation. We do not know what any one looked like, wore, or ate. Everyone speaks in the same style. There are almost no manners. No one that I know of has indeed laid down in so many words that a fiction cannot be fit for adult and civilised reading unless it represents life as we have all found it to be, or probably shall find it to be, in experience. But some such assumption seems to lurk tacitly in
1

Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Possibility, Laval theologique et philosophique. Volume 19, number 2 (November 1963) (p. 284-292). 2 An Experiment in Criticism (Cambridge, 1967), pp. 58-61.

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the background of much criticism and literary discussion. We feel it in the widespread neglect or disparagement of the romantic, the idyllic, and the fantastic, and the readiness to stigmatise instances of these as escapism. We feel it when books are praised for being comments on, or reflections (or more deplorably slices) of Life. We notice also that truth to life is held to have a claim on literature that overrides all other considerations. But when we say The sort of thing that happens, do we mean the sort of thing that usually or often happens, the sort of thing that is typical of the human lot? Or do we mean The sort of thing that might conceivably happen or that, by a thousandth chance, may have happened once? For there is a great difference in this respect between the Oedipus Tyrannus or Great Expectations on the one hand, and Middlemarch or War and Peace on the other.

Another point related to the foregoing concerns, not the likelihood of the unlikely, but the necessity of the unnecessary, a matter on which the following remarks of C. S. Lewis are also illuminating.1 Speaking of that very large class of stories (which) turn on fulfilled prophecies, Lewis observes that
In most of them the very steps taken to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy actually bring it about. It is foretold that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. In order to prevent this from happening he is exposed on the mountain and that exposure, by leading to his rescue and thus to his life among strangers in ignorance of his real parentage, renders possible both disasters. Such stories produce (at least in me) a feeling of awe, coupled with a certain sort of bewilderment such as one often feels in looking at a complex pattern of lines that pass over and under one another. One sees, yet does not quite see, the regularity. And is there not good occasion for both awe and bewilderment? We have just had set before our imagination something that has always baffled the intellect; we have seen how destiny and free will can be combined, even how free will is the modus operandi of destiny. The story does what no theorem can quite do. It may not be like real life in the superficial sense: but it sets before us an image of what reality may well be like at some more central region.

Now the misfortunes that befall Oedipus are in one way of his own making rather than necessitated; but, when referred to a higher cause such as destiny, they can be seen to be inescapable even though due to free will. To see how this may be so, consider the following remarks comparing the causality due to God with that due to an author:
Gods causality, like His existence, has no mode. Hence, although His causality is infallible (His will cannot fail), He is neither a necessary nor a contingent cause, nor something between these but above and beyond them. But how can a cause be neither necessary nor contingent? Arent these contradictory, and hence without a middle? The problem is that if Gods causality is necessary, it seems that all His effects (including our choices) must be necessary, and that if it is contingent, then His will is avoidable and therefore He can be frustrated, as if He were not in control of His creatures. Either the result is avoidable or it is not, either the cause can be frustrated or it can not. Now we want to say that all things are the result of Gods causality, and that Gods causality can never be frustrated, and yet some of the things He causes (e.g. chance events and human choices) are contingent, i.e. not necessary. Is the answer that God produces necessary things by necessary causes, and contingent things by contingent causes? St Thomas considers this answer and dumps it (I Q19 A8 body).

On Stories [1947], in On Stories and Other Essays on Literature, ed. Walter Hooper (New York, 1966), pp. 14-15.

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God brings about a result that is unavoidable through an avoidable cause. This would save Gods unavoidable causality, and the avoidability of natural causes. But how can something brought about through an avoidable cause, even a secondary one, be unavoidable? How can a conclusion brought about through an avoidable premise be unavoidable? The saying a chain is so strong as its weakest link comes to mind. But this is to consider Gods causality along with that of any other creature, as if they were of the same kind; i.e. as if he depended on secondary causes as his instruments, as one link in a chain depends on all the others. The author of a book is not a cause of a characters actions the same way another character is. What falls outside of Gods plan in one order falls back into it in a higher order, e.g. a damned soul has fallen out of Gods plan in his own order toward God, but as a part of the universe, he contributes to the universes order toward God by exhibiting in the universe Gods justice.1

In another place, the same thinker elaborates further on this matter:


In the question on fate in the Summa, St. Thomas talks about how the per accidens can be put in a judgment and so can be brought about deliberately, e.g. a gravedigger finds treasure. God is the only thing that can be a per se cause of what comes about by chance, since chance is something infinite, and since He alone gives things their natures and inclinations; they cannot be ordered naturally to each other, since that would not be by chance but by nature, but the motions following upon their natures can be directed together by what inclines them both. See p. 274 of The Nature of Man and His Historical Being: the absolutely universal causality of God, as well as His properly divine wisdom, appear most strikingly in the intrinsic contingency and the inherent absurdity of the world: for only God is the determinate, per se cause of that, too, which in itself is contingent. No creature can be the per se cause of what is either casual or fortuitous. 2

Hence, just as God can bring about a result that is unavoidable through an avoidable cause, seeing that He alone gives things their natures and inclinations, and the motions following upon them can be directed together by what inclines them both, so too can the poet or any other story-teller, as Shakespeare brings it about that Hamlet accidentally overhears a conversation necessary to further the action of the plot through a series of circumstances that might have fallen out otherwise. Granted, then, that it is necessary that certain unnecessary things take place, it does not follow that just any such confluence of incidents is permissible in a work of imitation. As is clear from the foregoing considerations, for such a thing to be in accordance with the rules of the poetic art, a coincidence of such events must tend to the same end;3 and this will be due not to the causality of any secondary agent represented by the poet or storyteller (for from this limited perspective such causality is purely haphazard), but by the agency of the first or highest cause, such as Aristotle touches on in the case of divination. For just as God unavoidably causes an avoidable cause to bring about an unavoidable result by giving it not just its existence, but also its mode of existence, thereby inclining two or more things to the same end; so too may the poet or storyteller proceed, who causes e.g. Oedipus to do by chance the very things he was fated to do, as a result of which we
1 2

Michael A. Augros, Unpublished Paper. Michael A. Augros, Unpublished Paper. 3 Of course, to come under the end of the poetic art, even the confluence of unlikely events must tend to the same end, inasmuch as the poet brings it about that these things happen in the way that they do in order to achieve a desired effect.

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have seen how destiny and free will can be combined, even how free will is the modus operandi of destiny (C.S. Lewis). Aristotle himself in the following remarks comes near to recognizing the godlike causality of the poet:
But since tragedy is not only the imitation of a perfect action, but also of things evoking fear and pity, but they become such to the greatest extent when, contrary to expectation, they are accomplished through each other, <it is evident that they ought to be made to happen in this way>. For then they will have more of the wonderful than if <they were brought about> by chance and luck, since even in things brought about by luck, these seem most wonderful whenever they appear to have been accomplished as though [10] by design, as, for instance, the statue of Mitys of Argo killed the man responsible for Mitys death, falling upon him while he was looking at it; for such things seem not to have happened at random. And so such plots of necessity are more beautiful. (Poetics ch. 9, 1452a 2-11)

Aristotle says that some things brought about by luck appear to have been accomplished as though by design [hsper epitdes phainetai gegonenai], design being the crucial term here. We observe, then, how history, when referred to the causality of the first cause, can be necessary even when accidental. N.B. For further elaborations on this matter, see my separate treatment ON PROVIDENCE.

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Summary Accounts 1. Definitions. HISTORIA (INQUIRY, RESEARCH, HISTORY). (1) What is learned by inquiry (= research); (2) what is learned by inquiry into what has happened (ta genomena); (3) (a) the setting forth of what has been learned by inquiry into what has happened; that is (b) the setting forth or showing forth of what has happened (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae V.18.6); 1 or again (c) the narration of what has happened (Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae, I, Cap. XLI, De Historia, n. 1);2 or otherwise, (4) a setting forth [or exposition, ekthesis] not of one action, but of one [period of] time, and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [happening] stands to the other just as it chances [hos etuchen] (Aristotle, Poet. 23, 1459a 19-24);3 or again, (5) the telling of the singular (cf. Aristotle, Poet. 9, 1451b 8)4 or of what is one in number; in an extended sense, (6) what has happened (rather than the telling of what has happened); or again, history is (7) the treatment of a subject in a certain summation or summary form, not arriving at a final investigation of everything which pertains to the subject treated (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In I De Anima, lect. 1, n. 6). (See further my paper On History.) In sum, history (historia) is the setting forth or exposition (ekthesis) of what has been learned by inquiry (historia)5 about what has happened (ta genomena); a story in this sense being the narration of things occurring either at the same time or in successive times, where the connection between the incidents is merely fortuitous. In other words, it is a narration of singulars (diegesis hekaston), being the relating of (apangellia) the particular, or what is one in number (arithmoi hen). Again, history is the setting forth or narration of things that have taken place, either to one man or to many men, following upon their research, such a narration consisting of pragmata, things done or incidents, that have either taken place at the same time without tending to the same end, or in successive times and from which no one end results (cf. Poetics 23, 1459a 29-30), such things consisting of the accidental, which is what occurs, but not always nor of necessity, nor for the most part (Meta., 11. 8 1064b 36-38, tr. W. D. Ross). Whereas poetry is the imitation of an action that is one, history is the setting forth, not of one action but of one [period of] time (action being understood as the way in which one goes through life or fares, whether well or badly, whereas time is the number of motion according to the before and after [Phys., IV. 11, 219b 2-3]).
1 2

gestarum vel expositionem vel demonstrationem. narratio rei gestae. 3 For manyindeed an infinite numberof things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results ( ibid., ch. 8, 1451a 1619), and the same is true for things done or suffered by many men: out of many of their actions and passions that is, the things they do and sufferno one thing arises or results, as, for example, the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results (ibid., 1459a 29-30). 4 apangellia hekaston. 5 Excepting, of course, those instances where the historian has witnessed the events in question; otherwise, he is reliant on indirect evidence such as the testimony or others, written records, or physical remains, and the like.

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2. The definition of history according to Aristotle in sum. History consists in the setting forth [or exposition, ekthesis] not of one action, but of one [period of] time, and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [happening] stands to the other just as it chances [hos etuchen] (Poetics ch. 23, 1459a 23-24). For manyindeed an infinite numberof things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results (ibid., ch. 8, 1451a 16-19), and the same is true for things done or suffered by many men: out of many of their actions and passionsthat is, the things they do and sufferno one thing arises or results, as, for example, the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results (ibid., 1459a 29-30). 3. The relation between history and poetry in sum. History relates what has happened which, for the most part, is accidental; yet it may include the sort of thing that might happen and is possible in accordance with necessity or likelihood, if what happened happens to be of this sort. Poetry relates the sort of thing that might happen and is possible in accordance with necessity or likelihood; yet it may include what has happened insofar as this comes under the rationale of what is possible. For although one fashion things that have occurred, he is no less a poet; for nothing prevents certain things that have happened from being the sort of things that are likely to happen, and according to this he is their poet (Poetics ch. 9, 1451b 29-32). Whereas poetry embraces what happens both necessarily as well as with likelihood, it excludes what is unlikely and thus accidental except insofar as it is likely even that many things happen contrary to what is likely (ibid., ch. 18, 1456a 23-25). Hence, for the accidental to come under the necessary or likely, the confluence of such events must tend to the same end, their coming together being justifiable either by an appeal to the limitations of human knowledge, the root of fortune [being] ignorance and the inevitable limitations due to it in our practical actions (Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Possibility, for which, see further below), as well as to the causality of the author as first cause, insofar as he brings about a result that is unavoidable through an avoidable cause, seeing that, in this order, the poet or storyteller imitates the causality of God by giving things their natures and inclinations, as well as by directing together the motions following upon them, since He is what inclines them both (a point also elaborated on below). One may therefore recognize history as taking two forms, one in which the connection between events is primarily fortuitous, and one in which it is for the most part either likely or necessary. On this point, consider the following remarks:
By the term history we mean here, primarily, narratio. Historical personages, actions or events are, first of all, things that can be reported or narrated. It is true that these things may also reveal more or less rational connections that exist among them, and that the term history also serves to designate the kind of knowledge ordained to the discovery of such

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connections. Taken in this sense, History tends towards a certain universality and thus towards the estate of a science. And, in this sense, only significant facts enter into the realm of History: the kind of facts credited with historical importance. It is not with this second meaning of history that we are now concerned. Rather, taking the term in its more primitive sense, we call historical even such thingsnay, such above allas cannot form the object of any rationalization: the things that can at best be told, reported, narrated; in a word, things obscure, ineffable, income-municable as to their essential meaning.1

In light of the distinctions Aristotle makes concerning the possible connections between events, we may say that the things which may also reveal more or less rational connections are those which happen always and of necessity, or those which happen for the most part, and hence are the sort of thing which are possible according to likelihood or necessity, for which reason they will possess a kind of universality, and so tend towards the estate of science; and these will be such as are for the sake of something and are the result of nature or of deliberate intention, as will be explained further below. As we have derived the most complete definition of history from the Poetics of Aristotle, it will be instructive to look more closely at his teaching on the matter, assembling his various pronouncements into a coherent whole, supplemented by various other works relevant to the same subject. 4. Alternatives pertaining to history. Something can happen or not happen. If something happens, it can happen by chance or not by chance. If it does not happen by chance, then it happens for an end, and this is what is by necessity or according to what is likely. Something can be done or it can be undergone (one can do or suffer, act or be acted upon). The setting forth or exposition of what is done or suffered can concern one man (= biography) or many men (= historiography) deal with what takes place in one [period of] time or what takes place in successive times embody a sequence of events that is post hoc or one that is propter hoc. Hence, the work of history may take the form of annals (the ordering principle is chronological, the sequence of events being post hoc) or a treatise (the ordering principle is causal, the sequence of events being propter hoc). The former is history in the primitive sense: a setting forth of what has happened; the latter, history in the philosophical sense: tracing out links of causation (e.g. Aristotles Constitutions vs. certain books of The Politics). Two things can happen at the same time without tending to the same end. Likewise, one thing can follow upon another from which no one end results.
1

Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Man and His Historical Being, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. 5, 1949, n. 2, p. 271.

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Aristotles examples of things happening hos etuchen (just as it chances): cold in the dogdays much rain during the dogdays burning heat during the winter two events happening at the same time or in successive times, such as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily, which took place at the same time. Aristotles examples of things happening at the same time by chance: the occurrence of an eclipse of the sun while someone is taking a walk (On Prophesying by Dreams, ch. 1, 462b 34463a 1) while he was walking it lightened (Post. An.. I. 4, 73b 10-15) for as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time (Poet. 23, 1459a 2530). 5. On the necessary, the likely, and the accidental. what cannot not be (= what cannot have itself otherwise) the necessary (what is always and of necessity) what can not be (= what can have itself otherwise) the likely or probable (what is for the most part) the accidental (the unlikely or improbable) (what is for the least part) 6. In sum. We say that everything either is (1) always and of necessity (necessity not in the sense of violence, but that which we appeal to in demonstrations), or is (2) for the most part, or is (3) neither for the most part, nor always and of necessity, but merely as it chances; e.g. there might be cold in the dogdays, but this occurs neither always and of necessity, nor for the most part, though it might happen sometimes. The accidental, then, is what occurs, but not always nor of necessity, nor for the most part. In short, things can have themselves: (1) always and of necessity (the necessary = to anangkaion) (2) for the most part (the likely = to eikos) (3) neither always of necessity or for the most part but merely as it chances ( hos etuchen) (the accidental = to sumbebekos) (1) & (2) = what happens according to a universal or general rule (3) includes what happens by coincidence 7. Some divisions. the necessary: what cannot not be (what cannot have itself otherwise) 19

the contingent: what can not be (what can have itself otherwise) the likely or probable: what happens for the most part the accidental (the unlikely or improbable): what happens for the least part that which has a per se cause things happening always and of necessity things happening for the most part that which has no per se cause, but a potentially infinite number of per accidens causes things happening for the least part what is possible as coming under the poetic art what happens always and of necessity what happens for the most part as coming under the purview of history what happens for the least part the necessary: what is possible of necessity the likely: what is possible according to likelihood the accidental: what is possible according to chance (or what happens to be the case) 8. Aristotles definition of the likely and analogous definitions of the necessary and the accidental.

The likely (to eikos) is that which comes about for the most part, not without
qualification, as some define it, but in those things that happen to have themselves other than they are, that which so stands to the likely as the universal to the particular. (Aristotle, Rhet., I. 2, 1357a 35-39, tr. B.A.M.) The necessary is that which comes about always and of necessity, not without qualification, as some define it, but in those things which cannot have themselves other than they are, that which so stands to the necessary as the universal to the particular. (worded by B.A.M.) The accidental is that which comes about for the least part, not without qualification, as some define it, but in those things which can have themselves other than they are, that which so stands to the accidental as the universal to the particular. (worded by B.A.M.)

9. On the several senses of necessary according to Aristotle. A thing cannot have itself other than it is (1) due to itself (2) due to something external (a) a moving cause (violence) (b) a final cause or end (hypothetical necessity) (Cf. Meta. V. 5, 1015a 34 ff.) 10. Some definitions.

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COINCIDENCE. (1) According to Aristotle (cf. Phys., IV. 10, 218a 25-29), coincidence in time means being neither prior nor posterior, but to be in one and the same now; (2) hence, a coincidence is the temporal property of two things happening at the same time (WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University); (3) again, a coincidence is the happening of two things at the same time when the one is not due to the other (cf. Aristotle, Post. An., I. 4, 73b 10-15, definition implied by Aristotle but worded by B.A.M.); (4) again, as is clear from Aristotle, On Prophesying by Dreams, ch. 1, a coincidence is the taking place of two things at the same time by chance (definition implied by Aristotle but worded by B.A.M.); a coincidence being what does not take place according to a universal or general rule and so is neither a token nor a cause of that with which it coincides or vice versa (cf. Aristotle, ibid., ch. 1, 462b 33463a 2). BY CHANCE. A thing is said to be by chance when, in things which come to be for the sake of something simply, they come to be not for the sake of what happens, the cause of which is extrinsic (Aristotle, Phys., II. 6, 197b 19-22, tr. R. Glen Coughlin). BY LUCK. A thing is said to be by luck when it is an accidental cause in things which are for the least part, for the sake of something {sc. by deliberate intention}, [and] according to chance (Aristotle, Phys., II. 5, 197a 5-6, tr. R. Glen Coughlin). THE ACCIDENTAL (TO SUMBEBEKOS). The accidental, then, is what occurs, but not always nor of necessity, nor for the most part (Aristotle, Meta., 11. 8, 1065a 2, tr. W. D. Ross). THE LIKELY OR PROBABLE. (A LIKELIHOOD OR PROBABILITY; TO EIKOS). (1) The likely is that which comes about for the most part or happens usually, not simply speaking, but, in those things that happen to have themselves other than they are [i.e. in contingent matter], that which so stands to the thing that is likely as the universal to the particular (Aristotle, Rhet., I, 2, 1357a 351357b 1, tr. B.A.M.); (2) in logic, a generally accepted premise, for that which people know to happen or not to happen, or to be or not to be, usually in a particular way, is a probability: e.g., that the envious are malevolent or that those who are loved are affectionate (Aristotle, Prior An., II. 27, 701 3-7, tr. A. J. Jenkinson). THE NECESSARY (TO ANANGKAION). (1) (a) That without which, as a condition, a thing cannot live (Aristotle, Meta., V. 5, 1015a 20, tr. W. D. Ross); (b) the conditions without which good cannot be or come to be, or without which we cannot get rid or be freed of evil (ibid., 1015a 23-24); (2) the compulsory and compulsion, i.e. that which impedes and tends to hinder, contrary to impulse and purpose (ibid., 1015a 26-27); (3) we say that that which cannot be otherwise is necessarily as it is ( ibid., 1015a 34), i.e. necessity is that because of which a thing cannot be otherwise (ibid., 1015b 2). THE NECESSARY SIGN (TO TEKMERION). I call those signs necessary from which a logical syllogism can be constructed, wherefore such a sign is called tekmerion; for when people think that their arguments are irrefutable, they think that they are bringing forward a tekmerion, something as it were proved and concluded; for in the old language tekmar and peras have the same meaning (Aristotle, Rhet., I. 2, 1357b 6-10, tr. J. H. Freese. slightly rev. B.A.M.) 21

THE FOURTH MEANING OF PER SE (KATH AUTO). Moreover, in another way, what belongs due to itself to each thing is per se, but what does not [belong] due to it is accidental. For example, if lightening flashes when one walks, it is an accident, for it did not flash due to walking, but we say that this just happened. But if [something belongs] due to a thing, [this is] per se. For example, if something, having its throat cut, dies, and through having its throat cut, [this is per se], because it is due to the throat being cut, but it did not just happen to die while having its throat cut (Aristotle, Post. An.. I. 4, 73b 10-15, tr. R. Glen Coughlin).

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11. Supplement: In VI Metaphysicorum, Lectio III, nn 1191 1222.


