previous next
[31] And those things which are greater than what is acknowledged, or appears, to be great, are greater. And the same whole when divided into parts appears greater, for there appears to be superiority in a greater number of things.1 Whence the poet says that Meleager was persuaded to rise up and fight by the recital of2 “ All the ills that befall those whose city is taken; the people perish, and fire utterly destroys the city, and strangers carry off the children.

Combination and building up, as employed by Epicharmus,3 produce the same effect as division, and for the same reason; for combination is an exhibition of great superiority and appears to be the origin and cause of great things.

1 Or, “superiority over a greater number of things.”

2 After πεῖσαι all the MSS. except A Paris have λέγουσαν. If this is retained, it must refer to Meleager's wife Cleopatra, who “persuaded him . . . by quoting.” As the text stands, the literal rendering is: “the poet says that (the recital of the three verses) persuaded.” The passage is from Hom. Il. 9.592-594 (slightly different).

3 Epicharmus (c. 550-460 B.C.) writer of comedies and Pythagorean philosopher, was born at Megara in Sicily (according to others, in the island of Cos). His comedies, written in the Doric dialect, and without a chorus, were either mythological or comedies of manners, as extant titles show. Plato speaks of him as “the prince of comedy” and Horace states definitely that he was imitated by Plautus.

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 Notes (E. M. Cope, 1877)
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.
Sicily (Italy) (1)
Megara (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: