previous next

‘The introduction of the forensic speech must be understood as having the same force (or value, or signification) as the prologue of a drama (τοῦ, the drama to which it belongs), or the introduction to an epic poem: for to the epideictic exordia the preludes (introductions, ἀναβολαί) of the dithyrambs bear resemblance, “for thee and thy gifts, or spoils”’. On the ἀναβολαί, the openings or introductions of dithyrambs, and their loose, incoherent, flighty character, see note on III 9. 1. Introd. p. 307, note 1. It is this which makes them comparable to the epideictic exordia, as above described.

The dramatic, i. e. tragic, prologue, and the introduction of the epic, are compared to the exordium of the dicastic speech, in that all three contain ‘statements of the case’; the last, literally; the tragic and epic, virtually. The prologue of Euripides (who of the three extant tragedians can be the only one whose prologues are referred to) actually states all the preceding circumstances of the story of the drama, which it is necessary that the spectator should be acquainted with in order to enter into the plot. The introduction of the Epic poem is neither so long nor so regular. That of the Iliad occupies only seven lines, and states the subject very simply and in few words. That of the Odyssey is concluded in ten, and little or nothing of the story told. The Aeneid, and Pharsalia have seven apiece.

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: