Part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

βιαζόμενον δέ τινα πρὸς ἐναντίον ῥεῦμα ποταμοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὅπλων καὶ τὰ μὲν ἀντέχοντα, τὰ δ’ ὑποφερόμενον εἰσάγων ἀνακοπάς τε ποιήσει συλλαβῶν καὶ ἀναβολὰς χρόνων καὶ ἀντιστηριγμοὺς γραμμάτων

δεινὸν δ’ ἀμφ’ Ἀχιλῆα κυκώμενον ἵστατο κῦμα,
ὤθει δ’ ἐν σάκεϊ πίπτων ῥόος, οὐδὲ πόδεσσιν
εἶχε στηρίξασθαι. [Il. 21.240ss.]

ἀραττομένων δὲ περὶ πέτρας ἀνθρώπων ψόφον τε καὶ μόρον οἰκτρὸν ἐπιδεικνύμενος ἐπὶ τῶν ἀηδεστάτων τε καὶ κακοφωνοτάτων χρονιεῖ γραμμάτων οὐδαμῇ λεαίνων τὴν κατασκευὴν οὐδὲ ἡδύνων·

σύν τε δύω μάρψας ὥστε σκύλακας προτὶ γαίῃ
κόπτ’· ἐκ δ’ ἐγκέφαλος χαμάδις ῥέε, δεῦε δὲ γαῖαν. [Od. 9.289s.]

πολὺ ἂν ἔργον εἴη λέγειν, εἰ πάντων παραδείγματα βουλοίμην φέρειν ὧν ἄν τις ἀπαιτήσειε κατὰ τὸν τόπον τόνδε· ὥστε ἀρκεσθεὶς τοῖς εἰρημένοις ἐπὶ τὰ ἑξῆς μεταβήσομαι.

(Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Peri Suntheseōs Onomatōn 16.99-100)

And when he depicts a warrior in full armour forcing his way forward against the contrary current of a river, now holding his own, now being carried off his feet, he will introduce clashings of syllables, delays in the rhythm, and letters which hold up the flow:

Around Achilles swirled a terrible tempestuous wave:
Its current dashed against his shield and swept away his feet
From their firm stance.

When men are being dashed against rocks, and he is portraying the noise and their pitiable fate, he will dwell on the most unpleasant and ill-sounding letters, nowhere attempting to make the arrangement smooth or attractive:

A pair of them he snatched and dashed, like puppies on the ground.
Their brains flowed freely on the floor and incarnadined the rocks

It would be a long task if I should set myself to produce examples of all the usages that might be required to illustrate this subject. I shall therefore content myself with what has been said and proceed to the next topic.

(tr. Stephen Usher)

2 thoughts on “Kakophōnotatōn”

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