previous next

On the general subject, and the connexion of the several parts of this Chapter on Propriety, see the Introduction, pp. 297—303, where they are treated in full.

The passages of Cicero and Quintilian in which the same subject is dealt with are referred to in p. 298: and p. 299 has a note (1), with various references on ἦθος and πάθος in style.


‘Style will have propriety, if it be made to express feeling (the various emotions) and character, and be proportionate to the subjectmatter’. The perverse transition from the feminine to the abstract neuter ἀνάλογον (sc. πρᾶγμα, as in triste lupus stabulis et sim.) is characteristic of Aristotle's carelessness in writing. Perhaps, however, it may be used adverbially as in c. 6 § 7 (see note).


‘This proportion consists in a style of composition (λέγηται of speaking and writing) such as is neither off-hand (i. e. careless and slovenly, αὐτοκάβδαλος is ‘extemporaneous’) on a dignified, nor stately on a slight and mean (lit. cheap), subject, and has no ornamental epithets (ἐπῇ refers to ἐπίθετα) attached to mean words; otherwise, it (the composition) has the appearance of mere comedy (i. e. laughable; its subject is τὸ γελοῖον: Poet. V. 1, 2), like Cleophon's poetry (tragic poetry: he was a tragedian): for some things that he wrote (said) were like saying (like as though one were to say), “Lady fig”, or “august fig”’.

On propriety in this sense, the adaptation of language to the subject or matter of the speech, spoken or written, comp. Hor. Ars Poet. 86 seq., Cic. de Or. III 55. 212, ut figuram orationis...ad id quod agemus accommodatam deligamus, seq. Orator XXI 70, seq. Quam enim indecorum est de stilicidiis quum apud unum iudicem dicas, amplissimis verbis et locis uti communibus, de maiestate populi Romani summisse et subtiliter! § 72. Quint. VIII 3. 11, Illud observatione dignius, quod hic ipse honestus ornatus pro materiae genere decet variatus, et seq. Clara illa atque sublimia plerumque materiae modo cernenda. Quod alibi magnificum, tumidum alibi. Et quae humilia circa res magnas, apta circa minores videntur. § 18.

εὐόγκων] here refers to the ὄγκος or dignity of style, as applied in c. 6. 1. Elsewhere, as Meteor. IV 2. 6, it is to be interpreted literally of bulk or size, “of a good or fair bulk”: εὐογκότερον καὶ παχύτερον are there equivalent to a preceding παχύτερα. Similarly Eur. Syleus, Fragm. 2 sq. (Dind.), πρόσχημα σεμνὸς κοὐ ταπεινός, οὐδ᾽ ἄγαν εὔογκος (bulky): this is said of Hercules, whom Mercury is selling to Syleus, and like an auctioneer, setting forth all his excellences: several more examples are to be found in Rost and Palm's Lex. The ordinary meaning of the word seems to be ‘of fair, or reasonable, size’.

αὐτοκαβδάλως] extempore, recurs as an adj. αὐτοκάβδαλα III 14. 11 sub fin. cap. It is said to be derived from κάβος (ill-kneaded meal or dough, (Hebr. Kab, translated κάβος in LXX; Rost and Palm's Lex. s. v. κάβος). The αὐτό is ‘self’, as in αὐτοποιητός, αὐτόματος, αὐτογνώμων, αὐθαδής, et sim. Comp. αὐτοσχεδιαστί ‘extempore’, αὐτοσχεδίασμα ‘an impromptu’, Poet. IV 7, αὐτοσχεδιαστική, of tragedy and comedy in their infancy, whilst still ‘extemporaneous’, ib. § 14. αὐτοκάβδαλοι—Semus of Delos, ap. Athen. XIV 16, 622 B—improuisatori. Rost and Palm's Lex. interprets this eine art possenreisser aus dem stegreif, and Liddell and Scott sim. buffoons, buffo-actors. But Athenaeus says of them σχέδην ἐπέραινον ῥήσεις, which is exactly equivalent to αὐτεσχεδίαζον. So σχεδία is ‘a raft’, a vessel extemporised, constructed on the spur of the moment to meet a sudden occasion. And the whole family of these words seems to derive the notion of hasty, off-hand, unpremeditated, unartistic, action or composition, which distinguishes them, from ἔχειν (ἔσχον, σχεῖν) or rather ἔχεσθαι, in the sense of seizing or grasping the first materials that come to hand for a sudden and unforeseen emergency.

αὐτοκαβδάλων in Lucian, Lexiph. § 10 (ed. Hemsterh. II 336), is interpreted, qui farinam ipsi sibi subigunt: with the note, αὐτοκάβδαλον ἄλευρον, τὸ ὡς ἔτυχε φυραθέν. Spengel reads αὐτοκίβδηλον (apparently a vox nihili—at all events a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, and without meaning here) from MS A^{c} (A). [“Victorius primus αὐτοκαβδάλως scripsit.” Spengel].

κόσμος] This is mentioned as one of the kinds (εἴδη) of poetical and ornamental words, with γλῶττα and μεταφορά, Poet. XXII 7, and again § 19, as an ὄνομα, ἔστι δὲ τὰ τοιαῦτα τὸ κύριον καὶ μεταφορὰ καὶ κόσμος. It is therefore a poetical or ornamental word. ἅπαν δὲ ὄνομά ἐστιν κύριον γλῶττα μεταφορὰ κόσμος πεποιημένον κ.τ.λ., eight in all. Poet. XXI 4. All these are defined seriatim except κόσμος. Twining, in his note on § 17, argues from this that Aristotle could not have intentionally omitted this alone, and that the explanation of κόσμος is one of the many lacunae which had to be supplied in Aristotle's MSS, one of the διαβρώματα—the moth- and worm-eaten passages, as Strabo calls them in his celebrated account of the transmission of Aristotle's manuscripts (XIII. 1). In the Paris MS, indeed, there is a mark of omission which Buhle and Hermann have indicated in their editions. He understands κόσμος to signify “such an epithet as embellishes or elevates the thing to which it is applied.” Though he quotes this passage of the Rhetoric, he does not notice that ἐπῇ here applied to it proves that the kind of ornament intended by κόσμος is an ornamental epithet. See also Gräfenhan, on Poet. XXI 17, p. 159 and on XXIV 9, p. 189, where τοῖς ἐπιθέτοις κόσμοις is quoted from Dionysius de admirabili vi dicendi in Demosthene c. 1, (VI 955. 12, ed. Reiske) and again, de Thuc. Iud. c. 23, p. 864. 2.

Κλεοφῶν] Ἀθηναῖος τραγικός. τῶν δραμάτων αὐτοῦ Ἀκταίων, Ἀμφιάραος, Ἀχιλλεύς, Βάκχαι, Δεξαμενός, Ἠριγόνη, Θυέστης, Λεύκιππος, Περσίς, Τήλεφος, Suidas. He is omitted in Wagner's collection, Fragm. Trag. Gr. vol. III. We learn from Poet. II 5, that his subjects and characters were neither above nor below the level of ordinary, every-day, life and character. To the same effect it is stated in Poet. XXII 1, that his style was low or humble, ταπεινή, and devoid of all poetical ornament. Gräfenhan, ad loc. II 5. Id. ad Poet. XXII 1, “qui humili dictione imitabatur vulgares mores.”

To Suidas' list of 10 tragedies must be added the Μανδρόβουλος, de Soph. El. 15, 174 b 27, οἷον Κλεοφῶν ποιεῖ ἐν τῷ Μανδροβούλῳ, where it is quoted in illustration of a mode of argument.

εἰ εἴπειεν ἄν], That ἄν, which Bekker puts in brackets, may be retained and justified with εἰ and the optative, will be seen by referring to the Appendix (D) on εἰ δύναιτ᾽ ἄν II 20. 5 [Vol. II p. 336].

πότνια] the feminine of πόσις and δεσ-πότ-ης, is a female title of honour, equivalent to δέσποινα, implying reverence and high station, ‘august’. It is best rendered by ‘Lady’. It has two forms, πότνια and πότναὁσία, πότνα θεῶν, Eur. Bacch. 370—and in both the ă is short, and can therefore be elided. There is a good article on the word in Liddell and Scott's Lex. which will supply further information.


