Sublimity and emotional intensity are a wonderfully helpful antidote against the suspicion that accompanies the use of figures. If achievements were to be judged by the number of excellences and not by their greatness, Hyperides would then be altogether superior to Demosthenes. Longinus says that, both nature and art contribute to sublimity in literature. ble the sailors, 36. [Return], Hector lifted his voice and cried afar to the Trojans An ardent Judge, who Zealous in his Trust, With Warmth gives Sentence, yet is always Just; Whose own Example strengthens all his Laws, And Is himself that great Sublime he draws. “Longinus,” On the Sublime (1st or 3rd century AD) Longinus promotes an “elevation of style” and an essence of “simplicity”: “the Sublime refers to a style of writing that elevates itself above the ordinary”… five sources of the Sublime: “great thoughts, strong emotions, certain … [Return] c. The statue of the boy with a lance by Polyclitus of Argos was regarded as a model of beautiful proportions (Pliny, Natural History 34.55). That gave us birth and having given birth 9.2.62; 12.10.24; Hermogenes, De ideis p. 267 Rabe), and Longinus’ discussion was highly praised by Dr. Johnson (Life of Dryden p. 299, World’s Classics edition). ... is most nourishing and productive; so, too, with Anacreon's “No more care I for the Thracian filly.”a In the same way the novel phrase used by Theopompus is commendable; it seems to me extremely expressive because of the analogy, though Caecilius for some reason finds fault with it. But not yet have I blown the noble strain.a, All this has lost the tone of tragedy: it is pseudo-tragic— the “coronals” and “spewing to heaven” and making Boreas a piper and all the rest of it. Now, therefore if you are willing to endure hardship, at the moment there is toil for you, but you will be able to overcome your enemies.” Here the natural order was, “O men of Ionia, now is the time for you to endure toil, for our fortunes stand upon a razors edge.” He has transposed “men of Ionia” and started at once with his fears, as though the terror was so immediate that he could not even address the audience first. The speaker is Boreas. This refers either to the parts of Theocritus which are not pastoral or (more probably) to slips of factual detail noted by grammarians. grievous employment: [Return] b. In close company with vast and unconscionable Wealth there follows, ‘step for step,’ as they say,a Extravagance: and no sooner has the one opened the gates of cities or houses, than the other comes and makes a home there too. 14. M
. [Return] d. Or (reading . Art that of good judgement. Whether or not art conveys supposed dangerous ideas, his aim is to examine what makes art sublime. As Homer says: “Surely half of our manhood is robbed by the day of enslavement.”a “And so,” he adds, “if what I hear is true that not only do the, cages in which they keep the pygmies or dwarfs, as they are called, stunt the growth of their prisoners, but enfeeble them by the bonds applied to their bodies, on the same principle all slavery, however equitable, might well be described as a cage for the soul, a common prison.” However I took him up and said, “It is easy, my good friend, and it is characteristic of human nature always to find fault with things as they are at the moment. . But since you have now asked me in my turn to prepare some notes on the sublime for your own sake, let us then see whether my, a. Caecilius of Caleacte in Sicily was a noted rhetorician and historian, contemporary with Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and said to have been a Jew. [Return] c. The theory that the prophetic power of Delphi was due to such an intoxicating vapour or pneuma was widely held in antiquity, but the geology of Delphi lends it no support and no “rift in the earth” has been identified. Nature endowed him fully with the power of evoking pity and also with a superb flexibility in narrating myths copiously, and pursuing a theme with fluency. [Return] b. Not indeed that I am ignorant of the second point, that whatever men do is always inevitably regarded from the worst side: faults make an ineradicable impression, but beauties soon slip from our memory. Shield of Heracles 267. You find the same sort of thing in his Cassandra’s speech: a. Iliad 20.170, describing a wounded lion. .”b, ... the distance between earth and heaven. See chap. Aristophanes of Byzantium was among the ancient scholars who regarded the Shield as perhaps not Hesiod’s, but Apollonius and others took it to be genuine. [Return] c. Herodotus 2.29. This translates the emendation pathous for the manuscript reading bathous, which has been interpreted as “profundity” or “bathos.” [Return] b. Oration 23.113. Then again in the orators their eulogies and ceremonial speeches and show pieces always include touches of dignity and sublimity, yet are usually void of emotion. 935 Nauck. [Return] c. Zeus supplied with ambrosia by doves: Odyssey 12.62. uncovered. The grandeur is mutilated by being too closely compressed. A sufficient instance is that mentioned above, “By those at Marathon.” In that case how did the orator conceal the figure? Longinus is the conventional name of the author of the treatise On the Sublime, a work which focuses on the effect of good writing. ... and they check the chimneys towering blaze. [Plutarch] Consolation to Apollonius 10, Epictetus 4.10.27, Seneca Agamemnon 592 (with R.J. Tarrant’s note). 172-4. Shuddering down in the depths, the king of the thereafter 16.44ff). U
Thee, bold Longinus! into prose.” Cf. “For our soul is raised out of nature through the truly sublime, sways with high spirits, and is filled with proud joy, as if itself had created what it hears.”. “Tell me, my friend, do you all want to go round asking each other ‘Is there any news?’a For what stranger news could there be than this of a Macedonian conquering Greece? Ajax, summoned from Hades, refuses to speak to Odysseus, because he is still angry at the award of Achilles’ armour to Odysseus rather than to himself. H
But what is the difference between this topic of advice and what we discussed just now, namely the delimitation and unifying arrangement of vital points? And wherein does she show her excellence? For this of itself gives to the style at once grandeur, beauty, old-world charm, weight, force, strength, and a sort of lustre, like the bloom on the surface of the most beautiful bronzes, and endows the facts as it were with a living voice. on the ocean. [Return]. the comparison between Iliad and Odyssey, above 9.11-15. 768 Radt), and Longinus perhaps adapts it to his own purpose. It is much the same with Herodotus’ phrases: “In his madness,” he says, “Cleomenes cut his own flesh into strips with a dagger, until he made mincemeat of himself and perished,” and “Pythes went on fighting in the ship until he was chopped to pieces.”c These come perilously near to vulgarity, but are not vulgar because they are so expressive. However (this service reverts to something with which we began our treatise), since impeccable correctness is, generally speaking, due to art, and the height of excellence, even if erratic, to genius, it is proper that art should always assist literature. It is the same with Herodotus’ description of those who fought at Thermopylae. Notes [ edit ] [Return], His tail at his ribs and his flanks now lashes on this, vast and Olympus; Also we expect a statue to resemble a man, but in literature, as I said before, we, a. [Return] b. But consider. An ardent Judge, who Zealous in his Trust, With Warmth gives Sentence, yet is always Just; Whose own Example strengthens all his Laws, And Is himself that great sublime he draws. . What in general is the distinction between instances of amplification and those of sublimity? Suppose that in all this show itself someone had brought bags and sacks and set them in the middle of the gold and jewelled bowls, the beaten silver, the pavilions of solid gold and the drinking cups—that would have presented an unseemly sight. A reminiscence of Euripides, Bacchae 317. The only difference is . was better known for his prose works (“Memoirs” and “Visits of Famous Men”), but a number of his tragedies were known in Hellenistic times (TGF i pp. [Return] b. There is another justification for our considering the Odyssey as well as the Iliad. [Return]. ranges This is the case with Sophocles’ lines about Oedipus: Curse on the marriages But there are so many examples that I must stay my hand. [Return] b. Herodotus 6.21. [Return] c. Herodotus 6.75, 7.181. On the other hand, many sublime passages are quite without emotion. [Return] b. 32. [Return] c. Iliad 5.770-2. I have myself cited a good many faults in Homera and the other greatest authors, and though these slips certainly offend my taste, yet I prefer to call them not wilful mistakes but careless oversights, let in casually almost and at random by the heedlessness of genius. In both pairs the first named is impeccable and a master of elegance in the smooth style, while Pindar and Sophocles sometimes seem to fire the whole landscape as they sweep across it, though often their fire is unaccountably quenched and they fall miserably flat.