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Ἐπαινοῦσιἔπαινος filled λ. ἐπιταφίους. τὸν προσθέντα—it is not known who instituted the custom. It was of course ascribed to Solon. After a time, the subjects dealt with became traditional commonplaces. Dion. Hal. enumerates them (Ars Rhet. VI.) as πατρίς, γένος, φύσις, ἀγωγή, πρᾶξις. Then he shows how the subjects should be treated.

ὡς καλὸν—sc. ὄν. M. T. 875.

νόμῳ—probably ‘institution.’

ἀρκοῦν—used as an adj.

ἂν ἐδόκει—censeam, often instead of censeo, as a polite expression, ‘I am inclined to think’; if I had to settle the matter I should hold. Cf. Burke, On American Taxation, ‘For my part I should choose (if I could have my wish).’

ἔργῳ δηλοῦσθαι—in a public burial, in honour paid to the tomb (a very important matter to the Greeks), and in privileges to the family.

τιμάς, οἷα—the change to neuter shows that only an instance of the many kinds of τιμαὶ is given.

περὶ—not local, but ‘at’ meaning ‘on the occasion of.’

παρασκευασθέντα— with οἷα. καὶ μὴ κ.τ.λ.—Gottleber makes πιστευθῆναι subj. of κινδυνεύεσθαι, i.e. καὶ (τὸ) πολλῶν ἀρετὰς πιστευθῆναι μὴ κινδυνεύεσθαι ἐν ἑνί. (This is better than making πιστευθῆναι depend on κινδυνεύεσθαι, as then οὔ would be required after πιστευθῆναι.)

ἐν ἑνὶ ... κινδυνεύεσθαι—cf. Eur. I. T.1057-8καὶ τἄμ᾽ ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν καλῶς ἔχειν
μηδὲν εἶναι
”. For the pass. κινδυνεύεται cf. c. 43, 5.

πιστευθῆναι—for omission of τό, cf. c. 39, 4.

εὖ τε καὶ χεῖρονsive bene sive male dixerit.

τὸ μετρίως εἰπεῖν—explained by what follows as meaning neither ἐνδεεστέρως δηλοῦν nor πλεονάζειν.

ἐν in a case where. Cf. c. 1. In this phrase, the relative does not refer to any definite antecedent, but rather to the whole preceding clause.

δόκησις—even if the speaker is sure he has hit the mean, he finds it hard to convey that impression to his hearers. The word δόκησις, impression, is tragic, and used by no other prose writer. See c. 14, 1.

ἀληθείας— “truthfulness”.

ἐνδεεστέρως—cf. c. 50 χαλεπωτέρως. Thuc. uses a considerable number of such comparatives. They are rare in other prose writers (Dobree, Advers. II. 208), except indeed only after ἔχειν intrans., as Plato, Phaedo, 75A ἔχει δὲ ἐνδεεστέρως. πρὸς—prae. Cf. c. 62, 3, 65, 10.

ἀκούοι —protasis to ἂν νομίσειε.

τῷ ὑπερβάλλοντι αὐτῶν—viz. τῶν ἐπαίνων, that which transgresses the limit in these panegyrics they actually discredit. See on c. 59, 3 τὸ ὀργιζόμενον τῆς γνώμης. φθονοῦντες—not that they envy the dead (which the speaker says is not the case c. 45, 1), but they do not like to hear another's praises exaggerated, whether he be living or dead (περὶ ἑτέρων ἔπαινοι). Cf. Herod. III. 52 φθονέεσθαι κρέσσον ἐστὶν οἰκτείρεσθαι. Pind. Pyth. I. 85 κρέσσων οἰκτιρμοῦ φθόνος.

Ἐπειδὴ—resumes ἐμοὶ δ᾽ in 1 above.

ἐδοκιμάσθη —properly of the preliminary test to which newly-appointed officials had to submit to prove they were qualified. Hence δεδοκιμασμένος, like spectatus, ‘tried and approved.’ The word shows Pericles has in his mind a custom rather than a law.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Euripides, Iphigeneia in Taurus, 1057
    • Plato, Phaedo, 75a
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.50
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