‘Emotion is expressed, if insult (wanton outrage) (be what you are describing), by the language of one in anger; if impiety or anything foul or base, by that of indignation and reluctance (hesitat on) even to name (or mention) it; what is praiseworthy, by that of admiration; what is pitiable, in a low tone and language, and so on for the rest in like manner’. With ἀγαμένως and ταπεινῶς supply λέγοντος. [For ἀσεβῆ καὶ αἰσχρὰ κ.τ.λ., compare Dem. Or. 54 (κατὰ Κόνωνος) § 9, καὶ τὰ μὲν ἄλλα καὶ βλασφημίαν ἔχει τινὰ, καὶ ὀνομάζειν ὀκνήσαιμ᾽ ἂν ἐν ὑμῖν ἔνια.]

ἀγαμένως] as in Plat. Phaedo 89 A, ‘approvingly, admiringly, with admiration’, ὡς ἡδέως καὶ εὐμενῶς καὶ ἀγαμένως τῶν νεανίσκων τὸν λόγον ἀπεδέξατο. The word is rare, and the meaning here has been doubted. Victorius, cum laetitia, ‘with delight or exultation’. Ruhnken ad Tim. p. 9, omnibus perpensis, inclines to the opinion that in Aristotle (that is, here: in Plato, it has the other meaning,) it signifies admirabiliter, magnifice, ‘admirably, so as to be admired’; which seems to me the least likely of the three.

ταπεινῶς] seems to combine Horace's dolet sermone pedestri (A. P. 95) of the language, with Cicero's summissa voce [Orator § 56] of the tone of voice: a low tone in expressing pity is appropriate to both.


‘This appropriate language (proper or peculiar to the emotion to be represented) also gives a plausible air to the facts (or statements under consideration): for the mind draws a false inference to the truth of the speaker (the reality of his emotion, and hence to the truth of his statements), because every one under similar circumstances feels the same—so that they (the audience) are led to think, even though the fact is really not so, that the things (the facts of the case, the things under consideration) are as the speaker represents them (αὐτὰ ἔχειν φησί, Buhle), and (besides this) the listener always has a fellow-feeling with one who speaks with emotion, even though what he says is naught (worthless; proves nothing)’.

οἰκεία] comp. infra § 7, ὀνόματα οἰκεῖα τῇ ἕξει.

παραλογίζεται κ.τ.λ.] The fallacy is this. A speaker puts himself into a passion in describing some atrocity imputed to his opponent, assuming the tone of anger or virtuous indignation, which would naturally be provoked by the act as described. People always sympathize with the expression of emotion, and the audience, knowing what it is to be angry themselves, and perceiving by reference to their own experience the ‘appropriateness’ of the language, tone, and gestures, to the true expression of the passion, draw from this the fallacious inference that the speaker must be in earnest, as they were when they were similarly affected, and therefore that the facts that he states must be true: arguing from the truth of the delineation to the truth of the fact stated.

The logic of the fallacy is explained in de Soph. El. c. 5, 167 b 1 seq. It proceeds from the false assumption, in antecedent and consequent, that they are reciprocally convertible: that if a consequent always follows an antecedent the converse is likewise true, and that the consequent in variably implies the antecedent as well as the antecedent the consequent. Here, the language &c. used is the ordinary sign of the emotion represented, as they themselves know from their own experience; and does usually arise in men as a consequence of such facts as those alleged: the antecedent is then falsely inferred ‘reciprocally’ from the ordinary, but not necessary or universal, consequent. This may be otherwise represented as a confusion between the σημεῖον, the usual and ordinary, and the τεκμήριον, the universal and necessary, accompaniment of something thereby signified. Comp. Poet. XXIV 18, ἔστι δὲ τοῦτο παραλογισμός. οἴονται γὰρ ἄνθρωποι, ὅταν τουδὶ ὄντος τοδὶ γινομένου γίνηται, εἰ τὸ υ_στερόν ἐστὶ, καὶ τὸ πρότερον εἶναι γινεσθαι: τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστὶ ψεῦδος. And with the language of our text, infra παραλογίζεται ἡμῶν ψυχή. Twining in his note on the passage of the Poet., at the end of n. 222, p. 488 [II p. 352, ed. 2], has quoted and translated this sentence of the Rhetoric.