1191. After the Philosopher determines about being per accidens, here he excludes a certain opinion through which being per accidens is wholly destroyed. For some laid it down that whatever comes to be in the world has some per se cause; and others [laid it down] that if any cause be laid down, it is necessary for its effect to follow. From which it would follow that, by the connection of causes, all things would happen of necessity, and nothing would be in things per accidens. And so the Philosopher intends to destroy this opinion. And he does three things about this. First he destroys the foregoing opinion [553]. Second he draws a conclusion from the foregoing, at [554]. Third he puts forward a question which is occasioned by the foregoing, at [555]. Therefore he says first that it will be clear from the following things that [some] principles and causes of the generation and corruption of other things are themselves generable and corruptible, that is, it [sometimes] happens that [such a cause] is generated or corrupted without [causing] generation or corruption, that is, without a generation or corruption of something following. For it is not necessary that if the generation or corruption of something which is a cause of the generation or corruption of another thing, that the generation or corruption of the effect will follow of necessity. For some causes are agents for the most part, and so things being laid down, still the effect can be impeded by accident, as on account of the indisposition of matter, or on account of running into a contrary agent, or on account of something of this sort. 1192. Yet it is to be known that Avicenna, in his Metaphysics, proves that no effect is possible in comparison to its cause, but only necessary. For [otherwise], if the cause be laid down, it is possible for the effect to be laid down or not to be laid down, and [since] that which is in ability, as such, is reduced into act by some actual being, it will therefore be necessary that something other than the cause makes the actual effect to follow. And therefore the cause would not be enough. But this seems contrary to what the Philosopher says here. 1193. But it must be known that Avicenna ought to be understood as supposing that no impediment to the cause comes along. For it is necessary that the cause being laid down, the effect will follow, unless there be an impediment, which sometimes happens to be per accidens. And so the Philosopher says that it is not necessary for generation or corruption to follow if the causes of generation or corruption be laid down. 1194. For if what was said were not true, it would follow that all things will be of necessity. Yet with what was said (that the cause being laid down it is necessary for the effect to follow), another proposition is also laid down, namely that for anything which comes to be or is corrupted it is necessary that there be some per se cause and not an accidental cause. For from these two propositions it follows that all things are of necessity. Which is proved thus. 1195. For if it were asked about something whether it will be in the future or not, it follows from the foregoing that one [of the possibilities] is of necessity true. For if everything which comes to be has a per se cause of its being made, which [cause], when laid down, [makes it] necessary that the thing come to be, it follows that the thing about which it is asked whether it will be in the future will come to be if its cause be laid down, and that it will not come to be if [its cause] not be [laid down]. And likewise it is necessary to say that that cause will be in the future, if something else which is its cause will be in the future. 1196. But it remains that however much future time is taken, either 100 years to come, or 1000 years to come, is limited, beginning from the present Now up to that end. But since the generation of a cause precedes in time the generation of the effect, it is necessary that in proceeding from effect to cause we take away some [part] of the future time, and approach

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more and more to the present. But everything limited is used up in subtracting any certain amount from itself, and so it follows that proceeding from an effect to a cause, and again from that cause to its cause, and so on, the whole future time is subtracted, since it is limited, and so one comes to the Now. 1197. And this is clear in this example. If every effect has a per se cause from which it follows of necessity, it must be that someone will die of necessity either through infirmity or through violence, if he leaves his house. For having left his house he finds the cause of his death to be either by violence (as if when leaving the house he is found by robbers and is murdered) or by infirmity (as if when going from the house he gets a fever from the heat and dies). And in the same way it will be of necessity that he should leave the house to draw water if he is thirsty. For thirst is found to be the cause for leaving the house to draw water. Likewise by the same argument it will be of necessity that he should thirst if something else will be which is the cause of thirst. And so thus proceeding from effect to cause, one must come to what is now, that is, into the present, or into something done, i.e. into something past. As if we should say that there will be thirst if he eats hot or salty things, which make thirst. But this (namely that he eat or not eat salty things) is in the present. And so it follows that the aforesaid future thing, namely that he will die (or not die) will be of necessity. 1198. For since each true conditional is necessary, it must be that when the antecedent is laid down, the consequent must of necessity be laid down. Just as this is true: If Socrates runs, he moves, and so laying down that he runs, it will be necessary that he moves when he runs. But if any effect has a per se cause, from which it follows of necessity, it must be that the conditional is true whose antecedent is the cause and whose consequent is the effect. And although between the cause, which is now and present, and the effect, which will be in the future, there are sometimes many middles (of which each is an effect with respect to the preceding and a cause with respect to the following), yet it follows from the first to the last that the conditional is true whose antecedent is in the present and whose consequent is sometime in the future. So here, if the man eats salty things, he will be murdered. But the antecedent is laid down by what is present, and therefore it will of necessity be murdered. And so all other future things will be necessary whose causes, proximate or remote, are present. 1199. And there is a like argument if one proceeds from effects to causes, if one should reduce future effects to some cause not present, because what is already past is in a certain way. But I say this insofar as it is done or past. For although the life of Caesar is not now in the present, yet it is in the past. For it is true that Caesar lived. And so now it is [possible] to lay down as true the antecedent of a conditional in whose antecedent there is a past cause, and in whose consequent there is a future cause. And so it will follow, since all future effects must reduce into such present or past causes, that all future things will happen of necessity, just as we say that Someone living will die is absolutely necessary because it follows of necessity from something already done, namely that two contraries are mixed in the same body. For this conditional is true: If a body is composed of contraries, it will corrupt. 1200. But it is impossible that all future things should happen of necessity. Therefore the two things from which this would follow are impossible, namely that every effect has a per se cause, and that if the cause is laid down it is necessary to lay down the effect. What was just said would follow from these things, (i.e.) there would be some cause already laid down for every future effect, just as there are already certain causes laid down for the corruption of an animal. But that this man should die through infirmity or violence does not yet have a cause laid down from which it would follow of necessity. 1201. Then ... at [554] he draws a conclusion from the foregoing, saying that from the fact

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that not everything which comes to be has a per se cause, it is clear that in the case of future contingent things, the reduction of a future effect to a per se cause goes back to some principle, which principle is not reduced to some other principle as to something per se, but it will be ... a chance cause, and of the chance cause there will not be another cause; as was already said, a being per accidens does not have a cause or a generation. For example, that a man should be murdered by robbers has a per se cause, because he was wounded by them, and this also has a per se cause, because he was found by the robbers; but this has no cause except per accidens. For the fact that he who conducts business, in going to conduct business, runs into robbers, is per accidens, as is clear from the foregoing. Whence it is not necessary to lay down some cause of it. For a being per accidens, as was said above, does not have a generation, and so it is not necessary to seek a per se cause of its generation. 1202. Then ... [555] he puts forward a question occasioned by the things said. For he said immediately above that the causes of beings per accidens are reduced to a certain principle, for which it is not [possible] to lay down another cause. And so he inquires about this reduction (or ANAGOGE, which is the same thing) to what sort of principle and cause it owes its coming into being, that is, to which genus of causes or of principles: namely whether to some first cause which is a cause as matter, or to one which is a cause as an end for the sake of which something comes to be, or to one which is a cause as a mover. But he leaves out the formal cause, because the question here is about the cause of the generation of things which come to be per accidens, and in a generation, the form has no causality except by way of an end. For the end and the form in a generation coincide and are the same in number. But he does not here solve this question he put forward, but presupposes its solution from what was determined in the second book of the Physics. For there he showed that fortune and chance, which are the causes of things which come to be by accident, are reduced to the genus of efficient cause. Therefore he concludes from the premises that we should leave off speaking about being per accidens, about which it has been sufficiently determined what can be determined about it. 1203. Now one should notice that those things which the Philosopher treats here seem to remove certain things which belong to the philosophy laid down by others, namely FATE and PROVIDENCE. For the Philosopher would have it that not all things which come to be are reduced to some per se cause, from which they follow of necessity, since otherwise it would follow that everything would be of necessity, and nothing would be per accidens in things. But those who lay down [the existence of] fate say that contingent things, which come to be and seem to be per accidens, are reducible to some power of a heavenly body, through whose action those things which, considered according to themselves, seem to come to be per accidens, since a certain order is produced. And likewise those who lay down [the existence of] providence [say] that the things which it acts upon are ordered by the order of providence. 1204. From either position two things seem to follow which are contrary to the things which the Philosopher determined here. The first of these is this: in things nothing comes to be per accidens nor by luck nor by chance. For things which according to some order are not per accidens. For they are either always or for the most part. And the second is that all things come to be of necessity. For if all things come to be of necessity whose cause is laid down either in the present, or is already laid down in the past (as the argument of the Philosopher proceeds), then, since the cause of those things which are under providence or fate is laid down in the present and was already laid down in the past (because providence is immutable and eternal, and the motion of the heavens is also invariable), it seems to follow that all things which are under providence or fate, happen of necessity. And so if all things which are acted on come under fate and providence, it will follow that all things will come to be of necessity. Therefore it seems that according to the intention of the Philosopher it is not

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[possible] to lay down [the existence of] either providence or fate. 1205. But to the evidence of these things it is to be considered that as much as a cause is higher, by so much is its causality extended to more things. For the higher cause has a higher effect of its own [proprium causatum altius] which is more common and found in more things. Just as in artificial things it is clear that the political art, which is above the military art, extends itself to the whole state of the community. But the military art [extends] only to those who are contained in the military order. And an ordination which is in effects from some cause extends as far as the causality of that cause extends. For every per se cause has determinate effects, which it produces according to some ordination. And so it is manifest that effects related to some lower cause might seem to have no order, but coincide with each other per accidens, which [effects], if referred to a higher common cause, are found to be ordained, and not conjoined per accidens, but from one per se cause they are produced together. 1206. Just as the blooming of this plant and that plant, if referred to some particular power which is in this plant or in that plant, seems not to have any order (it seems to be per accidens that this plant blooms as that plant blooms). And so, because the cause of the power of this plant extends to its own blooming, and not to the blooming of another, it is indeed a cause of this plant blooming, but not [of this plant blooming] together with another. But if [the blooming] is referred to the power of a heavenly body, which is a common cause, this is found not to be per accidens that this plant blooms as that plant blooms, but to be ordained by some first cause ordaining this, which moves both plants together to blooming. 1207. There is found in things three grades of causes. The first is an incorruptible and immutable cause (namely the divine cause), under this the second is an incorruptible but mutable cause (namely a heavenly body), and under this the third are corruptible and mutable causes. So the causes existing in the third grade are particular, and determined to their own effects according to each species. For fire generates fire, and man generates man, and plants generate plants. 1208. But the cause in the second grade is in one way universal, and in one way particular. It is particular because it extends to some determinate genus of beings, namely to those which are produced in being through motion, for it is both a moving cause and moved. But it is universal, because its causality does not extend only to one species of mobile things, but to all things which are altered and generated and corrupted. For that which is first moved, must consequently be the cause of all movable things. 1209. But the cause in the first grade is simply universal: for its own effect is being. Whence whatever is, and in whatever what that it is, is properly contained under the causality and ordination of that cause. 1210. So if we reduce those things which are contingent to proximate causes only, we will find many things coming to be per accidens. E.g. on account of two causes running into each other, neither of which is contained under the other, as when robbers run into me without my intention. For this running into is caused by two motive powers, namely mine and the robbers. E.g. on account of a defect in the agent, to which weakness happens, so that it cannot reach the intended end, as when someone falls in the road on account of exhaustion. E.g. on account of an indisposition of matter, which does not receive the form intended by the agent, but [receives it] only in another way, as happens in the monstrous parts of animals. 1211. But many of these contingent things, if they are further reduced to a heavenly cause, are found not to be per accidens, because the particular causes, though not contained under

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each other, are yet contained under one common heavenly cause. Whence the running together of some things can have some one determinate heavenly cause. And because the power of a heavenly body is both incorruptible and impassible, it is not possible for an effect escape the order of its causality on account of a defect or weakness in its power. But because it acts by moving, and every such agent requires a determinate and disposed matter, it can happen that the effect of a heavenly power does not follow in natural things on account of an indisposition in the matter, and this will be per accidens. 1212. So although many things which seem to be per accidens when reduced to particular causes are found not to be per accidens when reduced to a common universal cause, namely a heavenly power, yet even this reduction being made, we find there to be some things per accidens, such as the Philosopher had said above. For when an agent brings about its effects for the most part, and not always, it follows that it fails for the least part, and this is per accidens. So if heavenly bodies bring about their effects in lower bodies for the most part, and not always, on account of the indisposition of matter, it will follow that it is per accidens that the effect of a heavenly power does not follow. 1213. Yet, having made the reduction to the heavenly body, there are found things per accidens even from this: because among lower things there are certain agent causes which can act per se without the impression of a heavenly body, namely rational animals, to which the power of heavenly bodies does not pertain (since they are forms not in bodily subjects), except perhaps per accidens, namely inasmuch as from the impression of a heavenly body there comes to be some change in the body, and per accidens in the powers of the soul which are the acts of certain parts of the body, from which things the rational soul is inclined to act, although no necessity is brought in, since it has free rule over the passions, and so it might dissent from them. So those things among lower things which are found coming to be per accidens by reducing to these causes, namely to rational animals, as they do not follow the inclination which is from the impression of the heavens, are not found to come to be per se by a reduction to the power of heavenly bodies. 1214. And so it is clear that the position [of those who lay down the existence] of fate, which is a certain disposition inhering in lower things from the action of heavenly bodies, does not remove all things which are per accidens. 1215. But if contingent things are reduced still further to the highest divine cause, nothing will be able to be found which escapes its order, since its causality extends to all things inasmuch as they are beings. So its causality cannot be impeded by an indisposition in matter, because even matter itself, and its dispositions do not escape the order of that agent, which is an agent by way of giving being [per modum dantis esse], and not only by way of moving and altering. For it cannot be said that matter is presupposed to being (as it is presupposed to being moved) as its subject, since it is part of the essence of the thing. So just as the power of altering and of moving is not impeded by the essence of motion, or by its term, but by the subject which is presupposed, so the power of giving being is not impeded by matter, or by anything, which belongs in whatever way to the being of the thing. From which it is also clear that no agent cause can be in lower things which does not come under its order. 1216. Therefore it remains that all things which come to be, as they are referred to the first divine cause, are found ordained and not existing per accidens, although by comparison to other causes they are found to be per accidens. And on account of this, according to the Catholic faith it is said that nothing comes to be at random or by luck in the world, and that all things come under divine providence. But Aristotle is speaking here about contingent things which come to be in the order of particular causes, as is clear through his example.

