Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 260-261

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γενεθλιακὸν μέλλῃς λέγειν, ἐρεῖς ὅτι τοῦτο αὐτὸ τοῦ νέου τὸ μέγιστον, ὅτι τοὺς λόγους ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἤδη κεκίνηκεν, εἶτα μετὰ τὰ προοίμια τὴν ἡμέραν ἐγκωμιάσεις, καθ’ ἣν ἐτέχθη, τῇ μεταχειρίσει τῇ προειρημένῃ χρώμενος.

4. Μετὰ ταῦτα τὸ γένος ἐρεῖς, εἶτα τὴν γένεσιν, εἶτα τὴν φύσιν· ἐπεὶ δὲ οὐδὲν ἔχεις ἕτερον παρὰ ταῦτα εἰπεῖν τοῦ νέου (νέος γὰρ ὢν οὐδέπω πράξεις ἐπεδείξατο), ἐρεῖς ἐκ μεθόδου ἐγκωμιάζων οὕτω· τοῦτο δὴ 413τεκμαιρόμενος περὶ τῶν μελλόντων μαντεύομαι, ὅτι παιδείας εἰς ἄκρον ἥξει καὶ ἀρετῆς, ὅτι φιλοτιμήσεται πόλεσιν, ἀγῶνας διαθήσει, κοσμήσει πανηγύρεις, καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα.



birthday speech for a very young child, you should say, “The most important thing about this child is that he has already inspired speeches about himself.” After this introduction, you should praise the day on which he was born, employing the treatment specified above.

4. Next, you should talk about his family, followed by his birth and nature. Since you have nothing more than this to say of a young child—because, being young, he has as yet no deeds to show—you should praise him by using the following technique.4 “Weighing his future on the basis of this, I predict that he will attain the heights of education and virtue, he will lavish benefits on cities, he will arrange games, he will sponsor festivals,” and so on.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019