‘And this is the reason why many (speakers) try to stun (overwhelm, confound) their hearers with the clamour that they raise’. The speaker carries, that is, his δείνωσις or exaggeration even to the excess of mere empty noise and clamour, thinking thereby to produce a deeper impression upon the audience, who will suppose that the depth and sincerity of his feeling are in proportion to the noise he makes. The διό is, because the listener always sympathizes with the language and raised tone of passion; the more violent the expression of it, the more he is likely to be affected. Thuc. VII 42 has κατάπληξις to describe the ‘consternation’, abattement de coeur, of the Syracusans at the arrival of Demosthenes and Eurymedon.


‘And this mode of proof arising out of (external) signs (exhibited in language, tone, and action) may be invested also with an ethical character, in that (in so far as) that which is appropriate (i. e. the appropriate language, &c.) to each class and moral state (i. e. character, ἦθος; the sum of the moral states and habits which characterizes the individual) is attendant upon each of them’. The datives γένει and ἕξει seem to belong equally to ἀκολουθεῖ and ἁρμόττουσα. Compare, with what is said here of ἕξις and ἦθος, III 16. 9.

In the Introduction, p. 108 foll., on ἦθος, I have endeavoured to shew (against Spengel) that there are three kinds of ἤθη distinguished by Aristotle in the Rhetoric; (1) the ἦθος ἐν τῷ λέγοντι, the personal character exhibited by the speaker himself, serving as a kind of proof of his sincerity, competency, and good will; (2) the characters of certain ages and classes, with which the speaker must be previously acquainted, in order to accommodate his general tone, and the opinions he expresses, to the tastes and dispositions of his audience, their political sentiments and such like: as for instance an audience of rich and poor, young and old, aristocratic and democratical, must be addressed each in a different tone and with different language, suitable to their several opinions and prejudices; and (3) what I have called the dramatic characters, which are treated only in the third book as belonging to style, and are still more important, and occupy a larger share of attention in poetry (especially dramatic poetry)—and therefore in the Poetics XV—than in the prose of Rhetoric. These consist in the accurate representation of personal character, as described by Horace, A. P. 114 seq. See also the instances given in the parallel passage, III 16. 9, above referred to. This is what is now called ‘keeping’, and seems to me to be totally distinct from the second, which refers to classes; although the two have some points in common. The principal differences between them are that the latter describes personal peculiarities, and is an ingredient of propriety of style: and the two are therefore treated in different parts of the work. The dramatic ἦθος, morata oratio, does however in some inferior degree assist the argument, as Aristotle has just told us, and is a kind of δεῖξις; it conveys a favourable impression of the accuracy of the speaker, and the truth of his description.

‘By class I mean (according to age, different ages) the various ages of life, youth, manhood, old age; and (sexes) woman or man, and (natives of different countries) Lacedaemonian or Thessalian; and by states (moral states) those by which the character (or quality) of a man's life is determined: for it is not every kind of state that determines the character of men's lives’. Ἕξις, an acquired, developed, permanent, habit, is a general term (opposed to διάθεσις an incomplete and progressive state, Categ.) and applicable to various states in men and things, physical as well as intellectual and moral. It is only the last two that determine the ἦθος.


‘If therefore (the speaker) use the words (language) also appropriate’ (οἰκεῖος, domestic: hence properly belonging to, things of one's own: hence special, appropriate, &c) ‘to the (given) state, he will produce this character (i. e. convey it to his speech): for the clown’ (rustic, boor: ἀγροῖκος, country-bred, opposed to ἀστεῖος, city-bred, polished, as urbanus to rusticus) ‘would not use the same language nor in the same way (sc. the same tone, pronunciation, action), as the educated gentleman’. These are the two ἕξεις of εὐτραπελία ‘easy, well-bred pleasantry’ and its opposite ἀγροικία, ‘rusticity, boorishness’; the contrasted ‘conversational virtue and vice’, of Eth. Nic. II 7, and IV 14. Comp. Poet. XV 4, δεύτερον δὲ τὰ ἁρμόττοντα: ἔστι γὰρ ἀνδρεῖον μὲν τὸ ἦθος, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ἁρμόττον γυναικὶ τὸ ἀνδρείαν δεινὴν εἶναι.

What follows is a note suggested by the preceding remarks upon the παθητικὴ λέξις, and not very closely connected with the immediate subject of ‘propriety’.

