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or an epilogue in demonstrative speeches?1 In deliberative speeches, again, exordium, comparison, and recapitulation are only admissible when there is a conflict of opinion. For both accusation and defence are often found in deliberative, but not qua deliberative speech. And further, the epilogue does not even belong to every forensic speech, for instance, when it is short, or the matter is easy to recollect; for in the epilogue what happens is that there is a reduction of length.2

[4] So then the necessary parts of a speech are the statement of the case and proof. These divisions are appropriate to every speech, and at the most the parts are four in number—exordium, statement, proof, epilogue; for refutation of an opponent is part of the proofs, and comparison is an amplification of one's own case, and therefore also part of the proofs; for he who does this proves something, whereas the exordium and the epilogue are merely aids to memory. [5] Therefore, if we adopt all such divisions we shall be following Theodorus3 and his school, who distinguished narrative, additional narrative, and preliminary narrative, refutation and additional refutation. But one must only adopt a name to express a distinct species or a real difference; otherwise, it becomes empty and silly, like the terms introduced by Licymnius in his “Art,” where he speaks of “being wafted along,” “wandering from the subject,”4 and “ramifications.”

14. The exordium is the beginning of a speech, as
the prologue in poetry and the prelude in flute-playing; for all these are beginnings, and as it were a paving the way for what follows. The prelude resembles the exordium of epideictic speeches; for as flute-players begin by playing whatever they can execute skilfully and attach it to the key-note, so also in epideictic speeches should be the composition of the exordium; the speaker should say at once whatever he likes, give the key-note and then attach the main subject. And all do this, an example being the exordium of the Helen of Isocrates; for the eristics and Helen have nothing in common.5 At the same time, even if the speaker wanders from the point, this is more appropriate than that the speech should be monotonous.

[2] In epideictic speeches, the sources of the exordia are praise and blame, as Gorgias, in the Olympiacus, says, “Men of Greece, you are worthy to be admired by many,” where he is praising those who instituted the solemn assemblies. Isocrates on the other hand blames them because they rewarded bodily excellences, but instituted no prize for men of wisdom. [3] Exordia may also be derived from advice, for instance, one should honor the good, wherefore the speaker praises Aristides, or such as are neither famous nor worthless, but who, although they are good, remain obscure, as Alexander, son of Priam;

1 The generally accepted divisions are: προοίμιον (exordium), διήγησις (narrative), πίστις (proof), ἐπίλογος (peroration). ( διήγησις is a species of πρόθεσις, which is used instead of it just before.) Aristotle objects that it is (as a rule) only the forensic speech which requires a regular διήγησις, a full and detailed statement of what has happened before. In epideictic and demonstrative (deliberative) speeches, the object of which is to prove something, there is no need of another existing division called the refutation of the adversary, and in the demonstrative there can be no room for an epilogue, which is not a summary of proofs and arguments. Thus the necessary divisions of a speech are really only two; πρόθεσις and πίστις, or at most four.

2 i.e. its use is to recall the main facts briefly (sect. 4 end), which in a short speech is needless.

3 Plat. Phaedrus 266d, where the additional kinds of narrative are omitted, and their place taken by πίστωσις and ἐπιπίστωσις (confirmation of the proof).

4 Or, “diverting the judge's attention.”

5 The subject of the oration was the praise of Helen, but Isocrates took the opportunity of attacking the sophists. This exemplifies his skill in the introduction of matter not strictly proper to, or in common with, the subject. The key-note is Helen; but the exordium is an attack on the Eristics, with special allusion to the Cynics and the Megarians.

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