previous next


‘To dignity, amplification of style, the following things contribute; first, the substitution of definition (or detailed description) for the (direct, proper) name (of the object); to say for example not circle, but “a plane figure which is in all points equidistant from the centre’”. One would have supposed that this was an exemplification rather of the unfavourable sense of ὄγκος: it also seems to be opposed to what was said c. 5. 3, τοῖς ἰδίοις ὀνόμασι λέγειν καὶ μὴ τοῖς περιέχουσιν: and in fact dignity ought not to interfere with perspicuity. The two precepts, however, do not in reality contradict one another. The use of abstract, general terms, instead of the plain and direct individual names, is a source of obscurity: there is no obscurity, but rather the contrary, in setting forth the definition of it at length. ‘For (the purpose of) brevity the contrary (is the rule), the proper name, and not the definition’. Both of these precepts appear in the Rhet. ad Alex. c. 22 (23) §§ 3 and 5. They are probably taken, like the others mentioned in Introd. pp. 437, 438, from Isocrates' τέχνη.

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: