The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

Chrysippus on Virtuous Abstention From Ugly Old Women (Plutarch, Sr 1038E–1039A)

Keimpe Algraa1

a1 University of Utrecht

Plutarch, at De Stoicorum repugnantiis 1038e–1039a (= SVF iii. 211), quotes and briefly discusses a fragment from Chrysippus' On Zeus (Περxs22EF τοxs22EF Διxs22EFς). This quotation is to some extent paralleled by the scrap, taken from Chrysippus' On the Gods (Περxs22EF Θεxs22EFν), which immediately follows at SR 1039a (= SVF Hi. 212). Both quotations are again referred to by Plutarch at De communibus notitiis 1061a (a testimony also included in SVF iii. 212). Although the correct constitution of the text is controversial, it is at least clear that the fragment from the On Zeus deals with the fact that not all virtuous acts are ipso facto also praiseworthy. Plutarch characteristically creates a first and more general contradiction between the On Zeus text and other passages in which Chrysippus argued that virtue and vice do not admit of gradations. In addition, he creates a specific contradiction between it and another quotation, this time from the On the Honourable (Περxs22EF καλοxs22EF), in which Chrysippus seems to draw the conclusion that the good is praiseworthy.