‘The hearers are affected also in some degree (some impression is also made upon the audience) by what (a trick which) the speech-writers employ to a nauseous excess; (the introduction viz. of such phrases as) “Who doesn't know?” “Everybody knows.” For the listener is shamed into an admission (of the fact) that he may be supposed to share (what is assumed to be) the feeling of “everybody else”’.

On λογογράφοι, the paid writers of speeches for the use of plaintiff or defendant in the law-courts, a much-despised class, see note on II 11. 7. Victorius supposes, in accordance with his preconceived opinion of a still continued hostility between Aristotle and Isocrates, that the latter is here alluded to; quoting four instances of it from Isocrates and two from Demosth. de Cor. This is hardly enough to sustain the charge. On this subject, see Introd. p. 41, foll.


Of propriety in the use of every τόπος and every ornament of style. ‘The seasonable and unseasonable’, fitness in regard to time, place, occasion, ‘is common alike to all the kinds’. This observation is thought by Victorius to be suggested by the ‘nauseous excess’ of the preceding section.


‘A remedy for every excess (exaggeration in style) is the notorious practice of speakers: a speaker, that is, should pronounce censure on himself beforehand (in anticipation of the possible disapprobation of the audience): for (then, the exaggeration) is thought to be sound and right since the speaker himself is quite aware of what he is doing’.

τὸ θρυλούμενον] See note on II 21. 11.

The reading of all MSS is προσεπιπλήττει, which the staunch Bekker and Spengel, the consistent adherent of A or A^{c}, both retain. Nevertheless, the emendation προεπιπλήττει makes excellent sense, and its rival is decidedly inferior; and a passage of Quintilian, VIII 3. 37, which seems to have been copied from this of Aristotle and repeats his words, has (in the Greek words) προεπιπλήσσειν τῇ ὑπερβολῇ, and a little above, praemuniendum, which also seems to be a reminiscence of προεπιπλήττειν; Spalding (ad loc. Quint.) and Gesner approve, and Casaubon had already suggested this emendation, and Stephens introduced it in his Lexicon. Supported by this evidence, and the common-sense view of the case, I venture to read προεπιπλήττειν. The passage of Quintilian above referred to runs thus:—Et si quid periculosius finxisse videbimur, quibusdam remediis praemuniendum est, ut ita dicam; si licet dicere; quodam modo; permittite mihi sic uti. Quod idem etiam in iis quae licentius translata erunt proderit, quae non tuto dici possunt. In quo non falli iudicium nostrum solicitudine ipsa manifestum est. Qua de re Graecum illud elegantissimum est, quo praecipitur, προεπιπλήσσειν (sic) τῇ ὑπερβολῇ. And again § 50, sed hoc quoque quum a prudentibus fit (ἐπεὶ οὐ λανθάνει γε ποιεῖ), of another doubtful use of μείωσις. If we keep προσεπιπλήττειν, it is “to add something in the way of reprehension of oneself”—so Vater;—which certainly gives a fair sense.

ἀληθές is similarly used for ‘sound, substantial, genuine’, infra 11. 10; comp. also Hor. Ep. 17. 98, Metiri se quemque suo modulo et pede verum est. Ib. Ep. I 12. 23. Liv. II 48, III 40.


The greatest care and pains are always requisite to give the speech an artless, natural, and unstudied character: the rule ars est celare artem is of the utmost importance in effecting the end and object of a speech, persuasion or conviction. See, for instance, III 2. 4, 5; 8. 1. This applies equally to proportion, as an element of propriety. It has been laid down that a certain proportion (or resemblance) of style, tone, and manner to the subject is always to be observed: but this, if carried too far, will defeat its own object; the study will appear, and the suspicions of the hearers will be aroused. For instance, there is a proportion in the tone of voice and manner of delivery, in the expression of features and the action, to the subject of the words delivered: these however should not be all employed at once: if the words have a harsh sound—σκληρὰ ὀνόματα are exemplified by Hermogenes περὶ ἰδεῶν, ά, περὶ τραχύτητος, p. 236, II 300 (Rhet. Gr. Spengel), by ἀταρπός, ἔμαρπτεν, ἔγναμψε, &c., and again, Ib. β̓, (II 359), by a line from Homer in which ἀγκὰς ἔμαρπτε, both of them objectionable on this ground, occur together. “The voice and the features and the rest should not be made to assume a harsh expression, else the study becomes apparent—it will give the composition a stiff and studied appearance, make it look affected and overdone: whereas, if one or two of them are made to correspond, and the rest not, the same effect is produced, whilst the artifice escapes detection”. Introd. pp. 301, 2. Compare on this subject, Cic. de Or. III 57. 216.

‘Further, not to employ all these proportions (or correspondences) together; for by the observance of this precept (following this rule) the listener is deluded (i.e. the art is disguised). I mean, to take an instance if the words used are harsh (in sound), not to (extend the harshness) to the tone of voice and the features and the other appropriate (correspondences or proportions)’: (we must supply here either χρῆσθαι from χρήσασθαι preceding; or, ad sensum, from σκληρὰ , σκληρότητα προσφέρειν, or something else similar). ‘Otherwise the true character of each of them (their studied and artificial character, πέπλασθαι supra 2. 4) becomes manifest’.

Vahlen, in his observations on the Rhetoric, Trans. Vienn. Acad. p. 144 (already referred to), says, that nothing else can be implied in τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν than the adaptation of voice and feature to subject, already specified; and therefore proposes to strike out καί before τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν so that τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν may be connected with, not distinguished from, the two preceding. This seems to me quite unnecessary. Besides the two proportions specified by Aristotle, there is at all events ὑπόκρισις, appropriate action or gesticulation, that may be brought into correspondence; and also the mode of delivery may be distinguished—at all events for the nonce—from the other three. And he adds a similar objection to another perfectly innocent καί, in I 15. 28, καὶ ὡς οὗτος κ.τ.λ., the sense (as I have explained it in the paraphrase of the Introduction) being at least equally good with, as without, the conjunction.

In the succeeding clause—which guards against a possible misapprehension of the foregoing, as though it were meant that all this kind of adaptation should be avoided, and intimates that the mean is to be observed here as everywhere else; that we do not rush into the opposite extreme, like those who dum vitant stulti vitia in contraria currunt—the connexion of thought might seem to require that ἐὰν δέ and ἐὰν οὖν should change places. If the two clauses, ἐὰν δέ, ἐὰν οὖν, are to be connected in sense, we require some kind of opposition, expressed by a restrictive or adversative particle such as μέντοι, δέ, or ἀλλά, to establish this, and not one that conveys an inference or consequence, which does not follow from the foregoing.

‘But if (the speaker introduce) one and omit the other (make the adaptation in some cases, in others not), he does the same thing (really has recourse to study and art) and yet escapes detection. So then’, (it results in a general way from all this,) or, ‘well then—as I say—if things soft and mild (for instance, the expression of compassion) be represented by a harsh tone and language, or harsh things in soft tone and language (so Victorius), it (the expression or things expressed) loses all its plausibility (or power of persuasion)’. If οὖν be retained, it must be understood (I think) as I have rendered it. There will be no connexion between the clause which it introduces and that which immediately precedes it, and οὖν will be a mere continuative, as in the narrative use of μὲν οὖν—the inferential, as with our then, having degenerated into a temporal sense, denoting mere continuation or succession. The clause will then be a sort of general conclusion from all that has been said in this section on the adaptation of delivery to subject-matter. ἀπίθανον, see III 3. 4.


‘Compound words, epithets’ (including descriptive additions of more than one word) ‘more than one (several), and strange (foreign, unusual) words, are most appropriate to the language of emotion: an angry man may be forgiven (excused) for saying a wrong heaven-high, or for calling it colossal’. I have translated κακόν ‘wrong’, on the supposition that the speaker is a complainant in a court of justice, and that the ‘evil’ at which he is so indignant is some injustice or wrong done to him by the defendant, against whom he is inveighing.

