Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

. (page 103 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 103 of 153)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


1 u. The poem ascribed to him, termed UapaKtmnnEva 'Ojurjpw, Things omitted by
Homer, is o.awn from the Cychc poets (cf § 21). It consists of 14 books, giving the
history of tlo siege of Troy from the death of Hector to the departure of the Greeks.

2. Cardinal Bessarion found, in a convent at or near Otranto in Calabria, a manu-
script copy of this poem, and also of that of Coluthus. And there is in manuscript
another poem ascribed to Quintus, on the tivelve labors of Hercules, in the library of

St. Mark, and in that of the king of Bavaria at Munich. Studious imitation of

Homer is apparent everywhere in the Paralipomena. Some have considered it a sort
of amplitication of the Little Iliad of Lesrhes, one of the early cyclic poets, or a com-
pilation gathered from various poets of that class.

Schmi, vi 91, where is a pretty full analysis of the poem.— Tourlet, in his translation, and Tychten, in his edition cited below
(?).—K. L. Slruve, in his Abb. u. Relen meist. philnl. Inhalts. Konigsb. 1822. 8.

3. Editions— B—TVi. Cr. Tychsen. Strassb. 1S07. 2 vols. 8. F. The first by Aldus, with Coluthus, cited § 77. 2.—Shodo-

mann, Gr. & Lat. Han. 1604. 8.-/. C. de Pauw, Gr. & Lat. Leyd. 1734. 8.

4. Translations.- French — .R. Tourlet. Par. 1800. 2 vols. 8. " not faithful." (Fuhrmann).

5. In contipciion with the imitations of Hniner in the poems ascribed to Coluthus and Quintus,
we may notice another imitation of a singnlar i^ind, the 'OfiTipdKevrpa, Homerocentra. This is a
Life of Jesus Christ, in 2343 hexameter lines, formed by verses and hemistichs selected from Ho-
mer. It is ascribed by some to a Pela^iies, who lived in the 5th century ; by others to Eudocia.
wife of the emperor Theodosius 2d. It was probably the work of both, having been commenced
by the former and finished by the latter.

The edition by L H. Teucher. Gr. & Lat. Lpz. 1733. 8. is mentioned as the bes<.

§ 79. Tryphindorus, a native of Egypt, of whose history nothing i.s known,
lived in the 6th century, and was the author of a poem, entitled 'ixiov a?.wcjtj,
the Destruction nf Tmy. It is marked by bombast and affectation of ornament.

1. He is said to have written other poems, as the Marathoniaca, the Hippodameia,
and the Odijssey called Lipogrammatic (Xf(-oypa/<//aTt>c»j), because some particular lettei
61 2S


of the alphabet was excluded from each of its 24 books ; or, according to others,
because the letter S was excluded from the whole poem. The Destruction of Troy
consists of only 681 verses, and is perhaps merely a sort of argument of a more full
work contemplated by the author. — Scholl, vi. 109.

2. Editions.— B.—f. A. JVcmiche (comple'ed by Zumpf). Lpz. 1819. S.— Thorn. Narthmore, Camb. 1791. and Lond. 1804. 8.

Gr. & Lat. with excursuses. F — Princtpi, by Aldus, as cited § 77. 2. — Fr. Jamot, Gr. & Lat. Par. 1537. 8.—/. Merrick, Gr.

& Lat. Oxf. 1741. 8. with a dissertalion on the life and writings of Tryph. and an Englith metTicalvtrsion in a separate volume.
—Bodcmi, 1796. fol.— G. H. Schafer (pr. Taudtnitz). U[)S. 1S08. fol. ^

§ 80. TAeoc/orus Prorfromus lived at Constantinople in the first half of the 12th
century. There are several works by him yet remaining in manuscript, from
which it appears that he followed the various pursuits of theologian, philoso-
pher, grammarian and rhetorician. He is mentioned here on account of his
erotic poem in 9 books, styled the Loves of Rhodanthe and Dosides. Cf. § 33.

1. He enjoyed high reputation among his contemporaries, and the epithet Cyrus
(K'poj for Ki'piof) often joined to his name, is said to have been given to him in token of
respect. On embracing monastic life, he assumed the name of Hilarion. His poem
above mentioned is but an indifferent performance^. Various other poetical pieces
were composed by him ; as the Galeomyomachia, or GaleomacMa, mentioned § 50. 3;
a poem, styled Poverty gives wisdom; another styled Friendship hanished; and some
epiffra)7is in honor of eminent Christian Fathers, Basil, Chrysostom, and others.
Othfr pieces remain in manuscript.— Many works in prose were also written by him,
of a character, which places them in the class of grammatical and rhetorical works^.

