previous next

‘Now all the rest (of the ῥυθμοί) are to be discarded, not only for the reasons already mentioned, but also because they are metrical (too suggestive of the cadence of regular verse): but the paean is to be adopted: for it is the only one of the rhythms named which cannot be made into a regular verse, and therefore (the use of it) is most likely to escape detection’. ἀπὸ μόνου γάρ κ.τ.λ., that is, it is an element of rhythm, not metre. Hermann, Elem. doctr. metr. II 19, de vers. Cret. (near the beginning of the chapter), has a criticism of this passage which he quotes, attributing to the author a misconception of the nature of the paeonic measure, which has caused him to fall into the error of denying it to be a metre1. See Cic. Orator, § 194, paean autem minime est aptus ad versum; and the whole section. Also § 218, numerus a quibusdam (Aristotle, no doubt), non pes habetur. ‘At present the one (form of) paean is employed (at the end) as well as at the beginning (of the sentence), but the end ought to be different to the beginning’. Vater proposed to supply τελευτῶντες before καὶ ἀρχόμενοι: but in a writer like Aristotle the supplement or opposite may be very well supposed to be implied in the καί.

1 Though I cannot see much force in Hermann's argument against Aristotle, yet it must be owned that it is odd to deny that to be metrical, which derived its very name from the hymns to Apollo which were principally written in that measure, as may be seen from the two specimens here quoted.

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: