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9. The style must be either continuous and united by connecting particles, like the dithyrambic preludes, or periodic, like the antistrophes of the ancient poets. The continuous style is the ancient one; for example, [2] “This is the exposition of the investigation of Herodotus of Thurii.” It was formerly used by all, but now is used only by a few. By a continuous style I mean that which has no end in itself and only stops when the sense is complete. It is unpleasant, because it is endless, for all wish to have the end in sight. That explains why runners, just when they have reached the goal,1 lose their breath and strength, whereas before, when the end is in sight, they show no signs of fatigue. [3] Such is the continuous style. The other style consists of periods, and by period I mean a sentence that has a beginning and end in itself and a magnitude that can be easily grasped.
What is written in this style is pleasant and easy to learn, pleasant because it is the opposite of that which is unlimited, because the hearer at every moment thinks he is securing something for himself and that some conclusion has been reached; whereas it is unpleasant neither to foresee nor to get to the end of anything. It is easy to learn, because it can be easily retained in the memory. The reason is that the periodic style has number, which of all things is the easiest to remember; that explains why all learn verse with greater facility than prose,2 for it has number by which it can be measured. [4] But the period must be completed with the sense and not stop short, as in the iambics of Sophocles,3 “ This is Calydon, territory of the land of Pelops;

” for by a division of this kind it is possible to suppose the contrary of the fact, as in the example, that Calydon is in Peloponnesus.

[5] A period may be composed of clauses, or simple. The former is a complete sentence, distinct in its parts and easy to repeat in a breath, not divided like the period in the line of Sophocles above, but when it is taken as a whole.4 By clause I mean one of the two parts of this period, and by a simple period one that consists of only one clause. [6] But neither clauses nor periods should be curtailed or too long. If too short, they often make the hearer stumble; for when he is hurrying on
towards the measure of which he already has a definite idea, if he is checked by the speaker stopping, a sort of stumble is bound to occur in consequence of the sudden stop. If too long, they leave the hearer behind, as those who do not turn till past the ordinary limit leave behind those who are walking with them. Similarly long periods assume the proportions of a speech and resemble dithyrambic preludes. This gives rise to what Democritus of Chios5 jokingly rebuked in Melanippides,6 who instead of antistrophes composed dithyrambic preludes: “ A man does harm to himself in doing harm to another, and a long prelude is most deadly to one who composes it;7

” for these verses may be applied to those who employ long clauses. Again, if the clauses are too short, they do not make a period, so that the hearer himself is carried away headlong.

[7] The clauses of the periodic style are divided or opposed; divided, as in the following sentence: “I have often wondered at those who gathered together the general assemblies and instituted the gymnastic contests”;8 opposed, in which, in each of the two clauses, one contrary is brought close to another, or the same word is coupled with both contraries;
for instance, “They were useful to both, both those who stayed and those who followed; for the latter they gained in addition greater possessions than they had at home, for the former they left what was sufficient in their own country.” Here “staying behind,” “following,” “sufficient,” “more” are contraries. Again: “to those who need money and those who wish to enjoy it”; where “enjoying” is contrary to “acquiring.” Again: “It often happens in these vicissitudes that the wise are unsuccessful, while fools succeed”: “At once they were deemed worthy of the prize of valor and not long after won the command of the sea”: “To sail over the mainland, to go by land over the sea, bridging over the Hellespont and digging through Athos”: “And that, though citizens by nature, they were deprived of the rights of citizenship by law”: “For some of them perished miserably, others saved themselves disgracefully”: “Privately to employ barbarians as servants,9 but publicly to view with indifference many of the allies reduced to slavery”: “Either to possess it while living or to leave it behind when dead.”10 And what some one said against Pitholaus and Lycophron11 in the lawcourt: “These men, who used to sell you when they were at home, having come to you have bought you.”
All these passages are examples of antithesis. [8] This kind of style is pleasing, because contraries are easily understood and even more so when placed side by side, and also because antithesis resembles a syllogism; for refutation is a bringing together of contraries.

[9] Such then is the nature of antithesis; equality of clauses is parisosis; the similarity of the final syllables of each clause paromoiosis. This must take place at the beginning or end of the clauses. At the beginning the similarity is always shown in entire words; at the end, in the last syllables, or the inflections of one and the same word, or the repetition of the same word. For instance, at the beginning: Ἀγρὸν γὰρ ἔλαβεν ἀργὸν παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ,12 “for he received from him land untilled”; “ δωρητοί τ᾽ ἐπέλοντο παράρρητοί τ᾽ ἐπέεσσιν,13 “they were ready to accept gifts and to be persuaded by words;”

” at the end: ᾠήθησαν αὐτὸν παιδίον τετοκέναι, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτοῦ αἴτιον γεγονέναι,14 “they thought that he was the father of a child, but that he was the cause of it”; ἐν πλείσταις δὲ φροντίσι καὶ ἐν ἐλαχίσταις ἐλπίσιν, “in the greatest anxiety and the smallest hopes.” Inflections of the same word: ἄξιος δὲ σταθῆναι χαλκοῦς, οὐκ ἄξιος ὢν χαλκοῦ, “worthy of a bronze statue, not being worth a brass farthing.” Repetition of a word: σὺ δ᾽ αὐτὸν καὶ ζῶντα ἔλεγες κακῶς καὶ νῦν γράφεις κακῶς, “while he lived you spoke ill of him, now he is dead you write ill of him.” Resemblance of one syllable: τί ἂν ἔπαθες δεινόν, εἰ ἄνδρ᾽ εἶδες ἀργόν, “what ill would you have suffered, if you had seen an idle man?” All these figures may be found in the same sentence at once—
antithesis, equality of clauses, and similarity of endings. In the Theodectea15 nearly all the beginnings16 of periods have been enumerated. [10] There are also false antitheses, as in the verse of Epicharmus: “ τόκα μὲν ἐν τήνων ἐγὼν ἦν, τόκα δὲ παρὰ τήνοις ἐγών, “at one time I was in their house, at another I was with them.”17

1 καμπτῆρες, properly the turning-point of the δίαυλος or double course, is here used for the goal itself.

2 τῶν χύδην: lit. what is poured fourth promiscuously: in flowing, unfettered language (Liddell and Scott).

3 Really from the Meleager of Euripides, Frag. 515 (T.G.F.). The break in the sense comes after γαῖα, Πελοπίας χθονός really belonging to the next line: ἐν ἀντιπόρθμοις πέδι᾽ ἔχουσ᾽ εὐδαίμονα. As it stands in the text, the line implies that Calydon was in Peloponnesus, which of course it was not. The meaning then is: “This is the land of Calydon, with its fertile plains in the country over against Peloponnesus” (on the opposite side of the strait, near the mouth of the Corinthian gulf).

4 It does not consist in simply dividing off any words from the context as the speaker pleases, but the parts of the sentence as a whole are properly constructed and distinguished and the sense also is complete.

5 A well-known musician.

6 Of Melos. He wrote rambling dithyrambic preludes without strophic correspondence. Others take ἀναβολή to mean an entire ode.

7 Hes. WD 265. The second line is a parody of 266, δὲ κακὴ βουλὴ τῷ βουλεύσαντι κακίστη.

8 The beginning of Isoc. 4.

9 “To dwell with us” (Jebb). The point seems to be that the barbarian domestics were in a comfortable position as compared with those of the allies who were reduced to slavery; and there is a contrast between the desire of getting servants for private convenience, while in a matter affecting public life indifference was shown.

10 All the above quotations are from Isoc. 4.1, 35, 41, 48, 72, 89, 105, 149, 181, 186, with slight variations. The last quotation is part of the sentence of which the beginning appears in 7.11 above. The whole runs: “And how great must we consider the fame and the name and the glory which those who have highly distinguished themselves in such deeds of valor will either have when living or will leave behind after their death.”

11 They murdered Alexander, tyrant of Pherae, being instigated by their sister, his wife. Nothing is known of the case referred to. According to Cope, the meaning is: “When they were at Pherae, they used to sell you as slaves, but now they have come to buy you” (referring to bribery in court). Others take ὠνεῖσθαι in a passive sense: “they have been bought,” i.e. have had to sell themselves to you.

12 Aristoph. frag. 649Kock, Com. Att. Frag. 1.1880).

13 Hom. Il. 9.526.

14 The text is obviously corrupt.

15 See Introduction.

16 Roemer's text has ἀρεταί (excellences).

17 There is no real antithesis, the sense of both clauses being the same.

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