previous next

‘Excellence is attained in them when they contain (involve) metaphor (comp. c. 10 § 3): for the shield may be compared to “Ares' goblet”, and a ruin to the “rag of a house”’; [conversely we have rags described as ἐρείπια χλανιδίων, Soph. Fragm. (Niobe) 400, comp. Eur. Troad. 1025.]

‘And Niceratus may be said to be “a Niceratus stung by Pratys”— according to Thrasymachus' simile, when he saw Niceratus after his defeat by Pratys in the rhapsodical contest, and still all dishevelled and dirty (squalid)’; with the marks of the long and laborious struggle still fresh upon him; before he had had time to shave and dress. κομᾷν is here used in the unusual sense of long hair as a sign of neglect, incomtis capillis, uncombed, unkempt: in the ordinary acceptation long hair is a sign of foppery, or the distinctive mark of a young man of fashion, Arist. Eq. 580, except at Sparta, Rhet. I 9. 26, where it was a national distinction, ἐν Λακεδαίμονι κομᾷν καλόν: as it was likewise in the Homeric ages, when the Achaeans were καρηκομόωντες.

Of the many Niceratuses whose names appear in Sauppe's Ind. Nom. ad Or. Att. p. 102, there are two better known to us than the rest, (1) the son of the distinguished Athenian general, who appears as one of the guests in Xenophon's banquet, in Lysias, &c., and was put to death by the Thirty tyrants. If the Thrasymachus who made the remark upon him be—as he doubtless is—the famous Sophist, this must be the Niceratus who is here meant. The second, mentioned in Dem. c. Mid. § 165, and afterwards in a list of witnesses with the name of his deme Ἀχερδούσιος, § 168, was probably the grandson of the other; for the names of Nicias and Niceratus seem to have alternated in successive generations in this family, as they did in that of Callias and Hipponicus. These two are habitually confounded by Taylor, Reiske (see his Ind. ad Dem.) and others; and the confusion still exists in Smith's Biographical Dictionary, although Buttmann proved their diversity (in Exc. VIII ad Dem. c. Mid.). Sauppe likewise, in his Ind. Nom. ad Or. Att. p. 102, distinguishes them. Several other Niciases and Niceratuses appear in Sauppe's Index, u. s.

Niceratus had engaged in a contest with one Pratys, a professional rhapsodist, and, being in all probability an amateur, had been defeated. In this state, and still bearing all the marks of it on his person, he is encountered by Thrasymachus, who thereupon compares him to “a Philoctetes bitten or stung by Pratys.” Schneider on Xen. Sympos. III 5 supposes that “the subject of the recitation in which Niceratus was beaten was the account in Lesches' ‘little Iliad’ of the story of Philoctetes in which was related the calamity arising from the serpent's bite; alluded to by Homer, Il. B 721”; and by Soph. Phil. 267, πληγέντ᾽ ἐχίδνης ἀγρίῳ χαράγματι, and 632.

‘Wherein the poets are most condemned when they fail, and applauded when they succeed’. ἐκπίπτειν is properly said of an actor who is hissed off the stage, and hence of condemnation, disapprobation, in general. Poet. XVIII 15, ἐπεὶ καὶ Ἀγάθων ἐξέπεσεν ἐν τούτῳ μόνῳ, Dem. de Cor. § 265, ἐξέπιπτες (Aeschines) ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐσύριττον. Metaphorically, Plat. Gorg. 517 A, οὐ γὰρ ἂν εξέπεσον (ἐκπίπτειν omnino dicuntur ea quae reiiciuntur et repudiantur; Stallbaum). explodi, exactus, Ter. Prol. (2) Hec. 4 et 7. The opposite of the agent is ἐκβάλλειν ‘to hiss off the stage’; Dem. de F. L. § 389 (of Aeschines again, as acting Thyestes), ἐξεβάλλετε αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξεσυρίττετε ἐκ τῶν θεάτρων.

‘I mean when they make (the two members) correspond (bring into comparison, note on ἀποδιδόναι I 1. 7). “He wears his legs as curly as parsley.” (οὖλος, Buttmann Lexil. No. 44 and 88). “Like Philammon, at close quarters with the sack”’. Philammon, a famous Athenian athlete, gained the prize at the Olympian games, Dem. de Cor. § 319.

Harpocr. Φ. τὸν Ἀθηναῖον πύκτην. Eustath. ad Hom. Il. Ψ p. 1324, quoted in Dissen's note on Dem. l. c.

ζυγομαχεῖν] of a close struggle, desperate encounter, prop. of two oxen under the yoke, or of any yoke-fellows. Ruhnken ad Tim. s. v.

τῷ κωρύκῳ] κώρυκος, θύλακος. Suidas. θυλάκιον. ἔστι δὲ δερμάτινον ἀγγεῖον, ὅμοιον ἀσκῷ. Hesychius. ‘A sack filled with bran and olive husks for the young, and sand for the more robust, and then suspended at a certain height, and swung backwards and forwards by the players.’ Dict. Ant. art. ‘Baths,’ p. 144 b. It is evident that this describes only one use of it, namely for amusement or exercise at the baths: this game was called κωρυκομαχία. The other purpose for which it was employed was plainly from this passage that of boxers, who practised upon it. [Compare Plautus, Rudens 722, follem pugilatorium faciam et pendentem incursabo pugnis, and see K. F. Hermann's Privatalterthümer, § 37. 17.]

These two iambic lines, from unknown authors, are clearly selected not for the failure, but the success, of the poet or poets who composed them.

‘(These) and the like are all similes. That all similes are (a kind of, or involve) metaphors, has been stated already many times’.

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.

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