Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

Mesotes
(494 words)

[German version]

(μεσότης, mesótēs: ‘middle’, ‘mean’, understood in the positive sense). Key concept of a Greek ethical (and resulting political) maxim, which - according to the classical definition of Aristotle (see below) - postulates an orientation toward the mean between ‘too much’ (hyperbolḗ) and ‘too little’ (élleipsis). A diffuse mesótēs ideal is perceptible since the Archaic period, and was already propagated by Hesiodus (Op. 694) and ascribed primarily to the Delphic oracle or the Seven Sages (mēdén ágan: ‘nothing too much’, supporting documents in [1. 11f.]). A…

Cite this page
Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld), “Mesotes”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 03 June 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e800980>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



▲   Back to top   ▲