Menander Rhetor, Treatise 1

LCL 539: 94-95

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MENANDER RHETOR

1.15. ΠΩΣ ΔΕΙ ΑΠΟ ΓΕΝΟΥΣ ΠΟΛΙΝ ΕΓΚΩΜΙΑΖΕΙΝ

1. Δεύτερος δ’ ἂν εἴη τόπος ὁ τοῦ γένους καλούμενος, διαιρεῖται δὲ εἰς οἰκιστάς, εἰς τοὺς οἰκήσαντας, εἰς τὸν χρόνον, εἰς τὰς μεταβολάς, εἰς τὰς αἰτίας ἀφ’ ὧν αἱ πόλεις οἰκοῦνται. τούτων δ’ αὖ ἕκαστον πολλαχῆ διαιρετέον, οἷον εὐθὺς εἰ τίς οἰκιστὴς ζητοῖμεν, εἰ θεός, εἰ ἥρως, εἰ ἄνθρωπος, καὶ πάλιν κατὰ τύχας στρατηγὸς ἢ βασιλεὺς ἢ ἰδιώτης.

2. Ἐὰν μὲν τοίνυν θεὸς ᾖ, μέγιστον τὸ ἐγκώμιον, ὥσπερ ἐπ’ ἐνίων λέγεται, ὡς περὶ Ἑρμουπόλεως καὶ Ἡλιουπόλεως καὶ τῶν τοιούτων. ἐὰν δὲ ἡμιθέων καὶ ἡρώων ᾖ καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα θεὸς γενόμενος, ἔλαττον μὲν τὸ ἐγκώμιον, ἔνδοξον δὲ καὶ οὕτως, ὥσπερ ἐφ’ Ἡρακλείας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ὅσας ἢ Σαρπηδὼν ἢ Μίνως ᾤκισεν ἢ ἄλλοι ἥρωες. ἐὰν δὲ ἄνθρωπος, ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ στρατηγὸς ἢ βασιλεύς, ἔνδοξον, ἐὰν δὲ ἰδιώτης, ἄδοξον καὶ οὐκ ἐπιφανές.

3. Χρὴ οὖν, ὅτε τὸ περὶ τῶν οἰκιστῶν ἡμῖν διῄρηται, ἐκεῖνο τὸ θεώρημα [καὶ τὸ στοιχεῖον]1 κατὰ πάσης

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1.15. HOW TO PRAISE A CITY FOR ITS ORIGIN

1.15. HOW TO PRAISE A CITY FOR ITS ORIGIN

1. The second topic1 is called “origin” (genos) and is divided into founders, settlers, date, changes, and causes for settling cities. Each of these has many subdivisions. For instance, if we investigate who the founder was, we must determine whether he was a god, a hero, or a man, and in this last case, his station in life, whether he was a general, a king, or a private individual.

2. If the founder is a god—as is said of some cities such as Hermopolis, Heliopolis, and the like—the encomium is grandest. If he is a demigod or a hero who subsequently became a god, the encomium is less grand, but even so belongs to the “worthy”2 type, as is the case with the city of Heraclea3 and the various cities founded by Sarpedon, Minos, and other heroes.4 If he is a man and also a general or a king, the encomium is still of the worthy type; if, on the other hand, he is a private individual, the encomium is of the unworthy type and lacks distinction.

3. It is therefore necessary, now that we have subdivided the section on founders, to recognize this principle

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_1.2019