[Dionysius of Halicarnassus], Ars Rhetorica

LCL 539: 400-401

Go To Section
Go To Section



1. Πρὸ δὲ τοῦ περὶ τῆς γενέσεως λόγου (μικροῦ γάρ με παρῆλθεν ὑπὸ τοῦ θορύβου καὶ τῆς ταραχῆς τῆς περὶ τὴν ἔξοδον) ὁ ἐπὶ τῷ θαλάμῳ λεγόμενος λόγος· ἐχόμενος δ’ ὅ τι μάλιστα καὶ ἀκόλουθος <ἂν>1 εἴη τοῖς γαμικοῖς τῶν λόγων, σχεδὸν εἷς καὶ ὁ αὐτὸς ὢν τῷ 270γαμικῷ, πλὴν τῷ χρόνῳ διαφέρων, ἐπὶ τετελεσμένοις τοῖς γάμοις λεγόμενος οὗτος· οὐ μὴν τοῖς γε ἄλλοις ἀπᾴδων τοῦ προειρημένου, καὶ ὥσπερ ἀντὶ ὑμεναίων ἐπᾳδόμενος τοῖς γάμοις. τινὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ παρὰ Σαπφοῖ τῆς ἰδέας ταύτης παραδείγματα, ἐπιθαλάμιοι οὕτως ἐπιγραφόμεναι ᾠδαί· ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὴ οὐχ ἡ αὐτὴ μεταχείρισις ποιήσεώς τε καὶ πεζοῦ λόγου, ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ τοῖς μέτροις, οὑτωσὶ δὲ καὶ τοῖς ἐννοήμασι διενήνοχεν ταῦτα, τοῦτον ἄν μοι δοκεῖς τὸν τρόπον καὶ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον προσφόρως μεταχειρίσασθαι, εἰ ἐν μὲν τῷ προοιμίῳ εὐθὺς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἐπισημαίνοιο,

  • 1suppl. Schaefer



1. Before the birthday speech2 comes the speech delivered at the bedroom (which nearly slipped my mind because of the noise and confusion surrounding my departure).3 It naturally follows wedding speeches, and indeed is almost identical to one except for its timing, being delivered after the wedding has concluded. In other respects it differs little from the wedding speech that was just treated and is sung at weddings, in place, so to speak, of the hymeneal song.4 There are some examples of this type in Sappho, expressly labeled epithalamic songs.5 But since the treatment in poetry is not the same as that in prose, differing in ideas as much as it does in meter, I think that you will treat this type of speech correctly if you state right at the

  • 1Compare M.’s instructions for an epithalamium at 2.5 and for a bedtime speech at 2.6 (which urges the couple to go to bed and have intercourse).
  • 2Just treated in the previous section.
  • 3RW ad loc. interpret this cryptic statement as follows: “A curious touch of realism; the author is so disturbed not now by academic duties as at [2.1] but by some domestic move, that he forgets to write out the ἐπιθαλάμιος before the γενεθλιακός.” Such an interpretation may be possible, but it is highly speculative.
  • 4Traditionally, a song or a poem chanted at the conclusion of a wedding, conducting the bride or the couple to the bedchamber. Prominent examples include Ar. Pax 1329–59, Theoc. Id. 18, and Catull. 61.
  • 5Frr. 104–17 PLF are thought to come from her epithalamia, although none is so labeled.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dionysius_halicarnassus-ars_rhetorica.2019