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1217. But now it remains to be seen how the position of fate and providence does not destroy contingency in things, as if all things came about of necessity. [How this is so] with fate is manifest from what was said. For it has already been shown that although heavenly bodies and their motions and actions have necessity in themselves, yet their effects in lower things can fail either on account of the indisposition of matter, or on account of the rational soul which has free choice in following the inclinations which are from the impression of the heavens, or not following them. And so it remains that such effects come about not of necessity but contingently. For the position of a heavenly cause is not the position of such a cause from which an effect follows of necessity, as the death of an animal follows from [its] composition from contraries, as was said above. 1218. But one has a greater difficulty about providence. For divine providence cannot fail. For these two things are not possible at the same time [incompossibilia], that something be foreseen by God, and that it not come to be. And so it seems that whatever is already laid down by providence, its effect is necessarily to follow. 1219. But it is to be known that an effect and all the things which are per se accidents of that effect depend on the same cause. For just as a man is by nature, so also are all his per se accidents, such as his ability to laugh, and his mind able to learn. But if some cause does not make man simply but [makes] such a man, it will not constitute those things which are the per se accidents of man, but will only use them. For the politician makes a man to be civil, yet he does not make him to have a mind able to learn, but rather uses this property of his in order to make a civil man. 1220. But as was said, a being inasmuch as it is a being, has God Himself as its cause. Whence just as being itself comes under divine providence, so even do all the accidents of a being inasmuch as it is a being, among which are the necessary and the contingent. So to divine providence it pertains not only that it makes this being, but also that it makes it contingent or necessary. For according as it wishes to give each thing contingency or necessity, it prepares for it middle causes, from which it will follow either of necessity or contingently. So each effect, according as it is under the order of divine providence, is found to have necessity. From which it happens that this conditional is true: If something is foreseen by God, it will be. 1221. But according as some effect is considered under the order of a proximate cause, so not every effect is necessary; but some necessary and some contingent according to the relation [analogiam] to its cause. For effects in their natures are made like their proximate causes, but not [like their] remote ones, to whose condition they cannot reach. 1222. So it is clear that when we speak concerning divine providence, we should not say only This is foreseen by God that it will be, but This is foreseen by God that it will be contingently, or [This is foreseen by God that] it will be necessarily. Whence it does not follow from the argument here brought in by Aristotle that if [the existence of] divine providence be laid down, that all effects are necessary, but rather that it is necessary for an effect to be either contingently or of necessity. Which indeed is unique [singulare] in this cause, namely in divine providence. For the remaining causes do not constitute a law of necessity or of contingency, but rather are used by a higher constituted cause. Whence only that which is its effect comes under the causality of any other cause. But that it be necessarily or contingently depends on a higher cause, which is the cause of the being inasmuch as it is a being, by which the order of necessity and contingency in things comes about.

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Since the mode of a things causality follows upon the mode of its existence, and since God has no mode of existing (He is His own existence), therefore He has no mode of causing. He is neither a necessary cause nor a contingent cause. In In Metaphysicorum n 1818, St. Thomas explains that the difference between an ability of reason (such as the ability to write a tragedy or to build) and a non-rational ability (such as the ability to heat), is that the non-rational ability, when brought together with its counterpart (i.e. when the passive and active abilities are brought together), i.e. without an impediment and with the proper dispositions, then the one must act on the other and as much as it can, and the other must be acted upon by the one and as much as it can be. This is not true of the abilities of reason. The reason is that a rational ability, to the extent that it is not determined to one by its nature, is capable of opposite activities through one form. Hence, nature is determined to one way of acting, and must act so unless impeded. Hence, the only reason there is not utter necessity in nature is because of the various causes of failure on the part of natural causes. In n 1210 St. Thomas gives three different reasons that in particular causes things come about per accidens, i.e. 3 reasons that unintended things come about: 1) 2 causes run together, neither of which comes under the other, 2) the agent is defective or weak or can undergo change or interference from a contrary agent, 3) the matter of the intended result is indisposed. Davids question: without following the effects among natural bodies all the way back to God as their cause, can we not still say there is absolute necessity in their effects if we eliminate all rational agents? St. Thomas admits that if the agent is not weak (or interfered with), and the patient is well disposed, the effect must occur (n 1193). Now surely in our hypothetical universe, many things unintended will occur, and many things intended will not occur (for things must corrupt, and nothing intends its own corruption; obviously, if it is a universe of incorruptibles in invariable motions, like St. Thomass heavenly bodies, it is a universe of absolute necessity). But do these things happen necessarily or contingently? If it is necessary that these two bodies collide (neither of which intended it), it must be that it was necessary for them to be in the same place, etc. etc. We must at last arrive at the first cause(s) of necessity in all these things which are accidental in themselves: according to the two bodies, there is no necessity at all for them to run into each other we must look further back. Finally, then, there will be some bodily mover(s), such as St. Thomass primum mobile, which is necessarily in motion and which cannot be changed or destroyed, and which causes all other motions. Can we then have a universe with only necessary motions? No. The first mobile can still fail, even if there be no rational agents, not coming under its power, to interfere with it. For, although it cannot fail due to its own weakness, it acts only by being in motion itself, and so acts by causing certain motions and changes in other things, and so depends on them being appropriately disposed to be moved as it is trying to move them. I.e., no agent can interfere with such a first agent in itself, but it can interfere with its work by disturbing the matter. How can you fail as an artist? Either something interferes with you, the artist (a headache, blindness, sleepiness, you forget your technique, the need to attend to other business, no brushes), or something interferes with your materials, the paint and canvas (the paint is dried solid, the canvas is too small or wet, etc.). If it is given that nothing can interfere with you, you are a perfect artist, and if it is given that you are a natural artist, you cannot choose to do anything else but paint and paint as much as you can, then the only way you can fail to make paintings is if the materials are indisposed (e.g. there is not enough or not enough of the right colors). But because there is a limit to the kind of causality you have, i.e. you are a perfect painter, but you are after all, only a painter, and so you cannot do anything except put order into paint which resembles an order in your mind, then you cannot, as a mere painter, make paint brushes or make paint or make canvas. Paint, and so the art of making paint, is

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presupposed to the art of putting order into paint. Likewise a bodily mover, however necessary its own motions may be, cannot infallibly cause certain corruptible things to come to be by its own necessary motions, since to cause things to come to be in matter by ones own motions is a causality dependent on the dispositions of matter, which does not come under the power of that causality. A bodily mover cannot cause the very existence and dispositions of matter, since it presupposes these in all its causal activities. Therefore, if the dispositions of some matter happen to be incompatible with what it is attempting to cause in that matter, it will be out of luck. Since no random assortment of bodies is in itself necessary, it will always need to be explained by appealing either immediately to some necessary higher cause (like the sun causing the simultaneous blooming of two plants), or it will have to be explained mediately by other colliding bodies whose collision is not necessary through themselves, but only through some final necessary thing. This will be the bodily mover with a necessary and unchangeable motion. If the hypothesizer denies the existence of such a thing, he will not yet have explained the necessity he wishes to posit in all these accidental things. He must appeal to a higher cause. But, again, if that higher cause is bodily, it cannot act infallibly on other bodies unless all bodies are incorruptible; i.e. unless all things must always remain disposed in the same favorable way to the power of this first moving body. Otherwise, since the existence and dispositions of matter fall outside its causality, it will not necessarily have well-disposed matter to act on, and hence must fail sometimes. If you wish to say that the cause is not bodily, but an angel, the results will be similar. If you wish to say that the cause is not limited at all in its power, i.e. the cause of all this necessity is God, then the only kind of necessity found in these accidental collisions etc. is the kind of necessity found in all things, insofar as they are subject to providence (n 1220). There is no necessity here in the sense that God must do these things, like the natural causes which cannot help but do what they can do when not interfered with; God is free, and He is capable of opposites and of an unlimited multitude of things, many of which are incompatible. Reason is incorruptible (in itself), and is a universal cause of all artificial things, but not of all things. Or active reason is the cause of all forms in passive reason, but not of all things. These causes are universal in some respect, but not simply speaking, since they are limited in their effects to some one genus of things.

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12. Some authors on the relation of history to poetry. Cf. Polybius, Histories II, 56.6-11 (tr. W. R. Paton):
Wishing, for instance, to insist on the cruelty of Antigonus and the Macedonians and also on that of Aratus and the Achaeans, he tells us that the Mantineans, when they surrendered, were exposed to terrible sufferings and that such were the misfortunes that overtook this, the most ancient and greatest city in Arcadia, as to impress deeply and move to tears all the Greeks. In his eagerness to arouse the pity and attention of his readers he treats us to a picture of clinging women with their [hair] disheveled and their breasts bare, or again of crowds of both sexes together with their children and aged parents weeping and lamenting as they are led away to slavery. This sort of thing he keeps up throughout his history, always trying to bring horrors vividly before our eyes. Leaving aside the ignoble and womanish character of such a treatment of his subject, let us consider how far it is proper or serviceable to history. A historical author should not try to thrill his readers by such exaggerated pictures, nor should he, like a tragic poet, try to imagine the probable utterances of this characters or reckon up all the consequences probably incidental to the occurrences with which he deals, but simply record what really happened and what really was said, however commonplace. For the object of tragedy is not the same as that of history but quite the opposite.

Cf. William Godwin, Of History and Romance:


Romance, then, strictly considered, may be pronounced to be one of the species of history. The difference between romance and what ordinarily bears the denomination history, is this. The historian is confined to individual incident and individual man, and must hang upon that his invention or conjecture as he can. The writer [of romance] collects his materials from all sources, experience, report, and the records of human affairs; then generalises them; and finally selects, from their elements and the various combinations they afford, those instances which he is best qualified to portray, and which he judges most calculated to impress the heart and improve the faculties of his reader. In this point of view we should be apt to pronounce that romance was a bolder species of composition than history. It has been affirmed by the critics that the species of composition which Abbe Prevost and others have attempted, and according to which, upon a slight substratum of fact, all the license of romantic invention is to be engrafted, is contrary to the principles of a just taste. History is by this means debauched and corrupted. Real characters are wantonly misrepresented. The reader, who has been interested by a romance of this sort, scarcely knows how to dismiss it from his mind when he comes to consider the genuine annals of the period of which it relates. The reality and the fiction, like two substances of disagreeing natures, will never adequately blend with each other. The invention of the writer is much too wanton not to discolour and confound the facts with which he is concerned; while on the other hand, his imagination is fettered and checked at every turn by facts that will not wholly accommodate themselves to the colour of his piece, or the moral he would adduce from it. These observations, which have been directed against the production of historical romance, will be found not wholly inapplicable to those which assume the graver and more authentic name of history. The reader will be miserably deluded if, while he reads history, he suffers himself to imagine that he is reading facts. Profound scholars are so well aware of this, that, when they would study the history of any country, they pass over the historians that have adorned and decorated the facts, and proceed at once to the naked and scattered materials, out of which the historian constructed his work. This they do, that they may investigate the story for themselves; or, more accurately speaking, that each man, instead of resting in the

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inventions of another, may invest his history for himself, and possess his creed as he possesses his property, single and incommunicable.

Cf. Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, Aristotles Vision of Nature, IV The Life of Reason:


Yet poetry differs from history. For it is the work of the poet to tell, not what happened, but such things as might happen in all likelihood or necessity. The historian and the poet do not differ by speaking, the one without verse and the other with it, for Herodotus could be put into verse, but would be no less history with verse than without it; they differ by speaking, the one of what has happened, the other, of what might happen. Wherefore poetry is more philosophical and more serious than history. (Poetics 1451a 36f.) Poetry makes us see men and their actions against the background defined by human possibilities, with chance and fate seen to be cooperating factors in their destinies and careersnot men walking about the streets or attending to their business with chance and fate unattended to, but man himself, portrayed in characters of men better or worse than men usually are, and so portrayed that human nature may be beheld in the clutch of circumstance and as a spectacle over against the deeds of men simply recorded as events. There we get a more serious or more philosophical view of the realities and entanglements of human life than we can from an account of what actually happened.

Cf. Kalev Pehme on Leo Strausss The Problem of Socrates, with excerpts from that text:1
Strauss continues: The great question that must be settled concerns the possible rewards for justice and punishments for injustice, either during life or after death. The final discussion of poetry introduces the discussion of the rewards for justice and punishments for injustice. Notice that during life and after death are silently dropped in this repetition, an adumbration of what will be said later. The parallel structure breaks down, as, of course, there is no problem after death. Now we must also note that the issue of rewards and punishments has everything to do with law and that has everything to do with poetry. Law and poetry are linked in a way that law and rhetoric are not. Rhetoric does not create law; it may motivate others to support the law, however, poetry is not only expressive of law, but it may create it. We saw that in particular in the previous paragraph where Strauss discussed how in the best city the myths of Hades, demons, gods, etc. are untrue stories. What poetry can do is to create things that never happened, and this is not a bad thing. For human possibilities and potentials are not always realized such that they can be used as historical examples or, if such examples did exist, they are not necessarily a part of human memory, written or oral. Thus, poetrys truly great ability to imitate not just what has happened or what is but also what might be or could be is fundamental to the very creation of the law as well.

Cf. the following from an Internet Article:


Second, are the didactic origins of purpose shared by poetic, historic, and philosophic discourse? History and poetry are usually distinguished in terms of poetry as fiction and history as fact. However, as much evidence exists to dispute the notion of poetry as purely a purveyor of fiction devoid of didactic purpose as there is to support the notion of history as a series of fictionally constructed narratives biased by individual cultural identity and experience.

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/strauss-reading/message/582 [7/15/03])

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Cf. Kurt von Fritz, Dictionary of the History of Ideas, The Influence of Ideas on Ancient Greek Historiography:2
In a totally different way, a considerable section of Hellenistic historiography was influenced by a famous sentence in Aristotles Poetics which says that poetry is more philosophical than history. His reasons are: (1) poetry (he has especially dramatic poetry in mind) is more (more general), and (2) history tells what has actually happened, while poetry represents what might have happened according to necessity or probability. To say that (dramatic) poetry is more general than history may seem strange at first, since ancient tragedy usually stages in great detail what is supposed to have happened in one day or less, while historiography is quite unable to go into so much detail, and to tell what every actor on the political scene has said or done within the compass of one day. What Aristotle means is that in actual life much happens that is purely accidental, having no deeper significance, while poetry, especially tragic poetry, places the extreme possibilities of what can happen to a human being in a most concentrated form before the eyes of the spectators. In other words, poetry provides within the narrow compass of a play a deep insight into fundamental aspects of what has been called la condition humaine. Aristotle called this kind of representation of human life, in the concentrated form of dramatic action (or epic narrative), mimesis. It may seem strange, but it is proved by rather incontestable evidence, that a certain school of Hellenistic historians was induced to mix the principles of historiography and dramatic poetry by the very statement with which Aristotle tried to distinguish the two. The movement, so far as we can see, was led by Duris of Samos, a tyrant of his homeland, who had been a disciple of Theophrastus, and who, in the time left from his governmental duties, developed a rather extensive literary activity. Duris wrote not only several historical works, but also various treatises on poetry, especially dramatic poetry. In the introduction to one of his historical works he blamed the historians Ephorus and Theopompus because there was no mimesis in their works; that is, he blamed them because their historical works lacked what Aristotle had considered the essence of poetry in contrast to historiography. It looks as if Duris had been irked by Aristotles statement that poetry was more philosophical than historiography, and had tried to raise historiography to the highest possible level by making it more poetical. That this was actually his intention is shown by the surviving fragments of his historical works, many of which show a strong tendency towards dramatization of the events. An especially good illustration of his method is provided by a fragment from his history of Samos. In this fragment Duris relates a most dramatic incident that is supposed to have occurred in the war between Athens and Aegina at the beginning of the fifth century. A whole detachment of Athenians that had made an inroad on the island are captured on their way back, and all of them are killed except one man who is sent to Athens in order to tell the story of what has happened to his comrades. When he arrives at Athens with the terrible news he is surrounded by the wives, mothers, and sisters of his dead comrades, who ask him angrily where he has left their husbands, sons, and brothers and why he is the only one who has escaped. Then they unfasten the buckles with which their clothes are held together and use the tongues to pierce his eyes, and finally kill him. This story might be considered factual, but Herodotus tells the same story at a different occasion. Both authors, Herodotus and Duris, add that henceforth the Athenians forbade their women to wear buckles or brooches with sharp, long tongues so that the incident could not be repeated. It appears, therefore, that Duriswho can hardly have failed to know the work of Herodotus, but who had no occasion in his histories to tell the story in the connection in which it is told in Herodotus workused it in order to make his history more dramatic and thereby in his opinion also more philosophical, by giving an example of the extreme situations which can arise in human life. As this use of the Aristotelian mimesis shows, Duris derived the idea
2

(http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv2-54 [6/15/04])

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from Aristotle; in this form it is not truly Aristotelian, but Duris obviously found followers. For in the next two generations, many historians wrote highly dramatized histories. Phylarchus, who was about two generations younger than Duris, is the most outstanding example.

13. Aristotle on coincidence. Cf. Aristotle, Phys., V. 8 (198b 10199a 5) (tr. R. Glen Coughlin):
[198b 10] First, then, one must say why nature is among causes which are for the sake of something, next, about the necessary, how it is in natural things. For all thinkers reduce to this cause, [saying] that, since the hot and the cold and each such thing is by nature of a certain sort, these other things are and come [15] to be by necessity. For even if they speak of another cause, one mentioning friendship and strife, another Mind, they touch upon it and bid it good-bye. But there is a difficulty as to what prevents nature from acting not for the sake of something nor because it is better so, but as Zeus rains, not so the [20] grain might grow, but by necessity. For what rises must cool, and the cooled, coming to be water, must fall down. But, when this comes to be, growth occurs in the grain. So too, if the grain on the threshingfloor is destroyed by this, it did not rain for the sake of this, that it might be destroyed, but this occurs. Whence, what prevents the parts in nature from being like this, for example, our teeth arising by necessity, the front ones sharp and fitted for cutting, the molars flat and useful for grinding the food, since they did not come to be for the sake of this, but this just fell out? And so too in the cases of the other parts in those in which that for the sake of which seems to belong. Wherever, therefore, everything comes together as if it came to be for the sake of something, these were saved, being suitably constituted by [30] chance. But whatever was not of this sort was destroyed and is destroyed, as Empedocles says man-faced ox-progeny was. This, therefore, and any other of this sort, is the argument due to which someone might be at a loss. But it is impossible that this is the way things are. For these and [35] all things which are by nature come to be in a certain way either always or for the most part, but none of the things which are by luck and chance do this. For to rain much during winter does not seem to be by luck or by [199a] coincidence, but during the dog-days; nor for there to be burning heat during the dog-days, but if during the winter. If, therefore, these things seem to be either by coincidence or for the sake of something, and if these things are not [5] able to be by coincidence nor by chance, they must be for the sake of something.

Cf. Aristotle, On Prophesying by Dreams, ch. 1 (462b 1463B 10) (tr. J. I. Beare):
[462b] As to the divination which takes place in sleep, and is said to be based on dreams, we cannot lightly either dismiss it with contempt or give it implicit confidence. The fact that all persons, or many, suppose dreams to possess a special significance, tends to inspire us [15] with belief in it [such divination], as founded on the testimony of experience; and indeed that divination in dreams should, as regards some subjects, be genuine, is not incredible, for it has a show of reason; from which one might form a like opinion also respecting all other dreams. Yet the fact of our seeing no probable cause [aition eulogon] to account for [20] such divination tends to inspire us with distrust. For, in addition to its further unreasonableness, it is absurd to combine the idea that the sender of such dreams should be God with the fact that those to whom he sends them are not the best and wisest, but merely commonplace persons. If, however, we abstract from the causality of God, none of the other causes assigned appears probable. For that certain persons should have foresight in dreams concerning things destined to take [25] place at the Pillars of Hercules, or on the

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banks of the Borysthenes, seems to be something to discover the explanation of which surpasses the wit of man. Well then, the dreams in question must be regarded either as causes, or as tokens, of the events, or else as coincidences; either as all, or some, of these, or as one only. I use the word cause in the sense in which the moon is [the cause] of an eclipse of the sun, [30] or in which fatigue is [a cause] of fever; token [in the sense in which] the entrance of a star [into the shadow] is a token of the eclipse, or [in which] roughness of the tongue [is a token] of fever; while by coincidence I mean, for example, the occurrence of an eclipse of the sun while some one is taking a walk; for the walking is neither a [463a] token nor a cause of the eclipse, nor the eclipse [a cause or token] of the walking. For this reason no coincidence takes place according to a universal or general rule. Are we then to say that some dreams are causes, others tokens, e.g. of events taking place in the bodily organism? At all events, even scientific physicians tell us that one should [5] pay diligent attention to dreams, and to hold this view is reasonable also for those who are not practitioners, but speculative philosophers. For the movements which occur in the daytime [within the body] are, unless very great and violent, lost sight of in contrast with the waking movements, which are more impressive. In sleep the opposite takes [10] place, for then even trifling movements seem considerable. This is plain in what often happens during sleep; for example, dreamers fancy that they are affected by thunder and lightning, when in fact there are only faint ringings in their ears; or that they are enjoying honey or other sweet savours, when only a tiny drop of phlegm is flowing down [the oesophagus]; or that they are walking through fire, and [15] feeling intense heat, when there is only a slight warmth affecting certain parts of the body. When they are awakened, these things appear to them in this their true character. But since the beginnings of all events are small, so, it is clear, are those also of the diseases or other affections about to occur in our bodies. In conclusion, it is [20] manifest that these beginnings must be more evident in sleeping than in waking moments. Nay, indeed, it is not improbable that some of the presentations which come before the mind in sleep may even be causes of the actions cognate to each of them. For as when we are about to act [in waking hours], or are engaged in any course of action, or have already performed certain actions, we often find ourselves concerned with these [25] actions, or performing them, in a vivid dream; the cause whereof is that the dream-movement has had a way paved for it from the original movements set up in the daytime; exactly so, but conversely, it must happen that the movements set up first in sleep should also prove to be starting-points of actions to be performed in the daytime, since the recurrence by day of the thought of these actions also has had its way paved for it in the images before the mind at night. Thus then [30] it is quite conceivable that some dreams may be tokens and causes [of future events]. Most [so-called prophetic] dreams are, however, to be classed as mere coincidences, especially all such as are extravagant, and those [463b] in the fulfillment of which the dreamers have no initiative, such as in the case of a sea-fight, or of things taking place far away. As regards these it is natural that the fact should stand as it does whenever a person, on mentioning something, finds the very thing mentioned [5] come to pass. Why, indeed, should this not happen also in sleep? The probability is, rather, that many such things should happen. As, then, ones mentioning a particular person is neither token nor cause of this persons presenting himself, so, in the parallel instance, the dream is, to him who has seen it, neither token nor cause of its [so-called] fulfillment, but a mere coincidence. Hence the fact that many dreams [10] have no fulfillment, for coincidences do not occur according to any universal or general law. (emphasis added)

Cf. Joseph Moscone, Response to Aristotles On Prophesying by Dreams:


Aristotle claims first of all that dreams can be one of three things: causes, tokens, or coincidences of events. He uses the example of an eclipse to describe what he means by these words:

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I use the word cause in the sense in which the moon is [the cause] of an eclipse of the sun, or in which fatigue is [a cause] of fever; token [in the sense in which] the entrance of a star [into the shadow] is a token of the eclipse, or [in which] roughness of the tongue [is a token] of fever; while by coincidence I mean, for example, the occurrence of an eclipse of the sun while one is taking a walk; for the walking is neither a token nor a cause of the eclipse, nor the eclipse [a cause or token] of the walking. For this reason no coincidence takes place according to a universal or general rule. (Reader pg. 127) [= On Prophesying by Dreams, ch. 1, 462b 29-463a 3, tr. J. I. Beare]

Aristotle goes on to explain that by cause he means that a person may be preoccupied with certain actions about to be enacted in waking hours, and so may dream about them at night, the cause whereof is that the dream movement has had a way paved for it from the original movements set up in the daytime . . . Conversely, a token is the result of a person reenacting the dreams or thoughts he received at night. This is all well and good. The mention of coincidence, however, turned out to be the catalyst of my investigation into the case of paranoia. The example Aristotle gives is especially pertinent: walking is indeed neither a token nor a cause of an eclipse, nor the eclipse of the walking, but a person suffering from paranoia may actually believe this to be the case, for he is suffering from a predominance of ideas of reference. For Aristotle, the prophets dream and its coming to pass in waking hours are not proof of legitimate prophecy, but merely coincidences. Similarly, the walking of a paranoiac and the eclipse of the sun are not intimately related and mutually dependent phenomena, but coincidences.

14. On the fourth meaning of per se and its the relation to coincidence. Cf. Aristotle, Post. An., I. 4 (73b 10-15) (tr. R. Glen Coughlin):
Moreover, in another way, what belongs due to itself to each thing is per se, but what does not [belong] due to it is accidental. For example, if lightning flashes when one walks, it is an accident, for it did not flash due to walking, but we say that this just happened. But if [something belongs] due to a thing, [this is] per se. For example, if something, having its throat cut, dies, and through having its throat cut, [this is per se], because it is due to the throat being cut, but it did not just happen to die while having its throat cut.

N.B. In explaining the difference between what is due to a thing per se and what is not (the former comprising the necessary, the latter the accidental), Aristotle intimates the following definition of coincidence: the happening of two things at the same time when the one is not due to the other. 15. On the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy and its relation to coincidence. Cf. Aristotle, Rhet., II. 24 (1401b 31-34) (tr. Theodore Buckley [with additions] by B.A.M.):
Another {topos} arises from stating as a cause that which in fact is not; [arguing], for instance, on its having happened simultaneously, or after; for men do assume that what occurs subsequently, {= post hoc} [occurs] by means of [that which preceded] {= propter hoc}, and more especially those engaged in state affairs; just as Demades [insinuated] that the administration of Demosthenes was the cause of all their misfortunes; because a war happened after it.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 10 (1452a 19-21) (tr. B.A.M.): 36

tau=ta de\ dei= gi/nesqai e)c au)th=j th=j susta/sewj tou= mu/qou, w(/ste e)k tw=n progegenhme/nwn sumbai/nein [20] h)\ e)c a)na/gkhj h)\ kata\ to\ ei)ko\j gi/gnesqai tau=ta:

These [sc. recognition and reversal], however, should arise from the very way in which the plot is put together, so that from what has already taken place [20] it happen that the things mentioned come about either of necessity or in accordance with likelihood. For it makes a great difference whether these things1 come about because of these things2 [propter hoc] or (merely) after them [post hoc].

diafe/rei ga\r polu\ to\ gi/gnesqai ta/de dia\ ta/de h)\ meta\ ta/de.

16. In sum. Given two incidents A and B where B merely follows A (post hoc), some men judge that A is the cause of B (propter hoc) without any assignable reason, and this is the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. But in imitations of action, one incident should follow another according to what is either likely or necessary, and not be merely as it chances, unless, of course, the accidental is in accordance with the saying of Agathon, as Aristotle explains in the following texts: 17. On the likelihood of the unlikely: the saying of agathon. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 18 (1456a 23-25) (tr. B.A.M.):
e)/stin de\ tou=to kai\ ei)ko\j w(/sper ) Aga/qwn le/gei, ei)ko\j ga\r gi/nesqai polla\ [25] kai\ para\ to\ ei)ko/j.

But this is likely, as Agathon says: for it is likely even that many things [25] happen contrary to what is likely.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 25 (1461 b 14-15) (tr. B.A.M.):


ou(/tw te kai\ o(/ti pote\ ou)k a)/logo/n [15] e)stin: ei)ko\j ga\r kai\ para\ to\ ei)ko\j gi/nesqai.

and that sometimes it is not irrational:3 [15] for it is likely even for what is unlikely to happen.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 18 (1456a 23-25) (tr. James Hutton):


This even has a kind of probability, if only in the sense of Agathons comment, for it is probable that many improbable things will happen.10
10

See Chapter 13 on the poets aim, and especially 1452a38-53a3 for human sympathy. Agathons comment occurred in a play, and is quoted in its original form in Aristotles Rhetoric 2.24, 1401a10: Perhaps someone may say that is itself probable, that many things
1 2

Namely, recognition and reversal. Namely, the incidents which precede them in time. Aristotles view is that a plot which is continuous and one will consist of incidents which do not merely precede a recognition or reversal, but which precipitate them. 3 In the present text, Aristotle is giving an instance where the charge that what the poet has composed is alogos, or irrational, is unfounded.

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may befall mortals that are not probable. It seems probable, or at least appropriate, that a clever villain should be outwitted.

18. Note on the likelihood of the unlikely. It should be clear from the foregoing texts that, just as Aristotle did not banish the necessary or likely from the compositions of history, so he does not banish the accidental from portrayal in works of the poetic art, for the reason that even the unlikely may come under the rationale of the likely. The reason why this should be so may be gathered from the following passage:
Like Aristotle, Bohm is concerned initially with the fortuitous, i.e. with chance in human actions. Aristotle had observed that we are exposed to fortune, good or bad, because our knowledge of the circumstances amidst which we act is limited. It is therefore only natural that there be fortuitous events. The root of fortune is ignorance and the inevitable limitations due to it in our practical actions. Consequently, the relative frequency of individually unpredictable events will be nothing but a function of our lack of knowledge in the practical order. The fact that the latter could never be wholly removed provides in the end the very basis of a measure of predictability. Our ignorance in our actions is just as much a constant as our knowledge is; little wonder that the effects of these correlative constants should acquire a numerical value. That is why, conversely, the approximate number of predictable accidents over a long week-end in these United States, say, does not at all suppress the indetermination on the part of whoever incurs the accident. It is necessary that there be fortuitous events; but that does not make any of these particular events necessary. (Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Possibility, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. , 19??, n. ?, pp. 289-290)

Now to say that [o]ur ignorance in our actions is just as much a constant as our knowledge is, and [t]he fact that the latter [i.e. our ignorance] could never be wholly removed provides in the end the very basis of a measure of predictability, warrants our judging that even what is unlikely has a likelihood of happening; for to reckon the predictability of something happening is tantamount to reckoning its likelihood. Moreover, [i]t is necessary that there be fortuitous events. 19. The method of history in the practice of Aristotle. Cf. George Huxley, On Aristotles Historical Methods, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 13 (1972), p. 159:
Facts, Aristotle believed, have intrinsic interest and value. That is one of the reasons why he gathered them so assiduously. But they are even more significant when, having been sifted and ordered, they enable us to find explanations by looking for causes. That is why he says in the Historia Animalium (491a7-14) that it is his object to determine first the differences that exist between each individual type of animal and the actual facts about all of them. Then we must try to discover the causes. This, after all, is the natural method of going about thingsto look for causes only when we have at our disposal definite facts about each item.

(a) In sum: first, one must gather the facts 38

second, he must discover the causes

(b) Some causes of events will be per se; others, per accidens. the systematic inquiry into facts and events (ta sumbebekota) (ibid, p. 165) hos etuchen, just as it happens = what happens for the less part = the accidental to sumbebekos, the accidental (things which just happen or take place, sc. for the least part) ta sumbainonta, the facts (things which are to be ascertained) ta genomena, the things which have been done = res gestae ta pragmata, the things or the things done = the things men do, as well as suffer

However the facts [ta sumbainonta] have not been ascertained. And if they ever are ascertained, then we must trust the evidence of the senses rather than theories, and theories as well, as long as their results agree with what is observed [tois phainomenois]. (Aristotle, Generation of Animals 760b 27) The facts have not yet been sufficiently established. If ever they are, then credit must be given to observation rather than to theory, and to theory only in so far as they are confirmed by the observed facts. (Aristotle, Generation of Animals 760b 27) what is possible as coming under the poetic art what happens always and of necessity what happens for the most part as coming under the purview of history what happens for the least part the necessary: what is possible according to necessity the likely: what is possible according to likelihood the accidental: what is possible according to chance (or what happens to be the case) 20. Things happening at the same time. Cf. Herodotus, The History, VII.166 (tr. George Rawlinson):
They say too, that the victory of Gelo and Thero in Sicily over Hamilcar the Carthaginian fell out upon the very day that the Hellenes defeated the Persians at Salamis.

Cf. Alliances with the Greeks (from a web site):


The defeat of Hamilcar by Gelon at Himera, in Sicily, took place in the same year as that of Xerxes at Salamis.

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Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 23 (1459a 2530) (tr. B.A.M.):


For [25] as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results. But almost all of the poets [30] do this.

21. The order of history: An example taken from Aristotle. Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 23 (1459a 1630) (tr. B.A.M.):
As for the imitative art which is narrative and in verse, it is clear that its plots should be constructed the way they are in tragedies, dramatically, and around one action, whole and complete, [20] having a beginning, middle, and end, so that, like one whole living thing, it may produce its proper pleasureand not be like the usual histories where what is required is an exposition not of one action, but of one period of time, and whatever happened during it, whether to one man or to many, of which each [happening] stands to the other just as it happens [hos etuchen]. For [25] as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily took place at the same time without tending to the same end; so also in those things which take place in successive times, one thing may sometimes happen after another from which no one end results. But almost all of the poets [30] do this.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 23 (1459a 1730) (tr. Ingram Bywater):


As for the poetry which merely narrates, or imitates by means of versified language (without action), it is evident that it has several points in common with Tragedy. 1. The construction of its stories should clearly be like that in a drama; they should be based on a single action, one that is a complete whole in itself, with [20] a beginning, middle, and end, so as to enable the work to produce its own proper pleasure with all the organic unity of a living creature. Nor should one suppose that there is anything like them in our usual histories. A history has to deal not with one action, but with one period and all that happened in that to one or more persons, however disconnected the several events may have been. Just as [25] two events may take place at the same time, e. g. the sea-fight off Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily, without converging to the same end, so too of two consecutive events one may sometimes come after the other with no one end as their common issue. Nevertheless most of our epic poets, one may say, ignore the [30] distinction.

Cf. Ingram Bywater, Aristotle on the Art of Poetry, Commentary:


a

23 e(noj xro/nou : comp. b 1 peri\ e(/na xro/non. Aristotles conception of a history is that it is a sort of chronicle (see on 9, 1451a36) recording all the various occurrences within a certain period of time, however loose and separate they may have been in themselves. As an instance of such a disconnected event he cites Gelos defeat of the Carthaginians in 480; it happened about the same timeHerodotus 7, 166 says on the same dayas the Battle of Salamis, but it obviously had no connexion with that battle, or with the issue of the Persian War. And the same would have to be said, if it had taken place just before or after Salamis (e)n toi=j e)fec$j xro/nooij a 27). In this way Aristotle reasserts the point on which he has insisted in the earlier chapters (8, 1451 a 27; 10 1452 a 20), that two events may come in succession without forming part of one single action.

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25 e(n Salami=ni : Rhet. 2. 22, 1396 [Remainder of note omitted]

12 th\n e)n Salami=ni naumaxi/an.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 8 (1451a 16-35) (tr. B.A.M.):


A plot is not one, as some think, if it is about one man; for manyindeed an infinite numberof things happen to one man, out of some of which no one thing arises. So also there are many actions of one man out of which no one action results. For this reason all [20] the poets seem to have erred who have composed a Heracleid, a Theseid, and such like poems. For they think that since Heracles was one man, a story about him is one thing. But Homer, just as he excels in other things, appears to have grasped this point well, whether by art or by nature. For in [25] making the Odyssey, he did not compose everything that ever happened to him, for example, his being wounded on Parnassus, and his feigned madness at the gathering of the army, the one thing being done, it being neither necessary nor likely that the other come about; but he constructed the Odyssey around one action, of the sort of which we are speaking; and likewise the [30] Iliad. Accordingly, just as in the other imitative arts, one imitation must be of one thing, so also the plot, since it is the imitation of an action, must be of one thing, and this a whole, and the parts of the thing must be so constituted that when some one part is transposed or removed it makes a difference in the sense that the whole is changed; for what makes [35] no noticeable difference when it is present or not present is no part of the whole.

Cf. Aristotle, Poetics ch. 9 (1451b 1-11) (tr. B.A.M.):


But it is also apparent from what has been said that the task of the poet is to relate, not what has happened, but the sort of thing that might happenthat is, what is possible in accordance with likelihood or necessity. For the historian and the poet differ not by [the one] speaking in verse [and the other] not, [1451b] (for Herodotus put in verse would be no less a historian in verse than not in verse), but they differ in this, namely, that the one relates what has happened [5], but the other the sort of thing that might happen. For this reason, poetry is more philosophical and more serious than history; for poetry relates rather the universal, whereas history, the particular. But universal, in fact, is the sort of thing a certain sort of man happens to say or do according to what is likely or necessary, And [10] poetry aims at this sort of thing when it assigns names; but particular is what Alcibiades did or suffered.

The facts: For as the sea-fight at Salamis and the battle with the Carthaginians in Sicily, which took place at the same time. (Aristotle, Poetics 23 1459a 24-25) The ordering of the facts: if one can show a connection between them.

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22. Supplement: Readings from Charles De Koninck. Cf. Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Man and His Historical Being, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. 5, 1949, n. 2, pp. 271-277:
If man had no nature, he could have no history. Nevertheless, supposing one interpretation of the term true being, it may well be said that the true being of man is his historical being. In fact, we distinguish in a man what he is by virtue of being a man, from what he is in view of what he should be: for one may be truly man without being a good man. If, then, by true being we mean what a man is in view of what he should be, we have to admit that this being is a strictly historical oneseeing that it cannot be inferred either from the nature of man or from the nature of this particular man. By the term history we mean here, primarily, narratio. Historical personages, actions or events are, first of all, things that can be reported or narrated. It is true that these things may also reveal more or less rational connections that exist among them, and that the term history also serves to designate the kind of knowledge ordained to the discovery of such connections. Taken in this sense, History tends towards a certain universality and thus towards the estate of a science. And, in this sense, only significant facts enter into the realm of History: the kind of facts credited with historical importance. It is not with this second meaning of history that we are now concerned. Rather, taking the term in its more primitive sense, we call historical even such thingsnay, such above allas cannot form the object of any rationalization: the things that can at best be told, reported, narrated; in a word, things obscure, ineffable, incommunicable as to their essential meaning. In this sense, to be sure, the true being of man is an eminently historical one; so much so that our narratio of the events that manifest it cannot attain its inmost core. For indeed it is in his contingent behavior that a man proves to be, or not to be, what he should be. By contingency we do not mean here simply the fact that his action is free, and might not have taken place; we call it contingent more specifically, by reason of the circumstances comprising the agent himself. Socrates, Sophronicus son, is waiting for the street-car; the children in the street are exploding crackers; he is thirsty (it is the day after the banquet); Xanthippe was in a good temper this morning (owing to a new hat, but Socrates does not know this); the sky is clear; the street car arrives, crowded; Socrates, only just in time, slips past a motor truck rushing God knows why, and so forth. The circumstances of our action are inexhaustible in wealth and complexity. Those, in particular, of which a given person in a given situation must take account so as to act well are, in a sense, inalienably his, and incapable of any complete rendering or communication. Alighting from the streetcar Socrates bumps into a woman loaded with parcels: eggs and cabbages are lying scattered about in the street. Ought he not to have watched his step better?the more so as the lady possessed very visible bulk. But Socrates, at the critical moment, was asking himself why Bergson saw in real movement an object of his intuition of becoming. Which, now, were the relevant circumstances for Socrates: the ones he had to think of before all else? <.> The prudential act, therefore, is inalienable and incommunicable. Ultimately, every man has to judge on his own count. Suppose he is following an advice: very well, even then he must judge it proper for him to follow that advice, and actually conform his conduct to his judgement; otherwise he would not be performing a human act. Seen from this point of view, every man is alone in the midst of his fellow men. Here is the very center, the innermost core of our neighbors behaviorwhich it is strictly beyond our power to judge in any absolute fashion. A man may be plainly criminal, fairly tried, rightly judged and condemned to death. Yet, this judgement can never claim finality, or identity with that of the Supreme Judge. God alone sounds the hearts; God alone plumbs the depths of the mind. The gulf between the

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Day of the Lord and the Day of man cannot be bridged from this side. Neque meipsum judicosays the Apostle. Correspondingly, the human narratio of a persons actions can never transcend the field of appearances, no matter how much or how little foundation these seem to have in reality. As for the personal or autobiographic, it is subject to the same limitation, and is so, for the most part, to an even higher degree. The aspect of inaccessibility of which we are speaking is not, therefore, a characteristic of the secrets of the heart as such; for anybody who is keeping a thing secret could as well communicate it if he chose. This is the point we must bear in mind if we are to understand in what sense a mans true being is radically historicaland, in the same time, inaccessible to the Day of man. None except the Maker of history could narrate to us the life of Peter. The sufficient reason of what happens in this world is not of itself of this world; it is not subjectified in the things. As seen in the particular things and the actions of which it is composed, the world reveals itself full of irrationality and absurdity. And, from this point of view, the system can be described as an attempt (or worse, a determination) to find the sufficient reason of the world in the world. That is why the system is bent on eliminating all objective irrationality as at least irrelevant, and tends to impose itself as a sufficient reason. How superficial and how perverse, at the same time, such an outlook on the worldtogether with the type of action it inspiresmust be what we shall best understand in considering that the absolutely universal causality of God, as well as His properly divine wisdom, appear most strikingly in the intrinsic contingency and the inherent absurdity of the world: for only God is the determinate, per se cause of that, too, which in itself is contingent. No creature can be the per se cause of what is either casual or fortuitous.

Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Possibility, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. , 19??, n. ?, pp. 289-290:
Like Aristotle, Bohm is concerned initially with the fortuitous, i.e. with chance in human actions. Aristotle had observed that we are exposed to fortune, good or bad, because our knowledge of the circumstances amidst which we act is limited. It is therefore only natural that there be fortuitous events. The root of fortune is ignorance and the inevitable limitations due to it in our practical actions. Consequently, the relative frequency of individually unpredictable events will be nothing but a function of our lack of knowledge in the practical order. The fact that the latter could never be wholly removed provides in the end the very basis of a measure of predictability. Our ignorance in our actions is just as much a constant as our knowledge is; little wonder that the effects of these correlative constants should acquire a numerical value. That is why, conversely, the approximate number of predictable accidents over a long week-end in these United States, say, does not at all suppress the indetermination on the part of whoever incurs the accident. It is necessary that there be fortuitous events; but that does not make any of these particular events necessary. [= Charles De Koninck, Indeterminism and Indeterminacy (= Q133-159-169, Charles De Koninck Papers, University of Notre Dame)]

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23. On the two kinds of history and Aristotles method. Cf. Charles De Koninck, The Nature of Man and His Historical Being, Laval theologique et philosophique, vol. 5, 1949, n. 2, p. 271:
If man had no nature, he could have no history. Nevertheless, supposing one interpretation of the term true being, it may well be said that the true being of man is his historical being. In fact, we distinguish in a man what he is by virtue of being a man, from what he is in view of what he should be: for one may be truly man without being a good man. If, then, by true being we mean what a man is in view of what he should be, we have to admit that this being is a strictly historical oneseeing that it cannot be inferred either from the nature of man or from the nature of this particular man. By the term history we mean here, primarily, narratio. Historical personages, actions or events are, first of all, things that can be reported or narrated. It is true that these things may also reveal more or less rational connections that exist among them, and that the term history also serves to designate the kind of knowledge ordained to the discovery of such connections. Taken in this sense, History tends towards a certain universality and thus towards the estate of a science. And, in this sense, only significant facts enter into the realm of History: the kind of facts credited with historical importance. It is not with this second meaning of history that we are now concerned. Rather, taking the term in its more primitive sense, we call historical even such thingsnay, such above all as cannot form the object of any rationalization: the things that can at best be told, reported, narrated; in a word, things obscure, ineffable, incommunicable as to their essential meaning. In this sense, to be sure, the true being of man is an eminently historical one; so much so that our narratio of the events that manifest it cannot attain its inmost core.

Cf. Charles De Koninck, Note on History (unpublished paper belonging to The De Koninck Papers held at The Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame):
In the Poetics Aristotle says that poetry is more philosophic and more elevated than history because it is more universal.1 St. Thomas speaks of history as quaedam narratio.2 Further, it is often said that poetry is infima doctrina.3 Obviously then if history is less philosophic than poetry and poetry is infima doctrina, history is not doctrina at all. This opinion has scandalized most modern writers on the nature of history. As a result many scholastics feel themselves obliged to diminish the force of the statements of Aristotle and St. Thomas, and, if possible, to explain them away. It is common to point to works like those of Thucydides where the arrangement and selection of facts tend to manifest certain universal tendencies in the growth and decline of nations and about the nature of government. It is said that the views of Aristotle and St. Thomas apply to the works of the chroniclers, men who make no attempt at scientific selection, but merely recount all that they have learned about a given set of happenings. On the other hand it would be false to apply such judgments to serious and mature works which alone can be called histories precisely because the wise selection of facts help us to understand political life. It has been further pointed out that history can play a decisive role even in philosophy. The study of the works of his predecessors can be regarded as of very great importance for Aristotle. Even today, it is asserted, St. Thomas can best be understood against the background of his sources. This would show that philosophy can be learned satisfactorily
1 2

Poetics, ch. 9, 1451b 5-8 [I have been unable to locate this statement in the Busa edition of St. Thomas.B.A.M.] 3 Ia, q. 1, art. 9 obj. 1

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through history and that those who relegate history to an infra-scientific role of mere narration do not appreciate it in its true importance. In order to see the error of these critics of Aristotle and St. Thomas it is necessary to allude to the notion of intellectual light. The general principle, quoted from St. Paul and used by St. Thomas, is omne quod est manifestativum lumen est.1 The application of this principle is most clear in demonstration where the definition is seen as causing the proper passion of the subject. The definition is a light whereby the inherence of the passion in the subject is known to us. In a lesser degree dialectical reasoning illustrates the same thing. Here the manifestation is at least partially through beings of reason, that is, principles formed not from the nature of the subject, but from the mind itself. Such principles can be used to show the probable inherence of some predicate in a subject. Even in poetry there is still some manifestation. Events in the life of the rex fictus, Oedipus or another, are ordered according to possibility or probability. A kind of necessity in the midst of the contingent order is thereby manifested. The mind forms the events in such a way that the reason is seduced into accepting the probability or the necessity of the order. There is here a selection and a formation of the personages that constitutes them in a certain universality, the proper stamp of the mind. Thus poetry involves a kind of light, a principle of manifesting one thing through something else. It is a very inferior light, and it cannot be better because of the defect of truth in its object,2 that is, the order of contingent events, of human actions. It only succeeds in being a doctrine by neglecting much that belongs to the object and constructing for itself something with a certain universality. The historian does not have this refuge of the poet. He cannot construct the events of his record or rearrange them so that a kind of necessity will appear. Very often the events that he must record have very little connection between one another beyond the fact that they happened at the same time. Many of the most important events he records have no intrinsic necessity. They come about through the action of some great man, who might very well have acted otherwise. Others are caused by forces that are, at least to us, irrational, like floods and plagues. With these elements it is impossible to construct a chain of necessity. Hence, the historian must be content with narration and he cannot properly, as historian, manifest anything. Like poetry, history deals with objects that are deficient in truth, contingent. Unlike poetry, history cannot even imperfectly escape the irrationalness in things by constructing them so that they possess an intelligibility supplied by the mind. How then can we explain a book like that of Thucydides which so arranges events that, in a way, the source of all merchant empires is made clear; where the unfortunate effects of all revolutions are shown? The answer is, as so many authors who reject Aristotle and St. Thomas say, that Thucydides has made a wise selection of facts. However, far from proving that history is more than narration, it proves that a great historian of the stamp of Thucydides must know political science and be guided by it. The knowledge of the different types of state and what is proper to each enables him to select, from the multitude of things that happen those events that manifest the rise and fall of merchant states and the effects of revolution. The knowledge of the different types of state and the definition of revolution is something that only political science can give. Once these notions are supplied they can be used to illuminate history. Thus, it is not history but another discipline that guides the selection of facts.
2

St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, V, 13 Ia IIae, q. 101, art. 2 ad. 2.

The case is somewhat complicated because political science itself can only be learned by a careful consideration of history and of actual political institutions. Aristotle composed one

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hundred and fifty treatises on the constitution of various states as part of the inductive study that founded his treatise on politics. The Constitution of Athens, which has survived, is only one of these. However, such works are akin to chronicles, in the terminology of our opponents. They are listings of facts, not selections based upon a sophisticated knowledge of the nature of political institutions. Thus there is a sort of cross-fertilization of these disciplines. History, in the true sense of narratio is necessary to the acquisition of the science of politics, which relies so heavily on induction. Once acquired, the science of politics can guide a writer in the selection of facts that will illustrate certain general political notions. The important thing to note here is that the universal light, the principle of selection, belongs not to history, but to political science.

Cf. George Huxley, On Aristotles Historical Methods, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 13 (1972), pp. 158-159:
We look firstly, then, at the connections between the Constitutions and Aristotles other studies. Facts, Aristotle believed, have intrinsic interest and value. That is one of the reasons why he gathered them so assiduously. But they are even more significant when, having been sifted and ordered, they enable us to find explanations by looking for causes. That is why he says in the Historia Animalium (491a7-14) that it is his object to determine first the differences that exist between each individual type of animal and the actual facts about all of them. Then we must try to discover the causes. This, after all, is the natural method of going about thingsto look for causes only when we have at our disposal definite facts about each item. His expression here for the actual facts is ta\ sumbai/ntonta, and parts of the verb sumbai/nein are found again and again in his historical writings also.6 When Aristotle means that some event occurred, he can write simply sune)bh, whether or not the cause of the event is explained. In his opinion, historical events, ta\ sumbebhko/ta, no less than detailed facts about living creatures, can be set in order. So the empirical Historia Animalium bears to Aristotles more theoretical writings in [end of p. 159] biology a relationship analogous to that of the Constitutions to the political theory in the Politics. Once he had begun to collect facts he could immediately begin also to arrange them so as to look for causes. Therefore the writing of the Politics did not have to wait for the completion of the Constitutions. Aristotle ordered the facts in two ways. First, the data from each single city-state were arranged sequentially in a chronological scheme. When the sequence had been worked out he could look for significant changes in the political structure of the state. So, for instance, eleven changes are noticed in the Athenian polity ( Ath.Pol.. 41.2), and they occur within a period extending from the time of the primitive kingship to the restoration of the democracy in 403 B.C. The sequential method is mainly descriptive, but the second approach is more philosophical. It looks for causes of political change by comparing data from a number of cities, and its results are embodied in the Politics. The comparative method tries to find out why changes occur, and the changes considered will normally be from one constitutional form to another.
6

For Aristotles use of sumbai/nein see especially F. W. Gilliard, Historia 20 (1971) 43335.

24. Note on the foregoing. First, the researcher must collect the facts; then he must order them; then he must look for causes. The first step pertains to history, the second and third to philosophy. To the extent that the historian looks for or discovers causes, he is going beyond the office of the historian strictly so called. 46

Cf. G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens (1906), ch. 8, The Time of Transition, in The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton, Vol. XV, p. 149:
Moreover, of course, a touch of fiction is almost always essential to the real conveying of fact, because fact, as experienced, has a fragmentariness which is bewildering at first hand and quite blinding at second hand. Facts have at least to be sorted into compartments and the proper head and tail given back to each. The perfection and pointedness of art are a sort of substitute for the pungency of actuality. Without this selection and completion our life seems a tangle of unfinished tales, a heap of novels, all volume one. Dickens determined to make one complete novel of it.

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25. The method of history in the practice of historians after Aristotle. Cf. Stefan Rebenich, Historical Prose, in Handbook of Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period, 330 B.C.A.D. 400, ed. Stanley Porter (Brill, 1997), pp. 265-266:
This sweeping judgment [of Dionysius of Halicarnassus] however fails to recognize the divergent lines of development and takes no notice of the different models which can be identified in Greek historiography from the fourth century on. Thus Polybius himself brings against Phylarchus,4 a historian of the third century BC, the reproach that he had betrayed the proper task of historical [end of p. 265] writing. 5 The efforts of the historian ought not to be directed towards winning the attention of the public through the narration of sensational occurrences (teratei/a). Again, it was not proper for a historianin contrast to a tragedian to interpolate fine speeches such as might perhaps have been delivered, or to recount the subsidiary circumstances which accompanied events. Rather it was his duty to record exclusively what actually (kat )a)lh/qeian) happened and what was really said, even if it was a question of quite ordinary things. For the aim of history writing and that of tragedy were opposed to one another: the task of the tragic poet was to thrill and charm (e)kplh=cai kai\ yuxagwgh=sai) his hearers for the moment by using the most plausible words, that of the historian was to instruct and convince ( dida/cai kai\ pei=sai) for all time those who were desirous of learning, through his portrayal of the actual events and speeches.
4 5

[note omitted] Plb. 2.56.8-12.

In sum, according to Polybius, the task of the tragic poet was to thrill and charm (e)kplh=cai kai\ yuxagwgh=sai), doing so by the narration of sensational occurrences (teratei/a); whereas for the historian, it was his duty to record exclusively what actually (kat )a)lh/qeian) happened and what was really said, even if it was a question of quite ordinary things, and not to interpolate fine speeches such as might perhaps have been delivered, or to recount the subsidiary circumstances which accompanied events. For the task of the historian was to instruct and convince (dida/cai kai\ pei=sai) for all time those who were desirous of learning, through his portrayal of the actual events and speeches. 26. The rationales of the historian and the tragic poet. (a) The task of the tragic poet: 1. The efforts of the historian ought not to be directed towards winning the attention of the public through the narration of sensational occurrences (teratei/a). [= ekplexis] 2. Again, it was not proper for a historianin contrast to a tragedianto interpolate fine speeches such as might perhaps have been delivered, or to recount the subsidiary circumstances which accompanied events. [= enargeia] (b) The duty of the historian:

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1. Rather it was his duty to record exclusively what actually (kat )a)lh/qeian) happened and what was really said, even if it was a question of quite ordinary things. [= ta genomena kat aletheian] (c) The distinction to be made between the two: For the aim of history writing and that of tragedy were opposed to one another: 1. the task of the tragic poet was to thrill and charm (e)kplh=cai kai\ yuxagwgh=sai) his hearers for the moment by using the most plausible words, 2. that of the historian was to instruct and convince (dida/cai kai\ pei=sai) for all time those who were desirous of learning, through his portrayal of the actual events and speeches. (c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti. All Rights Reserved. N.B. See also my paper Something Said: On the Traditional Story or Tale.

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