οὐρανόμηκες] is an example of a διπλοῦν ὄνομα, πελώριον of a ξένον. Comp. III 3. 2, where πέλωρος (the alternative form) is cited as an instance of a γλῶττα, an antiquated or barbarous term that requires explanation. Isocrates, περὶ ἀντιδόσεως § 134, has used the former word quite in cold blood, τὸ δὲ κατορθωθὲν οὐρανόμηκες ποιήσουσιν, ‘your success they will exalt as high as heaven’. Aristophanes has it as an epithet of φωνή, Nub. 357, and again of κλέος, 459, in a chorus. Herod., II. 138, of excessively tall trees, and so Hom., Od. v. 239, of a pine. Aesch., Agam. 92, of the beacon-light, in the πάροδος of the chorus.

With ὀργιζομένῳ κ.τ.λ. comp. III 11. 16, where ὑπερβολαί, the figure hyperbole, or any excess or extravagance, is said to be most used by men in anger, and is illustrated by two quotations from Homer. Also Hermog., περὶ ἰδεῶν ά. (Rhet. Gr. Spengel, II 302. 3) περὶ σφοδρότητος (vehemence), quotes a number of instances of this exaggerated language and long compound words from Demosthenes when he was affecting indignation, ἰαμβειοφάγος, de Cor. § 139, γραμματοκύφων, Ib. 209. “Nearly the whole of the speech against Aristogeiton,” he says, “is a specimen of this vehement language”: and then proceeds to illustrate it from his other writings: [the speeches against Aristogeiton are, however, undoubtedly spurious.]

‘And also (this kind of language may be used) when (the speaker) has fairly’ (lit. already, by this time, then and not till then: on this use of ἤδη, οὔπω, οὐκέτι, see note on I 1.7) ‘overmastered (got into his power) his audience, and worked them up into a fit (raised them to the height) of enthusiasm, either by praise or blame or indignation, or love (which he has assumed towards them); as Isocrates also (as well as others, καὶ) does in his Panegyric, at the end: φήμη δὲ καὶ γνώμη’.

This is, as usual, a misquotation; Isocrates wrote, Paneg. § 186, φήμην δὲ καὶ μνήμην (Aristotle ought not to have forgotten this, for it is a striking case of ὁμοιοτέλευτον, or rhyming termination, one of the new figures introduced into Rhetoric by Gorgias and his school): φήμην δὲ καὶ μνήμην καὶ δόξαν πόσην τινὰ χρὴ νομίζειν ζῶντας ἕξειν τελευτήσαντας καταλείψειν τοὺς ἐν τοιούτοις τοῖς ἔργοις ἀριστεύσαντας; It is in fact a finely written sentence.

‘And again, οἵ τινες ἔτλησαν κ.τ.λ. (Paneg. § 96, another striking sen tence): for men (in general) give utterance to such language in their enthusiasm (the language of inspiration), and therefore (the audience) also being themselves in a similar state of feeling (having been brought thereto by the orator) are plainly ready to accept and approve of it’.

[It is worth noticing that ἔτλησαν, ‘in that they brooked to &c.’, is characteristic of poetic usage, and is rare in Attic prose: though found in Xenophon, Cyrop. III 1. 2, οὐκέτι ἔτλη εἰς χεῖρας ἐλθεῖν. The corresponding prose form is ἐτόλμησαν, which indeed is the manuscript reading in Isocrates l. c. and is corrected by the editors from the present passage and Dionysius Halic. de adm. vi dicendi in Dem. c. 40.]

ἔχῃ] Comp. Ernesti, Lex. Techn. Gr. s.v. “τοὺς ἀκροατάς, auditores occupatos tenere, obsedisse oratione. Ar. Rhet. III 7, ubi permutat cum τῷ ἐνθουσιάσαι, extra se rapere.” [Cicero, Orator § 210, id autem (numerosa oratio) tum valet cum is qui audit ab oratore iam obsessus est ac tenetur; and (for ὅταν ποιήσῃ ἐνθουσιάσαι) compare ib. § 99, si is non praeparatis auribus inflammare rem coepit; furere apud sanos et quasi inter sobrios bacchari vinolentus videtur.]

The careless introduction of the superfluous τε after φθέγγονται, repeated infra c. 11. 7, τό τε γὰρ τὴν ἀρχήν κ.τ.λ., is abundantly illustrated by Shilleto, Dem. de F. L., critical note on § 176, τήν τε γὰρ εἰρήνην κ.τ.λ., including this passage amongst his instances. [See Bonitz, Zeitschrift f. Oest. Gymn. 1867, pp. 672—682, quoted in Index Aristotelicus s.v. τε, ad fin., where, amongst other passages, a reference is given to Pol. VII 14 § 6, 1333 a 1, τόν τε γὰρ μέλλοντα καλῶς ἄρχειν ἀρχθῆναί φασι δεῖν πρῶτον.]

