Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 294-295




1. Ἐὰν δὲ ὑπὲρ πόλεως καμνούσης δέῃ πρεσβεῦσαι, ἐρεῖς μὲν καὶ ταῦτα ἃ προείρηται ἐν τῷ στεφανωτικῷ, πανταχοῦ δὲ τὸ τῆς φιλανθρωπίας τοῦ βασιλέως αὐξήσεις, καὶ ὅτι φιλοικτίρμων καὶ ἐλεῶν τοὺς δεομένους, καὶ ὅτι διὰ τοῦτο ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν κατέπεμψεν, ὅτι ᾔδει αὐτὸν ἐλεήμονα καὶ εὖ ποιοῦντα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.

2. Καὶ ὅταν εἴπῃς τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνδρείας ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις καὶ τὰ ἀπὸ τῆς εἰρήνης ἀγαθά, ἥξεις ἐπὶ τὴν μνήμην τῆς πόλεως, ὑπὲρ ἧς πρεσβεύεις. ἐν δὲ ταύτῃ δύο τόπους ἐργάσῃ, ἕνα μὲν τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς τοῦ ἐναντίου αὐξήσεως, οἷον· ἦν ποτε τὸ Ἴλιον πόλις λαμπρὰ καὶ ὀνομαστοτάτη τῶν ὑφ’ ἥλιον πασῶν, καὶ ἀντέσχεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀπὸ τῆς Εὐρώπης πολέμους τὸ παλαιόν· 3. εἶτα τὸν ἐκ διατυπώσεως, ἐν ᾧ καὶ διασκευάσεις τὴν παροῦσαν τύχην, ὅτι πέπτωκεν εἰς ἔδαφος, καὶ μάλιστα ἐκείνων μνημονεύσεις ἃ πρὸς τὴν χρείαν καὶ τὴν ζωὴν συμβάλλεσθαι πέφυκε, καὶ ὧν εἰώθασιν οἱ βασιλεῖς προνοεῖσθαι, οἷον ὅτι λουτρὰ συμπέπτωκεν, ὑδάτων ὀχετοὶ διεφθάρησαν, κόσμος



2.12. THE AMBASSADOR’S SPEECH (presbeutikos logos)

1. If you are called upon to serve as an ambassador on behalf of a city in distress, include what was prescribed for the crown speech, but at every point amplify the emperor’s humanity, saying how sympathetic and compassionate he is to those in need of help, and how the gods sent him down for that very reason, because they knew him to be merciful and benevolent to mankind.

2. After speaking of his courageous acts in wars and benefactions in peacetime, proceed to mention the city on whose behalf you are serving as ambassador. Here you should develop two topics. The first consists of amplifying the opposite case.1 For example, “The city of Ilium was once illustrious and the most famous of all cities under the sun, and it held out long ago against attacks from Europe.”2 3. The second consists of a vivid description, in which you elaborate the present misfortune, saying how the city has fallen to the ground. You should mention especially those things that naturally contribute to people’s needs and livelihoods, things that emperors usually see to. For example, “The baths have collapsed, the aqueducts

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019