[Dionysius of Halicarnassus], Ars Rhetorica

LCL 539: 402-403

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ὅτι οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι τὸν ὑμέναιον ᾄδουσιν, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀντὶ τοῦ ὑμεναίου τὸν λόγον, οὐχ ὑπ’ αὐλοῖς ἢ πηκτίσιν ἢ νὴ Δία καλλιφωνίᾳ τινὶ τοιαύτῃ, ἀλλὰ ἐπαίνοις καὶ ὕμνοις τῶν γεγαμηκότων.

2. Εἶτα ἐπὶ τούτοις ἐπάγειν, ὅτι ἀναγκαῖος ὁ γάμος ἀνθρώποις γε οὖσι· σωτηρία γὰρ τοῦ γένους· καὶ ὅσα ἀγαθὰ ἐκ τοῦ γάμου. εἶτα μεταβήσῃ ἐπὶ τὰ πρόσωπα τῶν συνιόντων εἰς τὸν γάμον, ὁποῖοί τινες οὗτοι· ἐν ᾧ περὶ γένους ἐρεῖς αὐτῶν καὶ τροφῆς, καὶ περὶ κάλλους σωμάτων καὶ ἡλικίας· ὅσα ἐκ τύχης αὐτοῖς πρόσεστι, καὶ περὶ ἐπιτηδευμάτων· ὅτι σπουδὴν ἔσχον 271περὶ τὸν γάμον καὶ τὴν σύζευξιν αὐτοί· ὅπως διάκεινται ἐπὶ τῷ γάμῳ οἱ οἰκεῖοι, οἱ ἀλλότριοι, ἡ πόλις αὐτὴ δημοσίᾳ· ὅτι πᾶσι διὰ σπουδῆς ὁ γάμος ἐστίν, καὶ ὁ γάμος ἔοικεν πανηγύρει τινὶ καὶ νεομηνίᾳ καὶ δημοτελεῖ ἑορτῇ τῆς πόλεως. ὥσπερ δὲ ἐν τοῖς γαμικοῖς ἠξιοῦμεν πρὸς τοῖς ἄλλοις ἐπισκοπεῖν, οἷον εἰ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς πατρίδος, εἰ ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ γένους, οὑτωσὶ δὲ μηδὲ ἐν τούτῳ παρὰ φαῦλον ποιεῖσθαι τὸ μέρος τοῦ λόγου τοῦτο.

3. Ἐπὶ δὲ τοῖς ἐπαίνοις καὶ τοῖς ἐγκωμίοις καὶ προτροπή τις ἔστω τοῖς γαμοῦσιν πρὸς τὸ σπουδάζειν περὶ ἀλλήλους καὶ ὁμονοεῖν ὅ τι μάλιστα· καὶ ὅσα ἀγαθὰ ἐκ τῆς τοιαύτης ὁμονοίας καὶ φιλίας ἀνάγκη συμβαίνειν, ἀπὸ τοῦ καθόλου ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον ἄγοντα τὸν λόγον· ὅτι ὁμόνοια πᾶσι μὲν ἀνθρώποις ἡγεῖται τῶν ἀγαθῶν, μάλιστα δὲ τοῖς γεγαμηκόσιν·



opening, “Others sing the hymeneal song, but we offer instead a speech accompanied not by pipes or lyres, or indeed by any such lovely sounds, but by hymns in praise of the married couple.”

2. Next introduce the argument that marriage is essential in order for human beings to exist because it preserves the race. Mention too all the good things that come of marriage. Then pass on to the characteristics of the persons who are coming together in marriage, among which you will speak of their family and upbringing; their physical beauty and age; the gifts that fortune has provided them; and their pursuits (epitēdeumata). Say how eager they themselves were to join together in marriage and mention how keen their relatives, strangers, and the city at large are, and how eagerly they all await the wedding, as if it were some panegyric celebration, or new-moon festival, or feast sponsored by the city. And just as in wedding speeches we thought fit to consider, among other things, whether the two parties were from the same homeland or family,6 so in this case do not deem it unimportant to include this portion of the speech.

3. After these praises and encomia should come an exhortation to the couple to show concern for each other and to live in concord as much as possible. Tell of all the good that is bound to come from such concord and affection, steering the speech from general to specific instances. Say that while concord leads to good things for all people, this is especially true for wedded couples. To support

  • 6Cf. 2.7.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dionysius_halicarnassus-ars_rhetorica.2019