previous next

which form a tripping rhythm. There remains the paean, used by rhetoricians from the time of Thrasymachus, although they could not define it.

The paean is a third kind of rhythm closely related to those already mentioned; for its proportion is 3 to 2, that of the others 1 to 1 and 2 to 1, with both of which the paean, whose proportion is 1 1/2 to 1, is connected.1 [5] All the other meters then are to be disregarded for the reasons stated, and also because they are metrical; but the paean should be retained, because it is the only one of the rhythms mentioned which is not adapted to a metrical system, so that it is most likely to be undetected. [6] At the present day one kind of paean alone is employed, at the beginning as well as at the end;2 the end, however, ought to differ from the beginning. Now there are two kinds of paeans, opposed to each other. The one is appropriate at the beginning, where in fact it is used. It begins with a long syllable and ends with three short: “ Δα¯λο˘γε˘νε˘ς εἴτε Λυ˘κι˘αν, (“O Delos-born, or it may be Lycia”),

” and “ Χρυ¯σε˘ο˘κό˘μα¯ ˘κα˘τε˘ παῖ Διό˘ς (“Golden-haired far-darter, son of Zeus”).

” The other on the contrary begins with three short syllables and ends with one long one: “ με˘τὰ˘ δε˘ γᾶν ˘δα˘τά˘ τ᾽ ὠκε˘α˘νὸν ἠφά˘νι˘σε˘νύξ3 (“after earth and waters, night obscured ocean”).

” This is a suitable ending, for the short syllable, being incomplete, mutilates the cadence. But the period should be broken off by a long syllable and
the end should be clearly marked, not by the scribe nor by a punctuation mark,4 but by the rhythm itself. [7] That the style should be rhythmical and not unrhythmical, and what rhythms and what arrangement of them make it of this character, has now been sufficiently shown.

9. The style must be either continuous and united by connecting particles, like the dithyrambic preludes, or periodic, like the antistrophes of the ancient poets. The continuous style is the ancient one; for example, [2] “This is the exposition of the investigation of Herodotus of Thurii.” It was formerly used by all, but now is used only by a few. By a continuous style I mean that which has no end in itself and only stops when the sense is complete. It is unpleasant, because it is endless, for all wish to have the end in sight. That explains why runners, just when they have reached the goal,5 lose their breath and strength, whereas before, when the end is in sight, they show no signs of fatigue. [3] Such is the continuous style. The other style consists of periods, and by period I mean a sentence that has a beginning and end in itself and a magnitude that can be easily grasped.

1 The heroic rhythm (dactyls, spondees, and anapests) is as 1 to 1, two short syllables being equal to one long; trochaic and iambic 2 to 1 on the same principle; paean, 3 to 2 (three shorts and one long), being the mean between the other two.

2 Understanding καὶ τελευτῶντες.

3 All three attributed to Simonides (Frag. 26 B: P.L.G.).

4 A dash below the first word of a line, indicating the end of a sentence.

5 καμπτῆρες, properly the turning-point of the δίαυλος or double course, is here used for the goal itself.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (W. D. Ross, 1959)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Thurii (1)
Lycia (Turkey) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: