Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Critical Essays 5. Letter 2 to Ammaeus

LCL 466: 404-405

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Dionysius of Halicarnaassus




Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑπελάμβανον ἀρκούντως δεδηλωκέναι τὸν Θουκυδίδου χαρακτῆρα, τὰ μέγιστα καὶ κυριώτατα τῶν ὑπαρχόντων περὶ αὐτὸν ἰδιωμάτων ἐπεξελθών, ἐν οἷς γε δὴ μάλιστα διαφέρειν ἔδοξέν μοι τῶν πρὸ αὐτοῦ ῥητόρων τε καὶ συγγραφέων, πρότερον μὲν ἐν τοῖς περὶ τῶν ἀρχαίων ῥητόρων πρὸς τὸ σὸν ὄνομα συνταχθεῖσιν ὑπομνηματισμοῖς, ὀλίγοις <δὲ> δη1 πρόσθεν χρόνοις ἐν τῇ περὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Θουκυδίδου κατασκευασθείσῃ γραφῇ προσειπὼν τὸν Αἴλιον Τουβέρωνα, ἐν ᾗ πάντα τὰ δεόμενα λόγου μετὰ τῶν οἰκείων ἀποδείξεων διεξελήλυθα κατὰ τὴν ἐμαυτοῦ δύναμιν· σοῦ δὲ ὑπολαμβάνοντος ἧττον ἠκριβῶσθαι τὰς γραφάς, ἐπειδὴ προεκθέμενος ἅπαντα τὰ συμβεβηκότα τῷ χαρακτῆρι τότε τὰς περὶ αὐτῶν πίστεις παρέχομαι, ἀκριβεστέραν δὲ τὴν δήλωσιν τῶν ἰδιωμάτων τοῦ χαρακτῆρος ἔσεσθαι νομίζοντος, εἰ παρὰ μίαν


Second Letter To Ammaeus

On the Characteristics of Thucydides’ Style

Dionysius to His Dear Friend Ammaeus Greetings

I thought I had sufficiently demonstrated the1 special character of Thucydides’ style when I discussed in detail the most prominent and important of those peculiarities which seemed to me to distinguish him most clearly from all the orators and historians before him.1 I have treated the subject, on the earlier occasion in the essays on the Ancient Orators addressed to you personally,2 and a short time ago in the work I wrote on Thucydides himself, which I addressed to Aelius Tubero, and in which, to the best of my ability, I have thoroughly discussed all the necessary points, and have added suitable illustrations. But you consider that these writings are insufficiently detailed, because I do not give the proofs until I have set out all the characteristics; and you think that my description of the special qualities of his style would be more precise if I were to append to

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dionysius_halicarnassus-second_letter_ammaeus.1985