1 Of. Scholl, Hist. Litt. Gr. vol. vi p. 121. — Huet, Traite de I'origine des Romans. Par. 1711. 12. p. 118. ^Scholl, vol. tL p.

?15, 263. Harles, Brev. Nctit. Liter. Gr. p. 591.

2. Editions —The Rhodanthe and Doticles, by G Gavlmin, Par. 1K5. 8. the only edition of the original.— A French

translation is contained in the BiUioth. d. Rumani Grecs, vol. li. as cited § 152. 2. The Galeomachi a,by F. Moral, Gr. ft

Lat. Par. 160S. 8.— best, by K. D. Ilgm, as cited § 50. 3. Povert y, ^ by G. Morell (pr.), Gr. & Lat. Far. 1549. 4. Cf.

Karay's Aiakta. Par. lS2li. 8. 1st vol. Epigramt, by/. Erard. Lpz. 1598. 8.

3. Two other authors were mentioned ($ 33) in speaking of erotic poetry, Kicetas Eugenianus
and Con>tanfive Mavasses ; i\\e Aristander and Callithea of the latter being nearly all lost; the
Drosilla and Charicles of the former, in nine books, still existing.

These were firtt published by J. F. Bousonade. Par. 1S19. 2 vols. 12. Gr. & Lat.

§ 81. Tzefzes or Tzetza {John) was a grammarian of the 12th century, at
Constantinople. From the works and fragments of other poets, and without
taste, he compiled what were called his Intehomerica {ta 7tp6 'OjUjjpou), Home-
rica (ta 'O;uj;pou), and Posihomerica (ra ^iO' "OjA-r^pov). To these he also fur-
nished scholia or comments.

1. The three pieces form a whole of 1665 hexameters, and are together called 'Iham.
The first contains events from the birth of Paris to the tenth year of the Trojan war,
with which Homer's Ihad opens; the second consists of an abridgment of that poem ;
the third, like the poem of Quintus, refers to what occurred between the death of
Hector and the return of the Greeks. Tzetzes also wrote a work in political verse,
called Bip'Xog wropiKii, treating of topics of history, mythology, and hterature, in a very
miscellaneous and disconnected manner : the work is more commonly called Chiliades,
from a division of the verses into several portions of 1000 lines each. He also com-
posed an iambic poem, on the educntion of children. Several other works in verse
by him are yet in manuscript. The most considerable is the "^Trodecng tov 'Ojifipov, ex-
plaining the fables of Homer. But Tzetzes holds a higher rank as a grammarian and
scholiast. He wrote commentaries on Homer's Iliad and on Hesiod. His commen-
tary on Lvcophron, by some ascribed to his brother, Isaac Tzetzes, has been men-
tioned (§ 67. 1).

Scholl, vi. p. 125. cf. p. 265, 269.

2. The first edition of the pieces constituting the II a tea; G. B.Shirach. Hal. 1770. 8. very imperfect.— The next, and im-
proved, iV. /a£o;». Lpz. 1793. S.— Last, and best text, S. .Beiiier. Berl. 1816. 8 —The Chiliades; by A'. GcrltUus. Bas.
1346. fol.—/. Lectius, in Poetae Gr. etc. in unum redacti corpus. Colon. AUobr. 1614. 2 vols, fol.— Best, t T. Kiessling- Lips.

II. — Oratory and Orators,

^ 82u. Prose was cultivated later than verse, and oratory later than other branches
of prose composition, of which the earliest form was historical. But although oratory,
in form and as an art, did not exist at so early a period, yet even in the heroic ages
♦here was actual eloquence. There was practical skill in moving the feelings of
assembled numbers in civil and m.iliiary affairs. We have evidence of tlus iu the


addresses made by the warriors of Homer, which, ahhough doubtless the productions
of the poet, are yet a proof of the existence and the success of a sort of oratory.

§ 83 u. The example of those historical writers, who were not indifferent to the
beauties of style, seems to have first suggested to the Greeks the advantage of careful
attention to the language and manner of their spoken addresses. From the time of
Solon (B. C. 594), political eloquence was much practiced at Athens, and by the emu-
lation of great speakers was ere long advanced to high perfection. Rhetoric and
oratory soon became objects of systematic study, and were indispensable in the edu-
cation of such as wished to gain any public office, or any influence in the affairs of
the state.

