1I. Quoniam in hoc libro, Herenni, de elocutione conscripsimus, et quibus in rebus opus fuit exemplis uti, nostris exemplis usi sumus, et id fecimus praeter consuetudinem Graecorum qui de hac re scripserunt, necessario faciendum est ut paucis rationem nostri consilii demus. Atque hoc necessitudine nos1 facere, non studio, satis erit signi quod in superioribus libris nihil neque ante rem neque praeter rem locuti sumus. Nunc, si pauca quae res postulat dixerimus, tibi id quod reliquum est artis, ita uti instituimus, persolvemus. Sed facilius nostram rationem intelleges si prius quid illi dicant cognoveris.
Compluribus de causis putant oportere, cum ipsi praeceperint quo pacto oporteat ornare elocutionem, unius cuiusque generis ab oratore aut poeta probato sumptum ponere exemplum. Et primum se id
1I. Inasmuch as in the present Book, Herennius. I have written about Style, and wherever there was need of examples, I have used those of my own making, and in so doing have departed from the practice of the Greek writersa on the subject, I must in a few words justify my method. And that I make this explanation from necessity, and not from choice, is sufficiently indicated by the fact that in the preceding Books I have said nothing by way either of prefaceb or of digression. Now, after a few indispensable observations, I shall, as I undertook to do, discharge my task of explaining to you the rest of the art. But you will more readily understand my method when you have learned what the Greeks say.c
On several grounds they think that, after they have given their own precepts on how to embellish style, they must for each kind of embellishment offer an example drawn from a reputable orator or poet.d And their first ground is that in doing so they are
- aSee note on 4. v. 7 below.
- bCf. the long prefaces to the books of Cicero, De Inv.
- cThe character of this Introduction to Book 4 (only the final argument and some of the illustrations are Roman) suggests a Greek origin. It reflects the debates between Greeks and Greeks—on Atticism as against Asianism, or the old rhetoric, based on the imitation of the ancients (μίμησις τῶν ἀρχαίων), as against the modern (νεωτερισμός). Hermagoras, to whose reliance on the ancients Cicero, De Inv. 1. vi. 8, refers, and whom Cicero in his Introduction to that work attacks, was doubtless also in the author’s mind. See Paul Wendland, Quaestiones Rhetoricae, Göttingen, 1914. As our notes show, in spite of the argument in this Introduction, Book 4 contains numerous examples taken (though often with considerable changes) from a variety of sources, both Roman and Greek.
- dRhetoric and poetry meet expressly also in 4. i. 2, ii. 3, iii. 5, iv. 7, v. 7, v. 8, xxxii. 43, xxxii. 44, and 2. xxii. 34. The Peripatetic school encouraged the close relationship between the two.