‘This also accounts for the fitness of this kind of language for poetry, because poetry is inspired. It must therefore (be used) either in the way above described, or with irony, as Gorgias did, and (in) the passages of Plato's Phaedrus’. The ‘passages’ referred to are 231 D, ἐὰν ἄρα πολλάκις νυμφόληπτος...γένωμαι, μὴ θαυμάσῃς: τὰ νῦν γὰρ οὐκέτι πόῤῥω διθυράμβων φθέγγομαι, alluding to the exaggerated and enthusiastic expressions with which Socrates had been inspired by the local influence; in particular to the rhapsody at the conclusion of his speech, ἐῤῥωμένως ῥωσθεῖσα νικήσασα ἀγωγῇ κ.τ.λ., and 241 E, οὐκ ᾔσθου... ὅτι ἤδη ἔπη φθέγγομαι, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκέτι διθυράμβους, καὶ ταῦτα ψέγων; ἐὰν δ̓ ἐπαινεῖν τὸν ἕτερον ἄρξωμαι, τί με οἴειποιήσειν; ἆῤ οἶσθ̓ ὅτι ὑπὸ τῶν Νυμφῶν... σαφῶς ἐνθουσιάσω;

A specimen of Gorgias' irony is found in Ar. Pol. III 2, 1275 b 26, Γοργίας μὲν οὖν Λεοντῖνος, τὰ μὲν ἴσως ἀπορῶν τὰ δ᾽ εἰρωνευόμενος, ἔφη, καθάπερ ὅλμους εἶναι τοὺς ὑπὸ τῶν ὁλμοποιῶν πεποιημένους, οὕτω καὶ Λαρισσαίους τοὺς ὑπὸ τῶν δημιουργῶν πεποιημένους: εἶναι γάρ τινας λαρισσαιοποιούς, so read, with Schneider, for λαρισσοποιούς retained by Bekker. “Aristotle refers to an ingenious evasion of an awkward question. Whilst Gorgias was in Thessaly, where he seems to have spent a considerable time at Larissa, some Thessalian, who had no doubt heard his boast that he was able and ready to answer any question upon any subject, took him at his word, and asked him what constituted a citizen.—This is the constitutional question which gives occasion to Aristotle's quotation.—Partly in jest, and partly because he was really at a loss, he replied, that citizens were made by citizen-manufacturers: as the vessels made by mortarmanufacturers were mortars, so those made by the Larissaean-manufacturers were Larissaean citizens or Larissaeans: for there were such people as Λαρισσαιοποιοί. Λάρισσα, besides the Thessalian city, denotes also some kind of kettle or other cooking-utensil. The reply is much the same as if some one being asked, What makes a citizen of the town of Sandwich? were to answer, ‘a cook, for he is a sandwich-maker’; and is no bad specimen of the way in which Gorgias most likely fulfilled his promise of solving any problem whatsoever that was proposed to him. It may be doubted whether, as Schneider supposes, there is also an ambiguity in δημιουργῶν: the word bears also the sense of a magistrate, as the grammarians tell us, especially in Doric states. Larissa was not a Doric state: but we learn from K. O. Müller, Dor. Bk. III ch. 8. 5; from Thuc. V 17, ἐν Μαντινείᾳ οἱ δημιουργοὶ καὶ βουλή...ἐν Ἤλιδι οἱ δημ. καὶ οἱ τὰ τέλη ἔχοντες, and from a (doubtful) letter of Philip, Dem. de Cor. § 157, Πελοποννησίων τοῖς δημ.; that the use of the term was not confined to these, and Aristotle applies it to ‘magistrates’ in general, Pol. VI (IV), 4, 1291 a 34. See further on this subject, Müller's Dorians, u. s.” From a note in Camb. Journ. of Cl. and Sacred Phil. Vol. III No. VII p. 80, with additions [see also p. 180 of Thompson's edition of the Gorgias].

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: