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6. The following rules contribute to loftiness of style. Use of the description instead of the name of a thing; for instance, do not say “circle,” but “a plane figure, all the points of which are equidistant from the center.” But for the purpose of conciseness the reverse—use the name instead of the description. [2] You should do the same to express anything foul or indecent; if the foulness is in the description, use the name; if in the name, the description. [3] Use metaphors and epithets by way of illustration, taking care, however, to avoid what is too poetical. [4] Use the plural for the singular, after the manner of the poets, who, although there is only one harbor, say “ to Achaean harbors,

” and, “ Here are the many-leaved folds of the tablet.1

” [5] You should avoid linking up, but each word should have its own article: τῆς γυναικὸς τῆς ἡμετέρας. But for conciseness, the reverse: τῆς ἡμετέρας γυναικός. [6] Employ a connecting particle or for conciseness omit it, but avoid destroying the connection;
for instance “having gone and having conversed with him,” or, “having gone, I conversed with him.” [7] Also the practice of Antimachus is useful, that of describing a thing by the qualities it does not possess; thus, in speaking of the hill Teumessus,2 he says, “ There is a little windswept hill;

” for in this way amplification may be carried on ad infinitum. This method may be applied to things good and bad, in whichever way it may be useful. Poets also make use of this in inventing words, as a melody “without strings” or “without the lyre”; for they employ epithets from negations, a course which is approved in proportional metaphors, as for instance, to say that the sound of the trumpet is a melody without the lyre.

1 Eur. IT 727.

2 In Boeotia. The quotation is from the Thebaid of Antimachus of Claros (c. 450 B.C.). The Alexandrians placed him next to Homer among the epic poets. In his eulogy of the little hill, he went on to attribute to it all the good qualities it did not possess, a process which could obviously be carried on ad infinitum.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TEUMESSUS
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