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[3] Wherefore we should give our language a “foreign1 air”; for men admire what is remote, and that which excites admiration is pleasant. In poetry many things conduce to this and there it is appropriate; for the subjects and persons spoken of are more out of the common. But in prose such methods are appropriate in much fewer instances, for the subject is less elevated; and even in poetry, if fine language were used by a slave or a very young man, or about quite unimportant matters, it would be hardly becoming; for even here due proportion consists in contraction and amplification as the subject requires.

1 It is impossible to find a satisfactory English equivalent for the terms ξένος, ξενικός, τὸ ξενίζον, as applied to style. “Foreign” does not really convey the idea, which is rather that of something opposed to “home-like,”—out-of-the-way, as if from “abroad.” Jebb suggests “distinctive.”

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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos, Introduction
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