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‘And the (practice) of Antimachus is useful (for this purpose), to draw the materials of a description from the attributes, (qualities, virtues, excellences,) which (the thing described) has not, as he does in the case of Teumessus, “There is a windy low hill”; for in that way the amplification may be carried to infinity’. This is a quotation from Antimachus' Thebäis, the expedition of Adrastus and his six Argive companions against Thebes, the ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ Θήβας. In this he had occasion to mention Teumessus, “a village of Boeotia in the plain of Thebes, standing upon a low rocky hill of the same name”. Launching out, as his manner was, into an episodical encomium of this little hill, he expended many verses upon it διὰ πολλῶν ἐπῶν, “enumerating all the virtues that did not belong to it”. Strabo, IX. 2, Boeotia, p. 409. Strabo, like Aristotle, only quotes these five words, adding, as a reason for breaking off there, γνώριμα δὲ τὰ ἔπη. This same poem is referred to by Horace, A. P. 146, Nec reditum Diomedis ab interitu Meleagri; a narrative of Diomedes' fortune and return seems to have been interwoven with the main subject of the poem. Düntzer, Epic. Gr. Fragm. p. 99. (The fragments of Antimachus are collected by Düntzer in this volume, p. 99 seq. and Nachtrag pp. 38—43.)

The Scholiast Porphyrion, on the verse of Horace, says, Antimachus fuit cyclicus poeta: hic adgressus est materiam, quam sic extendit ut viginti quattuor volumina (i. e. books) impleverit antequam septem duces usque ad Thebas perduceret. On the connexion of the two stories, see Welcker Ep. Cyclus, p. 163; also quoted by Orelli ad loc. Antimachus was an elder contemporary of Plato. The occasion of their meeting is related by Plutarch, Lysand. 18, and differently by Cicero, Brutus 51 § 191, Antimachum, Clarium poetam, ...qui quum convocatis auditoribus legeret eis magnum illud quod novistis volumen suum (the Thebais), et eum legentem omnes praeter Platonem reliquissent, Legam, inquit, nihilominus: Plato enim mihi unus instar est omnium millium. (Welcker pronounces both forms of the story unworthy of credit.) In magnum Cicero no doubt refers not to the merit or celebrity, but to the bulk of the poem. His style is spoken of by Dionysius de Comp. Verb. c. 22 (v. 150, ed. Reiske), together with that of Empedocles, Pindar, Aeschylus, Thucydides and Antiphon, as belonging to the αὐστηρὰ λέξις, already described. To class him with these authors may seem to imply approbation. Quintilian, X 1. 53, in a comparison of the Epic poets, places him next to—though far below—Homer. Contra in Antimacho vis et gravitas et minime vulgare eloquendi genus (this agrees with Dionysius) habet laudem. Sed quamvis ei secundas fere grammaticorum (of Alexandria) consensus deferat; et affectibus et iucunditate et dispositione et omnino arte deficitur, ut plane manifesto appareat quanto sit aliud proximum esse, aliud secundum: (so Horace of Jupiter, nec viget quicquam simile aut secundum; proximos illi tamen occupavit Pallas honores). He is called by some authors Clarian, by others Colophonian. Claros was a small town near Colophon, a colony and dependency of it. Most probably Claros was his birthplace, for which the more important and neighbouring mother-city was substituted. See further on Antimachus in Schrader and Buhle's notes; and on Teumessus, Valken. ad Phoen. 1107.

[ἐξ ὧν μὴ ἔχει. This device of description by a series of negations may be exemplified by Homer's Odyss. VI 43, (Olympus) οὔτ᾽ ἀνέμοισι τινάσσεται οὔτε ποτ̓ ὄμβρῳ δεύεται οὔτε χιὼν ἐπιπίλναται (and Lucr. III. 18). There are some striking instances in an expanded Anglo-Saxon paraphrase by Cynewulf of Lactantius' poem de Phoenice, And there nor rain nor snow, nor breath of frost, Nor blast of fire, nor rush of rattling hail, Nor fall of rime nor scorching heat of sun, Nor lasting cold nor drought nor winter-shower...(This translation is due to the Rev. W. W. Skeat).]

‘This mode of treatment, that the things are not there, (or that the object of praise or censure has them not,) may be applied to things either good or bad (to bad things in a panegyric, to good as virtues, accomplishments, merits of all kinds, in a censure or invective), in whichever of the two ways it may be serviceable (or, whichever of the two the occasion may require). Hence (from the absence of a certain quality or attribute) the poets also derive their epithets (ὄνομα here stands for an adjective: see Introd. Appendix A to Bk. III on ὀνόματα and ῥήματα) such as a stringless or lyreless music’—music, but without the ordinary accompaniment or instrument, the strings of the lyre, or the lyre itself: applied to the sound of the wind-instrument, the trumpet—‘for they apply privative epithets; this being popular when expressed in the metaphors of proportion, as when the (sound or music of the) trumpet is called a lyreless music’.

ἐκ τῶν στερήσεων...ἐπιφέρουσιν] lit. they attach epithets borrowed or derived from privations: στέρησις and ἕξις being one of the four forms of opposition: Categ. c. 10, 11 b 17 and 12 a 26 seq.

μεταφοραῖς...ταῖς ἀνάλογον] ἀνάλογον in this combination seems to be used adverbially; comp. supra c. 4 §§ 3, 4, τὴν μεταφορὰν τὴν ἐκ τοῦ ἀνάλογον, infra c. 7 § 10, τοῖς ἀνάλογον. On the proportional metaphor, the best of all the four kinds, I have already referred (on III 4. 4) to the Introd. pp. 290—292. See also Appendix B Bk. III on Metaphor, where this is fully explained.

Comp. with this section Poet. XXI 15, 16 ἔστι δὲ τῷ τρόπῳ τούτῳ τῆς μεταφορᾶς (the proportional, to wit) χρῆσθαι καὶ ἄλλως, προσαγορεύσαντα τὸ ἀλλότριον ἀποφῆσαι τῶν οἰκείων τι, οἷον εἰ τὴν ἀσπίδα εἴποι φιάλην μὴ Ἄρεως ἀλλ᾽ ἄοινον (Victorius' emendatio palmaria for the vulgata lectio ἀλλ᾽ οἴνου).

I transcribe Twining's excellent note on this passage, which well illustrates our present subject. Note 189, p. 446. “Metaphors from their nature are in danger of being obscure or forced, though it is essential to their beauty and effect that they should be clear and apposite. For this purpose a metaphor may be guarded in various ways. If the simple substitution of the improper for the proper term would be obscure or harsh, the metaphor may be converted into an image or comparison (referring to Demetrius, περὶ ἑρμηνείας § 80); it may be used analogically, and we may say φιάλη Ἄρεως or φιάλη ἄοινος; or if that be not sufficient for perspicuity—that is, if the meaning be not sufficiently pointed out by the manner or circumstances in which the expression is introduced— we may join these (φιάλη Ἄρεως ἄοινος), or even add to either of them the proper word itself. There is a fine instance of this negative mode of explaining a metaphor in Isaiah li. 21, ‘Thou drunken, but not with wine.’ The same end is often answered by an epithet affirming of the thing expressed some quality of the thing signified; thus ships are floating bulwarks [Mason's Ode to the Naval Officers], and the lyre a chorded shell, where Dryden [Song for St Cecilia's Day, line 17, Jubal struck the chorded shell,] has made the same use of the affirmative epithet chorded that Theognis did of the negative ἄχορδος in his metaphorical expression for a bow, φόρμιγξ ἄχορδος (comp. Rhet. III 11. 11, and Demetr. περὶ ἑρμηνείας § 85, quoted in Introd. p. 297). Sometimes the explanatory epithet is itself a metaphor; as in the πτερωτοῖς ἅρμασι (Iph. Aul. 251) of Euripides, ‘winged chariots’. Here we have a double metaphor: chariot for ship, and wing for sail.

He then concludes with four examples of these privative explanatory epithets from the Greek Tragedians, which I have already quoted with some others in the Introduction p. 297, in the note on this passage of the Rhetoric. Add to these Cephisodotus' ‘parti-coloured millstones’, μύλωνας ποικίλους, III 10. 7, by which he meant to represent the ‘crushing’ properties of the Athenian ‘triremes’ in devastating the coasts and islands and exacting tribute. These differ from millstones in having their sides gaily painted in various colours. ἄπτερος φάτις, Aesch. Agam. 267 (contrasted with ἔπεα πτεροέντα), ἄπτερος ὄρνις, Eur. Iph. Taur. 1095. [Eur. Phoen. 791 (Ἄρης) κῶμον ἀναυλότατον προχορεύεις, 808 Σφιγγὸς ἀμουσοτάταισι σὺν ᾠδαῖς, Herc. Fur. 879, 891, 892. Similarly the Italian poet, Guarini, called birds ‘winged lyres’.]

It remains to notice the proportion of the metaphor, which, according to Victorius, is Trumpet: sound of trumpet (anonymous) :: lyre : μέλος, the music of the lyre (properly so called). To qualify the harshness, throw light on the obscurity, of this improper application of the word μελος, the epithet ἄλυρον “not that of the lyre” is added.

One more remark on privative epithet, which has not been pointed out. They have two uses, the one to qualify, the other to contradict, the substantive they are joined with. In the latter case they are not metaphors at all. This is what is called the figure oxymoron, which combines in one expression two contradictory notions of which the one denies the other: ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα (Aj. 655), an enemy's gifts are no gifts at all; χάρις ἄχαρις “graceless grace”, or “thankless favour”; μήτηρ ἀμήτωρ, Soph. El. 1154; γάμος ἄγαμος, Oed. T. 1214; ἄοικον εἰσοίκησιν, Phil. 534; ὕπνος ἄϋπνος Ib. 848; βίος ἀβίωτος or ἀβίοτος (Eur. Hipp. 821, 867), insaniens sapientia, strenua inertia.

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