(F)lexicon 1 for Torpedo Fry


supplementary comments
hê, responsibility, mostly in bad sense, guilt, blame,
or the imputation thereof, i.e. accusation, first in Pind.
O. 1.35
and Hdt.v.
infr. (Hom. uses aitios):–

Phrases: aitian echein bear responsibility for, tinos Aesch.
Eum. 579
, Soph.
Ant. 1312
; but usu. to be accused, tinos of a crime,
phonou Hdt.
: c. inf., Aristoph.
Wasps 506
; foll. by hôs . . , Plat.
Apol. 38c
; by hôs c. part., IDEM=Plat.
Phaedrus 249d
; hupo tinos by some one, Aesch.
Eum. 99
, Plat.
Rep. 565b
: reversely, aitia echei tina Hdt.
=lr; ai. pheugein tinos Soph.
Phil. 1404
; en aitiai einai or gignesthai, Hp.Art.67,
Mem. 2.8.6
; aitian hupechein lie under a charge, Plat.
Apol. 33b
, Xen.
Cyrop. 6.3.16
; hupomeinai Aeschin.
; pheresthai Thuc.
; labein apo tinos IBID=au=Thuc.
=lr; aitiais enechesthai Plat.
Crito 52a
; aitiais peripiptein Lys.
; eis aitian empiptein Plat.
Theaet. 150a
; aitias tunchanein Dem.
L. 2.2
; ektos aitias kurein Aesch.
PB 332
; en aitiêi echein hold
one guilty
, Hdt.
; di‘ aitias echein Thuc.
, etc.; en aitiai ballein Soph.
OT 656
; tên aitian epipherein tini impute the fault to
one, Hdt.
; aitian nemein tini Soph.
Aj. 28
; epagein Dem.
; prosballein tini Antiph.
; anatithenai, prostithenai, Hp.VM21,
Peace 640
, etc.; apoluein tina tês aitiês to acquit of
guilt, Hdt.
, etc. 

2. in forensic oratory, invective without proof (opp.
elenchos), Dem.
, cf. au=Dem.

3. in good sense, ei . . eu praxaimen, aitia theou the credit
is his, Aesch.
Seven 4
; di‘ hontina aitian echousin Athênaioi beltious gegonenai
are reputed to have become better, Plat.
Gorg. 503b
, cf. ti=Plat.
Alc. 1.119a
, Aristot.
Met. 984b19
; hôn . . peri aitian echeis
diapherein in which you are reputed to excel
, Plat.
Theaet. 169a
; hoi . . echousi tautên
tên ai. who have this reputation, IDEM
Rep. 435e
, cf. Andoc.
; aitian lambanein Plat.
Laws 624a

4. expostulation, mê ep‘
echthrai to pleon ê aitiai



II. cause, di‘ hên aitiên
epolemêsan Hdt.Prooem., cf. Democr.83,

Tim. 68e
, ti=Plat.
Phaedo 97a
sq., etc.; on the four
causes of Arist. v.Ph.194b16,
Met. 983a26

ai. tou genesthai or gegonenai Plat.
Phaedo 97a
; tou megistou agathou têi polei aitia hê
koinônia IDEM=Plat.
Rep. 464b

dat. aitiai for the sake of, koinou tinos agathou Thuc.
, cf. D.H.8.29:–

aition (cf.
aitios II.2) is used like
aitia in the sense of cause, not in that of accusation. 

III. occasion, motive, aitian rhoaisi Moisan enebale gave
them a the me for song, Pind.
N. 7.11
; aitian parechein Luc.Tyr.13. 

IV. head, category under which a thing comes, Dem.

V. case in dispute, hê ai. tou anthrôpou meta
tês gunaikos Ev.Matt.10.10.

„aitia“ is one of the first words
in our lexicon, and one of the first that needs further explanation. It
comes into prominence with Aristotle, who introduced four causes. The „causes“
were called „aitia.“ Notice that that word is plural, whereas the „aitia“
heading up the left-hand column is singular.

That’s because the word Aristotle adopts for „cause“ is „aition,“ the
neuter nominative singular form of the adjective aitios, which means:

„is responsible for, is culpable of,

is at fault, is guilty ofÖ“. Neuter adjectives and nouns form their
plural with -a. Thus aitia.

The noun in the left-hand column is feminine singular (presumably at
one time derived from the feminine form of the same adjective, but came
to stand as an independent noun). The feminine singular noun means, „accusation,“
„charge,“ etc.

The derivation of Aristotle’s „aition“ alone should suggest a semantic
range other than what we might expect for „cause.“ And it certainly does.
See the Physics

Or the Metaphysics

Fortunately, these issues aren’t of central concern to us, but for anyone
who does wish to pursue the meanings of „cause“ as aition. I refer you
to Professor S. Marc Cohen’s terrific lecture notes on Aristotle’s four causes.

And Dr. Cynthia Freeland’s site for her course on Ancient Greek Science
which includes a 4 causes bibliography

In compiling my own bibiliography, I came across other texts you might find useful>

For an in-depth overview of the semantic complexities and some of their
philosophical implications, see

Michael Frede, „The Original Notion of Cause,“ Doubt and Dogmatism.
Studies in Hellenic Epistemology
Eds. M. Schofield et al. Oxford UP:1980.

For the ramifications on a Platonic text, see:

Gregory Vlastos, „Reasons and Causes in the Phaedo.“
Philosophical Review . 1969. (78: 291-325).

Lexica One Lexica Two Lexica Three Lexica 4
Lexica 5 Lexica 6 Lexica 7 Lexica 8
Lexica 9 Introduction to the Lexicon Our Orientation The Syllabus