previous next
[5] The deliberative style is exactly like a rough sketch,1 for the greater the crowd, the further off is the point of view; wherefore in both too much refinement is a superfluity and even a disadvantage. But the forensic style is more finished, and more so before a single judge, because there is least opportunity of employing rhetorical devices, since the mind more readily takes in at a glance what belongs to the subject and what is foreign to it; there is no discussion,2 so the judgement is clear. This is why the same orators do not excel in all these styles; where action is most effective, there the style is least finished, and this is a case in which voice, especially a loud one, is needed.

The epideictic style is especially suited to written compositions, for its function is reading;3

1 Intended to produce the effect of finished work at a distance before a large number of spectators.

2 The meaning apparently is that there is no discussion, as might be the case when there were several judges, so that the decision is clear and unbiased. ἀγών and ἀγωνιστικὴ λέξις are terms used for debate (e.g. in the law courts) and the style suited to it (cf sect. 1). Cope's editor refers to Cic. Ad Att. 1.16.8 “remoto illo studio contentionis, quem vos [you Athenians] ἀγῶνα appellatis.” Jebb translates: “the turmoil is absent, so that the judgement is serene” (in a note, “unclouded”).

3 This does not seem to agree with the general view. Funeral orations of the nature of panegyrics, for instance, were certainly meant to be spoken; but the ἔργον or proper function of an epideictic may be said to consist in reading, in its being agreeable to read. Its τέλος or end is to be read.

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.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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