[Aristotle], Rhetoric to Alexander

LCL 317: 460-461

Go To Section
Go To Section



Ἀριστοτέλης Ἀλεξάνδρῳ εὖ πράττειν

1420a6Ἐπέστειλάς μοι ὅτι πολλάκις πολλοὺς πέπομφας πρὸς ἡμᾶς τοὺς διαλεξομένους ὑπὲρ τοῦ γραφῆναί σοι τὰς μεθόδους τῶν πολιτικῶν λόγων· ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ διὰ ῥᾳθυμίαν ὑπερεβαλόμην ἐν τούτοις τοῖς χρόνοις, ἀλλὰ 10διὰ τὸ ζητεῖν | οὕτως ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν γραφῆναί σοι διηκριβωμένως ὡς οὐδεὶς ἄλλος γέγραφε τῶν περὶ ταῦτα πραγματευομένων.

[2] ταύτην δὲ εἰκότως τὴν διάνοιαν εἶχον· ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐσθῆτα σπουδάζεις τὴν εὐπρεπεστάτην τῶν λοιπῶν ἀνθρώπων ἔχειν, οὕτω δύναμιν λόγων λαβεῖν ἐστί σοι πειρατέον τὴν εὐδοξοτάτην. 15| πολὺ γὰρ κάλλιόν ἐστι καὶ βασιλικώτερον τὴν ψυχὴν ἔχειν εὐγνωμονοῦσαν ἢ τὴν ἕξιν τοῦ σώματος ὁρᾶν εὐειματοῦσαν.

[3] καὶ γὰρ ἄτοπόν ἐστι τὸν τοῖς ἔργοις πρωτεύοντα φαίνεσθαι τῶν τυχόντων τοῖς λόγοις ὑστερίζοντα, καὶ ταῦτα εἰδότα ὅτι τοῖς μὲν ἐν 20δημοκρατίᾳ πολιτευομένοις | ἡ ἀναφορὰ περὶ πάντων τῶν πραγμάτων εἰς τὸν νόμον ἐστί, τοῖς δ᾿ ὑπὸ τὴν τῆς βασιλείας ἡγεμονίαν τεταγμένοις πρὸς λόγον.

[4] ὥσπερ οὖν τὰς αὐτονόμους τῶν πόλεων διορθοῦν


Rhetoric to Alexander

[Aristotle’s]1 Rhetoric to Alexander

Aristotle to Alexander: Prosper!2

[1] You wrote to me that you have sent many, many envoys to us to discuss my describing for you the methods for writing political speeches. I did not put it off during this time because of laziness but because I sought to write for you in more detail than anyone else has written who has dealt with these matters.

[2] This was my reasoning: just as you take it seriously to have the most striking clothing of anyone, so you ought to try to achieve the most highly regarded ability in speech. It is much finer and more royal to have a thoughtful soul than to see one’s body well dressed.

[3] And it is odd for the man who is foremost in action to take second place to ordinary people in speech even though he knows that although for those participating in democratic politics reference in all matters is to the law, for those governed under royal rule it is to speech.

[4] So just as it has been the custom for common law to direct the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-rhetoric_alexander.2011