Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 212-213




3951. Ἡ προπεμπτικὴ λαλιὰ λόγος ἐστὶ μετ’ εὐφημίας τινὸς προπέμπων τὸν ἀπαίροντα. χαίρει δὲ ἁβρότητι καὶ διηγημάτων ἀρχαίων χάρισι. πολλοὶ δὲ τῆς προπεμπτικῆς τρόποι. εἷς μὲν ὁ δυνάμενος συμβουλὴν κατὰ μέρος δέξασθαι, τῶν λοιπῶν μερῶν δεχομένων καὶ ἐγκώμια καὶ λόγους ἐρωτικούς, εἰ βούλεται προστιθέναι καὶ ταῦτα ὁ λέγων· δύναται δὲ συμβουλὴν ἐπιδέξασθαι, ὅταν ὁ πολλῷ κρείττων προπέμπῃ τὸν ἥττονα, ὡς ὅταν ὁ παιδευτὴς προπέμπῃ τὸν ἀκροατήν· δίδωσι γὰρ αὐτῷ συμβουλευτικὸν ἦθος τὸ οἰκεῖον ἀξίωμα.

2. Ἕτερος δὲ τρόπος ἂν γένοιτο, ἐν ᾧ δυνήσεταί τις ἐνδείξασθαι ἦθος ἐρωτικὸν καὶ διάπυρον περὶ τὸν προπεμπόμενον, συμβουλὴν μὴ καταμιγνύς, τῆς ἀξίας ὑπαρχούσης ἐφαμίλλου καὶ τῆς δόξης ἴσης τῷ προπέμποντι καὶ τῷ προπεμπομένῳ, ὡς ὅταν ἑταῖρος ἑταῖρον προπέμπῃ· καὶ γὰρ εἰ βελτίων εἴη ὁ προπέμπων ἐνταῦθα τοῦ ἀπαίροντος, ἀλλ’ οὖν ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ ὀνόματος καὶ τὸ ἀμφοτέρους εἶναι φίλους ἀφαιρεῖται τὸ ἀξίωμα τῆς συμβουλῆς τὸν λέγοντα.

3. Γένοιτο δ’ ἂν καὶ ἄλλος τρόπος πλείονα διατριβὴν ἔχων περὶ τὰ ἐγκώμια μᾶλλον, σχεδὸν δὲ εἰπεῖν




1. The sendoff talk (propemptikē lalia) is a laudatory speech that bids farewell to a person who is departing. It delights in delicacy (habrotēs)1 and the charm (charis) of old stories. There are many types of sendoff talks. One type contains advice in one part, while the remaining parts contain praise and expressions of love (should the speaker wish to add them). It can admit advice when a much more important person is sending off an inferior, as when a teacher sends off a student, for his particular status grants him the character of an advisor.

2. There can be a second type, in which the speaker is able to display a loving and passionate attitude toward the one departing without including any advice. This occurs when the status and reputation of the two parties are equal, as when a friend is sending off his friend. For even if the one bidding farewell in this case is superior to the one departing, nonetheless the title they share as mutual friends deprives the speaker of his advisory status.

3. Yet a third type spends much more time on praise (indeed, one might say almost the entire time), when the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019