Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 258-259

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1. Ὁ γενεθλιακὸς λόγος διαιρεῖται οὕτως. πρῶτον μὲν ἐρεῖς προοίμια, μετὰ τὰ προοίμια τὴν ἡμέραν ἐπαινέσεις καθ’ ἣν ἐτέχθη ὁ ἐπαινούμενος, καὶ εἰ μὲν ἐν ἱερομηνίᾳ ἢ ἄλλῃ τινὶ πανηγύρει, ἐρεῖς ἐγκώμιον ἀπὸ τῶν τῆς ἡμέρας, ὅτι ἐν ἱερομηνίᾳ ἐτέχθη, ὅτι ἐν πανηγύρει· εἰ δὲ μηδὲν ἔχοις εἰπεῖν τοιοῦτον, ἐπαινέσεις τὴν ἡμέραν ἀπὸ <τοῦ>1 καιροῦ, ὅτι θέρους ὄντος ἐτέχθη, ὅτι ἔαρος ἢ χειμῶνος ἢ μετοπώρου, εἰ οὕτω τύχοι, καὶ ἐρεῖς τοῦ καιροῦ τὰ ἐξαίρετα.

2. Μετὰ τὸν τῆς ἡμέρας ἔπαινον ἐπὶ τὸ ἐγκώμιον ἥξεις αὐτοῦ τοῦ γένους, εἶτα τῆς γενέσεως, εἶτα τῆς ἀνατροφῆς, εἶτα τῶν ἐπιτηδευμάτων, εἶτα τῶν πράξεων. ἐρεῖς δὲ καθ’ ἕκαστον τῶν κεφαλαίων, ὡς ἤδη φθάσαντες πολλάκις εἰρήκαμεν, σύγκρισιν, εἶτα μετὰ τὸ καθ’ ἕκαστον τῶν κεφαλαίων ἰδίαν σύγκρισιν ἐργάσασθαι ἐρεῖς τελευταῖον σύγκρισιν πρὸς ὅλην τὴν ὑπόθεσιν.

3. Μετὰ ταῦτα πάλιν ἐπαίνει τὴν ἡμέραν οὕτως· ὢ πανευδαίμονος ἡμέρας ἐκείνης καθ’ ἣν ἐτίκτετο, ὢ μητρὸς ὠδῖνες εὐτυχῶς ἐπὶ τοῦτο λυθεῖσαι. πρότερον ταῦτα καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα ἐρεῖς. ἐὰν δὲ κομιδῇ τινος νέου




1. The birthday speech (genethliakos logos) is analyzed as follows.1 After first delivering introductory material, you should praise the day on which the honorand was born. If he was born during a sacred month or during some other festival, you should derive your praise from the circumstances of that day, namely that he was born during a sacred month or during a festival. If you have nothing of this sort to say, you should praise the day on the basis of the season, namely that he was born in summer, spring, winter, or fall, as the case may be. You may then mention the special attractions of the season.

2. After praising the day, you will come to the praise of his family, followed by his birth, upbringing, activities, and deeds. In each of these sections, as I have said many times,2 you should make comparisons. Then, after making specific comparisons in each section, you should pronounce a comprehensive comparison of the whole subject.

3. After this, praise the day again in this fashion: “O blessed day on which he was born! How fortunate his mother’s labor pains that resulted in his birth.” You should say such things beforehand.3 If you are going to deliver a

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019