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Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

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Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Sun May 13, 2018 2:22 am

What is the name of this literary device that Plutarch uses here following ὥσπερ?

Image
Julius Caesar pausing before crossing the Rubicon (?January 10th?) 49 BCE.

καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ τὸν Ῥουβίκωνα ποταμὸν ἐλθών, ὃς ἀφώριζεν αὐτῷ τὴν δεδομένην ἐπαρχίαν, ἔστη σιωπῇ καὶ διεμέλλησεν, αὐτὸς ἄρα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν συλλογιζόμενος τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ τολμήματος, εἶτα, ὥσπερ οἱ πρὸς βάθος ἀφιέντες ἀχανὲς ἀπὸ κρημνοῦ τινος ἑαυτούς, μύσας τῷ λογισμῷ καὶ παρακαλυψάμενος πρὸς τὸ δεινόν, καὶ τοσοῦτον μόνον Ἑλληνιστὶ πρὸς τοὺς παρόντας ἐκβοήσας, ‘ἀνερρίφθω κύβος,’ διεβίβαζε τὸν στρατόν.


The literal river (stream if you ask me) was a simple matter to step into and cross. Just reading that, I assumed that it was an immense river, like the one kilometer wide one I live beside. Looking at the pictures, it is clearly not.

Image
The Rubicon in February 2012.
Photo by Cicciotto (CC BY-SA 3.0)

There must be some overlapping of the gravity of the recklessness of the situation with the simple action of crossing the river. The water doesn't look deep at all and it looks so un-yawing that an athletic soldier (without kit) may have actually been able to jump it, and the banks are hardly higher than the water-level, and certainly not over hanging. (Presumably, with the return to the singular, he is portrayed as literally squinting and covering his face.)

Are those three exagerations taken as a whole and called by the name of some literary device, or are the severally distinguished from each other by different names?
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven -- and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, --
(Shelley, Hymn of Pan)
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Re: Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

Postby Hylander » Sun May 13, 2018 2:37 am

The literary device is called "simile."

Caesar hesitated, like men throwing themselves into a gaping chasm from an overhanging cliff, not because the stream was difficult to cross, but because in crossing it Caesar would violate a geographic restriction on his authority and he knew it would lead to civil war.

He didn't squint: he closed his eyes and covered his face in holy dread, a religious act.
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Re: Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

Postby ἑκηβόλος » Tue May 15, 2018 4:29 am

Hylander wrote:The literary device is called "simile."

Was there a name within the system of ancient rhetoric given to this type of use of simile?
I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the daedal Earth,
And of Heaven -- and the giant wars,
And Love, and Death, and Birth, --
(Shelley, Hymn of Pan)
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Re: Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue May 15, 2018 12:19 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Hylander wrote:The literary device is called "simile."

Was there a name within the system of ancient rhetoric given to this type of use of simile?


This "type of use?" At any rate, similitudo:

D. In partic., rhetor. t. t., a comparison, simile, similitude: similitudo est, oratio traducens ad rem quampiam aliquid ex re dispari simile, Auct. Her. 4, 45, 59; Cic. de Or. 2, 40, 168; id. Top. 10, 41: argumentorum et similitudinum copia, id. Brut. 38, 143 fin.; Quint. 9, 1, 31; 9, 2, 2; 8, 3, 72 et saep.

Lewis, C. T., & Short, C. (1891). Harpers’ Latin Dictionary (p. 1701). New York; Oxford: Harper & Brothers; Clarendon Press.

In Greek, εἰκών:

III. similitude, comparison, Ar.Nu.559, Ra.906, Pl.Phd.87b, Men.80c, Men.536.1; διʼ εἰκόνος λέγεσφαι Pl.R.487e, cf. Arist.Rh.1407a11, Lib.Ep.8.1.

Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., Jones, H. S., & McKenzie, R. (1996). A Greek-English lexicon (p. 485). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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Re: Literary device in Plutarch, Life of Ptolemy, 60.2

Postby Hylander » Tue May 15, 2018 12:41 pm

Aristotle Rhetoric 3.4.1

ἔστιν δὲ καὶ ἡ εἰκὼν μεταφορά: διαφέρει γὰρ μικρόν: ὅταν μὲν γὰρ εἴπῃ τὸν Ἀχιλλέα “ὡς δὲ λέων ἐπόρουσεν”, εἰκών ἐστιν, ὅταν δὲ “λέων ἐπόρουσε”, μεταφορά: διὰ γὰρ τὸ ἄμφω ἀνδρείους εἶναι, προσηγόρευσεν μετενέγκας λέοντα τὸν Ἀχιλλέα.


http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0059%3Abook%3D3%3Achapter%3D4
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