Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 194-195




1. Τὸ τῆς λαλιᾶς εἶδος χρησιμώτατόν ἐστιν ἀνδρὶ σοφιστῇ, καὶ ἔοικε δύο εἴδεσι τῆς ῥητορικῆς ὑποπίπτειν τῷ τε συμβουλευτικῷ καὶ τῷ ἐπιδεικτικῷ· πληροῖ γὰρ ἑκατέρου τὴν χρείαν· καὶ γὰρ ἄρχοντα ἐὰν ἐγκωμιάσαι βουλώμεθα, πολλῶν ἐγκωμίων παρέχει τὴν ἀφθονίαν· καὶ γὰρ δικαιοσύνην αὐτῷ καὶ φρόνησιν καὶ τὰς λοιπὰς ἀρετὰς διὰ τῆς λαλιᾶς καταμηνύειν δυνάμεθα. 2. καὶ μὴν καὶ συμβουλεῦσαι διὰ λαλιᾶς ὅλῃ πόλει καὶ ἀκροαταῖς πᾶσι καὶ ἄρχοντι, εἰ βουλοίμεθα, προσδραμόντι πρὸς τὴν ἀκρόασιν ῥᾴδιον. καὶ μὴν καὶ αὑτοῦ καταμηνῦσαί τινα ὀργὴν ἢ λύπην ἢ ἡδονὴν πρὸς τοὺς ἀκροατὰς διὰ λαλιᾶς οὐ κεκώλυται, ἔξεστι δὲ καὶ σχηματίσαι διάνοιαν ὅλην ἢ ἀποσκώπτοντα ἢ κωμῳδεῖν ἐπιχειροῦντα ἦθός τινος [προαιρούμενον],1 ἢ ψέγοντα βίον, ἢ ἄλλο τι τῶν τοιούτων. εἰπόντες δὲ τούτων παραδείγματα πειρασόμεθα 389καὶ περὶ τῶν ὑπολοίπων τοῦ γένους διεξελθεῖν.

3. Ἄρχοντός τινος ἔθνους διὰ λαλιᾶς πρόκειται ἡμῖν ἐγκώμιον. οὐκοῦν ζητήσομεν ὁποῖός ἐστι περὶ βασιλέας, ὁποῖός ἐστι περὶ κατασκευὰς τῶν πόλεων καὶ τῶν δημοσίων οἰκοδομημάτων, περὶ τὰς κρίσεις τῶν ἰδιωτῶν, ὁποῖος δὲ καὶ καθ’ ἑαυτὸν τὸν τρόπον,




1. The genre of the talk (lalia) is especially useful for a sophist. It naturally falls under two branches of rhetoric, the deliberative and the epideictic, because it makes use of both. For example, if we wish to praise a governor, epideictic rhetoric provides an abundance of encomiastic topics, since in a talk we are able to point out his justice, intelligence, and other virtues. 2. Then too, it is easy in a talk to give advice to an entire city and all the audience, including the governor, if, that is, he is in attendance and should we wish to do so. Furthermore, in a talk nothing prevents the speaker from expressing to the audience some anger, pain, or pleasure that he feels. It is even possible to shape one’s purpose as a whole by mocking or attempting to make fun of someone’s character, by criticizing either his way of life or some other such trait. After citing examples of these, we shall attempt to survey the remaining features of this genre.

3. Our first task for a talk is an encomium of a provincial governor. Accordingly, we shall take into consideration where he stands with respect to emperors, to the physical condition of cities and public buildings, and to the trials of private citizens, and also whether his personal manner

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019