Menander Rhetor, Treatise 1

LCL 539: 32-33




1. ... μέτρον μέντοι τῶν κλητικῶν ὕμνων ἐν μὲν ποιήσει ἐπιμηκέστερον. ἀναμιμνήσκειν1 γὰρ πολλῶν τόπων ἐκείνοις ἔξεστιν, ὡς παρὰ τῇ Σαπφοῖ καὶ τῷ Ἀλκμᾶνι πολλαχοῦ εὑρίσκομεν. ὁ μὲν2 γὰρ Ἄρτεμιν ἐκ μυρίων ὀρέων, μυρίων δὲ πόλεων, ἔτι δὲ ποταμῶν ἀνακαλεῖ, ἡ δὲ Ἀφροδίτην <ἐκ>3 Κύπρου, Κνίδου, Συρίας, πολλαχόθεν ἀλλαχόθεν ἀνακαλεῖ. 2. οὐ μόνον γε, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς 335τόπους αὐτοὺς ἔξεστι διαγράφειν, οἷον εἰ ἀπὸ ποταμῶν καλοῖεν,4 ὕδωρ ἢ ὄχθας καὶ τοὺς ὑποπεφυκότας λειμῶνας καὶ χοροὺς ἐπὶ τοῖς ποταμοῖς γινομένους καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα προσαναγράφουσι. καὶ εἰ ἀπὸ ἱερῶν, ὡσαύτως, ὥστε ἀνάγκη μακροὺς αὐτῶν γίγνεσθαι τοὺς κλητικοὺς ὕμνους.

3. Τοῖς δὲ συγγραφεῦσι βραχυτέραν τὴν περὶ ταῦτα διατριβὴν ἀναγκαῖον γίνεσθαι· οὔτε γὰρ ἐκ πολλῶν τόπων καὶ χωρίων ἀνακαλέσουσιν, οὔτε ἐφ’ ἑκάστου μετὰ διαγραφῆς, ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ Πλάτων, ὅσπερ5 ἐξηγούμενος τῷ εἴδει κέχρηται, “ἄγετε δὴ Μοῦσαι λίγειαι, εἴτε δι’ ᾠδῆς εἶδος εἴτε διὰ γένος μουσικὸν τὸ Λιγύων ταύτην ἔσχετε τὴν ἐπωνυμίαν.”




1. ...1 cletic hymns (klētikoi) are longer in poetry, because poets have license to mention many places, as we often find in Sappho and Alcman. The latter summons Artemis from myriad mountains, cities, and rivers as well, while the former summons Aphrodite from Cyprus, Cnidus, Syria, and many other places. 2. Not only that, but they have license to describe the places themselves. For example, if they summon the god from rivers, they add descriptions of the water, the banks, the meadows growing beside them, the choruses formed alongside the rivers, and the like. The same is true if they summon the god from sacred places, with the result that poets’ cletic hymns are necessarily long.

3. But for prose writers the time spent on these topics is necessarily shorter, for they will not issue summonses from many places and locales, nor provide a description in each case, but will do as Plato does, who acts as a guide when employing this type with: “Come then, high-voiced Muses, whether you came by that epithet (ligeiai) from the nature of your song or from the musical race of the Ligyans.”2

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_1.2019