<> 84. It may be remarked, then, that Grecian oratory was not of early or sud-
den growth, it was not till after Greece had adopted the popular forms of government,
not till after the works of her Homer had been collected and begun to be studied, and
after her general prosperity and independence allowed her citizens to attend to speak-
ing as an art, that Greece exhibited any very eminent orators. At the time of Solon,
beyond which the history of Grecian eloquence cannot be carried back, several of the
states had existed much longer than Rome had at the time of Cicero. While eloquence
made its first appearance thus late, and gradually rose to perfection under the peculiar
circumstances of the nation, it continued in power and splendor only for a short period.
Its real history must be considered as terminating with the usurpation of Philip and
the supremacy of Macedon over southern Greece ; so that the whole space of time,
during which Grecian oratory particularly flourished, includes less than three hundred
years. This space coincides with the third of the periods into which we have divided
the history of Greek Literature, from Solon (about 600 B. G.) to Alexander (B. C.
336). It is, however, the brightest period in the annals of Greece; a glorious day, at
the close of which her sun went down in clouds and never again rose in its native

"5» 85. It is also worthy of remark, that whatever glory has redounded to the Greeks
for their eloquence, belongs almost exclusively to Athens. In the other states it was
never cultivated with success. The orators, of whose genius any monuments are still
preserved, or whose names have been recorded as distinguished, were Athenians. So
that Cicero in his Brutus inquires, who knows of a Corinthian or Theban orator, unless
you except Epaminondas ? Out of Greece, however, the study flourished, both in the
islands and in the settlements in western Asia. The Sicilians were the first who
attempted to form rules for the art, and the Rhodians had orators that might be com-
pared with the Attic.

On Epaminondas, see Gedoyn, Li vie d'Epaminondas, Mem. de TAcad. des hiscr. vol. xiv. p. 183.

^ 86. To one who traces the history of Grecian oratory through the period which has
been mentioned, it will present itself under three different aspects successively. It
exhibits one characteristic appearance from the time of Pisistratus to the close of the
Persian war ; another from the close of the Persian to the close of the Peloponnesian ;
and a third from the close of the Peloponnesian war to the supremacy of Macedon.
A glance at the peculiar character of the eloquence of these three portions, will give
us perhaps the best general view of the whole.

See Ckero's Brutus. — Heeren's Greece by Bancroft, p. 257, wtiere some of the views touched upon in the following sections are
beautifully developed.

"Ji 87. Of the first portion no monuments or fragments of the oratory remain. Its
character must be drawn altogether from the testimony of later periods and from circum-
stantial indications. It was in this age, that the poems of Homer were collected and
published ; which gave a new impulse to Grecian mind, and unquestionably exerted an
influence on the language and oratory of the times. As the models of language and
style were all in poetry and not in prose, the speeches and the composition of this age
were marked by a poetical structure, by something of the rhythm and measure of verse.
Such indeed was the preference for metrical composition, that Parmenides taiicrht his
philosophy in verse, and Solon published his laws in the dress of poetry. Solon is
ranked among the distinguished orators of the period ; and the first circumstance which
brought him into notice, was a poetical harangue to the populace of Athens.

^ 88. Oratory as an art was now scarcely conceived. The orators were only the
favorite leaders of the people ; chiefly such as had been brave and successful in war,
who gained popular influence by military enterprise, and were permitted to be powerful
statesmen because they were fortunate generals. Their speeches were brief simple,
bold; adorned with few ornaments (cf Anochavfsis, ii. 257). accompanied with little
action. Such was Pisistratus, whose valor in the field and eloquence in the assembly
raised him to an authority utterly inconsistent with the republican principles of his
country. Such too was Themistocles. In him predominated the bravery and art of the
mihtary chieftain. It was his policy and energy that saved Greece from the dominion
of Persia. He acquired unlimited sway as a statesman and orator: because, in pro-
posing and urging the plans which his clear and comprehensive mind had once formed,
he could not but be eloquent • and because he never offered a plan, which he was no{


ready and able to execute with certain success. His eloquence, like his pohcy, was
vigorous, decided, bordering on the severe, but dignified and manly. It was altogether
the most distinguished of the age ; and the name of Themistocles is therefore selected
to mark this era in the history of Grecian eloquence.

^ 89. Of the second portion of the period in view, as well as the first, we have no
remains which are acknowledged to be genuine, if we except the harangues of Anti-
phon. The number of eminent public speakers was, however, increased ; and there
began to be more preparation, by previous study and effort, for the business of ad-
dressing the popular assemblies. In this age, the orators were men who had devoted
their early years to the study of philosophy, and whose attainments and political talents
raised them to the place of statesmen, while this elevation still imposed on them the
duties of the soldier and the general.

The most celebrated among them were Pericles, who flourished first in order of
time, and after him successively Cleo?i, Alcibiades, Critias, and Theramenes. Pericles
and Alcibiades exerted the greatest influence upon the condition and interests of the
Athenians. The latter, ambitious of glory and fearless of danger, ardent and quick in
feeling, and exceedingly versatile in character and principle, was able, in spite of a de-
fective pronunciation (Anach. i. 305) and a hesitating delivery, so perfectly to control
a popular assembly and mold their feelings by his own will, that he was regarded as
one of the greatest of orators.

§ 90. But to Pericles must be granted the honor of giving a name to this era of elo-
quence. His talents were of the highest order, and he qualified himself for public in-
fluence by long and intense study in private. He disclosed his powers in the assembhes
with caution, and whenever he spoke, impressed the hearers with new convictions of
his strength and greatness. His information was various and extensive, his views
always liberal and elevated, his feelings and purposes in general highly patriotic and
generous. Cicero remarks of him, that even when he spoke directly against the will
of the populace and against their favorites, what he said was popular ; the comic sa-
tirists, while they ridiculed and cursed him, acknowledged his excellence ; and so much
did he shine in learning, wisdom, and eloquence, that he ruled Athens for forty years
almost without a rival.

Pericles pronounced a funeral eulogium over those who fell in the first battles of the
Peloponnesian war. This oration Thucydides professes to give us in his history (ii. 35) ;
but most probably we have the fabrication of the historian, and not the actual produc-
tion of the orator. The piece, however, may indicate the peculiarities of Pericles and
the other speakers of the age.

Cf. E. Bentham, Funeral Eulogies from Thucydides, Plato, Lysias, and Xenophon, in the original Greek, &.C. Oxf. 1678. 8.

^ 91. The distinguishing qualities of their eloquence were simple grandeur of lan-
guage, rapidity of thought, and brevity crowded with matter to such an extent even as
to create occasional obscurity. They had very httle of artificial plan, or of rhetorical
illustration and ornament. Their speeches are seldom marked by any of the figures
and contrivances to produce effect, which the rules of sophists brought into use among
the later orators. They have less of the air of martial addresses than the harangues
of the first period we have noticed, but far more of it than appears in the third. Their
character is such as to show, that while the orator was a statesman of influence in the
civil council, he was also at the same time a commander in war. Such was the elo-
quence of the era which is designated by the name o{ Pericles.

§ 92. But the third is the most glorious era, and is marked by a name which has been
allowed to stand pre-eminent in the history of human eloquence, that oi Demosthenes.
It was an age fruitful in orators, of whose talents there still remain rich and splendid
monuments. The orator was no longer necessarily united with the general ; but was
able to control the deUberations of the people, although he never encountered the perils
of the camp.

It was now that oratory became a regular study, and numbers devoted themselves to
the business of teaching its rules. These teachers, known by the name of Sophists
and Rhetoricians, made the most arrogant and ridiculous pretensions, professing to
communicate the art of speaking copiously and fluently on any point whatever. But
we must not affix to all, who went under this name, the idea of a vain and pompous
declaimer. There were some honorable exceptions; e. g. Isocrates, who taught the
art, and whose influence upon the oratory of this period was so great, that Cicero gives
him the honor of forming its general character. His school was the resort of all who
aimed at the glory and the rewards of eloquence.

Isocrates, Lysias, Isaeus, iEschines, and Demosthenes, are the bright names in the
constellation which marks this era. Andocides, Dinarchus, Hyperides, and Lycurgus,
are also recorded as eminent speakers. These, with Antiphon of the preceding era,
form the illustrious company of the ten Athenian orators. They could have been,
however, only a small part of the number in the profession in this period, as we might
judge, even had no names been recorded, from the fact that at its very close there were
at least ten, and according to some thirty, whom the Macedonian conqueror demanded
to be dehvered up to him as hostile to his supremacy. — Scholl, ii. p. 265.


$ 93. In the agp before us, the general characteristics are to be found in the state and
circumstances of the profession, rather than in the form or nature of the eloquence.
Each of the more eminent orators had his distinguishing peculiarities, which makes it
difficult to mark the prominent traits, whicii might be stamped upon all. It is easy,
notwithstanding, to notice the influence of the system of art, to which the speakers of
this age thought it necessary to attend. 'J'here is in their orations too little of the plain
and direct simplicity of former times, and much, often far too much, of the ambush and
artifice of logic, the flourish and sound of mere rhetoric. You discover also, frequent-
ly, the orator's consciousness of influence arising from his skill in speaking. It was an
age, when the populace flocked to the assemblies and the courts of justice for the sake
of hearing and being affected ; when even the unprincipled demagogue could, by the
spell of his tongue, raise himself to the archonship of Athens.

^ 9-i. This period furnished a greater number and variety of occasions for the display
of oratorical talents. Numerous slate prosecutions, similar to that in which Lysias en-
gaged against Eratosthenes, grew out of the disturbances and revolutions connected
with the Peloponnesian war, and these necessarily drew forth the genius of opposing
advocates. Public discussions, hkewise, became frequent upon different subjects re-
lating to war, politics, and government, which opened a wide field not merely for
harangue, but for studied and labored composition.

At the close of the period, the encroachment of Philip on the Grecian rights afforded
an ample theme both for the ambitious demagogue and the zealous patriot. This cir-
cumstance was perhaps the cause of the peculiar energy and warmth of feeling, which
distinguished much of the oratory of the period. Although the writers and speakers
difl^ered in opinion as to the true policy of the Greeks, their orations breathe a common
spirit of national attachment and national pride and confidence. Indeed "the patriotism
and the genius of Greece seem to have exhausted themselves in the efforts of this last
day of her independence and her glory. In Demosthenes she heard the last tones of
her favorite art, as she did the last remonstrance against her submission to servitude.^

§ 95. Such is a glance at the rise and progress of eloquence in Greece. Late in its
origin, confined chiefly to Athens, flourishing only for a comparatively short time,
marked successively by the eras of Themistocles, Pericles, and Demosthenes, it ended
its career when the country lost its independence, but with a glory that is gone out into
all lands, and will survive through all ages. — It should be observed, however, that
Cicero and other writers speak of the eloquence of the period immediately subsequent
to Philip and Alexander; and here is the place for a few words respecting it.

^ 96. True eloquence, says SchoU (iii. 239), that which speaks to the heart and pas-
sions of men, and which not merely convinces but carries away the hearer, ceased with
the fall of liberty. Under the successors of Alexander, not finding any object worthy
of its exertions, it fled from the scenes of politics to the retreats of the schools. Athena,
degraded from her eminence, no longer was the exclusive residence of an art, whicn
had once thrown such luster over her name and history. From this time, instead of
the orators of Attica, we hear only of the orators of Asia. In reality, however, instead
of orators at all, among the Greeks anywhere, we find, after this time, only rheto-

The most famous of the schools just alluded to, was that of Rhodes, founded by
jEschines. In these institutions the masters gave out themes, on which the young
pupils exercised their talents. These were frequently historical subjects. Often the
questions which had exercised the great orators of the previous age were again de-
bated. But such performances had not for their object to convince judges, or force an
assembly to action. The highest aim now was to awaken admiration in hearers, who
wished not to be moved, but to be entertained. The noble simplicity of the old orators
was exchanged for a style overcharged with rhetorical ornaments.

Hegesius of Magnesia is regarded as the father of the new style of eloquence and
composition which now appeared, and which, as has been already mentioned, was
termed Asiatic. His discourses are lost.

^ 97. But the principal name worthy of notice after the time of Alexander is Deme-
trius Phalereus, who was appointed governor of Athens, by Cassander king of Mace-
donia. He was the last of the great orators of Greece. Cicero speaks of Demetrius
with considerable commendation, as the most learned and polished of all after the an-
cient masters. But he describes {Brutus, 9) his influence as substituting softness and
tenderness instead of power ; cultivating sweetness rather than force ; a sweetness
which difl^used itself through the soul without stirring the passions ; forming an elo-
quence which impressed on the mind nothing but its own symmetry, and which never
left, like the eloquence of Pericles, a sting along with the delight.

§ 98. We pause here in our general glance at Grecian oratory, because every thing
pertaining to the subject, in the periods after the capture of Corinth (B. C. 146), will be
more properly introduced in speaking of the Sophists and Rhetoricians.

But it is important to allude to the three branches, into which Grecian oratory was
divided by the teachers. They were the deliberative, the legal or judicial, and the
demcnslraliveoT panegyrical. Demosthenes is the unrivaled master in the first. Ly-



Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 103 of 153)