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Δάμωνος . μετὰ Δάμωνος is almost a formula with Plato: cf. infra C, 424 C, and Lach. 200 B. Suseminl (on Arist. Pol. Θ 5. 1340^{b} 5) thinks that Plato is alluding to a special work by Damon on the ἦθος and πάθος of modes and rhythms. The word ἀκηκοέναι and the general tone of the passage seem rather to refer to an oral demonstration.

τίνας -- ῥυθμούς. In general, πόδες ἀπὸ ἄρσεως, or feet in which the θέσις (i.e. the syllable bearing the ictus) followed the ἄρσις, were believed to express more energy and life, than πόδες ἀπὸ θέσεως. See Gleditsch p. 694, and for details as to the ἦθος of the different rhythms ib. pp. 713, 721, 725, 730, 739, 744, 766.

οἶμαι δέ με κτλ. Schneider's δέ γε (found in some inferior MSS) is not appropriate here. The superfluous pronoun after οἶμαι is a well-established colloquialism: cf. Charm. 173 A, Symp. 175 E. οἶμαι, ἀκηκοέναι, and οὐ σαφῶς ὀνομάζοντος are just the words one might employ in giving one's recollections of an abstruse and half-understood lecture, and this is just what Plato is either doing or, more probably, affecting to do. A few technical terms and a vague idea (οὐκ οἶδ᾽ ὅπως) of some of the processes are all that he remembers.

ἐνόπλιον -- ήρῷόν γε . ἐνόπλιος ξύνθετος, δάκτυλος, ἡρῷος are expressions from the lecture: in English they would be in inverted commas. The ἐνόπλιος is not ˘¯¯˘˘˘˘ (Proclus in remp. p. 61, if, as appears probable, by παριαμβίς he means the παρίαμβος or pyrrich), nor the cretic (J. and C.), nor, strictly speaking, the anapaestic foot (Hartman), but [μαξρβρεϝε]<*>˘˘<*>˘˘<*>, a common processional (προσοδιακός) or marching rhythm, consisting of an ἰωνικὸς ἀπὸ μείζονος and a choriambus (Hephaestion c. 15), or (as the Scholiast on Ar. Clouds 651 measures it) a spondee, pyrrich, trochee and iambus. For examples we may cite Sappho's αὔτα δὲ σὺ Καλλιόπη (Fr. 82) and Tyrtaeus' ἄγετ᾽ Σπάρτας ἔνοπλοι (Fr. 16). See Gleditsch l.c. pp. 717, 722, and Bacchius Isag. 101 ed. von Jan, whose example is τὸν πίτυος στέφανον. ξύνθετος probably refers to the composite character of the rhythm. as described, for example, by the Scholiast on the Clouds. The later technical expression for this peculiarity was ἐπισύνθετος (Gleditsch p. 746). δάκτυλον must be understood as a foot, not as a rhythm, although the ἐνόπλιος ξύνθετος certainly, and probably also the ἡρῷος, are rhythms. There is no difficulty about this, provided we remember that Plato is quoting (or pretending to quote) isolated technical expressions from Damon's lecture. The ingenious, though hazardous, proposal of Blaydes, to read καὶ <κατὰ> δάκτυλον (cf. Clouds 651), would confine the instances to rhythms until we reach ἴαμβον. Dr Jackson suggests δακτυλικόν in place of δάκτυλον. It is tempting (with J. and C.) to take ἡρῷος as ‘spondee,’ but there seems to be no authority for such a use of the word. The ἡρῷος πούς is apparently a dactyl; although the ἡρῷος ῥυθμός admits of the spondee. Unless, therefore, we take ἡρῷος as a rhythm, the spondee seems to be altogether excluded. It is unnecessary to do more than allude to Hartman's excision of ξύνθετον καὶ δάκτυλον.

ἴσον -- τιθέντος . ἄνω and κάτω refer of course to the position of the arsis and thesis (cf. ἄνω, κάτω χρόνος said of the notes at which the foot or bâton is raised and brought down respectively), but Westphal's remark that Plato uses τ ἄνω and τὸ κάτω is misleading (Rhythmik p. 104). The words must be taken as adverbs, and can only be explained by supposing that when Damon was demonstrating the equality of arsis and thesis he ‘placed’—τιθέντος is not ‘assuming’ as διακοσμοῦντος shews—the former in a diagram above the latter, in some such way as <*><*>. The position of the ictus —ἄνω καὶ κάτω, not κάτω καὶ ἄνω—shews that Plato is speaking of the dactyl and spondee which replace the anapaest in the anapaestic rhythm: for in the dactylic rhythm proper the ictus falls on the first syllable (see Gleditsch p. 693). Now the ἐνόπλιος is also anapaestic, so that it looks as if Damon had taken as the subject of his demonstration some passage like Persae 9, 10 ἤδη | κακόμαντις ἄγαν ὀρσολοπεῖται, and analysed it into an ἐνόπλιος ξύνθἐτος, a dactyl, and a spondee (included, as stated above, under the ἡρῷος ῥυθμός).

εἰς βραχύ -- γιγνόμενον. These words can only mean ‘passing into a short and a long,’ “mit kurzem und langen Ausgang” (Schneider), “so dass er sowohl in eine kurze als auch in eine lange Silbe auslief” (Prantl): see on II 380 D. The slight inaccuracy involved in saying γιγνόμενον, where τελευτῶντα (cf. VI 511 C) would have been more precise, is perhaps in keeping with the airy nonchalance of Socrates' description. The construction is missed by Westphal (Rhythmik p. 237) and the English translators and editors. γιγνόμενον agrees with ἡρῷον: the ἡρῷος ῥυθμὸς γίγνεται εἰς βραχύ when it uses a dactyl, εἰς μακρόν when it uses a spondee (or anapaest), the two alternatives being denoted by τε καί. I have sometimes felt disposed to take the words as referring to the iambus, and place them just before ὡς ἐγὼ οἶμαι, translating ‘and when it’ (the rhythm) ‘changed to a short and a long, I think he called it an iambus’: but although this interpretation gives a somewhat better sense to γιγνόμενον, I am not convinced that the MSS are wrong. Hartman also suggests the transposition of καί, but he might have spared his “minime audax coniectura” ἐκ βραχέων τε καὶ μακρῶν γιγνόμενον. See also the next note.

μήκη -- προσῆπτε. Hartman takes these words as explaining the trochee only, laying emphasis on the precedence given to μήκη; but the use of the plural shews that the iambus is also included. The meaning is simply ‘and he assigned them longs and shorts,’ i.e. to each one long, and one short. This clause is in favour of keeping εἰς βραχύγιγνόμενον in its place; if we transpose (as suggested in the last note), the short and long of the iambus will be alluded to twice.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Plato, Symposium, 175e
    • Plato, Charmides, 173a
    • Plato, Laches, 200b
    • Aristophanes, Clouds, 651
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