Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 334-335




1. Δεῖ μὲν ὁμολογεῖν σε εὐθὺς ἐν προοιμίῳ τῷ πρώτῳ ὅτι δεῖ τὸν λόγους κτησάμενον ἀποδοῦναι λογίῳ θεῷ τὰς χάριτας διὰ τῶν λόγων οὓς δι’ αὐτὸν τὸν μουσηγέτην κεκτήμεθα, ἄλλως τε καὶ ὅτι προστάτης καὶ συνεργὸς τῆς ἡμετέρας πόλεως, οὐ μόνον νῦν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέκαθεν, ὥστε διπλῆν τὴν χάριν ὀφείλεσθαι, ὑπέρ τε τῶν λόγων ὑπέρ τε τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν, καὶ τρίτον ὅτι καὶ ἄλλως ὁμολογούμενόν ἐστι δεῖν ἀνυμνεῖν τοὺς κρείττονας καὶ τῆς εἰς αὐτοὺς εὐφημίας μηδέποτε ῥᾳθυμεῖν.

2. Τὸ δεύτερον ἐργάσῃ λαβὼν τοιαύτην ἔννοιαν· Ὅμηρος μὲν οὖν πάλαι <καὶ ἐν>1 ὕμνοις καὶ τῇ μεγάλῃ ποιήσει τοὺς πρὸς ἀξίαν ὕμνους εἴρηκε τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παρέλιπε τοῖς μετ’ αὐτὸν ὑπερβολὴν οὐδεμίαν· καὶ ὅτι αἱ Μοῦσαι καθ’ Ἡσίοδον πρὸς τὴν ἀξίαν ὑμνοῦσιν ἀεὶ τὸν Ἀπόλλωνα· προὔλαβε δὲ καὶ Πίνδαρος ὕμνους γράφων εἰς τὸν θεὸν ἀξίους τῆς ἐκείνου λύρας· ὅμως δ’ ἐπειδήπερ εἰώθασιν οἱ κρείττους καὶ τὰς σμικροτάτας τῶν θυσιῶν ἀποδέχεσθαι, ὅταν γίγνωνται εὐαγῶς, οὐκ ἀφέξομαι δὴ καὶ αὐτὸς κατὰ



2.16. THE SMINTHIAN ORATION (sminthiakos logos)

1. You should acknowledge right away in the first introduction: “One who possesses the faculty of speech must give thanks to the god of eloquence,1 by using the speech that we have acquired from the Leader of the Muses himself, especially since he is the champion and helper of our city,2 not only now but since its founding, so that double gratitude is due him—for the faculty of speech and for his benefactions—and thirdly, because in any case it is acknowledged that one must hymn the gods and never neglect their praise.”

2. You should compose the second introduction by taking up a topic like the following. “Long ago, in both his Hymns and his major poetry, Homer gave voice to hymns worthy of the god that none of his successors could surpass. And, according to Hesiod,3 the Muses forever sing hymns worthy of Apollo. Pindar, too, preceded us in writing hymns to the god worthy of the god’s own lyre.4 Nevertheless, since gods are wont to accept even the smallest sacrifices when piously offered, I for one shall not shrink

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019