Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 164-165




1. Ἐπιβατήριον ὁ βουλόμενος λέγειν δῆλός ἐστι βουλόμενος 378προσφωνῆσαι ἢ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πατρίδα ἐξ ἀποδημίας ἥκων, ἢ πόλιν ἑτέραν, εἰς ἣν ἂν ἀφίκηται, ἢ καὶ ἄρχοντα ἐπιστάντα τῇ πόλει. οὐκοῦν ἐν τούτοις ἅπασι τὸ προοίμιον ἐκ περιχαρείας εὐθύς· δεῖ γὰρ συνηδόμενον φαίνεσθαι ἢ ταῖς πόλεσιν, ὅτι θαυμάσιόν τινα καὶ ἐπαινούμενον ἄρχοντα δέχονται, ἢ τῷ ἄρχοντι, ὅτι ἐπ’ ἀγαθῇ μοίρᾳ ἥκει, ἢ καὶ αὐτὸν ἑαυτῷ τὸν λέγοντα ὅτι τεθέαται ἢ πόλιν ἢ ἄρχοντα, ὃν πάλαι τε καὶ ἐκ πλείονος ἰδεῖν ἐπεπόθει.

2. Κἂν μὲν ἄρχοντα, εὐθὺς ἐρεῖς· ἀλλ’ ἥκεις μὲν ἐπ’ αἰσίοις συμβόλοις ἐκ βασιλέως λαμπρός, ὥσπερ ἡλίου φαιδρά τις ἀκτὶς ἄνωθεν ἡμῖν ὀφθεῖσα· οὕτω πάλαι μὲν ἀγαθὴ φήμη διήγγειλε τὴν ἐπ’ αἰσίοις ἄφιξιν καὶ εὐκταιοτάτην μοῖραν τῶν ὑπηκόων· εἶτα κατασκευάσεις ὅτι βεβαιοῖς ἐν ἔργῳ τὴν φήμην, ἢ ὅτι ὑπερβάλλεις τὴν φήμην, ἢ ὡς ἂν ὁ καιρὸς διδῷ.

3. Εἶτα μετὰ τὸ προοίμιον τοῦτο ἥξεις εἰς τὸν περὶ τῶν ὑπηκόων λόγον. διπλοῦς δ’ οὗτος· ἢ γὰρ κακῶς πεπονθότων αὐτῶν παρὰ τοῦ μικρῷ πρόσθεν ἄρχοντος




1. Anyone proposing to deliver an arrival speech (epibatērios logos) obviously intends to address either his own hometown when arriving from abroad; another city to which he has come; or else a governor who has come to his city.1 In all these cases, the introduction begins immediately with expressions of joy, for the speaker must show that he is rejoicing with the cities (because they are receiving an admired and acclaimed governor), or with the governor (because he has come under auspicious circumstances), or is expressing his own joy (because he beholds the city or governor he had long desired to see).

2. If you are addressing a governor, say right off, “It is with favorable omens that you have come from the emperor, as splendid as a bright ray of sunshine appearing to us from on high. For a welcome report long ago announced your auspicious arrival and the good fortune that your subjects had fervently prayed for.” Then you can assert, “You confirm the report in fact,” or “You surpass the report”—or whatever the situation permits.

3. After this introduction, you should speak of the governor’s subjects. This takes two forms. Either you will vividly describe how badly they suffered under the recent

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019