previous next

‘But (that all this is beside the point, and extra artem;) that it is not addressed to the hearer as a hearer (read by all means ἀκροατής sc. ἐστι: i. e., that it is addressed to him as a hearer and something more, as a man liable to all the defects and infirmities and feelings above mentioned) ‘is plain: for speakers invariably employ their exordia either in prejudicing (the audience against the adversary), or in the endeavour to remove similar apprehensions (of the like suspicions and prejudices) from themselves’. If the audience were mere impartial listeners, met there to hear and judge the case, and nothing more; there would be no occasion for all this accusation and defence with which the orators always fill their prooemia.

The first example referred to, the excuse of the φύλαξ for his lack of speed and his unwelcome message, Soph. Antig. 223 seq., is a case of ἀπολογεῖσθαι φόβους, ‘to remove the threatened danger, or postpone it as long as he can, by a defence’: and the application is, that if he had not been afraid of Creon, if he had been quite sure that Creon was an altogether impartial hearer, he would not have indulged in such a long preface. The second is an example of the same kind from Eur. Iph. Taur. 1162, Thoas to Iphigenia, τί φροιμιάζει νεοχμόν; ἐξαύδα σαφῶς. The actual defence is confined to one line (1161), but Thoas suspects her of entering upon a long apology. Buhle, who could not have looked at the passage, says “Iphig. longo exordio utentem.” The Scholiast (Spengel's Ed. p. 161) here gives a long paraphrase of the watchman's speech. After this, incredible as it may appear, he adds τὸ δὲ τί φροιμιάζῃ τοῦ Κρέοντός ἐστι λέγοντος, as if this had been a continuation of the line from the Antigone.

‘And those who have, or suppose themselves to have, a bad case (lit. their case bad) are apt to indulge in long prooemia: for it is better for them to dwell upon anything rather than upon their case’.—This also is illustrated by the speech of the φύλαξ in the Antigone: and perhaps was suggested by it; for it is not very consecutive—‘And this is why slaves (when charged with a fault, and excusing themselves to their masters) never answer the questions directly, but (state) the attending (surrounding) circumstances, and make a long (roundabout) preface (before they come to the point)’. On τὰ κύκλῳ see 19. 33. Victorius quotes Virg. Georg. II 45, Non hic te carmine ficto Atque per ambages et longa exorsa tencbo.

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: