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IV. Style1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2016

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Extract

Nearly four centuries after Thucydides wrote his famous characterization of stasis (iii. 82 f.), Dionysius of Halicarnassus (On Thucydides 29–33) subjected it to a severe stylistic criticism (words such as obscure’ and ‘contorted’ occur frequently, and some judgements on individual sentences express baffled exasperation). In particular, Dionysius confesses himself (32) unable to make any satisfactory sense of iii. 82. 7:

Dionysius does not command respect as a historian or as a critic of historiography; and we may even think him a captious critic of style when we have decided that the sentence quoted above means:

‘Most people do not mind being called clever when they are rogues, but they mind being called stupid when they are virtuous; they are shamed by the appellation “stupid”, but exult in “clever”.’

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Classical Association 1973

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Footnotes

page no 9 note 1

Schmid (p. 1 above), 181-204, assembles an immense amount of material relating to individual phenomena of Thucydides’ style, with a very full bibliography of books and articles up to 1939.

References

page no 11 note 1 Cf.Lüdtke, W., Untersuchungen zum Satzbau des Thukydides (das sogenannte Anakoluth) (Altona, 1930).Google Scholar

page no 12 note 1 On these affinities, cf. especially Finley, Essays (p. i above), 55-117, and Rittelmeyer, F., Thukydides und die Sophistik (Leipzig, 1913)Google Scholar. On early Greek prose style in general: Aly, W., Philologus Supplbd. xxi. 3 (1929)Google Scholar; Denniston, J. D., Greek Prose Style (Oxford, 1952), 122 Google Scholar; Norden, E., Die antike Kunstprosa (2 vols.; Berlin 3, 1915 Google Scholar; reprinted, Darmstadt, 1958), 15-101.

page no 12 note 2 Buck, C. D., The Greek Dialects (Chicago, 1955), 184 Google Scholar.

page no 12 note 3 Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum x (1949), no. 131.

page no 12 note 4 The most useful systematic description of fifth-century Attic phonology and morphology is still that of Rosenkranz, B., Indogermanische Forschungen xlviii (1930), 127-78Google Scholar. Existing discussions of vocabulary are out of date.

page no 13 note 1 Finley (above, p. 12 n. i) is rightly sceptical of direct Gorgianic influence on Thucydides; see also Denniston, 12 f.

page no 13 note 2 Ros, J., Die MЕТАВOΛН (Variatio) als Stilprinzip des Thukydides (Nijmegen, 1938 Google Scholar; reprinted, Amsterdam, 1968), exhaustive and minutely classified.

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IV. Style1
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