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Some general remarks upon Style and its virtues, and the various classifications of these in ancient and modern systems of Rhetoric, are given in the Introduction, as preliminary to the paraphrase of this chapter, pp. 279—282. [Volkmann, die Rhetorik der Griechen und Römer, § 43.]


‘Let so much suffice for the consideration (observation) of that (τὰ περὶ ποιητικῆς, c. I. 10); and (now) let it be regarded as settled (or determined) once for all that one virtue of style is to be perspicuous: for a sign of this is, that if the speech (or language) do not explain its meaning, it will fail to perform its own proper function’.

This is a reference to the rule first laid down by Plat. Rep. I 352 D seq., and adopted by Aristotle who constantly recurs to it—see especially Eth. Nic. II 5, init.—that the virtue or excellence of anything, knife, horse, or anything that can be employed as an instrument, is determined by its ἔργον or special function, in the due performance of which it lies. If the special function of language is to explain one's meaning, it is plain that if it fail to do that—if it is not perspicuous—it does not answer its intended purpose.

‘And neither mean nor exaggerated’ (beyond or above the true valuation of the subject it is employed upon, turgid, pompous, inflated), ‘but decent, appropriate, suitable’ (a precept of propriety): ‘for though it may be (ἴσως) poetical language is not tame, yet it is by no means suitable to prose’. Comp. Poet. XXII 1, λέξεως δὲ ἀρετὴ σαφῆ καὶ μὴ ταπεινὴν εἶναι. These are the two indispensable excellences of style, (1) clearness or perspicuity, and (2) propriety. On these see Introduction, p. 280.


‘Of nouns and verbs’ (the ultimate elements, and principal components, of language: see Introd. Appendix A to Bk. III. p. 371. Poet. XXI 8—9) ‘perspicuity is produced by (the use of) proper names, a character not tame but ornate is imparted by all the rest of the (kinds of) words which are enumerated in the Poetics (c. XXI 4): to alter language in this way’ (from the received and familiar expressions to which we are accustomed), ‘invests it with a higher dignity’ (because it makes it unusual, and strange; not familiar, which ‘breeds contempt’): ‘for men have the same feeling in regard of language as they have to strangers as compared with their fellow-citizens’ (they disregard those whom they are in the habit of seeing every day, but are struck with the appearance of strangers, and pay them attention, if not always respect). To the note on κύρια ὀνόματα, Introd. p. 282, note 2, add that in the Rhet. ad Alex. 25 (26) 1, and 30 (31) 6, these are called οἰκεῖα ‘proper’, by a different metaphor.

ἐξαλλάξαι] infra § 5, ἐξαλλάττειν τοῦ πρέποντος, c. 3. 3, τὸ εἰωθὸς ἐξαλλάττειν (which explains it: comp.Poet. XXII 3 infra). So Poet. XXI 4, and 20, ὄνομα ἐξηλλαγμένον, XXII 3, (λέξις) ἐξαλλάττουσα τὸ ἰδιωτικόν, Ib. § 8, ἐξαλλαγαὶ τῶν ὀνομάτων. From which it results that the meaning of the term is ‘a change out of, or departure from ὀνόματα κύρια, the vulgar language, the ordinary mode of expression’, for which something novel, unusual, striking is substituted. Isocr. περὶ ἀντιδόσεως § 179, λόγους διεξιὼν πολὺ τῶν εἰθισμένων λέγεσθαι παρ᾽ ὑμῖν ἐξηλλαγμένους; Demetr. περὶ ἑρμηνείας, περὶ συγκρίσεως ult. (Spengel, Rhet. Gr. III 280), λέξιν περιττὴν καὶ ἐξηλλαγμένην, καὶ ἀσυνήθη. Dionysius, de admirabili vi dicendi in Demosthene, c. 10, ἐξηλλαγμένον τοῦ συνήθους χαρακτῆρος, Ib. c. 15, περιττὰ καὶ ἐξηλλαγμένον τοῦ συνήθους, de Thuc. Iud. c. 28, τὴν διάνοιαν ἐξαλλάττειν ἐκ τῶν ἐν ἔθει, Ep. II ad Amm. c. 3 ἐξηλλαγμένη τῆς συνήθους χρήσεως. Ernesti, Lex. Techn. Gr. s. v.


‘And therefore a foreign air must be given to the language; for people are admirers of (or wonder at) what is far off, remote, and all that is wonderful (excites surprise, raises our curiosity) is agreeable’. Poet. XXIV 17, τὸ δὲ θαυμαστὸν ἡδύ: σημεῖον δὲ, πάντες γὰρ προστιθέντες ἀπαγγέλλουσιν ὡς χαριζόμενοι. Comp. I 11. 21, on the pleasure of ‘wonder’, and the gratification of curiosity in learning: see the note.

ξένην] infra § 6, ξενικόν. Poet. XXII 3.

‘Now in verse of all kinds there are many ways of producing this effect, and there they are appropriate, because the subject (circumstances) and the characters (persons) of the story (the fable or poem) are further removed’ from common life; stand out of, and above, the ordinary level of humanity, Hist. An. I 14. 1)—‘but in prose compositions these (modes of giving novelty and variety to the language) must be much more sparingly used’ (χρηστέον, or are appropriate to fewer occasions, τοῦθ̓, or rather ταῦθ᾽ , ἁρμόττει, Buhle), ‘because the subject (theme, argument1) is less (lower, less elevated),—(and this is true a fortiori in prose) for even in the other (in poetry) if a slave or a very young man were to use fine language it would be rather unbecoming, or (if any one else did so) on a very trifling subject, but on the contrary even in that’ (poetry, not ‘prose’ as Victorius), ‘propriety consists in a due contraction and expansion (amplification)’; the adaptation of the language to the circumstances, raising or lowering it as the occasion requires. Comp. Cic. de Orat. III 38. 153. Orat. LX 202. Also XXI 70, ut enim in vita sic in oratione nihil est difficilius quam quid deceat videre. Πρέπον appellant hoc Graeci; nos dicamus sane decorum. § 72, Quam enim indecorum est de stilicidiis quum apud unum iudicem dicas amplissimis verbis et locis uti communibus, de maiestate populi Romani summisse et subtiliter! De stilicidiis dicere illustrates περὶ λίαν μικρῶν. On the language of poetry and prose, comp. Isocr. Evag. §§ 8—11.

καλλιεπεῖσθαι. Comp. Plat. Apol. Socr. 17 B, κεκαλλιεπημένους λόγους ῥήμασί τε καὶ ὀνόμασιν, οὐδὲ κεκοσμημένους, ἀλλ᾽ ...εἰκῇ λεγόμενα τοῖς ἐπιτυχοῦσιν ὀνόμασι. Thuc. VI 83, Plat. Hipparch. 225 C, τῶν σοφῶν ῥημάτων...ὧν οἱ δεξιοὶ περὶ τὰς δίκας καλλιεποῦνται. Valckenaer, Diatr. Eur. Fr. p. 261 c.


‘Hence—from the necessity of paying attention to the selection of appropriate language in respect of characters and subjects—may be inferred (διό) the necessity of disguising the art employed, and of avoiding the appearance of speaking, not naturally, but artificially’ (πλάττειν fingere, of fiction, or artificial composition), ‘for the one is persuasive, the other the contrary’, (comp. c. 8 § 1, τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀπίθανον, πεπλάσθαι γὰρ δοκεῖ.) ‘For people take offence at (lit. are at variance with, in opposition to) (one who employs artifice) as at one who has a design upon them, just as they do at mixed wines’.

Victorius quotes Plut. Symp. IV p. 661 D, διὸ φεύγουσι τὸν μεμιγμένον οἶνον οἱ πίνοντες: οἱ δὲ μιγνύοντες πειρῶνται λανθάνειν, ὡς ἐπιβουλεύοντες. From this curious coincidence it seems that “mixed wine” must have been proverbial for a concealed enemy: mixed wine, ‘the mixing of liquors’, being, as was supposed, of a much more intoxicating character than unmixed. Philinus is arguing against ποικίλη τροφή: simple food is always best.

‘And as is the case with Theodorus' voice (lit. Theodorus' voice is affected) in comparison with that of all the rest of the actors’ (there should be a colon, instead of a comma, at μεμιγμένους: καὶ οἷον Θεοδώρου is continued from τοῦτο γὰρ πιθανόν: it is an instance of the art disguising art, an artificial voice assuming the appearance of one natural and simple): ‘for his voice appears to be that of the speaker (though it is in reality disguised), but the others as though they belonged to other people’ (were assumed, with the character represented).

Theodorus, a celebrated tragic actor, is mentioned—generally with Polus or Aristodemus—by Dem. de F. L. § 274, bis; Arist. Pol. IV (VII) 17, sub fin., 1336 b 28, from which it appears that, like other great artists and performers, ancient and modern, he presumed upon his reputation and artistic skill: also by Plutarch, frequently, as Bellone an pace cl. f. Ath. c. 6, 348 F, de sui laud. c. 7, 545 F (a dictum of his to Satyrus the comic poet), Praecepta gerendae reipublicae, c. 21, 816 F, Theodorus and Polus taken as types of τὸν ἐν τραγῳδίᾳ πρωταγωνιστήν: probably, by Diogenes Laertius, who at the end of his account of Aristippus, II 8, § 103, 4, enumerates twenty Theodoruses (including the philosopher who gives occasion to this digression), and amongst them one οὗ τὸ φωνασκικὸν (on the exercise of the voice) βίβλιον παγκαλόν: a subject so germane to the profession of a tragic actor, that, although Diogenes says no more about him, one cannot help suspecting that he must be the same with the one here mentioned. Fabricius in his catalogue of Theodoruses, Vol. X, names him with a special reference to the passage of Aristotle's Politics, and a general one to Plutarch, Valckenaer Diatribe ad Eur. Fragm. p. 182 b. He is omitted in Smith's Biographical Dictionary.


‘And this cheat (disguise, delusion) is fairly effected’ (the assumed character escapes observation, is stolen from the view), ‘if the composer selects for his composition words out of the ordinary language (of common life); such as are the verses of Euripides, who gave us the earliest specimen (hint or glimpse, ὑπό) (of this kind of writing)’.

κλέπτεται] Comp. infra § 10, οὐ κλέπτεται οὖν, c. 7. 10, οὕτω κλέπτεται ἀκροατής. Rhet. ad Alex. 15 (16) §§ 5, and 6, κλέπτειν τὴν μαρτυρίαν, Ib. 35 (36) § 4, τὰ δ᾽ ἔξω κλέπτεται. Aesch. Choeph. 839, οὔτοι φρέν᾽ ἂν κλέψειαν ὠμματωμένην. Soph. Phil. 57, τὸ δ᾽ οὐχὶ κλεπτέον (not to be disguised), Aj. 188, εἰ δ᾽ ὑποβαλλόμενοι κλέπτουσι μύθους οἱ μέγαλοι βασιλῆς, et alibi ap. Soph. (Wunder's note ad loc.). Ib. 1135, κλέπτης, 1137, πόλλ᾽ ἂν κακῶς λάθρα σὺ κλέψειας κακά. Eur. Fragm. Ἱππόλυτος καλυπτόμενος, 12, εὐρόοισι στόμασι τἀληθέστατα κλέπτουσι. Dionysius, de Comp. Verb. c. 19, τάσεις (tension, pitching) φωνῆς αἱ καλούμεναι προσῳδίαι διάφοροι, κλέπτουσαι τῇ ποικιλίᾳ τὸν κόρον. Ib. Ars Rhet. c. X § 14, κλέπτοντα τὴν ἀκρόασιν (“captata furtim auditorum attentione,” Reiske). Bacon, Essays, Of great Place, “And do not think to steale it.”

ὑπέδειξε] as I have pointed out, Introd. p. 284, note 2, q. v., may also signify ‘traced as a guide’, for his successors to follow. See also p. 285, note 1, on Euripides' style, and Archimelus' epigram there given.

‘And of the nouns and verbs’ (or subject and predicate, Introd. p. 371, Appendix A to Bk. III), ‘of which the speech (or language, in general) is composed, of which the nouns have so many kinds as have been considered in the treatise on Poetry’ (c. XXI, where, in § 4, eight varieties are enumerated, and then defined seriatim, §§ 5—20), ‘of these words, foreign or obsolete, and (long) compound words’ (Aeschylean compounds), ‘and words invented (manufactured for the occasion), are to be rarely employed, and in rare places (on rare occasions); where (these are), we will state by and by: (in cc. 3 and 7). The why, has been already stated; and that (the why) is because it (the use of them) varies (from the ordinary standard) towards, in the direction of, exaggeration (or excess) beyond propriety (what is becoming)’.

On γλῶτται, διπλᾷ ὀνόματα, see Introd. on c. 3, pp. 287, 8. πεποιημένον δ᾽ ἐστὶν ὅλως μὴ καλούμενον ὑπό τινων αὐτὸς τίθεται ποιητής: οἷον τὰ κέρατα ἔρνυγας καὶ τὸν ἱερέα ἀρητῆρα (Poet. XXI. 17).


‘The proper (ordinary) name, and the special name of anything’ (οἰκεῖον, the thing's own or right name, its special designation, Victorius), ‘and the metaphor, are alone serviceable for the language of prose. And a sign of this is, that these alone are used by everybody (are of universal application); for everyone makes use of metaphors2, and the common’ (sanctioned by common usage) ‘and appropriate words in his ordinary conversation: and therefore it is clear that good composition will have a foreign air (an air of novelty, something unusual, above the flatness and monotony of ordinary, vulgar, talk: § 3), that (the art employed in it) may escape detection (pass unobserved, § 4), and that it will be clear and perspicuous, (in virtue of the κύρια and οἰκεῖα ὀνόματα). And in these, as we said (ἦν, in §§ 1, 3, 4, 5, 6), consists the excellence of the rhetorical speech3’.

With the ‘foreign’, unusual character of good composition, comp. Demetr. περὶ ἑρμηνείας § 77, (Spengel, Rhet. Gr. III 280), τὴν δὲ λέξιν ἐν τῷ χαρακτῆρι τούτῳ περιττὴν εἶναι δεῖ καὶ ἐξηλλαγμένην καὶ ἀσυνήθη μᾶλλον. οὕτω γὰρ ἕξει τὸν ὄγκον, δὲ κυρία καὶ συνήθης σαφὴς μὲν, λειτὴ δὲ καὶ εὐκαταφρόνητος.

κύριον ὄνομα is χρῶνται ἕκαστοι (Poet. XXI 5), opposed to γλῶττα ἕτεροι: the common, usual, established, term, for expressing anything, opposed to the foreign and barbarous, or archaic and obsolete γλῶττα. The word derives its special meaning from the original signification of κύριος, ‘carrying authority’, ‘authoritative’; whence ‘authorised, established, fixed (by authority), settled’, as κύριος νόμος, δόγμα, κυρία ἡμέρα, ἐκκλησία, opposed to the irregular ἐκκλησία σύγκλητος, convoked at uncertain times on special occasions: and hence applied to the established, settled, regular name of a thing. See further on κύριον ὄνομα in note 2, Introd. pp. 282, 3. [On κύριος, compare notes on I 2. 4 and 3. 4.]

οἰκεῖον ὄνομα expresses much the same thing by a different metaphor. It is something ‘of one's own’, appropriate, peculiar, characteristic, special. This is the Latin ‘nomen proprium’, of which Cicero says, de Or. III 37, 149, quae propria sunt, et certa (‘definite’) quasi vocabula rerum, paene una nata cum rebus ipsis (naturally belonging to them). From these are distinguished quae transferuntur (all metaphorical words) et quasi alieno in loco collocantur: aut iis quae novamus et facimus ipsi (all foreign innovations on the ordinary language, aliena, Cicero, γλῶτται, διπλᾶ ὀνόματα, πεποιημένα, &c.). Cicero and the Latins do not distinguish κύρια and οἰκεῖα. Yet, as Victorius has pointed out, he uses terms exactly corresponding to those of Aristotle: de Or. III 39, 159, quod omnes translatis et alienis magis quam propriis et suis. For even if we understand here suis of their own language (as I suppose we should), this is immediately followed by nam si res suum nomen et vocabulum proprium non habet; and in pro Caecina, c. 18 § 51, we have, res ut omnes suis certis ac propriis vocabulis nominentur. οἰκεῖος stands for κύριος, Metaph. Δ 29, 1024 a 32, of Antisthenes, εὐηθῶς ᾤετο μηθὲν ἀξιῶν λέγεσθαι πλὴν τῷ οἰκείῳ λόγῳ ἓν ἐφ᾽ ἑνός.


This is a parenthetical note: it has little to do with Rhetoric except so far as it occupies common ground with poetry, in the use of synonyms. ‘Of names (words) homonyms (ambiguous words, with more than one meaning) are useful to the Sophist’ (the fallacious reasoner; see II 24. 2, the topic of ὁμωνυμία, and the note)—‘for those are the (principal) instruments of his (logical) frauds or cheats; to the poet, synonyms’. The homonym and the synonym are defined at the commencement of the Categories. The former is a word of more than one signification, of which the several definitions do not agree; so that the name being the same, the one signification can be employed fallaciously for the other: synonyms are words which can be variously applied, in which the name and the definition (or meaning) do agree; as animal, can be said with truth of man and ox. Trendelenburg, El. Log. Ar. § 42, p. 116, on synonyms. Of hononyms Quintilian says, Inst. Or. VII 9. 2, singula afferunt errorem, quum pluribus rebus aut hominibus eadem appellatio est, (ὁμωνυμία dicitur) ut Gallus; avem enim, an gentem, an nomen, an fortunam corporis significet incertum est: et Aiax Telamonis an Oilei filius. Verba quoque quaedam diversos intellectus habent, ut cerno: (with the application of it in suits of law). Of this logical application of κακουργεῖν, see the examples quoted in note on I 1. 10.

‘By proper and synonymous I mean such words as πορεύεσθαι and βαδίζειν: these are both of them proper and identical in meaning’. According to Trendelenburg, u. s., πορεύεσθαι is the genus and βαδίζειν the species, both predicable of animals in the same sense: “Aristoteles enim constanter vocabulum (συνώνυμος) ita frequentavit, ut vel eiusdem generis formas vel genus et species, quatenus communi nomine comprehenduntur, synonyma diceret.” The use of these to the poet lies in this, that they help him to give variety to his diction, and relieve him from the necessity of constantly repeating the same word.

‘Now what each of these things is’—i. e. the things already enumerated, nomina propria, translata, συνώνυμα &c. (Victorius)—‘and the number of the kinds of metaphors, and that this, metaphor, is most effective both in poetry and prose, has been already stated, as we said (§ 2, τῶν δ᾽ ὀνομάτων καὶ ῥημάτωντἆλλα ὀνόματα ὅσα εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς περὶ ποιητικῆς), in our work on poetry’. Max Schmidt, in his tract On the date of the Rhetoric, Halle, 1837 (frequently referred to in the Introd.), and before him Victorius, notices here, that the synonyms alone of all the words here referred to do not appear in the Poetics; from which each of them infers a lacuna in that work: more especially as Simplicius had left on record that Aristotle had treated of them in his book on poetry. There is another loss in that work indicated by a reference in Rhet. I 11. 29 [and III 18. 7] to the Poetics for an account of τὸ γελοῖον, which is now no longer to be found there.


‘And they require all the more diligent attention (φιλοπονεῖν ‘labour con amore,’ fond, affectionate, loving, care and pains), to be bestowed upon them in prose, in proportion as the sources from which prose draws its aids or supplies are fewer than those of verse’: see ante § 3. I have translated τοσούτῳ which seems much more likely than τοσοῦτο. If the latter be retained, it can only mean ‘so much as I have described’, but where? or when? I have no doubt that τοσούτῳ is the right reading. [“οὕτω A (quod Bekkerum fugit) Q, unde iam Victorius τοσούτῳ restituit.” Spengel.]

‘And perspicuity’ (perhaps rather, ‘clearness’ in the sense of vivid, graphic, representation4), ‘and pleasure, and the foreign air, are conveyed by metaphor more than in any other way’, (more than by any other kind of word which can be used to give an extraneous interest to language). ἔστι δὲ μέγα μὲν τὸ ἑκάστῳ τῶν εἰρημένων πρεπόντως χρῆσθαι, καὶ διπλοῖς ὀνόμασι καὶ γλώτταις, πολὺ δὲ μέγιστον τὸ μεταφορικὸν εἶναι. Poet. XXIII. 16. The pleasure derived from metaphors is that we learn something from them; they bring into view hitherto unnoticed resemblances between things the most apparently dissimilar. τὸ εὖ μεταφέρειν τὸ το ὅμοιον θεωρεῖν, Poet. XXII 17. Top. Z 2, 140 a 9. This is the fourth kind of metaphor, that from analogy, and by far the commonest and most attractive. On the pleasure of learning, see I 11. 21 and 23, III 10. 2.

‘And it can't be derived (acquired) from anyone else’. This does not of course mean that one writer or speaker cannot borrow a metaphor from another; but that the invention of metaphors is a mark of original genius, and therefore cannot be taught, derived from another in the way of instruction. Not that metaphors in general are confined to men of genius, πάντες γὰρ μεταφοραῖς διαλέγονται, § 6; but they all shew originality more or less, and are marks of natural (not acquired) ability, or genius, each in proportion to its merit. μόνον γὰρ τοῦτο (τὸ μεταφορικόν) οὔτε παρ᾽ ἄλλου ἔστι λαβεῖν, εὐφυΐας τε σημεῖόν ἐστιν: τὸ γὰρ εὖ μεταφέρειν τὸ τὸ ὅμοιον θεωρεῖν ἐστίν. Poet. XXII 17. And therefore, the more remote the resemblance between the two objects brought together by the metaphor, the more ingenuity and natural ability is required for detecting it.

Harris, Philol. Inq., Part II, ch. 10, takes this view of the meaning; “that metaphor is an effort of genius and cannot be taught is here again (in the present passage) asserted in the words, καὶ λαβεῖν...παρ᾽ ἄλλου.” Whately, on the other hand, denies that this means, “as some interpreters suppose, that this power is entirely a gift of nature, and in no degree to be learnt: on the contrary he expressly affirms that the ‘perception of resemblances’ on which it depends is the fruit of ‘philosophy’: but he means that metaphors are not to be, like other words and phrases, selected from common use and transferred from one composition to another, but must be formed for the occasion” [Rhetoric, chap. III p. 277 ult.]. Whatever Aristotle may have said elsewhere, it is certain that what he says in the Poetics, and therefore in this passage which is repeated from it, is what Harris has described: the close connexion of παρ᾽ ἄλλου λαβεῖν with the following εὐφυΐα shews this unmistakably. Besides this, a remark about borrowing metaphors from other people's speeches or writings is not only trivial in itself, but here altogether out of place: and if it were not, why should metaphors be singled out from all other forms of speech as things that should not be borrowed? Is not purloining your neighbour's thoughts or expressions or bons mots equally reprehensible in all cases? or may γλῶτται and πεποιημένα and the rest, all of them be ‘borrowed’, and metaphors alone excepted? Victorius, according to Schrader, renders it, “non licet semper sumere ipsam ab alio auctore,” which he approves, and interprets, that you musn't be always begging or borrowing your metaphors from others, when you can and ought to invent them yourself. In my copy of Vettori's Commentary [Petri Victorii Commentarii in Opera Aristotelis, 5 vols. folio, published at Florence, 1548—1583], these words do not occur: the passage is there explained, as it should be, of ‘acquiring metaphors’ from any one but oneself: they being due to a natural ingenuity. Victorius also says that this remark, upon the inventive power which they presuppose, is introduced as an additional recommendation of metaphors: and refers to one of the topics of Top. III., the degrees of good, καὶ μὴ ἔστι παρ᾽ ἄλλου πορίσασθαι ἔστι παῤ ἄλλου, what can't be procured from another, any native excellence or advantage, is superior to anything that can. Also c. I, 116 b 10, τὸ φύσει τοῦ μὴ φύσει (αἱρετώτερον) τὸ μὲν γὰρ φύσει, τὸ δ᾽ ἐπίκτητον, the superiority of the natural to the acquired.


‘Epithets’ (including not only single adjectives, but any ornamental or descriptive addition to a plain ὄνομα κύριον, as a sauce to a joint; see Introd. p.289) ‘and metaphors must be made appropriate (in the former, to the subjects to which they are applied, in the latter to those to which we transfer them from something else): this appropriateness will proceed from the proportion’ (between the epithet or metaphor and the thing it is applied to in either case: “si ex proportione duxerimus, observaverimusque ut ipsa sibi mutuo respondeant, similemque rationem inter se habeant.” Victorius): ‘otherwise (εἰ μή εἰσιν ἁρμόττουσαι) the impropriety will be apparent, glaring, (by the juxtaposition), because the opposition of two contraries becomes most apparent when they are placed side by side of one another. But (on the contrary) we must consider, as a scarlet coat is suitable to a youth, so also (what is suitable) to an old man: for the same dress is not becoming to both’.

φανεῖται, φαίνεσθαι] in the emphatic sense, equivalent to φανερὸν εἶναι— which occurs in the parallel passage, II 23. 30—is illustrated in note on II 2. 1, and I 7. 31 [p. 141]. The observation that παράλληλα τὰ ἐναντία μᾶλλον φαίνεται is a favourite one with Aristotle. The parallels from the Rhetoric are quoted in note on II 23. 27. Add Dem. de F. L. § 192, παρ᾽ ἄλληλα γὰρ ἔσται φανερώτερα.

An inappropriate epithet may be illustrated by the substitution of amabile and formosum for horrendum and informe in Virgil's line, Monstrum horrendum informe ingens cui lumen ademptum: a metaphor is inappropriate when you bring some incongruous notion into juxta-position with the object which you ‘invest’ with your metaphor, like an old man with the incongruous dress of a scarlet coat;—although viridis is not inappropriate to senectus, though greenness and old age might seem incongruous, because in this application of the metaphor the proportion or ratio is observed between the freshness implied in the green vegetation and the freshness and vigour of old age, and the two are thus brought under a common genus. When old age is called the evening of life the metaphor is appropriate, because there is a true proportion or analogy; evening: the day :: old age: man's life; evening and old age are under a common genus, viz. the close of a period, ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένει, infra; comp. Poet. XXI 10, ταμεῖν, ἀρύσαι: ἄμφω γὰρ ἀφελεῖν τι ἐστίν. But when Shakespeare [Hamlet, III i. 59] speaks of taking arms against a sea of troubles there is neither proportion nor congruity: and in such cases, when the two notions are placed side by side, and so brought directly into contrast, the incongruity becomes at once apparent. This kind of solecism is usually called ‘confusion of metaphor’.


‘And if you want to set off anything (if praise is your object), you must take your metaphor from the superior (better, more honourable or valuable) things that fall under the same genus; if blame, from the inferior. As an instance of my meaning; since contraries are (the extremes of the species) under the same genus, to say that one that prays, begs, and one that begs, prays, is to do this; because both of them are kinds of petition’. These are the two extremes of the genus petition, or solicitation; praying the highest form, begging the lowest; ‘as also (besides others, καί) Iphicrates (called) Callias (whom he wished to depreciate) μητραγύρτης instead of δᾳδοῦχος [‘a mendicant priest’, instead of ‘bearer of the mystic torch’]. The other (Callias) replied, that he (his opponent) never could have been initiated (or he would have been incapable of such a mistake), else he would not have called him μητραγύρτης but δᾳδοῦχος—for it is true (adds Aristotle, by way of explanation) that they are both attached to the service of a goddess (both come under the common genus ‘servants of a goddess’), but the one is a term of honour, the other of dishonour’. It is much like calling the Precentor of a Cathedral a ballad-singer.

τὰ ἐναντία ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένεῖ] This is the definition of ‘contrary’, ἐναντίον: τὰ πλεῖστον ἀλλήλων διεστηκότα τῶν ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένει ἐναντία ὁρίζονται, Categ. c. 6, 6 a 17.

Καλλίας is the third of that name, the son of the third Hipponicus, of that noble and wealthy Athenian family, of which the heads received these names alternately during several generations, Arist. Ran. 283, Ἱππόνικος Καλλίου κἀξ Ἱππονίκου Καλλίας. The title of δᾳδοῦχος, hereditary in his family, is especially assigned to him by Xenophon, Hellen. VI 3. 3, Καλλίας δᾳδοῦχος. His pride in this distinction would of course have rendered him much more susceptible to the slight conveyed by Iphicrates' ignorant, or malicious, mistake. The substitution of the one word for the other, though evidently interpreted by Callias (from his reply) as a mistake made in ignorance of the distinction between the two—perhaps wilfully, to save his dignity—is much more likely to have been intentional and malicious. Callias was a vain foolish man— see Xenoph. l. c. § 3, ult. and Callias' speech §§ 4, 5, 6,—and Iphicrates, the self-made man, who had risen to distinction by his own merits, ἐξ οἵων εἰς οἷα, would doubtless have enjoyed a joke at the expense of the pompous and empty ‘descendant of Triptolemus’ (Xen. l. c.) and hereditary δᾳδοῦχος of the Great Mysteries. Xenophon mentions him as one of the ambassadors to the congress at Sparta in 371 B. C., in virtue of his here ditary προξενία of that state. There is a good account of this Callias by Mr Elder in Smith's Biogr. Dict. He is the entertainer of the Sophists in the Protagoras, and the host of Xenophon's ‘Banquet’. On Callias and his family, its wealth and splendour, see Böckh, Publ. Econ. of Athens, Bk. IV c. 3, pp. 42, 3 (Lewis' Transl.), and Heindorf's learned note on Protag. 311.

The δᾳδουχία was, as we have seen, an office of great distinction. The δᾳδοῦχος led the procession of the μύσται froin Athens to Eleusis on the fifth day of the great Eleusinia, the torch-day, τῶν λαμπάδων ἡμέρα. See Dict. Antiq. Art. ‘Eleusinia,’ p. 373 b. Rich, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant. s. v. p. 232.

μητραγύρτης, on the contrary, implies everything that is vile and contemptible: it is the designation of a class of profligate beggars, chiefly women, who attached themselves to the worship of some particular deity—usually Cybele, the Magna Mater, from which μητραγύρτης is taken—at whose festivals they attended to ply their profession, that of ἀγείρειν, collecting alms, stipem cogere, and then practised every kind of imposture and indulged in every variety of licentiousness. They seem also to have gone their rounds through the great houses in cities, Plat. Rep. II 364 B—C, fortune-telling, and with charms and spells (as to draw down the gods from heaven) and other nostrums for sale. They carried about with them an image of the goddess in whose name they asked alms. Lobeck, Aglaophamus, p. 629, compares them to mendicant friars or Béguines, and designates them viles Metragyrtas. Menander wrote two or three plays upon them, the Θεοφορουμένη and Μητραγύρτης (or Μηναγύρτης, so Meineke, Fr. Comic. Gr., Menander, IV 163, on which see Lobeck, ibid. 645, note), and the Ἱέρεια, which, from the lines εἰ γὰρ ἕλκει τὸν Θεὸν τοῖς κυμβάλοις ἄνθρωπος εἰς βούλεται, Lobeck supposes (apparently with little reason) to have been directed against the Μητραγύρται. Meineke, ib. Menand. IV 140. Compare on their character, Antiphanes, Fragm. Μισοπονήρου, Meineke, Ib. III 86, αὗται δ᾽ ὑπερβάλλουσι μετά γε νὴ Δία τοὺς μητραγυρτοῦντάς γε: πολὺ γὰρ αὖ γένος μιαρώτατον τοῦτ̓ ἐστίν, κ.τ.λ. On incantations and the like, see Ruhnken ad ἐπαγωγαί, p. 114. To this extremity Dionysius the younger, once tyrant of Syracuse, was finally reduced, αὐτὸς δὲ Διονύσιος τέλος μητραγυρτῶν καὶ τυμπανοφορούμενος οἰκτρῶς τὸν βίον κατέστρεψε: Clearchus ap. Athen. 541 C (Victorius). The μητραγύρται, male and female, did not confine themselves to a single goddess, though Cybele was their favourite, but also attached themselves to the service of Isis; and apparently to that of Demeter and Cora (from the present passage); of Opis and Arge, Hdt. IV 35; and in general, of those whose worship was of an orgiastic character, see by all means Ruhnken ad Tim. p. 10, s. v. ἀγείρειν. Here there are two goddesses implied, Demeter in δᾳδοῦχος, and Cybele in μητραγύρτης. There is a short article in Dict. Antiq. on the subject under ἀγύρτης.

ἀγείρειν is used to signify collecting alms, or begging, several times by Herodotus; twice, for instance, in IV 35. By Homer, ἀγείρεσθαι and ἀγυρ- τάζειν, Od. τ [XIX] 284. Plato, Rep. II 364 B, 381 D. Dem. π. τ. ἐν χεῤῥον. 96. 17, ἀφ᾽ ὧν ἀγείρει καὶ προσαιτεῖ καὶ δανείζεται. Hence ἀγύρτης, ἀγυρτρία, ‘a vagabond’, one that goes about collecting for a deity. Aesch. Agam. 1244, Cassandra of herself, καλουμένη δὲ φοιτάς, ὡς ἀγυρτρία, Blomfield's Gloss. ad loc. Soph. Oed. R. 387, μάγον τοιόνδε...δόλιον ἀγύρτην. Lysippus, Comic. ap. Meineke, Lys. II p. 746, Fragm. Cratin. Δραπετ. 11, Ib. II 51 Eubul. κυβευταί, Fr. 2, V 5, σφάλλων, ἀγύρτης οἶστρος. Rhes. 503, of Ulysses, ἀγύρτης πτωχικὴν ἔχων στολήν. Ib. 715, βίον δ᾽ ἐπαιτῶν εἷρπ̓ ἀγύρτης τις λάτρις.

The next is a case of the same kind; of two possible designations of actors one takes the lowest and most contemptuous, the other the opposite and highest and most complimentary. Διονυσοκόλακες represents them as parasites or flatterers, not worthy to be companions or friends of the god; the lowest and most degraded form of service, of Dionysus the patron deity of the stage and its belongings (Aristophanes passim) τεχνίται as ‘artists’, or ‘artistes’—as the lower kind of professional performers, singers, dancers, posture-makers, are fond of calling themselves nowadays by way of dignifying their profession: the term is actually applied to them by Dem. de F. L. § 212, of Philip who collected at a festival πάντας τοὺς τεχνίτας; on which Ulpian (quoted by Shilleto ad loc.) τοὺς ὑποκριτὰς οὕτω καλεῖ κωμικούς τε καὶ τραγικούς. Shilleto adds, ut aiunt in Graecis artificibus, Cic. pro Murena 13 (29). [Ar. Problems 30. 10, 956 b 11, διὰ τί οἱ Διονυσιακοὶ τεχνῖται ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ πονηροί εἰσιν; referred to by Aulus Gellius, XX 4. Comp. Alciphron, III 48, (Λικύμνιον τὸν τραγῳδὸν) ὃν ἐγὼ τῆς ἀχαρίστου φωνῆς ἕνεκα αὐτοκόρυδον καλεῖσθαι πρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ τοῦ χοροῦ τῶν Διονυσοκολάκων ἔκρινα (Otto Lüders, die Dionysischen Künstler, 1873, pp. 58—63).]

The common genus or notion which unites Διονυσοκόλακες and τεχνῖται as ‘contraries’ is that of service to a deity: the τεχνῖται as well as the κόλακες being assumed as actors, to be devoted to his especial service. The distinction is that between true art, and low buffoonery. This, as far as I can see, is the whole meaning of the passage.

Victorius however, and Schweighäuser on Athen. VI 249 F, drag in here, wholly as I can conceive beside the point, another sense of Διονυσοκόλακες in which it was applied to the flatterers of Dionysius of Syracuse—of whose filthy and disgusting practices Theophrastus (quoted in Wyttenbach on Plut. p. 53, F) gives some revolting examples—in a double sense, of Dionysus and Dionysius: see their notes for the explanation of this. (It is supposed by them and Mr Shilleto u. s. to be a joke; if so, it is of a very frigid description.) Wyttenbach says (note ad Plut. l. c.) “Actores scenici honesto nomine dicebantur οἱ περὶ Διόνυσον τεχνῖται, per contemptum Διονυσοκόλακες”: which is no doubt all that is meant here, though he refers to Victorius' note, who makes a great deal more out of it. This special sense of τεχνῖται is fully confirmed by another passage of Athen. V 198 B describing a magnificent procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus (cc. 25—30), μεθ᾽ οὓς ἐπορεύετο Φιλίσκος ποιητής, ἱερεὺς ὢν Διονύσου, καὶ πάντες οἱ περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον τεχνῖται. It occurs also in Diog. Laert. X 4. 8, Epicurus called τοὺς περὶ Πλάτωνα (Plato's followers) Διονυσοκόλακας, καὶ αὐτὸν Πλάτωνα χρυσοῦν (which is translated ‘Dionysii assentatores’ in Cobet's corrected version, though Dionysius can surely have nothing to do with the matter, any more than here). Here also the word is a term of reproach; and seems by this time to have become proverbial for gross and low flattery: “tanquam assentatores eos, non sodales, insimulans.” Victorius. Victorius understands the term, as here used, to express the lowest order of attendants on the stage (parasites of Bacchus), such as the scene-shifters, candle-snuffers, and such like menials of a modern theatre, but another passage of Athen. XI 538 F,—καὶ ἔκτοτε οἱ πρότερον καλούμενοι Διονυσοκόλακες Ἀλεξανδροκόλακες ἐκλήθησαν, διὰ τὰς τῶν δώρων ὑπερβολάς: ἐφ᾽ οἷς καὶ ἥσθη Ἀλέξανδρος. This occurs in a list of the entertainments which were exhibited in a great marriage-feast given by Alexander after the capture of Darius, taken from a work of Chares, ‘the histories of Alexander’. Now whether ἐφ᾽ οἷς ἥσθη refers to Alexander's delight at their gifts (neut.) or at themselves (masc.), that is, their acting, in either case their employment could not have been of the mean and degrading character attributed to it by Victorius—in the one case they were too rich, in the other, if they amused him, they must have been actors, or at all events above the degree of menials, though their acting may have been mere grimace and buffoonery.

‘And one (to vex and lower them) calls them’ (whether this means any ‘one’ in particular, we do not know) ‘parasites of Dionysus (low buffoons), whereas they themselves style themselves artists: and each of these is a metaphor (artist as applied to them is a metaphor, I suppose, because the proper object of art is productionτέχνη μέτα λόγου ποιητική, ταὐτὸν ἂν εἴη τέχνη καὶ ἕξις μετὰ λόγου ἀληθοῦς ποιητική: and ποίησις being distinguished from πρᾶξις, ἀνάγκη τὴν τέχνην ποιήσεως ἀλλ᾽ οὐ πράξεως εἶναι. Eth. Nic. VI 4, 1140 a 7 seq.—and these men produce nothing; their profession is practical, ends in πρᾶξις, or action), ‘the one for the purpose of (lit. belonging to) blackening (soiling, defaming), the other the contrary’.

ῥυπαίνειν (ῥύπος, dirt), Eth. N. I 9, 1099 b 3, ἐνίων δὲ τητώμενοι ῥυπαίνουσι τὸ μακάριον, ‘their bliss is tarnished, sullied, defiled, defaced’. Pherecrates, ap. Meineke, Fr. Comic. Gr. II 352, Pherecr. Fr. Inc. 48, ap. Photium, Suidam, Thomam Magistrum. “Schol. ad Ar. Nub. 97, εἰς δουλείαν ἐῤῥυπαίνετο φιλόσοφος. Simile est ἐπισμῇν.” Meineke, Id. ad fragm. Cratini, Cleobul. 9, ap. Schol. ad Arist. Thermoph. 389, τί γὰρ ἡμᾶς οὐκ ἐπισμῇ τῶν κακῶν; Dion. de Isocr. Iudicium, c. 18, καὶ οὔτ᾽ Ἀριστοτέλει πείθομαι ῥυπαίνειν τὸν ἄνδρα βουλομένῳ.

‘And pirates nowadays call themselves purveyors’. So Pistol, in Merry Wives of Windsor, I 3. 49, “Convey the wise it call: Steal, foh! a fico for the phrase!”

νῦν] referring to the early times spoken of by Thucyd., I 5, when the Greeks ἐτράποντο πρὸς ληστείαν...οὐκ ἔχοντός πω αἰσχύνην τούτου τοῦ ἔργου, φέροντος δέ τι καὶ δόξης μᾶλλον, κ.τ.λ. On what follows, see Homer, Od. III 73, and elsewhere.

On the actual πορισταί at Athens, see Schneider's note on Arist. Pol. I 11, ult., Comm. p. 65.

‘And therefore (by the same rule) wrong may be called error, and error wrong’ (both of them kinds of injury or offence; that is here the supposition in ἁμαρτάνειν; but the one is a crime because it is done with a bad προαίρεσις or moral purpose, the other a venial offence; ἄνευ δὲ κακίας ἁμάρτημα κ.τ.λ. Eth. N. V 10, 1135 b 18 seq.) ‘and stealing either taking or robbing (on a grand scale)’.

‘A phrase like that of Euripides’ Telephus, “He lords it over the oar (sways it, like a sceptre, the emblem of royalty), and having on his departure for Mysia,” is unbecoming (inappropriate), because ruling, swaying, lording, is too big, pompous, for the value (measure, merits) (of the object described); and so, the disguise (concealment) is not effected (the art or effort becomes apparent, supra, § 5).

κώπης ἀνάσσων κἀποβὰς εἰς Μυσίαν] The rest of the sentence is supplied by the Schol. ἐτραυματίσθη πολεμίῳ βραχίονι. The first line should be read [not, as in the MSS, κώπας ἀνάσσειν, καὶ ἀποβὰς εἰς Μυσίαν, but] as it is by Dindorf, Poet. Sc., Fragm. Eur. Tel. 20, and Wagner, Fragm. Tel. 10 (Fr. Trag. Gr. II 359), κώπης ἀνάσσων κἀποβὰς εἰς Μυσίαν. ἀνάσσειν takes the genit. and dative, not the accus. κώπης ἄναξ and ἀνάσσειν et similia are found elsewhere in Eurip. Helen. 1048, Cyclops [86], and Aesch. Pers. 378. In Aeschylus the pompous phrase is much more characteristic. The cautious and sober Sophocles never employs it.


‘There is also a fault (which may be committed) in the (composition of, and the sound thence arising of the) syllables of a word if (i. e. if ever, or when) they are not signs or marks (indications, representations) of sweet or agreeable voice’ (i. e. if, when they are pronounced, or expressed by the voice, they don't produce an agreeable sound; φωνή is the sound of the voice, or the voice as uttered, and forming words) ‘as Dionysius the Brazen calls poetry in his elegies “Calliope's screech,” because they are both voices’—and so far his metaphor was right: both terms fall under the same genus, φωνή, the met. εἶδος πρὸς εἶδος—‘but his metaphor is a bad one by reason of its unsignificant sounds’.

κραυγή] a screech, scream, any harsh and dissonant sound. κράζειν, with which it is connected, expresses the harsh voices of certain animals as the ‘croak’ of the raven and the frog, and the ‘bawling’ of a man, all suggestive of disagreeable associations. The ‘badness of the metaphor’ seems to reside in this. ἄσημος φωνή is, it is true, nothing but a non-significant voice or sound,’ applied, Poet. XX §§ 5, 6, 7, to sounds like syllables, and conjunctions, which signify nothing by themselves, but only in combination with other sounds or words; and opposed to σημαντικαί, sounds which do signify something each by itself, as noun and verb §§ 8, 9. But these non-significant sounds, which represent discordant and unmeaning cries, are here to be interpreted as expressing also the associations which they suggest, and so κραυγή, which suggests all these disagreeable cries and screams, is particularly ill applied as a metaphor to the sweetest of all voices, such as that of a Muse.

‘Dionysius the Brazen’, so called from having first suggested the use of bronze money at Athens, Athen. XV 669 D, was a poet and rhetorician, ibid., whose floruit is to be referred to the earlier part of the fifth cent. B. C., judging from a remark in Plut. Nic. c. 5, 526 B, where we are told that there was in Nicias’ household a man called Hiero, who claimed to be the son of Dionysius the Brazen. A further account of him is to be found in Smith's Biographical Dictionary, Dionysius no. 16; and a collection of the fragments of his elegies, amounting to seven, in Bergk, Fragm. Lyr. Gr. p. 432 [p. 468, 2nd ed.]. In fragm. 5 there is a still worse specimen of his metaphors preserved, which beats even the κώπης ἀνάσσει, and in the same kind of fault. καί τινες οἶνον ἄγοντες ἐν εἰρεσίῃ Διονύσου, συμποσίου ναῦται καὶ κυλικῶν ἐρέται.

[On the Bronze coinage of Athens, see Beule's Monnaies d'Athènes, pp. 73—77. It seems impossible to say with certainty, either when it first came in, or what is the date of the oldest bronze money extant. Leake supposes it probable that it came in soon after the first unsuccessful attempt to introduce it, while Beule thinks that the early extant bronzes are of the age of Alexander. It is certain they were in circulation in the time of Philemon, the Comic poet. See Leake's Numismata Hellenica (European Greece), p. 22. These details are due to Professor Churchill Babington.]

On harshness of sound in composition, see Hermog. περὶ ἰδεῶν Τομ. ά. c. 7, περὶ τραχύτητος, Spengel Rhet. Gr. II 299. Of the second class, the ἀφ᾽ ἑαυτῶν σκληραί, the harshness arising ‘out of themselves’ from the disagreeable combination of the letters, ἀταρπός, ἔμαρπτεν, ἔγναμψε, and such like, are given as examples. In the same treatise Τομ. β᾽ . c. 4, (II 359), there are some remarks upon the connexion of sounds with pleasant associations, which make the sounds themselves pleasant.


‘Further, they must not be far-fetched, but from things kindred (cognate) and of like form must be transferred notions (in the form of words) hitherto nameless in the fashion of names (so as to become new names), any one of which as soon as spoken will be clearly perceived to be near of kin, as in the popular (famous) aenigma, ‘I saw man gluing upon man bronze with fire’; for the process was nameless, but both of them are a kind of application (the common genus); and accordingly he (the author of verses) gave the name of ‘gluing’ to the application of the cupping glass.’

πόρρωθεν] infra c. 3. 4, ἀσαφεῖς δὲ ἂν πόρρωθεν. Demetrius, περὶ ἑρμηνείας, 78, μήτε μὴν πόῤῥωθεν μετενηνεγμέναις (μεταφοραῖς. χρηστέον), ἀλλ᾽ αὐτόθεν καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ὁμοίου. Cic. de Or. III 41. 163, Deinde videndum est ne longe simile sit ductum. Syrtem patrimonii, scopulum libentius dixerim; Charybdim bonorum, voraginem potius. Facilius enim ad ea quae visa, quam quae audita, mentis oculi feruntur. Ib. II 63. 255, of jokes, in quo, ut ea quae sint frigidiora vitemus—etenim cavendum est ne arcessitum dictum putetur... Quint. VIII Proem. 23, sunt optima minime arcessita. Similarly of arguments supra, I 2. 12, II 22. 3. Top. A 105 a 8.

ἀνώνυμα ὠνομασμένως] Cic. de Or. III 38. 155, tertius ille modus transferendi verbi late patet, quem necessitas genuit inopia coacta et angustiis, post autem iucunditas delectatioque celebravit. In fact, to say nothing of others, words which stand for moral and intellectual operations, notions, abstractions, conceptions, are and must be ultimately derived by metaphor from objects of sense: see Locke, who gives a list of them, Essay, Bk. III ch. 1. 5, Berkeley, Three Dialogues, Dial. III Vol. 1 p. 202 (4to. ed.), “most part of the mental operations” (this is saying far too little) “being signified by words borrowed from sensible things; as is plain in the terms, comprehend, reflect, discourse, &c.” Whewell, Nov. Org. Renov. Bk. IV 1, p. 260. Renan, Orig. du Langage, p. 128, seq. Leibnitz, Nouv. Essais sur l'entend. hum. III 1. 5 (quoted by Renan), Max Müller, Lect. on science of Lang. 1st series, Vol. 1 p. 377 seq.

The second line of this aenigma, which completes it, is found in Athen. X 452 C, the only author, says Victorius, who gives it entire, οὕτω συγκόλλως ὥστε σύναιμα ποιεῖν. τοῦτο δὲ σημαίνει τῆς σικύας προσβολήν. It is inserted amongst the αἰνίγματα, No. VIII in the Anthology, Vol. IV p. 288, Jacobs' ed., and preceded by another on the same subject in four lines. The first line is also quoted, Poet. XXII 5, Demetr. περὶ ἑρμηνείας § 102, (Demetrius recommends that aenigmatical expressions of this kind should be avoided), and Plut. Symp. Sept. Sap. 154 B (Victorius). Harris, Philol. Inq. Pt. II ch. 10, on aenigmas. [On the cupping-instrument referred to in the riddle, compare Juvenal XIV 58 (with Mayor's note), iam pridem caput hoc ventosa cucurbita quaerit. Bronze specimens about four inches high, found by Pompeii, may be seen in the Museum at Naples.]

‘And in general, from all ingenious, well-constructed, aenigmas good metaphors may be derived: for all metaphors convey (imply) an aenigma, plainly therefore a metaphor (so borrowed from a good aenigma) must be itself well converted (i. e. a well-selected metaphor)’. Cicero thought less highly of aenigmas as a source of metaphors; at all events metaphors, accumulated till they become aenigmas, are reprehensible. De Or. III 42. 167, est hoc (translatio) magnum ornamentum orationis, in quo obscuritas fugienda est: etenim hoc genere fiunt ea quae dicuntur aenigmata.

εὖ μετενήνεκται] is rendered by Cicero (according to Victorius) ratione translata, and quae sumpta ratione est, de Or. III 40. 160. τὸ ἐπιεικὲς μεταφέρομεν ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, Eth. N. V. 14, sub init.


‘And (metaphors should be taken) from things fair and noble (subaudi δεῖ λαβεῖν μεταφοράς): but the beauty of a word (especially a noun, which can represent some visible or audible object), as Licymnius says, resides either in the sound or the sense (the thing signified), and the ugliness in like manner’.

When Aristotle wrote τὸ μὲν, he seems to have intended to introduce τὸ δέ to correspond as the second member of the division, which was afterwards carelessly changed into . It is surprising however that he never corrected such palpable blunders as these, for which he must have had frequent opportunities. Did he think that they were of no consequence in writing, of which the object was instruction only? He says at any rate, III 1. 6, that no one pays much attention to style in teaching geometry.

ἀπὸ καλῶν] Cic. de Or. III 41. 163, seq. Et quoniam haec vel summa laus est in verbis transferendis ut sensum feriat id quod translatum sit, fugienda omnis turpitudo earum rerum ad quas eorum animos qui audient trahet similitudo. Nolo dici morte Africani castratam esse rempublicam; nolo stercus curiae dici Glauciam: quamvis sit simile, tamen est in utroque deformis cogitatio similitudinis. Quint., VIII 6. 14—17, quotes the line of Furius Bibaculus (Hor. Sat. II 5.41), Iuppiter hibernas cana nive conspuit Alpes.

κάλλος δὲ ὀνόματος] Theophrastus, according to Demetrius περὶ ἑρμηνείας, §§ 173—5 (Rhet. Gr. III 300, ed. Spengel), recognised three sources of beauty in words, (1) the appeal to the sight, the direct suggestion of beautiful objects by the words which are associated with them; (2) to the ear, by the sound of the words themselves; and thirdly διάνοια, by the ‘meaning’ or ‘sense’, Licymnius' σημαινόμενον, and Aristotle's δυνάμει the vis, virtue, force, i. e. significance, its power of suggestion. These are illustrated by Demetrius, l. c., the first by ῥοδόχροον, ἀνθοφόρου χρόας: the second by Καλλίστρατος, Ἀννοῶν, (the λλ and νν seem to have pleased his ear): and the third by ἀρχαῖος as compared with παλαιός, the former being suggestive of higher and nobler associations: οἱ γὰρ ἀρχαῖοι ἄνδρες ἐντιμότεροι. It seems from this that the distinction between the first and third of these sources of beauty in a word is that the first is the direct suggestion, by word-painting, of a beautiful object of sight, as a rosy cheek or skin: the third is the remoter suggestion of beauty, by inference from association, as ἀρχαῖος suggests worth and respect; this form of suggestion has an intellectual character, and is therefore represented by Theophrastus as διάνοια. To the direct suggestions of sight in the first class, Aristotle afterwards adds all the other senses—as music to the ear, a well-remembered flavour to the palate, smell to the nose, soft and warm things to the touch. The second of the three, is the actual sound of the word, suggesting nothing else; Licymnius' ψόφοι, and Theophrastus' and Demetrius' πρὸς ἀκοήν.

τοῖς ψόφοις] There are [as already remarked supra p. 12, on I § 9, διάλεκτος], three degrees of sound in an ascending scale. The first and lowest is ψόφος ‘noise’, such as even inanimate things are capable of when struck. The second is voice, φωνη or φθόγγος, (as distinguished from speech,) which is shared by all animals that have a throat. The third is distinctive of the human race, διάλεκτος (sometimes called λογός), discourse, articulate speech. ψόφος as distinguished from φωνή will include all sounds which, though human, do not proceed from the voice and organs of speech: such as sneezing, coughing, hissing, whistling (ποππυσμός) and so on. These particulars are taken from two passages, Ar. Hist. Anim. IV 9, 535 a 27—b 3, and Dion. de Comp. Verb. c. 14 (p. 72, Reiske). Of sound, ψόφος, in its most general sense, as the object of hearing, see de Anima II 8. De Sens. c. 3, init. Ib. c. 1, 437 a 10. Hist. An. I 1. 29, 488 a 31, seq., of the distinctions of animals, in respect of the sounds they make.

What is known of Licymnius, I have collected in Camb. Fourn. of Cl. and Sacred Phil. No. IX Vol. III pp. 255—7. [Plato Phaedrus p. 267 C, τὰ δὲ Πώλου πῶς φράσωμεν μουσεῖα λόγων...ὀνομάτων τε Λικυμνίων, α<*> ἐκείνῳ ἐδωρήσατο πρὸς ποίησιν εὐεπείας. Blass, die Attische Beredsamkeit. I 75, 76.]

‘And again thirdly (a third observation upon metaphors), which solves (furnishes an answer to, serves to refute) the sophistical argument (theory or position); for it is not true, as Bryson said, that no one ever uses (that there is no such thing as) foul or indecent language, if (if—as the case really is, i. e. since or because) the same thing is signified by saying this or that (by using the broad word or disguising it by a veil of ὑποκορισμός), for this is false: for one term is more properly applied to an object than another (represents it more literally and directly), and is more assimilated to it, and more nearly akin to it, by setting the thing more directly before the eyes (and so making it more vivid, striking, and impressive)’.

Of Bryson, I have collected what is known in Camb. Journ. of Cl. and Sacred Phil. No. v Vol. II pp. 143—6. In this dogma of the impossibility of indecent language he seems to have anticipated the Stoics—see Cicero's famous letter to Paetus on this Stoic libertas loquendi, u. s. p. 144 note. Suo quamque rem nomine appellare was their statement of this ‘liberty’, to call everything its right and proper name without shame or disguise, to call a spade a spade, to use the language of a Swift or Aristophanes. Aristotle answers Bryson by a simple denial of the fact. It is not true that there is no difference in the use of words in respect of their moral effect upon us; the broad and literal expression presents the abomination much more vividly and impressively to the mind, naked as it were, than the same notion when half hidden from the view by a decent veil which conceals a great deal of its deformity. On this subject of plain speaking, besides Cicero's letter to Paetus (ad Div. IX 22), already referred to, see Cic. de Off. I 35. 128 where the Stoics are again introduced. Cicero takes the moral and delicate side of the question. Eth. N. IV 14, 1128 a 23, ἴδοι δ᾽ ἄν τις καὶ ἐκ τῶν κωμωδιῶν τῶν παλαιῶν καὶ τῶν καινῶν: τοῖς μὲν ἦν γελοῖον αἰσχρολογία, τοῖς δὲ μᾶλλον ὑπόνοια (the covert insinuation: this is the difference between coarse and refined indelicacy). Ar.'s opinion upon the subject is given much more strongly and decidedly, Pol. IV (VII) 17, 1336 b 3, ὅλως μὲν οὖν αἰσχρολογίαν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως, εἴπερ ἄλλο τι, δεῖ τὸν νομοθέτην ἐξορίζειν: ἐκ τοῦ γὰρ εὐχερῶς λέγειν ὁτιοῦν τῶν αἰσχρῶν γίνεται καὶ τὸ ποιεῖν σύνεγγυς. Perhaps one of the wisest observations the author ever made. Comp. Quint. VI 3.29.

‘And besides, it is not under the same conditions and circumstances that it signifies this or that, so that on this ground again we must assume that one (mode of expression) is fairer or fouler than another: for though both of them do express (or signify) beauty and deformity, yet not qua beautiful and deformed (in so far as they are beautiful and the reverse, and in no other respect: or, if the latter also, at all events in different degrees’. These two different effects of αἰσχρολογία seem to be thus distinguishable. We are first told that the use of the broad word is offensive because it suggests directly and immediately, paints on the mind a vivid picture of the ugly, foul or impure object: nothing is said of any further, indirect, associations connected with it, and the bad effect arises solely from the strength or vividness of the impure or ugly impression. But in the second case the effect of the plain speaking and its associations is contrasted with those that may be produced by softening the term, or employing one which signifies the same thing, but suggests an entirely different and innocent set of associations. As in the instances given by Cic. in de Off. I 35. 128 liberis dare operam. Here all the associations which would be at once suggested by the broad, obscene word, are diverted, and another set introduced, connected solely with children, as the result of the intercourse, and perfectly free from all impurity. In the one case it is the mere comparison of strength and intensity that makes the difference, in the other there is a difference of kind. ‘The fair term and the foul term it is true mean the same thing, point to the same object, but not in respect of beauty and deformity alone simply and solely (), but besides that, there are associations suggested by which the one may be invested with a moral and the other with an immoral character, either altogether, or at all events in different degrees’: ἄμφω γάρ...μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον. An example of these words suggestive of unpleasant associations which are willingly avoided by the well-bred and refined under the name of αἰσχρολογία, is to be found in Plat. Gorg. 494 c, where Socrates is made to apologise to Callicles for shocking him by the use of terms such as ψωρᾶν, κνησιᾶν.

‘These are the sources from which metaphors may be taken; from things beautiful either by the voice (the sound of the word itself when uttered), or by the force or meaning’ (what it indirectly suggests: as δύνασθαι, to have the power, force, virtue, when applied to words, denotes their ‘value’, in the sense of meaning or signification, see note on I 9.36; so δύναμις the subst. may of course be similarly employed), ‘or by (i.e. conveyed by) the sight or any other sense’. These terms have been already explained. ὄψει ἄλλῃ τινὶ αἰσθήσει is illustrated by Victorius from Cic. de Or. III 40.161, Nam ut odor urbanitatis, et mollitudo humanitatis, et murmur maris, et dulcedo orationis, sunt ducta a ceteris sensibus; illa vero oculorum multo acriora, quae ponunt paene in conspectu animi quae cernere et videre non possumus.

‘But it is preferable (διαφέρει here, to surpass, excel) to say rose-fingered dawn, rather than purple-fingered, or, still worse, red-fingered.’ The latter suggests cooks' hands, or other vulgar associations. The rose on the contrary reminds one of what is agreeable to the sight, and the smell. Add to this from Campbell, Phil. of Rhet., Bk. III ch. I § 1, (Vol. II p. 142, 2nd ed.), that the last of the three epithets compared is the vaguest and most general, and therefore the worst: the second better, because more special; and the first best of all, because the most particular, the red (purple Campbell says) of the rose. He also mentions the gratification of the two senses.


‘In the epithets also, the application of them may be made (they may be derived, for application) from what is mean and low (morally bad in this sense), or foul and ugly, or disgraceful (another kind of badness), for instance “matricide”, or from what is (nobler and) better, as “a father's avenger”’. The one represents the fair side of Orestes' act, the other its bad aspect. “Locus ex Eur. Oreste 1587, μητροφόντης, ἐπὶ φόνῳ πράσσων φόνον inquit Menelaus, Orestem criminans: cui se defendens respondet Orestes, πατρὸς ἀμύντωρ ὃν σὺ προύδωκας θανεῖν.”

On ἐπίθετα, see Introd. on c. 3. p. 289. Ernesti's Lex. Technologiae Gr.

‘And Simonides, when the victor in the mule-race offered him only a small fee, refused to write (the ode on this occasion) on the plea of being offended (shocked) at the notion of “composing an ode on halfasses,” but when the other gave him as much as he wanted (as satisfied him), he wrote at once, “All hail, daughters of storm-footed mares” [“Hurrah, for the brood of the storm-footed coursers!”], and yet they were daughters of the asses as well’. Dion., de Comp. Verb. c. 25 (Vol. V 201, ed. Reiske), quotes a pentameter verse, without the author's name, which contains an analogous epithet, κοῦραι ἐλαφροπόδων ἴχνἐ ἀειράμεναι. On Simonides' greed of gain and miserly habits, see Aristoph. Pax 697—9. Ar. Eth. N. IV 2. ult. ( ἐλευθέριος) Σιμωνίδῃ οὐκ ἀρεσκόμενος, which has the air of a proverbial expression for a miser. Comp. his dictum in II 16.2, on the comparative advantages of money over wisdom. The case of Simonides is referred to by Whately, Rhet. c. III (p. 277, Encycl. Metrop. Enc. of mental philosophy), in illustration of the “employment of metaphors (epithets, not metaphors) either to elevate or degrade a subject,” of which he says in the note “a happier instance cannot be found” than this.


‘Further the same thing may be effected (as by epithets in the way of elevation or depreciation) by diminutives’, lit. ‘diminutives are, or amount to, much the same thing as epithets’. As epithets, so diminutives, may be applied to diminish the good or bad of a thing, according as a favourable or unfavourable view is to be taken of it. On ὑποκορίζεσθαι, ὑποκορισμός, see note on I 9.29. Add Gräfenhan, Geschichte der Klass. Philologie, I p. 459. It will be seen by the examples quoted in the note referred to, that the term includes much more than mere diminu tives, and is extended to the expression of all coaxing, flattering, soothing, endearing phrases; and does not (properly) include expressions of contempt, which is however conveyed by many diminutives. The two terms are therefore by no means co-extensive: Aristotle, who has merely illustrated this form of language by examples of diminutives, has taken them alone as the most distinctive class of words which convey by the termination endearment and contempt. The form of endearment used in extenuation diminishes the bad, the contemptuous employment of them diminishes the good.

There are no less than thirteen varieties of Greek diminutive terminations, which may be found in Matth. Gr. Gr. § 103. Donaldson, Gr. Gr. § 361, 3. f. aa, p. 320, gives only ten. Both of them have omitted a form Ἀττικίων, which occurs in Arist. Pax 214, where the Schol. has καταφρονήσεως ἕνεκα. It is to be noted that some of these diminutives in -διον have the ι long, though by the ordinary rule it is short. τᾠκι_διον, Ar. Nub. 93. οὐδι_διον, Nicom. Inc. Fr. ap. Meineke, IV. 587. σηπι_διον, Arist. Fragm. et octies ap. Comic. Fragm. ἀργυρι_διον, Av. 1622. ἱματι_διον, Lysistr. 470. δικαστηρι_διον, Vesp. 803, and others, ap. Fritzsche ad Arist. Ran. 1301. πορνίδιον has the ι long and short, Arist. Ran. 1301, and Nub. 997. The long ι arises from a contraction, so that πορνι_διον must be, derived from πορνι-ιδιον, and is a diminutive of a diminutive. [Kühner Gr. Gr. § 330.]

On Latin diminutives, Madvig, Lat. Gr. § 182. “By means of lus, la or lum, and culus, cula or culum, are formed diminutives (nomina diminutiva) which denote littleness, and are often used by way of endearment, commiseration, or to ridicule something insignificant, e.g. hortulus, a little garden, matercula, a (poor) mother, ingeniolum, a little bit of talent.”

On English diminutives see a paper by Sir G. C. Lewis, Phil. Mus. 1 697 seq. in Marsh's Lect. on the Eng. Lang., Smith's ed. p. 218; and Latham's Eng. Lang. c. XV § 337; also a paper by J. C. Hare in (Hare and Thirlwall's) Phil. Mus. Vol. I. p. 679. These are in kin, ling, and et, let (from the Norman, French and Italian (E. M. C.), Marsh. Lect. u. s. Lect. XIV. § 6). To which Latham adds ie (Scotch), (lassie, doggie), en (chicken, kitten), et and let, trumpet, lancet, pocket, owlet, brooklet, streamlet; ock (Grimm), bullock, hillock: paddock, buttock, hummock (Lewis). “The Greek word μείωσις means diminution; ὑποκόρισμα means an endearing expression. Hence we get names for the two kinds of diminutives; viz. the term meiotic for the true diminutives, and the term hypocoristic for the dim. of endearment.” Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik, III 664 (ap. Latham). The contemptuous diminutive in English is ling; lordling, bantling, foundling, underling, hireling.

‘By diminutive I mean that which diminishes the evil and the good (which belongs to the proper meaning of a word; by the addition of a termination), of which Aristophanes' sarcasm in the Babylonians is a specimen, where he substitutes χρυσιδάριον for χρυσίον (this again is diminutive of diminutive), ἱματιδάριον for ἱμάτιον, λοιδορημάτιον for λοιδορία, and νοσημάτιον’ (Fritzsche, ap. Meineke l. c., by a very probable conj., reads νοημάτιον, which is certainly much more germane to the matter). ‘We must, however, be very careful (in the use of this figure), and be on our guard against exaggeration in both’ (in the employment of ἐπίθετα and ὑποκορισμός). On these diminutives of Aristophanes, Meineke, Fragm. Babyl. XXX. Fr. Comic. Gr. II. 982, observes: “Usurpasse autem videtur poeta istas verborum formas, ut Gorgiam et qui eius in dicendo artem sectarentur rideret, quemadmodum etiam in Acharnensibus saepissime ista ornamenta orationis vituperat.” This explains σκώπτει.

παρατηρεῖν] ‘to lie in wait for’, see on II 6.20. In the word here there is no ‘evil purpose’ implied. It is rather ‘to wait upon’, watch for an opportunity.

1 ὑπόθεσις, anything that is subjected as a foundation, a supposition or hypothesis, the basis of an argument, a first principle assumed, a theory, an underlying principle on which a scheme is to be built, the plot (ground plan) of a play, and so forth.

2 Schrader quotes Cic. Orator, c. 24 § 81, Translatione frequentissime sermo omnis utitur, non modo urbanorum, sed etiam rusticorum, siquidem est eorum gemmare vites, sitire agros, laetas esse segetes, luxuriosa frumenta.

3 ‘If the orator confines himself to these, his style may be novel and ornamental, yet without forcing itself unduly upon the attention, and perspicuous.’ Paraphr. in Introd.

4 Demetrius, however, περὶ Ἑρμηνείας § 82, (Spengel, Rhet. Gr. III 281), says, ἔνια μέντοι σαφέστερον ἐν ταῖς μεταφοραῖς λέγεται καὶ κυριώτερον ἤπερ ἐν αὐτοῖς τοῖς κυρίοις, ὡς τὸ ἔφριξεν δὲ μάχη (Il. N 339), κ.τ.λ. but this is by the vividness of the description.

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