Menander Rhetor, Treatise 1

LCL 539: 114-115

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MENANDER RHETOR

1.16. ΠΩΣ ΔΕΙ ΑΠΟ ΕΠΙΤΗΔΕΥΣΕΩΝ ΤΑΣ ΠΟΛΕΙΣ ΕΓΚΩΜΙΑΖΕΙΝ

1. Τῶν τοίνυν ἐπιτηδεύσεων αἱ μὲν κατὰ τὴν τῆς πολιτείας κατάστασιν θεωροῦνται, αἱ δὲ κατὰ τὰς ἐπιστήμας, αἱ δὲ κατὰ τὰς τέχνας, αἱ δὲ κατὰ τὰς δυνάμεις. αὐτῶν δὲ τούτων τῶν μερῶν ἢ εἰδῶν ὅ τι χρὴ διαιρεῖσθαι, πειράσομαι ποιῆσαι καταφανές.

2. Πολιτεῖαι μέν εἰσι τρεῖς, βασιλεία, ἀριστοκρατία, δημοκρατία, ταύταις δὲ παρακείμεναί εἰσι κακίαι, βασιλείᾳ μὲν τυραννίς, ἀριστοκρατίᾳ δὲ ὀλιγαρχία καὶ πλουτοκρατία λεγομένη, δημοκρατίᾳ δὲ λαοκρατία. παρὰ πάσας δὲ ταύτας ἡ μικτὴ ἐκ πάντων τούτων, ὁποία ἥ τε Ῥωμαϊκὴ καὶ ἡ Λακωνικὴ τὸ παλαιόν.

3. Εἰ τοίνυν ἐπαινοίης πόλιν, εἰ μὲν τυραννουμένην, ὡς βασιλευομένην ἐπαινεῖν δεῖ, ὡς ἐν τοῖς Νικοκλείοις ὁ Ἰσοκράτης πεποίηκεν, εἰ δὲ λαοκρατουμένην, ὡς

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1.16. HOW TO PRAISE CITIES FOR ACTIVITIES

[BOOK 3] 1.16. HOW TO PRAISE CITIES FOR THEIR ACTIVITIES

1. Some activities1 are to be viewed in relation to a city’s governance, others to branches of knowledge, others to skills, and still others to abilities. I shall attempt to make clear how these types or kinds are to be analyzed.

2. Governments assume three different forms: kingship, aristocracy, and democracy. Corresponding to these are bad forms: tyranny to kingship; oligarchy and so-called plutocracy to aristocracy; and mob rule (laocratia)2 to democracy. In addition to all these is a mixed form that combines them all,3 exemplified by the governments of Rome and ancient Sparta.

3. If, therefore, you are praising a city that is a tyranny, you must praise it as if it were a kingship, as Isocrates did in his speeches to Nicocles;4 if it is ruled by a mob, praise

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_1.2019